Wednesday, December 24

ah yes, the Xmas spirit...

So, on my way to work this morning, I slowed to a stop at an intersection where apparently there had been a biker cycling across. He was in my blind spot at first but I was slowing to a stop anyway...but apparently not fast enough for him. Apparently, he thought I was just going to hit him instead of stop. So, he yelled "F*$% off!"...well, mouthed, I couldn't actually HEAR him...and then sped off to cut through the Wheaton campus. I thought he was an employee which sent me in to shock. But then I honked and drove off to work. I hope that man has a better Holiday than Holiday Eve, seems like he needs it. I mean I guess he was biking (with no hat or helmet mind you) through the snow that's been falling for like 4 hours and through fatty, wet 4 inch thick snow. My day wouldn't be that great either, I guess.

But, yeah, that just got me thinkin' about the good ol' Xmas spirit. We watched "Muppet christmas Carol" last night...always good for a laugh and some good reminders about not being a Scrooge. We're looking forward to it in the Collins-Pfeifer household personally. I forgot to bring my camera to download pics of Xmas at Michael Court...but that will come soon, I hope.

Hooray for only 3 more hours of work. I am keeping you all in my last day of Advent thoughts and hoping that you will be surrounded in Light tomorrow as you celebrate. Merry Holiday to all and to all a Merry Holiday!!!

Wednesday, November 26


Well, I said I wouldn't post more or about things for which I'm thankful. Well, I'll pretend I'm not thankful for the following or for the great season of Falltumn, which is drawing to a close rapidly in 20 degree Chicagoland. So, here's a tribute (in combo with general things I love):

we miss you boys! can't wait for you to come back and wrestle greg to the ground some more!

Dad and I on the long walk to my doom...jokes!

my veil that my mom and I made

the cute old people neighbors by my old house

our hallway is this color!

our berry tree right by our porch

shouldn't be allowed to exist, but oh, it does.
dancin' with the sister and the bro at the wedding

an Alabama autumn

remember this? we all got a hole in one! i'm a goofball in this pic, but good times!

a little too much fun with the stamps...miss you, MJ!

the cutest baby ever, my nephew, Ethan, who loves his toes...he makes an aunt so proud!

my famski!

before going on a date...showin' off my new do

fave pic of Mink ever

the dezwaan boys...and Benedick of course.
just chillin', watchin the Olympics.

Day before I give thanks

Well, I woke up this morning particularly grumpy (I am not a morning person) and unenthused to a) be awake and alive and b) to have to go to work where I would a) be asked to accomplish several new things before the holiday and b) not get a lunch until 2pm (partly my own fault).

I also had a conversation with Greg this afternoon about how it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving. Well, what DOES Thanksgiving feel like anyway? Any contributions to make? Anyone? I mean, last year we had lots of people over and maybe I was just super excited about it. But, I'm not unexcited to have those over who are coming over this year. Also, I thought it was just my chagrin over not being with the rest of the Collinses over Thanksgiving. But, out of the last 7 years I've lived here, I've only been with them once. But I do really really miss them. And the reality that I may not get to go for Christmas either is settling in...poo. Anyhow, I was grumpy because I didn't *feel* like Thanksgiving. But, at the same time I am extremely thankful for many things. I will not list them at the moment because I'm working and have to get a couple things done in the next hour! Just trust me on this one...

I'm hoping that this
doesn't happen again this year.
I'm not taking him to the ER if it does...that's all I have to say. So, I guess at the least, I'm thankful for a better cutting board and safer knives this T-giving.

Yum, I am very looking forward to dinner tomorrow and the triptephane coma...oh how I love you. Lots of love to you, my faithful readers. If anyone wants to give shout outs on their ideas of T-giving, please feel free. Grace and peace in abundance!

Thursday, November 20

almost T-giving

I don't like spelling out the entire word anymore so you'll have to appreciate the non-chalance of T-giving. It's like how one of co-workers names is C---stian. But I always spell it "Xian". Anywho, we're gearing up for the holidays here.

But I was so dismayed when I walked around campus on Wednesday and saw that physical plant was putting up christmas lights already!! Ugh, Blanchard lawn has already been transformed into a whimsical sea of multi-colored lights! Nooo, I thought. And then yesterday, we drove through Glen Ellyn and noted that there was a giant red bow complete with giant green garlands adorning every light post not to mention the giant tree which obscures your view of oncoming traffic at the corner of Main St. and Crescent. But don't pay no nevermind to that because we've decided to sneak Xmas into Halloween. Maybe it's the passive aggressive Suburban way of saying "Hey evil, take this!" (and they bite their thumbs at evil and all that jazz).

Now, don't worry I love a well lit tree and gaudily adorned abode as much as the next elf, but seriously, can't we wait till after T-giving?! I mean it almost would be appropriate to wait till Advent, but I admit that's too long to wait, even for me. I prefer the leaving up of the tree till February. Cuz I mean seriously what Holiday do we get next? Valentine's? Gag me. Patrick's? Hardly worth the mention. And waiting all the way through Lent seems so much like fasting...oh wait. Anyway, all that to say, our falala-ing and yulelog-ing will transpire as the Collins have always celebrated, the day after or the day after the day after T-giving.

But in traditional procrastinatory fashion, as this is a pseudo T-giving post, I'm going to put up pictures of Halloween :) And then maybe in Advent, I'll put up pics of T-giving and the tree dressing. PS--I must admit it is hard not to put up the cresch (spelling?) that K got us in China!!!! Can't wait for that. We definitely have plans...

My hot Professor Plum with the Rope [in the Billiard Room or
Ballroom depending on the places we were celebrating this year]

we went to play Whirly Ball with the Psych department from Wheaton, doesn't that sound kooky? it was and Whirly Ball is fun, but kinda hard. I love that picture where Greg's drinking from my lid. That sounded far more sexual than intended...sorry. But since you can see the picture you know I mean nothing by it :) And there's Jenn, she was Abby from the show NCIS.

But, I'll leave you with these gems of pictures. Look, I'm a venti soy decaf no whip mocha! And check out that handsome handsome devil of a man. Yup, he's my roommate.

Wednesday, November 19

symbols of our vows

a documented conversation between Greg and I over the decision of our rings...seemed fitting given the previous post. so typical us...

Noel: which one did you pick?

so that's the one fate chose

Noel: and how do you feel now that it's chosen?
sometimes that's the indicator

Gregoire: pretty good.. means i don't have to feel responsible anymore ;-)

Noel: if you get that one and then you go...oh, nevermind, i didn't want that after all
okay, well, ya know, it's just your wedding ring so it's probably good you're so flippant about it.

Gregoire: i do like it.. it's just a big decision, and i've lost so many rings in my life that i'm nervous about that as well

Noel: oh, yeah
well, you don't have to wear it to work if you don't want
if it helps, i've lost nearly every ring i've ever owned
except this one

Gregoire: not wearing it is how i lose it =P

Noel: not if you just don't put it on in the morning and you keep it in its box

Gregoire: i'm trying to not be flippant

Noel: is that one the cheaper one?

Gregoire: heheheh

Noel: cuz that makes me feel better

Gregoire: i love you
frugal you

Noel: we're going to tattoo it, so if it gets lost, we'll just leave it
till we're independently wealthy

Greg's ring:

Noel's Ring (which unfortunately will not be here in time for the wedding):

please note: the sapphire ring in the middle is not her ring.

a pic of the engagement ring for memory:

ring to rule them all...

Here's a pic of my awesome wedding ring.

It was sorta weird after the ceremony when the photographer had us take the "stare at the ring" pictures. We mostly were just laughing. Plus, I really thought it was weirder that Greg had a ring because ever since I was 12 and my Dad bought me a ring in Israel and blessed it in Cana (asking for grace in purity and also praying for Greg-only we didn't know it was Greg at the time but you know what I mean), I've basically had a ring on my my "ring finger". The Israel ring was lost in a tragic river intertubing accident, the details of which will not be released at this time. [picture imminent]

Anyway. Here are more photos of the symbol of Greg's vow. It's nice to have now. And to know it looks good with or without the engagement ring. PS. --I'm sorry that they are not the best pics. Very difficult to shoot very shiny, tiny things with my poor little lens.


Friday, November 7

nothing to say

well, here I am trying to be a good blogista and a good friend but I really can't think of anything to say. how is my life you ask? hmm..."Same ol'" is the response you're likely to get. But, as that does not make for a good blog, perhaps something spicier.

--Well, here's a blog that the illustrious Mink introduced me to:
It's really the bomb diggidy schmiggidy and gets me through many days of work.

--We have a new President Elect which is all good and well and I'm happy for him. However, I really don't want to hear anything more about race. I think it's very cool that we actually elected a non-white president but I just hope that wasn't the leading factor for most people. That seems like just an alternate form of prejudice. But, in any case, good luck to him.

--We just got back from Alabama for our friends' wedding and it was fun. Spent a lot of the time in the car. I just realized that driving is one of those things I get really frustrated about (just ask Henry or Jenn or Greg). I don't like people commenting on my driving, I don't like being lost, I don't like having to u-turn and I especially don't like when the GPS takes 10 minutes to find my location in Birmingham. And for some reason all of these things happened very frequently this past weekend. I try not to be frustrated but hate turning the wrong way--just one of the multitudinous ways in which my perfectionism manifests itself? I don't know what you're talking about.

--Dancing. I love dancing, my heart feels fulfilled when I dance. Today, my abs feel worked out from the dance. Never happened before...ever. It's pretty awesome though.

--Pumpkin pie. My heart also feels fulfilled by pumpkin pie and I'm pretty freakin' excited that we still have a giant $6 Costco one in our refrigerator.

--Getting engaged. Better the second time around...most definitely. Today marks exactly one year since the esteemed Greg Pfeifer (now my husband) begged for me to be his wife. If you want to read the story again (or for the very first time), go here. If you don't, then well, you're not my true friend. Jokes. I mean really how many times does someone really want to hear their friend's engagement story?

--Will post more pics, happenings and tidbits soon. This was just to get Katherine off my back :)

Friday, October 17

Autumnal Awesomnity!

How does one celebrate Fall--even on an 80 degree day--in the Midwest?


So, the lovely Mink and I steadily made our way out to a Pumpkin Harvest weekend in Waterman, IL. However, we couldn't mosey on out without stopping at the Midwest's largest thrift stores or a Waterman estate sale now, could we? No, we couldn't.

it was fun even though the patch was pretty picked over, still got some good gourds and mini guys!

mmm...enjoying pumpkin pie more than a girl should ;)

PS. Also, I got my hairs cut! But that was about 3 weeks ago, that must've been right around the same time. Will post more pics of the shortness that you can actually see very soon! Gotta upload them, you know how it is....

Monday, September 22

long time, no write?

I can't believe I haven't written since May! I suppose Katherine came home in June so figured she didn't need my updates desperately and as for the rest, my blogging energy went into our couple blog which was fun but there will be more news than just couple news...not to mention that it's not CG.

Anyway, well, I'm married now! How crazy is that? I leave for a few months and come back with an MRS. Just kidding, but hey at least we went through with it this time...hooray! We got back from Seattle/Mt. Rainier/Vancouver this past week, after almost 2 weeks away, it was glorious...literally. I will do an entire story with images re: the honeymoon later. For now, I can let some of my itchier friends who could not make the wedding get a few tasty morsels so that when I speak of the event, they can have a picture in mind. Though, mind you, these are not the professional photos, they are still fine for painting a general idea.

More to come!

p.s.--Happy Hobbit Day and first day of Fall!

Tuesday, May 27

Precious in the Eyes of the Father is the death of His Saints

Margie Fawcett's blog said this today (I am CGing it for you):

John William Fawcett

Friend of the Father

10-21-61 to 5-27-08

Please lift up the whole of the Fawcett family. I will post more later but my heart is heavy with the news.

Tuesday, May 13

our big fat offbeat wedding

What a whirlwind! Fam came in last wednesday for my 25th birthday. Yes, quarter of a century. Outrageous. Where does the time go?

Wednesday we visited with Karen who's our contact at Winnetka Community House where our reception will be. So many questions, so much confusion, a few questions answered differently. It's hard to plan all of this stuff, not that I didn't know. But, it's crazy that you, the paying customer can have as many ideas as you want but really it's all sent through one or two filters of the people who run the venues and that limits-for better or worse-your sense of what you want. For instance, who would think that it would be okay to bring in your own flowers, tiki lamps and any other decor so long as it's not fabric? Weird, right? Bah. Well, I guess plain ol' white poly blend tablecloths and napkins it is. We got to diagram the tables and everything which was pretty cool. There were many references to "martha stewart brides" of which Greg and I are not. My mom found this really cool site that I think encompasses more the kind of values that Greg and I have: Offbeat Bride

It's just crazy that a person totally outside your sphere of influence really gets to determine what your wedding is or is not. How messed up! Oh well, I guess that's just how the world works. Of course, if our budget was one of those "average American weddings" you always hear about that's 21, 500 then I suppose we'd be like, "What's another $30 tablecloth matter?" But, as it is, we are not the average Martha Stewart Bride Americans, so I guess we'll find our flair elsewhere.

All in all, the meeting was fine. This is my initial (somewhat facetious) apology to our losh friends that we will not have a full bar at which to consume to heart's content. I know it's a little surprising since Greg and I love to drink so much. But, when the offerings are Bud, Bud Light and Heineken...well, ya know.... So, hopefully we'll think up a fun little cocktail just for us and you can drink that, like it or not :) A "signature drink" Martha Stewart brides call it is what we were told...why do they get to patent that phrase? Did they really come up with it? It used to make me think of a speakeasy...except now it's tainted with Martha. I don't in general have anything against her, but now she's the norm which makes those of us without her mad skills look sub par.

Anyway, the reception will be awesome and it will be very Greg and it should be. Not even white poly blend tablecloths can stop that! Mom and Dad loved the space and Mom got to stun everyone with her use of the word "perambulator" and we had a very lovely day all in all.

And that was only the first 5 hours of their being in town...more posts to follow.

Wednesday, April 23

rear window

On April 10th, I sat in my office. It was raining outside and I was just bumbling on with my work. Then I got news that there were police outside on the tracks (which I can easily see from my window). I prayed at first that this didn't mean a suicide, but really, what else could it mean? Isn't that what it always means? Another Wheaton man had killed himself about 4 days before that. And 3 Wheaton students this year, though not by train and not even in Wheaton, IL.

And as people approached my window wanting to see what the police were doing and perhaps even to see if they could have proof of a body. That, along with irreverent comments like, "wouldn't the person just be bits and pieces anyway?" fueled my already discontented self. The last news came when a friend and colleague walked in and said she'd actually walked out back to look. And she saw the body of a man in a hoodie. The other details not need be repeated and really I didn't need to hear them either. But, I did. I only had about an hour before I had to leave or else I might have thrown up on the spot and left. I felt and knew that the Son wept at this man's death and that the fellowship should have felt holiness at this troubled passing. But, perhaps I just read into things too much...

Anyway, I was so disheartened. Why all the deaths? What sorts of devils had a hold on these men? I did look up online to see if there was anything in paper or on the news about it. There was a police transcript, nothing else for days. Then today I looked again and was glad to see that there was a name: Kurt. (He also had a last name but I don't want to take the Google searches away from those who deserve much more than I do to give final words for him). Anyway, I was led to his myspace page where I found he was a wanderer but much loved by those who knew him. From there I went on to a page by the Detholz!, the best obit probably anyone could have asked for. It was a beautiful memoriam and representation of Kurt in life. They'd even written him a song (well before his death which is perhaps even better) which is more than most receive in this life, I think! He is loved and grieved by people who loved him in life as still in death.

I received a sense of peace (and a stranger sense of relief!), along with a sense that I could weep. It was really restorative and healing to read that this man, plagued as he was by devils, was loved, fed and blessed by lives with brothers. So, I lift up the family and friends that survive Kurt and also hope that no one feels at blame for it. I also lift up Kurt and commit him into the arms of the Father.

Anyway, just wanted to share that experience. It was a very troubling one and as I explained to Greg, one that sent my sadness farther and yet, now, I think, I've been given a grace to let it least for the grieving at death and suicide. Help my unbelief!

Friday, April 11


I always think not much has been "happening" but then I come here to blog and realize, "Wow, time has really passed by and I have not had a moment's peace." My biggest issue at the moment is that I have not had time to clean my room and once again the clothes have proven themselves to make a great carpet. One day I will get to cleaning, I promise! That's what I tell myself anyway. It's funny because it seems that so long as I acknowledge it's a mess and make sure others know that I know, I feel like I don't have to clean. It makes me feel better, anyway. :)

I've had kind of a hard week, all joking aside, my room is merely one of the many ways in which I feel life is out of control right now. I don't usually like to share anything too personal on this blog or any blog, I guess. However, I'm not sure that many people read it anyway and those that do can just deal.

2 weeks ago, I went in for a lady doctor appointment. We all know those are thrilling in the first place.... But, I was going because my PCP had told me I should because some of my results were "off". Sooo...I went and she says I probably have PCOS. You can read about it here. I'm partly bringing this up because if anyone reads this and has firsthand experience, I'd love to know more about their experience. So, feel free to comment! Anyway, my new doctor was nice about everything and didn't seem to be worried so I wasn't either, she gave me a pamphlet said to call her at the end of the month and we'd go from there. There's nothing life threatening about it if it's treated and it seems that a lot of the symptoms get better through different medicines. Basically, my journey here has been hallmarked by not having a cycle for about a year and a half. So, ya know, best to get it dealt with.

But, here's the rub, doctors always seem to think that if you're overweight, that's where your problem started. That obviously my overweightness incurred the PCOS. However, the more I read, it's sort of a chicken and the egg problem. That those with PCOS find it really hard to lose weight because they're producing more testosterone than they should as well as other hormones and lacking some of the others. And, you're much more likely to get Diabetes with PCOS which also adds to the possibility of weight gain. So, I thought at first that this would be a liberating discovery; here was the answer to my mom's, coaches', dad's, my own questions about how I can exercise tons (especially in high school when i was a Varsity athlete), eat normally and still always have a roll around my waist and still struggle to get weight off. But, this week, it has not been, because the more I read, the more I learn that this is just a symptom of it and that none of the meds used to correct PCOS actually have any bearing on weight whatsoever unless you're determined to have an insulin deficiency.

So, from one medical alert to another, I looked up a condition that I had when I was a kid called Precocious Puberty. This is the first time I've ever shared about it in this public a setting. Apparently, it is sometimes linked to it would have been nice to know that and to watch out for it. (Incidentally, we've always contributed a lot of my weight issues to that because it makes you basically go from baby fat to puberty fat with no break in the middle like most kids have...but apparently that may not be the case).

All of this has resulted in my being upset with the Father--mad even. I finally pinpointed this a couple nights ago which is definitely a good first step. But, just being upset about having so many physical disorders through my life and for being given so many things that stack up to make me have a terrible self image. And sometimes I wish I were the kind of personality that would just give up. But, no, I still work out (nearly) everyday, eat well and try to take care of myself. And sometimes I feel like it's an uphill battle against Father which isn't right probably but it's how I feel sometimes. And I'm finally being honest about that. Anyway, so, that's something to lift up.

Well, I didn't mean this to be such a downer but I must return to working now. I feel a little better for having written this out though.

Hope all reading this are well and don't be a stranger, comment me!

Thursday, March 27

Save the Date!

So, here's the save the date I created. You can go to our wedding site for the one his mom created. I know you won't be here but maybe we'll send you a magnet anyway or something and an invite. Though you'll prob be home by the time we send them out. :) There's another post too, don't miss it!

He is Risen!

Could life so end, half told;
its school so fail?

Soul, soul, there is a sequel
to thy tale!

~Robert Mowry Bell

So, the Week of infamy is over. There are pictures on my picasa of Vigil happenings. While only in one reading this year...the "Dry Bones" reading...we still had quite the week. Greg's heading up RezBearers and so ya know, they have their hey day during the Week. It went really well, though.
Greg and I also did lit arts, which Carrie is heading up this year. We decorated mostly the overflow space--which apparently was only used for 30 minutes and then everybody found seats. But it was good to make it beautiful for them anyhow. Plus, the next morning for RezCafe, they used it.

Sorry there aren't more pictures of the actual readings. Since I was in one, I had to be backstage for most of it. I was also on stage for the actual putting up of the banners and change to white and all the flower arranging. Quite an experience. Have you been to Vigil before? I think you have, in fact, I'm almost positive of it.
Anyway, basically there's the cue to open the curtain and reveal the "A" banners and to put the flowers out. The cue is Stewart saying, "He is Risen!" Well, this year...the music never stopped and the auditorium went crazy before Stewart ever said anything. So, there's Carrie and I waiting for Stewart's cue, poised and ready to run with the curtains, toes stickin' out so that we can make sure it doesn't get caught on the banners. But, alas, we wait and wait, the noise gets louder and louder and still, no announcement. Well, did I fail to mention that we were having sound problems that night? We found out later, from Greg and Joe, that Stewart did say it except his mic malfunctioned so nobody heard it. They happened to see him mouth it and responded but not near loud enough to cover the "holy" noise. So, Carrie and I stood there while he heard a drum duet begin and questioned what we were supposed to do. Eventually, someone yelled at us to "GO!" And all was well. But, we felt kind of funny. Oh well, He is risen indeed so good.

Also, please lift up the Fawcetts. I don't know if you know about what's been going on, but John had quite the Good Friday...definitely in the shadow of death--he came down with pneumonia and was in the hospital. I received news this morning that he went home tomorrow...and by tomorrow I mean yesterday...ugh. Many thanks above! Margie says he is so tenacious about life so plead that that continues in that. Thanks for your thoughts!

Anyway, Happy Holiday.

Collect for today:
Almighty and everlasting Father, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of the Son's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through the Son, who lives and reigns with you and the H_ S_, one Father, for ever and ever.

Let us go forth into the world rejoicing in the power of the spirit.

Friday, February 29

Winter Highlights

A few things have kept my soul alive in the cold, bitter Chicago Winter this's some highlights:

Exhibit A) HOCKEY!!!!

Greg and I celebrated actual Valentine's in a traditional manner with a possibly PMS-related depression (me, not Greg :) ), no flowers, dog-sitting (exhibit B), me sending him chocolates which arrived at work, he buying Qdoba for us and watching Lost, then to bed since he had to open the store the next morning. Romantic, eh?

So, to actually celebrate we bought tickets to a Blackhawks vs. Avalanche (woo-hoo) game for that weekend. It was a really great game even though my Aves couldn't pull it together. But, we got to part of a record breaking amount of people to attend a hockey game at the United Center...hooray for us and the 21, 763 other people! It really was awesome. What a great Valentine's present to us :)

Exhibit C) Getting away from Chicago
3 trips thus far this Winter: Baltimore, San Antonio, North Carolina.

Baltimore Holiday (exhibit D)- 4 days, get in get out, kinda tiring, kinda hard occasionally, but good overall. had fun visiting with G's grandparents whom I'd never hung out with much before.

San Antonio Holiday (exhibit E)- sea world, scene it! 2nd edition, family!, warm weather, wedding dress shopping, no fights, bliss pretty much

North Carolina (exhibit F & pic at top)- ocean, short sleeves, sun, a tan, and Tim's mom has a hot tub :)

Exhibit F) Ethan
Every other day I get more pics of him and that gets me through.

Exhibit G) Pretty Snow
Took these the other night when it dropped 6-8 inches on us.

Exhibit H) Friday Ladies' Lunches
Getting together with the other Rez women who work for the College. Like today how we discussed Rez's stance on feminism or lack thereof and about what really matters to the kingdom message. Keeps my mind sharp and on the importance.

Exhibit I) Greg
Our dates, talks, we've recently taken up playing Magic the Gathering (yes, yes, we are dorks), mini golf cuz we can't go outside, playing with invitation ideas for our wedding, having friends over, moving him out of his old house in the middle of Winter, making a list of things I'm thankful for even when I'm not very happy with him at the moment, laughing, singing, hoping.

Exhibit J) Knowing that in 6 months and 8 days, I'll be on my honeymoon in beautiful Vancouver!