Tuesday, August 31, 2010

While Not Quite the American Revolution...

I wish I could teach them...
  • that school isn't as bad as they think.  Of course, it isn't as easy as we'd like to pretend either.
  • that breaking up with a boy (or girl) is a temporary hurt.
  • that the boy (or girl) who wants to change everything about them doesn't deserve them.
  • that they will make mistakes and survive.
  • that they don't have to learn everything the hard way.
  • that, for the most part, there's only as much drama in our lives as we allow in.
  • that time goes a lot faster than they think it will.
  • that their parents aren't trying to ruin their lives by disciplining them.  (Quite the opposite, in fact)
  • that there will be plenty of time to be an adult.
  • that dreams are important to have and even more important to pursue.
I'm hired to teach them the core curriculum, but I hope they learn so much more than that from me.  I try so hard to be a role model to my students, especially to the girls, because I am well aware that I could be the only one they see.  My prayer continues to be that they will see the love of God in me without me ever saying a word.  Every year, I am given someone's child to educate.  I pray they learn the right things.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Bucket List

When Sarah posted her bucket list, I was inspired to do the same.  Crys has posted her list over at her blog, too.  My first 25 were pretty easy because I had made a list back in 2008 that I hadn't really paid much attention to, so I just started from there.  Here goes nothing...
  1. Own a red couch.  Actually at this point, I would settle for own a couch that isn't broken.
  2. Be a rock star.
  3. Learn to speak Spanish fluently.
  4. Be a ballroom dance diva.  (Somewhere my sister is laughing at this thought.)
  5. Tour Italy.
  6. Spend a month on the beach.
  7. Own a pair of really great heels.
  8. Fall madly in love.
  9. Have my own photo exhibition.
  10. Visit New York City at Christmastime
  11. Throw a party to celebrate the awesome people I love.
  12. Learn to hit a baseball.
  13. Say what I really feel.  (I may have this one covered.)
  14. Meet someone famous.
  15. Go on a mission trip.
  16. Go white water rafting.
  17. Be able to say "I'm with the band" and mean it.
  18. Be a fairy godmother.
  19. Create a flower garden.
  20. Go fishing.
  21. Plan someone else's dream wedding.
  22. Do something crazy.
  23. Drive a convertible.
  24. Rent a limo for the day and take my girls on an adventure.
  25. Have a house with a sunroom.
I guess the question is "What's on your list?"  Post a link in the comments if you want to join the fun!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Single Is Not For The Weak of Heart

Today I am having a bit of a day.  Not bad.  Not particularly good.  I've watched a lot of movies.  I've thought a lot.  And I'm just not the kind of girl who can handle having a lot of time on her hands.  Perhaps it's mostly hormonal, but I don't necessarily think that's all of it. 

Been battling some loneliness lately.  I love the way most everything is going in my life these days.  I love my job and my super cute bedroom.  My darling friends are happy and healthy.  Things are really looking up.  But, and I'm mostly talking to all you single girls out there, do you ever feel like you are wandering around alone in a world where everyone else is paired up two by two?  Because that's the feeling I've been having a time with.  I don't miss anyone in particular, I miss the feelings that go with all that girl+boy stuff.  I miss something that I haven't really had.  And that thought doesn't exactly make it better.  It's a vicious circle.  Sometimes you just feel like the only single girl out there, even when you know it's not the truth.

Good news is that God's all about little things.  I checked my email and had a response from Amy Beth on this very topic.  And my Nanny (who's not actually my grandma but that's a story for another time) was online and we got to visit.  This isn't really one of those things that goes away.  It's always there, but sometimes I'm busy enough not to think about it.  Tonight I am.  And I just feel like the only way to deal with it is to be honest.  Tell my truth, like I am so fond of telling others to do.  So, here I am.  And as Crys would say, it is what it is.

P.S.  On a much happier note, Crys posted a video that my college/Facebook friend, Erin, and her husband made about their new baby.  If you have a second, stop by and watch it.  It's adorable!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lovin' My Lists - Super Special Friday Edition

It's the super special edition of my Thursday lists because I was entirely too busy on Thursday to actually make a list of any sort.  And I sort of forgot how I was going to do this on Thursdays.  And really didn't register that yesterday was Thursday.  (That's what two days of in-house mid-week training does to your recognition of time and space!)  But let's get on to the main event...

Things I'm loving right now:
  • A quick burst of slightly cooler weather -- I love not melting when I step out my door in the morning.  Or even later in the day when I get into my car.
  • That it's somehow already Friday without me even noticing.
  • Sleeping in tomorrow--WAY in.  I need sleep something fierce.
  • It's fall baseball season--of all the things I take pictures of, baseball is my favorite.  It's so rewarding to get the action shot I was hoping for.  It's great practice, and I like that the boys get into it too (especially my junior high ones!).  They are all "You got that, right?" which makes it even more fun!
  • Being efficient--I've been teasing one of the girls at work about her level of efficiency.  I'd kill for one day at her level of precision and focus!  But I am trying to get better about getting things done, and I am starting to see some progress (just not on the whole housework thing!).
  • The moment of quiet right before the day starts (which happens to be right now for me!)
  • I fixed a car issue all by myself this week.  Well, technically, it wasn't ALL by myself (thank you, my favorite Parts Manager for your patience and assistance) but, other than one freaked out call to my dad, I took care of the issue and haven't had a moment's trouble since.
It's been such a good week that I don't even have anything making me crazy!  And that moment of silence thing is now over, so what's your list?  Let me know in the comments...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(Total Lack of) Responsibility...

So, here I was feeling like a responsible adult.  I bought house insurance.  I completely handled the whole dead car battery situation yesterday, with only one panicked call to my father and minimal sweet talking of the manager of the parts place.  I paid my bills on time (mostly).  Tonight, I cooked a healthy supper, with enough left over for lunch,  thus avoiding  Lean Cuisine pizza for a third day in a row.  I was going to bed early so I won't feel like crying when the alarm goes off.  It was as I was washing my face that I realized I didn't have any clean underwear.  (Due to my hatred of laundry.)  So, that's the story of how I am still awake, waiting on the laundry to finish so that I don't go to work commando.  Because I am pretty sure that is against the dress code (so, that's kind of responsible right?). 

No, I Really Am Laughing Out Loud

Every once in while, I will run across something that just cracks me up.  The Hyperbole and a Half blog totally does it for me!  The little drawings, the stories...it totally righted my poor, addled, overwhelmed-by-complicated-work-stuff brain.  And sometimes that's just what you need!  So I thought I would share...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fat Tuesday, We Meet Again

Welp, this report will be short and sweet.  I actually had a good week.  I don't know if I lost weight because I haven't weighed, but I have been eating reasonably well and feel good about it.  Better than that, the ridiculously hot weather is finally breaking this week and I should be able to resume walking in town.  I'm feeling it.  (Just not today because I was wiped out from training.  And probably not tomorrow because the training is two days...but Thursday?  Yeah, I'm liking the sound of Thursday.)

Anyway, I was just wondering how everyone else was feeling about this week.  I'll be looking for you in the comments...                                            

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Decorating For Fall

I think I have developed a little blog ADD.  I decided that since my summer is over (no matter what that pesky calendar or the weatherman has to say), it was time to "fall up" the blog.  I thought this design was cute without being beat-you-over-the-head seasonal.  And who knows?  Next week, I could totally change it up again.  I'm fun that way. 

So tell me, peeps, what do you think of the new design?

Lovin' Lists Thursday

Things I am loving right now:
  • I'm almost over this whole sinus thing!  I slept almost all night and I am feeling pretty good today.  A significant improvement from all the death and destruction that was going on Tuesday!
  • It's Thursday, which is almost Friday, which means the weekend is almost here!
  • I have no plans for this weekend.  None.  Which is odd because it seems like there is always something going on.  Perhaps this would be the time to do laundry?
  • I went to bed at 8:30 last night and loved every minute of it!
  • Not being sick anymore means that I will be able to cuddle babies in the nursery on Sunday!  I love cuddling babies that you can give back after an hour to two!
  • Sheena's getting married!  (Might have mentioned that one before)
  • Having a student worker and two plan periods (until Monday) means that I am super organized and efficient and have been able to leave work on time!
  • I've been eating pretty well this week.  I've made my lunch every day (and remembered it) and haven't been pigging out on dinner. 
  • Prayer group has just been so incredible.  I look forward to it every week because of it's sweetness to my soul.  The women I am privileged to pray with are just awesome!
  • I've been able to more or less stick to my budget this summer.  Since we get all of our summer checks at one time, it's up to me to be responsible with my money.  This is the first year that I haven't been practically broke by August. 
  • My bed and bedroom is the most relaxing place on the planet!  (technically, that's not true.  The most relaxing place on the planet is the Ritz-Carlton Spa in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  But my bedroom is also free.)
Things that are driving me crazy right now:
  • Delilah lost her mind at 5:30 this morning and ran through the house like crazy (including across my sleeping face).  That caused me to wake up in a complete panic, thinking someone had broken into my house!  Not exactly the way to start your day.
  • My internet was down this morning at the house.  I'm hoping it's fixed when I get home because if it's not tech support will be hearing the sound of my unhappy voice.
  • Though my bedroom is adorable, the rest of the house needs my attention and I have been too sick/worn out to do anything about it. 
  • I still haven't been exercising. 
More good ones than bad.  Must be doing something right...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Having A Moment: The First Week of School Edition

The first week of school is rough.  And exhausting.  Add a sinus infection to that because the weather can't seem to decide if it wants to be hot or really, really hot, and it's that much worse.  Last night,  I went to bed at 8:30 because I literally couldn't keep my eyes open.  I slept until about 12:00, then got up every hour or so until my alarm went off.  Surprisingly, I am feeling better today than I did yesterday and I've toughed it out both days because teachers do not miss the first week of school.  That said, I am totally going home as soon as I can and am going to bed.  I may not sleep, but I would be okay with just lying there for an hour or two.  I'm just glad that I don't have any plans this week so I am not stretched all over the place like I tend to allow myself to be (a little too often!).  I don't mean to seem whiny, I'm thankful to have a job and I am blessed in all sorts of ways.   It's just that if you can't have a moment on your own blog, where can you have one?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The County Fair

Last night, I went to the annual county fair because I love my students and they were in the pageant.  My camera's batteries were dying so I didn't get any pictures (I know, complete and utter blog failure).  But even if I had gotten pics, it wouldn't have been able to fully express the agony and the ecstasy that is the small town county fair. 

Now, you know that I think the small town life has its charms.  I was raised on a farm that my family has lived on for over one hundred years, so I have respect for this community and the people in it.  But going to the county fair is a little like going to the family reunion--the ones you like you see all the time, and the rest make you question why you need to see them at all.  I love funnel cake and saltwater taffy and those curly ribbon fries, but I don't necessarily feel the need to bear heat and humanity to acquire those things.  Maybe the problem is that I am not a big fan of small talk, and it seems like that's what you spend all your time doing at what is no doubt your county's social event of the year (not to be confused with your town's social event of the year, which happens next month). 

It didn't always feel this way.  In high school, I loved going to the fair.  I would go watch the tractor pull or the demo derby and scream and yell and have the best time with my high school besties.  I would walk the midway to be seen and savor every piece of fair gossip that inevitably came to light.  I remember loving the fair, I really do.  But I remember loving it in the same way one might love a high school boyfriend, sort of hazy around the edges, knowing that you probably only remember the best of times. 

But, now I see the realities--the questionable characters, the old rides, the dirt and general ick.  Mosquito bites and ribbon fries have lost their luster as I waltz on through my 20s.  Good people put on this show and people compete and win prizes for everything from livestock to demo cars.  I don't mean to denegrate their hard work, not in the least.  But, I also know that one night a year is more than fair enough for me.

Fat Tuesday with The Lumberjack's Wife: Week 3

This week was significantly less of a fail than previous weeks.  That doesn't mean I was as good as I should have been, but going back to work does make things easier.  Since I don't cook supper all that much (meaning no leftovers), it is tough to find lunch appropriate foods without having to eat Lean Cuisine pizzas everyday.  But I'm managing.  Now that I have a reason to lose weight (Sheena's wedding), I'm hoping I will get with it.  Of course, I was hoping the same thing for my brother's wedding.  Losing weight is an all-consuming process and when food is your favorite material comfort, it's even more difficult.  But I'm trying, and I think trying counts.  (However, in the interest of full disclosure, I totally bought saltwater taffy at the fair last night.  And I intend to enjoy every piece in the box.)

I've developed a very nice summer cold in the last 24 hours.  So that's been a little unfortunate.  I'd like to think feeling gross will curb my eating, but it tends to make me want carbs, with a side of carbs, followed by dessert carbs.  The good news is that I am wanting my bed more than dinner, so I may just go to bed when I get home.  Anway, I continue to be optimistic about the whole weight loss thing.  It would just be a little better if I could be optimistic and disciplined.  Anyone else feeling like that?

Guess Who's Getting Married!!!

I am proud to announce that we have another wedding coming up in my circle!  Don't get your hopes up, it's not me.  (Trust me, you would have heard something about that before now!)  Sheena, fellow blogger, recent opener of the studio and all-around great friend, is finally going to get to plan a wedding to the love of her life!  He asked on Saturday, she shared the good news on Sunday morning, and I've had to keep it quiet until they were able to tell everyone that they wanted to tell in person.  But it's official now (because she posted on Facebook AND her blog), so I am very comfortable letting everyone know (it's a wonder I didn't burst, people!). 

She's waited a long time for this, and has faithfully planned along side me in wedding festivities for other friends and I am so glad it's her turn!  You know I love a good wedding, and when she told me I looked at her and said "So when are we doing this thing?"  It's going to be so much fun to watch two people I love very much tie the knot!  I just wanted to take a minute to offer my blog congrats to all the other good wishes going out to those two crazy kids!  (And I'm sure there will be plenty of posts to come on the matter!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Bedroom!

This renovation project started with a somewhat simple idea: "What if I took that picture David Michael printed for me and moved it to my bedroom?"  Which turned into:  "Can I make this the theme of my bedroom and how would it look if I painted the walls gray?"
I don't really have any before shots because I haven't been sleeping or really doing more than using my bedroom for storage for the last six months.  Sadly, I've been sleeping in my living room either on the couch or the mattress I eventually moved in there because I just didn't have the time to deal with things until summer came.  But, without further delay, here's the final results of Extreme Home Makeover: My Home Edition.

This is what it looks like looking from the corner...
And this is what it looks like from the doorway...
Pretty cute, right?   Let's highlight a few of the details.
This is the dresser.  It's still a bit unfinished, but I was finally able to make it functional.  It had a drawer that was broken, and I saw this idea in a magazine.  Using the bottom of the broken drawer and a couple baskets from Target, I have more storage.  I am going to refinish the dresser and drawers at some point, but it was just too big a task for right now.
This box is another one of my favorite things.  I bought it today from my new favorite place, Annie Laurie's Antiques.  It's actually a doll case that had the cutest daisies and suitcase pattern. Here's a closer look:

I display my costume jewelry using glassware from the kitchen.  I saw this on some other makeover show or magazine but it was a great way to use some of the dishes and bowls that saw little use and organize my collection at the same time.

I decided that my book obsession needed a new shelf to expand to, so I got this inexpensive one at Target and put it together.  I moved some of my favorite books into the bedroom and left the rest in the yellow room. 
Amber and I found this frame Friday night at Target (are you sensing a theme?)  It was whimsical and fit the color scheme, so Amber (and Steven) got the honors.
The other super cute items on top of the bookshelf I picked up at Annie Laurie's.  The billiards balls and the basket, all for a very reasonable price!  I was all over it the minute she posted the pictures on her Facebook (If you want to check it out, go here.)
I made a giant french memo board out of several I had around the house.  Dad helped me hang it this week and I've been reworking the pictures for several days to have a good mix of old and new ones.  Here's what I have so far (even though it's a little hard to see them all)
And the bed!  I am just in love with the way it turned out.  I found the bedding at Sears early in the summer with Crystal.  It was a steal!  Then I just had to get the bed situation worked out since I had a daybed before.  After I traded some furniture with Sheena's parent I managed to get a bed frame and box springs and Dad and Lu brought over the mattress today.  Kohl's had a good sale today on the pillowtop mattress cover and on pillows.  And the curtain idea came out of another magazine.  I really like the way it turned out with the mirror that has been there since my grandparents lived here.
And of course, there's Lu getting her face on my blog, just because she can.
Hope you all like it as much as I do!

Sleeping In...

It's Saturday.  My favorite day after a long school week.  I was totally going to sleep in.  I had plans, people.  And yet, at 6:30 this morning, my furry little roommate was playing a in box, practically right by my head.  And when I addressed it with what I can only say is a picture of calm and self-control for that hour on a Saturday, Delilah looked at me as if to say, "And what exactly is your problem?"  So sleeping in on my first back-in-school Saturday?  Major fail. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Promises, Promises

Had a great first day back to work, but I will totally be ready for bed at 9:00 tonight.  Which is fine, because the So You Think You Can Dance finale will be over by then, and what else is there?  I promise that by the end of the weekend I will have pictures of my new bedroom.  I am almost there, but I just don't have everything done on the tabletops and whatnot and I want to be perfect before I share it with my peeps.  (Or as close as it's going to get right now because I haven't figured out how I am refinishing the dressers yet.)

I have some other plans for this weekend too.  But none of them really seem to top having a bed in my bedroom.  And putting all of this redecorating nonsense to a halt for a bit.  Until I get the couches.  But that's a whole different animal all together.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back-to-School Bash

This is what the love of Jesus looks like.
This is what happens when people bring in a few school supplies.
This is what happens when others give money so we can get whatever else we need.
This is what it looks like before you give away 258 bundles of school supplies to the community.
And this is why we do it.  Because God has blessed us to bless others.

A Little Fun

My cousin recently commented that I hadn't been keeping up with my blogging.  I mean, how else is she supposed to know what's going on with me if I'm not blogging about it.  I'm almost done with my bedroom so, expect those pictures soon.  And before the day is out, I want to write about the amazing outreach my church put on last Saturday.  But before all of that, I thought I would have a little fun.

Back when I had satellite (read back when I lived at my parents' and didn't have to pay for satellite), I used to watch Inside the Actor's Studio from time to time.   My favorite part was the questionaire at the end, which is actually called the Pivot's Questionnaire.  So, I thought that I would join in the fun myself, because I am sure you've spent your life wondering about my answers.

1. What is your favorite word?   
I like the word lavish.  I am also a big fan of extraordinary.  But the one that I say most often would be awesome.

2. What is your least favorite word?
Like most of us, my least favorite word is wait.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
I feel like I am at my best when I am surrounded by witty, intelligent people.  You can't say enough good things about a few hours or even minutes of exceptional banter.

4.  What turns you off?
Arrogance.  Entitlement.  People who think they are superior for no real reason.

5.  What is your favorite curse word?
Oh, it's totally sh!@.  But I am trying to curb my cursing which works really well until I'm in traffic.  Or I stub my toe.  Or someone crosses me.  (Trust me, try is the operative word!)

6.   What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of little kids laughing!  You can't help but laugh when you hear it.

7.   What sound or noise do you hate?
The guys at the tire center moving tires outside my bedroom window at the crack of dawn when I'm trying to sleep in

8.  What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I really love the theater and always thought about being a singer or actress.  Or a photographer (a real one who actually knows what they are doing).

9.  What profession would you not like to do?
Anything that involves blood.  Or being outdoors in the heat.

10.   If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Well, let me start by saying I am sure that Heaven exists.  But beyond that, I just want Him to say that I did okay with what He gave me to do.  Because what could be better than God saying "You really didn't screw things up, even if you thought you did."

C'mon, you know you want to join in!  So pick a question or 10 and answer them in the comments!

So This Is It...

I'm finally here--the last day of summer vacation.  And I'm a little sad about it.  But there's something about a new school year.  The fresh faced seventh graders wandering around all confused, the school supplies stacked and waiting to be used,  a whole new start.  And let's face it, I'm not that great with idle time.  Usually during the summer I spend hours prepping and planning for my year.  This year I didn't.  I'm ready, don't worry.  But I spent this summer taking care of myself.  I had a great time with my girls, got two watch two couples I love very much get married, redecorate my house.  And I feel refreshed and ready for what's next.  No regrets.  Now if this house would magically finish cleaning itself and someone would make me a nice frozen drink we'd be in business.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fat Tuesday with The Lumberjack's Wife: Week 2

Yes, it's still technically Monday.  But I have some weight related things I need to talk about right now, and I didn't think you all would mind.  I'd like to say that I was better this week.  If anything, I might have been a little worse.  But don't lose faith in me yet.  I go back to work starting Thursday, and that tends to help me get my stuff under control.  At least I'm hoping it will.  I will also be registering to go back to the gym this week.  But it's back to being melt-your-face-off hot outside, so I wouldn't expect to see me walking in the neighborhood for a while yet.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

But what I would like to talk about in this week's Fat Tuesday post is perception and body image.  I have never really had a lot of issues with my body, believe it or not.  I like myself no matter my weight and I like to dress cute and have nice clothes, no matter what size is attached.  (And I have a closet full of different sizes to prove it.)  I want to lose weight for health reasons, not because it's somehow connected to my self-worth or identity.  What bothers me is when people treat me like I should be ashamed of what I look like.  I've had someone do that to me recently.  Not in a blatant way, because they would never operate like that, but it was very obvious how they felt about the situation and what they thought I should be doing about it. 

Two years ago, I was the smallest I can remember being in my adult life.  I liked how I looked, no doubt.  But I am also pretty sure that the medicine that I took to achieve that caused the depression that almost cost me everything.  And I can tell you that no amount of weight loss would make me want to relive all of that.  It's been a hard road, and yes, all that weight I lost came back.  No, I'm not happy about it, and yes, I want to do better, but the last thing you are going to catch me feeling is shame.  I am who I am, and you can love me or not.  That's your decision.  But if your love is going to fluctuate on the basis of my pant size, then I am going to suggest right now that you exit stage right (or left, or out into the orchestra pit...your choice).  I don't need anyone in my life who feels that way, because that isn't friendship or love or anything of the sort.  Or at least not anything I plan on being a part of. 

In a few short weeks now, I will be turning 29.  That gives me one year until the big 3-0, an age which doesn't scare me because I can count too many people I've known who never got to see it.  And if God's willing to let me hang out here for another 365, when I turn 30, I'm going to throw myself one heck of a party.  (I love having the excuse for a big event!)   And yes, my goal is to look fabulous for that party, and I know that I will no matter my weight.  The other goal I have this year is to spend time on the people who really matter, the people who love me for who I am (crazy, hormonal swings and all).  I've decided that life's too precious to waste on people who don't take you for exactly who you are.  I'm lucky to have some of those awesome people in my life, and I am thankful for them a little more each day.  Those of you who find yourself on the other side of the line, consider yourselves on notice. And if you don't like it, you can kiss my currently ample rear end.

What I'm Listening To

I love music.  All kinds.  I can sing you half a Broadway song book, James Taylor's greatest hits, country music from the 80s to present and still have enough breath to rap a bit.  I'm eccletic to a point where I am almost non-discriminatory (except for metal.  I really hate metal!).  So, because I am sure your life will not be complete without it and because these are my final days of summer vacation, here's summary of what I have been listening to recently.

"And The Birds Sing" by Tyrone Wells - This song can put you in a great mood no matter where you started!  Plus, as you will probably see, I have a thing about songs with a "la, la" or equivalent chorus (the only thing better is clapping!)

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (self-titled album) - I liked Grace Potter before this newest album.  But there's something about "Paris (Ooh, La, La)" or "Only Love" that makes you feel like all girl power inside.  This is totally my new "I wanna be a rock star" song!

"Slow Show" by The National - I downloaded this song on the recommendation of Matt Logelin.  It took me about 15 listens to get most of the words because Matt Berninger has the growliest low voice ever, but there's just something about it.  It really does make you feel like you are heading home from a long day, even if you aren't.

Live at Sun Studio by Garrison Starr & Jay Nash - I love Jay Nash.  He has been the soundtrack of my summer.  This project has some great stuff on it.  I haven't had it long so not every song has had the listen it deserves, but I really like "Hey Girl," "Slow It Down" and "Over You."  I would also highly recommend TFDI (EP) from Jay Nash, Matt Duke and Tony Lucca.  In fact, "Slow It Down" is better on this album.  Close Enough (EP) by Tony Lucca also makes my heart very happy.

"Groovy Little Summer Song" by James Otto - While he isn't quite as growly as The National, James Otto has a pretty sweet bass.  This song makes me feel like getting all your friends together and having a party.  Or going to the beach.  And I like both of those things very much. 

"The Only Exception" by Paramore - While quite different from "Airplanes," the other song featuring Hayley Williams this summer, you sometimes just need a love song.  This talks about losing faith in love and finding someone who restores it, and who doesn't love that idea?

"Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri - This would be an anti-love song.  I first heard it when it was featured on So You Think You Can Dance.  But it's Perri's story that really gets me.  When her song was the score for a dance routine on the show, she was still working in a cafe in LA.  "Jar of Hearts" was #13 on iTunes the next week.  She was signed by a label, performed on The Tonight Show, this fall she's touring with Jason Mraz and finishing her first album.  I'm a softie for success stories like that.

"I and Love and You" by The Avett Brothers - Or pretty much anything by the Avett Brothers.  Period.

"Break Me Out" by The Rescues - This song makes you want to dance around your living room.  Not that I would ever do such a thing.

"Little White Church" by Little Big Town - I am going to rock this song as soon as it becomes available at karaoke.

"How He Loves" by David Crowder Band - I listen to this song when I want to yell at people in traffic.  It makes me cry before he ever sings a word, it's that good.  There's a line that gets me every time 'If His grace is an ocean we're all sinking.'  Seriously an amazing song.

The Drifter and the Gypsy by Rosi Golan -  The whole album's good.  Her music just fits my moods because she sings things the way I think them (if that makes any sense at all).  "It's Been A Long Day" and "Come Around" are two of my very favorites.

"Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland -  I'm a huge Sugarland fan.  I want to be Jennifer Nettles when I grow up.  This cut off their upcoming album is so good!  Instead of gettting old, it's just more fun with every play!   I can't wait for October to hear the whole album.

These are just a few of my favorites.  What can you not stop listening to?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Think Of The Children....

To any parent who has ever bought something like this, I tip my hat.  Because what they don't show on the box is that it comes looking like this:
I bought this adorable play kitchen for the nursery because I decided that we needed more things for pretend play.  My sister, Lu, who had come over for a Mexican food, Glee, & So You Think You Can Dance date, volunteered to help me put it together.  At first, it went very well....
but later into the process, it took a turn for the worse.
Eventually, we had this as our finished product.
I'm just thankful that Lu could "think of the children" instead of smashing this whole thing into a million plastic bits.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why My Job Matters

I love being a teacher.  I tried to run from it in college and there just wasn't any way to.  It is what I was born to do.  But with that said, sometimes it feels like it doesn't really matter.  It's easy to get frustrated and wonder if anything you do actually sticks with those who come into your room.  I'm not just talking about the curriculum.  Sure, I'd like them to remember the interworkings of our government or the literary elements.  But what I really hope to show them is how to live.  I want to be an example of how to handle life.  I want to show these kids, who are going to school in the very same school I graduated from, that they can be successful, that they are talented, that the world really is their's for the taking.

And today, I got the sweetest reminder of why all of this matters.  One of my students (I call myself her "School Mama"), tagged me as someone she looks up to.  That is why I do what I do.  I just pray that I am worthy of that kind of honor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fat Tuesday with The Lumberjack's Wife

Allow me to sum up my week.  It's Tuesday.  I'm still fat. 

I keep thinking that I will do better and so far, better has lasted only one or two days at a time.  Then, I do something horrible, like need cookies, and it's all over. 

And if that wasn't bad enough, I need to get back to exercising.  None of my clothes fit right.  I'm constantly uncomfortable.  Moreover, I'm not healthy, and that's what really bugs me.  Once school starts, I think I will be better about going to the gym.  I really like going once I make myself go there and I did a pretty decent job sticking with it this spring. I will also go back to walking in town once it's not boiling outside (the heat index today was 118 degrees), which means I will hopefully see some actual results.  Because I don't want to live my life like this, and since my goal is to look fabulous for my 30th birthday party in a little over a year, I need to get to work.

So, Taylor and the rest of the Fat Tuesday crew, it's on!

And Just Where Have I Been?

This is a sign of progress, people.  I have finally finished painting my bedroom.  It's a lovely shade of gray that's actually a little bit darker than it looks in the picture.  I got that finished Saturday morning, just in time to get ready for my grandma's 80th birthday party.  I will have more pictures up from that in a post to follow, but was a great time!  For the first time in more years than I can remember, all the cousins from my generation were together with there families.  (Mom's side of the family's a lot bigger than my dad's!)  Here's a look:
On Sunday after church, Sheena and I went to buy school supplies for the church giveaway this Saturday.  We give sets of school supplies to the community for free, thanks to the generous donations made to the church.  It's always fun to spend someone else's money!  We filled Sheena's trunk with all kinds of goodies.
Yesterday, I spent the day tying up loose ends.  I had to finish some things with my college class and then run to the church to take care of some things for the nursery (I just love putting out new toys to surprise "my babies!")  Then I stopped and visited my sweet friend, Sarah and her family.  And, since it was Monday night, I ended the day at my parents' house.

Which brings me to today.  I feel like I should tell you something about myself.  I am a packrat.  And kind of paranoid about someone stealing my identity (though I am fairly sure they would give it back to me once they looked things over).  So all of that led to a big fat mess in my desk.  I am trying to fix that situation however, thanks to this little guy:

which turns this
into this.
Thus ending my secret shame.  Maybe now I will actually be organized.  Or not, but I figure the attempt can't really hurt.  Since this is the last week of my vacation, I am trying to finish up all the things that I have been working on this summer, plus get in some school planning and hopefully some fun too!  I can't believe it's been a whole summer already!