Working for the weekend.

Today was a 19-hour workday.
On a Friday.
1289.53 miles from home (according to Mapquest.)
Away from TFitch.
Away from friends.
Away from widdle Macy.

Two more days to go.

I do it, because I need to do it.
I do it without complaining (so I hope).

I do it because I hope to God I never, ever have to write this,

 Or this,

 Or this,

Or this,

Or this,

Or this,



Or this,

Or this.

No matter how many hours.
No matter how many weekends.
No matter how many nights away from family and friends,
I will do what I can so no one I love is lost because of this disease.


Unsportsmanlike Conduct

I found this article unfortunate--that Nebraska receiver Niles Paul was heckled by his own fans after NU's 20-13 loss to Texas last weekend.

Nebraska fans are said to be some of the best in college football--it even says so on one of the entrances of Memorial Stadium. But if you need a third-party endorsement, you'll find many. Most recently, after his victory in Lincoln, Texas head coach Mack Brown complimented Nebraska fans. Good sportsmanship is expected of those who wear the scarlet and cream, even by Bo Pelini who has better things to do than worry about his fans.

During the Texas game, TFitch and I had the pleasure of sitting in the burnt orange section. While most of the Longhorns were very nice, the guy next to me was less than. Not only was he obnoxious and drunk (spilling his scotch all over me and his neighbors to boot), he was downright rude. A few comments that I remember him shouting:

"Hey Nebraska. Your "jumbotron" is about as cool as AIDS."
"Nice stadium, Nebraska! We have high school stadiums bigger than this."
"Oh, there's 85,000 people here? I didn't know 85,000 people lived in Nebraska. I know no one makes $85,000 living in Nebraska."

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me...

Did I care he was spewing stupid, obnoxious shit? No. Trust me; none of the lame comments coming out of this one guy's mouth hurt my feelings. But it did interrupt me and distract me from watching the football game. (We watched the second half of the game at a bar, simply because I didn't want to deal with the terrible Texan.)

Let me reiterate one phrase...football game.

It's a sport, people. A sport. A recreational past time. A game, which is by definition "an activity engaged in for diversion and amusement." It's not the whole world. Newsflash: there's more to life than football. Two dear friends (MU fans whom I love dearly) emailed me this week, telling me they were sorry for my loss. My heart started racing for a minute while I figured out what they were talking about. I hadn't heard that since my aunt died. Did someone else pass away and I was the last to know?

Don't get me wrong--I love me some Husker football. I've been affectionately named "Ultimate Husker Fan" by my husband. But does football make me stoop so low as to yell petty comments to opposing fans? No. That I'd remind a player to his face his gloves were made of butter? No. Pretty sure Niles Paul was at the game too.

Remember those people on the field--the ones you're yelling at--were born in 1990. How old, and silly, does that make you feel, to yell at these kids? No one's dying out there. Life WILL go on. Contrary to popular belief, the Huskers leaving the Big 12 is not going to be the end of the world. Maybe put that energy into something a little more meaningful; maybe give that attention to your friends, family or volunteer for an organization. If we all put as much energy into the other aspects of life as we do college football, we'll all walk away with a win.


Southwest Slam Dunk

As a marketer, I'm always looking for effective ways (or non-effective ways) brands reach me. I have high expectations, which is why I was impressed with my Zappos experience last year.

Southwest just broke through the clutter with a Rapid Rewards direct mail piece. I can identify an airline's miles statement immediately, and do you know what I do with them? I don't even open them; I just rip them in half and throw them away. It's either them trying to get me to sign up for their credit card to "earn miles faster!" or some other offer I'm just not interested in. So when this piece landed in my mailbox last week, I was intrigued. It was packaged differently; not just an envelope.

When opened, a pull-out note on top thanked me for my seven years of membership and a personalized luggage tag was on the bottom. 

The piece worked for a few reasons:

1. The packaging was unique and stood out from ordinary mail/envelopes.
2. It was personalized with not only my name, but the number of years of membership.
3. Along the same lines, it was unexpected. Think of big milestones--typically the first or something ending in either a five or a zero. Seven is different. It's thoughtful. It's unique. Kind of like Southwest.
4. It's a nice piece. The luggage tag is something I'll use, and I'm normally not a branded-chotchkie kind of girl.

As marketers, we constantly talk about moving your target audience from awareness to loyalty. From drink tickets to free checked bags to unexpected and personalized customer interactions, Southwest knows how to retain passengers for life...says the girl in 16A.


Thinking of you

I've been thinking about my aunt a lot lately. It's happened the last few times I traveled to Kansas City (where I am now) since this is where I was when I received the news, and the memory of packing up and heading to Omaha in a fury is still fresh. Plus, last weekend we attended the birthday party for three of my cousin's four kids and there was an obvious void from the gathering--their nana.

In the same vein, I think about my cousins and my uncle nearly every day. I wonder how they are doing; how they are coping. We've been getting together a lot--more in the last three months than the last three years combined. Though, even when they are top of mind and I'm right next to them, I don't ask them how they are doing. To me, it's a stupid question. How the hell do you think they're doing? Their mom/wife died. So instead, I avoid it all together. I ask what's going on. I keep it light hearted. I avoid the elephant in the room.

I hate that I do that, but I do. I just don't know what to say; I never have. I know that's not an excuse and that everyone probably feels the same way. I'm going to work on it and try to find the right things to say; the right things to do. In the meantime, I hope my hugs and presence convey to them that they are always in my thoughts. The same goes to my friends who have lost parents--too many friends that have lost parents. I hope you know that you are always on my mind.

If any of my readers have been comforted or comforted others in particular ways, I'd love to know what was said/done as a sign of support.


In my next 30 years...

I remember my Facebook post last September 7 semi-vividly; I talked about fearing my thirties. And as I have my first birthday celebration tonight (thanks, Laible's) I still do hate the inevitable 3-0.

I don't know what it is, but I hate the fact I'm turning 30. Hate, hate, hate it. As a kid, I couldn't wait to be older. Be old enough to not have to wear a life jacket on the boat. Be old enough to babysit. Be old enough to drive. Be old enough to drink (like that made a difference--haha, just kidding mom). And suddenly I want it all to sllllloooooowwwww down.

I think it's a combination of things. I think I expected more out of myself at 30 than I've accomplished. I've always wanted 4 kids. I'm 0 for 4 at age 29 and 359 days. To borrow a quote, I am "pleased, but not satisfied" in my career. Don't get me wrong, I love who I work for and what I do, but the go-getter in me just pictured more by now. We live in the house that, albeit a great house, isn't the home we will make for the rest of our lives. But there's nothing we can really do about that, and it's frustrating to me at times.

I guess I dread 30 for two reasons: 

1. For not being able to identify a large list of achievements over the last, even eight years (since I graduated college)
2. Well, 30 is just a reminder of how quickly life passes by. Where does the time go?

I do know the best is yet to come and I don't look back on the last 29 years with disappointment or regret (although I do think I would have kicked ass at student council). I've been listening to to Hottie McGraw's "My Next 30 Years" for the last year now and there's a line I really like. Contrary to popular belief, although applicable, "drink a little lemonade and not so many beers; maybe I'll remember my next 30 years" is not the line I'm thinking of. Moresoe, "my next 30 years will be the best years of my life." I'm taking that to heart and will try it live it each and every day. Know why? I don't have a choice. Those 30 years are coming whether I like it or not. Better make each one count.


No Words

I've been composing a post in my head all day. I'm in the Twin Cities for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure--one of my clients. The post was going to be titled "love what you do" and focus on how much I enjoy and value the opportunity to work with this event. I wanted to talk about how, although it's hard, long work--although we work weekends away from friends and family and it's long hours--been up since 3:25 am in fact (and that's sleeping in)--I wouldn't change my job for another job in the world. How I feel like every minute I spend working on this account is making a difference. How I want everyone to be so fulfilled in their profession. I planned to share the moving story about Steven and Gilbert--two male participants I met at the Opening Ceremony this morning. I'll still share Steven and Gilbert's story, but the post overall has taken a turn.

As part of the event's media relations' team, I have the privilege of hearing all sorts of compelling stories. Today I stumbled upon two men with bright pink beards. After simply asking one of the men, "may I ask why you are walking?" my life has been changed forever.

I posed the question to Steven, the taller one. Steven lost his wife Ruth to breast cancer three years ago. Ruth was an oncology nurse.

The irony.

Steven has been walking in the 3-Day ever since. I asked if the two gentlemen were friends. They actually met while walking in Dallas a few years ago. Steven was walking in honor of his late wife. Gilbert was walking because his wife didn't have breast cancer--and he hopes she never does.

Fast forward to this weekend, when these two grown men decide to fly from their hometowns in Dallas to the Twin Cities for a different 3-Day for the Cure experience. When these men spray paint their beards pink and walk 60 miles in the fight against breast cancer. Every time I saw Steven and Gilbert today, I smiled. Their tale warms the heart. It is sad--there was an unnecessary loss to breast cancer--but the action these two gentlemen take is incredible.

My heart is still warmed by Steven and Gilbert.
And I still love my job.
But now I am pissed, now I am upset and this is why the blog post I've been thinking about all day has been derailed.

I may be jumping to conclusions--I am waiting for verification--but I am very troubled by something I saw on Facebook. A dear friend of mine, Lizzie, was tagged in a Facebook album. The album was titled "a tribute to Kelln Zimmer." My heart sank.

I admit I don't know Kelln well. She and Lizzie were Kappa traveling consultants together and that's really the extent of our relationship. But I heard SO much about Kelln from Lizzie's traveling tales and I know we met once or twice over the years.

I also know Kelln had breast cancer.

I don't know what happened to Kelln--but I have a bad feeling that breast cancer took her life. And even if it didn't--her life was still cut too, too short and breast cancer should have NEVER been a part of it. It shouldn't be a part of anyone's life. And it still is.

It's frustrating on so many levels. It's frustrating that given all the time, energy and money put into the disease, people are still getting diagnosed. Survival rates are increasing--and that's good--but that's not enough. No one should EVER have to hear the words, "you have breast cancer."

It's frustrating personally. It's frustrating I lost my aunt to (basically) arthritis one month ago, that my grandpa had a heart attack one week ago and that my grandma has Alzheimer's. THESE are the causes I feel compelled to support since they are my reality now, yet I feel like I must support breast cancer out of the fear I or a friend or family member will be diagnosed with breast cancer. And statistics show one of us will.

In fact, I found out just yesterday that my friend's grandma has breast cancer. It's a fresh diagnosis. She sees her oncologist for the first time Monday.

It's sad.
It's maddening.
It's distracting.
It just plain sucks.

We shouldn't lose people in their 20s to breast cancer.
We shouldn't lose anyone to breast cancer.

I'll do everything I can to support this fight. I'll do everything I can to support the diseases impacting my family currently. And I hope you'll do the same.


July 22

It was business as usual July 22; in fact, it even felt like a busier than normal day at the office in Kansas City. I drafted letters to send to media contacts in Chicago in preparation for the upcoming 3-Day for the Cure. I had productive planning meetings with my team. I completed expense reports. And as afternoon neared, I was getting excited for a night out at Zona Rosa with my cousin and aunt and uncle to hear Ron Cooley (their relative on the other side) play guitar. Little did I know an email I received around 4 pm that day from my dad, with the subject line "call me ASAP," would derail the day's--and following days'--productivity.

When I called him, he was frazzled. He was looking for my mom; asked which salon she typically visited for pedicures. My grandma had called my dad and said the family had been told to go to the hospital--that my aunt had gone downhill and downhill quickly.

I was shocked. She had been diagnosed with histoplasmosis just four days before. A diagnosis was good--so I thought. We knew it was serious, but at least they knew what she had and how she could be treated. Sure, she had undergone a minor procedure that morning to explore a bile duct leak but as my mom told me via gchat, she wasn't in "imminent danger." I remember laughing at that statement. It sounded so dramatic.

After I talked with my dad and tracked down my mom at Kala Nail Salon (thank goodness for routines), the texts came in. "She's real bad. She coded," was the first. And then another, "They revived her. But they have to breathe for her." As I began to shake, I immediately packed up at the office and headed to my brother's house. I packed up my belongings to hit the road back to Omaha. He and I debated a lot. Does he go or not? Do I go or not? There had been many ups and downs in the three weeks she was in the hospital and was this simply another down. "I could use the time in the office," I remember selfishly saying; still shocked I actually debated that. Once my bro decided to go, would he ride with me and rent a car to come back to KC? After all of these trivial questions, we hit the road in two separate cars; a 180-mile brother/sister caravan.

I, on I29, kept in touch with my dad, in Methodist Hospital, for the beginning of the drive. But when TFitch called around 8 pm, asking where we were and saying that we should go straight to the hospital--that he was heading up there--I knew it was bad. I just knew and even asked TFitch that if he got bad news while we were on the road, to just not call; to wait until we arrived.

It was all I could do for the rest of the drive to not think about the situation at hand. I had gotten a new cell phone the day before which wiped out all of my friends' phone numbers. Luckily, I knew a few off the top of my head and called. I called any number I could remember just to chat and focus on something else.

When we pulled into Omaha, my brother and I talked, trying to figure out the quickest way to get to Methodist. After a three hour car ride, we were worried about minutes.

The caravan from Kansas City pulled into the almost empty parking garage and TFitch got out of the Audi and walked toward me.

"Did she die?" I asked.
"Yeah," my husband somberly told me.

After that, I remember being locked out of the hospital and having to go through the Emergency Room entrance--one of my biggest fears in life normally, the ER, but I was numb to it. I remember Dr. Tarantolo waiting by the door for my brother, husband and I to take us to join the rest of our family and telling us in his most compassionate and sympathetic voice he was sorry for our loss.

Our loss. Our loss. To the three of us, she might have only been our aunt, but she was our aunt. An integral piece to a close-knit family. And my heart continued to break for those whom had lost something even greater. A wife. A mother. A nana.

I remember the hospital resembling a maze and finally getting to the family waiting room on the intensive care floor. I remember someone tapping my mom on the shoulder to point out that we had arrived and I remember my mom sobbing and hugging me so hard that her little midget frame (hey--I need some humor too) was pulling me down. I think we stood like that for 10 minutes. I remember my aunt--whom had also traveled in from Kansas City--telling me "we didn't make it in time, either."

And then I remember the request to go join the rest of the family in my aunt's ICU room. I remember the walk down the hall, I remember the events in that room so vividly. I remember seeing my aunt's body and not even recognizing it as hers. I remember where my uncle and cousins were positioned in the room. I remember looking onto Omaha through the window on the top floor of Methodist hospital, thinking the world was carrying on as normal out there while a group of 15 were inside breaking apart.

Twelve days later, I remember July 22. I remember it as I pull out those expense reports dated 7/22 with my messy signature. I remember as I email off those letters with July 22 in the dateline. I remember as I complete my missing timesheets (a perk of advertising agency life) and I peruse my calendar to see what I did that day. I remember as planning deadlines near and the work that came to a standstill has to be picked back up.

And we'll continue to remember. Today. Tomorrow. For weeks, months and years. We'll remember the day that changed our lives forever. And we'll always remember Aunt Deanna.


To my husband

Plans would change at a moment's notice. You rolled with it.
Five adults and two tornadoes--I mean children--overtook our home.
There have been late nights and early mornings.
You picked up this person, ran that errand, dropped off that person and did it all over again, and again and again.
Most importantly, you were a shoulder to cry on and quick with a hug.

This week hasn't been easy for any of us, but you've done everything in your power to offer your support. You've embraced the hours and hours of family time, the tears and the stories--even the ones told over and over again. At many of the gatherings, I was too busy washing dishes or chasing around kids to even get to spend time with you. In fact; I don't remember the last time we went to sleep at the same time. But you have been by my side--by my family's side--throughout all of this. Thank you for being such a caring, supportive and patient person during this trying time. (The fact you want to strangle a certain person in my family--who shall remain unidentified--will be our little secret.) I love you.



My aunt died Thursday.

She went to the hospital July 4 with a fever and vomiting that had been lingering for a few days. Her gallbladder was removed a few days later—a simple solution, so we all thought. Instead, things spiraled out of control. Her temperature would rise and fall and rise and fall. Her lungs filled with fluid—28 pounds of fluid to be exact—and her oxygen levels got dangerously low. It was one thing after the other and one day would be filled with good news, the next—bad. But we never thought it would come to this. (Ultimately her arthritis medication, Humira, shut down her immune system and wrecked havoc on her liver.)

There has been a lot of mourning since Thursday. In the hospital room that night as we held hands as a family and prayed around my deceased aunt. A few hours later as we walked into my uncle’s silent home—one typically filled with laughs and conversation. At random times throughout the weekend—when the next family member would arrive from out of town or something would trigger a memory. Monday at the mortuary upon seeing my aunt resting peacefully in her casket and witnessing her nine grandchildren seeing the same. Yesterday at her funeral when we said our final farewells. But today might be one of the hardest days yet. My cousins have returned to Kansas City and Austin; my home is now silent. There are no errands to run or plans to make; things to distract us from reality. Instead, we have to return to our lives. Return to work. Pick up where we left off. And it’s hard. Today is hard. For the first time in a week, I’m alone. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to catch up on my emails. I don’t want to make travel arrangements. I don’t want to think about selling ice cream. I don't want to clean my house. I just don’t want to. But I will. I know each day will get easier, but that’s no consolation for how heavy my heart is today.


Furniture Fun

I realize as a Nebraska native and fan of Warren B.'s that I'm supposed to ooh and aah over NFM. And that place is great. But I'm pretty obsessed with our new basement furniture from Bassett.

If you're in the market for new furniture, check it out. It's custom and not outrageously expensive. We ordered our furniture on June 12 and they said it would take 8-10 weeks. It was delivered today--less than one month later.

I highly recommend it. And if you live in Omaha, be sure TJ King is your designer! He's the bomb diggity!

Macy agrees!!


Happy Friday

I love days when happiness fills the air, and today is one of those days. Not totally sure why: it’s not like a best friend is getting married or a new baby is entering the world. But the fact it’s the start of a three-day weekend, we are heading to Lake of the Ozarks AND I met up with Carrie and the girls last night for Sex and the City 2 is enough to make me smile this beautiful Friday morning.

Who’s seen SATC2? What did you think?

I loved it. Watching the flick in the awesome Fork and Screen might have contributed to the fact that I loved it so—I mean, who doesn’t like to enjoy a few Boulevards while watching a movie!?! But I did really like it, cool theater or not. Puns galore, and you know how I’m a sucker for those puns. The Abu Dhabi trip tied in fairly naturally and I was worried that would be way too forced. And most importantly, more in this movie than any other SATC episode or flick did I feel I, and my girlfriends, could relate to Carrie & Co. Don’t get me wrong—my friends and I aren’t riding camels in the desert any time soon. In this flick, the girls just seemed a little more down to earth, and that I enjoyed. Some of the chicks I went with last night enjoyed the first SATC movie better. I did not. It was depressing! Yes (SPOILER ALERT), in the end, Carrie and Big got together. But who wants to watch 90 minutes about a woman stood up on her wedding day so depressed she can’t get out of bed? Not this happy-go-lucky gal.

So, I recommend it. That said, I recommend a lot of bad movies (well, good to me, bad to others), but if you are in the mood for a fun, chick flick, SATC 2 won’t disappoint.

Or maybe when it’s on DVD I can have the entire blogosphere over to watch it on the Fitch’s new TV.


Lesson learned: don’t send husband TV shopping with his friend or you might end up with a television larger than your stand.


And to this I say ew.


I realize I make typos in my blog. That's pretty atypical for me in non-blog life as I have to write and proof and write and proof all day for work, but I think that's why I am a little more lenient in this space.

Typos so drive me nuts though--especially in professional settings--so when I spotted this typo in US Weekly's enewsletter this morning I had to share. Who sees it? Leave it in the comment field--let's see which readers have eagle eyes!

Follow the blogger

Do you read my blog?

Ya' know--stop by and check it out once in a while? See what words of wisdom I have to impart.

If so, why not become a follower? All the cool readers are doing it. It's very easy--simply click "follow" down and to the right of this post and you will, in no time, become an official follower of "The Honeymoon is Over." I don't haze my followers nor do I make them go through a new follower orientation. So do it. Let me know you're reading. Maybe you'll get a Christmas card out of the deal. And then you can get posts delivered right to you via Google Reader. Ooohh--maybe I'l have a giveaway for my followers. This will be so much fun!

Okay, first things first. Just go ahead and follow.



Doing what it takes

I write this post as I am sitting in bed behind a locked bedroom door.

I had great intentions of chillaxing in the basement tonight and catching up on DVRed Grey's and Desperate Housewives episodes, but it is storming quite a bit and I got scared.

I got scared.

TFitch is in Denver for a few days on business.
He's been gone 15 hours.
There's a little thunder and lightening.
And I got scared.

Which begs the question: how did I do this for a year? How did I not get "scared" when he was working in Kentucky--11 days there, three days here--for 385 days.

I did it because I had to.

I had no choice.
It was a decision we made.
Getting scared, or for that matter, mad, frustrated, sad or lonely would do nothing.
I did what it took.

Now, don't get me wrong--it wasn't roses and sunshine all the time. I had my moments. I had my breakdowns. My tears. But for the most part, I like to think I did what it took.

I will; however, admit I didn't do it alone.

My friends were fabulous, but especially Josh and Shannon with whom I would have been lost without. They truly went above and beyond the call of friendship duty. Rides, dinner dates (x 1,000,000), "Can you please come over and help me with XYZ"-requests. And the same with my parents. From watching Macy or stopping by to let her out when I couldn't get home in time, to changing porch lights at a moment's notice.

Let me not forget Macy who was excellent company.

When you have to, you do what it takes. I like to think I did. But I know I didn't do it alone.

As for tonight, I've heard great things about Hulu.


Good finds at the Goodwill

I recently found some awesome blogs* that have inspired the thrifter/DIYer in me. So, last night I went to the Goodwill by our house to shop around.

Among my purchases--totalling $14--were:

These gems. Aren't they beautiful?

If you say yes, you are LYING! They are hideous as is--hence their temporary home at the Goodwill! But you know what they say! One person's trash is another person's treasure. Wait until I get about 18 more of these, give them a fresh coat of paint and they display the postcards we collect on vacations! I can't wait! The postcards are currently hanging on a bulletin board in our home office. YAWN! Not sure where I'll display these--might need a bookcase, and I have an idea for that!--but soon they'll be just what I had in mind. The only question now is the color! I'm thinking either white, black, gold or maybe something totally different! I'll be sure to keep you posted on how this project progresses. Our office needs some help, but it's a struggle. We're at the mercy of the electrical outlets and phone cords (Internet) and in addition to being cute, the office needs to be functioning since it is where I work. More to come, more to come.

The other gem I am most excited about (bought five things total) is the medium Wilton Armatele bowl for $4.99. It's in great shape and matches one I already had at home. This bowl retails for $39.99. A little soap and water and now my find is good as new.

Happy Friday! I have an itch to hit up some garage sales, but it's not going to be very warm in Omaha this weekend.

* Blogs include but are not limited to: Remodelholic, Domestically Speaking, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and more.

O! What a City.


It's more than steaks.

It's more than some place in middle America.

It's a whole lot more than a lot of people think, which is why I'm so thrilled CNN and Southwest's Spirit Magazine have both profiled our great city within the last week.

Know what makes Omaha part of The Good Life.



A few bloggers I follow are from Nashville and they have been chronicling the flooding taking place in their hometown. I had no idea until I saw the photos on their blogs. I realize I was out of commission a lot last weekend with Legally Blonde and running, but it doesn't seem this travesty is getting the attention it deserves. Maybe it's changing. Nonetheless, visit Beth's blog to see for yourself the devastation taking place in Nashville...and keep all of Nashville's residents in your thoughts.


I was running.

It's over. The training--over. The anticipation of what to expect--over. My first half-marathon--over. And I'm full of emotions: happiness, sadness, relief, muscle pain.

I can't stop looking at the pictures from yesterday and reliving it; you'd think it was a vacation or something. It's all still so vivid.

Start line: after hitting play on my Shuffle and "Eye of the Tiger" comes on---which I downloaded (kind of) as a joke but was coincidentally the first tune on my playlist: "Is this happening? Am I in a movie? Whelp; here goes nothing."

Mile 1: "Hello Kappa house! Man, I need to pee already. Ah, there's a bunch of Kiewit people in this. TFitch could have ran with me. And, hey, there's a group of Kappas. Hey sistas."

Mile 2: "Hey! There's TFitch and my bro! I thought they'd be having Bloodies at The Bar. Hey guys! What a fun surprise."

Mile 3: "If this was a 5K, I'd almost be done. Which would be nice considering how much I have to pee. Excuse me team of three frat guys that are walking. This chick needs to pass you. Ha ha ha ha ha. Hey, that shirt that says 'this sounded like a good idea months ago,' is funny. Isn't that the truth!?!?"

Mile 4: "Cool; our first water stop. How nice they put lids and straws in the cups so the water doesn't splash all over. I'm thirsty, but I have to pee too bad to drink and the porta-potty lines are too long. Think I can hold it for nine more miles? Excuse me, spectator dude that's smoking? The runners do not appreciate breathing your carcinogen into their lungs at this time."

Mile 5: "This isn't so bad. I'm kind of on running auto-pilot. Hey - there's the Person family! Hey Pitsy!"

Mile 6: "I can't hold it any longer. Porta-potty, here I come. Yum. Some fast food restaurant smells delicious. DAMNIT; I broke a nail!"

Mile 7: "Alright, approaching the Bike Rack, where I told TFitch and Kalin to stop and see us. It will be fun to see them. And more than half-way finished. I can do this! I'm so glad we drove the route yesterday so I know where we are going. Hey, Coty and Lucy!! Wasn't expecting to see you out here! That was a fun surprise!"

Mile 8: "I don't see them. They must have bailed. They're probably drinking. Oh, there they are; up on the right. Hey fellas! Good to see you here! I'm feeling pretty damn good!"

Mile 9: "I lied. Going to try this Gu Kelli recommended. It's in my pocket. The guy said Orange Sherbet was a good flavor. Here goes nothing. Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod. I am going to barf. Spit spit spit spit spit this shit out. Back into my pocket the Gu goes. Oh, and fantastic. A freaking hill. Well, might as well run as fast as possible and get this hell over with. Ah, Otoe street. Makes me think of the Neals. I love the little kids giving high-fives. Sorry to these kiddos though; after that hill I just can't do it now."

Mile 10:  "I thought this course was flat. I'm going to try one of these orange slices (which will leave my hands a sticky mess). And maybe some Gatorade. I haven't had any Gatorade yet. That sounds like it will give me some energy since the Gu did not. I wonder how they fill all those cups. Do you think there's an assembly line and one person fills, one person lids and one person straws? I wonder what would be the most efficient. Is this Antelope Park? Where are we?"

Mile 11: "10th and A street. That means we're almost done! But I know we have to at least go past O street, and since we're just now approaching B, that means we still have C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N streets AND the stadium is past O street. I might die. Dear God, please grant me the strength...I could really use some Rhianna right about now. Uh huh, uh huh."

Mile 12: "OHMIGOD. Surely this water stop indicates mile 12 but there is no sign. I need a sign. I need a freaking sign that says '12.' This freaking sucks. Give me some water. No lids and straws? Shit. I'm not stopping. Instead I will pour it all down the front of my shirt and use it to cleanse my hands from the sticky orange residue. Ah, here's O street, which is full of bars. Damn a Boulevard Wheat sounds awesome right now."

Mile 13: "Ah! The 13th mile marker. I think I am going to cry!" and I kind of do

Finish Line: "SSSUUUUHHHHH!!!! I'm done! I can't believe I am done! That went fast. That wasn't sssooo bad. It was awesome in fact! I need some water stat. How cool to be on the 50 year line INSIDE Memorial Stadium. I did it!"

Since I continue to relive yesterday morning mile by mile, that must mean it was a good experience. But will I do it again? I'm not sure. This was personal challenge I made with myself months ago, that I successfully completed. I'll never have the experience of a first half-marathon again; do I want to compete with the feelings I have today? I don't know.

What I do know is how awesome it was to have the amazing support from friends and family like I did. While Josh and Shannon were ultimately there to cheer on Dianna, it was so nice to be able to see them in the stands after. TFitch and Kalin--who chauffeured us to Lincoln at 5:15 am on a Sunday (the morning after a golf tournament, nonetheless) and played route stalkers--were awesome and made a huge impact. It was one of the first things Lindsay and I discussed after crossing the finish line. Mom and dad--now I think you know why I was so excited to have you come to Lincoln. And to my friends that mailed cards, sent text messages, left voicemails and posted Facebook messages--thank you.

For now, I think I'll continue to reminisce about what a great weekend it was and the fact my first 13.1 is done.


Vitamin D is for dogs

I love the sun.

I think there is no better feeling than skin burning from the raidiant star high above.

I realize this is not smart--stupid in fact--and I know I've made some bad decisions when it comes to the sun. I never wore sun screen in high school. Once I actually got second degree sunburns over my entire body becuase I laid out for about 12 hours straight--on a lake--with zero SPF protection. But nowadays, as my skin is the moly grail of sun damage and I've had a suspicisous spot on my back removed (benign, luckily), I'm trying to be better about wearing SPF.

Anywho, you know how they say people and their pets resemble each other? Check this out. We have an entire home for Macy to chillax in, and she opts for the spot in the sun--betwen the bed and ironing board in our master bedroom.

Ah, my little sun-worshipping pooch, Macy.

Does Banana Boat come in canine?


To renovate or not to renovate...that is the question.

We're staying in Omaha for a few more months--yay! More to come on that. But with this comes some questions about casa de Fitch. I'm getting the itch for a new house (two-story, privacy fence, three-car garage...ahhh!), but if we're only in Omaha for one more year, moving doesn't make sense and I know that. So, the question is...do we embark on some home projects to enjoy for our remaining time in this home or do we save the money and put it toward projects in a new residence? Specifically, I've been toying with the following (some for years):

Deck: We love having BBQs but we are outgrowing our deck space. The idea is to redo it and make it larger. This is; however, a pricey project and some revamped landscaping would have to happen around the new deck as well. To expand or not to expand...that is the question.

Flooring: We currently have laminate flooring in our kitchen, bathrooms and entry way. Blach. But it is definitely low maintenance, which I can't complain about. What I'd like to do is tile all of the current laminated flooring, rip out the carpet in the master bath and replace with tile and rip out the carpet under the kitchen table and tile that area too. I had this priced out once and it will cost about $4,000. To tile or not to tile...that is the question.

Countertops: New countertops would also be grand...but they'd also cost a few grand. Should I wait and let granite be a perk of a new house? To granite or not to granite...that is the question.

Landscaping: Some landscaping--around the power boxes in our backyard and on the side of our house where grass doesn't grow so well--would be nice. But again, we're looking at a chunk of change for this (and I do NOT landscape on my own anymore). To landscape or not to landscape...that is the question.

Driveway: With TFitch's work truck in the driveway now, I'd like to widen our driveway and make it a little easier to maneuver in and out of. I don't think it's that big of a project, but I do think there are sprinkler heads that need to be removed, etc. To concrete or not to concrete...that is the question.

I have a feeling we should sit tight and not invest in these projects. But at the same time, if we're living here for another year, we should love our house. Do any of these increase the value when we sell our house, or does it just make it sell faster--or do they do neither? I'm so torn as to what to do.

What would you do?


Lettering in Life

During yesterday’s nine-miler, I got to thinking about how it’s almost funny I am running a half-marathon. I didn’t excel at sports as a child. I tried, but I was far from the star athlete.  I enjoyed softball, but my parents reminded me how much I (read: they) loved boating and how my weekend softball tourneys would interrupt that. I was on JV tennis in high school for three years. I’d call me “fine.” I cut out of tryouts senior year because of a heart murmur that showed up during my physical. And, as a senior you couldn’t be on JV—had to make varsity—and I knew that wasn’t happening. Thank goodness for the heart murmur, right?

Not being a great athlete at Millard North High School; however, was hard. Hard because letter jackets were super cool at our school. At any given party there would be an assortment of black Reebok high tops scattered in the entry way and a pile of blue-wool and grey-sleeved jackets on the couch.  And obviously, since I didn’t letter in a sport, I didn’t have a letter jacket. (I did letter in academics but that was not the cool letter—sorry Josh. Only kidding, buddy.) 

While thinking about the irony of me—the non-athlete—running 13.1 miles, I thought “so what?” Who cares if some 18-year-old could run the 40 in record time or can make three-pointers like it’s nobody’s business? Is that what matters in life? While in 1998 it might have seemed so, the answer is no.

And that got me thinking about a lot. My job I love. My home. T Fitch and his great job. Macy. My incredible friends. My family. The fact that I have raised $4,600+ for breast cancer research and walked 120 miles over six days to show my commitment to the cause. Kappa. A college degree.

The list goes on.

Whether I’m walking around in a North Face fleece or a Banana Republic trench, these are the accomplishments I am proud of.  I don’t need them written on my back to remind me.

Someone get Eric Crouch on the phone...how’s that letter jacket fitting nowadays? 


Lara Bar(f)s

I like food.
I'm really not afraid to try any food.
I get pissed when someone won't try just one bite of something. I promise it won't kill you. (Unless of course you have a severe food allergy, in which case, don't try just one bite. At least not on my watch.)
Sure there are foods I don't care for--red meat, sausage, that's all I can really think of--but I'll always try them and will even force 'em down. This stems from my younger years. One time on a Disney vacation--I was about 10--I ordered escargot and lemon meringue pie in the same meal. Besides the obvious question as to what 10-year-old can eat a three-course meal, those typically are not the fave foods of a one-decade old person. In fact, the waiter ended up telling my parents I had a "sophisticated palate." I love that.

So, when I just took a bite of the Cherry Pie Lara Bar and nearly lost my Firehouse Sub lunch, you know it's bad. Bad bad bad bad bad.

Bring me snails anyday but please keep me away from those taste bud atrocities.


Dear half-marathon,

Sometimes I really hate you. Sometimes I hate that you make me run a long, long way on a Sunday. Sometimes I hate that you make my knee hurt and me worry that I won't be able to run 13.1 miles--and that I'll feel like a failure on the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium in front of the other 7,999 runners and their onlookers. Sometimes I hate I paid $50 for two+ hours of RUNNING.

But sometimes I really love you. Sometimes I love that you make me run a long, long way on a Sunday--because I always feel better once I do. Sometimes I love that you make me feel strong, give me confidence and let me prove to myself I CAN DO THIS.

It's a love/hate relationship. But I think I'm ready for ya.



Macy vs. Riley

Riley the smiling dog was on the Today show this morning. Macy took one look at the TV and went ballistic. I only caught the tail end (pun intended) of Macy giving Riley a piece of her mind, but it was pretty funny--especially since she doesn't bark at other dogs on TV!


Don't Wait.

The pastor referenced this story during our Easter service and I thought it was great. I am getting better about living in the moment but I think it's something everyone struggles with at some point. What are you putting off for another day?

My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. "This", he said, "is not a slip. This is lingerie." He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. "Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion." He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. his hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives. I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.

I'm still thinking about his words, and they've changed my life. I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting on the deck and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time in committee meetings. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experience to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I'm not 'saving' anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event-such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom.  I wear my good blazer to the market if I feel like it. My theory is, if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing. I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties; clerks in hardware stores and tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party-going friends.

"Someday" and "one of these days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. if it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now. I'm not sure what my sister would have done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members and a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing-I'll never know.

It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with-someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write-one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and daughter often enough how much I truly love them. I'm try very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.

Every day, every minute, every breath truly is,....a gift from God.

Ann Wells, LA Times


Macy is 3!

(aka 21 in people years.)

She got after it last night.

Happy birthday, widdle Mace!

Don't worry; I was her DD. Humans don't let canines drive drunk.


The Original Smiling Dog

There's a lot of buzz over Riley the smiling dog.

Well, I'd like to introduce you to the original smiling dog: Macy Fitch.

Photo circa Halloween 2007.

So put that in your kong and smoke it.


Lovely readers,

Do you know I make cakes and cupcakes on the side? I do. I haven't been very busy in the last year because I have a new rule that I regrefully have to decline an order if it's a weekend when TFitch is in town. They just take too much time. I really do love it, though, and wish I had more time to devote to getting better. Anyway, you can check out some of my creations on my Sweetie P's blog here.

If you do have an upcoming cake or cupcake need; however, please let me know. I'd love to make you something sweet if I am available!


Love Affair

Do you love my gorgeous lilies? (Some are still blooming!)

I was surprised with them Saturday morning. They're from Zappos.com and no, that's not my new nickname for TFitch. You all remember my affinity for them from this and this. Well, a few weeks ago Zappos asked if I would be willing to participate in an interview for a book on exceptional customer service. The author, Shaun Smith, had talked to Zappos on the subject and asked if they had a customer he could talk to. Apparently I came to mind. I spoke with Shaun and it was fun! I never tire of telling about my experiences with Zappos. Hopefully I was exciting enough as to not get cut :) Nonetheless, Zappos sent me flowers to thank me for my time. I'm pretty sure we're dating--I mean the infatuation is mutual.


Diet Shmiet

I am LOVING this photo of Kristin Chenoweth getting ready for the Ellen show drinking a Coca-Cola Classic.

Not Diet Coke.
Not Coke Zero.
The real, calorie and sugar-ladden Coca-Cola.

You go girl!

I've always thought she was darling and I'm PRETTY (read: VERY) obsessed with her as Glinda (remeber: the "a" is silent). I love seeing that she's cool enough to have a regular soda pop before appearing on national TV.

If you were going to be on Ellen, what would be your pre-show drink of choice? I think I'd go with vodka to calm my nerves! :)


Friday Facebook Find

Because the fake baking, that face and boob claw are not okay.



It's been a week since I have blogged - yikes! I was doing so well. It's not really for lack of content; in fact there has been a lot going on which is part of the reason why I haven't had time to sit down at the computer and write. Emilie's wedding. Spring Break in Omaha. One year since "Owensboro" was mentioned. A man marrying a woman from a video game. (Thanks to Sarah O. for that one!) And of course, Facebook Fridays which I've already screwed up in not posting last week! (See Emilie's wedding.) And while I could force out these posts right now, I just don't feel like it. So instead, I think I'm going to curl up on the couch with some Girl Scout Cookies (LOVE the Lemonades) and do a whole lot of nothing.

Hopefully some inspiration will come to me soon.



While we were in Florida last month we were explaining to some friends that our monogram, kind of, is WTF. (I recognize in a real monogram the last initial is in the middle but this is for Wendy & Trevor Fitch.)

They died of hysteria.

Fast forward to yesterday when a package lands on our front porch. Turns out, despite the 8,452 beers we had in the Sunshine State, they remembered the story. As such, our very first WTF monogram! :)

It makes me smile everytime I see it!


Coming Soon: "Facebook Friday Finds"

Do people understand Facebook?

Do they understand when they post status updates or photos, OTHER PEOPLE CAN SEE THEM?

I'm constantly amazed by what some people post. As such, I'm starting a new series called "Friday Facebook Finds." On, you guessed it - FRIDAYS - I'll be sharing examples of content that will make you tilt and shake your head and ask "why."

Stay tuned...and e-mail me your submissions to wendy (dot) fitch (at) gmail (dot) com.


I'm officially registered for the Lincoln half marathon and I'm so nervous! 13.1 miles is a long way to go!

Yesterday I had plans to run four miles around Lake Zorinsky, but ended up getting in closer to six. It felt pretty good. I was definitely pooped toward the end but I did finish. My legs are sore today, though! It was supposed to be 53 and sunny yesterday, but instead it was about 40 and overcast. It was chilly standing still but once you got running it was fine. We need some nicer weather so I can continue to run outside. I'm getting a little sick of the treadmill, although my friend Shannon and I had a date last Thursday night at Urban Active during Grey's Anatomy and we both got in pretty good runs!

In other news, I've got my eyes on these Tory Burch shoes and think they might be my reward for crossing the finish line May 2.

My question today is (actually I have two):

1. Any training tips to pass along?

2. Any good places to look for Tory Burch Revas on sale?




My brother's GF is coming to Omaha with him this weekend, and since he's got some work to do she and I are hitting the spa tomorrow. I realize spas book far in advance, but I called 19 spas over lunch today until I found one with times that would work for us. Seriously! Can't women decide on some last-minute pampering?!?

We are going to Urbane in the Old Market, which I am excited about. (I love me some Aveda!) My skin has been SO dry and flaky the last few weeks, so I couldn't be more jazzed about a facial. (Especially since my dad's paying for it. Thanks, Ronnie!) I'm getting just a normal facial, but what I've realized as I've been researching spas is all the different types of facials available. Oxygen boosting. Microdermabrasion. Anti-aging. Seaweed. Glycolic Peels. I know nothing about these different types of offerings...should I be doing something different, especially as I approach 30 and my wrinkles and dark spots worsen? (DAMN IT.) Anyway, would love any thoughts you have for next time!


Parenting Practice?

Dear Lord. In the last few days I feel like I've got a toddler on my hands. In reality, it's just a five-pound canine, but you'd hardly know it.

First, the whole "escaping from the kitchen" escapade. I mean seriously. Does that resemble a tot climbing out of his/her crib at night? Yeah, kind of.

And just this afternoon. I had a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of day, cleaning clips in Vocus for those of you who know what that means! :) So, I let Macy join me. (I know - going against what I said in my previous post in that Macy doesn't get to go to work with me. Hold your criticism - it was just for this afternoon.) At one point I look over and my heart melts. She's sound asleep on her stuffed animals.

(I took a picture to send to my dad because he spontaneously bought her that duck she's perched on.)

Moving on. So, I'm working away. The space heater's going. It's a productive afternoon in the Omaha office. Until I hear Macy gagging and she BARFS ALL OVER MY WHITE CHAIR. No signs. Was perfectly fine, sound asleep. And then WHAMO. Impromptu yellow chunks all over the cushion.

Sweet and no, I did not take a picture of that although I considered it.

And now the cover is in the wash and it was not easy to take off so I am sure I'll never be able to get it back on the cushion. And smart me had cut off the care instructions which I am sure read "dry clean only."

So, yeah. In two days we've got sneaking out and impulsive ralphing. When's she gonna ask to borrow the car and start hiding vodka in her kennel?

Awesome Antiquing

My friend Annie got me into antiquing, and I love it. Granted, I've only been twice - both times with her, Starbucks in tow - but I just love hunting for pieces to mix old with new.

When TFitch and I were in Springfield, Ill. last weekend (where Annie & Co. now temporarily reside, much to our dismay), we let the boys watch the little one and Annie and I headed out once again in search of some treasures. We both found some great things - a successful trip by Annie's standards - but my best find was this pair of Chanel earrings for $5! They're the real deal with "Chanel" engraved on the back of each.

I've already worn them and am in love! They are clip-ons, and while I thought about putting posts on them, I am kind of thinking I want to keep them in their original form.

If these earrings are anything like those we've found in a Google search, they're worth a few hundred dollars! And to think I almost passed them up! So glad Annie convinced me otherwise!

I know Emilie once found some awesome Stuart Weitzman pumps at a thrift store and Pammycakes can score some awesome stuff at TJ Maxx. What's your best thrift/antique/bargain store find?


Canine Colleague

We got Macy in 2007 while I was working from home and ever since I thought it would be a good idea for her not to come to “work” with me. (I use quotation marks because work simply means our home office in the basement.) I didn’t want her to get used to chilling with me all day, and, more importantly, she doesn’t know how to control her barking sometimes. A problem during conference calls.

As such, I devised a commute to the basement that would make Macy think I was really leaving the house. I put up the baby gate in the kitchen (as we always do when we leave), tell her I’m going to work and to have a good day and then head out the garage. Only instead of getting into my car, I shut the garage door, tip toe in our front door and sneak downstairs to the basement. At lunch or when I’m “coming home from work” – same thing. Tip toe upstairs, quietly open and close the front door, open the garage and walk into the kitchen to be greeted by the pooch. Worked like a charm.

Until recently.

Obviously during my 15-month sabbatical from working from home, there was no sneaking around. So when I started working from home again in January (which my readers probably know nothing about since I haven't blogged in an eternity), I got back into the same routine as before. Let me tell you – if you are my neighbor or driving down Armstrong Street while I’m sneaking into my own house with coffee, water and a breakfast of some sort, it’s quite the sight. Regardless, the first few days Macy barked a lot more than I remembered. I e-mailed TFitch, telling him I either got louder or Macy got smarter. His response? “I guarantee the dog is NOT smarter.” But after what I witnessed this morning, I’m pretty sure she is.

I was sitting at my desk this morning and I heard Macy barking upstairs. Not unusual. Then, I realize it’s pretty quiet and I heard a sound I couldn’t exactly pin point. Then I figured it out. It was tiny paws scratching at the basement door. I thought about leaving her there, but then I thought either 1. the door would be scratched to crap come lunch time when I leave the confines of my basement or 2. she’s probably bleeding because I have NO idea how she escaped. I greeted the little turd and there was no blood but a big, huge smirky smile. Her face was a combination of “Hey! There you are! I’ve been looking for you!” + “Took you long enough – I’m exhausted” + “You bitch. Why would you quarantine me to the kitchen? I thought we were friends.”

More than anything, I had to know how Houdini dog made her way downstairs so I head upstairs to the scene of the crime. Baby gate still vertical (this is an entirely different story, but yesterday it wasn’t tight enough and she barreled through it). That tells me she didn’t push it over. I’m thinking she jumped over it, when I realize what she had done. There’s a small little indentation between the cupboard and baseboard (kind of hard to explain). There’s currently a five-pound dumbbell in the space because for a while she was pulling up the carpet there. (You’re not going to buy it from this story, but she really is a good dog!) Well, this morning, Muscleman Macy pulled the five pound dumbbell out and over to reveal the “hole.” This is amazing because she’s only five pounds herself. After that, she squeezed her five pound figure out of the hole and came downstairs to join me. Here's the process (or most of it) in reverse...

Judging by how hard she worked to free herself from the kitchen, I’m sure at some point she would have scratched her way through the basement door. This dog is driven!

And now, here she is, working with me until noon when we’ll see if the eight pound dumbbell will keep her contained. In the meantime, she’s plum tuckered and being a lazy little office assistant. If only she could fetch me coffee refills.


Too fast.

Corona Light.
Smoked ribs.
Up in the Air.
Sleep in.
Impromptu lunch with friends.
More shopping.
Impromptu spaghetti dinner with friends.
Hide and seek with Stella.
Sleep in.
Hair cuts.
Rock Bottom Brewery.
Creighton basketball.
Flat tire.
Night cap.
Sleep in.
House cleaning.
Holiday Bowl.
Gift exchange.
Welcome 2010.
4 am dance party.
Attempt at beers.
Catchphrase music edition.
Sleep in.
Cabin Fever.
Slumber party.
He's Just Not that Into You.
The Orphan.
American Psycho.
Taco Bell.
500 Days of Summer.
Sleep in.
House clean-up.
Oil change.
Grocery store.
Chili dinner.
Office re-org.
Bill sort.
Christmas decoration storage.
Sleep in.
Village Point.
Stuffed Peppers.
Sleep in.
Grandpa's birthday.
Hot dogs and Mac & Cheese.
Wii tournament.
Sleep in.
Sons of Italy.
Messy interstate.
Surprise, Annie!
3 am dance party.
Don & Millies.
Bloody fingers.
Sleep in.
Good Fortune.
Sad goodbye.
Bella Vita.
Sad goodbye #2.


Christmas with friends (that just so happened to take place on New Year's Eve)

TFitch and I are in a dinner club with a group of friends. In our dinner club, the host and hostess choose the menu and provide recipes to everyone else to make. We have a lot of fun (and by a lot I mean a LOT of fun), and we've stumbled upon some great recipes we've all made repeatedly. Each year we have a Christmas-themed dinner club and exchange gifts. We hosted this year, and opted to have it on New Year's Eve since everyone had sitters anyway.

Our menu was divine...

Appetizers (didn't get a photo):
Almond-Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon
Seared Sea Scallops with Spicy Dipping Sauce
Golden Yukon Potatoes with Blue Cheese, Bacon and Chives

First Course:
Golden Mushroom Soup

Beef Tenderloin
Asparagus Bundles
Four Cheese Mac & Cheese

Cranberry Cobbler

Signature Drink:
The O Fizz (or O! What a Fizz as we renamed it late in the evening)

Here are some photos of the tables and ambiance. We had to set-up a 6 foot table since our dining room table only seats 10 and there were 12 of us. We opted for two tables of six so they were even. Enjoy!

Appetizer Table
I asked everyone to e-mail me photos of their favorite ornaments, which I used for place cards