Thursday, November 11, 2010


so i've been thinking about blogging lately and it still seems a bit daunting seeing as i never finished recapping the remaining month and a half of martini nights, but i think i'll start again soon. i'm not sure what to write about anymore though, seeing as i completed the final martini over 2 months ago. but this is a good outlet so hopefully i'll be back soon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

everything's better in 3D

Have you seen Toy Story 3? Have you seen it in 3-D? You're seriously missing out if you haven't. I know it's an animated film made for kids but secretly I think it's made for the adults that were kids when the original came out. I laughed and cried, what more could you ask for?! How about a martini.....
To follow an awesome movie, Sandi and Meagan joined me at the usual spot. I had decided I was feeling daring and that I would try the Lemon Drop-tini. I was anticpating it being the worst on the menu and I was right. It was awful, a club soda chaser didn't even help. It's lucky it gets a 1. Bad drink aside, it was a fun evening with fun pictures and even more fun girls!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

family night out

June 12: My first time going out in Holland with my family (Autumn, Kristin, Melissa and my Aunt Bonnie) and certainly not the last! It was Mel's birthday and having just gotten off the roller coaster of hospice and funerals and no sleep and stress, we all needed a night out. And why not start at 84 East? I hadn't been able to knock any off the list in a very long time so I was ready to start making some progress. Since I knew everyone was going to be at least 20 minutes late, I started looking at the menu and what does Tory bring out to me but my missing menu!!! It was found! I didn't even ask how or where, I was just happy to have it back. So I ordered and started with the Raspberry Yogurt. I gave it a 7.8; tasty, yet slightly too creamy, it may have been better if it was thinner. Then, much to my surprise, Amy and Mike were there and Amy didn't like the Snickers-tini so I drank it, and it was good. It was 8.5 good. Almost as good as just eating the candy bar itself. We then headed over to the Brewery and continued our fun evening. I have to say I am truly blessed to come from such a fun loving, caring and downright hilarious family. I'm thinking we might have to make this a birthday tradition on the west side, and watch out for August, we've got 3 birthdays within 17 days.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

out of shape

I'm out of blogging shape! I'm out of shape in a lot of ways but mainly I let this go too far. And I've been meaning to update this for at least 3 weeks but the period key on my keyboard broke and I kind of hate typing now, or moreso ending sentences. I'm biting the bullet. I'm getting back into it, because darn it all, I've only got two months left of the Year of the Martini and then what?! No really, then what?
The month of May and bit of June took a lot out of me. I ran another race, traveled to and from Portland about 20 times, attended visitations and funeral, bought a house, bought a lot of stuff to go in the house, tulip time, martini nights, said goodbye to some friends for the summer and I'm sure plenty of other crazy little things I can't remember at the moment.
So I have a pretty good memory but without any notes, I'm not sure I can remember well the martini nights of two months past. But I can tell you what I had and what I thought of them. They're as follows:
Tuliptini coming in at a low 2.7. To think that I saved this one for almost 9 months to consume specifically during Tulip Time and it was such a let down. I am going to suggest that they make it taste better somehow because what will the tourists think!? In late May I had the Appletini which I was positive I'd had before but somehow I can't find any info on it. This time I gave it a 7.7 because it was a bit tart, could have been a tad sweeter but it's a good staple, a good choice to fall back on if they ever run out of watermelon pucker.

Now that life is settling down more, I'm going to be back here much more. Consider it a warning.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


i haven't felt much like blogging lately. i feel like i can't really express what's going on in life well enough to even try. i am at least two posts behind but i won't be doing those now. thank you to those who allow me to just sit, without words, without explanation.
find rest in Him.
i am so very blessed with an amazing family. and amazing friends.

thank you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today I found out two substantial things:

I am one very large step closer to being a home owner


they finally figured out which cancer my Aunt has now, Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Let the battle begin, again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I got chased by a dog today. I was minding my own business, just starting out on my easy 3 miler around the block and suddenly this thing that looks like this:

starts on after me! Ok. I realize it could have been much worse but it was not a puppy. And it definitely left the yard and followed me and barked a lot! Good thing I yelled go away at it and it listened. Phew, dodged that bullet.

Luckily today was Wednesday, which meant day off, which meant my weekly visit to the Feldpausch home. This could be the last time I go there with only 2 kids. They're getting so big!

and now to the Brewery. Good day off.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

peculiar happenings

I feel like weird things are happening to me lately. Things like this:

I love the dentist. I love getting stuff done, and feeling tough and clean at the same time. Plus my dentist is amazing. If he wasn't, I wouldn't still drive to Portland. For some reason, my jaw still hurts from the shot I got 8 days ago! What's up with that...shouldn't it be gone like hours later? I was shopping the day after getting my wisdom teeth out...this is unusual.

So I'm at Amy's and I try to do a dance move I've done plenty of times before and given, it does cause some pain though well worth it, this time it literally burned my foot. Wood floor burn on the top of my foot. Has anyone ever done this before? I doubt it.

I got chinese takeout today in Detroit and it took 40 minutes. FORTY! For chinese food? Seriously, did you have to kill the chicken first?!

Two months ago I had a leak in my tire in the valve and yesterday as I'm leaving to get my haircut, I hear a hissing...from the other tire. Same thing, different tire. Really? Seriously, is my car sitting on four faulty valves? I guess now just waiting for the other two...

And last but certainly not least. I just received my first issue of Get Married magazine. This would be sweet if I had requested the subscription. Or even better yet, I was getting married! just once more....Seriously!?

I wonder what's next.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am in the midst of a blog drought.

I don't know what it is. I've technically missed two posts, each of which had blog worthy notes. Not to mention I have 3 martinis to report on. I keep writing something and then thinking, that's lame, and erasing it. I know I need to post but I'm just not feeling it. Cut me a little slack if it doesn't make sense, flow or is just plain lame, because it means I stopped erasing and I'm moving forward despite my drought.

I had a very busy yet very enjoyable couple weeks. I had the opportunity to work 8 days straight, have four days off and then work another 7 in a row. I hope you picked up on the sarcasm. This made life difficult but I made it through. These are things that helped: birthday celebrations with my mom including the best cake ever, a movie in 3d and the successful meeting of "the sales rep" without my knowing. Linzo coming into town and experiencing Holland and all its glory, mainly martini night. Completing my 9 mile run and feeling good about my upcoming race. Michigan State in the Final Four and an awesome championship game. A muy fabuloso Easter Family dinner with wonderful people.
And then it happened. It was April 3rd and time for martini night. Like a delayed April fools joke, I got the news. My menu was nowhere to be found. And it was real this time. Didn't I just go through this? I lamented with my fellow attendees and decided I was going to be ok. Luckily I have a good memory. So here are the ratings on the three I've yet to report:
Hurricane: 7.9
Melon Martini: 7.1
Chocolate-tini: 8.9

I have to end there. Mainly because I feel like there are other things I want to be writing about but I can't because I'm behind. I'm hoping that the rain starts soon and the habit comes back...

thanks to those that continually come and fellowship.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

joy comes in the mo(u)rning

today was the 5 year anniversary of my grandpa russman passing. it didn't occur to me until this afternoon but when it did, when i realized the similarities of life around me, it came back stronger. i remember watching my spartans play some great basketball and getting that call from my mom telling me to come home. i remember being there at his bedside talking about basketball and how much i loved him and that we'd all be ok, he could go. and i remember seeing that last breath. that's an odd moment to live through. and from there i remembered how much our family has been through in the past 5 years, how if we all hadn't had such wonderful examples of what it means to love, we wouldn't be where we are. there is no stronger bond. i love my family.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kauai Adventures

It could potentially take me a very long time to type everything out that I did whilst in Hawaii so I will opt to do short blurps and pictures. Enjoy!

This picture to the left was basically the first thing we did on the island and it was also our first hike out of three. This is at Ke'e which was quite possibly the most difficult hike I've ever been on due to mud and rocks and cliffs. But it sure was a great start to the week! I got to spend some quality time with Raquel and Colleen and my new friend Amy came along too. It was the muddiest anything I've ever done, and looking back at it, it was fabulous. My shoes will never be white again but it was well worth it.

I wish that I could have stood here -->  forever and that it hadn't been windy/rainy/cold. It was a perfect stop after church and coffee though. Perfect. And then that night I had amazing thai food and girl talk. The next day gave me the opportunity to go kayaking(first time ever!) and have quite the bonding experience with Colleen (not the first time ever). We also got to hike through what felt like the Lost set. Amazing!
Welcome to Waimea Canyon where I often stood breathless, for multiple reasons. I've never been to the Grand Canyon but I have no doubt this is just as amazing, if not moreso. And then to finish of our journey we stopped at a coffee plantation and a free rum tasting. What an amazing, memorable day of good stories and good almost stories :)

The last couple of days were packed with stories that you'll just have to hear in person (or the phone) because there is no way to articulate the hilarity of it all. We went out dancing, went on a helicopter ride, had to get a different rental car on our last day, met up with a guy from Grand Rapids, ate at Lapperts and had the best ice cream, had shave ice!!!! That might have been the best thing ever. Anyways, I'll end with a few more pics of some favorite moments. Until I go back.

the eighties

When did the 80's become cool? I don't remember the first half and I don't remember the last half being that special....but there's something about the music and the ridiculous clothes that entices people. I mean people actually wore stuff like this:

I never thought I'd be the person that would enjoy dressing up and reflecting upon this horrible decade of fashion with others but I did. And, I would do it again. I wouldn't do it alone though, clearly it's more enjoyable with friends:

For this evening, my martini selection was the Key Lime. I have had friends order it a couple of times and each time I think, that looks delicious but oh so thick. However, I tried it and it is delicious! I'm giving it a 7.3 mainly because it doesn't taste much like a martini and didn't have enough zing to win me over. But, I highly enjoyed it. I also highly enjoyed the Miami Vice I had, pictured above, in my sweet, take home, collectible light-up cup. Score. Thanks also to Sandi, Brian, Adam and Jenna for supporting the 80's and witnessing the ridiculousness. Right on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Life can get so busy sometimes. My life, has gotten so busy. This could be the busiest February I have ever lived through. It's been full of the most enjoyable activities but when it comes down to it, I haven't had time to dye my hair. And when I do have time, I'm too tired. Not that dying my hair is first on my priority list, but it's something easy and should be easily fit into any normal persons schedule. I think you get the point. Which is why I'm reporting on two weekends ago, instead of last weekend.
Sandi and I went out on a limb and decided that even though we hadn't tried the creamsicle we would order a shaker of it, just the two of us. I don't know why we ever thought this was a good idea. Never try one for the first time in the shaker, especially when the (bomb) bartender isn't bartending, he's your waiter. Obv I wished I had only gotten 1 serving because it wasn't that amazing. It needed more orange. It wanted to be tasty so bad, I could feel it, but it wasn't. It's like watching the olympics and hearing the sad story that makes you root for said individual and then they mess up, don't get a medal, and you feel bad. You wanted them to, you devoted your evening to them, and they didn't come through. But at the end of the day, youstill tried and that's what counts. I don't even know where that came from or if it even made sense. Basically my rating for this drink is a 5.9. Better luck next time. The night did get better as eventually Meagan came. Then Amy and her friend Lisa came after learning some great hip hop moves. Then her friends Louis and Tim came as well. Good thing I randomly picked a table for seven.

I was once told that I needed to put more pictures up here and I wanted to share one that has nothing to do with this last post but brings me much joy. It always makes me laugh, even thoughthat makes me look mean :) I really do love him and I assure you, this is not a normal reaction to me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

the countdown

I leave for Hawaii in one week. Well less than that, by now I'll be on a plane halfway there. After today's ridiculous run in the bitter wind and snow drifts, I cannot wait to run in warm weather. Yay. I've finally hit the excited stage!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

updating: it's what you do when you have nothing else to do...

Sometimes I think that I all I do on here is talk about martinis and share good things that are going on in life but I know this isn't completely true because my sister always asks me about the dramatic things going on, so I manage to sneak them in somewhere. So at some point in the not too distant future I'll try to give a more in depth update of what's going on in life, but for now you'll have to put up with another recap of everything that makes me happy :)

Since the last martini night, February 6th, I have had the opportunity to spend time with friends and family in a variety of gatherings and it has been good great. Family Dinner/Superbowl Party last Sunday was great. I made a chili, or Lena did, and it was fantastic. I should make meals more instead of just eating pasta all the time. That's a big statement for me. I like having people over because it always makes a house feel a bit more like a home.
On Wednesday, I took a chilly walk with Jenna and Amy all around the teenth streets and eventually we ended up at Boatwerks. We of course took advantage of the happy hour offerings and I would like to state again, Boatwerks serves one heck of a strong drink. Just ask any of those in attendance for proof. This very well could be a top contender for best deal in town, seeing as the drink was only $2. Will we be going back? I think so.
On Friday I traveled with Esther to Portland to visit with Raquel, much like we did just a couple months ago and it was fabulous. I truly appreciate the fact that I still have solid friends from high school. I, however, do not appreciate being told that we still look the same as we did 10 years ago...I think we'd all agree that we look A LOT better! This is what usually happens when we hang out: We take 58 pictures and one of us always ruins it, myself for instance......

Saturday after work and before martini night I stopped at the Amtrak station to say hello to my sister and niece who are in "town" for a week! So great to have them here all the way from Minneapolis, talk about a long train ride! I snuck in some hugs and then met up with some friends at martini night. And the night was full of little surprises like Jon Paulus being in town from St. Joseph and Brian wearing a v-neck?. Plus I got to meet Janie, a friend of Amy's and a fellow member of SOTTP. I had the Captain Cosmo just to see if it is of any comparison to the cosmo I had days earlier and I have to say it didn't even come close. I'm only giving it a 6.6 because it tasted really watery. I'm not sure if the bartender just made it that way or if in general it's supposed to be that weak. Either way, not worth ordering again. Fun evening though, highlighted by a free sundae. Thanks Brian.
Sunday I brought breakfast to Zeeland for the fam and then went with my sister and niece to Pigeon Creek to go cross country skiing. I haven't done something like that since, oh say, sixth grade but I figured if a child not even two years old can do it, I can too. I'd say we were equal. I only fell once in the 20 minutes we were out. Haha. I would try it again but I feel like I'm so uncoordinated, like using the elliptical rather than the treadmill. Anyways, it was a super nice day and I'm glad I got to go! To end out the day I had more family time with even more family and then had a valentine's day dinner with my "other family" that was awesome.
Good week, good week indeed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

running late

i hate the feeling of running late. Or feeling behind on things. I can quickly get off track and not do the things that I really need to be doing. I am behind on here and now I have to try and remember what happened almost a week and a half ago. It's a good thing I have a decent memory or I'd be in trouble. So on the 6th I found myself at 84 East sharing a very pleasant evening with Jenna, Adam, Brian and Sandi. And when I looked at the menu, I found myself ordering the French Martini. This has been towards the bottom of my list so I am not sure why I decided this night was the one to go for it but I did it because at some point you just have to bite the bullet. And I was surprised. Seeing as the only ingredients are vodka and raspberry liquer, I anticipated the worst. This drink is close to the Money Penny which I gave a 7 already back in September, except it has cranberry juice in it, and I now believe that cranberry juice paired with vodka is one of my least favorite pairings. It really does nothing good. So I'm giving the french a slightly higher rating of 7.2. I can't hide the fact that it was strong and hardly flavored but it went down easy enough and though I looked forward to the sour patch kid next, I finished most of it. It made me feel like I could fit in here:

I had a fine evening and I like that it is becoming somewhat of a tradition for people other than myself. I enjoy coming in and knowing that the waitresses know me. I like knowing that there will always be laughter and quality conversations. It has re-convinced me that I like Holland, in more ways than one.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I finally:
  • took a second to update this.
  • started making progress on running and fundraising.
  • started reading again.
  • found new music I enjoy.
  • had multiple quality conversations with close friends.
  • struck martini gold this past weekend.

Now I'll elaborate on each, but briefly.
I don't know how it got to be Thursday already and frankly I don't know how it's Thursday afternoon and I still have things on my list to do that should have been done hours ago. This being one of them. Today has been so-so. I am beginning to wonder if I have picked a good mechanic, since now I have to wait til next week to get my car fixed. I only got in half a workout. My pants don't fit my butt. I've only read 1 page in my book. But in a way I purposefully didn't update quickly. I needed time to process a few things and this of course means not posting in an altered mindset.
I have, hopefully, started traing and fundraising full force. I need to stick with it so please keep me accountable. This might mean me going home early so I can run in the morning or not going out at all, but I've only got three months left to train and I want to make it across the finish line without injury. Thank you in advance for helping me through #4.
I am reading again and it's wonderful. I'm reading this and this at the same time. But not really, I'll most likely continue to read the latter and pass it along quickly.
And not news to anyone, I love music and I love finding new music that I enjoy. Sometimes it's mainstream and sometimes it's not but either way it makes me excited. I'm in a cd of the month club with approximately 13 other ladies and I can't wait to see what I'm introduced to over the next year! Here are a few I've been enjoying as of late: The Temper Trap, Phoenix, Josh Garrels, Hockey and Lady Antebellum.
I love being able to sit down with friends, and know we can talk about anything, and can hold each other accountable and support one another and laugh. Especially laugh. If we haven't done this in a while, let's do this soon.
Lastly, martini night. Fantastic evening, though it started out on an "emotional rollercoaster". The waitress comes over to Jenna and I and gets us started and I ask for my menu, so she leaves to go get it and shortly later she comes out with a menu she's holding close to her chest and a marker and she says "I can't find yours. I think we threw them away. There's only one back there and it's not yours." WHAT!? I about died. But Jenna helped me cope and I even thought it would be better because at the new year they got new menus and now half the menu will be in someone elses handwriting. So I thought maybe this was a good thing. And literally 30 seconds after I've come to terms, she brings mine out and says it was in our general pile. So I actually do still have my menu. Phew. So I started with the Strawberries-n-Creamtini. Delicious and undoubtedly masks the alcohol well. I'm giving it an 8.1. Finally I enjoyed a martini the first time around. But I was so excited about liking it, and with Sandi arriving, I was daring and tried another. The Cosmopolitan may have put me slightly over the edge but regardless I am giving it an 8.0. This says a lot for this drink because it somehow manages to go down very smoothly without being masked with tons of flavors. Compared to some of the evenings I've been having, this one was great. Not to mention the topics discussed and laughs had. This is why I keep coming back. Great service, great drinks and great friends.

oh, and P.S-
this is Lisa.
I miss her most days that we don't chat on gmail. Or our new found favorite, voicechat. Genious.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 for 10

So I thought I would take a few days, give both of us a little breather between posts. I realize now that this only makes it more difficult for me to remember the evening with expected clarity. I'll get straight to it though. I remember saying in a previous post when I attended one evening and the male to female ratio was 1:1 and how I never thought this would happen again, that there would be just as many guys and girls in attendance, especially with a larger group. I stand corrected. With 10 of us in attendance, we had another even split, 5 guys and 5 girls. I'm almost still amazed that it happened. I think the word is spreading that you don't have to get a martini, they have beer too!
I have noticed that I am starting to get down to the drinks on the menu that probably don't get much attention, or in other words, might be quite gross. The Nuts and Berries was no exception. I am giving it a high 6.8 because the raspberry in it tried really hard, I can tell, but the frangelico ruined it. Good thing I followed it with the ever so faithfully delicious sour patch kid. Regardless, I had a great evening. Plenty of great conversation and laughter. Thank you Sandi, Amy, Mike, Brian, Jenna, Adam, Paul, Justin and Meagan for coming and making history.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 7: The end?

Well today was officially the end of the 7 day Cardigan Challenge. I honestly picked out another outfit for tomorrow not really thinking that today was the last day, and for a second I got kind of sad about it. Ridiculous. It's not like I'm losing the cardigans, I own them, I can wear them again, pull it together! I think I might wear the outfit anyways because I never said I couldn't do more, just that I had to do 7, so maybe you'll see me back here tomorrow. Well you will anyways because it's martini night tomorrow. Back on to our normal schedule. So today, by request, I wore a lime green cardigan. It's somewhat short but fun and it makes me feel like it's summer time. Going back to work on a friday is always somewhat depressing, my weekend is over, I have the early shift, it's a longer than normal shift and of course today, the end of the challenge. Lucky for me, I have an incredibly good sense of humor and lucky for you, you get to read the next bit about what happened at work. So it was getting close to lunch time for me and the reinforcements have been around for about 15 minutes or so and to kill some time I go to talk a fellow associate. Now said associate is about 55 and sometimes a little awkward but we've worked together for over 3 years now so I would say we're pretty comfortable around one another. So I'm standing behind him for maybe 1 minute when he turns to me and with slight hesitation says "you realize you have a hole in the back of your pants, you can see your underwear." To which I respond with a reassured yes, because I did know there was a slight hole, due to the walkie that I have to carry on my pocket and the fact that the jeans themselves are over 4 years old. No big deal, normally my shirt covers it anyways. So I go home for lunch, like I normally do, and for kicks I go look in the bathroom mirror and my mouth drops to the floor as I realize the hole got bigger. It's no longer just a worn out area, it's a full on hole, down the side of the pocket. Not only can you see my underwear, you can see the color and the pattern. Goodness me, I couldn't help but laugh. I'm glad I went home on lunch though so I could change. The day did get better, not that it was necessarily bad, when the rep from the millwork department made a surprising friday visit. It doesn't matter what has happened that day, or even that week, when he visits, you forget what a bad day is. Sigh. Moving on. I got out of work and eventually met up with Amy at her parents house for a fun filled girls night. We ate chinese to which I tried my first crab rangoon and may have enjoyed it. We then made mojitos (without mint), grabbed the candy and headed downstairs to watch the movie Gran Torino. Soooooo good! I love Clint Eastwood, I seriously think he has gotten better with age. The rest of the night consisted of the following:
  • two more mojitos
  • digesting the movie
  • wii fit plus; skateboard, soccer, running, marching in a parade, etc
  • amazing girl talk
  • blogging and trying to go to bed by one
  • still being up at two after another hour of talking and taking ibuprofen.
  • borrowing the best red sweatshirt in the world
This was quite possibly the perfect ending to a week long, ridiculous yet fun challenge. I almost dare say that a round 2 is in the future.

* I would like to add that if by some chance the beginning and the end don't flow, it's because this was a two-parter

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 6: Back in Black

Day 6. I feel like this challenge could truly go on forever. There is so much more potential in my closet. Today was a hard choice though. I thought for a little bit I was going to have to do some fundraising stuff at Younkers which means I had to wear khakis. Which also means that I had to wear my polyester TNT training shirt. So how do you pair these two items and throw a cardigan in the mix? You wear a classic black. That's what you do. Then I was met with another challenge, my jacket was shedding on my pants. I've never noticed this before because I always wear jeans. It's kind of disturbing that it sheds as much as it does. So between not actually fundraising and the shedding, I think I had on 3 different outfits, all pulled together with the classy black. The only time I regretted wearing it was when I joined Jenna and Adam at their home to celebrate their potential home owning status and sat on the couch and then stood up with a cat on me. Not really but this is the one downfall of wearing black, everything shows. Enough about the cardigan though, the day was great and I am so happy for the Weilers.
I also highly enjoyed having girl time with Amy at JPs and trying, and partially succeeding at getting some fundraising done.
And it's never a bad day when you don't work.
Another good day all around. Could it be the cardigans?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 5: Blue Skies

Yesterday I wore my favorite spring time cardigan even though it was unbelievably cold outside. It's light blue, half sleeved and v neck. It's incredibly comfortable and even though I have green eyes and not blue, it apparently brings out my eyes as well. Good to know. I had the day off and started by staying in bed chatting online til 10. I don't care how much I get made fun of for always being on the computer or g-chatting, it is an incredible way to keep in contact with friends and also get other things done. Multi-tasking at its' finest. In an effort to get on track with my training I went outside for a run. And at some point, even though I checked the temperature and it said it was 25 degrees, in my head I thought I would dress for 40. Bad idea, we all know that it was only 22 with a windchill to make it worse. Needless to say, it just makes it hard to get excited for the rest of training in winter....can't wait for those 90 minute runs, ha. So after this I went and got subway for Esther and I and got a car wash. Sometimes I think I don't take good enough care of my car. Every week (most of the time) I go to Esther's and we catch up on the week prior and I get to tell my stories from the week and hold babies and in some ways we both live vicariously through one another, which is great. This week was even better in an odd way. This week felt like we were adults having adult conversations, not just giggling and reminiscing. Hard to explain I guess, it's nice having people close that have known you for more than half your life. I came home and did some fundraising work and started to read a very large book. Sometimes I miss reading for fun. I love getting sucked into a completely different world and escaping, even if just for 15 minutes at a time. By this time on a Wednesday, it's time for the Brewery. It's too bad that we didn't realize until we got there that it was 80'S NIGHT! Rats. Plus, they were out of cider. I tried my hardest to like beer, but tonight was not the breakthrough night we all hoped for. Maybe next time. Also, for the first time, we danced. We've danced at 84 East, but never here. It was slightly awkward but fun all the same. I'm starting to really enjoy our weekly gatherings. There is always something to look forward to without it being a month away.
This was really long, but when do I ever do a short recap?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 4: Go Green!

I was thinking today that I should have planned a little bit better and taken a picture of myself in each cardigan. Too bad I didn't because now it's too late. Not that I really planned this at all, it must be part of goal to be more spontaneous. Today I wore a favorite. Green, old and comfortable. It's quite possible that I owned said cardigan in high school. Regardless, I love it. It made yesterday bearable a day after. Does that make sense? I think maybe.
Last night I got to catch up with a friend for a bit and she had an extra ticket to the MSU vs Iowa game and I turned it down. Am I nuts?! I love college basketball and, gasp, haven't been to a game ever! What can I say other than I was a great student and committed to my friends more than my school...anyways, I reallllllly hope that opportunity comes up again because I miss East Lansing. I know that really had nothing to do with today but I did wear green and white today....just saying.
Nothing amazing happened today, but nothing horrible either. Just the kind of day I needed to get me through. Tomorrow is potentially a very busy day off but those are just the kind I love, especially if they're productive.

Day 3: What was I thinking?

Ok, today was an off day. I woke up super tired and for some reason decided to skip my run this morning, bad idea. Then when getting dressed I didn't really think about the fact that I'd be wearing a cardigan. I picked out a sweater over a cami which means I had to put a cardigan over the sweater. I mean it wasn't the worst thing I've ever worn but I also decided to wear my hair curly and I'm just throwing it out there that some days I look like I forgot how to pull it all together. I almost wished I had taken a picture so you could know what I mean, because I think it'd be obvious. So, having to work an extra long shift at work when feeling like this makes the day slightly crappy, even without anything happening. So lucky me, after being at the Depot for 10 hours, I came home to run 2 miles. And the frustrating part was that I only cut 13 seconds off of the last run. 13 seconds? At this rate I'll finish a half in full time. I hate the treadmill. It's quite possible the only thing that saved the day was seeing my aunt and cousins for 15 minutes. There's nothing like a hug from a 4 year old to make the days' troubles seem so distant. And then dinner was toast and coco wheats. I was reminded that I actually don't like coco wheats, those are the chocolate ones. I like cream of wheat. Ahh, some times you just have to have a bad day to appreciate the good ones, and hopefully the good ones to come.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 2: The Borrowed Gray

I love color. I love adding little splashes here and there, in all aspects of life. I've noticed recently, like this past year, that I have started to accumulate a lot of black and white. I used to make fun of my friend Lindsey cuz it's all she wore but now I understand it's almost essential. So for day two I wore a gray cardigan, the perfect blend of black and white. Not just any gray one though, the one I've been eyeing in Meagan's closet, which means it had to be a good day. I went to church and met up with Katie and chatted about life for a bit, which was really nice. I like being able to catch up with people without feeling rushed or like I'm balancing. After church I came home and did some fundraising work and then took a nap!!! Yay for naps! Then I did all the stuff that normal people do on a Sunday but I can't do because I work. I did laundry and made brownies and cleaned my room (kind of). Then I went with the roomies to Family Dinner at the Weiler home. I love family dinner time. It's such a great ending to the weekend and also a great start to the week. I love cuddling on the chair with Amanda and I love Jenna's hospitality and I love just laughing with friends. And I love it even more when we end with a dance party. I love anything that includes dancing though, nothing new there. Then because Amy locked herself out of her place we got to have a slumber party. A great day in a GRAYt cardigan. Today I feel blessed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

it's Cardi time

So I was sitting in my room last night and I had a thought. What if I wore a cardigan everyday for the next 7 days. Genious! Easy challenge and hopefully quite fun. So I started it today. Day one in my week long cardigan challenge. I chose to start the challenge with a great, deep red, v-neck cardigan. I don't own much red so though it doesn't seem like it, this was a very bold choice for day one.

Before I chose which cardigan to wear, I went for my first run of the year. It didn't go so well, I don't really want to talk about it, but I feel good after doing it and am excited to get outside again soon. I hope in the next month or so.
Work was crazy today, lots of good moments and lots of frustrating moments but at the end, a good day. Could it be because of the red cardi? I like to think so. Or maybe the fact that I also dyed my hair. I enjoy dark hair.
After work I went to the southside and enjoyed the rest of the evening with some great people. I had an on the spot created drink called the Michini. Doozie! We also watched Funny People, which after taking away the language and crude parts, actually had an ok message to it. One of my favorite parts of this evening was having a random dance party with Jenna and Pudge, the dog. Really, I think I really could dance anywhere, anytime.
I'd love to end it there and say that the night ended on a high but life is a roller coaster of emotions and I may have cried all the way home. Sometimes I just need to have a good cry, it's unfortunate you can't schedule them into life, they just kind of come up when they choose. Tonight it was because of cancer. It sucks. It has single handidly changed my life forever. Not all has been bad but it is something I will never be thankful for. It is continually changing my life from here on out.
I know it seems like a bad way to end the post but it's what I'm ending on at this very moment, it's what I'm working through. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a breath of fresh air

I have to voice a disappointment first before anything else. I know it's not the best way to start but I really can't help it. This past weekend I unknowingly picked another not-so-good martini. Oh Almond Joy, why did you have to let me down? You actually taste nothing like your candy counterpart. You not only burn on the way down, but you burn after too. You could just pick one, you don't need to burn all the time. You also made my face burn. Thanks for the overall enjoyable experience inside and out, you shouldn't have, really. Just for that, you're only getting a 6.1. Which may be generous but I can still remember the week prior and you aren't anywhere near that, so this will do.

Ok, that being said, I truly enjoyed the whole evening. I met up with Jenna, Adam, Brooke, Ryan, Sandi and Amy and went out in the bitter cold to watch the ice sculptors on 8th st. I would say despite the cold, it was really neat. My favorite part is when they use a flame thrower to make it shiny. From here we went to 84 East minus Amy and sat at our favorite table on the barside. Perfect table location and size. I recommended the watermelon jolly rancher to Brooke who was not disappointed and after the horrible choice explained above, I ordered one as well. It was like a breath of fresh air. I still give it a 10. It was a well deserved, great ending to the day.

On a different note, I think I'm going to dye my hair. It's time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

a Double Whammy

It feels odd to be writing another post already but also kind of nice. In an odd sort of way, it makes me feel more connected to life and what is going on. I think I may try and open up my posting to all life events. If I do succeed at this more frequent posting, prepare to come here much more often than two or three times a month. Then again, the key word here is if.

So I went to martini night twice last week...kind of. Thursday was a special one time only event with a one time only martini, not that going twice in one weekend has to be a one time only occurrence. Right off the bat the new year brought a new record with it: with four of us in attendance; myself, Sandi, Brian and Rob, there was a 50/50 gender split. Percentage wise; this may never happen again, actual male count; hopefully. After four and a half months, I am proud to say that most of the waitresses recognize me and get my menu without even asking. I don't know why but it's actually a pretty good feeling. I think of 84 East as my own personal Cheers. Though in reality I am not sure if this is something to be proud of. Oh well, it's only going to get better for the next seven months, right? I went out on a limb this time and purposefully ordered drinks that didn't sound good. I figure at some point I have to knock them off the list but I realize now to only do one a night that I know I won't like, otherwise it can turn into a very disappointing evening. Luckily, there was plenty of entertainment at the table. So I started with the Pineapple Caketini, which sounds like it could be good. Slightly tropical with a hint of sweet. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it to it's full potential. It was good, but it wasn't memorable. I am giving it a 6.7 because there are plenty of other tropical and sweet options that are sure to make a better impression than this. I then followed with the biggest disappointment yet, the Grape Jolly Rancher. Gross. Let's all think for a second....aren't the grape flavored candies always one of the last left in the bowl. They are for me at least. I'm sure this is a clear indicator of why, I can only imagine, the bartender probably laughed in his head when he got the order. Unless you are one of the few people in the world that enjoys cough syrup, perhaps Brian, do not order this drink. I am giving it a generous 2.9 because it had sugar on the rim and somehow we managed to consume 1/3 of it. Better luck next week.

Nightly recap:
In attendance: Sandi, Brian, Rob
Drinks had: Pineapple Caketini and Grape Jolly Rancher
Quotable quote: ""It was Johnny Walker's fault." "Oh, I know him!""

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Before I begin with my recap of New Years celebrations I would like to make a comment about friendship. I'm getting to that stage in life where I have close friends that I've had for a year and others that I've had for 14 and I am constantly amazed at how God has blessed me. Seriously, they are my extended family. You are my extended family. And my family is what got me through this last year and will do so this next one. Thank you for everything you have done and stood by me through and helped me to celebrate or mourn.

So it's 2010. Didn't Y2K just happen? Did I really go to Europe for the first time 10 years ago? A whole decade. That's pure insanity. I feel old but I'm not. Anyways, the following will be a detailed account of my 2010 party hopping and then some.
So I started my day in Portland and drove myself and Esther back to Holland all the while stating "this is the last time in 2009 that I'll ____" and it was awesome. I love that game. I also love saying "See you next year!" because I'm a huge dork. Then I worked out. Big mistake. Last workout of the year and I'm incredibly sore, still. This made living life very difficult but for the night fine. I then proceeded to get ready and headed out to Paul and Julies place after dropping off my amazing guac. I wasn't sure how it would feel going there without the Weilers but I love the Wesselinks so I went anyways, and I'm glad I did. Even though I only stayed for an hour I thoroughly enjoyed myself and also helping the girls to win the game. Woohoo! From here I picked Sandi up and we met Kristen and Ammie at 84 East for a special Thursday night edition of martini night. I felt it necessary to try the evening martini special, the Snowflaketini. This drink should never be remade, ever. It's a mix of vodka, white grape juice and champagne. Why? Really, there are so many things that could have tasted so much better under that sugar rim than this. I am giving it a generous 3.2 but only because I know as bad as it was, it could have been worse. I followed it with the Tiramisu Tini which gains itself a high 8.1. I love Italy and anything associated with it so this may have helped but also, following what it did, it's not hard to get a high rating. It has a good flavor even though it has 3 different kinds of alcohol and other additives. Tip: Do not eat this with anything that is salty, I just don't think they'll mesh well. I also highly enjoyed spending time with these three ladies. Nothing but classiness while singing eighties hits. :)

From here we drove to the Parrotts place in Z! and the mix of the conversation in the car, the martinis, the snow, the carpooling and general giggles made for my last awkward comment of 2009. For future reference, when you aren't sure who is going to be around the corner, do not go into a room and say "wow, i'm intoxicated and i have to pee." and then leave. I think maybe it's not the best first impression. Oh well, I enjoyed myself nonetheless and began 2010 off right with an extended dance party with Peter playing DJ. I love dancing. I could have gone on for another hour if I didn't have to work....and if everyone else wasn't dead tired on the floor.
That was the end of the night but the fun didn't stop there. Later when I got out of work I met up with Brian and Peter at Steak and Shake and had 3 hours of conversation, tricks and reminiscing accompanied by good food. I highly enjoy gatherings like this and I think it was a great way to kick off the year.
Phew. That's it. You made it. Congratulations. I promise to update more quickly, mostly for me so I don't feel so behind.
Best part of 2009: You.