Monday, June 24, 2013

Worth It/Not Worth It

Staying up way later than you should, talking with friends you haven't seen, and probably won't see again, in a long time - WORTH IT!

Consuming caffeine at night, even though you know you won't get a good night's sleep - NOT WORTH IT!

Painting your walls the color you've fallen in love with, even when everybody tries to talk you out of it - WORTH IT!

Letting someone talk you out of something, even though everything in you is saying "This is right" - NOT WORTH IT!

Taking a few minutes to journal - WORTH IT!

Worrying about what unimportant people think - NOT WORTH IT!

(What's worth it/not worth it to you?)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Week In Pictures

First off, let me just say that this week was CRAZY! A move, a birthday, the final week of prep before our VBS drama week... just crazy! But there were some good moments, too. :)

For my birthday, I "stole" my dad and we went on a dad-daughter date to the mall in Annapolis. We stopped for a light lunch and shared a bowl of pad thai, shopped and ran errands all afternoon, then ended at the Cheesecake factory, where we shared an amazing dinner of ahi tartare (my favorite!!!), crab dip, stuffed mushrooms, and this astounding gluten-free chocolate cheesecake. Which was amazing. :) 

Sunday was my actual birthday! I had my family over to my new place for a breakfast of sausage, fresh pineapple, and muffins, and opened gifts, among them this GORGEOUS gift from my friend Susan. :)
Monday was supposed to be our last working rehearsal before our dress rehearsal, but we never actually got there because of a huge accident that shut down the highway for hours and rerouted us through a little country road at a snail's pace. Not. Fun. I almost tore my hair out (plus, the car was running out of gas, and I had a peanut gallery criticizing my driving from the backseat).

I was fixing dinner on Tuesday and wanted to listen to Adventures in Odyssey - but my tablet was quiet, I don't have my speakers unpacked yet, and I couldn't hear. I'd read that you can boost your cell phone's sound by putting it in a bowl, so I tried dropping my tablet inside my metal pot. It worked!
On Wednesday I wore my new headband, a gift from my friend Susan. I got sooo many compliments on it!

Thursday, Maggie, Abigail, and I decided to mix it up, and instead of going to our usual Mexican place for lunch, we headed to the one in the square where we could sit outside. A lady with a friendly doggie was also lunching nearby, and Abby thought this was the best thing ever. :)
Also Thursday - my siblings and I caught a showing of Monsters University before Anna left for Tennessee. Love me some Mike and Sully!

Friday was our dress rehearsal - doesn't everybody look great! My "Sir Gavin" (second on the left) who you may remember as my acrobatic "Millard" from last year's drama, hand-crafted his chain mail link by link - he calculated that if you made one long chain out of all the links, it would stretch something like a quarter of a mile! :)

That's my week! What's  been good, bad, or just crazy about yours? ;)

Thursday, June 20, 2013


The last week has left me speechless, most of the time. It's been crazy. Hectic. Busy. Full of challenges big and small.

On Sunday I discovered that the super-deluxe muffin tin I stole borrowed from my mom wouldn't fit into my teensy oven. The guy who took my order at Starbucks botched my order atrociously (luckily, the wonderful barista fixed it - and even gave the botched version to Maggie for free!). I wanted to cook a roast in my crockpot, but the crockpot tripped the breaker (unbeknownst to me) and it took hours longer than I expected it to. On Monday, my bathroom started to smell funky (remember, we still hadn't gotten the permanent sewer hookup installed). By Tuesday, it felt like I was living IN a sewer. I had a migraine and couldn't clean my living room the way I'd wanted to. I started to wonder if I'd made a really big mistake, that maybe everything falling perfectly into place over the last few months was really just cosmic coincidence instead of God's grace.

And then... we got the sewer hookup complete (thank you so much, Dad!!!), and my place went back to smelling of mint and strawberry. I realized that my hot water heater runs on electric or gas (a feature I'd fought tooth and nail, but that God clearly realized I would need), so I could have a hot shower and run my AC. I cooked a delicious dinner and washed dinner afterwards with hot water, without needing to nuke multiple mixing bowls to achieve it. I climbed into bed, looked up at the moonlight shining through my skylight that, in four short nights, I have come to love, and had to smile, because I caught myself saying, "It'll be alright." And I believed it.

I'm happy. Which is freshly amazing to say, because I've been far from it over the last few weeks. For the first time in a long, long time, I'd been struggling with discouragement. Feeling overwhelmed. Not being able to muster up enough emotional of physical energy to care about anything, and yet constantly emotional about everything and nothing. Exhausted.

I'm still exhausted (my plans for my day off tomorrow involve sleeping. Later on this weekend, I'll deal with the mess in my living room, the last of the paint touch-ups, maybe lay in my permanent patio. Tomorrow? Sleep) but slowly and surely, my perspective is starting to change. I was washing dishes last night and caught myself thinking about how I needed a cute bowl to stash my scrubber and sink plugs in. The idea of getting to shop made me smile. :) I was taking a shower and thinking about what color I'd like to paint the bathroom, and what sort of shower curtain I want - smile. Drifting off to sleep and hearing my phone vibrate on the bunk above me, I thought about how I needed a little holder down by my bed for it - and instantly a cute Pinterest project that would be just. perfect. popped into my head.


~ ~ ~

I've been enjoying cooking for one. :) Wine-braised pot roast, tuna cakes with seared brussel sprouts, spaghetti with parmesan cheese. I have plans this weekend to try making the tomato tart I've been wanting to try forever. And having my own Internet - another thing I love. I come home, play an episode of "Adventures in Odyssey" on my tablet while I fix dinner. I wash dishes and love how my citrus dishwashing soap smells. Still haven't gotten pictures hung, but that's coming soon.

In short, folks, I'll be alright. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Week In Pictures

Saturday: The biggest highlight of the week, by far, was watching my friend and "brother" Phillip get married! DUM DUM DA DUM!!! :) The wedding was absolutely gorgeous - I kept walking around just to look at all the adorable decorations!

Also Saturday: How bout a 2-for-1? We went contra dancing Saturday night after the wedding - my entire family - and it was amazing. :) Live music, swirling and getting swirled around the dance floor to the rhythm of folk music... divine.

Sunday: I can't believe I'm even posting this... but this is what my room looked like for most of the week as I sorted, packed, etc. It was kind of hard because I had furniture that had been promised to folks, but it didn't get picked up til today, so I've been working around it, trying not to put stuff on it, which mostly left... the floor. :/
Monday: For Abigail's last day of being four (!!!), we had a playdate with her friend Emilie from preschool. Em and Abs will be attending kindergarten together next year so Em's mom and I wanted to get them reaquainted. We made homemade modeling clay.
Tuesday: Happy birthday Abigail! She talked all morning about wanting a lollipop (I have no idea where that came from) so on our way to the library we stopped in at a nearby gas station. The grandfatherly man who rang us up commented on what a sweet girl Abby was, and she shyly (but proudly) informed him that it was her birthday, and he gave her the lollipop for free. :)
Wednesday: My sister Maggie was giving our baby-dog, Oliver, a good brushing when I got home from work. Ollie's a shepherd-collie mix, which means he has the long hair of the collie and the uber-thickness of the shepherd - one hairy doggie! She just bought herself a "Furminator" brush, and it worked GREAT! (Note that all the white "fluff" around him is hair she was able to remove with it)
Thursday: After work, Maggie and I were going to go on a big girls-night-out date with some friends to get pedis and go to dinner. Except that as we dropped Abigail off, Chris came running out and advised us that a tornado warning was in place. We came inside and watched the weather channel showing the rotations in the atmosphere, and ended up sheltering in the basement until it passed us over. Although the tornado didn't touch down anywhere near us, it did do some crazy damage to the nearby trees and power lines :( including ripping these branches off the nearby tree and bouncing them off the sliding glass door we were standing by. Luckily, they didn't even budge!
Friday: My room by the time I was moved out. Actually, it was even emptier because this was taken in the morning, before I totally finished moving. :(

On Meltdowns

So... I had this huge post half-way written about how when change happens, it's uncomfortable, even if it's good change; how we should accept change, roll with it, and give ourselves permission to be uncomfortable even while we lovingly nurture our souls through these tough times.

And then I woke up this morning, and it was like someone had ripped out my calm center and fried my brain. Change be darned. I freaked out, totally and completely.

There was at least one meltdown, where I started giggling at something, which turned into hysterical laughter, which very, very quickly slid straight into full-blown hysterical sobbing, tears running down my face and unable to catch my breath. At one point, I wanted to lie down in my (now mostly) empty (except for a few cobwebs and my last few unmoved belongings) and cry. And then, maybe sleep for, oh, say fifteen minutes and twelve hours. Because if I couldn't deal with the stress, at least I wanted to be able to hide from it.

There was too much stuff to do (the last of the moving; laundry - because between fighting migraines earlier this week and then frantically getting moved, I hadn't done any all week; grocery shopping - because the only "food" I had in my place was coffee, artisan ginger ale, and a leftover diet coke; cleaning - cuz I never did get a chance to clean properly after the remodeling; take a load of stuff to the thrift store; etc, etc, etc...) and way, way too little time to do it.

I never had gotten the time to finish my closet conversion, which meant that even if I got all my clothes moved out to the trailer, I had no place to put them. There was stuff everywhere. I was out of shampoo.

And I had to go to rehearsal, which takes at least four hours (almost two hours of driving time and two hours rehearsal time) and I wanted to cry, because I just didn't have the time.

All I could think about was how I was never going to get it done, and instead of going on a birthday date including the Cheesecake Factory, Clark Kent, and shopping, I was going to have to do the responsible-adult thing and stay home to finish it.

I was coming apart. At the seams.

And then... then some coffee appeared in my hand. I realized I was starving (and hadn't eaten yet today - golly, betcha that didn't contribute at all to my meltdown!) so Maggie and I got food. My belly was full, my brain was started to work again as the caffeine flooded my system. My dad told me he'd keep my family-heirloom custom-made cedar chest for me so that I wouldn't have to give it away (okay, actually that caused some more crying, but it was a different sort). Life started to look slightly less hopeless.

A friend gave me an early birthday present. And coupons for coffee. And a hug (gosh, how I needed that hug).

I went home, and it turns out I'd gotten way more done that morning that I though I had. There really wasn't that much left.

My dad took the measurements for my closet and had a closet bar installed in no time flat.

It occurred to me that my trailer looked pretty similar to how my room usually looked - a lot bit messy. And that was okay. Eventually, everything will settle.

I got my Internet up and running.

Remembered I had a sound system, and listened to arias float through the air as I hung up my clothes, marvelling at how they fit. With room to spare.

By the end of the night - which wasn't even all that late - it was done. My trailer was full. My room was empty. So was my brain. So was my heart.

There will be a lot of "rolling with it" over the next few days, as I find the holes in my housekeeping (realized today that my plan to have my family over for breakfast on Sunday and serve muffins was hampered by the fact that I do not, in fact, own a muffin tin), and some soul-nurturing as I muddle through this new phase in my life.

For now?

It's enough that at the end of a long, long day, there's sleep, and at the end of a long, long night, there's morning. :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Week In Pictures

Saturday: Friday night Maggie and I went over to a friend's house, went swimming, and I left my hair bundled up at the back of my head while we played with the dog and drove home. Too tired to wash it, I went to bed with it damp, and woke up with "scrunchy" hair. That never happens. :) Nice start to the month!


Sunday: Got up a little early to hit Starbucks before church, sit, and people-watch. For some reason, nothing ever feels quite as special as the community coffee shop on a Sunday morning.

Monday: My summer read. I try to reread Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" every summer - and enjoy it more and more each year!
Tuesday: This pretty deer (squint hard lol) was prancing down the road as I went to work. She was totally unafraid of me, and was in no hurry to vacate the road. Made me smile.
Wednesday: Field trip! Although the girls fought like frenemies the entire time, Bean and I enjoyed getting to spend some time together, especially as our museum time was topped off by lunch on the pier of the local seafood shop, watching the boats come in and out of the little harbor while the breeze kept us cool. Hot crab dip and shrimp gazpacho... Mm. :)
Thursday: Maggie and I headed up to a town nearby to get a gift for our friends wedding. While shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, we stumbled across their apron aisle and had fun trying on different aprons. We especially liked this "little black apron" with the sewn-in strand of pearls! :)

Friday: Sometimes it's just one of those days... woke up fighting a sinus infection and spent most of the day sleeping off meds. :(


- Funny, but true: "wristlet" autocorrects to "EurekAlert." :)

- It's my birthday week!!! Eee! This is basically how I think:
 June 1st - "Eee! It's my birthday month!"
June 8th - "Eee! It's my birthday week!"
 June 16th - "EEE! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!
Except this year I've declared my birthday is June 15th, because I refuse to share my birthday with Father's Day. ;) I'm spoiled.

- I always try to clean like mad in the days leading up to my birthday, and each year I swear that this is going to be the year that I keep it clean... and it never is. This year is no exception, except I'll be moving my stuff and installing sewer pipe and getting settled... yeah.

- As I have for the last two years, I'm celebrating my birthday by "stealing" my father for a day-long "date." My plans for the day include a Starbucks pit stop - possibly more than one ;) - some shopping, dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (a virgin passionfruit mojito and some ahi tartare? yes please!), and watching the new "Superman" movie in 3D.

Alright, enough about my birthday... hmm... what else can I talk about?

- I'm nearly done with Atlas Shrugged and I'm a little amazed, actually. Normally I take all summer to read it. Yesterday, when I wasn't feeling well, I watched Batman, and I couldn't help but notice the similarities between Christopher Nolan's Gotham City and Ayn Rand's world. Love it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"In Between"

Everybody's been asking for "after" pictures of my trailer, and I've been loathe to post them, just because it's not really "after" yet. It's more like... "in between." Cuz, while there's a lot of new paint on the walls, and changes taking place, there's a LOT of construction stuff lying around - paint, brushes, rollers, tape, screwdrivers, plastic, etc, etc, etc.

But if you promise to overlook the mess... come on in. :)

 My "almost after" kitchen. Doesn't it look so much bigger now? And more Zen? :)

The benches - once I unbury them of all the construction stuff - are getting new cushions of gray leather. :) And I still have yet to hang up the new curtains (silver!).

The "before" master bedroom.

Now a living room!

It's hard to photograph the living room. You can't get a good angle on it. *sigh* And I just laid down a new rug (it's beautiful!!!) but apparently those pictures didn't come through. I'll have to hunt them down.

Those cabinets? Oh, yeah. Stuffed with books. :) My entire collection just fit, with seriously one of two paperback's worth of room to spare.

The old sleeping compartment - two bunks.


My new sleeping compartment... complete with unmade bed LOL! I nap here whenever I get too tired remodeling. :) The top bunk is about to become a closet compartment.

So... that's what's up, so far. Hopefully this weekend sewer and water will get hooked up, and I'll be able to knock out the very last projects, and then I'm in. :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Wow, it's been such a full, good week! This was Abby's first week out of school, so we dove face-first into the pile of crafts, activities, and learning activities I've been pinning, filing away, and anticipating all school year. :) We had fun. We also had a few meltdowns (totally not her fault) as I attempted to loosen up her napping schedules. I was thinking we'd try an every-other day kind of schedule, but after this week, I'm thinking our non-nap days need a half hour "rest period" or something.

It finally felt like summer this week, causing me to break out my tank tops, sundresses, and flip-flops. And sunscreen. :) I am determined not to get a sunburn this summer!

And now, for some randomness...

- I got to talk to my BFF on the phone this week, and it just reminded me how awesome it is that we have all this technology to connect us. Because my life would be much less interesting and totally less hilarious without being able to talk, text, and Facebook. Some of the stories we told each other were so. ridiculously. funny. Unfortunately, they were also mostly inappropriate to share (not bad, just TMI lol). :)

- On Saturday morning, my dad, mom, sister Ruth, and I went to the nearby Botanical Gardens to see Anna and Elizabeth with their booth at the craft fair. On the way home, we were all thirsty, so we thought we'd stop at the KFC/Taco Bell and get a drink to share. My dad asked for the "largest size drink" they had. This is what we got:

It came with its own carrying handle and everything! Weall had a good laugh. :)

- I got a lot done this week on my remodel - which is good, cuz I have two weeks to the day to get myself moved in! Not too much moving left to do, one strip of wall left to paint, gotta cut and screw in my bench seat, and I'm IN. Can't. Wait,

- Yesterday was the nicest day; in the morning we went to the gardens, in the afternoon I took a nap and then painted like a crazy person (got so much done!!!), Maggie and I went to my grandparents house to swim, and then went out for a late dinner of ahi tuna and shrimp.

- Funny story - after dinner, Maggie wanted fro-yo at the nearby shop, so we drove over. I didn't want fro-yo, but as I was standing near her I noticed the toppings bar had pound cake, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. Yeah. Did I mention I love strawberry shortcake? Pre-tty sure this is not how they intended me to use the toppings bar, lol.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Summer Bucket List 2013

1. Leave a message :)
2. Go to a midnight movie premier
3. Swim in the dark
4. Go to Shore Leave and get a picture with Amanda Tapping!
5. Take one picture every day
6. Read a new novel
7. Set a book free
8. Get a henna/sun/faux tattoo
9. Host a get-together with friends
10. Get a pedicure
11. Have a homemade film festival
12. Buy/make a "Refuse To Sink" tee
13. Make a slip-n-slide and play on it with Abby
14. Take an underwater photograph
15. Send a card
16. Blow glowing bubbles at night
17. Watch the Pleides meteor shower
18. Go to bed early
19. Try a new food
20. Take a nap by the pool
21. Stay up all night
22. Go dancing