The 2000's - A Recap

How do you summarize 10 years? Especially the most life changing, eventful 10 years of my nearly 30 on earth.

The decade started with me as an 18 year old senior in high school. It ends with me a 28 year old not even newlywed anymore married woman. The time in between - man - it flew by!

High school graduation. Starting college. Changing my major in my second year. Moving to campus my third year. Graduating in only four years - no small feat this day in age it seems.

Voting for the first time ever. Becoming a legal adult.

Many jobs held - Portrait Studio at Target, Library Page at Columbia Heights Public Library, Student Librarian for Women's Choir at St. Kate's, Student Assistant in Office of Student Affairs at St. Kate's, Youth Minister at Immaculate, Receptionist at Fairview Pharmacy Services and now Administrative Assistant for Facilities and Supply Chain for Fairview Medical Group (formerly Columbia Park Medical Group).

Watching world events - 2000 presidential election - 9/11 - Hurricane Katrina - 35 W Bridge Collapse - the election of President Obama.

Dating Nate - Getting engaged to Nate - marrying Nate. Dealing with buying a house, buying new cars, adopting pets, surviving on one income for some extended periods of time.

Saying hello and goodbye and hello once again to many friends. Saying final farewells to several family members. Saying goodbye to the church I grew up in.

Traveling to Florida, St. Louis, Canada, and Northern MN several times over.

It's been quite a ride. I truly believe that in this last decade I have actually grown up. Yes I was considered an "adult" at the start of this decade, but the things I have experienced in 10 years have formed me into the person I am today. That being said, I have zero regrets. Everything has served a purpose for me and I've either learned from the bad things or embraced and rejoiced in the good things.

My only hope for the future is that I can continue focusing on taking one day at a time. Because the ride goes fast sometimes and I don't want to miss anything before it is over.

Happy New Year one and all. And Happy New Decade.


End of the Year reflections: Part One

So here's the first of what will be a two-part recap for me this year, as I not only reflect on the last year, but later on I'll bring thoughts on the last decade - because it was probably one filled with the most change ever in my life! But for now, here are my thoughts on the year that was 2009.

2009 was an interesting year to say the least. Things happened that were good and things happened that were not so good. But, we were healthy, happy and best of all, both employed for the entire year so I really have no complaints.

The highlights and lowlights:

-We left Immaculate - I never dreamed in a million years this would ever happen, but it did and we're stronger for it
-We joined Praise Project and a drummer was born
-I quit picking my fingers (and am still going strong!)
-I was sort of promoted at work
-We took a couple of mini vacations which translates to long weekends up north pretty much, but they were wonderful
-We finished a pretty substantial painting project that took far longer than it should have, but I love the results!
-We switched to kegging our beer as opposed to bottling
-We tried many new places to eat
-We decided we are the "fun couple"
-We bought a new couch and loveseat for our basement, both got new glasses and I chopped my hair very short and we bought a new furnace/air conditioner for our home!
-We were able to spend lots of time with family and friends which is truly the best gift of all.

I don't think of 2009 as a good or bad year. For the most part we are just living our day to day lives and are rejoicing in each day as it comes. And that's really my only resolution for 2010. To keep on keeping on or something like that! May it be a wonderful year for everyone!


The Great Christmas Adventure of 2009

Well the adventure is over. We survived the snow, the traveling, the family crazy togetherness and everything else that went with the Christmas four day weekend. Well almost four day weekend.

Christmas Eve I was up bright and early and made it to work in near record time even with the snowy roads! I put in about three hours before I was able to get out of the office and start my celebrations. I headed to my parents to finish some last minute gift wrapping and then home to spend some time with Nate. It's become our tradition to open gifts to each other on Christmas Eve so we did that. He gave me an awesome Sesame Street 40th Anniversary coffee table book and the Wii Sports Resort game - which we had some fun playing with that afternoon! I gave him some clothes (yes boring) and the new Super Mario Brothers Wii game - which is hard!!

I then made my green bean casserole and we headed to his parents house for dinner. It was a wonderful meal, ham, potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls. I was stuffed! We sat by the fire and had a nice relaxing evening.

Christmas morning I was once again up pretty early as I was asked to cantor the 8:45 service at St. Williams. My parents were very kind and picked me up so I wouldn't have to clean my car off in a skirt! I told Nate to go ahead and sleep in and just meet us at my parents house since I knew he'd have to shovel some more.

After church we had breakfast with my parents and opened gifts with them. Then we headed back up the hill and opened gifts with Nate's parents and Ali. After that we stopped home and discovered the plows had come through again and we had to clear out the end of the driveway before we could even drive in. That was some heavy, awful snow to shovel, but we got it done in about a half hour. I took a quick shower and then we drove across town to my aunt Michelle's house in Uptown for dinner. By now the roads were mostly just wet. We had a nice visit there and then headed back to our neighborhood to Nate's grandparents where we played the Dice Game with white elephant gifts. We were home by a little after 8:00. Very long day, but nice to see everyone.

After all of that, we layed low the rest of the weekend. Saturday I had lunch with my dear friend Gina and then Nate and I played our new video games and had dinner at a smallish bar/grill in town and watched a movie. Sunday we had two masses with Praise Project and then Nate went to a movie with Ali - it wasn't one I was too interested in so I was able to get a little "me time" in the afternoon which was nice.

And now we're gearing up for New Years and getting back to "normal" so to speak. I think after the holidays settle down a bit more we might get to another major painting project at home, and I sincerely hope it will not take us six months to complete it this time!


It's out of our control

I don't know if it's hype or if we really will be seeing the storm of the century over the next couple of days here, but I'm trying really hard to go with the philosophy of whatever happens, happens and it's out of our control so we have to make the most of it.

I do work tomorrow morning, but the good news is we'll only have the first few inches of the storm and I do live close so it could be worse. In the evening we go have dinner at my in-laws, as is our Christmas Eve tradition, but again, we live just a few blocks away so we should have no trouble getting there.

Christmas Day is where it gets a wee bit harrier - I was asked to cantor the 8:45 service at St. Williams and will need to arrive by 8:00. However, I have four wheel drive and so do my parents so I think I should be able to get there with no problems. After mass we do presents at my parents house, again, not a far drive. Then it's back to my in-laws, shouldn't be a problem.

The furthest we have to go is my aunt's house in Uptown, but if they keep the freeways clear we shouldn't have a problem. Getting in and out of her neighborhood may be another story. That's the part that concerns me the most right now. Then after dinner we usually hit up Nate's grandparents and well, we could walk there!

So the name of the game is taking our time and playing it all by ear. Maybe build a snowman or two if nothing else! Have a snowball fight. It could end up being kind of fun. Or maybe an adventure. Yes, that's it, the Great Christmas Adventure of 2009!

I will probably not blog again until after the whole nine yards so - Merry Christmas to all of my readers and if you are in the MN area - STAY SAFE!!!


Twas just four days till Christmas

And all was quiet and well...

In all seriousness, I have all my shopping done. Gifts still need to be wrapped, but I have confidence I will get that done in the next couple of days.

I finally feel like I have a grasp on and am prepared for this upcoming holiday. It may be because Nate and I gave ourselves an early gift of a very lazy weekend. We honestly only left the house a couple of times, pretty much for dinner on Saturday night and for church and groceries on Sunday. We watched a dumb mindless movie on Saturday night and a bunch of TV shows on Sunday. I will soon be caught up to where they actually are on the show "Psych" when it returns in January which is actually pretty cool and I've really grown addicted to it. We're also making our way through "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and a couple of British shows as well. Cause you know, I have to watch something else without Glee around for four whole months. Did I mention how stupid I think that is? Oh yeah, that's right, I did here.

I watched Charlie Brown this weekend too, which I hadn't done yet and it never feels like Christmas until I get that done.

But anyway, the laziness of the whole weekend was really quite nice and I now feel much more prepared to handle the hustle and bustle of this upcoming week. I just hope the snowstorm being threatened is not too bad, but then again, we can't control it, so we'll just have to take it for what it is!

Hope everyone else is surviving the last minute holiday craziness. Don't forget Macy's at Rosedale is open 24/7 from now until Christmas Eve if you need anything. Cause you know, shopping at 2:00 in the morning sounds kind of fun....


Quick hello

I am still here! I know I haven't been posting much lately. I've been real focused on the Christmas season, flying on my own without my supervisor at work and a number of other things so blogging hasn't exactly been a priority.

But Nate and I are still here, we're plugging through the season and are both doing well, just busy! This weekend we actually plan to just take some time for ourselves which will be quite nice!

Anyway, figured I should at least post something so no one thought I was throwing in the towel on blogging. I am sure I'll be back to full force normal blogging after the first of the year. :)


The penguin

So it's no secret to my readers and people who know me I think that I love penguins. This is a relatively new thing in my life, and by that I mean it's just something I stumbled onto about four years ago. I decided that when Nate and I got married, our house would be the penguin house at the holidays. And it's gotten to a point where it's the penguin house even beyond the holidays, but most of them come out just for Christmas.

My in-laws, knowing that I love penguins and always being up for a practical joke, decided to surprise Nate and I with a little treat the other night. They had called and asked to stop by and pick up a sport coat that Nate was borrowing his dad for a wedding reception. In return we asked if they'd bring by a movie for us to watch. So we were sitting up in our living room waiting for them to show up - Nate was reading a magazine and I was fiddling around on my laptop. We heard them pull up and close doors - but not come in right away. We were pondering just what they were doing, figuring, hmm, maybe they are building a snowman.

It didn't really occur to either one of us to just open the door and see. We just figured they thought it would be funny to make a snowman in our yard and when they got cold enough they'd come inside. 15 minutes later they finally knocked on the door.

I said "Oh I know what you guys were doing out there" and they said "oh really? Take a look out your window." I fully expected to see a snowman but instead was greeted with this:

Well ok, it was from behind of course since I was in the house. But anyway, definitely not what I was expecting! Nate came over then to see and we both just started laughing.

Neither one of us are really big fans of the inflatables people put up, but you have to admit, this guy is kind of cute. In the spirit of the season, we'll definitely allow him to reside in our yard. The day after Christmas though is another story. At least he will collapse and store well!


An open letter to Fox TV

Dear Fox Network,

I am beyond excited for tonight's big "fall finale" of your very successful new show Glee. However, I am quite disgusted that after tonight, it will be over four months before a new episode will be shown again. April 13th. This is a longer break than a summer hiatus!

Look, I understand you have to make room for your golden child American Idol but you know what? I think that ship has sailed. A long, long time ago. I once was a fan and all, but I am tired of seeing the same thing year after year. You probably should've taken a hint when Paula stepped down that maybe it was time to be done.

Besides that, why can't Glee and American Idol play together somehow? You're managing to keep room for other shows, such as another favorite of mine, House MD. I especially find this perplexing when So You Think You Can Dance is wrapping up soon here. So why can't American Idol just take it's place and still lead into Glee? I would suspect you'd find Glee's ratings to continue to be high if you did this. But what do I know? I am not a TV executive.

No, you seem content to pull one of the biggest hits of the fall season and bring it back months later on a different night even. Because this is what you are known for. And in the process you manage to actually kill some shows that could've been big properties for you. Apparently you do not care Fox. So that's fine. But I will tell you this, I will not be watching American Idol this year. I will boycott it to the core. And if you do end up killing what has become such a joy for me to watch each week in the delightful and fun Glee, I can tell you right now that our relationship will be over for good. Just a little something for you to ponder Fox. But I'm sure you don't care.

A loyal viewer for NOW,


Continuing the holiday vibe

I had a good and productive weekend. Nate and I were able to get a little time in just for ourselves which was very nice. But I was most happy that I got my Christmas shopping started and I'm about 75% done at this point! As for what I still have to buy, I know what I am buying, just have to make the time to do it.

I have watched one of my favorite holiday movies already - Home Alone. Yes I am a dork, but I love that movie. Nate was actually willing to watch it with me so I couldn't pass up the opportunity! We used to just have an old VHS copy, so we went and bought it on DVD finally. It actually includes some deleted scenes and things like that - I like it when DVDs include features like that.

This week my mom and I will start baking cookies, another holiday tradition for us. I am very excited to eat some of these goodies that we only make once a year!

Next weekend we have a caroling event with Praise Project and then we also have Nate's work holiday party. Once again his company is treating us to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis, so I am definitely looking forward to that.

So I am doing my best to enjoy every moment of the holiday season because I know it will be over before I know it!


Christmas Spirit

I'm now more in the Christmas spirit than I was earlier this week. Yesterday I was feeling kind of down and as I mentioned, a wee stressed, worried and overwhelmed. But then on my way home from work, I turned on the Christmas radio station in the car and suddenly all was well. It's funny how some of my favorite Christmas carols can suddenly put me in a good mood and it has definitely put me back into the Christmas spirit. I intend to keep it going from here on out!

To spread some Christmas cheer (sing loud for all to hear...oh wait, that's the movie Elf...) I thought I'd share some pictures of our Christmas decor at home. They're not the most exciting ever, but it's the small and simple things that count sometimes!

My snowmen and penguins greet visitors when you come in the door

Kermit is all decked out for winter

The shelves of my lamp are all full

Stockings and nativity

Tree, although a little fuzzy
Hope everyone else is finding the Christmas spirit in their days as well! Enjoy every moment, it will fly by quickly!


Tis the season

I'm kind of a mixed up mess of stuff today.

I'm happy and excited that it's my favorite time of year finally and am trying my best to eat up all the wonderful things about it. But I'm a wee bit stressed about not really knowing what I'm buying people for gifts this year.

I'm thankful as always for my job to come to each day, but nervous about the next few weeks as my boss goes out on medical leave starting tomorrow and will not come back until just after the 1st of the year and I'm next in chain of command more or less.

I am looking forward to some of the events I have coming up in the next couple of weeks and also concerned I could end up feeling overwhelmed at times.

I am resolving to just take it one day at a time as I march into this busy holiday season and I think that will help the most. Enjoy the good things as they come and do my best to not let other things get to me and I should end up still loving this time of year when all is said and done!


Tuesday Top Ten: Christmas Specials

So I've decided to keep my top ten lists on Tuesdays, it just works out nicely. Today is December 1st (my dad's birthday - happy birthday Dad!) and the kick off to the holiday season (even though I already kicked it off the day after Thanksgiving) so my top ten list is Christmas themed today! My ten favorite holiday specials of all time! By the way these are all specials aired on TV, not theatrical released movies. I might do a separate list of Christmas movies later on!

10. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Though I have less patience for this one as an adult and I'm not sure why, it is still a classic and I still love the "Always Tomorrow" song that Clareice sings to Rudolph.

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the classic cartoon, not the newer Jim Carrey movie. It's short, sweet and who doesn't love seeing that heart grow at the end?

8. I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown - Not as classic as the original Peanuts special, but I do find this one kind of cute, even if Rerun is a little more annoying than Linus or Sally ever were!

7. A Garfield Christmas - This one is super cheesy, but it has alot of heart for a Garfield cartoon and I still enjoy it as an adult. And I just love Odie's gift to Garfield at the end.

6. It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie - yes, technically a movie, but it was on television so I'm counting it. This was not the best thing the Muppets ever did, but it wasn't the worst thing either. I enjoy it in spite of some of the less than great things in it (Scooter cage dancing for one...)

5. Mickey's Christmas Carol - the song they play at the beginning actually brings tears to my eyes. Does that make me a nerd? Maybe, but I don't care. It's a nice adaptation of a classic story.

4. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - I loved this one so much as a kid my parents taped it off of Channel 2 and I used to watch it even in the middle of summer. It's still super heartwarming and I love it's message of keeping Christmas with you all through the year

3. Letters to Santa: A Muppets Christmas - I really enjoyed this new holiday special with my beloved Muppets - it was the first glimmer of how the Muppets used to be in the old days and had many funny and touching moments. One of my very new favorites.

2. A Muppet Family Christmas - is anyone surprised at the number of Muppet specials I've mentioned thus far? But this one tops them all - it includes all types of Muppets - Classic Muppets, Fraggles and Sesame Street and Jim Henson makes an awesome cameo at the end. It's just too awesome for words.

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas - "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown" - Linus after his famous monologue of the Christmas story. Enough said.