Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Everything!

NYC in black and white just felt very Christmas-y to me. I'm going to take a little blog vacation over the holidays. I think it's going to be a big year in 2009, for me, my blog, my photography, my life and my family. Wishing everyone who reads this a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus and a blessed start to your 2009!! See you in the new year :)

a case of the giggles!

My cousin-in-law (still trying to figure out if that's technically correct) originally posted this site on her blog a few days ago. I am just now having a chance to look at it and thank goodness 1. that my office has a door and 2. that there are few colleagues here today because I have a major case of the giggles looking at this blog. It is HILARIOUS! It's basically a blog filled with pictures of horribly decorated cakes with off decorations, misspellings or just general oddness. Consider it a little mindless entertainment for everyone just before the holidays. So stop what you're doing and take five minutes to read Cake Wrecks.

Some examples that are giving me the giggles below:

I love this one for several reasons: 1. Let's Snow?!?! 2. check out the label 3. what is that green stuff in the sky?
ummm.... OH OH OH!!!! Merry Christmas!
lets try to totally not be offensive to anyone! WOHOO WINTER! (the commentary on the site surrounding this cake picture is priceless) and my personal favorite... Congratulations!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"I hate this stupid disease"

This blog is generally a light hearted place where I post 50 million photos and funny snippets into our daily lives. Something I don't talk a lot about is my job for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The five months I have been working here have been some of the most challenging, empowering and rewarding of my career. I get to meet amazing cancer survivors and tell their stories to the media. I get to help educate lawmakers about cancer issues and the battle against cancer that our nation is currently losing (but doesn't have to be). I watched 400 volunteers march on Capitol Hill and tell their federal government that it is time for something to be done.

One of our motto's here is "empowering ordinary people to do extraordinary things." Another one, and a favorite of our president is "If one American can fight cancer, a nation can rise up to defeat it." I truly believe these things.

A colleague just hung up her phone and yelled "I hate this stupid disease." An amazing advocate and volunteer of ours, who is a two time breast cancer survivor just found out that they found positive spots on a bone scan. Yet she still wants to help us and tell her story (her story of, despite having good insurance, she has faced over $50,000 in out of pocket expenses to beat her cancer). News flash: having cancer not only isn't pretty, it ain't cheap.

I don't know the purpose of this post, it's kind of rambling. I guess it's just important for me to remind everyone that will listen that regardless of the fact our nation is in a recession (or depression or whatever it means when Wall Street is tanking), that regardless of the fact that more people care about celebrity news than real news and regardless of the fact that Christmas is next week, over 1.4 million Americans will still battle cancer this year (One in two men; One in three women) and over 565,000 of them - 1,500 a day!!! - will die from it.

Maybe this depresses you, but I hope it empowers you. I fight cancer every day. I have friends and coworkers who - literally - fight cancer every day. We all have friends and loved ones who are fighting or who have lost the fight. It is time to get mad. It is time to say that this war on cancer (that Nixon declared in 1971) is OVER and it is time for the federal government to take responsibility and do something about it. You CAN make a difference.

[stepping off my soapbox]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Evening Manhattan

(sometimes you find a picture with such great light that you have to stop what you are doing and post it on your blog)

This one is for you Dad!

There was a very special lady doing a special, limited time engagement at the Palace Theater while we were in New York two weeks ago...

Dad - I'll send you hi-res files that you can blow up to 3' x6' :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

New York by Air

So, while we were in New York City a few weeks ago, Friday morning Brad took me on a helicopter tour over the city. For those of you who don't like to fly, I do not recommend this. Yes, the views were amazing, but seriously. It was quite scary! I believe the second picture accurately depicts my excitement to do this. But because I went through the terror, you get to see cool pictures of NYC!

the death machine
one of us is not so excited about this
take off
New Jersey
Ellis Island Lady Liberty

Governors Island
yes, it's a crazy angle that may make you sick to your stomach, but I wanted you to really experience it!
lower Manhattan/Battery Park
Ground Zero
Penn Station
Midtown and the Empire State Building
Central Park
the old and new Yankee stadiums - old one at the top, new one at the bottom
(this picture has gotten over 600 views on Flickr since I made it public last Thursday - there are a LOT of Yankee fans out there!)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Which is probably good, since Christmas is a whooping ten days away (good GRIEF, where does time go? What happened to 2008?).

We have been busy little elves preparing for the holiday. Last Tuesday, we got our tree. Picked it up from the Catholic elementary school run by our church, so it was worth paying a little more for a good cause. It was an easy pick and I love the little, quirky tree we have. Here it is, stuffed in the car, ready to go home:

Only after we got it home and up in the stand, we noticed how funny the top looked:

But with the lights and ornaments, you almost can't tell:

Yesterday, we had our not-quite-annual Cookies and Hot Chocolate holiday party. Basically a good time in the afternoon to relax with friends and nosh on yummy treats. I spent about four hours Saturday morning making chocolate treats for the occassion and Harris Teeter provided the cookies. I think the spread looked pretty good this year:

It included this adorable snowman cupcakes my talented coworker and friend Kristi made (snowman is made out of fondant):

We made a pot of hot water in the kitchen and then people could mix their own hot chocolate and put whatever fixins' they wanted on top (mainly posting this picture because our kitchen is NEVER this clean - props to Brad!)

On Saturday, Brad hit up the local nursery and got us a pretty pointsetta, which is keeping our Ohio State welcome mat company out in the hall (the Santa hat is for effect for the picture, it's usually on Brad's head)

Close up of our front door with our wreath and yellow support the troops bow. I plan on making a bigger yellow bow once the wreath comes down to hang until David gets back from South Korea.

Brad has always wanted candles in the window, so this year I broke down and "let" him get some battery operated candles. This is the view of our family room from the courtyard below:

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Introducing: the Latte Lounge!

Isn't it beautiful? It's our new coffee maker at work. It makes 60 different drink combinations and the whole office is positively abuzz about it! Get this:

> three different strengths of coffee (mild, regular and strong) come in four different types (Colombian Medium, French Roast Dark, Dark Decaf and House Blend).

> three different flavor shots: French Vanilla, Hazelnut Vanilla and Irish Cream.

> bunches of specialty coffees, including cappuccino, caffe latte (which I had with vanilla hazelnut this morning), mochacchino (I think my afternoon snack today!), steamed milk with the choice of flavors, cocoa with water, cocoa with frothed milk, and cafe mocha.

This thing is SUPER! A little coffee treat in my Chicago mug (pictured below) and it's just the best start to the day. Seriously, Starbucks and Breugger's, watch out. No more morning coffee stops!

The AMAZING Library Hotel!

I told you it was amazing, didn't I? The Library Hotel is a 60 room boutique hotel on the corner of 41st and Madison, just one block from the New York City Public Library. All the rooms are numbered by the Dewey Decimal System (doesn't that throw you back to elementary school?!), with each of the 10 floors having a different "theme," based on one of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System - Social Sciences, Languages, Math and Science, Technology, The Arts, Literature, History, General Knowledge, Philosophy and Religion. We stayed in room 800.004, Dramatic Literature. The hotel was so comfortable and just the perfect place to curl up with coffee and a book (something I, unfortunately, didn't get the chance to do!). The staff and the other guests (most of who were British or Australian!) were all so friendly and it was just a fantastic place to stay!

the lobby... look at all the books!!!
beautiful wreath in the front lobby
14th floor garden terrace and writers room
second floor reading room where we enjoyed breakfast, an afternoon wine and cheese reception and 24 hour snacks and coffee
the AWESOME coffee machine making my decaf cappuccino (probably the fourth that day!)
our floor - the 8th floor - Literature
our room

love the built in bookshelf tucked in the corner!