I wanted to be brave in 2011, and I was.
Maybe not as brave as I could have been or should have been. But I was braver than I would have been if I wasn't trying.
My braveness included writing for Tired & Stuck, witnessing the birth of Eden Grace, undergoing surgery, going to BlogHer and giving a presentation to 9 whole people at church. There were other things, too.
I'm not going to miss 2011. It was the year everyone I knew needed a miracle. We survived, and it took courage to do so.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
I wanted to be brave in 2011, and I was.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." ~ Ernest Hemingway
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I'm currently in love with the New Year. It's a new love, so everything is perfect. Surely, it won't be as flawless as I imagine. But right now, I'm obsessed with the idea of 2012.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
On Christmas day, I wrote out a plan for December 2012. I want to be better at all this holiday hoopla. You know, tree decorating and Christmas card mailing. Neither of which were accomplished this year. It was surprisingly easy to schedule exactly what needs to be accomplished on each weekend of December 2012. I hope I don't lose the piece of paper with my master plan. Now, I just need to focus on January through November.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Christmas aftermath is rough. I took a 2 1/2 hour nap and woke up tired. My right eyelid has been twitching since last week, which the Internet said is likely due to too much caffeine and not enough sleep. Have I mentioned the whole world should take the week between Christmas and New Year's off?
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Christmas isn't over. We have 12 days to savor the magic.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
"The angel said to them,
'Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.'"
~ Luke 2: 10-12
Friday, December 23, 2011
As far as I'm concerned, the next few days (starting with today) are actually one long day with little sleep, lots of food and a ton to do. It's a blur of merry madness.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Advent, I almost forgot about you. I almost forgot how beautiful you are. In the two days we have left, I will try to remember.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The whole world is drunk on caffeine and anticipation. Or maybe it's just me.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
So, what should John and I eat for breakfast on Christmas morning? Yes, I really need your opinion. I want an easy, delicious menu. One that can be made mostly ahead of time and is meant for two. (I don't want leftovers.) It has to be protein packed otherwise my darling husband will be cranky. I, on the other hand, can practically live on bread alone.
PS: Mimosas are a must.
Monday, December 19, 2011
I have not been pleased with the Santa advertisements this season. Several big brands seemed to think it would be a good idea to compete with Santa (in a naughty, mean-spirited way). As if anyone could out do Santa. Are these marketers unhinged? Anyway, I was relieved to see that Apple is clearly on Santa's nice list.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I am perfectly OK with 2011 ending, but I wish we could put a hold on 2012 beginning.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
So I decided to put up a few Christmas decorations. I do this so hesitantly because once they go up, I know there's a good chance they won't come down until Easter. But I have to say, I do love how a little Christmas cheer makes a home sparkle.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Click, Click, Click is the sound of Check, Check, Check off the to-do list.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
My life changed forever in the most amazing way when I met my husband. Yeah for us!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Just a friendly, no-pressure reminder that there are lots of great ways to make a great difference for a lot of great people who could use a helping hand this holiday season. It's easy and fun and any donation (big or small) is greatly appreciated.
A few of my personal favorites:
Sacred Heart Community Service
Family Giving Tree
Siena House Maternity Home
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I love lists. So, I loved when Erin emailed me the 12 Things Happy People Do Differently. Here is the CliffsNotes version:
- Express gratitude.
- Cultivate optimism.
- Avoid over-thinking and social comparison.
- Practice acts of kindness.
- Nurture social relationships.
- Develop strategies for coping.
- Learn to forgive.
- Increase flow experiences. (Flow is when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.)
- Savor life’s joys.
- Commit to your goals.
- Practice spirituality.
- Take care of your body.
Insulate yourself ...
Expose yourself to art you don't yet understand
Precisely measure the results that are important to you
Stay blind to the metrics that don't matter
Lead, don't manage so much
Seek out uncomfortable situations
Make an impact on the people who matter to you
Be better at your baseline skills than anyone else
Copyedit less, invent more
Give more speeches
Ignore unsolicited advice
I think both are so smart. I'll be revisiting these as I dream up my resolutions for 2012.
Monday, December 12, 2011
What I need to do is start using recipes when I cook. I don't know why I think I can wing it. Tonight I made a vegetable soup and decided to replace broth with wine (we had an open bottle that needed to be used). It wasn't an altogether terrible idea, but the result was not as brilliant as I had hoped.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The tradition I grew up with was decorate for Christmas at the last minute. Which is a lot better than what I did last year ~ not decorate at all. With 13 days left, I'm curious if any of my halls are going to get decked. I'll keep you posted.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Two weeks to Christmas. Let the swearing begin.
(Obviously, said swearing has nothing to do with the celebration of the birth of Christ and everything to do with a long list of gift buying yet to be done. Don't even talk to me about decorating.)
Friday, December 9, 2011
We are all waiting, all the time, and not just in the days before Christmas. But we get busy and distracted and forget that this whole life is one giant waiting room for eternity.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I went to a white elephant office party today and scored a tiny three-cup French coffee press (with Peet's coffee, peppermint bark and a cute little measuring spoon). Yeah for me!
The gift I brought was just OK ~ a nice bottle of wine and a 6-pack of Toblerone chocolate bars.
It was something I would be happy to take home myself.
Nothing wrong with it, but nothing creative about it either. Chocolate and wine ~ a perfectly safe gift.
The thing is life has too few white elephant party's to always play it safe.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
It's Erin's fault. She wrote about Asian Chicken Noodle Soup and introduced me to Eat Live Run. So I looked around and found this post. Now I want Philosophy Birthday Cake Lip Shine and a pair of Frye boots.
Lord, help me.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I'm coming to realize I have a very specific December tradition: Panic.
It's not Christmas or the weather (which remains beautiful year round in Northern California).
It's the crashing halt of one year and inevitable start of another that truly unnerves me.
Monday, December 5, 2011
The whole difference
between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can
only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved
before it exists. ~ Charles Dickens
Sunday, December 4, 2011
We went to dinner at grandpa's new place. He is adjusting. It's not easy to be in a new place when you were in the old place for 52 years. But he has a great attitude.
Anyway, after dinner, we walked around, and we met a guy with some pie.
Like this old man had a quarter of a pie on a paper plate and was just walking around the complex.
"Wow. What kind of dessert do you have there?" my dad asks.
Stranger replies, "Berry pie. Sugar-free berry pie I made with Splenda. I was going to bring it to so-and-so, but they weren't home. So, I'm going to give it away to the first person I find who wants it."
"Done!" my dad says as he stretches out his arm and takes the pie from a stranger.
"I had no choice," he explains to me and my mom. "The man was giving away pie."
Saturday, December 3, 2011
The priest's advice: When you have trouble being grateful, start with giving thanks for your five senses.
Friday, December 2, 2011
I am not an avid reader. I wish I was. But when I love a book, I read it (or at least parts of it) again and again. I underline my favorite sentences with colored pencils. And the words become a part of my soul. I haven't read a book like that in a long time, and I need one. So, please, which is your favorite?
Thursday, December 1, 2011
My co-worker gave me a new nickname this week: Stumbling Stubler.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
A long time ago, I was a reporter. I would talk to strangers and tell their stories.
Reporters rarely come to your door when something good has happened, so most of the time, these were tales of utter heartbreak.
I cannot believe how many strangers let me stand with them and ask them questions during the worst hours of their life. I always felt honored and thankful when someone was willing to share their story with me.
The only reason I bring this up now is to say I remember them. I remember flashes of our conversation --- sitting on their couch, standing in their hallway, admiring a handmade piece of artwork that hung on the wall.
It's an odd collection of memories.
I hope all these years and days later peace has come upon these people and they have happiness in their life.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
My grandpa (all on his own) found an apartment in a retirement community. He is really excited about it. Tonight my parents took a tour and met a few of the residents, including an 87-year-old with a treadmill in her room. She told my folks that her kids insisted she move into the retirement community 6 years ago when her daughter and son-in-law caught her on her roof cleaning out the gutters. I think grandpa is going to have fun.
Monday, November 28, 2011
The only reason we ever went to Bingo was to make my grandma happy. She loved bingo. Of course, we always had fun and sometimes we even won money. But one of my cousins, the youngest who lives out of state, was never old enough to join us. We'd try to sneak her in, but a 16-year-old really stands out in a bingo hall. Finally, finally, tonight, Lindsey got her chance to play bingo. She didn't win. But my grandpa, uncle and cousin's boyfriend all walked away with cash in hand.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Annual meeting Wednesday night at the grocery store.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Postpone or power through? Every deadline I come across creates this quandary, even the ones that absolutely can't be moved ~ like this week's Thanksgiving + Black Friday duo.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I don't remember the last time I got to sit across from Sheila's beautiful face. Today, we spent four hours sitting at her mom's kitchen table talking and laughing. It's a scene we have repeated countless times. For this reason, the kitchen table is my favorite place in her parents' home. Actually, it's my favorite place in most homes.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Sweet Eden Grace, the miracle baby, was baptized today. It was glorious, and it felt like a miracle upon a miracle. A beautiful baby, a beautiful sacrament. Our hearts rejoiced.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Yesterday, I entered a raffle, and today I found out I won a diet book.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
This is my wish: That everyone brave enough to shop on Black Friday will be generous enough to buy one present, just one, for someone in need.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
John sent me this text today: "Laughing hysterically at Erin's cat hair finger post." On the off chance that you'd like to laugh, too, go here.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
There is an empty dresser blocking the doorway to a room I like to call the lost cause. I wish I was making this up.
Monday, November 14, 2011
My chest feels tight with anxiety, and I'm having trouble sleeping. This is how I know the holidays are roaring down the tracks. Seems like the opposite effect anticipating Advent should have.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Not many compliments can be paid to the dreaded first day of the week, except this: Mondays are made for clean slates, starting over, trying again. God bless them.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
We don't often drink soda, but for some reason we've had two bottles of coke in our refrigerator forever. I'm not even sure where they came from. But today, I decided to drink one. I later realized it expired November 2, 2009. Turns out, you can drink expired soda although it does taste a little flat.
Friday, November 11, 2011
My parents are international super stars. They've been touring Italy since Halloween. Which as a Catholic means visiting lots of churches, seeing the heads and fingers of saints and saying hello to the Pope. They may miss Italy, and Italy may miss them. But now they are home. Where they belong.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I don't watch this show, but I saw these two videos today and loved them. The first made me smile, the second made me cry.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Half my back lit up like a Christmas tree after being pricked with more than 70 allergens. The doctor recommended I don't start my own lawn mowing business since I'm allergic to practically every grass, several trees and multiple weeds.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Rubik's cube is still torturing me. That is all.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I need to go to bed earlier. Which means I really need to spend less time staring into space.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
If we are going to take the time to change our clocks, I don't know why we limit ourselves to one hour. I say, we give ourselves two extra weeks, clean all our closets and catch up on chores. Imagine, everyone would feel super prepared and relaxed for the holidays.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
When did you last try something new?
Friday, November 4, 2011
Every time I go to the theater, I think, "Why don't we do this more?" And then I remember. Every play is sad. Even the ones that are supposed to be happy are sad.
Tonight, we saw "The Last Romance."
My mom gave us the tickets, and before accepting, I asked, "Does it have a happy ending?"
"Yes, I believe it does."
When we arrived at the San Jose Rep, the cheerful lady at the door said the show is, "Great. Light and fluffy."
It was great, but I'm convinced theater people have a warped definition of happily ever after.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
The sky was filled with leaves, but they were all falling up. Whirling up and away with the wind. It was amazing.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Today I was given a Rubik's cube. It was perfect. In less than 10 seconds, I totally screwed it up. Some people have a mind for this six-sided puzzle, but I do not. Instantly the thing reminded me of life. Simple, but complicated with many sides to solve.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
In this life, we are the runners and the cheerleaders. There's no time for sitting on the sidelines if we want to finish the race as saints.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Rapunzel, Superman, Batman, the kitty cat, monkey and owl ~ every one of the 10 little kids in our gang was super excited to hit the streets. But at the first house, I don't even think they said, "trick or treat." Not that our group was unfriendly. My godson walked right inside as soon as the woman opened the door. Small children must not realize this is a stay-on-the-neighbor's-front-porch kind of activity.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
When do you pack for a trip? In my family, no sooner than the last minute.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
My mom and I saw the flowers at the park this morning. Instantly, we knew it had been 10 years.
Ten years since a young San Jose police officer was senselessly shot and killed in the line of duty.
Jeffrey Fontane was patrolling less than a mile from my parents' home when his life was cut all too short.
He was only 24.
Ten years later I still can't believe something so terrible happened so close to home.
I'm not sure it's of any comfort, but I hope his parents and family know we will never forget.
Friday, October 28, 2011
It says a lot about a work week when even Mr. Stapler collapses across the strewn papers covering your desk.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
If I could post a blank screen, I would. I'm not being lazy. It would be an accurate representation of my brain.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
1. Enter quick. Erin has a fabulous Paper Culture giveaway going on at Musings of a Madwoman. Deadline is midnight Thursday. Go now.
2. In case you haven't noticed, Sheila has been writing some great stuff over here.
3. A very low-key, not much going on update is up at Tired & Stuck.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Last night I had a dream that I kept accidentally swearing in front of my friends' children. And in my dream, my friend's husband mildly scolded me for my potty mouth.
Of all the crazy, bizarre things I dream, this one seems like something that could actually happen.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I'm realizing my closet is the place I most closely hold on to the past. I own items I adore but haven't worn in years. This goes against my desire to be more minimalist, less clutterist. I want my closet to be home to only those items that are beautiful and useful. If I don't wear it, it shouldn't take up space in my life. (I've made an exception for my wedding dress.)
Friday, October 21, 2011
The only thing I've ever painted was a second-hand desk.
The desk was huge and brown (fake wood). I wanted to make it pretty, so I painted it pink.
John and I were dating at the time, and he helped.
It was a disaster. John and I argued, and the desk was ugly.
Anyway, that was like 9 years ago and I haven't painted since.
All this to say, I see a painting project on the horizon and I'm hoping to harness some Picasso-like inspiration.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I'm toying with the idea of becoming a revisionist. I plan to rewrite anything difficult in my life as, "We had a lot of fun."
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Are you ever tempted to skip brushing your teeth before bed? That's how I feel right now. I just don't want to brush my teeth, but I know I will. I know I will not let my head hit the pillow without scrubbing my pearly whites. It's one of the few things I absolutely know I will get done every day no matter how many things are on my to-do list. Now if I could just apply that same habitual dedication to a few other areas, I think I'd have the key to success.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I'm living in a chaos caused by an unending list of incomplete projects.
It's a lot of fun.
Monday, October 17, 2011
A very orange and yellow cereal commercial (the color distracted me so much I missed the brand), inspired John to declare, "I hate cheesy, campy commercials. But sometime I'd like to be in one."
Sunday, October 16, 2011
At my church, after the priest baptizes "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," he holds the child above his head and says, "The newest member of the Catholic Church." Everyone applauds. It's my favorite part. Today, it was my goddaughter's favorite part. Whatever she saw from the best view in the house sure made her smile.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I wonder if the secret battle cry of every 30-something-year-old is "pull it together." Because I'm pretty sure it's not just me.
Friday, October 14, 2011
I currently own three planners. But I haven't been using any of them for months. Instead, I've been memorizing my schedule. I would never dare do this when it comes to work, so I can't imagine why I thought I could manage my personal life from memory. As it turns out, I'm pretty good at this game. But now I can't remember the exact time of my early morning appointment and I'm really hoping it's 8:30 a.m. and not 8.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The thing I love most about Thursday is how it always cuddles up next to Friday.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I stole this quote from Sheila, who stole it from A Colorful Mind, who, I presume, stole it from Oscar Wilde. It's worth repeating. It's actually worth tattooing, if you are into that sort of thing. I am not.
"Never love anybody who treats you like you’re ordinary." ~ Oscar Wilde
And not that I want to correct Mr. Wilde, but I think this sentiment goes both ways. In other words, never treat anyone you love like they are ordinary.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Last week was the first week of the next three months. This week is the second week. I kind of love first weeks and hate second weeks, which explains quite a bit about my life. But if I never get through week two, well, let's just say I'll never get to where I want to be.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Clothes shopping is a kind of self torture, second only to trying on bathing suits. It requires endurance and determination. But I feel this task would be a lot easier if I only knew where to shop. Surely, there is a magical place where one can buy quality garments without spending a fortune.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
What I'm trying to learn to do is take the long view and breathe in the sweeping landscapes of my own life, including the parts that haven't happened yet.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Last Saturday my friend Minal toasted our friends Kem and Bryan on their wedding day. I wasn't taking notes, so I'm paraphrasing what she said. But I think it's worth repeating:
"Many people compare marriage ~ with its ups and downs, twists and turns ~ to a roller coaster ride," Minal said. "And like a roller coaster ride, you have a choice. You can become so afraid and anxious that you make yourself sick and throw up all over each other. Or you can take a seat, buckle in, put your hands in the air and enjoy the ride. It's your choice."
Of course, Minal recommended the bride and groom choose the latter. So do I.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
It's raining here. Hot chocolate pairs perfectly with rain. This is where you should get your next cup. Because if you are going to drink hot chocolate, it really should be made by a chef.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Today's recurring thought: It would be better to misstep than to stand still.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Life is a battlefield. Best to link arms with friends and fight with love.
Monday, October 3, 2011
"If you have a nagging suspicion that you're wasting your life, it's because you are." ~ Marianne Williamson
Part of me did not like reading this quote, which I spotted this morning via Twitter. But the other part of me thought it was perfect (and motivating).
Sunday, October 2, 2011
My grandpa walks with a cane but not in the way most 92-year-olds walk with a cane. Instead of placing it in front of him to steady his step, he usually drags it behind him.
"Grandpa, I don't think I've ever seen anyone use a cane that way," I tease him.
"I just keep it with me so people don't think I'm a drunkard when I walk funny," he says.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
With some friends, it doesn't matter if you don't talk all the time or you only see each other once a year. Part of who they are is part of who you are and neither time nor distance can change or diminish that.
Congratulations Kem and Bryan! Wishing you (and our entire Spartan Daily crew) a lifetime of happiness.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I know the marketing team at Kaiser isn't actually creating commercials just for me. But I kind of feel like they are.
PS: A tiny post about the next months is up over at Tired & Stuck.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sheila and I are scheming the next three months.
Today she texts me: "I think we should break our goals down to 30-day challenges! 3 months, 3 goals!"
I respond: "Honestly, I think I need daily and weekly goals."
Except my response was accidentally sent to my hairdresser, who had just texted me to confirm tomorrow's haircut. Nothing like letting people know you need a lot of help.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The last quarter of the year begins Saturday. That leaves 13 weeks until 2012. Just thought you would want to know.
Monday, September 26, 2011
If I learned Spanish, I would have twice as many channels to watch.
No guarantee the selection would be any better.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
One of my favorite traditions is Sunday dinner at my parents’ house.
It’s the one meal each week that guarantees John and I will consume home-cooked food, plus everything my mom makes is delicious.
And, we get two desserts. First, the cookie course, which is like an appetizer for the real dessert. (Tonight, we ate small pieces of dark chocolate with our wine, but usually we eat cookies.) Then we have dessert. For the last two weeks, my mom has made homemade cake. Homemade cake!
Tonight it was Schiacciata Alla Fiorentina (AKA: really yummy orange cake) with fresh whipped cream, a choice of vanilla or coffee ice cream and a choice of Caravella Limoncello, Caravella Orangecello or Grand Marnier.
I’m telling you, Sunday dinner at my parents’ house is the place to be. I would totally invite you over, but I don’t want to share.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
We're cleaning. Translation: Everything looks a million times messier than usual. (And really, that's saying something.)
Friday, September 23, 2011
You can't have champagne with dessert every night. But some days you can. And on those days, you absolutely should.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
"You can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list. The longer your list, the smaller your God."
My God is bigger than the sky. So, I want to make sure my worry list is smaller than a grain of sand.
PS: Thanks, Kaec, for the quote! xo!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Remember the Zombie Prom? Here's the visual version of our nephew's proposal.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
So commercials aren't usually my favorite, but this one speaks to me. It's time we find our thing and not just when it comes to exercise.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Each day. Every day. 1440 minutes. No more. No less. Yet, some get so much more done than me. I want their secrets.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This Gospel can be interpreted many different ways. This morning I was thinking about how it relates to fairness, specifically about how fair God is in his love for us. God does not have favorites. He love each of us the same ~ which is to say he loves each of us very, very much.
Matthew 20: 1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o'clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.'
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o'clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o'clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
'Why do you stand here idle all day?'
They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.'
He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
'Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.'
When those who had started about five o'clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
'These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day's burden and the heat.'
He said to one of them in reply,
'My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?'
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."
Saturday, September 17, 2011
These two poems were read at a wedding I attended today, and I don't believe I had heard either of them before. I love poetry, and I especially love poetry about love.
Can you find another market like this?
Where, with your one rose
you can buy hundreds of rose gardens?
Where, for one seed you get a whole wilderness?
For one weak breath, the divine wind?
You have been fearful of being absorbed
in the ground, or drawn up by the air.
Now your waterbead lets go
and drops into the ocean, where it came from.
This giving up is not a repenting.
It is a deep honoring of yourself.
When the ocean comes to you as a lover,
marry, at once, quickly for God's sake.
Don't postpone it. Existence has no better gift.
No amount of searching will find this.
A perfect falcon, for no reason,
has landed on your shoulder, and become yours.
From First Poems
Understand, I'll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
I'll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Friday, September 16, 2011
I heard an idea this week that stole my heart: Pretend your life is a silent movie. Don't listen to what you think. Don't listen to what you say. The thoughts, the words ~ they get in the way. Instead, watch the movie of your life ~ your daily life, your routines, your rituals. Without the soundtrack, what does the action of your life say about who you are, what you want, what you believe and where you are going?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I'm back. I was actually back on Sunday, but I hid out from the Internet because I've been in a bad mood. I wrote about it at Tired & Stuck. The good news is I'm starting to feel sane.
While I was gone, John and I visited the Beehive State. That's right, Utah. We have family there. If you can believe it, we have nephews who are 26 and 22 years old. They are amazing, and so are their parents. It was a great visit.
That said, I can't imagine many Italians live in Utah. You can't buy wine at the grocery store. You can't buy anything with more than 4% alcohol content without going to a state-run liquor store.
The state-run store sells wine but not bottle openers. Big Lots sells bottle openers, which seems like an odd accessory for a store that can't sell wine. But whatever, we know how to problem solve.
We stayed at the Grand America ~ a hotel so beautiful I'd like to live there. We visited the Mormon Temple and the Catholic Cathedral.
We went to our first ever Zombie Prom, where our 26-year-old nephew, Justin, proposed to his lovely girlfriend, Amber. He got down on one knee and said, "In front of God and all these zombies, will you marry me." It was definitely the highlight of the trip.
We also visited Park City, home to the Sundance Film Festival. And we got to hang out at the Delta Sky Club before flying home on September 11th.
I was bummed I didn't have anything patriotic to wear on the plane. It was the second time in 10 years John and I have flown on September 11th. We spent the rest of the day watching the memorial coverage and crying. Even in the midst of such immense tragedy and evil, people gave of themselves completely. Human beings amaze me.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Two things affect my happiness ~ my circumstances and how I view them. The second greatly outweighs the first.
PS: I'll be offline for the next week or so.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I'm turning the house upside down looking for some important papers. I've looked in all the logical locations. Clearly, logic does not live here. I've also checked a bunch of random, crazy, illogical places. And I've rechecked both the logical and illogical spots where the the missing important papers might be hiding. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Must be the biggest time suck on earth. Thankfully, I only have access to a remarkably wide arrange of mind poisoning television shows at my parents' house. Otherwise, I might need a 12-step program.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
This morning the priest at our parish reminded us that human beings find joy and purpose in work, in the act of creating and inventing and doing. However, we were not made for work the way a machine is made to perform a certain task, but rather work was made for us.
It's important to keep that straight.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
The music was loud and fast and young, like what you hear in clubs. I saw my grandfather sitting by himself staring at the dance floor.
"Hi, Grandpa. You doing OK?"
"Oh, yes. I'm just daydreaming. I love this crazy music. What do they call it? The rap. I love it!"
I wasn't the only one who noticed him sitting alone. He also told my dad, my sister and my cousin how much he loved the music when each one interrupted his daydream.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Most poetic six words of the day:
"Be busy with what thrills you." ~Tara Gentile
I saw it on Twitter. Beauty everywhere.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I go slow. I miss turns. I often have to loop back around. As a rule, it takes me longer than expected to arrive at my destinations. And I'm not just talking about how I drive.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
"Nothing can take the place of persistence." ~Calvin Coolidge
Monday, August 29, 2011
The woman on the other end of the phone wished me a great weekend before realizing it was Monday. It bummed us both out.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
We could hear them in the vines. A high-pitched squeaky speak. We have never seen them, but we have suspected for months my parents' yard is harboring uninvited guests. Tonight, my dad declared war. He is going to attack the rats, even if it means getting cats.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I just spent 7 hours conducting online "research." My computer is demanding a more humane work environment, one with mandatory breaks.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I thought someone had died. It was clear on the voice message my mom was crying. Then she said, "I'm reading your blog ... and you are not a flourless cake." It was sweet, especially since I didn't think that post was sad. It must be hard to have a writer as a daughter.
Anyway, after that it was a little tricky explaining to my folks how excited I was that my cake talk ended up on Schmutzie's Five Star Friday list. How cool is that?!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
As soon as I come up with a plan, life comes up with a detour.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I'm comparing myself to flourless chocolate cake over at Tired & Stuck. Totally related to fertility, I promise.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." ~Eleanor Roosevelt
I wish our dear Eleanor had told us how to do the thing we think we cannot do. That's what I've been thinking about all day. That's the problem, the puzzle, I feel I'm constantly trying to solve. It's the topic of many of my conversations. Coincidentally (or not), when I opened my neglected planner, the First Lady's words were quoted at the top of this week's page.
Monday, August 22, 2011
With kids back to school, parents are going back to work. The end of summer is ruining our morning commute.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Except for a year or two in college and the 5 years I lived away from my home town, I've attended the same church since I was 15 years old.
If you go somewhere every week, you get to know the people there, even if you never really speak. Some people you know just by their kindness, their warmness, the way they smile at you, the way they look at you like you are family.
But if you never really speak, it can be hard to start a conversation when something really needs to be said.
Today, I wanted to tell this sweet older woman how sorry I am that her husband died.
I don't even remember when I met her and her husband. I was probably in high school. They have always been so kind.
I knew he was sick. He had looked frail for the last year or so, and recently, his name was being read during the prayers for the sick.
I couldn't tell her today how sad I am not to see her husband with her, how happy I am to still see her at church.
But when she smiled and waived at me from a distance, I decided I could go over to her and give her a hug.
Nothing else needed to be said.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I've mentioned before I'm afraid of the dentist. It is my oldest fear, and it doesn't disappear even though I'm related to my dentist.
So today during my appointment I reminded my father's cousin to be gentle with me.
"Don't worry. I'll give you a little extra novocaine," he said,
There's a lot of freedom in telling people what you need.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Do you have a favorite Friday tradition? How do you celebrate the end of the week?
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I've decided I need to use a search grid approach to organizing my home. You know, like the way police search for clues by dividing up a larger area into smaller parts. I need to go one imaginary grid at a time.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Him: "Biofilm. I've been worried about that."
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Him: "The Listerine commercial just said we need to fight biofilm or we are all going to die."
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Puzzles don't solve themselves.
Pieces need to be arranged and rearranged until the perfect fit is found. Just like life and furniture.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
We ran away for less than a day. And I got all blissed out on our cross-town adventure. The only problem with escaping is eventually you must make yourself reappear.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
"If we think of our bodies in terms of how we can use them to help others, that would really change the conversation (about beauty)." ~Laura from "For Those About To Shop"
Laura and I were at the same BlogHer session on owning our beauty. She left this thought as a comment on my post about meeting Stephanie Nielson. I think Laura puts into words a radical idea regarding how we might look at our bodies, our beauty and our lives.
Friday, August 12, 2011
"I know what I'm going to tweet on Thanksgiving," John said.
"You know what you are going to tweet on Thanksgiving?" I asked confused, but not all-together surprised.
He told me. It's three words. You'll have to wait to Thanksgiving to find out.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Sometimes I feel like all I do is ask for miracles. And I don't mean small things like, "Lord, please keep me from breaking a nail or getting a run in my pantyhose."
I mean Big Ol' Life-Changing Life-Saving Miracles. The kind that absolutely, without a doubt require divine intervention.
Asking for this kind of miracle feels like a risk. And here's a trick: Only remember the yeses because the nos will break your heart.
PS: Today, August 11, is the feast of the foundress of the Poor Clares. St. Clare, please pray for us.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Beauty is one of my favorite words, one of my favorite topics. So I was excited to attend the "Owning Your Beauty" session at BlogHer.
The discussion touched on everything: weight, aging, accepting our flaws, raising a confident generation of girls, finding peace with ourselves. For those of you interested, the transcript is here.
One of the most important takeaways for me was regarding how we judge ourselves and others in photos. I am highly critical of myself in pictures. Cameras make me freeze up, and more than once, an unflattering photo has made me spontaneously cry, which is such a shame considering I married a photographer.
For a long time, I have wanted to overcome my photo phobia, and this is my new standard: Instead of worrying so much about whether I look good or bad, pretty or ugly, thin or fat, I'm going to ask myself if I look like I'm having fun. Isn't fun beautiful? Plus I'd prefer pictures of me having a good time over no photos at all.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The excitement nearly killed me. To say I’m a fan would be an understatement.
|Me & Stephanie|
Monday, August 8, 2011
I'm back from BlogHer, but I don't want to be. I want to stay off the radar, under the covers, hiding out for a little bit (a whole lot) longer. I even planned my next escape. Saturday night John and I are running away. We will be back Sunday. In the meantime, try not to expect a lot from me. I prefer to exceed low expectations than fall short of high ones.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The long awaited BlogHer conference is upon us. Erin and I are headed to San Diego in the morning. I have no idea what to expect, but I'm happy to have good company for the journey. (By the way, did you see Erin's vlog? It is a must watch.) Be back next week.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I'm so used to freaking out that when I'm not freaking out, it kind of freaks me out. I come from a long line of worriers. It's what we do. But I'm working on breaking the cycle.
Monday, August 1, 2011
I was a bit surprised when I noticed in Blogger that this is my 1,500th blog post.
Makes me wonder how many sentences it takes to write a book. Of course, in a book, typically each sentence has something to do with one another. Which isn't at all the case here.
Also, with a book, I don't think the goal would be to write just one sentence a day.
But, hey, it's my blog, and I'm OK with the randomness regarding length of posts and topics.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
I either need to burn every piece of paper I own or purchase more expanding files.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
In the same way I trust prayers to find their way to God, I trust love to find its way to the ones I love. Sometimes all I can do is hold space for someone in my heart. It's then that I imagine love has wings so it can fly to my friends.
Friday, July 29, 2011
I have big plans to sleep in tomorrow morning, which means I'll probably wake up before the roosters.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I'm far more excited than I should be about my new KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender. America's Test Kitchen gave it top ratings for ice crushing, smoothie blending, hummus making, speed and sound. And I have a pound of organic baby spinach in the fridge. Bring on the green smoothie* recipes!
*Green smoothies are my new post-op thing. Feel free to read more over at Tired & Stuck.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
My email got hacked this week, and every person I know and lots of people who I haven't had contact with in years received inappropriate messages from me. Most of these messages advertised drugs for spicing up one's sex life, which is exactly the kind of thing I send out to family and friends. Actually, because I think spam is pretty obvious, I didn't really worry too much about it. But today I cringed when one of my parents' best friends asked if I sent her the link. She is on a diet at least half of the year. Her email said:
"You are tired of overweight? Don't worry! .... (insert virus link here)."
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I know my mind is betraying me when I start to think a face lift on just my right eyelid is a good idea.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Time management is not my favorite, mostly because I'm really bad at it. Really. Bad. That is all.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Clearly, the way I do weekends is all wrong. I'm more tired by the end than I was at the beginning.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I'm lucky to go to a lot of weddings, but the one this morning was different.
The young bride looked radiant, as always. She was given away by her family. She received a simple wedding ring, but she was also given a crown of thorns.
Today, on the feast of St. Kinga, Sister Mary Karolyn of Our Lady vowed her life to Christ as a cloistered Poor Clare nun. What a joy to witness such deep, faithful love!
Friday, July 22, 2011
If you spend enough time there, you start thinking your wardrobe could use a bit more tie-dye.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Because I can't listen to a Jason Mraz song without thinking of you.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
"The things that we love tell us what we are." ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
"There is no place for selfishness — and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice" ~ Blessed Pope John Paul II
"We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. ... If we love nothing, we become nothing." ~ St. Clare of Assisi
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sometimes I feel like every person I know needs a miracle.
Big or small.
Here we are, all of us, hoping and praying for something.
A shift. A change. A solution. A new path. An open door. A light at the end of the tunnel. Something.
Then I think, well, good thing I believe in miracles and good thing there are more than enough to go around.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Some are good and some are bad.
Last night, I dreamt I had joined the military to pay for college, and I was being sent off to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before fear woke me, I was trying to talk my way out of it, explain there had been some terrible misunderstanding.
It was the scariest dream I've had in a long time.
I am so grateful to those brave enough to serve.
They give so much of themselves for our country, for cowards like me who don't even have the courage to go to war in their dreams.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I am surprised I don't hear this poem read more often at weddings. It is one of my favorites. I especially love the last three lines.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
~ Kahlil Gibran
Friday, July 15, 2011
Minal sent me an email and reminded me of this: Miracles are mysterious.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
They naturally bend toward the sun. In doing so, they show us the way. As much as we are able, as often as we can, we must stretch ourselves toward the light.
You can find a whole explanation of what I’ve been up to over at Tired & Stuck. But if you are not into hearing about other people’s medical conditions, I advise you to skip it.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I'll be offline for the next few days, so go enjoy the sun!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
1. I was at work for so many hours today that when I returned to my vehicle, a spider had spun its web across the driver's door. I was like, Spider, I don't know what you've heard, but this is not permanent real estate. You are going to need to relocate. He didn't take the hint until I opened the car door.
2. On Saturday night, I saw a huge, ugly spider in the bathroom mingling with my dirty laundry. It caught me by surprise and got away. The thought of it has been torturing me ever since, especially when I use that bathroom.
Monday, July 4, 2011
"Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own." ~Seneca, Roman philosopher
"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." ~Abraham Lincoln
"America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I wonder if the Founding Fathers would approve of me celebrating our nation's independence with some much needed retail therapy. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced they wouldn't mind. I mean, is there anything more American than a great sale?
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Oh My Gosh. I had no idea how fun pool parties were. Today was the big first birthday celebration for Miss Josie (last year's Fourth of July baby). And now that I know how awesome pool parties are, I'm going to want to go to one every day.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Time to hit the restart button on 2011. And this year, Happy Half New Year falls on the solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. I'm going to try my best to remember this and fill the next six months with love.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Is it just me or have the days gotten shorter? As in there is not nearly enough hours, minutes, seconds to get everything done no matter how late in the day the sun stays out to play.
PS: For those of you following us over at Tired & Stuck, a new post is up. (I went to the doctor last week, and the appointment added quite a bit to my to-do list.)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
It's never good when I start treating the whole house like my (unorganized) closet.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sometimes people or circumstances are difficult or hard to understand, but every single one is part of a perfect plan.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
"Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God,
so as to test you by affliction
and find out whether or not it was your intention
to keep his commandments.
He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger,
and then fed you with manna,
a food unknown to you and your fathers,
in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.
"Do not forget the LORD, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that place of slavery;
who guided you through the vast and terrible desert
with its saraph serpents and scorpions,
its parched and waterless ground;
who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock
and fed you in the desert with manna,
a food unknown to your fathers."
~Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a
I can go to Mass Sunday after Sunday and not really hear anything that is being said. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the words somehow make more sense, seem more relevant. Today was one of those days.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
We actually wrote out a to-do list this morning --- that's how productive today was going to be. We were going to go through each item and turn our to-do list into a to-done list. It's currently approaching midnight and we are still on task number one.
Note to self: Everything takes more time than planned.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Today I am exceedingly grateful for nail polish, the University Cafe and my husband. (John says he's glad he's in the top three.)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I learned today that if you want your lip gloss to look awesome, you should apply way more than you think is necessary. Apply, reapply and then apply again. Just make sure you have already brushed your teeth, hydrated and kissed your husband because once your lips are glossed they are just for looking pretty.
PS: New blog post is up over at Tired & Stuck. It has nothing to do with lip gloss.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
June 22 is one of my favorite days of the year. It's Kaecey's birthday. We've been friends since we were 7, so I'm not exaggerating when I say I can't imagine who I would be without her friendship. Plus, she never let's me forget I'm older than her (by 18 days), so it's always nice when we are the same age again.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I don't typically think of June as a crazy busy month. That title usually belongs to December. But this month has been one wacky week after another, which is exactly how June was last year, too.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Not all children love their fathers, but I love mine bigger than the sky. Happy Father's Day, Daddy! You are loved.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
1. I trapped two big, ugly spiders in my house today.
2. I think I threw my back out yesterday by coughing too hard.
3. Watching Gilmore Girls episodes I've never seen before almost makes up for my back hurting.
Friday, June 17, 2011
"Focus. There's no reason to have a Plan B. It distracts from Plan A." ~Will Smith
I need this reminder every day. Maybe you do too. Happy Friday!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The movie was already mid-plot when we walked into my parents' house. Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth were singing and dancing in the 2003 remake of the 1962 film.
I can't say we were paying really close attention, but we must have been loosely watching for at least 20 minutes, maybe 30, before John asked, "This movie is called, 'Made in Japan'?"
"No," I replied. "'The Music Man.'"
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I hate miles and miles between me and the ones I love. I wish we all lived within walking distance. But, alas, pieces of my heart are all over the US of A. I would think I would be used to this kind of distance by now. But I'm not. And I feel torn between a.) totally hating it, crying about it and wishing it weren't so and b.) being happy about the new adventure that awaits the ones I love.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Six days felt like one, but all that driving was so worth it. Our three graduates really are the sweetest teenagers on earth, and it was a huge thrill to watch them take this big step into adulthood. For years and years, I have felt the love and support of my family cheering me on. It is awesome to be on the flip side, to be the one doing the cheering.
In other news, Grandpa Aldo celebrated his 92nd birthday today! He thinks 92 sounds old. You can tell a part of him is still 18 with the whole world ahead of him. He might not like his age, but we love having him with us.
Yeah for birthdays! Yeah for graduations! Yeah for milestones and next steps big and small!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
All right. I'm hitting the road, and taking a break. Be back next week.
Monday, June 6, 2011
This is going to be one of those crazy, dazy weeks. The kind of week that if I thought about too hard, I would skip instead of conquer.
It will involve a trip to Olivehurst, California (6 hours driving round trip). Followed by a trip to Spokane, Washington (roughly 36 hours round trip).
All this driving to and fro will be crammed into 6 days.
Nothing on earth would make me want to do this other than seeing three precious girls (two nieces + one goddaughter) take the leap from being high school seniors to high school graduates.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Week after week, Sunday comes and goes all too quickly.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
You kind of snuck up on me, and I was going to just ignore you until you went away.
I made no plans for you or this day.
Luckily, my Loves make ignoring birthdays impossible.
A week and a day ago, an unexpected present arrived with a note from a dear friend, "May you be brave in all the years of your beautiful life."
Then there was a parade of surprises yesterday, including visits, hand-delivered treats, the most delightful rosemary-mint lotion, a gorgeous lip gloss, wine, homemade pizza, slices of my favorite cake on earth, and the completion of my collection of the Gilmore Girls series.
I'm starting to think Birthday Eves should always be celebrated.
This morning, an unusual June rainstorm woke me up. I ate leftover pizza and cake for breakfast and watched four or five episodes of Gilmore Girls before getting out of my pajamas. It was perfect.
And it was followed by a party for my cousin's daughter, a visit with a friend, and a delicious dinner with John at the Pastaria in Los Gatos.
Did I mention all the phone calls, text messages and facebook birthday wishes? How about the homemade cake, homemade bread and 18-year-old balsamic vinegar?
34, you have my full attention. Forgive me for wanting to pretend you didn't exist. You are obviously going to be an amazing year. Thank you for being here.
All my love,
Friday, June 3, 2011
"Make yourself necessary to somebody." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thursday, June 2, 2011
"I put my pants on one leg at a time," my dad announced as he pantomimed putting pants on one leg at a time. "But some day, I'm going to put my pants on two legs at a time." Then he jumped into a pair of pretend paints to illustrate how he would do this. "It's a goal of mine."
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tonight we ate raviolis and donuts and remembered grandma. It's been a year since she went to that Big Bingo Hall in the Sky. I'm certain the food is delicious in heaven, but I saved her a bite of the apple fritter anyway. It was one of her favorites.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Stomach ache. Headache. Heartache.
Break outs. Freak outs. Stage fright. Mosquito bites.
Runny nose. A run in your hose. Bad days. Bad hair. Bad fear.
Sleepless nights. Pants that are too tight.
(Or it at least distracts us from our ‘ailments’ long enough to make us feel whole.)
Monday, May 30, 2011
I hiked 4.5 miles yesterday. I was more than a little worried that I wouldn't be able to walk today. Since today was fine, now I'm worried about tomorrow. (Isn't there a 48-hour delay on soreness?)
Sunday, May 29, 2011
It's about more than the barbecues.
These two stories helped me remember that:
20/20 Bomb Inside Soldier's Body
"60 Minutes" Presents: Honoring Our Soldiers
(These are not short videos, but they are worth it.)
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I'm beginning to believe that any new beginning is going to start strangely. This seems to be true regardless of the undertaking, so it's best to prepare for the unexpected.
By the way, the "start" of summer greeted us with rain today. Very strange, indeed.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Tonight's date included a viewing of, Cat Ballou. This 1965-Western parody starred Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, with musical guest Nat King Cole. The campy classic was a favorite of John's mom. Since I never got to meet my mother-in-law, I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of what she liked. And it was a fun movie to boot.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Thursday nights aren't the same in the summer. We miss our NBC comedy.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I'm taming tigers and telling about it at Tired & Stuck.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Beauty is not a luxury. It is an every day necessity.
It's OK to move it up on our to-do list.
Monday, May 23, 2011
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." ~Mother Teresa
Sunday, May 22, 2011
My favorite condiments are the ones without any expiration dates. Makes dining so exciting.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Tonight John and I had a conversation in which we marveled over the awesomeness of our friends.
I'm not going to name names, but basically we've decided quite a few people we know are destined for sainthood.
"Wow. I think we have a lot of work ahead of us," I said. "What do you think we need to do to become saints?"
"Be martyred," John replied.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I'd like to know the history of this dessert. More specifically, I wonder if coconuts are common in Germany and how they ended up on top of this cake.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
"A friend is one before whom I can think aloud."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This explains why many of my conversations sound so crazy.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
My mom says when I was little I would say, "I'm teared" instead of "I'm tired." It's true. The more tired I am the more I want to cry.
Speaking of being tired, new post is up at Tired & Stuck.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I burned my arm last week while pulling a frozen pizza out of the oven. (Yes, I'm amazing in the kitchen.) It's a small burn but itchy and sore and annoying. And I just always find it so surprising that the act of healing is often as painful as the hurt itself.
Monday, May 16, 2011
I'm not going to ask you to go away. I'm just wondering what you are doing here.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
The day couldn't be any more precious.
The boys dashing in their suits. The girls lovely in their white dresses, gloves and tiny crowns.
Everyone is so excited -- them, their parents, their family and friends.
It's hard to say what I love most about such a special day. But near the top of the list is the reminder of the gift the Eucharist is.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
John and I are fans of the ABC show, "Shark Tank."
Hey, don't judge us. It's a fun show.
Because I watched Friday night's episode, I can tell all my cat-loving friends about CitiKitty --- the way to potty-train your cat.
I was so impressed I almost want to get a kitty just to see if it really works.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Blogger was acting bit strange the last few days. It was unavailable while undergoing some maintenance, temporarily deleted a couple posts and wiped out a few comments.
It's the first time in almost 4 years of blogging that I've experienced anything like this, and it sent me scrambling to back up my posts.
Now I'm wondering how everyone else goes about backing up their electronic records, especially those from free sources, like blogger and email.
Tech Geniuses, please speak up.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tonight’s motto was, “I’m Italian. I can do this.” “This” involved making one of my mom’s famous pasta dishes – a dish which involves a red sauce, a white sauce, and using three burners at one time.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
My best advice is always someone else's best advice. This is why we must tell our stories. So they can be retold.
Monday, May 9, 2011
The birds outside my bedroom window are the biggest gossips on the block. All day and all night it's chirp, chirp, chirp. I would totally be in the know if I only spoke bird.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
The world wouldn't be the same without you. Your love changes souls, even when you think it doesn't. And you don't hear these words often enough ~ THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I just came home from seeing "There Be Dragons." It's one of those "inspired by true events" movies, so I'm trying to separate the facts from fiction. Which story lines were real, which were not. The main character is modern-day saint Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei.
"There Be Dragons" tells a powerful story of family, betrayal, forgiveness, redemption and, most importantly, love.
This movie could definitely be categorized as "religious," so I found it interesting that (if Wikipedia is correct) the film's writer, director and producer -- Roland Joffé -- is a "wobbly agnostic."
If you see it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Friday, May 6, 2011
I don't understand why you let so many other days get between me and you. But I still love you just the same.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
My husband tells me, "I hate jewelry and that's not a lie. But I like making you happy, and sometimes those things conflict."
He's a good man.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Last week, I blog jumped from Emily to Hallie to this article, and I've been thinking about how to dress like a Frenchwoman ever since. I just love the thought of a simple yet feminine wardrobe that flatters while maintaining a high level of comfort.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
There is still Easter candy in my house. It's kind of a problem.
Monday, May 2, 2011
St. Faustina's simple message of Divine Mercy has always been close to mine and John's heart. But, embarrassingly, I didn't really know it's history. This morning, I listened to a radio interview with a priest from the order of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. It was so interesting! At one point, the Vatican banned St. Faustina's message. While still a cardinal, Blessed Pope John Paul II led the investigation which led to the lifting of the ban and St. Faustina's beatification. Blessed Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina in 2000 on the first Sunday after Easter and proclaimed the day Divine Mercy Sunday. I just love that his beatification took place on a feast day so close to his heart.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
"Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ."
~Blessed Pope John Paul II, October 22, 1978
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Our celebration was delayed, but today we watched the royal wedding with friends and toasted the bride and groom while eating proper scones and tiny sandwiches. What a fairy tale! I really hope they live happily ever after.
Friday, April 29, 2011
My brand-new, made-in-the-U-S-of-A, 10-inch, cast-iron skillet. OK, it's not cookin' yet because I just bought it tonight. But I can tell this baby is going to sizzle.
Cast iron makes me an authentic cowgirl, right? Plus, I got $10 off the $19.95 price. Thanks, Sur La Table! That makes me a frugal cowgirl. Yeehaw!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
William and Kate forgot to send me an official invitation. But my mom invited me to come over anytime between 2 and 4 a.m. to toast the bride and groom. Her table is set, and she will be making fresh scones in the middle of the night. Again, someone please tell me why this wedding is on a Friday? I can't go to middle-of-the-night parties when I have to work in the morning.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I was emailed three prayer requests today:
1. For a friend's brother-in-law who was critically injured after a fall and is not expected to survive through the night.
2. For a friend's cousin whose baby was born 5 weeks early and is currently in the NICU. The parents lost a child who was stillborn about a 1 1/2 years ago, and the mom still hasn't been able to hold her newborn baby girl.
3. A friend of a friend's child was unexpectedly born with underdeveloped lungs and only one kidney. He is expected to be on dialysis until he can get a transplant. You can read more about him here.
Please say a prayer for these families. Thank you!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
When my siblings and I were young, my grandmother, God rest her soul, was rather particular about how we handled food.
She wanted to make sure we did things like wash our hands and didn't do things like pick our nose. Sometimes just the combination of us kids and a buffet table seemed to make her lose her appetite.
As a 5-year-old, I thought she was dramatic. Surely, we weren't that disgusting. Now, I totally understand. Kids are cute, but they are also kind of gross.
Monday, April 25, 2011
I've been in search of the perfect eyeshadow. One that lightens the lid without being too shimmering or too bright or too dramatic.
It should be a neutral shade, which, in theory, would make me look well rested.
This week, I made my fourth attempt at buying such a shade. It's a good thing I only spend a couple dollars on each color because this one turned out to be an exact match to my skin.
"Can you even tell I put this on?" I asked John.
"No, but you could use it to cover up blemishes," he suggested.
It might be time I seek professional assistance.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say, 'His mercy endures forever.'
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad."
~ Psalm 118: 1-2
Happy Easter, my friends!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Apologies in advance to all dancers ...
John: "I think I figured out tonight that I don't like dancing as an art form."
Me: "All dancing or just liturgical dancing?"
John: "Most dancing. I just don't understand how it's an expression of thoughts or feelings."
Friday, April 22, 2011
I love the sound of children whispering because it's often as loud as regular, inside-voice talking. Questions fielded during tonight's Passion Play included:
"Where's Jesus now?"
"How many times has he fallen?"
"That cross isn't really heavy?"
"I don't want to watch this part."
"Have they crucified him?"
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I missed the Mass and the washing of feet and the candle-lit procession, but I still got to sit with Jesus for a few minutes in the "garden" of a church hall. These traditions are some of my favorite of the year.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I've spent the last two days watching the most amazing miracle unfold. After years of hoping parenthood would some day be theirs, two of my very best friends welcomed their daughter into the world. Eden Grace, you are and will forever be a piece of paradise, a delightful gift from God.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I wasn't even interested in the Royal Wedding, but Barbara Walters sucked me in. Now, I want to wake up at 4 a.m. to watch TV while eating crumpets and drinking tea. But I don't understand why the wedding is on a Friday. Don't they know the commoners have to be work that day?
Sunday, April 17, 2011
"Say to daughter Zion,
'Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"
~ Matthew 21
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Hit the road, drove north, listened to Sara Groves sing her stories, watched the rolling hills roll by. Found a restaurant overlooking the ocean, where both beer and root beer are brewed. Then conducted organizational research at Ikea, followed by sightseeing and pastry-hunting at Mi Pueblo before heading home.
Friday, April 15, 2011
For the last week, I've been watching a small cut on my hand.
The first few days it kept breaking open and bleeding again and again.
The skin seemed to fight itself, not wanting to reunite.
Then it turned purple any time it was cold, which made me think it was infected. It's not.
Just stubborn, as even the smallest wounds are. And needing time.
Now, nine days later, it's still rough to the touch. But it's definitely going to heal.
PS: A new post went up on Tired & Stuck this week. It's about little hurts.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Him: "What's wrong with that?"
Me: "I liked it better earlier when I wrote it in my head."
Him: "What happened to writing these things down on paper. That was so helpful. Then you could blog, and we could go to bed."
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I'm wondering how much money I would need to spend at Ikea to resolve all my organizational shortcomings.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Today was bit of a social experiment. A day without makeup. This is what happens when you accidentally forget your cosmetics bag at your parents' house.
I was afraid my boss might think I was sick and send me home. But he didn't. And I came to two conclusions:
1. Makeup is for mornings. It's like a cup of coffee for your face.
2. Like coffee, if you skip it, the day will go on without it.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Me: "What do you think?"
John: "They're as gross as I thought they would be?"
Me: "Really? They're better than I expected."
Actually, the "Kool Ranch" Crispy Kale was strangely addictive. I don't even know if I would describe the chips as good, but I ate half the bag.
Joyful anticipation doesn't describe the mounting excitement as we get closer and closer to May ~ the month Liz and Dan's baby girl is due to arrive. It feels like the whole world has been waiting for this child, and the wait is almost over.
Friday, April 8, 2011
If it were possible to go forward and backward and undo and redo all that has been done, do you think we would ever get it right?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
My mind is blank. TV is ruining my ability to think. Then John tells me we should try to work the following phrases into casual conversations:
"I'm dancing on a rainbow."
"A bird just flew out of me."
"Crap on a spatula."
"You're going to be in a hospital in about four minutes."
We need a new form of entertainment.
Which means I'm over at Tired & Stuck, where the women share too much.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The air is so thick with pollen I might as well stick my head in a bouquet of wild flowers and inhale deeply. It would make no difference. My eyes, nose and throat (not to mention hair, clothes and car) are already thoroughly coated in allergens.
Monday, April 4, 2011
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing ... that's why we recommend it daily." ~ Zig Ziglar
Sunday, April 3, 2011
"What's a Meat Loaf?" my dad asked.
"He's a musician."
Watching reality TV with my parents is as fun as award shows.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I rather despise clothes shopping, especially the putting on and taking off of multiple, ill-fitting garments. I endure this process only when I feel I absolutely, positively need something to wear, which means I'm already slightly panicked by the time I arrive at the store. The whole thing makes me sweat. ... Maybe I should count it as exercise.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Actually, nothing embarrassing happened today. Not that I can remember, anyway. But my definition of what is embarrassing is getting blurry. I may have humiliated myself and not even remember it. Which is so great because as embarrassing as it is to be embarrassed, the emotion itself will not kill you. And since it won't kill us, why even worry about it.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
The new-to-me refurbished vacuum arrived today. Oh dear, the carpet is a million times grosser than I thought. But our new vacuum is going to eat all that filth up. It's an animal. Grrrrr.
Yes, I'm a lot like a slow learning 5 year old. More over here.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Well, it only took me 10 years longer than everyone else to discover the awesomeness of online shopping. And now I'm waiting to receive a vacuum in the mail.
PS: I'm still way behind, so if you have a favorite site, share it.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien
The problem with reading great authors one quote at a time is you don't always get the whole quote. This would explain why I am familiar with unlost wanderers, but not the rest of this passage, which is so pretty it's worth memorizing.
Monday, March 28, 2011
I was going to prepare for the end of the world today. I had a big trip to Target planned, and I had even printed lists from 72hours.org and the American Red Cross.
But Monday, trouble maker that it is, got in the way. So I got approximately three out of 300 things done today. This included putting gas in the car, a quick, emergency-type trip to the grocery store and an equally urgent trip to the shower.
Which means the end of the world needs to hold off until I'm more prepared for it.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
A grape fell to the floor, and rolled out of sight.
It worried me a bit, thinking about what might live under our appliances. But John knows how to put me at ease.
"It was destined to be a raisin," he said.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
We had nothing to do today, so we did nothing at all. It was fabulous.
Friday, March 25, 2011
How ever long you think a task will take (especially anything involving computers, cleaning, cooking, organizing, shopping, planning, writing, thinking, or, heaven forbid, decision making), please double all estimates and plan accordingly.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I heard him say, "Relationships are spiritual realities."
It took me a minute. But I think that is a beautiful way of saying we are all connected, every single one of us.
I'm over here talking about fear. Come join the conversation.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Remember last year when I asked you to pray for Rokie? She needed new lungs, and she got them!
In honor of Rokie, my sister will be participating in the Great Strides ~ Taking Steps to Cure Cystic Fibrosis Walk on May 14. You can help as well by making a small donation. Nearly 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to help support research, care, and education. Every bit makes a difference.
PS: Rokie is doing great!
Monday, March 21, 2011
A place where no one is old, everyone has wings and there is a lot of color and animals. Who doesn't like the sound of that?
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I'd have more to say if I hadn't slept half the day away. It was a napping kind of Sunday.
The words "Praise God" song to the tune of "Amazing Grace" is one of the most beautiful things my ears have ever heard.
Friday, March 18, 2011
It was one of those days that felt twice as long and half as productive.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
"It doesn’t matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop."
I'm moving in the right direction over at Tired & Stuck.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
1. Shannon's etsy shop is open. Yay! See her item of the week here.
2. I love this quote at Sheila's site. I thought about it all week.
3. I bring new meaning to the words need + vacuum. If you love the one you own, tell me all about it.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Let's make sure, when the news is all so bad, that we spend some time focusing on the good.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Today was hard. Some days are. It's how we know we're not in heaven.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Dad: "Who wants a piece of gum?"
Me: "I do! What kind is it?"
Dad: "I don't know. Chewy."
Saturday, March 12, 2011
It's like I've wasted an hour without having the pleasure of wasting an hour. Punishment, I tell you.
Friday, March 11, 2011
It's hard to believe our thoughts and prayers make even the slightest dent when up against such immense tragedy. But I believe they do.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
So this is what I learned last night: If you are trying to figure out who owns a lone walker randomly taking up space in the back of the church, don't say, "Excuse me, is this your walker?" to the only old lady you see even if you are 99% sure it has to be hers.
It might not be hers.
She might say, "ls that my walker? No! Not yet anyway."
Afterward, you will realize the question would have been better phrased by saying, "Excuse me, do you happen to know who this walker belongs to?"
That would have been way nicer for everyone.
I'm over-sharing today at Tired & Stuck.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Death, let us embrace thee that we might have life abundantly.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Is it just me or is Fat Tuesday totally inconvenient? Who has time to party mid-week? Of course, you do what you have to do. Treats for the office, beer with dinner, cupcakes for dessert. Now, if I just squeezed in as much prayer and sacrifice during the next 40 days, I might have a really good Lent.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Ready. Set. Rethink everything. Well, everything that isn't working.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Fr. Brendan wanted to remind us of the importance of love, so he included this video as part of today's homily. I saw very few dry eyes by the time it was done.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I feel like we just rang in the New Year, and now Ash Wednesday is already here. If you have any simple, prayerful suggestions for the season, I would love to hear them.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Since I'm being all extra honest lately, let me say my house is a mess. Don't stop by unannounced because I will totally pretend I'm not home. It looks like crazies live here.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
(The telephone conversation in which I play a 15-year-old instead of the thirty-something married woman I actually am.)
Me: "Guess what? I have a new blog with Erin and a girl named Libby. It's about trying to get pregnant!"
Mom: "Are you trying to tell me something?"
Me: "Yes, I'm trying to tell you I have a new blog about trying to get pregnant."
Mom: "But you aren't already?"
Me: "No, the blog is about trying to get pregnant. (Pause.) I'm not sure you and Daddy want to read it."
Mom: "I'll read it. Your father doesn't have to."
Me: "OK. But I don't think I want to talk about it. So just don't bring up anything you read in conversation."
I was pretty sure I would never ever write a fertility blog. (The subject has purposefully not been mentioned here.) But friends have a way of making you braver than you are. And most challenges are better tackled with a team. So I've joined forces with bloggers Erin and Libby. We're reading a book called Making Babies, and we have our own version of the vagina monologues going on over at: Tired & Stuck ~ Three Women on a Mission to Get Knocked Up.
You're welcomed to join us, just consider yourself warned.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
|My parents' front porch|
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I took my vitamins and ate steamed vegetables and quinoa today. I also got a headache.
Monday, February 28, 2011
I have a proposition for you. Let's be gentle with each other. Let's sleep more, eat better, take our vitamins and exercise. Let's work on those to-do lists and make time for soul-satisfying creativity. What do you say?
Can't wait to see you!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
My apologies to all those who worked to make the Oscars memorable. My father was not impressed. In fact, he was rather bothered by the lack of class and number of costume changes.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Santa Cruz has some lovely wineries. But too much of a good thing can be pretty awful. Should you have the misfortune of drinking too much (which I really don't recommend), I hope for your own sake you have siblings as awesome as mine.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Thanks to Brene Brown for sharing this beautiful thought:
"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. " ~ Margaret Young