Friday, November 30, 2007

First Snow

This morning, I awoke to a Winter wonderland. Normally, I would have been a scrooge about the mess outside, but I am determined to love the snow this year. I live here for a reason and part of that reason is the ever-changing seasons. And that includes Winter.

So, despite the cold air, the lack of sun and the insane drivers, here is my short list of things I love about snow and Winter:

--How absolutely gorgeous it is outside.

--How it rests on the branches of trees. Every bit of snow could be melted on the ground, but there is always a little bit nestled into the branch of a tree.

--Kids in snow pants. There is nothing cooler than a pair of snow pants. I remember not being able to move in them, always being sweaty and warm when we took them off after hours of play. The colors; oh, the colors! I saw a pair of yellow, Spongebob-esque ones just the other day.

--Christmas with snow. I could not imagine living in a climate where there was no snow on Christmas. I have never experienced that, and I don't ever plan to.

--The peaceful air. Sometimes, even as frigid as it gets, I like to stand outside and listen. The wind howls and hisses and it's an amazing sound. All the animals have gone into hiding and it's just so quiet.

--Feeding the birds. I love to feed the birds in the Winter because they need the food. Which means I get to bird watch, intently, for the entire 3 month Winter.

--Throwing snowballs. Every now and then, my husband will wad up a nice white ball and throw it square at me. There is nothing sweeter in this life. :o)

--Sledding!! Even though I am grown, that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy a huge snow hill. The saucer sled is my favorite.

--Ice chunks on Lake Michigan. When we were kids, we used to go out to Nana's and much to her dismay, we would walk.on.the.water. No joke. We would traipse around out on the mountains of ice that form over Lake Michigan. I am too much of a scaredy cat now, but I love to watch the ice on the lake. Especially as it forms in the Winter and breaks up in the Spring. What a neat site.

--Being able to someday enjoy the snow with my children. People who live in warm climates, always want there child to experience snow at some point. I would too. Snow and Winter are an amazing time of year. Everything takes a breather for awhile. I think that we all need to cleanse ourselves at some point, and I think of Winter as nature's way of cleansing itself. Of starting over. Of renewal and rebirth.

And with today's snowfall, I feel a sense of peace. Because now it's nature's turn to rest and release. And maybe it's my chance to do so as well.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Purple Cotton Balls

I peered out the kitchen window this morning to find the most unreal sunrise I have seen in a long time. We always get a great view off the deck of the sun (or moon) rising. It's really neat.

Curtis took a peek and said "There are purple cotton balls in the sky!" The clouds were so fluffy; orange where the sun was peeking and gradually becoming pink and purple as you moved away from the burst of orange. I drove east as I do every morning and couldn't keep my eyes off the sky. As it slowly moved to my left, as I drove west again towards the lake shore, it was even harder to keep my eyes on the road. I was in such awe.

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Sometimes, life stresses me out. In fact, I might even say that I am stressed out a lot. I always have been a bit of the high-strung type. It's that left-brained thing, I think.

After a stressful day at work yesterday, and the lack in feeling like I have anything to say at all here; I needed to see that sunrise this morning. It reminded me that the stress is only temporary. That there is something much bigger out there for me, and for my family. Sometimes, we all need that reminder. The reminder that there is something larger than life working His way off in those purple cotton balls. The constant reminder that God has a plan, and that things work themselves out. Something that I have taken 28 years to learn, and something that I am still learning.... To have patience with life.

The sunrise received my thanks this morning. Thanks for reminding me to be patient; and to take it all in.

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Today is also the 1 year anniversary of my Grandaddy's death. He was an amazing, wise and noble man and 1 year later he is missed very much. Perhaps it was him who sent the purple cotton balls my way today. In fact, I know it was him.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Uninspired

I am feeling very uninspired in the 'word' department. I just don't have much to say. I think it's the gray weather outside. It makes me want to hibernate and come back when it's sunny and warm again.

Also, to the anonymous commenter in the post below: No, I am not pregnant. I just had a nasty flu. And if you feel like presenting yourself, and telling me who you are, maybe I could lob you on the side of the head.


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This blog will continue it's normal practices once it's author is feeling up to the task...in the meantime....Carry on.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight."

I lost 6 pounds since weighing in last Friday. Yes, that is 6 pounds in 3 days. How did you do that, you ask?? Well, it appears that while I couldn't bring the sunshine back to Michigan with me, I could still bring a nasty flu bug. And when I say NASTY, I mean it.

Thursday, I came into work after a nice relaxing vacation. I felt okay; not 100% but I figured it had something to do with our long day of traveling the day before. I ended up leaving work at 3pm with chills/sweats and the feeling that I was running a temperature. I got home, felt fine, didn't check my temperature at all.

Woke up Friday. Couldn't move. Couldn't breathe. I had a dry, hacking cough. Something in me knew this was not a cold. I didn't have a sore throat, sneezing, runny nose. None of that. Instead, I had a 101 degree fever and a cough that wouldn't let me 'get under it'. All I wanted was to expel something from my lungs.

So, from Friday until today, this was my routine:

Shower.
Rest, because the shower was just too much work.
Try to eat.
Cry.
Throw food away, because food is putrid.
Take my temperature.
Spaz out because temperature is so high.
Take Tylenol.
Cry.
Take a bath.
Rest.
Watch TV.
Try to sleep.
Realize sleep is not going to happen.
Cry.
Take my temperature.
Spaz again.
Watch TV.
Realize daytime TV sucks.
Try to sleep again.
Cry.
REPEAT.

The past 96 hours have been very trying for this body. It has never before seen the flu in this fashion. And frankly, I hope it never sees it again.

The worst part is that I have not seen my new nephew since the day he was born. Almost 2 weeks ago. Ugh.

Time to get some more rest.

P.S. The quote above (the name of this post) is from one of my favorite movies, The Devil Wears Prada.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Missing the Sun Already

We are back to cold, rainy Michigan. We thought we could bring it with us, but nah....it didn't work. Oh well.

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous! My friend Kera, was a stunning bride, and her and Mark make an adorable couple. Here are some pictures....the first one is the ceremony site, taken from our room. You can just barely see the chairs where the guests sat, off to the right of the cabana on the water.


I have the HOTTEST friends in the history of the world.



And one of me and the Bride! How much do you dig my $35 Old Navy dress?? She was very cost-prohibitive with the dress choice.



After a few days in Key Largo, we headed down to Key West. I fit in perfectly with all the 4-legged creatures running around. They love me. I guess that's why some people call me the "crazy cat lady". They come running when they see me!!



I saw my first-ever cruise SHIP! I know, I need to get out more. It was massive! They don't look that big on TV.




Mostly, though? We just hung out here...in this hammock. It was divine.

It was a great vacation, filled with sun, fun with friends, good drinks, and amazing food. Who could ask for anything better? We are sad to be home, but after our 15 hour day yesterday, we are just thrilled to be back here. Especially since we have a new nephew to hang out with. Vacation is great, but HOME is so much better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Today I have a Nephew...

A little miracle from God has arrived into our family.

This morning, my older sister Elizabeth, gave birth to a beautiful, bouncing baby boy.

Jack Thomas arrived this morning at 8:24 a.m.

He weighed in at 9 lbs 3 oz and was 20 inches long.

I am so over the moon to have a nephew!

Tomorrow, we leave for Key Largo for the wedding of a best friend.

What a week. What a week!

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Notice the cheesy "I-want-one-of-THESE!" look on my face. It appears as though, I might run off with him!



Lily meeting her little brother for the first time.



My sister, doting on the new man in her life (and looking absolutely fantastic!!)


Friday, November 2, 2007

Vacation

I am on vacation....vacation from the scale, from work (starting next week). Finally, a vacation.

I took down the weight loss ticker and it feels kind of good. I am going to keep plugging away, but I need to take a break from the seriousness that I was putting into this healthy lifestyle. I have the tools, I am utilizing them, and it is only self-defeating to get discouraged. So, I am on a vacation. A nice long one.

I did weigh in this morning and I will only tell you that I did see a difference from eating more calories this week. And it wasn't a gain!

Next week, we leave for Key Largo and Key West to watch my best friend, Kera get married. It is the first wedding that I am a bridesmaid in and I am just so thrilled to be a part of it. I am also excited to leave this place for a few days. To reconnect with my husband. To see the ocean again. In 8 years of being together, we have never been on a beach vacation. (He would say "Who cares!! We went to Paris and Amsterdam!) I am excited to sip a margarita, poolside with him. I am excited to leave behind the cold air, in place of an ocean breeze. And I can't wait for those sunsets!!

So, here it goes...I am officially on vacation.

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On a side note...I can't leave you all without a big shout out to my favorite football team. It is annual Michigan vs Michigan State weekend, and we are headed to our Alma mater to watch the game tomorrow. Courtesy of Dad's UofM Alumni status. Thanks for your generosity to these Sparty fans, Dad!! I am sure we will make you proud (or not!) tomorrow!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

First of the Month

Each new month makes me feel a sense of relief. A bit of a change from the last 30-ish days; something new. It also means that I am a busy-bee at work. Trying to get all the reports in, the numbers crunched and the previous month closed. I am feeling a bit of work-related stress today. Not feeling adequate as the accounting mind in this place. Not quite sure what direction I am supposed to go in. I am feeling that stress in my stomach; the constant ache and burn. I seem to ask myself this question often. Is it my purpose to be here?? Right now??

Then I think of all the fun things that this November will bring. A new nephew; the first grandSON in our family. The wedding of a best friend; in sunny Florida, only one week away. Thanksgiving, and the chance to appreciate and give thanks for all that we have. A reunion; an opportunity to reunite with old high school friends. The leaves falling from the trees, the crisp air, the impending snow. November brings a lot to the table.

And when I think about that, my work stress dwindles away.