2009 - What a Year!

I have been reflecting a lot today on this past year. What a year it has been! It was anything but dull I will tell you that. Here are some highlights!

I think the biggest theme of this year was travel! I traveled a lot. More than I cared to. There were weekends where I just wanted to stay home. Most of the travel had to do with Seth and I driving back and forth to Boise. Man - living apart sucked. I am so glad that we don't live 5 hours apart anymore. That long distance relationship nearly killed us! However - we had some great times in Boise. It's a city that I grew to love - and actually miss. Who knew!?

It was also a year of living at home. It was hard to leave Seth's home. It is in such a perfect location - and I loved living with my girls. However I had to do what I had to do. I moved into Mom & Wally's in March (wow). In my mind it was just for a few months to save money for the wedding. Little did I know that 10 months later and I would still be there! It took some adjusting but it has turned out to be a great thing. Thanks again Mom & Wall!

2009 marked a year of sickness for me. First of all - I have struggled with gastritis. Gastritis sucks. It causes really terrible stomach pains and nausea. Basically the lining of my stomach gets inflamed. It's caused by too much stress (lame) and it is irritated by fatty foods, alcohol and caffeine. Sucky! The only good news is that if I eat healthy foods - I am not sick. So at least there is that. I did lose a lot of weight and a lot of sleep but I seem to have it pretty under control now.

I also came down with pneumonia for the second time over the summer. What? Who gets pneumonia twice in a year? Well- I do apparently. Pneumonia sucks. You are so exhausted. I do have to say though - that the day before I was diagnosed I rode my bike from Mom's up Emmigration Canyon to Ruth's Diner. Damn that is dedication!!

This leads to another highlight of 2009 - my bike! In April I finally purchased a road bike. It is not a cheap hobby by any means. I bought a bike and some basic gear to get me started for about $1,200. It was so worth it though. I loved getting home from work, hopping on my bike, and escaping. It is a great source of exercise and it also adds a lot to vacations. I rode in Zion National Park - I rode up by my cabin - I rode in Boise - I rode all over SLC. Good times! I can't wait to start up again!

Another hobby I picked up this year was golf! Oh man - I freaking LOVE golfing!! Too bad it is such an expensive sport! Now I must say I really am a terrible golfer. I do enjoy it though and hope to take some lessons. One of my biggest regrets in life is not golfing with my Grandpa when he was alive. In fact, while golfing I often call my "Beetle" for some help. Golfing became a great activity for Seth and I to do together. He nearly killed me in Canada on our honeymoon in the golf cart - but I don't think I have ever laughed so hard. I do hope to keep this up and actually become a decent golfer. We'll see! It gave me a lot of good times this year.

One of the absolute best parts of this year were the weddings! This was the year of weddings. First it was Timms' wedding in April

Then off to Scotland for James' wedding. Yes - it's true. I ventured to Scotland with Britney and Sean for an amazing 5 days. It was so very "Made of Honor" for James to get married in Scotland. But look how adorable!? Way to make every other wedding look like total crap after your's James!!

I loved Scotland! It is so green - it has so much history - the people are so delightful. I would go back in a heart beat. It was totally worth the money!! Plus I got to hang with some of my very favorite people. Thanks Brit & Sean for always letting me be the 3rd wheel.

Finally in August it was Rich's wedding in Chicago. I wish all of my friends would get married in awesome cities because it makes for a lot of fun traveling. I have to say Rich & Emily may have had the sweetest wedding in the world. It was such an amazing celebration and I am SO HAPPY that I got to be there. Chicago - I love you. Rich & Emily -love you guys too.

Work was also another major theme for the year. As you all know - I love my job. Working for a nonprofit is often more than just a job, it's a lifestyle. You put in more hours than you are paid for. You leave some days crying because you are so emotionally exhausted. BUT you get to meet some amazing peole. I put on some really fun events in 2009. I grew even closer to my coworkers and volunteers and raised a lot of money! Holla!

I feel very fortunate to be able to work for such a great organization. Not only have I been touched by the amazing kids we serve - but I leave every day knowing that what I do makes a difference. Oh - and my office keeps me laughing. Always laughing.

Of course this year was a big year for Seth. He graduated PA school! I am so incredibly proud of him. Those 2 years were really long - really stressful - and really difficult. He was in school from 8-5 every day and then would study until midnight. He would get up and do it again. It was hard to not always be there for him but I am so proud that he made it through. He passed his boards just days before the wedding. What a guy!

A huge theme of 2009 has been job hunting. Once Seth graduated we were excited to put his resume out across the country and see where we landed. Well - here we are making a decision between 3 wonderful places: Boise, Tacoma or Boston. We are so tired of talking about this. We get questioned daily - we talk daily about the decision - it has just been exhausting! The application process has annoying but also fun. We enjoyed some great vacations for free! We loved Corvallis and Minneapolis! This is a picture of Seth "stretching" before entering the Mall of America.

Of course the BIGGEST event of the year - Our Wedding. Oh what a great day (besides being a million degrees!). It was nearly perfect. The ceremony was everything I hoped for and more. It was great to be surrounded by our closest family and friends. It has been wonderful to finally be married to Seth. Again - I never anticipated how "different" it would feel to be married. It is different and it is wonderful. I am happy every day that we both got over our fears and tied the knot. He makes me so very happy.

Alright - so that was 2009 in a nutshell (kind of a long nutshell in the blog world - sorry). I can't wait to see what lies ahead for us in 2010~!!

Why Christmas Was Awesome

Well, once again Christmas has come and gone. I am always a bit sad the day after Christmas. The holidays are such a magical time of year. I never want to see them end. I don't want to drive through my neighborhood streets and not see all the lights. Life always feels a bit darker post Christmas. Our mindset shifts away from love, family and service right back to work, responsibilities and to ourselves. It's depressing. I do have to say that this Christmas was really nice. There are several reasons...

It was the first "married Christmas" for Seth & I. In reality we have had 5 different Christmases together. Yikes!

Wow - those are some AWESOME pictures! Anyway - our first "official" Christmas wasn't exactly what we expected. We thought we would have our own place but I suppose we will have that to look forward to NEXT year. See how I look on the bright side of things?

It was also really nice to spend time with family. Last Christmas felt a bit sad because it was the first Christmas without Grandpa. This year however was really nice.
It is crazy to think that next year I will officially "come home for Christmas." I think that will make me love the holidays even more than I already to.
As usual it was great to spend Christmas Eve with family enjoying our big Italian feast!

Some highlights from Christmas include:

An impromptu dance party.

My Dad loves the new Miley Cyrus song "Party in the USA".

It's true....how weird.

My sister put it on her iPod player and everyone started dancing.

It was one of the more awkward and awesome moments of my Christmas.

Please take note of my pajamas. These were another great part of Christmas. Britney & Sean always get me awesome gifts. Seth and I each had full footsie pajamas. We looked awesome. I wish I had more pictures of us together. They were hilarious.

Another highlight was my darling nephew Drex. He finally took several steps on his own. This little guy has been a little wabbly on his feet but on Christmas night he finally walked. He stood alone, walked about 7 steps and then clapped. It was too damn cute. Several of us got a little choked up. Too cute.

Another highlight - ugly Christmas sweater day at work. The day before Christmas Eve we celebrated with an ugly sweater competition. Hilarious. Another reason why I love my job. I will miss it so much.

Truly though, the holidays are all about being with the ones you love. It was a good one - with more to come this week.

However - as much as I hate to see the holidays end - I LOVE the new year. I love a fresh start. I am big on New Year's resolutions. I love getting into a healthy diet and exercise plan. I love the sense of bettering myself. I love anticipating all of the new and wonderful things that are ahead in the year to come. I am thinking a lot about my resolutions. I'll post on this later.
Happy New Year!

Monday Tidbits

Today I don't have a "theme" to discuss in my blog. I do however - have a lot on my mind. So here goes nothing.

First off - Dexter. For a couple weeks now I have been hearing a lot of buzz on facebook about the season 4 finale. Um - seriously. I can't even go there.

It was the most traumatic season finale I have ever seen. Seth and I both were emotional....itwas such a surprise! Don't mock me for being emotional. I have watches these characters for what 18-20 hours of my life?

I won't give it away because I am going to demand that you all watch this series. Best drama on TV. It's a miracle that I was able to fall asleep after that. I should have watched a Disney movie or something just so I wasn't so damn creeped out. It's amazing that I didn't have murder nightmares about this show. That's how good it was.

I'll tell you what I DID have a nightmare about last night.


Ugh. Glenn Beck - go away. I don't want to hear about you, dream about you, see you...ever again. Seriously - ever again.

The best part about the dream is that I was supposed to be on his show. And I kept thinking to myself, "Just try to be nice, just try to be nice!"

On another note - Seth and I are definitely moving.

It's true....
All of our Utah options didn't pan out. We are still waiting for a final word on a possible residency program in Boston...

There is a slight chance for a position in Boise...

But for now it looks like we are landing in Tacoma! Which makes me very happy and excited. Because I am going to finally get to live in the NorthWest AND become an awesome sea kayaker.

Seth won't be moving until mid-February. I won't be moving until the end of March. I told my work that I would stay through our gala. I love the gala - it's my favorite event - but a TON of work. I can't leave them in February. That would make me the meanest person alive.

Finally - It's Christmas time!

I am so happy that Christmas is this week. I love it. I can't wait to give everyone their gifts. I can't wait to spend time with family. I can't wait to eat lots of yummy food! I can't wait to see good movies...

A movie with my #5 boyfriend Robert Downey Jr? Yes please!

Nine!? Yes yes yes! I loves me a good movie musical.

Finally - Timms is coming home for the holidays! So is Emily! I am so happy!

Overall I would have to say - it's going to be a VERY good week.
Happy holidays everyone!

Top 5 Christmas Movies

Don't you just love Christmas? One of the best parts about Christmas is sitting around watching movies you have seen at least 29 times - and still loving them. Another best part of Christmas is sitting around watching movies you have seen at least 29 times all while eating peppermint ice-cream.
We have discussed this...

I have decided to compile my list of top 5 Christmas movies. If you haven't seen these movies, consider yourself slapped upside the head - and make sure to see them. You have 8 days. 5 movies in 8 days - doable. Definitely. We'll start from the bottom.

#5 - A Christmas Story - No top 5 list can leave off this classic. What I love about this movie is the way that it makes me feel. As a kid I remember relating to the excitement of the boys so well. I love how it just embodies Christmas.

You all know it so well. This movie is comedy gold. The bunny suit - the leg lamp -

"Fragile - must be Italian."
I love the Bumpus' dogs.
I love the tire changing scene - "Oh....Fuddddgggeee. But I didn't say fudge."

Holy crap - so funny. Anyways - you get it. It has to be there. We can all recite it word for word. It's too good.

#4 - White Christmas - This one is classic. Bing Crosby opens the show singing "White Christmas" and instantly you are hooked. No voice better exemplifies Christmas music than Bing Crosby. It's true.
I love the impromptu song and dance routines. I love the impecable comedy by Danny Kaye. I love the freakishly annorexic looking Vera-Ellen.

I also love the rich voice of Rosemary Clooney. I also love watching Rosemary Clooney because #3 on my list looks just like his mother (see my love letter to Johnny post).

Above all, I REALLY love the "Sisters" routine. That is the best part of the show - hands down.

If you haven't seen it - come borrow it. You have to see it. It's delightful!

#3 - Love Actually - I can't believe how many people haven't seen this movie. This movie is such a wonderful Christmas movie.

The story follows about 6 different love stories - in London - during Christmas. It has a killer cast. The love stories are all so good and some of them are so real.

It is funny as hell "America, here comes Collin - And he's got a big knoooooooob!"

"We need Kate, and we need Leo, and we need them now."

"You learned English?" - "Just in cases."

It will also make you cry. Oh man - the scene with Emma Thompson crying during the Jonie Mitchell song? Ya - you'll cry.

Trust me on this one - if you haven't seen it - see it. It is just too good. Not only is it in my top 5 Christmas movies but it is in my top 5 romantic comedies as well.

#2 - Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - I have to admit, THIS was a tough choice. I really want to put it as #1 but I can't quite do it. To me, this movie is my childhood.

My family has watched this movie on Christmas Eve for as long as I remember. Even when my siblings had kids - we would put them to sleep and stay up as adults watching this movie.
The minute the jingle bells start playing at the first - it officially feels like Christmas. This was made in the 1970's which makes it even better. Check this out...

Look at the clothes! My family and I email each other quotes from the movie in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

"Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas. Ha! I hope their Christmas trees get termites!"

"Ernie? YOUR rubber ducky? Are you sure?"

Again - great comedy. Cookie Monster attempts to write a letter to Santa through the whole movie but ends up eating the pencil & paper, and the type writer. So he tries calling Santa instead - and the phone just looks too much like "cuppie cakes."

Mr. Hooper is still alive - Bert & Ernie still live together - Snuffleupagus is around. It's just too awesome. Again - see it. It's the perfect Christmas Eve movie.

#1 - Elf - Oh Elf. How I love thee. I saw this movie for the first time in 2004 with Britney & Sean. I literally laughed so hard I had tears coming down my cheeks. The upstairs neighbors were probably ready to kill me. I almost peed my pants. I don't know if I have ever laughed that hard in a movie. It is just that funny.

The entire movie is just pure genius. It's perfect for kids and perfect for adults. Will Ferrell is just too perfect. The story is wonderful.

"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?"

"Is their sugar in syrup? Then YES!"

"SANNNNNTA! I know him!"

It makes me excited for Christmas. What more can I say?

"Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!"
And with that - I wrap up the list. Some honorable mentions that nearly made it onto the list: It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and Christmas Vacation - all great but not worthy of the top 5.
Ok - 8 days and counting! I only have 2 of the 5 still to watch.