Thursday Ten: Gaining Confidence. Maybe. Kinda. Sorta. Edition

1. Well, with all this free time on my hands I have decided to try to spend more time on portraits. It’s a process because despite my business background and marketing degree, none of that helps with the lack of confidence that can creep in when it comes to my photography skills. It’s too bad, really, because I am the one getting in my own way.

2. Kayak is the coolest. Now, you can set a budget and see all the places you still can’t afford to go. {Flights to Spain for under a grand but…alas! Not yet for me.}

3. Fall, how I already miss thee. What the heck, Michigan? It’s already COLD here. Cold weather means comfort food so last night I baked some beer bread. Delish.

4. And in the midst of editing photographs, I lose sight of taking my own pictures just because. Except this one. This one I love.
052 | 365

5. Halloween is coming and though I strongly dislike Halloween, there’ve been quite a few adorable Halloween books for kids to land in my mailbox. Like Monsters on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery!, which is very “Where’s Waldo”-esque but without the Waldo. A fun oversized book with brightly colored illustrations to keep your kiddos busy for a bit, looking for the “monsters.” Also Hedgehug’s Halloween – an adorable Hedgehog and awesome collage style illustrations. Finally, Lulu Goes to Witch School (I Can Read Book 2), ideal for your learning to read kiddo. Each of these books retails for under ten bucks each on Amazon right now. Mostly because Halloween is in a few days and I should have told you about these awesome books like two weeks ago.

6. WHERE’S MY EDITORIAL CALENDAR?

7. Earlier in the week after a few rough days, I went on a walk after work with one of my dearest friends on the planet. We both kind of needed to vent. The long walk and the accompanying conversation sparked a lot of thoughts and potential blog posts (I always threaten to write deep blog posts but then I never do it, so don’t you worry). My wheels are turning.

8. I am pretty tired this week. Looking forward to a weekend of sleeping in. I hope my brain lets me sleep in!

9. A week past 37, I’m holding up remarkably well for an old lady. And… not really feeling any older. Birthdays are weird, I guess. There’s a lot of emotion tied into my birthdays, mostly because there’s a whole lot of upheaval in my life… but… aside from these gray hairs, I’m doing alright.

10. Every year my mom writes one of those long “this is what we did this year” Christmas letters — I’ve always kind of hated them. When I was a kid, I hated them because our year never could compare with those from people who spent their holidays skiing and traveling and having adventures. As an adult, they’re dreadful for kind of the same reason — how many years in a row do people want to read about us having essentially the same life? This year, I’ve asked if I can write it — it seems like we can’t just be business as usual this year. Every time I’ve tried to imagine what I’ll write, my eyes fill with tears – but I figure that will just have to be okay.

Thursday Ten, It’s MY BIRTHDAY Edition

1. Thank you so much to my BFF who took me to Coldstone for lunch where I had a “For Coffee Lovers Only” (but of course) – coffee ice cream, almonds, Heath bar pieces, and I think caramel. Soooo good. She also gifted me with a bag of Tootsie Pops and a super cool whatchamacallit that says “Believe” for my office. My sis has it tattooed to her arm – for me, I prefer the desk decoration. Very thoughtful, very cool. She ALSO (because she is truly awesome) made a collage for her 365 pics that’s all pics of me. Holy crap. That was a stumble down memory lane this morning. But, it meant the world to me and made me smile and she included pictures from one of the most gruesome days of her life because I think I look cute in them – so thank you.

2. Me and my friend also went to Costco because nothing says “happy birthday” like an economy size bucket of Tide and a six-pack of dental floss.

3. My new music this week… Oh good lord. I hate to admit that I’ve been listening to Britney’s “Womanizer”. Also picked up “Fearless” by Taylor Swift, “Hare Krisna” by Thievery Corporation, and Amy McDonald’s “Run”. (The last two were free – I love the Tuesday pick from Starbucks – free music – wheeeeee).

4. Season Finale of Project Runway last night. Well, shoot. I don’t even know what to say. I didn’t love the final collections of ANY of the three remaining designers. I liked bits and pieces. It’s not like last year when I was totally in love with Christian’s fierceness. Or when I was on the edge of my seat rooting for Daniel Vosovic. I was… meh. I didn’t care. And actually, though the cohesion would have been shot, if I could have taken bits and pieces of the collections and shoved them together, that would have been the ideal situation for me.

5. It is rumored that my grandfather is getting sent home today. That would be the most awesome birthday present ever.

6. Fun gifts so far – The Princess made me a cool candlestick type thing. It’s cool. She MADE the sucker, so that’s awesome. She also made me a card – and that’s my favorite card yet today. Also loving my iTunes gift card.

7. Going out to dinner tonight. Not sure where, but I just pretty much put my foot down. I am not cooking on my birthday. The kids are going too – so it’ll be chaotic and goofy. Pretty much like life usually is.

8. I only watched about the last 30 minutes of last night’s debate, obviously. It was listen to bickering and back biting or watch Project Runway. I am guessing I didn’t miss much.

9. I learned “Silent Night” in guitar lesson today. It’s easier than “O Holy Night” so I’m thrilled.

10. So, I stopped to get coffee today and the barrista today was this little dude. I’m guessing he was 20ish. He looks super young. He usually works mornings, so I wasn’t surprised to see him. I was surprised to get a bunch of his personal life info when I asked how his day was. But, hey to the guy at Starbucks who is getting allergy testing this afternoon – hope it comes out the way you want it to.

Thursday Ten, Coffee is NOT A Food Group

1. Despite my consciously thinking, “I better eat lunch before guitar lesson, I better eat lunch before guitar lesson…”, guess what I didn’t do? Um, yeah. I hit the Starbucks on the way home, and I’m reasonably sure that cappuccinos aren’t anyone’s definition of healthy lunch (but it’s skim milk in there – so… dairy…?).

2. Obnoxiously Proud Mama Moment: Of the three groups established for reading in The Princess’s class, she’s in the highest one. Aw yeah. I’m insanely proud of her – I read constantly, and love that she’s loving it (Hubby hates reading, so there was a 50/50 shot there).

3. Project Runway last night. Sigh. Where to start? Well, you can read my recap here. Otherwise? Man. I wasn’t enthused with it – how about that? How come at this point in the game, no one can make a gown that doesn’t suck? Despite her generic dress last night, I’m rooting for Korto. Girl broke my heart crying on the Runway last night, and I’m usually immune to that stuff (Kenley, I’m talkin’ to you).

4. Soooo, the VP debates are on tonight. (And that’s all I’m gonna say about THAT!)

5. Latest music purchases: “Light On” by David Cook and Taylor Swift’s cover of “Umbrella”. First of all, skip Taylor’s “Umbrella”. It’s about 90 seconds – not the whole song – it’s cute, but… not really worth it because it’s not the whole song. The new David Cook single… it’s alright. Lyrics-wise, I love the verses but I don’t adore the chorus. Someone told me it sounds like an 80s generic ballad, maybe like it ran away from the Footloose soundtrack. Yeah, I guess I can hear that in it (it’s the chorus. Really. I don’t love that part).

6. I’ve gotten so few work emails today that I would think my email was broken if I wasn’t getting so much of the gobbledygook (Cooking.com? Why? And those crazy Red Envelope e-blasts… wait. I like those!). Oh, and the Systems Admin messages that keep reminding me I have until October 12 to change my password. Got it.

7. Just in case you were counting and keeping track – my birthday is two weeks from today. Add it to your calendars, and celebrate appropriately wherever you are. Don’t worry, there will be more reminders. I love my birthday. You should love it too.

8. Fall has come on hard here in Michigan. It’s been gray for days – with moments of sun through it all. When I left for guitar lesson, it was 57 degrees. Coming home, 54. So, no, it’s not warm. Not even a tiny bit.

9. Halloween is coming up. I hate Halloween. Pumpkin wants to be a dalmatian, and some awesome folks on Twitter have given me suggestions for places to check for costumes (I’ll be checkin’ Costco tomorrow) and even how to make one. I am not the crafty costume-making mom. If I actually make a costume, know the whole world will get knocked off its axis – it will be a life-altering experience. Seriously.

10. Still working on reading “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”, which is one of Oprah’s picks. I’m about halfway through. I’m actually pleasantly surprised. I almost cried at one point in reading last night. But then I remembered my heart is made of rocks and I moved on without emotion. Really, it’s one of her better picks in awhile. Or so I’m guessing. I haven’t read one of her picks since they were a little lighter (“She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb is still one of my all time favorites). It’s definitely worth a try – particularly if you are an animal lover – as it has A LOT to do with dogs. Really.