Thursday, November 29, 2012


We didn't win the lottery. Life continues as usual.

I'm on round 2 of antibiotics from the bug I mentioned in my previous post. I can't wait to feel better. This is just no fun.

Our house is a mess. Seriously. Not only have I neglected things like the laundry (which has exploded all over the upstairs, apparently), but we then added to it by taking everything off of the walls so we could paint.

With the exception of the tiny hallway by the garage door, and the little half bath in the same hallway, we have painted everything on the first floor. It feels SO nice to finally have color on the walls!! Now to get everything put back together... sigh.

We are on a break between gymnastics meets. For those of you who are interested, Sebastian's first meet is coming up 9 days from now. He will compete bright and early Saturday the 8th in Champaign, IL. 

I haven't taken many pictures lately, so I don't have much to share with you that is visually stimulating. I'll see what I can come up with for another post soon.  I've been working on my Document Your December album for 2011 December, so maybe I can snap a few pics of that and share. I'll do my best.

Gotta run...breakfast time is over, and I have to make sure Thing 2 and Thing 3 don't miss the bus. Have a great day!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy girl, happy puppy

The last few weeks have gone by in a blur. Between 2 gymnastics meets, plus trying to overcome a bug of some sort that had me down for several days, and still having to keep up with life as usual... it's been hard to keep up.

I know I keep saying it, but I really do want to get back into the habit of blogging regularly. So let's pretend I'm not a week late on sharing these pictures with you.

The other day (Sunday I think) I took Meagan with me to walk Dublin, and we went down to the woods. Simply put, she had a ball! She is definitely an outdoorsy type of girl - always has been - and she was definitely in her element. Plus, she had a playing buddy, which just made it all that much better.

On the walk to the woods, we pass by a semi-open area of lower-lying brush and ground cover and so on. There is lots of evidence that it's good bedding ground for deer, and there are always a few other smaller creatures to be found there. The county has made a walking path through there... but apparently Meagan doesn't need no stinking path. She went off-roading through all the small trees and high brush. At one point she almost got tangled in some brambles, but she managed to pick her way through it.

Not to be outdone, Dublin followed.

Of course, we made a straight line for the river, where Dublin wasted no time sticking is face right in and getting a drink.
Dribble face
I love this picture. It captures perfectly the simple fact that these 2 are inseparable. Wherever she goes, he follows. He just will not let her out of his sight.
Meagan has a wild imagination and a flair for adventure. She found some large pieces of bark, lots of large branches and twigs, and began building a shelter. And a raft. And then she told me that when she is older, she will live in the woods and build her own log cabin. And her husband will stay home and take care of the kids while she goes to work. And her work will be building their house, and of course, the kids will help (good luck with that one babe).

Like I said, he never leaves her side. In all the pictures where it's just her, it's simply because he is just barely out of the shot.

This adventure made for one happy girl. And one even happier puppy. On the way home, Meagan asked if we can go to the woods every Tuesday and Thursday (her 2 days she doesn't have gymnastics). While we may not be able to go 2 times a week every week, I promised her we will definitely go again soon.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 7

Without it, I would have no evidence of some of the most impacting people, events, and moments in my life. I know I take a lot of photos. Mostly because photography is an outlet for me. But also because I love the way a photo can bring to life a memory that's been stored away. I'm amazed at the power of a memory. At the way a song or a sound or a smell can bring to life a moment that's been lying dormant for so long. I spend a lot of quite thought time with my memories, reflecting, enjoying them for what they were and appreciating how they've played a part in shaping who I am right now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Happy Place

This is my happy place. It has been since we first moved here and I took my first bike ride through these trails. It's beautiful. It's quiet. It's natural. It's everything I love most about existence.

This place speaks to me like no other that I encounter in my daily life. I love that this relatively untouched space can be found practically right in the middle of sculptured lawns and technology-driven society. I can draw so many parallels to life standing in the middle of these woods. It makes me happy sigh.

So lately, this has been our walking destination. I get home from work, grab something random for lunch, and grab Dublin for a walk. He doesn't so much love the part of the walk where he has to behave on his leash while we're getting there, but I think he loves this place as much as I do. Once we get there, and I can let him off leash, he is a happy puppy.

At first he was unsure of the bridge, but he got over his insecurities pretty quickly. Now he just runs across it like nothing.

Chasing leaves = happiest puppy in the world.

Down by the river... again, he was unsure at first, and is still a bit hesitant to get too far out into the water (I bet it's cold). But he loves to stick his nose where it doesn't belong (ha!) and investigate. Plus, it's an endless supply of rocks! Good stuff!

Nature's camouflage...


30 Days of Thanks: Day 6

I'm thankful for the right to vote. For my voice to be heard, though it is one of millions.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 5

Okay, this might sound dumb and superficial, but it's still part of life...

I'm thankful for our car pool! Seriously. Without it, I would fail miserably at accomplishing all of the stuff I need to do on a daily basis. I mean really, our 3 kids have a combined 23 hours of sports practice a week. I'm just not that good. It's SO nice to have people who are willing to help and share the load, and it's nice to know that I'm able to help them out just the same.

Besides how helpful it is to get to share the load when it comes to sports transportation, I love these ladies (and their kids)! They have become such good friends, and life would be a little less interesting without knowing them.

Just so you can see how crazy these kids can get during a car ride... I took this pic the other day as I was driving down the road (with one hand on the steering wheel, and the other holding the camera and randomly aiming toward the back seat... this is what I caught... a bunch of feet up in the air. ???  Cracked me up!)

 And just think, this is only with the 3 youngest girls... we're missing the 2 older girls and Sebastian for this particular car ride. Keeps life interesting.


30 Days of Thanks: Day 4

I'm so thankful for creativity. It's been such a huge outlet in my life - writing and painting and photographing life. It has shaped me and has shaped the way I view and interact with the world. And now I see it coming to life in our kids, and it makes my heart happy. I can see them finding themselves, learning more about who they are and who they want to be through expressions of creativity. It's a brilliant part of life, and it's just one of those things that makes me sure that God is a genius.

While I'm on this topic, I thought I'd share this video with you. I took it this past Sunday (which would have been Day 4 if I were actually keeping up in a timely fashion). For all of you nosy peeps, you can peek inside a pretty typical evening in our home... about 20 things going on at once... we're all loud... but content and chill. I love it. This was Sebastian's first time ever picking up a guitar (other than a pretend one that Isaac got for his birthday or Christmas a few years ago). Shane let him use his guitar to play around a bit, and this is what Sebastian did with it... I think he's watched It Might Get Loud a few times, as he took right to finger slide like Jack and Jimmy and Edge.

30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

(catching up... you knew it was coming... you had to know i would never be able to actually keep up on a 30-day anything! ha!)

I'm thankful for living in a location that is close enough to still visit with family. We could have landed in a lot of possible locations, but this one is wonderful! So close to Indy, lots of concerts and games and museums and events to enjoy. Close enough to 'home' to still get back and visit occasionally, or maybe have the occasional visitor! Love that!

Saturday Shane came and hung out with us (and almost jinxed Notre Dame by watching the game at our house... he's lucky it didn't fall out that way or he would be uninvited for next time... it's only weird if it doesn't work, right?). Anyway, he came, he hung out, he stayed. We had good times. It was all good stuff. And it made me happy. Happy is good.

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thanks: Day 2

So this is a little random. And maybe it won't make any sense outside of my head. I know that sometimes I run that risk when I try to put my thoughts into words...sometimes my thoughts are more of an understanding than an ability to express an idea.

Today I realized how thankful I am for complexity. Odd? Maybe. But odd is me.

Again today, Dublin and I walked to the nature reserve, but we took a different path. We walked to the other side of the river, where there is nothing but wide open space, fields of overgrowth and underbrush and small trees and shrubs, bordered by forest that follows along the river. Beautiful. One of my favorite places. Especially on days like today when no one else is around.

We spent nearly an hour there, running through the long grass, trudging through the forest, and splashing in the edge of the water. It was quiet time to think while he chased leaves down stream and attempted to catch and eat as many grasshoppers as possible. Quiet time that doesn't come often for me anymore with the layers of things going on in daily life.

I felt really at odds standing in the middle of the forest. Just on the other side of the river is a paved walking path with well-kept medians that border nicely manicured laws that surround nice and tidy homes. And here I stand in the middle of the messiest, most unruly of surrounds, with vines growing every direction, trees fallen and decaying, and the ground absolutely covered in layers of mud and leaves and debris. There, dogs are kept on leashes and tightly controlled and held to human expectations. Here, they can be off-leash and run and play and do what dogs are meant to do. There, life is orderly and routine and scheduled. Here, there's no order, no routine, no schedule or obligation - only existing.

This contrast was just a spring board for a whole trail of thoughts that I'll spare you. The point is, I realized today, standing in the middle of the woods, that I am really thankful for complexities and contrasts and dualities that make up the human experience. Without it, how boring would life be? I'm just not the type of person that can keep everything neat and orderly - not physical things, and not in my mental and emotional being. There are a million layers and possibilities, and many of them are at odds with each other. And without them, I would be a totally different person. And I like them. I like the oddities and the contrasts. They give substance and context to what could otherwise be a mere passing of time.

So there you have it... blah blah blah... pardon the ramblings of my Stewart Smalley moment. Deep thoughts ended. Carry on. ;)


30 Days of Thanks: Day 1

Thanks to Thanksgiving, November is the month marked for thankfulness. I love it! And I truly believe it's a great opportunity to practice actively being thankful. For every little thing. And for every big thing. And for everything in between.

So, I'm jumping on board with the "30 Days of Thanks" project this year. Taking time to be aware of what's around me - of all the things that fill up my life and make it what it is. I have a lot to be thankful for!
(and yes, I do realize today is Nov 2. Late is me. But we'll deal.)

Nov 1 - Today I finally got to do something I've been wanting to do since we very first got Dublin. We walked all the way down to the nature & wildlife protection zone about a half mile or so from our neighborhood. It's one of my most favorite places to be, to just be, but so far, his little puppy legs (or his little puppy behavior on a leash) haven't been up to the task. Well, today it was warm, with bright blue sky and cool crisp air. Perfect conditions to give it a try. And it was great! And while I can't pinpoint one exact thing, I was just overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for the whole situation - for the puppy, for the weather, for the natural protection and the fact that we live close enough to walk there whenever we feel like it. I was also thankful for the fact that our puppy-training efforts have begun to show some fruit. For our entire time walking around down there, I was able to drop the leash and just let him wander. It was nice to feel confident that he would stay near me and would follow me if I walked away.

(He found the best stick ever and plopped down to chew on it for a minute before we moved on)