Top 12 of 2012

12.  Bestie Jen’s pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding festivities

This is first listed because it consumed most of my year – so fun!

Dress shopping, Creston bridal shower, Kansas City bridal shower, Chicago bachelorette weekend, the main event in Loose Park in Kansas City, reception and dance at Boulevard Brewery.  Of course we jammed out at the dance.  😉

11.  Bestie Lexi’s first baby – Charlotte (Charley)

Another bestie moment.  I love my friends like family – just ask the Andersons back in the Burg.  🙂  I only wish we all would see each other more often.

10.  G and L

I continue to spend as much time as possible with my favorite little people, my nephew Gabriel and niece Lucy.  I like to brag about them here in my G and L series.

9.  Social Media

My love affair with social media continues.  Where else can you have Ivanka Trump, John Rich, Kate Snow, and NBC’s Rock Center retweet and/or reply to you?  Twitter is my favorite!

8.  M-A-D-O-N-N-A!

Jen and I made it onto the big screen in the Sprint Center when were were dancing it up during the opening show (of course).  Madonna had the #1 best selling tour in 2012.  I know why – simply amazing.

7.  Denver with cousins

Lots of good eats and drinks, along with cousin bonding time.  And I didn’t go to bed that much earlier than my 20-something cousins each morning.  😉

6.  Career moves

When I left Target Optical at the end of 2011, my regional manager told me I’d be back.  I laughed then, but he is laughing now.  While I enjoyed my time as a Business Development Associate for Rainbow International Restoration and Cleaning in Davenport, the bullseye pulled me back.  I became Optical Team Leader of the Davenport store in August.

5.  Jagger Q

Jag the cat turned 10 years old in August.

4.  Political nerd forever

Still actively involved in political stuff and enjoyed five minutes of fame when Romney came to town in June.  A few people told me I need to smile when on national TV.  Noted.  (In my defense, I was trying not to make a funny face and it was HOT that day.)

3.  iLove

Best book I read last year was Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  And I finally bought an iPad.  Best investment since my iPhone and Dyson purchases during previous years.

2.  Melify

My sister coined this term, and I embrace it.  I am always keeping busy with one project or another, whether it’s with SendOutCards or organizing random stuff.

1.  Holiday spirit

After a long day of work and post-work shopping on December 19th, I returned to Smurfette to find a card on her window.

September Recap

I had so much fun writing my August recap, so I thought I’d continue with September and make this a monthly post.  It’s also sure to help me with my Christmas letter content this year.

Mel’s Adventures in September:

1. Visited Backbone State Park for a Fosaaen family Labor Day picnic

2. Checked out the Beaux Arts Fair in Davenport

3. Rocked out to Michelle McCormick and Daphne Willis at the Redstone Room

4. First venture into yoga – Hot Yoga!

5. Watched my first roller derby in person. Go QC Rollers!

6. Toured the Haitian Art Exhibit at the Figge

7. Resumed monthly Red Cross Picnic on the River planning committee meetings

8. Attended my first NFRW Biennial Convention, this year in KC

9. Celebrated my blog’s 1 year birthday

10. Elected President of Scott County Republican Women for 2012 – 2013, will be sworn in December 12th

October is already shaping up to be an exciting month, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Downtown Davenport Adventures: River Roots Live

River Roots Live became a top priority this year the moment I heard the headliners: Gin Blossoms and Blues Traveler.

And I had to prioritize.  We had two Schulz events during the same weekend, August 19 – 20.

Friday night’s Gin Blossoms show was fabulous.  I even scored a VIP pass, which meant a private bar and closer access.  I spotted Robin Wilson after the show and asked a group of ladies nearby if they would take my picture with him.  Well, they had me take their picture first and then split.  They didn’t even notice he was there until I told them!  The nerve.  And then no one else nearby was willing to take a stab at photography with my iPhone.  Seriously.

But I did have him sign my koozie.  And to those ladies: karma is a be-atch.  Watch out.

Saturday night was twice as packed, and of course that’s the night I had to slum it in general admission.  Blues Traveler put on a totally different show – more instrumental artsy stuff than cute lyrics.  I loved it.  I also loved that I didn’t have to resort to using the kybos, as I heard some nasty reviews near the end of the night.

The big surprise on Saturday was the post-headliner Nikka Costa.  That lady has a voice and moves!  And I never knew she had a song on the Blow soundtrack.  Johnny Depp in that movie: delicious.

Back to the River Roots……

To top off all of this fabulous music, the event was held down in LeClaire Park after having it in the streets last year.  The park wins, hands down.  The weather was beautiful, and the fireworks at Modern Woodmen Park were a neat backdrop to Blues Traveler’s performance late Saturday night.

Perhaps the hugest factor to consider:  It was FREE!  The only thing that beats good live music outdoors is free, good, live music outdoors.  The Quad Cities Chamber has also brilliantly combined it with Rib Fest.  So you get free entertainment and then spend your money on ribs and beer.  Wonderful.

Next year I hope to be able to see some of the day time performers too.  I can’t wait to see who comes to visit us next year!

August Recap

Happy Final Day of August 2011!

Time really does fly by faster with every passing year, and I want to pause and remember what has happened during the past month.  We often do this at work with monthly reports (and on campaigns with daily/weekly reports), so why don’t we do it for ourselves?

My August Highlights:

1. Met two more presidential candidates: Rick Santorum and Ron Paul

2. Attended my third Iowa Straw Poll

3. Made the evening news on two local TV stations

4. Babysat G and L four Fridays

5. Saw the Gin Blossoms and Blues Traveler for free in Davenport

6. Set up my Red Goose Solutions Facebook page

7. Discovered Starbucks Kenya coffee beans – yum!

8. Went on non-disastrous first and second dates

9. Celebrated friend Beth’s birthday (and my 1/2 birthday)

10. Named Social Media Director for the Scott County Republicans

11. Finally read the final Harry Potter book

12. Celebrated Grandma Schulz’s 80th birthday

Bring on September!

U2 in STL

I LOVE concerts, especially outdoor concerts.  This one had been in the planning stages since November 2010.  And then the concert ticket became a Christmas/birthday gift – thanks Jen!

As usually happens when one makes plans far ahead, the weekend suddenly becomes a much busier weekend than anticipated.  But I made it to St. Louis by early Sunday afternoon.  Road tripping in Smurfette was a lot of fun.  She reached 140k on the odometer during this trip, and we did not contribute to the state of Missouri’s (or Illinois’, even though they could use it) state coffers.

Windmill farm in Illinois

This was the hottest date of the U2 360 tour – even beating out Nashville.  I was ready with my sweet Ray Bans, sun dress, sunscreen, and minimal makeup.  Busch Stadium was packed!

We had general admission tickets, so a couple of us meandered our way to the 5th row from the outer catwalk/stage and made friends with some hard core Metallica guys.  I advise everyone to seek out some tough guys to stand near when you are on the concert floor.  Build repoire pre-concert, and you won’t regret it.  We didn’t need their services, as the crowd was pretty tame, but you just never know.  One of my new-found friends once retrieved a flip flop for me in the middle of a mosh pit in Houston.  (And I still wear flip flops to outdoor concerts!)

I am a concert snob of sorts.  I have touched Steven Tyler’s hand, been within reach of Jon Bon Jovi, and could see the pores in Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz’s face.  So while my previous U2 concert in Chicago’s Soldier Field was fabulous even from the nosebleeds, I was ready to be close to the stage.

Interpol opened, and I was impressed.  Then the sun went down, the lights came on, and Bono came out.  All of my cares melted (literally!) away, as they always do when great live music captivates me.

Bono!

 

Bono Up Close (no zoom on this pic!)

 

The Edge

 

Their song set was very similar to Chicago in 2009, and they once again played my favorite song “With or Without You” as the finale.  And it wouldn’t be a U2 concert without some changing the world action call.  ONE volunteers were recognized, Astronaut Mark Kelly had a message from outer space broadcast on the big screen, and the plight of Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi was highlighted.  Interesting that during the Chicago concert she had been in jail, and this time she is semi-free.  For how long though, no one knows.

I can easily become annoyed when rock stars promote political views, even though I am a self-declared political hack.  I’m there for the music, and that is it.  However, U2 relays their message in a classy all-we-need-is-love way.

While the trip to St. Louis was a very quick one, it was totally worth it.  Next concert on deck: Gin Blossoms in Downtown Davenport on August 19!