Friday, August 24, 2012

three year special.

Another birthday for comeback special!

I've sort of fallen off the blogging train recently. There hasn't been a lot going on except wedding stuff, and I don't want this to become a wedding blog. There are a lot more interesting things in life than that! (But I'm sure I'll end up sharing some projects now and then. We're working on really awesome Save-the-Dates right now!) Well, here's to another year! May it be happy, healthy and productive!

Monday, August 13, 2012

my kind of town(s).

I don't know what started it, but I am feeling an awful lot of home-town pride lately. And not just Worthington or Ohio. Last night, as Todd and I were driving back into the city after a wedding weekend in Worthington, I was hit with an overwhelming sense of home. This city has been so good to me for the past eight years, and I don't often give it enough credit. So as we made our way through Chinatown and Pilsen and Ukranian Village and Bucktown to get to our humble apartment in Logan Square, I was suprised by the surge of pride that rushed through me. "I live here," I thought. And then I looked over at Todd as he navigated the side streets to avoid the traffic on I-90/94. "WE live here." This is our home, together. I'm not alone here - I never have been. More and more family has made their way to Chicago. Our lives are expanding in this town - marriages, babies, partners, jobs. We love each other, and we are at each others' fingertips if anyone ever needs a helping hand.

Whenever I wear a t-shirt rep'ing Columbus or Ohio or Worthington, I am not doing it for the athletics. (Sorry, Buckeye fans!) For me, The Ohio State University, the Columbus Clippers, the Crew, script Ohio, all of those mean "Home". They mean "Family". They mean "Friends". They all stand for where I was raised; where I came from; where my family is; where my Home is, was and always will be.

But now I realize that I have those same feelings about Chicago. Chicago is where I am now - where all the rest has led me to. It is where I moved in with my sister when my first plans didn't work out. (Sorry, Pittsburgh. But not that sorry.) It is where I made grown up decisions about life. It is where my 'neice' was born. It is where I met the man I am going to spend the rest of my life with. It is where we will will be married. It is where we live, together. This is also where my Home is.

I have a family here, beyond my own cousins. Friends that I have known for years. Friends that are way beyond "friends". We've been family from day one. Todd's extended family is here. They all open their homes, hearts and lives to us, and I feel so fortunate. So blessed. When I wear my Cubs gear, I am wearing it for my Chicago life, my Chicago family, my Chicago Home.

And in our last four years together, we've spent a lot of time in Todd's own hometown. Milwaukee and Wisconsin have found their way into my bloodstream. The lakeshore, the parks, the cheese, the beer, the sausage, the Packers. Todd's parents have been so welcoming, it is impossible for me not to feel comfortable there. It is a beautiful place. And if I root for the Packers for any reason, above all else, it is for Todd's home. (And, well, his mom's cooking.) That is where he was raised; where he came from; where his Home is. And it is mine now, too.

How lucky am I two have three homes? (With great sports teams, through which we can show our pride! Go Buckeyes / Clippers / Crew / Cubbies / Packers! ...I don't much care for hockey. Or professional basketball.)

Now, houses? That's a whole 'nother story. Ask me in about three to five years.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

summer lovings.

There is a lot of love flowing this summer. First our engagement in May, then my number one Lindsay's wedding in June (which was so wonderful, and you can read all about it and see pictures from their *magical* honeymoon here on her blog), and in August, one of my oldest friends, Heather, is getting married in our hometown. But this weekend... we have been waiting for this weekend for over a year. This weekend two of our best friends, Leah and Dan, will be tying the knot in a beautiful DIY "Burlap & Lace" barn wedding in Watervilet, MI. I'll be standing up as a bridesmaid, and I'm so excited to be a part of their day/weekend/life.

summer loving.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Well, the word is out - Todd and I are engaged!

He proposed while we were in St. Thomas, USVI celebrating four years of being cute, being gross, being hilarious and being in love. (That's just a little sampling of the "cute" and "gross".) And yes, he did ask my dad's permission before hand. And yes, we did look at rings together before hand. And yes, he still caught me completely off guard!

It was the end of our first full day, and Todd had just made a delicious dinner that we ate on the balcony. I told him how lucky I am that he is good at so many things that I am not good at. (Like cooking and carrying luggage, among other arguably more important things.) And vice versa. He agreed, saying - as he always does - "We make a great team." A few minutes later, he cleared the table and returned to the balcony with his hands behind his back looking a little suspicious. I laugh-cried through the whole thing. The next thing I knew, we were engaged!

We had actually been looking at rings online for awhile. A lot of the things we looked at were very gorgeous. Very sparlkly. And very not-me. We finally went into a couple stores to try things on a week before the trip. Some good. Some bad. One perfect. He didn't buy anything while I was with him because he wanted the final decision to be a surprise. But I was really hoping he would go with a certan option. So, when he opened the box and the yellow gold "rope" style ring was inside, I thought to myself "HE KNOWS ME SO WELL!" And also, "OHJEEZE WE'RE GETTING ENGAGED RIGHT NOW!"

Instead of a larger sparkly ring, Todd and I came up with the idea of a small stack of skinny rings that I can mix-and-match after we're married. The day after we got back from our trip, Todd took me to get "Part 2" of our engament ring.

I know, I know. I'm a brat. (A brat with gray hair.)

I love them.

And this is what the final stack will look like. I am so excited about what Todd chose that I just want to wear them all now! He says if I want the third ring, I'll have to marry him to get it. Oh, darn.

Monday, May 7, 2012

the chicago family expansion project.

Don't get crazy. Nobody's pregnant. I'm talking about The Chicago Cousin Ratio, which has reached 5 out of 9! That's right. We're the majority. Which can only mean that one of my baby cousins is moving to Chicago!

Okay, so she's not a baby. She's a grown up. A college graduate. She can vote and buy beer and cigarettes and porn. She's got a job and an apartment. (Okay, she's got a job. We'll work on the apartment part.) And she'll be here in SIX DAYS!

Stefanie, Taylor, me and Annie. 2008.

This picture is so old now. It was taken four years ago, after Taylor's high school graduation. There we are with our pretty sisters, Stefanie and Annie. Stef was the Chicago Cousin pioneer. She's coming up on 11 years in the city. (Holy crap. Eleven years.) I'll hit my 8 year mark at the end of the summer. (Holy crap. Eight years.) It's been at least 5 years since we conned one of our cousins into moving here, so we were definitely due. Good thing she's moving during the summer when Chicago is at its best. (Nobody tell her about the winter. Shh.)

Welcome to the city, pretty girl!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

vitamin d-lightful.

Well, that was quite a hiatus. I'd go into details, but why dwell? Let's move on with some nice weather, impending vacations and recent purchases!

planning central.

As is our tradition, Todd and I planned a trip around our anniversary. (Four years! Yikes!) So in less than two weeks, we will be basking in the warm St. Thomas sun and snorkelling with the tropical fishies. I am making huge strides in my effort to turn Todd into a beach bum. He is so excited for his return to the water (and eventual SCUBA certification!) that he bought himself a legit mask and dive fins. It was a very proud day for me.

underwater safari. chicago, il.

And of course I was not to be left out of this purchasing party. I have been on a search for a better, more flattering, more comfortable bathing suit all spring. I wanted something easy. Plain, low bottoms and a top that hooks in the back. No more ties that make you bulge in places you don't really even have bulge. No more tiny tops that slip up and/or down whenever you get hit by a wave. I'm a grown-up, damn it, and my bathing suit needs to be functional. Have you ever tried scuba diving in a triangle bikini? It is not as easy as they made it seem on Baywatch. Let me just say, thank goodness for rashguards. But I digress, my search went on and I looked at a lot of swimsuits on-line, mostly on J.Crew. (I know. Go figure.) They were all really cute, but I kept coming back to this mix-and-match two-piece that I saw in the Victoria's Secret catalog. I've never bought a swimsuit from VS before, for the sole reason that it hard to tell what a swim suit is going to look like on my body compared to the models' bodies, since they are not human bountiful on top and pretty non-existant in the hip department. And I am the exact opposity body type. Think of me as a reverse Victoria's Secret model. But I thought this one had potential. And in a moment of total spontanaity, I stopped in VS on Michigan Avenue as I was walking buy to see if they had it in the store. They did - and in the color I wanted! So I bought it. Without even trying it on. And miracle of miracles, It. Fit. Perfectly. And best of all. It did not break the bank. So I did what any person in their right mind would do... I ordered it in a second color. Obviously.

VS Madi Bandeau Top - $28 | VS Cheeky Hipkini Bottom - $18 | Neon Coral & Maldive

I also got super TJMaxx lucky this week. His&Hers Cole Haan Sunglasses and a Pucci (Yep. Pucci.) beach kaftan. It was so sad, half on the hanger, pushed back on the rack behind the jersey knit maxi dresses. Like it was just waiting to be recued. By me. Let me tell you, I feel fancy.* And like I got the deals of the century. And I'll probably never get that lucky again. So, shout-out to TJMaxx.

shout. out.

P.S. My doctor literally perscribed Vitamin D. I prefer to get mine naturally.

*EDIT: I caved. I returned the Pucci kaftan. As great of a deal as it was, it was still a little too rich for my blood. And let's be honest, when I go to the beach, how often do you find me lounging in a chair in a kaftan with a floppy hat and giant sunglasses. I do not go to the beach with the Kardashians or Beyonce. And I had already bought a striped tunic from J.Crew that I forgot about and rediscovered while cleaning the bedroom. Which, even without seeing, I think we can all agree is more my style. See you in my future Pucci. Maybe in the form of a gorgeous silk scarf or minidress.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

s'mor amor.

If you didn't already know, I love you, you're perfect, don't change. I mean, continue growing and learning and everything, but don't think you have to change just for the sake of changing. Because you don't. You're great. I think so, at least. And I'm usually right. Just ask Todd.

So keep on keepin' on. Pat yourself on the back. Be true to your school, as The Beach Boys say. (That doesn't really apply here, but it sounded good.) Do be happy today, because somebunny loves you. And that bunny is me.

awesome letterpress cards by YeeHaw

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

to dog or not to dog.

TG and I are in the midst of discussions about whether or not to get a dog. When my sister and I were growing up, we had two cats, a gerbil, a rat, a guinea pig, and a rabbit. Not all at once. Come to think of it, there were never more than two animals in our house at the same time. Now we have two cats. And I have had sole custody for that past 3 years. Stefanie has her own dog now. Todd had two dogs (at two different times) when he was younger. I have never had a dog. (Did you get all that?)

Number one reason why I have always said I could not get a dog: I am not responsible enough. I am not responsible enough to take care of an animal that needs more from me than to put out food and water, clean its litter box or cage, and give it excessive snuggling (a la Elmyra from Tiny Toons). To be honest, it scares the bajeezies out of me.

But I'm not on my own anymore. We're a team. And getting a dog is important to Todd, which makes it important to me. I always thought that when we found the right dog, we would just know. It would be the right time, and everything would just fall into place. Well, two weeks ago we found a dog that I fell in love with. We had seen her on their site previously and when I saw that she was still up for adoption, I immediately thought "It's a sign!" She was a beautiful, small, chocolate and carmel shepherd mix. So we went to meet her at an adoption event. She was the perfect size and very playful. She was gorgeous and smiled all the time. But the rescue group, although they liked us very much, decided to place her in a home without cats. It's understandable, but still it broke my heart. I really thought she was "the one".

The rescue group kept us in mind though, and only days later sent Todd an email about another dog they have in a foster home. He is a little bigger, maybe 50 pounds or so, and could still fill out a little bit more. He's a total mutt... shepherd, rottweiler, hound, pitt bull. Who knows. We met him last weekend. He's very cute and brown with soft ears. His temperment is near perfect. He is mellow and smart and quiet. He ignored the cat that was also in the store. But he just didn't smile at me the same way. He's shy. And that's okay, too. All of the volunteers kept saying what a perfect "first dog" he would be.

So now the panic has set in. This is a life changing decision. Having a dog is not like having cats. It's like having a child. Are we financially able to support a third animal? Do our schedules allow for us to give him the amount of attention and care that he will need? I just don't know if I'm ready.

If you have a dog, how did you know it was the right time to get one? How did it change your daily life? Be honest, I'm not looking for blind encouragement. I need the cold, hard facts folks.

Many thanks.

Monday, January 9, 2012

our house.

Our house
Is a very, very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy 'cause of you
And our...
La la lalala la la lala la...

batman. lester.

what the twelve?!

2012? Seriously?! How in the world did it get to be 2012? Wasn't it just 1998? So weird. I'm starting to feel like an old lady.

I have a few ideas about how this year is going to go. I want to loose a little bit of weight. Just tone up, really. Two very special weddings are on my calendar this summer. There is talk of puppies and new apartments. And I am really inspired to travel. Well, let's face it, I'm always inspired to travel. But this year feels different. It feels important. Maybe as my life is changing, I'm realizing that I need to keep taking advantage of all this wonderful time I have. Time with my friends, and my family, and Todd. I've been feeling this way ever since my wonderful trip to DC last October.

So far on the ol' schedule I have a trip to Pittsburgh with my sister at the end of the month to visit my Gramma, a whirwind drive to Memphis with Todd and a weekend in NYC with two lovelies in February, a Marketing Summit in LA for work in March, Leah's bachelorette party in New Orleans in April (or March... or May...), an unplanned beach vacation with Todd in May, Cleveland wedding in June, and Michigan wedding in July.

The first half of 2012 is looking promising. (I better start saving my vacation time now!)

And to make this post a little more interesting, here are a few shots from '11 to ring in '12!

A Detroit wedding in May.

At Many Glacier in June.

Dora and I in happier times at my Mexican birthday dinner. (She didn't survive the night...)

Waiting in the Taco Line.

Rachie got married in November. (Isn't she beautious?)

Justin may have overstayed his welcome.

Ringing in the new year with beer that tastes like bacon. Seriously.

Happy New Year! May it be filled with adventure!