Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ghost of New Years past

Everybody looks forward to the end of a year and the beginning of another. Whether you had a bad year and just need a fresh start, or you had the best year of your life, and think this is the first of many to come.

I look forward to it because one, I like to celebrate anything, and two, it means winter is rounding that inevitable corner, and doing it's best to turn into to spring again. Of course with a few harsh reminders that it's still winter...

I've celebrated every year that I can remember, and will probably continue to do so in some way or another as I get older.

Thinking back, the first year that I remember celebrating, ever really... or at least without family, was when I was in 7th grade. My friend Sara and I got together at my parents house while they were out at a party. Just the two of us hung out as the ball dropped, doing things 7th graders do. Including, but not limited to, sneaking some of their liquor. I don't remember it being much, and have absolutely no idea where the rest of our friends were that night. But thought we were living on the edge.

I remember the year that I went in to get a bad dye job fixed from days prior, and while there, I told the girl just do it like your hair. Not so much different from what I wanted, but little did I know my hair takes to colors differently than her's does... Known fact now. Anyways, water under the bridge, so I get done, and my hair is close to, almost... ok, lets just call it black... Not what her hair looked like, not what I was going for. After wanting to cry, poke my eyes out to prohibit me from looking at it, poke other people's eyes out to prevent them from seeing it, or do my best attempt at a home bleach job... I got ready as I would any other new years eve, and tried to wear it with pride that night. Getting a few compliments, some most probably to be nice. It was fixed... again... shortly thereafter.

The year the snowstorm came, did not get in our way of celebrating. 
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In fact, instead of finding one place to party, or staying home... we found 3, and got stuck on our way out of all 3. Including our street at 3 in the morning. Our dad got out of bed to do his best to unjam us. While pushing Crystal's car up the street his coat or arm got stuck on her mirror and broke something. She was not happy, and neither was he. Not a good end to the evening...

There was a year that we all dressed in our best, and partied like celebrities at a friends house. 
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This was the year that I wanted to make sure I got my midnight kiss, as years passed had been a little off with my boyfriend at the time. To find out when the ball dropped he was meandering around finding champagne to pop for the 12:00 celebration. Brianna wasn't a happy camper.

Last year, we didn't make any plans, didn't find anything fun to wear. 
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Just got ready and drove to the bar. Kind of a whatever happens, happens kind of night, and it was fabulous.

BUT, my favorite memory of ringing in the new year was 2 years ago. Our friends the Latterall's had a house party with a theme, a space theme. 
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They decorated the house to the 9s, and people were to dress up. Steve and I didn't put much effort into it, which I wish we had. I made myself a pair of moon boots though.

That brings me to the present, cheers to this year, we are gathering at my friend's house for some food, drinks, and friends. Who knows where the night will take us, we may end up at a local establishment, or just ring the new year in right in her living room.

I hope you all have a new years that is great for you, whether it be relaxing on the couch, dressing up for a fancy bar night, going to a friends house, or any other way you can think of. Just try not to get caught in a snowstorm!

~~~~~

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My life captured

I don't have anything to say about this picture, except that it is very deceiving. I am led to believe, the photographer (who is I), is enjoying a nice summer afternoon in a quiet field... Much like in the movies. A light breeze sweeps past my ear. The afternoon light bouncing off each particle of the wheat-like plants that blanket the ground.

That isn't so. If you will picture now, a brisk 40 degrees. A breeze blows past my ear, but it's much more brisk this time. The hood keeps them from falling off. A layer of clothes is outdone by another layer for good measure. Mittens cover the hands that rock the camera. Frozen water particles, also known as snow, cover small parts of the ground that lay beneath the plants that blanket the ground so goldenly. Less like a summer afternoon, and more like Christmas afternoon.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My life captured

It was a long weekend for all of us, but most of all for Harper. I could only assume it's because The Nugget spent two days with me at work last week... and for some reason that (a day of play, sleep and treats) wears her out.

I spent a little time with the pup on Friday before Steve and I ran around town. And by time, I mean she laid there, and I stared and snapped a few shots. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
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A great little holiday

"Little" doesn't even begin to describe our holiday weekend. It was actually quite the opposite. I feel anything but refreshed at work today, after that extended time off. That just doesn't seem right.

Pushing snooze several times this morning did not help the process of waking myself up, it was more of a hinder. While finally looking at the clock, I mean a real first look to find out I've now passed the allowed sleeping period... Better hurry for the door.

I was glad to see almost everyone else in my area here at work feels the same way I do. We all discuss our weekends, and mine went a little something like this.

After getting a good nights sleep on Thursday, feeling refreshed enough, and stupid enough, we made our way out the door Friday for some last minute shopping... I was quickly reminded why I don't do this, and how rude people can be around the holidays...

As I described here:
Lesson learned.

We relaxed and wrapped any last presents before heading out for a couple of our friends' birthdays Friday evening. Starting at a local german bar, and ending at a sleezy strip club... They kind of go hand in hand... apparently. Ok, I've said it before, I'm totally not that kind of girl, but maybe that's why I find it fun(ny). It was just the place to start our holiday weekend...

~~~~~

Saturday, I woke up with a slight hangover, but this is ok because we weren't to be present at any family events until afternoon time.

We made our breakfast, got ready, and made yet another trip to a last minute place before heading out to my parents. It seems, by new tradition, that my parents host Christmas Eve, and we'll attend Steve's parents house on Christmas Day. It just works out better for most/all parties involved.

We hung around, ate food, played with baby, played with pup, and of course opened our presents. Steve felt like he cleaned house with a ton of gift cards (one that pleased the both of us, and we'll be using this Wednesday... starts with 'Beni' ends with 'hana'), but holy crap I'm pretty sure I cleaned up, with all of our kitchen stuff. The thought of Brianna not putting a single item of clothing on her list was probably jaw dropping for most or all of us, so people took advantage of it. I Steve and I filled up his truck with bowls, canisters, things to burn stuff on, things to store stuff in, things to make stuff in, things to cut stuff with, etc. I felt complete.
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Steve dressed up for the occasion... haha
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Steve made sure to satisfy my camera needs with a very generous gift card. Allowing me to put towards my next lens purchase. This one will take a bit more savings, so thanks Steven for helping me towards that. I can't wait to make that purchase.

So yeah, it was quite exciting to finally clean our kitchen and make a home for our new items. Even getting rid of some old things for goodwill.

We stayed a tad bit later than the rest and played a game of Spicy Farkel... Sounds kind of gross, but I assure you it is just a dice game.

~~~~~

Sunday, we rose a lot earlier than we had Saturday. We had to make our breakfast date with Steve's family. After demolishing a large plate of early morning goods, we exchanged our gifts there. I was happy to see a second apron to bring home, some frames to start my puppy frame project, and the movie Bridesmaids. Perfect gifts, thank you.
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It wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to the dog park.
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After a little bit of lounging we were ready to take our Christmas trip a little more south of the border. Steve's family decided this year would be our first mexican Christmas. And it was delicious, corn bread, tacos, beans... cookies... ice cream cake... I am pretty sure ice cream cake's origin was Mexico. Fact.

Finished off our evening with a gift exchange dice game, and some old home movies of the family. I loved seeing them all back in the 80s... velour jump suits, feathered bangs, stone washed tight jeans, mom jeans. It was great. Most of all it was great seeing my Steven in action when he was just a boy. So adorable, I loved every second of it. Now lets dig up more of those embarrassing videos.

Thanks everyone for the great Christmas weekend, I had a wonderful time, and enjoyed the time I was able to spend with everyone!

~~~~~


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE holiday post

Something about this season... as much as I would rip out these ginger locks over dealing with the cold... it doesn't matter this time of year.

Listening to old Christmas songs on the radio when you head out to do your Christmas shopping. (I stress old as I am not referring to The Biebs' Christmas album, or whatever is out in these days...) Thinking about all the different events you have on your calendar as the days near. As I mentioned in a recent post we celebrated the holidays with our friends last weekend, and did it right.

We have left on our calendars, much family time to subject ourselves to. Quality, family time. I'm grateful to find out that Steve also has Friday and Monday off this weekend, so neither of us has to alter our weekend schedules for work. The way it should be.

The list is dwindling down, but not fast enough, as things keep getting added to it. Objective #1 for this weekend, is to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation before/on Christmas, but have had no success at finding it on tv. DVR is set for Thursday evening. Weird request I guess, but I haven't seen it in a while, and weird that it is so hard to find on tv this time of year... Objective #2, get some updated pictures of Steve and I. Objective #3, drink "a few" mimosas. Consider #3 done.

As I read back on this post, I realize this is just a hoopla of crap, but for some reason I felt it was time for another post, and this one was going to be the inevitable Christmas post. Where this is all written out, should actually lay a hilarious seasonal story about my Steven and I. Or our Christmas cards... but we fell real short this year. And apparently our humor has run dry. We've just been enjoying each other company (cornball), and making a whole ton of new food. Domestication at full force here.

Ok, one story, not that funny. After our holiday party last weekend, we went home. That's it... ok no. So Steve passed out almost immediately after his head hit the bed. I stayed up long enough to wash my face, change, and send Steve a text message... I guess I thought this was a great idea.

Next day...
Steve: You know you text me at 4:23 am right?
Brianna: Yes. (cause I remember almost everything I do when drinking. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing... this case, my guess... good).
It reads: "I want a pajamagram. 1-888-763-1354. It's a 'seen on tv'. And it looks GREAT. Check it out." Apparently I have mastered the art of drunken text... I would say almost no errors, but I use "And" at the beginning of a lot of sentences sober, so that is no error. YOU check it out, way better than the snuggie.

No pics, but plenty of holiday spirit here. I have one entertaining holiday pic to post, but because it's actually for the fams, I can't post it until Christmas. Harper, in her holiday dress, sleeping snoring (since she doesn't technically have to be sleeping to snore) on my desk right now. It's a sight for any eyes. If you don't think it's cute, get yourself checked out because you're probably crazy. BUT, we'll have to save that whole ordeal for another day.

I hope everyone has safe and memorable holiday weekend. I may check back tomorrow, but no promises.

~~~~~

Monday, December 19, 2011

My life captured

This is a very tiny look at the MPLS. Every day I drive into to work, and want to stop to take a picture of the skyline of the city. It's definitely no Chicago, NYC, or any European city... but it's our city. It looks beautiful at night. Mornings that are entertained with fog or that crisp, fresh sunlight are days that I want to pull over on the long ramp that enters downtown. Just doesn't happen that way. So I do what I can do to take a picture of our city.
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This post is a couple pics that I've been wanting to get for a while, and will probably take over and over until I get what I want completely out of them. I've done some edits to them, to make them a little more drastic and to my liking.
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This second photo is what I keep believing to be an old church converted into government building. I really don't know. But I do not think it's currently a church, as I do not see crosses on/around it, and I always see cop cars out front. You do the math.

Enjoy!

~~~~~

"Believe"

I'm all about really bright, awkward, over the top christmas sweaters, I wouldn't have an ugly sweater party any other way. I only wish I had enough pictures to show you the array of material that our group of friends came up with... but I don't... I also, steered myself into a different direction with my sweater, while reading Shauna Glenn's blog, and the "believe" christmas sweater story. I had to make one of my own.

Problem is, like Halloween, no one got it. But once I told this story, they thought it was hilarious. I will put plenty less thought into the things I do from now on, or I will print out the long explanation to what it is that got me to my decision...

The party was full of Christmas cheer, lights, FOOD, and refreshments. We clung onto our good time until the wee hours of the morning. Sunday was a rough one for me. It wasn't until about 5:00 I realized how nice of a day it was. We drove over to Steve's parents for dinner, and I looked at the thermostat... it was still 40+ degrees out. What a waste of a nice day. But the party was worth it.

Here are just a few pics from the evening. Happy holidays everyone!
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Steve's outfit cracked me up. We went to the thrift store that day and found those gems. I don't know what it is, but I love that turtleneck on him... haha. Helps that he looks like a total creep in this picture... He won the contest for best outfit. I am not sure if that is because he voted for himself a few times, or not (whether he admits that or not), but I voted for him and so did Reka. So he may have had it anyways.
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~~~~~

A whim of an evening

What I thought was going to be an evening of coworkers, drinks, fun, and a trip back home when we were ready... turned out to be something completely different. Well, it did involve coworkers, drinks, and fun...

Apparently after commenting on the name of the "Graves Hotel" and how that to Steve shouldn't appeal to normal less-morbid people... got him thinking. We spent the evening conversing with friends from work, eating pretty awesome food, and sipping on a few drinks. The hours slipped by us, and once he looked at the clock he must have thought this is a do or don't soon kind of a decision. He called up the hotel asked about the prices, and gave me the presentation.

We don't do things like this, as much as we're a lets drive around and find a new thrift store or restaurant type people, we're not the why don't we just grab a room, make our way around downtown type people. It was an evening on a whim. Not my typical Steven, but I loved it!

We headed out of the party a little early. Making our way to the first bar we could find once on the main street. An Irish pub... maybe a theme? Grabbed a drink, listened to a band, and one of Steve's favorite songs "Whiskey in the JarO", as I call it. Steve said, it's your night, where do you want to go. Being sure to steer plenty clear of the 21-26 yr old bars... they make me feel old, and on a night where I'm trying to celebrate my 29th birthday... probably not the best idea. We headed over to Kieran's Irish Pub. Grabbed some drinks and sat by the fire. Still thanking him on a great evening away just the two of us. I was having a blast, and it looks like he was as well...
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Wasn't much after that we hailed ourselves a cab and bounced on over to The Local (another Irish Pub... I'm not really sure why, we really didn't plan this). Trying new drinks and talking about their Jaimeson status. Apparently it's the highest selling Jaimeson whiskey bars in the US? World? I don't know the stats, just believe what I tell you. At the last portion of our evening we headed next door to another bar... I do not think this one was Irish, but I don't recall the name. It was a great bar though, so we'll just pretend it was Irish.
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We were amazed at the quality of this hotel. I mean, I knew it was nice, but had never stayed there. We got into our room, and were like children who had never seen such great things. That only lasted until we were both fast asleep on one of the most comfortable beds I've slept in in a long time.
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This (above) is the first bar we went to. (I love the way buildings look in the night street lights, old, eerie, fake.)

Ok, so this picture below is extremely bad, it was the morning after we woke up, and since I had to wear my dress home because we didn't pack bags... and I didn't have any pics of it really from the night before... I told Steve to get a picture due to the big deal I made about the dress. Also that maybe was one of the longest run-on sentences, ever. I should have just done this the night before to spare the embarrassing pic, but here you go. Minus the belt I makeshifted out of a peacock feather headband, my "night hair" instead of "morning hair", and my maroon/red shoes I had on. But you get the jist.
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Thanks for the birthday treat babe, I had a great evening!

~~~~~

Friday, December 16, 2011

16 Candles... or maybe a bit more

As of 7 something this morning I am officially 29 years old. I took a half day from work today, coming in at 12 instead of all day. It was nice to lounge around a little and enjoy my morning. My last birthday in my 20s. It's a sad day.

Wasn't long after I woke that I remembered my 28th birthday. It's tradition to bring in treats on our birthdays at work. I headed out to Target shortly after they opened to pick up donuts for my coworkers. Knowing I was running late, and being plenty ok with that... I continued to speed down the highway... why... because that's just what I do. Well as luck would have it, I got pulled over... and as luck would have it, I got away with a warning. It helps in a great way when it's your birthday!

Today was no different. Once I left the house, stopped for gas and a cap (that's cappuccino for you non-slang people). I'd be lying if I said I didn't throw on "Happy Birthday" by Altered Images... which sounds so egotistical... but in all honesty 16 Candles is one of my favorite movies, and how often do you have a good excuse to listen to this song. And to be 100% truthful, I just wanted a reason to laugh at myself. And I did. Anyways... point of that story, I speed to work, and didn't get caught. So there.

So back to somewhere that I started, last night I baked two pans of "Killer Brownies" and they looked a little something like I've shown below. Delicious, seriously. People are dying today over them... ahhh. That and of course a couple mimosas... wouldn't be baking without those... errr Thursday night without those.
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Moral of the story, don't buy yourself birthday donuts and then offer ONE or TWO to your boyfriend the night before your birthday. He will misinterpret that meaning, and take all of them to work... Thanks babe... haha. So instead I made myself breakfast in bed.
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~~~~~

p.s. Tonight we get to celebrate our holiday work party, and get all gussied up. I'm so excited to wear my new "Adele inspired" dress. Pictures to come. Also we have a fun white elephant/ugly sweater/30th birthday party to go to tomorrow. Pictures to come on that as well. Happy FRIDAY!

~~~~~

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My life captured

She's growing up so quickly. Every time I see her, there is something new that she has stumbled upon and in the process of mastering. Full of so much enthusiasm for the things she loves. A new one we recently took note too is dogs.

She's got a face like the gerber, and a smile like, well like a baby tryin to grow a few teef, so just relax, they're comin.

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~~~~~

Birthday celebrations

While one comes a little early this year, the other is right on the dot. My birthday and my dads are 4 days apart. We did our family celebration last night, on his actual birthday. Hours seem to run on by a little faster when we get together after a long day of work, but it's hard to make it work on the weekends. Also it was fitting that it was able to work on my dads birthday.

Steve and I struggled to get there early with the others, but we made it. Suz cooked some chili for everyone, and it was probably the best one yet. We filled up, and watched that baby do her thing. The men congregated in the living room, while the ladies cracked jokes in the kitchen.
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Harper had her D-game on last night. She was in full force, and no one was going to stop her. Probably all that work she did earlier... wore her out... or maybe it was all the treats the lady kept giving her... Greta on the other hand, couldn't have found Harper to be a better time last night. Waving her spastic wave, giggling, while assistedly walking toward her.
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That baby is rockin that santa sweater, hard.
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She brought her A-game for sure.

Steve was recognized on many occasions, since she was a babe, cause of his beard, so he has now been designated as Uncle Beard. Her eyes zone in on that thing every time she sees him. And like most others she sees, a big grin appears across her face. Even with Crystal and my large hair transformations, she still figured out her Aunties were there.
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My father and I took turns opening our cards, or him some of mine. My mom is notorious for getting a ridiculous amount of cards for one person on their birthday. Maybe 1 from the dog/cat, 3-5 from her and my dad... Which, you know, this is fine. More to read, more to laugh about. It's kind of been passed on to us daughters, if you see here. But, this year, it proved to be something other than productive, she purchased the same card for my dad twice, and had no idea until he opened the second one.
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Found this little guy by the tree... nice wrap job mom. I wonder what it is? Crystal pointed out that it kind of looks like Stewie from Family Guy. God, I hope it is.

The only picture of me from yesterday (at least on my camera) is the first one, and I realize today I said I'd post some now that I'm a ging... I completely forgot until I was on my way to work, so I took them then. I was stopped. I promise. The left one I realize I look like I might, in fact, kill someone. So I took one more when I got to work. You know, to even things out.
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~~~~~

p.s. On a completely different note, I purchased a cute dress/shirt and wore it for the first time yesterday... and ripped it in at least 3 different places... It's the type of material I can't resew. The fabric is thin, delicate, with little to no give. Sad moment.

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