Thursday, May 30, 2013

Treehouse Sanctum. Walnut Room. Friday. For Reals.

I realize that my title could not have been more literal, but just in case there is confusion: Treehouse Sanctum is playing at the Walnut Room on Friday.

As in the Walnut Room.

As in tomorrow.


I haven't heard this dynamic duo in a couple of months so I am SUPER EXCITED to hear them tomorrow night!! And I am conveying this EXCITEMENT by CAPITALIZING random WORDS and including MANY exclamation POINTS!!!!!

So, here are the details for those Type A personalities:

Who: Treehouse Sanctum (My big brother Sam and his musical genius partner Danya)
What: A really good time.
When: Friday, May 31, 2013
Where: The Walnut Room
Time: 8:00 pm (It's Friday, people! You can sleep in on Saturday.)
Cost: $7-10

For Type B personalities:
Just show up sometime tomorrow at the Walnut Room.

I hope to see you there! And I know Treehouse Sanctum will be really excited to see you too.

P.S. I can totally get you backstage passes, which will probably look a lot like the back parking lot of the building. But still.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 14 Hour Webinar - Part 2

Greetings from my office chair.

I am now beginning hour 9 of the webinar and am learning how to run mail merges in our database so I don't have to re-create them in Word. Actually, it is quite brilliant and is going to save me a lot of time. Mail merges and I have a complicated relationship. Sometimes we love each other, sometimes we hate each other's guts. So, in a very strange way, I see this as a type of therapy so we will have a more fruitful relationship in the future.

That last sentence could be a cry for help.

Andrew, the guy leading this webinar, is surprisingly funny and personable. He is working from his apartment in New York City and occasionally his dog barks or runs into the computer. I appreciate that. It keeps things real.

And of the other 26 participants, 25 of them are women. I am not sure what that means, other than Kevin, the lone guy, is probably feeling extremely manly right about now. Or maybe he isn't. I am not sure. I really don't know Kevin but I do appreciate his ability to virtually hang with 25 women.

In other news, I am wearing salmon colored ankle pants with leopard flats. Proof:

Webinars, although extremely beneficial and useful, are an extrovert's nightmare.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The 14 Hour Webinar - Part 1

I am currently in the middle of a 14 hour webinar. I am learning how to properly navigate a database that was created by a NASA rocket scientist who thought it would be fun to teach liberal arts majors how to slowly go insane.

It is exactly as awesome as it sounds.

I have barricaded myself in my office with the door shut. I told my colleagues that if they needed to reach me they could email me, like a lifeline of sorts. What I failed to mention, however, is that if I do not emerge from my office later this afternoon, they may want to come in to check on me. My brain may have exploded, and in that case, yuck.

Squats, lunges, jumping jacks and peanut butter all help to move this along.

So, Memorial Day Weekend. I hope yours was stupendous! Mine was completely wonderful. Every weekend should be a three-day weekend, especially in the summer. I played some ping pong, planted flowers, attempted to hit a few balls at the driving range, hosted a block party, celebrated a birthday and ate some frozen yogurt. I went to bed last night smelling like a campfire, slightly sunburned, totally wiped out and full of s'mores. I would call that summer perfection.

 What did you do? Does your hair smell like smoke this morning? Are you licking marshmallows off of your elbow? Is your skin the color of a tomato? Are your flowers planted? Garden weeded? Are you well-rested? Totally worn out? Did you put a few miles on your car? Your bicycle? Your running shoes? Your credit card?

Feel free to comment more than once. It's just me and some guy named Andrew and 26 other people trying to plow through this material without actually losing IQ points.

Or, if you are in the neighborhood and want to drop off some coffee, I will open my door for you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Gateway Weekend

This could be my most favorite weekend of the entire year. It is the kick-off to all things warm and wonderful.

Here are a few things I would like to accomplish:

Eat some watermelon.

Wear flip flops.

Attempt to tan.

Ride a bicycle.

Sleep in late.

Bake a cake.

Drink some coffee.


See my dad.

I hope your weekend is full of everything wonderful. Happy Memorial Day weekend, my friends.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's In a Name

I have mentioned that I  studied Genesis this year. We quickly came to the end of the book this week, after spending some time with Joseph and his motley crew of brothers. Yet my mind continues to wander back to earlier chapters.

To be specific, my brain is still stuck on Sarah.

As in Abraham's better half.

She was a complex woman. She was known for her beauty, probably rocking the good looks well into her 90's. Apparently the desert sun and sand were good to her.

She was courageous enough to leave all that she knew to follow her husband to lands unknown.

She endured several sticky situations with heads of state, both of which would make me want to trade in my husband for a newer version.

She was barren, carrying around a deep sadness that was personally heartbreaking and publicly humiliating.

And she was resourceful.

Many of her qualities I do not share, but the resourcefulness I can understand. You see, I have a tendency to want to help God along, like I am his trusty side-kick who sometimes saves the day.

I am pretty sure this would be categorized as "Ego Maniac" in the concordance.

Sarah was promised a child, and after years of waiting (and crying and waiting), she decided that perhaps what God really meant was that she would have a child through her maidservant. You know, as in perhaps she thought she needed to help God out in accomplishing His plan. Perhaps she thought God wasn't big enough.

It is easy to read this and think "Geez, Sarah. Can't you see that this plan would create some drama with a side of dysfunction?" It is easy to read this and see where her thinking took a wrong turn.

Yet, how often do I do the same thing? How often do I think that God really didn't mean what He said when He asked me to "Be still and know that I am God?" How often do I question His plan for my life when nothing is going the way I thought it would, therefore I must have dropped the ball somewhere and need to pick it up? How often do I think that God must need me to help Him out because He just doesn't have time, or the love, or the desire, or the ability to make His plan unfold without me?

Unfortunately, the answer is often.

As I studied Sarah and the imperfections of her life, I was reminded that our name means "Princess."
However, I have found myself acting more like the daughter of a peasant than a daughter of a King, because daughters of a King would never doubt His ability to accomplish anything He pleased.

Daughters of a King are never in want, are never in fear, are never without exactly what they need.

Daughters of a King are not side-kicks or back-up plans, they are simply daughters who get to rely on a Father who will never let them down.

So my prayer is that I remember this and live by it, because I will gladly hang up my cape for that.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Frozen Joy

For those of you who reside in the Denver area, you have no doubt heard about Little Man Ice Cream. It is a staple around here, boasting the very best ice cream flavors in the entire world. There is always a line out front, even in the winter, and if you decide to get an ice cream fix on a warm night, plan on waiting for 30 minutes.

But oh baby, it is worth it.

On Friday night, Sara and I hit up Little Man after a fabulous dinner at Lola. We were celebrating her birthday and nothing screams "HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA!" like free valet parking, Mexican food and ice cream. Preach.

After our amazing dinner of butternut squash queso, pork carnitas and skirt steak enchiladas, we naturally had room for dessert. So off we went to Little Man, where we were both craving the one flavor that we cannot live without. It is the one flavor that they always have available because half of the Denver metro area is addicted to it. It is the crack of frozen culinary world, the drug of choice for calorie counters and couch potatoes alike.

Are you ready for this?

Salted Oreo ice cream.

And it is freaking delicious. I mean, just look at our faces! It is because we are eating frozen joy.

They also have flavors like Fluffernutter, Mexican Chocolate and Orange Dreamsicle. But they bring in new flavors all the time, so you pretty much need to go on a regular basis to try them all.

After an evening of culinary bliss and perfectly warm weather, there is only one thing you can talk about: who is your favorite Kardashian. And ours is Khloé, for so many reasons.

Do you have a favorite Kardashian? Don't worry if you don't. You may not even know who they are and that is perfectly okay. It means you are actually living your life and probably going outside on a regular basis and I doubt you ever say things like "I just can't deal" or "I think I will x-ray my butt."

Or maybe you do. I don't know. (I feel like I have gotten myself into a reality television vortex and cannot get out.)

Do you at least have a favorite ice cream flavor? I bet you do. And I bet it is delicious.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Cut A Mango

In my efforts to simplify, I decided to tackle the mango.

You see, I am slightly addicted to them. They have been on sale for over a month at the grocery store and I stock up every time I go in. They are so deliciously sweet and perfect for breakfast that I find myself craving them every morning.

However, they are nearly impossible to cut.

If you peel them first, they slip out of your hands and shoot across the kitchen. Not ideal.

If you slice them with the skin still on, you end up mauling the fruit and all you are left with is a big pulpy mess. Delicious? Yes. Pretty? Nope.

Finally, I tried a technique I had seen before and decided to cut it while it is still in its skin, just like you would an avocado. The trick to this is finding a mango that isn't too ripe. It needs to be firm with a slight give when you press into it. If it is too mushy, then you will end up juicing it and licking pulp from between your fingers.

So, after several practice runs, the mango has finally been conquered.

And here is proof (Pardon my sub-par photography skills. It was early):

1. Slice off one side of the mango with the skin still on. Score it like you're playing tic tack toe.

2. Grab a large spoon and scoop it out.

3. Add it to your Greek yogurt, favorite salad or eat it by itself.

Thus, the simple life, mango style.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Eight Years Old

Apparently this kid is eight years old now.

What the heck?

I demand a re-count.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Simple Life Experiment

Yesterday morning I had coffee with my darling friend Heather. She and I get together periodically to talk about shoes and baking and traveling adventures and boys, all things dear to our heart, the last one causing more angst than joy.

And we find ourselves being on the same page with most things, almost to the point where it is wonderfully ridiculous. Yesterday, we camped out on the topic of simplifying. Getting rid of the excess that ends up hindering our lives instead of helping.

And this got me thinking. What are the things that I really need in my life?

My iPhone? Maybe, but I don't need to check it every five minutes.

My Kitchen Aid mixer? Definitely.

TV? Nope. I really don't need it.

Hulu Subscription? Weeeeeellllll...I guess not. Darn it.

And the list goes on.

I loved the idea of taking things out of my life that I have held onto by obligation or trendiness. I think part of my funked-out week had to do with being overwhelmed with too much, or being absorbed with too much. Granted, some things you have no control over, but other things? Heck, yes. They can be kicked to the curb.

Thus: The Simple Life Experiment.

I am dedicating the summer of 2013 to simplicity.

I am sure it will come in a variety of forms, from cooking and baking healthy, clean foods to gardening, reading, traveling and maybe finally getting rid of the Kardashians...maybe. And not spending half of my paycheck every time I go to Target. I look forward to purging, cleaning, down-sizing and streamlining so I have more room to be creative. Or perhaps just so I can take a really great nap. Yoga also sounds like a wonderful new addiction.

Ideally, I would have some chickens and horse to round out my experiment, but suburbia is not conducive to farm animals. But I will blog about it and I will show you pictures of recipes and my scraped knees from falling off of my bicycle.

I promise to not become pretentious and condemn you if you eat Velveeta. I promise to still shave my armpits and to eat pizza and cookie dough every once in a while. And I promise I will not, under any circumstances, wear clothing made of hemp.

But, I have got to do this for me. It's just time.

And I am starting today: I am disconnecting my work email from my phone. A small step for most, but a ginormous step for the FC.

And I already feel better.

So, bring on the simple.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Week Off

You may have noticed that I inadvertently took a week off from blogging. I thought about all the words I could write and all the stories I could share with you but the only thing I came up with was "I've got nothing."

Sometimes that happens. Sometimes that happens because I am fully entrenched into a routine that consists of sleeping, working and driving. As much as I would like to make that entertaining, sometimes it just isn't. Surprisingly, sometimes I don't fall into a fountain or compete with a pregnant woman on the treadmill.

Sometimes that happens because I have computer meltdowns or loss of connectivity or I am halfway around the world where I am having trouble finding running water let alone free wi-fi.

Sometimes that happens because I need a break. Hey, we all need vacations and I am a HUGE fan of taking them.

But this time, this time it happened because I was empty. I was running on fumes and the thought of even typing that out made me tired. I was in a deep funk, a funk consisting of stress, fatigue and a touch of depression. In other words, the trifecta of anti-blog material.

Sometimes, this is where life drops you off, even if only for a week.

So, I did what I do best: I spent my free time eating. And when I felt guilty from eating, I ate some more to stuff down my guilt. And if I wanted to escape the sense of guilt from eating 39 miniature Twix bars, I would watch TV. Hour after hour of mindless "entertainment" would pass and do you know what I felt afterword? Worse. I felt worse.

And all the while, as I tried to fill the time and the void with overly-processed garbage, I did my best to stifle the still, small voice inside, saying:

Sarah. I can quench your thirst. I can give you a new song.

And I was like: "Nope. I've got this. I know what I am doing. My parched soul and I are doing just fine."

This went on for a full week.

Just ask me. I can fill you up.

"I am full. Full of nougat."

Stop fighting me. I long to comfort you.

"Hulu does a great job of comforting me. And so do stretchy pants."

I want to give you an abundant life, not one of left-overs.

"I love left-overs. Just throw me some scraps."

And then finally, finally, something clicked. The voice of self-pity was drowned out by my need for something more. Something that this world was not offering: life. I needed the restoration of a hope-filled life not the continuation of a man-made rut.

And with that realization, the cycle stopped.

I love when He brings us around to see this. Because it boils down to this: do you trust Me enough to provide you with what you need?

And for most of last week, I did not.

Oh, the tragic loss of a week.

But oh, the sweet grace of what awaited.

And now I am back.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gas Pump Awesomeness

I promise this will not become a blog where all I do is post the latest Youtube sensation.

But this video makes me so happy.

Like Disneyworld happy.

And I really, really want to be their friend. I think I could hang with them.

I have a version of "Proud Mary" that will blow your eardrums mind.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Table Manners

So, the computer issues rage on. I am now using a laptop circa 1847, which screams volumes as to how bad my work desk top had become. But I am nothing if not a fighter so I will persevere in this technological meltdown.

In other news...I am busy. As in if I could multi-task while I sleep, that would be beneficial right now. So because of the busyness, the antiquated web portals and my general lack of news, I leave you this video.

It disturbs me. It makes me laugh. It reminds me of a few blind dates I have been on. And I am left wondering how they other guy didn't laugh all the time.