Merry Happy

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a nice holiday!

My Christmas was nice, if very low-key. I didn’t travel back to Michigan to be with my family, which is hard for me, but I still had a nice time (and texted them a lot).

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The tree on Christmas Eve – my parents sent me a ton of very nice gifts!

I had the day off on Christmas Eve, so I went for a run in a new pair of shoes and made some sugar cookies.

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Yep, it is warm enough to run outside in shorts in Seattle. No white Christmas here. A green and grey Christmas.

And as you can see I’m a professional cookie decorator. Considering the last time I made sugar cookies (4-5 years ago?) they were basically inedible and hard as rocks, these turned out to be quite a victory as they were not only soft enough to chew, but actually tasted pretty good. Of course all recipes are too huge, so I froze the rest of the dough. I hope I remember it’s in the freezer.

Christmas morning was fun as always, had cinnamon rolls (Pillsbury – I can only do so much baking and of course I love opening those canisters) and opened gifts. I’m a really lucky duck and got some great presents.

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That wrapping paper is my favorite. Mossy oak in pink. I told you I’m lucky.

I got some running clothes, a nice vest, candy, soap, and some other fun stuff. Then I went for a 5 mile run to test everything out (it all worked fine).

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My cat wanted to go running too.

Then I talked to my parents and drank some champagne and made dinner (chicken, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, just like Thanksgiving).

Merry Christmas!

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Weekend Before Christmas

Happy Monday! Did you have a nice weekend? Are you working today?

I’m working, in a very quiet office. The only noise is the thrum of heating (or cooling? since it’s in the mid 50s today?) and the click of a keyboard several cubes away. Click click, put that metadata in its place.

The weekend was nice, and very low-key, as all my weekends are. Solstice!

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Thank goodness!

Oh, we had a eensy amount of snow on Friday morning, but that was still exciting. It of course turned to rain and was gone before noon. It’s hard living in a rain cloud.

photo3Speaking of living in a rain cloud, I went running yesterday in the rain. I usually wear a ball cap to keep the rain mostly off my glasses, but this was of absolutely no help yesterday as I was completely surrounded by mist. It was a very drippy 11 miles. The good news is that the rain washed a blood spot out of my shoe, left there from a blister last week. Nice! Disgusting!

After my run I drank a beer and immediately felt awful until I ate a bunch of pretzels.

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Are all your presents wrapped? Mine are not.

Holly Jolly

I’m into Christmas. I love it, even though we don’t have snow (though we might get some tonight!) I’m happy to unironically wear my puffed sleeve, evergreen patterned Christmas sweater to work one day, followed by a red and green plaid shirt and sparkly Christmas tree earrings the next. I’ve been listening to Christmas music since Thanksgiving, and pondering which songs are the best. I think overwhelmingly, the religious ones are – how can you argue with O Holy Night? FALL ON YOUR KNEES! Or Angels We Have Heard on High? Glooooo-ooooo-oooo-ria (Not G-L-O-R-I-A).

Baby It’s Cold Outside and Blue Christmas are terrible.

Anyway, in an attempt to get even more into Christmas, I went to help make wreaths for a church yesterday. It was pretty fun. I took my wreath pretty seriously.

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Those pinecones are wired on tight.

What’s your favorite Christmas song? Is it Amy Grant’s Tender Tennessee Christmas?

When I Woke Up This Morning

You were on my mind!

I automatically fill that in any time anyone starts a sentence with “when I woke up this morning…”

Anyway, when I woke up this morning I was tired and didn’t wash my hair. It’s a little helmet-y today. Amazing how it can be both frizzy and greasy at the same time. Lovely!

Here are some better looking days:

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The weather has been WONDERFUL here so a few weeks ago we took a trip to the zoo. It was pretty cool. Red pandas are cute. Hippos are scary. Parents of small children are scarier than the children themselves. I got unreasonably irritated at a woman in the reptile/amphibian house because she kept telling her daughter the snakes were slimy and those tiny frogs were just cute little babies. False! Read the informative plaques! I was, however, completely won over by a bespectacled 10 year old boy educating his dad on the difference between coral and king snakes.

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Seattle does a nice job with the flowers. Poppies are so floppy. It rained the day after I took this and these basically disintegrated.

My birthday was this week. I’m 29. 29 is fine so far. My friends and coworkers wished me happy birthday. Chris took me out to dinner.

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Happy Friday!

Happy Last Day of 2012

Hey 2012, you were all right!

I’m at work today, at a VERY quiet office with very few tasks at hand and not much desire to focus on them. It is freezing in here and I look a little bit like an art teacher in black skinny jeans that are somehow baggy, striped socks, clogs, and a plaid flannel shirt I have maybe worn 3 days in a row. Whatever. There’s no one here to see me. Oh I also have a huge black sweater coat wrapped around me. It’s freezing.

Soon it will be time for New Year’s Eve festivities and I’ll have to get all dolled up. I don’t have any closed toe high heels. Is it ok to wear tights with open toe shoes? I know the answer to this question.

I don’t really have any NYE festivities planned, I’m kind of lying. I think we’re going to dress up and have a drink out and then go home and make confetti and throw it at each other. We thought about going to a fancy dinner, but didn’t make any plans until, like, 2 hours ago, so surprise! things are all booked. Or have ridiculously high prices. It’s hard to pay $150 for a restaurant you frequent weekly and I don’t like truffle oil anyway.

2012 was a nice middle of the road year, no great highs, no deep lows. I decided I liked Seattle. I started dating someone nice and fun and funny. I kept in touch with faraway friends. My family visited me and I visited them. I was a bridesmaid in my dear friend’s wedding. I went camping and saw some beautiful sights. I ate and drank a lot. I freaked out about work more than is probably warranted.

Well, I’m off to cut up newspapers into confetti. Have a fun, safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

A Merry Little Christmas

I didn’t go home to Michigan for Christmas this year.

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I didn’t have enough days off, plane ticket prices were out of control. It just made more sense to stay in Seattle, and save my family time for January, when I will be able to stay in Michigan for 2+ weeks and work from home.

Sensible or not, this is the first time I haven’t spent Christmas in the UP, with my family. The run up to Christmas was a little difficult – I kept reassuring my parents and my self that this was the best option, that the holiday would be ok for all of us, if just a little different. I fretted about presents and shipping, worried that they would be sad, that I was ruining Christmas for my family.

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But then the holiday weekend came, and I didn’t get on a plane. We talked on the phone, I insured their packages would get there on December 24. We realized it was ok to do things differently. I realized this is part of growing up, of choosing to live across the country.

And I had a happy Christmas.

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I had fun opening presents from home.

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Maybe too much fun.

I spent the holidays with Chris. We watched a lot of movies. We made delicious food and bloody marys. I accidentally made 3 pans of cinnamon rolls.

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I miss my family and they miss me. But I had a nice holiday all the same.

Jennifer + Chris – 7.14.2012

What a wonderful weekend!

A week ago I flew to St. Louis to see my dear friends get married. Jennifer and Chris met when we were all in graduate school at Michigan, and I am so so happy for them, and happy to be a part of their wedding. They’re pretty awesome people individually, and an awesome couple to boot.

The wedding weekend started very early last Thursday, when JB and her mom picked me up at the airport at 5 am. They’re too nice.

When in Rome?

After a hearty breakfast, we went flower shopping! It was really neat – we got to go to florist wholesale warehouses and walk around the big chilly rooms selecting the flowers for the big day.

I got to share my bedroom with the flowers. We left the AC on.  Thursday also involved a run in the hot hot Midwest heat, getting our nails did, a fancy dinner, and meeting Chris’s family and friends.

Friday we helped with some cupcake and pie preparation and ran some errands. That’s one thing about weddings – there are endless amounts of errands to be run!

And then it was rehearsal time!

Their wedding was at the absolutely beautiful Missouri Botanical Gardens. It was such a perfect place, so many beautiful places throughout the whole garden, and the lovely Lantern Festival.

The rehearsal went well. I have to confess, I was nervous about my bridesmaid duties! I’m not used to standing up in front of people, even if all I have to do is stand there.

They were ready for the big day!

So were they!

After a nice and hot rehearsal we headed to rehearsal dinner. It was really fun – got to catch up with Adam and Katie and eat lots of pasta.

Then it was time for bed!

Saturday morning, bright and early, we had to get our hairs done did.

The beautiful bride, getting beautified.

After hair, the amazing Cheryl did our makeup. She’s a total pro!

And then it was time to wedge myself into my bridesmaid dress, make sure JB had everything she needed, and hop in a big white truck for the trek to the venue!

After we got the bride all dressed and ready to go and averted a few crises, it was picture time!

The ladies (JB, her sister Kelly, and me) looked lovely, and the fellas (Chris, his brother Stefan, and Jason) looked handsome (and hot! suits are tough in 90 degree weather).

Big red shoes.

And then, all of a sudden, it was wedding time!

The ceremony was darling, and lovely, and beautiful. I cried a little, and laughed a little. I’m just so happy for them!

After the wonderful ceremony, it was party time. We danced (a lot). We ate (a lot).

The bride played it cool.

No, she really did.

So much fun, such a happy time. ❤