Archive for the ‘lancaster girls’ Tag

seren-dipity-doo-dah   2 comments

Maybe our mistakes make our fate…without them what would change our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart…and if you’re a very lucky person, just a plain ride away.  ~Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

I always think of my girlfriends when I see this quote, especially my Sex and the City Ladies- Ruth, Kristin, and Sarah.  We used to try figuring out which of us was Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha, and Carrie.  In my opinion, Sarah is definitely Samantha and Kristin is Charlotte.  Ruth is probably more of Miranda but definitely has her Samantha moments.  Leaving me as Carrie.  Yes, I’m probably definitely a Carrie…Maybe with some Charlotte moments. 

Where the heck am I going with this?  See, this is what happens when I see this quote and start thinking about my ladies. So life has taken us all in different directions (literally): Ruth is in Northern California, Sarah is living in Bermuda (seriously!), Kristin is married and a home-owner in Columbus, and me, little Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, is analyzing the world from her apartment in Chicago.  Well, this week I’m analyzing it from Cincinnati, Ohio- surrounded by the toys of two adorable children, Hazel & George, and their inspiring mother, Rebecca. 

So what’s on my mind these days?  Fate.  Destiny. Serendipity.  Call it what you will, but we all know what this means: The belief that our life is pre-determined.  That ‘everything happens for a reason’.  We’ve all heard that line before, whether we want to or not, but do we believe it? 

Yesterday after a brief call with my mom, I received an unexpected email from my friend, Dina.  Her lovely, thoughtful, encouraging words really touched me.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Dina.  Both my mom and Dina brought up- in their own way & words- hit on the concept of fate; of destiny; that everything happens for a reason.  That people come into our life when the timing is right…for both of us.  This was Dina’s point, not my mom’s.  My mom thinks that it should just happen every single time I walk out the door.  BAM! instant BFFs.  POOF! love of my life.

Back to Dina’s point: It’s all about timing, ladies & gentlemen.  So often, too often, we get so frustrated when things don’t pan out the way we want them to.  I, too, fall into this category so I’ll speak for myself.  We think that we’re absolutely, 100% ready for that job to be ours, to meet “The One” that we’ve been waiting for; however, we need to realize that in those scenarios, especially the latter one, that another party is involved.  Therefore, it’s best to remember that even if you’re ready, perhaps the other person isn’t- yet. 

Patience has never been my best quality.  My own father will tell you that without a mere second thought.  However, in my defense, I have gotten much better over the years.  Andy Warhol said it best, “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”  True, true.  Though let me add to that by saying that waiting for something helps you realize whether or not you really want it.  But even if your decipher that you’re ready, perhaps the other part of the equation (the perfect job or the perfect guy/girl) isn’t quite ready for you.  What do you think of that?

When you meet the supposed love of your life at twenty years old, it’s impossible to comprehend that it is not the right time…yet.  It may be perceived as foolish, but instead it’s merely evidence that you have A LOT of growing up left to do before the time is right.  As a wiser twenty-seven year old, I can tell you that timing is everything.  Time provides us with the experience to discover who we are; take chances; and learn from our mistakes.  Time allows us to figure out what we really want and what we’re willing to fight for.  To quote (or paraphrase) a line from Sex and the City 2, which I just saw for the first time tonight: “Time does not matter.  When we see one another, it’s wonderful.”

 I know, all of my thoughts are fairly transparent as they center around people specifically.  Yes, L.O.V.E. is a common factor in everything I’ve mentioned above- but not just romantic love.  All of these may pertain to friends, family members, or mentors that have played a role in your development.  See, new people enter (and re-enter) into our life each and every day, but (unfortunately) not all of them remain in our life.  An example: When I was in middle school, one BFF after another slowly disappeared from my life.  I couldn’t understand why and, as a result, I blamed myself for pushing them away.  I look back now and realize how little I knew about life, about friendship back then.  Not every friend you make is going to be in your life forever.  It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault.  That’s just how life is.  As the line goes, everything happens for a reason.

But there are certain people who Fate brings to us, as Destiny whispers the secret that they are meant to be in our life forever.  At times we just know ‘it’ at the first sight of them or through a bonding conversation.  From there we cannot imagine life without them as we find ourselves feeling a sense of completeness with our other half by our side.  Although, life isn’t always fair.  People come and go.  No rhyme nor reason will explain why…but time will.  Over time we can see all of the answers that we spent sleepless nights and tears searching for.  The answer is that sometimes we need these people in our lives to guide us along our path and sometimes those people need us to do the same for them

We really don’t think of it like that often, do we?  That we come into another’s life to help him/her finding what they are looking for; to help them grow along their journey.  Perhaps they needed someone like you to inspire and/or encourage them to keep fighting for what they want.  Maybe you met them to introduce them to the love of their life.  Fate does exist.  People are meant to be together- in whatever context you like to believe in.  However, it’s not always the way you think it should go.

Once upon a time, I met a guy that I believe(d) was my fate, my destiny, my everything happens for a reason.  I waited patiently and very, very impatiently for years, believing that we were meant to be and therefore, time will bring us together again- somehow, someday.  I fought the pains that showed me that he (us) was what I really wanted.  But now, I foolishly admit that I really may have had it wrong all along.  Instead I contemplate the real reason he first entered my life many years ago.  Maybe, just maybe, he came into my life to remind me of where I came from?  Or maybe, just maybe, I came into his life to remind him?

june series: if you think you’re geting away, i will prove you wrong. i’ll take you all the way. stay another song   Leave a comment

As mentioned in last Tuesday’s post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point.  This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School.

One morning in June 2005 I sat in the Convo and watched these girls say goodbye to their college days in their caps and gowns.  While I watched these girls, who had become sisters to me, I was overcome with a surplus of emotions- one being pride.  I was so happy to share this moment with my friends.

Another thought crossed my mind as I sat in peanut-heaven taking in the graduation scenario: This was going to be me down there, in my cap and gown, in exactly one year.

These four girls, Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, and Carrie, came into my life during my junior year at OU- shortly after my 21st birthday.  They are also known as the “Lancaster Girls” and my Sex and the City ladies too.  I also hold them responsible for corrupting me- all in good fun of course.  And speaking of fun, we sure had a lot of good times! during our many, many nights with up on Court Street. 

June 2005 marked the end of another great year at OU, and was the beginning of many changes for me.  These four ladies were not returning to Athens with me the following year, so I as proud as I was of them, I was certainly distraught wondering who I would be spending my time with.  Sure, I had my other friends- including Brandon, Libby, Mike, Jackie, etc.- but I literally spent most of my time with these four ladies.  Like I said, they were sisters to me.  Those four girls, and Jackie too, taught me to be strong; to be confident; to believe in myself; to be who I am.  They showed me that you always look out for your girl friends, no matter what, and that your girl friends are your real soulmates.  They helped me see that I was beautiful just the way I am, flaws and all.

Even before the girls graduate, I began thinking, what am I going to do (next year) without them?  I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  My spring quarter literally revolved around them, as I’d wake up (usually hungover), go to class until noon (perfect college schedule), Sarah would pick me up and we’d go lay out, then get ready to head out for another night on Court Street.  I was living the College Dream…or so I thought.

One night, before heading back to Pittsburgh, Sarah and I began the night pre-gaming in my house before meeting the others up on Court Street.  (Honestly, I cannot even remember who we met since most people had already gone home for the summer.)  I have one thing to say about that night, and a whole lot of regrets: Bacardi 151.  The rest of the night is very blurry, but one thing I kinda-sorta remember is being at The Junction believing that I was talking to my new roommate Jay (and a girl ‘he’ was with).  It wasn’t until the next morning, after waking up next to Sarah on our front porch, that I thought, Jay doesn’t have a short ponytail so that couldn’t have been him.  That night changed it all.  For the rest of the summer, I swore off drinking to cut out all the BS and distractions that accompany alcohol.  I finally recognized that I had gotten too caught up in the OU party scene and all I really had to remember it by was the hot mess that had become my life. 

For many reasons, including the one I just mentioned, my anxiety levels were skyrocketing during the summer of 2004.  After being home in Pittsburgh for the remainder of June and beginning of July, working for Kraft (my dad’s employer), I began summer session in Athens…while still working for Kraft.  Let me simplify that.  On Sunday night, I drove to Athens, OH to play student for the week and then as soon as class ended on Thursday afternoon, I drove back to Pittsburgh, PA to play Kraft summer employee.  I’m not going to complain, but yes, it was exhausting. 

Despite the back-and-forth, I had an A.MAY.ZING. summer- when I was in Athens.  It was during that summer that I truly fell in love with my college town.  I felt so content and at peace during this time, like the campus was mine.  It was a great change from the usual chaos that consumed Athens during the school year. 

I did a lot of thinking that summer, some prompted by the two English courses I was enrolled in and the fabulous professor that is Jeremy Webster.  Other thoughts were provoked from spending time with the Rebecca, Karrie, and Dusty.  It was so nice to spend more time with them, without any other distractions getting in the way.  

My time in Athens that summer also allotted me time with the always-fabulous and entertaining Joe Zummo.  After he’d talk to his girlfriend, Renee, on the phone, Joe would head over (sometimes with a 6-pack) and we’d sit on the 10 Hocking porch and talk about everything and nothing at all.  Some days he’d just tell me one popsicle joke after another, and other days he’d open up about how his hopes for the coming school- one being to become better friends with the beloved Casey.  To be honest, I wanted that for him too. 

Part of me didn’t want that summer to end, for a few reasons.  While I was anxious for my friends to arrive and enjoy my new Athens with me, I also recognized that it meant I would be one day closer to the end of my OU days as graduation became more real to me. 

No matter what, Senior Year was another A.MAY.ZING. time at OU for me.  New roommates (Jay, Mike, and Amanda) brought about many new friends (Ashley, Jenni “BaFaFa”, Jenny- just to name a few), and of course I was lucky to still have some of my favorites like Libby, Brandon, Mike, and Phill still there with me.

This is another time in my life that I wish I could get back.  Re-do senior year at OU…YES, PLEASE!  I wish I knew then what I know now-thoughts constantly play in my mind.  I know I’d do things differently based on what I’ve learned since then, and who I am today.  For one I would have let that boy know exactly how I felt about him, once and for all.  And second, I would have switched over to that Child Life Specialist position.  These are just two of the things I know that I would have done, but what’s done is done.  I also wish I was strong back then; that I believed in myself more; and that I lived more freely without having any regrets.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

Even having to live with these regrets now, I am grateful for what I learned that summer.  For it is because of my experiences, my mistakes, and my woulda-coulda-shouldas, that I can look back today remembering how much I’ve grown since then, and how I’ll continue to seek to better myself each and every day.

You know people say how important a college education is, and I will not disagree.  However, a college education isn’t just what you learn from textbooks, research papers, and all-night cram sessions, but rather it’s what you learn about yourself that makes the experience worthwhile. 

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Notes: The title of this blog is lyrics from the song Murder on the Dance Floor, which is a favorite of these lovely Lancaster girl friends of mine.  Not only was it on The Pub Mix, but it was also dedicated to the OU girls at Kristin’s wedding. 

And the portait of Court Street above is wonderful and available for purchase.  Check out Ellen Pettey Photography at http://ellenpettey.com/ to order your own!  Look through her galleries for others that may interest you as well.

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!

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

good morning, columbus. i missed you.   Leave a comment

I’ll start with saying, Good Morning, and then say that I survived my overnight Megabus trip.  But being Megabus, there was an adventure of some sorts.  To keep it brief, I was running late and ended up taking a cab.  Nothing too special about that, but as soon as I got downtown to Union Station that all changed.  First, I got approached by numerous homeless people asking me for money. (Just another day in Chicago, but turning them down never gets any easier.)  Then, after getting to the actual Megabus stop I discovered that I either forgot my boarding pass at my apartment or in the cab.  Fortunately I brought my A-game last night and decided to 1) permit my parents to break into my email account (hope they didn’t find out about the tattoos…oh well); and then 2) try my best to ‘borrow’ someone’s Wi-Fi.  Option 1 wasn’t working out due to slowness of computers over in Pittsburgh, but fortunately an arriving Megabus to Memphis was courteous enough to bring me Internet service (Hllelujah!).  Indeed this prevented me from going ape-shit as it began to….HAIL…and HAIL some more.  By the way, I am NOT kidding.  Two days ago it was a very humid 80 degrees in Chicagoland, and last night it was below 30 degrees and hailing, and hailing some more.  Ridiculous?  This is the apocalypse, right?  Just making sure.

Anyways, the Mega of all Buses finally arrived- not too late, but not on time.  The driver was a sweetheart and accepted my written-down reservation number with ease.  (Love her.)  Unfortunately the bus was packed and I ventured to the upper deck, only to be stuck sitting with a group of high school students heading back to Cinci.  The girl I sat next to was a sweetheart, but the rest of the group was still..,well, high school kids.  Let your imagination doing the rest.  They were fine-ish.  It could have been a lot worse.  I decided to throw in a movie to distract me for awhile..but then I was interrupted…by the lovely Sarah Donley and Ruth Sharp.  I love these girls and cannot wait to see them today!!!  It’s been so long! 

Here’s some background on these girls and the others that I’ll be spending my weekend with: I met Sarah, Ruth, Kristin, and Carrie through my former roommate, Jackie, who was roommates with Ruth & Kristin the year before.  Sarah and Carrie went to high school with Ruth and Kristin in Lancaster, OH- which is in between Athens & Columbus.  (Think of it as a suburb of Columbus.)  Anyways, these were the main players in my blurry memories of nights on Court Street my junior year at OU, as well as many enjoyable (hungover) memories of girl time.  Those times continued after college when I reconnected with them in moving to Columbus.  Something I just remembered, during winter break (of my senior year, I believe) I came up to Lancaster to visit Sarah, Kristin, and Ruth and this is when I fell in love with Columbus.  After this trip I just felt like it was the city for me. 

That’s a perfect segue to where I am right now, as I sit at my happy place…yes, Starbucks.  In the photo to the left is a picture of Nationwide Arena: Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets (NFL Team) and Kristin’s beloved, #61 Rick Nash.  Behind those trees on the right is a Starbucks- where this lovely, somewhat tired blogger of yours is writing from.  This is familiar ground for me since I spend many nights at the Blue Jackets games with Kristin and her fiancée, Jim.  And if you walk north from here, you will pass through the Arena District- the imfamous Columbus bar scene- and eventually come across my first apartment in C-bus on Buttles & High Street.  9 Buttles.  Wow!  That feels like forever ago.  It was about 3 years ago when we first found that apartment.  (‘We’ being my former roommate, Tony, and I.  Actually, Tony still lives there with another female roommate.)

I lived in Columbus for about 15 months and I really was content with staying there…well, forever.  But with my AmeriCorps position coming to an end and being forced to find another job, I knew I had to seize the opportunity with Action for Healthy Kids (my current employer) and move to Chicago.  While everyone else thought it was exciting…‘Lucky you!  Chicago is a great city!’  Honestly, I heard it all; however, my heart was breaking in leaving Columbus, my friends, and the life that I spent 15 months creating.  But life happens.  Sometimes it doesn’t make sense at the time, but in looking back I truly believe that it was something I need to experience. 

I’ve only been here for 1.5 hours, but it already feels good to be back here.  I’m in my element here.  The people are nowhere near as crazy as they are in Chicago, in fact I find myself sitting here waiting for something to happen.  But instead, I’m caught off guard by the sanity all around me.  People are friendly, and maybe even happy….unlike Chicago (generally speaking).  Additionally, I keep seeing one hot guy after another.  I love Ohio boys so much, and oddly enough they always seem to love me too!  As Adriana and I joked about, I’m like a glittery vampire-esque version of Edward Cullen when I’m in Ohio.  It has to be the resurrection of my confidence because I honestly have no idea what else it could be.  But no matter what, I have to say: All non-crazy/ obsessive, Columbus boys.  I give you permission, this weekend, to fall in love with me.  My heart is yours for the taking.  Just be gentle with me.

By Your Side (Sade) was playing this morning when I first sat down at my table here in Starbucks.  I found myself listening attentively to the lyrics.  I will find you darling and I will bring you home; And if you want to cry; I am here to dry your eyes; And in no time, you’ll be fine.  Last night, while waiting for the bus, I was on the phone with my mom and the honesty began pouring out of me.  With the hail, lost Megabus reservation, and crazy Chicagoans, I just wanted to let it all pour out of me.  Part of me wanted to cry, just to get it all out.  But instead, I spoke my feelings and my mom was the ‘lucky’ one who got to listen to it.  She’s the best.  In essence I told her that all of these struggles, bad days, etc. are truly character building but in the end, I cannot help but keep thinking- Is this really worth it?  I’m at the point where I’m just living to support myself.  But am I happy…no.  That’s evident.  But the thing is, I was insanely happy in Cinci last weekend (Sorry A.  I’m most likely not moving there.) and I trust that I’ll be happy this weekend in C-bus too.  But in Chicago, I’m just dragging myself along, paying all of the bills that I’ve been accumulated, and truthfully just doing my best to keep the adrenaline rushing. 

Forgive my rambling.  Here’s my last thought.  I’ve learned firsthand that we must all challenge ourselves to grow.  We must do the things that we fear because we learn so much about our capabilities when we overcome these barriers- and we will overcome them.  But admist life’s struggles, there comes a time when you have to say- Is this really worth it?  I have had my share of struggles in my life and I’m not naive to think that there will come a day when they’ll end.  Truthfully, knowing how much I’ve learned through my struggles, I don’t want them to end.  But in saying that I really want to make sure I’m living, and in Chicago (to one’s surprise), I don’t feel like I’m doing that.  I think that just proves that it’s not about the place, but the people, and additionally, home is where the heart is.  This weekend, my heart is going to be right here, in Columbus, Ohio. ♥K

what happens in columbus…   2 comments

Off to Ohio again.  I feel like I just got back from my trip to Cinci, and now I’m headed to Columbus in about an hour- and I’m still not packed yet.  I always do this to myself, but you know what- my friends are worth it.  On my way home from work I was thinking that this trip to C-bus is not practical at all, but I’m going.  Friends always override the practical. 

I think I’m a little nervous to go back because this is the first time I’ve actually been out and about in the city I used to spend many of my nights out.  Oh the stories I could tell…and I’m sure there will be more to share after this weekend.  This is the first time this crew has been together in awhile.  Actually, the last time we all hung out, Jackie wasn’t there so this is the first time my Court Street girls (Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, Jackie, Carrie) have been out together since they all graduated from OU.  Wow!  That was about 5 years ago!  When did we become adults and how do we make it stop?

I really need to go get ready to make sure I end up on the lovely overnight Megabus.  Have a good weekend everyone!

sometimes i wish i was a little girl again because bruised knees heal faster than broken hearts   4 comments

A child fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty. This is the little angel that I got to spend this past weekend with.  What a cutie!  Based on this photo, I now call her the Guac-Monster since she was saying ‘chip’ and ‘dip’ continuously after falling in love with Adriana’s guacamole like the rest of us.  The Guac-Monster’s name is Hazel Katherine, aka Big Sister to 6-week year old George Michael Francis, and she is my favorite little munchkin ever.  Not only is she a cutie pie, but she is gorgeous.  That girl is going to break some OU boys’ hearts! 

My weekend in Cinci was A.MAY.ZING.  My bus left Chicago around 7 am, with us driving through Indy on the way there and the NCAA festivities must have already begun.  It took us awhile to get through downtown Indy but we eventually made our way to Cinci.  Rebecca and the kids were stuck in traffic, so as luck would have it I ran over to Starbucks to get us some drinks before our trek back to her house.  It was so good to finally see Rebecca!  Hazel had just woken up from a nap so it took her awhile to warm up.  But before i knew it she was my little buddy again- showing me all of her boo-boos and showing me the ‘baby’.  Just melts my heart thinking about her! 

We headed back to Rebecca & Nate’s new house- which is lovely- to have some playtime with the Littleton ladies.  Before we knew it, it was time to meet Adriana and Pat at the imfamous Wildflower.  Officially meeting Pat was wonderful (!!!) but I felt like I already knew him.  It was just very comfortable, and I was so happy to see A glowing with love.  Love, love, love.  The only thing better than being in love is seeing people who you love in love.  It was hard to talk to him since we were sitting at opposite ends of the bar, but I knew we’d all get time later. 

Rebecca and I were so hungry by the time we got to Wildflower, so after a delicious side salad & my first glass of Riesling for the night, my entrée arrived: Butternut Squash Ravioli.  A.MAY.ZING.  Trust me on this.  All of the food there is organic and fantastic, but I swear on that nothing can beat this.  So good!  After our meal, Rebecca headed home and A, Pat, and I ventured back to A’s house so I could finally meeting her mom.  Love, love, love her!  And let me tell you, Adriana & Dawn together are a hoot.  I was so entertained just listening to them.  I had a great time just hanging with the ladies and the wonderful Pat.  (Seriously, such a great guy!  A’s a lucky girl but so is he!)

After a few hours of hanging out at the house, we ventured out to a dive bar with one of Adriana’s friends, Jason.  As luck would have it, they had Nudie Touch Screen (aka Erotic Photo Hunt).  If you do not know this game, you are missing out!  Here’s what it’s all about, but instead of general pictures, replace them with gross-ass, women or men.  We used to play this game all of the time during Happy Hours in Athens and at Crickets in Lancaster.  It’s a guilty pleasure for sure.  Anyways, we had a few drinks and enjoyed the shenanigans at the bar.  There were some characters there and a lot of drunkeness, but the four of us kept our cool…until Adriana got her moment in the spotlight to perform HER karaoke song, Total Eclipse of the Heart.  After a few lines, Jason decided that we should join her- and so we did.  We left shortly afterwards with A and I heading home.  We were zonked and decided that it was best to sleep in the following morning.

Before we knew it, it was TATTOO DAY!  I won’t lie, I was a bit hungover from being a wino the night before.  But A, being the fabulous friend that she is made me a pot of coffee after my shower.  Much to my surprise, I wasn’t nervous but that had a lot to do with A being with me and her knowing the tattoo artist (for years and years).  We ran over to grab some lunch at the convenience store before heading to see Brad (tattoo artist).  They were behind schedule, which worked out well because Rebecca and Nate stopped by with the kids.  After they left A and I laid on the floor (in a room that reminded me of a house in Athens) just hanging out and decided to figure out where she should get her anchor tattoo.  Somehow we started discussing her getting it on the top of her foot- which she said would hurt A.LOT.  So me, being me, opened my mouth without thinking to say, “If you want to get one on your foot, then I’ll get one on mine too.”  Impulsive? Abso-f***in-lutely!  So it was decided.  IN ADDITION to the purple heart on my wrist, I was getting a tiny blue star too.  Afterall why get one tattoo when you can get two?  Seriously, I have no regrets at all.  It helped so much to have Adriana there with me though.  I love that I got to share this special moment with her. 

For those of you who do not know me, these tattoos are a very un-Kristen Medica move, or at least one would assumingly categorize it as such.  I did this for me.  No one else.  And to be honest, I’m glad I lived in the moment and made the decision to get the blue star too.  This is just proof (for me) that I’m becoming much more comfortable in my now-tattooed skin.   

Can I have a moment to tell you about my dear friend, Adriana (aka A and/or Shawty)?  I came across this quote today and it fits her perfectly: Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.  Not while this certainly does not just pertain to the tattoos, it does for this respective situation. Adriana and I have only known each other for about 7 months now- meeting at Rebecca and Nate’s wedding in September (’09).  However we bonded almost immediately- which her even giving me a pair of sunglasses hours after meeting her.  While we officially announced our friendship over Facebook that weekend, our  true friendship blossomed shortly afterwards through email exchanges, texts, and then a weekend at my parents’ house in Pittsburgh.  Our friendship has been A.MAY.ZING. thus far and she truly brings out the best in me.  As Adriana has said about me, I must say the same about her: She’s helped me find me again.

After the tattoos, we headed over to the Littletons for pizza and play time.  We ended up going with Nate and Hazel to Kroger- with Hazel being the fairest kid of them all.  There was one woman there that had the worst plumber’s crack!  I mean how do you know feel the drift in the freezer aisle at least!  I’m still baffled about that one.  We headed back to the house and Pat came over a bit later.  We had a great time.  The food was A.MAY.ZING. and the company was even better! 

Being in total Ohio bliss, I decided that I wanted to (try to) put Hazel to bed- giving Nate and Rebecca a break.  I was so sure that I could do it, but I now know that Nate and Rebecca were expecting failure.  I cannot tell a lie: it was far from easy.  She cried for ‘mommy’ for awhile but I was finally able to get her into the rocking chair to read a few novels.  Hazel loves, loves, loves kitties and she’d Meow every time a kitty was on the page.  As time passed, her Meows got fainter, indicating that my little angel was falling asleep.  We eventually made it over to the bed, to read another book…and finally her eyes began to close.  I thought I had her, I really did.  But after about 10 minutes of laying with her I decided to head downstairs with my friends.  Of course, she woke up.  Nate came back up to get her down, as I went downstairs for a glass of wine.  We watched Boondock Saints II before A and Pat left and then the Littleton parents and I called it a night.

Sunday morning= Easter.  When did that happen?  So it’s April then?  Wow!  Am I behind on life.  We woke up early to get ready and head over to Rebecca’s parents house for breakfast.  I adore her parents- George & Kitty.  We had a great Easter morning with Hazel opening gifts and going on a mini-Easter egg hunt.  Afterwards we all headed over to Rebecca’s aunt’s house to have lunch with their extended family. Adriana met us over there and then I headed out early with her.  We had every intention of going home, showering, and taking a nap…but yeah, that didn’t happen.  Instead Adriana took me to Spring Grove Cemetary– swearing that I’d absolutely love it.  And I absolutely did!  It was gorgeous!!  Everywhere I looked was more breath-taking than the moment before.  I almost felt like I was in a movie, like The Secret Garden or a non-trippy Alice in Wonderland.  As I said to Adriana, it’s fascinating how a cemetary can make you think about the beauty of life.  It’s obvious that such a beautiful place like this can make you think about that, but for me I always find myself wondering about the lives of the deceased.  More so, it also made me think about loved ones that I have lost- especially my Pap.  In an odd way, it just makes me want to live more freely.

Back to reality, so after Spring Grove I believe we headed over to visit Pat and his mother- who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.  Afterwards A and I visted her grandmother for a little bit before Rebecca came over to Adriana’s with baby George.  I got the chance to look through Rebecca’s wedding photos- which were GORGEOUS– and also held baby George for awhile.  So just imagine the La La Land that my head was in.  Weddings and babies…oh my!

Rebecca got ready to head back home just as Pat and his mom stopped by.  I was so glad that Mrs. Douglas got to see baby George (and his little mohawk).  Shortly after Dawn came back home and the five of us hung out for awhile as we awaited Dawn’s infamous Sweet Potato Casserole.  A.MAY.ZING.  After everyone left, A and I headed upstairs for some girl time.  One of my favorite things about staying with friends or hosting them is the chat time before bed and in the morning when you wake up.  (I know.  This just says “I need a boyfriend.”)  Adriana finished up my special Easter project before presenting it to me.  She made me a HAPPY BOOK!  I’ve been wanting to do that for weeks/months now but haven’t started it.  She printed off all of these quotes and graphics and OMG I just LOVE IT!  She knows me so well.  I always enjoy meeting new people and boy was this day full of that!  As much as I enjoyed it though, I was exhausted.

Unfortunately the day came when I had to head back to Chicago.  The best idea A and I have ever has been taking Monday off.  Since her mom offered to make us omelets for breakfast, A ran me over to Starbucks at the Kroger nearby.  Oh Starbucks, how I’ve missed you!  After breakfast we hung out for a bit before getting ready.  It took me forever to pack up because I really didn’t want to leave.  I was just so relaxed this whole weekend- filled with friends, new family, kids, and puppies galore.  It was just a perfect weekend. 

It was Opening Day for the Reds, so downtown Cinci was filled with fans and/drunks-whichever you prefer to call them.  A had made plans to meet her friend, Mandy, for lunch so we headed over there before going to the bus stop.  Another great meal for this girl.  We were only a few blocks away from the Megabus stop- which was unfortunate because I didn’t get to officially give A a proper THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR AN INCREDIBLE WEEKEND chat.  Seriously A, thank you. 

Much to both of our surprise, the bus was already there…half an hour early.  That’s unheard of for the Bus of all Megas (aka Megabus).  So I said my goodbye and loaded my crap in.  With Starbucks only a block away, I checked with the driver getting his ‘permission’ to induldge in some more caffeine.  I have to say that the ‘bucks barista guy was fairly cool- total hipster.  No crush there, but I just like pointing out my love for the baristas in this world. 

I went back to the bus and offered to move over for an elderly woman who was traveling alone.  Being on a high from my trip home, I chatted with her for awhile before realizing that I was too exhausted to even think.  The bus ride wasn’t too bad, with us stopping twice in Indy before getting back to Union Station in downtown Chicago.  I mentioned the other night about my miserable CTA experience home, but all in all I survived. 

I’ll tell you what, these two tattoos are truly magical as my purple heart reminds me constantly that I’m 1) stronger than I believe and 2) serves as a reminder of everything I’ve been through.  And the blue star on my foot, well it 1) serves as a reminder of my past (dreamer-lifestyle) and 2) of the living in the moment person I’ve become to be.  I’ve really grown up a lot, haven’t I?  Years ago I never would have imagined having a tattoo, let alone two.  It’s taken a very, very long time but this is truly the most comfortable I’ve felt in my skin in a long time…maybe it’s the tattoos. Lol.  ♥K