Friday, September 30, 2011

Sheena's Bachelorette Party

It's Friday which, of course, means I am just now writing about things that happened last weekend.  This week was brutal, ya'll.  And last night, I accidentally stubbed my toe and took off half a toe nail.  And I don't mean that in a dramatic way, but in a "that's totally what happened and I had to man up and deal with it even though blood makes me queasy, especially my own" kind of way.  But on to the story...

Years ago when Crys got married, we knew we wanted to celebrate the end of her single days in a creative way, but also knew that a pub crawl wasn't really our style.  So, we were challenged to come up with a party that was both classy and naughty, but mostly a lot of fun.  I wish the photos were digital or I could actually walk into my storage room to share them, but let's just say there was a clothesline with tacky underwear and it was a very successful party!  We've thrown a couple other parties over the years (you haven't lived until you have thrown a Christmas-themed bachelorette!), but we knew Sheena's would have to be something special...maybe even super!

 We went with a Wonder Woman theme and asked guests to bring items to help Sheena become a Wonder Wife.  (And left it completely open to interpretation, so it was hilarious!)  Of course, there were games to be played too, like Guess Who Said It?
 We even had a very well-behaved furry guest in Crystal's Barkie.  He didn't growl once!
 Some of the fabulous ladies at the party
 Some of the gifts were really funny...
 ...but required a little explanation. 
 Sheena was a little scared to get what she had given over the years...rightfully so.

 May I present to you the best apron ever!!

We had a fabulous day and I was so glad that all of these wonderful women could come out to celebrate our super friend!  (and just wait until you all see the food!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sugar-Induced Thursday List

I have a couple of posts I need to do about Sheena's Bachelorette Party and Casey's fabulous cooking at said party, but I haven't uploaded the pictures yet because I am a slacker.  So, here we are on Thursday, with a random list of announcements.
  • My amazing mother surprised me at work today with Larry's cookies to celebrate my birthday!  (Which is actually Saturday, but I won't be here tomorrow because I took the day off.)  Anyway, she left a box by my door and put a big box in the teacher's lounge, and I was so happy because there's nothing better than treats on your birthday!  (And it made the celebration that much longer!)
  • I have to go renew my license today after school.  I am not excited about this because I love my current picture and am sad I am going to lose it, and who really gets excited about going to the DMV?  Anyway, the ladies at this particular one aren't so bad, so I am hoping for a quick and easy process with no driving tests.
  • I am so excited about this weekend I can hardly stand it.  I will be the first to admit that I love attention, and having three whole days of birthday festivities is right up my alley.
  • I have not seen Amber in almost two weeks.  I cannot remember the last time this happened, but will remedy the situation on Friday night.  We will be the girls talking at speeds that give Lorelai and Rory a run for their money in an effort to catch up and laughing at things no one else thinks are funny.  That's just how we roll.
  • Have I mentioned that I am getting my hair done on Tuesday?  Because it can't come soon enough.  My hair grows not just in length but in volume and I haven't had it cut since the spring.  I still not going to cut length until after the wedding, but the color and volume are about to change!  Hallelujah!  Thanks be to Jennifer!
  • I realize that I am rambling, but that's what happens when I am overexcited.  Feel free to stop reading if it bothers you.  I will totally understand.
  • One of my first thoughts this morning:  "Too bad champagne is not considered an appropriate weekday breakfast food."  (It might be time to go to the store again.)
  • Speaking of, my oven is broken.  The element has gone out, which in my stove is a relatively cheap repair, but it means that I am now limited to things I can cook in the stove or microwave until it's fixed.  Which made me really sad when I wanted my CPK barbeque chicken pizza last night.
  • I asked my parents for a new storm door for my birthday.  Is this a sign I really am getting old?
  • I've lost almost four and a half pounds this week.  Wish I knew how because then I could repeat it.
Got any random thoughts on this Thursday?  Feel free to share them in the comments!  (Comments make my day!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/28

1. It is officially fall here in North America...I realize not everyone who participates in the Hodgepodge lives in North America but if you do, what's your favorite memory of Summer 2011? If you're not in North America, what's your favorite memory of the season just ending on your side of the world?

I think my favorite summer memory happened early in the summer.   Tara was home, had baby Macy and we got to spend a couple of weeks just spoiling her and hanging out!  I miss them terribly and can't wait until we can go out to visit next summer!

2. Your favorite nut? You know I mean the edible kind, right?

Almonds.  I put them in the freezer and try to grab them instead of junk food!  Some days they are just something I move to get to the ice cream, but still.  It's worth a shot!

3. What activity puts your sense of balance to the test?

All of them.  I am not terribly coordinated.  But I try really hard!  I did really like this Pilates video that I have that has all kinds of strength building and stretching, but I haven't done it in a long while.

4. How would you describe your sense of humor?

I have a warped sense of humor.  I find things funny that no one else really does.  Maybe it's the hanging out with middle schoolers all day.  I tend to also laugh at times that are totally inappropriate.  I love to laugh, though my laugh is unnecessarily loud!

5. September 28th is National Ask a Stupid Question Day...what's your stupid question?

There are no stupid questions, until you are sitting in a meeting just about to get out and someone asks about something that's been covered fifteen times.  Then, I want to throw a shoe.

6. Roller skates~hula hoop~jump rope...which activity would you most enjoy? Yes, you have to choose.

I can't hula hoop, something about isolating my hips.  And I can jump rope, but not well.  So I am going to go with roller skating, which I will be trying again for the first time in years with my students in a couple weeks.

7. What's your most sentimental possession?

I don't get really sentimental about things.  But if I were to pick, it would be my blanket from a lady that i used to go to church with named Evelyn.  When she made this blanket for me, it was truly an act of love.  She was in her early 90s at the time, with arthritic fingers and lungs that disliked the yarn tufts.  But, because she was so wonderul and pure of heart, she wanted to make sure that I had a blanket like the other girls did.  She passed away a while back, but that blanket will always be a sweet memory of her love. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

For my birthday, I am taking the day off Friday!  I am going shopping and getting pedis with Sheena and meeting Amber for dinner and that's not even my real birthday celebration!  That will all take place over the weekend!  I'm going to make my 30th last as long as possible!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two On Tuesday: Shows I Miss

2 on Tuesday

This week's question is: 

What two television shows that have gone off the air do you miss?

Because I have an unnatural love for television, this question is blissfully easy.  The first one is probably not a surprise--Gilmore Girls.  I miss the adventures of Lorelai, Rory and the crazy Stars Hollow crew more than I can say.  (Even the uneven 6th and 7th seasons.)  There's just nothing on TV that is that smart, heartfelt and creative.  Not to mention funny.  My favorite episodes are "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving" from Season 3, Episode 9 and "Jews and Chinese Food" from Season 5, Episode 15 (I think?).   It's my life goal to get other people addicted to them, because I have all the seasons on DVD and love to share.

Designing Women is easily my second favorite.  Not those crappy episodes towards the end, but those four solid seasons with the four original women.  I always wanted to be Julia, with her rapid-fire speeches, grace and class.  But I am totally a Suzanne, with a little bit of Charlene.  Which is just fine, too.  My favorite episode is not "The Beauty Contest" from Season1, which features Julia's "...the night the lights went out in Geor-gia" speech.  My favorite is "Dash Goff, The Writer" from Season 2.   Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, and Delta Burke made a foursome that is just unmatched. 

I can't wait to see what everyone else has to say!  Tuesday's become my favorite day of the week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

What I Want For My Birthday

I may have mentioned it once or twice, but my birthday is coming up.  I wax on about wanting to be less materialistic, and I really, really want to be.  But, at the same time, I really like opening birthday presents.  Chalk it up to women being complicated creatures, I suppose.  Either way, there are a few things I would really like for my birthday...
  • Free reign at my favorite antique store, Annie Laurie's---I have had myself on a self-imposed exile most of the summer in an attempt to save money, but I am really jonesing for a spree.  Laurie's always got the best stuff and she's a fun person on top of this.  (You can check out their blog in the sidebar.)
  • The music on my iTunes wish list--All of it.  Which I should probably mention was over $400 the last time I checked.  (We're gonna need a bigger iPod...)
  • A fairy housekeeper---Not joking about my inability to keep my house clean, people.
  • At least three more hours of sleep a night---I don't think this needs any explanation.  Seriously, there are not enough hours in a day.
  • The ability to eat all of Casey's awesome food and not gain any weight---just wait until later this week when I show you all the shower food, people.  You are going to die.  (I felt like I might actually die.)
  • Something done with this hair---I've been growing it out for Sheena's wedding, but it's just about to do me in.  Luckily, this wish I am fulfilling myself, but not until next Tuesday.
  • A classic piece of jewelry, with preference to diamonds--I had always thought that by the time I turned 30, I would have my stuff together and even if I hadn't gotten married, I would buy myself something nice.  But I haven't socked away any extra money towards this cause, so I guess I will just have to deal.  There are worse things in the world.
But more than anything else, I want to have a great weekend filled with all the people I love and adore.  It's cliche, but that really is the best possible gift.

Prayer Monday - 9/26

I had the best weekend.  (Seriously, so much fun!)  But, unfortunately, the weekend is over and it's time to be back at work molding the minds of America or something of that nature.  And despite my ridiculously long nap yesterday, I am so tired.  Good news is it's my birthday week, which means I should be able to muster enough excitement to carry me through!

Now, what was I doing...oh yeah, trying to formulate this into something that looks like a Prayer Monday post.  Sheena's hubby-to-be left for Ohio yesterday.  I've said a million times that this is the right thing, but I am not enjoying all of this change actually coming to pass.  Please be with Ronnie as he adjusts to a new work environment and a new city.  And pray for Sheena as she enters the home stretch of this whole wedding/moving thing.  It's coming so much faster than we realize.

I would also ask that you continue to pray for the situation I mentioned last week.  I would love to see good things come from this rough situation, and am praying that God gives an opening to do that.  I am also believing that God is going to deliver a miracle to a dear friend of mine, and I ask for your prayers for her and her family in the waiting.

I'm still looking for a new church family, too.  I will be testing more options out soon, and am praying for confirmation from God for the right one.  I want nothing more than to be where He wants me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ladies, Prepare Yourself....

Assuming that there are any gentlemen who consistently read this blog, you might just want to skip this post.  But, ladies, I've got two words for you---Ryan Gosling. 

This article says the rest of it.  Just needed to share.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kelly's Show Us Your Life: Where I Shop

Shopping as a plus-size woman is tricky.  Finding clothes that comfortably fit is like finding the Holy Grail.  Maybe easier.  But there are a few places that work for me.

I'm a fan of Lane Bryant.  They have great underwear and bras, and the clothes are fabulous.  It's a little more expensive, but they offer lots of incentives, sometimes even more if you have the store credit card.  Sometimes, I have trouble with their shirts that are more fitted because my fluffiness is not exactly reflected in my cup size, but otherwise I can usually find classic pieces that I can wear more than one season.  (Which pays off in the end.) 

Recently, I also discovered Tommy Hilfiger's plus size line.  Again, expensive, but if you can wait until they go on sale, totally worth it.  I like the Hope Boot Cut Jeans, and I have a dress that I always get compliments on (and managed to snag for half price at the end of the season at Macy's!).  Otherwise, I am not really a label girl.  It's definitely more about fit.  (Though I do have a thing for Coach purses...)

My other go-to places are Old Navy, Kohl's, Target, and Maurices.  These are mainly places that I get staples, like tanks and tees because their quality isn't always excellent, but I sometimes will score a deal on something else.  Last winter, I got a beautiful coat at Old Navy at 50% off and I am already looking forward to wearing this winter.  I wish that I had a few cute boutiques or something special to share with you here, but my area is a little more rural, so that's difficult.  Also, ordering clothes online is an issue because I have to try everything on, and sending or taking stuff back can be a huge hassle.Getting fancier things usually requires a shopping trip to the "big city," which probably only happens once a year or so.  Maybe some of you out there in the blog world will give me a little inspiration for my next trip!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sesame Glee

This combines two of my favorite things--Sesame Street and Glee!  Couldn't help but be completely cracked up by it!

First World Problems

I'm trying very hard to learn to live my life in perspective.  Scratch that, I would like to believe that I am trying very hard, but let's be honest.  Some days are definitely better than others.  As I was getting ready this morning, frustrated from too little sleep and not enough get up and go, I have been trying to remember that my problems are first world problems. 
  • I had to work late last night, not making shoes or in a textile mill, but selling concessions at two baseball games, in the beautiful weather, with some willing volunteers who stepped in when I was short-handed. 
  • I didn't get enough time sleeping in my nice, warm bed.
  • I don't like the new Facebook layout and not being able to see the information I want to see immediately the way I want to see it with my high-speed internet connection.
  • I had to scarf down my breakfast while washing dishes--indoors, using clean water.
  • I couldn't decide what I wanted to wear out of a plethora of choices.
I could list a lot more, but you get the point.  I don't like it when plans change, when something unexpected and/or unpleasant comes up, but who does?  I have more than I need of just about everything.  I am so blessed.  I just need to focus on that instead of what grates my nerves.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/21

1. Do you like chili? Red or white? Beans or no beans? Spice or no spice? Toppings?

    Red.  With beans.  A little spice.  Cheese, sour cream, green onions, oyster crackers.  With preference to my dad's super-secret recipe.

2. Red~Orange~Gold...your favorite fall color?

    I love them all, but I would have to say red.  I love how it stands out against the fading green of fall.

3. Who did you idolize when you were growing up?

     Because I was in theater from the time I was seven, I always wanted to be the "big girls" who got the lead roles.  To this day, I can sing the lead female vocals for all of those shows from all the time I spent dreaming of being the star. 

4. When was the last time you did something 'arts and craftsy'? Share please.

     I couldn't really begin to tell you.  I guess I helped decorate for Sheena's shower, so that's kind of like that.  Outside of photography, I am just not especially crafty.

5. What's a place that makes you really nervous?

     The DMV, which is kind of terrible considering that I need to go there and renew my license.  I'm always afraid that I am not going to have all the proper information and they are going to not let me drive.  Which is kind of nuts, until you consider what a checkered driving past I have.

6. Horse back riding...yay or nay (neigh?)

     I have a healthy respect for horses.  However, I don't really have any desire to ride one.  A friend of mine used to try to convince me to ride his horse, Gus, who was the sweetest, best natured horse, but I just couldn't do it.  I have been before, years ago, on a family vacation.  It's just not something I want to do all the time.

7. What is your favorite cliche?

     This question is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  I mean, it's always the same song and dance with cliches.  But I guess birds of a feather flock together, so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  After all, you can't get blood from a turnip.  (See what I did there?)

8.  My random thought:

    The next five weekends are so full of excitement around these parts!  There's Sheena's bachelorette party, my 30th birthday, a four-day weekend, Sheena and Ronnie's wedding, and Jaime and Zika's wedding!  I won't know what to do with myself when life goes back to normal!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2 on Tuesday: Fall Shows (Because I Know Nothing About Cleaning)

2 on Tuesday

This week's topic fits perfectly into something I was already planning to blog about (way to go, Andrea!).  We've finally reached one of my favorite weeks of the year--TV Premiere Week!  Now, I know some people want to be all "TV rots your mind" and whatnot, and if you believe that then good for you.  You probably like roughing it in the wilderness and eating kelp too.  To each his own.

I, on the other hand, love TV and was raised in house that loved (loves) TV.  I have watched more hours of television with my parents over the years than I can count, and it's still one of my favorite things to do.  And premiere week gives us so much to talk about--what new shows look good, what returning shows have new characters or twists!  It's like Christmas morning every day for the whole week!

What two shows am I look forward to the most?  That's a tough pick.  First pick would probably still go to Glee.  The second season was uneven at best, but I am encouraged by the new energy the cast and writers seem to have, and the music and clips previews I've seen look great.  I'm really hoping that the third season brings us back to the glory of the first one.


The second show I am most excited about premiered last night, actually.  I am a huge fan of The Sing-Off.  This is a competition that celebrates talent and creativity and frequently leaves me speechless. (Plus, I love the judges--hello, Sara Bareilles!)  The first episode was great (loved Delilah and the Yellow Jackets), and I can't wait to see what's next! 

There are lots of other shows I am excited about:  The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, Raising Hope, Prime Suspect.  And I'm sure I'm leaving some off.  (Like I said, TV's kind of a big deal!)  Can't wait to read about what everyone else is watching!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prayer Monday - 9/19

I've written before (most every week, in fact) about this crazy season of change everyone in my life seems to be going through.  Change is difficult and beautiful, scary and emboldening.  I'm excited to see what God is doing, and I look forward to what other blessings may come.  I have to admit though, it's nice that things seem to be settling a bit in the life upheaval department.

Crys spoke about how this is her brother's last week here before he leaves for his new job.  I ask for prayers him and for Sheena as they deal with being apart until the wedding.  God has provided for them thus far, and I believe He will continue to.  In the same vein, they would like to move before the October 7th date they have been given, so pray for that too, if you would.

I have a special prayer request that I can't give you much information about for several different reasons, but I ask that you would pray for this situation and that God will show me the way I can best be a light of His love in it.

Amber starts a new job in a new city in a new apartment and I don't think she would mind some prayers too.

Please remember that this is an open group and we would love nothing more than to lift any requests that you might have.  You can link up over at Crystal's blog by clicking the button at the top of this post, or if you don't want to post, you can always leave a request in the comments here and I promise to pray with you. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This One's For The Fluffy Girls...

Since childhood, I've loved awards shows and that's probably a little weird.  I don't know many fifth graders who were beside themselves because they couldn't stay up all night to watch the Oscars.  (Don't worry, my dad did and still does from time to time tape them for me!)  The dresses, all the glamour, the tearful speeches--I can't remember a time when I wasn't in love with them.  And speaking of people I love, there's the beautiful, talented, and terribly underrated Melissa McCarthy.

Well, now she can mark underrated off the list and replace it with Primetime Emmy winner!  The hilarious women who were also nominated in the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series all stormed the stage pageant style, holding hands and hugging each other.  I don't think it was possible to script the moment when they said Melissa's name with any more perfection, though.  The look on her face said it all.  She's been stealing scenes since Gilmore Girls, chewed the scenery in Bridesmaids with her comedic genius, and while I haven't seen Mike & Molly (the show she was nominated for) because I don't have cable and can't get the local CBS affiliate on my TV, they couldn't have picked a more deserving actress.

I love her because she is who she is.  She's not a cookie cutter actress, and she uses that to her advantage.  And while I love every single actress in her category, I needed a victory for the fluffy girls tonight.  Her speech made me cry not just because of what she said, but because I get where she's coming from.  My friend, Nikki, said it best:  "So happy a fluffy girl won an Emmy."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kelly's Show Us Your Life: Favorite Bible Studies

I have been lucky enough to have a friend with a calling for facilitating (she hates the idea of calling it leading or teaching) Women's Bible Studies over the years.  Crys has such a heart for this ministry, and that we won't be having a study together again soon is only one of the things that makes me sad about this season of change we find ourselves in. 

We have done many amazing studies together, and every time I think "That was my favorite one!"  But, let's narrow it down a little.  Though I've enjoyed the variety, my favorite studies are usually Beth Moore's.  I will be the first one to say that I am less than stellar about getting to all of the homework, but I have loved every minute of rich small group discussion and, of course, Beth's video lessons.  Our last study together was David:  Seeking a Heart Like His, which was wonderful, but was it my favorite?   Other standouts were The Patriarchs, Stepping Up and Living Beyond Yourself.  I learned so much from each of them, but I think if I were to pick my favorite, it would have to be EstherEsther spoke to me in a way that none of the others really have.  I don't know it was just the power of the story, or where I was at that time in my life, but the idea of "such a time as this" just blessed my heart.  It was a story that I knew (thank you, VeggieTales) but I didn't really get it until I studied it.  Which I suppose was kind of the point.

If you are visiting for the first time, you've probably missed me talking about how I am on the search for a new church family.  One of the things I want most to find are a group of women as godly and wonderful as the women I've studied with over the past few years.  I have learned so much from those women, and while most of them will remain in my life as dear friends, I want to find a church where I have a place to both learn and serve, and I believe that I will.  God has a plan for me.  Perhaps it's even for such a time as this...

I can't wait to hear what everyone else has been studying or using for devotions!

Friday Favorite: The Men I Forgot

I kind of did Tuesday's post in a hurry, and apparently, I didn't fully consider my options.  I mean, it's not like a I did a bad job...

But I think that with a little more thought, I could have come up with a few more candidates.  For instance, some of you mentioned Ryan Reynolds...

Or what about Patrick Dempsey?  I agree with this article when it says that he's the posterboy for growing into your looks.  Who'd have thought the guy from Can't Buy Me Love would have women calling him McDreamy a few years down the road?

And on the same show, there's the delectible Eric Dane.  My life has never been the same since that scene where he pops out of Addison's shower in nothing but a towel... In recent seasons, they even added a couple other reasons to watch.  Jesse Williams has the most beautiful eyes (not to mention other parts), and Kevin McKidd's real accent (he's Scottish) makes me melt. 

Even though it's not on the air anymore (sadness!), Friday Night Lights had a few exceptional candidates too.  I've had a crush on Kyle Chandler all the way back to Homefront, which was a short-lived drama when I was a kid.  (Early Edition, too!)  But no man has ever said so much by saying so little as Coach Taylor.

And speaking of Taylors, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Taylor Kitsch, who played Tim Riggins.  Oh my...

I could go on and on (Chace Crawford or Ed Westwick, anyone?) but I want to hear your celebrity crush!  Pop down to the comments and let me hear who your Friday favorite is!  And you don't have to keep it to actors!  Musicians, athletes, etc. are all fair game! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This was the kind of morning that if there was anything in the flask in my purse, it would have been drained by 7:15.  Some people have issues with Mondays.  My problems have always been with Thursdays.  And this Thursday was a doosy.  I will now air my list of Thursday Grievances:

  • I got dressed at least three times this morning.  I still ended up wearing jeans to work, which I was trying to avoid, and a shirt that is not nearly warm enough for the sudden change in weather.  I don't know where all my clothes have gone, but I think Mt. Laundry might know.  On top of this, I am generally disliking most things in my wardrobe, including shoes.  (The ones I have on today are soooo ugly, but at least they are comfortable.)'
  • And I'm really tired of being fat.  I get started on doing something and then lose my momentum because I don't have anyone to make me not eat that bowl of ice cream or box of Milk Duds.  I'm a stress eater, a celebratory eater, and oh yeah, it's not like smoking, you have to have to eat to live too.  I don't exercise like I should either because there's just not enough hours in the day and I'm exhausted after a full day of teaching.  But I'm ashamed of how I look.
  • I quite possibly have the stinkiest cat ever.  I change her box all the time, but she seems to be trying to see how gross she can make things.  I don't want to be the stinky cat lady, and I'm really paranoid about this.
  • My spring-loaded kitchen window is broken.  The fluorescent light in the kitchen is out.  My vacuum makes a weird burning smell.  I have no idea how to fix any of these things, and feel bad about asking my dad to do it because he already looks after his own house and my grandmother's.  Where's a handy knight-with-shiny-toolbelt when you need him?  (cue "I Need A Hero")
  • Speaking of house issues, my house really needs a good top to bottom cleaning.  But when I get home in the evenings I am so tired I don't even want to think about it.  And my weekends are packed full of all the things that I don't get a chance to do during the week.  So, could I order a cleaning fairy, too?
I'm just overwhelmed.  And I don't really know what to do about it other than cry, which doesn't seem like the most productive choice.  I just feel like I'm losing it today, and I don't know how to keep it together.  Does anyone else get what I am saying?  Is it normal to feel like this?

Sheena's Bridal Shower

 We kicked off wedding season on Sunday with Sheena's bridal shower.  Well, I guess it was technically this guy's too, but he's taking one of my girls to the distant land of Ohio.  (Okay, it's not really his fault that's where God is sending them, but still...)
 The ladies from church did most of the decorating, but here's what was at each place setting.  The envelope to collect a piece of advice and to get thank you note addresses, a chocolate and a fork for cake.  All color coodinated, of cours.
 Here's a lousy picture of the shower favor.  It was simple, but absolutely adorable!  And a very big hit with the guests!
(Of which there were many!)
 There were so many presents!  Which will come in handy, since this couple have found an apartment this week.  All the prayers must have worked!
It was fun to visit with the crowd during the opening of the presents, including these three fabulous women-- Megan, Amber, and Casey!
It was a great day!  I'm not ready for Sheena to make the big move, but I am so excited that they are finally going to get to start their "happily ever after!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/14

1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year?

      At the first sign of a cold, I whine.  But it should be stated that because I live in the middle of farming country and I have intense allergies, I almost always have some symptom of a cold.  I do believe that I will be getting a flu shot, as much as I hate needles, because of what happened with Uncle James last flu season.  I get that that was a fluke thing, but I don't really think I want to take any chances.

2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear?

     Sometimes, you just have to look Fear straight in the eye, square up, and kick him in the junk!  More seriously, I tend to do a lot of repeating of Psalm 27:1-3 and try to remember that if God is for us, what do we have to fear?

3. Share two good things about your life right now.

    1) I am in relatively good health.  I try to never take that for granted.   2) Everyone in my life seems to be heading in a good direction, after months of wondering what in the world is going on.

4. A hot fall fashion trend in 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?

    Mostly it doesn't.  I do like a good shift dress and I love bold prints, but overall, I don't pay much attention to what is hot.  The beauty of living so far away from any real fashion mecca is that it's hard to tell what's the next hot thing, and mostly no one cares.  I dress in what is comfortable and appealing to me.

5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult?

     My mom tried to get me to join the Brownies when I was little and I cried and begged her not to make me.  I have great respect for the people who choose that, but even at five I knew that scouting and camping wasn't my bag.

6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor?

    Apple all the way!  I don't like pumpkin at all and am indifferent about the other two.  But my grandma's homemade apple crumb pies--there's something I feel passionately about!

7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher?

      Patience, common sense, integrity, compassion, a sense of humor, theatericality, and did I mention patience?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

    I was really worried about not feeling grown-up enough to be turning 30.  I mean, I don't have anything figured out.  I am a terrible housekeeper.  I forget to water my plants.  Then, I read this article and all of the comments that went with it, and I felt a lot better about where I'm heading.  At the least, a little closer to this side of normal.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2 On Tuesday: Deserted Island

This may be the week of memes.  Normally, I love talking to (at) you about the things going on in my life, but I still don't feel well, and I just don't have a great deal to say about much of anything.  Thankfully, Andrea had a great question for us today....

2 on Tuesday

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what two items would you wish to have with you? (I know you’ll have more than two. I would have one million. It’s ok if you share more than two.)

I'm what some might call high maintenance.  The rest would probably just call a spade a spade and say needy.  Either way, this deserted island thing is going to require some packing.

Let's just assume that I had my beach gear on the plane and it washed up next to me, so sunscreen, towels, one of those umbrellas...all there.  And my Burt's Bees, of which I have one in all of my purses, my makeup bag and usually a pants pocket.

Of course, I will also need someone to to (I'm a family-friendly blog after all...tee hee).  Andrea stole my first-round pick of Ryan Gosling, and since she's hosting I guess I won't try to come up with a scenario where poor Ryan's rescue plan crashes, finding him on my island.  My second-round pick would be any one of the following three:  Chris Evans ("Well, hello, Captain America.  Fancy meeting you here."),  Justin Timberlake (he can sing, he can dance, he's adorable), and Stanley Tucci (He's my "old man crush."  Shut up.).

If I'm traveling, chances are I would also have my bestie, Amber, with me, though we would need separate huts so we don't get all stabby.  And besides, Chris/Justin/Stanley and I will need our alone time.

A few good hair ties and my iPod (and charger) and I would be good to go.  Well, good enough.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Prayer Monday - 9/12

This is going to be short because I am sick (like took a sick day from work kind of sick).  But I really want to ask for your prayers for Sheena and her Precious this week as they go to look for a place to live in their new city.  I know that God is going to continue to provide for them.  I also wouldn't mind a few prayers for the rest of us, as it became so real yesterday after her bridal shower that this is really happening, no matter how hard we (I) might try to ignore it and pretend it's not.

Still trying to figure out what's next when it comes to a church home.  God's made it clear that it's time to move on, but I still don't have a lot of anwers as to what is next. 

Even if I don't get a chance to comment, I want each of you to know that I am praying for you ladies as well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I'll be the first to admit that I have actually been avoiding all of the anniversary coverage.  I was keenly aware of the first reason--having all of my family flying home from my cousin's Colorado wedding today.  But the other reason didn't occur to me until this morning, and it's probably the bigger reason.  I didn't want to remember how I felt that day--the sadness and the fear.  I didn't want to start the tears that may not stop.  I have no trouble remembering.  It's the feeling that I can't always take.  But today, like so many days, is not about me.

May God grant peace to families whose lives were changed forever on this day.  May God bless the innocents and heroes who went on to their Heavenly reward, and those who survived to tell their stories of that day ten years ago.  May God use this day to remind our leaders of the spirit of unity of those days after.  May God have mercy on us all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Somewhere, Junior High Me Is Smiling

I don't know if it's growing up in a house with teachers, or just something intrinsic, but have always loved to read.  But of all the books I read, the ones I read in my pre-teen and teen years tend to bring back the most memories.  I've been batting around this post for a while, and then I read this article on my new favorite site, HelloGiggles.

The book series that I fell in love with was Ann M. Martin's The Babysitters Club books.  I had a whole book shelf of them.  The ones I read looked like this:

 I always wanted to be Stacey, but I was totally Mary Ann.  Apparently, now you can read these "classics" in a graphic novel form that looks like this:
Next, it was the ultimate instructor in how to survive being a teenage girl, Judy Blume.  I have read her books over and over, and still do on occasion.  Those books shaped the lives of so many girls my age.  Several years ago, one of the boys in my class picked up Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret. and was half way through before he realized what it was about.  He asked, "Ms. M, did you know this was a girl book?" and I informed him that no, it was THE girl book.

I read a million others.  I recently cracked one of my classes up by reading an extensive list of Lurlene McDaniel books.  I could never really get past the titles, but I know a lot of other girls read them.

In my literature class right now, we are reading The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson series), and I have never seen a group of kids love a book so much!  They beg me to read it, and it kills me to limit them to just one chapter a day!  Rick Riordan knows how to capture a wonderful tale, mixing Greek myths with a current and funny teen tale. 

So, on this Friday, share with the class.  What were your favorite young adult books?  Or your kids' favorites?  I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Me vs. The Morning

DISCLAIMER:  I'm in the mood to whine a little.  If this bothers you, check back tomorrow.  I'm sure I will have moved on to something else.

This week is the week that teacher's dread, at least the ones in my morning duty week.  Why is it that getting up just 30 minutes earlier than normal is so taxing to my brain?  But it is.  It's like suddenly, I don't know how to dress myself, my hair won't work (dying it this weekend was not one of my finer ideas, even though I don't hate the color and growing it out is killing me), and I can't get anything together in a timely matter.  I have been able to get out the door on time, but I'm not at all sure how that happens.

Once I get to work, everything is generally fine.  Most of my days go by in a huge blur.  The final bell rings and I am all "What just happened here?"  I'm not teaching Health anymore, so my schedule is different, but still a constant rotation of sweet (but needy) middle schoolers.  When I get home at the end of the day, I don't want to talk to anyone or do anything at all for at least half an hour.  No noise, no nothing.  I've said it before and I will say it again, I don't know how you moms do it, and you moms that homeschool (looking at you, Taylor)--forget it!

At least there's only two days left, right?  (Then I can find something else to whine about.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 9/7

1. What is one piece of advice you would give a 'just turning' 21- year old adult?

      "You will have no clue what you are doing for most of your twenties.  No worries, that only makes you perfectly normal."  

2. Besides cooler weather (or warmer weather, depending on your hemisphere) what is one thing you are looking forward to this fall?

       MY 30TH BIRTHDAY!  Hands down!  I still have no clue what I am doing to celebrate, but I'm still way too excited for it to still be weeks away!

3. What sound lulls you to sleep?

      Lauren Graham playing Lorelai Gilmore.  I can't sleep without the TV, and nothing makes me happier than Gilmore Girls.  (except for maybe cheap wine and/or bread pudding in bourbon sauce from BHG!)

4. September is National Preparedness Month...does your family have an emergency 'kit' and/or disaster plan in place?

     This is a really touchy subject for me right now as most of my family will be flying to a wedding over the weekend (which, of course, is also the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11).  I do have flashlights, water, etc. in case of an emergency, but just talking about it makes me panic a little so, let's just not.

5. How has your blog changed since you started blogging? Or has it?

     Though I started out on a pretty honest note, I think I have learned so much since I started this blog.  I have met so many amazing people, and continue to do so every single day.  I can remember having 10 followers and being so excited (and most of them were my real-life friends) and now I have 51.  I will never understand why people want to read what I have to say, but I'm thrilled that they do.

6. What's something you've recently learned to do on the computer?

      I recently learned that when it comes to Windows 7, the click of one button can make all the difference.  If I'd known it before I tried a thousand other things, I would still have some semblence of sanity.  (ok, probably not...)

7. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

    Funny you should ask, Joyce.  I have been looking at the wedding pictures of a guy I went to high school with and his blushing bride, and all I have been able to think is how happy and in love they are.  I haven't talked to this guy in almost 10 years, but seeing that picture, there's just no question how things are going for him.  Words are overrated anyway.  (Which is hilarious, consider that I spend hours putting words into the blogosphere!)

8. Insert your own random here.

    I'm trying not to complain.  So I will just be rocking over there in the corner if anyone needs me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two On Tuesday!

Even though I am a little late to the party, I'm linking up with My Chihuahua Bites! for some Tuesday fun (and after the Tuesday I've had, I could totally use it!)

This week's two is my two favorite things about fall, which is almost too easy!

#1 - My Birthday! 

This year I turn the big 3-0 and I am not at all freaked out!  In fact, I'm excited about what a whole new decade is going to bring.  I'd always rather see another year come and go than not see another year at all.  I think my thirties are going to be the best decade yet!

#2 - The Unbelievable Fall Weather

Where I live, we usually have two distinct seasons (summer and winter) and a couple of good weeks that look like fall and spring.  But after a few weeks in the 90s, I am loving the 70s.  It just makes me want to run through the fields and roll in the grass, neither of which I would actually do because my people don't run and grass makes me sneeze!

Can't wait to see what everyone else has to say!

Labor Day Weekend Recap

This weekend was enjoyable, but decidely low key, which was just what the doctor ordered.  However, that many not make for the world's most interesting blog post.  Sorry, people.  Them's the breaks...

On Thursday evening, my grandma called to see if I wanted to go to a family wedding with her.  I know I've mentioned it before, but that side of the family is kind of huge, so there always seems to be some sort of event happening.  Saturday was the last of the red hot days in these parts, and the wedding was outside (but thankfully in the early evening) and even then, I was sweating into my Spanx after a few short minutes.  The wedding was beautiful (at the same venue where Sheena will be married next month), and it was fun to attend a wedding of one of my students (the groom is both a distant cousin and a member of my first class of 8th graders). However, due to the heat (in the mid 90s), Grandma and I skipped the reception and had a delicious dinner at BHG.  (My second visit this week!)

That brings us to Sunday.  Amber and I held the First Annual Labor Day Wine and Cheese Extravaganza and Movie Night.  (She'd never seen When Harry Met Sally.)  A trip to the grocery store and some food prep and we were ready to roll.  Let's take a look into the festivities: 

 We made a recipe from Casey's blog, and served it on the fancy china.

 We also discovered these bagel chips, which very well may have changed my life.

It's always good to have a professional in the kitchen.  Note her use of the oven mit as a serving tool. 

 Butters decided she wanted a toasted ravoli too.  Here she is mid sneak.  Don't worry, she didn't eat it.  She just wanted to play with it a little.

After movies, wine, and a lot of laughter, we called it a night.  In the morning, we got up entirely too early and watched the train wreck that is Dance Moms.  I didn't want to watch, but I couldn't turn away.  I'm not trying to judge these moms choice, (and I know very little about the dance world) but I can't believe that anyone would pay for the kind of abuse that dance teacher can dish out.  I don't care how good she is. 

I left and headed home via the local grocery store because I was out of everything, but look how beautiful my drive home was!  I'm so excited that it's going to be cool all week here!!