Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bah-da-da-da-da-da---They Say Friday's My Birthday!

So there are very few pictures of me on this blog.  And in honor of my birthday, I thought I would give you a bit of a retrospective.  This first one is from my first Christmas.  Yes, my mother looks a little stoned, but I promise you she wasn't.  It's just that that picture is probably the first and only time I slept as a child.  My mother says that if I have a child she hopes that it doesn't sleep until it's three, because it's only fair to get what I gave.

And in the interest of equal time, here's me with my daddy.  I was the firstborn, and the first grandchild to my mom's parents, so to say I was spoiled is probably so mild it's incorrect.  I'm still spoiled.  And I'm okay with that.
I grew and I was simply adorable, if I do say so myself.  And right away, I began to show a flair for the dramatic.

And birthdays, they've always been kind of a big deal to me.  Oh the pictures I could show you!  I had slumber parties, boy/girl parties, and always super awesome family parties.  Here's a sampling...

2nd Birthday
 6th birthday (at Showbiz)
 LuLu, my cousin and me on my 16th birthday...
 My 21st birthday

And here I am on the eve of my 29th, an age which I know freaks some people out.  But I'm not.  I know several really awesome people who didn't get to be this old.  And know they would have given anything to be.  So I am nothing but grateful for 29 years of laughter and love and good friends and family.  I think this will be my year.  And even if it's not, I will be thankful.

PS Happy Birthday to my Auntie Jane, whose birthday I missed my 11 whole minutes.  (She tells a story about being so excited about my birth that she ran around telling people "My sister's an aunt!"  and didn't even get why people weren't especially happy for her.)  Lots of Love, Auntie! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The One Where I Promise Things That May Or May Not Actually Happen...

So, here's the good news.  Those pictures I've been promising you are actually on the computer.  Of course, they aren't on THIS computer, so you will still have to wait to devour the cuteness that is the little ones' birthday parties!  I really only harp on this because I really want you to see the super cute cake.  Maybe tonight it will actually happen.

I'm pretty excited because tomorrow I have taken the day off to deal with some boring grown-up things, but after that, while I am in Town, I am going to get to go shopping.  I will no doubt be stopping by my favorite store, Annie Laurie's.  I'm sure Laurie will have something that I NEED!  And then I am going to buy pants.  Because I actually need them.  And some fall clothes that actually fit, because I am still, let's say fluffy.  We are way past Fat Tuesday (Hi, Taylor) and I still have plenty of things to talk about and plenty of pounds to lose!  (Speaking of, Jay, a man I admire for his courage and hilarity has started a blog about losing weight.  Stop by and see him too!  We all need encouragement!)

And then, Friday is the day we have all been waiting birthday!  (Ok, so maybe YOU weren't waiting, but I have been!)  I'm working a post with some embarrassing childhood pictures for the event.  So, stay tuned.  And if you are just stopping by, I promise that I will talk about something important one of these days.  Really.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lovely Surprise

This evening, as I was hanging out enjoying the peace and quiet, I received a surprise phone call from a lovely friend.  Blondie (not her real name) and I have known each other since the 6th grade.  We weren't always friends when we were younger, but as adults we've seen each other through some things.  Like, for instance, she went to med school.  And moved upstate and then all the way to the East Coast.  Then, she got married!  (I was lucky enough to be up front with her for that part!)  She's brilliant, and I have tried to be her biggest fan as she waited to find out where the magical computer matching would take her next.  We don't talk all the time, in fact, we haven't talked in months, but I was so thrilled to hear from her.  It was a breath of fresh air to my evening!  You have to love friends who you can just pick right up with, no matter how long it's been.  And we always do.  I am so proud of her and I can't wait until October 13 now either!  Here's hoping for a perfect match, friend!

I'm not going to get to all the pictures up yet either.  You're going to have to get things in installments perhaps.  Here's one of my favorites from the weekend.  Nothing like pure, sweet victory!  My boys and my girls are going to the state tournament.  And can you guess who will be there at the crack of dawn next Saturday hollering like a maniac?  I love my kids!  Here's a glimpse...
I didn't get a single picture from the wedding, but I have several from the birthday parties that I will be sharing tomorrow.

Ok, So I Fibbed a Little...

I was REALLY tired yesterday afternoon.  I just didn't have the energy to deal with all of those pictures and posting and whatnot.  But I will do it as soon as I get home.  I promise.  I mean it this time.

Sidenote:  As a result of linking up with Kelly's "Show Us Your Life" event, I've had 793 hits on my bedroom post.  So, if you are here because you found me there, and you decided you like me, I just wanted to say "HI" and thanks for stopping by.

And if you have always loved me and stopped by, "HI" to you, too. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Saturday

Today was a really good, really busy day.  My boys and girls won their games, my friends are happily wedded, and I know two newly minted 4 year-olds who are going to bed with lots of toys and good memories.  I have pictures to show you, but I am just too tired.  So you will have to be patient.  And actually, I will reward you with tons of pictures on Sunday!  But for now, my bed is calling my name...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lovin' List Friday!

I tried to do lists on Thursday and it just wasn't working.  So, I am going to try for Fridays, and probably not every one.  Erin Zammett Ruddy, who was a Glamour blogger used to make lists like this quite a bit and I loved it!  It really helps you keep things in perspective.  And with no further ado, here we go...

Things I'm Loving Right Now:
  • My birthday is exactly one week away!  I don't have any plans in stone (other than meetings at work) but I love my birthday and simply can't wait!!
  • Baseball tournaments:  My boys and my girls are playing for the championship tomorrow and I'm so excited for them!  It will be a lot of fun to hear all about it next week (since I can only make it to one game because they are playing at the exact same time!)
  • I have a very full Saturday ahead!  The aforementioned ballgames, a wedding, and maybe even a birthday party if I don't collapse from exhaustion by then.  Sunday is looking pretty busy, too!  (Church, birthday party, prayer group)
  • That the weather is finally changing!  I'm ready for it to feel like fall!  Bring on the bonfires, the hayrides, and the pumpkins! 
  • Cake.  German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake.  I only get it one time a year.  And I could totally eat the entire thing.
  • My favorite store, Annie Laurie's Antiques.  All the time.  Because it's awesome!
  • I can see the light at the end of the's a four-day weekend just two weeks away. 

Kelly's Korner: Show Us Your Life

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner has been doing "Show Us Your Life" for a while now and I have failed to participate.  Today seemed like a good day because I don't actually have to do anything but link to an older post!  This summer I completely redid my bedroom!  I love the finished product!  (But you can certainly tell it was design by and for a girl!  No masculine touches here, unless you count the black sheets) 

Here's my master bedroom! 

Anyway, I hope you like it!  I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you do!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On Saying No...

Sometimes you just have to say no.  I know, I'm really not good at this.  In most areas of my life, I am downright awful at it.  I mean, I have no trouble saying it about exercising or grading, but sometimes I just find myself biting off a heck of a lot more than I can chew.  I find myself using reasoning like, "I have no real excuse not to.  I don't have a husband.  Or a family of my own."  But recently, I've gone days without talking to people that I love.  I've only managed to do one load of laundry.  In an effort to be all things to all people, I have managed to completely not take care of myself.  Sometimes, saying no just makes me feel like I am being selfish.  But is that such a bad thing to be every once in a while? 


Yesterday, I was a slacker.  That's right, I said it.  I didn't blog.  Which totally breaks my almost month long streak.  The problem is, I just didn't really have anything to say.  I don't really today either, but I am ridden with blogger guilt. 

We are in the final stretches of ballgame season.  About two more weeks or so and it will all be over.  Of course, then it will be basketball season. (But let's not go there just yet.)  My boys are a little obsessed with the pictures I've been taking of them.  It's like having your work critiqued by 15 art critics every day.  But they are funny and I love them so, it's okay (mostly).  They actually have a few good ideas that I will be trying this afternoon. 

It's officially fall here (and all over the Northern Hemisphere, I suppose).  Of course, they forgot to tell Mother Nature because it's still going to be 93 here today.  Nothing like melting as you walk from the house to the car.  The good news is that it's supposed to be much cooler this weekend.  That's really good news for my friends who are getting married this weekend.  Nothing worse than sweating in a wedding dress, or any dress really!  I'm glad they are going to have a gorgeous day though.  Other than that, my plans for the weekend are looking pretty open.  I'd really like to go see Easy A with Amber, but I'm not sure when we are going to get that worked out.  I also really need to do a little shopping before my coupons expire.  Sounds like a trip to Town is in order soon! 

How's everything going where you are?  Let me know about you in the comments!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tylenol PM Is My Friend

Been a long day.  12 hours fighting the good fight.  My shoulder/back is still a mess.  And my knee has joined in solidarity.  This makes sleeping less than fun.  Which is sad because I really like sleeping.  There may be medication in my immediate future.  For real.  Peace out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just Trying To Lighten Up...

I'm sure my last few posts haven't exactly had you rolling in the aisles.  And I don't really know what to tell you about that.  What I can do is post a few pictures of things I have been working on lately...

It's all baseball, all the time over here.  At least one more week, hopefully more!  There are a million more that I would love to show you, but I want to protect my kiddos privacy.  You're just going to have to trust me that they are so adorable and so much fun! 

And I promise I will try to whine less around here!  I promise I'm having a good time.  There are just some stories that you can't (or at least shouldn't) blog about!

A Question...

Why is it that it takes forever to get to Friday, but Monday has no trouble getting here? 

I feel like I do the same things day in and day out and I'm just a little bit antsy.  The good news is that we are less than two weeks away from my birthday.  And that in three weeks, I get a four-day vacation that I cannot say enough good things about.  It's needed.  Seriously.  Because I love my job, really and truly.  And I am getting enough rest and whatnot.  I'm perfectly happy.  Sometimes you just need a break.  And I am SO VERY THERE...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover Is My Undoing....

Been a pretty quiet day today, which is good because yesterday was exhausting.  My middle school boys played a lot of baseball yesterday.  They won the day, but my arms and legs are unhappy about that many hours of snapping pictures.  Wouldn't trade it for anything though.

After church this morning, I had to make a WalMart run, which is always fun (warning: sarcasm).  Luckily, lunch and a nice nap fixed most of that.  And this evening, I went back for prayer group, and those lovely women have a way of making you feel better about just about anything. 

But, to my topic at hand.  Extreme Home Makeover.  If you are a fan, you know that you don't really watch this show as much as sob your way through it.  I made it six minutes into tonight's episode before I was ugly crying all over the place.  A kid with spina bifida, a dad with ALS who is a football coach with at-risk students.  The couple were junior high school sweethearts.  The special guest stars are Michael Oher and the Tuohy family and Demi Lovato.  I mean, I seen a lot of episodes and watched them do some great stuff, but this one is just kicking my butt.  I think what I really love about this show isn't its openly manipulative tear-jerking ways so much as how it makes you want to go out and do something for someone else. 

While I don't necessarily call it karma, I do believe that the good you put out in to the world comes back to you.  In turn, so does the bad.  Does this mean that bad things don't happen to good people? No, unfortunately.  But it does mean that when you put good things out into the world, when you shine your light, it does make a difference.  You may not see it, you may not feel it, but it's out there and if enough of us would do it, it would change the world.  And I know that's very "Pollyanna" of me, but who says it's not true?  It really does start with one person.  One good deed.  One hand reaching out.  Will it be yours? 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Having a Moment: The Lindsay Lohan Revisited Edition

You know I don't normally blog about celebrities, but there's an "I told you so" at the end of this one and I just can't help myself.   After being out of jail & rehab less than a month, Lindsay Lohan has failed a drug test.  You can read about it here or here or probably 1,000 other media outlets.  Let me start by saying that I was really hoping that she wouldn't fail.  After seeing her self-effacing clip from the MTV Music Awards last weekend, and having relatively no other news about her, I thought maybe she was going to be okay.  Maybe she would be a 20-something Robert Downey, Jr. type and come out of this better and ready to go back to making great movies.  But, I guess not. 

Could it be because no one listened to me?  I mean, the girl was supposed to be in jail and rehab for six months.  She was barely in there for six minutes.  And then she's right back into the same situation which is the first thing that they tell addicts not to do.  I'm not judging her, I promise.  She's sick.  She needs help.  But it seems like no one wants to hold her accountable for her own actions.  And it also seems, sadly, like she isn't really interested in getting better.  And until she is, maybe she should actually be forced to serve the time she was given originally. 

I know you are thinking "Why do you even care about this?" but I think it's because she makes me feel all teacher-y.  I want to see her helped.  Because she's too talented to waste it.  Perhaps she will get her comeback, but obviously, she's got a long way to go.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Wasn't Going To Post Tonight, But...

I had a long day.  I was in meetings all day and was pretty much out of words and coherent thoughts in general.  But then I wouldn't be keeping my goal for a "blog-at-all-costs September" so, here I am.  I came straight home today after work and haven't done much, with the exception of copying some CDs on to my hard drive, finishing Season 3 of The Big Bang Theory, and watching Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

In fact, let me take a minute to rant about how much I disliked the movie.  I mean, it was a perfectly fine movie in its own right, I suppose.  But it just wasn't anything like the book.  And the book is awesome!  So awesome in fact, that I have finished that book and moved on to the second one in the series.  And I don't normally like fantasy, but the Greek mythology tied in with a book that is so smart and funny, I can't stop reading.  There are five books total, so chances are I will be reading them all.  But I was really disappointed in the movie.  Way to ruin a perfectly good franchise, Disney.

Tomorrow, because I am either criminally insane or one heck of a teacher, I am getting up (early, on my only day off) to watch my boys play in a baseball tournament.  They asked and I couldn't tell them no.  Well, that and I really want to see them beat my friend's team.  Love to brag about "my kids!"

I've got a couple busy weeks ahead.  Next weekend, there's a wedding and a birthday party.  And the following weekend is my actual birthday, a photo shoot and Riverboat (which is my sister's thing, but chances are I will go).  It seems like things always get busy this time of year, but that's how I like things for the most part.  For the first time in a few years, I don't really have any plans yet for my birthday.  I may wait until the long weekend we get and get all my girls together then.  Time will tell I suppose.  I think I have probably rambled on enough for one night.  There may be pictures tomorrow.  Who knows?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In A Mood

I really haven't had that bad of a day.  I try really hard to keep things in perspective.  I know that as I sit here at my computer, drinking my ice water and feeling the chill of the air conditioning that my life isn't really that bad.  I'm employed and love my job, I have a cute house, I have a good family.  I get all of that. 

But today, I am just in a mood.  I locked my keys in my car this morning (at least I had already made it to work), and that didn't even really bother me.  But I know I'm not the only one who has just been waltzing along in their day and had something just jump out and attack you.  It hits you the exact wrong way and you aren't anything other than furious.  You are suddenly so angry you understand the Incredible Hulk's motives and wonder if you can't just hulk smash something to bits!  (Though you don't actually try it, thank goodness!)  You just find yourself wondering what the heck you did to have this mess ruin your otherwise savageable day.  You find yourself wondering, just for a moment, who has to pay for this?

The good news is something will usually come along and change your perspective again.  At the very least your more sensible side takes over and you remember that this problem is not the end of the world.  It's not even the end of your day.  You take a deep breathe and dive headlong back into all the things that are actually going right.  And you realize that you don't have to let anything steal your joy.   Blogs are cheaper than therapy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Believe In Chris Jackson...

I've mentioned before that I did community theater as a kid. What I haven't mentioned, to the best of my knowledge, is that one of the people I was on stage with actually made it to Broadway. Even better, I had the good sense, at age 8, to make Chris Jackson, age 15, my first crush. I guess I had an eye for talent, but all I knew was that he could sing like no one else I had ever known. He had that stage presence that you just don't come across all that often. I can remember just being captivated.

Cut ahead a few years, and he'd moved to NYC. The summer before my senior year, I got the chance to see him on stage as the understudy for Simba in The Lion King (Tony Award winner, you might have heard of it). His mama (a wonderful woman in her own right, who made my senior year) was my choir teacher. (We were Glee, without the kick butt costumes or the social redemption, long before it was cool.) And Chris came to visit us. Now, I wasn't yet the social darling that you know and love, and having a handsome actor from New York hang out with me for the day pretty much made my year. A year or so later, when he came by my college choir and told me I could really sing, you could have scrapped me off the ceiling. Someone who actually knew something about music thought I had talent. It was probably the first time anyone who wasn't part of my church or my family had said something like that, or at least the first time it registered.

Well, cut ahead several more years. Chris married his perfect match, had two adorable kids, oh and starred as the original Benny on Broadway in In The Heights (Tony Award winner, you might have heard of it). He's ended his run there, but is doing all sorts of other great things, like working on a record and writing music for other people. Like for instance, Sesame Street (and

There's just nothing quite as much fun as using your blog to brag about how awesome the people you know are.  Thanks for always being a stand-up guy, Chris! 
P.S. Can't wait for the album!

Now I'm Beginning To Get Concerned...

Sheena has taken to calling me a "stats whore" because I am totally fascinated by that little button on my Blogger dashboard.  But I am beginning to wonder about its credibility.  Here are the stats from last night...

United Arab Emirates 13
Brazil 13
Netherlands 13
Russia 13
United States 12
Turkey 10
Italy 9
Spain 6
Argentina 4
Canada 4

And most of these hits occurred during one hour or so.  Either I have have gained international popularity in one night for my little blog with its 10 followers, or something fishy is going on.  I've had a hit here or there from other countries, but this was a little off.  Just curious.  If you have any ideas (or are perhaps one of these international readers), let me hear you in the comments section.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So, in my effort to blog as much as possible, I am yet again posting with no real topic in mind.  I had a very enjoyable afternoon.  My sister came by to do some cleaning, so when I got off work, we decided to get some Mexican food.  I had to run some books to Crys, and when I did she decided to join us too.  By the time we got to the restaurant, her mother was joining us as well!  And we had such a good time just talking and hanging out.  What a wonderful, unexpected turn to my day!  Lulu and I ran to WalMart after, then to get ice cream before heading home to watch Glee. 

I'm so excited about tomorrow, because after the teachers' inservice, I get to have my hair done!  My hair hasn't been cut or colored since June (for various reasons), and it is in need of some serious TLC!   I'm ready to let Jen work her magic, and if I get really ambious, I might even post a picture tomorrow.  But no promises.

Lately, I've taken to saying that my life is a study in awkward.  I am choosing to embrace that fact rather than run from it, and the results have been really surprising.  I think that I am going to be more open to the possibilities life has for me and see what happens.  Perhaps it's the influence of Maria Davhana Headley's A Year of Yes.  Maybe it's just that I am nearing another birthday and am in the mood to shake things up.  Who knows?  I just know that I would much rather love the things that I have come into my life than to fight them.  Why waste all that effort fighting when you can just enjoy the ride?  Here's to the adventure...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog, Blog, Blog

The Pioneer Woman says that it's important to blog every day.  I don't really know what I am going to blog about today because, while a perfectly nice Monday, it wasn't really revolutionary.  It was a day.  The kids were funny, mixed with crazed and noisy.  They are loving the read aloud right now, but not nearly as much as I am.  We are reading the first book of the Percy Jackson series, The Lightning Thief.  I don't normally like fantasy (if you don't consider Chick Lit fantasy), but I love mythology and that's where this book has its base.  It's funny, well-written, and good enough that I've brought it home so I can read ahead of the kids.  (Much to their dismay!)

So, that's really all I've got.  I know you are riveted.  But sometimes, life isn't glamorous or even all that funny.  Sometimes it just is.  And that's okay too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fancy Schmancy Gallery Stuff

Last night, like Amber mentioned, we went to a gallery show...

Jaime Plemon is an amazing artist.  I say this because I have yet to see her try something she isn't awesome at.  (Aren't truly artisitic people just annoying!  :)  She does great hair, but tonight it was all about the photography.  After our epic dinner, Amber and I went to take in her studio and photographs, as well as those of Jeni Eck.  I found several that I wish I would have purchased (though I don't know where I would put them.  See below).  Here's Jaime with a few of her photos and the outside of her gorgeous studio.  It was a great night!  Thanks for the invite, Jaime!

Today, I have been busy rearranging my house. I finally feel like I am making some progress.  There's still plenty to do, but I was so inspired by Amber's purchases on my behalf that I have been shifting things around (much to Delilah's dismay) since I got home from church.  Speaking of, here's are the goods up on their respective walls...

I've been in love with this poster for such a long time, but had never been able to find it at a price point I could afford.  Grandpa Gus was a Navy man, plus I love the slogan.  We've come such a long way, haven't we, ladies?  Anyway, thanks again to my awesome personal shopper!  I should have known that my favorite store would come through for me! 

It's been a great weekend! Hope this sets the tone for fall!

And Now A Word From Our Guest Blogger...

My friend, Amber, is my travel buddy, food and wine appreciator, and yesterday, she was my personal shopper.  I've been begging her to guest blog for forever, because she is one of the single funniest women I know, and she's finally done it.  But I'll let her take it away from here...

So I'm trying to write this while watching the Colts game... it's not going well. The game. Not my writing. It's gonna be a tough season if this keeps up... but this is still the most wonderful time of the year.

Now on to what I believe I'm supposed to be talking about.

Saturday morning I roll out of bed and take my car to the shop right away for an oil change, and to have a leaky tire checked. I feel like this is the kind of thing grown ups do on Saturday mornings. So I get there and place my order for service and sit down with my Glamour...

...when out comes the manager. The leaky tire is off the car and Mr. Manager takes me to look at it, and there's this gaping hole in it where you can see the tubey part... I don't know a ton about tires, but my understanding is that this is not exactly safe. He says they won't be able to patch it, and he couldn't really in good conscience put it back on my car. *sigh* Mr. Manager then has me take a look at the other tires on my car, which are apparently cracking... "dry rot"... so on and so forth. There are some other bulges, and some smooth patches on the outer walls, and he says,"looks like you may have hit something here...?"

***Montage of me slamming into a number of curbs.***

"Yeah, I'm not sure what that would be," I said.

So the verdict is, I will buy a new set of tires. No problem.

Just let me call my daddy.

"... so that's what you need to look for. You're on your own now, so it's your decision. I know you'll do fine." That's right. Like I said, I'm a grown up.

About a gajillion dollars later, I've got new tires and am no longer in danger of exploding rubber all over the road on the way home. My main regret is that if I had known I would be there for over 2 hours, instead of like 25 minutes, I probably would have showered beforehand.

Then I am summoned by Kate to take a detour on my way to Anna, and stop at Annie Laurie's. I'm game. There was allegedly an old Navy recruitment poster that she wanted me to pick up, if available. No problem. So I get there and proceed to the super creepy basement area. Kate tells me later that Annie Laurie's, before being a house and antique shop, was a mortuary... that's the kind of information I am thankful I did not have prior to visiting the super creepy basement area. Down too narrow cement steps... in 4 inch wedge heels...

I find the poster, but there is no price tag, so I'm not completely certain it's for sale. So I go back upstairs to ask the lady who is working... she says to bring the poster up. No problem. Back down the stairs to rip the poster off the reveal a big hole in the wall behind the poster. Can't worry about that now. So I turn around, and there it is...


Yep. An old street sign for Broadway in Cape... love it. You know who would love this?

I take the poster upstairs and the lady calls the actual Annie Laurie to verify that the poster is for sale. While she waits for the call back, I go downstairs (again) to inspect the road sign. It's completelyy awesome, and it's really for sale...what with the price tag and all. So I call Kate...


The sign is screwed to the wall. *sigh*

Back upstairs.

'Annie Laurie' has called back, and the poster is in fact for sale, which is excellent, but may I please have a screwdriver? I haven't mentioned this, but the employee that was working had on a walking cast, so I didn't exactly see her trudging down the cement steps to take down that sign for me.

No problem. Back downstairs (is anyone counting? Because at this point I am sweating and huffing a little...) I pull up this chair, which is also for sale, and stand on it so I can reach the sign. Then I unscrew the sign... or rather, attempt to unscrew (because it's apparent that a man with a drill was responsible for this). From where I'm standing, you can see up into the rafters... and had I known about the mortuary thing... no time for that now. I finally manage to get the sign down and take it back upstairs. *Whew*

After all that, it was off for dinner at the Brick House (woot!)... I highly recommend the Tucker Hill from Hedman Vineyards... delish.

My Saturday adventure then takes me to a gallery opening... but I don't want to overstay my welcome, so I'll let Katie tell you about that.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let's Have A Parade

Every year, where I'm from (much like where you are from probably), we have a festival.  And festivals mean parades.  A parade means:  the VFW Color Guard proudly bearing our flags...
And beauty queens, smiling and waving...
And this kid marching with his acoustic guitar...
And brass instruments.  I love sousaphones and trumpets!
Big horses pulling wagons...
And sweet old ladies in go-karts.
And scary floats...
And mini horses pulling smaller wagons.
And on September 11, it seems fitting to see so many fire trucks and police cars.  I was sitting in the student center at my university on 9/11/01.  I remember watching the plane hit the second tower, calling all my friends to see if they knew yet, going into to my AmeriCorp job and watching the TV we kept in the teacher's lounge so the students couldn't see.  I remember the fear.  And I remember see the nation come together in hope.  We remember because how could we ever really forget.
And, from big to small (and adorable), we have to stick together.

I Wasn't Kidding About The Barbie Thing

When I was little, I was sick a lot.  Which meant that I had to spend time doing unpleasant things like going to the doctor and getting shots and tests.  So, to make this a little more tolerable, my mother used to bribe me with Barbies.  (And I turned out just fine, no psychological damage done.)  I loved Barbies, and I had a lot of them.  But if I was to remember one doll that I loved the most, it was Peaches and Creme Barbie.  Her dress was the prettiest dress my four year old eyes had ever seen, and I played with her until the dress literally fell apart.  So imagine my surprise when I saw this at WalMart last night!

They have re-released her!  And she's still my favorite.  However, they are also asking $45 for her, so I think I will choose to be satisfied with the knowledge that Peaches and Creme lives on not only in my heart, but on the shelf at WalMart.

My Favorite "Make A Bad Day Good" Songs

There's just something about a song that can change your mood.  These are my Friday afternoon songs.  Heck, sometimes they are my Monday morning songs, just depends on how things are going...

Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z and Alicia Keys - I know this song has been played for everything under the sun.  And that I am not from New York.  But every time it comes on it makes me smile.  I think it has something to do with my belief that if I sing it loud enough, I can sound just like Alicia Keys.

Kate - Ben Folds Five - Okay, so I don't smoke pot.  But the chorus is like my own personal theme song!

Dark Blue - Jack's Mannequin - This is my official "I need to brush off the stink of this day" song.  Once that pounding piano starts in, I can't help but feel better about everything.

On The Street Where You Live - Willie Nelson -  Yes, you read that right.  I think this is the most charming cover of that song I've ever heard.  It's just so adorable!

Take Me As I Am - Sugarland - You had to know I was going to throw in some Sugarland.  This song has one of my favorite lines:  "We all live with the scars we choose."  Plus you can't help singing loud on the chorus!

If I Ever Leave This World Alive - Flogging Molly - This song makes me think of P.S. I Love You, which is one of my favorite movies.  And it makes me think of Ireland, which somehow calms me. 

Honorable Mentions:
Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show
First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes
Everybody Learns From Disaster - Dashboard Confessional
Love and Some Verses - Iron and Wine
Gonna Make You Love Me More - Ryan Adams

And speaking of music news, I'm really excited that Matthew Morrison is recording his own record.  I am unabashedly in love with him!  I don't even really care what it sounds like (ie if it's pop or dance club drivel), I would listen to him sing the phone book.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Computer Needs Prayer

I need you to take a moment and say a prayer for my dear sweet computer.  Tonight, while trying to do a fairly simple operation, I received the "blue screen of death."  Based on the articles I have since read on the internet, I may not have anything to worry about.  But just in case, I am backing up every single file on my external hard drive and laying hands on my CPU.  I do not, I repeat DO NOT, have a new computer in my budget right now.  And I believe that God knows this.  But I don't think a few pleading reminders will hurt.

My Journey to Teacherhood

(This one's for you, Taylor!)

I didn't want to be a teacher.  If you would have asked me when I was in junior high or high school, I would have told you I was open to being just about anything, with the exception of teaching.  Both of my parents are teachers, so I'd grown up hearing about it all the time, and I wasn't interested.  Besides, I didn't really like kids in mass quantities. 

So, I graduated high school and went to junior college on a scholarship.  Depending on which semester you asked me, I was going to be a public relations specialist, a social worker, a psychologist, or maybe a singer/actress (some dreams die hard) but teaching was not even on the radar.  That is, until I was offered a position with AmeriCorps as a mentor/tutor.  It wasn't the job description that made me take the job, to be perfectly honest.  It was that I would be earning a stipend and money for the next two years of my education, which was not paid for.  I left the secretarial student job (that I loved) and was assigned to work in my old elementary school tutoring at-risk 5th and 6th graders.  I took to it immediately, and before long, my major was clear.  I changed my major to Elementary Education and graduated with my degree two years later.

It's funny to me that I didn't want to work with kids in mass quantities and now I teach middle school.  There's nothing more challenging than a room full of 13 year-olds who are certain they know everything they need to know about everything.  When I tell people what I teach, they mostly just shake their heads, particularly other teachers.  It doesn't really bother me because I know that I am much better off teaching junior high with all the drama and hormones than I am teaching kindergarten with all the snotty noses and shoes to tie.  (In fact, my first sub job was in my mom's classroom, and I was quick to say that they couldn't pay me enough money to do that again!) 

I'm not saying that it's always sunshine and roses, no job ever is.  There are days when you just want to kick the copier and call it a day.  But, I think when you are doing the thing you know you are supposed to do, you get over it a little easier.  You put on your big girl clothes and go back into the trenches because there's nowhere else you'd rather be.  (And if you don't believe me, check out Crystal's post on how one gesture can change a day.)  Teaching is a ministry like no other, and I am the first to say that I haven't always gotten it right.  But I'm trying.  And just like I tell my students, if you try it enough times you will eventually get the hang of it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blogging Tips From My Hero

I loved this post!  (Though I break the blogging about the same thing rule sometimes, I do try to blog like I am talking to my sister!) 

The Pioneer Woman's Tips For Blogging

Just thought you might enjoy the read, particularly if you are a blogger yourself!  And since she is an awesome blogger, and I want to be her when I grow up, I promise to try to talk about a better variety of things. 

Any suggestions, blog readers?  Want do you want me to write about?  I'm all about pleasing the people.  (Well, actually, not so much.  But I am all about trying to be more cooperative.  It is still my blog after all.)

Call Me Picky, But...

A couple months ago, I sang at the funeral of a wonderful woman I've known all my life named Christamae.  Almost every church memory I have as a child includes her.  She died in June, leaving her husband of almost 70 years.  Paul never really had much interest in life after he lost her, and died last Friday.  His funeral was today, and I sang with my daddy and sister.  Truth be told though, I had a hard time being sad.  I'm not hard-hearted or anything.  Funerals are usually my undoing.  It's just that this Saturday (Sept. 11) will be their 70th anniversary, and it makes my heart smile to know that they will be celebrating it together in Heaven.  Besides that, it's hard to be sad when you think about how sweet that reunion had to be.

As I've said before, I can't imagine being in love with anyone for 70 years.  (Honestly, I can't really imagine being in love with someone for one year at the moment.)  However, I do believe that kind of love exists, because I've seen it with my own two eyes.  I know that a lot people my age aren't privileged enough to come from homes or even know many examples at all of homes that haven't been broken by divorce.  But I am blessed enough to have several examples--my grandparents, parents, my second family (Happy Anniversary again, Sandy and Jason!), my friends.  Perhaps that's why my own standards are so high when it comes to love and marriage and the like.  I don't believe that marriage is disposable.  If and when I make that choice, I want to know that we are going to do everything in our power to make it last. 

I get that sometimes it doesn't, and that divorce is the best option.  I'm not sitting here saying anything about people who get divorced, trust me.  But, personally, for me, I want to know that the guy I choose is in it for the long haul.  I'm not all starry-eyed about marriage.  I get that relationships are work.  And it's precisely because of it's work that I want to make sure that I don't go running head long into just anything.  I want to be sure that when and if God sees fit for me to get married that I am marrying the right guy.  Admittedly, my standards are high.  (Even my closest friends have called me picky.)  But honestly, I'm okay with that.  Because if you are willing to accept anything, then that's exactly what you will get.  And I don't want to settle for that. 

Because I know true love exists.  I've seen it.  And when you've seen it, you aren't interested in any imitations.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


It's 6:30 AM.  I am almost completely ready for work.  Anyone else see anything odd with this scenario?  The thing is, I have no idea how I have managed this, so the chances of doing it again are small.  I was wide awake at 5:00, but I didn't make any attempt to get ready for at least half an hour after that.  Perhaps this is what it feels like to be a responsible adult.  Maybe I will go on in to work, type the study guide I forgot about and still be early for morning duty.  Or maybe I will play around on my blog and Facebook, whiddling away the extra time until I am almost late...yeah that sounds a lot more like me. 

Hope your short week isn't starting off as weird as mine has!

Update:  7:25 AM - Had a shoe issue that almost ended it all.  But even with blogging, checking for new music, doing my makeup and fixing lunch, I was out the door at 7:02.  Like I said, weird morning!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hobby Lobby Rocks!

Today, after lunch, Sheena and I went to Hobby Lobby since fall stuff was on sale.  You can rest assured that her wedding flowers will not look like this:
This was a real flower (feather?) display.  And they wanted $100 for it!  We had plenty of other things to choose from.  In fact, our choices were almost overwhelming.

We found lots of good things.  I only managed to get pictures of a few of them though because I was carrying an arm full at one point. 

I can't wait to see what Aunt Sandy does with them!  There were some really gorgeous things and most of them were 1/2 price!  I even convinced Sheena to get some sparkly pumpkins!  (But not the jeweled ones.  Which was really too bad!)

On the way home though, we saw this...

Now, maybe I just don't understand, but these kids were strapped in, but facing out the back window.  Seatbelts or not, I don't think this can be safe.  What if this car got hit from behind?  And how do you decide which of your kids sits in the danger seats?  "Timmy, you've been extra bad today.  You have to sit in the danger seat on the way to the store!"  I was just curious what you all thought about this.  Is this common and I am just over reacting?  Or does this freak you out too?  Comments?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Weekend (So Far...)

Yesterday, after the epic Nature vs. Katie battle royale, I pretty much laid low.  I decided to try the P.F. Chang's packaged Sweet and Sour Chicken for supper, and I have to say it was excellent.  I made a little brown rice to go with it and it really hit the spot.  It was as good as going to the restaurant and not as expensive, so I felt okay about it.

I woke up this morning with seemingly a million mosquito bites popping up.  (Thanks again, Nature.  You big jerk!)  I went to church and hung out with the toddlers, sang with my girls, and came home for a bit.  I needed to take care of a few photography things (like downloading some pictures from my camera and cleaning off the disk), so I had just enough time to do that before I headed back to meet Sheena and Ronnie.  We went to the park, met up with the grown-ups who had been biking (plus Crys, who had not been biking) and had hotdogs and s'mores.  It was more fun than I expected, to be sure.  (Always fun to hang out with my second family!  It was the park element that confused me!)  Then, we went out to see Crystal's house and I must say, it's absolutely gorgeous, even in the dark.  And after living in the trailer for as long as she has, the girl has earned it!  I'll be so excited to see it finished! 

Looks like tomorrow, we are going to look at a possible wedding reception site and then having a cookout!  Should be a good time!  Might even get a picture or two.  (yes, I've noticed my blog has been light on the pictures lately too.  I've been taking them, just mostly of people, so they haven't been on the blog.)  Hope you have a great Labor Day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nature - 1, Katie - 0

Today has been a beautiful day!  I got up and took a nice long walk and really enjoyed that it feels like fall outside, thank goodness!  I had thought that nature and I were going to be on good terms this season (we had a major fallout this summer), but I know now that it just wasn't meant to be for us.

This afternoon, I tired of being cooped up in the house and decided that I wanted to read my book outside.  You always see people in movies and pictures doing that and it looks so enjoyable.  So, I grabbed my blanket, a pillow, and the book I've been reading (A Year of Yes by Maria Dahvana Headley) and headed into the great outdoors that is my lawn.  Let the record show I lasted less than five minutes. 

How did nature foil my master plan so quickly you ask?  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the midwest mosquito.  I don't know about bugs in your region (though I've seen some pretty horrific pics from a friend in Arkansas), but mosquitoes here are large and in charge.  And persistent.  Even with bug spray, they would not leave me alone.  Darn you, Nature, darn you.  But tomorrow is another day...

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Stats Shout-Out!

I've become completely obsessed with the Stats feature from Blogger.  Apparently, I have people that have read my little blog from all over, not just the United States, but the globe.   No, really, I'm not kidding!  Here are the stats from August 4 - Sept 2 (in page views):

United States 797

Canada 19
Luxembourg 15
China 5
Australia 2
Bulgaria 2
Denmark 2
United Kingdom 2
Germany 1
Latvia 1

Now, I actually might know the who's been viewing from Australia and maybe even Germany, but I don't know anyone from Luxembourg, China, or Latvia (or anywhere else but the US).  While I realize this is a public blog, I guess it just takes seeing the stats to grasp that it really can be read anywhere in the world!  And I just wanted to give all my readers, stateside and abroad a great big "Holla!"  (thanks, Ellen Degeneres and The Lumberjack's Wife for the borrowed catch phrase!).  If you are reading this, shoot me a line in the comment section and let me know where you are from!  If you don't want to say the name of your town or state, let me know the country!  (It would be so cool to show my students this!)

And no matter where you are from, I just want to say how much I love that you stop by and read what I have to say!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And Before I Knew What Was Happening....

Let me start by saying that I love my mother dearly. 

But tell me girls, have you ever had a moment where you realize that without any warning at all you are becoming your mom.  It's never 100%.  Just a moment at time.  One minute you are walking around a totally normal person, and the next minute you are unloading your cart at the checkout and insisting the checker keep all the frozen things together.  Or you are ordering in the drive thru and you hear yourself request "extra ice."  From the order of  your fridge to the words our of your mouth, she's there.  And you know, for better or for worse (but mostly for better), she's left an imprint on your soul so deep you don't even see it coming.  And you aren't sure whether you should laugh or cry.

Your turn.  Any ways you all see yourself becoming like your mom?  Let me hear about it in the comments.


It's amazing to me that my 100th post was in April 2010, and my 200th is on the first day of September 2010. (I really was a posting fool this summer!) September is finally here and I'm hoping that there will be some cooler weather soon. I am so sick of sweating!  Supposedly, this weekend (which is thankfully a long one) will have a little more fall mixed in.  Bring on the 50s and 60s, speedy quick like!

I feel like for my 200th post on my little ole blog, I should do something awesome!  Except here's the problem--this week I have yet to do anything really awesome.  Or even mildly awesome, really.  I go to work, I go home, I pretend like I'm going to do some housework, but watch TV and mess around on Facebook instead.  Every so often, I add in a little study guide making or grading to mix things up.  Today, I'm going to the grocery store, because the pickings are slim in my kitchen.  That will at least require a drive to the town over, and a stop at both the WalMart and Kroger.  However will I contain my excitement?!  I'm just going about living my life and sometimes, it's just not full of awesomeness.  Which is okay, I guess, but not all that much to post about.