Monday, January 23, 2012

New Zealand Book is Finished!

I finally got all of my memories and photos into one semi-consolidated book!!! It's 154 pages, but who's counting. That was after much editing and deleting and re-adding and more editing of photos and fun stories. Understandably, it's just not easy to summarize the incredible year I had! My hard copy arrived very quickly last Friday and every time I look through it, more memories come flooding back.

You can preview my book here. A combination of blog posts, photos, and a few additional memories, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I hope you like it:

Please note: If you really like it, you can purchase a copy for yourself through the site. Although my main goal for posting it here is so you can preview the finished product, I know several people asked about purchasing a copy. Also, there are a lot of pictures so sometimes it takes a minute to load (particularly on slower connections) just be prepared for that.

It really was one of the best years of my life and so I thank you for being a part of that, even if it was just as a supporter through my blog. I look forward to getting back to New Zealand again sometime soon. Until that point comes, I'll have to be satisfied with my new visual reminder instead. And I'll continue to blog when I have new fun memories to share.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

After spending so long without a proper snowfall, I'm happy to say that the snow is finally falling in Chicago. We have had unseasonably warm weather this winter, including 50 degrees over the holidays, which meant I could look cute for New Year's without worrying about the bulky clothing. So you would think that this weather would only help people appreciate the snow more when it finally came, because we are in Chicago, it will come. But over the last two days 90% of the people I talk to are miserable about it, or at least I thought they were.

Walking home from work along North Avenue, Chicago
I have a new theory... when you talk to someone about the upcoming snow in Chicago, it's just our way of saying "Hey, how you doin'?" It's a conversation starter. It's a good opening line so you don't have to spend an elevator ride staring at the weird pattern of the carpet. I have a suggestion though: don't throw them off by telling them that you actually like the impending doom that may be falling on the city. Because that act alone throws off the balance of it all and gives away that you don't belong...even if you've been in the city for nearly 10 years.

And in case anyone had any doubt of my sanity, I'll be stripping down to my swim suit and plunging in Lake Michigan on January 28 with the Lakeview Polar Bear Club. After all, if I'm going to cross this off my bucket list (again, since I did one in Auckland already) I might as well do it during a warm winter. Care to join me?