Friday, December 31, 2010


This photo was taken 1 year ago tonight! We've had plenty of up's and down's through 2010 but I couldn't be more happy with you, Matthew!

This little bug was born, Alyssa Jo. I plan to visit her much more often throughout 2011.

I went to Italy.

I moved, a lot.

I took a lot of pictures, and listened to a lot of Shark Week, and anticipate going on tour with them in 2011

My bff Ivy moved to LA, but we have secret unicorn plans for 2011.

My furocious kitty, Bee, passed away. RIP BESUS! 

And lastly, I DIDN'T BREAK MY CAMERA, MOM! (( she is literally telling me to not break it in this picture ))

Happy New Year! See you in 2011, and see you a lot more often!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holly Jolly Christmas

Here is a Christmas photo post. Enjoy! (( Click to make the pictures bigger! ))

Christmas celebration at my parents house. The pine outside my parents house covered with snow. My parents, Matt, and myself with our Christmas gifts. 

Christmas at my Uncle John's. Traditional poor Italian dinner; polenta with chitte cutte, and sautisa. 

(( you cut the polenta with a string. it's supposed to all come out of the pot but we got impatient and it stuck, oops. ))

The church where we went to Mass on Christmas Eve. It was so pretty inside, although the sermon was the same story as last year. Not exactly the best Christmas experience, but oh well.

After church we went the see the Italian Hall Disaster luminaries. 

On December 24th, 1913, area copper miners had been on strike for 5 months. The miners were fighting for better pay, shortened work days, safer working conditions, and union recognition. That day, during a yuletide party for the striking miners and their families someone yelling "Fire!" Although there was no fire, seventy-three persons died while attempting to escape down a stairwell that had doors that opened inward. (( Have you ever noticed exit doors always open out? This event was a contributing factor as to why it is now a requirement for building codes. )) Over half of those who died were children between the ages of sex and ten. The perpetrator of the tragedy was never identified. The strike ended in April 1914. All that is left now of the Italian Hall is the doorway to the 3 story building. 

On Christmas we went to my Grandma's retirement home for this super fancy, insanely delicious, dinner.

Again, just to prove how middle of the no where I am, the village of Mason has 3 phonebooths, and no cell phone service.

I still have Christmas with Matthew and his family. I am so excited! I gave Matt a PBR ad from the 1950's, but we still have a couple more gifts to exchange. I LOVE presents, and I am so anxious. We also still have a gingerbread house to decorate. I am headed back to Iowa tomorrow. We are going to watch Fubar.. I am either going to die from laughing, or be bored out of my mind and finish my scarf. 

I hope everyone enjoy their Christmas! 
Happy Birthday Jesus, I am so thankful we are finally getting to know each other.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Unrelated Title; I Want A Moped

Anna said that this is my blog and I can say whatever I want. So I don't care if this isn't interesting, or it's depressing, or you don't read. With that being said.. Feel free to read, and say whatever you want :]

I am fairly confident that I not the only person who loves Christmas decorations, Christmas music, giving gifts, opening presents, eating a billion cookies, wearing "holiday" outfits, red, and green, and gold. I do occasionally think I am the only person who loves these things insane amounts, and then comes crashing down Christmas Eve Eve, Eve, and Day. I have this magical way of thinking about all the horrible things I can think of.

So here is an attempt to tell you those things, and then contradict myself about how it's not so bad, and I am actually grateful for everything I have.

What seems like a hundred years ago, my Dad was a firefighter. Sometimes he'd have to work on Christmas, and sometimes not, but we'd always go to my Grandma's. She lives waaay up north.

See the little pink part? Not the island but the little finger.. That's where she lives. 10 hour drive. I usually thought I was going to die.. children under 10, and 10 hour car rides, are not best friends. But when we'd get there my little Grammie would be waiting at her front door. There was always a thing on the door that had bells on it, and it would jingle when it opened and closed. She had tons of tins out in her entryway filled with cookies cause they didn't call fit in the kitchen. And her house always smelled the same. 

We'd have Christmas at my Uncle John's on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas at my Grandma's on Christmas day. And then usually another Christmas at my Grandma's a couple days later. I think the point was so the adults didn't have to haul all the presents all over the place. In my mind (not sure if this really happened) all my cousins and I would play together. We'd color pictures and play with the vintage toys my Gram had. I'd drink apple juice, and eat ham and cheese. 

At some point things got different. It was like, let's stop making an effort to have the same thing happen every year. Which is occasionally understandable, and sometimes people can't make it, and whatever. But it was more like, kids start growing up, you all feel award around each other, and no one knows what to buy each other for Christmas. Then it's just sort of done. It's like any other night. We all eat together, and then we just happen to open a couple presents. There is no tradition, not many Christmas songs, and now it's just a whatever cookie you'd like, not raisin tarts, or the white ones with the pink or green frosting and sugar sprinkles. 

It's not as if I don't contribute to the Christmas downfall. I have missed Christmas', I have an attitude about sitting around, and I definitely feel awkward around the cousins.

Now my little Grammie is almost 90 years old. She asks the same question twice in the same minute. She  can't remember where she's put things, or if she left candles burning. My cousin had a baby, so now my Uncle, Aunt, other cousin (brother), and his wife, are all at her house in Wisconsin. My other Uncle and his family are at home, which has been happening for a while. And so tonight, we went to Mass with my Grammie that asks a lot of questions. Then we took her back to her luxury retirement home thing, and my parents and I went out to dinner. After dinner we went to a memorial site where they had set up luminaries for people who died in massacre. I don't think I've ever been out to dinner on Christmas Eve. Tomorrow we are going to 'hangout' all morning, then go to my Grandma's to eat an amazing dinner at the luxury place, and then we are going to open a couple presents that my Uncle (the one at home) left for us. After that we will go back to my other Uncle's (the one who's in Wisconsin), which is where we are staying, and then go to sleep. In the morning, we will leave for good ole Iowa.

My Aunt on my Dad's side (all the previous people have been on my Mom's side) told me when she died I could have her mansion. It has a ballroom in the attic. The likelihood of this really happening is slim, but I don't care. When I get this mansion, and fix it all up, I will host the most magical Christmas ever. My whole family, all of them, will, no choice, come to my Christmas. They will leave their shoes and coats in the entry way, which has a window seat bench so you don't have to wobble around when you take off your boots. Everyone will mingle, and hum Christmas tunes, until the Christmas feast is ready. After a delicious meal we will open presents. Then we will all head up to the ballroom for dancing, and champagne, and coffee, and sweets. As everyone starts to get sleepy, some will head home, but the rest of us will go downstairs to watch a Christmas movie. 

Doesn't that sound nice? I realize I'd have to have that mansion for the dancing, and getting everyone to come might be a bit of challenge. The feast and the movie will be highly likely. I am fully willing to make great efforts for that to happen. I just want tradition, and without dread. I want to look forward to the holidays, and enjoy them the whole way through. I want to learn to stop stressing about everything, and just enjoy things. I think I'll certainly have to do that before I can host a huge party. But I'll do it!

I am so grateful to have two wonderful parents, that make me laugh hysterically because they both hate when people don't just SING THE DAMN SONG! I love my little Grammie even though she asks the same question a million times. I also love my new cousin Patty, and everyone else in my family. 

Tomorrow, or today, is Christmas, and even though it's not going to be traditional, I'm going to make every effort to turn off my cellphone, a just enjoy the 3 people in the world who really do love me the most. More than anyone ever will, and always will love me that much, if not more. 

See that wasn't so bad.
Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The San Francisco Room

I'm not sure if any of you have relatives that live far far away.. but sometimes instead of being excited to see my family, I just dread being far far away. To top it off it's not as though my family lives someplace fun, like Chicago, or someplace warm, like Miami. Oh no, they live in the 3rd snowiest city in America, where I am confident the at least %50 of the population is over 50. It's a place with nothing to do, but snowy things, and I HATE snow. So sometimes, even though I really want to see my family, all I can think about is snow, and nothing to do. However, this year I am trying REALLY hard to not be a selfish brat, and actually enjoy myself and my family. 

This morning when my Mom and I left for our second thrifting trip I saw a penny in the snow. I said to my Mom, "See a penny, pick it up! If it's heads-up you'll have good luck!" And sure enough it was heads up, and did I ever get some serious luck.

We went to Saint Vincent DePaul for the second time since we've been here. I found a good armload of things and headed up to cash register. The clerk asked me "Did you get this from downstairs?" I didn't even know there was a downstairs. She informed me that if I went all the way to the back there was a room they called The San Francisco Room that had tons of vintage in it. I pretty much ran downstairs. They didn't even have the lights on in the room. I could have spent the rest of the day in that room. But my little Grammie was getting worn out, so I had to hurry. Either way I made a killing, and I can't wait to return this summer.

 (( Photos from the San Francisco Room ))

Did I mention I spent about $35 on all these dresses, as well as a suitcase, thermos, and vintage fashion magazine? 

I'm not feeling too bloggy lately, I wish I were. I just don't feel like what I have to say is all that interesting. I will try to blog more often, maybe as my one and only New Years goal?

Merry Christmas everyone!