These Old Bones…

February 3, 2016 at 3:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

…are getting another year older tomorrow!

I had a surreal moment last night because I realized I really am growing up. This moment came as I was sitting at our dining room table in my sweaty gym clothes, eating a beet salad that my loving fiance had prepared. We were even listening to classical music as he handed me my plate and I looked around at him, our apartment, our cat and our little life together and just felt…everything. If you had told me when I was a kid that this would be what my life looked like at 32, I’m not sure what I would have thought. Most likely, I would have been dismayed by the fact that I now regularly go to the gym and I would probably also be confused by the fact that I was no longer wearing corduroy pants with my Led Zeppelin shirt. I would have applauded my beet salad though, because that would have been something I would have assumed old people would eat.

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But still a kid at heart!

But really, I am totally happy with where I am in life. I have a job that I thoroughly enjoy and I’m getting more involved in our firm’s philanthropy efforts (I’m planning two new big things now!) and so I can say that I truly feel good about where I work and what I’m doing. This is the first time since college that I can say that and mean it, so that’s a birthday present all in itself! I’ve also got great friends all over the country and have been lucky enough to maintain friendships with some of my favorite people from high school and college. I’m planning a wedding to my best friend and while we’re going to have a super fun and awesome party and honeymoon, I’m also very excited to get to call that best friend my husband and start our married life together (and at this point my younger self would be gagging but whatever). Oh – I also found $20 on the street this week! Obviously, things are going pretty great all around.

And you know what, younger self? I still wear that Zeppelin shirt.

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Happy Birthday to My Sissy

May 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Sums it up.

Today was my little sister’s birthday.  I used to pretty much hate my sister.  We’re very close in age (15 months) and as such, we were often lumped together on sports teams and even classes in school.  We shared clothes, toys, friends and a room and there were many times I wanted to smother her with a pillow.  For a great many years in our childhood, we got presents on each other’s birthday’s so there wouldn’t be a fight – I kind wish that rule was still in place, but oh well.  We used to have babysitters refuse to watch us together because of how much we fought and I can remember at least a few occasions where we didn’t get to go do something super fun because we’d been arguing.  When we were in Junior High, we were fighting about something or other on the car ride home from school with my mom and Mom pulled over, then made me get out and start walking.  We were only a few miles from home but this was in the middle of the country and I seethed with rage as I made my way home.  She eventually came to pick me up but it was only because “your father made me come and get you” – that was when I learned that perhaps there were limits on how much my sister and I could get away with when it came to trying to kill each other.  Doesn’t mean we didn’t push that boundary any time we could, though.

Honestly, we didn’t start getting along really well until I moved out of the house and went to college.  Whether it was maturity or the 85 miles separating us, we began to tolerate each other a little more.  Actually, it was probably the distance because if we spend more than 4 or 5 days together even now, one of us ends up punching a wall in an airport bathroom on our way home from Mexico (that’d be me).  Now that we’re older, though, those kind of instances can usually be solved over a beer and with a laugh, especially since we know we’ll be in different zip codes again soon.  We actually want to hang out with each other most of the time nowadays.

Seriously though, my little sister has grown into a woman who kind of amazes me.  She’s actually pretty smart (yeah, it shocked me too) and she’s made a really decent career for herself doing something that she mostly enjoys and is really good at.  She surprises me all the time by doing grown up things like moving in with her boyfriend, planting a garden and making awesome food.  In fact, I kind of wish she’d cook for me more often but most dinners don’t hold up well via overnight FedEx delivery, so I must miss out.  She’s funny, original, interesting and much more caring than I would’ve thought she could turn out to be.  She’s very rational and handles things like family illness and hospitals way better than I do, because I mostly blubber in a corner while freaking out every time someone rolls by in a wheelchair.  She’s made of tough stuff, and I admire her.  I’m also really proud of her, and proud to call her my sister.

I probably don’t tell her all that enough (though I may mention the part about wanting to smother her every now and then).  But since it’s her birthday, I figured this could be part of my gift.  Because God knows I won’t be spending any actual money on her!  Just kidding, sis.  And Happy Birthday!

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Brides, Babies and Blasted Boots

March 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Everyone sure is growing up (and don’t worry, there are no major life announcements pertaining to me in this blog post.  Other than a little blurb about shoes).  In the last few weeks, I’ve been told news of a family member having another baby, attended one baby shower and received an invite for another, attended one bachelorette party and received an invite for another and received three bridal shower invites.  Right now, I have weddings to go to in three of the four weekends in June – and I’m a bridesmaid in two of those.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it but I know it’s like a trillion times worse for those who are actually getting married and having babies so I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.  Still – damn.

How scary is this?

I guess I got lucky in that I’ve not really had years like this before.  I know my sister has been in more weddings than I want to try to count so I’ve managed to escape all that so far.  It just seems like when it rains it pours, but such is life.  The two weddings I’m in this June are being thrown by my two oldest and dearest friends from high school, who are also standing up in each others weddings (like I said, it’s way worse for them).  This means that both weddings are in my hometown so while it’s not a cross country flight or anything, there is some travel involved.  However, the second bachelorette party is actually being held here in Chicago so that’s pretty convenient.  I know the bride-to-be wanted to hit the beach one day as they’re coming up over Memorial Day weekend and that’s when the beaches open so hopefully the weather warms up a bit between now and then.  Yeah, right.  At least it’s sunny?

As for babies, one of my closest friends up here is due in the next few weeks with her first.  It’s kind of crazy to watch her transition into being a mom and it’s the first time a close friend of mine has gone through all this.  She’s been telling me some things I could’ve done without knowing but I guess if I ever want to embark on that path myself it’s better to know what I could be getting myself into.  Of course, I’m still not convinced that growing a small person and then popping them out of my most sensitive body part is a good idea, so there’s that.  But I will say this – those newborn onesies are just too damn cute!

Now, onto the big, life altering even that has been consuming my time – the everlasting search for a new pair of stupid boots.  When I went back home last weekend for one bachelorette party, I devoted a good deal of time to scouring the mall, shoe stores and even the outlet malls in search of that perfect pair of boots.  Still haven’t found them.  I even did the thing again where I bought a pair and walked around for a bit before deciding I didn’t like those, either.  I’ve taken all this as a sign that I should just hang on to the ones I have and to hell with the rest.  I’ve also decided that if I’m having this hard of a time purchasing a  pair of boots, it’s a really good thing I’m not planning a wedding!

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IKEA’d Out

March 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I spent four straight hours at IKEA today.

You would think I’m a glutton for punishment, and perhaps I am.  I’m certainly a glutton for food.

IKEA had a deal today (and probably every weekend) that if you spent more than $150 on home furnishings, then anything you ate in the food court would be comped from your final total at checkout.  Since Scott and I were both hungry upon arrival, this seemed like a great deal and we definitely took advantage of it.  I’m not going to go into details with what I ate but I will say that lunch was almost eight hours ago and I’m still not hungry and we ended up with $32 shaved off of our final total when we left.  I know that it’s not technically a free lunch but it sort of felt like it!

After we ate we actually had to start shopping, which was initially difficult with such full stomachs.  Luckily IKEA is a maze of gargantuan showrooms and walking around was good exercise.  The whole point of the excursion was to get a new mattress, because now that I’m a working woman with real life paychecks I can finally afford to go halfsies on one.  The mattress we currently have was given to me by a friend of mine sophomore year of college, which was *ahem* over a decade ago.

And good riddance!

Her mattress wasn’t exactly top notch then and after a year or so of his complaining about backaches, I finally admitted to Scott just how old mine really was (I also admitted to myself that the mattress could be the root of my own back and shoulder pain).  He was shocked and appalled.  We bought a nice foam memory pad over a year ago but it only helped so much and as we tried to flip the mattress a few months back, he smacked it in frustration.  The whole thing reverberated like a loud musical chord and apparently they’re not supposed to do that.  I’ve also noticed that when we laid in bed, we’d both roll towards the middle until we became a giant heap of anger and pain.  On top of all of this, the mattress was originally part of an entire bed set that included a canopy that attached to the frame.  Well that bed set was long gone by the time I acquired it but the sharp metal protrusions that stuck out at the food of the bed to attach to the canopy were not.  I have struck my shins on those evil metal bastards more times than I care to imagine and a year or so after the first time I shoved a pair of shoes onto them to at least remind myself of their presence.  It has looked like I’m keeping a dead body under my bed since that time and I still occasionally whack my shins.  All in all – it was time for a new mattress.

When I woke up this morning I gave the finger to our bed and happily fantasized about what I would be sleeping on tonight.  Unfortunately, the IKEA we went to is just outside of same-day-delivery range so we won’t actually have this wonderful new mattress until tomorrow.  Since I’m very stubborn and was dead set on the idea of not having to sleep on the old one ever again, we’ll be pulling that memory foam topper to the living room floor tonight for a slumber party.  We have Interview with a Vampire from Netflix so we’re in for a night of movies and feeling like a kid again.  I also feel like a kid again in anticipation of my new bed.  We got a good deal and a close friend of mine actually just bought the same one for himself so it comes highly recommended.  I’m not sure when things like this became so exciting to me but if I had to guess I’d say turning 30 had something to do with it.

I also got some new Tupperware and kitchen towels.  I’m just a kid at heart!

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Time Flies

June 22, 2012 at 11:39 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

One year ago yesterday, I had butterflies in my stomach because I had a date planned with some red-headed dude that I met on OKCupid.  I had only been on a few dates through the site before and they were all pretty big duds, but something about this guy felt different.  From the moment we met it was like I had known him forever but after a year I still feel like I was introduced to him yesterday.  We’ve been there for each other through some ups and downs and have managed to have a lot of fun along the way!

Blink and you miss it!

Speaking of time flying by, it’s now been a little over ten years since I graduated from high school.  MAN, that’s weird.  As far as I know, we’re not having any sort of reunion or anything (or perhaps they are and I was left off the list?) but since the advent of Facebook, I know what everyone is up to anyway.  Whether or not that’s a good thing is yet to be determined.  I still can’t believe it’s been so long since I was in high school, though in other ways it seems like I’ve lived an eternity.  And because I love my lists, here’s some stuff I’ve done since graduation:

  • Completed two Bachelor degrees at Indiana University (and keeping up a fairly decent GPA while still somehow managing to fail Ballroom Dance)
  • Lived in three different cities in two different states
  • Had eight different addresses
  • Traveled to eight different countries on five different continents
  • Had five pets (a gerbil, a guinea pig, a bird and two cats – Catsby was the best, RIP)
  • Kept three of said pets hidden while living in the dorms
  • Dated….well, nevermind
  • Held fourteen different jobs, more than a few simultaneously
  • Worn through two pairs of Teva sandals
  • Finished the Museum Studies certificate at Northwestern
  • Volunteered with seven different non-profit organizations
  • Watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls three times.  Don’t you judge me!

Clearly, a lot can happen in a year and even more can happen in ten.  While high school does seem forever ago, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to maintain certain relationships from that time and I’m also thankful for the relationships I’ve formed since then.  Here’s to the next ten years!

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Bonnarooooooo

June 11, 2012 at 10:39 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

It’s been 6 years since I camped out in a field in the middle of Tennessee, but thousands upon thousands of people did just that this past weekend at the annual Bonnaroo, hosted in Manchester.  I went in 2005 and 2006 with friends and the entire experience was the closest thing to Woodstock that I think I’ll ever encounter.  I had a lot of fun both years I went but waking up sweating in a tent at 6am because it’s already 85 degrees outside is not something I miss.  Am I too old for such shenanigans?  Yeah, I think I am.

Been there, done that

I’m glad I went the years that I did and it seems that this four-day music festival has grown by leaps and bounds since I last attended.  I saw some really great acts (Beck, The Allman Brothers and Radiohead all spring to mind) and the entire atmosphere on these 700 acres of land was one of peace, love and music.  Or sex, drugs and rock and roll, however you want to look at things.  It’s all about the shows and the people, so things like running water and actual beds fall by the wayside.  As someone who is a bit of a neat freak, using baby wipes for impromptu baths after wallowing in the dirt and mud for 10 straight hours grew old after the first couple of years and since I lack the necessary funds to travel down there in a fully equipped Winnebago, I’ve resigned myself to more local festivals instead.  This weekend I found myself at the Andersonville Midsommarfest, the Printers Row Lit Fest and the Chicago Blues Fest, just to name a few.  And while I did have to deal with Porta Potties, I did not have to deal with wrangling a tent and scores of people tripping on just about every substance known to man.  Or listen to the incredibly awkward drunk dial from some kid in the camp next door to the parents of one of his buddies, where he apologized profusely for 10 minutes for getting them into the car wreck on the way there that almost killed them all.  I still shudder when I think of that.  Instead, while I did pause to take a few minutes and remember with fondness some of my happiest times at ‘Roo, I was even happier that at the end of my days I was able to take a shower and sleep in my own bed.  And if that makes me a boring grown up, bring on the reading glasses and the 401(k)s.

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Home Sweet Home

April 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

It seems like everyone I know is settling down.  While I was visiting home last weekend, I went to a housewarming party for a high school friend of mine and saw her first ever purchased home.  It was really, really nice and the pool table in the basement/woods in the backyard/1950’s refrigerator were all nice features.  The next day I viewed the brand spanking new house of my cousin and her growing family and again, was blown away by the space and newness of it all.  Something else I was blown away by was the price – realizing that monthly mortgages on homes run roughly what I pay in rent for my one bedroom apartment was a bit of a rude awakening.  Sure, these houses are in Southern Indiana and I’m in the heart of Chicago but still.  The truth sometimes hurts.  I could own my home in Chicago for these prices but I’d be neighbors with hobos and my garden would be growing under a bridge.

Which direction are you going in?

Not to say people don’t buy in Chicago.  A few of my close work buddies own condos and a good friend of mine who is in the midst of planning a wedding is also now planing to purchase a place (in my neighborhood, which is awesome).  It’s exciting to talk about this with people but I still don’t know if it’s for me.  I like the idea of being able to call someone when my dishwasher stops working or my drains get backed up and I really like the idea of someone else shoveling snow off my front walk.  That being said, the older I get the more I see the benefit of owning your own home.  But the problem is this – as old as I’m getting, I still don’t feel old enough to do it.

Fixed mortgage rates?  Brokers?  Itemized deductions regarding your home on taxes?  Association fees?  Equitable assets that could demoralize your life savings?  I’m not even sure these are all really things but given the knowledge I have on the subject, they very well could be.  Why isn’t this type of stuff taught in high school?  Or perhaps it was, and I skipped that day.  Whoops.  Regardless, this is all serious business and it makes me really applaud the people who have made these types of purchases.

As for me, I’m glad that Scott and I just renewed the lease on our apartment.  After all, my dishwasher isn’t going to fix itself!

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Told You So

January 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Movin' on up

Does it still count as grown-up if the first meal I ate here was Fruit Loops?

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Special Delivery!

January 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I’m growing up.

Up until these last few months, every single stick of furniture in my apartment was a hand me down.  I purchased things at yard sales and secondhand shops, plus I have a plethora of friends and family members who like to pass stuff along.  I’d never even owned any brand new furniture but that was totally fine with me.  Until the dresser I had been given by an old flame started to completely fall apart, that is.  After losing the front panels to two of the drawers, I decided for an upgrade.  Actually this isn’t technically true – I was still using it even as it withered and died and it wasn’t until Scott moved in that I broke down and admitted we could do better.  So we purchased a new dresser at IKEA, I made him put it together while I lounged on the couch with a cocktail and the first bit of furniture in my adult life was installed.

It’s funny how living with a partner makes you reassess the things in your living space.  Such as me being perfectly happy with a dilapidated dresser until someone else started having to look at it every day.  Sharing an apartment also means sharing certain purchases and it was with this in mind that we decided to add the second piece of adult furniture to our lists – a new kitchen table.  Scott, in true bachelor style, was using a card table in his apartment before moving in with me.  I at least had an actual table but it was still time for an upgrade.  Mine came from a lovely friend of mine after she and her husband got married.  I’m not sure how long they had it before giving it to me but it survived my move to Illinois and it is where I faithfully sat for at least a portion of my meals for the last five years.  Because this is sort of an obituary for that table, here’s a photo:

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not clean before taking this photo.

It’s a perfectly suitable table and has eaves that lower to make it a bit smaller.  Unfortunately, during the course of its existence it has begun to warp and one side slants down drastically, no matter how hard I try to level things off.  This means that if we set food or dishes on that particular side (the one strategically placed furthest from view in the photo), there’s a rather large chance they will fall and smash to the ground.  Then I’d be forced to cry over spilled milk (or orange juice…see my previous posts).  Again, this table was fine when it was just me and the occasional dinner guest but it’s a little lackluster now that I have a roommate.  And it’s not exactly like we can have dinner guests ourselves, unless we want to bust out Scott’s old folding chairs.  Which we actually did when my mom and sister came in town last month but due to the warped nature of the table, it was impossible for the four of us to sit comfortably.  So we didn’t.  But all that is about to change, because we’re getting a BRAND NEW table delivered today!  And it’s not from IKEA!

There’s a little dad and son run furniture store down the street from us and we wandered in there a few weeks back.  We found a nice table with four (four!) chairs and after taking a couple of weeks to price shop and look around elsewhere (like true adults…it’s almost scary), we settled on the first one we saw.  The purchase was made last Saturday and by the time I get home tonight, the lovely furniture men will have delivered and assembled (free of charge) the whole thing.  I feel kind of silly for being so excited about this that I devoted an entire blog post to it but well…I can’t help what I get excited over.  And this new table is going to be so nice I might not know what to do with myself.  I’ll have to refrain from scratching it up or sanding it down so it more closely resembles the rest of the furniture and just enjoy the shine of its brand newness.

It’s the little things, right?  And if you want to come over for dinner, let me know – we have a spot for you!

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Adult Supervison Required

September 8, 2011 at 8:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Catsby is better today than she was yesterday and I’m trying to make myself quit freaking out so much so today I’ll tell a story from last weekend.  The story of how I wound up injured and bleeding in my own backyard.

That's about right

Saturday night I had some old high school friends out to my mom’s house for a few beers and a visit.  The bf and I got there first and wandered to the backyard, where I visited the grave of the 20-year-old kitty Mom had to put down a few weeks ago.  I paid my respects and turned around to come face to face with the steps to the treehouse my dad had built with some friends back when I was a wee tyke.  Standing there next to my deceased childhood cat, something came over me.  I decided to try to relive my childhood.  I have no idea when the last time was that someone tried to climb the wooden steps to the top of the treehouse, much like I have no idea why I thought it would be smart to attempt it myself.  But of course I did it anyway.  The lowest two steps were still attached and I gingerly stepped up, testing my weight on each one before moving on.  The next few steps were broken off (you’d think this would be my cue to get back on the ground but no) so I used that hard-earned college education and kept on climbing.  I was perhaps five feet off the ground when every single step snapped and I slid down the wood like an idiot character in a bad cartoon.

Yes, it hurt.  I managed to give myself a six-inch bruise on my upper left arm, a small bruise on my right arm and a nice gash and corresponding additional bruise on my right shin.  Yes, I cried and yes, I kicked myself for pulling such a smooth move.  At least my mom got a laugh out of it and we know officially know we can’t climb the treehouse anymore.  And to be honest I’ve been just a tad fascinated by the bruising I’ve achieved.  I haven’t injured myself this well in a while and there are enough colors on my arm to fill a crayon box.  It’s looking a little better though and I no longer have the urge to limp so it appears that Catsby isn’t the only one on the mend.

This experience also taught me I can’t just go gallivanting around, trying to relive my childhood.  Apparently I’m a real grown up now.  But that means I have the ability and appropriate permissions to drive to a hardware store, buy more wood and use a hammer and nails to put the steps back together.  Then I can climb to my heart’s content!    Or allow other family children to experience the joys of the treehouse.

After me, of course.

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