Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Question Friday December 31st, 2010

December 31st? Really, 2010? Where did you go?

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Chattanooga, Tennessee right now. I have so much I want to write about, so maybe later. I don't have much time now, so I'll do my 5 Question Friday. :)

1. How long does your Christmas tree stay up?
As previously mentioned, this is my first year putting up a tree. So we'll see. Since I put it up so late, I think I'll leave it up at least a couple more weeks. But at the same time, I'm in declutter mode, so when I get home it might come down!

2. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?
Well, I'm here in Tennessee for a conference called The Ramp. It's phenomenal and I'll be there all day!

3. Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
No..... I make resolutions and changes throughout the year. Not at the beginning of the year. It's more as I think/feel things!

4. How did you spend New Year's Eve when you were younger?
Church services and potlucks followed by endless volleyball games. It was always so fun. We would play until like 5 a.m. and then come home and sleep til noon. Or I would. My brother would be up early watching football.

5. What was the best way you've ever spent New Year's Eve?
Hmmm..... I loved New Year's Eve when I was younger. And one year, when I think I was 23, I babysat for 10 kids on New Year's Eve, had a blast, and earned $250! But the best was probably last year at The Ramp (in Hamilton instead of Chattanooga). It was an incredible, mind-blowing night!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - December 23, 2010

Hello, Everyone! Happy Christmas Eve Eve! :) Hope you are all having a great day.

A little late in the day posting this because apparently anesthesia and I do NOT get along well. It refuses to play nice. But makes me have crazy blood pressure and then sleep the afternoon away. As in, slept in the recovery room. Slept on the drive home. Slept once I got to my parents. The nurse warned me I might want to sleep like up to 3 hours..... um.... try more like 7. Yeah, crazy. Especially considering most nights I get 4-5 hours of sleep. So my naps today were longer than I usually sleep at night!

Anyway, all went seemingly well, and I will hopefully have results soon.

Last Thursday Thirteen of this Christmas season! I will go with the shallow subject of 13 Christmas treats that I love. :) Food, drink, etc.

1) My mom's jewel cookies. My mom bakes a lot of Christmas cookies each year. My favorites are what are called jewel cookies. They have butter cookie rolled in chopped walnuts with a glaze and a cherry. Yum!

2) Peppermint Mochas. Okay, so I often get this at Caribou during the non-holiday season, but at Starbucks it's one of their Christmas specials. I haven't had ANY coffee in 2 days, so this sounds so good right now. :)

3) Fudge! Yummy chocolatey fudge is soooo good! I know that you can get this year round, but it always feels Christmasy to me.

4) Candy Cane cookies. My grandma makes these for me. They are butter cookies, pink and white, twisted together to look like a candy cane. Very good!

5) Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates - Another Starbucks item makes the list!

6) Russian Tea Cakes - Another cookie my mom makes. They're similar to what a lot of people call Pecan Sandies, but they are (in my opinion) better.

7) Chocolate Covered Cherries - such a yummy candy. Probably my favorite candy in the world.

8) Gloria Mix - those hard candies that they sell around Christmas have always been a favorite! Now I think it might be more tradition than anything else. :)

9) Reese's Peanut Butter Trees - yum. I love Reese's in general, but the holiday ones are extra festive!

10) Butter Cookies (frosted) - my mom makes these in Christmas shapes and frosts them. Love them!

11) Christmas Popcorn - people always send us this at work in huge tins. Popcorn and hot chocolate while watching a Christmas movie? Yes, please!

12) Umm..... I'm running out of ideas here! I know I love Christmas time treats but I can't think of anything else!

13) Oh wait! Christmas Blend coffee at Starbucks and Reindeer blend at Caribou! Both are great blends. :)

Now there are two questions - will I be able to eat by Christmas and will I be able to work it all off in January if I can! :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Christmas week - it's the most wonderful time of the year! Right? Right?

Well, I have a supply of Christmas spirit and eyes on the true meaning of Christmas, but I have to admit, it has been a rough week. And I'm feeling the stress.

I've been having major, major stomach problems that started in June and have gotten steadily worse. So about 3 weeks ago, I went to a specialist like my family doctor wanted me to. He prescribed some tests. They're tomorrow. As part of the prep for those tests, I can't eat today. At all.... clear liquids only. I also can't take any medicine. Including the medicine that keeps my stomach calm (instead of in pain from the ulcer they think I have).

Which wouldn't be so bad except..... earlier this week, I got a random (but fierce) cold. No cold medicine.... no chicken noodle soup.... nothing. And..... no coffee! Deanna - coffee = not the same!

And right now, I'm choking down some stuff I have to take to prep for my two tests tomorrow. It's disgusting. It tastes absolutely terrible and makes me want to gag. I have to drink it now and then more later.

Then tomorrow, I have to go to the tests. My dad has to take off to take me as I'm not allowed to drive afterward! At one point, I had planned on going to work after the anesthesia wore off, but now that I realized I'm not supposed to drive for 24 whole hours, that's not going to work. Plus my boss suggested I not try to come in after, so he was fine with it. Instead, I asked my parents if my dad can just drive me straight to my parents' house afterwards and I'll stay there all day.

You see, we're going out of town very early Friday morning anyway. So I was planning on spending the night there anyway Thursday. We're just cutting out the step of me coming home and being alone for a few hours beforehand. Just in case of complications from anesthesia, plus that way I won't have to drive before I'm supposed to!

I'm very grateful for my parents, but here's the complication. Now tonight, while I'm not feeling well, I have to a) cpntinue to choke down this disgusting potion, b) wrap gifts for my parents and the couple things I'm taking on the trip, c) pack for a trip where I will be staying 3 different locations in 4 nights, and d) do some laundry! I should also clean a little, but for now, I think I'm just going to relax. Maybe take a little nap.

Not sure if I'll get to write again before Christmas due to the travel, so if I don't, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Who and Why Wednesday

I'm participating in this blog link up hosted by Legally Brunette.

1. Who is the better "Santa Clause"?
Tim Allen
Edmund Gwenn (Santa in the original Miracle on 34th Street)

2. Who is the better "Grinch"?
The one on the Dr. Seuss cartoon
Jim Carrey

3. Who is the better Ebenezer Scrooge?
Michael Caine (in the Muppet Christmas Carol)
Jim Carrey (in the newer Christmas Carol)

4. Who is the best animated Christmas character?

5. Who is the best live Christmas character?
Clark Griswold (in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation)
Will Ferrell (in Elf)

My answers:
1. Hmmm...... that's a tough one. I think I'm going to go with Tim Allen, because though I haven't seen the whole thing in years, I have fond memories of The Santa Clause. Never really cared for Miracle on 34th Street.

2. Definitely the cartoon one! Jim Carrey, in my opinion, tends to make the characters about him and his acting style rather than playing the character.

3. Michael Caine. Again, Carrey is over the top, in my opinion.

4. Oh, I love them both! I'll say Rudolph though. I love Rudolph!

5. I have never seen National Lampoon (any of them) so Elf, 100%

Christmas Video - Where's the Line?

I just heard this song for the first time. It's an AMAZING video about the true meaning of Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five Question Friday - December 17, 2010

Five Question Friday time again!

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?
I have in the past, but no horror stories. Because my regifting has been pretty basic stuff - stuff given to me by people I don't know well and given to people I don't know well! For example, I was a teacher. Everyone in the world who can't figure out what to give their children's first grade teacher tends to go with two options - an apple-shaped candle or a Bath and Body Works gift basket. Both of these are fine. But when you're teaching 45 youngsters (kindergarten is two classes!) and end up with 20 some of these items, you've got to do what you've got to do. And storing them for years is not what you've got to do. :)

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
Um, not really. My parents already gave me my main gift in September (new luggage) so I know what that is! But other than that, I don't know what anyone is giving me. Because I didn't even give anyone any ideas this year!

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
Let's not start the Santa rant again. So, I'll just say me. :)

4. What store do you love to by jeans from?
New York and Company.... but recently, I did a little bit of shopping at Old Navy ($15 Black Friday sale!) and I love them!

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?
Big, all-out meal. Both sides of the family have done that every Christmas that I can remember.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 12/16/2010

In keeping with my Christmas-y themes, my Thursday Thirteen this week is going to be 13 Christmas movies/shows that I love! This is in no particular order. There are some I don't like, even classics, so if you notice an absence of certain movies that you would expect to see, just know I'm not a big fan (cough.... It's A Wonderful Life.... cough)

1. White Christmas
The traditional favorite makes the list..... I love this movie! It's a musical! It's about Christmas! What more do I need?

2. Elf
A newer favorite. Seriously, this is one of the more quotable movies in the world. "I like smiling. Smiling's my favorite." "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" "You sit on a throne of lies!" "I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands." "He's an angry elf!" "I'm sorry I ruined your lives, and crammed eleven cookies into the VCR."

Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, you need to. Will Farrell is PERFECT in the role of Buddy!

3. While You Were Sleeping

This was one of the rare movies I saw in the theater when I was younger. It's one of those cute, feel good movies. A little creepy if you really think too hard about it, but what romantic comedy isn't? ;)

4. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

A classic. I remember every year growing up watching this. Herbie the little dentist, Rudolph's strange shining nose - etc. This is a holiday classic that always puts me back in time.

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon!)
Okay, so I've seen the Jim Carrey version and it's okay. But as far as favorites go, it's the Dr. Suess cartoon version all the way! It's more about the story and less about the special effects.

6. Cheesy Lifetime/Hallmark Made for TV Movies
Lifetime movies in general? Love them. Cheesy Lifetime and Hallmark movies about Christmas? Love them more! Last year, I taped a bunch and watched them on Christmas Day. :)

7. Charlie Brown Christmas

Love the reminder of what Christmas is really about. There is chaos, there is noise, there is confusion, and then there is a child reading Luke 2. Love it.

8. Home Alone
My friends and I got together and watched this recently - first time in years that I had seen it! So funny and touching at the same time. I love the scene in the church where they're listening to Christmas carols by the children's choir.

9. Home Alone 2

I like this one, in parts, better than the first. I like the family stuff and the plot better. But I like the house scenes (where the robbers come) in the first one better. The second one everything is stepped up a couple of notches to the point where it's not suspending disbelief, but just over the top. However, I still love this.

10. The Holiday

Another great romantic comedy.

11. The Nativity Story

A live action story of the events of the Bible account of Christmas - yes, there is some creative license taken I'm sure, but overall a great movie!

12. A Christmas Carol (the Mickey Mouse version)

Love it! Another old time favorite! The Dickens' classic with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck? Yes, please!

13. Holiday Inn
Much like White Christmas, we have music and holidays. Yay!

Any of you have any suggestions of a Christmas movie?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Word-y Wednesday

Today, I feel like writing but can't settle on any one subject. So you get a hodge-podge of my thoughts. :)

A couple of weeks ago I was in the store to pick up like 2 things. I ended up buying a Christmas tree - my first one. Last night, I finally got around to putting it up and decorating it. I watched Elf while I did so. I'm not entirely happy with it, so I may work on it more, but at least it's up. At this rate, with Christmas being next week, I may leave it up until the end of January.

Snow, snow, snow...... we've had plenty of snow this week. Of the "takes 90 minutes to go my usual 15 minute commute to work" variety. Have I mentioned that I hate snow? It's pretty, at first, but then it turns gray and ugly. And it's cold.... and wet.... and makes driving dangerous.

Christmas is in 10 days! Yikes! I'm excited, but a little sad. I love Christmas, but this Christmas season has gone by so quickly. I've yet to watch a single Christmas movie other than Elf last night. I've only been to one Christmas party. I haven't even wrapped gifts yet!

I am coming to the realization more and more every day that no matter how much I would like to have everything figured out with no uncertainty, I'm never going to attain that. Life will always continue to be full of surprises, twists, turns, etc. and I can embrace it or let it make me cry. Yesterday, I let it make me cry. Today, I'm embracing. :) I needed to adjust my attitude and so I did (for now anyway).

This weekend is going to be a Christmas-y weekend! I love it! Friday night, I have a birthday party, but it's an Ugly-Christmas-sweater birthday party. Saturday at church we have a Nativity Walk, which is where they set up many, many nativities (including a live one) for people to come walk through and look at, and then we eat Christmas cookies and watch a movie or two about Christmas. I'm volunteering at that. Then Sunday is church, and our children's choir will be doing their songs. Love!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet Me Monday

Snowy, blizzardy day in Michigan. It took me an hour and a half to drive the 8 miles to work. Tow trucks had spun off the road blocking portions of them. Yes, tow trucks were spinning off the road. And I was stressed because I went from being early for work to late, and my boss doesn't handle lateness well. And..... he's not even here. :) But I saw this on The Price Family blog
and thought it sounded fun.

How do you order your steak? Medium well. I don't like bloody meat at all!

Are you superstitious about anything? No, I'm not. I know God is in control!

Who is your best friend? Hmmm..... I have several super close friends. So I'm tempted to "cheat" and list three people. :) But instead, I shall behave and choose just one. My friend Ashley who I've written about before. We became friends in June of 2007 through some "interesting" circumstances (this could be a blog post in and of itself - maybe one day) and she is truly the one person who I talk to about anything and everything and all the time! She's there for the highs, she's there for the lows, and everything in between. But she lives far away..... (insert sad face here).

When is the last time your wore a dress (for the guys...a suit)? Um, less than 24 hours ago. I wear dresses often. Work, church, etc.

Do you have any trips scheduled? In two weeks, I will be going to Indiana and Chicago for the Christmas holidays. In three weeks, Chattanooga, here I come! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Five Question Friday.... er.... Sunday! December 12th, 2010

Um, no comment. It's been a weekend. An excitingly wonderful weekend, but a blog free weekend. I'm currently trying to catch up on posts but also answer these questions. And then maybe I'll blog about my weekend. Or not. :)

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Well, we are almost always traveling on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So as kids, we would open with our parents whenever we were all home - usually the 22nd or 23rd, it would seem. Even years we stayed home, we usually wouldn't do them Christmas Day because we liked to spread out the celebration and we saw my Grandma, aunts, etc. on Christmas Day and did their gifts then. So we would do ours on the 24th or something and then the gifts from the rest of the family when we saw them.

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?
Hmmmm..... probably "jewel" cookies that my mom makes. They're little cookies rolled in chopped walnuts with a glaze thing and a cherry. Hard to describe, even harder not to eat. :)

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
Haha.... how to answer this without sounding like a brat? I can't think of any one thing, but for the last 10 years or so before she was put into a nursing home, my grandma had a slight QVC obsession. The stuff she ordered was...... interesting, to say the least. But she always had GREAT intentions! :) And then one year my cousin Jeremy gave me a 4 pack of AA batteries. His theory was "Who doesn't need batteries?" I mean, yeah.... but it was a random gift!

4. Christmas song that you love?
"Oh Holy Night" is probably my very favorite. See my Thursday Thirteen post. :)

5. How many trees do you put up?
This year is my first year putting up a tree! So one! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - December 9, 2010

I have a lot to write about this week, but no time to write. So a more thorough update will be forthcoming. But since I love Christmas, I didn't want to miss an opportunity to do another Christmas-themed Thursday Thirteen! Especially since I missed 5 Question Friday last week which was Christmas questions!

Today, I am going to list 13 Christmas songs/carols that I love. I love more than this, but it's Thursday Thirteen, not Thursday Three Hundred. :)

1. Oh Holy Night - This is my favorite Christmas carol of all time. I love it. The imagery in the words, the reverential tone about the King of Kings coming to earth, and the haunting melody of it all set it apart. I especially love the Josh Groban version!

2. The Christmas Song - especially when sung by Nat King Cole. It just brings up all those Christmas memories. Okay, so I've never actually done the whole "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" thing, but it still has that nostalgic feel.

3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas -

4. The Chipmunks Song - Cheesy and silly, but it makes me laugh everytime! Alvin just wants a Hula Hoop!

5. The Grinch Song - This was one of my favorite Christmas cartoons growing up, so that probably factors into this choice, but it's another song that makes me smile.

6. Silent Night - I love this song about the night of Jesus' birth. And it has such a peaceful, calming tone to it.

However, one time, this song did not inspire calm, peaceful feelings in me. You see, when I was teaching first grade, my class learned this song in music. They get back to class, and we're having carpet time. (Going over the calendar, reading a story, etc.) One of my precious 6 year olds raises his hand and very calmly asks "Miss _________, what's a virgin?" Yes, he learned the word "virgin" by singing Silent Night in music and wanted to know what it meant.....

7. Joy to the World
This was always a favorite when we would go caroling at hospitals and nursing homes as we did practically every year. It's easy to sing and almost everyone knows the words. It's also fun to play on the piano.

8. I Want a Hippopotumas for Christmas
I love the way the young child has figured out all the logistics of the situation. From what the hippo eats to the hippo not going through the chimney. It's another silly song, but again.... it makes me smile. :)

9. The First Noel
Other than Jingle Bells, this was the first Christmas carol I learned to play on the piano. Aside from that, I like the words. But there are a lot of them! Two Christmases ago, we did this song for a children's choir. May have been a little ambitious on my part!

10. All I Want for Christmas Is You
Fun, cute song - it's very catchy as well.

11. What Child Is This?
This is another one that just has that old-style Christmasy feel to it.

12. O Come All Ye Faithful
Another caroling favorite!

13. I'll Be Home For Christmas
This one reminds me of the Christmases that I was surrounded by family. It makes me miss all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. a little more, but at the same time brings back pleasant memories!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 12/2/2010

Happy Thursday, everyone! It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving was a week ago. A week ago this time, I was almost home to get ready for all night shopping.

For today's Thursday Thirteen, in honor of December, I'm going to post 13 things I LOVE about Christmas. I adore Christmas and all the fun that goes with it!

1. Music
I love Christmas music. Next week's list will probably be dedicated to my 13 favorite Christmas songs. And it's playing everywhere! The radio, my house, stores - everywhere!

2. Parties
Christmas parties are a given. This weekend, I have 4 to choose from. In addition to a myriad of other plans, there are fun parties. I love Christmas parties.

3. Shopping
Hello? The sales? The hustle and bustle of crowds? The decorations in the mall? LOVE all the shopping! Especially buying gifts and thinking about how people will react to them!

4. Coffee Drinks
Peppermint Mochas. Salted Caramel coffees and hot chocolates. The list goes on at Caribou and Starbucks!

5. Family Time
Most Christmas seasons, we make a trip to Indiana/Chicago to see family. Then we see family nearer to here. I love seeing my cousins, aunts, uncles, and more.

6. Christmas Movies
Oh my word. I love Christmas movies! The traditional kind (White Christmas, Home Alone) as well as tv movies - ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas!

7. Christmas Lights
Driving through neighborhoods = beautiful. Driving through my little town - even better! They have the "Big, Bright Light Show" every year where the buildings downtown are COVERED in lights! It's soooo pretty!

8. Christmas Decorations
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree.... how lovely are your branches! Love decorating for Christmas! Love seeing other peoples' decorations!

9. Time off work
Um, I don't think I need to elaborate. :) Though I do miss my Christmas breaks as a teacher...... 2 weeks or so!

10. Church programs
I love church programs about Christmas - the kids' choirs, the adult programs, etc. At my church, we have an annual Nativity Walk where they set up tons of nativity scenes, we walk through it, and then watch a Christmas movie or two!

11. Wrapping Presents
I love wrapping presents. Picking out the ribbons and bows, etc!

12. Presents
I love watching people open the gifts I got them! It's so much fun - especially when they're children and get so excited. Getting presents isn't so bad either! :)

13. Christmas Candy
Chocolate covered cherries..... those Christmas tree nougats.... peppermint M&Ms. Yummy!