filling my heart.

Do you ever feel like there's something missing? Not like your keys or your sunglasses (though those are often my "Where the heck is it?!" items), but personally fulfilled. Maybe spiritually? There have been several instances lately where I feel like I started to think about what I could do to feel more fulfilled, personally. I'm happy and content in my life, minus living so far away from my family, so for the most part, I have no complaints. I've just really been feeling a need to be more involved with people and helping out in the community though. The majority of the Bloggers that I read are involved in their community, whether it's volunteering at their church, helping coordinate events, donating to causes... I think I need that.

The fact that I feel very unfulfilled in my job could certainly be a large factor playing to this new desire. I know that I'm lucky to have a job and to work in the type of understanding and kind environment that I do-- I have no complaints in that regard. My heart always goes to how badly I want to be working in publishing, though. When I interned last summer at Candlewick, I went in to the office brimming with excitement every. single. day. I had my own desk, my own computer, my own assignments that contributed to the completion of even bigger assignments that contributed to the publication of books. Childrens books. Book-nerd that I am, the thought of my contribution to the process of publishing just blew me away... still does. And I long for that. Boston was my chosen city because, among other reasons, of its position in the world of publishing. While not Manhattan by any means, it's still reputable and the home to several established publishing houses. It just gets so frustrating and tiring to feel like you're just biding your time, putting in the hours at an entry-level job as you wait to take that next big leap! and really start working towards your dreams.

While I can't up the job fulfillment at the moment, I feel like I CAN feel fulfilled in other ways:

1. Junior League. I just submitted an application to join the Junior League of Boston, which could take months to hear a response about but hey, I've got nothing but time. Growing up in Texas, the JL was the IT thing to be a part of, at least in my semi-small town. The ladies that I knew who ran it when I was younger are now being replaced by their grown and married with babies daughters... and I think that's kind of neat. I'm not sure how much the JL of Boston is focused around the society aspect of it (and if it's solely, I like won't fit in a bit), but if it's really as much about volunteering as is implied, I'll be happy as a clam.

2. Sponsoring a child. I have always felt a pull towards Africa. Can't explain it, don't really think that I need to. But I've felt it and I know it-- it's there, deep in my heart. Pre-job, being the recent college graduate that I was, I didn't really have the finances to think about sponsoring a child somewhere else in the world. Now that I've been working and have a little extra income, I feel like it's time to take that step. There are several organizations that I've looked into, and after reading so many Blogger's experiences with Compassion, I think that I'm going to go with them. As an extended wish in sponsoring a child in Africa, I'd love nothing more than to travel there someday and meet him or her. Scary, overwhelming, emotional... as intimidating and daunting as that desire may feel right now, I know that once I got there, everything would fall into place, right back into my heart where it started, and that part of my heart would feel whole.

3. Involvement in church. Church was never a huge part of my life. As a family, we went on days of religious obligation and the occasional Sunday up through my sophomore year of high school, when I was confirmed. After that, we just kind of... stopped going. I don't hold it against my parents or put them at fault... there was just never a huge desire in our house to attend. That makes me feel sick to write, but it's true. Before I moved, my mom became very involved with her faith, with the church, with a ladies group... and I was so happy for her. She was able to resolve issues that she had held with herself for most of her life and find true happiness and fulfillment... and I want that for myself.

I've felt like my faith needed to be caught up-to-date for quite awhile now, and there are no excuses good enough in the world to make for not going to church. I miss it, and I feel like if you miss having God in your life then there's a pretty darn good reason why and an even bigger sign that it's time to get back. A part of me wants to strengthen my faith now because I want to raise my someday-babies in the church, going to VBS and Sunday School (or CCE as we grew up calling it) because they want to and they enjoy it, not because they feel like they have to.

The thought of finding a new church, when I've only ever attended two Catholic churches in my life, and they were both in my hometown, is daunting. Do I try out different churches until I find the right fit? Will I need to try out several until I find my match? My faith will always be Catholic, so I don't mean trying out different religions... I'm just nervous about finding the perfect fit for practicing my faith and finding a group of people whom I can relate to and hopefully form friendships with. The thought of that makes me happy!

4. Kids. Previous to my current job, the only positions that I ever had dealt with kids. After school programs, summer camps, daycare and nannying... if a kid could do it, I was there! And I absolutely loved it. It was so exhausting and frustrating at times, but on the good days it was so fulfilling (there's that word again!) to know that I was actually making an impact on the little smiling faces. It's not really fathomable to work with kids right now, considering the 9-5 hours at my job, but maybe I can volunteer on weekends? Be a Big Sister? This one I'm still looking into, but I know that I miss being around the fun-ness of kids. Being a grown up doesn't mean I can't have fun anymore!

So that's that. It feels nice to have a gameplan in getting everything together. Like I said, I'm so happy and fulfilled in my family, my relationship, with my friends... I just feel like that little something is missing, and I have to admit-- I'm pretty eager to start figuring out how to fill that space!

a whole lotta nothing

Today was day #2 of doing absolutely nothing... and it felt so good. Well I kind of take that back.

I was awake at 7am this morning (totally unintentional, I promise) and decided around 9 to make my grocery list and head out to the track for my Sunday run. Of course the track was locked, so I headed to the gym for a good forty minutes, then took my sweaty self to the grocery store. I was in and outta there so fast, it was shocking.

After getting home and unloading everything, Brian and I both showered, put on comfy clothes, and lounged all day. I prepped everything for dinner tonight and tomorrow night, read a good amount in my new book (The Castaways by Elin Hildebrand, a new author who I recently found and HIGHLY recommend), and watched Lifetime Movie Network all dang day. Literally.

When I wasn't building my intelligence with LMN, Brian and I were snacking. I kid you not, I've been a bottomless pit this weekend. I rationalized, saying that I was eating Wheat Thins and hummus and Healthy Request soup, not cheeseburgers and fries (but I totally would have eaten them had they been in front of me), but I still feel gross tonight. To continue with our day o' food, supper was pasta primavera with fresh asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, carrots and a very light cream sauce. I had been craving it something fierce, so I threw it together, pan-cooked chicken cutlets on the side and indulged in a bit of fresh Italian bread. Lord, I'll be cursing the calories as I run my bum off this week, but it was so worth it.

It is now 10:40 and I'm EXHAUSTED. Off to bed to wake up and face another work week.

Happy Sunday, y'all!

a day for me, myself and i

Today has been a lovely, relaxing Saturday, which is the first one in a LONG time. I feel like we're always going in fifty different directions on the weekends, but today I got to just relax and have a day full o' me time. Brian's been at a golf tournament all day and I literally had zero obligations... and it's been just lovely.

We recently purchased new bedding for our bed and I've been on a mission to find sheets to match just PERFECTLY. I mean, the bedding is a mix of cream/white/sage/gray, but I've struggled with wanting a subtle cream or a bright white (Brian just doesn't see the difference, silly boy). So I planned to head to Macy's after I dropped him off at the golf course because they were supposedly having a sale, and even packed a pillow sham to take with me so I could do side-by-side comparisons. Well, I ran into traffic on the way back and my 20 my drive turned into a 45 minute drive... in the rain. By the time I got to the mall, my shopping excitement had been drained. I browsed through the bedding and just didn't find anything that I felt like was worth the money.

My next stop was Crate & Barrel and I actually found prizes there-- I left with a new pie dish, an 8x8 casserole dish, and an herb planter for my basil! Me, Miss Black Thumb, brought home a basil plant a couple of weeks ago and it's been a joint effort to keep Bella Basil alive. I'm hoping that after I add a bit of soil to my cute little planter and transfer Bella, she'll just be a-thrivin'.

Sidenote: I'm watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay and he just surprised these two little old ladies for a Pineapple Upside-Down cake throwdown and the firs thing one of the women said was, "Ohh Bobby Flay! I just LOVE your eyelashes!" Cute... and maybe a little bit creepy.

Mall-wise, I stopped in every store I passed by and ended up leaving with one pair of khaki pants from JCrew. On the bright side, they were originally $60, were on sale for $19.99 and I got an ADDITIONAL 30% off of that, bringing my grand total to $13. I'm impressed with myself.

Post-mall, I headed home, ate a bit of lunch, caught up on my blog-reading, made my grocery list/meal plan for the week, and watched a movie. In other words... I did absolutely nothing. And boy, did it feel good.

I actually have pictures from the Fourth of July, it's just a matter of uploading them to Brian's computer, then sneaking it away long enough to organize the pictures and upload them to the blog, write a blog... I think I've finally reached my breaking point with having ZERO of my USB ports working. Not only can I not post any pictures, I also cannot upload any new music to my iPod. With all of the running that I've been doing, this is becoming a serious problem. Off to the Geek Squad my little computer shall go.

Now I'm just waiting for the call to head out and pick up Brian, then we're doing takeout Thai and a movie tonight, which sounds just perfect!

Happy Saturday, y'all!