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.