Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#8 Host a Cocktail Party

On Saturday night, Scott and I hosted a party for 19 Specials. Since Scott came to Iowa with me for Thanksgiving, I suggested hosting a Pre-Holiday party for his family. As an added bonus, most of his relatives had yet to see our apartment, so the party had a bit of a dual purpose. We had cocktails, appetizers and Christmas music.




I must say - I love entertaining. (The clean-up, not so much). I'm counting down the days til our next little soiree.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#21 Bake Something NOT from a Box

Check!

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Scott and I made bread rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. We were a little nervous about how they would travel - we made the dough on Wednesday, froze it overnight and transported it to Iowa via the trunk of Scott's car. Happily, it seemed to work and they were, indeed, edible. (Unless my family was lying to save my feelings, a thought that is entirely possible).



Done & done!

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's time.



Yes, it's time.

6 Months Ago Today

I always thought it was so cliche to hear people say that their wedding was the best day of their life. But then I got married, and I would say without a moment's hesitation that it was certainly the best day of mine. I was so excited to marry Scott that I would have done it on a pig farm (and I am neither an animal nor farm person) but to be able to do it with my family and friends witnessing it, and in my hometown... it was the fastest and most overwhelmingly happy day of my life.




Happy six months, Scott. 2011 has been good to me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy birthday CER!





Happy 27 to an all-time favorite person. I am SO lucky to have you in my life.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy birthday JMR!

Happy birthday, Grandma!

(Photos courtesy of my wedding photographer, Studio Noveau)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GPOYW: Honeymoon Edition



On our honeymoon we took advantage of the hotel's photographer for a "complementary" mini-photo shoot by the beach. (I say "complementary" because while the photographer didn't cost anything, if you wanted to purchase the resulting photos they were somewhat expensive). These are the three photos that we loved enough to purchase.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project 365: Day 42

November 13, 2011
Chicago

I have three thoughts after today's football game:

1) Matthew Stafford started the brawl. (Sore loser?)
2) 6-3 is not without error - obviously - but it still tastes pretty sweet.
3) Although I'm not sure anyone can stop Aaron Rodgers this year, I'm feeling much, much better about the Christmas Day matchup then I was four weeks ago. GB, I'm looking at you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Project 365: Day 41

November 12, 2011
River Grove, IL

Scott and I met his mom for dinner, and then were joined by his cousin Lindsey for a nightcap at "The Moose".

(Sidenote: The Moose has the cheapest drinks in Chicagoland - 3 Bud Lights + a cocktail was $8. Love that).

Song of the Day: Defying Gravity (from Wicked)



In my top five "belt it out while driving" songs.

My mom took me to Wicked the musical during Spring Break of my senior year of college. It was playing at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, and I was seriously considering a move to the city. The lyrics to this song are so appropriate for what that time of life meant, and whenever I hear it I think of those few days in Chicago with my mama.

on Penn State

Like many college football fans, I've been intrigued by the fall of the Penn State football organization this week. To be honest, I didn't know much about Penn State, but Joe Paterno is a name every college football fan knows. A living legend.

I'll get to my thoughts on Paterno in a second, but my first instinct is absolute disgust at the whole situation. First and foremost, I will never understand rapists, let alone child rapists. They are horrible, horrible people and I will never, ever be able to wrap my head around what kind of person can inflict that kind of pain upon another human, especially a child.

But beyond that, what kind of a person walks in on a man sodomizing a kid - sees that happening face to face in a university facility - and simply walks away? I have to think that many of us (most of us?) would rush in. I'm not particularly strong or brave but if I walked in and saw a grown man raping a twelve year old kid, at the very least, I would make a ruckus and call 9-1-1. Probably both. How could you see that happen, turn around and walk away? What kind of person does that?

So now at Penn State there is one retired coach raping kids in university showers, and another coach that sees it and walks away. At the (very, very) least, the second coach reported it to Joe Paterno who in turn reported it to his boss. Who apparently... did nothing much.

Now I don't think JoePa is a criminal per se, but I also think he knew about this for nine long years and didn't do enough. By a long shot. And this man was the head of the football program in a place where the football program runs the show. What happened to this kid (these kids) was horrible and wrong and there were adults - like Joe Paterno- in place that could have and should have stopped it. And they didn't. And I think that is reason aplenty to punish them.

And that's where it is. A few layoffs. A tarnished legacy. Little boys lives changed forever.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmond Burke

Friday, November 11, 2011

Project 365: Day 40

November 11, 2011
Chicago
I received this awesome pitcher as a wedding shower gift last December, and the glasses as a shower gift this April. Together they make a super fun cocktail experience.

Quote of the Day: Veterans Edition

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it remains the home of the brave" - Elmer Davis


I got choked up when I saw this quote this morning (on Facebook nonetheless). How true it is. I can't imagine the bravery that is required of our armed forces. On this Veterans Day, I'm so grateful for people braver than me, especially the ones in my family.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Project 365: Day 39

November 10, 2011
Chicago

Although I am super tempted to consider this my "make something not from a box", I didn't contribute nearly enough (anything?) to this project. Scott made delicious homemade rolls today, and the result was completely worth the effort. They were unbelievably good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Project 365: Day 39

November 9, 2011
Chicago
While at a work dinner tonight I was peer pressured into trying my first Oyster. While I can't say I liked it (or will ever eat it again) I will say that it did not kill me. (Whew).

19) Go to a costume party

Go to or host a costume party.

CHECK.

We were cowboys - not the most original costume, but literally plucked from our closet in the ten minutes before the party started. A successful night nonetheless!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Project 365: Day 37

November 8, 2011
Chicago

New doorknobs! (Old ones here).

14) Visit CousinFriends part two

I consider myself very close to my cousins. I don't have sisters, and I think because of that, I really cherish the relationships I have with my girl cousins.

I visited Christine over Labor Day weekend, and with that visit accomplished part one of my goal to visit Cousinfriends. Part two was accomplished this weekend, with my annual "Kate-Anne" event.

A few times a year, Anne and I make it a point to get together. We live almost 10 hours apart driving distance, so she either flies to Chicago, or I fly to Minneapolis. We've had several such visits this year (as well as one rendezvous in Iowa) and so when we started planning our Fall '11 trip, we came up with a new plan: Des Moines! DM is driveable for both of us, and to top it off, we have another cousin that lives there, who we'd love to see. Win win win.

Anne's sister, Jane, and Matt's girlfriend Kelly joined us as well for a fun DSM weekend. I miss you girls already!




Plus, I got to meet the newest Rank gal:



These photos borrowed from Jane :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Project 365: Day 36

November 7, 2011
Chicago
I LOVE Chicago, but I do NOT love Chicago Public Transit on rainy days during peak rush hour. Blah.

Think Like...

Today I heard some interesting advice. It was distributed as professional advice, and I think it's relevant to work life, home life and just darn good. The original source is Thomas Friedman, author and columnist.

Think like:

An immigrant. Nothing is owed to you, and if you're going to "make it" you're going to do that by your own hard work. Be hungry, work hard.

An artist. Most artwork is signed somewhere with the artists name - and that's because the artist has worked hard and they are proud of their work. Don't produce work that you don't want your name attached to. Do good work, and be proud to claim it.

A waitress. This one needs a little explanation. In August 2011, Friedman was at a diner in Minneapolis. His companion ordered scrambled eggs with a side of fruit. When the waitress brought his meal, she said to the campanion with a little wink "I gave you extra fruit". She couldn't control a lot of her job and situation, but she controlled the fruit ladle, and could give a little extra. You might not be able to control the job market, and your hands might be tied at work, but there is usually something you CAN control (customer service, relationships with coworkers, etc).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Project 365: Day 35

November 6, 2011
Grinnell

I love you JFM!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Project 365: Day 34

Day 34
Ames, IA

My cousin Josh's baby girl, Harper. (She's the 49th Rank!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Project 365: Day 32

November 3, 2011
Chicago


Ugly brass doorknobs - stay tuned for the "after" picture soon :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Project 365: Day 30

November 1, 2011
Chicago



I'm sounding like a broken record. I have the best husband ever. I came home to three of my favorite things: fresh mango, guacamole, and Corona Light.