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.

"Who Needs OnStar"

Getting lost has seemed to be the theme of my week. I've gotten lost twice. I'm proud to say that I was able to get myself "found" in at least one of those situations . . but the other . . there was no way. Fortunately, Big Sky Girl came to the rescue. And she wrote about it here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Memories of SD

If you're going to speed, you may want to save it for a big city, because cops in the Midwest live to catch speeders . . even if it only means 5 over. We happened to be going 90 in a 70, but fortunately slowed to 75ish before the patrolman clocked us. Funny thing is, I knew this would happen at some point in the trip. Just didn't know it would be on the first trip up to the Fair.

I don't know about you, but I've never had to sit in a cop-car before. But this officer asked my co-worker to come back to the police car as he wrote out the ticket. During this time, she strategically asked if he would be voting "Yes" on the initiative we were there to plug. He said yes. Our boss said he'd pay for the ticket.

We stayed in Mitchell (pop. 14,000) and somehow didn't get over to see the famous Corn Palace until the last day. Though I wouldn't make it a vacation destination, the corn murals were pretty neat. And they change them every year.

My favorite food stand on the fairgrounds. I can't bring myself to try to deep fried candybar yet, but if they send me to another fair someday, I might have to. S'mores on a stick looked good, too, but the boy working the stand said "those didn't work out".

Just driving down the highway.

Yay for seeing my family. I suppose I could lose the sticker now.

Diamond Rio could've played a little longer, but it was a fun concert. We ended up down in the mud in front of the stage, singing in the rain at the top of our lungs. It was great.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Midwestern through and through

Ah, South Dakota. It was good. As it got closer to my time of departure, I was starting to kick myself for volunteering to go work 12 hour days all weekend, including Labor Day. I know I said 18 hours, but that was because I was counting the hour we had to drive there and back everyday, plus the fact that every waking moment was planned around work.

Although we were working hard, it felt almost like a vacation. I was able to escape the busyness of the city life and enjoy the simplicity of the Midwest for an entire week. We spent the week at the State Fair, manning a booth and educating voters about an initiative on their ballot. I love campaigning, so add to that the fact that I got to eat fried food all week and it was almost paradise. Deep-fried Oreos three times in one week? Heaven.

I have to give a plug for Hampton Inn, because I think it's an awesome affordable place to stay. Everything was really clean and their continental breakfast? Wow. I ate three times as much for breakfast than I normally do. They also had a 24 hour workout room and a pool and hot tub.

We made friends with the middle-aged waitress at Ruby Tuesday who was fascinated that we were from D.C. and asked for our information so she could keep in touch. Very cute.

We also met boys. Yess! In fact, we got so much attention throughout the trip that in a raw moment of truth, I said, "We need to move here." I saw so many babies and adorable kids, I was convinced I needed to just quit my job and start a family . .! One of the boys we met was full of bad intentions. Being the "too nice" person I am, I agreed that although he could not take me to the concert alone with him, he could accompany my friend and I. . After taking us to bullriding the first night and sending me innapropriate text messages the following day, I soon realized he was a freak (and married), and we quickly replaced him with some very nice boys from the Governor's campaign. Boys with manners, appropriateness, and good morals. They made the Diamond Rio concert twice as fun as it would've been if just the two of us had gone. Because 4 people singing off key is way better than two.

I became pretty homesick being in the wide open spaces and didn't particularly want to go back to the big city. The last night of the trip, we were in a town just 3 hours from home. My family and I met halfway for dinner and brought the perfect ending to my trip. I was ready to go back.

Friday, September 01, 2006

SD (I wish it stood for San Diego)

In exciting South Dakota for work until Wednesday. Putting in 18 hour work days. No time to blog. Stay tuned :)