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Top 5

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Top 5 movies

  • That Thing You Do!
  • Jurassic Park
  • Children of Men
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • Dumb and Dumber

Top 5 albums beginning-to-end

  • Lorraine :: Lori McKenna
  • Living With Ghosts :: Patty Griffin
  • Women & Country :: Jakob Dylan
  • Wide Open Spaces :: Dixie Chicks
  • The Good Things :: Jill Phillips

Top 5 things that make me cry

  • Rascal Flatts songs. Like, an embarrassing amount of them.
  • Kerri Strug sticking the landing
  • YouTube videos of soldiers surprising their families
  • Oprah interviews
  • “The Biggest Loser” – every time

Top 5 current goals

  • Pay off all debt (I am close – look out, Spring 2013)
  • Run a sub-2 hour half-marathon
  • Write a book (even if it might not happen very CURRENTLY)
  • Hike the Colorado Trail (486 miles from Denver to Durango)
  • Not to die climbing Longs Peak this Saturday

Top 5 things I wish I knew more about

  • Black holes
  • Taxes (I mean, I guess)
  • First aid
  • Fashion
  • How to be cool

Top 5 favorite ways to blow $50-100

  • Massage
  • Visit to Anthropologie
  • Mini road trip (2 tanks of gas)
  • Dinner at an extravagant restaurant (starting with the cheese plate, of course)
  • Perfume

Top 5 least favorite ways to blow $50-100

  • Fluoride kit at the dentist
  • Speeding tickets
  • Bras
  • Dog food
  • AAA

Top 5 Kenny Chesney songs

  • Anything But Mine
  • Come Over
  • Better as a Memory
  • Somewhere With You
  • You & Tequila

Top 5 things that Toad does

  • Wags her tail the entire time she eats her breakfast
  • Throws her entire body against the backseat of my car for balance when I start driving
  • Comes running (hopping) when she hears a knife slice through cheese on the counter
  • Jumps into my lap when I make her “special noise” (you wish you knew)
  • Refuses to step on grass unless it’s 100% dry (this one is actually not that awesome)

Top 5 international trips I want to take

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Hong Kong

Top 5 reasons I’m excited for this fall

  • Soup
  • Boots
  • Weddings (I have 3 – only 3! – Denver, Austin, Nashville)
  • My “bangs” growing long enough to tuck behind my ear
  • Getting back into running shape (i.e. chasing the ever-elusive runner’s booty) (starting this week)

20 things learned in my 20s

Monday, July 30th, 2012

It’s the final week of my 20s, y’all.  I’m running down 30 like a lion runs down a gazelle, or, in the case of “The Lion King,” a wildebeest runs down Mufasa.  [Wah, wah – killjoy.]

Nothing against the 20s, but can everyone agree that they are some weird years?  Don’t get me wrong, the 20s haven’t been all bad – most of my best stories thus far happened in this decade – but I am ready to move beyond them.

However, I have learned a thing or two or twenty in my 20s.

  1. Suitcases.  Do not own a gigantic suitcase.  You will be tempted to fill it up completely – which means it will weigh over 50 lbs. and result in a penalty fee at the airport.  Invest in a smaller bag to keep yourself in check – you won’t wear all of those shoes anyway.
  2. You can’t do everything.  Growing up in America, kids are taught that they can do anything.  And while it’s true that we have a tremendous amount of options and opportunities open to us, it’s important to remember that we cannot pursue every path.  Even the most abundant life involves choices – and saying yes to one thing oftentimes means saying no to a plethora of others.  This is okay.
  3. Learn what’s worth the investment.  Good concealer is.  A good sports bra is.  A good set of knives is.  Wine glasses, bangle bracelets, and sunglasses are not.
  4. Wherever you go, there you are.  When faced with the temptation to run – from a city, from a relationship, from a job – don’t count on the change of circumstances to fix your problems.  Three or six or nine months down the road, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re the same person dealing with the same stuff.  Tackle the real issues – which are probably with yourself, anyway.
  5. Don’t drink & Facebook.  Just don’t.
  6. Hang curtains.  It ain’t home until the curtains are hung.  As one who has moved a lot (a lot a lot), I’ve realized that fastest way to make a room feel “finished” is to hang curtains.  But you won’t find me wielding the drill – it’s good to have an excuse to talk to boys.
  7. Most conflict is fueled by fear.  When someone attacks you, it’s safe to say that in some capacity, they’re probably afraid.  Let this knowledge give you grace for that person.  On the flip side, when tempted to lash out, inspect your own heart for insecurity.  You’ll probably find it.
  8. You can either be right or be happy.  Have enough humility to not have to be right all the time.  I’m working on this one.
  9. No muffin tops.  Listen up, ladies: I have it on good authority that men do not care how much you weigh, nor what pant size you wear, nor any other kind of “number” you attach to your self-worth.  Take care of yourself.  Exercise in a way that feels enjoyable.  Eat colorful produce.  And then buy clothes that actually fit, no matter the size.
  10. Student loans are not “free money.” They are not.  You will pay – for a very long time.
  11. Dating.  I’ll just go ahead and say that 90% of dates are a waste of a Crest Whitestrip.  But that doesn’t mean that they’re a waste of time.  Sometimes you meet a good one, and sometimes you feel understood and seen, and sometimes you connect and talk and think and laugh, and sometimes you get kissed like the angels sing, and it’s… the best.
  12. A dog is a big responsibility.  But worth it.
  13. Nothing is unforgivable.  Growing up in the church, I was taught in a round-about way that certain sins are worse than others.  These days, I do not believe that this is true.  We are never past the point of forgiveness, and never too far gone for grace to hit us like a tidal wave.
  14. Don’t mess with your cowlicks.  You will not win.
  15. Dreams are important.  Pay attention to them, make time for them, foster them, and grow them.  The best dreams are the ones that you’ve had since you were too young to know your so-called limitations.
  16. Don’t let money be an obsession.  Be a good steward of your cash.  Watch where it goes, and be aware of how you’re spending it.  But good grief, sometimes it’s okay to spend the extra $4 for guacamole on the side.
  17. You cannot change your body.  Oh sure, you can gain or lose weight.  But your height?  Your hips?  The shape and length of your legs?  Those are here to stay.  Get nice and comfy with them – because no amount of dieting or running or stretching is going to change your basic body structure.
  18. Being single is hard, and being married will probably be hard – just like being single is great, and being married will probably be great.  No matter what relationship status you find yourself in, there are going to be tough parts and great parts.  There’s no use in playing the “grass is greener” game, because once we reach “the other side,” I’m pretty sure we’ll find that it’s all just grass.
  19. Trust your instincts.  You’ve lived long enough to know when to go with your gut.
  20. And finally, it’s okay to be happyIt’s okay to be happy!

I know that 30 is just a number, and that Saturday, August 4th will be just another day, but I can’t help but think that this birthday signifies the beginning of a new chapter.  It’s a cause for reflection – for looking back and remembering, and then looking ahead and hoping, and ultimately, feeling so thankful for the good gift that is my life.

While the iron is hot

Friday, June 15th, 2012

It’s been a doozy of a week, y’all – the kind that makes you take drives just to cry, and slam your laptop shut in frustration, and call your mom only to say negative things, and listen to your “Life Support” country mix on repeat. The stress has come from every angle, and while I wish I could tell you that I’ve handled it all with grace, I’ll just go ahead and admit that it’s pressed me down like a trash compactor.

But now it’s Friday night, and I’m posting a blog. No one reads blogs on Friday nights, or even on the weekends, but my blogging opportunities come so infrequently, I have to strike while the iron is hot.

So if it’s Tuesday and this is still the most recent post, well. You’re welcome.

I love lists, and while I tend to try to avoid list blogs – because does anyone really care about my lists? – they’re a good way to catch my people up quickly. In that (half-hearted) spirit, here are some of my happiest, most lovely, favorite things that have happened as of late – because life is too short to blog about the negative.

  • One of my not-so-nearest yet dearest, Christina, had her first baby this week. His name is Duffy, because THAT IS THE MOST ADORABLE EVER. It’s such a sweet thing to see your best friends become parents. I need to plan another trip to Boston as ASAP as possible (as possible) to meet the little mister – not that I mind, since Boston is my home in a parallel universe.
  • I’ve been super into “The Bachelorette.” It’s a disease – but who can blame me? Emily plays the part of the narcissistic Disney princess, and the guys are ridiculous, and it’s all for my entertainment.
  • My favorite Melaroose (AKA Mel, AKA “M” of the JAM House) did a heroic thing. See, I was in Nashville last week, and stopped into that Francesca’s store – “Frannie’s,” to the uninitiated. They have all sorts of cheap jewelry and cheesy gifts and dresses that barely cover the butt cheeks of a tween (I really hope I don’t get in trouble for saying “the butt cheeks of a tween”) – but when I was there two weeks ago, I found an awesome black and white striped tank. Which I didn’t buy. But a week later when I was still thinking about it, I asked Mel if she would go find it for me. Which she did. And then she sent to me. And I love it.
  • One time at a wedding in Austin, I met this guy named Brett. He had a mustache. I don’t know if he still does. Anyhow, he’s a contributor to the Corner Booth, which is written by several of my favorite people – and last week, he posted a story from his life. As a fellow fearer of dancing, it was among the greatest things I’ve read.
  • The lines on a Solo cup are FOR A REASON.

And with that, I’m off to clean the kitchen, file my papers, pay my bills, and pack my backpack for a hike tomorrow morning. Because what else would I do on a Friday night?

Lists

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The days are flying by, and I wish that every weekend was twice as long.  At night, I crash into bed and stare at the ceiling, making lists in my head of everything that I still need to do, remember, purchase.  While I’m sure that obsessive list-making is a habit of some men, I think it’s safe to say that women have cornered the market on this one.

We moved into a new house at the beginning of the month, and I can’t wait to show you pictures.  It’s wonderful and homey and perfect – or at least it WILL be, as soon as I finish all of the tasks on my list.  We need to hang curtains and pictures, and get an extension cord to run underneath the couch to be able to plug in the lamp, and organize, and paint the bathroom, and maybe the kitchen, too.   But even now, this 1909 bungalow is such an improvement over Hooker Street.

I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but here it is: after years and years without one, I’ve decided that I want a TV.  There are what look to be some great shows coming up, and I’m sorry, but I want to be able to watch them in real time.  A TV is on my list of “things to buy” – but not before porch furniture and a mint muddler.  I have my priorities.

Summer is so close.  Starting this week, we get “Summer Fridays” at work, which means we leave at 1pm.  On my list of “things to do this summer,” you’ll find: Charlie & Julia’s wedding in Nashville, Jeff & Greta’s wedding in Seattle, climb 10 14ers, walk 1,000 miles, turn 30 (SO SOON), and play with my nephews.

On my list of “hopes for today,” it’s this: do not get overwhelmed, keep breathing, and stop making lists.

I trust you, blog-readers.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I have a confession: I have never listened to Mumford & Sons.

I know.  They’re, like, all the rage these days.  But I don’t even know what they sound like.

Everybody loves them and will probably murder me for not being on the bandwagon already.  Who knows – maybe if I heard them, I would promptly die of love anyway.

Julie tells me that one of my strong suits is the fact that I know what I like, I know what I need, and I know how to say no to things that don’t fall into those categories.  Other people tell me that this makes me a boring, prudish, unenlightened killjoy – but then again, they just promptly earned themselves a place on my List of Things I Don’t Really Like.

Other things on my very short List:
– Watching sports
– Going out to lunch
– The Twitter

But really.  I’m trying to be more OPEN.  Should this list actually be called the List of Things I Don’t Really Like (Even Though Maybe I Should)?  Tell me the truth.  I’ll believe you.

And if you tell me to listen to Mumford & Sons, I’ll do it. You have the power.

Oh thank heaven for 2011

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I’m a humongous fan of New Years Resolutions, although I can’t think of one that I’ve ever actually accomplished.  I think that my issue is the fact that I think up these lofty, abstract goals, like “do nicer things,” or “pray more,” or, you know, my constant companion and perennial favorite, “be hot.”

2011, though?  It’s going to be different.

Why, you ask?

Because I am doing away with my theoretical wishes, and have come up with 12 concrete goals.

And when Annie Parsons sets a goal, she achieves it (case in point: the “Twilight” series).

Here they are, in no particular order – my 2011 12:
1) Shoot a gun.
2) Go out to dinner by myself.
3) Travel internationally.
4) Climb at least 10 14ers.
5) Stop eating the same thing for lunch every day.
6) Sing somewhere in Denver.
7) Send 52 hand-written letters.
8) Read Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.”
9) Take an honest-to-goodness vacation that lasts an entire week.
10) Snowshoe.
11) One that I’m keeping a secret.
12) Be hot.

Sorry.  Old habits die hard.

Tic-tac-toe, 5 in a row

Friday, May 28th, 2010

I am always making lists.  I cannot operate with out lists.  They make me feel productive and safe.

Why “safe”?  Don’t ask me these questions.  It’s how I FEEL.  I don’t need to have a REASON.  GAWL.

[When I was a teenager, “gawl” was my biggest expression of disgust.  I said it ALL THE TIME.  My siblings will still occasionally bring it up, throwing the word at me, faces all repulsed and contorted and dramatic.  Apparently, that is how they remember me at age 14.

I couldn’t help it, though – it wasn’t easy being SUPERIOR to EVERYONE.  In the UNIVERSE.  FOREVER.  INFINITY.  GAWL.]

Anyway, I just made a list of “actors I do not trust.”  I wrote it on a Post-It note.  It says:
Tom Cruise
Nicolas Cage
Charlie Sheen

And I felt like telling you.

Now, I feel it necessary to acknowledge that I might be wasting your time these days… but then again, you’re HERE, aren’t you?  Lurking in the shadows?  Creepily reading my thoughts?  Distractedly entertained for roughly 45 seconds every day this week?

Heeeyyy-ooooooh, it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten 5 in a row!  I should take myself out for a nice steak dinner.  Congrats, self.

I’m taking my ping-ponging thoughts elsewhere before someone loses an eye.  I’ll see you on Monday.

Don’t pretend like you won’t be back.  I love you.

Things to look forward to…

Friday, April 30th, 2010

… in reverse order:

Christmas (duh)

christmas-tree

Thanksgiving (double duh)

thanksgiving-feast

A destination-to-be-determined trip in October

question

Kyle & Emily’s wedding

e_k

Josh & Meg‘s wedding

picture-51

A visit from Christina

a_c

A mountain climbing vacation…

mt-sneffels3

… with these dear boys

hg

Brook & Cara’s wedding

c_b

A Gretchen Peters show

picture-21

A visit from Josh & Meredith

j_m

Sarah’s college graduation

sarah

A Sugarland concert

sugarland

And, of course, being present in the moment, whatever it is that I’m doing.  Right?  Right.

Steady on.

I am done apologizing

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

-For being introverted.
-For scheduling things months in advance.
-For being task-focused.
-For hating going out to breakfast.
-For loving “The Climb.”
-For not liking every person I meet.
-For not doing music right now.
-For not being able to pronounce “entrepreneur.”
-For hating the summertime.
-For using so many washcloths.
-For not liking dance parties.
-For not being “sweet.”
-For not being a phone person.
-For changing my mind sometimes.
-For not having a “career goal.”
-For wanting to have babies.
-For preferring order to spontaneity.
-For loving fiercely and loyally.
-For being honest.

Denver: treating me well

Monday, January 18th, 2010

A childhood friend from my hometown of Montrose, CO, is being featured on Tom Brokaw’s documentary, “American Character Along Highway 50,” which airs tonight at 8/7c on the USA Network.  Watching Jeff’s clip reminds me of just how beautiful western Colorado is – one of those things that I didn’t appreciate until I moved away.  If you can, tune in; I’ve watched some of the teaser videos, and it looks fascinating.

Also, Tom Brokaw… who doesn’t love Tom Brokaw??

– – – – – – – –

I hate it when people just write recaps of “what I did this weekend” – because BOOOORING – but I’m sorry, this was a great weekend.  Why, pray tell?  Well…

– I spent Friday night at a private party for the PBR – the bull riders, not the beer – and Pat Green winked at me from onstage.
– My dad came over on Saturday morning and helped me hang up my curtain rods and do all sorts of other “dad” things.
– I sold my couch on Craigslist for $15 more than what I paid for it…
– … so I bought these towels (please don’t look at the price, it’s embarrassing).
– I went on a long run (7.3 miles at a mile high – not too shabby).
– I had Thai food with two new friends, Karmen and Scotty – and they’re really great!  Finding good people in a new city is an amazing thing.
– Duane was the East Nasty of the Week.
– One of my best friends from high school who lives in the Denver area had her first baby – welcome, Noelle Elizabeth!
– I went on a 6-mile walk around the city.
– I drove the hour down to my parents’ last night.

I don’t know, it was just a really great weekend.  Productive without being work, fun without being exhausting.  So far, this move has been surprisingly okay.

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