Monday, June 30, 2008

See you in 5 weeks

Quick update: I leave tomorrow for my study abroad trip in Europe.

I will be adventuring across Scotland, England, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Italy for five weeks. And fyi: I'll be in Paris for my 20th birthday. Darn.

So, hopefully I will return a changed woman. If not, I will at least return with the Italian man Brooke asked me for.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a beautiful day

YESTERDAY WAS BEAUTIFUL! 80 degrees of perfection with clear blue skies and a cool breeze. So I took advantage of this abnormal for St. Louis summer day with the following agenda:

  1. Laying outside reading (it was a business book for one of my online classes, but the weather made up for the slow read).
  2. Lunch at St. Louis Bread Co. The chicken strawberry poppy seed something or other summer salad provided a fitting taste to the perfect weather.
  3. An afternoon at the pool. I balanced my hours with a mix of reading and people watching. Quite entertaining.
  4. A delicious dinner of grilled chicken, corn on the cob, asparagus and rice. A typical summer meal.
  5. To work it off, my mom and I went to Castlewood Park, a top ten favorite of mine, and hiked the three mile trail. The matching couple a couple yards in front of us and the gay couple trailing us added a little humor to the climb.
  6. When we got home, my little sister had a sleep-over party planned out for my brother and me. The ceremonies began traditionally with a ribbon cutting at the bottom of the stairs. Next came the game of "Guess Who" some would recognize from The Office where a note card is put on your forehead and everyone gives you hints to help you guess who you are (I was Johnny Depp, then Paula Abdul, then Elmo). Then came "Name that Star" where Mitch and I competed to name the celebrity under the paper first (I won). Last was "Murder" where each of us drew a paper out of a bag telling us either "murderer" or "sorry". It continues with the murderer killing people with his or her winks. With three people, the murderer (me) didn't get away with much. After our intense games we were starving, of course, so Abby moved us on to the snack table loaded with each of our favorites plus some odd additions: dove dark chocolate, Reese's pieces, jolly ranchers, nerds, craisins, chocolate chips, cookies and lemonade. It was a random assortment of our pantry spread out elegantly on doilies. Following snacks we played a little ping-pong, and then ended the evening with the movie Be Kind Rewind to which we all fell asleep to (because it was late, not boring). Abby is a talented party planner/thrower.

I love summer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th

Don't tell the Cardinals, but I think I'm bad luck. The first game I went to this summer we lost 13-2. Tonight against the Phillie's we lost 20-2. Ouch. It would be different if that were normal, but it's not. Good thing we only paid 10 dollars for those seats.

The best part about the night was the sky.

And pregame warm ups.

And Mitch sitting all by himself.
We went with everyone from Mitch's baseball team. They are all too cute and amazing little baseball players. I got my nachos supreme and even had a few sips of Abby's chocolate shake so I can't complain. Baseball games are always fun no matter who wins.
(I sound like an official loser now)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cupcake Nation

It seems that fairly recently America has developed an obsession with cupcakes. Am I right? They're everywhere. St. Louis has followed suit, so today me, my mom, Abby and Mitch all went downtown to try this specialty cupcake place that every one's crazy about.

I find humor in the name "cupcake bar." If you don't drink alcohol, don't worry, there's still a bar for you. I have a feeling Jilly may be LDS.

My mom chose "Velvet Praline." She seemed happy with her decision. I think the cream cheese frosting was the icing on the cake for her (haha, I love witticism).

Now, before you think I'm a bad sister for posting this picture, I want to inform you that this is exactly how he opted to have his picture taken. Mitch chose "Chocolate Thunder." With it's dark chocolate filling, it was by far the best decision of the batch. Luckily he shared. What a good little brother.

This lonely little cupcake represents Abby since she refused to have her picture taken because, "it's just a cupcake." She chose some pink, frilly one called "Missy Licious." Judging by the name, it sounds like Miss Abby and this cupcake have a lot in common. I didn't try it, but the butter cream frosting was all the rage.

After you stop laughing because my head is twelve times larger than my body in this picture, you can know that I chose "The Bee Sting." It was vanilla and lemon. Very tasty.

I will admit that I enjoyed the "cupcake bar," though I'm not quite sure I understand the cupcake fad yet. But why not? Cupcakes are fun and yummy, so go ahead and charge five dollars each. Just give it a cute name and it'll be worth it.

If you would like to learn more or perhaps visit Jilly's you can go here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

That which we call a rose

My sister had her big dance recital this past weekend. Unfortunately, she got sick and couldn't perform in her duet, something she's worked hard for all year. Good tip for the future: flowers are a simple remedy for bummed out little girls.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's good to be home

I've been home over a month now; however, every one knows that "home" consists of people, places, memories, feelings, etc. rather than an actual house, correct?

Recent "home" officiators:

1. The park swings: Almost every amazing conversation I've had with CJ Lotz, high school best friend and copy editor, has occurred while swinging at night on park swings. Different park, different swings, same CJ. Highly needed.

2. Shakespeare in the Park: Every summer at Forest Park in downtown St. Louis there is a free production of a Shakespeare play near the art museum. This year was Richard III. I went with some friends I haven't seen in years. Perfect weather, fun people, okay play. Best part, "Magic Jon" before the play. I'm still trying to figure out his invisible card trick.

3. Cardz game: The only way you can truly officially be back in St. Louis again is at a Cardinals game. We lost 13-2 and got dumped on by 10 trillion gallons of rain, but my best friend/best man, Brook Boyer, and her family were there so it was a perfect night.

4. Barney's BBQ: My first job and the only BBQ worth eating. It's literally a little hut on the side of the road that you can smell for miles. They have the best BBQ on this planet. Don't listen to anyone from Tennessee regarding the matter, they don't know anything. I recommend the ribs first, followed by the famous home-made pumpkin cake.

Yet to be completed:

1. Castlewood Park: The greatest place on earth.

2. Driving the back roads with the Jeep top down: This is only successful when done with the right person. (Although gas is now $3.88 so there might be a little less adventures on wheels this summer)

3. The lake: The only proven cure for St. Louis humidity.

Of course there are other minor, but still important, things like burgers on the grill, Mitch's baseball games, St. Louis Bread Co (the original Panera), teaching primary, late movie nights with the siblings, familiar faces in unexpected places, walking my dog, spring thunderstorms, etc. I think it's healthy I'm only here a few months out of the year. That way I learn to appreciate my roots. Some things, usually the best things, are only found at home.