#BeThankfulChallenge Number 4

I’ve been bad about posting the #BeThankfulChallenge both on the blog and on Twitter.  Ooops.  Here we go.

November 19 – Old Friends.  This weekend (as in the weekend of the 19th), my friend Molly was in town from Boston.  I spent a good part of Saturday sitting on the couch with Molly and Allie, just chatting and hanging out.  After Allie went home, Ben, Molly and I went to dinner.  Post coming soon, but it was great to just hang out with old friends and laugh.

November 20 – Taxis.  I’m happy I live in a place that has taxis – and it’s safe to use them.  Sure, D.C. has wicked expensive cabs, they charge by the person, and they never know where they are going (hello, D.C. is on a grid system), but they are just so darn convenient.  Whether its just been a long day and you can’t stand to wait for the post-rush-hour metro, the metro is broken, or you’re going out and no one wants to be DD, cabs are there for you.

November 21 – Indian Summers.  Despite living in Boston for four years, I actually hate the cold.  I’d much rather be in a warm location.  So I’m loving this fall.  I love this weather where you could be completely comfortable either with or without a coat.  And it is perfect running weather.  Speaking of running, I should be doing more of that.

November 22 – My apartment.  Sure, the “American Dream” is to own a home.  And I’m sure one day, Ben and I will own our own home.  But for the meantime, I love our apartment.  Its not too big (aka – it doesn’t take a whole lot of time to clean), but its big enough to hold all our stuff.  It’s got an awesome view (what girl wouldn’t love a view of Nordstroms).  When something breaks, we just call the front desk (and it doesn’t cost us anything).  We each have our own walk-in-closets.  Its quite perfect for this stage in our life, if you ask me!

November 23 – Photos.  I LOVE photos.  I could look through old photos for hours without getting bored.  They bring back such happy memories.  During most of my life, I’ve always been the one with the camera snapping away a ton of photos.  But I’ve been TERRIBLE at taking photos the past year or so.  I hope to get back into this habit, because I love having photos to look back on!

November 24 – Family.  I know I dedicated the first week to my family, but it would be terrible if I didn’t remember them again.  I love coming from a close knit family.  Growing up, my family lived a stones throw away.  Literally.  My grandparents lived next door.  But now that all the kids are grown up, I’m glad that we all make an effort to come together during the holidays.

November 25 – Sales.  Oh Black Friday.  My closet thanks you.  Well, maybe it’s my wallet that thanks you.  This year’s successes include new black pants for work, Jackie cardigans from J. Crew, and a navy wrap dress.

November 26 – My iPhone.  I love my iPhone.  I held out for way to long.  It let’s me have just about everything at the touch of my fingertips.  Emails, music, the Internet – it’s all there.  Hands down better than my old BlackBerry.

November 27 – Helpful people.  Today’s thank you goes out to the nice lady at the Amtrak ticket counter in Philly.  This morning, at entirely to early of a time, Ben and I boarded the train in A.C. for Philly.  Upon arriving in Philly, I realized I handed the conductor the wrong ticket!  Ben and I went up to the ticketing desk, and the nice woman was able to hand write me a new ticket.  I was so embarrassed.  I couldn’t believe I handed in the wrong ticket.  And I can’t believe the conductor didn’t notice!  I was just happy that I didn’t need to purchase a new ticket.  So thank you, Amtrak woman.  Thank you.

November 28 – Christmas music.  Nothing puts me in a good mood quite like Christmas music.  I would listen to it all year if it wasn’t frowned upon.  Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I’m thankful that I can blast my Christmas music judgement free.

November 29 – My apartment’s front desk staff.  They are all very friendly and helpful, even when the fire alarm is going off at 3 in the morning.  They email you when you have a package and have let me into my apartment more times than I care to admit.

Well…and one for tomorrow, since I’m so close…

November 30 – I can’t believe its taken this far to get here, but I dedicate November 30 to my friends.  To those people, near and far, who have been with me through thick and thin.  Whether we talk daily, weekly, monthly, or once-in-a-blue-moon-because-sometimes-life-gets-in-the-way, know that you all mean so much to me.  I’m thankful for the talents you all share and the laughs we’ve had over the years.  I’m thankful for the days we sat around and did nothing, and the nights that lead to great stories in the morning.  And to those of you that actually read this thing, THANK YOU!

I love visitors!

There was no traveling for me this weekend.  Instead everyone came to me.

Saturday afternoon Cheryl came over after her conference.  We immediately popped open a bottle of wine and began to catch up.  Since she graduated almost four years ago, I’ve seen Cheryl SIX times (in the fall of my senior year, AJ’s wedding, her wedding, when she was in DC for a conference in April 2009, Jess Eddy’s wedding and this weekend).  That’s a ton for someone who lives in Texas.  Granted a lot of that is because we are in the wedding years of our life, but still.  And I’ll get to see her in six weeks when she comes to Charleston for our wedding. 

That night we got dressed up and headed to Old Towne for dinner.  We popped into O’Connells for dinner.  I had a lamb burger that was pretty good.  Ben had the fish and chips and Cheryl had scallops – both seemed to enjoy their meal.  Afterwards, we tried to go to PX, but they didn’t have any room at the bar.  So we headed back to our apartment, ate a ton of guac, and chatted the night away. 

However, Cheryl and I were very bad bloggers.  Neither of us took a SINGLE photo of the evening. 

Sunday, after Cheryl left, my brother Jimmy ended up coming over.  He was in town because he had tickets to a bunch of the NCAA games in D.C.  We grabbed lunch at this adorable crêpe place in Pentagon Row and hung out for a bit.  It was good to see him. 

After he left, I took a nap and then made fajitas for dinner.  I haven’t had fajitas in FOREVER.  Of course, it was a bit labor intensive, but they were very good in the end. 

All in all, I loved my relaxing weekend with visitors!

The dance

well, it happens about once a decade, but last night BU finally had its shot at the dance.   Yes my friends, BU men’s basketball team actually made it to the March Madness tournament.  No not the NIT tournament, the NCAA March Madness tournament.

So yeah, we were matched up against Kansas, ranked number one and President Obama’s pick to win the tournament.

During the first half, BU put up quite a fight. For a hot second, they were even up by two.  But that didn’t last.  During the second half, Kansas ran away with the game.

photo of bu-kansas ncaa bball game
proof bu was up at somepoint!

 

We had some fellow BU-ers over last night to watch the game and we ordered wings from Wing Zone.  I forgot how much I love wings; I feel like we haven’t ordered any in forever.

Tonight, Cheryl comes over.  I’m super excited to spend some time with this lovely BU lady.

New Year’s Eve Weekend

Did everyone have a good New Year’s Eve? 

Ben and I decided to head out to Richmond for the holiday.  We didn’t get to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving together, so we decided this could be our holiday time.  Plus, it was kinda a special anniversary for us.  We found a great deal at the Omni Richmond and off we went!

We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and hung out in our room a bit.  We exchanged our Christmas presents (I got a beautiful red electric tea kettle and Ben got Toy Story 3).  At 6:15 6:45, the hotel brought us a bottle of champaign and four chocolate covered strawberries.  I gotta say – the strawberries were fantastic!  Perhaps the best part of the hotel. 

Around 8 we headed out to the Capital Alehouse.  It’s a great restaurant/brew house that serves TONS of beer on draught and has a very large microbrewerly selection.  Ben started with an Avery Maharaja and I tried a Delirium Noel.  The Delirium was very good – a great winter brew.  The bar had a cool strip of ice that went down its length to help keep your beverage cold. 

Capital Alehouse - beer taps

Delirium Noel

We had 10:15 dinner reservations at Julip’s, a great southern place in town.  Dinner was fantastic!  We started with the shrimp and grits.  It was made with white cheddar, grilled andouille sausage and a lobster stock emulsion.  It was a fancy restaurant version of what Ben’s mom makes.  Then Ben ordered the osso bucco and I had the mac and cheese with spinach and butternut squash.  For dessert we ordered bananas foster, which they make tableside.  Our waiter seemed a bit fake, but he did a decent job.  All in all, it was a great experience.  The portions were huge – both of us brought leftovers home. 

I had made the late reservation with hopes that we would be at the restaurant for midnight, but we had paid the bill by 11:37, so we walked very quickly to a little plaza right next to our hotel to celebrate the new year.

Saturday, we woke up and walked around Richmond for a bit.  Nothing was open, due to the holiday, so we just walked around and took in the sights.  At night, we headed back to the Alehouse.  The night before we purchased tickets for a vintage beer tasting.  Included in the tasting was:

  • 2009 Vintage Harvest Ale
  • 2008 Vintage Harvest Lagavulin Whiskey Cask Aged
  • 2007 Vintage Harvest Port Cask Aged
  • 2006 Vintage Harvest Calvados Cask Aged
  • 2005 Vintage Harvest Sherry Cask Aged

My favorite was the Lagavulin Whiskey Cask Aged.  Obvi it was Ben’s as well.  We split a bavarian pretzel and each ordered a salad to accompany the tasting.  Again, everything was fantastic and very reasonably priced.  After the tasting, we went back to the hotel and just hung out and relaxed for the evening. 

Despite some hiccups in the weekend, we had a great time.  We had a blast and it was a fantastic way to ring in the new year!

How did you ring in the new year? 

Top 5 stories of 2010

As its the end of the year, it’s time to recap 2010. 

1. The Engagement
Sure, the actual engagement happened in 2009.  But waking up engagement on January 1st and having my family coming into town was pretty exciting.  Plus, planning this wedding was one of the biggest topics of 2010, and it all began with the engagement. 

2. Ben and I move in together
Shortly after the engagement, Ben and I moved in to our apartment just outside of D.C.  Living together has been exciting and we’ve learned so much more about each other during the past year.  I absolutely adore our apartment, and we were both devistated when we thought we were going to have to move this January (don’t worry, we aren’t moving). 

3. Securing a wedding location
After tons and tons of research, we finally narrowed our wedding location to three places.  Each different but awesome in their own way.  But when another couple wanted one of our location, we were given less than 24 hours to stake our claim.  After lots of analysis, talking and tears, we decided to take Hibernian Hall.

4. Haddis’ passing
 The death of Haddis was both shocking and sad.  Ben lost his best friend and a groomsman in our wedding.  I’ll never forget when Ben recieved that phone call.  Some days, it doesn’t seem real. 

5. Running a 10K
When we all decided to run a 10K, I wasn’t sure we were actually going to follow through with the plan.  But somehow, we did.  Despite getting lost, running a mile warmup, and being 10 minutes late, it was an amazing experience.  It has inspired me to keep on running.  Bring on Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon 2012!

RIP Haddis Girma

This post is dedicated to an amazing guy whose life was cut way too short. 

Last week, Ben’s best friend Haddis passed away.  Haddis was one of the most chill, fun-loving, dedicated, and inspirational person I had the opportunity to meet during my time at Boston University.

I remember when the girls in my sorority used to joke with Ben that his guy friends, such as Haddis, didn’t exist.  That they were his “imaginary” friends.  And then I got a chance to meet Haddis.  I can’t quite remember what we were doing the night we met, but I remember being wicked nervous.  This was my new boyfriend’s best friend after all.  But Haddis welcomed me with open arms and gave me a big hug.

And then in the Summer of 2009, Haddis moved to D.C. to start dental school at Howard.  Ben and I were so excited to have him live near us. 

When Ben and I moved last winter, Haddis offered to help without hesitation.  He even did one better, he brought along one of his friends from dental school to lend an extra hand.  He helped carry all the big boxes and spent all day with us, even though he had an exam coming up.  That was just the kind of person he was – willing to help a friend no matter what. 

We’d see Haddis fairly often.  Ben would have him over, I would cook a big meal for us all and then head to bed while they had boy talk over cigars and bourbon on the porch.  Recently, Ben started to teach Haddis how to play golf.  They two of them would head out to the driving range and hit balls for hours together.

And its so surreal now.  I can’t believe he’s gone.  It makes you ask why – why such a sweet, caring, fun-loving, dedicated person.  This kid worked so hard to get where he was.  It wasn’t easy, but he worked hard and perservered and truly earned everything he accomplished.

RIP Haddis Girma.  You are so, so missed. 

Somehow this is the only picture I can find right now that has all three of us…

Another One Joins

Last night, Ben and I enjoyed a nice bottle of wine.  We then called our friend Kristin, when Ben informed her that it was time for her to come visit because we miss her. 

Then I got on the phone and told her she needs to start blogging.  Like legit.  She told me it wasn’t happening.

And then this afternoon, I woke up from a nap and found this – Prescription for Life.  A DR. KRISTIN blog!!

Welcome to the world of blogging, Kristin.  And now about that trip to D.C…..