beautiful, birthday, confession, depression, entertainment, food, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, marriage, music, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

I can’t believe that it is already March!

I  am equally as disappointed as you must be, that I am sounding like every other over-forty year old whose first remarks of the day are always weather or calendar related. I know, I’m sorry. I get it. I post here once a week and I resort to beginning this week’s hello with boring (to the under-forty) nonsense like that. Please love me, despite my flaws…

My birthday is in twenty-six days. This seems like such an awesome and exciting thing, doesn’t it? It’s not. I have a very much wish-to-love/but-hate relationship with my birthday. It’s pretty sad, and despite my already established geriatric age, I never grow up enough to stop internally wishing this year will be the one that changes everything. It’s ok.

This is getting depressing…

Let’s take a moment to redirect our focus by looking at this vibrantly pink photo of fruit, that I can’t eat because Chw and I have decided to embark on a little spring Keto adventure… (errr, happy birthday to me????) What this means for the tradition of birthday cake, the jury is still out. Many factors considered, the birthday prospects are a little gloomy. (Not to mention that the biggest gift I get to give myself, this birthday, is new bi-focals because, well, I’m old.)

Also, I am not going to take any offense to the fact that a song I love just came on and as I began singing, my dog (who was lying content at my feet) immediately stood and left the room. Maybe I should just get to the actual heart of this post…

  • First and foremost… Did you guys watch the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics? I LOVE LOVE LOVE EXO (and K-pop is my go to genre to listen to, if you didn’t already know that) I would absolutely love to link their performance for you, except that after scouring the videos available on YouTube, I couldn’t find one I liked. Oh well. If you didn’t see it, you really missed something grand! The very highlight of this first bullet point is foremost that videos are FINALLY Available from the Olympics! (and since I shared before about this performance, I had to share the link with you.)
  • Ha! This… This video is amazing. (I adore Kalen!) While definitely NEITHER Keto or Birthday celebration friendly, it is hilarious. Seriously, Why ya’ll got to mess with stuff… this will have you on the toilet
  • This White Peach Rose’ & Peony Hempz lotion is my absolute favorite scent EVER! I am not usually attracted to florally scents, but this is perfection! (and I’m sure I’ve already shared that Hempz is my favorite body lotion! (Their Triple Moisture is my winter BFF.)
  • We were able to catch a couple of movies, over the weekend, which was great. Surprisingly we enjoyed them both, but we absolutely LOVED Game Night! It seems like it has been a long time since we’ve had such a great time at a movie! (seriously laughed til we cried!)
  • I love music. We all know this. And while I’ve known (and enjoyed) a few tracks by these guys, it wasn’t until this week that I really took the opportunity to dive deep into their stuff. Lyrically, musically, personally… I have fallen head over heels with Judah and the Lion!


books, confession, entertainment, family, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, list, marriage

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Surprisingly, despite only posting here an average of once per week, and with the many ways that blogging (and blog reading) have changed and morphed into something different, I still manage to have a fairly high number of subscribers and daily visits. When I logged in this morning, however, my landing page notified me that I had no visitors on Wednesday. As in ABSOLUTELY zero.

I think this news was supposed to alarm me, or make me sad, or something… Instead though, I literally grinned from ear to ear. While I am not the world’s biggest Valentine’s Day fan, (I believe we should be generous with our love every day of the year, not just on consumer driven ones) it made really happy to know that you guys were all way too busy loving to check in here! Of course, the second half of the day’s absence was probably more accurately because of the horror that was unfolding in Florida…

While I realize the whole point of these Friday posts was to share a bit of awesome/fun/cool/*insert other positive adjective here* stuff so that the heaviness of life did not drown us completely, and therefore the idea of using a Friday post to talk about those heavy things may seem a big off- I just have to say one something…

As human beings, absolutely every decision will boil down to one of three things. (Even doing nothing IS a decision.) We can choose:

  • Action
  • Inaction (no action/apathy)
  • Reaction

Let’s be honest- saying “thoughts and prayers” regarding a horrific tragedy does not mean anything. It does not count as action. Actually praying, actually using thoughts to help discern how we can better a situation, make an impact, ease a hurt (etc) IS taking action. Emotionally lashing out, threatening, and marching forward without considering/caring about the consequences or how your choice will affect others- THIS is reaction. This is the seed terrorism is grown from. So if you’re going to talk about how your thoughts and prayers are with Florida, make sure those prayers are being fervently prayed and your thoughts are geared towards HOW to make this better. If ONE person can cause so much hurt and have the entire country talking about him, then absolutely ONE person can make things better. Two can make them doubly better, and all of us who want a better world CAN work together, (stop being apathetic and stop reacting in offense to absolutely every grain of everything that isn’t inline with our own feelings) to make things better. Change is necessary- and this isn’t just about guns. People who want to hurt others can do that without guns. We do need reform, but we also need to change how we deal with each other, what we turn a blind eye to, and how we (as a society) are far too wrapped up in ourselves.

That’s all, about that. At least as far as this post goes.

Beyond the tragedy in Florida, my week here was a pretty quiet one. Elenor was spayed last Friday, and other than a major hiccup which had us back in the vet’s office for a small bonus procedure, things are going well. Lots of reading, some writing, a few movies and an assortment other quiet activities have been on the agenda. This will probably be reflected in the list of my week’s things to share with you.

  • Hopefully this is something that isn’t ever needed, (for those of you with dogs anyway) but just in case it is- I’ll share. The Comfy Cone has saved us NUMEROUS times. While it isn’t exactly a new thing, to me, it has been a saving grace this week. As much as Elenor didn’t love it at first, she’s grown used to it to. Compared to those disgusting, destructive plastic shields, this is a MUCH better alternative!
  • I acquired this oil book, over the weekend. While I have several really great books on essential oils, this one surpasses them all! I learned more in an hour of skimming sections than I have in most of the classes and educational meetings I’ve taken.
  • I cannot even tell you how much I loved this movie. Even having seen the trailer several times, so many things about it surprised me. It is as much sweet as it is empathy building. Overall just a lovely, relevant film.
  • I shared this book here awhile ago but I’m sharing it again because my awesome husband gave it to me on Wednesday. It is lovely and well written and absolutely everything I hoped it would be!
  • Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely devastated that I can not share a link with you here. The very BRIGHTEST point, in my week, was when The ShibSibs did their  Team USA Free Skate. I have watched it dozens of times, throughout the week. Chw will laugh at me when I play it again, (it stays cued up, on my DVR) but then he sits down, mesmerized by it, each and every time. He points out (again) his favorite parts, and I follow with the three parts which send chills racing up my spine, no matter how many times I have seen it. We both know what the commentators say leading up to the dance, during and after- by heart. If anyone were to ask me what piece of art moves me the most, I would HANDS DOWN say it is that skate. (I know they have skated that routine before, and I also know that it has never been anything close to as moving and raw as this particular time was) Even so, I’ll link you to their youtube channel, because they are adorable and so gifted.

Here’s to a weekend full of action following what our lips promise, which leads to hope and encouragement and comes BECAUSE of love…

beautiful, books, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, family, food, friendship, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys, it’s February! How?

Last week I received an email from one of you lovelies, and I loved it! It’s author was having a bit of a rough season and said:

I really enjoy getting in to the office on friday mornings and finding your post in my inbox. I often find new favorite songs, things I have to purchase as soon as humanly possible, a good chuckle or a reason to tear up. There is something so human about your sharing and transparency. Some days though, like today, I just want to sarcastically list the top five things I really don’t like about this week, in reply. That’s pretty transparently human too, don’t you think?

I DO! We had a nice back & forth exchange, over the weekend. The truth us, sometimes I do slip things that I might be disappointed, or am struggling with, into these Friday-Five posts. Life is not perfect. I do not want to give that Fake-Facebook illusion that my life is picture perfect. There are weeks so overwhelming that I really have to grasp to fill these five slots. While I do have a list of five ready to go, for this week, I could probably come up with a list of forty-five “bad things” almost instantly. Like, do you know what I don’t like? When my husband’s business trips get extended. When it feels like I spend less hours/days with him home than not, and all of the side issues that accompany that, and this particular season of ours. Do you know what I really, REALLY don’t like? When it is dark outside, and I’m walking the dog (close to home) and she stops, alarmed, and then follows something (with her eyes) as though there was actually something there, which there isn’t… Creepy dog. I DO NOT like that. And also, nearly crashing my car into the back of someone. (although I do really like that it was a “nearly” and not an actually.) Adding to the terrible list, cucumbers. Gross.

That is kind of the point, I guess. For most of us, it is super easy to find, list out and dwell on the bad. So I (try to) intentionally focus on a handful of things I love a little (or a lot, sometimes) to share with you guys, whom I also love.

1.) Let’s chat about wish lists for a second. I keep a running wish list for a few reasons, but the two biggest would be that A.) my husband will ask, come birthday and Christmastime, and I ALWAYS come up with nothing, when put on the spot. Also there is B.) the fact that my memory is pretty worthless and sometimes I see really great things that I might just want to buy one day… Even so, while I am known to ask a child what they’d like for Christmas or birthday, I try not to make any occasion super materialistic and consumer focussed. It is a pretty fine line, at those times, but what about the asinine Hallmark holidays? I have always prided myself on being the low maintenance Valentine wife, content with a bouquet of Costco flowers and cheap little date. Or not. That’s how easy I am. (Though between us, my heart always hopes I’ll secretly be surprised by a bouquet of peonies, because they are my absolute favorite. I can say that because Chw doesn’t give two hoots about this blog. I also know myself well enough to know that once I saw the amount spent on such an indulgence, I’d kick both of us and then go back to being just fine with Costco roses…) That being said, there is this book releasing which I absolutely want to beg my husband to buy me, and inscribe it with something heartfelt and lovely.

Who am I kidding? I already showed him this book, about a month ago. It sounds so delicious, doesn’t it?

2.) Speaking of my husband… The guy is a BIG fan of Emergen-C. (So much so that sometimes it almost seems like the Windex thing from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…) I’m not above taking it, if I am actually sick (or feel strongly that I’m getting sick) but I am not a masochist and so I have to mix it with orange juice. (or, best of all is several juices together so that I can pretend it is a mimosa or cocktail.) When we ran out, this month (GASP!!!! The Horror!!!) my husband managed to find the Army supply size at Costco, to purchase. I only half rolled my eyes though, because let’s face it- the guy is hardly ever sick, so he may really be on to something. To my surprise, on the side of the box there was a smoothie recipe.

Mind blown… Why hadn’t I ever thought of that?

This week I made my normal smoothie recipe, (forget theirs, their product already tastes like dehydrated floor cleaner, I don’t care to try their smoothie recipe) and added a packet of Emergen-C. I can honestly say that it was incredibly tasty, and I would do it again! (also, I’m not sick! which, I wasn’t actually feeling sick, but still, I’m not sick and we can pretend that my magic smoothie is why!)

3.) No link here, sorry. While at Costco, over the weekend, stocking up on our seven trillion packets of Emergen-C, I stumbled upon Cauliflower crust pizza, in the freezer section. What really caught my eye was that the toppings were Roasted Vegetable. There used to be these delicious Lean Cuisine personal pizzas that were Roasted Vegetable and i LOVED them. (Think pre-economy tanking, back when Godiva also sold the most perfect ice cream ever, in the freezer section of all supermarkets. Man, those were the days… Can we spend a second in silence, remembering gas that was well under $2 a gallon?) Even though I love cauliflower, I’ve been a little slow to embrace it taking over the world, but the Roasted Vegetable appealed to me and so I brought it home.

This is the best pizza ever.


Is EVERY Cauliflower pizza like magic, in your mouth? Is it just this one? Honestly, I am a little panicky about the whole thing because things I love at Costco have a habit of being temporarily available, and then I never see them again.

4.) I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone. Do you remember home phone days? When a phone bill would be around $25, and then long distance calls might bring it to a hundred dollars, on a really bad month… In those days I never would have imagined monthly phone bills of the cell phone variety. As I stated, I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone in which I text people and they text me, and I occasionally play Disney emoji. And sometimes I think it is ridiculous that I have this phone, and then an afternoon comes along when one of my oldest, dearest and truest friends and I spend four hours talking. In those four hours, the distance between Michigan and the West Coast shrank a little, and my heart was full. (and now I’m set on actual phone conversations for a good, long while.)

5.) I don’t watch the Grammy’s, they are pretty much not my bag o’ fun. I am sure there isn’t a person around, however, who hasn’t heard about the amazing performance Kesha gave, of her song Praying. Already deeply moved by the song, her performance (as seen absolutely everywhere, all over the internet) moves me to tears. Every. Single. time.

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I identify with every ounce of it. Even with the conflicted feelings I have regarding the #metoo sensation of right now, I feel the message of this anthem (I am totally calling it an anthem!) is EXACTLY the one we need to embrace. Empowerment involves many, many things. It is a layered process of several facets, but being a victim and cloaking one’s self in pity is not among them.

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name


It is on a somber note that this week’s post is ending, and that’s ok. Sometimes somber can be beautiful too.

beautiful, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, fibro, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, music, self care

It’s Friday I’m in love…


Isolation is not a friend to most. Even the most pure of introverts will whither without actual connection/interaction with others. This week cloaked me in isolation. Much like the image above, yet tragically minus the mountains, this was my life. Bleak, blustery and utterly alone. And cold. The husband was traveling, my car is still out of commission and the snow/cold temps settled in around me. It was bleak, but honestly these very things are exactly how I think of January all year, so it also felt like a descent fit. (minus the car situation, but let’s be honest- aside from a possible jaunt to Target, I wasn’t going anywhere. It’s JANUARY and this PNW girl is not a fan of Michigan Januarys…)

I wrote. I read. I organized. I deep cleaned,  and I did laundry. I began every day the same, with hot coffee and thick smoothies. I listened to music I love, the sort that fills my heart with joy, but more on some of that later… I did not have the television on much, but when I did it was only really to watch a series I loved 20 years ago. I played with the dogs, I grew frustrated with the dogs. Here we are, on Friday morning, and the dogs and I needed a nice break from one another. (Additionally, I survived the Michigan meteor, which is pretty great too.)

This week’s favorite things are of the more simple nature, which is pretty ok, don’t you think?

  1. Chw and I LOVE Saoirse Ronan quite a lot, and are proud to say we DO know how to pronounce her name! (In fact, shout out to Amazon, because Alexa also knows how to pronounce her name!) She seems like such a good sport about no one really saying her name correctly, which is pretty sweet. During awards shows this season, the pronunciation of her name has been the thing I was MOST KEEN to pay attention to. (hey, don’t judge, It’s the little things.) At any rate, this video is pretty cute. When you can’t beat em’, join them… (Bonus: I was once a big Glee lover and this is where I was first introduced to Melissa Benoist. Now, Chw watches Supergirl (I don’t) and so I am vicariously following her career a bit. This video is pretty funny (and really, James Corden is kind of the best) and I’m happy to say that I have ALWAYS pronounced her name the french way. I am confused as to why they would do anything but that way! And I had no clue that she does not say it that way.)
  2. I was up late last Friday night, and the TV was on in the background when this guy came on. Seriously- I DIED. So funny. This is the EXACT act I saw and it was so perfect. Chw and I spent a big chunk of the weekend video stalking him online. Instant big fans!
  3. I know it’s starting to feel like this week’s post is brought to you by YouTube. I want to be sorry, but I am sort of not. And also- it’s January… Anyway, I realize Christmas is over, but while we were watching videos on Sunday of Treiball* dogs, we stumbled upon this video. I watched it several times, (in a row) and have to say I learned three distinct things about myself: A.) I am entirely too untrusting and skeptical. Had it been me, I would have grown suspicious as soon as I pulled out the items which only apply to a corgi owner. B.) I am apparently a total bowl of unset Jello when it comes to anything involving a dog and a surprise, or trick, or _______, on YouTube. C.) I love Corgis. I knew this, BUT this little puppy with its sweet little legs and that hat… I did not realize, before this, how much I adore them. I am pretty sure I do not have a Corgi because my heart would melt into a tiny puddle every time it ran after a toy. EVERY TIME. (#teamcooper) (also… YOU GUYS! While getting the link for you- this came up. Serious puddle of salty tears here. So happy for the two men in these videos! Also love how happy THEY are about their dogs! That’s it, let’s make the world THIS happy… Puppies for everyone! (well, everyone but my dog Emma, who hates puppies, and my friend Sarah. Everyone else though- PUPPIES!!!) (Maybe this will be Oprah’s first act, as president) (*If you aren’t familiar with Treiball, here you go.)
  4. Party of Five. Like I mentioned, before the barrage of YouTube links, I have been re-watching a show I loved 20 years ago. As a still-then teenager, and a young wife from a very broken childhood, I really loved this show. I remember identifying with so many aspects of it, and can honestly say it is probably the very first TV show that I really connected and grew emotionally invested in. Now, as a new empty nester, in an entirely different stage of life I am watching it again. I don’t really know why, but I am glad that I am. I am seeing it with new eyes and gaining insight that I am grateful for. (also, THE CLOTHES! The clothes are awesome. Could we not just go back to that, and stay there? And the music…)
  5. It was with a huge grief filled heart that I learned about the death of Delores O’Riordan. In the way that mentioned Party of Five and the nostalgia of it above, the Cranberries were the first group whose music I really allowed myself to be lost in. I remember the very first time I heard them… I was a passenger on a road trip, weaving throughout an Arizona mountain range. The radio station was coming in and out, (as they did before streaming music and satellite radio) and her voice kept cutting through. I remember feeling like some internal floor that I hadn’t known about, just gave way. Who was this voice? What was this song? (also a dilemma of times past, as now we have apps for that) Eventually, (although for days I scoured every channel, almost around the clock) I learned that the band was The Cranberries and she was Delores O’Riordan. Not much older than me, and with a voice like none other. Over the years, her music (their music, her voice) would walk with me through all of the dark times, and most of the bright ones. Her death did not make this list because I was happy about it. It made the list because she was important, not just to me. Her art was art that made a difference and touched people. Her transparency about her childhood abuse, her struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide reached people. Delores was a gift, and as heartbroken as I am over her passing, I am so unfathomably grateful to have known the small piece of her she shared with the world. I listened to her sing this week, often. With each track I felt filled with even more thankfullness and love. Thank you, Delores…
beautiful, confession, entertainment, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, marriage

Romance, toothpaste and popcorn…

It has been my experience that the very idea of romance is not only subjective, but so incredibly misunderstood. Growing up as a white, middle-class girl in America, I was taught to believe that romance involved specific things like  soft music, candles, wine glasses, fresh-cut flowers, jewelry, fancy clothes and long love-filled gazes. Even sex, when painted with a romantic sense of imagery, would involve candles, wine glasses, soft music, rose petals, and tender-lasting moments… Anyone who has ever turned on a tv show, watched a movie or any amount of commercials would know that this is what we are taught romance is.

Those things can be pretty romantic… But those things, in and of themselves, are simply unrealistic ideas. They may be better suited as goals, ideas, inspirations- but they are not the things which romance lives in.

My husband has this (terrible) habit of telling me that he is not romantic. My husband is also pretty incorrect about a few things, and this would be one of them. I have never known anyone who IS romantic. Is romantic something one can actually be? I know that I am not romantic, by nature. The conclusion which I have come to, in my own personal journey, is that romantic simply means stepping outside of myself, with my spouse in mind. It really is that simple. Twenty minutes of the “romantic” evening described above, and both Chw and I would be bored out of our minds. It just isn’t us, so it wouldn’t really fill a need we may have for romance. Romance is not a department store greeting card with someone else’s sentiments. It is not wilting flowers, cheap candy boxed in the shape of a heart… These are things we are told are romantic because someone else is wanting to profit from the money spent on such thoughtless things. Romance requires thought. Romance breathes on the air of thoughtfulness.

When Chw walks through the door with flowers, I swoon. For me, this is romantic. Not because flowers were involved, or money was spent, but because he was thinking of me and knows that I LOVE flowers! My BFF hates flowers, so if her husband did this it would probably be the most UNROMANTIC thing he could do…

Most weeknights Chw and I do not make it to bed at the same time. I’m a nightowl, often finding my most productive bursts in the late evening hours. He leaves for work well before the sun comes up, most days. It’s kind of how it has always been so it is pretty normal for us. Whichever of us is getting ready for bed first will put toothpaste on the other’s toothbrush. It is small, but it is so thoughtful. This is a tiny effort that, over time, has grown to mean so much. It may not be much of a romantic gesture to anyone outside of our marriage, but for us it simply speaks love.

When I’ve made it into bed much later than expected, and make it a point to wake up with Chw, in the morning, to make sure he gets a healthy breakfast, coffee, or at least a groggy-goodbye kiss- that is romance. It is casting aside my selfish want for a cozy bed to put thought into what may help his day start off better.(allow me to point out that this is not something I do everyday. I also may very well lie to myself and say that it is good it isn’t every day, that keeps it special.)

Under our roof, romance can look like washed dishes, folded towels, notes left in the shower, (we do that, all the time, btw. This is possibly one of our favorite things) a scraped windshield, a shoveled walk way, fresh-baked cookies, a neck rub, Chipotle carry out, a spontaneous trip to the movies, a walk hand-in-hand, a funny exchange over text, a vigorous game of Mario, a hand of cards, a lazy brunch we made together…

Real romance does not have to cost anything other than a little thought backed up by sincere effort. In today’s culture of flash mobs, promposals and youtube EVERYTHING, the true idea of romance seems even more unclear. The pressures we put on ourselves to be romantic, (and I say that specifically for my husband) aren’t real… They are not truth based… They are comparisons we have of our limitations vs. the things we see. Hundreds of likes, oodles of attention by strangers and bigger price tags DO NOT make it more romantic. (or romantic at all) I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had, with other women, where they questioned their husbands love for them because he did not do the things that characters in books, tv and movies do. This is so sad, and so unfair to everyone.

Keeping the romance alive for us looks like:

  • making the time to connect regularly.
  • stepping outside of ourselves to do something we KNOW the other person will like/need. (NOT to be appreciated. NOT to pat ourselves on the back, but simply because we love them. )
  • engaging. Eye contact, verbal contact, skin contact. Sometimes, a hug is just the very thing a day needs.
  • prioritizing fun and special. Sure, the toothpaste at night is wonderful, but the “outside of our routine”, special gestures are necessary too.
  • having regular time scheduled, to spend with each other. No matter what stage of life we find ourselves in, “date nights” HAVE to happen… Even if the bank account is low and this means it is time at home, alone.

We are big dinner & a movie people. We’ve gone through phases where we might panic a little and wonder if something is wrong with us. Doesn’t society say that’s a rutt? The thing is, we enjoy other things too, but we REALLY LOVE going to dinner and a movie. (or lunch and a movie. Or brunch and a movie. Or a movie and dessert… you get the idea.) We talk together about movies coming out that He wants to see and I don’t, that I want to see and he doesn’t, and that we really both want to see. (I’m not going to lie, the priority of this topic on a regular basis is pretty much level with budgeting topics. We’re cool and pretty juvenile like that. Whatever, we’ll own it.) A movie we are both looking forward to seeing is Forever Your Girl. It kind of has that feel good Hallmark vibe, but far better quality. (Here’s the trailer.)

Forever My Girl tells the story of music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.  Forever My Girl is an uplifting romantic film about second chances.  It releases in theaters on January 19.

So, now you see that we can be pretty boring. No need for huge gestures here, and that’s ok for us. What about you? What do you feel romance is? What is the most romantic thing you’ve done/received?