Monday, September 23, 2013


Saturday was my dear sister Elise's birthday. I love her so.

Elise and Sam on the zipline at Ragged Mountain--taken approximately 5 minutes after the birth of her baby, Clara.

Elise and her adorable baby, Clara. Love that child!

You know, having sisters is great. And even though Elise is a few years my junior, she is just brimming with wisdom and awesomeness. A few things to love about Leesey Poo:

one// Elise gets things done, and you never really hear her complain. You should read about the time her water broke while she was playing catcher for her 3rd grade girls' team (she was the coach). That is so like her. In her short 23 years, she has graduated from college, studied abroad in Jerusalem, married terrific Sam, become a mom, competed in tennis at number one singles in high school, been selected for All State choir, and been a favorite friend to lots of people. I know I am leaving lots out, too.

two//Elise is always positive. When I heard she was planning on bringing 3-week-old Clara to the family reunion on top of a mountain, I was pretty sure she'd do it. She's done marathons and stuff too, which is also evidence of her positivity and stick-tuitiveness.

three//I admire Elise's superior athleticism. She recently graduated with a degree in Physical Education, which is so perfect for her. While pregnant, she taught Zumba classes at a high school, played (and won!) several intramural sports with her husband, Sam, and just led an active, healthy lifestyle like she always does. Oh, and she tied Chad for first place in the Gettin' Healthy challenge a few months back. Just case in point.

four//Elise is humble. She should totally have a GINORMOUS head, but she is so level-headed and chill. She never brags about her accomplishments or makes you feel bad if you aren't in the same place she is. Here is a perfect (although somewhat personal) example: A few years ago, I broke off an engagement, and just a couple of weeks later she got engaged to Sam (her now-husband). It was an extremely difficult time in my life, but I remember still feeling supported and encouraged by Elise, even though she was planning her own wedding and could have been completely absorbed in her own world. 

Elise, you are a fabulous human being and I hope your birthday was the best ever. Can't wait to hear about your surprise dinner! 

The Weekend.

I am going to let the pictures/video do most of the talking today, but let's just say I was over-the-moon happy on Saturday when I got to meet Abby the Spoon Lady! She was super generous with her time and I had so much fun playing spoons with her pretending to play spoons along with her. :)

Chelsey and Blake (two teenagers from church) stayed at our house this weekend while their parents were out of town. We had so much fun! We went to see Despicable Me 2 (love it!), went to a church activity/ UofL football game, and walked around endlessly looking for the Jugband Jubilee (they were such good sports!). I didn't take many pictures, just this one. Walking around, looking for the Jubilee, we actually ran into the same Indian festival we went to last year (only last year, it was intentional). We bought some mango lassis to share (yummmm!). What did you do this weekend?

Doh--aaaand, looks like Blake got ahold of my ipad. Nice pictures, Mr. Sheep Butt!

Linking up with Sami and also with Sar. :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five of my favorite tutorials.

Happy Friday! Linking up for a High 5 Friday today!

Today, I wanted to share some of my very favorite tutorials ever. With bazillions of tutorials on the web, these are ones I actually use and love.

[one] I recently changed my blog header. I really love good-looking graphics and web design, but I get SO frustrated when I can't figure out how to make code work, or I follow some tutorial meticulously and keep getting an 'error' message when trying to input some code on my own blog. It brings me back to my high school math days! I liked Carley's tutorial on making a blog header because it was something I had been wanting to do for a long time and hadn't been able to figure out on my own. And her instructions were simple and super helpful. Yay, Carley!

[two] this link will take you to an AWESOME tutorial for styling curly hair. I have gone through phases where I wear my hair up 90% of the time just because my curls fall flat or look frizzy. Since using these pointers, I have gotten tons of compliments and "I wish I had the same kind of curls as you" statements, which I totally used to think all the time, too! I guarantee you that if you have curly hair that makes you feel frumpy, this tutorial can change your life! Seriously, though.

[three] This is my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe/tutorial. I have literally probably made these cookies at least 25 times and they never fail. NEVER. I cannot stress enough how amazing this recipe is. 

[four] I really only referenced this tutorial once, but I think about it all the time because I love the look of calligraphy and cute handwriting in general. Here's an example of a Valentine's card I made per these instructions on how to fake calligraphy.

[five] Ummm...and I guess I need a number 5. I'm fixin' to write up my own tutorial about how to save your marriage by making a chore chart (kidding!...kind of). What is your most beloved tutorial of all time? Yay for Friday!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bad Names, Part 2.

A while back, I wrote a piece on poorly-named schools. Today, I am back with a few more unfortunate names I have come across recently. I think my favorite thing about bad names is how if you grow up using it to refer to the school/church/lady down the street, it might never occur to you that it has a meaning outside of that school/church/lady. But if you are an adult hearing that name for the first time, you're like, "Whaaaa?"

Slaughter Elementary School. Slaughter, people! I could never send my little children there.

Penile Baptist Church. (and Town, and Road). I don't have much to say about this one. I had to come home and look up "penile" to make sure it meant what I thought it did. Apparently, the town of Penile (which has now been incorporated into my own, lovely Louisville, is pronounced "Peh-neel" by the locals--thank goodness.

Vendetta. Just a first name. It's actually pretty cool-sounding as a name, I think. If it weren't for the fact that I associate the word with concepts like REVENGE and BITTERNESS, it would really be quite lovely, in my book. My mom told me about this one after my last post. Good job with the name, guys! Reminds me of the time I set up an email for myself with the alias, camillasmiththerapist. Thank goodness for little sisters who catch such things--I could be scaring off lots of potential clients.

Thanks for stopping by, & hope you have a great week! Any crazy names in your life? I'd love to hear 'em!

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Weekend. . .

My favorite little Eliza & Lydia at our campfire Saturday night. We love having friends around. It's a nice feeling. True, they are age 4 and age 2, but still. . .  :P

This Friday we witnessed a loss on the soccer field with some of our other favorite pals Duane & Andrea. You can't win 'em all, right?   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In case you were wondering.

Inca Kola reminds me of Emma. Cheers to Chad for hanging on to this bottle for however many years since his last trip to Peru. Viva Peru!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I am writing this while sitting in the car outside someone's house--a no-show, as I (not-so)  affectionately am calling this person right now. Maybe if I sit and write for awhile she will show up so I can do my job.

I thought I would like more of the blogtember prompts. The prompts I looked at doing this week were on personality tests (you take one and give your response to the results) and on how social media has changed you. I just didn't really feel interested in talking about either of those things. My own thoughts are faaaar more interesting. (Kidding. . . well, am I?)

Yesterday in my MFT supervision group this girl was talking about self-care and how important she thinks it is in order to contitnue doing quality therapy work with clients. I have been thinking about some of the self-care things that I have neglected to do lately. Why do I neglect these things? Because I am busy maybe, or lazy. Not to be a downer, but sometimes when you are in a "giving" or "helping" profession, I think it feels like you just don't have anything left to give to yourself. Self-care would really have to be a high priority, and a very conscious and intentional effort has to be made. I'm sure this is true for just about any busy lifestyle, regardless of it being a "helping" profession or otherwise.

My current self-care regimen consists of watching House with Chad before bed a few nights a week, and trying not to say no when invited to hang out with friends. Actually, those two things seem to go a long way in keeping me buoyed up and going during the week. But I have several others I would like to get back to doing (these are all things I have done in the past, so there's no reason I can't start again).

  • Playing and listening to live music. This is healing for my soul, and I need to stop glancing over at the piano/guitar and then aimlessly back to my computer screen. I need to create, and as much as I love blogging, and home decor, and crafty-stuff, songwriting is the best way I've ever found (well, and maybe journaling, too) to express myself. Maybe it's because I am allowed to put my thoughts all down at once, and unless someone is very rude, I usually don't get interrupted mid-song. And no one interrupts my journal, that's for sure.
  • Journaling. See above.
  • Being outside intentionally. In other words, not just walking five feet between my house and the car and appointments. Not just happening upon my daily dose of Vitamin D. This means eating my breakfast out on the porch, or taking a walk through a park (instead of Target or Family Dollar) when I find myself with time between sessions during the day. (Ahem, maybe instead of sitting in the car writing blog posts. Although, this is good for me right now.)
  • Running. Or working out regularly. I ran last night for the first time in at least a week, and I know I need to make time for it more often. It feels good and there seems to be no quicker way to de-stress.
  • Reading scriptures & praying. Chad and I almost always read together before bed, and we always pray before bed. But I need my own time to really soak it in, and I need to be having my own personal conversations with my Heavenly Father. That's just how I feel about it. There is something more candid and real when I study something out on my own or express my thoughts in prayer. Not that I don't LOVE when Chad and I do it together, because I do, but I just know I seem to regress in my own personal relationship with my Savior when I don't make it an individual priority. Plus then, our gospel conversations are usually better anyway, because I have some of my own thoughts to bring to the table.
  • Going to the library. One final self-care item that I stopped doing several months ago because I accidentally kept a bunch of books for way too long and racked up some fines, and I felt so dumb about it I just dropped the books off and never went back. But I love books, and I love libraries. I need to pay my fines so I can make that part of my life again.
I think that's pretty much it. What do you do for self-care? How do you keep yourself motivated or on track for doing those kinds of things for yourself?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Post-Surgery Chad

Chad had a minor, outpatient surgery done yesterday. We really didn't think it was going to be a big deal and we didn't plan for any major deviations from normal life because of it. As in, I went about my normal work schedule yesterday, and picked him up when the doctor called. I dropped him back off at the house and resumed work (although once I had laid eyes on him post-surgery, I felt really bad about going back to work).

Chad, true to form, has handled his recovery like a champ. I know he must be in some pain (they don't just hand out percoset willy-nilly, right?), and he's moving around a little gingerly, but overall he seems to be feeling pretty good.

I just love him so much. When I went to pick him up yesterday, he looked kind of yellow and sleepy and really weak sitting there in his hospital gown. The nurse wheeled him out to the car in a wheelchair (standard procedure, I know, but it accentuated his momentary helplessness). It is a rare opportunity to see Chad this way and to actually be able to do things for him he would have a hard time doing for himself.

Not that I want him to stay sick (at all!), but I'm just saying, that aspect has been kind of nice. I feel like he is always doing things for me that make my life significantly easier, but I have a hard time finding those kinds of things to do for him. I would write more about it, but I am off to work.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Three Months Off

So, I don't read many blogs right now, just because things are busy and I don't get around to it. But I manage to keep up with my friend Suze most of the time (plus family and close real-life friends, of course), and she is usually the one to clue me in to blogger happenings. Thanks, Suze!

 Like this one: blogtember. A new prompt for each day in September. No promises I'll do one each day, but it'll be fun to have something to write about when I feel like it.

 The prompt for today asks what I would do with 3 months off from everyday life. It would totally depend on whether I had unlimited resources. And whether Chad had 3 months off, too. But here are a few things I would try to squeeze in:

 A visit to Colorado (I miss my family so much right now!)
A trip to Charleston, SC (I can't get that place out of my head after almost going there twice recently) A stay in Hurricane, UT with my bff, Maggie
A trip to Aruba for a solid 2 weeks
And at least 1 solid week of lounging. Non-traveling lounging, that is. And some of my non-lounging activities during that week would include yard-saling and painting my bathroom.

 But honestly, things are pretty good in real life. I love going to bed at the end of a long day snuggled up with my boo. Life is good, good, good. What would YOU do with three weeks off?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day + Hair + Starstruck.

Labor Day was lots of fun. Chad and I went to play sand volleyball with a bunch of friends from church yesterday. We went at 9 in the morning, and by the time we finished up around 11:30 it was HOT HOT HOT! After volleyball, I joined my favorite little girls and their parents (thanks, Lau family!) for a romp around the splash pad at Waterfront Park. It was so fun.

Chad's been battling a little bit of a cold/cough/sinus infection (good grief!) for a good week and a half, so he called it quits after the volleyball game. Poor guy. I so want him to feel better, partly because when he's sick and in bed I have the horrible habit of pestering him to entertain me. Turns out I still need to hone my skills as a caregiver. . .

In other news, I cut my hair about a week ago. I always have a hard time getting my haircut for some reason--actually, I know exactly why! Because it's expensive, and time-consuming, and I'm usually too chicken to do anything drastic. But I finally went for the A-line bob I've considered for ages, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! Yesterday, when we played volleyball, I didn't even bother putting it up, and (miraculously!) it didn't even bother me one bit. When my hair is long and I put it up, I can never keep it securely in place because it is so heavy and ponytails usually just fall out if I move around too much. So having it shorter (which I always assumed would be a lot more work), has actually been super convenient and nice. Plus I feel cuter.

Okay, and finally--did you look at the comments section from my last post? No? That's okay. Check it out-- I am totally starstruck. Can't wait til September 21.

Hope your three-day weekend was glorious and that you are stoked for the week ahead! What did you do this weekend? 

Sami's Shenanigans


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