Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The 3rd and 4th rounds were wet, periodically stopped for storms, and the temps never got out of the low 50's. It was cold! The weather was so crazy (random hail too) that it was the top story on the local news. Never really got a chance to explore the city, but I really liked the golf course:
Sunday, May 25, 2008
One of my best girlfriends will be getting married this summer, and as a good bridesmaid, I make the trek up to Lafayette to throw her one last “fling before the ring,” or so her Coozie said.
We had a cheering, jeering time singing along with Bruce in the Piano Bar, dancing for hours, and ended the night with a little Taco Bell since the bar that gives out free hots dogs (my personal heaven) was closed. Anywhoozer, we finally made it back for a couple hours of sleep before the sun came up, and now I feel like I did push ups all night long. I am sore, exhausted, and have some nasty really-cute-shoes blisters. Uff.
Hence, I am enjoying a little snuggle time with big Grace (who has been super lazy today), while Will parties down at the 500, and cleaning a little.
I don’t usually get evangelical about cleaning products, but lately I have been thinking about how much I love what I’m using now. It’s called Shaklee. It’s non-toxic and super safe for the environment—inside and outside the house!
About a year ago, Grace stuck her head in a bucket of Mr. Clean, and after her eyes swelled completely shut, and we spent an evening at the puppy EV getting her some doggie drugs, I began thinking about the little chemical cocktails we cook up in our houses just trying to keep things clean! Bleach on the tub, bleach on our clothes, and that acidy Easy-off you spray on the inside of the oven that almost took my eyelashes off the first and last time I used it….these things can’t be safe.
I love knowing know that Grace can lick the wet kitchen floor after I’ve mopped it (and she will), and be just fine.
The even cooler thing about the products is that they send you one bottle of basic H2 (one bottle is 16 oz and makes 48 GALLONS of cleaner) and several empty bottles for you to mix/create your own combos based on what you’re cleaning. Genius! This cuts down on the bottles that you would otherwise toss into our growing landfills, and lets us recycle and reuse for our own purposes.
In addition to how much I love this concept, I love that this stuff really cleans. I have some of my mommy friends hooked on the stain removers, and the “scour off” is gentle on your skin (and your eyelashes) and gets the grit off the oven just a well. I am a big fan. No more rubber gloves when I clean, no more putting Grace in her kennel, no more poisoning the people I love!
Okay, getting off the sop box now. If you’re interested, though, visit http://www.shaklee.com/ for a starter kit. Happy Memorial Day everybody!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
As I get older and busier, I sometimes find that my attention span is shot. It’s a frustrating problem to have—just ask Will. :) I always laugh the hardest when Ellen DeGeneres talks (in her Here and Now sketch) about how we need help keeping up with the pace of things (“so we put a coffee shop here, and a coffee shop here, and a coffee shop here”), don’t have time to make conversation, and have “TBD-- Too Busy Disorder.” We give it an acronym, she says, because we are too busy to say the whole name. So true. Here’s a little clip if you feel like chuckling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfx7UUJbjvo
On Saturdays with Grace, though, there’s never any hurry. We stop to sniff every shrub at the park, we (and by we I mean she) stops to pee on every rock. We stroll along and slow it down, and look for familiar faces on the Monon to actually chat with. We watch the kayakers row down the river from the bridge on the Monon Trail, bark at the ducks (again, Grace, not me), and we take the long way home.
What a great reminder that life’s greatest pleasures can be found in the smallest, most organic things—things we miss when we (and by we I mean me) are on our second double latte, 11th hour of email, 3rd stress-induced zit of the week, and tearing up the carpet doing wind-sprints to/from the printer.
Lucky for me, I get to hang up my heels and spend my evenings with an 87 lb puppy who is able to teach me about the finer things in life….
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tomorrow, I am off to New York City for the 2nd time this year. It's what I like to call a "quickie" in terms of business trips. I'll actually be in the city for less than 24 hours. Fly in, change clothes, spread the good word, chat over a cocktail with alumni, sleep, fly home. I actually enjoy these trips the most. You feel like you're out working and gone, but the time away from home is minimal. Not to mention that I love visiting NYC, but not staying for an extended period of time.
And, next week, I can cross another state of my USA travel accomplishments, as I will be in New Mexico, broadcasting the Division-1 women's golf championships. You'll be able to watch them online at http://www.ncaasports.com/. I am really excited about the opportunity.
Speaking of golf, I have been trying to play a bit more competitively this year, joining a couple of low-impact leagues, but it still puts you with strangers and some expectations to perform. And today, I put my hat in the ring for the Indiana State Amateur. I'd have to qualify during the first week of June, but hopefully I can get on the big stage and see where my game is compared to the studs around the state.
I'll be sure to keep everybody posted on if I make the field or not.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Will and I are coming off of a super rough week, and feeling incredibly blessed to be coming through the storm together-- healthy and strong.
My friend/co-worker had her child's funeral today, which was heart-wrenching, and through blurry eyes, I drove home after the service to give my "G" a hug. Although I have no children of my own to truly experience the pain a mother would, I feel very much a mommy to Gracie. And today in that church, I kept thinking of her. We got her when she was just 6 weeks old, and have raised her from a fluffy little pup. I love watching her personality shine through. I love how she snuggles first thing in the morning under the covers with us. I love how she sits on my lap even though she's 87 pounds. I love the expressions on her face. I love watching her learn and drool and rollover. I love her. She brings us pure joy. Here are a couple quick pics of our snuggle monkey.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
And today is Election Day for the state of Indiana. And who would have ever thought that our lazy-butt primary would have an impact nationally. As two registered democrats (don't boo, you all still love us), it has been an interesting build-up for the past few months. Mandy and I have enjoyed becoming a bit more politically aware about issues outside of our own personal passions. I do think that this process has been good for the country and has people excited again in the democratic process. However, I have become more disenfranchised with the system at the same time. Who spends more on advertising? Who can dig up the most dirt on the other? Who can spin the other's words the best? I think it's frightening that both Hilary and Barack are extremely similar in terms of beliefs, but because the process is so drawn out, there is no debate over the issues any more, just mud slinging.
Does anybody else find the "momentum" word to be funny in all of this? Hilary had a double-digit lead at one point. Barack closed the gap and then took a big lead. Now, Hilary is back in reach. How can anybody say who is the best candidate based on today? The opinion of American flip-flops each week.
We really don't like putting our political viewpoints out there because we respect the individual right to make your own choice. We know people supporting all sides, but why have a blog if you won't post your opinions, right? Mandy and I both cast our vote today for Barack Obama. I won't speak for her opinion on him and why he would be such a great leader, but I've become more convinced that he is the right man for the job. I do not trust our government one bit. There is too much lobbying, influence from a small minority and politicking that goes on. I firmly believe he will break down a lot of those barriers. I also am big on effective communicators, and the man is brilliant when it comes to conversation and public speaking. I think it's shameful that our current President is despised in so mnay places around the world that diplomacy isn't even an option. I believe Obama can change that.
We'll see how it all plays out. I feel bad for every candidate involved because of the work that has gone into everything, and how much they lay on the line just to try and win votes. For every article talking about Obama's opinion on the gas tax (btw, I agree with him. I need the extra money, but cutting the gas tax for 3 months doesn't solve the oil crisis, which tons of people in my state apparently are too dumb to realize), there are twice as many articles about something his pastor said. You know what, I am associated with a lot of people who have said controversial things in their lives, and the last time I checked, people knew that I was a man of my own beliefs.Hopefully the campaigning can end soon, so we can finally put the focus back on what it deserves to be on: helping our country and the rest of the world become a more civil, vital and successful place for us to live in.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
As bad news, some superstitious folks say, often come in threes; we experienced no exception this week. We received news that another beloved member of the Butler family passed only a day after Mike. And just last night, a friend and co-worker’s newborn baby boy passed after emergency surgery around 2:30AM. I am reminded more than ever today that only by the Grace of God go we….
This morning at church, the pastor wrapped up our most recent series, “How the World Sees Church” and in doing so, began speaking about the messiness of life. As he spoke, I thought-- I am not a messy gal—I like folded, buttoned up, freshly bleached and I love to help those in need as long as (I confess) I don’t have to get involved in the mess…. (Insert spiritual bonk on the head) This really woke me up today. How does someone like me come to understand that serving to a level that is messy and often uncomfortable is the right kind of service? That sacrificing my comfort can mean lending to a greater good?
In the Song of Solomon, Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent... and now open the door.” This is a tough one for a lot of us—wouldn’t it be nice, said the pastor, if it said, “Those whom I love will be free of pain, and not have to deal with any hard stuff, and will have a super cushy, mess-free life?” Instead we are so loved that we are righted when we do wrong, that our bad choices and mistakes are made known to us, and we are disciplined to be better representatives of our selves, our families, our churches…. Believing that the path which lies ahead of us is leading Home, is for me, not always without fear of the pain I’ll suffer along the way. This is a big lesson for me.
Today, I am immensely grateful for the lives and love that surround me and for the opportunity I have. Even in all of life’s mess, we know that we are so loved, and this gives us strength for the rest.