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Not now, sadly. Not in the too near future, unfortunately. But, yes, the end of May this year will see my first vacation in a while (Christmastime is never a vacation and almost always more work and stress than it should be.) So, where am I going, you may wonder? Tahiti? France? India? Brazil? No, no, nowhere like that. Actually, Stephen and I are going to California. He’s never *really* been to L.A. and I’d love to go back and have time there that isn’t interrupted with candy canes and tree decorating and obligatory good tidings (kidding). I have a lot of hopes for this little vacation and hope to make the very best of it and hope to have plenty of time to relax and remember some of my favorite L.A. haunts and fall back in love with the place with my best boy at my side.

The 405... We love it!

The 405... We love it!

I’m so excited that I’ve even started to think of a little itinerary of all the wonderful things we can do while we’re there. So maybe not TOO much time for relaxing, but LOTS of time for fun!

News update:
Saturday night Stephen, Iain, Silena and I were graciously invited to a wonderful dinner at Fran LaVilla’s house in the country (DeMossville, Kentucky to be exact!). While Fran is one of my dearest friends, we don’t see each other nearly enough and I’d never had the pleasure to venture out to her little corner of the world. I am so glad I did. Her family is charming and wonderful and her mom is an outstanding cook! We sat around and shared stories and laughs, mostly and I personally tried to take in as much beauty as I could. Their view is phenomenal and the house is adorable and incredibly well designed. Oh, that kitchen, that kitchen, that KITCHEN! I think I’d definitely like to have a living arrangement in the country someday. And in such a unique and beautiful house. But in talking to Stephen about it “living in the country” transforms into “moving to the south of France or Northern Italy or Greece.” Which I don’t mind, he encourages my fantastical side.

What else, what else…

Oh, last night I made Stephen and I an absolutely fantastic dinner. And I am only bragging because it took four freakin hours! And because my mouth is watering over the thought of having leftovers for dinner!
It was a fresh kalamata olive/lemon/anchovy tapenade and homemade bread, a greek salad with homemade dressing, Turkish Rice (cinnamon, butter, onions, long grain rice tossed with pine nuts and raisins), and a Moroccan Lemon and Olive Chicken. Oh man, oh man, oh man! It was pretty delicious.

Annnd, big surprise, I’ve started yet another working out resolution. Seeing as we will be in California in less than two months AND I will have to wear a swimsuit at some point during that trip, I am going to work out at least four days a week, every week, until we leave. But don’t count on me consuming hardly ANY diet friendly foods while in California. In N Out, anyon

This morning as I drove into work, fully aware of the first day of spring (I am wearing my new spring headband! Woot woot!) I was struck by the restrospective view of winter. As I previously mentioned, this winter presented many blessings, and what looking back feels like infinitely more soul-shattering blows. I do not wish to carry the sadness from winter into this new season that is to be bursting from the seams with nothing but life and goodness. So let’s leave it all here at the blog, shall we?

This winter, probably most notably, my last surviving Grandparent passed away. My mom’s mom left us February 5th after a difficult battle with cancer. I can’t erase the memories I have of her during the last few months of her life. I couldn’t wash away the feeling of her always-soft hand rubbing mine while she lay her hospice bed in a room filled with loving and beautiful people. Or the feeling of that same hand, hardened like plastic, as she laid in her casket, finally allowed to be at peace. These memories hurt, but they are far outnumbered by the happiest ones, the most innocent ones and the oldest ones. I miss her every day, and always will, but I take comfort in knowing that I am a much better woman because of the pieces of her that are alive and well within me.

Before her passing and after, I feel like I struggled, for the first time, with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I hated the short days with little or no sunlight and felt myself being genuinely saddened or made more moody by the weather outside. I didn’t have energy to enjoy the beauties of winter and the joy of the season as I usually do. Instead I felt rushed, pressured and pulled in directions I didn’t want to go in and felt forced to comply with less than perfect situations. It just hurt, all of the time, and I didn’t really know where to begin in addressing that, other than just waiting it out and seeing where spring came along.

I also expereinced a number of situations that forced me to seriously confront issues I may or may not have in regards to anxiety and a need for control. It’s been kind of frightening at times to see myself at the edge of a place that I really do not at all enjoy being, and five minutes later realizing how absurd I acted. You may laugh, but I feel like there’s a different part of me that can come out under stress that I don’t like to admit to being there. It’s truly unfortunate and I feel like it makes me weaker. I need to learn to battle this part of myself better and tackle it. But in addition to have an ugly streak that I can’t stand, I am impulsive and usually don’t realize it until the words are coming out of my mouth and I’m already riled up about it. My biggest fear about this weakness is that it will manifest against people that I love the most and turn them away. That’s the last thing I want to do and would be absolutely crushing if it did happen.

As I type this, I go in and out of a conscious thought to push “Publish.” I know that I should because I know it needs to be out there, but I know it’s not that well written and I know it might be uncomfortable for some.

I truly am babbling today.

Winter wasn’t all bad, most importantly, on a career level, I was accepted into Graduate School at Northern Kentucky University where I will be earning my Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies. I’m really excited to get back into school, but not totally sure if I am prepared mentally for the stress. Only one way to find out…

I am going to return with a positive version of this post in a few days. I was going to do it now, but I think I wore myself out. Let’s let the sunshine in.

Sorry for letting it all out on you, but thanks for stickin’ with it, Kids.

Hey. It’s the first day of Spring. Let’s do something about it.

Anyone out there who has had then (more often than not) great displeasure of Dieting knows how incredibly un-fun it can be to eat something like pizza. And as awful as that may sound, it’s true. You save your calories for it, you take a bite and realize that more often than not, it is SO not worth it.

This weekend, Stephen and I went to dinner with our neighbor, Matt. He took us to Mac’s up in Clifton for the best damn pizza of my life. Totally worth it and I’ve realized that if I am ever breaking my diet for pizza again, it ain’t gonna be on no Papa John’s. Go amazingly delicious, or go home.

I’m so done with Old Man Winter, it’s not even funny. Never in all my days have I been so sick of winter… but I am SO sick of winter.  Every morning I wake up, put on layers of boring clothing and trek out into the cold. Squeezing my body heat in to the best of my ability and trying to remember what it feels like to have a nose have become regular occurences for me, and I’m not crazy about it. Every once in a while, when winter gets closer to handing off the baton to spring, we get glimpses of the wonders that lie ahead: liberating clothing,  painless use of fingers, no fear of ice. These things are fabulous, and now… with spring’s official start date a little over a week away, I find myself cheering the season on as if it’s Billy Elliot. I welcome the time change that will force me to lose an hour of sleep, I embrace the tedious task of changing out wardrobes and I count down the HOURS until I can turn off that blasted, good for nothing heater.

I hope that one day I’ll wake up and that big sun will feel warmer, my front porch will be inviting company of all sorts and it will be sunny well after 9 PM.  Hurry, spring. You can do it.

Or at least have the potential to become reality.

I get these daily e-mails/Splenda/Egg Beaters commercials from HungryGirl. Sometimes they have good recipes and tips and nutrition info, other times, not.  But yesterday in her e-mail she advertised a contest being put on by our good friends over at Macy’s called “Keep America Cooking,” And I really want to enter!!!

So I’m presently brainstorming up a, well, storm… and getting myself together to make a little mini-cooking show to submit to these Macy’s folk and hopefully get picked up by the Food Network, endorsements up the wazoo, million dollar contracts, weekends in Paris, yadda, yadda, yadda and the rest is history.

Wish me luck, Amigos.

“WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO UPDATE YOUR BLOG?” A very disgruntled and bored internet used asked me last night as I dutifully prepared his dinner.

“Tomorrow, I suppose.”

Are you happy, Darling?

I do apologize and I do realize that to my One dedicated reader that exists, this blog is a stalemate and a product of nothing but reruns and boredom. Lo siento.

I am presently waiting to hear back from Northern Kentucky University to learn of news that pertains to my admittance to their Master of Arts in Communication Studies program. I hope I get in, but I truly am sick of the waiting game. Let a sista’ know, NKU. Sakes!

Other than that, today is the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss. The man would have been 105 years young today and in honor, you can imagine, I have had a Seusstastic storytime filled with Hopping on Pop and Cats in Hats and Multiple Fish; Some red, some blue.

For you, Blog Readers, and as a gift from me to the departed Master of Tongue Twisters and Rhyme Schemes, I am going to present a series of photos that some may call “precious” or “cute” or “sweet.” But I am just going to file it under “animal cruelty.” Enjoy!

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