Monday, November 30, 2009

Can't forget Max

I feel so bad right now!! At least Max isn't human, he won't mind being left out in my blog. (I feel bad that I left him out!)

BUT... He is my second most favorite part of the Chicago trip. (First being Nate's race, of course!) He was so excited to see me! He even slept between Mom and I on the bed, it was a slumber party!

What do Amit and I hate about Boston most?? It doesn't have Max in it! We miss having him hang out on the couch with us while we watch TV, sharing our dinner with him, and playing catch with him. Not having a dog around makes Amit want to get one...

But for now, Amit will have to deal with a special visit. Why? Because we only have to wait a few more weeks to see our Max... He's coming to Boston for Christmas!! That will definitely be an adventure!

Nate's Big Race

Last year I was spoiled. I was able to go to almost all of Nathan's cross country and track meets. Fall and spring just don't feel normal without going to them. I don't know what I'm going to do when he's done with college sports. :-(  This fall was so weird, since I couldn't be there to watch Nate run. I had to rely on Mom's play-by-play over the phone to keep me informed.
There's Mom talking to me on the phone at Conference.

Back to the real inspiration for this post... North Central College's 13th victory at the cross country championships!! It was a chilly, wet day to run and the boys were fantastic! Mom and I were nervous wrecks, as always, but Nate had been in a good mood when he visited us in the morning, so we were thinking positive thoughts.
Nervously waiting for his race

From the minute the race started, I knew it was going to be different than most of the others. It was such a fast pace and the front pack was really tight.
The first few times they passed me, I couldn't find all 7 of them!

 Nate's in the bottom left corner!

So I ran all over, going from spot to spot to try to see as much of the race as I could. I found Melanie again, after getting separated in the crazy crowd, and we got a great spot on the home stretch. We watched as all 7 of the guys finished. It was very exciting!! Everyone knew that North Central had won the meet, there was no competition. The boys were stronger and more determined than anyone else there.

How did we know they had won?? Well, it helps when you have throngs of red sweatshirts to follow. Its a very good indicator when everyone is sprinting and cheering their way to meet at the finish line.

There was only one man that we wanted to see... Nathan!!! He greeted us with some very sweaty (and muddy) hugs, but we didn't care! We were just excited to see our All-American!

That's right, my baby brother is an All-American. He placed 25th in his debut at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships!

Here are some more highlights from the day...
 My favorite shot from the day... Nate said that a lot of the course was this muddy!

Proud Sis and Mom!

It was an AWESOME day!

The team became National Champs for the 13th time,

 all seven of their runners were All-American (first time that has ever happened), 

they scored 50 points to win the meet, 

 and they won by the largest margin ever (131 points)!

So congrats NCC on an undefeated season, you have made us proud!

Most importantly, congrats to my awesome brother!! I am so proud of the man you've become and am so glad that I was able to be there with you as you celebrated this new milestone!

A Quick Chicago Trip

The highlight of my visit was definitely watching Nate run the best race of his season to help his team take nationals, but I got some good quality cousin time out of it as well. (There will be a whole posting dedicated to that race... so stay tuned.)

I flew in on Friday morning, so that I had enough time to stop at the DMV... That's right... I am now, officially known as Heather Patel!! Woo-hoo!! Then it was off to Lemont to get in some much needed family time! I got in some great aunt-niece time over salads and shopping, then had to bake some desserts for Saturday. And that was all before the kids got home from school!!

So what did we do once Krissy got home from school?? We met Coco!

Yep, Coco's her horse!! Who she's owned for a while now, but I haven't formally met yet since we live in Boston. :-(  But I was super excited to meet her. She's gorgeous... and huge!!! It is still so crazy to me that Kristyn is so comfortable around an animal that huge. Who wasn't?? Me and Melanie!! We were both a little worried that she'd kick us (Coco, not Kristyn - Krissy only kicks the boys).
Mel trying to get the nerve to pet Coco.

So Friday night we headed out east... We arrived in Cleveland at about 1:30 AM and then followed that up with a good 2-3 hours of girl talk. I really miss the family girl talk!!! So we got to bed around 4, which wouldn't have been too bad, but then Nate decided to text me at 7. If you do the math, that's about 3 hours of sleep. So since I couldn't go back to sleep after he texted me, I had to let him in the room. What'd he do once he got in? Jumped on top of the soundly sleeping cousins. (They were NOT happy!)

We didn't get to talk to Nate too much on Saturday, since he was focused on the race (more about that later). After the race we celebrated! I think he was really glad to have his favorite women at the race with him.  
The girls and their All American!!

What else was I able to fit into my crazy Chicago weekend? I was able to watch Mike play volleyball. His serves in one game helped bring his team back to win... He got at least 3 points in a row! I was really excited! I got my pizza, Chicago style, which was all I really wanted. Visited with most of my family, which was really impressive. All in all it was a really fun visit, but it was too quick and Amit wasn't there. I guess we'll just have to make up for that in January!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Study Break

Everybody here knows Amit is really good at studying. He is so disciplined and can focus easily. (I wish I had that ability - I definitely can never stay focused.) But even the most studious among us need a break every now and then. Sometimes on his breaks we watch TV, or play a game, or even just talk. However, on special breaks we get to enjoy something special... Last night it was an apple crisp.
While Amit studied, I baked!

And this is what was waiting for Amit on his break...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our New Saturday Night

Wondering what we do in a wonderful city like Boston on a Saturday night? Me too!

Since the boards are so close (November 30 - pray that day!), our weekends are remarkably like the weekdays... We find something fun to do every weekend, but most evenings consist of the following:

Amit studying his dental decks, which are HUGE, its unbelievable how much they are expected to know! He also spends time studying old lecture notes and his study guide for the boards.

So what do I do to kill time? Well, sometimes I watch TV, but mostly I read, surf the internet, scrapbook with our wedding photos, work on our blog (like right now!), but I do have a new hobby.

I'm teaching myself how to knit! I have no idea how it will turn out, but hopefully I can figure it out on my own. ;-)

 So we got the rest of the Halloween pictures from Melissa... Bad news. Amit has his eyes closed in EVERY photo! Take a look -

At least I looked cute!!! Amit was a very handsome cowboy, though... even with his eyes closed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween!!!

We had two days of Halloween fun, mostly because several of our friends here absolutely love Halloween. On Friday we went to our friends church for a chili cook-off and trunk or treating. I think Halloween is always way more fun when there are kids involved, on Friday they were plentiful! The chili was delicious, John made a spicy chili but didn't win the cook-off (BOO!), but the best part of the night was seeing all the kids in their costumes! I forgot my camera (oops!) but the two of us weren't dressed up anyway. We figured we'd save the big reveal for the 31st.

On Saturday we headed to Beacon Hill, where Derrick and Mel had everyone over for scones and cider. It was delicious and we had a lot of fun visiting and admiring everyone's costumes. I apologize for the lack of photos of the two of us, I'll post some once I get them.
My handsome cowboy!

Melissa was a mime... and Abby's loving it! 

Once we were full and had eaten enough scones, we headed outside to go trick-or-treating. In Beacon Hill, they close off some of the streets so that everyone can go from house to house safely. The homes were beautiful, it was great to be able to see inside of the ones who left their lights on. Some entryways were elaborately decorated, which was really cool!

John made these amazing planets (and moon) himself!

Amit loved being a cowboy, complete with a real rope! 

One stop had its own little courtyard, but we could 
only get to it by walking through the tunnel.

Melissa helped give Abby a lift. 
The two of them are so cute!

Here's the long-awaited photo of the solar system!
Aidan and Abby didn't want to stop getting candy to pose for me.

Melissa was a very fun mime!

Amit and Derrick had fun fighting... It looks like the knight won.

Amit's favorite part of the whole night?
Getting to rope me
(although me in pigtails was probably a close second)

Well, that was our very fun Halloween...
Can't wait to hear your stories!
Thanks to Krissy for inspiring our Halloween getup!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

BU Hockey

Halloween isn't only for the kids, we had quite the busy night. Amit and Derrick got the tickets from one of their professors, so after a little trick-or-treating we headed to BU's main campus to watch the game. There was no way we were missing this game... Our seats were center ice, ninth row!
#11 was in our class at SHS, until he left to play hockey
It was a good game, we had a lot of fun. It was really eventful, because Amit's remo professor, who was sitting in the row in front of us, got hit in the arm by the puck! She wasn't hurt too bad, just sore, but Derrick offered her his armor in case it would happen again.
Derrick & Mel
Amit is having a great time
I promise to post pictures from Halloween soon, there were some great costumes in our group! I didn't take any of the two of us, so once I swap photos I will post them!