Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Well, hello!

I woke up at 4:30AM and as I was lying there trying to decide if I wanted to get up or go back to sleep I realized I haven't blogged in awhile. I was pretty wide-awake by then so I got up, knocked out some of my morning rituals, and here I am with some extra time to blog.

You know my love for the list, so I'm going with that...

1. I am weaning myself off of coffee. I've tapered down to a couple of sips and I think tomorrow is the day I will start my day without it. Honestly, it feels really great. I have more energy and my quality of sleep has been so much better lately!

2. I have an eye appointment today. I've needed to go for awhile. My eyesight has declined in the past year (it's pretty bad) and I need a new prescription. I am SO excited to pick out new frames and get new bifocal lenses (ha!) Honestly, I'm just thrilled to be able to see clearly again. 

3. I took Sarah last night to round up the last of her accessories for prom this weekend. It's fun having a girl--they're SO different than boys. This is her first year to go and she's excited. 

4. Will's prom was supposed to be last weekend but was postponed because of snow! Much to my disappointment, he wasn't planning to go. He decided yesterday after school that he now wants to go and I'm so crazy-happy that he changed his mind that I don't even mind all the last minute scrambling we need to do to get a tux, etc. 

5. Our countdown is on to graduation. I know I keep talking about this on the blog but it's a huge reality and time isn't slowing down. I was having coffee (tea for me!) last week with a friend and another friend with a graduating senior stopped by our table to chat for a few minutes. We were talking about our emotional state being rather unstable and she said: "Two words for you, Meredith: waterproof mascara." Brilliant. Why have I not thought of that before now. I went straight to Ulta after that coffee date and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to buy some. It's on my to-buy list next time I'm out.

6. I'm dreading today just a tiny bit. I've packed it a little too fully for my liking. I think I was just trying to get a bunch of appointments out of the way but all of my turns today are tight and I had a "look-at-the-calendar-and-want-to-cry" moment last night. I've been so good about keeping my days/weeks reasonable, but today I could use a cloned version of myself. The good news? It's only today! It's smooth sailing the rest of the week. 

7. Exercise keeps me sane and my PiYo DVD is calling my name right now! I'm trying to do a mix of strength (PiYo) and cardio (walking/hiking) each week and I've finally found a good rhythm. The snow goofed me up last week with my hiking plans but that's okay. Sometimes a string of days off is a nice gift.
8. Peace out, people! Make it a good day. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Current Read: I finished The Girl On The Train and just started this book about resetting your hormones which has me completely fascinated.

Current Playlist: I've found myself listening to more and more podcasts in place of music these days. I really like using my drive-time or my get-ready-each-morning-time to listen to something that makes me smarter (that's debatable) or that stretches my mind. Some of my newly discovered favorite podcasts are: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Model Health Show (nutrition), and Being Boss. Good stuff right there, y'all.

Current Color(s): I'm up to my eyeballs in orange and black. Those are Will's school colors and are directly related to graduation party prep.

Current Food: We are planning to grill this flank steak for dinner tonight. It's my favorite. I'm going to take red meat out of my diet for a few weeks so before that happens, I'm going to feast!

Current Favorite Favorite: This mask from Sephora is $6 and makes your face feel AMAZING. There's lots to choose from but it's so dry here that this one is my go-to. Plus you can completely freak your kids out when you're wearing it.
Current Addiction: I can't think of anything! Maybe Instagram?

Current Wish List: I sort-of-kind-of want a FitBit.

Current Need: Need. More. Sleep. I aim for eight hours per night but I'm averaging closer to seven. I feel like eight is my perfect and elusive number.

Current Randomness: The subject of hot dogs came up in a conversation I had this week (see? random) and I told my friend that I haven't eaten a hot dog in at least 10 years. It's true. I hate hot dogs. I haven't eaten a donut in probably 15 years either. Just don't care for them.

Current Triumph: I went for my annual mammogram last week and I DID NOT FAINT THIS TIME plus my results came back normal. Win-win!!!

Current Annoyance: Excuses.

Current Blessing: This isn't exactly current but I got to spend a day with my cousin over Spring Break. She was in Boulder so I drove up and we spent the day hiking in Chatauqua Park and walking around Pearl Street. Such a blessing to spend time with her! And Boulder is such a fun place.
Current Mood: I'm happy--I've had a great week and my weekend isn't feeling too full.

Current Excitement: Ooooh, I have a list!
1. The last season of Mad Men began last week which now makes my Sunday evenings a little less blue.
2. I made some summer hiking plans with a friend last week that chip away at our fitness goals.
3. I've taken some steps towards pursuing some education/training in an area that I'm very passionate about. It excites me and terrifies me at the same time but I feel like the timing is right so I'm rolling with it.

Current Project: Graduation stuff is taking up space on my project list these days. I have one big event I'm in charge of for Will's school and then some smaller things I'm coordinating with friends. It's mostly fun stuff though so there's not too much stress involved, thank goodness.

Current Plans For The Day: Catch up on my bible study homework. Make a veggie lasagna for something at church tomorrow. Sort through ninety-bajillion photos for a graduation project (really should have been doing this for the past nine months). Make a yummy dinner. Go to bed early. Those are the big things. In between all of that I really need to catch up on laundry!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

SMP 4.8.15

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Good morning, blog friends.
It's been awhile since I've checked in here. I've been enjoying life. I'll have to do a "ketchup" (aka catch-up) post soon because we've had a lot of life to enjoy lately.

I realized the other evening that Will's graduation is about seven weeks away. Gulp. This is getting real. I'm both happy and sad but mostly I'm just so proud of him and excited to celebrate this milestone in his life.

Graduation means that summer is getting close also. I am SO ready for summer! I've been hiking a lot lately and am excited to get out and do more this summer. I'm also excited about some family plans and probably looking forward to the laid-back pace of summer days more than anything. Summer is my favorite!

Here's a photo from my hike last Friday. That is April snow and it's beautiful. Sunshine and warm temps have been more prevalent than snow this spring and I'm grateful for that.
Happy Wednesday, friends. Hope your day is a beautiful one.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Six

1. You know what's even better than a normal Saturday? The first Saturday of Spring Break! We are staying close to home this week with a few outings planned but that's it. I'm excited about a laid-back week at home with my people. I'm so grateful for a break from homework and driving and activities for one whole week.

2. Yesterday was the first day of spring and the arrival of some gorgeous weather. My friend and I hiked the Incline and it was the perfect day for it. I was so happy to be outside. This was one photo from our descent down Barr Trail. The sky was so blue and the fresh snow on the mountains was such a perfect contrast.
 And this was the view of Pikes Peak while we were driving to Manitou Springs. I never ever tire of this view.
3. Earlier this week, John and I snuck away for a dinner date. I stopped by the restroom before leaving and was mesmerized by this Make A Wish board on the wall by the sink. I stood there and read some of the wishes people had written and placed on the board and my tears fell. There are such deep hurts and needs in this world.
4. Our friend, Kara, is very much on my heart and mind these days. A few days ago I was grumbling about a task I had to do this week that was mundane and irksome.  As my thoughts/prayers turned to Kara, my attitude shifted. Just thinking about her life and the way she loves her family despite the hardship of cancer made me realize what a privilege it is to be healthy and able to serve my own family even in those mundane ways. I think the gift that Kara gives to all of us is simply the reminder to stop and take in the beauty of this life we've been given and to be fully present with gratitude. Her life is a blessing to all of us. I feel so very honored to know her. 

5. We have two birthdays to celebrate this weekend--John and Abbey! I took some giggly girls out last evening for some birthday fun and loved every minute of it. We have more celebrating to do today and tomorrow and I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Abbey finds a way to extend the fun beyond the weekend. Smile.

6. It's going to be another gorgeous Colorado spring day today and you better believe I'm going to soak up some warmth and sunshine and celebrate my people. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SMP 3.11.15

SMP = Seven Minute Post (About the Beagle)

Every weekday morning after my husband and kids leave for the day, our beagle goes absolutely nuts. It's like "Hey, wait!!! Why are you all leaving me? What am I supposed to do now? {Panic} Oh, I know! I'll try to pull any remaining food off the countertop or the table or find something in the trashcan that I can eat. And oh, while I'm at it, I'll run all over the house. Running is my favorite."

Seriously, y'all. He goes NUTS. First he runs to the front window and whines while watching them drive away. Then he races to the kitchen and tries like mad to get things off the counter (and sometimes succeeds) and then he races from room to room and turns the trash bins over and strews trash all over the place.

Every. Single. Weekday. Morning.

I do not understand. After five to ten minutes of this, he finally calms down and is like a slug the rest of the day. It's the strangest thing. And it drives me crazy.

That dog.

I'm really not a dog person. But my family adores the dog and the dog adores his people. He even adores me though I pay him the least attention of anyone. He's a loyal creature and I could probably learn a thing or two from him.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

March Currents

Current Read: I bought All The Light We Cannot See this week and am a few chapters in and already hooked. I've not had much time to read this week but I'm hoping to make some headway on that book this weekend! I'm also reading through Bread and Wine, my favorite Lenten devotional. John brought the other book home from work this week, I Tried Until I Almost Died, and am reading a bit of that here and there too. Since my last post, I've read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I tried to read Ruby but had to put it down. I wanted to like it but it just felt too dark and oppressive for me.

Current Playlist: I wasn't kidding when I told you guys that I'm addicted to podcasts. That's mostly what I listen to, but I do find myself listening to this playlist a lot...

Current Color(s): I think red is my current favorite.

Current Food: I ran in Trader Joe's last week to pick up my staple items and ran into a friend while there. She turned me on to their brown rice/quinoa gluten free pasta. It's been my lunch every single day this week. Once drained, I stir in a spoonful of pesto and a spoonful of sun-dried tomatoes and top with some feta or parmesan and a sprinkle of pine nuts. SO good and so filling.

Current Favorite Favorite: I can't choose one! I'm smitten with Amazon Prime and my heated blanket from Costco. I'm equally smitten with my BEM portable speaker that John gave me for Christmas.

Current Addiction: Sugar. Two straight weeks of snow and cold made me want to hibernate and BAKE. Once I start eating sugar I really can't stop. It makes me feel terrible but it's so addictive. I have two sugar-free days under my belt and am hoping I'm back on track soon. Once you know how good you feel when it's not in your system, it's hard to not want to feel that good again.

Current Wish List: I really want a new bible. I have really nice NIV and NASB leather bibles but dug out my hardcover NLT (New Living Translation) last week and was RE-amazed at how easy it is to read and understand. The hardcover isn't my favorite plus it's starting to show it's age and wear so a leather-one is now on my wish list.

Current Need: It's a blessing to be able to say that I really don't need a thing. Except maybe a laundry fairy? Or a grocery-shopping fairy? I could use one of those.

Current Randomness: My friend and I came upon this yesterday on our hike. It's a carcass of some sort. I'm guessing a fox or a dog or a coyote, something with a tail because that's what the long part is at the top of the photo that her dog is sniffing. There was a lot of snow on our hike yesterday (drifts up to my knee) so something drug those bones there recently bc it was sitting on top of a lot of snow. We didn't see any tracks but we didn't linger long. I'm never afraid when I hike but that was a good reminder that humans share space with predators!
Current Triumph: I consider it a triumph that I haven't had a diet soda in eight months. Even better news is that I don't crave it anymore.

Current Annoyance: Oh y'all. My list is long but not sure sharing it is life-giving for me or you.

Current Blessing: I say this often but I am grateful for a strong marriage. It's not that we don't have ups and downs or hard times. We do. In fact, John and I have felt pretty disconnected from each other for the past couple of weeks. We made some time this week to talk it out and get things back on track. I am grateful for that. I'm grateful that at the end of every day he is still my closest friend and the one I want to spend the rest of my days with.

Current Mood: Content. Grateful. Happy.

Current Excitement: "Springing forward" this weekend. I'm excited about it staying light longer!

Current Project: I'm repeating my Great Closet Experiment that I did last spring. Basically, I'm trying to wear something different every single day and eventually wear every single item in my closet. From there, I'll either keep things or pass them on. I've finished one week and I've already gotten rid of a pair of jeans. It's a fun and different way to clean out a closet and to make sure that I'm being a good steward of my resources when it comes to buying clothes. To help me remember if I've worn something I started taking pics of my outfits. Here is week one, which doesn't include today because I am still in my pjs in my bed. I'm so proud of myself for getting dressed every single day this week in REAL clothes. Ha ha ha.
Current Link: I made this dairy-free version of Zuppa Toscana the other night and it was AMAZING! So delicious! I love it when I find healthier versions of my favorite recipes. This will go into regular rotation at my house.

Current Plans For The Day: Well, a couple of my kiddos have several places to be today so I foresee a lot of time in the car. I also need to do some grocery shopping and some laundry and I'm going to try like crazy to squeeze a nap and some reading time in there too. Happy Weekend, y'all!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday Five

1. I think this goes withouts saying but I am thrilled that today is Friday. Lately I've been trying to front-load my work week (borrowed that idea from a friend) so that I can enjoy a longer stretch of down time around the weekend. Down-time is a beautiful thing. Especially when you guard it fiercely and use it for things that fill your "cup" with life and joy and peace and happiness.

2. I went to see The Drop Box film a few nights ago. It was a limited engagement and I'm not entirely sure it's still playing in theaters but if you have a chance to see it, GO! It was a beautiful portrayal of the value of human life. You'll need tissues for sure.

3. I had a lengthy text conversation with my forty-something friends last week about the best anti-aging skin care products. We all have our opinions but I swear the secret to anti-aging--or at least to fewer wrinkles--is HUMIDITY. All of my friends and family in the south look so young and unwrinkled. I may live in the "land of perfect hair" (ha ha ha) but lack of humidity wreaks havoc on your skin, ladies!

4. I'm several weeks into this bible study with some ladies from my church. This is the third time I've started this particular study yet I've never finished the entire thing. I intend to finally complete it this time around. It's SO good and it lines up perfectly with some of the things I took away from the IF Gathering.

5. I just realized that every sentence in this list begins with "I". Ugh. Honestly, I get sick of hearing myself talk sometimes and it's a big reason I avoid social media and even blogging. It's just too much. Super tempted to go back and change this whole post right now! Have a great weekend, friends!