A Better Black Friday (The 21st Day of Thankful)

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Let me preface this by saying that I’m always up for a good deal. Always. But recreating a tackle football game with a bunch of fellow stuffed Americans in the name of a bargain just isn’t my idea of a good time. So I’m going to go ahead and put it out there that I’m having a better Black Friday than those people, and for a few reasons:

1) I Turkey Trotted.

I’ve always wanted to do one of these really smart pre-gluttony 5K runs, and yesterday it finally happened! The best part? In lieu of a registration fee, the Hillstriders Running Club accepted donations for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry and volunteers filled up a huge trailer with non-perishable items. To say we crushed that cold (cold!) 5K would be an understatement. This lady is not a runner, but an easy 33:41 later I had wiped away any guilt of the upcoming bucket of creamed corn that would eventually make it’s way to my face.

2) Just because I don’t like Wal-Mart doesn’t mean I don’t like a deal.

Here are a few you might want to know about: The Joffrey Ballet is having a Black Friday special on opening night Nutcracker tickets. The Nutcracker isn’t something to be scared of, and now that it’s 25% off (using the code FRIDAY) there’s no reason not to go. Oh, and while you’re at it, work off your pumpkin pie at SixPax down in the South Loop. They’re great people, and also super chiseled, and you want to look like them. Plus, they’re having a sale today on Pilates lessons and group classes.

3) I’m going to the gym, and I might be the only one there.

Though I hope the best for the American obesity crisis, I have to admit I like going to the gym and knowing that no one else will be there. The day after Thanksgiving, in the middle of the afternoon, I’m banking on having the place to myself while the rest of suburbia feasts on leftovers and takes naps. I could probably ride on the whole Turkey Trot thing as being enough to justify doing the same, but I have a high stakes event tonight that involves fishnet tights and seeing people from high school. This makes me anxious, so I want to burn as much of that creamed corn as possible before seeing anyone who knew me before the turn of the century.

So, how are you spending your Black Friday?

Twenty Days of Thankful #5

Day #5: Sun and skyscrapers

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On my last morning commuting in from the suburbs, this was the view. Actually it was better than this, but sometimes pictures don’t do sunrises justice (at least not instgram pictures on my phone). The traffic was moving, the ipod was blaring, the coffee was hot and, in the words of the great Travis Tritt, “It’s a great day to be alive.”

Yeah, I went there.

Twenty Days of Thankful #4

Day #4: Millie the Dog

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I’ll be happy to get back to my North Side life and four kitties tomorrow, but we’ve had some good times this week – me and Millie. Millie is a strange dog, but I think after spending some quality time together we are starting to understand one another. You see, she might live in my Mom’s house, but because she arrived after I left I never really formed an attachment to Millie. I’m starting to see what everyone sees in her.

Good dog.

The 2nd Annual Twenty Days of Thankful (now with words!)

Last year I jumped on board the happy, cheesy, month of thankfulness train by posting a picture a day of things I was thankful for. I thought I might like to do it again, but like last year, I couldn’t get myself together enough in time to start on November 1st… can we just say that I’m fashionably late to the party?

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While I’m not sure I wholly endorse the thankfulness project (as I rarely endorse anything that’s trending with stay-at-home moms on Facebook), I will say that my attempt last year was fun, and cathartic.

For me anyway.

I hope you enjoyed it to.

Then again, honestly, blogging is a selfish pursuit so even if you didn’t like it I’m going to do it anyway.

Last year’s 20 Days of Thankful was housed in this other blog – which is more conducive to micro-blogging and posting single photos. This year I’m upping my game (which might be a little crazy considering my schedule, but what the hell). I thought it would be fair to evolve the project and actually, maybe, explain why I’m thankful for that thing you’re seeing.

It’s going to be a challenge. I mean, I blog a lot (like, a lot), but the Crafty Lady often gets neglected while I pursue those things that you know, are going to advance my career. The point is, I’ve blogged every day for 20 days, well, never. Here’s hoping I can make it happen, starting now….

Day #1: Leftovers

photo-3I’m staying at my mother’s house in my home town for the week taking care of her ¬†dog while she and my step-father are in Hawaii (way to go, champs!). While Crystal Lake is not a realistically commutable distance for me, I figure I owe the lady a favor for bringing me into this world.

There is a feeling about coming home, and I’ll be honest, I’m old enough and far enough removed from this town that I no longer think of it as “going home.” It’s my Mom’s house. My bedroom was redecorated 10 years ago. The only things that remain is a bunch of my childhood toys in the basement in boxes and bins that I don’t have room for in my apartment, but which nobody wants to part with.

But then, the first night I arrived, there were labelled leftovers in the fridge, and I got an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Taking care of this dog is pretty inconvenient, but I’m sure that, like, 20 years of my Mother’s life were inconvenient because of me. Like how she used to fix me dinner, pick me up at school, drive me to dance class, pick me up again, drive me to band practice, pick me up again, and console me as I cried over Algebra at midnight. These labelled leftovers were a little reminder of what it takes to be an awesome parent, and also a reminder that I don’t have that in me now, if ever. So thanks, Mom.