Wednesday, September 29, 2010

At a loss for words

I'm angry.  Angrier than I've been in a long time.  Angry at someone I barely know.  Angry because something I care tremendously about is being threatened.  I don't want things to change.  I like things the way they are.  I don't want people to think that I said things that I didn't, that I feel ways that I don't.  I don't want for someone to tiptoe around me and my feelings.  But it's not something that would be wise to vent about on a public space.  Therefore, I'm just going to post this link and be done with it.  Plus, I need to get to work.

On a more serious note...
It is possible, gosh damn it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Founding Famothers

This post goes out to the people who made me who I am...this is my top 5 most influential people thus far.

1.  The God-man
Jesus Christ.  He's my creator, best friend, and reason for living.  He's gotten me through some incredibly tough times, and never turned away.  Things I've learned from Him:
-I am lovable!  And loved!  Beloved even...
-How to live a righteous life
-What real relationship looks like
-That there is grace and forgiveness for mess ups and sin (yep, I used that word in 2010)
-That life is good (but eternal life is better!)
-That there is NOTHING better than knowing and walking with Him

2. The birth-er
My mother that is.  She's the best.  One of the sweetest women ever.  I hope how much I adore my mother has come through loud and clear in these blogs.  Otherwise I might want to consider a different vehicle for communication...
Things I've learned from her:
-Follow your heart and your life's passion
-People do change/grow/learn/develop
-I am loved
-How to take care of others (she's a pro)
-The value of counseling
-If at first you don't succeed...keep trying!
-Enjoy the simple pleasures of life...she taught me to LOVE nature!

3. The matriarch
My Grandma.  I love my grandma.  She is the sh*t.  (sorry Grandma, I had to).  She is hands down one of the coolest people I have ever known.  She loved her husband faithfully her whole life.  She raised 3 strong willed boys.  She was valedictorian of her college class (right?).  She's hilarious.  She's my hero (all of these people are), and my namesake.
Things I've learned from her:
-I am loved
-You can have your cake and eat it is possible to live an incredibly good life...and have a lot of fun doing it!
-You can be married to one person for more than 50 years...that's crazy!
-Always do the right thing
-Go to church every Sunday
-Dwell on the good things in life
-Be wise with your're going to need it to retire!
-Keep up with what is going on in the world
-Play golf (Gramma, did you know that I played this last Tuesday?  It was SO FUN!)
-Be a good cook
-Be loyal
-Take one for the team
I don't know if we've ever had a conversation about any of those things...but she has taught me them through her example.  If I can be half as good of a person as she is, I will live a good life.

4. The Sheriff
This is our affectionate name for Aaron Schafer, my Organizational Leader, Associate Sales Leader, District Manager, and friend with The Southwestern company.  I moved to the tundra of Michigan in January to help him recruit MSU students to sell books door to door...and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  When people ask me what the best thing I got out of my time as a recruiter, one of the first things I say is the chance to work with Aaron.  He is also a lifetime hero.
What I learned from him:
-I am loved
-I am capable than far more than I give myself credit for
-I am a dynamic, cool, girl
-People like me for more than 20 minutes
-If you treat people right, it is amazing what you can do and help them do
-How to be a good friend
-How to be a good spouse
-How to be a good dad (and not just to his about 25+ college kids!)
-How to have a good attitude even when I really, really, really don't feel like it
-It's better to give people the benefit of the doubt and cut them slack then to alienate them
-Always have others' best at heart

The Outlier:
Nate Wiebracht.  I'm sure it will come as a complete shock to everyone, Nate especially that he is in this list.  But if I think about the best decision I ever made that got me to where I am today, it would be to sell books.  And Nate was one of the biggest influencers in that decision (unbenounced to him, I thought he was completely amazing when I first met him, and figured if this crazy summer job could make me more like THAT, then I was in).  More than that, however he taught me how to be successful selling books.
-Work hard
-Study hard
-Be coachable
-Don't whine
-Live what you believe without making excuses
Unlike everyone else on that list, Nate and I don't keep up.  Due to personality differences, we never got along.  But at the end of the day, his character, leadership and example changed the course of my life in a way that only Christ himself could have had a hand in.  Thanks Nate.

But most of all, thank you Lord for these and so many other people you have put into my life whose decisions and love for You have influenced me permanently.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet the key players

Yesterday was another fabulous day...although it's tough to compete with one of the best days of my life.  My mom and I woke up early and went to church, then headed, with my roommate Ruthie to Lou Malnati's with Daniel and Matt.  Four favorites in one place: FLHTF (Favorite Lifetime Human Thus Far--my mom, of course), Favorite Roommate Ever (she's great!), favorite boy (currently), and favorite bonus friend.  What more could I want out of a lunch.  That being said I figured it was only fair to introduce you all to some of the key players in my life right now...

First of all, my first love:
The most beautiful woman in the world: My mother
Christmas 2006

Graduation 2005

My mom is the sweetest woman, she loves to make others happy.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She has not had an easy road, but everything she has been through has brought her to where she is: doing her life's passion and ministering to women.

And of course, my little sister, who I love dearly:

Another fave:
 At the Adler Planetarium:

Haha, she loves this represents the years of abuse she went through as my little sister...she always had to be the guy when we dressed up...but isn't she the cutest little man you've ever seen in your life?

Pretty cute, huh?  This was taken in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Yugoslavia. Marguerite: age 4, Me: probably age 6, dad: my age + 30 years...minus 3 days =)

My Gramma Evelyn Weibel (and Grampa and fam):

This was taken about 5 years ago before my Grampa passed away (about 2 years ago).  He had Parkinsons disease.  I miss him.  My Grandma is there, holding his hand.  My Gramma is one of my heroes of my life.  I was named after her (my full name is Evelyn), and I couldn't be more proud of that fact.  Behind her is my Uncle Chuck (who I adore), his wife Laurie and their kids Chad and Aubrey who are currently students at Rutgers where my Uncle teaches.

Then Ruth Bell Mejias: the Roomie.

This is currently the only picture I have of of the two of us.  It was at Halloween last year.  She's a witch, and I am Eeeeva, from Wal-E.

Ruth is probably the best roommate I have ever had.  She is very intelligent and reads a TON--therefore can talk about just about anything and gives great advice.  She is very considerate, and although she is not by nature a clean person, she has been very clean...for me.  I love her to pieces, and I miss her when I'm out of town!  And did I mention she cooks for me?  She's quite the catch.

My friend Sonya:

 Holloween 2009--she's Frida Kahlo--no the eyebrows aren't all naturelle =)

Holloween 2003

Sonya is one of the main reasons I moved to live with her for a few short months before she got married.  She is fun, smart, beautiful, and an all around good friend.  She helps run Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO, which I will blog about more later.  We've been friends since my sophomore and her freshman year of college.  We met through my boyfriend at the time, and then later in the ice bath in the physical training center since we both had running injuries.  We quickly became good friends.  Although we've certainly had our bumps along the way (probably more than most), if I only have a couple friends like Sonya in my lifetime, I will consider myself to have had a good life.  We've certainly had our fare share of ups and downs (probably more than most) but I love her dearly.  She is fun, gorgeous, but most importantly has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met.  

Other loves:  My small group

Blair's Bangin' Brigade:  From left to right--Kari Jennings, Alexis Wheeler, Jenny Tseng, Elise Linden, Tami Hardoby, Blair Bradburry, Stefanie Curry, me, and Anna Nystrom.

 Blair's goodbye party 2010

Christmas party 2009...yes there is a reason for the sunglasses that I won't go into here...another post maybe.

These girls are some of my very closest friends.  Elise and I have been friends since we were 18.  She introduced me to the rest of the group, and it has been true love ever since =)  

Here she is:

This picture was taken at a birthday scavenger hunt.  The challenge was to stand behind a cash register in a downtown store, drink a slushy, eat Garrett's popcorn, and wear the birthday hat...mission accomplished!

And last but not least, my current favorite (purely platonic) boy, Daniel Wiebracht, who I talked about in the last post:

And in case you're still wondering, no there is nothing going on between the two of us.  We are in fact just friends.

There are many other key players in my life that make my life rich, full, and wonderful.  I'm sure you'll get to meet them all in time.  But those are some highlights for now!  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The perfect day

Today was far to amazing to summarize in one or two lines on facebook.  Therefore, I'm starting this blog.  I've never wanted to have a blog before...but it all came together today, and so here I am, publishing details of my life that may or may be ever read or noticed by anyone else.  But for what they are worth, here they are.

I woke up this morning at 1:30 am, hoping that it was at least 6.  I got up, got a drink of water, looked at the time.  Dang.  Not even close.  I went back to bed, where I was greeted by the most beautiful woman I know (my mother, who came in last night for the weekend).  She asked me what time it was and I told her.  "Oh good.  It's worth waking up just to know you have a few hours more to sleep."  "But this is so boring!"  I told her.  The truth is, I just wanted it to be today already.

6 am rolled around.  I forced myself to stay in bed for another hour (we had originally agreed on getting up at 8) purely because my body is starting to tell me that 5 hours of sleep a night is not acceptable.  Finally I got up at 7, just as excited as when I had gone to bed.

The big occasion is that my mom, who I haven't spent a whole day with in over a year, is here, in Chicago, and I finally have enough time and money to treat her like the princess that she is.  You see, I've been working around the clock the last year and a half, just trying to establish myself in a straight commission sales job.  The second complication is that my wonderful mother found the love of her life 16 years ago--which is great--other than the fact that we've never gotten along very well.  So I rarely go home.  My mother and I have as good of a relationship as two people can have over the phone.  But this weekend, we are going to have it in person.

I finally secure 2 functional bikes, print off confirmations, get us both fed and out the door by 9 am.  We head towards the lake for our first stop of the day--a architecture canal boat tour.  I've been wanting to take this tour for over 6 months and finally have a really good excuse to do it.  I am not disappointed, to my amazement (sometimes when something has that much buildup, it can fall flat.)  The tour was totally entertaining, BEAUTIFUL, and very informative (Did you know there is a building in Chicago that looks like a drinking flask?  Or that the famous Mrs. O'Leary and her cow that started the great Chicago fire was made up by the press?  How about that an ordinance was passed that you could buy the air space above the train line--which is why most of the train lines are underground).  Personal highlights included: I took a picture of a couple kyakers, and when I yelled at them to smile, they stopped paddling and waved.  I got a picture with the tour guide at the end (he was really hot).  Coffee with Baileys--yep, at 11am.  Snuggling with my momma, because it was FREEZING.

After this we biked our way to my friend Danny's place (he actually prefers to be called Daniel, but whatever.)  His new roommate (who sleeps in the living room on their couch and will continue to do so) Matt is there, and that is really exciting.  We decide that Matt is a bonus friend.  I'm getting 2 really awesome friends out of one apartment, and that's exciting.  Not to mention that Matt is probably the coolest bonus friend ever.  He's in advertising, and he epitomized the creative, quirky, genius of what I would picture someone in advertising to have.  Matt could be a character in a movie.  In fact, he'll probably produce a movie one day.  For now, he works on commercials.  He is the one who first encouraged me to start a blog today.  This will never hold a candle to the genius I read on his, but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing...if only for my own therapeutic benefit.

We hang out for 35 minutes longer than I told my mom we would.  That always happens in that apartment. Matt and I actually just met a couple months ago, and this is only our 3rd time hanging out.  We talked about hanging out more.   That was a month ago.  So while I re-establish this instant friendship that we seem to be able to kindle at a moments notice, Danny talks to my mom.  I comment to Matt that Daniel is probably the perfect guy to introduce to a mom.  Anyone's mom really.  I say that if I was less honest I would tell my mom that we were dating...she would like that.  Danny is one of the most honest, hardworking, caring, fun people I know.  He's my favorite boy...right now, anyway.

After leaving Danny's apartment, we head over to high tea at the Drake hotel.  We had the option of sitting by the fountain or the harpist--and actually were able to do both.  I got to meet the harpist in the bathroom, and complemented her on her dress (is that an insult that it wasn't on her music?  not sure...)  $30 for some sandwich bites, scones, unlimited tea and deserts...the $, I found out, went to the $10,000 flower arrangement in the middle of the room.  It was pretty...I mean, once I noticed it, that is.  All sarcasm aside, I'm glad I went--it's fun to be treated like royalty now and again!

Personal highlights of the grand tea: I gave my tip for the harpist to a couple elementary school girls because I figure tips mean more coming from kids and they would be excited to go up there and give it to her...both theories seem to be true.  I met the woman at the table next to us, who was sitting perfectly serenely, by herself, journaling.  I asked her if she was a writer, and she is--she has published a curriculum for school children on being peaceful.  I tell her that it's amazing how busy I can keep, even while having tea...checking my cell phone, making sure I knew how to get to our next destination, saying hi to a friend who happened to be there, etc.  I admire her state of tranquility.  I ask if she has a card or a blog, and she doesn't.  We both agree that we should start blogging.  She was my second inspiration for this blog.  Her name was Pam.  We exchanged e-mails.  Pam, I hope this blog helps further inspire you to start your own.  I'm sure it will far outshine this rambling experiment =)

My mother and I decide that we are both too tired and too full to go to the history museum or go for deep dish pizza.  We are going to bike back home and go by the Merchandise Mart (which I have never been in, but learned has it's own zip code from the architecture tour: 60654), Millennium Park, and Northerly Island.  I find out why I've never been to Merchandise Mart (super cool, but for people who are in the interior decorating business, I think).  Then we ventured over to Millennium park and took some signature pictures in the bean (which unfortunately are the only pictures that survived from the weekend...tragic accident where no people were injured, but the pictures didn't make it survive...)

I call these, Momma and the bean:

The biggest surprise of the day, however was first of all finding out that Chicago's Gourmet Festival was going on, secondly that it cost $150, and thirdly, winning a free ticket.  How I won the ticket is another story for another day.  Sauvingnon blanc (my absolute favorite) from New Zealand (I had it on a wine tasting tour while I was there a couple years ago); Scotch with orange, lime, and a blackberry; a cracker with salmon and cream cheese chive sauce; grilled watermelon with crab meat, apple and granola; chocolate and lemon Haagen-Dazs ice cream were some definite highlights.  Personal highlights were 2 guys asking to have what I ordered after I enthusiastically thrust my glass towards the festival worker for a taste of Sauvingnon Blanc, getting teased by a bunch of people for triple fisting (I was taking it out to my mom, I swear), and then hanging out with my mom by the gate as she was consuming the goods I brought for her.

After this excursion we made our way down to Northerly Island, only to turn around as soon as we got there (mom was getting pretty tired at this point).  We took the bus back (I never take the bus.  Ever.)  We figured out how to put the bikes on the bike rack on front of the bus (what a great city I live in!)  I got so much exercise today (probably went 10 miles) and loved every minute of it.  My new resolution?  I'm not going to drive anywhere that I can bike or take the CTA.  After all, one person can eliminate 4,600 pounds of emission waste in a year by using public transit.  And I'm sure I quadruple that (I've put 50,000 miles on my car in the last year and half).  I have to drive for work.  In my personal life, however, I'm going green (and buff!)

We finally made our way home, my mom took a bath, and I bs'd with my roommate about the day, and the horrible street evangelists that gave me the food festival ticket ( to publically admit that I'm not a good person), then took a bath of my own.  It was devine.  Now I'm recapping all of this to my computer screen...and to you...hope you got something out of it!