Thursday, December 29, 2011

Give Me One Reason

Okay, folks. Same 'ol story, just a different day. My blogging sucks lately. And it's still going to suck, but I just wanted to let you know I'm alive. Soon enough, I will do a Christmas post, maybe over the weekend. Speaking of which, I am only a couple hours away from hitting the road to Colby for a nice extended weekend, a weekend which includes my (hush!) 26TH BIRTHDAY! Yikes. No real plans this year as I have no money and people are busy. L is on his way to Hawaii as we speak, so to say I'm jealous is a bit of an understatement, ha! I will probably just lay low and enjoy the time I have at home since I don't work again until January 4th. Yay! Very much looking forward to a little time off.

Anyway, there's a brief little update, and while I have you, I figured I'd also share this song with you. I heard it today and it brought back memories since it's been a LONG time since I've heard it. Not sure why, but I've always loved this song. Hopefully you all recognize and enjoy it! Oh, and Happy New Year if I'm not back by then! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jingle All The Way

Two weekends ago, I made the familiar trip to La Crosse for a little Christmas gathering with some of my friends. In an effort to provide a little background on the festivities, here's part of the event description: "In the spirit jollity, let us join together for a special day of movie watching, Mariah Carey dancing, Chinese food eating, and Rotary Lights gazing! Our goal for the day will be to watch 4 selected holiday movies (more on that later), eat some great food, and walk through the Rotary Lights hand in hand. Simple yet awesome."

The event idea was conceived by L and our friend Matt, and in case you're wondering about the movie selection, here's what went down. All the people who had committed to attending (about 10-ish of us) were to submit a list our top 4 Christmas movies. From that list, L and Matt narrowed those movies down to a list of 16. At that point, they were presented to us in "battle" format, kind of like a basketball bracket, and we had to vote for whichever movie we wanted to win that match-up. We did this until we reached a final four. You'll see a photo of the winners below, and once you see which movies we selected, I think you'll realize that there was clearly some humor and fun involved in terms of which movies made the cut.

Anyway, we spent most of the day together, watching movies, snacking, drinking, dancing, etc. We also went to see the Rotary Lights, which was beautiful as always. I had a blast and am sad that it'll be over a month from that event before I even have the chance of getting up there again. Damn it, not having a paycheck in December is REALLY cramping my style. Anyway, it was such a fun day that got me pretty pumped for the holidays. Sadly, I haven't had much time to get really festive this holiday season, so it was nice to take part in something that reminded me the holidays are upon us. Maybe next year I'll have a tree and be able to afford presents for my loved ones. ;) That being said, if I'm not back before, Merry Christmas (or happy holidays) to all of you. Hope you have a great time with your friends and family! :)

L in his holiday get-up with his creepy Mrs. Claus doll.

Part of the event involved bringing some sort of holiday decoration. Here we have Mrs. Claus holding a Babysitter's Club Christmas video next to a bear skull wearing a Santa hat. Yeah, no one said the decorations had to be "normal." ;)

The movie winners!
(Jingle All The Way; Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale; Holiday in Handcuffs; and The Muppet Christmas Carol)

Every time "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey came on, we had to dance. Clearly some people took this VERY seriously.

See L up on the stage? Yeah, he was doing some random dance, and other people thought he was part of the Rotary Lights. Hilarious!

This one makes me laugh EVERY time. L's face is so far into the hole while the rest of us ladies are so far back. Good stuff! ;)

Me and L. :)

The group (UW-L alums) in front of the UW-L Eagle!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HBD, Drew Elise!

In my rush to provide you with some updates in my "Two Weeks In" post earlier today, I almost forgot to create a post celebrating the FIRST birthday of my beautiful niece, Drew! No, I didn't forget that it is her birthday, I just almost forgot the post. Anyway, it's honestly scary to me how quickly this year has gone. I remember being stranded in La Crosse due to blizzard-like conditions when she was born, so she was the first of the six Smith kiddos that I didn't get to meet in the hospital. I was pretty bummed about that. :( Sadly, I think I have seen Drew much less than I saw the other kids at that age, primarily because my finances, coupled with the distance from Milwaukee to Colby, have prevented me from getting home nearly as much as I'd like to get there. Regardless, I'm so happy this little peanut is part of this world, and I can't wait to get home and see her (and all the family) again for Christmas! Happy birthday, Drew! :)

The first time I met her!

Tongue hanging out! :)
(Photo courtesy of Courtney - aka: Drew's mama)

Just chillin'.
(Photo courtesy of Courtney - aka: Drew's mama)

Spending time together at Jenna's baby shower.

Thanksgiving '11
(Check out how high her pants are;)

Two Weeks In!

Hey all! Thanks for being patient with me on the lack of blog posts lately. Unlike my lazy sister-in-law, I have had A LOT going on these days. (So has she, but I'm just using her words;). Anyway, I've been really stressed and rather emotional lately, so I figured I'd spare you all the details of the crazy thoughts in my head. ;) As you know based on my last blog entry, I started my new job at UW-M last week (11/28). To say the last two weeks have been overwhelming may be a bit of an understatement, but I think that is to be expected when starting over again... During these two weeks, I have spent a lot of time reading, researching, and sitting in on student appointments, just trying to take in as much information as I possibly can. The whole information overload concept definitely rings true (especially when you factor in the fact that I'm trying to figure out all my benefits and insurance too), but I've actually really enjoyed learning so much. This week, I got to lead a few appointments of my own, meaning the other advisor sat in with me, but I led the discussion. After the first couple appointments, I started feeling pretty confident about the information I was giving to students. I think my biggest fear is when they start asking really specific things, whether it be about classes, potential career paths, etc. I know I'll start to understand that information more as time goes on, but it's hard not to feel like I should know it all right away. Guess I just gotta go a little easier on myself! :) I'd be lying if I said that I was super pumped the first few days. In fact, I even had fleeting moments of, "Holy shit, did I make the wrong decision?!" I think I was just a little thrown off by the major differences between UW-M and MIAD. And let's be real, no one will ever live up to Duane as a boss. That being said, however, I've already started to feel a big shift in my mood and attitude about the job, and I'm really excited to come into my own in the office. I know I can do it, I know I'm good at what I do, and it's just a matter of getting the opportunity to prove that! Honestly, I still can't even believe that I got this new job and that I'll already be starting week three on Monday. Where does time go?! I hope things just keep getting better and better, and I look forward to sharing more details with you in the future. Until then, be on the look out for a few random posts as well as a few holiday-related ones. I promise I'll try to be a little more on top of the blog from here on out! :)