Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yea for Thanksgiving with Family

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend in Delaware at Rob's sister and brother-in-law's house. On Thursday, we feasted with Rob's sister Kyle, brother-in-law Taber, nephew Daniel, niece Lauren, sister Gena, brother-in-law Jay, dad Bob, dad's wife Teri and Grandma Lois.

On Friday morning, Kyle, Gena, Lauren and I hit Old Navy for some doorbusters (although we arrived tardily at 7:30am -- two hours after the store opened -- we still found lots of great deals).

On Saturday, Kyle, Taber, Daniel, Lauren, Rob and I took a brewery tour of Dogfish Head brewery and then feasted on seafood for dinner.

Sunday morning we headed home, beating the storm that hit Chicago by just a couple hours. Phew!

Rob and Daniel toss a football.

Rob and Daniel slouch on the couch the same way. Barkley joins them.

Me and Rob on Friday night. Note my doorbuster $10 sweater!

Daniel loves Barkley.

Rob shows Daniel his Guitar Hero moves.

Lauren loves hanging out with Aunt Gena. Uncle Jay is behind them.

Rob and Taber insisted on drinking Aquavit after Thanksgiving dinner. I can't say it was good.

Kyle did not enjoy it either.

Lauren is a mama's girl.

Rob loves hanging out with Barkley.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Worth the whole 9 minute viewing time

This is so fun. You must watch it.

And if you're a fan of The Price is Right, you'll appreciate even more how damn hard Lucky Sevens is!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankfulness 2

I’ve decided to turn last year’s Thanksgiving post into an annual thankfulness post. It’s tough to figure out what to write about this year though. I could just write “ditto” to last year’s post because all of that is still absolutely true. So consider this post a “ditto” plus an attempt at a little more.

I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful for who he is; I am thankful for his unwavering loyalty to me even at costs to himself; I am thankful for the never-ending laughter in our life together; I am thankful that I am still blown away with joy by the fact that he loves me.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful that no matter what drama life brings I still know my sisters are my best friends. I am thankful to have two healthy parents invested in my happiness.

I am thankful for in-laws who are both my family and my friends. I am thankful for every second I get to spend with my nephews and nieces because they are amazing. I am thankful for the running hugs Daniel and Lauren gave me at the airport in July and for Bryson's interest in learning my dance moves.

I am thankful that 2008 brought me two new brothers-in-law and now both of my sisters and all of Rob’s sisters have settled into their lives with excellent life partners.

I am thankful that my faith in politics and my hope for the world have recently been renewed and then some. I am thankful to live in a country that seems to be marching (deliberately, if slowly) towards equality.

I am thankful for lattes because I am not thankful enough for mornings without them.

I am thankful for the tiny bit of muscle that I’ve gained from the tiny bit of pilates I’ve done this year.

I am thankful Rob tolerates (barely) my taste in television shows, which is admittedly rapidly deteriorating. I am thankful not to have picked up too many new television shows to follow this year.

I am thankful for my job and my job security (knocking on wood). I am thankful for my unbelievably dedicated mentor at work.

I am thankful for Facebook, the Colts' winning record, my (lopsided) glasses, and fortune cookies.

I am thankful to see so many fantastic people around me becoming parents.

I am thankful for the time, the means and the reasons to travel, no matter how tiring it may be, because I'm always better off for having visited a friend or family member.

And obviously, I am thankful for the Giants' Super Bowl victory.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our Christmas Decorations

As I mentioned below, we put up some Christmas decorations this weekend. We're not that artistic. You all know that. But we do enjoy a little festiveness.

We bought a real wreath, some bells for the front door, a ceramic penguin and a fake Charlie Brown-esque tree for outside. Of course, since our front door opens to a courtyard that only a handful of neighbors walk by, it's really just for our own amusement. We also have fake candles in the windows that automatically turn on when it gets dark out.

So you can see a bit more of the fiber optic awesomeness, here's a blurry no-flash picture. A couple years ago I bought a fake tree a couple days before Christmas that was so cool. SO COOL. Because it had fiber optics. At first Rob hated it. Then he realized how great it was in all its tacky glory. This morning we saw a tiny tree with fiber optics was on sale at Target. How could we resist!

The tree in its more subdued glory.

Maybe we need to put some more trimming on our mantle? For now we've got an advent calendar to the left, a tree in the middle, a funky Santa to the right. Plus some lovely stockings right in front.

Last but not least, Rob set up some of our Christmas buddies along the top of our television.

We really tried not to leave the state this weekend...

But we failed.

It's my fault. Or Maybe it's my cousin Alan's fault. Alan asked me if Rob and I wanted to go to a magic show on Saturday with Alan and his wife Jen. Sure, I said.

Turns out the magic show was just over the border in Wisconsin. And we were so determined not to leave Illinois this weekend!!! The magic show was a lot of fun though. We also drove by a Jelly Belly factory that we had no idea was so close, so we'll be returning there for a visit.

This weekend was a cousin extravaganza. In addition to Saturday's magic show with Al & Jen, on Friday night we had dinner with my cousin Paul and his girlfriend Whitney, along with Resa & Nick. Paul recently relocated to Chi-town, and we're happy to have him here.

Sunday we squeezed in some quality couch potato time. We enjoyed the Giants' and Colts' victories. But we also got inspired and put up some Christmas decor. And we had a fun dinner out with Jeff & Sara.

Wednesday we are off to Delaware for Thanksgiving with Rob's family. As always, we can't wait to see our oldest nephew and niece (and we'll miss the younger three who are staying in Texas for the holiday).

And last but not least, speaking of awesome kids, I got to meet Erica & Feroz's baby girl this week. I had a quick work trip to NYC, so I snuck over to their place before I left the city. Needless to say, Sofia is awesome. She couldn't be sweeter, she rocks out to her mobile in the coolest way, and she's adorable. Yea!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yup, another weekend trip

Surely it surprises no one that we were traveling again this weekend. Not another wedding this time though. I don't think we have any more weddings in 2008! Instead it was off to Harrisonburg, Virginia, home of Rob's alma mater. Rob and his best friends from college plus significant others and kids all headed back to James Madison University for a ten-year reunion.

The original gang is Rob, Jason, Christian, Heather and Jake. Jason seems to be the linchpin in the group. Rob and Jason went to high school together. Jason and Christian were freshman year roommates in college. Heather and Jason were in the JMU marching band together. Jake transferred to JMU and roomed with Christian. And that is how the crew formed.

Heather is now married to Blair, also a JMU alum, who was a good friend of Christian during their semester abroad. Heather and Blair met at Christian's Halloween party in DC a few years after college.

And of course, Rob and I are married thanks to the pairing of Jason and Christian as freshman year roommates as well. Christian's brother Dave went to grad school at College of Charleston where he became friends with Carly who later became my roommate and kindred spirit in DC. Carly met Christian and later Rob through Dave, which eventually led me to meet Rob.

Ah, fate. :)

Jason is also married to a JMU alum -- Beth -- but they met after college as well. And Jake is married to a non-JMU-er, Catherine.

Now that I've explained everyone.... The ten adults and four kids rented a big house near JMU for the weekend. We toured campus on Saturday for a football game. The campus was gorgeous. The game was excellent. (JMU won!) Then we grilled out an reminisced on Saturday night.

The four kids -- Sophie (Heather and Blair's), Katie (Jake and Catherine's), Calvin & Casey (Jason and Beth's) -- were so much fun. Calvin is very spirited and enjoys smashing his face up against yours and all sorts of tackling games. He and Katie had particular fun joint tackling me on repeatedly on Sunday morning.

Rob and I drove Christian and his girlfriend Maria back to DC on Sunday afternoon. On the way we stopped at a winery with what seemed to be the world's longest wine-tasting. I think we tasted 20 wines. Whoa. We also had a spirited round of the cow game on the ride back, which Christian and Rob won with an astounding 6002 points to Maria's and my, um, nothing. Ouch.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. It's always fun spending time with old friends and making new friends. (I'd never met Maria, Jake or Catherine before.)

Here are some pictures.

Casey, Katie, Sophie, and Calvin.

Catherine, Katie, Calvin, Jason, Rob, me, Casey, Beth, Blair, Sophie, Heather, Christian, Maria. (Jake was off parking their car.)

Jason, Calvin, me, Casey, Beth, Rob, (the back of) Sophie('s head), Heather, Blair, Christian, Katie, Catherine, Jake. (Maria was in the library.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another weekend, another wedding

We had a jam packed weekend again. This time, happily, the wedding of the week was in our hometown. Rob's friend Ben from DC got married to Rachel on Saturday night in downtown Chicago. We realized that we are in the post-law school run of weddings right now. Every wedding we've been invited to this year (excepting our sisters' weddings) has involved one if not two lawyers!

We had a great time at Ben and Rachel's wedding. Everything was gorgeous. The food was delicious and never-ending. The band absolutely rocked. And most importantly, the couple looked happy beyond words.

We also got to see a whole crowd of Rob's law school friends, two of whom stayed with us for the weekend. So that was a very fun bonus.

Since I haven't blogged for a while, I should also comment a bit on last week's events, eh? Well, we're jubilant. To put it succinctly.

I spent Sunday through Tuesday in Indiana helping to turn the state to the Dems for the first time in my lifetime. I got to stay with Nadine while in Indy (yea!), even though I didn't get to hang with her nearly enough because I was so busy! Then I raced back to Chicago after the Indy polls closed on Tuesday to make it back to meet up with Rob, Resa, Nick and Stephanie and head to Grant Park.

I'm not sure I can do justice to my sense of relief. Relief that I realized I have been waiting to feel for eight years now.

I am so glad I made it back for Obama's speech in Grant Park. But honestly more for the historical moment than anything else. I felt almost numb Tuesday night. There was a moment when I got off the highway and onto the streets of downtown Chicago, when Pennsylvania and Ohio had already been called for Obama, when I knew it was inevitable... my eyes welled up, my hands started shaking. But I shook it off. I was driving after all. And exhausted.

So when we finally got to Grant Park, when Obama finally spoke, it was this strange, teary-eyed calm that I felt. It wasn't until Wednesday. Waking up and knowing our new reality that I spent the day crying every time I was reminded of the good news.

Still, Tuesday was magical. Chicago was ecstatic. The excitement was overflowing in the most unifying and peaceful way I've ever seen. I doubt I'll ever see anything like it again.

So good job to all the states I've ever lived in -- Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, DC, and Illinois. Good job America. Thank you for giving me hope back. Thank you for giving me long-needed relief.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I'm sooooooo tired.

Exhausting day in the Indy campaign office mainly just telling people where to vote.

Gotta go to bed so I can wake up at 4am.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Please VOTE!!!!!!!!!!