Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blogging Break

Hello, readers.

As you know, things have been a bit tumultuous in my life lately. I love my little corner of the interwebs, but the time has come for me to take a little blogging break. I need to focus on getting things in my life on the right track.

I will be back eventually. I am not sure when, but I will be back.

It's only seems fitting that I leave you with yet another short poem from Ann Radmacher:

i lean forward
full of the
possibility, the
hope of color,
growth, warmed soil
and being lose of
the chill of this
garden's long winter.

I know I will break loose of the hold of this long winter which has possessed me lately. Hopefully, when I return, you will still be around to follow along on my journey.

In the mean time, I will try to keep up with yours. And you can always reach me at lisasyarns@gmail.com

Be well, readers!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This weekend I...

Time for another bullet point post!

This weekend I...

  • went to bed at 8 pm on Friday night and slept for 12 hours straight. I woke up feeling like a different person.
  • bought some fun stationary at Target. I love buying new stationary! It's so fun to have cheery cards to send out!
  • attended a St. Joseph's party. It was so much fun. You can read about the Feast Day on Nola Girl's Blog. I came home with a fava bean, which is supposed to bring me luck!
  • snuggled up on the couch with my nearly-5 year old nephew while playing with his Leapster. He is one smart kiddo!
  • felt really at peace when I went to Mass on Sunday morning. My pulse seems like it's been elevated all week due to stress at work, but it definitely slowed during Mass. I walked out feeling much more centered and calm.
  • was thrilled when I read that Carolina John PR'd at his marathon!! I know how much time and effort he puts into his training so was so excited to hear that he shaved 33 MINUTES off his previous time!!
  • was secretly happy when Northern Iowa beat Kansas!! I know that messes up a lot of people's picks (and would have screwed up mine if I had actually had time to do them this week!) but I love it when the underdog wins!!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Friday, March 19, 2010

What a Week

(source unknown, sent by my best friend to give me perspective this week)

What a week this has been, my friends. But it's coming to a close. And while I know I will be working this weekend, I also know I will get more than 4-6 hours of sleep each night, which is what I've been averaging this week.

Last night I got together with my aunt & cousin! You see, my cousin is in med school, and yesterday was match day - which is the day where med students find out where they will do their residency. For those who were in a sorority, it's like Bid Day on crack!! We had much to celebrate though as my cousin got her TOP PICK. I was not at all surprised - she is one smart, hard working, determined cookie, but I know it's a relief to her! It was so great to laugh and tell stories over a couple of glasses of wine.

The perfect way to cap off a craptastic week.

A reminder of the things that matter most in life.

We talked about work and life and standing up for yourself and Macchu Pichu and Ernest Hemingway and psychotic behavior (my cousin's speciality is psychiatry).

Similar to last week, I am going to leave you with another little treasure from Anne Radmacher. If you like the poems I have been posting, you must check out her book! You will not regret it.

This poem sort of speaks to how I have been feeling lately - except the person telling the lie is me. About myself. And my abilities. I know what I am capable of. I have a gaggle of friends and family that know what I am capable of. A little bit of self criticism is good, but a lot is not. I know I would like a broken record when I say I need to be a littl easier on myself. It's time to actually act on it and cut myself some major slack.

somebody lied to you once.
once but it was a really really big lie.
you know it. you know the one of which i speak.
it's the one that began,
"that's not good enough."
and the great brown sadness is that you believed that lie.
and now you are just finishing up the days trying
to be good enough, the glory of the inside of a
murex has invited you to your own glory.
the shell's inner soul reminds you of what you have always
known but weren't brave enough to believe...
you are perfect just as you are.
you are a glorious
creative, dancing laughing being...
who loves chocolate and children and animals and
friends and frosts all those cakes with loving frosting
for others but forgets to keep a slice for herself.
look in that precious mirror and say

when i first saw you i knew you'd arrive today...
just fine.
just perfect.
the way you are.
remember this day
is your wild and precious gift.
open it and honor it.
remember this day
is your opportunity to
grow and learn and be better
at dusk than you were at dawn.
remember this day
that extending is
important as receiving love.

Happy Weekend, dear readers. I hope it is restful and wonderful for all of you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's a Bad Day When...

I have had my share of bad days this week. My good day on Tuesday was followed up by another epically bad day yesterday. I put in about 16 hours yesterday. I just can not catch my break. I feel like I am doing the work of 2 people. I think things will get better in a couple of months. I kind of want to go to sleep and wake up in June...

You know it's a bad day when you brew a pot of coffee at 8 pm because you know you have hours of work ahead of you.

You know it's a bad day when your heart races - not out of excitement, but out of dread when you find a mistake in a model you've been working on for months.

You know it's a bad day when you spend over 3 times as many hours working as you do sleeping. That is as severely unbalanced equation.

* Sigh *

I'm trying to hold onto the positive energy/vibes from Tuesday.

I'm trying to believe co-workers that tell me my current rotation is a 'right of passage' and that my next rotation will be much, much better.

I'm trying to find that light at the end of the tunnel; the light that tells me my work/life balance will return to a normal soon.

I'm trying.

And I'm hoping.

Because sometimes, trying and hoping is all you can do.

What do you do to bounce back from bad days?

PS I promise to be back to my regular cheery posts after this week. I think getting more sleep this weekend will greatly help!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Glimmer

This week got off to a craptastic start. Epically craptastic. I won't bore you with all the details but it was not a good day at work. As a result, I worked 14+ hours and got about 4 hours of sleep on Monday night.

Hence the post-free day yesterday. I just didn't have the mental dexterity yesterday to answer the 10 on Tuesday questions.

But yesterday was a much better day. It was the day of the National Sales Conference that my employer hosts twice a year. I just joined my company in October, so this was my first Sales Conference. I had heard about it, but it's something you have to see to understand. It was a really cool presentation on the initiatives we'll implement in 2010. Sometimes the corporate initiative mumbo-jumbo can bore a person to tears, but they were able to present the information in a manner that was interesting and engaging. The 4.5 hours flew by.

Yesterday I got a glimpse of the company culture that was sold to me during the recruitment process. That buzz I felt when interviewing returned.

And for the first time in months, I found myself grinning ear to ear when thinking of my employer. I remembered what it was that attracted me to this employer in the first place.

So while I don't love the department I work in now, that's not to say I won't find a different area of the company that is a better fit. I might be a square peg in a round hole right now, but my employer saw something in me when they interviewed me. And I saw something in them which led me to accept the offer.

So it's just a matter of finding the square hole where I just might fit. Of course that is down the road since I will be in my role for at least 18 months.

But I'm feeling more optimistic about things.

Of course, the fact that they brought in big name talents, like Michael Buble, to sing a few songs sure helped foster those warm & fuzzy feelings. ;)

Is there anything specific that drew you to your current employer? If you are not working, what has attracted/will attract you to an employer?

Monday, March 15, 2010

On the Good Things in Life

I've been a bit of a downer Debbie lately - but after reading my sister's post on Saturday, I was inspired to focus on the good things in life! Here are some good things from my weekend!

  • Spring is here! It was absolutely gorgeous this weekend - over 60 degrees on Sunday. I love that I was able to have the patio door open all day on Sunday. There is nothing like fresh air and sunlight!
  • I've successfully taught myself to crochet! My grandma gave me a book with instructions on crocheting and I think I've figured it out. I'm currently working on a blanket - so much for starting on a small project!

  • I made some gluten free banana bread this is just delicious. I swear, you can not tell it's made with gluten free flour. Of course the chocolate chips I added sure help! My mom never added chocolate chips when we made banana bread so it feels like such a treat (and more like a dessert) when I add them to my recipe! How do you like your banana bread?

  • I spent time catching up with friends on Friday & Saturday night and Sunday afternoon and still had plenty of 'me time' to unwind from a busy week. Having some 'me time' each weekend is crucial!
  • I'm starting to sort of like biking. I don't like it nearly as much as running, but I do love that I can read while biking! Reading while running is impossible for me. I just don't have the coordination. When I see people reading while running on the treadmill, I am amazed.
  • I made Beef in Pomegranate Sauce for dinner on Sunday. My cousin has raved about it and I finally got around to trying it. It was so good. You must try it. I served mine with the ultimate comfort food - mashed potatoes. I adore mashed potatoes. They are so easy to make - every time I make them, I wonder why I don't make them more often! How do you make yours? Do you hand mash them or do you use a hand mixer like I do (I like mine extremely smooth & fluffy)?

What were some 'good things' you enjoyed this weekend?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adjusting my perspective

First things first - thank you for the kind, insightful, thoughtful comments you left yesterday. I plan on printing them out & keeping them in my desk for inspiration. It was hard to put my thoughts/feelings into writing - I like to keep a stiff upper lip and pretend that everything is ok, but sometimes it's harder to pretend everything is fine. I am thankful that I feel safe sharing how I feel with you.

So bottom line - I need to shut down that inner dialogue. A little bit of self criticism is ok, but I have clearly taken it too far. I did get a high five and a 'great job' comment from one of my clients today - exchanges like that make me realize that I can excel at this job.

Moving on - I was over at The Many Thoughts of a Reader's blog yesterday, sharing my thoughts on an advanced reader's copy of Scary Little Girl. It was my first time reading an ARC. It was pretty fun to read something that no one else could go out & buy! So hop on over there to see what I thought - and to see a picture of where I do much of my reading! The book is going on a little blog tour - I can't wait to see what others thought of the book. And PS - next month's blogger book club book is Middesex - you should read along with us!!

To close out the week, I'm going to leave you with yet another poem by the lovely Mary Anne Radmacher. As I've mentioned before, I am quite a fan of her work. I keep the book "Lean Forward into Your Life" on my bedside stand and frequently re-read the sections I have marked. Here is one I read this week when I was feeling down and need inspiration to adjust my perspective on life.

most of the things which seem so significant aren't.
don't take it personally - it's not usually about you.
pay attention. know when to leave.
curiosity takes courage.
the most important promises are the ones you make to yourself.
appreciation lasts longer than complaint.
being nice isn't always best.
surprise is as powerful as consistency.
listen to your inclination.
there's a difference between protecting yourself and defending yourself.
your eyes must not determine what you see.
play more.
stand tall.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear readers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On Self Doubt

I've been thinking lately about how hard I am on myself. Especially as I have evaluated my performance at my new job. Of all the times in my life, this is probably the worst time to be so critical and hard on myself. It's certainly not helping me gain confidence and I've no doubt that it's being perceived by others.

That tendency to over-analyze and mentally kick the crap out of myself has been pervasive throughout my life. I haven't quite figured out how to silence the voices in my mind that tell me I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not the right person for the job.

Lately, I come home at the end of the day and try to reason with myself. I say, "Self, you excelled at differential equations, a class many engineers/math majors hated. You were able to understand vectors and sub vectors and use them to solve systems of linear equations in linear algebra. You can price financial derivatives. You are not an idiot."

I try to rationalize. But I still go to bed at night wondering what happened to that confident, poised girl. The one who spoke up in class. The one who had an opinion about everything in her previous job. The one who tended to finished her work too quickly.

Where did she go?

My patience with myself is wearing thin. While I have moved up the learning curve, I'm not quite where I'd like to be. And it is wearing me down. My colleagues in my program keep assuring me that it will get better.

I know I need to be more patient with myself. More forgiving. Less critical.

I received a package in the mail this week from Emily Jane - I had shared some of my frustrations/worries with her and she sent me the book, "Traveling Light". While I do feel better about work than I did a month ago, I still feel weighted down by a plethora of worries. Worries of under performing. Worries of not fitting in with the culture of my employer. Worries of what my future will hold if it doesn't include a long career with my current employer.

I think this book is going to be a great first step in putting these worries in perspective.

Are you hard on yourself? If so, how have you quieted the voices of self doubt in your mind?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blog Swap Book Review: The Bell Jar

Hello, dear readers! Please welcome the lovely Becky of Love Everyday Life. She is a fellow bibliophile - if only we lived closer to each other so we could chat about books over a warm drink from Starbucks. We randomly both started reading "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath last month, so decided to do a little blog swap to share our views on the book.

Without further ado, here's Becky's take on the book! Hop over to her blog to see what I thought of the book!

My rating: 4 stars

If I had to describe this book in two words, they would be heartbreakingly beautiful. This book is heavy, (it is Sylvia Plath), but it’s written so well, and it’s the first time in awhile where what I’ve been reading has carried over into my every day life.

The story paces itself slower than other novels and I got swept up in the almost lethargic lifestyle Plath creates for her characters. This is not a bad thing – it’s like moving to a small town (after living in a big city), and adjusting to a new pace – one where you savor things and take your time.

I was hooked even from the first paragraph. I love the main character Esther. She struggles with depression as the story goes on, but there were a lot of things she was thinking that I related to. This excerpt is long, but bear with me.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree…From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” (Pg. 77)

What an image! I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely felt like this at times. So many ideas, so many things to consider, to potentially be – at some point you have to reach out and choose a fig. As I’m getting into my later twenties I’m wondering if this decade in my life is all about choosing figs. From boyfriend to husband, from one job to the next, I find myself coming back to that fig tree wondering what I should select next. There are so many things out there I might want to do, but it’s about finding the courage to reach for them and make them your own.

I know I didn’t tell you a lot about the plot of the novel, but this story just touched me in so many ways I thought this was more important to share.

What do you think readers? Have you read this book? Did you like it or dislike it? Have you ever found yourself looking at a fig tree? Did you reach for one or are you still waiting to choose?

(Photo found here)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Of your current hobbies, which would you choose to spend more time, money, and effort on? Why?

Writing. I have always been a left brained person (i.e. anal retentive math major) but this blog has shown me how much I love writing. I would benefit from taking a creative writing lesson. And working more on writing what is in my heart. I do that to some extent in this little bloggity blog, but I have lots of half written posts, floating around in my head. I need to take the time to put them into the written word.

2. List the two other hobbies/habitual activies (not chores) besides the one listed above that you regularly do now and didn’t choose in question one.


3. Why are you spending time on the above two hobbies/habitual activies at all if you really wanted to spend your time on the first one you chose? …or to put it another way, what are these two hobbies/habitual activities fullfilling that the first one doesn’t if you don’t want to put all your effort into the first hobby?

They come easy. They come naturally. They are therapeutic in their own way. I love to lose myself in a book. Similarly, I love to lose myself in the repetitiveness of knitting. Plus, the best part of knitting is that I create fun gifts for friends/family.

4. Ready John 3:16 in the bible… In what way does this passage affect you? What are your feelings towards these words, positively or negatively?

It's the basis of my entire faith. It's the best example of love. God gave his ONLY son. For us. I don't spend as much time thinking about that or reflecting on that as I should.

5. M&M’s: nuts, no nuts, or peanut butter?

Hello - peanut butter. Obviously I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with peanut butter.

6. Putting away the feeling of pride being a bad thing; what secretly/openly are you proud about yourself?

I'm proud of the fact that I am completely independent. I will go anywhere in the world by myself. Some people don't like the thought of going out to dinner by themselves - I'll gladly do it on the other side of the world. And enjoy every minute of it. I'm proud of the fact that I have reached the point where I am completely content on my own. I think I needed to get to this point before I could meet my Mister. Now if he would just hurry the heck up and waltz into my life, that'd be fabulous.

But if he doesn't, I know I can also be very happy on my own.

7. Given one room in the house to do with what you want, not changing the actual size of the room and with all the money you would need, what would you do, and be specific? (this can range from bouncy floor,walls & ceilings; to hard wood floor with wood paneling and purple ceiling with a chair; to nothing)

I would renovate my kitchen - I would completely gut it. It's circa 1985 so needs some TLC. I'd put in new cupboards, replace the counter tops with granate, and get state-of-the-art appliances!

8. What’s the next movie you’re going to see? Not what you’d LIKE to GO see, but the next movie you realistically are going to watch.

Everybody's Fine - it's the next movie in my Netflix queue.

9. Use the keyboard only and make your best smiley/funny/cool face –> like this! 8^)


10. What makes you cry? What makes you pray? What makes you laugh?

Cry - Sad movies, chopping onions, feeling like I am letting people down, snarky comments from people at work

Pray - Feeling lost, times of uncertainty, seeing ambulances, traffic coming to a very, very sudden stop

Laugh - Team telling stories with my sister, my nephews, How I Met Your Mother, my girlfriends

Monday, March 8, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

I was out of town the last 2 weekends - and while both weekends were quite lovely, I must say I was looking forward to a weekend at home. Nothing makes you appreciate the comforts of home quite like being away. It was wonderful having a quiet weekend at home!

This weekend I:

  • talked shop about work with a co-worker over a lovely glass of white wine.
  • finished a knitting project which is on its way to its recipient. She has no idea I was making something for her - I hope she likes the hat I knit for her!
  • did a ton of ironing while watching "Big Bang Theory" for the first time. Love that show. I was a math major so those are totally my people!!
  • tried a new recipe - it was a beef with vegetables recipe that turned out ok, but not quite good enough to share with you. I only share the recipes I love!
  • failed epically when trying to make GF pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. They were truly inedible. So, so annoying. GF baking is so dang finicky!
  • tried to like biking. I am not going to give up but I found it really uncomfortable!
  • bought a swim suit & a new swim cap. This was not fun. No matter how little I weigh, I never enjoy swim suit shopping. But I just didn't want to swim laps in a two piece so swim suit shopping was a must.
  • had dinner at my brother's. It was wonderful seeing my brother, sister-in-law, and the nephews. I SWEAR they have changed since I saw them less than month ago. Especially Mattie, who turns 2 in just under a month!! Their neighbors were over, so the house was full of kids. Which I love. I thoroughly enjoyed reading books, being crawled over, and carrying on a conversation about haircuts with an adorable 5 year old. Oh, and she asked me if I was pregnant! Ha!! I guess many of her aunts are pregnant, so it's a natural question she asks many women. I just had to laugh when she asked me!
  • was moved by both Sandra Bullock's tribute to her mom & Kathryn Bigelow's tribute to the men & women in the armed forces. I'm embarrassed to say I have only seen one of the 10 nominated movies!! I have lots of movie watching to do!
Tell me about your weekend!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Moderation in All Things

I suck at moderation.

No, really. I do. It's a common theme in my life. I'm kind of an all or nothing kind of girl.

I'm either drinking like 5 cans of Mountain Dew a day or I quit cold turkey.

I eat a baked potato every night for weeks and then stop eating them completely for months.

Those are just a couple of examples, but it's definitely been a theme in my life. So it should come as no surprise that I've never approached running with moderation in mind. I'm either running 6 days a week or not at all. I've had many people tell me to switch it up and try some swimming or biking or resistance training. I humor them by saying that I am going to work those into my regimen. But I never do. Because I really do love running and I think it's the most effective & efficient way to burn calories - and there is no better way to pound our my frustration after a bad day.

Well, the lack of moderation caught up with me. As a result of solely running for the last 10 months or so, my quads became over-developed while my glutes/hamstrings became under developed.

The result? Patella Femoral Syndrome. A very common runner injury, especially in woman runners. Luckily, it's allegedly very easy to correct. According to the doctor, after some PT sessions I should notice a huge improvement. And I should still be able to run my 1/2 in May if I really want to, although I think I am going to hold off so that I am 100% healthy for marathon training, which will start in June.

The doctor said that in a way, it's probably good this injury happened to me. She said I should view it as a wake up call. Obviously solely running isn't what my bodies needs. I need to also swim. Or bike. Or lift weights. Or, ideally, do a little bit of all of these activities.

I am very relieved that it wasn't anything structural and am really hoping she's right and that I do notice a difference after some PT appointments, which start next week.

What I'm asking myself is this: Why does it take an injury for me to realize I need to make some adjustments and live a more balanced life? This is not the only area of my life that is unbalanced.

I would benefit from spending less time critically analyzing every single little thing I do at work.

I would benefit from dabbling in dating instead of thinking that every relationship needs to go from 0 to 60 mph in intensity very early on.

I would benefit from having a peanut butter cup every now and then instead of eating so many in a day, I feel physically ill!

I could use a little bit of moderation in my life.

How about you? Is your lifestyle reflective of 'Moderation in All Things'? Where could you use a bit more moderation?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Photo Meme

Happy Thursday! Thank you for all of the sweet comments yesterday! I've got comments yesterday & in the past asking me how I lost the weight - I promise to do a blog post on that soon!

Speaking of transformations & changing your life - check out the photo that Carolina John of Smoke Training posted this week as part of a photo meme. Be sure to then scroll down and see how much he has changed! As his blog header states, he went from smoking 26.2 cigarettes a day to running 26.2 miles in a day. His story is proof that anyone can change their life if they really want to! He's running a full marathon later this month & I just know he is going to PR!

John tagged me to participate in the photo meme. I am supposed to go to my 1st photo file and share the 10th photo in that file. The first photo file is "Andrew" - each nephew gets their old folder where I file away the countless photos I take of them!

This photo is shortly after Andrew was born back in June of 2005.

It's hard to believe he's grown from that tiny little bundle to this:

I can't believe how fast he's growing up!

My 4 nephews definitely hold a very special place in my heart! I can't imagine life without them!

Do you have any nieces or nephews?

Oh, and you should totally do this photo meme on your blog!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Phoenix Vacay Recap

My Phoenix trip couldn't have come at a better time. I really needed a break from the "Psych Experiment" that is my job. Nora came up with that and I think it's hilarious and sadly, a bit accurate. February was a difficult month, but I am feeling better about things lately. I am trying to remember that we grow the most when we are being tested. I know the year ahead of me is going to be challenging, but when it's all said and done, I think I will look back and be sort of glad that I went through it because I will grow as a result - and it is forcing me to figure out what I am good at, what I enjoy doing, and how I can apply my talents.

That said, I needed a break from Minnesota. I needed a break from my employer. I needed to go south to Phoenix to see some sunshine, my sister, and a best friend from college. Here is how the weekend played out!

On Saturday morning, my friend Heidi treated me to a pedicure as part of my birthday present! I haven't had a pedicure in ages so this was quite a treat! Plus it was lovely to break out some flip flops!!

Heidi also knows that I am a bit nutty about knitting - so she took me to this little gem of a store called "Knit Happens". It was so cute inside! And what a clever name for a shop. If I ever write a book, that just might be the title!

My sister Abby & her husband live in Tucson - it was Abby's birthday on Saturday so they came up to celebrate! I am so glad I was able to be there to celebrate on her actual birthday! I think the last time that happened was when I was in college!

Here's a little flash back for you to show you how much I have changed over the last year! Here is a picture of us from my trip last January.

And this is us this year! Abby is wearing the apron that I gave her as part of her birthday gift!

I am nearly 40 pounds lighter!! Thank God!! I am not quite at my goal yet and sometimes get frustrated about that - but then I look at photos like this & realize how far I've come!

We celebrated Abby's Birthday by going to a local Mexican restaurant. It was probably in the mid 60s so a little cool for Phoenix, but fantastic weather for this hearty Midwestern girl! My sister had a winter jacket and I wore a light cardigan, which I took off for this photo since we thought it'd be funny to show our different tolerances for 'cold' weather.

Here's a picture of Heidi & I as well!

We capped off the night with a game of "Loaded Questions" - great board game & a fantastic way to learn really random things about people!

All in all, it was a wonderful getaway! And in a few short months, I'll be back down in Tucson to celebrate my brother-in-law's graduation from his engineering program. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. If you were given an hour to use a $200 Amazon gift card, what would you buy?
I would find some new dishes so I could cross that off my '30 before 30' list. Whatever is left after that purchase would be spent on books. Shocking, I know.

2. Are there any fairly common foods that you’ve never had?
I don't think so. My parents exposed us to everything - whether it was common or uncommon.

3. What was your favorite way to use your imagination as a kid?
My cousin & I would play house in our ditch. We would pretend the culvert (pipe that allows drainage between to ditches) was a stove. We spent countless hours playing in that ditch!

4. What’s your favorite state? Why?
Colorado. I absolutely love that state - it is gorgeous. I spent a summer & 2 winter breaks working at a ski resort & fell head-over-heels in love with the area.

I am also quite fond of Minnesota in the summer!!

5. If it was our culture to have our parents choose our spouses, do you think yours would make a good choice?
Yes, they would. Heck, I might still ask them to do this for me. ;) No, but seriously - my mom has a great track record. When she met my 4 siblings spouses, she knew after the first meeting that they would get married. 4 out of 4 is impressive.

6. What’s your favorite herb?
Basil. Works in so many different dishes! My favorite way to have it is on a simple caprese salad. Mmm.

7. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would you choose?
There isn't anyone that really sticks out in my mind... Maybe Hugh Jackman? He's very, very attractive and has a lovely accent! Plus I have visited his home country so we'd have lots to talk about.

8. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Beauty & the Beast. My sisters & I watched this movie so much, I still know the words of most of the songs!!

9. If you had to listen to the same song over and over for 24 hours, what song would you choose?
It'd have to be something subtle/relaxing otherwise I'd drive myself nuts. So maybe Moonlight Sonata?

10. How do you order your steak?
Medium Rare!

Monday, March 1, 2010

February Recap

Happy Monday! I had an absolutely wonderful weekend in Phoenix!! I got home at 10 last night and just didn't have the energy to download photos & do a recap post - I will do one lately this week, complete with pictures. For now, here is my habitual recap, stolen from the lovely Nora!

Current Book(s):
- Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (awesome book, review to come after my book club in March)

- Theater Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (adorable children's chapter book that was referenced in You've Got Mail!)

- Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (loved it, reviewed here)

- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (interesting book, review to come next week).

- Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom (loved it, review to come later this month!)

Current Music:
The new Feist and Regina Spektor cds - I bought with iTunes gift cards I received for my birthday! Love these ladies' voices!! Listen to these videos - these are 2 of my favorite songs!

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Sleeping in on the weekends. Part of me feels guilty that I am wasting precious time. The other part of me thinks its a necessary indulgence.

Current Colors:
- A melon pink color. Makes me think of spring/summer!

- Navy blue. Love the nautical look of navy & white. Bring me back to my Delta Gamma days!

Current Obsessions:
- Amy's GF microwave Mac n Cheese. I realize this is not gourmet but it's really quite delicious! I had it for breakfast one day last week (I have been having really odd cravings in the morning lately!)
- Jalapeno baby dill pickles. I am eating these like they are going out of style.

Current Drink:
Still drinking lots of home brewed coffee. I am actually starting to sort of prefer it to lattes!

Current Song:
"I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow. Re-discovered this song while listening to old CDs on my drive home last week. Love this song.

Current Movie:
Broken English. This movie was recommended by a good friend from college and then I got it as part of my birthday gift from the lovely Nora. Some parts of the movie feel like scenes of my life being enacted. I highly recommend this - especially to single girls! It's a movie that will give you hope (and might make you want to go to Paris to your very own French boyfriend, if you are anything like me!)

Current TV Shows:
The Olympics rocked my world in February! Team USA rocked!

Current Wish-List:
- Fresh flowers on a regular basis
- A Mandolin (for my kitchen, not the musical instrument...)
- A Stir Crazy popcorn popper.

Current Needs:
- A chill pill. I am way too high strung these days

Current Triumph:
- I'm doing really well with giving up candy for Lent. I am tempted daily by my co-worker's candy selection but have resisted!!

Current Bane of my Existence:
- The pain in my knee. It is all I can think think about... I am not able to run right now and that is driving me crazy. I need the endorphin release from running. I kept waiting for the pain to go away on its own, but it's not happening so I am seeing a doctor this week. Crossing my fingers that she can figure out what it is - and that the pain will go away very, very soon. I miss running!

Current Goal:
- Get my knee pain figured out/fixed so I can get back on the treadmill.

Current Indulgence:
- My trip to Phoenix to see my sister & best friend! Total indulgence and so much fun!
- Having a drink w/ lunch 3 days in a row (Margarita on Friday & Saturday, wine on Sunday). I figured since I was on vacation it was totally acceptable!!

Current Blessings:
- My family & friends

Current Slang or Saying:
- "You are smarter than the average bear" - I have been saying this to co-workers who are working on their MBA and are stressing about classes/exams/papers.

Current (Fav) Outfit:
- I haven't worn it yet, but I bought a Navy work dress at J. Crew that is adorable! So excited to wear it. Now the weather just needs to warm up - I want to pair it with a cardigan and some nude peep toe shoes!

Current Excitement:
- It looks like Spring might be here - it's supposed to be in the 30s all week! Woot, woot! That's warm for us!
- I am really looking forward to going to my brother's in Chicago for Easter!!

Current Mood:
- Contemplative. I am really trying to figure out what makes me tick and what I want out of a career.