October 31, 2011

Double, double, toil and trouble.

After the crazyness that was last week, it's kinda nice to relax and catch up on some sleep. Last Saturday, I was so exhausted by the time I got off of work, it took all the energy I had to stop, get some food and a movie before crashing.



I hadn't really heard of this one, but when there was a line starting to form at the Redbox and I got all anxious and picked the first one I saw haha Luckily, it ended up being pretty good. The story was good and Paul Giamatti and Jeffery Tambor were both great. It was sweet, funny and, at times, kind of sad, but if you're into movies like that, I would definitely recommend it.

The rest of the week I spent getting ready for Halloween.

I decorated a little bit.The window clings are supposed to be "bloody hand prints" haha

Did some nail art.
And carved some pumpkins!

My mom and I figured out we hadn't carved pumpkins in probably ten years and it was so fun!

On Friday, I grabbed some dinner with a few girls I work with and it was so fun to just to relax and laugh! I seriously have been so blessed with amazing co-workers that have turned into amazing friends-I just love those girls!

Tonight, I think I'm going to pass out some candy to the kids in my parents neighborhood and probably watch some Monday Night Football with my dad. Can't wait to see all the cuties in their costumes!

Happy Halloween everyone!

October 30, 2011

Only little cozy things secure inside their dreamland…

It's Christmas time and the mall is filled with people. I'm staring up at the blinking lights of the sparkling Christmas tree. It is probably close to 25 ft tall, but because of my much smaller stature, it seems mountainous, I can barely see the top. At it's base, it is surrounded at its base by piles of fake snow and presents, each in color coordinating wrapping paper and bows. The rich golds and metallic reds and forest greens reflect the twinkling lights from above-it is looks like a dream, a picturesque Christmas fantasy.

I am pulled from my reverie by my mother gently tugging at my hand, urging me to follow her into the department store. I am in elementary school and my brother is just barely a toddler, following behind us a few steps, causing us to wait every few seconds before he catches up. He continues to get lost in the crowd, my mother pulling him arm to speed up his pace as we begin to browse through the racks of dresses and shoes. My brother and I entertain each other-playing in the racks, darting in between the harried customers picking up last minute gifts.

Eventually, my mother realizes we must go to the second floor of the store. We navigate through the throngs of people, cutting in between them as they wait to check out with their purchases, until we come to the elevator.

It is packed with people, between the bags and the people themselves, the three of us are barely able to fit. But we manage to squeeze in and take the quick ride up one floor. As the doors open, the force of the people getting off behind us pushes us into the hallway. My mom begins walking towards the home wares, with me falling into line behind her.

I turn around to make sure my brother has done the same, and as I do, I notice the doors to the elevator closing. He is in the far corner of the elevator, distracted by the lights on the ceiling and the Christmas music being pumped through the speakers. I go to grab him, but the door shuts-dividing us.

Frantically, I push the button on the side of the elevator, over and over again, willing it to come back. The few minutes it takes to make a round trip feel like hours, every second spent agonizing, hoping he is in the same place when the doors open again.

Finally, I hear the "ding" of the elevator making it's stop and as the doors open, I scan the crowd.

He's not.

Suddenly, I'm awake. My breathing is hurried and shallow. No longer in the idyllic Christmas store, but safely in my own bed. I can hear my parents watching television on the other side of the house, as my brother snores softly in his room next to mine.

When we leave later that day to do some shopping, my brothers hand remains firmly held in mine. I'm not taking any chances.

October 29, 2011

Just like a ballerina, stepping lightly.



Inspiration photo

As I slid my tights over my feet, my hands grazed over the soles.

Rough, raw, calloused.

I sighed and pulled my tights up. Reaching into my bag, I pulled out the shoe box, slightly battered from being transported to and from countless clas ses, rehearsals, and performances. But as long as it was the box which took the beating, I was ok, for it lovingly held my point shoes, and those were much more precious cargo. They were no longer the soft baby pink that shone when I bought them, now they were slightly paler, rosin residue covering the bottom and point. But for what they lacked in appearance, the regained in familiarity. Sliding them on, they fit perfectly. Each toe nestled into the nooks and crannies, a mold of my foot that was made for me.

I wrapped the pink satin ribbons around my ankl es, crossing once in the back, then the front, before finally ending with a bow at the base of my calf. Loose enough to ensure I could move, tight enough to ensure the shoes would not.

In one smooth motion, I slid my bag back under the bench and took a few gliding steps into the studio. I perched on my toes, taking small stutter steps across the room. A few deep bends to warm up my muscles before launching myself in a series of jumps, dips and pirouettes until my hand brushed against the window on the opposite wall. The other dancers watched as I made my way gracefully back and forth across the room.

I could feel my shoe rubbing my foot, no doubt adding to the already disfigured surface. I knew it came with the territory-as long as I danced, my feet would suffer. The bruises and fissures would fade eventually, the callouses would shrink and the rough skin could be made soft again. But as long as my feet were stuffed into shoes that kept my tottering on my toes, my feet would continue to deteriorate.

It amazed me that an act know n for it's grace and beauty, produced such ugly scars.


This post is in response to a Red Writing Hood prompt at Write on Edge-Athleticism.

October 26, 2011

Something wicked this way comes.

With Halloween coming up (this weekend!) there have been so many cute Halloween pins on Pinterest! I just love Halloween and all the spooky decorations!










Source: None via Amanda on Pinterest



Source: None via Amanda on Pinterest



Source: None via Amanda on Pinterest



Are ya'll as excited for Halloween as I am!?!?!

Go link up with The Vintage Apple and check out everyone's great Pinterest finds!
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If you need an invitation to Pinterest-send me an email and I'll hook you up!

October 24, 2011

And I'd like to say, "I'm sorry", but we lived to tell about it And we lived to do a whole lot more crazy, stupid, shit.

The last part of my super exciting week was on Friday night and it was...another concert!

Three concerts in one week makes for a tired Amanda.

But! It was so worth it!

My ears hadn't even stopped ringing from the show on Wednesday, but on Friday my dad and I headed to Detroit to see the Drive By Truckers!

My dad wasn't even sure if he was gonna go, meaning we didn't buy tickets in advance, which gave me a minor heart attack. Tickets weren't available the day of the show online or over the phone, so we started the to drive to the city while I tried to get in touch with someone at the box office. Luckily, I was able to talk to someone at Ticketmaster, who told me there were about 130 tickets still available. When I got off the phone and told my dad, he immediately put the petal to the metal so we could make sure we got downtown before they sold out. Luckily, we were able to make it and they sold out not long after we got there. Phew!

My dad wanted to go up to the balcony to watch the show since he didn't bring ear plus so I went up there with him for a few minutes before the opening act played.

They were actually pretty good seats, but I wanted to be down on the floor :-)

The opening act was a band called Those Darlins. I expected them to be a little more twang-y, but they were kinda punk/pop. I liked them a lot, actually. The lyrics were pretty cheeky and amusing which was the best part.

After they wrapped up, I made some friends with the guys in front of me who let me sneak up in front of them, meaning I was in the second row (score!)

They ended up being really cool and completely made the show for me! We talked and bonded over the song "The Living Bubba" because it was both of our faves. Their roadtripping van is actually named Bubba haha They were from Wisconsin so we ended up exchanging numbers/fb-I love making concert friends! Plus, it definitely did not hurt that they were pretty cute haha

The Truckers came on and just plain rocked. Really, there's no other word to describe it. This was my third time seeing them, and they rocked hard.

They didn't play "The Living Bubba" but they did play a few of my other favorites-Carl Perkins' Cadillac, Shut Up and Get on the Plane, People Who Died, and of course, Let There Be Rock.

I was dancing and singing screaming and jumping around like crazy.

When I got home, I was exhausted but I was so pumped I couldn't sleep-that sure made for a long day at work on Saturday. But man, it was soooo worth it!

October 23, 2011

Oh 'cause honey believe me, I'd sure love to call you my girlfriend.

The second exciting thing I was looking forward to this week certainly did not disappoint...

I saw Matthew Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, I'd been looking forward to this ever since I stumbled across his tour schedule a few months ago. So so so amazing!

The tour he's currently on is a 20th anniversary of his album "Girlfriend". Yes, I was only three when this album came out, but it's still in my Top Ten Albums of all time. Pure power-pop goodness. I remember when my dad made me listen to it in middle school, and my mind was officially blown.

My dad was supposed to come with me, but had to work in the morning, so I ended up going by myself! I'm seriously loving this new Independent Amanda!

The show was at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, where I saw Royce a few months ago. The opening act was a band from Atlanta called the Shadowboxers.

You can't tell but they were gorgeous. All of them.

They were really great-loved the sound and the energy. I will definitely be picking up their EP.

After their set, I went up to talk to the guitarist (the one in the middle) and to see if he was as cute up close as he was on stage (spoiler alert: he was) and he was super friendly, so bonus points! Honestly, I hope they come back to Michigan again, I would love to see a whole set.

That's seriously one of my favorite things about live music-getting exposed to new bands. Love love love.

After the break, I was able to sneak back to my place up front and wait for Matthew Sweet to come on. The Pig is so small, I was basically on stage haha It was great!


The concert was amazing. They played "Girlfriend" in it's entirety plus a few others off his new album and the albums in between. I seriously cannot say enough how great it was-I was dancing and singing along and just enjoying every second of being there.


Being in front meant being close to the speakers, so my ears were definitely feeling it the next day, but it was so so so worth it!

October 19, 2011

And I Welcome you to Detroit City. I said Welcome to Detroit City.

(Psst...I'm the featured blogger over at For The Love Of Blogs today! Go check out some of my fall music faves!)

With the Tigers making it to the second round of the playoffs and the Lions starting the season 5-1 (and hosting Monday Night Football!), there's been lots of buzz around Detroit this fall. Even though the city gets a bad rap, I love it. I can't wait to go to school downtown and I love traveling down there for games and concerts. These are some of the pins I've found on Pinterest that showcase some of what I love about the city.














The Heidelberg Project-amazingly beautiful art.




Love this quote. But if I'm being honest, I love Detroit.


Source: etsy.com via Amanda on Pinterest



Three-One-Third.


Source: etsy.com via Amanda on Pinterest



This picture kills me. I miss Tiger Stadium.

Source: None via Rob on Pinterest



I'm a sucker for a boy in a Old English D fitted.

Are you guys on Pinterest? If you need an invite, let me know! I'd be happy to send you one!
What pins are you guys loving this week? Go link up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple to share yours and see what everyone else is sharing!


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(And go check me out at FTLOB!)

October 18, 2011

You could never stand living with a man, who could only lead you halfway to love.

One of the things helping me to get through my stressful week was knowing that this week I had lots of exciting stuff going on....

The first one was this past Saturday night. My dad was celebrating his birthday on Sunday so the whole family went to check out the Jayhawks the night before downtown Ann Arbor.

We sat in the balcony, meaning I couldn't really get any good pictures of the band :-(

At a concert years ago, my dad told me "Some concerts are standing up and dancing concerts, and some concerts are sitting down concerts". This one was *definitely* a sitting down concert-it was still a good time, but I love to dance so I was little upset (although the people around were probably happy they didn't have to witness my dancing haha)

My whole family really liked the opening act-his name was Rayland Baxter. His voice was super unique and great, plus it was just him and his guitar so what's not to love.

My dad went down and bought one of his EP's after he was finished.

Every one was hand wrapped and stamped with wax-adorbs.

The Jayhwaks played a relatively fast set, but I enjoyed a lot of it. They didn't play anything off Rainy Day Music, which disappointed me, but they played a lot off Tomorrow The Green Grass, so that made up for it. Definitely a good time!

The Tigers were playing the same night, so my dad and I were trying to stay in "the bubble" but my bubble got burst by the annoying woman in front of me who shoved her phone in my face to show me the score. Ugh. Oh well, that just meant I could go to bed earlier, which worked out considering I had to work the next morning lol


October 16, 2011

So I'm gonna keep on living the way I live, doing the things that make me smile. Cause I never want to forget, these days.

Oh, my gosh. This week has just been ridiculous. Mostly good stuff, but, phew! Am I glad to be done with this week!

I said on Twitter that my life wouldn't feel nearly as busy if I didn't scehdule things around the Tigers and the Lions and it's so true! But with playoff baseball and the Lions hosting Monday Night Football, those were just events not to be missed! Unfortunately, the Tigers season ended last night, but it was fun while it lasted-I'm already excited for next season!

But at least we still have the Lions....(there's a sentence I never thought I'd say!)

Tuesday my mom and I took a cooking class at work. This was the third I've taken and the second with my mom. The class was all about gluten free baking and we both learned a ton of stuff! We got to take home lots of yummy things too!

(clockwise)
brownies, foccacia, white bread, banana muffins


Wednesday was a day that I was dreading, to be completely honest. I had a lawsuit brought against me and Wednesday was out mediation. Luckily, we were able to settle, which means it's over and we don't have to appear in front of the judge. I really feel like God had a huge hand in that because we both were able to come to an agreement, and I was pretty convinced that was going to be impossible. I'm just so thankful for my friends and family for all their support-I really would have been a wreck without them! And for all of the wonderful people in blog land who have sent me prayers and good vibes-I couldn't have done it without each and everyone. Seriously, the support just brought me to tears. So blessed.

After that was done, I was able to spend some time decompressing with a friend before heading to babysit. Another thing I'm so thankful for is the kids my temple has brought into my life when I was teaching. Having them remember me when they see me and give me the biggest hugs is one of the best feelings in the world. Plus, getting to babysit a few of them and spend time with them is just such a joy in my life. Totally helps me put things in perspective!

I was trying to get tickets to see the Tigers on Thursday, but everyone had to work so I ended up working an entire 8 hour day on my day off-love when that happens, right? haha

Friday, I actually got to enjoy my day off-got my brows waxes, bought some new nail polish and...went on a date! It was the first one in entirely too long, and we ended up having a pretty good time. I'm not sure if he's my "type" but it was nice to be able to just enjoy the company of someone of the male variety for a few hours!

This coming week is going to be pretty busy as well, but luckily it's all fun things this time! Like I said, I'm just glad to be done with all the crazy-ness!

October 15, 2011

If they only knew the girl with the tattoo, like I do.

The bar was quickly filling up. The boys took their stations at the bar, drinks in hand, tapping their feet and moving their head to pulsing rhythm of the house music. The girls migrated to the dance floor, packs of three or four, dancing with each other seductively, putting on a show, all while pretending to ignore the row of men staring at them.

As he sipped his beer, he noticed her. Twisting and turning to the music, laughing with her girl friends. Her black pants clung to her long legs, only accentuated by the five inch high heels. Her hair flowed down her back, long blond locks, waving as she danced. The gold top she was wearing reflected the dim lights, making it hard to ignore her. Every eye in the bar was drawn to her, including his.

She felt his eyes, and turned to meet his glance. After making eye contact, she flashed him a sly smile and flicked her head around, continuing her dancing.

Her dancing followed the beat of the music, her hips keeping time with the bass. The faster it got, the more her shirt would ride up her back, but she acted as though she didn't notice- soon, it had crept up over her waist. She continued to dance, and the lights highlighted her exposed flesh, especially the small piece of a tattoo on her left side.

She glanced over her shoulder, to see if he was still watching. He was, and now he was moving closer.

Just as she wanted.

This post is in response to a prompt at Write on Edge: tattoos.


October 12, 2011

Your faith was strong but you needed proof.

Source: tumblr.com via Amanda on Pinterest



This morning is going to be rough. A few extra prayers and some good vibes sent my way would be greatly appreciated.

October 11, 2011

Please remember all of the things I never got a chance to say. Like you look smashing in your fourth grade picture.

A few weeks ago my wonderful friend Rebecca asked me if I'd like to go to a concert with her.

I had only vaguely heard of the band performing, but I love Rebecca and haven't seen her in far too long so of course I said yes!

We had such a good time! The show was in Pontiac at the Pike Room, which is upstairs from another venue called the Crofoot.


Performing downstairs was this metal band called We Came As Romans so it was definitely interesting considering we were upstairs listening to acoustic music ha ha Whoever scheduled those two shows on the same day was not thinking lol

Besides the fact that half the time we could hear the other band, it was a lot of fun. The opening act was a guy called Jeff Pianki. He played by himself and was really really good. It was a small venue so we were able to get pretty close to the stage again. He played his kazoo for a few songs and closed his set with "I Wanna Be Like You" from the Jungle Book- how can you not love that? Lol Plus we decided he was the cutest little ginger we'd ever seen ha ha

After him was Matt Pond PA. I had heard of him before and really enjoyed his set. I've mentioned before that I have a thing for bassist and this one was no exception. Seriously, so cute! After Matt Pond introduced him I totally Googled him too lol Thank god for smart phones :-)

His name was John Courage, by the way haha

Finally Rocky Votolato came on.

I had never heard of him, but I absolutely fell in love with him. I've been listening to him pretty much non stop since the show. I just love his voice, and the songs are so catchy and I can totally relate to a lot of his lyrics. Love love love.

We were able to move front and center by the time he came on and it was so great to literally be like 2 feet from him. I just love intimate concerts like that!

After the show, all three artists hung around and we got to talk to all of them which was great. Rebecca was able to snag two of the set lists and got them both signed. They were all so sweet and gracious. We found out Jeff Pianki is coming to the Blind Pig in Ann arbor soon so were both pretty stoked to go see him again

The I only downside was I looked for my new bassist crush but sadly he was nowhere to be found lol

If anyone sees him, could you let him know I'm in love with him? Please and thank you :-)

October 10, 2011

Because the night belongs to lovers, because the night belongs to us.

I slowly open my eyes, hoping against hope I'll see the sun creeping up beyond the trees, greeting the world and marking a new day.

No such luck.

The moon hangs low, full and glowing and ominous. There are few stars, but those that do shine must battle with the glow of the city, muting their brilliance.

I toss and turn, hoping to find the one position in this big, empty bed that will bring upon instantaneous sleep. Add a pillow, subtract a blanket, move this arm here or that leg there.

My eyes are heavy but will not stay closed, fighting me at every movement.

My thoughts will not stop. All the "what if's" and "why's" race at top speed, so quickly I can't answer before the next one hits me. Breathing deeply does little to calm my nerves, barely giving me 30 seconds of internal silence before it all begins again.

Laying down seems to be futile, so I move to a seat next to the window. I can see every house on the street. They are all silent, not even the blue glow of a television is visible in a window. The street lights hum as the last of the summer's bugs flock to them, swirling around them for the last time.

There is no movement. The dogs and cats and squirrels are holed up for the night. There is no one taking a midnight stroll. Even the wind has ceased for the night, the leaves laying delicately, unmoving upon their branches.

The cars are parked neatly along the street, waiting for their drivers. I glance at the clock.

5am.

Soon, people will begin to stir awake. The sleep will fall from their eyes as they stretch to greet the new day, well rested and full of energy and life. They will shower and get dressed,make their coffee, kiss their wives and husbands and children goodbye. They will go to work, unaware that I have been watching them from my perch next to my window, envious of their rest, yet joyful someone was able to wake up feeling refreshed.

Perhaps tomorrow it will be my turn.

I watch a while longer as lights begin to turn on. Again, I attempt to fall asleep, willing the groan of starting engines to be my stand in lullaby.


This post is in response to a prompt at The Lightning and The Lightning Bug: Flicker of Inspiration #19-In The Dark of Night


October 9, 2011

Let it shine down on us all Let it warm us from within

A few years ago, my mom and I were sitting down to Yom Kippur services when she turned to me and said with one of the most intense looks shes ever given me"

"I don't know what you have to do, but whatever it is, you need to get right with God and with yourself."

I nodded, I knew she was right. The strong connection I had had to my Judaism and God was all but gone. I was lost but had no idea what to do.

I sat in services and recited the prayers from memory but when it came time to pray from my heart, nothing came out. I was empty. I wanted so badly to feel some sort of connection, but I felt nothing. I walked away knowing I had no one to blame but myself.

I had no idea that a few weeks later, my life would completely change and my connection with God would become a focus of my life.

I've been think a lot about that day recently and the sharp contrast it has from where I am today.

I've struggled this year, especially this summer. But lately, I can feel is Gods love and grace surrounding me. I know its always there, even especially in the struggles, but sometimes it is so palpable I can't help but acknowledge it.

I attended Rosh Hashanah services with my parents last week and I was brought to tears more than once during the services. The service we attended had our temples youth choir leading the congregation in song. Listening to their sweet voice sing songs of praise and believing every word of that prayer was so, so amazing. I knew in that instance that god was with me, right then, and what an amazing feeling that is!

A few weeks ago I was able to listen to a friend share his testimony. I've known him for a few years and it was so great to be able to listen and hear how God has worked in his life. After he was done, I went to thank him and to give him a hug he pulled me close and said "oh Amanda! I just love you so much!" And it was like I could feel not only the love from him, but everyone one the room and god all rushing to me. Granted he had just shared an amazing story, but I was smiling from ear to ear when I left.

And now it's Yom Kippur again. I can't help but be thankful that I have experienced all these instances of God's love so close together. I'm by no means perfect and I find myself focusing on my imperfections. But this year, I feel lore strongly than I have in a while that God loves me no matter what. Even though I always knew this was true, being able to feel it and have a renewed sense of faith has been so helpful in my process of atoning this year.

I just feel so extremely blessed.

I'm not sure if this made any sense, or if anyone even got to the end of this. But if you did, thank you. This week is going to be rough but I'm so thankful I have been able to feel God so acutely in my life and I really, deep down, in the depths of my soul, know that no matter what happens, I'll be ok.

Amazing.

October 5, 2011

Take me out to the ball game....

Around here, baseball has pretty much taken over my life at this point. I'm constantly checking my phone for updates and every night I'm in front of the TV watching. There really are very few things I love more than playoff baseball, especially when my Tigers are playing!

Since baseball is pretty much the only thing on my mind, here are some of my baseball Pinterest finds this week! Go link up with The Vintage apple and share your finds!



Source: None via Amanda on Pinterest


Source: None via Amanda on Pinterest



Source: etsy.com via Samantha on Pinterest





Source: None via Melanie on Pinterest





GO TIGERS!

Happy Wednesday everyone!


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October 4, 2011

The autumn leaves of red and gold. I see your lips, the summer kisses

The breeze chilled me to my core. It crept through the tee-shirt and sweater, jacket, gloves and scarf.

My whole body shivered involuntarily, and before I realized what I was doing, you came from behind me. Holding my quivering body close to yours, the warmth of your core penetrated the layers of cloth covering my body. The leaves crunched beneath our feet, turning into a beautiful confetti of red, yellow, orange and brown. The branches above swayed slowly, trying to recover from the faint gust of wind.

The wind blew again, but somehow, this time, it didn't feel so cold.

This post is in response to a prompt at Write On Edge: Conjure something. An object, a person, a feeling, a color, a season- whatever you like.


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