Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wishing and Hoping.

Field of Clouds, On and On.
Klaipeda, Lithuania. 2003.
(Photo by me)

Dear eyelashes, wishbones, dandelions, pennies, shooting stars, 11:11, and birthday candles,

Please do your job.

Lovingly and patiently,


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Grandpa Herm's 90th.

"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back."
~William D. Tammeus quotes

The Birthday Boy
The Birthday Boy's True Colors

I have much to catch up on and I know most of you are expecting a blog post about my graduation, but first, I'm going back to January...

Back in January, my Dad's side of the family got together in Las Vegas to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday. Not only is it amazing that he's 90 (and healthy), but the whole family got together! We were only missing one cousin out of 12. Most of the family stayed in the same hotel, which made it really fun to get up and go to breakfast, not to mention just really easy to hang out with everyone. Unfortunately, we never got a group picture, so I guess we'll have to do it again sometime soon. :)

Happy 90th birthday, Grandpa Herm!

Here are a few pictures to document the celebration and the trip.

Happy 90th, Grandpa!

Marina (w/cousin, Taylor), me (w/cousin, Morgan), the Birthday Boy, Shep, and Dad


Aunt Sis, Dad, Uncle Rod, and Grandpa Herm

Just relaxing with two of the cutest girls on this planet (Morgan and Taylor)

Forrest with his children

Viva Las Vegas!

Family dinner before Beatles Love at The Mirage

ForrestSmithChildren at Beatles Love

Beatles Love walkway

Just posing


Saturday, February 05, 2011

A pleasant surprise.

"Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise."
~Alice Walker

Photo found here.

So tonight I went on a blind date and I think I might have liked it. To be honest, I didn't anticipate it (the date nor the enjoying it part). Pleasant surprises sure are nice every once in awhile.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Life is Good.

"Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it."
~Jacques Prévert

Happy Shoes attending Beatles Love. Las Vegas, January 2011.

Don't we all sometimes long for a life different than our own?
A life that may seem more fun, more rewarding, or more glamorous.
Well, I'm guilty of this, at times.
I do love my life, actually. I love the things I'm doing and get to do, but
sometimes I long for other things. Other lives...

You know, the kind where I cook beautifully delicious and healthy meals every day.
The one where I jet-set around the country for work and have the flexibility to tack a few days of "vacation" on to the end of that work trip.

Or the one where I'm running a marathon. Or writing an article for a popular magazine. Some days I dream of having the time and funds to spend a month volunteering on a humanitarian trip to Mexico or working in an orphanage in Romania (or make that Lithuania... then I could speak to them). Or how about six months.

Or sometimes (often) I dream of having a beautifully decorated and quaint home of my own, a home where I could occupy and decorate more than one room. Something I can call my own.

Some days I long for enviable fashion sense and a few extra dollars to bring that into fruition in the form of a fabulous new coat, or blouse, or a rockin' pair of jeans, which of course are rockin' because of my beautifully toned and healthy shape from that marathon I just ran and my amazing metabolism.

Some days I just wish my left Achilles tendon felt normal again (okay, EVERY day I wish my left Achilles tendon felt normal, after having sprained the darn ankle more than 10 times!). Not only do I wish it felt better, but I wish that I could strut my stuff in fabulous heels for longer than three hours without thinking my ankle might just die.

I long for companionship. I dream about a time that I will come home and someone will actually be happy to see me. I dream about having someone to make major life decisions with and not having to do everything on my own. And it would be nice if that someone would rub my neck and shoulders every once in awhile.

Some days, I dream of little babies and visits to the park, and rocking a sweet baby to sleep (because doesn't everyone describe their new infant as "sweet"--have you noticed?) as I'm singing all sorts of lullabies that will just come to my head (because I'm a mom, of course). I dream of making decisions like what kind of double stroller is best (because, let's be honest, by the time I have kids I'll have to have them pretty darn close together to be able to have time to get more than one -- or the three that I think I want). I dream about reading children's books to my children, graduating from board books, to picture books with a story that can be summarized in two minutes as they turn five pages at a time, to true story reading, to the eagerly-awaited chapter books. (My mom had to hide the "chapter" books we read as a family because my brother and I would be so excited to hear what happened next that we'd try to steal a read before Mom got home from work. Of course, I told on him. I was the honest one... or the one who didn't mind being a tattle-tale. Whichever.)

But then I stop and think how wonderful my life is right now. I may not have everything I have ever dreamed of, but there are seasons in all of our lives. And life is the chance to grow my soul. Life is what we make it. And gosh darn it, I've made a pretty good life. :)

I have a great career (despite normal frustrations). I'm well respected in my company and in my field.
I've received, what I consider, an excellent formal education. (I graduate in May. Cue Pomp and Circumstance.)

I've traveled the world. Eleven countries. (I counted. Remember? I'm a list person.) -- And stay tuned for two possible additions this year!

I've discovered the sheer high of choral singing. The kind of high that sends electricity through your body and soul as you sing a sustained chord, which you swear is accompanied by angels (they're called overtones). The kind of music that seems to heal you right then and there. The kind of chords and melodies that open your heart and mind and enlighten you in a way that words cannot describe.

I fluently speak (read, write, think, and dream in) another language. And since Lithuanian is really only spoken by four million people worldwide, I'm one in a (4) million!

I live a life which is most rich. And although, I sometimes I long for things I don't yet have, it's vital for me to remind myself that my life is wonderful. It really is. It is what I've made it. It is what God wants for me. And I am happy. Happy now, not happy when. (I highly suggest reading the "happy when" link. It's a good reminder.) As I said before, there are seasons to our lives, and most everything I long for can still happen... someday. Life is what I make it. And isn't it great?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's cooooold out there today.

"Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
That's right, woodchuck-chuckers -- It's...GROUNDHOG DAY!"

~Radio DJ from the film Groundhog Day

Today (well, yesterday, now), each time I went outside (from car to building and building to car, repeat eight times ... gosh it's been a long day...), so yeah, each time I went outside, I literally thought my face was going to freeze and break. Like freeze frozen solid. It hurt. My face hurt. My ears hurt. My eyes watered. And my poor hands couldn't move well for many many minutes after arriving indoors. Bitter, bitter cold. And the wind? The wind was a little unfair today. The whole "feels like -15°F" is a little hard to get used to.

So as you may recall, Groundhog Day is one of my favorite non-holiday holidays. It's a yearly tradition of mine to watch the film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. I have to say that movie never tires. At least not if you watch it once a year. My friend Brian came over bearing gifts (movie popcorn) and joined in on the tradition. I think he's been here every year on Groundhog Day since I started this tradition five years ago.

We ended the night with frozen yogurt... in honor of the freezing weather. I got my regular: original tart topped with strawberries, coconut, and a few white chocolate chips. Oh and for fun, I added a dollop of pomegranate/raspberry yogurt. Brian created a new favorite: carbonated black cherry with a little bit of vanilla topped with strawberries, blueberries, and granola.

Love Groundhog Day!