lucky stars collide

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It’s hard to imagine many things happier than living together in a city filled with friends.  That’s all most of us can ask for, right?  To be grounded in a city where we feel connected to the people around us.  To be able to throw a dinner party at the behest of a phone-call or two.

A month after we got engaged, Jon received a job offer from a company in Mondovi, Wisconsin – a town of 2,700.  Mondovi’s claim-to-fame is that there isn’t a street-light in the entire town.  Residents may roam freely.  

When we first met, Jon’s job required working late-nights (midnight on a week day) and weekend hours (usually Saturday and Sunday from noon-five).  I wanted to be able to spend more time together, and Jon promised to make that happen.  Perhaps, I shouldn’t have been too surprised when he came home with a bottle of champagne and a map.  Beggars can’t choosers, after all. 
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Deciding to leave Chicago – my sweet family, my friends, and my job – was incredibly scary.  I’d moved half a dozen times in my life, but this was the first time it felt like leaving home.  

Why the sudden unease?  Previous moves had come with a built-in social network, a group of friends that would make transitioning more comfortable. When you start college, for example, you’re beginning a new life with thousands of other people that are embarking on a new journey. With a bit of luck, you’ll experience the ups-and-downs of college alongside people that will become lifelong friends.

We lived in Mondovi for just over a year, and then Jon’s company moved us to downtown Minneapolis.  Once again, I felt uncomfortable about the move and the prospect of making new friends.  Rumors that Minneapolites were as cold as the weather made me nervous:

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New Years Eve marked 7 months in Minneapolis, and Jon and I decided to spend the evening sipping champagne and playing games with friends.  I went shopping for party crowns and horns and hats before the event, and as I tried to match celebratory gear to my friends’ personalities, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for all the truly kind people I’ve met here.  

The Minneapolites that I call friends are down-to-earth, genuine, and fun.  Mixing a group of them together for an NYE party made for a perfect night.  When the clock struck midnight, I kissed my sweetheart and thanked my lucky stars that our adventures had landed us in such lovely company.
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monster bash

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Misunderstood monsters are all invited to my house next Monday night.  That’s right, I’m hosting a monster bash: a celebratory fête for all the good hearts crying out from inside a somewhat disfigured facade.

What’s that?  You’re a helpful ghost? A big friendly giant? A monster afraid of the dark? Come one and come all.  I’m having a spooky movie night and i’m inviting my closest friends and all misunderstood goblins.

My closet friends, however, will need to wear a spooky sweater to the monster bash.  I’ve decided that ugly sweater parties shouldn’t always be reserved for Christmas.  Let’s start rocking the heavy knits a little sooner, shall we?  Here are my top picks:

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As for the entertainment, my friends have requested the following:

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Do you have a halloween tradition?  Any suggestions for the spooky movie marathon?

my zips are lipped

Summer months are spent soaking up the sun lakeside, dining with friends on patios and rooftops, and cruising the streets for weekend festivals.  The atmosphere is lively, fun, and spirited.  When the air starts to chill, however, things seem to get a little more cozy and intimate.  We take the party inside, and we spend our time with our nearest and dearest.  In my world, that means a lot of dinner parties, game nights, and movie marathons.

Tonight is the beginning of trivia season, and Jon has been quizzing me to prepare for the season opener: “Who was the last player in major league baseball to hit over 50 homeruns in a single season?” He’s a bit of a sports nut, so his questions keep me knowledge about baseball, football and basketball.  Go ahead, ask me anything about the 2000 Rosebowl.  Do it.

Trivia is just the beginning of game season for us, and our apart(y)ment will be hosting lots of game nights before the new year begins.  To keep things exciting, I’ve started looking for new  games to share with friends.  My picks are below, but I’m anxious to know  you play when you’re stuck inside —  any recommendations?

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naked cake party in the streets

A gathering without cake is just a meeting.  Cake transforms events into parties, and the sweet treat has been the honorary centerpiece of birthdays and weddings for centuries.  Last night I threw a party in the streets, and i brought … Continue reading