Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I've got a good one for you, in the vein of some popular children's literature: (*eh hem*)

Choose Your Poison Adventure
(Courtesy of your daytime cold meds)

1. Wake up, attempt to work a miracle with your makeup you look like a human being, and sneeze your way to the office .

2. Very Important Choice:
(a) Eat (breakfast of champions)first Proceed to step 4.
(b) Take cold meds because you can't stand feeling miserable for another second. Proceed to step 3.

3. Experience some "tummy distress"(not so cutesy wording: nausea) pray while you wait to proceed to step 5.

4, Wait for brekkie to digest, take cold medicine with plenty of H20. Proceed to Step 5.

5. Feel insanely better ...... and intensely sleepy. Fight hard against the desire to put head down on desk and take a nap. FAIL. Proceed to step 6.

6. Wake yourself up, and focus on keeping moving. Moving = AWAKE, right?! Realize you need to adjust your movents so that you are neither moving quickly nor bending over. Head is now feeling uber woozy. Sigh and confine yourself to desk chair. Begin counting down the minutes hours remaining in the work day. Proceed to step 7.

7. Suddenly realize that it has been 4+ hours since you began this ordeal began this adventure took any medicine, and you can feel that it has worn off. Return to step 2 and begin again.

....Yeah. Funny as this is now, unfortunately, it was my day today (but aren't the funniest quips and observations so because we have been there?!) I am happy to say that (for the most part) my head is feeling completely normal ... although I did have a glass or two of sparkling wine with dinner to celebrate with J....

What are we celebrating, you might ask? Well, yesterday, J and I CLOSED ON OUR HOUSE!!! I am a HOMEOWNER!!! (...or, as our oh-so-practical friend Cole would say: "Whelp... now the BANK owns our house, and we're in debt for the next 30 years." I prefer to view it the better MY way :)

To be honest with you, the actual "closing process" was rather anti-climactic. I was nervous about it (haha, I even practiced signing my name so that I wouldn't get too excited in the heat of the moment and sign my maiden name...), and apparently I was hyping it up quite a bit.... because really it was just a lot of paper signing and then all of a sudden: it was over.

I was kind of expecting to feel something you know?! In truth (as I lamented to J later) all I really felt was the strong desire for my evil but slightly effective so I was giving it my best shot, dang it! cold medicine to kick in. (It didn't. )

Not to say that I'm not excited-- because, oh-my-goodness we ARE.We are so excited to move forward to the next step of our life together, and build our home. I think I especially am ready to move into this house (Next Thursday!!! *AHHHHH* ... once again, angels singing, rather than the scream noise :) because, after all my co-ops and moving around during college, I'm ready to settle down. I'm ready to stay in one place for years at a time, work my land (garden and yard work... call me crazy but, yes, I AM looking forward to this!) and anchor my memories (and my childrens' memories) to this house. HOME is such a cozy feeling word, and I am so excited to make our dream home a reality.

Anyway... obviously that's been the big excitement around here (will post pictures soon, I promise!), and, understandably that has pretty much been the first thing on my mind lately. As far as the rest of the week goes: the house is our after 6 pm on Thursday, and we are planning on spending our first night in the house complete with air mattress, pizza and champagne :) (Awww.)Then tons of packing, painting, cleaning, lock changing, etc. before the move next Thursday!

Otherwise (haha... because outside of house=y stuff, life has been trucking right along ....) I have been pushing forward. I haven't made too many "resolution/ life goal advances" in the past week, but I figure, one step at a time, right? :) And I am quite happy. I was just thinking today ("the day job" was getting a wee bit hairy... lots of firefighting today) that it is a real blessing to be able to realize -- in the middle of a stressful situation -- that reguardless of what is happening at-this-second, life is good.

I have been thinking a lot lately about Identity. (Like, I typed out a "half-post" early last week that never quite made it up... that's how much I've been thinking about it.) And, how for something that seems so crucial to our existence, it is a terribly hard concept to define. It's so intangible, I believe, because there are so many different ways to approach the idea. During the tough times, I take immeasurable comfort in the fact that, at the end of my life, who I am is not defined by my mistakes, the positions I've held, or the status I've earned. I like to think that my identity-- who I truly am -- is more dependent on the dreams in my heart and the love in my arms than in the figures in my bank account or the titles on my resumee.

That said, I am still keeping my eyes and ears open, as I continue to discover who and what I am going to be 'when I grow up'. ... A lot of words for... still nothing new, but I am staying hopeful :) I have found that, reguardless of what I know lies ahead of me, I cannot help but be cheerful in the morning. Mornings give me a lot of hope, and I revel in the promise of the new day during my morning drive. I almost think I might be a little sad to have a shorter commute starting 2 Mondays from now.
... Nah.

Anywho, this is starting to get lengthy (a casualty of not blogging in over a week, bad Amy) so I'll wrap things up with a list or two:

Good List

1. J. Oh, how I love that man. I am completely, disgustingly head-over-heels for him.
2. COFFEE. (don't worry, I am still honoring my 2 cup a day rule. ... Err, unless I said I'd only drink 1 cup. In which case, FAIL.)
3. Mornings. I am very definitely a morning person :)
4. Hostessing parties for wonderful people. I had a tiny party (5 people-- which, quite frankly, was probably perfect for our apartment!) on Monday evening, and it was a blast. I love, Love LOVE having people over! Once we move into the house, I will have even more of an excuse to do so :)
5. Puffs (c) A total necessity this past weekend.
6. Gracie Lou, who continues to light up my heart and my life every.single.day.
7. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: "'Everything bagels' with veggie cream cheese rock my world."
8. Spaghetti dinners. My all-time favorite comfort food.
9. Sunshine. (Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep it coming :)
10. “Happiness is not a destination, it is a method of life” – Burton Hills

Dream Jobs:
(Disclaimer: I am by no means saying I would be any good at these jobs..... just that I've always thought they would be an awesome way to spend my 9-5.)
  • A DJ. Seriously, how fun would that be-- you get to be surrounded by music all day!
  • A preschool teacher. Playing is your job! You also get to run around, sing, and eat snacks. Sign me up!
  • A singer. Ultimate dream :)
  • A foster cat-mother.
  • A handbag designer. O.M.Gee. Yes, Yes, Yes! The smell of leather is intoxicating to me-- I think I would be in heaven.
  • Similarly: a running shoe designer. (cough, or tester.)
  • The person who picks out background songs/soundtrack music for movies.
  • The designated "story teller" for story hour at the library.
  • A novelist-- I could spend all day in my own little world (which, I pretty much do anyway... so it would be pretty great to get paid for it :)
  • And finally (haha... and I can't for the life of me think of a tactful way to say this, so I'll just spit it out...) I would have absolutely no problem with just magically becoming independantly wealthy :-D

Question for you: What is your dream job? Has it changed from what it used to be when you were growing up? Are you working in (or toward) your dream job today?

Have a great one, friends. I'll be back soon with PICTURES!

Friday, March 19, 2010

5 Lessons

Lesson #1: “ Vanilla/Vanilla Jojos are awesome with breakfast coffee, while chocolate/chocolate Jojos are best with milk.”

I couldn’t think of a better way to being this post than with this little gem. (You may thank me later …) Clearly, if you have been following me at all lately, you know that my first lesson probably may have occurred first thing this morning (B.F.O.C. anyone?!? Haha…) And to answer the unspoken questions: Yes, as a matter of fact I do have 2 kinds of Jojo’s at my house (and will for the foreseeable future… unless J takes matters into his own hands and eats them all saves me from myself…. Will keep you updated :). ... Clearly I have a problem. But, really? If cookies for breakfast is wrong, I don’t want to be right …

Lesson #2: “25 mph speed limits are infinitely more bearable when it’s sunshiney and 60° outside.”
My saving grace for the week has been the extra hours of sunlight in the evening. *Ahhhhhh* (eh hem. Though that looks like a scream, it’s actually the sound of angels singing. Use your imagination :). Sunshine in my life is definitely, definitely a good thing. … And so is green beer*, but that’s another story ;) Read on just a bit further! (First, though: I need to be honest with you in that I actually did not consume any green beer myself, because my husband tells me green beer is scary. I haven’t tried it, but I’ll take his word for it. We stuck with icy cold *amber colored* goodness… I realize that this makes me decidedly ‘un-hardcore’ … but I’m okay with that :)

Lesson #3: “Give thanks for the good things in your life, but sometimes it’s all right to want more.”
Overall, it’s been a good week. I’ve been listing, planning and dreaming for the new house (!!!), and I’ve also been able to take a few moments for some personal reflection. …Which has been amazing :). Pink sunsets+ pink wine (‘klassy’, I know…) evoke the dreamy, passionate soul-searchy side of me.

I’ve always known that I have a restless heart. Lately, I’ve begun to realize that it is, in fact, a periodic cycle of content vs. restless. ..And more importantly? I am learning how to embrace that.

I am learning that restlessness does not necessarily mean I'm doing something wrong in my life… but rather, that I'm craving a new challenge to enrich my life and help me to grow as a person. Therefore, it is prime time for productivity, daring, and stepping out into the unknown.

I am a very spiritual person, and I am beginning to see these ‘growing pains’ as my “divine push” (if you will) --not to become a different person… but rather, to develop and grow into all I am meant to be, and indeed, who I have been deep inside, all along.

I am definitely not saying I’ve got everything figured out (puh-leeze, I am still struggling with the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question…) I’m simply saying that I have hope in the waiting, because I know my life has so much promise.

...but enough heavy stuff…

Lesson #4: “Good friends are Everything. Duh.”
When I haven’t been busy being anti-social introspective, I’ve been blessed to get to spend a lot of good times with friends this week. I’ve definitely gotten my fair share of ‘distractions’ to lift me up when I have been in crabby less-than-stellar moods. (ie: I came home and told J that I was “Funked up” on Tuesday evening, and the man ordered me a pizza. He’s a keeper … Obviously, because there's nothing that pizza can’t fix :)

Actually, here’s where the green beer story comes in! Wednesday turned out to be an especially long day for me, and so when J sent me a message and asked me if I wanted to go out… well, I was (a little) lukewarm about it. Ultimately I decided “Meh, why not?” (and, I realize this mentality can lead to some pretty sketchy decisions…. But I’ve always been lucky in these situations!)… after all, it should be more fun than going home moping, taking a nap until dinner, hanging out with the cats – no offense, Gracie , right?! RIGHT! Oh boy, what an experience! I have to admit that this was the 1st time (in nearly 24 years… yikes.) I’ve never “gone out” on St. Patrick’s Day—but it was just as I imagined. First of all …. I always think people at bars are entertaining…. But this was something else. (I suppose when you’ve been out green beer and car-bomb drinking since noon, it’s to be expected:) I had a great time people watching, catching up with friends (Hi, Gary!) and kicking back & relaxing in the middle of the week (imho, March 17th falling on a Wednesday is brilliant—although I am sure the majority of my green beer drinking comrades would NOT agree…)

And finally, Lesson #5: “A little eye candy never hurt anyone”

Happy Friday, friends. I hope your weekend is fabulous!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Because today making a "Good List" is absolutely imperative to my existence:

Good List:
1. J: Hubby. Friend. He knows exactly how to cheer me up, and he does a great job at just generally "being there for me" <3
2. Tomato sandwiches. Loveeeee. Tastes like summer :)
3. Snuggling with Gracie on my lunch hour made a stressful errand totally 100% worth it.
4. Sunshine peeking through the clouds.
5. Red finger nail polish.
6. Uncompromising cup-holders. (if you've ever lost your S-bux when you hit the brakes hard at a yellow light... you know what I am saying :)
7. Calculators.
8. Helpful customer service reps.
9. The smell of spring in the air.
10. Knowing 'This too, shall pass.

May your Monday be kind to you friends, as we gear up to conquer another week.

Much love, and more later :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NEWS ....

Hello, hello!

Contrary to what you may have been lead to believe with my lack of blogging-activity lately, I AM still alive :) Alive and well—and some exciting news to share (cough. Much as I hate to have to do this, I realize that now, since I’m married, it may be necessary : Before your minds start running full speed ahead – NO, I am not pregnant. No bambinos for Amy + J in the near future :)

So let’s jump on in, shall we?? (oh boy! This is fun… it’s been way too long since I’ve had the chance to sit down and write!!)

Like I said, I am well, and life is very, very sweet. …As a whole. I got the chance to sit down and enjoy coffee* with a dear friend last night (Emily, you totally made my good list this week!), and we talked about life. I think she put it best when she said (and please know I’m paraphrasing…. She said it much better than I will): “It’s completely human to know you are blessed, and that life is good … but still have that one little thing (even when you know how inconsequential it should be!) weigh you down.”

I have 3 words to say about that. “Amen.” and “Thank goodness.” (I was starting to feel like the most ungrateful little girl who ever roamed the planet …) I have been getting discouraged about some things in my life lately (things which, honestly, I just don’t feel comfortable discussing on “el bloggy” … just ask me if you’re curious.) and furthermore, I know that, because of said things, I am entering the “rough part of the year” (if I’ve calculated right, the tough part should end in time for my 1st Anniversary, which will be nice, at least :) And, quite frankly, some mornings it is a real struggle to get out of bed and move forward. So, it was amazing to get to discuss this stuff with a good friend... to put it all out there and come clean. Life is good, but it's not perfect, ya know? Thank goodness for good friends, heart-to-hearts and 'girls' nights.

* Eh hem: before I forget to write in an appropriate footnote, I say coffee* (with a star) because she got ice cream, and I got chai tea (.holy.yum.) – I just say “we went for coffee” because it sounds so sophisticated and classic and (gulp) grown up :) … I digress …

But I am not complaining. Just being honest with my bloggy friends :) This is a real glimpse into my real life. Accordingly, I feel that it is time to implement a new 2010 Life Plan. In Amy-fashion (did you really expect anything less of me?!) The following list is my plan for how to combat the potential lows of the next several months:

  • Drink only 1 cup of coffee/day. Coffee is fabulous, but it really doesn’t solve any of my life problems (actually, I’ve found that too many cups actually compounds my ‘problems’, as it makes me anxious and headachy.) I will savor every single drop of my daily cup :)
  • Find and run with a running buddy. DONE! My friend and co-worker Sarah recently signed up to run a ½ marathon in May, and we will be running together at least 1x a week. Woohoo!
  • Sing more often. In church, in the car, while I’m cooking, in the shower … Just because it makes me happy.
  • Make 2010 my year to “settle in”. 2009 was definitely a year of upheaval (in a good way, definitely—but, whew.) I am ready to establish and thrive in routine. If anyone catches me saying “I’m bored” in the next 12 months, you are completely entitled to either (a) laugh and pat me on the head, or (b) give me a stern talking to.
  • Make Saturday morning brunch (pancakes, muffins, omelettes…. *drool) Take it slow on Saturdays, and really enjoy hanging out with J on our day off.
  • Make Sunday afternoon naps a priority.
  • (Keep up with) Weekly date night. Because it’s really fun. And I feel that a little more fun in my life is absolutely necessary :)
  • Snuggle with Gracie every day. At the risk of sounding like a total “Cat lady", having a “tiny purring fuzzy” who races to greet me when I come home, and climbs into my lap every chance she gets… well, it completes a part of me that I never knew I was missing. Gracie lifts my heart with her complete devotion, and makes me laugh with her kittenly enthusiasm. She will always be my first “little girl”.
  • Spend less time in front of the tv.
  • Spend more time on me. (ie: blogging, reading, walking, meditating,painting my fingernails, etc.)
  • Cook more dinners at home. (OH.MY. J and I had homemade pizza last night, and it was absolutely stellar. I may never go back.)
  • Bake more. (J will be thrilled. First up: banana bread!)
  • Focus on making my house my haven. Decorate to my little hearts content, plant flowers, and really make it OURS.

… chirp, chirp ….

Now just a minute – did I just say “HOUSE”?!

Why yes, yes I did J There you have it—our big news! J and I are in contract (closing March 29) for our first home!! I’m not putting up pictures yet (just a teensy bit superstitious J )—but I’ll put them up after we get the keys on April 1st --- EEEEEEEEIIII!

Now, if you are surprised about this, I completely empathize with you. I was not planning on thinking about getting a house for another year or two—so it was a surprise to me, too! I mean, I knew “it’s a buyers market” and everything… but I really thought that our plan would be to save for a few more years (in apartment living) and then make our move. However, we were swayed by these factors:

1. Mortgage rates are at an all time low right now. It wasn’t too bad for me to say “well, it would have been nice, but oh well” to the home buyers tax credit… but a mortgage that I’ll be carrying with me for the next 30 years?! That’s really something to think about…

2. Our mortgage payments are not much more than our current rent payments (will be even less in a few months when we don’t have to pay PMI!) and perhaps that biggest factor

3. I actually sat down and calculated how much $$ we would pay toward our apartment in the time that we could be buying equity in our own place. The numbers were rather staggering :-o

So, we took the first step, and several weeks ago (hehe… about the time I was due for my next blog post, actually…. I knew I’d have a hard time keeping it a secret, so that was part of the reason for the hiatus!), J and I began searching. And on our 2nd round of home searches, we found it, our home. It is a perfect combination J & Amy home—lots of light, big yard, front porch and good running neighborhood for me; modern floor plan, finished basement, newer home (= fewer repairs, at least in theory!) for J … Perfect. Oh my, this house has the softest carpet I’ve ever felt – it’s a long brown and tan shag (J.’s comment being (practical hubby that he is) “well, if a cat pukes on that carpet, it will be a b(ear) to clean up …” Phooey. I’ll just train them to ‘toss their cookies’ on the tile or hardwood :) Needless to say, we are so excited. I promise to keep you all up to date as everything (please, God) falls into place.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest and before I completely lose your interest ... I owe y'all some LISTS!! ...Enjoy!

Good List

1. J. My rock. It is my priviledge that he chose me to be his wife.

2. Spring-y scents. It's finally almost spring-- and while we can't open the windows quite yet (tee hee... I would, but for my husband.... Hey- it's 55 degrees out-- a veritable heat wave!!) it is so good to have those sweet, fresh, earthy scents in the house!

3. Cinnamon Crunch bagels. Breakfast of champions coming in, of course, after the #1 Amy favorite, cookies.... Edited to add: Apparently "Breakfast of champions" has an alternate meaning that I had never heard of before. Pardon my ignorance, as apparently, I am old. Please know that in this instance, I meant it innocently, like "Wheaties"... If there is some secret meaning to wheaties, please don't tell me, I don't want to know.

4. Emily G. I had coffee* with her last night, and it was so wonderful. I'm so glad we've kept our friendship sacred all these years :) She is truly a 'kindred spirit'.

5. First run outside in who-knows-how-long. OH.YEAH!

6. Sunshine until well after 6 pm.

7. Our realtor, 'mortgage man' and home inspector. So far, everyone we've worked with has been kind, professional and competent.

8. Sam Adams. Yummy. Definitely my favorite 'full bodied' (which may be the wrong term... but it's heavy for what I normally drink...) beer.

9. Dreaming about the new house :)

10. Libraries and Starbucks(es? Starbi?? ...whatever.) I find both perfect places for inspiration.

Great tv shows that I wish were still on:

(FYI: I may reallly going to date myself with some of these... although several of these I was barely alive during the 1st run ... consider yourself warned :)

1. Boy Meets World

2. Dr.Quinn Medicine Woman (I think Jon just died a little....)

3. Veronica Mars

4. Eleventh Hour (oh my heavens, WHY did they take this off the air?! I don't think it even made it one full season... sadness..)

5. Firefly

6. The Cosby Show (Aw. I love this- and I think it's really genuinely funny... )

7. 7th Heaven

8. Magnum P.I.

9. Reading Rainbow & Wishbone (All right... so I wouldn't be watching these... but I wish there would be something like it for my kids!)

10. The Letter People (see above. I'm thinking futuristically!)

Your turn: what were some of your favorite shows? Any great shows to recommend to me NOW? I think J and I need more to watch together... right now we watch, um, LOST.... and that's it ... I'm not sure what we'll do after the phenomenon ends :-P

Have a fabulous week, friends. More soon ...