Monday, April 27, 2009

Return from Chitown

Had a great time in Chicago. Friday when we arrived we headed over to our family friends house and had a nice chat with them. Before long we were headed to the airport to pick up Bert and head downtown. On our way to the restaurant, a massive herd of Bikers (bicylces of all kind) were riding down Randolph celebrating "Happy Friday." Apparently, on the last Friday of the month, Chicagoans get on their bikes and ride down Randolph to support Earth Friendly Transportation. It was a site to see. We ate at a fun little restaurant on the corner of Randolph across from the Cadillac Theatre, where the show was. Soon came Mary Poppins time! :) It was one of THE greatest shows I've ever seen. I LOVED every minute of it. It's been one of my favorite movies since I was a little girl and seeing it on stage... oh the MAGIC of Disney!!!
Saturday we went to watch our friend Jon's tennis match and after that we made our way over to my brother Jon's apartment. We picked him and Krista up and we all went downtown for lunch. We walked around a bit and then went back to Krista's apartment since she lives downtown. We made evening plans to go watch the Blackhawks game at Millers with a bunch of other fans so that was more enjoyable. I even snag us a free dessert! (and by snag I mean sweet talked the waitor in to giving us one).
Sunday we shopped til we dropped, grabbed Jamba Juice (always a must), and made our way back to IOWA. Little did Jason and I know that our road trip would soon turn in to treachery. The sky was looking a bit ominous so we turned on the radio to listen to the weather. We heard tornado warnings in Tama, which was about 20-30 miles north of where we were on Interstate 80. At about that time we were driving up to this wall cloud that well, looked like a tornado could pop out of it at any moment. As we got underneath of it, the heavens opened and the rain came down. Within minutes we couldn't see anything and cars were all over the interstate, completely stopped. Then the winds came bringing with it buckets of hail. We slowly made our way over to the side of the road until we felt the rumble strips on the side (since we couldn’t see anything) and inched our way forward. The car was basically being pushed/floating along the road. It was incredibly nuts. It lasted about 10 minutes and when it finally passed over us, a weather bulletin came across the radio saying a tornado had been spotted on Interstate 80 between mile marker 163 and 158. Guess where we were?! Yep, right between those. Thankfully, I've survived a water tornado before so I knew to stay calm and keep breathing. We eventually made it back to Des Moines safe and sound… but with a story to tell. What a weekend it was.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm off to Chitown

I'm off to my favorite city..... CHICAGO!!!

Events I have scheduled (in my mind) for the weekend:

Mary Poppins: The Musical I'm SO excited
Shopping in Lombard i.e. Yorktown Mall which happens to be right across the street from my brothers apartment
Tennis match watching in Batavia: Go JON!
Shopping that Magnificent Mile... hello!
Frolicking in Millennium Park: can you say 80 degree weather.
Jamba Juice: all day every day
Bubba Gumps at Navy Pier: I don't know why but I love going to this place on a Saturday afternoon and then walking off my lunch
Jumping pictures at the Bean: reprise.
Celebrate Jason's birthday: it was the 23rd and I already gave him his present but I love any reason to celebrate.
I'll probably shop a 3rd time as well at Watertower Place.... lets be honest

I'm sad the Cubs aren't in town but I have a full schedule of events already planned out in my mind. Maybe I'll get lucky and see Oprah!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Laura Murray... a mind of her own

Quite a few people know Laura Murray... and quite a few people know Tbone... but only a few are blessed to know both. You're probably confused at this point either asking yourself "Who's Tbone" or "Who calls Tbone Laura?". If you have to ask yourself those questions, you're not a part of the very few.
I've know Laura for about 6 years now and every day is an adventure with her. Laura is by far, the funniest girl I've ever met. She's also the person who can be the most awkward.. but in a good way because its completely intentional. I met Laura at Kanakuk back in 2003. She was that other Iowa girl who I didn't know but everyone kept asking me if I did know her.

Around the summer of 2004 is when the infamous Tbone was created. To this day I think there's people who only know her as Tbone. If you don't know the story, Laura just decided one summer day that she was going to give herself a nickname and Tbone is what came out of it. I don't think herself or anybody else for that matter really thought it would stick but by jove, it did! Every once in a while I find myself slipping back into my kamp brain mode and wanting to call her Tbone. Ahhh memories.

Here are some highlights of my favorite times spent with Laura

Road trips;
this one time we about died. actually, it wasn't just once, it happened almost every time we took a road trip anywhere. Once while driving through Kansas City an entire lane just suddenly ended and we found ourselves speeding towards cement pile-ons. With Laura's catlike reflexes and my screaming, we quickly swerved back in to an "open" lane. I'm not kidding you, we about died. Laura and I have this thing that any time we drive to or from Branson, there will be some sort of precipitation that falls from the sky. Many times I thought we were going to be swept off the road by giant amounts of rainwater pouring down. No matter what the forecast, it never failed to rain during some part of our trip. No matter where we were going though, I loved my road trips with Laura. We had some of the best conversations, listened to some amazing playlists, and had some of the best laughs.

Harry Potter:
Laura and I both love Harry Potter so naturally, we had viewing parties together. We watched all of the movies in sequential order in preparation for the release of the 5th movie. Then, when the midnight release of the final Harry Potter book came out, Laura and I went to it. We felt a little like dorks waiting in line with the rest of the 12 year olds in Barnes and Noble but we really didn't care.

As I stated before, Laura and I have awesome playlists for our road trips. Bonding over music was quite easy for us because we both love all different kinds. I invited Laura to a Needtobreathe show once and we instantly were obsessed with them. Laura introduced me to The Rocket Summer and I couldn't be more thankful. She once asked me to go to Java Joes one night to an Irish Music Festival. I didn't think she was serious but when we got there, there were harps, lyres, and whatever irish musical instrument you can think of. She enjoyed herself greatly and I, well, I spent most of the night laughing at her! I guess its good to be diverse.

Laura introduced me to the Downtown Church to which I will be eternally grateful. I've met some of my best friends through DTC, I've grown so much in my relationship with the Lord, and I've learned to be more thankful for the blessings in my life: like Laura.

Anybody that can give themselves a nickname and really live up to it, I know I'm going to be friends with. This girl can make me laugh like no one else. Like really laugh… like pop out your nose, pee your pants, cannot breath type laughing. As I write this, I'm reminded of a time in Minneapolis when a few friends and I were up there for shopping and a sleepover and Laura and I shared a room. We were all getting ready for bed and Laura made a comment that I will forever think is the funniest thing to come out of her mouth. I can't tell you what it is (and now you're thinking thats lame that I can't tell you... i know.. but I really cant) but just know, I've never laughed like I did that night. I literally was paralyzed from laughter.

And now her wedding which I am so thankful that I get to be a part of. Laura asked me to stand up with her in the most unique Laura Murray type way. I'm so excited for her and Jared. She truly has found the person who gets her and loves her more than she realizes. I was with Laura the night that Jared called her to ask her out. We were at a restaurant and Laura couldn't eat anything. It was hilarious.

Laura Murray is my friend for life, she's my sister in Christ, she is..... Laura Murray.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Wedding March begins...

This past weekend my cousin Katie got herself hitched. The weekend was so much fun; filled with funny stories from my cousin Chris, Katie and I laughing about our childhood memories, and spending time with family members. Friday night was the rehearsal and dinner in Belmond followed by a party at my aunt and uncle's house. Joe's (Katie's now husband) family is crazy and so much fun. They can stay out until the wee hours of the morning. At about 1 am I called it quits and went to bed since my hair appt. was at 7:30 am that morning.

Saturday morning/afternoon we spent getting ready and wrapping up any loose ends for the wedding. Around 1130 we headed to the church to get ready! It was so much fun watching Katie get ready for her wedding. She was so excited, yet so nervous for people staring at her. She kept asking me questions about what to do (since I've obviously been in 1 or 2 weddings….). I was happy to get to spend that time with her, helping her with whatever she needed. At 1:00 pm were pictures. Katie had a wardrobe malfuntion during one of the pictures and we all couldn't stop laughing after that. At 4:00 pm, the church bells chimed and it was time to walk down the aisle. I was so honored to be able to stand up with her. We've grown up together, the giggly cousins as we're called, and I was happy to be right beside her as she took that marriage leap.

The ceremony went smoothly and then it was time for the reception and DANCE PARTY!!! Highlights from the party:
1. The IOWA fight song: everyone rushed to the floor to sing and cheer along. You see, Joe is from Minnesota and his family are Minnesota fans so when Katie moved to Minnesota, it was a big step for her. She's still a Hawkeye though.
2. My mom trying to learn the electric slide. She wanted to be a part of the dancing so she just hopped out on the dance floor and tried her best.
3. Dancing to the song Low. My mom, once again, was impressed that everyone new actions to the song and knew all the words. Watching her face during this song was priceless
4. The Meyer family dancing on chairs. Katie is a dancing machine and never stops. Whenever her favorite song came on (i.e. Single Ladies) she would jump up on a chair in the middle of the dance floor and dance. We eventually got my aunt, uncle, and cousins on the chairs as well.
5. The toasts. There were definitely tears when Katie's best friend Mike gave his toast about growing up with Katie. Also, my uncle told a story about how he met Joe and it was heartfelt, funny, and of couse, I cried.
6. Mountain Music & Joe dancing. Who would have thought that someone would get so excited when this song came on! His dancing was hilarious
7. Billie Jean: Chris and Jordan Dance off. Again, my cousins are dancing machines. Both Chris and Jordan sported their aviator shades and tore up the dance floor. It was awesome
8. The announcing of the wedding party: I got a piggy back ride in from my groomsmen partner…in my dress
9. Polka: dancing the Polka with my father. Always interesting
10. Getting the entire Trost/Meyer family out on that dance floor! Such a fun weekend.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Day dreamin

Its funny how just one word can cause such a reaction in my head. Today at work I was talking with my coworker about upcoming things we needed to get done and how one of our reps was going on vacation in 2 days. All it took was the word "vacation" for my mind to start wondering. I lost all work related focus and my mind began to day dream. I craved vacation! It didn't take long before I could smell the ocean from my grandparents house in Florida or feel the breeze off the water from their balcony… in my mind. Not only did it make me want to be there at that moment, but it made me miss my grandparents as well. That turned in to me searching for flights while looking at my calendar to figure out when I can leave. (It doesn't help that my dad is off in Augusta watching the Masters this week and I'm stuck in Des Moines dealing with a snowstorm yesterday!)

I guess I've always been a person who loves to travel…. But more so, I'm deeply connected to memory and positive experiences. I tend to remember those great moments in life, while trying to forget the bad ones. I don’t know if that’s the best way to live or not but I'm not complaining. I love looking back on past events or times in my life that made me laugh and smile, I think that's why I love to take pictures. Please don't misunderstand, I don't want to relive the past or live off of the 'good ole days,' I just have a genuine fondness for nostalgia. As much as I love looking back, I get even more excited about what's to come…. And if that includes a beach vacation in my near future, I'm all for it!

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Ps. I'm not kidding when I say I can smell the Florida ocean air.