Thursday, April 30, 2009


"I don't believe make-up and the right hairstyle alone can make a woman beautiful. The most radiant woman in the room is the one full of life and experience."--Sharon Stone

"Let us continuously search for the wonder of it all. If we do, we can't help but notice the love bubbling up from deep within. When wonder and love become as indispensible to you as foundation and blush, you will become the most radiant woman in the world."--Simple Abundance

When was a day that you felt absolutely beautiful? And what made you feel so beautiful?

I think mine was my wedding day... Of course I was tan, manicured, pedicured, massaged and relaxed... Make-up was good, hair was good, I had on a gorgeous dress... Yada yada yada. BUT I was also surrounded by everyone I loved in one room - family, friends from high school, from college, from work, from church - a whole room of people celebrating my life, my soon-to-be-husband's life, and our union together. I had never felt so loved and blessed as when I turned and faced the room to be introduced as "Mrs. Adams."(The hubby and I, and Pastor Mike.)(My dad and I right before we walked down the aisle.)

Love does make us beautiful - when we feel it and when we give it freely. When do you feel beautiful?

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Make-up - for those days I don't feel naturally stunning.
2. Frizz-control serum for the bad hair days.
3. Spanx. The girls know what those are!
4. Chapstick.
5. The hubby calling me "cute" when I'm wearing sweatpants.
6. A fun lunch with Norma.
7. Seeing Juanita and Ronnie today.
8. Carol's passionate email - made me smile.
9. The sun came out for a little while today.
10. Tomorrow's Friday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yummy Wednesday - Strawberry and Grand Marnier Country Biscuits

"Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward."
--Jasmine Heiler

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."
-Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright

Here is another of my favorite recipes! This one is a great, easy breakfast treat: "Grand Marnier Strawberries over Country Biscuits" found in the cookbook "InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook," by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge. Don't be scared away by the name of the cookbook - it's a yummy recipe!!! (And if you do buy the cookbook, it's a fun conversation-starter to say the least!)
½ cup strawberry preserves
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 quart (2 pints) fresh strawberries, stemmed, hulled and quartered
½ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
Sugar to taste (optional)

⅓ cup Crisco shortening, plus more for greasing
2 cups self-rising fl our, preferably Dixie Lilly or Martha White
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup low-fat (1 percent) buttermilk
Scant ¼ teaspoon baking soda
**Or if you're lazy like me, you can use refrigerated buttermilk biscuits.**

Heat the preserves in a small saucepan on medium-low to liquefy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the Grand Marnier.
Add the strawberries, stirring gently to coat. (If used right away, the sauce will have a thicker
consistency. If made ahead of time, the sauce will macerate the berries and have a more liquid consistency.)
Whip the cream until soft peaks just begin to form.
Add sugar, if desired, but the unsweetened cream tastes nice next to the syrupy berries.

For the biscuits, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment with shortening.
Combine the flour and baking powder with a fork in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the buttermilk and the baking soda in a measuring cup, stirring well to combine.
Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter (or 2 table knives) until the butter is distributed throughout and is the size of coarse meal.
Add the buttermilk to the shortening mixture and stir until just mixed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 2 to 3 times just to bring the dough
Flour your rolling pin well.
Roll out the dough to a ¾-inch thickness.
Cut out the biscuits with a 2½-inch circular cutter.
Don’t twist the cutter, as that crimps down the edges and may keep the biscuits from rising. Place the biscuits on the greased parchment and bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
**Or just bake the refrigerated biscuits according to directions on the package.**

Split open the hot-from-the-oven biscuits,spoon with the berries, and top with a spoon of the whipped cream.
Yield: 10-12 biscuits

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Email.
2. Caribou Coffee hazelnut lattes.
3. Bryan's help for worship this coming Sunday.
4. Support from friends.
5. Working, mostly, from home today.
6. My elliptical machine.
7. A walk in the rain.
8. Figuring out that our energy bills have been messed up!
9. Egrets.
10. Looking forward to lunch with Norma tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It's been a day. I think I'm just going straight to counting my blessings today.

So, here are the things I am thankful for today:

1. Bibelot gift shops. (Pronounced Bee-ba-low, come to find out!)
2. The hubby calling to tell me a funny fact.
3. The dog responding to the hubby's ringtone by running to the phone with her frisbee!
4. Van Morrison's song, "Whenever God Shines His Light."
5. Sunglasses - actually needed them today!
6. Cardinals in the tree outside my window at work.
7. Diane's story about her two mallards - Daisy and Marmaduke!
8. One of the members of the band we saw Friday night commented on my "Surprise" post! Cool!
9. Bison meat tacos for dinner. Yum.
10. A nice, long walk tonight. Lots of flowers and trees blooming!
11. Turning the computer and phone off for a little while. 12. The book group prayed without me. So proud!
13. My blisters are healing!
14. No plans this weekend. Sounds nice.
15. Pottery Barn catalogs. Guilty pleasure.
16. Austin City Music Festival line-up came out today... Now to convince the hubby to go...

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - April 27th Edition

For Today...

Outside my window... another grey Monday! A new house is being built across the street, the foundation was poured over the weekend... and it seems even the construction workers don't feel like working on such a dreary day...
I am thinking... it's time to make my appointment for my yearly massage and facial day with Em!
I am thankful... people who jump in and help where needed - our mission day-trip team, a friend from church buying groceries for someone else when needed, John jumping into action to see what we can do for this person, blogs that immediately reach out to pray and help others. People are so good.
From the kitchen... more Holly Clegg recipes will be coming soon! Because I mentioned one of her recipes on my blog last week, this blog was mentioned on her web page, and she will be sending me a new cookbook! So exciting!
I am wearing... pjs... still... I'm still exhausted, it's dreary out, and I'm working from home today...
I am creating... a orderly and clean home today. Everything got left undone over the weekend... The dishes are piling up, dog toys everywhere, flowers from Easter are dying... Yuck. Time to clean!!!
I am going... to mail a package of goodies to my sister, Emily, and my niece, Finley, this week. I am a horrible sister and aunt and am TERRIBLY late on the birthdays this year!
I am reading... "The Year of Living Biblically" - very funny.
I am hoping... to exercise today - as long as my blisters can handle it! Ick.
I am hearing... the dog snoring... My family must have really wore her out this weekend - she's been snoring so LOUD last night and today! LOL
Around the house... so much to do... (For those of you who don't know me personally, I'm a neat freak. I can't handle dirty dishes on the counter, full waste baskets, dust, etc. I get a lot more work done, and enjoy relaxing much easier when the house is neat and clean. And yes, for this I get much teasing.)
One of my favorite things... well, while we're on the cleaning thing - Clorox counter wipes. My husband says I'm addicted. That might be true. Anyone know of a Counter Wipes Anonymous group?
A few plans for the rest of the week... One-on-ones with youth group kids, book group, lunch with Norma, maybe some hiking this weekend, another busy Sunday (leading worship at the other church!)...
Here is picture thought I am sharing... a picture from the night before our wedding... LOL It was Halloween, so the rehearsal dinner was a costume party! This is the wedding party out for some fun after the dinner. So silly - and so fun!
(Phil the gypsy, Amanda the old lady, Steve the tin-man, Megan the Barbie, Sam the cheerleader, Emily the cheerleader, Mike the GI Joe, and Andy the hippy)

Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions! I rarely post there, I just like the simple questions.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sleeping in.
2. A clean house.
3. Being able to work through some issues at work.
4. Friends who jump into action when needed.
5. Melissa is getting medical attention for her pain! (Pray for her on Tuesday for her doctor's appointments.)
6. Prayer.
7. Feeling helpless - remind me of how much I need to trust God.
8. Sun peaking through the clouds.
9. My little seed starters getting bigger and bigger!
10. Popcorn.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Blessings

Today, I am EXHAUSTED! Busy weekend, busy morning, napping the afternoon away!

I got to lead worship this morning - and had so much fun! Our Pastor had chosen the theme of the day before she knew she would be on vacation - and it just happened to be "Counting Your Blessings." Gee - kind of an easy and fun topic for me, I think! I had a lot of fun picking uplifting music and finding ways to "be practical" about recognizing blessings in our lives - I even got to talk about my little blog and how much it has changed the way I view the world. I had the congregation write down 10 things each person was thankful for and I'm making a gigantic "word cloud" of their answers - I'm so excited to see how it turns out! It should be fun!

Here's a quote from the book, Soul Salsa, that stuck with me as I was preparing my message for this morning:
“The kingdom of God is among us, around us, and within us. Look at the world of a flower. Look at a loaf of bread. Life’s magic, miracle, passion, and promise are gifts that fall right in our laps and find their way right into our hands. Our problem is that we are less open to the unexpectedness of the everyday in our quest for the extraordinary and extreme. In fact, it’s the pleasures of the moments that provide consolation against the drone and droop of the hours and the days.
Life’s treasures are buried right under our noses… There are so many discoveries to be made of this ever-changing world. Life isn’t somewhere else. Life is here – all around you and inside you, a succession of astonishments. True artists write hymns to ordinariness. True artists find meaning in the small wonders of life. The art of godly living is making every moment count… Making every moment a God moment.”

What was your "God moment" today? I hope you had many!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Waking up early and ready-to-go this morning!
2. Confirmation - this group is full of questions and deep thoughts!
3. Worship - uplifting and fun!
4. St. Paul's Church - a wonderful family atmosphere.
5. Our choir - great music today!
6. My parents watching my dog for the weekend!
7. A rainy day - perfect for napping!
8. My dad's taking care of the baby bunny in their yard - so cute.
9. BBQ ribs - one of the boys at church reminded me of the joy of ribs, today!
10. Going to bed early!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well, I finally got to surprise my hubby last night - and it was so fun! I dropped the dog off at my parents' house (Grandma and Grandpa to her...), and came home to pack our overnight bags. Mike knew something was up, thanks to a certain someone (you know who you are!) - but had no idea what. I kidnapped him into the city, went to Kieran's Irish pub for dinner, drinks, and a live Irish band -- we spent the evening enjoying each other's company and celebrating the fact that we have been together for 10 years! (That's almost a third of our lives - crazy!)

I made him a photo book of the last ten years as a gift - that was hilarious all on it's own! I didn't realize that when we started dating we were poor college kids with only cheap cameras (and no, they weren't digital - no editing and deleting the bad pictures!)... So the pictures in the book get MUCH better as the years go on... And I must say, I think we do too. Ha ha ha. That's a good feeling, thinking you're better looking at thirty-something than you were at twenty-something!

This morning, we slept in, walked to our favorite breakfast spot in Minneapolis - Spoonriver - Yum! Then spent the day walking all over the city! We even went to the Walker Sculpture Garden... But the cherry was gone! It was being re-painted, I think. It's just not the same without the cherry on the spoon...
We ended the evening by meeting up with some friends for cheese and wine, and heading to Gameworks for some good old-fashioned darts and arcade games (I kicked-butt in "street luge")! A fun day - but extremely tiring... And I've got blisters on my feet to prove it!

All-in-all, a wonderful weekend of putting everything else aside... No talk about work, just enjoying walking, laughing, good music, playing, and friends.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. The hubby loved his surprise.
2. A wonderful Reuban sandwich!
3. The band, "St. Dominic's Trio" - a Van Morrison cover band. Good stuff!
4. A nice hotel - with comfy beds. A great night's sleep!
5. The weather held - no rain while walking the city!
6. Minneapolis - a great city!
7. Friends Beth and Barb - so fun to hang out with them again!
8. People-watching in the city. Gotta love it!
9. The Gutherie Theatre's "Endless Bridge" - so cool.
10. Ten years of love and adventure. I'm a lucky girl!

Friday, April 24, 2009


"Praying was easy when we were children. No embarrassment, no formulas, no cliches, and religiously correct God words; we just prayed whatever words came to our minds...

"Children tell God what they are genuinely thinking. They are honest, simple, and direct. They understand that God is listening, and they understand that prayers are very important. Somehow, when we become adults, we forget how important praying is. So if you and I are going to be like little children, we must not forget our prayers."
--Dangerous Wonder, by Michael Yaconelli

I used to be terrified of praying aloud in a group. In fact, I used to have a quote taped to my mirror in my dorm room that said, "The best prayers are prayed in the heart." (Not out loud.) I used to believe that. I used to believe that my prayers were between me and God and no one else had to hear them or be present for them. I still do believe in praying when I am alone - in the shower, driving, exercising, whenever... But I also believe in the power of praying with others.

I still don't feel very confident when I pray out loud with other people... I still think about my word choices, how to make it sound "pretty," how to sound wise and thoughtful... When really, a simple, down to earth, everyday prayer is all we need. I have some friends that are learning to pray out loud - and I'm so proud of them for using our group as a safe place to try it out!

God listens. Even when we don't know what to say. Even when we use childlike words. Even when we bumble and ummm... God listens. And God hears. And God answers. What a blessing!

(I will be out of town for a couple of days - the surprise for the hubby is finally happening! I'll fill in my "things I am thankful for" on Sunday! Have a great weekend!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yummy Wednesday - Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

"I wish you all manner of prosperity, with a little more taste."
--Alain-Rene Le Sage

"Today let us explore ways to increase our capacity for pleasure - our taste for life - by delighting in this simple, yet highly sophisticated sense."
--Simple Abundance

Ok - you all tease me about how often I mention food on my blog! So here we go - I thought I would share a favorite recipe on Wednesdays. Trust me, if I can make them, so can you! And most of them are pretty healthy - and if you do Weight Watchers, these are easily adaptable to the point system.

This first one is "Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas" by Holly Clegg (found in her cookbook, Trim and Terrific). (It's probably my favorite comfort food of all time - and it's even better if you double the amount of bacon... Just sayin'.)
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
This easy enchilada includes chicken, crunchy salty bacon, black bean, salsa and cheese with all these great flavors working together in each bite.

Makes 6 (2 enchilada) servings

1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 slices center-cut bacon
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped, optional
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch green onions, chopped
12 (6-8-inch) flour tortillas
6 ounces reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the chicken into chunks; set aside.
2. In a skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to soak any excess grease; discard any grease in the skillet. In the same skillet, coated with nonstick cooking spray, sautee the chicken and garlic until the chicken is almost done, 5-7 minutes.
3. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa, the beans, bell pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is done. Stir in the green onions and reserved bacon.
4. Divide the chicken-bean mixture among 12 tortillas, placing mixture down center of each tortilla. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll up and place seam-side down in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Spoon remaining 1 cup salsa evenly over the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted.

Nutritional information per serving
Calories 455, Protein (g) 40, Carbohydrate (g) 50, Fat (g) 8, Calories from Fat (%) 17, Saturated Fat (g) 4, Dietary Fiber (g) 6, Cholesterol (mg) 73, Sodium (mg) 1326 Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 3 starch, 1 vegetable

Bon appetit!
Things I am thankful for today:
1. Sleeping in til 8am.
2. 80 degrees days!
3. Diane making my bulletin work!
4. Sweet peas.
5. A good meeting - good job leading, Andrea!
6. A new Grey's Anatomy!
7. Sandals.
8. Trying a new recipe for dinner - grilled halibut with roasted red pepper sauce... Yum.
9. Bailey cuddles.
10. Staff Parish and Church Council voted to make me full time as of July 1st! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"Most of my life I heard the message loud and clear that Christianity was all about coloring within the lines and coloring well. If I was a good Christian, if I loved Jesus and wanted to please Him, if I read my Bible, prayed, and went to church, then I would get better and better at coloring. And if I lived a long and godly life, I would eventually be able to draw close to the perfect drawing.

"Wherever that message came from, it was a lie. I am 55 years old, and my coloring still looks like a two year-old's.

"I believe God looks at my coloring and says, 'Hmmmmm. You certainly like the color green! Lots of passion in this stroke. I like it.'

"Even as I write those words, I can hear the 'concern' of those who worry about others misunderstanding the gospel. 'You're not suggesting, are you, that nothing matters to God? Certainly, God has standards!'

"What I am suggesting is that God's grace is so outside the lines of our understanding that we can only stand in awe and wonder. Christianity is not about learning how to live within the lines; Christianity is about the joy of coloring. The grace of God is preposterous enough to accept as beautiful a coloring that anyone else would reject as ugly. The grace of God sees beyond the scribbling to the heart of the scribbler - a scribbler who is similar to the two thieves who hung on the crosses on either side of Jesus. One of the two asked Jesus to please accept his scribbled and sloppy life into the kingdom of God... and He did. Preposterous. And very good news for the rest of us scribblers.

"...The grace of God is indiscriminate, foolish, impractical, unrealistic, crazy, and naive. If God is not careful, people like you and me might actually believe Jesus Christ is winking at us.. just like a little child."
--Michael Yaconelli, from the book "Dangerous Wonder"

I love this book. I love grace. I hope you had a day of coloring outside the lines and enjoying the gift of life!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Crayons.
2. Creativity.
3. Inspiration.
4. Team work.
5. Excedrin.
6. Mint Oreo ice cream.
8. Plans for the weekend.
9. Baby bunnies.
10. My family's compassion for baby bunnies. LOL

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."
--Oscar Wilde

"Today, look at the blue sky, hear the grass growing beneath your feet, inhale the scent of spring, let the fruits of the earth linger on your tongue, reach out and embrace those you love. Ask Spirit to awaken your awareness to the sacredness of your sensory perceptions."
--Simple Abundance

What great gifts we have in our senses! What fabulous ways to experience the world around us! To see the sun shine so bright, we need our sunglasses! To hear the birds singing so loudly and ecstaticly that we can't possibly continue sleeping! The intoxicating smell of spring flowers, the surprising, sharp taste of that first sip of orange juice, and the softness of the dog nestled next to your skin.... That's just since I woke up!

Today, I'm going to pay attention to all of my senses - I encourage you to do the same! What surprises will we experience? What beautful blessings do we so often not take the time to notice? I'll add mine this evening - I'd love to hear yours, too!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Puppy breath that woke me up - and the kisses that followed.
2. The taste of grilled mushrooms popping in my mouth.
3. The sound of our book group laughing and giggling.
4. The sight of hawks soaring on the wind.
5. The feel of sweat dripping down my back after a good workout.
6. The smell of old books.
7. The minty freshness of toothpaste in the morning.
8. The song, "Blessed" by Brett Dennen.
9. Lit up baseball games on my way home tonight - a sure sign of spring!
10. The response of my congregation when emailed the question, "what 5 things are you thankful for?" So many people have responded! So fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, April 20th edition

For Today...

Outside my window... a grey and dreary day. This has got to end! It's sapping my energy and making me want to sleep the day away!
I am thinking... I have so much to do this week. I preaching at both churches over the next two weeks and have so much planning to do - all on top of a busy weekend anyway!
I am thankful... for a fun weekend with friends and family, and for my new work opportunities!
From the kitchen... a whole lot of nothin'. We need to go grocery shopping!!! (But there's a chance we're grilling out tonight - kabobs! Mmmmm.)
I am wearing... my workout clothes. I'm slowly gearing up...
I am creating... worship bulletins and sermons. (I actually really like to do this - the planning stage is really fun for me!)
I am going... to surprise my hubby this weekend. Fun fun fun!
I am reading... "The Year of Living Biblically" - very funny.
I am hoping... to win the lottery! (Just kidding - I don't even play...)
I am hearing... construction equipment across the street. Annoying!
Around the house... piles of stuff are waiting to be sorted and donated, after cleaning out the garage yesterday. I love to purge stuff!
One of my favorite things... the dog sleeping with her frisbee. April through October, this is her FAVORITE toy. She carries it around, she meets my hubby at the door with it - and she even sleeps on it... So cute.
A few plans for the rest of the week... book group, church meetings, surprises, a game night with the hubby's friends, and a busy Sunday!
Here is picture thought I am sharing... kabobs... One of my favorites!Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions! I rarely post there, I just like the simple questions.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Warm clothes - it's cold here!
2. The hubby went grocery shopping!
3. The hubby is making dinner!
4. Progress on this Sunday's worship service.
5. A note from my dear friend, Cheryl.
6. The blog, "Pause." I love her musings - check them out!
7. I have international "followers." How cool! (Welcome, ladies!)
8. The hubby took care of me today while I felt "blah."
9. A glass of wine + clean sheets on the bed = a good night's sleep.
10. Little sis, Kayla, got captain of her speech team AND was voted "most dedicated team member!" So proud.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holy Humor

(Isn't this the cutest little kid EVER?! Our lovely lady who does the slide show for our worship has used this picture a few times... I just can't get enough of him!)

"Whatever we are waiting for - peace of mind, contentment, grace, inner awareness - it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart."
--Simple Abundance

"Sacred space and sacred time and something joyous to do is all we need. Almost anything then becomes a continuous and increasing joy."
--Joseph Campbell

Today, at church, was Holy Humor Sunday:
"Today's Holy Humor Sunday has it's roots in history. For centuries, in Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant countries, Easter Monday and "Bright Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) were observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.Parishioners and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, sang, and danced. It was a time for clergy and people to tell jokes and to have fun.The custom of Easter Monday and Bright Sunday celebrations were rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. Easter was "God's supreme joke played on death.""

It was quite the worship service!

Jokes, like this one (I thought it was cute...):
A Jewish father was troubled by the way his son turned out, and went to see his Rabbi about it. "I brought him up in the faith, gave him a very expensive barmitzvah, cost me a fortune to educate him. Then he tells me last week he has decided to be a Christian! Rabbi, where did I go wrong?""Funny you should come to me," said the Rabbi. "Like you I, too, brought my boy up in the faith, put him through University, cost me a fortune, then one day he, too, tells me he has decided to become a Christian." "What did you do?" asked the father."I turned to God for the answer" replied the Rabbi."And what did he say?" pressed the father."God said, 'Funny you should come to me...' "

joyful songs (including one sung by the children - John the Baptist Ate Bugs for Lunch, Yum Yum Yum!),
and a funny video clip...

For those who picture God as stern and unloving, this worship would have been quite the shock! Instead, we focused on the gift that laughter is - a gift from God.

And laughter to me easily feeds into gratefulness. Everyday, as I look back at my "things I am thankful for today" lists - over half of those things probably made me smile, chuckle, giggle, belly laugh, or outright laugh til I cried! I can't imagine a life without laughter... That is sacred to me. I don't need to have a special sacred place or time to set aside for joy. "Sacred" is laughing with those you love everyday and appreciating those moments.

What made you laugh today?

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Jake, Matt, and Kaitlin in confirmation - such good questions!
2. The church raised more than enough to make me full time! Wa-hoo!
3. Holy Humor Sunday - fun and uplifting.
4. Coffee with Travis and Brittany this afternoon. Lots of laughs.
5. A LONG nap.
6. The hubby organizing the garage - lots to give to Goodwill!
7. White hot cocoa. Yum.
8. New episodes of good shows. Especially "Brothers and Sisters."
9. A surprise foot rub!
10. A rainy lazy day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random Fun

Another busy day!

I awoke to the hubby making breakfast (poached eggs and toast with fruit on the side - yum) and Irish coffees! A great way to wake up! We spent a leisurely morning hanging out together and playing with the dog... Then gave the dog a bath - she needed it! Then it was off to our God-daughter, Elly's, first birthday party! So fun! As we were leaving I had a message on my phone that my brother-in-law, Karlin, was at the airport with a layover until 9pm tonight. My mom picked him up, and the hubby and I went to the house to spend the afternoon with Karlin, Mom, and Kayla. Stories, laughter, and good food (chinese food... fortune cookies... and yes, we added that phrase to our fortunes as we read them aloud. LOL).

We headed home for a little rest and are soon to head out for another evening walk. Life is good. Very, very good.

Things I am thankful for:

1. Hubby making a yummy breakfast.
2. The new-found pleasure of Irish coffee.
3. The dog smells good and is oh-so-soft after her bath!
4. Jack Johnson's song, "Angel."
5. Remembering tht I had shirts I bought last year and forgot about! It's like shopping in my own closet!
6. Elly's 1st birthday party - and cupcakes! (Good job, Em!)7. Turkeys! Lots of turkeys everywhere today!
8. Karlin's surprise visit. So fun.
9. Teaching my mom the "in bed" version of fortune cookies... Hilarious!
10. Baby bunnies.
11. My starter seeds actually sprouted!12. My Easter flowers are still pretty a week later!
13. Everything's greening up!
14. Colorful birds - cardinals, blue jays, goldfinches, bluebirds...
15. Tomorrow is "Holy Humor Sunday" at church... That oughta be good!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday - April 17th

Busy busy busy day - and oh, so fun!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Surprises!
2. Tracy - a good, fun friend!
3. Breakfast sundaes. Mmmm....
4. The shop, "Live, Laugh, Love" - so fun!
5. Recipe books.
6. Pizza Luce. Awesome pizza restaurant.
7. Laura and Kevin. Giggles and fun.
8. Cherry Coke - the REAL stuff with lots of cherry syrup at the bottom of the glass!
9. 75 degrees outside!
10. Going for a walk at 9:30pm - beautiful!
11. Spring peeper frogs.
12. Puppies. We met "Boomer" out on our walk.
13. My new "Windows Down" mix on my ipod - perfect for summer drives!
14. Tirimisu.
15. Frisbee with the dog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Ha ha ha! My daily reading in "Simple Abundance" had to do with the never-ending fight that every woman has with her hair! I know that war, oh-so-well! I thought I'd share a little:

"A woman's hair has for centuries been called her 'crowning glory,' but every woman I know speaks of her intimate relationship with her hair as a nightmare. I don't know any woman personally who really loves her hair, just women who cope. Hair is a living, powerful, mercurial, metaphysical energy force to be respected, reckoned with, and reconciled to, but it cannot be controlled any more than atomic fusion. Occasionally, it can be cajoled into becoming conduct (we refer to these lapses as 'good hair days') but it can never be coerced. Think of all the money, time, creative energy, and emotion we invest in our hair. Yet most of the time it insists on expressing its authenticity, not necessarily ours. I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted from the mini skirmishes I wage with life every day, and the battle with my hair is not the least of them."
--Simple Abundance

Ha ha ha! Geesh. I have dealt with the horror of frizz and curl and wave all my life! I was looking through old pictures last weekend... and there are some doozies! Maybe, if I'm brave enough and in a silly enough mood, I'll post some later...

Do you have secrets to taming your locks? If so, do share! Especially us women - we need to band together in the war against the untameable!

Wishing you the elusive 'good hair day'!

How cool is this? I made a word cloud of the things I have been thankful for this week:
Wordle: Gratitude

Check it out at!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Cinnamon toast - Mmmm...
2. The Year of Living Biblically - a very funny book!
3. Seeing an old friend today.
4. Laughing with Diane.
5. Paychecks.
6. Bluebirds.
7. Reading outside.
8. Getting new music - yeah for itune giftcards!
9. Plans with friends this weekend!
10. The hubby's surprise came today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spilled Milk

"A young father, a typical type-A personality, followed the same routine every workday. He would arrive home around 5:30pm, park the car in the garage, walk out to the driveway with briefcase in hand, pick up the newspaper, proceed to the front door, enter the house, place the briefcase in the hallway, put the newspaper on the couch in the living room, then walk down the long hallway to the kitchen. Once in the kitchen, he would open up the cupboard, take out a glass, and place it on the counter. He would then open the refrigerator, reach for the carton of milk, walk over to the glass, pour the glass full of milk, and return the milk to the refrigerator. Without thinking, he would pick up the glass of cold milk, grab a cookie from the cookie jar on the counter, and walk to the living room where he would sit down, power up the television with the remote, and watch the news while drinking his milk and eating his cookie, sometimes stopping during commercials to browse through the newspaper. His routine had been the same for many years, and, unbeknownst to him, his three-year-old son had noticed.

"One night the father came home from work and began his usual routine. As he stepped into the hallway, setting his briefcase and newspaper down, he looked up to see his son standing down the hall, a smile on his face, obviously anticipating his father's return. Dad knew something was up, so he stopped and watched his son turn around and head for the kitchen. Pleasantly surprised, the dad crept to the edge of the kitchen to see what his son was up to. The little boy ran to the corner of the kitchen, pulled out the bottom drawer (which he was not supposed to do), stepped on the drawer, climbed onto the counter (which he was not supposed to do), reached into the cupboard, and pulled on a glass, knocking the other glasses over. Thankfully, none of them broke. With glass in hand, the little boy scooted back down onto the drawer, then to the floor, and ran over to the cookie jar. He reached up as high as he could and, barely grasping the jar, knocked it over and spilled cookies all over the floor. Oblivious to his father, he scooped all the cookies up and put them back on the counter, except for one. He picked up the remaining cookie, ran over to the refrigerator, placed the cookie and empty glass on the floor, opened the refrigerator door, and reached inside and grabbed the plastic half-gallon container of milk. He then picked up the container of milk and, the container wobbling terribly, began to pour the milk into the glass, spilling milk all over the floor. Any other evening the father would have yelled at his son by this time, pointing out the terrible mess he was making. Instead, he sensed something much more important was happening here; he patiently waited as the little boy picked up the cookie and the glass of milk and came running to him with a huge smile on his face. The dad threw his arms around his son and said, 'Thank you, Son!' Dad realized his son was giving him a wonderful gift...
"...How many years of my life I have pictured God standing at the door of the kitchen, saying, 'Mike, put that glass down! Stop doing that! Get off the counter!' I had no idea that as I stumbled up to God with my milk and cookies, the kitchen of my life in disarray, God was loving me, spilled milk and all, and opening His arms, saying, 'Thank you, Michael. You are such a gift to Me!' Not only does the passionate love of God fill us with passion, it fills us with gratitude."
--Dangerous Wonder, by Michael Yaconelli

I read this story again today - I love it so much! There are so many things we do in our life - some good, some messy - but always trying to do our best. It's nice to think God is watching us with a smirk on His face, waiting for us to notice that He is there, ready for us to ask for help, or simply able to remind us that we are loved, messes and all!

I wish you moments of feeling God's presence in your life today!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Quiet reading time in the mornings.
2. 65 degrees!
3. Adirondack chairs.
4. Artichoke, bell pepper, and feta cheese pizza!
5. Beginning a new book! "A Year of Living Biblically"
6. Goldfinches.
7. Bailey playing frisbee for the first time this year!
8. My new spring trench coat - so cute!
9. A talkative hubby.
10. Pussywillows.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


"Passion is the roller coaster ride that can happen when you follow Jesus Christ. It is the breathtaking, thrill-filled, bone-rattling ride of a lifetime where every moment matters and all you can do is hang on for life dear. When you become a Christian, when you decide to follow Christ, you decide in favor of passion. Jesus came to forgive us of our sin, yes, but His mission was also to introduce us to the passion of living. Most people believe that following Jesus is all about living right. Not true. Following Jesus is all about living fully. Listen carefully to the apostle Paul's description of the Christian life to the church in Rome.

"'It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!...

'This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" (Romans 8:10-11, 15 from the Message)'

"What is passion? Aliveness. Living with expectancy, anticipation, and enthusiasm.
"What is the opposite of passion? Dead living. Living a life that is borrrrrrring!"
--Dangerous Wonder, by Mike Yaconelli

Here's to living with aliveness, expectancy, anticipation, and enthusiasm!

Things that I am thankful for today:

1. Sunshine.
2. Warmth.
3. Open windows.
4. Summer sandals.
5. Open moonroof.
6. Going for a walk in a short-sleeved shirt.
7. Did I mention warmth?
8. Book group.
9. Summer planning.
10. Irish coffee to end the evening...

11. Friends who pray for each other.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - April 13th Edition

For Today...

Outside my window... the sky is a bit dreary and it's quiet, but there are budds on the trees and green shoots coming out of the ground!
I am thinking... about Easter and what a good day it was.
I am thankful... for my family. I enjoyed spending time with them yesterday!
From the kitchen... Amish Friendship Bread is calling my name... and we still have candy from yesterday... I better get that stuff out of the house before I eat it ALL!
I am wearing... black sweatpants, a blue t-shirt, and a black zip-up hoodie. Not very stylish, but awfully comfy on a dreary Monday!
I am creating... space for myself today. I had a busy week last week, and a busy week this week... So today, is for me. It's nice....
I am going... to finish my book group book today - "90 Minutes in Heaven."
I am reading... "90 Minutes in Heaven" for book group. But I think pretty soon I'm going to need just a fast, fun read - like a Dean Koontz book. Something without deep meanings to be processed... Brain candy.
I am hoping... to meet some of my youth group kids for coffee this week. Their schedules are too crazy! I miss them!
I am hearing... a whole lot of nothing. It's really quiet here today. Kind of nice...
Around the house... spring has sprung! Fresh flowers in the living room smell so good!
One of my favorite things... coffee dates with friends. I can't wait to see Tracie on Friday!
A few plans for the rest of the week... mission committee meeting tonight, book group tomorrow night, a dinner for Neighbor's Inc on Thursday night, a night out with friends on Friday night, my Goddaughter's birthday party on Saturday... Goodness! Fun, but busy!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
(This is a picture from our hotel room, on our honeymoon... Panama City Beach, Florida... I would love to be sitting on a beach right now!)

Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions! I rarely post there, I just like the simple questions.

Oh! The quote for today is too good not to post. Here it is:

"I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now... as I shall not pass this way again."
--William Penn

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A peaceful day at home.
2. A dreary day turned into a beautiful evening!
3. Our mission team meeting - what fun ladies!
4. Patty Griffin's song, "Heavenly Day." I listened to it and watched the sunset on my drive home.
5. The first Easter egg salad sandwich of the year!
6. Easter pictures of my niece, Finley, and my Goddaughter, Elly! So cute!
7. The fragrance of my Easter lily filling the downstairs.
8. A call from my dear friend, Amanda.
9. The hubby's surprise is on its way!
10. All the wonderful comments people post on my blog! I enjoy them all!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

"Jesus wants to be our friend. He doesn't want us to walk alone. But it's not just that He wants us to be with Him; it's that He wants to be with us!"
--Leith Anderson

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
--John 15:13

My day started at 5am (after going to bed at 1am) to get ready for the Sunrise Service at one of my churches - I got to plan it and preach for it this year, so we had a good 'ol time! Let me just say, it included noisemakers, people calling out to the sermon (if you read my Good Friday blog, I used some it!), and lots of laughter and playfulness! It was a wonderful way to start the day with some very fun ladies in the congregation. After this service I hung out with some of the congregation's youth and kids during breakfast - making paper boats and handing out noisemakers to anyone who would take them! Ha ha ha - people used the noisemakers in the second service anytime the word "Alleluia" was spoken - much to the surprise of the Pastor! He laughed... They ended the second service with most of the congregation singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" - awesome!

Then, I got home to finish making brunch for my family. Mom, Dad, and Kayla came over to spend the afternoon. I had the table set beautifully: candy dishes out, fresh flowers, a little "Easter Bunny" gift next to each setting, and little seed-starter pots for everyone. We had a Breakfast Strata (an egg bake) that was made in the crockpot - I was scared it didn't turn out, but it was wonderful! It was also the day my Amish Friendship Bread was supposed to be baked, so I baked that up as well, Yum-o! Mom brought fresh fruit and key lime pie for dessert - delish!
My 17-year old sister, Kayla, had commented on Facebook earlier this morning that the Easter Bunny didn't come for her this year... That she doesn't like the whole "growing up thing" - she didn't know that I had dyed Easter eggs last night and had them hidden when she got to my house! Ha ha ha. She found most of them pretty quick... But there were two elusive eggs - so Dad got in on the action. He turned into a little kid until those two were found! So fun!

We missed my hubby, who was with his family for the day... And we missed my other sister, Emily, and her family. I bet my little niece, Finley was fun this year (just over 1 year old)!

Once everyone left, I cleaned up the downstairs, took a long hot shower, put on my sweats, and plopped on the couch. I fell asleep within seconds - and slept for 2 hours! Goodness!

Easter is such a great holiday in so many ways - the Risen Christ (and the hope and light that this brings into our lives), the joy of the church community, family get togethers, AND it happened to be a wonderful sunny day! God does good work. We are so blessed!

Happy Easter!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Fun participation at the Easter Sunrise Service.
2. Joy and laughter.
3. Mischieviousness.
4. My egg bake turned out! Whew...
5. Egg hunts - espeically with parents.
6. A beautiful day
7. Wearing springy clothes!
8. Faith - and hope.
9. The hubby arrived home safely.
10. Dolly Parton's song "He's Alive" - my favorite Easter song. Here's a link, check it out - and turn the volume UP!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


"Today, instead of hating your body, make peace with it. Choose to consciously love and honor the sacred garment Spirit provided for this life-time's journey."
--Simple Abundance

I know - you're all thinking, "HA!"

This has been my journey for almost a year now. Learning to love my body as is - for the health, the abilities, the senses, and the perceptions it brings me. But what woman is always able to "love" her body? Come on, now.

The hubby is out of town this weekend... So what did I do last night? Bought some ice cream! Filled some candy dishes for Easter with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (thanks for the temptation, Melissa!) - and I've eaten several already this morning! It's 1pm, and I'm still in my jammies! HA!
Unfortunately... Loving and taking care of my body means I am soon to workout, eat a healthy lunch (that does not include more sugar), take the dog for a walk, and... oh, I don't know? Shower, maybe?

Here's to a day of rest and relaxation for all of you! (And I think, when we love our bodies, it's ok to spoil them once in awhile... So what Easter candy will you be indulging in?)

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A sunny, beautiful day - windows OPEN!
2. Completing a surprise for the hubby... I can't tell you what it is - he reads this!
3. A clean house!
4. Playing Easter Bunny and hosting my family tomorrow.
5. Crockpots. Gotta love 'em!
6. An extra Easter Lily in my order (means I get to bring one home!).
7. Edy's Slow-churned "Take the Cake" ice cream. Yum.
8. Dying Easter eggs.
9. A phone call from the hubby.
10. Candy! LOL

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

"We live in a Good Friday world. How easy it is to stop right there, just short of healing, not realizing the hope of resurrection.

"The story of Easter week did not stop on Friday. The hope of this season is all about Sunday. Tony Campolo writes about a life changing sermon he heard in his book 'It's Friday but Sunday's Comin''. Campolo writes about hearing a wise African-American pastor preach about the events of Easter week.

"'For an hour and a half he preached one line over and over again..."It's Friday, but Sunday's comin'!" He started his sermon real softly by saying, "It was Friday; it was Friday and my Jesus was dead on the tree. But that was Friday, and Sunday's comin'!" One of the Deacons yelled, "Preach, brother, Preach!" It was all the encouragement he needed. He came on louder as he said, "It was Friday and Mary was cryin' her eyes out. The disciples were runnin' in every direction, like sheep without a shepherd, but that was Friday, and Sunday's comin!"

"'The preacher kept going. He picked up the volume still more and shouted, "It was Friday. The cynics were lookin' at the world and sayin' `As things have been so shall they be. You can't change anything in this world; you can't change anything. But those cynics don't know that it was only Friday. Sunday's comin'! It was Friday, and on Friday those forces that oppress the poor and make the poor to suffer were in control. But that was Friday! Sunday's comin'!

"'It was Friday, and on Friday Pilate thought he had washed his hands of a lot of trouble. The Pharisees were struttin' around, laughin' and pokin' each other in the ribs. They thought they were back in charge of things. But they didn't know it was only Friday! Sunday's comin'!

"Campolo continues, "He kept on working that one phrase for a half hour, then an hour, then an hour and a quarter, then an hour and a half. Over and over he came at us, "It's Friday, but Sunday's comin!" By the time he had come to the end of the message...He had me and everybody else so worked up that I don't think any of us could have stood it much longer. At the end of his message he just yelled at the top of his lungs, `It's FRIDAY!' and all 500 of us in that church yelled back with one accord, `SUNDAY'S COMIN'!"

"A lot of people who stumble across this site might be in the middle of what seems to be an interminable Friday. It is hard to accept suffering and illness. Relationships that hurt us make Friday seem like it will never end. The trials of living on a fallen planet will make this seem like a Friday world at times during the journey. Two years ago Joni’s diagnosis of cancer
put us into a Friday state of mind. But we trusted that Sunday's comin'! As we told our wonderful sons, if your faith doesn't work at times like this it is of little value for the rest of the time. And it does work. We have been blessed with healing for now but we have the greater hope of the resurrection of Jesus as we continue. We trust in a God that has been faithful to strengthen us for the battle, work through us for His glory, and teach us to be dependent on Him.

"I believe the message of this week. Sunday's comin'. And I believe that with all of my heart and soul."
--David Burchett

This is the quote of the day on my little flip calendar - I had to share it, too!
"I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season your journey. I wish you peace - in the world in which you live and in the smallest corner of the heart where truth is kept. I wish you faith - to help define your living and your life. More I cannot wish you - except perhaps love - to make all the rest worthwhile."
--Robert A. Ward

Wishing you a Friday of reflection and peace - and knowing that 'Sunday's comin!'

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A day (mostly) at home!
2. The hubby coming home for lunch and a walk before he leaves town for the weekend.
3. Feeling fairly relaxed about this weekend - very odd for me!
4. Cheerful workers at Gerten's Greenhouse when I went to pick up the church's lilies.
5. Kids alongside the road trying to get people to honk. I honked. They jumped with joy.
6. Windows open to a sunny day!
7. The sound of birds chirping!
8. The hubby left me the ipod - hurray for workouts!
9. Geese flying by my windows, honking!
10. The sound of the spring frogs along our nature path! (Soon, the dog will be chasing them!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Maundy Thursday

"Have you ever gone to visit a friend and had something totally unexpected happen? I mean, you think that you are going for a simple meal or visit, and instead you walk into a surprise party.

"The disciples had something unexpected happen to them during the Passover meal. They assumed when they gathered at the upper room, that they were going to celebrate the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, just as they did every year. Instead, Jesus started talking about the New Covenant (love God and love neighbor), and how the bread and wine represented something totally different - his body and blood.

"The disciples didn't know what to think. Here was Jesus identifying himself with the bread and wine found at a common, everyday meal. In this act, Jesus wanted to make sure the disciples remembered the primary message of the Last Supper every time they ate: that grace and forgiveness is found through Jesus."
--Destination Easter

In this Holy Week, what surprises of faith are coming your way? Where has God surprised you with grace, love, compassion, hope, and unexpected joy?

I invite you to spend some time seeking God in these days leading up to the biggest celebration of all!

Things I am thankful for:

1. Busy days.
2. Laughing at work.
3. Maundy Thursday service - beautiful.
4. Hubby made dinner!
5. No good TV tonight - time for the hubby and I to hang out and talk.
6. The dog being SO excited to see me these days!
7. The hubby and I both have jobs.
8. Serving communion.
9. Looking forward to my family coming over on Sunday.
10. A beautiful drive home - with the moonroof open!
11. The hubby impressing me with what he learned about Maundy Thursday from NPR.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


This has been floating back to me in a variety of ways over the last week... And everytime, I watch it again and again! If you need a smile today, watch this link: Train Station.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Waking up to sun shining in the windows.
2. Routine.
3. Creativity.
4. A good staff meeting.
5. 100 calorie chocolate covered pretzels.
6. My elliptical machine - the "magic" machine that makes me exercise!
7. Daydreams.
8. LOST - so good.
9. Cedar Waxwing birds!
10. I make someone happy. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


"Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each other to see the other whole against the sky."
--Rainer Maria Rilke

What a beautiful quote - for all relationships! To allow distances (differences, interests, opinions, etc) between us in order to see each other as whole... Not just the parts we adore, not just the parts that annoy or frustrate - but to try to see the person as their whole self. And love them anyway.

Parents, children, spouses, siblings, friends, co-workers, even the neighbor on the street... Taking time to see them whole, as a child of God... This is what I'll be working on this week!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Holy week.
2. Diane's dream!
3. It's getting warmer...
4. Getting a lot of work done.
5. Yummy taco salad.
6. Book group - lots of laughs!
7. Pictures of Elly.
8. A glass of wine.
9. Easter plans.
10. Coming home.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, April 6th edition

For Today...

Outside my window... the sky is blue, the sun is shining, herons are flying overhead. It's supposed to only get to 39 degrees today and windy, but at least the sun is out!
I am thinking... about Holy Week. Working in the church, it's so busy! So much to do!
I am thankful... for my hubby's support while I'm trying to lose weight. He's so great...
From the kitchen... frosted shredded wheat and orange juice for breakfast, leftover Hawaiian pizza for dinner, and this week - bison chipotle taco salads, chicken and black bean enchiladas, and who knows what else?
I am wearing... my Monday morning uniform - my jammies.
I am creating... an Easter Sunrise service. I wish I had more kids to be involved... But we'll make it work!
I am going... to get a lot of work done today - so hopefully, the rest of my week isn't so stressful!
I am reading... "90 Minutes in Heaven" for book group, and "Let Your Life Speak" for myself. Both are good so far!
I am hoping... that I can live up to all the nice things people have been saying about me at church. It's very humbling to hear people speak on your behalf... (They're campaigning at one of my churches to bring me on full-time.)
I am hearing ... the crunch of footsteps through our landscaping, hammers working on the house contruction in the neighborhood, the wind blowing, the dog snoring, kids laughing outside, buses driving by...
Around the house... we're noticing all the little things we'd like to change. Painting, leveling curtain rods, wall hangings, tiling behind the stove, painting the powder room, etc, etc. A work weekend is planned!
One of my favorite things... date night with the hubby. We had so much fun last Friday - just happy hour at one of our favorite places, yummy food, and good conversation. Life is good.
A few plans for the rest of the week... staying on track with food and exercise, getting plenty of sleep, getting most of my work done early in the week so it's not crazy at the end!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
(On sunny days, in the spring, I just can't wait for warm days on the patio and playing frisbee with the hubby and the dog!)

Visit the Simple Woman’s Daybook, for more women's answers to these questions! I rarely post there, I just like the simple questions.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. A good night's sleep.
2. Trying on clothes in my closet - finding all kinds of things that fit!
3. Being caught up on my reading.
4. Feeling good about Easter.
5. 2 more pounds gone!
6. Listening to the hubby giving engagement advice to a dear friend... (The hubby did a very good job on ours!)
7. New eye cream - I like it!
8. The weather forecast for the weekend - high 50s on Easter!
9. The hubby going to visit his sister for the weekend. (I don't want him to leave, but they need some time together, so it's good.)
10. Skinny Cow cookies and cream ice cream sandwiches!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Randomness

Uffda. I haven't slept well two nights in a row... So I'm not feeling all that philosophical, wise, or full of interesting stories today... So I thought I'd just share a couple of bits of my day.

I woke up to SNOW. Everything covered in snow. It's April 5th today, right? After not a lot of sleep... This made me crabby.
By the time I came home from church, around 1pm, things were melting and looking up! I took a nice nap, ate some lunch - and we went for a walk. A much better afternoon! (It's Minnesota... You never know what the weather is going to do!)
My hubby had a chance to watch CBS Sunday Morning while I was at church - he shared this story by Ben Stein with me, called The Divinity of Dogs. I love it! (If you're a dog person, you will to!)

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Even though I'm completely sick of snow - it was very pretty this morning.
2. The roads weren't slippery this morning.
3. Time at a coffee shop this morning to read and relax.
4. A lovely nap.
5. Going for a walk with the hubby and dog, since the day warmed up so nice!
6. Homemade Hawaiian pizza. Yum.
7. Working on home projects - picking out pictures to get framed.
8. Plants are budding!
9. The hubby picked up the house and folded laundry while I was at work!
10. An early night, hopefully.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


"The first blush of friendship is a grace to behold: a moment of shyness, a tentative hello. Every other gift in life takes wing from here - affection, generosity, sharing - until soon your life is rich."

I loved this quote. I think of all of my friends - old friends, new friends, friends who have seen me through the low times, and friends who have celebrated the highs, friends I see regularly, and those of you far away... You all have blessed my life in so many ways! I wouldn't be who I am today without each and every one of you.

Thank you.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sleeping in again.
2. Cleaned out my closet.
3. Laundry done, clean sheets!
4. A little more shopping!
5. Got the last piece of our photo wall for the living room - now that project can get started!
6. A good workout!
7. Lunch at Big Bowl - shrimp pad thai... Yum.
8. Picking paint colors and tile for our kitchen.
9. The hubby did the grocery shopping!
10. The dog got a bath - smells good, and so soft!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Fun - April 3rd

Today was a pretty eventful, but relaxing day... I slept in, I went shopping with my birthday money, I got my haircut, and I had a fun date with the hubby. Loved it! (That's why my blog entry is soooo late!)

Here's some more fun get-to-know-you questions - feel free to use them!

Where was the secret hideout of your youth? Behind the big oak tree in our backyard in Ohio, or in my closet (deep and dark). After we moved from Ohio, I don't think I really had secret hideouts...

In your family, did everyone have their own seat at the dinner table? Yes. And I remember in high school, for my psychology class, we had to mess with a "social norm" to see people's reactions, so I sat in a different place at the dinner table - really expecting no big reaction.... We couldn't start eating until I moved back to my usual seat! Ha ha ha. My "spontaneous" family wasn't so spontaneous afterall...

What game or song did your family play or sing while traveling in the car? Ha ha ha! My sister, Emily, and I used to do "Mickey and Sylvia" (from Dirty Dancing) in the back seat! I'm pretty sure, after I was out of the house, on road trips my sisters would do songs from Grease, too! Good times.

When you meet people for the first time, what are you most interested in learning about them? What they do in their spare time, who they like to spend their time with, what makes them smile and laugh, and what makes them sarcastic and unsympathetic...

Does being around people drain or motivate you? Ha ha ha - good question! Both! I'm a total introvert - content to be on my own most of the time... But then I get lonely. I love being around people, talking to them, learning from them, laughing with them... But then I need a nap to re-energize for the next round!

Who brings out the best in you? My hubby. He makes me feel like I can do anything... And if I screw up, it's ok.

What friends do you feel the most and least comfortable with and why? I'm most comfortable with the friends who accept me for who I am - for dumb mistakes, an easy-going attitude, the choices I've made with my life - the good and the bad. I'm least comfortable with friends who make me feel like I never quite know where I stand with them, who I don't know if I can be honest and myself around them without the risk of being judged, who take life too seriously.

What room do you like to gather in with friends? My living room. It's small and cozy, warm and inviting, and so comfortable - especially in the winter, with the fireplace and candles lit! I love it. So relaxing.

Would you rather have three very good friends or unlimited acquaintances? Three close friends. Totally. I want people who know me well - warts and all. People I can cry with, laugh with, and share my life with. Lots of shallow relationships would never get me through life in a meaningful way.

When people first meet you, you are afraid they will think what about you? Even at this point in my life, I can still be very shy... I'm always worried people will think I'm a snob... I don't think I am!

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Sleeping in - WAY in!
2. Going shopping - and fitting into cute clothes!
3. Getting my haircut - it SO needed it!
4. Date night - at the Herkimer in Minneapolis. (Happy hour grilled cheese fondue and sweet potato fries! YUM!)
5. Really good conversation with my hubby.
6. Doing no work on my day off. Nice.
7. Brainstorming future travel ideas with the hubby - fun to daydream.
8. Mango mochi balls (an ice cream treat at Trader Joe's) at 3am. Yum.
9. Sunshine.
10. Reading, "Let Your Life Speak" by Parker Palmer.
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