10:37 AM

2007 Has a Nice Ring to It

I was so pleased to just discover that I wrote my 2006 resolutions here, and I'd met all of them. Yay! So in hopes of meeting these new aspirations, I will continue the public, incredibly vain blogging of the 2007 goals.

(1) The Toughness Conundrum. Find a happy medium between trying to be more tough and trying to be more sensitive. I used to have a really hard time being tough (i.e. asking for what I want, not letting myself be taken advantage of, being too soft to avoid hurting people's feelings, etc.), so I worked really hard on that for the last few years -- I think with a pretty decent level of success (though certainly not perfect, hah). That said, I often find myself trying so hard to be more frank that I find myself feeling like a bit of a jerk, like I'm being unnecessarily demanding. I don't know if there is a happy medium, but I'm going to keep working on it.

(2) Professional Maturity. I find myself endlessly and incredibly frustrated by stupidity that doesn't even directly affect me at work -- it's a real waste of energy, stupidly juvenile, and I need to learn to better focus on the things that I have control over and be happy with those successes.

(3) Studiousness. I want to see if I can possibly finish my degree a semester early and, if I'm going to make that happen, I need to buckle down yet again. Even if I decide not to fast-track, I still want to be more focused on my classes -- not a grade-obsesso type, just more focused for the sake of enhanced learning.

(4) It's About Me. I generally don't think I'm a selfish person, per se, though I know I'm rather what many likely consider self-absorbed. I don't have a problem with that, as I think it's good to be aware of oneself and as conscious of your kickass attributes as your personal challenges, and I think it's a big part of what helps me do well with the things I'm good at. However, sometimes I worry that I'm taking it too far and I don't want to turn into something untrue to the kid that my parents raised. I really just need to get with Buddha and find the internal zen.

Get into the Dirty 30s. Enter this new era of my life feeling satisfied that I've achieved the key goals my 19 year old self set out for me. Make another list of reasonable but challenging aspirations for my thirties so that I can come back at 40 feeling as great as I do now.

10:13 PM

The Holidays Ruled

So we had a super fun Christmas season. A few key reasons:

(1) Enough work, already! The last day of work was hilarious. We had dips and cheese and crackers, drank some Veuve, and did a swap-style gift exchange that ended in total hilarity ("I pity the fool that takes Lee for a joke"). Jen and I were The Biggest Losers and were probably the only chumps in our office pointing out which gifts we bought, as they made their way 'round the room most of all. I was thrilled to finally end up stealing her Jen's gift, which will sit on my desk forever.

(2) Cottageness! We got out of town quickly on Friday and arrived at the cottage in time for more cheese, crackers, and kielbasa. Dave's mom and stepdad are awesome and we definitely set the tone for a super holiday. (PS: Finn Crisps are five for one point. Buy them. Eat them.)

(3) Working it. Patti (his mom) and I stuck with our commitment to get in the daily exercise, and I actually even ran most days. I did six kilometres without stopping! I had no idea that I would be able to do this. My legs and abs wanted me dead, but I felt incredibly excited with myself about the whole thing. I even started each morning with abs and either squats/lunges or pushups (girl style). This is a Christmas miracle if ever I experienced one.

(4) Baking! My baked goods were a show-stopping hit with all who ate them. People were indulging in them and raving. I got to give all the props to my mom for teaching me to bake when I was a wee one, and her pastries were a particularly grand success. This made me feel a bit like my family was around, which was sweet.

(5) Fondue and pomegranate martinis! Christmas Eve effing ruled. We started with a delectable cheese fondue with french bread. The main course was oil fondue with meats and veggies -- I'd never tried this before and was amazed by how fun and yummy it all was. Finally, we had a choco-grand-marnier fondue with pineapple, bananas, strawberries, and kiwi. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. (And, yes, they were the Oprah martinis.)

(6) Niece time! The sister-in-law family arrived on Christmas day, and the baby was hysterically fun. I don't think I can think of anything more awesome in the world than an almost two year old. We played "boo", "fly", "sleepies", songs on the flexible roll-up "panano", and she was ec-freakin'-static. THEN! While she's chattered endlessly for what seems like forever, my name has always eluded her. Until... she sat on the couch with us in the evening, and very clearly said: "Hi Dave! Hi Jacquelyn!" She kicks way more ass than anything else.

(8) The peeps. Dave's family and their friends are so crazy fun. We laughed for five days straight, I swear. Between trashy magazines, Balderdash, Greek mythology about winter, demented dream analyses, and discussions of what Britney is doing to the new generation of young women, the whole thing kicked ass.

(7) Home again, home again. We came back today and I still have days and days of lounging around the house ahead of me before I have to go back to work.

This has been my favourite holiday season of all time. Awesomeness, awesomeness, awesomeness.

3:11 PM

One More Party

Two things yesterday: I finished my fifth semester of the MBA (finals = done!) and we had our work Christmas party directly afterwards. We had casino games, yummy food (though I am very grumpy about having missed dessert), prizes (we won awesome steak knives which, believe it or not, we were stupidly giddy about -- sure it wasn't the 42" LCD TV, but it was good), a number of drinks, and all kinds of fun.

Naturally, you know what this means. Yes, the only time I update is when I have new pictures.

Ready to go:

Me and Jen:

Boss scandal!

Everyone loves a stole:

Boys being nice:


El presidente:

The big winners:

Cousin, husband, and coworker:

Directors unite:

Their eyes match:

Boys club:

I always hate when the night ends, then promptly fall asleep within five minutes:

So there you have it. Fun!

4:48 PM

Shopping = Done and Done

I think I've got everyone now. We had more people than ever to shop for this year: my parents, Dave's mom and stepdad, Dave's dad, my sister and her husband, Dave's sister and her husband, our much-adored niece, my grandparents, my cousin's kids, the partners at my company, my mom from my dad, Dave's mom and stepdad from my parents, and Dave's dad from my parents. Oh yeah, and Dave.


Oh, well, except for my work gift exchange gift. I have no ideas here. I want something silly and fun, but have yet to find anything entertaining enough for the $20 limit. If all else fails, some poor sucker will be getting a Starbucks gift card.

In any case, the whole shebang is effectively donesville. I got a few ideas from the giftees, a few ideas from friends (mostly stealing Jen's ideas and using them as my own, hah), and a few of them came from my own frenzied little head. I am particularly pleased with myself on two counts:

(1) Dave's main gift is really fun and I thought of it all on my own. He hasn't asked for it, but did mention about six months ago that he'd like one. It'll be a fun surprise!
(2) I don't usually finish 'til Christmas Eve. I have wrapping paper and ribbon and even real Christmas cards for all recipients. Now that is organization.
(3) I'm putting everything under my own tree for the day. It looks bloody spectacular.

I generally have a distaste for shopping. I find it painfully time-consuming and hate it more than anything when the malls are busy. But at Christmas? I intentionally go when I know things will be bizarre and out of control with holiday madness. I giggle at those who are waiting in line with grumpy faces. I snicker at disgruntled drivers who just missed a key spot in the parking lot. I love the dads sitting on benches half-asleep while their wives spend half an hour deciding between two different shades of sweaters for their in-laws. I find the exhausted, terrified, sobbing children waiting in the Santa line-up endlessly hysterical. I am amused by the couples who do the 007 mall split to shop for each other and are peeking around every corner to make sure their other half won't see the bags. There is major entertainment at every step.

Yep, the holidays truly are the most wonderful time of the year -- at least for those of us who love gift shopping.

11:48 PM

Let the Good Times Roll...

Client party. More dress-up than our company party, so I have pictures. I had an exam Saturday morning so there are only a few (we left a little after 10PM).

There's my tree in the background. I love getting my hair and stuff all done:

Me in my dress. I love my shoes more than anything:

I look weird here but the boy is cute:

Jen and her boytoy. Her hair and makeup looked flippin' awesome:

Our sweetest coworker and her husband:

That's it for today. I have an exam at 10AM tomorrow and have to get up early to study. Saturday afternoon will be in-law holiday get-together fun and Sunday will be endless Christmas shopping, as I have nearly nothing done.

8:25 PM

Oh, Christmas Tree...

For the first time since the year before we got hitched, we have our own tree!

I know, I know, the quality of the picture is crap. I'm too lazy to do more than a camera phone shot. And, yes, we still have to get a topper. And, yes again, we need to hunt through the storage locker for the skirt. And -- enough already! -- we still have to put the presents at the bottom.

In any case, here's the deal: he's a faker. In all my life, I've only ever had real trees. I grew up in the country, where nobody had fake trees except on TV. We cut our tree out of our massive forest of a backyard. It was endless fun, traipsing through the snowy woods, hats and mitts and snowsuits and bright eyes. As we got older, we stopped the woodland hunt and started buying them from the grocery store. There is nothing better than the smell of a freshly cut tree in your house.

So why the fakey? Well, I was dead set on the real deal 'til I started to think about cleaning up after him in my little condo. This guy is every bit as pretty as his less artifical brethren, and saves me from buying a vacuum for just a little longer.