Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm having a pretty crappy day. bad day. really stressed out. not sure if i've gotten my heart-rate below 100 since before 6a. 37 degrees. pouring rain, even thundering a bit. gray, really gray day. the grass is a muddy mess and the driveway is ice. just want to sleep or watch a movie. but my heart is pounding so hard with all the work that i must get done. worked 6 hours at starbucks today. have worked 6 extra hours there in the last 5 days in account of a co-worker who is a pain in the...

well, i thought i would post some things that make me HAPPY lately! really, there are things!!!

First thing: my hunny
gotta love the study-hair. working hard writing his thesis
he hoards pens and chapstick. i have no idea why he needs all of these. but i think this is SO adorable for some reason. and he keeps a childhood picture of his dad (secured by electrical tape) on his desk always - sweet.
i woke a few days ago to find mr deer on the window in the bathroom shower

My little guy
he just had SO much fun tearing apart the toothpaste box - now he's taking a nap. cute, huh?
bought myself roses.
my new glasses!
this beautiful picture of Colorado trees in our bedroom - with our beautiful bed and awesome flannel sheets.
Janelle sent me a package with a dress to wear to the big event next month, CDs, and some love from mom and dad too!
girl scout cookies!

wow, breathing much deeper now. i feel so much better...i really do.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hell has frozen over

Those of us who have been loving, enjoying, and supporting Starbucks all of these years never imagined that this day would (or could) ever come. Many of us would agree that Starbucks has the best coffee out there - despite what blind taste test results would say(they never asked US anyway).

Twenty years in the making, Starbucks has finally developed an INSTANT COFFEE. I made myself a quick cup of our Columbian VIA Ready Brew instant coffee this morning for breakfast and found myself enjoying it. I am surely a coffee snob to the n'th degree. I am VERY particular about my coffee and found myself enjoying this as i would a cup of traditionally brewed "Howie" (i've changed the "cup 'o joe" saying to "cup 'o howie" since Howard Schultz really is the guy who controls what is in our cup - when it's Starbucks). anyways.....

Think of the luxury: GOOD coffee anywhere, at any time! wow! on the ski lift, backpacking (and i don't have to lug a french press up the mountain), road trips (because there is actually only ONE starbucks on a 10 hour stretch of highway through Nebraska), in the office, on the canoe - wherever! and you can enjoy it hot or cold. all you need is water.

i NEVER thought i would be one to drink instant coffee, but i actually dig this.

just some FYI - Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is entering the test market - so you can only enjoy it if you are in Seattle or Chicago (starting March 3). if you're desperate for some instant Starbucks let me know and i'll send one to you to try.

Monday, February 23, 2009

in therms

photo by unlikelymoose
Something i found interesting...

My gas bill is atrocious this time of year (as i'm sure are many of yours). Each month's statement gives the average outside temperature for that month. Thought i'd share them with you over this last year:

February 2008: 21 degrees F
March 2008: 28 degrees F
April 2008: 42 degrees F
May 2008: 54 degrees F
June 2008: 65 degrees F
July 2008: 72 degrees F
August 2008: 74 degrees F
September 2008: 69 degrees F
October 2008: 61 degrees F
November 2008: 46 degrees F
December 2008: 26 degrees F
January 2009: 18 degrees F
February 2009: 23 degrees F

Just to give you a better idea of life up/over/out here

Saturday, February 21, 2009


okay, so i NEVER do this (post 3 posts in one day - sheesh!- once CJane did this and i was so frustrated i couldn't keep up and i was thinking, "who does she think she is? posting so much in one day - does she actually think that we care enough to keep reading!? i guess i did.) well, at the risk of getting the same response from you, here is post numero tres.

i just found this new application and thought that YOU might really like it - with your exciting lives and beautiful babies and all. Mine is about tattoos. HA! boring. but take a look and maybe you'll want to try it.
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Tattoos that i like
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook
the application downloaded in 15 seconds for me and it took me just a minute to put it together. and it's free!

another funny....

so i shouldn't admit this - i don't want landon to feel any more pressure than he already does when it comes to getting into PhD programs next year. but i've already started to just glance through a few properties in boulder, CO just to give me an idea (in the SLIGHT chance that we'll be there in 4 months(!!!!!!)). Okay, so somehow i got on a email list and i get an email every time a new property is listed within my search criteria.

today i got this discription on a old miner's cabin built in 1886 for $350,000:
This home has a beautiful setting next to a genital stream with large trees and white picket fence. There is a mine on the property (don't go in)!
I replied to the email saying that a genital stream sounded pretty interesting and i wondered if they had a picture so i could get a better idea. Maybe they'll take me off their mailing list.

just thought that was so funny that i couldn't keep it to myself!
I was shopping today and came across this. the picture and the description cracked me up! the guys at always do a good job with discriptions.

Salomon Conspiracy One-Piece Suit - Men's:
Salomon’s Conspiracy One-Piece Suit blew minds when it launched last season, and it returns for 2008/09 for a second assault on your medulla oblongata. Go ahead and call it a fart bag or a fruit suit. That’s right: laugh it up, sucka. Fact is, we’ll be chuckling all the way to the peak while you point, giggle, and shiver your jewels off on the lift. There is nothing—repeat, nothing—as comfortable, toasty and care-free on a dump day as a one-piece, and the Conspiracy ranks among the best in recent designs. Crafted entirely from 20K/20K-rated three-layer ClimaPRO fabric, it has pockets and vents for days, a loose, mobility-enhancing fit, and enough ridiculous purple steeze to start a nearly endless stream of uninvited commentary. The only prerequisites for wearing it are a healthy dose of kiss-my-ass attitude and the ability to throw down like a bad mother.

Britt, i think Andy needs one of these fo sho

Friday, February 20, 2009


a really cute pair of bright flats

I don't own any flats, actually. I have some awesome Earth shoes with arch support but they're not dressy enough to wear with an actual dress (like chaco's! j/k). I had a pair of flats for a while that were black suede with an inch of black glitter around the top. simple pretty and casual enough and dressy enough. but after a year out here i discovered them one day completely covered in a fuzzy gray fungus - not kidding - totally gross (are you kidding me!?!).

so i'm on the search. and i haven't found any yet. though what keeps me searching is this picture by amanda soule:a long time ago I saw this picture on her blog. which i read every morning (and inspires me daily - must check it out if you never have). and i think this picture is the reason i haven't found the perfect shoe. i want THIS shoe. i want Amanda's shoes! but, you know, i'll take them in most any color, they don't HAVE to be yellow, just something REALLY fun! and i don't want to pay more than $12 for them. ..

no wonder i'm still wearing Earth shoes and Chaco's with skirts these days.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


When i blog i like to use interesting pictures (ie: none that i've taken), so i head on over to and i TRY to make sure to credit the artist, but sometimes i just save beautiful pictures and use them days later and have no clue where they came from (i'm so sorry whomever you are!)

yesterday as i was searching for a picture of something in particular and i came across this photographer's "photo stream" and sat there looking through each and every picture almost in tears over the captions. Tom Stone takes portraits of people "living on the edges of society". he walks the streets of San Francisco and sees people who are destitue, takes a seat beside them, gets to know their story, becomes their friend, and takes their picture. Each picture in his gallery has the story of the person in the portrait. It is a beautiful compilation and i am really "enjoying"(in quotes because it's actually really heart-wrenching to read a lot of it, but it's so moving that it is meaningful = enjoying) looking through each picture and getting to know these people.

You can visit his photo stream at the link above or see his personal gallery website. .

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

dreary drizzly day

photo by owlsblood

i know that you understand that sometimes life is so busy and confusing that articulating things in a blog (or in our own thoughts) can be a challenge. and that's sort of where i am. i'm on the up-side of a few very challenging months. sometimes i'm afraid that it's my mind and not my life that effects my emotional well-being and this sort of freaks me out. i don't want to have mental issues. but some do and strive still. i've adapted some new disciplines that have really helped - well, actually i've re-embraced some things that should probably just be routine.

this last month i've been going to bed around 8pm every night, 7:30 if i'm tired enough. and for the first time since my medical leave 6 months ago, i'm averaging just a little less than 8 hours of sleep a night each week. that's great. i'm exercising regularily - which at first was hard to fit in, but i'm finding it makes a world of difference in my energy and my physical and emotional well-being. and i'm reading again. having my bachelor's degree in english literature, reading is something that i enjoy so much and has become a necessary discipline and enjoyment in my life.

sometimes this is still hard. i mean, these early mornings at starbucks and then traveling for my other job and working the rest of the day and watching the dreaded dishes pile in the kitchen sink. but that's normal, right - that's how you do it too don't you? i'm grateful that these resurrected enjoyments have returned me to a life that i feel like is actually MINE, where i can be ME and instead of drag my feet through each day, i can live with greater hope for the future. i'm not just a work-horse and a mean wife. i can still be ME!

Monday, February 16, 2009

i am so grateful for you

photo by clumsy bird

Sometimes i feel so alone out here in the abyss (not cyberspace, silly, Illinois!), and it is so comforting to know that you are there even though i am here. and right now as i type this and listen to my awesome play list and plan to cook dinner are there: striving, cooking, reading, driving, sleeping, working, and trying hard to make ends meet and trying to love those that mean so much to you while you continue to discover and express yourself and amidst all of this wanting God's will and his glory above all... and you amaze me. and i am so inspired by you. and if you are wondering if i mean you or someone else, i mean YOU!!!

love you. thanks for your commitment (and i don't mean reading my blog, i mean loving me).

i just...

am so grateful for you is all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

just about to catch a plane to B-ham for another ACSI convention. Just wanted to post SOMETHING so you keep coming back for more. don't give up on me! love you all and have a happy valentine's day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Need to Praise

photo by Robyn Walsh
I could see at least for a moment how if you ever took truly to heart the ultimate goodness and joy of things, even at their bleakest, the need to praise someone or something for it would be so great that you might even have to go out and speak of it to the birds of the air.
Frederick Buechner, "The Need to Praise"

I was having "Hannah time" today and was really struck by this while i was reading bits of Buechner. And it was a good reminder. Man, my attitude is so crappy lately. I'm sure i can find more to be grateful for and so many praiseworthy things in life besides financial and material provision in this scary time (of this i have been overwhelmingly and constantly SO THANKFUL for - especially as i see many many friends and coworkers desperately struggling...). Today i was praying that God would bring someone to speak some encouraging truth into my life - i have been so discouraged lately. I just asked him to minister to me and for my heart to be open to that ministry (i'm sure he brings those instances into my life often and i don't even see them because i am so consumend in other things). And i'm not sure if it was Buechner's writing that God had intended to be my minister, but either way, i was blessed by this truth today....and many others.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Joys of the day:

Taking a nap with my hunny after my morning at work:

Happy Hour: Brie on toasted french bread with a yummy local beer - (made of coffee!!!)


The warmest weather we've had since December: 35 degrees.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love's Old Sweet Song

Well, Valentine's day is in 10 days. So for the next ten days i will have a lovey-dovey play list that i have compiled in many many tiny moments of procrastination over the past few months. Don't worry - i'll leave this one optional as well, and i'll remove it immediately following V-day. Hope it inspires!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

sunshine shower

I've had this awesome priviledge of living in 2 houses that have full size windows in the shower. In college, i lived in a big and huge and beautiful house with 4 other girls (one of their dads built it but their family was in CA for the year so we rented it for cheap - it was amazing!). Because i was accustomed to living alone before, they thought that i should have the bedroom at the bottom of the stairs that had its own bathroom (didn't have to twist my arm!!!).

This house was on a steep hill of Colorado pines and had an amazing view out the main room (of all windows) at Pikes Peak. I still can't believe i ever lived there. But my room was in the back of the house and i had amazing mornings waking to see a deer standing outside of my bedroom window - no reason to close the shades - there were no houses behind us) And i loved showering when the sunshine would come in and ride down the water - it was a wonderful way to start the day.

And here, in our little house, we have a fullsized window inside of our little shower. Even at night i turn off the light in the bathroom and shower in the moonlight. I just love showering in the natural light. It is much more peaceful (well, especially because our light and our fan are attached to the same switch - so when the light is on in the bathroom, the fan is always roaring).

Just love it.

Some day i hope to live somewhere where i can actually shower outside. When we were in Thailand we stayed at a place that had a stone shower outside - it was just amazing.

Anna, didn't you and JP live in a place with an outdoor shower?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

dish-washing delight

Just now Landon lovingly called to me from the kitchen, "Hey Sheels, good job! You've managed to clean all but 6 dishes this time!"

Dish washing has been something that i've grown into tolerating these past 3 years. When we lived in Kenya and i had only been married (and only been cooking) for 7 months and everything was to be made from scratch and hot water had to be boiled and dishes had to be done :gulp: by HAND, the kitchen was my torture chamber.

When we got back to the States, i insisted that i could live ANYWHERE as long as it had 2 necessary things: carpet, and a dishwasher. And so our little apartment in Colorado Springs even had a fire place and backed up to a trail beside a stream - and wildly exceeded my hopes and expectations.

Now we live out here. With hot water as much as we'd like and a gas stove - that's a new treat. But we are lacking carpet and a dishwasher once again. Something about the lack of those things makes me feel like we are living a bit primitive. And once again i was back to washing dishes by hand. This isn't too bad, i know. but Landon and i actually are privileged to enjoy all 3 meals a day at our house usually so we tend to stack up the dishes (at least there's only 2 of us!). We're finally getting the discipline to do them almost daily and Landon has really contributed to sharing the dish-washing load this time.

When we first moved here, washing dishes was a real daily battle for me. I would be so frustrated by the time i was done and my hands were swollen and pruney. I had to begin to make it a time of prayer for me. I had to see dish washing as a way of serving my family thus serving God to get me through it - no kidding. It was such a struggle. Now, 20 months later, it's a piece of cake. I hardly think about it while i'm doing it. Evidenced mostly by my good mood toward my pruney swollen fingers, and the fact that 1 of every 10 dishes has to be re-washed by the sweet Mr. McBrayer.

Some people despise certain house-hold chores. There are only two that I have always had a hard time with: mopping, and dish washing. Though i have finally waved a white flag to the dirty dishes and especially have learned to enjoy them with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, i can't imagine learning to tolerate mopping. Whenever i do clean the floors, we don't even use a mop (we don't even OWN a mop) and instead i use a wash cloth and crawl around on all four's scrubbing out the dirt. Maybe that's why i hate it so. blech, i don't actually want to talk about it.

but look at me, though i'm lousy at dishes, i'm finally becoming domesticated enough to do them often and without resentment. that's a feet!