Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

live jazz, long chats and a little bit of sunshine

It's a dreary morning in Indy.  But that's ok, because it's Friday!  It's been a long week, and I am really ready for a relaxing weekend.  Here are my five silver linings this week:

1.  I traveled down to North Carolina for work yesterday.  It was a lovely break from the cold midwest winter - the sun didn't stop shining!  Although I love the midwest, it was a very nice change in scenery and gave me hope that one day, spring will return to Indianapolis.  One day.  Haha :)

2. Long-overdue extended phone chats with oldest and dearest friends. While in NC, I had to drive from Charlotte to Greensboro - it's a solid 1.5 hr drive. And yes, I spent almost the entire time catching up with one of my bridesmaids. I love those phone calls - the ones where you just say, "Ok, what has happened in your life in the past several months, ready go!" and just soak it all up as your friend proceeds to fill you in on her life. It's therapeutic, really. 
The last time I saw Erin - 8 months ago at our wedding!

3.  While I was in NC, I had a few hours to kill before my flight so I stopped by the Billy Graham Library.  It was so neat to see the BG headquarters and to just walk around the campus.  It truly is beautiful!  My iphone doesn't do it justice:

The house is the original Graham homestead, and the barn-looking thing is the library itself. 
4.  My birthday is in 5 days!  In my family, birthdays are a big deal.  You don't just get a birthday day, you get an entire week!  So technically my birthday starts on Sunday :) I actually don't have any big birthday plans this year, but that's ok.  It's still fun to have a day to celebrate!  I have several goals for my 28th year, which I hope to share with you this upcoming week.
5.  There's nothing like live jazz to cheer a heavy heart.  We went on a double-date this past weekend to a local jazz club - which is quickly becoming my new favorite hot spot.  If you like music and haven't tried live jazz, you really should!  This guy is probably pushing 80+ but could sing anything.  Seriously - anything. 
An anti-silver lining of this week - Downton Abbey Season 3 is done :(  I don't know what I'm going to do with myself on Sunday nights!  And that season finale rocked my world - I think I am still in shock!  If you haven't watched Downton, you really should.  Trust me, it is awesome

Monday, February 18, 2013

the attack of the girl scout cookies

This weekend, girl scout cookies and I had a battle.  An epic battle of self-control, discipline, resisting temptation and controlling my ever-present sweet tooth.  And I am ashamed to admit that I lost - badly.  Girl scout cookies = 1, Amy = 0.  Sigh.  I just can't resist these little boxes of deliciousness!

I was never a girl scout growing up, but I always looked forward to that day at school when the girl scout cookies would be delivered.  Chances are I had saved up and splurged on a box of both the tagalongs and do-si-dos (my two favs) and would proceed to devour them as fast as I could.  Usually it was only a matter of days. 

Apparently not much has changed since then.  We ordered six boxes from our nieces this year (3 and 3, to keep it even).  Then, my in-laws were mean sweet enough to give us some of their boxes.  Steve is allergic to nuts, so that left all peanut butter cookies to me (yes!).  He's more of a samoa fan.  The thin mints went straight to the freezer - everyone knows they are much better frozen - and the rest remained on our kitchen counter.  Throughout the weekend, as I walked by, I would "sample" a trefoil.  Or decide on "just one" tagalong.  Before I knew it, I had eaten girl scout cookies for lunch and lost my appetite for dinner.  Two days in a row.  Epic fail. 

So my new plan for the epic battle round 2 is as follows: get all cookies out of the house ASAP.  And learn to develop some self-control like a grownup.  And embrace my new-found motivation to stick to my mini-marathon training.  And no more girl scout cookies... until next year!  The jury is still out on these guys - after all, I do prefer ice cream over cookies ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

breakfast in bed and other delights

I can't believe that February is over halfway over.  We've been enjoying some atypical warm weather here (by warm, I mean the 40s... it's all about perspective haha), which has made me in the mood for spring to get here soon! 

Here's my five silver linings for this week:

1.  Sweet valentine (and girl scout cookies!!) delivery from my little niece.  The picture is of two "pegasus-unicorns" - so cute!  She makes my heart melt.

2.  Ultimate work valentine delivery - roses, chocolate and Starbucks :) Steve certainly knows the way to my heart... through chai tea lattes of course.
3.  I'm seeing Safe Haven tomorrow with the small group girls.  I haven't seen a Nicholas Sparks movie since the Notebook (which still makes me cry like a baby every time I see it).  I didn't think any of the other latest ones could live up to the Notebook's glory.  But I've heard fantastic things about this one and am looking forward to spending some quality time with lovely ladies.  And yes, I'm pretty sure I'll probably be bawling my eyes out the entire time.  I'm a crier, it happens.
4.  An absolutely wonderful Ash Wednesday service at church this week.  It was a great start to the Lent season and an incredible reminder of how broken and in need of Jesus I am.

5.  Steve and I had a spat.  That's not the silver lining to be sure... but the next morning, he surprised me with breakfast in bed as a way to make up.
What a sweet way to make me feel special :)  Not to mention, feeling like I had transformed overnight into one of the Grantham ladies:
(PS - if you haven't jumped on the Downton Abbey band wagon, you totally should.  I am obsessed.)
Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

the greatest of these

Happy Valentine's Day!  Here's to showing those whom I love just how special they are to me and how grateful I am that God has put them in my life.  Despite the hardships, loss and heartbreak of this past year, I am thankful that God has given me those to love and to be loved by.  He has blessed me with a wonderful family who fights for me, an in-law family who has welcomed me in with open arms, new friends to share life with and a sweet husband with whom I am learning how to show God's covenantal love and to bring each other closer to Him.

 Loving someone on this earth certainly is not perfect, and definitely not easy - in fact, it can be the hardest thing ever sometimes.  That's because we are all sinful and naturally self-centered.  And yet, God still entrusts us with the hearts of others - allows us to fall in love, to have families, to raise children.  He trusts us to love others greater than ourselves, and set the ultimate example for us when He died on the cross for us.  I'm sure He smiles when He sees all the love that is celebrated today... since that love is a sign of something greater, something bigger than just people sharing and celebrating life together. 

Because after all, even the greatest love that you share with someone on this earth is only a shadow of how great God's love is for you. 
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

-1 Corinthians 13 (ESV)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

runaway baby

And so it begins.  Yesterday was Day #1 of training for the Mini Marathon.  And I'm happy to report that I survived!  Granted, it was only 3 miles... we'll see how well it goes when I start doubling, tripling and quadrupling that number! Yikes!  Now to keep moving onward and upward (in mileage) until this moment on May 4th:
Ok , so maybe I won't be up in the front row with the crazy-fast professional runners.  I'll actually be about 20,000 places behind these folks, but you get the point.

I've ran two minis before.  The first was during my second year of law school with my friend Michelle.  I was in the middle of recovery from a back injury that ended my collegiate swimming career, so just finishing the race was a huge achievement for me.  The second was in the very early stages of Steve's and my dating relationship.  I don't think he even knew what hit him - one moment we are at dinner talking about starting new hobbies and the next moment he was signed up for a race and training program in one fell swoop.  Poor kid.  In the end, though, he kicked my butt.  Turns out he is naturally adept at running and the fact that his legs are a foot longer than mine gives him a distinct advantage.  So unfair.  But in the end of we both finished and got our participant medals.

So now begins training for #3.  My work schedule is so crazy and I can easily find ways to talk myself out of working out.  But that's not going to fly this time.  Instead, I'm going to focus on why running is good for me:
  • Stress reliever
  • Time to myself
  • Losing that post-wedding weight
  • Excuse to listen to old 90s boy bands?! Yes!
  • Feeling better about myself
  • Having a routine
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Endorphins!
Here's to the Mini, round 3!  And yep, if you see me at the gym, I will most definitely look like little yellow raincoat girl and nothing like tough runner beast girl.  At least, not yet :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

high five for friday

Happy Friday!  It has been a fun, wild, exciting, exhausting week.  While it's been great, I am so ready for the weekend, I can't even begin to tell ya.  Here are five silver linings of this week:

1.  Feeling a little vday and bday love at work:
2.  Up-close and personal encounter with this lovely lady at the zoo:

3.  Still on a high from the San Diego sunshine:
4.  Quick break from work for teatime with lovely ladies who are quickly becoming dear friends (cute instagram courtesy of one those dear friends):

5.  This book, which finally arrived yesterday and I can't wait to start with two great sisters in Christ:

After traveling so much this week, I am so excited for the weekend!  Here's to hoping that the sun comes out for the start of my mini-marathon training... eeek! 

Thanks for Lauren @ FromMyGreyDesk for the reminder that we can always find 5 things to be thankful for, no matter how wild or hectic our week has been :)


Thursday, February 7, 2013

san diego snapshots

Well, it's official - I am in love with San Diego.  What a beautiful city!  And the weather was lovely.  Considering the fact that my only other experience with San Diego consisted of an outdoor swim meet in the rain and 40 degrees (pretty much the worst swim meet of all time), I went into the trip expecting the worst weather-wise and was pleasantly surprised when I only wore a jacket one evening.  And even though I was busy with work meetings and Steve caught a cold, we still managed to enjoy ourselves and see a few sights.  Here's some snapshots from my iPhone:


Finally got to see this guy!
Lunch on the bay
Bike ride along the harbor
Favorite thing?  Probably my early morning run along the boardwalk.  Nothing beats watching the sun rise over the ocean while sporting a tank top and shorts in February. 

Oldest sailing ship in the US
USS Midway

Least favorite thing?  Coming home.  No, seriously.  I would be lying if I said that I didn't get home yesterday and promptly burst into tears.  I blame the red-eye flight back, lack of sleep and general coldness of February in Indiana.  Needless to say, I am ready for springtime.  Perk to being home?  Seeing this little cuddlebun, who was exhausted from her own puppy vacation :)