Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Poor, Sad Mailbox

Every year, I send out so many Christmas cards, and get so few back.

And every year, I tell myself that I'll only send cards to the people who sent one back the previous year. I just can't bring myself to do it. I like the tradition, and I enjoy sending out cards, even if I know that people aren't going to return one.

I guess Christmas cards are just an outdated tradition, and I'm an old-fashioned girl.

I am already excited to send out my Christmas cards for next year. It will be Marc and I's first Christmas as husband and wife!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ridiculously Awesome Christmas Music

I'm sentimental, so my favorite Christmas album will probably be Kenny and Dolly's Once Upon A Christmas. My mom had it on record when I was a little kid, and I loved listening to it every Christmas.

However, the past couple years, I have discovered some really awesome Christmas music.

(Links go to YouTube. Take a listen.)

A friend burned Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis for me a couple years ago. It is my favorite song to listen to first thing in the morning, on my drive to work. This hip hop Christmas song came out in 1987 and has a hilarious music video!

Relient K has one of the best Christmas albums I have ever heard. They are pop-punky versions of traditional Christmas songs with a few original songs thrown in. I like "Santa Claus is Thumbing to Town." It's a catchy tune with awesome lyrics such as:

"Because, Rudolph's puking boughs of holly! Old Saint Nick ain't all that jolly. And the sleigh's in the shop 'cause it's broken down, but Christmas won't stop 'cause Santa Claus is thumbing to town."

And their version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" is my ultimate 'going home for Christmas' road trip song.

Finally, I can't go through the holiday season without cracking up and singing along to Taking Back Sunday's version of "The 12 Days of Christmas." They're just so hilarious and adorable!

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Christmas Shopping Sucks

There are people on my list who have everything. And never seem to want anything. They are so hard to shop for!

I found a fun website that helps,

You can do a personality profiler where you can answer questions about the gift recepient (or yourself) and it will pick out gifts for you.

Have fun!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Poor Chanel! (UPDATE!)

My little girl kitty is at the vet today. I had to drop her off before work, and can go and pick her up after I get off.

She's getting checked out because she may have a urinary tract infection. I haven't heard anything yet, and I'm a worried mama.


After a terrible experience at the vet, I finally found out that Chanel has a urinary tract infection. It cost nearly $200, but she should be better in two weeks. We had to buy special food, a second litter box, different litter and antibiotics. Pets are expensive, but I love my little girl, so I'm glad she's going to be better soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fun Christmas Games

(Photo courtesy of:

In the middle of another tragically boring work day, I decided to check up on the NORAD Santa Tracker, and I discovered that they have games.

Magically (thanks, Santa!) the games aren't blocked by my work's Nazi-like computer program, that usually makes playing games impossible.

The games, found on the "Children's Countdown," are pretty fun. They are set up like an advent calender, with a new game available every day. I would suggest playing the game for building number one. You have to connect all of the Christmas lights to the power source. It's really difficult!

While you're there, check out the story about how the Norad Santa Tracker began. It's really sweet.

Wedding Survey

(Photo courtesy of

Now that I'm thinking about weddings again... I've got a couple questions for you masses:

- From weddings that you have been to in the past, what have been your favorite parts?

- If you are married, what was the most memorable element of your wedding?

- If you have been to a wedding where you felt something was really boring and unnecessary, what was it?

Leave your answers in the comments, and feel free to share your favorite wedding stories. I'm looking for inspiration for our wedding, and also some good entertainment, as I'm heading off to work in a half hour!



Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I love Ikea.

I love their fat free, 99 cent frozen yogurt cones and lingonberry juice.

I love their tiny showroom apartments. I especially like the one that is something like 275 square feet, and is so awesomely decorated and designed that it makes me want to downgrade our apartment.

I love their oodles of goodies on the bottom floor, and their excellent prices.

We went to Ikea today, and I loved that they had almost all of their Christmas goodies on sale! We got ornaments for the tree, little note cards and tea light holders... all at discounted prices. I love a good deal, especially at the holidays.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hurray Weddings!

So, being in the weddings I was in recently, and helping with their planning, has got me really excited (again) to plan my own wedding.

I was really into it after we first got engaged, but after I realized that I had two years to plan a back yard wedding, I became disinterested. After all, there is only so much you can do from 24 months out when you already know where you're having the wedding, and that you're not going to have many vendors.

But now, we're less than 11 months away! I can get excited again. I am going on a diet HARDCORE after Christmas is over, because I'm going to start shopping for dresses around April. I am going to talk over plans with my Mom while I'm up at her house for Christmas.

It's good to be excited again, and for it to be less than a year until the wedding. I just can't wait to get married!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretty Christmas Quote

One of our receptionists, Laurie, writes a quote on the envelope for the credit card receipts each day.

This is the quote for today:

"Heap on more wood! The wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will. We'll keep our Christmas merry still."
- Sir Walter Scott

Isn't that just perfect?

Christmas Traditions.

I have tons of Christmas traditions... decorating the house after Thanksgiving dinner, exchanging Christmas jammies and watching It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, having Mom's home-made cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning... the list goes on and on.

One of my favorite traditions is also one of the newest. Every Christmas since Marc and I have been dating, he has got me a Christmas-themed book to read during the holiday season. The first book he got me was The Christmas Train by David Baldacci. He gave it to me right before I got on the plane to go to California to visit with my family for the holidays.

Our second Christmas together, Marc gave me Skipping Christmas, which was made into the movie "Christmas with the Kranks." Last year, I got The Paper Bag Christmas, which is a lovely book.

Last night, Marc gave me my book for this year. It is a collection of Charles Dickens stories, including A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth. I am excited to read it, as I have never read the original version of A Christmas Carol!

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Congratulations Joe and Kerry!

Our friends Joe and Kerry got married yesterday in a lovely garden ceremony at Joe's parents home.

Although we haven't known the couple very long (less than three months, I believe) it was wonderful to share in the special moment with them. They are two people full of love and passion for each other.

I loved the feel of Joe and Kerry's wedding. It was a small, informal ceremony with friends and family, personal vows and lots of laughter. Kerry and Joe are thrilled to be married, and that's the best part of all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tiger Woods drama.

Tiger Woods cheated on his wife. That is bad. We all know that. Of course, being a soon-to-be wed female, this bothers me.

However, that is not my biggest problem with the whole situation. News stations, radio programs, gossip websites, newspapers... basically everywhere you look Tiger is being condemned.

Shockingly, the problem that the media seems to have with the situation is not that Tiger cheated on his wife, it is that he got caught. The local newspaper this morning said "No more racy texts, okay?" and a local radio station host proclaimed that Tiger should have not left a "paper trail" by leaving voice mails and sending text messages to his mistress(es?).

It seems that Tiger is at fault for having a sloppy affair, not for having the affair itself.

I heart Chicago.

Chicago is my favorite city that I have ever visited. I went for the first time when I was 13, when my family drove over from Anderson, Indiana to catch a Cubs game. Riding in the car along Lake Shore Drive, I fell in love. Ever since, I have wanted to go back every chance I got.

So, when Marc and I went up to St. Louis for the wedding last week, we decided to check on flights out of Chicago back home. Turns out they were several hundred dollars cheaper than if we flew out of St. Louis.

We took the train from Alton, Illinois to Union Station in Chicago. It was so cool! I had never ridden on a train before!

We kicked butt in Chicago. We ate at The West Egg and Burrito Beach and White Castle while we were up there, which are my favorite places in Chicago to dine. We saw The Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue, The Sears Tower (technically it's the Willis Tower now, but it will always be the Sears tower to me), Wrigley Field and Millenium Park (from the car).

It was incredible, even though it was rainy and cold the entire time we were there. Marc had never been and I loved experiencing things with him that he had never done before. As much as we loved visiting the city, we were exhausted and very happy to lounge at the airport and get started on our trip home.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Congratulations Lisa and Zach!

Lisa and Zach's wedding was this past Saturday, in Bethalto, Illinois.

The wedding was beautiful, and the result of many hours of hard labor put in by the bride and groom's friends and family.

Their baby, Curtis, successfully made it down the aisle, and was pretty good... except for a little fussiness during the ceremony.

Diana, Lisa's 12 year old sister, and Maid of Honor, nearly fainted while they were saying their vows and had to go and sit by her parents for part of the ceremony. However, she managed to get to her feet again in time to be escorted back down the aisle.

Lisa stepped on her dress several times, and once I thought she was going to topple over. Her crinoline made a little "crunch crunch" noise every time her shoe came down on it, and somebody always had to be there to lend a helping hand.

But, on the whole, the wedding was wonderful! I felt glad to help out with so many family members who were there to support Lisa and Zach. Their families came together and worked all day Friday and most of Saturday morning to give them the best wedding they could have had. I really enjoyed the sense of family and togetherness that they displayed, and felt like I was part of the group almost immediately.

Being a bridesmaid is probably one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. It was extremely hard, sometimes physical, work. I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the wedding! That said, I wouldn't change any of it. I was there for my friend, to get all the single ladies on the dance floor for the bouquet toss, to hold her dress up while she peed, to clean up after the reception... whatever she needed.

Now, Kerry and Joe's wedding is in less than four days! They are having a much more low-key ceremony and reception, and I don't think the work shall be as exhausting!

Either way, I can't wait to be a bridesmaid again. For all the hard work, it's a pretty rewarding job!