Friday Round-Up

April 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

As usual, my brain has been a little all over the place lately. I’ve been dealing with some family stuff that isn’t exactly fun and while it’s not over yet, some of the biggest hurdles have been crossed. I think. I hope. Because my head is more than a little spazzy, I’m going to let loose with my post to get some stuff out.

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Right?

It’s been raining for like three weeks and the sun came out today and I had almost forgotten what it looked like. I felt like a vampire and not in the sexy way. However, the juxtaposition of the first sunny day also being the first day our new “President” drops bombs on a struggling country without Congressional approval is somewhat difficult to align. I cried this week watching videos of Syrian children gasping for breath and I cannot imagine seeing that happen to my family. I don’t think there are any good or easy answers to these issues but I don’t see how fighting violence with violence will put an end to violence. Fighting a war for peace is sort of like having sex for the sake of virginity. But I’m not someone who gets to make those decisions so I will sit here and stare at my phone and think “What fresh hell is this” every time I get a new news alert.

What else. There are positive things even in the darkness and today I found some unexpected money that will go to a deserving person. I’m having a good hair day. And I think Scott and I convinced the guys in the apartment we’ll be moving into to move out a day or so early, which will help us save tons of cold hard cash when it comes to hiring our own movers. So that’s a win! I’m working all night at the Field Museum tonight and will get to spend my evening surrounded by excited kids, taxidermied animals and dinosaur bones. So clearly my Friday will be cooler than yours. And it’s going to be warm and STILL sunny this weekend so I plan on enjoying the crap out of our weather.

Also. I have Jury Duty next week for the first time ever and I’m pretty freaking excited about it. I really want to be chosen and am trying to determine a good way to ensure I do so without making the court think I’m a crazy person. I just want to see the judicial system in action and don’t even care if it’s for something like a traffic violation. This is my civic right so let me at it!

I still have great friends and great family and a great husband and I’m trying not to take the good things in my life for granted while I also fight off the bad. That’s all anyone can hope for, right?

And hey, at least it’s Friday!

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Things I Love

February 14, 2017 at 4:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

  • My husband (we’re lovingly spending our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple apart – he’ll be in class all night so I’ll be cuddling with the cat – welcome to marriage!)
  • My family – even the crazy ones (and even my sister who is on a cruise to Bermuda right freaking now)
  • My wonderful, freaky, nerdy friends
  • My sickly, silly cat
  • My job (most days)
  • The country I live in (most days)
  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Wine
  • Museums, volunteering at museums and staying the night at museums with tons of kids and their families
  • Books and reading
  • Journals and writing
  • Also – Netflix
  • That feeling when you have freshly shaved legs and put clean sheets on your bed and jump in
  • Traveling and experiencing new places, people, ideas and things
  • Panko – this is a new discovery and I’m obsessed
  • Sunshine
  • My purple hoodie
  • My couch
  • The view of Chicago from the Field Museum (and the view of the city from just about anywhere else)
  • The fact that I’m getting better at yoga and can now kick my foot up over my head without falling and busting my ass
  • Being vegetarian
  • The fact that I can feel strongly about things, find like-minded people and then take action to do what we feel is right – without getting beaten up or jailed
  • Did I mention wine?

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‘Tis the Season

December 23, 2016 at 12:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Okay so I’m still dealing with some of the same things from my last post but no matter. It’s nearly Christmas and so it’s time to focus on the positive!

One of my very best friends just had her first baby and while it was a little sooner than c8127968079a6deea834b3994205b441anticipated, everyone is doing well and I’m hoping to see them over the next few days. It’s crazy – in the time I went to the gym on Sunday she had a whole freaking baby! So new life is always something to celebrate and I’m happy to do just that.

I’m also happy to be visiting all of my family and friends over Christmas – I’m leaving town in approximately two hours and ready to go now! I’ve got presents wrapped and loaded and I’ve gained about 10 pounds this week with all of the holiday food sitting around the office so I guess you could say I’m prepared!

In other news, the weather has warmed up and my honeymoon gets ever closer. Scott had a birthday this week so that was fun to celebrate and our cat is holding steady (for now…). I received some very nice and generous gifts from my bosses for Christmas and have the promise of a bonus to look forward to when I get back from Thailand. Oh, and I basically have two days left of work until January 17th. So not even Trump can get me in the dumps!

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanza/Happy New Year/Merry Festivus/Merry Everything!!

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The Little Things

November 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

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Truth.

Change is hard. Growing up is harder. My life has changed a lot this year and promises to change even more in 2017 so I’m having a hard time just keeping up. Some of these changes are good and some I didn’t exactly see coming but I’m doing my best to stay positive through everything. And in order to do that, I’m going to focus on the good things I’ve got going for me. This is a little late for Thanksgiving but it’s never too late to give thanks!

  • I have a great family and I love them all (even the ones who drive me crazy. And vote for Trump…). My family isn’t perfect but we care about each other and do what it takes to ensure we’re all relatively taken care of.
  • I have a great husband and he does things like buy me flowers and chocolates and wine on days that I snap at him on the phone (this may or may not have happened just today). He’s my best friend, he has my back and I love him.
  • I have great friends as well and they supported me through quite a bit this year. Some of them also danced on a stripper pole at my bachelorette party so clearly they are all awesome people.
  • I have a very good job that I seem to do very well. Or so I’m told. I like the people I work with and the work I do and I am thankful for the opportunities, perks and benefits that I receive through my employment. Hell, just a few years ago I was laid off right around now so I’m thankful to be employed at all! But I’m even more thankful to be where I am.
  • I live in a great city full of interesting, new and exciting things to do. And I even go out and do some of them! Chicago allows me to flourish in my geeky ways and places like The Field Museum only contribute to that. I’m grateful to live in a place that allows me to do so many different things and love so many different kinds of people.
  • I’m healthy and most of my loved ones are fairly healthy as well. Yes, I lost my grandfather this year but it was one of those deaths that was bittersweet…I miss him every day but know he’s better off and I’m thankful for the all the time we shared. Most everyone else I truly care about are in decent health as well and I can only hope that continues to hold true.

I have many other things I can be thankful for but having my loved ones in my life, a decent job and a roof over my head are all that really matters so I’m going to end there. And no matter what the upcoming year brings, I have a few things that will always make me smile!

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Showering the Bride

September 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Holy hell, I’m getting married soon! To help me celebrate, my wonderful and amazing little sister threw me a Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party in our hometown this past weekend. And it was a success!

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My sister did ALL of this!

By success, I mean no one went to jail and I didn’t have to ride the Megabus with a MegaHangover the next day. Nothing got too crazy which is good considering how my mom, a couple of aunts and my cousins were all among the guests! I only have a handful of friends who still live in the area and they made it out too, which was great. There were also a few family friends and a few of my sister’s friends (whom I’ve known forever too) so we had a pretty good mix of people. As you can see, my sister really went all out decorating her new house and everything was so tasteful and tasty too! She made meatballs and queso (with veggie options for me!), vegetable pizza, food for the meat-eaters, fruit, veggies and tons of amazing desserts. Which included these cupcake cake pop things that were simply divine! There was also a mimosa bar with three different flavors, each one more delicious than the last. I was seriously impressed with her ability to throw a party. She’s a pretty great hostess and I’m counting on her to throw every birthday and anniversary party for both Scott and myself until the day we die. Ok, sis? Thanks.

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For some reason I can’t put this right-side up. But it looks even more racict when I do.

The Bachelorette Party was fun too and we did a wine and paint night at a local studio, which is something I’ve never done before. This is evidenced by my painting, which you can see here. I am not artistically inclined (at ALL) but I thought I did pretty good with this painting, considering I was drinking and whatnot. Until my mom told me that my fleur de lis looked like a Ku Klux Klan hat and now that’s all I can see any time I look at it.

Thanks, Mom.

But really, thanks to Mom and Sissy and everyone else who came out to help me celebrate. I’m lucky enough that Scott’s family is throwing me a Bridal Shower in the suburbs up here next month and my Chicago friends will be coming together the week after that for a Bachelorette Party that some of my cousins probably wouldn’t approve of. But it’ll be fun!

Then I get to marry my best friend! Bring on the rest of 2016, I’m ready!

 

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Loving Love

June 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Since my last post talked about love, I figured this one would too. Especially since I spent the weekend surrounded by people I love and doing things for my wedding, where I’ll be marrying the man I love!

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My original wedding check list…it is now just a little bit longer

I thought I had sooooo much time going into this trip home, since I left Wednesday morning and didn’t return until Sunday afternoon. Well, as always, time flies when you’re having fun! I managed to see just about every family member I have (and some multiple times!) and I spent some quality beer-drinking time with a couple aunts and a couple of cousins . I also visited with a couple of my best high school gal pals, which was much-needed.

And I did a TON of wedding stuff! Because I feel so productive and accomplished, I’m going to give a brief breakdown here:

  • Bought two pairs of wedding shoes, decided on flats vs. heels in the name of dancing in comfort and thus returned the heels
  • Bought my corset/bra thingy for my wedding dress so I could wear it to my fitting. Then had a complete brain fart and agreed to let them send it to my house since they didn’t have my size. Then went to my dress fitting, realized I didn’t have the one garment I needed for it and went back to the store to buy one in my size but the wrong color. I now have two corset/bra thingies and will be returning the wrong-colored one sometime. Eventually.
  • Had my dress fitting. Actually, had three dress fittings in as many days and picked up my finished dress the morning I left town. It’s hemmed! And no longer four sizes too big! And it has a train and a million bustle points which I didn’t even know were a thing but hey I guess they are. And the dress is finished!
  • Had a boudoir photo session with a professional photographer. This is going to be Scott’s wedding gift and he has no idea I did it. It was like a sexy Glamour Shots session and I won’t lie – it was pretty fun! Of course I may feel differently when I actually see the photos…
  • Confirmed the hotel we’re using for our wedding guests and checked in on their renovations
  • Had a trial run of my wedding day hair and makeup (gorgeous!) that I conveniently timed right before those boudoir pictures. When I plan something, I plan all out!
  • Chose and purchased the beautiful silk flowers for the wedding bouquets
  • Found the jewelry I’m going to wear! I was actually going to commission a friend to make something but when I explained to my mom what I was looking for, she basically pulled a perfect earring and necklace set (along with a matching vintage ring) out of her jewelry box. Apparently my dad gave the earrings and necklace to her a long time ago and it was exactly what I’m looking for! And yup, we cried.

And I think that’s it. Holy crap, this wedding stuff is getting serious!

 

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SpaceWhales Wedding Recap

June 1, 2016 at 3:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So I’m surviving Pilates and have lived to tell another tale!

The tale I tell today is that of one of my oldest and dearest friends and her recent wedding. Sarah and I met in the dorms in college and lived together in a pretty sweet house for a couple of years in that time between dorm-living and just-graduated-from-college-living. She moved to Chicago a little before I did and we’ve been able to reconnect up here, which has just made this city all the better. Sarah and I have been there for each other through tests, finals, toga parties, dance parties, relationships making up and breaking up, the birth and death of beloved pets, various family drama and the general navigation of college and emerging adulthood. She was an English major like I was and we bonded over great literature (especially Stephen King and Valley of the Dolls) as well as great television (Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal, I’m looking at you). We’ve been friends through Elizabeth Taylor tattoos, extreme Photoshopping and drunken nights of falling over air conditioning units and I am so, so thankful that she’s still a part of my life. I’ve watched her go from someone who only ingested candy, whiskey and cigarettes and once puked after a bike ride to class to someone who works out regularly and makes delicious vegan meals while painting something for an upcoming art show. In short, Sarah is someone I’ve always looked up to (figuratively and literally) and she’s just plain awesome.

And so is her wife, Betsy! These two women have so much in common and seem to compliment each other perfectly. They’re funny, creative, intelligent and supremely inspiring human beings who are an absolute riot to be around. They told me about their upcoming nuptials on Record Store Day, after we had all made some amazing purchases and were enjoying some fantastic vegetarian food. Even their casual announcement to keep an eye out for an email about the wedding they were having in two weeks was just about perfect! And Scott and I were delighted to attend.

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Sarah to the right, Betsy to the left. Khaleesi in the middle.

The theme was SpaceWhales, since Betsy loves Space and Sarah loves Whales. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah for brunch before showtime and she even wore the blue scarf I brought along (it was something of mine she used to dress up with in college and covered the whole something old/something borrowed/something blue thing). The ceremony began with one of their friends leading the entire Thai restaurant full of people in a sing-along of the theme song to Golden Girls, of which roughly 97% of those in attendance knew word for word (yours truly included, obviously). This was the long version too, FYI. The ceremony went on to continue a reading from a passage of Moby Dick and a tribute to everyone from Liza Minnelli to Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Then Sarah spoke her vows, which she completely and appropriately made up on the spot. Same for Betsy, and both sets of vows brought tears to everyone’s eyes.

Then there was cake! Delicious, delicious cake. And Thai food, pictures in front of Wrigley Field and tons of toasting. Also a huge hat with many planets flowing around. And more delicious cake!

It was by far the most unique wedding I’ve ever been lucky to be a part of. Scott’s a little jealous that ours won’t be as laid-back but their wedding did get both of us excited to stand in front of our loved ones and exchange vows of our own. Of course, our wedding probably won’t have anything Moby Dick related but it will still be awesome. Especially if I can get everyone to sing along to the Golden Girls theme song with me.

Anyway. Congrats to two of my favorite women and may you both have a lifetime of love, happiness and SpaceWhales!

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Quilted Southern

February 24, 2016 at 3:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

One of my friends back home in Indiana has been working on this quilt for over a year and finally gifted it to me while I was home over the weekend! Is this not the coolest thing ever? Do I not have incredibly generous and talented friends?! These are some of my favorite shirts that I’ve had for years – I think the oldest dates to my freshman year in high school and let me just say – that wasn’t recent.

Step off, Dude!

The only issue I foresee with this involves keeping my damn cat off my blanket. He only has three dozen or so beds and resting places in our small apartment so I understand his dire need for one more but tough luck. I’m not even sharing this with Scott! And if that involves wearing it constantly as a cape whenever I’m home, so be it.

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Summer Time Fun Time

June 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Is a slow summer full of weekends with nothing to do other than laying around at the beach only available in dreams and movies? Not that I’m complaining – everything I’ve got going on this summer is super fun and none of it involves wearing a bridesmaid dress (like I spent so much of my time last summer doing) so I am STOKED! Here’s a rundown, basically so I can try to get my own ducks in a row:

  • My sister and her bf came to Chicago for Memorial Day weekend and we spent the entire time walking all through various neighborhoods, enjoying the park and a music festival, water taxi-ing to Chinatown and doing lots of eating and drinking. So that was that weekend.
  • Last weekend I headed to my hometown with Scott so I could watch my goddaughter be baptized (actually, I guess there was some participation on my end involved in that…who knew I had to buy a gift?!) and we were also able to put a deposit down on the venue for our wedding next year. So that’s happening! Please note it did not entail wearing a bridesmaid dress. Also please note how ironic it will be for this agnostic to take part in a ritualized Catholic ceremony. Apparently my whole family was surprised when I didn’t burst into flame, so I’ve got that going for me.
  • This weekend Scott and I will be flying to Louisiana to visit my dad, who’s been dealing with some health stuff and could use the company. Hopefully we’ll get to see lots of family and go on a swamp tour. Wow, that sentence certainly can’t be said for many places.
  • The second weekend in June is so far the slowest one I’ve got on the books, so maybe we’ll be crazy and go camping. Or just watch Jurassic World on repeat as it opens that weekend.
  • The weekend after that is the 30th annual Greater Chicago Hunger Walk and it’s a huge event that raises money for many food pantries, including the one I’m a part of. Let me know if you want to participate because we can use all the supporters we can get!
  • The last weekend in June we’ll be hosting a friend of mine from high school, as she’s coming up for the U2 concert and decided to make a long weekend out of it.
  • The following weekend is the 4th of July and my mom will be crashing on the couch as per her usual summer holiday visit.
  • THEN OH MY GOD I HAVE TWO WHOLE WEEKENDS TOTALLY FREE WHATEVER SHALL I DO? Oh wait that’s still two months out. Surely they’ll be filled by then.
  • The last weekend in July will be spent in Texas at a cousin’s wedding. Bring on the free booze!

Obviously this isn’t true.

 

And that’s basically where I’m at because my mind can’t even process something like another month of summer. Anything in August is just going to have to wait, because all that’s listed above are solely weekend activities. There’s no mention of the various things I’ve got going on during the week because my head might explode. But luckily I still have my trusty planner to help me keep it all sorted out!

 

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Home for the Holidays

December 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Maybe I’ll even have some home alone time while I’m there!

I get to go home tomorrow!  And spend five nights enjoying friends, family, fun and tons and tons of food.  Whatever you do this week, I hope you and your loved ones enjoy yourselves and have a safe and wonderful holiday and New Year!

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