Sunday, January 31, 2010


Chris and I had a lovely day yesterday. We started at IHOP, where Chris designed the Eiffel Creamer, and I enjoyed some delicious chocolate chip pancakes. Then we went to Fort Worth for the Stock Show and Rodeo. We didn't get into the rodeo, because they were all sold out for the day, but we did get to see quite a few animals.


By "quite a few animals", I really mean "quite a few cows, and a sprinkling of goats". We were trying to find the pigs, the horses, the sheep-- all the other animals, but just saw barn after barn of cows. This one was HUGE-- I wanted to lay on it because I'm pretty sure it was like a giant love sac. Actually, it was probably uncomfortable. For lunch, Chris had a cowboy burrito (like a mix of a Philly steak and a breakfast burrito) and I had a bread bowl with chili in it. It was AH-mazing.


Today, I feel pretty "UGH". Wish I could explain it. I did a little around the house-- straightened up my sewing desk and got my sewing machine all ready for the quilt-a-long that starts this week (squeel!), and straightened up the coffee table that was holding all things Wii. Put the remotes in the drawer of the TV stand, then lit these candles. What I love about lit candles is that it automatically makes a room feel cleaner, more homey. I've lit a midnight jasmine, an orange sherbet, and a vanilla medley. They all smell wonderful together.

Now, I'm about to sit down and read some of the book that I'm in, until I get so sleepy I can't open my eyes anymore. I might go put some clothes in the wash so that when I wake up they're ready for the dryer... then again, I might wait until tomorrow. I did start on my Home Organization Binder. I'm really looking forward to starting on this sort of a schedule-- I really think it'll make keeping the house clean so much easier. I'd had this sort of idea before, but hadn't had enough info (or desire!) to really follow through with it. Now I do, especially with a roomate coming in less than a week. I don't want her to think I'm a slob. I mean, I don't think that I come across as one, but I want to be as clean as I think I am, you know?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

13 for Thursday


Today, I'd love to tell you 13 things about myself that you probably don't know, in no particular order.

1. I hardly noticed that the Dallas sun hasn't poked its head in nearly 4 days.

2. I'm terrified that I'm going to display a lame reaction when I finally get proposed to.

3. I hate being petty, but I bring up the silliest things and dwell on them. It bums me out.

4. I'm having a decent hair day today.

5. I'm 27 and I sleep with a teddy bear-- and wear bifocals. Sheesh.

6. I really love to cook with fresh ingredients.

7. I'm doing pretty well at keeping my New Year's resolutions so far :-)

8. I hate that I can never forget that I have RA.

9. I no longer bite my nails-- big deal!!

10. The 5 other people that share my office area call me "mom"-- I tell myself it's a term of endearment.

11. I'm running out of things to say about myself, and worried because there's still two blanks left...

12. I think that penguins are my favorite animal. I'm pretty sure.

13. I'm not superstitious, but if I'm walking and paying attention, I don't step on the cracks. You can thank me later, mom ;-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DE-lish. One weekly goal down.

I tackled one and a half of my weekly goals today. I started to clean my desk. I did a pretty good job. Actually, I cleaned it all up, but didn't finish the whole bit of work that I need to take care of, so no pictures til that's done.

However, I did try a new recipe. I made Roasted Tomato and Ravioli Soup.
It. Was. Phenomenal.


Here's how you can have some of this deliciousness at home:

2 pints cherry tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
olive oil (I didn't have any, so used vegetable oil)
1 container chicken stock (~4 cups)
1 lb fresh cheese ravioli, found in the deli section
fresh basil
2 chopped scallions, green and white parts (apparently, the same thing as green onions. I learned this today.)
fresh parmesan cheese

  • In a large soup pot, put some oil to cover the bottom of the pan, add chopped or crushed garlic and all the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Heat over medium-high heat until the tomatoes burst and there is a thick tomato juice in the pot. It takes about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until done, 3-4 minutes per package directions. Remove from heat.
  • Rip up the basil (~1 cup) and wilt in the soup. Stir in the chopped scallions. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with large pieces of shredded parmesan cheese.

The recipe recommended serving with chunks of thick bread to dip in, but instead, I made my own garlic bread:
Cut wheat french loaf at an angle, so that slices are ~1 inch thick. Toast. Rub the toasted slices on one side with a bruised clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with parsley and fresh parmesan cheese. Put under the broiler (set on low) for just about a minute.

Serve soup, bread, and a leafy green salad. You will eat this more than once, I guarantee. I am already looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow, and to keeping this in the "frequently-used recipes" file. For sure.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Goals for the Week

1) Catch up at work. I'd love to have this horrible mess taken care of by the end of the week:


I'm also proud to say that this huge stack of boxes is for Tech Week and will be gone Friday night, when we go to Julie's to pack them into goodie bags.


2) Find one new recipe and try it-- something I've never heard of, maybe? This Mediterranean Chicken looks good.


3) Clean out the fridge. I mean CLEAN it. Empty it, and scrub it down with warm, soapy water.

Honestly, I think three goals for this week is enough. If I list many more, I'll just end up disappointing myself. At least three is attainable.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday at the lake


Chris and I took a trip to the lake today. By "trip", I mean we went down the road to the awesome White Rock Lake that is behind Starbucks on Garland. We grabbed the Dane and my camera and headed to see what kind of mischief we could get into.


Unfortunately, Chris forgot his sweater and it was pretty cold with the wind coming off the water. Bella was doing well on her leash, and she even got to meet a mastiff that was a little bigger than she was! We left before too long because 1) he was freezing, and 2) I had to pee so bad.


It was still a ton of fun. There were so many people out just walking together, couples holding hands-- people riding bikes, people walking dogs. As soon as it warms up just a little more, maybe middle of February, I'm looking forward to going out there more often. Bella will get exposed to more dogs, and get her exercise. It's getting where it's not so dark when we get home, which is nice-- I don't feel like the day is over when I get off work.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fabulous Fridays and Super Saturdays


I heart date nights. I love coming home from work and spending some time touching up my makeup, spritzing on fresh perfume, and freshening up my hairdo. I love it even more when dinner is free with a gift card birthday gift from Mommy and Daddy :-)


I love feeling like I'm eating dinner with my BFF and her husband because, even though we live 4 hours apart, we both eat dinner at Red Lobster. Nom nom. I love going in to the restaurant planning on ordering a super dinner *and* dessert, but getting stuffed after half of dinner-- which means my leftovers become delicious lunch the next day.


I love coming home and being less scared than Boyfriend when watching a scary movie like Paranormal Activity-- and finding out he had nightmares about it, while I slept soundly.

I love productive moods. So many Saturdays I'm just plumb worn out from the week; I don't want to do anything but curl up with a good book and recuperate from long days at work. So when Boyfriend and I both feel productive, it leads to Super Saturdays.

Before cleaning started, Bella helped me with the dishes.

We organized destroyed catch-alls, swept the house, used elbow grease to mop the house, washed walls, consolidated two closets into one, took down all the Christmas decorations and put them away... then went to Wal-Mart to make a return, to Target to make an exchange, and Borders to browse.

I love days like this.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh, what a night...

GAH!! What an evening.

My Baby Bella nearly had her ear ripped off by the rottweiler next door. I won't go into details, except to say it was one of the most terrifying events in my life so far. I've never heard a dog scream like she did. Good news: no stitches needed, and she appears to be resting peacefully at the moment.

Chris' brother-in-law backed into Chris' truck. The damage was minimal, and I'm sure he felt plenty bad about it-- they're just going to plan on getting a new headlight and fixing the dent in the bumper themselves.

I'm getting a new mentor at church. Long story, but my current mentor is in need of spiritual guidance more than I am right now, but since I still need it, they're probably going to hook me up with my prayer warrior as my new mentor.

I'm emotionally exhausted tonight.

New Music Thursday

I'm not starting a new tradition; I just needed a catchy title today.

I'm in love.

With Michael Buble (sorry, Boyfriend... but I'm sure you suspected something when, right in front of you, I *burned* his *cd* last night). Hubba hubba.


If you haven't experienced his new cd (and I do say "experienced", not "heard"-- notice), you simply must. I heart it. I heart it so much that it will be my most-frequently-listened-to disc for the next two weeks. Guaranteed. MAYBE even for the next month. Only time will tell.

On a completely unrelated note, the older Hispanic woman who is the housekeeper in my building told me, "That's a sexy blouse!"-- haha. Super. It's my latest Target purchase. Shortly after, a girl in my area told me I'm "glowing"-- to which my BFF said I must be pregnant. Well, impossible. End of conversation :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thanks for the 3-day weekend, MLK.

What a beautiful day off today. It was slightly overcast, but not freezing. For some reason, I felt sexy in my jeans, hoodie sweatshirt and ball cap. Went to Target to get some essentials-- contact solution, tissues, that sort of thing. Then I came home and *finally* baked Chris' cookies that I've owed him since January 1st. I tried Cool Whip Cookies, and they turned out fabulous. My recipe's a little different from what you'll find online, and I think it's better.

1 box cake mix. Any flavor (I used plain-ol white cake mix)
1 egg
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed (I didn't quite use all of it-- with the full 8 oz, it can be too gooey in the middle after cooking)
Mix together thoroughly. The dough will be terribly thick and so sticky you could use it in place of tile grout. Bear with me. Drop a spoonful of the dough into some kind of topping, I used a mixture of clear and blue crystal sprinkles, because they're "January" cookies. Thoroughly cover the dough with the topping. It gets messy.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. I found that they definitely needed the higher end of that range; I cooked most batches for 14 minutes. They ended up cooking perfectly!


I really like the way the cookies crack on top. I think it just makes them look really cute. I also think my sprinkles turned out very well. Some suggestions for cake mix and toppings:

* Cherry chip with red-hots
* Chocolate with crushed nuts
* Funfetti in rainbow sprinkles
* Use your imagination! Let me know what other combinations you come up with.


After baking, I decided to re-organize my spice cabinet. For some reason, I went to China having a spice cabinet, and I returned to own a giant cupboard catch-all. Boyfriend apparently thinks spaghetti noodles go in the spice cabinet instead of in the pantry :-)
It's all remedied now. I have a "before" picture, but I'll only share the "after" with you because it's far less embarrassing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My surprise birthday party

Today's my birthday! But yesterday was the real party. I had a wonderful day-- spent it shopping with my friend Sarah. We went to Halmark, where I picked up some things for Tech Week. Then I found an awesome kiddie consignment shop-- Sarah had to go in there for business, and I was just browsing... til I started seeing how cheap everything was! Then I picked out a TON of things for baby Winston. It was so much fun and I can't wait to go back and get more for him! Then we went to Joann's and picked out fabric for my quilting project. Stay tuned for more information on that-- it starts the last week of January.

What do you think of it? I love the bird fabric. I bought a little extra of that one and am going to try to cut out my squares so that I focus on the birds. Love it!!

Then, we went to lunch at Gregory-something's. It was a brewhouse, and really delicious. We each had a glass of wine, and split an appetizer of calamari then a garlic chicken pizza. All was great. At this point, I needed to do my shoe shopping. We went to Nordstrom's Rack, and if you haven't been there, you have to go. You REALLY have to go. I'm not going to tell you how much I spent, but for the four pairs of really good quality shoes and a cardigan, I spent WAY less than I would have anywhere else. And the shoes were just what I wanted.

Then it's time to come home. When I walked in to my kitchen, this is what I was greeted with:


Chris went out and bought me the placemats I'd said I wanted from Target! He also got the table runner and the centerpiece. And if you can see the oil cruet, it's because he accidentally dropped my old one, and this is the replacement :-)


Close up of the placemats-- of course they have paisleys on them!

After a quick nap and freshening-up, Sarah and I headed to Chris' place-- because that's what our instructions were. All I knew was that we had "plans". We ended up driving pretty far for dinner at Flip's Patio Grill. I'd never been there, but it was a ton of fun, good food. Like any other generic restaurant, basically.


Well, since Sarah was with us, I figured Zack would join also. Sure enough, he did.


(Here's Preston's face, by Zack, then Zack, then Parker and Sarah).


Turns out, it was a surprise party for me! Chris did all the organizing with Erica's help, and a lot of people I know came. Even Nina and Jeremiah showed up! Also in attendance, but not pictured are: Mansa, Tony, Connie, Michelle, Hannah and her friend (I can't spell his name). For gifts, I got:
* Starbucks Via instant coffee
* A Best Buy gift card
* A target gift card
* A "ni-hao" Nickelodeon board game (to remind me of China!) <-- haha
* A gift certificate for hair/nails done from Connie, Chris' sister (who's almost done with beauty school!)


After dinner, a few of us decided to go to The Main Event. It was basically a big-kid's arcade. It was fun! Chris and I played ski-ball, racing games, he won me a monkey in a claw game... then we cashed our tickets in for fun stuff like mood rings and care bear figurines. Tons of fun!

Friday, January 15, 2010

My "First" Photo


I finally attempted to take my first "good" photo with my new camera. I was lucky enough to have a "silhouette" setting, or I'm sure it wouldn't have come out close to this. Even so, I recognize that I need practice-- and a tripod. It was incredibly difficult to hold the camera still enough, when it's taking the picture for like, three seconds!

Looking forward to showing you better ones over time :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Title


Short blog post today, folks. I have changed the name and header information of my blog. It all started last night-- mom called and told me she didn't like the connotation of my sub-header. Well, I found this new sub-header, and had to just put the first part of the verse because of how it showed up. Anyways... It didn't work so well with my title, so I had to change that, too. Well, I thought and thought and thought-- and finally I googled. yep, that's where my title came from. God bless Google.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quilt-a-long

I'm going to take my first "real" step of domesticity.

I'm making a quilt.

No, not those pseudo-quilts I've done in the past. A real, live quilt. If it sucks, I'll use it myself. If it's nice, I'll give it as a gift. Anyway, one of the blogs i follow is doing a quilt-a-long and it will start the week of Jan 25. It's a six-week tutorial, and I will probably print out the blogs to go back and do again if I want to. I'm excited about it. It'll be a good beginner project. Man, I love the internet. So, who wants to join me?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Latest Purchases


Can you believe it? "Modern" games cost upwards of $30... these were $5 each! I can't wait to play Candyland with Chris :-)


On Leann's suggesting (she never has a bad one when it comes to books), I bought the first two books of this series. I'm excited to start reading them, but the third doesn't come out til like August (at least, that's what I think I overheard on Twitter) and I don't want to forget what the first two were about. Anyways, I've got maybe one other after this one I'm currently reading. Then I'll jump into these. So, I'll start them in about a week or so. So excited!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

I had a rough start to 2009. In no particular order, here are some of the tribulations I encountered:
~ Totaling my vehicle due to Arkansas ice storms
~ The windshield of my *new* vehicle being cracked by a flying rock
~ Finding out my work was closing and I was labeled with an "expiration date", going to be laid off
~ My hot water heater going out
~ My hot water heater catching fire
~ My hot water heater flooding my house
~ My septic tank flooded
~ I had horrible RA pains because I was still trying to find the right meds for me

What a difference a year makes...

Since all of those terrible things happened, I have had the following positive things in my life:
~ I received a job at one of the top teaching hospitals, and now I train med students and scientists
~ I moved to Dallas, where I'm closer to family than I've been in about nine years
~ I met the man I'm going to marry
~ My best friend got pregnant
~ My cousin had a healthy baby boy
~ I received a free trip to China for 5 weeks to train, so I got paid to be there
~ I am in the process of getting a roommate, which will help with bills
~ I received in the mail a letter basically telling me to claim $1000 that's mine

I have the following things to complain about: Chris working on a Saturday, waiting for 3 hours for the internet repair man, my dogs sitting on the couch... you get it. If that's the worst that it gets... my life is pretty amazing.

For Christmas, Chris bought me a CD by Josh Wilson, and I love it. I'm pretty sure the song I'm about to tell you of is actually being played on Christian radio, but I've got a little story to go with it. See, when you're feeling down, or going through a rough spot, I really don't think that all of those "inspirational" songs help much at all. It's like when you get a lot of mosquito bites, and you itch really bad, so someone tells you to stop scratching it for it to get better. I know that I need to stop scratching it, and I know that it will get better. But right then, I just want you to feel bad for me itching so much. BUT, I listen to this song now, and it's so amazing. It's so true, and I wish I could say that when I was going through all that crappy stuff last year, that I still knelt down and praised God every day. I can't say that. I'm pretty sure there were plenty of days in there where I asked a lot of "why me?".

Of course, I wouldn't go back and tell myself how wonderful life would be now-- I really feel there were times when I relied entirely on God and my friends, and if I knew it would be okay, I might not have done that. I would have thought I could do it all myself. But now, I thank God every day. I can say that honestly. I thank God for providing all of these wonderful things to me for the time being, and for being in control of my life. I know without a doubt that I would not be where I am now without Him. It's one of my life goals to remember that always.

Now I leave you with the lyrics. Here is the song, available on YouTube.

Before the Morning by Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there's a God who loves you, Where is He now

Maybe there are things you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday, somehow you'll see, you'll see

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
You know where you're going
You just don't know how you'll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on, cause there's good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you'll see the bigger picture

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It's just the hurt before the healing
Oh, the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning

super day

It's beautifully sunny out, my cabinets are full thanks to a recent (productive!) trip to Walmart, my doggies are calm and friendly, and I'm blogging from the bathroom. Wha?? Oh, yeah. Could mean that I have internet at home finally! The guy came today to fix it, because I couldn't get it to work between myself and the help desk. Turns out there were some loose wires on my roof; he fixed them and now I'm in business.

So, I blog from the bathroom just because I can.

Between this recent internet-at-home addition, and my camera (not bragging, Leann!), I sure hope to have some fun posts soon. Now that I don't have to fit them into the ten minutes right after I get to work, or over my lunch break or something.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mwah!

So.
Today, we're gonna talk about kissing.
Get the kids out of the room, folks.
(*snicker*)


A long time ago, scientists proclaimed that people found kissing pleasurable because when the two lips met during kissing, an electric current was generated.

We now know this to be completely untrue but new studies have shown that when two people embrace, hormones are released into the blood stream which immediately induces a sense of euphoria when you feed on the sweetness of your mouth.

(I found this on a site that is used to teach "adolescents" how to kiss)

I write this because I'm about to get personal. If you don't want to know me, stop reading now.

My boyfriend and I don't kiss. Okay, I lie. We kiss. We don't kiss often. If you know us at all, though, you know we're the "high fives before marriage" type (as my friend Sarah says)-- we don't want to have sex before we get married. The end. This feat is a lot easier to accomplish without kissing... you totally know what I mean without me having to spell it out for you. A leads to B leads to...

Last night, Chris kissed me. And man, was it nice. See, when you live the way we do, the kisses become so much more special. Get your mind out of the gutter, it was just kissing. In the kitchen, even. I think he feels like it's easy for me. Meaning, the whole "being good" part. It's not. It takes work. But I remember the greater goal, so try to stay away from temptations-- including kissing.

So, the moral of this blog is that kissing is special. Everyone should remember that. I didn't always when I was younger, so I'm glad I've now got a guy and a time in my life that helps me to realize that again.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I wish...

I wish I had something interesting to write about today...


I wish I would knit more...


I wish I could "afford" the super camera I want to own...

I wish I could get rid of this allergy/sickness...



I wish I could sing...


I wish it wasn't quite so cold outside...




I wish my left thumbnail would stop flaking/chipping...


I wish I would take time to learn more...


I wish I grew my own herbs at home...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm a little behind, I suppose...

(I probably should have posted this one on the 1st, you know, with it being New Year's and all... but I'm behind. Don't hate.)
2009...what can I say about you? You were both good and bad. As a matter of fact, the last decade was both good and bad. I'm not sorry to see you go, that's for sure. I can only hope that 2010 is filled with much more joy than 2009.


1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? Moved to Texas

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for 2010? I really don't think I made any solid resolutions in 2009. I don't usually. I made some for 2010-- read a previous blog for more information.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Morgan Balwanz. Man, I wish that girl answered emails or facebook messages...

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not that I remember.

5. What countries did you visit? China! But only in November and December. Most other years I'd have no good answer to this.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Money. And better ways to manage the moneys that I have.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 4 -
first time I ever talked to Chris.
November 20
- Leann visiting for New Moon premiere.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting a job after being laid off. Being tracked down to go work in China was pretty cool, too.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Totaling my car. Or catching my house on fire. Or the water heater flooding the house. Or getting laid off. Choose one.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I always do! This year, ruptured a tendon in my ankle. It was horrible. So glad I had Chris to care for me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new vehicle after mine was totaled.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Not really sure. I don't even really know what this means.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? As Leann said, some people on facebook. It's just that you *broadcast* EVERYTHING and I really don't want to know.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Moving to Texas, paying mortgage on an empty house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Houston-area for a surprise trip to see Jimmy Needham lead worship, and Leann visiting me in November.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2009? "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon, and (unfortunately) anything by Taylor Swift *cough*sigh*

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
Much happier.
b) Thinner or fatter? Probably about 20 lbs thinner. Only cause I stayed stable til I lost that weight while in China.

c) Richer or poorer?
Poorer. Definitely. I had two mortgages, so my "huge raise" was nullified.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Knitting. I really need to get back into that. It calms me. And, sorta, cleaning. Not that I wish I spent more time cleaning, but that I wish my house was cleaner, so..
.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spend money on things that don't show for it later.

20. How did you spend Christmas? In China. Then again with Chris, opening presents and having monkey bread. We went out also, but I forget where.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Absolutely.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Grey's Anatomy.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope. That's bad for you.

25. What was the best book you read?
I'm always horrible at remembering what books I read. Only cause I was prompted do I even remember The Road by Cormac Macarthy (sp?)

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
July for Kings and Kings of Leon.

27. What did you want and get?
Leann to visit. My parents to visit. Dominoes for Christmas.

28. What did you want and not get?
I don't remember winning the lottery this year...?

29. What was your favorite film of this year? New Moon. I liked The Time Traveler's Wife, only because I'd read the book AGES ago, so it kinda meant something to me, ya know?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I didn't do anything. I think there was probably a cake at bible study that week, but that's safe to say because we did that for everyone's birthday week.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not losing my job maybe? But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise-- would have never moved to Dallas if I hadn't lost it.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
I'm classic. Cardigans, argyle, oh, and I'm addicted- ADDICTED- to scarves.

33. What kept you sane?
I suppose my dogs. And Leann for sure. I had this mini-breakdown and she hung in there, even a state away.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I'll always love me some Morgan Freeman :-)

35. What political issue stirred you the most? I really try to stay away from politics. Basically, whatever's going to happen is going to happen whether I stress about it or not, so I just stay happily naive about those things.

36. Who did you miss?
Leann. I still miss her all the time.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Have you even been paying attention?? I moved to a new state! I have met a ton of people! The best of those? Has to be Chris. Duh.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Listen to the little signs. God speaks all around you. You can't follow if you don't hear what He's saying.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: I take a pass on this one. I don't ever know lyrics, or who sang them, or anything. Wait. I liked some lyrics so much I saved them on my phone. Here you go:

"What If" by Jordan Lavik

What if I climbed that mountain, what if I swam to that shore
What if every battle was victorious then would you love me more
Would you love me more
What if I were everyone's first choice, what if I went farther than before
What if I stood high above the rest than would you love me more
Would you love me more

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do
You say I belong to you I'm in awe of why you do
Why you do, why you do, I'm in awe of you, ooh

What if I ignored the hand that fed me, what if I forgot to confess
What if I stumbled down that mountain then would you love me less
Lord would you love me less

What if I were everyone's last choice what if I mixed in with the rest
What if I failed what I passed before then would you love me less
Lord would you would you love me less, oh no oh no oh no

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do
You say I belong to you I'm in awe of why you do
You do you do you do

What have I done to deserve your son sent to die for me
What can I give I want to live give me eyes to see
In a world that keeps changin' there's one thing that I know is true
Your love is stayin' there's nothing else I'll hold onto

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do
You say I belong to you I'm in awe of why you do
Why you do

You say I belong to you apart from the things I do
You say I belong to you I'm in awe of why you do
I'm in awe of you I'm in awe of you

The way you love me, the way you do
The way you do , the way you love me, you love me , you love me
The way you do the way you do the way you love me,
the way you love you love you love

---
Thanks to Leann for the idea.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Project 365

Leann shared with me this wonderfully fun thing called "project 365"-- every day in 2010, you take a picture and save it into an album called "365" on your facebook page. Here's mine so far:


1. Monkey bread that I made fresh on "Christmas" morning. It turned out super delicious. Bella must have thought so, too, cause she ate the last half of it...

2. The "before" picture of my delicious sauerkraut and pork... it was so amazing, even Chris ate some of it!

3. The Cowboy game is on, I'm editing pictures from China, and I love the reflection of the Christmas lights on the computer screen.

4. Remains of China tea... I'm back at work.

Any ideas for today? I'm dying to show you what I'm preparing for dinner... but don't want to have 300 of 365 be pictures of food, ya know? :-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back at work

...and look at how productive I'm being!

sarcasm, folks. sarcasm.

i've been looking for cameras to buy with my China moneys. I'll also need to go shoe-shopping, seeing as I had to leave behind four (gasp!) pair because they didn't fit in my suitcases. Guess I bought much more than i thought i did! Anyways, I'm looking at the Cannon Rebel and the Nikon D3000. Both recommended to me by my friend Jennifer, who is a "professional" (on weekends) photographer, but understands my need for something cheaper than a grand. Looks like I'll be spending near that by the end of it, but I think it'll be worth it to have something fun to focus and take neat pictures. Maybe it'll become a pretty awesome hobby!

Anyways, went to lunch with erica today. we ended up at the 14th floor (the nice cafeteria) and spent the entire hour talking about our last six weeks. she went home to detroit-- remember, that's where that recent terrorist attempt happened-- and told me about a missed flight back and stuff. i told her all about my flights. we were trying to figure why dallas to shanghai isn't a direct flight, and she said she thinks they need to fuel up, so can't go that far. i told her, wait, there are planes that go to JFK and LaGuardia from Shanghai, but maybe it's closer because they go over the north pole. She replied...

"Where's the north pole?"

I can't make this up. I laughed so hard, and tried to say something like, "that's like asking if...", but couldn't think up a question so basic to compare it to. I settled on "what color is water?", but i don't think it does it justice.

Ahhh. I heart my friends and am so glad to be back in America.

Resolutions... etc.

So, I don't even know how many other people are blogging about new year's resolutions, because i haven't had the time to catch up on reading all of the blogs i follow. In any case, i choose to write about my resolutions on here-- for a few reasons:
1. if i tell everyone, maybe you can all help me keep with them
2. that's really all. i guess also because i'm not entirely ready to jump into all of this work that's stacked on my desk.

I wrote them down, but they're at home, so here's what i remember:
* Eat fresh fruits/vegetables at least 3 times a week.
* Read the bible
* Read for fun before bed
* Keep the house cleaner (meaning, wash baseboards and stuff)
* Cook more often. And try new recipes quite often

I know that there is more, but I can't remember them.

This morning, I woke up super early (surprise), so Chris and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Nomnom.

I think I'm addicted to MLIA (it's your fault, Leann!).

I love my new jasmine tea from China. I want to find more, because this won't last too terribly long if I have it daily. Oh, and I'm serious about cutting back on coffee this time. Having only one cup a day in China helped me jump start that one.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas!

Yesterday I had my Christmas! It was so wonderful. I woke up and made
monkey bread with Chris, then we opened gifts. I got some shirts, wall
art, puzzles, books, Steelers paraphernalia, and a bit more from mom
and dad (and Santa!). Chris decorated a picture frame that I can't
wait to put at my desk, and made a bag to hold all of my knitting
supplies- so sweet! I think he enjoyed my desk calendar and "cookie of
the month club" that I made for him. Oh, also, mom and dad got us a
domino set, and got Chris socks (he asked for them!) and Cowboy
gloves. Remember, I come from a family o Steeler fans, so that was a
big deal! :-). Then the monkey bread came out of the oven; while it
was cooling, we opened stockings! I went first. Man, does my man know
how to pack a stocking! I'm posting this from bed, so will surely
forget some things that were in it, but here goes- bath stuff in my
favorite scent, candy, jewelry, chocolate-flavored popcorn, a sharps
container... Gee, I told you I'd forget some things. That's all that
comes to my mind, but he sure did great. I loaded his stocking with
China souveniers and candy. He liked it- had fun tasting the candy
through the day.

After "Christmas morning", we went shopping. Bought things for the
dogs, including a three-foot bone for Bella (she loves it!), and went
to Walmart to go shopping for me. I feel like I spent way too much
money, but I did have to get a lot of staples after being gone for so
long. I even bought a rice-cooker!

After, we came back to my place and Chris napped while I put up
groceries. I sat down to read cause I didn't want to sleep and ruin my
schedule, then fell asleep instead. Chris cooked dinner (pork chops,
mashed potatoes and black eyed peas), then we went for ice cream. He
had picked up a movie, so we watched The Proposal. It was really good!
Then, I'm still wide awake, so we put in Nip/Tuck and watch a few
episodes before he leaves.

Today, I plan on doing lots of laundry, unpacking, and putting pork
loin and sauerkraut in the crock pot for dinner. See, all of my days
are messed up, so today is now my Jan 1st, so I'm having the
sauerkraut. :-) yay!

I can't wait to go back to work on Monday! I want to show everyone
pictures and give souveniers, and catch up on the piles of work that
are sitting on my desk. Yaaay!!