Friday, September 13, 2013

Kelly's SUYL: Blogger Like Me

If you are coming by from Kelly's, first of all, Hi!  My name is Katie, and I am a 31 (almost 32) year-old, single, middle school teacher.

It's actually pretty funny that this post ends up being my first one in a little over two months.  I'll talk more about my blogging break soon, but I think now's a good time to focus on what I love about blogging.  Through my little corner of the internet, I've managed to "meet" some of the most incredible people, some of whom I have become more than just internet friends with.  It's fun to see that people from all over have been where you are, and I that's especially true when you hit the rarefied air of single and 30+.  I'm probably in a season where I'm more content than I've ever been in my life, but it's a very different season from many of my friends who are married and/or have children.  And I'd say that most of you probably get where I'm coming from.

I promise that I'm going to try to start popping in around here a little more often.  Breaks are good, but so is coming home, you know?  If you've never been here before, look around and stay awhile.  I'd love to know a little more about you.  And if you are one of my dear people, shocked that I'm finally posting again, thanks for just being you and I'd love to hear from you in the comments, too.

Happy Weekend! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

I Would Walk 100 Miles...

Those of you that follow me on Twitter or who have been following along recently know that for the month of June, my goal was to walk 100 miles.  It was actually Crystal's big idea, and at first I thought she was crazy.  Then I walked 30.94 miles in the first week.  Suddenly, it didn't seem impossible.

In the end, I walked 103.39 miles in the month of June.  I actually reached 100 miles on June 20th, and spent the rest of the month being a total slacker.  As soon as I reached my goal, my motivation was out the window.  I'm not proud of this fact, but it's completely and absolutely true.  Since July is my last full month of summer, the last full month of getting to decide my own schedule, I've decided that in July I will walk an additional 150 miles.  (Which equals out to 4.8 miles a day.)  It's completely doable, as many days in June I walked over six miles between walking outside and doing videos.

I just have to get into the habit of exercising on a regular basis.  That's really my primary goal, the weight loss has definitely been secondary.  In fact, I've only weighed once since school was out, and I don't plan to weigh again until we are back in session in August.  However, I have already had to go buy new pants, so I feel like we're headed in the right direction.  I also have a goal of at least walking a 5K in the near future, which will be a fun thing to mark off my bucket list.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a little update as to where I am and where I'm going.  It's been a great journey so far, but I'm just getting started!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 30: What I Love About My Life

I've never been one of those people who was freaked out by getting older.  I skated from my twenties right into my thirties without a second thought.  But, now that I've been at this a bit, I have to say that I really love my thirties so much more than I ever thought I would.  I am so much more confident in who I am and what I believe.  I'm braver with the choices that I make, even if they are things that I know are out of my comfort zone.  I want to live better and do more and I finally get what being content with your circumstances really means.  It's just amazing.

I have a life I love passionately.  Some days, that passion may look like staying out late laughing with friends and sometimes it looks like lying on the couch watching Netflix.  It's all part of the journey, and it all makes me happy.  I feel like for a really long time, I lived by life very desperately.  I wanted things that other people had because I thought they were the things that would make me happy.  Some of those things, like marriage, are still things I would like to do, if the right circumstances came along.  Others, I now see, aren't part of where I am supposed to be, and that has to be okay.  It's weird to have developed this sort of life philosophy because I think I am one of the least navel gazing people I know.  I don't sit around and think about this kind of thing all the time.  But lately, it's just been where my head has been, and I've actually enjoyed the revelations.

Anyway, part of this wonderful life is the people who read this blog.  You, my people, are such a fantastic group, and I have really enjoyed getting to know you.  Especially those of you who came along for the ride on this 30 Day Challenge.  I think we've had a pretty good time, and if nothing else, it's gotten me back into the habit of posting regularly.  And I'm really hoping that's something I can keep up with.  (Still probably won't be every day, but we'll see how it goes.)  Thanks for being you!  You don't know how great it is to have you all for "imaginary" friends.

**No linky today.  You can leave your blog address in the comments, though!**

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 29: Favorite Show Or Concert

First off, sorry this is going up really late today.  My friend and I went to the late movie last night and I didn't get in until 1:00 AM.  And I'm fast finding out I may not longer be built for nights like that.  (Quick review:  The Heat had a lot of language, but it was very, very funny.)

Anyway, today's about the best concert or show we've seen.  I've been to a ton of concerts and shows.  My first was The Judds and Oak Ridge Boys when I was four.  While I don't remember it clearly, it does still come to be in bits and pieces because it was something I truly loved.  My maternal grandparents would take me to see a show every year when I was younger.  Sometimes a concert, usually a touring company of a Broadway show.  I've even been lucky enough to see several Broadway shows in New York.  So, trying to think of my favorite is difficult because there are a lot of variables.

Recently, my favorite concert was Pentatonix.  They were so good live!  Each member is ridiculously talented and they blend so well.  (Plus, I have a pretty massive crush on Avi and his beautiful, deep bass.)  My favorite concert ever remains James Taylor, whom I also saw with Amber.  Our decision to go as a side trip to our planned vacation to Charleston was one of the best decisions we ever made.  He sang for two wonderful sets, the crowd was so much fun, and it was just the best thing ever to see an artist our dads raised us on.  His voice is still as good as it ever was.

When it comes to theater, my best overall experience was when my friend, Chris, was in The Lion King, and we got to not only see him perform as Simba, but were taken on a backstage tour.  I doubt any experience with the theater is going to top that one for me.  But my favorite show is actually the very traditional Broadway fare of 42nd Street.  It's the tapping.  I can't do it, but I really, really love to watch it!

Okay, that's enough for me.  Make sure to link up!  Only one day left of the Challenge!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 28: The Purse Game

I like big purses.  Always have.  Which means that I tend to pick up lots of extra things that may or may not be normal for a purse.  If you looked into my LuLu purse at the moment, you might find:
  • My Nook
  • The plug-in charger for said Nook
  • My wallet (which is full of goodness only knows what)
  • A cell phone car charger that my SIL gave me
  • Two wine corks from the last winery adventure
  • Random cash and receipts strewn throughout
  • Two pair of sunglasses
  • A can koozie
  • A notebook
  • Random ink pens 
  • A travel hairspray
  • A hairbrush
  • My cell phone (if on the move)
  • Mini-lotion
I think that's about it.  During the summer, I don't keep much makeup in my purse because I'm always afraid I will leave my purse in the car and it will melt everywhere.  Even so, all of this would not win me the purse game among my friends.  

What do you keep in your purse?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 27: My Pet

Delilah remains the world's worst roommate.  I mean, a roommate who jumps onto your sternum in the middle of the night and routinely pukes on your carpet?   Not exactly what everyone's looking for.  And she hates company, specifically my sister, which is mostly hilarious.  She freaks out for no reason.  She's scared of the passing traffic and barks at birds outside.  She hates when I sing or play music, and despises my cell phone.  She knocks things off the counter on purpose and steals my hairbands.

But she is my kitty and I love her anyway.  At least most of the time.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/26

If you are looking for today's 30 Day Challenge, just scroll down!  It's already posted, as well.

1. Summertime is a season of reunions, weddings, and other family celebrations and gatherings...are any of the above on your calendar in the next two months?

I actually don't have any of those things in my plans for the next couple of months . As I've mentioned, the next big family wedding isn't until March.  I've had summers that seemed like wall-to-wall weddings, but 2013 doesn't appear to be one of them.

2. June is National Iced Tea Month...are you an iced tea drinker? If so, how do you like yours (sweet, flavored, etc)? 

I live just far enough south that sweet tea is a staple.  I love it with all of my heart, but have really been trying to drink more water and less tea/soda.

3. When were you last nervous?  Looking back, was the 'event' actually nerve-worthy?

I'm socially awkward and a bit of a control freak, so I'm nervous in most unfamiliar social situations over which I have little control.  It's an awesome trait to have, trust me.  And typically, after the fact, I see that there wasn't really anything to be nervous about.  But that's way after the fact, usually.

4. The bristle toothbrush was invented in China on June 26, 1498...not sure how that date was pinned down so precisely but, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being sick to your stomach and 1 being not at all, how nervous do you feel when you're headed to the dentist?  Do you see your dentist twice a year?

I don't always see my dentist twice a year, but I, oddly enough, don't have anxiety about going to the dentist.  I never really did.  I think it probably has something to do with a fact that I don't really have sensitive teeth.  Though I've had fillings before, I never even needed Novocaine until I had teeth pulled for braces in my teens.  

5. What's making news in your town this week?

My high school PE teacher recently passed away at a relatively young age.  That's been pretty big news.  

6. Curtains, drapes, blinds...your window treatment of choice? Are there any bare windows in your house? Is that by choice or because you haven't gotten around to covering them? 

My house has a lot of windows.  Most have sheers or curtains.  A few have blinds.  The ones that are completely uncovered are by choice.  Part of my plans for my enclosed porch include new window treatments of some sort.

7. Summertime is officially here (in the Northern hemisphere anyway)...what one song is a must-have on your summer playlist?

Oh, Joyce!  You know how hard it is for me to just pick one song!  I'm going to try to play along, though.  Recently, I've really been enjoying is "Next To Me" by Emeli Sande.  I love her voice, the beat, everything. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  

My summer break is almost halfway over.  And while that certainly makes me a little sad, I'm excited to think of all the potential adventures to come.  You just never know what might come your way!

Day 26: Plans For The Weekend Ahead

The beauty of my summer is that all the days sort of blend together in a haze.  Weekends feel a lot like weekdays.  That said, I don't often have special plans like I might during the school year.  However, this weekend, I've got plans for a cookout with friends.  It's been on the books for a while and I'm looking forward to a chance to visit with some friends that I don't get to spend much time with.

Other than that, I don't really have any plans.  I haven't been over to my parents' in a while, so I might head over there on Sunday.  Thankfully, it's supposed to be cooler this weekend than it has been.  I just can't deal with the high nineties and 100% humidity.  I don't like to sweat when I'm getting dressed.  I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Anyway, that's my weekend.  How about yours?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 25: The iPod Shuffle

Of all the days, this one was probably my favorite.  I'm going to play it by the exact same rules I used last time, using my actual iTunes on shuffle rather than just my iPod. (This puts 18.84 GB of music at play.) Prepare for some serious randomness...
  1. Just The Way You Are - Glee Cast
  2. 1, 2, 3, 4 - Plain White T's
  3. Slip and Fall - Matt Duke
  4. On A Day Just Like Today - Gabe Dixon
  5. Knocked Up - Heidi Newfield
  6. Sing - Glee Cast
  7. In Christ Alone - Travis Cottrell
  8. The Letter - Eva Cassidy
  9. Please Me Like You Want To - Ben Harper
  10. Be Mine - Alabama Shakes (I'm a little obsessed with this whole album)
  11. I Am The D.J. - Neon Trees
  12. Fix You - Cold Play
  13. Never Make It On Time - Nikki Yanofsky
  14. Dock of the Bay (Live) - Sara Bareilles
  15. In the Name Of Love - Christopher Jackson
  16. Sweeter - Gavin DeGraw
  17. Three Little Birds - Bob Marley and the Whalers
  18. Someone You Use  - Vonda Shepard
  19. My Paper Heart - Francesca Bastistelli
  20. Sign On The Door - Edwin McCain
  21. The Wind - Zac Brown Band
  22. Boots - Joey + Rory
  23. Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
  24. Oh Tonight  - Josh Abbott Band feat. Kacey Musgraves
  25. Bad Before Good - Day One

There you have it!  Just a quick glimpse into my music files!  Let's see what you've got...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 24: My Town

I didn't grow up in a town. I was raised on the farm that the maternal side of my family has lived on for over 100 years. By the time I arrived on the scene, we only grew crops and raised cattle, and that even ended a few years before my grandfather's death. So, I didn't spend my childhood slopping hogs and doing farm chores. But I do enjoy fishing and big, red barns, so I guess that counts for something, right?

The town I live in now is small. I actually live in the house that my father was raised in. It's the kind of place where people stop and wave when you are out on a walk around town, and if they don't know who you are, they ask about your parents. It's safe and cozy, a little bit Mayberry, but in the best ways.

I sometimes think about what my life would have been like (or could still be like) if I left the security of my small town for something bigger. But, at the end of the day, I'm happy here. Sure, we might have to drive a while to get to a good mall, but I can see my family any time I want.  And that's a trade off I can live with.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 23: Videos

I love YouTube.  Always have, always will.  So, picking a few favorite videos is almost too easy.

I've spoken of my love for Pentatonix before.  They are incredible, especially live.  This is one of their latest videos and it was a big hit with my students.

I've mentioned it before, but I am so very excited about Despicable Me 2 coming out in a couple weeks.  I have watched this trailer entirely too many times.  Especially the minion!

This next one is a little long, but worth it.  There's a benefit every year called MisCast, where Broadway artists get a chance to perform songs/roles that they would never be cast to play in a real productions.  Jonathan Groff really committed to Sutton Foster's version of "Anything Goes".  And you have to admire that.

And finally, I liked to the video when it first aired, but this is a much better version that shouldn't be pulled down, since it was posted by CBS.  And who doesn't want to see the opening of the Tony Awards again?  Neil Patrick Harris was that good...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 22: Websites I Enjoy

Aside from my love for Entertainment Weekly, I love a little snark.  Particularly, if it's done with a bright mind and a nice big wink.  So, in that vein, I have two similar, but absolutely hilarious websites that I enjoy checking out.

The first is Suri's Burn Book.  The author behind this tumblr writes from the fictional viewpoint of Suri Cruise, using real pictures of celebrities with their kids.  A fashionista with world domination in mind, this version of Suri is too funny to pass up.  New stuff is usually posted once a day, sometimes twice.

On that note, have you seen the best Pinterest board ever?  My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter has been getting a lot of attention recently.  The fashion adventures of Quinoa and friends will have you rolling with laughter.  Whoever came up with this is a genius!

One other tumblr that I have grown really interested in is Dear Scarlet.  This one is not snarky, but a heartfelt collection of notes from parents to their daughter.  It's a little sweet to balance the snark, and we all need that eventually.

What are your favorite websites?  (Aside from the ones I mentioned, you might also check out some of the fantastic people in my blog roll in the sidebar.)


Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 21: My Favorite Food

For a Irish/German girl from the Midwest, I have a serious affinity for Italian food.  That goes double for lasagna.  When I was younger, my grandparents would always take me to this great authentic place in the city and it was amazing.  It closed several years ago, but I still have dreams about their food. And it just so happens that lasagna is one of the only dishes that I am any good at making.  Coincidence?  I think not.

If not Italian food, then I would have to go with anything with potatoes.  My grandmother makes a hot German potato salad that is just the best thing ever, but if it is potato based, I will eat it.

What's you favorite?  Make sure to link up!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 20: Nicknames

Growing up, I hated my full first name.  I really did grow into it until I was much older, and even then I pretty much only use it on official documents and such.  In fact, there's only one childhood friend who calls me by my real first name, and even then, she's the only one that could get away with it.

I've always been Katie to most people, and it's the name that I use most often.  Other friends throughout my life, in particular Crys and other people I used to go to church with called me Kate.  My uncle has called me Kate-O for as long as I can remember.  My niece calls me Kitty, which is close enough, and what Amber swears is going to be my old lady name.  The only name I do not like to be called is Kathy.  Seriously, just don't.  I think that's about it on the nickname front.

Don't forget to link up with your nicknames!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 19: What I Miss

This one might be the easiest to write of any of this month's prompts.  I miss singing with my girls.  Crys, Sheena and I sang together in a ministry for the largest part of ten years.  I realize now that it was just a precious season, a moment in our journeys, but I'm not sure a day has gone by since that I don't miss it.

And it's not just because we were good.  (And we were.)  And it's not just because I miss having those women by my side every single Sunday.  (Though I do.)  I miss worshiping through music like that.  Of course, music has always been my preferred form of worship, but there was something so powerful when God worked in our cord of three.

We rarely know the good old days while we are living them.  But if I could I would go back and do all of the years we sang together again.  Even if it meant reliving the not-so-great moments.  Because the great ones?  They were worth it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 18: Weddings

I love a good wedding.  Sort of.  I love seeing my friends happy.  I love the flowers, the vows, the cake and the big party.  But, being a single girl of a certain age at weddings is not always the most fun thing in the world.  Sometimes, it's really hard to make myself go.  Sometimes, I don't go.  And trust me, I realize how selfish that is.

I was never the girl who was planning my own wedding in my head.  But, with my love for event planning, I have helped plan many others.  Hopefully, you only have one wedding (well, unless you are Mariah Carey and just get married every year on your anniversary, which you probably aren't).  So, the idea of helping to make someone else's day like the vision in their head appeals to me greatly.  And with the creation of Pinterest, those visions seem to have exploded into a full-on Fantasyland of satin and pearls.  How I wish we'd had some of this around a few years ago when it seemed like everywhere I turned it was time for another wedding.

We've thrown some really great ones though.  I don't have any pictures on my computer of Crys's, because back then we used a thing called film in our cameras.  But I do have some other great moments in wedding history...

These are just some of the memories that make me smile with sheer delight!  And, like I mentioned yesterday, there's a big one in my family coming up in March.

It is June, so show us your weddings!  Make sure to link up if you are playing along!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Having A Day

Today, I took a sick day from life.  I know I am on summer break, but I feel like, even though it's summer, I've been going and going and working really hard on this 100 Miles Challenge and I need some time to just rest, body and mind.  Today, I've just been "having a day."  Maybe that's a bit of a colloquialism, but that's the term I use for what it's like when it's all a little much and I need a break.

It's not like there's anything bad going on.  In fact, life on the whole has been pretty awesome of late.  I have no real reason to complain.  Not one.  I fully realize that my life is ridiculously blessed and easy compared to so many in the world.  But today, I'm just a little sad and feeling all of the feelings.  At once.  And I have a head cold, which always adds an extra measure of whiny.  Maybe it's that's it's been dark and rainy most of the day.  Maybe it's that I'm being extra hard on myself today because even though I've walked 80 miles so far this month, I'm not seeing the progress on the scale that I'd hoped for.  (Yes, I broke down and weighed yesterday, even though I swore that I wouldn't.  And I shouldn't have.).  Maybe it's just because I'm a girl and we do stuff like this from time to time.

Sometimes, you just have to lean into the wallow.  And so, I slept in.  I put on some music and read for a couple hours.  Took a nap.  Watched some episodes of my favorite shows.  (Last two episodes of Private Practice, and last two episodes of Friday Night Lights, in case you were curious.)  And I will probably get a shower and go to bed early and start all over again tomorrow.

Because, and this is the beauty of it, tomorrow is a brand new day.

Day 17: What I'm Looking Forward To

What is life if you don't have things to look forward to?  I think this is the kind of thing that deserves a list.  (You know they are my favorite kind of post, right?)

  • The rest of summer break -- Even once June ends, I still have about six weeks before it's back to work!  I'm sure it will fly by, but I still am excited about all it could hold!
  • A new school year -- I know, I know.  But it's going to happen whether I look forward to it or not, so I'm trying to go into it with a really positive attitude.  Also, another year teaching choir?  I am SO there!!
  • Another birthday -- I'm a birthday person.  I don't even mind that whole increasing number issue.  (Though it's not what it once was!)  I'd always rather have a birthday than not!
  • Miss M's 2nd Christmas and birthday -- Last year, she really wasn't old enough to understand what was going on.  But this year, I don't believe she will miss a thing.  Except Santa...she really has no love for the jolly old man.  
  • My cousin's wedding in March 2014 -- No one throws a party quite like my family throws a party.  This is going to be a really great time celebrating a very good match!
I think that's as far ahead as I can look for now.  I'm sure other things will come up along the way.  Let's face it, I'm pretty easy to excite!  

Make sure to link up!  We still have a lot more Challenge to go!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 16: Something I'm OCD About

I'm OCD about so very little in my life.  Very, very, very little.  However, there are a few little ones.  I like frames to be straight.  All the time.  Can't sleep if they aren't, no matter the amount of clothes on the floor.  I also alphabetize DVDs and CDs.  It's the only way that I can deal with the quantity I own.  (CDs are by the last name of the artist, and DVDs are by the title of the work for the most part.)  The only other one I can think of is that when I put food in the cabinet, I like it to be label out.  I'm sure there are other weird little things, but I guess we don't always think of our own habits as odd.

I'll be anxious to see how everyone else answers this one!  Make sure to link up!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 15: My Dream House (UPDATED)

I think I've always loved the idea of building or creating my dream house.  I have notes in journals from junior high with very specific things I wanted in a future house.  Of course, I'm not sure that I would want any of those things now.  And I tend to suffer from having champagne taste and a beer budget.  Don't get me wrong, I love my little house.  It's perfect for just me, and I've been able to decorate (and redecorate) it just the way I've wanted it.  (In fact, there are a few changes coming soon!)

Thanks to Pinterest, I have a thousand ideas about what I would want my dream house to look like.  I think I was probably born into the wrong place, because I do really like the big southern houses with wrap-around porches.  However, I tend to favor a more contemporary open floor plan on the inside, since old houses are often chopped up into a lot of small rooms. I don't really want a huge house or anything, but I would want there to be plenty of room to have family and friends over.  I would want a big kitchen, because Casey is going to have to have somewhere to host her cooking show from.  (Goodness knows, I don't have any business in there!)  And I want lots of storage space.  And a big bathtub.  That's it.  Those are my big requirements.  Don't tell me I'm not easy to please!  ;)

I can't believe we are already halfway through the Challenge!  Hope you are having a great time, and that you keep linking up through the rest of the month!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 14: A Picture I Love

Like most of these, I couldn't limit it to one picture, so I chose three.  Here are their stories.

I have many pictures that may be more artful and well-shot, but this is a picture that I truly love.  In case you don't know, this is my brother, SIL, and niece smiling on Mother's Day.  Aside from the sheer sweetness of that little girl, this photo makes me so happy because they have had a very big year in their little family (new job, new house, moving to new house, etc.).  My brother couldn't have married any better, and the Divine Miss M is the best thing that ever happened to our family.  It just makes me insanely happy!

This is my Great Aunt Adelaide, Grandpa Gus and a cousin, Dorothy, at the La Salle Hotel in Chicago in 1946.  I remember seeing this picture as a little girl and thinking it was just so glamorous--the hats, Grandpa's uniform!  I have a copy of it in my home and in my classroom (I keep a mix of current and old photos there to keep it interesting).

This picture was taken in either China or Japan during World War II.  Grandpa was stationed in Okinawa, but had many pictures that were also taken in China in his stash of WWII-era pictures.  I wish that I had found it while Grandpa Gus was still alive, so I could know a little more about it.  My grandpa loved photography like I do, but I don't know if this was one he took or one that his friend, who was a military photographer took.  The composition was just so perfect.  I did scan it to create a digital image, but other than get rid of a couple of spots (that I think were from developing the original shot), I didn't have to do anything to it.  I think black and white makes it even more striking.

I could go on and on when it comes to photography, but I will spare you.  Happy Friday, everybody!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 13: My Life Goals

Is it wrong that I don't really know what my life goals are at this point?  I mean, I still barely know what I'm doing moment to moment most of the time.  I have a job that I enjoy a vast majority of the time, good friends, a large and relatively happy group of family and friends.  Isn't that all a girl could really ever want?

For the first time in a long time, I'm content with where I am in my life, which 20-something me would not understand.  Life is so much stranger than we could ever imagine (in mostly good ways), so making lists about what I'd like to happen seems a little futile.  In a perfect world, I'd like to get married one day to a wonderful man who I love and who loves me.  I'd like to remodel my house or start over with a whole new house.  I want to one day, own a little shop full of kitchy goodies and random furniture like my hero, Laurie, and plan events on the side. I want to be a good aunt to my little nieces (and potential future nephews).  I want to continue to be happy wherever I am and whatever I'm doing.

My goal line changes daily sometimes.  (Surely, I'm not alone in this.)  But it's a lot of fun to dream.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 12: What I Believe

I believe:
  • that life is too short to be unhappy
  • in hot summer days at the pool
  • in ordering dessert
  • that a glass of wine and good friends can change a day
  • timing really is everything
  • music can change your mood and your life
  • laughing is essential
  • determination and hard work get results

What do you believe?  Make sure to link up and share!

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/12

1. What do you think makes a good dad?

I think it has to be someone who sets a good example, who is caring but willing to be stern, if necessary.  He likes to make sandwiches and swing sets and bed sheet forts.  He is open with his love both to his children and his wife.   He is a man of God and a leader without being a dictator.

2.  What's something you learned from your own father?

I can fill drywall with the best of them.  I'm also pretty good at tearing up carpet and painting.  However, I don't get nearly the joy out of cleaning that my dad does.  

3. It's your birthday-what kind of cake will we be having?

German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake.  My mom makes it for me every single year.

4. When you're faced with a big decision are you more of a go with your gut type of person, or are you someone who reasons it all out, weighing the pros and cons? 

I'm more of a talk it to death sort of person.  Most of the big decisions in my life I've just known in my gut what I was supposed to do, but that doesn't keep me from wanting to mull it over sixteen different ways before I act.

5. June is National Dairy Month. What's your favorite dairy item? Most often purchased dairy item? 

Ice cream.  And because of that, I most often purchase, you guessed it, ice cream!  Technically, it's frozen yogurt, but who's splitting hairs.

6. Explorer Jacques Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910....what's something you've recently discovered or something you'd like to explore?

I've recently discovered that my body is capable of more that I ever thought possible.  I've taken up Crystal's #100inJuneChallenge, and I've already reached the halfway point.  When I committed to it, I honestly didn't think that it was something I would be able to do, or if I did that I would be scrambling to finish on June 30.  But if things stay on pace, I could very well be finished at least a week early.  I'm hopeful this is the beginning of a real change in my life.

7. Are you typical of your generation?

I would hope that I am typical of the best of my generation.  I think that people near my age get a bad rap much of time, but I guess it's typical for one generation to look critically on the next.  I want to be the kind of person that is emblematic of the good things my generation has to offer.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Did you see The Tony Awards?  Because that opening (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt), was just about the best thing I've ever seen.  Don't believe me?  Watch it for yourself.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 11: A Recent Photo

This is a picture from Macy Jane's 2nd birthday.  It was the first one we have been able to celebrate with her (other than her actual arrival) and all the aunties and other friends and family were there at their new house.  If you follow me on Instagram (msmiller111), you've seen her pop up several times already this summer.  Aunt Katie is probably a bit too permissive of a babysittter, but we have a really good time!  I haven't taken as many pictures recently as I have in other years.  I'm not really sure why this is, other than there just haven't been a great deal of things to get photos of.  Maybe that will pick up a bit as the summer goes on.

As you can probably tell, I've reached the end of my prepped responses, so it's more likely from here on out that they will posted about 8:00 each morning, unless I get really motivated and get several more banked.  Either way, I really appreciate those of you who've played along, and it's not too late to join if you haven't!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 10: Something I'm Afraid Of

I think the way that I answered this question last time is still very true, but I am going to go in a slightly different direction this time.  I think that my fear of being alone for the rest of my life is still there, but it doesn't really bother me in the same ways that it used to.  I've finally reached the point where, while not being what I would prefer, if I was single for the rest of my life, I could deal with that.  And I really and truly mean that.  

What I think has replaced that is a fear of missing out.  And I'm not necessarily talking about missing out on marriage or children, I think it's bigger than all of that.  I don't want to miss out on a life I might have had just because I was too afraid to take a chance or too afraid to do the work.  Living that way is no kind of life.  I don't mean that I'm going to start doing things without thinking them through, but if my fear of what might happen is the only thing that's holding me back, then maybe that's the thing I should take on.  Does this make any sense at all?

I just don't want to get to the end of my life and be left with nothing but "what if's."  I've never been big on stewing over my regrets, but I just feel that if I don't start living my life now, when is that going to happen?  I don't want to miss out on a life that was bigger than my wildest dreams simply because I didn't try.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 9: My Friends In Pictures

Though the cast has changed over the years, I have always been lucky enough to have groups of formidable women in my life.  When I was in high school, these girls were my encouragers and co-conspirators.

 Then, in college, we all went off doing our own thing, though thanks to the wonders of technology, we still talk to this day.  But there was no void of amazing friends in college.  I went to a local community college for two years because it was free (yay, scholarships!) and I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life.  I didn't know at the time how amazing those two years would be.  We created a lot of memories in a very short time.  Some of those women were in my life just for that season, but others have remained to inspire me again and again over the years.  

Meeting Crys and Sheena truly altered the entirety of my twenties.  We sang together from basically when I was 18 years old until I was nearly 30.  That's a lot of growing up.  We've seen each other through some things, to say the least.  They are actual family now (sisters-in-law, to be exact), but continuing to have them in my life, even if it's from the mystical land of Ohio, is an incredible blessing.  They continue to be big sisters to me, even though we aren't singing together every week.  

And then, there are these broads...

We're those girls.  You know, the ones in the restaurant being entirely too loud and having a little too much fun.  While the six of us are rarely together all at once (which might be best for society as a whole), we are frequently each other's non-judgmental sounding boards.  Every girl needs a group of people who you know will be wholly honest with you and won't hold back when you need to have some sense talked into you.  These are those women in my life right now.  And I couldn't love them more for everything they are.  

Can't wait to hear about everyone else's friends!  Even though I haven't gotten a chance to leave comments, I am reading everything!  I hope to get caught up with some of that later today.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 8: Where I've Traveled

Sorry today's post is up late.  When I went to finish it this morning my internet was down.  But now we are back up and operational, so let's get started!

We always took vacations when I was a kid, and I've even been able to take a few on my own.  I love the adventure of going new places or seeing new things, but my heart is always one place--the beach.  I've said it before on this blog, but I just know that I am my best self when I'm at the ocean.  Growing up, we would go with my mom's side of the family to Daytona Beach, where there would be a big reunion of families that met there since my mom was a kid.  We didn't go every year, usually every five or so, but it just seemed like everyone was so much happier when we were all together at ocean.

My first time in the ocean at 18 months

Matching swimsuits--a cousin must!

I mean, aren't those some happy looking people?

At the ocean, I love to get up early so I don't miss the sunrise and wait every evening for the sunset.  I'm much better at sitting still when I'm laying on a towel in the sand.  For a girl from the Midwest, it's strange to say, but I really feel like my heart is at the ocean.  It's been almost two years since I was last on a trip there and I'm really missing the sand everywhere and the salt water breeze. I'm hoping to remedy that this fall, but if I don't, next summer--it's on!

My beach buddy, Amber and me

Bonus ocean shot!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 7: My Favorite Movies

If you haven't picked up the theme, I'm an entertainment junkie.  Last time I answered these questions, I really went to town with the answers, and most of them are still true.  So, to make it a little different this time, I'm going to narrow my list down to five all-time favorites, five current favorites, and five movies that I really want to see.

My All-Time Favorites

The American President - Aaron Sorkin dialogue at its best.  When Michael Douglas says he "IS the President of the United States," I dare you not to stand up and cheer.

Bull Durham - It's both a love story and a baseball movie.  And Kevin Costner is about as handsome and manly as they come.

White Christmas - It's not Christmas until I have watched this movie over and over again.  Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, c'mon!

Some Kind of Wonderful - I think this is my favorite 80's movie. The ending makes me tear up every single time, because in high school, I so often wanted to be the girl the guy best friend chose.  And let's just say that doesn't always happen in real life.

Mean Girls - Tina Fey changed the game for teen movies with this one.  And it was packed with great comedic acting by a cast that has gone on to be very successful.  (Well, mostly...)

My Current Favorites

Pitch Perfect  - I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have watched this movie.  Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actress right now, and how hilarious is Rebel Wilson!?!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Dazzling, talented young cast, and a story that just floored me.  I sobbed through a huge portion of this one.  But it was so very well done!

Struck By Lightning - This was written by Chris Colfer, Kurt on Glee, and was a pleasant surprise when I watched it on Netflix this week.  It was funny, but with a real depth that haunts you a little after it ends.

Easy A/Crazy Stupid Love - Yes, these are two completely different movies tonally, but they have one of my favorite actresses in common.  Emma Stone is one of those actresses that you know will be around decades from now still blowing us all away with her skills (like a Meryl Streep).

The Help - The book was so well-written and the movie stuck to that in best ways.  Jessica Chastain's portrayal of Cecelia breaks my heart.  (And the rest of the cast are no slouches either!)

Movies I Want To See

The Heat - Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in a buddy cop movie?  I'm in.

Monsters University - The prequel to Monsters Inc. and looks to be another Pixar triumph.

Despicable Me 2 - I am in love with the minion.  And "It's so fluffy!" may or may not be one of my favorite movie quotes ever.

Much Ado About Nothing - Joss Whedon does Shakespeare, shot in his own home over a few days.

The Family - Just saw a trailer for this one last night.  Looks like an interesting action/comedy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 6: A Few Of My Favorite Things

For today, I'm supposed to list 20 of my favorite things.  So here goes nothing....

1. Nature photography (Flowers in particular)

2.  Mid-afternoon naps
3.  Twitter (My favorite social media by far)
4.  This face (Also known as The Divine Miss M)

5. Grape tomatoes
6. Antique stores
7. Netflix (Seriously, I may get nothing done this summer but watching things in my queue.)
8. Dark chocolate
9. The beach
10. Winery days with The Chicks (Jessie not pictured, because we are always missing one)

11.  Music (At the moment, I can't get enough of Emeli Sande's "Next To Me")
12.  Summer vacation
13.  Being a choir director
14.  Warm blankets right out of the dryer
15.  Award shows (Tonys this weekend!)
16.  Ice cream
17.  Watching sports on TV (doesn't even really matter what it is)
18.  This face (the adorable MJ, also seen on my Instagram)

19. Candy Crush Saga (see also, Most Frustrating Things)
20. Reading a good book

I could go on, but I won't.  Can't wait to read what everyone else listed!  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 5: My Favorite Quote (And Why)

My favorite quote is the same as the one I used last time:  "Whatever you are, be a good one."   Thanks, Abe.  But in the interest of this post, I decided that I would pick another, because I do enjoy a good quote and a one sentence post is kind of lame.

That being said, I chose this quote by George Bernard Shaw: "There are two tragedies in life.  One is to lose your heart's desire.  The other is to gain it."  I think that a lot of times we build moments up in a certain way, and when they actually come to pass, they are not what we expected.  That's not to necessarily say that it's always bad, but often just different.  Losing your heart's desire is terrible, no doubt.  But, I believe that getting what you thought you wanted and finding it wasn't worth it or wasn't really what you wanted after all is worse.  And I think we've all been there at one time or another, or at least I have.

I have quotes up all over my classroom, and nothing makes me happier when a student sees one and recalls it in a paper or a class discussion.  We remember the ones that speak to us.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has!  Make sure to link up!

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/5

1. Have you learned more from success or failure? Explain.

I think that I've learned more from failure.  When you are successful, you certainly learn things, but I think that I also spend a great deal of time celebrating myself.  When I've failed, it's all about picking yourself up and trying to decide what's next.  That's when I think you learn the most about who you are and what you are capable of.  

2.  What did you call your grandparents when you were growing up? If you have children, what do they call your parents? If you have grandchildren, what do they call you?

I always called both sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, then attached their first names.  I don't have any kids, but my niece calls my parents Nana and Grandpa, and she calls my grandmother Granny.  However, when my SIL was pregnant, we came up with some real doosies as possibilities.  Thankfully, we didn't use any of them.

3.  You're invited to a luau.  In keeping with that theme, what dish will you bring to share? 

A pineapple?  Because I don't think I am going to be very good at roasting a pig or anything.  And we all know the less cooking I do, the better.  (Though, newsflash--I am trying to get better at it!)

4. Besides Jesus, what one person's life story do you think everyone should know about?

It's hard for a history teacher to make this call.  There are so many amazing people, especially women, who have been historically overlooked by many historians and history books.  For the purposes of this question, and to keep from droning on and on, I will narrow it down to Susan B. Anthony and Nellie Bly.  Both women were firecrackers who used their convictions to change society in big ways.  And if you don't know their stories, I encourage you to find out!

5. "Don't sweat the small stuff." Agree or Disagree? Why?

I tend toward the anxious.  I don't want to worry, but I can't seem to help myself.  However, I do think that there are a lot of things that we can let slide.  It's better to pick your battles than to try to fight them all.

6.  June is National Rivers Month. When were you last on a river? What's the prettiest river you've ever seen? What's a river you'd like to see? 

I love the ocean, but I'm kind of scared of rivers.  I know that doesn't really make sense, but when did we work on that premise around here?  I live near many rivers, but most of them are not what I would call pretty.  I would love to see the Seine or the Thames, just because it means I would be abroad.  I'd also really like to see the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon.

7.  Speaking of rivers-paddling, fishing, swimming, or bird watching safely from the shore? Which activity would you choose? Yes-you have to choose. 

I would probably have to go with the bird watching.  It's a lot easier to take pictures from the shore, too!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I've been doing the #100in JuneChallenge for a week (on Saturday) and by the time you're reading this I will have already walked 20 miles.  To put it in perspective, I only walked 32.42 miles in the entire month of May.  I don't know what I have to thank for this new drive, especially because I still pretty much hate the entire workout, but I'm taking full advantage of it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 4: My Favorite Book

I've always loved books, but I don't get a lot of time to read.  My parents gave me a Nook for Christmas, so I have just gotten into the e-book thing.  In fact, recently I've finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (beautiful and heartbreaking), Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (wildly different from the movie),  and Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller (a long, but very interesting look at those brilliant artists).  I'm currently reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans.  It's about women, both in biblical times and now, and I am truly learning so much.

However, if I had to pick a favorite book it would be a toss up between Bossypants by Tina Fey and Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster.  What can I say?  I have a thing for really funny women who write non-fiction.  The thing about both of these ladies is that their books aren't just hysterical, they also have a lot of heart, and I think that's key.  Being funny is great, but their stories resonate because you feel a little bit of that, "She feels like that?  Me too!"  That little bit of validation can go a long way!  Jen (I can use her first name because I am sure we would be best friends) has a new book that came out yesterday, The Tao of Martha, and I can't wait to read it!

Summer is really when I get the bulk of my reading done, so if you have any good suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 3: My Favorite TV Show

This is almost as bad as the music question.  I love television.  I always have.  I was raised in a home that watched shows together and discussed shows together, and my mother will completely hang up on you to this day when her favorite shows come on.  Ask me how I know.  So, it's hard for me to pick just one favorite, which means, of course, I won't.

My all-time favorite show is Gilmore Girls.  I have seen every single episode more times than I care to count.   I want to live in Stars Hollow, CT.  And yes, I realize it's not a real place.  My second favorite would be Designing Women, up to the fifth season, when all of the original actresses started to leave.  I wanted to be a Julia, but I'm probably somewhere between Mary Jo and Suzanne.  Lately, the show that I have been into is The West Wing.  I somehow missed this show the first time around, and now I've binge watched 65 episodes since Tuesday.  The dialogue is so crisp and I feel like I'm actually a little smarter for having watched it.  I also really loved Friday Night Lights.  Tim Riggins--that is all.

As far as shows that are on right now, my two favorites are Parenthood and Scandal.  I'm a little upset that they are on at the same time next year, in fact.  While there are several shows that I like (The Big Bang Theory being a major one), these are the two shows that I want to watch live.  I've been a Parenthood fan since the beginning, but this last season was just incredible.  If Monica Potter isn't nominated for every award she's eligible for, I'm going to be very upset.  It's real and heartfelt and it makes me cry nearly every week, and I love it with all my heart.  It couldn't be more different from my other favorite, Scandal, which I have also watched from the beginning.  I'm a Shonda Rimes fan anyway, but this show is something that a lot of television isn't these days--surprising.  It has twists and turns and it makes you want to watch.  Plus, it blows up Twitter every Thursday night.  (An honorable mention goes to Hart of Dixie, which is sweet and simple.  And has the delicious Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights.)

If you are playing along, make sure to link up!  Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 2: The Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

I think we are off to a pretty good start.  Just a reminder that you can join us any time, even if you aren't doing all 30 days.  If you need the questions for the Challenge, click here.  

This entry is probably one entry that won't be a great deal different from the last time I did the Challenge.  The title of my blog actually comes from something I say before I tell a story, whether it's funny-haha or funny-odd.  Life really is all about how you take it.  You can be defeated or you can face it and try to find the humor in it.  And life is entirely too difficult to not have a sense of humor about it.

When I started blogging with intent, it became a sort of therapy.  I was going through a really difficult time in my life and I just needed to talk.  Not about anything in particular, just talk.  Over the years, there have been times when I wrote more than others, but this blog continues to be a place where I can just talk things out to people who are supportive and just all-around awesome. Of course, I don't always talk about serious things around here.  Sometimes this is just the place that I practice my entertainment reporting and talk endlessly about my love for music, YouTube and TV shows.  It's finding that balance that really makes a blog click, but it's the people that really make it great.  Thanks for showing up and being who you are.  It's changed me!

Make sure that if you post, you link up!  The party's more fun when we can see what everyone else is writing!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 1: My Favorite Song

If you are new here, hello!  I hope we're going to have a great time doing this 30 Day Blog Challenge together.  If you can't do all 30 days, just jump in when you have time or when you have a topic that interests  you!  Goodness knows, we are not all about the strict rule following around here.  (And besides, I'll always come in on the side of "the more the merrier" when it comes to blogging!)

Anyway, let's get on to today's topic.  Music is kind of my things.  I think I was singing as soon as I could talk.  Both of my parents are musical--Dad sings, Mom plays the piano and sings.  So, it was no real surprise that it's in my blood, as well.  Asking me to pick a favorite song is dangerous business.  I mean, how long do you have?  Are we talking by genre?  There are a lot of variables at play.  So, instead of just picking one in particular,  I'm going to give you a list with, of course, my reasoning for each song.  (Because I just can't help myself...)

"That's How Strong My Love Is" - Otis Redding - I think this is seriously one of the most underrated songs of the MoTown era.  I love it with a love that is pure and true and if I do ever manage to get married, this is the song I want to dance to with this as-yet-fictional husband.  It's that good!

"Dark Blue" - Jack's Mannequin - When I'm having a bad day, this is the song I want to hear.  The pounding piano, the angsty vocals.  It is guaranteed to improve your mood by 100%...or at least my mood.

"The Party" - Regina Spektor - I have no clue what it is about this song that does it for me.  I played it for the kids in my Music Appreciation class and they decided that it's a song that sounds happy but is really kind of sad.  (If that doesn't say something, right?)  Or maybe it's because I laugh when I think of my sister's rewritten opening lyrics, "You taste like Thanksgiving, You look like Groundhog's Day."  And yes, you probably had to be there for that one, but it's funny.  Trust me.

"Fancy" - Reba McEntire - This and "Sin Wagon" by The Dixie Chicks are my go-to songs for karaoke.  When I was 16, I stood in the 10th row of a Reba McEntire concert and watched her perform this as the encore in her fur coat and infamous red dress.  Say what you will, but Reba knows a thing or two about performing.  Plus who doesn't love a wholesome ditty about a poor girl turned out by her mother becoming a high-class call girl?

"For Good" - from the musical, Wicked - I don't listen to this song all the time, but I have a great emotional attachment to it.  Aside from the beautiful melody and words, this is the song that I sang as a duet with one of my favorite students for graduation, when she was just a lowly seventh grader.  (I know, teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but let's get real.)  She is one day going to be able to sing circles around me, and that day is probably coming sooner than I'd like.  But this song will always make me think of her and of the best things about my job.

"Precious Lord, Take My Hand" - Traditional Hymn - There are lots of songs that are special to me in the sacred realm.  Many are ones with sweet memories of singing with Sheena and Crys over the 10 years we sang as a group.  But this one is probably the first solo I did in church that made me realize there was something so powerful in being given the gift of song.  It is a gift that touches people's hearts in a way that is so personal.  And I will forever be thankful for it!

I can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with!  Add your blog to the linky party so we can all jump around and see what everyone else has said!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Oh, Technology

Technology and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship.  Last week, my iPod died.  Still not entirely sure what happened to it, but I tried every fix in the book and nothing worked.  So, this week, I got to buy a new one in anticipation for all the walking I'm going to be doing next month (for the #100inJuneChallenge, which starts THIS Saturday.  Also, how is it June already?).  It's a 16GB iPod Nano Touch, which is a definite upgrade from what I had.  My favorite thing is the pedometer, which now calculates steps and miles and keeps track of all of the workouts I use it on.  I know, I'm a nerd, but that all makes me super happy.

While I was buying things, I also purchased a Blu-Ray player that allows me to access YouTube and Netflix from my TV.  I don't know why I waited so long for this because it is easily the best thing ever. Since getting it hooked up on Tuesday, I have watched entirely too many episodes of The West Wing.  I have always felt like this is a show that I would have watched were in on today and not while I was graduating high school and in college. I mean, one of my all-time favorite movies is The American President, also an Aaron Sorkin creation.  So what took me so long?  There are so many brilliant lines and great scenes and why aren't there more show like this on television now?  And as if I didn't love Netflix already, there are finally getting to be a large assortment of great commercial and smaller independent movies available from the streaming service, too.  Safe to say I know where too much of my summer free time will be spent.  

Well, whenever I'm not walking anyway...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 5/29

1. What question do you often ask yourself?

"What did I come over here/in this room for?"  I know that I am too young for that, but I blame it on my (un)diagnosed ADD.  My brain is working so fast doing so many things that I don't always pay attention to what I should be doing.  This is especially fun in my classroom, when I have 20+ other people pulling my attention.

2. Do you grow roses? What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?

I don't grow roses per say, but I do have two rose bushes that seem to bloom despite my neglect.  I don't really have a favorite color of rose.  I think they are all pretty.  I don't know that I've ever been given a full dozen roses at once, but my parents always got me flowers when I did productions and after my first foray into directing this year, the kids (administration and Board of Ed) got me a beautiful bouquet!  My uncle Bob's roses are some of the prettiest I've seen, although the ones I photographed in Mildred's garden were pretty unbelievable, too.

My roses fresh with rain drops
The flowers from the show
From Mildred's garden

3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date?  Take medication that's expired? Buy a dented can?

I do try to check the freshness dates, mostly because I need to know that it's not going to go bad before I can eat it.  I will use eggs if they pass the "float test."  (They say a good egg doesn't float, and so far, it's always been right.)  I recently heard something on the news about how you can take most over-the-counter meds if they are past their due dates, but never prescription pills.  And I don't buy dented cans for no other reason than I am picky.

4. Should athletes be role models?

I don't think it matters if they should be or not.  They are.  And that's the end of the discussion.  Kids look up to them for the same reason kids have looked up to them for a hundred years or so, but we live in a time that loves to vilify a person for any mistakes and has at its fingertips a 24-hour news cycle.  That said, it doesn't excuse athletes or anyone in the public eye.  However, one of my pet peeves is when a celebrity or athlete says that they didn't ask to be a role model. Whether you asked for it or not, when you are in the public eye, you are a role model.  So, I think you have to be cognizant of that.  And for that matter, so should the rest of us, because whether we realize it or not, we are someone's role model.  

5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?

Gracious, we are just swinging for the fences this week, aren't we?  I would like to one day have an advanced degree, though I'm not currently sure which area of education I would like that to be in.  I would like to make a real contribution my field, even if that contribution doesn't go any farther than my current district.  I want to love deeply and live fully in all areas of my life, with as few restrictions as humanly possible.  You know, just the basics.

6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?

Oh, that's a wonderful question!  I would totally build my own winery with an amazing restaurant, its own vineyards, and a gorgeous facility for weddings and events.  And I would manage the heck out of it!  That would be my big dream if I had the land and the money to do it, hands down.

7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?

It depends.  Am I having a good hair day?  Do I like my outfit?  I like to be punctual, so it would probably be close to seven, but there are certainly variables beyond my control at play.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

In the month of May, I walked about 35 miles.  In the month of June, I'm planning to walk 100.  I think I may have lost my mind.  (Thank, Crys!)

Also, don't forget about the 30 Day Blog Challenge!  If you are interested, you can find the questions here, and we start on Saturday (June 1)!  I've already got the first few under my belt and ready to go out!  I really hope you will join Jess and me on our little adventure!