Too Fast…

Well the ‘rents were in town this weekend for a short… very short visit. They arrived about 5:30p on Friday and headed back to the snow later Sunday night.  It was nice to see them even if it was too short a visit.

On Saturday we hit the Outlets in Pigeon Forge and the weather was absolutely beautiful!  Sometimes I have a hard time remembering it’s only February when I’m walking around in the sunshine without a coat on.  On Sunday it was raining in the morning but we were able to get out and wander around my town for some pics.  Here is the weekend through the lens…

DSCN2060Almost to Gatlinburg & the Great Smokey Mountains

DSCN2067Proof that winter doesn’t suck everywhere!

DSCN2071Rain + the Appalachians = “smoke”

DSCN2076A look down Main Street


Jonesborough – Est. 1779 – Tennessee’s Oldest Town


The Parson’s Table


The International Storytelling Center


The Chester Inn built 1797


Christopher Taylor House – built 1778


Another look down Main Street


Washington County Court House


Driving through town…


Blame It On The Rain


I woke up about 4am to the sound of rain hitting the window in my bedroom. I was hoping for some thunderstorms but I’m told those are coming tomorrow morning. 

It’s been raining nearly all day and its really mellowed out my mood.  Well that and maybe a few pieces of news that aren’t the best. I won’t say I’m down but I could have easily just curled up with a blanket and a book and just escaped from things for the day.

But then on my drive home from work, I noticed the changes around me.  Creek beds that were dry contained flowing water, the dust coatings were washed from rocks and roads, and best of all… the grass was greener than it was this morning.

It is amazing how taking a moment to notice the small things can change your perspective, isn’t it?  smokey road


Pollyanna State of Mind

pollyannaI am apparently getting a reputation of being somewhat of a “Pollyanna” around here. Not that it is a bad thing, but really… me?!

Maybe it’s the crazy flood of sunshine I’m getting here in the South?  And no, I’m not in Florida, but when you came from a place where you get maybe 14% sun from November through April this is like a tropical paradise!

More likely… I’m just happy at the moment. 

Is everything perfect? Of course not! I don’t think that is even possible.  But there are so many things in a good place or moving toward a good place…  I don’t have any desire to focus on things that may be less than stellar.  Is it really worth wasting the time and energy on anyway? 

I truly I am happy and content to see what other exciting things may be in store!aunt

And if you happened to miss the FB announcement… I am going to be an Auntie this fall!!

So happy for you KT & B!  Love you guys!  Oh and just to give you fair warning.. I’m going to spoil the heck out of the little one!


New Woman

Hello my lovelies!  I’ve just returned from my relaxing, rejuvenating spa weekend in the mountains and I feel like a new woman. 

Apparently some others noticed it too…

ringseditedThis weekend I heard “I love you!” and “Will you marry me?”

From complete strangers.

Both women.


There’s always a catch, isn’t there?


Remember When?

The smallest things can trigger some of the best memories.  Take my feet today for example.  It was a very long day in heels and when I finally put on my slippers, my feet were aching.


It reminded me of how I used to feel after working the commencement ceremonies in college.  [My college job was working at our campus auditorium.]  I loved that job.  Not only did I get paid to see Broadway, ballet, comedy,and opera.. I worked with some amazingly special people. 

I love you all! And after working God knows how many RENT shows together, I think this is only fitting…

Dedicated to the polyester pack…


The Willies

I consider myself to be an independent sort of woman.  I don’t need hand holding or someone to put shelves together.  But apparently I’m not immune to “the willies.”  I recently watched Paranormal Activity – the first one – in preparation for number 2 coming via ghostiesNetflix today.  I’ve seen the first one before in the theaters with friends so it wasn’t anything new but for some reason it creeped me out.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m in a “new” place or perhaps it’s because I have an upstairs… who knows! 

Anyway, I got over being a total wussy-pants and forgot about things… until today.

Today as I was waiting for the elevator to open, I got a really weird feeling that someone was already on the elevator. When the doors opened, no one was there but I couldn’t shake the feeling. I also felt like someone was in the hall behind me trying to get on.  The feeling stayed with me until I was outside the building but it’s now giving me “the willies” just thinking about it.

nightlightPerhaps I should stop listening to the ghost stories the maintenance guy likes to tell?

So in the spirit of being a girl… I’m going to take those creepies and watch PA2 tonight [after GLEE of course]… and then I will sleep with the light on.


Happy Singles Awareness Day!

I’ve got flowers… I’ve got yummy desserts that I didn’t have to make… I’ve gotten many I love you’s… I’ve even got a heart shaped box of chocolates… the one thing I don’t have?  papa_murphy_heart_shaped_pizza

A “HIM” to my “HERS.”

I also don’t have a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s. Dangit!

I decided to be my own love today and got myself a rockin’ present. This girl is headed for a day at the spa on Saturday!  Yes I will have a massage, a facial, a mani, a pedi, and a haircut… I know the haircut doesn’t sound glamorous but I really need one. I have a full day of pampering coming right up because… well because why not?

We all deserve a treat now and again right?


True Love

For God so loVed the world
       That he gAve        
            His onLy     
                     That whosoever
      Believeth In Him
         Should Not perish,
      But have Everlasting life.

~John 3:16.


101 in 1001 {Update}

101-in-1001-header_grungeIt’s been WAY too long since I’ve updated my 101 goals in 1001 days list!  And if you are unfamiliar with my quest, you can see the full list of goals {here}.

So what have I been busy doing?losinit

Physical and Spiritual Health

10. Lose 25lbs – Currently working on!  Since the start of January, I’m down 12 lbs. – woo!

Financial Fitness

23. Move into/purchase a house or condo. – When I moved to TN, I moved into a townhouse/condo and love it!

26. Get a promotion and/or raise [not just the normal yearly one] – I would consider my job here in TN a promotion… a big one!

Amazing Adventures

wine_96587127. Take a road trip – I drove to Pigeon Forge/Galtinburg, TN two weeks ago.

28. Visit a winery and do a wine tasting – While on my road trip, I stopped at Mountain Valley Winery and did a little taste test.

39. Plan a mini trip once a month for 3 months [weekend warrior]

Just for Me & My Environment

48. Go to 10 local restaurants that I’ve never been to – in progress

  • Twisted Roosted – GR, MI
  • Fujiyama – GR, MI
  • Hibachi Express – JC, TN

60. Clean out my closet twice a year – I did a massive clean out when I packed to move… I think I’m due for another one because my closet in the new place is much smaller.

Something for Others

71. Send a card/letter [snail mail] to someone once per month

Entertain the Brain

83. Read a book starting with every letter of the alphabet

Girl Who Played With Firebooks
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Illegals: The Unacceptable Cost of America’s Failure to Control It’s Borders
Madness: A Bipolar Life
Outlive Your Life
Sarah's Key

87. Read 101 books

  1. Girl Who Played With Fire
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  3. Illegals: The Unacceptable Cost of America’s Failure to Control It’s Borders
  4. Madness: A Bipolar Life
  5. Outlive Your Life
  6. Sarah's Key
  7. Tandem

          Arts & Entertainment

          97. Sing in public again – Sang O Holy Night on Christmas morning at Grace Reformed church.

          Admittedly, there are some goals I’m putting off because they are more challenging than others.  I think I need to refocus on tackling my list of goals… maybe do more planning…

          What goal do you think I should tackle next?


          Happy {Early} Valentine’s Day

          I had a surprise waiting for me when I got home tonight…vday

          Happy Valentine’s Day from my mom & dad! 


          What I’m Lovin’


          Welcome to “What I’m Loving Wednesday!” I’m feeling light and happy so why not add some love to the mix… after all it’s almost valentine’s day!

          {One} That it is Wednesday.  Which means only 2 more days of the work week and…

          {Two} That its only 3 days until Saturday… the day I will have my first official visitors here in TN!  My Grandpa and Uncles Bruce, Jim and Mart will be stopping by on their trip from Myrtle Beach back to MI!

          {Three} Cows.  Cows you say?  Yes. Cows. I am surrounded by cowhundreds of them and they make me laugh every day.  Today they were especially amusing because a) one group was standing perfectly still in a perfect line staring at something b) another group was sitting in a circle around one other cow and looked like they were in church and c) when I got home, one was running along the top of the hill next to my apartments half howling/half mooing and making just the oddest noise I have ever heard!  They make me smile. suave

          {Four} Suave Almond & Shea Butter Shampoo. It’s from their professionals line and is supposed to moisturize as well as Aveda® Dry Remedy.  Now I have never used the Aveda® brand, but WOW! The Suave version totally rocks!  My hair has been less than stellar as of late due in large part to the fact I haven’t had a cut or trim since oh… October?  This stuff is approximately $2 per bottle and makes me think I may just be able to hold out until March for that cut!

          {Five}  Glee. It’s back and so is my joy. angrydroid

          {Six} My new Droid Incredible.  It has everything my MyTouch did PLUS a bigger screen and faster searching!  Plus I caved and downloaded Angry Birds.  If I’m out of contact, now you know why.

          {Seven} The excitement of knowing a Valentine’s Day surprise is coming my way!  My parents are less than stealthy so I know something is coming… but what?  Stay tuned to find out!

          So what are YOU lovin’ these days?


          Oh Yes, It’s Time Again…

          for GLEE!!!!!! You can’t tell I’m a little eensy teensy bit excited can you?

          And in case you missed it, here are some of my favorite songs from the episode that aired after that SUPER big football game Sunday night.


          Need You Now

          Happy watching!


          Without further Ado…

          As promised here are some pics of ma petite maison de ville…


          The Entryway

          Entry Shelf


          Laundry Room


          Half Bath




          Living Room


          Master Bedroom


          Full Bath


          Guest Room


          Guest Room View 2

          So when are you coming to visit?


          Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado {book review}

          ouliveYou go to work, take care of things around your house, play with the kids… You consider your life to be simple, ordinary even.  You feel like you want to make a difference, but you are just one ordinary person.   Do you really have the power to impact people in a big way? 

          Most of us have felt small and inconsequential at some point in our lives.  If only we were famous or rich, then we would really have the chance to influence and impact people’s lives, right? 

          But what if you could make a difference?  You.  Just as you are.  Without an endless bank account or fans on every corner.  This is exactly what Max Lucado talks about in his book “Outlive Your Life.”

          From the moment I picked up this book, I was completely sucked in. The easy reading style of Lucado combined with the messages of hope and motivation made this a really enjoyable read.   I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to make a lasting impact on the world around them.

          If you take anything from reading this book I think it will be this:

          “None of us can help everyone.  But all of us can help someone.” –Max Lucado,Outlive Your Life.”

          I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


          World Cancer Day

          SA10519_WCD_Logo_4cEvery year 12 million people receive a cancer diagnosis.  Of those, 7.6 million will die of their disease. 

          I am one of 12 million who heard those words in 2009.    It’s amazing how isolated you feel when you hear those words yet there are 12 million others that have heard the same thing within that year. 

          Reading the statistics above, I feel extra lucky today that I am a survivor.  Did you do the math?  Those numbers mean that over 60% who have cancer die of cancer. But it is estimated that 30-40% of those deaths could be prevented and as many as one third could be cured through early diagnosis and treatment.

          It’s time for us to fight this global epidemic. Click on the logo above and sign the declaration urging our global leaders to come to action.

          A cancer patient will thank you.  I thank you.


          Snow Day?

          snomgWell half the country is buried, sometimes literally, up to their eyeballs in snow.  This includes my family and friends way up there in the high-five of America.

          Here… well I woke up to temps in the 50’s that quickly plummeted into the 30’s with high winds. No rain, no snow… no reason to stay home wrapped up in my cozy bed.

          As much as I can’t stand snow, part of me wishes I was there to be part of all the excitement.  Wait, you actually want to be stuck in 18 inches of snow?!  Yes. Sick, I know.

          I have always been fascinated by weather and severe storms are my favorite.  Even when it’s business as usual, I can almost always quote you the weather for the upcoming days because I find it interesting.  Perhaps I missed a calling?

          Or perhaps I’m just jealous of all the friends who got a snow day today [and some of them tomorrow] because of “SnO-M-G!”  And then I think to myself, “Self, you are so silly!  You work at the hospital and those never close.”  Sigh…