Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 2/1

1. It's that most wonderful time of the year...tax season! Do you complete your own returns or farm that job out to the professionals?

I do them myself usually because my stuff is really straightforward.  If I really get in a pinch, my SIL is an accountant.

2. This next question comes from Kansas Bob...he posed it in his response to something I asked in an earlier Wednesday post and I asked him if I could add it to the Hodgepodge some day. Today's the day....

Which do you think has changed you more-love or pain?

Love has changed me.  From John 3:16 to the love of my family and friends, love has changed me far more than pain ever could.

3. Tangerine Tango has been named color of the year for 2012. Your thoughts? Would I find this color anywhere in your house? How about in your closet? If not, will you be adding this color to your life in some way in 2012? If you're not sure what tangerine tango looks like click here.

I love that color and all of the orange family.  I have that color all over my house, especially in my kitchen and dining room.

4. Are you a collector? What do you collect and does it get admired, used, and/or dusted regularly?

Yes.  My house has all sorts of little collections--giraffes, antique cameras, Willow tree angels. And they get dusted about as often as everything else.  I admire them all the time, though!

5. February is National Heart Month...besides a green salad what is one tasty heart healthy dish you like to prepare?

I have been learning to eat oatmeal, which because of some childhood trauma, I have never been able to enjoy eating.  I have to say that so far, I am really enjoying it.  (Especially with apples and raisins!)

6. When was the last time you had car trouble?

HAHAHA!!  I seem to have car trouble all too often, but the last time was in December when I hit a deer!  Now I have a wonderful new car and am hoping that those car issues are in the past. 

7. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Is that a good trend?

I am more demanding right now because I am in the home stretch of the working three jobs thing (after next week I will be down to two), and trying to keep up with grades and Homecoming next week.  I think it's a good trend to make myself work a little harder for the things I want!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Isn't this the sweetest face you've ever seen??

Strange But True Facts About Me

I've seen several bloggers posting facts about themselves as part of a little meme, so I thought I would do a little intro to the quirkier things about my personality, sort of a primer in the things that are totally me, but may not be known out here in the blog world.  (Except for the thing about Words With Friends.  Anyone who has played me knows that...)
  1. I can still recite poems I learned in grade school, but I can't remember lines from movies to save my life.  Even something that I have seen a million times, I will inevitably screw up the reference.  And I'm terribly jealous of my friends who don't have that problem.
  2. If I know I am not going out anymore after I get home from work, I immediately change into my pjs, even if the sun is still out.  Nothing makes me happier.
  3. I'm not particularly proud of this one, but when you get me going, I have a bit of a potty mouth.  It's not really intentional, but it is the slightest bit hereditary.  (Sorry, Mom!)
  4. Speaking of the way I talk, I have a southern accent for no apparent reason.  No one in my family really sounds like I do.  It gets worse when I am drinking or sleepy.  (Especially when sleepy.  My "I's" get really long and drawn out.)  I also unintentionally pick up other people's accents.
  5. I have a thing about stars.  Some of my best memories have been made on gorgeous country nights.  I can't look up at them without smiling and remembering.
  6. Every year, I read the same book (The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters).  And I cry every single time.  Big, sobbing tears, like I think the story will somehow change if I read it enough.
  7. I don't believe in ESP or any of that mumbo jumbo, but I do have a weird sense when it comes to my friends meeting their husbands.  I can't even begin to explain it, but my track record speaks for itself.  I don't keep great track, but I am at least four for four.
  8. When I was four, I knew all of the words to The Big Chill soundtrack.  Nothing like a pre-schooler singing "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman."  I love MoTown to this day, and bought the soundtrack on vinyl for my dad this Christmas as a little reminder.
  9. I'm terrible at Words With Friends.  Absolute crap.  But I continue to play anyway, because I like the idea of playing a game with people wherever they may be. 
  10. Whenever I'm driving and there's bad weather, I immediately turn down the radio.  I do the same thing if I am lost.  I have no idea why I think this helps.
  11. Despite the fact that I don't really want to have children, I have always been obsessed with names.  I even helped name one of my friend's kids (who I now have as a student in my classroom.  Talk about a full circle moment!)
If I kept at it, I could probably think of more.  If you know me, feel free to list some in the comments.  I promise I will only laugh.  Mostly.   If you don't, you can always make me feel a little less like a weirdo and list your own mini-confessions in the comments.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Key To Friends Is Picking Great Ones...

I was going to write something profound today.  Really, I was.  But then all of my favorite people keep doing it instead.  (Way to steal my thunder, ladies!)    So, what I decided to do today, for lack of a better topic (other than how cute my niece is and how I happily spent most of Saturday staring at her), is invite you to go visit these people and tell them how awesome they are. 

My friend, Crys, is currently writing about Philippians Chapter 4, Verse 8.  She's a wonderful writer anyway, but because I especially love these verses, I'm loving these posts.  And I promise that I am not just recommending this series because Part 1 essentially tells the story of how I knew Crys had met her husband.  You should totally go here to read part 1 and watch part 2

And if that isn't enough, you should totally stop by and read Jessie's blog.  She's been writing about her decision to perform a random act of kindness each week in 2012, and I'm just loving her posts.  Jessie's like our own personal Jen Lancaster and I encourage you to drop by and encourage her and her new blog.

So, there you go...go see my friends.  And I will work on being insightful later this week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

This Week In Pop Culture

I haven't done one of these updates in a little while and you know how much I love my pop/entertainment news!  So, here's the scoop on what's happening this week...buckle up...

  • The Oscars are coming---Melissa McCarthy is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Bridesmaids!  Did you get that, people?  Sookie could win an Oscar!  She's up against some insane talent, too.  This is the one category where I will be happy with pretty much any of the winners. (Though it's hard to bet against Octavia Spencer or Jessica Chastain from The Help!) But I guess being nominated really is the biggest honor, right?
  • New on DVD---50/50 is out on video.  I loved this movie and couldn't stop myself from purchasing it this week.  (It was on sale, and shop when I am stressed!)  For a movie about cancer, it's pretty funny.  And everyone's week could use a little Joseph Gordon-Levitt!
  • Paula Deen's a diabetic. --- People need to back off my not-really-but-I totally-wish Nana!  She's had the disease for three years.  It's really not anyone's business, and there certainly shouldn't be a poll on a very popular entertainment website as to if it's okay if she eats a cheeseburger!  Just saying.
  • Because you can't say enough about Emma Stone---This article cracked me up!  The girl does have some ridiculous eyes.  (Green eyes are so much cooler than the other colors, or maybe she's just cooler than other people...)
  • The Sundance Film Festival---It's that time of year when all the critics and other movers and shakers about Park City tell us all about the movies that we will be talking about for the coming year.  Who will be the next indie star?  I'm hearing great things about Melanie Lynskey's new film and about Elizabeth Olsen (yes, little sister to the twins).  You can catch up on what you've missed here.
  • Gossip Girl turns 100 (episodes)---This is my favorite guilty pleasure (and I have many), but Blair is getting married on Monday.  Or is she?  Apparently there are many twists and turns in this episode, including one big surprise.  I know what I want to happen, but I can't wait to see how it all plays out.
  • Glee's Tribute to Michael--I know that not everyone is a fan (hi, Amber!), but I feel like the show has really come back to its Season 1 roots.  And this episode looks incredible!  (And I'm not even a Michael Jackson fan!)  They cover an impressive section of his catalog and oh the dancing!  Even if I have to catch it via my parents' DVR, I am so in.
  • One For The Money is out today---Stephanie Plum comes to life in the movie covering the first book.  I haven't read any of the reviews, but I am totally going to try to convince my mom to go see it this weekend.  (I don't think it will be that hard if I can pry her away from her new grandbaby!)
What in pop culture caught your eye this week?  I know not everyone's a junkie like me, but I'm sure I'm not alone right?  Either way, have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are You Sure It Isn't Friday?

Some days, I just stand in the middle of the whirl around me and wonder, "How in the world did I get here?"  Today is one of those days.  I've just been a little overwhelmed this week in pretty much every area of my life.  Good news is that it makes for some interesting confessions.
  • As I was sitting in the hospital, holding my brother's daughter, all I could think was "How in the heck did they let us become the adults?"  Or me at least, because my brother and SIL are pretty good at this whole adult thing.  Meanwhile, I was rocking my Chucks and wondering if it was okay to consider candy orange slices and Mountain Dew a meal...
  • I may have put on an outfit that was slightly less than fresh out of the washer this morning because I forgot to do any laundry whatsoever last night.  I'm calling it lightly worn. 
  • I don't have any idea what I am doing in my after-school job.  I feel like I am a complete sham as the teacher in the room.  But, so far, I haven't done too badly winging it.
  • One of the big events I help plan is in two weeks and I haven't bought a single decoration or really done much more than paperwork for it at this point.  (I am going to work on it this weekend, however!)  I should probably be a little worried, but I am choosing to pretend that everything will be okay.  (Denial is not just a river in Egypt, my friends...)
  • A student coerced me into cleaning my desk the other day.  She was nice about it, but said something to the order of, "You don't have to live like this."  I tried to explain to her that I know exactly what is in each pile, but she wasn't buying it.
  • I need a hair appointment and an eye appoint and probably just a regular doctor's appointment and I haven't really had a chance to schedule a single one of them because I am constantly running around at one of my jobs during business hours and forget to call.  My roots are showing, I'm out of contacts, and I think I may have a sinus infection, so I should probably get on that.
Anyway, just thought I would make you feel a little better about your day!  Feel free to share a confession or two in the comments...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/25

1. The NFL playoffs were held this past weekend and this year's Superbowl lineup will feature The New York Giants versus The New England Patriots. How do you define 'patriot'?

A patriot is someone who stands up for their country, even in the face of great adversity.  When I think of how much the original patriots of the Revolutionary War era gave (their lives, their homes, their fortunes--not to mention time away from the people and places they loved), I can't help but feel that sometimes we apply this word a little too liberally to some.  Patriot makes me think of my friends who serve in the military especially.

2. What's something in your life right now that feels like a 'giant'?

The list of things that I have to do seems a bit like a giant at the moment.  I have gotten behind a bit and it's taking me longer than I would like to get caught up.  I can take being behind in one or two aspects of my life, but right now it feels like I am not keeping it together anywhere.  I'm doing everything I can to get things back on the upswing though.

3. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think back to being 18?

My freshman year of college and how much fun we had that year.  If I was to pick a year to go back to, it would be that one!  (Especially if I could go back and still remember how different things are now.  I think I would appreciate it so much more!)

4. Coconut-mashed potatoes-vanilla ice cream-mayonnaise...which white food would be the hardest to give up?

Minus the mayonnaise, you are hitting all my vices here, Joyce!  It would probably be ice cream because I have given up potatoes for short stints in the past.  I don't have to have ice cream every day, but if the opportunity presents itself, I totally will.

5. Describe an incident or a day you remember as the coldest you've ever experienced?

This was an easy one.  My brother graduated college outside on what was easily the coldest day in May I can remember.  The thing was, it wasn't supposed to be that cold, so all the girls had packed summer dresses and we certainly weren't carrying around blankets.  We ended up buying some from the bookstore, though, and still shivered through the entire ceremony!  It was miserable!

6. You're hosting a brunch...what's your favorite dish to prepare and serve?

I make really good caramel rolls.  They are the kind that you make up the night before and let them rise then bake in the morning and I always get compliments on them.  But let's be honest, if I am hosting a brunch, my friend, Casey, is doing the cooking, not me!

7. How do you combat negative thinking?

This is something I am not very good with.  I always say that I prepare for the worse-case scenario so that I am pleasantly surprised by a better-than-average outcome.  I'm also kind of a whiner.  I don't mean to be necessarily, but sometimes it just comes pouring out anyway.  My before I get out of bed prayer recently has been something like "Dear Lord, Show me how to see things in the best possible way and behave like I really am an ambassador for You."  And most days, just trying to focus on that helps my thoughts tremendously.  (Even if a little whine seeps out!)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

This has been a week of great blessing for my family.  My niece is here and is perfect and my SIL is doing really well after the surgery.  I am just so thankful for those answered prayers!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2 On Tuesday: Music

I didn't want to miss the 2 on Tuesday this week!  Especially because this week we talk about one of my favorite topics--music!

Today’s topic is music, with multiple questions:

What is the song you play when you want to get pumped up?

My get pumped up songs change all the time.  Recently, it's been Florence + The Machine's "Shake It Out."  But my very favorite one is Dark Blue by Jack's Mannequin.  I think it's the pounding piano that does it to me!

What is the song you play when you want/need to cry?

I hear Andrea on listening to music when I need a good cry.  A few of my favorites are:  "World Spins Madly On" by the Weepies, "Poison and Wine" by the Civil Wars, and "It's Been A Long Day"by Rosi Golan.

What is the song you play when you’re cleaning?

I don't have any specific songs, but I do best when I have music on when I am cleaning.  I like to just put my iPod on shuffle and let it go.

What is the song you play when you’re exercising?

Is it wrong that this question made me laugh out loud?  I don't exercise like I should, and if I do, I usually just let my iPod play on shuffle like when I clean.  I do prefer upbeat stuff, and even a little rap.

Did You Say You Wanted To See Pictures?

She's the face that launched a thousand photographs.  And that's thisclose to not being an exaggeration!  She's the most perfect thing I have ever seen and to have to go to work today and not spend the day snuggling with her is no fun at all!  But here are a few photos to hold us all over!

Here is the Divine Miss M after her first bath (we jokingly referred to it as as the spa), less than an hour old...
 Ready to go meet her mama!
 Rocking her her daddy
 Snuggling up with mama
 Great-grandma, Nana, Daddy and Miss M
 Grandpa, Daddy, and Miss M  (she's already got them wrapped around her finger!)
 How could you not love that face?  (And she's got great hair to boot!  Auntie K is so proud!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

She's Here!

The Divine Miss M arrived at 11:44 pm on Sunday night.  She weighs 8.1 pounds and is 19 and 3/4 inches long.  And she's absolutely perfect.  So many pictures to follow.  But right now, it's 3 AM and this auntie is going to sleep!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Someone must have been reading about how my life has been a little boring lately, because yesterday I got some really big news!  My niece will be here this weekend, if not before!!  Talk about excited!  I can't wait to meet her and snuggle her and spoil her absolutely rotten!  And I promise that as soon as she's here and Mom and Dad give the okay, I will let you, my darling readers, meet her too.  But be prepared because I have it on pretty good authority that the Divine Miss M might just be the cutest baby you'd ever want to meet!

Stay tuned, because my life is about to get a lot more exciting!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Because Thursdays Are My Mondays

  • Thursdays aren't actually the start of my week or anything, but I've said before that they tend to be behave more like "Mondays" than a day much later in the week.  Add in the fact that I have been a day off all week because we were out on Monday and the fun really starts.
  • This working three jobs thing is not proving to be as easy as I thought it would be.  The good news is that the homebound assignment will be over by the middle of February.  Everything is going really well, I just feel like I am meeting myself coming and going.  Anything extra or unexpected adds a whole new level of complication.  I just keep telling myself that it will all be worth it in the end.  I just hope I'm right.
  • Like I wrote about on Monday, I am really hoping to use a little of the extra money for some home improvements.  I've started this little (or not so little) list of things that I would like to do or have at home.  Some of them are more "wish list" type things, but several of them are things I fully intend to get done over the summer. 
  • I'm having serious shampoo and hair issues.  Nothing seems to be working just right.  I can't decide what I want to do about the length of my hair or the color (though I still get compliments on my current one, which is reddish).  And I have no less than three different shampoos and conditioners in my shower right now, all of which I am less than thrilled with.  Suggestions?
  • I'm sorry that this post is so boring and kinda whiny.  I promise I'm not trying to be either.  But I'm also not exactly a girl about town these days either.
Anybody got any big plans in the works?  Know anything about hairstyles?  Just want to say hi?  I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/18

1. A new Miss America was crowned on Saturday night-did you watch? If you were a contestant what would your talent be?

I was watching on Saturday night.  My sister's bestie who has been on the blog before actually competed for Miss Illinois (and knew the girl who won because of that), so we sent texts back and forth during the show.  It was a lot of fun!  (Though I really hoped that Miss Oklahoma would win--she was first runner up!)

If I was competing I can assure you my talent would be singing, and none of that fancy opera stuff.  I'd probably go for something more inspirational...or Broadway.  Singing is probably my only marketable talent.  I promise you that dancing is completely out.  (I don't even clap when I sing....)

2. Do you have houseplants? Real or fake?

I have real houseplants, though some of them are looking a little rough.  It's probably time to water them again...

3. When you were in school did you speak up or were you more of the hide your face, avoid eye contact, and pray the teacher didn't call on you type of student?

Nope.  I was a teacher's pet.  I hated to get in trouble, loved having the right answers, and always wanted to be as helpful as possible.  I figured out later in school that this afforded me privileges that the other kids didn't get.  (When I was a senior, my English teacher let me borrow her very nice car and run errands for her.  I would never let a student do this now, but I loved every minute of it!)

4. Next Monday marks the Chinese New Year...what do you order when someone suggests Chinese food?

I am so boring when it comes to Chinese food.  I didn't really even learn to eat much of it until I was in college, and I still pretty much only eat crab rangoon and sweet and sour or sesame chicken.  I have always loved the white rice however!

5. How would you define a miracle? What would it take for you to consider something a miracle?

I define a miracle as God's movement when a situation seems particularly desperate or insurmountable.  I think that there are miracles every day, but we don't always recognize them as such. 

6. What's your favorite Disney song? If you're stuck you'll find a list here.

I really like "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid.  I also loved the "Belle" reprise from Beauty and Beast.  Both are about exploring the world beyond what you know, so it's no wonder that they spoke to me when I was younger. 

7. I should have ____cleaned more_________ yesterday.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

If you are someone that prays, would you lift up a prayer for a couple of my students today.  It's going to be a very difficult day for them, and I know that any extra prayers would be appreciated. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2 on Tuesday: Celebrity Fashion

2 on Tuesday

What celebrities do you think have the best red carpet fashion? What celeb’s closet would you like to raid?

Oh my goodness!  This question should not be nearly as hard as it is for me!  I grew up watching every award show under the sun.  There's something that's so fun about seeing the celebs all dressed up, and I think even as a young girl I loved the idea of getting a shiny trophy.  I have always loved acting and the theater and especially the fashion.

There are several celebs that I think are consistently beautiful on the red carpet and beyond.  Two of my very favorites are ones that Andrea featured as well, Emma Stone and Dianna Agron.  Assuming that I was magically a size that would fit into their clothes, I would gladly raid their closets.

But if I were going to name my very top pic for red carpet fashion alone, it would have to be Lea Michele.  The woman is red carpet gold!  Here's a glimpse of just a few of her picks...

Love her or hate her, you have to agree that the girl has the red carpet down.  I'm also a pretty big fan of Blake Lively's everyday fashion.  (Though this is from Glamour magazine.)  I don't think I could be as daring as she sometimes is, but she does date the delicious Ryan Reynolds, so maybe I could learn to deal.

Who's your favorite?  Tell me in the comments or even better, join us over at My Chihuahua Bites!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mixing It Up

I lost count of how many years I've lived in this house, but it's several now.  When I moved in, I bought what I could afford, and made do with what my grandmother didn't take with her.  And I've done pretty well making do with the decorating decisions of my early twenties up until now, but to say that my tastes have changed seems a little mild. 

Two summers ago I redid my bedroom with rather pleasing results (though there are still a few things I want to do in there!), and I have new couches in my living room, but just about everywhere else is begging for an update.  Thank goodness for Pinterest, so I can dream big! 

The issue is that I have few viable DIY skills, as in, I have a little trouble coming up with them.  I can paint. I can spackle.  I am not to bad at arranging things.  After that, things get a little sketchy.  I already read and love Young House Love, though to say I am nowhere near that skill level seems like the understatement of the year.  So, I guess what I am asking is, do any of you, my darling and few readers, have any great places where you go to gain decorating skill?  If so, please share with the class!  (And I promise to share pictures of my attempts to make this space awesome in return for the help!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just Because...

I've spent the day cleaning my office and when I was going through a box of pictures, I found this one.  I don't ever remember seeing it, though I am sure I probably have.  It just made me smile, so I figured why not share it. 

It could be less than a week before we have a new baby in our family.  She'll be the first grandbaby, the eldest daughter, like me.  And just think of the smiles then!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Lists Are The Best!

I couldn't go a whole week without making a list.  I'm sure you aren't surprised.
  • I read all these bloggers who write beautiful and insightful things and think, "I should try harder to be beautiful and insightful."  And then I write a post that's just a big list or talks about my Sephora obsession instead.  (Hey, at least I am working on the exterior beauty!)
  • I have listened to "Shake It Out" by Florence + the Machine every single day this week at least once.  (Sometimes more than that.  Often loudly singing along in the car like a fool.)  I wasn't on the Florence bandwagon, but this song might drag me over there yet!
  • I think I have established a nice rhythm for my weeks this semester.  (work, homebound instructor, GED instructor...repeat)  Things are going to be busy, but I think that it will be fun.  See if I am still saying that in March when I add in track practice.  (I promise I am not complaining though.  I am loving this extra money.)
  • The new car (still trying to decide on her name) is getting surprisingly good gas mileage for a V6.  I'm more than thrilled at this news, since they say gas is going to be 70 gagillion dollars again this year.
  • Tonight is Friday night with Amber!  Two weeks is too long for us to be apart!
  • I found a website yesterday (http://www.poetryarchive.org/) where you can listen to poets read their works.  My students had me laughing so hard yesterday in Literature that I was crying as they discussed the accents and topics, such as Elvis the depressed circus octopus.  (I wish I were joking.)  That is totally my favorite hour of the day!
So glad it's a three-day weekend!  I am looking forward to some sweet catch-up sleep!  Hope you have a great one!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jesus > Religion

This has been on a lot of blogs and on Facebook, but if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. 

"If grace is water than the church should be an ocean."  Seriously.  I want to watch this every single day until I learn how to live it. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When He's Doing A New Thing

Perhaps I mentioned it once or twice, but I am not a big fan of change.  And 2011 was all about change.  Even with God's almost constant reassurance that He was at the helm and that this change wouldn't be for harm but for good, it's been hard.

I hadn't really come to terms with what this meant for my ministry, particularly with music, until Sunday.  You see, at my new church (which I love more and more with each Sunday), the pastor has really been after me to join the praise and worship team.  It makes perfect sense.  I have sung in church most of my life, and was part of a p&w team for the last ten years.  But I just haven't been able to get excited about it.  And if you know me, you know how odd that is.  I really hadn't given it a lot of thought, though.  There's been a lot going on with the holidays, and this and that.  Convenient when you don't want to deal with something, right?

Until Sunday morning.  During worship, we sang "Blessed Be Your Name," which was a song that the girls and I sang a lot.  (The lyrics are here.)  And suddenly, I was in tears.  After the service, the pastor was talking to me about singing again and before I even knew what was happening the words poured out,  "I'm not ready to sing without my girls."  And as soon as the words were out, I knew it was true.   That has been what was holding me back. 

I haven't been a part of a praise team without my girls for ten years, the whole of my 20s.  We didn't just sing in church, but at all kinds of other events.  We have seen God do some wonderful things, and even when things weren't wonderful, we had each other.  And there's a lot of comfort in that.  I knew every note of every song, and even though they are no longer to my left and right in the pew, I hear their harmonies in my ear.  We didn't really talk about the end of our ministry together much, but my heart mourns it.

God is doing a new thing.  He really is.  But what I am most thankful for at the moment is that He's giving me time to catch up to it.  I'm not there yet, but I am headed in the right direction.  And I know that when I get there, it will be good.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/11

1. Lake Superior University has once again published a list of words/phrases they think should be banished from the Queen's English in 2012---amazing, baby bump, shared sacrifice, occupy, blowback, man cave, the new normal, pet parent, win the future, trickeration, ginormous, and thank you in advance.

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Go here to read more about how the words are chosen.

I am trying to stop overusing amazing.  What I hate more than people using these words is people using words incorrectly or who frequently mispronounce the same word over and over.  That gets on my nerves faster than anything.  I do really dislike the word pimp, however.

2. Are you easily embarrassed?

Yes and no.  Sometimes I can get really embarrassed about situations, but mostly I just try to laugh.  However, there have been times when I have walked away from people I was out with in an "I don't know them" sort of way.

3. What is your go-to snack?

I love snacks!  I am trying to eat healthy, so lately it has been oranges.  But I really love Reduced Fat Cheez-Its.  A lot.

4. Have you ever been to Washington D.C.? If not do you have any desire to go? What site/attraction would you most want to see in that city? If you have been, what's your favorite site/attraction?

I loved D.C.  I would actually love to go again, with a little more time and a better camera.  My favorite place was the American History Museum, but I didn't get to see as much as I wanted to of the Smithsonian buildings.  I would also like to go to the Holocaust Museum, the Library of Congress, and tour the Hill again.    I would really like to go in April when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and it's not as hot as when I was there the last time.  (There was a major heat wave!)

5. sit ups-planks-lunges-squats...which do you hate the least?

Lunges.  But I really despise the whole lot equally.  Exercise is a necessary evil.  Heavy on the evil.

6. What's a small act of kindness you were shown that you've never forgotten?

There was the sweetest lady where I used to go to church named Evelyn.  She's passed away (she was in her 90s when I met her), but she used to write us little notes of encouragement.  I will never forget what her words did for me and for our ministry when we were singing.

7. Have you ever been a blood donor?

I haven't.  I am absolutely terrified of needles.  They still use a butterfly needle on me when I have to have blood drawn.  And blood in those bags gives me the heebie jeebies.  I used to work blood drives in high school, but they kept me at the registration table where I belonged. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I begin my after school job on Thursday night.  It's a little more involved than I thought it was going to be, but I really think I am going to like it!  Either way, the extra money will be well worth it!

LuLu Turns 21!

I didn't do a big birthday post on my little sister's actual 21st birthday, partly because I spent most of the day with her and partly because I used up most of the photos I had of her when she turned 20 last year or in the alphabet post here (L Is For LuLu) !  But here's a glimpse at her big 2-1!

The card says, "Anyone want to see my ID?"
Hiding some of her goodies in her purse...
There were just a few people gathered to celebrate (I think there were 20 of us!).
 I never miss a chance to show this cute couple!  Just a couple weeks until my niece makes her arrival!
 Here they are practicing their gangsta duckface...at least I think.
 Lib and Boyfriend
 It's possible that we might have stopped in the local gambling establishment and let her try her luck on her big birthday!  She won, so she says she's never going back again!

We had a great time celebrating the baby of our family.  Now we just have to wait for the real baby to show up!  That's some news I won't be able to wait two weeks to share for sure!

Monday, January 9, 2012

To Get You Through Monday...

Today's going to be a little crazy for me.  I have morning duty, meetings all day, homebound instruction and more meetings before the day is over.  And I have a serious blog post brewing that I don't quite have words for yet.  But today is Monday, and we could all use something fun to get us through. 

I have fallen in love with the website You, Me and Charlie.  It was started in part by Dianna Agron, who you may know as Quinn from Glee.  But she is so much more than that!  There's great music and all manor of other things there and I would encourage you to visit!  It's a relatively new site, but I think it's pretty awesome!

Also, if you have been there, I would also recommend wasting spending a little time over at Hello Giggles.  Zooey Deschanel and friends bring great articles, products and artists to light over there as well.  There's a wealth of great writing and fun to be had!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

In The Immortal Words of Rebecca Black....

It's Friday! 

And I have nothing to talk about.  Well, I guess it's not that I have nothing to talk about, just nothing of any real value.  (Some of you are wondering how that's different from every day, and to be honest, I am not quite sure.)  It's been a pretty quiet week, which is what happens when you are in bed by nine and don't actually get out among other people except at work.  Of course, I will probably appreciate the quiet once my after-school job starts in a couple weeks.  (While the last thing I want to do is make my life more complicated, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a little extra money.)  Thanks to those of you who said a little prayer for me this week while I tried to figure out what to do!

Speaking of extra money, I saw this on Pinterest and it cracked me up!

I don't know that I have ever gone into a Target and come out with something.  And depending on the day and my mental state, it could be a whole lot of somethings! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday's List

  • Last night, I had the most random urge to make cook and serve chocolate pudding.  So, I did. And it was awesome.  Well, as awesome as cook and serve chocolate pudding can be.  It's not like I was making creme broulee or anything!
  • The weather here has been nuts.  It was warm over Christmas break, then freezing the last two days.  I don't really care what temp it picks, I would just appreciate a week or three of the same temperature.  Thanks!
  • I'm teaching my students about poetry and they love it.  Anybody know of any good websites or books I can find more poems?  We are going through them ninety to nothing!  (My lit class is so much fun!)
  • This week, I've managed to exercise every day.  My concern is that once I start doing homebound instruction and teaching a GED class next week, I will lose my momentum.  Any tips?  I usually exercise after I get home from work.  And I know I could get up before going to work, but there's little to no chance of that happening. 
  • I feel like I need to admit that I have been in bed this week by 8:30 every night.  And happily so.  Keeps me from going all stabby on people, so it's probably for the best.  Even if it is a little geriatric of me.
  • And finally, I can't get enough of this video.  I love PS 22 as is, and these boys are just too adorable!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 1/4

1. What are three words you would use to describe your 2011?

Change.  Change.  Change.  Enough said.

2. Do you like shrimp? What's your favorite way to have it prepared?

I don't like shrimp, or any seafood for that matter.  The only exception is crab when it is in something, like crab chowder or crab rangoon.  And I've tried it all of the ways you can prepare it.  It just doesn't do anything for me.

3. Is your house de-Christmased? If so when did you tackle that job? If not, when will the decorations come down?

My house is not de-Christmased.  I will probably do that over the weekend.  I actually meant to take care of it before I went back to work, but I opened the closet and the will to get out the storage tubs just disappeared.  I don't put out much and most of it is more wintery (see: snowmen obsession), so it's not really that big of a deal if it stays up a while.

4. Do you like to watch scary movies?

I don't enjoy scary movies.  I remember watching them for the thrill factor in high school, but they always gave me nightmares.  (Curse my over-active imagination!)  And besides there are enough real, scary things in the world.  If I am going to watch a movie, I would rather laugh or cry than be scared.

5. ice skating~sledding~skiing~snowboarding~of the four listed which wintertime activity do you most enjoy?

I haven't ice skated in a really long time, but I remember liking it.  My favorite thing to do is sledding, though!  We have really good hills on the farm, and when you get the right mixture of ice and snow, you can really sail.  But if you bust your face in, it's best not to try to lie to the adults as to how it happened.

6. Did you have a childhood hideout? Describe it.

I was a kid who was all about cozy forts and hiding places.  My favorite was actually in the closet under the stairs at my parents' house.  I used to take blankets, pillows, and flashlights and play in the very back.  I also was a kid who was perfectly happy reading a book in my room, too.  Both of my parents love to read and I totally got that from them.

7. What's a place or space that motivates you?

Did you see my inspirational board I made for the New Year?  Because right now, that's probably what space motivates me most.  (I've exercised four days in a row, even though my legs are begging me to stop!)  Another place that really gets me going creatively is the beach.  I think the ocean has definite healing properties for me (at least mentally)!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am currently in the process of making some decisions about some extra work possibilities (which I need to make in the next couple days).  These would be in addition to my regular teaching load, but would mean extra money this spring and summer.  If you are someone who prays, I would really appreciate prayers as I try to decide what to do.  I don't want to pass up an opportunity, but I also don't want to end up overwhelmed.  Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Gray and Wednesday, Too

Yesterday was such as easy day, even for a Monday.  I got up, dressed, and ready well before I needed to be at work, got done everything that was on my list, and wasn't even that tired.  And last night I even went to bed at a reasonable hour. 

Today, I feel a bit like that reasonable hour should have been as soon as I got home from work.  I am so tired today!  This being back to work after two glorious weeks off is certainly going to take some adjusting!   The issue is that when I am off work, my sleep schedule involves 10 to 12 hours a night and sometimes a nap in the mid-afternoon.  I love my sleep!   Going back to work puts a definite dent in my plans!

Don't get me wrong, I love my job!  And I know that a responsible adult would probably try to keep the same sleep schedule over break that I keep while working, but what's the fun in that?  I keep hoping that those endorphins from working out again will kick in and give me some extra energy, but I think that's all a load of whooey!  Working out certainly doesn't hurt, but I've never gotten the wild energy boosts that some people go on and on about.  (Of course, today is only Day 4 of my new implemented workout regimen.  But patience never was my strong suit!)

Anyone else feeling the blues now that the holidays are over and we are all back to work?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Recap

Christmas in my family runs in two shifts.  Christmas Eve is always with my mom's family, and this year it was packed (30 plus people!).  Behold the post-gift chaos...

Santa Rob--er, Claus even came to visit.  Some children were more enthusiastic than others.  And some adults were downright ecstatic!

The matriarch of the clan and the Man With The Bag...
My cousin and his daughter.  I try to find as many excuses as possible to post pictures of this precious face!

Then, on Christmas Day, my dad's family comes over to my parents' house.  It's more food, fun, and general pandamonium.

The Divine Miss M made pretty good haul for a kid who's still in utero.  Here's Mama opening up her goody bag...
Daddy got to open something special too, even if it was Nana who really loved the present!
And of course, we ended the night with the traditional Christmas feats of acrobatics.  I think this one dates all the way back to the shepherds...

It was a pretty fun Christmas, but not nearly as much fun as it will be in the coming years!  Hard to believe that next year, Miss M will not only be here but be almost a year old!  We're going to have so much fun!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I hesitate to even write this post, because I am sure that it's going to sound exactly like everyone else's, and even like some other posts I've written here before.  But here goes.

When I think about what I want for the New Year, I can't help but think a fairly simple thought:  I want to be better.  And now you're thinking. "Way to be vague, Katie.  Think you could clarify a little."  Don't worry, I have points.  And they're bulleted.  (in no particular order)
  • I want to treat my body better.  I need to get healthy.  I have a family history of all kinds of terrible things and I am not getting any younger.  I will move more.  I will make healthy choices.  I will not worry about the number on the scale.  Instead, I will focus on how I feel, in my clothes and in my body in general.  This won't be easy, but it is necessary.  I will do the work that is required to live the life I want to live.  (It's official.  I made an inspirational bulletin board and everything.)

  • I want to do a better job managing my finances.  I don't really have a choice on this one, because I am making a car payment again, but I want to get rid of as much as my debt as I can.  This means that I will be working a summer job and I won't have the kind of fun money that I would like to have, but it will be worth it in the end.  If I want to eventually be able to make the improvements on the house I want to make and go back to school, this is something that has to happen.  (Plus, I will need all of the extra money I could have spent on myself to spend on my niece!)
  • I want to be a better Christian.  Because of a bunch of things, I have not put the focus on worship and study that I should.  I have not been serving in the ways that I could be.  And now that I have the finding a new church issue settled, it's time to do what I know I am supposed to do.  Not because I have to, but because I want to.
  • I want to be better organized.  I want to get rid of the clutter in this house.  I'm tired of looking at it and living in it.  I want all of the living and storage space in this house to be functional.  I want to keep my car clean and free of junk.  It's just time to do and not look back.  (Which is really difficult for a packrat!)
Basically, what it comes down to is that if it's not good for me physically, emotionally, spiritually or financially, I don't want to be a part of it.  I want to be the kind of person that I know that I am on the inside.  I don't have anything to prove, except to myself.