Saturday, May 31, 2008

No need to be disappointed!

I didn't have to feel disappointed for long. On Tuesday afternoon, my friend KC and I drove up to Baltimore to stay the night with her step-brother and go to his game: Orioles v. Yankees. Although Johnny had spent the night on Monday, I didn't want to get my hopes up. Sure enough, he had moved to the hotel that night, and I couldn't expect to meet him or any other Yankees that evening.

At the game, we sat behind home plate with her step-brother's wife as she blew him kisses every time he glanced back at her before going up to bat. His son had given both he and Johnny Damon "home run kisses" that morning at breakfast, and within the same inning they proved to be effective. :) After sitting out the rain delay in a suite with several other baseball wives, we watched the Orioles take the game. We were then given player guest passes and allowed to head to the basement after the game. I sat in the hallway right outside the locker room, just waiting for the Yankees to begin exiting in their street clothes, ready to head to the hotel for the night.

The first guy I cared to meet was Joba Chamberlain, a 22-year old Nebraskan who was just moved up to the major leagues last August. He has so far been an excellent relief pitcher, but it has just been announced that he'll have his first start on Monday! I was able to chat with him briefly about our home state and what I'm doing in the area, and of course have my picture taken with him.

Before long, Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi were walking down the hall together. They stopped to talk to KC's step-brother's wife and suddenly they were turning and reaching out their hands to shake mine! My hat was taken note of, and after exchanging a few words, I was having my picture taken with them as well!

Just moments after Johnny and Jason had left, I saw him - one of the best all-around ball players in the major leagues, A-Rod. He stopped to shake the hand of his pilot (a man who I would spend the evening with, even staying at the same house) but continued walking. And that's when I did it. I annoyed Alex Rodriguez.

"Alex!" I called out, trying to maintain a friendly tone. Nothing.
"Alex!!" I shouted again. He still kept walking.
One more time, "ALEX!" I yelled as a final attempt. And then he turned, but only his head.
"HI!" I said, excited that my shouts had been successful.
"Hi," he said unethusiastically.
"I just wanted to meet you," I said sweetly.
"Nice meeting you," he said in an insincere, annoyed tone. And he walked away.

More like A-hole, seriously. And even the people that coordinate his flights on his private jet agree. They call him that when he's not around. Throughout the rest of the evening, I was let in on the gossip, and it was interesting (and sad) to have that glimpse into someone's life. I would never want to marry a ball player. But I'm thrilled that I got to meet some!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

bad decision

This is the man I should've met today: New York Yankee Johnny Damon. I spent an amazing weekend at the Jersey Shore with a big group of friends, but decided to head home last night versus today.

In doing so, I was able to enjoy Memorial Day free of traffic and hours on the road. I went to the gym, laid out by my pool, had lunch on the Waterfront, made a gourmet dinner for my roommate (who will be moving next week), and had a dance party in my living room. (My roommates and I attempted to teach our fourth roommate how to "get down".)

But in going home early, I totally missed Johnny! My friend's step-brother plays for the Orioles, used to play for the Red Sox, and is therefore friends with Johnny Damon. On the drive back to D.C., the girls stopped at her brother's house to hang out and Johnny came home with him (from the game) to attend a neighbor's BBQ! A-Rod was on his way, as well, but my cute Yankee-loving friend said she couldn't handle staying for the BBQ due to her now-sweaty armpits and inability to speak!

I love the Yankees, so I am kicking myself right now! (I DID meet Derek Jeter a couple years ago, but a "hang out" it was not!)

Friday, May 23, 2008


Look at that - all caps! Yes, it was a good time. And I was not nervous once I made it out to the car. I am a dork! - not that that is news. More later . . probably.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Having all day to prepare for a non-date - or a date (not quite sure what this is) - can't be good. I don't think I have a single hair on my face, my skin has the perfect amount of shimmer and glow, I am sufficiently lotioned, and I smell great. I'm hungry, but I can't eat. Wouldn't want an EBS, an emergency bathroom situation. Sixteen minutes until he gets here. But who's counting? Gosh, I hope this goes well. "Girl, you have fifteen minutes to get it together," my roommate just said. I'm usually never nervous for this stuff. Because hello, I'm awesome and so much fun, and it's his lucky day today! Yet right now I'm a bit anxious. Maybe if I visualize things going smoothly . . I mean, it's not just the fear of awkwardness. This isn't the first date, so what is going on? Why the sudden interest again? Whatever, I don't care. I'm signing off and will be back with a full, or half-full report (depending on how much I decide to share). "You've got nine minutes," she just said, laughing. Oh, how she loves to harrass me.


I've been reading Stephanie Klein's blog for three years now, and I just finished her first book, "Straight Up and Dirty". Although a little too dirty for my taste in some parts, I absolutely love the way she writes - which is why I'm so excited to purchase her new book, "Moose" and attend her reading in D.C. on June 2nd. Below, I've included a video advertising the new memoir about her childhood experiences at fat camp. By embedding this video, I now have a chance to win an Hermes scarf! Stephanie is the queen of maximizing the versatility of an Hermes scarf. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

remembering florida

This is Triston, one my favorite children in the entire world. Ok, he might actually be my favorite. The things that come out of his mouth! I especially liked the time he said "Wora! That's a beautiful dress!" Why thank you!
I dare you to find a cuter baby than this. Look at that hair and those eyes!

Yes, I met the Monsters - probably my favorite characters to meet.

This stuff isn't just for the kids.

I miss them!

glorious time off

I'm already savoring this time off from the working world. And I'm making sure I don't waste a second of it.

Although I can't quite remember what I did last Friday, aside from going to the gym and wishing I could go to work (my last day was Thursday), today has been especially productive. I've once again spent time at the gym, filled out all my paperwork for the new job, sent some important emails, and best off all . . golfed. The forecast is rain for the next three days, so I wanted to take advantage of the 70 degree temps and sunshine. I'm not sure I've ever golfed alone, but it was even more wonderful than I imagined. I was able to focus much more on my form without being distracted by anyone around me. I played well, and hopefully I can make it back to the course over these next two weeks.

My last day at work was strange, I suppose, and the hardest part was turning in my laptop and Blackberry. HR came by my desk at 5:30pm, and I reluctantly agreed to shut down my computer. Holding on 'til the very last second. I had a nice lunch with some of my favorite co-workers and stopped by a few desks to say goodbye. I'm sad when I think that my time there has come to an end, but I know that I'll quickly adapt to my new environment. I celebrated my last day by finally indulging in crepes from the first floor cafe - that's right, plural! I enjoyed a ham, egg, and cheese crepe for breakfast and went back for a chocolate banana crepe after lunch. It's a good thing I didn't start indulging sooner, because I'm afraid it would've become a daily ritual!

I'm off to have some dinner and see that "Vegas" movie with a friend . .

Thursday, May 15, 2008

gift giving

What on Earth do you give a good friend as a medical school graduation gift? Help!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

in love

It's no secret that it doesn't take much to get me excited. And now I give you another case in point: Harris Teeter.

I am in love with Mr. Teeter. Why, you ask?

It is here that I find perfectly stocked rows, amazingly fresh produce (including monster Fuji apples), the loveliest wine collection I've ever laid eyes on, and oh the selection. In the past, it's the mall that has been my weakness. Now, it's Harris Teeter. So many exciting things to try - sweet potato chips, tomato basil ramen noodles, caramelized onion pasta sauce, Grapples (looks like an apple, tastes like a grape!) even pints from my favorite local ice cream shop, Gifford's. I find myself throwing everything in my cart, believing I'm going to go home and cook extravagant meals (well, compared my usual pb&j). It's only when I get up to the checkout line that I realize I'm still the same lazy girl in the kitchen. But Harris Teeter makes me wish I wasn't!

And that is why I am in love. Harris Teeter makes me want to be a better person.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Official!

I have a new job!, official as of five hours ago. And boy does God have a sense of humor, because my last day at my current job? It's Thursday. He's made the phrase "not a moment too soon" a familiar part of my vocabulary. And before you go thinking I was dumb enough to quit one job before landing another, just stop. I won't get into the details, but that was certainly not the case.

Because my new job requires mucho paperwork and security clearance, I will have a solid two weeks with nothing to do. If you could please hold me accountable to hitting the gym every day, it would be greatly appreciated! Also, my room needs cleaning and organizing which should take a good five days. Other than that, I plan to sunbathe on my rooftop or the hammock on my balcony and maybe attempt to take a big bite out of that 1,000 page book I mentioned many months ago, a book that I've read a whole two chapters of, but it took me about ten hours (only a slight exaggeration).

This new job is not just an answer to prayer. This is the satisfying of my heart's desires! Desires I did not even verbalize because I had no idea what they would look like, nor did I want to have the expectation that I would receive them. But God knew, He put them there after all, and He wanted to bless me with them. I am completely blown away. I am so very grateful.

I am also so very scared. Sort of. I have overwhelming peace, because I know He would never give me something I couldn't handle, but it also feels so much bigger than me that I can't help but wonder how things are gonna go.

Because the agency is so ginormous, made up of tons and tons of bureaus, I feel comfortable stating where it is I will now be employed: The U.S. Dep.artment of St.ate, the government agency that handles foreign affairs. I won't explain what it is I will specifically be doing, but I'm very excited about it. And it does involve travel, sometimes international.

If you were all here, we could go out for some celebratory drinks, because I certainly feel like celebrating!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I am ex-haus-ted. Truly. And the tiredness wasn't helped by the horrible turbulence I had flying into D.C. this evening amidst the wind and rain that apparently plans to stick around for several days. Ugh.

After returning from Orlando on Tuesday, I emptied my suitcase and packed it right back up again. Following a friend's bachelorette shindig on Thursday evening, I flew out Friday morning to attend my cousin's wedding in Indiana. I skipped that friend's black-tie wedding for the simple wedding of a family member, and I'm very glad I did.

The hotel was ghetto with broken exercise equipment and mystery stains on the underside of the comforter, but I'm still alive and well. Each night, we gathered on the couches for family time - my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my parents, and my siblings and my grandma. Homemade cookies and GORP (good ol' raisins and peanuts) were passed around until the hour was late, and we were off to bed.

Most family members hit the road early this morning to drive twelve hours back to Nebraska, but I spent the day at my cousins' farmhouse south of Indianapolis. It's the coziest, most loving place I know. Lunch included my aunt's famous sloppy joes, and I tried hard not to laugh upon hearing what was on the menu. She is an excellent cook, but this is a frequent go-to meal for her and her family of nine (now eight with one married). The cousins are quite musically talented, so we gathered in their new addition to hear them sing a few songs (microphones, keyboard, and bongo drums included). The time flew by too fast, and soon I was off to the airport with my great uncle and his wife.

There is so much more I should write, because I never want to forget these special moments with my family. . but I can hardly keep my eyes open.

Tomorrow is the first day of the last week at my job. Eeee! It will be bittersweet, strange to pack up and and say goodbye, but exciting to know that something new is on the horizon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

farewell to florida

I'm sitting here with Triston, playing videos of dolphins on YouTube.

"Is that a common dolphin?" he keeps asking. And when tired of watching just now, he fell onto his side on the couch and exclaimed, "These pictures are wearing me out!"

All this cuteness makes me want to stuff him in my suitcase and take him home with me. I am sad that my friends and I are going separate ways. Who knows when I'll be able to spend such an extended amount of time with them again.

It's rare that anyone feels ready to head home after spending days by the pool, at amusement parks, and with such wonderful people . . but I think I might die of exhaustion if I don't end the fun now. The late nights in the hot tub and hours in the sun have me completely fried.

I'll post some pictures soon, but what would you like to see? Pictures of me with all the Disney characters I met? Because there are A LOT. More pictures of characters than of me eating food. Shocking, I know. Especially considering the fact that I've never had an obsession with the princesses or any other animation for that matter. But I figured how many times do you have a chance to shake hands with a monster?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

fun in florida

Florida is fantastic. Our five-bedroom rental house has a pool and a hot tub right out the back door. Rather than spending every day at Disney, we've been laying out by the pool and getting a lot of sun - much more fun than toting small children around amusement parks in upper-80 degree temperatures. All that said, we did spend a few hours at Sea World yesterday and plan to see Adventure Island tomorrow. I've never been to Disney World, believe it or not, so I'm hopeful it will happen.

I love these children, all four of them: 4 year-old girl, 3 year-old boy, 6 month-old boy, and 3 month-old boy. The 3 year-old, Triston, is a crack-up all the time. My good friends' son, he is one of my all-time favorite children. Always, always saying something hilarious.

Just now, as we're watching Ratatouille:
"I don't want to hear another word about rats! I don't like 'em!"

Triston is petrified of getting water in his eyes during bathtime, and although I've proven myself trustworthy, he shakes, whines, and worries that I won't wash his hair the right way. Upon successfully finishing the task with no water in the eyes, I asked him to say "You are awesome, Laura! You didn't get water in my eyes!" He repeated after me. The following night, as I was rinsing his hair amidst his whimpering and whining, he asked,

"Wora, are you awesome?" *crying while speaking*
"Well, we're all done, and I didn't get water in your eyes."
"You're awesome, Wora! . . . . I'm happy now!!" *smiling*

Not wanting his dad to leave for the evening, he exclaimed, "Daaad, don't leave. I don't appreciate that."

There are many more moments where those came from, and I'll be sad to leave my friends as we fly home to our separate locations on Tuesday. It's been a blessing to be here!

. . signing off as the kiddos are dancing to the rolling credits.