Can we just skip ahead to the good part?

don't count the days. make the days count. I have a confession. I am obsessed with countdowns and wanting the future to arrive now. It’s unhealthy and silly. I’ve brought up being married to a law student before and the struggles we endure as a couple. I try to stay positive. When Ryan is feeling down I often tell him to slow down and to enjoy the moment. I also tell him that one day we will look back fondly on these long days, weeks, and months as the best days of our lives. However, I regularly do not following my own advice. A lot of the time I desperately yearn for the time when Ryan will be done with law school. When he won’t have 18 hour days. When money and time won’t be as tight. When he won’t be overcome with anxiety and the grumpiness that comes with lack of sleep. When we can start having a family, a house, and the ability to move forward with our lives. I look at this ideal future as the pot of gold at the end the rainbow and sometimes it is all I can think about. Yes, I’m a hypocrite. I’m a live life on the bright side, always be positive, don’t waste your life away hoping for better days, hypocrite.

One of my favorite apps on my iphone is the Countdown+ app. You can plug in how many different dates you want and it keeps a handy countdown for you. Do you know how many more days until Ryan graduates? 610 long days. How often do I check this number? It used to be about twice a week, now it’s daily. As if looking at this number will make it go by faster.

countdown app

I know it’s ridiculous, I know that once these 610 days pass a stress free life isn’t going to land on my door step wrapped up in a bow. I know that there will always be stress that after graduation there is studying for the bar exam, taking the bar exam, finding a job and all the stress that goes along with those things. I also know that we have a great life. A life that is full of fun activities with friends and family. A life that is full of good health and love. But yet, I countdown the days like some crazy person.

This isn’t anything new. I remember starting countdowns back in college. During a required yet insufferable biology class I  would make elaborate calendars in my notes. I would cross off each day as they passed with a satisfying thick X. I wanted to be anywhere else – any of my other english or writing classes, not memorizing useless facts. I was only focusing on the day that this awful class would be over. I would add in special parties and events as milestones to get me through it, hoping to ease the pain of that far away future. Do I need to mention that this was one of the few classes that I did poorly in? (Hmmm wonder why)

Things haven’t changed much since my baby bio days. I have other events in my countdown app, to make the 610 seem more attainable, like concerts, parties, weekend trips, holidays and other fun things. Yes, it’s nice to have things to look forward to, but intently studying how many days you have left will not make that desired day come any faster. Why am I only focussed on that far away date when I do have fun things happening in the present? Why do I put so much pressure on the future? Why do I think I can plan the future? Why do I torment myself so?

I need to stop. I know obsessing over the future is pointless as the future is merely an illusion, it doesn’t exist. Tomorrow is only a concept. All the things I long for for our future are not even guaranteed. At all. Life happens while you’re making other plans and all that jazz.

I need to learn to follow my own advice and live more fully in the present moment rather than in illusion. I need my awareness to be completely centered on the here and now, to simply accept life as the way it is. I’m using this blog as my own therapy today.

Steps I’m going to take to learn to live more in the moment:

1. Be mindful of the present. Realize that with every breath I take, I’m living my life. Decide how to make the most of each of these moments instead of fast forwarding to the next stage. I need to learn to stay more focussed on the task at hand. Whether I’m completing a work project, writing a blog post, running, organizing the house my mind should stay focussed on whatever I’m doing rather than think of the 20 billion other things that need to get done. The only thing keeping me doing the best I can do with my current life is my obsession with skipping ahead to the future and learn to live in the moment.

2. Realize that the future is out of my hands. Of course I know this, I’ve been through enough hiccups in life to know that you can’t control your destiny. Unfortunately, I’m a planner. When I plan, I can prepare myself for what is to come. We all just want to reach the finish line expecting a gold medal. However, preparing and planning are two very different things. I need to learn to mentally prepare myself for a few obstacles that may arrive in the next few years rather than creating a such a detailed plan at how I’d prefer things to go. That is only setting myself up for failure.

3. Live one day at a time. As mentioned above, taking on one challenge at a time should be enough. There is no need to worry about future challenges. I should focus on getting through week by week even rather than look at the calendar and think, “my god, how will we ever make it through the next 610 days?”. I don’t want to feel like I’m always rushing to escape reality. I know how fast time can fly. I can confidently say that in 610 days from now I’ll say “wow, it felt like just yesterday that I was writing the depressed blog post about wanting time to fly by.”

4. Look at this “transition time” as beneficial. Today is where the action is! Today is when I’m living! I need to take these hard times and use them to my advantage as a way to gain clarity and awareness of my life and marriage. Like any other struggle, this will make me stronger and will give me insight into my own spirit.

Truth is, Ryan’s graduation will come and pass like any other day with its own unfolding events. I only hope that by the time that day comes I’m not obsessed with another life stage to fast forward too and another date to countdown to. I want to live my life and I want to live that life in the sunshine.

_DH27023

xoxo katie

Five Friday Favorites

Dedicating Friday’s to a list of 5 of my favorite (totally frivolous) things from this week. And because I love alliteration so much, they all must start with F.  Fun!

feelings

most heartbreaking winnie the pooh comic

Are you ready to cry?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/chris-robin-comicline

funny

Suri Cruise

Suri Cruise shares her disappointment with the rest of young hollywood

http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/line

frizz free

Keratin Complex RX

  – A new “must have” product. I couldn’t live with out this stuff! Makes my hair feel so glossy and “salon” fresh. (by the way my salon sells this for $41 and I get it only for $12….)

line famous friends brodylieghton

You guys, Blair and Seth are still dating! Caught holding hands in NY. You don’t know how happy it makes me to see two of my favorite tv friends from two of my favorite tv worlds (shows) collide in love! I think they should write a new show. The laid OC clan goes to NYC and battles the royals of the upper east side. Oh Gossip Girl how I miss thee. Ok, I probably lost a few (er all) of you there. I hope a few of you understand.

line fall-fashionSince I haven’t been able to shop – staying true to my Fall Goals. It has been so hard. So, I decided to go shopping in my closet and put together this true Americana fall outfit. I love outfits that are perfect for specific occasions/events. Fashion is still like dress up to me , it keeps it fun! So, who’s ready to go pick some apples? (is it also weird that I feel like Julia from Parenthood in this ensemble?) Also, please ignore my dead flowers below -gardening is not one of my leading specialties as you can see.

clothes2 clothes1 Boots: Corso Como, bought on Gilt.com

Jeans and Top: J. Crew Factory

Pearl and Rhinestone Bracelets and Rhinestone Necklace: Forever 21 you gotta add some glitter and glam to this preppy country look.

xoxo katie

Brie, Peach, and Basil Pizza

This is an awesome recipe that takes advantage of two great things – fresh summer peaches and brie. It also somehow makes you feel like you’re being healthier because 1. it has fruit and 2. brie sounds fancier than cheddar so this in turn makes me feel like it’s healthier. Is my logic crazy? This pizza is great for a super fast dinner or cut into mini pieces and set out as hors d’oeuvres for a party. Enjoy!

ingredients:

1.  Pizza Crust (I used store-bought but if you’re not as lazy you can make your own!)

2. 1 Tbsp olive oil

3.  3/4 cup

4.  2 peaches pitted and thinly sliced

4. 4 ounces brie cheese, thinly sliced

5. 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil

Directions:

1. Pre heat over to 425 degrees.

2. Lay pizza crust on pan and brush olive oil over crust.

3. Brush half of Balsamic vinegar  on crust.

4. Top evenly with thinly sliced brie and peaches

Brie, Peach, and Basil Pizza

5. Bake pizza for 7 minutes

6. After 8 minutes remove the pizza and add the fresh basil

7. Place pizza back in oven and bake for another 7 minutes (or until the brie is bubbly)

8. Meanwhile place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).

9. Once pizza is baked, drizzle the balsamic reduction and serve.

Brie, Peach, and Basil Pizza!

Oh how I love cheese!

xoxo katie

It’s a Small World

OpenField

We all have our memories of today.

I was a naive freshman in college, sitting in my drama class when another professor knocked on our door and told us to turn on the TV. I can still feel my heart sinking the moment my mind understood what it was seeing on the screen. We were dismissed from class and I remember walking back to my dorm room in the midst of a chaotic flutter of anxious and confused young people. I called my mom. I was scared. I was scared of being so close to DC – they even temporarily shut down the main road through my small college. I was scared of being away from my family. I was scared of what could happen next.

I still didn’t quite understand what was happening. No one did. Our world grew a little smaller that day.

Use  today as a reminder to take time to like one another a little more.

Happy Birthday, Maggie May!


Happy Birthday Maggie May!Today, is my dog Maggie May’s 7th birthday! I received an e-birthday card from her vet, reminding me to schedule her first “senior wellness visit”. Wahh?? She’s a senior? No, my little poodle love is going to live forever…

I rescued Maggie, an adorable Poodle Shih Tzu mix, from a shelter in Annapolis Maryland six years ago. I checked the shelter’s website almost daily for weeks, waiting for a poodle mix as I have bad allergies. One day as I was carefully walking through the halls of the shelter, trying not to cry at all the sweet faces of the many dogs who needed homes, I came across Maggie. Unlike the other dogs who were all begging for my attention, here was this tiny, matted, trembling dog, sitting patiently in the corner and staring up at me with these huge dark eyes full of emotion.

It was love at first sight.

When I asked to see her, she ran right up to me and nuzzled her head against mine as tears rolled down my cheeks. There was no way I could not take her home. Upon arriving at home I decided to name her Maggie May (yes I’m a huge Rod Stewart fan) and she quickly felt at home with me and I with her.

Maggie may shelter dog

The day I first brought Maggie home

Since then she has filled my world. We have moved from Annapolis to Chicago to central PA together. You all non dog people can judge, but, yes she is my baby and my most loyal companion. She always knows when I’m feelings down or sick and is quick to lend puppy kisses as she flops belly side up on my lap, her big eyes saying, “it’s okay mommy, I love you!”

maggie12

just love me

I’ll never know for sure what troubles she faced before I adopted her. (All the shelter could tell me was that she was abused). Whatever happened, it still haunts her. She is afraid of everything. And yes, I mean everything – plastic bags, water bottles, clothes being shaken before being folded, beards, large boxes, tv remotes,hats, bangles, any “new” object brought into the home and I could go on forever. She doesn’t trust much, but she does trust me. Over time she has also put her trust in others like family and close friends. Others she barks at in fear and is quick to run behind my legs to hide. But once she opens up to you she is a sweetheart. Oddly, Maggie loved Ryan upon first meeting him. They were best buds from the start. From that day, I knew Ryan was a keeper!

one of Ryan and Maggie's first meetings

one of Ryan and Maggie’s first meetings

I always looks forward to coming home because I know I’ll be greeted by her jumps and squeals as she nearly scratches me to death with excitement. My favorite times are our long walks and runs, exploring together as well as our lazy weekend morning puppy cuddles in bed. She is most content sitting in my lap, playing, or taking long walks. She also loves her bff Bonnie (my parents dog). Otherwise she’ll sit in a corner and mope. Don’t even try putting clothes on her.

maggie1

seriously Mom?

Some may say she’s spoiled but I say she deserves all of it. When she’s scared or anxious she’ll tremble and look at me with the saddest eyes, “Maggie eyes” we call them, and I know she just needs to be held and loved. I honestly feel she takes care of me on the same level that I take care of her. As someone who has also struggled with trusting people, I feel so special that she puts her trust in me. She was a source of constant support during some lonely times. When I feel her weight on me while she lies contentedly in my lap, my world feels complete. She keeps me company during the days and nights that Ryan is not at home and cuddling with her makes it easier to go to bed at night.

Her way of loving is a role mode for all us humans. I know that she will love me unconditionally until the last beat of her heart. I’m so lucky to have found her. The least I can do is to take the best care of her that I can and try to give her as much love as she gives me.

I can’t imagine a world with out her, so she must live forever.

winery maggie

Weekend Wrap Up – September 9

Another busy weekend is under our belts. Is it just me or do you feel like once the Fall season starts everyone starts getting in a hurry to do stuff? Is this the beginning of the race toward the holidays? Maybe it’s just me – but I’m already ready to sloooooow things down a bit.

Saturday we had the annual MacDonald family reunion at the Phillies game. We started with some tailgating fun. One of the best things about being married is combining your family and friends.

I had all intentions of taking some great family shots – but when I pulled out my camera realized it didn’t have a memory card in it! ooops! #fail! So the only shots I have from the day were taken on my phone.

phillies tailgatingI’m not really a sports fan at all. Meaning I watch zero spots and couldn’t care less. I look at each sporting event I attend as a way to play dress up. And boy, do I love myself some sequins. So, I got to have fun in this red sequin Phillies tank. What really matters was the time spent with my new family. Ryan is the big brother. He has two kid brothers – 18-year-old twins. It’s nice to spend some time with them and his parents and meet more of his extended family.

It was a beautiful day with a spectacular sky.

phillies game

phillies

On Sunday we went to our favorite local spots – Moondancer Winery. The wine isn’t spectacular but the views are beautiful and there’s always free live music. I always say yes to a view with live music!

DSC_0889

winery maggie  We park ourselves down with a cooler of goodies, chairs, and a blanket and simply enjoy being outside. We both fell asleep – win! DSC_0886  We park ourselves down with a cooler of goodies, chairs, and a blanket and simply enjoy being outside. We both fell asleep – win! DSC_0886 DSC_0888We snacked on some cheese, dip, and a bbq chicken pizza from the wineries brick oven pizza. It was a perfect day. Maggie was feeling it too.  We snacked on some cheese, dip, and a bbq chicken pizza from the wineries brick oven pizza. It was a perfect day. Maggie was feeling it too.  DSC_0892 DSC_0894 DSC_0896 DSC_0883

Everyone else seems to be rushing right into Fall – only talking about pumpkin spice this or that, but I want to hold on to these warm days and green views a little bit longer.xoxo katie

Spreading the Love – The Liebster Award

Liebster award

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Lauren at A Step-Mom in Training. The Liebster Award provides a fun and easy way to get to know other new bloggers (you must have under 200 followers).  You then must also nominate 10 other blogs. What a warm welcome into the blogging community, this is a great way to meet new bloggers like yourself as well as get people to learn about you.  – Thanks Lauren!

The Liebster Award Rules:

  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.

  2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.

  3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.

  4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

  5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

The Questions I Was Asked:

  1. Who has influenced you the most?  This is such a typical answer, but it has to be my Mom. Like most other mothers, she has played a critical role in shaping who I am. As a child, you have no choice into who influences you – you are shaped by your environment. But, now that I’m a grown woman I make the choice to look towards my mother for advice, influence, and a shoulder to cry on. She has quickly become one of my best friends. It’s a beautiful thing. 
  2. What experience in life do you remember the most? The time that I also reflect on the most are my college years. This was such a magical time – a time to experiment and decide who you want to be, with the freedom to make mistakes and learn as you go. There are so many good memories with friends.  I often get very nostalgic about my days at Washington College – even though at the time I probably wanted it to fly by! 
  3. If you could get one re-do what would it be? Not date a certain someone for such a long period of my life. 
  4. What made you start your blog? Someone I freelance for suggested I start writing a blog – at first I was hesitant and then I quickly realized this is something I’ve always wanted to attempt to do. So here I am, throwing my words out on the internet. 
  5. If you could be anyone for a day who would you be and why? My Pop-Pop. He is the most charming and kind man. He basically knows a little bit about every person that he runs into. He has lived an elaborate life and always has the best stories. To be him for a day would mean getting to experience all of his wisdom and life stories. We can all learn a little something from Pop-Pop. 
  6. Do you believe in true love? I believe that love is true. 
  7. What are three things on your bucket list that you already accomplished or want to accomplish? Oh I love lists! Three things I WANT to accomplish 1. Be a mother (birth or adopt) 2. Become a better writer 3. Own a house on the water
  8. When you die what impact do you want to remember about you? I want to be remembered as being kind. The type of person you can openly talk to, hug, or ask for help. 
  9. What is the biggest challenge you have overcome? My life has been easy – this questions always makes me feel bad, because in the end I’ve had to overcome what many others overcome daily – heart-break, depression, not knowing where to take my life – these aren’t obstacles, these are just parts of life. 
  10. Are you the person you grew up wanting to be? Working on it! I still have time don’t I? 

Here are my questions for my nominated bloggers to answer:

1.  If there was a movie about your life who would play you?

2. What song is currently on “repeat” for you?

3. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

4. What was the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

5. What is the best book that you’ve read in the past year?

6. What is your “go to” recipe for dinner?

7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?

8. What is the best thing you read on the internet this week?

9. Favorite place in your home

10. What is the story behind your worst scar?

My nominated blogs:

http://jessebpage.wordpress.com/

http://fayness.wordpress.com/

http://www.awonderfulveganlife.com/

http://lawschoolandlullabies.wordpress.com/

http://eclectanerds.wordpress.com/

http://shabbyprincess.blogspot.com/

http://msdooh.wordpress.com/

http://myknottedlife.com/

http://wifemeetslife.com/

http://wifeonabudget.blogspot.com/

Please link me back when you post! I would love to read everyone’s answers!

xoxo katie