Timeline Tidbits (to help you with the quiz!)

Late 80's - Early 90's - I was in love with this band. Obviously, you say? (FYI --- answer to a "trick" question)

Early 90's - I bought my first pair of boxers from a certain favorite catalog which for umpteen years has been my favorite place to shop. (Hint: see the Sassy magazine post.)

August 1996 - Even though Neil was one year behind me in high school (yes, we were high school sweethearts), he went to SIU before me. He went straight there in 1995 and I finished up my 2 years at community college. It was in 1996 that I packed up my Ford Escort and drove it 3-1/2 hours to school with Neil. I actually liked my Escort. It was small like a VW Cabrio so I pretended that it was a VW I was driving and not the Ford.

October-ish 1996 - Two of my best friends, Kalina and Natalie, came down to visit me at school quite often. One thing we did a few times was go out to Giant City National Forest and go through "Fast Man's Squeeze". Southern Illinois is very hilly. It's so different from the rest of Illinois where it's completely flat. Down in Southern Illinois there are lots of glacial rock formations, geologic faulting and erosion. It's an amazing thing to see which is why just about every weekend Neil, myself and friends journeyed out there to explore.

"Fat Man's Squeeze" is a small opening in between two sandstone walls that create the feel of soaring city streets fit for a giant. The actual area that you "squeeze" into is about 10 or 12 inches wide. You have to crawl up and through a tiny cave-like area between the soaring rocks which leads to the tiny infamous space called "Fat Man's Sqeeze".

Meanie I was, I always told my friends that they had to go through it and every time I laughed my behind off while TAKING PICTURES of them doing it. I am so so bad. Natalie told me that she was going to get me to go through it one day. (Yeah, right, you'd have to put a gun to my head!) Here are Nat and Kalina "squeezing" through the "Fat Man" opening to squeeze out. Natalie got out just fine but Kalina's breast-area got a little stuck. She had a panic attack and went the other way. You can see the panic on her face!

1997 - I move into a house with these 2 guys, seen here with Frankie, the doggie Neil and I still have.
Rusty and Dan are their names. I don't quite know how in the world I lived with these insanely crazy guys, but I managed to . . . somehow. (Just kidding, guys, I love you!) I went to grade school and high school with these boys. They were two of my dearest friends, and to this day I would never leave them out of any part of my life, and the same goes for them with me, I think!

But look what I dealt with! :c) (And look at that couch!!!!)

I hope they don't use it against me that I'm posting these pictures, but what great memories. I had the absolute best time living with them. Neil was over a lot and the 4 of us hung out together. We (they) cooked a lot of meals together, too. It's a blurry picture, but this is what I saw a lot. 3 guys in the kitchen?! Hard to believe, eh?! I was soooo lucky; a girl doesn't live see it often!:)

September 1998 - One Saturday Neil took me back out to Giant City at the exact area that we had these pictures taken a year earlier. It was our favorite spot. (And yes, that's Frankie, who today is 11!)

We had a picnic and in the bottom of the food was a container with our dessert (Farley snacks - what a dessert, eh?!) and in the bottom of that container was a ring box. It was a great day :) 9 months later we were married. A picture from the day he proposed taken by a tree :c)

Summer of 1999 - My grandma Libby was one of my best friends. She was my inspiration and role model. During this summer we had a surprise anniversary party for her and my grandpa. It was a great time. The parrty happened after her chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer. She still didn't have a whole lot of energy but was gaining a lot of it back. I hadn't seen her smile so big and so much in a loooong time. Her hair was still coming back in and she looked so beautiful without hardly any hair. She was proud to be a woman and to be a survivor. I was so very proud of her, too. So was mom. Grandma got to see me married and then in February of 2000 she was admitted to ICU for leukemia (and then pneumonia) that she developed which mom and I think was caused by her chemo treatments. That chemotherapy kills cells and so of course it has to have an impact on healthy ones. The chemo did extend her life, but the last month of her life was an intense battle. She died the day after my birthday, on March 17, 2000. She was taken off life support on my birthday. I prayed to God that she wouldn't die on my birthday. He allowed her to live till the morning of the 17th. I miss her greatly. This picture was taken at her anniversary party just months before she left us.


Erin said...

Okay, by my count you still have about 12 questions left to answer.

Love that picture of you and your grandma and mom. So precious : )

And I'm with you on that crawling into tight spaces...uh uh, no way. I'd be the one taking pictures too, lol.

it's me, Val said...

Um, I think there are 6 left now :)


Erin said...

What? Okay, got to go read more...Apparently I'm not reading close enough...grrr

Ashley Camp said...

WOW! Your boyband wall looks JUST like my wall in my room! lol. only mine isnt new kids on the block.. (isnt that what its called?) .... its covered in jonas brothers posters. haha :)

Phyllis@Aimless Conversation said...

NKOTB!! I was a stalker fan. My sisters and I found out WHAT HOTEL they were at and went and hung out in the parking lot. We got to enter their tour buses. I took pics of us on the buses and of them running across the parking lot to the IHOP. (the best one is actually of Mark Wahlberg, before he was famous, in nothing but a towel on the hotel balcony)

Good times, good times.

oh amanda said...

I love the timeline. NKOTB, girlfriend!!