Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things (Part 2)

1. ice cream with homemade mix-ins
2. helping a friend decorate
3. finding the perfect baby gift for a co-worker
4. long showers
5. luxurious body creme


When you have a terrible cold, there's nothing more wonderful than a friend who picks you up only to take you back to her place for movie night with all the girls, because she "just wants to see you".

I'm so thankful for KC. In many of my friendships, I've felt like the one that does the most calling, the one that pursues the other just a little bit more. Always well-received when I reach out, but not quite as often on the receiving end myself. And I haven't felt unloved because of it. I've rarely even noticed. And when I have, I've reminded myself that friendships should be without expectations, yet full of anticipation. But this friendship has blessed me in a new way. It's nice to feel asked for your friendship sometimes, even though you would've given it freely anyway.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Northwest Pictures

I may have taken less pictures during my trip to Portland and Seattle than I ever have on any trip.

I kind of regret it. Here are a few that I did take:
It was so great seeing K again, this time in her city - Seattle. It's the third time we've gotten together. I love blog friends!
The view of Seattle from Kerry Park. I wish I'd had my fancy camera with me, because this picture makes it look so tiny and faint.

The typical Seattle pictures, of course. Did I mention I LOVE it there?

The NIKE campus was beautiful, but once I met up with my colleague, I put my camera back in my purse.
One of the many, many amenities for those employed by NIKE. Jealous.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good advice

If you haven't heard or read the sweet letter the Bush twins wrote to the Obama daughters, click here. Very moving.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things

I'm not taking the 365 day challenge, but sometimes it's nice to give thanks for the little stuff.

1. a crate of perfectly sweet clementines
2. a paper cup of wine in the copy room with co-workers
3. frosties and french fries
4. movies that make you thankful for the big stuff, like your best friend
5. going to bed a little early on a Friday night

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Springs!

Colorado Springs was wonderful! I am so thankful for friends with whom you can pick up right where you left off. I can't even remember the last time I relaxed and slowed down this much, and it was so refreshing. I slept enough, ate plenty, and enjoyed every minute of being with my friend and her husband and daughter. I already miss seeing that sweet baby face in the morning, and I'm afraid all my Guitar Hero World Tour skills will be lost in no time. I wish I could just run over to their house whenever I wanted - to eat a meal, to watch 24, to rock 'n roll, or to have a dance party - which we totally forgot to do this time, gah!

I don't have my pictures uploaded quite yet, but Toothgirl posted plenty and wrote all about my time there.

Thank you for the wonderful time Friends!

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Travel

I just landed in D.C. after a red-eye flight from Seattle, a city I was so sad to leave. I had a very fun dinner with K before hurrying off to the airport, and I almost cried in the cab as I watched the buildings fade from my view. What a weirdo I am. However, I must say that my 36 hours were well-spent, both professionally and personally, and I can't wait to go back in February! Right now, it's on to even more fun, as I am about to switch out my carry-on contents and head back to the airport. Ok, that part will not be fun at all after today's red-eye, but I'll be landing in Colorado this evening, and I'm so excited to spend a long weekend with my friends and their adorable baby girl. I'm also happy to be leaving crazy-town (D.C. estimates 2 million visitors this weekend) and all the inauguration festivities. I better get to packin'!

Scarves at Nordstrom

Besides another round of meetings yesterday, I spent a little time in the flagship Nordstrom. And although I left without buying anything (and there was so much on sale!), I fell in love with several scarves. In addition to the below Ikat prints, I am obsessed with the multi-colored Tarnish scarves they had on display. Obsessed! I can find them nowhere online, which is probably a good thing, because I'm afraid I would have to order one. They aren't very pricey, and they are very beautiful!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Plan B

Plan A, which was kind of a sucky plan to begin with, fell through tonight (truly by the grace of my Father), and as I was walking through downtown Seattle on the verge of loneliness tears, I asked the doorman at a nice restaurant, "Should I eat here?"

He responded by taking me inside what I later learned is the top downtown steakhouse - a place Bill Gates frequents, along with every other CEO in town. I sat at the bar, made friends with the bartenders and other bar diners, and treated myself to a fancy meal: complementary blueberry pomtini and lobster bisque, filet mignon Oscar medallions, and chocolate lava cake. I was more than just full.

My new friends offered to take me around the city, and what a tour I got! Views from not only the 30th floor of a building just two blocks from the water, but also Kerry Park. Click here to see what I saw (except not at dawn). We drove through the swanky Queen Anne neighborhood, stopping here for a glass of wine, but changing our minds and heading here for some live music and a beer. The night ended in the Fremont neighborhood at an Irish pub playing darts. I was ready to get to bed after so much running around, but I'm hopeful that tomorrow night could be half as much fun.

I love it here!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


After only 4 hours here, I'm loving Seattle. In fact, I think I fell in love in the cab on my way to the hotel. Water and mountains. And just walking around downtown, I love the vibe. I also walked a few blocks to Pike Place Market (of course) and bought a couple of small paintings that I love. I ate a bbq salmon sandwich with chipotle aioli while looking out on Puget Sound. And as I type this, I can see it, too. I upgraded to a room on the 34th floor with a great view! I'm off to a meeting and then I'll have the evening to hopefully do some more exploring.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

a very long day!

First thing I did after returning to my hotel room after a 12-hour marathon of meetings: DANCE. During my last meeting, I was wishing desperately to be in bed, not sitting there pretending to care so much about green buildings.

Last thing I want to do now: go find food . . because it requires leaving my room, and I am feeling way too lazy for any walking right now.

Best part of my day: visiting the Nike headquarters. Gorgeous campus, people! Acres and acres of land, with a beautiful pond/lake, a Japanese garden, a huge soccer field where professional teams often practice, running trails through wooded areas, tennis courts, restaurants, statues, huge posters of famous athletes and buildings named after them. I ate Maria Sharapova's favorite sandwich for lunch, and I'm pretty sure it is now my favorite sandwich: grilled chicken, proscuitto, tomato, cream cheese, and lettuce on focaccia bread. I'm working on a public-private project with Nike, so I was given a tour of the campus and access to their huge employee store where everything is at least 40% off. And did you know they own Cole Haan? It took a lot of self-control, but I didn't walk out with much. Everything on campus is dedicated to a Nike-endorsed athlete, and each building has cases of that athlete's memorabilia. For instance, Tiger Woods had exact replicas made of all his trophies and gave them to Nike. It was such a cool thing to see.

Best part of my night: will be planning my sight-seeing activities for Seattle tomorrow!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Did I once say traveling alone wasn't so bad? I LIED. It sucks majorly.

Here is a list of things that aren't as much fun to do alone:

- explore a new city (Portland, OR)
- take pictures
- do photobooth (yes, I did this ALONE - with the encouragement of some cute young girls)
- eat delicious food (like rigatoni with pork, peas, and mushrooms)
- treat yourself to ice cream
- watch 24

Hopefully I can meet up with a friend while in Seattle, because I am so over doing stuff alone.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Omaha Design Guide

As much as I've fallen in love with the District of Columbia, I know it isn't news to you that I still have a great fondness in my heart for where I came from: Omaha, Nebraska.

One of my favorite design blogs features a long list of city guides, and I was thrilled to see that Omaha made the list last month. Check it out, and you'll get an idea of why I think O-town is O-so-great.


I always try to fit too much in!

Babysitting last night, brunch with the girls this morning, a coffee shop catch-up, at work right now and ice skating in the Sculpture Garden this afternoon. And I still have to pack for two trips!

This next week of work is really going to take me out of my comfort zone, but I'm pretty excited about it. A sen.ator's office is setting up a marathon of meetings for me with local companies and business organizations, so I can solicit their support for the initiative I work on. If all goes well, the event I'm planning next month will be a well-supported success!


Thursday, January 08, 2009

The "No Subject" Dragon

And the email chain just keeps on going. You know that long, annoying email that wouldn’t end? Thanks to Mr. “Has this been resolved?”, it still hasn’t died. After possibly 24 hours of silence from all recipients, this man started it back up again, and the hundred plus emails I’ve since received have threatened to cause our server to crash. I was hardly able to open my Outlook this morning.

Here are some of my favorite replies, though:

In response to “STOP REPLYING TO ALL!!! NO MORE EMAIL REPLIES.”, a woman writes: “Ditto”.


“FOOLS!! Stop replying all”

“I’m emailing Scott Adams (Dilbert). He will never believe this.”

“Please keep them coming! This is the first time in a long time that I have been in the loop on a truly global issue.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if this mess ended up in the Washington Post.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This Week I Love . .

. . suddenly planning a quick business trip to Portland and Seattle next week!

. . a fun, new class at the gym: Body Combat

. . catching up with BF

. . more bowl games on TV

. . J. Crew Crewcuts for kids, modeled by my cousin's daughter
. . Homemade Black Bean and Tortilla Soup and Chunky Guacamole, made by myself and my roommate. . looking forward to fun weekend plans

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve was pretty low-key and plenty of fun this year. Better yet, it was cheap. I only spent $7.77 on pita chips and hummus for the church gathering. The two drinks I had at the bar were on my friends. Fun is so much 'funner' when it's free!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2008 Travels

I really outdid myself this year, visiting seventeen places in twelve months. I've bolded new places.

January: New York City
February: Avalon, NJ
March: Omaha, NE
May: Orlando, FL and Lafayette, IN and Mantoloking, NJ
June: Toronto, Ontario and Ocean City, MD
July: Omaha, NE and Philadelphia, PA
August: Boston, MA (incl. Portsmouth, NH, York, ME, Newburyport, MA)
September: Omaha, NE and Kansas City, KS
October: Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco, CA and Vancouver, BC
December: Omaha, NE

And I already have four trips scheduled for the next two months! As much I love traveling and seeing new places, I wouldn't mind spending more time at home this year. I have great friends here and so many things I still haven't seen or done. It's nice to relax and just be home sometimes.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I did a little traveling solo. Granted it was only a couple of days, but being the social person that I am, it was kind of a big deal!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I will say the very same thing I said last year: Rather than resolving to do something, which only works if I've decided to go shopping or let myself indulge in sweets, I like to reflect on my year, take note of my failures or areas I could improve, and then purpose to do so in the coming year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Four of my friends had babies this year! Babies Londyn, Maya, Mia, and Colton.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
no, praise God

5. What countries did you visit?
Does Canada count? I visited twice: Toronto and Vancouver.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Last year I said I want closer friends here in D.C., people I can do nothing with and love every second of it. And I definitely got that this year. In 2009, it would be nice to have a boyfriend. There, I said it. Ugh. I certainly don't need one, and I'm having a blast on my own, but sometimes . . I think it could be nice. Sometimes I get tired of doing different things with different people all the time. I'd rather do different things with the same person.

Other than that, I'd love to have my own room again. I've been sharing one for 2 1/2 years. It's been wonderful, but having a space to make my own would be great! Ideal scenario: I find a fantastic girl who has a cute couch and a television to contribute, but other than that will let me decorate. We find an affordable, cute apartment within walking distance to a metro and less than 2 miles from where I currently live. Ha! I can dream.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 5th, my little sister's wedding and June 2nd, the first day at my new job

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
There are a few things I accomplished at my new job that I'm pretty proud of. In fact, I am pretty thrilled that I scored the job I did. But I view that as more of a miracle of God than my own achievement. :)

9. What was your biggest failure?
I failed to resist the smooth moves of The Texan again. But God rescued me quickly!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had tendonitis in my foot, and I sprained my ACL.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my Nikon D60

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My entire family for actively loving someone that previously caused us a lot of pain and strife

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No depression, but I was seriously disappointed in learning some things about The Kansan. I still think he's a "good guy", but I would advise all women to steer clear until he figures out what he wants and stops leading on a handful of women at a time.

14. Where did most of your money go? Plane tickets, MacBook, D60 - ouch!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? my sister's wedding and all the water-skiing I got to do

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
"Dance Forever" - Chris Brown

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? happier b) thinner or fatter? thinner c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading, exercising, and serving

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Nothing. I did way too much of nothing this year, which translates into letting the computer suck hours and hours of sweet, precious time from my life, time I can't ever have back! Gah!

20. How did you spend Christmas?
with my family, and it was wonderful

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

22. How many one-night stands?
seriously? of course not.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
The Office once again

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I'm not struggling with any extreme dislike for anyone.

25. What was the best book you read?
Another ridiculous year for reading. I was determined to finish 1,000 page "Master of the Senate", but although it's an excellent book, it's not one you can't put down. Because of my (failed) determination, I refused to join the Barnes and Noble book club and buy any more books until I finished the big one. I'm not even half way through it! I won't make the same mistake this year. I did read a couple of additional books, but none worth mentioning. However, an excellent devotional I recommend is "Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice" by Dallas Willard and Jan Johnson.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Radiohead and Taylor Swift

27. What did you want and get?
I finally got the D60, which has been at the top of my want list forever.

28. What did you want and not get?
Nothing is coming to mind.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
"What Happens in Vegas" - watched it four times. And just last week while hanging with my girlfriends, I suggested we go over to a guy's house and "junk punch him in his man business". "YOU KNOW WHY!"

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 and my birthday gift was a plane ticket to visit BF and her husband. We spent the weekend at their beach house, and hanging out in Boston, Portsmouth, Newburyport, and York, Maine.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I had paid off more of my debt like I hoped to.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Trying to be a little trendy. I bought quite a few trendy pieces this year that it was fun to mix and match with my classic stuff.

33. What kept you sane?
Jesus. I spent the first five months of the year looking for a job, and the last seven in a new, challenging position. He is definitely the only thing that kept me sane.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still love Steve Carrell

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I got pretty fired up as Election Day drew near.

36. Who did you miss?
I always miss my family and friends. I missed not having as many visitors this year. My dad came out in March, but that is it!

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My guy friend, Georgia. He is awesome. He gives me hope.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
I learned that God is wow, such an incredible provider, and He truly doesn't withhold anything good from those who have committed their lives to Him.

39. Highlights: My trip to California, my sister's wedding and the 4th of July in Nebraska, all the water-skiing, being back in Memorial Stadium after a few years, my softball league, meeting New York Yankees, a week in Orlando with friends, hiking in Shenandoah, visiting BF . . too many highlights!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Oh my goodness, I can't stop belching! Yes, belching, the louder version of a burp. Because in addition to a game being won today (and it was a stressful four hours, let me tell you), lots and lots of food was eaten!

I spent the day in a beautiful home full of people, most of whom were rooting for the Huskers. A chihuahua on my lap, and my butt on a very comfy sectional, I only moved twice in eight hours! Food just kept being placed in front of me, and I just kept on eating it. Runzas brought all the way from Nebraska, pigs in a blanket, chips and fourteen-layer dip, pierogies, m&ms, chili, broccoli cheese casserole, and more. Have mercy!

It was a great first day to a New Year!

Go Big Red!

I love old pictures, especially those that offer a little life foreshadowing. This photo was taken on January 1st, 1985. I was about 3 1/2 years old, and I swear I remember it. Bowl games at Grandma's house were just one of many family traditions, complete with yummy snacks and man-wrestling on the floor after each touchdown. The only thing that is glaringly wrong in this photo is the lavender ensemble I've got on. My parents claimed they were too poor to afford a Husker outfit. All I have to say to that is: Priorities, people, priorities.

It feels good to be playing in a bowl game on January 1st again, (something we, Husker fans, used to take for granted). It will feel even better to win.