"only You can make every new day seem so new" ~Five Iron Frenzy

Friday, September 28, 2012

"Life Moves Pretty Fast..."

"...if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Life has been moving quite fast lately.
We moved in 18 days ago and still have boxes to unpack! 
My job has been going fairly well, I've been enjoying working on the sales-floor for a change, as compared to cashiering (which I've done a couple times before).
Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to sub yet. Between moving, working a couple school days a week, and having come down with a bad cold, there just has not been much of an opportunity.

The launch of the church went pretty well. I'm looking forward to seeing it grow more, as we continue to do some more outreach in the community.

Last Sunday was Bethany's Shower. I worked in the nursery for the first church service (you should also note that I worked until 11pm Saturday night, got home, frosted a cake, then got about 3 hours of sleep before having to head to church), drove to Three Rivers, hosted the shower (which went very well!), hung out with my parents, then headed to my sister's house for the night. This other sister of mine, Kathie, (not to be confused with the other sister, Bethany, who is getting married) is in beauty school, and needed someone to practice doing a manicure on. She did really well, for being only a few weeks into beauty school! The next day, before heading home, I went to visit her at school and we went out to lunch together.

*Pause for a deep breath*

Then, when I finally got home, I crashed. The next day, we went down to Adam's parents to return their van (which his mom very generously let me borrow to go to Three Rivers). I also had an appointment with a seamstress to get my bridesmaid dress altered - for very inexpensively by someone Adam's mom knows/has used before.

Due to my lack of sleep, and madly running around like a crazy person, I have now found myself with a bad cold and wanting to do nothing by sleep. 

But work, I must. And life does not stop or slow down just because you have a cold.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Busy as a Bee

So it's been a little while...

I think we can all agree that all my wonderfully intended New Year's Resolutions that I began the year with are pretty much shot to Hell...

Ah well, it happens.
Here's how life's been going:

First of all, Adam and I are moving on September 10th! (a Monday? ...not an ideal day to move...) We're staying at the same apartment complex, we're just moving to a smaller apartment to help make a little room in our monthly budget. BTW, this smaller apartment happens to be updated. New appliances, and no more icky cupboards, floors, and counters! Whoot!

And after spending months looking for a job, I've finally landed one at Target! This is kind of bittersweet. I was really hoping to get a job in education...since, you know, I spent 5 years and thousands upon thousands of dollars to get my degree in that area. Not to mention the fact that I've wanted to teach since I was 8 years old, and it's all I've ever wanted to do with my life. Be that as it may, hard as I may have tried, apparently it's just not my time yet. I am trying very hard to be patient. My new job at Target is only part time, so I will still be able to substitute teach on the days I don't work there. Apart from that, I am rather excited for this new job. Heck, it'll give me something to do during the day! Plus, I'm working at pretty much my favorite store...I can't complain too much.

On top of beginning a new job and moving in the near future, my sister decided this was a good time to get married. ;) Bethany only got engaged a couple/few weeks ago, but she and her fiance have decided that they don't want to wait long to get married. So they set the date. For October 21st. Aaahh! So little time, so much to do! I'm planning her shower, I've got my dress, but it needs to be fitted... Oh my.

Lastly, Adam and I have joined a church...sort of. There is a church in Grandville (and another in Richland) called Radiant. They've sent out a group of people to the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area to start another Radiant Church. Right now, they're in the planning period. We meet at the pastor's house Sunday nights, the pastor shares a word and we go over some plans for the launch of the church. We also meet Wednesday nights for a little prayer and worship. It has been such a blessing teaming up with these people, they are all pretty much amazing. The church launches on September 16th, and will be held at the Rave theater. Adam will be helping out with the sound/lighting/tech and also is talking them through some security procedures. I'll be helping out with children's ministry and wherever else I'm needed.

So that is my busy, busy life right now. Being unemployed, my life has been so uneventful up until now. I've wasted days away laying on the couch, watching "How I Met Your Mother" all day and swallowing whole books in one sitting. In a couple short weeks, my life has become unbelievably busy. I'm now learning a new job, helping start a church, the school year/subbing will begin again soon, I'm moving in a few weeks, and I'm preparing for my sister's wedding. Eek!

Despite the chaos, I hope you hear from me much more often now. I will have many more stories to tell, and blogging will help me unwind.

So...how have you all been?


...I haven't felt too bad about not blogging, because, like, no one has been blogging...

(PS-look how tiny Squirt was a year ago! He's so much bigger now...)

Monday, July 9, 2012


This is Shell
(Sheldon Cooper Hoskins)

He was a Red Ear Slider that I adopted June 16th. He was only with us a little while, but what a blessing! He brought so much joy into our lives.

Now we have lost him. This morning, while drinking my coffee, I looked over to his tank to play "where's Shell?" when I saw him stuck to the bottom of the filter. He wasn't moving.

I cannot believe it was only a few weeks that we had him, it seems much longer. You may laugh or shake your head at me for grieving the loss of a little turtle. But let me say this. When you have a pet that brings such joy into your life, that makes you laugh just by watching him, the loss will never be easy. Especially when you could hold him in your  hands with all the tenderness of a parent.

There's nothing I can say on loss or grieving that hasn't been said before, and more eloquently than I ever could. ... And about a loss more deeply than I've ever felt.

So since a picture's worth a thousand words...

...just a size comparison (the only way we could get Squirt to hold still was by "turtling" him)

If a single picture's worth a thousand words, I wonder what a video's worth?
Introducing Squirt to Shell. 
Squirt wasn't sure what to make of Shell and was kind of scared of him. Shell's just chillin' without a care in the world.
(ps-sorry for all the debris in the way ... Squirt enjoys uprooting his plants, and we had just fed him).

RIP baby Shell
I thank God for bringing us such joy through you in your so very brief life here. 
We will miss you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Favorites

You know what I really enjoy? Random things. So this is going to be a blog about some of my favorite "random things" - at least what I deem to be ... random ... for the different categories. 

Favorite Movie - Peggy Sue Got Married (1986).  This is also one of my mom's favorite movies - I remember watching it with her as a little girl.  It co-stars a young Kathleen Turner and a young Nicholas Cage.  It also features a young Jim Carrey.  When the movie begins, Peggy Sue (Turner) is arriving at her dreaded 25th class reunion.  She is in the middle of divorce with her husband (and high school sweetheart), Charlie (Cage).  During the reunion, she passes out and wakes up in 1960 - during her last months in high school.  She struggles between trying to push her then boyfriend, Charlie, away - not wanting to "make the same mistake twice" - and falling in love with him all over again.  It is a drama (in it's own 1980's, fairly cheesy, way), but it is also a comedy.  I love watching it because it makes me feel nostalgic toward my own childhood and a time period that I always wished I lived in (which is quite impossible since my mother was born in 1960...).  I also watch it because it does make me laugh - a lot.  I highly recommend seeing it - even just once.  It's on Netflix instant play right now, so if you have Netflix - there are no excuses for not watching it. :)

Favorite Food - toast.  I don't know what it is about toasted bread, but I love it.  I even find myself craving it sometimes.  I've found that my new favorite way to eat my homemade bread is by toasting it (lightly) and topping it with peanut butter.  The peanut butter gets all warm and melts - it's just a delightful experience.  Even just plain 'ole store-bought bread toasted with butter (or margarine) is one of my favorite snacks.  Toast can also make me feel nostalgic for Ireland.  Pretty much every morning during that trip, I'd have toast with butter and jam and tea for breakfast.  Sometimes when I really miss Ireland, I'll make myself a cup of tea with toast and jam.

Favorite band - The Mama's and The Papa's.  I've been adding more and more of their music to my Spotify playlist ("Folksy Music") lately.  I grew up with parents - especially my dad - who listened to oldies and folk music.  There's just something about this band's harmonies and overall sound that I just love and that ... makes my heart happy.  They just don't make music that sounds like this anymore.  It's always a delightful experience.  I've been in quite the folk-music-mood lately.  

Favorite book - oh this is a tough one.  What do I go with? One of my favorite children's stories (Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland)?  A favorite obscure book by a well-known author (The Great Divorce - CS Lewis, Persuasion - Austen)?  Or maybe The Princess Bride ... I think I'll go with a book from my favorite category - Books I Had to Read for a Brent Cline Class That I Ended Up Loving.
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer.  I absolutely love this book.  It's a creative non-fiction story about a young man who left behind everyone and everything and was determined to "live off the land."  Since you'll find this out in the very first chapter anyway, I'll go ahead and tell you - he ends up dying a slightly mysterious death in the Alaskan wild.  You may have seen the movie - which was fairly accurate (if I 'm remembering correctly) - but I do highly recommend reading the book.  It's actually a lot more intriguing than I just made it sound.  The young man - Chris McCandless - meets some very interesting people along the way.  I think it was the fact this this was a true story - about a true person - that pulled me in so much.  By the way, feel free to skip the couple chapters in the middle where the author goes off on a spiel about his own adventures - I always do. :)  

Well this has been a fairly wordy post!  So what are some of your random favorites? What are some things that you love and thoroughly enjoy that are a little ... unconventional?  Or maybe just plain weird to some people?

PS - I apologize for the overuse of the word random - I was hard pressed to find a suitable synonym...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Having Fun With The Hubby

Warning: this will be a fairly wordy post. Adam had Wednesday and Thursday off this week, and we packed a whole lot of fun into those two days.

On Wednesday, we went to see Titanic in 3D IMAX. It was pretty much amazing. I was so excited just to be able to see it on the big screen again. It originally came out when I was 11. It was the first movie I saw multiple times in the theater. It also resulted in my first celebrity crush - Leonardo DiCaprio, of course. Anyway, they did a truly fantastic job on the 3D. I was a little worried after seeing Lion King in 3D, which was horribly disappointing. But I highly recommend seeing Titanic 3D - IMAX too, if you can. 

After the movie, we went to Applebee's for half-price appetizers, then went to Meijer. All of their Tigers stuff was on sale, so Adam got a shirt and I got a hoodie. I also picked out dark blue and orange nail polish - to complete my look.

Thursday was Opening Day and the Tigers were at home. We didn't have tickets for the game (the cheapest ones online were $95). But we wanted to go to downtown Detroit and celebrate anyway. We headed out at about 8:30am. We met up with some of Adam's cousins for the first couple hours and enjoyed a burger at Nemo's (the most inexplicably delicious burger ever). It was rather overcast and chilly outside, but we still had fun. When it came time for the game to start, we parted ways - since they had tickets (jealous). 

We took a stroll around Comerica Park, and were able to find a little park across the street where a local radio station had a big screen TV set up and there were some food vendors. I got an elephant ear (LOVE), Adam got a couple corn dogs, and we shared some chili cheese fries - healthy, huh? Then we sat down in the grass to enjoy the game and our food. 

The sun came out just enough to keep us warm - and sunburn our faces. The Tigers won (no thanks to Valverde), making the day complete.

Since it was an early game (1pm). The day was still young when it was finished. On our way back to our car, Adam jokingly suggested going to Windsor. I replied, "okay, let's do it!" So we ran home (um...not literally), got changed, grabbed our passports, and headed back. (Side note: it's so nice living this close to Detroit, if only for the convenience of going to Tigers games.) 

We went to Caesar's Casino in Windsor. It was quite a lot of fun. I had never been to a casino before. If you've never been to one, I'd recommend going. You don't have to spend much money to have fun - there's plenty of penny, nickel, and dime "slot machines" to keep you entertained. We even went to a bar in the casino that had "multi-poker" game machines at each seat. So we got a couple rum and cokes, and played poker.  Deuces Wild was my game of choice.

(Adam playing poker)

On our way back, we stopped in Detroit for dinner. By the time we finally got home, it was only about 10:30, but I was sunburnt and exhausted, so I went straight to bed. The next day, my face hurt, my legs ached, and I was incurably tired all day - so I spent it on the couch. 

I love that exhausted feeling - when you've spent a day so full, with so much fun packed in, that you're practically immobile the next day. All I can say is that Thursday was pretty much an amazing all-day date with the hubby. It's been a while since we've had one of those - with just the two of us - and it was a blast.

Yesterday = me doing nothing, so today = cleaning/cooking day - especially since tomorrow is Easter, and - company or not - I like having my home clean on a holiday. It is now time to get off my butt and get some stuff done.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Books Books Books

New Year's Resolution #4

Read at least one new book every month

As much as I love reading new books, the temptation to reread old favorites can get pretty strong. I was able to squeeze in Harry Potter in February, since I finished The Hunger Games so quickly (side note: movie was awesome). Then I went on to read Walden by Thoreau - which made me want swear off modern culture and go live in the woods. I finished that about a week or so ago, and was in a panic because (for some reason) I thought it was my February read, and that I was therefore behind. 

So I continued on to Little Women (Louisa May Alcott). I loved the movie when I was younger (1994 version), and I vaguely remember my mom reading us the first couple chapters once. It's always been on my bucket list of books to read, and it was free on my Kindle, so I figured now was the time. 

I knew I liked the story, but I wasn't intending to fall deeply in love with this book. Even though I'd seen the movie (a fairly faithful adaption), and therefore knew what was coming, I still teared up a dozen times or so, and cried like a baby once or twice. It's not that the book is altogether sad, it's just that it is very touching and a very well-written story. 

I used to have one book that I went to any time my soul needed to be uplifted, and that was The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom). I now have two books to choose from. There is something about Little Women that is very uplifting and makes me want to be a better person. Throughout the books, the four sisters continually struggle to better themselves - to control and fix their faults, to become more humble, generous, selfless, and caring of everyone around them. It really inspired me to be a better version of myself.

It is definitely a book that I recommend to everyone (especially girls - ages 5 to 95). Someday, if I have a daughter or two, I plan on reading this book to her/them. I also plan on reading this book on a regular basis from now on.

Anyway, now that I've realized that I am not behind, and have just finished my April book, I plan to read through The Hunger Games again. Come on, you didn't actually think I could just read those books once, did you? I need a second look! The first time I read Harry Potter, once I finished the last page of the last book, I immediately started on the first again. With stories like these (especially HP), there is no way I can pick up everything the first time around. I want to know the stories inside and out, to notice every detail, and to really understand them.


This year, I've read:

January - Out of Oz (the final book in The Wicked Years series) - Gregory Maguire

February - The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

(Harry Potter)

March - Walden - Henry David Thoreau

April (finished ahead of time) - Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Okay, I know I -just- posted, but I wanted to do something for St. Patrick's Day.
No, I am not Irish - and will not falsely claim to be so - but I do truly love Ireland.
I was able to visit a couple years ago. It was a trip for school, and I had signed up for the "England/Ireland" trip because I really wanted to visit England and thought ...that other place... might be fun too. Aaaand I ended up really falling in love with Ireland.

So in my reminiscence, I'll share a few of my favorite photos/moments in Ireland.

The Giant's Causeway. 
Unfortunately, this is the best picture I have of it - and there's a random guy sitting there...
If you really want to see its beauty, just do a google-image search. I'm sure some pretty fantastic pictures will come up...

Derry Ireland. These cannons were along this part of the city's (old) wall. They were also very hot on this sunny day. As we were walking along we passed a group of young ladies, one who was preparing to sit down on the cannon (in a very short skirt) - she jumped up, screamed, and exclaimed "I BURNED ME BUM!" We did our best to stay composed until we were out of view...


The Cliff's of Moher
...does this remind anyone else of "The Cliffs of Insanity"?

And lastly, Dublin - of course.

A Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone - especially my friends who are fortunate enough to be Irish :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Ides of March

Yesterday was the Ides of March, and an interesting day it was.
I did not get stabbed 23 times - for which I am grateful - but the day was interesting, nonetheless.

It began brightly. I woke up early(ish), worked out, and saw that I had mail. I had received a fun little card from a dear friend :) That cheered me.

As evening began to set in, we had some tornado weather over here in eastern Michigan - in the middle of March. I spent the evening watching the local weather channel and the skies changing outside. We were lucky enough to have no tornado touch downs here, but there were several nearby. We just had lots and lots of rain and thunder...with some hail. It was looking scary enough that I put Squirt in a shoe box, ready to run for cover if needed. He was not too happy with me.

During this lovely weather, Adam's grandma was driving home - chased by a funnel cloud. She went to the hospital last night, but she's okay. Mere minutes after finding this out, I found out that my sister Kathie's family was spending the evening in the ER. Her daughter Sophie has asthma induced by croup and needed breathing treatments. Luckily, she is now fine as well.

Once all this drama settled a little - as well as the weather - I got a text from my mother saying that her uncle Jim passed away last night. I have some very fond memories of Jim and his wife Margaret. Two of the nicest people I've known. Unfortunately I haven't seen him much ... at all ... in the past few years. His death is sad, but I'm more grieved for his widow and for my grandma (his sister).

That about sums up my rather ... odd ... Ides of March. Strange weather, strange events, and a slightly notorious day. Kind of cliche ... and yet a little chilling.

It's peculiar, really. Previous to yesterday, I had no idea what the "Ides of March" was. I had heard the phrase before - and knew it was somehow connected with Julius Caesar. With all the talk of it yesterday, I decided to look it up online. Thanks Wikipedia, I am now the wiser :)

But "Ides" or not, it was still a weird day.

How was your March 15th?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fun and Frustrating Moments

So I thought I was doing a fair job, keeping up with blogging this year. Maybe I had missed a week here and there, but overall, not bad. Then I realized that I haven't blogged in almost a month. Oops.

Anyway, last week I went to my sister Kathie's house to watch her girls for four days while she and her husband went away for their anniversary. It was fun ... a bit chaotic ... but fun. On Monday, the girls didn't have school, so we built a fort in the living room

(Left: Laura - another sister, back: Sophia, right: Gwen)

I'm just glad Kathie wasn't around to see her living room in this state :)
We hung out in there for the day, I brought in a basket full of snacks, we watched Gnomeo and Juliet on my laptop, then we took a nap (I think I'm the only one who actually slept, though...).

The rest of the week, the girls had school, so we didn't do anything too exciting. I went back home on Friday - glad to see my hubby again! The next day we went shopping - Adam needed new tennishoes and shorts to work out in ... and I ended up getting some shoes too.

I LOVE my new tennishoes. If these don't motivate me to workout, I don't know what will. Though truth be told, I have not used them yet (for that purpose). 

I was able to sub a couple days this week. Wednesday I signed up for a job at Pioneer HS. For the first couple hours, I was helping with the MME testing (what used to be "MEAP"). During this time, one of the teachers asked if I'd sub for her the following day ... um, yes please! 

That day, after Adam picked me up, we went shopping. I hit my favorite clothing store, ready to spend the wad I made babysitting my nieces. I needed some new shorts for this summer, and also wanted to buy a dress, so I loaded up my arms with all kinds of lovelies and went to the dressing room to decide what I was going to buy. I had 3 sundresses, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 tank tops, a jean jacket, a cute top I found in the clearance section, and a jean mini skirt. Much to my dismay, I loved everything (with the exception of one pair of shorts). Much to my delight, and utter surprise, when I came out, Adam asked me what I liked. I replied "everything but these shorts." He said "okay, let's get it all!" Let's just say, I spent twice what I was planning on, but my hubby is a gem and I love him (and tax-returns...)

And that brings us up to date. 

Frustrating moment today:
We have A LOT of laundry to do. I loaded roughly 8-10 loads up in our car (carried down from our 3rd floor apartment), and drove over to the laundry room. All 10 washers were full. All 10 of those loads were finished with their cycles. Owner of said 10 loads was not in sight. So, I drove back to my apartment, and had the pleasure of carrying all of my own 8-10 loads back up to my 3rd floor apartment.

Lesson: Do not be THAT person. If you're going to take up all the washers, at least have the curtesy to stick around and move them to the dryers promptly when they are finished. 
Eternally Frustrated.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dancing and Tulips and Cards and Turtles

Okay, so I've been slacking. I got in one of those ruts where I couldn't think of anything good to write about. I'm still in that rut, but I'm going to give it a go anyway.

The past couple weeks have been alright. My mom and little sister (Laura) came to visit a couple/few weekends ago, and that was a lot of fun. We spent the time shopping, watching a couple movies, and playing board games. Laura brought her "Just Dance 3" (Wii) game with her. It was pretty fun, and after doing a couple dances, I thought, "wow, this could make a pretty decent workout."  So I was pleasantly (and only slightly) surprised that she forgot to take it with her when she left.

I have, therefore, been playing "Just Dance" as my workout. It's pretty fun, highlighted by the fact that I can do it in the privacy of my own apartment where no one can see me dancing like a fool.

That's about all that's been new lately.

Yesterday was Valentin's Day. Adam has been doing training this week, meaning his schedule's been off. He was supposed to work until 6pm yesterday - stinky! Buuuuut ... he got off a little early, and walked through the door just before 6 o'clock with a bouquet of purple tulips and all the fixin's to make chicken fettuccine alfredo. Dinner, being made by Adam, was of course delicious

My flowers :)

I also had a little surprise for him. I saw this idea on Pinterest to use a deck of cards and make a "52 Reasons why I love you" ... thing. ... Gifty thing. My original plan was to make this for Adam's stocking last Christmas, but I'm glad I didn't - it made the perfect gift yesterday.

It happened to fit perfectly in an empty tea box I had, so I tied it up with some ribbon and a simple little homemade card.

Here's a few of the reasons I had.

I thought it would be easier to type them up than write them by hand. That was only slightly true. It was a little difficult to judge whether, when printed and cut out, they would actually fit on the cards. A couple (like the one on the top right) came close, but they did all fit. *insert sight of relief*

I "distressed" (in other words, scratched up...) the cards using my nail file (yay improvisation! ... and cramped hands), and used small ink pads to add the color around the edges.

Neither of us are overly mushy, so I did my best to keep this project as un-Valentine's-cheesy as possible. So some of the things I wrote were fun and cute, others were a little more serious. I also used teal, orange, and purple for the font colors, matted on brown, and edged with red and bronze. No frilly pink and red hearts for us :)

That brings us up to date. 
Squirt has been eating like a cow lately. (for those who don't know, he's our little turtle - pictured on the top of the left side bar) We think he's going through another growth spurt. He's definitely gotten "fatter" - meaning his shell is thicker - and it's about the size of my palm. We put him on our kitchen scale and he weighs 2.3 ounces. I don't want him grow much more - I want him to stay little :/

I hope everyone - those who are single, those in a couple, and those away from the ones they love - had a good Valentine's day! 
Harry Potter Valentine's :) 
I thought these were cute - click on the image to enlarge it, so you can read them!
(Ron's is my favorite)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Up Around the Bend"

I couldn't quite decide which New Year's Resolution to write about this week. I don't really have much to say about any one in particular, so I'm just going comment on each of them.

New Year's Resolution #1

Work out 3-5 days/week

I'm doing pretty well at this one. Last week, I worked out three days. I would like to up that this week. My goal is to get to five days a week. I impressed myself with my last workout. I was surprised how much I could do, if I just pushed myself a little. It's made me realize that I haven't been nearly as hard on myself as I could be. So I'm going to continue to push myself, curious as to exactly how much I can actually do.

New Year's Resolution #2

Blog at least once a week

Well you tell me, have I been doing this? ;)

New Year's Resolution #3

Eat Healthier

I love how vague I made this one. Overall, I have been eating healthier than I have in the past - especially during this past holiday season (Halloween - New Years is my fattest time of the year, as I'm sure it is for many people).  My biggest problem is sugar, and I've been doing well at limiting the amount I have every day. A certain someone made this harder when she gave me a giant box of Snickers for my birthday. But I've successfully hidden them away and only allow myself one a week, max.

New Year's Resolution #4

Read at least one new book every month

I'm actually ahead on this one. I've knocked out both my January and February reads this month. Once I finished Out of Oz, I was anxious to move on for a couple reasons. I've been wanting to read The Hunger Games, and couldn't wait to start. I've also been wanting to re-read Harry Potter, and decided I could fit it in between my new books if I got through The Hunger Games quickly. 

I really liked The Hunger Games. I just finished the series today, and would love to comment on them, but I'm afraid of giving anything away to those who want to read them and/or watch the movies. Just know that if you haven't read them, you should. Recommended.

New Year's Resolution #5

Write down at least one thing everyday that I'm thankful for

I'll admit that this one is a lot harder than I thought it'd be. I bought this really nice, cute journal to write in - filling in each day with blessings rather than agendas. I thought at first that I should write in it each night before I went to bed, but this has proved to be difficult. Some days I just don't feel like being thankful. Now I'm beginning to wonder if writing in the morning would be easier, and what a better way to start off my day?


In other news, Adam has started doing P90X. He's also doing the nutrition plan/meal plans. We went shopping for them the other night and discovered all kinds of things ... like jicama ... and miso ... and where in the store they stock tofu.

My mom and little sister are coming to see me this weekend, and I can't wait to have some girl-time. I get far too little of it these days, especially since our only friends in this area, Nick and Brittney, moved to Colorado. Of course my older sisters are welcome to come too, but Bethany's probably working, and Kathie's probably busy being super-mom. No offense meant, she is a pretty awesome super-mom.

...Oh, you're probably wondering about the title of this post. I couldn't think of anything clever, so I just put the name of the last song playing on my Pandora list when I was writing this. Thank you, CCR. Thanks for the music.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Working Out and Reading On

New Year's Resolution #1

Work out 3-5 days a week

I'll admit, I failed pretty miserably at this one the first two weeks of the new year. Nevertheless, I haven't totally given up on this goal.  I'm not one to admit defeat easily.  I worked out on Monday this week and completely intended to do the same Tuesday and Wednesday.  Ah me, ever full of "good intentions" ... it's the execution of those intentions that I have problems with ...

Still not admitting defeat.  Personally, I feel a little justified in skipping Tuesday and Wednesday. 1 - I still have 3 days left this week in which to fulfill my goal of "3-5" days/week, and 2 - Adam had the past couple days off. Since he works third shift, we don't often sleep in bed together. I therefore wanted to prolong this as long as I could. (I suppose I should clarify that I will only work out early in the morning - when no one else is in the gym. Extremely self-conscious, am I.)

Anyway, I do enjoy working out. It gives me a reason to get up out of bed, gives my body something active to do, and makes me feel great.  When I had my yearly check-up a couple weeks ago, my doctor did tell me that I should work out 5 days a week if I want it to do me any good. And I really, truly do. I am so very out of shape and being so makes me feel sluggish, weak, and achy. None of which I enjoy.

On another note, I have finished Out of Oz and it ended just about as well as it could.  It had a perfect blend of tied-up loose ends and some left (realistically) unanswered.  There was also just enough mystery to leave the fate of the characters to the reader's imagination. Love love love.

Without waiting for February to commence, I have immediately dug into The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'm loving it so far ... but more on that later :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Out of Oz"

New Year's Resolution #4

(Yes, I know I'm going out of order)

Read at least one new book every month.

The book of choice for this month is Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire. It's the fourth and final book in the The Wicked Years series. 

I first read Wicked my sophomore year of college. I then continued to read the sequel, Son of a Witch and was less than intrigued. 

I didn't love the books the first time I read them, but decided to give them a second try. When I reread them, I was amazed by how much I had missed the first time.  These books are so steeped in symbolism and imagery that I needed gillyweed to swim through it all. How I missed this the first time, I don't know, but I was amazed. And I hoped and prayed that there would be a third book. If for no other reason than that Son of a Witch finished with no less than a dozen or so loose ends.

And there eventually was a third. A Lion Among Men did not disappoint. But with the closure of the book, there were still many loose ends and just enough of a cliff-hanger to make waiting for the next book pure torture. 


Picture it. Black Friday 2011. I was shopping with my mother-in-law at Meijer. We were casually meandering down the book aisle - she was looking for a certain book for one of her sons, I was browsing the titles. When my eye was caught by the name "Gregory Maguire." The name of the book: Out of Oz. Having been shopping since midnight, it took a moment before my brain clicked. ... The new book! The one I had been waiting for! This was it! I was ecstatic, mesmerized, reluctant to put it down. When my awesome MIL snatched it out of my hand and threw it in the cart. Yeah, she is awesome. Anyway...


Before Christmas, I began re-reading the first three books for a good refresher. I finally finished about 5 days ago (yes, I am a slow reader) and began the last book.  I'm about half-way through and cannot wait to finish. I'm struggling between feelings of hope (that all the loose ends and questions will finally be tied up and answered) and fear (that it will end with as many loose ends as it began).

On a personal note, I would not recommend the Wicked books to everyone. In fact, I would not recommend them to most people. They're pretty dark, pretty vulgar, and have a few pretty obscene scenes.

If you haven't seen the musical, it is none of the above. I highly recommend it. If you have seen the musical, and therefore want to read the books, be forewarned. When they created the musical, I'm pretty sure they just took a few of the main characters, one of the main plot lines, and watered everything down a good deal. And then proceeded to tell their own story. Not to knock the musical, I actually rather enjoy it. I just can't even compare the two. I get depressed when I try.

To conclude, with the help of my new Kindle - aptly named Glinda (and all the awesome free books on it), I already have a reading list lined up for the rest of the year:

The Hunger Games (Collins)

Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)

Dubliners (Joyce)

Bleak House (Dickens)

Frankenstein (Shelley)

Grimm's Fairy Stories (Grimm and Grimm)

The Last of the Mohicans (Cooper)

Walden (Thoreau)

Little Women (Alcott)

Gone With the Wind (Mitchell)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Laundry Room Reflections


The new year is upon us and it's that time of year when (basically) everyone makes all sorts of new promises and resolutions that they're never going to keep. 

But it's a tradition, so why the heck not?

Here's my list of resolutions that I "only half intend to keep this time - just like last year" (from New Year's Eve by Five Iron Frenzy - seriously, if you've never listened to that song, you need to).

1. work out 3-5 days a week (wow, 3 days into 2012 and already failing at this one)

2. blog at least once a week (this is my first post since July...)

3. eat healthier (just vague enough that I may, technically, accomplish this one)

4. read one new book every month (this would be easier if I wasn't so avid about re-reading the books I already love)

5. write down one thing every day that I am thankful for (I actually bought a planner that I'm using specifically for this purpose - we'll see how long this lasts)

Despite my cynicism, I am actually quite excited about the prospect of blogging again, I'm loving the new planner I bought (I splurged on a really nice/cute one), and I really do need to exercise more and eat healthier.  Always the eternal optimist - I know I'll probably fail, but it's a new year, so why not at least try?

Another thought on New Years:

I know everyone gets reved up about the new year - it's a new beginning, a chance to start over and get things right, blah blah blah. ... but isn't EVERY day a new beginning? Isn't every morning a chance to start over and "get things right this time?'  Why wait around for a new year for your life to begin/again? If you don't like the way things are going, get up off your butt and do something about it. Now. Not 362 days from now. 

Just a thought.

As I am sitting in the laundry room.

Waiting for my clothes to finish.