Tag Archives: Waterloo

back to you now.

Morning, chickens!

It came to my attention last night on my drive home from Michigan (by way of my pal Ky) that I hadn’t blogged in well over a week, so I thought I’d take a break from my not-quite-started weekend to fill you in on what’s been going on around here during the holiday season.

My sister came into town, which means lots of movie watching, recipe cooking, and pinochle playing.

And eating of the seven fishes, of course.

Sadly, J took off for New Hampshire in what felt like not enough time, but un-sadly, JW and I took it as an opportunity to head to Michigan for the weekend, in effect getting to see both of our families in one tightly packed week.

This is also meant I got to spend some quality time with this little guy.



What’s a better Christmas gift then that?

I have three remaining days until 2014 insists that I get back to the normal course of things, and so I plan on cashing in on a massage JW was kind enough to procure me for Christmas, watching the remaining Godfather movies (don’t ask, it’s just something I feel like doing), and figuring out how to sustain myself on more vegetables and less carbs.

So many carbs this week, chickadees. I’m sure you can relate. My joints hate me and I’m not sure this baby bump is all baby at this point in my little vacation.

Here’s to a full, relaxing last few days of this year, chicks. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

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Filed under Good times

start me up

Morning chickens!

Despite the fact that I don’t actually have to be at work today, I found myself wide awake at 7:30 this morning.

So I did the respectable thing and put on yoga pants.

Namaste, day off.


Yesterday I skipped the writing because I was running around like a crazy person, after remembering that I needed to be at work early to take a class about managing people.

You guys, I can barely manage myself.


I also headed to Cosi to pick up squagels (square bagels) to celebrate MK’s departure of SB after a decade.

She’s onto bigger and better things.

And you can’t get to bigger and better things without breakfast.

It’s a known fact.


However, at the end of the day I found leftover bagels hanging around the cubicle-land, so I grabbed them up and brought them home.

And was also not-so-secretly delighted to have extra squagels.

When I walked through the door and presented this prize to JW, he confessed that he had to tell me a secret.

Who has bagel secrets, chickens?

JW, apparently.

You guys, he’s never had a squagel.

Do I even know this man?

I’m not sure anymore.

Luckily, he was able to get into one this morning, and reported back that it was “wonderful.”

My faith in life is restored.


And with that, I’m off in search of coffee, yoga, and the motivation to pack for our trip to MI this weekend.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it.


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

i can see clearly now.

Morning chickadees.

Early morning.

On a Saturday.

But I don’t mind. I’ve got my bag packed for a quick, relaxing trip to MI and the lake.

That’s something I can rise early for.

I’ll be floating in the water for the next 24 hours.

In other news, last night JW was kind enough to snag my new glasses on his way home from work last night.

Did you look at them already, I asked.

He nodded.

Are they too hipster, I said, eyeing the case with suspicion.

I’m worried I’m not cool enough for my spectacles.

He told me I should probably just put them on my face so he could get a better look.

This is the lowdown.


What do you guys think?

Aside from the fact that I’ve had no coffee this morning and I’m not really sure how to use Photo booth properly.

Ignore those items, please.

I think they maybe say part hipster, part aspiring urban.lady.author.

A girl’s got to dream, right?

In any case, I can see, and that seems to be the most important thing here, I think.

I feel more creative already.

Also, less apt to run into things.

It’s a wonderful world when you can kill two birds with one stone, I think.

Enjoy your weekend, chickens- we have arrived!


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Filed under Good times, Michigan, Reflections

retreat is a treat.

JW and I just returned from a lovely week with his parents in MI, where we ate a delicious dinner, (including these awesome potatoes), drank wine, opened gifts, played pinochle, had brunch at Chelsea, MI’s finest restaurant, ran into an old friend, watched football, and took a walk around the lake.

The weather was sunny and warm-ish, which is bizarre (but I’ll take it) and the NY Giants won, so I’d say it was pretty much an all around lovely weekend. There’s nothing like a two day retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city (Chicago, I still love you best).

And here we are at Monday again, I suppose.

That felt like it happened fast, didn’t it?

Today I’m settling into the idea of a five day work week and also wondering when winter’s going to show up for more than just a tease.

Not that I’m complaining, but I’m beginning to think we may be hurtling towards an ice age warm up at this point.

Or it might just snow until June.

You never know in Chicago.

And now I suppose it’s time to get back at it- have a great start to your week chickens, and enjoy the warmer weather if you’ve got it!


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Filed under Good times, Michigan, Reflections, Things that are delicious, Weather

sigh of gratitude


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I’m feeling lots of gratitude for a quick day, a fun weekend, and a couple of days of getting.down.to.business in Michigan.

There is so much business to get down to- as we’re at a grand total of fifteen days until JW and I get hitched.

Get hitched is weird, but I’m trying out some phrases, so bear with me.

The list of random items that need to make it home to Michigan keeps growing longer, and more random.

I have fears of leaving essentials in Chicago, like shoes.

The shoeless bride. I could go with that, if push came to shove, I guess.

This morning I did not rise early and go for a swim, which was my plan.

I slept in my own bed and felt I needed to spend as much time in it as possible.

I can gym it up in the morning.

Tonight JW and I have an exciting evening planned, going to Costco, grabbing a bunch of potted plants, and then running around the house, gathering aforementioned random items to take to Michigan.

We lead an exciting life, chickadees.

And now, I’m off to serve out my hours in the cube.

Get out there and enjoy your weekends!




Filed under Chicago, Reflections, Wedding

tri-ing again.

Chickens, I’ve been up way too long.

But on the plus side, I met up with CJ and JK and we took ourselves on a the-sun’s-just-up bike ride along the lake.

Which was really quite lovely, even considering the fact that my legs are feeling a little bit more like jell-o than my legs at the moment.

And that I was forced to wear my embarrassing tri-shorts because of a laundry situation I’m having.

They’re not as embarrassing when you’re doing something more legitimate in them, like training for a triathlon.

When you’re struggling to stay on the bike and you’ve woefully neglected riding for the past ten months, it’s a little embarrassing.

Up today- is anyone else extremely excited that it’s already Thursday? There’s nothing like a nice, short week to get things moving in the right direction. I’m spending the weekend in Waterloo, relaxing and crossing off some wedding items (like maybe finally ordering myself some invites??) and having my first wedding shower.

I have been assured that this event will include cake, friends, food, and family, and so I’m pretty sure that bodes well for me.

Things are looking up, chickadees.

But now, in a state of perpetual lateness, I’m off to try and get to a meeting scheduled for 9:00.

Why 9:00 AM meetings exist I’m not really sure.

I’m just sure that they result in missed coffee opportunities and rushing around the downtown area on foot.

Catch you guys later!




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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Good times, Michigan, Near Disaster, Reflections

a single flower.

Chickens, it’s another dark-as-night morning around here, which is really not the best way to dive into a week. I’m leaving on the edge lately, showering in the middle of thunderstorms and not even being quick about it.

I’m a daredevil, you see.

This weekend was a business-like operation, consisting of yard-beautifying (for JW, my brother, and my Dad), and getting-things-done-appointments (for Ky, my Mom, and myself).

There was also some pool lounging and rib eating and bonfire having, too. I wouldn’t want to misrepresent the weekend.

But it was mostly about getting things done.

Saturday, I met with a florist bright and early, explained my vision (please remember: I have no vision), and she said a bunch of things that I loved. I was hooked. Anyone who can take descriptive words like “I don’t like roses” and “A medium size bouquet would be good?” and make them into a proposal is a real professional.

Next up, I tasted cakes. I basically wished that I could choose them all, but ended up with both a chocolate and white cake pick, depending on tier, and was able to stay away from the horrors of fondant.

I know it’s cool looking. I just think it’s weird to actually eat.

At this point, we took care of a few loose ends, like hair and makeup, and then decided that to be fair, even though I was pretty sure the florist I met in the morning might be my actual new best friend, and go to the afternoon florist appointment.

When we got inside, we sat down, and looked through a book of wedding flowers. There seemed to be a lot of activity going on, which made sense, since it was Saturday afternoon, but it took awhile for the consultant to get to us.

The consultant, as an aside, was about 85 years old.

She asked me some weird questions, like how tall was I (with and without shoes, please). Once I answered all of her questions sufficiently, we got to the floral part of the discussion, where despite my ONE vision (no roses, please), she said,

“So mini roses for the little boys, then?”

No thanks.

A couple of other points of contention arose when I confessed that I wasn’t wearing a veil (an unthinkable offense, apparently), and the pinnacle of the conversation came when my mother let her know she was uninterested in a corsage.

The woman looked aghast.

My mother went so far as to explain that her dress was classic, and she didn’t think she needed one, but the woman was unswayed.

“You know, you should really think about carrying a single flower,” she said, raising her eyebrows with disapproval.

My mother looked horrified. I tried to look down at the book full of roses so I wouldn’t laugh.

“It would give you something to do with your hands” she said, as if that explained everything.

I sat through the rest of the appointment, but alas, when the subject of roses came up again, it was obvious she had lost us.

In good news though, I think we made our florist decision.

And I’m feeling much more like I have things under control.

Next up, despite a bit of residual cold-ness leftover from last week, I’m hitting up the gym tonight, and making dinner, in an attempt to get my life back to a place of normalcy. Wish me luck, chickadees, and have a good Monday!




Filed under Did I really do that?, Michigan, Reflections, Things that are delicious, This makes me crazy, Weather, Wedding

into the great wide open

Ahh, a Friday.

I have high hopes for this day, chickens.

I’m headed to work, and then hitting the road with JW and Ky to get to Michigan, grab some sleep, and start up with my bridal-y appointments tomorrow morning, bright and early.

My concerns are mainly around the flower selection portion of the day, which I suspect will end with me in a sweaty mess, backing away slowly and saying “Whatever you think.”

I’m a bride without a vision.

Hopefully these guys can do something with that.

My plan is to reward myself with a float in my parents’ pool and maybe a mason jar of some kind of delicious beverage.

Although that may be ill advised, as my cold still appears to be in the throes of death.

Give it up runny nose, I’m over you.

I promise to be back with pictures of the country, a better attitude, and maybe, if I’m lucky, a little bit of GD vision.

I hope for the best my friends.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!


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Filed under Michigan, Reflections, Wedding

Five Good Things: Please stop grumbling edition

Ok, in honor of the fact that I am willing myself to recover from this cold in the next 24 hours, I will pull out Five Good Things, in the hopes that there will be more to come. So here goes nothing chickens:

1. I’m headed home this weekend, to do the following things: pick out a florist, choose a flavor of wedding cake, get into my pool to do something about this oh-so-pasty complexion I’ve got going on, and do my laundry, because apparently I’ve reverted back to the age of 18 (although, I’ll have you know even when I was 18 I did my own laundry at the dorms. So really, this is just a new, pathetic thing I’m up to).

2. I’ve got a good, solid stream of public library picks at my disposal. I just finished Things I’ve Been Silent About, which is a memoir about an Iranian woman and talks about not only Iranian politics in the last 80 years or so but also about family and friends and life in general.

I loved it.

And whoa, you guys. There’s so much I don’t know. Maybe you do. But if you’re looking for a good story and to learn something about a country that can be at best confusing in context, pick this one up. You won’t regret it.

Up next: Let the Great World Spin, which came recommended to me, and also spins a story around a man who (true story, chickens) walked on a tightrope across the World Trade Centers in the 1970s. I’ll keep you posted.

3. All this rain has been something of a bummer, but on the plus side, I’m having some success on the plant side. My arugula is starting to look like a jungle, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of it when I get back next week.

4. JW and I caught The Hangover 2 last night, and while we both agreed that since it was essentially the same exact movie as the first one, it wasn’t quite as entertaining, it still made us laugh. We also hit up Maggiano’s for a serious pasta dinner, and have leftovers that will probably last us until next year.


5. Today is Thursday. And while technically, I’m sort of feeling like it should be Friday, I’ll take that we are almost.to.the.weekend. Hang on friends, we’re getting pretty close here.

And with that, I’m off to my cubicle for awhile, and then tonight, it’s out to Piece again with my parents.

Maybe I’ll be a Piece Pizza regular.

I take no issue with that.



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

Throwback tunes and other items.

Morning chicks!

Sorry for the extended absence, but I’ve been in Waterloo, taking care of a few things.

Some notes on what’s been happening during the past three days:

1. Jennie and I finished our first 5k together! In the blinding, driving rain. And the 45 degree weather. It wasn’t pretty- but we finished it! We have the windburn to show for it. You can read more about it over here. It was totally awesome even though it was also sort of miserable, and I look forward to the next one (that’s right, sis, there’s gonna be a next one).

We're looking a little glisten-y in this one. Which is better than how we looked post race. Which was like drowned rats.

2. This weekend, we hauled all of our worldly possessions down from the attic and took a look at what we could get rid of–which seemed to be most of it. It turns out that I thought it would be necessary to save every last thing I owned when I left for college, including opened chapsticks and unopened candy.

Gross, Nikki.

The best find though, was our cache of high school CDs, so last night, JP and I spent the evening hunkering down and uploading CDs to our iTunes. We’ve stumbled upon gems such as N’SYNC, Big Willie Style, and of course, a multitude of Dave Matthews’ Band CDs.

Among the scarier discs are some Christian rock albums from JP’s “I love the Lord” (her words, not mine) period, and some crazy heavy metal ones from another strange musical period in her life.

I mostly just listened to my Lilith Fair medleys. Say what you will about that.

3. My dad finished college! Unfortunately, his graduation was canceled due to a strange norovirus that almost 200 of his classmates came down with, but we celebrated with friends and cake and food anyway.

That’s the best part, anyway.

The best part of any party.

4. Today is my BFF JD’s birthday. Happy birthday JD! Her birthday usually involves a night of intense celebrating, followed by a “bye” year due to said excessive celebrating. Her birthday gives us spring fever. It’s not an off year for this one though, so we’ll have to get up to some mischief in its honor eventually. Stay tuned.

BFFs for life. Happy birthday!

5. What the hell is going on with this weather? I leave for three freaking days and it’s Winter: Round 3294. It is MID MAY CHICAGO, GET IT TOGETHER.

Sorry, someone had to say it.

I refuse to pull out any more coats.

I’d rather freeze.

I’ll probably reconsider later.

Okay, chickadees, I’m off to get back into my cubicle for the week, have a great start to your week!

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Michigan, Near Disaster, Reflections, Running