Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy List

There has seemed to be a lot of happiness in my life this week, none of it resulting from anything major and none of it involving say, I don't know, getting asked out again. But the highlights more than made up for that.

- I started a new book! I know you're all wondering what the big deal is, but I rarely read anymore and when I do, it is only ever Christian spiritual growth books and the Bible, which are very lovely and all, but I would not exactly put them under the category of "entertainment". Also, it is not just any book. It is a huge book that is, quite frankly, pretty intimidating. This biography that I've decided to read covers the history of the United States Senate and the life of "Master of the Senate" Lyndon B. Johnson in a whopping one thousand pages. I spent thirty minutes last night reading ten of them. It's gonna be a long year. But I'm trying to challenge myself to read it as quickly as possible so that I can move on to the next book. At this rate, it will still be a few months.

- I bought new shoes! Not something I was planning to do until my podiatrist informed me that I had tendonitis and needed to stay off of heels for at least another week. Now that I own these, I'm almost glad I hurt my foot. Yeah, that's a lie. It really sucks.

- My lovely bedroommate, Lyn, got us into a cooking class at Sur La Table where we learned to make four dishes created by Chef Ming Tsai. I was truly afraid that I would make a fool of myself, since I don't even know how to properly cut an onion, but we had a great time, and the food was, of course, delicious! I may even try to make one of the dishes again.

- I bought new shampoo, and it's changing my life! Or my hair. Same thing. It's also taken a big chunk out of my checking account, dang! I walked out of Aveda $70 poorer. But my hair is thanking me.

- My friend and I bought tickets to see the Yank.ees play the at Camden Yards in April. They're not in the nosebleed section either. I can't wait!

- I discovered a new cupcake place in Georget.own Cupcake. What an original name. I hope to try it out tomorrow, although I hear they've been selling out regularly. We'll see how it compares to Magnolia in New York.

- I pigged out, totally pigged out at Magg.iano's tonight to celebrate my friend's new job. We're talking . .

wine, bread, calamari, tomato & mozzarella, chopped salad, beef medallions, chicken marsala, gnocchi, rigatoni, chocolate cake, Boston creme pie, tiramisu, and cheesecake

Obviously it was a family-style deal, but you know I had some of all of the above.

So that is my Happy List for this week. And I'm convinced that I'll be having a happy weekend as well. I hope the same is true for all of you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Girls Night Out


The Bible Study girls.

Our Portland friend was in town last night, and oh what fun we had. Lasagna, salad, garlic bread, and Sauvignon Blanc at home, followed by dancing and dancing at a couple of bars in The silliness and laughter were out of control.

I didn't exactly go straight home after the night out either. I made two stops in my own apartment building: my neighbors on the 3rd floor that I'd met last summer and run into at the bar . . and the boys next door who invited me over to play their XBox rock band game. What a blast!

I'm not a big fan of staying up late these days, so the 4am bedtime has really taken its toll today. The girls and I will have plenty of stories to tell tonight while we lay low and watch movies.

I need to be fully recharged for my brunch date tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Would be a great excuse for laziness

How can I be so prone to injury? It seems anytime I get excited about an activity or sport, I get hurt.

First, it was snow skiing, then it was a newfound love of volleyball at the gym, last summer it was water-skiing (my fave!) . . and now it's running. You know that half marathon I was training for? Well, I still have every intention of running it in May. The Sunday afternoon 5+ run from my apartment door, along the Potomac, across the Memorial Bridge, past the memorials, next to the Reflecting Pool and back home . . was fantastic. But the pain in my foot an hour later was not fantastic. And that pain has hung around all week and shows no signs of going away. It's been flats and almost-flats for the last four days, and I am dying to do some form of cardio, any form of cardio to keep my butt in shape, but it hurts to even walk on my foot.

I just scheduled a doctor's appointment for Monday morning, yet I am still hoping that by some great miracle I'll be ok by then. Yeah . . right. How sad!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Anna and Doris

It was about time I did something that involved giving, doing something for others. And painting nails at a nursing home actually sounded fun.

One of the first ladies through the door was 90-year old Anna, pushing her walker, a green knit blanket folded over the front bar and a small heart-shaped balloon taped there. Anna didn't want her nails painted. Someone had done them a couple of weeks ago, and she thought they still looked fine. I exclaimed that they looked fantastic after two whole weeks, and she replied “Well, that’s because I don’t do anything!”

"I used to paint my own nails," she said. "And one day I asked them 'Where are my things? I want to paint my nails.' They told me I couldn't have them anymore because some people here would drink the polish. And I said, 'So I have to suffer because of someone else?' . . . So now they paint my nails . . but they do it on their time, not mine."

She told me life in the nursing home was dull, and "all anyone wants to do is play cards all day". But she knew she needed to be there, and she counted her blessings. She loved her daughter, her three sons and three daughters-in-law, and she teared up when she talked about them.

She told me about life in Brooklyn, New York, growing up in a poor Italian neighborhood, playing music in the street and dancing. "My husband and I were good dancers. We made quite the winnings in our day. Everyone would stop dancing to stand back and watch us." Pretty soon, Anna and I were singing lines from old songs like "Tea for Two" and "The Very Thought of You". Her eyes twinkled.

It wasn't long before Doris came to join us. She appeared to be a young hippie chick in a very old woman's body. She couldn't carry on much of a conversation, but insisted "Whatever you want to do, just do it, that's what I say!". To say Doris loved the mini muffins we brought was an understatement. She couldn't eat enough. The problem was that she literally couldn't eat enough, and most of the muffin was missing her mouth, crumbs falling all over the floor.

Anna had told me what a peaceful person she was. “I’ve never had an enemy. I get along with everyone.” But as soon as Doris left the table, she told me how she really felt. “Doris is a pig. She’s always dropping food everywhere, and I feel like I need to pick up after her. If my foot wasn’t so bad, I would. I just want to hit her in the head.” It was true – she had left an awful mess all over the floor, and she didn’t seem to care.

Minutes later Doris returned. She began to pet Anna’s salt-and-pepper hair, calling her a dear, as Anna sat perfectly still with a look in her eye that only I could understand. I began to giggle, knowing her unspoken thoughts. Doris wasn’t in on the joke. “What are you giggling for?” she asked. “Well, there’s nothing wrong with it,” she answered herself. “The people that giggle have the most fun.”

Anna and I just smiled.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Life can be full of surprises

. . like when your little sister gets engaged at the age of twenty!

I don't know about you, but at age twenty I was in no place to be making vows to anyone. Yet it doesn't frighten me that my baby sister is about to do just that in only four and a half months. Maybe because it's quite possible that she has more maturity, albeit less experience, than I do! (Don't let that go to your head, Kid Sister!) And maybe it's because she really has found the love of her life . . so why wait?

I've gotten a few calls from concerned friends and family who are convinced that I must be devastated. After all, I am the big sister, the oldest child in the family . . and this means I'll be the last to get married. But if I'm sad about anything, it's not that. My life has taken a much different path than I ever thought I wanted, but it's been wonderful, and if God's timing has been right on everything else, then I know it will be right in that area of my life as well.

I think if I'm sad about anything it's that I won't feel needed anymore. And she's never been needy in the first place, or one to want my wise counsel on important matters (such as hair color), but I still felt needed in a special way. And now?, now that damn fiance of hers does such a great job taking care of her that I'm not sure my sisterly services will ever be needed again. She'll never need my warm body to shove her back to her side of the bed during sleepovers at my parents', she'll never need me to smack her butt and tell her it's perfect, and she'll never really need my advice because his will be most important.

So if I'm crying up there on the altar that day, it won't be because I'm still single.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Me: "I gave him a hug when he dropped me off."
Mom: "Isn't that a little uncomfortable?"
Me: "No, I don't think so. It wasn't a full-on hug, I mean it was in the car. . . Plus, it gives him a chance to smell my delicious hair."
Mom: "I've never heard hair referred to as delicious."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

the night before

I'm up way too late on the night before a date. I need my beauty rest. Especially since I've felt sick lately. But this stupid computer won't let go of my hands.

I'm actually somewhat nervous about this one.
(K, I mentioned him to you when you were here.) Sorry Everyone, I feel like I just whispered a secret in public. How rude.

I've picked out what to wear, but it's not too nice. I have this "thing" about trying too hard, smelling too nice and looking too trendy. I don't do it. Maybe it's about setting the bar too high. Who knows.

I have two zits, and I never get them. Go figure.

Let's hope I can successfully pretend that I haven't read every word on his facebook profile . .

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Estate Sale

"Have fun rummaging through dead people's stuff," our friend said. My co-worker and I were off to an estate sale to basically do just that. Like a yard sale only much more expensive, estate sales often have antiques or unique pieces you can't find at a store. The difference is that these items aren't unwanted, they're just . . "unneeded". After all, you can't take anything with you when you die. I found quite a few pieces of furniture I wished I could justify buying, but in the end these are the items I walked away with:
an adorable scarf for my handbag

map to hang above the couch (Although I find it a little boring, empty space is much worse.)
an antique blue bowl

a bundt pan, perfect for making my favorite cake, Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

an apron, you know for all that time I spend in the kitchen
another pretty scarf that I hope to make into a pillow
*I realize it clashes with the couch.

Let's just say, this won't be the last time I shop an estate sale. We are officially addicted.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shout Out

I just wanted to take a moment to say a big "hello" to all my friends back in Nebraska! Hiiii! *waving*

Oh and by the way, I didn't wear a coat yesterday.

Or today.

Hope you're enjoying that snow.

Lurve ya, bye.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Shore

My weekend didn't really involve much child supervision. It did involve a lot of sleep on my very own King-size bed in my very own room with my very own bathroom. That ginormous down comforter was lovely. Friday evening, the kids went directly to bed after the forever-long car ride (thanks to a few missed turns). The girls and I stayed up for hours eating, chatting, and drinking wine.

I was given the car on Saturday morning which allowed me to drive through the cute little town, snap some pictures, and take a walk on the beach. Forty-five degrees felt like negative unbearable with the sea breeze biting my face and hands, but it was still beautiful. I watched a couple of movies after tucking the kids in that night and enjoyed the second half of my ordered-in BBQ chicken cheesesteak and zeppoles (deep-fried cinnamon puffs).

The change of scenery really allowed me to clear my mind and take a different perspective on my life circumstances. I came home Sunday afternoon feeling very refreshed, considerably richer (hehe), and ready to take on my week. I went for a four-mile run along the Potomac, enjoying the sixty degree temps and introducing my new running shoes to pavement for the first time.
The Bible Study girls were hosting a big Super Bowl party, so I went over to hang streamers and be the first to taste test all the delicious snacks. The house was filled with the cheers and boos of over twenty people that came over to watch the game. I'm happy to say I was one of the cheerers!
Although we weren't ON the beach, we were close enough. This is one of two views of the ocean from the deck. It's not a West Coast sunset, but it's still pretty.

I would do anything for a pair of mittens at this point.

How could I not post a picture of this cutie?

Monday, February 04, 2008

not so Super Tuesday

I do NOT want to vote tomorrow. I know I need to be a good American and exercise my wonderful right to have a say in our country's future. And typically I feel very passionately about doing so.

But I don't like a single candidate! On either side!

I may like certain things about certain people, where they stand on certain issues. I may like how someone carries himself. I may think someone is a fantastic speaker. Maybe someone even gives me goosebumps. But maybe that person's voting record sucks! Or maybe there is one major, major issue that I just won't compromise on. Maybe they are just posing as a moderate! Or a conservative! Maybe I don't want to cast my vote for any one of them.

The frustration is coming out my ears. I hate not being able to get behind someone and really feel good about supporting them. I hate not feeling optimistic about the next four years.

Hello Friends

I think my roommate thinks I'm crazy. Sometimes I read your blogs, and I just have to share your stories. So I turn to her, and I don't know quite how to start. "This girl . .", I say. And she knows it's a blog. She has that look in her eye like "You're reading blogs again? You always read blogs." And so I start again, "I mean she's my friend" . . and I find myself feeling even more ridiculous.

But you are my friends. I may not have met you all in person, but we know each other, we share stories about our lives . . and more importantly, we care.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Going to the beach in February? I shore am.

It may seem a strange time of year to be doing so, but I’m headed to the Jersey Shore for the weekend. Destination: Stone H.arbor. I’ve never been, but I hear it’s a quaint little town full of trendy boutiques and some of the nicest real estate in southern New Jersey. Cold or not, it sounds great to me! My traveling companions will be K (my cousin’s wife) and the little babes: and Michael. We’re meeting up with K’s friend and her 3 year-old daughter, so you know what this means: babysitting. But I’ve been assured that I’ll be fully included in most activities and only have kid duty on Saturday afternoon and evening. Fine by me. After all, am I not obsessed with these children? I’m sure I’ll be snapping pics the entire time. A 2 year-old, a 3 year-old, and an infant is quite a handful, but I couldn’t think of a better place to have that handful than at the beach, fifty degree temps and all.