Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 In Review

Year End Survey

What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? Touched ground in a foreign land

Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't think I made any for 2007...I'm just working on things: swearing less, not crossing my legs, the whole Golden Rule thing, and rededicating myself to health and fitness.

What countries did you visit? France!!

What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A huge savings account.

What date(s) from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 23: D's Surprise 30th Birthday Party (and he was very, very surprised!), August 29: We found out Q tore her ACL, and today might be a memorable day as well...

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Starting a home improvement project and finishing it?? No, but I am proud of that. I think that D and I had a very difficult but overall good year. We certainly had our moments but came through them together and strengthened our relationship.

What was your biggest failure? Giving up on working out.

Did you suffer illness or injury? Luckily nothing major, but I pulled my tendons (again) in early September; bowling has not been as much fun this fall/winter because of it.

What was the best thing you bought? Plane tickets to Las Vegas over Thanksgiving for my dad's bowling tournament, again.

Where did most of your money go? Living expenses, mostly our house

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Probably a lot of things as they happened, I'm overly dramatic that way, but mostly my promotion in May and then end of my brother's relationship with a bad girlfriend.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2007? Crank That -- Soulja Boy, but mostly because of this video and More Than A Memory -- Garth Brooks (The return of Garth Brooks. Love.)

Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Happier. Thinner or fatter? Fatter Richer or poorer? richer

What do you wish you'd done more of? Working out, I got off to a really good start again, but I started to slack off in September.

What do you wish you'd done less of? Sitting on my ass in front of the TV

Did you fall in love in 2007? In May, but with D again. We're trying to make that a daily thing. It's getting easier again.

What was your favorite TV program? Tough decision, to name one I have to say The Biggest Loser. My favorite new program in Pushing Daisies.

What was the best book you read? Reading. I'm supposed to do that? I was an English major, I read All. The. Time. in college. Ugh. I did read this year, though not as much as I would have liked. Favorite: Technical Hitch by Jane Sigaloff

What did you want and get? Jewelry that D picked out himself for my Christmas gift.

What was your favorite film of this year? Ocean's Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 28. I got a massage and went to a bowling banquet.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Going for the job I really wanted when it was open. I did get a promotion and I enjoy it for the most part, but I'm upset that I didn't put it all out there for the 'at this stage in my life' dream job.

What kept you sane? My co-worker who likes to walk over to Sbux as much as I do.

Who did you miss? BMW and Zimm--the ladies that are like sisters to me. I need to stay in touch with them as neither are just down the street. I know they are only a phone call away, but I'm not very good at that.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007: That the adage "Everything happens for a reason" is true. Some things just fell into place this year and I'm hoping that some of the difficult times and disappointing outcomes will bring about more positive changes in 2008.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all
Garth Brooks

Repost of "Good bye, 2006" from the Old Blog That We Don't Discuss

Year End Survey
A meme, of sorts, received through email:

What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? Win an adult singles bowling tournament

Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't think I made any for 2006...I'm not sure if I'm going to make any for 2007, either.

What countries did you visit? I've never been out of the country. I'm hoping to remedy that in 2007.

What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A huge savings account.

What date(s) from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Jan 8: won local Queen's Qualifying, July 5: bought Lars, Oct 7: aunt remarried, Dec 10: won 2nd women's singles title.

What was your biggest achievement of the year? probably my winningest bowling year since going adult.

What was your biggest failure? being lazy at work and at home when things needed to get done.

Did you suffer illness or injury? I was very sick this year. I was out of work the first part of January and then on and off until June. After several doctor appts, they finally figured out why I kept getting sick; and although there is nothing that can 'cure' me, now that I am aware of it I can try to keep myself in good health. I also hurt my neck pretty severely on August 11 and spent a lot of time passed out from all of the pain meds.

What was the best thing you bought? Plane tickets to Las Vegas over Thanksgiving for my dad's bowling tournament.

Where did most of your money go? Living expenses

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Probably a lot of things as they happened, I'm overly dramatic that way, but I think most of my excitement was around bowling successes: Queens, MWST and my dad's big victory in Las Vegas.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2006? Honky Tonk Badonkadonk - Trace Adkins

Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder? about the same, but I'll say happier. thinner or fatter? hmmm...thinner, but still working on it. richer or poorer? poorer; we bought Lars.

What do you wish you'd done more of? working out, I got off to a really good start, but everything came so easily that I thought I could slack off.

What do you wish you'd done less of? sitting on my ass in front of the TV

Did you fall in love in 2006? I fell in love in 1999. I try to fall in love every day with D, but some days are easier than others.

How many one-night stands? None

What was your favorite TV program? My favorite new show was Psych on USA.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No

What was the best book you read? Emily Giffin's "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" I know, it's crap chick lit, but I enjoy it.

What did you want and get? A membership to LTF

What was your favorite film of this year? The Departed, I guess. We didn't see a lot of movies, but this one sticks out.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 27. I went to yoga and then worked out. We did a family dinner and movie a few nights before.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having the job I have now--same title, but now I have better things to do. I wish it would have happened earlier in the year.

What kept you sane? My co-worker who likes to walk over to Sbux as much as I do.

Who did you miss? Uncle Bill

Who was the best new person you met? My new boss

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006: Things happen for a reason and it may not be the reason you thought it would be. You can try to plan your life, but ultimately, all you can do is roll with the punches.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "But the good news is there's angels everywhere out on the street, holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet" Rodney Atkins

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Recipes of Christmas

KM's Christmas Baking

Friends & Family Christmas Baking
  • My aunt makes Swedish Toast every year along with Jifta (Great for the Scandahoovians!) She swears Swedish Toast is easier than biscotti, but I think it's just as time consuming to prep and bake. It's great for dunking, though!
  • D's aunt long ago started bringing Tequilaberry's Salad to Christmas and Easter, now holiday meals just aren't the same without it.
  • SIL made a pretty batch of Holiday Wreaths for others; I just asked for a huge blob of the stuff since these are some of my favorites and four wreaths just won't do.
  • Another aunt of mine makes Russian Tea for all of the families each year. Although it's not really tea, it's a tasty hot drink. She would not give me her secret recipe, but said that the link is close.

KM's New Year's Baking
  • Two years ago I started making homemade caramels to add to my goody baskets; this year however, the multiple snow storms and bad driving conditions did not allow me to buy the necessary ingredients. My dad made a little pouty face after opening the caramel-free tin so I promised to make them for NYE.
  • Biscotti is the last on my list but the first in my heart, saving the best for last, if you will. My love of biscotti started at a young age when I would accompany my mom to the Grand Ave Dunn Bros as she held volunteer meetings and interviews. When I took my current job with the ever so convenient tunnel to Sbux, my love of biscotti hurt my checkbook. After learning to make Swedish Toast, I decided I could handle biscotti and set out to find my favorite twice baked cookie recipe. Along with a variation of Vanilla Almond Biscotti that lives only in my kitchen cupboard and not on my computer, this Vanilla Bean Biscotti is a treat that my mom and I both treasure. It is such a pity that D's family had never even heard of biscotti until I first made it, and even then did not delight in the crunchy, crumbly cookie that longed to be dipped and dunked in latte. Oh well, more for me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Recap

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday spent with family--LOTS of family. And we're not done yet!
Here are just a few of the highlights:
  • Biggest Ooh-aah gift: Pearl pendant necklace from D
  • Goofiest moment: D and BIL telling stories from their childhood at MIL's family dinner--these stories are ridiculous and almost seem fictional, but everyone remembers them so unless it's a conspiracy I think they're true.
  • Most wonderful/useful gift: Wrought iron bed from my parents--we are so excited for it to arrive!
  • Yummiest food: Ham at D's aunt's on Christmas Day, wreath cookies by SIL and brown sugar bacon with my parents.
  • Best gift given: iPod to my mom with pink ear buds
And yes, I did finish all of my holiday baking--well, the revised list of holiday baking after the snow storms prevented me from making it to the grocery story for more ingredients on Sunday night. What? I shouldn't procrastinate? Whatever. I made Oatmeal Scotchies, Peppermint Patty cookies, Sugar Mint cookies, baked French toast and baked brown sugar bacon. I plan to make vanilla bean biscotti and caramels for New Year's as those are mostly for my family anyway and we will likely spend the evening with them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Only a Memory

Yesterday I posted about my success in limiting my caffeine and pop intake. Well, that worked for 3 days. I needed a diet cherry last night before bowling (not that it helped) and that 12 oz can sure did pack a punch--I was up until midnight!

Oh, and that skinny day? Yeah, that is so past tense as well. I devoured 1/2 a bag of homemade caramel puff corn while catching up on Pushing Daisies. (Um, where was PR last night?) We reasoned that if we consumed the entire bag in one sitting then we could go back to eating healthy without the temptation of caramel goodness calling us from the cupboard. Our logic is flawless, don't you think?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Fun Latte

I love today. I've told you all before about my love of Wednesdays; so what makes this Wednesday stand out from the rest, you ask. For starters, I'm having the skinniest day I've had in months, I'll credit that to the sweat and tears I left on the elliptical last night and the lack of pop for several days. I'm also wearing a simple yet fantastic outfit, if I do say so myself: lovely ivory cashmere with just a bit of holiday bling and my favorite BCBG pumps (the ones you like Books). So basically, I feel like a million bucks and that's enough to make any one's day I'd wager. So the secret of today's marvelousness lies again in simplicity: I came in to work to find a Sbux gift card on my desk from a generous office Secret Santa. (We do not do Secret Santa in our office, but there are a few people that leave gifts around all the major holidays so I've narrowed it down to a few possibilities.)
Upon finding the gift card, I immediately planned out my day with a trip through the tunnels to the nearby Sbux. Not only are delicious goodies awaiting me at my destination, but just the break from the office is a treat in itself. As always, the barista was just the right amount of flirty and professional and prepared my Tall Decaf, Sugar Free Vanilla, Nonfat, No Foam Latte without mentioning that what I'm drinking is very far removed from actual coffee. Oh, I'm trying to give up caffeine by the way, or limit it at least. My favorite chai lattes are now going to be a rare treat.

On my way back to work with my No Fun Latte, I cherished the elevator ride up. The few moments of solitude--eyes closed, fingers laced around the cup, palms soaking in the heat--resting my body lightly on the hand rail were (and are always) completely rejuvenating. I might not have the caffeine buzz, but just the act of going to get coffee is sometimes all I need to feel relaxed and energized all at once.

Even though I love my 'coffee' drink, the Oracle does not agree. Behold the Oracle's wisdom:
Personality type: Freak
No person of sound mind would go to an EXPENSIVE COFFEE SHOP to get a drink WITHOUT CAFFEINE. Your hobbies include going to ski resorts in the summer and flushing $5 bills down the toilet. You are a menace to society.
Also drinks: Non-alcoholic beer
Can also be found at: Pools with no water

Not really accurate, but funny.

Monday, December 17, 2007


We went to the Timberwolves game on Friday night. Unfortunately, the Twolves are not that great and lost; but we enjoyed the game for the most part. The added bonus for me was that Wally Szczerbiak now plays for the SuperSonics and I was able to stare at him during our time at the Target Center. He is one hot man.
D thinks Wally is funny looking. He spent the night making fun of his ears.
We are definitely going to one more game this year, although it is not really to support the Timberwolves as much as it is to see KG and Ray Allen--D's favorite two players. Actually, it has nothing to do with the Timberwolves at all, except that they are nothing without KG.
This was a boring post, but it contained eye candy, so I don't feel too guilty.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Remember Those Whom Others Have Forgotten

As you are out wrapping up (or just starting, no judgement here) your holiday shopping this weekend, I would like to let you know of a local MN charity that is still in need of holiday support.

Gifts for Seniors started as a winter holiday program in 1994 and was the brain child of two wonderful women--one of them my mother. This gift program, along with supporting and identifying agencies, provides gifts to some of the most vulnerable and isolated senior citizens in the metro area. Many of these folks have little to no contact with family or friends, and often only have contact with agency staff on a regular basis. With a small donation, you could help a senior citizen who feels alone to feel remembered.

Gift ideas include:
  • Large font books, calendars and crosswords/word finds
  • Warm blankets, sweaters and mittens
  • Gift cards/certificates for grocery and drug stores
  • Cassette tapes/CDs--music or recorded books
  • Postage stamps
View the full Wish List here.

Gifts are matched to senior citizens by case workers/agency staff based on their personal wish lists and needs. Monetary donations go directly towards the purchase of gifts as operating expenses are covered by the county, partners, supporters and sponsors.
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Bad 3 O'clock Decisions"

First, I have to say that the title of the post has nothing to do with the content because I am a loser…and a prude. The worst 3 a.m. decisions I’ve made have included being too wordy in an analytical paper and being overly snotty to a friend due to being overly tired because I DO NOT STAY UP THAT LATE. But if you have a ‘bad 3 o’clock decision’ to share, leave a comment or take it as a writing prompt! Anyway, I love Tim Gunn and I love that he is a self proclaimed old fart for not taking that to the gutter. Did you watch Project Runway last night? Oh I will miss the auft contestant, but I would have missed any of the bottom three designers. On with the post then…

UPDATE: Titan has a home! He was gone yesterday when I checked the site. Yea! I hope he is happy with his new family.

This week has not been my favorite week ever.

  • Our water was off on Sunday. I still don’t know why.
  • It wasn’t back on by Monday morning. That was annoying, but we had water Monday night.
  • Tuesday was a stupid crazy day at work; I didn’t get to do any of my work because I was completing tasks for our support staff and my boss and I ended up doing a mailing because said support staff was too busy. It’s one thing for me to do a mailing, but my boss should not ever have to do a mailing—and I didn’t ask her to, she insisted. And then I had a huge coffee and was up until 1 a.m. (still not 3 a.m.!).
  • Wednesday wasn’t noteworthy, so not bad.
  • Today our alarm didn’t go off. D woke up at 7:30 a.m. and was understandably upset, but taking it out on me. I told him he could apologize to me later. Oh, I start work at 7 o’clock and he starts at 7:30 a.m. We live 30 minutes from work. Awesome.

But tomorrow we are going to the Timberwolves game (Thanks Kris!) so that gives me hope that the week will be better. Saturday I hope to make loads of chili and burrito components and do laundry—not exciting, but not bad.

And now you can see the reason I haven’t written this week: I’ve been in a less than stellar mood. But someone just brought me a pumpkin bar, this day is looking better already!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Night of Puppy Breath and Wagging Tails

Last night I had my second volunteer training session at the humane society; it was so much fun. I was the only trainee there, so the instructor and I basically played with the dogs all night. Time well spent.
Meet Titan, a 5 year-old lab mix and a sweet boy. He knows "sit", "down" and "shake" and doesn't jump to greet. He is house trained (bell trained, actually--he rings a bell to go out, read more about this here and here) and of good temperment. I haven't actually walked him, but he was good with a Gentle Leader going through the loud and distracting dog kennel.
If I didn't have two of my own already, he'd have gone home with me last night. He enjoyed playing a bit of fetch and getting his belly rubbed. I enjoyed twirling his soft ears and getting kisses. If you or someone you know in in the Minneapolis metropolitan area and looking for a great dog, check out Titan.
Other than Titan, I also visited with Foxy and Cooper. Fun dogs. Foxy has the same personality as Q--demanding Velcro dog with energy. And I spent time with two black lab mix puppies. The sweet smell of puppy breath. The little wrinkles of loose skin. So endearing. They will find a home soon. I just hope whoever adopts them knows that they will be HUGE and energetic. That's part of my job though--educating potential adopters. Reminding them that a well behaved dog doesn't happen by chance and that the 8lb puppy they are in love with will grow to be an 80lb dog all too soon.
As much as I wanted to stay and play with the dogs all night, the humane society staff wanted to go home. I thought about Titan all the way home. I want him to get a good home. I want his family to be as excited to see him at night as he will be to see them; to be as excited as I was to see my dogs. I spent the rest of the night with Q and Carter--rubbing bellies and getting kisses.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Belinda Warned Me

I knew it was going to snow today. I knew it was going to start in the morning and not end until after rush hour. Why is it that weather forecasts are only true when you least want them to be?

Without thinking this morning, I put on my new 4" heel boots. I normally go to work in my Merrells and pick a pair of shoes from the stash I have hidden under my desk. But this morning? Noooo, I made the decision to wear the pretty shoes to work.

Also this morning, I agreed to rush home after work and pick up a package. The office closes at 5 p.m. I get off 4 p.m. but by the time I get out of the parking ramp it's 4:15 and then it takes me 35 minutes to get home under normal driving conditions.

Why did I decide to do these things knowing full well that it would snow? Idiot.

I ended up forgetting my lunch today. The lunch I prepared last night because I knew it was going to snow today and I didn't want to have to leave the building. Normally this would not be a big deal, I would throw on my Merrells and run across the street. Not today. I had a quick prayer session before leaving and uttered, "Please God, don't let me fall" many a time as I crossed the street to Noodles.

I have not yet had to deal with the package thing yet. I'm hoping beyond hope that the roads are fine when I leave work. If not, I will easily be able to get it tomorrow afternoon; but that's not what I promised to do. In the words of Tim Gunn, I'll have to "make it work."

So it's snowing in December in Minnesota. I should have been prepared.