Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Could Never Be A Traveling Salesman

Whew!  I'm exhausted!  Still in Dallas this morning and preparing to leave for the clinic. 

Let me tell you - I could never be a traveling salesman!  I arrived at the airport at 7:20 yesterday morning and caught my flight to Dallas.  Arrived at 10:30 Dallas time (11:30 Charlotte time).  Headed straight to the clinic and worked until 7:30 Dallas time (8:30 Charlotte time). Yeah - I'm pooped!

On a positive note - I got to wear scrubs in the clinic all day.  Talk about being comfortable!  I seriously wish I could wear scrubs at the office each day.  Although I'm pretty sure I would gain 15 pounds easily because they are so comfy and give so much!

On the most positive note - I had the best Mexican food of my life last night.  Pappasito's.  O.M.G.  Tamales, enchiladas, queso, and possibly even a margarita with the boss for working so hard.  :)  I'm still stuffed this morning!

So now I'm off to work!  Hoping to catch an early flight out today and head home to my honey.  I've enjoyed my brief trip to Dallas, but you know what they say - there's no place like home!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one}  I'm so sorry for being an MIA blogger for the past three days.  I swear I will catch up soon!  One of my closest friends was married this weekend and I was an honorary bridesmaid.  Needless to say, my Friday & Saturday were quite busy.  Congrats Sarah & Dave on your beautiful wedding - thanks so much for allowing Steven and I to share in your special day.  WE LOVE YOU! 

{two} As I type this post, I'm sitting in the airport waiting to board my flight to Dallas, TX.  I'm on my first official business trip!  I feel like such a big girl - three years as an accountant and I'm finally traveling for work.  A little apprehensive, I must admit.  I've never stayed in a hotel by myself before.  But I'm looking forward to completing an inventory process and learning this new aspect of my industry.

{three}  I'm in the process of completing a "101 in 1001".  I have seen similar lists on some of my favorite blogs and think it will be a great project to complete over the next two and a half years.  But it's proving to be pretty difficult to come up with 101 things I want to do within the next two and a half years.  Stay tuned this week as I promise to it posted by Friday!

{four}  I haven't forgotten to announce the winner to the Metro Line 6 Photography giveaway - I promise.  Once again, I'm having trouble uploading pics to blogger.  And with my busy weekend schedule I just haven't had the time.  It will be announced this evening when I finally settle into the hotel.

{five}  Is anyone else as excited for Labor Day as I am?  I love three day weekends!  One week of work left then it's a a nice little break for me and hubby!!

{six} I left my entire makeup bag at a friend's house last night.  I didn't notice until about 10:30 and it was too late to either go get new makeup or go to my friend's and pick up my makeup. And I had to leave the house so early this morning that none of the local drug stores were open.  I scrounged my reserves and found some old foundation that will do for now.  But I am completely without mascara and eye liner this morning.  Wonderful - I look like a hobo at the airport!  Needless to say I will be hitting up the first CVS I see once I land in Dallas!

{seven}  Time to board the plane.  Wish me luck!  I'm used to traveling with my hubby.  I generally just hold his hand and allow him to drag me mindlessly through the airport.  Looks like I'm gonna have to depend on my own wits this time.  Could be interesting.  :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oil Cleansing Method Update

First I would like to say thank-you so much to all of you who left encouraging words yesterday regarding my mini CrossFit meltdown.  Like I said, I know that this transformation will take time and I'm trying not to be too hard on myself as I work through this new routine.  Your words really pumped me up yesterday!  I'm looking forward to the WOD tonight!

Now...many of you have asked for an update regarding the Oil Cleansing Method post I did a few weeks ago.  So here's the scoop.

I'm still using the essentials oils as a cleanser each night.  And I do love it.  I can tell a drastic difference in the tone and texture of my skin.  The blackheads and pores on my nose have cleared up significantly.  I love the fact that I am using an all natural, paraben free form of cleansing.  The five to seven minute ritual relaxes me and prepares my mind for rest each evening. 

The bad news.... I had to start using my acne medication again.  I went a solid four weeks without using Differin Gel hoping that the breakouts around my mouth would eventually clear up on their own - and they didn't. 

With much chagrin I began using my Differin Gel medication again last week; however, I only apply it to the area around my mouth & T-zone as these are my problem areas. 

I don't believe using the OCM is what has caused me to breakout.  I have always suffered from horrific acne and breakouts.  I really hate having to use Differin Gel as it is a product filled with parabens and other chemicals, but I can no longer walk around with my face looking like I'm fourteen again!

I would still suggest the OCM to anyone who is looking for an all natural cleansing method - especially if you do not have problem skin to begin with.  If are one of the lucky ones blessed with difficult skin, I would try the OCM solo for a few weeks and see what results you get.  If your breakouts clear up - great!  If not, go to a hybrid method like I have an only use your acne medications in the necessary areas.

I've switched to a paraben free cleanser, paraben free moisturizer & paraben free foundation.  If I have to use a tiny bit of paraben filled products each night to help control my breakouts - then so be it!  I figure - something is better than nothing.

If you have any specific questions about what essential oils you should try or where you should purchase them, feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Tears In CrossFit

I’m not a tough girl. I’m not an athletic girl. I’m not one of those girls who plays hard with the boys, spits, grunts, endures pain. I’m just not. I wish I were tough. I wish I could hang with the boys. But you know what they say….wish in one hand…

CrossFit is tough. Super tough. Especially for someone who is as out of shape as I am. You are expected to lift weights. You are expected to do real pushups (on your knees is not allowed). You squat, lift, run, sweat, and push yourself harder and faster than you ever have in your life. And if you aren’t doing that – then you aren’t doing CrossFit properly.

I am about a week and a half into my new CrossFit regimen. As of last night, I have completed 7 CrossFit workouts. And up until last night, I was managing okay. A little uncomfortable and apprehensive, but getting through the workouts well enough to want to go back the next day.

Until last night that is. Last night I had my first run-in with Coach A. I broke a CrossFit rule and he called me out on it – in front of the class (thankfully only four people.) I asked him the order of the workout for the night – to which he yelled, “PEOPLE!!! Read the board!! The workouts are posted on the board each day – I’m not your babysitter! If you keep this up it’s extra rounds!”

I blushed and felt my throat tighten. He was right – the workout was written on the board plain as day. 30 sit-ups then 30 kettle bell swings. 5 rounds.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that Coach scolded me, my workout was terrible. I couldn’t complete the 150 sit-ups without having the use my arms to assist me in pulling all the way up. That 8kg kettle bell felt like a 150 pounds by the time I completed my fifth round of 30. After a 13 minute and 26 second workout, I was a broken woman.

On my way home I called Steven and surprisingly burst into tears as I recapped my workout. I knew it was silly to be so emotional, but I couldn’t help it. I could tell that Steven was a little caught off guard as he tried to console me – even offering to switch gyms if I felt too uncomfortable to deal with harsh realities of being a CrossFitter.

I told him I was fine - just being a baby and promised to pull myself together before I got home.  But I was so dissapointed in my poor performance and inability to even do sit-ups correctly.  I just kept crying.

And out of nowhere a voice inside my head screamed “There are no tears in CrossFit!”

It hit me like a ton of bricks. My own laziness and lack of discipline are the reasons for my inability to perform these workouts. For over a year I have eaten whatever I wanted and worked out haphazardly without any sense of discipline or self control. I only have myself to blame for looking and feeling this way. And only I can do something about it.

It’s not going to be easy – it’s not supposed to be easy. If it were easy to be healthy and fit then almost 64% of Americans would not be overweight.

I am hell bent on losing this weight. More than losing the weight, I’m hell bent on changing my lifestyle. I’ve said it before (you’ve read it on my blog all year!) But this is it. No more tears. No more excuses. I’m going to channel my anxiety and apprehension into motivation to prove Coach A wrong. I can do this. It might take me months to do a push-up correctly and even longer to learn how to do pull-ups – but I won’t quit until I reach my goals. I’m paying a pretty hefty membership fee each month and I’m putting in even more time and effort into these workouts. I’m determined to get these results.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Would Make The Worst Housewife Ever!


I came to the conclusion this morning that I would make a terrible housewife. Let me explain…

Steven leaves for the office about 7:15 each morning – I on the other hand do not have to leave until 8:40. But I feel bad staying in the bed while he is up getting ready for his day. And we started The Zone diet yesterday which requires a lot of measuring foods and calculating portions. So I get up with him at 6:45 each morning, put on a pot of coffee and, as of yesterday, make him a warm breakfast. I don’t mind. It’s actually enjoyable to spend the morning with him before he heads out the door. It’s also rewarding to feel like I am somehow making his life a little easier each morning.

He’s out the door at 7:15 each morning which should leave me an hour and half to take my time getting ready and do a few small chores around the house before I’m out the door. That’s what a good wife would do, correct?

Well that was not the case this morning. As soon as I heard him start his truck, I threw the dogs outside, jumped back in the bed and reset the alarm for 8:00 am. If I could fall asleep quickly I would have had an additional 45 minutes sleep….

But I couldn’t fall asleep. Feeling guilty for not using this time to wash the dishes or make the bed, I laid there thinking of all the reasons I would be a terrible fulltime housewife.

1. I’m horrible about laundry. I will wash a load of clothes and forget to put them in the dryer – for a day, maybe two. When I finally remember I need to change over from washer to dryer, the clothes reek from sitting wet too long and I have to rewash them. This happens at least once a week. I swear my water bill would decrease by 20% if I could kick this habit.

2. Speaking of water bill, I never pay it on time. It is always three to five days later – without fail. It isn’t a matter of not having the money, it’s a matter of forgetting. Every other bill is paid before or on the due date, but that water bill gets me every month!

3. I don’t iron. Period. I refuse to buy clothes that need to be ironed. If I can’t throw it in the dryer for a quick refresher, then I’m not buying it. And if by some chance I purchase an item that absolutely has to be ironed, I barter with Steven so he will iron the article of clothing for me.

4. I always burn the bread: crescent rolls, garlic bread, toast, corn bread. I set the timer, I check the bread often, but somehow it always get burnt. It’s infuriating!

5. It is impossible for me to go the grocery store and get every item on my list. I make a list, I check it twice, but somehow I walk out of the grocery store missing at least one staple every single week: milk, bread, deodorant, toilet paper. It’s not something we could live without – it’s always something of vital importance and I have to go back to the store. Once again – infuriating!

6. I never check the mail. Ever. When Steven travels, our mail will literally pile up in the mail box waiting his return. I pay the bills – but I hate finding them in the mailbox so I leave this chore to the hubby.

7. I put on my makeup on the way to work each morning simply so I can get an extra 8 minutes of sleep each morning. It’s sheer laziness, but I refuse to wake up a single second earlier than I absolutely have to. So I have become quite good at driving while applying mascara.
This list could go on and on. Seriously. I wish I were the perfect wife and perfect homemaker. I don’t even want to think about what a failure I might be as a mother. My only saving grace is that I’m good at my job – really good at my job. At least I have that going for me! And I also have a hubby who has learned to eat burnt bread, is more than happy to do the ironing and doesn’t mind checking the mail each day. Thank God for good men!  :)

PS - Don't forget to enter my Metro Line 6 Photography Giveaway which ends tonight!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} What a weekend!  My little brother (seven) and sister (twenty) stayed with us this weekend while my parents were out of town.  It was really nice to have them at the house.  Got a little shopping done, played some Wii with Ethan, watched a couple movies.  Rather carefree weekend!

{two} I survived week one of CrossFit!  I have been sore all week.  Literally - every.single.day.  I also completed my first long run of the training schedule yesterday.  It feels GREAT to have been so active last week and I'm looking forward to another week of pushing myself and getting those results I'm looking for! 

For those of you who asked if I really think it's worth the money - Yes I absolutely do.  I'm cheap (as you know) and I will gladly pay this membership fee each month.  It's so much cheaper than a personal trainer. These are the best workouts I have ever done in my life and I have tried everything including a personal trainer.  You can't beat it.

{three} Day One of "The Zone Diet" began this morning.  It's the diet suggested for all CrossFitters.  Steven and I figure if we're gonna do this - we might as well do it right.  So Monday-Friday we will be sticking strictly to The Zone.  Taking the weekend off for a little indulgence (little being the hopefully operative word!)  Has anyone done Zone before -any meal suggestions?

{four} Fall isn't coming quickly enough.  What is with this ridiculously hot weather?  I mean, we're almost into September and the temperatures haven't dropped in the slightest - if anything is feels hotter!  Please Dear Lord send us some relief!!!

{five} I found a new favorite grocery store this weekend: Aldi Foods.  This place is even better priced than Super WalMart (I'm not kidding!)  While they dont' have everything you need, and the prices on what they do have in stock were the lowest I have ever seen!  I will definitely be shopping here for stable foods such as bread, cheese, milk, eggs, meats, canned veggies, etc. 

{six} Don't forget to enter my Metro Line 6 Photography Giveaway which ends tomorrow night!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Love Affair With Wal-Mart

It's here!  It's finally here!  The grand opening of Super Wal-Mart a mere ten minutes from my house is this weekend!

I can't begin to explain how incredibly excited I am.  You see, I drive 25 minutes each way to do my grocery shopping at Super Wal-Mart every other weekend.  Because that's the closest Super Wal-Mart near our home.  The commute alone adds an additional hour to my grocery shopping experience every two weeks - it's crazy!

But you simply cannot beat Super Wal-Mart's prices on groceries - so I make the drive - because I'm cheap and I *refuse* to pay almost double at our local grocer. 

But as of tomorrow, that 25 minute drive is a thing of the past.  Now I can save money, gas and time!  Ooohhh...I'm so excited!

Plus they are opening the Super Wal-Mart in a very ritzy area of town - so it is going to be very nice.  It's like my wildest dreams are coming true!

Here's hoping they have some amazing grand opening sales going on! 

Is it sad that I am so stoked about grocery shopping tomorrow?!?!

Don't forget to enter my Metro Line 6 Photography Giveaway!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clarity That Comes With Age

Remember the saying, “I live for the nights I’ll never remember with the friends I’ll never forget?” It makes me think of one thing….
C-O-L-L-E-G-E!!!! Woohoo! Good times!!!

Kind of crazy to me that only three years later my priorities have changed completely. Who wants to stay up all night long these days? Who can go off four hours of sleep a night and be completely functioning? Who thinks Ramen noodles & Mountain Dew are a perfectly acceptable dinner? NOT ME! (At least not anymore!)

I thought to homage to my new found maturity and appreciation for all things “grown up” I might share a few things that I live for now….love more than anything now….cherish each day now….
I live for Friday nights spent snuggling on the couch with hubby, puppies & a romantic comedy.

I love waking up at 9 a.m. on a Saturday and having all my chores done by noon – so amazing to be productive on a weekend!

I cherish the friendships and mentors I have found in my Life Group. Thank the Lord for Godly guidance in my young marriage!

I live for a good girl’s night. No boys – no pretenses – no need to look your best. Just me and my girl’s catching up like it’s the old days.

I love the simple ecstasy that can be found in a hot bubble bath with a good glass of wine and an even better book.

I cherish phone dates with best friends who I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like.

I live for football season – tailgating, football parties with scrumptious food, cooler weather, Saturday’s with my man!

I love Sunday afternoon naps with my puppies. Dixie is the best snuggle buddy ever.

I cherish my mother. Whenever I need her, she is always there. Her love is never failing – she is my support and strongest confidant.

I live for summer vacations at the beach with family. Cards, shrimp boils, days spent on the beach. Doesn’t get any better!

I love watching my hubby build a fire on a cold winter night.

I cherish Sunday’s spent at Five Stones in worship. I cherish my relationship with my Savior and His undeserved grace and mercy.

I live for family dinners when the folks come to visit at *our place*.

I love the sense of pride and amazement I feel when I contemplate all that Steven and I have accomplished in our two years of marriage. How much stronger we are as a couple, how blessed we are with our home and puppies, how happy our life together is.

I cherish holidays spent with family. The best times are always had when I’m surrounded by our families – especially during those special holidays each year!
The list could go on and on. Again, it’s so strange to me how in such little time my value system has completely transformed. The possessions and accomplishments that once seemed so important have taken second place to the “finer” things in life – faith, family, friends. I still want nice things and I still want to do great things, but I realize that my life’s greatest accomplishments will come from the relationships I develop and the impact I have on those around me – not in the size of my bank account, home, or 401K.

Ahhh….growing up. If only I had this clarity at 18! I might have done a lot of things differently. But what would really be the fun in that?  :)

PS - If you entered my Metro Line 6 Photography Giveaway early yesterday morning - I don't think I got your entry.  Blogger was having some tech problems yesterday and I noticed that I didn't not start receiving comments until yesterday afternoon.  So check just to be sure your entry was posted!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Metro Line 6 Photography Giveaway

This week I'm thrilled to announce that Jessica at Metro Line 6 Photography has offered to sponsor a giveaway.  One lucky reader will win an 8X10 photograph of their choice or $20 towards their total purchase - you decide! 

With over 75 photographs to choose from, Metro Line 6 captures photography for every taste and decorative style. All inspired photographs featured on Metro Line 6 are taken by Jessica during her travels throughout Europe and the US.  I must say, I would love to have a few of these lavishing the walls of my home.








Here's how you enter:
1. Be or become a follower of my blog.
2. Visit Metro Line 6 Photography's ETSY Shop and tell me your favorite photograph and why you would choose it.
3. Follow Metro Line 6 Photography on Twitter.
4. "Like" Metro Line 6 Photography on Facebook.

Please remember to enter each entry separately so I can give you credit for each.

Good luck!  Happy Hump Day!

Keep Calm Shop Giveaway Winner

Thank-you to everyone who entered the Keep Calm Shop giveaway!  Doesn't that shop have some great posters?

And the winner is....





Amy @ Same Sweet Girl: Memoir Of A Southern Belle - Congrats Amy!  Just contact me and let me know which poster you would like and in which color.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It Could Only Happen To Me....

Once again – I’m staring at my computer screen in wondering if I should really share what happened to me at work yesterday. Because, well, it horrifying. I’ve had some pretty embarrassing stuff happen to me. But this, well this just tops them all. But I’m pretty sure you won’t find it as mortifying as I do. I’m pretty sure you will just find it funny – so here, let me put a smile on your face.

But first – in order for you to fully appreciate the gravity of what happened to me yesterday, I have to give a little background information….

There is this girl who works in my building – not for my company – but in the same building as me. I really don't like her. She b bops into work each day sporting only the most trendy of trendy fashions on her super slender size two frame, wearing 4 inch heels with a full face of makeup, hair always done and toes and nails perfectly manicured e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. I mean *everyday*. I have seen her every workday for six months and not once has she looked disheveled, tired, poorly kept – nada – nothing – only perfection for my blonde arch nemesis.

And it never fails, every time I go to the bathroom (our office shares a bathroom with all the tenants on the first floor) – she is in there. All perfect looking and talking on her cell phone. Every flipping time!

So I tell myself that she’s single. That’s the only way she has the time to look that good every day. And she needs to look that good everyday because she might meet her Mr. Right that day – so she has to look her best each and every day. She has the time to look that good because she doesn’t have a house, hubby, puppies, etc. to care for and nurture each day. And she has a TON OF CREDIT CARD DEBT because she blows all of her money on trendy clothes, manicures, new shoes, etc.

I’m not saying that any of the above is true about this girl – but that’s what I tell myself to make myself feel less inferior. Because she is everything that I am not. And I hate having to see her every day.

So now that you know all my insecurities – let’s move on to what happened to me yesterday.

Remember how I mentioned how sore I was from my CrossFit workout on Saturday? My main area of soreness was my quads. I should not have worn heels to work on Monday. I literally was limping around the office.

Using the bathroom proved to be an incredibly difficult feat. The toilets in my office building are super low. I had to brace myself and practically hold onto the toilet paper rack while hovering. It felt like knives were shredding my thighs as I did my business. My legs were shaking uncontrollably. Upon completing my business, I began to stand - and that’s when it happened. My legs just gave out. Just completely gave out.

I tried to catch myself on the toilet paper rack and avoid falling backwards – but I failed miserably.

My head slammed against the stall and my right arm landed in the toilet. In the toilet – with my pee in it – that the automatic flusher hadn’t flushed yet.

I tried to pop back up as quickly as possible; however, my movement triggered the automatic flusher. My arm was sucked down as my own pee swirled around in circles completely soaking me. I pulled my arm from the toilet’s death grip and struggled to my feet. I ran to the sink and surveyed the damage in the mirror. Incredibly disgusted that my entire right arm was soaked in my own urine and panicked that I might smell like pee the entire day, I did the only logical thing I could think of. I took off my shirt and began to wash my entire arm with soap.

And that’s when she walked through the door. A look of total amusement on her face. I was standing there, shirtless with soap suds from my fingers to my shoulder and my shirt was soaking in the sink.

She said nothing – just stared at me mockingly.

I could have said nothing. I could have allowed her to simply wonder. But the silence was far too awkward and I felt an uncontrollable urge to explain. I should have said nothing…..but instead…I blurted….

“I fell in the toilet!”

She said nothing – just continued to stare.

“It had my pee in it!”

Still….nothing.

“Then the automatic flusher almost took my arm off!”

Nothing.

“So I had to wash my arm – which means I had to take my shirt off.”

Nada.

“I swear I’m not a freak!”

To which she burst into hysterical laughter and walked out the bathroom door.

Seriously. No lie. She just turned around and walked out laughing. She didn’t even use the bathroom!

Tears sprang to my eyes. I grabbed my shirt in an angry huff. Who the heck is she to laugh at me?!?! Laugh at me!?!?! I’ve got thirty pounds on that girl – I could whip her…..

And then I remembered that I was the one standing there shirtless with soap covering half of my upper body when she walked in. And I told her that I fell into my own pee. Could I really blame her for laughing?

I threw my shirt back on and cursed myself for not wearing a sexier bra that day – or at least a bra that didn’t have bleach stains on it.

I passed my boss I walked back into the office and he said, “Wow Amber – lay off the hand sanitizer!” To which I wanted to retort, “It was either smell way too sanitized or smell like pee! Take your choice!”

But I said nothing and locked myself up in my office. I figured my day was already bad enough – no need to make the boss mad so early in the week.

What a Monday….

Don't worry..I've dusted myself off today and I'm sitting here laughing as I type this - because, yes, I fell into my own pee and got caught half naked in the bathroom.  I'm beginning to think if someone followed me around with a video camera we could make a lot of money!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one} Half marathon training officially begins TODAY!!!!  Twelve weeks until the Dowd Y Half Marathon and me and my running buddy - Erika - are gonna do this!  I'm actually looking forward to training.  We'll see how long this lasts!

{two}  Erika and I ordered our Bondi Bands today to get us in the training spirit.  We will be rocking matching "Operation Shrink A Bootie" bondi bands on race day.  I also purchased a "Go Bama" bondi band - because, you know, football season is coming up!

{three}  In addition to beginning my half marathon training this week, I also begin my first week at Cross Fit.  Umm...I may be kind of insane to have agreed to join this gym with hubby.  Coach A says that most people should do a Cross Fit workout 5-6 times a week for optimal results; however, as I am training for a half marathon - I'm going to incorporate Cross Fit as cross training 3-4 times a week depending on my total mileage for the week.   These workouts last 25-30 minutes *max* but they are so intense!  We did a workout on Saturday and I can still hardly walk. 

{four}  After writing Miscellany One and Miscellany Three - I'm starting to think that I'm crazy!  But I've been complaining for months now about wanting to lose weight - sounds like I have officially jumped into the deep end!  Wish me luck (or if not luck - at least wish that I survive!)

{five} What are with the new blogger templates?  I am trying to help a friend set-up a block and download cute backgrounds from Shabby Blog or Cutest Block on the Block - but none of the backgrounds work correctly with new templates.  Whatever happened to the minima template?  I'm so tech challenged - can anyone help me figure this out so I can help my friend??

{six}  Don't forget to enter my Keep Calm Shop Giveaway which ends tomorrow night!

Friday, August 13, 2010

You Better Not Blog About This!

I had a revelation last night as hubby and I were recounting our daily activities to one another. I was blabbing on about my productive day at work when he interrupted, “Oh yeah – very productive – two blog posts in one day. Which reminds me….I hate you a little!” (Don’t worry, he said it with a smile and wink, he doesn’t really hate me!)

I gave him my most innocent, whatever could you be talking about dear smile and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” To which he responded, “Percy Jackson – Percy Jackson! I told you not to blog about that!” Oh - yeah, my post yesterday - whoops!

He didn’t seem too upset about it….so I just continued on as though nothing had happened.

But I have to wonder. Am I the only blogger who receives the disgruntled caveat “YOU BETTER NOT BLOG ABOUT THIS!” from her spouse on a regular basis?

It never fails – every time Steven makes a comment that accidentally makes it sound like he thinks I’m fat I hear it. Or those incredibly hysterical mishaps during private moments between a man and wife (who have two boxers in the bedroom – that’s all I’m saying) – oh yeah, I definitely hear “YOU BETTER NOT BLOG ABOUT THIS!”

I swear – I hear these words on a weekly basis, if not more often. Is it sad that my poor hubby is afraid that I might share his/our most embarrassing moments with the entire blogging community? (In my defense – I never share the really personal stuff. I do have a tiny filter. And I also tell on myself WAY more than I tell on him!)

But I believe in real life blogging. While I enjoy giveaways and product review (obviously – because I host them on my blog) I truly enjoy reading about the everyday happenings of my favorite bloggers lives more than anything. So I also want to share openly and candidly.

So again, I’m the only one who receives these warnings? Admittedly, they are often in jest as I hope Steven knows I would *never* share anything too personal.

I always tell him, if you were a blogger, you would understand!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hubby's Comical Choice of Literature

My husband and I are avid readers – as in, easily read a book a piece a week – sometimes two if there isn’t anything good on TV. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep that many new books in the house – we could easily spend $100 a month just buying new books.

We also aren’t picky readers. We read everything from David Baldacci’s crime and government espionage series, to Harry Potter, to war novels, to romance novels (maybe not so much Steven), to religious writings – anything, we read it.

But sometimes it’s difficult to find new and interesting books. Especially if you’re trying to find books that are reasonably priced. My brother told me that Steven should start reading the Percy Jackson series. You know the movie Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief. Paxston is 21 and has decent taste in music and movies so I assumed his literary suggestions would also be spot on.

We recently visited Borders to purchase Steven a new Bible, but couldn’t find anything he liked. So I suggested while we were there he should pick up the first two books in the Percy Jackson series. I ran next door to Ulta in search of a few cosmetics and left him to purchase his books.

When I returned fifteen minutes later he was wandering the store saying he couldn’t find them. So I hopped on the search engine and looked up the author. I turned to Steven with a smile on my face as I began to say, “No wonder you couldn’t find them, they are in the….” At which point he interrupted and finished, “the kids section….I just saw.”

Almost comically we both entered the decorated kids area and searched for the Percy Jackson series. As we checked to find the first and second book in the series a boy about ten years old walked up, grabbed the first PJ book and said, “Awesome!!” I *burst* into hysterics as he walked away.

As if this were not humiliating enough, the cashier was delighted that we were purchasing such fascinating children’s books. “Your kids are going to love these. They are such great reads. All kids love them!” To which Steven just smiled and handed her his debit card.

Bahahaha…..

Steven was obviously a little embarrassed at buying what are deemed “children’s books”. We assumed they were kids book like Harry Potter & Twilight are kids books – meaning completely acceptable for adults, in fact adults tend to love them more than kids. Apparently, Percy Jackson books are truly for kids.

Which again – Bahahaha…..

Guess hubby will have to think twice about making fun of my Twilight obsession. I will keep this card in my pocket for a while.  :)

CropCirlceClay Giveaway Winner

Good morning!  Happy Thursday - almost Friday!  :)

After over 80 entries, the winner of the CropCircleClay Giveaway is....




Mateya at Our Journey from Iraq to the Altar.  Congratulations Mateya!  :)

For those of you who didn't win, but love Diana's work - remember she is offering a 20% discount to any reader now through December 31st so keep CropCircleClay in mind as you begin your Christmas shopping!  Just mention the discount you read on my blog!

Thank-you again to everyone who entered the giveaway!  Be sure to enter my Keep Calm Shop Giveaway going on this week!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me - Or My Blog Anyway!



No - it's not my birthday.  I'm not ready to turn 26 quite yet.  It is, however, my little old blog's birthday!  I can't believe that I wrote my first blog post a year ago today.  I can say with 100% honesty that I n.e.v.e.r imagined that blogging would become such a large part of my life.

I have met so many true friends through blogging. (I'm sure as my hubby reads this he is rolling his eyes - yes, I have made real friendships through blogging!)  It honestly amazes me that so many people think what I have to say is worth reading each day. 

I figured that as a tribute to my blogger birthday I would do a little recap of some of my favorite posts throughout the year.  As always, they are true life events that have occurred, and unfortunately most of them are hysterically comical because they are SO embarrassing. 

If you've been a follower from the beginning, these are nothing new to you.  But so many people have joined over the past few months that I thought it might be nice to highlight some of my favorite posts.

So if you have a moment, feel free to see below for some pretty humorous stories and a few incredibly personal glimpses into my inner most thoughts.

A Little Dose of Humor
Little Old Me Goes To The Gun Range
True Life I'm A Klutz
Zumba Nightmare
Dogs Gone Wild
Move Over Carrie Underwood - Or Not

Tiny Pieces of My Heart
If I Could Write A Letter To Me
I Remember
Wishing For One More Memory
What Happened To Kindness?
Proud Sister Of A Navy Sailor

Thank-you again for all the comments, encouragement and laughs over the past year!  :)  I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much I enjoy sharing with you!

PS - Don't forget to enter my Keep Calm Shop Giveaway that I just posted this morning!

Keep Calm Shop Giveaway


Good morning!  I'm very excited to annouce another ETSY shop giveaway today!  I stumbled upon the Keep Calm Shop last week and immediately feel in love with the vintage inspired prints & posters. 

These posters comes in various sizes and colors and so many phrases to choose from.  I was even more impressed with the incredibly affordable prices!  These posters would be great in any office or kitchen.  Perfect decoration for a college dorm room!  They would also make the ideal "happy" for a friend - a thoughtful little surprise to show that you care. 

Here are a few of my favorites!






So many great posters to choose from.  You can pick your saying and choose your favorite size and color. 

So onto the giveaway - one reader will win a 13*19 poster of their choosing.  Here's how you can win:
1. Be or become a follower of my blog.
2. Visit the Keep Calm Shop and tell me what your favorite print is - saying & color.
3. Blog about this giveaway

Please be sure to list all entries seperately so I can give you credit for each.  The giveaway will end Tuesday, August 17th and the winner will be announced Wednesday, August 18th.  Good luck!

**Also note - the Keep Calm Shop is currently running a special if you buy 3 posters you will get 1 of equal or lesser value for free.  So be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Create In Me A Clean Heart

Do you ever feel the weight of your sins? It seems to me that the closer I come to Christ, the more aware I am of my sinfulness. Suddenly the “big” sins I have focused on my entire life are no longer at the forefront of my mind – instead I find myself feeling pains of guilt as I gossip about my friends or use crude language. I am no longer able to argue with my husband without thinking of my calling as a wife to respect my husband and honor his authority in our home. Suddenly it bothers me to tell a little white lie even when there “really is no harm in it”. I’m constantly aware of the example I am setting for my non-Christian friends and incredibly ashamed of that poor example.

In all honesty, I am living a more “moral” and “ethical” life than I have ever lived – but somehow, I feel more sinful than ever. I am a Christ follower – but how often to my actions actually imitate those of Christ? Do I seek to be a blessing to those around me – or am I constantly thinking of my own desires and well being? Am I slow to anger and quick to forgive – or do I keep a tally of who has wronged me and wait for “the last straw” so I can “rightfully” lose my temper? Do I respect my husband’s position as the head of our house and yield to his guidance for our home – or do I puff up my chest as a working woman and believe that I am his equal in every way?

These questions plague me. They literally keep me up at night. I wish I could articulate persuasive words to pray to God. I wish I could tell Him how sorry I am for my many failures in a beautiful way so He could know my heart’s desire is pure. But I’m no psalmist – certainly no eloquent writer. So I keep reading the words of King David and pray God sees my heart’s desire even if I cannot state it as sincerely as the psalmist says…..
Psalm 51
1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
For even though I fail time and time again, I want to be blameless in His sight. I long for His presence in my life. I know my wrong doings and pray for forgiveness – grateful that, unlike me, He is always quick to forgive and cast my sins as far as the east is from the west.  Thankfully, He is a loving and caring God who accepts my prayers and delights in my desire to be more like Christ.  My failures are not final and I am always forgiven.  What a loving God!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one}  For those of you who read my I'm So Tired! post on Friday and asked if I might be pregnant - the answer is no.  Baby fever comes and goes- but I'm pretty certain a bun in the oven is not the cause of my recent exhaustion!

{two}  We installed hardwood floors this weekend.  I am now a firm believer that every person who has said, "It's so easy to install hardwoods yourself" is a complete and utter l.i.a.r!  It was a pretty rough two days, I'm not gonna lie.  Miraculously, my marriage survived and the floors look amazing.  The down side...I'm still sore two days later!

{three}  The first football party of the year has been scheduled.  Bama versus Penn State - Sept 11th at our place.  I'm already looking for yummy football food recipes - so feel free to share your game day favorites!  I'm SO excited!  :) :)

{four}  I think after remodeling my master bedroom and installing hardwoods - I'm done with home renovations for a while.  We might paint the cabinets in our kitchen to match the new floors better - but then again we might not.  I wish I had a ton of money to pay people to do everything for me!

{five} I'm so excited for the finale of So You Think You Can Dance this week.  I really hope Lauren wins!  She's the only girl that has hung in there all season.  I love Kent too - but Mia is right, he's a little to "all smiles" for me.  I can't wait to see the choreography for the finale!

{six}  Once again - life is just *good* this week.  God keeps blessing me in ways that I cannot explain and I'm so excited to see what He will do in my life and marriage over the upcoming months.  I'm just happy!  :)

{seven}  Be sure to enter my CropCircleClay Giveaway if you haven't already!


Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm So Tired!

I don't know what it is this week....I'm just exhausted!  I have skipped my morning run and slept in every morning this week.  I think all of the go-go-go has finally caught up with me and my little (or not so little) body is all tuckered out!

So anyway...I'm too tired to think of anything clever, witty or thought provoking to say today.  So I will just leave you with the following as I feel they accurately portray exactly how I feel.















Happy Friday!  Here's hoping I can catch up on my sleep this weekend - although we are putting in hardwood floors so I *highly* doubt it!

Don't forget to enter my CropCircleClay Giveaway!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CropCircleClay Giveaway

I'm so excited to annouce a giveaway I will be hosting this week which is sponsored by Diana at CropCircleClay.  Diana's shop features handmade pottery which bear the design of crop circles found throughout the world.  You can find Diana's shop on ETSY at CropCircleClay.

Diana is offering one lucky reader a personalized latte mug.  The winner can choose up to three inspirational words that will be placed on inset of the mug.  Just imagine sipping your coffee each morning and staring into a mug filled with inspiring words that you've personally chosen.  What a great way to start your day! 


How to Enter:
(One entry for each of the following)
1. Be or become a follower of my blog - please leave your email address so I can contact you.
2.  Visit CropCircleClay and let me know which piece you like best.
3.  "Like" CropCircleClay's FB Page
4. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link to your page.

Good luck!  Please remember to list each entry seperately so I can give you credit for each.  The giveaway will end Wednesday, August 11th & a winner will be announced Thursday, August 12th.

**Also, Diana has offered a 20% discount for any reader who would like to purchase pottery from her shop now through December 31, 2010.  These items would make great personalized gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas.  I know I'm going to have to leave some good hints for hubby about a few pieces I've got my eye on for Christmas!  Just mention you saw this discount on my blog!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When Good Dogs Go Bad

Over the past five or six months, Steven and I have been allowing Dixie & Bauer to stay in the livingroom/kitchen area while we are away from the house instead of making them stay in their crates all day.

We figured it would best to start with baby steps. Leave them out for an hour or so while we ran to the grocery store. Leave them out on Sunday mornings while we went to church. Over the past few months, the amount of time they are left alone and out of their crates has expanded greatly.

We learned early on that one of them did not like it when we left magazines in the magazine rack. It never failed, if an US Weekly or Carolina Country was left in the magazine rack, it would be shredded across the house when we returned home.

But in all honesty, I could handle that. We learned not to leave magazines in the magazine rack. And more importantly - they *never* touched any of the books/DVD's/candles/piture frames/etc anywhere else in the livingroom - in particular, our entertainment center that houses tons of stuff. They never messed with any of value, so I could handle a shredded magazine every once and a while.

Saturday we Steven and I were gone all day. It was the longest amount of time the dogs had been left on their own and I really didn't think a thing of it....

Until we walked in the door and found DVD's and books shredded in the livingroom floor.

At which point - I went through.the.roof!

Bauer immediately ran to the back door. Dixie took off to the office trying to hide from my fury. Steven had to wrangle them both into the kitchen so we could have a little chat about their poor behavior. It looked a little something like this....

Ears back - tails tucked.


You can see that Bauer is genuinely sorry.
Dixie has a more defiant resolve that she did absolutely nothing wrong.


Telling Daddy how oh so sorry they are.

Steven forgave them almost immediately and things returned to normal between Daddy and the pups.  I on the other hand held a slight grudge and refused to acknowledge either of them for a bit.  Yet another sign that I will be a complete failure as a mother. 

I must admit, they did look awfully cute and pitiful with their sad "please don't be mad" eyes.  Maybe next time they will think twice before shredding my Twilight DVD!

If I Die Young

A little over a week ago I learned that one of my college classmates passed away – at 25 years old. I talk all the time about how old I feel, but really and truly, 25 is a cruelly young age for everything to end.

This Saturday I heard “If I Die Young” by Band Perry for the first time. With the news of Graham’s death fresh on my mind, the lyrics to this song literally knocked the wind out of me. Seconds into the song I was crying uncontrollably.

I was haunted Saturday night as I tried to sleep. What would I say if I died young? How would I want to be buried, be remembered, be mourned and wished farewell? As morbid as it sounds, I could not lay this thought to rest until I formulated my last wishes, just in case I unexpectedly pass.

If I Die Young…..
Pin my badge across my heart and place my Bible in my hands. No matter what the season, lay me in a white cotton dress. I’m going to meet my Maker and I want to look my best.

Lord send an angel to my mother, to wipe away her tears. Tell her not to think of what I’ve missed, but of all I did while here. I knew the love of a mother who never led me astray. I knew the passion of a good man who loved me faithfully each day. I lived each day to the fullest and spent more time happy than sad – what more could a mother ever ask?

Please tell Daddy not to worry, Pastor Greg will send me Home. Daddy baptized me and married me. As a pastor and a father, he more than did his duty. But no father should have to bury child - so just hold Mama’s hand and think of when I’ll see you again.

Gather my family and friends in the quad of Wingate University beneath the oaks and magnolias. This is the where I met the love of my life and the beautiful place where we were married. It seems only fitting this be the setting where I tell him goodbye.

Lord allow a gentle breeze to whisper in his ear my love and tenderness. Let him know I kept my promise, faithful unto death. I’ve released him from his vow and pray his heart will mend. While I hope that I’m remembered, Lord let him love again.

If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t win more souls for my Lord. So tell Pastor Greg to share the message and please dear friends, please listen.

I’m already in His splendor and I’m happy to be Here. Mema and Nana welcomed me at the Gate - wish you could have seen the smile upon my face. What I’ve left behind no longer matters, so do not mourn for my sake. Just play “Sweet Home Alabama” and send me to my Savior.

And each time you see God’s Glory when the sun bursts through the clouds, take comfort knowing I’m in a better place now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one}  I need to pay bills today.  Perfect chore for Monday......not looking forward to that item on my to-do-list.

{two}  It's official - I'm training for a half marathon in November.  Yes, I said I was going to do this two weeks ago - but this weekend I found a running partner.  So I have committed 100% - two weeks left of conditioning and then comes a pretty intense 12 weeks training plan. 

{three}  Cheesecake Factory wasn't half price on Friday.  Well, it was - if you were dining in.  But the wait was one and a half hours for two people.  So we paid full price and got the cheeescake to go.  But dulce de leche cheesecake has never tasted so good!

{four}  After a trip to Home Goods and IKEA, my master bedroom makeover is almost complete.  Hubby and I will be picking out a new paint color today and hopefully the transformation will be finished by this weekend.  Pictures to come soon....

{five} Baby fever has subsided.  It just hit me this weekend that I might not be as ready as I thought.  Stay tuned as I'm sure this will change shortly.

{six} I can't believe I am saying this, as summer is generally my *favorite* season - but bring on FALL!  Football season, light sweaters, beautiful colors, fall decorations.  I'm over this super hot weather and all my vacations have been taken.  Give me cooler weather and Saturday's watching the Crimson Tide!


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