Monday, October 25, 2010

My Voice

This post will probably not get all positive feedback. And ya know what? I'm okay with that.

I started this blog a while ago as a way to be able to express myself and do anything from blabbering on about nothing to getting y'alls advice on situations I find myself in, as well as expressing my personal opinions and beliefs in an appropriate setting.

If nothing else, I've somehow managed to make some good friends along the way. But on top of that amazing plus, my husband is ever-so-grateful to not have to listen to be babble on and on about something he could care less about... which as a woman is half of what I babble on about. (Can I get an "amen"?!)

Anywho - I say all of that to say this: sometime that "blabbering" involves an issue that people aren't as open-minded about. I think I've done a pretty good job (if I do say so myself, that is) at keeping that to a pretty good minimum... but this tends to be a topic that gets people heated. And since it's not quite winter here in these parts, let's keep the heat to a minimum, if we can. Also, please remember that as the blog owner, I reserve the right to delete/deny any comments that are drama-filled. I will NOT delete comments simple for the fact that they hold different opinions. That you can count on. But if things get ugly, or something is blatantly hurtful, then I'll get to clicking.

Now that I've probably scared everyone away, here's what I was prepping you for.


I'm Pro-Life.

There. I said it. I don't think that's necessarily a secret, seeing as how I've posted on the counselling I do in the local pregnancy clinic, but in case I haven't come right out with it in the past, there it is.

I am Pro-Life in that I believe life begins at the moment of conception. Try as you may, but you'll have a hard time convincing me otherwise. I believe that the instant that an individual full-set of 46 chromosomes appears, with a different set of DNA from that of the mother, I call that life.

I won't start spilling out anything more on that particular topic, really... at least I don't intend to, at this point. But I want to make it clear that I believe life begins as soon as the egg is fertilized by the sperm. So I've said it. There shouldn't be any confusion at this point.

But where it does get confusing is here: There's a political ad running in the DC area (which we happen to be kind've close to, and thus are subject to the ads from time to time) that shows graphic images of aborted fetuses. It's picture after picture of different aborted babies after an abortion. According to several articles on the ads, the candidate that is running the ads is only running to be able to show the ads on television.

You see, there's a law in effect that prevents any network or cable television channel from being able to alter a political ad in any way. I get this. It's to protect the ads from unwarranted editing which would make them appear and/or sound different than the candidate actually intended them to be. And the networks/cable stations are also prohibited from shifting/changing the ad to any air-time other than was was intentionally purchased by the candidate. I get it. This keeps a network/station that is more strongly affiliated with one political party from being able to mess with the ad of a candidate with another political party. It totally makes sense.

But I don't agree with this ad.

I feel that the candidate has "played" the system. And as pro-life as I am, I do NOT think that it's okay to subject children and/or forcing mothers of previous abortions to have to see these images. Granted, you can turn the channel. But you shouldn't have to. This crosses a line in my book.

I will, however, say this. I do believe that these kinds of images should be viewed by those currently in the positions of authority and/or are in law-making positions. Congress. The Senate. Any member in the law-making/law-enforcing divisions of government should be required to so photos of a fetus before, during, and after an abortion procedure has taken place. I feel that they should have to see it to make a truly informed decision. There should be absolutely no bias or prejudice in making these decisions, thus I believe that all of this should be taken in to account when major decisions are being made.

I just feel like there's a better way to do this. I don't believe that ignorance is an excuse. But instead of slapping people in the face with images of dead babies, why not display statistics of the effects of PAS on women who have had abortions, and how common it is for it to lead to suicide. What about exposing the manipulation and lack of care given to these women seeking abortions by organizations such as Plann3d Par3nthood and the like. Why not out them so as to expose their inconsistencies and self-serving "relationship" building techniques with teenagers, when they are only seeking to build future business. Why not stick with the truth about life - when the heart begins beating (fyi: 21 days after conception, on day 35 of pregnancy), and when we form our very own fingerprints, or when we can start blinking our eyes and making facial expressions, or begin to feel pain, (as measured by fetal response to stimulus)... why do we exploit the innocent bodies of dead babies, instead of defending their right to life and encouraging when that life happens?

As a Christian, I have a hard time believe that if Jesus had the technology, he would've shown murderers pictures of dead people and abortion-minded women pictures of their dead babies. I can't imagine that this is what he would've done. Call me crazy. He never once flaunted someone's sin in front of a group of people. He gave grace abundantly and hurt for the sinner. He hurt for the adulterer AND the ones who threw stones at her. He hurt for the men who hung on the cross next to him - BOTH of them.

He hurt for me.

And he loved me.

He still does. My Jesus didn't spit in my face and make me watch the mistakes I made over and over. He didn't make me relive it. He forgave me and brought me peace.

What are we doing? Marching with pictures of dead babies raised high or airing "political ads" with their faces plastered on the screen. What does that accomplish?

It doesn't make people rethink their position on abortion. It doesn't cause people to choose life, rather than abortion. It accomplishes nothing but setting us back. It makes people lash out in anger and consider all pro-lifers to be radical freaks set out to make people uncomfortable.

It makes someone like me - someone that's more sure than anything that life beings at conception - sad to be clumped into the same group as these people.

For anyone that's seen the ad and been hurt or offended by it, I am so sorry. There's nothing I can do to stop them from airing it, and there's no way I can take that back, but I can apologize for it and tell you that not all of those that are pro-life would agree with this.


Now back to the topic of my being pro-life... leaving this ad behind.

I'm sure there are quite a few people that would argue that I'm soft or "on the fence", but I assure you that I am not. Let me explain:

Again I'll say - I am 100% pro-life. I don't agree with abortion. When people argue for abortion purely for the sake of rape and incest victims, I'd like to remind them that 1) that only accounts for less than 6% of abortions in the US today, and 2) I'm not talking about this. I don't believe that abortion is right in any circumstance (and statistics have shown that the majority of these victims have claimed their abortion to have felt more like a 2nd death), but that's not what this particular blog is about. And I don't always say that, because I'm never going to succeed in accomplishing anything by starting an argument with someone.

For the time being, I'm talking about the other 94% of abortions.

I keep saying that one of these days I will post the abortion procedure in non-colorful, fact only layman's terms. Many people do not know the actual procedure for several reasons 1) they've never needed to, 2) they've never had one, 3) they've had one but didn't receive any kind of walk-through of the surgical procedure before-hand, or 4) didn't want to know. And maybe that post is long overdue... I'll see if I can work on it sometime soon.

(I assure you, it is not a colorful opinion-filled explanation of the process. It is the simple fact-only version we are permitted to give tot he clients at the pregnancy clinic, where we are not at all allowed to express our personal beliefs on the topic. Therefore, I can't imagine anyone being offended, but I'm sure it's about to happen. There will be a large warning before it begins, so anyone that is squeamish or uninterested will know to skip the post.)

But whatever the case may be, I struggle with one thing. And this may be where some people start disagreeing with me, if they aren't already. I struggle with the fact that I believe abortion is murder. Some of you have rolled your eyes, but let me explain it this way - as I stated before, I believe that life begins at conception. I believe that the minute that the sperm fertilizes the egg, there is life. There is human life. In that instance, 23 chromosomes from the mother, and 23 chromosomes from the father unite to create a 46 chromosomed individual human life. Yes, that life is dependant on another for 9 months, but there is no instance in nature where the life of the baby is not dependant on the assistance and/or nurture of another party (I could easily take a rabbit trail here about how quick people are defend helpless animals, but are quicker still to write off a fetus as a human life... but I'll try to stick to the subject at hand).

So my stance in being pro-life doesn't necessarily, in this case, involve my religious beliefs. I could absoLUTEly involve them to continue to back my opinion, but it doesn't matter. I don't believe that is what should convince people to be pro-life.

And this is where people question my beliefs. But I assure you that I am still 100% a believer in God. I just have to say, that when you start pulling religion into politics, in this country, you walk a very thin line. If we use religion as a foundation for law in a country that no longer recognizes their history of being founded on the principles of God, then we risk them allowing people with other religious beliefs to do the same.

Now don't get me wrong, I wish that this country would turn back to God. I think it would solve problems way easier and faster than anyone could imagine, but the issue of when life begins, though it is absolutely and 100% a God ordained design, can't be based solely on that principle.

When our only way to reason with non-believers is based solely on our interpretation of the Bible, we can't be shocked when they think we're crazy. If we believe something, and someone else doesn't, then they won't be able to see things the same way that we do. And telling them that abortion is wrong because it's a sin doesn't accomplish anything with a person who doesn't believe in the word "sin" to begin with. It'd be like arguing our point in French to someone who only speaks English. It'll only cause them to get angry and frustrated and write us off all the more.

Does that make sense?

And where I am not saying that we should exclude our biblical beliefs in making our decisions or relying on them to help us in choosing who to vote for or which laws should be put in effect, I am saying that it's no way to back a decision to a no longer God-fearing government or world.

So to argue it outside of religious beliefs, if at all possible, I say this: I believe that life begins at conception, when 46 chromosomes appear and a unique set of DNA has been created. And in showing that the heart begins beating before the woman would know she is pregnant, I can't imagine how abortion isn't considered murder, when the definition of death in the medical dictionary is this: the irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity. So then, if the heart is already beating, and we can detect the presence of the use brain waves in a fetus as early as 21 days from conception, how then is their death not considered murder?

And furthermore, the Declaration of Independence, the very constitution that this country clings so tightly to, reads that all men are created equal, and are endowed 3 certain unalienable Rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Where then have we lost sight of the right to life. And who gets to decide who is and is not in fact warranted these rights.

Well, I'm eager to hear what you have to say, and I think I've babbled on long enough, on the subject, so I'll leave you with this:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Thanks for stopping by, guys. :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I've Got a Little Bitty Quessstionnn

Where do you stand with Birth Control?

I love to hear other people's takes on it, so lay it on me. Any form or method... For? Against? Some not others? Preferences? I'm dying to know what you think, so let's discuss.

**Remember, the PuhlHouse is a no-drama zone, so I reserve the write to remove, delete, or make fun of any comment that isn't very nice towards other commenters (just kidding about the making fun, part!).**

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Satan's Copier

So I don't hate my job. It's not the most exciting, but it certainly beats being jobless ANY day of the week.

Lately, however, we've been having some big problems with our copier.

*insert grunts and mumbling here*

You see - this copier gets used a lot. A LOT. A Lot. A lot.

And I'm not just talking like 50 copies here and there... try 21 copies of a 350+ page student handbook that needs to be copied within 2 work days.


That's about an average job for this puppy.

So it's no wonder that she's not the happiest of campers. And she's not exactly your olympic athlete level copier, either. She takes her SaWEET ol' time. That's for DANG sure.

Well today, she and I are in the midst of a battle. Oooh yeah. Lexi and I aren't on speaking terms, right now (unless you count the mumbling and exaggerated sighs, that is).

Because she's winning. And that's not a dadgum thing I can do about it.

If you want to know how bad it is, imagine the project size above jamming ever 30 - 55 seconds. No. This is not an exaggeration. I PROMISE you that.

Just ask Studly. He can vouch for me. In fact, he got so annoyed at my almost constantly putting him on hold that the 4th or 5th time in that brief 3 minutes phone call that I asked him to hold, he grunted "Can't you just let me go? This is ridiculous!" So I did.


Know what's even better? I knew that this job would take a pretty big toll on ol' Lexi, so I tried to split it up a bit. It's taken me ALL DAY to just make 9 copies. 9. ONLY NINE!!!

I'm going crazy. It's freaking 6:42 and I'm STILL at work!!! Can you believe this? Neither can I. And I can't leave until it's done because Lexi won't cancel a job without having to be reset. Which means she won't work tomorrow. Or the next day. And then won't reconnect to the server when she's supposed to.

I'M SO MAAADDDD!!! I want to go HOME!! I want to EAT something. I want to read my book. I want to spend time with my husband.

But most importantly, I DON'T want to be HERE!

It's such a crappy machine that... get this... when any of the technicians are in the area, they just stop by. No kidding. They figure they may as well swing by because they know how much trouble we have with it. Isn't that ridiculous?!

We're being told that this machine "should" be swapped out for a new one, soon, but we've been told that for quite a while, now.

Well, at least that's one business that isn't effected by the recession.

Stupid Lexi.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time Is a-FLYin'

It's like I blinked and all of a sudden it's friggin October! Where HAS the time gone?!

So it's like I don't even know what I have and haven't told you guys. I guess I'll have to read back a few posts and then ponder on what all has happened that isn't included.

BUT until then... this is what I'll leave you with:

Studly got his official orders from the US Air Force - medical retirement it is! He's already on permissive/terminal leave and has been offered a GrrrrEAT job from an amazing company. He'll kind've be doing what he HAS been doing, but they'll also be training him with a new skill set to make it a bit different... hopefully more exciting for him.

We've decided that we're done here... in this house, that is. We'll be fixing up the kitchen, the one real thing we have left to do, and then putting the finishing touches on the rest of the house. Oddly enough, we're not relatively sure what we'll be doing once we reach that point. You see - with the market the way that it is, anything could happen. We'd love to sell it, but that would only work if we got at least what we paid for it originally, thanks to closing costs, listing fees, etc. Then there's always the option to rent our place out and get some good tenants to help pay the mortgage, but then we're worried we wouldn't be able to rent the place for what we currently pay monthly.

Either way, we'll be needing a new home. Since Studly just got his new job, we'll definitely be staying in the area. However, whether or not we rent a place or buy a new home will depend on which way we go with the current home. *sigh So many choices... so many possibilities. Whichever we end up choosing, there's a new wish list that will be forming. Aren't you excited?!

I've decided that I'll be chronicling the process here - with you guys. AND... that means that I'll actually be BLOGGING again! WOO! ha ha

**Crazy Neighbor Update** We went to court about the dog poop issue. (See? It even sounds ridiculous in a blog... how sad is that?!) They decided to postpone 3 months. It was actually for our benefit, but it's still silly. They wanted to be sure the outcome would include the judge saying "This is nuts. Drop it. Don't waste my time." It was actually kind've funny having the prosecuting attorney and Health Department giving us advice outside of the court room. ha ha... They just asked us to take pictures each time we clean up the back yard. So at least twice a week. We'll have TONS of photos come 7 December, but if it'll end this, then so be it. And I'm sure planning to move because of all this will certainly help our case. So stressed and harassed that we can't live peacefully in our own home. Sounds like a case to me, but who knows. I just hope the judge is a dog-lover. :-D

And while we're talking about crazy neighbors, I should tell you that I had another encounter... with the redneck, that is. She's a whack-job. Not that I doubted this fact before, but good GRACIOUS she just nailed it in a few more times. *sheesh

Other than that, i think I'm kind've out of some ideas, right now. Not to mention it's like quarter to midnight and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open as it is. GOSH I'm getting old!

Anywho - that'll update you for now. I know there's PLENTY more, but it'll come in due time. Until then, remember that even though I'm not making new blog posts a priority, I'm still all over y'alls. Seriously, though... and I LOVE it! You guys are the best.

Well, Toodles for now, my Sweets! I'm signing out.

Much love!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Love A Challenge

I JUST realized that I haven't blogged about my goodwill lamp spruce-session! How I managed to forget that, I have no idea, but it's never too late, right?!


So here she is.

And she had a sister, too. Momma Bear and I found these little soon-to-be-beauties at goodwill and I was SO stinking excited. I had been scouring (scowering?) the local stores for some cheapo neglected twins to call my own. To put my stamp on. To call my own and make beautiful again.

And behold, there she was! Her, her sister, and all of their ugly pre-Princess Diaries-esque makeover glory. They SO went home with me!!

The plan was to make them pretty, rewire the electric, and then recover some old dingy lamp shades to finish out the project. Then wah-lah. They would be mine! Muuahaha ha haa!

Okay. Sorry. I got caught up in the memory.

You see, I have a bit of a problem. I see too much potential in the household items at goodwill. It gets to the point where I'm put in some form of a goodwill time out, now and then. Just ask my momma - she will vouge for me. But with Studly out of town for the week (thank you Air Force!), it was the perfect time to take advantage of goodwill time with Momma and score something amazing, all in time to surprise him with something he thought I bought. Booyah!

So I took it a step at a time. Now, I don't have step-by-step pictures (becuase I'm a bad blogger. *smacks hand*), but here's the low-down:

Step #1: Removed old wiring. This is when I remembered to take the before picture shown above.

Step #2: Clean the lamps. I used my Shaklee all-purpose cleaning mixture and it worked fabulously. (love this stuff!)

Step #3: Spray-paint lamps in a beautiful stainless steel color.

Step #4: Clean off bad spray-paint, and try again... this time in a timeless Satin White.
Now, I'm all about full disclosure. So let me just say that the stainless look spray paint did NOT turn out correctly. I mean, it wasn't even paint. It looked like a steel-wool scrubber and killed it, then sprinkled the remains all over the lamp. I don't know how it happened, and I don't have a picture (dang it!), but it was nooot cool. I know that I followed the directions - I shook it 50-million times before spraying, and blah. The good thing, I guess, was that since it was so piecey, it wiped off and re-cleaned in no time. So the next coat of paint went on seamlessly. Looking at it now, you'd never know there was a problem. Heck - you'd never know they ever used to be a different color to begin with!

And that, my friends, is what I call... SUCCESS!

Now back to the process...

Step #5: Re-wire the lamps, using an easy-peasy lamp wiring kit (I bought mine at Lowes, since McStudly's Dad is a Disctrict Manager up in the Mid-North area... I guess you could say we're a little partial). It comes with everything you need, and has super easy instructions to follow. Anyone can do it!

Step #6: The shades.

Again, I'm all about full-disclosure, so I should tell you now that I ran out of time. I was working on these lamps while also cleaning the entire house and tryign to get things re-organized before McStudly got home. I started the lamp project Sunday afternoon, and his plane was due to land at around midnight that night.

I'm a sucker for a deadline. What can I say?!

Anywho - I say all of that to say this: I didn't do some crafty DIY lamp recoverring. Instead, I ran out to Lowes (again... we're partial, and the size lampshades that I needed were cheaper there than at our Walmart or Target) and grabbed some super cute this-will-work-for-now shades instead. Oh well. A girl's gotta cut corners SOMEwhere. Do ya blame me?!

So finally I arrived at... *drumroll please*

Step #7: My favorite of them all. This is the step where you plug everything in and admire your finished work in it's final home.

Aren't you eager to see what these ugly ducklings turned into? Well, just to remind you, here's the sure-leaves-a-lot-to-be-desired before shot, one more time:

And now, without further adeue, I give you - the finished product:

And here they are, in their new homes:

They sure did come a long way from their brassy befores, didn't they? Well, we love them, and use them EVERY night before bedtime... and our toes are ever so grateful to be spared.

Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WAY Out of Line... not blogging, that is. SO much has happened in the last month or so, but I've SO missed you guys!

I won't write a lot right now, because it's late and I'm just waiting for Studly to finish what he's doing so we can head to bed. Boy am I tired!!

But while I'm here, can I just say how frustrating it is to not be able to find something you've been eyeing?! For example, I've been wanting a pair of black leggings, but none of them will FIT ME!!

No, not the "tights" kind.

And not really the exercise kind, either.

Umm... I can't find a picture. This could prove almost as annoying as trying to SHOP for the stinking things.

Oh well. If anyone has an inkling as to what the heck I'm talking about, information would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time...


Friday, August 13, 2010

First Time Furniture Fix-up

Last Friday, I got a text from Momma that included a picture of this baby:

She was at Goodwill and knew that I had been looking for something like it for my bathroom. How much? $10. SCORE! It just needed a little TLC (if you take a closer look at the top of the pic, you can see why).

So naturally, she was the perfect candidate for a self-proclaimed fixer-upper (I didn't say anything about being good at grammar, now, did I?!), such as myself. I was sold... and thus - so was she.

She came home with me yesterday. My schedule has been crazy, and then there were a few days that I just plumb forgot about her! But finally, I swung by momma's house (thank you, momma bear!) and picked her up. Now she was aalllll mine!

But after sizing her up, she seemed that she'd be a little to small for the space in our bathroom... and I had just the spot in mind for her, once she was ready.

So now it was time for that TLC that I was talking about, earlier. I have these amazing Guardsmen wood touch-up markers. Seriously, people... AH-mazing. Although, I didn't realize just how amazing until last night.

You see - for the longest time (I've had these puppies for a while, now, thanks to an over-zealous bone chewer named Austin... he really gets into it, folks), I thought that they were just glorified Brown markers. You draw on the furniture to touch it up and hope it doesn't just make it look like little Susie, the paste eater from Kindergarten, ran out of paper. And since the wood trim on my couches is so dark, I was lucky enough that there wasn't a single sign of little Susie, anywhere. *Whew!

When I started trying to touch-up this little $10 gem, it was starting to look more and more like it was - well... $10.

But alas, I decided that all those little letters on the side of the marker deserved a quick read-through. Ah-Hah! Directions?! Who needs 'em.

Pssh... ummm - apparently I do. Because you aren't supposed to just go to town drawing on the thing as your inner child squeals with glee. No. You're supposed to have some kind of rag with you and gently wipe in the direction of the wood grain immediately after each application.


NOW it makes sense.

But don't worry - if I reapplied it rather generously, and then wiped again, it would correct the little kiddie marks I'd already made. Score! Now nobody has to know!

... until I blog about it, anyways. :-P

But if you find that it hasn't given you the coverage that you need, you just let it dry for about 10 minutes or more, and then apply another coat, still wiping gently after each application. It's actually the perfect way to break up a night full of some So You Think You Can Dance finale commercial breaks and a little bit of this, action:

Your Momma's $10 Goodwill find becomes you're new treasure.

And now... for the "re"finished product:

Here are a few pics of it's new home, with some of the top decorating done...

I feel like it's belonged there this whole time, and now it's finally complete. *sigh

So in the interest of full disclosure, it doesn't make the markings go away completely, BUT it just makes it look a bit older and like it's got some character, rather than like a very tall neglected rabbit had nothing better to do to pass the time between carrot feedings. And I bet that if I wanted to take an extra 10 - 15 minutes and sand the rough edges a bit before applying the Guardsman markers, you'd probably not even notice them to begin with... but I'm a sucker for character and a furniture piece with a story.

Anywho - what do you think? Do you likey, or are you unimpressed? Have you ever used Guardsman Furniture Touch-up Markers before? What was the result?

... and am I the only female that doesn't read directions on things like this?!

I'm just sayin'...


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just Making Plans

Nothing too special to write about today. I have some things that I plan to write about in a few upcoming posts, but I need to relax and plan them out so I don't have 7 posts in a day and then go 2 weeks without blogging again. ha ha...

Tonight I'm getting dinner with my good pal, Laurie. Her and her family just returned from a pretty extended vacation with family, so I can't WAIT to get caught up on all the things that I missed and everything exciting that happened. It should be a great time of catching up... there's certainly never a dull moment when we're together, that's for sure!

Random Alert: There's a new show on USA called Covert Aff@irs. It's pretty good, but I'm not sure what I think about it, just yet. What about you guys? Have you seen it?

Okay. Back to reality. McStudly and I are hoping to plan a cruise sometime in the coming year. Neither of us have ever been on one, but... we're stoked! We've been saving while paying off our debt and are pretty much stoked about the thought of a cruise with just the two of us.

Actually, since we've been married, we've only been on "two" vacations alone together. Our honeymoon (obviously), and the one that earned the quotes around the number above, we took an impromptu weekend (and by weekend, I mean friday night into Saturday) at the ocean.

Other than that, we're pretty "green" when it comes to travel and romantic getaways. Well... not for too much longer! Anywho - more info to come on that, but I'm stoked and I'm hoping that all y'all that may have been on a cruise before will have plenty of advice for us on who to sail with (or maybe who not to sail with), and maybe where we should or shouldn't go.

Anywho - that's it for today. Looking forward to your input, and I guess I'll catch y'all later.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Worry Warts

I recently wrote an article for our Women's Ministry eNewsletter. Just wanted to share it with you guys, as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

As women, we worry a lot. In fact, some of us could make a pretty successful career out of it. For the most part, we think we have a pretty good reason to worry. We feel justified and call it “concern.” Justified or not, concerned or not – the fact is we let it consume us to the point of constant worrying.

We worry about every aspect of our lives. We worry about our husbands, kids, and home. We worry about our cars, jobs, and finances. We worry about our hair, wardrobe, and weight. Ultimately, worry about our past, present, and future. Why do we do this to ourselves? We were created to be caring and nurturing, but somehow we’ve turned it into controlling and worrying about anything and everything.

Take another look at that list. What do you notice? It’s all about possession. They’re my kids – I’m supposed to worry about them. He’s my husband… It’s my house… It’s my future… But ladies, Psalms 100:3 says “Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” [emphasis added] By allowing ourselves to worry about all of these things, we’re claiming them as our own. When we cling so closely to those things in our lives that feel so important, we’re not allowing God, in his sovereignty, to hold them close. We regularly say we trust Him. We sing songs about how we’ve given our lives to Him – our whole lives – and yet, within ourselves, we find it necessary to hold on to bits and pieces that we feel most connected to or responsible for.

These things that we care about most; these people that we care about the most – we’re picking them up as if we are a small child that thinks it’s strong enough to carry something heavy by itself. And just as that child pulls away when you try to help, we’re pulling ourselves farther from God, and saying, “God, I know You’re good and perfect. I know You created them with Your own hands, but I can do it. I can take it from here.” And God, in his gentleness, let’s us try. We struggle, grunt, and strain to do it on our own, but ultimately we’re not successful. So we worry.

Other than a headache and countless other health problems, excessive worrying gets us no where. Matthew 6:27 says “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” There is no benefit associated with worry. Not one.

Each time we worry, we’re turning our back on the God who loves us. Instead of entrusting him with every ounce of our lives, we’re taking the reins. We’re so consumed with “possibilities” and “maybes” and the thought of “what if” that we have caused ourselves to sin. We’re sinning when we’re focusing on these things rather than God, just as an adulterer turns her attention on her lover, rather than her groom. That sin then pulls us even farther from God and, before we realize what has happened, we’re caught in this deep pit of worry.

Even in that moment… in that pit, God, in His mercy, loves us still. He doesn’t just leave us there to figure things out, but He picks us up, dusts us off, and tells us to cast our cares onto Him. Not only does He forgive us for worrying, but He actually offers to carry the load FOR us! Psalms 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” When we do that, the worries, the concerns, the anxieties no longer weigh us down, and we’re free to live the life he’s designed for us.

The next time you feel overwhelmed with concern or find yourself worrying excessively, remember that He has a plan and a purpose for you. He’s on your side! He won’t harm you, but has promised you hope and a future. And at the end of the day, he’s the only one who knows what it is, so why bother worrying about it when the very creator of our existence is waiting, arms opened to us, and willing to have us walk through it together.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Barometric Pressure

This Barometric Pressure shift is really messing with my head today... literally.

I called in to work to tell them I'd be going in late today.

And I was completely genuine when I said that my head was pounding. I took some medicine and went to lay back down, hoping that would help a bit, and then I'd go in at lunchtime.

So I lay back in bed, trying to go to sleep (it's always sooo much harder when you're fighting one of these splitting AND throbbing headaches. Double whammy. Be still my heart. *sigh).

As you can tell from the fact that I'm writing a blog right now, I am not able to sleep. My head is ssllooowwwwllly feeling better, but something even bigger happened. I'm being 100% vulnerable with you guys today (like I'm not usually?! Ha). I was trying to think about something... anything to get my mind off of the pain so that I could sleep and it would go away. Sounds like a good enough plan, right?!

Yeah. God thought so, too.

He knew it would happen. He knows how I tick. He knows what happens when the barometric pressure drops or raises (whatever it is, today) and my head starts running the show. He knows what my usual plan is to make the day bearable again, and he knew it would happen today. Right?! Right.

I started (don't even remember it getting there, actually, but grateful that it did, to be honest) thinking about running. I think it was because today is a running day for me (this evening, anyways), and how I'm meeting a girlfriend for dinner, so it'll be a late run, and possible hard to do since it's supposed to rain and/or I'll have just eaten... blah blah blah. It doesn't matter, really. But here's what does -

As I sat there thinking about my training for this 1/2 marathon in December and how it benefits a foundation which would find a cure and/or treatment(s) for a disease... I began thinking about all of the other races out there.

In that moment, I felt God directing me. And I felt it so strongly that I started to cry.

I still keep welling up, even as I write this post. I sat. I googled. And after seeing that there are similar events, but nothing quite like it, I just knew...

Now, I don't have all of the details or logistics, yet. I don't have a clue how it'll work or when it'll happen. All I know is this:

Through God's grace, I am going to organize a race.

Ideally, it will mix a 5k, 10k, 1/2 and full marathon, so that anyone with any and all background in running/walking - rolling, for that matter - can participate.

And every bit of the money raised will go to building water wells in 3rd world countries.

As I lay there thinking about how I would need to hydrate at the right time for my run tonight, and then what hydrating would be like during the race. My mind wandered to people that don't have water. And then it wandered to people that have to walk a marathon or more just to get to water... water that may or may not even be clean...

My heart just broke.

How silly am I? I'll tell you: I am a self-proclaimed water snob. I don't like Deer Park because, to me, it tastes peppery. I don't like Dasani because, well, it tastes like chemicals. I'm fine with most, but not all, tap water and I prefer the water from my Pur water filter at home...


How much more of a selfish, spoiled little ungrateful girl can I be?!?! I'll probably still prefer water this way. But honestly, AT LEAST I HAVE CLEAN WATER available at my FINGERTIPS pretty much any time I want it.

I'm not saying any of this to sound holier than thou or anything - this was a very very personal conviction. Well, less of a conviction, really, and more of an appreciation for my American comforts, all while there are people that still die of dehydration.

That sounds so... Hollywood 'Sahara Desert", doesn't it? Or so "Oregon Trail"...

But it's true.

And it breaks God's heart to see some of his people living so comfortably, all while some of his children SUFFER just because there in another part of the world... and world which, in it's entirety, was created by his own hand.

I won't sit here and say that he looks down on us for that. I don't believe that. But what is wrong with us, as Christians... Heck - as a human race - if we just sit back and do nothing with something so simple?!

This is true for any and every sadness in this world, really: Human trafficking. Slavery. Drug smuggling and addiction. Terrorism. Abuse. Neglect. Corrupt government. Greed. Gluttony. The fact that the porn industry is one of the most successful. I could go on for quite some time, unfortunately, but this just isn't the point.

How hard could it be to give clean water to a village. We have the capabilities. We have the technology. We have the manpower and the resources. I mean... water is one of the most abundant resources on earth, and yet people grow ill and die because it's out of their reach.

So I've done just a little bit of research in the past hour (Trust me, there will be MUCH more done), but here's what I found from one reputable organization that helps collect money to build wells... in Africa, specifically (for the record... I want to even go beyond Africa, but this is a huge starting point, and there is a HUGE need there):

"Every day, nearly 4,000 children die as a result of drinking unsafe water. Every 22 seconds a child perishes from waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Six million people are blind as a result of contaminated water and bacteria. Please help bring safe, clean water to children and families across Africa.

To give water is to give life. Clean water can cut a community’s child mortality rate in half. It means food for families whose crops are failing due to drought. It saves livestock. It gives parents a powerful way to improve the health, hygiene, and well-being of their children, and enable them to reach their God-given potential.

Your gift will help us dig wells to bring safe, clean water to thousands. You can also help provide purification equipment to treat contaminated water, and water storage containers to save fresh rainwater for later use. And, most importantly, your gift will help improve children’s health with sanitation systems that keep water sources clean.

No other gift produces a more dramatic effect on life than clean water and sanitation. You can help wash away suffering by providing access to one of life’s most precious resources..."

Can you believe that? Look at that first paragraph again: 4,000 children a day. Every 22 seconds!! That is just gut-wrenching.

And read those diseases again - typhoid, cholera, dysentery. The only thing I know about those illnesses is that your eldest daughter in Oregon Trail almost always die from something like that... or diarrhea. But I have don't even have any idea what that looks like, much less what it feels like or how rough it can be on the body of a child.

Well, that's that. This is what's on my heart, right now. I just talked to McStudly about it and I'm snotting like a baby, again.

Wow. Even with all of the crying and blubbering... my head feels a lot better.

So here's what I need from you guys:

#1 - your opinion. Do you think it's something people would do? I mean, with God ALL ALL ALL things are possible, but I'm being a silly little girl and wondering if people will do it.

#2 - your voice. I want TONS of opinions, here. I want to hear from people who run and people who don't even walk more than to the mailbox. I want to know if this is a cause they'd push themselves for. So do me a favor - spread the word about this and encourage other people to comment, as well.

#3 - your experience. Have you ever started your own race before? Do you know someone who has? Have you ever been part of a "1st" race before?

#4 - your suggestions. I was thinking it'd be super cool to have the race somehow involve Embassy row in DC, but the realist in me knows that probably couldn't happen. But who knows, right?! Are there any other locations that you think would be awesome? Maybe starting and finishing the race in Baltimore at the World Trade Center in the Harbor would be awesome. Ideas, people... give me ideas!

#5 - your support. I know this is a huge feat. I need lots of prayer. Tons of encouragement, and a whole Whole WHOLE love of accountability. Ask me about it. Challenge me. Call me out on other posts. Remind me what God's placed on my heart and don't let me get caught up or distracted by little petty things, but keep me focused.

#6 - your help. This could be monetarily as we move closer to the race. This could be signing up and running it with us. This could be cheering us on through the process or on the sidelines of the race... handing out water and goodies to the runners.

Anywhere you can help, I'd be GREATly appreciative. I do still plan to run the 1/2 marathon in December, if I can, to benefit Crohns' and Colitis. It's still something near to me and my husband, since he was diagnosed last June. But even beyond running, I'll get to see that a race of this size is like and how it's organized. I may even get to make a few contacts while I'm there? At least that's what I'm hoping. So continue to pray for us with regard to that race, as well. We need to race a good amount of money and will need a lot of support and encouragement through the training... and we can always use prayer - can't get enough of it!

You'll see a little link or some "Donate" button action in the coming months, so help us spread the word when that pops up. the less stressed we are on raising funds for this race, then the more I can focus on preparing, planning, and organizing the Race for Water (I'm not sure if that's what we'll be calling it, yet, but we'll get to those details later, eh?!).

I pray that God will provide every single cent, and then some for this race in December, as I know he can. And then for the Race for Water, he'll continue to provide: Every single runner. Every single penny through fundraising. Every cup of water needed for the race, and thus every drop of water through a well to villages and countries in need around the world.

Today, I'm thinking God for shifting Barometric Pressure... just remind me of that the next time I complain about a headache, will ya?!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Workin' It

It's official. Monday night at 10, I have logged about a marathon worth of running!


No really, though - there are now 26.24 miles on my training log and I am SO stinking proud of myself. I am not a runner. I mean I've tried running before, but it's never really stuck. Having a race or something to work towards has been so fabulous, you don't even know.

Honestly, every time I'm out there, I'm a big cheeseball and feel like I'm running for my husband. And in a way I guess I am. I'm training for a race that will directly benefit his health and well-being, so maybe I really am running for him. And everytime I push myself harder, I feel like I'm loving him in that.

See?! Total cheeseball.

But anywho - I had the best run the other day. Saturday evening's run was so stinking phenomenal that I can only hope that my next run will be that good. It wasn't too hot out, so I'm sure that helped a bit. And it's very possible that the Vanilla Bean Frappacino I had about 2 hours before could've had a little to do with it, too, but I don't even care. I felt SO great about it!

McStudly was hanging out with a buddy of his and so I figured I'd knock out my run for the day (since I'm running every other day, now) while he was gone. So I threw on some of my running gear, laced up my new running shoes (I can't wait to tell you all about them), charged up the iPod shuffle and went for it.

At the previous run, I had finally reached the point where I could run a full mile without stopping to walk. That was HUGE for me. Seriously! So I figured I try to push it up to a mile and a 1/4 or maybe... maybe a mile and a 1/2 if I could. Why not aim "big", right? ha ha... that seems so silly, now.

Well, aim "big" I did. Once I got going, I felt great so I just kept running. I ended up running 2 1/2 miles straight!!


I couldn't believe it, but I just kept pushing myself and pushing myself and it. was. awesome!!

at one point, Studly and his friend drove past me and waved. I felt so great because of where I was at the time and the fact that I was still running. Still running. Hadn't stopped, yet!

Oh man.

You have no idea how much of an accomplishment that was for me.

Well since then I've run once, but had to tone it down for two reasons: time and temperature.

It's been way hot out in these parts, lately, and I don't want to kill myself so I'm staying smart. Studly and I got home later in the evening on Monday, so we just decided to go around the "block" and take Austin with us, but we had to run the whole thing.


No sweat.

Well... there was plenty of sweat, but we did it, nonetheless (and Austin didn't almost keel over, this time. I guess we're all doing better, now) and felt great afterwards, so we through in some crunches after we stretched it out. 50 of them, to be exact. Awesome.

Anywho, it was over 100 degrees Tuesday (luckily it fell on a no-run day, for me), which wasn't pretty, but it looks like it'll be right at that, or close to it for a little while. So I may be sticking to a few shortened run sessions, for now. But the way I'm looking at it is that I'll be getting better at a straight run and will hopefully be able to push myself further and further when it starts to cool down.

That sounds reasonable, right?

Well, that's the status for now. I have a few more runs to log, but won't cheat and add them into the total that is giving me for now. I'll just give you what I haven't been too lazy to log and hopefully that will make me better at logging everything.

Anywho - that's the 411 on the 1/2 marathon training. Have you been pushing yourself to exercise, lately? What other kinds of goals have you set for yourself - crafting, blogging, cleaning... do tell!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I know - I'm Slacker McSlackipantalones for sure. BUT I thought it was a nice chance to take a break (break from what, most of you are probably thinking... it's not like I've been exactly on the ball, lately) over the 4th Holiday and just relax with my McStudmuffin...


It was fabulous. We did a whole lot of nothing -

Wait. That's not true. We did a lot, BUT we have nothing PLANNED, so it was oh-so relaxing.

Friday night, we went up to Annapolis and mosied on around the new Town Centre. We bought new running shoes (more to come on that) for both of us, had dinner at one of the newer restaurants in the area (nothing to write home about, unfortunately), and I day-dreamed about shopping at Anthropologie (window shopping at it's finest) as we walked past.

Saturday, we slept in a little, I went up to Joanns and scored BIGtime (LOVE me some fabric sales), had lunch with some of mi familia (momma & pappa bear, and little sis), scored yet again when I stopped at a local consignment shop with Momma and little Sis on the way home from said lunch, went our separate ways for a big (Studly and I, that is), then met up again a little later. He spent some time with a good friend of his, and I met up with one of the awesome ladies' from our church (more to come on that, as well) before going for a run (and again... more to come on that). It was awesome.

Then comes the 4th. We slept in again (oh so lovely...) and then we'd planned to meet up with a buddy of his and his wife and little girls on base for the festivities, but then changed plans. We Goodwill hopped for a bit, then mosied on around in Annapolis again before checking out another new restaurant and chowing down on some yummy frozen yogurt at one of our new favorite places, Menchies (yumm-o!), where we happened upon some old pals of ours (Hi Livi, Leah, and Natalie!! oh... and you too, Lane). And out of pure laziness, we decided to stay in the Annapolis area for some fireworks. We wandered up to the top of one of the many parking garages and watched a few of the different shows (since you could see about 3 or 4 of them from there) before heading home for a movie and some puppy time with our favorite dog, Austin.

Wow.. there's STILL another day to talk about?! Gesh. I looove long weekends. :-)

So Monday morning came around and we slept in again (not too long, this time... we wanted to take full advantage of our day off). I called one of my bestest buddies in the whole world, Ash-a-Bash, and we decided to drive out to Virginia, meet up with her, and then go check out a fun new golf place in the area. It ended up being a TOTAL blast. Seeing her is always a super fun time. I love my Ash. *sigh And then getting to hang out with her family again (it's been for-eh-ver!) was also a blast. I miss them all. *tear

Aaannnnd that was pretty much my awesome long weekend. Woot!

It was fabulous, for sure.

So what about you all - what'd you do with your long weekend?

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Hips Don't Lie

I started training for the 1/2 on Wednesday. Wow. Not a good move.

It wasn't horrible... okay. That's not true. In fact - it's a big fat lie. It was HORRIBLE!!

I decided I'd do 4 miles and take little ol' Austin with me. He could use some exercise too, ya know?!

Well, let's just put it all out there. Judge me if you want to. Or don't... but laughter is totally acceptable in this instance.


It took me an hour. I did 4.13 miles and it took me an HOUR!! A freaking hour.

Ugh. That's like walking... which is pretty much what I did the majority of the time.

BUT - in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't know until I finally made it home and the dog nearly died on the kitchen floor that it was over 100 degrees outside AND the air quality was Code Red.



Anywho, Austin and I both survived (although I'm pretty sure Austin will run and hide the next time I take his leash out of the drawer), but I was highly disappointed in my lack of athleticism. Especially since just a few short weeks ago I did 5.5 in much less time with a girlfriend of mine.

Oh well. I guess having a horrible time like this will at least make me look way more improved at the end, eh?

The kicker is how rough recovery has been. It actually hasn't been as bad as I initially thought it would be (I blame it on the lack of oxygen during the run... stupid air quality!), but my hips started fighting me like 20 minutes in. I was hurrrrting, people. I'm serious. It was like my hips woke up and were like "Hoold up - what is this, mess? What are you doing?!" They were none-too-pleased with me, for sure. I guess that's what Shakira means when she says her hips don't lie. Because my hips tell the truth, no matter how harsh it may be, nah mean?! Yeah. There ain't no fooling those babies. Sheesh!

But McStudly and I are giving it another shot tonight. We're going to try the same 4-mile route and seeing as it's like 15 degrees cooler today and the air quality is listed as yellow (moderate, for those unfamiliar), I'm thinking it'll be MUCH more manageable. Well, at least we're hoping so, anyways.

So now I've gotta ask: how many of you are into running? Or interested in getting into running? Or enjoy watching others run away after they make them cry?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Official

Last week I was honored to be a part of some very special celebration. My friends Mike and Aiyana tied the knot (FINALLY!) after much anticipation and we couldn’t be happier for them!!

**Congrats you guys – we love you!

Well along with the wedding came rehearsals, a bachelorette party, a lingerie shower, and a bachelor party for the men-folk. Good times were had by all (well… mostly. Poor Mike was 7 shades of red when the guys surprised him with this embarrassing accessories for the evening) and though it all went by quickly, I’m just glad that Studly and I were able to be a part of it and celebrate with them.

But I tell that story to tell you another story… one that comes with a need for your assistance in the coming months and a willingness for you to bear with me as I prepare. *teeth chattering

And for those of you not paying attention and trying to figure out what it is. Just be patient… you’ll learn soon enough.

Thursday night was Aiyana’s bachelorette party. The ladies all met at Fuji for dinner (and entertainment. Have you seen those hibachi grill chefs? AHHmazing!) and then went back to the maid of honor’s house for a little lingerie action (oww owwww!).


Let me rephrase.

We went back to have a lingerie shower for Aiyana. *whew That sounds MUCH better.

Back to the story… while I was there catching up with some girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a while (which is ALWAYS a ton of fun, right?!), my friend Amber gave me this amazing tidbit of information. Here’s what happened.

She had been at Atlanta Bread Company earlier in the day and came across this pamphlet. Upon further review, she discovers that the event focuses on Crohns’ and Colitis.

As most of you know, McStudly was diagnosed with Crohns’ disease last year. It was actually this time last year, actually, when he was finally diagnosed, so it’s been about a year now that we’ve been learning and trying out different medications and treatment options. Growing through the process.

So basically – to state that this hits close to home would be a total understatement. It’s not close to home, people… it IS home! I mean, you can’t get a whole whole lot closer than that, right?!

Anywho, she gave me the pamphlet (thanks, Amber. You’re such a sweetheart!) and I took it him to look it over and do a bit more research on the subject. And after talking it over with the Stud himself, we decided we were game.

It’s official. This December, the 5th to be exact, McStudly and I will be running the Rock & Roll ½ Marathon in Vegas. The proceeds go towards helping the CCFA (Crohns’ & Colitis Foundation of America) find a cure.

Fact: Did you know that chronic, and often debilitating digestive diseases impact more than 1.4 million Americans? True Story.

But I’m tired of just talking the talk. Crohn’s hit home for us. And see how it affects people in all different ways makes me wanna get off my butt and do something about it. But since I don’t have my doctorate and am certainly not a scientist, this is where I can help. So I’m going to do it, dang it!

So how can you help? I’m glad you asked.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to sign up to run it with us. In fact, you can do everything from the comfort of your couch with a big ol’ bowl of popcorn and a nice Big Gulp on the table next to you… or whatever it is you eat while you think about other people exercising. For me, it’s Chocolate Chip cookies and/or brownies with a nice big glass of milk. Yumm… I can feel myself getting fatter already. Woohoo!!

No – in fact, all we need from you is a lot of encouragement and a little bit of moolah.

Okay – I’ve already lost some of you. *sigh

Really though – let me explain. This money isn’t going to us. It’s not going to some VP’s pocket. It’s not going into the big hole that is the US Government’s “treasury” (which reminds me - doesn’t something need to be in it for us to actually consider it a “treasury”? I’m just sayin…). It’s going directly into the funding of finding a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis.

By giving us just a few bucks here and there, as you’re able, you would not only be changing my husband and I’s life by helping us run this race, but you’ll be absolutely changing the lives of over 1.4 million Americans that are impacted by these diseases. And for that, my friends, I will be in huge debt to you.

For those who don’t know the whole story, my husband wasn’t sick hardly a day in his life until all of a sudden WHAM! He’s got an auto-immune disease that he’ll have for life. Umm.. whaaa?! That’s a lot for someone in their 20s to all of a sudden have to deal with. Not to mention how he went from not even knowing what a headache really was to having them on a consistent basis thanks to the steroids they put him on. He’s since switched treatments and now goes in for infusions every 8 weeks. If he misses one, he feels it.

That’s quite an adjustment.

Basically – we need your help. We need to raise $3,500 a piece to be able to compete in the ½ marathon and support such an amazing cause. But for those of you that are as skeptical as I am about these things, here’s where the money goes:

- 16 weeks of training with a professional trainer and the team of other runners in your area, to make it easier for you to be able to complete the race
- Race entry fees, which aren’t all that cheap for this one
- Hotel accommodations for race weekend
- Entry to the Pasta Party on the eve of the race, to make sure you load up on carbs before the big day
- Moolah moolah moolah going towards the whole reason for the race

- Airfare to and from Vegas (and I live almost as far as one can live and still be in the same continent) for the race along with your team
- Ground transportation to and from the airport, as well as throughout the weekend for the various organized activities

I know it seems like a lot of money – TRUST me… I’m worried that we won’t be able to raise enough to be able to participate. But I do know that even if something happens and we can’t raise enough to race, the money that we have raised will still go straight to the cause. And that, my friends, is music to my ears… er – McStudly’s intestines. ??

There you have it. McStudly and I will be training to run a ½ Marathon in December to benefit Crohns’ and Colitis research, and we’re stoked! Our only concern has nothing to do with training or getting there… it’s whether or not we can raise the money in time to be able to participate and support a cause that has such an effect on our lives already.

So that’s where you come in. Can you help? Any little bit will help us go a long way when combined with the other little bits we’re hoping to receive. AND come August, we’ll have a link on the side of the blog that’ll take you directly to our Team Challenge fundraising sites so you can contribute. So start setting aside money, if you can. We’d be greatly honored, probably more than you’ll ever know.

Thanks guys!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Stretch

Here we are at the beginning of summer. While most people use this time to plan vacations and trips and any chance to squeeze in a beach weekend (all of which I do...), I start getting bummed at the lack of TV shows since everything's ended!

It's not the most important thing to think about, but it's on my mind. I'd be lying if I said anything different.

But this year, my saving grace is Season 5 of Design Star. Woot!!

I heart David Bromstad. LOVE any and all HGTV shows that he's in and think he's a decorating genius. Seriously - I would LOVE love LOVE for him to decorate any room in my house. And his paintings?! Oh-Emm-GEESH! He's just sooo good at what he does. For reals.

Anywho - he's like the original Design Star. So I decided I'd actually watch this year and see who I'd like. And if nothing else, to get some inspiration for our home.

I LOVE design shtuff. You may not know it by looking at my house (take a quick look at my bank account and you'll probably see why that is), but I seriously have SOO many ideas. I love things that are different, but not strange. I love having things in my house that no one else has.

Like my orange wall. When I said I wanted an orange wall, I didn't know a SINGLE person that had one. Never saw it on HGTV or anything, I just knew I wanted it. Oddly enough, I'm starting to see it in a couple different shows, nowadays, and have heard of other people doing it, BUT as far as I'm concerned... I pioneered that puppy!

Anywho - I somehow get sewing inspiration from design shows as well. Don't ask me how, but it's kind've cool. Too bad I don't have the ability to stay home and play with stuff because I LOVE love LOVE making my own patterns and such. I've not really had the chance to completely create something from scratch.

Due to time constraints and such, I'll typically take a picture of something and do it myself, with my own little twist to it. Or I'll mimic the top portion of a little girl's dress (like I did for Lil' Abby a few posts back) and then totally switch it up with an original dress portion.

I love it!

And I've got SO many ideas swimming around in my head that I haven't had the chance to try, yet. I can't wait to be able to, someday. I have this dream of doing it for a living... but then again I have that dream for several different things. ha ha... oh well!

Basically, I say all that to say this: I kind've feel like I "get" them. The contestants on Design Star, that is. Like... with every challenge, they want to learn something themselves, but also please the judges and show how good they are at what they already. Does that make sense?

So I'm super stoked to see how they do. And who I like and kind've feel like I connect to.

Who's gonna be on the couch every Sunday night watching with me?! (...or using the DVR and catching up later in the week?!) Can't wait to hear what you think and who you like!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Busy Busy Bee

I am 24 years old, now, and have never been stung by a bee... well... up until one night about 2 weeks ago, anyways. :-(

I got home from work a bit later than planned, and we rushed around to get everything together and get Austin ready so that we could head up to the Fort for the game. The plan was to get there early so that he could warm up with everyone and be ready for the start of the game.


That didn't exactly happen.

We got on the road (finally!), and got stuck in traffic. In order to avoid even just a little bit of stress, we turned down a back road to skip some of the traffic. We were almost at the end of the road when we realized that Studly didn't have his ID with him... didn't have any ID with him. So we turned around and headed back towards the house to get his ID.

When we'd finally got the ID, we turned back towards the Fort and took the back road again to avoid some of the traffic, and save a bit of sanity. Time was ticking and we were getting closer and closer to game time, yet we hadn't even made it on base!

We finally see the gate, turn in, and are quickly turned away. In our haste to make it to the field in time, we had turned in to the closest entrance... but didn't consider the fact that my car didn't have base stickers. Boo!

So around we went to get through inspection and hustle it on over to the field...

But wait...

What field are we on?

We drove in circles, already having missed the start of the game... the dog was whining, the husband was stressed, and this wife was going crazy!

We finally spotted the field and McStudly hopped out to get over there ASAP. I went on and parked, got the dog out, and got all of the "shtuff" together before beginning the long awkward hike to the bleachers.

At this point, I felt like I could at least take a deep breath. We'd made it. Studly's head was in the game, the dog was out of the car and no longer whining, and we were finally good to go for another couple of hours. With Austin in hand, we crossed through the tall grass area and were finishing our little trek across the grassy knoll, dotted with spots of dandelion weeds. All the while we were walking, I was thinking about how I'd have to check the pup for ticks, later, because of those long weeds we'd walked through.






In that split second between feeling a little prick on the arch of my foot, and getting my hand to that area to wipe away what I thought would be a stick or something that was poking me sharply, the pain intensified immensely!! It was only a split second! I mean... what the dilly?! What the HECK kind of devil stick is this?!

It wasn't a devil stick. Well, devil seems fitting, but definitely not a stick.

...stupid little bee...

In the time that it took to blink while turning my head down to my foot, and also while reaching my hand down to wipe away the devil stick (all in less than a second), my hand touched the spastic wings of the stupid little devil bee before my eyes did and I FLUNG it off my foot!

Totally freaked out, now!!

Well, I hobbled over to the bleachers, which were still a good 100ft away from where "it" happened, and stretched out the hand that was holding Austin's leash...

"Hi, umm... can you hold my dog?!" Poor stranger was nice enough, though. He took his leash and watched him while I examined my now gimpy foot.

Poor little lefty. *sniff sniff

Sure enough, I had been stung right on the arch of my foot. I'm still not really sure how it happened, but it did. And at that moment, all that mattered was knowing that the little devil bee that had stung innocent ol' me was now dead. (I promise I'm not a violent person... but I know bees don't have feelings, so I was perfectly fine with the fact that he died for what he did to my foot. And I did NOTHING to him! Grr... yes it was a boy. No sweet little girl bee would do such a thing for no reason!)

So I basically sat there staring at this odd looking target-esque devil marking on my foot trying desperately to breathe deeply and fight back the tears that were welling up behind my oversized brown sunglasses (so thankful I hadn't forgotten them!), all while McStudly had not-a-clue what had been going on.

I got out what I thought was the last bit of the stinger (found out later that I wasn't accurate in that assumption) and used the antibacterial hand sanitizer offered up by another sweet stranger to clean the war-wound and keep it from getting infected. I asked that poor girl so many questions... I had no idea what to do about a bee sting!!

Well, as you can tell I survived. I did make it and now my foot is on it's way to some semblance of "normal". I went to the doctor last week for a follow-up on some other things, and mentioned the bee sting to her. It was super itchy and driving me CRAZY, so she gave me some topical cream that would help drive out the rest of the stinger and relieve the itchy reminder of what that devil bee did to my poor little left foot.

I don't care how cute of a movie they made, those bees are evil little creatures!