Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's official!

It's after Thanksgiving and tomorrow is December 1st. Therefore, we're officially allowed to play Christmas carols, decorate with red and green, and get pumped for the holiday. Even though I've been doing at least two of the three for weeks.

I visited Lucy today and she had her Christmas decorations up, so I was inspired to go home and decorate our tree, instead of writing the paper that's due tomorrow. And now I'm blogging about it instead of writing that's fine.

Here are some of Lucy's decorations:

So after dinner, I put on Christmas Pandora and made my whole family gather in the family room to put our ornaments on the tree. Cathy mostly shared my enthusiasm, my mom was grateful for the help decorating, my dad kind of shook his head at my Christmas spirit, and Olivia just thinks I'm a crazy person...what's new?
 Ok, she did get into it a little bit

The finished product!


I've developed a small obsession with blogs in the last couple months. I love reading about what's important to other people, but I also love sharing my own thoughts. I think that's a human thing...we want to be heard and understood.
(Ok, so this song doesn't have anything to do with the rest of my post, except for the title. But it's a good one and Beyonce has an ok voice, I guess.)

When I transferred to CSU, I also changed my major to Social Work. Which I like sometimes and am not a huge fan of other times. But I'm in a class called Communication Skills and we learn a lot about listening to people. I wouldn't say that I'm learning a ton of new or radical information, but it serves as a reminder that listening actually is important.

I have had a couple experiences this semester in which people that I didn't know very well told me some crazy parts of their life stories. And I'll be the time, I was thinking, "This is the first conversation we've ever had...why the beep do you want to tell me all of this???" But it made me realize that people just want to be heard. And many of us are blessed with people that we can tell the important things to...mentors or best friends or family members that feel like best friends. However, not everyone has a person like that in their life...but that doesn't take away their desire and need to share their lives with someone. So I would encourage you to remember to listen. You don't need to take a class on it (trust me...). You just need to be aware of and loving towards the people that want to be heard.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ellen is a cool lady.

No, I'm not talking about myself. Though I'm flattered you think I'm cool. But I am actually referring to Ellen DeGeneres. I've been reading her new book, Seriously...I'm Kidding,  just a tiny bit at a time and I love it. The chapters range from 1 sentence to maybe 8 pages in length, and the book really isn't about anything at all, but she is hilarious! And she has a really positive attitude about life, which we can all learn from. So I would recommend it to you. Maybe not to buy at full price...because it really is just a quick, entertaining read. But maybe you should check it out from a library or buy it from Amazon for cheap or borrow it from a friend, like I did. Even if you just read the back cover or the front flap or the intro, I think you'll already be laughing and want to read more...I speak from experience.

Friday, November 25, 2011

McDermott Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving festivities started yesterday at 4:00 am...far too early. It feels like it was a week ago. We woke up early and headed down to Denver because we were scheduled to volunteer at the Denver Rescue Mission starting at 5:45. Instead of sleeping a little extra in the car, I decided to bump some Christmas dad and Olivia were annoyed, to say the least. While the others worked in the kitchen, I got to serve the meal. It was super cool to serve in this tiny way on a day when we often get caught up in our own celebration. Afterwards, we had a gourmet meal at of the few quality establishments open on Thanksgiving.

Last night, we began the usual McDermott traditions, starting with family photos. This is always an adventure and always makes me increasingly aware of our guests. Jake, Drew, Marshall, and Vicky were probably scarred by our loud and out of control family, but Jake was brave (or foolish) enough to be the photographer. Since we still use a film camera for these pictures (no one knows why), we have to take dozens, to ensure no one is blinking or looking fat. After much laughter and many impatient comments, we finally finished and headed to Dave and Dana's for dinner.

Thanksgiving dinner is the best. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, croissants, brussel sprouts, green bean salad, cranberry sauce...I'm sure I'm forgetting something. We eat too much and drink too much, and then eat some more when the pies come out. In the last few years, we've added a game of Catch Phrase to our traditional activities, which is always hilarious.

We spent today watching football and not really doing much else. Though we did eat leftover deliciousness (according to spell-check, that is a word) and played Spoons. Tonight, we ate dinner and played games with the Hardings. It was much less awkward than last year, when we were all meeting for the first time (knowing that Matthew had just discussed marriage with the parents).

The thought of break ending in a couple days and having to actually do something productive is awful. However, Christmas break really is SO soon, and that thought alone will get me through the next three weeks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sundance Fundance!

Just dressed up in my best country outfit and went to Sundance with Amanda. Some of our friends were there so we had some country swing partners and it was the greatest. Some of the guys are awesome dancers and that makes it so much fun. We also got some good line dancing in, which is my favorite. Basically, I wish I was a cowgirl. Because, let's be real, I was born to country line dance.

The best part of the night was when I turned around and saw our best friend, Taryn!! Her flight from Texas got in tonight and she joined us late for some dancing. SO GREAT! I have the best friends in the world, in case you didn't already know. I love my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Life in color

What a great day! I got to enjoy 'Doba breakfast burritos and take a trip to Target with Olivia, and then picked Cathy and Jake up at the airport. Then, I went to DP Dough with Abby, Mike, and Zach. After some thrifting, we visited Nick. He got his wisdom teeth out today, so we got some froyo at Spooners. The three boys are just weird (and sometimes embarrassing in public) but we love them anyway.

Tonight was the best part of my day, for sure. Abby has been dying to craft and I'm not about to turn that opportunity down. So we made a Michaels/Target run and set to work on our creations with Amanda and Jared. Turns out, melted crayon art is actually way harder than it looks. But it was our first time! And it was super fun...we love being crafty and creative, especially while listening to *Nsync Pandora. I'll try this project again sometime to see if I can perfect the talent.

 Amanda's (rain) and Jared's (fire)

The 4 (almost) finished products...Amanda, Abby, and I are planning on adding quotes to ours.

I love spending the whole day with people I love and not having to worry about anything. I can barely contain my excitement for tomorrow night...line dancing at Sundance!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Loving my life.

Just wrote a joint post on my best friend's blog. You should probably also read her other posts, because she is the bomb. IT'S THANKSGIVING BREAK AND MY FRIENDS ARE HOME!!! YAY. I love them.

And those better things? Those included dreaming about Casa Bonita, looking at craft ideas, learning how to use Pinterest, listening to JB, looking at wedding pictures, and taking TONS of pictures on Photo Booth that were so ugly they were beautiful. And laughing soo much. Feeling a little bit blessed that I get to be in the same place as (most of) my best friends this week. And tomorrow? Tomorrow, I get to pick Cathy and Jake up at the airport. This week will be even better than I can imagine, I just know it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Merry Christmas

I realize it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I decided this year that I don't give a crap about the "no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving" rule. So that's pretty much all I've been listening to recently. Here's an old classic and new hit. Enjoy.
 This is probably the worst video ever made, but gosh, still so good.

Do you know me at all? Obviously I love this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Can't even handle it.

This brings me so much joy...seriously. 
Guess why I smile a lot...uh, 'cause it's worth it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


After a delicious dinner tonight, I got to play tag and hide & seek with Olivia and my cousins, Grace, Anna, and John. We played tag in the new addition of our house (the shower's good for hiding and the toilet was base), and hide & seek in the basement. There was lots of screaming involved (really just from John) and it was too much fun. And my cousins are hilarious...John is just ridiculous, but the girls actually make good jokes. So good to take time out of our crazy schedules to be with each other!

THIS is mind-blowing. Take 10 minutes to watch both cool would it be to be a part of that project???

Monday, November 14, 2011


I was just reminded of one of the greatest moments of my life:
If you don't know who this is, let me enlighten you...
I would recommend you check out his other videos, too. What makes it even better is that his name is Henry and he is so sweet. I asked him if he was coming back to camp next summer and he said, "Oh yeah!"


For all of the beautiful people I have in my life. And, in this moment, for other people that blog...I really love being let into your lives.

My weekend was filled with great people and lots of laughter. We made a very delicious meal at cooking class and a baby joined us for dinner...yay :) Afterwards, Alex, Matthew, Robert, and I played this Awkward Family Photos board game, and it was hilarious.

On Saturday, I got to spend a few hours babysitting Abby...though it was fun, I would not recommend braving the Fort Collins Chick-fil-A on a Saturday. It was pure madness. Abby's mom is pregnant with twins and I absolutely can not wait to help her with them!

That night, I headed up to the mountains with Amanda and eight boys. We spent the evening eating, watching football, and playing Scattergories. On Sunday, we went skiing at first time on skis since 5th grade. It was a very fun day and was great for what it was, but I'll be honest...I don't really love snowboarding/skiing. I really wish I did, but I just don't and I apologize.

I was reminded this weekend not to take the people we love for granted. I am so very blessed by the people in my life and I pray that I would live a life that reflects my gratitude.

 Kale Salad, "Chicken" Piccata, and Corn Chowder...sorry, the pictures really don't do the meal justice.
Cacao, Coconut, Hemp Balls...

p.s. Here's to eating a spoonful of Nutella...who says you need something to spread it on?

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It's not a big deal, but this is where I got to work last summer. And those are the people I got to work with. And I plan on working there again next summer with these great people. Pretty awesome.

I'm a crier.

I skipped my morning classes today, just because. And it felt great. I watched Father of the Bride while I did a very minimal amount of homework. It made me cry. Because I LOVE weddings (ha) and because I'm a crier. That runs in the family, but I'm especially bad. Which makes me think maybe I won't be able to get married, because I would be a mess. But they would be happy tears, of course.
If I cried this much before Matthew and Alex's wedding, what would I do at my own?
Days like today are so good. I've really decided that taking time for ourselves is important. And if that means not going to school, great! Just don't tell my parents...oh wait, I live with them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Slow Jam Wednesday

I spent the morning listening to the Celine Dion Pandora station...because I felt like it, okay?? Then I got in the car and this was playing on the radio (thank you, KOSI 101):
So I was already pretty happy. And then, I realized it's Wednesday!! And at Camp T, Wednesdays are Slow Jam Wednesdays, and we eat the best breakfast of our lives, and they play this song and some R. Kelly and other great hits. So I'm bringing the tradition back into my life...don't let me forget about Slow Jam Wednesday next week.

All I want to do... make Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts and bake delicious treats. I don't even know what kind of crafts I'm envisioning, but dreaming about it is still keeping me from writing the 500 papers I have to write before Thanksgiving. The next 9 days seriously can not go fast enough!
Am I too old to want to make one of these?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 It has been a wonderful weekend! To start it all off, I got to babysit sweet baby Jackson on Friday. He's probably the cutest baby ever...I'm serious. I chased him around the house a lot...he gets going and then gets a little ahead of himself and kinda face plants. But he's tough, so he just gets up and does it all again. We also took a little walk and he rode in the backpack carrier thing. During our walk, he would point and tell me what he saw, just not in real words. Too cute. He was also wearing overalls and high-top Converse...really too cute.
After that, I headed to Denver for Alex's birthday dinner with my family, her parents, Reagan, and Kritika. We ate at Root Down, which was delicious. Olivia opened her present from Matthew and Alex early...a Tulo jersey that she LOVES.
Saturday was my half-marathon. Considering how much pain I'm in as a result, I think it's ok for me to brag to the world (aka the 3 people that read my blog) that I did it! It was a struggle and my body might be sore for weeks, but I'm glad I did it and I accomplished my goal of 9:30 min/mile. My parents saw me off and I was so happy to see my #1 fans, Matthew and Alex, around miles 7 and 9, and at the finish line. They cheered loudly for me and held these signs:
They also sang this song as I ran by...if you haven't heard it, you've been missing out. So you're welcome.

Matthew got this picture as I ran across the finish line...I was pretty happy to be done.
 I spent the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing, literally...I took a bubble bath and watched three movies. Freedom Writers was on TV. I had forgotten how incredible that movie is (and it sure is a tear-jerker)! That teacher inspires me to pour myself into others. Olivia and I got Raising Cane's for dinner and watched Life as We Know It, which is a good one. I finished up the night by watching the last half of Seven Pounds, which is also a good crier. 

Today is Olivia's birthday, so we celebrated with some good food and another movie (I'm set for the month). We got Big City...delicious, as always. Then Olivia, Mom, and I went to see Footloose. Ah. I loved it. I wasn't a big fan of the main girl, the preacher's daughter, but the rest made up for that. It made me want to buy the soundtrack and REALLY made me want to go line-dancing. So that's in my plans for Thanksgiving break, and I can't wait! 

Birthday girl...Vanna Black

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You know what I love about right now?


I love that it's snowy outside and warm in my house. I love that I have cinnamon candles burning in my room. And mostly, I love that I just listened to Mariah Carey's Christmas album with the volume all the way up...and sang along, of course.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

After Dark

I just went to this thing called After Dark. It was a Christian concert/speaker and really was just incredible. Joe White has some awesome stories and part of his presentation is a drama where he acts as the man that built Christ's cross...and he actually builds a cross on stage. I didn't take pictures, but here's one that I found online. The event included sweet videos and performances by Thi'sl and Jon McLaughlin, who both seem like super cool people.
After this crazy powerful presentation, I walked out to a winter wonderland. Everything covered in snow. I really am loving it, even though I'm supposed to run 13 miles on Saturday...just praying it'll be clear by then.
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