Author: Addie Parker
•5:27 PM
I used to participate in the Creative Cats party at Poppies at Play almost every Friday. I loved the quiet little bloggy link-up on the Poppies' quiet little unassuming blog.  I haven't linked up (or even visited their site) in almost two months.  First, I haven't done any projects worth blogging about, and second, I haven't been blogging much at all. Just winter doldrums, I guess. I come home and shovel the driveway. When I get inside, I keep the curtains closed because it'll just get dark in fifteen minutes anyway.  I do the minimum of what needs to be done as far as housework, laundry, paying the bills, etc. Then I park my bottom on the couch and mindlessly absorb whatever is on tv that night. 
Such has been my winter.

Winter isn't moving out of Michigan soon, but it is moving out of a lot of other states. Which means bloggers in other states are gettin' out their spring gear and posting all about it! I hopped over to Poppies at Play today and found- the Creative Cats party has exploded!  70 people are linked up to last Friday's party, as opposed to the 20 - 30 I was used to. Shew!

I started clicking through, and found a treasure chest of springy inspiration (and other inspiration that isn't necessarily springy but is inspiring nonetheless).  Here are just some of the fantasmic posts that have set my little fix-it-up mind in motion:

 I love the little tag on this cloche from Relatively Unique. Going to add some tags to my pretty jars now. I mean like right now.

 A laundry room remodel at Remodelaholic. Can she come do this to my kitchen, pretty please?

Hmm, I think some branches need to be spray painted at my house. Fun. 

It's time to get myself out of the winter blues and spruce things up for spring. Ready, set, go.
No, really. 1, 2, 3, Go. Get up off the couch, Addie. I mean it. Come on. Let's go. 
Do. It. Now.

Author: Addie Parker
•9:53 PM

I am a married woman of almost five years. Five years seems like a long time at the beginning of a marriage (though I've noticed a gradual speeding up of time as the years go by).

I don't wake up in the mornings and think, "this is the beginning of my life! hooray!"  I don't think anything with the word "hooray" in it at 5:00 in the morning. But I especially don't think about how this time in my life is just the start of my story. 

But it is. {well, let's just operate on the premise that I won't be dying any time soon, and go from there, mm-kay?}

Yes, this is just the beginning of my life story. It's just my husband and me. No real responsibilities except to pay the bills on time. We pretty much live how we want to live.

I've been thinking about how close I am to the end of that time. We'll be picking up our new dog in nine days.  We might be taking on a huge responsibility for our church in the next month or so. And sometime in the relatively near future (hopefully), we'll be adding an actual child (me? a parent?!) to our family.

As hard as it's been to wait over a month to be able to bring our puppy home, I'm glad I've had this time to think and adjust mentally. The process has been slow. It mostly consisted of me being discontent with the end of what IS. The end of choosing exactly what my evenings and weekends will look like. The end of getting out of bed with just enough time to get myself ready and get out the door. The end of going out to dinner on a whim after work. The end of spontaneity. 

The end of being selfish.

I think I'm done being selfish. I think. I think maybe I'm excited to be done being selfish. A dog is going to require my presence and my time. I'm going to have to build in take-the-puppy-out-to-pee time, as well as clean-up-where-puppy-made-a-little-puppy-mess time every single morning. I have to count on that, just like I count on slippery roads and trains. I'll have to pad my getting ready time, just like I pad my commute time.  I'll have to come home at the end of the work day to let the puppy out before I do anything else (and when you don't live in town, that's tricky).

But I'll also have to take the puppy for walks, think about him, plan for him, play with him, give him attention. And that'll be good. It will all be good.

So this end is really just a page turned, a chapter passed. There is SO MUCH MORE to come. A puppy, a  baby, a way of serving my church. And, eventually, a dog, a child, and who knows what else?

The rest of my life - the whole rest of my life - is about to begin. I couldn't be happier.
Author: Addie Parker
•7:06 PM

Hi y'all!

So it's Thursday... evening. This is the first time I've opened my computer since yesterday morning. Yesterday was all travel time, and today... well, today I was doing this:

Watching Olympians from the top of the long ski jump. Yeah. CURRENT Olympians. It's raining in Vancouver, and they needed more time to train, so they flew in to Park City for a couple of days. I happened to be touring the '02 Winter Olympic Park at EXACTLY the right time. EXACTLY. An hour earlier, or an hour later, and I would not have seen what I did.

We watched from the bottom for a few minutes, then we went to the top. SOOOO much cooler from the top.
And then, THEN we got to talk to them. Holy cow. 

One of them was Johnny Spillane, and the other- I'll have to look it up. No time right now, so I'll write more later. I have to go to dinner at Robert Redford's restaurant, Zoom.  This is such a cool day.

And the weekly Thankful List?  Okay, Okay. Here you go. :)

I'm thankful that my husband carried my bag all over the airport yesterday. Man, it was heavy. What did I pack?

I'm thankful for the opportunity to be on vacation in Park City, Utah with my husband and his family (my family, too).

I'm thankful for the opportunity to see the Olympics as up close and personal as I will ever get.

I'm thankful for the set-up of this condo, allowing me peace and quiet when I need it.

I'm thankful for Airborne and Sudafed and bottled water (in a major way).

I'm thankful for being too short to "Kiss the Moose!" as is the tradition here. :)

What are you thankful for this week?
Author: Addie Parker
•8:00 AM

Do you ever try to do it all? Like on January 1st every year? All of your New Year's resolutions come together with everything you wish would change and fuels a list-making, adrenaline-fueled frenzy of motivation. No? Well it happens to me. And not just on January 1st. More like once every two months or so.

I was thinking about that today. In my small group, we're currently reading Walking with God by John Eldredge. In the section titled "Summer", Eldredge talks about listening for God's voice and how most people only try to listen when they're desperate. And then we can't hear because we haven't learned how to hear. We need to take it one step at a time and listen for the small things. Ask about the small things. We laughed in our group about his example of asking God about which day would be a good day to take his family to cut down that year's Christmas tree. I might not go that far. ha. But I do want to start listening for the little things and taking life (and change) one step at a time.

This is where my organized, list-making self stepped in. I decided to break things down into months this year. Months of focus. I can't do it all at once. It's too overwhelming. I can't change all the things about myself that need improvement just by declaring that I will.

So this month- this month that starts in the middle of February and will end in the middle of March- will be for focusing on spiritual practices. Specifically, starting each day with my Bible (and not just falling asleep on the couch, using my Bible as a pillow), and sprinkling so much prayer into my days that I have nothing left to pray about- at which point, maybe I'll stop and listen.

Because whatever else I want to do, whatever else needs to change about me, that needs to come first. I've been okay at it, but it's not okay for me to get into a rut of hitting the snooze button eight times every morning and skipping out on time with God. I think one thing is going to have to change about how I do it, though. I'm going to have to brush my teeth and wash my face first. And maybe sit at the table. The whole comfy couch thing puts me right back to sleep.
Author: Addie Parker
•9:17 PM
"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed." -Mark Twain

Happy Thursday, y'all! Let me start this right off and say that I am thankful that I had a great day today! I can't remember the last time I had a good day at work, but I did today! Nothing particularly good happened, but there was an obvious lack of bad things happening. We got almost a foot of snow last night, so lots of people called in, including the one woman who just gets on my nerves with every word that comes out of her mouth. I also finally feel like I'm getting caught up (not that that will last, but it feels good right now), and I had a chance to rearrange my desk today. That makes everything feel fresh and welcoming. So I am THANKFUL for my good day at work!

When I got home today, there was a big box on my front step. My doggie bed arrived! And it's priiiiity. I admired it for a while, then moved on and printed invitations for my friend Emily's baby shower. They're all addressed, stamped, and ready to put in the mailbox tomorrow. Then I made brownies and read blogs. So I had a great evening, too!

Photo (and bed) from, and pssst. this is not my dog, but it is the bed I bought.

Have you had a great day lately?

And for the weekly rundown:

I am thankful for Monday nights with my friends. I have the best friends ever.

I am thankful for the opportunity to host a baby shower for one of those friends. I'm so excited.

I am thankful that my best friend is still with me on the not-being-pregnant-yet thing. The rest of our friends are, so it's good to have someone else still in the same boat as me!

I am thankful for the white, fuzzy blanket that my sister got me for Christmas. It makes mornings on the couch with my Bible quite cozy.

I am thankful that I had a true, two-day weekend this week. It was soooooo nice. I haven't had one of those in a long time.

I am thankful for the space heater in my studio downstairs. Without it, I would freeze my buns off and have paintings that look like they came from a kindergarten art class (well, who am I kidding, they still might look like that, but at least my fingers stay warm!).

What are you thankful for this week? Link up below!

Author: Addie Parker
•8:05 PM
He wants for nothing. He's satisfied with what he's got. He's so hard to shop for!!!

My husband is a content man. And that's a good thing, except for on his birthday or Christmas or any other time I want to give him a gift.

But there is one thing. One thing I never really considered because it certainly wasn't something I wanted. No way, Jose!

He wants a dog. A little puppy to love and play with (and clean up after).

I am not a dog person. I fear them. Especially the big ones. I don't like how dogs smell. I don't like how dogs shed. And bark. And chew things. And relieve themselves in the yard. And put their wet noses on your hands or your pants or you new white shirt. And stick their wet noses in... places they shouldn't. ha. I'm just not a dog person. Or an any-animal person. 

But you know what? My husband is.  He puts up with a lot from me. I'm very high-maintenance.  But a few weeks ago, I decided to put all of that aside and give my husband a gift he really wants.  For his 30th birthday, I'm getting him a puppy.

At first, I thought, "I'll get him a puppy, but it'll be the kind I want. A little Havanese pup that doesn't bark and doesn't shed and just sits on my lap being cute."  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I knew my husband didn't want that. He wanted a short-haired dog. One he could imagine playing fetch with. He just couldn't imagine playing fetch with this little puffball:

So instead of keeping the whole thing a surprise, I consulted him on it. And then I caved. I caved on everything. We found a dog online. He's a mix between a french bulldog and a mini dacshund. We're pretty sure he is a little "oops" puppy, as this is not a common mix. Even the vet said, "Well, that should be pretty interesting to see." He'll end up being about 12 - 15 pounds, which is twice the size I wanted. He's really not all that cute, in my opinion, anyway. He will shed a little. My only saving grace is that the breeder said that he has never barked.

Last week, I clicked the "Pay Now" button on Paypal and forked over the money for the little pup.  I then had quite a few hours of buyer's remorse.  What was I doing? I don't even like dogs! He's going to pee on my carpet! 

But then I remembered something. This isn't about me. It's about giving my husband something he really, really wants.  And it feels incredible to be doing that. Absolutely incredible.

So on March 6, we'll be driving about nine hours to southern Illinois to pick up our new puppy. We're naming him Kase (with two little dots over the 'a' that I can't figure out how to type).  It's pronounced KAY-zuh, and it's German for 'cheese'. That's just fun. Don't you think?


Now that I've accepted that this really is happening, I'm actually getting pretty excited. March 6 seems so far away, and I can't wait to go pick up our new little family member! 
What about you? Do you have pets? Have you always been a dog (or cat) person? What are the best and worst things about having pets?
Author: Addie Parker
•9:14 PM
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. -Cynthia Ozick

I am still thankful for my job, even though it only gets harder every single day.

I am thankful for laughing with my husband about fetus lamps.

I am thankful that my husband is doing my laundry as I type this (yessssssss.)

I am thankful for.... oh, I don't know. I've been at work pretty much every waking moment this week. So, um. Haven't thought about much else.

I am thankful that my grandma turned 79 this week (as opposed to the alternative: not celebrating another birthday).

I am thankful for hot chocolate (which I am going to get up and make as soon as I get done writing this post).

Have you ever noticed how I am always thankful for some sort of food? hmm.

I am thankful for the internet (yes. Yes I am) because I was able to find and buy this little guy on it!!!! ....

Yeah, man. We're getting a puppy. And I think I'm thankful for that. I think. I'll share my opinions and all the other info about him in another post, but for now you can just savor in the excitement with me. :) We get him on March 6. Hip Hip Hooray!

What are you thankful for this week?

I'm linking my own party to the thankful party at Chatting at the Sky. Hey y'all. I do this every Thursday, so you can come back next week if you want!