Monday, April 13, 2009

Serenity Now's New Real Estate

I felt like such a grownup the day this picture was taken, and we had just bought our first house.  

A while back I decided that owning my own dot-com was the cyber equivalent, and I determined to do it.  

What this means for you:  Today's the day.  I'm hoping to take all of my wonderful readers to the new site.  It doesn't even look all that different - you just get to remove the "blogspot" from the address.  You can now find Serenity Now by clicking that link or by putting in your address bar.  

(Poor Grandma.  Mom just put the shortcuts to our blogs on her desktop at Easter.  I'll be there soon to set you up again, Grandma!)

Hope to see you all there! 
- Serenity

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I love this day.  It was horrible and gray and cloudy when I woke up.  Then while I was in a meeting at work, the sun came out.  I picked up my boys, and we spent real live time together over lunch where I actually listened to what they had to say and learned new things about them and as they spoke I got distracted by their sheer good looks.  Having them home and going to work instead of only working from home have made the day feel different like anything could happen.

Then I came home and read Mom's and Felicity's posts about Good Friday.  What a beautiful holiday for Christians.  This is the weekend that defines us.  More than Christmas, more than any of the causes and protests we devote ourselves to throughout the year, more than what kind of church we go to and what it believes, more than anything.  It's why I love communion, and why every single time I hold that cup, I cry.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And I will always have gum (at least I could if I wanted to)

How pretty is this cake?  I bought it about a week ago when frugal, responsible Michael (somewhere his high school friends are laughing at that) sent me to the grocery store with meal plans for 14 days and the grocery list to match.  Fourteen Days.  That's two carts once everything is bagged.  I've mentioned how little I enjoy the weekly grocery trip, right?  And fourteen days - well, not only did that mean longer in the grocery store, but also that many days that I wouldn't have a single excuse to say, "Oh darn, let's just order out tonight - it would be so much easier.  Sigh.  

So, realizing how much money we were saving over that time period and how self-sacrificing it was of me to actually do the trip, I bought a CAKE.  A white cake with the whipped frosting, which puts all buttercreams to shame, and glorious life-is-actually-a-pastry red roses.  Not a single birthday or holiday in sight.  Jake and I poured over the choices - balloons, cupcakes with plastic animal heads on toothpicks . . . we settled on the roses, and I told him right then and there.  This is the reason you should want to be a grown up.

Admittedly, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  The roses (the little tricksters!) were buttercream.  A store-bought kind of flavor that bled into the entire culinary experience, decreasing the allure.  But I was still so proud that I took this picture of what it means to get to make silly, inconsequential decisions all the time all on your own that could very well make life richer - at least for the evening.

The new book I'm reading (by the author we met) is set in Chicago.  How much do I love Chicago now?  I've had to research it for work, and I am so embarrassed that I didn't realize my pretty little midwest had such a treasure.  Because, you know, I'm claiming it now.  Navy Pier, Grant Park, Cloud Gate - the book talks about them all, and because I've researched them, I almost feel that I've seen and touched them - or at least that I have some sort of ownership in their greatness.  I still dream of New York, but People, Chicago is a train ride from here, and it is so on my list.  Someday I'll buy that train ticket just like I purchased that cake.  I wrote about the Art Institute of Chicago on the Student Travel blog today, and posted pictures of its miniature rooms display, which looks dee-lightful. Linking to that blog post justifies the fact that the writing of this one bled a teensy bit into the work day.  Which brings me full circle, because that's just what those buttercream roses did.  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Road Trip, Baby

You can read on Felicity's blog today that we took a road trip together this weekend.  I got to see the college she attends online and bask in that whole academia glow (mostly coming from Felic).  We heard an author read a portion of his memoir-like novel, and I'm currently devouring the copy we purchased and had him sign.  (Mental note:  If you're remotely interesting, people will be more likely to buy your book if they've met you).  He was superbly validating to us aspiring writers, on the nonexistence of writer's block (if you don't feel like writing, then read - it's fine), and on the need to think a lot, which only looks like doing nothing if you're not the one who's thinking.

I sent a thank you card to Holly recently to forward to a person in the business who said some wonderful things about my memoir and its potential once it finds a publisher.  That kind of stuff is gold at this stage of my climb, and I wanted him to know what it meant.  Dropping that card in the mail, knowing it was about to travel directly from my hands in Small Town, Missouri, to hers in New York City - sort of made me do the happy dance.  I missed my chance to move far away after graduation and try to take the world by storm from some perch in the Big City or other world-conquering places.  I missed the chance by not really wanting it at the time.  So now while I settle in to this lovely little midwest life, I cherish every opportunity that helps me also reach outside of it.  It's wonderful to meet new people, thrilling to have connections outside of my own quiet yard and pretty street.  

This morning when Jake and I got in the car, I wanted to keep driving forever.  Monday seemed so monotonous without the open road in it, and a new destination.  I started fantasizing about just how wonderful the inside of an airport can feel.

Thankfully, the thrill of our road trip still lingered.  It's not that I never go anywhere.  I just wasn't going anywhere today.  Fortunately, those are very different things.