Monday, January 31, 2011

Around the World in 36 days!

In terms of exotic travel and spending time visiting so many great friends, I didn't think it would get much better than the Fall of 2008...but this upcoming 5 weeks is going to be amazing!First up is vacation in the land down under! After meeting up with Leslie in LA, we fly to Sydney for a few days and then a week exploring north Queensland. I'm most excited about diving in the Great Barrier Reef!
After finishing our tour in Cairns, I'm off to Tokyo for an overnight (made the flight cheaper). Our company HQ is there and one of my coworkers who is now in Chicago has arranged for a friend of his to take me around the UENO district.

Then off to Beijing to see the Great Wall, Tien an Men Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and more!Next stop Shanghai to see Kendrick and Gina ...and to meet Magnus!

Then the vacation is over, but not the fun as I head to Hong Kong for a week of work and to see Paulo and Patrick.

Last stop - India - a new country for me! I meet up with Ann in Delhi and we head to Agra to see the Taj Majal before heading to Mumbai for work. Daniel and Sylvie...friends from Copenhagen...are also in Mumbai so hopefully we'll get to play some Mexicanos!
Then Ann and I are off to Hyderabad for a few days before she heads to Kolkata and I head to Chennai to visit our IT centers. We meet back up in the Frankfurt to fly back to the U.S. of A.

Lots and lots of pictures to come!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bucket List!

My dad checked off one of his bucket list items last night - going to a basketball game at the University of Minnesota Barn! He said it was a great game between Northwestern and Minnesota. The Cats were up one at half, but the Golden Gophers pulled it out at the end.
I'm about to check off two of my bucket list items next month - diving in the Great Barrier Reef and seeing the Taj Mahal - can't wait!!!

What are your "top things to do before kicking the bucket?!!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January Showers bring...

...April babies!

I was lucky enough (and let's be honest, skilled enough - ha!!!) to combine an East Coast work trip with attending Kara's baby shower - YAHOO!!!!The hostesses did a great job didn't they - look at this spread!
It was fun to see Lindsay and Anne Marie - my fellow wedding party members from Kara and Chris's wedding a few years ago. Check out this adorable diaper cake!
And you better believe that I triple checked my arrival time back in Chicago - 12:20pm on Sunday....should be plenty of time make a 2pm kick-off - GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Honoring the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

At church yesterday we celebrated the life of Dr. King and all those who have worked tirelessly for justice and equality.
Our pastor John K. focused his message on Revelations 7:9-10 which states:
"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'"

A picture of a community in complete unity among all nations, tribes, and tongues. We learned that only 5-8% of our nation's churches are integrated - a horrible statistic. There was an analogy that at a baseball game depending on where your seat is, you have a different perspective and experience of the game. It is the same game going on the whole time and not one perspective is more valid than the other, in fact taking everyone's perspective you get a more complete view of the game. We should approach life, work, church, etc in this manner as well - taking everyone's unique perspectives to get a more complete view.

John closed with a perspective that in my opinion is quite profound: Though I have never persecuted or enslaved anyone due to the color of their skin, I have lived a life of privilege and advantage partially due to the fact that others before me did.
While America has made much progress, we're still not where we need to be. So I hope that, as Dr. King stated so eloquently,
"I have a dream that will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


2 big events is that it is 1-11-11 and two is that it is my dad's birthday! We all think that given the crazy date he needs to go to buy a lottery ticket or something because he must be lucky!What can I say about Bob - everyone who knows him loves him! He is such a hard worker and taught me that a little hard work never hurt anyone.... (enjoying the park he worked so hard on by hosting a corn roast)
But...he also taught me that when you work hard, you deserve to play hard and the best place to play is in the sun and near water!
And the second best place to play is on the snowmobile trail!
Thankfully I did not inherit my fashion sense from him...but I did learn an openness and enjoyment of meeting with new people...and telling them long drawn out stories ;-)
While I got my need for travel from mom and he doesn't like to travel too far, he did make the trip out to Copenhagen to visit me.
Despite the fact that neither he nor mom passed on any musical talent to me and Kel, he still loves good music - here we are before the Zac Brown Band concert last summer!
We love you - Happy Birthday!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Refreshed and Refocused!

This weekend was the GRIP Refresh & Refocus Retreat - at it was certainly both of those as well as a whole lot of fun!
It was fantastic to get to know so many leaders...made much easier by the fun names played throughout the weekend. Team C in the first name game - Camille, Carly, Christy!
The human beatbox competitors...well done gentlemen!
The boys crowded around my laptop watching the NFL playoffs during a break.
Mark in a Christy/Kristie sandwich.
Sue, AJ, Esteban, Bob, and CK led amazing worship sessions - thanks!!
Perhaps the most anticipated event of the weekend was the Amazing Grace! We were divided up into 4 teams and received clues that lead us to our next challenges...such as the airplane challenge where teams had to get 2 planes in a box.
I was quite the airplane factory...not sure how well any of them flew...but high production volume nonetheless!
Another challenge was transferring popcorn from one side of the gym to the other.
Counting Cheerios...888!
The most fun...and somewhat dangerous...challenge was a relay race where a member of each team had to spin 10 times around a noodle and then race back to tag another member to head down and spin.
It was harder than it sounds...many of us fell en route back to the team and almost everyone was running crooked across the gym...but we all had lots of fans cheering us back.We were all treated to a special performance by Michael Bobby Jackson...hilarious!
Thanks to Babatunde for all the great photos and to Susanna and Sue for organizing such an amazing retreat!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Such fun to ring in the new year with good friends!
So great to have Megs back in town- she left us for an adventure in San Francisco - can't wait to go visit!
On New Year's Day I headed straight up to Harpoon Willie's for the bowl games...and some ultimate bloody marys.
Half way to summer!
Then back to 113 Conference Point to toast the new owners as we prepare to move down the hill in 2011!!!!