Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Best Day Ever!

This week I was able to cross something off my "life list" that I'd been thinking about for years. I scored 4 tickets to an Oprah show in Chicago, and was able to take 3 of my best friends to enjoy the experience with me (Hillary, Lindsay and Jenny).

The show was really fun. It featured the World's Most Talented Kids and it airs May 18. The kids were AMAZING. We listed to the world's best piano player (experts say he'll be the best for at least the next 50 years), saw a dance performer George who won "Britain's Got Talent" (which is somewhat like our American Idol - but I loved it even more since I'm addicted to the show "so you think you can dance"). There were also 2 unbelievable singers. A 14-year old Norweigian girl (Nora Foss) sang "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and Charisse from the Phillipines sang this new single "A Note to God" - amazing.... (she's supposed to be the next Whitney Houston). They will both be very big in the US soon.

At the end, Taylor Swift came out (I love her!!!) and then everyone in the audience was given free XBox game systems and a year subscription to Netflix. What a day! I couldn't stop screaming.

What makes it even better was that Hillary's family had "Oprah" connections, so we ended up in the front row!!! It was very cool. I guarantee that the other 250 women in the audience hated us because we got a lot of special treatment. Afterwards, we were the only people allowed backstage to personally meet Oprah and her dog and take a photo with her (I can't post it because they're shipping it). Here are a few pics from brunch afterwards where we really just sat in disbelief at the experience we had had.

It really was a dream come true!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Parties and Powerpoint Decks

We're in the last week of "busy season" at work so I don't have a lot of pictures to share from this weekend. That being said, even acknowledging we have a "busy season" makes me laugh, since we all know it's always busy!

Friday night we had a fun Game Night with Nicole and Stan. They cooked a delicious Mexican dinner (which I am totally going to rip off for my Cinco de Mayo book club dinner next week!) and taught us a fun game called "Ticket to Ride".

Saturday we were double-booked so we had to divide and conquer. Dana went to birthday party for three 3-year olds. He even had to pick out the gifts and wrap them himself. It was so cute. He said any excuse to drink beer with friends and hang outside on a nice day is a fine by him : )

My friend Lindsay was celebrating her birthday as well so I had a girls day with my community group. It was soooo perfect. We met early for coffee at Starbucks, went and got manis and pedis in a private room at the spa, lunched at the Cheesecake Factory and then shopped all afternoon at 2 outdoor malls. The sales were amazing so I picked up a lot of clothes (that hopefully will work either for here or India). The weather was really nice and it was just a wonderfully relaxing day.

At least, it was relaxing until I realized that I was 1.5 hours late for a baby shower that I thought started much later. Whoops... Luckily I made it to Preeti's celebration in time to see her open her gifts!

Today I ran White Rock lake again (but it was really, really hard today!). Then I picked up MORE BABY GIFTS (because I seriously do have at least one shower per weekend these days). Later, Dana and I made dinner and cupcakes for the Walshs, who just had twins. It was fun to meet the little ones! At just 5 lbs, Daniel and Grace are just so tiny and sweet. Carrie and Dan seem to be doing great!

Tonight our friends Gretchen and Brian tried to convince us to try out for the Amazing Race. Apparently they've thought we would be competitors on the AR for awhile, and it so happens that the auditions are coming to Dallas next weekend. I'm so flattered that they think we would be good at that show! Unfortunately, we're also too busy to make an audition tape in the next week, but it's fun to think about.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Game Night & Living Green

Friday night we cooked a nice dinner and enjoyed "date night" at home. We had a lot of fun playing "Quinto" a 3M game that came out in the 60s! It's so funny how some of our favorite games have been around for decades. I was even thinking it will be fun to play one day with our kids (as it teaches good math skills).

Saturday we attended a "Live Green" Expo. The highlight for me was discovering this group that organizes fashion swap parties so that you can update your wardrobe in earth-friendly, economical ways. I was so inspired that I'm now planning a Swap Party for my friends!

Saturday night the girls got together for wine and chocolate cake in honor of Kate's birthday. It felt so nice to kick back and catch up! The guys also got together to watch the NBA playoff game.

Today we're just relaxing before we get together with our church community group. I'm having a blast just sitting her online planning our upcoming anniversary (5 years!!!). We're going to spend it in California (2 days at Hotel Bel-Air, a weekend in Santa Monica and the MTV Movie Awards. Yay!!!! It's going to be amazing).

It's a beautiful day outside so I'm going to run 9 miles at White Rock lake. It's amazing to me that that doesn't even sound intimidating to me anymore. I've come so far this past year! My goal is to now run that every weekend we're in town (before it gets too hot at least) so that I can run half-marathons whenever they come up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Movies & Mulch

Yesterday was an interesting day to say the least.

The highlight was seeing the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic" with Kori, Nicole and Natalie. Not being a shopper at all, I actually thought it was really cute. Kori is due to have baby #2 any day now, so lucky for me she wanted to get in some final relaxing girl-time.

The low point was Dana and I deciding that we were going to enjoy the beautiful, 70-degree evening by grilling a nice dinner outside, only to discover that some animal had decided to move into our grill over the winter. We opened it up only to find about 3 ft of mulch, grass and leaves.... along with something that was very dead. Not so appetizing....!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Blessed Easter

We spent Easter weekend in Birmingham, Michigan visiting my big sis Ana, brother-in-law Justin, and 2 nieces (Skylar and Larkin). We were so blessed to have nice weather, which was an unexpected surprise. Highlights of the fun weekend include dying Easter eggs (sparkly ones of course!), celebrating Skye's 5th birthday, a trip to the Children's Museum in Ann Arbor, and a few amazing meals (a brunch at the FlyTrap Cafe was my favorite!).

On a separate note, congrats to Anne & Ashley and Carrie & Dan on the new additions to your families! Baby Girl Smith and Daniel & Grace Walsh were both born last week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A busy weekend of mimosas and marathons

This weekend seemed to fly by and sadly, it's already Sunday night.
Friday night we went to a concert and a very cool winery & wine bar with our church community group. The concert was sort of the equivalent of a Lollapalooza, but with Christian rock bands.

Saturday it was 80 degrees and sunny here (absolutely my perfect type of weather) so after a lovely brunch for our friend Kori Hatch's 2nd baby shower (looking forward to meeting "Colt" Hatch in 2 weeks!), I spent most of the day out by the pool reading. Saturday night I joined my running team at this amazing restaurant called Taverna for a carb-loading dinner. Absolutely incredible. I had lobster risotto, porcini mushroom lasagna and chocolate molten cake - pure gluttony. If I could go back tonight, I would!!!

Sunday was the big day of the race. I thought about crawling back into bed when I woke up to 45 degree weather and intense winds, but I ran the race and finished with no incidents!!! My running partner, Christina, and I ran 10 min. 10 second miles. Given the crazy winds, I was so proud of us. We finished the race with a huge brunch and mimosas to celebrate at Ozona. We're thinking of running another half-marathon on May 18 since this one was so fun!