Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Days Gone By: Sailing

There is a very generous family in our area who takes the Relief Societies in our ward sailing on the Chesapeake every year. I've only been on the trip twice and this was the first year I made it on to a boat (we decided not getting home until later would be worth it). It was SO much fun! There are so many amazing women in our ward, I tell you what! I love having the opportunity to get to know the new girls better and being around long time friends.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Days Gone By: OBX

I was able to spend Memorial Day weekend at the Outer Banks in North Carolina with a bunch of my friends and about 1,000 other young single adults. It's a long running tradition among YSA's all over the East Coast and beyond.

Mormons as far as the eye can see!

Saturday was spent on the beach! At least half of us left that afternoon with not-so-awesome sunburns . . .

Sunday after church a group of us went to see The Lost Colony. Unfortunately it started to rain, but we had fun anyway! Plus we gave the people working there something to do.

This is also where I realized the full extent of my special talent.

We came back home for Sunday dinner and a group picture.

All the Aviators! Whoo!

The rest of the weekend we did a lot of hanging out . . .

. . . had sing-a-longs . . .

. . . played in the pool . . .

. . . invited friends over for dessert night . . .

. . . did Zumba . . .

. . . and had several hot tub parties that frequently turned into 80's sing-a-longs.

Really, it was a great weekend full of quality bonding time with some pretty fantastic people. It was sad when people had leave, but don't worry, whenever a car would take off the remaining housemates gathered on the porch to sing individualized good-bye songs and wave.

We also took more group shots. ;)

No trip to the Outer Banks would be complete without a little traffic. Lucky for us we got to park the van and hang out on the side of I-95 for while. Good times . . .

Monday, December 26, 2011

Days Gone By: Go Caps!

My blogging skills this past year were pathetic, especially considering how many awesome things happened. Over the next few days I'll do my best to try and capture the awesomeness that was 2011, starting with my first NHL game!

In case you didn't know, DC is a ho-ckey town and I had no idea until I had the opportunity to go to a Caps (Capitals) game back in April. Here's how it went down. The Knutson's had tickets for a playoff game but they couldn't go so they offered them to me. I figured it'd be a fun thing to do seeing as the only other time I'd been to a hockey game was for a sorority date night. Worst blind date idea ever by the way . . . Before the game Karen told me everyone wears jerseys and/or Caps gear to the game. Luckily she lent me some of theirs because it was clear the second I showed up at the metro I'd stick out like a sore thumb if I'd opted to wear anything other than red!

I was able to take a few friends with me to cheer on the Caps.

We had fantastic seats, to say the least!!

The crowd was amazing! I really have no feelings about hockey, but sitting in the Verizon center with people that were so into the game was SO much fun!! In fact, it makes me want to take trips based on cities where the sports teams have intensely passionate fans . . .

The Caps won making the rest of the day that much more fun. We grabbed a bite to eat back in Arlington and the restaurant was filled with Caps fans. I swear, if you want to make friends around here all you need to do is invest in Caps jersey and wear it on game day. We chatted it up with every other person in the place! I also shared a "go Caps" moment with two guys in the self-checkout lane at 12am. It was awesome. As much as I can't stand the negative aspects of competition, I love that sports can bring out such camaraderie among complete strangers.

P.S. The Zamboni was my favorite part. < o >

Sunday, December 25, 2011

So Simple, So True

Merry Christmas!! I know it's been ages since I've posted anything but I wanted to take a minute and share a quick experience I had few weeks back while out to dinner with the kids I nanny. When we go out to eat we like to play drawing games; this time Ingrid and I were making a Christmas "book" on sticky notes. We had drawn pictures of all they typical Christmas items i.e. trees, presents, stars, etc. Then Ingrid draws this:

Being together.

Leave it to the six year old to get at the really important things.

I hope you all were able to spend Christmas with people you love.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Gift

I have a hidden talent. Okay, so it's not exactly hidden seeing as I tell people about it all the time . . . or rather I show them.

That's right folks, I am one heck of a self-picture-taker!! I don't remember exactly when it was I discovered this particular talent but I tell you what, it comes in handy all the time. I swear it's not as easy as it looks!! Here are a few of my favs . . .

Smash and I in NYC! Note the random yet important object between us - tricky! Be impressed.

Some of my favorite people after our pre-HP7 Pt.2 Thai dinner in Old Town.

FREEZING our butts off in Philadelphia as we wait in line to see Joshua Radin. You know you have good friends when you make them line up super early for a concert, in less than desirable weather, and they don't hate you.

After Ian and Chad opened for Ingrid Michaelson at World Cafe Live in Wilmington, DE. We were the last ones there and no one was around to take our picture. Not that I would have asked/let anyone . . . No need!

Speaking of not asking anyone to take a picture for you . . . If you travel alone as much as I do, this is a necessary skill! Here I am in front of the "I'm a Mormon" billboard near Time Square. Bonus story: One night in NYC I really wanted to ride in a cab with the "I'm a Mormon" ad on top but it was taking forever to find one. Ironically enough I ended up going to my bus in a "Sister Act" cab. Too perfect.

OBX 2011! This was the first record breaking photo taken that weekend. I thought 10 was a lot until . . .

I got all 19 of us in the shot, on the first try, at the Lost Colony. This was among the proudest moments of my life. Don't judge.

I'm sure some of you are still saying, "Pffft! A talent? Yeah right!" To the non-believers out there, I give you a challenge: Next time you're with a group of 20 of your nearest and dearest, take a picture.

This is the current record holding photo, taken a few hours after the 19 people pic. The Outer Banks must be a magical place . . .

If you just can't get enough of my mad photography skills, you can see more pictures here on the FB. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carry That Weight

A little inspiration from Gunnar . . .

Gunnar is so funny, he picks up these weights and flings them around like they're nothing! Crazy dog!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday

I seem to be getting less and less crafty/creative as I get older, at least with my own ideas. I'm getting really good at replicating the creativity of others though, especially when it comes to birthdays! The two things I've tried recently come from the same awesome blog, Oh Happy Day! I decided to end my blogging hiatus by passing on these brilliant ideas because, quite frankly, they're just too good not to share.

IDEA #1: Birthday Post Cards

I had been trying for a while to come up with something fun to do for a friend's birthday for but nothing seemed quite right. I had seen this particular idea on Oh Happy Day! and wanted to wait and use it, not as a birthday thing, but as a "we think you're awesome" kind of surprise another time. The closer July got the less I wanted to wait so I went ahead and did it! Here's how it went from a thought to something tangible . . .

I found the perfect picture on the internet of a cartoon version of The Beatles and I downloaded The Beatles font to go along with it. I printed out a couple pages out and traced them onto a transparancey.

As luck would have it there is an overhead projector in the library at my church, so I used that to trace the images onto a poster board.

Then I took it home, colored it with my handy dandy Sharpies, and cut the poster into postcard sized pieces. Okay, so they were bigger than your standard postcard, but it's the same idea . . .

Then I asked people who love Chad to write on the post cards. Several of these people don't live in VA, so in order to enlist their help I sent emails explaining the idea and asking for participation. I then took the birthday greetings they sent, printed them in various handwriting fonts, and glued them on the back of the cards. I also laminated them for an added measure of security.

I sent 3 or 4 cards each day until they were gone. Ideally I would've had the whole thing ready earlier so they would have trickled into his mailbox a little slower but this worked too!

Confession: I'm always waiting for people to realize just how crazy I am and then flee as far as they can from me. So even though I was excited about the cards I was also worried they would lead to Chad's "wow, Lindsie's a nut job" moment. Luckily that was not the case. ;)

There are a couple of things I really love about this project. 1) It's super exciting to get a few cards in the mail. It's even more exciting when the person realizes that in order to complete the puzzle on the back more must be on their way. 2) It's a fun way to extend the birthday love for more than just a day.

Something risky about the project: You are relying on the postal system and things can get lost. For example, I got the following picture from Chad saying how much he loved the cards and that he thought one piece might be missing.

I would have been fine if it were a corner piece but the middle?! It felt so anti-climatic!
Thankfully it was delivered a few days later and the puzzle was complete.

I tweaked the original idea a bit, so you should check it out here. She even has a ready-made version you can use!

IDEA #2: Scavenger Hunt and Gift Wrap

Sara and I actually came up with the first part of this idea on our own. It was March and we were going to be in New York around another friend's birthday. We wanted to do something super fun and decided on a scavenger hunt. The original idea was to leave parts of the gift at several locations, give clues, and go pick them up. It wasn't too shocking to find that stores wouldn't hold strange packages for us, so we ended up writing clues for various destinations along a particular route and
bringing all the gifts with us. When we got to the locations there was a question for everyone to answer or we'd take funny pictures then hand over a gift to be saved and opened later. This way it was more than just going from one place to the next; we had fun and got to know random things about each other.

Thanks to modern technology we could even do video clues!

Sara, Ian, Chad, and me in front of the Amish Market "where you'd be most likely to find friendship bread." ;)

Now we could have just wrapped the gifts in any old paper, but we did this instead!

This is where the creativity of others came in!
I got boxes for everything and wrapped them in brown paper. Then I took various colors of yarn and tied them around the boxes. After it was sufficiently covered I trimmed the yarn down.

Some had patterns, others were random, all were awesome. It takes time but it's super easy! And really they're so cute, why would I ever want to wrap a gift any other way?

The wapping was also inspired by Oh Happy Day! It was an idea that she had seen somewhere on the interwebs and passed on to her readers. Here's her post about it.

Fun, right?!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What a day for San Francisco!

Sometimes I get crazy ideas in my head and rather than talking myself out of them, I just plow straight ahead and see them through. This usually occurs when I find a concert I want to attend in a state other than Virginia, hence my trip to San Francisco in March. Several months ago I found out Cary Brothers was joining Joshua Radin on his upcoming tour but not until after he'd played DC. This did not sit well with my music obsessed soul so began to research dates, cities, and airline tickets. As luck would have it, the tour was ending on a Saturday in San Francisco. A Saturday!! When I saw that a plane ticket was reasonably priced I knew exactly where I would be on March 12th.

Thanks to two delayed flights I was able to spend quality time at airports in DC and Cincinnati. I could have been super annoyed by this, but instead I was able to do make some fun playlists, plan some birthday stuff for a friend, and listen in on a concert I was missing via cell phone. I guarantee I was the happiest person at the Cincinnati airport that night! All in all it took me 16 hours to get to San Francisco, but it was worth it!

I met my pals Trent and Brian there and we spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the city and rocking out at the concert! It was so much fun! I would definitely do San Fran again!

Friends at The Golden Gate Bridge

Trent showcasing his brilliant photography skills!

What ever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV?!

We didn't see Michelle OR Uncle Jesse, despite Trent and Brian's best attempts at calling for them . . . I almost left them there!! ;)

Random shoe garden in Alamo Square Park (aka Full House park).

I may or may not have made out with Bradley Cooper while we were there.

It was the last night of the Joshua Radin tour (another big reason to go) and the show was full of pranks. Like this one . . .
The sound engineer walked on stage in his unmentionables with I *heart* LJ written on his torso. LJ stands for Laura Jansen, the first opener. She was playing her quiet, tender song, Single Girls. She made him stay on stage.

Is that Zach Galifianakis?! Nope, just Brandon Walters . . . Everyone busted up laughing when Brandon came on stage sporting this shirt.

The ever-so-talented Cary Brothers. Love this man!

And then there was Josh . . .

Rockin' out with some of his bff's!

We were among the last people in line to say hi to Laura and Cary (Josh stayed backstage, which isn't too surprising seeing as there were a lot of family members and family friends at the show). Laura had one last CD that she was giving away and it was between me and the boys. I said one of them could have it since I already bought it. Cary cheered for that and it sparked a little conversation. I told him we came specifically to see him open for Josh. He asked from where and when he found out he came out from behind the table and hugged me. We got to talk for a few minutes and take this picture . . .
While we were talking I told him that my friends and I met at the last Hotel Cafe Tour (what is that, you say? Watch this). Then he gave us the best possible news one could hope to hear . . . they are bringing back HCT this fall!!!!!! You can bet I'll be getting tickets to as many of those shows as I possibly can . . . :)

The next morning we got up and headed down to Fisherman's Wharf . . .
Friends looking at Alcatraz

Sea lions lounging around at Pier 39

Wandering around the pier

Trying on nerd glasses . . . We look so smart!!

It was a quick little trip but it was awesome! Thanks to Trent for emailing me all these pics! (I lost my camera in NYC and hadn't been able to upload anything from this trip).

P.S. If you don't know what song this post title came from, let me help you out because it is among the more incredible songs in existence . . .