April 2010

Finally booked a tasting with caterers.  I was starting to think you all wouldn’t be eating at the wedding.


Oh, my little lovelies, I haven’t forgotten about you.  I arrived back to Wisconsin late Friday night and haven’t had a chance to really sit down and update the blog.  (On a side note, I did have time to cruise through 5 DVR’ed programs.  I’m sorry if you think I put TV before you and I know that in order to make this relationship survive I need to refocus on my priorities and start putting you ahead of “16 and Pregnant” and “The Biggest Loser.”  But…it’s not going to be easy).

Florida was really nice.  80 degrees.  Sunny.  Beachy.  Pooly.  Sleeping In-ny.  Just really nice.

And I’ll go ahead and pretend I was big girl about coming home and leaving my family, but in reality I was that girl in the Fort Walton Beach airport who went through the security line and had the guard take one look at me and pull out a box of Kleenex.  I am a very unattractive crier, is all.

It really hit me on the flight from Fort Walton Beach to Dallas.  My brother Kyle and I were sharing a flight back to Dallas and would split there to go back to our final destinations.  I started crying as the plane touched down and Kyle, being a good brother, laughed at me and rolled his eyes because, even though we’re in our late 20’s now, I can still fill that role of painfully uncool sister.

Anyway, what hit me hardest was that we’re all grown up now.  Kyle lives out in Santa Fe, a place he pretty much picked out on a map and decided to drive to.  He went without a place to live, no initial job.  And he’s doing really well out there, being a little responsible person.  My little brother.  Crazy.

And I’m here in Wisconsin while my parents are living down in Florida.  If you ask anyone, they’ll tell you I’ve always been the bigger homebody between the two kids.  Everyone knew Kyle would be the traveler, the fearless one.  He decided to pick up and move to Alaska for a summer, for goodness sakes.  But I was always ‘ok’ to fill that role of comfortable, close-to-home kid.  And when my parents packed up and moved to Florida, leaving me a heartbroken little mess and the last of the Wisconsin residents, I had to muster up my tiny morsel of courage and put on a big, adult face.  Sometimes I still don’t feel like a grown-up.  But as long as I’m faking it, I usually manage to get by.  At least the bare necessities like groceries and shoes.

But it still strikes me as funny, from time to time, how family units change as we age.  And while I still feel a little heartsick when I think of watching early morning cartoons with Kyle as we ate breakfast and waited for the school bus, I know that my immediate family will soon change when I marry Tony and we start having children of our own.  I’m just thankful our family is close-knit in general and no matter how far away we are from each other, I can still call Kyle up anytime and know he’ll find someway to make fun of me long distance-style.  Ah, just like old times.

Sitting here with the doors wide open and a nice breeze rolling through.  It’s about 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  Just thought I’d share that with you in case you are up in Chicago or Milwaukee.  You’re welcome.


The girl who will be eating her words in a couple days when she’s back in Wisco anyway…

Hi All!

I made it to Florida.  My planes didn’t crash.  I know that sounds pretty morbid, but when you’re 37,000 feet in the air, it’s amazing the kind of thoughts that go through your head.  So…high-five pilots!  Good work!

Anyhow – as of now the progress on my tan is pathetic.  If I squint really hard in proper lighting I can make out a bikini strap.  Not the kind of progress I was hoping to make by Day 3, but then again, my awful luck of always bringing crappy weather with me when I visit Florida is starting to take effect.*  I sat at the pool for 3 hours today, reminding myself that I can still get tan in overcast weather.  But, seriously…am I the only one who feels like I’m getting a better tan when my skin feels like it could flake off at any second under the intense heat of the sun?  (I sure hope my dermatologist isn’t reading this).

It’s been nice seeing the family and eating all the seafood my little heart desires.  Tuna dip, check.  Grouper, check.  Crabcakes and remoulade…holy checkmark that was delish.

I’ll check in soon because I know ya’ll are dying to hear my tanline updates.  Don’t lie, you know you are. 

*You don’t think it’s my karma for bragging in my last post, right?  Right?  Damnit.

Tomorrow I will be here:

Go ahead and leave your jealous comments below.  It’s not healthy for you to keep that stuff bottled in, y’know.

I’ve always been a big fan of symbolism.  I like books and movies that let the reader or viewer deduce their own meaning at the end.  And oftentimes, when I let myself, I find myself just enjoying “a moment.”  And when I say it in quotation marks, I hope you get what I mean.  It’s that moment when I can step back from something as simple as walking through the parking lot into work and recognize that the smell in the air is catapulting me back to another time when I was young and just opening the door at my grandparents’ house to breathe in the early summer morning.  While smells are a big trigger, it doesn’t always have to be an aroma.  Sometimes a general “feeling” will all of a sudden hit and I’ll recognize that “hey, I know that feeling.”  That feeling is what sophomore year of college felt like.  Or something of the sort.

Am I losing you?

Anyway, I’m getting all deep on you because recently I watched home video of one of my last nights working at the restaurant in Florida.  If you don’t know me well, let me fill you in.  Back in 2007, Tony and I had this crazy idea to pick up and move our life down to Florida.  We were young and thought it was the right time to sow a few wild oats (not that Tony hadn’t sown enough in his youth, but that’s a whooole ‘nother blog post, ya’ll).  Anyhow, my aunt, uncle and dad were planning to open a new restaurant and we were hoping to help out.  While it was busy getting started, my aunt and uncle were nice enough to provide us with jobs working at their other little seafood restaurant on the water. 

It wasn’t anything fancy.  In fact, if you were to drive by, you might pass it up thinking it was a condemed building on the bay.  But, damn if it didn’t have some of the best seafood ever.  And while the business prided itself on being local, the tourists eventually figured out the gig and this little place burst at the seams every night.

And for that entire year I was homesick and felt a little…misplaced.  Tony and I loved living in Florida for certain reasons, but there were others that made it frustrating (helllooooo tourists). 

To make my long, drawn-out story shorter, I dug out my camcorder the other day that had footage of the last Sunday Tony and I worked.  Sundays were special because it was our “family” day down at the restaurant.  Cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, kids – we all worked that day together.  So at the end of this last shift we all went running off the end of the dock in our work clothes.  And the video is priceless.

It made me realize how nostalgic I am about that time in my life now that I can remove myself from it and look back.  I remember the frustration of living in a tourist town and feeling like I wasn’t sure where my life was headed.  And in the end, we ended up moving back to Wisconsin because, well…sometmes you can’t beat home.  But I also remember the camraderie we had at that little local place and the pride we took in the area.  I still talk about crabtraps and different types of saltwater fish like I have at least some idea of what I’m talking about.  Which is pretty cool, I think.

I remember having sing-a-longs at night when the last customer would finally leave and we could turn up the radio and have a dance party as we washed dishes and picked at the leftover hushpuppies and stuffed shrimp. 

And while, at the time, I felt annoyed at myself for leaving a fulltime job in an office setting to work at a little restaurant on the docks, I realize now how important that was for me.  How important it was for me to let myself live for a year without any immediate career path or lofty goals.  It was exactly what I needed for the moment.  That ability to clean up the docks at the end of the night, joking with the other employees, and inhaling that distinct salt water smell.  The biggest worry I had was if a partner in crime and I would get caught feeding the fish potato chips to hear the little crunches as they’d scramble to the water surface.  And if that’s the biggest worry I had at the time, I think it was a pretty successful year.

Wow, so I reread my last post and realized what a total brat I’ve become.

I had the moxy to actually complain that I have to work a full time job and be all “woe-is-me” when there are so many others out there who can’t find a job or are worried about the one they have.

I need to stop this pessimism train from continuing to roll down this negative track.  If you know me, you probably know I’m not terribly pessimistic in real life, but it’s easy to get carried away after a long day of work and an empty blog post box staring back at me.  So here’s my new mantra:  I am thankful for having a job…2 at that.  I’m also thankful for having 2 great bosses and many great coworkers.  And for a paycheck at the end of the week. 

And for shoes.

I had to sneak that in there.

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