Friday, June 24, 2011
Since I have off on Fridays, my weekend begins now! My favorite part of weekends in general, and Fridays in particular, is getting to catch up on all the sleep I’ve missed throughout the week.
Today I wake up to discover that one of the actors in the Vacation Bible School dramas I’m directing needs a ride to rehearsal later that afternoon; since I only have room in my car for two people, and Maggie will be riding with me, I call another actor to see if he can give him a ride. He can – problem solved!
Friday mornings are my time to do little tasks and relax. I wander around downstairs greeting my family, then I put away my clean laundry, write emails, make my bed, and generally tidy my room. I think about breakfast but lack the motivation to fix anything real so instead I snack on low-point things from my fridge – nonfat string cheese, blueberries, etc. I go to brush my teeth and take a minute to spray the upstairs bathroom with cleaner to make it easier to deep-clean later.
I also get my first “Good morning!” text from my best friend, Robin, who lives in Alabama. We make sure to keep in touch via text and phone call throughout the day – it makes us feel more connected even though we’re hundreds of miles apart! We text back and forth for a while about our plans for the day.
I realize I’m free tonight and text another friend to set up a dinner date – we’ve been meaning to get together to reconnect for weeks but this is the first time both of us have had free time! We plan a meet-up for 6:00.
Time to get dressed. I’m in a quandry, since I want to be comfortable for rehearsal but also look nice for dinner. I try on various outfits – it’s one of those days. In the middle of my “fashion show”, Maggie comes in to ask my advice on a project she’s working on. Once she leaves, I choose a long denim skirt and fuschia polo – bingo!
Time to leave for rehearsal. Maggie and I load into my truck and discuss where we want to grab lunch. Strangely, both of us are craving McDonalds (something I NEVER crave!) so we make a pit stop for Chicken McNuggets and a grilled chicken sandwich.
On the way to rehearsal, I get a call from one of the actors, saying he’s running late and will be at the church “in thirty minutes.” I’m confused, since rehearsal doesn’t start till 2… right? There is some momentary confusion but we eventually confirm that yes, rehearsal starts at 2 and he is in fact running early.
On the way to rehearsal, Maggie and I run through our scene together several times, getting the dialogue right. I was originally going to only be directing, but one of our actors needed to be relieved and I discovered that I had read the part so many times that I knew 90% of the lines anyway. Now I’m just trying to get the other 10% down.
Four of the six cast members are already here, and while we wait for the other two members to arrive, we start an epic discussion, topics including but not limited to: whether the Lord of the Rings books are waaaaay better than the movies (definite yes, although we all agree the movies were well done); whether anyone can rival Tolkien in creating the most far-reaching fictional worlds (possibly George Lucas’s Star Wars galaxy); whether you can really credit George Lucas with the development of the Star Wars galaxy since so many people have contributed to it (at least a lot of credit – he was a definite before-his-time visionary); whether George Lucas has lost his filmmaking talent (we’re split here, with half of us saying “No way!” and the other half saying “Yes”); whether Steven Spielberg ever HAD any filmmaking talent (again, we’re pretty evenly split on this issue); whether “aliens” can be used as a catch-all plot twist to solve any and all gaping plot holes (believe it or not, we’re split on this issue, too); whether the newest Indiana Jones movie was good or ridiculous (slight majority says “ridiculous”); whether George Lucas should remake Star Wars with a younger cast (only one person dares voice this, and he’s loudly booed); whether Tron: Legacy was any good as an extension of an older movie (yes).
By the time these important issues have been hashed out, the rest of the cast is here and it’s time to rehearse.
Rehearsal is over – time to get Maggie to her OTHER rehearsal on the other side of town. Since she’ll be in rehearsal till late tonight, we stop to get her a sandwich.
I drop Maggie off and head towards the bank to cash my paycheck. Our bank is sooo slow, but I still have a few minutes until I have to meet my friend, so I duck into the nearby Kohls in search of some summer shirts. The sales are great and I find several nice shirts. By the time I get through the checkout line, it’s time for dinner.
I meet my friend Becka at a local Asian cuisine restaurant and we pore over the menu – everything looks so good! In the end, she orders veggie lo mein and I get an order of dumplings and an order of water chestnut pudding – soooo good (kind of like crème brulee)!
We have a lot to get caught up on, but by now we’re ready to stretch our legs, so we head to the nearby Marshalls to do a little window shopping. We have fun trying on clothes in the dressing rooms, checking out the housewares department and imagining decorating our own little apartment someday, and hitting the clearance aisle, where we find: a plastic bunch of grapes, a glass artichoke...
...and a ceramic taper candle holder than looks like a lumpy avacado.
We head to the checkout line and make a quick stop at the bookshelf, where I pick up a book, skim through it, and am immediately sucked it. Arg! It goes in my cart. We go back to my truck and listen to a few songs from Jackie Evancho’s “Dream With Me” album – love!
Time to go pick up Maggie, but I arrive with a few minutes to spare, so I pull out my book. I love little quiet moments like this in a hectic day!
Maggie is out! I’m craving an IceFlow slushie from AMC, so we pull in.
This may be the longest I have ever waited for a slushie, no matter how good. I snag a few more moments of reading in the drive-through line.
Slushies in hand, we head home.
Maggie fixes a snack while I chat with my parents. I remind them that I am taking Maggie, Anna, and Ruth with me to the movie theater to see Cars 2 with our cousin tomorrow, and I get handed ticket money (yes! J). I head upstairs to my room. I want a shower, but Maggie beats me to it. J I relax on my bed with my issue of Rachel Ray Everyday magazine that came today. I see an article about doing Disney World with children and make a mental note to pass it on to Abby’s parents.
My turn in the bathroom! I finish my magazine in a warm bubble bath.
I comb out my hair and let it air dry while I light my favorite sandalwood candle, relax, and use my computer to journal the day. A friend texts me with a list of books she needs for an upcoming college course, so I hop up to check my bookshelves (the upside of being an English major is that you can locate almost any book in your personal collection). I have quite a few on her list, so I text her back and set them aside for her.
Time for bed! Where did time go?!? :)
Sunday, June 12, 2011
On the other hand, there are moment when she still tickles with her childishness... for instance, last week she was sitting at the kitchen counter eating breakfast while I was brushing her hair and putting in pigtails at her request. I had one pigtail done and was working on the other when all of a sudden -
"Stop!" she ordered. "Shh!"
I paused, listening, but I didn't hear any airplanes or helicopters (the usual sounds we stop to hear) so I finally said, "What do you hear, Abby?"
"My pigtail!" she whispered. "Hear it? Oink, oink," she added surreptitiously. I cracked up.
Her party location - my grandfather's pool - sprang a leak, so we celebrated with a small group of family.
Her beautiful cake... Abigail was absolutely entranced in it and would have literally dug right in if her parents had let her, I think. :)
- Eating with silverware... especially now that she's outgrown her highchair and eats at the kitchen counter with the adults!
- Trying new foods, and eating a wider variety of foods - she'll now take one bite of a new food without any protest. Once she's taken one bite, I don't care if she has any more - the point was to try it - but I think she's surprised herself at how many new foods she's ended up loving!
- Following directions - we're not really working this one too hard yet, but I know it's a skill that will help get her ready for preschool/kindergarten, so I got her a workbook with a simple color-by-numbers so she'll get used to following instructions. So far, she loves it. That it's Pooh Bear-themed only helps. :) And I've started giving her multi-step directions around the house to get her used to them - such as when we come home, I might say "Can you take your shoes off, put them nicely away, and then bring your toy into the house?" She's really good at verbal directions!
- Listening to the teacher for instructions - mostly this only applies at gymnastics, lol, but we just started music class so we're learning it there, too. Abby is very good at this and only needs to be reminded once in a while. :)
- Saying "Hello!" and "Goodbye" to our teachers/adults around us... This one is a little tougher, since Abby is a bit shy, but we're going slow. Right now I just encourage her - "Can you say hello?" Sometimes she substitutes a very shy wave in place of words, but we're definitely moving in the right direction. :)
Sunday, May 8, 2011
In the meantime, here are two yummy things I've made recently that are both Weight-Watchers friendly! :)
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I think both approaches are wrong. I think that if you see a flaw in yourself, and make no move towards fixing it or improving it, you're cheating yourself out of becoming a person you'll like better, and that marvelous experience of growth. Growth is sometimes painful, sometimes uncomfortable, but the end result is always worth it. Conversely, I think that if you spend your life wrapped up in your perceived flaws, you're cheating yourself out of seeing yourself as God sees you - as His creation. Flawed? Yes! Precious? Priceless? Being made Perfect in Him? Yes Yes YES!
I've realized lately that part of the learning you get when you grow up is learning what to accept and what to leave. What matters and what doesn't. What you CAN change - and should - and what you can't, and will only break yourself against in the trying.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
- Most nights now, a cool shower, rather than a hot-as-you-can-get-it bath, feels like the perfect prelude to bedtime.
- Come Saturday morning, I can't wait to get out to the farmer's market to see what produce looks good. And for the rest of the week, I'm dog-earing issues of Rachel Ray Every Day in search of incredible ways to cook said produce.
- Speaking of which - I have figured out how to eat pasta well, finally. In my "old life" pasta was something you gorged on, and even after doing WW for months, if I wanted pasta, I saved up all my weeklies and blew them on a dish of pasta on my night out. Or pulled out a Lean Cusine meal (which are good, in their own right, but... not real food. Not really). So, tonight I made one carefully measured portion of pasta, and loaded it with veggies to make it go further - zucchini, squash, asparagus (oh, asparagus, I think it may be my fav veggie of all time) - added no-added-sugar tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of fat free mozzarella. And it was incredible.
- I have tasted watermelon for the first time this year. Not great watermelon, mind you, as it's really truly too early for good melon, but watermelon nonetheless.
- Maggie and I were in the truck together today and for some reason we started talking about fruit, and the thought popped into my head and out through my lips that "fruit tastes like sunshine." Which, now that I've said it out loud, it does, in my opinion. Maggie looked at me funny for a second, thought about it, shrugged, and said, "Yeah." We then launched into a deep discussion about which fruit tastes most like sunshine. My money is either on a really ripe, beautiful, unblemished peach, and her pick was a lemon. Which I have to admit I don't get AT ALL, but to each their own.
- Inspired by the fact that I apparently had no warm-weather shirts, I pulled down all my clothing bins and brought out all my summer clothes. I've worn a tank top already (granted, it was under a springish cardigan, but still lol).
- While I was sorting clothes I pulled every piece of clothing that I owned out and tried it on. And I'm amazed and humbled in a grateful sort of way that everything I own fits in one of three categories: Fits, Fits for now (start looking for a replacement because in another 5 pounds, you're outta luck), and Too Big. There's no more "too tight, but I could layer something over it to hide it" clothes, no more "Maybe someday I'll be able to wear that again" clothes. It's all either Now or Then. And when I was done I sat between the two piles and thought about putting the Then pile back into rubbermaid bins just in case, and instead I shoved it all into trash bags and took it to the thrift store. Because keeping it because I liked the style, even if it no longer fit, is only taking up space, and there will be cuter clothes (much cuter clothes!) to buy in smaller sizes. Because keeping it because I'm afraid I'll fail means that part of me still hold on to failure as a viable option.
- My windowsill is lined with pots of flowers, herbs, and veggie plants, all thriving and growing and reaching for the sky. This is a small miracle. Two years ago I wanted desperately to learn to grow plants, and I couldn't keep any plant alive longer than two weeks. Two years later, more of my seedlings thrive than die. Granted, learning to grow plants is of no moral consequence whatsoever. But there were a bunch of "seeds" planted in my life around the same time that my plants were committing suicide all around me, and whenever I see my windowsill of plants, it reminds me that more is growing than just plants.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I have long loved Bocelli, and I'm a soft touch for beards, so I was watching him out of the corner of my eye as I got in line in front of a young mom and her daughter, who was just about Abigail's age. The little girl wanted a carton of chocolate milk, but was too shy to come near me to get one. I smiled at her and moved aside, she smiled back and came forward bashfully, retrieved her milk, and retreated to her mommy's side.
I was still smiling when I turned around, and he caught my eye - he was smiling, too, glancing from me to the little girl, then back again to me. He dropped his gaze to the floor and continued to wait patiently in line, and a moment later he smiled again - a different smile - and I followed his gaze and realized he was looking at my shoes - my "power shoes" - the ones that have random ladies stopping me on the street asking where I bought my shoes, and are they comfortable (they are).
These shoes apparently are fascinating to guys - most of my guy friends have commented on them, everything from "Wow, those are some shoes!" to "How do you walk in them?" Several weeks ago, a guyfriend came up to me and said "I saw YOUR SHOES in a music video!!!" :)
I placed my order and followed the curve of the counter around to the wall, where I could watch the back of the Italian's head while awaiting my drink. His hair - which had probably been washed that morning - had dried in alternating stiff and fluffy patches. I wondered if he had added a styling product halfheartedly - it would account for the patches - but I had to admit that unless a stranger were surreptitiously stalking him, as I was, no one was likely to notice. Besides that, his hair added an easygoing vibe to his appearance - suave enough to make an effort at styling his hair, but manly enough not to devote any real time to it, especially on a morning when his main activity was sitting in a coffeehouse, thinking.
In a perfect world, we might have struck up a conversation - he might have commented on those shoes, or notice my vintage owl pendant (another piece guaranteed to get me stopped on the street for fashion inquiries). I might have had the time to linger over my macchiato, and might have snagged the table next to him. Any man who can spend a morning lost in his own thoughts is worth knowing, in my experience.
But the world isn't perfect, so a moment later when the barista called my drink, I claimed it with a smile, walking towards the door in my powerful shoes, and slipped out into the beautiful, imperfect world.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
5) Watching old Westerns - not sure what this is, possibly The Virginian?
6) Taking a jog on the newly-fixed treadmill - no picture, probably not something you wanted to see me do anyway. :) Dad fixed the treadmill this weekend, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it (when it was fixed, lol). I took my first jog in MONTHS today, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was - even though I haven't been doing any running at all, I've been faithful to my yoga, and I can definitely feel the change in my legs. Nice!
I love Sunday afternoons - getting geared up for the new week, doing little non-arduous chores (like cleaning out my little fridge and making up a grocery list for this week), and resting, physically and mentally.
I hope your weekend has been restful and beautiful. I've been blessed, and I look forward to seeing those blessings continue!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
For those of you who have been - ahem, concerned - (and by concerned, I mean they assume I gave up on it) at the lack of Weight Watchers content on my blog lately... don't be. It's true, I "broke" with the program for a little while because I was dealing with other issues and just felt like I couldn't handle it all at once, but - and apparently this is a big but - I didn't regain an ounce of the lost weight and started back up again a while ago. :)
I think part of the reason I got so stressed and felt like I couldn't handle it all was because I never did get a good grip on the new program, PointsPlus. Which, I'm gonna go ahead and say right up front: do NOT like it as much as the old program. I have been slow in publicly saying this because I felt like until I could use the program successfully - and by successfully I mean being able to stick to it and lose weight while on it - I didn't have the right to bash it.
Well, it's been awhile now doing both successfully, and I still don't like the old program. There are definitely parts I like - I love that fruit is point free, and I love that you get the "encouragement" to eat high-protein foods, which I naturally gravitate towards - but the parts that I hate - the fact that it's nearly impossible to guesstimate in a pinch, the, ahem, "strong discouragement" over carbs (ANY carbs, white, wheat, whole grain, etc) - far outweigh the parts I love. However, learn it I did and stick to it I am. There is a LOT of fruit getting eaten in my life right now, lol, mostly to make room for carbs, which have been severely limited. Tonight's post-yoga-workout dinner, for instance, was reduced-fat PB & sugar-free J on whole wheat bread, with a big glass of nonfat milk. :)
Speaking of yoga - UGH! Spring break (read: two weeks with no practice)+first session back (and a challenging one to boot)=NOT GOOD. :) I was struggling all over the place today, but I laughed at myself and kept going, and I definitely feel good now, several hours later. My "yoga high" in on. :)
had some time today while Abby was in school, so I ducked in to Ross to check out their latest shipment. You know how sometimes you go shopping and absolutely nothing you try on looks good, fits right, etc? Well, the flip also sometimes occurs (albeit much more rarely): sometimes you have days where you lug a ton of clothes into the dressing room and EVERYTHING FITS! and looks great! Is this a real phenomenon or is it just purely a state of mind? I have no idea...
Well, the sun seems to have rolled back behind the clouds for now and I needed a pick-me-up, so I gave myself a DIY pedicure and chose a cheerful color. Two, actually - a fun lavender and a clear glitter. :)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I wasn't going to do a crochet craft, since not everyone can crochet, but this flower that I designed this week is so quick and easy I'm pretty sure almost anyone can do it! Plus, with the wedding of a close friend this week, and all the prep for that, I haven't had any time to do any other crafting. :( If you don't crochet, why not try it out? I've linked up all the stitches to tutorials from Crochet Today, and taken lots of pictures! :)
- Size G crochet hook, or one slightly larger or smaller (you’ll get a larger or smaller flower, but the pattern will still work!)
- Worsted weight yarn (this pattern doesn’t take much; it’s great for using up odds and ends!)
- Worsted weight yarn in contrasting color
- 1 button in a coordinating or contrasting color
- Large needle & thread (not pictured)
- 1 barrette, bobby pin, pin back, headband, etc (you can attach this flower to almost anything!)
Join with slip stitch to form a ring.
This is your flower’s center.
Chain 4, [dc in ring, ch 2] 5 times; join with sl st in 2nd chain of beginning ch 4.
Your flower should have six loops around it now; these will become the petals.
In each loop around, work the following: sc, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sc; join with slip stitch in first sc.
Fasten off and weave in ends. Your flower is done!
Using your contrasting yarn, chain 10.
Slip slitch in second chain from hook; sc in next stitch, hdc in next stitch, dc in next stitch, tr in next stitch, dc in next stitch, hdc in next stitch, sc in next stitch, slip stitch in last chain.
Fasten off and weave in ends. Repeat (makes two leaves).
Position the two leaves on one side of the flower as shown; using needle and thread, attach leaves to flower.
Sew button in the center of the flower.
Using either needle and thread or a hot glue gun, attach the flower to a barrette, headband, bobby pin, pin back, magnet, etc.