Good things 2017: Week 1-2


I haven’t taken any fun pictures to share so please enjoy this one of the stage when I went to see Dirty Dancing @ Proctors in November with some of the best ladies I know. It was incredible.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

New year, new start and all that jazz? Sure. I’m really of the opinion that you can start something new any time, but this year there were some big changes around the new year that could mean more big changes.

I was busy the last couple weekends living life for me, not just to share with the internet so I didn’t get around to blogging it or taking all that many pictures really. Oh well! BUT! Here are some of the good things from weeks 1 and 2 of 2017:

  • Making plans with friends I’ve missed.
  • Flannel sheets and my alternative down comforter on my bed to keep cozy.
  • 13 kiddos on my 5-6 yo swim team. I’m insane, clearly.
  • Love My Goat White even if we need to take a break from each other
  • Crafty projects
  • All you can eat sushi with Sue for NYE
  • Soul-filling time with a dear friend and kisses from her babies. (We also had crepes!)
  • Pattern “guessing” for a coworker to try and figure out how the heck she got it right the first 60 times but it doesn’t work now.
  • Heated seats in Bitchytoo (new to me car)
  • My pretty new Keurig machine because I can’t make a decent pot of coffee.
  • Amazon Prime Shipping
  • Google Image search and photo shop skills.
  • Hand cut fries in hole in the wall bars.
  • LLR leggings (I think I have my fill though, unless the owls get released with a black background.)
  • Sharing a brain with BatGirl, even if it is a little weird sometimes.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:


It’s from Christmas, but I think I’ll frame it for my kitchen wall. 2 of my favorites.

Favorite Song:

Oh Ed, I adore you. You get a lot of mention here.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Friday Five – What to remember from 2016

I don’t know if you’ve seen it, facebook made year in review videos for us! No, I’m not posting mine. It mostly didn’t highlight the things I want to remember from this year. Also then you would know that I liked 23,330 posts/photos/links shared on facebook this year. I feel like that might be a low estimate, but considering I seriously cut back on social media in the second half of 2016 it might be right.

2016 has been a rather conflicting year for me. There were some very high, highs, and some really low, lows. I was inspired, I was creatively stifled. I met some really amazing people, I met some real shit heads. I welcomed babies and new friends, we said goodbye to others. I think it was a very balanced year and although there is still some personal conflict, I’m okay.

But what do I want to remember from this year?

  1. I want to remember that I was and continue to be brave. Maybe more brave than I ever have been in my whole life. (Short of the year I took off from college.)
  2. I want to remember that I feel/felt love. I know I have the very best friends and family a girl could ask for but this year reminded me of that in spades. I also did my best to be a good friend and want to remember those moments too.
  3. I want to remember that I thrive on meeting others, connecting with them, and laughing but I also recharge mentally and emotionally in the sunshine and quiet.
  4. I want to remember the deep breaths and the moments I let things go. I may have fallen off on the number of yoga classes I attended, but the lessons I’ve learned in them have been helpful this year.
  5. I want to remember the stumbles as well as the triumphs. Lord knows there were stumbles, but I’ve landed on my feet so far, even if it meant dusting myself off. (Knock on wood I keep being able to!)

As 2016 quickly draws to a close, I want to thank those of you who have been active participants and also those along for the ride for this year. It’s been a doozie in a lot of ways, and while I have a lot of moments of self doubt, I’m in a mostly good place.

What do you want to remember from 2016?

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It feels weird…

Due to various things going on in my personal and family life, I’m not cooking or attending an actual Thanksgiving dinner this year. This isn’t the first time Thanksgiving has been less than “traditional” but it definitely feels the most weird.

I mean c’mon, I’ve had Thanksgiving dinner of pizza, wings, and beer at Ft. Sills. Thanksgiving on Saturday of lasagna and salad. Thanksgiving brunch on Sunday heavy on the beverages, light on the food. And several years in a row it was on Friday with shopping in the morning.

This year I’m traveling with the Bro. You might recall our epic road trip from last year? This one has me flying into Kansas City, road tripping to Louisville, back to Kansas City. Being that we’re on the road, it means we won’t be having traditional Thanksgiving fare and man, I love stuffing, turkey and pumpkin pie.

We’re tentatively thinking of having Wild Turkey, Cranberry Cosmos, and Pumpkin Pie shots for dinner Thursday.

Honestly, I don’t care what I eat or where I am for Thanksgiving. I just care about who I’m with…but it might mean I make a turkey, Chex Mix, stuffing and pumpkin pie next week or the week after.

Or host a Thanksgiving dinner on a different day. You want to come over for turkey?

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Good things 2016: Weeks 45-46


Highly recommended combo

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

So there have been some icky moments in the last couple of weeks so I’m especially thankful for the good moments in the past couple of weeks.

Here’s Good Things for weeks 45-46:

  • Dirty Dancing at Proctors with some of the most dear friends
  • Hot showers after a cold night at the pool.
  • My kiddos first swim meet. I’m so proud!
  • Love My Goat White
  • Crocheting with friends
  • Gluten free lasagna
  • The Copper Fox with Daddy-O to listen to our friend Bil play music.
  • A really good craft show
  • Realizing I’m down 15lbs from June 2015 and some of my favorite pants are thisclose to fitting again
  • Laughing with friends
  • The ice machine at work
  • New babies making their way into the world
  • My Pop.
  • Paying off my car loan…
  • and the bank approving a semi-unexpected at this time car loan for me.

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:
Favorite Song:

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Where do we go from here?

(I’m not a political wonk. I’m sharing my thoughts and you don’t have to agree with them. Let’s keep it civil with each other.)15036647_1117580081629618_8679546647093596601_n

I don’t often talk about political things, I have my beliefs, you have yours. I know that mostly, I can’t change yours and while I’ll listen to you, you’re not going to change mine.

I’m stubborn like that. You probably are too and that’s okay.

Last night as the votes came in and the electoral college votes were doled out (a system I believe needs to go by the way of the dinosaurs btw) my heart was racing and I was thisclose to a full blown anxiety attack.

But it dawned on me that right then, last night, I couldn’t do anything more than say a prayer and ask that my friends and family be protected and this not turn into the balagan it could become. My vote was cast and NY polls had long ago closed. I could watch and be upset, but I couldn’t change anything last night.

I chose to do something soul soothing, have some tea, and write a dear friend a letter.

I can’t say I’m surprised there is so much hatred, bigotry, sexism and old white dudes who are terrified of a female having power that they’d show it by electing Trumpelstiltskin. I also know  there were a lot of people who didn’t want him, but didn’t want her more. I guess what surprises me is that there wasn’t more love out there to balance it. (Or a better option to begin with for that matter.)

I know there are parts of the country (even my state) where this exists and honestly, Trumpelstiltskin’s campaign offered Change. There’s a lot of people out there who want change and drank his rhetorical kool-aid. I guess he was an easy answer to a complicated situation? (Yes, I’m over simplifying it. This is a blog post, not a dissertation.)

I don’t believe in my heart he is who the vast majority of this country wanted in office. The popular vote is currently reflecting that fact. The question becomes, how do we fix it so 4 years from now he (or someone worse) doesn’t get another term?

Where do we go from here?

I don’t know who dropped the ball, but the ball was dropped. Let’s pick it up and move on together.  Love each other. Hold each other up. When you see something wrong, speak out against it. Don’t forget what our mothers and grandmother’s fought for so we have the liberties we do. Be human to each other, a kind, decent human being even if you don’t agree with your neighbor. If social programs are cut, find a way to help. Build communities. Teach children love, acceptance, and kindness. Do the right thing, even if our leader(s) don’t always show they can.

And remember that while the Presidential election is a big deal, mid-term elections offer another chance for our voices to be heard – and in the current political landscape, may be a bigger deal. VOTE IN THESE TOO!!! Write letters and annoy the bejebus out of contact your representatives, know what’s on the line locally to help shape the bigger picture. Maybe run for local office (town/city councils, school boards, etc). Research the voting laws in your state so you can vote in primaries! (As an unaffiliated voter, I couldn’t in NY and that made me grumpy.)

Start with a deep breath and see what you can do to enact the change you want to see.

(Anecdotally, I counted 8-12 people in my news feed who voted for him. Clearly I’m friends with caring, smart, individuals. Or those who don’t want to share their thoughts. It’s also possible I already unfollowed them.)

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Reading more: The Red Notebook

book squareThe Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

Sometimes when NetGalley sends me book suggestions I’m so intrigued by the description, I really hope to get approved. Other times I’m like, “Meh, whatever.” and don’t even ask for it.

The description of The Red Notebook was the former.

From Amazon:

Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

Mystery? Potential romance? Sure thing. Sign me up!

I liked the writing of this book. It was upbeat, warm, and had just the right amount of detail to help you picture the setting, but not so much that you wanted to skip paragraphs.

That said, I ended up finding the concept just a slight bit creepy.

In theory, it should be a romantic scavenger hunt of sorts across the streets of Paris with two lonely people finding each other. It felt more like stalking charges waiting to happen. I feel like if Laurent hadn’t been written in such a charming lovely way, it would just have been weird.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Good things 2016: Um, lately (again)


had a tasty beer
deep cut, beautiful river
oh wait! that was two

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I’ve been remiss in doing these posts, but want to get back on track – I’m excited about somethings that can’t be shared or blogged about (no, not babies). Just some things that for personal reasons I’m keeping close to the vest. It always seems when I can’t talk about something here, I can’t talk about anything. Anyone else find that to be true?

Here’s a few weeks  months worth of  Good Things:

  • Hearing wonderful news from friends
  • Writing a haiku to our waitress at dinner on the comment card. This is something HockeyJoe and I just do.
  • Taking a step back and a deep breath
  • Receptive crowds for work presentations
  • Cleaning up email inboxes.
  • Getting advanced copies of books to review (I don’t know if this will ever get old)
  • Dogs in costumes on parade for Halloween.
  • Seeing my nephew
  • Finding the good in the crappy
  • GF pizza delivered to the pool deck
  • Reconnecting with friends in person, not just via tech

Good reads:

Favorite Photo:

Notes that show up out of the blue when you need to see them the most.

Favorite Song:

I assume you’ve seen this by now. I watch it every few days.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

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Reading more: The Crepes of Wrath

book squareThe Crepes of Wrath by Sarah Fox was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’m slowly working through the embarrassing number of books I have to read and review. For someone who used to devour books by the dozen, I’m sorely out of practice.

Luckily I have a bunch on my phone and tablet that have interesting or cute descriptions which I look forward to getting to sooner than later.

This was one of those cute description books. It’s a cozy mystery so it had a cat and a cute plot, but not a whole lot of guts, naughty bits, or questionable mentionables.

From Amazon:

When Marley McKinney’s aging cousin, Jimmy, is hospitalized with pneumonia, she agrees to help run his pancake house while he recovers. With its rustic interior and syrupy scent, the Flip Side Pancake House is just as she pictured it—and the surly chef is a wizard with crêpes. Marley expects to spend a leisurely week or two in Wildwood Cove, the quaint, coastal community where she used to spend her summers, but then Cousin Jimmy is found murdered, sprawled on the rocks beneath a nearby cliff.

After she stumbles across evidence of stolen goods in Jimmy’s workshop, Marley is determined to find out what’s really going on in the not-so-quiet town of Wildwood Cove. With help from her childhood crush and her adopted cat, Flapjack, Marley sinks her teeth into the investigation. But if she’s not careful, she’s going to get burned by a killer who’s only interested in serving up trouble.

I think what I find most charming about these cozy  mysteries is the general innocence of the characters. I won’t blow the plot for you, but I had this one figured out about half way through. It was a little slow in parts so it took longer than usual to get through. I wish it was funnier though.

This book was just generally cozy, lovely, and I enjoyed it. If I see others, I’ll probably read them, but I don’t know that I’ll jump out of my way to do so.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

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Five on Friday


From earlier this summer.
Sometimes crappy days
are rewarded with great sunsets.
(As reflected onto the Little Sentra that Could)

It’s been a busy week with work work work and hey some more work, but it’s good for me, right?

How ’bout a quick five things for this Friday? Feel free to grab a cup of coffee if you’d like. Or maybe a beer. I certainly won’t judge if you’d like a beer on a Friday!

Oooh I was just reminded it’s a long weekend! I knew that a few days ago, but seemed to have forgotten it again until just now. Not that I’m doing anything super fun that I know of for sure. Unless you count working at the pool. I know I’m doing that and it should be fun. The rest of the weekend? Who knows?

  1. I’m getting my hair cut off today. I’ve given it zero further thought than making the appointment. All I know is that it’s getting too long to reach the ends when I blow dry it and it didn’t grow evenly so it needs to go. Maybe I’ll get a trim, maybe I’ll to go Pinterest and say, “There. That.” (That’s what I usually do anyway.)
  2. I’ve spent more time face to face with people again and it’s been delightful. An old friend, Daddy-O and my former boss. Lots of laughs, good conversation, and pretty tasty food.
  3. I think tonight for dinner I’m going to make the acorn squash that’s sitting on my counter. I usually put butter and brown sugar in it. Sometimes garlic, butter, and Worcestershire sauce. What do you put in yours?
  4. I’ve decided what I want to do for my 40th birthday if some things fall into place/I get my ducks in a row. I want to have an Alice and Wonderland party complete with flamingo croquet, super fun desserts, and lots of fun people. Possibly in costume.
  5. I made a major bonehead move. The other day when I was trying to upload pics to google, I didn’t connect to the wifi properly first so it was over data. 2GB of data gone like that. Oh well, I’ll be more careful next time. Have you ever done such a thing?

So how are you? Anything to report?

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2016-10-03_12-20-07Have you ever looked in the mirror and literally not recognized the person looking back at you? It happened to me the other day and was momentarily quite unsettling.

Maybe it was how tired I was, maybe it was the way my hair was falling (it admittedly needs to be cut), maybe it was the major changes happening and I’m seeing the person who made different choices than she has for the last 5 years looking back at her. For all I know it could be the new LED lights they’ve put in my office and gives everything a crappy blue tint which looks like you’re looking though a crappy Instagram filter.

I don’t know.

The good news is after I blinked a few times and heard a toot coming from the stall (which let’s be honest, is funny) I smiled and recognized the face looking back at me.

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