Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Job, New Outlook on Life

A week ago, I started a new job, which explains my absense from the blog world.  Over the last few weeks, my life has been full of surprises. 

Four weeks ago, I was feeling at a loss....confused about what was going to come next and wondering about whether or not any of the changes I wanted would ever happen.  My patience was being tested.  Thanks to the wonderful women in my small group, I was reminded that I needed to just trust in God's timing for it truly is the best timing.

A few days after I reached my low point, I received word about a job opening.  I sent in my resume.  Less than a week later, I had interviewed, received a job offer, and put in my two weeks notice.  This new opportunity was a huge answer to prayers, and probably the most direct answer to prayer that I've ever experienced.  I had been waiting for almost a year for a new job or new opportunity to come along.  I had put myself out there in so many ways, and I didn't understand why nothing was working out.  I was confused and impatient.  I was beginning to doubt that He was even paying attention.  

Now at the end of my first week at my new job, my doubts are gone.  Everything happenned so quickly and the timing of it all was too perfect for it to be anything but God's work.  I'm so grateful for everything, and I'm so looking forward to seeing how my life changes and develops as a result of this new job.  I'm feeling so positive about the future, and I'm couldn't be more ready for it to start.

Thanks to everyone who has been there for me as a friend along the way.  There are times when my strength comes from those who are close to me, and I am truly the luckiest person in the world.

I'll be sure to get back to blogging regularly.  With my new job, I'm more busy during the day, so my posts may be more few and far between....but I'm beyond grateful that I'm being challenged at my new job, so if blogging has to take a back seat for a while, I'm ok with that. 

I'm thankful for...
61) Hot summer days
62) First dates that are so good you don't want them to end
63) Sweet text messages in the middle of the day
64) Blue painter's just makes painting so much easier.
65) Trashy reality's my guillty pleasure
66) Public's good for the environment and saves me from driving in traffic
67) Kraft macaroni and cheese. so yummy!
68) Ribs from Smoke Daddy
69) Park Community Church
70) The lakeshore path.  Aren't we so lucky to have that all along Lake Michigan?

Live Sweetly :)

image from New Wine Today

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I realized that I forgot to list 5 thankful things at the end of my music post yesterday. Silly me!

So, here are 10 things to add to the list!

I'm thankful for...
51) Reality tv shows that provide great entertainment
52) Emergen-C, it's really helping me out at the moment
53) When God reminds you in big ways that he's working on it
54) Facebook wall posts from old friends
55) Blue painter's makes the job so much easier!
56) Pre-marinated frozen chicken from the store (I always forget to plan ahead and marinate, so this solves that problem)
57) Chicken flavored yellow rice...yummm!!!
58) My small group...these ladies are the loves of my life.
59) My memory foam contoured pillow
60) Flat shoes, and I'm so glad they are in style at the moment.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Phillipians 4: 6

Live Sweetly :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Music Monday 06-14-10

This week's artist isn't someone new or super trendy, but is what I like to call and oldie but goody.  When I think of summer, I always think of John Mellencamp.  I've loved his music ever since I was a kid.  I saw him in concert when I was 16, and it is still one of the top 5 concerts I've ever attended.  So, here are a few tunes from one of my all time favorites, John Mellencamp:

1. Pink Houses
2. Small Town
3. Hurts So Good
4. Jack and Diane
5. Lonely Ol' Night

Don't you just want to hop in a pick-up truck and go for a ride in the country?  Then, finish it off with a picnic under the stars.  Maybe I'll add that to my summer to do list...

Live Sweetly :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Audrey Knows Best

"…I believe laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."

Audrey Hepburn

Isn't she beautiful?  And so wise, too.

I'm thankful for...
46) Fun nights at dive bars with great friends
47) The ability to know right from wrong
48) Coffee from Dunkin Donuts
49) The Blackhawks!
50) Chicago summer festivals...up next: Blue's Fest!

Live Sweetly :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer To Do

I recently read a blog entry from A Soft Place to Land about making a summer to do list.  This blogger made a list for her kids so she has ideas to fill the sometimes long summer days.  I figured that although I don't have kids or many long summer days to fill, I better make a list of musts for this summer.

So here it is!  I'll keep you updated on my progress as the summer moves on.

Summer 2010 To Do:
-train for the marathon
-play at least one full round of golf
-spend a lot of time at the beach (both North Ave and Michigan City)
-go to Lollapalooza
-see at least 2 free concerts at Millenium Park
-go to one of the Movies in the Park
-have a drink on the roof of The Wit hotel
-spend a day at Great America (anyone want to go with me?)
-finish my office to closet transformation
-go to Old St. Pat's block party
-go to the Taste of Chicago since the music line up is pretty good
-see the fireworks at Navy Pier
-go to the boat races on Kankakee River for Labor Day
-mini golf
-grill out...a lot.

That's all I can think of for now.  I already have some of these things in progress or in the works (Lolla tickets have been bought, closet has been cleared out, heading to Millenium Park next week for Vivaldi's four Seasons).  This summer is going to be GREAT!!

I'm thankful for...
41) Friends who have grills because I am lacking one
42) the guy at Sherwin Williams who was very helpful today
43) my friend, Kate, who is showing me how to refinish furniture
44) the color turquoise...I just love it (and it will be the color of my new office!)
45) rainy days during the week and sunny days on the weekend

I hope you all are having a glorioius day!

Live Sweetly :)

image from Thai Jasmine

Monday, June 7, 2010

Music Monday 06-07-10

Ginny Owens is this week's artist for Music Monday.  Her music and lyrics are moving, heartfelt, and encouraging.  Ginny lost her eyesight at the age of 3; however, her love for music and beautiful voice were the things that continued to give her hope and kept her working through the challenges that faced her.

My favorite song of her's is "If You Want Me To".  It has an encouraging message about continuing to push through life's trials and tribulations.

Thankfully, you can listen to a live version of the song on Ginny's website.  Please take the time to listen by clicking here.  If you like it as much as I do, you can purchase her music here.

Ginny Owens - If You Want Me To

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

ya oh oh no

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to

I'm thankful for...
36) Encouraging text messages on Monday mornings
37) Running into old friends
38) Scrambled eggs with hashbrowns and ketchup
39) Outdoor summer fests
40) Having a fun weekend planned when it's only Monday

Live Sweetly :)

holy experience

Thursday, June 3, 2010


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.                                                                                              

-Reinhold Niebuhr

I'm thankful for...
31) The kind encouragement from friends.
32) Good books that can effect your thoughts and ultimately effect your life
33) When the right song plays at the exact right time
34) Beautiful sunny mornings during my long commute
35) New opportunities

Live Sweetly :)

image from Paul Linton

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Design Inspiration: Contact Paper on Counters??

As I'm in the midst of my closet to office transformation, it's got me thinking about the rooms in my apartment that I have yet to really touch.  Besides easy things like hanging pictures or curtains and a wall decal or two, my kitchen and bathroom haven't been touched.  Rather than concentrate on my current project like I probably should be, I'm already thinking about what I should do next because no apartment or house is ever really finished, right?  Well, mine never is.

The kitchen is bit daunting for me.  I don't want to damage anything, which means keeping the counters and cabinest as they are, and I certainly don't want to spend a lot of money on a rented unit, which means no pretty appliances.  So besides painting the walls, what can I do?

I came across an article about covering kitchen counters with patterned contact paper on Have any of you ever seen a picture of this? Or heard of someone doing it to their own kitchen?  It seems like it would work well, but I'm concerned about the wear and tear.  So please let me know if you've seen this...or kindly ask your design-y friends if they've tried it.  Thank you!

I'm thankful for...
26) My afternoon glass of green tea
27) French vanilla creamer for my morning cup of coffee
28) A glass of red wine after work
29) Chocolate protein shakes post-morning workout
30) Gatorade after a long run on a hot day

(for some reason I decided to pay homage to all of my favorite beverages??)

Live Sweetly :)

Marathon Training: Week 2

This week's training has been an interesting one so far.  With Chicago's unseasonably warm weather, finding a good time of day to run has been somewhat difficult.  Over the long weekend, I ran 7 miles.  It went well, although I need to find a good route for these long runs that aboid stop lights.  During the week, I've been doing a combination of shorter 4-mile runs and some cross training.  I'm starting to get ot the point in training where I need to be more strategic with what I eat before my long runs.  As I was running on Saturday morning, I kept thinking about some of the tips my high school running coach, Coach McCabe, used to share with us.  Some of his tips involved eating and proper training techniques, but most of his tips were about remaining positive and believing in ourselves.  I'll have to find some of the weekly handouts he used to give us and share some of his inspirational quotes with you all.  Stay tuned...

Please take the time to read my blog post about the Special Olympics here and take the time to place a donation here.

Thank you in advance for your contribution!

I'm thankful for...
21) Listening to music on Pandora when it iTunes selection seems boring
22) The large amount of songs in my music collection, so listening to iTunes doesn't get boring often.
23) the show's so entertaining!
24) Happy hours with good friends...I'm looking forward to tonight!
25) Times when I can sit and just listen to the rain fall.

Live Sweetly :)
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