long overdue.

hello dear blogging friends.  obviously, i've been gone for a while.  without a camera or internet.  away from the everyday hustle-bustle.  just back, and ready to get this party started...again.  a few things have progressed since my time away...

*it's spring here.  finally.  the trees are budding and flowers have bloomed.  it also hasn't stopped raining since yesterday.  but i'm okay with that since it's a warm rain.  and warm rain brings thunderstorms.

*triathlon training has officially begun.  it's a bit later than i would have liked- but it started.  and that truly is the very best part.

*there was a loss over the weekend.  a soldier.  it was the worst news ever expected and unfortunately, despite the letters, and packages and random skype messages, it's tragedies like this that remind us we are at war.  and it sucks.  so please, please keep the soldiers both away and here in your thoughts.  we need them to be happy and healthy and safe...for us.  for them.

*a new comforter was purchased.  and ikea special- and i'm in love (for some reason it's not on the website- so hopefully i can reference it soon).

*my car broke down.  hundreds of miles from home.  it's fixed now- but man, it's unbelievable how much i rely on my coche.

*dinner, drinks, lunch, walks.  time spent with friends is so very important.  it keeps me balanced, sane and grounded.  friends are the best medicine.

*currently reading middlesex.  so far, so good.  


gonna party like it's your birthday.

meet madeline, formerly maddie.  she's my little sis & today is her birthday.  madeline, without exaggeration, you are one of the most inspiring people i know & i am so thankful to have you as a sister.  you live a contagious lifestyle of grace, humor and kindness- you're the kind of friend everyone should have.  while i would love to surprise you & be there to ring in another birthday- please know i am thinking of you during this birthday extravaganza.

thank you for being such an amazing little sis.  for always saying yes to long days at the pool and afternoon trips to the beach.  for never turning down an adventure (even if that meant a nighttime hike or homemade rockets) and for letting lindsay & i surprise you with leprechauns.  thank you for showing me the importance of loyalty, for teaching me the art of living genuinely & why we all should be standing up for everything we believe in.  i am so proud of all that you are and can't wait to see all the amazing things you are going to do with your life. 

i love you mad.  so very much.  happy birthday to you. 

"We know one another's faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortification's, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar. We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws." ~ Rose Macaulay


happy friday.

what a crazy week this was.  i had a case of mondays everyday & i'm just thankful it's over.  hopefully you have some fun weekend plans lined up.  mine should be a nice mix between play and a lofty to-do list.  either way, it's time out of the office.  nothing like livin' for the weekends!

here are a few things to brighten your weekend and keep you inspired.

a long list of ah-mazing blogs.  i only follow a few of these bloggers, so i guess i have some catching up to do.  how many blogs do you have time to follow?

a sweet diy for the weekend?!  i think yes.  i just love this idea and can't wait to give it a whirl.  what a great way to repurpose an old favorite that's currently living in the goodwill basket.

inspired to take a road trip and think a. and i should get ourselves a scamp.  they did such great job decorating it- i'd want to drive across the country if i had a place as cute as this to rest my head.

enjoy & happy weekending!



while i was in california.  actually, only a day after i left home, i received a call from our dog sitter.  atticus, our oldest, furriest dog was having seizures.  this was nothing out of the ordinary since he had anywhere between 2-4 seizures a month.  

the seizures started out of the blue last april.  a. and i were sleeping and woke up to a huge crash and a ton of scratching and panting.  i thought the boys were fighting and a. thought someone was breaking into our home.  when we turned on the lights and found atticus seizing, we were both terrified.  luckily there is an emergency vet clinic only a few miles from our house- so at 4am, we loaded atticus in the truck and took him in.  after a series of very expensive tests, they couldn't find anything wrong with him and sent us home.  the seizures continued, one day a month, and while i hate to admit it, i guess i never wanted to believe they were getting worse.  

we put atticus on phenobarbital and as the seizures got worse, the dosage increased.  however, on all but one day a month, he lived a happy and healthy life.  so when i got the call in california, i didn't think much of it at first.  atticus was having seizures.  a lot of seizures.  and he wasn't coming out of them.  it all happened so quickly.  i literally packed my bags, said good bye to our healthy boys and hopped on a plane.  24 hours later, i was advising our dog sitter to take atticus into the veterinary er.

from there he was placed under 24 hour care and treated like a vip (very important pet).  back in california, we were gearing up for our conference so the day flew by.  by the end of the day friday, i dragged myself to my room and followed up with the vet.  the news was horrible.  throughout the 24 hours, atticus was having seizure after seizure and eventually slipped into a coma.  with that news, i was given two choices.  one, to opt for him to see a neurologist at cornell (this didn't ensure that he would snap out of the coma, or if he did, that he wouldn't suffer from brain damage) or two, plan b.  i'm sure you can guess what that is...

obviously, i was devastated.  i was hundreds of miles from home, in a hotel room and trying to make a life and death decision by myself.  i called a. in afghanistan to tell him what was going on and thankfully he had access to a phone and could chat.  we talked about the options together- which while it didn't make the conversation any easier, it was so comforting to have him on the other end of the phone.  once we decided what we needed to do, i made the call.

needless to say, atticus was the most amazing dog and he brought so much joy into our lives.  he had so much spunk, energy and personality.  sure he would eat dozens of unattended cookies off the counter and bark like a maniac every time the doorbell rang, and went bananas whenever he saw another dog...but he loved life.  and it was obvious.  he was our family mascot- with his bigger-than-life personality and endless vocal storytelling.  he was an awesome road-tripper and mountain bike companion.  he could run or hike for days and drink gallons of water and eat any neighborhood out of house and home.  there was so much to love about him- and he will forever be missed.


the ultimate sporting experience.

don't be jealous.  i'm totally hardcore. 

i signed up for my first-ever ultimate frisbee league and today was my first day- and game.  yikes!  the league is made up of four teams- with about 10-11 people per team.  every week, we rotate the teams we play and duke it out in a shirts vs. skins game....ahhhh....thank god that's not true- but it is pretty informal. 

we all showed up after work and/or class, made some quick introductions and hit the field.  the ground was still damp and the field was scattered with various after-school activities.  there are no field lights or goals so we played with cones and good 'ol fashioned sunlight.  ultimate frisbee games are generally played to 16, but we played until the sun went down.  i felt like i was a kid again- running up and down the field aimlessly (although, my teammates weren't to keen on my carefree style- especially since they knew i actually had no idea what i was doing) while trying to cover my "mark."  oh yea- i'm officially speaking ultimate. 

but it was a ton of fun.  and i felt cool.  especially considering i was one of the people on the team to score a goal!  some might say it's beginners luck (i might have to agree) but others might argue that my bizarre selection of frisbee-throwing boyfriends* helped condition me for a career in ultimate frisbee.  whatever the case, i did my team proud.  and i'm so excited for another tuesday night of ultimate frisbee. 

*for some reason, i always ended up dating guys who had a thing for frisbee.  one of my first boyfriends and i actually met playing frisbee.   then my last boyfriend- aka my hubby a., had a small run in with the end-zone in a game of ultimate frisbee and did a number on his shoulder- landing him in the always exciting, er.  maybe it was san diego living with a lot of time on the beach or at parks- but one way or another, the frisbee always returns to me.  and i guess i kinda like it.


a brief recap*.

i spent most of my time away in huntington beach, california.  it's a quaint beach community known for it's influence of the west coast surf culture.  for the most part, i didn't see much more than the hotel- which was a little village in and of itself.  this was the view from my room.  not too bad.
{room view}
every now and again, when we had the time, we'd get the craving to break out of prison (aka: the hotel) and explore the cute little beach community.  we spent a lot of time walking to the best mexican, thai, or sushi places.  one guy recommended a mexican place "a few blocks away."  after walking for over 30 minutes, we finally reached the taco shop- blisters and all (thanks to my new shoes).  it was pretty good. worth the walk- but not the blisters.
{thai salad}
one of my favorite things about huntington beach was the wednesday night farmers market & street festival. if it was up to me, i could have easily purchased a pint of strawberries, some fresh bread, and festival grub- and called it dinner- right on the a corner planter and people watched.  there were great local bands (basically some teenagers and college students who enjoyed rocking out, letting people dance to their beats, and never needed a break), local artists and lots of yummy food.  but what i like most are the memories it conjured up.  

when i was little, my parents used to take us to a farmers market almost every thursday night.  it was totally a win-win for them.  they could do some grocery shopping and get their brood out of the house for a night on the town, for free.  and i just loved it.  i always enjoyed walking the streets, looking at all the cool art pieces, jewelry and food.  i also loved the music- but more than anything, i loved the rhubarb man.  he gave us free samples- every thursday- and they were the highlight of our week.  if he wasn't there or we somehow missed him, the night would be ruined.  yep- it was that simple.  rhubarb or bust.
so dear huntington beach, thanks for the warm welcome and the friendly smiles.  i enjoyed myself.  but to be honest, it would have been a lot more fun if i wasn't working.  until the next conference...

*as i mentioned before, a lot happened while i was away.  being that i can't seem to get my s&^! together to write about everything, it may take a lot longer than anticipated to fill you in on the details.  but the stories are worth the wait (of course i'm biased).  and i'll also try to do my best to use the days i can't find the time to write, to share a few good things with ya.  stay tuned....


...and i'm back.

so much for one picture a day.

oh well, i'm back and this blog is up & running.  i have some pictures and stories to share of my two week hiatus.  most of them are fun, but one story is really sad.  

right now my co-worker has my camera (along with memory card) so over the weekend- or if i'm naughty and can sneak in a post at work- i'll fill you in on the adventure i call work and the stories we call life.  i missed y'all (that right there is my single year of southern living showing off) and look forward to sharing with ya!

in the meantime, check out heidi and her new cookbook.  she has some great recipes and maybe you can find a bit of inspiration for weekend cooking.  but that's all i've got for now.