my year in photos

January: rang in the new year with good friends.

February: a one-on-one with Chicago's mayor Daley. all part of being a Medill reporter.

March: harborside.

April: Easter with the family.

May: one of the many baseball games I went to this spring.

June: on the train to my masters graduation at Northwestern University.

July: spur-of-the-moment trip to Memphis with friends. lovely city.

August: a trip to Arizona with some of my best friends. it was hot.

September: changing colors.

October: homecoming football game, and lots of others too.

November: warm colors and cold nights.

December: a lot of cuddling with this cutie in bed, reading.

{february image taken by mayor daley's photographer}


baby shower

one of my best friends from college is having a baby in less than a month. i am so excited.

i'm going to her baby shower tonight, which i'm sure will be complete with a wisconsin badgers theme {and purple, of course, thank god she's having a girl}.i got her some baby toys and a few outfits - one is badgers, of course. i'm just so excited to meet her baby girl. i really don't know how she's so calm.

{image via fb}


a few good bands

i'm constantly searching for new music. not necessarily because i'm tired of listening to what i have but because i love music and i enjoy hearing new bands. i have a very eclectic taste in music too, so it's pretty easy to find something new.

here are a few bands that i've been listening to a lot lately and think everyone else should also hear:


simply having a wonderful christmas time

Merry Christmas!!

{image via ohhellofriend}


happy weekend

Happy Friday! It's officially Christmas week, which means last-minute shopping trips, Christmas movie and present wrapping marathons, ugly sweater parties and overloading on peppermint fudge, cookies and eggnog. I'm so excited! I have a white elephant/ugly sweater party at a friend's tonight, brunch tomorrow and some last-minute shopping, lots of baking and wrapping planned for the rest of the weekend. And they're predicting snow!!

Happy Weekend!

{photo via weheartit}


new years resolution update

the new year is approaching. every year at this time i get a little bummed that the year is over. i'm excited to start a new year. i have to make a new new years resolution list. i feel that big things are ahead.

here's how i did on last years...

learn Italian.
{definitely didn't do well with this one. though i did learn some sign language if that makes up for it at all.}

stay in touch with friends more.
{it was tough, but we've all kept in touch pretty well, especially considering the hundreds of miles between us. i think i can always do better though. this may make a reappearance on the list for next year.}

read good books in bed.
{done. and lots of not-so-good books. i have been compiling a pretty big list of new books and authors to read next too. i'm pretty excited about some.}

write more.
{yes and no. i originally meant short stories, but i didn't do too well with that. i have been writing a lot of essays and commentaries though. i like it. it's fun.}

make plans and commit.
{not sure what i even meant by this. but i think i have. mission accomplished.}

Read my original resolutions post here.


rwanda reading

in less than two months, one of my best friends starts her two year peace corps assignment in Rwanda.

i'm so excited for her because we have been talking about this day for the last four years, but i'm sad i'm not going to see her for a while. coincidentally, Rwanda used to be one of out greatest movie and book addictions. however, our Rwanda consumption revolved mainly around the genocide, as most people's Rwanda thoughts do. i know a lot about the country's struggles and tortured history, but not much about what the government and citizens have done to rebuild after those bloody days.

because my best friend is going to Rwanda and because i want to sleep at night while she is there, i started to read more about the positives. the reconstruction after the genocide 15 years ago. it's amazing what they have been able to do. now, i am excited to hear jessi's stories.

so far i've read As We Forgive by Catherine Claire Larson {great book} but i have a whole list of others. i'm going to have to read a ton to balance out all of the genocide books i've read.


little notes

dear holiday shoppers.
please don't be stupid. especially while waiting in line. thanks.
p.s. no checks.

dear egg nog.
you are the most delicious part of christmas. i wish i could drink you year-round.

dear snow.
i love waking up to your blanket in the morning. even if that means scraping my car windows before work. you are welcome to come back any time.

dear smallville.
it took me almost nine years but i finally found you. and oh how great you are.
also, major points for another sci-fi babe.

dear christmas music.
i'm glad others have finally accepted you as i did months ago. happy listening.

dear squirrels.
please stop teasing my cat early in the morning. i don't like waking up to clemente racing between windows and whining.


bright lights

There aren't many things that make me happier around the holiday season than Christmas lights.

Seeing the bright bulbs twinkling in bold colors against the softness of the snow always makes me smile. I can't help it, they always make me a bit happier. I especially love the brightly colored ones. White, gold and blue lights are pretty and definitely fit the winter theme, but the other colors, the rainbow bulbs are more cheerful.

If I had my way, people would leave their lights of year-round so every night would be filled with a bit more cheer. But maybe that would ruin the charm and specialness of the lights.

{photo via photobucket}


first snowfall

...snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
silver white winters that melt into springs
these are a few of my favorite things...

Today was the first official snowfall of the year. Sure, it was mostly flurries, but some of it stuck. I'm really excited! Snow is one of my favorite things ever; it's even my favorite smell as weird as that sounds. It has this clean, fresh and even crisp smell to it. It's comforting.

Snow is the real reason I could never leave the Midwest. In any other climate, I would miss the cold coziness of wrapping in a blanket of snow. There's just something perfectly peaceful about cuddling with a warm blanket and mug of hot chocolate on a snowy winter day.

I know it's still a little early to build a snowman, but flurries won't be flurries forever. And I'm looking forward to the day they turn into blizzards.

{photo via weheartit}


dear december

you are my favorite month of the year, there are just so many things about you that make me happy.

... snow, peppermint, hot chocolate, sledding, quilts, candy canes, christmas, stockings, thick socks, mittens, scarves, blizzards, snowy movie days, white, red, green, twinkle lights, candles, snowflakes, penguins, building snowmen, holiday spirit, wrapping presents, snowball fights, bing crosby, the bishop's wife ...

... to name a few...

Happy December!

{image via weheartit}
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