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Looking Forward

Post written Dec. 14 – which means….HOORAY! We’re all caught up on posts! Now I can start blogging in real-time.

Call me crazy, but I’m really looking forward to January. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to rush the holidays by AT ALL, but just yesterday I was emailing with a friend about plans to get organized and all of these goals, that I just got…excited!

Last year was simply dreadful. I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions. I was suffering from SAD. I was bored and apathetic. I was just…a loser. But these last several months have been wonderful and I’m ready to take on all the joys that 2012 has to offer. Just some of the things I’m looking forward to…

1. Finding out the gender of our baby

2. Getting the holiday decorations NICELY put away and organized. Unlike last year where everything was just sort of thrown in the basement

3. Organizing our office, our files, and decluttering

4. Decorating the nursery

5. A baby shower!

6. Um, a baby. Of course.

7. Wedding planning with one of my bestest friends

8. Throwing an engagement and bachelorette party (and since the bachelorette party will most likely be post-baby, actually attending it and enjoying it with the rest of the ladies.)

9. Being able to enjoy a beer or couple of glasses a wine this summer and fall

10. New job opportunities for friends and family.

11. Hopefully some new baby news or even births in there too (other than mine)

12.  Tax returns. Always a joy.

13. My 30th birthday and my mom’s 50th

14. LOTS of shopping for baby

15. An entire summer of PAID maternity leave coupled with a full month of (unpaid) paternity leave for the hubs.

16. New workout routines

17. Dusting off that old Weight Watchers membership (post-baby)

18. Baby’s first Christmas

19. Celebrating 7 years at the workplace and hopefully continuing to work on cool projects

20. Maybe a couple of weekend getaways, if we’re lucky. Babymoon anyone?

21. A new car. Hopefully just one though and not two.

See what I mean? 2012 is going to rock my socks off. I can’t wait!

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There’s a link party going on over at Centsational Girl and it sounded so fun, I decided to participate!

Here’s the deal: bloggers are encouraged to post their favorite things about the town they live in. I didn’t see St. Louis mentioned in the list of bloggers participating so I figured it was my duty to represent “the Lou”.

1. Location, Location, Location. While we’re not a coastal town, there’s something to be said for living in the heart of the Midwest. We’re a pretty big metropolis on our own, but we’re also close to other fun places to visit such as Chicago, Kansas City, Memphis, and Louisville. I don’t think I’d visit so many other towns if I wasn’t within driving distance of them.

2. Food. It’s no secret that I love to eat. And while other, much larger cities are known for their wide variety of restaurants, St. Louis is just one big eclectic buffet of restaurants and bars. Whatever you want, we’ve got it. We have a very large Italian population here so if you’re in the mood for cheese and carbs, visit one of our many Italian restaurants on “The Hill.” If you want to get all glammed up for a night on the town, visit downtown’s Washington Avenue (Or Wash Ave, as we call it). The Central West End features a variety of unique restaurants and bars. (Sub Zero is a really cool Vodka bar located there.) The Soulard area is just South of downtown and has a ton of pubs and restaurants too, but it’s more laid back than some of the other uppity parts of town. (I’ve been dying to go to the International Tap House, just haven’t made it there yet.) The Loop is a long strip of restaurants, bars, and shopping about 15 minutes from downtown. It’s more casual too and is a great place to catch performances of local bands. One of my favorite places is Blueberry Hill. It’s a good restaurant and bar on its own, but they have a room downstairs called The Duck Room that hosts some pretty good performers. Chuck Berry still plays there from time to time. Once you hit the county though, it’s chain restaurant paradise.  Us suburbanites apparently prefer to overpay for pre-packaged meals that are cooked for us and served on pretty plates. Guilty as charged!

3. The Zoo, Forest Park, and the Botanical Gardens. I don’t go there often enough, but after recently visiting the San Diego Zoo, I’ve learned to appreciate our own pride and joy just a little bit more. If only because what we offer is a Zoo that is completely FREE whereas the San Diego Zoo cost $40 PER PERSON. Yikes!  In addition, we have one of the world’s best Botanical Gardens that offers weekly FREE summer outdoor music concerts and plenty of other cool events year-round (I’m on the young friends council so this is probably a bit more top-of-mind than usual).  Forest Park is our city’s main park and it’s larger than NYC’s Central Park. It’s a gorgeous place that I don’t get to visit often enough, and is where the Zoo and our (also free) Art Museum are located.

While there are a ton of things I DON’T like about St. Louis, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

I know I have a few STL native readers, so what’s you’re favorite thing about our city?

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Summer List

Even though I claim fall as my favorite season, summer is a close second. I just realized today that there are only 6 weeks until Labor Day, which means 6 more weeks of hot and humid days ahead. And I love every minute of it.

Since we typically take our big, week-long vacations in spring or fall, summer is all about having fun on the weekends in our hometown. Or taking short, weekend road-trips somewhere close. And because I don’t want a repeat of last year when we realized we hadn’t set foot in a pool all summer, or made it to one baseball game in town, I’ve made a list. A “Summer Fun” list, if you will. To make sure we jam-pack as much activity as possible before the weather turns colder and we’re forced to stay indoors, huddled under three layers of clothes and four blankets. (Have I mentioned how much I HATE winter? Oh, it appears I haveMultiple times.)

Late last month, I created a calendar that hangs on our fridge. It’s an easy way of keeping track of appointments and activities, since I’m usually pretty bad at reminding the hubs of upcoming obligations. It’s also a good way for us to plan things in advance, so we’re not sitting around on Saturday asking each other what we’re going to do tonight.

So far, we’ve made some progress on our Summer Fun list. Want to see?

  • Go to a baseball game (Twice!)
  • Go to the pool
  • U2 concert
  • Road-trip to visit the ‘Rents
  • Make iced tea  (Seems silly, but I love home-brewed iced tea in the summer)
  • Build a garden
  • Go to Ted Drewes for delicious frozen custard
  • Go to Six Flags (Still need to go two more times to make the Season Pass worth it.)
  • Go camping
  • Go to the horse track
  • Go golfing (hubs, not me)
  • Have a girls’ night (me, not hubs)
  • See HP72
  • Read a few books

Not too shabby, right? I still have several un-fun things I want to do too, like hang new blinds in our living room and kitchen, paint a dresser for the guest bedroom, re-stain the deck, landscape, etc. I keep track of all of those things in a task list in my Gmail. I love the satisfaction I get when I cross something off.

What do you have planned for the summer? Any fun activities I should add?

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