My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Friends’

I’ll Stand By You

As a little kid, I quickly earned the title of Playground Defender – which I get totally makes me sound like a mini Buffy, but if you’re imagining some bouncer-to-be or heavy weight champ, I’m gonna stop you right there. I was puny, y’all. I was tall and gangly with sticks for legs and blunt, uneven bangs (thank you mom for that one) that always clung together in a sweaty, hot mess. Nothing about me screamed, “Oofta, better watch out for that one!”

…But don’t let that fool you, my friends. Yeahhhh sure you betcha I was every bully’s worst nightmare. I was a Robin Hood: 2nd Grader in Tights, swooping in out of nowhere to help the poor and downtrodden. I’d appear with my tiny fists in the air as a warning, yelling to leave whoever was being picked on alone. I roamed the halls like an elementary school sheriff. No kid was going to get their Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll stolen at the lunch table, or be stuffed in a garbage can. Not on my watch!

No one really knows for sure how it started. My parents said I was always feisty and full of sass. But when my kindergarten best friend started routinely getting teased by one of the more aggressive boys in class (Bobby Stinholf I’m looking you, buddy), I wasn’t having it. I’d demand that he stop. I started off using my words, like everyone suggested. And when that didn’t work, I channeled all my miniature rage and smacked the boy with a wooden building block, leaving am impressive welt on his mean, smug face.

I still remember the ride home after that incident, worried about the reaction and punishment for my actions that was inevitable, only to have instead my mom and dad secretly sneaking me high-fives from the front seat.

People soon learned if you were going to mess with the people I loved, I was going to make them wish they didn’t. Small or not, I could pack a punch. Sure, I (thankfully) graduated past the physical–the block to the face incident was the one and only–and now, as a fully-formed adult (or at least fully-formed adult adjacent), I’m not likely to pull at your hair for being mean to my friend or other loved one. I’m not going to smack you with a library book (because that would just be book abuse) or a wooden building block (though Mr. Stinholf stopped making fun of kids after that incident sooooo….). But that doesn’t mean that protective instinct doesn’t still exist inside me. The Playground Defender, the Robin Hood is a part of me. A very real, instinctual part.

There are very few things that get my blood boiling: mean people, the Cubs, mean people, paying full price for a pair of jeans only to have them go on sale the very next day, mean people, a bag of chips that 99.9999% air and mean people.

Especially mean people who are mean to the ones I love. As weird as this may sound, I don’t like confrontation. I’ve never liked confrontation. In fact, I avoid it like the plaque. I don’t like seeing people upset, hurt or in any kind of pain. I get very uncomfortable, start sweating and break out in hives. It’s not an attractive look, guys.

But there’s something different that comes over me when the ones I love are in the line of fire. My Mike Tyson patronus comes out and is ready and willing to defend, stand up for and protect. I would literally do anything for my friends and family (okay mayyyybe not anything—my hair is epically on point today so anything having to do with wind or humidity is off the table).

To those I love (you know who you are):

I know I can’t save you from this world.

Rationally, I know that. No matter how hard I try, something out there is going to hurt. You’ll have your moments of disappointment, discouragement, when you feel like everything is stacked against you. A failed relationship, the loss of a loved one, job stress or challenges to your health. I can’t stop those things from happening. My love isn’t enough to keep you forever safe from all the things.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop wanting to try. I love you, so that means I’m going to do what I can to help you, to encourage you, to be by your side and fight with you. The Defender has your back. Even when you feel alone, I will be in the background. You just have to look in my direction. I’ll still be there. I’ll still be doing what I can to protect you.

Because that’s just what I do.

Because I love you.

Because you weaseled your damn way into my heart and there’s no turning back now.


Presenting: “The One Where Friends Repeatedly Lied to Us”

I think we all have expectations of what our lives will look like. Some of what we’ve planned for rings true, but the rest? Not so much—and we just might have Friends to thank for that. As sad as it may be, we must come to terms with the fact that we are not Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Ross or Chandler, and we will not spend the majority of our twenties and thirties lounging on a comfy orange couch.

Presenting: “The One Where Friends Repeatedly Lied to Us”

Lie #1: Even as an unemployed actor or mediocre (to put it kindly) waitress, you will be able to live in a large two-bedroom apartment in the hottest neighborhood.

As many newbie (or even novice) adulting adults will tell you, the palaces featured on Friends aren’t quite representative of a typical first apartment (read: shoebox). Paying rent on an entry-level salary is a very real struggle that the Friends characters somehow seemed to avoid. Yes, they were always looking for extra ways to earn some mullah, but how much can you really make by donating fluids (Joey) or selling knives (Phoebe)?

Lie #2: Your friends will always be available and somewhere within a two-block radius whenever you’re looking to hang out.

This might be the saddest lie of them all. Unlike college, you probably aren’t able to spend hours of each and every day with your BFFs. Finding time for one another during the week can be a major challenge, especially if you live or work in different neighborhoods. The good news is you’ll value the moments you do spend together that much more. Aww.

Lie #3: You’ll know people with pet monkeys, chicks, ducks and rats.

Sure, you might have friends with cats or fish, but you probs won’t be hanging out with any farm and/or zoo animals any time soon. This also means you don’t have to worry about being attacked or humped by a monkey on a first date (we hope).

Lie #4: If and when you have kids of your own, they will demand minimal attention and disappear altogether around the age of 6.

But seriously, what happened to Ben?! Ross’s son ceased to exist in the last few seasons of the show, but anyone with nieces, nephews or a babysitting job can attest that children are a major responsibility and that they sometimes, just sometimes, get in the way of hanging out with friends.

Lie #5: Pizza will always be delivered by a super-hot girl (not to be confused with the equally hot girl who works at the copy place).

Hot delivery girls are hard to come by IRL. Ross trying (and failing) to flirt with said delivery girl? Now that seems pretty accurate.

Lie #6: You will date someone new every week, or, in Joey’s case, every day.

We hate to break it to you, but your dating life will probably pale in comparison to those of our fave Friends peeps. You may not date a billionaire or a scientist or a celebrity, and you won’t meet someone new (let alone someone dateable!) every time you leave your apartment. There’s also a chance that you won’t marry one of your three guy friends.

Lie #7: Don’t worry if you accidentally kiss your interviewer (or scream at him, or forget his name); you will still get the job.

Oh, Rachel Green, if only we all had your charm. On the bright side, we can feel happy with ourselves every time we survive an interview without a makeout sesh. Way to set the bar high, Rach.

Lie #8: You will remain best friends with your ex after multiple messy breakups.

You can also hook up with your ex’s best friend (who happens to be another one of your best friends) and remain BFFs with both of them… JK. Yes, Ross and Rachel shared the love story of the century, and they’re the reason we ugly-cried all of seasons two through four, but that doesn’t mean that their relationship was normal. It’s totally okay if you don’t want to spend all day err day with your ex.

Lie #9: You won’t get fired for spending half of the workday at a coffee shop with your friends.

Yes, Monica got fired from a restaurant once for taking home steaks, but what about the fact that she worked three hours a day? All of the friends seemed to share the mindset that work was fairly optional. Maybe that orange couch was always available because everyone else was at the office! Mystery solved.

Lie #10: Don’t bother locking your door. Ever.

And if you somehow find yourself locked out, you should knock down the door, naturally. But really—be safe, guys.

Now that we’re all questioning everything we’ve ever thought to be true, we should probably mention that there is one thing that Friends actually did get right: No matter what happens with jobs, apartments, financial situations or SOs, your besties will always be there for you (and they’ll know when it’s time to whip out the Ben & Jerry’s and turn on everyone’s favorite show).

Friday Faves

Well hey there, guys! Guess what?

IT’S FRI-YAY!!! I mean Friday.

It’s been another busy (and exciting) one over here this past week. On Tuesday I got to sit on a panel of other instructors and deans to judge the 2015 Westwood Scholarship. It was so great to see the hard work that these students put in, the dedication and drive that was so overtly apparent in each and every entry. It was hard to pick a favorite and I am looking forward to seeing who wins. If that wasn’t enough excitement for one week on Wednesday I, along with most of our student body and faculty, spent most of the afternoon down in our campus’ basement due to tornado warnings. Good times, good times. Thankfully no one was hurt or major damage was done, however if I’m being honest, I was definitely more than a little scared. Okay. A lot. I was a lot scared.

Did I mention that I’m deathly afraid of anything tornadic-related?

Good gravy.

It was a good thing I wasn’t blown away Dorothy-style because this weekend is shaping up to be another goody. Tonight the sis and I are kicking off the weekend right by heading downtown to see one of my friend’s band play. Good music, tasty drinks and some pretty awful dancing does a great Friday night make! On Saturday I’m hoping to squeeze in some pool time, possibly hitting up the South Platte River Fest and then on Sunday, we’ve got our second softball game of the season.


Now THAT is what I call a weekend, my friends!

I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you do, that you have a wonderful weekend! But in the meantime, please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web and beyond in this week’s Friday Faves!

Favorite YESSSSS!!! Today we got to watch history happen. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. I think POTUS put it best when he said, “”Those countless, often anonymous heroes–they deserve our thanks. They should be very proud. America should be very proud.” Love wins. Always.


Favorite Surprise: When I walked into the library this morning, I found a beautiful pink carnation sitting on my keyboard. To the very sweet mystery person who left this for me, thank you! What a wonderful way to kick off my Friday! (and it’s kind of perfect timing because I definitely forgot to put on the deodorant this morning!)


Favorite Memory Maker: This past weekend one of my besties came to visit and I’m not even joking when I say that it was probably one of the best weekends ever. Top five for sure! From climbing an ‘F’ing mountain and Brewer gaming (and meeting my future husband Jimmy Nelson!!!!) it up, to meeting great friends and getting down and dirty on the softball field, it was just. so. great! My face still hurts from smiling and laughing so much (not a bad ailment to have for sure)!




Favorite bite: Cinnamon French Toast Bites. Be still my miniature-food-loving heart! How adorable!! Cinnamon-Sugar-French-Toast-Bites-2

Favorite Page-Turner: I had been on my library’s waiting list for this book for weeks (which in my world translates to forever) so I finally decided to just go out and buy it. And ohmygoodnessamigladidid! I was a huge fan of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies so I knew that her follow-up book, The Husband’s Secret would be just as good, if not more. And boy was it! Let’s just say that if you start reading it, plan on canceling all and any plans for the next four hours. You will not be able to put it down!


Favorite Funny: Pretty sure I laughed until I cried peed. “I’m like regular Mike. Except Magic.” Dead. Jimmy Fallon, you did it again.

Favorite travel: Havasu Falls, AZ. This picture is equal parts barf-inducing (don’t look down!) and exhilarating. Havasu Falls inside the Grand Canyon has been on my must-see list for a few years now, and this is by far the coolest view I’ve seen of it.


Favorite treat: Healthy Greek Yogurt Chocolate Fudge Pops. Oh man, when I was little those Jello Chocolate Pudding Pops were ma JAM. Can’t even imagine how delicious these must be and bonus that they’re made with Greek Yogurt. Must have for the summer!


Favorite fashion. Super cute little summer outfit. Love the coral with the black chevron pattern.


Favorite photo. I am all about the burgers lately! The photo of this Aussie Burger with the Lot stopped me dead in my tracks. I mean come. on.


Favorite furball. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Hopefully I’ll be able to do a bit of the same this weekend.


Snow much to talk about



How’s everyone doing? Hanging in there? We all know that the start to the week can be a bit rough, especially after a fantastic weekend (or one too many drinks–and by drinks I mean milkshakes. Being ice cream drunk is a very real thing and so are the massive brain freeze headaches that follow) so I thought I would provide a little comic relief in the form of some random Monday musings.

Feel free to play along in the comments below!

1. GAME OF THRONES! I mean, I just, I can’t. Last night was the season five finale and while I won’t give away any spoilers, I will say WHAT THE FUDGCICLE?! It was brutal. Just snow, snow brutal.


2. Confession: I have the bladder the size of a pea (pun intended but not really because it really is the size of a small legume). I literally have to pee every half hour on the dot, which is fine during the day I guess, but when I have to wake up in the middle of the night on the regular to relieve myself, it’s just annoying. And apparently dangerous. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten up, still half asleep, stumbled into the bathroom and without turning on the light (because that would just wake me up even more), have fallen into the toilet. I wish I was joking. And I know you’re laughing (which in all honesty is totally warranted), but you try finding the seat, in the dark, when your 99.5% incoherent. It’s hard, guys. Like, really hard. What we need is…are you ready for it? A glow-in-the-dark toilet. RIGHT?! And sure I could just get a normal night-light, but would want normal when you could have a light-up throne instead? Plus, you can pretty much almost guarantee there won’t be anymore unfortunate pit falls (Nope. That pun is definitely intended). Thoughts, Mark Cuban?

3. Note to self: Apply and reapply. I might have forgotten that second part this weekend. Burnt. To. A. Crisp. Youch.

4. But since we’re on the topic of SPF, I’d like to issue a formal complaint with Banana Boat for NOT smelling like banana anymore. Not impressed, BB. Not impressed.

5. To all of my fellow book hoarders aficionados, if you haven’t yet discovered Thriftbooks, do it. Now. Right now. Best-selling used books starting at just $2?! Crazy sauce. This has trouble written all over it.

6. Speaking of books, I just finished reading really good one by Peter Clines. The Fold is a story that is a mind-binding, page-turning, high-octane Sci-Fi thriller. It reads like a cross between Michael Crichton, Sherlock Holmes, and the Syfy 90’s TV show, Sliders. I’m usually not a huge fan of sci-fi but this may have turned me. Definitely check it out if you can and let me know what you think!

7. I’m constantly reminded of how lucky and incredibly blessed I am to have such amazing friends and family.

b1 b2 b3

8. Whole Foods sells freshly-churned peanut and almond butter and I am ob.sessed. I may or may not have gone through an 8 oz. jar of the chunky honey roasted PB in less than a week. Okay, I did. I totally did.

9. But seriously, though. Glow-in-the-dark toilet!

Confessions from a quirky reader


My name is Wendi Hansen, and I am a booknerd.

And damn proud of it, my friends!

When it comes to reading, I’m Tom Hanks at Denny’s right after he got off that island with Wilson. I’ll read almost anything and everything–mysteries, serious literary fiction, fluffy chic-lit fiction, biographies, memoirs, and of course one of my favorite genres, young adult fiction. I’d like to think of myself as a flexible, curious reader, always looking to learn something, feel something and discover something new.

That being said however, I do have a few quirky reading habits that I just can’t seem to shake [shake, shake, shake it off].

And I know I’m not the only one—Joey, I’m looking at you buddy, putting The Shining in the freezer.

These eccentricities just go to show that reading is such an intensely personal activity; no one person does it the same way.

Here are just a few of the things I find myself doing when I’m knee-deep in a good page-turner.

1. Before I actually dive into a good book, I always read the very first sentence and the very last.

When I shared this little quirk of mine with the librarian who I work with, she a teensy bit horrified. What about the potential for spoilers? I get what’s she putting down, I do. But for me, reading the last sentence gives me just a hint of what’s to come, and piques my interest to find out how it fits in with the beginning of the book. I’m very careful to read only the very last sentence, and I try to avoid looking elsewhere on the page. There’s something suspenseful and thrilling about peeking ahead—but only just a little bit.

And you thought reading wasn’t badass.

The one time I can remember this backfiring on me is with the J.D. Salinger short story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” If you’ve read the story, you understand.

2. I hate folding down the page corners of a book.

Hate it! I will try to McGyver a bookmark out of just about anything before taking the drastic step to dog-ear a page; old receipts, a penny, a bobbi pin, even a butter knife (don’t ask).

3. I also hate it when books get reinvented, new and flashy covers.

Some are more heartbreaking than others, like when the Harry Potter series was updated. The new covers seemed so strange and foreign to me; it was almost like it was a completely different book. The first edition I own or read will always be the best. No special new editions for this girl.

4. I will go out of my way to get the hard cover versions of a book, even if I already own it in paperback or on my Nook.

There is just something about a hard cover; it’s hard binding, it’s strength, it’s durability. Just thinking about one gets me all flushed. Some Many Most think I’m crazy-sauce for buying a book if I already have it. But it’s kind of the same thing as buying that second pair of identical jeans that you’ve already got hanging in your closet, right? Which reminds me, I need to buy more jeans. As you can imagine, I am beginning to accumulate a lot of books. A lot of books.

5. And finally, I love when books have a price sticker on the back of the cover that you can peel off.

My favorite local bookstore when I was a kid had those types of labels, and I loved bringing home a new book and peeling off the sticker. This childhood ritual has manifested itself in other areas of my life — I also love peeling the plastic protective sheet off of electronic devices and the labels off of water bottles. And don’t even get me started on those little stickers that come on your apples or bananas! I know, I don’t really get it either.

But we all have our little quirks, don’t we?

Question of the day: Do you have any unique quirks, reading or otherwise?

Image via

12 reasons why every girl should have a guy best friend


Girls, you know we will always have our girlfriends, our gal-pals and BFFs. And you also know that guys will come and go in our lives, often times more than once. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a male bestie (or a few), you know that there is something special about that relationship, something that any other one–whether it be with your sister, your mom, your college roommate or best friend since elementary school–can’t quite compare to.

What do I mean by that? Well here are just a few reasons why every girl should have a guy best friend (besides the fact that they’re just the best, that is).

1. Your guy bestie definitely has the upper hand when it comes to relationship or dude advice. He’s a dude himself therefore he knows how his kind think. Use his power to your advantage! But always be sure to offer your advice when it comes to girl world when he needs it.

2. When all of your girlfriends are dieting, you can rely on him to be right there next to you, regretlessly indulging in that cheeseburger/pizza/taco/ice cream fest–even if it’s you who ends up eating most of it.

3. After said indulge fest, there is no need to hide back that belch that’s been brewing. That bean burrito got you feeling a little gassy? As Elsa so famously once said sang, “Let it, go. LET IT, GO!”  There is pretty much an unspoken rule when hanging with your guy bestie that any and all farts/wickedly impressive belches are welcomed and encouraged.

4. Having a guy best friend means having a built-in body guard of sorts. You can take comfort in knowing that if your heart gets broken, he will be the first to grab the carton of eggs and go all yolky on your heartbreaker’s car. In fact, if anything happened to you, he would jump at making the perpetrator pay for their actions (or at least be there with a giant bear hug afterwards).

5. Since [most] guys are less sympathetic to feelings, they won’t be afraid to tell you that you look amazing in that new crop top and jeans. Likewise, they will be upfront with you when you look like a hot mess.

6. When certain sports aren’t your thing, he will sit you down and explain the game to you—after he calls you stupid for not knowing what a drop pass is.

7. Even if there are miles and miles separating you two, distance is never really a problem because let’s face it, he sucks at texting anyway. A phone call once or twice a month, a silly Facebook post or an Instagramed picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker that he tagged you in keeps your friendship just as strong.


8. The biggest fight you will likely ever have is who can quote more lines from Dumb and Dumber.“Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world? Just in case you were wondering…it’s me.

9. When it’s time to move into that new apartment of yours, you’ll have an extra set of hands to help move all of your prized possessions crap—or to just do all of the work.

10. Boys generally hate gossip so if you have something super juicy that you just can’t hold in anymore, he is the perfect person to spill your guts to. One, he won’t give a monkey’s second cousin that Carol from your office is secretly dating her boss and two, he’s going to forget everything you just said in ten minutes anyway.

11. Along the same lines, guys typically say A LOT less than your girlfriends so if you’re just having one of those meh days and don’t feel like talking to anyone, he will be there to just sit with you. He won’t ask questions but will hang out with you, pop in one of your fave movies and simply help keep you company.

11. He is your go-to adventure buddy. Hiking, camping, rock climbing, basically anything involving dirt, grime, danger and FUN, he is your partner in crime. He’s also the one to kill that spider the size of a small human that just crawled up on your leg.

12. Your guy best friend is sarcastic, funny and can be a smart ass from time to time (*read ALL OF THE TIME). But he’s also sweet, kind and has one of the biggest hearts of anyone you’ve ever known. He’d go to the end of the Earth and back again to make sure you were happy and you know you would do the same thing for him (except on Monday nights because The Bachelor.)

I so deeply cherish the friendships I have with all of my girlfriends, but there are specific situations where you just need a guy or a male’s perspective, you know? Having this best friend in your life is such a blessing and is one that you should never look past, or take for granted, because even if he makes fun of you and pesters you like a little/older brother, which he will on the regular, his reason is just to see you smile.

To all of my guy BFFs, thank you. I love you. You owe me a cheeseburger.

Image via, via

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!! So sorry for the lack in posts but I decided to take a brief break-a-roo from the ‘ol blog to spend as much time as I could with my family and friends.


I had such an incredible time over my holiday break.

I laughed too hard, ate too much and got into quite the shenanigans.

But that’s what life is all about, no? Especially when you’re surrounded by those who love and know you the best.

Here is just a small, itty-bitty glimpse into what went down over the past few weeks, Insta-style 🙂

Sister-sister :)

Sister-sister 🙂

The rents. Aren't they the cutest?!

The rents. Aren’t they the cutest?!

Snuggles with the pup are the best snuggles.

Snuggles with the pup are the best snuggles.





Christmas with my crazy amazing family is always, well, crazy and amazing ;)

Christmas with my crazy amazing family is always, well, crazy and amazing 😉

The lil' sis really does know how to do Christmas presents. Does this not scream, "WENDI!!!!!" ?

The lil’ sis really does know how to do Christmas presents. Does this not scream, “WENDI!!!!!” ?

Okay. This is my last tattoo. I swear. At least I think it's my last one. For now. Maybe. #smile

Okay. This is my last tattoo. I swear. At least I think it’s my last one. For now. Maybe. #smile

I did A LOT of this. Like, A LOT!!!

I did A LOT of this. Like, A LOT!!!

Just ALL the Christmas movies.

Just ALL the Christmas movies.

Here’s to a great end and an even better beginning! Happy 2015 everyone! 🙂

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