Thursday, December 31, 2009

december: the world revolves around lily noela

attention: bonus pictures ahead!!

if you've spoken to me, you probably know i have a niece named lily. she is the cutest baby on the planet. i know some of you will disagree, but the great thing about this country is that i have the freedom to think that she is the cutest baby on the planet, and you have the freedom to be wrong.

this is my sweet baby girl:

i mean, come on. COME ON! tell me you wouldn't do anything for that little face. can we say heartbreaker? she's quite the little helper around the house, too. as good at dusting as me! and she always does favors for her best friend (grandma).

normally, she is not a fan of people leaving, but maybe she's tired of me. this morning, she was being a stinker, so i told her i was going back to wisconsin. she looked at me and went, "ok...goodbye!"

lily loves to spin, dance, and play my guitar. she has two very musical parents, so who can really be surprised?

baby lily is a big fan of the snow. she really likes playing in it. and she really, really likes eating it. could be one of her new favorite things. most little kids look cute in their winter gear...lily is just like a little cupcake. she's ridiculous.


if you think that lil is cute when awake, she's like a little angel when she's asleep. and check out the hair.


this is my baby. and i love her.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

get them out of the van!


live feed and chat: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/forkout-for-cfi

how you can donate: http://www.forkout.org/Forkout.org.html

to learn about what they're raising money for: http://www.go-cfi.org/

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

november: vampire babies are running amuck

i spent thanksgiving with mj's family. which really means that i got to hang out with the vampire baby. i love him.

sometime in the future, i may write a book called, 'what to expect when you're expecting a vampire baby.' here are some highlights:

vampire babies love cookie dough. and if they aren't already pale enough, they also love to spread flour EVERYWHERE.
vampire babies are very expressive.


or maybe that's the look vampire babies give when they get caught.

sometimes, vampire babies are thirsty for blood.


the most important thing to know about vampire babies is that they don't always know how to communicate just what they are trying to say. aside from touching your head to transfer thoughts and images, it is recommended to teach them sign language.

he's saying blue, if you're curious. and yes, those are blue sprinkles all over his hands.

adler is a super cute vampire baby. enough said.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

bonus picture


how could you not love this girl?

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis........OCTOBER!

So Miranda and I went to St. Louis this past weekend. Item number 6 on my list was to plan a trip with her...and I have a coworker (a sad and delusional man) who has season tickets for the Rams. And wouldn't you know it? The Colts had an appointment to kill the Rams on Sunday. Nice. So Jeff sold me the tickets, and Miranda and I made a weekend out of it.

We left early Saturday morning, with big aspirations to go to the Budweiser brewery for the tour, etc. Uh...plans get derailed.

Midway into our drive, we decided to stop for lunch. I won't say where, because I really like the place and don't want people to think the particular place had any bearing on the next events..........as we were eating, I started to feel sick...so I ran to the bathroom...but nothing happened. So we decided to go ahead and leave. As soon as we got to the car, I realized that bad things were about to happen. I threw my purse in the front seat, slammed the door, took two steps forward, and puked all over some rocks. Awesome.

I felt better...and then not great...so I decided to try and go to sleep for the rest of the trip. As we were driving along the interstate about 45 minutes later, the hot ball of lava in my stomach decided to start acting up again. Miranda, the pro race car driver that she is, managed to [VERY SAFELY] cross two lanes and pull onto the shoulder. I jumped out and barfed twice. Sweet.

At that point, I really did feel better since I had no food left in me. So we drove the rest of the way and decided to skip the brewery tour...thinking I might not be up to that. We went and checked into our hotel room and laid around for a few hours. And I was really hungry. So we swung by the St. Louis Bread Company (aka Panera everywhere else in the world)...because broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl is the perfect antidote to feeling like poo.

It sat fine, so we headed off to the St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars game.


The game was fun...professional hockey games always are. And aside from the enthusiastic Blues fan [Blues shoes, Blues pajama pants, Blues jersey, puck head, creepy mustache] next to me, we had a good time. And I didn't puke on anyone.

When we left the game, we decided to order a pizza. We like pizza. So we called Papa John's to get a pizza and have it arrive not long after us at the hotel. Well..................St. Louis time appears to be different than Wisconsin time. An hour later, I called them back to see where our awesome pizza had wandered off to. Turns out...318 is a hard number to write down. Anyway, we got an XL pizza for free. And it was good, too. We watched "Meet Me in St. Louis" while eating delicious free pizza.


Although we found out that St. Louis is actually known for their toasted ravioli.

On Sunday, we took our sweet time moving around...and then headed to the Colts game. :) I should also add in here that Miranda astounds and amazes me for many reasons, but one of them is her directional prowess. She doesn't actually know the parts of St. Louis where we were very well, but you would never know it. What a stud.

So the Colts game...as we were walking into the dome, I got really excited every time I saw a Colts fan...and then I kept seeing more and more fans. St. Louis had a sellout crowd, but even the actual Indianapolis players said it felt and sounded like a home game for them...that's how many of us were there. Glad I could do my part.

If any of you saw the score, it was a blowout: 42-6. My main men, Dallas and Austin, both scored touchdowns (yay fantasy points!), big Bobby was back, D 'Freight Train' Freeney picked up yet another sack, JIM SORGI came in for one solid play...it was a good game!


I made friends with lots of random Colts fans, including two little guys behind us. There was, however, one guy across the aisle who especially loved the fact that we love the Colts (yes, Miranda, I am saying you love them). After the game, he did something that I thought was awesome...he went up to a young kid behind us who was a Rams fan, asked him his name, then encouraged him to stick with his team through thick and thin, no matter how bad they were right then, and no matter what people said to him. As someone who has loved the Colts her whole life, I have been with them through the terrible times and the good times. So for a grownup to say that to a young kid was super sweet.

That night, Miranda did some sleuthing and found a dollar theater. We saw GI Joe for only a dollar! (Yes, please, Channing Tatum!!) Also, they had hot dogs for a dollar. Come on!

After the movie, we grabbed some Applebees to go and hung out in the hotel room.

In the morning, we lazed around and watched Pioneer Woman make her first television on the Bonnie Hunt show (probably couldn't have made a better choice there!), then headed to the Arch...yup, in case you didn't know, St. Louis is the Gateway to the West. Woo! Jealous now, huh? Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, so we went to the Arch. I definitely felt like an astronaut climbing into the little tram to get to the top...pretty sweet. My mom would have hated it. The view from the top is pretty awesome, and I discovered all sorts of little arches all over St. Louis. You get a cool view of Busch Stadium and the Edward Jones Dome, as well.

The Arch is naturally lighter than this, but I liked how it looked when I changed the brightness. It's my photo blog. I can do what I want.

Miranda and I grabbed a quick lunch (crabcake sandwich on a croissant...yum) before we made our trip to the brewery. I had a good time there...it was pretty interesting and our tour guides were kind of funny. Fun fact: during Prohibition, Anheuser-Busch sold lots of different stuff...but my favorite thing we learned about was Bevo (soda). At the end of the tour, you get two free samples. What did we learn about Miranda? Oh, she still doesn't like beer. Lol.


Miranda's highlight of the trip: the hockey game.
My highlight of the trip: the football game.
Other awesome things included: our quoteboard (it's classified), the fact that Miranda did all the driving (she might just have trust issues with me driving KK), Sporcle quizzes, and missing a day of work on Monday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

the mad park adventure (september)

on labor day, nate came up with the idea to try and visit all 24 major parks listed on the city of madison parks list. he printed off information, pulled out his map, and charted our course. in theory, it was a great idea. the execution was a little flawed. turns out we needed to start much earlier in the day for this to actually work. so early on, we changed our strategy to hit 5 parks. and the last one wasn't technically on the list. (details.)

armed with our delicious lunches from wendys, a map of madison (ok, we also had one for the united states, but we thought that was sort of a last resort resource), the list of parks, detailed descriptions of said parks, a sharpie, and my camera, we set out.



stop one: garner park (mineral point and rosa road)



this is a secret park, apparently. in my opinion, public parks should be FILLED with people on labor day. we saw two people here. considering its close proximity to my new apartment and its ultra secrecy, this was my favorite park that we went to. sweet highlights of garner park? well, the obvious crazy birdlike structure you can see here, the doors that looked like a jail, the awesome open fields for ultimate frisbee, and the indentation where a hockey rink goes in the winter. two thumbs up to garner park.



stop two: owen conservation park (old sauk road)

um, owen is kind of lame. i guess it's a cool idea, but it's boring. there's a couple trails, but it mostly just looks like big fields...where you cannot play frisbee. here's a direct quote from the website, though..."today, prairies and oak savannas have risen like a phoenix to reclaim the landscape." wow. if that doesn't sound impressive, i just don't know what does! anyway, the fields are pretty, and there's a really nice long view of the capitol from here.



stop three: marshall park (just off university ave on allen blvd)
i was very excited to check out this park. from the website's description, i thought this was going to be so awesome: "with a small though charming sandy beach (the children's favorite), a surrounding of old growth, deciduous trees that lend a welcoming shade on a warm, summer day, and a string of open, grassy spaces, one of any age will find something to remember and cherish about this particular city park." the small though charming beach is TINY! haha. it's like someone threw up sand and they decided to call it a beach. there WAS a little kid there who looked like he was having fun, though. i'll give marshall park this: it does have gorgeous views of lake mendota.



stop four: hoyt park (regent st)


oh, man. aside from being hard to find (the map makes it look like it's on bluff, but you can't get there from bluff), this park set itself up for a hard fall. i am going to have to quote the entirety of the description for you. whoever wrote must have been feeling very, very good about life that day. (also, they really overuse commas. the quotes are written exactly as they are on the website without any corrections from me.)

"quiet, and slightly removed from the congested thoroughfare of madison traffic, hoyt park is an ideal location for either a substantial, social gathering or a peaceful stroll through forest and prairie habitat. truly, there is something for everyone to value. the naturalist will enjoy the lush mix of young, and old growth vegetation that is laced by a network of paved and unpaved hiking trails. the sports enthusiast will find a full-sized basketball court, a softball field, and a grassy, clearing suitable for soccer, football, or frisbee. in addition, the two highly, hospitable shelters will appease the socialites and the play equipment will occupy the children. while at the same time, the past comes alive thanks in large part to not only the many restored historic fireplaces (twelve precisely) scattered like ancient treasure throughout, but also the resotred prairie, rock and tree formations which envelop the park. these are, perhaps, a few reasons why madison natives make a point of returning to hoyt park, again and again."

oh, man. i just laughed and laughed when i read that description. nate decided he really wanted to find the fireplaces (twelve precisely) that were scattered like ancient treasure. so we explored and found several of them...it was quite the adventure. haha. we also found a cool lookout point that gave a neat view of the city. i was really biased against this park from the start, though, just from the description, so i have kind of a hazy memory of the whole place.



stop five: wingra park (knickerbocker st off of monroe)


so wingra wasn't actually on our orignial list, but we stopped by because it made park number five, and our friend, jason, was there. it was very busy--lots of families playing games and hanging out. i found out that you can rent kayaks and stuff and go out on the lake. it was really pretty that day. we were really only there for a couple of minutes, so i have nothing interesting to report about this park.


all in all, it was a fun and random adventure in madison. seeing a few different lakes was cool, too. shout out to my partner in crime for coming up with the idea.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rise of the Twinkie (August)

Sometimes I do things without a real reason. Example...I make random noises to myself all the time. And often crack myself up doing so. Couldn't tell you why. Just do. I would like to say that this Twinkie adventure is one of those times where I had no real reason for doing what I did. But that wouldn't be true.

So here's the premise: I had a box of Twinkies. I really like Twinkies. One night earlier, I discovered I could pretty easily stuff a whole Twinkie in my mouth. The bonus of the situation was seeing how grossed out Miranda and Stephanie were. I decided that it would be a good idea to try and put two Twinkies in my mouth at once. Reason? I like stuffing my mouth full of food; I think it's funny. I also like to make messes. I figured that was probably reason enough.

The play by play:

Unwrapping Twinkies carefully requires great concentration and precision.

Please examine the Twinkies carefully. There is nothing up my sleeves, no tricks nor gimmicks. Just a girl and her Twinkies.

I would advise you to avert your eyes if you have a weak stomach. Two Twinkies. One mouth. Yeah, that's right.
Um...so they didn't fit. I really had high hopes for the two Twinkie challenge, but...nope. Turns out there's a limit to what my little chipmunk cheeks can hold.
Well...this is what happens. A bed full of cream and crumbs. Twinkie smeared across my face. Hands that smell constantly of baked goods. (Actually, that last one is a pretty nice side effect.)

The moral of the story is that I can't fit two Twinkies in my mouth at once. These are important things to know. I don't know why. They just are.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

stephanie's boat


this is a shot from the terrace. it is not actually stephanie's boat. she didn't take the picture, either. i took it (with my very own camera), and she liked it.

for those confused devotees to this blog (read: Nate), this is not part of my 5 set for august. i was just putting a picture up. i might do that from time to time. prepare yourselves.

how i got myself into this

a few months ago, i wrote down about three things i wanted to do sometime in the next year. for one reason or another, i shared those things. inevitably, i was encouraged to add to the list. eventually, it became a list of 27 things to do in my 27th year. it covers a wide range of activities (from running a half marathon to skydiving to knitting a scarf to designing and getting a tattoo). so i'll come back to the list in a minute.

my current roommate, miranda, is an avid photographer. she loves fancy cameras and uploading pictures and learning terms like 'bokeh.' she takes BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS, and LUSCIOUS pictures...nature, food, people, whatever. she's stellar. well, with a friend like that, why on earth would i ever need to have a camera? she documents my life and uploads everything on facebook. also, why would i even attempt to take pictures near her? she's about a billion times better at it than me. and that's ok. i can kill her at things like ultimate frisbee...competitive eating...you know...the things that will take you really far in life.

so anyway. i had some assistance creating this crazy list of mine. i made some things easy, but i made some other things really challenging for me. good old #17 was one of the challenging ones. i don't know if i can even describe the way i nearly went into a panic attack as i attempted just to buy a camera. miranda and our friend, nate, did some research and looked around for options for me. miranda went so far as to send me an email with about twelve different choices.

um...decision-making may not be one of my greatest strengths.

i finally got to the point where i told miranda, 'look, you know my price range. you know the purpose of this camera. you know what i actually need as far as pixels and memory and all that jazz. when you send me options, all i really end up looking at are things like the color and the shape of the buttons. please just pick three cameras that meet all of your standards and my needs, and i will just choose the one that looks the best to me.' so that's what she did. she's a good friend.

and so i bought a camera. for those of you who care (and the fact that i prefaced this sentence that way should strongly indicate that i am not actually one of those people), it's a canon powershot a480. it's black. you should know that black is my favorite color. miranda knew i would pick this camera when she gave it as an option.

and now, once a month, i am going to upload five related pictures and write a blog about them. i cannot guarantee that this will be profound. i can guarantee that the writing will be better than the photography. my hope is that this will force me to go a little slower and look harder for the story in things. in truth, it's more of an extended writing exercise than anything.

i'll just put it out there: if you come with really low expectations, you probably won't be disappointed. enjoy. ;)