Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodnight, 2012

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu


I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly
The sun has gone to bed and so must I


~The Sound of Music

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year End

I'm not sure it's a good idea to celebrate New Year's so close to Christmas. I mean, we still have a bunch of holiday treats that need to be eaten before anyone can start their 2013 resolutions.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tree

It's lit and decorated, and it's only 4 days after Christmas.
Also, it's real, which guarantees it will be down before Easter.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hope

It takes so much more courage to practice than one would think.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Second Day of Christmas

The really good thing about Christmas is that we celebrate it for 12 days. This is especially great when you decide to buy a Christmas tree on the 24th, and it remains bare on the 26th.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Since we go to Mass on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day is becoming more and more relaxed. My mom said the dress code is pajamas.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve & Technical Difficulties

My parents host a ravioli feast every year on Christmas Eve.
The menu is relatively simple: wine, antipasto, raviolis from La Villa, an assortment of Christmas cookies and treats, along with my brother's homemade liquor-soaked fruitcake.
After a couple hours of eating, we go to Christmas Mass.
It's our Christmas Eve tradition, and it's a lot of fun.

This year, my dad printed the following notice for their guests:

Sunday December 23, 2012, 8 am   
Casa di Amore, Lucarotti’s Restroom Guide 


Due to technical difficulties, the following rules will be followed:

You may use the laundry room potty. You may not wash your hands in the laundry room sink.

You may use the hall bathroom sink to wash your hands but you may not use the hall bathroom potty to go potty.

You may use the master bathroom sink to wash your hands but you may not use the master bathroom potty to go potty.

You may use the kitchen sink to wash your hands but not to go potty.

You may not use ANY sink, bathtub or shower to go potty. This includes the sink by the garden shed. 

We will supply a shovel if you wish to enjoy nature and walk to the park to go potty. 

Thank you,
Jim and Carla

Sunday December 23, 2012 1500 hrs, or 3 pm
Bathrooms fixed, bucket under sink in laundry room. Help yourself, if you dare.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Eve of Christmas Eve

I have a long history of last minuteness. But after spending two days stuck in shopping-plaza traffic, I've decided the days leading up to Christmas must be reserved for staying at home.
No sane person belongs out in that madness, especially when it's raining.
So after years of resisting, I am ready to fully embrace the modern miracle known as Amazon.
I might even try to have my groceries delivered.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Meditation

The priest gave me one question to think about, "Ask yourself, 'In this moment, what gives the most glory to God?'"

There's one more day of advent. Let's make it count.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Break

Five days to celebrate. Yes!

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Sweetest Christmas Story



If you are feeling a little bah humbug, this precious retelling of the nativity is sure to bring you Christmas cheer.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deadline Extension Request

John assures me it's OK that my Christmas shopping is not yet done.
"No one expects presents from you on time anyway," he reasons.
Yes, I'm pretty sure that's exactly how my college professors felt when it came to my papers, too.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Love Letters

Sometimes someone sends you a Christmas card. The same Christmas card they sent to everyone on their list. But it arrives on just the right day, at just the perfect time, and you know it's not a coincidence. It's a message meant for you.

In the mail today:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." ~Romans 15:13

(Thanks, Kylie! You're an angel.)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Spirit

My mom and I baked approximately 515 cookies this weekend. 
I'm not exaggerating. And every last one is gone.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gaudete Sunday

"Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.

Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:4-7

I'm needing to bold, underline and italicize lately. (Not for your sake, but mine.) I just cannot be reminded enough that God wants us to "have no anxiety at all."

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carrying On

Today, we baked cookies, ran errands, went to a party.
All the while, we were thinking about the Sandy Hook heroes and the very different day their loved ones were having.
We talked and cried about the many acts of bravery in response to one man's act of evil.
My brother Jimmy said, "There's still more good people than bad."
It was the best thing I heard all day.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Silent Night

As our hearts continue to break with every new detail of today's tragedy, let our response be love. Love. Love. Love. And prayers for deep healing and peace.

Sandy Hook, words cannot express our sorrow. 

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Complicated

That's the official status for my relationship with deadlines.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Many years ago, my Grandma Jo made a deal with Our Lady of Guadalupe. I like to think that as a result, I was born.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Play Big

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. 
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? 
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.  
Your playing small does not serve the world. 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 
We are all meant to shine, as children do. 
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. 
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. 
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~Marianne Williamson

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Review

Every year, I try to not plan anything during the month of December. I find the month arrives jam-packed all on its own. And by not planning anything, I end up with weekends that look like this.
Friday night: Party.
Saturday night: Party.
Sunday night: Dinner with my parents (always a party).
Good thing I clear my calendar in advance. Only three weekends left to the New Year. Cheers!

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Naughty or Nice

Just remember, somebody is watching.
And he knows if you've been bad or good.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ideas

I'm starting to brainstorm for the New Year because it really is one of my favorite things. Top of the list for 2013: Figure out how to implement my brilliant plans. 

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Status Update

John felt it was important I let you know I have not yet had a nervous breakdown as of this Fourth day of December. Of course, as he points out, there's a lot of December left.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Taking Risks

My least favorite part of a project is when I feel like it's going to fail.
My brain wakes me up in the middle of the night to sing me a song. The song really doesn't have words, just emotions. But if those emotions had words, they would say, "Everything you do fails because you are a failure and a bad human being."
Cheerful, right?
One of my favorite parts of a project is when I've actually done the work, and it's no longer only an idea. The more work I do, the more optimistic I feel. The project might not turn out perfectly, but it won't be the disaster I dread.
The challenge is surviving the fear to get to the hope.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Advent

Advent is about waiting. And the more years I live, the more I think all of life is about waiting.
If we are all waiting for something, then it doesn't matter so much what we are waiting for.
It matters how well we wait.
So, let's try to not die of fright or let our hearts become drowsy from the anxieties of daily life.
 
Jesus said to his disciples:
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy

from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man."
 

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dear December,

Please be gentle and joyous and full of good surprises.

xoxo!
C

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Season of Comfort

Instead of comfort food, what about comfort thoughts.
A few of my favorites:
Everything is going to be OK.
It's not too late to start now.
You can always change your mind.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Death to Anxiety

Sometimes you need to change your thinking. And sometimes you come across just the right thing to help you do that. 

Today, I read this (via Seth, of course). December, I'm coming for you.

Anticipation vs. anxiety  
If we define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance, we can also understand its antonym, anticipation.
When you work with anticipation, you will highlight the highs. You'll double down on the things that will delight and push yourself even harder to be bold and to create your version of art. If this is going to work, might as well build something that's going to be truly worth building.
If you work with anxiety, on the other hand, you'll be covering the possible lost bets, you'll be insuring against disaster and most of all, building deniability into everything you do. When you work under the cloud of anxiety, the best strategy is to play it safe, because if (when!) it fails, you'll be blameless.
Not only is it more fun to work with anticipation, it's often a self-fulfilling point of view.
~Seth Godin

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm Not Exaggerating

Yesterday, I wrote a "must do" list of six things I needed to get done yesterday.
A day later, and I have accomplished two whole things on my list. 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Limits

I have a false perception of time.
In my mind, it's flexible and forgiving. It bends and stretches and allows me to get everything done.
In reality, the clock keeps ticking with no regard to my to-do lists and deadlines. And everything requires more attention than I imagined.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Holidays

Thanksgiving is over, and now I will spend every day of the next six weeks feeling like I'm about to have a break down. I handle stress quite well. Thank you.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving ...

And visions of sweet potatoes danced in their heads.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In The Kitchen

I know how to make food taste one of two ways: Italian or Mexican.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday

Let's be real. Half-day on Wednesday is not enough time to prepare of Thursday's feast of the year. We should all take the week off.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Playing Grown Up

Being an adult looks a lot different than what I imagined.
In related news, we bought our very first washer and dryer today.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lazy

It was a pjs all day Saturday.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

The Path

It's hard to know the way. But underneath the overgrown shrubs is a path. And it belongs to you.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't Panic

Thanksgiving is in a week. It will be fine. 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Are You?

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze.” 
~St. Catherine of Siena

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanks, Seth!


Watch this video, and think about your life. What is your art and what is pure work?

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Predictable Torture

That's pretty much how I feel about Mondays.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Through the Drought

Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. For the Lord, the God of Israel, says, 'The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'" She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well; the jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the Lord had foretold through Elijah. ~Kings 17:13-16

As we wait for the rain, let's not be afraid. Let's nourish each other the best we can, preparing little cakes made of flour, oil and patient trust.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Social Butterfly

My throat is sore. I'm not sick. I've just been talking a lot ~ at meetings, at dinners, at celebrations big and small. Talking is great, but it's the connecting I really love.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Crushes

In grade school (and middle school, high school and college), I always had secret crushes on the boys who could make me laugh or impress me with their artistic talent.
Lucky for me, I married a man who does both.
John's Facebook post from today:
"Sometimes when I copy files to a thumb drive, I pretend I have to hurry so I don't get caught stealing info that could save the world. #Spy" 

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Keep Trying

Some people believe in miracles. (I do.)
Some people believe in change. (I say I do.)
One is a gift (and you can't force anyone to give you a gift).
The other requires deliberate, continuous, focused effort. 
There, I've said it. Change takes a lot of hard work.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blessings

Sometimes I think God lets us need miracles, just so he can provide them.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

America

No matter how you voted, please remember: It's important to be a good winner and a good loser.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Mother Nature

I don't want to question your judgment. I don't mind beautiful days. But it's November. Is it too much to ask for some slightly cool fall weather?

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Holiday Joy

You know how children can go from laughing to crying without warning. That's kind of how I feel about the holidays. We have 7 weeks to Christmas, and I am already behind. Part of me wants everything to slow down, and the other part wants to press fast forward to the New Year.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday

Photo shoot.
Sandwiches.
Soccer game. (Our job was cheering.)
Nap.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Company

Once again, dinner guests prove to be the best motivation for cleaning one's home and making a proper meal. (You know, something other than Amy's frozen burritos.)
Who is coming over next week?

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saints

You know who you are. Please pray for us. A lot.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

If you are bringing the candy and you happen to be running late, you might get a call from your friend that sounds like this:
"Call me when you get here. We're out of candy, so I'm not going to open the door anymore unless I know it's you."

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunshine

We're back from Florida, where despite a few days of rain, we were soaking up sunshine. Lots of it:

We met our sweet niece, Cecilia Kay, for the first time.
We celebrated Dylan's 2nd birthday. 
We watched the Giants sweep the World Series.
We took a train ride at the zoo.
We admired gorgeousness. 
We fed animals. 
We slept like babies.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Delayed Results

I'm remarkably good at getting things done when there is something even more pressing that I'm supposed to be doing. I know I'm not alone in this. If someone knows the cure, please enlighten me.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Men Want ...

I am not an expert, but I like the way I heard a priest put it:
Men want "a battle to fight, an adventure to live, a beauty to rescue."
(He gave credit for this theory to John Eldredge who wrote this book.)

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Momentum

If you are looking for a little creative inspiration, go to The Word Cellar.
Jenna McGuiggan is talking about momentum, which applies to everything.
As for me, I've stared at a blank screen long enough and have gained just enough momentum to go to bed.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweet Moments

We saw him coming into church with two chocolate treats, one in each hand.
"What's that?" his mama asked.
"Gluten-free cupcakes," the 6-year-old replied as he gave one to his younger sister.
It seemed a tiny bit unbelievable that gluten-free treats would be part of a church bake sale, but he said he double checked.
It's hard to know which is sweeter ~ the fact that he got his sister a treat (and not just himself) or that he made sure it was gluten-free because his sister is intolerant.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Perspective

When choosing your view, make it beautiful.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Self Improvement

I spend a lot of time thinking about things I want to be better at ~ mornings, deadlines, kickboxing, email (to name a few). But really, maybe I should start focusing on things I want to become worse at, like worrying.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Handsome Visitor

The new receptionist came to get me.
"There's someone here to see you," she said.
I wasn't expecting anyone, and as we walked to the front of the office, she said, "He told me to tell you that a very handsome man was here to see you."
I smiled a crooked grin. "Is it my dad?"
"How did you know?" she said.
"Well, my husband is at work and I don't keep lovers."

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Excuse Me, Week

Insomnia is not what I call fun or productive. Please shape up.
Thanks,
Management

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dear Week

Let's be productive and fun. What do you say?
xoxo,
C

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tiny Distinction

It doesn't seem like much, but there's a world of difference between:
"I can do it." and "I am doing it."
The first requires belief. The second requires belief plus action.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

A Cautionary Tale

If you run in the dark, you might trip over a big box that you didn't see was right in your path.
Your whole body might fall completely to the floor, but not before crashing into a wall.
You'll be OK because your clumsiness has made you pretty tough.
Although, you will probably bruise your left knee and your right forearm. And the cheekbone on the left side of your face might be the tiniest bit tender.
I'm just guessing.
But I would caution anyone this: Only run when the lights are on. 

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Year of Faith

"Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy." ~Pope Benedict XVI

My friends, it's a new year. Not a random Thursday in October, but a brand new year that begins today and will end more than 13 months later on November 24, 2013.
It's a Year of Faith, as declared by the Pope, and it's an opportunity for deeper reflection and rediscovery.
Doesn't that sound wonderful? For more information, go here, here or here.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mind Trick

If it's true that everything begins with a thought, I need to do more thinking.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Team Josie

This is Josie. She is 2. 
She was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes earlier this year.


Just thinking about the Juvenile Diabetes Walk makes her smile.


This is her game face. Who knew fighters could be so cute?


This is her helping her Mama check her blood sugar. Because you never get a break from diabetes, even when you're walking to cure it.


This is her victory dance. She walked every step of the 1.5 miles. 


To celebrate, she blew bubbles.


Just a day in the life of a super hero. 

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Technical Difficulties

We will return to our regularly scheduled broadcasting shortly.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Shoe Shopping

I strongly dislike the mall.
I view having to go there as a kind of torture.
But in our modern society, clothing oneself is required.
Today, I was looking for a pair of shoes.
My approach to shoes is this: Buy a pair and then wear them until they fall apart. My current ones (open-toe black slingbacks) are on the brink of death. Plus, the seasons are changing and I hate unintentionally getting my feet wet.
Anyway, I found the perfect pair at Nordstrom Rack ~ basic black heels that fit and weren't hideous.
I was even thinking shoe shopping is kind of fun before I realized the left shoe squeaks with every step.
In other words, the torturous search for new shoes continues and now it includes a trip to the return aisle.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Choose Beauty

Our hearts are where everything that matters lives ~ all our beauty and all our ugliness share the same space. But we decide which wins.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday

I love how you promise Friday.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Headache ...

That pretty much sums up my day.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Blackout

The Internet went out.
The house got quiet.
No noise from the TV or Netflix or Pandora or Tune-In Radio.
Just the fans whirling, reminding us with their white noise that it's time for bed.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Little Flower

Yellow roses arrived at my office today.
Through text, I thanked the friend who sent them.
She responded, "I love that I didn't know it was St. Therese's feast day and I sent you roses. I almost sent you lilies. ... She must really want you to know she's working on your prayers."
Little Flower, thanks for the encouragement. I hadn't asked for a rose, but I must have needed one.
St. Therese, pray for us!

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bumps in the Road

I don't remember where I first heard this, but I think it's true:
When things aren't going as we think they should, sometimes the hiccups are meant to distract us from the really great thing that's coming together. (You know, the thing we would screw up if we actually got involved.)

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day Trip

We drove to Carmel.
We prayed here.
We ate delicious food here and here.
We bought dessert here.
We drove home.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Turn of Events

Sometimes things seem to be going one direction (like you think you're going to spend the weekend manually entering all your contacts in your new phone).
Then, all of a sudden, there is a crazy turn of events (and your contacts are restored and you can halt the SOS request for friends to text you their pertinent information).
It's amazing how a little miracle can make life seem so good and you feel so lucky.
I love days like that.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Phone No Numbers

I am super talented at making easy things complicated. After spending more than an hour and a half with an Apple Genius, it was determined that my very faithful iPhone 3 was not able to share any of its contacts with my beautiful new iPhone 5.
My "talent" may be genetic. My parents also spent 2 hours in the same Apple store earlier today because my dad's contacts were tripled, quadrupled and all over the place.
We're a lot of fun. 

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pace

It's a long race. We only need to go as fast as we can, not faster.
But not slower, either.
Just try to keep a good pace.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Off

Everything feels off. Like if I touch something, it might break. If I'm involved in something, it might fail. I hate this feeling. I know it's mostly a figment of my imagination, but it still makes me crabby and anxious and desperate to get back on track. 

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Still Red

Yesterday, I said I was naturally opposed to public humiliation.
Today, I went to kickboxing.
It was more embarrassing than usual.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rough vs Tough

I don't like the idea of self-imposed meanness, but I've been thinking I need to be tougher on myself. More disciplined, more demanding. I'm naturally opposed to public humiliation, and I don't want to ask my friends to berate me when I miss my own deadlines. Coincidentally, today at Mass, the priest pointed out there is a difference between rough love and tough love. He says we can toe the line with gentleness and kindness. It's worth a try.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dear Saturday,

Our time together is always too short.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Really Good Advice

First, you must know the goal, mark it like an X on a map.
Second, you must start moving toward the goal.
This sounds easy, but if it was that easy, you would have already accomplished said goal.
Third, don't think about failure, and if you do fail, embrace it. It is a reward granted to those who have tried. (No awards are given to continual hesitators and sideline dwellers.)
I'm sure there is a fourth, fifth and even a 102nd step, but I don't know what they are.
So I'm going to skip to the really good advice, exactly as it was told to me earlier this evening:  
Just start writing.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Superpowers

It's amazing to me when someone decides they want something and then they make it happen.
Focus + Determination = The kind of superpower I want to posses.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

End of Day Routine

When I don't have anything to write (which is pretty much an everyday occurrence), I sit in silence. When this doesn't work, I go brush my teeth.
I try to remember the one worthy moment of the day, and I hope for thoughts to turn into words to turn into sentences to turn into a story.
It doesn't always work.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Love Story

I can't think of anything on earth that pushes us beyond our limits more than love. Don't believe me? Check out Taylor and Danielle's love story. More here.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Homework

"You may be worried about failure. In fact, the fear of failure may be one of the reasons why you’ve been putting off the task for so long. But at a certain point, failure is preferable to the repeated deferral of an important task." ~ Chris Guillebeau, How to Ensure You'll Do Anything

I'm giving myself a homework assignment: Write a list of the important tasks I've been repeatedly deferring.  

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Emma & Earl

I've mentioned my parents' porch before. It's a little eclectic and home to our resident scarecrow, Earl.
Earl has been with us for years, and he is just as enthusiastic about the holidays as my mom. (At Christmas, he dresses up like Santa.)
Anyway, I guess my mom was saying it might be time for Earl to move on, find a new home and all. But my dad was having none of it.
Instead, he insisted that he and my mom find Earl a girlfriend to brighten up the old guy's mood. Her name is Emma. My dad thinks they'll be very happy together.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Divine Mystery

"Life is Divine Chaos. Embrace it." ~Unknown

A 21-year-old college student from our church was killed last Sunday while riding her bicycle. We didn't know her, but I've been heartbroken all week for her family, for her mother and father and her two brothers. I happened to see the funeral program for Jordan. Beneath a photo of her laughing, her family chose this quote. "Life is Divine Chaos. Embrace it." We can't control the chaos, but we can lean into it ~ trust that there is a divine meaning behind it.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Be the Tree

"The strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend." ~ Zen Proverb

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Self Reflection

An entire wall at the kickboxing studio is lined with mirrors.
I hadn't been to class for a few weeks, and I always stand in the back.
But even in the back, I can see my reflection.
Yesterday, I looked shorter and curvier than usual, wavy actually. The floor looked wavy, too. It was like a fun house mirror, without the fun.
Tonight, I stood in a different spot, and my reflection was taller and thinner than it actually is. And I kicked higher and faster than I usually do.
Clearly, there is a lesson here.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tech Crush

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting since the 3G for the 5. Now, I finally have a date for my countdown. September 21st, I'm so glad you are only 9 days away.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sleep ...

It escaped me last night. I plan on catching it tonight.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Lucky 7

220,924,800 seconds.
3,682,080 minutes.
61,368 hours.
2,557 days.
7 years.
That's how long I've been lucky enough to be married to John.
We decided today to choose a word, a virtue, to work on for the next year.
Trust.
It's a tiny but challenging collection of five little letters.
As soon as you say you want to trust more, God gives you opportunities to try.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apple, Tree

I have always looked remarkably like my mom. But yesterday, I was baking in her kitchen, wearing her apron and a flower in my hair and drinking a diet coke. Spitting image, I tell you, and I wasn't doing any of it on purpose. Proof that the apple really doesn't fall for from the tree.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Party Hats Required

There are certain things that haven't happened (but I hope they do), and I look forward to celebrating them someday. In the meantime, while we wait for that perfect someday to appear, let's celebrate the every day and see where it gets us.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Without a Cape

I like when my husband gives me blog ideas. Tonight he said, "You can post, 'John is my superhero.'" He kind of is.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Identity Crisis

This is a Thursday that feels like a Wednesday but wants to be a Friday.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hula Hooping

Remember when I said I wanted a hoop? Well, my lovely and talented cousin Amanda made me two so I can always hoop with a friend!
In the world of hula hooping, I don't think I'm exaggerating by saying Amanda is an expert, a professor of hooping, if you will. (Fire hooping, anyone?)
Today at the park, Amanda gave me a tutorial on the basics. I wouldn't say I'm a natural, but after one day of hooping, I'm definitely fostering an addiction.
I've also learned two important things:
1. Have enough clearance.
2. Wear pajamas (much better than work clothes).
I'll let you know if I end up black and blue and sore all over.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Secret Messages

If we really listen, I believe God is speaking directly to our souls in the seemingly random, unconnected things people say.
This is why I wasn't surprised when tonight I heard a woman at a committee meeting say: "Let's just accept it. Move on, and see it as a blessing."
She for sure wasn't talking about anything personally relating to me, at least she didn't know she was. 

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Monday, September 3, 2012

3 Days

The long weekend needs to be longer.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Forever

Tonight's Sunday dinner included my parents' best friends, Chuck and Rosella.
They will be married 44 years this month, and they were surprised that John and I are already coming up on 7.
"And they said it wouldn't last," Rosella joked. 
"Yeah, where did everyone fall on that pool?" John asked.
"I had 11," Chuck replied.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hello September

You are beautiful.
xoxo, C

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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Magic of Caesar's

It always felt like our secret. This Italian restaurant in the City with an old-fashioned bar and a seven-course meal that began with antipasta and ended with spumoni.
Even as a kid, I felt nostalgic about Caesar's.
We celebrated my college graduation there. That night, I showed my dad a picture of John. I was only slightly exaggerating when I said he was my new boyfriend. I had met John the night before, but he hadn't asked for my number.
Three years ago, the banquet hall was jam-packed with relatives and friends to celebrate my grandpa's 90th birthday. I ate with my cousins and took sips of the negronis the bartender made my parents.
Caesar's opened in 1956 and closed its doors tonight.
Like an old friend, it's magic will live in our memories.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!

Tonight, I walked in the door at my parents' house and asked my mom if I could take something home, like a frozen pizza. I knew she wouldn't mind, and in addition she gave her dinner-challenged daughter a mason jar of warm-from-the-stove homemade soup. The thing is, I was only at their place to drop off the Jeep they've let us borrow for the last two days while our car was in the shop. Just in case it's ever in question, I got the better deal in this parent-kid relationship.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Long Days

So, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each felt like separate weeks. I'm hoping one day in the near future feels like a weekend.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Calibrating a Compass

The problem with a broken compass is it doesn't know that it's broke. It points in any direction and calls it North.
Sometimes I am that compass. I go in directions that are not True because I have forgotten which direction I meant to go in. 
I get lost or turnaround or detoured, and I veer from the path. Most likely, I don't even know when it happens.
But if I was headed to New York, eventually I would realize if I ended up in Mexico. And I would need to change course.
I have no idea how to calibrate an actual compass, but my friends often help me calibrate my own internal direction.
They remind me of heaven and eternity and how important it is to really love each person in my life and how pointless it is to care very much about anything else.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Step 1

Some advice from Kaecey: You have to start where you are.
I'm not sure if this is exactly how she says it, but it's close. And it's true.
You can't start where you are not.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saint Paul, Pray for Us

My dad missed Mass this morning. Such a shame.
The gospel reading was his very favorite passage from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.
The one in which wives are instructed to be subordinate to their husbands. It was the only scripture I regularly heard quoted in our home growing up. (Not that it ever had any impact on my mother.)
He suspects she kept him away from church today on purpose.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Moody

I woke up happy. Ended the day cranky. Episodes of "Parks and Recreation" are in order.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Sweet Dreams

It was a big day for us. We've been talking about buying a new bed since our honeymoon in 2005.
Let me just say, when something is on my to-do list for that long I start to doubt if it will ever get done.
But today was the day! We walked into a mattress store, pretended to sleep on half a dozen beds and then purchased the one we liked best. It was kind of a miracle.
If you are in the market for buying a bed, I highly recommend talking to Bob at Sleep Train on South Bascom Avenue in San Jose. He was awesome, and the bed was delivered to us tonight.
Sweet dreams, my friends! 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

School Essentials

Can I go back to school shopping without going back to school? I need new notebooks and clothes and shoes and a cool bag and a fresh start.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

TV

I kind of love you, except when your make-believe danger stresses me out so much that I have to watch a comedy just to relax.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hoops

Yesterday, Kaecey told me how much fun she was having hula hooping, and she recommended I buy one. I cannot think of a better purchase. Kaecey said the hoop must be weighted to help keep it from sliding to the floor, so I'm doing a little research. I came across this company, but I'm open to suggestions. Do you know where I can buy a pretty and practical hoop?

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Getting Unstuck

This was in my inbox, courtesy Seth's blog. It spoke to me. Now I have a new motto: "Pick problems you can solve." Sounds good, right?

Stuck?
"It might not be because you can't find the right answer.

It's almost certainly because you're asking the wrong question.
The more aggressively you redefine the problem, the more likely it is you're going to solve it.
The most successful people I know got that way by ignoring the race to find the elusive, there's-only-one-and-no-one-has-found-it right answer and instead had the guts to look at the infinite landscape of choices and pick a better problem instead." ~Seth's blog

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Table Manners

I would never make an argument for belching at the dinner table. But my brother would, and he did right after my mom scolded him.
"Mom, it has to come out or my heart with explode."
That seems like a legitimate reason.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Trailblazing

Remember, you only feel lost in the woods when you stop enjoying the scenery.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chocolate Confession

If I was going to be exceedingly honest, I might tell you that I dug out the very last chocolate-covered marshmallow Easter egg hidden behind the white wine in the refrigerator and shared it with John.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

True Icon

"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." 
 ~ Revelation 12:1

One of the many things I love about Our Lady is she knows how to dress.

Happy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Sound of Bliss

I've decided that my very favorite time to talk to my sister is right after she has had a baby. Not for any reason, other than she is so damn happy.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Meet My Niece ...



This little flower was born at 12:05 a.m. August 13th in Florida.
She is 8 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches of perfection.
It will be a couple months before we meet her in person. In the meantime, John and I our sending love, love, love from the Pacific to the Atlantic. 
Welcome to the world, Cecilia Kay! We are so happy you are here!

PS: Remember when Dylan was as tiny as his sister?

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

London 2012

I don't think I ever watched, cheered or loved the Olympics as much as I did this year. You inspired us with your winning spirit. We will miss you.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Awesomeness

Today's best of the best included:
1. A long talk with my friend Sarah. I love finally catching up after too many months of missed calls.
2. Watching my dad try to convince my mom that she should buy this book. He's kidding, mostly.
3. Making my mom laugh so hard she could barely breathe. I did this by demonstrating my kickboxing moves. I showed her a really good version of my high kick and then how it looks a few minutes into the class (barely off the ground). 

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Fans & Olympians

Let's remember that silver is still a win.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

From the Drawer

These were pulled from the word drawer, where I hide my many scrapes of paper:

Me: "I know it's you. And I know you're just going to jump out. Why does it scare me?"
He: "The unknown is always scary."
...
"It's not just that I don't like his work. It makes me feel ugly inside."
(Proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I honestly don't remember whose art I was criticizing.)
...
"You can never harm a drink by adding more vodka." ~Wisdom from my dad

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Treasure Hunt

There is a space between our counter top and oven. Things fall down the dark crevice never to be seen again.
It's disgusting, but I try not to think about it.
However, tonight, when two pieces of poultry tumbled down the deep crack, I knew something had to be done. John asked me to leave the kitchen to protect me from whatever grossness he may find.
In addition to decomposed vegetables (I know for a fact carrots were down there), he found a mysterious knife that never belonged to us. John thinks it was involved in a crime. 
Don't worry. We threw it out.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Transparent

Remember when you used to be transparent. Everyone knew everything about you. Then one day, you became opaque.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Not An Olympian

Nothing like stumbling through kickboxing to remind you that you completely lack all natural athletic ability. In addition to being woefully out of shape, I am constantly off beat. The class jumps, I jack. They punch, I kick. It's an exercise in humility, if nothing else.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Intention

I read this the other day, and I'm stealing it. Call it an intention, a wish or a prayer: "Miracles, find me now."

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wise Words

In a conversation not about anything too serious or important, Erin said, "It's not too late for you."
I hope that truth sits with you, because it was seriously the best thing I heard today.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Expectations

My advice would be to have none at all. But since that rarely works, make them great.

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Glimpse of Heaven

A house full of friends and a yard full of kids. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Games

The athletes. The stories. The families. The coaches. The fans. Even the commercials are inspiring. And then there's the actual competition. I love the summer games.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Focus on Now

Today, I caught myself writing the date as 2015. They say take it one day at a time, but maybe I need to take it one year at a time.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Big Little Moments

I hope my godchildren always share with me when something major happens in their lives.
This morning, 2-year-old Josie called me at work to say she just went "potty in the potty" for the first time.
I shut my office door in order to properly cheer. It was great.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tell Someone

What we all need is someone whispering in our ear, "You are good. You are loved." Maybe we can't do this for ourselves, but we can do it for each other. The world would be a different place.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Be Cheerful, Always Cheerful

“A piece of advice I have insisted on repeatedly: be cheerful, always cheerful. Sadness is for those who do not consider themselves to be children of God.” ~ St. Josemaria Escriva

I don't remember exactly when it was, but at some point I knew I wanted to be a person of joy (verses one of sorrow).
It seems like an easy choice, and I happen to believe that most of the time it is a choice.
Lately, though, it's been harder to choose joy.
It's been harder to keep the quiet promise I made to myself to live a happy life regardless of my circumstances.
The result has not been pretty. Most of the time, I feel like a two-year-old on the verge of a tantrum.
It's an internal struggle, and I'm trying to find my way back to myself.
Today, I read the above quote from St. Josemaria Escriva. It felt like a road sign pointing in the right direction.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Spirit

I'm not a huge sports fan. But I love the every-four-year reminder of what humans can do. We really are amazing.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scheduling

I thought we were 10 minutes early. Instead, we were 50 minutes late.
This is a metaphor for my life.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Still Life

If you documented your day in photographs, would you like what you saw?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thankful

I'm not totally sure how prayer and positive thoughts and good intentions and blessings work. But I believe they do.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

No Grown Ups Allowed

Our goddaughter, Lucy, was baptized yesterday. Her parents' home was overflowing with relatives and friends. A few of us actually ended up on the front lawn.
Lucy's cousin, Katie, came outside to voice a request.
"We're going to play a game, and we need the big kids to go away from the little kids," the 4-year-old said.
"Are you a big kid or a little kid?" David asked.
Katie looked confused, like she was surprised she had to explain this to us.
She pointed her tiny finger at me, then Libby, then David.
"You're the big kids," she said.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Food Groups

My brother Jimmy was explaining the Paleo diet to my dad.
"It's mostly meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts," my brother said.
"What else is there?" my dad asked.
"Wheat," Jimmy answered.
"Wheat? That's a vegetable. It grows in the ground. Isn't that the definition of a vegetable?"
This pretty much explains my inherent resistant to low carb diets.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tiny Bites

Today I made a smoked salmon appetizer. I'm so sorry I failed to take a picture because they really did turn out beautifully. 

I used a biscuit cutter to cut out small rounds of whole wheat bread. (Right there, that is more work than I would usually put into an appetizer.) 
On top of the bread, I spread a mixture of cream cheese, goat cheese, dill and fresh chopped chives. I topped that with a slice of English cucumber and a piece of smoked salmon. 
I garnished it with a dusting of dill, and John said they tasted "Carla Lucarotti worthy," which means my mother's genes haven't been entirely lost on me.  

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Beautiful Day

I stopped believing in fairy tales in college.

Then I met John, and I changed my mind. 
Maybe happily ever afters weren't so crazy. Maybe they were for real. 
Of course, life is hard and it's constantly challenging this belief. 
But days like today are encouraging. 
Today I watched two people, who waited a long time to find each other, begin their new life together. 
It was a beautiful day. 

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Because I Heart You

In my head, I know how to respond to an emergency. In reality, I'm not totally sure. The HeartRescue Project is a great reminder of what to do if someone is having a heart attack. Please watch the video.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Unexpected

You know when you try to make things work and they don't.

Big things. Small things. Every thing. 
Yesterday I cancelled a lunch date with Josie and Josie's Mama. I had a meeting that I couldn't move. Of course, today, 15 minutes before what would have been my lunch date, the meeting was unexpectedly cancelled. 
I was so bummed that I was going to miss lunch with my dear ones for no reason whatsoever. 
Then, like a miracle, they showed up. They never got my message. They always thought lunch was on, and, as it turns out, it was because I didn't have a meeting anyway. 
I know this may seem like a small thing, but seeing my friends (and not having a meeting) made my day. Win. Win.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Scream

Some days make me want to scream and not for ice cream.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

A Good Monday

I've mention before my trouble with the start of the week. But today I really made great attempts to compensate for the fact that it was Monday.
First of all, I tried kickboxing. (More on this later. I hope I can move tomorrow.)
Secondly, I finished, "Heaven Is Here." I honestly didn't plan on reading Stephanie Nielson's book, mostly because I was pretty sure I had already read everything there was about her story.
I was wrong. Reading her story from her point of view, and not filtered through a reporter (even a very good reporter), was definitely worth it.
I love that when I met her last year she said, "Let's hug," and I burst into tears and said, "I’m so glad you survived. I’m so glad you share your story and that you are here with us on this earth."
I'm pretty sure I would do the exact same thing all over again if I saw her tomorrow.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stolen Sleep

The weekend was a thief and stole my sleep.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bigger in My Head

I have been ignoring a tooth on the left side of my mouth, the way it has been sensitive to cold, for at least 6 weeks. It got worse, and the thought of calling the dentist caused me to lose sleep. But this week I called, and today I went. The problem, like always, was a million times worse in my head then in reality. Which reminds me, I need to stop ignoring things I'm afraid of. It's rarely as bad as I imagine.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Mighty Macs

Sometimes you need a feel good movie with a positive message and a happy ending. Tonight we watched, "The Mighty Macs." Now, I want a coach like Cathy Rush. She gave her team buttons that said, "We will be #1," and she told them, "As you think, so shall you be." Later, she said, "Our results will not change until our habits change."

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cheers!

I'm not sure if I want to throw a cocktail party or just have a  cocktail. But while doing important research on the subject, I discovered that Martha Stewart has a lot to say about home bar basics. Thank you, Martha.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Mood

I'm trying to think up new swear words because sometimes I feel like I don't have the proper vocabulary to deal with life.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Acts of Hope

Frances: This house has three bedrooms. What if there's never anyone to sleep in them? And the kitchen, what if there's never anyone to cook for? I wake up in the night thinking, "You idiot. I mean, you're the stupidest woman in the world. You bought a house for a life you don't even have."
Martini: Why did you do it, then?
Frances: Because I'm sick of being afraid all the time and because I still want things. I want a wedding in this house, and I want a family in this house.
Martini: Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew someday the train would come.
~ Under the Tuscan Sun

I kind of doubt grand acts of hope ever hurt anyone, but I've never been daring enough to make them. I don't buy houses for a life I don't have or build tracks for a train that doesn't exist, but I want to change that.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

What If ...

What if you're really a bird, but no ever told you that you have wings?
Do you think you would still learn to fly?
I'm hoping the answer is yes --- for birds and for people, too.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunkissed

The bathing suit shopping was worth it. It was worth a day at the pool to celebrate my goddaughter turning 2. It was worth playing in the water with her and watching her and her friends play with each other. It was definitely worth watching the kids show off their "kick, kick, kick" and "big breath, eyes in" (in other words, face under water). Despite the reputation of 2-year-olds being terrible, they sure know how to have fun in the sun.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fresh Starts

I want a new chapter, but I need to be very careful about picking the right book.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Sizing Suits

You know a bathing suit is not going to fit when the incredibly tight spandex won't allow you to wiggle the tankini on past your elbows.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today's Lesson

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." ~ Beverly Sills

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless ...

Family. Friends. Fireworks. Freedom. 
Happy Fourth of July!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Q & A

If you happen to be asking yourself, "Do I have what it takes?"
Let me assure you. The answer is, "Yes!"

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Monday, July 2, 2012

End of Day

Sometimes a day doesn't seem long enough, but honestly, I'm glad I only have to deal with 24 hours at a time.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Gift of Failure

If you are brave enough to watch the Olympic Trials, you will be reminded of this: Those who give everything for a dream often fail. The literally fall flat on their face. It's heartbreaking. But it would be even more heartbreaking if they didn't give it their all, if they didn't even try.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy Half New Year's Eve

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to renew my New Year's resolutions and rock the rest of the year. 

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Brain Switch

Have you ever thought about something one way for a very long time, and then changed your mind?
Earlier this week, I read this post on Seth's blog.
I read his blog daily, but the last line stayed with me all week, "The big work is available to you as soon as you decide to do it."
That's what I'm doing. I'm deciding to do the big work.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Florida

A few things about my visit to the Sunshine State:
1. After staying up all night, my mom picked me up in a limo and we drank champagne at 4 in the morning on our way to the airport, like rock stars.
2. SFO is surprisingly busy at 5 a.m.
3. Florida is green.
4. I don't really mind humidity, at least not the way everyone else minds humidity.
5. But I really, really do mind the crazy scary wildlife that thrives in humid, lush climates. Like the fire ants that covered my right foot while I innocently stood in my sister's yard. My reaction was to scream and shake my leg. My sister told me to stand still and then she wiped the ants off me with her bare hands. After that, I felt like I was in a horror movie every time I stepped outside.
6. Did you hear about Tropical Storm Debby? We did on every news channel and every non-news channel. And then there was the tornado warning in our county, and an actual tornado that touched down 20 miles north of us. My mom studied the hotel evacuation plan and was ready to jump into the bathtub with blankets.
7. All in all, Florida is not my favorite place in the world, but it is home to some of my favorite people.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Away Again

In about 5 hours, I'll be headed to the airport. The plane leaves at 6 a.m. and will take me and my mom to Florida. John joked that I should fire my travel agent. (My dad's the one who booked the tickets.) But how could I resist a few more days of family time?

Update: It's 3:50 a.m. on Thursday. I decided to skip sleep altogether. Instead, I packed, folded laundry, went through mail and sent out a couple emails. I've already found a mistake. Somehow, I accidentally put away a dirty bath towel. I whispered to John about it as we said our sleepy head goodbyes. I'm leaving it up to him to figure out which towel doesn't belong with the clean ones because I have no idea. All I can say is God bless the sleep deprived.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Twister

I feel like my own private tornado. Whirling all about, touching down here and then there.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Highlights

I'm thinking of my day and what made it the best. Today it was an insightful conversation with a friend (because my friends are smarter than they know) and dinner with my sister and making Dylan laugh. Obviously, the best of each day is different, but I find it's always about connecting.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Vacation

During the last 12 days:

  • We spent 5 days in Reno. I wouldn't recommend Reno as a destination. But while we were there, we managed to walk through the casinos, drink a beer at a microbrewery, do a shot with each of our two nephews, eat at a buffet, play $1 each on a slot machine, and attend a Reno chapel wedding. 
  • With my mom's help, I made arguably the most beautiful diaper cake I've ever created.
  • After we returned to San Jose, my sister Nicole, her husband Cliff and 19-month-old Dylan visited from Florida. Plus, my aunt Gloria, uncle Archie and cousin Lindsey visited from Washington. 
  • My mom, Nicole and I got our nails done and went to lunch.
  • I bought a new purse. It's pink, and I love it.
  • Dylan got his first haircut, and I colored the gray out of mine.
  • We celebrated my grandfather's 93rd birthday and tried to convince him that he is really 39. 
  • I made three trips to Michael's. Two of them on the same day.
  • I went bowling with my cousins and scored a 40 on my first game and a 97 on my second. I also managed to throw the ball down the lane before the machine had a chance to reset. 
  • My mom and I threw my sister a baby shower. (Baby Cecilia Kay is expected to arrive mid-August.)
  • My brother Joseph announced he was hired by the Melbourne Fire Department. (A job he worked very hard to get.) 
  • We celebrated Father's Day with my family. My brother Jimmy gave my dad an underwear repair kit.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Away

We ran away to Reno. Our nephew and niece-to-be (the adorable couple with the one-of-a-kind zombie proposal) are getting married here Saturday. In the meantime, we'll be exploring the "Biggest Little City in the World."

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Newsworthy

The 11 o'clock news just aired a story about a deer in Berkeley who is attacking dogs to protect her fawn. Clearly, this is important to the people living in this particular neighborhood. But honestly, I think the reporters just wanted a chance to call a female "hormonal" on the news and get away with it.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

30 + 5

The correct answer is 35. But don't be alarmed.
When my young friend Ben heard which birthday I was celebrating, he told his mom, "Oh! She's still got some time!"
I like how Ben thinks.
There is still time for everything.
By the way, when I have a birthday, so does my blog.
Today, Windshield Rosary is 5.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Party Hats Required

Birthdays are fancy, whether we want them to be or not.
And isn't that lovely.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Honest Truth

This world is cold and dark, and it's hard to remember that it's not a matter of deserving love.
It's not a matter of being good enough. We don't have to earn it.
It's what we were made for.
And if I could tell you anything right now, it would be this ~ you are loved, loved, loved. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

How Do You Spell Love?

This week, I spell love: J-o-h-n & F-r-i-e-n-d-s.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trouble with the DMV

I realized this evening that my driver's license expires on Monday.
I feel as though this isn't something I should be expected to remember on my own. The DMV should have sent me a reminder.
The more I think about it, I distinctly remember this happening 5 years ago, only that time it took me until August to realize my license had expired.
Of course, maybe the DMV did send me a reminder. As it turns out, my weight isn't the only inaccurate information on my license. The address is wrong.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Graduation

(My mom, known to my friends as Mama Luc, known to her students as Mrs. Luc)
If I haven't mentioned it, my mom is a high school teacher. She is retiring this year. (Finally!)
Today, she was part of the graduation ceremony.
She wore a robe and read the names of students as they walked across the stage. She's done this many times before, but today was special.
Today, my dad, Jimmy, John and I made a point to be there, to see her standing on the stage, wearing her robe, reading the names.
I only wish someone had read my mom's name. I wanted the chance to scream like crazy as she walked across the stage.
Because today, it felt like it was her graduation, too.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rewriting

I'm taking aim at the phrase, "Good things come to those who wait."
How about, "Good things come to those who run toward their goals."

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Monday, May 28, 2012

R&R

The only problem with a super lazy, at-home Monday is then I want a super lazy, at-home Tuesday. It's kind of like giving a mouse a cookie.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gifts

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." ~Galatians 5:22-24

Happy Pentecost!

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yard Sale Sweetness

I helped a friend with her yard sale today. (No experience necessary + absolutely great people watching.) I'm not sure which I liked more: The neighborhood kids who kept coming back with all their change to buy gifts for their siblings or the older gentleman who purchased the DVD "Return to Me" and a curling iron for his wife.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Type of Hug

Let's wrap our actions in love.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

(Un)Inspired

Blah ... Blank ... (I can't even think of a third word to describe it).

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Traditions

How will you be celebrating the sunny days between Memorial and Labor?
(I want to steal your ideas.)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bring On The Good

A dear friend called Monday with a joyful announcement.
Another darling texted Tuesday with happy news.
We're talking life-changing events on both counts!
So, I say let's make it a streak and go for a week.
I'll be expecting your call tomorrow.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Editing Stories

If we are going to distill things down to what matters, let's edit in moments that went right, filled us with joy, and exceeded our imagination. I'm not saying we completely omit the parts that are difficult or disappointing. But we wouldn't be hurting anything if we wrote ourselves a happy ending.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

"A" Effort

"A" effort is a new theme in my life. It goes like this: Do your very best, your "A" effort, even though nobody is giving you a grade.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

No Promises

First I was put on the waiting list.
Then I texted Erin, who sent me an invitation.
Now I have my very own pinterest account.
Since I'm notoriously bad at keeping up with social media, I'm making no promises that I'll be any good at this.
But if you're interested, me and my 4 pins can be found here.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Dating Game Confession

Apparently, as my mom admitted tonight, when she was single and living in LA, she and her friends auditioned to be on "The Dating Game."
They were each interviewed separately and asked to answer sample questions from the show.
None of them were chosen. (I'm pretty sure their responses weren't quite saucy enough.)
"I've known your mother for almost 39 years and this is the first time I've ever heard this story," my dad said in disbelief.
Personally, I like the idea of sharing more than half my life with someone and still having something new to learn.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rough Thursday

Bad moods kill creativity. That is all.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Your Six-Word Memoir

Sometimes, for fun, I like to think up six-word memoirs. I haven't decided on one, mostly because the thought of declaring a six-word memoir seems so definitive. Maybe I need to think of them as six-word sentences instead. In which case, I have one for you.

Fill in the blank:
Life is ____ than I thought.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Man in the Arena

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."  

~Theodore Roosevelt, from the speech "Citizenship in a Republic" given in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910.

If you did the homework I assigned yesterday, you heard this quote. The last line gives me chills. My dear friends, let's not be among the "cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." 

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Shame & Vulnerability

I have a homework assignment for you.
Watch this. Then this.
Optional extra credit: Tell me what you think.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lucky

I didn't wake up feeling particularly lucky today.
But as I sat in Mass with John and my parents, it hit me. Of the four of us, I am the only one lucky enough to still have my mom.
If it's not clear from this blog, I have an amazing mom and dad and husband and family and friends.
Truly, I am blessed.

Happy Mother's Day to all who mother in their own special way!

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jigsaw

Have you ever stared at a thousand puzzle pieces and waited for them to put themselves together?
Probably not.
When we open a puzzle box, we instinctively know what to do even though we don't have a clue where all the pieces go.
We scatter them across the table. We flip them all face up. We start with the corners and the edges and we group together pieces we think go together even though we can't be sure if we're right.
Then we work.
We take on the tedious task of trial and error, and we do that until the job is done.
Puzzles don't put themselves together.
And that's what life is ~ a big, giant puzzle with lots of tiny pieces needing someone to put it together.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Elderflower Miracle

The life of St. Germain was described as "nothing but a string of miracles."
As if that wasn't enough, his name is honored with the miracle of this French liqueur.
St-Germain is made from delicate hand-picked flowers, perfect for dessert and exactly the kind of drink my friend Kasia would adore. I like it, too.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Catching Up

John was reading over my shoulder as I was cleaning out my hotmail account. "Amy has a new email address?" he asked.
"No, that was from 2009."

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Disappearing

I swear we bought enough for the year, but I don't think the Easter candy is going to last that long.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Warmer

Something about the earth spinning closer to the sun makes me feel like I'm being pulled in the right direction. Like I'm getting warmer.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Chitchat

None of us knew who was on the other end of my mom's phone call.
After listening to her half of the conversation for awhile, my dad speculated, "It's entirely possible that was a wrong number."

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Buoyancy

I don't remember learning how to tread water. It just seems like something I've always known how to do. But it takes a considerable amount of energy to stay in the same place, which is why it is so much better to float.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Moon

My friends mentioned that tonight the full moon will be the closest to the earth all year. As a result, there is a gorgeous bright light hanging low in the sky.
Would it be a coincidence that on the same night I happen to read this post? I think not.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Politics

"Do you think the election is going to be a cliffhanger?" John asked me this morning on our way into work.
I thought about it for a second and then began to give him my sincere opinion about the upcoming national election. His laughter interrupted me.
"On Parks and Rec," he clarified. "Do you think the election on Parks and Rec is going to be a cliffhanger?"
"Oh. Yes. Definitely."

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Groundhog Day

"No. I don't know what you should blog," says the amazing husband.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday

It feels somewhat magical to make it through mid-week.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Worker

May is for Mary and for mothers. On the first of the month, I think of crowns of flowers being given to both. Fittingly, it is also for workers ~ for all of us who strive to get the job done.

St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us!

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Eve of May

The first of any new month is a great day for starting over. (Of course, so is the first of any new day.)

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tiny Homes

I spent the day imagining life in a tiny home. My mom and I watched this video and this video, and then we made my dad watch them, too.

As previously stated on this blog, I really admire minimalists. These videos make me feel like I live in a mansion (not even close) and that I have an excess of personal belongings (absolutely true). Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what our mainstream you-can-never-have-enough culture would want us to believe.

Anyway, I told my parents that a day might come when John and I want to have a tiny home of our own and live in their backyard.

The likelihood of this actually happening is very small. But that didn't keep me from beginning every other sentence with, "Well, if we lived in your backyard ..." and "I think you would really like it if we lived in your backyard."

They know I'm mostly joking, and it made us all laugh. Then when we were leaving, my mom said the best thing to me, "You bring a lot of joy into my life, honey, you really do."

See how good it is to use your imagination.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Blues

I need a vacation. Saturday nights are making me want to weep because the weekend is half over. 

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Positive Thinking

Sometimes the voice in my head plays Encouragement Radio all day long. I know, it sounds like a good thing. But it's like a play list of every positive cliche I've ever heard, which gets a little annoying.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inner Peace

"Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace." ~Robert J. Sawyer

I think Mr. Sawyer is right. I hope so, anyway, because I have an incredible ability to ignore things. But I don't know that I always ignore the right things. That is the trick. Ignore the things that can be ignored. Pay attention to the other stuff, the things that are important.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fashion Statement

I'm becoming one of those ladies who brings her sneakers to work, puts them on with her work clothes and walks during lunch. It's quite a look. But my feet don't hurt. 

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Emotion

One of the most important things to know is feelings come and feelings go.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

About Breakdowns

I highly recommend them. OK. Not really. But sometimes I can't avoid them. I'm sure you know how it is.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The 3rd Weekend

There is something magical about the third weekend in April. Six years ago, John and I were invited to three weddings all taking place on April 22. Since then, I've called it the weekend of love. This year's schedule includes three parties. I don't know why, but the third weekend in April always wants to celebrate.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Research

What if we pretend life is an experiment and we are the scientists.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Walking Experts

My mom says Vicks vapor rub helps soothe sore feet.
My dad says you should always invest in good shoes.
They're both right.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bed Time

Bad things happen when I don't sleep enough.
I get this heavy headache over my right eye. I start to feel very anxious and worried. And I look terrible. So, with that said, I'm going to bed. 

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Love Letters

I feel bad for the IRS, so I made sure to use my red "love" stamps when sending out our taxes.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vocation Love

"God is the Bigger Elvis" is a beautiful documentary about the Benedictine sisters at the Abbey of Regina Laudis.
It's clear these women are called by God to this particular life of work and prayer. 
But their story is a reminder that God calls each of us to a particular life ~ namely, the one we have.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pairing

He: "Is there a type of wine that goes with breakfast?"
Me: "Yes. Champagne."

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Better Toast

Not that this is at all important to humanity, but I can't understand why anyone would buy a traditional toaster when toaster ovens exist.
Why do they even make toasters anymore?
For one thing, you cannot melt cheese on a bagel in a toaster. But you can in a toaster oven. See, way better.
Toaster ovens, people! Trust me.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ennui


Ennui is one of my favorite words, one of my least favorite emotions.
Henri describes it perfectly.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nature Wipes

A caption contest for the clever and the witty. Go here.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Scheduling

Sometimes my schedule scares me. June will be 30 days of non-stop work and play. I'm hoping I can sleep through July.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Man on the Red Bike

We were stopped at the intersection.
He was crossing the street on his red bicycle.
Ball cap, sunglasses, gray hair, no shirt, bronzed skin, cotton-gray shorts, black socks, black dress shoes.
The man was tall and broad, but definitely not heavy. 
"How old do you think he is?" I asked John.
"How old is your dad?" he replied.
"In his sixties."
"That sounds right. That look says I stopped caring what people think 10, 15 years ago."

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Joy

One of the things I love about being Catholic is after 40 days of Lent, we celebrate with 50 days of Easter. Let us always remember that our days of joy will be longer than our days of darkness.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Berry Crunch

He: "What are you eating?"
Me: "Strawberries. Why?"
He: "They sound crunchy and weird."
Me: "Well, because I'm crunchy and weird."
He: "I know."

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

When I was a teenager, and even into my twenties, I always thought the women crying at the Good Friday service were so holy.
It's not a competition or anything. But, as a young person, you see someone moved to tears at the sight of the cross and you think that person must really know Jesus. You wonder if you'll ever feel that personally connected to Christ's suffering.
(Maybe not all teenagers think these thoughts, but I hung out with a church-going crew.) 
Anyway, tonight I was watching people as they went up to the altar to venerate the cross.
The whole community goes. Some people kneel for a moment. Some touch the cross. Some kiss the cross.
It's been awhile since I've thought about who might be holier than who.
What does it even matter?
God is the Holy One. We're just lucky He loves us.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crab

If you hear this word spoken by one of the men in my family, it means they think the women are being cranky.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Texting with My Dad

Me: "Are you here?"
Dad: "Well. Philosophically speaking, where IS here. I am here. My here may not be where your here is."

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Well-Lived Life

A friend of mine used to live in Atlanta, and she told me about this famous pediatrician who practiced medicine until she was 103. Dr. Leila Denmark died Sunday at age 114. Her story is inspiring, especially for those of us who think life might be too short to get everything done.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Holey Heirloom

My mom and I were having a nice conversation about the Poor Clare nuns when my dad barged into the room with a pair of tighty-whitie, ratty-tatty underwear in his hands.
"I've had these undershorts since my freshman year of high school," he said, holding them out as if they were a precious heirloom worthy of being admired. "How much do you think I would get for them on eBay?"
"Nothing!" my mom exclaimed. "They are worth nothing."
I happen to know my dad is very attached to this particular pair of holey underwear, so they aren't actually for sale. (He likes to brag about how long he has owned them.)
Anyway, my dad got the idea to sell his underthings when he heard Whitney Houston's clothes were being auctioned. We explained that it's really not the same thing.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Small Talk

John asked our friends' young daughter: "How are you?"
She replied: "I'm Nora. The same as always."

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Great Gift

Not with all the words in the world could I ever properly say how thankful I am for my friends.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Vinegar Power

So for the last 30 days (after reading this post, titled #1 beauty secret), I've been drinking a concoction of apple cider vinegar water. Obviously, I'm motivated by pure vanity. But I'm not yet convinced it's working.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Keep Asking

Sometimes you don't even know the question until you hear the answer.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Optimism Wins

Something I know from my dad: No matter what the situation, it's better to be positive than negative. Go ahead. Try it. You'll feel like a winner.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lingering To-Dos

Last night, I dreamed I forgot to graduate from college.
I was filled with angst and fear and worry about what would happen to my GPA. (These kind of dreams feel scarier than they sound.)
Once I was awake, it took me awhile to convince myself it was only a dream. I was seriously relieved when I realized I didn't have to add "go back to school" to my to-do list.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Dreams

The problem with the 11 o'clock news is that after you watch it, you never want to leave your house ever again. And then you're expected to go to bed and not have nightmares.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Sunday

We have dear friends with three dear kids. After church on Sunday, we all go to Whole Foods for breakfast. Today, John read stories to the 4-year-old and I put the baby to sleep. It was pretty great.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday

I wasn't kidding about needing a weekend remedy. I slept for 12 hours from last night to this morning. Then I woke up groggy from too much sleep.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Medicine

What do you think I'm coming down with if my main symptom is feeling weird?
Like my mind is cloudy and my eyes are blurry from too much cold medicine that I haven't taken.
Oh, I know. I know.
It's long-week syndrome.
Weekend is the remedy.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Like PB&J

My favorite combination: Walking + talking.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sometimes ...

I want to scream. How bout you?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Trap

It's easy to think you have the most problems of anyone in the world. Or that you are the only one who has any problems, and everyone else has none at all.
This kind of thinking, even when resisted, can be persistent. It wants to wear you down and convince you of its truth.
Trust me, it's a trap. Thinking these thoughts doesn't mean they are true.
It means you're not paying attention.
When you pay attention, you realize reality reflects the exact opposite.
Your problems are small. They almost don't exist. Everyone else's are huge.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Bills & Prayers

On Saturday, I had the unpleasant surprise of opening an unexpected bill.
I was pretty sure it was a mistake.
But I would have to call one of those annoying numbers with electronic operators, reach a live person and then convince that person and possibly that person's supervisor that the bill was a mistake.
While I was waiting to be transferred from Actual Human Being No. 1 to Actual Human Being No. 2, I said a quick prayer to St. Joseph (today was his feast day).
A few moments later, a voice came on the line, "Hello, this is Joseph, how can I assist you?" I didn't even need to get a supervisor.

St. Joseph, thank you for praying for us!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Love More

One of the priests at my church is about my age, probably younger than me. He was talking today about being with people on their last day, on the day they know they are going to die.
People are honest, he said. And they have regrets. But it's never about business or money or status.
They always regret failed attempts at love, he said. Opportunities when they could have reached out and connected, but didn't.
Knowing this, it seems if we hope to regret less, the answer is to love more.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Owl vs Bird

I always want to stay up late. I never want to get up early.
I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but it's a real problem.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Beautiful Bruna

My grandma's best friend, Bruna, died last Friday on what would have been my grandmother's 86th birthday.
All week, I've been thinking about them chatting it up in heaven.
Tonight, John and I attended the Rosary.
Imagine the grandchildren of your dear friends attending your funeral and your grandchildren attending theirs.
Love and friendship is a gift for generation after generation. 
May God rest Bruna's beautiful soul.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

In The Kitchen

He: "I'm going to call this soup 'Lazarus.'"
Me: "Why?"
He: "Because it's so good and healthy, it will bring you back from the dead."
Me: "OK. But Italians call it 'Minestrone.'"
He: "Tomayto. Tomahto."

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

While We Can

A long time ago, when I lived in a land up north, I used to spin cartwheels for my friend Ms. Calder.
This is how we celebrated.
The cartwheels were never any good, but they were fun, and Shannon didn't judge my form.
But then I moved away and got older and spent less time in open spaces suitable for cartwheels.
So I hadn't done one in quite some time, maybe 5 or 6 years.
Until yesterday when I did four. The first one was really lousy, but each one was a little less lousy.
When I told John about my cartwheel adventure, he was a little concerned. Why would I do that, he wanted to know.
Because someday I won't be able to and today I can.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How Rumors Start

Yesterday, my Aunt Gloria, John and I were sitting around grandpa's bed reading copies of The Week. My grandpa likes how all the articles are short.
My aunt was telling us how George Clooney had suffered an injury to his neck.
Grandpa starting saying how much George had ruined his life with drinking.
"George Clooney has a drinking problem?" we questioned in shock. 
"Oh, yeah," grandpa said before mentioning something about the crucifixion movie.
Clearly, we had a case of mistaken identity. 
"You mean Mel Brooks," Aunt Gloria said confidently.
Wrong Mel, but we were getting closer.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Party People

My Grandpa Aldo suffered a mild stroke last week.
(I'm not completely convinced the word "mild" should be used to describe a stroke, but I'm not a doctor.)
Anyway, my grandpa was worried that the stroke he had on Tuesday would keep him from going to his sister's birthday party on Sunday.
Don't worry. It didn't. 
He got a hall pass from the convalescent home that he was transferred to on Saturday so he could celebrate his older sister's 96th birthday.
Nothing keeps a Lucarotti from a good party.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

You're So Money

Swingers came out in 1996. I finally saw it last night. It wasn't what I expected, but only because I thought it was a movie about swing dancing.
Anyway, I wanted to remind you that you're so money. And you don't even know it.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Breakfast

John took a big gulp of my smoothie before asking what was in it.
"What do you think?" I asked.
"I think you're weird."
He said it tasted like a coconut-berry train wreck.
But I liked it ~ coconut water, banana, spinach, blueberries, cranberries, flax seed, amazing greens powder, coconut oil, a carrot, ginger and ice.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Limitless

Clearly, it's lent ~ the prayer lists keep getting longer.
Good thing God doesn't limit one per customer.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Clean Up

John is on the mend. I want to call in a hazmat crew to disinfect.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

House of Horrors

This flu season has rocked the households of almost everyone I know. But John and I usually don't get sick.
We get rundown. We get the sniffles or congestion or allergies. We take a day off. We rest up. We are good as new. We don't get sick sick.
Well, this week the stomach flu struck the Stubler house.
John has been down and out since Monday morning.
And I've been boosting my immune system all week ~ green smoothies, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, probiotic kefir. 
It's been a long week, and it's only Wednesday.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Passion

If you need to remember what passion is (I forget all the time), read this post and bookmark it for future reference.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Playing Nurse

You know someone isn't feeling well when you get the following grocery list via text:
1. Saltines
2. Lemon-lime Gatorade
3. 7-Up

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring Cleansing

My mom recently started picking up "O Magazine," and now my dad would like to try Dr. Oz's two-day cleanse.
I told him Sheila recently did a three-day juice cleanse with her bosses.
I explained that this was very LA, but it kind of concerned my parents. 
"I hope they did it over the weekend," my mom said.
"No, it was actually during the week while at work," I clarified.
My dad was surprised anyone would leave their home for any reason while on a cleanse.
"I hope they had enough bathrooms for everyone," he said.
We haven't set a date for our two-day cleanse adventure, and I'm not entirely convinced we'll go through with it. I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pasta Love

When dining out, I am most critical of Italian food. (This is the downside of having a mother who is an amazing cook ~ eating out is rarely as good as eating in.)
But the Pastaria & Market in Los Gatos is remedy for pasta cravings.
The string pasta is house made. The wine list includes local gems (try the Lyn Zin). The atmosphere is casual and intimate.
The restaurant is tiny, so reservations are practically required. I recommend the walnut pesto linguine, but the chicken parmigiana and the fettuccine alfredo always get rave reviews, too.
For the perfect meal, dine with friends.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

F

is for Friday.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Denim Dilemma

Blue jeans are ridiculous. I desperately need a new pair, and everything in the stores is unacceptable. Plus, I don't want another mediocre pair of jeans. I want an awesome pair that I love.

Where should I go? What should I buy?

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Serenity (for Lent)

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
~Reinhold Niebuhr

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Electronic Clutter

I think I'm an electronic hoarder. It's my email (still out of control) and my voice messages.
Earlier today, I had 17 unheard messages on my phone. I'm down to 14.
But there are countless saved messages.
Messages I listened to but didn't delete, like the one my mom left me the day before the Academy Awards last year. I guess I had been sick because she was calling to see if I felt better and to tell me we were going to have good food for the Oscars.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Motto's

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” ~St. Augustine

A friend of mine asked a wise and humble priest how to be holy. He said, "You don't have to go out of your way to find holiness. But in everything you do, do it well. Don't cut corners."

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscar Night

My mom bought decorations and made "small plates" a la Wolfgang Puck's menu for the Governors Ball. Dishes included stuffed mushrooms, turkey sliders, bruschetta, sushi, salad and garlic olives.
My dad's number one suggestion for the night: closed-captioning.
(Actually, he would like someone to invent special TV glasses that allow the closed-captioning to only be seen on the TV screen by whoever is wearing the glasses. That way, the wording doesn't interfere with the picture for anyone else.)
His second suggestion is for the Academy to honor old Hollywood stars, like Sophia Loren and Annette Funicello. He asked me to speak to someone about this.
So, Academy, if you are reading this, have your people call my people.

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