javascript:void(0) busy that day...: June 2011

it's not me, it's you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

introverted introspection.

Watching me at work, you might not know that most personal interactions, especially with groups, make me extremely anxious.  I tend to hide my discomfort well, a combination of great public speaking classes and forced personality changes when on the clock.

Those who do know me both in and outside of the office understand-- I'd much rather spend a day with one or two close friends, chatting and enjoying a quiet place than experiencing the sensory overload of a crowded, loud space.  I'm an introvert at my core-- a trait I think comes partially from my shy father and homebody mother.

This being said, I was too excited to see this article posted in my friend Ellen's google reader the other day.  Finally, a primer for helping people understand me!  It's so odd to be around extroverts all the time (my field tends to be chock full of 'em) who don't understand why I may sometimes come across as cold or boring.

In the case of Jeremy, the conversation is generally more "OMG WHY WOULDN'T I WANT TO GO TO A DAY LONG CONCERT AND THEN GO TO A PARTY AFTERWARDS?!"  It's hard being in a relationship with an extrovert-- J craves social interaction, has a lot of friends and always has something on the agenda.  I, however, am simply exhausted when even thinking about some of the things we have on deck sometimes.  It takes a lot of out of me to be talkative around people I don't know and to force interactions-- I  hate that this makes me come across as a bitch sometimes, but it's who I am.  If you don't believe me, pay special attention to Myth #10 in the article I posted above.

So, dear reader, are you an introvert or extrovert?  What do you find the hardest to deal with when interacting with "the other type"?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

bundle of joy.

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of honoring my very best Chicago friend, Ellen, with a baby shower!  Ellen and her husband, Andy, are expecting their first child in early September (Jeremy hopes that the baby will arrive on his birthday).  I am super excited for them to become parents, but admittedly, terribly sad-- Ellen and Andy are moving about 500 miles away to eastern Ohio in three weeks, as Andy embarks on his career as a college professor.  Such is life in academia, I suppose.  We have to go where the jobs are!

The shower was a lot of fun to plan-- it is rare that I get to plan an event for myself to enjoy!  I was fortunate enough to have two co-planners in two of Ellen's close friends, Anna and Gwen.  Each of us filled kind of a unique niche in the planning genre, so it was a great way to divide labor, creativity and funding!

We held the shower on the campus of Loyola University Chicago, in a little hidden gem of a room, the Mundelein Center Greenhouse.  Overlooking Lake Michigan, the Greenhouse was the perfect location-- sunny, breezy and easily configured for different seating arrangements.

This view faces east over Lake Michigan.  I LOVE the round balloons that Anna found!

Ellen is a very crafty lady, so we chose some activities that focused on her interests.  Gwen purchased a shadow box and craft supplies, and we allowed guests to spend some time crafting a memento for the box.  Anna also supplied an instant camera and scrapbook, where guests could take photos and write a note to the family.  We strayed from the cheesy games in favor of another Ellen favorite-- trivia!  It was a fun, interactive way to enjoy the shower.  

Since the shower was held in mid-afternoon, we served light snacks like veggies, hummus, chips, salsa, fruit skewers, cupcakes and sparkling limeaide.  The cupcakes were delicious-- I wish I could say I made them myself, but I  have to admit they came from The Fresh Market , one of my favorite stores!  

The banner reads "IT IS YOUR SHOWER" - bonus points if you can name what TV show it was inspired by!

After the games and obligatory gift-opening, we spent some time talking and mingling.  The afternoon ended with the best part of any event-- the favors!  We hadn't really thought much about favors until a week before the shower, and were admittedly strapped for ideas.  I love the way that a local cupcake boutique, more, packages their goods, and suggested the idea to Anna and Gwen.  We took the idea and ran with it, since we already were ordering cupcakes for dessert.  I absolutely adore the way they turned out-- Anna designed the labels and Gwen found the perfect ribbon to complement the idea.

Takeaway boxes, labels, ribbon and cupcake - total cost around $2.50 per favor!

The idea for this shower was that simplicity and the guest of honor's personality should dictate the event.  We were inspired by countless items in Ellen's google reader, which helped frame some of what we did.  I definitely recommend soliciting the help of friends when planning an event like this-- it made things much less stressful and costly, and it helped to have others to rely on!

Most of all, I was so happy to be able to share the day with Ellen.  Friends in a big city are quite hard to make, and Ellen has always been there for me.  I am sad that she'll soon be so far away, but I am so happy to be a part of her life!  I can't wait to meet her baby boy soon and enjoy all that is to come for their family.

Monday, June 6, 2011

cruisin' along.

About a month ago, you might recall that I posted about the search for our next vacation.  While our requirements were stiff, we finally found a winner a few weeks ago, and I forgot to share!

In late October we will be sailing east from Miami aboard the Norwegian Sky!  Our trip includes four nights on the ship, with three full-day stops in Freeport, Grand Stirrup Cay and Nassau.  I am still a little apprehensive about cruising, but I chose this route specifically because it allows us to be off the ship for at least 10 hours a day, if we choose to do so, and includes no full days at sea.  I am terribly worried about getting seasick, and figured the option that allowed us as much land time as possible was the best idea!  Although we were in the Bahamas in February, this sailing will allow us to see two new islands and we'll get to spend the day in Nassau doing a few things we didn't have time for before.

Immediately prior to sailing, we will be in Richmond, VA (where I went to college!) for the wedding of a dear college friend and his partner.  We'll fly to Miami on Monday morning, board the ship and enjoy the Caribbean until Friday.  We are debating whether to stay in Miami Friday night or return to Chicago-- while extending vacation is never an unwelcome idea, we are trying to be budget-conscious, so returning to Chicago might be the better idea.

Speaking of budgeting, we got a GREAT deal on the cruise thanks to a lot of price comparisons and bargain hunting.  We spent under $600 for the cruise total, in an oceanview cabin for 4 nights, with all meals included.  We even scored some on-board credits, 2 bottles of wine and a few other freebies that will come in handy!  That shakes out to under $150 a day for lodging and meals-- we would definitely exceed that on our own had we booked a strictly land vacation.  While I know we'll spend some money on at least on excursion and some alcohol, I feel really good about our adventure so far!

This summer will be light on travel for us.  I do plan to go home to Virginia for a week in late July or early August, but beyond that, we'll be staycationing here in Chicago-- enjoying friends, festivals and all the fun this city can offer.  What travel plans do you have for the summer, friends?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

(in)famous words.

One of the best parts about being in a relationship is laughter, and the ability to laugh with someone.  It definitely helps to share the same sense of humor as your mate-- something Jeremy and I have quite in common.

But sometimes instead of laughing with someone, we get to laugh at them.  This, too, is one of the unspoken greatnesses of being in a relationship!

Sometimes, J says things that are... amazing.  Regardless of context, intention or audience, little gems of hilarity occasionally spill forth into the world and are permanently imprinted into our repertoire.  This past weekend blessed us with two such statements:

"How could I possibly poop without my iPod?"

"Where did you see a billboard for 4000 wieners?"

My friend and colleague, Alex, has taken this idea to another level by creating a twitter account for her partner's one-liners.  For now, I'll keep Jeremy's deep thoughts here on my blog... I never know when I'll need to refer back for a good giggle!