Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend Review

I guess I have never really understood all the hype around thanksgiving. Especially when you are an "in-towner" (aka...not going to go visit anyone) To me, it is like one big meal (which by the way my family does not need an excuse to have...this happens all the time) followed by 4 days of wondering what I am supposed to be doing.

I just kept feeling like, "it's thanksgiving weekend! I should be doing something. And I can't really call my friends because I'm sure THEY are doing something." If someone could please explain what you are all doing, that would be great.

But I did manage to have a pretty great Thanksgiving Weekend. Here are some highlights (ok fine, this is everything...any time holes you see, I was watching TV or taking a nap)

So Thursday morning has officially become my favorite part of tgiving weekend. My friend David and I started the tradition last year (not sure you can really call it a tradition yet but....we do) to runt eh Turkey Day 5K. Last year, I was very hard core about the training. THis year....not so much. But I managed to impress myself and run about 2.5 of the 3.2 miles.

The weather cooperated and it is seriously SO hard to believe that only one week ago today, I was running outside in a zip up and today, I can't feel my hands or cheeks after walking from my car to the coffee shop. It is FREEZING.

If one HUGE meal wasn't enough for my family, we decided to have a Thanksgiving Day brunch as a precursor to the Thanksgiving Day dinner (we like to eat....)
Dinner was delicious. I was in charge of sweet potatoes and gotta say, I did a DAMN fine job (thank you Food Network and Rachel...) My nephew was in charge of decorations...this was my favorite.

And we even started a new tradition of "What I'm thankful for Afikomen." Basically, we all wrote what we were thankful for, hid them around the house and my nephew had to find them and guess whose was whose. Very time, I would like a bit more competition. I liek to beat the pants off 6 year-olds.

Speaking of nephews, here is my moment to shamelessly show you two of THE cutest kids on earth....seriously. How is it possible that everyone thinks they have the cutest ones on earth?? Clearly, I do :)
After dinner, I burned off most of the calories laughing hysterically with my oldest friend in the world Alison...

Friday night was basically a huge high school reunion and it was actually really fun. Could have gone either know...lots of room for "oh my god, it's X person. Ihaven't seen that kid since I burned his hair off on the bunsen burner in Chemistry." But it was good. Fun to see people and we are finally at an age where when there is someone you just don't really care about, you can just nod and wave from a distance. No more awkward "so what have you been up to for the last 10 years?" conversations which is a huge plus.

Saturday, I had a bunch of people over. Nothing too exciting...but very fun. I made a recipe that called to celery. But only like 3 stalks of celery. And did you know that you have to buy like 3 pounds of celery at a minimum?

Well, for any of you who don't know, I HATE celery. Everyone always asks me why and tries to convince me that it has no taste. I completly disagree. I hate it. So, I made bumps on a log. Seriously....when was the last time you had one of these suckers? They were very popular.
Sunday was a very dangerous day. My "friends" (and I put this in quotes because of the temptation they put before me) Jeremy and Kara thought it would be a good idea to just "look at some puppies."

Now I'm not crazy. I know this is a terrible time to buy a puppy. I don't even know what I'll be doing in the near future. Imean cmon...this is what Humane Society stories are made of.

Anyway, I was convinced and told that we were just looking.

Needless to say, I fell madly in love. I mean...cmon....are you for real?
I managed to resist and for now am staying far, far away from any breeder.

Sunday night, the ladies and I got decked otu in our purple and cheered the vikes on to an exciting win... Lindsay, a Bears fan got us the tickets. Probably not cool that we cheered very loudly every time the Bears through an interception in her ear. Too bad Lindsay. You've lived here 5 years. C'mon....get some purple on.

So, that is it! All around a great weekend...still not sure if that is what you are "supposed" to do during these mysterious 4 days of no activity but any time I get to go for a jog, eat ridiculous amounts of food, hug my nieces and nephews, look at puppies and get rid of excess celery, I'm all for it.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Tag....I'm it!

Ok, so clearly from the lack of blogging, you can see that I am struggling to find topics that are interesting (it is hard to compare even a very interesting day here with climbing a canyon or scaling a mountain in south america...)

But...thankfully for my friend Greta and her blog (, I have found my inspiration.

Essentially, it is a game of grown-up tag combined with a self-esteem boost all at once. Here are the rules:

1) Write 3 things about myself I like
2) Tag 3 more people
3) Go on in peace

Now I have always considered myself a pretty confident person. But seriously, thinking of 3 things about myself that I like and putting them into words has proven more dificult than I thought! Anyway, here goes...

1. I am a "do-er." Now of course I have been known to procrastinate from time to time but overall, I do what I say I'm going to do. When I decided that I missed school, I got my MBA. When I said I had always wanted to volunteer abroad, I traveled for 6 months teaching. I hope this is a trait I never lose.

2. I am optimistic. Now I'm sure I have been accused of being Polly Anna and that there have been many rolls of the eyes at my overly positive and shiny attitude but that is just how I am. I naturally think people a good, things will turn out well and if you work at it, absolutely ANY dream can come true. ( can startyour eye-rolling now)

3. I am passionate. Everything from walking 60 miles, 6 times to fight breast cancer to fighting passionately over the color of next months Yoplait coupon, I don't think anyone has ever accused me of being complacent. When I decide something is a passion of mine, watch out. And I seem to find a new one everyday....

Ok. So the hard part os over. Whew!

Now it's time for me to tag 3 others! So some of you have blogs and others don't but if you do have a blog, post this on your blog! And if not...please try to do this as a comment on MY blog. It really is fun. It's a challenge but I promise you that you will go to your next meeting feeling a little bit more like you are an optimistic, passionate, do-er!

Ok Kara, Rachel, Michelle Peterson, Chris and Liz and Mom....go on....Tag....YOU'RE IT!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shortest vacation recap of all time for the last 5 days, I have been on our annual ladies trip to Naples, Florida. Now you would think that I would have all sorts of stories about swimming, roaming the beach, designer shopping, glamorous eating and nights out on the town.

Well, I just uploaded my camera after this “exciting” weekend and had a whopping total of 9 pictures (about 3 of which were just mishaps with the self timer)

So here we go...the shortest weekend recap ever:

Fly to Naples. Lay down at the pool. Go to f*cking AMAZING dinner. Eat ourselves sick. Go to a bizarre club with even more bizarre characters “cuttin’ a rug” to a strange but very good DJ.
Walk (this was quite ambitious). Lay. Float. Lay. Listen to free CD from said DJ. Lay. Go to another dinner where we proceeded to stuff our faces once again.
Walk/jog (EXTREMELY ambitious). Lay. Float. Think we might possibly go see a movie. Decide that is WAY too much work. Instead, go to target to buy a movie and the very gourmet hot dogs and baked beans. Make dinner (whoa people...that almost put us out of commission). Drink beer. Take some GasX. Lose consciousness on the couch while watching the movie.

Lay. Manicure (at a place with a FULL bar). Float. Lay. Drink a couple glasses of wine. Decide that leaving the house is just out of the question. Order Papa John’s. Profess our undying love for each other. Lose consciousness on the couch.

Laundry. Gas up the van. Head to the airport. Wonder why on earth we are leaving this paradise??

So it may not have been action-packed but it was WONDERFUL. And I honestly can’t think of any other ladies I would like to be complete and utter lazy bums with (Abby and Lindsay...start asking for vacation now for next year...we missed you guys!)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Watching history in the making...

All I can say is wow.

After 21 months, the day that everyone has been focusing on is now part of our history books and I can't imagine a better way to end the story.

I was at my polling booth at 7:00 am and after waiting in line for 3 blocks, I was outta there in just under 2 hours. Now I know that the lines would have been shorter at other times of the day. And I know I could have voted early. But I have to tell you that I really did love every minute of those 2 hours.

I loved that there was a line to vote and I didn't see a single person getting out of it. I loved that there were people in business suits and others in sweat pants. I loved marking my ballot. And I loved just being part of history.

Immediately after voting, I drove myself to the nearest Starbucks to redeem my free coffee (loved that almost as much as the whole "being part of history" thing...)

Last night, we had our very own election party complete with a secret ballot vote for Cindy McCain's favorite cookie v. Michelle Obama's favorite shortbread.

And at 10:01 when the next president was announced, I think it is safe to say that the entire country felt a sense of historic significance. Whether a democrat or republican, it was impossible to deny the magic of the night (although probably easier to deny it if you are a McCain fan... :)

From McCain's opening words to Obama's final wave, it really was a night to remember. And I'm just so glad I was able to be a small part of it.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween. Kid Tested. Adult Approved.

Not too much to say today but I LOVE HALLOWEEN.

I don't know if I just had parents that weren't into Halloween as adults or if this is a generational difference but I was always under the impression that after the age of about 12, Halloween was just a time when Target's shelves were filled with candy.

Not correct.

I think I can safely say that Halloween has only gotten better with age. And this year was no exception! I went with the classic witch costume and was more than impressed with the creativity of costumes I saw this year...turns out that when the country's economy is in the toilet, business leaders are corrupt and election candidates are idiots, costumes improve greatly!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

a GOLDEN day...

How is it possible that I: a) don't have a job b) am not actively trying to save the world and c) can't think of anything of huge significance that I've done in the last 1.5 weeks and I still have not found time to update this blog??

I have all sorts of ideas I want to write about but before any further ado...I want to recap my big 28th birthday...

So I'm pretty sure at this point that if you have ever met me, you know that I am pretty big into birthdays (pretty big into them meaning completely and utterly obsessed) so when my GOLDEN 28th birthday was coming around, I was more than excited.

But...I have to say that as of about a week ago, I was pretty sure that while I'm sure the day was going to be nice, I wasn't convinced that it would be anything special. No big plans. No big parties. Just a random Tuesday and as it turns out, most people work on that day :)

But let me tell all of my readers that my family and friends did NOT disappoint. The day (and celebration leading up to the day) was simply just perfect.

The celebration "officially" began last Friday night...

So when I had just arrived in Peru, I got an email from my friend Kara informing me that I would be home soon and we needed to get restaurant reservations immediately on the calendar. By the way, at this point, I still had about 2.5 months left of my 6 month program....but trust me I didn't argue with her!

Especially when she told me that we were not just going to any restuarant but my favorite restaurant in the entire world (and I've been around the block a couple times people...) We were going to the new MANNY'S!!

There are just no words...this restaurant is the best. Where else can you go to get a steak the size of a small infant, double crispy hash browns loaded with onions, a stinky and amazing oversized clump of blue cheese and of course...TWO huge desserts with onto the big day. I woke up on Tuesday morning and discovered one of the best parts of having a lot of newly found international friends is that I got emails all through the night!

Then, just like clockwork the same as the last 28 years, I hear my door opening and lots of rustling going on in my condo. Now you'd think I'd want to check it out to make sure it wasn't a robber but nope...I stayed in bed like a good birthday girl.

My mom and great friend David walked into my room with bagels, yogurt, bananas, MY coffee and of course, lots of Happy Birthday decorations. Breakfast in there really a better way to start the day?
Then I walked out into my condo and on my table were a pile of ALL of my very favorite board games! Yep...we were having a morning of games complete with prizes...Pictionary, Balderdash and my mom and David were even kind enough to indulge me in Connect Four (although I remain the undisputed champion...)After kicking both of their asses in pretty much every competition, it was off to lunch (I mean come on, what's the point of a birthday if you can't be in a continuous state of eating??) We went to the Minneapolis "institution" Monte Carlo for the incredible wings and spicy beans...mmmm. My dad and brother met us and of course, another candle awaited (seriously, like 75% of my brithday pictures are either of me eating or me in front of a dessert...)After lunch, it was off to meet my friends to do some Halloween costume shopping. Normal shopping...not my thing. Halloween costume shopping? Fabulous.'s been an entire paragraph...time to eat again.

All my friends came to dinner at another Minneapolis classic: Ike's. Simply cannot beat their burger (I think I'm hungry...) It was the first time I had ALL of my friends together since I've been back and it was great. I honestly looked around the table a few times and could hardly believe that we were actually all sitting together...
And after dinner? What tops off a fabulous birthday better than a chance to be on stage?? Yep. It was time for some karaoke.
Rachel and I headed off, rocked it out and even met an amazing a capella group who dedicate a song to me (oh...and bought me very unneeded drinks...)
Like I big plans. No huge parties. Just my a day doing my favorite things, eating my favorite foods, singing my favorite songs and being with favorite people. And really, what more could a birthday girl wish for.