Posts from — January 2012
Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jessica from Bows and Sequins at our mutually favorite sweet shop for a welcomed treat in an otherwise banal workday. We enjoyed a fun conversation about living in Chicago, spending time in the blogging atmosphere and glimpsing into the inspiration behind her strong fashion sense — and even though I originally intended to earmark my second red velvet cupcake for dessert tomorrow night, I couldn’t resist the temptation to savor the top layer of icing as I curled up on the sofa and fell asleep with the TV flickering in the background.
January 31, 2012 Comments Off
| Small glimmer of sunshine in Pennsylvania |
Even though I felt sad to leave my family behind and return to my daily routine, the drive back to Chicago provided the prettiest skies — so much so that I made a point of capturing the sun with each passing state line (and yes, Dad, I safely pulled over my car before snapping any photos).
| Overcast afternoon sky in Ohio |
| Beautiful sunset in Indiana |
| Colorful evening glow in Illinois |
January 30, 2012 Comments Off
| My Dad and Hawk |
One of the most moving aspects of having a football coaching father comes from the opportunity to hear his stories of inspiration and meet some of his most memorable players. Tonight, at the South Allegheny Football Coaches Association banquet, where my Dad served as the former president, he welcomed one of his favorite players from Bishop McCort Catholic, Andrew Hawkins. Hawk spoke to a room full of high school athletes and coaches about the source of his perserverance, tenacity and drive — and how a 5’7 receiver from Johnstown, Pennsylvania became #16 of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. It was a special evening for our family and a wonderful tribute to both a deserving coach and a driven player.
January 29, 2012 Comments Off
It’s official. I can die a happy girl. Tonight, at the War Memorial’s Kelly Clarkson concert, I had the incredible opportunity of meeting Matt Nathanson, one of my all-time favorite artists (you may recognize his infamous song, “Come On Get Higher“). Not only was his set perfectly amazing — he mostly performed songs from his recent album, Modern Love – but his kindness in greeting every fan, taking a litany of photographs and signing hundreds of autographs for a line that topped over an hour long (yes, I counted while waiting) warmed my heart and made me love and support his music even more.
January 28, 2012 Comments Off
Every time my sister or I make the trip home, whether for a week-long stay or a brief overnight jaunt, my mother loves to surprise us with a little welcome bag that’s neatly packaged and patiently waiting on our respective duvet covers. Between new loofahs and toothbrushes to magazines, books and warm socks, the anticipation of her girls being home always radiates through her small gesture of kindness and makes us feel so special — even though we’re both well into our twenties. For fun, she added a few scratch-off lottery tickets this time (since we constantly daydream about hitting the jackpot) and excitedly, I cashed in my $25 winnings and plan to save the extra cash for a rainy day treat!
January 27, 2012 Comments Off
After 528 miles, 9 hours in the car, $36.75 in tolls, 3 cups of Starbucks and $107 in gas, I can’t wait to spend the next few days visiting my little sister, parents and precious puppy. I’ve missed them.
January 26, 2012 Comments Off
| Temple Sholom, one of the oldest congregations in Chicago |
I’m a huge fan of learning new things, particularly when the discovery involves different cultures and ways of life. To quell my recent interest, I enrolled in an introductory Judaism class at Temple Sholom with the hope of learning the religion’s basic beliefs and ethical principles and comparing them to the tenets I acquired through Christianity. And while I can’t expect to have all of my curiosity pacified in a few short classes, tonight’s first lesson provided just enough understanding to wet my feet and propel some self-study on the subject before we meet again next Wednesday.
January 25, 2012 Comments Off
After wading through a long line that nearly sacrificed my entire lunch hour (seriously, 40+ minutes), I finally reached the hectic Post Office counter only to hear the woman announce (after completely metering and stamping all three of my packages) that she can’t accept credit cards today. Perhaps it was the deep exhalation under my breath as I mentally scrambled for a solution or the years of working in service-related jobs that dealt with the often rude public on a daily basis, but something coaxed me into not overreacting in that precise moment and instead scrounging around in my purse for enough change to cover the $11 postage and book of stamps. The woman, clearly stunned by my reaction, replied, “Wow, you’re seriously the nicest person I’ve spoken to all day. Thanks for not being the 1,000th person to yell at me.” The lesson I learned? While I’m not always so patient and understanding (who carries cash anymore?), I realized that ruining her day with a snappish remark would only, in turn, ruin mine. I’d like to believe that taking the time to be a tad sweeter, a little more forgiving and a bit more easy-going during life’s frustrating moments will result in good karma and kismet down the road. Because maybe, like me, everyone’s just waiting for a small, game-changing moment to turn their bad days around — and hopefully, I paid it forward this afternoon.
January 24, 2012 Comments Off
I’m definitely what you would call a creature of habit. I enjoy the same TV shows season after season, fashion several versions of these skinny black pants six days a week and order my favorite to-go Thai dish whenever I can. Yet, for some odd reason, I strayed from my comfort zone when I spotted Essie’s Trophy Wife nail color at Macy’s this afternoon and convinced myself that an at-home manicure of wild teal nails would perfectly brighten up the wintery week ahead (though it took nearly twenty minutes of serious contemplation and a stroll through the shoe department before I coaxed myself into taking the plunge).
January 23, 2012 Comments Off
Sadly, I awoke to one of the most heartbreaking electronic news alerts I’ve ever received. Joe Paterno, Penn State’s legendary football coach, passed away early this morning after being diagnosed with a form of lung cancer just two months ago. While critics choose to focus on the negative press in the totality of JoePa’s life, I believe that now, more than ever, he deserves the celebration of his many accomplishments that can’t be measured in wins or championships. He is survived not only by the Paterno family, but the entire Penn State community — and our school will never be the same without his thick, smoky-lens glasses, rolled up khakis and jet-black sneakers on the sidelines.
January 22, 2012 Comments Off