Since Last year

Realizing that we haven’t posted anything for nearly a year now I thought I would give a year in review of the Chmiel Owens household in photos. Far from any kind of comprehensive recap this is more of a walk through of some of our photos over the last year.

We were happy to spend this year with Bowser and Zelda, and we were also happy to spend time with the three dogs we fostered for a local small dog rescue. Luigi, Jung Le, and Yoshi were each great pets, and each found a great home. We are thrilled that Yoshi found his home with Marjee’s mom.

Stop it dad! I'm too cool for pictures luigi lounges
Luigi in your face
Jung Lee Movie Poster for a buddy comedy Poster Child

It was a great year for old friends and new. We visited some of our World of Warcraft Friends in Boston, and took a short new England vacation, we spent time at the Chmiel family cabin in Crivitz, and drove back and forth between Milwaukee and Chicago several times to visit with friends and family back in the homeland.

Mike Alt at Kops Jenny
jamie Devane - Profound no doubt Dave visits Oh hi, Subway samurai
Home Improvement:
Started several projects, but still have plenty of work to do. Spent time with mom and todd framing the basement, and tiled one of our bathrooms.

Tiling Makin walls

We made monsters:
We also made some monsters. Marjee took a sewing class and we both had a bit of fun with the sewing machine.

oh hi, I c what u did der Introducing Otto Von Stripes
A furiocious beast A Face you can trust

Chmiel’s In The Capitol

We were very lucky to have Marjee’s mom and dad visit us a few weeks ago. After the wedding we left our pups with them in Chicago, and bringing the dogs back made for a great excuse to get them both to come visit us.

Marjee’s dad had never done the whole nations capitol highlights tour so we made some time to make that happen. Our first attempt got rained out, we saw the Natural History Museum bought some panchos and got completely soaked as I forgot exactly how far away the Farragut metro stop was.

The next day we took a brunch cruise around the Potomac. As seen above the food was excellent. It was also a lot of fun to see the monuments from the water.

Chmiels and the capitol

Supreme Family

Dad and the Capitol

Mom and Dad Outside the Whitehouse

After that we hit the major spots, walked around the capitol building, the supreme court, the whitehouse, washington monument, world war two memorial, the vietnam memorial, and the Lincoln memorial. It was throughly exhausting and throughly enjoyable.

Sara Rashid reports from Grant Park

Our very good friend Sara Rashid was able to attend Obama’s acceptance speech yesterday. I wanted to share her take:

From Sara:
…it was a miraculously warm night out. Beautiful. I’ve never felt so comfortable surrounded by 100,000 strangers. I hate crowds and am always intimidated by them – so much so that, to my embarassment, I actually asked if we could stay home last night. I was scared. Coleman said I was welcome to stay home, but that if I did, I’d miss this century’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I had to give him that one. It turned out to be like being with family. Absolutely nothing but good feelings, warmth, comraderie, and manners. In that massive heep of humans, any and every time someone’s toe was inadvertantly stepped on you heard a prompt apology. That sh*t doesn’t even happen in church. It was amazing.

We declined to push through the masses to be on the “ground floor” (eek! Oprah vibes!), and opted rather to stay on the sidelines. We had a perfect view of everything. Coleman’s sister had her camera; promised to send me pics (which I will forward to you). We had a perfect view of the hotel Obama was staying at (allegedly) and you could see shadows of people on the giant front balcony. Coleman surmised they were Secret Service Snipers, and I doubt he was wrong. That + the amount of police + the constant helicopter rumbling made for quite an intimidating scene, but still, nothing but smiles and ease.
It stunned us how quickly Obama’s victory was announced. He won Virginia (to a roar from the crowd), I texted you, and then BOOM! – the CNN screen we were all watching displayed his victory. It was so unexpected there was a pause in the crowd – and then elation. I cried. I think everyone cried. I’m sure we all had our different reasons. I cried because I was amazed at the possibilities in a lifetime. And because I was proud of him. And scared for him. And because I was proud of us. And scared for us. I cried because I was moved, and happy, and sad (thinking about his grandmother’s death), and, frankly, because I was surprised. I really didn’t have faith. But I do now 🙂
The trip home was gleeful, to put it mildly. People were honking their horns and playing frickin’ bongos and dancing in the streets. Strangers were hugged and high-fived. Donuts were purchased from convenience store employees wearing Uncle Sam hats and screaming right along with the patrons. Every now and then, you’d hear a champagne cork pop. Believe it or not, not once did that sound make me jump. That’s the calming affect this news had, joyous as it was. Suddenly, it felt like things might be alright. On that way home I also realized that not once in my life have I seen our president on T.V. or heard his voice on the radio and been proud. I am now. It’s new and strange and powerful and very, very exciting.

Oh yes, as I’m recalling it all I should say that I thought McCain’s concession speech was dignified, respectful, wise, and kind. It should be noted that our crowd applauded him. To my delight, it should also be noted that our crowd booed Palin 🙂

I woke up this morning unable to process how I felt. I’ve never felt a grand-scale optimism like this. I’m so glad Obama’s speech mentioned the failures and “missteps” that will undoubtedly occur, because I don’t want anyone in the world to think we misinterpret this man as a diety. He’s just a man. But quite a man he is.

Marjee and Trevor’s Election Picks

To make election night a bit more fun we decided to each lay out our picks on a state by state basis. For the record here they are.

Marjee’s Election picks: Obama 306 McCain 232

Trevor’s Election Predictions: Obama 353 McCain 185

A year with dogs

As we approach Bowser’s one year anniversary I thought I would play a little with iMovie and stitch together some of the video clips as a little gift for Marjee.

But soon the sun with milder rays descends

Everyone says planning a wedding is hard work, but it has not really caught up with us until this summer.
Our wedding is in three weeks. We have our cocktail napkins. The moms, the flower girls, and I all have our dresses. Our flowers, cake, and cake topper are set, and we are looking forward to a wedding at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
We’ve even got more music than we know what to do with ready for instant DJ-ing loaded onto our computers. I’m really excited about all of that. But there are a few stumbling blocks. For one, we found out that our rings are really late! We ordered custom rings from Absolute Titanium. We had pretty rough luck with them for my engagement ring, so we figured we’d have to be proactive about making sure the wedding rings got to us on time. Lets just say that it was a good thing that we’ve been aggressively in touch with them. Apparently, the canceled our order by accident. They confused us with another “Owens” that ordered the same style.

We’ve hardly had time, this summer, to take any fun pictures. Of course, we have the obligatory puppy shots, because that is what dotting dog owners do. The puppies have been enjoying a bit more outdoor freedom now that we have installed a short fence. It is tall enough to keep our little guys in line, but still short enough to maintain our view of the woods. They still bark at everyone that walks by. Why don’t dogs understand property lines?

The summer highlight for sure has been the wedding of our friends Ben and Amanda. The wedding was at an amazing vineyard outside of Amanda’s hometown of Staunton, VA. A gorgeous little old town that deepend my appreciatiuon for my new home state. Take a look. The bride, groom, friends, and scenerly were all picture perfect:

The wedding was a rare confluence of great friends, great booze, great food, and amazing scenery. Utterly unforgettable. The best part was that it was the puppies’ first hotel stay, and they did smashing-ly well.

Hectic times make for great memories

April flowers have brought May showers to our neck of the woods. A balmy April somehow turned into rainy May days.
Zelda wore the weather well…
what a mug

….but our two guests this month, Marie and Dave, had to be willing to put up with some muddiness. That worked out pretty well in both cases. Marie joined us for a pretty fantastic Mother’s Day breakfast (if I may say so my self!) and some small-town site seeing:
kinda looks like a doll house
We did get to see some fantastic “wildlife”!
last snake
Zelda graduated from her puppy obedience class:
perfect pup
…and we got a little bit closer to finalizing our wedding plans:
does it make you hungry

First Vos Wedding

We have been quite busy. I’m busy finishing up classes, working full time and taking six credits is always an adventure, and Marjee has been digging in at JASON. Two weeks ago we went back to Milwaukee for my cousin Nicole’s wedding. Here are some pictures from our trip.

Marjee is ready to go

Nicole and Ben

Pre-reception coffee with aunt Kath and uncle Scot

Sitting down for dinner

Beer cozy keepsake