It’s The Little Things

Maggie Loves Pumpkins
I’ve been sick since last Wednesday. A no fun, suck all the energy out of you sickness that as left me holed up at home. This past weekend was one of our most “free” weekends we’ve had for months. I decided to fill up any chance of doing anything for myself by being sick.

(side note: One of my least favorite things to do is call in sick to work. I always resort to feeling like a 10-year-old convincing my mom to let me stay home from school. Anyone else terrified to make that call? When you’re actually sick?)

It’s so easy to get down and out when you’re stuck at home sick. Everything seems hard and it seems like it will be forever until you’re feeling like yourself again. Fevers take over and you feel trapped. Finding a reason to smile just seems to hard to manage, rather fill up your time with another nap or trashy daytime tv.

When you’re feeling down even the simplest things can make you feel happier. This weekend it was the joy of my dog.

Maggie LOVES pumpkins. Like loves them almost as much as taking a walk, getting treats, or running loose outside. She’s our little veggie lover dog: she also loves the smell of green beans, cucumbers, all other squash, and loves to eat edamame.

maggie sniffs out pumpkins
 Every fall we go through mini pumpkins like water for her. She loves to push them around in the house and carry them around. We cannot have too many mini pumpkins on display in our house. As soon as she spots them she makes them hers. Its starts with a slow creepy stare from across the room and soon she has her nose right up in the them and is barking at them. 

maggie pumpkins
Seeing her joy over a mini pumpkin made my weekend.  I trudged back into work today but was able to greeted by an over zealous Maggie and her pumpkin after work. 

Maggie Loves Pumpkins from KatieMacDonald on Vimeo
Remember that last time something that little made you that happy? Why do we adults lose sight of the little joys in our lives? So often they make all the difference. 

IMG_4459.JPG
Are you a book lover like me? Stay tuned tomorrow when I start a new series: Recently Read reviewing the last few books I’ve read. Let’s talk books!
 

 

 

What’s Going On?

Hi! I’m alive! Sorry I haven’t been staying in touch. I hate when people use the excuse, “I’m just really busy”, because aren’t we all?

In truth this blog hasn’t been making it to the top of my priority list lately. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss chatting with you all. I wanted to drop in and do a little personal check in. Since we’re friends, right?

IMG_4397.JPG
We’ve been having perfect September weather and I’m trying to spend as much time as I can outdoors (hence me being a no-show around here lately)

I’ve had our new car for 5 months and have just now realized we’ve had free siruis radio. (car salesman said we didn’t because it was a used car).

I’m completely addicted to Call the Midwife. Netflix just added Season 3 and I can’t stop watching (or crying)

I really enjoy a good cry. I think it’s a really beneficial way to acknowledge a situation or feeling and then to let it go. Or sometimes I’m just really hormonal and cry at everything. Whatever. 

This weekend while visiting my old college roomie in DC. 

IMG_4406.JPG
I love that I can go months without seeing old friends and pick up like we’re still 19 years old. 

I took a shot through an ice cream sandwich. It was delicious.

IMG_4407.JPG
Naps have a may to make most things better.

I talk to my dog entirely way too much. But she just gets me, ya know?

IMG_4378.JPG
I’m the stay at home loser that has all the new fall TV premier dates scheduled on her calendar so she doesn’t miss a thing. Excited for Parenthood, Modern Family, Nashville, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, The Mindy Project, Blackish, Walking Dead, and Reign.

I’ve put off fall decorating because I can’t say goodbye to summer. But pumpkin and apple picking and mum shopping are calling my name this weekend. Time to bust out my fall candle collection. Pumpkin cupcake, yes sir!

IMG_4372-0.JPG
I’ve read 12 books this summer – I love talking about books but also hate recommending books that others end up not liking. What’s your opinion, do you like reading book reviews or discussing books?

Ryan and I rarely go to the movies. I think we’ve seen 5 movies in the theatre together: Batman the Dark Knight Rises, Lincoln,  American Hustle, and The Fault in Our Stars. I want to see Gone Girl, but I also don’t want to be disappointed. Also hate people who talk or have their cell phones out in the movie #grumpyoldlady

I prefer to watch movies at home, with the comforts of wine and bathroom breaks where you won’t miss a second. Plus darkness and quietness and no cellphones. 

Speaking of cellphones, I watched the pilot of the new TV show, Selfie. Pretty basic story line and bad acting, but a good message and trite take on My Fair Lady 

I was impressed with Emma Watson’s UN Speech. I’m inspired that she is using her celebrity for good and encouraging humans around the globe to widen their perspectives. 

Why is white cheddar Pirate’s Booty so addictive?

IMG_4404.JPG
That is all for now.

Leave a note, tell me what you’re up to, if you’re a crazy dog lady too. Let’s chat!

 

 

When Marriage is Hard

323
When is marriage hard? Always. 

I think we are usually ashamed to admit when marriage is tough. I know I am. 

It’s not like I didn’t know this before diving into marriage. It’s not like I want to throw the towel in. It’s not that I don’t believe in marriage. 

I wouldn’t trade in my marriage for anything. Even on the days when I have red moments and all I think I want to do is be alone. 

But the fact is, marriage is hard. It’s one of the biggest risks you will ever take in life. Putting together two people from two different backgrounds for life with two different ways of dealing with conflict – it’s kind of crazy right? But with that crazy comes an unfathomable beauty….that sometimes gets lost in dark times.

Ryan and I have a hard time while he is gone at school and while under a lot of stress.  The past couple of weeks I have broken down to a girlfriends about marriage troubles. Every single one said she had been there. Here, I thought I was the weak one. That I was all alone in my troubles. There is comfort in knowing that we are not alone and I think we can all learn from one another. 

So,why don’t we share our hardships?

The moments where we feel unheard, misunderstood. When we just want to be selfish and not put the spouse first. When the other person surprises us and we feel like we don’t know them at all. 

It’s so much easier to share the good. To brag about your perfect weekends and the over the top romantic gestures. Sometimes you want to show everyone that you are OKAY and la-di-da ain’t love GRAND!

Truth: Ryan and I fight.

Of course we fight about countless stupid things that all cohabitating couples fight over:

The fact that there are 6 pairs of his shoes in the front entry way and I nearly break my neck carrying in the groceries. We fight that I don’t properly rinse of the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. We fight when it takes 30 minutes to choose which movie to watch after a long Saturday. He wants to kill me when I leave 6 empty water glasses on my bedside table and I will scream if he squeezes the middle of the toothpaste tube again!

The silly things like that we usually end up laughing over. But there are the bigger issues too. The big choices, the dreams we sometimes have to sacrifice, the times when money is tight, sleep is nill, and hopes are squashed. The fights that lead to us asking ourselves, “Are we making the right choices?” The days that end in a big fiery ball of fury where every wrong word is said and you don’t think you have any more tears to cry. 

When you are stressed and feeling down, who is the first person you generally vent to or show anger towards? The spouse. Ryan and I are both guilty of pushing each other away in times of stress and sadness. Life is an ongoing lesson and I’m forever grateful to have Ryan as my co student for this education. But like all good students, we make mistakes along the way. 

Marriage brings out the worst and the best in me. It’s only been a short time, 1 year and 4 months, but it has taken me on an amazing journey. We’ve both changed since marriage, and for the good. I’m more humble, giving, selfless, loving, and hopeful because of my marriage. The crazy emotions in marriage are the same ones that make it absolutely beautiful. 

After the darkness descends, I always look at Ryan and know that although every choice we make may not be the best, I made the right choice in marrying him. We choose each other. Every day. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.  

Love can do amazing things, but that doesn’t make the dark days any less numbered. 

It’s okay to admit marriage is hard. There should be no fear in sounding as if you have any less love for you spouse in doing so. 

As I grow older, the more and more I learn how small this world is. Let’s share our stories and grow together. If you are going through tough times, even ones that last a day,  you are not alone. 
  

September at the Beach in Avalon

avalon13
This weekend was heaven – a pure recharge for the soul. It has been a rough past month for us, and I hate being vague like that, but not everything is blog worthy, and a weekend at the beach was just what we needed.

We traveled down to Avalon, NJ with my family. This is the town that I vacationed in as a very young child and it contains so many memories for me. 

September at the beach is a magical time.

avalon10
The sun is still warm, but the crowds are gone. Although you may need a sweatshirt on the beach, it’s still restorative and peaceful. I’m a devoted North Carolina beach girl – in favor of warmer water temps, wider beaches, no lifeguards, and FAR less crowds. However, New Jersey beaches also have their own beauty, and September really lets that beauty shine through. 

Just look at that sky – how can you look at that and not believe in hope? And that’s what we got this weekend. I much needed dose of hope. 

avalon5
avalon1 avalon2 avalon3 avalon4avalon6 avalon7 avalon8 avalon9avalon11 avalon12

End of Summer Punch Recipe

We’re headed off for a quick getaway to the beach for one of the last weekends of the summer. I’d thought I’d leave you with one of my favorite drinks to make for summer parties and get togethers.

I call it my Sweet Summertime punch. It’s easy to throw together last-minute, refreshing, and tastes just like summer.

summertimewinepunch
I was upset that the weather didn’t corporate for my photos. This punch deserves to be photographed on a lovely wide wrap around porch with crisp white wicker furniture and a sun shining down just so. I’ll never be one of those always perfectly photographic bloggers. What’s the fun in that anyways?

But even in the clouds, the drink will fill you with all the summer goodness. I love the pink color too.

Ingredients:

1 Bottle of Moscato

1 Bottle of Diet Sprite or Sierra Mist

1 Can of Pink Lemonade Frozen Concentrate

wineingre
Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher. Serve ice-cold!

Enjoy!

Cheers and happy Friday!

 

katiedrink
 

 

5 Things My Dog Teaches Me

10491987_732648724399_4605823283397140630_n
Today we’re celebrating Maggie’s 8th Birthday! She is such a special part of our lives and I can’t imagine a life without her. She and her love is always inspiring me to be a better person. 

So yes, even though I saved her from the shelter all those years ago, she has found a way to turn my life around and save me as well. 

In honor of Maggie gracing our lives with her presence (she is such a poodle princess this one) I’ve decided to share a little sentimental post about:

5 Things My Dog Teaches Me

1. Always Show Your Love

dogs1
Every single time I walk through the door, doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone 4 hours or 4 minutes, Maggie attacks me with love. For a solid 5 minutes she will be jumping up at me, covering me with puppy kisses and bringing me her current favorite toy. She wants me to know just how excited she is to see me. 

My dog teaches me that we should always show/tell people how much they mean to us. Don’t store it inside for a rainy day. Shout it from the rooftops, let them know are loved. 

2. Give Your Undivided Attention

IMG_0350.JPG
If I happen to put on the TV in the middle of a passionate game of ball or if I pull out my phone while petting her on the couch, Maggie will promptly drop the ball or jump off the couch to retreat to the chair in the corner to pout and stare at me with sad eyes. She wants all or nothing. 

Maggie has taught me that when doing an activity or spending time with someone, give it or them all of your attention. Multi tasking has a time and place but you will get more out of life if you show up 100%. This applies to finishing goals, tackling your to do list, and spending quality time with friends and family. 

3. Walks Are The Best

IMG_4334
Maggie will never turn down a walk. She’ll go in the cold, in the heat, and even the rain. She loves exploring. The longer the better. Her legs may be short but they can go for miles. She prances with her head held high and stops to smell every smell. The highlight of her week is when she is let loose in the field near our house, that we aptly named “Maggie’s Field of Dreams”. She will run and run and run. 

She reminds me that there is nothing like connecting with nature while on a long peaceful walk. It’s probably one of the most healthiest things we can do for ourselves on a regular basis. 

4. We Can Do Hard Things

IMG_4332
 Maggie did not have an easy early life. I adopted her from a shelter when she was one-year old. I’ll never know what trauma she underwent as a puppy but she is terrified of most everything and all new people. But, in the seven years that I’ve been her mom, she has gone through an amazing transformation. Her curiosity and desire to have fun has, bit by bit, replaced her fear.

Maggie proves that against all odds we can overcome. We are built to do hard things. Just try. Also, accepting encouragment from loved ones always helps.

5. Love Unconditionally

IMG_4252.JPG
Maggie is a loyal friend. There have been many times when I’ve ignored her need to play or go for a long walk because I’m feeling sick or sad. Although she could be mad or resentful, she is often all that more loving and attentive at these times. When I’m feeling down she is always by my side, cuddled up close.

Somehow, instinctively, my dog knows that I need her love most when I’m at my worst. This is a trait that we should carry over with our human friends. Love others, through thick and thin.

What furry friend has made your life better? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Changing of the Seasons

jam70
Fall.

I can’t go half a day without hearing someone screaming the merits of fall from the rooftops. 

I’m not ready.

It can’t be real. This undying love for Fall. It must be a marketing ploy, right? All these people are just brainwashed by Starbucks and the fashion industry to go out and consume and promote everything related to Fall and cooler weather. Right?

Are these fall fans the equivalent of an insecure teenager that has to defend every choice they make? Are they so depressed that summer is over and rather than wallow in self-pity as they pack away their bathing suits and sunscreen while they prepare their souls to battle another cold winter they make over the top lists of what they LOVE most about fall?

They must have good therapists. 

The changing of the seasons.

I can’t get into it. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer.

lake2
We spent the long holiday weekend at a lake in north-east PA. We spent the whole time boating, swimming, eating, and drinking. I’m still exhausted. It was perfect.

On the drive up through the mountains I couldn’t help but notice that a small amount of leaves were already changing colors.

Ryan jokingly asked if he should pull over the car so I could go give those leaves a piece of my mind. That wouldn’t be a stretch, me being the crazy woman on the side of the turnpike yelling “Don’t change! It’s not allowed!” 

lake1
Yes, that’s what it really comes down to.

Change.

I’m not good with change.

 I’m terrified of what lies ahead, of the unknown. We are all just blind people. Not knowing where life will take us. 

The changing of the season’s reminds us of that. We’re never in control.  

No matter how much we praise the warm full sun it will still descend into the horizon, off to play with the other side of the world. We can admire the soft green grass and the vibrant trees but the grass will still turn brown and stiff and the leaves will die and fall to the ground.

Nature, it has some humor doesn’t? Making us work hard and rake up those dead leaves while we mourn them. 

Spring and Summer are full of hope, of new birth, and a chance to dream and live with a little more freedom. Summer days are full of leisure, even though our schedules are generally more full in the summer than the winter. The warm sun greets us with open arms, making it easy to make hopeful plans for the future while in her company.

And then the sun abandons us. Our hopes prove to be silly little ideas.

In Fall I often feel like a hung over college student, cringing while looking back at the previous night’s events. Summer made us so young and naive. So free. Those dreams looked so promising through our big Ray Bans but in September, as the sun sets earlier and earlier each night,  they look like childhood fantasies. 

Seasons are a reminder that nothing is permanent. 

Like always, I’ll fight change for a bit until I realize I’m wasting time fighting when I could be living.

Soon enough I’ll be burning pumpkin candles and living in infinity scarves, but this girl has always needed a little bit of time to sort things out her way. (I hope you know I’m not just talking about the seasons anymore.)

Change. She sure sneaks up and knows how to ruin a good party. But she’s  been playing this game for far longer than my mind can even comprehend. I’ll try to trust her a little bit better.

Not only with this whole changing of the season’s thing, but with everything. 

xoxo Katie