Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SMP 2.25.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

John bought me this mug a few years ago while on a business trip. I had seen a t-shirt like it while vacationing in Durango, CO and would have bought in in a heartbeat if they'd had my size. I like the mug better though and not just because it's "one size fits all". I think it's because I drink from it almost daily and it's a reminder for me that life is best when lived offline. That's 100% opinion, by the way. I just don't think constant connectedness is good for me. Not necessarily for you, but for ME.
{Insert nice, smooth segue here.}

I seriously cannot believe it is almost March! February has FLOWN by. I'm ready for spring but I have to balance that with the reality of where I live and the fact that we get some of our biggest snows in March and April. And it's usually still snowing in May. Ugh. We have had some really nice spring-like days and I love that it's staying light longer. Guess I need to focus on those positive things, plus the fact that I get to wear boots and cords longer than my friends in the south. Don't taunt me with your flip-flops, y'all. Smile.

The fence guy is coming today to fix the section of our fence that blew down in last week's windstorm. He was actually supposed to come last week but we got a good bit of snow that delayed the repair. I'm SO ready for it to be fixed because we're having to go outside with Jack-the-beagle whenever we let him out so that he doesn't run into our neighbor's yard and do his business. Not fun when it's 15 degrees at 10pm. Not fun anytime of the day actually. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

SMP 2.21.14

SMP = Seven Minute Post

I feel like I need to throw myself a party for making it to Friday. It wasn't pretty, y'all. It's been a long, hard and full week and I feel like I'm limping to the finish line, aka the weekend. I think I say this weekly but I'm SO happy it is Friday. Weekends are my favorite.

So, ummmm, when you realize that your theme for the year is "HEALTH" you might not realize all the unhealth in your life and you might be unprepared for how and when it might surface and engulf you. I'm not really talking about physical health here as much as spiritual and emotional and relational. Wowza. It's been quite a week and I had a mini-meltdown last night. It wasn't pretty but I stepped away  from my "tantrum" with a very clear awareness of some things I need to move away from--things that fuel unhealthy patterns and attitudes in me. I will try to elaborate when I have more than seven minutes for a post. My thoughts are vast...

A few weeks ago my beautiful friend, Deidre, asked me if I'd be willing to write a guest post for a series on her blog about receiving God's love. I prayed about it and felt led to share and you can read it here if you'd like. It's a good reminder for me {dare I say all of us} that I am deeply loved. Even when I have mini-meltdowns/tantrums. Even when I doubt. Even when I blow it. Yes, even then. 

Happy Friday.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Six on Saturday

1. I had leftover sushi for breakfast just now. My "surprise" Valentine date last night was a movie (August: Osage County) followed by sushi. My husband doesn't love sushi but he loves me and he was sweet to take me to one of my favorite sushi spots. It was delicious. The movie was r-o-u-g-h though. Definitely not a happy movie.

2. I wanted so badly to sleep in this morning but was awakened at my normal time by insane wind gusts rattling our windows. Gusts up to 70mph will not only rattle your windows but will evidently snap wooden fence posts. When I opened our bedroom blinds I found a section of our fence had fallen down. Awesome.

3. One day this week I drove to the Springs to run some errands and since I was "in the neighborhood" I took a detour through Garden of the Gods. I couldn't help myself. I was so close and it was just there beckoning me with it's beauty. I NEVER get tired of these views.

4. My husband and kids all have Monday off from school and work. You have no idea how happy that makes me! Three-day weekends are my favorite.

5. Do you ever just sit back and marvel at the providential ways that God works in your life? John and I had a situation this week where one piece after another just fell perfectly into place. It was something we didn't see coming--something good for one of our children--that God completely orchestrated and carried through to completion in a matter of days. We talked about it again over dinner last night and we {again} marveled at the whole of it. Marveling is a good thing, people.

6. I desperately need to make a new menu plan and grocery list and re-stock my fridge and pantry but it seems I've lost all all my kitchen mojo. That's the biggest task on my list today though so all is good. Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, February 14, 2014

SMP 2.14.14 {Valentine's Day}

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

I have a date later today with my long-time valentine and I'm very excited about spending some time alone with him. He hasn't told me what we're doing yet--only what time I need to be ready. I love that he planned a surprise for me. Very, very sweet.

Yesterday was Abbey's class Valentine's party and it was my VERY LAST elementary school Valentine party. EVER. I couldn't decide if I was happy or sad about that but happiness won out in the end. There may or may not have been some mamas high-fiving each other when the party was over. I've been planning and going to school holiday parties for 12+ years and I feel like I crossed the finish line yesterday. I might be a little sad next February but for now I'm good.

Other than our date, we have no big plans for the weekend and I'm beyond thrilled about that. I'm in serious need of some downtime and my house is in serious need of some attention. We talked about seeing the Lego movie because we've heard it's really good. Anyone seen it? Did you like it? I need to know these things in advance because "kid movies" sometimes turn into very expensive naps for me.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chicago 2014

A couple of months ago I was in St. Louis with my aunts, cousins, and my sister and they tossed out an invite to join them in Chicago in January. I came home, got the green light from John and made plans to spend a few days with them in the windy city.

I hadn't been to Chicago in years and years. It's a beautiful and fun place and we had a FABULOUS time.

I flew out of Denver on the Thursday before the Super Bowl. This signage at DIA cracked me up.

This was one view of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan from our hotel suite.
 And this was the view from the other side looking towards Navy Pier. It was cold while we were there but it had been colder the week before and the water surrounding the pier was completely frozen.
 On Friday morning, we all got up and went to the hotel spa for various "beauty treatments" and then had a late lunch at Deca, the restaurant in our hotel. 

 Our hotel connected to Water Tower Place and I sent this picture of the flagship American Girl store to Abbey. She was dying. I didn't check out the entire store, but I did go in and walk around--it's about twenty times bigger than our AG store in Denver. I've got to take her there sometime!

Friday night, we took the train to the Cadillac Palace Theater.

We had tickets for Phantom of the Opera.

It was spectacular. I absolutely LOVED it.

 We woke up Saturday to lots of snow. I think it snowed all day and all night!

That didn't stop us from celebrating my aunt's birthday. I won't say how old she turned...but it's more than the two candles on her cake.
Nor did it stop us from shopping! Downtown Chicago has some serious retail establishments. One of the reasons for my no-spend January was to save up for this trip. I found some crazy bargains at Banana Republic and Nordstrom Rack. I could barely zip my suitcase on my return trip!
 It was a super, sloppy, snowy, wet day. I was prepared for it to be crazy-cold but it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Either that or I'm used to wintry weather.

Saturday night we went to dinner at Vinci (delicious!) and then headed to Second City to see Let Them Eat Chaos. Oh my gosh...I laughed so so so so hard. It was excellent.

On Sunday we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over a snowy Navy Pier.
 We got dressed and went to Mass at Old St. Patrick's Church. I haven't been to Mass in several years but it was a beautiful service and the church was absolutely gorgeous. I forgot to take a picture until we'd started to walk away.
 We grabbed a quick lunch at Potbelly Sandwich Shop and I don't know if I was super hungry or if it's because I rarely eat gluten but that was one DELICIOUS sandwich.

After lunch we took a cab back to our hotel and everyone packed up to head home...which is basically all over the US. I flew back to Denver with my cousin from Seattle and since it was Super Bowl Sunday we changed into our respective Broncos/Seahawks gear. 

I really did not expect Denver to lose that game but I was SO happy for her and for all the Seattle fans. She texted me when she arrived home and said the fireworks display over the Space Needle was the biggest she'd ever seen!

Of course we had some deep dish pizza from Giordano's while we were there. Seriously YUMMY! We also ate at The Local one night and it was amazing too. So much good food.

It was such a great girls weekend! My three aunts are my dad's sisters and since he is gone, it is very important to me to stay close to them. Trips like this make staying close pretty fun. Can't wait to go back...Chicago is a fabulous city!

Monday, February 10, 2014

SMP 2.10.14 {Bullet Points}

SMP = Seven Minute Post

* Happy 17th Birthday to Will! We took him to dinner last night and surprised him by inviting a few of his friends to show up. He was indeed surprised and we were reminded {again} that he's a great kid with great friends. I am so proud of him and grateful that I get to be his mom.
* So ummmmmmm, this young mom with a sweet family came up to John last night at dinner and asked if he was John Blase. She thought she recognized him from his blog and told him she read his poetry all the time. I actually wasn't at the table when that happened but it was funny and sweet at the same time. It's like I'm married to a celebrity or something. Ha ha!

* My mind and heart are literally bursting with all that God did over the weekend at IF. Seriously, I cannot get my mind to to stop processing it all. So much beautiful stuff to unpack in the days ahead.

* I've been gone two back-to-back weekends and I'm one thousand percent sure that my husband is the most gracious man on the planet. He deserves a fabulous Valentine's gift for all that he has stepped up and handled with a generous spirit while I was away.

* Being gone two weekends in a row has been wonderful but hard. I'm super behind a lot of things right now (despite two snow days last week) and I'm starting Monday tired. It's not my favorite way to start a week but it helps that this week is short and next weekend is long and gloriously unplanned.

Here's to a new week!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Six on Saturday

1. I'm "retreating" this weekend with friends and streaming the IF gathering from Austin. Y'all, it is so so so so so so good. I needed this more than I realized. I love that all of the things I'm hearing are things that God has been talking to me about over the last month or so. So affirming. So gracious. So good. Maybe I'll process here a bit next week. Or maybe I need to soak in it a bit more. I'm not sure. I just know I'm exactly where I need to be this weekend.

2. Hard to believe that last weekend I was playing in Chicago--in the snow and cold--with my sister, cousins, and aunts! We had a FABULOUS time. I have lots of pictures and need to blog about that soon.

3. We're gearing up to celebrate Will next week. He turns 17 on Monday. Seventeen. I'm in a bit of denial that I can have a child that old. I "think" that I'm much younger than I am, but believe me, there are days that I feel every one of my forty-three years.

4. We're finally warming up after some VERY cold days here this week. Brrrrrrr. I think this might be the coldest temps/windchill we've ever seen. School was canceled two days in a row because of extreme cold.
5. I L-O-V-E the Olympics and can't wait to catch up on what I've missed after this conference. I'm sure I'm going to be staying up way past my usual bedtime for the next two weeks!!

6. I have the hardest time thinking of six things sometimes so I'm just going to wish you all a happy Saturday and get ready for session three of IF! Are any of you streaming also? Any of you lucky enough to be in Austin?

Friday, February 07, 2014

February Currents

Current Read: Ha. There hasn't much reading going on here lately. I think the most I've managed to read is a church bulletin. Sad, but very true.

Current Playlist: I've been listening to a lot of showtunes lately...the music from Book of Mormon is hi-larious.

Current Color(s): The ground here is covered in white so I'm going for bright color. Orange and purple are my current favorites.

Current Drink: Right now, I'm loving coffee with a splash of almond milk. I go back and forth with my coffee addiction. I've decided to try to kick it again in the spring but for now, I need a cup to warm me up in the mornings.

Current Food: Chips and salsa. Have y'all tried the Pioneer Woman's salsa yet? Seriously better than anything you can buy and not hard to make. It is my favorite snack and condiment.

Current Favorite Favorite: A pair of orange cords I bought on clearance last weekend for $6.49 at Banana Republic. They're cute!!! And bright!!! And I love them!!!
I have ridiculously short legs!
Current Addiction: Stupid Candy Crush Saga. I actually went almost two weeks without playing...but darn it. I'm hooked again. 

Current Wish List: I got a sample of Living Proof shampoo/conditioner/styling cream at Sephora last weekend and oh my word, I love it. But it's pricey! I'm gonna start saving...

Current Need: A maid and a laundry fairy. Actually, my husband is a huge help to me in both of those areas, but I don't think he'd appreciate being called my laundry "fairy". Wink-wink.

Current Triumph: I cooked almost every night in January.That is a HUGE triumph. That reminds me that I need to do a recap of my No-Spend January Challenge. I've kinda been MIA on the blog lately.

Current Annoyance: Well, I have a little list--
Costco quit carrying my favorite almond butter. It annoys me when they quit carrying things I love and buy on a regular basis. Passive-agressive people annoy me. And at the risk of sounding bratty and immature, I'm just going to confess that sometimes having to share things annoys me. There's obviously a story there. A story for another day.

Current Mood: GOOD! Happy! Excited about the weekend!!!

Current Blessing(s): Being able to spend time with people I love dearly. And two back-to-back snow days in the midst of a busy and full week. That was a HUGE blessing!

Current Outfit: Jeans, cords, sweater and boots. My winter uniform. 

Current Excitement: Spending the weekend with some of my favorite friends for IF: Local. We had actually all planned to go to Austin and changed course once they offered the streaming option.

Current Project(s): Clean my room and unpack my suitcase from last weekend. A suitcase is a giant catch-all for me...
Current Prayers: Still praying for my husband's shoulder (I think he's going to get an MRI soon), for several friends still battling cancer, and for a teenage friend of ours who is having surgery today.

Current plans for the day: Take kids to school, run by the grocery store, a little work, a little cleaning, make/deliver dinner to a friend, then meet up with friends for our IF weekend!

Current Link: Humans of New York (HONY). Y'all this website is amazing. I could spend HOURS there. Except I don't have hours to spend there so I follow on Instagram and go to the website when I have leisurely time to surf.

Happy Weekend, everyone!!!!