Saturday, December 29, 2007

Collection of Presents

My last posting mentioned some gifts that I'm not a fan of receiving because I feel they lack thought. It's not meant to be a slam against people who give out candles or lotion as gifts. For people who really like those things, those are great ideas! I, however, am particular about my candles and cannot use any bath or body products unless they are completely natural. In the spirit of the season, I'm going to mention some of the best presents I've ever received, in no particular order.

-From my parents, a plane ticket to Spokane, WA to visit my best friend Becca (Christmas 2000/birthday 2001)
-Photo album from Jill with our favorite Sox moments from 2005, plus a card that declared me to be the best Sox fan- finally some recognition! (Birthday 2006)
-Wine accessories from Erin, after she overheard me tell her husband I needed a good wine stopper- sneaky! (Christmas 2007)
-Surprise party thrown by my roommate Michelle and friend Annie sophomore year of college- they even got my crush to come! (Birthday 2000)
-Irish Breakfast tea from Caribou from Dani (Christmas 2007)
-An easel from my brother Matt (Christmas 2005)
-Two Ansel Adams framed prints from my parents for college graduation (2002)
-Canon Rebel camera from my parents- they're pretty good at this! (Christmas 2001)
-Anyone who has ever given me the gift of music (my whole life)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

First Christmas

Christmas is my favorite holiday, although you might not realize that due to my passion for St. Patrick's Day. I love Christmas because you get to give gifts. That's right, emphasis on give, not receive. Thanks to Dr. Gary Chapman, I learned a few years ago that my primary love language is receiving gifts. Now I do love getting presents but what I really love is to get thoughtful presents. Anyone can buy a candle or lotion set- those are fallback gifts and incidentally I can't wear scented lotion due to my sensitive skin. But when you take a few minutes to think about people's interests and what they would really like...that's where I feel most loved. I do take pride in my present-giving abilities, whether it's for a loved one or a White Elephant.
Speaking of White Elephant gifts, this is what my dad's side of the family does. For my present I gathered all the lotions and shower gels I could find in my apartment (that belonged to me and not my roommate) and put them in a canvas bag along with a rubber duckie. These scented gifts had accumulated over the years and since I will be moving again this spring, I figured someone in my family would appreciate them. Aunt Patti was the lucky winner and she was quite thrilled with her pick. Christmas with the Kramer side had a few lighthearted moments but I think it can be aptly be summed up in my dad's words: "At least nobody cried."

Christmas morning was with my parents and my brother, in from Virginia for a week. We had our traditional coffee cake and prayer time. Then came the presents! Everyone loved what I got them- yay! I was blown away by my family's generosity. I'm very excited to be the proud owner of a slow cooker. Now I can make a nice meal for myself without slaving over the stove when I get home from work!

Christmas with the Petit side was at Uncle Terry and Aunt Sue's this year. I was a little apprehensive about our first Christmas without Grandma. Her presence was definitely missed but we are doing our best to start some new traditions. It wasn't the same but it was still a good holiday. It is always good to spend time with my family and eat some good food, especially when Jon deep fries the turkey. Grandma always read a story and a prayer before we could open presents. This year Heather read the Nativity story and I read a story by Max Lucado, Grandpa's favorite author. Then we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and Kelli blew out the candle on His Christmas muffin. After all the presents were opened, I passed out the Memory Books I had made which covered Grandma's last few months. I was a little nervous about how they would be received but everyone really appreciated the effort. I sat with Grandpa while he looked through it and cried. It was therapeutic for me to put the book together so I guess my hope is that it will be therapeutic for my family to look through it. It was a good Christmas but it seemed surreal. Still, it was a start.


Adam LOVES the presents I got him!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh no!

Aaron Rowand has been signed by the Giants. There go all of my White Sox dreams. What's an optimist to do? This news was not a good way to start the morning.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lorraine the Matchmaker

“Lorraine” is a sweet 80 year old patient with CHF living in a nursing home. Her son Larry had hired caregivers and served as her primary caregiver for quite a few years until her care became more than he could manage and led to some health problem of his own. Lorraine has been my patient since the end of July but due to her short and long term memory deficits, she never remembers who her hospice team is. My recent visit was no exception.
Lorraine was sitting in the dining room with other residents while music played in the background. She is always sweet and pleasant to everyone, whether she remembers them or not. On this particular day she believed that I was Larry’s girlfriend! I told her that I was not Larry’s girlfriend but that I did know him, which she was glad to hear. I quickly changed the subject. We talked about the music playing, which she didn’t like since it wasn’t classical, and her life. She talked about taking care of her 20 year old grandson Mike when he was younger but at first did not remember the reason why she babysat for him- because of Larry’s divorce. Once she remembered she told me all about Larry’s ex-wife. She next talked about working as a pediatric nurse and running her family restaurant. Lorraine always asks if you’ve eaten anything, usually several times during the visit because she doesn’t remember your first answer.
After I reassured her that I had eaten a very good breakfast, she asked me again if I was dating Larry. When I told her no, she asked me why not. She sang his praises while I tried not to laugh and come up with the best response. She wouldn’t understand the ethical implications of a social worker dating a family member of a hospice patient- she does not even know that she is a hospice patient. I can’t tell her that Larry is overly attached to her and this is resulting in some large mental health issues. So I went with the honest answer: “Sorry, Lorraine, he’s too old for me.” Larry is at least in his 50s.
She then asked me how old I was. “27? That’s nothing! Larry is only 30.” She was very satisfied that there were no obstacles to her matchmaking plans. I didn’t have the heart to tell her Larry’s real age. Although, I thought to myself, if Larry was 30 then he would have been 10 when he had his son Mike- yikes! As I left Lorraine that day I promised I would consider going on a date with Larry, confident that by the time Larry visited her later that day she would have forgotten all about her schemes and I would be in the clear once again.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving

First Thanksgiving without Grandma. In a word: bittersweet. Grandma was the ultimate hostess that I could not conceive of a holiday function without her. I think it helped that my parents hosted it at their house. I went over early in the morning to help cook and clean, good daughter that I am. I also didn't want my mom to be alone while she was getting everything ready. Yes, my dad and brother were in the house but there are some things they just don't understand. All my aunts, uncles, and cousins made it- close to on time even. My mom prayed for us and then my Grandpa spoke before the meal. Very few eyes remained dry. I think Grandma would have been proud to see us gathering together. Somehow we keep moving forward. It was good to take time to focus on the blessings in our lives. God is still faithful, loving, and true. Life may be different but He never changes. There are still many things I am thankful for, including this very holiday. The food was amazing! The conversation never ceased (partially because my family is full of talkers. Shocker.) Two year old Kelli kept us all entertained and we even played team Scrabble. All in all, a success.

The next night my family put up the Christmas decorations at my parents' house. I put up the Nativity scene as usual. My mom and I did most of the work, also as usual. After the tree was finished we gathered around with mugs of eggnog to discuss the coming season and what our hopes and prayers are. I hope these traditions continue in the years to come. Is it really Christmas without eggnog? I don't think so.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Interesting dreams from the last few months

*It is late at night. Michael Myers (the killer in the Halloween movies which I have never seen making this even more random) has kidnapped me. But he doesn't know it's me because I am an undercover agent. I am brilliantly disguised as a dog. Not someone in a dog suit, I look like a real dog. There were a few other agents similarly disguised but Michael did not capture them; he might have killed some of them, I wasn't too sure. We were mixed in with real dogs so he kidnapped some of the real dogs too. He doesn't know that I'm an agent. He is driving me and the real dogs in a van. The drivers seat is on the right side of the car (are we in Ireland?) and he is holding on to my hand/paw as I am laying down on the passenger seat. I just keep telling myself to be very still and pretend to be asleep. Meanwhile I am trying to figure out where he is taking us and how we can escape. I'm not scared but when I woke up I was pretty unsettled.
*I am Hugh Hefner's 4th girlfriend. We are traveling through Europe and are at one of the stops, walking up a lane to a fancy castle. Holly, Bridget, and Kendra are still his girlfriends and we are still taping episodes of their reality show "The Girls Next Door." Apparently as Hugh's latest girlfriend, I don't have to sleep with him but I get all the other perks of having a sugar daddy. This does not sound like a bad deal at all!
*It's interpretative dance time. I am leading some other people through an interpretative dance but this dance has purpose. Through our dance moves we are showing someone how to break out of a lifesize eggshell. I'm not sure if this guy is trapped or not but it seems important to show him how to get out while having fun at the same time.
*There are a bunch of us traveling together. I think we're in college and it's part of some traveling performance so naturally there is a long bus ride involved. I am struggling through a hotel/dorm with my suitcase and weekender tote and I can't remember what room I'm staying in and Jill won't answer her phone to tell me what the number is. Luckily I run into some other friends and they know where the room is. When I get in the room, Jill realizes her phone was on silent. Then it seems like we're there for a college reunion and the fact that Jill and I didn't go to the same college doesn't seem to matter.
*While I am wandering through a chic kitschy kind of shopin Geneva which I appear to own, I am given the inspiration to write a children's book. Since I've been considering writing for some time, when I woke up I wondered if this was divine inspiration and promptly did nothing about it.
*My roommate's boyfriend told me he was going to kill me but I wasn't worried. I knew that I could outsmart any plan he would come up with. My only reaction was, "Oh, crap! How am I going to tell Donna this?"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Get Fuzzy


Is it wrong if I too aspire to be a meat janitor? I'm not going to go out there and kill the cows myself but there is just nothing like a good steak! Man, I love this comic!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

They went to the chapel and they got married!

With my favorite cousins: Jon, Pat, and the lucky groom Adam

With my favorite cousin's wives: Heather and the lucky bride Kelly

My cousin Adam married his long-time live-in girlfriend Kelly on Saturday. As I told her, it's about time you're an official member of this family! The day was perfect for a wedding and much hotter than anything you would expect in October. Adam asked me to read scripture during the ceremony- the classic 1 Corinthians 13 verses on LOVE. I was really honored to be a part of the wedding. And my reading was apparently so good that Kelly cried! How's that? The reception was a blast as I knew it would be. Joey was the perfect date and we both received many compliments on our dancing abilities. I wrangled my cousins, aunts, uncles, and my coworker Beth (in small world occurrences her husband went to high school with my uncle and they are all good family friends) out on the dance floor as much as possible. I just try to keep the party going. Evidence that my family might be catching on (or giving up hope)- no one asked me when I was going to get married or referenced that I would be "next." Of course, now I will have to fend off all Joey-related inquiries. Apparently it is not possible to be just friends with anyone anymore. But hey, life is good. Adam and Kelly are married. I was looking good Saturday. The Cubs lost. I do extend my sympathy to all Cubs fans but let's face it, I'm looking forward to Wrigley having to update their World Series counter to the grand number of 100. Besides the obvious, can it get any better than this?

With Mom and Dad (they celebrated 29 years of marriage on Sunday!)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ha ha!

When I read the newspaper headlines that the Cubs lost Game 1 to the Diamondbacks, I was elated. I wanted to hoot and holler. I chose not to, out of respect to my roommate who was sick (not related to the Cubs loss). Keep losing, Cubbies, keep losing!

Unfortunately the Phillies lost too but I'm confident they'll turn things around.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

In the news

I've done what some of my loyal readers dream of: my response is in a Christian Singles Today article on hospitality! Please form a line to my right if you'd like an autograph. Or better yet, come on over to Chili and Doughnut Night as I showcase my abilities as a hostess. Not sure what Chili and Doughnut Night is? Better read on.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The weekend report

The weekend had several pros and cons and overall I would say it was a good weekend.

Let's start with the positives: my best friend Tracy and her husband were in town from Nashvegas for the weekend, quality bonding time with Mom, new clothes at bargain prices, Kibibi and I had a nice heart to heart whilst she picked up her PartyLite candles, hanging out with Brooke and Jackie at the last Sox game of the season.

The negatives: Cubs mania has started already (at least they lost yesterday!), the Sox also lost yesterday (SO depressing!), being a 5th wheel to your married best friends.

My predictions? The Cubs will screw up the miracle that got them this far. 2008 for the Sox will bring some good players back to the team (please, Lord, send us Aaron!). And I will become more content. Not sure how, but it's got to happen one of these days! Actually I should pray that my family accepts the fact that my husband is taking the leisurely route. If I didn't have them picking on me, maybe I wouldn't feel so pressured to bring a date to my cousin's wedding just to keep them off my back for awhile.

Anyway, the weekend really was fun. We had dinner at the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. Small space but amazing food! Saturday while they were enjoying Wheaton College homecoming activities, I went shopping with my mom which was great. I love spending time with her and I love that we both love resale shops so much! Saturday night we cooked out at Mark and Erin's with some other pals and then headed over to Muldoon's. My childhood best friend Ruth ended up being there. I haven't seen her since we were in college so it was so fun to catch up! The weather was terrific yesterday so even though the Sox lost horrifically, it was still a good day to be at a ballgame. And get free posters.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One good thing about this season


#500

Walk off homer.

On Jim Thome bobblehead day.

Priceless.


I confess I got a little teary-eyed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What would YOU do for a Klondike bar?

Apparently I will hike the Grand Canyon. Once Donna and I got to the top after an 8 mile hike out of the Havasu reservation, we saw people eating ice cream and were similarly inspired. Ice cream tastes infinitely better after you've been hiking in 100 degree weather. It was an awesome trip and I would highly encourage everyone to go to Havasu. The waterfalls are beautiful and pictures just do not do them justice!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mystery Music

First things first, sign a petition to ensure that 50 Cent does not back out on his challenge to Kanye West. This is the kind of thing that makes me smile!



In other music news...Q101 has been playing a new song all month without revealing the band or the title under the premise that they don't want people to listen with preconceived notions. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They will be telling all on August 30. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is the boy band of yore: Hanson. It's a combination of familiar vocals and what kind of band would most loyal Q101 listeners scoff at.

I confess I was a fan of "MmmBop" back in the day. It was my guilty pleasure. If I'm right and it is Hanson, then I totally understand the sneaky tactic. But they don't really sound more "rockerish" than before. I could easily see 101.9 The Mix playing this particular tune (although I laugh whenever The Mix plays Blue October or Linkin Park- seriously? You're a cheesy pop music station!)
OK, I started posting this on a total whim but I am a genius! I was totally right! Hanson's website has a link to a video for the "Great Divide." (Apparently sales on ITunes benefit HIVSA- good for them!) Lo and behold- that is the song! I just love myself right now. Not only did I figure out the Q101 riddle, but Hanson proved that they have grown up a bit musically. Good for them! Still won't be buying their CD- I have to save those shekels for Kanye.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Those dirty rascals

I was raised Republican. Once I got to college and began my sociology major, I realized that I may not completely agree with my parents' political views. Shortly before the 2000 Presidential election I sat down, researched the issues, and discovered, lo and behold, I was a Democrat. I wrote a long letter to my parents explaining my true political beliefs and called my mom a few days later. It turns out she never gave the letter to my dad, figuring he would be too upset by my change of heart. I remember one year I asked him about absentee ballots and he said he would help me get one...depending on who I was going to vote for. I'm still not sure if he was joking. Since I have graduated from college my views have mellowed a bit and I would say I'm a moderate liberal. It's hard to be completely enamored with either political party given the current state of affairs. This is why I have been such a big fan of Barack Obama. I was in graduate school at University of Chicago when he was running for Senate- a lot of people were very involved in his campaign. Given that I was working part time and juggling school and an internship, I was unable to get involved but I was rooting for him all the way. He's young, he's idealistic, he could be the fresh voice we need, and all that jazz. When he decided to run for president, I was disappointed that he didn't keep his promise to finish his first term before he thought of future aspirations. But things are the way they are. I'm wishing him the best. I usually don't commit to any candidate during the primaries but when I saw Obama's campaign tent at the Pitchfork Music Festival last month, I couldn't contain myself. I bought a bumper sticker and it was beautiful. I proudly put it on my car the next day, apparently to the chagrin of DuPage County Republicans. This morning I realized that someone stole my bumper sticker! When I noticed it was gone, I thought maybe it had somehow fallen off. But upon further inspection, I am sure that it was removed from my car. The cowards! It either happened in my apartment complex parking lot or in my parent's driveway. My apartment is the more likely suspect and I will have an eagle eye out for all shifty AMLI residents. For a moment I thought about calling the police, the way people like to do when someone steals a campaign sign out of their lawn. It would be funny to see how the cops would react to this one. "Um, they stole your bumper sticker?" I would suggest they look for an angry Republican. If they're a bad thief, maybe the bumper sticker is sticking to them. How's that for irony? They may have removed the sticker from my car this time but they can't keep a good woman down for long. If I was rich I would go out and buy Obama stickers for every car in the lot. That'll teach them to mess with me! Or I can just get a new one for myself. I've been meaning to put up my Sojourner's "God is not a Republican...or a Democrat" sticker on anyway.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Down with 50

I enjoy Kanye West. "Jesus Walks" was an anthem during the 2005 World Series, if only because it played during every commercial break. I thought "Golddigger" was hillariously well-crafted. However, for no particular reason, I've never purchased one of his CDs. That is about to change. This morning the Tribune published a little tidbit that CDs by 50 Cent and Kanye will release on the same day, September 11. Apparently 50 Cent has decided that if CD does not outsell Kanye's, he will give up his solo career. Silly 50. He may have wished me a happy birthday and then sipped Bacardi but he lost me after all that bro's and ho's talk. With this challenge, he's made me an offer I can't refuse. You can be sure I will be marching my cute butt over to Best Buy on September 11 and buying Kanye's new CD.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ernie

Ernie is one of my favorite patients. He is a sweet older gentleman at one of the nursing homes. Last week he suddenly developed an interest in watching Jerry Springer. Since that's what he wanted to do, I had no choice but to watch with him. This may be the only time in my life that I will be able to say that I am glad I watched the disturbing show. AJ Pierzynski was a guest security guard! So random and, yet, it made perfect sense. God bless him.

Today Bert was playing Bunco with 5 other residents and an activity aid. And so, I learned how to play as well. Easy but delightful. I borrowed 2 Frank Lloyd Wright books from the library for Ernie as he is a big fan (don't let my dad know!) and the stories poured out about why he admired the architect and different homes he had been able to visit.

When it was time to leave, Ernie admonished me to drive safe, as always. Who knows what the next visit will bring?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Prison exercise

Prisoners in the Philippines have an interesting take on dancing, the required form of exercise. The "Thriller" video has always freaked me out a little bit. Watching prisoners reenact the whole thing? Don't even get me started.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Caseload Check-in

My caseload has reached a new all-time high...47. God help me! It's puzzling that the other social workers have at least 10 less each than me. I guess I'm just popular, or at least my territory is.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tadahito

One of the saddest parts of coming home Friday night? Listening to the Sox game on the radio (we won!) and discovering that Gooch had been traded. Brooke and I were horrified by this. I looked at her mournfully and said, "No more Tadahito cheer." We said the cheer in our saddest voices for one last time.
I say Tada, you say Hito.
Tada.
Hito.
Tada.
Hito.

I'll miss you Gooch. Say hi to Aaron for me. I'm dreaming of a day when we will be together once more. P.S. Thanks for beating the Cubs yesterday!

In breaking news, we have apparently traded Mackowiak for a Padres pitcher. Now I don't have my Mackowiak cheer either! What the crap? And could it get any worse? The Red Sox are trying to take my Jermaine Dye away from me!

Ahoy Boundary Waters!


My week in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota was exceptionally challenging, peaceful, rewarding, and fun. I bought a map of the area we canoed through because it is crazy the amount of miles we canoed and portaged our way through. Brooke and I got along famously as ever and the rest of our all girl group was just as awesome. There was great teamwork with a healthy dose of spontaneity thrown in. So what if we couldn't shower all week or use deodorant? We were more than conquerors! Like all vacations the time went by way too fast. I am sad to be back in the working world again. At least I have my Grand Canyon trip to look forward to! I wonder if I'll still have my bruises by then...At the very least I'll have my impressive biceps which will not help me in any way while I hike but will still look, well, impressive. I would highly recommend a BW trip to anyone interested.God reminded me of some great truths while I was out in His wilderness. There's something so restorative about being in nature, especially after these last few months. I am still grieving but I felt that part of my grief was surrendered during this trip. I am slowly moving forward, leaning heavily on Him.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A few things...

1. I'm so happy that Buehrle resigned! It is the one bright moment we have had lately what with all the ups and downs. Today I read that the Sox would need .700 in order to win 90 games this season. Even I, the Eternal Sox Optimist, have to admit this is unlikely.
2. Top Chef announced that the next season will be shot in Chicago. Yay! Erin and I are hoping to be groupies. If they won't serve us, maybe they'll at least let us stand in the background. Colicchio!
3. Tomorrow is my last day of work for a week! Yes, blessed vacation! I will be canoeing the Boundary Waters by day, hard core camping by night. Nature is always restorative but hopefully I won't be working too hard to enjoy it. It will be so good to just get away for awhile. Next vacation: going back to the Grand Canyon over Labor Day.
4. I was reminiscing about my trip to Ireland. Such good fun times. Jill, I think we should get back there stat.
5. Last weekend I went to the Pitchfork Music Festival, a good time as always. I ended up just going on Saturday as I had to be on-call for a coworker on Sunday but most of who I wanted to see was there on Saturday anyway. Highlights- Iron and Wine, Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound (perfect summer music), Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues, to list a few. Also, Yoko Ono is a little bit crazy. She passed out flashlights so we could send "flashes of love" to promote world peace. A little corny and yet touching at the same time. I highly recommend that you go next year if you get a chance.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's just like, it's just like..a mini mall

Now that I get the newspaper again (yes!!!!) I am not only up to date on current affairs but I am able to read human interest stories, such as Sammy Stevens who owns the Flea Market Montgomery and wrote a rap song/commercial to draw in customers. Little did he expect that his commercial, once posted on You Tube, would bring him fame. He has since appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and is going to shoot a commercial for Walter E. Smithe furniture. Apparently different artists have covered the song at shows and now You Tube has spawned a variety of spoofs. Of course I had to check out the rap for myself. Not the best thing I've ever heard but it is darn catchy.
The original:


Shaun Groves takes it down a notch:


Shawshank style:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

The Wheaton parade seemed to go much quicker and more smoothly than I can ever remember. The floats were interesting (Carlson's had an awesome cicada theme- they always do a great job!) and the theme remained patriotic, seeing as how we were there to celebrate our independence and honor the men and women who have fought for our country. God bless America and, more importantly, God bless the world.



Donna with MagnetStreet (no, that's not a real baby!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ugggg

I was at yesterday's atrocious game. I held back from saying anything about my righteous indignation until now. Like all other Sox fans at the game, Brooke and I were furious to see 3 Cubs players return to the bases after a double play in the 8th inning. When you don't have a radio or tv announcer clueing you in on the umpire's mindset, you have to fill in the blanks yourself but we were clueless. The pickles were entertaining and also damning evidence. I am pretty sure the umpires were paid off. Ozzie put up a good yet calm fight and subsequently was ejected. It made no sense! It was not until after the game that my cousin Jon (the sole Cubs fan who did not gloat after the game- at least to my face!) told me that they had called interference on Uribe and thus declared a dead ball. I still had some doubt in my mind but figured I'd catch it on the replay. Well, I just watched the Comcast replay of the 8th inning and I am just as puzzled as Hawk and DJ were- and they had the benefit of multiple cameras and instant replays! I kept my eyes trained on Juan and did not see this supposed interference (apparently it "happened" when Pagan rounded 2nd.) So I am still mad! But I feel a little better now that I have vented. It was hard to leave the game having to face all the gloaters. Yeah, yeah, you finally swept us. Been there, done that. It was harder still to get gloating text messages and emails. I mean seriously, why kick me when I'm already down? As I thought further- and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong- but I have never called, texted, or emailed a Cubs fan to rub their face in a loss. In fact, I never even bring up their evident shortcomings. The Cubs fans in my life are always the ones who bring up team pride. And yes, I will always respond and rise to the occasion. Whether it means reminding them of our recent World Series championship or of that tiny little fact that they have not won one of their own in almost 100 years. Poor, low self-esteem Cubs fans, always trying to feel powerful by cutting us down. Well, we all know that this weekend will be the high point of their season. They should enjoy it while they can.

Royal Deluxe

My brilliant cousin Emily showed me this interesting clip a few weeks ago. Apparently this French troupe has done "shows" on most continents but has not been to the US yet. That could change soon if Emily's company has anything to say about it...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Could I be any happier that the work week is over?

Work has sucked this week, from the lack of motivation to disappointing responses from coworkers. I cannot fault my coworkers who told some of my patients and their families that my grandma had died- they had somewhat of a right to know where I've been the last couple of weeks- but it was disconcerting to face their condolences when I am trying my hardest to stay strong for them. Not an easy thing to do when Grandma is brought up first thing but I'm doing the best I can. I can fault several coworkers who have risked the wrath of Leigh this week however. My anger is justified but I'm keeping my mouth shut because we do not want this volcano to explode. (Is it strange to be this self aware of my grief reactions?) Anyway, prime example of idiot coworker #1...Before the funeral service he (a chaplain no less) came up to me and said, "You know, there are 7 priests participating in the service...I'm sure we could work out something for you to be welcomed back to the Church" (his attempt to joke about me converting to Catholicism). My family was all around me, most of whom are devout Catholics and I pray they did not hear him because they would not find it funny. Oh, and did I mention it was right before her funeral? I was so pissed off! How much more inappropriate could he be? I soon found out on Wednesday after our social service team meeting. He looked at me and said, "What? You didn't bring the leftovers from your Grandma's luncheon?" I just shut down to avoid nuclear meltdown. All this from people who work in hospice! I could go on but it's just a pointless exercise. Some coworkers have been great, like Beth and Vickie, so I try to keep that at the forefront. I swear, if someone offered me a new job today I'd probably take it. In the meantime, mom is encouraging me to do this work in honor of Grandma. I know Grandma was really proud of the field I chose to work in- she was practically the original hospice caregiver with all the many sick people she took care of during the course of her lifetime. For now, I'm just praying God will give me enough strength to get through the day without exploding or bursting into tears. If I can just look and act like a professional, then maybe it won't matter how I feel.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Grandma

Earlene "Grandma", age 78, of Farmtown, IL, passed away peacefully at her home, early Sunday morning, June 10, 2007. Recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, Earlene fought with great courage. But when it became clear that a cure was not to be, Earlene chose to live her last days at home on the farm. With the help of her family and a loving care team from Hospice, Earlene was able to return home with Pete. There, surrounded by family and friends, and true to her faith, Earlene submitted to her calling with grace and peace, and offered it up. In those precious days, she poured out blessings with every breath and continued to pray for loved one’s and friends, near and far . Earlene and her twin brother, Earl, were born on April 24,1929, the third set of twins, and the youngest of thirteen children.
As Peter recalls, during Earlene’s upperclassman years at Madonna, she needed a date for a special dance. Pete, then attending Marmion MilitaryAcademy, and “coincidentally” boarding with Earlene’s cousin, was the logical escort. “An officer and a gentleman”, Pete agreed to be Earlene’s date for the dance. As he would later recall, “I thought she was really cute and had a personality to match”. Following graduation, the romance continued. Earlene went to work as a dental assistant and remained at home, helping raise her sister,Teresa, a special needs child, after their father passed away. Five years after that first date, Peter secretly asked Earlene’s mother if he could have Earlene’s hand in marriage. Receiving her blessing, Pete proposed to Earlene just before Christmas. They were married in the spring, on June 17, 1950. Surely that day, angels sang on high, for their marriage was truly made in heaven. Earlene, the city girl, left town for life on the farm. Together Earlene and Pete raised six children on his family’s farm near Farmtown and set before them a living example of sacrificial love, genuine joy and true faith. The story of Earlene’s life tells it all.
While caring for her mother, Earlene delivered farm fresh eggs there every week and came to be called the “Egg Lady”. She always had a good sense of humor and more than lived up to her name. After Pete’s sister, Louise Zang, died in 1956,Pete and Earlene brought the Zang family into their home for several years. For this gift of love, Earlene’s Alma Mater named her “Mother of the Year”. That award could have been the title of Earlene’s biography as her “mothering” continued among many other family members and friends. A woman well acquainted with grief, Earlene cared for many people who were dying, among them her own daughter, Donna, who passed away in 1960 at the age of eight. Faithful and loving to the last, Earlene cared for her mother, brother and sister-in-law, and her older sister, Teresa, for whom she cared for twenty-six years. Before Teresa’s death on April 11, 2007, Earlene turned her home into a hospice and was Teresa’s constant caregiver for nine months. Just days after Teresa’s passing, Earlene began her own battle with cancer. Her home continued to be a hospice, something Earlene’s husband, Pete, tenderly referred to as “God’s waiting room”.
Despite everything, Earlene found time to be an active member of S.S. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, served as a CCD teacher, joined many committees at church, sang in the choir, was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society, participated in the “Walk for Life” and her parish prayer group. Earlene was also a Eucharistic Minister and often took communion to the homebound. Attending daily mass, Earlene served as lector for as long as anyone can remember. She was a member of the Rockford Cursillo, the Ladies Home Extension and a local womens’ “Club” that met monthly for over fifty-five years. In more recent years, she also became part of the care-giving family at Conley Funeral Home. Earlene’s hands and heart were never idle. Her other interests included gardening, canning, sewing, cooking, knitting, corresponding, reading, taking pictures, craft work, religious study, and praying for those on her prayer list. She simply and truly loved people, always showing them hospitality and making them laugh.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

From The Inside Out
by Hillsong United
album: United We Stand (2006)

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New shirts


Friday's game was great for many reasons (those seats are nice!) but mostly because they won! Brooke and I were starting to think that we were cursed; with about 11 more games ahead of us, that would not mean good things for the Sox. However, the curse has been lifted. It could have something to do with the debut of our 2007 shirts. Luckily they were not prophetic as we grabbed the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. We may not have gotten the free hats (curse you Green Line!) but the rain held off until after the game, just another example of how God was smiling on us that night. Random- as Jill and I were getting off the Metra we discovered Todd, a fellow G5Ger who was also at the game, was just one car over. How on earth did we not see each other at Ogilvie?
On Saturday my Grandma was readmitted to the hospital as her condition has backslid again. She started chemo a week early and now we just have to wait and see if she'll bounce back the way she did before. This sucks. The rest of Memorial Day weekend was mostly fun. I karaokeed my heart out Sunday night at Mark's surprise party. It was just the kind of distraction I needed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

LOST

Was Desmond trying to be Jesus?
Next week is going to be great!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Car wars

I hate driving behind people that are driving under the speed limit, cutting people off, not using their turn signal, the list goes on. I'm sure you do too. The other day I was on Butterfield trying to get to a friend's party. I wasn't in a particular rush to get there but I would have liked to at least be going 50 (posted speed limit). Apparently the car in front of me thought 35-40 was a better pace. As I was grumbling to myself, I saw the "W" decal from the last presidential election and thought, "Of course this guy would be a Bush supporter!" And then I realized that whenever I'm behind an idiot driver and they have Republican or Cubs parapharnelia on their car, I attribute it to another level of their stupidity. Then I thought about when the idiot driver's car happens to have White Sox bumper stickers instead and realized that I'm much more forgiving. "Oh, a fellow Sox fan! They must be having a bad day or they just didn't realize what the speed limit is." I think this is the real reason why I won't put a Jesus fish or any Christian bumper stickers on (besides their usual cheesy awfulness)- I don't want people to judge my driving and have it reflect badly on Christians. We get enough grief as it is.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

What's your role?

Dr. Bayer has pronounced my Grandma to be his star patient regarding how well she has responded to the chemotherapy. Praise God! Her kidneys are stable and her numbers are looking pretty good overall. Still no word on the prognosis but we are hopeful she'll be with us for quite some time. On Monday Grandma will go to a skilled nursing facility (aka nursing home) for rehab. Once she's stronger she'll go home. In the meantime she'll go to the cancer center for chemo and radiation. She's a determined, faith-filled lady so who's to say she can't beat this?

The other day I was with a few coworkers when one pulled me aside and said, "You still look sad." It wasn't much of an observation and I was taken aback. Aunt Teresa died just 3 weeks ago. Yes, my Grandma is responding well to treatment but she still has terminal cancer. And she expected me to be all sunshine and roses? It's not as if I was acting like a pessimist or sad sap during our meeting. It just blew me away for a few moments until I figured out where her statement was really coming from. She, like many people in my life, needs me to be strong for her. In fact, although I am a good support for my loved ones, unlike most, she expects me to be strong for her. And normally I can do this without a problem. It's not hard to understand why I might not be able to listen to her problems as easily since I think they pale in comparison to what's been going on my life lately. Also most of her problems are her own fault so it is hard to advise someone the same things over and over again, knowing they are not willing to change. Still her words got me thinking about my role in others lives once again and what my expectations are for those around me. It's always easy to say these situations bring out people's true colors or that you find out who your true friends are. It's easy but I think we're lying to ourselves at the same time. Because I know that I have failed my friends in situations where I should have risen to the occasion. I should not be that shocked when human beings act like, well, humans. That's not to say we shouldn't exercise the gift of discernment. I hope that at the same time I can extend the gift of grace.

On another note, who is excited about LOST???? This week's episode was phenomenal- finally a few more answers and of course, a few more questions. All leading to what should be an explosive finale. How on earth will we wait all summer?

I won't comment on the current White Sox situation. They're just breaking my heart and I am struggling to summon my extra reserves of hope. Never fear- we will carry on.

Monday, April 30, 2007

When it rains, it pours

"I'm also realizing that my grandparents are getting ever older. We just never know how much time we have left." Journal entry April 13, 2007
It turns out I am strangely prophetic. Grandma (who was Aunt Teresa's caregiver) was admitted to the hospital a week ago today as she was dehydrated and in a pain crisis from her back. After bloodwork, a bone scan, and several other tests, she was diagnosed with Stage III Multiple Myeloma and renal failure on Wednesday. The doctor told us she was actively dying and without treatment, she would be with us for maybe a few days to a few weeks. Needless to say this has been a hellish week. She started chemotherapy with the hope of decreasing her pain and increasing her time (quality time, that is) left with us. Each day she has improved! Her kidney function is up to 51% now and her calcium continues to decrease. Her numbers are looking good, although there is no hope outside of a miracle that she will be cured. It is wonderful to see how she is doing. It was such a shock to see how declined she was last Wednesday. She was very lethargic and disoriented, sleeping most of the time. I did manage to get a smile out of her when I told her I, her favorite granddaughter, was there. It's a new joke between me and Grandma since Teresa started on hospice. Hopefully Clara and Emily won't be offended! Work has been hard, especially Thursday and Friday. A new patient I saw first thing Thursday morning told me her goal was to make it to her granddaughter's wedding in 2 weeks. A great goal but all I could think of was how unlikely it is that my grandma will make it to my own wedding. For the past few years I have teased her, telling her she has to take care of herself because I want her at my wedding- and we all know how long it could be before that happens! My bosses have been pretty understanding and I've been able to work a few half days. Friday Grandma was more awake and yesterday she looked so much better! We were able to have some good conversations and I will cherish these moments forever. I don't know how much time we have left but I know Grandma is determined to fight this thing and with the million people we have praying (she's a part of the Catholic network and well esteemed throughout the country), who knows what will happen? I have felt God's peace increasingly since last Wednesday and I know He will continue to comfort us no matter what the outcome.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Teresa May 11/18/27 - 4/11/07

It has been an overwhelming week. Teresa's wake was Sunday afternoon. Over 500 people came through Conley's Funeral Home to pay their respects. We wore bows in our hair in Teresa's honor- her bows were her pride and joy. It was nice to spend time with family and see relatives and friends I hadn't seen in awhile. At 6:30 there was a visitation service where people shared their favorite memories of Teresa. If my thoughts had been more pulled together I would have talked about the time I learned Teresa was a White Sox fan (she always tended to agree with her favorite great-niece...me!) or when my former Aunt Linda and I pulled Teresa out on the dance floor at my cousin's wedding. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. My grandpa shared the eulogy he had written earlier and that is when my emotions got the best of me. He read, "What will we do without our Teresa?" alluding to an inside joke between my grandma and Teresa. After the service the visitation line continued as not everyone had had a chance to go through before the service. It was a long but encouraging day to see how many people had been affected by my aunt. The church was full for the funeral Monday morning. My grandma asked me to help place the pall (a cloth) over the casket at the beginning of the funeral, which I was honored to do. I was most affected by the music selected and when my grandpa read the eulogy again. Originally I was going to leave after the luncheon and work a half day but the hospice team members that came for the service convinced me that I needed to go to the burial as well. A decision I'm glad I made. Bruce Conley, the funeral director and a close family friend, added so many special touches. Everyone at the cemetery was given a packet of wildflower seeds to be planted in Teresa's memory. After the service, they released a dove which was an amazing thing to see. There's so much I could say and yet I'm still so overwhelmed and exhausted by these last few days. After the service I went back to my grandparents' house for a few hours to spend more time with family. I joked with my cousin Pat that I wasn't going to know what to do with myself once I didn't get to see him all the time. There are a lot of adjustments ahead for us all but especially for my grandma. At the same time, life goes on. Today my dad had knee surgery. Mark Buehrle built his confidence. And I need to find the balance between work and home, especially now while the lines are blurred. What will we do without our Teresa? It's hard to say and too soon to tell.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Church of St. Theresa

That is the term Chaplain Ron used to describe Aunt Teresa's final vigil when he visited yesterday afternoon. Tuesday night Grandma was finally able to tell Teresa goodbye, that it was OK for her to be with their mother again. Wednesday morning Teresa slipped into a comatose state. My coworkers let me know that she was actively dying. I was able to be at the house with my grandparents, hospice RN Donna, hospice volunteer Karen, and Ron during her final moments. She went to heaven at 4:53 pm April 11. We are sad but comforted knowing that she is finally at peace. It has been a long journey but a blessed one. God provided wonderful caregivers that were able to help Grandma when her back gave out 2 weeks ago and a fantastic hospice team (I'm not saying that just because I'm biased!). I had prayed that I would be with Teresa at the end, both for myself and to support my grandparents, and I am glad that it happened that way. In a sense even Teresa waited until the perfect time- just that morning she had had her hair done and her fingernails painted! Even now I marvel at God's timing and how he has brought good from the bad. It has been overwhelming at times to see my personal and professional lives blur together but I would not have had it any other way when I look back and see how God has worked in my life and continued to teach me. I pray that I will always be teachable and ready to receive His grace and strength.

Thank you to all who have been praying and for all the words and gestures of support. Words aren't enough to express my appreciation.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!

Excerpts from an email conversation I had with friends a few years ago on the concept of forgiveness:

Seems to me like betrayal is a key issue in the Bible. Jesus was betrayed by his own friends...I always see the foot washing service as Jesus caring for and forgiving in advance, those who were to hurt him by their betrayal. So when I wash feet, I forgive the person in advance, because they will fail me. God was betrayed by Adam and Eve, who chose their own way over God's. So maybe it is just one of the big themes of life...as is power and control, and trusting. So each time it happens, we process it and decide who we are planning on being now. How is this going to form our life's story? My husband has a big problem with criticism and always feels like a failure. So if I say, "Did you remember to get the milk?" which is a question, he hears, "You are a failure, you can't remember somethings as simple as milk, you are a total idiot." But he doesn't feel the hurt and rejection I feel. We had a married couple as friends. When they chose to walk away, I was devastated. He was not. One book I was reading, calls those tender spots, arrow wounds...that is where someone sent an arrow of pain into our life, and although the end of the arrow is pretty invisible, anything touching even lightly on it, causes movement and great pain. I want to see if I can be brave enough to face the arrows in my life.

As far as forgiving the person in advance...If we could do this sincerely in all relationships, knowing that as imperfect people we are bound to disappoint one another, I wonder if we would be able to accept these failings with more grace and understanding. I've been learning to hold my relationships loosely, knowing that they are a gift to me while I'm on earth but not anything I'm entitled to have or can claim to control or hold on to.

I say about any relationship, that I will hold it in my hand as a butterfly, treasuring it, but not holding on to it. Of course, I don't listen to myself. I ask people for promises that they inevitably break. So, a new rule, no promises asked. People do really mean to follow through, but times change and they change, and suddenly it is a new person with a familiar name who broke that promise. And I know, too, I will fail people, be grouchy when I should be caring, be busy when I should be present, talk about my issues rather than listening to theirs. So we can only function in that truth of our brokenness.

May the truth of God's gift of forgiveness guide you further in your walk with Him and extend to all your relationships. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Home Opener Review Attempt 2

So Blogger is dumb and posted my review of the home opener in very very tiny font, which I did not notice until now because when you preview everything, it looked fine. So here is what I wrote yesterday underneath the Scott Merkin quotes.

Paulie and AJ prove yet again why I love them! Ah yes, Opening Day. It started out with much promise but our hopes were mostly dashed by the first inning, aside from Darin Erstad's stellar home run. Pretty much glad to have him on the team! Nonetheless, we all had a good time at the game. I enjoyed baseball food- Nachos!- and even got some free Sox beads. This must be my year for getting beads- I like it! Jackie and I made up a new cheer for AJ inspired by a game of bags and it was good to have the Bond crew together again for the home opener. I'm still excited for baseball season and things can only improve from here! (Thus sayeth the eternal Sox optimist.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A bad start does not equal a bad season

"Falling behind hitters. Location. He couldn't get his split over the plate," added Pierzynski, expounding on Contreras' problems. "They didn't swing at any and it just kind of spiraled from there. But he's going to be fine. It was just a bad day."

Pierzynski and his teammates viewed the team's Opening Day loss in the same manner, poking fun at writing off the season after one very rough showing.
"You just hate that it comes on Opening Day, when everyone has high hopes," said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who hit his first home run with two outs in the third. "But we won the last Opening Day and what did that do for us?"
"If you get off to a great start, everyone is on cloud nine. If it doesn't happen, everyone wants to make less of it," Pierzynski added. "I saw the Cubs lost, too, so I guess their season is over. Get ready for Bears football." -Scott Merkin


Paulie and AJ prove yet again why I love them! Ah yes, Opening Day. It started out with much promise but our hopes were mostly dashed by the first inning, aside from Darin Erstad's home run. Pretty much glad to have him on the team! Nonetheless, we all had a good time at the game. I enjoyed baseball food- nachos!- and even got some free Sox beads. This must be my year for getting beads- I like it! Jackie and I made up a new cheer for AJ inspired by a game of bags and it was good to have the Bond crew together again for the home opener. I'm still excited for baseball season and things can only improve from here! (Thus sayeth the eternal Sox optimist.)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Shane and Shane

Shane and Shane never let me down. The show Friday night was no exception- what a truly worshipful experience! I did not want it to end and I pray that the communion I felt with God will not be limited to the concert. The lyrics speak to my heart time and time again.

Psalm 13 lyrics
by Shane and Shane

how long oh Lord will You forget me
how long oh Lord will You hide
hide Your face from me
how long must i wrestle with me
and everyday have sorrow in my heart
sorrow in my heart

i will wait on You
i will wait on You
i will wait on You

look on me Lord and answer me
give my eyes light or i will sleep in death
i will sleep in death
my enemies say "i will overcome him"
and my foes rejoice even when i fall
i dont want to fall

for i will trust in Your unfailing love
my heart rejoices in Your salvation
i will sing to the Lord

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back to the Grind

New tv and radio spots for the White Sox! The radio spots are a little cheesy but enjoyable and the commercials were great! It was fun seeing ads while I was downtown on Saturday, especially Let's Party like it's 2005! The Home Opener is getting ever closer. April 2 here I come! That's a lot of exclamation marks but darn, if this team doesn't make me happy.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy anniversary!

Yesterday marked one year of Confessions from yours truly. It's been fun sharing my thoughts and pictures with all of my loyal readers. Admittedly, I have been tending to focus on how I play hard, versus how I work hard but hey, an outlet is an outlet.

My favorite holiday St. Patrick's Day was delightful. I cooked Irish breakfast for the gang at Mark and Erin's house which was a big hit. I wish I could eat that well every morning. Then we walked to the train to catch the parade downtown. I've never gone to the SPD parade before and it was very crowded, very stingy with the throwing of beads, but very Irish and fun at the same time. I was pretty ticked that I never caught any beads- they barely came in our direction but I was 95 % happy for the lady standing next to me who caught a strand directly on her upraised arm. It was her destiny I guess. After the parade, we went to Elephant and Castle which appeared to have the shortest line. Kibibi and I made fast friends with the couple in front of us which did help the time move along. I just love how friendly everyone is on SPD! Once inside we were serenaded by bagpipes and an Irish folk band. The table wait wasn't too bad either and I enjoyed a great meal of Fish and Chips. It was a hard call between that and a Reuben sandwich but I think I made the best decision. Elephant and Castle have some great posters inside selling the merits of alchohol, describing it as a "social lubricant" and "sacred throat-annointing." Both points were more than proven by the patrons. We decided to catch an earlier train back to miss the crowds and then headed over to Muldoons where we met up with some other pals and caught up with old friends from high school. All in all, a very fun filled day. I wasn't as crazy as I used to be so I must be growing up. Or else growing old. Now I just need to go back to Ireland...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Movie Update

In the span of a week I finally managed to watch The Godfather trilogy. Excellent movies! I already wanted to go to Italy, now I crave it. That Michael Corleone...so tragic yet compelling. Also worth watching: The Illusionist and Something the Lord Made. Now I just have to see The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Should be worth it but it seems like such a big time commitment right now!

Side note: Anyone else looking forward to St. Patrick's Day?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Aunt Teresa

On Friday I finally made it out to the farm to see Aunt Teresa and my grandparents. It's been a busy month but my coworkers kept me well informed of Teresa's condition. It was shocking to see how much weight she has lost. She truly is nearing the end. Grandma is finally tired enough that I can boss her around. She wouldn't let me do too much but she did sit down with my grandpa to eat dinner and she laid down for nap while I sat with Teresa. Teresa likes to have someone in the room. Most of the time she is sleeping but she is very aware of someone else's presence. If you even move, she will wake up and ask where you're going. I held her hand and talked to her, sometimes she would respond. My Aunt Sue stopped over briefly and we teased Teresa about how we're her favorite nieces. It's the truth but it still made her laugh. Teresa is not eating much these days but I did feed her some orange sherbet, which we described as refreshing more than nourishing. Her fingers have swollen a little bit but with a little effort I managed to get off all of her rings at my grandma's request. Teresa is attached to her bracelets and rings but due to her tremors, they make a lot of racket, especially against the rails of the hospital bed. It's just another thing that keeps grandma from getting restful sleep at night. After the rings were off, I massaged her hands with lotion to distract her. Hopefully she won't ask anyone to put the rings back on! While we were sitting together, Teresa asked me where I was going to sleep. I explained I would go back to my apartment. She was disappointed by this. I asked her if she had wanted me to sleep over and she said yes and pointed out that there is a spare bed. I didn't have any pajamas or stuff for my contacts so we decided that I will sleep over this Friday. That way grandma won't have to get up at all during the night and Teresa will have another person to sit with her. I'm exhausted already and it's not even Tuesday! I'm praying that Teresa will have a good night while I'm there so I can catch up on my sleep too. But if not, then at least I'll know that I'm being helpful. It'll be good to spend more time with my family. I still can't imagine life without Teresa but I guess we'll be finding out soon.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I can relate

Thankfully my insomnia hasn't been this bad since college. Those were the good old days of falling asleep between 3 and 4 am only to get up for crew practice at 5:20 am.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday, February 09, 2007

No plans yet?

Too much has happened in the last month for me to write now but I was concerned that some loyal readers might not have Valentine's Day plans yet so I felt compelled to help out. FYI: the White Castle on Lake and Indian Trail in Aurora is still accepting reservations for V-Day. Also FYI: if you follow through on this "advice" you might as well consider yourself in the midst of a messy break up fight now. Is White Castle the new hot spot for romance? Count me out if so.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's a Midwestern Super Bowl!

"Fantasy and reality merged into one on a blissful and snowy Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field as the Bears advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in 21 years with a pulsating 39-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game." -Larry Mayer

Da Bears will take on the Indianapolis Colts February 4, which pleases me immensely. The Patriots have had their time in the sun. Now it's our turn to bask in the glory and show the world, or at least the United States, how it's done. I hope that my cousins and I will be able to perform the Super Bowl Shuffle in my grandparents' basement once again. It's a show no one will want to miss!





Super Bowl Shuffle - video powered by Metacafe

Monday, January 15, 2007

Nashville Birthday Getaway

A weekend with my 2 best friends? What more could a girl ask for? Celebrating #27 was great fun, whether we were caffeine consumers, gabbing over breakfast, shopping at my new favorite boutique- Scarlett Begonia, or checking out some great bands (Bang, Bang, Bang and The Features) at Mercy Lounge. The tequila shots didn't hurt either! Tracy and Joel have stepped up their campaign on why I should move to Nashville. Unfortunately God does not seem to agree with that plan for now. At least I have another great season with the White Sox to look forward to- I bought my 2007 tickets today!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Birthday fever

True to form, on Saturday Kibibi, Jill, Becca, and I danced up a storm at The Hangge Uppe. I made some new friends, was well taken care of by a bachelor party (Tequila!), and lived up to my title as Dancing Queen until close to 3 in the morning. I only got 4 hours of sleep but it was SO worth it! It was so much fun and just what I needed. Music to feed the soul. I still have the birthday blues but I'm always amazed by the power music holds over me.
Last night my parents took me out for dinner at Texas Roadhouse and I had a fabulous steak dinner. My mom happened to mention it was birthday to the waitress, to my chagrin. Are you curious how they celebrate birthdays at TR? Well, they bring out a saddle for you to sit on while the whole restaurant claps and cheers and joins in on a collective yeeha. Needless to say, my mom apologized for quite a while afterward. Another one for the memory book, eh? Anyway, it was good to spend time with them and my mom made her famous angel food cake. Delicious!
Today a few of my favorite coworkers took me out for lunch which was great fun. Tomorrow Erin and I head out to Nashville to visit Tracy for my birthday getaway. Who knows what fun this weekend holds? Or how long I can drag out birthday celebrations?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hope looks for good in people instead of harping on the worst.
Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what can't.
Hope lights candles instead of cursing the darkness.
Hope pushes ahead when it might be easier to quit.
Hope opens doors where despair closes them.
Hope carries on in spite of heartbreak.
Hope accepts tragedy with courage.
-Father James Keller