Monday, February 28, 2011

Prayer Monday

  • I'm finally feeling better.  Just needed a little time (slept 15 hours yesterday) and more drugs!  But I certainly appreciate feeling better.
  • Uncle James is having better days.  It's still going to be a long road, but he's come a long way from where we were at this time last week.
Prayer Requests
  • Uncle James - his continued recovery and for continued strength and patience for my auntie.  I also pray for extraordinary medical care as he continues to be in the hospital.
  • For a friend at work whose father is ill.  She's been very heavy on my heart today.
  • For all my pregnant friends and those who are new mamas. 
  • For those who are deployed and those who carry on here in their absence.
  • For the Women's Ministry Bible study of David that begins this week. For Crystal as she facilitates for us.  I'm so excited to see what God and Beth Moore have for us this spring!

Father God, I praise you for your blessings on my life.  You are better than I could ever tell, and have been kind to me, even though I don't deserve your mercy.  I pray that we set our eyes on You this week.  I pray that you will be with the requests of each of the women participating.  We are believing You because we know who You are and how You intend all things for good.  Thank you for Your touch on our lives.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Well, I Tried

So, consider this an update on my attempt to have a good day.  I didn't get to go meet Amber for dinner.  Instead, I decided that it was time to get some stronger meds into this body because I am terrified of getting any type of respiratory infection.  Uncles being in the hospital for a month will do that for you.  So, I called my mom, because I didn't really feel like driving and we went to the doctor, where the nice man hooked me up with three new meds (which I then waited an hour at Walgreens for. And yes, I totally emailed their corporate office about it.). 

Basically, I said all this to say that I tried.  I really did.  But the day just didn't cooperate.  There's always tomorrow.

We're Gonna Have A Good Day

I didn't post yesterday, because yesterday was a bad day.  I was crabby, and worn out, and just generally displeased with things.  And the last thing I want to do on here is sound like a whiner, even if I am.   I'm finally starting to feel human again, even if I now sound like a muppet or Marge Simpson.  Hopefully, my real (loud) teacher voice will be back next week.

Today, I am bound and determined, is going to be a good day.  I slept all night without waking up a million times, and I even managed to sleep in.  I watched a cute little movie that I bought last night.  I have plans to meet Amber for dinner, since I had to back out on our plans earlier this week.  I am going to have a little home spa time this afternoon, just because I can. 

Today is going to be a good day. And for that I am thankful.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This morning, on the way to work, there were two Canadian geese standing on a pond bank, the male standing watch while the female ate.  It almost made me cry.  I wish I were kidding.

See, geese mate for life.  Really.  They stay together for all seasons, and only replace a mate if they die.  They are devoted to each other.   They protect each other.  And I guess, recently I've been feeling very unprotected.  I'm great at being independent, until I'm not.  Then, I'm a mess.  Being sick this week is kicking my butt.  There are a million things that I need to do, things that I just don't feel like doing (hello, grocery shopping!).  It would be nice to have someone else to share the load with sometimes.  It would be nice to not have to complete every task, make every decision on my own. 

I know some think of being single as liberating.  Sometimes, it is.  I don't have to see movies I don't want to see or decide how to split up time on holidays.  Trust me, I'm not crazy enough to believe that having a significant other magically makes everything easier either.  All I'm saying is that sometimes, it must be nice to just have someone there.  Even if they forget to take the trash out, leave the seat up, or leave their dirty socks next to the chair in the living room. 

This morning, for a while at least, I wish I were a goose.  So either I'm lonely, or I really need to cut back on the cold meds.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monsieurs et Madames

I love how it seems like all of my really good friends are becoming bloggers!  (Peer pressure, Amber!  Do it!)   But I wanted to take a minute and highlight one of them in particular today.

My friend, Casey, who is awesome in and of herself, has a brand-new cooking blog.  Like she just created it this week kind of new.  But, you should totally be paying attention, because I have no doubt that she will be filling it up with all kinds of recipes, tips, and goodies soon enough.  You should know that Casey really is an excellent cook!  We love it when she brings treats, like her pineapple salsa, to our little winery events, and I have no doubt that everyone will be falling all over themselves for her recipes soon enough.  I am just bragging a little because I can, and of course, because when she has her own business, I will totally want to work there, planning events or answering phones or whatever.  That's how gifted I believe she is.  And she's humble enough to never in a million years say it about herself. 

Go visit her and if nothing else, say hi!  (You can always find her link under Bloggers I Know In Real Life, too!)

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Did you know there is a National Day of pretty much everything in the universe? February 23 happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?

     This week's sinus/cold thing has been a pretty big inconvenience.  I hate when things mess up my plans.  But I guess the resting wasn't exactly bad for me. 

2. When a room in your house needs painting who does the job?

      Is it wrong that I laughed when I read this?  Since I live alone, the painting is all me.  I actually tested this out over the summer when I re-styled my bedroom

3. Are you friends with your cousins?

     When I was growing up, one of the cousins closest to me in age lived across the field from me.  We were best friends for most of our childhood.  She was the cousin at the center of my winter idiocy.  As I've gotten older and gained more cousins through marriage, I'd like to think we are all friends, too.  Particularly since we have all become adults.  One of my cousins is even (kinda, sorta) my boss.  She also is a reader of this very blog!  (Hi, Cousin!)

4. Do you use an alarm clock? If yes-is it an actual alarm, music, or something else?

     I do not use an alarm clock.  I use the alarm on my phone.  And it plays music (currently Pink's "Raise Your Glass"), because I despise alarm sounds. 

5. What do you put ketchup on?

     French fries, of course.  Also chicken strips.  Hamburgers.  Steak when I was younger (now I like A1).  pretty much anything that will stand still long enough.  I really like ketchup. 

6. What smells make you nostalgic?

     The first one that comes to mind is the smell of my maternal grandmother's house.  The Farmhouse has a very specific smell, and after you've been there a while, it seeps into your clothes.  There's nothing in the world more comforting than that smell. 

7. Have you heard about the high school English teacher recently suspended as a result of some things she wrote in her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-If you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students on fb? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss...

It's funny because Amber sent me an article about this woman last week, so I've had time to organize my thoughts.  While I don't disagree with what she said, I think if she wanted to say them all on her blog, perhaps she should have made it private.  As a rule I don't put negative things about students or work on my blog, and would never post a student's photo or tell a story without express consent from a parent.  It's just a good rule. 

As far as Facebook, I am very careful about the student issue.  I don't add students.  If one requests to add me, they have to be out of my classroom.  Even then, I try to be careful.  It's hard because it's a nice way to see what former students are up to, in particular those who have moved away, but it can also be an issue.  If a student overshares, I will remove them from my feed or delete them if necesary. It's a very tender topic for sure.   

8. Do something sweet for someone today.  You will never know the difference that it might make to them and to you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why Sleep When You Can Blog?

It's the middle of the night.  Well actually it's almost 3:30, but I've been up since 2:00.  Apparently, when you sleep all day your body is no longer interested in sleeping during the night.  After a horrible migraine on Sunday, my sinuses seem to have given up the ghost and I spent yesterday in bed with an on-and-off fever.  Which means that in between watching Season 3 of Gilmore Girls for what is at least the 100th time, I slept.  A lot.  And then, I went to bed early.  And took some medicine that is apparently meant to be taken during the day.  (They question remains: why do people want to do drugs that keep them up all night, anyway?)  So, here I am WIDE awake, with nothing to do until I go to school to drop off my sub plans because I've had a fever in the last 24 hours and they would prefer that I not infect the children.

I don't really have anything of value to share with you, since I haven't really been around any people since Sunday afternoon.  I did really enjoy the Daytona 500 Sunday.  (Yes, I watch NASCAR.  Wanna make something of it?)  Trevor Bayne was the winner, if you didn't hear.  He seems like the sweetest kid, just turned 20 on Saturday.  He did even know how to get to the winner's circle.  It was a lot of fun to watch some new blood win, someone who is truly thankful just to be out there doing what he loves.  Should be a great season, if the first race was any indication. 

Since it's likely that anything from this point is just going to be me rambling (I know, how is that any different from every day?), I am going to stop now.  Here's hoping for a little bit of a crash in my near future...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prayer Monday

I'm joining up with Crys for Prayer Monday.  Prayer is not something that I am very good at remember to do with regularity.  I mean to, I really do, but I get busy and forget or fall asleep in the middle.  But what I know is that prayer works.  And I'm so thankful for that.

Prayer Requests:
  • My Uncle James - He's been in the hospital almost a month, and is stable but still in quite fragile condition.  I'm praying for exceptional care, as well as his complete healing.  My Auntie has been so strong and amazing throughout this whole ordeal (she was sick and in the hospital in the beginning), but she certainly needs continued strength as there is still much recovery to come.
  • For my pregnant friends - I know at least 10 women who are pregnant or who have just had babies.  I pray that they will have safe deliveries and perfectly healthy babies who sleep all night (Can't hurt to throw that in!). 
  • For soldiers overseas/away from their families -  I got word this week of one friend arrived with his medical unit in Afghanistan and Tara's Baby Daddy left for deployment yesterday.  I'm thankful for those who give their time to protect us and prayer for their families while they are gone.
  • Me - I'm sick with sinus stuff because as it turns out, it shouldn't be in 70 degrees in February.  I had a massive migraine yesterday and didn't sleep very well last night.  It's hard to get school work done or  teach when you feel lousy.

  • James has had a string of better days, which is a miracle in and of itself, after the beginning of the week.
  • For the grace to get through a very busy last week.  God's been teaching me to keep my mouth closed even when it would feel much better not to.  And He's actually been able to help me do it, which is a serious change. 
I will try to update things this week as I get a chance.  I appreciate you prayers.  If you have a request, leave it in the comments or link up with Crystal's blog and we will be glad to pray for you!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My New Look

I totally have blog ADD.  It turns out my blog is kind of like my hair color, I can't seem to leave it alone.  I wanted to make my blog a little less cluttered, but then I found new fonts.  Then, I started Google-ing other changes, and before I knew it, it had been a couple of hours.  But after this week, I am just thankful to have some time to do something I wanted to do.

I'm pleased with the progress but I would love to hear what you think!  (And you can be honest.  I promise.)  Comment away!   

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Alma Mater

Well this week's Show Us Your Life is all about alma maters.  I wish (sometimes) that I could tell you that I had a typical college experience, but that's something I kind of missed out on.  I took a two-year community college scholarship right out of high school, partly because it was free and partly because of the fine arts program. I had a great time in the plays and choir and playing secretary.  Little did I know that I would soon make a decision that would change the course of my life.

Not only did I meet people who remain a big part of my life to this day (Hi, girls!), community college was where I decided to become a teacher.  Teaching was something that I had spent most of my life sure I did not want to do. (Both of my parents are teachers, after all.)  But through a series of events, I ended up joining AmeriCorps. 
AmeriCorps is a program that does many different things, but in my area, we tutored and mentored at-risk kids in local school districts.  It took me about five minutes to discover that it was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  You are able to do two years of service, and get paid a stipend as well as money for school, so when I transferred into the Teacher Education Program at SIU, I decided to continue with AmeriCorps.  While it was a great opportunity, it meant living on campus wasn't really a viable option (as my volunteer site was almost an hour away from campus), so I became a commuter and continued living at home.  (Free room and board is always preferable to cafeteria food and a roommate who annoys you.  Of course I was still living with my pre-teen baby sister, so...)

So, I don't have stories about my Greek affliations, wild college parties, or the big Homecoming game.  But I do have great memories of laughing with the lunch crew and with the girls (and a few guys) in our cohort group.  And best of all, I found what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  And isn't that really the best thing college can give you?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Having A Moment: The Role Model Edition

It's finally happened.  Billy Ray Cyrus is voicing his concern over his daughter's behavior in an article in GQ.  Personally, I find this article from MSN about it even more interesting.  I've said for a while now that Miley seemed to be on the Lindsay Lohan Expressway about to make an exit on to Britney Spears Ave.  And that's really sad.

But if you really want to get me going, tell me about a celebrity whose business revolves around the attention and purchasing power of children, but who says they are not a role model.  I hate to break it to you, but you are, even if you would rather not be.  It's not like this is a new problem.  Every generation has their young stars that take off with such promise, but then burn out in a blaze of the fast-and-loose lifestyle.  I get that Miley is a kid, and that she is growing up in front of the cameras, but those cameras are also how she got to be a celebrity in the first place.  And while she may now be an adult who makes her own choices, some of the responsibility for the mess that she's in does fall on her parents' shoulders.  Parents are not supposed to be your friends, first and foremost.  It just doesn't work that way, in my opinion.  I wish there were more young celebs who chose the route that Dakota Fanning (and her family) have.  She continues to be a teen who also does movies instead of the other way around.  And I think that will benefit her more with every passing year.

What disturbs me most is that we are creating a culture that truly believes that there are no consequences for their behavior.  And if you want something that's really scary, think about the consequences of that.  They think that there are an infinite number of chances to get things right, and that there should be no punishment if they do wrong.  My friends and I have discussed this at length, and I honestly believe that it comes down to this:  There is always forgiveness, but even the forgiven have to deal with the consequences of their actions.  I praise God for parents who held me accountable, and for friends who do the same today.  But I just can't help but wonder what is going to happen to the next generation (and to Miley for that matter) if no one is willing to do that for them?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Catching Up

I know, two posts in one day is becoming something of a trend with me, but I have to make up for lost time!  We made it home with all the the children we took to convention.  They were awesome, we had a great time, and I slept about as much as I figured I would (which is to say very little).  I was so tired on the way home, but once I got to the house, I had a second wind and didn't go to bed until 10:00, which is about a normal school night for me.  Except I seemed to have forgotten what I would feel like the day after.  I really just want to curl up in a ball and stay there until sometime into the middle of next week.  But, instead, I'm soldiering on, because this is the week that never ends.  (And allow me to take a moment to again praise all of the mamas who do this kind of thing everyday and function like perfectly normal people.  You rock, and don't let anyone tell you different!)

But, other than ballgames and whatnot, there are other things going on.  My friend, Crys, has started Prayer Mondays.  I didn't get to participate on the blog this Monday, but I will be from now on.  And if it's something that speaks to you, I hope you will as well.  My biggest prayer request right now is for my uncle, who is still in the hospital.  I am going boldly before the Throne asking that his lungs are given a complete and speedy healing, and that some of the frustrations from having a bunch of specialists saying a million different things will be taken care of in a way that benefits everyone.  My family would greatly appreciate your prayers, too. 

In much happier news, you can now buy my friend, Christopher Jackson's album on iTunes.  It's called In The Name of Love, and it came out yesterday.  I love it, but I am more than a little biased.  It's got an R&B/Soul feel, and I think everyone should have at least one good album from that genre!  Plus, you know, it's really awesome to see someone's dreams come true. 

I'm sure there are other things I should be telling you, but I don't really know what they are at the moment, as my thought process is something like, "Brain mushy.  Need sleep."   But, I have no doubt that things will be back to (ab)normal soon enough.

My Sleep-Deprived Hodgepodge

1. Your favorite chocolate treat?
     If it's chocolate, it's fine by me!  My favorite right now is Ghiradelli's 60% Cacao chocolate chips from the freezer.

2. What more than anything else makes you feel loved?
      If you know me in real life, you know that I am kind of an awkward hugger.  So, hugging's pretty much out.   I don't really know how to answer this.  In this season, I feel most loved when my daddy comes over and takes care of the things I can't or don't know how to do for myself around the house, without whining or complaining about it. 

3. Cherries or blueberries?
      Cherries.  I learned that I really like bing cherries last spring/summer!  I can't wait until we can get good ones around here again!

4. What is the one trait you most want the leader of your country to posess?
     Honesty.  No joke when they say that it's the best policy.

5. Are you a saver or a spender?
     I would love to be a saver, but I still have serious spending tendencies.  I think I'm doing a much better job of finding a balance between the two.

6. If you gave a party for all of your friends would they already know each other?
    Mostly.  Not counting you, blog friends, I only have a few friends (namely those from work, from high school) that wouldn't know most of the people nearest and dearest to me today.  We may very well test this out at my 30th birthday! 

7. Are you interested in antiques?
    Yes.  But I feel I should clarify.  I love campy goodies, unique glassware, cobalt blue stuff, old cameras.  I am not, however, interested in, say,  fine Chippendale tables.  In other words, I like stuff real antiquers would turn up their noses at! 

8. There's not anything remotely romantic about spending Valentine's Day with 1,000 middle school kids.  But, you are guaranteed to come away with several funny stories.  And it beats the heck out of being alone.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Lately, I have been feeling very nostalgic, which is equal parts good and bad.  I'm a packrat, so it's not exactly uncommon for me to run across something that brings up a memory.  But lately, I've had several of those moments in a row.  And that's got me a little worn down, a little more tender than I normally am about such things. 

Honestly, it's not even all romantic relationships that have been on my mind, though they are there, too.  I've just done a lot of thinking about other times and places in my life and how much I miss them.  I don't want to go back, really.  That's not quite my style, the whole "good old days" thing.  I just wish I had some of the sweetest memories in a bottle, so I could take them out and hold them for a little while.  Because while there were painful parts, there were also golden moments that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. 

The problem is I just don't know where to put them all today.  And so that's explains why I am sitting here trying not to cry off my Sunday morning make-up. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just Wondering...

Have any of you ever taken on a project that seemed like a perfectly good idea to your sleep-deprived, but can't seem to go to sleep self, only to look up an hour later and wonder what exactly you were thinking?  Not that I've done anything like that on this particular Saturday morning, in which I was up at 5:00 AM.   I certainly didn't decide that 6:00 AM was the perfect time to rearrange the living room. 

I was just...curious. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kelly's Show Us Your Life: Beauty Tips

I am a woman of few beauty secrets, but I do know a good product when I meet one.  So here are a few of my favorites...

I love big hair!  I wasn't exactly given a choice, because my hair is super thick (not that I am complaining).  My brilliant stylist says that every time she goes to sweep up after I've had a cut, she wonders if she left any hair at all.  Because my hair is heavy, but still somehow fine, I use several products.  Right now, I am using Infusium shampoo and conditioner.  I like it, but I have to change things up quite a bit or my hair seems flat.  Two products that I swear by are Big Sexy Hair's Root Pump Plus and Chi's Pliable Polish.  They keep my hair reasonably bouncy and keep the humidity from taking over. (My hair is annoyingly wavy since I hit my later 20's, as opposed to the stick-straight hair I had as a kid!)  And I swear that I have a love of hairspray that would make Dolly Parton's Truvy (see:  Steel Magnolias) proud!

Make-Up and Skin Care
I haven't ever really gotten into using really expensive department store make-up, mostly because I usually end up overwhelmed.  Sephora is both a religious experience and complete sensory overload for me.  That said, I have been using the Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation recently, and I really like it.  It does seem to help my skin stay moisturized and keep breakouts to a minimum.   I keep my face wash really simple, and use Cetaphil.  This winter I have switched to the Olay Complete Cream Moisturizer and have been pleased with how my skin has done.  I have very dry skin in the winter months, and this winter has been one of the worst.  But I love how my skin looks with this product.

I also love the Freeman's Facial Clay Mask.  I only use it once every couple of weeks, but it always leaves my skin soft and with a nice glow.  (And it's not expensive either!)
Freeman Facial Clay Mask, Avocado & Oatmeal, Purifying, 6 fl oz
For hand and nail care, I swear by OPI polishes (my cabinet looks a little too much like a salon's) and the Just a Minute scrub!  It smells great and it sloughs off all the gross dry skin.  I've used it about once a week this winter and had great results.  I also like the Look Ma, New Hands Lotion, because it's not oily, as it's parafin based.


I think that's probably about all I have to offer, but I can't wait to see what everyone else has to share!

(All images from Google)

Happy Things!

There are a lot of crap things in the world.  There are things in my own life that make me sad.  But it's Friday, and on Friday, you should be happy.  So here's a list of some of the things I am happy about...
  1. Thursday my blog received it's 10,000th hit since June 2010. (Cue the confetti cannons!)  I feel like I should go all Oprah and give something away. ("You get a car!  And you get a car!")   I know there are blogs that get that many hits in a week, some even get that many a day, but the fact that anyone comes by my little blog at all still just amazes me!
  2. My junior high boys play for the State Championship tomorrow afternoon!  Talk about crazy proud!  I can't wait to go be a part of that and hopefully watch them bring home the second state championship trophy this year!
  3. Saturday is an Amber day!  She's going to brave the ballgame with me and then we are going somewhere for dinner!  Bestie day = awesome good fun!
  4. I finally feel better.  In fact, I am almost motivated.  Laundry mountain, look out!
  5. Next week is going to be super busy.  Beta Convention Monday & Tuesday, Wednesday's an early out day, concessions Thursday and Senior Night on Friday.  Insane?  Yes!  But I actually like to be busy.
  6. Spring is coming!  We are supposed to have weather in the 50's this weekend, and maybe even the 60's next week.  And spring means track season, my favorite thing!  The kids and I have already been chatting about it, and I can't wait.
  7. Aside from my yesterday's post about music, I have five more CDs that I am trying to work my way through.  So far, I'm enjoying them immensely.  Discovering new music makes me so very happy!
What about you?  What makes you happy about this week/upcoming weekend?  Let me hear you in the comments!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What I'm Listening To

I hadn't done a music post in a bit and I've been doing a great deal of music shopping lately, thanks to all my iTunes card from Christmas.  So, with no further adieu, here's a glimpse into my ecclectic music files...

"Poison and Wine" - The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow - I cannot get enough of this song.  It's haunting and beautiful all at once.  Though it is a track on their new album, Barton Hallow, I bought the EP version a while back, and haven't had a chance to even listen to the whole album yet.  But I can't wait to.

"Coming Home" - Diddy--Dirty Money & Skylar Grey - Last Train To Paris - I have no idea why I love this song so much, but I do.  Though the two aren't in any way related, it was the song that got me through Homecoming Week.

"Life Is Bad" - Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne - This cut just gives you a strut and makes you feel a little like a badass.  Ok, it may not do that to you but it does it to me.

 "Sort Of" & "Everybody" - Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody - I've been listening to Ingrid Michaelson for a while now, but had never really stopped and listened to these two tracks until I heard them on a TV show and a movie, respectively.  "Sort Of" is about a lingering relationship that you know you need to escape, but you can't quite make yourself do it.  "Tell me what to do to take away the you..." says it all.  "Everybody" is so happy you bounce to it, and you know exactly what I am talking about.  Don't pretend like you don't do it, too.  I know better.

"Taking Chances" - Kate Micucci - EP Phone Home - Kate is an actress/singer who has been on Scrubs and is currently on Raising Hope.  She also sings with her friend, Riki Lindhome, in a group called Garfunkel and Oates.  This EP has some great, if a little weird songs, but I love it.

"Rollerblades" - Eliza Doolittle - Single - I am pretty sure that this was a free download, but it fits my British singer spot at the moment.  It makes me think of spring for some reason, and I can use all of that I can get right now. 

"Needle and Thread" - Matt Duke - Needle and Thread - A boy with a guitar will get me every time.  What more is there to say?

"Esther" - Esterlyn - Mending the Meaning - I know nothing about this band, as the song was just a Genius Recommendation.  But if you have done the Esther Bible study by Beth Moore, I think this song will speak to you.  It probably will even if you haven't.

"Here's To The Meantime" - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - This Is Somewhere - This song is meant to played loud.  Preferable at a man who did you wrong, if you happen to have one lying around.

"Get What You Deserve" - The Derek Trucks Band - Already Free - Same vibe as "Here's To The Meantime."  Great Friday afternoon music.

"How I Love You"  - Rob Laufer - Single - This song is at the end of Ramona and Beezus and it's just the sweetest thing.  It's not necessarily even a romantic love song, I think it plays towards any kind of real love.

"Firework" - Lea Michele - Glee Cast Version - I like Katy Perry alright, but Lea's version blows the original out of the water.  I love that she takes on pop songs without making them sound too classical, despite her proper vocal training.  I love a good belter.

"I Do" - Colbie Callait - Single - Wedding season is coming.  I think this will be receiving quite a bit of play this spring.  It's happy, spunky, and fun!

I could go on and on, but I will stop for now.  Happy listening! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some Great Giveaways!

The first one is over at In This Wonderful Life.  Megan is giving away a $75 store credit to bekima knits!  The knitted goodies are so awesome!  I know a few soon-to-be-born babies who might be getting goodies from there!

Megan has also blogged about a congenital heart defects fundaraiser going on with the same company.  Megan's son, Cohen, died from a CHD so this is very personal to her.  And after reading some of the facts she shared and listening to her tell her story over the last year, it's a cause that should be close to all of us!

Last, but never least, my dear internet friend, Taylor is doing a giveaway for more goodies from The Crafty Pirate!  You should check that out too!

So much giveaway fun from bloggers I love!  I can hardly stand all the adorable goodness!

A Lovin' Spoonful of Hodgepodge

1. What is more important-doing what you love or loving what you do?

      I'm going to take the easy way out and say they are equally important.  I think you have to love what you do to stay committed to it, no matter what you are doing.  But I think that if you are doing what you love, even if it's something difficult, your attitude kind of takes care of itself. 

2. Do you like bleu cheese?

     Nope.  I don't like the smell or the taste.

3. What is the most difficult emotion for you to handle?

      Grief.  It takes me a while to process things, and I tend to want to do it privately, which can be hard to understand sometimes.  I'm rarely openly weepy, so I think it seems like I don't care, which isn't really the case.

4. Fresh flowers or a box of chocolate?

    Can't a girl have both?  I actually love fresh flowers.  I've never had someone do it, but I always thought it would be fun to have someone send me flowers at work.  I think it's an extra sweet surprise when you can show (read: rub in the face of) those you work with how sweet and thoughtful your man is!  Ha!

5. What's a song you love that has the word 'love' in its title? It doesn't have to be a 'love song'.

      "Rhythm of Love" by the Plain White T's.  It's just cute!   But let me offer a few other 'love' songs (some good and some perfectly cheesy), because music makes me super happy!
  • "Stop In The Name Of Love" - The Supremes
  • "Oh, It Is Love" - Hellogoodbye
  • "Love Song" - Sara Bareilles
  • "Your Love Is My Drug" - Kesha (who I do not endorse, but it brings back happy memories of my SIL's bachelorette party)
  • "Somebody To Love" - Glee Cast
  • " That's How Strong My Love Is" - Otis Redding (a personal favorite)
  • "I and Love and You" - The Avett Brothers
  • "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" - Carole King or Amy Winehouse
  • "The One Who Love You The Most" - Brett Dennen
  • "Love and Some Verses" - Iron and Wine
  • "Love" - Matt White
  • "Say Hey (I Love You" - Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • "Gonna Make You Love Me More" - Ryan Adams
  • "Love" - Sugarland

6. Are you the person you wanted to be when you grew up?

     It would probably depend on which year of school you were checking in on me, but in most of the ways, yes.  I figured I would be married by now.  Also performing eight shows a week on Broadway.  Maybe living in a big city.  But in the ways that matter, I would like to think I am at least becoming who I have always hoped to be.

7. Any special Valentine's Day plans?

     Oh, yes!  For Valentine's Day, I am riding on a bus with 30-some of my favorite middle schoolers to the state Junior Beta Convention, at which point we will be joined by several hundred other junior high Betas for our two-day convention.  With the getting up super early and going to bed super late, I will only miss about five hours of the whole day!  (I can't wait.  Whoo.)  I know you are all so jealous and would gladly trade places with me, right?

8.  Since most of my thoughts are random, you would think that this would be the easiest thing for me.  But truth be told, it's stressful to come up with a cute (or ocassionally serious) thought that is both succinct and interesting.  Especially for those of you who are dropping by for the first time!  (Hi, new people!  You should follow me!  I love followers!  Hi, weekly regulars!  You should follow me too!)  Anyway, so for lack of a random thought, here's a random ramble!  (Which is fun because of the alliteration and all...)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PS22 Chorus!

I have developed a little obsession with the PS22 Chorus. You all know how I feel about music anyway, but a bunch of talented kids performing songs that I already love? How could I resist?! Above is my favorite PS22 video, but you should check out their blog (They are on my blog roll) or check YouTube and listen to the hundreds (that's right, Mr. B's been at this a while) of clips available! They are an example of what a caring teacher can do with motivated students!

Monday, February 7, 2011

TV-Induced Shame Spiral

I am not a big fan of reality TV (if you don't count dance competitions).  In fact, I tend to poke fun at people (read: Amber) who get deeply involved in say, Jersey Shore.  I have on more than one occasion mocked the Kardashians and those who "keep up" with them.  I don't watch anything on the Style Network (mostly because I don't have cable).  And until tonight, I had never watched more than five or ten minutes of The Bachelor

I don't really know how it happened.  I think I just ran out of things to watch and turned it on.  Before I knew it, I was screaming at the TV about who should get a rose.  It's insane!  These grown women competing over a man like he's the last one on Earth, scheming and debating, going on these elaborate dates.  I want to hate it.  I feel like I should hate it.  But what I'm finding is that I kind of like it.  And I definitely have strong opinions about it.  For instance, I want Michelle gone.  She's nuts, and while MTV's Real World (before it was just about sleeping around) has shown us that it's important to the narrative to have a complete nutbag in the house, it's annoying.  I love Emily.  She's adorable!  But I think she's almost too good for Reality TV Ken, I mean, Brad.  If loving this show is wrong, I'm not sure I can be right.

See?  This is what I am talking about.  Amber, consider this my official apology.  But this doesn't mean that I won't mock you the next time you get offline to watch Snooki.  Some things are still just wrong...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Super

I have had the worst heartburn/stomach issues today, so much so that I stayed home from church because I had been up since 3:00 AM.  I don't know if it's just what I ate yesterday or what, but I don't really want to have it again.  I'm feeling better now, which is nice because it's Super Bowl Sunday!

I don't really watch much NFL, so obviously I don't really care who wins.  Based solely on the human interest pieces, the QB for the Packers seems like a nice kid.  Steelers have that whole history of excellence thing going for them.  I watch because I like sporting events in general--and because I tear up when they read the Declaration, sing "America, the Beautiful" (which was amazing, Lea Michele!) and the National Anthem (which was a hot mess, Christina!), and during that segment narrated by Michael Douglas.  (Who has had me tearing up ever since the Golden Globes!)  But, to be honest, I'm pretty much watching for the commercials and because the new episode of Glee will be on after the game's over.  And you know I'm not going to miss that!

It looks like it's going to be a pretty quiet week, so I'm sure I will be posting a little more than I have been.  We are supposed to maybe get a little more snow, which I am so over at this point.  Bring on spring!  I'm ready for track season and blooming flowers...oh, and vacation, of course! 

Whoever you are cheering for, I hope your team wins!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thinking Pink and Other Goodies

I sadly had to miss Monday night's Pink Out at our school because I came down with the crud.  But, the great news is that it was a raging success!  Money is still coming in, but the community has raised $5000 to be split between a teacher currently receiving treatment for cancer and a scholarship in memory of the teacher we lost to breast cancer in November.  I am so proud to live in a community that comes together for this kind of thing.  And I'm hearing that plans are already starting for next year's event. 

I'm excited that I had a break from the concession stand last night too.  I was glad to let volleyball have it and head over to meet Amber after work.  We had dinner and did a little shopping (in which I bought everything but the cardigan I originally wanted) and then I came home and spent my last gift card from Christmas onmore books (thanks, Tim & Megan!) on the recommendation of Jen Lancaster!  So, good night!

And this morning, I woke up to snow!  We have about an inch on the ground, but it's covered the trees and just looks beautiful!  The best part is that the streets are clear so, I should still be able to get wherever I need to go today.   Wishing you all a great Super Bowl weekend!

Friday, February 4, 2011

An End Of The Week List

Seven Things I Am Loving Right Now:

  1. Finally feeling better!  The doctor I went to Tuesday was great, gave me exactly what I needed, and I feel like I've actually turned the corner on this sinus crud!  I'm so ready for spring though!
  2. All these people I know having babies (and soon!)!  Everything's cuter on onesies anyway and the array of pink and blue going on around these parts is just crazy!  And so much fun!
  3. Not having to work the concession stand tomorrow night.  Having a Friday night to do whatever I want is about the best thing ever.  Even if I decide to just stay at home!
  4. More basketball!  My junior high boys play at State on Saturday!  For those of you that are counting that means they are the State Champs in baseball, and could be adding basketball too!  Proud doesn't even begin to cover it!
  5. My uncle got a good report this morning from his specialists.  He is still in ICU.  It's still going to be a long road, but today's news beats the heck out of what we were hearing even a couple days ago! (Thank you for your prayers!  Keep 'em coming!)
  6. A productive work environment.  I can't tell you how nice it is to work with professionals who want to do a good job and get things done.   You can't really appreciate how great it is until you have lived through the opposite.  I've said it before, but I love my job!
  7. People who do and say nice things, not because they have to, but because they want to.  Say what you will, but there's nothing random about kindness.  If you commit it, it takes intent.  You never know how you will brighten someone else's day.

And Three Things That Are Making Me Crazy:

  1. People who make assumptions--Chances are, you don't have all the information.  Until you do, reserve your judgments!  (And I'm talking to myself as much as anyone here!)
  2. Working the concession stand---There are no words to adequately explain my disdain for processed nacho cheese, cleaning the giant popcorn popper, and rude customers.  There's a reason my career is not in food service.  (Actually, there are multiple reasons, my sunny disposition is just the first one that comes to mind.)
  3. Playing catch-up--The worst part of having to be out sick is all the work that must be done when I get back.  And I was behind before that. 
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Fun Is A Crown...

...if you can't crown yourself with it?  I had a few free minutes before we crowned the Homecoming Queen.  So, you can of course see what I chose to do.  (Please ignore the unflattering angle of this picture.  It had been a LONG day!  Please give your attention to the shiny, fabulous crown atop my head!)

I do have one really fun story that I can share with you all regarding the festivities.  One of the competitions we have each year is the door decorating competition.  Each class is supposed to exhibit school spirit and the teacher's subject matter with the door and it gets to be a really big deal.  Now, because I organize most of the fun and games during the week, I don't normally do a door.  This was a disappointment to my first hour class, so imagine my surprise when I came in to my room Friday and saw this:

The school's name is in the red block, but isn't that the cutest?  Another teacher helped my 7th graders surprise me and my kids were so excited about it!  It was just about the sweetest thing someone could have done for me in the middle of a crazy day.  Just wanted to share something happy today, because it seems like there just aren't enough happy things to go around.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Would you rather be seen as a person who did their duty or forged their own path?

     I would love to say that I am a forged my own path kind of girl, but in most ways, I'm just not.  I am someone who does their duty, but tries to find ways to add my own unique style.  If that makes any sense at all...

2. This week's Wednesday Hodgepodge happens to fall on Groundhog's Day. In keeping with that theme, if you could have a do-over of any one day out of the last seven, which day would it be and why. If you haven't seen the movie Groundhog Day this question will make absolutely no sense but that's can answer anyway.

     Friday.  Homecoming Day is a ton of work, but it's a lot of fun too.  If I could do it over, I would relax a little more and worry a little less.  It's hard to be in the moment when you are worrying about whatever if supposed to be happening next.

3. Hot cocoa...yay or nay on the marshmallows?
    Mmmmm....Marshmallows!  Especially if I am making my own. 

4. Do you wear makeup every day? What are the top two must haves in your daily makeup routine?

     If I am going out, then yes I do wear makeup everyday.  I don't have to have all the fixings everyday though.  My skin is kind of crappy, so I like to have concealer and Neutrogena foundation, if nothing else.  It's the only foundation that I've found that doesn't make my skin dry or otherwise worse. 

5. Is it more important to you in a relationship to be loved or understood?

    Good luck understanding me.  I don't even always understand me.  I think it would be much better to know that you were loved no matter what.

6. Parsley sage rosemary or thyme... your favorite?

    Would now be a good time to mention that I don't cook?  And aside from parsley being a garnish as well as an ingredient, I would never be able to tell you the difference between them?  Because I wouldn't.

7. What do you do when you feel angry?

     I depends on the situation.  If I am angry/hurt, I will probably cry.  If I am just furious, I will still probably cry and then rant to the nearest available person.  I have a long fuse, but once I lose it about something, you probably don't want to be in my path of destruction.  Eventually, I will calm down and try to find a way to do something with whatever is happening, but that step can take some time.

8. I am sick of being sick.  I am sick of people I love being sick (including my uncle, who is in ICU).  This winter has been full of grossness and disease, and I am ready for it all to dry up and go away!  And we still have a lot of winter left!