April 30, 2016

dear saturday

Dear Saturday,

You were the day I wanted to quit right from the get go. You were the 9 hour work day with a 4 AM wake up call. You were wet socks and cat hair all over my all black uniform. You were a 6:45 breakfast rush and being go-go-go until 11 o' clock. You were the credit cards going down at 20 minutes to changeover. (AND running out of biscuits made for even grumpier customers.) You were the bill for Justin's surgery coming in the mail—and not getting approved for their chosen payment plan program.

You were a lot of bad things, Saturday. A lot of stress and some tears and definitely not. enough. coffee. 

Your high points today were:

5:30 AM: I looked out the window at work and saw this gorgeous sunrise. 

2:30 PM: I got to put sweat pants on and attempt to relax. 

3:45 PM: Remembered I had leftover Dairy Queen in the freezer. (Ice cream really does solve everything)

Life is all about taking it one day at a time. An hour or a minute at a time if you need to. Thank you, Saturday, for reminding me of that. 

April 29, 2016


Green trees,
Sixty degrees,
High sunlight,
Bare feet,
Ice cream
For an after dinner treat. 

Friday night in a nutshell. Happy weekend!

April 27, 2016

currently, april edition

appreciating all the sunshine we've had lately

drinking two cups of coffee today

listening to Coffee with Chrachel

making out a grocery list for later

snuggling with the Mew cat every morning before I get up for the day

watching InuYasha with Justin

preparing for his teeth extraction next month(!)

eating a lot of ice cream lately

refusing to believe we are almost done with April already

thinking about looking for a new car

taking on a lot of responsibilities at work

quoting Mean Girls all the time lately

wearing dresses every chance I get

loving this season in our lives, despite how scary it is sometimes 

April 25, 2016

fear & ice cream

Last week, I took Justin to the dentist. His teeth have been bad since before we got together. Recently, I had to take Justin to the emergency room because of an infection deep in his mouth. It was Sunday so we couldn't get to the dentist. Justin looked at me and said, "Enough is enough. Can you start looking for a dentist?"

Because Justin is exhausted from constantly dealing with the pain from his teeth. From having constant anxiety of something getting stuck in them and causing an infection. From having his life revolve around his teeth. He is being so brave and I am so proud of him. 

Justin and I went to DQ after the dentist. That may seem like a walking contradiction, but it’s a tradition my mom started with me after I did something that scared me. Got shots at the doctor? Let’s go get ice cream. First therapy appointment? Let’s go get ice cream. Moving out? Buy all your favorite flavors at Adrian’s and have a frozen custard party. (Because at that point, it felt like sacrilege to go anywhere but Adrian's.) 

I wanted to share this tradition with Justin because it means a lot to me. It means closeness and vulnerability and "You are not alone in this." It means sharing the hard parts of yourself—your fears and if you stay to fight them or if you pull the blanket over your eyes and pretend everything is fine. It means adding another strand in the unbreakable bond between you and your people. (And you get ice cream out of the deal!)

As Mei Ratz says, "Nervous means do it." So get out there and do it. Face your fears, unmask the ugly parts of yourself, tell your people how much you need them and how much you love them. And then dry your tears and go get ice cream. 

April 24, 2016

love affair

Downtown is full of beautiful old brick buildings. Some are painted, some are bare, some have ghost ads on them... All of them are absolutely beautiful. The rain this morning made all the normally muted and faded colors come back to life. 

April 22, 2016

happy earth day!

It seems beyond fitting that on earth day, everything is finally in bloom. All the trees are budding and starting to turn green. This time of year, when everything all of a sudden roars back to life from the dead of winter, really is my favourite. Pretty soon it'll be summer and these few blissful weeks of petal covered sidewalks will be a thing of the past. I want to savor it while it lasts. 

April 19, 2016

waiting rooms

Waiting room views.

I started noticing waiting rooms when I was 16 and going to therapy for the first time. I sat in the solitary chair between the end table and the secretary's desk, as though it was added as an afterthought. People would file in and out and I started to notice the little things. Like how the pamphlets on the table next to me were coated in dust and the secretary always put the phone on hold for approximately 30 seconds before transferring the call to whoever the person on the other end wanted to speak to. The people mostly looked tired. And I'm sure I was no exception to that. 

People in waiting rooms are sort of a community. They are passing time, sitting in a group of people who have been brought together by a single purpose: to get on with whatever appointment or errand they have to run and get on with their lives. But in the waiting room, we all have to sit. And breathe. And maybe make idle small talk with the person next to you. You have to participate in the community you don't even know you're a part of. That's why I love waiting rooms: the community. The feeling of looking over at someone and feeling a sense of "me too." 

April 18, 2016

weekend recap

This weekend was... Driving 3 hours south on Saturday morning to go see my favourite people. My mom took me to get my first ever pedicure for my birthday present. Then we went down the road to my favorite pizza place in the whole world—Next Door Pub. We both got their new flatbread pizzas and our minds were blown. Hands down, best pizza ever. 

It was watching a pretty sunset from my childhood backyard and drinking wine in the kitchen with my person, my soulmate, my best friend in the entire world. We read PostSecret and exclaimed "Frank's not a douche!" when the notification popped up from bloglovin'. It was quiet girl talk in the spare bedroom, not a far cry from sleepovers in my bedroom during high school. 

It was my mom making coffee and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I went in the backyard to take a picture of my coffee, a familiar habit from my adult life carried over into my childhood home.  We buried Bubba on the hillside next to his brother, Buddy Sr. I grieved again for my lost "brother." It was spending 20 minutes at Kohls looking for a pair of sandals that were cute but wouldn't break the bank.

It was driving to see my dad and spending time in the garage. We took the Monte for a drive into Milwaukee so my dad could a) show me where he works, and b) switch out the steering wheel for a different one he bought from eBay. Spending time in the garage with my dad, sitting in whichever car he's working on and asking him, "What are you doing? What does that part do? Why does that have to go there?" was a big part of my childhood. Sitting in the passenger seat holding screws and grabbing sockets for him was like deja vu in the best way. 

It was spending time with my extended family. When I went over to my aunt and uncles, they were cutting up potatoes for dinner, and we caught up on what's been happening to everyone since Christmas when I was home last. It was walking home from their house and appreciating the golden hour sunlight & 75 degree weather. It was cutting daffodils from my grandmas garden and taking them to her grave so she would get to experience them this year too. 

It was sitting in the grass at the cemetery, trying not to cry, watching the sun sink back behind the tree line. A warm breeze ruffled my hair and for a moment, I felt my grandma with me. It was like she sat down next to me and said, "Happy Spring. Thank you. I love you too."

It was going to Adrian's and seeing Betty. Going home during the off season kills me because my Adrian's fam still means so much to me and I always love when I get to stop by and say hi. (And hoard quarts of my fav flavors!) Afterwards, I drove around and saw the first pink tree of the season. My love for them is never ending, and I'm so happy their season is finally here. 

This weekend was, in short, amazing. 

April 15, 2016

day one, check

As far as birthday celebrations go, yesterday was a very very good one. Coffee and pretty dresses and making stuff with friends was the best way to ring in 24. Once I get some photos printed, I'll share the start of what I made yesterday with Cristin. It might be the start of a new series. We'll see. 

April 12, 2016

inspiration, come on down

I follow a lot of amazing artists. I am fortunate enough to even be friends with some of them. And these artist friends of mine? They share a lot of awesome and inspiring things on Facebook. (Which is awesome because then I don't see as many minion posts & recipes nobody is ever going to make.)

The other day, this post was made by someone who I have been following since I was heavily active on flickr in 2009. 

I couldn't hit like and share fast enough. 

I love art. I love other people who love art. I don't necessarily need to succeed in art at this point in my life where I've made it just a hobby, but I love every single point Joel made here. Especially, "Laugh and cry and be angry about it and then scoop up those pieces and make something from it."

That's always been my motivation to make. The emotions. All of those complex, messy and wonderful feelings get to be made into something tangible through art. And then I get to hang that art in my house. Or give it to friends. Or try to sell it so other people can enjoy it. And when that doesn't work, you give it away. Give away your feelings so that other people can experience them too. 

That's what life is all about, isn't it?

April 10, 2016

today is our three year anniversary of moving in together

What are your middle names?
Justin's is Randy. Mine is Elizabeth. 
How long have you been together?
Our three year anniversary of moving in together is today. We've been a couple for a little over 3.5 years. 
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We Skyped and emailed each other for a little over a month. 
Who asked whom out?
Justin asked me. 
How old are each of you?
23 and 29. Until Thursday when we will be 24 and 29. 
Whose siblings do you see the most?
His, because I am an only child. ;)
Did you go to the same school?
Nope. We grew up 2.5 hours away from each other, completely unaware of each other's existence. 
Are you from the same home town?
Nope. I'm from Burlington, he's from Waupaca. 
Who is smarter?
I would say Justin overall. 
Who is the most sensitive?
The one with the blog (duh). 
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Hardee's, tbh, because we both work there... But other than that, probably Culvers. 
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
The three hour car ride between Burlington and Waupaca. 
Who has the craziest exes?
I think I do. 
Who has the worst temper?
We're both pretty even I think. 
Who does the cooking?
Justin, for the most part. I'm in charge of pasta night and baking. 
Who is the neat-freak?
Justin is the one with more discipline when it comes to keeping the house clean. 
Who is more stubborn?
Justin. He would say me, but that's because he is stubborn (obviously). 
Who hogs the bed?
ME. I feel sorry for Justin some mornings. 
Who wakes up earlier?
I do. 
Where was your first date?
Does Skype count? Otherwise our first in person date was when Justin came to meet me in Burlington and we went to Adrian's and then went grocery shopping.  
Who is more jealous?
We both have our areas. 
How long did it take to get serious?
We're The One for each other. It took me approximately 2.5 years to realize this. Justin knew immediately, he says. 
Who eats more?
Tough call. I eat small things throughout the day and Justin sticks to a typical breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule. 
Who does the laundry?
Who's better with the computer?
Probably me, because I'm ~up to date with technology~
Who drives when you are together?
Me. Because I'm the one with the car. 

April 09, 2016

cold air & therapy wrapped up in one

There's something really calming about feeling the wind off the lake chill your skin. It makes you feel alive on the days when all you want to do is crawl under a rock. My walk today was chilly, but so very therapeutic. 

April 07, 2016

let's talk body image

Do you ever have those moments where you look at yourself before you get in the shower and you just pick apart everything you hate about your body? I did that this morning. I stared at myself in the mirror and thought, "I hate (insert body part here), and I hate the way this looks and I hate the way that looks at this angle." Once the water was hot enough, I took my shower and went on with my day. 

All day yesterday that cloud of negative body image hung over my head. I don't want to hate my body. It's the only I have. It's the only one I am ever going to get. I am a fat girl living in 2016. I am living in a time where I am pressured and manipulated into believing that I need to change my body in order to be accepted and normal and loved in the eyes of society. 

I want to be nicer to my body (and myself). I want to be able to look in the mirror and not pick myself apart, inside and out. I want to not be insecure about the way my clothes fit. I want to be able to go shopping for clothes and not cry in the dressing room because nothing fits. I want to be able to go to the grocery store or go out to eat without feeling like everyone around me is judging my food choices. 

I'm trying to love my body right now. And it is hard, but that is always the struggle. Keep your chin up, friends. 

April 06, 2016

overwhelming sense of good

Last night after Deadliest Catch, I had the urge to Make Something. So I busted out my sharpies and the stack of index cards buried in my art supply box and made a little art therapy magic. Because I do believe in magic. And morning coffee. And an Overwhelming Sense of Good. 

April 05, 2016

good vs. bad vs. art

I read this article this afternoon and something clicked in my head.

All of the moments of "absolute narcissism" are the good days: the ones where you take care of yourself, when you make the things that you to make, when you make sense of the bad days. They're the days you feel invincible. The days when the sun is out and you're in a good mood and you want to dance it all out because you're so. damn. happy. 

And all of the moments of "crippling self doubt" are the bad days: the ones where you don't get out of bed, when you stare longingly at your work pile and wish you had the energy to work on it, when you remember the good days fondly and hope that they will come back. They are the days you spend scrolling through Instagram and looking at all of the other creative people you follow and you think, "How do they do that? How do they have a business and a marriage and a family and a LIFE(?!)while I'm sitting here like a lump in my bed?"

Sometimes you scroll a bit more, read one more blog entry, listen to one more podcast, and then you feel it: that little seed of inspiration starting in your head. You write a note on your hand. Type a note into your phone. Do something, anything, to save your idea before it flits away into the void. That's where the art comes in. The inspiration, the seed, the idea. 

You need the bad days to make you appreciate the good ones. You need the good days to calm the suffering during the bad ones. You use the ideas you conjure up during the good days to calm you on the bad days. Use the ideas from the bad days to inspire you look at the details. Trust your ideas. Turn those ideas into a process. 

Dive into your process and make your art. Let your feelings be heard or seen or smelled or tasted or felt. Set them out into the world so they are no longer bottled up inside of you. Let other people experience them too. 

April 04, 2016

a case of the mondays

I woke up this morning in a funk. I didn't feel like myself. So I listened to yesterday's episode of Coffee with Chrachel, drank some caramel iced coffee, and told myself to chill out. Just because it's Monday, and just because it's cloudy and cold outside, doesn't mean today is going to be bad. So I got out of bed, did my makeup, and beat the funk. Work went good. The sun came out. And it was a good day. 

April 02, 2016

moody blues

At 6:30 this morning, big fat snowflakes started to fall from the sky. By the time the plow guy came to plow the work parking lot, the sun was out but it was still snowing. During lunch hour today it went from being sunny to being whiteout conditions and then back to sunny within 10 minutes. I don't know who pissed off Mother Nature, but it would be greatly appreciated if they stopped doing whatever is making her moody because literally everyone in Wisconsin is so beyond ready for spring. 

At least the sun is out now (even if it feels like 19* at the beginning of April). 

April 01, 2016

hello, sunlight

6:47 am

The light this morning was INSANE. I love the sun. Happy April! It's birthday month. T-minus two weeks until vacation, which means two weeks until the big 2-4. I'm nervous. I'm excited. Let's roll, April.