I feel so alive

Yesterday, the little things were so stressful that I didn't even worry about the big things.

Last night, I was so tired and sad and worried, and then I spent the night in a beautiful hotel room with my husband in NYC, which was not at all where I was planning to be, but was still very very nice.

And I guess it's all going to just work out one way anyway, but if you focus on what's wrong you miss out on the right moments in between.

Today, I'm sitting in the airport alone, reading a novel. Tired, but happy. And, corny though it is, these lyrics are stuck in my head:

Everyday is a new day
I'm thankful for every breath I take
I won't take it for granted
So I learn from my mistakes
It's beyond my control sometimes it's best to let go,
whatever happens in this lifetime
So I trust in love
You have given me peace of mind

(Alive, P.O.D.)


Wow, April, are you almost over already? April has been life-changing. Thrilling and stressful. And definitely the beginning of something new. So many things to blog about, so little posts.

Today, I just want to take a moment to post this beautiful image of Reese Witherspoon from U.S. Vogue May 2011's A Day at the Circus. (Side note: I will most certainly not see Water for Elephants; they describe it as a movie in which terrible things happen to everyone and go on to say A feel-good movie this is not. Not my cup of tea.)

Anyway, I really admire Reese after reading the article. I especially like Nora Ephron's description of her living her life in a dignified way. I read it and thought, that's what I want people to say that about me. And then I looked up what exactly it meant to live life in a dignified way (you can google anything) and this was my favorite answer:

To be loving, to reach out to others, to be kind and compassionate - these are the things which create a life of dignity.
Basically, facing your reality, particularly hardships, with love and positivity, instead of bitterness and negativity. And being open and honest, but also private.


I love this picture!

(Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon by Jason Hetherington for Marie Claire UK March 2011)

I really like her look. The whole editorial is fabulous. Check it out.

end of March update

So, since I've been pretty much sucking at resolutions this year, I decided to make some teeny tiny mini-goals for each resolution for March. To be honest, it didn't help too much, I'm just somewhat off of my game this year. Partly, because the time is just going by so fast - I feel overwhelmed day-to-day by how it's rushing by! Partly, I just don't feel like putting in the effort for some reason. It's easy to eat healthy and exercise when you are trying to lose a few pounds, or pick up the guitar when you are paying for lessons, but if not, not so much. That being said, there is one resolution that I absolutely rocked at this month:
Like the way I look: I went in for a much-needed hair cut (it'd been six months again!) and immediately felt much more put together. On top of that, I went with a friend for a facial and did a major overhaul to my skincare routine. The clean slate, new products, and diligence in using them, all added up to great improvement (I think) to the state of my face (I was very close to ordering ProActive...) which is so exciting! So exciting that I also went shopping for new makeup. I actually went and sat at a department store counter (something that has always intimidated me) and had them do my face. I am so happy with the new products, and feel so grown-up. I can do this. Secondly, I went shopping for basics. I usually go shopping and end up with a fabulous dress, or purse, or pair of heels. This time I came home with fabulous solid t-shirts and tank tops, and a two basic but cute print tops. Now, I have nice clothes to wear everyday, and instead of nice dressy clothes but no basics. All this together has added up to being really happy about my appearance, and, well, liking the way I look.
(This is the after, so, can you imagine how bad the before was?)
Read: So, I read one book in March. This technically fulfills the resolution goal, but not the mini-goal. I read The Mystery of Grace, by one of my all-time absolute favorite authors, Charles de Lint. I've been reading every book of his for years, but hadn't in quite a long time. I picked it because I knew it would be interesting and well-written and wouldn't make me heartbroken. It was a really good choice. As for the others that I vowed to read this month, I AM OZZY and Jude the Obscure went straight in the donate bin along with a great many others that I've been not reading for a long time now (Sylvia Plath and On the Road, both gone!) OZZY was too annoying and Jude too sad, so I just abandoned them both with no regrets. I still have a nice little stack of un-reads though, and haven't restarted on Les Mis yet. Maybe that can be April's mini-goal?
(De Lint is great at happy endings.)
Eat healthier: Nope, especially not this first week of April. Even with the fridge full of good food. We've cut out the frequent pasta dishes though, and you know what Chicken with Artichoke and Mushroom Pasta tastes even better without the pasta... For the rest of April, I'm going to try again with the one piece of fruit a day, guess I need to go get an apple out of the fridge. Also, some of the most common fruits and veggies that we eat are high up on the list of the best things to buy organic, meaning that they rated highest in pesticide and chemical residue, and I just decided to start making sure to buy them organic: apples, strawberries, grapes, and spinach.
Cook more: My one new recipe was actually two new recipes and turned out so fabulous! I made a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for a friend's birthday. The cake was moist and delicious and chocolate-y, and the frosting was very sweet but perfect consistency. This is definitely my go-to chocolate cake recipe from now on, and this month I'm going to make it again for my step-son's birthday! I decided desserts totally count for this goal. I have some many easy weekly dinner ideas that I'll save the cooking brand new dinner recipes resolution for another year.
(Yep, I baked the cookie cake too. And, yep, I know how to spell Happy Birthday, the candle pack was missing the "D")
Play guitar better: Did not play at all. This month, same mini-goal: Pick up the guitar one time and play it.
Exercise: Failed the big goal of 30 minutes 3 times a week, I think it was. But made the little goal of exercising just one teeny time. I did it. I put on my sports bra and tennis shoes and walk/jogged one tiny little mile. It took 12 minutes. It was fun. I felt good afterwards. Why am I failing this goal?
Keep keeping the house clean: I sprayed half-way around the house for bugs. But guess what, we are moving! Next week, maybe. Another very quick decision, and we are gone. I looked up a moving checklist because I’m all about that kind of stuff, and it was all “two months before” and “six weeks before” and according to Martha we should only have left to defrost the freezer and get cash to tip the moving co. Ha! My husband would so give Martha a heart attack, and, unfortunately, I have a bit of her in me.
(Gonna need a bigger box to move the kit-cat.)
Wake up early: Yep. Set my alarm clock and have been waking up almost every (week)day about 10 minutes before it goes off! Except for Saturdays and a few flukes where I slept until almost noon, I’ve been rocking this goal.
Diary/Blog and photos: Not so good at this, seriously, four blogs for March is the worst by far in years! Although we did take lots of lovely pictures on our vacation (that I still need to blog) and some blurry shots of our anniversary. Let's try for 15 and, although I swore not to make cat posts, he's so cute that I'm going to start a weekly round-up. Don't hate.
(Dramatic, no?)
Improve day-to-day apartment living: I got my vacuum and I never knew I could love a vacuum so much. The goal for this month is purging everything that I possibly can while packing and moving. I’ve already got a ton of stuff for good-will, books and clothes and kitchen stuff and can’t wait to add more.
All in all, I guess March wasn’t that bad in terms of resolutions. For April, I’m really going to concentrate on continuing to like the way I look, to start eating healthy all the time, exercising, and taking lots of photos. And of course, moving.

a perfect day

We celebrated our anniversary much like any other perfect day: steaks on the grill, a bit of champagne, a game of skip-bo and then lots of Rockband singing with little breaks for real guitar-playing.