Thursday, December 31, 2009

What A Decade!

The other day I noticed that on the internet there was some article titled "Best One Hit Wonder of the Decade." And then I noticed the news doing stories like "Top 10 stories of the Decade" and both times I thought to myself how silly it was that they were doing decade things in 09, when we still had another year in the decade.


So I went to bed one night several weeks ago. I woke up, sat straight up and realized: BAM! We actually are about to finish a full decade because they run from the 0 year through the 9 year. (I know what you are thinking, but please don't judge me for my ditzy moments). Anyway, upon that realization, a LOT of changes have happened in my life in the decade 00-09. So I mentally started writing a list, and now I am going to share it with you!

  1. I went to my first of three formal dances; all three of which have occurred in this decade.
  2. I graduated from high school.
  3. I flew on my first alone trip. And then I flew to Washington, D.C. twice. (And to Texas, and Atlanta).
  4. I started taking my car alone on out of town trips.
  5. I moved away from home to go to college.
  6. I moved colleges.
  7. I eventually graduated from college.
  8. I met, became friends with, started dating, and fell in love with my now husband. (And not necessarily completely in that order... ;)!)
  9. I married my husband.
  10. I started running and ran regularly some of the years.
  11. I started blogging! (Ha!)
  12. I have moved (living locations, not ALL belongings) around fourteen times. (Which is phenomenal when you consider that I had really only moved once in my entire life before that and that happened when I was too young to remember).
  13. I started grad school.
  14. I got my first cat. (Well, he moved in at my parents house).
  15. I got my first cavity! (Tragedy, I know).
  16. I have been a bridesmaid in four weddings and a candle lighter in one.
  17. I have colored or highlighted my hair about six times.
  18. I chopped my hair off to my shoulders in 04 and have been growing it back for the past five years. It is only now getting longer than it was when I chopped it.
  19. I worked in about five different places.
  20. I quit a job without two weeks notice (for the first, and hopefully last, time).
  21. I sewed a fairly large quilt for my husband's graduation (though he was my finace and not husband at the time).
  22. I met or became close friends with three of the lovely women that were bridesmaids at my wedding.
  23. I started cooking some. (Emphasis on some... right Handsome?)
  24. I lost two of the most influential people in my life, my mom's parents.
  25. I had my first glass of alcohol at the Olive Garden with a good friend. We ordered the Sangria.

So happy Past Decade to you! And happy New Year, too!
I was here this year. And I'll be here next year too...

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Catch-Up.

No, not the tomato sauce kind, but just a bit of randomness because my blogging has been lacking.
A few days before Christmas, the Mr. and I traveled to our hometown to begin the celebrations. I had been feeling crabby and my throat had been sore the morning of the day we left and on the drive down I did a big AHHH in the mirror and noticed I had tongue bumps in addition to my sore throat. A local doctor got me in the next day and I was treated for a strep infection. Not fun to be sick, but I was glad to be medicated for the holiday because it meant I could still spend time with family members!
The bumps, at this point have dissipate, but my energy level is low.
That, combined with the time with books and family members, has limited my blogging to some degree, but I have a few posts in me before the new year! Not sure I'm going to make my original goal of 31 posts... but I'm happy that I have been blogging more than any other month this year with the exception of February.
Handsome is in one of his good friends weddings on New Years Day, so we will also be doing wedding stuff on New Years Eve. Definitely different, but it should be fun and nice to have a few different reasons to celebrate! I'm not sure what I am going to wear because of the possibility of snow ... and because I had planned on an outfit for Christmas Eve service that would be one of the two fancy outfits I need for the wedding festivities, but when I tried it all on (sweater over dress with pantyhose and heels) it was much to much of a "get-up" and I felt ridiculous. I had an appropriate skirt and sweater for Christmas, but I'm going to have to get creative with the things I packed for New Years Eve and for the wedding! But I'll try to keep in mind that its not the outfit that matters, but the time with family and friends.
I'll keep you posted on how things go.
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P.S. I'm on my parents PC and can't seem to get the formatting correct. I usually use a Mac, and while I thought I was fairly proficient in using either, I apparently have blogger-spacing-issues on the PC.

Update. Little Baby Girl.

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts!
Lisa and her baby girl are both doing well right now. They airlifted the little one to a bigger hospital in a bigger city so she could be in a very good NICU and the special doctors can watch her as her little lungs develop.

Lisa is resting at her own mom's house and is recovering well. She would like to be with the baby, but she has to wait until she is ok-ed for travel. Hopefully by this weekend the two will be reunited.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Please Pray.

Just a quick request: My friend Lisa (who is also the daughter of my mom's best friend) had a baby girl this morning. She was just over six months pregnant, so the little one is very early.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowy Christmas Eve Morning.


Well, it isn't Christmas Day just yet, but the Lord has already blessed us with a bit of the white powder! I'll take snow on Christmas Eve any Christmas. (And on Christmas day too!)


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wrapped!

Thanks for the tips! I finished wrapping a few days ago and am quite completely and utterly pleased and excited about the wrapping.

And it is soooo much more fun to watch someone have to get the ribbon off. Tear off the wrapping paper. Open the box (or tear a taped piece of white paper so that the gift was concealed even if the paper was slightly see-through). And then go through tissue paper (or in some cases, towels) to get to the present. (Me and Handsome already exchanged gifts. And I may have gifted a few others to friends and family early, so that is how I know).


I was enjoying it so very much that I basically ended up wrapping every single little thing separately from other things so I could wrap more. There is even one box with just a pair of socks in it! So fun!

I'm definitely going to be a wrapper from now on. (Funny phrasing wouldn't you say... I totally couldn't be a "rapper" even if I tried).


I'm still here. And I've been wrapping more than writing...
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A Few Awards.

I'm a terrible award-recipient. It has been some time quite a while, since I received a few awards and I am just now posting about them! Gosh, I'm sorry. Can you imagine if this was an award show and

In spite of my lack of posting regarding these matters, I am thankful to those of you who took the time to grant them to me.

So without further ado... (actually there is further ado throughout but its mostly content. Promise.)

The Fabulous Sugary Doll Blogger Award was awarded to me by both the super sweet Callie Nicole at Through Clouded Glass and the darling Kristen at A Journey Through the Waiting Game.

The Rules are to List 10 Things About Myself that my fabulous readers may not know!



1. I usually drink a tall non-fat, no foam latte when I order at Starbucks. I once heard someone say that anyone who drinks non-fat (plain) latte's is quite boring, but I don't think I am boring at all. The funny thing is though that every time I go to Starbucks, morning, noon, night, 90 degree weather or 30 degree weather, I have the same conversation with myself about whether I will be ordering the latte or if I'll get an iced tea. I usually try to talk myself into the latte, because its warm and one of the few warm drinks I actually like. I usually like very icey drinks so the tea isalways appealing.

2. Every. time I type the word "latte" I feel like the "L" should be capitalized, whether it is in the middle of a sentence or not.

3. Speaking of warm drinks that I actually like, I am a big fan of berry teas!

4. Speaking of berry teas: I had the very best berry tea while I was getting my hair done the other day. I need to find out what kind it was and let you know about it.

5. Lately, I have been sleeping with two pair of socks every night. I asked my darling husband for wool socks for Christmas. The other night, I hadn't done laundry in some time. And using two pair of socks each night means I run out of socks about 33 % faster than I do only wearing one pair each day. I was digging around in his drawers for some long socks to get me through the night and I asked him where his socks were. He took me by the hands and started leading me out of the room. I thought he was taking me to the washing machine to help me start a load, but he gifted me some wool socks right then and there! I was warmed to say the least.

6. And thinking of my darling husband, I realize I still haven't ordered my wedding album. We have some prints up in our house, but I've been a slacker about that. Please don't tell him. He doesn't procrastinate about anything that I am aware of (oh, except making dentist appointments. Or was that me too honey?)

7. He says he is going to start a blog about the truth about my blog. So that he can let you know if I actually make him a delicious meal when I say I'm thinking about it and so he can defend himself when

8. When I write papers for school, I still listen to Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls.

9. Speaking of Matchbox 20, I really like Rob Thomas, but don't actually OWN many of his cds.

10. Actually, I barely own any cd's at all (unless we count the Mr.'s as mine now since we got married). This is because I like the radio a WHOLE lot more than I like cd's. I like the chatting, the commercials, the variety. But I do have at least a slight case of radio ADD.

I'm passing this on to the following 3 bloggers...

1. Kris, at The Norman Adventures

2. Katie, at The Mathis'

3. Mindy, at [M]^2

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And then the delightful Laura at Prone to Wander presented me with The Happy 101 Blogger Award! For this award I am supposed to tell you about 10 things that make me "do the happy dance." BTW: My happy dance, is usually something more like clapping and laughing, just so you have a nice visual before we begin!



1. Just to bring some continuity to this part from the last part... That bit about radio ADD? Something that makes me sing for joy is when I am changing between stations and I can sing every song that comes on each channel. This hasn't happened in a while, but every now and then it occurs and I dance a little while driving.

2. Comments on my blog! Really, who doesn't do a happy dance when they see that others have taken the time to respond to a post?

3. The tricks and "arooohs" my parents little dog Gus does for treats when he is in the house. I think I have posted about him before, but here is a little visual.









You are dancing too huh?

4. Chatting with old friends: by text, or phone, or email messages, or notes in the mail.

5. Finding the perfect present. (And this past week, wrapping it and tying it with a pretty bow).

6. Cute Names for "Things." E.g. The Nail Polish I am wearing on my fingers is from O.P.I.'s holiday line (or whatever) and is called "Meet and Jingle." I thought that was cute. And the color is pretty. (And a side story: I don't really ever wear nail polish on my fingers because I have short nail beds and I think I look like I have little girl hands when my nails are painted a "color" by I was dancing when I saw this color (and my toes are obviously covered) so I went for it anyway).

7. Starting a new book. Love cracking open the spine for the first time. Meeting some characters (or perhaps the author) and getting totally enveloped for a period of hours or days or weeks in another time and place.

8. Okay, maybe I should have included this when I said something about Gus, but animals (and babies) generally make me so so happy. I love their funny mannerisms. The funny movements. The noises. The friendships. I like watching animals (even on television) that are making friends with other animals, like that video I posted about the elephant. And there is almost nothing better than making a baby smile.

9. Finishing the last item on a to-do list! I don't have a to-do list every day. And even when I am in the habit (usually of necessity) of making one such list, I don't often finish it before I add new things. So more often its kind of a running list... But there is so much satisfaction from crossing off (and tossing out) a finished list.

10. Doing something or more usually saying something that makes my husband laugh, because I really like it when he smiles. That is because he has the best dimples of anyone on the planet. (I'm not a "betting" kind-of woman, but I'll totally put money on this). And they really only appear when he is laughing or when he is up to something and knows I'm on to him.

Ok, for this award, I'm going to pass it to 2 bloggers, because I have just really been enjoying reading their blogs.

1. Kelly, at The Girl in the Blue Glasses

2. Mrs. Lukie, at Sarah Says...


I'm here. And I'm still writing...
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Monday, December 21, 2009

(Another) One of My All-Time Favorites!

I didn't include this on my top 10, but I absolutely love it!
I took the CD recording my mom has and put it on the computer.

I had never seen the video before, but when I
was thinking about sharing the song, I found the video, so here it is...


Enjoy!
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And the Winner is...

Now I know you have just been sitting on the edge of your seats couches all weekend waiting for Kelley and I to post the announcement of the winner.

Because neither of us is 1. particularly tech-savvy, 2. both of our first giveaway, and 3. we did it over two different blogs, we decided an old fashioned-draw-one-out-of-the-hat method would work for us! I hope that is okay with you.

And I even took pictures to document the happenings.

First, I wrote all 13 names on to a piece of paper (let me just tell you it is a good thing we didn't have 873 entries because it would have taken me all weekend just to do that!). And then I went through and tore each name entry into a scrap of paper and folded them all down so the names could not be read.


I asked Mr. Ruggedly Handsome for a hat. At first he was reluctant to let me borrow one of his caps. Actually, at first he thought I was asking for beanie for an unknown purpose. After we clarified that I wanted a ball cap, he pulled out the selection and I chose one. Then he realized what I meant to do with the caps was to put the names in the cap and pull one out for the blog giveaway! So he took back the nice USC cap I had chosen and handed me the rival cap of Notre Dame. (You see, the Notre Dame cap is fitted and the USC is not, so in the shaking process, no names would fall out the side hole).

So I put all the names in the fitted Notre Dame cap and did a couple of shakes, but let Mr. Ruggedly have the honor of drawing the winner.

So congratulations to:


Oh, you say you can't read that, because Katie, you can't take pictures very well?
Well... it says Callie!

Callie, we hope you and your husband enjoy the hot cocoa with marshmallows! And maybe it will warm you up if you are blogging in the basement!
(If you will email me with your address at katiebethblog at gmail dot com, Kelley will send you the goodness).


Thanks to everyone for participating! Merriest Christmas to you and yours!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Top Ten: Christmas

Ahhh, the giveaway is now closed! We will announce a winner in a few days!

Mr. Ruggedly Handsome is really the sweetest, wonderful husband I could have asked for. I'm not kidding when I say that the Lord has blessed me tremendously. Back when we fell in love... and were all google-y eyed for each other, but couldn't-quite-admit-it-to-one-another (a story for a different time), one of my favorite things about the boy was that he was always playing. I thought he was just. so. much. fun. to be around. I hadn't ever (almost) had as much fun (after the age of fifteen) as I had when I was hanging out with the now Mr. He loves games, competition, sports, laughing, joking, you get the idea, and I'm pretty sure I posted about it before.


And I praise the Lord when I say that I'm thankful he has not grown out of it.

Anyhow. My still high-spirited husband LOVES himself some Christmas time. Loves it like you wouldn't believe. He has such a heart for holidays of any kind (because of the family bit, I think), and he is especially fond of the holidays that happen in the late fall / early winter (which may be partially due to the food, but even more so because of the football). But hands down, his absolute most favorite is Christmas.

So in celebration of Christmas-coming and out of love for my man, I'm writing "Our Top 10" Christmas style, so you can get an idea about the things we are enjoying at this time. (P.S. I am not going to duplicate any of ours, so you still get 10 different things!)

His #5: The movie, Christmas Vacation. Now, I don't quite understand this one, but he quotes it all year and the man laughs and laughs each time he watches it. (I'll pick Miracle on 34th Street, or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or A Charlie Brown Christmas, or It's a Wonderful Life when given the remote).

My #5: Buying presents! Such a joy to think about those that you love and to find things that you know they will enjoy.

His #4: Fires in the fireplace. For now, this only happens when we are at the parents home or maybe a coffee shop, but who doesn't love the warm crackle and flames of a fire?

My #4: Nutcrackers. I love the ballet. The music. And the wooden figures.

His #3: The music. Oh isn't it grand to have a jingle-y, jolly tune in your head and a spring in your step?

My #3: The stories and the shows. I love the real Christmas story, The Polar Express, Twas' the Night Before Christmas, and Olive, the Other Reindeer.

His #2:Lights! Lights! Lights! What more can we say? The world just seems like a nicer place at Christmas time.

My #2: Baking cookies and rolls and casseroles and other warm delicious foods. Mmm. The foodie in me says I don't have to say much else about this.

His #1: Snow on Christmas morning. We live (and basically grew up) in a place that semi-regularly gets snow, but its never a guarantee! And fresh snow is definitely not guaranteed, so those childhood Christmas memories of snow falling down are especially wonderful.

My #1: Christmas Eve Service. Oh what a glorious, special time is the church service on Christmas eve. The music always sounds more joyful and I love to see the hope and anticipation on people's faces!


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Long Road to Domestication. Take II.

Just a little over 24 hours left to enter our giveaway!

Well, seeing as I did not embarrass myself enough by blogging about this incident, I decided it was high time that I share another. I do not cook that often, but I bake more often than I cook. Which mean I still only bake sometimes. But I like to bake. And I really like to eat what I bake. You get the idea.

So in my baking days, I have made brownies, cookies, and cakes... all usually without fail.

And I decided in the past few weeks, that I really couldn't go on living without tasting baking a very delicious Red Velvet Cake. So the other night we picked up a cake mix box (because I definitely wasn't going to bake one from scratch until I knew for sure that I like the flavor "Red Velvet"). And yesterday I figured, I wasn't doing much other than wrapping presents and chillin' (literally), so mixing up the cake and flipping on the oven to warm the old home little apartment sounded like a splendid idea.

So I whipped up the batter, which was beautiful in case you were wondering, I non-stick sprayed and floured my pan, just as instructed. I measured my ingredients correctly (I think). Essentially I followed the dang directions this time!

And things were looking pretty good...


Until I flipped both parts. And each split and had to be somewhat pieced back together with icing...


Which made for a very messy end product (minus one slice)...


Bummer huh? Oh well. At least I wasn't taking it to my husbands Christmas party last night. And even better than that is the fact that it still tastes pretty good.



I'm here. And I'm writing and baking, but not so well.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Plea For My Wrapping Frenzy.

Note: If you have not signed up for my Warm Chocolately Christmas co-giveaway with Kelley, please tap your mouse here! and do so.

I'll begin by saying hesitantly admitting that I am a procrastinator. And while I sometimes have these grand ideas for gift-giving and decorating and baking and making my man delicious meals, often times other things will occur in my life or I'll have some spontaneous moment of inspiration for something else, and my "plans" do not happen as I might like.

Which brings me to gift wrapping.

You see, I like to shop with the last minute crowds. Even if I have a plan for what I am going to buy, I feel especially joyful and inspired if I shop in the hustle and bustle that is ten, nine, umm, one day before Christmas! This year I have started earlier than in the past six or so, because I actually finished finals on a very decent date and not like the 20th of December as I was last year.

Anyway, this last minute shopping usually means, actually it has to mean, that I'm always doing last minute gift wrapping too! And while there can be some joy in that, it usually means I don't wrap as I might like or would have envisioned!

So this year, (for this one area of my life that I have dealt with by procrastination in years before), I am resolved to do better! And I plan on beginning to wrap today. I have read about people having these wonderful wrapping fests and I am eager to try it. So as soon as I am adequately dressed today, I'm setting out in search of a few good rolls of wrapping paper and a few bows and some ribbon (because I LOVE ribbon) and I am set to wrap at least some of the gifts I have purchased. And hopefully they will look BEa-Utiful and my gift recipients will feel so special when they open the gifts designated for them under the tree. I'll turn on the music, get the band-aids ready for the paper cuts that will likely ensue, and I get my tape and hot tea beside!

Now, because I have often been a last minute wrapper, sometimes I wrap everything together or throw a lot into one big bag, but I'm determined to do better than this and I'm going to wrap and wrap.

My question is: do you have any tips for creative or extra special wrapping? Or even tips on how to make the wrapping look like Martha came and wrapped my presents instead of little miss-(somewhat) undomesticated me?

Thanks!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

A Warm Chocolately Christmas Giveaway!

Edit: The link to Kelley's blog now works!

Oh!! I am so excited today! My friend Kelley from Under the Tucson Sun and I are so happy to announce that we want to share some holiday cheer with you! Which means {Little Drummer Boy, please roll the drums} ... we are doing a giveaway!

Now, if you have been here anytime at all you know that I am cold most of the time. And I'm a BIG fan of chocolat. And Miss Kelley is so joyful and pleasant that she usually entertains my crazy ideas. So we have jointly decided we will be gifting one of these to one blessed reader!
Sorry, but you will need your own cup. And the saucer is optional, but recommended.

We might even throw in a box of these, if we are feeling especially merry on Friday!



So... to be eligible to win, there are just a few things you need to do...

A. Follow our blogs, and...

B. Leave a comment about your favorite holiday treat! (A comment for her blog = one (1) entry; a comment on mine = one (1) entry (or vise versa) for a total of two (2) entries).

C. Then, if you would like one (1) additional entry, blog about us and leave a comment saying you did so.

So that is a total of three (3) possible entries for each of you. Any questions?

Now, your comments should be in by Friday at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. And we will randomly choose a winner over the weekend and will announce on Monday morning!

Immediate family (ahem, Rhett and Mr. RH, you, unfortunately, are ineligible to win).

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy ____ & ____.


Happy Belated Blogging Anniversary to me! (I knew it was coming up, but I missed it by one day). Bummer. I have enjoyed my year of blogging so far. I started reading before I started writing, which may be the way of many people. But I have always enjoyed writing to process my thoughts, and though my posting may have been intermittent at times, this is a fun place for me to be!

And... Just for a Chuckle was my 150th Post...

that means that I'll have something special to celebrate these little min-milestones tomorrow.

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Just for a Chuckle.


Courtesy of a very rare forward from my Dad!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

To Host. Or Not To Host.

For a little while now, I have been pondering the idea of having a nice little Christmas and holiday shindig at our home. It would a reason to turn on my inner Paula Dean and make a number of holiday recipes I have been wanting to make. It would be a justification for getting all dolled up, something I enjoy but rarely do. (And not having to go outside to brave the cold while being dolled up would be even better!) It would be an excuse to get together with friends, who do not necessarily all know one another, but who Handsome and I really enjoy knowing. It would with the purpose of celebrating the gift the Lord has given us this year, and maybe sharing a bit of joy with those around us.

I briefly discussed the idea with my man.

He sees a bit of a problem with my idea. You see, we have this lovely little home. And by little home, I mean we have a small apartment with a funny layout that is decorated with all of our belongings. We like it. Its cozy. But its not really an "entertaining" set-up. We're one-income, one-student newlyweds remember!

My argument is that we could have a little late afternoon open house-ish party and that way no one will likely stay very long, so hopefully it would not get too crowded, but even if it did, it could be merry and joyful and with some good food, good people, and various spirits, people would still have a good time.

But I think he thinks that is lame or something, because he made a comment to the point that "If we are going to throw a party, we are going to do it right. And he didn't really want people tramping through the master bedroom area, that does not have a door but is open to his office area which is open to the dining room which is really just an extension of the kitchen (and by open I mean basically all one room, but we have curtains separating the office area from our chest of drawers, armoir and bed).

So I understand his point, butI don't know when we will have a larger place of our own, or if we will even have friends when we do because we could be in an entirely new city altogether.

And I still kind of want an excuse to bake and prepare and decorate and doll-up. And I have been wanting to throw a Christmas party since c. 2007 when I had a lovely roommate with a great house, but for some reason we did not throw a party. And... I won't make anyone participate in any of the traditional holiday party games because I definitely don't want to try and fit any White Elephants into our already small space.

So my question for you is, should we host or should we wait until we have a larger space?

Just imagine. Red Velvet cupcakes. Pumpkin Cream Cookies. Warm Wassail. Bing Crosby and Rudolf. A wooden nutcracker and lots of laughter...

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And if you're worried that there is really only one more weekend before Christmas, I already determined that we could send email invites! I've never done it, but I don't think there is anything to it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Something Completed.

So... I'm DONE! Finished. Finito. δ»•δΈŠγŒγ‚Š. Terminado.
Okay, you got it already!

Anyway, I'm sort of psyched. But I also sort of feel like I am faking myself out and that I have something lingering, something waiting... because sheesh! I haven't had a complete break (where I didn't have something lingering or waiting, even if it wasn't pressing), in oh, well ... about fourteen months!

Now, I'm definitely not complaining. I'm just not really sure what to do with myself!

Oh, sure, I have PLENTY of ideas {make a red velvet cake, buy a few more Christmas-y decorations at Target, maybe go Christmas shopping for friends and family, prepare a lovely dinner for my husband, schedule some appointments that should happen but I've neglected to schedule, READ for fun!, clean the disaster that is my closet/ the room I study in, blog} you get the point. But I'm not sure where to start. So I'm watching Gilmore Girls (a former fave) and blogging and thinking about all of things I'm going to do during my break.

And I'm trying to decide what to get for my handsome husband for Christmas, since he went ahead and got himself the thing I have been planning to give him. Ha! And this is the second time it happened. {Yeah, second. Same thing happened about a month before our anniversary and his birthday!} {Man, I have got to get better at figuring out what gifts he won't get for himself or SOMEthing.}

Anyway, I'll be around more. And there are definitely some good things coming. Can't wait to share.

I'm here. And I'm still writing,
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stuck. Studying.

Ah yes. Time for another post. I missed yesterday's, so I'm revising my goal a bit and saying I plan to post 31 times during December, but not necessarily once per day.

Anyhow, I enjoyed celebrating my mom's birthday and I'm back on the wagon for studying. I didn't realize the amount of studying I had to do, since I only have ONE final, but turns out, that its going to be a study-full four days. And I'm going to make the most of it, because I know I will miss these cold day study sessions after I graduate.

And I have had ample opportunity to do so, seeing as this funny little {ahem, enormous} {I have see others using these and like it and never remember the strike out formula so here goes...} right, WINTER storm that forced me to stay put at my parents home for a few days until the roads and wind and snow clear and  I can take my self home to my husband. 

I have certainly missed him. But being at the parents house where there is endless supply of tasty food, and a not too far Starbucks, two computers, and dog that keeps me company while others (Mom, Dad, and Brother) are out, has been very relaxing and peaceful and hopefully, productive. And I think the Mr. enjoyed having uninterrupted male-bonding and football watching time with his friend last night, especially seeing as this wife hasn't been too into football info or stats in the last week or two {or ever really ;), but she has not tuned in to ESPN and she is just a little over it for the season... especially since neither his or her team (college, that is) will be winning any national championships this year.

But speaking of productive. Just want you to know I don't have to speak of the paper anymore. For a good reason. Praise the Lord!

So back to my typing and reading... 

Until next time.

I was here. And I was writing a little,

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Meine Mutter!

Today is my sweet mom's birthday!
I traveled to celebrate with her and it should be a joyous occasion.

Dear Mom,

I love to shop with you.
I like to bake with you, too.
I like to watch movies and hang out with you when I am blue.

You taught me how to cook.
You taught me how to sew.
You have taught me so many things, starting many years ago.

You didn't teach me how to organize.
Or how to box up my thoughts.
But you help me when I need it, like reading my paper lots and lots.

I'm thankful God chose you as my mother.
I'm thankful for the prayers you have prayed for me.
And for the ones you will pray in the future, you showed me how to believe..

You are one of my favorite friends.
The animals, they all love you.
No one will ever replace you.


Much Love,
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009


This was K-Love's verse of the day today: 

Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.  Psalm 97:11 NLT


Just wanted to share because I found it encouraging on a Saturday like today.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

A. Good. Kind. (of). Friday.

Today is going to be so fun. I'm totally enjoying the fact that I don't have any more classroom obligations for the semester and though I had to be at school for a meeting earlier, it was kind of fun.

Mr. RH and I are going to finally see Disney's A Christmas Carol at a matinee this afternoon. I can't remember the last time he and I went to the movies, maybe Fireproof?, because theater's are so expensive, and I think they are kinda dirty, and I just LOVE to watch a good movie with a blanket on the couch in my pj's. But! I'm really excited about this one. I think the last 3D anything I saw was at Epcot when I was 14 (that's the trip right Dad? when the dog sneezed on you during Honey, I Shrunk the Audience?). And maybe we will even get popcorn or some sugar to go along with it.

Okay, so we are going to the theatre and I have an afternoon appointment late in the day, but the rest of the day is just relaxing and reading blogs and oh, maybe cleaning house.

Hmm. That could be good.

And then I think I might either make PW's Lasagne or some kind of creamy delish warm meal for dinner tonight, or maybe tomorrow. And I feel like baking a bit too.

It's going to be a lovely day. Even if it is still a little brisk outside!

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just My Opinion...


but if the temperature outside is represented by a color of blue or lime green on the map, then it is too cold to go outside.

Brrrr!


But at least once I come back in, I will have attended all of the classes I physically must attend for my last fall semester!

I'm here. And today I'm shivering more than writing!
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Guess I'm the Turkey. (The Long Road to Domestication. Take I).

Ok, first off, if you haven't given me feedback about yesterday's post, please go there and do so! Thanks. (This is because Handsome likes the bracelet, Kelley likes the pearls, and Brittney likes the black necklace... which means I am in the same situation I was before I posted! And... time is still running out!)

Anyhow.

Now its time for a Thanksgiving-related story.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we headed to my Nana and Grandad's house, as my family has done almost every year of my life. Handsome joined us for the very first time and it was a fun occasion for everyone. Not all of my aunts and uncles and cousins were there, so it was definitely more relaxed than usual.

Now, you see, I'm honestly not that big of a fan of "Thanksgiving". I know its a nice idea an all: giving thanks. And I really do like the idea of giving thanks to God, but that is something I would like to do all year, and not just on one day. (That is too much pressure for me for one day). So its a good concept, Thanksgiving, but I just haven't gotten into it.

I even like America, so you would think I would like a holiday that is purely American.
But I just can't get into "Thanksgiving dinner." Being a foodie, self-proclaimed, if the food that goes with a holiday or memory is not that great, the I don't get into it. Okay, so I am completely and totally superficial in this way. (And I'm not exactly proud about it, but its me, for now. I'm being translucent here. Please don't pounce on me for it).
So Thanksgiving dinner. I think turkey is okay, I'm kind of "bleh" about dressing or Thanksgiving-style gravy. I don't have courage to try ambrosia or cranberry sauce again, as I really disliked them both the last time I did try them.

Now, I don't want you to start thinking I am really negative so there are a few things that I do like: for instance, mashed potatoes and rolls! (Call me a carb girl?) And I will say I love the casseroles. I like brocolli and cheese, asparagus, and green bean! Any of the three is good with me, and its primarily the only thing you find much of on my plate each and every year. (Funny that those are, of course, the most calorie-dense foods! Eh., what can you do? Its only a few times a year that I actually eat the stuff and I could use a little extra padding during the cold winter months anyway!)

So this past year, like most years, my dear mom made a casserole and an appetizer tray to take to my Nana's. She and my brother were running a little late so my dad, husband, and I all made the short two-ish mile drive to the family affair to begin chatting before the meal.

Oh, I suppose I should go into the backstory, that is the actual story, because this isn't a story about the actual dinner, but about the pre and post dinners.

My mom was busy cooking up a storm Thanksgiving morning and our lunch at my dad's parents is usually around 12ish. Or 1ish. My mom and I and brother and husband all thought we were going around 1ish this year, but turns out, our presence was requested around 12:30. So my mom had arranged or planned her morning schedule for a 1ish arrival, but around 11 a.m. I happened to mention something about the time to my dad and he said we were to arrive earlier than we had been planning. So now you can understand more why my mom and brother were running late. She had planned out her shower, cooking, etc. all based on the 1ish time and didn't find out in enough time to rearrange.

But rearrange we tried! My dad and I started scurrying around in the kitchen with her to prepare the deviled eggs and other things my mom had planned for us to take. In the process of getting everything ready, we likely probably created more confusion than we helped, but we definitely tried to speed along the process.

My mom was going to make both an asparagus casserole and a green bean, because she loves me very much and likes for me to have some variety on my plate, but I thought that in the interest of time we should just make one. So while she was in another part of the house, I gathered all of the ingredients for the g.b. casserole. Now, this may have been the first time in eleven years that I had looked at the recipe for it, and I'm not sure if my mom has a written out recipe somewhere or not, but I decided to look to the wisdom of French's Fried Onions and got those ingredients ready.

Its a very simple recipe really. All you need are a couple of cans of green beans, some fried onions, a little milk, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a bit of pepper (I think).

So I gathered and got together the appropriate measuring utensils as well. And off I went. I had helped aplenty!

Some time later I returned to the kitchen to find my mother assembling the casserole. And I promptly made the statement about how she mustn't forget the milk in it and she said something to the point (or at least I took it this way) that she didn't realize you used milk in it. (Now, looking back I think she was just joshing with me because its such a simple recipe) but let's just say I took her to heart.

So flash forward, post-Thanksgiving, and post-me-not-enjoying-enough-g.b.-casserole-to-satisfy-myself-for-the-year-apparently, to Monday afternoon. As I sat, dazed and confused from a strange Sunday drive averting some snow storms that took a few hours extra than normal, and an *almost* sleepless night as I finished another paper that was due, and this girl was totally craving the g.b. casserole.

So I text Mr. Ruggedly-and-oh-so-sweet-sometimes Handsome and said that in my tired state I thought we should get a rotisserie chicken and I would make the g.b. casserole for dinner. So we went to the store to get the ingredients once he came home from work and we came home and I whipped it up. And I definitely didn't bother with the extra step of measuring the milk, since apparently that is how my mom does it, and she probably for sure knows more than French's because her casserole is completely creamy and delish!

So I separated the g.b.'s from the juice and I stirred the juice in with the condensed cream of mushroom soup, just like I thought I saw my mom doing last Thursday. We found a nice casserole dish to bake in and before we both knew it, dinner was cooking and things were starting to smell wonderful.

We cut the chicken and I spooned up the casserole after it finished baking. It looked completely divine. I could hardly wait to eat it as I had been craving it for a solid like four hours after the idea popped into my little head.

But when I tasted the first bite, it was, umm how do I say this? ... Well, it was not so creamy at all. And it mostly tasted like g.b.'s and did I mention it was so not creamy at all?

And I'm not even going to mention that the chicken was cold by the time we were eating.

And that is the moment I realized that I must not try to tell my mom things about how to do things in the kitchen, because she has soooo much more experience than me. And she must have been kidding with me. And gosh. dang. it. WHY did I not just add the milk?

So the moral of the story: Don't act like you know more than your mother in the kitchen. And when in doubt (ok, here I wasn't in doubt, because I thought I was doing what she would do, but in the event that you haven't made something on your own before) at least follow the recipe the first time. Or better yet, call your mother.

I'm here. And I'm still writing...
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post. script. What makes this even more ironic, is that we had a "how-to" writing assignment in high school. The assignment was to write a recipe that was important to you and your family from Thanksgiving and give a "how-to" make it story. So of course, I wrote about g.b. casserole since it is basically the only Thanksgiving food I eat. And my teacher thought it was totally lame, because people were sharing their secret family recipes for sugary sweet potatoes or stuffing that their great-great-great-grandmother made perfectly ever since she arrived to the Untied States on the Mayflower(!) and here I was, sharing a recipe that apparently, every, American family knows and uses all the time. So the shame I feel now is even heightened by this!

second. post. script. Mr. Handsome gobbled it right up. And he was so sweet saying how he liked it and then he even ate it for leftovers the next night.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh, Now, Would You Look at These?

Oh would you look at these?

1. A pretty black bracelet:

2. A pearl and something necklace with ribbon?

3. A black "tear-drop" necklace with ribbon?

These are all pretty's from j.Crew. You see, I have this gift card that I must use in the next fifteen-ish days or it will expire and I'm just not sure what to use it on. I feel like maybe one of these pretty jewels would be a fun expenditure, but I just can't decide.

I like the bracelet very much, but I'm not sure how often I would wear it!

I think the pearls are so pretty and I would probably wear them often because I love pearls. And I haven't been wearing the pearl necklace I own that I wore to my wedding, since the wedding, because I kind of think of it as wedding jewelry now. And... that one didn't have ribbon, and I kind of like this ribbon-y trend that is happening.

But I also wonder if perhaps a fancy black necklace would be the best choice? You see, I have black jewelry, but its either very casual or fake-fancy, so maybe at the age of 26 I need something a little nicer to couple with the little black dress look.

Oh decisions. Decisions.

So... you tell me, would you choose number one, two, or three? (or maybe something else from the j.crew website? Nothing to extravagantly priced, please.)

I'm here. And I can't wait to read what you are writing,
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Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... Freedom!

Well hello there!

I hope you have not forgotten about me in my absence. I hopefully won't have any more absences soon, because I have a lot to catch you up and I'm filled to the brim with ideas about blog posts.

But first I need to share something...
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I turned in my big paper!! (oh you thought I was going to say we are expecting huh! Gotcha!! We are not expecting anything other than a signature on my paper!) You know the one, the one I keep mentioning and blabbing about and wrestling with. I think what I turned in was totally and completely solid. So... hopefully~maybe~possibly it will be signed off and then I really will be sooooo very much closer to graduating.

(Eeeeck. The idea of graduating is terrifying and thrilling wrapped into one!)

Anyway, I have been working on this silly paper since oh, around this time last year casually, and more seriously since April, and very intentionally since September. For the final stretch, I got much assistance from my mom, who read through several drafts and called me to make edits over the telephone. And I totally wrecked and dominated our little home in the process because I just sat on the couch for three days (Monday through Wednesday of last week), getting up only to bake cookies, eat several times, go to a couple classes, and to move to the bed for sleep. (Don't worry: I showered and took my eyes off the computer screen at regular intervals too).

Mr. Ruggedly was so wonderful keeping himself busy, helping me by picking up a pizza and a latte, and staying quiet so I could dominate the living room and make a permanent tush impression in our couch. And it was all worth it because I finished my paper at around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. I didn't have to ask for an extension and we were able to head to our hometown for Thanksgiving before it was too late in the night or Thanksgiving Day. Now, I wasn't that great of company for our little road trip, but I'm returning to normal now. And so is our couch. Thankfully, it was not a permanent indentation.

So at the home of KB and Mr. Rh, we are winding down very quickly to the end of the semester.

I turned in another smaller paper today.

By the end of Thursday, I will hopefully have completed one more paper, given one presentation, and attended five classes. And I will take one final the following week on Friday. And by Thursday, I will hopefully have posted 3 more blog posts, too!


Yes, that is a new goal: to post once a day each day for the month of December. And not a bunch of posts about school!

Oh, we are going to have sooo much fun together, just you wait and see.

I'm here. And I'm back to (this kind of) writing...
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Pictures of Marriage and of the Works of God. And something about Vows and Presents.

We had a great weekend this past weekend.

One of my very dear friends married the love of her life at her parents home in our small hometown. We ate and ate and prepared. We relaxed and chatted. We decorated (ourselves and the reception) and then we partied. I even DANCED during the recessional in front of my parents, my husband, and my in-laws. Me, the girl without any rhythm. Which. was. interesting. And everything other than that part was beautiful. Sadly, I forgot to take photos of the beautiful reception and other festivities. But thankfully, no one caught my dance on video (that I know of).

It was a lovely, joyous time and I am so happy for my friend and her new hubby. Their marriage ceremony was a great reminder of the vows my husband and I made on August 9 of last year. It was a gentle reminder to us from the Lord about how holy and beautiful of a thing marriage is, of how he ordained it, and that it is what we are now called to even in the most mundane and ordinary of moments in our lives. We are to put our spouse in front of ourselves. That he is to love me as Christ loves the church and that I am to respect him.

And how fitting and personal is God to not only remind us in one way, but to personalize the reminder for us by another means.

You see, my Milly (my nickname for my mother-in-law) had been working since April (unbeknownst to us) with a calligrapher to have our very own vows memorialized into a piece of art. Now she had been hoping to have it ready for our first wedding anniversary, but God had another plan and the artist was unable to get things ready until now. Just in time for this trip, after fifteen months of marriage, the vows we spoke to one another some fifteen months ago have been written down and my Milly presented them to us after my friends wedding festivities were over. They are now hanging on the wall of our home. It is a joy to see them and read them again.

Now after all of that it is about time for me to get back on track with my schooling. But friends, I am a tired female. And I made (asked? begged? suggested!) Mr. Ruggedly Handsome and I listen to Christmas carols on the drive back to our home last night so today I am in a Christmas-present shopping mood. (And because I have been surfing and shopping today instead of studying like I should be, I have come to realize that it is sooooo much easier shopping for women than for men! Or perhaps it is just more fun. ha!)

Anyhow, I have to push through the next three-ish weeks without distraction and primarily the next 9 days to finish up the paper for real this time. I did get a draft turned in and my professor did not review it, but hopefully, it is because he thinks its probably close enough that it will be signed off on after this impending due date!

One final though before I force myself to study for the next two hours before Mr. Ruggedly Handsome comes home.... I just saw my reflection in the iron that is sitting on my coffee table (because I was ironing earlier). Now, it is not just any reflection that I saw. It is one where my hair is all on top of my head in a crazy bun that looks like one of my dance teachers from childhood (or the mean substitute teacher we had frequently in high school). The reflection is quite dim, so when I first noticed myself, I was quite terrified of what I saw, because I thought it was someone standing behind me. (I'm tired). But before I screamed I looked at little closer and was able to recognize myself to some degree.

But it reminded me of 1 Corinthians 3:12 "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

And it was this beautiful picture to me of how very little we really do see of the work that God is doing. So much so that at moments we do not even understand what we are seeing. Just as today I did not even recognize my own reflection in the iron until I studied it very closely. And even upon second consideration, that image in the iron does not very much resemble the image I see look much like the me I see in a clean mirror in the bathroom in the morning, but was enough that I could slightly recognize what was making the image.

Just so you get a bit of an idea, you can see some of what I saw in this photo above. It was a little less shiney and a little more reflection-y from my view, but you get the idea.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Working and Waiting in Earnest.

I know it is not quite time yet, but I am SERIOUSLY, like in a hard-core kind of way, looking forward to Christmas Break!

My insides are just tingling with excitement at the prospect of staying home, reading, going shopping, and "chillaxin'" as I have heard it called. I might even try out some new recipes and tackle some creative projects I have been wanting to tackle.

But then panic overwhelms me a bit when I realize this might be my last significant Christmas break. Dang it! Going to have to figure out a life plan that includes some sort of two-ish week period of rest around the holidays.

But today I work. And prepare for interviews and finals and papers that must all be prepared for. But I work and wait in earnest anticipation of what is to come.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eeek.

**Edit, I just submitted and though nervous to some degree, am hoping that I'll be one step closer to finishing.**

Dear Friends,

Today I am planning on submitting another draft of my "paper" to the professor I am working with. I have done some significant revisions and am wishin' and hope-in' and prayin', that he will find it significantly better and that much closer to a "sign off!" (You see, we are all supposed to be COMPLETELY finished by November 25th and that date is fast approaching.)

Just wanted to update you because I feel that I have been absent. I am writing, just not here.

I'll be back so sooooooon,

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

After Kelley posted this video about the elephant and the dog, I laughed until I cried and my heart was filled with joy at the sight. So then I made Mr. Ruggedly Handsome watch it, oh, at least three times. And then I decided I needed to share it with all of my other favorite people and I watch it then too.

So now my favorite Mr. has shared a video with me that is quite lovely as well. Since you all are some of my favorite people... and since I haven't seen someone else post this yet:

Watch more National Geographic Channel videos on AOL Video



Thanks for sharing Handsome.

I'm here. And today I'm not so much writing...
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Okay, I'll Admit It.

So this may seem funny or odd or totally cool to you. I'm not really sure how you will respond and actually each of "you" could have a different response.

I'm about to share something with you that I think is a little known fact about me. You see, I feel like my persona wouldn't clue anyone in to this fact. Except maybe those people closest to me. Some of my family members might know and a few close friends are probably on the same wavelength as me.

I'm pretty sure my mom won't think twice about this and Mr. Ruggedly Handsome will just chuckle to himself about it. My brother would probably be appalled and my dad would just shake his head and sigh.

Even though it isn't an earth-shattering revelation, it is something I have only recently come to either know, or accept, about myself.

Are you ready?
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I am a pop music junkie!

Ah. I feel better now that is out of the table. I realized it today while I was working on my paper at the Starbuckles of my choosing. I had everything set up on my table. Organized stacks of papers that might be cited. Computer plugged in and charging. A hot latte and an ice water. Phone handy, but not in sight, so as not to be distracting.

I had planned on typing to the music / noises of the Bucks, but I was sitting next to two very chatty women. After a minute or two of distracted eavesdropping, I realized I better plug in to some of my own music for two reasons. 1. To drown out their conversation, which wasn't particularly interesting to me and probably because I disagreed with most of what they were saying and 2. So I could actually focus and get some work done (because that was the whole purpose in paying 2.80 for my latte: to have a nice study environment and have the caffeine as a bonus.)

Anyway, I turned on iTunes and picked a song that I thought would be a good start to my writing mindset.

As I was sitting I realized I could be certified as a pop music junkie because I was skipping over my classicals (which are usually good to study to) and choosing songs with a bit of a pop.

Here is a random sampling of some of the tunes I most enjoyed today:

1. Chances by Five for Fighting
2. Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie
3. All I Need by Mat Kearny
4. Maybe by Ingrid Michaelson (new purchase today)
5. Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles
6. My Wish by Rascal Flats
7. Crush by David Archuletta
8. Hollywood's Not America by Ferras
9. No Air by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown
10. Shakespeare by Susan Cagle Band

Ahh. It was a lovely sounding day.

I'm here! And I'm definitely writing... (and listening.)
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Quote For Today

Martha Washington, the first first lady, said

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances."


I'm here. And I'm still writing (but primarily on the paper and not on the blog!)

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