Because. You Should.

January 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Blogosphere | 19 Comments

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lurk:

–verb (used without object)  

1. to lie or wait in concealment, as a person in ambush; remain in or around a place secretly or furtively.
2. to go furtively; slink; steal.
3. to exist unperceived or unsuspected.
     

Blog lurker:

One who reads a blog which results in tons of entertainment and insight into blog author’s life while acting as if said author does not know of lurker’s presence. Or DOES she?

Yes. Really. It is that time. You have been lurking, tons of you. How do I know? Cause I have a GREAT tracker program baby! So, come out and say hello, hola, ciao, or whatever you say in Chile, yes, I am talking to you, you avid reader you! 

 

Seriously, let’s be friends, even if you feel like a stalker. I will be nice. When am I not? There may or may not be a prize. I’m just saying!

New Year!

January 3, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in Holidays, Inspirational | 21 Comments
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Happy New Year Friends!

We truly believe this will be our best year yet!

Hil and Liz throw one awesome party! It has something to do with being a blogger, I think.

We celebrated with 80-something of our “closest friends.” He’s my closest friend.

She will always be my celebrity-sighting coffee buddy. Watch out universe.

These two are some of my favorites, too.

I hope this year is the best for you all too!

Everybody’s Doing It

January 1, 2009 at 11:53 am | Posted in 20 Something Bloggers, Blogosphere | 7 Comments

The Year In Bloggy Review

January started off quiet in the blog world as I was still lusting over our Christmas Vacay to NY and proved to you all just how much of a Renthead I had become. We celebrated our first “birthday” with Ellie and I shared her story of the way she came to be ours. There were semis and interstates involved.

In February, I had the Best. Idea. Ever. and we are still going strong! I cried on the side of a bypass and I got angry about my husband’s “veteran status.” Apparently it was therapeutic and I felt the need to further clarify my view on war, which led to a good friend of mine, who is in Iraq right now, gave us his view to even it out. I did that thing every dog owner said they would never do and if they do do it- they lie about it. 

March started with me breaking Hubby’s heart. Don’t touch a man’s stuff without permission, especially his mixed tapes. I finally stopped ignoring all the signs and quit my job. It was the best thing I have EVER done. We took a snow day and I almost killed the Hubby in a fit of tax-related stress. The five year anniversary of the war in Iraq hit me hard and I wrote my favorite post to date. It has opened many doors which I am very excited about. I ended my emotionally charged month of change by crying my eyes out with two girlfriends at our favorite show.

April came and we had to basically kick “that girl” out of our book club and I spent my last day at my job. I had to have a friend console me in public and I almost had an altercation at the dog park. Don’t mess with my babies. Seriously, the ugly comes out. The girls started our semi-annual clothes swap. It has saved me a ton of mulah and kept Dave Ramsey off my back. Hubby and I celebrated five years of marriage and I introduced you to the crazy neighbors who are still as crazy. Mrs. Lilac and I tried to save the world thru a sweet little kitty and I almost had a nervous breakdown giving her up

May came with a great surprise when we found out my nephew was in fact A BOY! While canoeing with family I realized my Ellie would die for me before my Hubby would. And all the anticipation came to realization when the movie we had all been waiting for came!

And that is the first part of the year. It really has flown by. Looking back I can say that I have made changes for the better in my life this year. Many things have come and gone and the future is bright. I am eager to see what this new year holds!

My Beautiful Scarf!

December 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Blogosphere | 8 Comments

What is wrong with me?

How in the world could I have forgotten to tell you about this lovely addition to my wardrobe?! 

We’ll blame it on the sugar coma I am surely under from eating copious amounts of sugar.

Fa la la la la!

 

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Lily wanted to get cozy too.

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Obviously, I was excited!

Seriously, my scarf swap buddy was the absolute best. You all have been hiding the wonderful Talia under a rock! I am blessed to call her a “friend” now as well. Thanks to you Ms. Talia for working so hard to pull off this huge exchange. Everyone got such lovely additions!

Here’s to a cozy new year!

A Less Stuff/More Memorable Christmas

December 24, 2008 at 12:41 am | Posted in Holidays | 20 Comments

If you will be receiving a present from me in the next two days stop reading. Seriously.

Ok, now we can continue. . . ahhh, anyone ready to actually get down to Christmas?

I AM!

You know why? Because life is good, we are loved, we are blessed, and we can all be thankful. In the spirit of a more meaningful Christmas I decided to hand-make all of my family’s gifts this year! 

Crazy? No. Fun and memorable? Yes! 

Also, Hubby and I decided to forego all gifts for each other this year. Yes, you read that right. Neither of us got each other anything. Why? Well, because quite honestly, we need nothing. Literally Nothing.  It may be my type A anti pack rat personality, but I just feel like we are drowning in stuff. Stuff everywhere. I can’t close my drawers or my closets. My garage is about to become more storage for random things rather than for our cars. I could take a huge load of stuff I don’t need or use to charity right now. I may not be able to wait for Spring Cleaning.

Also, I just feel so blessed this year. I am so aware that there are people so very close to me who are struggling, really struggling. It has really put things in perspective for me how blessed I am. I want for nothing. I am supplied everything I need. My husband and family are wonderful, my friends are the most genuine caring souls, and I am surrounded by people who support and inspire me. I need nothing.  So, we decided to anti-stuff ourselves this Christmas. And can I just say that this is one of the most anticipated Christmases I can remember in a LONG time. 

So I thought I would share with you some of the gifts I have done for my family.

For my baby nephew:

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Christmas blankets with his initial. He is not even three months old. I will get into the toy buying soon enough! I also made him an Auburn blanket complete with a logo to match that I stitched on. No photo of that one yet, sorry. I also made my Dad one to match! 

For my sister-in-law:

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I made this huge tote for her to store all of her and baby’s stuff in on the go. I just love the pattern! I hope she will too.

For my Mom:

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She has been wanting a new bag for all her “Nana” stuff. So here is my solution to the problem. I am in love with all the fabric choices out there. 

Also, I made them all a “baby video” of the boy’s first three months. It will surely bring a tear to all of their eyes. Low-key and highly meaningful Christmas? Almost accomplished!

Here are a few shots of some of my favorite things from around the house:

 

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Excuse the half-wrapped bags. I still haven’t received some gift wrapping I ordered from the neighborhood kid to “support the school system”  about three months ago. . .oyy. And I refused to purchase more wrapping for an anti-stuff Christmas!

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JOY because that is really what it is all about.

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I just LOVE getting mail. Christmas cards and pictures are the best. Some blogging buds sent me a few of these!

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I just love beautiful Christmas ornaments!

Well, there is a little sneak-peek of my Christmas! Tomorrow will be full of fun and family and a wonderful church service that I wait all year long for. Highlights to come from that!

Merry Christmas everyone. And Happy Holidays too!

Humbling Thoughts

December 20, 2008 at 11:14 am | Posted in Life, Thoughts | 13 Comments

I had a moment tonight hit me like a ton of bricks. One of those moments that really make you stop and think. And examine. And process.

I was having dinner with my church staff co-workers. It was our Christmas dinner, but of course the conversation turns to people, the ones we serve. My pastor asked me how everything was going and what was going on at my other part-time job. I started to tell him about this family I have been working with the past few weeks. Single mom, two special needs children, recently divorced from an abusive relationship and facing her first year as a working mom trying to make ends meet. Not only is she very alone here in this town with no family, but she is also months away from the first anniversary of burying her first-born child who died due to another childhood disease which has plagued her family. Just watching her function as a human being is humbling.

As I was telling my pastor this woman’s story and the struggles she is facing,  he said something that hit me like a ton of bricks. I can’t remember the exact quote but he basically said something like this yet way more eloquently.

“The biggest misconception we make about people is the amount of pain that they are experiencing.”

Just take a minute. Let that sink in. Read it again. I am pretty sure it took a good twenty minutes for me to wrap my head around that statement.

How true is that? Doesn’t that make you look at every single person you encounter a little differently? Doesn’t that make your view of the world a little more humbling? No matter what we think about our own circumstance we can never know the amount of hurt, frustration, anger or bad, messy junk people bring to you when you encounter them. Doesn’t that make you want to approach people in your everyday life with a little more compassion and love? Doesn’t that make you want to invest in the lives of other people so that you may be a person who could actually help alleviate some of that pain? Not heal, alleviate. There is a difference.

Yes, we all have our own pain, but when you invest your time in other people it will not take you very long to find someone who has harder circumstances than yourself. 

How should it effect our viewpoint of them? Why should you care?

Because it will change the way you look at people as a whole. And in doing that it just may change you too, for the better. It will help you to be more empathetic and observant and yes, even concerned about someone other than yourself. It may make you examine other people and where they come from and what they are carrying around with them. It just may put things in perspective and it just might make you a better person.

Think About It-Really

December 17, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Culture | 15 Comments

I have heard a lot of people say it has been hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I have have struggled with that too this year, for selfish reasons mostly. I think it is because we tie the “spirit” to the giving and receiving of tangible things. I know for the longest time that was the case with me. The whole excitement and anticipation factor usually revolved around looking at mounds and mounds of gifts under the tree and only being able to guess and wonder what they could be. That only made it that much more exciting to have to wait until Christmas morning to find out what all could be wrapped under the tree.

That will not be the case in our house this year and as I suspect in many other homes as well. I believe we, as a result of the change that our world is experiencing, are taking a new look at what is really important and finding that a tree with a ton of gifts is not the real reason we get that giddy feeling at Christmas. 

I had a great conversation with Hilary yesterday about how we are both scaling way back this Christmas, buying and giving hand-made items, trying to regain the perspective of what Christmas really should be about. How we should really stop to take a moment to be thankful, really grateful, to God for how much he has given us. We really all are lucky. Yes, all of us. No matter how bad we think the economy is or how bad you feel you can’t buy as much this year, we have to remember that we (the ones who are reading/typing/twittering/blogging from devices that cost good amounts of money when people don’t have food, clothing, healthcare, etc. all over this nation and all over this world) are the lucky ones. We have so much to be thankful for. That in and of itself is reason enough to be in the Holiday spirit.

I totally stole this from Hil and have been meaning to post it for a long time. Think about it.

New Music Fantasticness

December 10, 2008 at 9:59 am | Posted in Music | 6 Comments
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Well, I survived another windy Whole Foods adventure last night with no huge incidents. Well, except the fact that it has been raining cats and dogs here in Nashville and we spent the evening dodging wind and rain. Even the birds were crazy yesterday. I felt like I was in an Alfred Hitchcock episode with all the crazy starling birds flying around the neighborhood like a hurricane was coming. It was unsettling to say the least. Sidenote: those birds will always creep me out and remind of me of Silence of the Lambs. What? Just me? Ok, moving on then.

I want to let you all know that my dear friend Kate of Jill and Kate has a new EP coming out today! I know many of you ask me what is new on the Ipod or for music suggestions so go get it!!!

Now! Today!

You can gift it, you can enjoy it yourself, you can fall in love with their music too. Besides being ridicuously talented musicians and songwriters (just LISTEN to the harmonies) they are beautiful women on the inside too. I could go on and on about what a great person Kate is. I have been privileged to know her for the past few months. You would not even believe all the wonderful things I would tell you. She comes from an aweseome family who gives of themselves everyday to change the world for the better. She is such a giving and genuine person and I for one love to support people like her in the entertainment industry! 

These girls are the real deal! (Hello, they sing back-up for Kelly Clarkson-talented much?!) Be a dear and go download their CD from itunes (just click on the banner). And for you international readers, you can find it on CD BABY as well! It’s just 5.94!

Seriously guys, put down your Grande Mocha Frappaccino with three shots of whatever and get this-pronto!  It is like the price of a decent Starbucks except, let’s be real, it will stay with your forever! If you don’t purchase and hear the whole song, Finding My Own Way, I feel very sorry for you. So, head over to their blog and say HELLO and they will send you a Christmas card as well! No, really, they would love to hear from you! Tell them I sent ya! 

Go! Buy! Gift!

Support the good in the world.

Love.

Random Stuff and Help Wanted

December 2, 2008 at 7:23 pm | Posted in Blogosphere, Photos | 36 Comments

Just a few things:

  • Tonight I am just sitting here in my pjs (yes, already), having eaten some yummy Chinese take-out (shhh, Hubby is not here tonight and it wasn’t in the budget), and planning my coming week and wow, I am already in slight panic mode about the fact that Christmas is coming so soon! I just agreed to do some alot of extra things these next few weeks and right now I am feeling well, overwhelmed. And I hate that. -Insert annoying childish whine.
  • On Saturday I am having a group of ladies over for an annual gift exchange/Christmas Party and every single box of Christmas decorations is still in storage. Yeah, not good.
  • I am super stoked that the partner results came back for the scarf swap. I am, however, very intimidated that I was paired to swap scarves with THE Talia who has orchestrated and organized this entire shindig. This basically cements the fact that everyone and their grandma is going to tune into her blog to see what awesome scarf she gets in recognition of orchestrating this entire awesome event. I am a knitting failure so I will be scouring every store here in Nashville to find the cutest and most original scarf available so as not to be a total failure in the scarf swap department. I don’t want to be “that girl who totally got Talia a lame scarf when she put so much time and effort into the swap.” No pressure though. Eeek.
  • AND finally I need help. Serious help. I need to choose a picture of Hubby and I for a little project that will be revealed ohh, soon-wait for it! So you guys get to help me out! Which picture should I use? Yes, most of you know what I am talking about and it is for THAT!

 

 

 

*Choosing from this bunch makes me seriously aware of why we need to book a photoshoot for an updated picture-STAT.

**Sorry some of these are too huge and such. I am not a photoshop girl. I wish I was. Really.

So, help me out people!

Live-blogging Insomnia. Sounds Fun, Right? Wrong.

November 28, 2008 at 2:20 am | Posted in Thoughts | 8 Comments

Everyday I continue to learn so many things about myself. For instance, until today I had myself convinced I am all independent and such. Wrong. Big fat wrong.

This year our holiday found Hubby and I states away from each other. For someone who likes a little “me” time every now and then, I am hating it.  We don’t spend nights apart well, this we already know. Nothing wrong with a little time apart, but when you decide you want to be married to someone and you then spend appx. the next year and half sleeping alone, well, let’s just say that does something to you. Following the deployment that would never end, Hubby and I decided that we would do whatever necessary to never spend nights apart. So much so that I don’t participate in girls’ night slumber parties or all-nighters anymore. I drive home at 4am if need be. Everytime. We don’t sleep well without each other. Trust me, I never thought I would be that girl.

So, after a day of quality time with the family, I found myself wondering what to do with myself. The following is a ridiculous run-down of my contradiction to everything Destiny’s Child sang about in Independent Women.

8ish-Leave parents house turning down multiple invitations to stay so I don’t have to be alone. Arrive home to feed and relieve doggies all the while still contemplating returning to parents house with doggies in tow. Decide it really is too cold to turn and head back to be with family.

8:30-9ish-shower, prepare for bed.

9-10:30-crawl into bed and attempt to settle.

10:35-begin to paroose Youtube for old Friends. Watch way too many six-minute clips.

10:55-talk to Hubby for last time of the night.

11:30ish-click to the ever-trustworthy Hulu and decide a movie is too much of a commitment and land on an old episode of The Office.

11:45-Pick up phone to call Hubby to do a Michael Scott quote talk me to sleep. Put phone down in overwhelming wave of guilt on the chance I might wake him.

12ish-decide against all better judgement to view an episode of Ghost Hunters. I rationalize this decision by telling myself that I will only watch the All Access episode which technically is an interview of the investigators and should not leave me peeking out from under my comforter at every creak and noise. Wrong.

12:35-cringing under the covers at the one clip of the picture frame moving on its own at the old inn in Pennsylvania. Convinced I hear footsteps downstairs. Have minor panic attack and grab phone to call for help. Realize it is Ellie wandering aimlessly downstairs waiting for Hubby to come home. Go retrieve Ellie for both her comfort and mine.

12:40ish-TURN OFF GHOST HUNTERS. Turn to twitter. I am the only loser twitterer there. Great and well, sad. 

12:45-make first real attempt to sleep by making the dreaded move to the center of the bed. Decide it is way too quiet, and visions of picture frames moving still in my head, I decide on Pandora as my distraction of choice. Ingrid Michaelson station is the only obvious station of interest. Attempt to relax. Realize I am singing along against my will to “The Hat” and not sleeping. Recall the last time I sang along to that song was at one of her shows because she forces you to sing. Laugh out loud at the fact that participation is required at an Ingrid show, and if you don’t participate she will call you out and make you regret it. Remind myself that I am not at a show and attempt to stop singing. Fail

12:55-Must roll over to see who is singing the next song. KT Tunstall. Roll back over to turn away from the glare of the Mac that I keep taking off of sleep mode to devulge my curiosity at each artist singing the current song. 

1-1:15-Hear: Ingrid M. and yes, sing along again. Amos Lee. Kim Richey (Katie Herzig does it better). Rachel Yamagata-Skip. Keane-Skip. Death Cab for Cutie-Skip (It is nothing personal, they are singing about lovey-dovey relationships and I don’t want to hear it tonight). Norah Jones-Nearness of You. SKIP. Receive the dreaded “too many skips” notification from Pandora. Curse Pandora. Forced to listen to Norah sing about being near to people you love. Hate her for the rest of the night. Contemplate removing her from Itunes Library entirely to gain revenge. Get a grip on reality and realize I need to chill. Pronto.

1:30-Refrain from calling Hubby for the 8th time since hearing a random noise.

1:35-1:40- Facebook. Email. Twitter. All Lame.

1:45-Make myself again put down the phone. Decide (reluctantly) against texting.

1:50-Continue justifying calling Hubby on the hope that he is still awake after a 5am morning wake-up call, a ten hour drive, and a huge turkey dinner.

1:55-Make final decision not to call by placing the phone under the mattress. Rethink decision based on the fact that if either a masked murder or a ghost comes to kidnap me I will need to call Hubby to say goodbye. Remove phone but strategically place it far away so as to discourage late night desperate phone calls and/or texting.

2:00-Vow to never again kick Hubby in the middle of the night while screaming, “move OVER” when the two dogs and his snoring keep me awake. Continue to let Pandora play. 

2:05-Blog. Realize blogging isn’t helping and listening to doggies snoring only makes me jealous.

2:20-Vow to never again let Hubby leave. Ever. Decide my fate now lies in the hands of Regina Spektor, The Weepies, Brandi Carlile and the like. Accept the fact that I will be up for a long time.

Hope your post-Thanksgiving tryptophan-induced dreams turn out better than mine. Do not call me before noon tomorrow.

Here’s to hoping I get to sleep before dawn. Apparently, I am that girl.

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