Friday, February 26, 2010

Fun Thing Friday: Febreze Soy Candle

I have been burning this candle since I bought it last Thursday. It smells SO good and I absolutely love it! The only problem with it is that it does not last long. It is almost gone. Granted, I have it burning every minute I'm at home, but don't candles last longer? Thoughts?

Another thing about which I am mega excited on this Fun Thing Friday: our church's fish fry. YUM!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Workout Wednesday: The Epic Battle with an Exercise Ball

Lately I have been trying to get stronger, so I've been attending a class at my school's rec center called Tiger Pump. Tiger Pump's class description is the following:

Designed to sculpt and strengthen all major muscle groups using weights, bands, bars and the body’s own resistance. Guaranteed to pump you up!

So far, I've dropped a weight and fallen off of my exercise ball. There hasn't been much "pumping up" since I still have to do my push-ups on my knees.

This is something that we do on the ball:

Note to my mother: No, this isn't a picture of me and NO, I did not get a butterfly tattoo on my right ankle.

Anyway, yesterday we were supposed to be doing something like this on our exercise ball yesterday and mine slipped out from under me. Luckily, I didn't quite fall on the ground, but I just kind of floundered around for a while. I hoped nobody saw me but that hope wasn't helped by the fact that the girl next to me yelled, "Oh!" pretty loudly, drawing attention to me. Hey girl, I know it is your birthday this weekend (I heard you talking about it before the class started into your cell telling your mom that you were NOT coming home because you have friends coming into town...mmm hmmmm), but there is no need to make loud noises when people fall off of their exercise ball. I know I certainly LOOK older than you but I'm not that old: if I fall I won't flail around for help so there is no need to alert the room.

I already look like an old doof in that class because all of the girls come in with their mega cute and mega stylish workout gear on, looking like they don't even need to work out, with full make-up and hair that looks like it was styled like a professional, talking about their weekend plans or what happened last weekend. Then you have me in my t-shirt and black yoga pants that I wore the day before, attempting to navigate my way around an exercise ball and failing. Sometimes I wear my school law t-shirts just to show them that I'm not a complete loser: as far as they know, I am studying too hard to apply make-up to go to an exercise class.

Can I also say one more thing? I don't know why people who are pregnant think that it would ever be a good idea to use those exercise balls as a "birthing ball". I can just see myself waddling around, pregnant, double my size, trying to balance on that ball thing. No way.

Someday I will conquer the exercise ball.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Branson from Kathy!

Hi, everybody! I'm, Kathy, Abbie's mother-in-law and a big fan of her blog. I am filling in on Travel Tuesday and telling you about my favorite vacation spot, where Tom and I have gone four or five times--Country Cottage Bed and Breakfast in Walnut Shade, Mo., near Branson.

Tom and I both enjoy bed and breakfasts a lot and b&bs are our first choice for lodging when we are going out of town. Country Cottage is our favorite because we have the whole house to ourselves. In fact, we only saw the owner for a few minutes the first time we stayed there! The house isn't elegant, but very comfortable and private. It is truly a charming country cottage--just like its name! We love to sit on the porch to eat or read or do Sudoku races. The view from the porch is beautiful, especially in the fall. We kept reading in the guest book about people seeing wild turkeys and deer from the porch, and we couldn't figure out why we never did, until our last visit in September. Finally, we realized that you have to get up early to see the animals! We also enjoy the hot tub on the deck, which is lit by solar tiki torches that we liked so much that Tom bought some just like them for our backyard. Now they are a constant reminder to us of our happy times at Country Cottage. There is a fire pit for roasting marshmallows, but we have never gotten around to using it.

The inside of the cottage is decorated in a hunting motif, which isn't exactly my taste, but it doesn't bother me having so many dead animal heads and skins around! Upstairs there is a darling bedroom for children with lots of toys from the time of my childhood, including the adorable Fisher-Price playhouse like we used to have. The open stairs seem like they might be tricky for young kids, but the room is precious. The one bathroom has a shower, and no bathtub.

The owner of the Country Cottage leaves the food in the refrigerator with instructions for things that need to be reheated in the microwave. We always have a beautiful plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries with whipped cream, and tiny loaves of quick breads. We have had quiche and ham and cheese croissants, along with extras like cantaloupe and muffins. There are also some other snacks, such as cookies and microwave popcorn and drinks handy. We enjoy the food and don't mind preparing it for ourselves at all, which gives us the freedom to eat at any time.

When we stay at the
Country Cottage we usually go to Silver Dollar City, which we love. If you go there, be sure to stay for the evening show, which is included in your price of admission and is always very entertaining. In September, we fulfilled my lifetime dream and rode the Ducks! We have seen the elaborate Noah's Ark musical, which is very impressive, but really expensive. One year we saw Broadway, the Star-Spangled Celebration. I dearly love Broadway musicals, and even high school musicals, but we were disappointed in this show. We even asked for our money back at intermission, which is very much out of character for us, but they wouldn't refund it. The performers weren't doing the singing--they were just dancing and lip-syncing, which we didn't think was fair at all. That was our only bad experience with entertainment in Branson.

We always go to Mass at Our Lady of the Lake. I get excited when we occasionally see a performer from one of the Branson shows at church! I think the church musicians are extra-good in Branson, because of all the talented musicians who live in the area, some of whom are probably just waiting to be discovered. One time when we were at Our Lady of the Lake, their youth group was having a car wash, offering to wash our cars while we were at Mass. Tom and I thought that was such a great idea, that we have organized car washes during Mass as Mexico Mission Trip fundraisers at our church every year since then.

I have such happy memories from Country Cottage. One time, Tom’s sister and her husband happened to be attending a conference in Springfield when we were staying there. We invited them for supper, stocked up at t

he grocery store, barbecued steaks, and enjoyed a very relaxing meal together on the porch. We were so glad to be staying at Country Cottage, rather than a hotel or a typical b&b, where this wouldn’t have been feasible. On another visit, Tom and I started writing the talks we give when we present Engaged Encounter Weekends.

My favorite memory is from 2007, when we took our youngest child, Peter, to college for the first time. For years I had been dreading f acing an empty nest. I had so much fun raising my kids (most days!) and I couldn’t believe how quickly all four of them grew up and left home. Tom wasn’t nearly as sad about this as I was, but he understood how I felt. He arranged for us to drop Peter off at MUST and then head to Country Cottage Bed and Breakfast for several days. This was a wonderful plan because it symbolized a new stage in our marriage. That weekend we thought of the theme of the second half of our marriage—Romance and Relaxing—and Country Cottage Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place for both!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu Monday: My yummy chili

I love making chili. It is our go-to staple for Sunday meals and is delicious.

I use:
- one large can tomato juice
- one can tomato sauce
- one can garbanzo beans
- one can black beans
- one pound lean ground turkey
- two cups green bell peppers
- one purple onion
- one cup corn
- one can low-sodium diced tomatoes
- appx. 1/4 cup chili powder
- two-three tablespoons cumin
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons pepper
- red pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro (I use about half the bunch I get from the grocery store)

Combine everything in your crock pot, put the pot on high and let it cook for 4 hours. Then, enjoy!!! Note: the seasoning measurements are approximate. Be conservative on adding them until you taste test everything.

I added the calories on this dish today and it came out to be about 130-150 calories per serving (I got 12 servings out of this). This is a delicious and easy Sunday soup! Plus, it gives you grace room to eat some delicious ice cream for dessert (like I did yesterday)!

Here is our Menu Monday:
Monday: Stuffed pork tenderloin with cooked spinach
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: I will probably try a new shrimp recipe
Thursday: tuna casserole
Friday: fish fry!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Thing Friday: Method Wipes

Okay, okay, I know that a cleaning supply is not exactly fun. But I love these things and use them all the time. These are method wipes from Target and are the best cleaning supply I have used in a long time. They are non-toxic and biodegradable, which is awesome, but the smell is so wonderful. They smell clean without smelling nasty clean (think Clorox).

Our house is on the market, so I use these when people call at the last minute for a viewing and I have to clean up quickly. I wipe down the bathrooms, counters, and appliances with these. They are huge lifesavers!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

David's Reality

My poor husband had to endure the following email exchange yesterday:

Subject: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To: David
From: Abbie

Found on my friend's facebook:
Humane Society currently has over 100 cats that need homes. As a result, they have lowered their adoption rate s for cats to $50 for one, or $75 for two!
David: [Silence]

(Two hours later)
Subject: my picks
To: David
From: Abbie
Since you didn't say anything about the Humane Society email, I'm assuming you are willing to do it! Here are a few I love already:
Burt (with a link)
Hooper (with a link)
Charlie: (with a link)
(David realizes that he must respond or else he will come home to a new cat in the house.)
Subject: Re: My picks
To: Abbie
From: David

Oh, I didn't see the Humane Society email until just now! Fair maiden [author note: Fair Maiden is my nickname], I think that we should hold off on getting another cat right now, what with everything we've got going on and with our happy pets already. These cats do look very cute, but we should let them go to a home that has less cats to make the owners happy.

But who wouldn't want another cat when they already have these two adorable specimens?
Arwen looking very dainty and sweet

Thorina contemplating life while staring at the wall

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Promises and Weight Loss

Happy Ash Wednesday, everybody!

For those of you who are not Catholic and are wondering why some people are walking around with ashes on their foreheads, here is an explanation: (Source)

Ashes are an ancient symbol of repentance (sackcloth and ashes). They also remind us of our mortality ("remember that you are dust") and thus of the day when we will stand before God and be judged. This can be linked easily to the death and resurrection motif of Baptism. To prepare well for the day we die, we must die now to sin and rise to new life in Christ. Being marked with ashes at the beginning of Lent indicates our recognition of the need for deeper conversion of our lives during this season of renewal.
During Lent Catholics are encouraged to give something up. Again, here is an explanation (Source):

For most older Catholics, the first thought that Lent brings to mind is giving something up. In my childhood, the standard was to give up candy, a discipline that found suitable reward in the baskets of sugary treats we received on Easter. Some of us even added to the Easter surplus by saving candy all through Lent, stockpiling what we would have eaten had we not promised to give it up.

Some years ago a friend of mine told me that he had urged his children to move beyond giving up candy to giving up some habit of sin that marked their lives. About halfway through Lent he asked the children how they were doing with their Lenten promise. One of his young sons had promised to give up fighting with his brothers and sisters during Lent. When his father asked him how it was going, the boy replied, "I'm doing pretty good, Dad—but boy, I can't wait until Easter!"

That response indicates that this boy had only partly understood the purpose of Lenten "giving up." Lent is about conversion, turning our lives more completely over to Christ and his way of life. That always involves giving up sin in some form. The goal is not just to abstain from sin for the duration of Lent but to root sin out of our lives forever. Conversion means leaving behind an old way of living and acting in order to embrace new life in Christ. For catechumens, Lent is a period intended to bring their initial conversion to completion.

Throughout the years, I have usually given something up and tried to do something better. Usually the giving up part includes a food item. I was talking about this with a friend a few days ago and we discussed the fact that sometimes we give things up in the secret hope that it will result in weight loss rather than for a more religious reason. This is so true: everybody gives up cakes, cookies, candies, etc., but when I thought about it I realized that I give those things up partly in order to get a slimmer figure. Do people really eat cake so much that it is an actual challenge for them to give it up? The hardest thing I have ever given up is coffee, and I did it twice.

You are not supposed to broadcast what you give up to others (although if you give up sweets, it is good to tell your roommates so that they don't constantly offer them to you in the dorms...), so I won't share what I am doing this year.

Do you find yourself giving up something for other reasons besides the religious aspect?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This is David here, guest blogging about my vacation to Budapest in response to Abbie's request.

My Budapest, Hungary trip took place back in the spring of 2008 with Abbie and my younger brother Peter. When we first arrived, the renter of our hostel told us to meet him at his hostel in the city. Upon arrival, we observed that this "hostel" looked suspiciously like a private apartment building, which was confirmed by the friendly local wondering why we kept trying to buzz our way into the building.

The guy finally showed up, though, and brought us to a private apartment around the corner, which was pretty upscale living! The apartment even had automatic checkout, he said. All we had to do when we left was to lock the door from the outside, and then chuck our keys in through a window.

Budapest, like many European cities, has gorgeous architecture. We spent most of our time just walking around the city and soaking in the beauty. Below is St. Stephen's Basilica, an example of this architecture. The main draw of this cathedral is not its splendor, though, but its sacred relic: the thousand-year-old mummified right hand of St. Stephen himself. This hand is worth a pilgrimage by itself.
Budapest was initially two cities (Buda and Pest) separated by a river, with one of the cities up on a hill. We climbed the monstrous hill one afternoon, and the view from the top was gorgeous. This is the main government building/castle, seen from atop the mountain.
Speaking of hiking, we strolled through about a dozen different parks as well. Budapest really had a lot of well-landscaped parks that provided a calm retreat from the city. However, as you can see below, all of the walking was a little exhausting on our feet. Peter and I are enjoying a much-deserved rest.My favorite part of this city was how slow-paced it was. Because it doesn't have dozens of museums and the like, we didn't feel pressured to dash around and see everything. Therefore, we were able to spend quite a bit of time hanging out at outdoor cafes, sampling the local potent potables, and watching the people stroll by. It was very relaxing and enjoyable, and is not something I have experienced as well in other European cities.The most notable attraction of Budapest, however, are its public baths. Budapest boasts the largest European medicinal bath, which seemed to me like nothing so much as a warm swimming pool; I'm not sure how medicinal it was. There are other baths, as well, and they seem like a nice hang-out place for the local hip 80-year-olds. They all show up to watch each other play chess and swim laps, and it was a ton of fun swimming around with them. Budapest is an amazing vacation city. It is definitely my favorite European city, and I recommend heading to Hungary on your next vacation.

This is being cross-posted on my blog, Only Palaver.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I know we are all tired of it...

but remember to snuggle up and enjoy watching the snow!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Monday: Chocolate Ganache

A few weeks ago I tried Pioneer Woman's chocolate cupcake and chocolate ganache recipe. I found the recipe here.

The cupcakes were very easy to make, and so was the ganache. Delicious. The ganache had the perfect amount of chocolate in it and was such a delicious consistency. It made me think of that delicious part of the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes (the fudge...anyone? anyone?). SO good.

My problem arose after I took the cupcakes out of the oven. They did not seem to hold up very well. When I tried to get them out of the pan the bottoms of the cupcakes stayed in the cupcake holders. So, instead of cupcakes, I smashed the pieces into a cake pan and made a cake. If I had not told anybody, they probably would not have been the wiser:

I made the cake for a little celebration: our friend Steve was accepted into medical school and has had many other interviews! He has worked hard to be in this position, so a little celebration was in order!

I'm back to Menu Monday.

Monday: Italian Meatball Soup by (who else?) Pioneer Woman.
Tuesday: leftovers, most likely
Wednesday: Salmon with broccoli
Thursday: Shrimp with asparagus and bacon
Friday: something fishy as Lent will have begun!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Sit back, relax, and enjoy thinking of or being with the people you love!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Love Songs

Every couple has those songs that trigger an impromptu slow dance. Everybody has songs that make them remember certain points in their relationship or life. Here are ours!

Louis Armstrong- "What a Wonderful World"
We chose this song as our first dance after our wedding. I wanted something that was under 2 minutes long, and frankly most of our other "us" songs were not appropriate or really a slow song that would be good to dance to in front of a crowd that included my great aunts. So, we decided to dance to "What a Wonderful World", a song that I think perfectly fits us because we both enjoy stopping, relaxing, and enjoying life. It truly is a wonderful world.

Coldplay- "Green Eyes"
"Green Eyes" is just a gorgeous song. David always says that I have Green Eyes (I have blue!). Our first concert together was going to see Coldplay and I loved it.

Guster- "Ramona"
Ramona reminds me of the fun summers I spent in my college town falling in love with David. This video is horrible quality, but he always used to sing it to me. It always brings a smile to my face.

U2- "With or Without You"
This was our first slow dance song. We went into one of the college's buildings very late one night, where we found a very random tape player with this song cued up. I hit play and we danced in the empty building. It was very romantic.

"The Mean Kitty Song"
This song is hilarious. David found it for me when we were first married and we had just adopted Thorina. She acted pretty psycho all of the time. He found this on Youtube and made me laugh. We still listen to it and yes, it is on our IPods.

What are your special songs?

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Olympics!

Are you watching? If so, what are your favorite sports?

Fun Thing Friday: E.L.F. Cosmetics

My friend Julie introduced me to E.L.F. cosmetics.

Basically, it is an Internet makeup company that has insanely cheap makeup. Of course I don't buy things like foundation here, but I love getting more trendy eye or lip colors. Seriously, this stuff is between $1-2. You can find online coupons to make it even cheaper.

So, if you are interested in really, really cheap cosmetics, you should go to the E.L.F. website.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I jumped on the bandwagon and began a Formspring account.

Click on the link to the left to ask me anything!
<--------------------------------------------- Or go here: My Formspring

After yapping so much about Valentine's Day

The other night...

David: So, have you thought about what you are getting ME for Valentine's Day?



Any ideas?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Favorite Romantic Movie or TV Scenes

I love romantic TV and movies. Today I thought I would share a few of my favorite scenes with my readers!

Sex and the City- Big and Carrie dancing

Any Sex and the City fan knows the epic story of Mr. Big and Carrie: in and out of a relationship, they always seem to belong together. Finally by the end of the TV show they do stick together and in the SATC movie they get married. This scene is from when Mr. Big moves away from NYC and he and Carrie share a moment while they are packing up his apartment.

I love how they play "Moon River"...such a NYC song because of Breakfast at Tiffany's...and yet they find their own twist for the tune.

Pride and Prejudice- Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy

This isn't the best scene from Pride and Prejudice. The best scene is at the very end where they see each other at dawn. I LOVE this Mr. Darcy and do not understand how anybody can say that Colin Firth is better than Matthew Macfadyen. He embodies the proud and arrogant nature of Mr. Darcy while still showing his adoration for Elizabeth. Sigh.....

The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Watch out! Spoiler!

I chose this clip because it shows how happy Tomas and Tereza are at the end. They have such a hard relationship and then by the end of it they are happy and laughing.

Other scenes that I thought of that I couldn't find on Youtube:
1. The airplane scene from Out of Africa. Man, talk about a romantic movie--Out of Africa is simply amazing. The scenery is even more gorgeous in this scene. One relationship I find interesting is between Karen and Hans Blixen. They are never in love, but they are always respectful and adult about their relationship. Of course the relationship between Karen and Denys is pure romance.
2. The ending of Paris, je t'aime. This isn't a traditional romantic scene--but rather one between a woman and a city. I love the ending. Here is the quotation:

Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I'd never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn't know what. Maybe it was something I'd forgotten or something I've been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me.

What are your favorite romantic movie or TV scenes?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Travel Tuesday: Romance

I obviously love traveling and thought of some great places to go with my honey if we could go anywhere for Valentine's Day. The weather outside here is frightful, it is freezing, icy, and full of snow (yes the snow is gorgeous but I am tired of the cold)!

Since it is so cold I want to dream of romantic vacation ideas. Where would I go if I could be anywhere this week with my Valentine?

1. St. Lucia
Image here

I've always wanted to go to St. Lucia. It looks so gorgeous! How romantic would it be to wake up to room service, enjoy a private pool outside your room, and then take a walk on the beach?
Image here

2. Paris, France
Image here

This week I would love to be sitting in a Parisian cafe with my Valentine, sipping delicious coffee and eating delicious food. We would walk along the Seine and go to the Orsay and spend all day looking at the great artwork. After that---a little shopping--and of course I would want some delicious macarons!
Image here
3. Corfu, Greece
Image here

Taking a dip in the sea, relaxing and basking in the sun....what a wonderful Valentine's Day. On our way out I would want to see some ruins in Athens, but once we hit the Greek Island of Corfu I would relax 100%.
Image here

It is fun to dream, but alas I have to go to class.

If you could be anywhere in the world this week, where would you be?

Valentine's Day food ideas

I hope that everybody enjoyed the Super Bowl!

This week, I am having a Valentine's Day theme week. Today, in celebration of Menu Monday, I am developing a menu that I think you and your sweetheart will be sure to enjoy!

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts:
2 cans of whole water chestnuts
1 pack of bacon
1 jar of Teriyaki sauce

The night before your event, wrap the water chestnuts with bacon. Hold them together with a toothpick. Marinate them in the teriyaki sauce. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, broil these on high for 5-10 minutes, depending on your broiler.

Main Dish
I would try to make Penne a la Betsy with a salad and some bread.

Make Beatty's Chocolate Cake, a classic Ina Garten recipe that I made in this post.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

I saw someone else post about this so I thought I would join in on the fun!

Here are some of my Valentine's Day gift ideas:

Vera Bradley Travel SetFound here
As you all saw, I love my Vera Bradley travel set. If your lady has one, why not add to her collection? If your lady doesn't have one, then why not start one for her? These are fun but still functional AND gives you gift ideas for many holidays to come (just keep adding to the collection)! (Sorry, I don't think that many guys would get into this gift!)

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish

Found here

Do you see that? All I can say is, "yum." But at $65 for the pack I doubt I will be receiving it from my frugal husband. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Tiffany Elsa Peretti Cross Necklace
Found here

I have loved this necklace for years. I love cross necklaces and think that this is simple and young looking.

Conversation Hearts
Found here

If you are trying to cut back with the money, why not buy these and do something like make a trail around your house with phrases that mean something to you and your significant other?

Fresh Cut Flowers Delivered
Found here

You simply can't go wrong with delivered flowers. They will make your significant other's day for sure! I would pick hot pink peonies. Unfortunately, I have nowhere to which they could be delivered as I don't think they allow deliveries at the law school.

I went grocery shopping this morning and saw a bunch of guys buying chocolate hearts, stuffed animals, balloons, and flowers. My heart swelled because it is so cute! Remember, on Valentine's Day, it really is the thought that counts. Don't feel obligated to spend a lot of money. One year I made David a book about the story of our relationship and we still have it! It cost me about $5 to make. If you and your significant other aren't into giving material gifts, writing a love letter would be a fabulous treat. Take time out of life to enjoy each other this upcoming week!

And fathers and mothers, if your child doesn't have a boyfriend/girlfriend, send them something like a card to show that they are also loved! A ton of single people grump around Valentine's Day spewing how it is a commercial holiday and blah blah blah, but I can guarantee that your thought would still be appreciated.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I have been thinking about the book The Unbearable Lightness of Being for a while now. If you have not read the book, you should. It is a gorgeous book and I love it and think that it is a very well-written novel. Perhaps it is especially sentimental for me because I lived in Prague for a semester and the novel is set mostly in Prague. We studied it in my Central European Literature class and I greatly enjoyed it.

In the novel, Kundera explores the concepts of living heavily or living lightly. This is from the Wikipedia article about the book and I am just going to quote it here because I think that it explains the theories pretty well:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being catalogues Prague in 1968, the artistic and intellectual life of Czech society during the Communist period, from the Prague Spring to the USSR’s August 1968 invasion and its aftermath, and until 1984. The characters are Tomáš, a successful surgeon; his wife Tereza, a photographer anguished by her husband's infidelities; Sabina, a free-spirit artist, who is Tomáš’s lover; and the secondary characters Franz, the Swiss university professor lover of Sabina; and Simon, Tomáš’s estranged son from an earlier marriage.

Challenging Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of eternal recurrence (the universe and its events have already occurred and will recur ad infinitum), the story’s thematic meditations posit the alternative that each person has only one life to live, and that which occurs in that life, occurs only once shall never occur again — thus the “lightness” of being; whereas eternal recurrence imposes a “heaviness” on our lives and on the decisions we make (it gives them weight, to borrow from Nietzsche's metaphor), a heaviness that Nietzsche thought could be either a tremendous burden or great benefit depending on one's perspective.

The German expression Einmal ist keinmal encapsulates “lightness” so: “what happens but once, might as well not have happened at all. If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all”; if concluded logically, life ultimately is insignificant. Hence, because decisions do not matter, they are rendered light, because they do not cause personal suffering. Yet, simultaneously, the insignificance of decisions — our being — causes us great suffering, perceived as the unbearable lightness of being consequent to one’s awareness of life occurring once and never again; thus no one person’s actions are universally significant. Said insignificance is existentially unbearable, given that people want their lives to have transcendent meaning. As literary art, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is considered a modernist humanist novel and a post-modern novel of high narrative craft.[citation needed]

From Wikipedia, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", found at (last visited Feb. 5, 2010).

Ever since I read the book, I consider whether I live my life heavily or lightly. I know people who live life lightly: they do not worry very much about the future, they live in the moment, and seem to be pretty laid-back. I know people who live heavily: they have goals for themselves and others, they worry about achieving those goals, they try to always act in a righteous way, and they worry about what others think about them. After considering the concept for a while, I think that I live my life differently during different times.

For instance, when I lived in Prague I lived life heavily. I missed David, I was sad and homesick, and I had a heavier heart. Don't get me wrong: studying abroad was the time of my life and I loved it. But the reality was that I lived too heavily. I thought a lot about what I didn't have rather than what I did have. The culmination of all of this was when a man stopped me in the streets of Prague and asked if I was okay because I looked worried. Too heavy!

But there are also times when you can act too lightly. I think that every adult wishes this, but I wish that I had stopped to enjoy certain times in my life more: like when I was in college, hanging out with friends, my childhood, etc. During these times we live completely for the moment and maybe do not take enough time to stop and reflect about what sort of fun we are having right then.

Honestly, I think that a balance of lightness and heaviness is essential. In general, I feel that I take life lighter than most of my peers. However, this may be because I am in law school, and I am convinced that to enter into law school they ask you this question on your application:

76. Are you really, really, really, really anal?

If you answer with a yes, you are admitted. If no, you have to go home.

I am saying that I compare myself to my law school peers, who are definitely more anal than the average person. Therefore, I may take things a little heavier than I think I do because when I compare myself to some of the more anal individuals in the world, then yes I may seem lighter.

Lightness is essential. I try to wake up every day and have a great day. I think that we should try to think about the future, but live in the moment and be happy all the time. I think that we should accept that others are different than us and not spend time judging other people for the choices they make. Negativity should not play much of a role in our lives.

Heaviness is essential. I think that it is essential for humans to think about others, their role in the world, their philosophy, and how they can attempt to improve everything. People should think about their morals (or, if they choose, their lack thereof). I think that humans should take life seriously sometimes, otherwise it may flash by without our enjoying it for long.

What about you? Do you think that you take life heavily or lightly?

Fun Thing Friday: Vera Bradley Duffel

I bought my Vera Bradley Duffel three years ago and I still love it. It has gone to Europe with me twice, on ski trips, and various other trips. I never thought that I would love Vera Bradley that much (don't the patterns get old? How to pick your favorite?) but now I understand part of why it is so popular. The bag weighs NOTHING. I can pack it and not worry about the actual bag weighing anything. And if it gets dirty? It is so easy to clean because it is made out of cloth. It is very durable (I have a small tear near a zipper but that was due to some...ahem...overloading on my part). My luggage pattern is Riviera Blue and I love it. I plan on finding a new pattern when we have a baby and using Vera as a baby bag.

What is your favorite pattern (if you have one)? Go here to look at the colors!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Posting Break

Sorry for the unexpected posting break. I went on a fun trip with David's family this past weekend to Breckenridge and had to spend a few days catching up!

Posting will resume tomorrow on the regular schedule.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Last Thursday I made buffalo chicken pizza. It was so tasty and delicious! I had a craving for buffalo sauce last week and thought this would be the perfect recipe. It did not disappoint.

First, I made homemade pizza crust off of this recipe.

Then, to top it, I spread mild buffalo wing sauce on the crust and added chicken, onions, red peppers, and tomatoes. I baked it at 360 degrees for about 30-45 minutes and it was SO tasty!

(Sorry there are no pictures...I left one of our cameras at a friend's house and the other one is missing its charger.)