Thursday, December 16, 2010

Belated Birthdays ...

I have FAILED as a blogger lately.  And not just because I never finished my “Favorite Things” week.  I let two very important birthdays go by last week without acknowledgment!  Well, at least without blog acknowledgment.  Anyways, better late than never, right?  So … HAPPY BIRTHDAY (one week late) to my Grandma Barb and my bestie, L.Rae (you might remember her from her Labor Day visit).  They share a birthday, on December 8th, and they are both VIP’s in my life.

My Grandma and Pop-pop have lived in the same house my entire life, just a block away from Lake Michigan, and it’s been like my second home.  My sister and I used to visit when we were little and play for hours in the basement.  And we’d go visit our favorite place in Chicago, The Shedd Aquarium, to see the dolphins and the sea otters.  My grandma must have taken us dozens of times, but she never complained about seeing the same We were lucky enough to live within driving distance of them for the past 10ish years and were able to see them often.  We also spent holidays together ... my mom would host Thanksgiving and my grandma would host Christmas.  This is the first year that J. and I are so far from home and it’s been weird to be so far from our families and deviate from our "normal" or traditional holiday plans.  This is also my first official year as a "grown-up (if there is such a thing)," and I know they say change is a part of growing up, but it doesn't make it any easier!

At J.'s Commissioning (back in 2007!)

The Mother, my uncle, aunt, Grandma & Pop-pop on a whale watching trip in Mexico

My grandparents house last Christmas ... looking beautiful with a fresh layer of snow!

L.Rae and I went to Purdue together … we had a mutual group of guy friends, but we weren’t actually friends.  You know how that goes.  Girl groups never like each other.  Then, I decided to study abroad one summer in Florence.  And guess who was going on the trip?  L.Rae.  She was the only person that I even slightly knew, so we decided to meet up on the way over there.  We met in the Frankfurt airport and, in true L.Rae style, she showed up minutes before the flight left.  She’d been sleeping somewhere in the airport, but I, of course, was freaking out because I was sure I would never find her.  Once we got to Florence, we found out that not only were we on the same trip, we’d been assigned to the same apartment.  It was a three bedroom apartment and there were 5 girls, so L.Rae and I decided to share a room and the rest is history.  Since then, we’ve traveled all over the place (and been llost all over the place) and I couldn’t ask for a better traveling partner (or friend).  Next up … Alaska!  Mostly I love L.Rae because I can be pretty ridiculous at times and she takes it all in stride ... and she's never afraid to ask the hard questions or tell me exactly what she thinks.  I'm so glad I'm finally back in the same time zone as her :)

J. and L.Rae dancing through a plaza in D.C.

Easter 2007 ... spent in the tulips :)

At the Palace of Versailles in France

Doing what we do best ... skipping around the gardens

Sight-seeing in London

At Muir Woods, outside of San Francisco

"But L.Rae, there's BEES!"
Wine tasting in Sonoma, CA

Picnic-ing in the San Juan Islands 
(I told you we were travel partners in crime!)

I hope that both of you ladies had very special days and next year, I promise, I won’t be a week late J  

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