Sunday, December 19, 2010


Today I am reminded of how very precious life really is.  Today I am trying to live a more authentic, genuine, truthful life.  Today I listen to my instincts more and become more honest with my loved ones.  Today I am so very thankful for my family and good friends.  I know that at the end of the day good relationships are the substance of life.  I know that life is worth living well.  I know that we are all here for different reasons and at the same time we are all here for one another.  Today I am so grateful for my husband, the choices that he makes and the incredible person he is at his core.  I hope for you that you find peace this holiday season, that you make time to tell your loved ones what they mean to you and to live your life better today than you did yesterday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This season....

A few weeks ago we were at a cider mill celebrating the start of the fall season and Matt noticed a booth for a local non-profit where you can 'adopt' foster care kids for christmas and get them presents that are on their wish list.  We decided to sign up for two 14 year olds, a boy and a girl.  We were sent their first names and a few of their favorite things and we were off.  We asked our families to contribute if they felt like getting us a gift this year, they could instead get something off one of the kiddo's wish list and that would be our gift this year. Our family stepped up effortlessly and we were able to send two big red santa bags that were jam packed with goodies.
The kid's both got some great art supplies, lots of cool clothes, some fashionable boots for the girl, and a sweet Chiefs hoodie for the boy, some gift cards, scarves, gloves, and the list goes on.  I got to deliver the big santa bags one morning this past week and it felt great giving to those that truly need it way more than we do.  I love any chance to help young people and I know our gifts will make their holiday at least a little brighter.


I also think we are at a point in our lives where we don't need 'things', we don't want more stuff just to have some thing.  I think it's great to take a few extra minutes to really think about a gift you are getting someone and to know it's purpose, whether it be fun, relaxation, inspiration, or something sweet that will make the receiver of the gift feel special, than it's worth it.

We hope you are enjoying this holiday season and more than anything gaining great memories.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

WHAT a weekend!

I'm gonna go picture crazy with this one... we had a very busy but very fun weekend celebrating with the family.  My 6 week old nephew Ashton was baptized and we spent the weekend with family celebrating... My mom, sister and I saw the Von Trapp family sing with the Kansas City Symphony (no pictures but just start singing 'raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...' now in your head and you can imagine the fun).  Then a pizza dinner with about 20 of us last night, Chris' family was in town to join in the goodness.  Today we went to church, Ashton was baptized and we went to my mom's house for lunch, watched the Chiefs game and some intense ping pong games.  I can officially say I could play ping pong for hours, my dad and I played against one another and that was the first time we had played each other in probably 15 years and it was fun!  It was a fierce competition and although I beat him in overtime (24-22) he won 3 out of 5.  It was nice how home like my mom's house now feels to me.  I have always said wherever my mom is that is my second home, but now her warm, cozy home with Steve really does feel like my second home and it's great.  I cherish every moment with our families and feel very grateful for all the good times... Oh also Matt and I picked out our Christmas tree last night and it is finally fully decorated and I LOVE it.  The tree fills the house with the lovely fresh pine smell and the twinkling lights between different ornaments shine reminders of fond memories.........
These are some of our favorite ornaments.  The red santa on the left hangs at the top of our tree as our 'Christmas star' and I've had it for years.  The Lindsay ornament reminds me of my childhood as us three kids (Shan, Jeff and me) all had our own names spelled out just like this.  The Sugar Bear is Matt's favorite, isn't it cute?  He has has it for twenty years, and it still plays jingle bells when you squeeze it!  The Star Wars one on the right I got Matt a few years ago and he loves it because it is Star Wars of course.

Shan, Ashton sleeping soundly and me and my dad after our ping pong match.
Our tree!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where to start?

I've got about a dozen things on my mind that not only I would like to write about but that have also happened in the last week or so.  We just got home from our anniversary trip to Mexico with our good friends Jamee and Dale and it was a blast!!  I have a few art/writing projects going on at the same time... Thanksgiving was a good reminder on how very blessed and grateful I am for the loved ones in my life... and not 'working' was about the best break I could imagine right now... Driving home at 6 a.m. this morning going from pitch black to pure light within forty minutes through farm country was pretty awesome... and reflection, reflection, reflection.  I continue to hope to do better tomorrow than I did yesterday.  I strive to evolve even a little every single day.  I want to get even a tiny piece of enlightenment and I know that will look a bit different with each passing day. 

I went from trying to hide my nervousness for flying to complete awe once I leaned over my husband's window seat and saw this...

For the first time in my life while flying I felt real strength.  I felt a powerful energy that I could not explain.  It gave me just enough of a push to feel at ease for flying and I knew we would arrive safely.  I also knew things more powerful than me were at work and that was very intriguing.  

I could go on, but I will leave you with this.  The lyrics to a song that I find... I could say fascinating, or interesting, but really I find them relateable.  And you may not, and that is fine, I ask that you listen to the song too rather than just read the words and see if they mean anything to you.... but for now,

Society - Eddie Vedder

Oh, it's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
And you think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
Hope you're not lonely without me...

When you want more than you have
You think you need...
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
Because when you have more than you think
You need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
Hope you're not lonely without me...
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you're not lonely without me...

There's those thinking, more-or-less, less is more
But if less is more, how you keeping score?
Means for every point you make, your level drops
Kinda like you're starting from the top
You can't do that...

Society, you're a crazy breed
Hope you're not lonely without me...
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you're not lonely without me...

Society, have mercy on me
Hope you're not angry if I disagree...
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you're not lonely without me...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Early Thanksgiving

 We celebrated Thanksgiving early today at Matt's moms' house.  Becky recently bought some land and built the house she and her husband Dave now live in.  They have some land and a four wheeler and this thing we call a 'gator' and got to drive it around their land.  The food was good, the company was great, and it was fun to explore their land on this thing.
 We play this game called Pirate Bingo and it's basically a card game where you chose a gift from the center of the table. The gifts we all bring from home and usually they are funny, somewhat odd gifts that you would never normally get yourself.  And now we are the proud new owners of a fox hat.  Wait, I take that back, not proud, I'm not a fan of dead animal skin, having to see it, let alone having to drive home with it in the back seat of our car.  But Dave is a hunter and this is one of his creations of taking the fur and making a warm hat.  It was definitely the most unique gift of the day.
 We enjoyed a fast ride through the woods on this vehicle.  They also have a four wheeler we look forward to riding next time we visit.
 Ainsley quickly figured out the rules to pirate bingo...
 And our drive home was beautiful and of course I took a few minutes to snap as many cloud shots as I could.
 I really love these pictures.
 Yet another great weekend....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quote of the day

During a meeting with my 15 year old male client he told me he thinks I should get paid more to listen to people complain all day.  He then said 'don't you ever work with people and think 'they are just so stupid!'  I smiled but said the appropriate response of 'Well, no I don't think any one I work with is stupid'.  When truly I have come across about 4 people I can think of out of about 100 that were truly choosing to be stupid and I know that they will never change.  I guess 4 out of 100 isn't that bad, right?  My client then rephrased the question and said 'don't you work with people that you just know won't do anything to help themselves?'  And to that I answered yes.  And those by far are the most frustrating cases, the ones who say they want help when you know they really don't, the ones that want you to only justify their behavior no matter what, the ones that are given the opportunity to do better every minute of their lives but they still choose not to. Those are the worst.

I did however have an incredible meeting this past week where I wore the hat of a marriage counselor and helped two parents make some sense of their teenager's behavior and their role in the mix and how they can make a few small changes and immediately see a positive affect at home.  It was the kind of meeting that it was obvious I was helping these people and it was wonderful that they appreciated the help.  It was the kind of family that you see how much potential they have and you get to witness their growth. And it was the kind of feeling that reminds me of why I chose to do the work that I do and the value I see in it.

Also, what gets you through a tough week?  One of many things that gets me through is good music!! I had a new cd in my car this week and it gave me the extra charge I thrived in the morning, and a great burst of energy throughout the day.  I was jamming to some Pearl Jam, Michael Jackson, Bright Eyes, and my rap for this week included OutKast and Mystical.  Oh yea.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random thought for the day...

I was working at Panera today and it was packed but I was immersed in my work and at one point I didn't look up from my computer for a solid hour.  Then I heard a baby sitting near me and she kept saying 'beek oh book' something along those lines over and over again.  And it would have been annoying if it wasn't so darn cute.  I was pulled back into my surroundings by hearing her saying that phrase and then I started to really look at all the faces that filled the restaurant. A lot of 'business' people, some young couples, some really old people, a few kids, and people of all different races and ages and it made me think of this random thought:  Isn't weird that we were all once babies? I mean, really?  We all have our adult clothes, and language and ability to do things on our own, but once we were tiny, helpless, babies making weird noises in the corner.  It was one of those moments I felt like we were all more connected than we usually seem to be.

I fell compelled to add a Tracy Jordan (30 Rock) random statement to the end of this:  I was just thinking about how weird it is that we eat birds.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SO, that was embarassing...

What is your most embarrassing moment?  Think of it, if you don't have one that's great, but you should probably stop reading now because you can't relate.  I want to know who else has felt embarrassed For. Real.  Whether it was really a big deal or not... let's say you were jumping up and down a midst a victory dance for winning a ping pong game and you happened to shatter the lights that hung above you at your friend's neighbors house! Or.... you tripped and fell on campus and you know some distant friends of yours or even a cute girl/guy saw you and the coolness was just sucked out of you instantly.  You know that feeling, right?  Walking along, everything is good, you even feel great, one missed step or slip up on a mystery rock and your rhythm to your walk is disrupted.  You can either start to jog as Ellen Degeneres suggests and just play it off as cool as best you can.  Or, you get all the 'cool' sucked out of you and your neck feels hot and stomach feels empty and you stay that way for at least a few minutes... until logic sets in and you realize it's okay and keep telling yourself 'it's not that big of a deal' over and over again.
Well today I had a very awkward moment and was embarrassed because of it.  It was a situation that occurred with people I worked with but people I will most likely not have to ever see again in person.  That should resolve most of the awkwardness, right?  No, I still feel a little silly about it and if I think about it too long my neck could start feeling a little warm until I am snapped back into reality and realize 'it's not that big of a deal'.  Regardless of what the little issue was (can you tell I am not going to tell you what it was?) the comfort I felt when I came home and told Matt about it was nice.  I remember the very first white hair I found on my head.  It was tiny, and I had to really be looking for it to even find it, but the truth is that it existed, it was there.  And one day my boyfriend at the time found the very same white hair and he stopped, pointed, and laughed at me.  Can you believe it?  Not even a funny let's laugh together thing, but a plain old laugh at me.  Rude as can be.  It was then I realized that his own insecurities started to spew over to our relationship and that is when I started to pull away.
I came home to tell Matt my embarrassing moment and I thought about prefacing it with my usual 'can I tell you something, but you promise to not make fun of me?'  Guess what? I have never had to say this for real because Matt has NEVER made fun of me even a little.  He is completely open, and kind and accepting.  And he has seen a few white hairs on my head and never once even cracked a smile, because he is kind, and he loves me for me, regardless of my hair color, my quirks, and whatever else happens along the way. Even the embarrassing moments we can share, and laugh together. 
What even makes us feel embarrassed?  The possible judgments of other people?  I am pretty sure whatever embarrassing moment you have experienced yourself, just like my situation, you can hopefully find the humor in it without feeling bad about it...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things I appreciate today...

1. Fall, fall weather, fall leaves, crisp air.

2. My husband and the things he says that cracks me up.  Most recent we were driving with our windows down and stopped at a stoplight and he breathed in deeply and said "fried food and fresh air, two of my favorite smells".

3. NOT being on call for work.  The joy I get in the evenings when I turn off my work cell phone. I feel relieved, and I feel freedom.  I am very grateful for my job and appreciate the fact that we happen to be very busy right now, but I love love love being at home and NOT working.

4.  Good, genuine conversations.  I gain greater connections with friends through these moments and I very much appreciate it.  Especially when so many things we all talk about all day long and how especially with co-workers it can be irritating or meaningless that is when I appreciate a good friendship and conversation even more.

5. Using a blanket. I am usually hot, and recently we have had the windows open and the fans blowing and that means the weather is perfect for cuddling up with a blanket is happening and I love it.

It really is the simple things in life that bring me joy, clearly.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Slumber party!!

We had my nephew over for his very first sleep over at our house last night.  We had such a great time!  Matt made delicious tacos, we watched Monster's Inc. and played with our dogs.  Kestan slept for 12 hours!  I think we wore him out. 
We were goofin around, Kestan had swishy pants on and I thought I should put some on too so we could dance around the living room and freak out our dogs.
Uncle Matt and K chillin. 
This little guy is so fun!! Let alone the fact that he is too freakin cute.  He is growing up and getting more independent and we LOVED having him over.  He said he had "so much fun" and I asked if he wanted to come back another night to spend the night and he said "Great!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010


What a big, wonderful change this beautiful family has gone through adding a new child to their family.  They are amazing and I wish them even more strength, wisdom and energy as their family evolves.  I am grateful to get to observe and be a part of their extended family as well.  Kestan is getting more comfortable with the idea of a little brother every hour, he is very helpful and is really showing his independence. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010


This past Wednesday my nephew Ashton was born! We were so happy to greet him at the hospital and to find out that he and his mom (my sister) are healthy and happy.  They stayed at the hospital for observation for three days and during that time my mom and I looked after my other nephew, Ashton's older brother, keeping him company, going on trips to the petting zoo, and spending the night at nana's house.

We welcomed Ashton with open arms and spent very precious quiet moments with him, he has proven to be a very chilled and easy going baby.  Even though things were very busy and fun, we all had a chance to slow down and just be.  And breathe, holding a tiny little soul that has just begun his journey and hope for the very best for him.  I am so grateful for the ability for our immediate family to all be present to greet him at the same time, what a nice family moment it was.
 Today my sister and her family transitioned home after their stay at the hospital.  I know it will be an adjustment for Kestan to go from only child to big brother but I know they will find their new 'normal' as a family and it will be great.

I loved the chance to observe (again) my mom in action as nana.  I truly understand the gift of having your mom around who also happens to be awesome, around when you become a mom (even though I am not a mom yet).  She was ready and willing to help for anything anytime.  She thought of fun activities, meals, snacks, and made sure there was time for rest for the new mom.  Becoming a mom is such a life changing event and to have your mom there to share in the tears of joy and change, must help give you that extra strength you need to continue the journey.

I am so very proud of my sister and brother-in-law for their strength and love, it is great to see their family evolve.  This past week are the kind of weeks that send you great reminders of what life is truly about; love and family and how important it is to stay present.

 Us ladies are definitely getting out numbered by all these boys.... but, so far, no complaints.  They have kept us very entertained.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our tree!

 I am not prepared for it getting dark outside earlier just yet, but I am loving Fall and our bright tree makes me smile.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

House stuff

 I repainted the trim throughout our entire house (well, I still have the guest room and a few parts in the kitchen to finish) but overall it has made such a difference.  This is the gross trim (above) that used to be in the living room, and now the new and improved trim.....
 Totally makes a difference, I also painted our exterior doors a lovely 'apple a day red'.  Little things like that have made me enjoy our house even more.
So we have this chair, very comfy and the dogs must sense how great it is because they will sit and stare at us as if they are begging to get up on the chair with us and cuddle.  Now I am fully aware that this is not great 'training' for the dogs, but the dogs are not allowed on any of the beds, or on our nice couch, but every so often we give in on this one thing and let them cuddle on this chair.  Usually it is Ellie (our little dog) that wants to cuddle, but a few nights ago Jax was really needing some extra attention and Matt let him on the chair with him.  Jax is way bigger than he knows and takes up half the chair, but still too cute to resist a few minutes on the chair. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This is how we do it

Fall is upon us, people.  I let the dogs out this morning and stood outside feeling the very cool crisp air, and it smelled gooood out, fresh.  This weekend is supposed to be in the 60's and that sounds wonderful to me.  I am not ready for the cold air, but this, this feels nice.  We have a busy Fall with a lot of really fun things going on.  But I am just taking one fun thing on at a time and trying my best to fully be present.  Any day now we will be blessed with another nephew!
Yesterday I was feeling pretty stressed with work for a number of different reasons and I even got a head ache because of the worry.  It didn't last very long and soon that energy was turned into gratitude and I gave myself the opportunity to let the rest of that stress go.  I continue to find solace in the Four Agreements: don't make assumptions, don't take anything personally, be impeccable with your word and always do your best.  I still have to remind myself about the first two, but when you fully move through them you waste less energy, and my word is improving.  If I want authentic and genuine relationships in my life then I have to be that way outwardly as well, and I am appreciating that much more.  And finally, yesterday when my head was overwhelmed and all I wanted to do was sleep on a hammock, I realized I was doing the best I could at that moment.  Today I will do better because I feel better. 
Off to enjoy a nice lunch with the family out on the town.  Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

10 things that make me happy today, again.

10. Friday night softball games.  We have joined a league and play double headers every Friday.  This past Friday several people got a little injured, including Matt who was not back to full capacity after running to fast to first last week and his quad was still sore.  My leg hurt from running too, plus after a great hit I managed to throw the bat back on my ankle, immediately swelling the outside bone of my ankle.  Don't worry, it numbed up pretty quickly and after some icing once we got home and a good night's rest we were feeling better.  The weather last night was gorgeous, it felt so much like the beginning of Fall, I loved it!  Plus the exercise is always welcome.

9.  Goat cheese.  I have a new obsession with it and it is the ONLY food item I have a very difficult time saying 'no' to.  I can dismiss cupcakes, candy, chocolate, caffine, pretty much everything you could think of, but if you put some goat cheese and crackers in front of me, look out.  So, I enjoy it today, however I have asked Matt to keep the rest of it away from me until he finishes it and I don't think we will be buying anymore any time soon.

8.  Annie, and other great nostalgic movies.  I happened to watch it today while I messed with some old necklaces and beads in hopes of trying to make better and more interesting ones that I would want to wear today.  We had our windows open because the weather was so nice, which meant I kept my singing 'how about champion? champion.. you're anything but..' to a much lower volume than I would have liked.

7.  Toast.  My favorite snack right now is a piece of our farm to market 100% whole wheat bread, toasted with some butter on it.  I love it, very plain, very delicious and makes Matt laugh every time he hears me enjoying a piece (because his palette is much more demanding than mine :)

6. Being so close to a grocery store.  We could walk to our nearest grocery store and even though that particular one is not my favorite, it is very convenient and I do forget some essentials from time to time, so I appreciate the comfort of being able to run back to the store if we need to.  As much as I would love to live in the country and have more space, I would definitely have to up my list writing and following of the list skills.

5. Our dogs, I have to say.. they are just so fun to have around.  They continue to bring lots of energy full of love and comfort. Even when I am trying to work, or we want to relax on the couch and they happen to come by and lick our face, two seconds later they bring us their ball and are ready to play.

4.  Being nice but honest.  I have not enjoyed the time I have spent working with a guy who happens to be quitting and his last day is this Friday, which I am looking forward to.  I have to remind myself that I can still be a nice, good person but that it's not always right to sit back and be quiet when something is going on that you don't think is right. 

3.  Taking pictures, of our family, friends, and landscape. love it.

2. Fresh, cool air.
1.  Family, of course.  I could list ten reasons for this one but I will just say we have spent some wonderful time with both of our families the past few days and it has been great.  We are 'on call' and anticipating a call from either my sister or my brother-in-law letting us know they are heading to the hospital to give birth to their second son!  We are so excited to welcome the wonderful new addition to our family!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The weekend...

The past week was very busy with work, we ended the week with our softball double header games.  Matt pitched nicely and we won the first game.  Matt also ran to first very quickly and hurt his quad muscle so he chose and with some light encouragement from his wife, to sit out the second game.  22 sure feels different than 32, we are learned that over the weekend.  Our good friends Jamee and Dale drove the four hours to our house to help us celebrate Matt's birthday (they have done this the past few years and a little tradition we always look forward to).  We went to the renaissance festival on Saturday and even though towards the end of our visit we got rained on, it was really fun.  We had time to come home, relax throughout the rest of the thunderstorm and just when the clouds started to get real bright, we drove to our favorite pizza place and had a nice dinner.  Lots of good conversations, laughs, good food, and a really great weekend. I am so very grateful for good, genuine friendships and we appreciate any time we get to spend with our good friends.  Thanks again Dale and Jamee for the visit! 

Sunday I spent the afternoon at my mom's house celebrating motherhood with a nice gathering of women.  We told stories about having a mom, those of who have children about being a mom, and it was a sweet get together to help welcome my sister's second baby who will be here any day now (her due date is Oct. 7th)!!

My mom, sister and I sending lots of love and support for the Duh family and their new baby!  This was a very sweet celebration that anyone can have for their own sister or friend.  To eat yummy food, relax and share funny and sweet stories about the amazing adventure it is to become a parent.  love love love.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Home again home again jiggity jiggg...

My brain is wired to remember quotes, phrases, scenes from movies/tv shows and so on.  I have had issues with Math and Science however I remember driving directions by sights and feelings, I can remember a phone number or address after hearing it once.  So you can imagine what it must be like for my neurons and however the heck all that works.
Growing up we read lots of books and listened to lots of songs, all that remain dear to my heart.  Some of which I have remembered two or three specific phrases more than others and morphed them into one to suit my short term memory.  We had great vacations growing up as well, and I remember no matter what the vacation was I was always excited to be back home.  Home.  A place I long to be, somewhere that has transformed over my years and now is more of a who than a what, as far as the people in my life that make me feel home, we just so happen to be blessed actually have a where too.
So tonight after a long 48 hours away from, I get to return to my Home.  Of course I am thrilled to see my husband and he happened to have a delicious dinner ready to consume the second I walked through the door.  But to be greeted by my dogs makes me feel home too.  Their sweetness surrounds me and tails wagging, jumping bodies of excitement, I can tell that they missed me by their extra energy and they are happy to have both of us home.  All the dog hair, muddy feet, and crazy energy is worth it because they are a part of our family, a part of my home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Work conference....

So Monday I started leading my 'Choices' group for some teenagers our organization has worked with in one form or another over the past few months.  We wanted to bring a few of them together to give them a chance to connect with other kids that may have gone through similar things.  There was weeks of prep time, finding good readings, activities, and getting everything 'approved' by my supervisor, etc. and on the way to group I called Matt (feeling a little nervous I guess) and said 'what if only two kids show up?' (instead of the 7 we had signed up for the course).  Matt instantly said 'well, two is a group, so you'll be fine'.  Very sweet, very supportive and always appreciated.  I agreed with Matt and continued on to lead the class.  I had the lovely help of another co-worker and a good friend and guess what?  All 7 kids showed up!  We will have five more meetings on the next five Mondays.  So very happy the first meeting went well and even though it was tiring, I think it will be a valuable course for the kiddos and for us.
Next day Tuesday was busy with meetings all day and by 5:30 myself and four other co-workers were all on the road headed to a small town a few hours away for a work conference.  I have been to conferences like this before but I will say the information presented here was very valuable and I am glad I came.  We of course were given two nights at a hotel and $30 per person per day with food (which we never even used that full amount due to other food being available through the conference). 
The hotel was... pretty gross.  Now I am aware that I am already a weirdo when it comes to hotels (or am I completely normal and everyone else is weird about it?)  We all drove up in a company car and I was the only one that sat with a pillow in their laps and that is where the questions started.  Why did you bring your own pillow?  And then of course I mentioned that the second I enter a hotel room I throw the comforter on the floor, then we talk about Dateline episodes and black lights... then I even told them that I put towels down across the bathroom floor and do my very best not to touch the tile barefoot.  This is when my freak flag flew and the car grew silent.  "Do you have house slippers too?"  Puzzled I said 'no, I just do that at hotels, I am fine at home with our germs...'  This conversation made my co-worker (the only other woman that came on this trip) and she said 'do they not wash everything? i just assume they wash everything... maybe i am too trusting'.  And yes I think, maybe you are.  Later in the day she said one of her hotel pillows fell on the floor and she did not pick it up because of me and our germ conversation.  I told her that was a good idea and I only felt bad about breaking her trust of hotel cleanliness for a second. 
Here's the rundown: the lobby is large filled with games mostly broken ones that just give you false hope of playing air hockey or double shot only to find out they are permanently broken, or by the time you ask to play ping pong the front desk lady says 'it's too late, come back at 8 a.m.' lame.  There was definite mold in my bathroom, a tile in the lobby had fallen down and was spread out along the carpet dew to mildew.  Something started smoking in the lobby and they put out a huge fan that just blew thick smokeness back and forth.   The pool looked stale and lame, but did I mention there was a water slide?  Tonight we decided to spend some time at the pool, hot tub and enjoy the slide.  I found a kid's football underneath my bed, because of course I look under the bed, that's normal right?  The hot tub was hot and the slide was windy and freakin fast, so hilarious and ended up being really fun.
Lastly there's this; myself, the other woman and two guys we were with played lots of pool as in billards.  Now I am not great, but if I take my time I can make some pretty good shots from time to time.  One of the guys we were with was getting kind of heated that I kept doing so well, and so much better than him.  We beat his team several times either by his partner scratching the 8 ball or I hit the last few in and won for realsy.  Either way he was just dumbfounded that one let alone two 'girls' beat him.  I find it hilarious and still kind of odd (even though I have been familiar with this behavior for my entire life) that he felt even more competitive about wanting to win because he was playing against women.  Personally I think it's a sign of insecurity and just a lame stereotype that 'you got beat by a girl' is still a big deal for some guys.  Ever since I was little I have been able to play sports naturally.  I remember racing on the soccer fields in elementary school and myself and one other girl could beat the other boys and it was a great achievement for us and a horrible defeat for them, much worse than losing to a boy.  So after we won that last game he said 'let's go play football so we can actually beat them at something'.  We obviously did not play football, but we did that video golf game, which I find to be kind of lame and you don't need much skill to do.  That said, I 'drove' my ball further than this guys several times and he again felt defeated.  Should I have let him win to make him feel better about the situation?  Because I don't want any guy I play to ease up on me when we play games.  Clearly there are physical things this guy and lots of guys could beat me at, but that doesn't belittle the fact that I am a good athlete and can legitimately kick his butt and other guys' butts at certain games.  I just think it would be nice if he could be a good sport about it and not get down about it, or blame it on luck or something else. 
Another thing I have always appreciated about Matt.  He has never once felt threatened by my intelligence, talents or abilities (obviously or we would not be married) but he is very supportive of pretty much anything I do but definitely encouraged me to 'kick their butts' at whatever games we play. 
At the end of the trip we all had a good time and today we had the honor of receiving a presentation by four kids who have been through or are still in the foster care system.  They shared their traumas and their triumphs and the fact that they are all doing so very well today.  It was inspiring and I think they need more of that at these social work conferences.  We know what we do isn't going to save every kid and there may always be horrible awful happenings that we won't have the chance to prevent or help, but what makes the work important is those kids that we do get to come in contact with and hopefully help  "We need you to believe in us..." the 16 year old bright eyed girl who helped with the presentation.

Turns out this post is much more of a novel, my apologies, unless you've stopped reading and you didn't make it this far, then nevermind. :)
I will be home tomorrow, with my husband, and our dogs, surrounded with our own germs.... can't wait.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Isn't our interview tomorrow and not today?

Have you ever showed up to something early?  Like... days early?  It's pretty easy to forget what day of the week it is, right?  But have you ever gone to a meeting (interview, party, etc.) today that was actually scheduled for not another time, but another day?!?  I am ending my night with an episode from season 3 of The Office, where Micheal shows up a day early to an interview for a promotion and I find it to be HILarious.

Perhaps it's because I too, did something equally as embarrassing in middle school.  One Saturday my mom drove me to my friend's house and we stood on the front porch as I rang the door bell, with my sleep over bag in hand my friend answered the door, greeted us but quickly became puzzled as to why we were there.  I thought we were invited to a sleepover?  My friend's mom joined us at the front door and her face turned into a mix of shock and irritation.  Apparently, we were invited to a sleep over but it was not happening until NEXT Saturday, also the sleep over just happened to be a SURPRISE birthday party for my friend that both my mom and I overlooked.  I am sure years later they found that to be as HILarious as my mom and I soon would.

So on to what's happenin now... my husband and I spent a good hour trying to install a ceiling fan in our guest room.  The fan we put up in our bedroom took about twenty minutes from opening the box to flipping the switch.  This guest bedroom fan was another story.  We opened the box a week ago and had our first attempt at it then.  One more try, and then tonight we were determined to finish the damn thing, sorry but there was a hint of irritation throughout the project where we kept thinking 'why is this taking so much longer than the other fan!?' 

My husband powered through the irritation and I did all I could to be the best assistant ever because let's face it, I do not want to be the captain of an electrical home project, I will however be happy to hold screwdrivers, mag lights, twist ties, and wire cutters.  So Matt did all of the brain power on this project and I was stationed underneath the fan for most of an hour holding it up while he connected the wires.  I also ran up and down the stairs about eight times to figure out our funky system.  One time the fan worked, but the light did not. Another time the closet light worked but the ceiling fan light did not.  Don't worry, we eventually figured it alllllll out. After the hour or so of holding what I am going to guess is forty pounds over my head (more realistically twelve pounds) I do not believe I will be able to lift my arms above my head tomorrow, maybe not even past my belly button.  After a week of darkness in the guest room, not only is it breezy and nice with the fan flowing exactly how it was intended to, but the four bright bulbs are shining like the sun.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

This weather!!

Good morning!  I am thrilled to wake up to yet another beautiful, cool day that feels an awful lot like the start of Fall.  Now, I wouldn't call myself a morning person, but once I am up, I'm fine (it's the actual getting out of bed thing that is a pain, especially if it happens to be cold and or dark outside).  My husband on the other hand needs a little bit more time to adjust to being awake, and that is just fine.  But I will say the extra cool breeze in the air has made mornings even more enjoyable around our house, nights for that matter too.  Last night we went on a walk and I actually wore work out pants (instead of shorts), and then we came home and I used a blanket on the couch, I know that all sounds really simple, and it is... but it felt so cozy, and I love it!

We are off to spend some more time outside.. I just hope this weather sticks around for a while and doesn't all of a sudden get freezing out, please, mother nature... can we make that happen...  thanks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I don't really want to talk about my flare...

So this past weekend was one of those weekends that was just great.  Enough said, however I will in fact elaborate now.... Friday Matt had a much needed day off and we were able to grab a late lunch together, eat outside (my favorite) and then saw Toy Story 3.  Has anyone else heard that grown men have cried at this movie?  Neither of us cried, but I definitely got a lump in my throat at two different parts.  The nostalgia of toys, stuffed animals, childhood, and the transition into adulthood was portrayed very sweetly with all the lovable characters.  We got to relax at home all the rest of the day and night without any plans the following day.  We slept in, ate a good breakfast, and then did a few errands for our house.  We are doing a few smaller house renovations, backyard updates, painting the interior trim, etc. -another post to come on all of this.  Saturday night I went to my mom's pool and swam with  my sister and her son.  My sister is about to give birth to her second boy and we all know things will change as they go back into baby mode and it will be great, but it was very nice too having time with just the three of us.  Plus, Kestan is getting more brave every time he is at the pool, this time he thought it was so fun to just try and float on his back and of course splashing his "aunt Linds" is always fun too.

Sunday was another easy morning, good food, and our third power outage of the past few months.  In the middle of a sunny gorgeous (somewhat hot) day our transformer blows and the dogs really hate that sound.  We only lost power for about 2 hours but even that is a great reminder of how much we rely on power for entertainment, cold food, everything! :) It was nice, after taking the dogs for a long walk, we ended up playing with one of Matt's new phone apps (which I normally avoid) but it turned out to be hilarious and we turned into one of those crazy can't stop laugh fits, always fun.  Sunday night we played two double header softball games with the new team we have joined with a few friends for a Fall league.  These games were rain make up games from their summer season, but good practice for Matt and I to get back into playing.  We lost horribly to both teams, but we had fun, made a few good plays, and what's better than playing a softball game on a cool summer night?

So then.. .boom!  Monday rolls around, and I hate to be all "case of the Mondays" crap because I didn't have that until 5:00 tonight.  My day was very productive, got lots of work done, not to mention two more rooms are nice and shiny with a new coat of trim... I got a call from my co-worker saying her client who is staying at our shelter got mad and punched a wall and they think she needs to go to the E.R. however she can't take her and the girl's mom can't take her either.  Since I am on call I basically had to take her, or my co-worker could have taken her later, turns out I just took her.  We spent almost three hours in the E.R. and dealt with 7, that's right 7 different people (reception, nurses, x-ray technician, and doctor).  She broke her pinky finger, they knew we weren't an actual emergency so the worst part?  After forty minutes of waiting a nurse would come in a say "the doctor will be here soon, he is going to numb your hand and I will go get the supplies to splint your hand"... thirty minutes later!!!  She comes in with the supplies, it takes another twenty minutes for the doctor and nurse to meet up...... oh goodness, long story short, I appreciate all of those that work in an E.R. I do not envy your job and I hope to never spend a Monday night like this with you again. 

Greenzo out.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Would you rather be on a bus for ten hours or a plane for 3?

Would you rather swim 500 yards or bike 3 miles?

What is the worst trip you have ever been on?

Check this, what is the best trip you have ever been on?

What is the best worst movie you have ever seen?  For instance, my husband loves really good movies yet he also likes movies that I find incredibly irritating, point and case we watched The Fifth Element for five minutes today and that was about all I could take.

What's your favorite thing to eat for lunch?

What was your first job?

These are some questions to ask at your next work training or elevator ride to help with the awkward silence, you're welcome.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

10 things that make me happy today...

I am going to borrow this idea for a post from my good friend Alisa.  She has posted several wonderful things that bring her joy in her life from sunlight in her kitchen in the morning, to the amazing adventures of raising her baby boy.  I have known for a while that gratitude is so very important and it brings me joy and peace to be able to be so fully aware of the blessed things in my life. 

10.  Every time we come home and get greeted by our two dogs.  Even if I go outside to water the plants and come back inside a few minutes later, they are excited to see us every time we come home.  They wag their tails, freak out in little circles around us and bring warmth to our home. 

The next few posts will be about things that bring me joy specifically during out camping trip we just took over the weekend.      9.  I love driving through windy roads with blue sky all around us.

8.  Driving to a campsite with the intention of hanging out with good friends, canoeing and being outside. I love sitting around a campfire, catching up, and feeling the breeze around us as the smell of burning leaves surrounds us.  I am sure I have mentioned this before, but how fun is it to just be?  To have no agenda, no lists to get done, to just sit and relax.  It's great!

7.  I like where we live and how close we are to a lot of fun 'city' things but it's great to get away from all the city lights, have space, and remember how beautiful the reflection of the moon looks at night against water, to have the chance to see a dozen more stars than you can ever see in your own neighborhood.

6.  Singing in the car with the windows down and my hair blowing wildly in the wind.

5.  Hot dogs.  I do not like normal hot dogs and really only eat chicken and turkey.  But we recently discovered these amazing chicken sausages from Hy-Vee that have different ingredients like spinach and feta, roasted red pepper and asiago.  We grilled the hot dogs and toasted the buns over the open flame last night and it was DElicious.

4.  My good friend Megan (who we went camping with) is pregnant with her first baby and it was fun to talk about their plans for expanding their family, how she is feeling, the idea of actually have a kid, etc.  It made me think of my nephew, Kestan and all the sweet moments I have been so lucky to share with him.  To continue to get some of those moments with him, my friends' kids and eventually our own. I took this picture on the way home from a trip to Omaha a few weeks ago. Kestan loved seeing his reflection in my sunglasses. 

3.  Speaking of good friends, I love these girls Megan and Ashleigh (we camped with them and their husbands this weekend).  The six of us rented a condo in S. Padre Island three years ago and hope to rent a cabin in Colorado next Fall.  It's so great having such good people in our lives!
2.  Summertime.  We have had some very good times with the family cooking out and going to the pool this summer.  We spent my brother's birthday at the pool and Kestan and Uncle Matt had similar hats and they are both too cute.  I am looking forward to Fall but I know once it's here it will remind me of just how fast this summer has flown by. 

1.  This guy, my husband.  I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have him in my life and as my partner.  He continues to be so very kind, thoughtful, HILarious and amazing. He puts up with my quirkiness, he encourages me to sing and to do anything else creative I chose to do, he challenges me, entertains me, supports me and accepts all of me.  There is nothing like driving just about anywhere with him by my side.