Archive for Random Things

Yes! Two More Postcards!

I now have state map cards from 34/50 states!

Missing…
CT, DE, HI, IN, KS, LA, MS, MT, NV, NC, ND, RI, TN, UT, WV, WY.

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#24: Have a Drink on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building

Chicago is one of my favorite cities on the planet and I tend to go there several times a year. Every time I go, I mean to get this mission accomplished – #24, but everytime I overbook myself, have too much stuff going on and no unscheduled “fly by the seat of my pants” time and then once again I go home without having crossed this off my list.

I changed that this weekend.

I knew for awhile I’d be going to Chicago. I was meeting a pretty amazing group of people from Twitter, and a few weeks ago, I posted about wanting to go to the John Hancock Building to have a drink on the 96th floor if anyone wanted to go. Squee! Someone said yes.

And I’m glad she did – I actually only met her that day – but she was super sweet and tolerated my crazy (which may have included mentally calculating the weight of everyone on the elevator to see if we were at or above the weight capacity limit. WHAT? STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE I’M CRAZY).

But the elevator was actually the easy part. 45 seconds and you zip right up to the 94th floor Observatory [NOTE: We paid about $16 for this part without realizing there was a whole ‘nother elevator that you could take to get to the restaurant/lounge that WASN”T $16. FYI. Whatever, I don’t mind, actually – I’m glad we saw it all.]

Do you know how difficult it was for me to get that close to the window? OY.

94th Floor observatory

LOOK AT THIS VIEW

OH YEAH, I had that drink.

It's a little bit tall, isn't it?

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The 101 List – Year One. 365 Days Down, and Uh… More To Go.

Holy moly, I can’t believe not only is one year completed, but… HEY, I stuck with this project and I’m actually making decent progress on getting things done.

Example? I thought maybe I was nuts for setting a goal of 250 books in 1,001 days but when I finished the 111th book on December 31, I figured that maybe JUST MAYBE it was do-able. (Don’t ask me how many of those books turned out to be total crap – because some of those books were BAD. Though, if you have any questions on any of the books I read and wonder if it’s worth reading, go ahead and leave a comment and I’ll let you know). Post Christmas, and post-Barnes&Noble gift card extravaganza (I love when people give B&N gift cards – makes me happy), I have a pile of sixteen books waiting to be read. I have already read my first of 2010 – the sequel to The Nanny Diaries – so I’m on my way to continue kicking book-butt.

Over Christmas break, I finally went ice skating. My list dictates that I am going to go ice skating three times — I think perhaps the next two times I may leave the kiddos at home. Kidding. Sort of. They really had a blast skating, and I loved seeing them on the ice. I love to use ice skating for my cardio though, and when you’re hunched over a four-year-old trying to remain stable, well, you don’t really get a chance to get that heart rate up.

I also managed to go see a second movie by myself – the heart-wrenching movie “Brothers”. I sobbed. A lot. It was a great movie, but an emotional one.

I’ve been taking pictures – lots of them, and I’ve been tracking each day’s highs as well. I did the 12 days of Christmas. Paying it forward (often in the form of buying coffee for whoever is behind me at Target) just makes me so happy that I’m sure I’ll keep it up, long after the project is over.

And, yes, I’m keeping on with the list. I’ve got things already planned for 2010 – including a trip that will help me accomplish going to two states that I’ve never been. Concert tickets to an amazing show. Time away with friends. And somewhere in there, I’ll finally go to McDonalds and actually eat that stuff they call food – I get bonus points if I manage to keep it down, right?

I’ve gotten over half of the 50 state map postcards – so if you live in a state that I don’t have a card for, and you’d like to send one. Let me know. If you’re working on a 101 List, I’d love to hear about it and how your list is going.

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#49: The Twelve Days of Christmas – I’m Workin’ On It.

Every year mid-December I start getting a little excited – not just because I love Christmas (BECAUSE I DO! OH! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!) but because we do the Twelve Days of Christmas in my house. My husband started it a few years ago, getting me a gift each day before Christmas and we’ve now adapted it so pretty much everyone is getting small gifts for twelve days before Christmas.

And when I say small gifts, I mean it. We’re not trying to break the bank, we just have fun giving each other silly things that will make the recipient smile. I love getting Tic Tacs and cans of soup and candy canes and gum and giftcards to Starbucks. The point is that it’s better to give than receive – and so this year, I want to give the Twelve Days of Christmas to someone else.

This is where you come in.

But why? you ask. Surely you have friends and family you could do this for locally, that wouldn’t involve sending a package out of state and asking the internet if they want presents.

Well, yes. I do.

But the thing is… HOW WOULD I CHOOSE? I mean, if I did it for my sister, my brother might get his feelings hurt. I’d love to do it for my best friend – but would my other friends feel left out? GAH. It becomes this thing where I really just want it to be fun! For the recipient… and for me.

So here’s the deal, if you think you might wanna get twelve days of gifts, LEAVE A COMMENT. This is not a sponsored blog post – I don’t have companies lining up to give me stuff to give you. This is stuff that’s gonna come from ME and I’ll send it to you (continental U.S. people only, please – for the sake of shipping). On Thanksgiving at some point, I’ll randomly select the recipient of my holiday-gift-giving love. If your name is selected, I’ll let you know. And then. AND THEN? Gifts. In. The. Mail.

Twelve gifts.

So, as a getting to know you thing (which will help if your name is chosen) when you leave your comment let me know a few things:

1) What’s your favorite way to spend a few extra bucks?
2) What’s your favorite color?
3) And anything else you think I should know…

Okay, ready, set…. GO.

 

CONGRATS TO DANIELLE FROM EXTRAORDINARY MOMMY! She’ll be gettin’ 12 days of Christmas from moi. Can’t wait to start shopping!

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#2: Complete 365 Project

On September 1, 2008, I ventured out with my camera on a still dark morning trying to find what might be my first “capture” of my journey with Envisage 365. I remember the joy of getting a beautiful shot of the morning sky, and I remember like a whirlwind the 364 days that followed.

The year was filled with trips to Starbucks, days spent in the hospital while my grandfather was in ICU for his heart problems and surgery, days spent with my children outside, days spent with my children inside, days when the only thing I did worth taking a picture of was curling on the sofa with a book.

But every day and every moment combined to make a beautiful reminder of my life – of the moments big and small – of my life, and the people in it. Things I might not have remembered without this reminder: The big dog waiting at the Starbucks drivethru, that election day coincided with the first day of the gingerbread lattes for the season, or how I ate damn near a whole bag of candy conversation hearts (BY FAR, the best part of Valentines Day).

This year also taught me that I really enjoy taking pictures. I don’t know that I’d call what I do photography, but I have definitely noticed the way I look at things has changed. My eye for a good shot has improved – and I really am enjoying myself. Someday I may even buy myself a grown up camera.

SarahTwo_365of365

So, with that – yesterday was the end of my year.

And today? Today begins a new year.

What? Did you think I was going to quit? NO. WAY.

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#101: Water Balloon Fight!

SarahTwo_299of365

The thing about summer that makes me crazy is that I am a mom who works from home. During the school year, my oldest daughter goes to school full time, and my youngest is in preschool/daycare two full days a week, which means that I have two pretty good chunks of uninterrupted time to get work done – and then I’m easily able to fill in the extra time I need to do work around my three year old’s naps.

During the summer? Not so much. I have struggled to find the balance and there are days when you have to throw your hands up in the air and say, “Screw balance!” and just have fun.

Yesterday was that day.

I took the girls out for donuts for breakfast (I did coffee and a bagel – random Sarah confession – there is really only ONE kind of donut I like. One. And if that is an option, it is SO hard to resist – but any other kind of donut? I will happily walk away from it, turning up my nose and being all, “Ewwwww. Donuts.” Yeah, I’m weird). We got back in the car and I had no idea where I was intending to go. I just started driving. Then an idea popped into my head…

Water balloons.

I went to the grocery store, picked up TWO packs of 150 balloons. The girls were so freaking excited that Seven walked RIGHT INTO¬† A LAMP POST because she was looking at the balloons while walking back to the car. She’s fine now, don’t worry.

Filling up the balloons was a gigantic pain in the butt – I had kind of anticipated that the handy little jobby-doo they give you with the balloons would fit over the kitchen faucet – but it didn’t. Outside we went.

Three hundred balloons? Just so you know? You DO NOT NEED 300 balloons. For anything. Ever.

Also, orange balloons pop more than any other color.

After a long extended time filling them up, we had our fight [I’m still working on editing the video which I’ll eventually post here or via YouTube] – and first of all – those suckers can HURT. Second of all, I think there was too much air in the balloons¬† somehow (from the hose? I have no idea), because those suckers BOUNCED.

So, was it the event I pictured in my head? Nope, not really. (Also, I must have been wearing a target on my crotch – took several hits to the crotchal region. Thanks, kids). We had a fun time though, and for a day, I was able to just let go and be silly.

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Alrighty, Let’s Get This Postcard Thing Going.

If you haven’t yet checked out my list over there on the right, it’s a list of which states I have state map postcards from and which states I’m still needing ’em from. If you can help me out by sending one from any of the missing states, drop me a comment and I’ll let you know where to send them to.

AND, if you want a lovely postcard from Michigan in return? I’ll happily oblige (though my definition of lovely differs from the companies that make Michigan postcards – because I’ve yet to see a lovely one – though, really I have lots of mediocre ones).

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