New Year's Resolutions

1. Get a job. Preferences: Work with a hockey team; Stay in New England, but the Midwest would be fine too. There are not a lot of job openings right now that are hiring for after May 2011, so this won't be more of an issue until that time gets closer.

2. Get back down to race weight (115 - 120 lbs) and tone up. I particularly want to change my two pack + 1 pint that is my belly.

3. Get better at triathlons. This means overcoming my fear of cold water. Just because its cold doesn't mean I'm drowning. I'm also not the only one in the cold water, so I should just suck it up already. My season one goals were to finish every race. My season two goals are to have a better times than last year. Another goal of mine is to finish top three in my age group for at least one triathlon. I also aim to PR in my marathon in February. My previous time is 4:59:11, so it shouldn't be too hard as long as I stay healthy and uninjured. I have come a long way from two years ago.  If I want to qualify for Boston, I should really run marathons more frequently than once every two years.

4. Put more effort into my hobbies, particularly knitting and acting. I let the stress of work and school get the best of me and I feel like it is increasingly more important for me to have "me" time. I have done a bunch more knitting this winter since school ended, but that will likely be left at the wayside once school starts up again. I would like to work on something for at least 30 minutes per week. I also want to put more work into my acting hobby. I do not necessarily mean taking more classes, although that would be nice. I want to get a headshot and resume together and submit them to various casting companies in town. The headshot is the hardest part as they are not particularly cheap. My goal is to audition at least once. That may be a lofty *cough* goal, but I got to start somewhere.

Plans for the new year:
January - Vegas, baby!
February - Survive the crazy hockey schedule. We typically have 2 games per week at a maximum. The first three weeks of February have us playing 10 games. We had a similar schedule last year, and everyone was drained/injured by the end. Hopefully, we all make it out alive and well this year. Plus, I have my scholarly paper due early March, so February would also pit me trying to survive school. Oh, and I'm running a marathon. I need a nap just thinking about it.
March - Hopefully, win a national championship! We deserve it after our February schedule. Happy birthday to me!
April - Go to Minneapolis for the men's hockey Frozen Four
May - Graduate. Yes, you may begin calling me "Master" now. Also, my personal deadline for having a job. Whether or not I start in May, I don't care. I just want to know that I have a job by May. Also, triathlon season starts!
June - NATA conference in New Orleans, Mooseman Half
July - Half way done dance
August - Start new job?
September - Two year anniversary (love you, Benny!), First ever Full Ironman!!! @Cedar Point Rev3
October - off season/marathon(?)
November - Thanksgiving...hopefully, with one of our families. Its been too long since I've spent Thanksgiving with family.
December - Christmas (already?)...again, hopefully, with family.

Anyone else have any big plans for 2011?

2010 in Review

January - You know, the usual. School and work.
February - As you'll find out in my 2011 post, February is usually a crazy month for me at work. Thanks to the Beanpot, we have lots of games all at once in February leading to lots of burn out and injuries...and I'm not just talking about the athletes. Thank goodness it was the end of the season.
March - The Boston University women's hockey team wins their first ever Hockey East title. I still gets the chills when I think about the great overtime victory. I'll have to recap for you sometime my feelings during the game. As a result of the win, the girls also got their first ever NCAA tournament bid. They lost the first round, but it was still a great ride.

April - Went to the Frozen Four in Detroit with Ben, my dad and my brother. It was the perfect location in that it also allowed us to spend some time with Ben's family. We also got to see Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) make it to the final round, only to lose to Boston College (really?). All of the games were blowouts, which kinda stunk. But we did get to see Chris Chelios in person.

Yes, that's my dad high fiving him
 May - End of my first year of graduate school. It all went by so fast. I couldn't believe I was already half way done. I also participated in my first ever triathlon. I finished after almost quitting during the swim. I was having some serious issues with the cold and even asked to be taken to the ambulance boat, but just as I had said that, the boat sank forcing me to finish the swim anyways. At that point, I figured I might as well just finish the race.
June - Went to my brother's high school graduation. Following that, I helped my parents move from Wisconsin to Florida. I took turns driving the moving truck with my dad. We drove straight through and it took us 23 hours! Not to mention, I had never driven a truck before. I treated myself to a week in Florida which consisted of sitting by the pool, swimming in the pool and visiting my friend and former roommate, Brittany, in St. Augustine. I also finished my second sprint triathlon, which went much better than the first triathlon.
July - We celebrated the 4th of July in Boston which was crazy amazing. I also finished my first ever Olympic triathlon. It took much longer than expected due to flatting on the bike course. At that point, I had not yet learned how to change a flat, so I had to wait 40 minutes for the bike mechanic to arrive and change my flat. Ben and I also FINALLY went on our honeymoon to London and Paris. I highly recommend either place to anyone looking for a European vacation, but if I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Paris.
August - Ben and I both finished our first half Ironman at Timberman. I also started my second year of work/school.
September - Ben and I spent September recovering from Timberman and getting back into the swing of work and school. We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary...big success ;)
October - I got to travel to North Dakota with the hockey team. I definitely would never have paid to go there myself, but it was a great free experience. The weekend series marked the beginning of the hockey season.
November - I submitted a case study to NATA which is the first time I submitted anything professionally. I have yet to hear back if I will present at the annual conference, but either way, I view it as a success. Also, Ben and I celebrate Thanksgiving in Boston.
December - I finished my 3rd of 4 semesters of graduate school. I'm almost there! The hockey team is ranked #3 in the nation, which is the highest they have been ranked in team history. Ben and I celebrate Christmas in Boston, which is the first time either one of us celebrated away from family. We made this decision due to the limited time I had off from the hockey team. However, we skyped both of our families so it felt like we were there. We are planning on finishing the year by going to the Nutcracker (first time for me) on Dec. 30 and going out to eat at Legal Sea Food on Dec. 31.

This year really flew by and I'm looking forward to next year. I just hope it doesn't fly by as fast so I can really enjoy every minute of it.

The Goods

Every Christmas, I feel more and more blessed. This year, I received a lot of great gifts from my family and friends. More than anything, I am grateful for the love and generosity of my family, but the material gifts are a great added benefit. Here are a few of the things I got.

Finished product

Got a Hollister gift card from my mom and cashed in big time all of this for $25

Some Abercrombie and plaid

I love monkeys

Ben and I started collecting free rubber it has grown  to buying and receiving them

This is the exact car I want...Union Jack and all

Guess I'll be busy baking cookies in the off season

Display case for my shot glasses

Ben and I love visiting lighthouses, so his parents got us these beautiful mugs

<3 Hockey

Who needs Dunkies when you have Timmy Ho's

Sock monkey ornament

Helmet signed by all my girls

3 Days Until Christmas

This year, my husband and I will be spending Christmas here in Boston. It is our first Christmas away from home and away from our families. That isn't deterring us from sharing the holiday with our families. We have plans to Skype our families to watch each other open presents. For as much as I hate technology when it fails, we really can't live without it at other times.

On an unrelated note, has anyone seen the new Dolce and Gabana cologne commercial? You know, the one with Matthew McConaughey? I find it ironic that after all these stories about him not bathing or using deodorant that a cologne would want him in their commercial. Maybe its their way of saying, "Its so good, even Matthew McConaughey smells good wearing it."

4 Days Till Christmas

Yesterday was my first day off AND home alone. So of course I spent the morning running to the bathroom. What's the point of having a day off if you can't be sick as well? Kill two birds with one stone.

Around 3 o'clock, the buzzer for our apartment went off. I went down to find the mailman just standing in the front hallway. I open the door and he says, "Are you a part of the Berry clan?" I chuckle and say, "Yes". He pointed to a pile of boxes on the floor by our mailbox, "Those are all yours. I didn't know what you wanted me to do with them." "Thanks! Merry Christmas!" I respond.

I grab the boxes and bring them up to our apartment and start to open them and put the gifts under the tree. As I got to the second box, I notice it says "To: The Berry Clan". Here this whole time, I thought the postal worker was being silly, but he was literally reading off of the top of the box. He probably thinks we have a literal clan living here. Maybe that's why we go through so many mail men.

Anyways, picture time...

Our work in progress...we have since added the topper and more gifts

My elfin legs

The view from our apartment yesterday

Weather Update

After much anticipation, it is finally snowing. And it is at a faster pace than 1 inch per year. It was supposed to snow last night for the Patriots vs. Packers game, and I thought it would. A little known secret is that they ship in fake snow to make Gillette Stadium seem more intimidating, but even the fake snow couldn't fall last night.

By the way, I am not a Packers fan or a Patriots fan, but I thought it would be cool to see a newbie QB succeed (even if he did play for LSU).  I felt so bad for the Packers. They were so close to pulling off an amazing win and they just couldn't make it happen. Matt Flynn just permeated frustration, especially after his almost interception. Poor kid. I hope he gets another chance.

Slutcracker Review

The curtains rise to reveal a girl using a Shake Weight. 

Bravo! The play could have ended there and I would have been laughing for hours anyways.

But they didn't. There was an old nagging grandmother. There was a giant dancing dildo powered by Energizer [Playboy] bunnies. And there were pasties....LOTS of pasties. Not to be confused with pastries.

It was very artfully done and was not nearly as tacky as it could have been. They had ballet dancers who have been dancing for more years than I have been alive. The acting was great and the plot itself was hilarious while still resembling closely to the Nutcracker. The first scene was primarily acting out the storyline. The second scene was all glitter, stripper poles, dominatrixes (or is it dominatrices?), and pasties. Did I mention there were pasties in this play?

In conclusion, I suggest that you see this play next year (as I'm pretty sure its mostly sold out for the rest of this year's shows). I also suggest you take your least favorite friends' kids.

Nutcracker Slutcracker

Yes, I am going to both. My lovely and talented husband surprised me last night saying that we are going to see the Nutcracker this year. In all of my 23 years of existence, I have not yet seen the Nutcracker. I have been nagging Ben the past couple of years to take me. I finally got him to cave.

Also, some girls from work and I will be going to the Slutcracker on Sunday night. Yes, that is a real play. It is a burlesque version of the Nutcracker. I first heard about it a couple of months ago from a girl in my acting class who is in the play.

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Simply put, the title says it all. The skies have gotten a little flakey over the past few weeks, but always while I'm at work, so I have never actually seen it. All I really want is a substantial amount of white stuff on the ground, even if its just a dusting. This is Boston after all. If they can through down some serious fake stuff at the Patriots game, they can do it here.

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Growing up, my family celebrated St. Nicholas Day on the morning of Dec. 6. The night before, St. Nick would come and put goodies in our stocking which consisted of the usually candy and various stocking stuffers. A part of that tradition included an orange at the toe of the stocking. I have continued the tradition with Ben. However, we had an orange shortage, so I placed an apple in Ben's stocking and he placed a sweet potato in mine.

My Top Christmas Movies

Note: I am a terrible person and have not seen the classics in their entirety, so I don't feel its right to include them here. This list is merely a "Top 10" of what I have seen.

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. Love Actually
3. Muppet's Christmas Carol
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon Edition)
5. Elf
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Wikipedia says its a Christmas movie, so it must be so)
7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Claymation version)
8. Fred Claus
9. A Christmas Story
10. Home Alone

Now Why Are They All Blinking?

Ben and I are divided on whether or not Christmas lights should blink. I think blink. Ben wants non-blinking. Christmas is the only time of the year when you can decorate your house with multi-colored lights. Why not add a little more fun and have blinking lights? If you want a stagnantly lit light, turn on a lamp. Besides, when was the last time you saw a house on YouTube for having non-blinking lights? NEVER! Its all about the Vegas style Christmas.


Happy Hanukkah II

First of all, Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish friends.


But who didn't know that already. If you haven't heard any of the Christmas music or seen the sale ads during the past month, I would suggest you get out of bed now.

In honor of the impending doom holiday, I am starting the blog Advent calendar. A blip a day until Christmas about Christmas (or another holiday that occurs in December). I know I said that I was going to start other themes on my blog and all have failed epic-ly. But over the next 22 days, I will post a quick note relating to the holidays.

Today's Advent Calendar: It is my belief that the most exciting part about the holidays is the anticipation and not the day itself. People get so caught up in the gift buying, the decorating, the party going and the preparations.  I get more joy from the preparations than the experience of the day(s). Or maybe I just can't wait for school to be over.

Brain Freeze

I take one sip of the cold, juicy goodness. Yum. Second sip, its getting kinda chilly in there. Third sip, I can feel the numbing pain start and it shoots into my forehead.

I wince. I gently massage my forehead, hoping that I can somehow manage to rewarm my ailing brain.

But it is no good.

I start kneading more vigorously.

Still no relief.

Finally, I start pounding on my head and shaking it to get the pain out of there.

When after much turmoil, the pain recedes and I rest my head in my hands.  I look around to notice that everyone is looking at me in shock, like they had just seen a grand mal seizure. I casually grab my drink, flip my hair back into place and walk away.

*All events are purely fictional. I just felt in the mood for some creative writing.*