Tag Archives: 2012

so here’s a hand my trusted friend/and give me a hand of thine

Chickadees- nice to meet you here at the end.

And also at the beginning.

2012 went by in a blur, chickens, and it was all kinds of things.

Good things, bad things, things in the middle.

I’m seeing a lot of posts in reference to 2012, about how great it was, and alternatively, how bad it was.

The bad ones always make me a little sad, because I think that generally, we can think of something that made us smile during this last trip around the sun.

I hang onto the light parts though.

As I rack my brain for what would make this next year better (or at least more) than last year, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on what happened these past 365 days that made my life better, worse, more interesting, or different than last year.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

The Physical
-I finished a half marathon with a pack of my buddies. It wasn’t my first, but I trained with my pals and my husband, and also, I didn’t walk one single step of the whole thing. Races make me mentally sharper more than physically, and I’m grateful to have this one under my belt.



– Aside from the half marathon, I did some fun races with my family and friends this year. I love nothing more than crossing the finish line with someone for the first time:



– I finally, finally listened to my baby sister and took up yoga, for real, at a studio. And I learned how to do this:



-Last, but not least, this was the year of the Rheumatoid Arthritis, which meant that I became familiar with joint pain, specialists, lab tests, and drug allergies.

But chickens, I also learned about: having limits, listening to my body, being patient, and appreciating every single person who listened to me complain or helped me get up.

There’s good stuff all around, you guys.

The Professional

– I took a ten month class on leadership, which meant I read over 30 books I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise, met some really, really great people, and spent some actual time thinking about what being a leader looks like in my world.

Everyone should get a chance to do that.

– I did a full rotation on my clients this year, which meant two new shiny opportunities that so far have made it possible for me to meet and work with great people and to learn more than maybe I’ve learned in a long time.

Also, so much fun was had.



– I blogged more than I’ve ever blogged before. And I’m hoping to keep it up. I’m guest blogging for my sister when I can, and I’m just gonna keep writing, because really, that’s what I like best.

You should do what you love best, at least sometimes.

The Travel

I made it to Philadelphia, Connecticut, Michigan, Los Angeles, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City this year.

And that was just for fun.

I also visited Florida, Boston, Ottowa, and Anaheim- it’s fun to keep on moving, chickens.

mountain road

Everything Else

There are about a million other things I can think of that are worth mentioning this year (Barack Obama’s election, spending so much time with A,KD, and Tobin, my pals C & JK both taking off for new adventures, every single time I laughed so hard I cried), and I’m so grateful that the good things come to mind so quickly.



So chickens, on this last day of 2012, I’ll be raising my glass to laughing, good times that made us smile, and bad times that taught us something. I hope everyone has a great time tonight, and that we start 2013 happy, healthy, and ready for a new set of adventures.


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Filed under Good times, Reflections

wrong thing, right reason.

Morning, chickadees!

I’ve spent my morning so far doing nothing except staying in bed far longer than I should have, but sometimes, it’s hard to find a reason to be doing anything else.

I’m still on vacation, technically, right?

Last night, JW, JD, and CC and I headed out to Frasca for drinks, dinner, and some catching up after a long stretch of work trips, family time, and holidays.

Catching up over gimlets and scotch is generally the right thing to do in this scenario.

Up today, JD and I are headed to something called “cozy yoga.”

I don’t know exactly what that means. Trying to stretch myself into triangle pose while not falling into a heap on the ground isn’t something I’d call “cozy” necessarily, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.

Also up today, watching the Bears and crossing all my fingers and toes that:

1) they will win


2) so will the Packers

I know it’s against my football religion to actually want the Packers to win at really anything, but unless they do, the Bears won’t be with us again until next year, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

So I’m doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, I think.



Enjoy this Sunday chickens- it’s the last one of 2012.

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Filed under Chicago, Yoga

in love every day.

That’s what my kettlebell instructor, the ever-energetic Russian, told us we should be this morning, as we swung heavy weights over our heads on repeat and listened to the strangest playlist he’s put together yet.

But it’s hard to feel particularly in love when you’re listening to Metallica, lifting bells over your head for an hour, and staring outside at a cold wintry day.

However, as usual, the ever-positive G is right, so after a morning workout, bagel and coffee date, and quick clean-up of the disheveled-until-now apartment, I am approaching this Saturday afternoon with a good attitude.

And my snow boots.

It’s pretty wet out there.

I’m spending the rest of my day getting organized, finishing a few work projects I’ve been ignoring in favor of lounging, finally opening my library book, and hopefully laying my eyes on a couple of friends before the night is over.

It’s a let’s-get-back-to-it kind of day, I think, around this neighborhood.

After all, it looks like this year is wrapping up pretty quickly (where did the time go?), and it’s time to get 2013 in order.

Enjoy the last weekend of the year, chickens, and stay warm, wherever you are for this one!


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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections, Weather

taking one more day.

Morning, chickadees!

I’m spending one more day over here relaxing and hanging out with my sister, and then it’s back to some pre-2013 working and cleaning for me.

Sometimes, chickens, you need a little bit of a routine.

Yesterday, my family dragged me to both Costco and the mall, where I saw the following items:

1. A store devoted to calendars only. I’ve seen them before, but for some reason (perhaps the store’s extensive collection of dog related calendars) it overwhelmed me more than usual.

I also ended up with two calendars.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?

2. So many tween girls trying to buy matching items. Matching shirts. Matching shoes. I heard one girl squeal “Now we can be twinsies!” I used this as an opportunity to practice my deep breathing.

Thank you, yoga practice, for protecting me against shrill 13-year olds.

3. This. I think I could use it to get around town:



I just sort of feel like it was made for me.

In any case, once we finally made it through the suburban tangle of traffic (JD, my friend, I don’t know how you do it every day), we went home, where my sister and father decided to make something for dinner using only what we had in the house.

I admit, I was skeptical.

But, everything ended up being pretty much a delight.


I wish I had a good picture of the final result, but since I ate in about three seconds, it was too late before I remembered. Here’s the recipe for the chicken burgers/cakes, and the salad was kale, parsnips, radishes, and carrots.

More kale is the answer, I think, to the holiday season.

And up today: I have changed out of lounge clothes for the first time in 48 hours, and I’m ready to enjoy my sister’s last day in the Midwest.

Also, this is happening:



I won’t hate on a little bit of post-holiday snow, chicks.

Enjoy this Friday, everyone!

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Things that are delicious, Weather

new eats and good lighting.

Morning, chickadees!

Last night, my sister, my pals MM, MC, and my family decided to do a little cooking with one of my gifts to JP, Smitten Kitchen’s new cookbook.

You guys, Smitten Kitchen is my favorite.

Except for the time we made her poptarts.

But I digress.

In any case, we settled on a kale salad and chicken milanese.

We also made roasted potatoes, for good measure.

My sister gave me a couple more camera pointers, and then let me loose with my new toy.

I would just like to note here that knowledge is power, and things are already looking less dark, blurry, and weird in my life.

Onto the food.

The recipes were fairly easy to do, especially since we had four pairs of eager hands to help out.

Glasses of wine are also good incentive for projects like this.

To make the salad, we toasted up some pecans.



Then we washed, de-ribbed, and julienned kale until we filled up a salad bowl.

Also, slice up four radishes (or really, however many you want).



At this point, throw in some dried cranberries.

Also, goat cheese, which I just now realized I never added.

Don’t be like us.

Add the goat cheese.



Our dressing was made of dijon mustard, rice vinegar (use what you’ve got hanging around your pantry), honey, olive oil, and some s&p. Add twice the amount of oil as you do vinegar and mustard, honey and s&p to taste, and shake it all up.

Next up, it was chicken frying time.

One of my favorite times, really.

We sliced chicken breasts and thighs lengthwise until they were about 1/4 inch thick, and then dredged them in flour, then egg white, mustard & garlic, and finally rolled them in panko.

Rinse and repeat.

Don’t actually rinse though.

Just a little joke.

Next up, we poured some more wine, and got to the frying part.

We used a half inch of olive oil, but I suspect the kind of oil is negotiable.



JP and I are at this point discussing the ins and out of chicken frying.

I’m skeptical, obviously.

Yes, we have matching aprons.




Both parts of this meal were delicious and easy- especially because of our red wine supply and the help we had in making all of it.

I don’t have too many shots of the potatoes or the OTHER salad we made (sometimes, after Christmas binge sessions, you need two salads in a meal), because the light wasn’t great and this is a thing I am learning about.

We roasted the potatoes with olive oil, s&p, and rosemary, and the salad was dandelion greens (should have been arugula, technically, but we were at an Italian market, and dandelion greens is what they had) and thinly sliced fennel.



This was an awesome meal and impressed pretty much everyone. The cookbook looks like it’s full of really tasty, easy-enough-to-do projects, and I’m only sorry I didn’t order myself a copy.

And now I’m off to another day of family hanging and photo taking.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it chicks.



Filed under Chicago, Good times, Things that are delicious

jingle jangle jingle

Morning chicks!

And Happy Boxing Day!

I hope that everyone had a beautiful, fun Christmas with your families and friends.
Christmas this year brought me clothes, yoga gear, and a brand new camera (courtesy of JW), which my sister has already started giving me lessons on- look for less blurry, more exciting photos in 2013.

If not, at least know that I’m trying to learn the difference between aperture and well, something else I should know about, according to my sister.

We also ate 7 different fishes, per tradition (check it out on my baby sister’s blog), did karaoke with our fun Christmas eve guests, and went to see Les Miserables last night, which was both excellent and depressing, in equal measure.

In any case, I’m spending another day hanging with my family, eating more than I should, and overall relaxing before even thinking of getting into the daily grind again.

Or hitting a yoga mat, although that should be something I get back to sooner rather than later, due to the amount of carbohydrates I have consumed.

I hope everyone is still relaxing, watching good movies, and not making too many moves off the couch today.
‘Tis the season, chickens. Enjoy every second of it!



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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections, Things that are delicious

have yourself a merry little christmas.

Merry Christmas eve, chickens.

And I apologize for the long absence.

December has been full and wonderful, but I’ve been neglecting this little corner of the world, and I promise to do better in 2013.

However, I’ve been up to a lot of Things.

Like hanging out with these guys:



Watching one of my favorite bands play an End of the World party at the Hideout:

wild jesus

And finally, yesterday, getting to hang out with all the people who are most important to me:



My dad’s behind the camera and we grabbed JH on the phone, so we were pretty nearly a complete unit for Christmas.

And up today, my friends, is the most delicious holiday of the whole year.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Which I’ve been eating with people who I love since I was born.

It’s a tradition that reminds me of laughing, cooking, too-full bellies and feeling as Christmas-y as I ever feel.

Complete with more shrimp than anyone should ever have at a table.



I hope everyone has a tradition that keeps them happy, warm, and surrounded by family and friends on this holiday night.

If you don’t, you can stop by my mom’s.

We’re lots of fun.

And we have enough food.

I’m so serious.

And with that, I’m off to a new tradition of Christmas Eve hot yoga with my baby sister. Merriest of Christmases to you and yours. Enjoy every minute.


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Filed under Good times, Things that are delicious

There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?

Hey chickadees.

Another late morning post over here, after a morning of watching television from the 90s and sleeping in past eight.

It’s going to be a nice little vacation in this neck of the woods.

Neck of the concrete, I guess.

Last night, JW and I headed over to St. Andrew’s for KD’s Christmas concert.

She played the xylophone.

Like a champ.

The concert featured one song from every grade, and was basically the cutest holiday event I’ve ever attended.

Even cuter than the event itself?



Tobin Claus. Orchestrated to make the holidays more exciting.

At the end, there was a group song, complete with candles and blue lights.



A blurry photo yes, but it basically made me want to go home and put on Love, Actually immediately while hanging out by my Christmas tree.

Up today, I hopefully finally finish my Christmas shopping, go hang out with the kids for awhile, and then head to the Hideout later tonight to see Wild Jesus rock out at an end of the world party.

If the world ends after this kind of day, I really only have limited complaints.

Enjoy this day, chickens, as we head straight into the holiday week.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times

don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive your crazy

Morning chickens.

Sorry about my late post this morning, and my general lack of writing lately, but I have officially started my holiday break from work and have been mostly lounging around my house, answering e-mails and working very slowly on projects.

Also, watching Roseanne reruns, because apparently that’s one of my favorite things to do in my spare time.

Please, please, save your judgement for someone with a sense of embarrassment.

Or at least someone who’s getting dressed for the next two weeks (again, not me).

Also, ahem, I have an announcement to make.

Due to my trip to New York and the general whirlwind of activity associated with the last week of the year, I have not given this the proper amount of recognition:

My baby sister got engaged!!!



While I stand no chance in being as good of a matron-of-honor as my sister was to me, at least I have some organized, creative shoes to fill.

J hits Chicago on Saturday, and I can’t wait to give her a giant hug, take a look at the ring, and get to planning (and pinning, and looking at pretty things in general).

Weddings make everything better, chickadees.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it, pals- Chicago’s cold and rainy today!



Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections

one more trip around the sun.

Today my friends, is my last day of physically going into my office before 2013.

A big sigh of relief, my friends.

But first, one very full day of work, several celebrations, and our annual company party.

Which I admit I have been attending  since I was 22 years-old.

This is slightly terrifying to me, to be honest.

It feels like I walked in three days ago.

Especially when I look at my new building ID, which unfortunately pegs me as nervous and maybe a little sweaty on my first day on the job.

A retake would be maybe a good idea.

Despite the fact that the party’s a little reminder of how long it’s been since I hit the working world, it does also have its perks.

Aside from the open bar and the promise of going out afterwards.

It also means that I’ve known these chicks for over half a decade:



Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

So here’s to celebrating another year, chickens.

And then’s here’s to two weeks of doing things that have nothing to do with my cubicle.

Enjoy that sunshine if you’ve got it.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections