Monday, October 6, 2014

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall


There is nothing better than the start of Fall.
The air is crisp, the light is softer,
and the world seems more peaceful.
The urge to spend as much time in the summer sun slowly fades
into a desire for a tea, books, and relaxing in front of the fire. 
Weekend runs in the early morning sun are cherised,
and the mountains are bathed in gold.
Fitzgerald said it best in The Great Gatsby:
"Life starts all over again
when it gets crisp in the fall."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mr. Darcy in the bath with a glass of red

Um, hi. 
Can we all just agree that this is one of our happy little fantasies?

Yep...thought so.
You're welcome.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Random Thoughts on a Thursday

I started the day off a bit cranky, and it seems that getting my attitude under control took all of the focus I had in me today.  So, how about we go at this bulleted-style?
  • Sometimes shoes are overrated.  I've been wandering all around my office in just my socks today, and I'm ok with it.
  • I've turned my coworkers into popcorn addicts...and I'm not apologizing.
  • I'm finally getting my hair colored next weekend, and I'm itching to do something a bit bolder than usual.
  • I've been gravitating towards neutrals lately...there's been an influx of black, greys, ivories, and blushes in my wardrobe.  Color is currently brought to you by scarves and jewelry.
  • Today has been one of those days when many of the deep thoughts running through my head have been grasped by bloggers and turned into beautifully written posts.  I love when my soul feels like it's being heard throughout the interwebs.
  • Tonight is pizza and Game of Thrones night with my good friend, Nate.  He got me hooked on GOT, and is now in charge of feeding my addiction...I feed him as a thank you.
  • I'm pretty sure Tony and I spent less than an hour together last night with both of us awake.  I may have let my inner old lady loose and decided to snuggle into the couch for a little "nap" around 8:00 PM.
  • There are no words to describe how happy I am to be able to stream the last 2 seasons of Dexter on Netflix.  No words.
  • Book club meets in 2 weeks and I am itching for a new reading assignment!  I'm determined to not slack off on club reads this year.  

Friday, January 3, 2014


There's an undeniable freedom that comes with giving yourself permission. 

I keep expanding that sentence and then deleting everything after "permission" because that short, possibly incomplete sentence truly sums it up.  It's that simple: you give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling, to act upon what you're itching to do, or in some cases, to not do something.  You've given yourself the power and justification to follow through.  We, as humans, are our harshest critic.  In fact, I think we stand in our own way more often than not.  I know I am frequently guilty of this.  I have to mull over things, rant about them discuss them an unnecessary number of times (usually with my Mom), continue to mull, and if I'm lucky, I will finally give myself permission to let go, to feel, to act, to...something..anything.  Although, to be honest, that whole giving-of-permission thing typically still requires affirmation by someone else (again, usually my Mom.  She's awesome).

It's tough, really tough, to let yourself be okay with not doing something you think you should, or to feel a certain way about someone, or even to not let go of something, to continue to mull or to rant.  Usually the things we resist giving ourselves permission to do have some kind of negative social connotation.  Permission to not go to the gym that day.  Permission to be angry.  Permission to not like someone.  It's hard to simply act on something that we feel bad about.  Why?  There ought to be a balance between the good and the bad feelings/actions/words, but it seems that one of the two always requires permission*, which makes finding that balance constant work.

I don't know about you, but I feel guilty when I think negatively towards someone, or hold onto anger for what seems to be too long.  It's hard for me to allow myself to accept those feelings and thoughts.  I should be a better person.  I should be able to let go.  I should be able to accept other people.  I should be able to accept my feelings.  I should, I should, I should.  But you know what?  If I was as perfect as my guilt tells me I should be, I wouldn't be me.  I'm the accumulation of both my positive and negative traits, and, truly, perfection is more of a myth than a goal.

This past year has been a doozy.  It had its ups and downs, just like any other year, but what really stands out for me are the things I spent so much of the year mulling over and ranting about.  I hadn't given myself permission to feel what I was feeling and to just let that be the end of it.  Well, I'm hoping to change that.  I'm working on giving myself permission. 

I am giving myself permission to not like certain people in my life whom I do not respect, but I cannot simply walk away from.  I give myself permission to only interact with them when I have to, and to try and focus on the good, however minor it may be, in those interactions.  But mostly, I'm giving myself permission to try and find some peace with their unavoidable place in my life.  Without that, I risk the chance of always resenting them for disrupting my life and the lives of those I care about.

I am giving myself permission to not send gifts to everyone next year.  It may sound mean, but I'm tired of spending my money on a gift that won't be reciprocated.  This isn't to say that I'm greedy with gifts, but it hurts to put time and effort into finding the perfect something for someone and get nothing more than a thank you in return (if you get anything at all).  Yes, the thank you is genuine and heartfelt, but it starts to feel like you're only worth the amount of time it takes to pen a quick note or a text.  The efforts simply do not balance on both sides, and that takes its toll.

I am giving myself permission to be upset about the many stressors currently in Tony's life.  A new job.  A town ravaged by flooding.  His father's health issues.  Sibling relationships and personalities.  Tony's back and neck problems that have left him in constant pain.  I have absolutely no control over any of these aspects of Tony's life, but they impact our daily life.  I'm giving myself permission to be selfish -- to be upset about how his stressors have effected my life and our relationship.  And, I'm giving myself permission to hope.  We are a priority for each other, and we will work on fixing the stressors that we can.

Permissions aren't a cure-all, but they're a step towards alleviating some of the weight we all carry on our shoulders.  

*I understand it's just as possible to need permission to feel/think about/act upon the positive in life as it is the negative.    

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Books

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone!  The fun thing about this time of year is getting to read everyone's recaps.  It's nice to get a summary of the past 12 months, to be reminded of some of your favorite reads on other people's blog, or even discover a post or two that were missed...12 months can amount to a whole lot of written words, after all.

As you all know, my posting has dwindled down to barely a post a month.  The reasoning behind that is a post unto itself, which, if I get my act together as I would like, will make its way out of my drafts folder and onto this neglected space soon.  Needless to say, while there has been more than enough to recap in my real life, my blog life hasn't left enough behind to waste anyone's time with.  Instead, I leave you with my reading list for the year.  For me, this is a legit recap; I can look at the title and remember where I was and who I was with when I finished each of these books.  Books 6 through 11 were read on the beach in Mexico while vacationing with Tony.  I started book 28 during my first week in my new job.  These books hold memories for me:

1.  666 Park Avenue, Gabriella Pierce
2.  The Diviners (The Diviners #1), Libra Bray *
3.  Reached (Matched #3), Ally Condie
4.  Changeling (Order of Darkness #1), Phillipa Gregory
5.  Just One of the Guys, Kristan Higgins
6.  Waterfall (River of Time #1), Lisa T. Bergren *
7.  Vanity Fare, Megan Caldwell
8.  The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1), Amanda Stevens
9.  It Had to be You (Chicago Stars #1), Susan Elizabeth Phillips
10.  Midnight on Julia Street, Ciji Ware *
11.  A Cottage By the Sea, Ciji Ware *
12.  Crystal Cove (Friday Harbor #4), Lisa Kleypas
13.  City Girl, Country Vet, Cathy Woodman
14. The Best Man (Blue Heron #1), Kristan Higgins
15.  A Light on the Veranda, Ciji Ware
16.  The Mermaid Collector, Erika Marks
17.  City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4), Cassandra Clare *
18.  The Ashford Affair, Lauren Willig *
19.  Whiskey Beach, Nora Roberts *
20.  Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes, Roisin Meaney
21.  A Royal Pain (Unruly Royals #1), Megan Mulry
22.  Cascade (River of Time #2), Lisa T. Bergren *
23.  Torrent (River of Time #3), Lisa T. Bergren *
24.  Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13), Charlaine Harris
25.  The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman *
26.  The Witch of Little Italy, Suzanne Palmieri-Hayes
27.  Brooklyn Girls, Gemma Burgess
28.  Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walters
29.  The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs, Dana Bate
30.  Letters from Skye, Jessica Brockmole
31.  Finding Colin Firth, Mia March *
32.  NYPD Red, James Patterson
33.  The Meryl Streep Move Club, Mia March *
34.  Where'd You Go Bernadette, Maria Semple *
35.  If the Shoe Fits (Unruly Royals #2), Megan Mulry *
36.  Winds of Salem (The Beauchamp Family #3), Melissa de la Cruz *
37.  Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1), T.J. Brown
38.  The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1), James Dashner
39.  The Firebird (Slains #2), Susanna Kearsley *
40.  The Week Before the Wedding, Beth Kendrick
41.  MacNamara's Woman, Lisa Gardner as Alicia Scott
42.  Allegiant (Divergent #3), Veronica Roth
43.  Dark Witch (Cousins O'Dwyer Triliogy #1), Nora Roberts *
44.  Fifty Shades of Gray (Fifty Shades #1), E.L. James *
45.  Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2), E.L. James
46.  Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3), E.L. James
47.  The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2), Kristan Higgins
48.  The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession, Charlie Lovett *
49.  Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20), Janet Evanovich
50.  Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1), Veronica Rossi *
51.  Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2), Veronica Rossi *
52.  The Heist, Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
53.  My Story, Elizabeth Smart

The books with an asteric (*) next to them were my favorites, and the ones in blue were book club reads.  I was horribly remiss with finishing book club reads this year...were I to add books that had been started, but never completed to this list it would be twice as long and include several more books in blue.
You'll notice a theme with my reading list: I like Young Adult, sci-fi/dystopian society novels, adore series (I get attached to characters), and am a total sucker for anything with a bit of romance.  Feel free to check out my Goodreads account to see what else I've read and what books I can't wait to get my hands on.  You may find some goodies to add to your list, too!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Matthew and Mary

Tonight, I ventured out into the effing cold wintery wonderland that is Northern Colorado in pursuit of BOGO coffee at World Market.  I love when World Market runs this sale, and since I had recently run through my WM coffee stash, it was time to stock up!  Plus, I find it difficult to resist holiday coffees.  (Marzipan-flavored dark roast? Yes please!)  While that was all well and good, the most exciting part of the evening came at the check-out when I was offered a free Downton Abbey tote.  And, not just any Downton Abbey tote, but one with Anna and Mr. Bates on still my heart.  There was no resisting on my part. 

Inspired by the snow, the holiday season, and my new tote, I find myself watching the final episode of Downton Abbey season 2 -- the Christmas episode.  This is, by far, my favorite episode of all 3 seasons.  I know that sounds odd since so much of the episode has to do with the Spanish Flu and possible death, but it's also the episode when Matthew and Mary share a dance and an unexpected kiss; when Anna and Bates finally marry; and when Mary finally opens up her heart to Matthew's proposal.  Christmas and romance all tied up with a British period-piece bow is about as good as it gets in my world.


Friday, November 15, 2013

To be thankful

I'm not going to lie: I find the daily "thankful" November posts on Facebook to be annoying.  Everyone starts off as thankful for family, friends, health, etc., and then it just deteroriates from there.  Suddenly it's November 21st and I've noticed people become increasingly thankful for types of this because the food-tastic heaven that is Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, or is it because everyone has run out of more meaningful things to be thankful for?  We may never know...but, I digress.  I love Thanksgiving, and I do love that the month of November prompts people to stop and consider the aspects of their lives they're grateful for, but I'm not convinced the daily play-by-play is necessary.


So, to play along with this month's theme of thankfulness, I thought I would share some of what I'm most thankful for:
  • My parents.  There are no words to describe how grateful I am to have the family that I do.  We're a small but stubborn, opinionated, and lively bunch, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Tony.  2 years in and the strength of my feelings for this man still catches me off guard.  He is kind, generous, funny, supportive, and loves me without question.  
  • My friendships.  This is such a broad item, and it doesn't seem enough to devote only a single bullet point to it, but for the sake of this post it'll have to do.  I have such variety in my friendships and each one adds unique value to my life.  I cannot imagine not having my friends to call on in good and in bad times, nor can I imagine not being able to support them in kind.
  • Ruby and Ringo.  My goodness, but my life is so much fuller with those two crazy dogs in it.  I was never a dog person until Tony brought those furry monsters into my life, and now I cannot imagine a homecoming that doesn't involve Ruby's stubby, little tail wagging, and Ringo's excited requests to play (all.the.freaking.time).
  • Books.  This may seem a bit ridiculous, but life without books is no life at all.  I have bags of books in my car, stacks of books surrounding my overflowing bookshelf at home, and books on nearly every flat surface at Tony's; they complete me.
  • My health.  I may be prone to sinus infections, but overall I'm healthy and happy, and that is a wonderful thing.
  • My job.  My work-life has gone through quite a few changes over the past year, and while I wouldn't say I feel completely settled where I'm at, I'm more even-keeled, which is a wonder for my psyche.  I work for a University that feels like home to me, and I get to learn something new every day.  There is also pride in the maturity and independence that comes with a steady paycheck.
Goodness knows there are countless other things I could add to this list, but that would make me no different than the daily thankers, so I think I'll stop here.  Those 7 items are simply a foundation for all of the little, wonderful things in life.