living in chicago

Fa la lala la…. (Lots of Pictures)

Photobooth Fun!
O Hai!

Like my hair? The lady gave me a trim with layers this time. I really like it.

Photobooth Fun! Photobooth Fun!

I haven’t written a long post in a while, and I figure it’s time. Woohoo, lucky you, right? :)

Brr.  It is COLD today.  The high is going to be a whopping 19 degrees F.  I plan to stay snuggled inside for most of the day, although Adam is talking about possibly going out for dinner tonight.  I’m also fighting a migraine, which isn’t much fun. Thankfully, it’s fairly mild.

Yesterday, I sent off packages and Christmas cards, and I have a few more cards to fill out and send tonight.  It was after they were all addressed that I remembered that I’d wanted to do the Christmas letter thing for the first time this year–the Selzers seem to like that.  I think I will still do it, but only for family and very close friends.

This is my first Chicago Christmas for real for real (I was here 10 years ago, but it wasn’t the same), and the city is so pretty during the season.  Macy’s on State Street decorates its windows.  Michigan Avenue is all lit up.  The Salvation Army bellringers seem so excited and happy even though it’s freezing outside.

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Winding Down

Work at Shawk is winding down (I actually have a full weekend ahead of me), and I am getting excited for the holidays. Planning is just part of the fun. I have lists of things to get, cards to send, things to do. Today after work, Adam and I hit Target (again) where I got some stuff for Greg and Aidan, some cleaning supplies, and some Christmas stuff. Good times.

I still have to get something for Rosa and something for Ivy, and I’ve barely begun planning for Matt. I know what I’m getting Mommy (I’ve already got one thing shipping in the mail), and Chris is just about done as well. I also know what we’re doing for Adam’s parents. No clue about Eli and Melissa, or Cassidy or Grandma Bel yet. I’ll need Adam’s help with that.

This weekend is like, the official Chicago holiday kickoff. I’ve already seen some pretty store windows and cute decorations, but there’s some huge lighting downtown tomorrow (with master of ceremonies MICKEY MOUSE straight from WDW!). I’m not sure if I’ll get to go or not. We’ll see, I think it’ll be nice, but the crowds might drive me bananas. At any rate, I can’t wait to get out during the day and take pictures of the store windows and the big trees and downtown. I have a feeling it will be beautiful.

I was in Chicago 10 years ago around Christmas time, but I don’t really remember seeing a lot of decorations. I may not have been in the right place. Never thought in a million years that 10 years later I’d be living here.

The plan tomorrow is to CLEAN like crazy. My desk is a hot mess, and I want to tackle the bathroom. I also want to straighten up the bookcases. Adam is on litter box duty, it needs it BADLY. VERY badly. I’d like to put up the tree and decorate NEXT weekend (maybe even start a bit THIS weekend), so getting the cleaning out of the way would be a great help. But first, I plan to sleep in. :)

I LOVE THIS TIME OF THE YEAR!

That’s all for now. But before I go, here is proof that Santa is in the know: [Click Here!]

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Celebrity Sighting! (Pictures)

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Finally, An Update! (Pictures, Long)

I’ve been chastised about not updating, so here I am. The thing is that I simply didn’t (and still don’t, really) have much to talk about. Sometimes it’s just like that.

I’ve been highly enjoying the Olympics. In fact, now my body clock is WAY messed up because I stay up late watching them and then just don’t make it to bed after. I’m back to being a total night owl. Sleeping all day and staying up all night. I only get to bed at about 3:30 or 4:00 am because I force myself. I’d easily stay up all night if I could.

However, I am anticipating starting my assignment next week (actually, as this week winds down, I’m kind of losing hope of starting until after Labor Day which wouldn’t be good for my wallet AT ALL), and I NEED to get my body back to “normal” hours. Frankly, I believe MY normal hours are like this, because it’s too easy for me to slip back into this pattern of staying up all night and sleeping all day. I wonder if I moved to the other side of the world, would I be on a “normal” schedule, then?

So, the biggest news?

I got new glasses!

Wanna see? Of course you do.

New Glasses!

Cool, huh? I decided to go for a more bold look than I’ve had the past few years. I like them. Adam LOVES them. ♥

The cats have been great. Helena is an EATING MACHINE, and they’ve gone through an entire HUGE bag of Kit & Kaboodle. That used to last Crookshanks quite a while (and a bag of food that big would last Little Lucy months!), but now with Helena here (who is incidentally, wailing for more food at this moment!), I get the feeling our cat food expenses will go up drastically. I hope she doesn’t get fat! The only annoying thing about her is that she is very loud, and unfortunately, she’s usually loud around 6am. She does that terror-running and she wails, especially if the food bowl is empty. She’s very sweet, though, and she often curls up beside me on the couch when I’m on the laptop or reading or watching TV. She used to try calling me to bed, but I think she’s given up on that. SHE is a night owl too, but she’s also a very early riser, and she’s a cat, so she gets to sleep and take naps all day. Lucky girl. I do like mirroring her life, but I need to make money, dang it.

This is one of the pictures from our wedding weekend. Kelly took this one. I haven’t been able to take one this great of Helena yet:

Beautiful Helena

Here are some more of the professional wedding pictures taken by Kelly. [LINK]

My friend Libby said she likes when I detail my grocery purchases on my blog, so this is what I got today yesterday:

1 carton of Edy’s chocolate ice cream · $2.50
1 bag of Lay’s potato chips · $2.50
1 bag of Malt-O-Meal Tootie Fruities (generic Froot Loops) · $1.89

I also went grocery shopping Monday, but I don’t know the prices. I know I did get two containers of lunch meat (one ham, one turkey), some Lay’s potato chips (yes, I had to get more b/c I’m clumsy and well, let’s just not talk about it), Tropicana Twister, Dean’s french onion dip (I hate onions, but I like the flavor, and I love certain French onion dips), and that’s all I can think of for now. At Target, Adam got granola bars. I’m not used to having people eat the foods I eat. I’m used to buying granola bars and having them stay until I’m ready for them; but Adam likes granola bars and he likes Trix, too. Eek. Anyway, I made him buy granola bars at Target, and we found these dark chocolate cherry ones. MMMMM! I’m pretty sure they’ll be discontinued soon, as this happens often when I find something I love to eat. *sigh* I haven’t been able to find Granola Dipps in the grocery for weeks now. :(

I went to the library last week and I’ve already read all but two of the books I’d taken out. Eep. The guy behind the counter recognized me. He said that I come in every week and check out sixty books. I have to go again soon, actually. I got to read Lisa McMann’s WAKE (awesome book) and Sophie Kinsella’s REMEMBER ME (which I also enjoyed). I’ve also been poring over Disney World travel guides. Not much longer ’til we’re there! :)

This is my daily forecast for August 20 and 21:

You feel very centered, calm and in perfect harmony with yourself Your inner communication is flowing quite smoothly, regardless of what’s going on around you. Your life has reached a point of balance and equilibrium and you’re feeling the satisfying effects of getting all those disparate elements to work together. Your creativity is also quite high, which you should certainly take advantage of. If you already have a creative project underway, get to it! If not, give yourself some time to dream and let images and feelings come to you; then go get started bringing them to tangible form. If you tell others of your ideas, you’re likely to notice you receive lots of positive feedback. If you’re an artist by career, you might even have some pieces accepted by a gallery or a film invited for a festival screening. Now is a good time to blend your artistic abilities with your confidence and people skills; get out there and tout your work, because others are in prime mood to appreciate whatever you show them.

It really does mirror how I feel. I’m head over heels butt crazy about Adam. Did I mention that he sometimes brings me breakfast in bed? And he makes good meals, and he is so nice to cuddle. ♥ I guess I’ll stop before I get all sappy and make you all go EW GROSS!

Instead, I’ll make my to-do list.

TO DO
thank you cards
upload and order wedding pictures
send wedding pictures to my mom
mail Ivy’s & Rosa’s stuff

Well, the list seemed LOT bigger in my head. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff. Speaking of Ivy, she sent me cookies again. Adam ordered me to keep him away from them or else he’ll eat them all. THEY ARE YUMMY! I love Ivy’s cookies. Everyone I know likes them, too. I also just finished editing her latest project, and I stayed up until 4am because the book got SO GOOD that I had to see what happened. I’m having a hard time breaking my reading up into healthy chunks. I keep on devouring them in one gulp. Eeep.

I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought. Huh. Funny how that works. Anyway, I am going to try to get to bed a LITTLE bit earlier than normal. Let’s see if I can pull it off.

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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A Potluck Entry

I don’t know about you, but the opening ceremonies blew me away last night. China does not play around when it comes to pyrotechnics. I LOVE watching the Parade of Nations. Yes, it takes hours, but I enjoy watching the outfits and the different faces and the different people. Amazing. At first, I was grumbling because there were many times that Bush didn’t seem to even TRY to be looking interested, but when I saw other world leaders SLEEPING, I stopped being so critical. At least W stayed awake, even if he was checking his watch. Sigh.

In a little over a week, I start a temp assignment at Ambrosi, an advertising firm. I am very excited about this assignment. Not only does it pay really well, but I get to look at some really cool stuff. I’m nervous, of course, but I’m also excited. Plus, the train stop is right across the street from the building, and there is an Argo Tea downstairs! One of the best things about having the chance to temp this summer is the fact that I am getting so much experience in different fields. When Ambrosi is completed, I can say I have agency experience (I actually do have a little bit with Trisect and S2) as well as educational publishing experience. Not to mention the flexibility that comes from being able to state my availability. It’s been quite a blessing.

I love when I’m lying in bed, and I feel a little thump next to me, then tiny footsteps walking across my legs and back. I know that means Helena is settling in for the night, or at least a few minutes.

I recently decided that I wanted to get used to wearing contacts again because I do not want to bother with glasses (other than sunglasses) when I am in Disney World. So, while I was out yesterday, I stopped at an America’s Best eye clinic to see about getting an exam. I hadn’t been examined in two years, and I knew that my glasses were not as effective as they used to be. :( My vision did deteriorate a bit, but it’s still not too bad. Anyway, now I have new contacts coming in, and soon, I’m going to go get new glasses. YAY. Let me tell you, it’s weird wearing contacts again–not having my glasses on and being able to see clearly all the way to the back of the apartment. I pick up my boxes of contacts in a few days, but he gave me a trial pair to wear home.

I love it when I’m sitting on our new loveseat, typing away on my laptop, and Crookshanks comes and curls up right next to me. Yes, he usually plops his big butt right where I need to move the mouse, but it’s still very sweet.

I finally got to read Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. I thought the book was beautifully written. I got to meet Melissa in April of this year at an author signing in La Grange, IL. It’s so easy to see that this woman LOVES writing and creating stories, that love definitely comes through in her writing. I really enjoyed this book. I did have a hard time with all the faery names–trying to work out pronunciations in my head and such (and she thankfully has a guide on her site), but that didn’t make the book any less good.

I also FINALLY read Rainbow Party and while I can understand why some people were like “whut” over it, I think the book handled the matter in a very responsible and well-written way. Other books I recently read include Meg Cabot’s Airhead and April Henry’s Shock Point, which is actually a re-read because I enjoyed it so much the first time around.

My allergies haven’t been that nice to me. I have a hard time sleeping because of all the gunk in my throat, or the itchiness. This was probably not the smartest time to try wearing contacts again, seeing as my eyes get itchy and tired too. I’m constantly sniffling and clearing my throat these days.

And here is something interesting I’ve found out. Some groceries at Target are a lot cheaper than the grocery store, even my beloved Strack & Van Til! What a nice, pleasant surprise. Although this particular Target is SCARILY crowded, and yesterday, I remembered WHY I hate driving in Chicago. Seriously, UPS trucks and random SUVs that park and take up whole lanes REALLY irritate me. I usually end up behind those idiots and I can’t get around them because everyone behind me sees that I’m stuck and they just jut on out, thus keeping ME from getting around those losers. I also hate that it takes 25 minutes to go four miles because of all the stupid traffic lights. This city is NOT driver friendly at all. Especially not to people with Ohio license plates. :(

I didn’t get a lot of normal groceries yesterday, just snacks/junk mostly. And cereal. Edy’s Dibs were on sale, two for $5. Trix was $2. Doritos were two for $5. I also got us some treats. Reese’s miniatures and Pop Tarts. Yeah, not the most healthy of foods, but I wanted them. Ha.

Anyway, I want to go relax a bit before Adam gets back from the farmer’s market. ‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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