Monday, December 20, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love and a Personal Confession

So, you know that little book called "Eat, Pray, Love?"  You might not have heard of it.  I mean, it isn't like it was on the best selling list or made into a blockbuster movie or anything. 


During the few years since Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this book, I have read a lot of reviews of her work.  Regardless if you liked the book or not, I don't think anyone can deny that this woman has a special talent. 

Back when I was going through a divorce, my mom gave me a copy and said, "Read this.  Please."  I put it in the pile of books on my nightstand.  Okay, okay, I put it in the pile of self-help books on my nightstand.  I mean, I was going through a divorce.  I needed all the help I could get!  And. . . .so it sat.  For a long time. 

Then one weekend, I picked it up to see what it was all about and didn't put it down until I finished reading it all, from cover to cover.  I laughed and cried.  Hysterically.

I couldn't believe that this woman was so in my head.  How did she know every thought and feeling I had about love, loss, divorce, happiness, sadness?  How did she know all of that about me?  Because really, I felt like she wrote this book just for me.  Just to let me know that everything was going to be just fine.

I have since pushed this book upon two friends who have struggled with their relationships this past year.  And you know what?  I'm not alone in feeling like this little gem of a book came along at the perfect time.  It just may have saved my life.  Okay, okay, maybe I'm going too far, but Elizabeth Gilbert's book blew my so-called "self-help" books out of the water.  It was like my own personal bible.

Fast forward about 3 1/2 years later and for the most part, life is so very good.  Except . . . . .except there has been a dark cloud following me around lately that I can't seem to shake.  Rationally, I know that I am very blessed.  I have a wonderful family and lots of friends. 

So here's where the confession part comes in.  Country and I have been trying to start a family for almost a year now.  And I am still not pregnant.


When I started this blog, I thought it would be a great creative outlet for me.  I could post pictures of different rooms in my house, of the dogs, of friends and family.  I could share things that inspire me.  I could write about my thoughts and feelings.  Somewhere along the way I got lazy about posting and then sometimes I want to share so much more about my life but then go back and forth about how much information is "too much" and wondering about who is really reading this blog anyway.

With that being said, I thought about the blogs that I love to read and realized that even though I don't personally know these people who share their lives via the Internet, I share in their joy and unfortunately, sometimes share in their struggles.

I guess this post today is to finally lay it all out there in the open.  We're trying for a baby.  We're having a hard time and are at the point where we will start exploring what our options are.  Please send us some fertility vibes and of course, prayers.

Which leads me back to Eat, Pray, Love.  I was feeling pretty low tonight and dug out my battered and torn copy of EPL (personal bible, remember?).  Flipping through, I came across this paragraph and it was perfect, so I thought I'd share:

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."

— Elizabeth Gilbert

How does she do this?!  How does she know that I was just thinking that I need to choose my thoughts differently about this challenging time and send out good vibes instead?

"I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises."
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Starting tonight, I have to let go of that suffering feeling and trust that what will be, will be. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Was a Dark, Cold Night

My alarm went off way too early at 2:35 in the morning. I dragged myself out of bed and brushed my teeth. On went layer upon layer of warm clothing. Big, puffy down coat? Check. Hats, gloves, scarf? Check.

I looked like Ralphie from the Christmas Story. I couldn’t put my arms down.

I threw a few boxes of raisins in my purse and went out into the night with a caffeine-laded Coke in my hand.

Easing into the parking lot, I saw just a handful of cars. My heart skipped a beat and I thought, “I might get that TV after all!” Yes, Target had an awesome deal on a HDTV and I was getting sucked into this Black Friday madness for the very first time. As I made my way through the plaza, I realized that the parking lot was full on the other side of the store. Crap!

45 minutes later, at exactly 4 in the morning, the doors opened and slight panic set in. I wanted to run (and so did everyone else---I could tell!) but the security had made it very clear that if anyone ran, pushed or hassled anyone else, they would be leaving the store. In the cop car out front. So I walked really, really fast.

A man passed me with the huge TV shoved into his cart. “Where did you find that?!” I asked. “Over there in the ladies department,” he said. Huh? Tricky, tricky, Target. I hustled over to the ladies department only to find great big stacks of . . . . . . .nothing.

There were a lot of us standing around for a few minutes. We didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves. This is what we all wanted. This is what we all came for! What do you mean there are no TVs left?!?!?!

We were dazed. And confused.

Finally, as if we were told to go home after a party got broken up or something, we all kind of went off into different directions. The time? 4:02 am.

I half-heartedly threw some stuff in my cart like it was some kind of consolation prize and checked out. Truthfully, I’ll be returning most of it tonight.

Bummer. No big huge HDTV for me.

Couple of things that I take away from this experience:
1.) If you need a new tent or some nice camping chairs, you will find them abandoned in front of the store as soon as the doors open.
2.) Get there even earlier than you can imagine.

3.) Now that the excitement of Black Friday is over, I can honestly say that I don’t think there is anything in this world that would make me want to shop on Black Friday again.

4.) I’m pitching that someone in Hollywood needs to come out with a movie about shopping on Black Friday. Preferably a romantic comedy. Preferably with Jake Gyllenhaal as the male lead.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thank You McRib . . . .

. . . . .for reminding me that I love this song.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dog Love

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Older, Yes. Wiser? We'll see.

Something happened these past couple of days that doesn't often happen. 
Or shall I say that I don't often let  happen. 
I woke up on Saturday morning and just let it all go. 

You know how it is. . . .working full time, taking care of so much. . . .and always feeling like there is still so much to do on your "list."  You might not even have an actual list.  But I do.  Always.  But not today. 

Lately my mind has been buzzing as loudly as the whirlybirds falling from the maples.

I've been fighting with Mother Nature for about a month now; not quite forgiving her for the shorter days
and longer nights. 

I've been cherishing every last ray of sunshine.

Okay, okay.  We've all been cherishing every last ray of sunshine.

My half-hearted attempt at decorating for fall went something like this:

And I am tired.  Punkered out.  Dunzo.

For the past 6 years or so I have had a huge party celebrating Fall and this year I just didn't have it in me. 
I was exhausted just thinking about the cleaning, decorating and prep involved with having 100+ people at my house.  So I decided to have just my family and closest friends over for a tiny birthday celebration.
And you know what?  I'm was okay with it.  Better than okay. 

We chit-chatted the night away.  Told stories.  Laughed.

We made raunchy jokes about the neigbor's even raunchier music.

The jokes (and music) got even raunchier as the night went on.

We posed for pictures.

Some of us watched Princess and the Frog on an iPhone!

Tripp kept our feet warm and our hearts even warmer.

And of course, we hung out in the teepee.

And as I looked at each of the smiling faces to my left, to my right and all around that bonfire circle. . .

I exhaled the last of the summer air and thought that even though the warm summer days were gone,

my heart had never felt so cozy with love.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roughin' It 2010

We had  big plans to head out west to Colorado.  Just the two of us. . .hiking, exploring, having a good time.  But then life, and namely Justices' cancer got in the way and we had to scrap our plans.  We know our time with him is limited so we couldn't bear the thought of being away from him for any longer than necessary.

But really, who would want to leave this little Chocolate love for a week and a half?  Not me!  Not Country. 
We decided to pack up the RV (no, not ours unfortunately!) and head out on a six day adventure with our favorite canine companions.

I mean, what dog doesn't love to camp?  Outside for hours and hours, lots of walks and hikes, hot dogs and marshmallows. . . .

. . . . . .or their regular food in their Fiestaware bowls.  But it tastes better because they're outside eating it!!

And hanging out with Mom and Dad. . . . .

Okay, okay, here's a nice picture where we're not acting goofy:

Pay no attention to the "Leisure Travel" printed on the RV.  I mean, we were roughin' it.  Keeping it real.  No comfy bead to lie our weary heads.  No air conditioning.  No running water or flat screen TV to snuggle up in front of late at night, after the campfire died down. 

Do you believe me?

You don't?

Well, believe this--Turkey Run is Bee-you-tee-full.  I mean, straight up awesome.

How cool is this cabin?!  Look at the size of those logs!

Country attempted to carve our names in this tree but didn't come equipped with the right knife.  Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

Me, just sitting on a rock. 

Country is our navigator.  Always.  Trust me.  I try, really I do, but maps look like a foreign language to me.

What a show off.  I kept telling him he did not have to move mountains, or trees, or whatever to be with me; that his love was enough. 

I wished my picture did this justice.

From there, we headed slightly east, over to Cayuga, IN.  We stopped in and visited with some friends who recently had a beautiful baby boy. 

I don't really know this couple all that well. . . .we've only met a handful of times, but by the time Country and I left their house, I felt like I had new family members.  I love when that happens. 

The boys went exploring while she and I hung around the house with the baby.  Of course, they requested that we take some pics with them and their toys. 

What's that saying?  Boys will be boys?  Oh yeah, I think that's it.

I assure you that these gentlemen have very high safetly standards when it comes to their guns.

Then we took some "serious pictures" out in their backyard.  (5 acres!!!  I want 5 acres!!)

This is one of the best behaved babies I have ever seen.

A tree swing!  Eeek!

Then we loaded up our camping equipment  selves in the RV and headed a bit north to
Prophetstown State Park. 

Justice was ready to go.

So, instead of the woods, Propetstown was pretty much mostly prairie.  Which means that I took 4,590 pictures of wildflowers and butterflies with my new camera.  I mean, a girls' gotta practice, right? (And besides, I already have 5,692 pictures of the dogs so it was nice to have a change in subject matter).

I'll spare you all but a couple of prairie pics.

I have always had a fascination with butterflies. . . . beautiful, right?

I'm gonna level with you.  This next picture makes me kind of sad.  Don't get me wrong, I love the picture, but that leaf was a big 'ol reminder that the sun is almost setting on summer.

Well, it certainly wasn't Colorado but we sure did love our little trip.

Sunday, September 12, 2010