Daydream Believer.

Recently, Davy Jones of the Monkees passed away. (Yes, this was awhile ago…March is flying by, right?)

It was a sad day, for me. One of the songs I remember most from my childhood is “Daydream Believer.”

It still remains one of my favorites, one of the most beautiful ones in my arsenal.

Although when I was younger I wasn’t really sure what the lyrics meant, I just knew that I loved them.

So, thank you, Davy Jones, for always inspiring me to always be a daydream believer (and a homecoming queeeen…or you know, to dream big!).

Because, let me tell you, my friends, dreaming–and dreaming big–it can really pay off.

Drumroll please…

I GOT INTO GRADUATE SCHOOL!!!

And, into my top TWO programs, no less.

Just those two. None of my back-up programs that I thought were givens, of course, and now I have a gigantic stressful decision to make.

I’ll leave you with that tasty little tidbit for now.

Many daydreams to all of you…and I hope Mr. Jones is having many dreams himself, somewhere. 🙂

INSPIRED.

So.

Sometimes, the kids drive me crazy. Sometimes, they hurt my soul. Sometimes, they flummox me so much my brain hurts.

And sometimes, they show me the way.

There is this one boy, a fairly newcomer to the Opportunity Center, who is always one of the highlights of my day. My boss mentioned how when he enters a room he just lights it up, and it’s true.

Several weeks ago, this boy, we’ll call him A., wrote a letter, out of nowhere, about Invisible Children.

A non-profit for a terrible situation that I had vaguely heard about, but really hadn’t looked into.

Then, I read A’s letter, and I felt the world shift a little under my feet. Here is a 12-year-old boy, a refugee from Africa himself, who is living in public housing with about a dozen other people in a tiny house, and HE is more concerned about this than I am.

And I claim to want to travel the world helping these folks.

So, now, I’m helping A find a way to help these people.

And you can too:

Just click here.

If A doesn’t inspire you, what will?

p.s. I know the video went viral today, but despite that, this is an important and real issue that A and other kids that I work with have firsthand knowledge of. I know it’s easy to scoff at the media and you should question before you give, but anything that draws attention to the plight of Africa is a good start.

Red Square Euro Bistro!

You GUYS!

I have a new restaurant recommendation for any of you who happen to be in the Denver Metro area…

RED SQUARE EURO BISTRO!

As part of Denver Restaurant Week, the Boyfriend and I were lucky enough to scrounge up $52.80 (5280–get it? The same altitude as the Mile High City? Yeah, I didn’t get it right away either…) for a three-course meal…so fancy…at the Red Square Bistro.

It’s also a vodka bar, but this time we were mostly there for the food. Although I did have a delicious shot of honey-infused vodka…mmmhmmm.

As part of the $52.80-for-two menu, we got an appetizer, main course with sides and dessert. Since the Boyfriend and I are still set in our own ways, we aren’t very good at the whole you-get-one-thing-I’ll-get-another-and-we’ll-share philosophy.

We want what we want, and that’s it.

As a result, we ended up with the same appetizer and dessert. But there was no complainin’ at our table! Here was our menu:

Appetizer: Tiger. Prawn. Risotto. That’s right. It was weird but got better with every bite. Especially once I got a bite of the prawn with the risotto, the dish was tasty, although not my favorite part. **SPOILER ALERT**

Main Course: Eric got a duck breast that he was moaning over (yes, he moans over his food. Isn’t he cute, ladies? BUT he’s all mine) and I had THE…

WAIT FOR IT

…KEEP WAITING…

BEST STEAK EVER.

It was rubbed in something delicious, and on a bed of something delectable. I’m doing a terrible job at explaining it, but it’s one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.

**sidenote: my entree was the “NY Strip Steak, Creamy Parmesan and Red Pepper Orzo, Asparagus, Wild Mushroom and Dijon Stew.” The Boyfriend’s was the “Pan Seared Duck Breast, Herbed Wild Rice, Broccolini, Cippolini Onions, Black Cherry Reduction.”**

And, folks, I’m from Montana. We export our steaks all over the world.

Well, maybe not (Montana exports are clearly not my area of expertise, which shows how much I live in my own little world), but we have a lot of ranches and a lot of hole-in-the-walls that claim to have either the best steak in Montana, the West, the USA, etc. etc.

THIS IS HOW GOOD THAT STEAK WAS:

I SUCKED THE FLAVOR OUT OF EACH BITE.

Now I sound like a disgusting vampire.

A really classy vampire, clearly.

But don’t worry, I probably won’t be there closing my eyes over each bite when you decide to go there.

(The Boyfriend just bought a new car, so we can’t afford to eat out much anymore.)

But, I will  go back and try the stroganoff…or salmon stroganoff…or…moving on…

If the steak wasn’t enough, it was followed by a chocolate-raspberry mousse. Although I was still mourning the end of my steak (I’m a teensy bit obsessed) it didn’t disappoint.

We sat there, in the bistro, by the fireplace, and I felt like I really in Europe. Or, more specifically, in RUSSSIA. (You must say that with a Russian accent. I dare ya).

The atmosphere was so cute, the food so amazing, and one of the best parts about it?

It was all immune to the loud trio of women shouting the occasional obscenities at the table next to us. (The obscenities were all part of exuberant and apparently hysterical stories, not used to yell at the servers.)

If that’s not real impossible-to-fake atmosphere, I don’t know what is.

p.s. Did I mention our waiter was an adorable old Russian man? I wanted to eat him up too. In a non-sexy way. Like you want to eat up a little puppy.

Needing is One Thing and Getting’s Another

My peeps! Long time no see.

You guys should know something about me: I love quotes. So today, I’m going to take a few quotes I’ve heard/found recently and describe some events in my life. Because it’s been awhile, and this post seems like so much fun to write!

“I’ve been waiting for months, waiting for years, waiting for you to change. Aw, but there ain’t much that’s dumber than pinning your hopes on the change in another so…Needing is one thing, and getting, getting’s another.” –OK Go

{This is a new song I found by Ok Go. You should check out the video here–it’s schweet. Anyway. I’ve learned a lot these last few weeks about getting vs. needing. I need respect from the people in my life. Do I always get it? No. Do I deserve it? Yes, who doesn’t? But the most important lesson from this song, and from my recent life, is that you can’t rely on anyone else to get you what you need. But dang, wouldn’t it be easier that way?}

“May the bridges I burn light the way.”

{I am officially not staying at my job next year. So scary! But hey, I just have to keep thinking that what I’m doing now and other facets of my past will light the way. I know I made the right choice. Most of the time. It’s gonna be hella hard to leave these kids, though. Even if they do call me Lady Gaga once a week.}

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”

{This quote is particularly important as I’m beginning the process of being interviewed for graduate school. It’s kind of INTIMIDATING. I just have to remind myself that if I don’t get in–although I totally will, right?–it doesn’t mean this door is closed. It just means I have to try again. It just means that even if it seems unlikely, if your gut is telling you what you are supposed to be doing, go for it, baby. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you only live once.}

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

{This is one of the most important things I have ever heard. Something I need to tell myself repeatedly, because I think the way I think and I don’t know any other way. Oh, but the joys of psychology show us the power of the brain, and the power of a brain change.}

“What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” –Tad Carpenter

{Okay, this one is a little cliche. I was lucky enough to visit my family and friends in Bozeman this past weekend: they are my heart. But my heart is here, too, with the Boyfriend in our apartment…Oh and our NEW CAR, what! Well, mostly his new car. I am an AmeriCorps… Speaking of, as my job gets tougher, I’ve also realized that home needs to be separate from work, and I am enjoying it here more and more as I/we make it a home. Now we have memories here: like the time the Boyfriend had to pick me up from work because I was so sick and had dragged myself to a field trip and held in the sickness just long enough to puke on the freeway. Every time I pass the spot I smile.  I’m sure the Boyfriend is not quite so fond of this memory. But still, that’s just one of many. I am a lucky girl.}

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, darling.” 

{Every time I hear this quote I feel a little bit better about everything. Maybe I don’t have to be perfect and try to fix everything at once. It’s hard to be happy when you’re mean to yourself–but it’s a hard lesson. It’s my habit to get angry at myself when something goes wrong, when I make a mistake. But isn’t that what life is about? How would we get anywhere, otherwise? My job is difficult because the atmosphere is not conducive to mistakes–I practically have an anxiety attack when I mess up. One thing I’m learning: I mess up a LOT. And is it because I’m a bad person? NO. Sometimes I don’t think, sometimes I assume, sometimes I think differently, sometimes I think and forget. So sue me, world! I think I learn from my mistakes, but what I’m really learning is that I NEED to make mistakes and I need to be okay making mistakes. Because, my peeps, mistakes are the way of the world and the world is all we’ve got.}

“When life gives you curves, flaunt them.”

{I trying to lose weight and be healthy. It’s sometimes UGH but I do feel better. Mostly, I want to be okay with how I look, as long as I’m healthy. And even if I do lose a ton of weight, which I am not planning, I developed when I was ten and I’m never gonna lose my curves. It’s about time to just embrace ’em, already.}

There’s a quick update of my life the past little while. Forgive me for being so emo…but it is a Monday.

p.s. All of the other quotes besides the two credited came from Pinterest. 🙂