Monthly Archives: December 2009

2009: A Year in Review

I had planned on breaking this into two separate posts, but time got away from me.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the last 12 months:

January

  • 30 days of 30
  • First ski/snowboard trip
  • Neil Clennon Reffett was born

February

FAIL

March

  • Work trip to San Francisco (two posts… here and here)

yep, that's a CRUISE ship on the right

April

Clennon and I post-race

May

The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)

June

  • Ohio for Reds/Cubs game
  • Ryan Joseph Lingas was born
  • Started the Great Paint Project

Self-portrait attempt #2. This pic is horrible, but I LOVE it 'cuz it's so real!

July

  • Infamous Rural King incident
  • Cubs/Cardinals game
  • Stephanie’s bachelorette party
  • Hayden Michael Bates was born


August

After

Highlight of the trip: Getting up on waterskiis for the first time!

the entire bridal party!

September

  • 4th 5K
  • Surprise birthday tailgate

October

The bigger the hair, the closer to God

November

December

  • Kim’s surprise birthday party
  • Christmas with my dad’s side
  • Oak Ridge Boys concert
  • First Christmas with my new niece
  • CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!

Birthday girl doing shots

My 92 year old Grannie and my newborn GREAT niece

In addition, there were countless nights out, NUMEROUS trips to Chicago and plenty of downtime.  All in all it was a pretty good year.  I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store for me.

Resolutions 2009: How’d I do?

Let’s see how well I stacked up on my New Years Resolutions, shall we?   (if you’re really bored, you can find the  original post here… and “check up” post here.)

Resolutions 2009 were as follows:

Be 100% smoke free– SUCCESS!

I can say with 100% certainty that I do not smoke. I don’t even know the last time I wanted to smoke.  My lungs are happy.

Avoid fast food– FAIL

It seems that I succumb to fast food more than ever these days. In fact, on my last trip to Chicago, I ate it for lunch AND dinner.  Big fat FAIL (with emphasis on the “fat.”)

Finish more books– FAIL

One would think that being surrounded by books, being a member of a book club, and being a self-proclaimed “book nerd” would mean I would actually read every once in a while.  But I haven’t.  At least not enough.   The last book I finished was a 250 page YA novel. Go me!

Learn to write fiction– FAIL

They say the best way to learn to write is to write…. And even though I took a fiction writing class, I haven’t “practiced” much since then. And I haven’t really felt the desire to get back into it.  Maybe over the winter (?)

Watch more movies– FAIL

I gave up my Netflix subscription and can count on one hand the number of movies I saw in the theater this year.  It’s sad, really, when you can’t even accomplish your “fun” resolutions.

Be more honest– SUCCESS!

I marked this off the list months ago.  Kind of a lame resolution anyway.

Learn to appreciate poetry– FAIL

I’ve tried… really.  And I like to make up birthday poems for my friends.  But it’s really not the same.

Get back to a fighting weight– SUCCESS!

Although I’d still like to lose 20-25 lbs, I’m at *roughly* my “low” weight from a couple of years ago.  And I’ve recently started buying a smaller size (thanks to my friends who told me my “tight” jeans really weren’t that tight!);

Get control of debt– QUESTIONABLE

I’d say I’m in control of my debt… but I’m not out of debt, and I certainly am not where I want to be.  This will be a carry-over resolution next year.

Be more responsible– QUESTIONABLE

I think I’ve been a bit more responsible this year… but I still dont’ really feel like an adult, even though I’m 30.  I wonder when you start feeling grown-up– is it when you have kids?? 

So, there you have it:  my resolution recap for 2009.  Look for a 2010 resolution post sometime before February!!

Oak Ridge Boys: insta review

I just got home from the Oak Ridge Boys concert and I’m doing an insta-review in order to hit the high points.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

a) I went with my family– my mom, aunt, uncle, grandma, and my grandma’s “boyfriend” (or whatever you call it when the “boy” hasn’t been a boy for a good 65-70 years!)

b) The Oak Ridge Boys was my very first concert ever.  And a *huge* part of my childhood memories, especially at Christmas time (maybe I’ll look up old posts that reference this later.  Not now. )

Okay, so first of all, the show was split into two parts:  the “Greatest Hits” and the “Christmas Show.”    The first part opened with some dude (maybe a tour manager?) announcing this fact and then hawking CDs.  Hmmm…

They opened with a song *about them* written by Shooter Jennings.   Again, hmmm….

CLOTHING
By this point, I was CRACKING up at their clothing.  The guy with the really deep voice looked like he was auditioning for American Idol–in skinny jeans, velvet (?) jacket, I-wear-my-sunglasses-at-night.   Definitely the “hippest” of the group.  Dude even had a flavor savor!

The rest of them looked like your average group of middle-aged Harley dudes.  Except they didn’t really match.  And one guy was wearing what appeared to be black tapered SLACKS.   Weird.   Anyway, it was amusing.

CROWD

It goes without saying that the ORB cater to a decidedly older clientel.   In fact, it took a while to find *anyone* who was anywhere near my age bracket.  And it was FUNNY to watch the crowd participate– by clapping, singing along, waving back to Santa, taking videos on their cell phones.    HILARIOUS!    There was a superfan seated in front of us.  She had a SIGNED sweatshirt from “The Boys” and loved every minute of the show.

THE MUSIC

Remember: this is the stuff I grew up on.  We played the Oak Ridge Boys Christmas CD every.single.year while putting up the Christmas tree, baking cookies, opening gifts, etc.  It’s pretty much a family tradition.    They played quite a few of their famous songs during the “greatest hits” portion….but no Bobbie Sue, which greatly disappointed me.   They played some songs off their new album, which they should do…but, again, I wanted to hear Bobbie Sue!

Then they had intermission (weird) and on to the Christmas portion, which was decidedly longer.  They played *some* of their songs off the Christmas CD and did some standbys (Jingle Bells, The Christmas Song, etc.) but they did a LOT of songs that were unfamiliar to me… and a lot of slow songs.  In a row.  At the end.   My grandma’s 80 year old boyfriends was faring better than me in the I-can’t-fall-asleep-at-a-concert department.

IN CLOSING

The cheese factor was severely high tonight– they did the requisite tributes to family, kids, military, etc.   A lot of heartstring pulling, but people were genuinely enjoying themselves.   And, like I said….this music is so engrained in my childhood that I couldn’t help having my own heartstrings pulled a time or two.  Even if I did bust out laughing during Elvira.  I mean, SERIOUSLY, how that song ever got popular is beyond me.

As much as I’d like to be all cynical about it, the show definitely helped get me in the Christmas spirit, though…  for that, it was a success!

Bullets with Butterfly Wings

Wow… “long time, no blog” seems a bit cliché, but well… I’ve been busy.  I’m not sure what all I’ve been doing, but here are a few highlights. 

Over the last few weeks, I

  • had happy hour with my work peeps.  And then celebrated a friend’s 30th birthday… with house guests!
  • became an aunt.  Ryan and Jo don’t want her pictures plastered all over the Internet, but I can say with certainty that she’s absolutely the most perfect baby girl ever.   Yes, I’m biased.
  • had my car in the shop waaaayyy more than I would’ve liked.  I’m not 100% sure it’s fixed yet.
  • celebrated Christmas with my dad’s side of the family, which included meeting my great niece for the first time.
  • made my first successful batch of “murdah bars”– chocolate chip/peanut butter/cookie perfection
  • helped a friend celebrate her 29th birthday (for the 3rd time) with a surprise party
  • celebrated the holidays with my book group
  • attempted to re-create a pear/bacon/goat cheese recipe, without said recipe.  Limited success.
  • attended my official company Christmas party… and unofficial bar crawl
  • ran a few times… but not as much as I should have.  I missed this weekend’s long run.   Next weekend isn’t looking good, either.
  • got hit on at the gym for the first time.  He actually used the “you come here often?” line. 
  • took a whirlwind trip to Chicago, which involved me riding in the backseat underneath an area rug
  • made an unsuccessful batch of Ramen noodles.  Yes, I messed up Ramen!

So, now you’re all caught up.  Christmas week is upon us and I still have presents to buy and wrap and a houseful of stuff to put away.  I have a couple year-end posts planned and then I’m going to re-think my blog a bit.  

A big THANK YOU and Merry Christmas for those of you who have kept up with me over the last year… It’s always nice to know there’s an audience out there reading my random ramblings.

Ignorance is bliss

After an over-long hiatus due to injury, work trip and Thanksgiving, I’m now officially back in the running game.   I decided to pick up at week 5 on my training plan and just go from there.

For the most part, the week went well. I hit (or almost hit) all my scheduled distances AND managed to fit in both days of cross training (including a Cycle class that totally kicked my a$$) and two days of physical therapy.   So I didn’t feel too bad about going out both nights this weekend and putting off my long run until today.

I *totally* procrastinated on the long run, though.  The schedule called for 4.5 miles, which is longer than any of my previous runs… and I haven’t rum more than 3 miles in over a month.

Instead of focusing on the distance, I decided I would just go out and run for an hour–not worry about distance at all.  I put on Hayes Carll, laced up my shoes and took off.  I ran a slightly different route, so I wasn’t fixated on how far it was from point A to point B.   I figured the album would last about an hour.   When all the songs were done, I felt great.  So I decided to keep going.  I was getting close to home, so I challenged myself to run all the way to my front door.  And I did.

When I got home and Google Mapped my run… it was 5.6 miles!  Which is over a mile longer than scheduled and WAAAYYYY longer than I’d ever run before.  I felt great.  And my overall pace wasn’t bad, either.

By focusing on how I felt and not fixating on being “fast” or going “far” I was able to clear some of the mental hurdles I’ve had in the past.  I guess ignorance really is bliss sometimes.

Foto Friday: Crazy Kids

Very soon, these crazy kids will be parents and I’ll be an aunt.   I couldn’t be happier– or more emotional–about it.   Stay tuned!

Jo & Ryan. Minnesota, August 09