Thursday, December 31, 2009

Get Out of Here, 2009!

I can't really put my finger on it, but for some reason 2009 has really stunk for us. We are really looking forward to a fresh start in 2010 - a new year, a new decade! So, as I've been doing for the past couple of years, a recap of what happened to us in 2009:

1. We still have our jobs! We weren't really worried about it (neither of our respective workplaces laid anyone off), but people were being let go left and right, so we are definitely very thankful to remain gainfully employed!

2. I ran a total of 111.28 miles worth of races, 68.5 of which were half marathons. I took up running last January when I was inspired to run the P.F. Chang's Rock n Roll half marathon in Phoenix. I'm taking a brief sabbatical from running but am looking forward to getting back into it later this year. I even got John to run some races with me!

3. We've done a pretty good amount of traveling. We went to Mexico last February to escape the cold Chicago winter. Then we headed to Seattle in June and San Diego in September. John and I took separate trips to D.C. and Vegas in December. We are hoping to do a lot more traveling this year and are currently trying to figure out where to go!

4. I continue to be bummed about Michael Jackson's death. Boo.

5. I saw one of my favorite singers in concert - Cher. It was awesome!

We are hoping for big and wonderful things in 2010. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Christmas That Kept on Going!

We are finally back in Chicago after a week in Tulsa. This was sort of an atypical Christmas. Maybe it was the snow, but the holiday did not feel the same as it usually does. It's so nice to be home at our condo. It was great seeing family, but it seemed like we spent the entire week running around and seeing different family members. Both John and I are off tomorrow -- John's office is closed, and I have decided not to go in. Literally three attorneys were in the office today, and literally less will be in tomorrow. So I figured that there is really no point in working -- I will have a fresh start on Monday in a whole new year! Below are more pictures of our various Christmas and family activities.

John celebrating an awesome bowling move. Notice there
are no pictures of me doing such a dance...

Steph and me doing Jello shots at the bowling alley.

Travis and me (although he's barely noticeable what with the camouflage).

The annual picture: Justin, me, and Travis

Friday, December 25, 2009

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! We just finished the third of our four annual Christmases, so it's been a busy day for us. We started out at my parents' house, then we went to John's, then we had another Christmas at my parents' with stepsisters Natalie and Nealy and their husbands and adorable kiddos. Lots and lots of merriment was had by all. We have one final Christmas tomorrow -- this time at my dad's house. Then all the holiday buildup will be over! The crazy snowstorm almost put a kink into our Christmas celebrations, but John will brave any weather if there are presents as a reward at the end.

Sean and little Beckett

Bella, Nealy, and Baby Mia

John and his mom

We all got matching plaid pajamas!

No more presents!

Before Christmas number 2.

Mom handing out the stockings
As usual, John got the most loot.

The tree, before the damage was done.

Coffee before presents.

Let it snow!

Niel, Lisa, John and me braving the elements.
Steph, Pancho, and Eric chilling at the annual cousins Christmas lunch.

Blake got a Twilight "Edward" lunch box. Lucky guy!

Group shot. Notice Mae's smile...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekend Happenings!

Anniversary dinner at Roy's

Cookie Exchange Gals

We've had a really busy weekend! On Friday night, we celebrated our anniversary with dinner at Roy's and then went to the Addams Family. The Addams Family was hilarious! It was very cute, and Nathan Lane was incredible. Yesterday we trudged around the neighborhood in the snow, finishing some last-minute errands before Christmas. My friend Nicole hosted the annual cookie exchange this year, and she really outdid herself! She made the most amazing food (red velvet and raspberry trifle, anyone?), and it was great to see friends that I hadn't seen in awhile. John's company had its Christmas party last night as well -- they went to Hub 51 downtown. We don't have too much planned for today -- just packing and watching the Titans! Getting excited to see family and friends over Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Five Great Years!

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. These five years have passed so quickly, most likely because they've been so great. To celebrate, we are going to dinner and then to the new Addams Family Musical starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meowy Christmas

Sofia is not too happy about her elf costume!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rudolph Ramble

John and I ran (read: slipped and slid) the Rudolph Ramble 8K this morning. I had to practically twist John's arm to even sign up, and yesterday we went to Fleet Feet to get him all decked out in cold weather running gear. I've been begging John to run with me for months, and he's always refused, spouting every excuse in the book, from "I'm no good at running" to "It's torture." John recently started running at the gym, and has probably run a total of four times in the past six months. I have run two half marathons and a 5K in the past month. And would you believe that HE BEAT ME. I'm so proud of him for running, and I hope that he participates in more races with me in the future.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

D.C. Fun

John here. Last weekend I visited my college buddies, Jeff and Danny, in Washington D.C. It was great to see them, and we had a great time hanging out and seeing the sights. I must have hung out in front of the White House for too long because a Secret Service man came up and talked to me. So I left. I also visited the Library of Congress -- it was awesome!

Pics from the Race

I'm still feeling pretty great from Sunday's race. Below are some pics of the awesome day!

Just getting started.

Almost finished!

Mom, Luanne, and me with a showgirl we swear was a man!

Monday, December 7, 2009

68.5 Miles!

I finished my fifth and final half marathon of the year for a total of 68.5 miles of half marathons since January! This weekend's race was in Las Vegas, and it couldn't have been more awesome. It was a frigid 30 degrees the morning of the race - something we did not anticipate (or pack for). Maybe it was because of the cool temperatures, or the deliciously dry desert air, but I had a personal record, which is amazing since I really haven't been training. I beat my previous personal record by three minutes and my finish time in San Antonio by nearly 20 minutes! Mom and Luanne also had personal records as well.

In addition to the race, we ate at some really delicious restaurants and saw Cher at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace. A great show! I've always been a huge Cher fan (me, along with thousands of gay men everywhere), so it was amazing to see her in person. She's 63 years old and looks younger than me!

John has been in D.C. all weekend visiting college friends there. I can't wait to get home and see him and rest my tired legs.

The gorgeous tree in the atrium at the Bellagio

Mom and Luanne wore tutus for the race to
commemorate their Rock Star status

Me before the race in my makeshift warm clothes

Luanne, Mom, and me at our post-race celebratory
dinner at Olives at the Bellagio