Monthly Archives: January 2012

a january hymn

i’ll start with a sidenote: there are three songs on my computer with january in the title– january wedding (avett brothers), january hymn (the decemberists), and january 1979 (mewithoutyou). considering i’m not getting married and the other song is quite screamy/harsh, i thought the phrase “a january hymn” was quite beautiful and a wonderful title for a post.

a few years ago i was ambitious and tried to blog every day, covering everything from the grand and fun to the mediocre and average. i may try to do it for a week straight some time later in the year, but for now i thought it would be best to have a monthly post to summarize the feelings.

these are the things i remember most about january 2012:

  • the new year started as a complete shit show. it was a blast, though definitely reminded me that i cannot and will not be doing this every weekend in 2012.

    (starting the night, looking fairly sober)

    (free rides on the down town trolly)

    (this is where the night starts getting hazy…)

    (better than the traditional ball drop)

  • my year-end review at my place of employment went very well. in fact, i couldn’t have made it gone better or more “my way” even if i tried. the praise came at a very good time, i was feeling overwhelmed with workload and a bit bitter… made it all a lot easier to deal with.
  • i got an iphone, officially making me at least 4.7x cooler than i already was.
    i can now instagram and play words with friends with the best of them. (my WWF ratio is  currently 1:10. i have won one game.)
  • my friend jesse just got back from afghanistan. a few of us met in our hometown area to say hi and catch up. it was pretty low key, but very fun.
    ( brennan)
    ^ as a follow up of something completely wonderful and unexpected, the next day a couple of us went out for breakfast. a lady who used to be very open about not liking me (and to be fair, i was the same) served us. we were extremely nice to each other, which made me happier than i anticipated.

…i hope she didn’t spit in my food.
….i am choosing not to think about it.

  • one of my close des moines friends lost his father. he was on vacation in california and his dad and mom were on vacation in the carribbean when it happened. i can’t even start to imagine how that feels, but my heart goes out to the entire family.

so that is my january in a nutshell. it hasn’t been overly exciting in the grand scheme of things, but it has had a lot of ups and downs. a friend of mine has recently pointed out to me that i like to reflect and look back, that i ponder more than most people. i think this is true– and not necessarily something about myself that i want to change. but i do want to make sure that i’m there in the “present,” that i’m making the most of what i’m doing now. i find the easiest way to do that is to look back and see what i would like to change, to be better at, to experience, and then go do that.

decide what to be and go be it.

watch out, february. i’m coming for you.

these are a few of my favorite things

  • laughing until it hurts
  • traveling
  • showers that are a bit too hot for a normal human to withstand
  • seven minutes in heaven with mike o’brien
  • casey’s pizza – pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives (and green olives if you’ll accept them)
  • inside jokes and irreplaceable memories
  • aimlessly driving around and listening to good music
  • The Party Rock Crew
  • joseph gordon-levitt’s dance scene in (500) Days of Summer
  • really getting to know my grandparents
  • skim milk. and i can taste the difference, don’t patronize me.
  • taking photographs
  • back massages
  • getting mail/email/texts with substance
  • sad eyes (i know, it’s a weakness)
  • sushi (one is a weakness, the other is my drug)
  • starbucks love project. i almost forgot about this.
  • country music. i don’t care if you make fun of me, that’s my roots, baby.
  • hats. i can’t get enough of hats.
  • tanzania and everything/one related to that trip and trips to come
  • cheap sunglasses. i have five pairs (that i remember off the top of my head), which is way too many
  • my mom’s cooking– she’s phenomenal
  • warm rain
  • “family game night”
  • karoake (and monthly carl’s karoake nights that make me stay out until 2am and drag my ass to work the next day)
  • falling asleep holding hands with Evan
  • blue like jazz
  • coffee & conversation
    ^ with Bailey’s
  • 25 years of friendship with Mallory
  • quoting funny lines in movies until other people become annoyed they haven’t seen it yet
  • playing basketball. even though i suck now, i remember when i used to be fairly decent.
  • working at riverside lutheran bible camp and all the amazing people i got to know- and what i learned about myself and what i believe
  • puppies. (who the heck doesn’t like puppies?)
  • when music makes my heart feel like it’s swelling
  • learning surprising things and discovering others’ humanity
  • planning parties and fist-fights with Krista… and all the random situations we find ourselves in.
  • deep, honest, vulnerable talks you’d never think you’d have
  • my mini cooper
  • my favorite male in the world (my nephew). my two nieces. and my broseph and his wife, for being in my life.
  • hickory park. 1/4 chicken dark meat, with hot applesauce and fries as the side. i’m a creature of habit, what can i say?
  • compliments when you least expect them
  • stargazing and feeling small
  • plaid, pearlescent snap up shirts
  • learning. growing. making mistakes. [repeat]

photoshop fun

is it sad that i do this in my spare time?

…don’t answer, that was rhetorical.

I’m writing this book, but this person named Nina Burleigh wants to sue me… I’m not sure why

MORTAL KOMBAAAATTT!!!! *cue music*

resolve to resoluting

i will admit it- i am terrible about actually keeping resolutions.

but i am AWESOME at making lists. so here we go.

here are my “resolutions” for 2012. i don’t want to set things too much in stone (because some rules are meant to be broken), but these are my top 5 things i hope to accomplish.

5) “i will travel.”

this isn’t even a resolution- it is a blanket fact. russia in february. (hopefully) italy in march. belgium in april. north carolina in may. south dakota in a summer month. singapore in november.

sure, most of the travel is for work, but who’s to say you can’t make work trips fun? this year i have 14 vacation days. i plan to use them up– maybe not one big trip, but a few extra days here and there to explore the cities i’ll be in? you can’t turn that down.

because you know what they say… when in rome (do as many romans as you can?).

4) “i will learn to run outdoors.”

this is a big one for me. i have  a bad knee and i know that i use that as an excuse. but, simply put… i’ve always hated running outside. i would much rather run on an elliptical machine. in a gym. where it’s warm and i can watch tv and listen to music…

but i want to run a 5k this year. actually, i don’t WANT to, but i’m being persuaded to because i have FOMO (fear of missing out) and i don’t want everyone in my office to do this without me. i suppose it would also be nice to have a healthy hobby… and i’ve heard that running is actually enjoyable once you’re in shape. we’ll see i guess. if i hate it, then next year my resolution can be to not listen to my officemates about what is fun and enjoyable.

3) “i will not be a shit show this year.”

this might indirectly hurt my #1 resolution, but i’ve had to eat a few pieces of humble pie the last few weeks and face a realization: my liver and immune system cannot keep up with my heart and ambitions. i can’t keep passing out on couches at 2-4am, fully function for a full day, and repeat. i can’t drink vodka, switch to whiskey, over to beer, shots of whatever liquid is in front of me, and expect to feel normal the next day.

but this doesn’t have to completely do with alcohol either. i will learn to be respectful, to keep my mouth shut, to offer perspective. to take criticism. to be a friend. i will stop enabling people to make bad decisions. …i may even stop making bad decisions myself (but let’s just take this one step at a time).

i’m not saying i’m not going to drink anymore- far from it. i’m just saying i won’t do it every single night i’m in town with my friends. i’m not in college anymore. i don’t need to finish that beer in front of me. i’m gonna make my shit showing a special occasion.

2) “i will love _____.”

this can be filled with many things: my family, my job, my friends, your mom…

i will love this year. whole-heartedly, openly, i am not holding back. i will invest in relationships and make sure the people that mean the most to me realize they do. i will follow through; if i make a promise i will mean it.

i will find what i love to do and i will do it. i will be passionate, i will find meaning.
in the words of bright eyes: my heart has thawed and continues to beat.

1) “i will have more fun than i did in 2011.”

my print-vendor friend Ryan said this to me at lunch one day and it blew me away with how good the resolution was.

don’t get me wrong, 2011 was blast. but can you imagine if you vowed to have more fun in your “now” situation than you did in your past? if you were able to succeed, each and every year of your life would be better than the last. each mistake you made, each laugh you had, each learning experience….

it just gives you a whole new perspective on life. evan and i talk about this sometimes- about how you can either have a negative perception or a positive in the world. how you can have something tragic happen in your life and still look forward and say “but it’s been a good year.” i know that this year will not be perfect, but it’s how i perceive it that will change how i feel.

and i will have so much fun in 2012 you won’t be able to handle it.

what’s so south about south dakota?

i recently took a quiz online to see how many of the “100 places in the world you have to see” i had visited. i knew it would be rather low, but it was still rather shocking to get the results.

23. 23/100. it’s disappointing, really. so low for someone who claims she likes to travel, to go on adventures. for someone who has no children/responsibility to really tie her to a place… someone with a fancy car with low mileage, and friends with the same urge to get moving.

since obviously it costs money to travel (and also costs vacation days at work), i have decided that it would be best to knock off some more of the united states sites before trying to go abroad.


here we come south dakota!

#59 on the list: Mount Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota, USA.

my parents used to go to south dakota all the time because they used to ride motorcycles. if you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you obviously know why and there’s really no need for an explanation. for the rest of us, let me explain: every year in south dakota there is the sturgis rally in the black hills. motorcyclists drive in from all over the usa to be a part of the shenanigans; everywhere you look you see leather jackets, chaps, and harley davidson’s.

to give a bit of perspective, the city of sturgis has around 6,500 people living there, but during the time of the rally the traffic gets up to at least 400,000. (and i will guess at least 100,000 of them have hulk hogan mustaches.)

i usually stayed with my grandparents when my mom and dad left, until i got old enough to persuade them to leave me home alone. now i will embark on my own journey to the more southern dakota.

according to google maps, it’s about 9.5 hours to get to keystone from mason city. so, realistically, that means it will be closer to 8-8.5 hours.

now, let’s put this plan into actual practice. is anyone interested in going/meeting up? (i’m looking at you, krista.) i’m game for stopping at other places along the way and making it a 4-5 day weekend (leave thurs night, come back monday morning). the name of the game is “cheap,” but the more people that go i’m sure the better deals i can find.

and if anyone from the area that has any suggestions of things to check out along our way to mount rushmore, please don’t hesitate to let me know. any small dives (i love me some dive bars), some quirky small towns? any places to avoid? good hotels? nice couches?