Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Love to Laugh - Loud & Long & Clear

My dreams of being a newscaster were fulfilled this weekend. Unfortunately, as evidenced by this video, it is not my true calling in life.

But, man did I have fun doing it.

My friend Eric and I went to the Newseum this weekend; it's a new museum downtown dedicated to news. It was amazing. The grand opening of the museum isn't until April 11th, but Saturday was friends and and family day, and thanks to my friend Doan, we were able to see the whole museum for free (it's going to cost $20 for admission once it opens to the public). There were some great exhibits, but we definitely had the most fun at the "Become a TV Reporter" section.

I laughed harder while watching this video than I have in a long long time. Kristy and Beau also got the chance to be at TV reporter and we've spent a good part of our Sunday evening watching our videos and being thoroughly entertained. There's nothing better than a good long laugh with friends. I love Sundays.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Sing Because I'm Happy

Out of Iraq

No Exit Strategy!
No Credibility!

This was what I read on a large cardboard stop sign draped around an older gentleman's neck, while standing in front of the White House. I was outside for a brief break from work, insistent that I would not spend ALL day inside when the weather was beautiful. I took a walk around Lafayette park and was immediately drawn closer to the White House because I heard a voice singing. It wasn't particularly beautiful, but it wasn't harsh either and it boomed across the park. 

A crowd had formed around this gentleman as he sang his heart out, a continual smile on his face. Young kids and teenagers posed themselves next to him to take pictures, and he humored them with a peace sign for each flash, but never stopped his song.

The tune was unrecognizable, but the words were a familiar psalm; "Surely his goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Without skipping a beat, he moved on to an old gospel hymn; "I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free. His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me."

I've seen many displays of protest in this town, often against President Bush and the Iraq war, though the occasional immigration rally or circumcision protest (that's a whole other post) does arise. But, this man was different than the others - no shouting, no rehearsed chants, no anger or hate. He sang a true message, that the Lord, full of goodness and mercy, watches over each of us. It wasn't that he didn't want the same things as all the other protesters - an end to the war - but he chose to express himself in a different manner than all the rest. It was refreshing.

I'm sure those teenagers went back with their photos laughing about the crazy man who wouldn't stop singing, and I'll admit, the whole scene did make me chuckle. But, it also made me think of my Savior, the only one with the power to bring complete peace to the earth. Perhaps that was his point after all.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

3 X 5s

I haven't posted many pictures on this blog, which actually may be a surprise to those who know me and my love of photographs. I love taking pictures and even more going back and looking at those pictures over and over again. I love seeing the smiles and capturing a moment worth remembering.

The reason I don't post pictures is mostly because I haven't figured out how to successfully do it on the blog. It takes me FOREVER. Maybe there is some trick I am missing and perhaps you seasoned bloggers out there can share with me the secret, as I'd love to share my life through pictures. Goodness knows I have lots to share.

As a start to my new goal to post more pictures, here are a couple of shots I took the last time I was in Ohio. Stay tuned for more family profiles.

Madeline aka Maddie - 5 years old
Loves Full House, likes to play DJ
Favorite phrase: "Oh, pickles." Used when something is out of the ordinary, not right or downright funny.
Exceptional vocabulary and communication skills

Noah - 7 years old
Loves dogs
Likes to collect things
Great baseball player
Girls his age call him "handsome"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Under my Umbrella (Ella ella...)

Spring in DC = torrential downpours.

I love torrential downpours. I don't love umbrellas.

Let's face it - in a real downpour, with wind and heavy rain, they don't really keep you that dry. And when you live in a heavy populated area such as DC, you have millions of people walking around with umbrellas; it's virtually impossible to get around with out getting an eye poked out. I have noticed that because of my height, I carry an umbrella right at most people's eye level. For the sake of my fellow citizens, I usually opt to not carry an umbrella. It's selfless, I know.

Actually, besides the danger factor, I don't really like carrying umbrellas around. They are bulky and they never go back nicely into the nylon case they came with, no matter how tightly you try to wrap it up.

Sometimes they have really cute patterns though, and I do enjoy seeing the sea of colors and patterns mixed with the dramatic black on a rainy day. And sometimes in the right setting, without thousands of people around, they can be very quaint. Or romantic. Sharing an umbrella means standing extra close with the one you love.

So, I guess you could say I don't hate umbrellas that much after all. I guess sometimes I like them.

End of rainy day thoughts.

It Might As Well Be Spring

I think I've just discovered the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Trader Joe's Cilantro Salad Dressing.

Salad dressings are very hit and miss with me, more often than not a miss. So, usually I stick to the ones I know and love. Let's face it - at $3.00 plus a bottle, that's a pretty big risk to take if you're only going to use it once. But, I eat a salad almost every day for lunch, and sometimes, my old favorites are, well - boring.

Last night on a quick trip to Trader Joe's, I spotted the cilantro dressing and since I love cilantro, I figured I couldn't go wrong. I was right. This stuff is good! It is almost reminiscent of Cafe Rio's creamy tomatillo dressing, and by almost I mean slightly. But, it's the closest I can get being 2000 miles away. So I'll take it.

Another great thing about this dressing is its low caloric count - just 45 calories per serving (2 TBSP), even though it is creamy. It has no high fructose corn syrup and only 1 gram of sugar. That is very hard to find in a salad dressing - trust me, I've looked!

Better go get yourself a bottle today.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Raindrops on Roses

And whiskers on kittens....I'm sure we all could finish the song.

Actually, I'm pretty indifferent to raindrops on roses, and I'm not all that fond of kittens or their whiskers.

But here is a list of a few of my favorite things in no particular order.

Autumn. Boggle. Cafe Rio. Dental Hygiene. Exercise. Family. Gift-giving. Home Sweet Home. Ice Cream. Jefferson Memorial. Kissing. Laughing. Massages. Nutrition. Oceans. Photographs. Quinoa. Rascal Flatts. Singing. Tennis. Utah. Vintage Art. Wicked. Xylophones. YouTube. Zach Morris.*

*This is not a comprehensive list. Check back for a few more of my favorite things.

I Need More Allowance


That's what I paid for an afternoon snack today. Outrageous!

The truth is, my afternoon snack was supposed to be an apple that I brought with me. But there was a mushy spot on it, which led me to believe the whole apple would be mushy; and I hate mushy apples.

So, I headed down to the Hampden Cafe* for a quick snack. A bag of mixed dried fruit and nuts looked delectable. But there were two problems - I had no cash and this place has a credit card limit of at least $5.00. I hate when places do that. My current total was only $1.99 so I had to frantically find something worth buying to make up the $3.01, emphasis on the worth! The chips, the candy, the fruit snacks, the cookies - no, no, no and no!

Then I notice a refrigerator section and I saw a small fruit salad. Ding, ding, ding! That would surely make up the difference but just in case I grabbed a pack of gum too.

When she rang it up, I was appalled at the amount - $4.95. What? For a few peices of cut up apple, melon and grapes? It's no wonder America is so obese. Why would you pay five dollars for fruit when you could pay one dollar for a candy bar?

So combined with my $1.99 fruit/nut mix and my $1.29 gum (hello, inflation?), there went $8.23.

Oh, what a waste. The fruit/nut mix wasn't quite as delectable as it seemed so I threw it away. I munched on the fruit instead, but wouldn't you know...the apples were mushy. At least you can't go wrong with gum.

* This post is in no way an attempt to turn you off of Hampden Cafe. In fact, I have eaten here numerous times and their sandwiches are some of the best I've had. And sadly, for less than my $8.23, I could have gotten one of those sandwiches. But, if your looking for a healthful snack, please look elsewhere.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bring on the Rain

My love affair with the weather is over. Yes, sorry to disappoint, but my poetry inspired excitement was nothing more than a few sunny days and warm weather. The bright days allowed me some much needed time in the sun to rejuvinate my spirits.

It almost is like being in love!

But today, there is no sun - only clouds and a whole lot of rain. I enjoy a good rainstorm and though it doesn't usually cause me to skip through the streets, it is a different sort of enjoyment. I love a good thunderstorm, especially if it's accompanied by a power outage. Nothing brings family togetherness like no electricity and I have fond memories of nights with booming thunder and no power.

It reminds me of a little life lesson that I try to remember. Even amid storms, we've been given great blessings to help us through. Sometimes those blessings are as simple as a candlelit scrabble game with the people that mean the most to you. When I take moments to reflect on simple blessings that remain the strong foundations in my life, I can even enjoy the storms.

This makes me think of a song. I don't have a recording of it, and I can only remember bits and pieces of it in my head. I actually don't even know the person who wrote it - it was the friend of a friend who was only referred to as "e money." He sang it on our beloved couch one summer night at the Riviera and then bam - he was gone, before I even got his real name. But his song stuck with me.

"Looks like we're in for stormy weather. But I don't mind the rain. Life is so much better, when you don't look at all the clouds."

Thank you "e money" ... wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

l. o. v. e.



shining sun. warm breeze. clear blue sky.

Skip in Step!

h. a. p. p. y.