A proper farewell to 2011

Yes, I understand that 2011 ended approximately one week ago, but things were busy, and here I am today, ready to review 2011 (per usual, I’ve tried to pick the most awkward pictures, you are welcome friends, you are welcome).

Winter

City of Lakes Loppet. My FAVORITE winter activity in Minneapolis.

February birthday celebrating. Having a February birthday is a big deal.

Trip to Florida, not complete without finger mustached pictures with Pavano and realizing you are old enough to rent a car after it is too late.

Spring

Easter is chilly in Minnesota, naturally I hosted egg dying.

During Spring RE-treat Tiffany and I spent 90% of our time wearing these shirts and directing hundreds of people where to go.

Jenna decided to marry Nathan, so I rounded up 201 and we had a Bachelorette Party.

Summer

It was all about Jenna (and Nathan).

It took some practicing but I ended up with the bouquet (sorry Kayla!)

A little government shutdown happened over the summer, I couldn't take time off, but I went to Wisconsin anyway.

I got to see my sister as a real, live adult!

There was also an impromptu trip to Rochester

And then another trip to WI to see the lovey Anna get married!

There were many Twins games, many of which the Twins neglected to show up for (let's not repeat this season anytime soon)

Fall

The fall brought apple orchards visits!

And trips to California to wear awesome costumes and see wonderful friends!November brought me a new car and a promotion (no, the car did not come WITH the promotion, I should have negotiated for that).

There was one more wedding to end 2011!

Farewell 2011, farewell.

p.s. Thanks to my awesome friends who posted a bazillion of these pictures on the internets, after the great computer crash of 2011 I had 0 pictures in my possession, so thanks for documenting my life.

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NYE: 2 months in the making

Back in October we made our New Years Eve plans.  October.  Our favorite band was playing at the Varsity and when your favorite band plays on NYE you make plans to be there.  Especially after your biggest regret of 2011: not going to their November show at First Ave.  That’s right we saw Dawes. And Caroline Smith and the Sleepers (or Goodnight Sleeps).  It was bomb.

Before the concert I threw some things together for a little dinner party.  12 people.  2011 memories.  Homemade lasagna.  An amazing cake made by Laura.

Just a little craft project I put together...

I’m not sure the topics of conversation at the grown-up table, but I heard plenty of laughter, so I can only assume that they were having a great time.  They did miss out on the North Korea Party Rock Anthem that was pulled out on youtube (you know your party is going good?  when youtube videos start…)

Some of my favorite people!

The kids table.

After dinner we went to the show, which was delightful and started off 2012 with plenty of joy!

Thanks for ringing in 2012 with me friends!

Happy 2012! SO many great memories from 2011!

Family + Fireworks = Family Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Family Christmas was highly anticipated this year and did not disappoint!

There were hats, hats and hats.  Last year one of my aunts wore a crazy hat to church and we gave her a hard time about it.  It was decided that hats should be worn this year, by everyone so my aunt being the hat collector she is, brought 10 or so along for us.

Most of the hats were pretty elaborate, my oldest cousin had an awesome baby bird hat (not pictured).

Then surprise of all surprises, SANTA CAME!

It really is Santa!

Santa used to come to Christmas when we were younger, and we were so happy to see him again!

And of course, there were fireworks.  You know…just a short 20 minute show…typical family Christmas…the best part is maybe my aunt saying, “we have to get those ones for next time.”  (We’ll also have to work on getting a bald eagle for next time and patriotic music.)

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd we’re back: Merry Christmas!

Welcome to my new computer and the laziness my blogging has taken on (I’ll write something awesome soon, when I have some great stories after Christmas).

Friday Five.

This past week has been SO busy- so Friday Five: five awesome things from the past week.

5.)  I take that back.  Not everything was awesome, but this one was hilarious.  Monday night I arrived at church for some Beth Moore study—upon my arrival I noticed the building was dark and locked.  I called a friend that worked at the church and he told me how to enter and disarm the alarm.  Seemed pretty easy…until the alarm went off, I became nearly deaf and was left with a giant raised bruise…

4.)  Black Friday shopping.  Let’s be honest, no one in my house was crazy enough to stand in lines…so we went to a thrift store in the late morning.  I was super excited to find a coat.  I paid $10 for it along with a pair of earrings.  Win? Win!

My siblings think this looks like Christmas...

3.)  Approximately 25.5 years ago my Aunt Rosie and Uncle Jon bought me a savings bond they paid $25 for.  I found it this weekend and took it to the bank and they gave me $96.50.   It pays (pun intended) to keep your savings bonds in a drawer for 25.5 years.  Thanks Rosie and Jon!

2.) Last weekend was all kinds of fun!  My friends Scott and Molly came down to Faribault with me to see my little brother in a play.  He was a GREAT mad doctor.  Then Saturday night we went to Jerry Seinfeld, even I was surprised by how much I laughed (thanks Scott!).  There was also a bridal shower and birthday coffee for Jenna’s bday thrown in too…oh and some snow.  I would call it a weekend success.

Oh and the play was all about zombies, note the blood.

1.)  Then of course Thanksgiving!  Some words to describe  family Thanksgiving: unicycles, turkey, Utilitarianism, Black Friday ads, Lady Gaga, Cranium, 60 degrees, baby!

Noah, Joy, John Paul and Co.

This past week I’ve been to not one, but TWO shows.  Were they both delightful? Yes.  Would I recommend them to a friend? Yes.  Last week was the Civil Wars with opener Milo Greene.  I really enjoyed Milo Greene.  I usually listen to obscure music, but I hadn’t even heard this fun band.  They played multiple instruments and they were promptly nicknamed “Mumford and Daughter.”   Here’s a video.   I would like them to visit Minneapolis again one day.

Almost outdone, Joy and John Paul put together a lovely show–not without some awkward dance moves by Joy Williams.

Concert #2- Noah and the Whale with some terrible opener I would like to never hear again (sorry Nikki Lane, you were not my favorite and will probably not become successful with your band).  Then we got to Noah and the Whale–and they were amazing.  They had some great harmonies and mad violin skills and wore suits and were just generally adorable and talented and if they came back to Mpls. I would be there in a heartbeat.  Thanks Beth for introducing me to Noah and co. in California!

Next concert on the horizon is Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps and Dawes on NYE, ringing in 2012 with Dawes and awesome friends–sure to be a great concert!

Someone’s sister has a birthday…!

That would be me, my sister has a birthday!  Since I couldn’t actually celebrate the big 2-4 with my sister today I decided to look over some pictures and take a little trip down memory lane (don’t worry Mir these pictures aren’t THAT embarrassing!)

Let me start by saying 24 years ago I wasn’t too excited to be getting a little sister.  My aunt may have even brought it to my mom’s attention that I was pinching my new baby sister…

There are a million pictures of us like this---more often than not we are dressed alike, I guess that's what you do when you have daughters.

When you have a sister so close in age you find that you have many of the same tendencies, or are mistaken for being the other person, especially by your parents. Amber…Miranda…NO…Amber…one of you…!

Sorry Tib, thumb sucking was my bad influence on your childhood.

Being the older sister I could usually convince Miranda to do a lot of things–roller skate in circles around the basement to the Beach Boys, wake up early to play with the kitchen set…and yes, even set up our backyard into a tiny nursery for our dolls.

circ. 1992

Many awesome things to note about the above picture: our outfits—although I wish I still had that bag…and those shoes.  Miranda’s hair–everyone loved her blond curly hair.

One day we got a little brother, we handled it the best way we could…

I'm 100% sure this was my idea, but look how much fun we are having!

Of course we shared a room that we spent many days arranging and rearranging (sorry Mom!), agreeing on bedspreads and fighting about what we would hang on the walls.

So many, many beanie babies

Now we have real jobs and apartments and lives in different states.  Tibby, remember when we said we would be SO old when Caleb graduated from high school?  Now here we are, SO old.   Happy Birthday Tibby!  You are the best sister I could ask for–love you!

Let's go on vacation again!

Bring it back: high school

I was doing a little cleaning this afternoon and I found this gem:

Actually this was my junior year picture and our colors weren't even red...

Yes, that’s right–it’s not my college ID it’s my high school ID from senior year.  Who knows why I was keeping it but maybe I will use it when I go to the play that my little brother is in this week.  I’m sure the student activity fee waiver still applies—speaking of which, my little brother is a senior in high school.  That’s crazy.  I was home this weekend looking over his schedule,  just a little FYI to all you Faribault alums out there: they now have homeroom.  Remember when there was such a big deal about homerooms changing to Primetime…blah…blah…now HR is back…oh how the times have changed.  This week I’ll be headed back to FHS to catch this play and see if they have decided to put my picture up on the wall or name something after me.

One other awesome thing I found while cleaning–a letter I had written to my future self senior year of high school.  It said, “hopefully you have a job working in government.”  I guess my high school self could tell the future.

p.s. On a different note I’m LOVING the new car.  The thing I love most that I didn’t realize I would love: heated seats.

How to be an adult: buy a car.

I just bought a car.  I just BOUGHT a car!  I JUST BOUGHT A CAR!!!!!  My 2007 Ford Focus would like to say hello to you:

Welcome to my life new car, welcome.

My roommate asked if I bought it on a whim…one might say whim only because I went to the dealership yesterday, asked to see their Ford Focuses, drove it and then boom I was putting it on hold and asking my dad if he could come see it (because adults still need their dad’s help, especially with cars).  To be fair, I have been looking for a car for about two months and wanted to get one before the first snowfall so this wasn’t a complete whim…although I could even tell that the salesman knew he didn’t have to work too hard to convince me to buy it…

After signing my name to 10958 billion papers I am now a newer 100% non-loan paying car owner.  I will miss my old car (actually I probably won’t) but I’ve been driving it for nine years, yep NINE years, so it’s time to move on.

See you later Geo, thank you for your hundreds of thousands of miles...sorry I drove you into a house...twice...

p.s. While waiting at the dealership we saw a woman with two tiny dogs wearing pink parkas, pink bows and sitting on a pink blanket.  It was phenomenal.

Hello random…welcome to my Wednesday.

Welcome to “Random Wednesday,” where I will proceed to throw all my random thoughts in one post, ex. I am typing this with one hand under my knee…this makes you probably want to keep reading…

  • First of all: I got a promotion!  Promotion in the Office means you get to do the work you have been doing plus a bunch of other things that still relate to your old position.  I also get to put something fancy like “executive” or “director” in my title.  I will give you a new business card when I see you next.  Get excited.
  • Spotify has revolutionized my life.  I have NO idea why I was holding out for so long.
  • I have made it my new life mission to teach people how to properly merge in Minnesota.  Why do we have to STOP our cars when we enter the freeway when there is SO much room to properly merge.  If you drive on 35W or 94, I’ve probably made you mad.  I’m just trying to help you learn.  You are welcome.
  • It recently became apparent that I have not met everyone in IT that has moved over to our building while I was on vacation.  As a result of an email I sent out yesterday I had to awkwardly introduce myself in front of many co-workers to one of the IT staff who has been in our office for two weeks (and who I had not previously met), there were phrases thrown out like, “Is this happening? Are you really just meeting now?” and “Amber is shy.”
  • Fun Family Christmas  (FFC) preparations are underway…!  As I started a trend of ugly sweaters (I had two for last Christmas) I feel I must really step it up for this Christmas.  Therefore, ugly Christmas sweater shopping is probably going to start this weekend.  I’ve also already decided on the AWESOME gift that I will be bringing.  I also need to find a hat…anyone who is up for Christmas-related thrifting let me know.  Once again FFC will include fireworks.  Actually, I think it is a requirement that ALL our family functions require fireworks…
  • Noah and the Whales will be in town Monday night.  If you love them too you should tell me and we should get tickets. You can also pretend you love them and go with me.  I will accept that.
  • I’m going to the Civil Wars tonight…I’M GOING TO THE CIVIL WARS TONIGHT!!!  (I wish I was that excited about my Civil War related meeting tomorrow night.)

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