Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry christmas

Like a lot of families, it's been a long week of Christmas festivities for us ... we started celebrating last Wednesday when we got together at my mom's house, and our events will conclude tomorrow night after we will celebrate with Ben's family.

We were extremely lucky this year that we didn't have to travel more than 45 miles. My brother and his family came to Central IL from Pennsylvania, and Ben's sister is trying to fly in from Denver (the only unlucky one to be caught in bad weather). Our extended "family" - Lynn and Jeff - made the trip successfully from Phoenix too.

It's been great seeing everyone and spending time together, and I am not looking forward to work tomorrow. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

winter wonderland

We woke up Sat. morning and it was snowing.
We went to bed Sat. night and it was STILL snowing.
We got about six inches of snow throughout the day, and our street looked like a picture-perfect postcard.

Hope everyone had a safe, snowy weekend.

And to those who live in warmer climates: you know you're jealous!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the big apple

I spent a whirlwind weekend in NYC and had a blast! It's hard to beat touring Manhattan during the holidays. Here are a few highlights:
  • Walking through Chelsea and Greenwich Village, including a tour of Chelsea Market, waiting in a really long line at Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes (I won't even stand in line for Garrett's karmelcorn, but hey, when in NYC...) and eating at this cozy Italian restaurant, Piccolo Angolo, based on the referral of a super nice local
  • Window displays at Lord & Taylor
  • Herald Square - seems so tiny in person
  • Walking through Bryant Park and shopping at all the pop-up retail stores
  • Hanging at the Today Show and taking the 30 Rock tour - it was fun to see the studios for the nightly news, SNL and Conan
And the definite number one highlight of the weekend was seeing Cyrano de Bergerac starring Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner. They were amazing. Kevin Kline is such a talent to see in person, and Jennifer Garner totally charmed the audience and displayed great comic timing. We lingered at the stage door afterward and Melissa George (Jen's co-star from Alias) exited followed by Jennifer herself a few minutes later. She signed autographs and chatted with everyone despite the rain beginning to fall. We exchanged a few words as she signed my playbill - I'm still in shock it happened.

What a weekend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

small town perks

I've been making numerous trips to Chicago lately and the extremely boring 120 mile trek gives me plenty of time to think about the pros and cons of living in a small town.

Here are my top pros:

1. There is virtually NO traffic. Rush hour is from 5-5:15pm instead of 4-7pm. You can get anywhere in town in about 15 minutes.

2. Nearly every business has a drive-thru window. I can run errands without getting out of the car (hey, this comes in handy in the sub-zero temps). I enjoy my coffee while I hit the bank, dry cleaners, and the pharmacy from the comfort of T-Bone (yes, our car has a name).

3. You can actually find items in stock at Target. It's heaven.

4. Parking is EASY and FREE! Seriously!

5. And last but not least, the cost of living in a small town is a fraction, a tiny fraction, of the cost of a big city.

All that being said, there are some definite cons too...I'll address those next.