Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ready...set...craziness!!!

Holy catscans. HOLY catscans. This next month and a half are going to be craaaaazy.

We're moving. Yes. FINALLY. THANK THE STARS!!! HALLELUJAH!!! HOOORAY!!! WAHOOO!!!
Here's how it went down. A couple of months ago I experienced my first, and I think last, "Drop Night." For those of you not familiar with this experience, it's the night where the Air Force officers will find out where their next base and assignment will be once they've completed their training.We had 38 bases (for 38 officers) and had to rank each and every one. Interestingly enough, before we even got the list we were discussing where we would like to go and both Mark and I thought Spokane, WA would be cool. Mark lived there for 2 years while serving his LDS mission and it's the one area of the country I haven't yet lived, plus it's the northwest, about on the same latitude as New England, has 4 seasons, water, and greenery. I was in, though I said Italy, London, or Germany would also be incredible. So we got the list and to our delight both Spokane and Italy were on the list. We had about 10 days to discuss, rank, and create our final list. Mark, as expected, cared more about the job and I primarily cared more about the location. After much discussion and revision, we nailed our top three to Spokane, WA; Charleston, SC; and Italy. I fretted because I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted Italy but then I thought maybe I'm not quite ready for that because I need to get my feet wet in the military lifestyle. 

Anyway, drop night finally arrived. Mark told me the Air Force tries really hard to give you one of your top choices and takes into consideration if you're married, have kids, etc. I was anxious and nervous the entire day. The next 3-4 years of my life had been decided and I couldn't do anything about. It kind of reminded me of when I was applying for dietetic internships and waiting for the dreaded day when you find out if you've been accepted or not. It's completely out of your hands and it's terrifying, a bit exhilarating, but terrifying. Each class came up with different ways to find out where they were going. The class before Mark had the officer sit on a stool, drink a shot of tequila and then they flashed where he/she was going on a screen behind them. Mark's class decided to do it NFL Draft style. 

WORST. IDEA. EVER. Well, Mark was "drafted" fifth or sixth...to our last choice...some solo tour for a year in the Middle East and I wouldn't be allowed to go with him. I tried really hard to keep a poker face but...failed. The class leader, who knew where each office was going, said he was dying inside watching me after Mark's location was called. I thought surely it was a joke but as the "drafting" continue, he wasn't getting traded and I was getting more and more anxious and depressed. What do I do? Stay in San Angelo by myself? (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!). Go to our follow on base? MOve home for a year? How CRUEL!!!! That was our LAST choice and come on!!! We just got married! Now I have to spend another year apart from him while he's in the Middle East? I was angry, sad, confused, irate. Well, near the end of the draft, Mark's trader jumped up and said there had been a last minute trade: Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA traded for Mark. THANK GOODNESS.

I'm pretty sure I was about to faint. And cry. So instead of jumping up and shouting to my heart's content with glee, I stayed in my seat and beamed, trying to remember to breath and cursing the fool who decided an NFL draft was a good idea. I came to find out it was Mark's idea. Ooooh I told him if he EVER did that again....no bueno. Nevertheless, we went home to change before a celebratory BBQ and I had to rest for a few minutes because I was so drained. Thank goodness we won't have to go through something like that again, at least that's what Mark told me.

So, in August...we're moving to Spokane, WA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Friends, I'm SO excited!!!! I'm pretty antsy and anxious to get there. San Angelo has been fun and we've made the most of it...but I am SO ready to bust out of here. So now the hunt for a house and a job, and the (DREADED) packing begins. BUT HAPPY DAY!!! SEASONS! WATER! A COASTLINE NOT TOO FAR! HOOOOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Speaking of coastline...over Memorial Day weekend we headed to Galveston, TX. It was a blast. We toured the harbor, saw dolphins, toured an old ship, ate TONS of seafood, did touristy stuff, went to the beach, and ate more and more and more seafood. It was a wonderful vacation and it was delightful to see the ocean again. And the seafood...goodness gracious I could live off of shrimp for the rest of my life. So, we brought 3 pounds back home with us! 












Then, two weekends ago I headed to Tucson to see one of my best friends get married! 

It was fabulous and so fast! Everything was wonderful! I was honored to be asked to do Clary's flowers for her. Oh my goodness it was A BLAST!!!!!!!!!!! I love floral design!!


And it was SO fun to see lots of old friends! 




AND, in exciting news, beginning August 4th, I will be going full-time at the flower shop until we move (which sadly, may not be very long). We're still waiting on final dates of when we have to leave San Angelo and report to Spokane. Regardless, I'm delighted! I'm hoping to find a floral design/flower shop job in Spokane to continue to learn and develop my skills. I love it so! 

We'll be heading to Dallas for the Fourth and I can't wait! Then in a couple of weeks I'll be visiting one of my other best friends, Amy, in Myrtle Beach. I'm wicked excited to see Amy and the beach again, and we've already made plans of what we're going to do (most have to do with food! Ha!)! 

And, I again can't tell you enough how excited I am to get to Washington. I've already have made plans to see Seattle (never been), Portland and the Oregon coast, northern California, and have made lists of places to see in Spokane, places to eat, and things I'd like to do. Spokane I can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!! If you have suggestions of places to see, things to do, etc., please do share!

So, on to house hunting, job searching, and...packing....we go! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tender Mercies

This morning I wanted to quit my job. Obviously I wasn't really going to quit my job and then the thought of being unemployed was horrible so I looked up my patients and headed to the floors. And then it got a little better as I did some more work on a gigantic malnutrition project I've taken on and that made me excited! 

But as luck would have it....around 2:30 my day took a very sharp turn for the better.

I sent a message on whim to a woman who owns a flower shop a few weeks ago asking if she was looking for any free help because I know that this is one of the busiest times of the year for florists. Basically I just need an outlet. Something fun. I need to work with my hands and do something I enjoy. I mean I love baking but then all I want to do is eat the stuff I bake and that's not a win-win situation. I sent it thinking she'd likely not respond and didn't expect her to but thought why not? and sent the message anyway. A few days later she responded and we had been playing phone tag. Well, I finally got in touch with her but she was working with a client on wedding plans and I didn't hear back, and had pretty much given up. I tried. I came close but who am I kidding? I have no professional training. I've taken a floral design class and I worked at a flower shop for a couple of months after I graduated. Beyond that, I don't know a whole lot about floral design. Well. At 2:30 I received a message from the woman asking me to meet her today after work. So I did. And two hours later I walked out with a second job.

I. Cannot. Believe. It.

But it works out perfectly because Mark has been getting busier and busier so he doesn't get home until 7 or 8 so I'll go to the flower shop after I'm done with the hospital and then help them out on weekends...and I get paid!!! I tried to tell her that was unnecessary since that was never my intention and I just wanted to help out for fun and that I don't have that many, if any, qualifications, but she insisted. 

Friends, I am so excited. SO excited. I don't really know what I'll be doing but I'm excited just to be in the flower business and the floral environment. I promptly called Mark and told him everything and to make sure he was cool with it, which he was!!!, and then merrily drove home still in disbelief. I start tomorrow. I don't even care if all I do is sweep the floors and put stock away. I'm so excited! It helps that they've just recently hired two other people with very little experience so I won't be alone there. Oh happy day!

And now I'm going to go eat ice cream for dinner because this is cause for celebration (and because it's a suffocating 93 degrees outside. No need to stick me in an oven, I'm already there)!!! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The week I realized I am most certainly human

What. a. week.

I was in a funky mood this week. I think part it stemmed from Mark had to do a lot of studying so I saw him for an hour when I got home and then he went back to base to study or was studying in the kitchen, or both, and that was a bummer. My deepest, sincerest sympathies to those of you who have significant others in med/law/dentist/post-grad/any-other-schooling-that-takes-most-of-their time. The other part of me is just so torn with so many things I want and hope and dream to do in my life. I'm restless. I'm bored with being a dietitian. I keep talking about culinary school to be a pastry chef with Mark and he's all for it and so am I but I have to wait because there isn't the right program here and I don't know how long we'll be here so I have to wait. Waiting. 99% of the time I do not like waiting. 

You know when you're in a funky mood or an impatient-you-want-dreams-to-happen-RIGHTTHISSECOND mood and there are certain things you should stay away from? Things that you know will make your mood worse? Well. Sometimes I'm a masochist so I do those things anyway. And/or, I do them and instead of controlling my emotions I let them take over completely. I was reading some blogs my mom recommended and I love them. One of them is Bluebirdbaby about a sweet family that lives in an old restored church in Maine. The blog is brilliant and beautiful and fun. I love it. Work was WIIIIIIIICKED slow a couple of afternoons this week so I read the blog. And then one of the nurses on one of the floors I cover recently visited someone in Boston and was going on and on and on and on about how wonderful it was and how her friend lives in Nashua and it was so close to Boston. I just stood there and smiled brightly, one on hand wanting to jump in and tell her all of the cool things and places to eat in Boston and on one hand wanting to cry because I was jealous and envious. Jealousy. Good, old-fashioned jealousy. Green with envy. Mad. So between that and the blog, I was home sick. And mad that I'm stuck in the middle-of-nowhere Texas where it was in the upper 80s this week and I wanted to melt. Yes. I know. I complained about this to my brother and knew I shouldn't have said anything since New England is preparing for yet another snow storm. Oops. 

And then I was reading another blog, Floret Flowers. A family owns a farm where they grow ACRES of flowers in Washington state. And the pictures. Mesmerizing. Wow. I also spent time reading post after post after post jotting down notes and planning my own gardens someday. An herb garden. A vegetable garden. A flower cutting garden. The varieties I want and the ones that grow well together and when they bloom and which are annuals and perennials. And there it was again. A ping of envy. How much I ache for a real house and land to garden. I know I'll have that someday but then impatience surges through my veins and that quickly turns to frustration. Next I knew it, my cute pots of flowers weren't good enough. I wasn't good enough. I felt stupid and mad and incompetent and hopeless. Impatience gets me almost every time. 

So. One day after work I decided to just peek at the plants Home Depot had. Just a peek. Just to make myself feel better and be surrounded by flowers and maybe help me add a few more to my list for my future garden. I don't need any more plants but I just... wanted to...see. And then I walked out with these:
Succulents meant for our bedroom window to greet us in the morning.

Gerber daisies because I decided I needed more color and had too much purple. Plus I can cut them and put them in vases!

And after reading about Floret's farm and seeing the magnificent arrangements she has created I decided I also want to take some floral design classes. While I was in college I took a floral design class to fulfill the required "arts" credit. No joke, it was one of my favorite classes. Learning about flowers and then creating arrangements and getting credit for it. Yes PLEASE. It was a blast! My last semester and shortly after I graduated I worked at a wholesale flower placed called "Mountain Bloom" just because they needed extra help for the holidays. That has been my favorite job. Hours of creating bouquets and arrangements. It was so much fun. It's my own way of being an artist. Pairing different colors and textures together. It's delightful. And much like baking, how can anyone get upset by flowers? 
So on a whim I sent a message to a woman who owns a local flower shop asking if she needs some extra help during the holidays and I'd do it for free just to learn and get some experience. I didn't think about it until 2 days later when I actually got a response! We've been playing phone tag the past few days so hopefully we'll finally have a conversation tomorrow. I'm giddy and nervous and there are moments where I think WHAT I am I doing??? Or I shouldn't have done that. But what have I got to lose? I hope she lets me help. I certainly think I would love it!!!

Toward the end of the week my mood got better. My first pot of grape hyacinths is doing well and lately I've been watching a bee come and visit them and pollenate them. But, sadly, I think their blooming is coming to an end so I've snipped two small bouquets so I can enjoy them before this pot is done. I think the heat expedited their blooming. 

But my second pot is coming along nicely! I've decided that if the weather is forecasted to get too hot, I'll bring them inside where it's cooler to try to elongate their bloom time so I can enjoy them a little longer. 

On to DIY project updates.

I think we've finally completed all of, or most of, the DIY projects we had on our list. Mark sanded down two night stands he had and we repainted them. The one on the left is Mark's (hence the star...gotta represent Texas!) and the one on the right is mine. 
 

Saturday Mark went golfing so I spent the afternoon running errands and wandering around downtown. The boutiques here are crazy. I don't get the fashion. I walked into every boutique and then walked out about 1-2 minutes later. Yikes. It's like bohemian/gypsy/bold/I don't even know how to describe it. It's not me, that's for sure. I popped into Pier One just to look around and found a cute plate I knew belonged in my kitchen (the one on the very top)! I love birds. The cute singing kind. There are lots of grackles here that are eery and creepy. Beady little eyes and strange calls. Yuck. I loved my room growing up because of the four walls, three had two windows each. It always so bright in my room. Every morning I woke up to birds...or Scotty pawing my face to wake up...but usually birds.   

I found Fiona, that's what I've named her because I name a lot of things I have, at Hobby Lobby a week or so ago and decided I had to have her to decorate our book shelf.  

And we finally got a new dresser! I found one I liked for over $1000 at a furniture store but that was WAY more than I was willing to pay. Then a colleague recommended a wholesale place because we have been looking for a nice reading chair and though we didn't find a chair, we found this for a fraction of the cost and got it. It arrived this week and I love it! 

The flower arrangement for the week. The sunflowers I bought lasted two weeks! Two! I was so pleased but they quickly started wilting 2 days ago and I wasn't going to buy another bouquet but I love hydrangeas and they were so cheap! Thank you HEB. 

These have been my new lounge wear for the past...4 days. 

This morning it rained. The weather has been saying a 30-40% chance of rain the past few days and nothing. We got nothing. So I have stopped believing it would actually rain. BUT, this morning while I was getting ready for church Mark told me it was really raining so I flung open the door and skipped outside. It was raining! Aw the smell of rain. Happiness! So after church I watched "The Three Musketeers" from 1993. What a great cast: Chris O'Donnell, Tim Curry, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, and Charlie Sheen (before he went crazy). Good flick. Last night we watched "Parent Trap," the one with Lindsey Lohan (when she was young and cute). I remember I got that movie for Christmas one year on VHS and must have watched it 4 or 5 times on Christmas day. And every day that week. I love that movie, and the original. And tonight I made risotto for the first time. We liked it! And per Mark's request, I made cinnamon roll cookies. So I'm going to go eat my 5th another one. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day...kind of.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Confession. I didn't wear green today. On the rare occasion that I come up with a cute outfit, I have to go with it (because I can wear scrubs to work and trust me, if I had more than 2 pairs, I'd wear them EVERY. DAY). So I decided to actually try to look put together (curse working in a department of all women who dress up). As a result I got pinched even after trying to explain that because I have Irish blood, I should get a free pass from pinching (Dude. Hello. Red hair and freckles. Need I say more? Well. Apparently that's not good enough. Lame). 

Also I realized that I didn't have any idea what I was making for dinner tonight. I mean I have about a zillion dinner ideas pinned on Pinterest but nothing "St. Patty's Day" appropriate. And, I don't do corned beef and cabbage. I am just not a huge fan. So I was zipping through Pinterest seeing what everyone else had pinned and whattayaknow but sister pinned shamrock pasta with pesto (thanks B!). GENIUS. So I decided spinach pasta with pesto and chicken topped with fresh parmesan cheese it would be! Friends. The smell of pesto. That aroma. Oh yummmmmm! So my impromptu-thrown-together dinner actually turned out well. And can I just say how much I love garlic bread? Holy catscans I could've eaten the whole loaf by myself. Whoever thought of garlic bread, thank you, you rock my taste buds's world.

I needed a break for a few minutes today and googled miniature schnauzer puppies for sale and I found THIS ADORABLE guy. For sale. In San Antonio!!! Have I mentioned how badly I want a miniature schnauzer?

OHIWANTHIM!!!!!!!!!! I died from his cuteness. I just want to squeeze him he's SO cute!!!


*sigh* Anyway.
Last Monday I came home from work early because I felt horrible. I was reading up on some blogs I hadn't read in a while and I happened to be reading this post from NieNie where she talks about comfy, soft leggings from The Jean Girl and I don't know if it was the cold medicine or the exhaustion but I decided to check it out and all of the sudden I realized that I had bought leggings. What? Here's the thing. Crazy, patterned leggings are a stretch for me. Women who wear them amaze me because I just think it's too much for me. I tend to keep my style conservative. But since I've gotten married I have discovered I'm a little more bold and risk taking with clothes. I guess being married gives me confidence. So when I got home I had a lovely package waiting for me! 
NO joke. They are WICKED comfortable. As in I could wear these 24/7. I even made Mark feel them. So I bought them with the intent that I could work out in them, ya know like yoga, but I think they may also be my new favorite lounge-wear. I don't know if I'm brave enough to wear them out. Yet. Or ever. I just don't know. I mean what shirt do I wear? And what shoes? Friends I'm not a fashionista. I guess I can go google what to wear with leggings. I mean do you dress them up? Heels, really? Really? Eh...I don't know. But anyway, I'm so in love I bought--eh hem--3 more pairs. Check them out. You won't be disappointed. 

 Next.
For Christmas I got Mark a drawing table. Mark is an INCREDIBLE artist. He's drawn me a few pictures and they are amazing (and I have several more for him to draw; I keep him busy!). He's too modest about it and far too critical of his work, but he's truly talented! So I walked into the room to see what Mark was doing and he was sketching away. I love to watch him draw. Oddly, I find it very relaxing. And cool to see him at work. 

Off to bed! Cheers!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Purple, purple, purple

I don't know if I have a favorite color anymore because I like so many colors. My favorite color used to be orange, as in a burnt orange, an autumn orange. Recently, I've noticed I am drawn to all different hues of purple (have you ever noticed how funny of a word "purple" is? Say it twenty times and you'll see what I mean). I just love them! It's no wonder plum was my main wedding color. 

Mark and I went to San Antonio on Saturday. We're on the hunt for a cozy, colorful reading chair. It's hard! I found, what I thought, was a cute chair in a local furniture store but it was pri-cey. Ouch. I wasn't convinced, though it was wicked comfortable. I popped into Pier 1 Imports and found a cute chair that is a comfortable, more colorful and the price is better but still a little more than I wanted to spend. I like it a lot, but I don't LOVE it. *sigh* BUT. I decided to pop into antique shop after I returned a library book on Friday just to see if they miraculously had the chair I am hunting for and they didn't. But, I found these beauties!

I told Mark someday that I don't want a fancy sports car, I want an antique car (though maybe not quite as old as these cars...). And I think these would be wicked cute in a little boy's room someday. Just sayin'!

Back to the chair hunting...We went to San Antonio to look at some furniture stores there and didn't have much luck. So we headed to their shopping center just because. We went into Pottery Barn, which equals self-inflicting pain because their prices are outrageous, but fortunately I didn't find anything. We're hoping to have some luck in Dallas in a couple of weeks.


But. While browsing through several stores, I did find some....

PURPLE PANTS!!!! So after about 20 minutes and trying them on and asking Mark for his opinion about 27 times (literally), I bought them. I LOVE them. I'm so excited to wear them! 

This evening Mark and I had dinner with another military couple who is also going through Air Force Intelligence training (that is not the technical name but I'm not "up" on my military lingo just yet). It was really fun! They are heading to Hawaii on his next assignment and they were giving us advice and tips and suggestions. I am so grateful and so terribly excited. Mark and I have talked about where we would like to go next (they give you a list of possible bases and you get to rank them and the Air Force is great about trying to give you one in your top choice). I'm thrilled and so nervous at the same time. We've discussed Europe several times and it's definitely something that we will have to talk a lot about and research but SHOOT I COULD BE LIVING IN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That would make my years of lamenting and whining and dreaming and cursing envying all of you who have been before me worth it! Anyway. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high yet because there is A LOT that goes into that so...in the mean time I'll just cross every appendage that I can and hope. Lots of hope.

And currently I want these something awful:

Snazzy eh? I love 'em! 

Also, Mark is playing the piano and I could listen to him for hours. I love the piano. And the violin. My best friend Jenna is a KICKIN' violinist. Maybe someday we'll live together in NH and she can play for me (eh? eh? eh??). I love music. Off to swoon and listen to him tickle the ivories. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday successes

 First of all I have a bone to pick. You know how they say if your child is sick don't send them to daycare or school? Well, similarly, adults, if you are sick DO NOT COME TO WORK AND SPREAD YOUR NASTY GERMS!!!!!!!!! People like me get sick and when I get sick it's horrible because it's not a one and done deal. I'm sick and it lingers for weeks. I felt it coming on yesterday afternoon and I woke up, wide awake, at 4am and then finally fell back asleep and woke up with what felt like a swollen, scratchy throat. Yuck. Bring on the cough drops (gah-ross).

Despite this, today was a great day. It was gloomy and overcast this morning so we had croissants and hot chocolate. I love croissants! And they were tasty! 

Then we headed out to run some errands. Our apartment is finally coming together. Our guest room has been full of empty boxes and half unpacked things. Last night I did some cleaning and condensing so we finally put the empty boxes in storage and then headed to Target to look for a possible coffee table, and some storage bins. Well. I've been looking for a basket to put our blankets in and Mark picked up a large basket (with a lid) on clearance and we got it. When we got home, I realized the corner I wanted to put it in was too small for the basket. Mark is a GENIUS. GENIUS! He recommended using the basket as our new coffee table. We tried it and it's PERFECT! I married a genius. Here's a panorama of our living room. I love this room. It's so cozy. The lighting isn't great in this picture but at least you can see it!

Then I left Mark to study while I headed out on the hunt for something to put our printers on next to our desk. Well, at the first antique shop I walked into, I found it! 
It's actually made of crates but it looks really cool. And it's perfect! We will sand it and either stain it or paint it. 

Then I went into one of my favorite antique shops, just to browse, and found these! A mini-cake plate and yellow-ware. 
Everyone collects something and I collect yellow-ware. I just love it. Especially when I can find it at a decent price because sometimes they are outrageous! 

And, I've decided my Lent restrictions are temporarily waived since the only things that sound good are soup and ice cream. They feel wonderful on my throat. So...off to eat ice cream. Oh darn. 



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lent, books, and babies

I'm not Catholic so I don't observe Lent but last year my friend Amy and I took it as a challenge to eat healthier and we nixed sweets from our diets. I was surprised how well we did...until a week before Lent ended and then we both said forget it and had cookies. Well. Lent is upon us and I decided to take the challenge again and I roped encouraged Mark to join me so we could support it each other. He is giving up precious Dr. Pepper and I am giving up cookies, brownies, and my beloved ice cream (and making Mark too since it would cruel and down right rude for him to eat that stuff in front of me!) *moment of mournful silence* Except we're allowed small cheats on Sundays because the dietitian in me realizes that I HAVE to have some cheat days or I'll go mad. MAD. So far it's been good. I haven't been tempted or craving anything, though every time I open the freezer and see Bluebells' "I Love Chocolate," I have a split second cringe moment. 

Anyway, I also have been trying to cook about 3 times a week. This week we had grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, and rice. Mark got to bust out his grilling skills and did most of the heavy work. It was yummy! But seriously, I should have gotten salmon completely skinned or whatever the correct term is because there was skin on the underside that I ripped off before we grilled it and I nearly threw up from the smell. I don't mind fish but that smell was a little too fishy for me. Yuck. 


And I realize this picture is not very appetizing, if at all, but we've also decided (aka I have decided and Mark is being a good sport and going along with it) to try to have a vegetarian meal once a week. I could tell Mark was really skeptical but I was determined to prove to him that I could find some tasty entrees. So, tonight I made black bean and quinoa enchilada bake. It was SO good (despite this bad picture)!! I topped mine with sliced tomatoes, avocados, and green onions. DEE-LISH. Even Mark was impressed. Wahoo! You know it's a successful dish when the red meat lover likes a vegetarian dish (I think it helped that it was a Mexican dish). 


And what do you know just in time for Lent I got this cookbook in the mail (which I had ordered months ago and have been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiting for it to finally be released!). April is not that far away. I can do this. I can.

Since we're on the topic of one of my favorite things--books--I have to tell you about a new author that I LOVE: Juliet Marillier. Holy cow. I'm addicted to her books. One of my new friends here recommended one of her books and I can't get enough. So, let me back up. The first book I read was, "Wildwood Dancing." It's based on the fairy tale "Twelve Dancing Princesses," but she also intertwines that story with some of the folklore of Transylvania (NO not vampires but alludes to that). It is SUPERB. Also I should tell you that I am not a science fiction fan but I do have a very soft spot for fairy tales, and well written ones. FABULOUS read. It was one of those books that I thought about all day long and longed for some time to read. Well. There's a second book, but about one of the other main characters, and the library didn't have it so I did what was necessary...bought it off Amazon (and Wildwood Dancing!). If I am willing to purchase a book, it's a big deal; it's got to be good. I've read a lot of good books, but few that I buy to read again and again. While I was waiting for my parcel of books, I did some research on the author and discovered she had several other books. Well, like I said, I love a good fairy tale but get too science fiction on me and I'll lose interest. But desperate for something to hold me over, I picked up a series she wrote called "Shadowfall." It started off slow and I almost stopped reading but WOW, once it took off I was hooked. I finished the first book in a few days and then HAD to have the second one. It's so good. Riveting. Very creative. She's good. I am enjoying it so much I read while I bike in the mornings and yesterday I was truly angry that I had to go to work because I just wanted to read and find out what happens! I thought of the book the entire day. Ok, I admit, I do, at times, get emotionally attached to books I read. But, I think that's a sign of a good book. So, I was looking to borrow the third one from the library only to find that the third book ISN'T EVEN OUT YET!!! I have to wait until SEPTEMBER?!?!?!? CURSES!!!!!! THAT IS SO CRUEL!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to die from curiosity. DIE. Oh my gosh it's going to be torture. I almost considered not finishing the second one (that lasted for about 0.00003 seconds). I'll have to check out some of her other series. You're lucky I am using up some reading time to blog. But I had to share.


I never really understood why my mom referred to her flowers as her children but now I understand why. I am growing grape hyacinths from bulbs, which I have never done before and I'm scared that I will fail. And friends I BABY these flowers. I check the weather, bring the pot outside and bring it in if it's going to be too cold. It's kind of silly but I am determined. So, yesterday I walked outside to head to work and I looked down and saw this:

THEY ARE PEEKING THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I kid you not I dropped everything, knelt by the pot and just stared incredulously. They are growing! WHAT!!!??!!?? Oh happy day!!!!! I was so proud I Instagrammed them and kept talking about it with Mark when we got home. 

Now, this is what they look like today. 
I am SUCH a proud "mom"!!!