Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer of the Skirt

I love wearing skirts and dresses, and there is no better time to do so than summer. I'm much more comfortable in a skirt, and I can dress them up, or dress them down. I love love them.

Last summer my sister declared it the "summer of the skirt". I can't remember the exact comment one of her friends made, but it was something along the lines of her declaration not really having any significance since wearing skirts is nothing out of the ordinary for her.

ANYWAY (I feel like that was a rambling introduction), a few weeks ago I walked into church in a skirt. My AP said "I knew you'd be wearing a skirt". I replied, "I will be every Sunday. It's the summer of the skirt!" and her sister chimed in, "I feel a blog post coming on!" She was right!

So I was going to write a post about the Summer of the Skirt and all the reasons I like skirts, but then I came across this article in the Strib - looks like these girls really beat me to the punch! I don't always read the Strib, so it was ironic that I happened to pick it up in a clinic on the day this article was run. Another friend posted about this same article, so it reminded me to get it on my blog, as well. You can find their website here.

C'mon, everybody! Get in on the Summer of the Skirt!

Reader Independence

I had time to burn in a doctor's office last week, so I was thumbing through the O Magazine (trust me, it was the only option there). I came across an article that was interesting to me called "Declaration of Reader Independence". It was about how it can be very easy to let "group-think" determine what you will read next. Here is a little piece I typed out [my comments are in italics]:
Reading is very personal – there are no rules beyond the ones you care to make. Declare your independence from common wisdom, lore and the opinions of others. You have the independence to…
  • Not finish a book, whether you’ve read to page 10, 50, or 250. I used to feel guilty if I didn't finish a book (I think a lot of people are that way), but in the last few years I have definitely gotten over that. Too many good books out there to waste time on ones I don't like!
  • See the movie first. I don't know about this one. Typically the book is better so I kinda like to read it first. I usually think reading the book first makes the movie even better - this was especially true with The Time Traveler's Wife.
  • Read two books at once – and occasionally get the plots mixed up. Oh boy, I am notorious for reading two (or three...or four....) books at once....
  • Reread a childhood favorite. But be forewarned: Charlotte still dies. Summer always feels like a particularly good time to reread childhood faves. I'm currently rereading a few: The Secret Garden and The Island of the Blue Dolphins.
  • Judge a book by it’s cover. Or its title. I'm too frequently disappointed by doing this.
  • Wish that Cormac McCarthy would use a little punctuation now and then. I've never read McCarthy, so I have nothing to add here.
  • Be miffed if your friend doesn’t like a book you recommend. On the other hand, you have our permission to be miffed if she gets miffed when you don’t like the one she recommends to you. I'm not offended when people don't like my recommendations. Like movies and music, I like most everything, so it has to be pretty awful if I don't. My palate is not that discerning, I guess.
  • Ignore memoirs by people who have barely cracked their 30s. Amen.
  • Declare yourself unmoved by the existential struggles of vampires, zombies, talking dogs, or what we worry is the next trend: scary-smart monkeys. Well, I don't dig the zombie stuff, but I've been known to read a certain series about werewolves...
  • Believe that books can be magic carpets to enchanted lands, even while realizing that they’re inanimate objects make of ink and paper. (Unless they’re e-books. And it’s okay to love those too). Totally. Ahhhh, I love books. And my Kindle.

10 Days

Ummm...why haven't I posted in 10 days??
  • BIRTHDAY! It was FUN. Perfect weather, great friends, wonderful food, games, laughs, and lots of smelling like a bonfire. Overall, I felt very blessed.
  • Miss Minnesota. I hadn't been to Miss MN in a few years. I thought the show was great, that the production value has gone up since I was a contestant, and that the contestants themselves were impressive. I really liked briefly catching up with my pageant friends and I found myself simultaneously missing pageants and not missing them at all. It's a strange juxtaposition of feelings that pageants create for me, which my former-Miss-MN-friend explains more eloquently than me. I'm glad I went, and even more glad I had an excuse to wear fake lashes, even with my bum eye.
  • Ride alongs. Three of the four days I worked last week I had a manager with me. That is just plain BUSY and STRESSFUL.
  • Went to a church softball game, played kickball, grilled out, and generally enjoyed the hot weather.
  • Impromptu visit to my AP's apartment after the gym. We watched funny TV, talked, and laughed. And hopefully relieved some of our stresses.
  • Dinner with college roommates at Brasa - YUM and so great to catch up with some of my favorite soon-to-be-moms!
  • Two weddings in one weekend. Both beautiful, both fun, both memorable.
  • Road trip with each sister to and from the first wedding. Also included in road trip: late-night pizza and movie at the hotel. My fave.
  • Dog sitting. It was SUPER humid this weekend, so the dogs definitely got kicked out of my bed, but we still had a good time watching cable together :)
  • Impromptu game night with the "brothers". I was definitely in bed at 8pm on Saturday night, but the funny pictures they texted got me out of bed and driving through a storm for good laughs. Love them.
  • Welcome Team at church and Small Group. I'm so blessed by my church friends!! Such a great day. The long day was wrapped up by sitting outside on a gorgeous evening with two great girls - we had a good, difficult conversation and I was laughed at. A lot.
Holy cow. No wonder I could barely open my eyes this morning! This week is shaping up to be just as busy and just as fun.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Appendix Saved My Sight

We all know the story of my appendix. Moral of the story: if you seem sick or "off", do something about it. Don't let it get out of control and become a scary situation that could have been avoided.

And thanks to that lesson I learned when my appendix burst, my sight has been saved.*

Yesterday I thought I had a sty on my eyelid. I've had them before: my eyelid was a little irritated, it was slightly swollen, etc. A friend at kickball gave me great advice to get a hot compress on it. I did that before bed and hoped it would be better in the morning.

It was NOT. My eye was more swollen, and much more painful. I began to think that it was more than a sty, and I was glad that I was getting together with sister, MD, for dinner so that she could take a look at it. By 8am, I was glad that I was having lunch with one of my favorite doctors so that he could take a look at it rather than waiting until dinner. By 9am, I was making an appointment with an optometrist because it was REALLY making me worried. I didn't wear any makeup to work, and I was glad that I hadn't, because my eye was not doing well. I was starting to remind myself of Quasimodo.

I got to the appointment with the optometrist and she immediately said that I would need an antibiotic. She gave me an eye exam (which I haven't had since 1996...) and said that I pretty much had the best vision she's ever encountered (hence me not having an exam since 1996....). Then she wanted to take a closer look at my eye. At this point she was more concerned about the swelling she was seeing, and after a closer look said, "Oh, I can see this is much more than a sty. I'm so glad you came it. This is periorbital cellulitis". Since I don't know what that means, I just nodded my head. She continued, "There's nothing to be concerned about at this point, but if you would have let this go and get on the inside of your eyelid, you would have an ocular emergency and I'd be sending you to the ER".

Okay. This can be serious if I don't stay on top of it. At dinner, I was telling my sister about my day and she informed me that she once had a patient in the hospital for over three weeks who had a few surgeries thanks to periorbital cellulitis. Yikes. Not that I would have been in that same situation if I would have let this go, but I am glad that my appendix incident has made me more wisely cautious when it comes to my health. In other words, my appendix saved my sight.

In an effort to not be completely vain, I'm handling the instruction to not wear any makeup until Monday pretty well. I do feel silly not wearing makeup to work since I work in an industry that is pretty vain (entire TV episodes have been dedicated to how good-looking the people in my industry are....), but I'll manage (mostly by wearing sunglasses). I do plan on cheating a little, though. There is absolutely NO WAY I won't wear makeup when I go to Miss Minnesota on Saturday. Part of the fun of going is putting on fake lashes and doing my makeup all fancy. So I plan on taking really good care of my eye until then, and after then, but I will live it up for those few hours.

Okay, off to compress my eye with heat! Thankful that I can still see!

*This is quite possibly overly dramatic. But that's how I tell stories.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Little Shoe Treat

No, I'm not talking about these specialty shoe-cakes (crazy).

I'm talking about these little beauties:

Since I am going to five weddings and three pageants this summer, I thought it was about time for me to get some cute summer heels. And since my birthday is coming up, I had the perfect excuse to splurge on myself. I knew I wanted a colored shoe (that I could wear with a white dress OR black dress so that I'm not limited in my clothing choices) with a heel and a peep toe (even though I did officially completely lose my toenail after that race....oh, well). Problem is, I found two pairs that I love! Each of them has a brown heel, but my friend who sells shoes at Nordstrom's says that I can still wear that with a black dress, so I am fine. I've been trying to decide which pair to keep. The aqua pair feels a little more "fun" to me, but I certainly don't need the extra platform height that they have on the bottom. The more I think about it, the more I lean toward keeping them both, especially since the total for both pairs was still under what I was willing to spend on one pair if I found something fabulous (the benefit of me really shopping around and finding the sales!).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Holy Cow

I had another weekend worthy of bullet points. If I don't slow down, I may age four years in the next three months! And speaking of aging, I actually change my digits this week! It promises to be an insanely busy week (I am so dreading looking at the week ahead after the busy weekend), but I have my birthday to look forward to!

This weekend consisted of: Thrice concert (HOT and fun), day at the cabin with family and Welps (no kneeboarding, but we kayaked until we wanted our arms to fall off), Welcome Team at church (always love it), helping with food at a grad party (so many great conversations jammed into one day), too many late nights (complete with runs to McDonald's for soft serve), and mornings that were obnoxiously early (BLECH I HATE GETTING UP). I may be in bed at 7 tonight.

Monday, June 7, 2010


If you've been around me for more than two seconds, you know that I am obsessed with lists! I inherited this from my dad. I mostly operate from my To Do list, but I also have lists of movies I want to see, places I want to eat at, books I've read, etc....I even have a tag on this blog for "lists". You get the point. So imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon Listbean today! Pre-populated checklists for things I didn't even know I needed a checklist for!!!!!! Never forget something when you pack again! Become annoyingly organized! Thought I'd pass it along for any other OCD organizers out there....enjoy!

Special Kind of Air

It hit me in the skyway, that special kind of air.
It’s thicker air; the kind where lives hang in the balance.
Some lives coming into the world, some going out.
I can smell the hospital air.

Not that I haven’t walked this skyway before
And breathed my fair share of hospital air.
Today I’m going to see a life that is coming;
Someday I’ll be coming to see a life that is going.
It feels so real, and the air is heavy.

Families sit waiting for news.
Good news? Bad news?
Does their air change when they
Hope for the best, but hear the worst?
Fear the worst, but receive the best?
I pick up my pace as my lungs fill with
Air that makes my heart beat faster.

A deep breath before I enter her room;
Holding back tears,
Then holding her.
Her heart beating fast,
A baby breathing
A special kind of air.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Weekend Worthy of Bullet Points

Such a BUSY weekend. Too many terrific things to write in paragraph form, so bullet points it is.
  • BABY!!! One of my besties had a baby on Thursday! Both baby and mom were doing well and I was SO happy to swing by on Thursday (...and Friday...and Saturday....) to cuddle with the little bug and bring treats! SO happy for all the smiles already shared about her little life - and thankful for the many, many more smiles to be shared over the years!
  • After visiting baby on Friday night, I spent time with some single ladies from church. I loved hunting for kindling for a little fire in the "woods" of Burnsville and chatting about life, love and other mysteries ("other mysteries" mostly consisted of talking about makeup, so I basically LOVED that).
  • Had a great talk with my sister after her eye surgery. It was great to laugh and I'm glad she is doing well.
  • Saturday morning meant getting up early to put together a new fridge. There were no doors on it and LOTS of little moving parts (literally), and roomie and I figured it out! Not only did I feel like Rosie the Riveter, we now have a fridge big enough for us to both have some food in (our current fridge is only slightly bigger than a dorm room fridge - not kidding). I'm VERY excited about the prospect of cold drinks thanks to the extra space. And maybe I'll be motivated to get to the grocery store more often. Maybe.
  • Then I was off to help a friend clean for a grad party. One of the tasks I was given was to plant flowers. If you know me well at all, you know this was a stretch for my skill sets. But it got done. And good conversation was had with my AP.
  • Off to a bridal shower on Saturday afternoon. I LOVE WEDDING SEASON. I really enjoyed catching up with some girls and I even cried (happy tears) a little. My friend getting married is a fantastic example of the beauty of adoption: she had a baby while we were in college and gave her up for adoption. She has stayed in contact with the adoptive family, and her daughter will be her flower girl. They (her daughter and the adoptive mother) were at the shower and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room during introductions when the adoptive mother talked about how our friend gave her the most special gift. I'm thankful to witness that in person.
  • Back to visit baby after the shower, and then I headed to the gym with my AP. We worked out for two hours and it felt awesome (until I couldn't walk without pain today...)
  • Enjoyed watching a movie with my AP, even if I fell asleep.....TYPICAL. I had never seen Say Anything, and I was pleased to discover how quotable it is. I will have to watch it again sometime, and not sleep.
  • CHURCH today. I had missed the last three weeks of church and I was really missing it - the teaching, the people, etc. So great to be back.
  • Got a free sundae from Culver's at lunch. They messed up our order, but the sundae was worth it.
  • A nice afternoon of catching up after my whirl-wind weekend, and I'm currently crying through watching the latest episode of SYTYCD. LOVE.
I'm sure I missed some great things about the weekend, but that covers plenty of them. But now I have tons of WORK to do...and my boss is with me for the next two days...and I always leave it all for Sunday night...BAHHHHH. I'm so good at procrastinating. BOO. Oh well. The weekend was worth it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Disappearing Act

"Can make stuff magically disappear, especially if it's got a lot of butter & sugar in it"