Thursday, October 20, 2011

Last Year At This Time...

It's hard to believe that exactly one year ago today I was cruising through the Caribbean...

We were so optimistic before shipping out from Miami, despite the airline losing Courtney's luggage.

We smiled in the sand and sun on the Bahaman island of Half Moon Cay, even as poor Ruthie experienced morning sickness.

We danced on the windy deck as the dark waves crashed against the ship.

We marveled at the towel animals that greeted us in our cabin each evening.

We swam in the crystal clear waters of Magen's Bay, St. Thomas.

We discovered Richard's ancestors in the rainforest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We rested in our comfy beds while watching the Map Channel.

We revelled in the splendor of Margaritaville on Grand Turk.

We fell in love with warm chocolate melting cake in the Golden Olympian Dining Room.

And we all rejoiced when Courtney was reunited with her luggage back in the Miami airport.

I can't help but smile as I think back to last year's thankful for the memories and for the friends I made them with! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

For the Love of the Cardinals

As my beloved St. Louis Cardinals get ready to play the first NLCS game today, I am reminded why I love them so much. My mom, a native of Illinois, grew up cheering for the Cardinals with her family. To say that my Grandpa Jack was a huge fan of STL is definitely an understatement. As a child, my parents took me to many games of the Louisville Redbirds, who at the time were the minor league team of the St. Louis Cardinals. As you can see, my love for the Cardinals is deep-rooted in family tradition.
In 2008, my mom's entire side of the family met in St. Louis to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday and cheer on our Cardinals.

It was an amazing game-the Cards beat the Twins and we saw Pujols hit 2 homers!

3 generations of Cardinals fans

It just so happens that I'll be cheering on my team alongside my family today from the comfort of my parents' couch. And you better believe I'll be sporting my # 5 Pujols hoodie. I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
 Go Cards!

The Bucket List, Part Three

      I'm sure my bucket list will have several additions in the years to come, but for now I give you the final 10 items of my "30 Things in Thirty Years" that I hope to accomplish:

21.     Rome-A trip to Italy has been a dream for many years, and would have to include Venice, Milan, and Tuscany. But most importantly, it will start with a visit to Rome. As a Catholic, I've always wanted to visit Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. As a history nerd, I am eager to see the ancient ruins of the great Roman Empire. A presto, Roma!

22.   Germany-My mom's side of the family is German & proud so I'd love to get in touch with those roots. Also, as strange as it may sound, I've always wanted to visit a concentration camp. In the sixth grade, I read and fell in love with the book Number the Stars. Since then, I've been both horrified and intrigued by the Holocaust. I don't think people can learn or talk about this tragedy enough. "Concentration camp museums remind people of the dangers of racism." -Lee Grayson 

23.   Los Angeles-Clearly, travel is going to be a major part of my future. I want to shake my groove thing in the audience of the Ellen Degeneres Show, play Plinko on The Price Is Right, shop on Rodeo Drive (window shop that is), stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and maybe run into Justin Timberlake!

24.   Be a back-up singer-I love to sing but I don't want all the drama that comes with being a famous pop star. My friend Joey and I have visions of ourselves swaying behind one of our musical idols (for him, Tina Turner and for me, I'm sure you have a good guess). That would be the life...

25.   Host my own talk show-My Gift for Talking + My Love for Pop Culture = Best Talk Show Ever. Think about it! Honestly, I just want to make people laugh (and meet some celebrities)!

26.   Go back to the Caribbean-Last October I went on a cruise of the Eastern Caribbean, visiting The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk, and St. Thomas. I fell in love with the island life and I cannot wait to get back! There is nothing more peaceful to me than having my toes in the sand, watching the crystal clear water wash up as I listen to Bob Marley. 
Ruthie and me on the Bahaman island of Half Moon Cay

Quite possibly the most beautiful place I've been in the world: Magen's Bay, St. Thomas

Grand Turk was glorious!

27.   Be a Big Sister-While I'm already lucky enough to be a real big sister to Micah and Jill,   I've always felt called to be a Big Sister in my community. I love this quote from the Big Brothers Big Sisters website: "Doing good is a beautiful thing. As a Big Sister, you can give a girl an opportunity to see beyond her everyday world and dream big." I can't think of a better way to spend this life I'm so lucky to live.

28.   DJ for a day-When I say that my iTunes playlist is ready for a party, I mean it. I like to think I have a pretty extensive music collection and I would love nothing more than to stand behind a DJ table and "spin" some tunes for people to dance to. And let's face it, I'd be dancing too. So if you're looking for an amateur DJ for your next wedding reception, birthday party, or impromptu get-together, I'm your girl.
29.   Be a UofL basketball & football season ticket holder-I've already written about my love for the University of Louisville Cardinals. It brings me pure joy to attend their basketball and football games, but at this point in my life, being a season ticket holder isn't in the cards (pun intended). However, I have no doubt that one day this will be a reality.

30. Follow the St. Louis Cardinals on the road-The only other team that I love as much as the Louisville Cardinals is the St. Louis Cardinals! Did I mention that my favorite bird is the cardinal? My whole family loves baseball and we can all agree to cheer on STL. To date, I've only seen them play at home in Busch Stadium and at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. I would love to see them play in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Milwaukee (so I could also visit my friend Linsey), Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Colorado. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...Halloween

Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love the cooling temperatures, the colorful leaves, the crossover of football & baseball seasons, and the holidays. It makes me so happy to get my big orange and black storage bin out so I can begin decorating for Halloween! 
I don't change much around my house, but instead add a dash of orange, black, and purple (my fave) here and there. I start with the kitchen, hanging the dish towels and cookie cutters, and lighting the pumpkin spice candle.

Then I move to the bathroom to spruce up the hand towel.
I love to bling out the door knobs all over the house...

It's fun to put up the decorations that have been gifted to me and think of the people who gave them!

Then there are the adorable Fall decorations that get to stay up even after Halloween is over...

Finally I hang up the wreath on my front door-the best for last!
I think this pretty much sums it up. :)

Happy first day of October, y'all!