Sunday, March 30, 2014

This Whole Blogging Thing

As many of you know I just recently celebrated my first blogaversary…. He he, it is amazing how many words you can change to make it specific to blogging. But anyway… about blogging.

When I first started blogging it was because I wanted to write about mine and Cory’s trip through Europe. I am so glad I did that, because I am so thankful for the motivation to write down all of the wonderful times we had while we were there. I love being able to look back on the posts about various European adventures.

After I got home I didn’t really blog much for a while. My life wasn’t exciting anymore, I was just home, working, playing, working, playing. Just life. And then I realized… just life. Lightbulb! All of the little everyday experiences that seem so meaningless are so important for that very reason. It is my life. We only have one shot at this thing, and every day contributes to where we are going and what we are doing. And so I got back on the blogging wagon, fearful that I had already missed out on capturing many wonderful moments of everyday life.

In the last few months my ideas about blogging have evolved even further. I have “met” (read about, corresponded or commented back and forth with) many wonderful Christian women. Sometimes, being a believer in this crooked and depraved world, you have moments of feeling like you and your family and your tight circle are the only ones who have the same convictions. I have been so refreshed by the other blogs that I have come across who have rekindled my faith in the belief that there are still many good followers of Christ out there!

And so, having said all of that, I am taking that next tiny little step forward in blogging by beginning my sponsor page. I know what you are thinking, “you have like seven followers, how could you have a sponsor page???” Naturally… I can’t charge anything, of course. But I can swap buttons for free!
So, check out my sponsor page if you are interested. I am looking forward to branching out a little and meeting others who are like minded.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Closing a Glorious Chapter

Speaking of seasons, simple pleasures, and the end of eras, this week closed a chapter in my life. It is going to come across as something very silly and insignificant, and yet it is one of those little things in life which have brought me joy. 

Psych. psych party

The season finale of Psych. Now, the last thing in the world I want to do right now, is convince anyone who has not watched this show to do so. It is a very specific sense of humor for a very specific crowd. And that crowd just happens to be my family.

This sad event that occurred this week is the close of a chapter that started when I was still living at home. My parents, little sister and I were introduced to the show by my little brother (at first very unwillingly). And then it became something very special. We spent time laughing together as a family. We bonded over the witty and hilarious Shawn and Gus.

Then I got married. In that first year, Cory and I went through the completed seasons together. We didn’t have any furniture in the room that housed our big box tv, so we laid on the floor almost every night for an episode or two. We laughed and laughed.

Whenever the show was running, us kids who have no children would go over to my parents and watch it together. It became a ritual to sing the theme song at the top of our lungs. My dad even printed out the sheet music and we sang with the guitar sometimes. I mean, this was a big deal in our family.

When Cory and I were in Venice last year, we made it to an internet café and downloaded the current episodes. I know that sounds ridiculous, I mean, we were in Italy! But let me tell you, after a wonderfully long day of sightseeing, there is nothing more enjoyable then snuggling up in your little Venetian apartment with a glass of red wine and your husband to watch a little piece of home. We even watched that particular episode a few times that trip. I don't remember what was so funny, but Cory was laughing so hard he was almost crying. Good times.

And so this Wednesday brought the fatal night. The end of an era and a wonderful simple pleasure in our lives. My parents hosted a Psych party/wake. Everyone brought a pineapple snack (you would have to watch the show to get that). The whole family (minus kids and the two husbands with those kids) showed up to say farewell to our friends of eight years. We sang louder than ever. And I am not going to lie… tears were shed. And I don't just mean one glistening tear on cheeks.

It was a pretty epic party.

This is just another little thing in life that can be so meaningless, and yet how many memories are wrapped up in it? Don’t get me wrong, the world is definitely found far outside the tv, but occasionally those things can be tools used to bond people even closer together.

So here is to those little traditions you create as a family that bring you together. I hope they make you laugh as much as Psych made us laugh.

I wish I could put all the Gus look a like crying pictures.... but I think it would make many members of my family mad. So these will have to suffice: 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Simple Pleasures

It was with great intent I gave my blog the tagline, “simple pleasures.” I think it is of the most importance to find happiness out of the little things in life. After all, what is life but a succession of seemingly insignificant events which merge together to mold the monumental happenings.

I love my life. I love it because there is so much pleasure to be found in every single day.

Cory and I go through phases in which we have certain habits and traditions within our everyday life. I have learned to look forward to and love these little things which are uniquely ours.

It has been well over a year now since we have christened Saturdays to be our date night. After we got married I came to realize that the term "date" does not have to be specific to getting dressed up and going out. In fact, my favorites these days are not. Our special Saturday event consists of staying home and making homemade pizza. It may seem rather simple, or silly, but because we do it together, it makes it such fun.

I throw the ingredients in my bread maker so that right about the time we are both home from work and ready to begin our evening, a pile of fresh delicious pizza dough is waiting (lately made from my freshly ground whole wheat…. Makes me feel less guilty for sure). Cory rolls out the dough (he is quite good at it…. Though he is not yet able to throw it up in the air like the Italians…he tries sometimes). We each pick our own toppings and make our own (rather large) individual pizzas. Jalapenos, garlic, onions, chicken (sometimes steak yummm)…. Heaps of mozzarella, BBQ sauce instead of marinara. We really have this thing down to a science.

While we wait eagerly for the pizza to be done, Cory will go download a funny show for us to watch, and get scrabble all ready to go. This is the one night we do not eat together at the dinner table; no it is quite casual (I am not going to lie…. Clothing is optional on pizza night). Sometimes we will throw a cocktail into the mix and get all cozy upstairs with the whole evening before us. I used to cut myself a few pieces and bring them up….. but these days, I just bring the whole thing. Probably not wise since I end up eating way more, but oh well.

This month, for one reason or another, we missed pizza night for two weekends in a row. Last Saturday (and probably Friday even) I kid you not, I felt the excitement bubbling up inside of me. It’s not just the pizza (though I must say, it is delicious), it is the whole experience. We are laid back, the week is over, we are happy, we are together, and we set other things aside in order to give each other all of the attention.

This post is for me guys. I want to remember these fun things we do. It may seem like a small thing, but it is a tradition of this season in life that we are in. And I know how quickly the seasons come and go. For that reason, it is important to jot down the details for the sake of the memory. And I encourage you to do the same.

These are the little simple pleasures that make life worthy of the grand word ‘living’. All of the little moments, traditions, and habits, which are continually evolving.

One Year in and Loving It

Today marks a pretty epic day in my little life. One year since I joined the blogging world by publishing my first post.

It has been such a fun journey so far.... I didn't even realize how much I would love it. I used to always keep a journal, but these days that almost seems like a daunting task. It gets disheartening when you are going to journal, you open up the page in great anticipation.... only to discover you haven't written since two Christmas' ago. You feel compelled to write, "I have two new nephews... so and so is married... I did this.... Cory did that...." And so instead, you do the silly thing of putting it away till a later date when you have more free time to expound upon all of the many changes that have occurred. I don't think I need to explain what ends up happening with that situation most of the time.

But blogging is different... I just get to write about whatever I am feeling, without the self inflicted pressure of needing to record every momentous occasion in my life.

I love it.

And so, in honor of this blogging journey I have begun, I am going to re-post my very first post. When I read it, it takes me back to that exciting span in my life. It seems like so long ago, and yesterday at the same time.

Full of Life
March 27, 2013

Well here goes... I have always been anti-Facebook, which is totally unheard of in this day and age. Perhaps that is why I am... I loath conforming to social norms. However, I do love reading blogs... which I suppose is not much different. But in my own mind I have discovered and established a difference. A blog is written with purpose, not merely to let your buddies know what Starbucks you frequent (no offense to all you Facebookers, but you know what I mean).

I have never blogged before because I have not found that purpose that compelled me to do so. Until now...

I wanted the title of my blog to be "My Happy Little Life" because that is exactly how I feel about my life. It is the most completely wonderful life; however it is not as if I do a bunch of grand things. I just love living. I so often find myself quoting Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" in my head, "I lead a small life, well valuable but small." I feel exactly the same way.

Well, who would have known that many other people had already thought of "My Happy Little Life" as their own title. Every blog site with that title was already taken. I even visited a few of their sites because I felt that we must instantly be kindred spirits.

So I looked up the synonyms for "happy". What a truly wonderful word! The meaning that is wrapped up in those five letters. Cheerful, overjoyed, jubilant, thrilled, blessed... the list goes on and on. Blessed was my first choice, but of course that was already taken. Therefore I settled for "jolly". And you know, I think it suits me. Webster's definition of "jolly" in 1828 says, "Merry; lively; full of life and mirth; jovial. It expresses more life and noise than cheerful." And so I say, it is perfect! Full of live. That is exactly what I want to be.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Decade Later

Its late… my sixteen year old self would be tapping away at this keyboard wildly right now; creating stories of heroes and heroines. Who would fall in love with whom? What adventure was life going to bring them? The romance which enveloped the mystery of my own future gave wings to my inspiration and imagination. My heart would pump with hope and anticipation; for both the character of my imagination, and for myself.

Yes, I was one of those girls who lived vicariously through fictional characters. I dreamed of being swept off my feet by prince charming. 

Now here I am, a grown woman in her very own house. I have a husband sleeping soundly beside me. Sometimes I feel like I am still just a girl, playing grown up in this happy little life I lead.

The mystery which drove my inspiration has long died away… I don’t even know the last time I took up the proverbial pen to remember my friends of long ago. Things are just different now. You writers will understand…

This is my life. Wonderful as it is, the course is set clearly before me. I am called to love this man lying beside me. I am called to be a wonderful mother to his children someday. And I am called to be an ambassador for Christ.

There is not a lot of mystery anymore. And perhaps not much of the romance that I always dreamed of. But that’s okay. A different, more lasting, romance exists in matrimony. Teenage fantasies die and leave you with something far greater, and certainly far more real. Commitment. Security.

Funny the thoughts you have late at night. I pulled out my computer and thought… maybe if I listen to “Dustland Fairytale” five more times I will be able to conjure up a little piece of fiction. Instead I have truly seen, perhaps for the first time, that my life is not only different from when I was sixteen. But I am different.
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