Sunday, July 31, 2011

Song for a Sunday


Totally fell in love with Kyle all over again this slow Sunday morning and this song popped into my head (thank you, Sarah, as always for introducing me to the best music). I have just been in awe of him all weekend. Even folding the laundry feels romantic today. So I apologize for the mushiness but it’s a mushy weekend, I guess.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

What about YOU? What’s your Sunday song?

love, elizabeth

PS: Only 12 more hours to enter the Don’t Worry, Be Happy Giveaway! Want to win your own copy of The Happiness Project? Don’t miss this chance!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Wedding 5 Years Ago

With Beth’s wedding just days away (and me packing to leave for it), I’ve been thinking a lot about my own wedding. It’s mind-boggling to me how quickly the last five years have flown. I imagine the next five will fly even faster. This afternoon, on an impulse, I pulled out the wedding cd our photographer made for us. I haven’t actually looked at it since the wedding and I found myself crying, especially seeing the pictures of my grandfather who passed away a year ago, seeing the tenderness on Kyle’s face, the look in my mother’s eyes. It’s hard to believe I could have this many wonderful, loving people in my life. I am so thankful for them. And I’m thankful to have these pictures…

 

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via Candy Apple Photography

If you are a Colorado bride, be sure to check this amazing photography duo out.

They’re absolutely the best.

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I love seeing pictures of Beth and Zach together at our wedding long before they started dating. My friend Kacey took this photo in a car on the way to the wedding. That’s Zach and Beth in the front seat! And five years later…they’re about to get married themselves. This picture makes me so happy.

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Photo credits: Kacey Stamats

Two of my favorite people in the universe. I should have known then…If we could only see what the future has for us!

Have spent some good nostalgic cry-time this afternoon. Hopefully I’ve gotten it all out of my system and can stay dry-eyed through the entire wedding week. (ahahahahahahahahaa…)

What about you? What wedding memories make you tear up?

love, elizabeth

PS: I’ll be leaving Tuesday but I have some sweet guest-posts coming up that you don’t want to miss!

Oh, and the Don’t Worry, Be Happy Giveaway closes Sunday night at midnight…want some H&M accessories? ENTER HERE.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mad for Madigan: The Check-Up

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Dear Readers,

You know that saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, somebody get me a freaking apple because I don’t ever want to see another doctor again as long as I live!

No one likes going to the vet, am I right, pets? It’s basically the most uncomfortable things all rolled into one. There’s that cold table (whose genius idea was THAT?) and that room that smells like other animals and strangers peeking in your ears and eyes and mouth (total invasion of privacy).

But yesterday I had to go for my yearly check-up. And no matter how many times I said, Guys, I’m totally fine. There is no need to put that thermometer there… no one listened. Oh, yeah, and I got a look at the bill when it fell out of Mom’s purse. Here’s a list of things that were apparently “necessary” for my general health:
- 3 Year Rabies Vaccination (as if).
- Distemper/Parvo/AV2/Para Vaccines (exactly what kind of dog do you think I am?)
- Bordatella Intranasal 6 Mo (yes, please tell me that in six months, you’re going to shove something else up my nose)
- Heartworm test (which totally included having BLOOD removed from my BODY! Is anyone else okay with that because I really am NOT.)
- Pretreat Injection (this was apparently because I had a “reaction” to one of the other bajillion needles they stuck me with…gee, there’s a surprise)
- Fecal for Intestinal Parasites (um, this one is exactly as fun as it sounds)
Mom, I think you’ve been taken to the cleaners but that’s just one pomeranian's humble opinion.

I am happy to report to my many fans and friends that I have been given a clean bill of health (except that I apparently need to lay off the dog biscuits and take some extra walks…What? I like to eat…can I get an ‘amen’?)

Oh, funny story. Apparently, Daddy was informed this morning by HIS vet that he has “shingles.” Whatever that means. I’m pretty sure someone’s screwing the pooch on this one, though, because DAD gets little white treats from a bottle for 10 whole days and what do I get? A new Rabies tag. Whoop-de-doo.

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At least the vet techs are as fashion conscious as I am. Note the hot pink bandage where I had blood drawn. And look, it’s the dude with shingles!

Keepin’ it real,
The Madster

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't Laugh.

But sometimes....(cough) sometimes I pretend I'm...a vampire slayer. Okay, before you say, "Aaaaaand I'm done" and click the little red X to get the heck out of this blog...hear me out.

There's no denying it. I'm a Buffy fan. I could probably write a book about why I think Buffy is so awesome. She's tough, beautiful, witty, loves fiercely, fights fiercely, has found her higher calling, and does it all in a flawless wardrobe (okay, "flawless" in the year 1999). Buffy subverts the attitude that women need to be rescued, that women need men to find their purpose.



Source: google.com via Valya on Pinterest


So sometimes...when it's late at night and I have to walk to my car in a dark parking lot or through a neighborhood that's a little less than safe, I actually imagine that I am Buffy and that I'm hunting vampires. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But it's really hard to be scared when you start walking around like you might have to kill a demon at any moment. It makes me feel a little braver and it definitely gives me an attitude when I'm walking that says, "Don't mess with me or I'll have to stake you through the heart."
Source: None via Kyle on Pinterest

There's no substitution for pepper spray or, you know, a friend to walk with, but in a pinch, I still pull out my best slayer moves.




"If the apocalypse comes, beep me." -- Buffy


What about you? What makes YOU feel tougher?
love, elizabeth

PS: I'm going to assume any remnants of cool I possessed have disappeared with this post. Oh, well. And have you entered this giveaway, yet?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GIVEAWAY: 100th Post!

In honor of our ONE HUNDREDTH BLOG POST, I’d like to announce our next giveaway! Each item was chosen especially for this occasion and I’ve been itching to finally tell you all about it.

I’ve been talking this one up for about a week now. I hope it’s been worth the wait! I am giving away to one very special, very lucky person…

The Don’t Worry, Be Happy Giveaway!

A white floppy sun hat and a pair of cherry red sunglasses (H&M) and a brand new copy of one of my favorite books, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. It’s a pretty awesome book. To read a review, CLICK HERE.

 

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Okay, so if you want to win this summery little gift, here’s what you have to do to enter…

Mandatory entry: Be an official follower of this blog with Google Connect. Leave me a comment telling me that you are.

Extra entries: (leave a comment for each extra thing you do)

Tweet about the giveaway and include a link.

Like “Love is the adventure” on Facebook.

Grab our button and put it on your blog sidebar.

That means you can enter to win up to four times! The giveaway will close on Sunday night at midnight. The winner will be chosen via random.org and announced on Monday.

Hope you’re having a great Wednesday!

love, elizabeth

PS: I wish you all could have seen the looks on my neighbors’ faces as I traipsed around the apartment complex with the giveaway items and a camera on a huge flippin’ tripod trying to find the best light. I think I’ve finally cemented myself as the weirdo in apartment c.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself: The Little Girl You

Source: tumblr.com via Kyle on Pinterest


I can't take credit for today's post really. It comes from a conversation I had with a mentor, a woman I really look up to. We were having a pretty intense conversation about the personal struggles and pain in our lives (and I know we all have that, on some level) and I expressed my feelings of sadness and fear to her. I felt worn out and broken. Unsure of myself.

Her face grew concerned and she said, "Sometimes you have to take care of the little-girl-Elizabeth, you know? Sometimes you have to comfort the little girl inside of you who can't handle all this really hard stuff. So you put her in a safe place and you tell her that you'll go take care of all the big, scary grown-up stuff and you'll come back. You can help protect that part of you."

I'd honestly never thought of it that way. And maybe it's just one way of looking at the stressful, frightening things we experience but it's certainly been comforting to me. When I feel overwhelmed, I can tell the younger, more vulnerable me that I will be the grown-up and she doesn't need to come along for the hard part. For me, it's become another way to be kind to myself. To keep myself emotionally safe in the worst moments.

All of this reminds me of a prose poem/story I heard a long time ago by Sandra Cisneros called Eleven in which she talks about being eleven. My favorite bit goes like this...

"What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven."

 



What about you? What are YOU doing to be kind to yourself today?

love, elizabeth

PS: And the giveaway will open TOMORROW!!! Be sure to check back in in the morning to enter! Clue #5: I really like it so if no one wants it, I'm totally keeping it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

If I Lose Everything in the Fire

You're going to have to excuse me and my inner fangirl today. I really try not to idolize other couples or relationships, especially celebrity couples. We all know that, statistically, famous people who marry each other don't seem to have a great track for staying the course. But there are a few "high-profile" relationships that I really do admire or think about.

If you don't know me, you don't know my long-standing love for Green Day. That's a totally different post but suffice it to say, I think they're poets and I think they speak for a disaffected generation that desperately wants to be affected. Aaaaand they're probably the most amazing live act I've ever seen. Oh, and I should probably also mention that Kyle and I basically fell in love listening to Green Day. One of the first presents he ever gave me was American Idiot. The only summer we spent apart, I had his copy of International Superhits on repeat. "Poprocks and Coke" was the recessional music at our wedding. My last two birthdays, Kyle has taken me to see them live. Green Day has pretty much been the soundtrack to our love story.



Billie Joe Armstrong met Adrienne Nesser during GD's first tour when she asked him where she could get a copy of Green Day's album. After an on-again, off-again long-distance relationship, they got married in the spur of the moment on July 2, 1994 in his backyard.  The Armstrongs just celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary (a lifetime for a marriage in the entertainment industry). They have two sons.


In an interview about their early years, Adrienne said, "It was a whirlwind. I was pregnant, and his band was everywhere. It was completely overwhelming. We were just trying to navigate it all — it was a bumpy ride for sure. It took years for us to find our footing. ... But sometimes I think it was all those trials that made us stronger and brought us to where we are today."

I think I'm most inspired by Billie and Adie because they have been so open about their struggles to stay committed to each other in spite of some unbelievably difficult things. They've been honest about the mistakes they've made and the continuing fight it is to keep their relationship healthy. I also really admire their commitment to their family and to making the world a better place. Adie, who has a degree in sociology, has worked as an activist, an earth-friendly fashion designer, and an advocate of green living. The whole Armstrong family volunteers together for Habitat for Humanity, among other organizations.


Billie Joe and Adrienne - green-day photo

"Adrienne is the only woman I'll ever love." - Billie Joe Armstrong


One of my favorite songs written for Adrienne...


What about you? Anyone have a famous/literary couple they've always kind of liked?


love, elizabeth


PS: Omg, you guys...Two. Posts. Till. Giveaway. Clue #4: Sassy and sun-friendly...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Bachelorette: Kentucky Edition

I just got home from a weekend with my best friend, Beth, who is getting married in just eleven short days! Last night we went out for her bachelorette party. She gave me permission to post some pictures. Here are some of my favorites from the night…


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Getting ready to go out…

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The bachelorette…isn’t she pretty? She even put on the goofy veil I brought her.

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We ended up at the bar and restaurant where Beth waits tables (when she’s not teaching yoga or acting or finishing her master of fine arts program). Had a couple drinks (including my first hurricane) and sang a ridiculous amount of karaoke.

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The highlight was probably Beyoncé's All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It). Oh, and I sang Hey, Soul Sister by Train so my night was complete.

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And at the end of the night (read: 3:45 am), because smart bachelorettes don’t ever drink and drive, Beth’s fiancĂ© Zach came and picked us up. But before we left, the soon-to-be-marrieds sang a duet (The Monkees, I’m a Believer). I did not cry. No one saw me cry. You can’t prove a thing.

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Looking forward to heading back to Louisville for the wedding in a couple weeks.

So how was YOUR weekend?

love, elizabeth

PS: A measly THREE more posts until we open the giveaway! Clue #3: It’s great for out of doors…

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Homesick for You


I miss Kyle. It’s hard sleeping alone five nights a week. I can’t wait until he has a job during daylight hours. The night shift is killing us both.
It’s not just the night shift, though. Sometimes when he’s lying right next to me, I miss him then, too.
If someone asked me to describe in a sentence what love really feels like, I guess I would tell them that love is when you feel as though you can’t ever possibly get close enough to stop feeling homesick. You want to reach over and climb inside his heart where it’s safe and just never, ever come out.

I’ll be out of town for a bachelorette party in Kentucky tonight. Back tomorrow with the G-rated pictures. Have a great weekend!
love, elizabeth
PS: Oh, hey, guess what? Just FOUR more posts until the giveaway! Clue #2: It should make its owner feel both pretty AND smart. What a combination.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Girl Seeks Adventure. Will Travel.

My mom has an expression. It started when I was probably 11 or 12. We were visiting a museum and I was whining about how bored I was, etcetera (gimme a break, I was 11). Mom said, "You need to start looking at everything you do as an opportunity to fill your pocket full of experiences." Gradually, this was shortened to "pocketful of experiences." Any time something happened it was "just another thing to put in your pocketful of experiences!" By the way, when you're fifteen and CONVINCED the world is ending because the boy you like doesn't like you or you have a zit...this is not a helpful comment. But still, Mom's advice has had a tremendous impact on me. I find myself saying it constantly.




When Kyle and I started this blog last year, we had been talking about how everything we had been through in the previous years (and if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you've heard a little about that) was like an adventure in and of itself. Not just because it was dangerous/scary/sad, but because we weren't always sure how it was going to work out. What if we looked at our life together the way a sea captain looks at an unexplored strait in the middle of the ocean? It certainly would be more exciting to think about it that way.
Seriously, if you picked up a novel and the story was about the day that Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday went for a yacht cruise on a perfectly calm day and they had a few beers and got safely back to port, you would probably put that book down in a hurry...




So today I wrote my own personal ad to my life...



Girl, still learning, still unsure, seeks adventure. Will travel. Not afraid of delayed flights, lost luggage, or forgetting the map. If you're an adventure worth having, she's ready to take a chance. Serious applicants only.


What about you? If you wrote a personal ad to your life today, what would it say?

love, elizabeth

PS: Just FIVE more posts until our giveaway! Clue #1: It's summer-themed...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trademark

Yesterday I went to Wal*Mart. ("Wow, Elizabeth. I can already tell this is going to be a super interesting post! Glad I took the time to read it.") Have had my share of awful retail experiences (both as a customer and employee) and one of them involves the standing-in-lines-thing. People really, really hate to wait in lines. And the longer they stand, the meaner they get. On an impulse yesterday, I asked the woman behind me, who only had a couple things in her hands if she wanted to go in front of me.




It's not the fact that she accepted it the offer that threw me. It's how completely shocked she was that I offered. "Wow, that's so nice," she said. "Nice is rare."


Okay, the point of this post is NOT what a great person I am for letting someone else cut me in line. Because, I am ashamed to say, I am more often than not the cranky girl in line who doesn't want anyone to think they can push me around. I have rights, I think. I'm in a hurry.


But then yesterday, a totally impulsive act made a complete stranger smile. I mean really, really smile. She grinned through her entire transaction and then thanked me again on her way out. And I was really humbled because I realized it is so easy to make someone's day and it's even easier to ruin it.


And I thought about how many opportunities I've had to make someone's day great...how many times have I passed that up? How many times have I been short with a waiter or testy with a cashier or cut someone off in traffic? I can't even count.


On the other hand, I have these lovely little stories about this-one-time-i-bought-a-newspaper-from-a-homeless-man or how-i-let-some-stranger-cut-me-in-line. I can remember those stories. Why? Because they're remarkable.


Here's the thing, though. I don't want my kindness to be remarkable. It should be everyday, average, ordinary, run-of-the-mill. I want kindness to be my trademark.





So that's my Wednesday challenge to myself.  I'm going to be looking for chances to make someone's day! What about you? What are you challenging yourself to do this week?

love, elizabeth

PS: Countdown continues...only SIX more posts until the giveaway!! It's another hand-picked gift...maybe I'll start giving clues...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Date Night at the Bowling Alley

Friday night, Kyle and I went bowling with our young marrieds group from church. It was pretty much the highlight of our weekend!

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I love the reminder that marriage is supposed to be fun, too. I always appreciate the wisdom we get from our pastor and his wife on these group nights. It’s wonderful having the chance to share about your growth and experiences as a couple and to hear other people’s stories. And we had a blast getting to know some of the engaged couples! (took some pictures of other people but decided not to post them because I didn’t have everyone’s permission!)

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Our pastor’s wife, L (lovingly included WITHOUT permission…she may kill me).

 

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I bowled over 100 which…is pretty much the definition of a bowling miracle for me.

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How about you? Any avid bowlers? Anyone have a fun date night recently?

love, elizabeth

PS: Count it…only SEVEN more posts till the giveaway!! Tweet it, facebook it, shout it from the rooftops (or you know, the metaphorical internet rooftops).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Follow the Guest Post Fairy!



That's right. Today I'm blogging over at Fairdale Diaries. If you haven't met Laura yet, please come over and say hi! We're talking about how Kyle deals with my backseat driving so if you have a rant/suggestion for me, you better get over here and share it!

Hope your Mondays are already rockin'.

love, elizabeth

PS: Countdown to giveaway continues...Just 8 more posts! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your new neighbors (hey, it's an icebreaker - "so glad you moved in above us, please don't hold dance parties at 3 am, and oh, my blogger friend is holding a giveaway and you should check it out").

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer is Like Being Seven Again

This last weekend Kyle and I indulged our inner kids a little.
Saturday night, I made s’mores over the stove…because we were too lazy to go outside and fire up the grill. I think they tasted better with the two of us, barefoot in the kitchen, eating over the counter, and giggling like 2nd graders. Kyle made a lot of fun of me because my method of toasting marshmallows is basically setting them on fire and blow them out, instead of patiently toasting all sides. Because that takes too long and I like them crispy.
I love how smooshy and messy and delicious they always are…

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And then Sunday, after church, we decided we needed to get out in the sunshine so we went to one of our favorite outdoor spots in Columbus, the Park of Roses. Which, in case you didn’t know, is a park. Of roses. It’s actually a really big park and we had a lot of fun walking around and snapping pictures.

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And spying on this very large, very bizarre expedition of people with gigantic butterfly nets that piled out of a van and set off for the woods. We, uh, we kept our distance from THOSE people. I was a little afraid of the guy in the safari hat.
We had a picnic under the trees, complete with basket, blanket, and our very own picnic ants!
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Madigan really wanted a sandwich.
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I think we took over a hundred pictures but here are a few of our favorites…

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There’s a huge weeping willow tree in the middle of the park that hundreds of people have carved their initials in. Maybe someday I’ll be feeling rebellious enough to add ours.

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What does your inner kid love to do?
love, elizabeth
PS: Start the countdown…just NINE more posts till our next giveaway! Tell your friends, tell your fellow bloggers!
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