Tuesday, November 24, 2009

thanksgiving #1 & #2

on saturday i had a few of my best buds over for a pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving dinner. last year i did the same thing and it was really fun to celebrate thanksgiving with some of the people im most thankful for! we had quite the feast this year. my girls are all such good chefs! they brought asian salad, spinach dip, potstickers, green beans, broccoli cheese casserole, sweet potato pie and pumpkin banana bread. SO GOOD. i made a red pepper dip, applesauce, biscuits and a ham. then we had the banana bread and some cherry pie for dessert. serious food overdose. i had to run around a pit getting things together but i was SO happy to have all of these ladies over. after the show most of us went to bye bye liver which is a comedy show with drinking games. it was a great night!
the best part of making a ham is the leftovers because then i can make my grandma's famous ham & cheese & special mustard spread sandwiches. they are seriously delicious!

today our office has their big thanksgiving party in the loop offices. us kids in the new lincoln park office decided to skip it because it's such a hassle to go back and forth. SO one of my lovely office mates brought in a mini feast for us to enjoy! we had pita and hummus, chipotle cheese and crackers, fudge covered mint oreos and carrot cake cupcakes. i think our feast was better than the big one downtown! i'm going to bring some items tomorrow for thanksgiving #3 and i CANNOT wait for the real deal on thursday. it's so my fav holiday. i love the leftover turkey and all the appetizers and the day off on friday. oh and special time with my family. can't wait!

Friday, November 20, 2009

this week's happy thoughts.

i had a really tough week. i've been super busy with work and school and i'm feeling a bit under the weather. even though it's been a bit rough i still try to find the happy points and highlights.

* on tuesday i had lunch with my old boss from luna bar and she told me she's pregnant!!! she found out really early and is due in june. so that means 2 babies are coming in 2010. can't wait!

* i got to take some staff members and volunteers to a tour of the beautiful driehaus museum yesterday. we did an event there this fall and they offered us a free tour of the space. it was so nice to spend time with staffers i don't usually work with and get a sweet tour of the beautiful museum.

* i had to do a site visit to meet an alumnus and his wife all the way up in lake villa. he's a donor and they're cultivating him for a large gift and he wants to host an alumni event in his area so the development director took me along. i never get to do anything like that normally so it was pretty cool to just spend the night talking with an alum and he treated us to a really hearty european meal. potato pancakes! mmmmm :)

* on the side, i work for my old boss from the doggie boutique. i help her with some home projects - like organizing her desk. last night i went over there to "work." i had one kitty in my lap while i helped her take the plunge with dating websites and shredded a few items and wrote a job description. that's it. i got paid for that. love it!

so all my highlights are work related, which is sad but thanksgiving is next week; which is my absolutely FAVORITE holiday and i can't wait to eat a ton and spend time at home. i'm also doing a little mini thanksgiving/high school reunion this saturday and i can't wait!

Monday, November 16, 2009

nice little weekend.

highlights from a lovely weekend:

* wine and catch-up with the bff @ red rooster wine bar on friday evening

* hip hop dance class of course - it completed kicked my butt this week though! it was much too advanced and i could barely keep up but it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fun!

* czech holiday fair in hinsdale with the rents - we had to sneak in because it was so over crowded! they had a few booths with czech goods like books, cards, stamps, ornaments, crystal, etc. i got a czech pin for my coat and some czech holiday cards for the czechs in my life :). we got to see czech dancers and singers. it was just so fantastic to see a big czech community so close to home! it made me super excited for prague which is just over a month away!

* sunday i got to catch up with my oldest, dearest friend at our high school hang out - baker's square - got my old faithful BLT and a slice of pie. but the best part - afterwards we went to house of brides and i got to see her wedding gown!!!! it's SO beautiful and perfect. i'm so happy for her! i am so grateful to be in her wedding AND my other good friend's wedding in june. i'm a lucky gal!

now i have a super crazy week ahead of me and it will continue to be crazy until after thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

busy bee.

i'm ridiculously busy these days. i totally do it to myself. i love being busy but it also kicks my butt. i didn't used to be like this - but once i started school at depaul there was always something on my calendar between work, internships, organizations, events and classes. these days i feel even more overwhelmed then i did as a student. i'm constantly trying to balance work, school, social life, fam time, boyfriend time, volunteering, exercising, side jobs and me time. work is quite busy this time of year with lots of alumni functions and end of the quarter student events. next quarter isn't looking much better. my school quarter is coming to an end and i'm swamped with readings and a paper. and i'm always trying to squeeze in friend, family and bf time. as much as i'm feeling incredibly run down and stressed these days - i'm also feeling really productive. being busy makes me happy. if i'm not busy i feel guilty like i should be doing something with my time. i don't do relaxation very well. i get super anxious if i'm just sitting around being lazy. usually if i'm watching tv i have to have another project going on - card making, reading during commercials, cleaning. seriously, i have issues. this week i have something going on everyday or night after work - sunday was work at the doggie boutique and a dinner party, monday i volunteered, tuesday i had class, wednesday i met my good friend at a fun event at old town social, tonight i have an event for work, friday i'm going out with friends, saturday i'm going to my rents and sunday i'm visiting a friend in the burbs. next week is the exact same thing. however, i'm realizing that i'm starting to become dysfunctional with exhaustion so i'm only coming in for the afternoon tomorrow. i'm going to sleep in, maybe do laundry and try to do some homework. i need the chill, me time for sure! i really shouldn't let it get this bad but it seems i can't control it anymore...

anyone else torture themselves by being busy but are actually secretly happy with the busy-ness?

Monday, November 9, 2009

exciting news & weekend wrap

first with the weekend recap. so the weekend was a whirlwind. it kicked my butt but it was great! some of my favorite parts of the weekend:

* depaul wind ensemble performance - i love taking advantage of free programs especially when it involves seeing a group of talented depaul students!

* soul show at lincoln hall where the bf works. it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!! i've never seen anything like it.

* brunch on sunday morning at milk & honey. yum!

* dinner party at my coworkers - delic food and great company.

now for the exciting news....
i was selected to participate in the Vincentian Heritage Tour for faculty and staff. it is a trip to france to follow in the footsteps of st. vincent de paul and learn more about the history of the university. so i get to go to paris and the south of france from august 3-15 with other depaul faculty and staff. SO excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i really didn't think i would get picked so i'm absolutely thrilled!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

lucky in work.

so i know i've been complaining a bit about work lately and having to move but i truly am very lucky as far as my job goes. i work in alumni relations at depaul. i get to plan events, work with volunteers and students. it's fun, challenging but not too challenging and it's rewarding.

the job totally fell into my lap. here's how it happened. the advisor of my student organization recommended me for a luncheon with student leaders and the alumni board. the board was interested in learning what was going on around campus and if we had any suggestions for engaging students. it was fairly formal and i was a tad nervous. i sat next to a very friendly man and with several other board members and staff members. everyone was so nice but i was the center of attention which made me even more nervous. i thought i made a total ass of myself until i got an email from my current boss asking me if i would be interested in this job. i was totally surprised and pretty against it at first. i was finishing up at depaul - why would i want to stay even longer! i'd feel like a student i thought. but when i went in for an interview i realized it was a perfect fit. then i wanted it - BAD. it was a job i never even realized existed and it had so many elements that made it a great fit for me. so luckily i ended up getting it! the job has changed tremendously since i started over 2 years ago but the changes always end up being for the best.

some of my favorite aspects of my job: 10 paid days off around christmas time, unlimited sick days (not that i've ever used more than 1 but it's nice to know it's an option!), 3 weeks vacation, free grad school (for the most part), killer insurance, working with my volunteers and forming relationships with them, still being part of the depaul community that i loved so much as a student, working with a great team but mostly being able to work independently, having an amazing supportive boss that believes in my and totally gets me and of course planning fun events!

i'm a lucky duck to have this amazing job that i love in these tough times. i'm very grateful.

side notes:

thanks to christa for giving me such a nice award! i would love to award it back to others but i don't have 15 new blogs to award just yet - i'll get there! check out christa's lovely blog @ http://www.jemappelles-christa.com/.

i received the most AMAZING news this sunday - i was trying to save it for my week's highlights tomorrow but i just can't wait! i went over to the bf's house on sunday night because his sister and her husband were in town. i was greeted with a sonogram!!!!!!!!!!!!! they're going to have a baby in may!!!!!!!!! i'm SO SO SO SO SO excited for them AND for me because i can't wait to have a baby around to love. i can't think of two people more deserving of such a wonderful gift. i'll keep you posted on that fun. YAY!