Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm annoyed because I almost got run over today by a woman on her bicycle. A woman on her bicycle talking on her cell phone.


Now, I realize that I am not the most coordinated person in the world, and that (to me) riding a bicycle in itself without falling off is complicated enough, but really? I think riding a bicycle and talking on a cell phone is just asking for disaster. I'm lucky I made it out alive.

(Of course, I kid.... but it was pretty annoying. Enough so that as soon as she was a sufficient distance away I rolled my eyes and uttered, quite eloquently, "Seriously?" ... I realize I'm using that word a lot today, but I struggle to find other words to adequately expressed my disgust :)

Has anything crazy-annoying and absurd like this ever happened to you?

I digress ...

Well, good news friends! It's Wednesday, which means we are half way to another weekend. Ah, sweet weekend ... Honestly, this past weekend wasn't particularly productive for me (painting definitely did NOT get done), but I was able to check several things off my "Amy-do" list, and I'm proud of my small victories. ...And, unfortunately, as J seems to be coming down with something this week, I may have plenty of solo time to do more chores. (Like... uhm... TONS of painting prep. J and I were talking this morning, and I think I may have been hasty to think I could paint last weekend after all. The final room that we need to paint was previously painted with stripes ... which means lots of sanding and putty-ing before we even get to the taping and painting. Meh... on the bright side, I sure will feel accomplished once it's done!)

And some more good news: I have something very exciting to share with my Ohio (especially central Ohio!) friends. A PSA of sorts, I guess you could say.

What is it, you ask?

Well, it's no secret that I am totally in love with my furbabies ... Baron and Gracie have enriched my life in so many ways -- they make me laugh, they comfort me when I'm sick or sad (When I wasn't feeling well on July 3, Gracie snuggled with me in the dark of the bedroom as we listened to a nearby fireworks display.) and, most importantly, they have unlocked rooms in my heart that I never knew I had. Before Baron and Gracie, I had never really owned a pet before, I couldn't begin to comprehend that love -- and now? It astounds me. And, without hesitation, I would recommend this experience to ... well, everyone.

And so, it is with great excitement that I present this opportunity to you! During the month of July (sorry I didn't find out about this earlier to tell you!) the
Capital Area Humane Society has reduced their adoption fee for cats and kittens to just $25 :)

How awesome is this?! Baron and Gracie both came from the CAHS, and were "fixed" and microchipped when we got them. We couldn't be happier with the kitties, and have been very impressed with the CAHS in general (in fact, volunteering there is on my list of things to explore ...) So, if you're in the central OH area and have been on the fence about adopting a 'fuzzy' ... what are you waiting for?!-- this is a great opportunity!

If you need any more incentive, just look at these dear little faces...(I'm loving Chloe (black cat Chloe), Doyle, Homer and Eclipse...)

(For the record, J and I will not be getting another cat at this time... I begged and pleaded... and he told me 1 more cat = one less kiddo (someday... I'm not trying to tell you anything)... )

And now, in honor of this special catly opportunity, a special list!

Good List
Dedicated to Baron and Gracie

1. Little faces that peer out the window, ready to greet me the minute I cross the threshold into my home.
2. Kind little souls that have, in fact, made my house the home that it is.
3. Deep, beautiful stretches that inspire me to do yoga (
cat pose, anyone? Actually, Gracie does a killer downward dog....)
4. Fuzzy, purring bodies that wind around my arms and legs and make doing yoga impossible... but so enjoyable.
5. Being reminded that sometimes afternoon (and morning, and evening) naps are not only acceptable, but completely necessary.
6. Being reminded that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.
7. Seeing Baron and Gracie's pride when they show off a "new trick" (ie: Baron opens cabinets, Gracie knows how to play "hide & seek")
8. Sometimes, if we haven't seen the cats in a while, one of them will realize they are alone, and wander through the house "calling for us". It's completely endearing.
9. "Mama & Gracie snuggle time", which is so SO definitely my favorite time of day.
10. Watching them revel in the small, beautiful pleasures of their world: sun beams, soft blankets, watching bunnies in the back yard, stealing drinks from the bathroom faucets. Seeing their joy multiplies mine tenfold.

Have a happy Wednesday, everyone :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I am just a walking contradiction. ... And while I say that with complete pride, I also say that with the utmost respect for my husband, who has to put up with me.

Case in point -- for the most part, typos -- especially deliberate typos and cutesy words (eh hem, like the title of this post) drive me up the wall. I'll attribute that to years of hard-core dinner table "english paper edits". (My mother was a really tough critic. Grammar, punctuation, spelling-- I couldn't sneak anything past the woman... And now I am so grateful for that ...) Yet, for all the times these misspellings make me cringe-- there multiple other times when: (a) they make me smile:

or (b), I find that sometimes, only a word unsanctioned by Webster's is absolutely perfect for the situation (ie: "bloggies", "Anyhoo", or "Happies"). And, as we know, I'm all about "absolutley perfect" ;) (Heh. Right. Again, said with the sweetest sarcasm, and utmost respect to the husband who loves me in spite of and because of all my quirks. In all seriousness, though, many times I find that the situations that are not 'absolutely perfect' are actually the most beautiful.)

And now before I go any further, I must say:


(Her birthday was Wednesday, and we celebrated last night, as well by going out for beer + wings ... methinks the sister might be part country girl as well :)

Now where was I? ...Ah, yes, "happies". Lots of happies this in this past week, friends. To back up a little bit, the weekend was a total success -- so successful in fact, that we only managed to take one picture (see below). But, lacking in pictures or not-- it was wonderful. Beer and frozen yogurt were consumed (not together!), retail therapy was taken very seriously, girly talk abounded, and Eclipse was everything I hoped it would be. (...and I think I need to see it again. Does anyone want to come with me?)

Meh, what can I say-- I'm not a picture taker... I'm more of a "fly by the seat of my pants and delight in memories (if not pictures) later" type of girl. This is not to say I don't want to be a picture taker ... in fact, I think that "carry my camera with me and take more pictures" need to be a 2011 "New Year goal" ... Remind me in December :)

And this week has been a pretty good one too (although I admit that I may have a positive spin on it now that it's Friday!) "Normal" work weeks always seem to drag after lovely long holiday weekends ... It was just really nice to get to spend some time with J this week. I feel like we haven't gotten to see each other very much lately-- between SNL last week (evenings = effectively gone ... it's exhausting to 'play with' 21 children for 2 hours!), my fun (but particularly J-inclusive) girls' weekend and our normal "weekly-doings". Yes, I realize I live with the man, for goodness sake ... but I've found myself missing him lately. Does that make sense? This 'dependence' is something I never would have imagined would happen once I got married ... and, while I am sure it is not a bad thing, it completely baffles me. Ah well. I guess the bottom line is that I think my husband is awesome, and I especially enjoyed the moments we got to spend together this week -- treasured alone times inbetween the fun + duty portions of our schedules. In conclusion, this week = Happy.

And the weekend is looking good, too :) Tonight J and I are hosting our own "mini happy hour" and having a good friend (Hi, Gary!) over for some good conversation and good beer. Tomorrow morning I'm getting my hairs cut (something that always excites me -- I deliberately ask for the earliest appointment I can get so that I can walk around feeling cute for the rest of the day. Ridiculous, I know ... but when your usual "hair-do" routine consists of wash-and-go, a blow-out is kind of a big deal :) And tomorrow afternoon we are celebrating baby Aiden's 1st birthday! ... Ooooh- so excited! I haven't been to a 1st Birthday party ever ... uh wait.. since I was 4 (which I obviously can't remember at all ...) but I am confident that this will be another one of those fabulous things like Eclipse that is everything it's hyped up to be. Bring on the cake smashing!

And after that? The weekend that remains is a delightfully open book. I'm hoping for a nap, a good long run and possibly some more painting (we've still got the "blue room" to paint), but we'll see what happens. (Heh. Honestly? The nap is a huge priority... and the painting is more of a "that would be nice..." kind of 'loose priority'... The napping will get done ... the rest remains to be seen.)

Okay ... well I need to get a move on (cleaning and other necessary evils)... but I'll leave you with a Good List!

Good List

1. J. One of the things I love the most about my husband is that he really hears me-- and lets me really open up and speak my mind. It is absolutely freeing.

2. Fridays. (Holy. Goodness. I don't know if I've ever had "Fridays" on the good list before-- how can this be?!) Even when the week is long (check) and exhausting (check, check!) Fridays never fail to breathe new life into my bones, put a spring in my step and a sparkle in my soul. It would be nice if there could be more "Fridays" in a week, yes... I think the anticipation makes them just that much sweeter!

3. Flip flops. Quintessential Summer. (Ha... oh man... so whenever I say/hear/think the words "flip flop", my mind automatically goes to "flippy floppies" ... and then, predictably, here. Now you've got it stuck in your head, too... You may thank me later.)

4. Etsy. Oh, be still my heart!

5. Rootbeer floats

6. My baby french press. It delights me that something so small can bring me so much joy. Mmmmm French Pressed Cofffeeee.....

7. ...And speaking of small things bringing me great joy, there is, of course, Gracie. This week's new "trick" has left me both frustrated and laughing. She has discovered how to play me! Let me explain: Our laundry room is just off the kitchen, and we typically keep the door shut. Gracie (for some unknown reason) thinks the laundry room is the greatest place in the world, and her ears prick up as soon as she heaars the door open. On Tuesday night I was baking, and when I went to get the cinnamon and salt (we've got a spice rack on the back of the door) Gracie quickly darted into the laundry room and behind the washer. I wandered out of the room, knowing that eventually she would she was by herself and come out. And then the game began. I would wait a little while, and then creep over to the doorway-- only to see Gracie's fuzzy face peering around the corner. She would look at me, and then happily trot behind the washer again. This happened about 3x before I finally gave up and got out the treats. ... Little schemer ...
8. Impromptu picnics. I took myself out to a park for lunch on Tuesday, and it was wonderful! Such a nice mid-day getaway.

9. Thunderstorms.
10. Hope.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clean, Quiet, (tired), Content

Goooood Friday morning, bloggies! I realize that this "promised picture post" (say that 3x fast!) is coming on Friday, as opposed to Thursday ... But it is earrrrllllyyyy on Friday (gah... it still feels like it should be Thursday!), and, in my own humble opinion ... that counts for something :)

So, have you been wondering what I've been up to lately? Wonder no more! Here is a glimpse at the BIG project that has been consuming me all week A few quick notes : I didn't tackle this all by myself -- J was a huge help on Monday ... I've been working on finishing on and off on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as well. Also. Disclaimer: Please do not be daunted by the fact that it has taken us the better part of a week to finish this ... We were completely inexperienced. ... it took us several coats of paint ... I'm hoping the blue room (yet to be painted!) will go a little bit faster!

What we started with:
(these legs belong to J. I am happy to report that my own gams are not nearly as hairy.)
Removing rings is a necessity when working with paint.
Whew. Almost done with the 1st coat! (Pardon the sweat ... With the doors and windows closed -- even with the ac on-- it felt like 100 degrees in that little room. J's comment :" Next time we do this we're shutting up the cats instead of ourselves." Smart man.)
All right... That's more like it! Almost done :)
Progress (I'm ready to peel tape & work on touching things up)
Wha-La! Finished Product! (Please excuse the unprofessional pics... I took these last night at 11 pm. I was tired. I'm not an advanced photographer by any means ... but you get the idea :) Also, the walls below look almost "stone colored"- probably because of flash. They are actually taupe.
Our little guest room -- finished!
(Momentarily ... actually we've got some more furniture coming ... But I think this is a rather cute intermediate -- ready for my weekend visitor!)
I found this pillow on clearance at Kohls and couldn't resist.
Love what it says!
So there you have it! Between painting, Summer Nights Live (Church Day camp) and work ( I traveled to Cincinnati yesterday for work and put in an 11 hour day. Woah. I'm thankful that this was not at all a normal occurrence.)-- I have definitely been racing around this week (Heh... and if you couldn't tell.... "sleep" has not been a major theme over the past 5 days... that's what weekends are for, right?!) But it's been worth every second. Now I just have to will myself through another work day -- coffee may be will be involved, I can assure you :)-- and I will be rewarded with what is shaping up to be an awesome weekend! My friend Jenny is coming into town-- and we've got good stuff planned.

Tonight's agenda: Dinner, drinks & girl talk, with a side of Jacob.... Yes, please!

Not sure I'll be back this weekend, but I ought to have some good stories for you next week :) Have a fabulous Friday, friends -- I'll catch you later!

Your Turn: Weekend plans?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Late Wednesday "Listing"

Hi, friends -- and a happy late Wednesday to you!

This will be a quickie post tonight -- but I'll be back tomorrow to fill in all the details, and give you some pictures :)

Here's a Good List to 'tide you over'....

Good List
1. J. We took on another BIG (for us :) project this past weekend and didn't kill each other. Again, I am so thankful for my husband's patience! There are, of course, other reasons I could name him to the 'good list' this week, but really? This was pretty significant :)
2. I love the "tired in your bones yet completely content" feeling you get when you have worked hard all day long. Additionally, I love showering off all the dirt and sweat and then crawling into bed that night. It is the sweetest feeling.
3. In the past week, two of my favorite bloggers have put of posts that have touched and inspired me profoundly. I hope you know who you are, and I hope you know how grateful I am for your words ... and for your 'bloggy friendship'.
4. On Tuesday I had a peanut butter cup blizzard for lunch. It was absolutely necessary, and it was absolutely delightful. Absolutely worth it.
5. This week is "Summer Nights Live" at our church. This means that every evening from 6:30 - 8:30, I am blessed by the noisy, chaotic exuberance of 21 (!) 8 - 10 year olds. We sing, craft, eat snacks (which are awesome-- even with the added "excitement" of serving red punch every evening ... really?!) and race screaming through the sprinkler. Pure bliss. I hope they are getting as much out of it as I am :)
6. Routine. As much as I drag my feet in the mornings (I'm not sure getting out of bed to go to work at 6 am is EVER going to get easier ...), sometimes I find comfort in the monotony-- peace in knowing (at least basically) what the next 9 hours will hold for me.
7. ... And then again, surprise visits, new projects, and special treats are always welcome diversions... Once cannot thrive on routine alone ;)
8. Although you would be able to guess from my posting frequency, I have been writing a LOT in the past week. And, oh, it is good... Sometimes nothing can heal me like pressing a pen to paper and just ... letting go ....
9. HOLY. COW. I almost forgot to tell you this, but I WON THE CROQUET GAME we played on Sunday. Please don't think that I am bragging (uh.. well, maybe I am ... a little...)-- it's just such a rare occurrence that I needed to share my joy. (As you may have gathered by now, I am not -- eh hem-- particularly athletically gifted... All small victories are celebrated with much gusto.)
10. "We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey." - Stephen Covey

... And now, to bed I go ... Hope you are having a fabulous week so far!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Every Friday morning, as I will myself not to hit the snooze button one last time (for, in honesty, I am surely running late all ready), I make a deal with myself, "tomorrow you can sleep in."

And yet, here I am, another Saturday morning, awake and moving way too early for even my mother to consider it "sleeping in." But, friends? These early Saturday mornings are beautiful, magical in their own right. I love the quiet of early mornings, and feeling like for this moment, maybe I have the waking world all to myself. I love early morning sun; how it kisses your face and shoulders without burning them; sparkling on the damp grass.

I love that Baron and Gracie can sense the moment I wake, but that they give me a few minutes 'grace period' before they start squeaking that, "Really Mama.. we've been up for hours... it's definitely time for breakfast now." I love the dainty pat-pat-pat of their eager feet as they follow me into the kitchen, and how Baron sits regally, patiently in the middle of the floor while he waits; while Gracie can't contain her excitement, and winds her tiny body continuously around my ankles, purring the whole time.

And once the cats are fed, and peace once again reigns in our little house (for J takes the Saturday honor of sleeping in quite seriously, and would sleep until noon if I let him) I love to sit quietly and soak in the bright promise of a new day. I love this time of morning-- it's when I feel my most creative and alive -- motivated to take on and conquer every single task on my to do list. And I will

...But first? First I soak this in. I embrace these moments that uplift me today, and sustain me through the rest of the week. I revel in my momentary solitude; for, as much as I love being with people, there is incredible power in these alone times. I breathe deeply; blessing this day and giving thanks for my role within it; asking for strength and compassion in whatever circumstances I encounter. I take a few moments of absolute quiet, to still my mind and heart and just observe -- to truly see every aspect of my dewey, beautiful waking world.

And then I rise, coffee in hand, to wake my husband and start a new day. The sweetest kind of day, as it is a weekend day and we will spend it together.