Monday, June 7, 2010

back to the basics

Yes, I've been absent for quite some time now. There are many reasons for this vacation from my postings including the end of school, due dates, vacation, and being down in the dumps. So forgive me and let's get on with it.

I've put together a whole list of insights that I want to post on and will try to work my way through these treasures in the next few weeks. However, first I'm going to begin with what I've entitled "back to the basics." I know, it sounds like we're going to dive into our multiplication tables or practice cursive. The basics that I'm talking about are our roots as in home.

Recently I returned from a wonderful trip home to Omaha, NE for two beautiful weddings. I'll blog about these later. I came home not in the greatest of spirits. Over the past three years I've gotten into the habit of being anxious and was just trying to heal from a particularly painful experience. In the past, home has not always been helpful. However, I've learned some things over the years and I've learned more about myself and this time, home was exactly what I needed.

There was of course moments of frustration and anger (that's what family is for right?!), but home gave me the opportunity to find myself again. And when I say find myself I really mean find myself. I've spent three years scourging every nook and cranny of my being. And I'm finally allowing myself to let go of it all little by little. Moments spent reflecting on love, conversations with my family, scattered sentences penned into my journal, and yes, watching the new show Losing It With Jillian all impacted me in profound ways. You can knock the show all you want, but I am huge believer in using our bodies to push us through the hard stuff and learning to believe in ourselves again.

Anyway, Jillian is pushing one of the family members in a sit-up exercise. This girl used to be fat until recently when she had gastric bypass surgery. She still thinks of herself as this fat girl with issues. Jillian is forcing her to push through the pain of doing sit-ups and this girl just doesn't believe in herself. She is not willing to really take a chance, believe in herself, and believe that this new life is possible for her. Jillian stops her where she is and implores her to just let go and believe in herself.

Well, by this time I'm in tears ( I cry at probably every episode ) and I'm thinking to myself... Amanada, what the hell are you doing with yourself. You need to believe in yourself, you need to let go, you need to believe that the life you desire is really and truly possible. Amanda, you need to get back to the basics and let go. Wow! I know it's sappy. But it's incredibly revelatory and intensely difficult. But I'm on that journey, I'm stepping forward into the life I desire and I'm going to try so very hard to believe in myself. Sometimes it just takes an experience of coming back to your roots, being reminded of what's most important, and pushing yourself to destroy the wall you have created in order to step into a new way of living.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

way to go Andy and Brian!

a couple of friends are incredibly talented
noticed by some music blogs
check this out...

Excuses, The Morning Benders

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I think I'm turning a new leaf in the blogging world. I feel that this is a good venue for me to rant. I may not go all pessimistic and talk about all of the things that bother me about this world, but my guess is I could get close to it. I'll try and intersperse with some raving accolades.

Let me draw your attention to the picture above. "I Shop Therefore I Am." What the hell has our country come to? I'm guessing that this is a satirical punch at our consumeristic culture, but it does make a good point. I get so frustrated at all of the shallow and hopeless attempts of our culture to find wholeness. But it's so easy, especially when we live in the United States of America. We are inundated with messages, be thin, be athletic, be pretty, be fashionable, be hip, be ___. The noise is so loud that no one even recognizes it anymore.

So we listen and we listen and we change and mold ourselves to what the noise calls us to be. In fact, we love the noise. It's much easier to sit in the noise than in the silence right. I mean, silence is hard. Sitting in silence with just me myself and i used to be so difficult. I would look for things to distract me, I didn't want to be with me of all people. I was afraid of what the silence would show me so I let the noise filter in, cover it all up, and again muddle my sense of self.

But we need to wake up! We have to confront the silence and in the silence our true selves because without this moment of confrontation we are just adding to the insane amount of noise. I wonder if somehow all of the depression, addictions, obesity, anger, etc. are somehow related to our inability to just be. Silence. Me. Instead we load on the noise and we lose ourselves in the process and we forget what it is like to be a whole person so we look to other things. We get addicted to something that makes us feel whole again. Or we feel depressed because we forget what it's like to feel whole but we lack the courage to jump into that black hole of wholeness, of silence, of self.

Sometimes all I want to do is move to a deserted island and just be with me. Let God speak to me and soak myself up for once. Hello silence!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Harrowing by Parker Palmer

The plow has savaged this sweet field

Misshapen clods of earth kicked up

Rocks and twisted roots exposed to view

Last year’s growth demolished by the blade.

I have plowed my life this way

Turned over a whole history

Looking for the roots of what went wrong

Until my face is ravaged, furrowed, scarred.

Enough. The job is done.

Whatever’s been uprooted, let it be

Seedbed for the growing that’s to come.

I plowed to unearth last year’s reasons–

The farmer plows to plant a greening season.

I recently sent this poem to a friend of mine and forgot how good it was for me to read those words...

The following are some "lyrics?" that i jotted down while thinking through a lot of things

I've become sucked into this place that doesn't let me breathe fresh air

I'm breathing in recycled pain and sadness and fear

How do I let it out and start again?

Remove myself from the disappointment?

Eager for whatever comes my way

Grateful for the day

When did it all become this way?

Time to experiment

and lift myself up out of this pit

Look at things more clearly now

Without the scars and veils and clouds

That used to cover the beauty that lies within

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Wikipedia (the source we all know and love) defines Gastronomy as the study of the relationship between culture and food. It goes on to say that a Gourmet's principal activities involve discovering, tasting, experiencing, researching, understanding, and writing about foods.

I am by no means a Gastronomy expert nor am I a Gourmet. However, I do love to cook and enjoy company over delicious food. In recent months I've found a new love for photographing food and dining experiences. In some ways I curse this new found passion. I tend to miss out on pictures of friends and family because my eyes are peering at the reflection of candlelight off of wine glasses or the organization of dishes set perfectly on the table. However, I still relish the quiet moments when I've captured the essence of the yummy food and feelings surrounding the table.

Below I've posted a selection of these pictures. They include, among others, a delicious roasted red pepper and tomato basil soup (amazing), exceptional wine and people at BrookVyn celebrating Sarah's bachelorette party, and a recent scrumptious eggplant parm cooked in the comfort of our home.

Friday, March 12, 2010

So recently I've been feeling quite bad about my lack of blogging, especially when certain friends are madly producing post after post, so I will rectify the situation with two, you heard it TWO, posts in one day.

You just saw pics of the kitty, so cute. I also need to update you on my recent literary activities. You would think that a girl who has two jobs and goes to school full-time would not have the time to read books for pleasure. And perhaps you are right. However, I've gone against all odds and devoured some pretty tasty reads over the last few months. I'll let you know if that was a good idea once second semester is over.

First up, Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann. I picked this novel up at the Chicago O'Hare airport whilst experiencing delay after delay after delay. (Yes, I did use the word "whilst." I have a cousin who is english and love whenever he uses it, whilst) This book offered, for me, a glimpse into the world of beautifully written language. I was always amazed at how the author put together certain thoughts and ideas in the most deep and provocative ways. I was constantly turning to my husband and sharing these juicy morsels. Enough with these insignificant writing details though, this book was an incredible testament to the human condition. It followed a vast array of characters on the streets of New York who all in some way or another were tied in with a single tight-rope walker, a real man by the name of the Philippe Petit. This stunt-man ran a wire from one skyscraper to another (The Twin Towers) in the middle of Manhattan and echoes of his bravery, stupidity, flawlessness, and disrespect rang from one character's mouth to another. The book weaves in and out of the lives of a judge, a priest, a mourning mother, drug addicts, and a young woman weighed down by guilt. I appreciated the deep and conflicting emotions that McCann integrated into his characters and could very well empathize and relate with them. If you live in New York, love you some good writing, or just crave some connections, read it!

I'll be posting a few more of these great reads in the coming days. Recommend if you have any books you loved!


I apologize for my absence. February was an incredibly busy month, lots of work and school and work. I've been meaning to get to this. Unfortunately I've only got a few minutes free time this morning. I'm in the middle of baking a cake and running sounds like I'm a stay at home mom but that is far from the truth. Below you will find some REAL pictures of our cat McAdoo. I've received some complaints about the false imperson[cat]ations of our beloved pet. So in order to right the wrong, see below. More to come soon!!!