Monday, September 20, 2010

Lets talk about....birthdays.

Last week, I celebrated my 23rd birthday. Actually, there was a lack of celebration, but alas, my 23rd birthday did come and go. This was my first post-college birthday, and needless to say, it was different than the past 4 years. On the other hand, it was the first birthday in four years that I was able to spend with family, who probably didn't have to look at Facebook to remember that indeed, I was born on September 17th. But all in all, it was a good day. Got free lunch at work, got off work two hours early, and got to see both of my brothers. While driving down to Iowa State that afternoon, I thought about past birthdays...and thought I would share some memories with you:

--Elementary school birthdays: Lets face it. They're all pretty much the same. Generally theme-oriented. Invites are a must. And ice cream cake. I specifically remember making a list of approximately 12 different types of "tag" to play at one birthday party. I was a cool kid. These birthday parties were either held at my house, Carousel Skate, Gigglebee's, or this one giant indoor playground place (the name is currently failing me). I also recall my mom reminding me to be somewhat secretive about giving out the invites, so the un-invited weren't offended. Also, these were "no boys allowed" events. Should've kept it that way.

--Middle school birthdays: Slightly less organized and more focused on sleepovers. They were the COOLEST THINGS EVER. I also ventured to a bowling alley and even to a showing of Pearl Harbor. I finally got to the point in which I realized I didn't have to invite every single girl in my class to my birthday party. The most popular gift? Either cds or lotions/shower gel from Bath & Body Works. I seriously think I have some left from that 7th grade birthday party. Ridiculous. I can't even smell Country Apple or Cucumber Melon without thinking of middle school.

--High school birthdays: I started to lack any and all motivation to have a party for my birthday in high school. It's probably because I was also in marching band, so the weekends in September were typically spent at competitions. I did, however, have a SURPRISE 16th birthday party :)

As I said, I was in marching band, and we had practice at 6:45AM every morning. But that September morning sophomore year, I was woken by the sound of people in my room at like 5 in the morning. And they were boys. Two of them, in fact. Eric Lindquist and Matt Hitchcock. Two guys that probably hated each other, but yet I was their common thread. Bizarre. Anyways...Missy and KTF were behind it all and the four of them got me out of bed, made me wear some ridiculous combination of clothing that they grabbed from my closet, and brought me to breakfast at Denny's. Or Perkin's. I can't remember. They let me go home and shower before I came home and my lovely, awesome, '88 Chevy Celebrity was decorated in "Ahhh it's my birthday!" slogans. Thanks, Dad. Throughout the school day, I also pieced together the fact that a surprise birthday party was also happening that evening. Mostly because people weren't talking to me. At all. And then I got home from school and my dad said that our family was going to go bowling (we never go bowling). When we were pulling up, I saw Collin walking in late anyways haha. But it was a great evening filled with an incredibly eclectic group of friends.

I think for my 17th birthday, we had a marching band competition in Eden Prairie. But we won best drum majors (I was a drum major), so that was sweet.

I don't really remember what I did senior year. Oh well. Should've kept a diary. WAIT. I HAD XANGA. (this is a strict copy/paste from my Sept 18, 2005 entry):

my birthday was also yesterday, which was very some sweet things. the celebration started friday night with an amazing trip to olive garden with missy, kt m, sadie, anne, and jen....a good time to be had by all. as for yesterday, for supper we made a stop at applebee' which, danny managed to tell the waitress that it was my birthday. applebees was unfortunately understaffed that night, but my good 'ol friends still managed to some what sing the applebees "happy birthday" song. after realizing that i was really embarrassed, all 12 of them gathered closely around and sang the classic happy bday song, at a high decibel level. but you know, i laughed a lot...and what's life without a little embarrassment? i love all of those guys, they're great. after we got back to sioux falls, missy, rachel n, justin, and i made a short stop at fryn' pan, because we were hungry, but yet still delirious from the bus ride home. just ask justin, he was unconscious, trust me.

*unrelated to birthdays, you all should read my xanga. and justin's xanga. and collin's too. Please forgive me for my obnoxious layout. If you want to know what we were like in high school, this is probably a good representation* Thanks Xanga!

--College birthdays:

Freshman roomie, KadSchmad, decorated our door with an awesome birthday message on our white board. Which was awesome. Then that weekend, Collin, Justin, and Ryan took me on a trip downtown Chi-town. Tons of fun was had at the North Face store and at Rainforest Cafe, in which we got a chocolate volcano (because we thought it was free), but it ended up being $12. Pictures are posted on my fbook...probably in a Freshman Year album, since that would seem to make the most sense.

Sophomore year...the big 2-0. Mary and Collin completely decorated my dorm room with streamers and tons of balloons while I was at the library being a good student. Came back after midnight with Rachel and saw the party in my room...I was then sprayed with silly string. Lots of it. Pictures are on fbook. Check the sophomore year section. A bunch of us girls also went to dinner at Abuelo's, a fantastic, absolutely incredible Mexican restaurant in Merrillville. So good. I think that was it.

Junior year...epic. First of all, (on a completely non-alcohol related note), my dad told me that he sent me two dozen roses. Well, I hadn't received them, so my dad called the company and they agreed to send two dozen more. A day after I received the replacement roses, another two dozen roses arrived and Rachel and I were forced to use all cups/glasses/water bottles available to fit these roses into our dorm room. They were everywhere, and it was awesome. Anyways...moving on. At midnight, I took my first shot. I'm pretty sure it was Malibu. Rachel planned the whole evening in which I would walk around campus and meet up with 21 people at 21 different spots and have a drink. For those of you who don't know, I didn't drink until I was 21, so this was a pretty big deal. And since Rachel didn't want to kill me, she made mixed drinks for me instead of forcing me to do endless shots. It was seriously the best way to spend my 21st...with tons of friends and tons of surprises :) Photos are on facebook.

Senior year...22 isn't as exciting as being 21. But we did go out to Duffy's and celebrated there! I'm not sure if there are any photos of this evening. The best thing about this birthday was that the vast majority of my Valpo friends were also 21, so they could come out and celebrate as well!

I think that's all of the birthday memories I have today. How about you? Share some of your favorite birthdays below!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lets talk about fall...and Twins baseball.

Although summer isn't "officially" over. It actually is. School has started for the young ones and the pools are closed. And here in Sioux Falls, B&G Milky Ways are starting to close for the regardless of the official's time for fall.

I love fall.

Not only is it the best time EVER to go to Starbucks and get a tasty pumpkin spice latte or the classic white chocolate mocha (although I can't have any on this diet...I'm referring to previous fall experiences), but it's time for some solid layers of clothing. For those of you who actually know my personal style (which is kinda weird because I'm not even sure I know what my style is), you would most likely observe that I wear a lot of layers. Now that it's cooling off, my layer options have multiplied. And it's awesome. If anyone's looking to get me a gift, please consider getting me a jacket. Or a new North Face/Mountain Hard Wear coat. K thanks.

Another great thing about fall: fall scents. i.e. pumpkin, cider, cinnamon, apple orchards, yum. I spent this past weekend in Lincoln, NE with Abbalange and we ventured into a Yankee Candle store, in which I purchased three car scents. All appropriately fall scented. I think "Farmers Market" is currently hanging from one of my air vents. Check it out. It smells like a fruit basket with spice.

Great thing about fall: fireplaces. No need for an explanation.

And I would talk about the start of football...but lets be serious...I'm clearly most excited about post-season baseball. Anybody who knows anything about me probably knows that I'm a Twins fan (and they're kicking butt right now). I can't wait until October when I can wave my Homer Hanky like a mad woman and cheer for my boys!! (P.S. I'm going to another game on Wednesday....pumped!) I would also like to take this opportunity to say that if you either don't have a particular team that you cheer for, or if your team has sucked this season and won't be making it to post-season, you should cheer for the Twins. Because they're the best "team" in baseball.

But perhaps the most relevant reason as to why I love fall is because it's truly "campaign season." (47 days until Noem beats SHS) It's exciting to see people get involved across the state as November draws closer...but at the same point, even I get sick of the political commercials. However, if you're lucky enough to live in SD, you can spot me in an occasional Dennis Daugaard for Governor commercial. He's shaking my hand/you see the back of my head/I'm shaking my head like a fool.

Now that I've rambled on and on about why I love fall...take a minute and tell me what you love/hate about this fabulous season :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Adventures into Fall: Real Life Style.

Well...classes have started again. Except I'm not taking any, which is pretty bizarre. After years and years of going to school, it's strange to not have a class-oriented schedule that's oddly comforting. However, I am very thankful that I haven't had too much time to think about it as I'm staying busy at the campaign. In summers past (2008 and 2009 in particular), I had become so involved in the campaigns I was working on at the time, I didn't want to go back to Valpo. So now I have the unique opportunity of actually finishing out a campaign...which is pretty exciting for me!

That being said, I won't be able to return to Valpo for Homecoming, which is disappointing. It's just too far of a drive for such a short period of time during a busy campaign weekend. Fortunately, I've been lucky to spend occasional weekends with friends, either here in Sioux Falls or in Minneapolis! I've been to Target Field (twice!), had Abby come up for the weekend (twice!), and even had tons of Valpo people here in SF for Charli and Drew's wedding at the end of July. And there have been occasional days when high school friends have traveled home for the it's been great catching up with them too! But I still miss all of my underclassmen friends, so I'm hoping to make it out to Valpo post-election but pre-Thanksgiving. So brace yourself!

Speaking of post-election, I'm starting to get questions about what my plans are after November. be honest, I'm trying to not have plans. I'm waiting for a certain indication from a certain politician before moving forward with anything else. I did turn down a DC job, which was one of the toughest decisions I've had to make up until this point. I would have been working with people I love, for somebody that inspires me, and in a city that I cherish...but it just didn't feel right. After lots of prayers, sleepless nights, and conversations with close friends, family, and co-workers, I said "thanks, but no thanks," and have continued to work here in SF. Some people call me crazy, but those who know me best, know that I'm confident and comfortable with my decision, which is ultimately the most important factor.

Another new career development in my life is that I've been looking at pursuing my Masters of Education in Teaching. There's no doubt that I love politics and the political process, but I think that can trickle down into different arenas as well. So I would also love to teach government/history at the high school or middle school level. Since I didn't major in education at Valpo, this Master's program would not only allow me to earn a post-grad degree, but would also grant me my teacher certification. This program would start next fall (plus it's online and night class based = super flexible!), so I have some time to wait and see what happens with my current job and where that could potentially lead. But I know that I would be comfortable pursuing the teaching path as things are looking up!

In other (definitely more personal) news, I've dropped 20 pounds in 5 weeks! I've just really wanted to get rid of the weight I gained from eating El Amigo and drinking too much in I'll probably look different to most of you by the time you see me next! It's not something I want to boast about, but it is something I'm proud of and it's something I want to be honest about.

On that note, I really don't have anything else to thanks to all my loyal followers for reading my quarterly updates...and I hope all is well with you too :)

I also turn 23 next week. Ugh.