Wednesday, November 30, 2011

my cup runneth over

with things to give thanks for.
here are just a few of them, in no specific order.


adventures that i get to have...

on my own


with my family


and with my best friend




holidays




really good, loud, live music that i get to enjoy with my favorite people






that i still get to play volleyball...

in the park


in the mud


in the freaking middle of the night



america 



for this guy, who...


is the only person that grandma b remembers and truly loves



loves his family


can still throw a mean fastball
and looks smokin' hot in baseball pants


is a mad hot ballroom dancer...now


makes me laugh harder than anyone else



good food





good friends





good in-laws




the craziest and best family in the world.  hands down.



a famdamily that wouldn't be what it is without:

a dad who knows all things from correct grammar and historical facts
to movie trivia and any kind of handy-man skill you could need.


he'll do just about anything to make you laugh/stop crying
 (if you're his daughter), including but not limited to learning a song
you like on the guitar and making animal noises
(elephant is his specialty).


also note, he knows how to have a good time and he's the funniest guy
i know.  he's the reason girls try to find husbands just like their fathers.
at least for this girl, anyway.  i got lucky.



a mom who knows how to laugh at truly funny stuff, crappy situations,
her family, and herself.  she's the reason our family is so in love with
each other, and the reason any of us ever see the glass half-full.


she makes the best chocolate chip cookies and clam chowder in the world,
and she can accurately predict the end of any movie within the first five minutes.


she's so loving that we "don't even know what yelling is."
but really, i want to be just like her when i'm a mom. 



parents who love their family and each other.


i hope that richard and i can be like them when we grow up.



sisters. its hard to put into words how i feel about these girls.
our personalities are as different as our hair/skin colors, but they're
two of the best people i know.


the probability of laughing to the point of tears, peeing my pants, or having
my drink shoot out of my nose is higher when i'm with them than anyone else.



this one is a lover and a fighter.  she doesn't know it, but she makes me brave...
i see the way she follows her heart without hesitation i'm trying to let
that rub off on me.  now, if only her god-given no-exercise-necessary muscle tone
would rub off on me, too.



i envy this girl's wit and charm - she's funny and beautiful and doesn't
take any crap from anyone.  i still feel like i'm figuring out who i am, but
i swear she's got it all figured out before she's even 17.  i want to be like
my littlest sister when i grow up.



there is beauty all around.



Monday, November 21, 2011

m.f.e.o.

my first semester in college i was cursed with the worst roommate
in the history of the world.  her name was hillary and she did laundry
once the entire time we lived together.  oh, and did i mention that
one night i woke up to her and a complete stranger making her unwashed
sheets even dirtier?  yeah.  that happened.

although i didn't much care for my roomie, i was crazy about the two
girls who shared the bathroom with us.  katie and monika.  mostly katie. 
i don't remember exactly what it was that we first bonded over - probably toilet
 paper or an aversion to hillary's aroma - but it happened and my true college
experience began.  there were four of us: katie, rachel, ashley, and monika. 
we made a mix cd and called it KRAM.  we thought we were geniuses.
obviously we were.  we went to frat parties and house parties, and when there
wasn't a party to go to we just had our own in the dorms.  we even made a habit
of making music videos, which didn't win us many friends during finals week. 
needless to say, we had a very good time together.

one weekend, katie and i were left in the dust while monika was horsing around
(she rode show horses) and ashley went to some sorority soire with our buddy russ,
so we took advantage of two facts: 1) my grandmother lived very close to us,
and 2) 'twas the season for dyeing easter eggs.  we headed out to shirl's house, which
was completely empty, and colored us some eggs.  we stumbled upon my cousin's
also empty band room and decided to do what we did best...make complete fools
of ourselves.  proof:

video

my cousin and his friends came home to hear us pumping the awesome
jams and busted through the door to embarrass us the second i turned off
the music.  made this moment that much more memorable and hilarious.
anyway, katie and i only got closer - i visited her in seattle for her birthday
the summer after that first semester and we talked on the phone every single day.
we got to be very best friends, and we even moved into an apartment together
off-campus in the fall.  things changed a bit because i met richard and started to
go home a lot on weekends.  she ended up moving back to seattle after school
ended, but we remained super tight. 

long story short: things really changed when i turned into the dog-faced girl
who was bridezilla and blew up at her best friend.  i ruined one of the best
friendships i've ever had, and it didn't take me very long to realize what an
idiot i'd been.  my temporary wedding insanity quickly became the single greatest
regret of my life, and it took nearly four years for us to even start speaking on
a regular basis again.  it was by far the worst break-up i've ever gone through. but
we started texting occasionally, and then writing hilarious emails (which was a staple
back in our college days), we caught up on each others' lives, and had lunch together
when she was in town two summers ago.  things really were getting back to normal,
and i couldn't have been more thrilled.  until she invited me to visit!

richard was happy to send me to seattle for my birthday last month.  it was rachel
and katie's reunion weekend full of adventure:


the first day we hit the duck tour


it was a huge hit, mostly thanks to our fantastic driver!
she was a riot.  clearly.



saw some cool stuff



cheesed it up



and almost wet myself when we sailed past the "sleepless in seattle" house.
its one of my very faves.



katie doesn't watch gray's anymore, but she was nice enough to walk
me by seattle grace hospital...which is actually the local news station.



and of course we took a trip to pike's place.





probably one of the greatest highlights of the weekend was the fabulous
drag show we saw at a bar called julia's.  picture, if you will, the hottest female
musicians being impersonated by drag queens.  now picture me, singing the night
away with them and rolling in the aisles.  it was wonderful.



my favorites were ms. celine dion



and cher.  this was the costume that had me completely amazed.
how does a drag queen get away with ass-less chaps?
i do not know!



we were loving every minute of it!



the following night we went out to dinner with some of her girlfriends.
jamie was my favorite.  then we went back to her place and watched a
scary movie.  ok, it was 'the stepfather' with penn badgely, but it scared
the crap out of us.  we both had horror movie flashbacks.  'house of wax'
with paris hilton is also scary to me.  and not for the obvious reason it should be.



my last day in seattle we went to a little place on the beach and stuffed
our faces with a three-course meal.  because it was cheap.



enjoyable at the time, but we pretty much had to roll ourselves down the
beach afterward.



taking in the view.




and we spotted this little guy on our way back to the car.
some lady told us not to go any closer (about 20 feet before we got to
this point), so we stopped because she said it like she was gonna ground us
if we didn't.  then we realized that we're adults and don't have to listen to
complete strangers just because they sound like our mothers.
we got closer and got this awesome picture.
so there.



we ended the weekend with a celebratory photo shoot, highlighting our
matching name necklaces.  just like carrie's on 'sex and the city'...we've obviously
grown up quite a bit.



i'd love to say it felt like we hadn't skipped a beat, but there were four
rough years in there where we obviously did.  you can't undo the past, which
makes me incredibly grateful to whoever invented forgiving and forgetting.
after a successful reunion weekend, i'm happy to say that rachy and kstew are
together again.  it was inevitable, though, because we were m.f.e.o.

(in the ridiculous case of confusion over the acronym please slap yourself for not
knowing 'sleepless in seattle' by heart like i do)