Archive for the ‘Jackie’ Tag

you’ll be the prince and i’ll be the princess. it’s a love story, baby just say yes.   4 comments

The Princess has officially married her Prince Charming.  The Princess, formerly known as Kristin Young, is now Mrs. Kristin Comyns.  Congratulations to Kristin and Jim Comyns!  What an A.MAY.ZING. wedding!  Now Kristin is one of my best friends and I have known Jim for 3 years now, so of course it meant a lot to me to be celebrating their wedding day, but I was also fortunate to be surrounded by several friends that made their wedding extra special for us all.

Let’s start at the beginning since I wasn’t able to write much during my weekend trip to my beloved Columbus, Ohio.  I landed in Columbus around 7 am on Friday morning and headed to my landing post (Starbucks) for the day.  As planned I had lunch with Jen (Morel) at Tip Top in downtown Columbus.  Perfect lunch of Spicy Corn Chowder, House Salad, and Sweet Potato Fries…not to mention wonderful company.  I love spending time with Jen so much!  Oh and she gave me this little surprise gift.  How perfect is this!!  She found it at TJ Maxx in Columbus, but it’s a Chicago Starbucks bear.  I’m going to name him Oscar because of (Oscar) Wilde’s- the first bar we went to when then Morels were in town last week.

Jen dropped me back off at Starbucks to work the rest of the afternoon; however, shortly after the infamous Sleepy Sean (Sean O’Neill) stopped by for a visit.  So, yeah.  Sleepy Sean.  Where do I even begin?  I’ve always said that he just reminds me of (his own) cartoon character.  Doesn’t The Nonsensical Adventures of Sleepy Sean sounds like a show that captivates your attention?  (My creative juices aren’t flowing right now due to lack of sleep last night so this will have to do.)  On that note, he’s a story for another time…but a great guy nonetheless.

After Sleepy’s always attention-grabbing exit, (which was more low-key than those in his younger days at OU), I got a few hours of work in with some Columbus/Ohio friends calling in between.  Eventually Jen (MacPherson) swung by to pick me up, and off to Easton we went.  Oh Easton, how I miss thee.  After taking advantage of Starbuck’s half-price Happy Hour and loading up on some much-needed caffeinated happiness, we ran around to a few stores.  It was at Macy’s where I spotted ‘the dress’.  Now I brought a total of four dresses with me on Megabus, pretty certain that the strapless pink one was ago- especially after getting approval from Alisha and Darlene.  However, when I spotted this one, I just knew.  And when I tried it on, no other dress existed.  It was cute and, more importantly, comfortable.  Perfect for a wedding and all-night reception.  Not only that but it went perfect with the silver shoes that I needed to break in for Julie’s wedding next weekend.  AND, it has pockets!  Love love love it.  I included this photo of me with the lovely bride so you could see the back.  And for more support and comfort, I opted for the straps on my bra.  So yeah, I figured if Carrie Bradshaw can pull it off, then why can’t I?  No honestly, I just didn’t want to figit with it all day so if the bra straps bother you then so be it.

Shortly after purchasing the dress, my friend, Jacquie, made her way up to the renowned outdoor shopping center.  The other Jackie was there with her boyfriend, Dan, so we planned to have dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  Jackie and Dan ended up eating so us three girls were on our own.  It worked out well because I haven’t see Jacquie since moving and I adore her.  She’s an OU alum too, but I didn’t meet her until we were both living in Columbus (through my former roommate, Tony).  Jacquie is also a Child Life Specialist, and the one responsible for introducing m to that wonderful career. 

We had a great dinner just catching up and I hope that if I move back to Columbus, that she’s still there.

After dinner Jen and I headed back to her parents’ house, which was my home for the weekend…and actually my second home when I was living in C-bus two years ago.  Her parents are A.MAY.ZING. and I miss them so much!  Somehow I hadn’t seen Mrs. MacPherson since I moved to Chicago, and I only saw Mr. MacPherson a few weeks ago by chance.  I had a great time chatting with them and drinking Mr. Mac’s infamous homemade red wine.  (Delicioso.)  After a glass of wine with the Macs, Jen and I poured ourselves another and headed to the hot tub which proved to be the perfect ending to a perfect day.  Good friend, glasses of wine, and a hot tub!  I am a lucky girl.

And yes, with one of my best friend’s wedding the next day, the inevitable question, “If you were to marry someone tomorrow, who would it be?” did get asked and answered.  Blame it on the alcohol.  I believe we also put in 27 Dresses before bed, but I believe I only lasted ten minutes.  (Don’t worry, we watched it on Sunday night.)

We woke up to the wonderful aroma of Mrs. Mac’s homemade breakfast.  She is so A.MAY.ZING.  We watched last week’s Grey’s and ate our omelets.  (PS. Grey’s was fantastic and I will be watching it again soon…and either quoting and/or writing about it on this blog.)  After having a little lazy time, we ran out to (I heart) Meijer for little shopping, stopping at Smoothie King before heading back.  Before I knew it, I was rushing to get ready…and a little stressed.  Fortunately everything worked out and once Jen’s date, Neil, we had a quick photo shoot (I told you Mrs. Mac is fantastic and multi-talented.) before heading out to Worthington. 

The wedding was beautiful.  The bride was beautiful.  It was just such a wonderful ceremony.  Jim and Kristin seemed so happy.  And yes, being brainwashed by 27 Dresses, I found myself looking to see Jim’s expression when Kristin entered into view.  She was so stunning! 

I’m only admitting this because I don’t see the shame in it.  Yes, I got a little teary-eyed at times.  It was just really special for me to see them both so happy.  And additionally, during the ceremony I did find myself imagining what it would be like to get married…maybe/possibly even imagining a certain groom.  Maybe…

After the ceremony we headed down the road for the reception.  It was there that I met up with my faux-date for the evening, Charlie, who is a good friend of Jim’s.  I hadn’t seen Charlie nor his friend, Sean since I moved to Chicago and it was good to catch up with them.  Jackie and Dan, Jen and Neil, and Sean’s girlfriend were also at the table.  Here are photos of the others in case you are interested.  That’s Jen and Neill in the first photo, and Jackie and her beau in the second. 

We chatted and had our first drink (drinks for Jackie and Dan) before the bridal party made their way into the reception.  It was so adorable.  They came into the theme from the Price is Right, with Mr. and Mrs. Young beginning the mayhem.  Mrs. Young was so happy and just kept jumping.  I love her so much!  (That’s them in the photo on the right, by the way.)

After the others made their entrance, including my beautiful bridesmaids, Sarah and Ruth, the bride and groom made their way in the reception hall.  I love that I was able to capture their happiness in this photo because they were both radiating the entire day.  Just writing that gives me the chills.  (Not kidding.) 

After thanking everyone for coming, Jim’s best man, Jimmy took over the mic and gave a little speech for the couple.  And then it was the A.MAY.ZING. Maid of Honor’s turn.  Now I could say so much about Ruth but in essence she is like a Big Sister/ Inspiration to me.  She has that strong personality, but a huge, caring heart.  And this was evident in her speech.  It was wonderful.  What started off as good old-fashioned fun and slight humor, with Ruth putting on this fireman’s cap and having the bridal party chant, “The Ruth, the Ruth, the Ruth is on fire,” soon turned into a tear-jerker as she expressed her love and happiness for her best friend and Princess, Kristin, and her Prince. 

Seriously, I love my friends!  In Pink’s song Glitter in the Air, there’s this one part that goes- Have you ever wished for an endless night.  Well, that’s how I felt about Kristin and Jim’s wedding.  It was just such a special night for us all, and seeing them so happy was enough to make us all want this night to continue forever.  So many memories with such special people.  I mean EVERYONE was in good spirits.  Heck, we even danced to the Electric Slide and Ricky Martin’s Livin La Vida Loca. 

Just as the weekend, this night is a little blurry.  Sure there was alcohol…I mean afterall it was Jim’s and an OU girl’s wedding…but the night was just so much fun that it went by so quickly. 

Their wedding song was Then by Brad Paisley.  And just like on Saturday night, I have the chills just listening to this song now.  What a great song.  Knowing them, I think this was the perfect wedding song for their courtship and future.  He loves that girl so much.  As her friend, that’s all you can ask for.  Someone to love your friend almost as much as you do. 

How do you choose a wedding song anyways?  I mean their love for country music makes me feel like this was a shoe-in, but there are so many options out there.  For instance, IF I was to marry a certain someone one day, two options play in my mind right now…God Blessed the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts or Carrie Underwood version) or At Last (Etta James).  Sorry, I got caught up in the moment.  Moving on….let’s talk about…

SHOTS!  Captain Morgan Shots to be exact.  So I really have no idea how this happened, but all of a sudden the DJ or Jim are making some announcement saying that if anyone wants to take part in the largest group shot of Captain Morgan for the Guinness Book of World Records to come onto the dance floor.  Now at first it was pretty much Jim, Kristin, us girls, and other friends and family members…but before I knew it, well about 80% of the attendees were clasping shots of Captain and trying to stand on one leg.  I have video proof, or at least my version of it, but you may just have to go to my 20sb or Facebook page to see it instead since this doesn’t want to upload through here. 

Spirits were running even higher than before after that.  People were dancing left and right to niece and flower girl, Megan, had a blast to.  Oh to be young again!  And songs such as Down, Shout, Cupid Shuffle, and Jump, Jump– which Jim’s apparently Charlie is a Michael Jackson aficionado and made his way to the dance floor after encouragement from Sean and Jim. 

And then, the ‘clever’ DJ spun a semi-familiar tune called Single Ladiesmaybe you’ve heard of it?   Before we could grasp it, the madness of the bouquet toss was upon us.  Jen, Sarah, Ruth, Jackie, Christie, and I made our way to the dance floor, standing behind the three younger girls that were there.  Thank goodness Kristin knows better about her dear single friends (and the unlikelihood that any of us were next…atleast not Ruth nor I) and so she aimed right for the little girls. 

The same was the case for the garter toss, with Jim aiming right for his ring bearer/ nephew, who actually slid to catch it.  Those the highlight of this moment was when Kristin’s older brother, Matt, came over to a gleeful Jim- as his hands were ready to assume the position- and did the I’m watching you/ Barney Stinson move. 

After taking a short break to rest my high-heeledd feet, I was immediately summoned to the dance floor with the dedicated of Murder on the Dance Floor to the “OU Girls”.  This is one of the songs that we enjoyed during our OU days and made it on The Pub Mix (Kristin’s cd).  I love these girls so much!!

In between songs, Anna (Kristin’s cousin) took to the mic to recite a rap for Kristin and Jim.  Anna is wonderful and rap was filled with humor, sentiment, and lots of love for her Big Sis. 

After all of these upbeat songs and moments, it was time to slow it down.  I found this to be such a lovely moment actually.  (And I cannot remember the song right now, but it may have been something by Rascal Flatts.  Drawing a blank.)  So the DJ invited all of the married couples to join the new Mr. and Mrs. Comyns on the dance floor.  After a few minutes, he would dismiss all couples that have been married less than X amount of years until the last couple remained.  Being the single girl that I am, I loved every moment of this.  And not only that, but during the song I had a great conversation about dating, love, and marriage with Charlie, who is also single.  Anyways here are a few of my favorite couples that took to the dance floor. 

Carrie and Ben Wolfe.  They’ve been married for almost 3 years (I believe), but have been together since I met them through Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, and Jackie back in my OU days.  They just mesh so well and I really enjoy seeing them.  Hoping to see them in Chicago for a weekend getaway soon!

And here are the proud mother and father of the beautiful bride, Alan and Cindy Young.  Much like the MacPhersons and the Cooks- as well as others- Mr. and Mrs. Young have welcomed me into their family.  I actually had a great talk with this lovely couple later on in the evening at the hotel bar about their own love story.  In short, they went to high school together and Mrs. Young thought Mr. Young was a prick!  (Love it.)  However once she got to know him she immediately realized her mistake and the rest is history. I believe they’ve been married over 40 years and they still look at each other with love in their eyes.  It’s so beautiful.  (Once again, I have chills typing this.)

 Just to share more about my likes and who I am, I love LOVE.  Sure, I can be called a hopeless romantic, but it’s not just that.  I love hearing other people’s love stories: how they met, how they fell in love, their engagement story, and how they knew the other was “The One.”

Back to reality… the reception was nearly ending but that wasn’t the end of the night for us.  Being the Designated Driver, Jen and Neil were fine with participating in after-hours at the hotel bar.  After a little miscommunication and convincing from the always charming groom, we were able to get the bar to stay open til 2 am.  Poor girl ended up being the only bartender and I hope that they tipped her well.  By that time in the night, not too many people were still sober besides me, but I had a ball AND remember all of  it too, including this moment WFT moment with the lovely Anna and her cousin.  As Anna posted on my Facebook wall, most likely with a hangover, “Mulch anyone?”  Only you, Anna. 

People started stumbling up to their hotel rooms and I escorted a drunk and tired Maid of Honor to hers.  Shortly after that the groom announced, “Wife, it’s time for bed.”  Love it.  Doesn’t that make you want to be a wife yourself? 

After deciding that there was no way Jim was going to be patient enough to unbutton all of her dress buttons, Sarah and I manned-up and went with the lovely bride and groom up to their hotel groom…and of course Jim made a comment about getting married and taking three girls to bed.  (He was too tired to make the comment too inappropriate.)  You know it was kinda cool having that moment with Kristin at the end of the night; however, as soon as we were done helping her undo the buttons, Sarah and I sprinted out of the room. 

We said our goodbyes and drove back to Jen’s parents’ house for the night.  It was 3:30 am by the time I got into my sweats and I was obviously ready for bed, but God had other plans in store for me.  Jen got a bit emotional.  Now she was embarrassed and kept apologizing, but I tried to reassure her that it was fine.  Afterall I’ve been there before…trust me. 

Actually, while I wish she wasn’t upset in the first place, I was so happy to be able to be there for my friend in person.  That’s it, Chicago.  See ya!  I’m moving back.

Anyways, I’m sure you know what our topic of discussion was since we were two single girls that just attended a beautiful wedding.  In essence,  Jen and I had a great little heart-to-heart about boys, love, and all that messy stuff in between.  Being sober and wanting to assure her that I was there to listen, I found myself being very honest about my own feelings.  Now I’m only sharing this because it was a revelation for me- the me that tends to keep feelings inside, especially when it comes to boys and love.  Here is the gist of what I said to my dear friend:

Jen, I have been single for a long time and a day has yet to pass when I don’t have a moment or many moments of wanting the fantasy.  As happy as I am for Kristin and Julie, I of course wish that I was engaged to the love of my life too.  But the reality is that it’s not my turn yet.  Sure I have bad days where I think it’s never going to be me, but I try my best to stay positive and remind myself that it will…because I deserve it.  And so do you.  I’ve been in love with someone for over 6 years now and I think about him more than I want to admit.  I hate doing so but it hurts more not to think about him.  Every part of me wishes that I can move on once and for all, but there’s always that part of me that believes that he’s the one for me- no matter how many people tell me that I’m foolish for thinking so. 

You know yourself best (as Alisha said to me), so you are the only one that will ever fully understand who you love and how you feel.  So don’t let others tell you otherwise or make you question what you feel.  And just know that I’ll always be there to listen whenever you need someone to talk to.  Just don’t stop believing because you deserve love.

Unfortunately my body doesn’t know how to sleep in, even when I don’t go to bed until 4 am, and I woke up at 7 am.  Fortunately after a shower and catch-up call with my mom, I was able to get another hour of sleep.  Being as wonderful as ever, Mrs. MacPherson’s homemade breakfast drew us downstairs, where we watched some TV before Neil woke up.  Afterwards we got ready to meet Jen’s friend, Kelly, to see Letters to JulietI think I wrote enough here so I’ll save my comments for another day.  Following the movie, Jen and I headed over to Mass.  Jen had Youth Group immediately after, so I took advantage of that time and ran a few errands.  We then headed back for Mrs. Mac’s baked ziti and watched 27 Dresses until it was time to leave for my departing Megabus…which put an end to this wonderful weekend in Columbus.

Weddings are so bittersweet, but I have to say that other than a few moments of wonder “what if” and daydreaming about a certain boy or two, I was really okay with my single status.  I was surrounded by so much love this weekend and truthfully I’m just so blessed to have what I have.  My only wish is that they all came back to Chicago with me…but maybe I’ll be back in Columbus with them (soon).  Mr. MacPherson even asked the inevitable question, “So when are you moving back?”

I wish I knew the answer to that….and if I am.  Thanks for an A.MAY.ZING. weekend, Columbus.  I miss you!

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 4)   1 comment

Hangover.  That’s what the five girls in the hotel room in downtown Columbus were experience on the morning of Saturday, April 10th.  For some reason, we woke up around 7:30 – 8:00 am and the madness began a little bit after.  Okay, maybe some of us/them were still drunk because it was it was a complete shit-show for the next few minutes.  There’s never a dull moment with these girls.  And out of respect, I won’t go into details- even though I doubt they’d even care. 

We showered, got dressed, and cleaned up the hotel room before heading out to grab some breakfast up at Easton.  Sarah, being Sarah, was craving McDonald’s so she headed that way why Jackie dropped me off at Starbucks (of course) before we drove up to one of our favorite places.  Apparently the girls wanted burgers at 11 am so we headed over to Red Robin with Kristin and Ruth.  (Sarah already ate so she went shopping instead.)  After ordering our meals, the quote of the morning belonged to Jackie- much to our surprise.  “Can I order a beer?” (Barf.)  Prompting Ruth to ask, “Can I get one too?”  (Barf again.)  I had to take a photo of this, which Kristin in the background making the expression that I was feeling. 

Breakfast was good, but being a breakfast food kinda girl I would have preferred Bob Evans over the grease.  Ruth had to get back to Lancaster for family photos and Kristin was ready for a nap, so Jackie, Sarah, and I headed up for some shopping at Polaris (a mall in Westerville- near Julie’s parents’ house).  We spent awhile in Forever XXI before being shopped out and decided to head to L-Town ourselves. 

Sarah had to get to her bridesmaid dress fitting (for Kristin’s wedding), leaving Jackie and I to fend for ourselves.  So what did we do for our date?  Manis and Pedis at the ever-so-lovely Lancaster Mall.  While waiting for our walk-in appointment, I dragged Jackie over to Spencers.  Jackpot!  I found so much stuff for Julie’s upcoming Bachelorette Party that I was hosting in a week (at the time…now it’s in 3 days!).  I should say that Julie is definitely a girl-next-door, Christian girl so this Bachelorette Party is definitely Rated G- maybe a bit PG since alcohol could/most likely will end up playing a role.

After our extremely relaxing mani (for me) and pedi (for Jackie), we ran to Meijer (I heart Meijer) to pick up some chips and guacamole (I heart guac) for the cookout at Ruth’s house that her parents were hosting for us and their family.  Instead of indulging you in all of the details, I’ll just say this: Ruth’s older brothers (who both have kids) were trashed.  Apparently they finished a bottle of Grey Goose in two hours.  At first they were very entertaining, but then it got to be too much.  I enjoyed my time with her family, especially being able to spend some time with her nephews and extremely adorable niece.  Baby fever continued.

We ate and hung out for a bit, but then Carrie drove me back to her house to shower and get ready for  the night out at Cricket’s.  I really want to tell you all about Cricket’s and our infamous nights there, but I could go on all night.  Instead I’ll give a brief description by saying that it is (was) the bar to be at in L-Town and the location of many late nights (including one ending at 5 am with the sun coming out…not kidding…it was classic.)  If those walls could talk…

Unlike many other nights, this Saturday was an extremely low-key night Cricket’s, which was just what we needed.  We were all so tired from the previous night and tomorrow was the Bridal Shower so we had a busy day.  But we still stayed at Cricket’s for awhile, but really just enjoyed some great conversation and girl time (with Ben, Carrie’s husband).  Cricket’s was empty, so Matt (manager & Kristin’s long-lost crush) made his way over to our table frequently.  In my opinion, he’s a good guy, but I know Ruth has her own opinion.  After talking to Matt about the infamous Brave Bull shots that we first had two years ago, he made them for us- all of us.  In fact, he sent them over on a paddle with our server.

Now I honestly don’t know the whole story, nor am I sure I want to, but apparently L-Towners/loyal Cricketers enjoy using the paddle and/or spatula in that bar (?).  I’ve witnessed it on a few occasions, but I absolutely have no idea how it got started.  Oh well.  We stayed until about 1:30 am or so before Jackie, Ruth and I got dropped off at Ruth’s parents’ house.  We had every intention on going in the hot tub when Sarah got there, but after putting our pjs on…yeah, it was bed time instead.  Before going to bed though I had a great conversation with Ruth…one that I’d be looking forward to.  See, Ruth had lived in Chicago during grad school and moved (from Chi-town) for a position with the Air Force shortly before I relocated.  (Bummer.) 

I’ve communicated with Ruth since moving here and been open about how difficult the adjustment has been and my anxieties about living here.  It was comforting to hear Ruth say that she experienced many of the same issues when she came here, and that it took her about a year (or more) to really feel okay being in Chicago.  I wish she still lived here.  Like many of my other friends, gives me unconditional love and support.  Her strength makes me strive to be stronger.  In fact, so every time Ruth would come back to Lancaster/Columbus while she lived in Chicago, I’d always tell her how I admired her for moving to a new, big city by herself.  I’d say, “I wish I could do that.”  Well, it’s because of her that I did do it and I’m here, in Chicago, now.  So truly, thank you, Ruth. 

I woke up Sunday morning on Ruth’s parents’ couch.  Jackie was showering so I joined the Sharp ladies in a conversation.  While Ruth got ready, I had an wonderful conversation with her mom.  We talked a lot of things in general, but got into this great conversation about mothers/daughters and how much she misses Ruth- being that she lives in San Fran right now.  Her mom even teared up.  The whole time I thought about my mom, and how much I miss living near her.

Sarah eventually came to pick me up to run errands before Kristin’s shower.  We ran to Walmart, picking up TP for a shower game.  By the time we got to Kristin’s parents house, her family was already there setting up…and to my surprise, Jim was there too!  I hadn’t seen him since I moved.  Let me rewind.  While living in Columbus, I spent a lot of weekend nights out with Kristin and Jim, and about 1-2 per month Kristin and I would go visit Jim at his restaurant, Tria.  I’ll stop from going on a trip down memory lane for now.

Jim and the men headed out for beer…I mean golf…leaving us ladies to have some fun of our own.  The Young’s basement was transformed into an elegant party fit for the princess herself.  She even had a throne!!  It looked gorgeous and added a lot of decadence to the shower.  Kristin was in her glory, as was her mom.  There were about 30 women there- family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors.  I’ll spare you from hearing the details of the shower, but let me share some memorable moments.

So this is what the TP was for.  Me and some of the younger attendees (Jim’s niece and family friends) were the victims in the dress the bride game.  It was actually a lot of fun, although my dress didn’t win- but A for effort to Carrie and Christie.  And what about Kristin’s Dolly Parton dress?  (Yes, this was the product of Sarah and Ruth having too much fun with TP.)

Following the game, we headed back inside to allow Kristin to open her gifts.  Now I’m sure you don’t want to read all about that, so I’ll just share a few special ones (that I happen to have photos of). 

So Kristin’s cousin, Anna, who is one of her best friends (and a sophomore at OU), drew a picture of Kristin’s baby, George (her dog).  Kristin immediately teared up, and I think Anna and Mrs. Young may have too.  It was very sweet.

And perhaps the most touching moment, for me, was when Kristin opened this gift from her mother.  It’s a heart-shaped white wicker picnic basket.  There’s a story behind it.  When Kristin and her mom were shopping at the mall one day when Kristin was in middle/high school, she saw this at Things Remembered and fell in love with it.  So Cindy went back and purchased it, waiting until this special occasion to give it to her daughter.  Tear.  I mean how sweet is that?  That is something that I would do…and probably my mom too. 

The party ended shortly after.  Sarah was having dinner with my family, so I headed home with Carrie to spend time with her and Ben before my late night trip on Megabus back to Chi-Town.  I have to say that Carrie and Ben are such a lovely couple.  So gracious, warm, and easy-going people.  I felt like such an inconvenience making them deal with me, but now I know that’s just what friends do.  Sarah arrived back a few hours later and we headed downtown to catch the bus.

Much to our surprise, the bus was there when I arrived.  The weekend was so exhausting, but since I was able to get wi-fi I decided to stay up for awhile and check/respond to email.  However, I finally got my eyes closing and decided it was time for good night.  But the always-adventurous Megabus had different plans for me.  No joke.  At 2 am-ish, we were forced to unboard the bus at a gas station and mosing around like Zombies for at least 30 minutes while they filled the bus up with gas.  Seriously?  We finally got back on, after I downed a whole bag of trail mix.  (I showed the evidence in a previous post, just so I knew it wasn’t a dream.)

The bus arrived in downtown Chi-town on schedule around 6:30 am.  I was exhausted.  And I had to work in 90 minutes.  Knowing that and the fact that my luggage was broken, I hopped in a cab.  And shortly arriving back at my apartment after an A.MAY.ZING. weekend in Columbus, I hit up my favorite Starbucks and chatted with my barista friends…letting them know that I’d be back later for more caffeine.

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 3)   Leave a comment

When we last left our Bachelorettes, they were doing far too many shots- especially the beautiful bride-to-be.  Were our ladies too drunk and ready to call it a night?  Heck no!!  They were ready to dance on the stage!

By this time (perhaps 11-11:30 pm), the Piano Bar was pretty crowded with other Bachelorette parties and Friday night partiers.  Several parties had made their way on stage after requesting girlie songs and announcing their VIP members’ special occasion (future wedding or birthday).  Now it was our turn.  Ruth, being the dedicated Maid-of-Honor that she is, talked to one of the bouncers about how to best get the piano players to play her request:  Money, of course.  The best incentive of them all.  So Ruth took up a collection, which was easy since we were already all drunk and wanted to see Kristin enjoy her night. 

Finally the time came when Kristin was brought on stage for her rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.  (FYI: I’m the photographer, but I did evidentially make my way up on stage to join the girls.)  What an A.MAY.ZING. group of girls!!  So lucky to call them my friends.  And yes, they know how to have a good time, but they’re also like sisters to me- always there for me since we met years ago.  They’re also very protective of their ‘Minnie’, as I am of them.  Boys Beware.

After the dancing on stage, I made my way to the bar to get Kristin another drink.  (Did she really need one…probably not.)  As I was standing at the bar, I overheard a guy say to his friend, “I guess that’s the price you have to pay (for drinks) here in the big city.”  Okay, I really felt the urge to say something right away, but I decided to mind my own business instead.  But then he said something about ‘the big city’ again and I absolutely couldn’t resist.  “You think this is the ‘big city’?  Where are you from?”  His response, “Dayton.”  Dayton: the only city worse than Cleveland.  Now it made sense, and I very well may have said that out loud.  (Probably.) 

So of course my response prompted the good old Dayton boys to ask me where I was from, and as everyone in Ohio seems to agree, “Chicago is awesome!  I love Chicago!”  So we talked about my ‘love’ for Chicago for awhile- while the Dayton boys fell head-over-heels for me.  I told you, I’m not joking.  Ohio boys love me.  I’m their drug of choice.  However, I have to say that these Ohio boys are not always the most eligible Bachelors- unfortunately.  (Sidenote: I’m totally hearing Leighton Meester’s ‘Your Love is a Drug’ in the back of my head, and now you may as well hear it too.)

So Sarah being the wonderful friend that she is, saw me talking to these guys and came over to make sure I was okay.  That’s one thing I love about my girls.  We’re always watching out for one another- especially when we’re out drinking.  So I reassured Sarah that I was fine and brought her into the conversation.  I’m pretty sure we started talking about Chicago’s infamous hot dogs- which is one of Sarah’s favorite topics (not kidding).

After talking more about everyone’s love for Chicago and my realistic resident view of it (tourists just don’t see it the same as we do), we found out that Dayton boys went to the hockey game (Blue Jackets) and they received a team poster…which somehow, after a little convincing, perhaps…ended up in my possession to give to the loyal Blue Jackets’ fan and bride-to-be.  Making my way back to the table, after being gone for twenty minutes or so (missing the tequila shot…Amen to that), I presented the poster to our lovely bride.  Here she is kissing her longtime lover, Rick Nash.  I still remember the night she met him at Lodge Bar.  Seriously that girl was starstuck, for good reason. 

It had to have been around midnight by then…just in time for my third-cousin-whom-I’d-never-met, Ryan, to join us.  Let me rewind.  So when I was living in Columbus two years ago, my grandma just happened to talk to one of her second cousins, Kitty, only to discover that they both had grandchildren living there.  So they set us up.  Ryan and I began emailing, with him coming out to me in the second one.  More reason why I fell in love with him.  Gay Ohio men may love me just as much as the straight ones.  Anyways, Ryan and I almost met once at Pride Fest, but there was too much commotion and alcohol preventing that from happening.  Shortly after that, I moved to Chicago.  However we kept in touch over emails and Facebook.  He’s such a cutie.  So yeah, a few weeks ago I mentioned Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and I was so happy that he was able to meet up with me!  He’s even more adorable in person.  Just a great guy.

Around 1 o’clock, we decided to head over to Lodge Bar mainly because Kristin was hoping that her beloved Rick Nash would be there after the game.  (He wasn’t.)  Sarah took Ruth back to the hotel because she literally fell asleep at the bar.  (I guess that happens to her now?)  We got to Lodge Bar, which isn’t really a favorite of mine (too many college kids), but I was drunk enough and surrounded by good people to enjoy it.  To be honest, I don’t remember much about Lodge  Bar.  Yes, I was drunk.  I know that because I ended up spending at least 15-20 minutes at the bar talking to a couple about their relationship.  I always do this.  Drunk Kristen/ Minnie likes to hear what it’s like to be part of a (happy) couple.  I give you all permission to psychoanalyze me.  They were social like me so it was a fun conversation; however I knew that it was time to rejoin my friends. 

We didn’t last much longer at Lodge Bar and everyone was ready for their Street Meat.  (Gross.)  We stood at the gyro cart for a good 10-15 minutes, with Jackie stealing some guy’s cigarette from behind his ear.  (She doesn’t know why either.)  Jen and Carrie both decided to forgo staying with us in the hotel since they felt okay to drive, so I walked with them to their cars.  And course Jen and I couldn’t remember exactly where she parked.  Apparently I videotaped this at first, but I just sound really drunk on the audio so….delete. 

Jen dropped me off at the hotel and I headed upstairs.  Kristin was apparently waiting for me because she called me 2-3 times.  Guess who I got to spoon with that night?  Lol.  By the time I got to the hotel room, Ruth and Jackie were passed out.  Sarah was trying to Skype with her boyfriend, Ian, back in Bermuda, and Kristin may have been talking/texting her fiancée, Jim.  After changing I realized that my contact was lost somewhere in my eye, so Nurse Sarah performed hardcore surgery to get it out.  (She’s the best!) 

Sarah, Kristin, and I crammed into the bed- surprisingly comfortable- and we all passed out, putting an end to Friday night.  Three posts all to share the details of this night…WOW.  There’s so much more to highlight about this weekend.  Next post will be all about good times in Lancaster (L-Town)…

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 2)   Leave a comment

…okay, where was I?  Oh yes, Grappa is crappa.  Seriously, just don’t even both trying it.  I mean I really am in this whole hippie- live in the moment era of my life, but there are some things that you just need not experience…Grappa being one of them.  Why it is chased by espresso makes me question my love affair with coffee…well for a second, no more.  By the way, in case the menu is hard to read in the photo, here’s what is in the Ammazza Caffe: Death of Coffee- A shot of fresh espresso served with a shot of  Grappa (in the wine glass on the right).  Apparently it’s an Italian tradition, so at least I made my ancestors proud.  Wow.  I just had a bad idea of having my dad try this during his next Chi-town trip in May.  Hmmmm….maybe I’ll have him try a Brave Bull instead.  (See more on that later.)

We left Marcella’s with a bit of a buzz, to say the least.  Jen had parked her car in the lot next to my old apartment building and I said that I go with her to move it to the parking garage near the Arena, therefore it was closer to the Piano Bar (destination #2).  As we walked down High Street, me with my buzz, I was high on life being back in my old neighborhood.  In comparison to my East Lakeview/ Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, the Short North in Columbus is nothing…but my love for Ohio is indescribable and it will always feel a bit like home to me. 

I found myself reminiscent as I headed closer to 9 Buttles…thinking about the morning that Sarah, Waples, Tony, Charlie, and I headed to a late breakfast – accompanied by a hangover- and we seriously witnessed the coolest thing ever.  It’s so hard to explain and definitely a ‘you had to be there’ kind of moment.  To make a long, hilarious story short, some guy got out of his car in the middle of High Street (think Clark street for all of you Chicagoans or Court Street if you’re an OUer) and started dancing in the middle of the road to some other guy’s blasting car radio.  Now, I cannot remember if someone else got out of their car and started dancing too, but for entertainment-sake let’s say it happened. 

Anyways Jen and I eventually made it to the parking lot next to my building, and as always there was a (homeless man) ‘parking attendant’ there.  And here it is folks, my former home and first ‘adult’ apartment- post college that is.  Our apartment was right there on the first floor, and my window was right on the corner.  As Jen drove south on High Street towards the parking garage, I found myself staring out the window with serenity and content.  (And yes, I was still buzzing too.)  Oh, Columbus.  I miss you!  So many good memories…and more to come.  The night was still young.

Having finally found  a parking spot in the garage, we made our way to Big Bang Piano Bar to join the girls.  I won’t lie, the details of the night really are a little blurry.  It was such an A.MAY.ZING. night!  I’m using the pictures to piece it all together.  I remember starting with a glass of wine and finding the girls…and then the ridiculous of Kristin’s Bachelorette Party began.  Honestly, for this group of girls (especially back in Athens and/or Lancaster) this night was fairly tame.  However, there were a lot of shots…and I still have no idea what they were nor how many there ended up being.  Apparently I snuck out just in time to miss the tequila shot.  FYI: Straight tequila and me do not get along, not since I was 18 years old and literally throwing up shots in Scott Israel’s basement the next morning. 

So like I said, the night is a blur.  I wasn’t totally wasted or anything, but definitely far from sober.  Here are some of the photos of the night to share the details of our adventures at Big Bang Piano Bar.  Jen and I finally arrive at the bar, and this picture is great because it’s the most sober we were that night…or at least it appears that’s the case. And here’s Jackie and Ruth enjoying their highly anticipated reunion with the first of many shots.  These girls used to finish an entire case before going out for the night.  That in itself certainly deserves an “OH COLLEGE.  WE MISS YOU.”  Shortly afterwards there was another round of group shots, and from my recollection there was a round or two of $1 jello shots (that were surprisingly strong) too. 

Now let me say, how cool is it that Mrs. Young was at Kristin’s Bachelorette Party?  And not only that, but she was enjoying the festivities as much as her daughter!  I love this photo.  I’m going to have to get it framed for them.  I wonder if my mom would come to my Bachelorette Party?  Hmmm…first that means I’d have to have one, which also means that I’d have to trick some guy into proposing to me.  I bet my mom would go and be happy drunk off her ass because I was finally (appearing to) settle down in (gasp) a relationship. 

Back to reality.  Two more shots for the bride.  Jen decided to order Red-Headed Sluts for the three of us.  And then here’s a classic photo of the lovely bride being the champ that she is my doing a handless BJ shot.  So proud of her!

And then I had to add this photo on the right to show what happens when you let an already-drunk Bachelorette do two shots in a row.  Neither Kristin nor I remember when this photo was taken, but we believe that I’m holding her up here.  (In the photo, left to right: Carrie, Jen, Kristin, me, Jackie, Sarah.  Ruth took the photo.)

Maybe this is a good place to end for now…plus I’m find it difficult to keep my eyes open.  To be continued…

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 1)   Leave a comment

Finally!  I have finally found some time to rehash the details on my weekend in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower.  This is the beautiful bride-to-be at our dinner at Marcella’s in the Short North in downtown Columbus- a few blocks away from my old apartment.  Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me start over….

After arriving in town via the ever-so-lovely Megabus, I dragged my luggage a few blocks to the Starbucks near Nationwide Arena to wait for Sarah to pick me up a few hours later.  Now I don’t have to state my love of Starbucks, but I’ll share that I was consciously observing the other customers- noticing how happy people were (even at 8 am).  I told Ruth, who used to live in Chicago, I sat in Starbucks waiting for something crazy to happen…like it always does in Chicago.  But nothing.  No insanely odd people nor rude behavior.  Everyone was generally polite and respectful, not to mention a lot of good looking guys.  Starbucks and cute boys are the perfect welcome home present.  God, I love Ohio!

Sarah swung by around 10 am to pick up me, my luggage, and our two coffees that I was juggling.  It was so great to see her!  We hadn’t seen one another since our dinner in Chicagao (18 months+) and with her now living in Bermuda, we rarely get to talk other than a few Facebook messages/emails/letters every so often.  Seeing her pull up in her SUV immediately brought about many flashbacks…especially those morning drivebys when Sarah would swing by my apartment at 9 Buttles after her night shift (as a nurse at Grant Hospital) and pick up/ drop off random things (clothes, shoes, movies, food, etc.)

Within minutes of our ride to the beauty that is Easton, it was as though no time had passed since our last adventure…with the exception that neither of us could navigate around Columbus as easily.  Oh, something I should point out is that this group of girls refers to me as MinnieIt began in college when (for some reason) my screename was KristenieMinnie.  Still I’m not sure how ‘Minnie’ caught on, but it may have something to do that all of the girls are at least a few inches taller than me.  Anyways, so we headed up to Easton to do some shopping.  With Sarah, the term ‘shopping’ can be deceiving, but instead of indulging you in pointless details I’ll just leave it to your imagine.  One thing I’ll point out- which Sarah would be disappointed if I didn’t mention it- is that she found an adorable whale ring at Aldo, of all places.   Again, I need to explain that Sarah & Minnie have this bond over whales.  It started with a cute pair of pajama pants with whales on them, and now the back-and-forth whale gifts has continued.  In Sarah’s mind this is the ultimate of all whale-purchases, and I have to agree (for now).  How did she find this?  Or better yet, who the heck made this?

After a few more stops and purchases for Kristin’s wedding festivities, Sarah and I headed over to The Cheesecake Factory.  (FYI: I used to be a ho-stess at the CCF in Pittsburgh after graduation.)  With our luck, we were entertained throughout the meal by our server, Jeffro…only to find out when getting the check that his name was something else.  Now whether ‘fro was being faux-friendly or not, he bought a ticket on the Ohio Men Love Kristen (Minnie) Express.  When Sarah went to the bathroom, he informed me that I was ‘a doll’, leaving me to make a joke out of that (of course) only to have him insist that I was ‘seriously downright adorable’. 

Thank you, sir.   I already tipped you- a fairly well.  Before heading out, we were surprised to run into a  friend of Sarah’s from Lancaster, who just so happens to be the sister of a someone’s latest crush.  Small world, isn’t it.

Being very short on time, Sarah and I headed out of the beloved Easton to downtown C-bus to decorate the hotel before Kristin and Ruth’s arrival.  About halfway into our decorating, the girls came a’knocking.  I love my friends so much!!  Again, it was as though it hadn’t been 18 months+ since this group was together.  As we were getting ready for dinner, one of my favorite people in the entire world, Ms. Jackie Lugalia, joined our party.  The gang was back together!!  This was the first time the five of us Court Street troublemakers had been together since Summer 2005 when Jackie and I ventured to Lancaster to visit our girlies…or so Jackie claims we did, to which I vaguely remember. Did I make out with a boy that weekend too?  Again, I love these girls and the (bad) influence they have on me.

Okay, back to the dirt.  To my dismay, the non-Chicagoans decided to hop in the Arena District Shuttle instead of walking. Seriously!  The restaurant was only 4-5 blocks away.  It took more time to get there than it would have walking.  I almost walked there myself, but I didn’t want a red ‘bitch’ flag hanging over my head.  We arrived at Marcella’s fashionably late, to soon be joined by Jen (Kristin & my former roommate) and Carrie (Lancaster & OU friend)- who totally looked like a rockstar when she walked into the restaurant.  More people began to arrive, including the lovely Mrs. Cindy Young (aka Kristin’s mom).  I love, love, love her!!  Unfortunately I hadn’t seen her since before my move to Chicago.  And to catch you up, when I moved, Kristin & I (who were roommates with Jen at the time in a new townhouse) were not on good terms.  (Long story.)  Anyways, dinner was great, and as always the alcohol was flowing.  I had some great conversations with Carrie, Jackie, Jen, and Laura and her mom (friends of Kristin & Jim, the groom), but the highlight of dinner for me was chatting with Mrs. Young- who continuously told me how happy she was that I came.  She also made sure that I understood how much it mean to Kristin- which meant a lot to me especially because I almost didn’t go.  FYI: Since I was in Cinci the weekend before, I thought that this was too much- which it really was.  However, I followed my gut instinct and knew I had to be there- for Kristin, my friends, and myself.

Here’s a picture of Mrs. Young and her niece, Anna, who is an OU student and pretty kick-ass if I may say so myself.  She looks so much like Kristin! 

After our entrees, we received the dessert menu…which was a big mistake but a memory in itself.  So, apparently, in reading the menu, Sarah prompted us to all be hard-core (like we used to be back at OU) and try the Death of Coffee drink, which contained Grappa– “the Moonshine of liquors”. 

I wasn’t joking when I said that these girls were a bad influence on me.  IT WAS SO AWFUL (!!!), but we all finished it…

…and the rest of the night is a bit blurry; however, the photos help put some of the pieces together.  Here’s a teaser for you, which is clearly also evidence why you should stay away from Grappa.  More tomorrow.  Good night. 

friday night fun…?   1 comment

My dear Darlene said it best this morning, “It’s Fri-YAY!”  How cute is she?  I love that.  So yes, today is Friday.  TGIF.  Using that acronym takes me back to the good old days.  Do you remember TGIF with shows such as Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Step by Step.  Does that age me?  What else was on that night?  So that was my middle school days because I remember talking to Katie Allen on the phone about our crush, Andrew Keegan, who appeared on one of those shows.  In high school, Friday nights were usually spent at football games (Fall), basketball games (winter), and the mall, Eat N Park, and/or driving around good old Hampton (spring & summer).  In college, Friday nights were spent at the bars or house parties…each and every Friday.  The same went for my Fridays in Columbus, although there was a periodical evening in at Sarah’s or Kristin’s up in L-Town from time to time. 

Now my Fridays are much more…well, some may same boring or lame…but I’ll say tamed down.  Since my weekend officially began a few hours ago, I’ve spent my Friday evening doing laundry (which was more like losing money on machines that don’t work properly), working out to my Biggest Loser DVD, grocery shopping, cleaning, catching up on two weeks of Tivo, and beginning to think about decorating this lovely apartment of mine for Julie’s Bachelorette party next weekend.  (More on that in upcoming posts.)  But last Friday…now that’s a different story. 

I promise to tell the tales of my weekend in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower either tomorrow or Sunday.  I’ll need a break from my cleaning and decorating party anyways.  Okay, back to my Tivo shows. 

Oh by the way, I canceled my cable today.  I’ve considered it for awhile- especially realizing that 1) most of my Tivoed shows are on basic channels; and 2) everything is online anyways.  So here’s to saving $50 a month, which prompted me to start a much-needed savings account today.  Here’s to growing up and spending Friday nights in.  Maybe I should have a glass of wine just to make this evening a little bit more eventful.  Cheers!  ♥K

before i close my eyes   2 comments

I wasn’t sure where to begin, but this quote captures how I feel about my weekend in Columbus with a group of the most A.MAY.ZING. girls in the world (Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, Carrie, Jen) and their lovely families.  Fortunately for me,  these are only a few of the beautiful friends (and extended families) that I feel this way about.  I am blessed.

While I want to share all of the adventures of my weekend back in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette party and bridal shower weekend, I have to admit that I’m exhausted and promise to fill you all in when I recover…probably this weekend, unless I get very bored at work.  (Okay, maybe you’ll hear about it all tomorrow.) 

Today was a long day.  Last’s night Megabus trip proved to be wild ride.  Apparently the bus driver decided to take a break around 2 am- somewhere in the middle of Indiana and forced all of us to drag our Zombie-butts off the big bad bus and kill a half an hour in some convenience store.  I’d think that this was a ‘dream’ except I unfortunately have evidence that it was indeed not.   I kinda-sorta remember purchasing these, after roaming the aisles (Zombie eyes and all) looking for something edible and healthy.  Trail mix it was…again.  Seriously, rest stops across the country, would it kill you to offer fresh fruit, yogurt, salads…anything but McDonald’s greese and sugary sugar-snacks with added sugar???

Anyways, trail mix it was, and I’m disappointed to say that I ate the whole bag.  I was so tired that I just kept eating while I waited to get back on the bus.  Not the best thing to do after a weekend of booze and no exercise…not to mention all of these weddings coming up.  Workout & dieting started today and fortunately there are no roadtrips in the very near future.  The next few weeks are going to be filled with Spinning Classes, Treadmills, Biggest Loser DVDs, Sweet Potatoes. Tofu, Veggie Omelets…doesn’t this sound fun?  Honestly, to me it’s does, but I’m also a girl who did the Master Cleanse for 10 days.  Yeah, don’t waste your time trying to understand me because sometimes I don’t understand myself.

Okay, Dancing with the Stars is almost over and I just realized that for the past 4 nights, I slept on a bus twice, a hotel bed with two other girls one night, and a couch the other.  So yeah, my bed is calling my name, even if it currently looks like this- which is a preview of the stories from my weekend.  You cannot see it in the photo, but that wonderful suitcase pictured on the right-hand side (in)conveniently ripped open last night before I hopped on the bus. 

One more dance love- by the mess that is Pamela Anderson- and then it’s time to crash.  My tired brain is convinced that my body will wake up and work out in the morning before the dreadful trek to Skokie, but we’ll see…  Good night. ♥K