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I came home from work Friday to discover that the power was out. Of course, it took me an embarrassingly long time to come to that conclusion, given that the power was only out in half of our house. Three rooms without power normally leads one to believe that a breaker has gone out, resulting in that person flipping on and off all of the breakers in her poorly labeled, very-hard-to-get-to breaker box. Because things like labeling the breaker box or say, not putting a queen bed in front of it never seem that important until you blow a fuse.

Twenty breakers and five phone calls later, I was convinced that we didn’t just blow a fuse, but had a serious electrical problem. It never occurred to me that power could go out to only half our house. Doesn’t that defy the laws of electricity, or at least logic? A quick trip to my neighbors’ house told me that it does not. The neighbors and their three kids were huddled under blankets as they, too, had lost power to only half of their house—but the important half, the one that controls things like heat and internet and cable television. How quickly you miss those things when your house is hovering at 40 degrees and you’re thumbing through old copies of InStyle magazine, wishing you had followed through on your thought of grabbing a few books from the library earlier in the week. An article on best beauty buys can only last you so long.

After a few teasing flickers of power and several trips to Starbucks for free internet, by Sunday the power was back on for good and we were none the worse for wear. While 36 hours without power may not sound like much, it certainly taught me a few things, and not just which night cream is the best for keeping wrinkles at bay.  I learned, for one, that schoolwork goes much quicker without the distraction of the internet or television, and that while 40 degrees is far too cold for the waking hours, at night it makes you sleep like a baby. I also learned that without all of that electronic noise and clutter, you can have some pretty wonderful conversations with your husband and some nice long chats with your family. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy as a clam to have the thermostat back on 68. But a little self-imposed power outage every few weeks might not be a bad thing for my mind or my relationships.

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“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller (via my wonderful Economics professor Barry Brownstein)

This photo reminds me of something my sister and I would conjure up when we were kids.  Or, more accurately, something my sister would conjure up and then talk me into. Which may explain why she broke the same arm three times before she was 8 years old. I’m suprised child protective services didn’t try to take us away.

Have a great weekend, and try not to break anything! xo

 

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Last week, on an unseasonably warm and sunny Thursday, Scott and I took off work and went for a drive. It was gorgeous out; one of those days when you want to soak up every last second of warmth because you know it won’t be back around for a while. We drove and drove, me with my feet on the dashboard, Scott at the wheel, both of us laughing and singing along with the radio. It was such a relaxing a drive that I almost forgot where we were headed.

The morning my grandmother died I got a call from my mom. She gave me the news and after talking to my husband and my sister and a few colleagues, I decided to go home and be with my family. There wasn’t going to be a funeral right away but I wanted to see my parents and hug my Dad. It felt like the right thing to do. It also felt right to get there as fast as I could. I tried to go fast without going too fast, but that line is a blurry one, especially when the roads are as empty as you’d imagine at mid-morning Wednesday in a rural town. I lost track of my thoughts and before I knew it the all-too-familiar red and blue lights were flashing in my rear view.

The police officer was about as thrilled to see me as I was to see him, and the second I saw his grimace I knew I wouldn’t tell him why I was driving so fast. He didn’t seem like the type who’d care about the sob story of a young woman in a nice car who somehow wasn’t working on a Wednesday. It didn’t help matters that in my panic I couldn’t find my registration. He coldly handed me a big ticket and drove away, leaving me alone on the side of the road where my emotions came in a flood, albeit one that came far too late to make a difference. Defeated, I called Scott in tears, and he promised that we’d take it to court. He was indignant and strong in the face of my utter helplessness and void of even an ounce of annoyance at the pile of points I’d just added to our insurance. Ever my champion.

Three weeks and a box of Kleenex later, Scott was making good on his promise. We pull into the parking lot at the one-room courthouse an hour early and decide to stroll around the tiny surrounding town. We walk hand-in-hand, split a slice of pizza, then find an empty park bench where we can watch the sun dance off the river adjacent to town. I take off my shoes and let my feet soak up the sun. What a beautiful day to have time to waste. We eventually meander back to the building and find our way inside, and not long after we’ve sat down on the church-like courtroom pews, my parents join us. Since we’re so close I’ve asked them to meet us for lunch, and they decide to also take in the show. They come in and sit behind me and immediately the jokes begin. I’m nervous but can’t help but laugh at my Dad’s loud pronouncements that I’m going straight to the slammer. I look at a girl across the aisle whose eyes are wide enough to believe him.

The time comes, and it doesn’t bode the way I had hoped. The judge is the type that’s perpetually unmoved, even by my most sincere of stories. I leave in shock at his stoniness and then sympathy for the rest of the nearly full courtroom, whose hopes of probation before judgment must have been dashed after they saw that even a dead grandmother wouldn’t get you off. After my emotions settle I’m left not with a sense of resentment at the judge’s apathy or frustration with the financial loss, which of course isn’t fun. Instead, I just feel lucky that I have a husband and parents who care about me enough to endure the pain that is traffic court, and happy that I get to spend the rest of a beautiful afternoon sitting in the sun, relaxing and chatting with them. That alone is worth the cost of the ticket and more.

Snow days are so much more than just get-out-of-work-free cards. They’re a chance to feel like a kid again, staying up late and looking out the windows with your nose pressed against the glass as you watch the snow fall. They’re warm pajamas and extra blankets and lots of snuggles and mugs of hot chocolate. They’re sleeping in and eating breakfast in bed.  They’re calling your friends and watching the news and exploring outside to see what the snow has hidden and what’s peeking out. They’re comfort, home, quiet excitement. Hope you make the most of your snow day, and if it’s not snowing where you live, I hope you have some hot chocolate anyway. xo

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As if I needed something else to make me long for spring.

What are your plans for the weekend? The sun is shining and I can’t wait to break out of my office and get outside. I’ve got a lot of schoolwork to catch up on this weekend, but in between chapters of reading I’m hoping to check out this sale and make these homemade peanut butter cups (don’t they look delicious?). I’ll see you back here on Monday, but first, here are a few of my favorite posts from around the web:

 
It’s good to know that even French women struggle with public restrooms.

How sweet is this treehouse in the south of France? It even has shutters!

Behold BHLDN (pronounced beholden), the new wedding line from Anthropologie. Number 14, I’ve got my eye on you.

How to make the perfect messy side ponytail (a la J. Crew).

 

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Wow, I can’t believe I’ve had this little blog for one year. Thanks for letting me share my little window of the world with you, and for your support and feedback along the way. Here’s to another year of church giggles, birthdays, weddings, and road trips! Thanks for reading. xo

(Image from my engagement photos done by J Thomas photography. And yes I cut my husband out of my own engagement photo. He was making a weird face. Don’t value judge.)

P.S. Doesn’t it look like the naked statue is giving me a high five?

So let’s just say that you’ve been doing yoga pretty consistently for more than a year, working your way up to ridiculously difficult ninja moves new and more challenging poses as you go. And let’s just say that your husband went with you to yoga class for the first time last week.

And—of course, this is all hypothetical—let’s say that in the past few days he’s been watching you work on your newest and hardest move yet. Perhaps he’s even been watching you diligently practice at home, looking up videos on the internet to get tips on doing the pose correctly. And let’s say that after watching you fail to get into your practiced pose for several days, your husband decides to give the pose a try for himself. And while I won’t say whether he *hypothetically* did the pose perfectly on his FIRST TRY or not, I will say that my darling hypothetical husband is a freak of nature that should be studied for some sort of naturally-good-at-everything-in-a-really-unfair-kind-of-way gene. I mean, the man ran a half marathon off the couch and got a better time than me, despite the fact that I trained for three months. Hypothetically, of course.

At least our future kids will have half of his genes (and more, if I have anything to do with it).

Happy Valentine’s Day my loves! What are you doing today? Scottie and I celebrated at this restaurant over the weekend, and tonight I’m making him this shrimp risotto for dinner (food is love, no?). No matter if you’re solo or coupled, I hope your day is filled with sweet people and yummy surprises. These adorable Kate Spade valentines are perfect for telling everyone—from friends and family to your beloved—just how you feel about them today. xo

Speaking of J. Crew, how classic are these images from their spring catalog shoot? They took photos at famous L.A. landmarks, including the Chateau Marmont and the Hollywood sign, where they were approached with helicopters, firetrucks and bullhorns by Park Rangers who thought they were trespassing! (It was a mix-up; they had gotten permission beforehand.) I love how the model looks so oblivious of all the excitement…it’s the epitome of Hollywood cool. xo

A photo of me.

About me

Hi, I'm Pam. I'm a runner, reader and recent MBA grad living in Baltimore with my husband. I work in PR, but I spend my off-hours writing here about my life, which mostly revolves around family, friends, fashion and fitness. Sometimes I throw in the occasional food photo just to make sure you're paying attention.

Contact

For questions or freelance opportunities, contact me at theinspirationfiles {at} gmail {dot} com. I'd love to hear from you!

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