Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wrangling: {Exploring Life's Ruts}

"It feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace..."

(A weekly round up. Each Wednesday (hehe, almost made it this week:) I am going to “wrangle” the past weeks’ happenings into a post filled with pictures, lists & general tidbits about the past 7 days.)

Happy Thursday, friends! It's been a busy little week over here at casa-del-Amy... let's dive right in, shall we?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As the weather begins to take a turn for the warmer (if, in fact wetter...but I am not complaining, oh weather gods!) my mind inevitably turns to the outside and *gulp* landscaping. Jon & I recently got our tax return back (which was the one positive thing about swearing sweating over it in early March to get it turned in a.s.a.p.), and over pancakes last Saturday, we sat down to discuss how to (presumably) responsibly spend the money. Jon mentioned that he would like to use some of the money to landscape our yard: i.e. put up stone walls around the flower beds, mulch, and plant to fill the beds in more. My stipulation is that we must find some plants that will look good for extended periods of time... because we've got several plants that look gorgeous for about 1 week out of the whole year, and then spend the rest of the time looking scruffy. Bah.

Much research will ensue....

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'd also really like to get (tax return?) a wicker loveseat for our front porch.... I've got this super romantic vision of returning from my run in the wee hours of the morning, pouring myself a cup of coffee and taking a blanket out to the front porch to do devotions.

Sounds heavenly to me :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This dress was not a winner. It was loose (& tight, yikes) in the wrong places. But the fabric felt awesome, and I loved the color. I did a little dance around the dressing room before I relegated it to the 'NO pile'.

A guilty pleasure of mine:
Sometimes when I need to get out of the office at lunchtime I take myself out window shopping. I hardly ever buy, unless I find something that is absolutely too fabulous to pass up. When I shop, I prefer to take my time and enjoy myself, and generally when I go out a lunchtime I am kind of rushed. Yesterday I took myself "clothing shopping" and spent the better part of an hour indulging in bright spring colors, silky knits, fabulous heels, crisp summery cottons and chunky jewelry. Hypothetically, of course :) And while I did wind up walking out with a couple items, most of the fun was in the chase.
The winners: a pair of capris to run in (so I have the chance to wash the 1 pair I own currently... I kid. ...kind of.) and the softest zip-up hoodie ever... a clearance rack find.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Exploring & Embracing "Ruts":

As soon as I walked into the store yesterday I was drawn to a flowy, coral colored blouse. I think an errant, "Oooh." may have escaped my lips :) I wandered over and touched it, delighting in the bright buttons, soft fabric and feminine ruffles.

And then, with a sigh, I stepped back. 'I wear this color all the time.' I said to myself. 'I should really branch out.' So I went on with my shopping, with that blouse still in the back of my mind. And then, as I passed it on my way to the register, I picked it up and took it with me. 'I am ridiculous.' I thought, shaking my head with a smile.

...But am I really? (Impulse buys aside, of course.)

I love that blouse... and I am so glad I picked it up. It makes me feel good: sweet and sexy ... and you know, that color never fails to lift my mood.

...And then on my drive back to work I got to thinking: At what point do you draw the line between "falling into a (fashion/life/fill-in the blank) rut" and "developing a signature style"?
Does the fact that my closet consists primarily of shades of deep blues, bright corals & classic blacks mean that I've boxed myself in-- or rather, does it mean that I've found my niche, and I'm utilizing what I know is best for me to help me shine? Perhaps the difference between "ruts" and "signatures" starts far below the surface -- bubbling from the very depths of your soul where creativity & self confidence are conceived and nourished.

A rut is something one falls into because it is easy, but a signature style is something one comes into because it is absolutely right.

Signature style is the "I've found what I love, and I am sticking with it" mentality. I know that for me, there are thngs that I love to do (& wear) ... and so I do it again and again... and again. Because it feeds my soul. From good lists to letter writing and early morning devotions; from coral colored tops to blazers+ jeans and a pair of classic pumps with a splash of color: these are things that define me -- and more importantly, things I like to define me.

This revelation came as a little beacon of hope for me, that I am starting on a downslope (down hill? .... those sound negative, when what I really mean is, 'oh-my-sweet-goodness, it's getting easier to pedal...') in my personal journey. I say a downslope rather than the downslope on purpose-- I know it's a journey and I'll have lots more hills to scale in my life. ... But right now I'm coasting, and it feels good. I'm going to celebrate this 'downhill season' for everything it's worth.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ahh. And with that, I'm about written out, so I'll let a Good List round out the rest of my week:

1. Jon. I love the way he makes me laugh :)...Honestly, about 99% of the words that come out of Jon's mouth are said jokingly... the man definitely sees the light side of every situation. (Which is really good for me, but can also make me roll my eyes. A lot.) But every once in a while he catches me off guard, and I laugh until I cry. Love that.

2. Writing on Monday evening. I sat myself down with a glass (which turned into 2) of wine and just poured myself out on paper. Losing my"filter" & just writing what's on my mind, instead of first coming up with and idea & spring-boarding from there (if that makes sense..) What a rush. I wrote for 3 hours, and then was so pumped up that I couldn't sleep. ... Tell me that happens to other people :)

3. I don't think I've talked about this yet (I will in the weeks to come!), but I'm helping to host my best friend Saundra's Bridal Shower in a couple weeks. Planning has consumed a lot of my spare moments lately, and I'm loving it. ...I'm excited about decorating, hostessing, watching her soak up every moment of her special day. ... I'm pretty much excited about everything.

4. Coffee!

5. Lovely new bloggy friends :)

6. This morning I awoke feeling refreshed... for the first time in a long time. What a blessing! And on a weekday to boot!

7. Exciting work opportunities (I'm headed to Denver at the end of the month!! Woohoo!)

8. It has been far too long since I've made a batch of cookies. I'm excited to make some tonight, and that's getting me through the day :) Going to give these a try...

"Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer." ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

10. The (final, blessed) coming of spring brings with it the return of rabbits (or, "bunny raggets", as Jon sometimes refers to them... I don't know why) to our back yard. I love bunnies, despite the fact that they munch our hostas down to nubbins. (Yup, I totally just said hostas... Perhaps my gardening knowledge is improving?!)I'm not the only one who enjoys our furry backyard friends: Baron & Gracie's noses have been perpetually glued to the back windows during daylight hours. Gracie chirps to the bunnies when she sees them, and her little tail wiggles about a mile a minute. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever.
picture recycled from here

Your Turn:
Have you ever undertaken any landscaping projects of your own? Do you have any tips/hints for us?
What would you say is your signature style (fashion/behavior/habit)?