Tag Archives: bucket list

Blogging challenge, day 18

18 Aug

August blogging challenge, day 18: The Bucket List – three things that you’ve achieved

Easy, I think…

1. Got married. While it didn’t last forever and it’s no longer a bucket list item for me (meaning I’m fine getting married again and I’m fine not getting married again), at one point it was a big goal. Because that’s what grown-ups do…get married, buy a house, have 2-3 kids, retire…right? At least society says so. I know realize that I don’t have to do what society expects. I can choose to, but it’s OK if I choose to do something else. So I’m not married, renting an apartment, and will retire at some point but probably not at 65. And I’m happy with that.

2. Learned to dance. I’ve written about that again and again. We all know how it’s changed my life.

3. Went to a dance competition. Read about it here and here.

2012 roundup

31 Dec

2012 was a good year for me.

*I moved out of my parents’ house and back to my beloved city.

*I went to my first Dance-O-Rama. It was a great experience, although difficult at the time, and I can’t wait until I can do another one.

*I had a rhythm dance dress made for me.

*When 2012 started, I was 3 weeks into a new job, which I really liked. And I still like it a lot, and I’m still learning a ton.

*I started knitting much more. And have made some nice things.

finished-cowl

baby-blanket

*I started running, and ran two 5Ks, including this one.

*I found an old cocktail book and have been making great old cocktails from it.

burkes-cocktail-guide

I did the same with some recipes from my grandmother my dad found.

*I made some crafty things, and they turned out OK.

jewelry-holders

wall-quotes

hair-dryer-storage

*My dancing has improved A LOT this year, especially in the last three months.

***
In terms of the goals I made at the beginning of the year:

*Better physical health? Yep. I lost more weight, getting within 10 pounds of my goal. (I have gained 5 in the last month, but we won’t talk about that yet.) I was eating a lot better (until the last month, but we’ll ignore that for now.)

*Better mental health and a most positive outlook? I think so. I’ve tried to be more positive and to not go thinky. A few people have commented that they’ve noticed a difference in my attitude.

*I went to a Dance-O-Rama, I’ve not been as thinky about dance, I’ve done more creative things like baking and knitting, and I’ve continued with my blogging.

***
Speaking of my blog, here are some interesting stats.

*In the past year, most of my views came from the US with England, Canada (Hi DG!), and Australia (Hi KP!) next.

*My most viewed post is one I did on Quicken vs Mint.com, followed by infusing vodka, and pear chocolate cake. Money, alcohol and food.

*The most common search term used that drives people to my blog is “mint.com vs quicken” (or some variation of that) followed by “pear chocolate cake”, and “handle of Svedka”. Money, food, and alcohol. Sense a pattern yet?

***
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what my goals for 2013 are. Til then, be safe tonight!

I’m a warrior

8 Sep

I did the Warrior Dash today with my friend RM. We’ve planning on this for a while – I think we signed up in May. I’ve been running a bit at the gym all summer, although I haven’t done as much training as I should. So I was a bit nervous going into this. 5K plus obstacles? I think I’m a strong person, so I figured I’d be OK. But would I really be OK?

We got there, got our gear, stood around for a bit and then started the race. I use the term race loosely – we were there just to do it and have fun. We weren’t worried about our times, and I thought I might need to walk some of it.

And actually the race went well. I have no idea what my time was – I’ll get the results in 2-3 days – but I thought we did well. I did have to walk at a few spots. I’m really bad at pacing myself while running outside, so I tend to go too fast. Plus we were talking the whole time, which makes it harder too. But a lot of people walked way more than I did, so I was fine with it. But I ran a majority of it which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do.

The obstacles went fine too. I had to skip two of them – they both involved heights and I just couldn’t do them. But I also knew that was a possibility as well. But I was able to do all the other ones.

So now I’ve done my first 5K. With obstacles. And mud. While wearing fake nails. (I still have them from Dance-O-Rama.)

And now I’m going to get a manicure and go to the grocery store. And then take a nap.

The Dance-O-Rama post, part 2

3 Sep

[This post got to be waaaayy too long, so I’m breaking it up into two parts. Here’s part two. Read part one here.]

So I got home from Dance-O-Rama, exhausted, way overtired, and completely lost. Lost in who I am, what kind of dancer I am…pretty much no confidence in myself at all.

I had this whole week off, which was good. I figured I would need some time to process it all. And wow was I right.

I slept 11 hours on Sunday night and Monday night each. That helped. But I was still unsure of it all. I was feeling incredibly down. I was starting to feel a bit glad I went to Dance-O-Rama just to have had the experience. But I was still thinking that I wasn’t a good dancer.

Then I started thinking about a few of the conversations I had at Dance-O-Rama. I started thinking about what those people said and what they meant.

My teacher talked over the weekend about how the Dance-O-Rama experience was so emotional because it makes you grow as a dancer and as a person. And growth hurts. Dance-O-Rama is like the equivalent of 40 lessons, he says. For me, the personal growth came in doing something so different and so outside my comfort zone.

My friend JA talked about her Dance-O-Rama experience which was similar to mine. She was a bit overwhelmed at first and was ready to pack it all in by lunch on Friday.

My friend AL kept texting me all weekend. She reminded me that making the finals didn’t matter because I had finally made it to Dance-O-Rama. She also reminded me that I was technically associate bronze for this competition. So I was technically competing at a higher level and sometimes in the age category younger than me. So really I was doing well just holding my own. She also said that I should just think “wow, this is my life, everyone else is working right now and I’m looking like a rock star ballroom dancing at a competition.”

My friend JF who came to watch part of the competition told me to just have fun and stop thinking.

And I also remembered what my friend ND said when he came to Showcase. He said that he enjoyed it because it was so great to see me at my happiest.

None of these things were helping though. I was feeling so poorly of me as a dancer, I skipped the practice party on Tuesday. I was so down, I figured no one would even miss me if I weren’t there. But I had a lesson on Wednesday that I knew I had to go to. So go to it I did.

I got my scores at that lesson. First my solo. There were three judges for the solos. I got very nice comments, and scores of 92, 93 and 94. Supposedly there are very few 94s and above given for solos.

Then the closed heats. Those are scored first, second and third place. If you don’t get any of those, you don’t get a score. I got firsts in my lindy heats and in one full bronze heat. (Sadly, I can’t remember which dance. Foxtrot? Rumba?) I got a few seconds and a couple thirds too. So I placed in maybe 7 or 8 heats out of 24.

Then the open heats. Those are scored gold, silver, bronze. They give more than one of each, depending on how many entries there are in the heat. So as I told my friend KB, gold means firstish not first. I got golds in all my associate bronze heats and in one of my full bronze foxtrot heats and in my lindy heats. I also got a few silvers and bronzes. So again, maybe 7-8 heats total out of 30?

After I got my scores, we started our lesson. And my teacher asked me why I was so emotional after getting such good scores. And I started crying again. I told him my confidence was so low and the whole thing was just overwhelming and that I felt like there wasn’t one thing I could do better than any of the other students who were there. We chatted some, but I knew he couldn’t really help me. Which made it feel like I was on my own fighting this, which was a very different feeling. Before, he always been able to say something in such a way that I could hear it and believe it. And I didn’t feel like he could this time. He did comment on how much my dancing improved over the course of Dance-O-Rama and how that improvement came home with me. We started working on some smooth technique in waltz. He mentioned that he would love to see me come early to events to practice these things now. And I told him that with the way I was feeling, I didn’t know if I’d be making it to anything except my lessons for a while.

The next day (Thursday), it hit me. I have been waiting for someone to say the right compliment about me and my dancing to fix this whole feeling. I have given up fixing it myself. I kept expecting someone else to fix it for me by saying a magical phrase that I would hear and instantly believe and feel better. And that’s never going to happen.

I have the power to fix this. Why have I been giving that up? I have turned into such a downer of a person because of the negative spiral. No confidence in anything, getting upset all the time, depressed and anxious. Who wants to be around that? And why am I waiting for someone to make me believe I’m a good dancer when it’s really up to me to believe it?

Then I got mad at myself but only for a short bit. Yes, I had let things go and not dealt with anything. But getting mad about that wouldn’t fix it or change it.

So I decided to choose to believe. Fake it to make it for a bit, if you will. I went to the group class and practice party on Thursday thinking I was a great dancer, a fun person, and not a shy downer.

And you know what? IT WORKED. I had a blast at that party, and my dancing was relaxed and fun. My teacher commented towards the end that I was dancing like someone who believed in their talent. He also mentioned that he was glad I was there because after our lesson the night before, he wasn’t sure I’d show up. Which is always nice to hear. That he was glad I was there, I mean. No one wants to hear someone isn’t sure they’ll show up.

So, Dance-O-Rama. I’m so glad I went. I wish I had thought about this sooner, or at least come to some of these realizations earlier so I could have had more fun there. But in some ways, I needed to go there and in a way hit bottom to start to pull myself out of the deep thinky place I’ve been in. Being there, regardless of my feelings at the time, I got to experience something awesome that very few people ever get to do. I bonded with my friends that were there because of that shared experience. I realized my scores told the truth: I am a great dancer who was up against some tough competition, including a lot of people who do Dance-O-Ramas all the time, and I held my own. I more than held my own; I kicked some ass in some heats.

And it’s not about being better than others. It’s about being as good of a dancer as I can be. Which is a great dancer, considering my talent. I just have to work hard and remember that the days of easy fixes and learning new things quickly are long gone. But I still can do anything my teacher gives me to do; it just might take longer than one lesson to get it. (Side note: we spent Friday’s lesson working on technique in bolero which it turns out is silver level technique. And I was getting it. Man, I hate it when he’s right.)

I’m feeling so much better now, both in life and about dance. I think Dance-O-Rama really helped to start to pull me out of the thinky place. And as I told me teacher, this isn’t a permanent fix. I’m sure I’ll slide back there at some point and probably often. But I just need to continue to fake it to make it and actively think and remind myself and BELIEVE. In my dancing, in my teacher’s faith in me, and in myself.

And stop wallowing. And start being me again.

The Dance-O-Rama post, part 1

2 Sep

[This post got to be waaaayy too long, so I’m breaking it up into two parts. Here’s part one.]

Last weekend was Dance-O-Rama.

I’ve been having trouble putting my thoughts and reactions into words, hence the lack of a post til now. There is just so much to sort out!

It was an incredible weekend. And an exhausting one. And an emotionally-charged one. And a thrilling one.

I did not sleep much the night before we left. I had to be up early, as I had to be at the airport by 8:30. I had my packing list all done and everything laid out on the table. So that morning, it was just check the item off the list and throw it into the suitcase. I had figured out that my dresses would fit in my garment bag which would actually fit as a carry-on. Sweet. So no need to worry about my dresses or my shoes getting lost.

Thursday had some downtime. We had a few hours after checking in before all of us from our studio met, then we had a few more hours before dinner. Downtime at an event like that is not good for me, especially since I didn’t think I’d have any so I didn’t really bring anything to do during downtime. And me plus nothing to do equals thinky place.

Put me in thinky place in a social situation, and my shyness kicks in. So at dinner, due to the thinky place and this event being outside my comfort zone, I got shy. And quiet. Started shrinking into myself again.

But dancing started the next morning. I was very excited for that. Breakfast was at 8, dancing started at 8:30 (my teacher wanted to do warm-ups at 7:30), my first event was a solo at 8:32. Thursday night, I got to sleep around midnight and was planning to get up at 5:30. I woke up at about 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep until 4. So I started the competition on about 3-4 hours of sleep. Awesome.

My solo was the foxtrot open, which had been going well in practice. And it went very well here. The floor was bumpy; my heels got caught in the cracks a few times. But my posture was good, and I felt like I nailed it. In fact, my text to KB was “first solo done. kicked its ass”.

Then the heats started. The first day was closed, and the heats started with smooth. So I took the floor with my teacher (at around 10:30), and we started dancing.

And the traffic killed me. They had so many entries, they had to do two heats at a time by splitting the floor in two. So it was about 8 couples trying to do smooth on half a floor. Lots of near collisions, a few actual collisions, and I got flustered. You can’t practice for that kind of traffic. Everyone else seemed to be doing so well and handling the traffic so much better. The afternoon was rhythm, and it didn’t get much better. Lots of arms flying around. I just felt like I was the worst one on the floor during my heats and that I couldn’t deal with the traffic issues, and I felt like that all day. Except for my lindy hop heats. Those seemed OK.

But overall, my confidence took a big hit that day. My teacher thought I was doing well, but in my head, it didn’t seem like it.

That night we had the costume party dinner/dance. It was a ’50s theme, which was fun. I hadn’t really recovered my equilibrium yet, but tried to have fun anyway. I was also worried about the all-around heat I had that night – at 10:38pm. (The last heats that day were right before midnight.) The all-around heat started with a semi-final round. It went well – my teacher said it went great and was the best dancing of mine of the day and was the best I had done the cha-cha ever – but I didn’t make the finals. Not that I expected too at that point.

That night, I got to sleep shortly after midnight. I had to get up at 6 the next day. And once again, I woke up around 2 and was up for 2 hours. And at that point, I was going to quit dancing. Period. I thought that there was no way I was good enough to be a dancer, I wasn’t good enough to be at that competition, and I wasn’t fun enough to have people want me around. (Can you tell I was deep in the thinky place?) That morning when I got up, I started crying in the shower. I had wanted to cry all day the day before but kept fighting it. And I fought it in the shower because I didn’t want to have red eyes for everyone to see, plus I felt like if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop for a long time. I mentioned to my teacher at breakfast that I was very close to a breakdown but that I knew he couldn’t do anything to help me because he had to dance so much.

The heats that day were open. And I knew my opens were solid. At the point of the competition, I was better at dancing open than closed. So I knew Saturday would be the better day for me. Plus, my friend JF who lives in Chicago came to see my morning heats. Which was an awesome boost for me.

But once again…half a floor. Lots of couples. Traffic. Thinky place. Feeling worse and worse about my dancing, my ability to hold my own against the other couples on the floor, and about me. Frustrated I couldn’t pull myself out of this and angry that I was getting in my own way of having fun.

That afternoon, the rhythm heats started. At one point, my teacher had a long-ish break. (With five students there, he didn’t get a lot of breaks of any sort.) I don’t remember what he said to me, but I told him about my closeness-to-breaking-down and what I was feeling. And I started crying. (Did you know you can cry with fake eyelashes on? Yeah, I didn’t either. Turns out you really can.) And as always, he was incredibly supportive and helpful and direct with me. We talked for a few minutes then he had to go dance. I had about 20 minutes before my next heat, so I just stayed in the area outside the hotel ballroom. Because I couldn’t stop crying. Tears were just overflowing my eyes no matter what I did to try and stop. Then my friend JA, who is another student from my studio, came outside. I had had some brief conversations earlier with her about the emotions of this event, and it turns out she was experiencing some of the same thing. We talked for just a few minutes, and then bless her, she started trying to divert me by talking about fun IPhone games like SongPop. (Which, yes, is awesome and I now play it.)

Then I went back in to do my closed rhythm heats in full bronze. And at that point, I was so tired and I wasn’t fighting a breakdown, and I knew my teacher was concerned for me. So I just danced. I was resigned to not doing as well as the other couples, and I was a tiny bit relaxed because I had gotten out some of that emotion. And the opens actually felt good.

Dinner-banquet-awards that night, followed by the professional competition. Which was amazing. Jaw-dropping. Mind-blowing. And very fun to watch.

Breakfast the next morning wasn’t as a group, so I actually missed a lot of my group. My friends MS and CS were there as was my teacher. MS and CS and I were trying to get on an earlier flight. We did but it wasn’t until 3pm. So we walked around the city for a bit, and it helped to just spend some time with them. Then off to the airport (which took over an hour) and then a quick lunch. Then get on the plane and go home.

I was exhausted when I got home. I unpacked, got Chinese food with my roommate, and then probably just watched Netflix all evening – I really don’t even remember. I went to bed kinda early, I think. I did take my insomnia meds so I would be sure of getting a decent night’s sleep.

Then I woke up the next day (I had the day off work) and started to think about it all.

To be continued…

Can you help me?

9 May

I think I might need your help.

I want to lose the last 10 pounds I’m carrying. Sounds like not a big deal right?

Sadly it seems to be. This goes back to the issue I’m working about how I matter. I think I don’t matter to myself so I don’t take good care of myself. That makes it hard to stick to an eating plan, a workout plan, etc.

But…I’m going to the Dance-O-Rama in August.

And I really really want to be in the best shape I can be by then. And if I stick to my plans, I could do it. I could reach my goals. Easily.

So how do I do that? I’m working on this whole issue so I learn to take care of myself. In the meantime, what can I do to stick to this? I know you all would help me, but I’m not even sure what you could do to help.

Do I just need to be accountable to people about what I’m eating and when I’m working out? Do I try to bribe myself?

I so want to do this and lose the last 10 pounds. I NEED to do this. I just worry that based on past behavior, I will reach a point of giving up and sabotaging myself.

Any ideas on how you can help me or how I can help myself?

Weekly roundup

16 Apr

Last week, I…

*Had my first baseline mammogram. Yep, I’m old. Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as bad as people say it is.

*Tried to figure out  how I would treat a 5-year-old that was going through what I’m going through. (Yep, still no answers on that one.)

*Had another fitting for my dance dress. Can’t wait!

*Reminded myself that the comparison game can be dangerous, and the important comparison is my life to what I want it to be.

*Made a great chicken pasta with lemon cream sauce and a FANTASTIC chocolate salted caramel shortbread. YUM.

*Had coffee with KB at a great neighborhood coffeehouse – outside on a beautiful Minnesota morning. Much laughter ensued.

*Got deblonded again by my hair stylist. I love being a brunette!

*Dinner and shopping with SR and NA. This involved pretty cocktails like a strawberry mojito…

and a pear-lavender martini…

and a glass of red wine for me because I was driving.

*Bought something I’ve wanted for a really long time…

red heels!! I finally found a pair with a good size heel in the right shade of red for a reasonable price.

*Had two great dance lessons.

And most importantly….

*Found out that enough people have signed up and put money down for Dance-O-Rama in Chicago, so now the price is cheap enough that I CAN GO!!!!!! Bucket list items being crossed off. Dreams coming true here, people. DREAMS COMING TRUE!!!!

My first dance dress

15 Nov

I got my very first dance dress!

I had a bunch of silver coins that my grandfather had given me when I was a kid. I found out last spring that they were worth about what a new custom-made dance dress would cost. I thought my grandfather would maybe rather I have something I would love and use than keep the coins in the bank safe deposit box forever. So I asked my dad if he would care if I sold the coins (they were given to me by his dad), and he said I could do what I wanted with them. My friend AW has a friend who collects silver coins, so I made arrangements to sell them to him.

Knowing about how much I could get for the coins, I asked Rachel to recommend a dressmaker. Rachel’s dressmaker does costumes for amateurs as well, so she sent me to her. Marsha has been making costumes for dancers for years, and she used to be a professional dancer as well. So she totally gets it. I called Marsha back in June and talked about wanting a dress for smooth (waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz) for Showcase in November. We made arrangements to meet at the end of August to get going on the design. In the meantime, I had homework to do. Marsha asked that I ask Nate for three words to describe my smooth dancing. I also had to find between one and twenty pictures of things that were inspiring – colors, fashion, art, flowers, anything.

Luckily, I use Pinterest, so I had a collection of photos of styles I liked. For his words, Nate came up with “regal, elegant, and poised”. Just for the heck of it, I asked Rachel for three words too, and she said “clean, lighthearted, and demure”. So I took the photos and the words and headed over to Marsha’s.

Watching her work and following her process was fascinating. She had me try on three dresses she already had (she also sells used gowns) so I could get a sense of what a dress felt like and also see what I liked and didn’t like about some. You know I’m not the most girly-girl, so I kind of have a sense of what looks good on my body but I had no idea if that would translate or how it would translate into a dance dress. But she does. I didn’t have to worry too much about that because she’s so good and just knows. She looked at my pictures and although I thought they were random photos, she was able to see themes through them. One theme was a classic style, and another was hints of floral motifs. (Flowers? Me? Apparently so.)

As we talked, she was forming ideas on what my dress could look like. She sketched a bit, and then we started talking about colors. I told her I was drawn to peacock colors and deep jewel tones. When we looked at fabrics, there was a purple I liked right away, and we went with that.

It’s very hard to for me to see a swatch of color and be able to picture it big. So I could look at her drawing and look at the swatch, but I wasn’t entirely sure how it would look. But I knew the concept she had and I liked it, so I had no worries about it.

I told her I wanted to glue the rhinestones myself to save costs. Rachel had already shown me how to do that for another dress for my rumba routine last year, so I knew how to do it.

I had my first fitting in September and then a few more after that. It was so cool and very fascinating to see this dress being built on me. At the fittings, Marsha would adjust things based on how the dress was looking. She actually changed the whole skirt design at one point. She would often ask my opinion, and I tried to give it but I also recognize that she’s the expert and she’s going to know best about most of the dress decisions!

We spent a lot of time at one fitting talking colors for the rhinestones and the underskirt. If we went with all one color, that would be very regal. But if we went with multi-colors, we would be more light-hearted. So she always kept those words from Nate and Rachel in mind. We ended up with lots of colors for the rhinestones and an electric blue underskirt.

I picked up the dress and had a week to glue rhinestones. I’m obviously not as fast as Marsha at it. I set up my station for gluing:

Notice the pillows that I sat on to be at the right height, the fan pointed at the open window (E6000 glue has NASTY fumes), and all the little Tupperware containers (each container had a different color/size rhinestone in it). Marsha did the necklace and earrings for me to give me a guide to do the rest.

It took me 20.5 hours to do the front…

the back…


the cuffs…

and the barrette.

I danced in it at my lesson a week ago. It was amazing. I kept screwing up steps because I would catch glimpses of it in the mirror and get distracted by it. I took it back to Marsha after that lesson so she could glue the purple rhinestones on the bodice and sew in the underskirt. I picked it up on Friday and danced in it at Showcase yesterday.

It was amazing! I just can’t describe what it felt like to have such a dream come true. I never thought I’d own a smooth dress. It was number two on my bucket list behind going to a Dance-O-Rama. And Marsha made it such a fun, enjoyable experience. I’ll miss talking to her about it, but I know that I’ll be back for a rhythm gown as soon as I can afford one!

So if you’re ever looking for dance costumes (including menswear – she does Nate’s clothes too), go see Marsha at Made for Movement. You will have an amazing experience, and you’ll get a gown you will love. And you will have zero regrets.

(If you want to hear about the making of my dress from her perspective, check our her blog post.)

Thanks, Marsha, for making a dream come true!

Bucket list item #1

21 Oct

I think I’ve mentioned before: number one item on my bucket list is to go to a Dance-O-Rama.

For those of you not in the Arthur Murray family, Dance-O-Rama is a pro-am competition. There are multiple ones around the country, and you can go to whichever one you want to. They are usually 2-3 days of competition, and you dance with your teacher as your partner.

I think I could do really well at a competition. (I wish my teacher could hear me say that – it’s the start of me believing I’m a good dancer!) And it would be such a fun experience. My goal is to go to one sometime during 2012.

The problem, as with almost everything dance-related, is that it is really expensive to go. I’m not even going to tell you how much they cost because you wouldn’t even believe me. So I need to work my butt off to earn and save some money.

Someone once told me you’re supposed to have seven sources of income. I have my full-time job, which is what I live on. (Source #1.) I have retirement funds for the future. (Source #2.) For the Dance-O-Rama, I have started doing extra cleaning projects for my mom for money. (Source #3.) I’ve started doing administrative assistant type work for my part-time job and getting extra hours doing that. (Source #4.) I’m able to save some money each month for this too. (Source #5.) I’m going to try to sell baby hats and earrings on Etsy to get some money that way. (Source #6.) And I’ll pick up random extra work, like filing for friend TD’s business. (Source #7.) Wow, I didn’t think I actually had seven sources – cool!

I’m telling you this because I want to put this goal out there to let the universe start helping me meet this goal. I think I might be able to meet this goal, but I’m not willing to tell the dance studio for sure I’m going yet. I need to save a bit more before that can happen. I’m also putting this out there so you all can support me as I strive to meet this goal. And also understand why I might be a wee bit tired at times.

Girls’ weekend

29 Aug

Number one on my bucket list probably is to go to a Dance-O-Rama competition. This weekend was the Northstar Dance-O-Rama in Chicago. Our studio made a big push earlier to get a bunch of students to go. I couldn’t afford it, but many of my friends went.

I really didn’t want to sit around and pout because I wasn’t in Chicago, so I asked my friends the H’s (who were going) if I could use their condo (which I’ve stayed at before) for the weekend. They said of course, and I asked my friend AM if she wanted to go with me. She’s had a pretty tough run of life the last few weeks (months), so I figured she could use a relatively cheap weekend out of town. I think she was delighted to go, and I was delighted that she wanted to go.

We left Saturday morning after stocking up at the liquor store. One thing about AM: she likes her alcohol, which is one of the reasons we’re such good friends. When we got to Lake City, we stocked up on food at the grocery store. Interesting priorities of how to stock up, no? Take care of liquor first then food. For me, that’s simply because I live in a dry house. So I tend to soak up the opportunity to have alcohol whenever I can.

We had a wonderful weekend. We spent sometime on the rooftop deck on the condo building, enjoying the sun and the views. Lake City, and the condo, is right on Lake Pepin which is a natural lake and the widest part of the Mississippi River. The weather was 80 and sunny, the views were amazing, and it was so relaxing!

We also spent time drinking, eating, watching movies and talking. A LOT of talking. I think we figured out all our problems…well, maybe not. But we did talk about a lot of them! It was so relaxing and wonderful and just what I needed to forget that I wasn’t in Chicago with my friends at Dance-O-Rama.

Here’s a picture of our casualties of the weekend.

Thank God for friends like AM. Friends that you can spend time with, talk to, drink with, and just enjoy being in their presence. I love my friends! And AM, you’re welcome to travel with me anytime – thanks for making it awesome!

“Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world.”

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