Recently…April 2017

Ah APRIL..a month filled with planned travel for work and fun and unplanned delays…spring blooms and pollen…Easter…time with family and friends…and more…in the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my April days…

Reading…while only finishing 3 books in the month (Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny; The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan; And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East by Richard Engel), I also had major start-itis & have several other books in active reading rotation…

Wearing…my Tieks more often than not…I’ve added Pewter to my line-up this spring…I can see that those shoes might be the only shoes I need to pack for spring & summer business trips…

Arranging…on a Sunday afternoon I went to my local garden center for a fun floral arranging class and came home with a bright arrangement to bring cheer to my mantel…

Traveling…for work twice during the month…the first trip included 2 extra days in Milwaukee because of the Delta meltdown after severe spring weather hit Atlanta one week..

Exploring…the Milwaukee Art Museum on my unplanned Saturday in town while waiting to get back home…when you end up being the only one for a docent led tour, you end up with an hour long private tour of the collection highlights…

Battling…a spring cold that included completely losing my voice 4 days before facilitating a 2 day training session…recovery was fueled by a salt room session, non-stop throat drops under my tongue, plenty of hot tea, rest and soldiering on…

Celebrating…Easter at home with the family in the ‘Ville…it was great to be home for a bit and just hang out…

Cooking…not too much but trying to do some simple food prep along the way to have clean and simple options available at home…

Listening…to the sounds outside as I enjoy having my patio door open whenever possible…early mornings are filled with a chorus of bird songs…early evenings are filled with neighborhood kids playing in our collective backyard…

Knitting…a simple shawlette is on the needles to showcase a beautiful skein of yarn dyed by Vicki.

Looking ahead…May is filled with work travel (hello Florida, Ohio, Mexico)…a quick visit to the Jersey Shore to celebrate a friend’s wedding…a visit to the WI-fam to celebrate the newest member of the family…and more…

What filled your April days?

Belatedly linking up with Leigh’s What I’m Into Round-Up.

 

 

Recently…March 2017

Ah, MARCH…a month filled with more and more sunshine and the adjustment to the time change…some lion-ish weather and some lamb-ish weather…more business travel…sea breezes and snow…friends and family…and more…In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my MARCH days…

Watching…glad for the return of Designated Survivor…trying to stay semi-current on my DVR…the recent Natalie Portman movie “Jackie” was an enjoyable view while on a flight one Monday morning…
Reading…an assortment of books throughout travel time: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum; The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall; Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal; Invincible Summer by Alice Adams…this year’s Lenten reading routine isn’t as regular as I’d hoped…

A few business travel views

Traveling (work)…11 nights on the road…the month started & ended with trips to Boca and also included 2 trips to Milwaukee…across those trips was the full gamut of weather from summer tropics to full-on winter snowstorm…the last evening I was in Boca, I made the effort to get down to Deerfield Beach for dinner at one of my favorite seafood spots and then enjoyed 2 scoops of rapidly melting gelato whilst sitting on a bench looking at the water as the sun was setting behind me…

Florida Welcome Center pit stop

Traveling (fun)…in early March the family had the privilege to attend another partner briefing for The Jesus Film Project – this time in Orlando. For this briefing, it was a family road trip. I flew into Atlanta late on a Wednesday evening. At 6:05 AM on Thursday we were pulling out of the driveway and after a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee stop we were on our way. Two other families from church were joining us at the briefing and got on the road after us – there was a CB lingo text ring among the 3 vehicles the entire way down there. In true road trip fashion, lunch was a picnic at a rest area while enjoying the gorgeous weather. It was a delightful weekend hearing of the work being done around the world through this simple and powerful film and media and app. On Sunday, we were on the road back to Georgia by 11:45 AM – a late Sunday evening flight to Milwaukee for me had us focused on getting home in a timely manner…

Simple Sheet Pan Supper

Cooking…not too much with all the travel…craving clean and simple foods when I’m home…a simple Sheet Pan meal creation was the perfect thing for a Sunday supper and assorted meals during the following week…

Snow is no obstacle for Wonder Woman

MacGyvering…one business trip had me landing in Milwaukee at midnight on Sunday as a decent snowstorm was kicking in. I picked up my rental (a minivan?!?!) & slowly made my way to the hotel on streets that were disappearing under the snow. I dropped the van with the valet in on Monday morning had a white knuckle drive to the office on roads that still hadn’t been properly attended. On Monday afternoon as I left the office, I discovered that the rental didn’t have a snow scraper/brush in it & I had about 5” of snow on the front windshield. As I looked at the options I had, I sacrificed a Wonder Woman notebook to act as my brush & had the windshield cleared in no time – and then went to a “city” rental counter to get a scraper/brush which of course I didn’t need the rest of the week…

The Saturday afternoon view from our hotel room in Orlando

Sipping…Tazo Wild Sweet Orange came back in rotation & was added to my travel kit – sipping a cup in the evenings in the hotel provides a way to unwind…

Celebrating…a delightful Bridal Shower brunch on a Saturday was the perfect way to celebrate a friend who is getting married in May. Because of travel fun the day before, I didn’t get home till midnight and so my plans to get gift wrap on Friday morphed into turning the back of the Edge into a wrapping station in the CVS parking lot on Saturday morning before picking up a friend & heading towards the event.

Middle school besties

Lunching…whilst in Orlando, we met up with friends for a Friday lunch. Julia was my best friend in 8th & 9th grade back in our Kansas City days…we reconnected on Facebook years ago. It was a treat to meet her delightful family & also see her parents – we hadn’t seen them since early 1989 before the family moved to Belgium. As Julia & I were catching up at one end of the table, Rebecca was engaged with her boys and Mom & Dad were deep in reconnecting with Steve & Debbie at the other end of the table – truly one of those “pick up where you left off” sort of times with dear ones…

Catching up on decades!

Looking aheadHello, April…April includes business travel – although it seems like the number of trips is changing…Easter at home in the ‘Ville…who knows what spring adventures are to be had?

What filled your March days?

Belatedly linking up with Leigh’s What I’m Into Round-Up.

 

 

Recently…January and February 2017

Ah, JANUARY & FEBRUARY…the fact that January didn’t get posted here should be an indicator of how 2017 has been…these months have been filled with some winter weather, a bit more daylight each day, a whole lot of travel, some attempts at saying Hello to all the months had to offer, and more…among it all, these are the things that filled my January & February days…

Watching (on the small screen)…the return of Sherlock on Masterpiece was a good start to the year…Victoria on Masterpiece is an enjoyable addition…the DVR is getting plenty of use with all my travel…

Reading…after a slow start,  the “books complete” list if filling up – 10 books in these months – thanks to the time on airplane…three  trips to Three Pines with The Cruelest Month and A Rule Against Murder and The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny…a journey through the dawn of the space program and the hidden women that supported it with Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly…a quick read of hygge in The Cozy Life…a tale of a Pennsylvania town impacted by fracking in Heat & LightMicro-Resilience by Bonnie St. John was a good business read as I move into a new role…A Portrait of Emily Price was another fun escape by Katherine Reay…Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron was an insightful story that also had me longing for a return trip to Assissi…once again, a Charles Martin story pulled me in from the start in Thunder and Rain

Watching (on the big screen)…A Saturday afternoon at Movie Tavern was time well spent with a friend and her daughters as we enjoyed the Hidden Figures movie – yay for celebrating women…La-La Land was a delightful Sunday afternoon with a friend…on a flight I enjoyed watching The First Monday in May

Listening…the La-La Land soundtrack is on frequent play as well as the recent Toby Mac Live album…

Tidying…a slower start to my 2017 Kon Mari…but I did manage to have a small Green Drop pick-up on the calendar… another pick-up pile is gathering in my spare room…

Organizing…my pantry with new labels for the mason jar containers…now, to just be home enough to be using them…

Growing…even while I was gone, my winter bulbs seemed to thrive at home…the paper white bloomed & tipped off the plant stand while I was on the road…I was giddy that the majestic red amaryllis yielded 4 blooms that waited until I was home for a full week to bloom when I could enjoy them…

Traveling (for work)…since the calendar turned to 2017, I have been on the road for work for portions of 7 weeks – currently my airline app shows 24 flight segments so far…6 in Milwaukee and 1 in Boca Raton…since several flights were at less popular business travel times, I lucked into some upgrades along the way…

Dining…while on the road doing my best to stay healthy…in the absence of dinner plans with colleagues, my go to is soup and salad from Panera Bread…some favorite Milwaukee restaurants have been enjoyed – a spot on French onion soup one night and delicious sushi and sake another night

Cooking…early in January I had a “glorious” weekend of all sorts of food prep which was a lifesaver for the days I was actually home and felt like a great way to be starting off the new year. In addition to some of my favorite ways to prep, I enjoyed  making the  Pork Medallions with Blackberry Compote & Cauliflower Puree (from “Well Fed Weeknights”)…with this ongoing travel, I’m thankful for roasted veggies and eggs in the fridge to ensure hodge podge hash and eggs is an “at the ready” meal when I’m home – I need to do another muffin madness type of food prep weekend as the travel continues…

Sipping…coffee in the morning…tea in the evening…weekend mornings mean coffee in my fun new panda mug from my girlies…loving my new HydroFlask from my favorite Marinette coffee spot – it is quickly becoming a travel essential…

Traveling (for fun – Jan)…one weekend I decided to stay in Wisconsin and trekked north to Marinette to hang with the WI-family. On Saturday morning, I picked up coffee from my go-to spot and enjoyed a peaceful breakfast time along the shore. I finally met the newest addition to the family, Bebe A, and spent lots of time with her in my arms. Saturday evening was for cooking – Sunday evening was for grilling burgers in the snow. Just hanging out and catching up on life.

Battling…winter colds and crud…of course, “the” week that I was home in February included a head cold flaring up – as the weekend approached, I went full force on all the remedies and by the time I got on a plane early Monday morning the cold was history…without a doubt, seeking out a “near to me” Salt Cave on the Saturday afternoon was the extra oomph needed to ensure that I was ready to go for 2 days of facilitating training…

Traveling (for fun – Feb)…one weekend in February was blocked for a trip over to see my girlies in State College…at the end of the month, the family relocated back to Texas…so I was grateful for one last time to hang out with the girls in PA…our homemade pizza evening…plenty of games…just hanging out…making terrariums…on the wonderfully warm and sunny Saturday afternoon the girls & I left their parents packing at the house and enjoyed some adventure time – including sipping coffee on the patio at the coffee shop and a bit of shopping that included helping M pick out foundation (when did she get old enough to wear makeup?!?)…driving away from their house was bittersweet – but I’m so thankful for the months when they were “just down the road” from me…

Looking Ahead…as I say Hello to March, I see a fair share of business travel…a weekend with the family…daily Lenten readings…signs of spring…and more…

What has been filling your winter days?

Linking up with Leigh’s What I’m Into round-up.

Recently…December 2016

Ah, DECEMBER…a month filled with holiday hustle and bustle…first snowfall…twinkling lights…lots of peppermint…mailboxes filled with actual mail as Christmas cards arrive…holiday traditions old and new…connecting with family and friends and more…

In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my December days…

Reading…a hodge podge of books to end the year: Sigma Force Books 6 & 7 by James Rollins; Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan; Christmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp; Letters from Santa by Becca Whitham; The Lions in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker…a long overdue review post for the last couple of months is queued up for mid-month…

Watching…lots of Hallmark channel Christmas movies…the Pentatonix Christmas Special was a fun hour – it felt like a classic Christmas special that could stand the test of time…It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, as per family tradition…

Listening…completely in the Christmas music mode…in addition to favorites from Christmases past, this year I added the latest Pentatonix Christmas and The Piano Guys Christmas to the rotation…

Adventing…taking time each day to focus on the reason for celebrating the Christmas season…reading from Watch for the Light in the evening during the season…also, doing a daily scripture writing exercise that pulled from Old and New Testament verses to prepare for Christmas…

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Traveling – Part 1…a quick trip to Milwaukee near the middle of the month…it was the 10th MKE trip for the year…winter temps and winds were in full effect while I was there so my new winter coat was fully tested on the walk to the office each day…the Milwaukee airport was filled with holiday cheer as I waited to head home…

Traveling – Part 2…enjoying 12 days of Christmas in the Ville with family and friends…when the year winds down with lots of unused vacation days, you take them!…this extended time at home deserves a separate post to be published in the next couple of days…

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Traveling – Part 3…ringing in the new year with some of my favorite people over in State College – opening presents, board games & puzzles, First Night State College, tasty meals & beverages, staying up late, plenty of time with my girlies –

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Playing…a fun new board game with the family in the Ville and in State College…Latice is a clever strategy game that combines parts of dominoes & Uno into a game that was fun with all ages…

Baking…lots of Christmas cookies while home for Christmas…

Cooking…most of the month felt like I was cobbling together meals, there wasn’t a strong meal plan…meal planning is back in action in the new year…

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Sipping…all the Christmas flavored coffee, especially enjoying our favorites from Door County CoffeeCranberry Vanilla Wonderland tea was an almost daily iced sipper…adding a shot of elderberry extract into the morning iced tea that already contains apple cider vinegar and ginger…

Looking ahead…as we say Hello, January…a month filled with “new”…and work trips…and full on winter…and more…

What filled your December days?

Linking up with Leigh for the What I’m Into round-up.

Recently…November 2016

Ah, NOVEMBER…a month filled with…falling leaves…shorter days…the election…my birthday…unplanned car expenses…Thanksgiving…Giving Tuesday and the start of the advent season…In the midst of it all, these are things that filled my November days…

RecentlyNov

Reading…with airplane time & holiday time, an eclectic assortment of books were completed…Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance…The Bookman’s Tale by Charles Lovett…The Last Oracle by James Rollins…Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope…The Mackinac Incident by Len McDougall…The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale…and listening to Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda…

Vote

WatchingThe Durrells in Corfu was a delightful Masterpiece Theater find…easing into Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel…

Listening…thoroughly enjoying the latest Pink Martini album

Travel1

Traveling – Part 1…to Milwaukee to start the month with a 2 day trip that extended to 3 days & confirmed why I always pack just a bit extra for the unexpected delay…on a crisp autumn evening, dinner at a favorite cafe was perfect…

Travel2

Traveling – Part 2…a long weekend over to State College with my girls…on Friday morning I had to get the girls off to school – Miss V was ready for the bus way early so we were outside for 35 brisk minutes…fun times exploring local shops & getting a jump start on Christmas gifts…taking Christmas card photos…celebrating my birthday…impromptu concerts…intense board games…all around fun!

Travel3

Traveling – Part 3…home to the ‘Ville for a week…(minus a few days for a quick MKE trip)…plenty of R&R time at home with the family…Rebecca & I enjoyed 2 sessions at the local salt room…the family that reads together – one afternoon I looked up from my reading to see that we all had our noses in books or other reading…

Travel4

Traveling – Part 4…another 2 day trip to Milwaukee from the ‘Ville…I brought my “traditional” Thanksgiving Monday leftover Nantucket Cranberry Pie for breakfast, even on the road…

Leftovers

Cooking…a tasty family Thanksgiving menu that included “my” Brussels sprouts…inspired by the Thanksgiving in a Blanket video recipe making the rounds, Mom turned our leftovers into a delicious Stromboli that used her fabulous yeast crescent roll dough…once back home from the Ville, a go to Shepherd’s Pie was whipped up for the week…

Bake

Baking…a delicious Cranberry Pumpkin Muffin recipe that is much healthier than my “go to” of the Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix of years past…an easy Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon recipe to take to the office Thanksgiving luncheon…my Nantucket Cranberry Pie for the annual Thanksgiving lunch at church in the ‘Ville…

SipNov

Sipping…Lots of coffee & tea…both hot and iced…splurging on a Vernors during a layover in Detroit…

Manatee

Looking ahead…as we say Hello, December…a busy December filled with a couple of weeks of work and then a couple of weeks of time away with dear ones to relax, recharge & celebrate the Christmas and New Year…

What filled your November days?

Linking up with Leigh for the What I’m Into round-up.