30 October 2012

Four Things

I just can't resist sharing these four items that had me gasping out loud this week: 

3) More reason to love Chicago:

Cityscape Chicago from Eric Hines on Vimeo.

18 October 2012

A Genuine Thank You

Part of me is superstitious enough not to breathe this out loud. I'm afraid to say it because what if admitting it makes the opposite come true?

But if I'm honest, it's bubbling up and I just can't keep it inside any longer.

These days.

These moments.

This love.

This life.

Well, it's pretty damn perfect.

My heart is full to bursting. And I find myself thrilled with the sheer pleasure of being alive these days.

(Which is why I was hesitant to admit it out loud.....what if I've just jinxed myself?)

Life is good.

I find myself enjoying everything. And breathing breathless "thank you" prayers often.

Food tastes better. Maybe because I'm being pickier about what I eat (and not settling for eating just to eat.)

The fall colors are just stunning. Like gasp out loud at the vivid beauty stunning.

The crisp weather adds some color to my cheeks and entice me to coocon into soft, comfortable layers. Some obsessive sale hunting has added some fantastic additions to my wardrobe, making what I'd previously settled for feel fresh and new again.

I seem to have settled into a comfortable mix of adventure and down time. This fall, it seems like every two weeks or so, there's a new adventure to enjoy, but those few weeks of downtime leave me feel revitalized.

Even when we feel cash-poor these days, well, there's the realization that we really are rich. We're rich in love and family and friends and solid values and a great love of life.

All of our needs are met. I could not ask for more.

There's some amazing simple pleasures I adore these days. The sunlight warming my toes from the kitchen window. Freshly washed sheets. The realization that I can now warm up my slippers in the dryer on demand for those extra cold days.

I'm slowly rediscovering my love of wandering for hours with my camera again. I lost that mojo for a while.

But more than anything, just as we've talked about over and over these last few months, we're so lucky in love.

All the struggles and heartaches and doubts and fights we've had over the last few years have all been worth it. Every moment of doubt has come back a thousand times in moments of love.

We're both amazed that given all the struggles we experienced in those early years - extreme long distance, extremely pathetic salaries, doubts of when we'd see each other again, doubts of whether the magic would still be there the next time we saw each other - we're still here, stronger than ever. And everytime I think, "this is it. I can't possibly ever be more in love with him," I find myself falling all over again.

It really is a beautiful ride.

And the possibility.

Oh my friends, there's a world of possibility wide open to us again. That too, makes me gasp out loud at times. There's so many possiblities and we're excited to see where life may take us, together, of course.

But mostly, there's sincre love and appreciation for how wonderful life is these days. It's purely magic. And I admit all this not to brag or boast, but as a genuine thank you to the universe.

17 October 2012

Creative Compliments: Never Eat Alone

I treated myself to lunch out today.

Just a bowl of soup in a local cafe. Nothing too extraordinary (and quite frankly, the food was a little disappointing). The cafe was crowded, and an older couple sat down next to me. When they finished up, the wife kissed her husband and left. The gentleman then turned to me and said,

"Pretty girls like you should never eat alone."
We chatted for a little longer and as I got up to leave, he finished the conversation by telling me,
"Keep smiling.....that smile will take you far."
Such a sweet unexpected conversation in the middle of an ordinary day. It will leave a warm glow for the rest of the day. 

11 October 2012

Puppy Negotiations

This is a normal conversation between Joe and I lately (and yes, lately includes two minutes ago...):

Joe: Look at this cute puppy. (showing me a random puppy picture on the internet)

KtMac: He's so fluffy!

Joe: Yes.

KtMac: I WANT him!

Joe: You want all the puppies.

KtMac: Yes, I NEED ALLLLLL the puppies.

Joe: You can't have all the puppies. 

KtMac: Okay. Three!

Joe: One.

KtMac: Okay. Thirty!

Joe: One

KtMac: Thirty Three!

Joe: I don't think you get how negotiations work. You may have one.

KtMac: I do too! Thirty three!

Joe: At this point, you're getting half a puppy.

KtMac: Half of thirty three!

Joe: You may have a hamster or a fish. No puppy.

KtMac: Okay. One puppy. Let's go tomorrow to get him.

Joe: ........

Sesame Street

This makes me so happy!

In honor of Americans with Disabilities month, Sesame Street is introducing a service dog in training on the show. How cool is that?

And side note, how cool is it that Sesame Street has its own Tumblr too?

10 October 2012

The Ying and The Yang of My Personality

Life has settled down around these parts. 

Dare I even say it? We've found routine and perhaps a bit of boring and a lot of ordinary

And well, if I'm honest, it's exactly what my wild and restless heart has needed for so long. 

Because, if I am honest with myself, I really am wild and restless at heart. I want, I need, I crave adventures and travel and excitement. I feel stifled and a bit choked if I land at home for too long without another adventure on the horizon. 

But, on the other hand, I'm a perfect content homebody too. I can, and often do, pick curling up on the couch with Joe and a good book and some hot chocolate over a wild night out dancing. The wild and the content. The restless and the homebound. The ying and yang of my personality, if you will. 

And I savor these routinely lazy days at home. When an outing to the library is the grandest adventure of the day. Or when an impromptu dinner out to celebrate a small (but not really small) work victory of Joe's becomes a perfect date night out. 

There's been exquisite pleasure in time spent in a real kitchen again. I've been trying new recipes like crazy lately. Probably 4-5 new recipes a week, plus a few of my own invention. I've mostly figured out what Joe and I like and don't like in the kitchen. Some things that I like, but Joe doesn't, I just treat myself to at lunch when he's in the office. But is there anything more homey and loving and wonderful than a loaf of homemade bread just out of the oven? Made to go with homemade soup?

The wild, restless heart of mine doesn't mind these quiet days at home. Not so much. It understands....I need balance.....and quiet days at home are the rest I need to gear up for the next adventure. Or two. Or five, or....all lined up sooner and faster than I dare to hope. 

So, rest up, savor these days, my content homebody self. Adventure is out there calling. You'll answer that call soon enough. 

03 October 2012

Seven Minute Challenge

I read somewhere online, (and didn't make note of where), that October's fitness challenge should be 60 minutes of planking. When I read that, I laughed. Who wants to hold the plank pose for 60 minutes straight? 

Then I read, and realized the challenge was two minutes a day for a cumulative total of 60 minutes worth of planks by the end of the month. When, where, how you do those planks is up to you. Most likely, I'll do one minute of traditional forward planks and thirty seconds each of side planks. And since I can squeeze in two minutes of planks anywhere at anytime, that makes sense to me, even with my busy schedule and travels planned. So I'm in. 60 minutes worth of planks by the end of October. 

And while I'm at it, I'm challenging myself to meditate for five minutes a day during the month of October. I always say I want to try meditating but leave that for "someday." And then "someday" never comes. Surely I can find five minutes a day to focus on my breathing and clear my thoughts. 

So seven minutes a day for better health. I can do that. Anyone want to join me this month?

01 October 2012

5 Things Making Me Happy Today

1. This snapshot of me. Taken by our six-year-old neighbor yesterday before he hijacked my camera to take a hilarious video of me. 

2. This view. Seen daily on my morning walks. I'm excited to see the start of some fall color.

3. These ducks. Mostly because they bring back happy memories of going to the duck pond with Daddy Mac when I was little.

4. This blue heron. He's been keeping me company on my morning walks lately. I love having a bit of nature as a respite from city life within walking distance of home.

5. These blooms from Joe. Two weeks old and still going strong. And a smile on my face everytime I see them. So loved!