Monday, June 6, 2011

Laugh a Little

In a wonderful book that I recently finished (The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin) I saw a statistic that made me a bit forlorn. Apparently, on any given day, a child laughs an average of 300-400 times while an adult only hits 17.  I understand that slammed with work and responsibilities (such as taking care of these non-listening laughing little children) our lives can't be quite as funny and carefree as they once were. Plus, our brains are a little more mature and able to understand everyday concepts a bit better. Take, for example, an adult compared to this baby:

(Can't help but laugh with her, can ya??)

But to laugh 96% less than we did as children? Ridiculous! So in an effort to raise my daily laughter percentage I settled in on my comfy couch with the puppy at my side to do some research. That's right, for the good of my health and all adult human beings, I found that you can laugh more if you sit around looking at funny prints on for over an hour. And since I understand that most people don't have the will or time to commit to such high pursuits, I've decided to share some of the ones that I found most amusing. So have some laughs and then GET BACK TO WORK! And even then, do keep your daily laugh count in mind. Maybe, if we all get really serious about this, together we can raise that average to 34/day. What do you say?

**After way too much time spent figuring ways to get them posted on here, I've realized that the easiest way is to get YOU there. So simply click here and you should be able to peruse my Pinterest board.**


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Butterscotch Brownies

There are days that I feel like a super-wife. I've got dinner on the table for Peyton when he gets home, a clean not-so-dirty kitchen, an apron protecting my splendid clothing, and music wafting its harmoniuos tunes throughout the house. I conveniently forget the fact that I'm actually in running shoes with an old t-shirt and odd tennis skirt, that the house hasn't been vacuumed for far too long, and that the dogs haven't been fed. Or maybe I'm simply asserting my women's studies side and quietly fighting the wifely image shoved on us. Whatever it is, today I am super-wife. And here is why...

I made butterscotch brownies.

Heavenly, gooey, vegan brownies with just the right balance between sweet and salty. And they will win his heart all over again. Plus hide the fact that I've completely monopolized the bathroom counter with hair products that I rarely use, clothes that are mostly clean, three pairs of tweezers, two contact cases, and a pair of scissors. (Let me lovingly point out that if Peyton has noticed this takeover, he has been completely mum on the subject.)

But I digress.

These babies are good stuff. I can attest to this firsthand (the cook naturally gets to try things first.) I found them the other day on Your Vegan Mom and knew I had to give them a whirl. Her description is great, as is her recipe, and I have to say the pecans are my favorite part. Do not leave them out! I also added a few chocolate chips. Delicious, but not as jam-packed with flavor goodness as the pecans. Her recipe can be found here, and while there check out some of those other yummy-looking meals! This is the first I've tried, but I'm sure there will be many more. And maybe, if I'm lucky, next time I'll be sporting an apron with this bad boy:


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life is a (Hopefully) Long Road

At least that's what I'm trying to remember today. For the past month or so Peyton has been interviewing for a promotion in Delaware that seemed like a sure thing. And it was. Until yesterday, that is. Politics in his company held him back (while potentially opening up another great opportunity), so our Delaware dreams are no more.

Now, without insulting anyone from Delaware too much, we weren't thrilled about living in or around Dover. Moving from one of the best cities like Austin to a small, seemingly simple town like Dover was a bit tough to stomach. But that's where the excitement came in for me. It's easy to come to Austin and to love it, to take it in, to be encompassed by its unique culture. It's a whole other deal to go to a city where there isn't live music nightly, abundant happy hours, outdoors sports and activities of every and all types (stand-up paddling anyone?), and always a new restaurant to try. These are the cities that you have to dig for the gems. You work to find what you can make yours, what will make that place unique. It might be as simple as walking around exploring until you stop in the sunshine on a beautiful street with lovely old houses, shady trees, and birds singing the most lovely songs. Or it may come from trying hole-in-the-wall restaurants until you find "your place." And it might take time. You might have to slowly meet people, find groups, go to the same spots and realize one day that this place holds a piece of your soul. The place that you thought seemed simple and empty, has awakened a part of you that you never knew existed.

So this is how I saw Dover. It was an exciting chance to explore and discover. It was a shot for Peyton and me to create memories in a place not touched by any others and to grow closer in the process. And I couldn't forget the fantastic fact that it was 1.5 hours away from Baltimore. This, of course, led to dreams of me swooping in for a girl's night with my MAC ladies or a quick trip to the only dentist I've ever seen (yes, this was actually in my daily thoughts) followed by a Harbor East Whole Foods run (and maybe a swing by Lululemon??). I envisioned having babies that frollicked on the beach on weekends year-round and got to see their grandma more than four times a year. Babies that would grow up belonging to the east coast and knowing the seasons. Who would roll down hills of lush green grass and come back with stains on their clothes. Who would sail the Chesapeake, visit Deep Creek Lake, and get bundled up like little babushkas in the winter. (Thanks Camille for that image, seen here. Umm... Adorable, anyone?) So clearly the news dashed the dreams I held for my future loves.

But, and there's always a but, this is when I have to remember that life is a long road. Would I have ever guessed four years ago that I would be married to a wonderful man from Tennessee, living in Austin, Texas, and about to graduate with a science degree and a 4.0? Not in many, many guesses would I have gotten that. Who would have thought that dropping out of school and getting a job as a carsales[wo]man would have led me here. And I have to say, it's pretty great. I may miss things up north, but I also love things down south. I love the warmth and the great weather. I love the music scene, the Texas state parks full of cactus and dried wood and cedar, the way at any moment I could see a striped lizard scurrying away from me. These are things that I would have to trade if we moved away, and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. Our babies may not have the beach every weekend, but they could grow up getting colored mohawked hair at the Austin City Limits music festival every year. Or eating vegan milkshakes from Toy Joy. Or counting armadillos on hikes. We'd figure out ways to see the grandparents more often, and those trips would be sacred and special in a way that weekly ones wouldn't. We could be the proud parents of Austinites who would be just as beautiful as Delawareans.

Or maybe we won't. Because (I tell myself YET again) life is a long road, and it's an amazing adventure. Two years from now we might be in New York or San Francisco or back home in Baltimore. We might be in the process of adopting a little bean because we can't have our own, or rubbing my swollen ankles since I'm about to pop. Even though I don't know where we will be or how we will get there, I'm sure we will do our best to soak up the good. We will create the best moments we can. We will explore what the world has to offer and create a life full of love and happiness, a life we can be proud of. Because life is a long road, and we're in for a superb ride.