Friday, August 29, 2008

We're coming Meredith!

Back in the spring, Heath and Rick headed out to the 'burbs to audition for Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

(yes, that gameshow is still on)

Heath passed the test and the interview and was entered into the contestant pool. On Wednesday, he got a call from the casting guy to inform him that he had been selected to appear on the show!!!

We'll be heading out to NYC for his taping on September 25 and will get to meet Meredith Viera.

The show will air on January 19. In the meantime, I have him studying hardcore...especially when it comes to pop culture. Needless to say, Heath would like to keep expectations low. Yes, he is brilliant, but one early question about Grey's Anatomy and we might have a problem.

If you'd like to make your case for being a "Phone a Friend" and help Heath in the hot seat, please use the comment section below.

HIST256 - Heath's Class

As some of you know, Heath is teaching his first solo class at UIC this fall:

HIST256: Religious Experiences in American History

Here he is on his first day of class...very handsome!

Meeting Ned

It's funny to think that some of the people we're closest to today didn't know us before we were Mr. and Mrs. Carter. They weren't at our wedding and don't know many of the people who were instrumental in our formation and "courtship."

Likewise, we often don't know their people. In this case, John and Susan were married two weeks after we were by Ned, one of the priests they worked with while living in community in Peru. Heath had the chance to meet Ned briefly last summer, but last weekend, I had the chance to meet him myself.

We met up with the group at The Kerryman downtown, but quickly headed to the much more quiet beer garden at the Clark Street Alehouse. Good conversation, good beer and—in this case—a good story...

Susan ordered an Oberon beer from Bell's, a popular brewery in Kalamazoo, MI, that had been "banned" in Chicago for awhile, but is recently back. When the waitress brought it out, she informed us that it was free of charge since Mr. Bell himself was in the house. I sent Heath and John off with the camera and they came back with pictures of Mr. Bell. He had should I put this?...tasting his wares quite a bit. HILARIOUS!

Dusk on Lake Shore Drive

The guys with Mr. Bell

Group pic with Ned

Delayed Reaction: Hot Air Ballooning

I've been waiting for a disk of my white water rafting pics to be sent over so that I could do one big post on my trip to Utah. I didn't want to get our camera wet or wrecked, so I'm relying on Ian (one of the guys on my team) to send photos.

I did, however, get pictures on the hot air balloon. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is definitely worth the cost even though, in this case, I didn't have to pay. So let me put this adventure in context really quick:

Henry Schein Practice Solutions, a division of Henry Schein that includes Dentrix practice management software, hosts an annual Practice Solutions Summit. They invite various members of the dental industry (24 in total) to come and learn about new products and offer feedback on new directions the company hopes to take. I was definitely the youngest person there, but received great professional affirmation during the roundtable discussion when I held my own in a group of people included educators, consultants, CPAs, association heads, practicing dentists, and installation experts—all of whom had been doing this a LONG time.

As part of the trip, we were broken down into teams that pursued different "wilderness adventures" while discussing key themes for the week. My team did hot air ballooning and white water rafting. So...

We had to be ready to go at 6am on Monday morning. We drove out to Park City (home of the Sundance Film Festival) and met with our ballooners in a random parking lot just below some of the slopes where Olympic skiers made their mark during the Salt Lake City games. Jumping into the basket, I have to admit I was a little nervous. But, as you'll see below, the views quickly made up for any apprehension. It was peaceful, amazing, and Logan, our guide, was both humorous and extremely knowledgeable.

Preparing for liftoff...

The scenery...

When we were done, we drank champagne and recited the Balloonist's Blessing:
The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has blessed you with warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God had joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Aaron and Lenore get a dog!

Violet's social universe is expanding.

First, there were Gizmo and Angie. Wonderful neighbors.

Then there was Stanley D., her main man.

Bailey showed up and Vio became the "adult."

And now there's Zoe, Aaron and Lenore's new black lab. Isn't she a cutie? Just a few more immunizations and there will be play dates a plenty.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I love my job—don't get me wrong. But on days like today (a gorgeous day, I might add), I'm sitting in front of a computer screen instead of soaking up the sun. Grr...

The ridiculous thing is, I don't think I would be particularly good at any job that requires one to be outdoors. Park ranger? No. Lifeguard? No. Fisherman? No.

So, as I reflect on my ever-fading tan, we can celebrate one thing: 4759 now has 100 posts!