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Celebrating Thirty-Six

Tomorrow is the day I turn 37.  I have very mixed-feelings about it.  I know 37 is young.  But this year, especially, I feel old.    It’s also a good time to do some reflecting.  It’s been a big year! 
  1. I began to take better care of myself.  It wasn’t necessarily “eat ALLLLL the vegetables and work out constantly”, but more like a quiet listening to myself and my body.
  2. I watched others slide down a big slide.  And longed for the rush of adrenaline and to feel the wind in my hair.  And then safely walked down the stairs.
  3. I took a trip to a place I’ve never been. 
  4. I stood in awe of a finished project for work.  And felt pride.
  5. I struggled to express myself through art.  Most of the time it was ugly and harsh, but every once in  a while I got a glimpse of beauty.
  6. I pushed my body to the yoga mat.  Even though that body doesn’t fit into the typical yoga pose, I did it.  And when I don’t practice, I yearn to feel the stretch and pull.
  7. I realized that even though I don’t always feel passionate about my work, it is good.  And also that finding that spark is important.
  8. I reveled in the magic of a bloom, it’s intricate petals unfolding.
  9. I experienced the warmth that only comes from a fireplace, and the comfort of sitting curled up with my hands wrapped around a mug of hot coffee.
  10. I drove in the snow and only was only a leeeeetle scared.
  11. I remembered that the best of friends don’t have to see each other day.  It can even be years, and still, that friendship doesn’t fade.
  12. I walked on a sea of ice and took a sleigh ride.
  13. I marveled at the detail of the tiniest of snowflakes and couldn’t help but think about God.
  14. I wore pants that matched my nail polish.
  15. I fought the good (and bad) fight against turning around and running toward what I knew was comfortable, even if it was painful.  Not always successfully.  Even today, not successfully. But I tried.
  16. I played with watercolors
  17. I discovered that work friends can also be real friends.
  18. Gin and tonic with lots of lime is my drink of choice.
  19. I shook off the nerves of more networking events than I can count.  Sometimes it worked.
  20. I bought a house.  A forever home.  A dream that if I’m honest, I never imaged would actually come true.
  21. I started having to wear glasses to work on the computer.
  22. I struggled with God.  With believing.  With faith.
  23. I marked high tea off of my bucket list.
  24. I broke my ankle (well, a tendon).
  25. I moved.
  26. I still think Zaxby’s is still the bomb.  And extra crispy fries are a requirement.
  27. I celebrated.
  28. I paid a mortgage and winced. And then reminded myself that it is so, so worth it.
  29. I cried because I was lonely.
  30. I celebrated new babies (not mine!)
  31. I joined a book club.
  32. I discovered I love cooking.
  33. I shot a gun
  34. I was completely surprised by my Momma.
  35. I stuck my toes in the sand and walked along the beach in the moonlight.
  36. I entertained.  For the first time, in my own home.  With cheese and fruit and wine, and places for people to sit.  (It’s a big deal, people!)
Let's see what thirty-seven brings!


Well, Hello There

Well, hello there!  Life has been busy...but I just wanted to pop in to post a couple of layouts from 2014 I found while cleaning up the other day! Both are using photos I took while visiting family in upstate New York! 

Talk to you soon!



Thrilling Thursday

Sweet and simple.  Merry Christmas!



Christmas Decorations

I really don’t have fantastic Christmas decorations.  Well, I have a teensy little tree (I think it is three feet tall) that I’ve put up almost every year for the past ten years or so.  I have a beautiful little nativity set that my mom bought for me when she lived in Germany, and a small silver tree with tiny little ornaments from my childhood.
There are a few little odds and ends, a box of ornaments from my childhood that may or may not get used, a string of lights and that’s about it.  

I’ve always put off buying a bigger tree and different ornaments/decorations.  When I started thinking about it last week, I couldn’t figure out why, except that I was waiting.  Waiting for what?  Probably a bigger house, a husband, kids.  I know for several years I moved around a bit, so the idea of moving a bunch of Christmas decorations didn’t sound like fun.  I’m tired of waiting.  So, I made a plan.  It probably won’t happen this year, but I’m going to be shopping those after Christmas sales for sure.  Next year, it’s on. 

I’ve “inherited” my Mom’s Spode Christmas dishes.  Inherited in quotes, because she’s alive and kicking.  But a couple of years ago when she made the great move up north, she passed them along.  While there aren’t full place settings, there are several serving dishes and I think they make a great starting point.  I’m going simple and classic.

Not a bad start, huh?  I'm on the fence about the two different green bulbs, and if I do the pom-pom garland, I wouldn't include white.  We will see.  I've always loved mercury glass and can't help but to include them on my wish list.  Whether I'll find the ornaments or trees at a price I won't balk at (those shown here are from Pottery Barn) will be the trick.  The star tree topper may be too rustic, but I liked how unique it was.  And I'll need a tree skirt.  

First up, find that tree.  In the little bit of shopping around I've done for an artificial tree, I've discovered I'm pretty particular about how it looks, which means a higher price.  So, it may very well be an after-Christmas sale event.  We will see!

Edited to Add

Ya'll  - I just stumbled upon these two things on super clearance from West Elm.  $13 per strand for the pom-pom strands (which is about half price for what I've been able to find and those I would have to sew together myself) and $15 for the star.

What do you think?



It’s that time of year.  It’s a time full of family, expectations, love, laughter and moments that will be remembered for a lifetime.  For some it’s also a time full of sadness, despair, loneliness, hurt and suffering.   

For me personally, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are bittersweet.  I want so desperately to be free enough to enjoy the smithereens out of the moment.  To create new memories and traditions, to not have unrealistic expectations, to not yearn for something different, to not be disappointed.  I find myself once again in that place.  Having to remind myself that there is so much good in my world.  There is happiness and joy and fun.  Yet somehow there is a shadow that lurks in the corner.  I’ve always blamed it on being single.  Last year, though, I was with someone I loved.  And the struggle was so much less.  I was happy and content, even though there were times when our relationship was rocky.  This year, I feel vulnerable and weak as I struggle with heartbreak, and every day I fight to keep the darkness in its little box.   

I spent the holiday and weekend with some of my best friends.  We laughed, ate, drank and sat in contented silence together.  It was perfect in so many ways.  But still, in the wee hours of the morning, the sadness crept in.

I know I am not alone in this.  I am not unique.  And even as I write this I can’t help but remind myself that life is still good.  But life is also about honesty.  So, here’s my story, written and published in the hope that if someone else is in the same situation, they know they are not alone.  And it is okay. 

Even in that place, I’m so incredibly thankful. 
  • Thankful for friends and family who listen and hold my hand
  • For laughter that makes my sides hurt and my eyes water
  • For delicious food that brings delight and temporary comfort
  • For peace, even in the midst of turmoil
  • For stability, when for so many years stability didn’t exist
  • For security, held in my own hands and not someone else’s
  • For tiniest bit of hope in the future, even when I can’t even imagine what that future holds
  • For the memory of who I am, even if I’ve strayed
  • For rejuvenation and a plan of action

 It’s all there.  It’s a beautiful world and I’m going to keep reminding myself of it every single day.  


Happy Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!  I found a couple of layouts this weekend that I guess I never shared here.  Both are a different style than what I typically do, but experimenting is always good! And apparently I'm all about saying "hello" :)