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Well Hello 2012!

4 Jan

Congrats!  If you’re reading this it means you’ve survived 2011 and you’re ready to take 2012 by the horns:)  And because I’m not terribly creative – let’s start give one last ‘adieu’ to 2011 by remembering some of it’s finer moments…

We rescued another homeless pup.  He was tiny and precious and silly and now he is GIANT and precious and silly.  Going from this (Jan. 2011 – 9 lb.)

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to this (November, 2011 ~79 lb.)

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…in mere months.  Impressive, no? We named him after another big event… Our college friends out in CA had a beautiful baby boy!  We found out they were pregnant the same day we decide to rescue this great dane mix, and since they’re such dear friends we thought the name Wally would be just perfect.  So while they welcomed Weston Wallace to the world, we watched our own Wally explode into the gentle (although at times wild) giant he is today.

I student taught – and fell in love with 30 children.  Then they ripped my heart out when I had to leave them.  I think they still have it – wonder if they’re even aware?

Yet another darling friend moved away.  Because obv. that’s the cool thing to do (ahem – Traci & Wendy).  So what was a girl to do than pack up with another BFF and help the sweet thing assemble her IKEA furniture.  Also – IKEA!  And Kmitch – don’t get the idea that this is my accepting your leaving – I haven’t, and I never will.  Same goes for the rest of you!

We played in Lake Placid and skiid Whiteface.  The one part of winter worth loving, beautiful blankets of fluffy pristine snow to be played in, a snuggly fireplace, all surrounded by family.  You cannot beat that.

I survived my graduate portfolio and exhibition (think thesis and defense).  And I thought my undergrad senior paper was rough – aye!  On the bright side, it really helped me articulate who I am as an educator and gain confidence in my calling.

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I gradumacated!  I know right?!  Here’s the sign to prove it;)  Made some amazing lifelong friends during my time at Nazareth (3 of whom are pregnant and cute beyond possible articulation), and even got to walk on the same day as my cousin and childhood friend – congrats Em!!

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We saw Joshie in concert (again – I saw the crooner live for the first time back in high school – thanks Amanda!).   He was both hilarious and ethereal and oh, that voice!  Bravo, Mr. Groban, bravo!  We also saw Wicked, the Lion King, and the Blue Man Group.  All fabulous!  SO good.

We went to the Dominican Republic.  We ate and drank our faces off and spent way too much time in the sun.  We danced, and laughed and were just the two of us. And it was rockin’.  Who wants to pay for us to go back again this year;)?

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We said goodbye to Jared’s childhood dog.  Zoey the springer spaniel, the sweet whiner who will always have a special place in our hearts.  We miss you pretty girl!

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Our house became home.  Yeah, it took a while.  But we’ve finally settled in and done lots of the projects we were itching to do.  From the totally redone kitchen, to the super duper improved sofas, to the new mason jar chandelier and delightful teal window boxes (and piano!) – I’m afraid this little cape cod now SCREAMS our names:)

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We visited DC and met up with two college loves.  We frolicked around the city and the suburbs and had an overall splendid time.  Again with the awesome tour guides and snuggle buddies:)

I finally started to conquer my anxieties.  And it has made all the difference.  I see the whole world in a new way and am beginning to appreciate all that God has so lavishly blessed me with.  Yes, it took some deep introspect, some painful realizations, and even (gasp) some ‘crazy pills’ but to say it was worth it would be a vast understatement.  And along those lines…

I read two INCREDIBLE new books that I simply can’t keep to myself!  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and Life’s Missing Instruction Manual : The Guidebook You Should Have Been Given at Birth by Joe Vitale.  If you only get around to reading 2 books this year – it should probably be these:)

We were spoiled by many more Oyin visits.  And it was glorious.  SO the way life should be lived – with incredible pals popping in and living up the summer with you a couple of times a month.  Downright dreamy.

Lots of dear friends got married.  Their weddings were heartbreakingly beautiful and there was some serious getting down on the dance floors during their receptions.  Cheers and happily ever after to you Ken and Meg, Chris and Steph, and Briant and Joanna.


We spent a week at the lake.   Sunshine, tubing and waterskiing (conquering the slolam!) til we literally killed the boat, family and innumerable games of every fashion.  Glow stick motion artwork, campfires, henna tattoos, and heart to hearts with my bro into the wee wee hours of the night (or morning?)

Gram and Grandpa kept us on our toes.  So many hospital trips and confused doctors.  Still no real answers but they’re home now – and that is good:)

We adventured in Saratoga Springs.  There was wonky water to be drank, adorable shops to pop into and delightful food.  A cop scare, a picnic and oh the sunshine!  Carolyn and Tyler – let’s meet up more often!

My cousin had beautiful twin boys.  And they stole everyone’s heart. Now all I ever want to make are perfect tiny onesies because everything is adorable when it’s on a onesie. Babies are too much for me – cuteness just takes over and I stop making sense.  The end.

We opened an Etsy shoppe and I attended my first craft show!  And get this, stuff has actually SOLD! Cray cray.  There hasn’t been much time as of late to keep up with stocking the shoppe but it doesn’t mean I don’t still get silly amounts of joy from the endeavor.

A darling friend got my butt in gear.  And now she’s moving far, far away – leaving me workoutbuddyless.  So unfair right?  I’m miserable to work out with too, always complaining and evading, how am I ever going to get someone to hold me accountable again?  Seriously Traci, don’t you think my health is reason enough to forego a killer job opportunity in sunny Florida?

We rocked NYC – twice.  What a place!  What people!  What good times and wonderful food.  Best of all?  A bro to escort through all the chaos and help us get an insider’s take.

 

The couple that met (read: were set up) at our wedding 3 1/2 years ago (my dashing cousin and our lovely ORU friend – who happened to be Jer’s sister wing RA way back during Freshman year) GOT ENGAGED – in Spain, because they’re cool like that. They’re gonna get married you guys!!  You know what that means?  Friends for life.  Double dates FOREVER.  Best plan EVER!

I got a job!  I feel as though I’ve broken through the glass ceiling by snagging one of the rare long term substitute positions in upstate NY (as opposed to plentiful per diem positions).  I’m over the moon about settling in to make a difference in my kiddos lives and the glorious constancy of my own classroom.  (Yes, I’m fully aware of the messes, the pulled out hair, the tears and the incomprehensible swarms of germies that go along with this new endeavor – and yes, I’m oddly over the moon about those aspects too.)  I finally feel like all my hard work (turns out masters’ degrees are incredibly difficult to obtain and cost a fortune) is coming to fruition and I just can’t wait to pour my heart into my new class.

Wally got hit by a car.  Putting that in bold seems unfair so let me just say and he is miraculously a-ok.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that God even cares for our doofy clumsy dogs.  Good thing too!  Because the dent in the car tells another story!

We attended lots of fabulous parties.  Getting together with friends and family – whether its 2 of you or 20 – is the best.  And we’re wildy blessed to get to do both quite frequently.  Love you all!

There was so many more day to day details that, despite there minuteness shaped our year and lives. We’re who we are today because of the love and support of our friends and family and God’s ever-abundant grace.  And as we head into the long string of tomorrows before us in 2012 – I pray I’ll keep this in mind and keep an attitude of optimistic gratitude through all the ups and downs.  I’m so, so, so very blessed.

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Thankful

14 Nov

Lately it’s really been occurring to me –  I have SO much to be grateful for, its honestly incomprehensible.  Admitedly, my life is terribly far from perfect, but in many ways, it’s pretty much perfect for me.  Oxymoronic?  Perhaps, but truthful nonetheless.

So to kick off this season of thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you all some of the things I’m incredibly joyful to have in my life:

  • a safe and comfortable home, which is the outcropping of unending support from both of our parents and the ability to enjoy such the result of the protection of our selfless troops around the world.
  • incredible, creative, and thoughtful friends, who point out things like my birthday falling on the same day as “Chocolate Covered Anything” day, (coincidence?  I think not).
  • greek yogurt.  again, I know it’s a little thing, and I probably shouldn’t love it so.  but I do.  it’s flippin’ delicious and protein packed so it’s rightfully gained a staple-stance in my diet repertoire.  Try it as a substitute for sour cream on your next taco and you’ll see what I’m getting at!  See number 7 on this odd (#81 add pureed carrots to health-ify your peanut butter… huh), but interesting article from Men’s Fitness (don’t judge.)
  • loving families.  Where on Earth would we be without them!?
  • old friends, who’ve seen you through the good, bad and ugly, and are still around for the obscene teal piano moving in a tiny cape cod with tight corners and couples dinner parties full of love, crazy delicious food and laughter
  • new friends, with shared callings and passion for becoming a great educator (who coincidentally shares my chocolate-covered birthday, year and all – crazy right!?)
  • lovely, ornate inherited china from my late and Great Aunt Lillian, perfect for hosting aforementioned dinner parties..
  • etsy.com, because there is something inherently glorious about a community of crafters and DIYers sharing their creativity with the world.
  • cranberry pills. popping one a day has kept my urinary tract on track (sorry – couldn’t resist).  also, sorry if thats TMI, but freedom from UTIs (without tons of antibiotics) is freakin’ spectacular!
  • snuggles from ma dawgs.  As part of my new Happiness Resolutions (ala previous bullet re. The Happiness Project) I try to never miss an obvious opportunity for puppy cuddles.  That means I start, and end, each day with a warm heart, with lots of chances for pick-me-ups throughout the day.
  • Glee and Skype.  Those two combined help me stay in touch with two of my sweethearts, and that’s downright excellent.

 

*Please note, this list is just the TIP of the iceberg in the abundance of blessings that is my life.

What are you all extra super duper full of gratuity for in this season of your life?

Falling in Love

17 Sep

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of autumn.  I know lots of New Yorkers who would slap me for saying that but the truth is, I can’t help but see fall as a precurser to our endless months of frigidity.  Alas.

However, today was one of those crisp, juicy fall days that even the most hard-hearted autumn-haters can’t hate on.

Breakfast with the folks, tennis in the crisp fall air, local fresh apples,

cinnamon donuts and icy cider,

a new wreath project for the shoppe

droopy Amish white bread (I think I peeked one to many times!)

and homemade honey cinnamon butter (recipe coming soon!).

What’s not to love!?

What I’ve been procrastinating… BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

13 Sep

Alright, so I have *completely* run out of excuses…

  • The laundry is done and clothes are put away.
  • The floors have been vacuumed.
  • The dishes are done and the sink has been scrubbed.
  • The dogs have been fed.
  • Beautiful childhood friend’s wedding photos have been uploaded to facebook for appropriate oogling.
  • Window boxes have been made, painted, hung and planted.
  • That weird upstairs shelving unit now has a curtain bar and a cute homemade curtain covering it.
  • Groceries have been bought and put away.
  • Plants have been watered.
  • Pinterest has been scoured and repinned obsessively
  • Mason jar chandelier is painted, roped and completed.  Perfect in every way.
  • Homemade Lipton Diet Green Tea recipe has been located and True Lime has been ordered in anticipation
  • Windowsill has been repaired and repainted (thanks to great dane mutt for that little project – yes he chewed on it).
  • Kitchen door has been repaired and repainted (thanks to cockapoo for the jump-scratching destruction.)
  • Bathroom door has repainted (thanks to my clumsy self and hair dye for that little project.)
Oh, wait, you’re wondering what all these silly projects were keeping me from?  Caught me.  This queen of (sometimes productive) procrastination has been putting off this very post.  And the completion of a related website…
The truth is, I was scurred.  Vewy, vewy scurred.  ‘Cause a close girlfriend and I are venturing out into unknown territory together(and by that I mean I’m scared silly and she’s all confident and poised – typical).
This post is an announcement.  Opening the floodgates to criticism and/or sharing our love for all things sparkly, ruffly, functional, and overall lovely with the world at large.
Did you guess yet?
We’re opening an Etsy shop.  Which will here-forth be known as our Etsy shoppe, because clearly that sounds much more chic and desirable.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the moon excited about the process; the incredible logo and banner hubs created for us, and all the fun ideas we’ve been bouncing around, buying and upcycling great materials all under the guise of ‘work,’ the projects that have culminated in killer products I’m psyched to share, even the putting together of the actual site.
It’s just that there is this nervous, insecure, pessimistic, stressed-out, totally terrified little voice inside of me that says that a) nobody is going to be interested in my stupid creations and b) anyone who does make the mistake of purchasing one of my goodies is surely going to regret it and make that clear in their seller reviews.
SHUT UP VOICE.
So, on that note, now that you are all privy to my self-conversing and hideous inner voice – aren’t you just dying to mosey over to the new shoppe?  Ha!
In all seriousness, I’m hoping to have that beaut up and running by mid to end of-this week.  Fingers crossed?  All that is really left is uploading pics/sharing the deets of the first projects up for sale.  You know, putting my creative handiwork on display for the world to see (and perhaps chew up and spit out – says that little obnoxious voice) which I’ve been avoiding with gusto.
I’ll keep you updated kittens.  Until then…  xoxo!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

8 Aug

So last week I mentioned that I’d picked up the simple ingredients to make some homemade dishwasher detergent.  And maybe I was ridiculously excited about it (I’m an old married woman, it’s the little things these days!).  But come on guys – it’s totally gonna save some serious monies!!  So here’s the lowdown:

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent (On the cheap!)

Recipe from Frugally Green

You need:

  • 2 cups of Borax (laundry aisle of your grocery store)
  • 2 cups of Baking Soda (a big box is also available in the laundry aisle)
  • 4 small packets of unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid (you can also use 4 tablespoons of citric acid–if you can find it)

You do:

  1. Mix it all together.  That’s it.  One measly step.  Unless you count…
  2. Do a happy cash-money saving dance.
You use:
2 tablespoons per load, one inside the closed locking cup and one in the open cup.
This was def. one of those, no way this can work that well for such simple ingredients and hardly any money.  And then, by Job, it did!  My dishes came out squeaky clean without a bit of residue and spelling delightfully fresh! Happy dances ensued!
You can store it in your old detergent box or a glass jar so I can see the money you’re saving more clearly:)  I figure this cost me about $3 and should last about 32 loads.  As opposed to the $7 I used to pay for that many loads previously.  Plus, you can use white vinegar for your rinse agent!  Go figure!!
Anyways… happy savings kiddos!! xoxo:)

A few of my favorite things: Summer Lovin’

2 Aug
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Hello from the summer(wedding)loving couple!

Good afternoon ladies and gents(?),

Thought I’d take a moment to share a glimpse into my littlest joys in life*, cheery things around the house that make the days of unemployment and hospitalized grandparents a little perkier. Continue reading

Bitty Update

22 Jul

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Right now, I am all kinds of absorbing the moment.

It’s a beautiful morning here in upstate NY, clear blue skies and a light breeze and lots of degrees cooler than yesterday. I’m sitting on our balcony, sipping coffee with almond joy creamer (!!), snuggling our 2 impossibly adorable mutts and catching the occasional glimpse of the giant sign in our front yard:

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Did I mention I have the most supportive and wonderful friends and family in the universe? Continue reading