Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dedicated to the other love of my life ...

Baron, the "other man of the house". So distinguished!!

To preface this post, I need to tell you that I have never considered myself a cat person. J has always had that aspect covered in our relationship (having grown up in a house with 4 cats, he pretty much had to sink or swim, imho...) I didn't dislike them, per say.. it was more that they never gave me the time of day, and so I figured, why bother?!

And then, I met this little guy:

J and "baby Baron" Summer, 2007

During the summer of 2007, J welcomed this little black and white spit-fire into our lives. Baron (named at the Humane Society) let J know without a doubt that "he was the one" as soon as we met. He snuggled right up to J, and let us know in no uncertain terms that he would like to be taken home "NOW" (Baron has always been a very talkative cat-- which is something that I love!) Over past two years, Baron and I have had a few stand-offs (and I'm sure when I move in after J and I get married, we will have several more "look.. this is how it is" talks)-- but I have to say, without a doubt, my life has been much enriched because of his presence.

Baron, helping me assemble wedding invites: Summer 2009

Here are just a few things I have learned, thanks to my beloved fur baby:
  1. Allow yourself plenty of time to nap each day. A good nap always improves your outlook on life.
  2. If something is wrong, don't be afraid to cry about it (loudly). It gets the job done.
  3. Eat often, and thoroughly enjoy each bite.
  4. Greet guests at the door like they are the first person you have seen all day-- it will make them feel loved and appreciated.
  5. Warm soft blanket = Heaven
  6. Spend lots of time contemplating the beauty of the outdoors (Baron loves to sit at the window and watch the geese play in the fountain outside.)
  7. Yoga is always, always more fun with a cat.
  8. Sometimes, no matter how much you cry, J will not listen. In this case, if you sit in his lap, he will have to pay attention to you.
  9. Sometimes, lying in the sunshine for 20 minutes is just what is needed to revive your soul.
  10. Set aside time each day to play. Not only is it fun and fulfilling to you- but it brings you closer to the one you are playing and laughing with-- playtime = quality time.
I love you, little one! I am so blessed to be your "fur mommy" !!

Always up for some mischief ...

"I'll help you with the laundry!!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Glowing Tribute to Wisconsin (and "The Good List")

Well, friends, it's 8am, and I've all ready knocked out one of my tasks for the day (in addition to waking up and hauling myself into work an hour earlier than usual!) Therefore, I feel that this is a well deserved break :)

Today I would like to pay tribute to a little tool that I believe has changed my life, one which I call (uncreatively) "The Good List". I will be first to admit that this is not an original idea, but I think that it is unique enough that most people do not yet know of it's existence. The idea is a simple one: use the concept of a "Good List" to quantitatively evaluate your day and list all the good things you can (very, very much the same concept as a "gratitude journal"!) Simple, yes. Life and perspective altering- Oh Yes.

I first began "Good Listing" when I co-oped in Wisconsin during the Fall of 2007. (I am sure that I will get into this more in the future-- but suffice it to say that WI was good for me. Although there were definitely some heart-wrenching times, I would have to say that, for one of the first times in my life, I felt that I was really living. I lived, loved and laughed so much that Fall- and I can honestly say, that was one of the best (and I do not say that lightly) times in my life.) I made it a habit every morning to sit down and write out at least 10 good things in my little red notebook (haha... If you didn't know, I consider myself a "writer"... spiral notebooks are my medium of choice-- I need big pages to fill with my big dreams...)

...And it honestly did change my perspective on the whole day... It allowed me to focus on all the good things that were happening in my life (from the little things like visiting a farmers market on Saturday morning to the BIG stuff like celebrating an anniversary with J., and getting kisses from "the babies") Admittedly (as I mentioned before) this was a really, really good time in my life. I was experiencing all sorts of new things (freedoms, people, opportunities, self-awareness)-- and (to borrow a phrase from Pr. Bud) "God was blessing my socks off". I knew I owed it to myself to capture all of it that I could, so that I might carry a physical reminder, along with the glowing memories in my heart.

And now, almost 2 years later, I have gotten away from "The Good List" (momentarily-- like an old friend, we always seem to pick up right where we left off...) ....And I miss it. This has been a year fraught with changes, and I feel like I am finally "regaining a hold on my own life". I realize that even though God continues to "bless off my socks", I have been doing a bad job at realizing that. Over the past 8 months (gah. I can't believe it's all ready August! 36 days!!!!!), it has been all too easy for me to get caught up in the NSG things (eh hem: NSG = Not-so-good) -- letting myself get overwhelmed, bringing home the stress that kept me down all day, and worst of all, allowing myself to believe that sometimes maybe-- just maybe, I was not enough.

NO more.

This, friends, marks the return of the "Good List". This marks the return of me taking control of my life-- letting my optimism reign and my hope overpower all the NSG stuff. I am ready to live fully once again (not just existing from day to day)- to embrace each day and welcome the possibilities it brings. This HAS been a big, good year for me so far (and more good to come, I am sure)-- and I am blessed that I have finally awakened to realize that. So, in honor of life (and me! I suppose....) here is a Good List to make up for the (too long) 8-month hiatus (don't worry... it won't be that long!!)

GOOD LIST (January - Present)

  1. J. In a little over a month I will be marrying a man who, for the past 6 years, has been the best friend a girl could ask for. (And a man who, for the past 8 months has demonstrated that he does, indeed, have the patience of a saint...) I am so excited to become his wife; to share a life and being a family together. I am confident that we will, truly, be best friends forever.

  2. Coffee. Ah, sweet sweet brew! Although we have had a love-hate relationship in the past, you have become a beautiful part of each weekday morning.

  3. I have found a really, really great church family who supports me and encourages me. I feel connected like never before, and through my worship I have been able to nurture and expand my faith in and understanding of God. I know in my heart that this is very obviously where I need to be, and I am excited to see where this might lead (stay tuned... I have a feeling that something BIG might happen in this arena this Fall....)

  4. My friends have been such a blessing to me. When I graduated from college and moved back to my hometown, I worried that I might lose some of my connections, or become so involved in my work that I didn't have time to meet people or keep old friendships going. How wrong I was! Not only have I made some (really good!!) new friends, but I have been able to keep ad deepen the existing friendships I had.

  5. Really giving my heart to a certain black and white kitty. Being a (part-time, shifting to full time in 36 days...) fur mommy has allowed me to grow in so many ways, and I wouldn't trade it for the world! (There is no better feeling than having someone small and fuzzy greet you at the door, and refuse to leave your side until you have shown the appropriate "level of lovin'" because he's missed you... *melts*)

  6. Watching all the details of my wedding fall into place. So far everything has really felt Right- I feel confident that the wedding will be the celebration of love I have always dreamed about-- very Amy+J in every way.

  7. Health and well-being of family and friends (D made it through several successful surgeries, C&E welcomed baby Aiden in July, and Grandma and Grandpa are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this weekend!)

  8. Discovering the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Good, GOOD stuff. (Especially Jacob Black...)
  9. Discovering the multi-purpose (bike?) paths in Westerville and Dublin.
  10. "Friday nights in" with J. (Something I treasure and look forward to... I may be old and lame, but I'm okay with that :)

All right... that's it for today (haha, thanks for bearing with me, if you did!) The promised book review is still coming.... look for it on Sunday or Monday!

Lots of "bloggie-love" to you! It's Friday!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is it too much to ask...

... for just 2 more hours in my day?? I feel like that is going to be my mantra for the next 37 (eep! you must be kidding!) days.

In all seriousness, I am perfectly willing to admit that I could give up 2 hours of sleep in order to get stuff done... but I much prefer dreaming up ways to multi-task and get the bazillion things on my checklist crossed off in a "normal, Amy-length day" (which, in case you were wondering, is typically about 16 hours...)

While today's to-do list is way too long-winded to share with you in detail, a few things I am (actually) looking forward to are:

  • 8 miles in Dublin after work (nervous about this, too... think good thoughts for me at 5:30 pm EST!!)

  • addressing, stuffing, and stamping invitations to send out tomorrow (woohoo!!)

  • Drink coffee (actually, this is a horrible idea. Considering how hyped up I feel all ready, coffee may spell disaster today for this little girl... But- I will "take one for the team" and faithfully drink my 1 cup/day. And then work to discipline myself to be productive and get LOTS done.. instead of sitting around feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Ah, coffee....)

So, not all bad- mostly good! I have not mentioned this before, but this weekend is my "Girly Bridal Shower" (which mean I got to invite 10 of my closest friend to my house to eat cake, talk, open presents, and play the 'totally girly and silly but very much fun' bridal shower games, like "Paper Bride".) I'm so excited!!! Although there is a lot of stuff that I DON'T look forward to (haha, although I try to avoid "dreading things" at all costs....) I find that and easy way for me to stay positive is to view all the "yucky, necessary things" as stepping stones to all the good stuff-- kind of like my own personal reward system :) For example: this morning I am pushing through work because I am looking forward to doing weddingy things at lunchtime- and tonight I will be looking forward to a slice of pizza ("a slice" is totally a figure of speech-- I'm sure I will eat several!) as a reward for completing my 8 miles!

Oy. However, speaking of "motivation"-- I need some serious motivation to get back to work ("If I finish working, I'll be able to go on my run" ??? I'm not sure that will work, but it needs to!)

I do apologize for the shortness and choppiness of today's post :) Next time you can look forward to a book review, though!

Bloggie love to you all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


All right, I admit it. I am most definitely buzzogging (buzzogging = buzzed blogging.) This is the result of a nice glass of pinot noir with dinner, which apparently was on a decently empty stomach :-/ Oops. I have a few hours before I have to be anywhere, and rest assured that I am slurping water like it's my job-- so all is right with the world.

Anyway, it's been a long day. Not a bad day, just a long one. Honestly, I didn't get much checked off my list (although I DID buy a new pillow, which I am very very excited about-- I'll give a review tomorrow!)- but all together, it's been a good day, and a relaxing evening. Tonight J and I enjoyed comfort food for dinner (bbq, corn and mashed potatoes-- I am a definite country girl at heart!!), and now I'm enjoying buzzogging (and tv with J) before a long, hot shower and crawling into bed to test out my new pillow.

Since I'm pretty exhausted (I'll blame it on the pinot...) I'll leave you with a couple lists, and sign off for the night:

Things I love:
  • J
  • Great Books
  • Jacob Black (yup... I'm definitely a Jacob girl...)
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Tulips
  • BBQ and County Music (see... definitely "country girl")
  • long walks on beautiful mornings
  • Libraries
  • Sneakers
  • Bubble baths
  • Good wine (I love Reisling and Shiraz!)
  • Kitties
  • Real Letters
  • Gaucho pants
  • AC/DC
  • Big, soft blankets
  • Monograms
  • SeXy heels
  • Thomas Kinkade prints
  • Naps
  • Fall

Things I would love to love (but I don't ... yet.)
  • Black coffee
  • Speedwork
  • Biographies
  • Tofu
  • Doing Laundry
  • Knitting
  • Reading the paper
  • Writing thank you notes :)
All right-- bedtime is coming fast for this tired blogger. Sleep well, bloggies!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

45 days until I am a Mrs.!!!

Happy Wednesday evening, bloggies :) For me, the week seems to be sitting comfortably between "dragging on" and "hey... it's only Wednesday, BUT look at all I have gotten done!!" Honestly, I believe this falls more on the good side -- and I'm happy to take it!

Anyway, productive day, particularly in the arena I alluded to yesterday, and (blatantly) hinted at in the title. Yup, that's right. In a mere 45 days (actually the engineer in me tells me that's it's even less, and to be exact, currently I have 44 days, 5 hours and x minutes... I digress...) I will be beginning the lifelong adventure of marriage with my best friend, J. (Turning a new corner, if you will...)

Me+ J. Amazing engagement photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Kelly Heasley.

J and I have been dating for almost 7 years, and so, while getting married (for us) seemed like the natural step, I have never underrated just how BIG of a deal this is. Being engaged has brought with it a myriad of emotions that I never expected-- along with abundant joy, I have also felt ... well, pretty much all of the following (ref.

Lately, I have progressed into the "super-weirdo-shouldn't-have-eaten-that-piece-of-cake-before-dinner" type of dreams, that I am sure any good psychiatrist would try to convince me meant that "I was surely having secret doubts..." But honestly, other than being extremely annoying, I would have to say that .... it must be the late night cake noshing. Although some days I am more than a little intimidated by the sheer depth and breadth of what I am about to do-- I do not feel doubt. J is my best friend. He's not perfect -- but more importantly, neither am I. What matters is that I; beautifully complicated, sometimes gross, all too often irrationally emotional, complainy, compassionate, daydreamer, romantic ME; have found someone who is just stubborn enough to love me inspite of myself. In J I have found a partner who will speak to me honestly in love, correct me when he sees I am "barrelling along at 100 mph in the wrong direction"; and make me laugh. Although J has all ready learned how to "push my buttons" , what is more important is that he is willing to spend the rest of his life loving me, and seeking everyday to love me better.

Enough mush. (Are you still with me?) Back to my day ;) Today was spent (happily) checking to-do's off my list. To note, I have accomplished the following:
  1. Clean my room (check-- although that really wasn't wedding-y)
  2. Create map to include with the invitations (check-- kind of. It's in the works...)
  3. Address the "Amy-side" invites (uh... not yet. but I'm getting there!)
  4. Assemble bridesmaid gifts (check!)
  5. Update registry after J's & my wedding shower (check!)
... Aaand there may or may not be about a bazillion other things that did not get checked off yet. Luckily, I have never been one who gets discouraged by "things left undone"-- rather, I find hope in thinking about accomplishing them in the future. Like I've said before... I thrive on lists... they're kind of "my thing" :)

However, on that note... I'd better be off. I have a shower and some invitation writing in my future.

Until tomorrow....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Beginning ...

Hi, I'm Amy. This is my blog.

Are you with me?

All kidding aside, this blog has been a really, really long time coming. I LOVE reading blogs, and I love to write, so one would see the obvious "next step" to be publishing my own blog ... and there really weren't any good reasons why I didn't do this until NOW ... I am a recent (Dec. 2008) college graduate, and I am still working on setting up my *ReAl* life-- meaning, learning to balance all the "necessaries" with the things that bring me joy. I will be the first one to admit to you, some days I am (much) better at this than others :) Erhm... back to the point, which is: I am partially (mostly) beginning this blog to remain honest with myself. Writing has always been therapeutic for me-- and putting words on paper helps solidify for me what is real from what will fade away. In a nutshell: this blog came about at precisely this time because I decided to finally bite the bullet and do it for me.

That said (and here's the disclaimer): I cannot promise you a standardized format. Some days I will be overflowing with joy and hope for my world (I consider myself an optimist to the core), but some days the world will get me down, and I may have a more somber tone. I am relatively certain that I will give you lots of lists (it's kind of "what I do" ;)...) and I hope to put up some pictures as I go, too.

I know this is getting lengthy, so I'll leave you with a list (you know, 'cause it's what I do...)

My (incredibly ambitious, but surely attainable) List of To-Do's in the next 46 days***:
  1. Run a half-marathon with my best friend Saundra (8/30)
  2. Convince a certain kitty that I am really not so bad, and he can, indeed, bring himself to sit in my lap (and SNUGGLE With Me!! ... baby steps...)
  3. Learn to walk in these beauties: (photo from
  4. Make Jillian Michaels my new best friend (or NOT. At least spend some quality time with her...)
  5. Read 2 books, including Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti (look for a review soon!)
  6. Write an "incredible, once in a lifetime" kind of love letter.
  7. Buy a really, really good pillow (any suggestions?)
  8. Eat a DQ Blizzard.
  9. Learn to be patient, and wait in peace. (I want to learn this, like, yesterday... lol)
  10. Learn how to effectively pack (just so we're clear, I mean every space filled) a suitcase.
*** Stay tuned.. tomorrow I'll talk a little about me-- and WHY my list's time line is 46 days!

Ah, and I can't forget- a quick, heartfelt shout-out to my sister, without whom this blog (including blog title!) would not exist. Love you!

Goodnight, bloggies!