Hello, Internet, I’m tired. Isn’t that what I always say? I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired. Well, it’s true. I’m tired.

I’m writing to you from the Lehigh Valley in crummy eastern Pennsylvania. It’s probably not really a crummy place, but I’m a western PA girl, so the eastern part of the state will always be inferior.

I’m on my parents’ computer. I’m their little nerd girl, the one who can do/fix the technological things, and right now I’m copying my father’s pictures to CDs and putting them online. My next assignment: the printer.

I’ve shopped and shopped and shopped, and just when I thought I could shop no more, my father peeked his head in and invited me to a morning mall run tomorrow. Who can pass up their dad when he wants to go Christmas shopping for their mom? Not me. So off I’ll go. I should have brought my running shoes.

I’m having a lot of fun and eating a ton. My goodness. My parents are making really good stuff. Crab cakes and shrimp on Friday, London Broil and red potatoes tonight. I’m excited to see what they’re going to make tomorrow night. No doubt I’m gaining weight by the minute. And yeah, I’ll still be here tomorrow for dinner. My flight doesn’t leave till almost 9pm, so I’ll have a long night ahead of me.

Oh, and I want to bring Savannah and Baxter home with me. They’re two of the cutest dogs I ever did see.


On the airplane

Hello, readers. As I’m typing this, I’m spread across three seats at the back of a Southwest flight, hovering somewhere over a state whose name I don’t know. It’s the one between Missouri and Colorado, above Oklahoma. Yes, I know, it’s terrible that I can’t name the state. I’ve never been good with the whole geography thing.

I’m very tired. I was at the RBC Center all day yesterday, didn’t get to bed till Midnight, and had to catch this flight at 7:30am. I slept for about an hour on the plane, but I’m the type of person who can’t fall asleep once she’s already awake. I’m grateful for the one extra hour.

I’ve taken a couple of pictures out the window, and right now the ground looks like a green patchwork quilt. It’s very pretty. I’ve flown across the country before – to LA – but the plane heads south, so this is my first experience with the middle of the US. I’m excited to see the mountains.

I’m really nervous about my presentation tomorrow, but am happy it’s first thing in the morning so I’ll be able to get it done and over with. Then I’ll work from Denver for a few days, just to hang out with my other coworkers and get a feel for what their routine is like. I’m putting in face time, basically. My company has a main office – Raleigh – then a big Denver office and two little offices in Phoenix and Tampa. Most of the bankers are either in Raleigh or Denver, and since I’m always with the Raleigh boys, the powers that be decided it would be a good idea if I go to Denver a few times a year. Makes sense.

Uummm… lessons learned during my recent long flights: wear warm socks and bring a pillow. And a book.

7:14 (MT)
Denver, Colorado

Hello party people. I’m at my hotel, completely exhausted and ready for bed. I spent the day roaming around the Cherry Creek area of Denver and its capitol building. It’s a beautiful city – lots of athletic people running and riding their bikes – but it’s not what I expected. I thought you’d land in Denver and BAM you’d be in the Rockies. No, not so much. Denver is apparently located right before the beginning of the mountain chain, so you can see the mountains in the background from certain locations, but most of the paces I’ve been hide the fact that you’re 20 minutes from a colossal mountain range. It’s kinda weird. It’s very flat and there are relatively no trees. What’s the deal with the tree thing? Seriously? Where are all the trees in this country? But that doesn’t take away from the city’s beauty. It’s a very pretty place, and obviously very liberal. Like, more liberal than me! That must be shocking to some of you, I know. I’ve passed Whole Foods, co-ops, many, many gay couples, and a bunch of dreads. Like, some guy whizzed by me on his bike, dreadlocks flapping in the wind.

My hotel is very adorable. It’s a quirky little boutique hotel, which is a new experience for me. The lobby is tiny, set-up like a living room and has a fireplace and a Mac. None of the staff wear uniforms, and everyone is super friendly. I think there are only like 50 rooms here. It’s very comfy and quaint. I like it.

Whoa. New Kids on the Block are on tv right now. Elementary school flashbacks!!

I think it’s been a while since I’ve written in here. I’ve started a few entries, but never got around to finishing them. And I didn’t intend to write in here right now, but alas, that’s what I’m doing. I hoped to be in bed about now, reading the trashy book Tiffany gave me for my birthday. I never read trashy books and am thoroughly enjoying this one.

I’ve been really busy at work. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I’m going to Denver to present at a meeting. I’ll be speaking in public in front of about 200 people. More people are afraid of public speaking than dying, and I’m not among those folks, but it’s pretty damn scary. But, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to speak and it gets a tiny bit easier each time. This is, though, my first time speaking in front of my coworkers… and my coworkers are excellent public speakers who get paid to criticize people. Yikes.

In better news, I’m all UN-packed from DC and am totally PACKED for Denver. Woo!

So, what else is new? Um, I ordered two dresses from J. Crew. One for my Christmas party and one just because (in black), and one fits perfectly and one is too big. It’s because of the cut of the dress, I guess, but they’re both size 8. I just happen to have a very tiny waist (I wish other parts of me were as tiny) and the second dress looks like a sack. Not so good. Oh well, I’m thrilled with the one I have. It’s absolutely perfect and the blue is gorgeous. My Christmas party is same place as last year: Carolina Country Club. Fancy schmancy.

With the exception of my father’s gift, I’m COMPLETELY FINISHED Christmas shopping! I know, I know, it’s pretty awesome. I know what I’m getting my dad – he wants an electric pepper mill (???) – but haven’t had a chance to run out and get it. I think for the next few days my picture of the day will be gifts for other people. But they’ll have to be for people who don’t read this blog. My family for sure does not read this blog. Other than Cousin Bob, of course! So, anyway, it’ll be safe to post family gifts.

I saw Abby & Co. on Saturday and I was wearing a disc necklace from Banana Republic. She saw the necklace and said, “You have circles on your necklace.” I said, “Yes, I do.” She said, “You look very pretty.” I said, “You’re good for my ego.” She then laughed because she had no idea what I was talking about. Rather than calling me Chee-i, she now calls me Chee-addy. She’s slowly progressing towards Auntie Allie. She’s not so good with the English language yet, so when she wants me to hold her, she’ll say, “Chee-addy hold you? Hold yooou!!” I like her.

My dress:

Hi. I’m happy to be home. I had a really good trip – saw lots of lovely folks I hadn’t seen in way too long – but I couldn’t wait to get back to Raleigh. Just couldn’t wait to get home. The only thing I can think is I’m so happy right now, and wanted to be near everything and everyone that makes me smile. I’m really very happy. Happily happy. I’m so comfortable in my skin and in my life, and I thank my lucky stars that I’m in this good place.

Knock on wood.

My bestest friend happens to be a pharmacist, and she taught me that when my eyes feel like they’re going to pop out, and when it feels like my brains are going to come crashing through my forehead, I need to take Sudafed. So I followed her orders and now I feel better. For years I dealt with those symptoms and had no relief. Thank goodness Special K is so smart.

I’m wondering how long it’s going to take me to unpack from my trip. Hmmm… Maybe a week. I’m very lazy about unpacking. I hate it. Don’t know why. My flight is booked for Denver, so I’ll have to be un and re-packed by next Sunday. I’m anxious to see how I’m going to handle the air – or lack of – in the mile-high city. I’m going to make sure I bring a bunch of inhalers just in case, but I’m sure I’ll live. I can’t wait to see the mountains. I feel so spoiled lately, getting to see all these new landscapes. First the desert, then the Rockies. Very cool indeed.

Howdy doo, folks.

It’s Sunday, and in looking back, I generally update this little blog of mine on Sundays. No particular reason why.

Well, I’m in D.C. and have had super-nice day. I’m here on business, but I flew in a day early to spend time with some lovely folks. I’m very lucky in that not only are Jason and Laurie members of my family, but they’re also my friends. So, I spent the day with them and my DOG NEPHEWS!! I have bruises from Ben’s love bites and from Bear’s paws on my legs, but they make me smile. Oh how I love those boys. And then Kate and Richard met us at a great sports bar to watch the Steelers (lose). I haven’t seen Kate since May, so it was great to sit across from each other and chat rather than gab on the phone.

Tomorrow I’ll learn all about Mergers and Acquisitions. I’m actually pretty excited to see the guys I work with doing their thing. (They’re giving the presentations) Usually I just see them sitting behind desks, but I’ll get to hear them speak and see why they’re considered experts in their fields. Not that I’ll know what they’re talking about, but it’ll still be cool.

While I’m here, I’m having dinner with Brandon and lunch with Laura. Unfortunately Michele’s part-time job schedule doesn’t mesh well with the days of my visit, but I hope to get to see her on my next trip.

Uummm… I was sad to leave the beautiful weather in Raleigh. It’s been pretty perfect the past couple of days. On Friday I had lunch outside in Cameron Village and even got a tan. Well, a farmer’s tan, but it still counts. Now I can’t wear anything sleeveless for a while because I don’t want to show trashy tan lines.

Alright, I’m tired. I’m tired and there’s an interesting documentary on Jonestown on MSNBC, so I’m going to lay in my ridiculously comfortable bed and learn all about people who committed mass suicide. Uplifting, no?

If I keep traveling so much for Job #1, I may have to quit Job #2. In the next six weeks I’m going on five trips, and I cannot keep things straight in my head. For example, I sent an email to some folks asking them to pick up a shift I was scheduled for (which conflicted with a business trip), but upon closer look, I wasn’t scheduled after all. And to top it off, because I thought I needed to balance my loss of a shift, I unnecessarily picked up a shift from someone else. I feel like an idiot, and I kind of feel like my head’s going to explode. Ugh, I’m so screwed up!

But, I get to see the Rocky Mountains for the first time! Pretty cool, right? I’m going to Denver for four days before Thanksgiving, then less than 24 hours after I get back to Raleigh, my flight leaves for Philadelphia. Yikes. Then less than two days after I’m back from Philly, my flight leaves for LA. In the course of two weeks I’ll be home for three days and will be in four different cities. Holy shitballs. And that’s not even counting this week’s four-day trip to DC.

Are you confused yet? I am! See why my head’s going to explode??

Um, so, President Obama… I’m thrilled about the outcome of the election and hope for a brighter future. I have a lot of faith in that man.

I’m frustrated by some people being such terribly sore losers, though. I loved when, during his victory speech, Obama said, “And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.” Classy. Also classy was John McCain. My heart really went out to him and I totally wanted to give him a hug. I even almost felt a pang of sympathy for Palin!

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I genuinely wish everyone had the same attitude as Elisabeth Hasselbeck does: