Monday, October 14, 2013

New Blog!

Hi friends,

Just popping in to say I have a new blog! I think and hope this blog reflects more of where I am in my life right now, and therefore I'll update it more frequently than this one and will be able to be in touch with all of you better than I am now.

Check it out at:

It's still a work in progress, but the first post is up!

Can't wait to see where this is headed.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pre Easter Musings

When I take the time to actually contemplate my religious views and how I follow through on them, sometimes I think I really stink at it.

I'm supposed to be helping the poor, feeding the hungry, comforting the brokenhearted. What am I doing? Spending hundreds of bucks to host an Easter lunch for my friends. Getting a mani. Buying things I don't need. Worrying about my weight.

I read an article my friend posted on Facebook and it really got me thinking. It was about the new Pope and how he washed the feet of a Muslim woman in prison, just like how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples a few days before he was crucified. It's the ultimate in humility and service.

I have a good life, a life many would be envy (at least on the surface), and by many accounts I've achieved many of the dreams I had when I was younger. So why does it feel hollow?

It doesn't always feel hollow. Most of the time I'm too busy for self reflection, so it doesn't feel like anything at all except one long drag race to get the most pressing task out of my way so I can get on to the next and the next and the next. I spend an hour in the car on my commute in the morning, 9 hours at the office, then another hour getting home, then I have just enough time to crash on the sofa till I work up the energy to make dinner for my husband and me, eat it in front of the tv, go to bed and read for half an hour then go to sleep so I can get up and do it again the next day.

I know what I'm supposed to do. Leave my net and follow Him. There are many reasons why I can't, or at least why I think I can't...not right now. The student loans, the car payment, the career opportunity that might be right around the corner if I just hang on a little longer...

There's a delicious smell of strawberry cake baking in my oven. I just peeked at it and it's rising nicely in a beautiful Bundt pan I got as a wedding present last week. Easter is supposed to be about Jesus rising, and instead my cake rising is what's on the forefront of my mind.

Lord help me, I'm a mess.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday morning

Good morning everyone!

I am already enjoying my weekend. I stayed up late last night reading a new mystery novel, I slept late, rolled out of bed and made a cup of caramel coffee and settled in front of the tv in my pajamas and am watching the Golden not so guilty pleasure. My other favorite go-to weekend indulgence show is I Love Lucy. My favorite episodes are the ones where she's in Los Angeles.

There's a little bit of snow on the ground. It's not bad, but there's just enough snow and it's just cold enough to make me want to stay inside. I have plenty of chores I need to do to finish getting the new home set up but for now am content to just sit and relax.

I hope you have a nice weekend too!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reflections in the Parking Lot

Disclaimer: This post is going to be about church and my faith. I'm not writing it to try to preach to anyone or tell you how to think or what you should believe. I'm just telling you about a moving experience I had that I can't forget.

Do you ever have the feeling that you're right where you need to be? Like, right EXACTLY where the universe ordains, right in the perfect moment? I had that feeling last Sunday in a church parking lot, then in a pew, then as I was shaking the preacher's hand after the service.

Going to church regularly is an important part of my life, or at least it used to be. I'm very familiar and comfortable with the rituals, the music, the sermons, and I feel as though (when I'm at a church that I can connect with) I get a spiritual boost for the week, and that it's easier to pray because I feel closer to God, just for having set aside an hour on Sunday morning to contemplate His works. But I hadn't been going for awhile. There were lots of reasons, the usual ones... too busy, wanted to sleep in, wanted to have Sunday brunch instead, burned out, tired of being asked to volunteer for things every time I set foot inside the door.

But as you can see from my previous posts, I've just gone through a transition in that I moved to a new house in a different neighborhood. When I woke up last Sunday morning, I had the urge that I hadn't had in a long time to get up, get dressed and find a new church to go to. I googled my denomination to see what churches were nearby and found one fairly close. I was fully expecting that finding "the" church would take weeks or months of searching, possibly sitting through bad sermons and possibly being ignored by people in the pews around me till I found the right place. Nonetheless, I set off, kind of excited about the search.

When I pulled into the lot, it was a little early and I hadn't finished my coffee so I decided to sit in my car for a little while. The cynical voice in my head, the one that takes over when my faith is a little on the wane, started asking some tough questions. Like, what would I say if an atheist asked me why I go to church. What's the point? Is there a good solid intellectual answer? The cynic was thinking no, an atheist would just say it's superstitious nonsense and fodder for the weak minded. So what WOULD I say? Then the answer washed over me.

I see a lot of evil in the world. Anyone who has access to the 24 hour news cycle sees a lot of evil, horrible, bad bad things. From our Congress that can't get along while the country flounders to disturbed men shooting up schools and movie theaters, dictators directing their armies to kill innocent civilians, people starving, people dying in developing countries of diseases the West cured 50 years ago, people honking and flipping each other off in traffic...I could go on and on and it's truly atrocious when you think about it. I don't even HAVE to consciously think about it all because I feel like it's the muck we all live in day after day. It's in the air we breathe.

I go to church because I want to follow a leader who has a different set of rules. Who is not of this world and its cold cruelty but who says there is a different path. Who says blessed are the peacemakers, who says that the one who is the least shall be the greatest among you, who befriends the friendless, who says let the little children come to me. The one who said the greatest of these is love. I want to follow that man. Not because I'm a spineless sap who just has to have a leader to follow. Because I know, I know, that He's right. And in this dark world whose evil I see every day, I like to open my window to let the bright light of that love in, even if it's just for one hour on Sunday morning.

Then I went inside. I found a seat. A few minutes later, and older lady walked in, saw my coat sprawled out on the pew and asked if I was saving seats for someone. I said no and moved my coat. I said, "It's my first Sunday here, I hope I'm not sitting in someone's regular pew." She looked my right in the eye and said, "Honey, you're right where you need to be."

The sermon? About Jesus' first miracle: turning water into wine. At a wedding. (My upcoming wedding is THE #1 thing on my mind these days.) A sermon illustration? The preacher talking about one of the first weddings he ever did, for his sister in a small Texas Hill Country town called Kerrville. That town, my friends, is about 45 minutes away from where I'll be getting married. Did I mention that this church is on the other side of the country from that place? The odds of him having BEEN to that town, much less mentioning it on the Sunday I was there?? I'd put them conservatively at one in a million.

I'd like to close this blog with some of the words from the opening hymn. I couldn't really sing them properly at the time because tears were streaming down my face:

"Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Dregs of the Fridge

Turns out you CAN make dinner out of next to nothing.

My kitchen is almost bare, there are boxes piled up everywhere, and things that haven't been packed are lying around begging to be tripped over. I had one of those days where I felt really blue...not sad, not angry... more like overly stressed and worried to the point that it was debilitating. It was hard to focus on anything and I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Like a weight was on my chest, and like if anyone said one cross word I might burst into tears.

After work, I had 15 minutes to get ready for my muay thai kickboxing class. Hitting and kicking a bag for an hour really helped my spirits, but I still felt a little bit mopey. I was also starving. I thought I would just make a protein shake, like the kind I have for breakfast.

Then, on a whim, I remember I had a bag of chopped brussels sprouts from Trader Joes. When I went to pull them out of the fridge, I noticed I also had some broccoli and some spinach and some mini heirloom tomatoes. The only pan that hasn't been packed is a tiny one, about 6 inches in diameter. I put the veggies on that. I had the last of my good olive oil, and I found some cooking sherry. I heated all of that up and it was sizzling nicely when I remembered I still had some tofu. I put that on as well, with a little balsamic.

I had no idea how all this would taste, but in less than 10 minutes, I had what turned out to be a delicious, wholesome meal. All from things I never would have thought to put together unless I was out of just about everything. All cooked in a pan I never really use.

Sometimes when I'm running on less than empty, I have small moments of beautiful right in front of me, right there for the taking.

I hope you had some moments of beautiful today too.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Thank you so much to everyone who left me sweet notes on the last post. I missed you guys too! Muah!!!

 For R who asked about the hunk, one thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that he's a veteran too. So some way or another I still find myself in this mil-spouse - girlfriend - fan circle. I guess we were all just meant to be friends no matter what. Even though he's not in the military anymore, he still works with the military and there's a possibility that he'll be gone for weeks at a time for his work.

 Enough about him. I want to talk about me.

 Y'all, I'm freaking out. I'm moving into his place this weekend (we picked it out together but he's been living in it for months and it just feels like his place) and I had no idea how emotional it would be. Moving is a HUGE pain no matter how you slice it, but it's not just the packing and the sorting and the broken nails and the hurting back. It's the HOLY CRAP I'm about to COHABIT with my MALE PARTNER and it will be FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.

 Let me back up a little before you all start to suggest counselling. I LOVE him. I'm so lucky to be able to be in a relationship with him. He's the mac to my cheese and the grand to my canyon and all that. It's just that, see, I'm a VERY independent person. I'm also not as young as I used to be. OK, I'm not decrepit though I did turn 30 not too long ago and I kind of felt like it. Point is, I've been on my own for a long time. Yep, I have a roommate now and she's awesome but it's not the same. Her stuff is her stuff and my space is my space and we get along great and are very considerate of each other and I feel like I have my own space and my own zone and my own things and my own privacy.

 But as I took the first few boxes in last weekend (and he wasn't there...gone for work for awhile) it hit me. There is no longer any MINE. It's all OURS. And I may have had a little meltdown.

 Again, I want to say this isn't a commentary on our relationship per se. I've been a feisty and independent thinker since I was in diapers. My grandma reminds me of that all the time. As Gaga said, baby I was born that way.

 I'm just not sure what to do with these crazy emotions. I know that I just have to let them come and feel them and not dwell on the negative but I just feel so unbalanced right now and I don't like it. I tried to talk to him about it last night and I'm not sure that in my state it was such a great idea. He asked me how I was, I promptly started crying, then started blubbering about how my olive oil wouldn't be my olive oil anymore it would be OUR olive oil and that meant my life was over. And he's like, Oh my God, I won't be able to leave town with you by yourself ever again.

 My friends just came over and brought Mediterranean food and wine so I have to cut this short. I will complain to you more later. Thoughts and advice welcome. XO,


Sunday, January 13, 2013


It's my first time to log onto Blogger in a LONG time. You know what the best part of logging on was? Reading through my news feed and catching up on old blogging friends. It's been about 2 years since I stopped blogging regularly and during that time I stopped keeping in touch with most of you. (Nothing personal, I promise!) It was SO much fun to drop back in and see where everyone is two years later!

Some of you who were mothers to one are now mothers to two! Some of you who were single are now newlyweds! (Hiiiii, R!) Some of you have moved across the country. Some of you have gone through enriching and soul-searching experiences.

And a lot of things have changed with me too:

I'm engaged and will be getting married in 2 months. He's wonderful. He's handsome and brave and strong. And French Canadian. I can't wait to be married to him.

I've turned into a vegan. This happened about 8 months ago. I went on a wonderful vacation to Hawaii and while I was there I indulged in every bit of sweet treat I wanted. I ate more junk food in a week than I usually do in a month and just felt GROSS by the end of it. I wanted to make a drastic change to get healthier and for some reason zeroed in on veganism, i.e., no meat, no eggs, no dairy. I did research on the health benefits and got started. There have been ups and downs along the way (major down came in month 2 when I got SOOO bored with eating the same things over and over) but so many wonderful health changes have come as a result.

I'm moving from my chic bacherlorette pad in a trendy neighborhood to a townhouse in the suburbs. I'm excited and I know good things will come from this, but I'm also terrified. My life is going to change in a big way.

I've set a few goals for this year:

Find creative outlet outside of work. Writing is one of my favorite things to do and there are so many things I love about blogging, especially the connections I make with wonderful people. I don't think I will ever be as regular a blogger as a used to be, mainly because I sit in front of a computer for 9 hours a day at work and usually don't feel like getting in front of a screen again when I get home. But I love it so will try to keep at it.

I'm also going to try my hand at cold-pressed soap making. Why? Why not.

Travel to Cambodia. I want to go somewhere far away, exotic and beautiful that I've never been.

So now that you've caught up with me, can I ask you a favor? Can one of you recommend a site designer? Mine is out of date and I don't know how to fix it. Or can you at least tell me how to get rid of the black and white damask for the time being?

Blessings to all of you,