Somerset Shopping Trip

My future husband is certainly in trouble! Because I spent the day shopping at Somerset, the area’s more upscale “mall,” and found that … I like this shopping thing! πŸ™‚ Truly. I don’t mind crowds. I like browsing. And at the end of the day, I feel relaxed. The only thing that saves me (or him, LOL!) is that I don’t feel compelled to buy everything that strikes my fancy.

That said, I was able to pick up some things during my time there. πŸ™‚

First, take a look at my surroundings:
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Pretty, isn’t it? πŸ™‚ I want a big pool like that in my back yard. Except deeper. πŸ™‚ And palm trees in my living room. LOL! I don’t think I’ll ever get that request granted, but I’d like to put it out there.

This is what I came back with at the end of the day:
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The bags aren’t too big. Not too much damage to the pocketbook… πŸ™‚

My first stop was one of my favorite stores, Papyrus. They have really cute stationery there, as well as cute supplies for wrapping presents. While looking around, I found these little label sticker in a French theme. Too cute!
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The package states that there’s 80 labels inside, but there’s actually a lot more than that!

Next, I picked up some things to *finally* wrap my brother’s birthday present. I have been waiting to wrap it up for a long time. They had this sparkly black tissue paper, and due to the present itself, I picked out some Halloween-themed ribbon:
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They also had these cute little notecards in a box with a St. Augustine quote on them:
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And this super-cute box of cards with shiny sea animals on the covers!
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Next stop: Bath & Body Works!
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I didn’t find what I came here for, but picked up a couple fun things for Lindsay and me! We are always looking for ways to smell the delicious Holy Chrism. Since we can’t get *actual* Chrism, I’m always on the lookout for balsam-scented items. What do you know? Bath & Body Works have a balsam scented air freshener! I picked up some for each of us and the little clips for the car. Hers is the squirrel; mine is the boring white one.
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Next, is some Halloween-themed hand sanitizer for me and my ghoulfriend! LOL!
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For me, I picked up some lip gloss and a minty bar of soap:
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I won’t put up the pictures (although, if you really want, they are on my Flickr), but I did a bit of shopping at Vicky’s, too… πŸ˜‰
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Finally, I popped into Janie and Jack and picked up this cute hat for Matthias, the little boy of my friends James and Shauna.
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Isn’t it adorable?! πŸ™‚

Apparently, I’m One of Those Annoying People

Because all “morning people” are annoying, right? πŸ™‚ I can’t help it. I wake up happy. Sometimes giggling. Sometimes I jump out of bed. It doesn’t typically take me long to get going in the morning. While I like coffee, I don’t need it to function like a human. Etc, etc.

Consequently, I tend to be loud and boisterous in the morning. So, it’s a blessing that I live alone. That way I don’t bother other people. Take this morning for example.

I woke up about 5 am and decided that I wanted to listen to some music. While showering. Which meant that I had to blast the music on the stereo in the living room, so that I’d be able to hear it in the shower. You can’t do this if you live in a condo or apartment. At least if you don’t want to be killed in a slow and torturous manner. πŸ™‚

This is the song that I was blasting, a throwback to my Navy days:

It played once through the shower, once for dressing, and then as a final measure, I played it a third time while dancing around the living room brushing my teeth. Because I do that. πŸ™‚

I don’t think my stereo noise goes too much beyond the confines of my house, but I left the doors open to my car with the radio on (loud — I like to feel my music) while wiping the condensation off the windows, and thought that it might be disturbing to my neighbor, Dominic. Fortunately for me, Dominic was getting into his truck to go to work, so I wasn’t waking him up. πŸ™‚ Plus, it’s cool enough outside lately that it’s not likely that he would have his bedroom window open, which is right next to my driveway.

Calm, peaceful, lazy, relaxing, grumpy… These are not adjectives for me! πŸ™‚

So, yeah, I’m one of those annoying morning people! And happy for it! πŸ™‚

Songbird Cafe

Yesterday for lunch, I tried a new place in town. To be honest, I entered the shopping plaza for the Baskin-Robbins. πŸ™‚ But right next door was a place called Songbird Cafe, so I wandered in. (More information about them in the linked article.)

They have quite the unique menu. There’s coffee drinks that I’ve never heard of, as well as interesting sandwiches. I tried their Brown Sugar and Spice Latte, which was very good and not at all overly sweet, as I had expected. It was in fact more “spice” than “brown sugar” and that was a good thing.

I was looking for a more traditional sandwich — just your basic turkey and cheese. Luckily for me, they were willing to change things around. I ordered their Ham & Gouda and subbed the turkey for the ham.

Turkey & Gouda from Songbird Cafe

As I came in to work this morning, I arrived in Ann Arbor early and was thinking of the best place to grab a coffee. I love Starbucks, but unfortunately there is not a convenient Starbucks on the north side of town. (Well, there’s one in Kroger’s, but that’s not *really* a Starbucks and it’s not really convenient to dash in and out.) Espresso Royal used to be my coffee place of choice many years ago, but that was more because I liked the baristas there — the coffee really wasn’t that good. Sweetwater’s is okay, but they are overpriced — and this is coming from a regular patron of Starbucks! Biggby is a little out of the way, and I like them, but their drinks tend to be rather sweet and I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for that. Still indecisive, I was heading toward Biggby when I suddenly pulled in the plaza for Songbird Cafe. Even though their “large” is only 16 oz — a medium anywhere else — I’d give them another try. Yesterday’s latte was good and I kind of wanted to try all the different flavors they had.

This morning, I picked up a nutella mocha. I’ve tried nutella in the past and have been rather unimpressed with it, but let me tell you, in the mocha it’s great!

Nutella Mocha

When I walked in, the server was setting out the morning pastries and I saw one which looked good. It was an apricot and almond scone.

Apricot & Almond Scone

I am so glad that I picked it! It’s the perfect combination of soft and crunchy and flaky! πŸ™‚ Yum!

I must be hungry, since so many of my posts lately are of food! πŸ™‚ I hope you are enjoying vicariously. πŸ™‚

Thursday Yums!

Thursdays are when my biweekly shipment of organic fruits and veggies come in! This week, I was particularly excited, because they just started offering home delivery of milk and dairy products! I love milk and I hate the grocery store, so this is a little piece of heaven just for me! πŸ™‚

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This week, I also got a head of lettuce and some tomatoes. Which pretty much means “salad” to me. I don’t get too fancy usually with my salads. Doesn’t it look great, though?!

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And there you have it! My Thursday dinner! πŸ™‚

Blessed are the Bored in Spirit

I found this hanging out in my Bible in the book of Ezekiel.

Thou shalt:

  • Be single-hearted toward Me
  • Be reverent in speech and conduct
  • Keep priorities
  • Be respectful and obedient
  • Defend life, womb to tomb
  • Be faithful to vocation, future spouse
  • Be trustworthy
  • Be honest in word and deed
  • Have only pure admiration
  • Be grateful for what you possess
  • Bliss, Though Fleeting…

    This morning was one of those rare mornings where I wake up feeling great. I had fallen asleep wearing my shoes, so I didn’t have much to do except change my clothes, fix my hair a bit and grab my phone. Then, I was out the door for a morning “run.”

    I have to say these things in quotation marks because actual runners would laugh me out of the internet. πŸ™‚ Basically, I can sprint for a yardfront or so. What is that? 100 feet? That’s about it. Then my body makes me quit. Neuromuscular disorders are no joke. But I tell my body to shut up, ignore it’s desperate cries for energy (and oxygen, as if that’s the problem), and my heart’s loud complaints that it’s too tired to take this kind of abuse. I end up walking for a bit, then trying the sprinting again. Over and over until I am dizzy, nauseated, exhausted, or I’ve reached the park. πŸ™‚ Because at the park, I like to stop and swing on the swingset. πŸ™‚

    [I didn’t take this picture today, but this is the park I go to. It doesn’t look like I have a photo of the swing set.]
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    It was a beautiful morning. The sun was out although it was closer to 6:30 am than 7 am. After swinging for a couple songs, I headed back home and sat at the desk in the kitchen, catching up on the e-mails and Facebook posts from last night. I opened the kitchen windows and enjoyed the breeze while I considered what to do for the day.

    I decided to go to the 8 am Mass, since I was feeling good at the moment. I was ready early and even brought my Bible and materials to take notes with. Even though most of my friends were not at that Mass, I enjoyed my time there — it was very peaceful and I was attentive enough to hear several things that the Lord was trying to tell me.

    As a funny aside, during Mass I wrote the name of my new blog that I’m running for my friend, John: Letters from John. He’s taking 9 months to leave home and work with NET ministries in the evangelization of Catholic youth around the country. I thought that our priest would like to read about his adventures, and copied the information down onto a sticky note for him. After Mass, I waited to greet him. As he came up to me, the first thing he asked about was John and the blog. I interrupted his question by shoving the sticky note at him. He looked at me questioningly for a bit, and asked if John had told me to give him this information. I guess he had heard about the blog from a letter John had written him. Haha! NO! Apparently, the Holy Spirit was just at work! πŸ™‚

    I popped in to see what was being offered at the parish Used Book Sale and picked up a couple titles:
    “Catholicism” by Richard McBrien
    “Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire” by Joseph Langford
    “Called to Holiness” by Ralph Martin
    “Gift and Mystery” by Pope John Paul II

    All of this for $9! I gave my last dollar to the donut fund and left the church. I did a little light shopping on the way home. By the time I had left the grocery store, it was about 10:30 am and I was starting to not feel very well. My time of feeling okay was coming to a close. I got home, managed to get all the fridge/freezer items put away (although right now, the rest of the groceries are still in bags on the kitchen floor), and had something quick for breakfast/lunch.

    Oh yeah, and I picked up this waxing kit at the store, because I was curious. So, without ever having done this before, I waxed my eyebrows. And not too gracefully, either, I just dived in headfirst, so to say! LOL! It was okay, I guess, although I’m sure a professional would have done better. πŸ™‚ Plus, it could have turned out horrible! I’m reckless and impulsive sometimes, what can I say. πŸ™‚ You can’t take yourself that seriously….

    I tried just laying on the couch watching TV, but ended up falling asleep. I had already reached my limit for being able to do things today. I didn’t wake up until about 6 pm.

    Since then, I haven’t done too much. I made a phone call, checked the interwebs for interesting/important things, and managed to drag the lawnmower out of the garage to at least get the front yard mowed. After all, the grass had grown to about a foot long again and I’m sure the neighbors are not so thrilled about that. Now, I am exhausted again, although I have to get up the energy to run at least one load of laundry tonight or I won’t have anything to wear for work tomorrow morning. πŸ™‚

    So much going on this week:
    Monday: Evening meeting
    Tuesday: Hopefully a study day (originally scheduled for Monday)
    Wednesday: Meeting at church at 5 pm, then play date at 6:30 pm
    Thursday: Bible study

    This is also the last week with the MiChart project. 😦 So, there’s a LOT of loose ends to tie up before we go.

    Although I don’t feel great now, and I have a lot of work ahead of me this week, I am so completely grateful to God that He gave me this wonderful morning. Something that I can cling to with hope for the week ahead. πŸ™‚ He gives me strength, and Thank God He does!

    The Wings of the Wind

    The passage today reminds us that the Holy Spirit can take us places we’ve never expected. And, like the wind, we can’t predict the direction that we will be going.

    While the imagery and language of “the wings of the wind” is a little … sappy … for my taste, I understand the meaning of it. Now that it is September, change is impending for a lot of people. For kids, it means a new school year. For me, it means the end of one of the best jobs I’ve had.

    I’ve been working on the MiChart project since Halloween last year. Almost a year. And the group of people with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working have been like family to me. I’ve loved the job, too. It’s been challenging in the best ways and exciting. Besides my team, I’ve gotten to work with a lot of different people throughout the Health System and in the Epic/consulting world. I’ve made new friends and learned new things.

    But my time with the project is almost at an end. In two weeks from today, in fact, I will be embarking on a new chapter of my life at work. I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me, but I trust in His plan. May I be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He seeks to guide me along the way.

    The Spiritual Journey

    Lately, I’ve been feeling far from God. There’s been good days, definitely some blessed days (aren’t they all?), but on average, I’ve felt as if I were floundering a bit and surely not where I’d like to be. But it wasn’t until I saw this picture that I really could put a finger on *exactly* what I was experiencing.

    The Woman with a Hemorrhage

    Yeah, her. The Woman with a Hemorrhage.

    Not because of the chronic illness factor, although that is certainly appropriate. But more of her posture in this picture. Here, she is not merely reaching out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

    She looks like she is wrapping herself around his calf.

    That’s kind of how I feel.

    I wish I could be strong and follow Him. But I’m kind of weak in that at the moment. So, I’m going to crawl until I reach Him, wrap myself around His leg, and let Him drag me along the way. Hopefully, at some point, I’ll be able to walk again. But until then, I will bump along the way, getting a little scraped and dirty, but clinging on.

    A Blessed Day

    I’ve been wanting to go to confession for several weeks now, but at every turn it seems that something would come up. The longer I went, the more I wanted to go. I used to go about every 2 weeks to my pastor for confession, but lately have been going to confession Friday evenings after work at Christ the King. However, after being frustrated in my attempts for so long, I wanted to go to confession to a special place.

    Don’t get me wrong, God’s grace is God’s grace no matter the location or the priest who channels his grace.

    But.

    I’m not the kind of person who *feels good* after confession. I don’t feel “light as a feather,” or anything like that. I just feel like me. Although, when I go to St. Bonaventure’s for some reason, I feel God’s love and mercy more than usual. It’s not uncommon for me to exit confession crying. For some reason, there I have a better sense of my sin, and therefore an increased humility and gratitude for what the Lord is willing to forgive me.

    After confession today, the day just seemed to … slow down, in a way. I lingered over sights and appreciated everything that I encountered.

    First, I spent some time in prayer before the tabernacle.

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    Then, as I was exiting, I noticed a garden space. At first, the door to go in was locked, but one of the priests saw that I was trying to go in and opened the door for me. The flowers inside (outside? The garden was an interior courtyard with no roof) were beautiful.

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    When I first arrived, there was no one in line for confession and no priest in the room, so I had about 30 minutes to kill before the next scheduled confession time. I wandered through the exhibit on Fr. Solanus and then wandered through the gift shop. I ended up getting a rosary bracelet and a couple of postcards.

    On the way out, after my confession, I took a couple pictures of the door.

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    The building stone:
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    And Sister Death, which is a sculpture of this twisted black piece of a tree.
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    The sense of peace, quiet joy and reflection stayed with me throughout the day. It was wonderful. I felt His love surround me wherever I went. And I kept receiving signs of love throughout the day. I wish I could hold on to that feeling forever. πŸ™‚