Monday, April 25, 2011

Pet Stores and C-RV's

How lucky am I to have spent Easter weekend here :)...

So I'm watching the news right now as I wait for my mom to get home for our lunch date.  Apparently, Chicago has the highest gas prices in the nation.  Gross.  P.S. that red building in the middle is where my dad works :)

I had a great weekend at home.  Got to spend some QT with Mom and Dad, Meredith, and Mckenzie and David (or Mackvid, as I like to call them).  We all went shopping for our new puppy Callie's supplies at the pet store.  We go pick her up May 6th, less than 2 weeks away!  Mom and Dad stayed on track, picking out a kennel...

...and some, umm, cleaner.

While Meredith and David got distracted...

Mom and Dad also picked out/picked up Mom's new ride...a 2011 Honda C-RV.  You can see video footage of this big moment on my Facebook wall :)

Mom decided to throw the traditional Easter dinner out the door this year.  I will admit, I was a little sad and worried about how the new meal would turn out.  On the menu? 

Wood-planked grilled salmon...

...homemade pesto rolls

...and veggies and wine.

We had a family from my parent's church come over after Easter dinner for some dessert.  They are from China, and their names are Andy and Sarah.  They had a baby a month ago, and they named their first son Scott (after my dad), because my dad is a gentleman.  Here they are with my dad!

You all know how much I dislike cats, and how I will NEVER own one.  Well, my sister Meredith bought a kitten several months ago when she was still living in Indiana.  She has sinced moved back hom for a new job.  She brought her kitten (a girl named Elliott) with her.  This weekend was my first time meeting her.  I was very hesitant, but I tried to go into it with a good attitude.  Turns out she is a sweet heart, and loves to play.

Hope you all's Easter was great :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

From "Blah" to Ombre



Well it's hard to see, but my youngest sister Mckenzie colored my hair today.  I have been wanting something new for a while now, and this idea seemed as though it might just work for me.  It's called ombre, where the hair at the root is darker, and the hair gets lighter as it gets to the tips.  Hopefully I can get some pictures in some better light soon :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Left My Heart In Chicago

Does anyone else miss this?

Ok, some things I'm looking forward to this week: Tuesday is Kairos and working out with Steph.  Thursday, I'm spending some much needed time with Marcie.  Friday is LBDC dinner at Cheesecake Factory.  And I get to babysit some of my favorite kids on Saturday night.  I hoping for a great and productive week at work as well :)

11 more days, and I'm hopping on a plane home to Chicago for Easter.  I can't wait to see my family and spend time with them.  My sister Mckenzie is also going to color my hair, so I'm super pumped!  19 more days until I'm headed up to Indianapolis to visit some friends for my birthday.  24 more days until I turn 27.  25 more days until I'm BACK (yes, I'm going back) in Chicago for my birthday weekend.

Recently I bought some music on iTunes and I wanted to recommend some songs for my readers.  "A Little Bit Stronger" by Sara Evans.  I'm usually not a fan of her, but I really like the message of this song.  "Georgia Clay" by Josh Kelley (Charles Kelley's brother).  I haven't heard from him since early college when he had his hit "Amazing."  This song is great, a really great summer song.  "Tomorrow" by Chris Young.  It's a sweet song about a topic that a lot of people are familiar with.  "1,000 Faces" by Randy Montana.  I just heard this song on the radio this past Friday night.  I've never even heard of this guy.  But boy, this song is good. 

I'm also really looking forward to TV this week.  The Chicago Code is back, and Will Ferrel joins The Office.  And of course, there's Modern Family, Vampire Diaries and American Idol.  I love TV :)

So let's play a game.  Let's see how many movies I (and you the reader) can list that have been filmed/set in the wonderful city of Chicago.  I will go ahead and start us off.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time For A New Me

There comes a time in a woman's life where she just needs a change.  A pick-me-up.  A make-over.  Well, this is my inspiration.

I just love that her hair is dark at the top, and slowly fades to a lighter, richer caramel color at the ends.  I love the length of her hair.  I just LOVE it!  Now I just need my hair to grow out so I can get it colored.  Or, I could just get extensions.  Here are my two lovely younger sisters, and their recent make-overs :)

Meredith Ann (boys, she's single and ready to mingle):

Mckenzie Jean (sorry boys, she's married):

Aren't they just presh?!  Eat your heart out, fellas!  They are so beautiful, inside and out.  I love them :)  So there ya have it.  I wanna look like my gorgeous, intelligent, show-stopping sisters.  I miss my long hair :(

I'm currently reading two very amazing books that I want to encourage you all to read.  The first is called "Crazy Love" by Frances Chan.  The second is called "Cure for the Common Life" by Max Lucado.  Both can be life-changing if you allow them to be.

Well, I'm getting ready to watch the men's NCAA National Championship game.  Go UConn Huskies :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

He always comes through :)

I was dreading this week at work.  Coming off such a great weekend with my family, I just was going into today like "Negative Nelly."  I didn't want to leave my family :(  I called one of my client's moms to remind her of her son's therapy appointment tomorrow.  She said that she was coming, and then proceeded to tell me  "God bless you, Mamasita (she's from Equador, and speaks broken English).  I am so glad that you are helping me with my son."  Hello?  That was totally from God.  TOTALLY.  He knew that I needed some encouragement, and  he sent some my way.  I then walked past my supervisor who gave me some uplifting news as well, regarding my caseload.  Again, really?  God is just too faithful :)  It's hard not to get wrapped up in the negative and the worry when you are in the midst of a trial, or hard time.  But once you see a little hint of light, it just seems to melt away everything that's wearing you down.  God calls me back to Himself and reminds me that He is in control.  Everything happens for a reason.  And if I need to take a walk here and there in the scarey, hard times just so I can learn more about Him and fall more in love with Him, I will.

God knows what I like.  He knows what makes me smile.  He knows what my desires are.  He knows how I tick, and He knows what I need.  God shows me he cares about me daily.  He shows me through the love my friends have for me.  He shows me through encouraging words at work from a co-worker when I'm having a rough day.  He shows me through the Word.  My favorite way He shows me that He loves me is through the avenue of sports.  Weird, huh?  Everyone knows I'm a huge sports fanatic.  I could seriously watch Sports Center all day.  God shows me that He loves me by allowing me to overhear a conversation about how UConn beat Arizona the night before, and now they are in the Final Four for the 4th year in a row.  God shows me He loves me when, on my drive to work, a car with a Connecticut tag drives past me.  How can I not smile at that, and know in my soul that there is a God looking out for me?  God shows me that He loves me when I get to attend sporting events with friends or family.  No one else knows me like He does.  No one. 

Aubree is coming to visit this coming weekend :)  I haven't seen her since December I think.  She's coming to hang out with Cassie and I.  Wish Sarah could come, too :/...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I think I may have found the next place I'm going to live...

Greenville, South Carolina :)  Not too big...'s got a quaint downtown area :)...

...and it has one of the most beautiful parks smack-dab in the middle of downtown WITH a waterfall :)

What do you guys think?  It's definetely in the running :)  Along with Indianapolis, IN and pretty much anywhere in New England.  I went to Greenville with my mom, Staci, sisters and brother-in-law.  I had never been before, and they wanted to show me what it's all about.  Greenville is about a 30 minute drive from my parent's house in Hendersonville, NC.  It's right over the border.  Perfect setup, right?!

Mom and Connie are busy preparing dinner for tonight.  Chicken breasts wrapped around asperagus and goat cheese, with brown rice on the side.  I cannot wait!  I'm so greatful for a mom who can cook up a fantastic homemade meal like this :)

I have to give a quick shout-out to Andrew Hall.  I couldn't be more stoked that he's moving back to Nashville this summer!  He's amazing, funny and loves sports like me and I'm just so excited that we get to hang out in real life again!  Also, he has a Harley Davidson and that's just plain sick cool!  I can't wait to go on a ride :)

My brother Andrew is somewhere in Virgina I think, still traveling to us here in NC.  I hope he gets here quickly and safely :)

I gotta go back to Nashville tomorrow afternoon, and I just know already it's gonna be a hard thing to do.  I really don't want leave yet.  I'm dreading it. 

I love this girl, and I'm glad she is here with me this weekend :)

It's A Wonderful Life

As I am writing this, I'm sitting on the balcony of my parent's home in North Carolina with a view of the mountains.  There is just the faintest trace of fog sitting on top of them, and it's beautiful.  I'm blessed to be spending a long weekend with my family.  Right now, David (my brother-in-law) is gently strumming his acoustic guitar.  Mckenzie is building a fire in the fireplace.  Meredith is sitting beside me playing with her iPod Touch.  My friend Staci is upstairs getting ready for the day.  Mom is pouring over her newest cook book, reading out different recipes for all of us to choose from for dinner tonight.  Dad is updating his brackets.  Connie (my wonderful adoptive grandmother) is sitting by the fire reading a Dennis Miller book.  And Aunt Karen (my dad's older sister) is relaxing and reading a book.  My brother Andrew is currently in Connecticut, making his way to North Carolina for the week.  He should be arriving late this evening, and I can't wait to see him :)  I've had such a difficult last few weeks at work, and it's just so refreshing to be with my family.  I am blessed.

I've been reading this book that a friend of mine lent me.  It's called "Cure for the Common Life: Living in your Sweet Spot."  It's by Max Lucado.  It's about recognizing and embracing the gifts/talents that God has given to you, and using those to not only glorify God, but to also keep yourself from living a mundane life.  I read this last night, and it really hit home for me:  "God is with us. Prophets weren't enough.  Apostles wouldn't do.  Angels won't suffice.  God sent more than miracles and messages.  He sent Himself; He sent his Son."  God is with us.  That's a beautiful thing.