Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Little Things

Reading over my past blog posts, I was struck by all the melancholy and frustration and sadness that was in them. While it's true that I am feeling all of those emotions and it's good to have an outlet for those emotions in this blog, I also know that I have many blessings in my life for which I need to be grateful... who knows- maybe it's the gorgeous sunshine or the happy endorphins released after a long walk with Riley, but tonight's post is simply an abridged list of things that make me smile, in no particular order

1. fresh cut flowers in full bloom, particularly Hyacinths and Lillies- makes me wish desperately that my favorite flower, lilacs could grow in TX.
2. Riley chewing on his rawhide bone
3. Riley running down the stairs and leaping up and down from the couch
4. long walks in the sunshine
5. naps!!!
6. Vampire novels
7. books in general
8. finger painting
9. coloring
10. old couples who still hold hands
11. ice cream
12. dark chocolate
13. Puppy snuggles
14. being needed
15. C-Lo Green's song- Forget you (actual title changed to make it family friendly)
16. the chicktionary and words with friends apps on my iphone
17. Paris
18. good food
19. clean sheets
20. cute pajamas
21. clothes fresh from the dryer
22. Fridays (the day of the week, not the restaurant)
23. new born babies
24. two hour phone calls with amazing friends who do a great job of making it seem like you don't live 3,000 miles apart
25. scented candles
26. chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven with a glass of milk
27. love ballads from GI
28. Edward Cullen
29. Eric Northman- Sheriff of Area 5
30. Pictures of Lexi from Denise
31. flip flops
32. church
33. quiet time
34. cran-raspberry juice
35. crepes
36. my siblings
37. crossword puzzles
38. my book nook
39. pedicures
40. cooking

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sound of Music

If you don't already know, Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies of all time. I have even been on the Sound of Music tour in Austria- so cool! First there's the whole WWII aspect, which fascinates me in general, and of course I love musicals, and I'm a sucker for a good love story (which is probably a big part of my problem). If you haven't seen it, you should stop reading this post and go watch it immediately!  I could watch this movie over and over again and I find myself often breaking out into random songs from this show. Lately a couple of lyrics have been stuck in my head from the song "16 going on 17". For those of you unfamiliar with the musical, here's a brief synopsis of the scene in which this song occurs--- Liesel is Captain Von Trapp's oldest daughter and she is in "love" with Rolf, the telegram delivery boy. One night, he shows up to deliver a telegram and Liesel sneaks out to meet up with him. This song is where Rolf first expresses his feelings for Liesel. It is one of my favorite scenes in the musical.

But lately I've been thinking especially about the first verse of the song, which goes like this--
    "You wait little girl, on an empty stage for fate to turn the light on,
     Your life little girl, is an empty page that men will want to write on"
                                                                        ~ Sound of Music by Rogers and Hammerstein

I guess I'm struck by how applicable I feel like these lyrics are to my own life.... except that I would have to change the title to "28 going on 29", which somehow sounds way more pathetic. I certainly feel as though I am waiting on an empty stage for fate to turn the light on (translation- waiting for fate to bring someone into my life who will turn the light on permanently). Thus far, there have been several candidates, but eventually the bulb burns out. In my rational brain, I know I am living my real life now and I have plenty of blessings to be thankful for, but in some irrational, girl part of my brain, I don't feel complete. I feel like I'm still waiting for fate to turn the light on. I mean, I'm not sitting idly at home with a thousand cats or anything. I'm out there- living my life in the mean time, always wondering when my light will be turned on.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Puppy Mama

A little less than a month ago, I decided to take the plunge and get a puppy. I've been wanting one for a while, but Jon was opposed to having one because of all the responsibility and "tied-downness" they bring with them. So being that I'm no longer with Jon, I went and got one. One Thursday night, I was having dinner with some friends from school who have a golden retriever and a Chihuahua. I was playing with the dogs and realized how badly I wanted one of my own (pretty much the same feeling I get when playing with someone else's kids). The next day, my very good friend Denise and I were talking and she suggested I go on to the AAR website (the shelter where she volunteers) and take a look at all the cute dogsthey had. Well, of course I fell in love with every single one of them, but with a brother and sister pair in particular. After several more conversations with Denise, we decided to go to the shelter on Monday after school. Unfortunately the female from the brother/sister pair had just been adopted that morning, so she was no longer available. I was planning on taking both of them so they could stay together and also so they would  have someone to play with, but I now think that God knew I would only be able to handle one puppy at a time, so everything worked out!
  So now I've got Riley- my handsome little boxer/ lab mix.
Thank goodness for Denise, Jen, Leslie, Michele and all my other friends who are also canine mamas for all their advice so far. I don't think I would have survived the first few nights without them. I mean, I know that puppies are A LOT of work, but much like I imagine it to be with actual motherhood, I don't think all the preparation, research or reading up on the subject in the world can prepare you for the actual thing! In all the stories that I've heard from my friends who are moms, I know that actual motherhood is way more intense, but I'm definitely noticing some similarities! The first being the lack of sleep. Those first few nights, I was getting up every few hours to let him out. I'm such a light sleeper that any little noise from him and I would go downstairs to check on him. Thankfully Riley is getting better about going in his crate and he doesn't cry all the time, but he definitely does not like it when we're apart. I'm still trying to figure out his cries, trying to discern whether they are cries of hunger, or loneliness or "I've got to go". Sometimes I think he cries just because he knows I will come get him.
  Another similarity- the constant sacrifice and putting someone else's needs/wants above your own. There are plenty of days when I would just like to hit the snooze button and stay in bed a few extra minutes, but I know that Riley is waiting for me to let him out of his crate and feed him breakfast, so I get up and tend to his needs. Or the days when I just want to sit on the couch like a bump on a log, but instead take Riley for an hour long walk because he has been cooped up all day. On the rare occasion that I have neglected to put Riley first, he is quick to express his disapproval--- like the time I ignored his whining to finish washing a dish and he peed on the carpet.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind all the work, because he is a big bundle of love. He loves unconditionally and is always excited to see me, even if I have just disciplined him for chewing on my shoes. I'm so glad to have him as a part of my family!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Lately, I cannot seem to get enough sleep! I go to bed probably earlier than I should and as soon as my head hits the pillow, I'm out like a light. But here's the problem- I sleep solidly, soundly for the first 4 hours, during which time it would take a lot to wake me up, and then after that, I can't seem to turn my brain off. I am an incredibly lucid dreamer and from about 2 am until right before my alarm goes off, I float into one dream after another. It's like someone is channel surfing in my brain, constantly flipping from one thing to the next. Some of the dreams are scary, some are strange and some are very ordinary. I know I'm dreaming, but I can't seem to fall back into deep, dreamless sleep. Did you know that your brain doesn't know the difference between dreaming and actually doing? So if you are running a marathon in your dreams, your brain is sending all kinds of chemicals throughout your body as if you were actually running a marathon... hence why you wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed! So yeah, this happens to me every night, although I'm rarely running a marathon in my dreams. Of course, I then am overcome by a wave of extreme tiredness right before my alarm goes off, but have to try and fight it because if I am woken up in the middle of a dream or deep sleep, my whole day is thrown off kilter. 
I'm sure that all the stress and things I'm dealing with in my personal life are affecting my sleep, but you would think it wouldn't be this severe.. I also try really hard not to eat anything an hour before bed so that digestion doesn't affect my sleep. I don't drink anything caffienated. I eat healthy, balanced meals.  I recently bought a new mattress and all new pillows specifically designed for side sleepers (which is the only way I can sleep). I really would like to get to the bottom of this sleep mess and get back to getting a full night of rest! It's getting to the point where I can't make it through my day without having a nap. It's pretty pathetic!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


    I have spent a significant amount of time in airports throughout my life-- from traveling overseas, to trips back and forth from Houston to the East Coast to visit friends and family. Generally, I enjoy them as they provide excellent people watching opportunities (one of my favorite things to do). They also hold the promise of exotic locales and depending on the airport, also the opportunity for some good eats.
    Recently, my parents were here visiting and as I pulled up to the curb to drop them off for their return flight to Philadelphia, I was struck by how sad airports are.  There was a couple in the car in front of me and as the wife got out to say good bye to her husband, she held him tightly, as if she didn't want to let him go. They embraced and kissed several times and then finally the husband left, while the wife stood there watching him go for several minutes. When I said good bye to my parents a few moments later, my mom started to cry and I made her leave before I started to cry too.
    This got me thinking back to November 2006-July 2007, when it seems like I was both anticipating and dreading every three week trip to the airport. Anticipating because every trip to the airport meant that I got to see Jon, my now ex-boyfriend and the reason I'm in Houston. He did the majority of the flying in our then long-distance relationship, so I would park the car and head to the closest point to the security checkpoint that was allowed so that I could see him before he even got to baggage claim. While I waited expectantly for him, I loved watching all the reunions taking place between family and friends who waited with me- soldiers and their families reunited, even if only for a weekend leave; wives picking up their husbands after a business trip; kids overjoyed to see a grand parent. All the signs, cards, balloons, cheering and tears of joy- it was so easy to get caught up in it all. It's really neat to be a part of those reunions, even as a bystander- the feelings of relief and joy and being complete are palpatable. There's something incredibly good for the soul about hugging a person as if you never want to let them go. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch the beginning 5 minutes of Love Actually and you'll get a good picture.
   But dreading also every trip to the airport, because it meant that Jon and I only had a short time together. Every hello was the beginning of our inevitable parting at the end of the weekend. While our car rides home from the airport were full of laughter and smiling, our car rides back to the airport were silent and somber. You'd think that saying good-bye at the airport would get easier, because you know what to expect since you've done it so many times, but let me assure you that it only gets harder and harder as that other person takes more and more of yourself with them. After Jon would walk into the terminal, I would often stand there for several minutes, simultaneously trying to will him to come running back like you see in the movies and watching other people saying good-bye. People clinging desperately to their loved ones; not wanting to let go, crying; kids trying to run after the person leaving or having a tantrum because they couldn't go along. The worst was always seeing uniformed men and women with their duffel bags saying good bye to their family or friends. You could see the anguish on the faces of those being left behind, wondering if this would be the last time they would ever see this person.
    Even in those happy reunions past the security check point or at the baggage claim, there's still sadness because you know there will be another business trip, or tour of duty, or goodbye.