Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Miami pics

A couple pics from the wedding... details are in the post below.

Me and Rob chillin' at the reception. Yes, you may have seen this dress at a previous wedding this year. I don't have the budget for six weddings a year!

The happy couple shares their first dance to a really awesome song.

Rob does a reading during the ceremony.

Lots of catching up to do

We have lots of catching up to do for all our readers. Sorry we've been missing lately. First, I've been down in the dumps because of recent events I've already mentioned. Second, I've been really busy with life, work, travelling, etc. Third, I've been pondering the future of this blog -- given that I have a professional life outside this blog. (No decisions yet, but for now I'm committed to continuing.) Fourth, well, I've been down in the dumps.

Thankfully I have a supportive husband and some awesome friends who are willing to let me wallow when I need to. You all rock! So it's time to work my way back into regular life.

This past weekend we went to Miami for the wedding of my law school classmates Adam and Valerie. Yes, I know. Another wedding? We can't believe it either. If you map the locations of the weddings we've been to this year, I think we've done quite the national tour -- midwest, west coast, east coast, northwest, south... and we've got one more midwest in a couple weeks.

We were so happy to head to Miami for Adam and Valerie's wedding though. Adam was my 1L study buddy. Valerie and I braved Wax's Civ Pro side by side. They are awesome, and even more awesome together. Rob was very honored to do a reading at the wedding. (Rob was great!!) We sat with some of Valerie's co-workers from last year's clerkship and had a blast. And it turned out that one guy at our table went to high school with me. Small world!

On Sunday we were lucky enough to have time to meet up with Rob's aunt and grandmother, who live in Ft. Lauderdale, for lunch. We made it to the airport in time to catch the last half of the Giants' victory. Then it was back to Chicago. Another weekend. Another roundtrip flight.

Tonight we had another fun excursion. The Chicago Red Stars -- the local team in the newly formed Women's Professional Soccer league -- hosted an event to benefit the team's charitable foundation. National team veteran Kate Markgraf was on hand. (We were too shy to say hi.) But we did have a great time chatting with some of the team's staff members. Rob and I have already put down a deposit on season tickets for the Red Stars. You can get a season ticket for just $99, so there's really no excuse not to, right? Less than $10 a ticket to see a great team full of great role models play a great sport in a great way.

Back to work I go before I head to bed. But I'll be a better blogger now. We've got a Halloween party on Friday, a party on Saturday, a 5K on Sunday, and an election to win next Tuesday! So much to do and blog about!

Oh, and speaking of elections, we took a trip with Resa back to Apple Holler two weekends ago to go apple picking. The brunch was good. The apple picking was okay (not a lot of apples left on the trees). The McCain-Palin sign only visible on the way out was not cool. We're looking for a new apple orchard for next year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome Maggie!

Bill and Claire, our Cape Cod buddies, welcomed their daughter Margaret Rose to the world last week. We can't wait to meet her, even if it does appear that she's bringing a bit too much luck to the unworthy Red Sox.

Congratulations Bill and Claire!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

My friend John

PS Thanks for all the emails following this post. :)

This morning was terrible. I learned that an old friend of mine passed away a couple weeks ago. I've got all these thoughts bumping around in my head, so I'm going to pour them out here.

John and I went to Penn together, but we didn't meet until late winter of my senior year at the interview day for the Thouron Award. I can't remember how we started talking, but it was right after we arrived, waiting for the long day to begin. It came up that he was from Arkansas and I was from Indiana. We bonded over being from such "strange" states for Penn students. Throughout the day, my favorite conversations were with John and another student Shahzad. Needless to say, I was thrilled when all three of us were among the five students given Thouron Awards that year.

John went to Oxford. I went to LSE. (Shahzad went to Cambridge.) During my first week in London, before classes had even begun, I was wandering from LSE back towards my dorm and I ran into John on the street. His classes hadn't started either, so he'd come to London for the day. He wanted to track me down to join his sightseeing, but he only had my address. He went there, didn't find me, and then started walking towards LSE. Feeling rather overwhelmed to be alone in a foreign country, I was so happy to see him. Beyond happy.

Throughout the year, John and I developed an excellent friendship and John came to London often. John and I had so much fun together. I remember cracking up with him during an audio tour of Kensington Palace, although I can't remember at all what was so funny. Another visit, we were wandering the London streets and for some reason we both found the name "WokWok" hysterical -- it was a restaurant, I think. To this day I smile and think of John every time I see a wok. And I will never forget going clubbing in downtown London in formal Thouron event clothes, dancing like the crazy Americans we were.

John and I also talked about all the serious things in our lives. I went to Oxford for a day to visit him and we walked and talked nonstop from morning until after midnight when I caught a bus back to London. We talked about relationships, family, careers. Everything. He talked about an old girlfriend through the lens of what he wanted for his life -- and what he wanted was always focused on family. He wanted a gaggle of kids. He wanted to work for a while in a big city. Then he wanted to raise his family in Arkansas farm country. He worried a lot about how he would find a great woman to marry who was also willing to move to Arkansas with him. He praised his mom all the time.

We had a lot of political discussions. My liberal politics were not fully formed back then, but I was already pretty far to the left. John was on the right. We disagreed a lot. We had long talks about greed and corruption, and shared the same worries about the state of politics and politicians in America. We were both very concerned about how the rest of the world saw America. John was drawn to the Catholic Church and eventually was confirmed in the Church during his two years in Oxford.

John was one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I'd ever met. He was old school chivalrous. The day I visited him at Oxford, every time we'd cross to a different sidewalk, he'd reposition himself to be closer to the road than me. He never had an unkind word for anyone.

Sometime during his second year at Oxford (I just had one year at LSE), John met Sara, who he would eventually marry. John was amazed by her. It was clear he'd met his match. He told me happily that she might even be the type of woman who'd move to Arkansas some day.

John also gave me some great friends. John introduced me to my best friend at LSE -- Philip -- who John met in the bar in the basement of my dorm (seriously) when visiting me one time that fall. In the summer of John's second year at Oxford, I had been working at McKinsey a year when I got sent to London for a training. I got there a day early and went to Oxford to visit John. A McKinsey coworker, Sandip, went on the same training had the same plan to visit a friend at Oxford, and it turned out that Sandip's friend and John were the best of friends. So we all spent an awesome day together, including football and a bonfire in their backyard until the wee hours of the morning. Sandip became a great friend to me from that day on.

But life marches forward. When I left NYC in 2001, I didn't get to see a lot more of John except at Thouron events. It's probably one of my greatest frustrations about the nomadic life I've led. I've found so many amazing friends along the way, and then distance and adventures push you out of touch for far too long stretches.

The last time I saw John was in the fall of 2005. Rob and I were visiting NYC for the weekend, in large part to visit John and Sara. We met their two oldest kids. (Now there are three kids.) Rob and I had been at a Thouron event that summer and I'd been surprised John wasn't there, so I'd dropped him a line after. John hadn't heard about it and was sad to have missed it. When we finally saw each other that fall, we promised each other to be in much better touch and to always call each other when a new Thouron event was on the horizon -- and to always go. That way, we said, we would always be in touch.

John called me in the fall of 2006. He'd been at the memorial service for a member of the Thouron family in Philly. I hadn't heard about the service until too late to go as I was in Chicago. John and I traded voicemails afterwards. I owed him a call back. And I kept meaning to call.

A few weeks ago, I got a Thouron mailing. A save the date for the 50th reunion in June 2010. I immediately thought about John. I made a mental note to call him. To promise one another we'd both be there no matter what.

Not too long ago, John and Sara moved to Arkansas, just as he'd always wanted. Now I know that when I got that Thouron mailing, John had been in an Arkansas hospital for some time, recovering from a terrible accident. Now I know that right around the time I got that mailing, John died from complications from his accident. I don't even know how to process it.

Why was I so bad at being in touch that I didn't even know when he moved? How could I have not known about his accident? I'm just devastated. I'm sad to have lost such a special friend. A friendship that I took for granted would be always be there for me to return to. I'm appalled that a person so important to me was going through so much pain and I was completely unaware.

I'm at a loss. In every way.

So to John: I can't believe you're gone. Our friendship gave me such strength. I hope you knew that somehow. I never said it. I should have said it. I will always miss you. I will always always remember you. I am so glad you got the life you dreamed of, even if it was cut far too short.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Chicago Weekend

We had a great weekend in Chicago. We got treated to some bizarre warm weather. Something about marathon weekend in Chicago brings out the sun, although it wasn't as hot as last year.

Saturday afternoon our friends Ali & Eddie had a bbq at their place, which was exactly what the weekend called for. Then Saturday night Georgia had a few folks over for an official housewarming. We are so excited Georgia lives on our block now!

Sunday we spent the day catching up on errands. Then Sunday night we popped over to Resa and Nick's for a bbq dinner.

Below are a couple pictures from Georgia.

Me & Rob at Georgia's place.

Me & Susie at Georgia's place. (I love Susie's glasses.) Susie is trying to talk me into training for a half marathon. Hmm. She obviously has never seen me (try to) exercise.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Did you get purged from the registered voter rolls?

In light of recent events, it may be essential for some or all of you to make certain you are still able to vote. This website should assist you in determining whether you will be able to vote on election day if you have already registered. Pass this information along to anyone in a swing state, it could determine the outcome of this election.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Definitely moving to Canada...

... if Obama doesn't win.


This is beyond embarrassing.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Go Indiana!

Rob and I were originally hoping to go to Madison this weekend with Jeff & Sara, but since my dad decided to come to town, we've pushed back our Wisconsin plan. With a partly free Saturday, we touched base with the Obama campaign and got orders to go canvass in Valparaiso, Indiana -- about an hour and fifteen minutes from Chicago.

Valpo is a pretty Republican area. Heck, Indiana as a whole is a pretty Republican area. I was in the distinct minority growing up in Indianapolis as a Dem, and that's the most Democratic part of the state.

Needless to say, Rob and I were pretty surprised and excited by the Obama support we found. Sure, there were a few McCain supporters who were less than enthusiastic about us showing up at their doorstep. We were also intrigued to find that the divided households were generally mom plus adults kid for Obama, dad for McCain. Although more of the dads were undecided than for McCain, which is also pretty encouraging. On the less surprising end, there were a heck of a lot more Obama supporters in apartments than in houses. Hmmm. The economy was definitely the big issue. Although one gentleman said he was leaning McCain because of abortion. Still, even he was just leaning towards McCain but hadn't decided yet.

We got back to Chicago late afternoon after hours and hours on our feet, but it was worth it. And not just because of the frozen custard place we found in Valpo. Oh, and our work even made the news. Kindof. :)

If you've got some free time and you're in or within driving distance of a swing state, you should head out and canvass for a weekend. We were in a Republican neighborhood where the Dems we found seemed truly grateful and encouraged that we were there. (We also had a nice long talk with a Vietnam veteran, lifelong Republican who is voting Obama.) Little things make a difference. And even where we found McCain supporters, I am optimistic that it will leave an impression that two seemingly nice and normal Obama supporters gave them a friendly hello.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008



And pass this video around to anyone who needs some fun motivation.

You may only have a couple days left to register. So go.


What is it about September 2008? Marriages and (girl) babies everywhere.

I want to welcome to the world the new daughter of my friends Emily & Jeff and the new daughter of my friend Carolyn, both born in the last two weeks. Now I'm just counting down the days until Bill & Claire's daughter comes along. That will make five baby girls of people I love in less than a month's time!

And I also want to say my most excited and overwhelmed with joy congratulations not just to Hugh & Jenny (see pics below), but also our friends Bishop & Karen and our friends Liane & Michael. All three couples got married the SAME day -- this past Saturday. Yup. That meant we had to miss TWO of the big days. I'm still completely bummed out about that. But I am really happy to say a big welcome to the world of wedded bliss to all six of you! :)