Wednesday, November 26, 2014

a reflection

This month, the staff of the campus counseling center are hosting a 21-day gratitude challenge. Each morning, a new reflection arrives in my inbox - posing a question to think about, with interesting, touching or otherwise lovely addendums for inspiration.

One of the most recent reflections asked:

"when has nature taken your breath away?"

Instantly, I thought of this place in Luray Caverns that we visited on our vacation last month. I could have stood there all afternoon, mesmerized by the simple visual magic created when a shallow pool of water forms underneath a ceiling filled with stalactites and sits undisturbed by any air.

This is absolutely a moment of nature at its finest.

Tell me - when has nature taken your breath away?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

snow grateful

(written from notes in my planner last Wednesday, after a day of steady snow)

To have a steady wintry snow like this in mid-November, I am grateful...

...that I honored my instinct to stop for gas on Tuesday night, when I didn't quite need to, so that I could drive straight home from work on this night.

...that I have a simple commute almost entirely on main roads that are kept clear by the public services and the regular traffic.

...that I was able to park safely in my covered parking space using my rudimentary snow-driving skills, even though the parking lot itself had not been cleared.

If all of my winter travel this year can be so straightforward, I will consider myself fortunate.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

this week was good because of... travels in the snowy weather...and my covered parking space.

...this lovely thought by Hannah Brencher: "Be unafraid of your heart: whatever and whoever makes it beat."

...the best avocado I've had in a long time. It was perfect in every way.

...feeling strong in yoga, especially in poses I haven't always before.

...a tasty sub from a local place we've been hearing lots about.

...wonderful first birthday celebrations for Vintage Blonde's daughter.

...a visit to the slightly overwhelming Christmas Wonderland.

...the spot-on decision to skip the locally renowned chicken place to have dinner at the brewery.

...delicious cupcakes from a prize-winning bakery. (So far, we can confirm that the German chocolate and the French toast cupcakes are awesome.)

...surviving difficult, emotional conversations.

What made your week good?

Sunday, November 09, 2014

this week was good because of...

...beautiful sunrises (morning commutes in the daylight are lovely!). of my favorite worship songs on the radio Wednesday morning.

...a Sunday spent with my love. It was low-key, relaxing and perfect!

...a full moon setting - another lovely sight as I left one morning.

...conversations with students that aren't always positive, but still feel genuine and rewarding.

...a delicious shrimp boil for dinner.

...the sense of accomplishment after my first full week on this new meal plan (the story of which I still need to share).

...getting started on a special scrapbooking project.

...finally carving our Halloween pumpkins from Virginia. (Doesn't Gru look thrilled by my portrait of him, including the snaggletooth?)

...seeing some good movies - either on DVD or in the theater.

Also, there were a few that I forgot to mention last week... football team being bowl eligible!

...successfully navigating alternate routes around town.

...the song, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," at church last Sunday.
What made your week good?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

this week was good because of...

...trying a dim sum meal for the first time.

...this quote, attributed to Marc Chagall: "If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing."

...hanging in there on a couple of really low-energy afternoons to still get good work done.

...celebrating Halloween with a quiet movie night...

...and festive socks. (My neighbor was quite amused by these as we passed in the hallway.)

...the pleasant surprise of my October budget ending under budget. supervisor's guidance for a messy situation with some students.

...the fun scarf hanger I bought on Saturday.

...a morning of craft shopping and conversation over coffee and tea with Vintage Blonde, made even more delightful by the opportunity to hug on her little one a bunch. (Seriously - there is nothing like a baby girl reaching for me to melt my heart.)

...the news that Crispy M&Ms are coming back (!). last indulgent treat on Friday before I embark on my 21-day meal plan challenge. (More on that to come.) decision not to participate in the Week in the Life project this year. (I need to focus on the projects already underway!)

What made your week good?

Friday, October 31, 2014

what feels good today

You know those days when things just seem to come together? When life and sense and wi$dom and maybe a little bit of luck all make sense in small, satisfying ways? Today was one of those days... 

Realizing that I still can enjoy a kind-of-new wardrobe with the change of season that means putting away beloved t-shirts to bring out my favorite sweaters, even though I made a wi$e decision to wait to buy new clothes until I finish the three-week weight loss effort I'm about to start (and possibly continue long-term).

Being confident in my decision over the past months to worry less about doing my hair, and be more content with something simpler that uses fewer products and much less energy.

Feeling so grateful that craft supplies I thought were stored at Mom and Dad's in Kentucky were actually in one of the boxes in our storage room, which means I don't have to replace them here for a pending craft project.

...a few small graces that have made today more rewarding.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

this week was good because of...

...having a lovely reason to use the word "gaggle" on Sunday morning.

...not one, but two movies over the weekend. One I really liked, and the

...following the lure of the Hot Now sign.

...the tasty artichoke bread I made to go with a salad and tomato soup.

...working at a campus that offers free nutrition consultations (even if I am a bit hesitant about the awesome, but different meal plan she designed).

...this awesome reflection from Michael Keaton. "Okay, fine."

...the opportunity to play in Excel. And by play, I mean learn how to format complex formulas using logic. (In a week of various challenges, my threshold for satisfaction becomes incredibly simple to meet.)

...treating myself to the add-on thirty-minute foot massage when I got a pedicure. Ahhhhhhh.

...plenty of home cooking.

What made your week good?