Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 26 — A Childhood Memory

Many of my best childhood memories revolve around my cousins. I have a lot of cousins and a lot of great memories with many of them. I also have some not so great memories with many of them (not due to them, but due to things like injuries, pain, etc.). In fact, I almost wrote about the time my older cousin pushed me out of the tree house and I had to get stitches. But I won't. Or there was the time I visited my cousins in Africa, which I talked about in this post.

But instead, I am going to talk about something that happened with my cousins Jacob, Holly, and my brother Cameron. Some background - Jake and Holly were great cousins to have around if for no other reason than they were practically the exact ages of my brother and myself. Jake was 4 months older than Cameron, and I was 3 months older than Holly. So it also worked out perfectly genderwise.

Throughout the first 8 years of my life when we lived about 15 minutes apart, many memories were made - sleepovers, movies with my Grandma, the infamous "College Game," mine and Holly's experimentation with makeup (with strange results!), nicknames we had for our brothers that they hated (for fear of repurcussion, I will not share those on here). The list could go on and on.

Then..... disaster struck! Their parents decided to move from Michigan to Florida for my uncle's job! (Insert dramatic pause......) This was not what we had in mind! From 15 minutes apart to 15 hours? (I don't know if it was really 15 hours, but it goes nicely with the 15 minutes comment.)

Well, about a week before they were scheduled to move, Jake and Holly came over to our house. After spending the day together, when their mom came to pick them up, we were all 4 feeling brave. When my aunt and mom stepped outside, we locked them out! Then we danced aruond singing (loudly) "We're not going to Florida! We're not going to Florida!"

Our bravery was short-lived, and we soon unlocked the door. (We didn't know how our moms would like being locked out, but I don't think they would have been huge fans of it.)In our minds, it had definitely been locked so long that they would have a)noticed and b) had time to plot our punishments. However, this was not the case. When our moms came back in, they had been blissfully unaware of both being locked out and our loud singing.

Needless to say, singing a song did not stop the move, and Jake and Holly left for Florida as planned.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 25- A Recipe

HA! That would imply I cook......

I mean, I grill chicken on my George Foreman grill and cook eggs (usually in the microwave) but I don't really have recipes for those!

But, in the spirit of the blog challenge, I shall truly challenge myself and give three recipes - some of the ones I'm best at!

Recipe #1: Microwave popcorn
Step 1: Open cardboard box.
Step 2: Remove package of popcorn.
Step 3: (VERY IMPORTANT!) Remove plastic cellophane from bag of popcorn.
Step 4: Place bag in microwave, paying special attention to which side the bag indicates goes down.
Step 5: Press the "popcorn" button on the microwave.
Step 6: Listen for the popcorn to stop popping. Once it does, or the timer goes off, remove bag carefully from the microwave.
Step 7: Open the bag carefully, avoiding the steam.
Step 8: Enjoy!

Recipe #2: Cereal
Step 1: Open box.
Step 2: Open bag within the box.
Step 3: Pour cereal into bowl.
Step 4: Add milk to cereal.
Step 5: Enjoy!

Recipe #3: Ice Cream
Step 1: Take ice cream from freezer.
Step 2: Dish into bowl.
Step 3: (optional) add Hershey's sauce
Step 4: Enjoy!

5 Question Friday - July 30, 2010

I'm back! So I'm back to 5QF as found on Mama's site!

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it?

Well, I had a favorite stuffed animal. My Grandpa George and Grandma Donna gave it to me for Christmas one year. It was a Santa Bear. I think they gave it to me when I was 5. I still have it. I might still sleep with it, but I'm never telling.


2. Do you dream in color?
It's not very often that I remember my dreams, but when I do, they are in color. I don't think I've ever had a black and white dream.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?
I'm 5'8" and I'm happy with that. Taller gets a little too tall. And I like my height, so I don't really want to be shorter.

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?
Hmmm..... it would be my nephew Caleb's. His voice is so cute and always makes me smile!

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?
Return it! Anything less than that is irresponsible! :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 24 — A movie no one would expect you to love

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.....

Yes, it's true. People are often surprised to learn I'm a HUGE Star Wars fan. Maybe because I generally don't like science fiction or movies with fighting, but I LOVE Star Wars.



The first movie I ever saw in the theater (I think) was Return of the Jedi in 1985. I was really young! I loved it - the Ewoks, the Lightsabre fights, all of it. I wanted to be Princess Leia.

I also had a Star Wars cup, Star Wars figurines (including a C3Pio that came apart!), and played with my brother's figurines as well.

My dad, brother, and I will often quote Star Wars when we're together. Some lines are used often, while others are more obscure. I can recognize pretty much any line from any of the movies and tell you where it's from. It's quite the talent. :)

When Revenge of the Sith came out, I waited in line for one of the first showings (12:30 a.m.) after working all day and going to church! (In my defense, I was leaving for Singapore just a couple days later, so if I hadn't done that I wouldn't have seen it until after the trip. That was just too long!) It was the first time I'd ever gone to a movie opening. It was fun, but a little crazy. People were in all kinds of costumes! (By all kinds, I clearly mean all kinds of Star Wars costumes.) Not to mention how into it people were - cheering loudly during fights, etc.

So, Star Wars movies - love them. I want to have a Star Wars marathon one of these days and watch all 6 back-to-back. Anyone want to join me? (Lisa, I know you do!)

ETA: My love for Star Wars encompasses the Phantom Menace only as part of the series. As a movie, I don't care for it much at all and haven't watched it in like 5 years!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 23 — A Way in Which You Want to be Remembered

If I could only pick one way to be remembered (though I would like to be remembered for many things), it would have to be loving. I want to be remembered as someone who truly loved people and showed it through my actions. There are so many people who just don't feel loved in the world and as a result, don't know how to show love. I want to be one who changes that. Let others feel love.

I think really, everything in life comes down to love. So I want to be remembered as loving. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trip to Alabama - Day 1

This might end up being multiple posts.... or a super long post. Or maybe once I start writing, I'll realize there is not as much to write about as I thought. Hehe.... who knows.

Now, if I were writing about my previous trips, I really had more interesting adventures/stories/crazy things happen. So maybe sometime I'll write about those. If nothing else, those stories usually get laughs.... at me, but still.

So, last Wednesday, I left for Hamilton, Alabama. Hamilton being the thriving, bustling city of 6,000 that it is, this is quite the vacation destination! ;) It's about a 13 hour drive. I would consider flying if there was an airport there, but there is not. I mean, you could fly into Birmingham, but then you'd need to rent a car and still drive 2 hours, so it would be considerably more expensive than driving! I was going to the July Ramp conference. The RAMP is a ministry run by Karen Wheaton. It ministers primarily to youth and young adults, but all ages are welcome. The conferences are marked by seeking God's face in an extreme way and living your life for the glory of God.

The original plan was to leave work around 2:30 or 3 on Wednesday, drive about 8 hours to Elizabethtown, KY, spend the night, and drive the last 5 hours on Thursday. I've gone with this plan before, and it works well. It's a good stopping point and that way the 2nd day is a short drive, so you have more time to relax once getting into Hamilton. That way, when the conference of craziness starts, you're not already exhausted. Well, about a week before leaving, I was scheduled for a training at work that went until 3:30 (I thought) on Wednesday. So I thought I would have to leave at 3:30. Not ideal, but I should still be in my hotel room by 11:30 or so. I could survive. I'm tough. :)

3:30 turned into 4:45....... the week at work was long and busy. In the 3 days I worked, I worked over 30 hours. This tells you it was a really busy week. I think prior to my trip I got a total of 12 hours of sleep all week. Less than ideal. I also had a brief bout of the stomach flu, car issues, and overall was pretty frazzled. I considered cancelling the trip things were so overwhelming at one point! I'm so glad I didn't.

I ended up stopping for the night (after driving around 6 hours) in Carrolton, Kentucky. So I would still have about 7 hours to drive the next day. Seeing as I had lunch plans, this was less than ideal. But whatever. I stayed at an Econolodge that had a vacancy. Wow.... bad. It was pretty yucky. I kept worrying I was going to get robbed. :) Or bedbugs. Or both. And I wanted to leave there by around 5 in the morning. So, not much time to sleep! But, due to my fear of robbers and bed bugs, I didn't get much sleep anyway. I fell asleep sometime after 1, and woke up at 3:45. Around 4, I realized I was not going to fall back asleep, so eventually I just got up and got ready. I was out of there by 5:10.

I finish the drive to Hamilton, making several stops along the way. I arrive around 11:30 (there's a time change, so it was like 12:30 from where I left). I will note with, I'm not sure if it's pride or shame, that I know, without seeing any signs, which exit on I-65 has the last Starbucks before Hamilton and so I stopped there. Hehe. Okay, so now I'm in Hamilton, way earlier than I needed to be (but I'd much rather be early than late). Since check-in at the hotel isn't until 1, I decided not to go straight to the hotel (though they always let me check in early there). So I was about to go to Walmart when I passed a store that I thought my friend Stephanie worked at. I pull over to stop, and while I'm trying to decide if it's the right one, I see another friend walk in. So I decide to go in. And there they were! Wonderful people! And the store is SO cute - it's a combination shoe store, boutique, consignment shop. And, she had the face wash that I use and had left in Michigan! Score! I had a chance to spend some time with them before going to the hotel to freshen up.

After freshening up, I headed over to my friends' Bobby and Anna's house. I got to meet their precious 3 month old daughter, Norah! This was really exciting. Bobby was still working, but I hung out with Anna for like 2.5 fabulous hours. We had only spent a few minutes together before and most of our friendship was online based! So this was really nice. :)

Then it was time to head over for where service would be. Now, there were some fire marshall issues limiting how many people could be in the building at any one time. The number was 967. There was much craziness trying to do registration, having people wait outside, directing people to the overflow tent, the constant changes by the fire marshalls of who was counted in the 967 (babies? Workers? Technicians? The fire marshalls themselves?). Yes, this kept changing. But it all worked out. (And those who were in the tent in 110 degree heat? Wow. They were so nice about it!)

In addition to helping clean things up, I had to stand at doors and tell people helpful things like "Don't run." "Yes, it's that way." "No, you can't leave and come back in." and so on and so forth.

It was also so great seeing so many of my friends who are down there and serve in the ministry. Some I keep in regular contact with, whereas others I only really talk to when I'm down there. But most of them are the type that when I see them, I feel like I just saw them.

After a wonderful service that night, (seriously, these services are incredible) clean-up, and everything, by the time I got back to my hotel, I was ready to sleep! (Oh, and adding to the interesting level of the services, in addition to normal stuff plus fire marshall stuff, they were also being aired on God TV and being filmed for CBN. So even more cameras than usual and more of a need for all timing to work out well.)

Day 2, coming soon!

Day 22 — A website

Okay, I don't get this one. What do they want? I random website? A website I use a lot? One of my favorite websites? Really? Is that the best Day 22 has to offer?

Well, like most of civilization, I use (aka may be addicted to) www.facebook.com. It's the primary way I stay in contact with many of my friends.

Um.... that's pretty much all I have to say about facebook since everyone who reads this blog probably knows all about it. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 21 — Something you know you do differently than most people

Okay, so technically, this isn't Day 21. But you try being busy, out of town with a conference all weekend, limited internet access, and even more limited sleep and see how well you do! :)

Trip was incredible. I'll seriously write about it later, but for now, here is my blog post.

Disclaimer: This one might be a bit of a rant and it may have been inspired last night about 11 hours into my 13 hour drive. So..... proceed with caution!

The thing that I'm pretty sure I do differently than most (or at least a lot) of people is DRIVE! As in, I know how!!!!!!!

People..... if the speed limit is 70 and conditions are clear, driving 60 is REALLY unnecessary. Driving 60 in the left lane of the expressway? Even more unnecessary. Those signs that were saying "Slow traffic stay to the right" were referring to you. Trust me on this one. If there were snow on the road, foggy conditions, etc., I can see why you would choose to go a bit slower. In fact, I would probably do so myself. But..... conditions were clear.

Okay, now on to another group..... those behind me when the person in front of me was going slow. It is not my fault our lane is moving slowly. Getting on my bumper to the point where I can't even see your headlights will NOT inspire the person 1 - 3 cars in front of me to drive faster. All it will do is upset me and possibly cause a car accident. Actually, what I wish it had done was get you (all 3 or 4 of you) pulled over and ticketed. It's just not safe. And no, I'm not going to do it to the person in front of me just because you're doing it to me.

And third, if the speed limit is 70 and I'm going 80, do you really think I'm going too slow? Must you really get right on my bumper? I mean, pass me if you must, but don't do it in the jerky "I'm going to get right on you for a couple minutes, then come within inches of hitting you just to show you I'm annoyed that you're not going 20 mph over the speed limit." That seriously happened twice this trip!

And good luck with the passing seeing as the other lane is going 60 mph or I would gladly get over into that lane.....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 20 - A Hobby

Hmmmm.... okay, one of my very favorite hobbies is reading! I love to read - I enjoy many different types of books. I enjoy reading blogs. I enjoy reading magazines. I just love to read.

Other than the Bible, my favorite books span a range. Some are chick lit, some are theology books, some are classics. It varies.

I do wish I had more time to read actual books (not just websites that I can do with 2 minutes!). I am always in the middle of several different stories! Right now, I'm in the middle of 4 different books. :)

Lame entry, but..... I'm exhausted. I've slept like 15 hours all week, and I had a super long day including a 7 hour drive (after a 6 hour drive yesterday!).

Day 19 - A Talent

So, I'm a little late posting this. I'm on vacation (yay!) and last night stayed in a place without internet access. And I hadn't had time to work on it at work (where I had to work practically the WHOLE time!) before leaving for the trip. So, I'm going to do 19 and maybe 20, but since it's late, maybe I'll just be a day behind. But I really want to write about my trip too.....

Okay, for my talent, I'm going to say playing the piano. I've been playing since I was 5, so that's twentysomething years. :) (I was already made to feel old earlier, so I'm leaving the twentyness of it vague! Again, more about that later!) In addition to playing the piano, I also teach it. Now, back when I was a first grade teacher, it was easier to take the time to teach piano lessons, but now with a 9-5 (or later) instead of the more flexible teaching hours, I've cut WAY back on students. Instead of 14, I have one. And I'm happy with that! I've turned down several, so it's not that I couldn't have more.

I've played in recitals, for weddings, on worship teams, etc. It's one of my more relaxing hobbies. If nothing else, if I'm stressed, I'll just do Hanon exercises until those are in total control, making me feel I can control the rest of the world as easily. It doesn't work. But it does make me feel better. At least I can control my fingers!

Probably my favorite recital song I ever did was The Swan by Saint Saens. It's a BEAUTIFUL melody. But I would get SO nervous for recitals! I would be able to play a piece practically perfect by myself, but get so nervous that it was full of mistakes when I'd do the actual recital!

Worship is a totally different experience. Especially when you're also singing and coordinating with other musicians.

I'm definitely grateful to my parents for putting me through lessons as a child.... and enduring my hours of practice!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 18 — A Time When I Felt Passionate and Alive

I am going to say.... almost always!

We weren't made to live boring, average existences! God didn't put us on this planet to just go through the motions of life! The Bible tells us that He came so that we would have life, and life more abundantly.

So, if you don't feel passionate about life, if you don't feel like you're really living, find what causes you to feel passionate and alive! And do it.

I know I feel most passionately alive when I'm serving God by helping others. Volunteering at the pregnancy center, the home for children, etc..... if you are trying to find your passion, I would suggest start volunteering and find where you come to life!

At the moment, I'm not feeling quite so alive since I'm exhausted, which might be one reason this blog doesn't feel like it's making sense. Because I worked way too long today after way too little sleep after a way too not fun experience with what was either a flu or food allergies. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 17 - An Art Piece

I love art. The Detroit Institute of Art is a great museum that I wish I went to more often! I mean, it's no Louvre (which is an INCREDIBLE museum,) but it's nice! Much as I enjoyed the Louvre, it is much harder to get to than the DIA.

But, another place I went and saw artwork that I loved, was Giverny outside of Paris. Giverny is the home and gardens of Claude Monet, one of my favorite painters. I bought a shameless number of souveniers from this place. His paintings were all (or at least most, I can't remember EXACTLY what the tour guide said) from things he saw on his property. He wanted things to be accurate - the angle of the plants entering the water when they hung down, the arrangement of the lilly pads, etc. So, if you've seen his paintings, you can imagine what a beautiful place his home and gardens are! They are well maintained, though obviously the home is no longer a home. It's now a museum.

One of my favorite of his paintings is one of his most famous "Japanese foot-bridge over the water-lily pond in Giverny." I have this on a placemat and a coaster. (Don't judge!) I love the colors, the lighting, the sereness of the picture!



Thinking of this makes me want to go back!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 16 - A Song that Makes Me Cry

This song often makes me cry. It's by Mercy Me, and it's called "Homesick." The first time I heard it was right around the time my Grandma died, so I think that's one reason why it still impacts me. Either way, it's so true. When someone goes to be with Jesus in heaven, we miss them! And that's fine. And we don't necessarily want them to come back here, but we want to join them in heaven. And one day we will!

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Time Crunch

Things have been CRAZY lately! My life has been soooo busy. Between a lot at work, volunteering at the church, volunteering at the pregnancy home, increasing my gym time, etc. I have not been home much lately, at all. Until the weekend of the 4th of July, I hadn't been home a single weekend since before Memorial Day! And it has barely slowed since then. It's common for me not to be home in the evening for 2-3 weeks at a time.

Today, I came to the realization (once again) that I need to slow down. Part of this realization has been unfolding over time. Just realizing that it's been far too crazy of a pace to continue. But today, I had been thinking about what a crazy day I was going to have trying to get everything done when I got an e-mail cancelling one of my plans. When I realized how relieved I was (though I would have loved to be with those friends, which is why I made the plans in the first place), I realized I was WAY overscheduled. I was so relieved to have an afternoon at home. All I did was clean, do a little relaxing, etc. But it felt SO good!

So, hopefully my schedule will lighten up soon!!!

Day 15 - A Person I Admire

Hmmm.... I admire a lot of people. The big decision is which one to write about. And I'm not feeling "writey" today. I considered skipping it. I actually forgot I hadn't done it. But, I'm here now, decision made.

Okay, I still can't decide so instead I'm going to list qualities I admire and people I think of when I think of that quality. This list will only be of people I know. :) So here is the list, in no particular order.

Integrity
Hard-working
Passionate about God
Kind
Intelligent
Loving
Helps Others


Now for people who exemplify each one....

Integrity - For this one, though I know many who I could choose, I am going to list my pastor at Rochester. He was my professor for my relationships and ethics class last year during Bible School. So many of the information he gave us, backed up with stories from his own life, showed his personal integrity. It's not just about
being honest; it's about striving to do the right thing.

Hard-working I'm going to say, my friend and former co-worker Jen is extremely hard working. In addition to really busting it at work all day every day even when things are crazily frustrating and people aren't pulling their weight, she's also going back to school to get her nursing degree. When she finishes school, if I'm ever sick, she's definitely a nurse I would want. Not just because I love her, but because she's kind, meticulous, and hard working!

Passionate about God My friend Ashley, often mentioned on this blog, loves God. She's not shy about sharing her beliefs. She's even gone to the Phillipines to share about God over there!

Kind I know sooo many kind people. My friend Dyanna is one of the kindest people I know. She is always willing to listen when someone needs to talk. She's the type who will drop everything just to talk and listen when I need someone to talk to. And she's a lot of fun. :)

Intelligent Hmmm.... I also know a lot of intelligent people. My brother Cameron is one of them. I think that's one reason he's a good speaker - he studies the Bible and puts work into preparing his sermons. And he is a good, logical thinker.

Loving For this one, I will go with my beautiful, wonderful, loving Sissy Delia. Delia has a way of bringing out the best in people. I think it's because of the love she shows for everyone she's around. :) And she shows great love for my two precious nephews and is a GREAT mom!

Helps Others My friend Brandi works at a home for troubled children. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to help make the home everything she can. She even does things to help the volunteers that are supposed to be helping her!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 14 - A Vacation I'd Like To Take

Mmmm.... vacation.... such a glorious word!!!!

I love, love, love to travel (as mentioned previously). I truly would like to go revisit some places I have been; but at the same time, there are so many other places I would like to go!

I think if I had to pick one and only one, I would do a European tour (haha! I'm skirting the rules by picking a whole continent). So far in Europe, I've been to Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Germany. So if I had, let's say a 3 week trip to Europe, I would choose to fly into London, do a few days in England. From there, I would go to Ireland for probably 4 days. Other places I would NEED to go are Italy, Austria, and Greece. Spain would be a bonus, as would revisiting anywhere I already went! I would love to do a cruise that went from Greece to Italy. :) Some friends are doing it next year, but I don't have enough vacation time. Quite sad.....

Next week, I'm going on vacation to the exciting destination of Hamilton, Alabama. It's no Europe, but I am looking forward to it! :)

5 Question Friday - July 16, 2010

It's time for another 5 Question Friday as seen here!
1. Do you collect anything?
Not really. I used to collect stuffed animals, but they were taking over my room. However, I am somewhat of a packrat, so I still have many of them. Fortunately, at my parents', so my house is safe. I semi-collect shoes and purses, but not as collectibles. It's more that I just buy a lot of them!

Oh, and I somewhat collect things kids make for me. I have a really, really, really, really hard time getting rid of anything a child makes for me - a card, a picture, some craft. So, I don't collect them, but I do keep them 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time they're alive and I can't keep them forever. (By alive, usually "flowers" that are really weeds. Only a couple children have ever brought me an insect or once.... a frog!) Working with children for so long means I have quite a few things. But, my new rule is if I can't remember who gave it to me or I don't even remember the child when I see the name, I can toss it. (This usually happens if I visit a church and a child makes me something or some of the kids that I worked with in field placements while in school. If I wasn't with them consistently and it was 7 years ago, I might not remember them!) I guess I'm a magnet for kids' gifts. :)

2. Name 3 celebrities that you find good looking.
Josh Duhamel (read here if you want a funny story about that)
Eric Dane
Matt Damon

However, though I find them good-looking, I don't tend to watch extra things that they're in the way some do. They're just the first ones I could think of that I think are good looking.

3. Do you have any scars? If so, what's the story behind it (them?)?
I have two - one on my thumb and one on my hand. (It's possible I have one on my head from stitches I had as a two year old, but it is covered by hair. But for the two that I do have, I'll start with the one on my thumb. It's small, probably wouldn't be noticed by anyone else. I got it feeding my aunt's puppy a dog treat when I was 6 or 7. The puppy was very energetic and took the treat with a little too much force. (I think I held it so she would jump for it and she jumped too high.) Not a big deal, though it certainly didn't help me get over my fear of unknown dogs.

The one on my hand is also not very noticeable. I got it riding an 8-wheeler (I think that's what it was called) with some children at the annual family reunion for my uncle's family. One of the kids was only 2, and shouldn't have been on it. But the father had said it was okay. His 11 year old sister was holding him, but we hit a big bump, and I saw a) she wasn't going to be able to hold on and b) he would most likely fall from the vehicle. For a 2 year old, it would have been QUITE the fall. So, in a split second decision, I moved to "catch" him. In doing so, my hand got caught between him and this one rough part of the vehicle. It's a small thing that people don't notice unless I show them; so while it was painful, it's really not bad. And compared to how Jordan would have been injured if I hadn't caught him (not to mention what his momma would have done to me if she had known I could have helped him!), it's really nothing.

4. What is a food that you like to eat, but others might think it's gross or weird?
Okay, my friend Ashley makes fun of me for this one. :) When she came to Michigan to visit me, I took her to many of my favorite restaurants that she doesn't have down in Alabama. One of these was Kabob Grill, a Lebanese restaurant. SO GOOD! I love, love, love Middle Eastern food. She did not. Many of my friends (especially those who do not live in this area where we get so many great Middle Eastern restaurants!) don't understand it either. Specifically, Ashley mocks my love for hummus. Mmmm.... I'm getting hungry!

But in my defense, she eats paper.

5. Have you ever seen a tornado in real life?
I thought I was going to last night!!!!! Seriously, we had a TERRIBLE storm! I hate storms. But no tornado. I've never seen one in real life, but I have waited out many tornado watches and warnings in my parents' basement. And once, in the basement of a piano student because a tornado touched down miles from their home during a lesson. Seriously!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 13- Guilty Pleasure

Yikes.... guilty pleasures. This could be embarrassing. I guess I'm glad that not a lot of people read my blog. :)

I'm going to make a confession.

I'm addicted to..... reality tv and Lifetime movies.

Yes, I know I wrote about Survivor before, but it doesn't end there. Reality tv sucks me in! Even if it's a show I don't usually watch, I'll start watching it and not stop. And the Lifetime movies? Cheesy, predictable, melodramatic, and like crack for me!!!

I do have to say, I've gotten a LOT better. I used to would NOT miss an episode of Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, or Biggest Loser. Now Survivor is the only one that's "must see." But I don't know if it's that the addiction is less or if the production quality of these shows is worse now. ANTM started drooping for me when it started becoming obvious by episode 3 who Tyra had already decided would win. But back in the day when it was good, if there was a marathon on Saturday, wow. It would be a challenge to get anything done!

Now, as far as reality tv, I do have my standards. I have yet to watch an episode of Real Housewives of Anywhere. I never watched the Hills. But, I am embarrassed to say I have been known to record Bridezillas to watch if I wasn't going to be home.

I used to like a lot of the TLC shows (What Not to Wear was my favorite) but I can't support anything that network shows now because of my disgust over their exploitation of the Gosselin children.

And Lifetime movies - I can't even really explain this one. Can you read the plot and be able to give 90% of the story without watching it? Yes. But I love them. The true crime ones, the ridiculous romances, the cheesy "Sorority Girls" - I'm really not so picky. But they never sound good enough to sit down and watch. But if I'm channel surfing and watch even 2 minutes of one? Yeah..... that's all she wrote, folks!

So, anyone else share my guilty pleasure? Or what's yours?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 12 - A Song I Want Played at my Wedding

Hmmm.... another interesting one. I love music, so picking out music for a big occasion will be hard for me, I know. Of course, seeing as certain members of the family (ahem, Mom and Delia!!!!) have expressed doubts that I'll ever actually GET married, it might not matter.

I think I'm quite knowledgeable about wedding music as I used to have a little side business of playing the piano for weddings. So I like to think that makes me an expert. Once I played for a wedding and for dinner music throughout the reception. I have to say, that was tiring. It was about 3 1/2 hours of playing, with just a quick break between the two.

So, I have some classical songs I would love to use during the ceremony. If not the ceremony, the prelude while people are walking in. One of these is Air on a G String. I love the beautiful, light tone of this number. Another favorite is Pachabel's Canon in D, but now I'm feeling like it's becoming a cliched wedding song. I remember loving it before everyone started using it - back when most people walked to the Bridal March. But now almost every wedding is Canon in D. So, I'd have to think about it.

But as far as songs either sung or played either during the wedding or reception, for one thing, it would greatly depend on if my groom and I had a special story, song, etc. and how it tied into that. But two songs that I love for weddings are "The Prayer" sung most famously by Celine Dion and Andre Bocelli and "When God Made You" by Natalie Grant. I think both of these are so beautiful. "The Prayer" is definitely a more classical sounding choice. "When God Made You" has such nice lyrics as well though. "The Prayer" is beautiful enough musically that I might have an instrumental version played at some point during the ceremony.

Here are the English lyrics for "The Prayer."

I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we'll be safe

I pray we'll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night
Remind us where You are
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe.

We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Just like every child

Needs to find a place,
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

For "When God Made You"

It's always been a mystery to me,
How two hearts can come together,
And love can last forever.
But now that I have found you I believe
That a miracle has come when God sends the perfect one.
So gone are all my questions about why,
And I've never been so sure of anything in my life

Oh I wonder what God was thinking, when He created you.
I wonder if He knew everything I would need,
Because He made all my dreams come true.
When God made you, He must have been thinking about me.

I promise that wherever you may go,
Wherever life may lead you
With all my heart I'll be there too.
And from this moment on I want you to know,
I'll let nothing come between us,
And I will love the ones you love.
So gone are all my questions about why

Oh I wonder what God was thinking when He created you,
I wonder if He knew everything I would need,
Because He made all my dreams come true.
When God made you He must've been thiking about me.

He made the sun, He made the moon,
To harmonize a perfect tune,
One can't do without the other,
they just have to be together.
And that is how I know its true,
You're for me and I'm for you and my world
Just can't be right without you in my life.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 11 - A Photo of Me Taken Recently



The gorgeous woman in the picture with me is my sister-in-law, Delia. Also known as the mother of the adorable Caleb and Evan who have been featured prominently in this blog.

This picture was taken just two short days before they went back to Singapore. We were at Lake St. Clair for the St. Clair Shores fireworks. It was a LOT of fun! We were with a group of about 15 people, I think, and one of them took the picture.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 10 - A Picture of Me That's Over 10 Years Old

Not a lot of options for this one without driving to my parents, finding a picture, and scanning it! So, here is one from a friend's facebook of a program we did at school or church. (They were the same building.)



I'm in the back row on the left..... Long time ago!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 9 - A Photo I Took

Yay! So easy! Which is good since it's SUCH a packed day!



My babies love each other. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 8 - A Thank You to Someone Who has changed My Life

Dear Ashley,

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend! Your friendship has changed my life, changed me, and is forever appreciated. You have provided many moments of amusement, fun, and also deep introspection.

I think your genuine kindness and friendliness wore off on me - I find it much easier to talk to anyone that I meet. You know, like you did to all the waiters and waitresses on your trip to Michigan. You've taught me that homeless people in Detroit can be very helpful.... lol.

Thank you for always, always listening. Thank you for enduring whiny e-mails when I'm having a bad day, silly e-mails when I'm trying to be funny, and everything in between.

I think back to when we first met. You gave me great wisdom in our first conversation. I believe it went "Girl, you're in the south, and down here we wear FLIP FLOPS!!!!!" I never once again wore wedge heels to a fun-at-the-field kids' RAMP event. But then we got to know each other a little better just a few minutes later.... we have Scary Chad to thank for that. Just think - if I hadn't been deathly afraid of upsetting him, I might not have given you the ride, and who knows where we would be!

And then there are all my wonderful downtown Detroit memories with you. Well, not just downtown Detroit, but really the whole week. From the snow flurries you described as a blizzard to your random falling out of bed to you singing happy birthday to me as it turned my birthday, we made some GREAT memories that week! Thank you so much for coming to Michigan!







And, I think you learned a lot on the trip, including 1) how to play spoons, 2) not to trip when leaving Greektown restaurants, 3) NOT to try to break into Comerica Park (but especially not when the security is RIGHT THERE), 4) Sweet Tea is NOT sold everywhere in Michigan (or anywhere really), and 5) to remove paper from muffins BEFORE eating half the paper.







So, thank you for being such a wonderful friend. I love you and will see you in two weeks!!!!

-Deanna

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 7 — 5 things you could not possibly live without

Okay, so obviously I could live without these 5 things. But if everyone answers all seriously - food, water, shelter - what fun is the blog? So, if my answers seem vapid and shallow, it is what it is. :) And it's just a blog.... nothing that needs to be taken too seriously.

And people aren't things, so I'm not going to say "my wonderful friends and family" or any emotional, cheesy stuff like that. I also don't think of emotions as things, so you also won't be getting stuff like "happiness," "peace," "love." Even though I do think those things are necessary to living a balanced, well-adjusted life.

So, in no particular order, my 5 are.....

1) Lip Gloss! I cannot stand that dry lip feeling. My friends often claim I'm addicted to it. In a pinch, I will use Chapstick instead, but it's soooo not the same. I apply lip gloss/balm probably 25 times a day. I keep it by my bed at night so if I wake up with dry lips, I can reapply. In fact, just thinking about it made me realize my lips are a little dry right now.... please hold while I reapply. Ah.... so much better. Thanks for waiting. I just used one of my current loves - the NYC lip plumping variety. I have two different shades. It's so inexpensive and I love it!

2) Cell Phone. Seriously. If I forget it at home for a day, if the battery dies, or worst of all, when it breaks and I wait for a new one, I GO CRAZY!!!!!! I pull it out to check the time and then realize it's not there! I also don't know if I could survive without having the internet on my phone. I feel so cut off from the world when I don't have it or when I don't have good service and can't access it!

3) Water bottles. This one is more of a real necessity, but not to the degree I do it. I seriously carry around a stainless steel water bottle ALL THE TIME. Most of them hold about 20 oz. (one I have holds more like 32) and I fill it up about 15 times a day. I really like my water. So, like my cell phone, when I forget my water bottle, I feel lost. But unlike a cell phone, I can stop at a gas station and buy a disposable one for the day, so it's not as severe.

4) My Purse and shoe collections. I love purses. I don't just like them; I truly do love them! They are so much fun. I have about 30 purses and like to switch often. I don't match them to my outfits too often unless it's a special occasion (I don't have time to switch them every day!) but since I wear a lot of pink and have a lot of pink purses, it usually works. Shoes - I have about 90 pairs. I have 12 pairs just of pink shoes. I have work shoes, dressy shoes, workout shoes, casual shoes, etc. I have flats, 5 inch heels, and just about everything in between!

5) My Passport! I LOVE to travel. Europe, Asia, Africa - I've been to all 3. And I want to go back to Europe and Asia for sure, maybe Africa. I also would really love to go on a cruise next year. My friend Ashley and I are talking about it. But, I also want to go to Singapore, so I'm not sure if I can make them both work out the same year. We'll see. But escaping Michigan for a week during the yucky months of January - March sounds SO good. Even better if I'm spending it with one of my favorite people in the world!

5 Question Friday! 7/9/2010

1. What is one food you could eat everyday?
Chocolate..... in fact, I pretty much do eat it everyday (a little bit usually!). But I'm working on cutting back. Though, I do maintain that it is a vegetable. It's made from cacoa beans. Beans are vegetables! Coffee is also a vegetable for the same reason. So, if you worry you're not getting enough vegetables, have a mocha. Two vegetables in one!

2. Are you working in the career you thought you would be when you were 18?
Well, seeing as I was in college for my teaching degree when I was 18 and now I do investments, I would have to say no. :) Hey, I'm not even sure if I'm in the career I thought I would be in when I was 27! ;)

3. What is something that you wish you would have done when you were younger and you didn't?

Hmmm.... I think I would say "relax" especially while I was in college. I was always driven to hurry up and finish, work a lot so I could save money, etc. Looking back, I'm glad I had a good work ethic and didn't take 7 years to get a 4 year degree like some friends, but at the same time, I would have liked to "stop and smell some roses." But no major regrets.

4. What color are your kitchen walls?
Yellow. And I'm not a yellow fan. I wouldn't have chosen the yellow. But it works for me.... especially since I'm far too lazy to paint. And I do like daisies, so with the right accents, I've grown to like my yellow walls in my kitchen. And there isn't that much wall space anyway in there.


5. Do you remember what your very first favorite song was?
No.... I don't. Probably a Carman song - don't judge, it was practically all I could listen to. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 6 - A Moment I Wish I Could Relive

Just about 6 years ago, I was returning from a trip from Europe. While on that trip, I saw many beautiful things. There were many places I would love to see again. But, if I could relive only one of them, I would go back here.



Neuschwanstein Castle, located in the Black Forest of Germany, is completely breathtaking. The carvings, the artwork, everything is just astounding. When you're walking up to it, suddenly there's this view when you come around a turn that's just like "WOW!" That's really all that can be said. It practically takes your breath away!

Cinderella's castle in Disneyworld was based off of this castle. It was completely one of the highlights of my trip!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 5 - Favorite Quote

This blog post will be shorter than the last one, I PROMISE! One reason is I'm not as long-winded when talking about a quote as I am about Survivor and Gilmore Girls. The second reason is I'm tired, so my brain isn't functioning completely.... my house has been over 90 degrees continuously since Sunday. Actually, this morning, the cool morning breeze cooled it to a frigid 88 degrees. Okay, who am I kidding - a still ridiculously hot 88 degrees! Third, and probably most importantly, my boss is back in the office after almost 2 weeks in Europe. Talk about cutting into my blogging time!!! (To prove my point, he just interrupted me typing that sentence to call me into his office to give me a LOT of work for his next appointment. So I'll have to come back to this post.)

Okay, 3 hours later, sitting at home in my hot house on my "lunch" break while the AC man tries to fix my AC, I'm back! (Here I said it would be a shorter post and I've rambled this long without getting to the topic.)

A quote that I just love is "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."

I think so often, we get so caught up in missing times we enjoyed in the past, missing people we don't see very often, etc., we miss out on a lot. We spend so much time wishing we could go back or wishing we could be with them that we don't truly enjoy the memories we have or the fact that we had an incredible experience at all.

Personally, I remind myself of this when I'm missing my adorable nephews. Rather than be sad because they're back in Singapore, I choose to be glad they were able to come spend almost a whole month here. Sometimes I get sad thinking of all I'm missing - watching Evan learn to walk, hearing about Caleb's first days of school, etc. - but dwelling on those things doesn't help me recapture those moments. Being joyful for those moments we had - playgrounds, ice cream, puzzles - that's what I choose to focus on. Either way, they're not here and I'm not there. Why focus on what I can't change, when I can change my attitude.

Even while they were here (and the trip before as well) I reminded myself of that. When I would get sad and think "Only 3 more days" or something like that, I would remind myself it wasn't the time to be sad about missing them. It was the time to savor every moment, every hug, every laugh.

Today, I'm looking back at pictures, and smiling because it happened.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 4 - Favorite TV Show

Oh, an easy one! I only watch like 4 current shows consistently, so this is easy. Oh, wait. Can I do an old show that's not on anymore? Hmmm, it's my blog, so my rules. :)

The shows I watch consistently/fairly consistently are Survivor, Castle, Biggest Loser, and..... I guess that's it. Only 3. And Biggest Loser isn't even super regular anymore. Oh, and shows that have summer seasons only, I watch a couple since the others aren't on - Drop Dead Diva and Mad Men come to mind.

But lately, a show I NEVER watched while it was on but love now is GILMORE GIRLS!



I got hooked on this show all at once.... a co-worker lent me her Season 1 DVDs insisting I would love them. I put off watching them and put off watching them because I was busy and didn't really think I would like them very much. Suddenly, one Saturday, I was really exhausted/borderline sick and just needed a "down day." So I decided to put a DVD in of Gilmore Girls, give it a chance, and go from there. I figured if I hated it after two episodes, I would stop. If it was okay but not good, I would give it a few more episodes. No harm since there was nothing else on. :)

I got hooked. The fast dialogue, the genuinely likable characters, the well-written plot? I quickly watched Season 1, borrowed Season 2 as well, and then Netflixed the other 5 seasons, all within a couple of months. I ended up buying Seasons 1-5 (Seasons 6-7 aren't worth owning, in my opinion). Yes, Rory ends up being a spoiled brat by the end of the series. Yes, if Loralei were a real person, she would most likely drive me crazy. But for tv characters, the show works.

It's more than just the characters and dialogue. The first 4 seasons especially just have that special something - an energy, a buzz, a zip that you don't often have with a tv show!

Okay, now for a current show, and the one I actually intended on writing about before I distracted myself.



I started watching Survivor partway through the first season. (I think I can trace my reality tv addiction back to this point!) Because the show grew in popularity so quickly, they ended up reshowing the first episodes, so I was able to see them all.

I love this show. The past few seasons have focused so exclusively on one or two characters to the detriment of the show as a whole, but I still get hooked. There has only been one season out of twenty that I didn't watch. And even then, I watched the last few episodes. Often the twists are dumb and pointless, but sometimes they are so good. Sometimes the casting decisions are poor, but other times, the cast assembled is sheer brilliance!

I do wish the show would get back to what it started as - a unique cast interacting in a unique way. I really don't need to see the same people on it 3 times - Parvati, Amanda, James, etc. One All-Stars was kind of fun. But Fans vs. Favorites, Heroes vs. Villains - can't you find regular people who want to be on Survivor and not just use it to try to become a mini-celebrity?

The game itself has changed too, which is bound to happen. I re-watched the first season recently, and it was funny to see how horrified some contestants were that 4 people would have "an alliance" and vote together. Now, it's expected if you want to make it far in the game you will have at least one alliance, possibly sub-alliances. All this was a natural evolution of the game.

So, in summary, if you need something to watch, get Gilmore Girls from your library, Netflix, etc. or wait for September when Survivor comes back on!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 3 - Favorite Book

Wow, another tough one. I love, love, love to read. So picking a favorite book is hard!

I love many of the classics - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, Gone with the Wind, etc.

I love fun chick lit - the Shopoholic Series, books by Meg Cabot.

I love Christian fiction - books by Lori Wick, Kristen Billerbeck, Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock.

I love books that I feel help me grow in my Christian Walk - anything by A.W. Tozer, David Ravenhill, Bob Sorge, John Burton.

I love books that teach me how to do things I've always wanted to do but can't - cook, for example.

I also have book A.D.D. I'm usually reading 3-4 books at any given time, and I'll read different ones different days depending on my mood and how much time I have to devote to reading at that moment. But once I start a book, I HAVE to finish it. Even if I don't like it.... even if it takes me a year.... even if I have trouble going back to reading it. It's a compulsion. There have been exceptions (hello, Eat, Pray, Love) but generally, I finish any books I start.

Right now, I'm in the middle of Radical by David Platt (wow. this book is a must read!), Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny by John Burton, Pretense by Lori Wick, and of course, the Bible.

Speaking of Pretense, something else I do is re-read a same book over and over if I really like it. Pretense is an example of this! I first read it probably 10 years ago!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 2 - Favorite Movie

Favorite movie is much easier than favorite song! I still maintain my right to pick more than one, though.

Probably my number #1, all-time absolute favorite is The Sound of Music! It used to be my hands down favorite, then was "one of my favorites," but now I have to say it's probably number #1 again. I used to sing the songs over and over and over as a child. I can still sing them all, I think. I bought the book of sheet music for the songs and can now play them as well. When I first watched it, I didn't quite understand some of it - why did they need to leave? Why wouldn't he just join the army? Wasn't it illegal to leave? But now that I have a much better understanding of who the Nazis were and the evil they were behind, I understand the movie much better!

In addition to The Sound of Music, musicals in general are favorite of mine. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is probably my second favorite musical. The Music Man, Calamity Jane - this list could go on and on!

Also in the running are the Star Wars movies as a whole. My dad, brother, and I when we're together insert Star Wars quotes where ordinary conversation should be. I think as far as those 6, my favorite is Return of the Jedi, followed by Empire Strikes back, then Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, the New Hope, and Phantom Menace. Phantom Menace really isn't very good, but I do own it, because you can't own 5/6ths of the Star Wars series - it just isn't right! Currently, my parents have 3 sets of the older ones (Episodes 4-6) and one set of the new ones (Episodes 1-3).

I also love many of the old Doris Day movies, but especially the ones where she starred with Rock Hudson. If you haven't seen Pillow Talk, you really should! I think it's my favorite of the 3 the two of them did together.

As far as more modern movies (i.e. made sometime after I was born), I'm pretty much a romantic comedy fan. But, they have to be clean - I don't like movies with tons of swearing or graphic sex scenes or anything. So, it limits what I watch. But some favorites are Runaway Bride, When In Rome, Sweet Home Alabama, 27 Dresses, etc.

Also, Jane Austen books are great and translate into fantastic movies when done properly. Sense and Sensibility is most likely my favorite, though the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice is right up there. The Keira Knightley version is fairly good, and Emma is great as well.

Wow, this was an easy topic for me to write about!

Anybody have any suggestions of things I should watch given my taste!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 1

Wow. I'm so tired that I kinda want to start this blog challenge tomorrow. But, I said I was starting today, so I will. :) Can't put off the first day of a challenge or what will happen the next days! Picking a favorite song for me is very challenging. I have many favorites - depends on my mood, situation, what style of music I'm in the mood for, etc. Then I have my favorite songs to play on the piano, my favorite songs to sing to, and my favorite songs to listen to. I also have strong feelings about music - I tend to remember a song after hearing it only once. If something bad was going on when I didn't first heard a song, I tend to always associate bad memories with a song. Songs also get stuck in my head very easily!

Here is one of my favorite people singing one of my favorite songs (for him to sing).



Another song I've been listening to a lot is "The More I Seek You." I love that song. It really expresses the main thought of Jeremiah 29:13. I love the Kari Jobe version, but recently got the CD with the Eddie James version as well. Both are great, but I could only find the Kari Jobe version online, so.....

Friday, July 2, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge

As found here, I am participating in a 30 day blog challenge. I love blogging, but sometimes have trouble figuring out what to write about. So here is the challenge.

Day 1 — A favorite song
Day 2 — A favorite movie
Day 3 — A favorite book
Day 4 — A favorite television program
Day 5 — A favorite quote
Day 6 — A moment you wish you could relive
Day 7 — 5 things you could not possibly live without
Day 8 — A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life
Day 9 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — A song that you want played at your wedding (or was played)
Day 13 — A guilty pleasure
Day 14 — A vacation you would like to take
Day 15 — A person you admire
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry
Day 17 — An art piece
Day 18 — A time when you felt passionate and alive
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — Something you know you do differently than most people
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A way in which you want to be remembered
Day 24 — A movie no one would expect you to love
Day 25 — A recipe
Day 26 — A childhood memory
Day 27 — A physical feature you love
Day 28 — A scar you have, and its story
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — A motto or philosophy

I'm going to start this tomorrow, since I've already blogged twice today. Or if I get bored in a couple of hours, later today. :)

Five Question Friday

1. What is one thing you miss the most about childhood?
Hmmm.... I'd say the carefree summers. When my biggest decision was whether or not it was too cold to swim, which is usually was here in Michigan!

2. Are you still friends with your friends from high school?
Sadly, I'd say "friendly" with them. We're "facebook friends," if that counts. But they're no longer the ones I'm really close with.

3. Is there a catch phrase, cliche, or word that just drives you bonkers every time you hear it?
Any words/phrases that are used inappropriately. Think "irregardless" for "regardless." "Effect" for "affect" and vica versa. Most cliches drive me crazy. Not too many catchphrases, though when people (particularly slightly older people) are using catchphrases from the early 90s in a vain attempt to be culturally relevant today, I do roll my eyes. Frequently. Noticeably even.

4. What is one thing that you think symbolizes America...besides "Old Glory"?
The people.... I think the people are what really makes any nation!

5. What are your 4th of July weekend plans?
Nothing too exciting. I am SO ready for a down weekend. I have not spent a weekend home since the weekend BEFORE Memorial Day. And even that one, I had a baby shower, graduation party, and going away party all in one day. I need to clean my house! I want to go to the Farmers' Market near my house! That said, I do have plans tonight, a family reunion for my not-family tomorrow (long story), and 2 church services Sunday. Then Monday, when I'm off for the holiday, I'll probably see my friend Lisa who is in from out of town. So, it sounds busy, but at least I'll be in my own bed!