Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Vacation

I just officially got back from my "Christmas Vacation". This year we went to the Charlottesville, VA area to celebrate with J's brother and his wife and J's sister. And, this year we were joined by Brother-in-Law's daughter! I haven't actually seen her since she was finishing college. It was a real treat to get to see her.
We were also joined by Brother's son that now lives in Japan with his wife and daughter. Oh my gosh their daughter is too cute for words. It was the first time I got to see her in real life. I saw her a couple of years ago on skype when they were at Brother's house and we lived in Seattle. Of course, she has grown so much since then.  She is smarter than smart. And completely bilingual (English and Japanese). Seeing a young one play on Christmas was a treat.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I'm Home-Part II

This story is continued from: I'm Home.

The summer after I got married, Dad called me to finish cleaning out my bedroom. --He was selling the house and I needed to get what I wanted to keep.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

I took this photo last Christmas Day. I intended to share it then...but somehow didn't. I hope you are getting into the Joy of the Season.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Puppy Love

Look at Jacob's new sweater. Cute right? New...just got it today. There's a new store in town called Oliver's Collar. It is a dog treat bakery. If you are in the Triangle and want to check out a cool dog friendly place you may want to check it out.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Another Thanksgiving....Another Birthday

My favorite daughter (only child) had her birthday on Thanksgiving Day! She has achieved so much in this last year. She is such an inspiration to me. She has worked so hard.

You remember last year she walked more than a marathon for Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer. I went for moral support and to camp in a pink tent. In just a little over a year from the big walk she has really embraced the whole athletic thing. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Less Than a Week Until T-Day!!

I'm surprised about how excited I'm getting about Thanksgiving this year.

Maybe it's because it's also my girl's birthday? This year it really is on Thanksgiving. How cool is that?

We are having the big meal at my house again. Maggiano's will be doing the cooking again. My Mamacita is bringing green bean casserole and I think Sissy is bringing deviled eggs. (We talked about it but now I don't remember what we said.) Just planning the family gathering has gotten me into a feel-good holiday mood.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Happy B'day, Sis

Sis's birthday was last week. She's a teacher and this is the time of she was too exhausted for a real celebration. But...just wait until school is out. Then we will celebrate properly.

Sis and I are Irish Twins which means she was born before my first birthday.

Aren't we cute? That's me on the right in both pictures.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Just a Girl Stuff Post

I have sort of a confession. We really need to keep this between us girls. 

(Hubby...if you are reading you won't be interested in this one. Promise. Just girl talk.) 

Okay, I'm pretty sure he's not reading.

Confession: OMG I am hooked on shopping online. I may have to go into rehab. I'm especially in love with KOHL's. (No related sponsorship or anything... just love Kohl's.)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The weather on Friday was beautiful! And the weatherman said we would have a "perfect" Saturday and an "ehh" Sunday.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Post with No Name

Blog...I just can't quit you. I keep thinking about it...but I keep coming back. 

I like the idea of writing...telling stories and having them instantly published. I LOVE that my little place in the world gets sweet readers and I get so encouraged with comments.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fun on the Drive Home

I've probably mentioned that my drive to and from work has been a nightmare. 

Well...since driving to and from work for 90 days the commute has become much less intimidating. In's sort of fun.

I took a pic of this great pink jeep the other afternoon. I wish I could have gotten the front. The headlights had pink eyelashes! 

This is the kind of thing that makes my drive so much more interesting. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Girl Mud Run

Guess what I did this weekend. I went to the local "Go Dirty Girl" Mud Run.

That's right! A 5K! Yep. And it's a fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Yeah, I feel good about it.

Oh, wait. I don't mean to imply that I ran! I was my daughter's cheerleader. She impresses the heck out of me.

Two years ago she and I walked for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. That one I actually completed alongside D.

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Pat's Weekend

I have a friend that is a really good photographer. She is also a good teacher. Do you remember my Waterfalls Photography Vacation?  ~ I will be 2 years(!) in June. Time flies! Anyway, she is the person that organized that trip.

This weekend J. had several of us over to her house to share tips for Pet Photography. J. had some really good tips and shared her doggies to be models for us to try out our new skills.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Love and Houses

Remember when I wrote about My Childhood Home? That was fun. I'm excited that my home was included in's Childhood Home series. I really enjoyed reading about other's memories of their childhood homes as well. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

House Stylin'

One of my favorite things is looking at well styled homes. I think that is one of the things that brought me to blogs. I just love when bloggers share their lovely homes and works in process.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Most Used Appliance in My Kitchen

My parents' microwave broke last week. They've only been in their house for 3 years and everything is/was brand new. I know that is have just basically moved in and had something you use every day go on the fritz. They had a hard time finding a repair person that would even come look at the machine to diagnose the problem. Finally, someone agreed to come out and found that there's a push-button switch that doesn't work. 

Our house is about 15 years old and the microwave is still working just fine. We have double ovens that are also push-button electronics. We've used the oven several times. But, more often than not, we will use the microwave to heat whatever we are having. We rarely use the stove top either. Clearly, we would be in a pickle if our microwave went on the blink.

It's funny that we have a double oven because I can't imagine actually using both ovens at the same time. Though, I did use them a few Christmases ago.

My mother's parents got a microwave. Funny that Mom's parents were open to modern technology and Mom never got a microwave  She said she didn't want one because she couldn't think as fast as a microwave could cook.

The first big gift my husband gave us after we were married was a microwave that was also a convection oven. Oh my gosh that was an amazing gift. I've included a couple of pics to give you an idea of how big this machine was. But I loved it! I used it all the time. I even used it for baking. In fact, that first Christmas I baked banana nut bread loaves as gifts using the convection oven.

This oven moved with us eight times in eleven years. And just as we were about to move from our condo into a new house, with a built-in microwave, my microwave/convection oven broke. It was a good friend but it was time for the new "new" thing.

You know, I don't cook. I've said that about myself for the past ten years or so. But every once in a while I stumble upon a photo that reminds me that this wasn't always the case.

I wonder if I should give the whole cooking thing another try. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring is Almost Here

So excited that Friday is here! And spring will be here before we know it. Just nineteen more days until spring is officially here. We just need to hold on a few more days!

I had my third B12 shot on Monday and my last shot will be next week. I'm hoping to feel energetic in time for spring.

Soon I won't have any excuses for not starting my "Get Lean in 2013" project. I keep thinking about it....I'm almost ready to start.

I'm sharing a pic of the jeep I saw the other day. How funny is this?

Happy first day of March! And happy weekend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rainy Days...

Today was a crazy, cold, rainy day. And, the cloud cover was very low. Not typical Piedmont, NC weather at all. The cloud cover so close to the ground...that is Seattle weather.

The pic to the left is from Bellevue (East Side of the Seattle/Puget Sound area). We lived in a high rise in Bellevue. A different life, but a good one. I took this pic one morning before work. Jacob's early life was in a high rise. The cloud cover and drizzle is what I mean by Seattle weather.

Last week I was thinking of giving up the blog. I hadn't written all weekend and I just thought...maybe I'm done.

But then I didn't actually quit. Wednesday night driving home I heard a song I had not heard before. I was seriously happy to hear this song that was new to me and I was inspired to post. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Saw a Movie. LOVED IT.

I haven't been to the movies in a pretty long time. I used to go almost every weekend and I definitely saw all of the "good" new releases in the theater. 

The last movie I LOVED was: Hit and Run. I should clarify...the last comedy I loved was Hit and Run. I sure hope you saw it. Just thinking about it makes me giggle.

So, let me digress, I do love movies and I love the big screen. Some of the best movies for the big screen are action/dramas, like The Bourne series, for example.  {Love that series!}

BUT, I've been to a few movies lately that have disappointed. I didn't write about it example of a disappointment is Broken City. Surprising right? I mean the headliners are Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. I was totally disappointed.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Still Life @ the Office

So, I've been at the new job one month and one week and I thought it was time to share a couple of pics of my digs. I have my own office. It's been ages since I've had an office. I have to tell you, I like having my own space. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thankful for Snapshots

I'm lucky to have so many photos from babyhood. I'm not sure that all young parents (in that time) took as many photographs as my parents. It was back in the days of film. Film and getting photos developed was expensive. But, my parents (mostly my Mom) took and saved lots of pictures. She got several sets of each photo so she could write the date on the back and send copies to all the family "back home". And, for every photo she sent in a letter, she kept at least one.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday. I went dark on ya didn't I? I only got posts up 3X this week. It was a personal goal of mine to post each day during the week. Oh well....that didn't happen this week.  So, we'll see how next week goes.

I'm getting excited about the SUPER BOWL. I'm really torn about who to pull for. I think it'll be a great game. Sunday plans are: watch football and eat chips and dip.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Take on Comparison and Joy

I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to write more about our paintings of "Lover's Lane in the Rain". In case you don't remember, mine is on the left. Anyway, I like looking at these paintings together. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sharing a Hobby

D came over Saturday. She brought Starbucks' lattes and lemon loaf and banana nut bread. What a good daughter! Here she is. Isn't she beautiful? 

I love when she comes over. She and I usually laugh so hard that I end up having to use my asthma inhaler. At one point yesterday, Jordan said, "Okay Danielle, stop being funny for a few minutes so your Mom can catch her breath". Which...only made me laugh more. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Local Winter Storm {and advisory}

This pic is when we lived in the house right before my Dad built the "New House". That's me on the left. Sissy is beside me and Sis is in the blue coat. {Hey, Sis, if you are reading this, I didn't cut you out of the pic on the left. Whoever took the pic must have been distracted by Cindy.}

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It Sure is Cold!

I thought I'd share another image of my NYC trip from last month. I was reading Inslee's post about NYC which made me nostalgic for my time there. That is until I read that the temperature is 10 degrees and with windchill factor, it feels like 2 degrees. {2 degrees!!}  If you aren't familiar with Inslee you should totally check her out. She has amazing sketches! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Childhood Home

This is my house. Well, not technically "my house". This is the house I grew up in. The house my Dad built.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Driving at Zero Dark Thirty

It's almost my bedtime so this will have to be short. 

So, you know I have to get up at Zero Dark Thirty now so that I can drive 25+ miles to work. {Yeah...the drive and wake up time are not my fav...but so far I'm enjoying the new job.} Yesterday morning, I drove out of the neighborhood and was driving on the hilly, curvy road on the way to the highway. I was maybe two miles from home...when I saw a person that had pulled their car off the road and he was moving something off the road. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What I Did This Weekend

What I did this weekend was....VERY LITTLE. And I'm not sorry.

I'm still new at my job...which means I come home with a fatigued brain each night. Not to mention that I now drive over 25 miles to and from work. (!!) Yeah! Driving itself can be a little scary. It's several different highways that I have to merge onto and off of. I can manage that okay in the mornings...but at night? OMG it's tough. I don't know if it's my depth perception or the fact that I get blinded so easily by all the lights...but I absolutely hate driving on these highways after dark. So, when I get home it's all I can do to just sit and watch Jeopardy. Which, by the way, I'm getting so much better at!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Getting My Zen On

Remember I told you that Jordan and I went to the Butterfly House at the local Life/Science Museum?

One of my 2013 goals is more quality quiet time. And, if I can be in nature during that quiet time...then so much the better! The Butterfly House offered a sweet respite that served both my need to sit and listen and look as well as my husband's need to look and photograph. We both were able to enjoy nature in a truly up close and personal way. 

Here are a few of Jordan's lovely shots.
Often when we go out together we both have our cameras. We have different approaches to what we photograph, so it's really cool when we get home and look at each other's shots. Jordan continues to help me learn to be a better photographer.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pondering "LUCK"

I've been pondering the concept of "luck" and had some sort of epiphany that I'm was dying to share. It came to me during a stream of consciousness conversation I was having with my husband. ~And by "conversation" I mean I was talking and he was nearby. {I'm pretty sure he was listening. :) }

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Looking Back to Move Forward

While much of 2012 was good and happy for me. It was also quite hard.

I didn't really write about the painful things. I was focused on just getting through and I didn't want to give power to the things that caused me heartache. For instance, in March I didn't say I was recovering from someone blindsiding me. Their actions were vindictive and mean-spirited. It happened several times and escalated each time. And each time I was surprised and felt unguarded and confused.

My mother taught me a rhyme when I was little. I bet almost every mother taught it: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me".  I'm here to tell you that words can definitely hurt. Their effects are not containable. As well as hurting hearts, they can damage reputations. If left unchecked, they can also damage peripheral (often far-reaching) relationships.

So, yeah. That happened.

Over the course of the year, while I did not go into details, I did share my heartache. Below are a few snippets:

My heartache has eased and I feel I'm leaving a lot of that negative energy behind me. I feel stronger now. I'm always surprised when these types of things happen. I mean...who couldn't love me? I'm FUN.

My health has offered obstacles too. My knee(s) are STILL a problem. Asthma and fatigue have been like background noise all year. Not to mention that I needed surgery in June. Yeah, I only mentioned that once. I had a polyp that was causing a problem, including significant blood loss for six months. The good news is that the polyp was benign. The other good news is that the surgery took care of the problem and I've felt better. Certainly six months of blood loss could have been a contributing factor to the fatigue.

We've also been trying to identify if there's anything else contributing to my fatigue. My doctor(s) want me to {consistently} get 8 hours of sleep. Evidently, that is really important. So, I'm really, really working on that. Fatigue has plagued me all year. Anyhoo, last week I received blood work results and I have a serious B12 deficiency. That, in addition to my asthma (and everything else), could certainly be contributing to my fatigue. The good news? It's totally treatable. I've got to make another Dr. appt to begin a treatment plan which could be as simple as a vitamin regimen. Though, more likely there will be some shots to get us started. I am SOOOOOO hopeful that we will be able to kick out the fatigue and I can be more energetic.

I'm actually quite excited about the good things that will be coming my way in '13.

I will leave you with something I wrote in September. I still believe these things. And, I like looking back at helps me stay grounded.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Beginnings

I feel like I have so much to talk about that I don't know where to begin. Some people {most?} would simply say: "Start at the beginning." But, I'm never able to figure out what event was actually the beginning of the story I'm about to tell. Actually, in this case, this story IS the beginning.

I'm so excited about things that are happening for me. Several things are new and fresh. You may remember that I mentioned I was working some things out. Well, things are working out in beautiful ways.

Today, {1/2/13}, I begin a new job. I'm writing this before I actually arrive at my new employer's office to begin my first day. Just telling you about it here gives me huge butterflies. {Butterflies in a good way!} I'm super excited about this opportunity. I decided to wait until everything was firmed up before "going public" with my change.

I've shared before that my "profession" is banking. I rarely talk about real work because who would think banking is interesting? --Other bankers...that's who. But my blog is really not where I want to focus on my day job. Instead, it's where I want to explore other aspects of my life that make me interesting. 

All of that said, the fact is work/job/employment often takes up a huge amount of my waking hours and takes up a huge number of brain cells. So, it is a huge part of my life...and one that I wanted to share with you here.

I absolutely loved working at my prior job. I had a seriously cool boss. She is smart, fun and a great advocate. She is a huge part of what makes the entire team such a fun group of people. 

The fact that I enjoyed my job {and was good at it...really, really good at it} and that I enjoyed my team members, as well as my boss, made the decision to make a change a difficult one.

But, the new position has the opportunity for me to get back to a part of banking that I truly love. And, the person I will be working for will be an amazing mentor. I'm looking forward to the type of work I will be doing. 

So, last week I said "Goodbye" to people and a job that I enjoyed and where I felt at home. Today, I will be saying "Hello" to people I do not know {yet}. I will be saying "Hello" to a company I have not gotten to know yet and a role that is new to me. All of this is wonderfully exciting {and just a teeny bit scary.}

Wish me well.

UPDATE:  It was a GREAT day.