Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Day!

Chicago has had a lot of snow already this December (over a foot!) and what better way to enjoy the snow than go sledding with your cousins? Paul brought over his adorable 4year old Ali to join Rachel, Kellie, and Riley at the local sledding hill.

I decided I was warm and toasty in the Freese house so passed...though I did regret missing out on the Freese cousin tradition of pouring rootbeer on snowballs for "snow slushes!"
Ali kept her rosy cheeks long after she got back inside and changed, but she didn't seem to mind and spent the rest of the night entertaining us by dancing along to Christmas jingles and throwing snowball ornaments at us.

Third time's a charm

The Demon Deacon's football team played their way to their third straight post-season Bowl game - Orange Bowl in 2007 (what a great New Year's in Miami!) and the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2008 (watched via satellite location in Keystone, CO!).

Who doesn't want to start the morning with tailgating along side the Anacostia River with Almost Gold?? GO DEACS!!!Cheering with Sheila, Marge, and Kristen!Wake beat Navy 29-19 (after a shaky first half) - great job boys!

Chamberlin B&B

During my trip to DC I spent one night at my favorite Falls Church B&B - Stacey's house!
I love what Stacey has done with the guest room (and house...though she does need to work on populating the great antique picture frames) and she has perfected her B&B set-up with candles, notepads, and vases - I was very much looking forward to the box of Bliss products that always awaits!And for the second "B"...the customary trip to the Original!


This past weekend I headed to DC to cheer on the DEACS and visit friends! With so many people to see and so little time, I of course made an "agenda" and stuck to it pretty well.

First up, I stopped by the Hursts to visit Ashley, Megan, and Uncle Paul. Ashley is so much bigger and more active than she was when I met her in July, crawling all over the house and using her huge muscles to pull herself up and stand.
Then I headed to Carpool to meet Kara, Sheila, and well as cheer on the Deacs (#10 ranked basketball team) beat Richmond. GO DEACS!
The "main event" was on Saturday - WFU vs Navy in the inaugural Eaglebank Bowl at RFK.
Afterwards I headed over to Herndon to see the Kims - Amie, Alex, Sophie, Mason, and the newest addition - Ava. Sophie loved her pom pom...forget about UPenn, this girl is bound to be a Demon Deacon if Aunt Parker has anything to say about it!
Then it was off to the Chamberlin B&B...separate post to come...for a relaxing evening with Stacey. Sunday morning I met Katie at McLean Bible Church and enjoyed a GREAT message by Lon!So great to be able to see so many of my favorite people - can't wait to come back soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Zoo Lights and Quartino's

Tonight I met up with my family and our friends Bobby and Susan for one of my favorite "Chicago events" - the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights. The Lincoln Park Zoo lights up the park, has Christmas music playing, and all kinds of special events (like ice sculpture carving) during the month of December. My camera doesn't do so good with night photography so take a look at the link for better shots.Then it was off to Quartino's for dinner. One of the many benefits of my sister being in the event planning business is that she always has amazing dinner suggestions and tonight was no different. Quartino's is an Italian place that specializes in sharing plates that are between tapas and family style. The food was excellent, the atmosphere was great, and the company was fantastic!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not tolerating incompetance

Disclaimer: I am sorry to any of you who have friends and family that work for Chase bank. This is not directed at them, just some of the morons who work for the same company - there are bad eggs everywhere!

Okay...why I am I on my soapbox? Well, I have told many of you about my bad experience with Chase bank trying to arrange an international wire transfer. But, I refrained from broadcasting my frustration out to the blogworld. Basically, I was not able to arrange a wire transfer without being in the USA, I could not give my sister power of attorney without being in the USA, and then when I gave the money to my sister to do the transfer for me she had to go back 4 times because they kept doing it wrong. UUUGGGHH!

Today I checked my credit card balance - a Chase account - and saw that my November automatic payment has been returned and thus I had a fee of $39 for the returned payment, a late fee of $39, and a $95 balance fee. I checked the account that I have linked to my Chase account for automatic payment and there is more than enough money to cover it. So, I have mailed Chase explaining the error of their ways and asked for their assistance in clearing it up. I don't see why they wouldn't, but if they don't you better believe you will hear about it!

I have also signed up for, and been approved by, American Express!

Okay...stepping down form the soapbox...thank you for listening/reading....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My new home!

Well...temporarily my new home since I am a vagabond right now! I am living with the Freese's - a family who lives near us up at Lake Geneva and also has a house in Lombard, conveniently the same Chicago suburb that my office is in. It has been fantastic to not have to worry about any housing stuff at the moment and live with a super fun family!
The Freese's are HUGE Bears fans and my first two Sundays have been lazy afternoons spent on the couch watching football. My room - -
Riley is one of the most relaxed and lovable dogs I have ever met. She is great to cuddle with and lay on the couch with...she even uses the pillows!
Kellie is a senior at Glenbard East and Rachel is a junior at Carthage College.
Added bonus...the house is all decked out for Christmas!

Reunion Trifecta

This weekend was my first weekend in the city and it was a great one! Friday night I headed downtown to meet Kelly (my sister), Lauren (my sister's friend since they were 5), and Dan (Kelly's "new" boyfriend..not really new, but new for me!).

On Saturday I met my good friend Jill - who I have known since junior high - for a delicious lunch.
As Jill and I were finishing up, Amy called - perfect timing! Amy and I lived in DC, then she moved to Chicago, and she recently moved to Minneapolis but was back in town for the weekend. She suggested a fantastic coffee place called Intelligentsia!
Finally, I met up with Jenny who I worked with in DC for a few years. She is now in PT school in Chicago. We went to Dinotto in Old Town which was delicious.