Sunday, March 30, 2014

the sunday currently, volume 80.

Warning, readers: this is not a very jolly volume of The Sunday Currently. Nothing groundbreaking is wrong, I think I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It's honestly nothing a good trip to Starbucks can't fix, I'm guessing, so it's nothing to be alarmed about. All I know, is I'm ready to get the day jump started and hopefully get in a little more chipper of a mood.

I am happy to say that, upon my completion of this post, Justin & I will be hopping in the car and heading over for a little road trip to Greenville today [after we stop at Starbucks, of course]. I may take some photos and share later. 

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  . 

R E A D I N G Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but I am sad to say that I didn't pick up the book once this week. I'm going to have to re-work my reading schedules, because obviously I've fallen behind. That's ok, though.
W R I T I N G about what has been in my March makeup bag this coming week. And about some other things, that I am glad I will finally be sharing. It just felt right to wait until this week. Also, just writing more blog posts in general, which makes me really happy.
L I S T E N I N G to the shower running. Lately, our shower has been doing that thing where the water doesn't drain quickly enough, and the water puddles while you're taking a shower. This is something that I cannot stand - I guess you could say it's one of my pet peeves. I plan to take care of it this week with a little bit of Drano. 
T H I N K I N G that this week is the time to get on a better sleeping schedule. I'm tired of sleeping until noon and feeling exhausted all the time. It's not good for my productivity, either.
S M E L L I N G absolutely nothing. Ever since I got back to Wilmington, my sinuses have been really out of whack. I guess I'll be taking some medication for that today.
W I S H I N G I was in a little bit better of a mood today. I think that coffee will help quite a bit, to be honest. 
H O P I N G we have safe travels to and from Greenville today. I am sitting in my bedroom, typing this post, and I can HEAR the wind blowing outside. 
W E A R I N G black, stretchy pants and a Milksops sweatshirt. And a grimace that I hope will soon disappear.
L O V I  N G that my skin has been clear lately. My trip to the dermatologist earlier this year has shaped up to be a really good thing, and the treatment plan he put me on to clear my face up has proven effective.
W A N T I N G a tall nonfat caramel macchiato, a venti ice water, and some kind of pastry. Hey, at least I know what I want this morning. Also wanting? To watch some Pretty Little Liars this evening. I think that's what I'll do while Justin watches basketball. Ah, March Madness.
N E E D I N G to get in a better mood! No one likes a Negative Nancy. Also, needing to cook some dinners this week. I'm just in the mood to get in the kitchen. Also, needing to get back in the gym this week. Also, needing to do the laundry, unpack, and clean the house. And a lot of other things. It's going to be a busy week, and, to be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to it all.
F E E L I N G a little congested, as you may have gathered in "smelling." Also, just generally fatigued. I think it's because of too much sleep. And, alas, I will rectify that this week, as mentioned in "thinking."

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Friday, March 28, 2014

someone is turning 28 today.

here's the birthday boy on his second ski day in breckenridge.
he was basically a pro. well, at least compared to me.

Someone is turning 28 today. Remember when he turned 27? What about 26?

Something that I absolutely love about blogging is the living, changing record of our lives that it produces. I look back at when Justin turned 27, and I can see where we were in our lives at that point: it was his first birthday after we had gotten married, we had just gone for a trip to Charleston, and we were enjoying our life together in Wilmington.  I can look back at 26 and remember that that was when we were living in Kinston, that was when he was working ridiculously hard at a difficult job, and that was when we were still in the throes of planning our October wedding.

So, what about this year? Well, two days ago I got home from an impromptu 2-week-long visit to Shreveport. Earlier this month, we could be found skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado. And now, we are standing on the precipice of some big life changes. When I think about Justin's birthday this year, I think about the joy of life. I think about all that lies before us, all that we have to look forward to. I think about how grateful I am that on this day 28 years ago, a person came into this world who would ultimately become my husband, one of my greatest encouragers and supporters. That's where we are this year.

And it's pretty sweet.

Happy Birthday, Justin!

[Photo: In Breckenridge | iPhone 5C]

Thursday, March 27, 2014

love lists: march 2014.

MARCH HAS definitely been a month filled with travel. 
At the beginning of the month, I found myself skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado. 
And only two days after we arrived back home in Wilmington, 
I found myself on a plane home to Shreveport. 
In the midst of all of this travel, I have noticed a few things 
holding true and catching my fancy. Here they are.

1. Camellias. And all of the other trees and flowers and plants we admired on our walks with the girlies during my Shreveport trip. [Red Buds, Magnolias... but mainly the candy-colored camellias - my favorite wintertime flower].
2. Sprite. I just can't get enough lately. I plan to wipe out this addiction upon my arrival back in Wilmington. It's time to get back to water, folks.
3.  NYX's lipgloss in BeigeThe perfect, perfect springtime pink. This gloss, along with my trusty tubes of Carmex, have almost been the only things I've worn on my lips this month.
4. Reading the Bible. There is a kind of excited peace that comes along with finally embarking on this adventure. Well... actually... I've embarked on this adventure before, but I believe I was going about it the wrong way. You see, I picked up the Bible a few years ago and attempted to read it, cover-to-cover, in order. And, well, I didn't finish it. The app that I'm using provides four chapters per day to read, usually two from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament. It's proving much easier to read!
5. Heart-to-hearts with my parents. Sometimes you've just got to sit down and get all of your feelings out. My parents were great listeners and great comforts during my trip home to Shreveport, and I am so grateful for that, and them. 
6. Pretty Little Liars. Yes. I said it. Truth be told, this show is a total guilty pleasure. In the past few weeks, I've spent time holed up on my iPad in bed, learning about Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna's totally dramatic lives. And I've really enjoyed it. 
7. House of Cards. This is the show that Justin and I have been watching together. We took a bit of a hiatus while I was in Shreveport, but now we are back to watching full-force. 
8. The Cuckoo's Calling. Such a great book, for real. I can't wait to read The Silkworm.

What were your favorites this month? Please do share.

[Photos: Camellias For Days | at The Ontario House | iPhone 3Gs]

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

back to wilmington.

As  I bid Shreveport farewell today, I look forward to arriving in Wilmington and seeing my husband for the first time in two weeks. I'll be off later today, praying for safe and smooth travels, hopefully travels during which I will be able to get some quality Harry Potter reading accomplished.

I've also got moments like the one pictured above firmly planted in my mind. These little Shreveport porch moments are some of my most treasured, and I look forward to when I'll arrive back there, ready to spend time with my parents, take the girlies on walks, and eat too much food.

Until next time, my dear Louisiana. It's time to press forward and accomplish some goals in Wilmington before the next adventure comes along. Which, you know, may not be so far off after all...

[Photo: Front Porch Reading | iPhone 3Gs]

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

on taking a break from social media.

social media

I know it's a going premium in the blog world, to talk about simplifying your life. I've talked about it - here, most recently - I've read about it, and I like to think I've taken part in this movement from time to time. 

But I'm only human, and I find myself drawn to scrolling Instagram... to scrolling Twitter... sometimes, even Facebook. And sometimes, frankly, I get just plain sick of it. Sick of it all. Sick of the pressure it makes me feel, to post witty remarks and beautiful photos. 

When I came to Shreveport last Wednesday, I made a little pact with myself that I would abstain from posting on social media sites for the duration of my visit. And, aside from tweeting all of the Sunday Currently troupe, I've held strong. And it has felt really good. And, I've also missed it. 

Maybe instead of simplicity, the key to all of this crazy, wonderful Internet stuff is moderation. Tweeting a little here, Instagramming a bit there... maybe that's the way out of the madness that is being glued to my phone.

And while the proper balance still evades me, I will continue pressing on and searching for it. And when - if - I ever find it, rest assured that I will share.

Have you found the elusive and sought after social media balance? Please, feel free to share your own personal method to the madness. Oh, and expect to see me again via all of the social media avenues beginning this Wednesday.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

the sunday currently, volume 79.

Good morning and Happy Sunday! My family and I are headed to Monroe this morning, for reasons which I will be illuminating later on. Here's to safe travels, catching up with everyone, and just being together.

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  . 

R E A D I N G Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, though to be honest, I have slowed my reading down a lot this week, and I have been focusing on other things. Hoping to get caught up this week, because as you may have seen from this week's recent reading post, I have a lot to get through!
W R I T I N G is something else I haven't really been doing a lot of this week, and which I also plan to get back into as we start anew. 
L I S T E N I N G to the TV in the den and the TV in kitchen. And to the tap-tap-tap of the keyboard as I work to complete this week's post.
T H I N K I N G that I miss getting up early. It just proves to be a better start to the day when you're up before everyone else is. Maybe I'll begin working on that when I get back to Wilmington.
S M E L L I N G the fresh cup of pumpkin spice coffee that I just brewed up. I know, I know... it's not exactly pumpkin spice season, is it? But sometimes, having a little something that you reserve to a specific time of year, during a different time of year, it can be an even bigger indulgence, an even bigger treat.
W I S H I N G I had drunk a couple fewer beers night before last. My body just plain can't handle it anymore. I know that makes me sound old, but really, it's just because I never, ever drink anymore.
H O P I N G for a productive week! I'll be traveling back to Wilmington in a few days, and I hope the time before that and the time after that is filled with things that I both want and need to do.
W E A R I N G pajamas. I snuck downstairs to do this post while everyone else is getting ready. I need to wrap this thing up so I can get back up there and get ready myself. 
L O V I  N G that I got to see my friends on Friday night, then have brunch with Laura and Sarah on Saturday morning, at one of my favorite restaurants, Bistro Byronz. I've missed them all!
W A N T I N G smooth and safe travels to Monroe today.
N E E D I N G to get caught up on my Bible-reading app. I've missed a couple of days, and I'm ready to get back on track.  
F E E L I N G a little sore and a little tired. But I bet this cup of coffee is going to do the trick!

I hope you all have a restful and restorative Sunday. Here's to the new week ahead!

[Photo: Front Yard Camellias* | iPhone 3Gs]

*more of these beauties coming later this week on the blog

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Friday, March 21, 2014

recent reading.

recent reading | J.K. Rowling, Daniel Handler, & Robert Galbraith

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling - Considering this is my third? fourth? time reading this series, and the ending of this book still brought a nostalgic tear to my eye, I'd say this is a good one. I love the Harry Potter series, and I hope to re-read them many times in the years to come.

The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is one of my very favorite movies, so I thought it would be nice to finally read the book series on which the movie is partially based. The movie is actually an adaptation of the first three books in the series, so I am anxious to find out what happens in the story past that point. I love the style in which these books are written. On Wikipedia, they are described as belonging to the Gothic Fiction, Absurdist Fiction, Steampunk, and Mystery genres. I'm looking forward to moving forward through the series, and I loved all of the extra details I discovered through the first book, which were left out of the movie.

The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling - I loved J.K. Rowling's debut adult novel - The Casual Vacancy - so it was really no surprise to me that I loved this novel, which is her first crime/mystery novel, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Cormoran Strike, the main character in the novel, is one of those characters you grow to love through his eccentricities, and I can't wait to get to know him even better in The Silkworm.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling - It's true: I've been reading a LOT of Rowling's work lately. I guess to say I'm a fan of her writing is an understatement. I find her books to be so easy to read - I zip through them, like a hot knife cutting through butter. This is the book I'm currently reading, and I plan to do an update on my recent reading each time I'm on the fourth of my next set of books.

up next on my reading list:
Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
And The Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
The Reptile Room, by Daniel Handler
Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Thursday, March 20, 2014

on simplicity.

How wonderful it would be, to sit in this swing, in the sunshine, and just... be. In a simple kind of world... one with no cell phones... one with no beloved Instagram to scroll. Not even a book to take your mind off of how wonderfully serene it can be in this world. To search the horizon for beauty, finding flowers, and ferns, and crisp, green grass. How wonderful to be distracted by the distant bird's song. How lovely to look up at the impossibly deep blue sky, to feel the late Spring sun on your freckling face.

I know how wonderful. I know how lovely. Because I've done all of those things, in the very place shown in this photo. 

And while I may never sit in this exact swing, in this exact back yard, ever again, I'd like to think I can carry those things on with me. I like to think that when life gets a little bit loud, I can close my eyes and transport myself to this very spot. And I also like to think that one day, in a different back yard, I'll sit on a different swing, with different people, but feel all of the same feelings. 

[Photo: Shady Lane Swing | Sowell Archives]

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

around here lately.

As I mentioned in this week's Sunday Currently post,  I am currently in Shreveport, and today, I wanted to share a few photos from the time I've spent here so far. Please do note: I have recently had to revert back to the iPhone 3GS, and the camera quality leaves a bit to be desired. We'll be back to normally scheduled programming when I return to Wilmington, where my replacement phone awaits.

 photo cantina.jpg
It just wouldn't be a trip home to Shreveport without Cantina, which is one of my mom's very favorite restaurants. On Saturday, we were craving this Mexican delight, but we weren't feeling up to changing out of our PJs, truth be told. So, we phoned our order in to Go Waiter, and we feasted within the comfort of our own home. It was just as delicious as always... especially the fresh guacamole and fish tacos.

 photo collage_2.jpg During this visit home, we have been focusing our energy on taking the dogs for a daily walk. To say they've been excited about it is an understatement. And we have all enjoyed getting in a little extra exercise, too. Also, the girlies have gotten a hair cut since this photo was taken, and they look pretty cute, I must say.

On Monday morning, I laid in bed for a few hours and finished The Cuckoo's Calling. I absolutely loved it, just like I adore everything JK Rowling writes. I can't wait to read The Silkworm.

 photo collage_3.jpg As much as I have been enjoying my time here in Shreveport, on Sunday and Monday, my anxiety was really flaring up and making me feel pretty rotten. Yesterday, I woke up with the resolve to make the day a good one. And that's exactly what I did: I stayed in bed until I was ready to get up, I watched Pretty Little Liars, I made a to-do list, I worked on a project, I went on a run, and I did some scheduling. The photos above are those that I took on a peaceful, restorative run. One of my favorite things to do when I'm in town is to run in the neighborhood and the park. It definitely delivered.

 photo chickfila.jpg This may sound strange, but one of my favorite things to get to eat in Shreveport is Chick-Fil-A. I say it may sound strange, because I can get Chick-Fil-A in Wilmington too. I think I like it so much because it just reminds me of lazy nights at home, when my mom and I would decide that a chicken sandwich would just be the best dinner. That's exactly what we did yesterday evening, after she and I and my dad took the girlies for a walk. Simple pleasures, folks.

I know this Around Here Lately post is formatted a bit differently than my previous ones, but I just felt like sharing a little more this time. I still have a lot to share, and all of that will come in good time. Right now, I'm just soaking up the time spent here in my hometown, missing Justin somethin' fierce!

[Photos: "Around Here Lately" | iPhone 3Gs]

Monday, March 17, 2014

kara's feelin' 22.

 photo karasbirthday.jpg

it's my sister's 22nd birthday today
and on the phone this morning,
she & i laughed about the old story -
how i missed my St. Patrick's Day Parade
in kindergarten, because i was about to be a big sister

and then we laughed a little
when i asked her if she was feelin' 22.
she said she guessed she was.

Happy Birthday, Kara!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

the sunday currently, volume 78.

Well, folks, there is so much to tell right now. I can't adequately express in words what has gone on in the past week, and for the time being, I'm going to keep it all private. Some things in life encourage an opening of the floodgates - and unadulterated sharing. Other events channel a sort of "hermitting," a gracious sort of secret-keeping - a holding sacred of the present. For right now, my innermost thoughts and feelings belong in the second category. And though I do plan to share it all in the coming months, all I will say right at this moment is that in the past week, I have felt both profound joy and profound sadness. And I'll also say that I'm currently typing this post from the dining room of the Ontario House in Shreveport.

I know things on this blog haven't been consistent. And I know that I've been talking about it a lot, then doing nothing about it. And this inconsistency has been a source of great unhappiness for me. My blogging rhythm has been thrown off, and, for the life of me, I cannot find that sure-footing that I so crave. I do plan on transitioning to WordPress, and I think that sort of "clean start" my help. In fact, I am counting on it. I also plan to re-organize siddathornton, as well as adding some new series and features. More than anything, I want to get back to my roots - to infuse back into siddathornton everything that made me fall in love with blogging. More than anything, I want to get back to consistency. For me, consistency breeds comfort. What do you do when you fall out of your blogging rhythm? Any suggestions? I'm all ears.

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  . 

R E A D I N G the last of The Cuckoo's Calling. I'm greatly enjoying it, and I'm looking forward to when I'll get to read The Silkworm too.
W R I T I N G in my gratitude journal has been such a comfort to me lately. I'll be sharing in more depth about my gratitude journal when I get my Organizational Suite post out into the blogosphere.
L I S T E N I N G to the unending downpour of rain outside the dining room window of the Ontario House. This house is unrivaled in its comfort and coziness during rainstorms. [That's what I wrote on Saturday night. Now, on Sunday morning, I can hear breakfast sounds: the clinking of forks and spoon and the scraping of plates and coffee mugs, coming from the kitchen, where my mom and sister are watching a TV show.]
T H I N K I N G that nothing is as important as the ones your love in your life.
S M E L L I N G like the new perfume I want to get. I've been going to the store and testing it out on myself every chance I get. I really think the name of it is stupid, so I won't write it here, but if curiosity is getting the better of you, it's this one.
W I S H I N G for love and peace and comfort and hope and excitement and adequate hydration and runs in the park and sunshine which will allow for runs in the park.
H O P I N G the rest of my time here in Shreveport is restful and restorative.
W E A R I N G my new favorite foundation, CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1. You'll get to see what else I've been wearing in the Makeup Bag series, which I'll be starting monthly at the end of March.
L O V I  N G getting some face-time with my family. And the Bible-reading app I've been using. A few of you asked about this when I mentioned it last week. I'm following the M'Cheyne One Year Bible Reading Plan, by way of the YouVersion app.
W A N T I N G more hours in the day.
N E E D I N G more water. And more healthy foods.  
F E E L I N G well... just go to read the introduction to this post. And suffice it to say: I'm all verklempt at the moment.

I hope you are all taking advantage of this weekend and spending it in a relaxing, family-filled way. I am missing Justin dearly, but I am glad to also be here in Shreveport for a visit with family and friends.

Also: I've fallen down on the job a bit with tweeting all of you TSC-ers each week. That stops now. If you link up for The Sunday Currently, and I can find your Twitter handle somewhere on your blog [I look for about a minute before I give up - that info should be easily accessible, folks!], you will be mentioned when I tweet everyone on Tuesday. I schedule the tweets on Monday afternoon, usually, which I think provides ample time to link up]. If you're linking up and aren't being mentioned on Twitter, contact me. Chances are,  I can't find your Twitter handle.

Well, that's it for this week. Happy Sunday!

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

the sunday currently, volume 77.

more photos and commentary from our ski trip coming this week! 

Good morning, everyone! Since we arrived home last night from a day of travel from Breckenridge, this TSC post will probably be a bit shorter, as I did not have a chance to draft my answers in advance. 

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G The Cuckoo's Calling, then finishing HP and the Chamber of Secrets, then reading Uglies, then reading And The Mountains Echoed. The library's holds and due dates system is highly motivating for me, and I can't wait to have read all of these books... and more.
W R I T I N G in my gratitude journal each day has made such a positive impact on my life already. I would recommend this practice to anyone.
L I S T E N I N G to a Sigma Alpha Epsilon video. It's Founder's Day. Justin is an SAE, if you didn't know.
T H I N K I N G that today is going to be a day of relaxation and laundry.
S M E L L I N G doesn't seem to be a sense that is going to work today. Changing altitudes pulls a bit of a number on your sinuses.
W I S H I N G for coffee. And lots of it.
H O P I N G for quite the same thing I'm wishing for. Which certainly does seem to be a pattern recently, doesn't it?
W E A R I N G my largest t-shirt and most comfortable lounging pants. 
L O V I  N G my new reading schedule.
W A N T I N G to write a lot of blog posts this week. And to go walking often at my park.
N E E D I N G to get caught up with Justin on House of Cards. We started season one two nights ago in Denver.   
F E E L I N G happy to be home!

As you saw up there in "wanting," it is my intention to write a lot of blog posts this week. That, my friends, is something I'm looking forward to. Happy Sunday!

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the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...