30 April 2012

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

What in the world happened to April?! I feel like I missed the memo that said we were going to zip through the last 30 days on fast forward. Eeesh.

April was kind of an odd month for me. It kind of started with a bang, but then fizzled rather quickly.  Funny how one day things can be going along quite nicely and the next you feel like you've been hit by the freight train of love (or maybe just a really intense caboose of like but that doesn't sound as romantic). Nothing that I can really share publicly (yet) without completely embarrassing myself, but yeah.....I'm definitely looking ahead and actually can't wait to get this new month started!

BUT....the end of April did have a bit of a bright spot. My little 'ole blog is a year old! That's just crazy to me. It certainly doesn't seem like it's been a year since I started this whole thing, but I suppose what they say is true, time really does fly when you are having fun. I've had a really great time dipping my toe back into the world of writing and discovering some really great blogs and "meeting" some truly amazing people along the way. 

Over the next week, I am looking forward to rolling out a few new "series" to help keep things fresh and moving along. I started the Couch 2 5k program (again) yesterday, so I will definitely be blogging about that! My 365 Days project has kind of taken a back seat (I am so far behind with processing photos its not even funny) to everything, mostly because it's such a hassle sometimes to deal with my dSLR and photoshop and all that mumbo jumbo. It's kind of sucking the fun right out of it! What I am having fun with though is taking random photos of random things with my iPhone(I managed to finish two 365 projects of just random bits from my world). Rather than have them sit unloved on my phone and/or hard drive, I am really looking forward to sharing those photos with everyone. I should warn you, there will be quite a few photos of my dog but in the end hopefully she will win you over with her cuteness.

I kind of want to end this with a little tune by The Carpenters, but I'm not sure sure anyone else wants to hear me belt out We've Only Just Begun at the top of my lungs. Instead I'll leave you with an awesome photo of me jumping after completing day 1 of the C25K program yesterday.

What is everyone looking forward to in May?

Music Monday: I Won't Give Up

Every time Jason Mraz puts out a new album, it's kind of a slow build for me. I never really like anything the first time I hear it, which is admittedly weird because he would absolutely fall in the top 10 of my favorites. I suppose I still stick with his tunes because I know I'll eventually really love them.

But there is, of course, always an exception to the rule. The first time I heard I Won't Give Up, I stopped what I was doing just to take it all in. This is such a beautiful song that it's been hard to listen to anything else right now.

29 April 2012

What I Read in April

I was actually thinking about skipping this post and pretending that I just "forgot" to write about all the wonderful books I read this past month. I mean, because really there were just so many that it's been really hard to keep track of them all.

Or it's because I only read ONE book this month. One tiny little 203 page book. Blech.

The book in question was Lady of Devices and no, it wasn't very good. And I really like the genre of steampunk which makes it just that much worse. 

I am having a hellava time picking out books that hold my attention for more than a few pages. I don't even know how many books I picked up this past month and attempted to read, but couldn't get past a chapter or two. Shoot, I didn't even bother updating Goodreads with was I was "currently reading" because I never managed to get very far into them before bailing on them completely. It also doesn't help that the last few books I've read have been complete duds. I'm quite sure once I find a book I really, really like, it'll get me back on track.

So, tonight I am starting (another) new book in hopes of finding something at least slightly interesting, even if it isn't much of a challenge in terms of storyline. 

Does anyone else get into a funk in terms of what they read?

Sunday Snapshots

As much as I hate to admit it, my iPhone has turned into my everyday camera.

I know. I know.

My inner photography snob it scoffing at me even as we speak, but it's so much more convenient to use my iPhone to take random photos than to haul around any of my other cameras. Plus, you get to use all those nifty little apps for an endless array of editing opportunities! What's not to love about that? Plus, it's a fun way to share a little glimpse into the world outside of my head.

I thought that rather than having the photos sit on my photo for no one else to see, I would start sharing them along with the app and settings I used to take them!

Right now I am in love with my Hipstamatic app. I use this app more than any other while I'm taking photos, even more than Instagram (most of the photos I post there were originally taken with Hipstamatic).  The current settings I am using are Loftus Lens & DC Film. I just love the way the photos come out with this combo. Here are some of the photos I took this week!

1. Leaves//2. Boat Tag//3. Daffodil//4. Driftwood//5. Fire Wood//6. Horseshoe Pit//7. Sadie Exploring//8. Rusted Bucket//9. Tulip//10. Sadie's Close Up//11. Bobber//12. Lilacs are starting to bloom!

28 April 2012

Things I Pondered This Week When I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

I really want to go on an adventure. I've been thinking a about it lately, which of course means obsessing about it. As much as I love being a homebody, I've been feeling pretty antsy lately and wanting to get out to do some traveling. I'm thinking just me, my camera, backpack and a couple of notebooks. Perfection!

  • I started a "Let's Go On An Adventure" jar this week! It's a totally old school way of saving money, but all my change and singles will be going in that jar. I'm also planning to put any money I make from selling my jewelry in there, too. Hopefully I'll be able to start planning for either next summer or fall for my travel dates. Just need to figure out where to go!
  • I also have a goal date for the PHR exam! The winter testing session starts December 1. Once I'm able to schedule it, December 3rd is the day I'm going for. Essh. Just knowing there is a date looming in the relatively near future is slight nauseating.
  • Tomorrow I am starting the C25K program! I am kind of worried, but also excited. It's going to be great being able to get out there and start running again.

23 April 2012

Music Monday: Stone Rollin'

 There are some songs that just ooze cool and make me feel instantly cooler for having listened to them.

This is one of those songs.

The first time I heard Stone Rollin', it was from a live performance Raphael Saadiq had done for VH1. Yes, I know...VH1 still occasionally plays music and music videos! I was shocked, too. Granted it was in the wee hours of the morning while I was at my parents hours recovering from surgery, but beggars can't be choosers.

Seriously though, every time I hear this song, I want to get up an get my groove on. I dare you to not do the same when you listen to it!

22 April 2012

Eh....They Are More Like Guidelines

Good gravy. So I seem to have relationships on the mind. I'm sure it's a phase that will quickly pass or not....I suppose it's o.k. to want to be in one ever once in awhile.

Seriously though.....I feel like I've been reading a lot (lately) about rules and regulations that people have for folks in terms of what they are looking for in a partner. And I'm not just talking about tall, dark and handsome (or in my case.....nope, never mind, not telling, it would give too much away). I know we all have them (otherwise I wouldn't be posting this!), what we are looking for in that person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, but what if we just did away with them? What if we turned off that bit of our brain and decided to go with whatever the universe throws at us? It would be awesome, right! Who knows....that guy who drives you absolutely insane and seems to challenge you at ever turn might just be Mr. Right.

While I'm trying to convince my own self that doing so is a great idea, here is my "list" (although I like to look at them as guidelines) to ensure we are both happy.
  • Don't keep score: this isn't a game, it's a relationship. I'm not interested in trying to keep track of who is leading the imaginary race to being right.
  • Don't hold a grudge.....like reminding about that one time that I said that one thing that you didn't agree with. Ah, no. Once an argument is done, it's done so let's move on!
  • Plan time with your friends: SERIOUSLY. You want to join a sports league? Awesome. Fishing trip with your buddies? Have a brilliant time! Strip club for one of your friends birthdays/bachelor party/just because it's a weekend? Sure thing--here is $20 for a lap dance*!
  • Be kind.
  • Don't hate on my dog. I know, she's a bit obnoxious but she's old and got nothin' but love for everyone. 
  • If you don't make me attend functions I don't want to go to, I wont' make you go to functions you don't want to go to.
  • Do what you love! Follow your dreams/passion and know that you have someone at home cheering you on and waiting impatiently for you to return to hear about your great adventures! Or just take me with you--that's cool, too. 
  • Don't make fun of my choices in music. It's weird-it's random-it's lovely. If you do, we're done. 
  • Be creative.
  • Be loving.
  • Give great hugs.
  • Be yourself.
*I have no idea how much a lap dance costs these days, but I'd still be willing to pay for one.

21 April 2012

Things I Pondered This Week When I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

I swear, I feel like I say this every Saturday, but gosh darnit I am glad it is the weekend! Yesterday was a less than stellar day at work, so I plan on enjoying the fact that I don't have to do ANYTHING for the next two days with as much gusto as I possibly can muster before heading back into the office Monday morning. My plans for the weekend......to not only read an entire book but to also organize the stacks of books I have hanging about the house. It is seriously getting out of control but I love each and everyone of them, even if I never read some of them.
  • I've never really been a fan of Radiohead or any of their tunes (although 15 Steps does get kind of a lot of plays on the 'ole iPod) and I'm really not a big fan of covers. Just because you can re-do a song doesn't always mean that you should. I know, I fully admit I'm a music snob but the following cover of their song Creep by Carrie Manolakos is amazing. I am definitely looking forward to checking out her debut album.
  • My thinking that if I set a goal as to when I want to run my first 5k this summer would help get me out there to start training seems to be doing the total opposite. 
  • I love my friends enthusiasm for Facebook stalking someone. Creepy? Meh....you know you've done it before, too.

17 April 2012

If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.....

I am a big cheerleader for my friends.

I'm all about supporting them in nearly anything they want to do.

Pondering running a 5k? I'll meet you at the finish line with a big "YOU ARE AMAZING!" sign cheering you on.

Like a guy? I'm a good wingman, available to "get a headache" as soon as things are going your way.

Want a new tattoo? Sure....let's get one together (but not matching).

Need someone to just plain listen? I'm your girl.

But when it comes to myself, I am the biggest wimp I know. I can't make a decision (half the time) to save my life. I am TERRIFIED to go out on a limb or to take a chance on nearly anything because the thought of failure is absolutely stifling. A a leap of faith? No way, not without a safety harness and a giant squishy pillow to land on.

Case in point....a couple weeks ago I wrote (in a strange round about way) about a fellow I kind of fancy (ok....not kind of, really, really fancy) and since then have spent way too much time in my own head about it. I keep going back and forth with myself....do something about it or don't do something about it. That is the ultimate question, right? But there's a little bit of a monkey wrench is this scenario.

That's the thing though....there's always a monkey wrench (I'll get back to the fellow in a minute). Always a reason not to do something. Always an excuse as to why it "isn't going to work". Or why it's going to be a "total disaster". And no matter how many times I try to tell myself it'll be o.k. or that it's good to take a change every now and then, I can't bring myself to do it. I just don't have the confidence that I know what I'm talking about or that things will, in fact, work out the way they are supposed to. I am just so freaked out by fear (a.k.a. failing), that I'm missing out on some pretty potentially fantastic stuff!

I'm counting on the fact that I know I need to figure this out is the first step to moving past it. I haven't exactly figured out how it's going to happen (that's mainly intentional--I think if I think about it too much, it's going to totally backfire) but to quote Rage Against the Machine....
It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?

As for the fellow, whom (still don't know if that should be who) I have actually taken to referring to as Captain Random, I'm not sure I have ever fallen any further or any faster for anyone before him. I was telling a friend the other day, I literally catch my breath whenever I see him. Weird, right? And don't even get my started at how giddy a simple note from him makes me. We're talking giggles and everything short of doing a mini-happy dance. But for now, even with all the reassuring advice from friends, there is honestly nothing to be done about it (and this time it's not because of me dragging my feet so that's kind of a win!). I'm in this weird sort of limbo between what I want to happen and whether or not it is even possible. And at the risk of saying way too much, it's going to be MONTHS before these feelings will/can be resolved.

16 April 2012

Music Monday: Andy Grammer

We're going with happy, make you smile tunes again this week because sometimes you just need a good beat and reason to dance to lift your spirits. And this my friends is exactly what I need right now.

Fine by Me

Keep Your Head Up

14 April 2012

Things I Pondered This Week When I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

  • We are just going to get this out of the way......the past week kind of sucked. Not a huge fan of seeing my friends in any sort of a funk and not being able to do anything about it. 
  • The best part about the movie American Reunion....the soundtrack. 
  • I need to find someone to help finance my next tattoo. 
  • I've tried to write a post about regret at least a dozen times and I just can't get it to come out right. 
  • Kind of annoying when you start off a game of Words with Friends with a fairly decent word that uses all of your letters, only to have the friend you are playing against do the SAME EXACT THING, but with a triple word score square involved. Some day victory will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine. 
  • I 've fallen a bit behind pace for completing my reading goal for the year. I'll eventually catch up.

11 April 2012


I am looking forward to listening to this song again sometime soon without getting all teary eyed.

09 April 2012

Music Monday: Rachel Platten

I'm a little shocked at how difficult it was for me to come up with todays tunes. I've been listening to a lot of lonely hearts type tunes recently and let's be honest with one another, that isn't a lot of fun.

So, I'm going with Rachel Platten who is the total opposite of "not fun".....she is a lot of fun!

My friend Jen and I saw her open for Matt Nathanson in Grand Rapids last month and I was pleasantly surprised by her set. She has really great energy on stage and it's nearly impossible to stand still while listening to her album. Definitely looking forward to her show in June when she comes back to Michigan.

1000 Ships

Don't Care What Time It Is


07 April 2012

The Year I Lost My Mind: Part 3

I have to admit, this hasn't been the most exciting of 365 projects to ever be done, but I'm quite o.k. with that. Doing a project of all self portraits is quite daunting especially when you have to contend with real life and every other project you have whirling around in your head.

But setting all of that aside, we are nearly 100 days into the year and am still going strong. By this time last year, I was really to throw in the towel and did on day 106. I thankfully haven't come up against that wall just year (although I know it's just around the corner) but things have been very different in 2012. I mentioned the other day in one of my posts (on Flickr) that last year I had this "I don't care what anyone thinks!" attitude about my project, but this year it's a totally different ballgame. And it's mainly because of one person--but I won't go into it. Believe, I'm already annoying myself with how much I think about it, but yeah......more times than not when I'm processing a non-iPhone photo (not sure why I'm so busy this year, but three cheers for the iPhone!) I wonder what he'll think about the photograph. Weird.

Anyway.....since I haven't posted an update on the project in quite some time, I figured picking the photos to highlight would be quite difficult. Not so much. In fact, it was much easier than I had anticipated. There were quite a few standouts for me (which was good) so I went with my absolute favorites from February, March and the first week of April.

Day 50: We had a really mild winter this year which meant I was able to spend quite a bit of time at our cottage on the lake. I'm so used to only being able to do that in the summer, it was nice to get out there and enjoy the crisp winter air.
50.366 2012.2.19

Day 57: Some of the books I plan to tackle this year for my reading challenge, which at present time is at a bit of a standstill. 
57.366 2012.2.26

Day 64: One of the reasons I became a "photographer" is because I hate having my picture taken. This is also one of the reason I am doing this project. BUT.....I really love this portrait I took of myself. It feels really classic. There are more days than not that I wish the person in the photograph below was the same one I see every morning staring back at me in the mirror. Funny how a project like this can make you see yourself in a whole new light. 
64.366 2012.3.04

Day 77: Oh snap. A color photograph in a black and white project! I actually did a black and white conversion of this photograph, but just didn't love it. And besides, it would have been a waste to lose the amazing evening sun we had when I took this one. 
77.366 2012.3.17

Day 92: Sometimes you just have to go with it. 
92.366 2012.4.01

 Day 95: This was just one of those photographs to prove that I do indeed know how to smile. 
95.366 2012.4.04

Things I Pondered This Week While I Should Have Been Doing Other Stuff

  • I need to learn to take my own advice.
  • I totally need to figure out how, in my next life, I can be in a band with Rivers Cuomo. 
  • The scene in The Wedding Date where Nick (played by Dermot Mulroney) tells Kat (played by Debra Messing) "I think I'd miss you even if we never met" gets me....ever....single.....time.
  • I'm banning myself from my own kitchen until further notice. Wednesday I managed to burn an entire pot of rice (awesome) and today I managed to spill a large quantity of sugar on a hot burner on the stove (double awesome). 
  • I am fully aware that I am setting up for a disaster, but as I told friends, it's time I take some chances. 

06 April 2012

Sweet Son of a Monkeys Uncle

I don't know what the title means, but it makes me laugh so I'm going to go with.

How did it get to be Friday already?! Seriously. Can I get a pause button please. I need things to slow down just a little bit. There are some things that need to be taken care of and time is quickly running out. Not pumped.

Regardless, it is the weekend and I've got some wicked awesome plans for the next couple of days......massive spring cleaning.

I'm going to don my favorite sweatpants and t-shirt. Crank some tunes and dance my way through a cleaning frenzy.

Now is the perfect time to downsize and purge the things I no longer need or use or want. One of the pitfalls of having an entire house to yourself is the amount of stuff one accumulates. It is ridiculous! The number of blank notebooks and journals alone is a bit scary. Plus, I am notoriously bad at getting rid of things. I'm a perpetual "But I might use that some day!" excuser so things could really go either way this weekend.

04 April 2012

Time to Get Writing

I still have my first journal tucked away in a box in a closet in one of my spare bedrooms. I was 13 and had bought the journal while on a family vacation in Wisconsin.

The last journal entry I wrote was date January 8, 2011 and it read "Mum passed away today, surrounded by family. She took a piece of my heart with her--I don't know how I'll ever replace it."

Writing for me has always been my escape. My way to heal myself. Growing up it was short stories with happy endings and poetry about my struggle with depression. I have pages upon pages upon pages filled in notebooks and folders with words and phrases and doodles and everything in between. When Mum died, even though we knew her passing was imminent, something inside me died along with her. I know. I know. That sounds like the clichest thing ever, but it's true. And the pain I felt (and still feel) when she passed was something writing couldn't get rid of, so I stopped. It was the first time writing didn't help dull all the emotions whirling around in my head and in my heart. Even now, nearly 15 months later, writing this last paragraph, the tears still fall pretty easily.

But that's not what this is about.

This is about picking up my pen again with a clean notebook and starting again.

While out and about with a good friend this afternoon, I picked up a new notebook (my favorite kind of notebook, too!) so that I can get back at it. To get back to writing. To get back to finding the quiet inside my mind. To get back to finding that peace within myself that I seem to have lost along the way.

03 April 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Romantic relationships aren't really something I spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about. I've had some pretty shitty ones which makes remaining single quite appealing. And until recently......o.k......maybe not quite so recently. If we're going for full confession it's been quite a while, much longer than should really be allowed.

Anyway.....for quite some time now I've been feeling a little out of sorts. A little less than myself in the area of my heart. It's been feeling a little tender.

It's strange, how no matter how much you think you shouldn't, there are still times when your heart and head disagree and fight to move in opposite directions in terms of how you feel about someone; your heart screams at you like the ever encouraging friend to let yourself open up to the person while you're brain begs you to reconsider because in the end you'll (most likely) only get hurt. This is the crossroads I currently find myself at. Uncharted territory. Or territory I swore I would never let myself return to.

And all because of one person. One guy who I am so unbelievably certain if I actually got up the courage to tell him, really tell him how I felt about him, he would be gobsmacked (not going to lie, have always wanted to use that word in a sentence. Winning!) and it would forever change the course of our friendship.

The optimist in me wants to believe it would be o.k. That telling him would be ok. That he wouldn't totally freak out and run away screaming. That it is the right thing to do for a whole myriad of reasons and not just to make myself feel better. But the realist (a.k.a. pessimist) is winning out...mainly out of fear. Fear that he'll think it's a ridiculous idea and there is just simply "no way a guy like him could fall for a girl like me" (trust me, that conversation has already happened with another fella and it SUCKED). Fear that the timing of it all is completely wrong (in fact I'm not sure it could be any worse). Fear that he doesn't (wouldn't, couldn't, won't) feel the same way and to me, that is worse than never telling him at all.

This turned into a more of a "Dear Diary" type post, but I'm kind of o.k. with that. I think it's good for me to let my guard down just a touch every now and then. Here's to hoping it doesn't totally backfire on me though.

02 April 2012

If 6 Was 9

I'm going to catch so much crap for this from my music loving fans, but I just don't get Jimi Hendrix.

It's cool.....I'll let that sink in for a few seconds.

BUT, If 6 Was 9 is one of my absolute favorite songs.

Weird right.

Here's the thing.....Hendrix's playing, which I can see why people consider him to be quite a genius on a guitar, is too chaotic for me. There is just too much going on and it's too fast and all over the place.

But this song.....If 6 Was 9.....is musical perfection for me. From the opening chords to the lyrics to the baseline, I love every bit of it.

Music Monday: Mayerlicious

John Mayer.

I love his tunes.

And to try and explain why is nearly impossible. Room for Squares hit me at just the right time and even now, ten years later, I find myself falling back to that album when I feel myself falling.

And the same goes for the most of the rest of his stuff as well (except for Heavier Things maybe, didn't really connect with that album). Between the lyrics and harmonies, there is sometime about it that gets to me every single time. Even if it takes a few dozen listens, his tunes are featured pretty heavily on my iPod.

And I have a feeling that today is going to be one of those days.

Good Love is on the Way


Shadow Days

Heart of Life

And because we all love to hate it.....Your Body is a Wonderland

01 April 2012

Getting to know you.

I seriously spent an hour this morning writing up a post, reflecting on the first year of this blog.

And then I realized I'm 29 days too early. Doh!

But that's o.k.....it actually gave me an idea for a little blog project this month.

I really liked having the structure of the Three Things February project I did. It was nice to have something to think about daily and to help draw out a little "creativity" on days when it was greatly lacking.

When I did my first 365 photography project, I picked one of the months (pretty sure it was September) and did 30 days of "secrets" or little factoids about myself. It was a really fun way to share little things about myself that (new and old) friends didn't already know. I figure leading up to the actual one year birthday of my blog, this was the perfect time to do the same project here.

So, without further adieu, let's get this started!

I eat my M&M's in a very specific fashion. Some call it OCD. I call it practical and maybe a little OCD. They always have to be in even numbers and then they need to be eaten in a specific order based on color: brown, orange, yellow, red, blue green.

I know....weird right. I don't even remember when I started doing this and sure if I really wanted to, I wouldn't have to eat them in this order, but where is the fun in that!

Thanks for reading!

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