My very first skydive.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful 2011

I am thankful for...

1. My amazing family. These four people brought five other amazing people into my life and I love every minute I get to spend with them. We are extraordinarily ordinary.

2. My health-though I don't always take as good care of it as I should.

3. A job I love doing and people I like and respect to do it with.

4. A beautiful and peaceful old farmhouse to call home...for now.

5. The guts it took to finish my MPA.

6. My mother's stuffing-there is nothing like it in the world.

7. Skydiving.

8. Living in a place with four seasons, and enough clear nights to see the stars.

9. My friend Elizabeth who gave me Nantucket, chocolate boxes, the Nike Women's Marathon and so much more.

10. Having loved and lost.

11. My passport, my backpack and all of the adventures those two things provide.

12. My Mac and my iPhone. I love Apple.

13. Self reliance and independence.

14. Running, yoga, hiking, zumba and anything else that keeps me moving.

15. NPR.

16. Josh Groban. (That's not true, I just wrote that to make Libby laugh.)

17. Guinness (a pint, stew, gingerbread, floats...)

18. Monty Python-for never failing to made me giggle.

19. Skype-I get to hear Evan say "Ove you Auntie"- he's working on his L's.

20. George and Saoirse-they don't ask for much but they're good friends.

21. Mostly I am thankful for being raised with a great capacity for love and hope, for always having enough, and for the incredible amount of laughter and courage from my friends and family.

Wishing you and your family peace and joy and a delicious dinner!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I am battling my nomadic nature.

Now that my Master's degree is done I am feeling the restless pull for change. And yet I am not in any position to make many changes, at least not the kind I am used to. For example, I have moved roughly 20 times since I graduated high school. That encompasses 6 states and 3 colleges and 9 jobs. The desire for change is now manifesting itself in other ways. I briefly contemplated getting another cat. You know, shake things up a bit in my little household. I had already squashed that idea when my younger sister gently informed me that another cat would qualify me for "crazy cat lady" status. (She herself has 4 cats, but she's married with two kids so I think they cancel each other out in the crazy cat lady equation.)

I love my job, so I don't really want to leave. It's not where I want to spend the rest of my career so that door always remains unlocked, but I don't think I am ready to walk through it just yet.

This past weekend, Jessica showed me the most incredible property for sale in Middlebury. It's a beautiful old farm house from the 1800's. It has these magnificent (original?) pine board floors, funky pocket doors, and a charming little reading nook. It sits on 7+ acres with a pond, and beautiful woods. But the best part about it is the smaller farmhouse for sale right. next. door. In my dreams, I win the lottery and buy both houses so that I can live in this idyllic setting next to my sister. I could garden, adopt a dog, teach my nieces and nephew how to skate and swim...but I know even in that scenario I would get wanderlust.

So what's next?

I think I need a mini top ten list for the next keep me focused.

UPDATE:Here's the mini top ten...

10. Take a sign language class.

9. Learn how to make crepes.

8. Visit Mary and Cagle in MD.

7. Outline the book Jess and I want to write. (and maybe work on the first chapter?)

6. Find a local half marathon, properly train, and PR it.

5. Get all of my belongings under one roof-which means cleaning out the crawl space and attic at my parents.

4. Pull out all my empty picture frames and either put pictures IN them and hang them up or donate them.

3. Continue to learn how to snowboard.

2. Play Christmas Elf to at least 5 people. (and never let them figure out it was me!)

1. Plan my next trip abroad-even if I don’t have the money to do it for several years.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trilogy, Trinity, Trio.

I have amazing sisters. And for the 2nd year in a row we got together for what is bound to become a long-standing annual tradition: Sisters' Weekend. Here are this year's highlights.

1. Jojo's scrambled eggs for breakfast.
She makes amazing scrambled eggs. Her kids even prefer them to pancakes. Jessica and I coaxed her into making them for us both days.

2. Walking around the Pheasant Lane Mall-counterclockwise to ensure we saw every store.
With almost military precision we managed to walk past every store in the mall. I have no idea why this became important, but it did. It reaffirmed my extreme dislike for mall shopping, but where my sisters go-I follow.

3. Jessica attacking us with the Pig Popper Doll in Brookstone.
She found this toy:

and proceeded to follow us around the store pegging the little balls at us and then squealing-if you'll forgive the pun- with glee. She wanted to get it for Nella until Johanna reminded her that "shooting" toys may not be the best gift for a 3 year old.

4. Cement-eating pumpkins.
It's harder to explain this one-but Johanna still has her pumpkins out on her front steps. We'd noted how they were a bit past their prime. As we walked in the door one time Johanna tested the largest one's rigidity with her foot and it leaked pumpkin juice all over the steps. The next morning the cement had a huge crater in it. Spooky.

5. Olive Garden.
a. So. much. food.
b. Laughing so hard we annoyed our waiter-he clearly doesn't have sisters....or a sense of humor.
c. Just when we had composed ourselves, something else made Jessica laugh and she spit a mouthful of water all over Johanna and I. Seriously.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Run, Green Bean, Run.

I'm not a great storyteller. But I love stories. One of my favorite NPR offerings is The Moth. They bill it as true stories, told live, without notes. People, famous and obscure, get up on stage and share a story, relating to some overarching theme of the night, to a live audience. They are funny, insightful, heartbreaking and affirming. (If you can't listen to it live on an NPR station because some silly politician took away all of their funding and now you're lucky if they can broadcast anything but classical music, then you can always download the podcast or 'like' them on Facebook to get your fix).

These are some of my favorites:
Mike Destefano: Both "Franny's Last Ride" and "The Junkie and the Monk" are amazing.
Mike Birbiglia: "Sleepwalk With Me" -You'll never say Walla Walla, WA the same way again.
Brian Finkelstein: "Jewish Blood, Irish Heart"-He spends a weekend with one of the Chieftain's and makes you wish you had his luck.
Steve Osbourne: "Mug Shot" Thick NYC accent, incredible story about being a police officer.

I looked for links to these and others, but some I only have on podcast so I can't help you out. (If you simply must hear them, let me know and I'll make you a "Moth Mix" on cd-cause I am that awesome.)

The story that prompted this post is called "Green Bean Queen" which thankfully you can watch right here: Green Bean Queen.

It's time to start running again. And there are all of these old tapes that start playing in my head about how hard it is, how out of shape I am, blah, blah, blah. I challenge myself to stay positive and focused but it is good to be reminded that we all should only ever be the best little green bean we can be.

Me and one of my favorite fellow green beans, Nike Women's Marathon, 2005.

Next up is Pub 317's Run to the Pub in Bozeman, MT with another fellow green bean, Kim.
13.1 miles to a pub on St. Patrick's Day.
That's my kind of race.