Monday, November 29, 2010

The Brits

As I've mentioned before, I really, really, really want for us to get stationed in the United Kingdom.  I can't even begin to express how much I want this.  I love the quaint little villages and the bustling craziness of London and the castles and the seaside. 

Oh, and I love the men.

Have you seen the men that come from Great Britain?  I may be happily married, but I pretty much swoon every time a movie comes on with hot British actors and their hot British accents.  Please tell me I'm not the only one.

In case you  do not believe me, I would like to provide a few pieces of evidence.

Exhibit A:   Henry Cavill

One of the reasons I've been watching the show, "The Tudors" is because of this ridiculously gorgeous man.

Exhibit B: Orlando Bloom

Pirates of the Caribbean has some of the hottest stars in it's cast.  Orlando would most assuredly be one of them.

Exhibit C:  Robert Pattinson

For the record, I find him way sexier as himself versus his Edward Cullen persona.  Something about his facial hair kind of makes me sit up and pay attention.

Exhibit D:  Prince Harry

I know what you're thinking.  "She only put him here because he's a prince.  And as for prince's, she would have put Prince William but she's still bitter that he picked Kate over her."  Well, I'm here to tell you that I find those accusations to be completely unfounded, and that I happen to find Prince Harry very sexy.  So there.

Exhibit E:  Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Okay, so he's technically from Ireland, but it's bloody close enough.  I couldn't leave him off the list.  He's also from Tudors, and I may marry him some day.

I think the evidence spoke for itself.   British men are hot.  I would greatly appreciate it if you all start sending up prayers or crossing your fingers or whatever it is that you do to aide in our being sent to the United Kingdom in 2012!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Done Right

I hope everyone had a fantastic Turkey Day!  Ours was perfect.  It was weird not being home with our extended families, but that's probably the new normal for us now.  Even without family, it was a great day spent with even greater friends.

And with the end of Thanksgiving comes the beginning of something that I look forward to all year.  The Christmas Season!  And nothing begins the Christmas Season better than good ole Black Friday.

Of course, I'm not sure you can truthfully call the shopping I partook in as Black Friday anymore.  Not when stores insist in beating each other out of the earliest opening times.  With Toys 'R Us opening up at 10pm Thursday evening, I didn't even get to go to bed for a few hours after stuffing myself to the brink.  I had to keep on trucking.

I know some people think the shoppers who go out after Thanksgiving are kind of crazy and that nothing could possibly be worth braving the chaos that goes on, but I disagree.  I think a lot of people go out not only because they can buy a lot more for their money with some of the amazing deals that are out there, but because it's tradition.

Black Friday has been going on for over fifty years now meaning it's spanned a few generations of shoppers.  I know when I look around at the crowds of people surrounding me in the stores on Black Friday, I see a lot of families out shopping together.  Mothers shopping with their adult daughters.  Aunts and cousins tagging along too.  It's a bonding experience even if it's based in consumerism masked as holiday cheer.

I may not have gone shopping with my mom and sister this year as I have in years previously, but I didn't go out alone.  I stayed up all night--stopping at five different stores in a seven hour span--with Ara, one of the my favorite people ever.  And we photo documented our travels. 

In line at the first store, Toys 'R Us.  (Which we didn't even shop at because the line into the store was taking hours and it was too darn cold to be worth it!)

Ara was completely prepared to take out any line jumpers or pushy shoppers who got in our way!

Keeping entertained in the hour long line at Old Navy.

At Kohl's, our second to last stop of the night.  We were pretty exhausted by this point.

The end result!

 I hope everyone is as excited for the Christmas season as I am! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

I love this holiday.  Family.  Friends.  Stuffing.  Cranberries.  Pumpkin Pie.  And of course lots to be thankful for:  an amazing daughter, a hilarious husband, supportive family and friends.  Don't forget to take a moment to think about what you're thankful for this year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(not so) Wordless Wednesday

You know how I said you can't find Lefse here in Kansas?  Well, Michael wasn't about to have Thanksgiving without Lefse.  So my husband--the man who says making Macaroni & Cheese is too difficult--made some. And it actually tastes good!

And of course, Wordless Wednesday wouldn't be complete without pictures of Evie, my little model.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dane Cook Live

Last week Michael and I went on a triple date with some friends to see Dane Cook live.  ITT on Base was giving away free tickets so it was a pretty impossible opportunity to pass up.

The show was awesome!  J. Chris Newberg, Ben Gleib and Al Del Bene opened for Dane Cook, and they were all hilarious.

I've never been to a comedy show of this size before, and I wasn't at all disappointed.  I laughed for the entire two hours--and who doesn't love to laugh?  If you've never heard of the other comedians, check them out on Youtube.  I guarantee you'll want to catch a show after you see some of their stuff.

Going out with friends--especially in the middle of the week--happens so rarely for us since we all have kids that it made the night extra awesome.  I'm so blessed to have such great friends here.


 PS:  Check your purse!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Differences

We've lived in Kansas now for just over four months. 

This is the farthest we've ever lived away from "home" before, and although Kansas and Wisconsin are both technically in the Midwest, there are some differences that immediately stand out to me.  Now that we're approaching the Holiday season and nostalgia likes to come out of the woodwork, I find myself thinking about those differences often.

One thing is for certain.  Kansas is flat.  There may be some hills an hour or so away from us, but where we live?  Nothing.  Growing up in a river valley, you sort of take hills and trees for granted.  Not anymore.  Michael is going nuts with all the straight roads--there aren't any hills to wind the roads around here.

I may not appreciate the winds that flat lands tend to go hand in hand with, but I can't complain about the sky.  I've heard the term "big sky" before, and I've always associated it with Montana or someplace similar.  Not Kansas.  But I really love the sunrises and sunsets here.  Because there aren't any hills or many trees to get in the way, it feels like the sky goes on forever.  It's breathtaking.

The temperature change isn't something to complain about either.  Sadly, we'll still get snow and cold temperatures, but nothing compared to what we're used to.  It's the middle of November and we had 70 degree weather yesterday!  That's insane to me.  But oh so very welcome.

One thing you don't really realize if you've never left the area you grew up is how greatly influenced your local area is by the ancestors that settled there.  Sure, I knew that Wisconsin is a very German state (La Crosse doesn't have the World's Largest Six Pack for nothing), and I knew that my own personal ancestry is heavily Norwegian.  But I never thought how much our lives--especially food--were influenced by our past.

What's one food we've always had for Thanksgiving and Christmas that I never gave much thought to?  Lefse.  Turns out that lovely Norwegian potato tortilla isn't known by many people.  It's one of Michael's favorite foods during the Holiday season and absolutely no one sells it here.  And one of my friends just tried a brat for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago.  First time ever! If she had grown up in Wisconsin, that would never have flown.  Don't even get me started with cheese curds.  People haven't even heard of them!  It's insane to me.

As much as the differences catch me off guard sometimes, I have to say that I love it.  I love experiencing new places and stepping outside of my comfort zone.  Kansas really isn't different from home in most ways so it's an easy box to step outside of.  I just see it as preparation for where I really want to go--helllllo Europe!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Excuses

I love my blog.  I love writing about my life for family and friends back home who don't get to see us often now that we're hundreds of miles away.  And I love writing for all those fellow bloggers who think I'm awesome enough to follow.  Writing is everything.

But blogging hasn't been my top priority lately.  Really, I haven't been spending much time on the computer at all.  Mostly because three steady weeks of either migraines, chest pains or a combination of both doesn't lead to much ambition.  Not to mention that being on the computer only exacerbates the migraines. 

When I do have the energy to write, I've actually been working on a new project.  The novel I've been writing for the past year and a half kind of hit a brick wall, and it's driving me insane enough that I finally decided to put it on the back burner for a little while.  It's sort of a relief to do so, honestly. 

It's my first attempt at writing something of that magnitude, and I'm not ashamed to admit that when I started it, I had no clue what I was doing really.  I had a vague idea what I wanted my story to be and what I wanted to accomplish, and I'm pretty sure my writing doesn't suck...but I don't feel very organized.  I just need a breather.

But the new project I'm working on has me excited about writing again.  I think the storyline is interesting, and I plan on being way more organized this time.  Pages upon pages of outlines before I even write a single word.  I feel like the entire story is already in my head, just waiting for me to take the time to write it down on paper.  It's a comforting feeling.

I'm looking into freelance writing as well.  I need to start doing more for myself and if writing is what truly makes me happy, I need to explore all options out there so that I can turn this passion into a career.

So those are my excuses.  If I don't blog much, my health and my new projects are the reasons.  But I promise not to be gone much longer.  After all, writing is my passion and blogging is just another venue for me to put my words out there in the world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wow, my blog is sad and barren.  And it feels like every post I write lately says something to that affect since it's so long between each new entry.  I'm sorrry!  I'll give some excuses...tomorrow.  Please enjoy the pictures from our latest trip to the Zoo!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Why you gotta be so mean?

I love Taylor Swift.  I know not everyone does, especially those die-hard country fans who think cross-over artists are posers.  But I love the catchy beats and the unforgettable lyrics--I've lived through Britney Spears and Mandy Moore.  Nothing's too sugary for me.

Taylor's newest album "Speak Now" hit stores last week, and she didn't disappoint.  There are some who may not like what she has to say (coughJohnMayercoughCamillaBelle cough), but I think people everywhere can relate to one song or another.

One song on the album in particular is becoming a favorite of mine.  It's called "Mean".  Taylor says every song on her album is written about a specific person or event, but I think many people can relate to this one.  I know I can.  Bullying causes a lot of pain and no one likes to be knocked down.

I think this song is an anthem of sorts for all of us who've ever been knocked down, and have wanted to rub our accomplishments in the faces of those bullies.  Thanks, Taylor!

You, with your words like knives, and swords and weapons that you use against me,
You, have knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like nothing,
You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard calling me out when I'm wounded,
You, picking on the weaker man.

Well you can take me down with just one single blow, 
But you don't know what you don't know.

Someday, I'll be living in a big ole city,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Why you gotta be so mean?

You, with your switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation,
You, have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don't already see them,
I walk with my head down trying to block you out cuz I'll never impress you,
I just wanna feel okay again.

I'll bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold,
But the cycle ends right now cuz you can't lead me down that road.
But you don't know what you don't know.

Someday, I'll be living in a big ole city,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Why you gotta be so mean?

And I can see you years from now in a bar talking over a football game,
With that same big loud opinion but nobody's listening,
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things,
Drunk and rumbling on about how I can't sing,
But all you are is mean.
All you are is mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life and mean.
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean.

But someday, I'll be living in a big ole city,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Yeah, yeah.
Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Why you gotta be so mean?

Someday, I'll be living in a big ole city,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Someday, I'll be big enough so you can't hit me,
And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Why you gotta be so mean?