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.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Perfect Weather...

75 degrees.  Sunny.  Breezy.  Perfect weather in my opinion.  So perfect in fact, that we have turned off the heat in the house entirely, and have opened all the windows.  It's lovely.  QUICK!...Ask me what I did today!  And the answer is (drum roll, please)...nothing.  I haven't even gone outside.  Not once.  I have literally done nothing.  All day.  And it feels nice.  Especially after a long week.

What does it mean to be happy?  Think about it.  Does wanting to be happy make someone selfish?  Do you have to have all your "ducks in a row" to be happy?  Can you truly choose to be happy, or is it based on other things/people/circumstances?  Can it be a mixture of choice and circumstance?

So there's this girl I know.  She has a blog, too.  Her blog is quirky.  Her blog is funny.  Her blog is unique (and no, I don't mean the "I'm using the word 'unique' instead of 'weird' because I don't want to hurt her feelings" unique.  I mean the "Wow, this is seriously unique and I'm jealous" unique).  I'm jealous of her blog.  I secretly want her to teach me how to blog like her.  She always has so many pictures on her blog.  I'm jealous that she has like 70 followers, and like 20 comments every time she blogs.  I have 8 followers, and almost never do I have any comments.  Talk about discouraging.  Anyways, I need to jazz up my blog. Spice it up a bit.  And she's just the one to do it.  Her name starts with "S" and ends with "-teph."  Hopefully she can crack that code. 

 Mckenzie, I really wanna get my hair colored like yours.  Will you hate me if I copy you?

Andrew, brother, thanks for walking me through my iPod disaster today.  You're real good with technology.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ashes and Pancakes

Happy Hump/Ash Wednesday Day :)

I've been having consistant tooth pain in the tooth that I had a root canal on this past fall.  For the last 2 weeks, I haven't been able to eat on the left side of my mouth.  Which is totally inconvinient.  I walked in to see my dentist this afternoon, and they took an x-ray of my tooth.  Apparently, they missed one of the canals in that tooth.  What well-educated dentist misses a canal during a root canal???  Riddle me that???  So I got perscriptions for penicillan and motrin, and I have another root canal appointment scheduled for next week.  For those of you who don't already know this about me, I am 100% terrified of going to the dentist, and particularly root canals.  So the fact that I have to go back and get another root canal on the same tooth is, well, scarey. 

Today's Recipe:  Oven Pancake
3 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter

Beat eggs until lemon colored.  Mix flour, salt and sugar and add to eggs.  Beat in milk.  Melt butter in iron skillet.  Add butter to hot pan and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Longevity Quiz -- Select your answer.  Start with the number 89 and add/subtract based on your answers.  They key is at the bottom.

1) When you're stressed, how do you handle it?
                          A) Very well         B) Pretty Well       C) Not so well
2)  How often do you do things that keep your mind sharp (Sudoku, word puzzles, etc)?
                          A) Couple times per week    B) Between once a week and once a month   C) Never
3)  Do you spend time with friends on a regular basis?
                          A) Yes, I have lots of friends     B) Yes, I have a small circle of friends    C) No
4)  Have any of your parents/g-parents/aunts/etc lived to be 97 or older?
                          A) Yes             B) No         C) Don't know
5)  Do you have a brother/sister/parent with history of heart attack/diabetes?
                          A) Yes             B) No         C) Don't know
6)  How much do you exercise?
                          A) 30 min. at least 5 days a week    B) Some/twice a week     C) Rarely/never
7) Are you at a healthy weight?
                          A) Yes         B) Pretty close        C) No
8) Do you smoke?
                          A) Yes         B) No
9) Do you floss?
                         A) Every day           B) Once in a while        C) No
10) How often do you eat red meat?
                         A) 4+ times per week     B) 2-3 times      C) No
11) Did you have a child without fertility assistance after the age of 38, or did you stop getting your period completely after the age of 54? (If you're too young for either of these questions or don't have children, pick B).
                         A) Yes               B) No
12) Do you have a primary care doctor you trust whom you've seen in the last year?
                         A) Yes            B) No, but I see my gyno each year          C) No
13) How would you describe your sleep?
                         A) Great         B) Could be better        C) Not so great

Key -->  1. a) 0  b)0   c) -5
              2. a) +5   b) +2    c) 0
              3.  a) +5    b) +2     c) 0
              4. a) +10     b) 0    c) 0
              5. a) -3     b) 0       c) 0
              6.  a) 0     b) -2     c) -5
              7.  a) 0      b) 0      c) -8
              8. a) -15        b) 0
              9.  a) 0       b) -3     c) -3
             10.  a) -5     b) -5     c) 0
             11.  a) +5        b) 0
             12.  a) 0       b) 0       c) -3
             13.  a) 0        b) -2     c) -2

Is anyone giving up something for lent?  Or incorporating something new into their lives for lent?  And why are there H&M commercials aired in Tennessee when there isn't even a store in all of middle Tennessee?  That's just cruel.  What's everyone doing for Spring Break/Easter this year?  I may be going to the Caymon Islands in April with one of my close friends from high school.  I'm hoping it works out!  I hope you all are having a good week :)


Friday, February 25, 2011

"Modern Family" and Girl Scouts

This week sure has been a roller coaster ride for me.  Lots of changes at work.  I usually always need a day or two to process change before I am able to accept it and move forward.  I need time to be angry, sad, cranky, etc.  But as soon as I have my time to digest and think about what is happening (and put it in perspective), I am A-okay!  The changes are good, and neccessary.  The agency is growing by leaps and bounds.  And I'd rather welcome this kind of change, instead of the change that requires people losing their jobs altogether.  So I'm a happy girl, staying positive!  I'm really looking forward to the changes, and making them my own.  Shout out to Andrew Hall, Aubree, Bobby, Cassie Morgan, Charity, Devin, Jenn, Jason, Joe, Lance H., Leslee, Marcie, my sisters Mckenzie and Meredith, Sarah, Staci, Steph P., and Trisha for your prayers this week...I have truly felt them and am so thankful to you all :)  Thanks also to Jessica and Lucretia for checking on me :)

I got my Girl Scout cookies this morning.  I got 3 boxes...Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos and Thin Mints.  I've already decided that I'm going to be putting a sticky note on all 3 boxes that says, "Meghan, you are only allowed to eat 2 per day."  I hope this helps my self-discipline.

Miss Cassie Morris arrives to Nashville tonight to visit me for the weekend.  I'm super stoked!  I haven't seen her in over 2 months!  Massages + pedicures + getting our hair done = spa day :)  It's going to be so great to catch up with her!!!!

I just have to take a moment to acknowledge one of the funniest shows on tv.  "Modern Family."  It just lights up my life.  If you've never taken the time to watch it, please do so.  It's not one of those shows that has a plot where you can't just jump in and start watching.  You can pick it up whenever.  And reader, you're "whenever" is NOW!!!!  Well, I guess next Wednesday.  It airs on NBC @ 8pm CST.  I watch it alone every week because neither one of my roommates watches it.  This past week was so funny, I was lol-ing.  I NEVER lol when I'm by myself.  That would be weird, and pathetic, and...weird.  Anyways, I found myself lol-ing at least 5 different times within the 30 min that the show lasts.  In fact, I saved it on my DVR and watched it twice the next day, and then a third when I invited Cassie Morgan over to watch it because it was just that funny.  I'm telling you's life-changing.  More funny than "The Office."  That's right.  I said it. 

I'm wanting to start leaving recipes on here that I like.  And I'm going to start with an omelet.  I never knew how to make one until my mom came to visit me a week ago and showed me how (after she rolled her eyes in disbelief). 

Donni'e Homemade Omelet
1 TSP of butter
4 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
1/3 shredded chedder cheese
1/2 an orange peper
1/4 onion
1 handful of fresh cilantro

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Chop up pepper and onion into small pieces (not diced).  Add to skillet and cook until soft and slightly golden brown, stirring just once every 1-2 minutes.  While veggies are cooking (and carmelizing, as Mom would say), beat eggs and then beat in milk.  Once veggies are cooked, pour egg/milk mixture over veggies in skillet.  Using a spatula to hold back eggs, begin to tilt skillet to allow  soupy egg to cover entire skillet.  Do this until the egg doesn't run anymore.  It should still be slightly soupy in the middle.  Add cheese and cilantro to one half of the omelet.  When egg is cooked, flip half of the omelet over the other half.  Continue to cook if desired.  Place on plate and enjoy!  (This recipe is meant to feed 2 people.  If only cooking for one, you only need 2 eggs).  Thanks again, Mom!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Omelets, Pedicures and Massages: The Makings of Greatness

Disclaimer:  I haven't written in a while so this is gonna be long...

I got to spend this past weekend with my mom.  It was very refreshing to have her here.  Friday night we just hung out and visited.  We got a dish of soft serve at Menchie's (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a frozen yogurt place with 14 flavors and all the toppings in the world you could ever want).  Saturday, we spent some time at the Frist, since it was the last day it was free to get in.  There were only 2-3 exhibits; they were interesting but nothing we were too curious about.  Then we headed up to Madison to Old Time Pottery, which my mom had never been to.  She bought some couch coushions for the rocking chairs at the North Carolina house.  Then we went to get a pedicure at Illusions (hands down, the BEST pedicure I've ever had) and lunch at Zoe's Kitchen in Green Hills.  We also played a quick game of Smart Ass with Jenn; it was not surprising that Mom won that game :)  It was off to BB King's later that night to celebrate Jenn's birthday.  I had never been there, and Mom came with.  We had so much fun!  The music was great (David Lund, you would LOVE this place!) and the food was good.  Sunday, we went to Oasis and Harpeth Hills for church.  We met up with an old family friend who we had known while living in Connecticut.  It was great to see Maria :)  Mom taught me and Jenn how to make a good homemade omelet for lunch.  We put orange pepper, onion, cheese, cilantro and black pepper in it and boy was it DIVINE!!!  Then we went to see the new Liam Neeson movie, "Unknown."  It was really, really good...I would highly recommend seeing it. 

What do you guys think about the name Arristyn for a girl??? Traver or Trayor for a boy???

So Lent is coming up.  I was racking my brain today, and I don't think I've ever participated in it.  I'm interested in giving something up this year, but I'm not sure what.  Any ideas???

I finally found almonds that I like.  I've never been a fan of almonds...I prefer peanuts if I have to eat nuts.  My mom introduced me to almonds that are covered in cinnamon, and I like them.  They are definitely an acquired taste...

It's Girl Scout cookies time and I WANT SOME!!!!!  My favorites are Thin Mints, Do-Si-Do's, and Tagalongs :)

Today was rough.  I found out some news that is very discouraging.  My immediate thought was "I deserve better."  But there's nothing I can do, it's out of my control.  So why complain about it?  I focused on the fact that it could have been worse.  And then I was thinking about how this might be a reason to move onto something bigger and better.  As Cassie said, "God is big."

My fitness journey is going very well.  I'm running/doing calisthenics 6 days a week. I've never slept better, been happier overall, and just felt lighter!  I've stopped eating fast food, processed food.  I've cut back on sweets, and introduced fresh veggies and fruits into my diet every day.  Thanks again Steph for being awesome :)

Couple things I'm looking forward to this week:  spending tonight with my lady friends watching "The Bachelor" and Cassie Morris coming into town to visit me this coming weekend...yay for massages!!!!

Have a great week readers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 30: Your highs and lows of this month

Highs --> beginning my fitness journey with Steph at my side, finding out my friend Devin was pregnant, spending every Monday night with Jenn, Steph, Andrea and Cassie watching "The Bachelor."

Lows --> not having a Valentine...again, getting a shattered windshield while driving on the highway, finding out that my friend Carrie was moving to Houston.

I thought of another name that I like for a little girl.  Sawyer Grace.  Or maybe Sawyer Elle.  Or Sawyer Ellie.  I dunno, I just like the name Sawyer for a girl.

Just finished watching "The Bachelor" with Jenn (because no one else showed up...I guess because of Valentine's Day or some crap).  Anyways, it was good.  Drama-filled.  My favorite part was prolly on commercials when Jenn would whisper-sing "...and everybody's hands go up...and they stay there, and they stay there, up down, up down, up down...'cuz all I do is win..."  Or maybe it was all the times Jenn said, "Uuuuuhhhhhhh" real loud.  Next week are hometown dates with Emily, Ashley, Chawntel and Shantel.  Thank goodness Michelle got sent home :)  So Brad was talking with Emily about how she felt about him meeting her daughter Ricky.  She was really hesitant.  All I have to say is better not eff this up for Brad and Emily, or I'm going to have to eff you up.  Kapeesh, chach?...

Today was day 4 of my new plan to get fit.  I've been working out straight for 1 week today, and I feel great!  I'm sleeping better, I have more energy, I'm happier and my clothes are beginning to fit looser :)  My personal trainer Steph started me on this 2-week Phase 1 plan to get me going.  This past Friday was day 1 and I finished day 4 tonight.  My workouts are so great!  I little cardio and some awesome calisthenics.  I'm actually surprised at how quickly my stamina from high school and college is returning to me.  Our bodies are truly a work of art.  God's design is too cool!  I'm looking forward to this being a lifestyle change, and I am dedicated to it becoming that.  This isn't a fad.  This is the new me :)

I'm so glad Valentine's Day is over :)

Well, I'm done with the 30 Day Challenge. Go me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 29: Goals for the next 30 days

I want to continue to improve my fitness with the help of my trainer, Steph.  She's so great and encouraging.  I want to lose 5 pounds.  I want to bond with my new team at work.  I want to spend some quality time with friends. 

So, I cannot wait for April 1-3.  I'm going to Louisville, KY to meet 3 of my dearest friends from Spring Hill Camps.  It's pretty much a 2004 mini reunion.  I'm meeting Cassie, Sarah and Aubree there for a marvelous weekend!  I can't wait!  We don't have any official plans set in place yet, but it's gonna be great!  I'd be ok with just sitting in the hotel room with them the entire weekend, walking down memory lane, catching up on life, laughing.  I'm so excited :)

The Grammys were tonight.  They were alright.  My favorite performances were Muse, Bruno Mars, Mumford and Sons, Justin Beiber/Usher/Jaydon Smith, and John Mayer/Keith Urban/Norah Jones.  I was glad that Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum won some good awards.  It's always interesting how Lady Gaga continues to one-up herself.  She's definitely not my cup of tea.  It was nice spending time with Steph though.  We always have so much fun together :)  We decided that we wanted to learn that dance the Usher and Justin Bieber did tonight.  We'll see how that goes, maybe when we have it down pat we will post it on youtube ;)...

Steph shared a cool quote with me tonight.  I'm not sure I will get it exactly right..."If there was more courting before marriage, there would be fewer marriages that end in court."  She saw it on a church billboard.  I like it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 28: Something you miss

I miss my childhood sometimes.  I miss the simplicity of being young.  No responsibilities other than eating, sleeping, obeying Mom and Dad.  It's funny how when you're young, you want to be older.  And vice versa.  I miss high school, too.  I went to school to spend 8 hours with my friends.  Then I came home, ate a snack did some homework and then went to bed.  What a life :)  I also miss family dinners.  My roommates and I have such off schedules that we never really sit down at the table and eat together.  I think I took family dinners for granted when I was younger. 

Do you think there is love out there like Ross and Rachel's love?  From "Friends."  I'm watching an episode right now.  It's the one where Ross goes to China and while he's gone, Rachel realizes that she wants to be with him.  But then he comes back with a girlfriend, Julie.  I love they way Ross loves Rachel, and loved her for all those years.  From afar.  I love the way Ross looks at Rachel, how he kisses her.  It's just so precious!  It gives me hope that there is still love like that out there :)

And now I'm watching the news, and Metro Nashville schools are closed again tomorrow.  Ugh, I'm so sick of snow!  I usually love it!  But when it interferes with doing my job, it gets old fast.  Hopefully this is the last run-in we will have with snow this winter...

Well I'm off to make dinner for Cassie and I.  Salmon, asparagus and brown rice.  Yummm :)  Then it's time for "The Vampire Diaries", "The Office", "American Idol" and "Grey's Anatomy." 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 27: A problem you have had

I have had this problem (and still kind of do) for my entire life.  Let's start at the beginning.  I grew up in a very close family.  I've known nothing but love and support.  My mom and dad have modeled a healthy marriage for me.  So there shouldn't be any problem with me letting a man love me, right?  There shouldn't be any problem with me letting a man in, right?  So why is there?

I'm scared of relationships, and I can tell you why.  I'm scared because I don't know what to do.  I'm scared because I'm ignorant, and I haven't had a lot of dating/relationship experience.  I've been asked out before, and I've had guys tell me that they like me and want to date me.  But I always managed to come up with a reason not to, even if I liked the guy.  And that reason was fear of not knowing what to do.  It's never been about fear of a broken heart, trusting, or cheating or anything like that.  It's always been about ignorance.  And I know in my head that the only way to get rid of that fear, is to do the thing that intimates (an ominous "bum, bum, buuuuuuummm").  I want to learn how to love and be loved.  I want to feel comfortable in the dating/relationship arena.  I'll get there, I will get there.  It's just taking me longer than most people.

So Nashville is getting yet another round of snow today/tonight.  I don't know how much more this city can take.  I made sure to leave work before it started snowing so that I wouldn't be stuck in traffic.  So I got home and turned on the news.  According to News Channel 4 WSMV, there were 65 wrecks in the metro area lone (that's both back roads and the 3 major highways).  They showed footage of the interstates and they were all parking lots.  Literally.  It's 6:45pm right now, which means it's been falling for a little over 3 hours.  It's still snowing.  So there's no school tomorrow...again.  It's so interesting how this city completely shuts down at just a few inches of snow.  I'm glad I have my bread and milk for this white out...

"America's Funniest Home Videos."  Does anyone other than me still watch that?  It still makes me laugh so hard! 

I was driving to a home visit this afternoon.  I was on the highway, getting ready to get off my exit.  I was in the middle lane, slightly behind a white SUV in the right lane.  I saw the car hit something that looked like a chunk of solid wood (like one of those door stop things).  It flies up (kinda in slow motion) and lands directly on my front windshield.  Right in front of my face, the bottom left corner of the window.  It hit the window and bounced off and left what looks like a giant spider with long legs.  Naturally, I panicked and called my dad.  He told me it was no big deal and to call my most wonderful, glorious, helpful insurance agent Sherri.  So I call Sherri, and she says the same thing my pops said..."No big deal."  She tells me that I don't have a deductible (score!).  She Sherri gets my info to Shawn who works for Auto Glass something -er-other.  Within 15 minutes, Shawn calls me and schedules a day and time he can come out to fix my windshield.  It's all going to be ok :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 26: What kind of person attracts you

Someone who puts others first.  Someone who pursues me.  Someone who communicates well.  Someone who likes to spend time with me, despite all my quirks.  Someone who works really hard to surprise me (I'm really hard to surprise).  Someone who isn't afraid to take me out of my comfort zone.  Someone who is patient.  Someone who is a "man's man", whatever that is exactly.  Someone who isn't clingy, who has his own friends and his own life and his own routine.  Someone who doesn't need my opinion on every little thing, but who can make his own choices.  Someone who recognizes that life isn't easy, but who still wants to go on the ride with me.  Someone who pushes me to crave more of Jesus.  That's the man I am attracted to.*

 There is a third and final Cassie in my life.  Yes, I know 3 Cassies.  I met this particular Cassie at IWU.  She was in my cluster group (a small group of about 5-7 girls on my floor in the dorm).  I lead this small group in Bible studies, fellowship, prayer, etc.  Cassie was in mine my sophomore year, her freshman year.  She had such a bubbly spirit and was just super fun to be around.  We both loved dogs and were from IL, so we clicked immediately on those levels.  We were almost inseparable.  I remember getting all dolled up for the Christmas party or just because, and having a photo shoot.  I remember one in particular in the dead of winter.  We got dressed in high heeled boots and cute sweaters and hats, and then went all around campus taking pictures of ourselves.  We did it in the summer too, if we found a cute park or something.  Those were so fun!  Cassie and I also served on leadership together in that same dorm.  Cassie was the ARD and I was the desk manager.  Then we got our first house off campus...Wigger St.  The little blue house.  Cassie, do you remember the house number?  She brought Izzy to live with us.  And then I got Sampson, but he didn't last :(  One of my fondest memories is how often I borrowed Cassie's clothes in college!  I always thought hers were cooler than mine ;)  Cassie is fun, sweet, comforting, tell-it-how-it-is, encouraging, funny, loving.  I miss her every day, and it sucks that like every 2-3 years, she moves farther and farther away from me.  LOVE YOU CASS-A-FRASS!!!!!!!!

*Notice there is nothing about physical characteristics.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 25: Someone who fascinates you and why

Instead of talking about a specific person, I'm going to broaden this blog to "things" that fascinate me.  It's easier, and I can write more.

It's fascinating to me that some people chose to do the wrong thing over and over again, somehow justifying it in their minds and/or expecting different results.  It's fascinating to me that some people chose to not live their life to the fullest -- you only get one go around, people.  It's fascinating to me that some people don't tell those in their life that they love and appreciate them, because your world (or theirs) can end in the blink of an eye.  It's fascinating to me that some people don't use their blinkers while driving -- takes but only a flick of a finger.  It fascinates me to no end that some people argue over the silliest things, causing relationships to break apart.  It fascinates me that some people who have found love, let it slip away through their fingers -- fight for it.  It's fascinating that I was created in the image of God.

Church was so good this morning.  Pastor Danny is doing a series called "The Forces that Form your Future."  He's covered thoughts, character and habits.  SUCH good stuff!  Please check it out at

Sarah (or, Suga as I like to call her) is amazing.  I met her at Spring Hill Camps in 2004.  I don't recall how we met...perhaps we went through training together.  I have a picture with her that summer at Erebor.  I was drawn to her because she could be loud and silly like me, but she could also be serious and a good listener.  Those days were so long ago.  I also remember taking a road trip to visit her in KY at Morehead State.  She has 2 beautiful daughters, and is married to her "Spring Hill sweetheart" :)  I've only had the pleasure of meeting her oldest daughter, Aubrey Elizabeth.  No matter what she says, I have chosen to believe that she gave Aubrey her middle name because it's my middle name.  I've never had that confirmed, but it's in my head and it's there to stay ;)  Sarah is a stellar mom.  Even though I've not had the chance to interact with her a lot while she's been in her mom role, I know her well enough to just know.  Sarah is another one of those friends who I feel close to even though we don't talk on the phone a whole lot.  I believe Sarah and I will be close friends for the rest of our lives.  I'm hoping to be able to go up and visit Sarah and her family in March.  Sarah, if you read this, I miss you like crazy and I wish we lived closer together.  I consider you to be one of my dearest friends and I love you.  You are an attentive mother, a great listener, funny, caring, inquisitive, loving.  I'm trying hard not to cry as I write this, Sarah I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!  I hope to see you soon :)

Super Bowl 45:
Packers 31
Steelers 25

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 24: Your favorite movie and what it's about

I don't have just one.  That's impossible.  Here are some of my all-time favorites:

"The Little Mermaid."  IF I had to pick JUST one, this would be it.  It's a staple of my childhood.  I cannot tell you how many times I wished I grew fins.

As far as classics go, I love "Old Yeller", "The Parent Trap" (the one with Haley Mills), "Ben-Hur", "Gone With The Wind."

I also love musicals.  Some I love include "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", "Oklahoma", "The King and I."

I've not seen too many foreign films, but my favorite one is "Life is Beautiful." 

As far as funny movies go, I'm loving anything with Will Ferrel, "Just Friends", "Out Cold", "The Hangover", "Accepted", "Best in Show."

I love romantic/romantic comedies.  "Far and Away", "The Holiday", "Atonement", "Pride and Prejudice", and any Nicholas Sparks film.

"300", "Enough", "Red Eye" "Disturbia", "Shawshank Redemption" "Boondock Saints" and "Derailed" are also favorites of mine.

(I don't feel like copying and pasting anymore pictures into this blog)

I spent a lovely morning with Steph and Devin in Smyrna running some errands.  Those girls are presh!  I gave Jenn her birthday gift...20 days early.  I have a problem.  But she loved her present, so it's ok :)  I just recently started to feel sick to my stomach, don't know what that's about :/  I think I'll take it easy the rest of the night.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 22 & 23: How have you changed in the past 2 years?/Give pictures of 5 guys who are famous who you find attractive


I didn't post yesterday because I needed some more time to think about what to say for Day 22's question.  I really don't like to analyze myself,  it's hard because you can only see so much.  It's difficult to really dig without the input of others.  I attempted to get some insight from Cassie yesterday, but she was useless.  So here I go, all alone.  Just me.  This is what I came up with. 

In the grand scheme of things, 2 years isn't a lot of time.  But I do think it's enough time to really learn and experience things.  I dated this guy (let's call him Shmustin) back in the summer of 2009.  I met him on an online dating website ( courtesy of a friend of mine.  It's free by the way ;)  We chatted through the computer for a while, and then exchanged phone numbers.  One day he asked me to go out on a date with him.  I was super nervous (because he was such a hottie), but excited!  We met at a nearby bowling alley, low-key and casual.  After bowling a few games, we chatted out by our cars for almost an hour and a haf.  Then (since we both verbalized how we didn't want to go home just yet), he followed me to Steak 'n Shake for a bite.  We talked about lots of things; family, work, extracuricular activities.  We walked outside and chatted by our cars again for another 30 minutes or so.  The conversation was just so good!  All that to say, we dated for probably 4 months and then things just fizzled out.  He wanted things that I didn't want, and vice versa.  I remember not being sad though.  I remember being so proud of myself for "getting out there" and trying something not familiar to me.  Going outside of my comfort zone.  Since dating him, I've become a little bit more confidant with the idea of dating and being in a relationship.  And for anyone who has known me for a while, knows that that is a big step.  I'm not where I want to be, but baby steps right?!

I've also been at my place of employment for almost 2.5 years (it will be 3 in Sept. 2011).  I work with children who have a mental illness.  It's a very liberal field to work in.  I came into this job with a "black and white" mindset, thinking there are concrete "yes" and "no" answers to every possibly situation.  I came in with very little mental health experience.  I came in being somewhat intimidated by the job description given to me.  Over the last 2.5 years, I have learned to truly meet someone where they are.  I have learned to think outside the box when it comes to how I interact with my clients, how I approach a situation, and how I work with my teammates.  I have learned how to be even more organized, and the not procrastinate.  I have learned to adapt to change, and be flexible.  And I couldn't thank my supervisors and teammates enough for that :)

Now onto the more funner part ;)  5 famous men that I think are cute!  Again, what's with the limitations?!?!  Why can I only chose 5?  If I couldn't do that for TV shows, what makes you think I can do that for hot men?  Get real.  So here are the Hollywood men I am attracted to.  And I'm sorry if I leave anyone out :(...

Hugh Jackman, Adam Levine (front man for Maroon 5), John Cena (pro wrestler/actor), Tom Brady, Jake Gyllenhal, Channing Tatum, Jon Krasinski (Jim from "The Office"), Wes Welker (WR for the Patriots), Shia Lebouf, Jason Aldean, Joe Perry, Brad Womak, George Clooney, Sean Patrick Flannery ("Boondock Saints"), pretty much the entire male cast of "The Vampire Diaries", Ryan Seacrest (judge me all you want, you don't know!), the guy who plays Sam on "Glee", Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy from "Modern Family").  Now, like I said, I know I'm forgetting some.  As I think of them, I will add them to my blog.

I hope you all have a marvelous weekend :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 21: One of your favorite shows

How am I expected to pick just one???  Forget that REdiculousness...

My favorite show of ALL time is "The OC."  It aired on Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.  I used to watch it in the dorm room in college with the lady-friends.  I used to have the biggest crush on Seth Cohen :)

I always enjoyed watching "Full House" when I was growing up (and in college.  They used to have marathons on ABC Family).  My favorite character was Stephanie Tanner, the middle child.  "How rude!"

Yeah, so I watch "The Bachelor" every Monday night with Steph, Andrea, Jenn and Cassie (when she doesn't fall asleep ;) and it for sure is my guilty pleasure!  I never miss an episode!

Tuesdays I watch "Glee" and "One Tree Hill" (yes it's still on TV). 

Wednesday I watch "Modern Family" and "American Idol." 

Thursdays are a doosey.  You gotcher "Vampire Diaries", "The Office", "American Idol" and "Grey's Anatomy." 

I also love "So You Think You Can Dance" but it's not being aired right now :(  I can't wait for it to return this summer :)

So there you have it, folks.  I love TV.  Period.  This is my first blog with images, and I think I used them wisely.  I definetely don't think I went overboard.  Even a little.  TV is great.

Where to begin with Christina.  Well, I guess I can start with SHE JUST LEFT FOR AFRICA FOR THE NEXT YEAR AND I WON'T GET TO SEE YOU AND I MISS HER A LOT!!!!!!!  I've known Christina since high school.  We kinda ran in the same crowd, but never really got to know each other.  Then, I went to IWU for college, which is where she had already been for a year.  So, we decided to be roommates my freshman year, her sophomore year.  I still have a picture of her and I infront of Carmin Hall the night I moved in.  She was such a great roomie!  She was very clean and quiet.  We never had a fight or arguement.  I do remember singing a duet with her in our dorm room.  "Shifting Sand" by  Caedmen's Call.  I LOVED singing that with her!  After first semester, she decided to move back home to help with some family stuff.  I was sad, but I understood.  You gotta do what you gotta do!  We stayed in touch, and she did eventually return to IWU and I was so excited!  Christina has such a heart for the Lord (or Lort as Madea would say :) and a desire to serve Him.  She chose to accomplish this by volunteering to go to Africa to serve as a missionary.  I, truthfully know, that overseas missions is not where my strengths lie, and where my desire is.  It takes a very special person, and Christina is one of those individuals.  And I know that she will be blessed ten-fold for that service and obedience.  Christina is funny, real, a good listener, a walk-the-walk woman of God (not just a talk-the-talk), loyal, encouraging friend.  I am blessed to have her in my life, even if she is in Africa :)