Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Christmas. Because God became flesh. The Creator of the universe became a human! How insane is that?! When I really dwell on what that means, I'm so overwhelmed by it. How can a story like that become familiar?? Probably because we forget that Jesus is God! . . not just a good man . . not even just the most influential man that ever lived. More than that. That little baby was the Father coming down to show us who He is. To reveal His character. To be personal and not far off and unapproachable. To show us love in a language we can understand. And then to die for us and take all of our sins upon Himself when He was the perfect one and we rejected Him. Our Creator and the one who loved us enough to become flesh like us and to serve us and give His life for us. That is Jesus. That is Christmas.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."
John 1:1-5

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
John 1:14

"No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known."
John 1:18

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God]except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"
John 14:6-9

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Last minute

Do you ever feel bad for last-minute-ing someone on your Christmas list? You feel like you should've had some spectacular idea for this person or you would be a better sister, friend, daughter, etc. if you had purchased their gift sooner than 72 hours before Christmas! Maybe it's because I love putting extra thought into what I get someone. I hate resorting to "This is nice. This will do." I've had to do that with a few people this year. It certainly hasn't saved me any money, and it's caused a lot of stress. Because my gifts somehow don't feel good enough. My mother brought to my attention my gift-giving issues. That I overspend and can't ever give one gift. It's true. I can't give just one gift to anyone. It kills me. It doesn't matter how expensive it was. One thing is not enough. And I think I realized what it is. If I give at least two gifts, the recipient is sure to like at least one gift which hopefully helps me to maintain my reputation as a good gift-giver.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What else I've been up to

Ok, I've mentally checked out at work . . days ago. Fortunately, my boss told us mid-day that we could work from home today and tomorrow. This means I won't be back in the office until next year. AWEsome.

Life update: Other than my trip to NYC last weekend, my life has been packed.

I'm so close to being done with Christmas shopping I can taste it! Hopefully a trip to Georgetown tomorrow will be the end to my five straight days of overspending on people. Dad, this year you're banking. Sorry Mom.

**On a side note: I've been trying to leave comments on all of your blogs, but it won't let me (unless you have Haloscan)! Not even anonymously. So know that I'm still reading . . and dying to comment.

I'll leave you with a picture . . of food, of course. New Girl's small Christmas party last week:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What I Saw

New York was what I expected . . except that I expected to like it more. I expected it to be overwhelming and dirty and full of trendy people. And it was all of those things. I liked what it was for the experience of it. But I didn't like what it was enough to want the experience over and over again. Don't get me wrong - I want to go back - more than once. But I think I wanted to be able to picture myself there - living there - even though I never would. And I couldn't do that. I can do that in a lot of places, but not there. New Girl said that your favorite city is always the one you've spent the most time in, which for me would now be D.C. And she's right I suppose. I do like other cities I've visited, but I compare places to D.C. now, because I like it here. I know it the best I suppose, though I don't know it that well yet.

You can't escape New York really. It's not easy at least. It surrounds you and yells at you "More, more, more" . . in about a hundred different languages. D.C. is pretty diverse, but New York is Diverse, capital D. It's cool, don't get me wrong. I just didn't expect to notice. I don't even think twice about it in D.C.

Designer coats and boots and trendy everything. I loved that. "You know what I'm enjoying?", I said to New Girl. "Seeing what everyone is wearing". "I knew you were going to say that" she said. It was true. I was enjoying it . . but if I had to see it everyday, I'd always be wanting more . . and nicer . . and more expensive. I'd always be wanting to live in Upper West, to take a cab everywhere and not the subway, to only eat at the hidden little ethnic places because I wanted to and not because it was cheaper.

The plan to take the bus on Friday night was changed last minute, but good I suppose, because I felt less rushed. We arrived by 11:30am on Saturday morning. The 29th floor at a hotel in Upper East. We could see the water from our window. First stop - Dylan's Candybar, the most fun candy place I've ever visited. On to Rockefeller Center with the massive Christmas tree, Trump Tower, Radio City Music Hall, FAO Schwartz, NBC Studios, etc. Then it was shopping in Times Square - not a lot, just a little. The sidewalks were so crowded that we couldn't take full steps. I literally walked on my tiptoes. Walked right past Tim McGraw and his daughter actually! They were adorable . . all bundled up and holding hands.

We showered up and headed to Greenwich Village. There, I tasted Ethiopian for the first time in the tiniest little place. It was "bring your own beverage", too, so we grabbed a bottle of wine. Great food. Across the street, we had tickets to a comedy club - nice intimate setting. One comedian out of six isn't bad - ha! Truly, three of them were awful - as in graphic and perverted - this went beyond shock factor, people. I loved Sherrod Small, though. (He's been on VH1 and Chris Rock, etc.) Afterward, we met up with New Girl's friends at a hipster bar that played underground music; the band was pretty good.

Sunday morning, bright and early. I asked to skip Serendipity for ice skating in Central Park, and I'm glad I did. Ate at Mickey Mantle's across from the Park. We took the subway to Battery Park, walked down Wall Street, saw what was up of the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from a distance. Our last destination was . . my first Broadway show! We saw "The Wedding Singer" at my request, because it ends in two weeks. It was so cute and funny. Seats in the second row. I love Laura Benanti! I'll definitely see another show someday.

And that was it. We got back to D.C. at 11:30pm on Sunday. Quite a trip for a day and a half, huh? And I know, I know - I need to see more. I want to see more. It was a lot of fun. There is so much to explore! But I'm glad to be back in D.C. for now. I love the nice, clean Metro (subway) and the cute neighborhoods and the highway that quickly leads you away from the city . . if you so desire . . and sometimes I do.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Will I Heart NYC?

Plans are being finalized for NYC. I’m excited and oh, so broke. Where the heck is my bonus?? Can’t complain about a free place to stay, though. New Girl’s mom is letting us use her Marriott points. Our itinerary has been laid out and don’t ask how we’re going to fit it all in. We have tickets to a comedy club and a Broadway show as well as dinner plans and much, much more. My week has already been booked, and I have two dates to blog about!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

low key

That basically sums up my weekend.

Last night, New Girl and I began our Christmas shopping with purchases for our Angel Tree kids. Then, we picked up Listrani's pizza and watched "Nacho Libre" at my apartment. . Only we didn't finish it, because it was so random and weird. But after it was over, we began quoting it to one another . . which is so hilarious. The movie is funny after you watch it. Just like Napoleon Dynamite. And whadayaknow . . same creator. So now I want to watch the movie again . . sort of.

This morning, I had a Christmas brunch with my Bible study friends. I love those girls! They are so much fun! I've mentioned KC, Kentucky Girl, and Bruin Girl before, but there are four more girls in Bible study. We had chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, fruit salad, and banana walnut muffins. Our gift exchange was fun, too - it was the 'number gift exchange' where you have the opportunity to choose from the pile of gifts or steal someone else's. Only one person chose to steal a gift from someone, so Bruin Girl said we had to go through again because it would be much more fun with gift-stealing. I was against it because I loved the gift I had (an Express ring). . but fortunately I still came away with a good gift (chocolate and a Barnes & Noble gift certificate). I gave the new Justin Timberlake CD and some chocolate truffles, which happened to be quite popular . . because who doesn't want to bring sexy back?

I went with Bruin Girl and her roommates to pick out a Christmas tree for her house. And once I got there, the smell of fresh fir trees was too much and I just had to get a real tree for our apartment. I came home with a baby tree, a table topper. So cute.

I baby-sat Baby Walker tonight. He's walking now . . and as adorable as ever. As usual, the time flew by too fast and it was soon time for bed. I was incredibly blessed by the gift that Cousin J and K gave me for watching him/Christmas.

Tomorrow will be my last uneventful day for a week . . I have three Christmas parties, a birthday party, a date, and a trip to New York City coming up!

Friday, December 08, 2006

I don't believe in Santa

What has happened to Christmas music? I’m a pretty open person when it comes to different types of music and I love spicing up the Christmas tunes, as well. Christmas rock, Christmas pop, Christmas hip-hop, and of course some Christmas Country. But Santa sings? What is enjoyable about listening to “Santa” (who by the way sounds like he’s been popping the gym candy) sing about wanting to be a popstar? NOTHING. Nothing at all. I found this fantastic site called Pandora where you can tailor the station to play only music that you enjoy. And when it comes to my Christmas station, anything that “Santa sings” is getting a big thumbs-down from me.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


As if I needed another excuse to make pumpkin cookies, we had a Holiday Cookie Bake-Off at work yesterday. Now we don’t half-a$$ anything over here, so even when it comes to having a little fun, we do it right. The coordinators of the competition explained the rules (there were seven), chose a “panel of experts” to judge the cookies, and laid out the judging criteria. Name and cookie creativity were strongly encouraged. And over 20% of our office participated! My favorites were probably the “Gingerbread Clients” which were huge gingerbread men with our clients’ logos done in frosting! I also liked the “Holiday Burgers”, although I suggested the baker be disqualified since no actual baking was involved. They are actually vanilla wafers with a thin mint in the middle and (I think) layers of frosting. I enjoyed watching people cautiously try my cookies (appearances can be deceiving), really like my cookies and then tell the person next to them.

Monday, December 04, 2006

looking forward

New Girl walks in this morning and I hear: “Ok, let me see what you’re wearing, because I know you put in extra effort today.”

She’s referring to the Wisconsin reunion tonight, which means The Lobbyist will be there. And she’s wrong, I didn’t spend more time getting ready today . . I decided and tried on my outfit last night. I’m wearing my black wool pencil skirt with knee-high boots and a black and white striped button-down under an orange cashmere sweater. I also pulled out my new long light blue wool coat, because Brrrrr, it’s cold outside!! I won’t lie, I am looking forward to happy hour tonight at Morton’s with everyone . . and having something to look forward to sure makes the day fly by.

Also helping to make the day enjoyable was the discovery of large boxes of Godiva chocolate in the cafeteria. Milk chocolate assortments, a biscuit collection, a box of truffles, tray upon tray of chocolate decadence! I’ve already more than made up for yesterday’s lack of calorie intake.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

back up in the country

Oh the fun that last night was!

Nearly a year and no country dancing?! I missed it so much. I even demonstrated a dance for my friends in Wisconsin . . haha. Yes, I am a dork. But you know that everyone was wishing they could country line dance. They wanted to move their hips like that. Ooh, and that kick ball step I did . . their faces were green with envy.

Last night, Uncle A called me up and told me he was headed to the annual Kickers Christmas party. And I was able to tell him that finally I was going country dancing again. I had heard of this country bar and even made friends here that had been and wanted to go again. Somehow, it took six months to make it happen.

KC (my old roommate), her guy friend, and Kentucky Girl (who went to college in KY and is country through and through) headed out last night for some serious country dancing. Kentucky Girl exclaimed "I haven't seen this many rednecks since I moved here. This is SO refreshing!" (Around here, you need a reprieve from the popped collars and oxfords.) I did karaoke to "Piece of my Heart" and attempted to get behind some pros and learn new line dances. They did a few that I already knew, too.

KC suddenly got tired and wanted to leave after only an hour! Reluctantly, Kentucky Girl and I headed out the door with her. I saw a group of six clean-cut guys pile out of a car and in about .7 seconds, the following things ran through my head: clean-cut, probably not all dangerous, coming to a country bar, not with any girls yet, can grab a cab if plan goes bad.

"Hey, do you guys want to give us a ride home tonight?"


"You're not going to drink too much are you?"

"Noooo, we're definitely taking it easy tonight."

Kentucky Girl and I turn to KC, "Bye! See you later!" (Keep in mind, she was still with her guy friend and not going home all alone.)

The gang of FBI guys were very nice and respectful and lots of fun. None of them got out of hand or had a lot to drink. I taught one (very cute) guy how to two-step and a couple of them came out on the dance floor with us to *try* to line dance.

We had such a blast and were safely driven home at the end of the night. Kentucky Girl and I have plans to make this a weekly (if not more frequent) occurrence.

Friday, December 01, 2006

a very unjuicy post

My one chance to have a night at home relaxing (or actually cleaning my room) this week was ruined when New Girl convinced me to go to the dinner our department was hosting. If I went, it meant I’d have to host a table. It also meant I’d get to see a bunch of people I met in Milwaukee (for the conference) last month . . plus I’d get to meet more people. To network or not to network . . that was the question.

“Iiiii don’t think I wanna go”, I said not very convincingly.

“L, you might as well just give in now, because you know I’m going to convince you to go,” she said.

I ended up having a fabulous time. I did meet new people and see familiar faces, not to mention have a delicious Chinese dinner (and I’m not even a Chinese fan). The best dish looked absolutely disgusting. It was an actual whole fish (tail and all) with sauce all over it. The outside was crunchy with the most delicious, tender white meat on the inside. It was so strange, though, breaking off a piece of the fish to put on your plate! After dinner, four of us (from my department) took off our “work hats” and put on our “friend hats” and told stories about work. My (probably future) boss even told me her first thoughts upon interviewing me.

So The Lobbyist gave me a ride home from work last night. And it was good. Sometimes he acts all “I’m cool and can still act young and fun and not 35”, which I don’t like, but last night he was totally himself, and we had a nice talk on the ride home. So far everything he says leads me to believe he’s solid in his walk with God, so . . . good! we can be friends. Don't know if it will ever be more than that, but I just love getting to know other people who have a passion for the Lord!

I'm completely stressed and upset right now about reasons I can't write about since I know way too many people who read this blog (Dangit, this blog would be much juicier and real if it was more private). I'm going for a run.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Early Week Ramblings

New Girl and I went to Legal Sea Foods for dinner last night for the best clam chower and a mixed greens salad. We discussed our plans for a weekend in NYC in December and shared stories from Thanksgiving. For the longest time, I had mixed feelings about New Girl, as I’m sure was evident by reading my blog (I know BSG picked up on it). But after our trip to Wisconsin, I really have grown to appreciate her personality and the fact that she can be loud and kinda silly and still be successful. Previously I would only enjoy her outside of work (and even then not all the time), but I am now able to also enjoy working alongside her. I can even handle her talking about her boyfriend constantly. I don’t know if it’s just God’s grace or what, but I’m glad that my feelings have changed.

Tonight I had a happy hour with the President of my company at the Ritz. Then Bible study, which I was excited for – I’ve missed those girls! And then scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees! Our kitchen floor is disgusting. Let me just say: Swiffer is not acceptable as a sole method of cleaning floors, whether wet Swiffer or dry Swiffer . . it doesn’t cut it. Swiffer is for “Quick! Clean the floor! Someone’s coming over!” not for “We are normal, cleanly people who take proper precautions to make sure that our living conditions portray that we are normal, cleanly people”. I went out and bought a bucket and some floor cleaner last night along with a scrub brush, so that floor is going to shine!

Mom and Farmtown Grandma were on speaker phone tonight as I told the story of The Lobbyist's visit. My cute Grandma asks me if it bothers me that he's a lobbyist (because she's thinking that all lobbyists are Jack Abramoff) and I explain the purpose lobbyists serve and that not all are corrupt. She ends the conversation by saying "Only time will tell . . . You will maybe not mind his receding hairline because you like his personality." Which let's be honest, I don't really care about his age or his hair (or lack thereof). Like Grandma said, "Only time will tell".

Sunday, November 26, 2006

ManchVegas Thanksgiving

As was to be expected, I had a fabulous time in New Hampshire! It's always hard to leave when you're having quality time with such great people. BF's fiance's family is so hospitable and generous and FUN. The only disappointing part of the trip was not coming up with a way to marry into their family.

BF and her fiance have had a long distance relationship the entire time, so being able to be around them and get to know him has been such a blessing. The first time I met his family I told her, "You HAVE to marry him. His family is so cool!" Not to mention the fact that he is extremely high quality himself. I'm so happy for her and so thankful that God has allowed us to spend so much time together since I've moved.

I'll always cherish the memories we made this week . . laughing so hard we nearly stopped breathing . . sleepovers in the King-sized bed and late-late night talks . . wayyy too many cookies . . Sal's pizza and Back Room tenders . . and seeing my best friend in love.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Hampsha, here I come

The plan is to leave in two hours for Baltimore in order to miss the worst of rush hour traffic. From there, I will fly to ManchVegas, New Hampshire for Thanksgiving with BF's fiance's family. I just finished baking the pumpkin cookies and feel a little sick. All I've eaten today is banana bread and cookie dough - blech.

I'm so excited to go! The plan is: Day 1: outlet shopping in Maine, Day 2: Thanksgiving, Day 3: Trans-Siberian orchestra, Day 4: BF's fiance's dad's wedding (got that?). Not only do I get to spend another four whole days with BF, but AMC will be there tonight passing through (They're my married couple friends from Omaha who have family in NH).

I doubt I'll post until next week, but I'll be busy taking pictures for you all to see!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What a difference a workout makes

Just to give you a picture of what my weekend has looked like thus far:

I did, in fact, see the new James Bond flick with BSG. I thought it was great and definitely recommend it if you're into that type of movie. We grabbed a bite to eat at Clyde's afterward and, I somehow missed it before, but they have the best fries ever!

Saturday morning, I slept until 11am. Sad. But what's worse is that I then spent a good three hours in my pajamas on the internet. I cleaned out my closet and put a decent sized dent in it so my clothing now barely fits, as opposed to not fitting at all. I did attend the karaoke fundraiser, but no singing for me. Our group of four went on to a couple of other bars and before we knew it, it was after 1am. I got on the internet again and didn't get to sleep until 3am. . .

Which means that I slept until NOON today. NOON. And then spent another two hours in my
pajamas on the internet.

My point is that my weekend has been highly unproductive. Lazy. And a good indication that, in addition to having a shopping addiction, I have also formed a dependency to my computer.

The amazing thing is that once I forced myself into my workout clothes and up the three flights of stairs to the exercise room I felt a sudden burst of energy. After an hour of calorie burning, I went back to my apartment and accomplished more in one hour than I had in the last 48. I finished cleaning my closet, finished emptying out my suitcase (and yes, it's been 6 days since I've been back), made an important phone call to Southwest, and ate a healthy meal.

So get off the internet, Friends! and go work out!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Kids

I don't know how I forgot to post this one. I got to see "the kids" back home. Their older brother (7) was upstairs playing on the computer as usual. He just loves his computer games!

These two are 4 1/2 now, but I started watching them when they were only 3 weeks old! Premature, so tiny, and so adorable.

They gave me big hugs when I came over and had to show me all of their new things and/or new tricks . . like Caroline's somersaults. Visiting them is quite an exercise for the neck, because they are all talking at the same time, vying for my attention, wanting to show me something or tell me something. I miss them!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Name

There are 764,920 people in the U.S. with the first name L.
Statistically the 57th most popular first name.
More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name L are female . . thank goodness!

There are 320,966 people in the U.S. with the last name P.
Statistically the 68th most popular last name.

There are 818 people in the U.S. named L P.

So my name isn't super original. It's a pretty all-American name. But I like it!

My Trip Home

I wasn’t ready to come back to D.C. . . until I headed to work yesterday morning. I had such a great time at home that I wasn’t quite ready to leave. My second visit home really only confirmed that Nebraska isn’t the right place for me . . not now and probably not ever again, but who knows. I love it there . . not just the people, either, but I really love the place. I just know I wouldn’t be happy there.

My trip home was packed - couldn't have been more packed.

I . .
- had dinner with my family and two grandmas at El Bee’s Mexican
- visited AG and her husband, felt Baby Girl kick!, and ate Valentino’s pizza
- hung out at a new bar with Shae
- visited a cute jewelry store in F-town, had lunch at Runza with Uptown Grandma and Mom
- had a home-cooked breakfast with my parents
- went wedding dress shopping with BF, who by the way, is engaged!
- had dinner at Biaggi’s with BF’s parents
- had a hair appointment and catch-up time with Cousin Joy
- went to my cousin’s wedding and hung out with Mom's side of the family
- had a sleep-over with my sister (which included Ben & Jerry's)at her cute college house
- went to church
- had brunch with my family at Farmhouse (my brother even drove in to see me)
- went to a friend’s baby shower
- visited the twins and their brother (the kids I used to nanny)
- went to Baby Triston’s dedication at church
- had dinner with AMC’s friends and family at Lazlo’s to celebrate the baby dedication and L’s b-day
- had lunch at Charleston’s and went shopping with BF

*Note how excited I was to eat at places I can't eat out here*

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Running on low fuel

*Sigh* I'm home! Back for my cousin's wedding and to see my family and friends.

I pulled an all-nighter on Election Night and hung out with The Lobbyist and a co-worker. I learned how to play craps and blackjack and had some more good conversation with The Lobbyist until he drove me to the aiport at 5am. I think he thinks I think he's too old (based on a few comments he's made). It's not his age that bothers me; I'm just not sure . . don't know if we'll get together back in D.C. or not. We did exchange emails yesterday. We'll see . .

The twelve hour travel day wasn't so awful. It's the first time I've been able to sleep well on a plane. I actually slept through the entire take-off twice! The worst part of the day involved TSA (shocker!). The lip gloss that had made it's way past security on my first flight somehow couldn't make it through on the way back. I cried out, "But this is my absolute favorite lip gloss of all time; and it's been discontinued!" (and that's a direct quote). The guy must've thought I was crazy. I turned around and headed to the gift shop for a ziplock bag. The gift shop was closed. I ripped open a plastic utensils bag, threw the lip gloss inside and hurried back to the security line. Not good enough. I turned around again, ran back to the check-in and asked United to please throw my lip gloss into one of my checked bags. Ridiculous.

Back in Nebraska, I met up with my parents, sister, and two grandmothers for my favorite Mexican food, including the best fried ice cream in the world! Today I've had lunch with Uptown Grandma and I'm headed to Omaha to meet up with a few friends (separately) today. I thought I was caught up on sleep but suddenly I'm beginning to feel pretty tired.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hangin' out

I feel kinda bad. I've been hanging out in my hotel room for the past few hours . . instead of "lit dropping" in neighborhoods . . . because hello, everyone is at work and won't be checking their mailbox before voting anyway! I (we, rather) think it's pointless to be rallying more voters today. What's done is done. But I feel bad, because that is why we're here . . to help and we're not doing it (anymore).

Tonight is the party in Green Bay for which I'll be able to get semi-dressed-up. Unfortunately, at this point, I'm too exhausted to care. And I'm dreading my 6am flight tomorrow morning! I'll be flying all the way back to D.C., hanging out at the airport for 4 hours and then catching a flight to Nebraska. (It's complicated, so I won't bother explaining the excess travel.) I'll just be happy once I land in Nebraska tomorrow night!! Only 24 more hours!


I've traveled here (Waupaca, Wisconsin) with 6 other DC folks, one being New Girl. Despite the lack of local volunteers, which leaves us with even more work to do, things have gone well. We've spent our days knocking on doors and reminding our supporters to vote tomorrow. We've called them, too. Our nights have been spent at the local bars, playing fussball, shooting pool, telling stories, and my favorite . . . singing karaoke. One of the many highlights has been New Girl getting hit on by a very large, large man (375 lbs. large) who told her, "I bet I can guess your weight by picking you up". Talented people these Wisconsinites.

As I'm sure you know, tomorrow is Election Day! I'm excited - nervous excited. Don't forget to go out and vote Everyone! . . unless you plan to vote for a Democrat, hehe. I'm not saying that I would never vote for a Democrat. I always take all the issues into consideration. However, Nancy Pelosi scares the crap out of me and there are too many important issues at stake in this election to not vote the party line. Again, so sad I can't vote! If I were actually voting this year (in Nebraska), I would vote for Pete Ricketts - not because I don't like Ben Nelson, but because you can't completely claim to be an independent when you have a D behind your name and you work in D.C. Partisanship is a big deal. Not to mention the fact that Ricketts is a good guy. He has some good ideas, a solid background in business, and the ability to partner with Senator Hagel, a fellow Nebraska Senator, in looking out for our state.

With that, I'm headed to bed.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Leaving in five minutes. Feeling like crap. Eating chocolate fudge cake for comfort. Missing my per diem check. Bringing two suitcases. Thanking my roommate for driving me to the airport (so I don't have to metro with those two suitcases). Hoping I feel better and have a great time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Off to Wisconsin

So I currently have FOUR flight itineraries sitting in my inbox. Coincidentally, I have THREE flight itineraries sitting on my credit card. Ouch! Gonna have to take care of that asap . . like by maybe winning the lottery. I couldn’t not buy one of those plane tickets, because #1. I want to see my cousin get married and visit all my friends that I have not seen in almost 5 months, #2. I have to celebrate Thanksgiving with a family even if it’s not my family, and #3. obviously, I have to go home for Christmas. I found a Christmas flight for only $232 which is as cheap as you'll ever get to go home, but when I selected it, it jumped to $536. There is no way! I don’t love my family that much (just kidding, family . . but seriously, I wouldn’t pay that much). Thanks to BSG’s mention of kayak.com, I found the cheapest available flight out of all the travel websites. So for $355, I’m going home for the holidays next month. I sure hope they don’t expect me to bring any Christmas gifts.

My first of four trips is tomorrow as I fly out to lovely Wisconsin to campaign. I was hoping to get my things together last night, but my roommate, sick with mono, went to bed at 7pm so it was lights out . . . and suddenly sharing a room became very inconvenient. Tonight, I hauled to get home before she did to basically call dibs on the room, which means lights on until I was done packing! Did I mention that I am now sick, too? Perfect timing since I’ll be traveling for 11 days. Ugh. I only have 8 ½ days of work left this month, which is insane! My company is so great; they’re giving us the entire week off for Thanksgiving (and Christmas, too). . so between that and my travels this coming week, only two weeks of work in November! Honestly, I think I'm going to feel so lazy not being at work . . but I can handle lazy just this once.

*Hopefully I'll be able to post before I get to Nebraska, but I might be too busy eating cheese (and taking pictures of myself eating cheese) to post these next five days in Wisconsin.

Fall Weekend Pics

"Bug" (his nickname) dressed as a frog at his 1st birthday party.

Walker roots for the best team in college football! (His dad got him out of that frog costume the first chance he got.)

Me and "the shower" . . yes, the whole thing was attached to him. You can imagine how funny it was when he tried to dance.

Marine Corps Marathon

Iwo Jima (where the marathon ended)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

LONG weekend update

I had another fantastic weekend . .

Friday night, BSG and I went bowling at Lucky Strike which is everything a bowling alley in the Midwest is not – classy. It’s a bar, it’s a restaurant, and it’s got a dress code. This is my kind of place. My only complaint is that their lanes must’ve needed waxing or something, because my ball went into the gutter way more than usual J

We also went to see “Flags of our Fathers” which was an excellent movie. BSG says that it’s almost as good as the book.

Saturday morning, we headed to a consignment store in Bethesda so BSG could attempt to sell a few items she never wears anymore. I was incredibly impressed with the prices. We spotted a like-new JCrew jacket for only $25! And the designer jeans were priced fabulously too! Looks like this girl has found yet another place to shop . . only a lot cheaper than the stores I usually frequent. I don’t have anything against wearing someone’s hand-me-downs as long as they don’t look like hand-me-downs.

Across the street was a cute little flea market with a few great vendors. I will definitely be going back when I have some extra cash . . and when that time comes, I hope they still have the flea market, because it will probably be a few years from now.

Baby Walker had his 1st birthday party on Saturday, and it was the cutest birthday party I’ve ever been to. It was a costume party for babies! All of his play group friends and his parents’ friends’ kids were there – all 3 years of age and younger – in their adorable little costumes. Walker was a frog. The 3-year olds randomly started playing their recorders as we sang him happy birthday. K had the most delicious appetizers set out for the grown-ups and a few different bottles of wine. The kids had a table of their own with baby finger foods and crayons. All adorable kids, but Walker is still the cutest baby I know!

I attended my own costume party that night, to which I went as a Cornhusker . . not a Cornhusker fan, but an actual Cornhusker . . overalls, a flannel shirt, boots, and corn husks in my pockets. I thought it was a creative (albeit lazy) idea, especially since it was basically FREE (because I am definitely returning that flannel shirt). The best costume by far was a shower! I also enjoyed Johnny from the Karate Kid; the guy looked like he jumped right out of the movie. And Mike Ditka had won a costume party the night before. I met Enrique Iglesias, too . . not really, but he totally looked like him.

Sunday morning, I went outside to watch the Marine Corps Marathon runners go by my apartment building. When I discovered I had missed all 34,000 of them, I introduced myself to a family who let me tag along and watch the runners at different points in the race. We walked 5 miles to the National Mall and 5 miles back to Iwo Jima which is near my apartment. It was so fun to cheer on the runners, yelling out the names written on their shirts. The family was great! They were cheering on their wife/mom/best friend. They let me borrow their fleece jacket and called me their adopted L, since the daughter’s name was L, too. It’s kinda funny that I’m going to be on their home video documentary!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


New Girl, on riding with me:

"Your driving kinda fits your personality. Not dangerous but slightly spontaneous."

Me, on mismatched foundation:

New Girl, at the bathroom sink, talking to a maintenance woman: “Is my foundation streaky?”

Me, from the stall: “Yes”.

New Girl, as she sees that it’s me exiting the stall: “Is doesn’t look that bad, does it?”

Me: “Only in the daylight”.

I’m a firm believer that no loyalty to a cosmetic brand should override the need for a better foundation. In fact, I have a couple of friends who need to either fork out more money at the tanning salon or invest in a lighter foundation and some bronzer. My comments to New Girl may seem harsh, but that wasn't the first time we'd talked about it.

On discovering, via my mother, that I can no longer vote in Nebraska:

Me: Well you call them back and tell them that I am NOT a Virginian. They need to send me my absentee ballot.

Mom: In your heart, you’re a Nebraskan. . but in reality, you’re a Virginian. Sorry, but you’re going to have register to vote in Virginia.

It was bad enough having to face the fact that I no longer have a voice in Nebraska . . on top of that, I also realized that I am too late to register to vote here! I cannot vote in the elections! This is a crime . . a crime punishable by a Democratic majority in the House and Senate! This means that if indeed the Dems do regain control in the House (Senate not likely), I will be partially to blame! I can’t carry around guilt like that!

Make sure you do your part and VOTE on election day! If you’re red like me, then cast aside your discouragement with the Republican party and give them a vote of confidence! The thought of higher taxes, weakened national security, and having to fight for good judges in the Supreme Court makes me cringe. I’ve been having nightmares about Nancy Pelosi already.

(I could go on and on, but I don’t want my Democratic readers getting uncomfortable.)

Gold Cup Pics

They're comfy in the front seat.

I really hate to post such an unflattering picture of myself, but this will give you a good idea of what the ride was like in the back seat. Only I would take a picture of this.

One of the races. I picked #6, Dance with Mia . . for the name, of course.

Isn't the foliage beautiful??

Definitely did not inhale.


Don’t ask how horse racing beat out football, but it did . . and it won’t happen again. The party train met up at the Daily Grill downtown for some mimosas (and water for me, even though I love me a bellini every once in a while). I was able to watch the kickoff for the Nebraska/Texas game and let me tell you, it was painful being dragged away after 5 minutes of play. It’s all I could think about all day. The Gold Cup was fun, don’t get me wrong. Fun, like “doing new things is always fun”. Fun, like “getting to see what everyone is wearing fun”. . especially girls going for the “I don’t ride horses, but I like to pretend I do” look. However, I did have a *slightly* equestrian look going on myself with my brown corduroy cuffed capris, brown boots, and wool blazer. One thing that was NOT fun was the 2 hour car ride in traffic on the way there. It was cool with me that I got moved from the Land Rover to the BMW convertible . . until the driver decided we’d drive the entire way with the top down . . in under 65 degree weather. The wool blazer was fine the entire day, except for those two hours . . it just wasn’t enough. Meanwhile, the two front seat riders were taking off their jackets because “Gawd, it’s hot up here.” They didn’t seem to notice the tangled mess that was my hair in the back seat.

Our tickets not only got us into the event, but also allowed us to partake of the food and social hour in one of the members only tents, co-sponsored by my company. I’d attend a similar event again . . but I would NOT choose it over football. On the upside, Anonymous reminded me that we *will* play Texas again this year, which is something that dawned on me at the event, but didn’t make me feel any better at the moment.

. . Pictures coming soon . . as always.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Reason #1: Why I Need a Boyfriend

I'm sitting here on my laptop eating a brown rice cake . . an organic brown rice cake . . and dreaming of the delicious chocolate candy that Big Sky Girl just informed me she has the secret family recipe for. I haven't tried said candy yet, but if it's good enough for people to make high dollar offers for the recipe, it must be pretty amazing. So I'm dreaming of the candy . . along with all other consumable substances, because again . . I'm eating a brown rice cake and anything would taste better than this. Dieting sucks.

But, although it sucks, when combined with consistent workouts, I'm hoping it helps me drop a few pounds before I head home in a few weeks. I just can't let my family see me like this! The muffin-topping and the painted-on pants are just too much for my loved ones to have to witness. I'm supposed to come back happy, healthy, and glowing, because life in the District is good . . and the food in the District is really good. If somebody's paying for the filet, you better believe I'm eating the whole thing. And if my roommate wants to make cookies, how could I rudely turn one down . . or two, or three, or more? So now, here I am, embarassed to say that I am totally out of shape, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the phrase. The shape of my body? Not.the.same. Oh, but it will be again. Even if I have to remove desserts from my diet forever . . . except of course when Best Friend and I reunite a few times a year and go for Cold Stone . . because you don't mess with tradition.

Tonight I decided I need a boyfriend. And I'm not gonna lie . . I decide that pretty frequently. It's not a matter of wanting one you see. I'm talking about need. There is logic that has gone into this. And my reasoning tonight would be strictly for safety purposes. I'm 5'2", blonde, and well . . who cares how short or what color my hair is . . I'm a woman! And being a woman in D.C. occasionally presents you with serious transportation issues. All I want to be able to do is visit my friend, chat for as long and 'til as late as my heart desires, and go home. But it's not that easy. How will I get home? Metro? Sorry, don't want to walk or metro in the dark, especially on the weekend. Cab? Sorry, don't often carry cash or want to pay $15-20 to get home (plus New Girl told me she was sexually assaulted by a cab driver once). Drive my car? That would be the best option if parking were available, but it's not.

So I was stuck at Big Sky Girl's tonight. And I needed a boyfriend to come pick me up. To drop whatever he's doing and come get me. That is what they're for, isn't it?

Well . . . as we all know, I don't have one of those, because apparently "the time isn't right for me" . . but let me just say that the time felt very right tonight . . and feels very right every time I face a transportation dilemma. As much as I'd like to think I could whoop a mugger's a$$ if confronted or at least properly handle my pepper spray, I'd rather not take my chances.

I was left with only one option tonight . . to call the only boy who would be willing to pick me up. Don't gasp. Don't judge me. I wasn't trying to take advantage of his affection for me . . I just wanted to make it home o.k., and I figured maybe he did, too. Believe me, it was hard to even call and ask. BSG can vouch for the amount of stuttering and silent pauses I went through before I could even ask the favor. And he sighed. And he came. And I wonder if the words "I've never been mad at you a day in my life" would still be an honest description of how he feels about me. But, I'm very thankful. So I'm going to make him some pretty phenomenal cookies that will make him wish he could pick me up all the time if the rewards would always be so sweet. Yes, I'll make him cookies . . . unless BSG wants me to help her make some of that candy she was bragging about . . (BSG, I promise to leave the room for the 'secret step'.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Decisions, decisions

What do I do?

The Nebraska v. Texas game is Saturday, and I’m stoked to watch it with the Nebraska gang at someone’s apartment.

BUT, my cube neighbor just gave me a free ticket to the International Gold Cup for the Steeplechase races the same day! Free!

Hmm, popped collars and brown suede coats or Husker tattoos and bright red t-shirts? I’m leaning towards the latter, but when I get an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, it’s hard to pass it up.

I know the Huskers will play other games, but they won’t play Texas again in 2006.

I think if Vanderbilt will give me a ride, I’ll go to Gold Cup (I think), but if the Rover is full, I’ll gladly don red on Saturday.

*Note: my cube neighbor says there may be televisions to watch the game at Gold Cup . . ohhh, but it’s not the same!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back in the picture . . for a day

I am officially a terrible person.

I haven’t written about Rochester for a long time, because I was doing the right thing by staying away from him . . for two whole months! Since we can’t be together, why hang out? But I told New Girl I missed him the other day and sure enough, I ran into him at work two minutes later. We talked and smiled and, geez I hope no one was watching, because it would’ve been pretty obvious that we haven’t always been “just friends”.

So that night I fought the urge to call him. But I wasn’t so successful the next day. Long story short, we hung out . . twice in one day . . and he said some pretty sweet and just plain romantic things to me, which made me want to cry, not because it was sweet - well, maybe a little because it was sweet – but mainly because I am a bad person and I am making him hurt. He told me how hard it’s been not hanging out with me and how much he’s missed me . . But, has it been hard for me? Not really. I’ve been filling my life with other things, making friends, staying busy, and knowing that staying away was the right thing to do. Then, out of the blue I start missing him, practice zero self-control by calling, lie to myself by thinking we can maybe kinda be friends again, and convince myself that he couldn’t possibly care anymore. I like to think I’m right about most things, but in this case I was 100% wrong.

So once again, I reiterated the fact that my relationship with the Lord is not a part of my life. It is my life. And I love it! Which means that no, it isn’t good enough to be with someone who is ‘cool’ with that. Not good enough at all! It isn’t good enough to be with someone that ‘lets’ me take the kids to church . . yeah, that’s right, he talked about kids! I can see why he would be confused, because if I’m living this life that is Jesus then I wouldn’t be calling him! I'd be practicing the self-control that God would give me if.I.asked! Gah!

So now I have to stay away again . . for good. And part of me is ok, because I’m used to not hanging out with him. But the other part of me is really sad that it’s over. Our friendship can really only be a “friendship”. Like friendly acquaintances. Like “smile when you walk by but don’t always stop to talk” friends. Like “what are you doing this weekend, but even if you’re free, we’re not hanging out” friends. I know it’s for the best, but it sucks.

He needs to move on and meet someone else and so do I.

*This weekend, I did, for the first time since moving to D.C., meet a cute Christian guy. Short, but cute. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. It’s really sad that I’ve visited 5 churches and lived here for 5 months and this is the first time. It’s also really sad that I just made note of the fact that he is short, because I am short – 5’2” short. Now the only reason I know he’s a Christian is because his roommate is and mostly because of Myspace. (I heart MySpace.) I didn’t actually have a conversation with him . . I mean, the Nebraska game was on! I simply shook his hand, made a mental note of his cuteness, and turned back to the game. Maybe I’ll see him again. And maybe I’ll meet someone else who is cute and tall(er). Or maybe I’ll be single for 5 more years, because I apparently like to postpone my chances of meeting the right guy by getting involved with the wrong one.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Considering the amount of money I’m willing to spend on an article of clothing, you’d be surprised to know that I have a hard time putting down a mere $1.50 for a bottled water or spending more than $5 on lunch every day. However, my reluctance to spend the money has led me to forget to drink any water at all . . to the point of not needing to use the facilities at work all day. It’s a wonder I don’t get dehydrated!

Big Sky Girl got on my case about it the other day, and I realized she’s right . . . am I trying to prematurely age myself? It’s no wonder I’ve gained weight, since water helps you digest.your.food!! And my skin? I haven’t broken out or anything, but it certainly hasn’t been glowing for quite some time.

So I decided to make it another new habit of mine, right up there with a consistent workout schedule and limited caloric intake. So far, I’ve gone three days with at least 2 liters of water, which equals 4 bottled waters. One in the morning, one for lunch, one in the afternoon, and one for dinner. Not too tough.

It may be all in my head, but I think I’m noticing a difference already. For one thing, I head to the ladies’ room about 4 times a work day, as opposed to 0-1 – information I’m sure you could’ve done without. (This reminds me of you, LindsayBlake, and I think you know why. ;)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wisconsin AGAIN?!

Ok, as much as I enjoyed my business trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week, I wasn't itching to go back anytime soon. Yet, of all 50 states that I could've been deployed to for the RNC, I'm getting sent to Wisconsin! - Green Bay this time. I was hoping for Connecticut, but would've been happy with just about any state BUT Wisconsin. I would've even gone back to South Dakota. And just after I swore to New Girl that they probably weren't sending anyone to that state because it wasn't targeted. Doh! She's so jealous of me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Church Search

I ended the trip to Milwaukee with a short 5K run over the Milwaukee river downtown and alongside Lake Michigan as the sun came up Saturday morning. It was great.

I flew back to D.C. with a big box of Wisconsin cheeses (a gift) and a cheese cookbook for New Girl who is a vegetarian and from Milwaukee herself. She loved it.

There were many highlights of the trip, but one in particular was a special surprise. Just before heading to the airport, I had breakfast with the lady I've been shadowing for months. I suspected she knew the Lord, but hadn't ever discussed it with her. I was delighted to learn that she knows Him very well and went through Youth With a Mission (YWAM) several years ago, which is an awesome missions organization and planned to attend Brownsville School of Ministry (a school that my friend attended). Realizing that we each had a relationship with Jesus, we totally bonded and finished the conversation with a big hug. Once again, I was amazed at how the Lord has blessed me through this transition in my life. I couldn't ask for more. (Well . . maybe to have my home church move here - ha, but I know I'll find the right church.)

So far, I've visited four churches and all of them are really great. No matter where you visit, there will usually always be something you don't prefer or some way you wish it was like your home church I suppose. I always listen to messages online from my home church. I've been here for 5 months, though, and I haven't decided on consistently attending just one. Often, I'll visit two a day. I'll like worship a lot at one church, the potential to make friends easily at another, the size of another, the location of yet another. One great thing is that every church I've visited really has solid Biblical teaching, so even though I've been skipping around, I've been hearing some great messages!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Milwaukee Part II

Spending a full 3 days surrounded by policy experts has been . . well, cool. There have been moments on this trip where I have felt pretty useless as to my purpose for being here, since I was stuck overseeing a room every day. However, I've been able to socialize with two clients one-on-one, which is something that I don't believe anyone else in my position at work has been able to do. I also saw someone I knew from Nebraska who we (my company) may be able to work with in the future. (Yay for contributing to our list of contacts!)

I am constantly put in situations that are a greater boost to my self-esteem and make me feel confident of what I am capable of. This is good, because I know that success can only happen when you have a high level of self-esteem (along with several other characteristics, of course). All that to say, I've got a long way to go, but I've learned so much in the past 5 months, it's crazy. I may not be rolling in the big bucks, but I feel like I'm being paid to learn. And for being paid to learn, I'm doing pretty dang good.

Oh, and another cool thing - the former Majority Leader of the ______ State Senate approached me and we had a nice conversation. Preeetty cool. heheh

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Milwaukee, Part I

I forgot how great it is to be alone. I share a room, and I couldn't ask for a better roommate, but there is never complete privacy. When she goes to bed, you're going to bed . . or you're movin' it to the living room. Having my own hotel room, I can put my stuff wherever I want, watch whatever I want, be as loud as I want, set the temp to what I want. If I wanted to, I could dance and sing around the 65 degree room, with the music on, and the television on, while flinging the contents of my suitcase in any direction I choose. And I could do all of this without any clothes on. Not that I want to! But if I wanted to, I could. It's all about freedom really.

Previously, I mentioned the possibility of "Grey's Anatomy" deprivation this week. But, thanks to a last-minute installation by IT, I now have a DVD player on my work laptop, so you know I watched two episodes of "Grey's" on the plane. And not just any plane . . I flew Midwest! . . which means no layovers, large seats, and warm chocolate chip cookies!

My first day and a half has gone smoothly, despite the fact that I dropped my chocolate-covered fork on my new silk shirt, have had problems accessing the internet from my hotel room (although I'm paying for it), and accidentally admitted to a client that I use a competitor's service - doh!

The food is good, and I've successfully located the fitness room . . the latter being crucial, since the former is true. My new strategy is to only finish half my plate when eating regular-to-large sized meals. But I forgot last night. The dessert happened to be particularly good, as well, and it took every fiber of self-control in my slighly overweight (by my standards) body to put.down.the.fork.

I've been able to see a little more than the hotel so far, since we were shuttled over to a donor's large home last night for drinks and appetizers. I saw the art museum (which has 'wings'), Lake Michigan (which the home overlooked), and more of downtown Milwaukee. I would post pictures, but . . . I forgot my camera! Don't ask how, but I did. I'm still alive, but very disappointed.

My co-worker and I decided to be social last night, and went to a nearby bar. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of introducing my new coat to the disgusting smell of smoke, but I went anyway. The entertainer at the Irish pub was so hilarious that the entire bar was laughing, singing along, and dancing as he played his guitar and sang songs (some of which crossed the line into the realm of inappropriate). However, the 80s and 90s sing-a-longs were a b-last!

I'm off to a 2-hour lunch break, which may or may not include a little shopping. Maybe this business trip thing isn't so bad.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Random Work Tales

It's Just Lunch
Nearly every morning without fail, my cube neighbor steps into my cube, takes a seat in my extra chair, and fills me in on his life . . well, not just his life . . his love life. Actually, I’m not sure it can be called a ‘love’ life, since love really doesn’t have a thing to do with it. He’s a chronic lunch-dater, who somehow, despite having lunch and/or drinks with several different girls a week, manages to be a regular-dater of a particular girl. He says their “6 month” is coming up. I wonder, how do you have a 6-month anniversary with someone while she knows (because you openly tell her) that you see other girls? Odd. He’s asked me to help him brainstorm about romantic ways to celebrate this occasion. He already plans to pay one of the street musicians to show up at Dupont Circle at a certain time of night to serenade her. And they always have dinner by candlelight. If I didn’t know any better, I’d be jealous . . but I prefer to date someone who is exclusively dating me and not every girl in D.C. with nice teeth and a Louis Vuitton.

Today, as he and I were quietly discussing “the anniversary”, Leigh and New Girl came over and made jokes about our daily talks. The jokes are a little annoying, since they happen nearly every time we talk . . but today Leigh went a little beyond annoying. “I can always hear you from my cube, because of the way you say your ‘S’’s. You kinda have a lisp, so when you’re trying to talk softly, all I hear are your ‘S’s, and I’m like, ‘Ohmygawd, are you serious?’” . . . and on and on about how I talk. I’m a very good sport and can take a lot of crap, but it was the way she said it. And maybe it bothers me, because I’ve heard people hold their “S”s before and it’s kind of annoying, so does this mean that I am annoying people? Who needs to be self-conscious about how they talk? Not this girl. Because I talk a lot. So, I’m not mad, but it’s quite often that Leigh says things and they come off in a very offensive way. I never snap at people, but I’ve been a little short with her on numerous occasions. And the thing is, I know it’s not intentional. She is a more serious, intense person, but she has a great heart. It’s just that having to remind myself of this at least once a week gets a little old.

No Grey’s?!
At the moment, I have nothing to do at work, which is a great feeling compared to the usual feeling of leg-shaking, nail-biting stress! In four hours, I’ll be boarding a plane to Milwaukee. I wish I was excited, but I got a look at my itinerary and 10 hours a day of managing a room at a conference, plus dinners and after-dinner mixers, just doesn’t sound exciting. The thought of watching “Grey’s Anatomy” (thanks to BSG for lending me Season 2) on the plane and in my hotel room had me very stoked, but I just realized that my work laptop doesn’t play DVDs. “Seriously!”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Day Trip

Big Sky Girl and I decided to make good use of our Saturday by taking a short trip to Maryland's capital, Annapolis. I had heard how cute it was there, right on the water . . sailboats and old buildings . . amazing crab sandwiches, crab soup, you name it. Oh! and let's not forget all the Navy boys walking around, because the Naval Academy is right there.

Before getting to the harbor, we made a stop at the Pennsylvania Dutch farmer's market. You know it took everything in me to not whip out my camera and snap a few photos of the Amish folk. The first thing BSG and I spotted was the case of cakes. We immediately purchased one slice each: coconut for BSG and banana cake for me. The market was like a grocery store. They had everything, including candies, flour, spices, meats, pretzels, everything. On my way out, I snatched a bag of chocolate covered pretzels for my roommate, KC, and BSG and I vowed to return in a couple of weeks . . with a cooler!

Historic Annapolis was so cute . . one of those places you want to immediately move to, because how could life get better than this? . . living right on the harbor in the sailing capital of America. We walked blocks and blocks around the area in our blazers and pointed toe shoes, clearly sticking out amongst other tourists. We ate at a restaurant on the water . . hamburgers topped with crab meat . . mixing our love of beef with a taste of the coast. (To be honest, though, I should've stuck with a crab cake sandwich.)

We plan to return soon - next time to actually walk around the Naval Academy and maybe talk to a real estate agent about moving there.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My First Mistake

I’d like to start my post with a short prayer:

“Dear Lord, I want to thank you for not allowing me to be at my desk when Boston came by yesterday all fired up. Thank you that he had hours to calm down before seeing me, and thank you that the situation wasn’t worse . . although it was a really bad mistake. I pray that the partner who suffered embarassment in front of the client because of my mistake will somehow be able to move past this situation and continue to be kind to me in the future and not regret that he was the one who decided to hire me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Oh, it was bad, people. My first mistake was not.good. There are several things that can make a person sick to their stomach . . and finding a client report that they put together on their chair with a post-it that reads, “This is NOT good” is one of them.

The jist of what happened it this: I included a piece of information for Client #1 in Client #2’s report, so when a partner in my firm, along with Boston (who I report to) was sitting in front of fifteen people at Client #2’s office, he was more than a little embarrassed. In fact, he left the room . . because of my mistake.

I've been daydreaming about the days Boston would tell me how awesome I was and how much he wanted me on his team . . because I'm pretty sure those days are gone.

So, I guess what I’ve learned from this is: Don’t make mistakes. Just don’t do it. That is today’s bit of wisdom.

Happiest Day of the Week

Tuesday of this week, I sat at my desk and, despite the craziness of work, just smiled. The happiness was gushing out my ears. I had just purchased not one, but two plane tickets. Not only am I going home in November, I am going back to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving. Both trips will be 5 day trips – two 5 day trips in a month! I can’t wait to see my family, smell the cold Nebraska air, watch my cousin walk down the aisle finally, and eat a Monterey chicken sandwich at Charleston’s.

Best Friend will be in New Hampshire again, and her someday-father-in-law (no, she’s not engaged yet) will be getting re-married (his wife passed away), which will be so sweet to see. And this will be my first holiday with Best Friend!

In addition to my November trips, I’ll be going to Milwaukee on my second business trip next week (another 5 days gone). I’m also waiting on my itinerary for 72-hour RNC deployment for the upcoming elections.

This year has been pretty insane as far as traveling. I’m hoping to add a couple more states before the year is up, too.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Didn't take pictures inside but . .

The Oval Office is "in there"

The President walks down this corridor to his office each morning. He was there while we were there.

The garden.

FULL of fun

My weekend was FULL of fun, involving black men, dancing, singing, the Oval Office, and of course Husker football at its finest.

Loaded . . with bad intentions
I met DP on the Hill at Tortilla Coast. Leigh invited him to eat with us. It was supposed to be work girls' night out with New Girl, Leigh, and I, but she just had to go and invite her two new friends. DP, dressed in very nice suit and driving a Range Rover, initially claimed he was unemployed and lived at home with his mother. I didn't buy it for one second. Just as I suspected, he had played in the NFL for years. DP, for some reason, paid way too much attention to me, but I thought he was slightly amusing . . at least enough to let him come along as we flitted from one bar to the other, visiting a low-key lounge, my favorite karaoke place, and finally hitting up Smith Point, that "exclusive" preppie bar in Georgetown I've mentioned before. Smith Point has a list that you most often have to be on in order to get in. We know people and could've gotten on the list, but forgot to make arrangements. DP's friend told the owner who DP was and we immediately cut in line and went right in. Dancing was fun there, as it always is, but DP was way too forward. Unfortunately, he already had my number (I'm too nice and can't say NO) and now won't leave me alone. Leigh told him that night, "I'll be real with you. If you don't love the Lord, you don't have a chance." Somehow it didn't deter him, but I've made up my mind to stop taking his phone calls, as I'm not naive enough to think he's not full of bad intentions.

The West Wing
Saturday, Bruin Girl (who attends my Bible study) gave a bunch of us a tour of the West Wing of the White House. It was so great. She was very knowledgable about everything and had plenty of stories to tell. She travels with Mr. President and his family all the time, so she knows him well and is his biggest fan. He even gave her a dog that was rescued in Biloxi, Mississippi after the hurricane. She said the only things the President likes to do when at his ranch are to go biking and clear brush, and if you're on call with him, then you will be clearing brush all day, too . . haha. Another interesting thing is that he makes his staff (and he does as well) pay for their food at the White House. The Navy serves food there, but he doesn't believe that taxpayers should have to pay for the meals of he and and his staff. Bruin Girl has (long story short) flown on Air Force One by herself with 9 secret service agents. She got to sit in the cockpit and call her family, etc. Wow! Needless to say, very interesting stuff. Mrs. Bush designed the rug in the Oval Office, which is very pretty, and Bruin Girl explained why she designed it the way she did with light colors and "sun rays" coming out of the middle . . she wanted anyone who came in the room to know that someone optimistic worked there.

Gooo Biiiig Reeed
After the tour, I threw on one of my many beautiful red and white Husker shirts and headed to a bar near Union Station to watch the game with a bunch of people I didn't know. (I met a girl a few weeks ago from Nebraska and she invited me to watch the game with a bunch of Nebraskans she knew.) Now I knew this bar showed Nebraska games, but what I didn't know was that all they showed was the Nebraska game. Three rooms full of Husker fans and big screen TVs. It was heaven . . certainly the next best thing to being at the actual game. We sang the songs, chanted the cheers, waved our hands in the air after they kicked it in for the extra point, and never got tired of watching the same Nebraska commercials they've been playing for years. On top of having such a fabulous time, I met a couple of Christians in the group!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Farmtown Grandma

After the tears had dried the other night, I called Farmtown Grandma to wish her a happy birthday. She and I don’t talk often, so it was nice to hear her voice. At the age of 73, she has to be one of the most active senior citizens alive. She works two jobs and does all of her own handyman jobs around the house. She wouldn’t dream of hiring anyone. Add to that her passion for sewing and a weekly country dance class and you’ve got quite the lady.

She told me a story about the new (only pretty old, but repaired) riding lawnmower she just bought. (Yes, she mows her own lawn, and this is the first time she’s bought a riding mower since moving to town). Apparently, it broke down on her mid-mow and she didn’t want it to sit out in the rain that night, so she pushed it, yes pushed it by herself, all the way around the house and into the shed.

I’m not surprised, but it always makes me smile to hear her stories. The last time I visited her, she told me how lazy she had been that day. She had fallen asleep on the couch for 2 hours when she had so much else to do. Never mind that she had already mowed her lawn, fertilized it, and cleaned out both machines that day.

Toward the end of our call, my cousin Elli called in on the landline. Grandma insisted on putting the cell phone and the cordless up to each other so Elli and I could try to talk! So funny!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Few things make me sad to the point of crying . . . unless it's that time of the month, in which case everything makes me sad to the point of crying. So when I cried tonight and checked the calendar, it just didn't make sense. I was legitimately sad. Hormones were playing no part in this.

It wasn't because Shae just left. It wasn't because I couldn't afford that cute shirt at BCBG. It wasn't even because Nebraska lost on Saturday.

My roommate is moving out. And I love her. I think I'm realizing that she's one of my favorite people here. I live with three girls. All are wonderful. But she is the only one I exercise with. She is the only one I go to Costco with. The only one I hang out with on the weekends. The only one I've gone to church with (well, until last week). The only one who holds me accountable. The only one who brings friends over . . not fiances or serious boyfriends, but friends. And, lest I forget, the one who keeps our closet stocked with paper towels and toilet paper.

I now see that KC makes living here fun! I share a room with EB, who is wonderful, sweet, etc, but she's with her fiance every single night. Of course, it's to be expected, but it means I don't see her all that often. And TM is also sweet, but more quiet and introverted. The only way I know she lives here is because there are crumbs on the counter every morning and flowers from her boyfriend at least once a month.

KC is only moving 5 minutes away, but it makes a difference! She'll be living with her best friend now. I won't just run into her and spontaneously hit up the tanning salon with her. I won't randomly get the details about her boy situation, life, etc. So much more effort has to go into it. It's not the same. Believe me, it's happened before.

On top of that, who will move in here?? Perhaps she'll be just as wonderful . . maybe more. But there is no guarantee of that. What if she's quiet, boring, or heaven forbid, seriously dating someone?

I know if I pray about it, it will all fall into place. God knows who the next roommate will be. But . . I'm still sad.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Friend in Town!

There have been several times this past week that I've wanted to write, but no time . . absolutely NO time. I've stayed up until 12 and 1am doing work, and on Wednesday night, my friend Shae flew into town.

The past few days with her have been a blast! As I've driven her around and shown her different parts of D.C., I've continually thought, "I live here. I love that I live here." And I do. When I think about rarely seeing my friends and family back home, it does make me sad. I'll always be cramming in visits with people on the few weekends a year I do spend in Nebraska. I now have to think about who are my closest friends and the people I want to spend time with when I go home. The people I want to keep in touch with and call on the phone. The people I want in my life for years to come. The others I will probably just hear about. The emails will become less and less. Maybe, if I'm lucky, we'll send Christmas cards. But there are few people that I will maintain strong friendships with. And I hope they stay strong. I hope they care as much as I do about holding onto them, no matter how far apart we are or where life takes us.

And if I would've known a year ago that this would be my life, I would've stomped my feet, crossed my arms, and refused to go along with this plan. But despite the changes and the distance, it's a good plan. And it's somehow been an easy plan to adjust to. For that I am very grateful. It's truly been the Lord who has opened door after door. It's been Him introducing me to people. People that love Him, too. It's been Him giving me more responsibility at work and giving me confidence that I can handle it, that I can do it well. It's all been Him.

Having had 4 visitors already in the 4 months I've lived here has been a blessing, too. So far, Shae and I have had so much fun. Thursday night, we went out to a fundraiser at the yuppie Republican bar in Georgetown. (Remember the pics of the crazy pants? It's those folks :) Vanderbilt was there with his friends, and we had an amazing time. They have the best D.J. there and an outdoor courtyard, etc. We lost track of time dancing, and before we knew it, it was 2am. We went a few shops down to a pizza place for huge pieces of pizza and weren't home until 3am. And I worked the next morning - ouch!

Friday night, we used my company's tickets to go to the Nationals game at RFK. Afterward, we headed to my favorite karaoke bar. Today, we visited the National Cathedral, which is incredible and made me so in awe of who God is. The building was beautiful, but it just gave such a picture to me of how big and beautiful and worthy God is. That amazing building was built for His glory. Afterward, we ate at a Spanish tapas bar, which was delicious! We went shopping at Zara in Georgetown, too.

My roommate, EB, got engaged tonight. It was so cute! Her boyfriend is Chilean and they had about 30 people over to celebrate Chilean Independence Day and spent hours upon hours making empanadas and a several-layer cake. He proposed in front of all their friends, and it was beautiful :)

Then, we watched NE get beat. So sad, but it could've been much worse. We didn't embarass ourselves. They only beat the spread by 1/2 a point.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dinner Party

New Girl hosted a dinner party the other day, and I can't help but rave about it. You all know how much I love, love, love food! And the only thing I love more than food is . . . eating it with people! Community!

She invited Leigh, Vanderbilt, and myself over, and you know I took pictures. (Big Sky Girl is probably laughing right now, because she's not only read about, but has experienced my obsession with picture-taking.)

We started off with some wine, of course. . . followed by hummus and veggies . . . and then this, which is bruschetta with some delicious tomato-something, and avocado and brie. Yumm!

The main meal was salad with tomatoes and mozzarella covered in balsamic vinaigrette, crescent rolls filled with basil and parmesan, and cheese ravioli.

And dessert was chocolate souffle and whipped cream layered with raspberries throughout and wafers on top.

Amazing! New Girl is quite the cook.