Monday, December 20, 2010

Where The Heart Is

Those of you who know anything about me know that I am completely and utterly in LOVE with the city of La Crosse, WI. Seeing as it was my home away from home for six amazing years of my life, it's where my heart is. That being said, you can probably imagine my excitement when I found out that I was going to be reunited with my old stomping grounds for a work conference at the beginning of December! People outside of the higher education world probably have no clue what these conferences consist of, so I'll briefly explain the one I attended. It's called WI-ACE (Wisconsin Association of Colleges and Employers), and the purpose of it is to bring career services professionals (like myself) as well as employers together in one organization in hopes of developing ways that we can work together to help students succeed in their internship and employment searches. Sounds exciting, right?! Well, this is the third time I've attended this conference, and let me tell you, it IS exciting! Call me a geek, but I love this stuff! I have met so many wonderful people, and these are professionals from schools all over the state. By getting involved and keeping myself visible, I'm not only creating some awesome working relationships, but I'm also ensuring that my name will be a familiar one if and when I ever start looking for a new job. Mind you, that's a long time down the road (if ever), but it's great to have this opportunity to network with people who have a passion for the same things I do. Anyway, enough geek talk and onto the rest of my trip. I was originally only supposed to be in La Crosse from Tuesday, 12/7 to Thursday, 12/9. Well, good 'ol Mother Nature decided to rear her head that Thursday, so instead of going back that day, I ended up stranded in La Crosse until Sunday. Thank goodness for my friend and former co-worker who allowed me to bunk with him for 3 more nights than originally planned. Betcha he didn't expect that. ;) And notice how I used the word stranded like it was a bad thing. Quite the contrary, my friends! Being "stuck" there gave me the opportunity to spend even more quality time with some of the best friends I've ever had, and I loved every minute of it! Not only that, but I got to eat at some of my favorite restaurants (i.e. Tequilas), drink at some of my favorite bars (i.e. Bennetts), and shop at some of my favorite stores (i.e. Dale's). What more can a person ask for on a "work" trip?! Gotta say, being in La Crosse for nearly 6 days felt pretty surreal. It kinda felt like I never left, and I'm already thinking about my next opportunity (or excuse) to go visit! The only downfall of being stranded there? Not being able to get home to meet my beautiful new niece Drew Elise Smith. She is the first of my 6 nieces and nephews that I didn't get to meet in the hospital, so that was a little tough for me. But thankfully, the holidays are upon us and I get to meet her in just a few short days. I seriously can't wait! Add it all up and we have an awesome conference, an extended stay in La Crosse, a new addition to the family, and a highly anticipated holiday vacation on the horizon. Sounds like a pretty stellar two weeks if you ask me. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Wishes!

Sorry for the long break in blog action, folks. I spent almost the whole last week in La Crosse (a topic I hope to write about soon), so I haven't had much time to write. But, with Christmas rapidly approaching, I've decided to be selfish and look at a bunch of things I like! Normally, I don't get too into the whole Christmas list idea, but since I'm flat broke at the moment, I thought it might be fun to create a list of things that I want for myself, but that I can't afford because I don't need them right now. I'm not sure what the purpose is of making this list public, but I just wanted to share some of the things I'm interested in at the moment! Beware, the list is quite random. Also, many of the items will contain links that take you right to where they can be purchased (hint, hint)! Ha, just kidding! :)

- The Sopranos (The Complete Series)
- Sons of Anarchy (Seasons 1-2)
- Dexter (Seasons 1-4)
- Entourage (Seasons 1-6)
- Law and Order: SVU (Seasons 1-11)
- The Office (Season 6)
- It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Season 4 and Season 5)

- Inception
- Eclipse (Twilight Series)

Books (I prefer hardcover.)
- Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss & Gain by Portia de Rossi
- Decision Points by George W. Bush
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

- Greg Jennings jersey (size Youth M)
- Brewers sweatshirt (size XS)

Gift Cards
- iTunes
- Target
- Victoria's Secret

Other Stuff
- iPod speaker system
- TV trays
- Quotable cards
- Floor lamp for bedroom (no specific one picked out)
- Piccadilly Notebooks (My favorites: Garden Pop - Size L; Anime Flowers - Size L; Ink Flowers - Size L; Orchids on Brown - Size L)

So, there ya have it... Greedy much, Renee?! ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Apartment!

Not too long ago, I shared some before and after pictures of my bedroom in the new apartment. Well, since you've seen that part of my living quarters, I figured I might as well share a few more photos of my place in an attempt to give you a sense of what my entire apartment looks like. It's a pretty standard apartment, but so far it's definitely doing the trick! And if you really want to know what it looks like inside, just come visit. I love visitors. :)
View of livingroom when you walk in.
View from livingroom into kitchen area.
Kitchen area. It's a little messy, sorry! :)
Hallway. (That's a mirror on the wall.)
2 bedrooms on the left, bathroom and linen closet on the right.
Spare bedroom. (Currently serving as an "office" and storage room.)

Bedroom. (A little more complete with pictures and the new "tv stand.")

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Elf Yourself

I do this every year, and it NEVER gets old. I spend hours on Office Max's "Elf Yourself" site creating funny videos of my family, and I literally cannot stop laughing no matter how many times I see them! Same faces, different dances. There are more video options on the site, but these are a few of the better ones. I honestly can't pick a favorite. They're ALL too good!!! Enjoy! :)

THE 80'S



Directionally Impaired

Since I've moved to Milwaukee, I've pretty much carried my Garmin everywhere with me. Those of you who know me really well are fully aware of the fact that I'm very directionally impaired, so my GPS has been a lifesaver to date. Lately, I haven't been taking it to work with me because I've been traveling the same way for two weeks and at least know how to get there and back. Today, I had this weird thought that I should bring it with me, but I was running way late for work (I blame the flu) and didn't grab it when I left. Well, apparently I should've listened to that little gut feeling. No, not the "Hurry to the bathroom, there's food coming up!" gut feeling, but the "You should bring your Garmin just in case," gut feeling. Why should I have listened? Because one of the roads I take to get onto the freeway on the way home was unexpectedly closed. The result? I got extreeeeeemely lost! At one point, I was on I-94 going in the direction I would take to get to Colby (the opposite direction to my apartment). At another point, I was in the middle of downtown. How on earth?! Normally this probably wouldn't have been that big of a catastrophe, but this unfortunate directional mishap occurred at 5:20 p.m. (i.e., the heart of rush hour). I somehow managed to pull up a map on my phone while simultaneously trying not to die in traffic, and after about 45 minutes of wrong turns and ending up far, far away from my apartment, I managed to get to a recognizable spot. Funny thing is, that recognizable spot was SO close to my work that I wanted to cry. I accidentally ended up miles in the wrong direction when I was only a few blocks away from going the right way. Awesome. Sad thing is, I was so freakin' nervous that I didn't even pay attention to road names or where I was in relation to anything familiar. I don't become observant when I'm lost. I become a panicky freak. Not a good recipe for getting home safely. Anyway, I've learned two things from this experience: 1) I still suck at directions just as much as I always have, and 2) The Garmin WILL be traveling with me again, at all times.