Listed Greatness

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Trying to chime in on my greatness of the day feeling, and I have a list! Here we go:

1) Sometime between 12-3am last night, we were served our appetizers that we thought we had missed. Mozzarella sticks, giant chicken fingers and egg rolls… after ice Vegas bombs, drink tickets, champagne toasting our bride-to-be and line dancing the night away, this moment was absolutely perfect for my things that are great list.

2) I found Sonny a Halloween costume. He has been the “rufferee” since 11:30am. And then the Bears won, so I think he might be wearing this until February.

3) I curled Madeline this afternoon, then I squatted her. Yep, having fun can be exercise too.

What was great about your Sunday?

Tomorrow begins quite a big week for me and some of the most important people in my life. It’ll be my first full week at WBIG (this means, you must all go sign up for your FREE club card so that when I am alone on the mic next Monday, you can call and talk to me!), Wednesday my Cook of the Week recipe will be in the Daily Herald and I NEED your vote, so I can at least be the fan favorite if nothing else, it’s premiere week on TV, and MOST importantly… somebody’s getting married on Saturday! Happy Wedding Week Elizabeth & Patrick!

An extension never hurt anyone

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Well a hair extension might, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

5 days seems like a really, really long time ago. Since then I celebrated Thanksgiving with all of my family, through our annual Thanksgiving walk where we take pictures at the same tree we have since I can remember. It’s very fun to have little kids on the walk with us. I remember being 15, 16, 17, etc and we still went and took the pictures, but it seemed more like a dutiful tradition then as opposed to now when I’m excited to run around the nature center chasing Madeline and Grenning.

Then we had our dinner with a smaller amount of us, but still fun and delicious. WAY too much food, as I recall telling my mom it would be. I think there are still leftovers in the fridge and freezer even after giving away half the turkey and stuffing. Oh well, my grandma always says, “if you don’t have leftovers, you didn’t have enough food.”

Then my mom and I went crazy-style midnight shopping on Thanksgiving/Black Friday. I wish the midnight thing would never have started for two reasons. First, unselfishly, I felt terrible for all of the employees that probably had to be at work no later than 10 pm. That sucks. Thanksgiving is a family holiday and you should at least get the full 24 hours to celebrate. And, #2, selfishly, I was irritated by the crowds. We’ve gone black friday shopping for at least 5 years and I understand it’s going to be crowded and messy, but never like this and I blame parents. The immense amount of kids ages 14-18 that were at Target and the mall was insane. You see, black friday should be a challenge: see if you can make it to the store at 4am and break through your turkey and wine coma, but with the midnight openings it was too easy and all of these kids were running around ruining my shopping holiday! I ended up still getting some amazing deals, Linda and Cynthia’s presents are worth at least twice what I paid, along with all of my nieces and nephews, and since this is the most important financial Christmas for me, these sales were really important, but I hated knowing that half the people there were just there because it was “cool.” And the employees need more sleep.

Moving on, oh wait, first I hope my mom posts about all of the comedy she remembers from Target, she tells that story better than I do. On to my mom. I never got to post my mom-thankful blog cuz I was having too much fun over the weekend. I’m beyond thankful for my mom, in as many ways as possible. I just pointed out that she went shopping with me on midnight of Thanksgiving, she also let me shoot three different Sweet Talk episodes in her kitchen, she bought me groceries to take back to LA – mostly cereal and brown rice – took me to the treatment center this morning, drove me all over Schaumburg this last week, and aside from all that I’m thankful that she’s here with us today.

There was one more important element to my trip home and that was to celebrate my mom being 5 years Pancreatic Cancer free. The actual anniversary is the first week of December, but my siblings and I wanted to celebrate this weekend and because Thanksgiving is hard for her, that is when she initially got sick. We celebrated Saturday night with purple chocolate covered pretzels, purple label-ed champagne, pizza, and a beautiful bracelet we gave her to member how amazing her story is. That is the perfect way to end my week of thanks, even if it’s a little late.

But hey, I’m still in Schaumburg until early Wednesday morning when I can be thankful for my mom again for waking up in the dark to drive me to the airport. And also thankful that I’ll be landing in 70 degree weather instead of 36!

“We did this on Saturday”

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Week of Thanks day 3 – I’m thankful for all my favorite little kids. I’m sure you know ALL about the three little blondes I love and the giant headed dark-haired baby that is my newest little niece. I pretty much involve them in every third conversation I have with someone, I feel like that’s appropriately cute without being annoying. Maybe it’s too much but I don’t really care, they make me laugh.

Today my brother, Tommy, came over with his sons, Grenning and Harrison. I haven’t seen them in two months so it was nice of him to bring them over to play before any hectic-ness of our fabulous Thanksgiving walk tradition – get excited for the recap of that later this week!

Anyway, Grenning (who is 3) kept talking about Saturday. We did this on Saturday and Saturday I cried and Saturday I went to school, and oh yes, I did that on Friday and Saturday. Tommy explained that Grenning is incorrectly practicing his days of the week, which is kind of adorable. It reminded me of when I was playing with Lutz’s 4-year-old daughter that explained that everything happened “last night.”

I love when kids are so silly and therefore point out the great, little things about life. Most of us don’t remember life before kindergarten, when we went to school, our first friends, holidays, it all starts there. Although we have vague memories from before that, we don’t remember our thought process, which sucks because the thought process of 3-5 year olds is the best one. They’re honest, they’re inventive, fun and silly. Plus, they don’t care what other people think. So, Madeline, Grenning, Harrison & Ava, when Auntie ‘Chelle is taking a million pictures of you and videoing you helping me bake, there’s a reason! I want you guys to see how awesome you were so you stay this way forever, ok thanks guys 🙂 See you Thursday!

My Mom was right

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The day totally goes by faster in Illinois.

This maybe is related to the fact that I’m sleeping later because, well I have nowhere to be at any time, but I’m convinced the day really does pass by, I mean, it’s 3pm already!!

On the other hand, I was up til 1am last night. Two hours is significant.

So I’m sitting in this bedroom in Schaumburg, which used to be mine and is now uber-quiltified and brown. Not hot pink. But it’s still my bed in here so that’s super homey. It’s very nice to be home for a bit and actually has given me more motivation to keep up with all of my new goals for Sweet Talk and developing my career. For some reason having my mom in the other room sewing just makes me feel less blah then sitting alone in the apartment in LA while my roomies are out working. Also, already made three fabulous trips to the grocery store, spent an afternoon discussing life with Elizabeth and baked a cake with my favorite Madeline 🙂 So I’m happy. But very cold.

More to come, but I have some things to work on today! Oh, also it was Regis’s last day this morning, such a great tribute to an amazing TV man, I hope I can meet him when I make it big!

Albert Hammond Was Wrong

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Not gonna lie, I would never know who Albert Hammond is except I googled, <<who wrote “it never rains in southern california.”>> Apparently, that guy.

And he was wrong. It actually rained yesterday! Not like the five-minute comforting drizzle of last Friday, but an intense, I thought someone was taking a really long shower upstairs rain. It was the first day since I’ve been here that an hour-long walk in the sun was not as option. Thankfully I am the self-titled “Queen of workout DVDs,” and Jillian Michaels got me thought the storm (literally).

Thankfully Stevie gave me an AMC gift card as a graduation present so Linda and I got to spend the afternoon doing the perfect rainy day activity – going to a super sappy and funny movie, 50/50. It was a really great movie, it actually did make us laugh and cry. For me it was tough because it told a lot of the story of being diagnosed with cancer and going through chemotherapy that I missed when my mom was going through it. For the most part, I was away at school in Des Moines and missed out on that. Not that it’s at all glamorous or something you should ever want to experience, but sometimes being so close to that situation but not fully understanding it is difficult and this movie let me in on that. It was pretty emotional, but actually I was happy to see it and the movie was super heartfelt and real. And of course earned extra points from me because I laughed a lot too. I give it 10/10 brownie points.

Interestingly enough, as Linda and I were walking in downtown Culver City last night, we were offered tickets to a screening of an unreleased movie for today. We obviously took the tickets (bored and poor) but this movie did not get 10 brownie points from me. I’m not supposed to tell you anything about it but let’s say bodies splitting in half in 3D is not exactly something I’d pay to go see, so luckily I didn’t have to.

On another note, today was my nephew, Grenning’s, 3rd birthday and I miss that little Gee Willikers so much! I called him on my way home from the movie and he sounded so happy to be eating his birthday ice cream with his dad and brother, and he’s such a funny balance of a stubborn pain and an adorably polite little boy that you can’t help but melt when he screams, “Thank you Auntie ‘Chelle!!!!” over the phone. I hope someone takes pictures of him at his party Sunday for me to see! Free month-long gym membership and getting paid to watch a taping – woo, that $30 that I just spent on ingredients to shoot a new Sweet Talk. Oh, well, gotta live a little.

But Don’t I Owe You?

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Last week I baby-sat my niece for a few hours. Aside from the whining about wanting to watching Godzilla (Auntie ‘Chelle is afraid of Godzilla, Madeline, you’ll have to deal with that) it was pretty easy.

Three year olds are much much much easier to deal with than two-year olds, they can actually have a conversation with you. There are fewer tantrums (hopefully) because they are able to describe what they want or need, even if they’re still difficult to decipher…”printer, printer, Auntie ‘Chelle, not PICT-TURE!”

The point of this story though, is to say that my sister paid me $60 when she didn’t owe me a cent. (Sorry to call you out, Marilee… I know you read this). Although I extremely appreciate the money, it wasn’t necessary.  Your reasoning was that I took off work to watch Madeline, which is true and it was the kick-off night for football season, so yeah maybe $60 was an appropriate trade-off, but don’t I probably owe you a few hundred baby-sitting hours?

As the youngest of four kids, I am pretty sure that my sister (the oldest) spent more hours than she wanted watching us. And even though we sometimes called her the “Fire Breathing Dragon,” she still succeeded in making sure we didn’t kill each other.  Maybe every once in a while my parents paid her, but I must owe her something.

Let me reimburse you, Maril, with these community-service children hours because when I have a three-year-old, I’m probably just going to drop her off at your house and not even think about writing you a check. However, at the rate my life is going, Madeline will probably be driving by then, so I guess I’ll just pay her.

So thank you very much, but it’s not necessary. Plus I ate your food.

today’s treadmill movie

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Since the beginning of June I have been deeming Monday, “5 Mile Monday” and I’ve been doing pretty well, making sure to hit my goal each week. I wish I could say I’ve been running those miles, but most of them have been walked. But really I’m ok with that. I do a combo of walking outside with Bridget or run/walk/jog-ing in my basement. Bridge is out of town today so it was a treadmill morning. One of my summer goals is to watch a bunch of movies I missed, so I record them on our DVR and play them while I’m working out. Today I picked Run Fatboy Run and it was probably the perfect choice – resulting in 6.2 mile Monday!

I don’t think there’s a better movie out there for me! It included a cute kid, a small bakery shop run by Thandie Newton, a man training for a marathon, AND English accents! Also, it was directed by David Schwimmer, so I’d been meaning to check it out. I probably ranks as the number one movie I’ve worked out with this summer, much more motivating than My Sister’s Keeper, which was a really interesting movie, but not really a fit for the treadmill. I suggest you rent/record/download it and enjoy it, whether you’re running, walking or coach-potatoing, you’ll love it.

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