Posts Tagged ‘overtime’

It was balanced when we put it up, but the kitties feel that the tree is their playground! See the little kitty in the corner?

I know we have been bad about blogging, but it wasn’t until my buddy Gillian sent me an email wondering how things have been that I knew it was time to drop a line.  Honestly, we’ve just been really, really busy!  I realize that’s no excuse for not staying on top of the blog, but that’s the problem with having a travel-oriented blog when we’re just saving right now. 😛 

Between work, Christmas shopping, planning for a trip to Raleigh and not to mention all the other normal parts of our daily routine – laundry, cooking, eating, sleeping, reading, crocheting – we’ve been busy & pretty exhausted as a result. 

Work, work, work: I have a huge project at work that needs to be done before we go out-of-town, so I’ve been working my butt off to make sure it gets done.  It’s not a very hard project, but it has me working in the vault, where there’s no insulation or heat, getting together contact information to send out invitations for a big event in February.  (If you’re new to this blog, then you should know that we live in Wisconsin & that we’ve been between 0 & 20 degrees F this past week – in other words it’s flippin’ cold back there!)  Then, there’s Corey with his 4, 10 hour days and his additional 8+ hour weekends tiling.  Friday was his 20th straight day of work!  I have no clue how he does it.  Luckily, that was his last tile job of the year & this week he only has to work Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.

It hasn’t all been boring work stuff.  Here are some fun decoration photos.  Please note our ridiculous cats in the tree! 

Norma Jean



I made these cute little crochet ornaments, but the cats have decided that those are there only for their amusement!

Crochet Ornaments

On to the shopping portion: Shopping for my parents was easy.  We’re all so happy to see each other that the gift aspect really isn’t that important.  Can’t tell you what they’re getting, cause the read the blog!  Corey’s parents are another story.  We ask them what they want & they either say nothing or I’ll get back to you & never do.  So we end up hounding them for weeks until they finally make a decision.  And, that still leaves his brother, Jared & his aunt and you can’t forget that we also need to get at least 1 thing for each other.  This year we decided to get each other more Christmas presents than last year.  Last year we still hadn’t saved a dime, so in an attempt to get the ball rolling we decided to get our passports in order as a gift to each other.  This time around we put a $60 (ish) cap on the amount we could purchase on each other.  It’s always fun to get a surprise from your love on Christmas!

What’s a travel blog without a bit of travel?   We’ll be leaving for Raleigh on Christmas day.  My dad inadvertently taught me one of the best holiday travel secrets.  If you want to beat the crowds and have a better chance of getting to your destination on time, then you should travel on fill-in-the-holiday day!  The first time we went to Raleigh we left mid-week right after Christmas, thinking we’d be fine.  Boy were we wrong.  Our first flight was delayed, making us miss our second flight & flying to another city in hopes of catching the last flight from Newark to Raleigh.  Our original plan was to be in North Carolina at 1 PM, but we didn’t get there until 3 AM.  We would have made it there faster if we drove!  That’s not to say that everyone who flies on Christmas day travels worry/hassle free, but it seems to be a more relaxed bit of people traveling & in general the flights seem to be on time.  Anyway, we’ll spend this Christmas Eve at the Waller’s in WI & Christmas Day with the Davis family in NC. 

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!!

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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

Image via Wikipedia


For the first time in the extensive history of Wallagrams, I , Corey Waller, am contributing to our infamous pre-travel blog.  I have to say that I’m a little apprehensive in this first post because it has been a  long time since I’ve thoughtfully written anything of any real substance.  I guess the best way to introduce myself is to tell you all of my aspirations, goals, probably most importantly, my role in working towards our dream trip around the world. My travel history is very short and not very exciting.  I have never been out of the country and have only spent time in a handful of states other than Wisconsin.  I never really even thought about going abroad until after high school when my interest in global history and current events around the world took off.  It was at that point that I really felt a strong desire to see the rest of the world.  I initially wanted to go to all the usual places, Western Europe and maybe go on an African safari, but the more I learned about the rest of world and the more I watched others on TV, mainly Anthony Bourdain, the more I have wanted to see the world that most do not see. 

Once Lisa and I got married, our one and only goal was to save money to take a year-long trip to see the world.  However, as Lisa has already articulated saving money isn’t the easiest action.  What she has failed to mention is how hard it can be for people to earn enough money to make saving a sufficient amount plausible.  My wife reads a ridiculous amount of other travel blogs in her spare time.  I know it helps her focus on travel and learn more about extended world travel.  However, sometimes it does get her down that these people are out on the road and we  are still in the infant stages of saving.  She was able to discern a couple of common traits that most of these travelers had.  Most seemed to be in their early to mid thirties and had been saving for years.  The younger ones seemed to either come from money or had high paying jobs that allowed them to expedient the saving process (not all, but most).  Unfortunately for us,  we are in our mid twenties, we don’t come from money, and we don’t nessacarily have what you would call high paying jobs.  That, however, doesn’t make things impossible and hopeless. 

Once we decided to get engaged and several months later, get married, I knew it was to time for my focus to change into making enough to provide for my new wife and our future goals.  I worked in a small factory a year plus before our engagement.  After not much progress on the new job hunt, I decided to give them a try again.  They welcomed me back with open arms and put me on the fast-tract to advancement.  I’m not saying that my work at the factory is hard compared to other industries, but I’ve worked very hard at my job from day one.  If there is one attribute that my parents and grandparents instilled in me, it was being a hard worker.  Since starting up again at the factory I’ve received several raises and eventually a promotion to assistant foreman.  The great thing about this factory, aside from their support of me, has been the fact that we work 4 10-hour days.  This gave me two options, a long 3 day weekend or an opportunity to make more money on the weekend.  It was a no brainer, I would make more money. 

Some years ago, I started to help out our neighbor Al and his tile setting business.  My brother started out with Al, but became somewhat unreliable, so I started working as a helper for Al.  Over the next 6 years, Al graciously taught me pretty much everything that there is to know about setting tile.  I started off simply mixing mud and making cuts.  Now I have to ability and the confidence to set tile and work my own jobs.  I actually just finished off my first stand up shower last weekend and was quite surprised at how well it turned out.  All this thanks to Al’s tutelage. Sometimes its been tasking working 11, 13, 17 days in  row at time, but in the end it will all the worth it when we’re on the plane heading to our first destination.  I think with our work ethics and research/planning that we are definitely on the right track.   

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