The Motivation of Avoidance

My intention this morning was to get a couple of chores done and then sit down to write.  I have a good deal of writing to do in preparation for a new project.  Writing typically requires crazy inspiration or dogged determination.  My realization this morning was that this was going to be a dogged determination kind of day.  I was going to sit down and start typing and see what I ended up with.

So I got up and sipped my coffee while catching up on the goings on in the social media world.  This is pretty typical.  Then I got started with my day.  Pot roast and veggies got started in the crock pot.  Pumpkin bread (no nuts) was mixed, baked, and tasted…hey, I’m being honest!  The kitchen was cleaned, twice.  The dishwasher emptied, loaded, and run again.  Every surface in my house required un-dusting.  My inner Amelia Bedelia grabbed a handy rag and furniture polish to fix that problem.  The floors were swept, vacuumed, and mopped.  All three are required in our house or else the dust bunnies grow so large you risk tripping over them, or being attacked in your sleep.  A friend needed me to remember the names of churches I recommended to her.  Internet research accomplished that…oh, and we caught up via text message.  I’m super proud of her.  Laundry was piling up in three different locations in my tiny house.  A remarkable achievement if I do say so myself.  That laundry is now clean and folded – even the cold-wash-hang-to-dry-delicates.  The glass shelves and mirrors got a good washing.  Even the Waterford got wiped.  Three chicken breasts were grilled for lunches for the rest of the week.

It smells so delicious and clean in my house.  It is doubtful that I have ever been so completely motivated to get things done around the house.  Like, don’t even stop to eat motivated.  Like, turn on the internet radio and keep moving motivated.  Like, I really needed to write!

Now as I sit here curled on the couch with a freshly laundered blanket eating my yummy chicken and spaghetti squash au gratin, I anticipate a long evening of writing.  Thankfully Dave will be practicing.  So my soundtrack this evening will be J.S. Bach Violin Partitas on marimba.  Pretty awesome way to write.  If I can just manage to sit down and start typing…

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Celebrating 30

We celebrated my thirtieth birthday this week.  And what a celebration it was!  There was so much going on that I am now completely exhausted.  So exhausted that I didn’t post this yesterday!

The celebration started last weekend when I got an epic package from my family.  They sent me the most beautiful pearl ring.  It was packed in a ring box, which was in a nice store box, which was in a small cardboard shipping box, which was in a medium sized shipping box that also contained glitter, which was in slightly larger cardboard box that had more glitter, which was in the large shipping box – my postman was suspicious because my gift was so light weight!  I have essentially worn that ring everywhere except the shower this week!

On my actual birthday, I started the day by icing the cinnamon cupcakes I made the night before with pumpkin-creamcheese icing.  Ohmygoodness.  I even sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar.  They went with me to school, well, the ones we didn’t eat went with me to school!

 

They tasted as good as they looked.

When I got to school April had a surprise for me.  She had purchased a “birthday girl” pin and a plastic tiara for my birthday.  She knows me well enough to know I would wear them….all day long!  The kids loved it!

 

I love April!

The kids I work with made a bunch of birthday cards for me.  It was seriously the cutest thing ever!  There was even a Starbucks card in one of them!

After school Dave met me in town to take me shopping for my birthday.  It was super fun!

He even made dinner reservations.  Look what the restaurant did for me!

I ordered my favorite shrimp dish.  Normally when we go out I do NOT order seafood because Dave really hates seafood.  But it was my birthday!

 

Then we got a tasty surprise from the restaurant….Raspberry Macadamia Nut Brownie…happy birthday to meeeeeeee!

 

Once we got home I got to see the fantastic and yummy present Kimmi, Gary, and Brianna had sent me.

The delivery guy got lost on post when he came to drop it off.  I was at work, so he had to drop it off at Dave’s office.  Poor guy….and what a trooper!  Oh, and those chocolate cupcakes….those are FROZEN PINEAPPLE covered in CHOCOLATE.

HEAVEN!!!!

This was, without a doubt, the best birthday ever!  I am so blessed to have so many loving and thoughtful people in my life.

Adventures in Adoption Fundraising: Mr. Georgia

When you participate in a once-a-year neighborhood garage sale in a neighborhood the size of a mid-sized American city you are likely to meet many interesting people.

And we did.

He was out for a stroll on the eve of the big sale.  He walked down the slight incline of the driveway to see what treasures were to be found.  There was an air of pride about him as though he was the bearer of some great accomplishment, like a Nobel prize or the like.  He carried himself in a kingly fashion.  If the king was recovering from recent knee surgery.  Okay, so he hobbled down the hill.  But he definitely had a story to tell.

You see, Mr. Hobbles won the Mr. Georgia pageant a few year back.  Yes, it is true.  At least as far as I have fact-checked.  Which is not far as I do not actually know his name.  But he bills himself as a former Mr. Georgia and that is quite enough for me.

He was hilarious!

He had a sense of humor for days!

He picked things up off our tables to ask what they were for.

He laughed easily and loudly at his own jokes.

When he saw the clothes rack though, he got truly excited.  Next thing we knew, the Former Mr. Georgia was slipping into mom’s 1980’s Tibetan Lamb coat and accessorizing with dad’s custom-made leather fireman helmet.  It was something to behold!  Thankfully I am the daughter of a photographer.  So there is proof.

Thus goes the story of our adoption.

Broccoli for Breakfast

Some of my most interesting experiment ideas come from books I read.  Last week, I read a book by Chris McDougall called Born to Run.  Great book.  A touch over-political in places.  But altogether a great read.  And so interesting.  At some point in the book, vegetarians were discussing what they eat for breakfast.  Tofu scramble?  Tempeh french toast?  Salad.  Salad??  I was intrigued.

Veggies are so yummy!  They are a fave in our diet, but unfortunately for the cosmic veggie-eating-point-keeper, I simply do not consume enough.  Like, 2-3 servings a day.  Pathetic, I know.  This salad for breakfast idea, though, now that could solve my problem.  One nice-sized, multi-nutrient-rich ingredient bowl could make up the difference in my daily intake.

Went to the local buy-in-bulk store and got a load of leafy greens and other colorful garden dwellers.  Now we were committed.  If we back down on our salad for breakfast idea, we are going to have gross, wilted veggies in the fridge.  Motivation enough for me.  Thankfully Dave is on board with the experiment.

Today is Day 3.  So far, loving it!  A few garbanzo beans and walnuts for texture and protein.  A little organic raspberry vinaigrette.

Delicious!!

China Here We Come!

It is official!  We are going to be parents!!

Hooray!!

After being a part of the adoption world for three years through some of my favorite blogs and enduring friendships with families who have adopted, the Lord has finally ordained the timing for us to actively pursue adopting our first baby.  We are going to China with Lifeline Adoption … after we finish a long paperwork process.  I think I have already written my name and address thirty times!

While I have been passionate about adoption for a long time, I know many of my friends and family members may have questions about what we are doing.  I hope you will ask!  I would be happy to answer questions as they come up.  There will be many new experiences and things I will learn.  I’m excited to share some of those things with you!  That being said, this is not going to become an “adoption blog”.  I will occasionally post an update on our process, but this blog is primarily going to continue to be full of my random nonsense.  It’s fun to write!

Details that I can share so far…

Fundraising!

We had about $3000 dollars in our adoption fund from the fundraiser we held a few years ago and that has officially been used up to start our process.  We are 100% confident in the Lord’s ability to fund this adoption either through donations and grants or through extra work coming my way.  We are stepping forward in the process knowing that we will face expenses one at a time.  How much, you ask?  Well, we will be raising/earning about $25,000 more.  So exciting to know that we will have a beautiful testimony of the Lord’s provision to bring home with us along with our new baby!

Timeline!  If the Lord provides the funding quickly, we could have pictures of our baby by Christmas.  There are undoubtedly going to be hitches and glitches as we go, but we are relaxed and willing for everything to happen in the Lord’s timing.  Of course, when things are in my hands….I’ll be working overtime to get them done!

Home study!  We had our first meeting for our home study today.  I LOVE our agency!  Our rep is fantastic and I am clear that they will support us and pray for us through this whole process.  There will be four more meetings with a social worker and tons of paperwork to complete the study.  It is just so cool to actually be started!

Can’t wait to update you as we go!

Happy

Things that are bringing me joy today…

Gunny’s incredible freak outs each time he sees a dog on the TV….he barks and growls and gets all his toys and tries to get in my lap.

The Army hospital at 7am.  So calm.  So quiet.  So few germy people.

Boomama’s post about the Bachelorette.  I’m totally not into it this year, but her blow-by-blow cracks me up!

A beautifully made bed…..after a really nice nap.

Waking up to a shiny sink – didn’t happen this morning, but hey, the thought still makes me smile.

My soldier’s voice.  He was worried I would fall back asleep after my 5:45am wake up call….imagine that.

A sleepy dog keeping my feet warm….that way he can go to sleep but still know if I move.

Texts from my sister about birds….or our mom….or her students….or pinterest…..texts from my sister about anything.

4,000 years of cultural history that I will be teaching in less than four hours tonight.

Oh, and these.

Happy Tuesday!!

Aviary

Picture yourself in paradise.  Somewhere over a rainbow.  Zippidee doo dah land.  Through the sidewalk art.  In Cinderella’s castle – post-servitude.  Blue birds flying, penguins dancing, chickadees whistling, and helpful little know-it-all birdies laying out your clothes while you finish bathing.  Don’t you feel relaxed?  Doesn’t it make you smile to think of the veritable aviary that has been used to complement the variety of perfect worlds we grew up with?

Now imagine all of that while living as the out and out enemy of all things wing-ed.  My sister and I both have a sort of antagonistic relationship with the ornithological world.  For proof of her terror, see here.  I grew up loving birds.  My grandparents had pet birds.  They were kinda gross, but I was pre-teen fascinated by the feathery friends.  Ever since being attacked on multiple occasions by rather testy mockingbirds though, I have become increasingly the enemy.  Where the soothing sounds of chirping birds used to make me smile and relax, I am now caused to duck and cringe.  (I do not think it is a mystery why “duck” is a verb AND a bird.)

Now, for the subject of my post.  Mockingbirds have been my least favorite bird since the initial attack three years ago.  I might just have a new number one though.  We have been leaving our windows open at night lately because it has been cool and the fresh air feels refreshing.  Apparently a robin has a nest in the tree immediately outside our bedroom window.  At precisely 5:15am EVERY day, she wakes and starts shrieking.  In case you have never heard a robin’s call, listen.  Over and over and over and over.  It is approximately the equivalent of being awoken by a full-volume stereo system blaring “In the jungle, the mighty jungle”.  We have seriously considered taking lighter fluid and a match to that nest.  It’s too close to the house though.  And trees are flammable.  And I am a good fire chief’s daughter.

So, we close the windows at 5:15 every morning….with the whisper of a cuss word and a wish for a BB gun.

Sleep well my friends.