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, depression, entertainment, family, fibro, food, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…


I am a little surprised, looking back, that music doesn’t make this list more. I get that I’m picky, but I am constantly falling in love with new music, so it’s a little out of character. This season in my life, especially, has me seeking out new tracks to listen to. I’ve found myself slightly less interested in venturing out to a movie, and more inclined to lose myself (for an hour or two) in my headphones… Perhaps the dreary Michigan winter is responsible. Maybe the premise of many films disinterest me, these days. At any rate, I am sitting here typing away, with a parade of really great songs streaming in my ears. I keep an ever-changing playlist, and if you’d ever like to check it out, here’s the link. I have pretty great taste. (well, to me anyway.)

How has your week been?

I can honestly say the chuckle I had with the Michigan apocalypse jokes has faded a little, this week. Last week, I’m sure you knew we had a “meteor” which followed really bizarre lights. Earlier this week, our water turned the color of dehydrated urine. It wasn’t even gradual. It literally went from slightly cloudy water to the color of Yellow Drink. (that, of course, is an OITNB reference…) It was starting to feel downright plaguish.

The middle of my week was marked by a day spent at the University of Michigan hospital, with my mom. Alzheimer’s is no joke, and there are times (like Wednesday) when my head starts pounding so hard and I think that I could just go home, take a 12 hour-long hot shower, and then fall into bed until june. Draining… (shout out to my husband, who was a ROCKSTAR!)

I’ve intentionally stayed aware this week, trying not to disappear in sadness or an overwhelmed depression. I have laughed more at the frustrating things the puppy does. I have tried to be more tolerant of the grumpy, old lady things our 6-year-old Aussie does. I have tried to hold hands with my husband more, prepare more wholesome, intentional food at home (requesting fewer runs to Chipotle) and be deliberate in all things. I failed a lot, this week. I think I failed more than most months, but that’s ok. I’ll learn, right?

So many small things happened, and I’d think THIS! I want to add THIS to my list… But in reality, I wanted things in the list which I could pass on to you. Small life things aren’t those sorts of things…

But these things have been on my mind this week too…

1.) My word (well, you know what I mean) for the year is Let Go. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but it was in my January newsletter. I  am not a regular journaller, by any stretch. This year though, with the goal of this mantra, I’ve decided to keep a LET GO JOURNAL. Every time I realize I need to let go of something, I write it in the journal. Sometimes this is followed by a quote, sometimes it’s followed by a verse from the Bible, or something prompting someone said, and sometimes it is simply “Let go of…..”  I LOVE this book. I am a little sad that I didn’t do it in the past, but that’s a silly thing to be sad about. I need to just let it go. :)

2.) For a few years now, I have marched into my doctor’s office every month to get a shot of B-12. I can’t tell you why, exactly. I know that I definitely felt better in the two weeks that would follow the shot, and then slowly it would fade. I don’t know the science of it, BUT I do know that I don’t really have time to do that. Sure, the actual visit is just a few minutes, but the drive, the wait and the fact that last time I had to stay for 50 minutes to dispute a charge that occurred because they billed the wrong code to my insurance. At any rate, on a whim I bought these. They taste so good, I really want to sit down with a jar of them and a good book, wasting an afternoon. Of course, I won’t. But they are decadent, as far as vitamins go.

3.) Chris and I are pretty much NEVER looking for new shows to watch. In comparison with the majority, we really don’t watch that much television. I don’t even think it is something either of us we really love doing, (unless it is blustery outside and there’s a cozy fireplace, and popcorn, but anyway…) but we both have  a good appreciation for things like downtime, checking out from time to time, clever entertainment, etc… And so, though we aren’t in the market for new shows, we do occasionally find them. (I shared about 9-1-1 a couple of weeks ago.) Anyway, the show The Resident came on our radar this week. Have you watched it? We really love Matt Czuchry and so we were eager to tune in. We both really liked it! (though I won’t lie… My LEAST favorite type of movie or show involves first responders and hospitals, so both of the shows I’ve mentioned recently are a big stretch for me. I like them a lot, but it’s like I have to psych myself out, and really brace myself for it. Geez, what is wrong with me???)

4.) On Wednesday, Chris and I left the hospital for a quick-lunch. We figured the downtown parking, second valet fee (hospital) and our lunch total would still be significantly less than what a hospital lunch would cost, AND be a lot better. We ended up trying this amazing little vegan place in the Kerrytown district of Ann Arbor, called the Lunch Room. It’s located in this marketplace that we both instantly fell in love with. (If we could find a sweet little flat, with character, near this market, I would finally feel like Michigan was someplace I’d be find living forever. Of course, this would also be because Ann Arbor is just like Boise, and Portland, and Seattle. It speaks my soul language and gets me, so yeah…) I know it isn’t super fair of me to post local links, since Ann Arbor isn’t really a possibility for the majority of my readers. That being said, it was such a fun little micro-adventure. We plan on going back when we have more than a couple of hours, to escape. (Plus it was Chw’s first dive into Vegan food and, if you missed the post on Instagram, I had nachos and he had macaroni and cheese. They were both amazing and he LOVED it!)

5.) My mom Julie (non-biological) passed away going on 12 years ago. Honestly, I can’t believe it has been 11 years. It feels like maybe, 4 or 5. Then I see photos of my sister Joy’s daughters, who were born the spring after Mom died, and the reality hits me. It is rare that something big, or hard, or sad happens when my first instinct isn’t still to call her. I remember in the first few years, a friend said that it would get easier. She’d lost her mother, and even though Julie wasn’t my birth mom, she was the only real mom I’d ever had, and she had “Mommed” me through every major life moment, until 2006. Now, over a decade later, I realize that the heart to reach out to her probably won’t change, and that’s ok. While I may not like the pain of losing and missing her, and I may cringe at the canyon left in our world because of the absence of Julie Peterson, I do love remembering her. I love the biggest parts of my journey, where she was there. I was so fortunate to know her, to love her and be loved by her. I was so incredibly blessed to be chosen by her, included by her. Her wings, as a mother, were vast and comforting…

This past fall, my friend Angela lost her father. This month she published a book about that journey, and I wanted to share it with you. We have all experienced shattering loss, to one degree or another, and it can be so hard to find any home or sunlight within those dark seasons.


I hope this last little big of January finds you each well and loving the small things, along with the bigger ones. Next week will be February and, hopefully, with February will come a little rodent’s guarantee that a beautiful spring is just around the corner!

beautiful, chronic illness, confession, entertainment, fibro, gratitude, journey, Lately, list, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in Love…

Before the sun sets this evening, I will be jet-setting my way to the Pacific Northwest, likely with the biggest smile I’ve worn in a while. (This is my optimistic point of view, in reality I am pretty anxiety riddled over the whole flying part…) In an effort to think of happy thoughts, let’s get to the top five of this week, shall we?

1.) My oldest niece delivered an incredibly handsome and captivating baby boy. Though I am yet to hold him, or breathe him in, the photos have confirmed that I am already head over heals for this little man!

2.) Before my husband headed back to Australia, we were fortunate to catch an early screening, (it’s out officially now) of Only The Brave. You guys, even if you do not like movies, please consider seeing this one. Films like this, stories like this, are why movies exist. It is incredible…

3.) Serenity Gel caps. I am a big fan of the Serenity blend of Essential Oil, but I was not 100% about these capsules. In the past week I have come to the full realization about how much they help my sleep, and I saw my husband rock star his way through pretty severe jet lag with their help. BIG WINNERS!

4.) My awesome friend had the opportunity to catch a Dreamcar show, in L.A. awhile back. She kept the awesomeness that is their music, to herself, until about a week ago. Honestly, I am OBSESSED. Incredible. What do you get when you combine the male members of No Doubt, the lead singer of AFI and a sound reminiscent of every great new wave song found in the great John Hughes films of the 80’s??? You get DREAMCAR!

5.) This both barely made my list AND was an absolute addition. (I know, I make no sense sometimes.) Here is my review of Goodbye Christopher Robin.


I already did a music link, so I didn’t want to add another one but I just couldn’t share. I am OBSESSED with this song!

So, what’s up with you?

entertainment, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, list, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys, I apologize (sort of) about how quiet it has been here these past weeks. My husband came home, after a month long business trip in Australia AND my best friend came out, from Boise, for about five glorious days. I had to accept that my time was better spent away from the internet for awhile. :)

ASIDE from those two beautiful people and the days we had, here are five highlights to my week:

1.) Before Chw had left for AU, he had gotten something weird on my passenger upholstery. Water didn’t clean it up and every time I got in the car, it bugged me. So, I finally took the risk of wetting a Magic Eraser, and trying that. I had never used it on anything fabric before, but had heard rumors it sometimes helped. This was truly magic! The stain is gone and sadly I feel like I am on the verge of becoming the Windex loving dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only with Magic Erasers…

2.) The second night Kozzette was here, and the first night Chw was home, we had crazy weather. What started as a light rain turned to ominous skies, which turned to funnel clouds, tornado sirens and the three of us sitting in our second floor rental puzzled wondering what came next, since we have no basement. It was a little scary, kind of funny and overall totally ok. The next morning though, I was reminded (as I am every morning following a storm) How simply beautiful the air is. The sky was blossoming and ethereal, the birds were singing 10 times their normal amount. It was truly beautiful, like grace following the terrifying moments in my own life. Just beautiful!

3.) I recently picked this up at my pharmacy. I’m not sure if it is super awesome, or the timing is coincidence, as I’ve only used it a couple of times, BUT I really love the smell and am hopeful it works for those health things which, sadly, a Magic Eraser cannot tackle.

4.) While Kozzette was here we did a spa day. It was here that I was introduced to Himalayan Sea Salt Massage Stones. If you deal with tension at all, and have the opportunity for such a treat- TAKE IT! Seriously… Phenomenal. I could feel the tension stringing out of me. Sounds Hokey, but it was amazing…

5.) I am so excited about the film Goodbye Christopher Robin, there aren’t even words! It is such a beautiful story, with a beautiful purpose and it looks, well, incredibly beautifully done!


It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Every day it is more and more beautiful outside. I love the mystery of the world coming alive in bloom of reds, oranges and yellows while the reality is that the leaves are dying… Something so sad, by nature, is when a large portion of our populous comes alive with creativity and inspiration. It has been a hard, dark week and the splendor of fall feels tainted somehow, but such darkness. This is when it is more important to focus on the beautiful specks- the wildflowers growing through the wreckage.

It is easy right now to list out countless bullet points about what is wrong, around us, but I say let’s take a few minutes to focus on what is right: warm mugs filled with deliciousness, good books, cozy evenings, soft socks, heavy throws… Full on perfection!

1.) The Book That Takes It’s Time… This book is near the top of my list of favorite things, EVER. I love it so much that if there were to be a fire, I might grab it before any other possession…

2.) Chipotle has queso. I realize this may seem like an odd thing to list here, but let me just say it again: Chipotle has queso. So, my favorite tacos (chicken, with grilled fajita veggies, black beans and green salsa) are no a TRILLION times better because Chipotle has queso.

3.) My nighttime routine. I have begun mixing in a couple of drops of Grapefruit essential oil, into my night face cream. Not only does it reparatively affect my skin, but the smell of it is so mood boosting and encouraging that it really has affected my quality of sleep. I’m HOOKED!

4.) Spotify Time Capsule. Do you use Spotify? I love it so much! It is the one subscription I couldn’t go without, and this Time Capsule was the soundtrack to my CRAZY busy weekend. So fun!

5.) Ryan Gosling + SNL. Specifically these two skits: This & This. There are so many quotable things about these two skits. Overall I stopped regularly watching SNL quite some time ago, but I am glad I tuned in this past weekend.