Monday, November 29, 2010

Current Reads: 2

Here is what I read this week:

Loving Frank. In one word: conflicting. A love story that is morally wrong, but you find yourself hoping it works out. The end is a shocker… you have to read it to believe it. I liked that this novel is based on the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Props to my Aunt Meredith for recommending it over Thanksgiving break.

Life’s Golden Ticket. In one word: profound. This book does a wonderful job of incorporating positive life principals into a story form. I highly, highly recommend. I read this book in one day.

Travels, Oct. 2010: Burlington, Vermont

One of the reasons for starting this blog was to remember all of the travels that we do. It seems like we go somewhere at least once a month now. Traveling is my favorite thing to do. If I was paid in airline tickets I don’t thing I would even mind.

A perk of Paul’s job is that he gets to travel all over the country running wellness clinics. When he got asked to go to Vermont we decided that I would come along. We worked the clinics during the day and explored Burlington in the evenings. I have always wanted to visit the New England states and let me just say, Burlington, Vermont fulfilled my every expectation. The town has an adorable downtown that boasts shops, cafes, and restaurants that are locally owned. We found the most amazing restaurant that cooked pizzas on flatbread in a primitive stone oven with all organic ingredients. We ate at Flatbreads two times in one week.

Let me just take this opportunity to say that my adorable husband slings around the phrase the “best thing ever” very loosely. Some of the best things ever are (but not limited to): Chick-fil-A, his nieces, movies, books, my new Sorel boots, Red Mango, time with his family, and any other experience, restaurant, or movie that makes him happy. One of these days I will come up with a list of synonyms so that he can express his glass-half-full outlook in various ways, but for now we will just say that Flatbreads was “the best thing ever.”

What I want to remember about Vermont is how beautiful Lake Chaplain was when we jogged on the bike trail. The natural beauty is truly breath taking.I want to remember what a good boss my husband is. He is so natural at leading and directing those around him in a way that affirms and values them. It was fun to see him in action.Another fun memory is getting to visit the Ben and Jerry's factory. 

The very best part was getting to spend quality time with my husband. It may be cheesy, but he is amazing. Paul encourages me, inspires me, and makes me feel energized by his zeal for life. I think I could even have fun with him if we were vacationing in Iowa (no offense).

The picture above is part of Shelburn Farm's property bordering Lake Champlain.

Travel Ratings:

Relaxation Factor: 8
Food Factor: 10
Entertainment Factor: 9
Natural Beauty Factor: 10
Overall: 8.5

Monday, November 15, 2010

Current Reads: 1

So I have a really big book bag that I carry around with me practically everywhere I go... This is what I am reading NOW:

This book satisfies my need to learn. I have decided to branch out and read more biographies and historical books. I read the classic Emma by Jane Austen over the summer. Like I stated in my first blog entry (see "Here goes nothing" entry) I miss college and all the learning that comes with it.
Haven't started this book, but I am curious to what they will say and if is practical for the average person to apply. My interest in nutrition is fairly recent. The last year or so I have discovered that I really enjoy learning about how to keep my body healthy through the foods that I consume. It is a work in progress, but I'm sure I'll post more on that later...

This book breaks down 14 Superfoods that are amazingly beneficial to the human body. I am actively trying to incorporate more into my diet. It is fascinating and has caused me to eat a lot of blueberries!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Annie Alice

My sister is the first person I am writing about in my blog. I think I picked her first because she is always on my mind. She lives in Austin, Texas with her son-cat Audi. She loves him so much that she pays astronomical vet bills to keep him healthy and lets him get his cat fur all over her cute clothes.

Annie and I are about as opposite as winter is long. She is artistic. My idea of being creative is trying a new restaurant. Annie is athletic. I have nearly all participation ribbons from my track and field days. Annie is musically cultured. Coldplay and country are nearly all I listen to. Annie has a perfect JLo butt… I have chicken legs and a flat butt.

Our relationship hasn’t always been as loving as it is now. As children, I would pinch her cheeks when I got mad and then bribe or threaten her not to tell mom. She really ticked me off when she would steal my days-of-the-week underwear, especially when I would find it in her dirty clothes pile.

There have been many highlights… like the stellar human videos we would perform for my grandparents at Christmas time along with dances to Amy Grant songs. When I was in 4th grade, our family moved downtown to 32nd St and Annie and I had our own bedrooms for the first time. I would always beg her to sleep with me. She sometimes gave in. We didn’t let the distance of separate rooms keep us apart, we devised a knocking code with a specific repetition of knocks meaning a certain message. For instance, 3 knocks meant, “I love you.” Five knocks meant “I’m sorry,” (I used five knocks a lot). To also cope with our separation, we put a shoebox in our bathroom that served as a mailbox. We left notes to each other frequently and sometimes even gum. We called ourselves the ‘sending sisters.’ I loved having a sister.

What is remarkable about Annie is that she has a magical quality that draws people in. She is a freethinker and has a wild heart. Annie feels deeply and cares about those she loves deeply. We have the kind of sisterhood where we can go days or even weeks without a long conversation and then pick right back up where we left off. I think about her all the time. I care about what she cares about. I want to take every pain or potential threat and use my own body and heart to shield her from it.

Annie is an incredibly gifted dancer- I’m not just saying that. You can feel the emotion in her movements, the passion in her heart. When I watch Annie dance, I feel like the world is right. Our grandma Alice loved watching Annie dance. Annie loved grandma Alice. Grandma Alice loved Annie. I sometimes think, “wouldn’t Grandma be so proud of Annie? She would probably find a way to get Annie on a reality dance competition.”

That’s the other thing about Annie. She is incredibly loved. She has a family that adores her. One family dinner cannot go by without someone saying, “I wish Annie was here.” Annie completes the family. She is our treasure and brings so much color our world. Annie Alice, I love you.

The Boots

There have been these snow boots that I have wanted since forever. Well, maybe not forever, but for sure since my feet experiences the chill of non-insulated Charlotte Russe boots. I thought about getting them last winter, but since I was in school and not working I decided to hold out. I ordered them off (15% discount AND free shipping)... They are an investment, but well worth having toasty toes all winter long.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here goes nothing...

So I am scared for several reasons.

1) My life is passing so fast that I feel like I might wake up tomorrow and be a grandmother. No, seriously- I have nightmares about this.

2) I am fiercely nostalgic and while I do journal, I typically treat my personal journal as a bible study and prayer tool. It occurred to me when I was sitting at Barnes and Noble last night reading a biography (perhaps I'll mention whose biography it is in another post) that I cannot believe I am out of school... prepare for tangent: I am done FOREVER with school if I so chose to be. No more tests, no more studying, and no more excuse to buy a Starbucks every single day. I'm pretty heartbroken that it's over and I feel like it lasted all of two minutes. It was then I realized that I was going to forget the seasons of my life if I don't document them... end tangent.

3) Third fear (don't forget I'm listing why I am scared), I do NOT want to be one of those people who obnoxiously updated their blog all the time and is boring. I have been thinking about creating a blog for years, but have lacked the courage. Now begins a new day.

All this said, I am taking the pressure off myself because this blog is for me. That way I don’t have to apologize for what I write and will feel free to share about the mundane small things in life that bring me joy. Bottom line: I am forcing myself to take the time to remember all of those little moments in life that when they are happening you think: “I wish I could hold on to this moment forever.” Blogging lets me do that. Blogging allows me to hold onto more moments.