Tuesday, November 12, 2013

just a photo.

This photo was taken way back in the summer.  With the current weather the way it is, it seems like the summer existed in another world.  A bright, sizzling world where everything felt like it was melting.

This wall is just one of those walls that I happen to walk by nearly everyday.  It's just a normal wall.  I'd never paid much attention to it, really, until one day, I turned my head a little bit to the left and there he was, this little angel guy looking back at me.  A small, grumpy little angel guy drawn in white.

He said something to me that day.  Well, he really didn't "say" anything at all.  He just struck me as something special, that's all.  A symbol of humanity, perhaps?  I can't really say what made him seem so noteworthy at the time.

The following afternoon when I walked by on my way to the trolley,  I was expecting to look over and see him once again.  I was even looking forward to exchanging hellos with this new little friend that I had made.  But, sadly, he wasn't there anymore.  Sometime between one day & the next, someone had covered him with a red block of fresh paint.  He was hidden.  Permanently.

Who knows how long he had been there painted on that wall.  But I just happened to meet him on his last daylight appearance.  His final day.  Seems significant.  Who knows, I might be the last person on earth who has any recollection of him.

Nowadays, when I remember, I'll sometimes look over at that wall still expecting to see him in all his glory, just like I saw him that one day.  I know he's still there.  He's just hiding behind .002 inches of red paint.

Silly, I know.  But it's true.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Last evening's sounds.

Cuddle Magic from Stacey McDonald on Vimeo.

My honey Christopher on the left.  Ben in the middle.  Alec on the right.

Love them and love their music.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

a fall afternoon with some of my favorite girls.

Kelly and I were talking yesterday at brunch and realized that we've been friends for nearly 3 decades already.  And little Lydia is already 2 1/2 years old... and about to be a big sister.  Crazy.

And beyond that, my honey Christopher is turning 30 on Tuesday!  It's a big one!  Looking forward to celebrating over a delicious meal with some family & friends this week.

This afternoon I'm driving down to Baltimore to hear Cuddle Magic.  It's been a while since I've heard them live! Should be nice!

Friday, October 11, 2013


We are human beings and this is the part of our human nature, that we don't learn the importance of anything until it's snatched from our hands.  
-Malala Yousafzai (2013 Nobel Peace Prize recipient), from her interview with Jon Stewart

Friday, September 20, 2013


Over the past few years, I've experienced a huge shift in my own faith, attitude, and life-perspective.  Perhaps part of it is simply a natural part of growing up.  Or perhaps part of it comes from marriage.  Or from experiencing hardships... and not having any control over certain situations (no matter how hard I've tried).  

The reasons and the timing for such things are surely different for every person, but I feel like I've developed into a completely new "me" over the past two years.  Different from my life before.  More mature, perhaps.

An oak that grew on the bank of a river was uprooted by a severe gale of wind, and thrown across the stream.  It fell among some reeds growing by the water, and said to them, "How is it that you, who are so frail and slender, have managed to weather the storm, whereas I, with all my strength, have been torn up by the roots and hurled into the river?" "You were stubborn," came the reply, "and fought against the storm, which proved stronger than you: but we bow and yield to every breeze, and thus the gale passed harmlessly over our heads."
-from Aesop's Fables

When I was young, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
-1 Corinthians 13:11

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Good days.

I haven't posted in a while.  

It's not that I haven't had any thoughts or potentially interesting things to say--I probably did at one point or another.  

But sometimes it just feels better to remain quiet.  

To listen.  To watch.  To learn.

I walk by this window almost everyday on my way to work.  Half the time, it's empty.  The other half, there's this beautiful gray kitty lounging there, taking a nap on the sill.  I've walked by this kitty so many times, but I've never been able to communicate with him (or her) directly.  He's inside.  

I'm outside.

So I just wave sometimes (as if he'll wave back).  Or I give him a little nod of acknowledgement (as if he even cares).  Other times, I just stop and stare to admire his cat-ness for a minute or two before I continue on my way.

Sometimes it just feels better to remain silent.  

To carry things close at heart.  

To let those thoughts and truths stew around for a while before putting them on the table.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

walking at sunset.

"Open my heart," I prayed.  

"Help me to feel, see, experience the present.  Help me to be right here, right now."

New and renewed.

Just sprucing things up a little bit, indoors and out.

Sometimes I think that Fall is my favorite season, but no, it's definitely Spring.  Spring brings new life, new beauty, renewed hope and things to look forward to.

The sentiment is obviously nothing new--it's been said many times before.  I don't have any grand or eloquent words about it.  I'm just experiencing it and enjoying it for myself.

Being outdoors and doing yard work these past two weekends has felt great.  Some new flowers (rieger begonias).  Our normal herbs.  Some fresh flowers (ranunculus) for the dining table.  Feels special.  Makes life feel slow.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

perhaps a bit more energy.

Last month I had some pretty extensive blood testing done and finally learned the results this past Monday.  With all of my skin issues and the intense fatigue that I've been experiencing, I learned that I not only have thyroid & immunity issues, but also severe deficiencies of Vitamin B & D.  I've been starting a new regimen of supplements as they've arrived in the mail this past week--and I'm still waiting on the actual prescriptions to come in--however I'm already noticing a bit more energy.  I'm not jumping through the roof or anything, but I'm starting to feel more like my normal self.

In my last post, I mentioned that I haven't been cooking very much--at all?--recently.  Well, I've found myself making meals for 3 days straight....!  That's breakfast, lunch AND dinner...ALL three days.  Taking this whole year into consideration, I'd say that's erring pretty close to a miracle.

Standing in the kitchen, realizing that I'm actually cooking for once!

Yep, that's me in the tea kettle.

Yep, the meatloaf crumbled apart.

While I cook, her royal highness lounges around.

And finally, I normally don't like (taking or looking at) mirror photos.  But, I'm kind of proud of myself for putting together a new outfit today, so who cares!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

taking care of me from afar.

Christopher travels a lot.  And, by a lot, I mean a lot.

Sometimes I'm really good at being home alone for extended periods of time.

Other times it's the absolute worst.

Over this past year, with all of my health issues, it's been especially difficult for me to make the effort to cook for just myself (or even for both of us, ha!).    Thankfully, he's getting really good at making sure there's things for me to eat while he's away.

He's finally getting home this evening from a "short" (1 1/2 weeks) trip.  YAYYYYY! :D

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A new settee + another year here.


We have a nice apartment.  

It's not a big space, but it's nice.  

Technically, it's a one bedroom.  But it has some great features.  We have an "extra room" that doesn't quite qualify as a bedroom since there's no door.   Others might use it as an office, though we use it as the piano studio.  We have our own entrance in the back of the house, which makes it feel less like an apartment and more like we're just entering our own house.  We also have full use of the driveway, which is quite a rarity in the city.  High ceilings.  Hardwood...

We have it so nice yet, even so, I've been anxious to move.  

I keep saying it every year when we renew our lease "Okay, we'll renew this year, but next year we are DEFINITELY moving!"

I've been anxious for more space.  More closet space.  A separate recording studio for Christopher.   An actual guest room.  A second story...... a house.........

But we can't afford to upgrade right now.  

So instead of moving, we've resolved to make our current place not only cozier but more functional.  

Step one, was replacing an armchair that had seen better days.  That's done and I just love the replacement we found--it's the plum settee.

Step two, is to better utilize the wall space in our bathroom & bedroom.  More shelving & organizers. And no more stacks or piles of mail on the desk.

Step three is the hardest.  To make peace with this small space again.  To learn to love it.  It would certainly be nice to have more space, but for now I'm going to concentrate on how being in a smaller space can bring our little family closer together.  I just want to make the best of what we have.  To make what-we-have work for us.

Having a bigger place will be nice someday, God willing.  But my hopes don't have to rest in it.  

I think I'm finally learning not to say "we're DEFINITELY moving next year!"

For now, we should consider ourselves fortunate.  We have a place that feels even more like a home than it did nearly 4 years ago when we first married our lives together.  Here's to another year.  

And however many more.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

our little family.

I'm so thankful for our little family.  We're not perfect and we're not always sure of ourselves, but we love each other the best we can.

And, Sneak.... well.... she's the princess of our little house.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Many good things on the horizon.

I've been so excited for new things & new goals recently.  At the same time, I never want to place too much hope in the future.  So I'm trying to remain logical & thankful in the midst of my current go-go-go/do-do-do attitude.

We're starting to get our apartment into shape.  Another year of living here means that things need to change.  I spent yesterday afternoon sorting through my sheet music cabinets.  Some to store away, some to sell.  That was about 3 years overdue.

The bedroom is the next thing to tackle, although Christopher got a head-start on that the other day when he decided-on-the-fly to install a hanging file organizer on the wall.  I think it might have been the first (or maybe second) thing that he's ever hung on our wall.  I've dominated the "hanging department" for a while now.  I loved that he just took over & did it.

The rest of the weekend was spent planning for my piano studio.  So many ideas running through my mind.  Lots to work on.  Lots to buy (a new piano bench!).  My list keeps getting longer.  One logical step at a time.

One thankful heart all the time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Over the past few weeks I've written down a lot of goals.  It's not my normal tendency to list out my goals, but it's been a tough year and a lot of my unwritten intentions from last year never came to fruition.  It's disappointing to think of some of last year's unaccomplished goals and frustrating to not even remember others.

At this point, I can't be certain about how the year is going to shape up, health-wise and whatnot, but jotting some ideas down on a scrap of paper helped me to feel like I have things to look forward to this year.  Some of my goals are personal.  Some are home-related (we've decided to stay in our apartment for a fifth year, so I'm consoling myself with make-over/upgrade ideas).  The most important goals are related to my piano studio.  There are a lot of things that I would like to accomplish with my business this year, the biggest being that I would like to return to being solely self-employed again, and no longer working an "extra job" for extra income.  I want my business to grow this year.

I'm ready to do the work.  God willing.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thrift store finds.

For staging purposes, I used my non-thrifted plates (from the previous post), but everything else was found at the Second Mile Thrift Store, just down the street!  I occasionally enjoy buying new things (like those gorgeous plates), but there's something really satisfying about seeing "cheap" purchases come together so beautifully. 

I'm having an amazing day with my skin (see older posts about my awful eczema).  I've barely itched at all today and haven't felt this energized in 6 months or more.  I've been taking advantage of it all day and spent some time doing a little rearranging around the apartment.  It feels wonderful just to feel normal!  I had forgotten what it's like!

Friday, February 8, 2013

birthday shopping.

My birthday was a few days ago, so I went out on a mini shopping spree!  It's never been easy for me to spend "birthday money"--from childhood, I was taught to save, save, save--so anytime I buy myself something for more than $10, I consider it a real splurge. These three little items are satisfying my current craving for pretty things.

I've also had some good thrift store finds lately.  Perhaps I'll post those, too!