Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The more I experience life, the more I am reminded of the ways in which I am blessed.  One of my favorite mantras, I repeat often, is “what we focus on, expands”.  I believe how we think dictates how we feel, and how we feel influences how we choose to behave.  When I am choosing to see what is good, I find myself creating more to be grateful for in life. 

Being grateful isn’t always easy for me.  I am a realist and I like to go to the tough place first.  I am someone who is all up or all down, all in or all out.  I want to end somewhere, where I can influence, improve and make better—a place where forward motion and change can occur.

While this can be a gift, it can also be an obstacle for me.  I sometimes wonder what I’m missing out on when I find myself at the end side of a problem so quickly; are there blessings I’ve failed to recognize along the way?

I find comfort and gratitude in writing.  It’s the only thing I’ve found to slow me down.  It’s my reflective pause, my space to separate things.  Thankfully, writing has been a means of expressing gratitude and focusing on what is good.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Aside from the necessary reading at work and in life with emails and blogs, I spend most of my time reading novels.  Most of my books for recreational reading come from the bookstore or Amazon.  I prefer, when I have time, to browse the aisles looking for a book that intrigues me.  The best reads are usually referrals from friends.  I enjoy sharing books with others because I don’t typically read a book more than once. 

Novels: My favorite.
My love for reading books is a fairly recent discovery.  About 10 years ago, when I felt like my grown up life began, I started reading fiction more frequently.  I’ve always been a fan of self-help, non-fiction, but when my appreciation for a crafted story took hold, it never let go.  I read many types of books—romance, mystery, drama--as long as the author can tell a good story, I can enjoy it.   

If I’m not reading a book, I feel like something is missing.  Currently I’m reading “The Innocent”, by Harlan Coben (a referral from a friend at work), and I’m also reading “Staying Close” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. It’s not uncommon for me to be reading a self-help book alongside of a good novel. 

I’ve never understood the electronic book craze.  I once tried to read a book on our ipad, and while the book was a great story, I felt ripped off because I never got to touch the cover and fold the pages.  My books travel everywhere with me because I never know when I’m going to sneak in a few pages of reading.  As familiar and comfortable as a cup of coffee in a mug, I long for the book in my hands.  I will always buy books. 

When life slows down for me, I will read much more.  It’s one of my most favorite quiet activities.  Although I can usually sneak in reading at night or early morning, it’s never enough.  I usually read at least a few times a week and it’s always an escape for me, I think this is why I love it so much.

Labels: Necessary reading.
I do a lot of reading labels.  With Ava’s allergies, I spend a good amount of time researching food, ingredients and recipes, in order to learn more about cooking safe for our family.  I’ve been amazed with how much I’ve learned over the past five years, which I wouldn’t have otherwise known, regarding vegan and nut-free cooking and baking. 

Tabloids and Magazines: Guilty Pleasure.
During moments in between the busyness of life, I find small windows to pick up a magazine and skim through it for quick reading.  These tabloids are a vacation staple and always travel with me.  I enjoy the mindless effort it takes to get through a magazine that leaves you with nothing but unnecessary information.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Mornings are for me.  Seems like the older I get, the earlier I rise.  My alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. and it’s the beginning of the best part of my day.  The first two hours are reserved for me and I love it.  I brush my teeth, put on my workout clothes, grab a banana and head out the door to workout.  On my 20 minute drive to Crossfit (or run with my sister), I listen to the NPR morning show and get caught up on daily news.  

I finish up my workout around 6:15 a.m. and head home, ready to take on the day.   By the time I get home, Ava is usually awake—she’s a morning girl, just like her mom.    Before I head downstairs to prepare breakfast for Ava (usually apple juice, toast and/or Grapenuts these days), I jump in the shower then put my PJ’s back on and begin getting my hair and makeup on for the day. 

Ava enjoys eating in our room and watching her morning show, typically Nick Jr. or Disney Jr., while Matt and I get ready.  Carson wakes up chatting for about a half hour or so before I need to go get him.  He wakes anytime between 7:15-8 a.m.  Happy and hungry, Carson and I head downstairs to eat our breakfast (he usually has oatmeal or toast with yogurt and fruit, his favorite). We finish breakfast and head back upstairs to get dressed for the day.

Ava loves picking out her own outfit and I happily oblige, reminding myself of how this builds her confidence.  I help motivate Ava to get dressed, brush her teeth and take her vitamins.  Finally, I fix her hair before she is allowed to plop herself back in front of the TV.

In the final minutes before our 8:45 a.m. departure, I am racing around getting Carson and I dressed and Ava’s school snack packed.  We all load in the car and head down the hill to have Ava to school by 9 a.m.  After dropping Ava off from school, I enjoy some alone time with Carson.  Often times we grab a cup of coffee and run some errands together. 

If there were one thing I’d like to change about my morning routine, it would be to have a couple early mornings a week to myself and stay home instead of going to the gym. I want to turn on the fireplace, make a cup of coffee, grab my book or computer at the early hour of 4:15 a.m. and enjoy quiet alone time reading and/or writing.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thirty-one Things

I’m excited to be taking an online class titled 31 Things from my friend Ali Edwards.  This writing exercise challenges me to take the time to write daily, for 31 days straight.  I look forward to growing from this experience, writing more frequently with less time to manicure each journal entry.  My goal is to remain disciplined, writing every day with raw, real time emotion in reaction to each topic.  This will be new for me, as I tend to over think and over analyze my thoughts when I write.  What a refreshing experience this will be! J

Day 1 | Jewelry
I believe jewelry to be the perfect form of expression.  While I’m not a fancy jewelry person, I am very particular about what I like.   Sometimes it’s just one fabulous piece of jewelry that makes the biggest statement.

Earrings. You will rarely find me not wearing them.  Most of the time I wear a pair of simple large hoops in gold or silver, these are the white t-shirt for me—they go with everything.    My small, silver diamond earrings are my causal, throw on a hat with no makeup pair while my gold and black chandeliers are my get gussied up and go out got to. 

Necklaces. I buy them but never wear them. They always look so much better on everyone else.

Rings. An engagement ring and wedding band reside on my left hand, an anniversary ring on my right. For the almost 12 years I’ve been married, I’ve only worn the 3 rings my husband gave me.  It could be my small stubby fingers that deter me, but it sounds much more romantic to say I keep these hands monogamous for Matt.