Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bittersweet.

my deep, abiding love for reading is matched by little else in my life. i have devoted many a precious minute (ok, hours) of my life and welcomed many a dawn in the process of devouring delicious books of various kinds. some have been purely educations, some just for fun, some inspiring,  a couple of tear-jerkers, a love story thrown in here and there, a few ridiculously good-humored picks, several that inspired me and a few that have stirred the very core of my being. if you are not a book person then i don't think you can really grasp the feeling that comes from immersing yourself in the words of someone else and seeing the world through their eyes for a brief moment in time. it is even more powerful when the author somehow captures YOUR point of view or the essence of your beliefs. at the turn of every page you are left thinking that they must have been inside your head carefully excavating the thoughts that you were unable to articulate on your own.

i made it my mission long ago to make my reading list diverse. it keeps me on my toes. i pick new books based on a litany of things - recommendations from friends, book clubs, top-pick lists, the cover art, the first page, the author's bio, if its on sale ... honestly i have a hard time finding reasons NOT to buy books. that being said, sometimes a book just finds its way into my life at the exact right time. call it luck. call it destiny. call it divine intervention. whatever the term is to describe the good fortune i have had over the years for this phenomenon to continue to happen has been a blessing in my life. serendipity in deed. i cannot put into words the humbleness of my heart every time i realize it has happened again. so it is with the book i began reading a few days ago. so far, every word has pierced deep and with the accuracy of a skilled marksman has found exactly the place to land in order to fill the holes of my soul. 

thoughts on change, grace & learning the hard way

"Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. 'It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. "

"This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let there be light ...

THOMAS EDISON GIF
Thomas Alva Edison 1847-1931

Happy Birthday Mr. Edison!!
I am absolutely amazed when i think about people like this. People like edison who devote their life to learning & creating. Who continue to ask the most simple question "why" and then do anything it takes to find the answers they are seeking. His passion and persistence are to thank for so many of the modern things we take for granted. I am particularly grateful for his visionary success in providing light & power to the masses. I do so enjoy being able to plug things in and use a light switch!

Some little Edison tidbits for you:
- he was the last of seven children
- he didn't learn to talk until he was almost 4 years old
- he was extremely shy
- he only had 3 months of formal schooling
- he was only able to hear at about 20% out of his right ear and was completely deaf in his left
- at age 14 he published his own paper with a readership of over 300 people
- by 15 he had mastered the telegraph
- at 16 he came up with his 1st authentic invention called the "automatic repeater"
- he was fired from Western Union for "lack of concentration" on his duties
- he obtained 1,093 patents in his life
- he tested over 3,000 filaments before coming up with his version of the practical lightbulb
- he invented and patented the motion picture camera ... ok this one might be my favorite fact!

Some of my favorite Edison quotes:
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly, a 'genius' is often merely a talented person who has done all of his/her homework."
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
"If we all did the things that we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."
 "The 3 things that are most essential to achievement are common sense, hard work and stick-to-it-iv-ness."
"The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move far too fast."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

yard sale d.r.a.m.a.

i'm about to make the understatement of the year so hold on to your undies ... our garage is a WORK IN PROGRESS. whew. we have recently decided to turn it into a full fledged movie/entertainment room since we don't really use is for parking anyhow. why you ask? well, no one in this house knows for sure so it's one of those unspoken things we just roll with around here. like i said, movie/entertainment room is in the works. we have made some pretty solid progress, good grief it feels as if this is the project that will never end. more on this later.
in the meantime we are in desperate, dire, critical, painful need of having a massive yard sale to get this project anywhere near completion. did i mention i HATE yard sales? hate with a passion i might add for just a bit more clarity. the yard sale we are in need of makes me want to cry. the fact that it is looming over my head makes me feel physically ill every time i let my mind drift to the dark corner it is crouched in. i am not intimidated by a long list of things in life, but you best believe yard sales make the cut.

so today i buckled down and made some serious headway in the "preparing-for-the-mega-yard-sale-event-of-the-year" department. brother it was painful. i'm hopeful that this day long adventure gets me that much closer to the project bliss that awaits me on the other side! so for now, i'm stacked, organized and waiting for a few straight days of beautiful weather so i can purge this heap-o-stuff out of my life. i'll keep you posted on our {i hope huge!} success.

wish me luck peeps ... i am really going to need it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thanks Phil!


According to our furry friend Punxsutawney Phil (and several other reputable groundhogs) we can expect Spring to come early this year! Thank goodness. I am ready for some warm weather on the regular. This time of year is such a tease. You get some great days here & there, but it is so inconsistent that you just never seem to be able to plan around the weather. Let's hope these little rodent forecasters got it right. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome back ...

... to the the blog-o-sphere. I really love blogging, but wow am I terrible at keeping up with it. I mean it is pretty pitiful when months go by and I literally forget to update. Eh. My cross to bear I guess. Well, in an effort not to let my little blog die on the internet vine I am back for more. I'll try not to judge myself too harshly if I let it wither again. It is just one of those things I guess.

We had a great weekend.  The weather was simply perfect and thank goodness because I have a bad case of cabin fever. I actually do like the winter. Just in very brief spurts :) I have been so looking forward to getting outside & feeling the warm sunshine again. Saturday was my day. We ate a late lunch and headed for the Silver Comet Trail. Took a brisk 5 mile walk with the pup and soaked up all the vitamin D we could. There were so many people on bikes I left the trail totally inspired! I have never been much of a biker, but they all made it seem like so much fun. I've been thinking that the cycle cruiser I bought from a yard sale last year for a cool $30 might see a little more action in 2011. We'll see.


My little cousin Chase got baptized last week! We were all super excited for him. His sweet mom set up a dinner so we could all celebrate as an extended family. I am always amazed at what a super funny bunch we are. My stomach hurts every time we are together. I was reminded again that what I have with my family is pretty rare. I am certainly lucky in that department. Despite all of our flaws & quirks, we crack each other up. Thank goodness for life's simple gifts.


The day of fun ended at my brother's house. More fun stories and many more laughs were shared with them & their neighbors ... another super fun group. They are so lucky to live next to such cool people. They provided the most insane smores I have ever experienced for our snacking pleasure. The marshmallows were JUMBO and could not be contained by a single graham square. So huge in fact that they were almost flame retardent! It was quite impressive.

Sunday was a much simpler day, but just as enjoyable. Our little family hung out together all day and took in more of the sun shiny goodness.

R&R