Friday, October 29, 2010

5 Question Friday - 10/29/2010

As seen here, Five Question Friday!

My, it's been a week, between a final, a conference, etc. So it's nice to have something mindless to write about. :)

1. If you could be a fly on any wall, which would you choose?

Hmmm..... this is a tough one. I think somewhere in government so I could hear everything that goes on behind the scenes.

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping or just get it done without budgeting?

Somewhere in between - I figure out what I can afford, who I need to buy for, and then set guidelines per person. But I don't follow them strictly.

3. What is the craziest fad diet you have ever done?

I don't think I've ever done one. I've done diets, that's for sure, but never what I would think of as a fad one. Cabbage soup? Sounds disgusting. HCG? 500 calories a day? And people are silly enough to think it's from the drops they take? So no.

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?

The only one I can think of is Gilmore Girls. And interestingly enough, I never watched a single episode while it was actually airing. My Gilmore Girls love came later.

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?

Hmmm.... there are lots of them. Most recently "Beautiful the Blood." The best version can be ordered right here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm back!

Hello, dear blog readers!

I'm back from a weekend away. I came back to a small surprise - 3 new blog followers. :) Welcome! It's always nice to get new followers and find new blogs to follow through that.

This weekend was a crazy one. We went to Indiana for my uncle's 60th birthday party. It was great to see cousins, aunts, uncles, cousins-removed, etc. but it was a LOT of driving for a short time period. We left 7:30 Saturday morning, drove 5 hours, stayed at the party for about 5 hours, drove an hour and a half, stopped for the night, and then continued the drive today, finally returning to my parents around 1:00. Then we had lunch and then I had church. Turns out in a fun surprise, I had nursery tonight! Oops!

Also frustrating was I forgot my computer at home for the weekend. I had planned on getting a LOT of work done this weekend on the drive and at the hotel. By this time next week, I will have 1) finished reading the books for my class (the books were in the computer bag), 2) write my final exam/paper for my class, 3) finish planning a conference that is next weekend, and 4) actually run the conference next weekend. (By run, I mean the onsite, day of stuff - rides for our one speaker, food for both speakers, guest registration, etc. It's a lot to do.) This is on top of a very full work week plus my other week to week stuff (piano lessons, etc.).

In closing, here are a few weekend pictures!

Friday, October 22, 2010

5 Question Friday - October 22, 2010

Here is 5QF courtesy of Mama. Wasn't feeling the questions last week, so if you missed my 5 Question Friday, that's why. (Yes, because I'm SO sure you all noticed and thought about it! Don't worry; I'm not that delusional.)

1. Who is the better cook, you or your spouse?
Well, since I have no spouse....... (see? 5QFs lately have had a lot of spouse questions! Thereby making so many of my answers N/A that it's not my fault I don't feel like participating!)

2. How often do you talk to your mom?
Almost daily. She gets sad if I don't call. So I call. Trying to cut back though..... sometimes after I leave work, I just don't feel like talking. I've talked to approximately 10,000 clients, I feel like. I'm done with the phone. :)

3. Are you adventurous in the kitchen or stick to the recipe?
On those rare occasions when I cook, it varies. If I have a recipe, I stick to it (unless it's a minor modification like adding chocolate chips to brownies). But if I don't have a recipe and want to try something, occasionally I will. I do often have to modify recipes though, since many recipes call for onions and I am very allergic to them!

4. Is your second toe longer than your big toe?
No. Mine are "normal." Hehe.

5. Do you dress up for Halloween? (Bonus question: What will you be this year?)
No, I don't. I never have.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - October 21, 2010

Today's Thursday Thirteen is going to be a post of 13 things I find annoying. Yes, I know. It's an obnoxious subject, but I've had a day where everyone in the world has done their best to annoy me, so it's what's on my mind. :) And yes, I am VERY aware that I am exaggerating and not EVERYONE in the world has done their best to annoy me. But enough people have that, well......

1) People making a lot of noise before I'm up for the day. Let's also call this one of the many reasons I'm making my roommate move out. :) It's one thing if someone is sleeping late. But, I get up early. And even days like today when I slept in slightly (7:10), must you be so loud in the kitchen? At least this morning, it wasn't singing. Sometimes it's singing..... at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

2) People in my office who use the kitchen sink to brush their teeth and spit mouthwash into. Stop. Please. I'm begging. Use the bathroom for that. Bonus annoying points if they lean around you to spit into the sink right when you're making food. Gross. Disgusting. Cringe-inducing.

3) People who don't cover their mouth when they cough. I'm a slight germaphobe. I get this. But someone COUGHED on me the other day. That's just gross, people!

4) "Customer service" people who make it clear they are not interested in helping. At all. With anything.

5) Customer service people who have the nerve to get annoyed when you expect them to help with something that is clearly their job.

6) Customer service people who after making it clear they are not interested in helping then get annoyed that you expect them to follow that by giving you the wrong answer.... sigh.

7) Teachers/professors who give everyone in the class a perfect score thereby making you feel like you wasted time trying hard on the assignment when you look over at your classmate's messy, handwritten, spelling-error-filled assignment with the same score as yours.

8) People who send multiple texts before you have a chance to respond to the first one. Not if they're about different things but "Hey what are you doing tonight" followed 2 minutes later by "Want to get together tonight?" followed 3 minutes later by "Why aren't you answering me?" followed 2 minutes later by "Are you mad at me?" No! Or at least I wasn't until you just texted me 4 times in 10 minutes! I'm just not at my phone! Or I'm at work and can't text back right this second!

9) People who complain and complain and complain without realizing how good they have it. (Which, this post could definitely be doing. But I do realize that none of these things are really life-threatening issues.)

10) People who think they know everything and won't listen.

11) Walking through a cloud of smoke to get into a building that's no smoking.

12) People who eat really loudly.

13) People who try to make themselves feel better by making others feel bad

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things on My Mind

I have a lot on my mind today! Big things, small things, medium things..... my mind does not discriminate.

First of all, I'm a little stressed. Here's the scoop - next week, I have my final for my class due. It's a paper, so I really need to work on it. But first, I'll need to catch up on my reading. Also, next weekend, I have a conference at my one church. I'm looking forward to it, and I know it will be powerful and incredible. But still, as the organizer, there is still a LOT to get done.

These two things are enough to make me want to stay home this weekend. But no, I'm going out of town. All the way to Indiana and back in about 30 hours. We'll be there for my uncle's 60th birthday party. But we're leaving Michigan 7 Saturday morning and will be back no later than 3 on Sunday. So it's a super fast trip.

I'm a little nervous about it because my back has been really acting up lately and all the car ride is bad for it. Because of my different back injuries from the car accidents, I have a sensitive back. I think something my trainer had me doing at the gym made it worse last week. Yesterday, I could barely get out of bed. :(

Speaking of trainers, I'm glad I'm switching gyms. It makes quitting my trainer that much less confrontational "I'd stay with you, but I'm switching gyms! Sorry!" But really, I think I wouldn't stay with her anyway. She's gotten hooked on this new training style, new workout style, and I feel she doesn't listen. After two long, intensive stints of physical therapy for major injuries, I know that there are things I can't and shouldn't do. I have to work around them. But she seems to think I should just try. But there's a difference between pushing through pain of the workout variety and being in actual injury pain. After all my injuries, I think I'm the best judge of which my body is feeling at that point in time.

Adding to this is just general misery over fall allergies, plus a case of the stomach flu I came down with last week. So there has been a lot of general yuckiness.

Work has been pretty insane as well. My boss is out of town this week, so in some ways it's better. But still, really busy with a small side of drama. :)

Anyway, class tonight. I've done almost none of the reading. Maybe in the 1.5 hours between work and class?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - October 14, 2010

Another Thursday, another Thursday Thirteen!

Today, I'm going to list 13 of my favorite quotes. Some I think are funny, some serious, some motivational - all different reasons for liking them. (Disclaimer - if I know the source of the quote, I have listed it. Some I don't know the source, so I'll note that.)

1. "Character is more important than reputation; character is who you really are while reputation is who people think you are." Unknown
So true. What matters is not how other people see us, but who we really are. If we're fake and put on a great show for everyone else but to those closest to us or even in our own hearts we're mean, angry, bitter, etc., have we really reached any type of goal?

2. "Maturity is the consistent application of elementary things, not the occasional application of great things." Damon Thompson
You don't mature as person or show you're a mature person by occasionally doing something spectacular. You show it in consistently doing what you know to do, however small it is. This applies in personal life, work life, etc.

3. "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." Unknown
Too often, we spend our lives looking back. We're sad because things ended - a vacation, time with a loved one, an exceptional time in our life. Rather than look back with sadness, I choose to be happy that I had the experience at all. Or, I try to anyway.

4. "When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your fight." Abraham Kuyper

I think this one speaks for itself. Don't allow yourself to become complacent.

5. "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." Unknown Comedian

A friend sent me a list of this guys quotes once, and they were all like this (ripoffs and funny versions of the things people say). But I don't remember his name, nor can I find it online.

6. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." Anonymous

I love this quote. Always makes me think of the movie Hitch though, as it's in there. :)

7. "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, Patriot

The reason for this quote being one of my favorites is apparently, he's related to me WAY back. But it's a direct relation - like he was the brother of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather or something? However many greats it takes to get back to the 1700s. This always made me feel cool in elementary school when we studied him.

8. "May the Force be with you." Master Yoda

Really, just about any Star Wars quote..... in fact, that might be a whole Thursday Thirteen list all to itself. :)

9. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

Jim Elliot was a missionary who lost his life trying to minister to the Aucan people of Ecuador. He gave up his life, something that wasn't his to keep anyway, to gain an eternal crown that he'll never lose. Poignant quote.

10. "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." Audrey Hepburn

11. "There, but for the grace of God, go I." John Bradford
I think of this quote when I feel tempted to judge someone for their circumstances or look down on them or even think I have the answers. It's hit me particularly hard while working at the homeless pregnancy shelter. No, I never did drugs. No, I didn't end up homeless and pregnant. But that doesn't make me any better than any of them. Who knows how I would have ended up if I hadn't had the advantages I have had in life? What if my parents had abused me and I had been in 20 foster homes by the time I was 13? I can help them try to make right choices now and get their feet under them, but their past is their past. And I'm not their judge.

12. "There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child." Frank A. Clark

Oh my goodness. So true. "How? Why? How come?" These hallmarks of questions with children on everything from why we don't eat with our hands to what clouds are made of punctuate my days working with children at school or church!

13. "True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it be lost." Charles Caleb Colton

True statement....

What are some of your favorite quotes?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

I started doing a "Miscellany Monday" post yesterday, but got so busy at work that it didn't get finished. And I can't very well post it on Tuesday! So I'm sort of continuing the post now. :)

-I had a great weekend! I went to Cleveland, Ohio where my aunt, uncle, and "nephews" recently moved. It was the weekend between my uncle's birthday and Cole's birthday. So we did a little celebrating. :) I must have been exhausted though, because I slept pretty much the whole 3 hour drive both ways! (or at least half of it!) And no, I wasn't driving, so no worries. And Michigan State beat Michigan, so that was also a noteworthy part of the weekend.

-Also of note this weekend, I informed my roommate that it's time for her to move on. :) I will have my house to myself by the end of November at the latest, but I'm hoping for earlier. She actually indicated she might have a place by this weekend, which would be phenomenal! I started thinking about what I want to do/keep in the space and then realized I'd probably just move most of the furniture that I moved out of that room back in. Ah, a separate room for my computer and bookcases? Yes, please! An extra closet so my clothes aren't all jammed in? Yes, please! The big bathroom for the winter that has no outside walls and therefore stays warmer AND has a bathtub? Yes, please!!!!

-I'm going to book club tonight for the first time in over a year. You see, the book club includes people who I don't know very well and people I used to work with. Since I was only close to the two I used to work with, it felt awkward to go right after quitting. Somehow, that turned into a year..... (And by close, I mean could converse with easily. These aren't the ex-co-workers who I was actually close enough to to keep in touch with after leaving. Those I still see often. These two I've talked/e-mailed about a total (between the two) of 4 times in a year.) The longer it went without going, the weirder it felt to go. But at the same time, I wanted to! We read "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I don't think I'll finish it completely by tonight, but I made good progress.

-Last night I slept for SEVEN hours! It was GLORIOUS! It's amazing what extra sleep does for you. The night before, I slept for 2.5, so 7 was quite the treat. I even slept through my alarm..... oops. Which meant I did not have a morning workout today, but I'll still have my evening workout. And I wasn't late for work as I still woke up in plenty of time for work. To compensate for the lack of workout (and because I would have done it anyway), I gave my co-worker the cookie that came with my lunch. A vendor brought us lunch from Jimmy John's today, and it came with a cookie- a cookie which I most definitely do not need!

-My day yesterday consisted of (remember, on 2.5 hours of sleep) 9 hours of work, 2.5 hours of volunteering, 1.5 hours of working out. This was crazily busy.

-The rest of my week is equally busy. Tonight, as mentioned, book club and workout. Tomorrow is working out with my trainer, work, meeting a friend's mom to plan for her baby shower, and class (guess I should do my homework......). Thursday is working out, work, teaching piano, and then the Gathering. Friday is a little more relaxed - work and getting together with a friend. Saturday, we have a guest speaker at church so there's a 10 a.m. service and a 6:30 p.m. service. In between, I'll work out or clean or both. Oh, and on top of all that, even more homework and planning a conference for church for October 29-31st.

Well, my lunch break is almost over seeing as insane people are calling me every two minutes. :) Talk to you all later!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five Question Friday - 10/8/2010

Mama has brought us Five Question Friday once again!

1. What do you listen to while driving?
Usually music, specifically worship music. But sometimes I'll listen to speakers and sermons from church. As I drove to work this morning, I was listening to "Run" by Eddie James and Ultimate Call.

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?
This is so easy, because while I love fall, fall does not love me. It attacks my delicate respiratory system with its mean pollens, ragweeds, etc. In other words, my allergies are the worst in the fall!

3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?
Hmmm..... full of happy people. :)

No, I don't really know. I'd like it bigger than my current house, but not too big. I like Victorian style houses, but other ones are nice as well. I like the big, high cathedral ceilings. A fairly open design is nice for entertaining.

4. Would you ever own a minivan?
If I needed one, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I don't want one now as I don't need it and the gas mileage wouldn't be as good as my little Cobalt!

5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?
Um, am I supposed to? Oops! Only underwear. Something about underwear- it's got to be washed before worn!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 10/7/2010

Kind of late in posting Thursday Thirteen this week! Sadly, I'm having a hard time deciding on a topic. So, I think I've decided.... 13 trips I'm planning/would like to take in the next 12 months. (Semi-realistic ones..... while I would love to take a round-the-world trip, I'm thinking realistically and logically.) This includes big trips, small trips, and medium trips.

1) Cleveland, Ohio. This one is easy since I'm actually going to be there in about 36 hours. :) I'll see Cole, Gage, my Aunt Joyce, and my Uncle Bud. We'll be celebrating Cole's 6th birthday (where oh where does time go!) as well as my uncle's. I haven't seen them since they moved in August, so I'm definitely ready to see my boys!!!

2) Singapore! Yes, next year we are planning on taking another trip to Singapore. I'll get to see my babies!!!

3) Up North - I love Northern Michigan. It's a great weekend trip in the summer/fall. There are so many beautiful lakes, trees, etc.

4) Indiana - Another already planned trip, this one in two weeks. We'll celebrate my uncle's birthday and see lots of family on my mom's side.

5) Hamilton, Alabama. I really want to go back to the Ramp! However, with my trip to Singapore, I'm not sure if I'll have the vacation time for it next year. :( But I'll try to find a way to make it work! I miss my friends. I love it down there.

6) Chicago. Again, a good weekend trip from where I live. However, I want to actually see the city. Usually, when we go to "Chicago" we stay just outside the city and see NOTHING. Except for family, who I love, but I want to actually go!

7) Erie, PA. The last two years, I've taken weekend trips to Erie, PA. Again, close enough that I can go for the weekend. But far enough that I only go once a year or so. My cousin lives there with his wife and 2 kids. It's always great to see them, and we do fun things while there!

8) Lima, Peru. Check out for more info. I want to go on a missions trip! The Gathering, which I go to on Thursday nights is run by Dominic Russo, who also runs the mission that takes these trips.

9) Sandusky, Ohio for Cedar Point! I love Cedar Point. The roller coasters are phenomenal!!!

10) And.....

11) I'm.....

12) Out of.....

13) Suitable Day Trips and Next Year's Vacation Time.....

Anybody have any suggestions of trips I should add?

Friday, October 1, 2010

5 Question Friday - 10/1/2010

Welcome to the first Five Question Friday of October as brought to us by Mama! Last week I didn't participate in Five Question Friday because, to be honest, I just wasn't feeling the questions..... significant others, bathroom habits, etc. After the one that didn't apply to me and the one I wouldn't answer, there were only 3 questions left. And really, what is a 3 Question Friday?

And then yesterday, sadly, no Thursday Thirteen as I was dealing with mucho work drama! All day. Then after I got home, it was time to head over to my friend's house for some much needed downtime. In between the two, I had to bake and teach a piano lesson. So really, quite busy!

But now we're back.....

1. Did you have a pen pal when you were little (or now)? Where were/are they from?

I did! When I was (I think 7) I started having a pen pal from Africa. She was actually from somewhere in the United States, but her family was a missionary family. Now she lives in the US with her family and we're no longer pen pals, but we are facebook friends!

2. If you could do a different job for one day, what would it be?

I would like to be President. :) Unfortunately, at the rate it takes to get ANYTHING done in DC, being President for a day probably wouldn't accomplish a whole lot. Though I definitely have ideas on what I'd like to do.....

3. Do you remember your biggest fear from when you were little?

I think it was being kidnapped/left alone and forgotten/orphaned. Pretty much anything that would require me being separated from my family. I seriously couldn't even watch "An American Tail" because it bothered me SOOOOO much that little Fievel lost his family for so long. And a disturbing number of kids' movies are based around this theme! But I think "An American Tail" may have kicked off my paranoia. Even thinking about the movie was enough to make me cry....

Don't laugh. I was sensitive. :)

4. What do you think is a waste of time? Why?

Hmmm.....a lot of things are wastes of time, but if you enjoy them and you're choosing to spend your time on them, is that really so bad? (in moderation, of course) I will say that at the last company I worked, approximately 96% of our meetings were total wastes of time. (This was sooooo frustrating!)

5. What is the oldest item you have in your closet?

I bought a couple vintage skirts at a consignment shop recently. I don't know exactly how old they are, but that's probably it. Of things that I bought new, I still have my "senior shirt" from high school. I only use it to sleep in, I promise! But I have an emotional attachment to it!