December 27, 2009 - 8:30 PM
My family has some great Christmas traditions. For the last four years, we have attended the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at our church. The mass starts at 11 pm and gets done Christmas morning at midnight. The first time we went to this mass, my sisters and I got really excited when we got home because technically it was Christmas morning. So for the past four years, my family has opened the presents under the tree starting at midnight Christmas morning. We quickly change into our pajamas and sort the presents while my mom makes us hot chocolate. Now that all the kids in the house are grown up, it is fun staying up until 2 am opening presents with family.
Besides getting my ticket to the Rose Bowl (which I think I am still in a little bit of shock about), I also got some awesome duck gear and some gift cards for Christmas. Since I had already opened my present at the White Elephant party, I got to enjoy watching my family open all the gifts I gave them. I think they all really enjoyed it. For my sister who is getting married, I made her a bridal survival guide with a bridal idea book, bridal magazines, a book on how to plan a wedding, and a cute box to store all of her ideas in. For my little sister who just moved to Spokane to go to Eastern Washington University, I made her a winter weather survival kit full of gloves, socks, and a hat.
After we all opened presents until we ran out, we headed to bed. Christmas morning, we woke up and opened our stockings from Santa. (Even though we are 18, 21, and 24 years old, Santa still comes to visit our house. I love it!) We then packed and got ready and hit the road to Sunriver in central Oregon to visit my grandparents. Since they live over there, we get to visit quite frequently. We feasted on an amazing turkey and ham dinner, and went to bed fat and happy!
As tradition continues, we woke up the day after Christmas and went shopping in Bend @ the Old Mill District. This is the best place to shop in Bend because it is home to the only Duck Store east of Eugene. We leave the cranky dad and grandpa at home and the girls head into town with their credit cards! We then did a lot of needed relaxation and rest and visited with family. After a fun weekend, we headed back over the mountain to Salem. I will only be here 3 days before leaving for Pasadena!
I can't wait!
It was truly an amazing Christmas here at the Sime house, and one that I am so lucky to be able to share with my family and friends. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas as well.
December 23, 2009 - 11:30 PM
Every year, my mom's side of the family, the Gieraus, gets together for a White Elephant gift exchange party to celebrate Christmas. This year, my mom hosted the party and we had eighteen people from ages three to eighty-eight running around the house. There was never a dull moment, as Gieraus are known for their chatty manor, loud voices and their ability to have fun.
While I thought this was going to be the same old same old White Elephant party, there was a HUGE twist that I was completely unaware of. My mom is so proud of herself for being so sneaky! She (and my entire family) got me pretty good!
As tradition in our family goes, everybody brings a $25 gift certificate and an additional small item (a movie, a book, etc) to contribute. We have all been to those White Elephant parties where you bring something really awesome and leave with a useless, crummy present (mine happened in third grade when I brought awesome magic markers and went home with a loaf of bread. I cried the whole way home). It's never fun. The Gierau way, we all get something we like and that we can use. It's a great idea if I can say so myself!
So as my turn came, I had a tough decision. I never just pick from the pile of presents, because I didn't want to get a present I didn't want (like a Home Depot gift card). As I contemplated between stealing the Best Buy gift card or the Target gift card, this BEAUTIFUL looking Oregon Football disposable shopping bag kept catching my eye. Why hadn't this present been touched yet? I was in a room full of die hard duck fans with a few, brave Beavers showing their faces after the devastating Las Vegas bowl. (Sorry Dad I had to mention the game!). I knew I would have to love whatever was in that bag, so I went against my normal rule and grabbed it.
As I opened the bag, there were fake roses as the tissue paper. I loved the present already! I also got a $25 Nike gift card (my favorite!) and a book about this history of Oregon Football. I was pretty satisfied with my pickings. My mom says "Oh my gosh! I think that the coach signed some of those books. You should open it up and see if he signed yours". As I opened the book, there was no autograph. What was there was so much prettier: a ticket to the Rose Bowl. As I stood in shock, the entire room staring at me, it took me a while to comprehend what was going on. My parents staged the whole thing so my entire family could see me open my present. They all played a role in how the ticket was obtained, and were all a part of this beautiful Christmas present! My Grandpa, aka the biggest duck fan I know, has had season tickets for at least 30 years. He was able to get my ticket as a season ticket holder. My cousin, Holly, was able to find an affordable airline ticket and let my mom use her companion flier coupon. My Uncle Jon is going to be my date for the weekend along with my Uncle Mike and Cousin Mike who live in LA. Thank you all of this AMAZING present and the roll you played, and I am so excited to once again root on my ducks as a student!
Even as I sit here, after everyone has gone and the excitement has died down, I still cannot believe it. THE ROSE BOWL!!!!!!! Although I was wishing and hoping that is what I would get for Christmas, I never thought in my wildest dreams that it was actually what I would get. I called my mom the day after the Civil War, when I was on the ultimate Duck Football high, and told her I wanted to go to the Rose Bowl. I was a little discouraged when I was laughed at for a solid minute. At that point, I let go of the dream.
Congrats to my entire family (and apparently the entire city of Salem who was in the know) for keeping such a great secret. You caught me so off guard! This will definitely be a Christmas and a New Years I will never forget!
In conclusion: WATCH OUT PASADENA, THE CRAZY GIERAU CLAN IS COMING!!!
December 20, 2009 - 11:07 PM
As I am gearing up for the holidays, I realize that New Years Eve and New Years are right around the corner. Although this means my ducks are about to embark on their big Rose Bowl game, it also means that another year has come and gone.
At the risk of sounding like an old person, I cannot believe that 2009 is already here and gone. Starting off the year with a break-up instead of a New Years' kiss led to a lot of change in my life-new schedule, new friends, new attitude...new everything. Although it has been a hard year, it has also been one of the best years of my life! As I reflect on my year, I want to share some of my best memories of 2009 with you:
1. Alpha Kappa Psi- As I have said before, and will probably say many more times, Alpha Kappa Psi was THE BEST decision of my college career. From partying in Sunriver, organizing a silent auction for Boys and Girls club, learning about leadership in the PBLI conference in Reno, and securing my first job interview post graduation...most of my best memories from this year revolve around this great organization. To all my Alpha Kappa Psi brothers-I love you all! Thank you all for your love and support this year. I hope I can give back to you what you have given to me in guidance, friendship, and support within my personal and student life over this year.
2. My Nike Internship- This year, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Nike campus for a three day internship and extended job shadow. Being a HUGE fan of Nike, I honestly felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Nike flew me from Eugene to Portland, put me up in a five star hotel, and spoiled me with free Nike shoes, merchandise, fabulous dinners, and Blazer tickets. On top of all the fun stuff, I also got to see exactly how the company works. Here is my blog I wrote for www.seventeen.com if you want to learn more.This internship is where I got my love for social media and blogging, and probably why I am writing to you today. Through this internship, I also changed my concentration from Marketing to Sports Business and focused my studies from Advertising to PR. It gave me such a clearer picture of what I wanted to do once I graduated! Although I am still working out the details of my dream career, I know I would be on cloud nine if I had the honor of working for Nike.
3. Camp Greider- This summer, I worked as a camp counselor for the YMCA Camp Greider in Salem. I absolutely love working with children, and hope to someday combine my love of sports and children into a career. Every counselor chose a camp name, and I was known as "Duckie". Always sporting my finest yellow and green, my favorite day was "dress-up as your favorite counselor day" and I had my following of little ducklings. In addition to being a counselor, I also did some administrative work as a business intern. It was great to be able to combine my passion for children and business. This summer was bittersweet, however, because after two summers I had to retire my duck whistle in hopes of finding a career for this upcoming summer.
4. Oregon Football- This year, as you all know, Oregon kicked some major butt at football. It was so great to be able to follow them so much this year and attend so many games. From the downfall of the all mighty USC to the Civil War victory in Autzen, this football season was one I will always remember. Pac-10 champions and a Rose Bowl appearance...what a way to end my senior season as an avid duck fan! Go ducks and best of luck in the Rose Bowl! So excited to cheer you on from Salem!
Now after much reflection, it is time to start thinking about 2010 and all of the things that will come. I am so excited to finish up my time here at the University of Oregon and see what is in store for the year to follow!
December 16, 2009 - 9:37 PM
On Sunday, I woke up to the smell of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls and peanut brittle. My mom was hard at work filling the entire house full of amazing Christmas scents. My dad was busy wrapping Christmas presents very precisely (it took him about three hours to wrap ten presents), and my dog was decked out in his jingle bells sitting by the fire. As Amy Grant "Tennessee Christmas" was playing and the house was decorated in its Christmas finest, I suddenly realized it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
I love when the Christmas tree is up, the stockings are hung by our pseudo-fire place, and the nativity set is displayed. I love coming home at night and seeing the neighborhood lit up with Christmas lights. I love those cold dry nights where you can see your breath and you sip on hot cocoa with mittens on.
Since I have not been hard at work studying or working, I have had a lot of down time to relax! This week, I have been helping out in my sister's 4th grade classroom. (She has a job AND is getting married-oh my gosh she seems so old all the sudden!!) She is a teacher, and she is so amazing with her kids. Most of them worship the ground she walks on, but as for the others she is very patient and works so well with them. All of the students were working on a really cute calendar to give their parents as a holiday present. It was so much fun.
I also have been busy at work playing Santa. I have done all my shopping and my presents are wrapped and under the tree. This is a first for me, as I normally scramble Christmas Eve to finish up my shopping. I really enjoy shopping for my family and friends, and am normally more excited to give presents than to get presents. Sounds like a lie but it's the truth! This year however, my presents are going to all be a surprise to me. Usually I know what I am getting from my parents, but this year I have no clue. My mom seems pretty excited about it, so I am guessing it is something pretty awesome! Time will tell I suppose.
For the rest of the day, I am going to make Christmas cookies, watch Elf, and relax in my slippers and pajamas. Ohhhh how I love the holiday season!!!
December 13, 2009 - 11:25 AM
Last night, I was having a lazy Saturday night at home. After both my parents decided to go to bed, I thought it would be nice to watch Saturday Night Live. It is one of my guilty pleasure shows, but I never actually watch it on Saturday nights and usually catch the Hulu version on Sunday afternoon.
After the opening monologue, a quick picture of Autzen showed up. That's right, Autzen Stadium, home of the Ducks, on Saturday Night Live. I had to rewind on my DVR to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. An entire skit was dedicated to Oregon Football! Here is the entire clip for you all to see:
This skit had me laughing hard, but then scratching my head at the end. Is this what the nation thinks of Oregon Football? Obviously there had to be a comic side of the skit since this is Saturday Night Live, but are we all a bunch of dummies here at Oregon? Stage fright? Unprepared for everything that the Rose Bowl offers?
I have honestly watched this skit at least 15 times today, showing my friends and family. Overall, I think that the nation, especially the writers in New York, don't know what to expect from Oregon Football. Although we are normally ranked pre-season, we are returning to the Rose Bowl after a 15 year break. Besides the Blount scandal and possibly the Civil War game and "I Love my Ducks" video, Oregon has not gotten much national exposure. The national exposure we do get is to a very niche sports fanatic market, and those that don't live and breathe ESPN probably have not heard of the little Ducks on the West Coast.
Although I would have liked to see the skit portray the Ducks in a more positive light, I enjoyed the skit. Any national exposure for the University of Oregon is always exciting, especially on a popular primetime platform such as Saturday Night Live. I hope that those boys in New York will have a better skit prepared for after the Rose Bowl. Win or lose, I hope they can prove they can handle the national exposure, and show the nation they are at the top to stay.