Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A recent blog post by my friend Shanna has set me to thinking. I absolutely LOVE fireflies. They are a wondrous miracle. Sometimes I think God created them just to bring sheer joy to our lives. There really is something magical about the soft blinking in the serene dusk of a cooling summer day...

My first memory of seeing a firefly was when I was in kindergarten. We were living in Ohio at the time and I remember feeling like I was experiencing something akin to a real life fairytale. Amazingly, when I was older and again lived in places that I was lucky enough to be around fireflies, I felt the same way I did as a 5 year old. I love that. Sometimes I feel a lot of the magic I found in life when I was a kid has disappeared. Its wonderful to realize that I haven't lost all of it.

I also remember going "firefly hunting." I couldn't help but smile and feel energized during these hunts, no matter how ridiculous I might've looked. I spent countless evenings outside chasing around the blinking lights, earnestly trying to capture one little bug to marvel over in the cup of my hand, without even realizing how much time had passed. Even if I was outside all evening and I didn't catch a single one, I'd still come home thrilled from the experience.

Firefly evenings left me feeling invigorated and happy, all while pursuing my mission: getting me an up close and personal view of one of those lightin' bugs. I didn't always. Sometimes all I caught was the smile on a grown man's face as he jumped around the yard like a child. I guess accomplishment can have many faces. There's probably fewer disappointments to be found with that realization, even in the event of not catching a desired firefly.

Even if I don't actually catch a firefly every time I chase after one I hope that I can come away, glad to have tried anyway. Although I may not have caught a firefly, despite all that running around, I at least learned how cool grass feels between bare toes. Success can look different at one end from the other.

One thing I have learned from these many hunts is that there is a magic hour of twilight when all the world seems to be twinkling aglow with fireflies- but they don't stay out all night. After a few hours you'd be lucky to still find one flickering around. Sometimes though I need to just get out there and watch, even if I don't feel like catching a firefly right away. At least I would be where I needed to be if I ever decided to go after one. Its a few steps closer than sitting inside watching TV and then deciding I might like to look at one, only to realize that by the time I make it out the door it may be too late...

I guess what I mean by all this is that these days I'd rather be out on the porch, ready with my hole punched lid and jar. Just in case.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Maximize my Maximus

I am on a mission to work out 5 days a week for 90 days. I am also limiting my treats and sweets intake as well as eating three well balanced meals every day. So far so good. Its only the second week but I feel great!

It was surprisingly easy, too, to start waking up at 5:45 every morning to go to the gym with Bradford. Especially since I am not a morning person. I don't function well before the sun comes up. I think because its summer time though and the sun rises a little earlier than the rest of the year, I've been able to make the transition fairly well. There have been a few mornings when we've copped out and instead went to the gym after work, but for the most part we've been pretty diligent.

I'm excited to be in a new workout routine. As I've mentioned before on here, I tend to go in phases, as I'm sure most people do, with working out like a dream for a month or two and then all of a sudden it stops. Don't know what makes me do that but it almost always happens. I'm hoping this phase will last a lot longer.

Wish me luck!!!

You can look at my nifty little calendar over yonder -> to make sure I'm keeping on track :)

Monday, June 8, 2009


Bradford and I saw "Up" on Saturday night. It is probably one of the best movies I have ever seen. Not only was it entertaining but I was amazed at the skill of the animation. Incredible!

I cried a little and laughed a lot. One of the best parts of the whole thing was that it wasn't overly predictable. Which I loved. Its probably more of an adult movie than a kids movie in that the humor would probably be lost on most kids, but I definitely recommend seeing it!

We watched it in 3D. This is us in our cool glasses.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Be Chicken

I have to share another recipe. It just so happens to be from Better Homes and Garden again, this time from their website. This particular one caught my eye a week ago. Ready for it? It may seem a little strange but seriously I'm on the verge of drooling just thinking about it now that I've partaken of its deliciousness. OK, here it is: Parmesan-Stuffed Chicken and Melted Strawberries. Ack, I can hardly type it without wanting to eat a plate full of it right now...

Uh. May. Zing. This recipe was incredibly easy. Easy to make, easy on the eyes, easy on the tastebuds. No, I take they back. They were incredibly cruel to the tastebuds. It leaves them unhappy when you finish eating and you realize that there is no more left. I made the mistake of only making two chicken breasts worth. I only had two chicken breasts, but if I had known how good it would be I would have run to the store first.

Mind you, I was a bit skeptical. And the only reason I printed the recipe off and decided to make it was because I happened to have a surplus of strawberries in my freezer (due to a tragically failed attempt at a strawberry shortcake recipe) so I was looking for a reason to use them. When I saw that the recipe called for fresh basil, chicken, strawberries, fresh parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar... I thought I must be crazy to try this. Then I realized that I love all of those things, so who's to say they wouldn't be amazing all together? I was very pleasantly surprised.

The only alterations I made, other than decreasing the amount of chicken breasts, were that I used fresh Parmesan cheese that was already shredded instead of slices since that's all I had. Oh, and I didn't have white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar so I used a little more than half regular white distilled vinegar (that isn't the same thing as white balsamic vinegar is it?...), and then made up the difference with regular balsamic vinegar.

You'll see in my picture that I made garlic bread again. Apparently whenever I make something that is "special" or "fancy," fancier than normal anyway, I feel the need to make garlic bread with it... I should try out some new bread sides. Any suggestions are welcome!

Also, there is fresh basil in this recipe. Have I mentioned I love fresh basil?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dear Green Thumb:

I love Fresh Basil. Love it down to my toes. So much so that I have really been wanting to start my own herb garden just so I can eat it whenever I darn well feel like it. Now, I live in an apartment, with barely a blade of grass to speak of, and I am wondering: has anyone ever had an indoor herb garden? And if so, do you have any tips? Otherwise, I might just buy some plants, plop 'em in some dirt, stick them in my window and hope for the best!