Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh Tiny Christmas Tree

Oh Tiny Christmas Tree, Oh Tiny Christmas Tree

I'm back. Why was I gone so long?

1. I have never been able to keep a journal in my life.  I think every journal i have has at least 4 entries of 'this time i am going to keep up with this for real'.
2. My "beloved" CCI Lenovo Laptop saw its last day.  A virus, combined with my attempt to get rid of the virus myself resulted in a laptop that still has a virus but is now completely wiped clean.

However, enter one Mac Book Air and I am officially (hopefully) back.

So much has happened between September and now....
1. My mom came and visited David and I in Chicago :)
2. David and I took a trip to San Francisco
3. We traveled back to NC for the first time since July 1st for Thanksgiving
and so much more in-between.

But more on that later... I am FAR to excited to not post about CHRISTMAS.

This year we lucked out and found a Christmas tree "lot" across from our apartment. Considering we don't had a car this was like striking gold.

Prior to now, I always had a rule that the Christmas tree had to be
2. TALL - well taller than David and I

Now don't worry - our douglas fir is filling our apartment with the smell of Christmas. But in an effort to not have our tree to take up half of our apartment (ok, ok I exaggerate) we got our selves the most wonderful 4 foot tree there ever was.

Note the knee length jacket and my love for our 4 ft. tree


One of my favorite things this time of year is to hear everyone's Christmas traditions.  David and I of course wanted to start a few of our own.  

So we decided that we wanted our Christmas tree to be full of memories and special ornaments.  Because we got married December 20th, we were gifted quite a few ornaments that are now precious to us and have added to them since. Then last year we decided to build on the tradition and buy each other an ornament every year. Something that was special to us - even though it might not make sense to anyone else. Check out a few below:

Given to us by David's parents. So lovely.
My good friend Alison played the violin at our wedding
and her parents sent us this super thoughtful ornament.

My husband loves coffee and I found this last
February and was so happy to hang it this year.
"I'm an elf" - My Ornament to David 2010

David's Ornament to me 2010 
The first ornament we bought to together at the General Store in the Mountains.
To stay we love this fat little santa is an understatement. 
My grandma has been giving us ornaments ever since we were little.
This is just one of many. 
Our favors at the wedding.
Instead of sparklers or rice we have everyone ring these bells as we left our wedding reception.
Now it can serve as an ornament :)

Our First Christmas - 2008

My mom bought us our very first ornaments.
We love having these on our tree and all over our house as decorations :)

How could you not love this tree topper.
Don't worry we are finding a replacement soon ;)

Now off to watch Elf. Not really - but it sure seems appropriate.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

3 Months

On Saturday, David and I will have lived in Chicago for 3 month. I know - we can't believe it either. 

In honor of this momentous occasion (and the fact that I finally uploaded my pictures), I wanted to post a few pictures from my parents visit our first week here.

Picture with the bean  
Lunch & Blues at Buddy Guy's Legends
Waiting for the show    

Water Cannon
Hanging out on the Chicago River Walk
Navy Pier Farris Wheel with David :)

The 'Rents

Navy Pier

View of the downtown Chicago

My crazy father

David letting me take pictures

Watching people walk the pier

Checking out the city

Captain Peanut Butter
 Due to my lack of camera memory (and we aren't talking memory card space people) I missed many of our adventures. 

1. My father graciously put together our kitchen table and TV console. 
2. Eating yummy food - Deep Dish Chicago Pizza, Mayan Palace, etc.
3. Eating Pinkberry on opening day in Chicago
4. Our 45 minute walk through the Art Institute of Chicago on Free Day
5. Our very crowded experience on the El
6. Lots of walking

Wow... can't believe I just remembered all that. Can't wait for the next visit!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I don't like change.

This is not recent news to me - but after a discussion David and I had a few days ago,  I began to think about what that really meant.

If you turn it upside down, inside out, flip it over whatever you want to call it, this means that I am dependent on the "normal."  I want things to stay just as they are.

You may find this weird since about 2 months ago David and I packed our few belongings into a yellow Penske Truck and took off for an adventure in the greatest city of the Midwest - Chicago.

It all fit :)

But this was always "normal" to me. David and I had talked about moving to a big city since before we were married.

Pit Stop = Picture Stop

My response to change is never lovely at first - but then I usually warm up to it just in time for change to occur again.

When it comes to the small things (i.e. a new menu at a restaurant) - I am just being silly.
When it comes to the big things - I am not trusting God.

My goal is experience & accept change.  My goal is to not be so dependent on the "normal". My goal ultimately is trust God.

So I will start with Baby Steps:

Bill Murray I am going to take Baby Steps with you towards accepting change. By the way if you have not see What About Bob - rent it.

p.s. you know it is time to update your blog when your mom comments on the lack of posts. Love you Mom ;)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Food Facts

Fact: I am extremely indecisive when it comes to ordering food

I always narrow it down to 2 choices and then look at David with puppy dog eyes and say "ahhh... what should I do?" My mind immediately starts running an imaginary pro/con list.

Then the server comes - pressure is on - and I make my decision. I would say i usually get it right 50% of the time.

Choice A.  Choice B was ribs - the right choice.

So, once I find something I like - don't expect me to switch. It's just easier that way.

Fact: A hokie sign does not indicate how good the food will be.

Don't be fooled!
I believe David and I have eaten here at least 5 times. We are obsessed. We first went with my parents our first week in town and all 4 of us were beyond impressed.  We have since taken David's brother in law and plan on introducing others as well.  We have also discovered the very small (but charming) patio in the back- you just follow the skinny one person pink hallway. Awkward hallway encounters are just part of the fun.

No worries - I always order the same thing. 2 chicken flautas and a steak taco with rice and beans.

Fact: Once you find a great Mexican place - don't stray.

David and I discovered this today. Wanting to switch it up a little we decided to try a Mexican restaurant closer to downtown.It all went downhill after they brought out the salsa.

Mayan Palace - from now on our loyalty lies with you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Doorman's Tale

Tonight David and I saw "Crazy Stupid Love" (AMAZING).

How could these 3 men not entice you?

Upon our return we stumbled upon our doorman conversing with one of our fellow residents as we stepped on the elevator.

So the tale goes...

"You know how some peoples stomachs slouch? One time I met a Greek woman, and she told me the secret to a tight stomach.  She would take a bit of vinegar and then tie rags around her stomach and it would tighten it right up.  I actually tried it and it worked, my stomach has never been this tight"

The elevator closes, and David and I die laughing.  We must make friends with our tight stomached doorman.

There you go folks. The recipe for a tight stomach - a rag and some vinegar. Who knew it was so easy?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

...and her new couch!

A Couch Haiku

We waited so long
Oh sweet new cream couch of ours
You are beautiful

We waited six long weeks for this beauty to arrive. Let the decorating begin! First, I have to find the motivation... #notgoodatdecorating (yes i just used a hash tag).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

...using Google Reader

Do you follow more than 3 blogs? I have two words for you: Google Reader

One of my best friends (Ana) introduced me to google reader a long time ago, but i just starting using it the beginning of this year.  I love efficiency - therefore, I love Google Reader!

Step 1: Get a Google email account. It is the 21st century after all. Plus when Google+ takes over the world you will need it.

Step 2: Sign in and click the Gmail tab at the top.

Step 3: Click the tab at the top labeled Reader

Step 4: On the left side of the screen click Add a subscription and enter the URLs of the blogs you follow. You have to enter them exactly or it won't pick them up.

Step 5: Enjoy.

1. Starred Items - at the top of the blog post you can star and item and then click on "starred items"  at any time to view the blog posts you loved the most. I usually star recipes or decorating ideas so it is easier to find later
2. All Items - you can view all the new updated posts at the same time, and just scroll down to view the next one. This puts them in chronological order.

Now you can see every time someone updates their blog without having to go to each individual website.  A beautiful thing :)

Teaser of things to come: our new couch, our new neighbors, and friendly visits

Sunday, July 31, 2011

...and her daily commute

30 minute bus ride to work + 40 minute bus ride home = about 70 minutes of time to fill each day.

With what? a book

I would say about 80% of the people who ride the bus are either reading their kindle, a newspaper or a book. I love it.

So i officially joined the unspoken book club, and brought a book along for the first time this past week. 
What you may ask?

If you could be addicted to a book, well call me an addict. I could not put it down. I seriously considered reading and walking - but then I realized my name is Kelsey, I trip walking normal.

So after staying up way too late, and reading every minute I could... the book was finished.

A good book is so bittersweet. You don't want to put it down, but you know that it will eventually end (Harry Potter #7 anyone?).  Luckily this little gem is part of a trilogy...

So of course I immediately ordered the other two. Then i couldn't wait.  So i read them online. I told you, I'm an addict.

These books are definitely the type that as you explain them to someone it sounds horrible, and sad.  But they are undeniably captivating.  Still trying to figure out how they are making them into a movie? I can't wait.

So tomorrow starts my second week as a part of the unofficial book club. 

Next on my list: The Help

After that:  ?


Sunday, July 17, 2011

...listening to her own tunes

I don't listen to music much. I try to find a love for it, but the reality is I would rather sit in silence and think then put my headphones in.  Whenever people ask me what my favorite type of music is I usually respond: "umm well, not really sure, hmm, I really like Cold Play".

However, every once in a while a song strikes my fancy. It never really makes sense why either. Here are a few examples.

1. Florence + The Machine - Cosmic Love

This one is thanks to Water for Elephants (great movie-although I am not too tough a critic when it comes to movies) and their movie trailers. Also, she performed live on SYTYCD and I thought it was amazing.

2. The Civil Wars - Poison and Wine

This one is thanks to my dear friend Sarah. Love truly is a choice, that is what it reminds me.

3. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

An old one. Don't know why but this has always been one of my favorite songs.

So therefore, I wouldn't really come to me for musical advice. However, I always welcome it! Especially now with a 30+ minute bus ride to work :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

...celebrating with the birthday boy

One of the best things about Chicago is the yummy food. It is everywhere.

And since one of David's favorite things is trying new places, we decided to go a bit fancy for his birthday. We went to this nontraditional place you would see on food network called Graham Elliot. We knew it was a right pick when we heard the intro song on their website - love us some Sufjan.

Unfortunately, we didn't get many pictures but it was delicious! Instead of bread, they start you with this amazing popcorn, and then you can either choose to go the tastings route or pick a la carte. We finished our dinner up this piece of deliciousness below - and they even added a candle for the birthday boy. Classy, oh so classy.

Now that's a chocolate cake. small but packed with flavor.

Happy Birthday David.  Excited to share this stage of life with you in the city of broad shoulders.

Monday, July 11, 2011 the city of broad shoulders

We're a perfect match already. Chicago and I that is.

Why, you may ask?

1. Chicago has broad shoulders. 

photo credit - eyesthetically pleasing 

This nickname for Chicago was coined in Carl Sandburg's famous 1916 poem:
HOG Butcher for the World, 
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, 
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler; 
Stormy, husky, brawling
City of the Big Shoulders:

Even Paul Elie from the NY Times admires the city of broad shoulders. check it out.

2. I have broad shoulders.

told ya

My closest friends/family have probably heard me refer to myself as the female version of Michael Phelps (minus the gold medals).  Debated among many, but i still hold strong to this conviction.  I mean i do have a 6 foot arm span & broad shoulders.

I plan on replicating this picture myself. Really. Well once I find a pool, and a swim cap.

No articles have been written about the admiration of my broad shoulders.

So, like I said, we are a perfect match.

I look forward to sharing our adventures in the city of broad shoulders.

Disclaimer: I choose Business and not English as my major for a reason if you catch my drift