Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simple Joy #1: A Little Piece of Heaven

I'm going to start something new.  We will see how it goes, but I want to post at toward the end of every week about a "simple joy."  Simple joy #1 was obvious... Tim Hortons.  There is nothing better than a trip to Tim Hortons with my coworkers or grabbing lunch to bring back to the office.

Oh, come on people!  Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about!  Where else can you get an amazing cup of coffee, a hot delicious sandwich, and array of baked yumminess?  Okay, well the real reason that I like it is that they consider a donut a side dish.... Yeah, you heard me right.  A donut as a side dish.  Move aside bag of chips and carrot sticks.... here comes donutty goodness.  Who else does that?  A donut as a side dish?!  This is the best idea I have ever heard in my life!

And sometimes when you get your order to go they put the donut right in the bag with the hot sandwich and the chocolate on top gets all nice and melty.  Mmmmmmmmm-mmmmmmm!  Yum!  See?  you can see how the chocolate is so melty that it is kinda sliding off the side...  :)

Look.  This is me.  Happy.  Because I have a hot Chipotle Turkey Panini calling my name.

Just a little history...

This is the sad part.  The End.  All Gone.

Well, all gone except this little smudge of chocolate that got on my desk.  Let me me honest.  I seriously thought about scraping this off and licking the chocolate from my fingers.  Sick I know, but its that good!

How have you treated yourself lately?

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I typically keep things pretty light hearted here, but here it goes....

Struggle.  I hear it in the voice of the child whose mother abandoned him.  In the eyes of the little boy who just can't seem to sit still.  On the cut up arms of an adolescent girl.  I sit.  And I listen.  In hopes that they can work through a piece of their struggles and give it to me.  Just a little piece of that struggle, a tiny fragment of their worry, that they can put away, tucked neatly in a drawer inside my head and out of theirs, not to interfere again, or at least for the time being.

Is being a therapist as easy as just listening?  Well obviously no.  It is a fine art involving the task of helping client's to come to a realization, discover their own ability to change, or work through a problem with a tray of sand, a glob of Play Doh, or construction paper and crayons.  Sometimes is difficult to tell if you are making any little bit of difference at all.  My friend Sayward says you just have to "hope that it sticks."  After all, that's all that you can really do.  

But listening is the hardest part.  Taking it all in.

Where do the struggles go once they are locked in the drawer inside my head?  They stay there.  They are filed neatly in a way that allows me to leave them behind.

Now, some of you may be asking yourself how I ever focus on anything else beside the little locked drawer?  I'll admit that there are some days that I leave the office barely able to breath with the heaviness of having heard the horrors of the world for an eight hour workday, but really its simple.  It is.  I walk to my car and begin thinking about all the possibility that awaits me at home.  

Oh possibility.  Possibility is such a beautiful word.  Some of the tiniest, simplest things hold the most possibility for an amazing evening/weekend at home/life.  Sewing.  Cooking.  Petting my cat.  Snuggling my husband.  Dancing in the living room.  A trip to see a ballet.  A glass of wine.  My cardio fitness class.  Laughing with my friends.  Learning about the environment from Val.  Reading a book.  A "mind numbing" TV show as my husband likes to persuade me.  Looking in Etsy shops for hours.  Antiquing.  Daydreaming about having babies (well not necessarily the having of the babies, but more the mothering part!).  Writing a blog entry.  Doing all of these things help me to become the best me that I can be and in turn, the best social worker I can be.

I do, however, have my own struggle.  I consistently teeter totter between a social obligation to contribute to the greater good of this world (being a social worker) and the loveliness and possibility of starting my own Etsy shop, blogging all day, and working in the flower shop located on my street all while cooking my husband gourmet meals and maintaining a perfect home complete with fresh flowers on the table.

But knowing that I have maybe. just maybe.  just maybe made a little fraction of a sliver of a difference in someone's world makes my world, my possibilities, my blessings, and my life so much sweeter.  

What I remind myself is that amidst the struggle of others there is also possibility for them.  For Change.  For Growth.  For  Hope.  And I see it in the eyes of the little boy who made an "A" on his math test, the letter of forgiveness written to a mother who abandoned her son, and the healing arms of the girl who hasn't cut in two months.

March is social work month.  Thanks to all my fellow social workers who surge forward in hopes, and for the possibility, of "making something stick" and improving the lives of so many.


Lindsay and Brandon


Jenny, Jackie, Steffany

And so many more.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Fun.

Muncie Gras.  I know what you are thinking... well, actually I don't because you could be having a variety of thoughts regarding the faux Mardi Gras held in the streets of one of Indiana's most thriving metropolis'.  Are you thinking ridiculously tacky?  Horribly fun?  Outrageous? Wild Party?  Drag Show?  Street so packed that you can hardly move?  All of these thoughts/assumptions would be accurate.  Amidst the Mari Gras beads, bad costumes, and blinking headgear that various Muncianites that probably isn't a real word was a group of girlfriends having a really good time and not because of the afore mentioned happenings.

But because we were together.

The theme of the weekend was a Mardi Gras themed celebration of our friends Dianna and Tyler's engagement.  It was a great excuse to get together, have a little fun, eat too much food, and congratulate the couple.  We get together too few and far between, but when we do we know how to have a good time.

Here we are.  Guilty as charged.  You can tell we are wild by our cardigans and racy outfits.

No matter how old, professional, maternal, or busy we get, its always amazing to get together and celebrate the fact that we are friends.  Now, being the planner that I am... I couldn't stand to have just a simple get together.  Jess (purple cardigan on the right) co-planned this celebration of epic proportions with me.  Let me just tell you that she makes an amazing Jambalaya! 

No Mardi Gras::: Ahem Ahem::: Muncie Gras celebration would be complete without a few sparkly decorations and a King Cake.  Now, I would like to take this opportunity to brag on myself just a little.  I made that Kind Cake from scratch... it involved yeast so I think a little bragging is in order considering the amount of time I had to wait for that sucker to rise and fall and rise and fall and rise before putting it into the oven.

Those are Mardi Gras coins and I am still a little unsure of their purpose... aside from
the fact that you throw them at people...

Here it is... a purple and green wonder.  Okay, so it really looks kinda nasty in the picture, but it was pretty tasty... I promise.

Lets have a closer look....  if you have never had a King Cake it is like a giant cinnamon roll, but even more amazing... and don't forget the baby.

Oh the baby... how exciting to be the one to get the magical slice with the baby.  There she is... or he... Apparently the person who finds the baby in their slice of cake has to plan the party for the next year.  What a strange tradition.

Jess obviously found the baby and seemed pretty excited about it.  Doesn't this seem dangerous?  What if the baby gets eaten?  Seems like it could cause a whole host of problems....

But the highlight of the evening was definitely the mask wearing.  The feathery wonderfulness and mystery that they added to our cardigans can be rivaled by none other...

Congratulations to the happy couple!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Simple and Well

(Sugar Mill Lake)

"Let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores." 
                       Henry David Thoreau (Walden)

I saw this quote on my friend Val's Facebook page.  Isn't it wonderful?  If everyone took this quote into account wouldn't life be so much more beautiful?

This whole quote totally identifies all of the things that I have been seeking in my life.  Simplicity.  Joy over "clouds".  Living Life to the Fullest. 

Love It.  

I hope that you are "taking up a little life into [your] pores" this week.  :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Amazing Grandma

Meet Mary Ann.  Also known as my Grandmother.  Also known as The World's Best Cook.  Also known as cool and hip.  Also known as AMAZING.

She will probably kill me when she sees this picture...

It is pretty safe to say that my grandmother is the coolest person ever.  For example, who else makes Cream Puffs anytime I want when I come to visit?

These, my friends, are what I like to call little pieces of heaven on Earth.  I kid you not, I could eat ten of these things in one sitting.  I usually limit myself to two at a time.  By two at a time I mean two at breakfast, two a lunch, and two at dinner.  It is not uncommon to gain 5 pounds in a weekend at Mary Ann's house.

Not only does my grandmother make amazing treats Cream Puffs are not the only delicacy, but she know all the right things to say, collects the coolest antiques, gives the best hugs, and always makes me laugh (plus we love the same t.v. shows... Desperate Housewives anyone?).  I wanted to take a minute tonight, in the midst of a stressful and ridiculously complicated day, to share one of my simple joys.  And my grandmother is one of the things in my life that brings me the most joy.  

Love you Grandma!

Stay tuned for an equally amazing post (soon to come) titled Amazing Grandpa! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What A Mess!!

My name is Jodi and I have a problem.


My husband and I live in a very small space.  If you haven't already figured out from my last post, I need for things to be tidy.  When they aren't I lose my mind.  I finally got everything straightened up from my little experiment with the hubby last week, but I will have to tell you that there is one exception to my rule of tidiness....  our bedroom.

If any of you are die-hard Friends fans you have probably seen the episode with Monica's closet... If not, let me attempt to explain.  Do any of you have that one space that tends to be the catch all for all things junk?  That is what I am talking about.  Upon first entering the door of our modest loft apartment, all appears to be organized and clean.  The problem is that my upstairs (which only consists of a space big enough for our bed, a dresser, and a desk) tends to serve as my own personal "Monica's Closet."


The desk is the biggest problem.  I am trying to learn how to sew and I love any kind of crafting.  It is pretty close to impossible without a space to work.  Why am I telling you this you may wonder?  I AM SICK OF THE MESS!  I read all these blogs written by crafty ladies who have these super organized amazing spaces in which they can sew and create all they want and I am JEALOUS!!!

Look at this!  I have crap everywhere!!  All these wonderful, lovely, amazing craft supplies with no real home or place!  I need heeelllllppppp!!!!

This is my first attempt at a clean-up, but it still doesn't feel as organized or practical as I would like.  I think that I need some shelves, and the old schoolbooks on the bookcase have got to go.... sorry hubby....  Don't even ask where all the craft supplies went because I don't know.  They are probably all stuffed in the drawer.

And if you haven't already noticed... I don't have a stinkin' chair!!  I've been using a lawn chair... how sad is that?  How will I ever be a real blogger without a real craft space and a chair to sit in???  I better get my act together.  

P.S.  I am open to suggestions about how to organize this mess!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Amazing Husband

I started out this week with what I thought was an awesome idea for a blog entry.  First I guess that I should explain that I am a bit or maybe more than a bit obsessive about keeping our apartment clean.  According to Caleb I am always on his case about cleaning up.  He claims that if I give him more time to clean he will get it done on his own time.  "On his own time" is his favorite quote when it comes to housework.

So anyway, I started out on Sunday by taking pictures of our clean apartment and planned to not lift a finger for a whole week and track the progress of the mess that I was sure would accumulate with my absence of housekeeping.  Really I wanted to see what "on my own time" really meant.

I will admit that things started out pretty rocky... the dishes accumulated, his schoolbooks piled up, and the shoes started their own little pile on the floor beneath the ledge of the kitchen counter.  At first I found that it really put my nerves on edge.  I was obsessing about the number of plates that were in the sink, the coffee grounds that were left on the counter top, and the lone sock that had found a home underneath the trunk that serves as our coffee table.

BUT to my great surprise, Caleb came home on Monday evening and loaded the dishwasher!  Even more he picked up the clutter off of the coffee table/trunk.  And then today I came home and the kitchen was dish free again!  I totally underestimated my husband and even started feeling a little bit guilty about underestimating his powers!

So here is a formal apology to my husband:  Caleb I am sorry that I doubted your housekeeping skills and I appreciate everything that you do to help our lives run smoothly.  I love you!

Even more... I have to also admit that I have enjoyed my little two day vacation from housework... but tomorrow I am definitely breaking out the vacuum...