16 June 2010


Hi bloggers!! Nice to see you!!

I took a mini-vacation of wonderfulness for the last 4 days, and as a result, not only had time to blog (well, get stuff ready for blogs!), but I got to spend some awesome time with my dad (and husband, who's post is coming later).

Certain members of the Smith family really like to drive. A lot. Dad and I drive ridiculous distances to do things easily done at home or around town, just because we like it. Some other family members like to sleep while we drive, but we still like having them come along :)

So on Monday, day 3 of my "4 days of no working!," Dad and I decided to take a drive to Sisters (about 2 1/2 hours away) to have lunch at one of our favorite pizza places. But what fun is a 2 1/2 hour drive when you can take fun backroads and make it a 3 1/2 hour drive?? :)

Our handy transportation:

Isn't she pretty? I assume she's a she... Dad, want to weight in on this? I'm not sure she even has a name....

We started off out of Eugene and took the backroads south, down to Fall Creek reservoir and Highway 58, then headed east until we got to the turnoff for Westfir. From there is was another hour back north through some gorgeous mountains and canyons.

The North Fork of the Willamette River:

Unfortunately, this lovely road spelled disaster for our adventures, since shortly after we left 58 and headed up the mountains the car started making sounds that can be compared only to a really angry squirrel being ran over. In fact, before we realized where the sound was coming from I thought "Wow, you can REALLY hear the wildlife out here!" Oops.
As a result, we cut our drive a little short (no one wants to get stranded in the mountains). We ended up having lunch at a restaurant about an hour out of town called Takoda's and then hit Tokatee golf course for 9 holes (no, I don't golf. Yes, I am an awesome cart driver.)

My shadow, driving the cart, in a shadowy, mysterious way:

Golf!!! Specifically, golf that I'm pretty sure Dad didn't know was documented until this moment:

All in all, it was a great day, and even if we had to come home early, that just means we get to schedule another trip once the little car is healthy again!! :)

12 February 2010

Wanna help some babies?

Do you like babies? Do you like healthy babies? Did you know that 1 out of every 8 babies born in the US is born prematurely? Thanks to organizations like the March of Dimes, we're working to make sure all babies will be born on time and healthy. I am the team captain of First Tech's Lane County team, and we're trying to raise $4500 for this year's March of Dimes March for Babies. If you would like to contribute to this wonderful cause, just click on my widget (yep, I have a widget :) ) on the right side of the page, or contact me any way you know how.

Thanks so much for your support, this is a great organization!!!!

05 February 2010

2009- A year long book review

I look at this list, and it seems so short. My stack of "to read" books is longer than this I think... but none the less, here they are.... originally, there were long reviews, but that's when I started this back in December. So we're going with stars. Who doesn't love stars?

The Wordy Shipmates- Sarah Vowell
...I love Sarah, I really do. But this one wasn't my favorite. If you love Puritans, and learning funny historical details, and molasses, then this might be the book for you. Yep. Molasses. There was a flood....

The Partly Cloudy Patriot- Sarah Vowell
...This is more my kind of Sarah :) A collection of short essays about being an American and what it means to her. Still witty, still entertainingly educational, no molasses.

American Nightingale- Bob Welch
...If I felt it was appropriate, I would give this book more stars, but really, where would it end? This book is amazing. AMAZING. It's the story of Frances Slanger, a Jewish nurse during WWII who took part in the invasion of Normandy. Words don't do this book justice, and fun fact: It was written by Bob Welch, a local Eugene writer, and who doesn't love supporting local things? I saw him getting burgers last night, I should have said something....

Water for Elephants- Sara Gruen
...This book made me want to join the circus. And stow away on a boxcar. Seriously. Read it.

Wicked- Gregory Maguire
...This was a re-read, because Sean and I went and saw the musical in Portland. It's a darker take on the background to the story of The Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, and it's really really good. Check out the play too, if you're into that, it's excellent, and 'Defying Gravity' is awesome.

Drood- Dan Simmons
...I bought this book solely for it's cover. If you're a fan of Dickens, you may really like this, it's based on the last few years of his life and the weird turn his life takes when he is in a mysterious train crash. It was a good book, but I think it would have been a great book if it had ended a few hundred pages sooner.

The Venetian Betrayal- Steve Berry
...Steve is my favorite "mass produced" author... I read his books any time I need dramatic hours of light reading, and he does not disappoint in this one. Lots of good historical background, and I love any main character named Cotton :)

Take the Canoli- Sarah Vowell
...Have you noticed how much I like her? Sadly for me, this was the last book of hers I had to read (my all time favorite, 'Assassination Vacation', I read in 2008). Just as great as the others. Have I mentioned you should read her?

World Without End- Ken Follett
...Have you read 'Pillars of the Earth'? If the answer is no, shame on you. It's on my top 5 greatest books of all time list. Do it. This is the sequel, and it was good, though not as good as the original, in my humble opinion. Took me a while to get through, and was kinda predictable, but still a good story.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer
...Again, this books deserves every star you can give it. Told by a boy who's father is killed in the World Trade Center, this is most definitely on my top 5 greatest books of all time list. Creatively written, amazing heartbreaking, and yet inspiring, there is no way this book won't make you cry. I don't care if you never look at any other book on this list, read this one. Please.

Pebble in the Water- Bob Welch
...This book is the story of Bob writing 'American Nightingale' and the process he went through during research and publication. This gave me a HUGE appreciation for the book, and made me love it even more. It even made me cry. If you are a military history buff at all, read these.

A Long Way Gone- Memoirs of a Boy Solider- Ishmael Beah
...The memoir of a child who grew up during the unrest in Sierra Leone and his life as a boy solider. It's sad and gritty, but quite inspiring and eye opening. I really really enjoyed this.

Jurassic Park- Michael Crichton
...Husband was so appalled when I told him I had never read these books. So Thanksgiving weekend, I snuggled up on the couch, and away I went. This book is great, much better than the movie, which is awesome in its own right. I haven't read Lost World yet, but I LOVE Crichton as an author, so I'm definitely looking forward to it.

Congo- Michael Crichton
...This book makes me want to have a gorilla. Sean said I couldn't have a gorilla. Rude. This book increased my curiosity about inner Africa even more (after reading A Long Way Gone). Now I want to be an explorer from a century ago.... An explorer with a pet gorilla who knows sign language.

Ghostwalk- Elizabeth Stott
...I wasn't thrilled with this book, but it got better towards the end. I hated the way it was told, didn't particularly care for the voice, but the plot itself had potential, and ended up not disappointing. Care about Alchemy? This book may be for you.

Tunnel Vision- Keith Lowe
...Did you know I love the Subway? As in public transportation, not the sandwiches. But let's not kid ourselves, I love the sandwiches too :) Anyhow, I LOVE THE SUBWAY. If I could take trains everywhere, I would. End of story. This book is about a man who makes a bet on the eve of his wedding, putting his honeymoon and the chances of him showing up for the ceremony on the line, and the only way to win the bet is to ride the entire London Underground in 19 hours. It's a great story, lots of cool subway references, and it will really make you appreciate the one you love.

The Lost Symbol- Dan Brown
...I can't do half stars, so this one gets rounded up, because I'm a nice person. I dig Dan Brown, I do. The Da Vinci Code books were good, I personally loved Digital Fortress more than any of the others, but The Lost Symbol kinda let me down. Started out great, fizzled at the end, but hey, it got me through the Swine Flu, so it can't be all bad, right?

Animal Farm- George Orwell
...At 9pm New Years Eve, I decided that I needed to read one more book for the year, and thus, Animal Farm, and it's short but well done story, was taken off the stack. Since I heart Communism, I found this interesting on lots of levels. And honestly, it made me sad for the animals. Dear Animals: I'm sorry you lived on a farm with mean pigs. I was sad when your well fell down. Thanks for giving me a dorky, but fitting, way to end my 2009. You're awesome.

And that, my friends, was my literary year. 2010 has a lot to live up to, but there's plenty of options waiting for me!!! Happy Reading!!

09 January 2010

Birthday Boy!

Happy Birthday Sean, I love you!! I especially love when you make this face... like I'm doing something you don't like, but you know I'll do anyway... like posting this picture on the internet... :)

02 January 2010

Rose Bowl 2010

Well, it may not have been the best game ever, but it's been an awesome season, we're still Pac-10 champs, and it's always fun to have a football party with the fam! Here's to another great season in 2010!!

13 December 2009

I pledge....

* to finish recapping my "25 things to do before I turn 26" list

*to show you guys some of the awesome stuff we've done this year (a 2009 recap is an excellent way to finally catch up on everything I've meant to blog about!)

*to finish my "26 things to do before I turn 27" list and share it with you all

...the time for blog neglection is over!!!!!!

30 November 2009

Thanksgiving, by the numbers:

So, one of my goals over my 5, yes 5, day Thanksgiving weekend was to update this blog!!! I have been such a slacker, but things in the Nack world are just completely crazy right now. So, I have promised myself that December will be different, and here I am, starting out:

A Nack Thanksgiving, by the numbers:

Days off: Steph 5/Sean 4
Books read cover to cover: 2/1
Team Nackalista visits: 2
Delicious dinners at the best BBQ place in town: 1
Football games watched: 6+ (I've really lost track)
Pieces of plastic fruit the cat stole out of the centerpiece and used as a soccer ball: 5
Trips to Old Navy: 3
Trips to gun stores: 2
Hours that we didn't have to do anything remotely responsible: not nearly enough, but it was great while it lasted!

Happy beginning to the holiday season!!!