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The Snow Cone Truck

Today, I woke up at 6:30am, went on a long walk with the dog, cleaned the kitchen, and went to the gym. Then (with much encouragement from my boyfriend), I mowed the lawn. All this sounds pretty good, right?  Like maybe, today was a really good “adulting “day!

Just when you start to think I may finally be an adult at the ripe age of 27, I stop the lawn mower mid-cutting because I see a snow cone truck coming down my street!  Did you know that was a thing? Snow cone trucks must be the new ice cream truck! Growing up, I lived in too remote of a neighborhood for the ice cream truck to come down my street, so this was a REALLY BIG DEAL. My inner kid alarm was going off the charts.

I raced into the house to notify my boyfriend (who is a few years older than I am). He injured his ankle earlier this week, so by the time he hobbled out the door, the snow cone truck was already at the end of our block. We decided we really wanted it, so he gave me his credit card, and I ran after the truck.  I just want you to take a moment to picture this – a 27 year old, supposedly grown adult, is running after a snow cone truck. And my neighbors were definitely in their front yards to witness it. 🙂 By the time I flag down the truck, three little kids join me, and a few more are on their way. In a weird way, it made be ultra-aware of my “adultiness”.  Are adults allowed to have snow cones??

When I returned back to my boyfriend, we had a good laugh that I chased the truck and was surrounded by little kids. Then, he reminded me that the entire line was full of little kids, including me! 😉 And inner kid Kimmy was very happy.

After my snow cone, I spent the next couple hours finishing the lawn, and I am EXHAUSTED. I forget that mowing is essentially working out – I think I’m going to skip the gym tomorrow to rest!

Mowing the lawn was not as big of a success as other parts of the day were. I did get it done (in record slow time). At one point, I decided to take out some frustration on a plant that had decided to grow in the middle of the grass.  We had some mulched area nearby, but this little guy decided to grow up in the grass anyways. A responsible adult probably would have shifted around the plant, but I said to hell with it and mowed right over it! This is actually pretty hilarious because I found out later that I had mowed right over a tulip plant!! It was in my way, and I mowed it down!! I’m a weird combination of slightly ashamed and sort of super impressed with myself about this…

The remnants of the tulip plant
The remnants of the tulip plant

I apologize for the birds eye and zoomed-in view. I took this after I finished mowing. I was so exhausted, I didn’t want to climb back down to the backyard, so I took it from the deck.

I also spotted a pretty blue robin egg while mowing. I took this photo while it was intact. When I returned later, the egg had been broken into and eaten! I guess that’s the circle of life.  Poor little guy didn’t stand a chance.

The coloring is so beautiful!!
The coloring is so beautiful!!

So, after quite a long 3 month hiatus, today had so many fun and funny things about it, that I felt compelled to write! 🙂  It’s nice being back! I stopped writing because I wasn’t really finding a theme or way to attract people to the site. And I was a little concerned with this being on the great wide web for eternity. I don’t think I’ll pressure myself into writing all the time or make this into a sophisticated brand (at least not at this time), but I will continue writing when the nerve strikes.  So, thank you for reading, and I hope you got a little enjoyment at the continued battle of adult Kimmy versus kid/lazy Kimmy 🙂

Whole30 Wrap-Up

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3
Novel Attitude: I made it 30 days clean eating! 🙂 Now, can I do it again? To be determined…

I am behind in blogging, but I promise I have a good reason! 🙂 My boyfriend and I moved into a beautiful house together, so we have been busy packing, moving, and unpacking the past few weeks. We have my entire apartment to go, and then we will be all moved in by next weekend!

Our new house! This picture shows the open living and dining room layout feeding into the kitchen and front foray. We love the openness and the hardwood floors!
Our new house! This picture shows the open living and dining room layout feeding into the kitchen and front foray. We love the openness and the hardwood floors!

I’ve been meaning to write a wrap-up for my Whole30 Take 4. I’m only about five days late in posting this, so it is still fresh enough in my mind. Overall, I probably lost about 4-5 pounds the past 30 days. I have mixed reviews about this trial. While cutting dairy, alcohol, and carbs may help me drop weight quickly, I actually experienced pretty big losses in energy. 🙁 This is actually good to know and still shows that Whole30 was fruitful (pun intended).

Whole30 is meant to be an experiment on yourself. Eat clean for 30 days straight and slowly reintroduce food groups back into your diet to understand how your body reacts. I always struggle with the reintroduction (I’ve eaten pizza, chocolate cake, pasta, and chicken bacon wraps since Wednesday). However, I had some realizations during the process. I either did not manage my caloric intake well throughout the day, or I lacked energy due to not eating carbs. I think it’s a combination of both. Fruit and veggies were the most carb-dense food I ate, and I upped my fruit intake drastically to make up for loss of other sweeteners. I think this was a mistake. While fruit is delicious and relatively healthy, I ate it early in the morning or as a snack between long periods without meals. Fruit is not substantial enough to eat as a snack or breakfast unless you have another full meal planned within a relatively close time period. It’s a quick boost from sugar and then downhill drop. I also ended up eating A LOT of peanut butter – as a snack and as a dessert. Peanut butter coupled with apple slices was a great snack for me – the protein offset the carb high, so later in the afternoon, this was filling for me. But peanut butter as a dessert close to bedtime was just packing on unnecessary calories right before sleep. This confused my body. I think it even prevented extra weight loss because I’ve heard that your body actually loses weight while sleeping. The big thing to remember is that peanut butter is delicious but extremely fattening. It’s great in moderation, but I was bordering on four tablespoons of peanut butter at least five times a week! Keep in mind that these are the realizations from my personal experiment. What have you discovered with healthy eating tips, tricks, and realizations?

Meals

I took photos of meal preparation over the past few weeks with the intent to write about them, but I think I’ll post some photos with quick descriptions. I had various successes and experiments. I’m still trying to find the best paleo breakfast – if you have a suggestion, please let me know! Eggs, bacon and potatoes were too high in calories and too much protein, despite how much I would love to eat that combo for every single meal…

Bacon and Jalapeño Frittata

Unsuccessful flourless egg quiche. The flavor was okay, but I used way too much almond milk. It would have turned out better with a denser texture and added crunch. After checking a few other recipes, it looks like frying all ingredients on stovetop before transferring to oven may help with overall cooking process.

Quiche Makings

Quiche

Turkey Patties

I loosely based my recipe from a NYT article. In reality, my dad makes amazing bun-less Italian-seasoning hamburgers with fresh herbs and vegetables from his garden. I had a hankering for this and tried recreating. I was not quite as successful, but overall this recipe gets a huge thumbs up.

Mixed herbs and veggies

Italian Seasoned Turkey Patties

Italian Herbs Turkey Patties

Baked Chicken Wings

I’ve been trying to perfect baked chicken wings because my boyfriend and I are huge fans of Buffalo Wild Wings. Every now and then, that’s totally fine, but those are fried with a ton of sauce. These chicken wings are slightly healthier because they are baked and unbreaded. The spice rub recipe was DELICIOUS, and I used a Paprika Garlic Chicken recipe for cooking instructions. These were two HUGE thumbs up. Definitely boyfriend-approved. I believe the trick is heating up the mixture before you apply to chicken.

Chicken Wings

Chicken wing seasonings

Baked chicken wings

Whole30 – Take Four

Previous Healthy Eating Post (1/8/2016)Kimmy tries more cooking

Novel Attitude: Retrying the 30 day food experiment Whole30

I felt inspired after trying three new recipes in my last post. Not only do I want to continue cooking with a larger variety of spices and protein, I also want to cook healthy meals that are also delicious. I love food in general, both healthy and unhealthy. I’ve been enjoying the healthy meals so much, I think there is a lot of room to explore tricking myself into replacing unhealthy foods with healthy ones.

Two years ago in January 2014,  I read The Whole30 kindle book and tried this experiment on myself for the first time. I’ve written about The Whole30 in a few posts: Summer Solstice Reflections, Cooking Up a Swim, and Blazing Saddles. I am a big believer in the concept.  Essentially, for thirty days, you eat extremely “clean”, which means very low processed carbs, no dairy, no alcohol, no beans, and no sweeteners. After thirty days, slowly reintroduce the missing food groups back into your diet to understand specifically how your body responds to each food group.  For instance, do you have an upset stomach as you add dairy back in? If yes, then maybe this is a food group that you should be limiting anyways. Do you have long-lasting energy after eating beans? Great! Then, maybe this is a food group that can have a little more of a presence in your weekly diet.

When I first tried eating clean for 30 days, I had days where it was no problem at all and days where I felt so deprived, I ate everything acceptable I could under the sun because of that feeling of deprivation. Ultimately, I did end up losing about 10 pounds (which I gained, lost, and re-gained periodically over the next two years). I didn’t stay true to the philosophy of the Whole30 because on the 31st day, I ate a big bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and reverted back to not-so-great habits.

This January, I will complete the Whole30 again and chronicle the ups and downs. I started the Whole30 on Monday, January 11. This seemed like the best decision not only for me but also for the blog. I’ve mentioned the Whole30 to quite a few friends, and I know others are interested in how it works and how it goes. You may be questioning why I called this post “Whole 30 – Take Four”. On at least two other occasions, I have attempted the clean eating and broken down after a week or two. I’m happy to report that I have not given up on this fourth trial!

First Week Attitudes

All in all, I don’t really consider the Whole30 to be a “diet”. For the most part, I really don’t feel too deprived. If I’m writing completely honestly, I miss cheese even more than I miss wine! There are a few key adjustments I made to successfully incorporate this new lifestyle:

  • Prepare lunch every day or have a plan to eat a healthy lunch out
  • Bring oranges and bananas to work. I’d rather not snack, but I need to have something available when I do
  • Use almond milk for coffee and tea instead of diary milk
  • When I am feeling deprived, eat a nice, juicy steak
  • Nuts are good to have on hand as a sweet and salty snack as well. They’re no Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or chocolate bars, but they’ll give me an energy boost and a full stomach
  • Avocados are fair game always. I’ve already made such strides in portion control over the past year that I no longer feel the need to eat more than a quarter of an avocado at a time.

Toward the end of the week, I did start to notice the huge lack of sugar in my diet and felt quite hungry all day on Friday. I think this may partly be due to eating mostly chicken as the protein in each meal. This was eye-opening. I eat a lot of chicken because it’s cheap and easy to cook, but it is important to diversify for my health and my cooking education. Yesterday, at the store I bought thin-cut pork chops and salmon. I’m hoping the diversity helps me stay satisfied longer and curb my cravings.

I’ve got about 23 days left in this Whole30 journey. I’m feeling pretty confident I can maintain my commitment, especially since I’ve gone public with it! I’ll continue writing about how the process goes over the next 23 days. Only 24 more days to go until my big glass of wine…

The Tree That Killed A Prius

Do you ever think that karma gives you a second chance?  Maybe you did something a little wicked, almost had negative repercussions, and ultimately were able to learn your lesson to avoid something worse happening in the future?  It’s almost like the universe is throwing you a bone – “Hey, man, we all have those days where we’re just a little extra selfish and a little extra preoccupied.  I get it. Don’t sweat it. Don’t do it again.”

Today may have been one of those days. I had a pretty nagging earache that I finally got checked out by a doctor in the late morning.  I’m fine, and it was only a bad case of swimmers’ ear. When I returned back to work, I noticed that one of the parking spots nearest to the building became available. We do not have assigned parking, but I always feel a twinge guilty when I steal someone’s spot as they head out to lunch. Is that okay to do? I always figure if I don’t steal it, then someone else will! 🙂

About an hour later, panic spreads throughout the office. A tree has fallen in the parking lot.  How could this be?!? It wasn’t even a particularly windy day! It just so happens that this tree landed in the parking spot adjacent to where my car was parked. And of all the cars to land on, it falls onto a red Prius, the most environmentally-friendly car in the lot! There was a black mustang convertible parked right next to the Prius on the other side, so maybe the tree had poor aim? Or maybe the tree intended to give the car a great, big hug, and we simply have different interpretations of “totaled” and “hug”. Regardless, this tall pine that was just five feet too long took out a good three cars, with the Prius bearing the brunt of the force.

Luckily, nobody was near the tree when it landed, and everyone is okay. Plus, my manager who owns the Prius handled the situation well and found the irony funny.

And it got me thinking about karma! Was the force sending me a message? (Yes, I DID just throw a Star Wars reference in here, thank you very much). My car was barely even touched, and I was able to buff out the two minor scratches I could find.

Steal not your coworkers’ parking spots.

The Case of the Doughnuts

Have you ever tried to resist a doughnut all day?  How about for two consecutive work days?

It is NOT easy, especially not when said box of doughnuts sits itself right behind your cubicle, and every time you get up, you take a longing glance in its direction, maybe counting how many are still left, how many have been eaten and save you the misery of fighting that temptation, how glistening the glaze looks, how crisp the sprinkles look.  Need I go on?

This happened to me on Friday. My lovely coworker dropped off a box of doughnuts as a farewell gift, which was very, very sweet of her. The problem for me with doughnuts is that I never have just one doughnut. As my boyfriend stated, whoever thought of the idea of doughnuts for breakfast was a jackass – it’s cake for breakfast! It’s a scam!

I watched the box of doughnuts slowly decrease down to four and a half – one of my coworkers was eyeing them all day just like me, but she actually was able to control herself and only eat one bite! I was impressed. Now, I’ve tried a lot of diets (for short duration) over the years, and I do believe that you can get away with a little indulgence a few times a week. So long as it is only a little indulgence! But once I get the taste of doughnut in me, I want more, even if they are a little stale or bland. There’s a trigger that goes off which I have never figured out how to control. The only solution I’ve discovered so far is when another very sweet coworker of mine brought in molasses cookies. Everyone talked about how delicious they were all day; yet, I resisted the first day! On the second day with the leftovers, I ended up taking the very last cookie. Oh my goodness, was it delicious! However, I was smart this time because I could not eat any more cookies. I successfully timed it and forced the hand to self-control.

I think people are becoming more accepting of the fact that it’s okay to not indulge when someone bakes or brings in pastries. To tell you the truth, I don’t know a single person who actually believes that pastries are healthy (I’m sure you can make a healthy variety, but that’s not the kind that’s brought in, and even if it is, it’s still probably not super healthy). If I had better self-control, I would absolutely grab a pastry, but history has shown that I never have one pastry.

I’m also not the only one with little will power, probably not even close to the only one. I even made zombie cupcakes a while back and ended up eating three of them! To tell you the truth, I made them partly because I intended for others to eat them, so I could just think about how yummy the cupcakes are. I didn’t intend to eat any! That plan backfired.

I’m all on board for social occasions and pastries, and I appreciate that others may be able to eat fewer of them than me. I’m just going to be resisting that urge a little more from now on, and setting the example that it’s okay to indulge on some days and not indulge on most days. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you or your food (that’s probably about as far from the truth as possible!), it just means that every time I have a little success with weight loss and working out, I sabotage myself and it’s really, really difficult for me to recover from that. The only reason why “cheating” doesn’t work is because I overindulge. If you can “cheat” within a reasonable amount, more power to you!!  And let me know the secret 😉

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

I started my Thanksgiving vacation with a 14 hour road trip with my boyfriend to Ithaca, New York, which was absolutely gorgeous. Ithaca is situated on one of the Finger Lakes. The lake stretched practically from Buffalo to way past my viewpoint in Ithaca!

On a walk down by the lake, I finally learned how to skip rocks. The beach was covered in smoothed shale which was perfect for practice. The trick is a combined flick of the wrist and a quick roll off the fingers. The walk was necessary after the Thanksgiving feast from the previous evening!

View down by the lake
View down by the lake

After Ithaca, we split up our trip back to Madison with a stop in Cleveland to visit more family members. I’m happy we did because even driving only 8 hours today left me completely exhausted. It was great meeting several extended family members and lots of family dogs!

I’m keeping this post short because I’m about to grab some shut eye – there’s nothing quite like going to sleep in your own bed after time away. I also don’t want to reveal too many personal stories with new people out of respect to their privacy. I will say this – it’s a little daunting meeting members of someone special’s family, but I also really like getting to understand more and more of the family history and relationships and personalities. It’s nice adding new memories with the family, goofing off, and adjusting to personality mixes. We played Balderdash and Scattergories, which ended up being silly and fun ways to break the ice (with a lot of humor and teasing at everyone’s expense!). I even managed to cook up some scrambled eggs and broccoli and cheese casserole that turned out pretty yummy!

No matter where you are in the world, Thanksgiving represents togetherness and appreciation. These are values that we can celebrate everyday, and I look forward to the added benefit on Thanksgiving of getting everyone together and cooking up delicious food. Cheers to you and yours.

The Anytime Resolution

Over the past three weeks, I cleaned and maintained a clean apartment. It’s silly, but I haven’t thoroughly cleaned and kept my space clean for quite some time. Ask my parents – I was never the kid with a clean room growing up! Living in a big kid apartment, working a big kid job, I decided I needed to start acting more like an adult. This includes doing the dishes in a timely manner or putting my coat on a hanger instead of over a chair or on the couch. It’s a matter of respecting my space and respecting my guests.

There’s a rare feeling I have experienced since cleaning my apartment – some sort of clarity and sense of ease. I’ve heard it before and felt it seldom over the years, but cleaning out a physical space really does help provide mental clarity! This year has been a lot about taking action NOW and not waiting for the next week to start. Inevitably, there are still tasks to be checked off and tasks that will not be completed this year, but overall, I started several.

It’s interesting how the sense of priority changes. I’m a project planner, but plans change as priorities, risks, and resources change. When my apartment became too expensive to maintain in addition to a fancy gym membership, I axed the gym and committed to working out by myself in the apartment’s gym. When my job became a chore and uninteresting, I evaluated my expertise and career growth and switched positions. When I finally realized that spending several hours per week watching television did absolutely nothing to improve my lifestyle, I stopped paying for cable and never unpacked my television. Around the age of 26, you may have expected somebody to finally start gaining a little bit of wisdom as to the person that they would like to grow up to be. Well, I’ll tell you that I’m still growing up, but I’m significantly more invested in this version of myself than the version of myself I was last year.

I’m probably never going to get to everything on my to-do list, and that’s good. Once I achieve everything, what else is left? What else is motivating me to be better today and tomorrow and the day after? No, what I’m realizing is that I don’t need to finish everything today, but I cannot keep staying in this planning phase for forever. I can plan to clean tomorrow; I can promise myself that I’ll put my clothes away tomorrow; I can pretend that this will be the last brownie today, and I’ll go to the gym tomorrow. I’d much rather actually commit to doing one thing to improve myself today than planning on improving five things about myself tomorrow. The plan is important to organize and realize my goals, but I need to follow through with action TODAY. This is my realization over the past year. It’s the “anytime” resolution. Start today!

Halloween

Halloween was so much fun!  My friends and I ended up crashing a random party in an office space near State Street in Madison.  My favorite costume of the night was with a couple who are expecting their first child.  The man was dressed as golfer Tiger Woods, and the woman was dressed as a hole in one.  She wore a green felt top with a round cutout over her baby bump.  The bump was dressed up as a Titleist golf ball.  It was so darn cute!! She also had a headband with a red flag sticking out of it. It was very clever.

My boyfriend and I dressed up as Little Bunny Foo Foo and the field mouse getting scooped up and bopped on the head.  To tell you the truth, I never had heard of this nursery rhyme until a few weeks ago. Originally, I thought we would dress up as a sheriff from Walking Dead and a zombie captor, but that was going to require far more effort into zombie make-up than I wanted. The mouse and bunny ears and noses were maybe $10 total, so that was way more convenient!

A good friend of mine drove up from Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with us.  Her outfit was definitely the best one for creating cheesy pick-up lines and puns – she was a ketchup bottle.

  • Mayo I introduce you to my friend?
  • Her husband was away on business in a different country, so he couldn’t mustard up the ability to come.
  • It was great ketching up with her.
  • Please ex-squeeze me for the terrible puns!

At one point, she lost her red top hat, and my boyfriend helped her put it back on her head by “twisting” it on tightly. Then, he got yelled at for messing up her hair. It was pretty amusing 😉

I’m not posting pictures or names here for sake of my friends’ anonymity, but feel free to check me out on Instagram or Facebook for pictures. 🙂

Can you think of anymore puns? Did you have a punny costume?

Not your standard cupcakes

I love October and fall and changing colors and cooling off.  I love boots and scarves and bundling up to stay warm.  There’s something magical that begins to happen as we enter the end of the year. I always love the anticipation of good things to come.  Thursday, not Friday, is my favorite day of the week because it means the weekend is coming!

In honor of Halloween and an apparent fascination I have with zombies, I got into a cooking mood on Tuesday and made savory and sweet cupcakes.  My goal began with creating zombie cupcakes for my coworkers. It was a really cute idea and, for the first 75% of cooking, I was really into it.  At some point it got to be 10pm by the time the cupcakes cooled off enough to ice, and my goal switched from zombie faces to as much icing on every cupcake as possible! 🙂 Luckily, they still tasted good; they just looked a tad bit more like Frankenstein’s monster than zombies.

Ghoulishly good!
Ghoulishly good!

You can’t see the distinction too well, but they have little candy eyes and a black icing monster smile!

One of my coworkers pointed out my awesome icing skills, and the trick is to swirl the icing on. I bought store-made icing in a ready-to-ice bottle.  My second oldest sister taught me that when using home-made icing, you can put the icing in a sandwich bag and cut off an edge. Then, just feed the icing through the tube, and you’ll have a similar effect!  There are a ton of caps that stores offer to change the design a bit.

My major masterpiece (or at least I think so 🙂 ) for the evening was my turkey meatloaf. I had been sent a daily recipe from the gym I went to for the challenge for non-bread crumb turkey meatballs. Then, I also found a Giada de Laurentiis recipe for turkey meatloaf with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese. I decided to combine the two recipes together and bake them in cupcake foils for ready-made servings. I thought they turned out deliciously; my boyfriend was not as impressed with the “turkey” part of the meatloaf lol.

If you’re looking for a non-red meat and healthier alternative to standard meatloaf, try it out! I’m fairly certain it was pretty healthy. I used the following ingredients: lean ground turkey, sun-dried tomatoes (mine had been soaked in oil and Italian herbs), reduced-fat feta cheese, parsley, onion, garlic (I always add at least double the amount of garlic a recipe calls for, but that’s just me!), two eggs, two tbsp milk, and a ton of seasonings to taste.

First, chop up the onion, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic and toss them together in a bowl.

chopped ingredients

Then, add in the turkey, eggs, milk, and seasonings and mix ’em up!

Before adding turkey
Before adding turkey
After adding turkey, milk, and eggs
After adding turkey, milk, and eggs

I think it’s worth pointing out that I probably could have used 1.5-2 pounds of ground turkey instead of 1 pound. I love cheese a lot, but there was probably a tad too much proportionally.

At this point, you could choose to make a normal meatloaf in a pan, or try my version if you’re looking for ready-to-go servings. I scooped out my meatloaf into cupcake holders.

baking
Baking at 375 degrees for 45 minutes
Cooling off and ready to eat!
Cooling off and ready to eat!

If you have any other ideas for savory baking in cupcake sizes or healthy meatloaf recipes, please pass them along! I’d love to hear how your meatloaf cupcakes turn out! 🙂

Zombies, Escape Chambers, and Weddings

Wow. I have not done a good job of writing the past week and a half! So much has happened, too!  Quick recap of all fun things in timeline order:

  1. Zombie laser tag
  2. Escape Room
  3. Sister’s wedding!!!!
  4. Cubs win NL Wild Card. Cubs are series tied with Cards for division.

I have a slight obsession with zombies, which I am told are not real. The best laser tag I have ever done is at iCombat, which has a military bunker set-up with realistic laser guns. You even get a slight kickback. With zombie laser tag, there are five zombies in the field in addition to two opposing sides of humans. Generally in laser tag, once you find a good sniping post, you’re set for the game. However, with zombies, you have to constantly move around from your hiding spot, or else they will kill you! So, you’re being attacked on two fronts. It’s some of the best time to be had with friends. 🙂

My friends and I also tried out a new activity called Escape Chambers where we were “locked” in a room for 60 minutes. We had to find clues to both diffuse a bomb from going off and also find evidence against a drug dealer. Supposedly, only 20% of groups actually put the clues together within 60 minutes, and my team completed it in nearly record time!  There is another room, too, which I’ll hopefully either be trying out with coworkers or friends in the near future. This was super fun because you’re essentially in your own thriller or spy movie. I love these types of scenarios like escaping from rooms or laser tag which have physical sets and provide an alternate reality where I am a zombie killer or FBI agent. It’s a mental and physical challenge.

I’m going to skip to Cubs and end with my sister’s wedding. GO CUBBIES! I cannot even contain my excitement with the Cubs right now. They are a young group of guys who are willing to work and have fun doing it! I hope they’re confidence continues to grow and grow. No matter, what they’ve got an extremely proud group of fans this year.

Now, for my sister’s wedding – what a beautiful, fun-filled weekend. I was so incredibly excited because this was essentially a giant family reunion. The wedding took place in Lake Geneva, and the weather was absolutely beautiful. It was pretty warm for an autumn weekend, and the leaves were just starting to change colors. The absolute best part of the whole weekend is knowing how happy my sister and her husband make each other. It’s always exciting to witness the beginning of a lifelong commitment. I did have to give a co-maid of honor toast with my oldest sister, so I got a taste of stand-up comedy. Main takeaway is that I’ll actually need to rehearse ahead of time!  Whoops. I got a few laughs, but I sort of procrastinated on writing and revising the speech. We even waited until right before we gave it to print out the speech. I did get a little sentimental at one point and almost started crying during the speech. Crying probably won’t be as much of a risk factor in stand-up comedy!

All in all, an excellent start to October. I’m looking forward to the changing colors.