Thursday, December 31, 2009

today

well, I'm allergic to TX. I've had allergies the whole time I've been here...but somehow, the Happy Hour sweet tea from Sonic has totally taken care of it the last two days.

I don't have a "year in review" post to make...sorry...if you will click on 2009 and hit "previous posts", you'll find what I would have to look through! (didn't mean for that to sound mean).

But, I'm ready for 2010 to be here. My boss said our theme this year is: "In 2010, we will WIN!" I like the sound of that, so I'm going with it.

I have added a lot of blogs to my Google reader over "the break", which is probably not good since I'm kinda obsessed with keeping that cleaned out. But, I did discover this afternoon how much I miss hearing the music that people have on their blogs. I did a little "Stalking", I like to call it perusing and discovery, but most people call it blog stalking. But, I found some things I like and want to keep tracking and, well, the only way I can keep up with them and remember what I want to go back and look at is to fill up my Google reader.

I had a great Christmas, I got some cool presents...a drill, some books, lots of random home things, some cookbooks, fun kitcheny things...you know all the fun things that I need! I did some after Christmas shopping. Maybe having a few fun new things will make me want to decorate next year. I got storage tubs (which I'm dreading having to unload at my house by myself when I get home...maybe my dad will come home and unload them for me!) to change out all the boxes in my basement. I got some tan ones so my fall stuff doesn't have to be in green and red ones-yes I know what does it matter?

Anyway, I have been thinking about a lot of things. And, one of those was even starting a new blog with a new name and all the things that go with that, but my sister talked me out of it. So, I'm still bigpittstop and I'm still here.

I'm not really one for resolutions...so I dont have any of those to talk about. I do have some personal goals and I'll share more about that later.

For the time being, Simplify is the word of the year and I'm wrapping my brain around that.

Well, mom has made Man Pleasing Dip (or as my sister and I call it "Dad Pleasing Dip") and seafood salad for our New Year's eve celebration. We have a few movie selections out and if Ryan Secrest is lucky, I'll still be up to ring in the New Year with him.

Kate and her OKC friends are coming in town tom, so I'll get to have a girl day tomorrow! Already looking forward to it.

Off to the party in the dining room...there is one good thing to just hanging out at home with your parents...no makeup, I don't have to do my hair and I can be in my PJs! I'm just sayin'!!!!




(BTW, I still haven't found the spell check on this new upgrade....Anybody?)


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

cleanse

Why is is when I go back through my inbox and delete items that I long ago should have, I feel like I've been through a personal detox?  It's truly one of the greatest feelings in the world...you know next to curling up with a puppy and giving the coat off your back to a freezing homeless person!

Tis the season

**for the record after I posted this, some ad popped up about homeless people...coincidence or not?**

and, spell check is gone after I updated my blog posting application...this is so not good...if you know where it went, send it back b/c you know how bad this could be!  But, for the record I did spell coincidence right the first time w/out the spell checker...I'm so proud

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

which hymn

I was listening to a sermon today online about Faith and the passage used was Matthew 26: 17-30. Here are the 3 points the pastor made as he finished the sermon:

May we be a people who-
  • In fear, have faith
  • When tempted to control, let go
  • When lured by comfort, choose sacrifice
Then in his closing prayer, he reversed them as plea to God, and I think I almost like the reverse better. It's kind a the same, but different
God help us be a people who-
  • have faith in fear
  • let go when we want to control
  • choose sacrifice over comfort

I received an email yesterday that reminded me that a palindrome is a word that reads the same forwards and backwards (mom, dad, sis, etc). But, this video did the opposite, when read backwards, it conveys the opposite message. May this message define my generation!

Video


And by the way. Matthew 26:30 says this: "Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives." Do you ever wonder what hymn they sang? I am at least smart enough to realize that it was not one of the ones we sing...it probably was not even out of the Baptist Hymnal (gasp)...but I am curious what the words were.... Any thoughts?

Monday, December 7, 2009

no credit

I totally cannot take credit for any of these, but I was sent this today and it was too good not to share with...well, the world!

Random Thoughts for the Day:

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history when you die.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. Just how the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning "cursive" really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. ...I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood...
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you HOW the person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least "kind of tired."
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever....
15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? darn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? ...Drop the phone and immediately drive to Walmart?
16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
17. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
18. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night, more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Happy Monday!


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Thursday, December 3, 2009

lately

so, here's a little sample of what I've been up to lately:

Decorated mom's tree for Christmas...more on that later

Now that the girls are out of the house, mom and dad have decided they can have it back the way they would want it. So, over the last several months, they have done/ had done several projects to "fix'er up". This is my sister's old bedroom that we painted last Friday and Saturday and put back together. Its not totally done, but you get the idea. Maybe it will be finished over Christmas and I can show you the final version. Happy Birthday mom...manual labor is a good way to get out of having to decide what to buy your parents who don't need anything!

We raided mom's antique corner to decorate the room. Bienvenue would be so proud!
(And by te way, that is not a pair of panties or anything scandalous hanging out othat drawer, its a piece of paper..mom's cookie recipe file box to be exact...like mother, like daughter



My Papa and his twin brother turned 90 (funny how they can both do that at the same time!) We had big party for them...and they have tons of friends..which happens when you live in the same place for 90 years. I kinda like to think they are legends around there



This was earlier this year. We always compare our battle wounds. He has a pacemaker/defibrillator. This pic has inspired me...I may go short with my hair again.

This is with their big brother (wearing the black had on the right)

The whole family was there...

Grandkids...

kids.... (my mom is on the left)

Great-grandkids...if you only knew what a feat it was to get them all in one spot at the same time looking at the camera...its kind a a game that I like to play and my cousins just laugh at the thought!


My sweet college roomie Brooke and her husband, Robert, just adopted a baby girl


I will soon make sure she knows who Aunt Keisha is!

These were taken at her shower

(Isn't Stephanie so talented!!!)


Well, that was November backwards!

Where has 2009 gone?!?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thanks for giving

I couldn't let my favorite holiday/day of the year pass without saying... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

We each have so much to be thankful for and I am no exception. Of course I'm most thankful for life, a second chance to make a difference and the lessons I've learned over the last 18 months. God is so good and I want to commit to spending the rest of my life thanking Him for His blessings.

Make sure and take some extra time over the next couple days, if you didn't do it today, to tell those you love, that you love them. Put the TV on mute to hear a story from your dad's childhood. Ask the questions you have been wanting to know about each other and wait to actually listen to the answer. Celebrate the children (old and new!!!) in your life and hug your grandparents one more time.

My cornucopia is full of Blessings!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

heaven, I'm in heaven

A great day of worshipping with friends and celebrating little Eva Isabella.

If this is what heaven feels like, sign me up!!!

I learned a new song today and it brought me to tears. I worshipped with new saints today and it brought me to tears (thanks for letting me sing in the choir with you guys!). I learned a new meaning for "find favor" and it is a moment I will savor. I found out a reason (not personally) that you should always say "yes" when they offer you insurance on a rental situation. I was reminded why my junior year of college really was my favorite!

I also went through a box of pictures from high school this weekend (part of the shrapnel of the cleaning out the closet at home thing) and walked down memory lane. Man those were some good days and I really did have great friends! While most of us don't keep up like we all thought we would, I'm grateful for a chance to just think about them and relive some amazing times that God did some amazing things in our lives together. I miss you guys!

Let's see, what else...
  • the Tigers beat the Reddies...check
  • I finally put away all the stuff I brought home last week...check
  • I did laundry and everything in my house is clean...check
  • I washed all the dishes in my kitchen...check
  • I wrapped a few presents...check
  • I got my Operation Christmas Child boxes ready...check (I'm really excited about these...this is one of those things that has really been on my heart this year)

I think that about rounds out the weekend

Thursday, October 29, 2009

odd

ok..new one

Driving in the rain makes me crazy...like I want to crawl in a fetal position and cry. And, frankly that's the only way that I could imagine it would make me feel better. It is so scary. B/c you just have to push through it. You cant see the mustard or the mayonnaise but you have to keep moving forward. So dangerous...but more dangerous to pull over to the side of the road or try to exit. Really there is not much else that make me more anxious or uneasy. I don't like danger or living on the edge...and when this weather change abruptly occurs while I'm on the highway where I cant drive over 40 and a big 18 wheeler is bearing down on me and throwing more water my direction, it really doesn't make it any better.

When it is raining hard like that, I have to even turn off the radio. I don't do well with sensory overload.

For someone who drives a lot now, I'm really have to work at getting over my road fears and paranoia.

oddities

ok, I've decided (by way of free therapy) that from time to time, I may do a little post on an oddity that I have discovered about myself. This is the first official post in thus said tone. Don't judge me...I just feel like this was a place created to be perfectly honest about my world and in my new normal, this is just something I want to do.

  • I'm addicted to my google reader. it stresses me out on Monday's when I've not checked it all weekend. Every time I go to my homepage, I'm drawn in to checking it, but I try to wait until the end of my day. It is an easy way for me to waste time on the Internet, and I want to be productive while I'm at work. I used to check it first thing after I checked my email in the morning (which is the first thing I do when I sit down at my computer). Then, I would check it when I sat down after lunch. But, I realized what a distraction it can be, so I hold 5:01 as my moment to be glued to my google reader. Also, I have tons of things in my google reader...its pretty random I must admit. But, if there is a blog or site that I run across that I don't want to forget about, I just add it. I guess that's the point. Also, I used to go to my blog everyday and click on all the link that I have listed on the right side. When my friend (who probably doesn't even know she changed my life) introduced me to google reader, my world was turned upside down. I feel like it was my own free personal organizer. Can you have a time organizer? If so, that was it.
  • I now play a gasoline game. When I'm on the road, I always look and see what gas prices are around me. If I see a cheap one, I stop and fill up, but only if my gauge is under half. If it is above half, then I think it is too full to fill up. Although this week, I started thinking about a gas reward program. Any good ideas on that? Surely I can get something back for as much gas as I put in my car in a month on the road.
  • Also, I used the play the "top off" game when I was at the gas station. It stressed me out to not have a round number (that's a whole different oddity). But, I decided that when I go to a restaurant, they don't round off the number of my bill and when I buy groceries, they don't round off the number of my total, so it was not like gas was the only non round # I had. So, now, when the pump stops, I'm finished. It was very liberating.
  • I do have a strange thing with round #'s. And, if I could give you a good example, I would. But, it is not completely OCD where my world stops, but round numbers do make me feel calmer. (as does the marmalade scented candle at Maggie's).
  • When I travel, I always refold my clothes at the end of the night and keep the worn clothes in a pile outside my suitcase. Then, when I get ready to pack up and leave, I put the worn pile on top, so they are the first thing I take out when I get home.
  • I like (well, I don't try to create it, but I don't mind it) flat soda. It always tastes sweeter to me and it doesn't burn. And, this really only applies to Coke and DP. Also, I prefer to drink a soda over ice instead of from the can and I really don't like to drink out of a plastic bottle. I think it burns more from a bottle.
  • I never put a "visitor counter" on my blog when I first set it up b/c I knew it would be a number that I would obsess over, always checking to see what it was. Now, I kinda would like to have one, but I don't feel like it would be a true picture of visitor activity since I've had this blog for 14 months and I'm guess the activity has dwindled since I'm out of C-ville (Praise GOD!!!)So, I'm really struggling with this...like its something I think about probably once a week. What does it matter? But, there are some really neat opportunities that I've heard about that I would like to be a part of and a couple of them are blog based and related to # of "hits" or visitors you have. See my point. Also, along those same lines, some people track activity by the # of comments people leave. And, to solicit such comments, they always end their post with a question. But, I kind a like Big Pitt Stop, being just that; a place you stop. Not, a place you sit and pull up a chair and drink your coffee and hang out and leave your dirty dished behind (wait, that sounded like I'm not interested). I guess what I'm saying is that I don't expect this to be a place you have to give. Its an outlet for me and in that, a place for you to just stop by, to frequent, to stroll through, to pass by, to meander. I don't expect you to come and gather or to fell obligated to stop by. Maybe curiosity keeps you coming back, maybe you care, maybe you are anxious to see what crazy thing I say next. For me, this is home. A place where my thoughts and feelings can be expressed. Where, I can lay my heart on the line short or long, poetic or pronounced, thought through or thoughtless (which is most often the case). Either way, I'm really working through my purpose of "Big Pitt Stop". For now, it will continue to be my journey. Journey of life. Journey of thoughtless ramblings. Inner monologue. Outer reflection.
  • In case you are wondering, sometimes I re read through my thoughts,but most often I finish, Hit spell check (to catch the big stuff ) and then hit "Publish Post". I feel like my ramblings are more raw, less planned or perfected when I don't work back through them. Something about proof reading your journal goes against all of the organic, authentic nature of sharing your heart. Plus, its a little game for you where you have to figure out what I was trying to say!

I'll leave you with this thought as the DISCLAIMER to my current and future "oddities" posts:

I know I'm a cook-y little creature. I know I stress about senseless things. My Type A personality gets me tied up into a bundle of mess. I worry about the oddities of this world. I wonder and contemplate things that just don't matter. I think through things too much and I try to find a lesson in everything. But, the positive side of each of those negative traits are some of my greatest gifts and the best things that I bring to my personal and professional life. To use a season analogy, I really do feel like a jack-o-lantern sometimes (one with a smile ). Only God can take something so plain and common, with its imperfections and place His light inside and make it useful. For that grace along, I'm grateful.

That's all for now. There will be more, I promise. I'm full of them.

Man, That was very therapeutic.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

H town

I'm antsy.
I don't want to go to bed.

I had a great day today.
What's not to love?
Good appointments.
New stores.
Hello, Fabrics and More.
I know what it feels like on project Runway when they walk into Mood-except Tim did not hand me money (insert sad face)- although all the things I bought were in the same color family and would have been perfect for the "ink" episode.
I got to stop at my favorite stores in The Woodlands- it kinda felt like a dream.
I bought books.
I found my way around without Georgio's help.
Gerogio and I are on a breakup-he does not share the same affection for Htown as I do..He stays confused here..actually, he doesn't know his way around here. I guess even he has his flaws.
The weather was perfect.
I dreamed.
I got to be creative.
I did some Christmas shopping (well, a lot of it...I had to stop so I have gas money to come home!)
I had dinner at my favorite restaurant.
I split dinner with a good friend.
I laughed a lot.
I told jokes.
I used a LOT of sarcasm.
I ended it with my favorite fall treat- pumpkin cheesecake.
I was pretty much a perfect day (minus good parties, a birthday or Italy)

I guess I will go to sleep now, although...it wont be visions of sugarplums in my head tonight...it will be things I saw and want at Anthropologie, William Sonoma, Maggie's, Swoozies, Border's, Francesca's, Z Gallerie and J. Crew.

Oh, and I'm really excited ruffles are in this year. I saw several things today that I wanted and did not get...it was my own little game of self-discipline

I did love that most of the stores I visited today still had fall stuff out...that made me happy. Don't get me wrong, the red and green that begin to deck the store shelves is great, but I love when we can fully celebrate the fall and Thanksgiving. I hate when it gets passed over. I think that is my favorite holiday. At least, the potential and thought tied to it.

I saw these cute cards today and little gathering baskets to put them in. They are the size of place cards and say "This year I'm thankful for:" Our Thanksgiving traditions have changed over the last couple of years and right now, we don't really have a tradition, but I kinda like this searching process. Soon, we will settle on something. It may be relative to where my sis and I end up when we someday get married, but for now, I like the thought of doing some service thing and then coming together to have our meal. We have much to be grateful for and even more to give back. who knows what we will do, but there is a lot to get done between now and then.

I found my calendar today that had been lost...well, really I had put it in one of those "safe spots", but, I couldnt remeber how safe it was! Anyway, my world is a little less chaotic now that I have my calendar back...can we say TYPE A!!!

Ok, enough rambling for one night. I think you can tell that I just write as my brain works...dont you feel lucky that you get to see just a glimpse of how my brain works.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

fall follies

So, wonder what's been going on...let me bring you up to speed:

1. I'm traveling a lot and really trying to figure out how to work everything in. It takes a long time for this Type A to get ready to go somewhere and then to recover when I get back.

2. Part of that recovery takes a little longer every time I go to Dallas. My mom has decided that I have reached the point in my life where its time to take "my things" out of her house. I will admit fully that I'm a pack rat, very sentimental and really struggle with getting rid of things. All those things combined and working against me, this has been a war. Really, I have to make a decision about whether I'm going to want these things 30 years from now. And further more many of the things I "want" are for her grand kids...so, doesn't it seem right that she just keep them? I mean really. I'm storing things to keep for my kids that do not even exist and since they have to have a dad before they can come in to this world...their chances are looking slim to none right now. I had a hard time trying to book a flight today for a trip in March...I cant even begin to know whether I want my could be little girl to ever wear the red dress my grandmother made for me when I was 5. Just keep it! And, Ill decide later. Or get rid of it and I'll wish I had it 20 years from now. Either way, someone is going to be disappointed. So what's the best decision right now?

3. I'm on a Simplify kick right now anyway. A month ago, I cleaned out every room in my house and all the junk I was storing in the basement. I really got convicted about all the "extra" stuff I was living with. It hasn't kept me from buying new stuff, but it really does make me think twice. I mean really, I'm a single girl and I cant fit anything else in my pantry cabinets. I have enough food in there to feed a football team twice. I've really had to cut back on my coupon game. And, remind myself to make foods that incorporate the things I already have at my house. Think about it. People on the other side of the world live in houses made of cardboard, trash, and rubber tires. I go to my nicely decorated warm home with new candles, fluffy pillows, and two empty bedrooms and complain some days. I also think about going out to eat when I have a kitchen FULL of groceries. I really have been convicted lately and I challenge you to think about it. I cant convict you and I do not think that just because one person is convicted or challenged in an area, that we all should be. I know that people work hard for the success they have been achieved and believe me I understand that. They deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor. But, I also believe that we live in abundance. We live outside, beyond and above our means..and for what? We still NEED and crave more of the things we already have. I could be snowed in and still be able to eat on the food in my house for 9 months and still not be starving. I have really started thinking lately how I can stretch the blessings God has given me and ACCOMPLISH something with them. Living is not accomplishing anything unless we are doing something. Think about it really. Here are some of the things I've been thinking about: Dave Ramsey has several points...get out of debt. I'm working on it! I paid off my car in August and I will pay off a furniture credit card next month! It really is freeing. If I don't have money for it, I don't buy it. And, if I buy extra, something in my monthly budget has to get sacrificed. Its is not fun, but it is liberating. I've also contemplated getting involved in some of these organizations- Helen Keller International, American Assistance for Cambodian Schools, Heal Africa, Global Giving. Of course two organizations that are close to my heart are the American Cancer Society and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I really think to whom much is given, much is expected and after reading and hearing the parable talents all my life, I am so scared of hearing "wicked, lazy servant" simply because I was too scared to do something, or I was being a tight wad, or I was "wanting" too much for my life that I overlooked the needs around me and in doing so "buried" my blessings in stuff I wanted.

4. This weekend, I will join a group of girl friends here in Arkadelphia to honor a friend who is a recent cancer survivor. Race for the Cure. Did you know that just $150 can pay for a woman to have a mammogram that can save her life! One woman's dream to do something in her sister's honor has turned into 25 years of giving hope.

Did you know: An estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women in the United States during 2009 [5]. And an estimated 40,170 women will die from breast cancer. Also, about 1,910 men will be diagnosed and 440 men will die of breast cancer during 2009 in the United States [5]. In addition to invasive breast cancer, an estimated 62,280 new cases of in situ breast cancer will occur among women in 2009 [5].

We have got to do something about this....and, if you think, not me...that's for someone else, I bet there are hundreds of thousands of women (and men) who would tell you otherwise.

5. I've really gotten into watching the podcast of Crosspoint pastor Pete Wilson's sermons each week. He just finished a series called Religion Lies and it really made me think. Here are a couple quotes from the series that have been milling around in my head:

  • Religion always complicates what God has made simple.
  • In a relationship with Jesus, you are defined by the cross and shaped by grace, not by what you do.
  • Are you a whistle-happy, flag throwing Christian? Meaning, are you a judgement pointer, worried and consumed with what other people around you are doing wrong and downplaying your sin because it is not as bad as what someone else is doing?
  • Think about it

6. Last weekend, we had this little thing called Tiger Tunes on our campus. It was amazing and fun and exhausting all at the same time, but there is nothing I love more about working on a college campus than watching students brainstorm ideas, work through the process, and lead on carrying them out. It really is an honor to spectate the games! If you missed it, or are curious, check it out! Last year the Ouachita Student Foundation gave out $68,000 in scholarships which is what this show accomplishes

7. Also, I've really debated the whole "fall blogging" process. Personally, I'm obsessed with fall. With anything pumpkin, cinnamon, jewel toned, or rustic. It doesn't need to be said. If you saw my magazine collection right now, you would know. But, I love it. i have 3 reserve cans of pumpkin product in my (already stated) full cabinet, but I've heard there may be a shortage this year and I don't want to be caught without. I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, my favorite recipe is Pumpkin Dump Cake. My porch has its mum and pumpkins on it. Although I'm sad I waited until the last minute and didn't get the fairytale pumpkins that a family here raises. I love them. they really do look like Cinderella's carriage) But, there was just something about the fact that everyone was posting about Fall, that I couldn't, so here it is. I'M OBSESSED WITH FALL. There is even a rumor out that Mimi's Cafe has pumpkin spice muffins with cinnamon strudel as their seasonal muffin and I might be making several out of the way trips just to get a few!

8. I've had a couple projects over the last couple weeks.

  • I made a wreath for my door (no picture right now, I forgot...but, it is way cute)
  • I made an arrangement, yes, it looks a little different than I wanted it to, but it was for a dual purpose...one of which was a Halloween decoration..don't you love the feathers


  • I made my first put together quilt...it is a quilted tablecloth, but I have a new respect for every warm night I laid under a quilt made by either of my grandmothers or their mothers. There is a lot of handwork that goes into those things! I mis-measured, so I actually have two..this is the smaller one. The other is backed with a black and white damask print so I can use it for other occasions as well!

9. We recently had a shower for one of my friends Lauren who is about to welcome little Evie Clair any moment. It was really special. The guys said the idea for the shower was a little hippie, but Lauren loved it and we loved throwing it and who listens to guys opinions anyway! It was really fun, we all brought a bead that reminded us of Lauren or that was tied to a blessing, verse or poem that we shared with her at the shower. Then we had all the beads made into a bracelet. I love to see Lauren wear the bracelet and there is something so fun knowing that it was made with thoughts from her girl friends. I cant wait to hear stories about the questions the Evie Claire will have looking at it one day and knowing that it is an heirloom piece she can share with her. You know there really is something special about girlfriends and I don't think we take enough advantage of the power of that relationship. Too many times, we as girls, put too much pressure on each other and really make it hard on ourselves. What if we peeled off the layers of judgement and instead replaced them with strength and power. Think of how many more things we could accomplish together. 10. I had Bunko at my house this week and it was so much fun. I had a blast planning the menu and getting the house all "themed" up. I love to throw a good party!

the food table

Vampire's Blood- Tomato Basil Soup
Monster Mash- Pasta Salad with my Italian striped bowties
Witches Fingers- breadsticks
Infested Graveyard- Dirt puddingDead Man's Eyes- Cake Balls made with carrot cake and cream cheese icing
Since 10 is a nice round number and you have read more than you should have to, I'm going to stop there. I hope you enjoy your weekend and maybe it will finally be dry for a couple days before cabin fever kicks in.
PS, sorry about all the links, I just feel like I can explain myself better that way...I'm a visual learner, what can I say!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

panera

Please accept these random thoughts from my "killing time" excursion:

  • does anyone else think it is weird that we can make any place with free wi-fi our office? No matter what city it is in or what time of day it is.

  • The man next to me is completing "reference" calls for an interview he recently conducted. The good news is the I think they are going to hire the guy!

  • I guess my putting these thoughts out on the "www" defeats his "just between you and me" comment he keeps making over the phone to his co-workers

  • I think everyone should have to be walked/talked through a series of cell phone etiquette "non-negotiables" before anyone can purchase a cell phone and then be updated with each upgrade..and one of those includes when and where it is appropriate to use a cell phone and how loud you can talk in public... (I know that I talk loud on a cell phone, so I try not to use it in restaurants and stores!)

  • This same man just finished eating his lunch which was a bread bowl with soup in it. He smacked and slurped it and when I looked over to just glance at the mess that was ensuing...and he had potato soup slathered across his face...I didnt stare, but I wanted to

  • Then, to top it off, he finished it with an out loud burp. There are a lot of things that I will let you get away with in public...but being a grown business man who should know better than to burp out loud while other people are around you is just not going to cut it. He is really lucky he didn't get the "did you really just do that" look from my direction...I dont see a wedding ring, so I'm going to give him the benefit of not being trained better!

  • If you are anywhere near a Panera, you should check out some of the yummy sounding things they have on their menu...Cuban Chicken Panini, Black Bean Soup, BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad, and some salad that they just brought out to the lady next to me with all kinds of yummy looking things on it including chicken and dried apple rings!

Do you think there is a way I could make a job out of people watching and observing?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

amgt

Well, it is pouring rain outside and I cannot walk home right now, so you get two posts for one today.

In case you have not heard this amazing success story, I wanted to connected you with another survivor.

I heard them use the word "survivor" in reference to her last week, and of course my mind went immediately to being a cancer survivor, but I thought maybe because she had fought through the competition and made it to the finals, they were using that term for her as well. (obviously I didn't watch the auditions the night she tried out)

But, last night, I found out the truth. If you have not heard from this Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor who is married, raising a sweet little girl and after radiation treatments that she thought would leave her with a desire to sing, but not the ability..let me introduce you to this very talented singing, Texan, mommy....

(forgive me I've still not figured out how to put the videos in my blog without just the links..anybody wanna help? This is a youtube video of her journey to the finals)

Barbara Padillo - America's Got Talent - or as I like to say "Survivor's Got Talent"

I've had to fight so hard and now I have everything to Live for!!!

(I for sure don't sing that well, but I sure sing that loud when I'm the car burning up the road trying to stay awake...I call it "having church" you call it what you want)

pic as promised

Here's the pic I said I would put up. Yes, it is bigger than before, but I think he had to cut a little more to be able to get to it. there was a lot of scar tissue in there. Also, it looks all ruffled up now, but I'm thinking that he squeezed it together more so the scar is not as wide as it heals.






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Monday, September 14, 2009

success

well, Friday was a success!

If you have to have surgery, that was the way to do it. we didn't have to be in LR until 10, surgery was around 12:30, I was out by 1:00, an hour in recovery, ate lunch at McAlister's, stopped at Garden Ridge, came home, rested for a while, ran to a couple of stores in Arkadoo, and mom made dinner.

Not bad for a Friday with your parents!

Seriously though, everything went really well. I've been pretty sore on the left side for most of the weekend, but nothing that I couldn't tackle with some Tylenol.

(I'll leave out the fact that I can take a shower for serveral days, so I've been washing my hair in the kitchen sink and I've only been wearing button up shirts because I can't raise my left arm!)

When I was in recovery, the guy asked me what my level of discomfort was on a scale of 1-10 (10 being bad) and I told him a two maybe "just because its supposed to hurt". I think he forgot what all I had been through. At that moment with some drugs still in my system, nothing really hurt at all. He gave me a glass of ice water and two tylenol.

I have a picture that I'll try to remember to put up, but the scar is bigger than it was last time, but they had to remove some scar tissue as well as the port.

So, in the words of one of my clever co-workers... my dePORTation was successful!!!

I have much to reflect on at this point, but while I'm still muddling through my thoughts, let me give you some people to pray for...

Andrew
Jim and Phyllis
Peggy
Kathie
Hailey
Richard
Terri

all of these are friends who are going through different things related to their own personal journey. Please lift them up...what better gift can we give each other than laying our concerns before the throne?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Port Surgery

Sorry I've been absent from blog world. I'm sure there are many reasons and excuses, but I will save you the time.

Just wanted to give you an update on where things are. I get my infusion port out tomorrow (Friday Sept 11) and I'm excited. It is just a simple procedure, just a day surgery. It should only take about 30 minutes.

I'll take it as a good sign that the doctor told me today "These are the good kinds of surgeries"!!!
I will covet your prayers tomorrow (Friday) at noon. I'll update you after the weekend.

Thank you for you concern and support

Monday, August 24, 2009

spoiled

I have decided that the newbies to Arkadelphia (a.k.a. the new students) are spoiled with the weather we have been having. I think I heard on the radio that the high today was 83. Yes, you read that right. The last two mornings, it has been kinda "crisp" when I leave. Now my friends who fall into the "sweater" category and I'm not talking about the kind you wear are very excited I'm sure. It has been so nice. And, it has made me even more anxious about fall. Until days like this, I forget how much I love this time of year. I'm so excited about the months ahead...if you know me well, you know I could list a series of things here that I love most about fall..I'll spare you until they start happening, but suffice it to say my favorite time of year is just around the corner.

Does any one else think that the sales at Hobby Lobby are pecularily random? I am very grateful that my favorite items there are more than likely on sale at least once a month. But, today I was in there and they had garland and christmas stockings on sale, but not Halloween stuff. I that strange to anyone else?

Also, I was almost taken out by a girl on a scooter this morning. Now that all the kids are back, every parking lot is packed and my driveway is as close as many empty parking spots. So, I was just walking along, trying to balance all the things I was toting to my office when I heard someone approaching very quickly behind me. I turned and looked over my left shoulder to see a young "co-ed" approaching at a rapid scooter pace. Thankfully I took one step to my right at a very strategic moment to avoid a colision and, well its doesnt take much to make me trip, stumble or fall down..so I dont need any help. Even more, the girl did not say anything, she did not look up, she did not smile, frown, or appologize for her rudness. I almost hollered out that classes did not start today. She had her backpack on and was heading for the Science Building like she was late for one of Dr. Jeffers' classes...the only problem is that classes have not begun. So, I was left with two thoughts.

1. She loves her work-study job and is dedicated to it more than any students I have ever known...including myself.
2. She is new on campus and does not know the unspoke ettiquette...like smiling at someone at 8:00 on a Monday morning when you almost run them over b/c they are perfectly normally walking to their office.
3. She wanted me to hunt her down...she gets one week of probation and that's what I'm doing next time...just kidding. I had a cake in my hands I couldnt mess that up and its not the friendly way we build community at Ouachita.

Man I love this place. I love the new energy that arrived on Saturday when the new students moved in and I love that everything it getting back to normal around here.

Sorry for the random post... (and my spell check is not working so sorry for the misspellings)

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

oopsie daisy

Since I'm fully aware that everything communicates something, what exactly does it say to your donor friend when you visit them and the chair you sit in kinda "gives" a little underneath you.

I don't know you if have personally ever had this experience before, but nothing says "you need to go on a diet and lay off the peach cobbler you made this weekend" like the springs in the chair you are sitting in giving out from underneath you.

Yeah, that's what happened to me today. I visited a very kind man and was talking with him when I decided to scoot back in the chair in his living room. (for my own sanity, I'm going to insert here that the chair did look like it was still celebrating a disco from the 70s..I say that to help convince myself that it was the chair who is going on a couple decades of wear and comfort and not my fat rear that made this situation unfold)

As I moved back in the chair, I heard a semi-"tearing" sound and quiet "boing" and realized that if I moved back any further or put any more pressure on the chair, that I might be sitting on the floor because the chair was about to give out.

So, as to not draw attention to myself, I quickly grabbed the wooden handle of the chair and proceeded for the next hour and 15 mins. to hold myself in my chair by my left hand. I'm sure there was a goofy look on my face and I no doubt left him with the feeling that I have perfect posture based on the way I was sitting up in my seat.

As we walked to the door, I looked back and noticed that the back right corner of the cushion was indeed, shall we say "leaning" a bit. I'm sure it was that way before I sat down and I just didn't notice.

Nice man...old chair...good posture..sweet conversation..oopsie daisy!

And, PS I did make a peach cobbler this weekend with white peaches and it was amazing..I didn't even need vanilla ice cream or whipped topping...my mom was proud and my dad was jealous!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

relief

So, is this what it feels like?

I had a PET scan on Friday and yesterday I had my one year appointment. Everything was clear and I am one year in REMISSION!

Yeah!!!

He said I can even go ahead and set up a time to get my infusion port out. But, here's the funny thing. As I've been looking at my schedule, surgery is never something you really have "time" for. Usually surgery is something you have to have..and usually you needed it yesterday, so to "just find time"...isn't really easy. Oh well, I'll figure it out.

In the mean time, I want to thank several groups of people for the way you have supported me, loved me, and carried my through the last year. From beginning to end, this was never something I had to handle or deal with alone and for that, I will be forever grateful and indebted to you.

LGB and TRB - thanks for EVERYTHING. For driving me to every appointment, sitting in the waiting room, driving like a maniac the first night to get back to Arkadelphia, letting me cry but not whine, for the encouragement, for understanding my ailments - even when they didn't make sense, for making me feel like one of your own, and more than anything your constant, unconditional friendship

LL-thank you for Treat Tuesday's. That was such a creative idea and something I looked forward too. You are an amazing a supportive friend

Suite 100 - we were all scared and confused together, but you were great to just let me figure it out. Thanks for your support during the hardest days I have ever faced. Thanks for the fun hat and scarf party - and while I never had to use them the way we thought I might, I will always remember that that need was met long before it became a big concern. Thanks for driving me to radiation appointments and for the laughs and tears along the way.

OBU family - no where to begin on this one either. There always has been something different about this place and when you go through moments like these, you begin to understand even more. I appreciate the support more than you will ever know. So, whether you were closely connected in the process, let me talk through my chemo brain in meetings (hopefully some of that made sense), made me laugh, let me cry, wrote notes, brought me sweet surprises, stopped for a moment on the sidewalk, asked questions, or just smiled a bigger smile, I am so grateful

Arkadelphia family and church - thank you for your support and prayers. You have seen me in some of my weakest moments, but there were weekends that I didn't feel great, but wanted to get up and be there just to let you know that your prayers were not in vain. Thank you!

My Irving family - thank you for your long distance love, prayers, cards, thoughts, well wishes and hugs when I came home. More than that, thank you for taking care of my family. I know this journey was a truly different experience for them. I like being the one that holds everything together and I couldn't do it with this and I so appreciate you supporting them and loving them when I could not. Your gifts, kind words, hugs, prayers, and support will always be something we cherish.

To my extended family - thank you for loving us through this and walking the road very personally with us. I have always considered my family a blessing and while we have walked so many roads together, I know that it is rare to be so grounded together with a faith that has sustained the journey. I love you!

Mom, dad, and resa - I know none of you read this, but everyone else does and tells you what I say, so I don't want you to feel left out. I have told you how much you mean to me, but I want to publicly acknowledge that I am so grateful that God's plan worked out to put us 4 and no more in our group (well, I'm glad he added the dog!). But I can see so many ways how he has grown us together and I'm kinda glad that it was just the 4 of us on this ride together. Thank you for driving a million miles last summer, for taking days off of work and having to play catch up when you got back, for the loss of sleep, for cooking and having food on the table when I woke up from my naps, for letting me grumpy and whiny, for cleaning my house and moving me, for making sense of my chemo brain chatter, for all the small things that made life a little easier, for just getting me with a look and not making me say anything, for moments when I would turn over in the night and you were there praying beside my bed...I am such a lucky girl and even when I don't act like it, know that I will spend the rest of my life paying you back for your support and love.

Hodgkiss group - thanks for walking this road with me and for your encouragement along the way - for the "we've been there's" and the convos about all the lingo. It was nice to have someone who understood all that stuff. Heather, not to through you in with your whole family, but your friendship is a treasure, thanks for coming to see me, for sitting with me all weekend, for the basket of all my favorite goodies, for the late night phone calls, for crying on the way home from Dallas and then telling me when I admitted that I was back at my house crying too. We have shared a journey of many things together. I am blessed by our friendship

AKD - thanks for your amazing friendship, for coming down to take me to radiation, for the pedicures and the laughs, thanks for calling to check on me even when that part of our friendship seemed one sided. I appreciate you so much and your cards and sweet thoughts always come at just the right time

My roomies - when they say that Ouachita friendships are lifelong, they aren't kidding. I will never forget the Friday night that I called to tell each of you what was going on. 08 was a big year for all of us - new houses, weddings, first anniversaries and it was so fun to be together. 410 Ouachita St. changed our lives together and I am grateful that we all mysteriously found each other.

To those of you who read this blog that I have never met- thank you for being entertained by my life. I hope my journey has been a testimony of what my loving, saving, merciful God can do. Not only is he a Healer, but he is Sustaining, Faithful (praise him for that one) and full of Grace.

So, what I have I learned along the way?
  • Prayer Changes EVERYTHING
  • Relationships really are the most important thing in life
  • Make sure you are taking time to Live and truly EXPERIENCE life
  • Take advantage of the opportunity, you may not have a second chance
  • Make sure the people around you know how much they mean to you
  • A smile can go a long way - like in the waiting room of a doctors office
  • Share your faith and let it be testimony of your journey
  • Be your own advocate and fight for yourself
  • Give of yourself and expect nothing in return
  • Commit your life to living for something truly significant

As I close, let me leave you with these words from Paul in Ephesians:

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

on the road again

I have had several thoughts over the last couple days spending some time with Georgio.

1 - I think it would be funny if there was a "southern" voice option on the Garmin. I would for sure ditch Gerogio for a guy named Billy Bob, simply for entertainment. There is something reassuring about hearing a familiar voice. "FM 1187" does not translate into the same thing when Georgio says it. Just think what Billy Bob would say - "Go down der, turn right der, and then it will be right der on da right"

2 - I think there should be an option for "Prissy white girl" along with "most scenic", "fastest", "avoid highways". You see when I don't take the turn I'm supposed to and Georgio says "recalculating", I need him to not drag me through the area he took me through today. I don't think this white girl was supposed to be in that area. I need the "prissy white girl" option so he knows not to drag me through those streets. See ladies Georgio does have a flaw - he is not that perfect European man that I have dreamed him to be.

3 - are the voices that the Garmin uses computer generated based on generalizations of a certain cultural voice. Or, are they mimic ed after a certain person.

4 - Also, I wonder what the voice would really like to say instead of "recalculating" - Here are some of the things I think it would like to say instead..."why are you using me if you don't do what I say?", "didn't I just tell you to turn/exit?", "you idiot, listen!", "ok are you going to listen to me now?". I play this game with myself. I apologize when he has to say "recalculating". But, there is something I like about the polite way he says "RECALCULATING".

Think about it, wouldn't it be nice if everyone just responded politely and didn't talk back or belittle you? I just sayin.

On a totally different note, I'm officially the #1 fan of the QT - Quik Trip - gas station. They sell 32 oz. drinks for $.49 and gas for $2.21. Maybe there are some good things about a big city!

(And, Georgio will let me type in the name of what I'm looking for and he will find it for me...even if it is 15 miles away and in downtown Ft. Worth and I accidentally turn the wrong way on a one way street, or that a little red mustang almost came through my door. But, aren't these memories that I'm making..my dad doesn't read this so I can say that)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

in love

I have come to Dallas and fallen in love. His name is Georgio, or at least that is what I call him!

His middle name is Garmin. That's right. Georgio Garmin Get me where I need to go when I need to go.

We had a little Christmas in July celebration (we used to have those at church when I was growing up in GA's. We would bring goodies to mail to missionaries. I don't know if it took that long for the products to mail overseas, or if that is just what we called it. Anybody got any details on this experience?) when I got home on Monday night.

Dad even wrapped them in Christmas paper and everything.

I had my first day of appointments yesterday and it led me to all of them. The first guy even said. You must have a GPS if you found this place. I just smiled.

I love my new boyfriend. He is actually better than the real thing. He gets you exactly to the parking place without an argument, getting lost (I'm sure that experience is coming), and he will stop and let you add detours along the way and, he shows you all the shopping options in the area you are traveling (he shows you a lot of others too like gas stations, banks, etc. ) but shopping and restaurants are the ones I will use most!

Anyway, I'm in love and until the honeymoon wears off, I will stay that way. Off to more adventures today.

PS - there was a second Christmas in July gift a book about "taking the desperate out of dating". Anybody think that is a hint when your dad finally gets to the point where he is ready to get rid of you too?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

pray

sweet friends, I have long since used this as a forum for personal solicitation, to tell you whats going on in my world and to rant, vent, or question the things of the world.

But, today, will you give me the honor of introducing you to a Saint. I was introduced (well, we have never actually met) through a friend of mine here in Arkadelphia. It has been enough that my friend was so moved and touched by this woman. I knew she was a woman of God, that her friends were impacted by her faith and that God has used her and her battle with cancer to tell His story.

She has been through the fire, but not let herself be consumed or burned up. She has taken blows and stood the test of endurance and hardship. She has stood strong and tall when it would have been so much easier to curl up in a ball. I received this video link today that her church put together on their website of her testimony.

While you may not know her, I ask you to take 15 minutes to watch the video. It will change your day. It will put things in perspective for you and more than anything, it will challenge you to fight harder for a tomorrow so you can live better than you did today.

And, after you have watched it, take a few moments and pray for Terri. Her testimony of faith is unwavering. Less than a month ago, they sent her home from MD Anderson and told her their was nothing else they could do. In an email I got today, there is a radiation treatment that her doctor is willing to try. She will go everyday for 4-5 days and it is a very dangerous treatment. One of the side effects is death. While she knows what is in front of her, she knows who she serves and where she is going. Oh that I could live everyday with that abandon and not take days of returned health for granted.
Its time to get this blog back to its original purposes...begging and pleading for your prayers.
I'll leave you with these thoughts she said in the video:
He is not worried about my comfort, he is worried about my character.
Once you figure out it's not about you - God is enough!
May He be your plenty and your want this evening.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

pearberry

So, I had one of those moments today. You know, when you smell something you haven't smelled in long time and it takes you back. We were in Bath and Body Works and I saw that compound word on the side of a plastic bottle and could not believe what I was seeing. PEARBERRY is back.

It is not necessarily a scent that I really love now, but it was my scent during high school. I loved that stuff. It was way cooler than just the original Sun Ripened Raspberry, Country Apple, or Cucumber Melon it was one step past all that. You know when you feel like you are on the cutting edge because your favorite is something more than just the average. (yeah, I'm weird, it doesn't take much to entertain me..and it never really has)

Any way, I put a sample size in my hands and as I rubbed them together and my hands began to absorb the moisture, I was transported back. Back 10-12 years ago to Latham Springs at 4:45 in the afternoon. Maybe it was the fact that it felt like it was 100 degrees, but that was my summer scent. Long before Mango Mandarin was my summer scent, I would make sure I had my Pearberry bottle of lotion. I think I felt cool because I had Bath and Body Works lotion...like that was some social status symbol (actually, I think it was).

But, for those of you who read this that were there at that same moment, let me paint this picture for you. We had been out in the afternoon at Youth Camp. Whether getting a treat at the snack area, trying to find the cute boys who were playing in the summer band, enduring last minute Talent Show practice, or heaven forbid sitting out watching the athletes in our youth group take on the counselors in a rousing game of basketball or softball, we were definitely in need of a shower before dinner. So, 40 girls sharing a bathroom, trying as much as possible to get ready for dinner as quickly as they could because we always waited too late.

If we were lucky, we had asked some boys to dinner with some cheesy rhymy poem, at lunch, at the mic in front of everyone and they were going to be at our cabin door in 5 minutes and we would begin to fight over who would eat with who - if claims had not already been made. None of us were really in a hurry to get to dinner. You see, we would spend the next few moments in line, outside wrapping around a building in the 5:00 heat. We had worked really hard to wear just the right dinner/ worship outfit, if it was older boys - we were all nervous, if it was younger boys - we were figuring out how to make small talk through the most awkward days of our existence. Then, we would get in line and probably have a mixture of spaghetti, garlic bread, cooked carrots and chocolate pudding (the only thing I would eat) waiting for us. However we would never really know if it was good or not because as soon as we got to our table, we would either begin yelling/chanting/cheering incessantly or coming up with what we were going to go up to the mic and say.

And, we had no idea what amazing message was in front of us. No idea if we would have the most emotional night of our life (of at least the week). No idea how God would drastically change each of our lives that evening. No idea if this would be the night that one of our lost friends who came to camp would find Jesus for the very first time. No idea if one among us would feel the call to full time ministry. No idea what would be ahead for the evening.

I wonder, just wonder, if we had known that...would we have changed the way we prepared ourselves? Would we have talked about something different at dinner? Would we have sat with the same person or spent more time with our girl friends and less time worrying about boys?

Anyway. That was there PEARBERRY took me. A moment (or many moments) in my past. Those were great days, that made up some of my favorite memories of high school. I can still hear the chatter in front of the mirrors, remember the chaos of dresses as everyone wore each other's clothes, see all the hair products and curling irons (no straighteners then) lined up on the counters and the fighting through the hair spray fog! What great memories!

What about you? What smell takes you back to a certain moment? Or, to summer youth camp?

Isn't that interesting how our senses can kick in and jog our memories!?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

out rage

So, I have a new obsession, well, its one of many lately, but its an obsession that one of my friends introduced me to.

However, I was out ragged to read this in their newsletter today...

http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/Most_Sugar-Packed_Foods/14_Most_Sugar-Packed_Healthy_Food.php

I saw this today and it made me sad-somewhat outraged- they are blaspheming one of my favorite snacks -

At least it fell in the "healthy" category. How dare then make it sound like a muffin is cake. Don't they know the food pyramid and food categories? A cake is a cake and a muffin is a muffin. Now if they poured it in those little mini bundt pans and put icing on it, that would be different, but for now its in a paper liner and that makes it a muffin, and its pumpkin which can totally be considered a vegetable, so, we are totally ok, eating vegetables for breakfast.

Actually, for eating vegetables for breakfast, we should get a reward and I think it should be a cake!


If it comes in a paper liner and is baked in a "muffin" pan, then its a muffin. Some may call things like this a cupcake, and that's fine, we can introduce that category, those are baked in cupcake pans, but at my house, they are called muffin pans.

I rest my case!

(remember I'm the girl who was raised in a house where my mom ate left over chocolate cake for breakfast -or pumpkin pie the day after thanksgiving, so this is totally logical)

Friday, May 29, 2009

oh may

So, I've been a little busy this month. First, I have a new job. I moved this week to the Development Office. My new territory is SW Arkansas and Texas. Lots to learn really quickly. I'm, already loving my new co-workers and they are quickly learning how weird and quirky I am! They'll love me before they know it.

The great thing about this new job is that I will be out traveling and telling the Ouachita story. I'm sure that will bring some fabulous stories. I always run into very interesting things while I'm out and being on the road gives me time to think, which gives me things to write about.

The other big thing that happened recently is that my sister got her Master's. I had such a great time while I was home. Dad and I went to the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Art Museum while I was there and us girls went to the Main Street Festival in Grapevine. So fun. I wish we had something like that here!

Any way, enjoy the grad pics below. I'm so proud of her..some man is going to be super lucky to snatch her up and in the mean time there are some very lucky kids in Dallas who get to have her for a teacher! It makes me want to go back to elementary school PE (and she is the only thing...I don't know, I kinda liked Jump Rope for Heart but not the mile run day!)

this is what we call the Master's glow



now she's in the hood!

mis parentals

mis madre

mi familia...we're so pretty..but why did I do that with my head?

Aunt Faye and Uncle Keith

Papa and Maurine

such a rebel...I told her what are they going to do, kick you out of school...oh wait!

you did it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

sites

I know, I know, three posts in two days, but this one I've been working on.

Over the last 5 days, I've been working on a special project. During it, I have come across some super fascinating websites. Many of which I never would have crossed had I not done this search. So, consider this a "birthday present, christmas gift, just becasuse I love you and thought of you, mother's day, T2, Happy Hour, love from my heart" kind of considerate offer.

Some fabulous new website finds (sorry no coupons this time):

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Menu/DiningEtiquetteGuide.htm

http://www.oldandsold.com/articles05/business-6.shtml

http://www.career.vt.edu/diningetiquette/QandA.htm

http://business.missouri.edu/342/default.aspx

http://www.bremercommunications.com/Dining_Etiquette.htm - good techniques for many things

http://www.thefoodpaper.com/features/beefcuts101.html -details about beef and steak cuts

http://humanresources.about.com/od/workrelationships/a/dress_code.htm -dress code

http://www.dresscodeguide.com/

http://www.dba-oracle.com/dress_code.htm -I like how these people think, no nonsense office appropriate dress code – I cannot be held responsible for any personal feelings about this site. I just thought it was funny!

http://netsecurity.about.com/od/newsandeditorial1/a/aaidenttheft.htm

http://collegegrad.com/jobsearch/New-Job-Preparation/New-Job-Proverbs/

http://inside.bard.edu/doso/senioryear/personalfinance/studentloans.shtml - the senior year experience

http://www.lifeaftercollege.org/blog/2008/07/17/ten-books-that-changed-my-life/

http://www.gradspot.com/Lifestyle/Socializing/The+Top+Ten+AllTime+Best+Graduation+Speeches?page=0%2C1

And, my fav – I like the content, but I love the name even more: http://www.ramenrentresumes.com/

Some extra's that you might find helpful:

www.gradspot.com www.apartments.com
www.first30days.com www.quarterlifecrisis.com
www.capandcompass.com www.dresscodeguide.com
www.fightidentitytheft.com www.itendity-theft-tips.com
www.privacyrights.com www.canivote.org
www.usa.gov www.philanthropy.com
www.americancity.org www.mint.com
www.pnc.com www.quicken.intuit.com www.dinkytown.comwww.webhelps.com

Happy Surfing!
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coupon

ok, so Oprah has done an amazing thing. She has offered to buy chicken for everyone. Follow this link to the coupon:

http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20090430-tows-kfc-coupon-download

I can go ahead and tell you that the traffic on the website is super busy. And, if you are in Arkadelphia they dont have the grilled chicken here. Go figure!

Anyway, this is all about friends helping friends! I was graciously helped by friends, so I'm paying it forward. Enjoy!

And, remember this is one of those times to not complain that you cant get your order just the way you want it...it's free! Be grateful.

That is actually a reminder I just had to type to myself.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

here little birdie

so, I'm having a little issue. This weekend, we had a monsoon. This is no surprise to many of you, because where ever you are, you most likely had one too. But, the monsoon brought a tragedy to my house. No, not what you are thinking.

I spent most of the day Saturday scrapbooking in my living room in front of the TV. I had dinner plans that night, so I got ready and left my house, locked the front door and turned around only to find an ankle deep puddle of water at the bottom of my steps. Ok, so no big deal. I cautiously waded around it, down my front sidewalk and turned right on the main side walk to get to my driveway. (typically I walk through the yard when it is not a mud pit!)

I was stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a very upsetting sight. There on the sidewalk in front of my house was a crime scene. A murder scene if you really want me to be honest. Get ready... turned on its side was a beautiful birds nest that had fallen from the tree above. Next to it was the remains of a cracked up beautiful turquoise shell. I was so sad!

It was so obvious that it was a baby robin egg that had fallen to its demise. I felt like I had done something wrong. Like I was entrusted with a little baby bird and I did not protect it. I know that birds and animals may not feel like we do as humans about our off spring, but I couldn't help but imagine that there was a mommy bird that was upset.

First, she had spent the day and night before being drenched by the rain. I can't help but think that it would be annoying to be a bird on a day like that. Yes, spring mornings are wondrous and they can just sit and sing and talk to each other. But, a rainy, wet Saturday where your only living environment is to just weather the storm. Yuck! No thanks. I'm glad I don't believe in reincarnation. I can think of many things that I would not want to come back as and a bird is one of them.

Second, she lost her home. It may seem minuscule to relate it to the desolation that a hurricane or tornado can bring, but relatively speaking, the weather changed her entire living environment. It up rooted her, moved her from where she had called home, called comfort and peace. Gone, knocked down by the storm and laying there on the sidewalk to just be viewed by everyone. It was really sad. And, what's more is that it just kept getting rained on. Over, and over and over and even now three days later...more rain poured over it. So annoying, if only I could build a home that could withstand the storm.

And then, laying there beside it was her baby. I almost can't type these words. I know it sounds silly, but I don't know what to do with it. I've always been told not to touch a birds nest because the mama will not come back. But, I don't want her to come back. If she hasn't seen what happened, I don't want her too. How awful. How sad for her. I feel like I need to have a burial and dig a little tomb and put the egg shells in it, but I don't do goo. And, that's what it looks like. I guess I could get my shovel out and scoop it up, but part of me likes walking by it as I come and go. I like the reminder that things aren't always good, that they aren't always the way we want them to be, that they don't always happen the way we want them to. But, it makes me sad.

I don't know what to do and if the weather would ever quit, I might be able to think about a proper burial. I'm so torn, so sad, and I know I need to remove the reminder, but for some reason, I like it.

I promised a friend that I wouldn't post a picture of it, but I want you to hurt with me, to be sad with me. I don't like to share burdens alone. And, I feel like there is so much imagery and analogy in this situation. I guess that's part of why I want to leave it there. I want to learn from it. I like to learn from others mistakes and maybe keep myself from experiencing things. So, I guess for now, I will leave it there, and I will walk past it as I come and go and I will see what I can learn. What I can draw from it.

I'm sad my sweet birdie, that I didn't even know I had, is gone. He didn't even have a name! I'm sorry I didn't provide you a safe environment to grow in.

**UPDATE** The rain last night washed the egg parts away, but the nest is still there. How how I wish the storm would be over.

Monday, April 27, 2009

artsy

One of the things I really wanted to come back from Italy with was some art. Lucky for me, I found a couple pieces by two local artists. For my birthday, I had them framed (thanks to all who contributed) and they arrived this weekend! I just love them.

This one hangs on the wall above my couch. The picture does not do it justice. It has these awesome red and golden tones. The frame looks great against my "honey mustard" walls and with my dark furniture. It was exactly what I wanted! And, it's from Venice!!!!!
In case you are wondering the view is looking at Chisea Saint Lucia across the Grand Canal from St. Mark's Square. If you've been there, its basically on the main level by the Bridge of Sighs looking across the water. I love the little gondola guy in the front.

This is a close up of the center picture below. Its a ink drawing.
I bought it in Piazza Novana in Rome. I'm a sucker for starving artists,
especially when they are awesome

It is a view across the river of St. Peter's Basillica. I loved how the trees in the edges of the foreground make you feel like you are standing there peering over the river yourself.

They are on the wall above my bed the pictures on each side are ones I took in the Roman Forumn. The one on the left is of the Arch of Septimus Servus and the one on the right is the Temple of Vestal, both are amazing architectural structures.


I'm excited to have empty walls with something on them that I love!

say adios to cancer



did someone say chugging contest...sprite and summy worms...yuck!

cactus limbo - 2nd place

this is what happens when it is after midnight and you get cold
and tired of misquitoes biting your legs!

Jim and Phyllis Watts

I was one of the survivor testimonies...it was really cool


For the lumniary walk, they lit these in the stands.
For the 25th anniversary, the key word for ACS is HOPE.
Friday night was so much fun. I'm still exhausted, but I'm so glad my family came in and we had a chance to spend time together at something that means so much to us.
Plus any chance to hang out with the Babb's and Jones' is always fun!
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