Friday, May 27, 2011

Miller Park Virgin!

Up until this past Monday (May 23), I have been able to constantly shock people with the fact that I had NEVER been to a Brewers game. That's right, folks. I was a Miller Park virgin for the first 25 years of my life. Fortunately, the looks of horror and disgust that have plagued me all these years can finally cease. My dear friend Mandi called me last Sunday (as I was driving home through the tornadoes) and asked me what I was doing Monday night. She and some friends were coming down for the game, so she asked if I wanted to come along. At first, I wasn't going to go. Then I thought about it and was like, "Why the hell WOULDN'T I go?!" The timing worked out perfectly. I met them at a restaurant and then we went to the stadium to do a little tailgating. We totally lucked out. The Milwaukee weather has been complete shit over the past few months (well, pretty much since I've lived here), but we had a b-e-a-uitful day! The roof was open at the stadium and everything! I tried to capture the awesomeness through some pictures, but it doesn't quite do it justice. Hope you enjoy the photos! And if you ever want to go to a Brewer game in the future, make sure to invite me... :)

Eeek! There's the stadium!!

Tailgating with the ladies...
Me and Mandi in front of the stadium!

The ticket taker INSISTED on taking a pic with me to document my first game!

In the stadium with our margaritas! Yum!

Me inside the stadium! I'm such a "tourist." ;)

Ryan Braun (our seats were right behind him!)

Sausage Races! I chose Chorizo - he lost miserably.

Still enjoying ourselves! :)

Brewers DOMINATED! They beat the Nationals 11-3. Wahoo!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Cheesier, The Better.

When I went to La Crosse this weekend, my "host" and I decided we'd rather stay in on Friday night as opposed to going out on the town. We just hung out, drank a few beers, and watched some trashy late night TV. Great time! At one point, he flipped the channel to a re-run of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show, and we stumbled across a lovely gem of a comedian named Tony Zizz. Well, he's a gem to me anyway. I'll go ahead and admit that my definition of gem in this circumstance is probably quite differen't than the average person's. All his jokes are about sleeping and snoring. Cracks me up every damn time I watch this! In case you don't know this about me, I get a HUGE kick out of extremely cheesy jokes. In fact, the cheesier, the better. I think Tony's act in the video below is HILARIOUS, so when you watch it, I think you'll completely understand what I mean about my sheer love for ridiculously terrible humor. I sincerely hope at least one of you finds these jokes to be as hilarious as I do! :)

[FYI: I didn't pay attention to what comes after his act, so don't watch that part if you don't want to. Such good stuff!]

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ahhh, Tornado!!!

For the first time in three months, I was able to get back up to La Crosse for a weekend. Long overdue, and I had SUCH an awesome time (more details soon)!! Well, it was awesome minus the fact that a tornado hit as I was driving out of town. While I lived in La Crosse, I was always told that a tornado will never touch down where 3 rivers meet (hence the reason there had never been a recorded tornado in La Crosse before). That fact, or should I say myth, always made me feel comforted. Unfortunately, that story changed today because they were hit by a tornado. I knew the weather was supposed to be bad, but I didn't think it'd be THAT bad. Had I known, I would've ducked out of town earlier. Based on how the drive went, though, I'm pretty sure I would've hit some of that weather no matter how early I went home. I left La Crosse right around 4:00pm, and I got out of town JUST in time because the sky turned black and the clouds were a'spinnin'. Not cool. For those of you who don't know me well, you should know that me and tornadoes do NOT go well together. They are easily my biggest fear. For real. I literally almost have panic attacks when they are anywhere near me, and I came dangerously close to them two separate times in my drive back today. I may or may not have cried in my car. While driving. While it was pouring. That always helps the situation. Right... My body STILL feels like jello from being so tense during the drive. I think the only time that I was more fearful in a situation involving tornadoes was 3 years ago in June when I literally thought I was going to die in one in the Dells. I'd been in Madison for my college roommate's wedding, and we were all going to Noah's Ark the next day to celebrate. On the way there, we got caught in a HORRIFIC storm, and I was seriously afraid for my life. I even called my parents with that whole, "In case I don't make it out alive" speech. Not even kidding. Today felt very similar, and the fact that I was the one behind the wheel this time was too scary for words. There were a couple moments when I genuinely considered abandoning my car and jumping in the ditch, but I decided to keep on trucking in hopes of beating it. Probably not smart, but I made it. Horrifying. Anyway, needless to say, I was SO happy to get home tonight!! My thoughts are going out to my peeps in La Crosse (and elsewhere) who were affected by the tornadoes! :(

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Warm and Fuzzies

It's official. My job and I have been together for 6 months now! SIX MONTHS! I seriously cannot believe how fast time has gone! It's been quite the experience so far. No matter what the profession, starting a new job can be very intimidating. And when I think back to my first few days and weeks on the job, it amazes me how far I've come since then. I learn more every single day, and I feel extremely fortunate to be in a place that is helping me grow SO much, both as a person and a professional. :):)

On that note, I wanted to share a little something fun. When I worked in the Campus Climate office at UW-La Crosse, one of my supervisors gave me a really neat idea. We were talking about having bad days at work (we must've been having one or something), and she told me what she does to cheer herself up in those circumstances. She keeps a special folder in her email inbox called "Warm and Fuzzies." In that folder, she keeps all the positive email messages she's received from students, fellow staff members, etc. That way, when she's feeling down, she can look at those messages and be reminded of all the good things she's done. I loved that idea, but was never sure if I'd get to a point when I'd have items to put IN the folder. Lo and behold, I sure do! One of my favorites, which just so happened to occur recently, was from a student that I'd helped with an email message that she wanted to send to a potential employer. After emailing her some suggestions, she responded with, "Thanks so much, Renee! I really appreciate all the hard work that you do for this school. Big fan! THANKS AGAIN!! :)" Seriously, how does that NOT make you feel good?! On top of that, when I showed that message to Duane (my boss), he said, "Yes, these messages and this type of feedback is great to receive. It sure can help make ones day brighter! :-) And . . . good compliments to you for the great contributions you are already making at MIAD." I tell ya what, this "Warm and Fuzzies" concept sure does make me feel awesome about where I'm at in my job right now!! So, here's to many more happy months with me and my job!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chubs!

Today, my niece (the one and only Austyn Marie), turned 6 years old. I seriously can't believe she's SIX!! She is developing into such a smart, beautiful, hilariously diva-esque little lady. I couldn't be happier to have this little one as my niece. She continually brings a smile to my face! Below are some pictures from the past 6 years (oldest first). Not all of them are mine, but I think they capture the essence of this little beauty. Enjoy. Happy, HAPPY birthday, A! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Three Years.

16 days since my last blog entry. Wow. I don't even have an excuse worthy enough to justify that! Well, work and life have been pretty crazy, so I guess that counts for something. Anyway, I started this entry on May 3, and I never got back to it. It would've had much more significance that day, but I still wanted to share it. You might wonder why any entry would matter on a specific day, and here's why.

May 3, 2011, marked three years since I got in my car accident. Sometimes, it feels like the accident just happened yesterday. Other times, it feels like it really was three years ago. Regardless, every time I think back to that night, I experience quite the flood of emotions, primarily fear and happiness. Those two emotions don't typically go hand in hand, but it makes sense to me. I feel fear every time I think about what COULD have happened. The pictures below should help explain why. And on the flip side, I feel happiness because of what DIDN'T happen, and because I somehow managed to crawl out of that car with a mere two bruises on my shins. No scratches. No blood. Nothing. How can one not feel happy and lucky to be alive after something like that?! Any time I need a reminder not to take things for granted, I glance at these photos and thank God for the life I have! :)