Chasing Contentment

Sunday, April 13

For my birthday, my friend, Aleece, completely redesigned my blog and moved it over to WordPress. You're not going to believe how beautiful the new design is! If you've got me bookmarked, you'll need to change the addy.

You can find me over here now.

[  posted by Chel on Sunday, April 13, 2008  ]

Tuesday, April 8

Happy birthday to me. It's been just lovely. Mike gave me the funniest gift this morning... I love the smell of fresh Play-doh, just opened, never touched. And he got me a Demeter fragrance (some of my favorites anyway) that smells like Play-doh. Really!

They surprised me at work with a Food Day, and several sweet folks dropped off gifts. I was SO surprised!! I honestly hadn't expected anything at all, so it was a fun change.

And while I love the gifts and the goodies, I'm mostly grateful for the opportunity of another year here with those I love. I am blessed beyond measure to have Mike and the kids, kind family, and precious friends.

In this next year, I want to work hard and get better at my job. I want to find a church that ministers to each of us, encouraging each of us to grow in Christ. I want to laugh.

A girl at work asked me yesterday what age I would freeze myself at if I could. I told her 27 was a good year for me, but that, in general, I'd have to say now. Not because things are all honey and goodness (of course, I don't much love honey, so I guess all chocolate and goodness) but because they are. And in this moment, simply being here and experiencing it is plenty much for me.

In this next year, I pledge to be grateful.

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, April 08, 2008  ]

Monday, April 7

I never post three times in a day. It's been an usual day, I suppose. I'm just all birthday excited. Mandy's gift for me came in the mail today, and it's fabulous. A big yummy jumble of random. I do love random stuff.

And this is some of my favorite random stuff... pajama pants in a groovy yellow floral print, a Starbucks card, an iTunes card, and a Buffy music card. (For those of you new to me & CC, I spent seven years straight watching Buffy every Tuesday evening.)

My brother, John, and his family sent me a gift certificate to Sephora which is sooo exciting for a girly-girl, product junkie like me.

And this is a photo of my signed R. Nichols notecards. I mean, really, how completely cool is that?!

Yes, I get all birthday giggly excited. I admit it.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, April 07, 2008  ]

Happy Birthday, Mandy!
Yay, Mandy. We love you. And all the way over here in Florida, we're celebrating your day.

You are one of the strongest women I know. Your mom, of course, would also make my top five. You have a strong and earnest sense of right and wrong, and I've yet to find an underdog cause or person that you didn't defend. You embrace the peculiar and odd and encourage the wonderful qualities in those people. If everyone were a bit more like that, the world would be a better place.

You are brave and courageous. Your new-found hypocondria only serves to comfort those of us around you... reminding us that you can get rattled, too. Those brushes with our mortality shake us, change us. Olivia changed you in lovely ways, just like Josh did all those years ago (though, I'd be remiss if I didn't say that you were better for him... gotta remind him where my allegiance ultimately lies, right?).

You're funny (Griff's favorite thing about you) and smart and talented and kind and generous and just ... well, fabulous.

We love you. Happy Birthday.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, April 07, 2008  ]

Okay, it's our first week of our April Dinner Experiment. I'm using Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie for some planning help, and I'm listing our week of dinners here. Thirty days of not eating out is quite a challenge for us!

Here's the plan...
Sunday - Sami Meatpies (biscuit dough rolled out with each person's favorite cheese/sandwich meat tucked inside)
Monday - Homemade waffles with strawberry puree (The fresh strawberries here in Florida are amazing... blend them with a tiny bit of sugar and pour over the waffles. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Heaven.)
Tuesday - my birthday - we're going out... our one April dinner out exception
Wednesday - Pizza-dillas (from Rachael Ray's "Express Lane" cookbook)
Thursday - Bruschetta chicken (one of the My Girlfriend's Kitchen meals I have in the freezer)
Friday - chicken nuggets & fries (The kids will be with a sitter while Mike and I go on a date to the outdoor movie showing of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.")
Saturday - Lime Chicken Soft Tacos (from All - love the ingredient search feature!)

Here's hoping for the best!

(And Mandy, Happy Birthday... if we were still two doors down, we'd definitely be going out to dinner tonight, too, for your special day!)

[  posted by Chel on Monday, April 07, 2008  ]