Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Katy Perry and Zygotes.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I drove home from work yesterday. I got a call from my dad at 5:02pm, and he said that he still hadn't heard from my mom or uncle. Which in turn meant that they still hadn't spoke to a doctor regarding my granny, which meant Hannah would be waiting for me at home.

I walked in the door to find Audry making pizza sauce (yes, making), and Hannah asking her if "zig" was a real word. I stepped into the conversation, and as I washed my hands (re: the impending cold), I said, "I think it might be, but I'm not entirely sure I've ever heard it NOT paired with zag". So she got her dictionary, I got my laptop, and we sat down to find out.

I love my time with Hannah. I say it all the time, but it's true. Her face lights up upon every greeting, and she's such a fun, witty, well behaved girl. And who doesn't appreciate that in an eleven year old? She finished her homework before dinner, and as we ate, we discussed Hannah's love for learning about rocks, hypothesis' on why the cookies she and Aud made were mushy in the middle, and whether Katy Perry is actually a good singer (I voted no).

It's night like that, where it's cold and dark by 6, but inside, all is merry and bright, that I love the motions of life. day to day life. I didn't mind discussing scattered topics while Demi Lovato's newest song played for the 4th time, and I explained what I knew about zygotes. I didn't mind because I love her, and I want to be a part of her growth. I love seeing her get smarter, and funnier, and more beautiful.

Her time at the house ended in a way we both love. She let me snap a few pics of her in front of the Christmas tree, and then a few more of her with Walter the dog. And when I wasn't feeling up to dancing around like a lot of pre-teens do, she opted to dance by herself. And dance she did, with a "do you know the difference between the Jerk and the Reject?" and a "hey! I think I just made up a new dance move!" [don't worry. I didn't know there was a dance called the "reject" either]. Eventually, Audry joined in with her dancing. After all, they both have hair that is great for a good swing. And both of them put it to good use.

And so I snapped away. And I captured the moment. And when her dad called to say he'd be there to pick her up in 15 minutes, she stopped abruptly and asked if that was enough time to get a double French braid. Because apparently, the kids in her class love talking about her hair when it's wavy. And what female doesn't just love a good hair day? So I put my braiding skills to work, and knocked out the cutest of French braids on my favorite model. And took a picture of it, of course.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

honey... oh, sugar sugar.

It started around 2 o'clock.

you never really think about your throat until it hurts. And it just crept up on me. It always does. all the sudden, it was there.

At first I thought that it could be cured with a peppermint. That's the optimist in me. The optimist that thought, "it could just be dry. I could just need a drink of water... or a peppermint". and then, after the second one, I started to panic. not a lot, just a little. Because that's what you do when you realize that no matter how deep you dig your heels, you're going to get pushed off the edge into sickness. what a drag.

Getting sick is never convenient.

My brain starts wandering. What if I go to bed, wake up, and feel worse? What if it's so bad that I have to call in. I can't call in. I have patients tomorrow. I can't. I mean, I could. I just shouldn't. and how did I even get sick? and why do I think that I'm more important at work then I really am? but how did I get sick??!? great. I had a massage yesterday. I bet they didn't change the sheets before me. that's nasty. No... I know. great. I was in a hospital yesterday. I probably picked it up from some germ infested visitor. Either that, or it's my roommate that's sick with a URI. great. that's not what I have... is it? it's not. I may be sick, but starting now, I choose NOT to be a hypochondriac. It's probably just a cold. or bird flu.

The real issue is that it's my throat. That's kinda the worst, and I just wanted to complain. I mean, "the worst" until I have the stomach flu or a migraine that won't quit. Then I'll redefine, I'm sure.

And as I sit here on the couch, in a warm house with a glowing Christmas tree, I've decided to take it easy tonight. Relaxing, while I send up selfish little prayers of "please make me better before Friday" between additional prayers for Granny and all the while, catching up on Glee.

I'm going to stay here for now, while I recover and continue to drink tea with my head tilted to the right. This way, the honey can coat the spot that aches when I swallow.

Hopefully filling my sick quota early... that's a real thing, right?

you guys...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grandpa Ivan.

There's a unique feeling you get when you hear someone has died. For me, it feels like my insides have been flushed. My heart goes to my stomach, and starts searching for a way to get back.

It's an entirely different feeling to be told someone has died, then that they haven't... then that they did. A true roller coaster of emotions.

That's where I spent Monday night, with the news of my grandpas passing. My grandpa had been battling bladder cancer for years, and when he noticed a new pain in his hip last week, my dad took him to the hospital to get it checked out. Come to find out, his hip hurt because there was a fracture. There was a fracture because cancer had spread, and made his hip weak. The doctors were optimistic, and they started treatment. The plan was to stay 14 days at a step down facility while he had chemo, then go home. He was used to this routine, as it was the norm, but this time he didn't make it. But go figure that man didn't go down without a fight. My dad found him dead, then paramedics got a pulse, and for 45 minutes we felt relief. Relief because for a brief time we weren't sure if "grandpa died" actually meant he was dead. We didn't know if our grieving was premature. Because that man had always been a tough Ruski, and to be honest, my family couldn't be too surprised if he opted to fight death with a resurrection. And I found myself thinking, "that man would try to come back from the dead".

But ultimately, his time was up.
His heart couldn't do it anymore.
His fight was over.

I didn't have a "crawl up on my lap" or "sneak you some candy" grandpa. I had a grandpa who lived in the ghetto, let me and my sisters ride in the back of his van with no seat belts (let alone seats), and encouraged me to shoot guns. He started off rough around the edges, but was softened by sugar and spice, and everything else 3 granddaughters bring into a mans life.

My grandpa was always a fighter. Born in communist Russia in 1920, he grew up in an era I'm thankful is history. He fled Russia after refusing to serve in Stalin's army, changed his birthday by 4 years, and successfully covered the tracks that could have led to his instant execution. Upon leaving his homeland, he found refuge, and a wife in Belgium. Within a few years, and 2 small boys later, my Grandpa became hell-bent on getting to Hollywood, CA. It was a land of palm trees, sunshine, and streets paved in gold (so he heard). He wanted a part of it. And when the US wouldn't let Europeans in, they went to Canada first, and entered the states from the North. And they made it. They had the dream, the family, the 1955 Pontiac Star Chief convertible, and an address right off of Sunset Strip. But it seems like my grandpa never had to wait long before it was time to fight again. Times got hard, and when word got out of jobs available for auto mechanics in Detroit, they sold the car (in 1 day), and headed East.

Detroit had a lot of ups and downs. It was a long move, but there was work. It was the place where my grandparents ultimately divorced, but also the place where my dad was given the opportunity to meet his high school sweetheart. my mom. The furthest I've ever moved from home is 60 miles. and it was for the most part, painless, convenient, and low stress. My grandpa had to fight with every one of his. From moving across the world, to being set on staying put in Detroit while the neighborhood around him lost families and gained drug dealers and neglect.

My grandpa wasn't always a good Father or Grandpa or Father-in-Law. There was reason he was called "Ivan the terrible" at times. There was a time I walked away from him in a courtroom in Detroit, when I thought that I would literally never speak to, listen to, or see him again. I had decided that I would remember my childhood memories of stomping grapes in his backyard, ice fishing, playing with the litters of Lab puppies that came around every few years, and package that up as who my Grandpa Ivan was.

A few years later my Dad showed by example (the way only the best dads do) what forgiveness and redemption in action looks like. Day by day he and my grandpa repaired, and rebuilt. And out of that came a new relationship I thought would never exist. When my dad lost his job in March of '09, a new one came up right away. But the new job didn't pay a dime, and yet he didn't turn it down. The job was tending to his ailing Father. And almost every day for the past two years, my dad made the trip from Farmington Hills to Detroit to spend time and care for his dad. Or "Pops", as he called him.

Thanks to Gods gracious intervention, Audry and I went to see our Grandpa the day before he died. He was sleeping when we got there, but popped up with a smile on his face when he saw it was us. In the midst of conversation, he shared with us about how our dad saved his life. And as much as in a lot of ways I knew that was true, I also knew that he wasn't just talking about the days added to his life, but the life added to his years as well.

Life can be a mess. In a lot of ways, it feels that way today. But I'm always thankful for seasons. I'm thankful for joy and for sadness, and for the peace I have knowing that God always knows what He's doing in timing.

An old roommate from college emailed me tonight and said that maybe the whole job loss thing with my dad was what needed to happen in order for the two of them to really be able to spend significant time together. And as hard as the last few years have been financially for my parents, I know that when my dad came home Monday night with tears falling down his face, it was because he lost the man he had grown to know and care for in the last two years.

So tonight, I sign off in peace. The last conversation I had with my grandpa was a deal for me to bring him some bright orange mums, and a friendly argument of who loved who more. I still plan to buy him the mums, but I've found it hard to put into words in this post about the freedom in forgiveness and choosing love. I've found myself taking a lot of deep breaths the last few days. Deep breaths that are filled with realizing I'm not sure what step to take next, but exhaled knowing that I got the chance to close this chapter in a way that was done right. With love.

With the heart of a thankful granddaughter,

Friday, October 22, 2010


There were 7 of you in 1 house?

I think that's the question we get asked most often. Usually followed by a pause... a pause of people waiting to hear about the time so n' so stole the others boyfriend, when what's her name said she hated someone, or when everyone didn't talk for weeks because there is NO way that so many woman could live together under one roof, and not leave hating each other.

But that was never 240.

I was excited for this week because it meant that almost all of us (6/7) would be together again on behalf of our most recent 240 bride, Lindsay. She flew up to Michigan for a mere 36 hours to find a wedding dress, and invited the 240 entourage along. And everyone managed to make that Tuesday afternoon work. Even upon leaving the bridal salon, the manager complimented our group. Admitting he cringed a bit when he saw all these woman walk in for 1 bride, seeing as usually it turns out to be an opinionated mess. But we were an exception.

An exception because there's a reason why we call it 240love.

Because we weren't just your run-of-the-mill college roommates. We had our moments of not seeing eye to eye, but even those times were seasoned with love. We were unique because even though we were all figuring it out, the tie that bound us was being rooted in Christ. We grew from that, together. And when it came time to move out of our great little house with mushrooms by the toilet in the bathroom and cracks on the ceiling, we cried. I never remember feeling as low as I did the days after graduation, when 1 by 1, 6 of my closest friends moved out, and wouldn't be returning the following Sunday night as I was used to.

These days, I feel blessed to be able to look back on those years together with fondness, and full of nostalgia. I had a unique college experience, and woven intricately into the fabric of it, were the women of 240. We laughed together, cooked together, rode to class together, danced together, and even raised a puppy together. There's a reason we'll always love hearing about "science projects", and always have a soft heart for the maintenance man that called Dasha, "hotshot".

Those memories from college keep getting further away, but we just value them more and more. And when we have to plan months in advance for reunions these days, it's an automatic priority. When we thought about the location of the 240, 2010 reunion last month, Cincinnati made sense. It's just about halfway between Detroit and Nashville (our two furthest points). And it wasn't until we were back home that Sunday that it was brought to my attention how good we have it. We went to pick up Walter from one of Kristen's friends homes, and when we were telling her husband about the trip, he said, "so 5 of you drove all the way to Cincinnati because 1 person is in Nashville?.... you're good friends". And I thought to myself, we literally never gave a second thought to where we would meet because the important part was to have everyone together. and when you have great friends, it's easy to be a good friend.

So that weekend, every member of 240 found ourselves in Cincinnati late Friday night, and with cupcakes and wine in hand, enjoyed being in our PJ's, under one roof again. Krista tapped into her hospitality roots, and scored us an awesome suite, so we could literally spend every minute of the weekend in each others company. Saturday found us walking in a park, going to the Cincinnati Art Museum, and wine tasting. When that walk we started got too hot to continue, we found retreat in the AC of the art museum. And when we realized that we were not great at appreciating fine art, the culinary type was right up our alley, and we dined in the museums courtyard. Wine tasting turned out to be the dark horse of the trip. Our little known thing, that emerged to prominence. We walked into Cincinnati's, "Wine Merchant", and walked out about an hour later having had some great wine and even better laughs. Our return to the hotel met us with a serious case of the giggles, and when we got around to finally toning it down a bit, engaged in conversation with depth, thanks to Kelsey's good game planning. We made it downtown for a late dinner at Cincinnati's "Nada" restaurant, and when we were told of a long wait, we simply enjoyed margarita's outside and the warm air of an Indian Summer. Since one of the ties that binds us all together is our love for {the only colors} green and white, it wasn't too shocking that when mocked by wolverines at the restaurant, our natural defense was to bust out our fight song. voice volume, high. obviously. and we laughed. Because as inappropriate as it was, at the same time, it seemed very appropriate. We finished the night at a bar called, "Cattle Ranch". It was just as fun, and random as I thought it would be. The 7 of us played the nonexistent bachelorette party card, and got in free. And without consuming one ounce of alcohol there, managed to dance it up, crack up, and get thrown off a bull.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again. I love us. I love how we got dealt the best cabbies in the city, I love the mix of conversations, and I love how we've got a past, and security in the future.

I'm thankful to have friends that ask how my family is doing, who let me know how they miss sharing shoes with me, and who constantly show me how to be generous, by the way they live.

And when we parted ways on Sunday, after eating ice cream instead of lunch, we all looked spent. But those faces told a story of what we packed into one weekend. A weekend of great new memories, lots of laughing, and both good and tough love alike. These women gave structure to the roots I have today, and I love my/our story because of it.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

on your mark, get set, go.

I've never enjoyed running. But I really like the idea of it. I think it's because it's simple in theory. You don't necessarily need a gym or weights, and it's really good for you. When I was in middle school, I ran track. But even that was because I wanted to do the high jump. But in order to do that, you had to run at least one event. I was always in the second heat, and only did a relay. I wasn't good.

As much as I wasn't made for the sport of running, I love watching a good race. For the last 3 years, I've made it down to the Detroit Free Press Marathon, and I love it. This year, I didn't personally know anyone running in it, but a friend did, and I jumped on the opportunity to go watch. There were 19,749 people there who ran the race, and represented 49 states!

First off, I'm amazed that people can run 13.1 miles at a time, let alone 26.2! It's mind blowing for me to think about running for 5 hours straight. But standing on the sidelines as a cheerleader has always been a place I've felt comfortable. I saw shoeless runners, and some in costume. I saw old men and women, and very young children. I saw a dad get re-energized at the site of his 5 year old son on the sidelines. I watched him take a brief break to kiss his entire family, before taking off with more pep in his step, somewhere around the 12 mile mark (I'm guessing). His son looked on with his big blue eyes opened wide, and a huge grin on his face. His dad was a part of something big. His dad was running a marathon. There were funny shirts, costumes, and shirts that marked tribute to those that had their lives stolen from Cancer, MS, and other selfish diseases.

I had too many favorite parts to list them all. But I loved the 3 people running the race holding hands, the group of women dressed up as the Wonder Women that they are, the mother/son team, and the sign one spectator made that said, "I knew you could do it". Because where we were standing at the half marathon/marathon split, I'm sure all 19,000+ found that reminder helpful.

Each runner is given the option to have their name listed above their race number. Whoever first thought of that idea is genius. As a spectator, I felt valued as I yelled, "you're doing it, Anna" or "Keep up that pace, Dan". People I didn't even know, that I was given the opportunity to personally encourage. It's nothing short of awesome. Especially when you get eye contact, a tired smile, and a "thank you". I think I love it so much because both sides, the runner and the cheerleaders echo Biblical truth.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off anything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb 12:1

It's not uncommon to find sports as a symbolism in describing the faith of life. Especially with running. There's a start, a finish, rules, obstacles, drop outs, and victory celebrations! In both situations, the great cloud of witnesses reminds us that the race in winnable! That many have already won, and there are many more victories to come! I love the visual. The work, the effort, the cheers! It's inspiring and encouraging, and invigorating all at the same time! Most of the runners don't stop. They may change pace, but few don't finish, and none change directions. So on days when I'm feeling negligent on faith, and downright lazy, I think back on these races. It may not be easy, or enjoyable, but it's always rewarding to cross the finish.

Friday, September 24, 2010

here, kitty kitty.

Growing up, my sisters and I had a cat named Whiskers.

A very fitting name for a cat, seeing as his original name, Elephant, was up for debate on appropriateness. 3 year old Sara knew her animals and colors well, and seeing as the cat was grey, and well... an animal, her witty little self tried "Elephant" on for size. And when days passed by, and it didn't quite fit, the change to Whiskers it was. (an obviously practical change, that to this day, kinda blows my mind that I haven't met another)

There are lots of stories about that cat. "That cat" kinda speaks a lot of the general opinion on him. He wasn't a cuddler, but rather, a hunter. He didn't tolerate 3 little girls putting bonnets on him, but would rather kill (bunny) rabbits, and display his prey to our dad on the front porch. My mom, and 2 sisters were allergic to him, and when those itchy noses would act up, to the basement he would go. My sisters and I were horrified when we discovered that Whiskers turned our outdoor sandbox into a "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" sized litter box; and when he would wander away for days at a time, nobody seemed to bat a lash. It's not that we didn't care for him, we did. We just never got super attached. Because let's be honest... who likes cats?!

I can't help it. I'm a dog person. I want to like cats, but I just don't. And judging by the history, neither did my family.

or so i thought.

until I met this kitten.

Readers, this tiny creature of cuteness is the kitten that my sister found outside a bar in Chicago named, "The Money Shot". And since Sara has kept that same wit sharp all these years, Penny was deemed an appropriate name for the kitten, and so it was. Penny went back to Glenlake street with Sara that fateful night, and has been home ever since.

Audry and I went to visit Sara a few weeks ago, and subsequently, the kitty-kitty too. I have to admit, preconceived opinions are hard to break. Sure, she was cute, I mean, she IS a tiny animal, but a cat nonetheless. But I admit, even with multiple swings of her tiny cat paws, and heart startling pounces, she managed to start a slight change of heart in me, one snuggle and kitten stretch at a time.

Sara still has her allergies, yet no basement... and even though she's talked of giving the kitten away to her friend in the apartment above her, I think she'll just keep that idea as a permanent back up plan. A plan that she can find rest in on days when her throat is itchy and nose drippy... then pop some Claritin.

Penny is just the cutest. At least for now, while she's small.

[I think I'm kidding]

But for real, I'm glad they have each other... and that Sara has never been one to pass on collecting spare change from the sidewalk.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

when the sun goes down.

A conversation I had with a 75 year old woman yesterday.

Me: "okay, it looks like the doctor wants to see you back in about a month for a follow up. How does October 26th at 1:45 work for you?"

Lady: "oooooh boy, don't you have anything earlier?! It starts to get dark early in October, and I don't like to drive in the dark!"

Me: [dumbfounded...thinking] wait. are you kidding?! I said 1:45, as in AFTERNOON, as in, you know we always run on time, as in, where is the hidden camera?

I literally just stared at her.

Me: "well, we don't have anything open earlier right now, but how about we keep the 1:45, and I'll put a note for someone to give you a call if something opens up."

Lady: (hesitantly) "okay."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumnal Equinox!

Well, it's here. The first day of Fall has arrived! The great thing about weather in Michigan is that it keeps you on your toes. Weeks ago, while up north for Labor Day weekend, it was as cold as mid-November, yet trees were full of green! Then yesterday rolls around, the eve of the great Autumnal Equinox, and Summer stubbornly dug her heels into the dirt, and refused to leave without a fight. 85 and sunny. That's Michigan for you.

Now that I'm years out of school, I'm never too sad to see Summer leave. Fall is my favorite, and though I'll acknowledge that Summer is far too short, Fall is shorter. Before I know it, the days of scarves, college football and pumpkins will be replaced with Winter coats, shovels, and starting my car 5 minutes early.

Yesterday, I celebrated the coming of this day of hemispherical symmetry (today the sun finds itself directly over the equator, making for 12 hours of sunlight!) with a farewell to Summer, and step into Fall. Before the new shows started (welcome back Glee!), Audry, Walter and I took a nice long walk around the neighborhood. I enjoyed the warm breeze, and noted all the signs of Summer that will soon be gone. Boy 1 pulling boy 2 around on a bike, the neighbor watering his lawn, and the multiple porch sitters. When I got home, I made a batch of green bean soup. I had the ingredients from the inaugural attempt last week, and it turned out just as great! The house continued in that limbo between Summer and Fall for the rest of the night: It smelled great, good T.V. was on, but it was still too hot. The air was on all night, as Summer literally went out with a BANG. A storm so loud it even woke me, the deepest of sleepers. And with that, 85 and sunny turned into mid 60's and rainy.

So it seems as stubborn as Summer is about leaving, Fall is ready to make it's appearance. But knowing Michigan, this battle could go on for weeks :)

Fall blessings!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blog Monday: that's so you.

Name 3-4 objects/things that when seen by others, make them think immediately of you.

ponytail.holder: A few months ago, I put a new picture on the desktop of my parents computer. I thought they would like having a picture of the family to look at on a daily basis, rather than blue. So, being the resourceful daughter I am, I dug up a picture from Easter 2010. As expected, my mom loved it. Come to find out, she stared at the photo so much, she mastered details that would normally get past any casual glance. When I was over for a visit, she said, "look at that picture and tell me what all you girls have in common". Lacking enthusiasm, I boringly guessed, "brown hair?" to which, with a frown, my mom said, "no", then added with a proud bit of pep, "If you look closely, it's like a where's waldo. You all have a brown ponytail holder on your wrist." And you know, she was right. It might not be something anyone would look at, and think of me, but my mom knows that it's something her girls have in common. and she likes it.

Dirty Martini: I've never seen the show "Mad Men", but my friend Dana watches regularly, and told me that part of its appeal is that it's the only thing that's ever tempted her to smoke cigarettes. Dana is one of the last people I can think of to pick up the cancerous habit, but I get it. Shows like that shed some "'" light on both smoking and drinking. especially martinis. There has always been something about Martinis that are glamorous. I mean, Rita Hayworth would drink a dirty martini over a PBR any day. am I wrong? They're classy, sassy, sophisticated, and swanky. and let's be honest, who wouldn't want to be any of those things? well that, and I like salt. When most of my friends order Mai Tai's and Pom-Tini's, the Dirty Martini just keeps drawing me back. So I'll keep ordering them, and letting my friends try them, then laugh at the faces of disgust they make upon first (and only) sip. Maybe one day they'll like it. But for most of them, probably not. and I'm okay with that. but I'll still have my signature cocktail... and with gin please, no vodka. [ I realize this part of the post indicates that I've failed at not giving into and believing the "cool" image that drinking alcohol gives people. sorry mom, dad, and PSAs]

Faith.Rings: At some point during my multiple trips to YL camps in college, I bought, and put on 2 rings that I have seldom taken off since. They are at home on my right hand, and have a familiarity I love, and are the reminder I often need. When outfits are changing, they stay the same. The one on my pointer finger is an Ichthus symbol, and the one on my ring finger simply says, "faith". I love them, because beyond anything else I talk myself into buying and wearing, these rings remind me of where I started from, and always go back to. They remind me that though I tend to define myself from the things I own, or the experiences I've had, that ultimately all I need to be is someone who has been forgiven. Plus, they have their fun bonus too... they do the best job of keeping track of my summer sun. Because what's better than a ring tan line to prove your logged hours outside?

Rocket.Dog.Shoes: My friend Katie told me the other weekend that Rocket Dog shoes make her think of me. There's a reason for that, and I'll let the picture do the talking for itself.

Now, am I slightly embarrassed that I have enough versions of the same shoe to create a beautiful shoe flower? absolutely. I may have went a little overboard on finding something I like, and embracing it. But they work. They're cute, and functional. The flats are perfect for work, and the heels are not only adorable, but surprisingly comfortable. So when everyone else was shoeless on the dance floor at the wedding I attended over the weekend, I was doing the Cha Cha Slide in that cute brown pair. ;) and yes, I am on my second pair of black ones. Because I really do like them that much. and they're sooooooo me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

granny dinner.

Wednesdays have always held a lot of weight in my family.

They are the day dedicated to family. Ever since my granny moved to Farmington in the 90's, it's been expected for every family member who is in town, to be there that evening for a meal. We gather, we eat, we talk, we watch "wheel" followed by Jeopardy, and grow as a family.

Those of you who know my family well, know that the last few years have proven to be increasingly difficult when it comes to dealing with Granny. Years ago, when she crossed the line into being a senior citizen (girlfriend's 91 now! she's been there a long time!), though she spent a lot of time caring for my Grandpa, she really seemed to enjoy her golden years. We've gotten to the point though, that it's unsafe for her to live by herself. Her mind has really started to decline, and the family decided that moving her into an assisted living facility was really the best option.

Although I agree my family made the right decision, this post is a bit of a lament. Because it seems that in the midst of all the chaos of sorting out details, and planning the move, my family seemed to glide over the fact that yesterday was the last "granny dinner" as we know it. I'm sad because I love my family, I love tradition, and I'm not quite sure what's going to happen next Wednesday night. But I do know it won't be at Granny's house on Longwood, the place we've gathered at for years. And I can tell you that it's doubtful we'll all join granny at her new home, and spend the $13/meal it costs to eat with her. Who knows, maybe (hopefully) I'm being dramatic about the situation, and the tradition will continue, just looking a little different. But just let me pout for a bit, readers. Let me be a little sad that an era started years ago has come to an end as I know it.

Even as I write this, I know it's not from my family appointed seat of optimist. It's just that Granny's house is so broken in, and comfortable. The change happened quick, and I think I'm mad at myself for not seeing it get here so fast.

So. I end it here. A little sad, but relieved that Granny is getting around the clock care. And I'll keep reminding myself of that, and remain thankful to have a family that takes care of each other. Which I know also means, there's a good chance someone will be looking to have dinner with me come 6:30 Wednesday night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

c'mon, here, i love you.

you guys.

I saw this video last night posted on a friends Facebook, and had to share it.

It's the most adorably funny little clip i've seen in... possibly forever.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.

enjoy watching, and re-watching. Because it is that good.

Monday, August 23, 2010

she used to babysit you.

They say a good friend is hard to find.

for me though, that hasn't really been the case.

For starters, it's a bonus when God starts off your life with a best friend in a wombmate. But it just gets better when I think about all the careful crafting that went on to land me the friends I have.

I returned home Sunday from our second annual This year, it was held in Grand Rapids at the Veenstra household. With the collection of high activity, time in the sun, and nights out late, logically, it should have added up to an exhausting Monday morning. But that's not the case either. This morning, I started off work energized. I probably slept more total hours on Sunday night then the previous two nights combined, but even beyond that, it just felt good to be me today. Over the weekend, I'd wake up after our short sleeps, and want to get up right away. Like Christmas morning. I just couldn't wait to spend more time with my friends. I spent the weekend with women who have known and loved me for years. With women who it's still kinda hard to even call, "women", because most of the time, we laugh so much together that it still feels like we're school girls.

Times change, people move, some marry, houses come, jobs change, and in the midst of it all, we love being with each other all the same. We have a warehouse full of memories we've created, and when we're together, we run up and down its aisles and pull out the good ones, dust off the old ones, re-share the best ones, and store up some new ones. It's the best. For those who are married, the husbands come too. And it works out so well, because these are the men who married these women because they realized the gems that they are, and they get us. they do. and I love them for loving my friends. I love that Bryan constantly handed out DC's because he knew Katie and the bangles love them. I love Ryans generosity, buying our hostess dinner out, and drinks all around. and I loved Jeff on the beach, making us literally laugh out loud by telling us about buying Sarah computers and bags of turkey for their anniversary, because those are the things that she really loves.

Each girl... or woman, whatever, is so unique yet so comfortably predictable. It was no surprise that Sarah wanted to play volleyball, that Aud would make sitting on the beach look glamorous, that Emily would dance with an elbow winding groom, that Katie would make sure we always got coffee [], or that I'd fall for a piano player because he could rap.

We talked about life, ate good meals, planned for disney, passed drinks full circle, danced amongst strangers, missed deepa, sang while we walked like Egyptians, didn't bring her into it, slept little, laughed lots, shared secret recipes, watched a chicken dance, made a pact to buy watches if it rained, and when it didn't, we ate blueberries on the beach instead. we spent more time laughing about "wits 'n wagers" than actually playing it, sat on the porch, talked too much about Urine Vandersloth, took pictures, bbq'd, and did one thing after another because we just know what makes each other laugh.

We loved it. every minute. and we'll do it again next year, and the next, and the next. And we'll keep doing it forever, really. Because we know that for many people, a good friend is hard to find. And somehow, we managed to find good ones a long time ago, and with seemingly little effort. And at the end of the day (or any palooza weekend), we know that something this good needs to be held onto tight. so we will. because when we say 4L, we mean it.

B4L love.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Most beautiful summer days when I'm stuck at work, I can't wait to get outside. I'll run a paper next door, I'll get the door for patients, shoot, I'll even take out the trash. My favorite thing to do though, is to take lunch outside. If I bring it, I'll park my car under a shady Oak, and with the windows down, either read a book, or listen to the current happenings on NPR while watching squirrels play tag.

On the common occurrence that I'm planing to buy lunch, options are not that vast. Seeing as eating establishments are pretty slim pickins' around here, repetition happens frequently.

Today though, I had a first.


Whenever I walk into Jimmy Johns, by habit, I look at the menu. Honestly, it's because I can never remember that the ham sandwich is called "pepe" or that it's "#1". But today, the girl who is always (wo)maning the register said to me, "a number one?". My first thought was, "wait. am I really that predictable?" To which those exact words muttered their way out of my mouth (slightly under my breath, mind you). My attitude was off. I mean, here I am, someone who takes pride on being flexible with food. For real. I like, liking, just about everything. And I've been called out on being a sandwich eating, creature of habit, ordering ham and cheese for lunch. again. So, feeling strangely defeated, I responded "yes", and watched her smirk in satisfaction with the fine tuning of her prophetic skills.

After thinking it over for a bit, I realized that I should not have been offended by being known. I read it as being predictable (as if that was a bad thing in itself) vs. being noticed. The bottom line is it's good to be known. Even if it's boring, and for the type of sandwich you order.

I've decided to like it. Next time, I'm just going to have my money ready, and get the same combo I love so much (with diet coke and jalapeno chips!).

That's not to say, however, that I won't try to beat her at her own game, and give her my punch card before she even asks for it. ;)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wheelhouse Detroit

On Tuesday, I went with a group of friends on a true adventure.

We went downtown, and checked out what Wheelhouse Detroit is up to in the city. Wheelhouse is a small business started by 2 friends who love Detroit, and their bikes. Together, they've developed a great number of tours, all within Detroit city limits, that are headed up by knowledgeable locals. I can't encourage you enough to have this experience for yourself. I learned a lot, saw many cool things, and had a blast. The 6 of us took the Urban Agriculture tour, and rode bikes up and down the riverfront, side streets, and obviously, urban gardens. The ride was 2 hours, with frequent stops and +/-15 miles of covered ground.

The group learning about what EarthWorks is doing in Detroit neighborhoods.

The Earthwork gardens provide food to neighborhood residents, as well as local restaurants, like Motor City Brew Works and Foran's!

Area churches are doing their part, and creating new gardens around the city.

This is our group learning about a new farming project that's in development near Eastern Market.

Krista during our break at Supino Pizzeria near Eastern Market.

Our whole gang, back at the Wheelhouse post tour!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blog Monday: I'm going out to play.

This weeks Blog Monday got inspiration from the fact that Tuesday, I rode bikes with friends in Detroit. Growing up, I swear I spent at least half my waking (summer) hours outside, and half of those on a bike. We had hills, and trails, and neighborhood boys to run away from. So this week, we take a step back, and share:

"As a kid, what are 4 things you used to love to do/play"

DoYouWantFriesWithThat: It should come to no real surprise to America, that one of my favorite games to play as a kid was "drive thru window". It's not like I grew up thinking McDonalds was one of food groups, but I was just like every other kid, and I loved the stuff. I probably got it once a week, and supplemented for any additional desires by creating my own eatery. My parents have a kitchen window that overlooks the front porch. Basically, one person stayed inside, and everyone else went out. Anyone outside would then wait in (the drive thru) line, place their order, and wait for the food to be passed out the window. Shockingly, I never worked in a food establishment in all my years. Perhaps I worked way too many hours in the industry as a child... and didn't even collect minimum wage.

ManPoweredVehicle: All it took was one TV show about rickshaws to spur my sisters and I onto another long lived adventure. If rickshaws were originally designed for the social elite, and dad had a big wheelbarrow out back, obviously we were going to get in on that. It's funny how being pushed or pulled in something make you feel a part of the elite! Pull me in a wagon! push me in a chair! common demands of children in the upper class, presumably! Well yes, my dad had a huge wheelbarrow. It was enough to fit 3 kids comfortably across on the inside, which was enough weight to put the puller in danger of exhaustion with such weight (just like a real rickshaw!). We didn't usually pack it full, instead we took turns 2 riding, 2 pulling (b/c surprisingly, dad didn't want to be a part of this type of event)... and yes, up and down 9 mile. It barely fit on the sidewalk, but it was close enough, and always a ton of fun!

PuddleJumper: My parents didn't have a paved driveway until I was in high school. Before then, we called it "rock", although honestly, it was mostly dirt. And with dirt, you get holes, and with holes, you get puddles. Sometimes after (or during) a good rain, we would go outside and splash! We'd jump, and squeal, and love every drop of it.

DakotaYachtsAndBarnaby: A fact about the Moiseeff family: my parents didn't get cable until I was in college. With that, a lot of my childhood was spent with public tv and vhs tapes. 3 movies in particular (for reasons I can't quite figure out) made a constant rotation. The Family Band, Overboard, and Babes & Toyland. Those 3 combined, probably made up 50% of my movie watching for a good chunk of years. I still don't really get it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The salty man in pepper pants.

2 facts for today.

1. I had a great birthday this year.

2. Moiseeffs, although great, have slight issues in timing (and denial?).

I remember being young, and hearing my uncle respond to an invite from my mom with, "is that in real time, or Moiseeff time?" To which upon further questioning, I discovered that Moiseeff time = 10 minutes late. This isn't something I'm proud of, it's just fact... and seemingly genetic.

So it wasn't too much to my surprise when a birthday gift showed up from my sister, 49 days late.

As if one can even start to get upset about getting gifts, no matter when, where, or how! And this gift may have been well worth the wait. It(he) is unlike any other gift I've received. Complete with the tagline, "the most fun you can have with your pants on!", I introduce to you, the best salt and pepper shaker I've ever been given.

And because I know you'd want to see him with his pants off, but may have been afraid to ask.

Blog Monday: anticipation!

As a general way of life, I always try to have things on my calendar to look forward to. It can make all the difference on a dragging Thursday to know that fun waits on the other side of 5 o'clock, with Happy Hour at Ronin. ($2 edamame and $4 spicy salmon crunch rolls!)

This weeks blog monday involves anticipation, and more specifically: what are 4 things/events you're anticipating on your calendar? These could be things you are excited about, nervous for, dreading, or simply waiting for.
drum roll please.............

WhatToDoWithGranny: I'll get the stressful/anxious anticipation out of the way first. Granny came home on Tuesday afternoon after spending almost 3 days in the hospital. She had a fall late Saturday night which landed her there (not literally). Anyway, physically she's healing up, but mentally, she's in need for support. Assisted living homes are pricey. very pricey. And honestly, nobody really wants to take on the daunting task of having her move in with them. For the time being, we're taking turns as a family spending time with her. It's comforting to know she now has someone with her 24/7, but it's already proved to be a big test on my family.

IHopeItsMostlyDownhill: On Tuesday the 20th, I'm going with 5 friends to tour Detroit. I've been excited about this plan for months. I want few things more than to see Detroit thrive as a city again in my lifetime. The coolest thing about this tour though, is that we're going to do it on bikes! There is a business downtown called Wheelhouse Detroit ( that does different themed tours all over the city. The one we are signed up for is called, "Urban Agriculture Bike Tour", and will take us through local Detroit foodways. We will visit local farms and gardens, and end where this food reaches the consumers forks!

Art&Drafts: This weekend is the Farmington Founders Festival, and next week welcomes the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Between the 2 of those, I plan to get my fill of strolling past tents, and purchasing food and drinks with tickets. The FFF brings back fond memories of growing up. From participating in the Parade every year in high school, to even dealing with one of my first disappointments. Merely rolling past the festival in the R.V., glad to be going on vacation, but sad to be missing the water balloon yoyo's and honey sticks. This year, I'm going to try to get my hands on an Art Fair poster. They're so cute! Totally, "vintage meets happens to match the color scheme in my room."
It might be fate. :)

PaloozaParty: I promise not to wish July away. However, with that being said, I'm possibly too excited about this palooza. Last years first annual got us started out on the right foot. And from the preliminary plans of it, this one will not disappoint. The only problem, is that it's shaping up to be too short (Bangles, remember it was 3 days last year!?). No matter if we end up on the beach, at loft, or on the driving range, I know we're in for a blast. Friends, food, and fun is how life should be celebrated. I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blog Monday: playlist.

What are the top 4 songs you play on repeat now, and why?

It's summertime, and with sunshine and warm weather, music just sounds better. I'm going to tie into my blog title with this one, and list my top 4 by the best part.

YouDon'tGetAnotherChance.LifeIsNoNitendoGame: Love The Way You Lie, Eminem feat. Rihanna. In the past few weeks, I've become increasingly more excited about the fact that on Sept. 2, I will be joining 11 of my friends to the most epic Detroit concert of the year. Shawn Carter and Marshall Mathers. I've had The Blueprint 3 for months, and have agreed with Mariah since the heartbreaker days... simply loving just about everything Jay say, Jay does. Eminem, is vulgar. He loves Hailey (and Laney). He hates his mom (we get it). And as much as many of his lyrics make my skin crawl, I can't help it that I've always been someone who pushes for the hometown guy. Add that to a good backbeat with creative lyrics, and you've got yourself a fan. And I have to say, that ultimately, he proved himself to me as a performer, securing my favorite MTV-VMA performance of possibly all time when he brought out all those slim shadys!

WhatUpOprah: Billionaire, Travie McCoy. This song has recently been on replay for that simple part in the song. It's funny, right?! you don't have to answer. I know it is. First off, it's funny how much he talks about Oprah in the song, but secondly, it's pretty hilarious when that background guy gives her a shoutout towards the end. What up, Oprah!

FineFreshFierceWeGotItOnLock: California Gurls, Katy Perry. All I can say is that this is my summer jam. It's everything poppy I want to be listening to on the beach, or in the car. It makes me want to wear my cut-off jean shorts with a bathing suit underneath... and further confirms that I should probably look into owning a jeep. I love Snoops intro into the song, and Katy Perrys bubbly reply to his questions {uh huh!}. I'm loving it while I can, b/c inevitably, it will be thrown into the "once great, but now overplayed" pile. Until then, play on!

INeedNoPermission.DidIMention.Don'tPayHimAnyAttention: Single Ladies, Beyonce Knowles. This is slightly dated, but still a goody. A goody, as long as the setting is not at a bouquet toss at a wedding. I've never been a fan of those. The story as to why this song recently has resurfaced includes a cross dresser, karaoke night, and 8 slightly out of place patrons. The story is better in person, but I'll tell you that sadly (and by sadly, I mean thankfully), the ladies never got the opportunity to perform in public.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wits and Wagers.


that's what time I checked the clock on my phone Saturday (technically Sunday, I suppose) night. It wasn't to see how much longer I had to wait to go home, but instead, a wishful glance in hope for time to stand still. I was out on the town in Cincinnati with some of my oldest, and dearest friends, and I literally didn't want the night to end. Almost always, I enjoy being out with friends, but it's been a while since I felt that specific way.

So today, I'm thankful for old friends who are willing to put the effort into maintaining relationships. Friendships that move along with life's changes, and successfully cross state lines. Knowing people well adds a whole new dimension to friendship. And the older I get, the more and more I appreciate it.

In front of Sarah and Jeff's house! Ready for dinner @ the Montgomery Inn.

Hanging out at our first stop of the night, Monks Cove, in Mt. Adams!

Monday, June 28, 2010

blog monday: crushed ice and green trees

what are 4 things you like about living where you do?

CrushedIce: my all time favorite ice is the kind that seems as if it was molded in a straw. The tube-like ones. I just love it. Growing up, we never had an ice maker, and instead, made our own tray ice, and more often than not, ended up buying the big bags of ice. It's just not the same when you have to pull an 8 pound bag of ice out of the freezer, and pound it on the kitchen floor, before using your hand to retrieve a sufficient amount. Having an ice maker now, is probably my favorite thing about living where I do. I love pushing the crushed ice option. especially to couple with DC.

Disclaimer: fridge actually produces water.

{i love it anyway}.

WashingWhites: I think i'm one of the few people who actually enjoys doing laundry. you might have already known this about me, but I love the process of dirty to clean, and hate the process of putting away. One thing I really like/appreciate about where I live is that along with city water, I no longer have to do my whites at grannys due to fear that the rust in the well water would prematurely ruin my whitest whites!

GreenTrees: Probably my favorite thing about my street are the trees that create a bright green canopy leading me home. It's a similar feeling to when I was a kid and would get excited to drive through the tunnels on I-96. My dad would prep us girls from the front seat, and as we would pass through, we would all oooh and ahh over the yellow box lights. It's fun to revisit those feelings of, "this is so neat to drive through"

SquirrelGrey: This is the color that I've painted my room. It's not quite what I had in mind when I picked it out (mainly b/c it's not that far off from the previous color), but I love it! Walking into my room is calming. And despite being grey, when paired with my white duvet cover and bright red pillows, is rather cheerful! I've still got some work to do on the place, but the walls are set, and already the perfect backdrop for a #5 favorite thing (that will sneak its way into this post), the wonderful artwork my friend Erin Sweeney created just for me (and my color scheme!)


Thursday, June 24, 2010


Costco does everything big.

Even Bagels.

Earlier this week, Audry bought a huge bag of 'em, and after failing to pawn some off to our parents, returned home with roughly 20.huge.bagels.

Today was the first day I had one for breakfast. It was asiago cheese, delicious, and filling. So much in fact, that I ended up throwing the last quarter of it in the trash. This in turn created a predicament that I don't often face... When 12 'o clock rolled around, my stomach wasn't hungry. So, I stayed at my desk, and as each subsequent half hour mark passed, I became more and more (irrationally) concerned with the fact that lunch hours were fleeting, and I was now creeping into that weird in between time separating lunch and dinner.

Finally, I came up with the only logical answer for my situation. I opted to have frozen custard. Raspberries in vanilla with chocolate chips, to be exact. So, up to now, I'm 2 for 2 on good meals for the day. I can't wait to see what dinner will bring, I have a feeling I'll be hungry early this go around :)

looks like there was just enough room for it to all fit after all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

blog monday: what's that you smell?!

Cesar Millan, the infamous dog whisperer, says that the reason dogs like to stick their heads out car windows, is due to their keen sense of smell. He says they love to smell everything that's going by them, and my pup is no exception.

That's Dasha on her way home from the groomer yesterday, enjoying anything and everything that passed her little, wet nose. Which brings me to the topic of this weeks blog monday:

What are 4 of your favorite smells?

ThanksgivingMorning: I don't even love stuffing, and I hate seeing that gizzard thing floating in the gravy the morning of. But the overall smell of Thanksgiving morning is the gateway to all things I love about that day. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always the one day a year I would wake up (early, even) to the most delicious combination of smells. I'd make my way downstairs to find my mom and dad working together to create all the staples of the meal. The turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, bread, and yes, gizzard gravy.

CampFire: This is my F.A.V.O.R.I.T.E. Anytime I smell it, it's more likely than not, to hear an, "mmm" or a, "campfire! my favorite!" from, yours truly. Interestingly enough, although "fresh" (for lack of a better word) campfire is my all time favorite, "day after" campfire is one of my absolute LEAST favorite smells. It's such a disgrace to the real thing. Am I wrong?!

MomWasHere: This one is a flashback. way way (way) back when, when I was a little girl, my granny used to get me and my sisters up for school. Granny never lived with us, but with 2 working parents out the door before 8am every morning, she stepped in to fill the gap. As sleepy as I was, it was always comforting to walk into the downstairs bathroom. I knew my moms routine, and the last thing she would do before she left the house was spray on her perfume in that very place. Sometimes I would stand there, in hopes that some of that leftover mom scent would find its way onto me. The thought of that memory still warms my heart, and give me much appreciation for a working, loving, and good smelling mom.

AudrysBakery: fine. so she doesn't have one yet. But, if her bakery smells anything like our kitchen did tonight (baking both classic and gluten free chocolate chip cookies), yesterday (making chocolate croissants), or how it will tomorrow (making cherry cream scones), there is no way it will not be one of my favorite smells!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blog Monday: Accomplishments.

What are 4 things you'd like to accomplish by Friday? Sometimes I'm too tired to read before bed. I'll think I want to, then I find myself reading the same paragraph a couple times over before I tell myself, "this isn't fun". Forced reading is never fun. However, most of the time, I enjoy reading a little before I fall asleep. I only have a few chapters left in my latest read, Love Walked In, and in hopes of taking a new book to Grand Haven with me this weekend, I'm going to invest some time in finishing that up! It's also a little incentive when today, a new patient came in with a Sparks book i've never read, and recommended another... assuring me that the main male character in one is the epitome of a true romantic... swoon. Even though Dasha spends these days with my parents, I still consider her my pup. In recent weeks, it's been brought to my attention {multiple times} that she's in dire need of having her nails trimmed. When they get too long, she bites them. and an 80 pound dog biting her nails, isn't quite the same as one of those pixie dogs. I should add that part of my hesitation in taking her in lies in my most horrific "dog mom" moment to date. A while back, I thought I'd save time and money by clipping her nails myself. Good idea turned to bad idea in one snip. Dasha yelped, I winced, blood everywhere. I started crying because I hurt my dog baby, and then I felt like a losebag for crying over a dog(s toenail?!). Well, after bandaging up her foot {in an over protective motherly fashion}, I vowed never to walk that path again. To this day, it's still hard for me to know that I'm subjecting her to the same possible torture every time i drop her off at the groomer. All I can say is, God help my future children... and I'll call Petsmart tomorrow.

get.over.the.shock: I think you guys might know this already. I sold my older nikon, and updated to a newer one. I'm so overwhelmed with my new toy, that I've found myself a little scared to use it. It's like I have a 1959 Corvette Stingray in the garage, and I won't drive it! Okay, so maybe that analogy isn't quite comparable, but kinda. It's beautiful, and does so many things I'm excited about; but the multiple lenses, and added features are overwhelming me! This week, I need to just take a deep breath, and start with step one: read the manual {and stop using the box as a nightstand}. In the meantime, let me know what photo shoots I can sign you guys up for. say cheese :D

visit.granny: A few months ago, my family set up a schedule where someone would be stopping by to spend time with granny daily. In all honesty, I haven't made my Thursday granddaughterly duties a priority. This week I will. Can someone make sure that I do?

Monday Blessings!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The proof is in the pudding... or cinnamon.

Last night, we celebrated birthday week at granny dinner. My family has 3 members with birthdays within 4 days of each other, and it's not me and Aud!

As part of the celebration, Audry made 2 cakes. One for Cory, and one for Teri. She is mindful on the subject of: 2 birthdays= 2 cakes.

Audry has established herself as family baker, and as if she needed any more incentive to open her own bakery, this statement may have sealed the deal.

Lucas (my cousins 7 year old son upon tasting the cinnamon bunt cake): "this is my favorite cake! It's better than chocolate!"

yes. you read that right. better.than.chocolate.

and from a 7 year old.

place your orders now, folks.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blog Monday :)

For todays blog monday, we (Krista, Katie, and I) are taking a few minutes to remember what made us smile today.

Superfan: Today at work, I explained to Melissa how Tom was in fact one of the superfans that went to see New Moon at midnight on opening night. The part that really had me smiling/laughing was the part I may or may not have made up... where Tom dressed up as Jacob. If you could imagine that scenario, you'd be smiling too.

BadGuys: I've never hunted so many bad guys on a lunch break in my life. explanation: With Katie and Bryan still being in town from Mr. Stolmans 60th birthday bash (additional reason to smile), they invited me and my namesake Em (stevenson) over for lunch. After a chatter filled lunch, I had a duty to live up to, seeing as Katie had leaked information to her nephew on my bad guy catching skills. Of all the brilliant conversations that can go on between a 27 year old woman, and a 3.5 year old boy, the moment that gave me the biggest smile, wasn't due to conversation at all. After hunting behind Nana and Papas shrubs, ICS turns to me, says, "let's go hunt somewhere else", and then with the ease of his turn, puts his tiny hand out for me to hold on to. :) At that moment, I decided that there couldn't possibly be any more enjoyable form of hunting than this. As I was driving home from work, I was already in a good mood. Seeing as work was over for the day, a monday nonetheless, and I just heard Kid Rocks new "country" song on the radio, I was actually feeling really content to be in that moment. I switched lanes on Greenfield, to find myself behind a red honda civic, packed 4 deeps with friends that were also glad to be where they were on that monday afternoon. The windows were down, the music was up, and arms were out each window, grabbing after each beat as it left that car. They were embracing that moment, and loving on life. There is a big difference between listening to music, and feeling music. There is no doubt where these guys fell. As I passed them up the road, they were nothing but smiles. I couldn't help but be the same.

free.ride: There's a reason why the mice are still at the pet store. who wants a mouse? I mean, besides to feed it to another animal. Which, yes, is a little sad... but not really when you stop to think about the food chain, and the fact that it's a mouse. With that being said, I still squatted down by the little tank to watch this tiny white mouse on his tiny yellow wheel, get wayyyyy more exercise than me today. The best part is that he would run so fast. like seriously fast. and that wheel would crank, and those four little mouse feet would go! and all the sudden, he would STOP. and keeping his feet on his tiny yellow wheel, he would take a ride on that wheel until he almost flipped over! it was so funny, and I can't help but think that if mice could smile, he'd be doing so.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Truth.

"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you" - Jeremiah 32:17

whatever may be worrying or stressing you this morning, I pray that you find peace in this truth.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blog Monday: weekend snapshot.

Today's Topic: If you had a camera at your side 24/7 this weekend (Friday night through Monday night), constantly taking pictures of your every moment, what were your most favorite "snapshots"?

channel.the.inner.diva: Friday night, I had the opportunity to do something that actually made me want to get my picture taken. For the first time in years, I went to a make up counter at the mall, and asked them to do my eye makeup. I knew I'd be going out to celebrate a friends bday, and figured it was a good excuse to have this kind of fun. Kristen, Audry and I went to Nordstroms, split up to 3 different counters, and let the artists show their skills. It was great, and I felt maaaarvelous. I could get used to that. Ironically enough however, no pictures were taken of the finished product. Need I really say more? There is something about getting out of work unexpectedly early, on a Friday nonetheless, that creates feelings of bliss. These feelings, if bottled, would be stored and shelved right next to "last day of school". You're excited, and energized, and the world that confined you, has now set you free! It was brilliant. I vacuumed, cleaned and washed my car, shopped for bday cards, scrubbed the bathroom floor, walked the dog, took a shower, and 3 pronged my hair all before 5pm. ahhh, to steal time back from the man. a perfect start to an already long weekend! Saturday, I spent most of the afternoon on a dock at Pine Lake. It was wonderful, and exactly what I wanted to be doing with the entirety of my being at that very moment. I feel like moments like that are few and far between, and I was constantly thankful to be living it then. I took a ride on the boat, swam with the dog, caught up with friends, lounged on a raft, read my book, and ate cheeseburgers with side dishes of fresh mango and cheddar and sour cream potato chips. It couldn't have been better! Sunday was a morning that I really didn't feel like getting up for church. I felt selfish, and that I deserved to get extra rest. I mean... it was a holiday weekend. I wanted it to be okay to sleep til noon, b/c I made the decision to celebrate with friends, and not go to bed until 3am the night..errr. morning before. But I pulled myself out of bed, and went. I love the days when sitting in church {even if watching at a table from the lobby} that God props you up in the midst of the message. I struggled with understanding the entirety of it, but I was glad to be there to hear it, and let it work at me. Sometimes we all need reminders of what we are not expected or can't do, but God can. I'm probably one of the most least political people I know. I don't like talking politics, and I didn't even register to vote until I was well into college. I have a hard time believing that I matter in the scheme of the entire country. but for real. However, I love and am proud of my country. I love how I feel when I see an American flag, and the words "God Bless America" on display just about anywhere. I'm a sucker for patriotic packaging, and I buy red white and blue sprinkles to put on cupcakes, b/c I think my country deserves to be recognized. even in dessert. I, by chance, ended my Sunday/started my Monday by watching the moving "Brothers". If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. It shows a side of war that a lot of people don't talk about. It's one of the most intense movies I've seen in a long time, but I went to bed thinking how thankful I was that I live in a country that is full of men and women braver than I'll ever be. Men and Women who endure hellish conditions, and no promises of return, in order to defend our country. These brave heros leave their homes, in order to keep us the land of the free. I think I would literally be scared to death if I had to stand on those lines. With that being said, I went into memorial day with tremendous thanks for those who have, are, and will serve to protect not only me, but my country. God bless, and Happy Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

you've got (birthday!) mail.

This year, I will be better at writing birthday cards.

Sunday, I had a birthday, and I came to the realization that these days, the cards really are the best part. I've always enjoyed my birthday. I think a big part of it used to be that, in being a twin, there was always extra to celebrate! My family always did a good job in not lumping Audry and I together as "the twins", and instead, focused on the fact that we were two babies born at once. Therefore, twice to celebrate! I used to get burst after burst of excitement as family members and friends would walk into our birthday parties with two gifts each! What could they be? would they be the same? different color? why is one gift small, and one circle?! it didn't even matter. there were 2. and being of the same gender, we both really scored big. we really both got twice as much. But see, even in those days, beyond the gifts, was the tradition of the cards. I'm not sure when it actually started, but as long as I've known how to read, I've been sharing my cards with an audience. In our family, each card is read aloud. The tradition has a slight resemblence to storytime in a kindergarten classroom. The birthday person shows off the card, and then proceeds to read it. The process is then repeated with every card brought to the party.

The older I get, the more I can appreciate a good card. This year was the best of them all. I got cards at home and at work, some hand delivered and some via snail mail, some outright hilarious, and some that truely touched my heart. They are the best. Each one from a person that loves me enough to write me out a card. A card that gave me a little boost, and made me feel appreciated, loved, and best of all, known. I even solidified my consistency as a granddaughter, seeing as both my granny (moms mom) and grandpa (dads dad), got me identical cards. So, I vow to be better at it. I want to be more like the people that love me. It may not come naturally to me, but those I love deserve to hear it. Especially on the anniversary of their birth!

Here is one of my favorite funny ones. It's from Deepa.

I'm holding her to it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

what have you been watching?!

Welcome to "Blog Mondays". What can I say, i've hit a few bumps here while trying to master consistency... but I'm back!
for now.
(i think).

Anyway, with the encouragement of fellow friends, and bloggers, Katie and Krista, I've been re-inspired! And to get the entries rolling on our old/new blogs, we're starting "blog mondays". Basically, they're going to be a short, themed question each week, for us to answer in as much or as little detail as we want. I hope you find them enjoyable!

Todays question: What were the last 3 movies you saw?

I'm not going to try to do some in depth reviews, b/c frankly I don't think I'd do that well. When it comes to movies, I'm pretty predictable. If it's a rom-com or a suspense movie, chances are it will be a worthwhile viewing in my book. But here we go! the last 3 movies I watched!

It's Complicated:
With a roommate that has a Netflix account, I'm slowly catching up with movies I've let slip by in recent years. A few weeks ago when the little red envelope showed up, I was hopefully optimistic about having this rom-com to watch. Surprisingly, however, my favorite thing about the movie, was the bakery that meryl streeps character owns in it. I'll fill you in on why at a later post, but until then, google it! it's amazingly inspiring!

The Back-up Plan:
No surprise here, another rom-com! Every other Wednesday, a group of my friends uses going to the movies as an excuse to spend time with each other. With this habit, we get a lot of new movies seen, but our beloved chick flicks end up taking priority. This one was surprisingly better than I thought it would be. Again, it's predictable, but I figure that I paid my $5 to be entertained, and i was.

It shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone that knows me, that I'd want to see this movie. For one, I'm often pulled into documentary type shows. I'm definitely a visual learner, and there's just something about getting to peek into the lives of other cultures that is truly fascinating to me! and two, it's babies! I love 'em. With no dialog in the entire movie, it still managed to be remarkably entertaining! Each baby had his/her own charm, and their little personalities just made my night. It did make me think how it's amazing how protective some parents are of their littles. If they could only see the way kids are Mongolia are still managing to make it to adulthood when their parents merely hold them on the back of motorcycles as infants; Or the animal mouths that some babies stick their hands in, it's pretty amazing. It's reassuring to see that at the end of the day, the thing all the babies had in common were nurturing parents, that were taking care of them the best they knew how. and with love.

It's good to be back.
for now.

X's, O's and blog mondays!