Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If it's going to rain, rain some blessings on me...

I'm having a hard time realizing my blessings right now, which probably means I need to remember them and be grateful for them more than ever. I believe God gives us what we need when we need it, I truly do. But, do you notice how when you feel like you need something you can't quite put your finger on, it feels like you just can't get it? It is just beyond your reach. Perhaps the reason is that we need to figure out what we need, we need to verbalize it. Except that is so frustrating when you're stuck in the pouring rain and can't figure out if you need an umbrella or higher ground or shelter.

  • Sunday is Easter -- a day that used to burst with joy for me. I need that this year. I need that joy to seep into my heart and soul Saturday night at the Easter Vigil service and stay with me throughout the next few weeks. I'm so grateful for that joy.

  • This week is a two-day work week for me, and I am enjoying the much-needed rest and time to catch up on some things. I've started another book! One of my resolutions this year was to read more books, but I had yet to start a new one this year. I am delving into The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I've only read the first chapter, but I am hooked. It seems like it is going to be a beautiful and touching story. If you have read it, what did you think (without giving anything away!)? If you haven't read it, is it on your list?

  • I made an eye doctor appointment yesterday for tomorrow (I was surprised I got one so quickly!). The doctor's office is right down the street from my parents' house, so I think I will visit after my 10 A.M. appointment and maybe have lunch with them. Haven't told them this yet, so I should probably check if they are going to be home! There is something about being out and about mid-day, when I would normally be trapped inside working, and lunching that is so special to me. It is one of the little things that makes me happy.

  • Now if only it would be sunny tomorrow... There is a bright light on the horizon. After tomorrow, the temperature is supposed to climb this week and there will be nothing but sunshine! This weekend is supposed to be 70 degrees and perfectly sunny! I am excited to wear my new maxi dress for Easter. I just wish I could find some cute espadrilles to go with it! (The Bon Bon Rose Girls found some really sweet wedge sandals on ModCloth (posted on Twitter), but I can't do un-elasticized sling back; my heels are too narrow.)

Are you having trouble counting your blessings? What are you thankful for today?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Friend-Making Monday: My spring style

Welcome back to another week of 
Friend Makin Monday!

This week's topic is courtesy of my dear friend,
Connie at The Young and the Relentless.

What are your thoughts on this year's Spring Trends?

I'm taking this week's topic in a slightly different direction. Since I'm not really into spring's trends or fashion in general, I'm going to share my spring style wish list.

Apple Green (especially in outerwear):

This Coach trench is too adorable for words. I like how the green brightens up rainy spring days, while providing protection from the weather. The bows on the sleeves are such a cute, unique detail.

Ballet Flats:
Ok, so yes, I noticed shiny things are in for this spring, so why not incorporate them into my latest trend: ballet flats? All of these are metallic and sparkly and perfect for dressing up your weekend jeans. I also like bright colors and fun patterns in ballet flats to brighten an otherwise neutral outfit.

Retro Trenches (a la London Fog):
I realized that my mother has a circa 1984 London Fog trench coat that she NEVER wears anymore. I WANT IT!!! It's the same color as the one above, but hits mid-calf. Oh so perfect for the rain... maybe with a pair of wellies.

Dresses are my new favorite thing for spring and summer (especially if I can layer them with tights for the fall and winter). I want an entire wardrobe of dresses! I'm attracted to the ease of them; one clothing item, cute shoes (see above), a necklace or bracelet or scarf, and I'm done! 

Yup, shift dresses are "in" for this spring too, so I'll look for some of those to incorporate into my work wardrobe.

What are you looking at for spring trends? 
What are your favorites? Your least favorites?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fill-in-the-blank Friday!

1.  The best piece of advice I was ever given was  be yourself. Don't always follow the crowd .

2.  If I had a million dollars to give to one charity I would give it to   the American Cancer Society.

3.  If I got to choose my "last meal" it would be      a high-quality, perfectly cooked prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed broccoli with a fine glass of red wine and a cannoli for dessert.

4.  My hair is  wavy/curly depending on the length, prone to frizz and the perfect shade of brunette .

5.  If at first you don't succeed   try again. If you still don't succeed, try something else .

6.  I have always been very      concerned about what other people think .

7.  Oh....and by the way....     it's Friday! Have a great weekend.

visit Lauren at The Little Things We Do to play along!

Roses and Thorns is back!

Roses to Friday! I think this will be a permanent fixture. I have been living for weekends!

Roses to snowflakes in the air; I might be able to squeeze in one more day of skiing this season!

Roses to bowling for charity tomorrow with Jed's company and maybe some 11am beers.

Roses to Easter next weekend and the end of meatless Fridays! (Although, I have learned some good recipes... ok, mostly pasta and chili.)

Roses to a TWO-DAY work week next week: using up the last two of my vacation days for the fiscal year and Friday is a company holiday.

Roses to finding my passion... now if only I could figure out what to do with it!

Thorns to the return of chilly weather and snowflakes this morning. I had welcomed 60 degrees back with open arms.

Thorns to my long commute this week.

Thorns to what I think are my allergies. I have been stuffy and lethargic for two weeks now!

Thorns to the end of my four-day work weeks after next week. I have kinda gotten used to them.

Thorns to family drama over Easter plans.

Thorns to Morris being sick this week. I've felt so bad for the little guy.

{R&T copyright K.Law: Inspired}

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Affirmation

Relax. Just let it go. It'll be ok. It doesn't matter.
 Whenever I run into an obstacle, am challenged, get frustrated or encounter something I don't like -- rather than throw a hissy fit, which is my natural reaction -- I say this to myself. I take a deep breath and move forward, calmly. Usually.

I wasn't always this way. I used to blow up at will, never control my reactions or emotions. Then I realized, acting this way was not getting me anywhere; most importantly, it was not getting me my desired outcome. So, I did some research. I read a lot about how to react and where it gets you. I read how to control myself. I learned about what all that stress was doing to my body and my mind. I FELT what it was doing. And, I saw what it was doing to my relationships -- personally and professionally.

Change was in order, not because that's what everyone else thought I should do, but because it what I felt I needed to do. And I developed this "mantra." It's not really a mantra; it's too long for a mantra. But, it's what I find myself saying when I feel the heat building up in my face and my heart racing.

It has served me well.

This post was inspired by:

Prompt #5: “I need all the help I can get and if repeating something healthy and inspiring to myself several times a day helps, then I’m going to do it!” -What affirmation makes you feel better? WELL THINK OF ONE. (inspired by Shanna from Smiles, Miles, and Trials)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wishful Wednesday: Handbag

'I wish' .... I could afford these Kate Spade and D&B handbags without putting a dent in my pocketbook!

I couldn't pick just one, I couldn't! I'm seriously lacking in the handbag department, so I fell in love with these luxury items.

$225, zappos.com
I need a little brown bag, and this one is just so cute! I think I would probably carry it every day! Big enough for essentials, but small enough to stay out of the way. And the tassels!
$225, katespade.com
This would be my daily spring/summer bag. This blue is my favorite color, and the flower detail is so unique. The size is perfect. I have admired Kate Spade bags since we met in college, but I have yet to own one! This cutie would make a great birthday present for me this year. {hint}

$195, zappos.com
I've never been a fan of D&B, but I heart this leather tote! I like the buckle detail and the seaming. I also like the neutral tan color, although I would also enjoy the black and chocolate brown versions. This would become my "catch-all" bag. I already have two of these, but they are both fabric and kind of summery, so this one would be good for the winter.

To play along, click the Wishful Wednesday icon above to visit Kelsey's cute blog, pick up the topic and button, and link up your post!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thankful Tuesday: Incredible power

I'm deviating slightly from my normal thankful Tuesday to talk about something very powerful in my life that I have to share. The power of prayer.

For the past five Mondays of Lent, I have attended a discussion on prayer at my church. It has been an interesting and educational experience, but I never felt "the power." Until last night.

Last night, the deacon spoke about intercessory prayer -- praying for other people and being prayed for by others. I have witnessed some powerful intercessory prayer,  mostly in saving a friend's life, however, I never really realized the fulfillment of someone else's prayers FOR ME.

Allow me to delve into the past and share a personal story. Eleven years ago, I was a Catholic high school student. I attended Mass out of necessity, not because I wanted to or believed I needed to, and I was seriously questioning my faith and whether it was for me. I developed a close friendship with a guy in my class, who was a firm believer. We spent a lot of time talking about faith, the Church, God and catechism, but I wasn't sold. He kept trying, though, and he involved me in his faith as much as he could, but above all, he prayed for me -- and told me he was doing so. I thanked him for that, but I never gave it much thought. Part one.

Part two... For every holy day the Church celebrated and on the first Friday of every month, my school gathered us into the auditorium for Mass. Most of the time I passed notes to friends or took a nap, needless to say, I never really paid much attention. One day, one usual day, I happened to pay attention while the priest consecrated the host (maybe I was trying to make an honest effort to believe). He lifted the host to signify the consecration, and as I looked, I saw a flame burning in the middle of it. It was one of those moments that happens in a second but seems to last forever. I shook my head, looked around to see if anyone else showed signs of seeing, but everyone else looked pretty uninterested. All of a sudden, I realized, it was a sign. I started to be sold; I got my "proof." I started believing. I started developing and studying my faith. I've only ever shared that story with my friend who tried so hard to get me to that point.

That image, vision, sign -- whatever you want to call it -- has always been with me in my times of doubt. I remember that gift from God, and it strengthens my faith again. 

Finally, the two parts go together. Last night, the deacon shared a story of attending Mass and seeing a similar vision: beams of light around the altar during consecration. This reminded me of what I saw so many years ago, and it confirmed that I wasn't crazy, that it was a sign. 

Then, through all I've heard and prayed and reflected on over the course of Lent, I had a revelation. That sign I received -- that gift I believed I received from God to help me believe -- was actually the direct result of my friend PRAYING FOR ME TO BELIEVE. Whoa. I started shaking. I felt humbled. I felt grateful. I felt somewhat stupid for never realizing that until eleven years later, but at the same time, so incredibly joyful that I finally made the connection. I found my faith because a friend prayed for me and God heard, and not only did God hear, but God granted that prayer and gave me a gift. Wow.

I had to share this with the deacon, and I did. Then I drove home, shaking, close to tears. I walked in the house, gave Jed a kiss and told him I love him.

Because that friend, who prayed for me back in high school, was Jed.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Friend-Making Monday: Spring survey

Happy Friend Makin Monday! 
Here are my answers!
1. Favorite things about Spring:
The smell of damp dirt {reminds me of the new life brewing in there}, daylight savings time, blooming daffodils and crocuses, warming temperatures, summer daydreams.

2. What I'm doing for Spring Break:
Spring break no longer exists in my reality. :-(  We're not even planning a spring vacation.

3. Favorite Spring flower:
Daffodils and cherry/dogwood blossoms.

4. Do you have a garden?
No, but my boyfriend's mother comes over to plant flowers for me since I was born without a green thumb.

5. If so, what do you grow.
See above. I'd love to have a small vegetable/herb garden because my dad always grew fresh veggies when I was growing up, but I don't have the mind for it. I killed the cherry tomato plant I had last summer. :-/

6. Do you do Spring cleaning?
Not officially. I was thinking of it, but I'm too lazy. LOL! I am planning on weeding out the winter clothes I didn't wear when I put them into storage and pull out my summer clothes, though. And Jed cleaned up the yard this weekend.

7. What is your weather *really* like right now? {Just b/c it's "officially" spring, doesn't mean that it feels like it for some of you} 
Last week was really warm spring weather: sunny, high 60's to low 70's, but it's becoming more New England typical this week: alternate sunny/cloudy, 50 degrees.

8. Snapped any weather related photos lately? Share one with us!
Nope! Sorry. When it gets prettier here I will.

9. What's your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon?
Take my dog somewhere fun to walk outside, or sit in the backyard and read a book.

10. Favorite spring TV show right now? 
I don't think I have one. I can't think of any *new* shows I'm watching. Oh, maybe Four Weddings on TLC. Has anyone seen that yet? It's kinda funny.

Happy Monday! Hope you can play along -- make sure you link back to Amber if you do {click the FMM image to visit her blog}.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where's Writer's Workshop?

It took a break this week. I'm feeling rather uninspired in the writing department, so I'm just going to leave you with a beautiful image -- for yesterday's green holiday and the springing of spring.

Furnas, Portugal
Peacefulness, hope and lots of freshness and joy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wishful Wednesday: Lottery

'I wish' .... I could win the lottery REAL soon, and I would hope to quit my job to pursue my dreams.

I would eventually go "back to work" because I think I would get bored not working at all, but I would take the time to figure out what I REALLY want to do -- without worrying about money. 

Maybe I would volunteer.

Maybe I would go back to school to become a teacher/professor.

Maybe I would become certified to teach dance.

Maybe I would dance.

Maybe I would just keep freelancing for newspapers.

Maybe I'd work on writing a book.

Or a great magazine feature.

Or start my own column.

Maybe I would help people plan their vacations.

Maybe I would travel the world.

Become a flight attendant.

Be a hotel concierge.

Who knows?

What would YOU do if you won the lottery?

The real question is would you:
1.) quit your job/career?
2.) continue working?

Oh yes, and happy St. Patrick's Day!
This girl is celebrating her Irish roots.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Thankfuls

I'm thankful for...

... warm sunny days.

... good friends.

... spontaneity, breaking out of the routine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friend-Making Monday: I....

I am.... sick of all these spring showers.

I think.... I am spending a lot of time on work this week.

I should... fold laundry tonight instead of going out.

I dream.... to not have to work full-time.

I want.... to go on a cruise!

I know.... I am loved.

I don't like.... being lonely.

I smell... nothing... weird! Need to light a candle.

I hear.... rain.

I fear.... dying without truly living.

I usually.... choose laziness over doing.

I search.... for meaning.

I miss.... being a carefree kid.

I always.... tell people I love them.

I regret.... my college years.

I wonder.... how things would be different if...

I crave.... CHOCOLATE!

I remember.... fondly.

I need.... a vacation.

I forget.... about so many things I need/want to do.

I feel.... like I need to make a change.

I can.... dare to dream.

I can't.... afford not to pursue those dreams.

I am happy.... that I am so blessed.

I lose.... almost nothing.

I sing.... in the car.

I listen.... to the voices in my head (j/k).

I shop.... for groceries instead of clothes far too often.

I eat.... healthy, most of the time.

I love.... my friends and family.

Your turn! Make sure to link back to Amber's blog if you participate (click the image above).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just follow the music!

I've had this bookmarked to do for a while (from the lovely Rasha at And This is What She Said), and I thought it would be a fun Saturday post.

Rules of the game: 
1) Put your iPod/MP3 player/iTunes/etc. on shuffle.
2) Write down the FIRST song that comes on to each question.
DON'T switch the song if you don't like it... That's the fun of the game.

*How am I feeling today? Sweet Child of Mine - Guns 'n Roses

*How do my friends see me? Hollywood - Jay-Z feat. Beyonce

*What is my best friend's theme song? And Around - Tabitha's Secret (I don't think she's even heard of this band, LOL)

*What is the story of my life? Nobody Not Really - Alicia Keys (not quite sure how to interpret that!)

*What is the best thing about me? Like a Prayer - Madonna (well, I am trying to pray more!)

*What is today going to be like? Trading Places - Usher (really? cool!)

*What is in store for this week? Human Nature - Michael Jackson (Hmm... ok...)

*What song describes my mom? Loving Wings - DMB (OMG, totally fitting!)

*What song describes my dad? Light in Your Eyes - Sheryl Crow (well, I am Daddy's Little Girl)

*To describe my grandparents? Free Fallin' - Tom Petty (most of them are dead, so... maybe?)

*How is my life going? Didn't You Know She's Gone - Phil Vassar (who? my old self? yeah...)

*What song will they play at my funeral? Just the Way You Are - Bill Joel (sigh, perfect)

*How does the world see me? Here Comes Horses - Tabitha's Secret (LMAO!)

*Will I have a happy life? Believe - Josh Groban (oh yes! Law of Attraction, baby!)

*What do my friends really think of me? Sunday Morning - Maroon 5 (Easy like Sunday Morning? Oh wait, that's another song in my playlist...)

*How can I make myself happy? Truly - Lionel Richie (Amen)

*What should I do with my life? Gonna Make You Love Me - Ryan Adams (Um... this is my purpose?)

*What is some good advice for me? Stay Beautiful - Taylor Swift (perfect, good advice!)

*How will I be remembered? Running Out of Days - 3 Doors Down (typical reporter... always against a deadline!)

*What is my signature dancing song? Live Those Songs - Kenny Chesney (yes! I live the music!)

*What is my current theme song? #41 - DMB (aw, love this song!)

*What does everyone else think my current theme song is? '03 Bonnie and Clyde - Jay-Z feat. Beyonce (once upon a time, this was my theme song... oh, maybe back in '03?)

*Opening Credits: Something More - Train

*Waking Up: Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel (that's depressing. love this song though, danced to it long ago... in black leotards and fatigue pants, it was intense)

*First Day At School: Losing Grip - Avril Lavigne (LOL! Quite possibly!)

*Falling In Love: Patience - Guns 'n Roses (yes! I needed to be!)

*Fight Song: Crawl - This Way (really? really?! I'd like to think I put up a better fight than that!)

*Breaking Up: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - Sarah McLachlan

*Prom: Say Goodbye - DMB (oddly appropriate, if it's senior prom)

*Life's OK: It's My Life - Bon Jovi

*Mental Breakdown: I'm Every Woman - Chaka Khan (I have some pretty good breakdowns!)

*Driving: Oh My God - Jay-Z (I'm sure I've had a passenger or two scream mutter this)

*Flashback: I Need You - Alicia Keys

*Getting Back Together: Grey Street - DMB

*Wedding: Hurt - T.I. feat. Alfamega and Busta Rhymes (um... negative!)

*Birth of Child: Out Loud - Dispatch (oh, that must be my screams)

*Final Battle: Blurry - Puddle of Mudd (that's because I'm moving so fast, you can't see me!)

*Death Scene: Little Bitty Pretty One - Aaron Carter (why, thank you, LOL)

*Funeral Song: All You Wanted - Michelle Branch (appropriate, but I thought we were already going with Billy Joel for this one?)

*End Credits: How 'Bout Us - Champaign (I kinda like it)

*What song describes my mood right now? La Grange - ZZ Top (not sure this fits...)

*What song do I listen to when I'm depressed? Kind and Generous - Natalie Merchant (not my first choice, but it was on the playlist)
*Happy? Heavy Things - Phish (cool, that's a happy beat)

*Scared? Cry Freedom - DMB

*Bored? Drowning - Dashboard Confessional

Gee, that was fun! Ha ha ha. Your turn! Be sure to stop by and comment if you play along.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Friday, and that means Roses & Thorns!

Not too much in the way of Roses and Thorns this week. It was a bit uneventful, and the weekend isn't looking much better with the rain forecasted. Oh well, I'm game for a little R&R. What are you up to this weekend? Hope it's a good one!

Roses to cooking dinner EVERY NIGHT this week! (Food post to come)

Roses to finally getting my hair cut tomorrow! (I'll try to remember to post a before and after.)

Roses to getting my taxes done, and getting a net refund of $10! Yahoo!

Roses to clothes shopping for myself for the first time in a year. Much needed.

Roses to March of the Penguins. Just watched it this morning -- so cute! But sad too...

Thorns to hurting my foot when I got up last night with the dog. I'm wobbly today.

Thorns to clothes I washed on Sunday still being in the dryer on Friday.

Thorns to my dark cube in the office.

Thorns to not making it to the gym this week.

{R&T via K.Law: Inspired}

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Um, could someone turn the light on, please?

As I sit here in the office, in my cube, I realize the lights overheard are off -- at least in my area. I'm in the dark. So, I start thinking how a cute table lamp would not only give me much-needed illumination, but would also spice up my cube, making it feel more like home. Here are some illuminating devices that caught my eye.

I stopped into Pier One the other day just to check out what they had and maybe get some home decor inspiration, and I saw this lovely, modern lamp. My heart skipped a beat as I imagined it in my living room, where I already have a perfectly good table lamp on a bronze table (so this one wouldn't really fit). It would, however, look fantastic on my desk!

I love strange shapes on lamps, and the wood really gives off a warm feel.

Back to modern... I just thought this was so cute, and it doesn't even look like a lamp! I could throw this in a corner of my desk, and it would look like a huge, empty pencil cup until I turn it on... and then it would look like a spotlight shining above my cube. Hmmm... Party's right here, people!

I liked how different this lamp looks. I like the warm wood tone, but again with the spotlight. That's ok... reminds me of a Japanese temple or garden. Peaceful and serene... just like my cube (yeah, right!).

Do you have a lamp on your desk in the office? What does it look like?