Friday, April 30, 2010

'Walk with me ..."

Happy Friday!! I don't know about you, but this week has flown (I am not complaining-- I'm soo ready for another weekend :)

It's looking like another rainy weekend her in central OH, and you know what that means: MORE BAKING! (And reading, of course :) If you have any fabulous recipes to share, please send them along (fabulous ideas and inspiration always welcome, too.)

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.... Today, in contrast with the projected weekend forecast, is an absolutely *beautiful day-- sunshine and 70's, woohoo!! Therefore, since I can no longer use the weather as my excuse, I can write this post that I've been dreaming up for the past couple weeks: Walk with me.

(*But first, a small detour : Just to make myself clear: it's not that I don't love thunderstorms, which are very much beautiful in their own way.... it's just that, as far as "being outside beauty" is concerned, sunshine very much trumps the rain :)

Anyway, as I know I have mentioned before, I spend many of my lunchtimes outside. I am very blessed to work in an office building that backs up on one of the Westerville bike paths. Sometimes I go out and walk for fitness (really scootin', and watching the garmin for distance and mile splits), but lately (eh hem: or "springly", rather... I've been doing this since things started turning green!) I've been walking for pleasure, soaking in all the beauty around me, and breathing in peace in the middle of what can be very stressful work days.

The path I'm going to walk with you today is the "Right Path" (meaning that I turn right, instead of left.... original, I know.) I think captions might only take away from the beauty, so below is simply a collection of pictures. Enjoy!

Have a beautiful start to your weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Not so Good: My day started out bright and early with this* falling into my lap.


* For those of you reading who actually know your 'bugs', this was exactly what fell on me. (Gah... which is a good thing bc THIS is a bed bug....) However, it looked pretty much the same, only about 2" long. Anyhoo...

Good: It missed falling into my coffee by mere centimeters -- but it did miss! Also, the shrieks & dances that ensued while Sarah, Katie, Molly and I all tried to catch the critter and smash it were rather amusing. (Yes. it was a team effort, and I do realize that this behavior is decidedly 'girly'. I think it is the perfect time to remind you that (a) the bug was HUMONGOUS 2" long (b) I am a girl, so acting girly isn't all together unexpected ... and (c) the cup of coffee I alluded to was my first of the day... & really, while having a large bug fall into your lap at any time is disconcerting, having said large bug fall in your lap prior to drinking your first sip of coffee is completely unbearable....)

Also good:

Good List

1. J.

2. Snuggling in bed and hot oatmeal make cold mornings infinitely more bearable :)

3. Homemade pizza (last night's margherita pizza was wonderful. Definitely justified me being excited about it all week day!)

4. Quiet nights. Because sometimes it's nice to sit and just 'be'.

5. Clearance racks.

6. Beautiful hardcover books, filled with absolutely delicious inspiration. Like this one : the beautiful outdoor-scapes set my heart and imagination on fire-- and inspire me to create a warm gathering place in which we can both host summer backyard bbqs and relax in the sun.

7. The weather this week (post-Monday, obviously) has been perfect (and I do not say that lightly!) Bright sunshine + cooler (50's - low 60's) temperatures have made it impossible to resist long afternoon walks.

8. 'Mocktails'. Lately I have been enjoying pom + club soda or oj + club soda as a refreshing pick-me-up.

9. Snuggling with the kitties (& a good book!) in the late afternoon sun.

10. One of my favorite things about our new neighborhood is being able to sit out on the front porch and watch the neighborhood kids playing. There is lots of bike riding, and there always seems to be a little group of children gathered at one house or another. A couple of times (when the breeze is just right) I can hear them telling each other stories and/or setting up the parameters for a really good "make-believe session." (ie: "...I'm all grown up, I have a car and a golden retriever. You're my son.") What wonderful memories that brings back! I really wanted to move into a 'family-oriented neighborhood', and I think we picked a good one :)

And now, to continue with List Day Tuesday Wednesday Thursday (?!) (Gah... I'll 'get with it eventually, I promise.), below you will find the list that inspired this post.

Now I know you've heard of "honey-do's... well this, my friends, is the "Amy-do". In the spirit of full disclosure, I've gotta tell you right off the bat, a good amount of this stuff won't get done tonight ... so I guess really you should read this as a "wish list" for my next 24 hours (as of now, 8:48 pm tomorrow-- Friday-- will be my cut-off)

I'll try to cross these out as I go... My basic problem m.o. is to make lots of lists, and thrill in the making.... And then lose them, or for various other reasons never end up checking things off (which is tragic, since 'the checking' is arguably the most fulfilling part!) This is actually a little experiment for me... to see if I get more accomplished since I am being held accountable :0


  • Drink a glass of red wine
  • & eat some dark chocolate with sea salt (All right, fine... I may have added these 1st two items to the list simply so that I can cross them off... but, on the other hand... I did wish to do this tonight ... )
  • Go to bed early (930 ish) and attempt to get 8 hours of sleep. (Friday a.m. edit = FAIL. Total fail. I was in bed early... but I don't think we turned off the lights till around 11pm.)
  • Remember to set my alarm for early early tomorrow morning, so I am forced to .... (Friday a.m. edit = Okay... I did this, but I definitely woke up at 4:30 this morning and re-set it.... That's why this is "half-crossed-out".... not a total fail, but definitely not a complete success, as far as the intent behind it....)
  • wake early and go for a run (& shower) and manage to make it out of the house at 7 am, so I can ....(Friday a.m. edit = Again, partial win. Showered and made it out the door at 7...ish)
  • Call Emily on the way to work (Friday a.m. = DONE!)
  • Hit up the S-bux drive through and celebrate the fact it's Friday with a delicious, hot cup of caffeine (note: I have been trying to do this all week. Tomorrow is my last chance, so to speak...) (Friday a.m. = DONE! ... although, I feel the need to point out how glad I am that I didn't say "make it into work exactly on time... Ah well, one step at a time :)
  • Walk at lunchtime, and take lots of pictures for W.W.M. (I will link this acronym forward once I get tomorrow's post up.... just trust me and check back tomorrow evening!)
  • DATE NIGHT! (so, actually, the 'Amy-do' part of this is "PLAN date night!")
  • (keep in mind that these are not necessarily in order... I need to do this one as soon as I press "publish"...) Write an encouraging (inspirational? It's a "lift-up", agape type of thing :) note to a friend who is running her 1st half-marathon this Saturday!
  • ... and because I am so cool, and don't think I could stand to go one more day without doing this ... I need to run to the library and get a reserved book. ('American Wife' -- I'll let you know what I think, but I've heard it's awesome !)
  • Um... and I think ice cream will be necessary tomorrow, too :)
What are your weekend plans? Crazy nights out with friends? Lovely, quiet nights at home? Movies? Books? Travel plans (Heidi, I'm looking at you here)? (I'll go first: Date night Friday, time with my sister on Saturday a.m., and then ???)

Whatever your plans are, I hope it's a fabulous one, and one you are looking forward to. TGIaF, friends!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Great news, bloggies!! Guess what I found:

Exhibit A


Whew. I was really getting worried there for a bit. Unfortunately, I still haven't found my one other "lost" item-- a baseball cap that I wore running (love. Love, LOVED because it kept my hair out of my face... RIP, dear hat.)

... A problem which may or may not have been solved yesterday at the Adidas outlet in Jeffersonville.....

Anyway, though, due to the lovely spring-y weather we have been experiencing lately :

Exhibit B

My "walk with me" post has been temporarily postponed.. as I am stuck inside (reading) during my lunch breaks. However, I will give you one picture (taken early last week) as a teaser of what's to come:

Exhibit C

The rain has not been all bad, though. I know that we needed it (omg... while I'm thinking about it, send up a little prayer for our grass seed in the back yard.... I'm hoping for a miracle... but things are not looking promising after a week....), and honestly, I needed it, too. This weekend I took my "rained in" status very seriously, and, except for my (erm...completely necessary) shopping excursion with Emily yesterday, I did not leave the house. I didn't get out of my pajamas until Saturday afternoon, I watched lots of Gilmore Girls, I baked cookies (which now I am feeling very sad that I didn't bring for lunch today... boo...) and I snuggled with the kitties under the covers with my book.


Anyway, so here we are at Monday, and I'm chugging along per usual. As far as I can tell, the week looks pretty calm so far. J and I have our 'We-avoided-it-this-weekend-so we-still-need-to-get-to-it' yard work (yippee ...) to get to later this week (probably tomorrow, which *knock on wood* is looking like it will be a pretty nice day!), and I get my 'hairs cut' on Saturday, but other than that, we're blissfully free. ... Being the 'optimistic realist' that I am, I know my week isn't really going to be all lying around on the couch drinking wine and eating chocolate .... but I think we'll be happy with the way things will fill up.

Now, without further ado, I provide you with a further glimpse into my life, via

Good List

1. J. Haha... this is going to sound completely lame, but I loved baking cookies for him this weekend. They say the way to a man's heart this through his stomach-- well, the way to a woman's heart is by recognizing and appreciating her (her actions, her thoughts... everything!) I would bake a bazillion batches of cookies for this man, because his 'thank yous' make me feel like a million bucks :)

2. Gracie Lou. Always, always, always a good thing in my life.

3. Rain pitter-pattering on my roof to lull me to sleep. It reminds me of rainy summer evenings of my childhood, spent in 'The Little House' (J and I also spent our honeymoon there).

4. 'Guilty pleasure novels'. Ones that I know will not enrich my knowledge or deepen my spirituality at all (except, perhaps, by broadening my vocabulary... but that may be a stretch...) --Books that are solely read for the joy of reading them, and escaping the dark, rainy world.

5. Alternatively, reading things that deepen and enrich my soul immeasurably, like this, this and this.

6. Of course, chocolate chip cookies. Fresh out of the oven, with a glass of milk :)

7. Quiet times.

8. Felt-tipped pens.

9. Tulips.

10. Striving to live authentically every.single.moment. Tuning in to my heart and learning to tune out the fear that holds me back. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine." More importantly, recognizing that even when there is no sunshine to be found, I can create my own-- or even find beauty in the shadows.

Happy Monday, friends. Here's to a great week :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Goodness. I may have reached a new record with my consecutive days of "non-postage". Can you forgive me? ....Are you still there? ... Anyone?!

To be fair to myself, it has been a crazy-busy whirlwind few weeks over here in Amy-ville. (You know, I became a homeowner, moved my whole life, moved the cats and had the good sense to do all this during what was perhaps the busiest 2 weeks of the year, work-wise. Yeah, I really should have given the dates a little more thought... but it worked, and I'm still standing :)

And of course, dear bloggies: to be fair to you, I am giving you lots of pictures in this post! Yes, I am not above shameless bribery to get you all to come back to me after my 19 day (gah!) hiatus. ...You're most welcome:)

So, obviously I've missed you, and I could babble on ad nauseam... but, since I am trying to win you back and all, let's get right to the good stuff. (Note: Sigh. To add to my growing list of apologies, most of these pictures were taken with the iPhone. And I am no iPhone photographer because I can't hold still long enough. I seem to have *cough* misplaced my camera during the move, and I haven't unearthed it yet, booo.)

Without further ado: here's our new home!

Front of the house, lovingly mulched by yours truly this past weekend. (Sweet.Goodness. I hate mulching...)

One of my favorite rooms: The Kitchen! I love how open it is, and being able to look out the windows when I'm standing at the sink. (Baron loves these windows, too. He like to perch there and spy on our neighbor's dog :) This is actually a picture from the realtor.... I tried to take a pic earlier, and it was way, way too dark. Sigh. MUST find camera.

Our back yard. I am looking forward to hosting many gatherings and cook-outs here in the years to come :)

And finally, the master bedroom. (Yes, I 'made the bed' especially for you. ... Not that we don't make the bed on a every day -we do - but it isn't this tidy during the week... it's more of a 'pull the covers up and go' type of "bed-make". It does look like this on weekends, though ...) Again, sorry the quality isn't 100%...

And, to continue to butter you up -- I'll continue on to some more GOOD Stuff:

Good List:

1. J. Our marriage survived the move (heh. not that I was really worried... but I did get a bit crabby and unreasonable after multiple nights of very little sleep :)-- and now we are having a fabulous time nesting. Building our little home (& our lives) together. I love this man.

2. Allergy meds. Ah, Ohio. How I love hate love thee ...

3. Heroes, via Netflix. Season 1 has been fabulous!

4. Lunchtime walks (look for a "Walk with me" post later this week!)

5. Post-it notes.

7. Nesting. Love, LoVe, LOVE.

8. Libraries.

9. Sliding between cool, clean sheets at the end of a long but productive day. Is there any better feeling than that?

10. I find that, no matter what is slated to occur later in my day-- no matter how stressful or busy it is to be -- I cannot be anything but positive and happy on my morning drive. Something about driving through the early morning sunshine in the waking world renews me, and lifts my heart. In those moments I am hopeful and at peace, and the world abounds in the promise of a new day.

More later, and much love to you all .... Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A few addendums

First and foremost, in light of the exhibit above, I would like to add "Professional Landscaper" to my list of dream jobs. It is delightful outside, and all I can think about is getting back out into the sunshine :) When I went to pick up lunch today, I purposely parked across the shopping center so that I could have an excuse to walk. Love LoVe LOVE this weather!
A few more "randoms" for the day:
  • I went back and checked my "cut down on coffee plan" after I typed up my previous post, and it definitely said "DRINK ONLY 1 CUP/DAY." ...Erm, Oops. Consider me chastised... The 1 cup/day goal will be reinstated ... tomorrow :)
  • It has come to my attention that it is absolutely impossible for me to eat a sandwich containing fresh veggies (the 's' on veggies is important... I can handle 1 measley slice of tomato.... it the "Veggie Sandwiches" that are beyond my capabilities.) Unfortunately, I only figured this out after I had attempted to eat said sandwiches in the company of others. Exhibit A: last night's veggie sub. Exhibit B: Mediterranean Veggie sandwich today at lunch. ...The mediterranean veggie was a particular disaster. I practically needed a bath after that (although, in all fairness, I'll blame that on the fact that I had the m.v. on a bagel, rather than bead... and, y'know.... bagel have holes in them....) This is a particular tragedy because the nicer the weather gets, the more I crave fresh food (ie: veggie sandwiches.) ...I'll have to figure something out.
  • It has come to my attention that I have had Panera 3x this week. (And no, I'm not pregnant ... or even particularly in a rut.)
  • It has come to my attention that I am singularly lacking in the motivation/attention span department today. ... I (happily) blame that on the sunshine.

As a final thought, I got the news this morning that a beautiful friend of mine just lost her job. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayer.

Much love & sunshine to you all ..... Happy 'Almost Friday'!