“Socialicing”

Last weekend was delightfully busy. On Friday we went to SocialIce, the one time of year that Rochesterites get out and celebrate the coldness of winter by turning Peace Plaza into an ice sculpture gallery complete with alcoholic drinks. We met our friends from Chile there, Meni and Mario,  and we all agreed… it was too cold to be outside! The sculptures were lovely, the music was inspiring, but we spent as little time out there as possible.

Saturday was Meni’s birthday so I took her out for a girl’s afternoon at Diamond Nails, where we both got mani-pedis, enjoyed a massage chair, and relaxed. Here is Meni with her fantastic nails!

 

Then we headed to Stam for some tasty gelato. However, we had to cut our afternoon short and rush back so I could get some tax paperwork from my former landlord…

….or that’s what Meni thought. Really, that last bit was an elaborate set-up to get Meni to the clubhouse where her husband had prepared a surprise party. Meni was very surprised – because she has a summer birthday in Chile, no one is ever around. Success!! After eating, drinking, and shooting the breeze, we watched some of the very first events of the Olympics. I appreciated how they alternated snowboarding with pairs figure skating. “Something for the boys…something for the girls… coming up soon, something for the boys…”

On Sunday, Chris played handbells at the Festival of Music at church. He knocked the music out of the park using both handbells and the bell tree. Here is an action shot – doesn’t he look cute in a tux?!!!

Afterwards our friend Carolyn, my other soul mate (a flute playing cultural anthropologist!), had everyone in the performance over to dinner.

Of course any weekend so fun must be followed by a week of blah. But even last week had its moments. On Wednesday the 100+ nurses, patient care assistants, and unit coordinators in the float pool gathered for a Team Days. It was FANTASTIC. They fed us, they talked to us about stress relief and conflict management, and most importantly they gave us all the same night off. Many of team went out for drinks afterward and proved, once and for all, that float nurses are NOT antisocial or not community minded… they just never have the same night off!

I was the exception that proved the rule, as I was too busy attending a personal finance course… I have no excuse!

Friday’s Bible study at Side by Side was fantastic. It is such a blessing to have this group of women around me and I really appreciated what everyone had to say. I realized I have really been “leaning on my own strength” with some struggles lately and turning to other people to feel better instead of turning to God.

I worked all weekend and am looking forward to using this week off to catch up on school. First step though will be removing the incredible amount of snow we have acquired in the last 72 hours. Oh, Minnesota.

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Colorado Adventures!

We flew out to Colorado this week to visit my family. Because I worked both Christmas and New Year’s, there was really no good time to make the trip west… and of course now school is starting and work is ramping up. But we’ve had a WONDERFUL time. First, we had a great visit with my grandparents – a real holiday-style ham dinner! I don’t feel so bad about missing the Christmas and New Years’ feasts after enjoying some home-cooked green bean casserole.

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Please note the girls’ side ponytails!!! 

 

Then we took off to Glenwood Springs and the best ski resort ever, Ski Sunlight. “What is this Ski Sunlight?” you may ask. “I have heard of Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge… but Ski Sunlight?” You haven’t heard of it because it’s Colorado’s best kept secret (and, unfortunately, no one is paying me to say that!) The lower slopes are gradual and perfect for beginners, but there are also some great intermediate and expert slopes higher up. And at night, when you drag yourself home, you can head to Glenwood Springs hot springs for a soak in the medicinal waters. (Note: we never actually hit the hot spring this time…. but we did hit the hot tub!)

I decided to be adventurous. I have skiied for over 20 years of my life and I can get down the mountain without much trouble. So I decided to branch out, push myself:

 

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Yes, I learned how to snowboard!! In perfect powder conditions which were great for spending lots of time on my behind (fallboarding)! I actually found snowboarding pretty fun because it is so much about core and balance. The not so fun part: you can’t hike easily with a snowboard. The second day I did a pretty flat green run with my family and ended up hiking up hills 4 times because I either fell or ran out of speed (hikeboarding). 

Except for the first time, I also fell every single time I got off the lift. Every. Single. Time. Let me know if you have any tips!

But all that time spent sprawled in the snow was worth it for the feeling of drifting like a falling leaf down the hillside. No poles. No crossed skis. No baggage. Just me, my board, and the mountain. 

After two days in the hills, we had to head back to real life.  Chris, my brother and I headed to Golden for a day and met my grandmother at Ali Baba for lunch – delish! Then we visited some friends from medical school and their baby in the Stapleton area.

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Those babies grow up so fast!

Yesterday my mom brought me along to observe her work as a school nurse. She works at a school for kids with past attendance or disciplinary issues, and I was so impressed at how their school works to accommodate the kids and families. They are working hard to help people and making a difference at a critical time in these kids’ lives. 

Today we went to the Denver Art Museum and saw the Passport to Paris exhibit. It was great to see such a variety of styles and times – my new favorite is British artist Sisley. They had a great Pissaro section with paintings from each decade of his art and it was cool to see how his style evolved and mellowed, from sharp geometrical shapes and “wild-urban interface” pieces to more abstract nature scenes. They also had some cool juxtapositions – a scene of Montmartre when it was all country, and a couple scenes of the wild nightlife there a few decades later. While we were at DAM, we also admired some of Thomas Moran’s watercolors and chromolithographs from Yellowstone. We finished our time downtown with some wine and cheese across the street. 

Lest you think that all we do is travel fun places and eat, Chris also made Mario Batalli’s baked ziti last night and in the process discovered that the pipes around the garbage disposal were clogged. Dirty dishwater was pouring everywhere; buckets, towels, flashlights were produced. But nothing could faze the Bugoshes! My dad ran some diagnostics, my mom snaked the pipes and upon discovering that it was beyond our level of expertise, we turned to Music Man to help Anna practice for the school play.  The new Music Man (2003) is pretty good, I must say, especially since we live so close to Iowa.  And the plumber is on the case right now. 

So it’s not ALL fun and games… but we usually end up having fun anyway!