Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Snow

In the midst of the city awakening from the cocoon of night, filled with horns and chilled pedestrians, there exists an incredible stillness during a snowfall. It is something I never had the opportunity to experience until I moved here. The world around you may be moving a mile a minute, but as you walk down State St, the stillness of the snowfall engulfs your being. It sounds so oxymoronic. Flakes are fluttering, cars are roaring, cabs are swerving, music playing in your ears, and yet you can feel completely calm, serene and at peace. It is the moment where your eyes focus utterly and completely on the flakes fluttering that your rush to get to work on time or the to-do list you are going over in your head absolutely vanish. It is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world.

This city ain't all bad. Although I am not a fan of the cold and my family is far far away, there are so many things I love about this place. Since moving downtown and as the temperature drops, I have been compiling a running list of what I love:
  1. The Hancock tower (which can be seen from my balcony) is lit up with red and green lights during all of December. Many other office and condo buildings follow suit. It is a constant reminder of my absolute favorite time of the year
  2. The trees lining Michigan Avenue (home of some of the best shopping & people watching you will ever find) are decorated from trunk to top with beautiful white lights
  3. Work holiday parties (I know, they happen everywhere)
  4. A paycheck (yeah, yeah, same as above)
  5. Snow falls - just the falling part, well, and the piling part (but only on places I don't have to walk or drive through)
  6. Pete
  7. Down coats, scarves, warm boots and a good pair of gloves
  8. Indoor exercising options - I took my first "bar method" class last night and OH BOY am I sore. But apparently I can get a Kim Kardashian butt, so I'm going to keep at it
  9. Knowing I get to return home to Napa for 11 days in a very short while where I will see my munchkins, parents, friends and siblings (fingers crossed for a skype date with Mr. Z Waggles)
Oh, and I might have a little extra pep in my step, since I did pass the California bar :)

Miss you Zach. Keep up the good work my boy.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oh, why, hello there.

I have been severely sucking at posting, but I have decided to make sure I do it at least once a month from here on out to make sure Zach has some idea of what is going on in my life during his absence. I have actually composed a post or two, but didn't publish them because they were a little weepy--missing Zach, the munchkins and my family. You're welcome for sparing you the sob sobs. What a wuss.

Addie girl

Since I moved into my place in September, I began a nanny position in Chicago. I knew I needed to do something to help pass the time until my November 1 start date at work. I pick up two (not-so-young) kiddos from school every day and help the 13 year old with her homework. It has been so much fun. I had to re-learn algebra. Every time she opens up that homework folder, I hold my breath because it's not every day that I find myself smarter than an 8th grader. Seriously. It's a bit humbling/humiliating for a girl who can't remember life before school. Topographical plotting on a map? The capital of where??

I made it home for Katie's 30th birthday celebration. It was SO much fun. I was missing those munchkins big time and I ALMOST made up for lost time with Dean. I was a bit of a hog (or as the siblings call me--the baby stealer). I got to play with Addie, went to Ethan's jog-a-thon and put my hair teasing skills to good use for Katie's 80s themed party at Flora Springs winery. I have an unbelievably fantastic family and have so much fun every time I go home. I was even able to squeeze some friend time in. Going home is never very relaxing. I am not complaining but it is always a whirlwind of babies, friends, family, mom's awesome cooking and alergies. I always sleep on the plane ride home; I feel like a puckered out toddler out cold after a long day of playing in the park.

The 80s fits (blurry. Someone needs a new camera. So sad)

The little Dean munchkin was a care bear. Devy was an 80s prom queen. I think.

The birthday girl and her hubby.

Lindsay and I got to visit Kendyll at her new job for Whitehall Lane Winery

November is a very exciting month. I start working, receive my bar results (eeekk), the next Harry Potter comes out, I am getting a visit from a dear friend AND the GIANTS are in the World Series. Plus, I am going to put together a CD for Zach of the newest dance-songs that have come out since he has left.

Coco is coming to visit ME! AGAIN!! McDonnald's proposal night.

I am starting my new job tomorrow, and I know I will have exciting things to post about that once I get rolling. I will be working for Bright Pink (Check it out at It is a non-profit organization that works on outreach, counseling and generally educating young women who are or may be at-high-risk for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. It is an amazing organization; it really fills a niche that hadn't been addressed before. The Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization is a huge supporter of us. The focus is about taking control of your health and well-being as a younger woman--being proactive and knowing you don't have to take scary tests or undergo uncomfortable procedures alone. I am SO excited to start helping Bright Pink with their legal needs. Finally!!

Only 55 days until I get to talk to Zach. I hope his mish president lets us skype. Also, I hope Cory gets to see him while he is in Dallas for the WORLD SERIES (words cannot explain the extent of my jealousy).

Until then, god bless, GO GIANTS and vote!

Yes, we are related.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Fun

I know it has been a while, but I have a pretty decent excuse this time around (again). After a quick week in Napa following the bar exam, I left for a European adventure. I must say, I had a fabulous time. It made taking that horrible test almost worth it. I have so many photos and stories, but I will try and stick to the highlights.

I started and ended in London. Big Ben

Headed out to Athens. Parthenon.

My travel companion, Tessa, on the right. Christina, her Greek/Mexican friend who was the best tour guide, ever. After this photo, we ate amazing Greek food, with a killer lit-up view of the Parthenon.

Then, Tessa and I boarded a high-speed ferry for Santorini, which is perhaps the most beautiful place in the world.

A view from breakfast one morning.

We took a boat cruise one day to a volcano and ended up at this tiny piece of land, where we ate lunch and swam around a bit. I was completely mesmorized by the fact that the little piece of land I was on existed on no maps of the world I had ever seen. It is an unreal feeling.

A snapshot of the gorgeous Mediterranean water

After Santorini, I left Tessa and headed over to Spain. After taking 5 years of Spanish throughout high school and college, Spain was my ideal destination. Barcelona was absolutely amazing.

Atop of Park Guell, looking over the city. After Barcelona, we headed to Marbella, a gorgeous beach town at the Southern tip of Spain, close to Gibraltar.

View from the hotel pool. You could actually see Morocco from here!

The trip was unreal. I am so happy I was able to take the time to do this. After all the law school hooplah, it was an awesome treat.

I did return from Europe over 10 days ago, but then, even before the jet lag subsided, I headed back to Chicago to move from one apartment to another. I am now officially a grown up, with my very own apartment! It is so much fun! Imagine that mess on the counter being from you and only you. Or opening the fridge door to reveal food that is mine and only mine! Clearly, I am excited.

Now that I have my own place, I am taking visitors. You can come to this place.

And hang out with this girl.

What more could you ask for?

Friday, July 30, 2010


I feel like a million bucks.

I finished the bar exam yesterday and I couldn't be more excited, happy, name it! I really hope it went well, but with those things it's tough to tell. It was a beast that consumed my life for far too long, and I am thrilled to let it go (let's hope I don't ever have to take it again).

I unfortunately missed a lot of fun and wonderful things this summer while I was slaving away studying. The Wagner family reunion in Idaho has to be what I am most bummed about having to miss. All those awesome people in one place at one time and I had to study. Ugh. It sounds like they all had a great time though. And I did receive a shirt, which made my day (yes, it was that boring and pathetic studying that the receipt of a shirt made my day). I also missed Dean's first 2 months of life, meeting Oliver, Jenna, James, playing with Ansley and Addie's first steps.

I even missed a WHOLE week with Cara and Ryann hanging out in Napa. Stupid test!

Anyway, it is the first time in forever that my to do list is filled with fun, stree-free things. Who knew law school would fly by so fast and I would actually be a real, legit lawyer? (well, almost).

Here's a brief glimpse of my to do list:
(1) Finish planning Europe;
(2) Play soccer with Ethan;
(3) Bribe Katie so I can babysit Dean next week;
(3) Go buy myself a cool finishing the bar present;
(4) Schedule movers for the move into my very own place in Chicago;

(that's the view from my new balcony!)

(5) Kiss on Addie;
(4) Pick out what I am going to wear to dinner tonight;
(5) paint my toes

Where's the hard stuff on there?! That's right, there's NOTHING.

Fortunately (it's a good thing, I think!), I still feel like a kid. A happy, giddy, kid who just got asked to prom by the older dream boat boy she'd had a huge crush on. If you want this feeling, just go to three years of law school, study your butt off for 2 solid months and take a grueling 3-day exam. I promise, you will then feel euphoria.

Buuut, I don't recommend it. Just go to disneyland or something.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Quite the Delay

Over the past month I have pondered whether or not I would keep the blog going during my partner-in-crime's time away from all things modern. As I contemplated the hefty decision, I thought to myself, well, what would Zach do? He most certainly would carry on. And so, here I being an attempt to keep the legacy moving forward. I want Zach to have something to scan through on a bored night at home post-mish.

But really, I have been swamped--big time! I am officially a graduate of the University of Chicago law school and am the proud owner of a J.D. degree. Weird, I know. It wasn't until our Dean (more on that in a minute) of Students sent out the finalized graduation list today that I knew for certain that I would be crossing the stage. Of course, I strongly thought I would be up there on that list, but you never know until you see that ink on the page.

Nevermind graduating, I have a brand new baby boy nephew named
D E A N M I C H A E L W A G N E R.
I was able (by a stroke of good karma I've been saving up over the years) to be in Napa when my lovely sister-in-law Katie went into labor; meaning, I was in the waiting room when Cory rolled out the little munchkin, letting us know we were the proud family members of a healthy little bouncing baby boy! And what a sight. Even at minutes old he was staring at us all through his beautiful eyes. I heard some of his first cries just a few minutes later, with tears welling up in my eyes, as I watched my big brother (some would refer to him a my hero) help the nurse weigh and measure the little beauty.

It was a very emotional time (duh, I am a Wagner) for me, to see my brother reach such a monumental time in his life and to realize that the little boy there was loved so very deeply and perfectly by my big brother. Well, me too, of course, but I can hardly compare the love of an Auntie to that of a father (even though I like to think my heart just expands like crazy every time a new one of these beautiful blessings join my life).

Katie did fantastic throughout the long labor and was seemingly undaunted when things did not go exactly as planned. She had to be the most beautiful pregnant woman I have ever seen (sorry Britti and Ash, but she seriously looked like a million bucks every time I saw her). I am so grateful she found her forever in my brother and am so pleased they have decided to start a little family. I know Emma and LouLou will be fantastic big sisters, no doubt.

Unfortunately, I will be having to watch Dean grow and develop over photographs in text messages and emails for the next while. However, I know I will be back to California often and will take full advantage of holding and cuddling the newest love of my life. And Dean, Auntie loves you more than you know. You have been born into a very fantastic family and we cannot wait to watch you grow into the wonderful young man you are destined to be.

I love you little guy; more than you know!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I lied. By popular demand I am being forced to blog again. This time it is about our church history tour. Not really a blog. mainly pictures
Sunset in b/t horses and Mississippi River
Nauvoo Temple
flower thing
Far West Temple site
unsuspecting mom
Liberty Jail.
Community of Christ Temple (RLDS)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What more could I ask for?
This will most probably (definitely) be the last blog that I (Zach) will post on this blog for at least 739 days (thank you uncle Paul for the atomic countdown clock). What should I write about for my last post? I could try to be funny or I could be sappy.
It has been a pretty emotional week for me. I had to leave BYU and all my friends. It was definitely the best time of my life. I now have to say goodbye to all my Napa/Benicia friends, I am saying goodbye to FB pretty soon, and soon the cell phone. I am not too worried about these things actually. "Going Monk" as Hansel from Zoolander would say.
Anyways, what I am really trying to say is I am excited to go on my mission. It's not really going to be that long. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where I have a divine calling to specifically teach the elect of God who are willing to follow Jesus Christ. I cannot wait to see the impact that the gospel will have on those of Texas. And knowing that I am going to be a part of that process makes it so much sweeter.
I am so grateful for my family. They always tell me how awesome I am and what not, but without my family I would be nothing. I have learned so much from each one of my siblings, my parents, and my brother's/ sister in law. I love them so much. I am so lucky to have been given a family that really has shown me true love. What more could I ask for? I too often take them for granted and hope they all know how much they mean to me.
Sometimes I wish I had been an older sibling because I feel like I have missed out on all the good times of growing up with the kids. I can't remember really any of my siblings as being young kids(except that one time we went to Jamaica and all the girls had crazy hair). But I know that the experiences I can remember are just as awesome.
I know that my mission is one of the greatest things I could ever do to give back to my Savior who has given me so much, and I am going to work as hard as I can while I am out there. But I will always remember what is most important.

Love, Elder Wagner

Attention all siblings attempting to contact me in person on my mission:
AKA These guys:

The only way to see me is if you want a missionary discussion :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baby Brother

As I sit looking out my 5th floor window at the taxis and business people flowing up and down the streets, I can't help but feel sadness that very soon I will be saying farewell to my little brother for two whole years. I know it's where he wants to be and that he will gain so much from his experiences. I am not at all sad for his adventure and time in Texas, I am just sad because I will miss him so much. Not sad that it will be hard for him out there, because I know he will have an amazing time, have lots of support and meet some lifelong friends. Sad because I am selfish and want him to be at every holiday like he always has been. Selfish because I want him to pick up the phone when I call or be on the other end when I skype. Even sad that he won't be around to make fun of me on facebook photos or send me youtube links.

But when all is said and done, and when the tears dry, I cannot adequately express to you how lucky I am to have a little brother who is so deserving of all this love I have for him. He is the best, most supportive and loving little brother in the world. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for making it all the way to six.

I am so proud of you, Zach and I love you SO much.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Goals for mission:
1. baptize a family and see them go to the temple
2. Grow closer to Jesus Christ
3. understand and become familiar with the promptings of the holy Ghost
4. Receive pictures of nieces and nephews all the time in the mail
5. become fluent in Spanish
6. be able to grow a mustache by the time I get back
7. Work as hard as I can and follow all the rules

btw this is zach
xoxo (copied from Cory)

Friday, March 5, 2010


I LOVE this man. He's a stubborn bugger but great father. I appreciate his love and support in my life and appreciate his patience in raising me :)

He's a lot funnier than you might think. Oh, and I would not be surprised if he personally induces Katie in order to ensure June stays "his" month.

(Yes, that's us trying to take a girls picture, and he snuck in)

I KNOW I speak for the entire family when we say we love you, Dad and we are so HAPPY you are healthy and well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I thought twas about time that I contributed to the blog.
so here is a picture, and my wish for the day: I wish my posts were as funny as cory's... I also wish I was as tall as him.
love, zach
p.s. if "zachyanderin" ever post a comment on your blog, it's only erin. We may look alike, but she says some pretty absurd things i would never say. (mainly about how babies are cute... psh!)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How To...

How to avoid catching the bridal bouquet:

1. Do not even go up when the MC asks for all the single women (note, the man I am positioned next to)
However, if your family (including Grandma & Grandpa) is calling you out loudly in front of all the guests, try option 2

2. Place your hands firmly behind your back and clasp your fingers tightly together. Do not let go no matter how strong of an urge you have to do so.

Note: Keep those hands together even if the flowers hit you in the face

3. Clap your hands violently when the 10 year old in front of you catches them instead

4. Breathe a big sigh of relief. You just bought yourself time until the next wedding.

Woman celebrating finishing her run.jpg

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


At our cousin Rob's wedding in Phoenix on Saturday, we made sure to tear up the dance floor. At one point, Zach thought something was missing and shouted, "Hey mom! Take out your tooth so we can really get this party started!!!"

Needless to say, we all about died of laughter. Ooooh MOM! We love you

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


After a 4 hour flight and a fun train ride from the airport, I am safely home from a weekend in Phoenix. Zach made it safely home yesterday morning (before I was even awake). It's always so sad to have such a short time together, but we make do with the time the good lord gives us (or school schedules, airlines, responsibilities, etc).

While in Arizona, Zach and I worked out some blog ideas (mainly in the form of pictures)

Zach and I worked in our dancing shoes while attending our cousin Rob's wedding to his beautiful wife Lindsay

As usual, I had to fight with Rich for my blogging-partner's attention

I was okay with sharing my time though, as I had plenty of munchkins to spend time with when Zach was too busy playing video games or reading "El Libro de Mormon" with Rich

(aren't they just precious?!)

(I got to spend lots of much-needed time with these 2 little and 2 big munchkins ;)

Finally, can't forget Mom, Pops and Devy were also there to play with too.

(and Devyn, no your arm does not look fat to anyone else but you. Just ask Jasonie)

Aren't they cute?

Talk about inspiration for the blog. I know Zach feels the very same way

Disclaimer: exceedingly adorable photos do not reflect the opinions, beliefs or practices of the author or authors and are definitely photoshopped.