Friday, April 27, 2012

HBD, Dave!

Today, my oldest brother Dave is celebrating the big 3-1. I suppose after turning 30, 31 probably doesn't seem so bad. I wouldn't know yet, ha! Besides, I'm sure all those kiddos keep him young too! ;) As with the rest of my family, I sadly don't get to see Dave as often as I'd like, but I'm looking forward to getting home in a couple weeks to spend some time with the fam during the Smith Bros. open house! I cherish that time very much. Anyway, I am wishing Dave a million more happy years. Happy birthday, bro! Love ya! :)

(I apologize for the random pics. This post is solid proof that he and I need more photos together:).
Brian and Gerdie's Wedding
St. Patty's Day a few years ago
Thanksgiving 2009
Christmas 2010
Celebrating the Packers Super Bowl win! (2011)
(Gotta hand it to A for photo bombing us;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Look!

Hey all! Just wanted to ask you to stick with me as I figure out this new look for my blog. I was kind of "forced" into a new setting by Blogger, and before I knew what I was doing, the whole look of my blog changed. Say what?! (I feel like it's the Facebook timeline all over again.) Anyway, now that I've done a little customization, I'm actually kinda liking it a bit, but don't be surprised if you see a few more changes in the near future! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sushi + Beach = :)

Don't worry, folks. I haven't forgotten about you! Just keeping busy as usual. I want to say there was some sort of event I was going to post about, but I can't remember what it was at the moment. That being said, I thought I'd just do a little filler post to share a recent Milwaukee adventure I had with L. He was down here unexpectedly, and not for very long, but I'd like to think we made the most of our time together! :) Step one was trying a new restaurant. Not just any restaurant, but one that serves sushi. I have tried sushi on a few different occasions, and I never really found anything I loved. However, it's one of those things that I feel like I should love, so I keep giving it a shot. L is incredibly good at knowing what I'd like, what I'd hate, etc. He was convinced that if we went for sushi, he could pick out some things I'd enjoy. Well, he was right! We went to a restaurant called Thai-namite (this link takes you to the menu with sushi on it), and it was really cool! So glad we chose it. In case you're interested, we went with a roll of each of the following: 
  • Spicy Scallop: scallop, cucumber, spicy masago mayo, wasabi tobiko
  • Salmon Skin: Salmon skin, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo
  • Crunchy: shrimp tempura, cream cheese, asparagus, tempura crumbs, unagi sauce
  • Oreo: super white tuna, shiitake, black tobiko
  • Asparagus: tempura Asparagus tempura, mayo, unagi sauce
My favorite was the spicy scallop, and my least favorite was the oreo. I am happy to report that ALL were edible, though. Ha. My biggest problem was trying to fit the whole damn piece in my mouth at once. Thank God this wasn't a first date for us or something because I was less than attractive. No joke, I had sauce on my face and sushi in my hair at one point. H.O.T. Thankfully L likes me for me, ha! I also struggled with the fact that I could feel little fish eggs in my mouth as I chewed, but when I didn't allow myself to think about it too much, it was actually very good! :)

After the food, we stopped at a little bar called the Roman Coin for a local beer and then headed out. I asked him on the way to the restaurant if we could stop at the beach on our way back. Every day when I drive to work, I drive past a long, beautiful stretch of beaches along Lake Michigan, and I always want to stop and walk around, but I've never done it. Thankfully, L obliged and despite it being quite windy and chilly, it was a beautiful day to check out the scenery. Overall, a really great day exploring Milwaukee a little bit more, and you can see some photos of our adventures below!
All the sushi. Yum!!!
One view from the beach!
Me and L on the beach! I like this one. :)
Is it just me, or does he look pretty badass up on those rocks?! ;)
Another beach shot! Kinda fun. :)
Me. Yeah, it was windy and COLD.
Right before heading back to my place!
Last view before heading out!
No real purpose for this pic other than the fact that I love that shirt on him and I wanted a picture with him in it, ha. 
Yeah... Are you sick of us yet? ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3 and 12.

While I don't have kids yet, I am lucky enough that I can say I have the next best thing: 6 amazing nieces and nephews. (Soon to be 7 when Jacob and Casey have their first baby in a MONTH!) Anyway, while I don't get to see the kiddos nearly as much as I'd like, they bring me more joy than I can possibly say, and I couldn't be happier to have them in my life. Aside from simply gushing about all of them, this entry does serve a purpose - to celebrate the birthdays of Nash and Peyton. See last year's entry here. Yesterday, my little Nasher turned a whopping three years old, and tomorrow, Peyton celebrates his golden birthday and turns twelve. TWELVE. Let me repeat that. TWELVE. Are you kidding me?! The fact that "I" am freaking out about this leads me to believe that Dave and Court are probably freaking out even more. It's hard to believe these kids are growing so fast, but the best part about it is that they seem to be growing into such special, well-behaved little humans. ;) Sure, there will be fights and attitudes and white lies and resistance (in other words, things all kids experience), but I am continually amazed at how good they are. And really, how many other twelve year old boys would be just as eager now as they were at age 6 to run and give their aunt a signature "special hug?!" Not many. Love that Peyton and I still share that little bond, and I hate that he's almost as tall as me, thereby making our hug that much harder. ;) And then there's Nash. He and I are finally at a point where he loves to run and give me a big 'ol hug whenever he sees me. That smile legitimately lights up the room, folks. Then it's usually not too long before we find ourselves locked back and forth between a, "You naughty." "No, YOU naughty." That's when I realize that if I'm arguing with a 3-year old about being naughty, and if he really is naughty, then I'm probably not doing him any favors by arguing with him. ;) Anyway, point of all this is, I love these boys dearly and can't believe another year has gone by. We can only hope they continue to grow into the wonderful young men they're capable of being. Happy birthday, boys. Auntie Nae Nae loves you! :)

(Photo courtesy of Court - aka: The Mama:)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Top 'O The Mornin' To Ye!

Only a few weeks behind on my St. Patty's Day post, but better late than never. ;) Most of you probably already know this, but my friend Megan (a sister to Court and Casey) came down to visit, and we had a total blast! On Friday night, we ventured out and had a nice dinner at the Water Street Brewery, which I haven't been to yet. I think I've mentioned this before, but when people come to visit, I like to try and eat at places that I've never been; that way, we can both experience something new! Lord knows there are enough restaurants in Milwaukee to try something new for a LONG time. Anyway, it was a pretty lowkey night since we knew we'd probably get a little crazy on Saturday for St. Patrick's Day. If you are unaware, it's pretty much one of my favorite days of the year. Not sure when or why my affection for this day grew so strong, but I get SO excited about it. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. When we went out on Friday, we noticed that there were a convenient number of Irish bars right in that area, so we set our sights on that part of town. Now get this. My mom and Aunt Becky were in town for a concert, and turns out there hotel was right there. Not even kidding, without even knowing where they were staying, turns out it was literally a walk across a little bridge from their hotel to the bars we wanted to go to. If that's not a coincidence, I don't know what is! We met them around noon and ventured around the area. One of the bars I've always wanted to go to is called Harp. I love Irish bars, and Harp is my favorite Irish beer (although I like a lot of them), so the place has always made me curious. They had a big 'ol tent and there were tons of people in there. Given how hot it was that day, it was a little uncomfy in there. A few beers were drank as we people watched, and after I almost got my a** kicked in a bathroom bar fight (no joke), we moved on to a few other places. Eventually, we met up with my old boss Duane and his brother Dan, and man, what a hoot that was. Those guys are crazy, but so ridiculously fun. We went strong all day, and by the time we got back to mom and Becky's hotel, it was time for bed for this girl. ;) Meg and I stayed at their hotel because it probably wouldn't have been safe for us to go back to my place, even in a cab, ha! I woke up feeling better than I thought I would, but that changed pretty damn quickly. As we recapped the evening and sat around, I started to feel quite sick. Even had to kick mama out of the bathroom just in time for me to vomit. Yeah. I was that girl. I can usually handle myself and can also recover well, but not this time. I pulled myself together long enough to leave the room, but by the time the elevator hit the ground floor, I almost puked again. Panicked and thought I'd lose it right there, and of course the bathroom was all the way across the hotel. I made it. :) Got home in one piece, and, you guessed it, lost it one more time. Yeah, folks. Are you gettin' it? I was p.a.t.h.e.t.i.c. Fortunately after Meg left, I was able to lay in bed ALL day, but no joke, I think it was probably 3 days later before I felt 100%. I had a total blast, but if I learned anything from this year, it's that I need to pace myself, be more careful, and avoid mixing things. If I'm drinking beer, I need to remain strong and just drink beer. Irish car bombs and shots, as tempting as they may be;), need to be off limits. I can't handle it like I used to, ha! With all this said, however, I am still very much looking forward to next year. :) Enjoy a few photos from our adventures!

We sent this to a few people we wished had been there.

Cool green chair in the hotel! Fit our theme well. :)

Now Piggy in the green chair! :)

Me and mama at Trinity.

Becky and mama at McGillycuddy's.

Me and Pig in the tent at Harp!

See what I mean? Irish car bombs are BAD. ;)

Just hangin' out!

Me and Duane. Oh, what a guy! :)

Take us home. ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Little Things:)

A little set-up before I get to the purpose of this entry. When I worked at MIAD, I became part of a professional organization called MACIC that is centered around connecting colleges in the Milwaukee area with business professionals who offer internship opportunities for students. I was approached last year to be the Secretary of the organization and felt pretty excited about it, so I took on the responsibility. Unfortunately, as I've been involved over the past year and a half, I've come to realize that, while the group is a good idea in theory, it is very challenging to get members involved. I have expressed my frustration to several people, including L, and that's where this story is going. I sent out an email yesterday reminding people to send me nominations for the Leadership Team (so, people to step into roles like I am in). Since UW-La Crosse is a member school, the people in that office received my email, which is how L got it. I sent the initial email over a week ago, and yesterday's was just a follow-up. Anyway..... Long story short, L and I had a tiny little email exchange that he initiated in response to yesterday's message. Nothing major, but since we don't email too often (because we Facebook chat instead, ha!), and since today has been a bit of a long day, it was just the thing I needed to brighten my day. :)

L: You do good work... ;-)

ME: Aww, thank you! I try... ;-) (Too bad not a single person has emailed me a nomination, ha.)

L: I know. I figured that was such. It's okay. You're still pretty special.

Kinda sweet, right?! Maybe it's just me, but that was just what I needed this afternoon. I get quite discouraged as a part of this group sometimes, but just to know someone appreciates the work I do (and thinks I'm pretty special;), makes me feel really good. I can now enjoy the rest of my day, ha!