Tuesday, February 21, 2012

coffee & ice

We didn't miss it this year!  We were so on the ball, in fact, that we started our afternoon sampling coffee at Cups Cafe before walking to the townsquare for Medina's Ice Festival.

Our friends, Mike & Connie Mouser, manned the tasting table.  Mike talked beans with the folks who came out for a hot cup, and Connie served palate-cleansing sorbet and warm hugs.  After a few rounds of French Roast and fair trade Columbian, we bought some Cups Cafe swag and two bags of whole bean, and made our way to the main event.  Snow flirted with us most of the day, but never committed.

Lining the perimeter of the square stood pre-made ice sculptures on platforms, draped in American flags. My favorite ones were the pineapple representing a local grocery store, and the mailbox representing a local newspaper.  The grass inside the square was decorated with professional carvers and their chainsaws molding ornate creations out of ice blocks.  We saw hummingbirds, horses and dolphins.. and a cotton candy-colored sculpture shaped like The Pink Panther.  Children crowded the gazebo for pictures with an ice penguin, and locals of all ages sat on a gigantic ice bench on Court Street.  A sidewalk illusionist named Ray Raymond kept passerbys entertained, while we stood in line at the cupcake shop.

Thanks to a bipolar winter, all that remains now are broken chunks of ice and melted artistry.

It was good while it lasted.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


At approximately 1:30 this morning, I cooked up a Valentine's Day surprise for my hubs - the 2.0 version of a surprise I did for him in 2003, following a particularly lousy V-Day date.

It's a cautionary tale that has shown up in many a dinner conversation and sermon illustration over the years.  

The story goes something like this:

For six months or more, we had anticipated the U.S. release of Audrey Tautou's film, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.  I mean, how can you go wrong with the doe-eyed girl from Amelie?  We found out you can.  While Audrey is always sweet to watch on screen, in this particular movie she plays an obsessed stalker trying to win the affections of a married man. Welcome to Crazy Town.

Now, we could have laughed this one off, had what happened before and after the movie not happened.  For before the movie, I asked Chris to find a nice place for us to eat at.  When he failed to plan ahead, we were left with a last-minute reservation at a Greek-American restaurant in the shopping complex near the theatre.  As it turns out, this restaurant hosts a 6-course meal every Valentine's Day, in honor of the owner's wife.  When they called to tell us they could fit us in, we were hopeful, not realizing what the set-up was.  We arrived and immediately found ourselves confused by the look of things.  When we explained to the hostess that we didn't have time for a hundred dollar sit-down multi-course dining extravaganza, she reluctantly sat us at the bar and told us we could order off the menu. The hostess was the wife, as we later found out.  Awkward.

Sitting at the bar wasn't ideal, but we figured the food would be delicious and worth the misunderstanding.  Maybe that would have been true, if they hadn't neglected us.  To their credit, they were focused on their annual tradition and not expecting two displaced patrons.  Still, I'm pretty sure we could've helped ourselves to a few martinis without anyone noticing.

After an hour, we received our food, but couldn't enjoy it because we were late for the movie.  We took it to go and left the containers in our car.  A disturbing 92 minutes later, we drove home, both ready to consider the evening a wash.  We retold the story to our roommate later, and tried to have a laugh about it.  But, like a joke with a bad punchline, we found out said roommate had eaten our fancy leftovers while we slept.

The one good thing that came from this was my clever genius. 

After Chris went to bed, I stayed up and cut out over a hundred construction paper hearts and plastered his car with them.

Last night, I staged a repeat performance.

When asked what profession I would choose, if I had another skill-set, I've been known to answer "criminal or chef."  This was one of those moments where being a criminal would've come in handy.  Thankfully our garage is tucked behind our house, so I wasn't noticed by any of the neighbors.  We do live on a street where someone would call the police at even a hint of suspicious activity.  Luckily, all of those neighbors go to bed before 9pm.

However, being mentioned in our city's police blotter would be a fun addition to my blog.  I may have to rethink things.

I love you, Valentine.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

everyday joy

I am delighted to see snow again.

We've had a wimpy winter here in Medina, but the white flakes falling from the sky this morning put me in a good mood.

Some other things that have made me smile lately:

Sharing a stage with Chris and Rachel.  We're still thinking of a name for ourselves.  Any suggestions?  The best candidate we have so far is "Rachel & The Holywaters."

Next month, we get to open for Christopher Williams.

Sweet Face Skin Care Ohio turned one year old!  I received several happy anniversary wishes online last week, and one of my clients brought me the cheeriest bouquet of flowers.  Now, if I could just smash my face in to a piece of cake, like other one year olds do on their birthday, my life would be complete.  

Hosting a dinner party for my highschool youth kids, complete with BLTs (read: lots and lots of bacon!), music, laughter, prayer, and a big crock of tomato soup.

Last weekend, hubby and I attended our church's annual marriage conference.  We focused on finding the humor in our differences, and seeking to love each other well. 

Personally, I liked matching my husband 'stache for 'stache.

My dear friends, and fellow bloggers, presented me with this blog award today!  Thanks, Timothy & Jeanne!  What a fun surprise!

And.. drum roll please.. after a year of not being able to wear my wedding ring, last night I was able to shove it on my finger!  While it's still a bit snug, I can actually get it all the way on, as opposed to just above the knuckle.  Healthy eating and exercise really work!  

Ah, everyday joy.

Friday, February 3, 2012


© photo credit: www.salon.com

With my business nearing its birthday, I am finding myself reflecting on the people I've met and the stories I've heard over the past year. The most impressive tales are the ones that involve survival, healing, redemption, and multiple children.  

I am constantly amazed at how large families are out here.  I fondly refer to the midwest as "Duggar Nation."

My first client in Ohio was a mom of eight.  She homeschooled all of them!  This morning, I met a woman with ten children, all adopted domestically through the foster care system.  Her oldest is in his 40s and her youngest is a tween. Today she had her very first facial.  Last week, I met a gal with fifteen siblings, all of whom she still sees once a year at family reunions. This year, she's planning the event with a duct tape theme.

Chris and I are often asked why we don't have kids of our own, and the truth is, we prefer loving on all of yours.