Important Things

Hey kids!

I’m about to peace out and go play in rush hour traffic hit the road for St. Louis.

Yes, you guessed right, I’m hitting up my 3rd wedding there this year.

My life would be so much easier if all my friends just moved to Chicago. For real.

Luckily, I’ve gotten used to the 5(ish) hour drive. And have learned a few important things after the multiple road trips to and from good ol’ Missouri.

I’ve packed a peanut butter sandwich that will hopefully help to avoid an Arby’s curly fry situation. They are not allowed until we’re on the way back home when I’m in yoga pants and not having to slip into a cocktail dress, my friends!

And my iPod is pretty well loaded up for when I hit Central Illinois (aka Country Music Central- ew). So we should be all good in the entertainment area.

I also find it important to get in one last workout. No matter how big or small.

This morning’s consisted of 3 circuits from No More Trouble Zones by Jillian.

Only 3 because they’re the ones I like the most and that’s all the time I had. Sleeping in was important. And I wasn’t going to ruin part of the fun of having a day off.

Plus, I was coming off an hour deep tissue massage from the night before.

That massage is another reason I slept so freakin’ well last night.

Completely and utterly relaxing. Not to mention necessary. It almost seemed appropriate to apologize every time she found another knot in my back.

What can I say? I play hard…

There’s a possibility this could become an addiction. And expensive one. Yikes.

Anyway, it’s about time I fill up my coffee and do the most important thing for any road trip.

Actually get on the road. On time.

Have a good Friday everyone!

Oh yeah, I also got my hair did. And have not cleaned my bathroom mirror…

Sorta. My friend Jaime got her license to do hair years go. So she’ll occasionally give me a bang trim in the bathroom at work. This time I just requested a little more than a trim.

Yay or nay? I’ve got about 9 hours before this wedding I’m attending and you need to tell me if I should keep them or sweep to the side.

I mentioned I love you guys because you’re honest, right?

Laters!

Wedding Weekend Winners

Because it’s hard to sum up the entire weekend in one little blog post, I figured just touching on a few highlights is the way to go…1. We were never short of good food. The rehearsal dinner was held at Mike Shannon’s Steakhouse, the wedding was catered by the Sheraton Hotel (where the reception was), and there was never a shortage of bagels, hors d’oeuvres, wedding cake and drive-thru. You can understand how I’m dealing with the weekend hangover this morning…

2. My friend Mary is beautiful. She naturally glows. But on her wedding day?She was beautiful. Even before the dress.After the dress, she didn’t look too shabby, either.  :)

3. Speaking of dresses, friends don’t let friends lace up alone.We’ve had the dresses and had them hemmed and whatnot over the last few months. I knew it was coming. There was no zipper. And it’s not pictured here, but girls were bracing themselves on door frames as the other girls threw all their muscle into pulling those laces and officially trapping us in a steel cage corset. It’s also not shown when three or four girls at a time would line up to fix the corsets. Kind of like in elementary school when you’d have a train of hair getting french braided.

Now, I sort of loved how skinny those dresses made me and all the lovely girls look. And my posture has never been better. However, I did have issues performing all of my maid of honor duties. As in, I couldn’t lean over/kneel down to straighten Mary’s dress during the ceremony. It ran the risk of me falling over and tearing her dress in the process, my strapless bra popping out in front of the crowd or me having to ask my friend Laura (who was next to me) to help me back up because I got stuck. No bueno.

Her dress was never that messed up from behind. She did a good job whipping it around as she walked. So I don’t feel so bad…

4. It was a wee bit humid on Saturday. Not awful, but pictures downtown on the cobblestone roads were cut short due to periods of light rain. After taking pictures for 2.5 hours, we were sort of ok with this.  

Also, when taking pictures in alleys, be prepared to know how to smile as you hold your nose. Garbage dumpsters do not smell pretty in the middle of the summer in St. Louis, Missouri. Word.Party buses are always a good idea. Even when you have a massive wedding party of 20.  Because people will have dates, make sure to get a bus that seats at least 32. And have sandwiches delivered to the bus for as soon as the ceremony is over. And make sure you have enough champagne and beer. Otherwise you will have to stop the bus. And it’s very had to park one of such a massive size in front of a convenience store. Just sayin’.

Also a good idea? Having your roommate for the night (hi Eva!) as your date. Eva was Mary’s unofficial wedding planner of the day- helping with the dresses/hair/makeup, keeping the boys in check, carrying things from the hotel to the church to the party bus to the reception hall, etc etc. Poor thing got put to WORK. 

Other good ideas? Clean and clear oil blotting sheets because Missouri is the most ridiculously humid place ever. And taking your shoes off before dancing on the seats of a party bus.

5. My toast was a success! I kept it short and sweet (and a little sassy because that’s how I roll).

Sadly, though, I could not raise my glass to toast with everyone else when I was done. My hand was shaking hard enough to where I’m sure all I would have done was pour champagne on myself…

6. Mary’s gift to Casey may have been the coolest thing EVER.Mary’s husband had said from day one how he wanted an ice shot luge. We all laughed and dismissed it. Then, Mary decided that would be her wedding gift to him. She’s kind of the coolest.

The shot they poured through all night was “tiger blood”. Some of you may know this shot well by a different name (ahem… red headed sluts).

This was one of my favorite shots in college. But I promise I only had one.

Ok… two…

6. Bring flippy floppies to dance the night away. 4-inch heals are not conducive to dancing all night. Only one or two girls had to learn this the hard way.

7. By the end of the night, after the reception was over, it was STORMING. At about 12:30, the power in the entire hotel went out. This dampered the after-wedding festivities.

Luckily, because I was exhausted from being up since 7:00 that morning, I was ready to turn in.

8. When the power is out and the storm continues, weird things happen. Like the alarms getting tripped at about 2:00 in the morning. This meant there was a message repeating over their sound system for 10 minutes (the back-up generators had some things still working). And lights blinking on and off in all the rooms for 10 minutes. Sleep was not easy to come by.

9. I ate like a garbage disposal on Sunday. My friend who rode to St. Louis with me (he also had a wedding) was amazed how I out-ate him. On every stop we made.

I blame the bridesmaid dress- not being able to breath deeply also meant eating was a little difficult. Who woulda guessed that?

Anyway…

This was the end of my crazy June. It’s bittersweet. I’m happy to have a few weekends of downtime. But starting with our crazy bachelorette trip to Vegas and ending with a gorgeous wedding of two of the most genuinely wonderful people I’ve met, I’ll be sad to see it end. The girls in the wedding party are girls I keep up with, but rarely get to see since our college days.

I told Mary she and Casey should probably get vows renewed and throw one of these little shindigs once or twice a year.

I’ll save you from discussing the look she shot me when I suggested the idea… yikes!

Whew. That was longer than I realized it would be. But I’m done. Or at least I have to be- time to run errands and get ready for a Cubs game! Peace out, homies!

Weirdness in List Form

Being as how my thoughts are terribly scrambled as I rush around to get myself through the end of the work week, I figured I’d do well with a list today. Because then maybe you won’t notice that there isn’t one thing going on in my head that relates to the other.

1. First off, I feel the need to shout from the rooftops- I found a new place! No need to worry about me being homeless anymore! (Because I know you were freaking out.) I will no longer be living solo, but my new roommate is great. And our place is actually spacious enough to where we won’t kill each other. For at least 6 months. After that, well, there are no promises.

2. With the excitement of finding a place comes the sadness of leaving my current home. It hasn’t completely set in yet. We’re not talking about it now.

3. I missed Modern Family on Wednesday, but made it home for the new show Happy Endings. Has anyone seen it? It’s quickly moving to the top of my list.

4. Peanut butter sandwiches for dinner are one of the easiest things ever to eat in your car during rush hour. Balanced? Probably not. But I was quite content. For the last two nights I did it.

5. Along with that balanced peanut butter sandwich dinner, I’ve been enjoying cookies brought in by the office supply dude (aka Hottie McHotterson) who came by for a visit yesterday. It really is getting sad that the only thing we don’t know about his personal life is if he has a girlfriend or not. I know, I know… I should grow a pair and ask.

5. I’ve talked about my cereal obsession before, but I think we’ve hit another peak. Kashi is on sale at Target. Pair that with Kashi coupons from Target.com? I will not run out for at least 6 months. Pair that with how much fiber is in Kashi? I will not be hungry for the next year.

6. Today I’m off on yet another road trip starting as soon as we close the office at noon. But instead of only a 4.5-hour drive to St. Louis, we’re looking at an 8-hour drive to the middle of the state. Good times.

7. My mom informed me their computer was broken and so access to the internet is not looking good.  My heart stopped a little. And I immediately made plans to pack my laptop. Feeling “disconnected” does not sit well with me. Sad but true.

8. Last night was one of the worst nights of sleep I’ve had in a while. Unlike last time the phase happened for no seemingly good reason, I think this time it’s mostly because of all the stress factors in my life: traveling, moving, budgeting, work, etc. The plan was to maybe get up and do The Shred this morning. Instead, I was walking to the gym at 4:45. Because what else was I going to do? 2 miles at 8:28 (seriously, how do I get faster when sleep deprived?) and 15 minutes on the stairs. Believe it or not, I felt much better when the workout was over. Let’s hope this little “cardio high” at least lasts until halfway through my drive. A little wishful thinking never hurt anyone.

9. Mon messaged me yesterday about seeing identical twins in suits walking together down the street. She suggested I take one for myself and she could have the other. And she really jumped the gun with the kid talk:

Mon: Do you realize if we married identicals, there is a chance our kids would look a lot alike? Wouldn’t that be totally outrageously WEIRD? (I should mention here that along with the idea that we marry twins, she’s quite the red head and I also have that recessive gene popping up in both sides of the fam. So yes, there’s a good chance I will give birth to a little carrot top. I’ve braced myself for this.)

Me: Yes, that is very true. But yours would still be way shorter than mine. Woomp woomp.

Mon: Yeah well at least they wouldn’t have freakishly long torsos.

Touche, Mon. Touche…

10. That’s all I’ve got. I’m just really OCD, so I felt the need to end with a nice round number like 10. So yeah. Happy Friday!

Running Around Madison

As we were sitting in a little coffee shop yesterday morning, I was discussing the winter doldrums with two really awesome chicks.

Sure, there’s been a massive blizzard. Some chilly days where the snot instantly freezes inside your nose when you walk outdoors.  The endless bundling and unbundling of multiple layers. Cursing under your breath as you shudder and wait for the car to warm up.

Over the last few years, I’ve found myself disappear from the social scene in January. Only to reappear at some point in February.

Not this year. I’ve been all over the place. And this last weekend was no different.Megan and I visited Holly in Madison. Clearly, us three girls took over the city (and Lake Mendota in this case) for 24 hours. And clearly these pictures are not all from my camera- Holly takes wonderful shots and was kind enough to share them with the rest of us.  So if you think “wow, this picture is really nice”, it’s probably Holly’s.

Yes, we are standing on top of the lake. Yes, this freaked me out. Yes, Holly made us do it.

But yes, I’m sort of glad we did it. Because it was awesome. I wasn’t kidding when I said we were all over the place.  :)I can’t believe people were just hanging out… fishing… enjoying the weather… what?

We also did quite a few other noteworthy things. Holly was a fantastic tour guide and made sure we got a feel of the entire town.Megan and I were even able to throw in our opinion on some serious legislation…We were obviously skeptical, but willing to listen to both sides. As any good politician would do.

After the capital, we walked around part of campus and Holly took us to the student union to show us how cool the people of the University of Wisconsin are.  I mean… really… drinking on campus?PBR. Because cheap beer is what you drink in college. (although I was more of a Keystone gal)

The student union is also where we accidentally found the theme of the weekend. It was the perfect toast for each round of drinks we would share from then on…Balls 4 Life. Holla’.

I’m going to open up the comment boards here to the best graffiti you’ve ever seen in a public place?

It’s probably important to mention I support observation and finding amusement in it. Please do not deface a restroom stall because I told you to. Because I didn’t.

Moving on.

For me, the excitement really escalated at dinner. Wisconsin is known for its cheese. (Duh)

To Holly and Megan’s surprise, I had never tried cheese curds.And The Old Fashioned fries them.  Crazy, right? Holly even captured “my first time”.Words cannot express how happy I was. Mozzarella sticks have got NOTHING on these things. Sure, the word “curd” sounds gross and rhymes with things that make me giggle. But I don’t let such things bother me. We cleaned the basket of them in no time. Holly could not have picked better eats for us during our visit.

Here’s the funny thing about bloggers.  We sort of “know” each other.  And sort of “know” the same people. And read a lot of the same things.  So we have a lot to talk about. Imagine 24 hours of straight conversation.

Well… not quite 24 hours. We had to sleep for 7-8 of those hours. Which reminds me, thank you SO MUCH Holly for letting Megan and I crash on the futon.  Yes, we both fit on it quite comfortably. I’m pretty sure there was no spooning.

The next day, Holly took us to one of her favorite coffee shops.I never thought I’d go “aawwww” when seeing a building for the first time. But come on, isn’t that just freaking adorable? And yes, it’s snowing… again… how many days until Spring???

Luckily, I didn’t spazz about the weather because I had coffee and carbs to keep me sedated.Holly was right- the peanut butter and chocolate chip scone did not disappoint.

Now I just want to make scones… like everyday.

We got home with enough down time before the Superbowl.

I watched it with my neighbor Bailey. Who happens to be a Green Bay fan. I sat quietly with my bottle of beer as she jumped and cheered a little too often for my liking.

And was it just me- or were the commercials really not that great?  Seriously… I can only think of a few that caused a reaction from me at all….

Meet Me In St. Louis

Why hello strangers!

I sort of did the disappearing act yesterday, but it was for the best.  My brain was a bit mushy from not getting home until a little before midnight on Sunday night and then turning around to get to work by 7:30 the next morning.  Any written words would have been a jumbled mess.  :)

Anyhoo, I had a great 24 hours in St. Louis with my blondies (Mary and Laura).  Like I may have mentioned, it was sort of a last-minute thing, but I’m glad it  happened.  I miss some of my college girls, so the chance to see them was jumped on!  I got in late on Saturday, but it didn’t take long for us to freshen up and hit the town for a bit…We had a great time running around with a group of their friends and then retreating back to Mary’s house.  Because of their football party earlier, there was plenty of leftover food around. 

I tried White Castle for the first time.  (yeah- FIRST time)

I really have no idea what the big deal is.  I’m positive they should have made a movie about Jack in the Box instead.

Laura and I shared a room and stayed up whispering and giggling.  Then, when Mary’s fiance left for his tee time the next morning (how grown-up do we sound???), we hightailed it into Mary’s room and jumped into bed to make a Mary sandwich and giggle and gossip some more (ok, just cancelled out the grown-up thing).

“Giggle” was the word of the weekend. 

The three of us didn’t really do too much other than chat it up all Sunday.  Since we don’t see each other nearly as often as we used to (ie everyday), that’s all I need to call it a good weekend.

Well.  That and food.  Turns out we still have similar tastes.Fiesta salad with chicken and added avocado. For all three of us.  How obnoxious is this??? The waitress looked at our table funny as we ordered our round of iced teas and the same exact salads.  I’d be embarrassed but we have good taste in food.  What are we supposed to do? 

Although Laura just HAD to be difficult by getting the sour cream on the side.  GEEZ!  It was something about trying to make the salad healthier…  whatever… ;)

We also have similar tastes in sweets:Oh buddy.

On a separate note, after discussing it in detail and a trip to Target for the dvd and weights, Mary decided to try out The Shred.  So far I haven’t received any hate texts from her.  Then again, she also hasn’t hit Level 2 yet.  ;)

I really should get paid for this, Jillian.

After the lovely lazy day, Annie and I roadtripped our way back to Chicago.  We had fun on both drives (to and from), but were horribly tuckered out on the way home.  We tried to remedy the situation by digging up some of her old cds and listeing to some of Top 40’s greatest of 2000 – 2002.  Yessss….  You can’t help but love the smooth sounds of Savage Garden and Mandy Moore when she was still blond.  Classic stuff.

All this traveling left me without much physical activity for the rest of the weekend.  And that was OK.  I seemed to forget the importance of stretching after a race and adding 10 hours in a car didn’t help.  So last night was just walkin’ it out a little on the ‘mill.  I’m not pushing myself back into a serious workout routine at the moment.  I’ve been saying for a while I want to take a break from the consistent running.

Not that I’m going to stop (seriously- that would be tragic), but adding a little more to the mix isn’t going to hurt anyone.  Plus, now I’ve got the Hustle Up the Hancock to train for!

Oh and by the way, here are my final stats from the Hot Chocolate 15k.  They were no surprise- I knew it wasn’t the best race. But we’re ok with that.  Promise!*Sigh.  Even though I wasn’t planning it, I may have to sign up for maybe one more race this winter just to redeem myself.  Maybe… :)

Ever had a crappy race?  What caused it?  Let’s discuss…

A Wedding Weekend

I made it back alive!

Just barely… Saturday was a marathon day to say the least.  But every minute of Ashlee’s wedding was so much fun!Ready to start taking pictures… this was  one of a million.  I don’t know about Ashlee, but I wasn’t this fresh faced the entire day… enjoy it while you can.  :)The ceremony went so smoothly.  The only hangup was the issue of if the little ring bearers and flower girls would make it down the aisle.  Or not cry.  Or stay at the front and not run back.  It was really touch and go.  I think 2 of the 4 made it the full way. 

Also check out the one candle that is slowly slipping.  This caused us bridesmaids much distress.  Burning down an old church would be frowned on, I’m sure.We went down to Ashlee’s house to take pictures.  I can’t wait to see all the professional ones- Ashlee was seriously ON IT when it came to fun wedding party pics.

How did we get to Ashlee’s house you ask?  Well….In St. E style of course… In a pinch, Ashlee’s brother came up with the brilliant idea of throwing us all on the back of a truck.

We worked the wind-blown look very well.

I may have busted my knee getting on to said truck, but nothing to cry about.  I’m waiting to see how well the bruise develops.  ;)  All this yoga I’ve been doing- still as clumsy as ever… fail.My mom and I.  After we got back from pics, everyone hung out outside in the church yard where there’s a pavilion that the bartenders reside.  Seagrams and Bud Light.  Holla’.Here’s an example of the centerpieces.  I adored Ashlee’s style.  Very country chic.  Simple and elegant.  You could tell the whole wedding was in the style of the bride and groom.  Nailed it!  :)One thing I liked about this wedding was that Ashlee’s not big into cake- so they did wedding pie.  It went really well with the theme of the wedding.  Ignore the beer can in the picture.  I’m 99% positive it wasn’t part of the display…

There was also an ice cream bar that went along with it.  You can bet your booty I went for tons of sprinkles on my brownie (since I don’t really do pie…).

My friends who know about the blog asked if I took pics of my food.  I laughed. Of course I did!

There was fried chicken and beef.  I went with the beef on recommendation from another bridesmaid.  She  has her mom special order the stuff from the caterer (their cousin) and freeze it so she can take it home with her after she visits.  I can see why.  It was amazing.

And of course it’s not a St. E wedding without a proper wedding dance.  I did not want to let go of that beer can, did I?  For the record, I’m pretty sure it was the same one in about a hundred pictures… towards the end of the night, I was just exhausted!

All in all, a great weekend back home to celebrate my good friend’s wedding!  The only awkwardness was when I ran into my date from Senior Prom who happened to be the DJ.  Random…

Yesterday was the drive home.  It really is an all day affair.  I also made it a Panera day.Correction… St. Louis Bread Co.  (It’s actually still called that in the St. Louis area vs. Panera everywhere else.)

I stopped here for another round of driving with giant iced teas.  It only caused one extra potty break (I’m getting better!).And then I figured I’d make it a double whammy later on by stopping at Panera for a Turkey Bravo.  It’s my favorite sandwich there.  We don’t discuss calories when it comes to Panera- just goodness.  :)

Considering I was lacking sleep and energy, the drive was not too bad until about an hour away from home.This is the story of my life.

But clearly I made it.  And am ready for the full work week ahead.  Sort of.  It’s a little daunting, but I’m sure I’ll get through!  ;)

How was your weekend?  My google reader is exploding, so I’m sure I’ll find out at some point in the day…

While I have the chance, I’ll also say thanks again to Mon for doing a guest post over my busy weekend!  If you didn’t catch it, feel free to read it by clicking here!

Have a great start to the week!  I’ll be spending the day working and trying to get back into my routine- oh joy!

Leaving Already

The long weekend has definitely flown.  Which is unfortunate because I’m not looking forward to the long drive back that I’m about to go on… ugh.

Just to pick up where I left off, Friday night we had the rehearsal and then went to the farm that my friend Ashlee’s family owns to have the rehearsal dinner. 

A Mexican buffet is always a fabulous idea.  Always. 

Since my birthday happened not that long ago, Ashlee gave me a belated birthday gift.  She said she had to wait to give it to me because she needed to see my reaction.  She gave me Twilight sweet tarts.Now let me explain- this is a running joke between us.  It started out with the creepiest Halloween card of all time with Edward staring “seductively”.  He looks ridiculous.  Ashlee found it, couldn’t control herself, and sent it my way.  So I returned the favor by giving her Twilight magnets as part of her bridal shower gift.  Hence the Twilight birthday gift.  I think the candy is supposed to even sparkle.  Fabulous!

After the rehearsal dinner, I swung by Miss Kitty’s to say hi to some other friends who had driven back for the wedding- which also happens to be the only bar in town and also the only establishment open past 11:00 within a 10-mile radius.  It makes the decision-making of where to go very easy.Hey ladies!  That’s Erica, me, and Krista- a few of the girls from my high school class (Class of 2003- holla’!).  The lighting is also horrible, so we all look a bit creepy with the red eye thing we’ve got going on… rarr. We caught up for a little bit, but also called it an early night.  These two ladies have little ones to tend to (both babies under 6 months!) and I had an early morning call to get my wedding hair going…

Both girls read the blog, so say heeeeeeeyyyyyy!

But because I like you guys, I thought I’d give you the “insider’s sneak peek” of Miss Kitty’s…The decor is pretty hodge-podge.  Or as I like to say- sassy!

Tell me the name of your hometown drinking spot- anyone have anything better than Miss Kitty’s?

I’ll have to talk about the wedding at a later time (they had an ice cream bar- seriously amazing).  And since I don’t feel like loading pictures just yet, I’ll give you this one to see what I sort of looked like:If I had botox and implants, it’d be freaky how real this looks, right?  ;)

Have a great Sunday!  I’ll be driving… and driving… and driving…

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