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Monday, February 28, 2011

Thank you speech

{Via Oscars(R)}

I watched most of the Academy Awards. Did you?

I’m not always one to watch awards shows, but lately I’ve been a big fan of checking out the red carpet fashion and watching to see who wins among some very good contenders. I couldn’t believe they had 10 films in the best picture category!

Anyway, watching the awards got me to thinking. Who would I thank? I’m not an actress (nor do I aspire to be one), but I can still dream about what kind of “shout outs” I’d give if I won something. It’s kind of fun!

Of course I’d start with my mom. Quite obviously I wouldn’t be here without her. But in a figurative sense, too—I wouldn’t be anywhere without her. She may not have been ready to be a mom when I came along, but she chose me. She stood up to the challenge, didn’t back down when my father chose to do differently. And though I’m sure there were so many difficult times, she must have handled them with incredible grace and strength, because I turned out ok (heck, a little more than ok, if I do say so myself)! She is beyond amazing!

The rest of my family would definitely be included, too. My brother and sister—the kids who I remember as babies that have suddenly turned into young adults that I actually get along with now (most of the time). My grandma. My aunts, uncles, cousins.  

And of course Sean! I love when people express their heartfelt, choked-up gratitude to their partner—like Natalie Portman or Christian Bale last night. I asked Sean if he would do the same. That’s not quite his style, so I wasn’t surprised when he said no (that he wouldn’t cry and be sappy; I could at least get a mention). That is, however, my style. You know I’d be a puddle through the whole thing. But yes, Sean would get a big fat thank you for being one of the best things to ever happen to little ol’ me.

Can’t forget to mention God, for obviously answering my prayers for this hypothetical Oscar that I never wanted to win, but more importantly for blessing me with incredible people, incredible opportunities, and incredible life lessons (both good and bad).

And finally, to my friends, coworkers, and anyone who has supported me along the way—the people who believe in me when at times, I find it hard to even believe in myself. Almost everyone in my life falls into that category anyway.   

So tell me, if you were given the opportunity to stand in front of hundreds (if not more) of your peers and millions of viewers around the world, what would you say? Who would you want to thank? What is the one thing you’d want people to remember you for (probably not for dropping the F-bomb like Michelle Leo of the Fighter)?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Serendipity?

After seeing several other bloggers sharing theirs lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing “our story”—how Sean and I met and fell in love (whether I share that story with anyone but me and my computer is another issue). It’s not a terribly exciting one, but it has its share of sweet moments and ups and downs. As I started putting it down on paper, I was reminded of how serendipitous it feels sometimes. And today, on a day where I woke up feeling in need of a little inspiration, it was much needed.

Our love story begins long before we even knew each others’ names, or even that the other existed. I often wonder how many times our paths may have crossed unknowingly—in a hallway, in a classroom, on a playground. As a fifth grader, did he watch the middle school production of Annie and look at Orphan #4 and think, “hmm, I might marry that girl someday?” Of course he didn’t. Did he notice the high schooler working in his mom’s preschool classroom when he came in after school for a ride home? Doubtful. Or for that matter, did I ever think twice about the boy who came and waited for the sweet the woman who worked in the preschool classroom before me—the one I often chatted with as she finished up her day? Nope.

But it’s still strange to think of the dozens of times we probably sat in the same church service, stood in the same room, or attended an all-school assembly without knowing that some someday, these two strangers would end up, well…us.

We’ve come a long way since being strangers. Heck, we’ve come a long way from the couple we were even just a few years ago. It’s sometimes amazing to think of what life throws in your lap, often when you least expect it. That’s certainly been the case in our relationship, in both good and bad ways.

I wasn’t expecting to find a best friend and a soul mate in the boy who was three years my junior and in a seemingly serious relationship with his high school sweetheart. He probably wasn’t expecting for her to break his heart, either. It’s funny how life can work out sometimes. In the midst of some of our happiest and hardest moments, life can throw us a curve ball. And most times, even if it takes a while to get there or to find the silver lining, we’re changed for the better.

Life can feel unpredictable and undependable at times. And that’s usually what makes it so exciting. But sometimes it feels like it would just be nice to know how things turn out—to what when to expect something, to know that everything is going to turn out ok. And then I remember stories like ours.

It reminds me that things do work out. Hard times do get better. Doors open when you least expect it. Long, crummy winters someday have to turn to spring.

And on weeks like this one, it’s a much-needed reminder (for me and I’m sure many others) to keep pushing forward. We may feel defeated, but we must remember that life holds all sorts of surprises in its pocket. We can’t know how things turn out, but we can have faith that we are ready to take on what’s ahead. And even if it doesn’t feel like it now, there are sure to be great things ahead.

{One of my favorite greeting cards; I've had it hanging at my desk for years: (C) 1997 by The Borealis Press Inc.}

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays

I had planned for today's lyrics before I knew that today would be the day at work. I knew that news of the layoffs would be coming soon, and chose these lyrics because I was determined to keep my head high no matter what happens this week.



I love this song, and think it offers great advice for the strength, courage, and determination women can have in the face of all sorts of adversity.

This morning we learned the fate of many people in our organization, specifically those within our department. While my job was spared, it's bittersweet, because we've lost some really great people who have worked beside us for so long. One of my dearest work buddies was let go, and I'm devastated to imagine our morning coffee runs or lunch walks without her. Somehow we'll all find a way through this. We can only hope and pray that in the end, things work out for the best. And when things get tough, as they inevitably will, we'll remember to "fight like a girl" until they turn around again, because they'll do that, too. (Don't mean to leave the men out; they can fight through it too).  

Monday, February 21, 2011

A trip to the mall

K-T at KT’S Refinishing School gave me the great idea to share some of my finds from this weekend’s shopping trip. Thanks KT! 

I’m far from any sort of fashonista, but like most girls I do love cute clothes—especially staples you can get lots of use out of! The difficult part of shopping at this time of year is that it’s still cold and snowy, but the stores are packed full of adorable spring clothes. I tend to shy away from paying full price for anything unless I’m absolutely in love with it, so I spent a lot of time perusing the sale racks and picking out a few things to keep an eye on as spring gets closer.

I started at Gap. It was surprisingly crowded and I was feeling impatient. I browsed a bit but didn’t find anything that was screaming my name. I thought the blouse below was cute, but didn’t love it enough to buy it on the spot.

{Photo via Gap.com}
I also saw that they had this skirt. I have almost the exact same skirt from Gap in a much lighter gray and get lots of compliments on it!

{Photo via Gap.com}
After Gap I went to Banana Republic. This used to be one of my very favorite stores, but it’s been quite a few months since I’ve found a lot that I loved there. It seems like their spring line has some promising choices, but I stuck mostly to the sale rack here, too. All sale items were an additional 25% off. Love a good deal!

I tried on quite a few things, narrowed it down to three, and then bought only 1. I do this a lot—talk myself out of things to make sure I’m only spending money on things that I really want or need.

I liked this t-shirt but have something similar already:

{Photo via BananaRepublic.com}
I also liked this sweater, but they only had it in a size smaller and a size bigger than I would need. Neither looked right on me, so I passed.

{Photo via BananaRepublic.com}

I bought this blouse. It seems like a great staple piece that I can wear now or in the spring and summer.

{Photo via BananaRepublic.com}
The mall I was at recently opened a new (huge!) Forever 21, so after Banana I stopped in there. I’ve browsed through this store before but never bought anything. I was completely overwhelmed by how big it was and how many options there were. I looked for a while and tried a few things on, and settled on this top:

{Photo via Forever21.com}
And a sweater similar to this one (except its all charcoal gray):

{Photo via Forever21.com}
Finally, I made a quick stop at Len. I discovered this store about a year ago while walking through the skyways in downtown Minneapolis with a coworker. I’ve since found a ton of great stuff, and since everything in the store is always at least 50% off, it’s right up my alley. I’ve gotten a few gift cards to Len in the last year and put them all to good use!

This time I got just 2 things (it was my last stop of the day and I was already running late).

I got this adorable ruffled tank top—another great piece I can wear now and in warmer weather:

{Photo via Me!}
I also got another shear tank that works well under a cardigan or on its own. I’m wearing it to work tomorrow with a red cardi and gray dress pants.

{Photo via Me!}

These are just a few of my favorite stores and recent finds. Where do you like to shop?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend Recap

We're buried (again) under several inches of snow over here. Looks like we're going to have at least a foot of snow by the time all is said and done. My little sister is in Washington D.C. with school and they were supposed to come home tonight. Their flight was cancelled and they probably won't make it home until at least Tuesday morning. Exciting adventure for them!

Now, for a recap of our weekend!

Friday
  • Work was busy, busy, busy. But we used lots of humor to keep our minds off the impending doom.
  • Went to dinner with Sean, my mom, Sean's mom, and his brothers. Good food, really sweet and thoughtful gifts, and a great way to unwind from the week.
  • Finished the night off by snuggling on the couch with Oliver - my favorite!
Saturday
  • Got a great workout in mid-morning.
  • Did some shopping and found a few great deals (and scoped out a few things I'll be keeping my eye on as spring heats up).
  • Went to my brother's last hockey game of the season (a victory, but kind of a slow game).
  • Went bowling and had a late dinner with one of my best friends (we were going to meet others but it didn't end up working out).
  • Finished the night off with a Shamrock Shake - the season is upon us!

Sunday
  • Went to mass with my mom and brother.
  • Had lunch with my mom at one of our favorite local breakfast-food spots.
  • Got a couple rounds of snow removal in (our snowblower is broken again, but thankfully we borrowed my mom's for the night since she won't get to it till tomorrow).
  • Had a wonderful dinner with Sean's family to celebrate the end of my birthday weekend.
  • Finished the night off with some more snuggling with the puppy - and prepping for the long week ahead.

Let's make it a great week - praying for good news, positive attitudes, and safe commutes!

(I was bad about photos again this weekend; it's hard to remember my camera when I'm bundling up to go out in the frozen tundra all of the time!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's my birthday (tomorrow) and I'll cry if I want to

It’s been one of those weeks.

I actually keep forgetting that it’s my birthday tomorrow. That’s how bad it’s been! And trust me, from the girl who used to remind her family how many days were left until my birthday at least a month in advance, that’s saying something.

Since I had Monday off of work, my “Monday” was actually on Tuesday. When I think of good ways to start my week, getting an email from the CEO announcing that our company is going to be laying off 8% of our employees in the next week is not on the list. But sure enough, that’s how my week started.

We know very little, other than that my department will be affected. We don’t know by how much, or who. All we know is that individuals who are impacted will be informed next week. Talk about a waiting game. And I’m not good at waiting.

So the atmosphere around work has been pretty gloomy—lots of speculation, lots of anxiety, lots of fear. We’re trying to keep a positive attitude and focus on the work at hand. There’s not much else we can do.

On top of trying not to focus on this announcement, I’ve been incredibly busy. I guess it’s good because it’s kept me hard at work. But yesterday as I was driving home from work I couldn’t help but feel like I was barely keeping my head above water. And it was only Wednesday.

Of course that kind of attitude and stress doesn’t bring out the best in me. So it’s no surprise that by the end of the night I ended up in a puddle of tears at the kitchen table, trying my hardest to rectify the argument Sean and I were having. Eventually he calmed me down and convinced me to just crawl in to bed and call it a night. Two Advil PMs and an hour later, I was fast asleep. I slept like a rock. And boy did I need it.

I’m feeling a bit better today. Slowly coming up for air, and that’s a good feeling. By tomorrow, I’ll be ready to celebrate my birthday. I’m determined to not let any of this overshadow that, if even for 24 hours so that I can relax and enjoy this late 20s-birthday with family and friends.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays

In honor of Valentine's Day (just a day late), this week's lyrics go out to my partner in crime:


One of my friend's in college was a musician (sang, played piano and guitar, etc.) and he got me hooked on Ben Folds. Not only did he play it well, but he sounded just like him! This is definitely one of my faves by him.

It's been a rough day - lots going on at work - so I'm going to leave it at that for today. Besides, the lyrics say enough on their own!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend Recap

It feels a little late for a weekend update, but I had today off so technically my weekend is just ending now (warning: lack of photos to capture the weekend because I was terrible about remembering!).

We had a busy weekend. It flew by, like most weekends do. On Friday night we celebrated Sean's mom's birthday. I forgot my camera so have no pictures of the night. Fail! But we had a good time. I made stuffed shells, french bread, and ceasar salad. I was a little worried about how it would turn out, but it was delicious and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was even a low-fat recipe. I'll make note to share it on here sometime!

While Sean worked on Saturday, I went to the gym and then cleaned our house top to bottom. It's been a while since it's gotten a deep clean, and it feels great to have it over with. It was Hockey Day in Minnesota and we certainly celebrated. First we went to my brother's hockey game.


They were playing our alma mater, so it's always fun to see familiar names and faces. Plus, they won in overtime!


After his game, we went to the Wild game. We got tickets for Christmas and it was surprisingly our first game of the season. Sean and I are big hockey fans, so we always enjoy a night of hockey. The night ended well with another win: Wild win 3-1 over the St. Louis Blues. I remembered my camera this time. The problem? I had taken the memory card out of it to transfer pictures, and never put it back. So I have no pictures of this game either!

Sunday we attended the baptism for Sean's cousin's son and had lunch with his family afterward. Sunday night we went out to dinner with Sean's family to close out his mom's birthday weekend. We have a tradition of Sunday night dinners in his family (whenever possible), and it's always a nice, relaxing way to get ready for a new week.

Even though I had today off, it was an uneventful day. We were lazy most of the morning, and then headed to the gym around midday. After we freshened up, we ran a few errands and then came home and made cookies and dinner together. I'm on day 2 of a sore throat, so sticking close to home was just what I needed on this Valentine's Day.


Busy week ahead - let's make it a good one!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Joyful Joyful


The simple fact that it’s Friday brings me lots of joy. I’m also scheduled to have a 3-day weekend. I took the day off on Monday to spend V-Day with Sean (since he’s now off on Mondays), but work has gotten a bit insane and I may have to go into the office after all. We’ll see how the rest of today pans out.

But, I’m happy to share many other things that bring me joy today:


This certainly isn’t a particularly beautiful picture, but there are so many parts of it that bring me joy. My puppy of course—Mr. Oliver! And the fact that the back door is wide open, reminding me of breezy summer days and warm temperatures. See that green stuff in the background? That’s what we call grass. If you live in these parts it might be easy to forget by this time of the year, but somewhere under all that ugly snow is more of it just waiting to bring us some joy this spring!


Again with the sun! This picture was taken while we were on vacation in California with Sean’s family last winter. See the beautiful woman on the far right, with the flowers on her sleeve? That’s Sean’s mommy, my (hopefully, pretty please) future mother-in-law. Well today is her birthday! Happy birthday!! She looks as young as everyone else in the picture doesn’t she? She brings me lots of joy. Plus, it brings me joy that we all get to come together tonight to celebrate her and everything we love most!


Please pardon my triple chin, but this picture brings me lots of joy. This was the first picture Sean and I ever took together. I remember obsessing over how adorable it was and showing it to all of our friends at work who knew about my growing “crush” on him (more on the story of how we met to come later). I can’t get over how curly his hair is or how little he looks. Being that I’m slightly addicted to pictures, we’ve since taken dozens more pictures of the two of us in the last 6 ½ years (many that are much better than this), but knowing this was the first one always brings me joy. And since V-Day is just around the corner, it seemed fitting. Love you!


Last year I ran for Miss Shamrock (another story I have to tell!) and this was taken one night while we were out selling buttons and celebrating the impending holiday. We are belting out “We are the World” alongside the local Afro Super Stars. My goodness this photo, and this video, bring me so much joy! I had so much fun with the people. Tonight they kick off their new season and I can’t wait to get out and celebrate sometime soon.


I could probably go on forever, but I’ll save some for another day. We have a busy weekend ahead, how about you? Happy Friday!



Thursday, February 10, 2011

These (friends) are a few of my favorite things

Let me tell you a little something about these lovely ladies below. They make me smile.


This picture was taken a couple of months ago at a wedding. It makes me happy—to have us all back together again, if only for a night. It was probably the first time in 5 or 6 years that we were all in the same room together, much less the same photo. But in high school, and for at least a year or two after, we were inseparable. There are one or two girls missing, but this was the group.

I (along with one other girl, the bride in this photo) was the youngest of the group—a year behind the others in school. Most of the time, the age difference never mattered. We still spent every weekend together, went to school dances in the same group, and shared secrets and sleepovers on a regular basis. We had the most random of weekend pastimes—hanging out in fast food parking lots, bowling alleys, parks, or like most teenagers, in the basement of someone’s house. But it never mattered what we were doing. It only mattered that we were together, and when that was the case we always ended up in hysterics.

But when it came time for the majority of “the group” to graduate, things started to change. A few of them went away to college, a few stayed close to home. Regardless, it was never the same. The morning my best friend Katie left for college (she was the first to go), we all gathered at her house in our PJs to say goodbye. I was devastated after that; people joked that it was like I was going through a breakup. Joke all you want but she was my best friend and she moved to a different state. It was like a breakup (or so it felt at the time)!

We all continued to spend time together on weekends and over holidays, but slowly things started to change. We were each gaining new friends in our new lives, whether through college or work or elsewhere. We stayed in touch, and of course still saw each other on occasion, but our lives were moving forward. It was virtually impossible for things to say the same.

Over the years we’ve all grown up in incredible ways. We’ve experienced tragic losses, we’ve become mothers and wives, we’ve successfully checked some of life’s major milestones off our bucket list. And whether we go weeks or months or even years without talking, we’ve been there for each other.

Because when I see these beautiful women, I’m instantly taken back to the incredible friendship we share. We’ve gone through endless laughter, sad and happy tears, joy and pain. These are the people who know my deepest secrets, my most embarrassing moments, and my biggest dreams. I see in their faces a familiar love, a comfortable camaraderie. I am so thankful for the friendship we shared many years ago, and the one we share today. Though it’s different in many ways, I love them all the same.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Parmmmmmesan Crusted Tilapia

A few weeks ago I tried a new recipe to spice up the Tilapia dinner we had planned, and it turned out great. We made it again tonight. In honor of Tasty Tuesday, I thought I'd share the recipe with all of you!

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
You'll need:
  • 3-4 Tilapia filets (we get the Target brand frozen Tilapia)
  • 2 Teaspoons paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I've used romano before, too)
  • Olive oil
Here's how:

Preheat the oven to 400° and then start by grating the parmesan cheese.


Once grated, put the cheese in a small bowl, and add the parsley and paprika. I also add a dash of salt and pepper.

Mix it all together.

Then transfer the mixture to a plate or shallow dish. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Take each Tilapia filet and drizzle each side with just a little bit of olive oil. Then coat the filet by rolling each filet in the mixture.


Place the filets on the baking sheet and put in the oven for 10-12 minutes (this is almost always enough time, but you can tell when the fish is done when it flakes easily).


I of course failed to get a photo when they came out of the oven! But they look much like they did before, just a little darker.

I recommend serving it with a side of brown rice and a vegetable, but you can pair it with anything you'd like. You could easily cut the recipe in half or increase it depending on how many people you're feeding. We only eat one filet ecah, but like having leftovers for lunch. It's a great-tasting meal with low fat, high protein, and lots of flavor!

Enjoy!

Tune in Tuesday

Last night, Sean and I were watching the Bachelor (ok, I was watching it and he was nice enough not to refuse we change the channel). One of the girls who drives. us. crazy. really needs to go home. But we talked about how she probably wouldn't because it makes for good TV.

"We'd make good TV. Maybe we should have a reality show," I joked.

So then we started coming up with ideas of what our reality show might be called. I settled on, "True Life: I'm dating Peter Pan."

Sean often talks about how he still feels really young sometimes, and he's not quite so sure he wants to get old. So I tease him that he thinks he's Peter Pan. Too bad Never Never Land is only for fairytales - sorry honey!

So in honor of my Peter Pan, my favorite lyrics for today:


Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Go Pack Go!

So far our weekend has been pretty low key, and I'm loving it that way. Now that Sean is back at his job, he'll be working Tuesday through Saturday for a while. That means our Friday nights - at least any night we would have together - are going to be pretty quiet for a while. Its' ok though, Friday nights are perfect for that!

While he worked on Saturday, I bundled up and went for a walk with two friends. It was a little chilly, but certainly warmer than it's been in recent weeks. It felt so good to get some fresh air; it's been months since we've spent extended periods of time outside. It makes me even more excited for spring to come!

And that brings us to today. It's Superbowl Sunday! This year it's especially exciting because a team we love is actually playing in the big game.

It's going to be a family kind of day; I love it! This morning I went to the gym and ran into one of my aunts. Then, I went to mass, where I saw another aunt and my grandma. While sitting with them, we spotted yet another aunt (did I mention my mom is one of 11 girls?) and her family! Now this afternoon we're going to have a small get together with Sean's family to hopefully cheer the Packers to victory! I'm bringing pork in the crockpot for pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potatoe fries, and taco dip. Mmmm...can't wait!

What are you doing for the big game? I'm all about cheering for the Packers, but I'm just as interested in the commercials, too.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The house that became our home

When Sean and I started looking at houses last year, we explored all of our options. We looked at a few houses in outlying neighborhoods. We saw one house that felt like it had the same square footage as my college dorm room (we were just starting out so our expectations were realistic in terms of space, but this one was especially small). We seriously considered one house that had a lot of potential but needed a lot of updating. But when we found the house we now call home, something just clicked.

I had a good feeling about it from the minute I saw it online. The day it came on the market, I emailed our realtor and asked if he could get us in to see it (“Tonight would be great,” I politely encouraged). He probably laughed out loud at my request. We didn’t get in to see it that day. In fact, we didn’t get to see it until 5 days later. The owner was selling it himself and had it in his mind that he wanted to hold his first open house before letting anyone see it privately. So we waited, impatiently (as is my nature).

When we finally did get to see it, I loved it. Something felt right about it. It was in a great location (just blocks from the high school we both attended, and a few blocks more from my mom’s house). It was old but had lots of new features. It was small, but adorable. It fulfilled a lot of things on our wish list—a 2 car garage, a fenced-in yard, 3 bedrooms.

So it came down to 2. We were debating between this house and the one that needed a bit of updating. We looked at both with our moms on the same day. Our realtor told us if we wanted either one of them, we might want to think about making an offer soon, as he expected them to go fast. The fixer-upper wasn’t even technically on the market yet and there were already other interested parties.

Sean and I went back to his parents’ house and had dinner with his family. I remember sitting at the kitchen table crying (surprising right?). I was so torn. Something was pulling me toward the updated house, but I wasn’t sure why. To be honest, if Sean’s dad had still been alive, I probably would’ve had an entirely different perspective. Being an architect, he was a true artist in his ability to fix and update houses. I would’ve loved to see what he could do with that house. But in reality, it was more work than Sean and I were skilled enough to do, and it was already at the top of our price range, so we certainly wouldn’t be rolling in the dough to pay to have the work done.

So we decided. We wanted to call the other one home. And it was a whirlwind. We put in an offer Monday morning, and by Friday we had finished negotiations and had our inspection. Less than a month later, we closed on our first home, on Sean’s dad’s birthday no less. I took that to be a sign that his dad was giving us his blessing.

Though the house has had its share of complications (what house doesn’t?), I’m thrilled with our decision. It really feels like home.

I often joke that the kitchen is what sold me on the house. Can you blame me?


But another selling point? The jacuzzi bathtub in the recently remodeled bathroom (the only bathroom in fact, one of the downsides of the house). Last night, I drew water as hot as my skin could bear, turned on a playlist of soothing music I had made just for the occasion, and settled in for a nice, long bath. I let go of the stress and emotions I had been feeling earlier in the week. It was just what I needed.


I can’t believe I don’t make more use of this little bit of heaven in the form of a bathtub. I certainly will now! It sure made my Friday even more refreshing and energizing! I think I’ll make it my Thursday-night ritual.

What do you do to rejuvenate?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Looking ahead

It’s getting to that point where any glamour associated with winter is quickly fading. The mountains of snow piled along our boulevards are no longer beauty marks of winter—they’ve become mud-stained eyesores. The roads are terrible; where there isn’t ice and snow there are potholes. I’m tired of dressing in layers. I’m so over the 10 minutes it takes for my body to stop shivering after coming from anywhere outside. And the constant dreary, grey skies are depressing. I’m done with you winter—done!

Only problem is it’s completely out of my control. And it’s only February 2nd. And the fact that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring today offers me little relief. What does he know? I live in Minnesota – winter won’t be over till it damn well pleases.

So that’s why I realized today that I am in desperate need of something to look forward to.

A vacation? Planning a party? Even just a new hobby? I need some relief! I’ve got a birthday coming up, but to be honest, I’m mostly underwhelmed by it. Birthdays tend to be less and less exciting as you get older.

So the search is on for something to be excited about. Right now, the idea of a spring still at least a month away isn’t cutting it.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays

Sometimes I think I could convey my thoughts or feelings entirely through song lyrics.

Many people say that what makes music “good” is that it speaks to you in some way. We all have our own tastes in music, so what is good to me, might not be good to you. But the music that speaks to me is often much attributed to the words inside of it that poetically capture a feeling, a moment, or a memory.

And that’s why I’m starting a new weekly update: Tune in Tuesdays.

Every Tuesday I’ll share some of my favorite lyrics (maybe from the whole song, maybe just a line or two).

Let’s jump right in!
 
“The Rose” by Bette Midler
(As we welcome February, it seemed like a fitting reminder for those of us feeling the heavy weight of winter and wishing desperately for spring to arrive.)

“It’s the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken, who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong.
Just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows,
lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring, becomes the rose.”

This song is special to many people in my family. Its message is one I think any of us could relate to. It’s easy to be fearful. It’s easy to think the hard things are simply too hard. But we have to remember that they do get better. The dark times do turn to light. The winter turns to spring. Somewhere beneath the sad times, the painful times, even the dull times, there is something just waiting to come and bring a little extra light to our life.

And of course, it’s a cycle. Life is full of ups and downs. It can’t always be rainbows and sunshine. But when I’m feeling like I could do better at keeping my chin up, this song is a great reminder of why I should.