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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Happy Hump Day

August 17, 2016 at 8:53 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I read this story this morning and it certainly brightened my day. It’s about a couple who have been together for more than 70 years and are as still as sappily in love with one another as they were on the day they met. And they met in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, so that’s saying something!

I know that I felt butterflies the first time that I laid my eyes on Scott but I can’t even pretend that our introduction was anywhere near as meaningful as it was for the couple in this story. It also gave me a little bit of hope because I feel like the news is constantly bombarding us with negativity and stories like this go to show that there is still good out there, if you know where to look.

I can only hope that Scott and I have as many happy years as this couple – and here’s also hoping that the last years they share are some of their very best yet!

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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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Time Flies

May 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

It seems like only yesterday that I met my future husband, Scott. That’s not true though because we’re celebrating our five-year anniversary in a couple of months and HOLY CRAP WE’RE GETTING MARRIED IN EXACTLY SIX MONTHS FROM TODAY!

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This is your brain on a wedding.

We’ve been engaged since January 2015 so it’s felt like I’ve had eons to plan and prepare for the wedding. But since I’m me, I’ve had most everything done or at least planned for a while now. However, this is the time things really start happening and I’ll be walking down the aisle to meet my best friend before I know it! It’s a crazy, exciting, daunting time and I’m trying to enjoy it while I can. I’m nervous too – not to marry Scott but to stand in front of so many people while trying to speak meaningful, coherent words is a bit intimidating. I’ll be lucky if I don’t sweat through my dress! But it’s sleeveless, so at least I can avoid pit stains.

We even mailed our Save the Dates last night (apologies if you don’t get one but…well, not everyone I know is getting one). As an aside – the abbreviation you see everywhere for Save the Dates is ‘STDs’ and I think that’s just wrong. Anyway, Scott and I walked them to the corner mailbox together and while we didn’t mark the occasion with a selfie or anything like that, we did jokingly call each other husband and wife after sharing a little celebratory kiss. And before I know it, that’s what we’ll be doing in front of everyone we know!

Well, not everyone. But you get the idea.

Let the official countdown begin!

 

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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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I’m Gettin’ Hitched!

January 26, 2015 at 8:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

That’s right, Scott and I are engaged!

He got me good, guys. We’ve been talking about engagement and marriage for a while now and while I knew this was coming, he still managed to pull off a surprise. I had worked a full day and then went to the gym, so by the time I got home I was tired and kind of smelly. When I walked in our apartment, I was surprised to see that it was spotless from top to bottom. That alone thrilled me and Scott said he wanted us both to have a nice, laid-back evening so he had gotten our chores out of the way. I hopped in the shower and when I got out he called me to the kitchen, saying he had some chocolate covered strawberries in there for us. I walked in and he turned off the lights, because he had candles and a gorgeous floral arrangement of sunflowers and roses that he had put together himself. At this point I got tears in my eyes and started shaking a bit. He took me by the shoulders and gave a wonderfully sweet speech about how much he loved me, our little family with the Dude and our home together and that he wanted to continue loving me for the rest of his life. By this time, we were both crying just a bit. Then he got on one knee and said he didn’t have a ring yet – then he started laughing and pulled it out of his pocket, that funny guy. I basically said of course I’ll marry you and then we collapsed into a heap of giggles, tears and mushy love. (All together now – aww!).

We have a small dry erase board in our kitchen for general notes and tomfoolery. I noticed this was written there about 2 hours after Scott proposed!

We have a small dry erase board in our kitchen for general notes and tomfoolery. I noticed this was written there about 2 hours after Scott proposed!

He had called all of our parents and siblings beforehand to let them know what was going to happen so my family was anxiously awaiting my call to confirm. Everyone was thrilled and even my dad sounded choked up. We spent the rest of the evening gushing with our loved ones and enjoying some delicious carryout Mexican (since we were way too distracted to bother with a silly thing like cooking). On that note – there were no chocolate covered strawberries (I couldn’t help but ask about them later). He apologized that the store was out of them but said he needed something a little special to get me into the kitchen. I’ll survive without but may pick some up tonight just because I can!

Anyway, isn’t my ring super beautiful? It’s a moissanite, which is a gem entirely different from a diamond and made up of the same elements that have been found on meteors. It’s made by science, super gorgeous not nearly as pricey as diamonds. I think everyone deserves whatever type of ring they want for an engagement but I personally have some problems with the whole diamond industry and didn’t want one for myself. So this is perfect!

On Saturday, Scott and I went to a super fancy restaurant that one of my bosses had given me a gift card for at Christmas so we got to enjoy an amazing meal that was definitely celebratory. I was able to introduce him as my fiancé (which is still taking some getting used to) and we’re both still kind of riding this engagement high. No plans have been made yet and to be honest I want to take at least a few weeks or a month to just enjoy the newness of being engaged. Planning a wedding seems like a sucky, stressful thing for the most part and I’m not anxious to dive in. But if it means I can spend the rest of my life with my handsome, sweet best friend then I guess I’ll manage!

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And Many More

June 21, 2013 at 9:58 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

It’s hard to believe that two years ago today Scott and I had our first date.  We were living together a mere four months later and we haven’t tried to smother each other with pillows yet so I’d say things are going pretty well.  In honor of our anniversary, here are the top 10 reasons why I think we’re a great match:

  • He doesn’t get grossed out when I burp and he laughs at the goofy songs I make up and sing to the cat when we hang around the apartment.
  • He tolerates and even cares for my family while putting up with our karaoke-singing, fast-talking, noisy, corny, fast-paced ways.  And he doesn’t tease me when I spent hours each week talking to my grandparents, parents and sister.
  • He’s a vegetarian who cooks for me quite frequently and who will tell me that whatever I cook for him is delicious and tasty.  On a related note, he’s good at fibbing to me to spare my feelings.
  • He doesn’t mock me because I still have a stuffed monkey from when I was little.  In fact, he sometimes dresses George up and makes sure he doesn’t fall over or onto the ground because he understands that would make George uncomfortable.

George

  • He loves reading as much as I do and it’s not weird for us sit on the couch for a few hours with our books on a Friday night.
  • He’s open and adventurous and will try just about anything once.  But I doubt I’ll ever convince him to get a pedicure again.
  • He encouraged me to join the gym and doesn’t get mad when he’s helping me train and I call him bad names.  Unless they’re really bad, which I’ve tried to stop doing.
  • He still loves me on my bad days and knows enough to give me some space when I need it.  Every now and then a Gilmore Girls marathon is the best cure and if I’m on a rampage, I’ll come into the living room to see it set up on DVD.
  • He kills (or captures and releases) all the bugs.
  • He’s my very best friend.  That pretty much covers the rest, doesn’t it?

This isn’t really a part of the list but to celebrate our anniversary, he’s making me a huge french toast dinner tonight.  Life sure can be sweet!

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The World We Live In

April 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Yesterday, Boston experienced a horrific tragedy.  It’s disgusting and frightening and unfair that such an awful thing happened to such good people.  Unfortunately, this kind of disaster happens far too often all around the world – we just don’t realize the toll it takes on a nation until we experience it on our own soil.  It’s not right that innocent men, women and children be made to suffer at the hands of a few disillusioned and angry people but that’s the kind of world we live in.

It’s not as though things used to be easier – they were just less publicized.  Human beings have always dealt with hatred and violence but now that everyone has a video camera and internet access in their pockets, it seems like we’re constantly bombarded by bad news.  Which is not to trivialize anything that the victims go through – I can’t even begin to imagine what their world looks like after experiencing something like a public bombing.  However, as heartbreaking and traumatic as these events are, we must remember that the good people outnumber the bad.  The media sensationalizes the killers in these situations but what we need more of are the stories behind the people who run towards the damage and do everything they can to help.  There are many more of those types of people out there than there are those who would rather inflict pain and suffering.  There always has been and there always will be.  It’s just easy to forget.

We can’t be scared to go to the movies or to school or to public celebrations.  We must be aware and pay attention to our surroundings, sure, but we must also realize that sometimes no matter how aware we are, bad things still happen and there’s not a damn thing that we can do to stop it.  Unless we live in our basement with nothing but the fear-mongering media for company, we must take risks.  Besides, what sort of life is it if all it contains is fear?  Things can change for the worse in an instant so if anything, instances like this can help us to remember to be thankful for what we’ve got.  I know it’s not easy (and this is something I’ll be working on as well) but we must also try to remember that the good really does outweigh the bad.

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Love is in the Air

February 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

My heart is just so full of happiness and mush that it could very well burst and spew gooey redness all over the place!

Why?  Well, my best friend since freshman year in high school just got engaged!  Her ahem fiance organized a flash mob with a local radio station this morning and surprised her outside of her office with a song and dance routine.  It was ADORABLE.  And it couldn’t happen to a better girl.  Both she and her man spent a few years battling a serious addiction problem but they both came out on the other side and are doing better than ever.  It seriously makes me want to cry when I think about what she’s been through and how much better off she is now.  I couldn’t be prouder of her and the relationship she’s in has endured a decade’s worth of addiction and illness (even cancer) but thankfully they are both sober and healthy and now they’re engaged!  I’m about to vomit from the cuteness.

Also, another close friend of mine will be getting married in exactly 9 days in Florida.  Scott and I really want to be there but since it’s not in the financial cards for us right now, we’ll be sending our well wishes from afar.  I spent a few hours last night helping the soon-to-be-bride with some wedding stuff and I’m super excited for her as well.  Insert more gooey sentimentality here.

Seriously though, it makes me happy when those I love are happy and that’s all I want for my friends and family.  And while I’m in no hurry to walk down the aisle anytime soon, I know I’m lucky to have someone in my life who genuinely wants to listen to how my day went and will clean the toilet if I ask.

Seriously

ALSO – Illinois is voting to legalize gay marriage TODAY!  If this happens, my heart might legitimately explode.  And I’d be happy to let it!

And here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is more enjoyable than cleaning toilets!

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One Year

October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone, but it’s been one year since my beloved kitty Catsby had to be put down.  For those that don’t know or remember, I was out of the country on a solo excursion in Guatemala at the time.  I’ll never forgive myself for not being there for her but I’ll be forever grateful to my amazing boyfriend Scott, who was.  I’m going to keep this post short because I’m just a little emotional today but I felt it was appropriate to post a little tribute.  I know I have a new cat and all now but no animal, ever, could replace the love that I felt for Catsby.  She was one of a kind and I miss her intelligence, friendliness and fetch-playing abilities every day.

I’ll always miss you, girl.

The time that I had with Catbsy was much too short but in those eight years, she taught me how truly beneficial an animal companion could be.  I’d had pets before but they were always family pets and, as sappy as this might sound, I believe that the bond between Catsby and myself was something rather rare.  She was quirky, funny and sweet, and I’ll miss her forever.

Thanks for your time with me, Catsby.  I know that I was the lucky one.

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