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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Little Garden

I've killed more plants than I care to count. The only one I seem moderately successful at keeping alive is my ivy - and I'm pretty sure that's because ivy is notoriously difficult to kill even if you use Roundup.

I've even killed a cactus. But that's a story for another day.

Anyway, I decided I wanted to try my hand at a terrarium. They're supposed to be easy. They're certainly cute. Bonus: They can be DIY'd with minimal effort.

Fine and good on the minimal effort part, but no one told me that I might buy a platter and cloche last summer and let it languish on my dining table for 8 months. Then buy decorative shells and a plant pot, only to let them languish on my dining table for another month.

I guess minimal effort doesn't necessarily mean that you have time to give even that.

Finally I did. While grocery shopping, I picked up an interesting succulent (poor thing...I hope I don't kill it) at Whole Foods:

Then I assembled my supplies:

All I had to do was pour the shells onto the platter, repot the plant into my decorative pot and cover it all with the cloche. Easy!

And super cute in its new home.

Pray for the plant. I have high hopes for it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Form Follows Fitness

It's hard to believe that this weekend was the first time that we'd ever run the Form Follows Fitness 5k - surprising given that it's a race that supports my industry (A/E/C) and has been around for 4 years.

And we still almost didn't run the race, thanks to Kelly waking up with a terrible head cold Friday morning. However, we pushed through for the sake of running. That's just how we are.

It was also the last somewhat nice-ish weather day on tap prior to wintery weather headed to the Dallas region. It was grey and gloomy, but not chilly. Perfect for a short run.

We lined up with 2,000+ runners, many who hadn't "run" in years, next to Dallas' wonderful Klyde Warren Park - and (fun for my coworkers and I) heading straight at my company's latest office tower project, the Crescent M&O. That's our construction crane in the center of the frame.

Because our industry is permeated with hipsters and artsy-types, we had local beer at the end. Of course.

I happily lump myself in with the artsy-types. Hipster, not so much.

Plus we got a very nice medal for a 5k. Look at how clever the sponsorship logo fits into the medal design! Well done on the branding end of things. #ShannahApproved

At the end of the day, it's all about the medal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cold but Content

It's Sunday. It's cold and rainy outside, but here in the Hayley house we're warm and cozy.

Kelly's got a cold. Ben and Bridget are tired babies - the boy is curled up next to his sick dad (a great way to recover from a cold if you ask me). Meanwhile, the girl is doing her impression of a hot water bottle on my lap and giving me occasional cold nose kisses.

I swear it can't get much better than this (maybe it could if Kelly wasn't sick).

Contentment is a funny thing, made mostly by plenty of life margin and making wise choices.

So here we are. Content on a Sunday, a rainy cold Sunday at that.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Don't Ignore the Little Things

Oftentimes it really are the little things that make tremendous impact in life.

For me, those little things lately have looked like:

  • Getting the ironing done over the weekend.
  • Cooking good, wholesome food for 7 days in a row and then not feeling guilty when we decided to splurge with a fast-ish dinner out on night 7 (even though we took it home to eat).
  • Clearing my desk of 5 different piles of paper - cleared directly into file folders and drawers, recycling bins or to other team member's desks.
  • Clearing my computer of 4 different To Do post it notes.
  • Being able to scratch through one entire page of tasks.
  • Reading three magazines while relaxing with the kitties.
  • Getting a rare February sunburn (ouch!) because I spent way too much time outside.

None of these are much on their own, but together they mentally make a huge difference in how I perceive my sense of "behind-ness" and my overall stress level.

This makes me wonder why it's so easy to ignore the little things until they become Big Huge Horrible things?


Sunday, February 1, 2015

#ListeningToYourLife: The Strangest of Weeks

It's been a weird week.

It was a week when Ben got very (very) sick, while I was in the midst of giving everyone on my team their annual review (and having my own review as well).

But Ben got better and emerged from the experience more spoiled than I would have thought any cat could be.

It was a week when I talked a lot (to colleagues and friends) about not letting past problems and sorrows define your present.

And realized that meant I was finally in That Place myself.

It was a week when I saw a man in a kilt on my morning commute.

Then a man on a bike walking three dogs over lunch - on the same day.

And realized that we're all quirky and weird in our own way, which is what makes life so interesting and fun. (Just don't point out my weirdness, m'k?)

It was a week when Kelly and I rushed after work on a Friday night (then back early-ish on a Saturday morning) to attend an apologetics conference primarily because we were eager to hear Lee Strobel speak.

And I was shocked at how much my heart pounded in my chest hearing truth after truth - and remembered that the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

We've wrestled with Big Decisions this week, trying to understand where God is directing our steps. I haven't felt this much turmoil - mixed with excitement and tears and hope and terror - since we knew that God wanted us to leave our US careers, sell most of our stuff and move halfway across the world.


But it's good. (BTW - we're not moving oversees, family and friends. Remove the blood pressure cuff.)

We're just listening and watching and wondering at the interesting ways God works through strangeness.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Read On!

I've wanted to be in a book club for some time. I tried joining one at work when I first joined my company in 2012, only to have it disband because everyone's workload became too crazy.

Reading things other than what you must read for work and professional development is just a good thing.

Anyway, one of my running group friends suggested I join her book club. It's in Plano, where we live, and it meets monthly. Perfect!

So far I've really enjoyed the books we've selected, though this month's is especially scary.

Good thing I have a little helpful girl who is willing to lend me her fur and purrs to settle my anxiety!