Wild Wild Wedding Weekend

August 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Scott and I traveled to Houston, Texas last weekend to attend the wedding of one of my cousins. It was a great (albeit hot!) weekend full of family, friends and tons of fun. And it got me even more excited for my own wedding!

And a photo booth!

We didn’t actually stay in Houston as the hotel and venue were about a half hour drive north in a smaller town. Fine by me, we were able to walk to lunch and a nearby Walgreens for wine so we were set. The trip down wasn’t the best thing ever and we were late getting out of Chicago, which mean we were running through the airport in Minneapolis to make our connection. This was after some stupid twerp of a girl ran over my foot with her suitcase as she rushed to get off the first plane we were on. I said something to her (probably “Jesus Christ woman!” and she defended herself by saying she was trying to make a connection. Duh, so were we but now I got to run around half-limping as well. We made it RIGHT before they shut the gate so we were sweaty and tired but arrived in Houston on time! Luckily, we then had enough time to take a nap and relax a bit before some other family rolled in, after which we all stayed up way too late drinking wine in the bar of the hotel. The next day we had a huge lunch at some nearby BBQ place and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find an entire vegetarian meal, even if it did mostly consist of salad and macaroni and cheese. That’s about what I live on anyway so it worked for me! Then we spent some time by the pool while the wedding party was spray-painted with make-up and shellacked with hairspray, after which it was off to the venue! There were huge shuttle busses to haul everyone around which was great, considering the wedding was open bar. The ceremony was a bit more religious than I had expected but was beautiful nonetheless and my cousin made a gorgeous bride. Her now-husband couldn’t suppress a “Wow” as she walked down the aisle and she did an adorable little excited hop as they were pronounced man and wife, so it seems they were both pretty thrilled. Which is all that counts, after all!

The reception was full of delicious food and beverages and my favorite part of the evening – the photo booth. I think those things are a blast at weddings and I’m glad we’ve reserved one for ours! We got some really cute family photos and had a ton of fun in the process. There was more hotel drinking after the reception ended and a nice farewell brunch the next day so even though the trip was a short one, I felt like we all enjoyed a lot of quality time. Plus, my mom was able to see some of my dad’s side of the family for the first time in over a decade and that was just plain awesome.

We had a nice 3.5 hour layover on the way back so there was no rushing to catch a plane, only me eating lots of greasy pizza to soak up the booze from the previous night. We got home late Sunday night and I was off of work Monday because I needed a vacation from my vacation and now I’m looking forward to my own wedding more and more, even if it is over a year away. Another Southern cousin will be getting married right around me as well and his wedding will be in Austin so I’m already looking forward to another great trip to Texas. You can’t mess with that!

 

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Thanksgiving Vacation

November 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Almost there!  I will be taking next week off work (well, furlough time, so this wasn’t really up to me but I can’t do anything about it so enjoy it I shall) and heading to Louisiana for my annual Southern Thanksgiving.  I’ve mentioned this before and feel free to do a search of November’s past to read all about it.  I was lucky this year and was able to take Scott down south to meet my dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins way back in May and that means that I get to see all those lovely people not just once this year but twice – unfortunately, Scott won’t be joining me this time but I’m sure I’ll eat enough tofurkey for the both of us.

Here I come!

Thanksgivings in Louisiana mean wearing t-shirts and shorts, taking naps and hanging out at a local dive bar.  Yes, I’m excited.  Before I go, I have a fun-filled weekend ahead of me including meeting a college friend for lunch tomorrow and (finally!) getting to meet her boyfriend.  Then tomorrow night we’re having a few friends over for breakfast for dinner (Belgian waffles, veggie sausage, eggs and mimosas) and a viewing of a holiday movie.  Sunday I will be hanging at the Field Museum then prepping for my trip and I’ll be leaving on my jet plane Monday afternoon!  Since I had the extra time off work I’ll be down there until Friday, so I’m looking forward to just about everything.  Minus sleeping in the same bed with my sister, of course.

Whatever your Thanksgiving traditions are, I hope you’re able to continue them next week and that you and yours have a great holiday.  I’ll probably post once or twice in my absence but I might just be too relaxed and carefree to bother with the internet.  Either way, I just want to say that I’m thankful for all of the friends, family and love that make my life so worth living.  I’m a lucky girl and I never forget it!

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Mother’s Day Thanks

May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

There were many things for me to be thankful during Mother’s Day.  I’m lucky enough to have the absolute best mom of all time and she’s been proving that to me on a daily basis for nearly 30 years.  She has always encouraged me in everything I’ve ever wanted to do (well, except for ballet lessons…) and I know that she has my back if when I screw things up.  She was strict enough while I was growing up that I thought she was a horribly oppressive tyrant but as I’ve aged, I’ve realized she was pretty much always right.  And if you know me, you know it’s not easy for me to admit that.  My mom is awesome and my only regret on Mother’s Day was that I couldn’t say that to her face.  Though there’s always next year!

Hi Mom!

Something else  was thankful for yesterday is the fact that I’ve got plenty of other amazing mother-type figures in my life.  My aunts, grandmothers, even cousins and sister are all beautiful, strong and empowering women that have helped me through thick and thin.  Same goes for my fabulous lady friends, some of whom are now mothers themselves.  Which is weird, but seems to be happening with more regularity.  This brings me to the final thing I was thankful for this most recent maternal holiday:

The fact that I’m not a mother myself.  I’m pretty sure I’d be fairly decent at having a kiddo of my own but it’s just not something I’m ready for yet.  Maybe ever?  I don’t know that but I do know that I’m extremely happy to have a uterus that’s never been used.  I think motherhood is a beautiful and wonderful thing but so is staying up until 2am watching cartoons and eating candy.  Wait – perhaps having children won’t be so different from my everyday life after all?  Though I think throwing dirty diapers and breastfeeding into this mix would alter things a bit.  So until I’m ready to spend my free time thinking about cribs and crusty snot, I’ll continue to marvel at the astonishing things that the mothe’s I know have done and continue to do.  Thanks for being such an inspiration and if I ever need a babysitter I’ll know who to call!

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Giving Thanks – Day Four

November 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I have an awesome family.  Excuse me while I brag.

My mom is one of six children, most of whom have children of their own.  I have seven cousins on her side and I’m pretty close with all of them.  We grew up together, enjoying time with Zelda, the Mario Brothers and Barbie.  We played hide and seek in the dark basement and explored the woods whenever we could.  We still enjoy each others company now but it usually involves an adult beverage or two instead of a video game console…although sometimes the gaming gets back in there too.  My mom’s brothers and sisters are also pretty great and their parents, my grandparents, are two of my favorite people. We’re all still pretty close and with the exception of myself and one aunt, everyone still lives within about an hour of one another.  I know that if I ever needed anything, my family would have my back.  They might make fun of me for being a vegetarian hippie but I know their heart is in the right place.  Oh, and my mom?  Well if you’ve read enough of this blog you know I think she’s pretty much the raddest mom ever.  My sister is pretty great too…at least, most of the time.

Yeah, they pretty much rule

Currently, I’m spending some quality time with the paternal, more Southern side of my family.  My dad has one brother and one sister and I have three cousins from my aunt.  One cousin has an 8-year-old boy, so I’ve been playing football for two days.  I don’t get to see this side of my family but once a year (you guessed it, at Thanksgiving) and so we try to make the most of it while we can.  Luckily, my cousins are all around my age and there’s a little local bar that allows us to catch up in the most appropriate way.  My grandparents on this side are pretty great as well but due to the geographic nature of our relationship, I simply don’t know them as well as I would like.  No matter, we’re all able to sit around a fire pit and tell stories all night long anyway.  I always value the time I get down here because it is so limited – plus, the cooking pretty much beats anything I can whip up in my own kitchen.  In fact, as soon as I finish this here post I’m hitting the kitchen to help begin the big Thanksgiving Day Meal prep.  I might not eat turkey but I load up on casseroles, potatoes, pies and anything else lying around.  And I’ve got my sweatpants set out so I’m officially ready.

I know I’m extremely lucky to have grown up so close with so much of my family and the older I get, the more I realize how rare having such great relatives can be.  I hate hearing stories of crappy family situations and it just makes me want to adopt those people who have to deal with that and introduce them to the wonderful craziness I get to enjoy.  So if you’re one of those who wishes you could spend your holidays elsewhere, let me know and I’ll drag you along with me next time.  You can eat my portion of the turkey.

On a side note, if you’re interested in the real history behind today’s holiday, check out this post I wrote from last year.  It’s not very pretty but it is fairly factual.

If you just want to laugh, check out awkwardfamilyphotos.com.  I thought of using one of those pics in today’s post but there were just too many to choose from, so if you want to take a look before you slip into a food coma, be my guest.

Now it’s time to help the host get the table set.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Labor Pains

September 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Don't worry, this post is not about what looks to be the crappiest movie of all time.

I spent my Labor Day weekend visiting a couple of my old friends, hanging out with my family, enjoying the sounds of a life away from the city, eating entirely too much food and lounging by various pools while imbibing various adult beverages.  It was glorious and I hope all you out there enjoyed yourselves over the three day weekend as much as I did.

One thing from the weekend that I especially enjoyed was all of the little-kid time I got in.  One of my cousins has a six month old baby boy and his girlfriend has a four year old (boy as well, that poor woman) so I got to play with them a while.  The baby was having a bit of a vomit issue though so I managed to pass him off pretty frequently.  Not frequently enough, however, as I ended up having to wash my entire outfit due to his projectile spit-up.  Eh, spit-up happens.

Another cousin of mine has a five year old girl, three year old boy and roughly one year old toddler (also a girl, so the middle boy is screwed).  They came out for a day of fun in the sun as well and I swam with them for quite a while.  It was a great time and all five of the kids were as adorable as a room full of kittens hugging rainbows.  Then, as I played around with their considerable cuteness, I heard it…

As I get older, I'm able to understand this on a whole new level.

…the faint tickings of my own biological clock.

It’s nearly impossible for me to think of my biological clock without envisioning the scene from Alice in Wonderland where the Mad Hatter takes apart a watch, smears jam all over its workings and then hits it with a hammer.  That’s pretty much how I feel I should handle the internal timer that is trying to tell me that my window for procreating is ever so slowly being nailed shut.  This Mad Hatter analogy serves a dual purpose, as I also think that every nice thing I own would wind up looking like a broken mess if and when I do have children.  That doesn’t make me want to jump on the baby train any quicker.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the merits of having children.  Hell, my own parents told me how great it was to have built-in dishwashers and bathroom cleaners and I could get behind making some kid do all my dirty work.  However, that would mean I have to shelter, clothe and otherwise generally care for said kid, and I’m pretty much too selfish to consider doing that full-time.  I once babysat for two little girls for an entire weekend and I was amazed at how they wouldn’t let me out of their sight for more than .25 seconds without freaking out.  They literally followed me everywhere.  I almost lost my mind and I vowed to never babysit anyone for that long, ever again.  I think that’s why I enjoy the kids in my family so much – I can play with them, feed them candy and get them all hyper, then send ’em on home.  It works out quite well for me.

But to have one all to myself, all of the time?  I just don’t know.  I mean, I walked past the pregnancy section of Borders last week and caught myself involuntarily shuddering, so I don’t think I’m ready just yet.  Plus it’s not like I have a steady partner, so it would basically be me and my cat raising a kid together.  That doesn’t sound fun.  In fact that sounds depressingly awful.  Perhaps if I’m still single in 10 years and I haven’t managed to fully destroy that biological clock, I’ll consider adopting.

Or maybe I’ll just get another cat and find a babysitting job.

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