Winter Pep Rally

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Chicago Lakefront Skyline

The football team at my high school won 2 games over the course of my junior and senior years. I was a cheerleader so one can imagine that yelling words of encouragement that never seem to come to fruition got to be a bit of a challenge over time. But we kept cheering and every Friday, regardless of the team’s record, there was a pep rally in the gym. The team would come out, people would say more encouraging sentiments, there were high kicks and jumping around and come Friday night, everyone would gather in the football stadium to see if tonight was the night the team would be cheered to victory.

My high school football team = winter in Chicago.

I look at the 15 day forecast and think “It’s over 30 degrees, that’s great!” and then it is 30 degrees and I am…cold. And going to be cold for the foreseeable future. Last Saturday’s 60 degree temps was like the really, super nice kid on the football team who catches a pass and you reeaaallly want him to make it to the end zone… and then he gets pummeled. Nice day but our optimism for good weather was abruptly cut short by the loss of 2o degrees the following day.

I walked outside today, saw the sunshine and realized that winter needs a pep rally otherwise I am going to lose perspective that it’s the Midwest in February and this is how it’s supposed to be.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is open all year so I walked over to see what animals were out and about. The zebras were doing their thing, chasing each other around, the lions were sunbathing, and I had the nicest chat with the zookeeper for the gorillas who usually don’t go outside until it’s 45 degrees but because it was sunny and no wind, they got to get some fresh air today. They seemed happy about this development.

The construction on the lake at Fullerton is finally complete so I checked out the new walkways and the view of the skyline, which is always pretty awesome. I walked along the lake home, imaging the empty marinas filled with boats and that I might someday be in this exact spot sans big puffy winter coat.

It was a winter in Chicago pep rally. You can do it! You can warm up and not snow anymore and make it pleasant be outside! Goooooo Weather!

While this rally will likely result in another loss, i.e. no warm weather in sight, I will take in the sights and activities our awesome city has to offer while bundled up knowing that cheering for brighter days is better than just assuming they will never come.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lions


Little Miss Sunshine | Dancing to the Finish Line

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Remember that scene in Little Miss Sunshine when the pageant officials are trying to prevent Olive from finishing her (slightly questionable) dance routine? And when faced with the choice of potentially shaming their daughter in order to keep the outdated, conforming peace that was the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, the entire family jumps onstage and joins her in dance to the timeless classic “Super Freak“?

It’s such a good scene. I caught it last night and couldn’t stop smiling. Because I think we have all had that- you’re in the middle of what could be considered a train-wreck but you’re being your authentic self so instead of making a fuss, your people dance you to the finish line.

And then you push the van to get it to start and run to jump in. Together. Because vans break down and Grandpas teach weird dances and you travel that road together.

So. Many. Analogies in this movie. So good.

Wedding Dress Shopping and Terrible Analogies

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This weekend was for wedding dress shopping. On Friday, my friend Kate and I did a test run appointment because I was sort of nervous and on Saturday, my mom came into town to do the whole shebang. We did traditional appointments, we went to a super fun off-the-rack couture gown place, did a spin through shoe stores on Oak St, had bubbly and lunch outside at Gibson’s and, in the end, returned to the place Kate and I went on Friday for the dress. It was a blast.

Someone told me a few weeks ago that finding a wedding dress is like dating- you know when you find The One and the whole process mirrors what it’s like to date.

No. No, it does not.

There was not a single time during my dating life where I felt bad identifying that there was no way in hell that a particular guy was right for me. I didn’t go “Oh but if I wanted to be with someone who has a serious drinking problem, this would be the guy for me!” or “Awww, this guy would go so well if I had a desire to live in a rural area” or “Shoot! My self respect is just going to rule this guy out.” Not once. Not for a minute. But that’s exactly how dress shopping was. Even if I didn’t love a dress or a certain dress wasn’t what I was looking for, I felt guilty for saying so and wanted to express all of the great qualities if the dress. I mean, I was trying on beautiful white dresses and I had to insult the pretty things just because one wasn’t my jam? It felt so wrong!

Instead, there was a lot of “If I were getting married on a Southern plantation, this dress would be perfect!” and “Please show this to your next client with a beach wedding” and “This dress is going to find a perfect home, I know it!”. So the moral of the story is that wedding dress shopping is not at all like dating but it is like being at the animal shelter. Only the right pet will do but you totally want the other puppies to find good homes too.

So either I was really bad at dating (likely) or really good at dress shopping or (most likely) really bad at analogies. But I won’t be naked while marrying the man I do know is right for me and I think that trumps everything.