It’s Just Life & It’s Good! (Pictures, Long)

Oh, hi y’all. As you know, I haven’t updated in a while, so I apologize in advance for the longevity of this post. I’ve been around, as those of you who are on my Facebook know, but typically it’s been a busy few months, what with four quarter at Schawk (can’t believe another one has passed), family visiting, friends visiting, and just… life, really.

Which is great, by the way. So much to be thankful for these days. :)

Earlier this month, Aidan came to visit for several days. It was awesome! He’s so mature and smart. And he’s turning out to be quite the bookworm. Hmm, wonder where he could have possibly gotten that? Seriously, one day, he read five books. Impressive! Anyway, when he was here, I took a day off from work to spend time with him. He loved that. I took him downtown to look at the Macy’s store windows, and he got to see Santa Claus!

Macy's State Street Windows

Aidan and Santa

Poor thing was totally tongue tied when Santa hugged him, but it was such a sweet scene. I had to keep blinking back tears. Santa was an absolute sweetheart to Aidan. :) Aidan also wrote and sent a letter to Santa that day, and he was beside himself when we peeked into the news studio (a couple of them have their windows uncovered and passersby can watch live broadcasts) and someone inside waved at him. The most random thing happened to me that day, too. We were looking at the windows and interacting or whatever, and a stranger came up to me, told me I was a good mom, and gave me a hug! :)

Later that week, Adam’s family came to town to visit. They loved spending time with Aidan and he loved spending time with them:

Family Pix

Aidan went home that Sunday, and I was sad to see him go. He is always excited to fly alone, so the good-byes aren’t terrible (for him).

That Monday, I scarfed down a cheeseburger from Portillo’s and saw the burger again a few hours later. :( I woke up Tuesday morning feeling sort of OK, so I headed out to work, only to end up exhausted and weak from the commute. I ended up leaving a few hours early. I wasn’t feeling good at all. Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling sort of OK, so I decided to brave it again even though my brain/body was telling me not to. I was 100% worn out when I got to work. I must have looked like hell. My manager eventually came and suggested that I go home. I left work at one, and was in bed by two. Thursday morning, I woke up very hungry, ate a big breakfast, and was back to normal by Thursday afternoon.

The next weekend, I got to hang out with Ricky Luna. For those of you who have known me for some time, you’ll know that I’ve been a fan of this former Mouseketeer for several years now. We had an awesome time together. He, his manager and family, and Adam and I just hung out, doing the touristy thing. Navy Pier (mmm churros), Pizzeria Due, parade, and then we came back here and hung out for hours. It was one of the best days ever.

Ricky & Me

Ricky just recently dropped an album that is super amazing. If you love electronica, you’ll love his music. The album’s called Electro Bomba, and I seriously cannot stop moving when I listen to it. I can’t even describe it, except to call it Electro Bomba, but it has a lot of what I like in good dance music. You can download a free 45-minute mix here, and you can buy the album here on iTunes. If you want to only get selected tracks, I recommend My Fitted Hat (Raw Mix) and Eyes Wide Shut and Smile (Sonrisa). Arms In The Air is also pretty damn awesome, as is the title track. Seriously, trying to choose a favorite on this album is like trying to pick a favorite child. I can’t do it. I don’t say that about a lot of music. So, download the free mix. What have you got to lose?

After all that excitement, last Monday, Adam took me to the American Girl store, where he had me pick out my birthday present. Yes, it was about a month too early, but he knew I’d want to pick her out myself, and neither of us wanted to deal with the store as the Christmas holiday draws closer. And when your husband is Adam Selzer and he asks you if you want to go to American Girl Place, you say yes!

Anyway, I came home with …….

Me & Julie
Julie!

Julie is the 1974 doll, which is special to me because that’s the year I was born. So it was cool to get a doll for my birthday who represents my birth year. And she’s so pretty. Why did I wait so long to get her? I’m in LOVE with that doll! :) I think she is going to be the one doll I actually keep in her time period. She’ll be my 70s girl.

Last Wednesday was my last day at Schawk 2009. I made it through this fourth quarter with no printed errors (Go Ronni!). It’s kind of weird knowing I don’t have to go to work tomorrow–all I have scheduled is a 2:30 massage at the Cortiva Institute. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be a homemaker, something I’ve never been! I mean, I stayed home with Aidan when he was a newborn, but this will be different. For one thing, I’m not sure where my next job will come from, or when. But Adam’s working full time now, so it’s going to be my job to keep the house, which he’s been doing all this time. I’m excited about it.

I figured that I need to make a schedule, though. Else I’ll end up playing FarmVille, Cafe World, and The Sims all day. So, here are things I MUST do every day:

1. exercise for at least 45 minutes (conveniently, the Electro Bomba free mix is 45 minutes)
2. write for at least an hour
3. some sort of special project (with Christmas coming up, this will be easy)

I’m actually going to write stuff down in my planner and hold myself accountable. It’s important.

Thanksgiving was awesome. Jeff and Deborah came over and we ate GOOD food. Four different kinds of dressing/stuffing, cheddar mashed potatoes, corn, pumpkin peanut butter soup, macaroni & cheese, and of course, a nice, juicy turkey. We played Super Mario Bros. for Wii (awesome game), and hung out and had a good time. Friday, I stayed in. Had to avoid those crowds, but Adam and I went out on Saturday. Dropped off laundry, and I just about finished Aidan’s Christmas. I’d like to get him something EPIC though. We’ll see. I haven’t begun to shop for most people. Will wait until December 1st. Same to put up my tree and decorations.

I’m looking forward to having December off from work. Just me recovering, and getting things done around the house. It’s going to be nice. And it’s my favorite season! It’s going to be more awesome because Aidan will be here in Chicago! YAY!!!

With that, I’m off. The ZzzzZZzzzZs are catching up with me. Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Just Thinking (Pictures, Long)

2 Mountain Dews + 1 Afternoon Nap + 1 Life Dilemma = Night Owl Ronni In Full Effect.

Although I’ve been doing some thinking, and I’m coming to peace with the life dilemma. Now I just have to wait it out. That part will be hard.

Ordered my mom a Molly American Girl doll. She told me how she always wanted one, and always wanted to get ME one. She doesn’t have to get me one now (although I’d LOVE it if she did), but I did want to get HER one. I ordered it Friday night. Not sure when it will get there because of the holiday and all.

Lilacs
Lilacs are growing in the neighborhood. They smell amazing.

It’s 3am and there are people outside running up and down the street and screaming.

Here’s a few pictures of Jess. These do a bit more justice to her. I wish I was better with a camera, though when it comes to photographing the dolls.

The Real Jess Jess

I cleaned today. I mean yesterday. Cleaned my room and the bathroom. Both look much better now.

Crookshanks is sleeping on the other end of the couch. He’s sort of snoring. It’s cute. Today, he managed to get on the cabinet above the stove. Once he got up there, he had this look on his face like “Oh crap. How do I get down?” Adam and I were laughing, and Crookshanks’s expression changed to “What are you laughing at? This is not a laughing matter. How the hell am I supposed to get down?”

Crookshanks Up High Crookshanks Up High

He made it down, though.

Jeff and Deborah came over for a cookout. They brought steaks and ribs. Jeff had marinated the ribs and they tasted amazing. I haven’t had ribs in years. Mmmm. Meat.

Grilling

Seeing those two is always a treat. Deborah is a total sweetheart and we get along so well. I really hope we can all see each other more often this summer. I wish I could see ALL my friends more often. Getting around Chicago can be a pain when all your friends live way north. *sigh* The train takes forever, and driving is a nightmare! But some things are worth the hassle.

Hung out with Becky last weekend. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. It was good, and the cheesecake was yummy. Becky time is always good.

Thank goodness for this 3-day weekend. I need it. Then next week, Rebecca will be released! I plan to be at the store when it opens, and meeting up with some other AG Collectors. It should be a lot of fun. And the week after that, some friends will be in town and want to do lunch. Then a con. Then Aidan comes. Busy busy. I hope I get time to rest in all that. AND clean Aidan’s room. Because for some reason, even though I NEVER go in there, that room keeps getting very messy. I don’t get it. Adam must be doing stuff in there.

I never did announce my Disney blog. Oops. It’s here. I pretty much only talk about Disney and dolls these days (Aidan if not those two things), so I started the Disney blog to jabber on about my upcoming trip and stuff like that. Maybe I should do something like that with my dolls, too. Just so I won’t bore poor Adam talking about them all the time. He says that he loves seeing me so happy when I play with them or even just look at them, but come on. He’s a typical guy. Typical guys don’t dig dolls. Although he is very supportive of people playing with toys, no matter what their age!

Sarah Dessen posted her tour dates. She and Laurie Halse Anderson will be TOGETHER at Anderson’s Bookshop either July 11 or 12 (I have to confirm with someone, I am seeing differing dates on different websites). I AM SO GOING. I’ve met Laurie before, and she is simply amazing and awesome. I’ve been dreaming of meeting Sarah for a long time, and I HAVE MY CHANCE. !!!!!!!!! So yes, I am definitely going to make it to that event one way or another, I don’t care what it takes. I mean, it’s SARAH DESSEN, you guys. I will probably faint when I see her, or cry, or something else equally embarrassing. I remember when I met Meg Cabot, how nervous I was. But I am so excited. Not only is Anderson’s one of the best indie bookstores EVER, but two of my favorite authors will be there, AT THE SAME TIME. It’s too much!

We went to the Illinois Young Authors Conference with Adam last weekend. It is so awesome to see how the kids respond to Adam. He’s wonderful with them. A good speaker, inspiring, and realistic. Plus, meeting authors, getting out of Chicago for a night is always good for me. Normal, IL reminds me a lot of Columbus, OH.

I was sick last weekend until Tuesday. Monday was the worst of it, though. My sinuses hurt SO bad I could barely keep my eyes open. Once that part broke, though, I was on my way to being normal again. Being sick stinks.

That’s all for now. Shall I think that my eyelids are ACTUALLY starting to grow heavy? Dare I hope? Oh well. Even if they aren’t, I’m signing off for now anyway. Ciao.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

California Here We Come (Pictures)

I have to admit, visiting Los Angeles in the winter is the way to go. Well actually, it’s sort of bittersweet. Adam and I were there during an unseasonably warm weekend, and that made coming back to Chicago and its VERY COLD TEMPERATURES that much harder. But getting away from the cold was very nice.

We got into town Thursday night and apparently, while we were on the FlyAway Shuttle to Van Nuys, a 5.0 earthquake hit. Because we were on the bus, we didn’t feel it one bit. There were a lot of accidents, so the 30 minute trip from LAX to the drop off actually took 90. I was pretty hungry, but Melissa and Eli, who met us at the shuttle drop off, took us to In N Out Burger which made everything worth it. After dinner, we went to Amy’s place and stayed up pretty late talking. She’s awesome, just so you know. :)

Amy and Me!
Amy and me!

Friday morning, Amy went off to work, and Adam and I got ready to spend the day with Melissa. She took us sight seeing on Mulholland (there was smog, so the pics are just OK), and then we walked near the WB Studio lots. We had to get a picture of the Animaniacs water tower for Aidan, who LOVES that cartoon!

Where the Animaniacs Live!

The highlight, though, was touring the Disney Studios lot.

Disney Water Tower
Disney Lot Water Tower

Me & The PartnersWalt Shows Us Something! Roy, Minnie, Adam & MeDisney Archives SignStreet Sign

Besides the obvious photo ops, there is so much to see and do on the lot. So much Disney history.

We ate lunch in the commissary and then toured the lot a bit more. I bought some stuff in the store that was only available at the theme parks which made me happy. I had a blast on the Disney Studios lot and would LOVE to work in such a place. Immersed in Disney culture, how wonderful, right?

After that, we went to the Griffith Observatory which was out of this world. It was free, which was amazing to me. They had so much cool stuff to look at. All sorts of neat instruments and exhibits (I found out that on Jupiter, I’d weigh 300 pounds), models and a giant telescope. It was extremely impressive.

Griffith Observatory
The entrance is not an entrance, huh? Adam is confused.

Griffith Observatory
Infrared Me.

Griffith Observatory
Einstein checks out my sunglasses.

We ate dessert at a place called Porto’s, which was inexpensive and delicious. Check out these pastries:

Food at Porto's

I had the strawberry shortcake. :) OK, I had THREE over the course of the weekend, but seriously, look at it. How could I resist?

Friday night, we had dinner with some friends of Melissa and Eli, and they were cool people. After dinner, we headed back to Amy’s, where Amy and I were hyper and stayed up talking forever. Adam kept telling me to go to sleep so I wouldn’t be tired the next day because we were going to DISNEYLAND!!!

Well, seeing as I’m a Disney nut, the adrenaline kept me going pretty well all day. I only had one crash in the afternoon, but once I got some food in me, I was good to go again. We got there before the park opened (the first time I’ve ever gone to a Disney park at opening), and it was good times from then on.

Brothers & Sisters
Adam, me, Melissa, and Eli

YAY!Adam, Me, and Goofy!Dare Me To Do It?Watch This!!Meeting Conductor Mickey!Princess Fantasy FaireTwo Thumbs Up!

Disneyland kicked butt. In a nutshell, we rode tons of rides, the weather was beautiful, the crowd level was low, and even though the character count was nothing like at Disney World, I GOT TO MEET PRINCESS MINNIE who I didn’t even know existed in the US parks! Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean WIN at Disneyland, and Indiana Jones is unlike anything I’ve ever ridden. Tower of Terror is just as nerve wracking and fun, but it IS different from the one at Disney World. I got to ride California Screamin’ this time around, and even though I enjoyed it, I would have liked it more if I hadn’t been getting a sick headache. (Fortunately, a cookie and some bread took care of that later). We watched the Pixar Play Parade, and later, Melissa and Eli treated Adam and me to dinner at the Blue Bayou which was yummy. We stayed until closing. I’d never stayed at a park from open until close before, but I will do it more often (because OH YES, I do plan to go back someday!). It was a great time.

Sunday, Melissa and I hopped on the Metro and went to Roscoe’s to meet Tasha for lunch. Tasha is sooo awesome. I’ve known her through the online world for nearly a decade now, and we finally got to meet in person. She’s fun to talk to and very, very cute. I had a great time with her–the time we spent was not long enough at all! I can’t wait to see her again soon!

Tasha and Me!
Tasha and me!

The food was good, too. Mmm, chicken and waffles.

After lunch, Melissa and I walked around Hollywood Blvd., and we popped into the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store. That store was cool because it had some exclusive merchandise and the VAULT. Disney freaks surely know all about that blasted vault where our beloved animated features go after a certain amount of time.

The Vault!

It might not be the ACTUAL vault, but still.

Melissa got a picture of me in front of the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars are held. I’m trying to look “fierce.” I don’t think I pulled it off, though.

A-List Ronni

That evening, Dave and Angie came over to Melissa and Eli’s and we had pizza and hung out. That was fun. It’s always good to see Dave and Angie. :)

Angie & Dave

It was a great, great trip. If I ever got rich, I’d like to have a 2nd home in L.A. A place to escape during the winter, a place where I have plenty of friends and family. A place where I can get In N Out Burger all the time. And of course… Disneyland!

Want to see more pictures? You know you do! Just click here.

‘Til next time….

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Hello Winter! (Pictures)

Winter came in like a lion, let’s hope it goes out like a lamb. :) Here’s the latest weather update, screenshot taken from my iPhone:

Temperature December 21, 2008

I was supposed to head up to Jeff and Deborah’s today to have a little party, but Adam and I talked it over and decided that it’d be safer and make more sense to stay in where it’s warm. I was looking forward to hanging out with Jeff and Deborah, but we rescheduled. So now it’ll be a combination birthday/Hanukkah/New Year’s party. :) All the more reason to celebrate, right?

Speaking of celebrating, I had a really great birthday. Adam kicked things off at midnight with this awesome box:

Birthday Present!

It was full of Lush goodies! My very favorite kind of present! He kept hinting that it was something I’d love, but would never buy for myself. Or that I’d want it but constantly talk myself out of it. He was so right. I love it, and I would have never got myself a box that big of Lush stuff. He got me a Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, and a cheeseburger from Salerno’s which was yummy, and my friend Jen came over. We went on the Weird Chicago tour where another one of the patrons shared my birthday (but he was a year younger). One of them bought us all drinks. I had an Amaretto Sour. Adam had Scotch. The tour was really cool. As I’ve said before, every one is different, and I hadn’t been on one in a long time. This time we went down Prairie Avenue and looked at gorgeous houses. The snow was that pretty, soft snow. See?

Snow in Chicago Snow in Chicago

Jen & Adam Snow in Chicago

After that fun night, Jen, Adam and I came back and hung out and chatted. It was very pleasant. We have kidnapped her for the time being. :)

My Facebook wall BLEW UP with birthday greetings, and I got an eCard that I have yet to check out. I talked to Aidan, my mom, and my old friend from college Rita. I feel very loved and blessed.

Only a few days until Christmas!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

A Potluck Entry (Pictures)

We’re getting snow like whoa at the moment. We could get up to 12 inches, and it’s really coming down out there! Winter is here, even if the official date isn’t for a couple of days. The weather’s also been hovering between frigid and really dang cold. It hasn’t been above 30 since Sunday. Right now it’s 26, tomorrow it’s SUPPOSED to be 33 (we’ll see if that happens) and then we’re going to get hit with the lovely teens again. But hey, as long as it’s not snowing December 25 or 26 or 30, I’ll be happy.

Tonight, Adam and I met Sarah at Christkindlmarket downtown in Daley Plaza. It was a lot of fun. We drank hot chocolate, and took pictures. I’m wearing my new coat in this one. It’s super warm.

Sarah, Me & Adam

Hidden Mickey in Chicago Little VillageMenorah Santa's House!

We also went to Macy’s and visited the most exhausted Santa Claus ever, and we saw the big tree on the 7th floor in the Walnut Room:

Macy's Christmas Tree

We also went to Old Navy and Sears, where I got a new pair of gloves (Isotoners with Thinsulate to keep my hands warm!) and Adam got some clothes that he really looks cute in! (He said I can post pix of his hate tomorrow, but I guess that means today, seeing as it’s after 4 am CST.)

We ate deep dish pizza from Pie Eyed and Christmas cookies, and watched some TV. It was a fun night. :)

I have officially reverted back to night owl status. It really does go against the grain for me to be awake during the day, but I feel less guilty when I am. But as you can see by the time stamp on this entry, being up all night is much more fun for me, as well as more natural. There’s something about sunshine that makes me want to sleep.

We are cat-sitting for Jonathon until this weekend, which means that we are now taking care of four cats. The visitors are Ophelia and Charlie. Ophelia is a black and white kitty with kind of a squashed face and a very vocal little meow. She’s adorable, and she has lots to say. Charlie is a fluffy black cat with beautiful eyes, and she takes longer to warm up to strangers, but now she’s sitting right beside me on the couch. She does the head tilt thing when I pet her, and she rubs against my hand, and she closes her eyes too. I think that means she likes me. Plus, she always lays in my spots when I’m not in them. :) She actually jumped up to sit beside Sarah tonight, and she tried to follow Sarah out the door when Sarah left! She’s also INSANELY soft and fluffy. I have to get pictures of the visiting cats before they go home. I am enjoying having them here, although that Ophelia gets into more mischief than even Helena! I will be sad when they leave. Adam says we have enough cats, so NO MORE. :O

Helena and Crookshanks were happy to have the new cats, but the new cats aren’t being that friendly to them. It’s obvious that Helena and Crookshanks just want to get to know the new cats and play with them, but only Ophelia puts up with either of them, and she clearly likes Crookshanks more than she likes Helena. She and Crookshanks will bump noses, but she hisses at Helena. :(

Thursday was a good day for me. I got a birthday card with money inside from Grandma and Grandpa Selzer, and Mikey surprised me with an adorable apron that was on my wishlist. I’ve never owned an apron before, so I’m really excited. Then there was hanging out downtown with Sarah and Adam, and eating pizza. Now I have a fluffy black cat beside me and I’m feeling pretty good. :)

Did anyone happen to catch the Muppets – Letters To Santa special on TV Wednesday night? It was so adorable! :) And seriously, I can’t believe that it’s now less than a week until Christmas. That’s crazy! It comes so quickly, and yet it doesn’t. I can tell that Adam’s tired of all the Christmasy stuff, but I really don’t want it to end too quickly. And it always seems to do so.

I’m starting to yawn, so I suppose I should get to sleep. ‘Til next time! :)

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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