Monday, August 29, 2011


Thanks to everyone for entering my very first giveaway!

A HUGE thank you going out to Lindsay of the Aisle to Aloha Studio for being part of this giveaway, I love your art!

Obviously, it wouldn't be fair for me to choose the

JG, please email me at midgisms (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll get you connected with Lindsay.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

28 things

Photo found here

Yesterday marked 28 years of my life. Today, I present to you, 28 things you may not know about me.

1 - This is the number of times I've gotten sick from drinking too much.

2 - The number of places I've flown over an ocean to get to. (England and Hawaii)

3 - I have three cameras. (Digital SLR, 35mm and digital point-and-shoot)

4 - I was four (and a half) when my sister was born.

5 - I am five feet tall.

6 - I have lived in six states.

7 - The number of pets I've had, not counting fish. (Daisy, Sadie, Lil-Bit, Rosie, Buddy, Moose and Max)

8 - The first flight I remember was an eight hour trip from Chicago to London.

9 - I played softball for the first time when I was nine.

10 - My parents let me get my ears pierced for my tenth birthday.

11 - I was 11 when we moved to what I call my hometown.

12 - I met my best friends when I was 12.

13 - Mama-San took the day off for my 13th. We had lunch, saw a movie and I got my first make-up.

14 - After lying to my parents I lost a trip to Disney at 14. I haven't lied since.

15 - This was the year I joined Common Ground (a vocal jazz group) and was in my first musical.

16 - My first car, at 16, was a 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan.

17 - I graduated high school when I was 17.

18 - My first flight by myself was a trip for my 18th birthday.

19 - I moved out (the first time) at 19.

20 - My real name is after my Grandpa, whose birthday was August 20th. We celebrated together.

21 - I spent a day shopping in Chicago to celebrate my 21st.

22 - This is my favorite number.

23 - I bought my car (a hybrid) on my 23rd birthday.

24 - The number of states I've been to. (Airports don't count)

25 - For my 25th birthday, I took a "Quarter-Life Crisis" trip. Georgia > Michigan > Minnesota and back.

26 - I had Lasik when I was 26. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

27 - I took advantage of vacation time this year and went to Hawaii, Michigan and Colorado.

28 - This was the first year I didn't have anything to ask for on my birthday. What a good feeling!


Have you entered my giveaway?



Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

My parents met playing Uno by bug light at a party. After taking a walk in a nearby park, Dad postponed a camping trip with the guys to hang out with Mom the next day.

He asked her to marry him at a stop light on the way to my grandparents' house so they wouldn't have to keep it a secret that she'd moved in.

The wedding was thirty years ago today.

There was a move across the country, ketchup up a nose and a big blue igloo...and then there was me, born two years later, on their anniversary.

Fast forward to now. This is the family they've created:

Mama-San and Papi, Congratulations on hitting this milestone in your lives. You are an amazing couple. We couldn't have asked for a better example of how to "do it right" than what you have given us. Thank you for being there for us through thick and thin. Thank you for the laughs and the memories. Thank you for sharing your special day with me. I love you.


Have you entered my giveaway?



Sunday, August 21, 2011


I'm all about birthdays and since mine is TOMORROW (Monday) I want to make this one special...for you! Okay, it'll (hopefully) be fun for all of you, but for one reader, there's a prize!

Have I perked your interest yet?


Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE art. I have a great collection of original photographs and paintings. Some were purchased, some were gifts and some are my own work.

Photo from her blog

This gorgeous gal is the artist behind the Aisle to Aloha Studio. I don't know many people who love color as much as I do, but Lindsay has me beat! Check out her blog and you'll see what I mean.

So far, I have four of Lindsay's paintings. This cute bicycle is the start of my black and white wall.

The background of this is actually my favorite - weird, I know. I really like how you can see the colors she blended. It makes me think of riding my bike through puddles in the rain. How fun is that?!

These bicycles just cried to be together. I have tons of photos in black frames that will hang here too, as soon as I can decide which ones to put up. There are so many pictures I don't know how to choose!

I know, you must be wondering about all that color I mentioned. the Mod Pods.

These guys hang out in what used to be my guest room that is now becoming a crafting room. I love how they stand out against the wall color and are just so cheery!

Who wouldn't have fun working on a project here? The pods Lindsay painted make me think of thread weaving in and out of fabric. LOVE! (By the way, the sewing machine is my birthday present to myself. More on that in another post.)


Speaking of presents... Guess what!

One lucky reader is going to win a $20 gift certificate to Lindsay's shop!

Mandatory to participate:
- Be a public follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect and leave a comment telling me you are. (Blogger has issues showing GFC sometimes, you can also click the "Follow" at the top of the page.)

Bonus entries:
- Visit Linday's Etsy and tell me what you'd buy with your gift certificate.
- Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment here with your @twittername.
- Post a link to your virtual birthday present for me.

That's FOUR ways to enter my very first giveaway!

Seriously, I'm so stinking excited over this, I wish I could let you all win!!!

This giveaway will be open until Monday, August 29th and I'll update this post when entry is closed.

Have fun and good luck!!!



Monday, August 15, 2011

Vacation Recap - Part 4


Mama-San and I went to Einstein Bros. for breakfast...where I had a nice chat with the staff while she chose what she wanted. Mama-San thought the young male employees were hitting on me. I think they thought I was crazy for being so perky in the morning. (Don't be fooled, I am NOT a morning person.)

From there we stopped at the DMV (for her) and a Harley Davidson dealer (for me - to get a dealer pin) before going a little out of our way to find a Nordstrom. Why there? I wanted these:


I knew I wanted the red ones from the beginning but I had a pretty serious internal debate over whether to get the classics or wedges. I loved the wedges but I knew I'd wear the classics all the time. If you haven't heard about Toms, go read about the One for One Movement and how it helps children.

Papi got home early so he could go with us to the airport. I had a great time and leaving was hard.

When I landed in Nashville, a good friend was waiting for me. She, her boyfriend and his dog kept my car company while I was gone. We spent hours chatting and shared some homemade wine before heading to bed. Fantastic waffles greeted me the next morning. I took her to his shop before driving home and was blown away by all the amazing instruments there. Make sure you check out Nashville Violins if you're ever in the area and say hello to Rascal. Isn't he adorable?

Credit: Nashville Violins

I all but crashed when I got home that afternoon. My pups went crazy so we played for a bit and then took a nap before I had to go work. Like everyone else, I love taking vacation...but as much as I didn't want to come back, it's also nice to be home.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Vacation Recap - Part 3


So, because I'm a dispatch nerd, I got up early and spent Tuesday checking out how things are done at Denver's Communications Center. They are a combined center, like us, but each of the three agencies employs their own dispatchers. That's how things were at our center before we unified so I can see the good in each. I enjoyed getting an idea of how the city is laid out. As expected, there were differences in how things are done, but also several similarities to places I've worked before.

That night, Papi pulled out the grill. (Okay, he did that Sunday too, but I forgot to write about it in Part 1. We had steaks that night.) Evidently this one is high tech and doesn't cook like a normal grill. According to Papi, it uses infrared heat, "like chefs do in restaurants." I don't know what chefs do or if infrared heat is better or what...but I can tell you he read the manual and did well. We had elk burgers with Mama-San's Italian pasta salad. None of us had tried elk before but we all agreed it was tasty.


Mama-San and I started the day with pedicures. I love that we do this together when we can. With my ankle being bruised enough to see through my tattoo and some scrapes up my leg, the girl doing my pedicure was cautious. The color I picked for my nails is great for summer (it's a medium coral color) and we got to take our polish with us when we were done. Going along with our pedicure tradition, here's the after photo:

Then, like crazy people, we went to the Grand Opening of IKEA's new store in Centennial. It. Was. Insane. IKEA must realize their fans are nuts from previous store openings because, from what I could tell, they coordinated well with local agencies to keep traffic organized. That could have been a HUGE problem. (See that? That's the dispatcher in me talking.) There were tons of people there, TONS. It was hot...I don't think I would've made it out if it weren't for the employees handing out bottles of water. Mama-San and I have both been to IKEA before so we knew the general layout and kept moving. She was looking for storage ideas for the new house and found a few other things to take home. I couldn't justify buying anything since I would have to figure out how to get it half-way across the country.

I'm not sure if it was the heat, crowd or stuffed sinuses, but I had a serious need for a nap after that.

When Papi got home we went for a drive. Can you imagine just driving along in the country, amongst all the green, and suddenly seeing this?

Red Rocks Amphitheater is nothing short of amazing. Seating was cut out of the rocks and what seems like walls on either side naturally bounce sound around. I'm told the acoustics are phenomenal and all the big acts of the music world seem to have played here at some point. When not holding a concert, people use it for exercise. Looking out from there, you can see all the way to Denver.

I'm a little baffled by the idea of a tree growing out of a rock...but I guess it's possible.

We stopped for dinner at Fannelli's Amici's on the way home. Their meatballs are HUGE and I can't even begin to tell you how good everything was. I LOVE Italian food but their serving sizes are so big I didn't come close to finishing my meal.


The dispatch nerd struck again and I went to see the Bounder County Communications Center on Thursday. They cover several agencies, like we do, but they're located in the city of Boulder and don't dispatch for them. Their center is much smaller than I'm used to but the atmosphere was awesome. I had the chance to get to know everyone a bit, something that would've been hard to do in Denver. I felt more at home there, more welcomed...of course, the fantastic view of the mountains didn't hurt at all.

Later, Mama-San and I met Papi at their storage unit to take a load back to the house.

On the way home we made a detour to Smashburger. It was good, but not great...not really worth the price if you ask me. I will recommend their malts though, they were fantastic!

More soon!



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vacation Recap - Part 2


After breakfast at Great Scotts and a stop at the Westminster Public Safety Communications Center - I'm a dispatch nerd, I know - Papi and I spent the day on his motorcycle.

We got gas in Golden and headed up Lookout Mountain on the Lariat Loop.

To my surprise, the top of Lookout Mountain is the final resting place of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his wife, Louisa. There's also a memorial to their foster son, Johnny Baker, and a museum.

We headed deeper into the mountains from there. To get to Mount Evans (I insisted even though the sky didn't look promising) we had to go through Idaho Springs...where we passed a gold mine!!!

Here's what we saw on the way up the highest paved road in America.

Isn't it gorgeous? Did you notice how there are no guard rails?! Here's what we saw on the way down.

Mama-San had my favorite dinner ready when we got back...homemade mac & cheese! Seriously, I could eat it for every meal until it's gone. (I didn't, but I could.)

More soon!



Monday, August 8, 2011

Vacation Recap - Part 1

When I first got back from my vacation, I was fighting some sort of sinus thing...which got better and then came back...and had to get back onto my night shift schedule. I'm totally using these as my excuse for slacking here.

I have so many pictures to share I've decided a few separate posts are necessary. Anyway, here's a recap!


Mostly a travel day. Drove from Chattanooga to Nashville. I picked up a friend downtown then drove to the airport. She was awesome and took my car home so I didn't have to pay for parking. (Evidently she had some issues since it's a hybrid (even though I gave her a tutorial) and some random lady helped her out. She tells the story much better and had me rolling.

Upon landing in Denver, Mama-San and Papi met me in the baggage claim. So good to see them!!! We went to Noodles for dinner - a fave we don't have in Chatt. Here's the part where I get all excited over something little. After dinner we went to Home Depot to buy A GRILL! You'll understand my excitement later.


Mama-San and I went to an adorable knitting shop called Knit Knack. She goes every Sunday to knit with some friends and I really loved being there with them...even though I was crocheting. I'm so glad she took me with her, they're a great group of gals! I worked on these:

Up the street there's a little shop called Scrumptious. Seriously, this place lives up to it's name. They have tasty ice cream and the kid's size is plenty - I had Elvis and another flavor I can't remember the name of and don't see listed on their site. The candy selection is awesome too! 

We stopped at Cheesecake Therapy on the way home and grabbed three different minis for after dinner.

We stopped at home to pick up Papi and went to a local meat market - on a farm that's strangely located on a main city road. We were expecting to get fresh steaks but everything was frozen. We picked up a few things anyway (including fresh cheese curds - a weakness I have from my Minnesota days) and took a drive, hoping the meat would thaw some. I should have thought to get out some of the cheese while trying to get the shot below. Rufus wanted nothing to do with getting his picture taken.

We drove in the mountains for a bit and ended up in Nederland. There's a huge reservoir there and this sign on the side of the road as you approach the dam...

At some point Papi pulled over so I could get out for a picture of the view. Here's what I snapped:

While looking up at my phone for the perfect shot, I missed the edge of the asphalt and rolled my ankle. Luckily, I've been blessed with sufficient padding on my backside and the landing wasn't too bad. I was scraped up from the top of my foot (I was wearing flip flops) all the way to my knee. My ankle was swelling by the time I got back to the car and I was expecting Mama-San to be laughing. She wasn't though, they didn't even see me fall.

Side note: Mama-San laughs every time someone gets hurt. Although I wondered as a teenager, she's NOT evil. We both do it...once we know someone is alright.

So, I'd been in Colorado for less than 48 hours and I'd already hurt myself. What can I say? I'm just that good I guess. Let's call this a "hiking" injury, shall we?

Seriously though, don't try walking around a place you don't know while looking can hurt.

More soon!



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vacation brain... (I was featured!)

Apparently I had a severe case of vacation brain last week and forgot to let you know I was featured on another blog.

Ooooops! (Please don't hate me Maegan!)

So, without further ado...


Hey! You should click on the cool button below to see my feature on Maegan's blog, Chesterrific!

Maegan is super sweet and one of my favorite bloggers to keep up with. Her Sum-Sum Summertime series features lots of bloggers and their summer fun essentials.

Check it out! (Seriously. DO IT!)

You know, even if you don't click the button because I said to, you should do it because that dinosaur is so.freaking.adorable. Dinosaurs need love too.