Sunday, August 28, 2011

We're Alive!

With Hurricane Irene such an unpredictable storm this past weekend, we planned ahead. A big joke here in the South is that before a big storm like this, the grocery stores get raided for water, toilet paper, batteries, and bread. This go-round, I was partly one of these crazies but also making a normal Target run.

To prepare for Irene, I made a giant vat of mexican chicken soup (we can eat off that for days!) and ended up baking an apple cobbler (yummy). We settled in Friday night for either nothing but a little rain, or the storm of the century. We made no plans to go anywhere Saturday because even if it wasn't much, who wants to be out in the wind and rain? Gross!

I'm sure you know by now, but we literally only got a little rain and some wind. Praise the Lord! It made for quite a relaxing weekend of doing not much and eating yummy food. And most importantly, being together. With Scout ALL WEEKEND. It was absolutely wonderful! Here are some photos from this weekend...

Yeah, she totally stole my shoe to start her own collection, the punk!

These are my gorgimous jalapenos from my coworker's garden! Used them in the soup-- so good!

Migraines are no fun, but especially when it's weather-related and the storm ain't moving any time soon. Sunday was the first time in a week that I didn't wake up with a migraine. Yay! In the meantime, this is my cure, Starbucks caffeine and Tylenol. I hate the migraines, but what a comfort to know I live in a time with drugs! Legal ones, of course. Must have extra ice for the 'bucks!

My soaking wet jeans! I took Scout to the vet Friday and we left the window down when the monsoon began. I had to pick her up and run out there to roll up the window. The resulting craziness, as you can see. The good news? I didn't melt!

This is what Scout did ALL. DAY. LONG. on Saturday. We'd opened the curtains to the patio to gauge the storm based on what this one tree in the parking lot did (how windy is it? how hard is it raining? are the branches still attached to the tree trunk? did the tree break off and damage the garage roof next to it?). Well, needless to say, our tree made it through unscathed as did Scouty. We are beyond blessed and grateful that she's never been afraid of storms. I have many friends who have scaredy-cat dogs during storms.

Hubby and I spent part of Saturday watching the Pioneer Woman's debut tv show. I made her iced coffee recipe to celebrate! We liked that it wasn't just a cooking show; it was half ranch reality show also. Chris especially enjoyed Marlboro Man telling her that he wasn't going to eat tomato salad-- and DIDN'T! He loved that!

Friends and family were not happy to find out they missed the fudge pie I made. I absolutely love keeping puff pastry and pie crust in the freezer for this very reason.

So yummy! Even better than the apple cobbler the day before. Of course that makes total sense, there was chocolate involved with the pie.

Got this photo of Scout looking outside again and I just loved the results. This is my new wallpaper for my phone. Ain't she a cutie?!

The hurricane finally passed our state and the sky turned amazing! God is so creative, even with weather! Of course, now Katia might be the next hurricane, but either way, we'll make lots of food and hang out together, with or without power. Who could ask for more?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Genie Of The Lamp!

So this week has been nutso crazy busy getting ready for my Girls' Night Out ministry event tonight. I hope to have a massively long, photo-laden post for you about it next week sometime (at the latest).

In the meantime, the Hubby and I were talking last night about what three wishes we'd ask for from a genie in a lamp (Aladdin-style of course). We came up with some serious things, like being debt-free, and we had some silly things too, like wishing our upcoming vacation was closer. Okay not so silly, but still fun.

It made me wonder what your three wishes would be and even more than that, God knows the dreams of your heart. Since He loves you so much, how do you see His hand at work bringing you the desires of your heart?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Feel The Earth Move... Under My Feet!

Today marked the first time ever (that I know of) where we experienced an earthquake.

Thank you for all the calls and emails and texts expressing your concern about our earthquake. As you can see, we're doing pretty well considering...

(Okay not to be insensitive, but I am still laughing over this...)

For those of you wondering, we're not in VA, but supposedly we had aftershocks here where we are. I was in a meeting and felt zero. I wish I'd felt a little rumble just so I could have some sort of experience with an earthquake, but sadly, it was pretty anti-climactic here.

I will say we're possibly expecting a hurricane this weekend. That'll be interesting... memories of Fran and Floyd are coming to the fore!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Give The People What They Want!

I'm a little tired today; hurt my back yesterday and it made for a long, insomnia-filled night.

Because of that, and because I really want to know... why don't you tell me what you're interested in? Do you have any questions for me or things you want to know? Pictures of anything you'd like to see?

I'll take anything you comment about into account and use it for future blog posts.

In the meantime, my mug person should be receiving her package today! (I hope! I hope!) I can't wait!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Birthday Fun Continues!

Over the weekend, a package came that was a total mystery to me. Turns out, my friend in Ohio, saw a necklace I liked on Pinterest (yay, Pinterest!). I love me some bakin' and baked goods, so this is right up my alley! She was super thoughtful to send it to me and I'm thrilled to have it! Thanks, Meredith!

Doesn't this just totally inspire you to make some cupcakes or muffins or something? Love!

Yesterday, I mentioned that two packages arrived. The second one was a steal of a deal we got on this beauty from our favorite jewelry store. Since my birthday had just come and gone, CC was feeling extra generous (Ain't he a keeper?!).

So grateful for not just the jewelry, but for the friends and hubby in my life! God is good!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I've Been Mugged!

Today was a fantabulous mail day! TWO packages arrived, one of which was my mug! Woohoo!

Once I opened the box, here's what I found!

SOOOOOO cute! AND... she sent a note! Did you see the adorable little heart on the envelope?

So sweet! Carrie even included tea to get me going. So thoughtful!

Thank you, Carrie! I love my mug (and the tea and the fun note)! (You'll have to send me your blog URL so I can follow you!)

What a blast to receive such a fun surprise in the mail! I'm dying to participate in another swap now... I might be obsessy-sessed!

Kim, thanks for the wonderful idea to celebrate your blogiversary! SO FUN!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Sneaky Peek!

Last night we had dinner with some friends we hadn't seen in a while. We had a blast, scheduled our next get-together, and ate ice cream by the fake pond near the mall. Now that the heat is going away, it was quite a pleasant time. I love Fall and it finally feels like it might be on its way! Isn't this a pretty sunset?

You've heard me mention Kim's mug swap which I'm participating in. This is my first bloggie interactive activity (short of entering every giveaway on the planet), and I am SUPER EXCITED! I really can't explain here in words how excited I am, but suffice it to say, I'm REALLY excited. My hubby can tell you if you still don't believe me.

Well, I've been wracking my brain over what kind of mug to give away: fun? funny? whimsical? serious? quote-y? I've been searching out mugs and finally found it yesterday. This morning I boxed it up and sent it on its happy way! I hope my person senses the excitement when she opens it! Heck, I just hope she likes it! Anyway, here's a sneak peek:

You didn't actually expect a true shot of what I mailed, did you? That would be no fun at all!

While shopping yesterday for the mug, I also found these bits of adorable-ness!

Can you imagine anything more adorable? Individual cupcake pedestals! Too fun! Now I really must satisfy my craving for a chocolate cupcake (I've had this craving since my birthday, and even though CC brought me one to help out, I've become a cupcake fiend! I must have another one! It's a sickness, I tell ya!).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hard-Knock Life

Life is rough. Sometimes I want to throw pity parties and invite everyone I know. It's times like these that I try even harder to focus on the blessings I have. I generally like to think I'm a pretty positive person (I hope!), so when I'm feeling negative it really brings me down. Being thankful is what it's all about for me. This lifts my spirit but also focuses my thoughts on Jesus and all He does for me, especially the things I don't even realize. Por hemplo... (means "For example" in Spanish)

Yesterday I was scheduled to attend a focus group for dog owners. I've been trying to qualify for a focus group for over three years, and the one I finally qualify for wants to PAY ME to talk about Scout for over three hours?! Sign. Me. UP!

Yesterday in general was a really great day, very productive and not stressful, so I was very much looking forward to boring folks with my tales of my super cute superhero puppy, Scoutaki Mushroom (her Ninja name).

This is me on my way to the focus group...

I arrived promptly at 5:45 as requested so we had time to eat free food. Yes, please! Half a ham sandwich, pasta salad, and a lemon cookie made me a happy, happy girl (once I removed the nasty offending raw onions from the sandwich). The promise of chocolate at the first break loomed before me and I was beyond ready to start sharing photos of my furbaby. We were finally all set to go into the room that would be our home for the next four hours. I stood up only to be told that one other lady and I had to stay behind.

Say what?! I've been so obedient! What'd I do wrong?! Turns out, said the lady after she shut the others inside, they over-recruit for these things and since everyone showed, the two of us got to still be paid and didn't have to stay. Say double what?!

She left to get our money and, once I had the mysterious, not at all conspicuous, envelope in hand, was on my way. What just happened?

I'd told CC I would call when it was over, thinking that would be 9:30. I didn't call him so I could surprise him and boy, was he surprised when I was home by 6:45! Yay, a whole unexpected night with my hubby! Woohoo! What on Earth would we do to fill the time? Snuggle? Go out on the town? Cut coupons and go grocery shopping since it was Super Doubles at Harris Teeter? Winner! Winner!

The snuggling and romance played a part, of course, but what doesn't attract you more than saving 50% off your grocery bill?

Isn't God amazing? Two huge blessings (especially financial ones) in one short night. I love God! He's so cool!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oh Honey?! I Have A New Friend For Scout!

I went to Target this morning to get a birthday gift for a friend. When I came out of the store I saw this little guy under my car (not my car in the photo)...

Could you see him peeking through the hubcap?

I tried for over twenty minutes to get him to come with me, since he was screaming out for some lovin'. Unfortunately, I never did get him to come to me. My heart's a little sad over this, but I hope someone else was able to get him. He was so ugly he was cute, but he had some giant ice blue eyes that were desperate for someone to adopt him. So sad it couldn't be us...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Birthday Continued

Since I documented my birthday yesterday, I wanted to finish sharing all that went down. (I did mention yesterday how much I love birthdays, right?)

My boss, David, is a HUGE prankster. A very good prankster. Like people have had year-old pizza in their office and never knew it for about two years, kind of prankster. This is one of his more tame jokes, I might add. I would also like to add that he'd not been back from sabbatical twenty minutes when he was pulling another prank on someone. Who unfortunately had access to the security camera footage and totally busted us both this morning. Sad.

Anyway, we've tried all summer to figure out some way to prank his office for when he returned. We never came up with anything worthwhile, so yesterday afternoon I threw this beauty up in his office real quick. (I am not good at the pranking. If you haven't read about my epic failure, then let me tell you I'm awful at it.)

I got this up in the nick of time, because not thirty minutes later, David walked in. Not much of a prank, but he loved it and felt loved, so that's good. Not that it much matters, but don't tell him I put it up. He doesn't know who did it.

After that, my hubby and I went to dinner before rehearsal. He gave me my final precious, err, I mean, present... please ignore my oddly crooked fingers.

Don't be jealous. Okay, you can be a little jealous. My first question to him was "Holy crap! Is it real?!" He laughed and said heck no. Which is good, because I don't want to go into debt over some more jewelry. Glad it looks real though. It's gorgeous and I can't stop wearing it. Love! Did a great job, didn't he? Got major bonus points yesterday, not that he needs them.

Are you bored yet? I feel like it's a bit boring since I'm giving you every stinkin' little detail of my birthday. I loved it and had a fantabulous day, but maybe you're bored reading this. I'm continuing on now... in case you aren't bored...

My friend, Jamie, had a surprise for me. Every week for rehearsal she brings in pure sugar to overload us all with energy for the worshipping. It works out well and as you may guess, she's very well-loved around here.

This is what she made for me... inspired by something we both saw on Pinterest... along with a card she had everyone sign. Very sweet...

All in all, a delicious and very fun day. Still anticipating a chocolate cupcake at some point this weekend (because we're still celebrating), but overall a fun and blessed day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

I love birthdays, all birthdays. It's the perfect opportunity to tell and show how vitally important to you someone is-- how blessed you are to share life with them, and all that fun, mushy stuff we don't hear on a regular basis sometimes. August is an especially wonderful month for birthdays because there are no other holidays nearby to rain on the parade, so to speak.

Today happens to be my birthday, which is very exciting for me. After all, I wait all year for it!

I've been and will continue to celebrate all week (heck, all month for sure, all year if I can swing that by the hubby!), but today has been just wonderful so far.

My sweet hubby, CC, started the day with this little blue box from a certain well-known store...

He won at work a teardrop necklace from Tiffany for me! I don't care if it was free; he thought of me and I love it!

He also got me these shoes I've been drooling over for Fall...

Aren't they cute? I can't wait to wear them... maybe tomorrow, even if it's supposed to be five thousand gagillion degrees outside.

Our Senior Pastor, Chuck, as well as my boss, David, have been on sabbatical all summer and have finally returned...

This is Chuck during his sermon from this morning that we recorded for the other campus. I know he didn't plan it this way, but I say that his and David's return are wonderful birthday presents this year! I love having them around, so I'm glad they're back.

The rest of the day is going well. Ate lunch with coworker buddies, and I get to see Chris for dinner tonight before rehearsal. Friends dropping by work, and more friends to see tonight and this week-- such a fun time!

My only wish is for a chocolate cupcake, but I'm pretty sure that'll be happening tonight, so that's just a matter of waiting for it.

Don't you just love birthdays?!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Happy Blogiversary, Kim!

My friend, Kim, over at A Cuppa Kim is celebrating her first blogiversary with a fantastic mug swap and giveaway! I'm thrilled with her idea and hope to (steal it, err, I mean) incorporate it somehow in the future. Check it out and get in on the action yourself!

Friday, August 05, 2011

God Is So Cool!

"With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." ~2 Peter 3:8, NIV

It's rather interesting to me how God is outside of time. Even space. It blows my mind and I don't even try to understand it, but today this verse came to my mind.

Because of the nature of my job, I am constantly thinking weeks and months and sometimes even years ahead (We've already begun planning for 2012!). This makes it difficult or at least confusing when I'm talking to other folks because I'm usually thinking we're at least two weeks into the future and we're not. Usually this is funny, but I also rarely know what the current day is. I make a to-do list the day before using my calendar, which helps me know what day we're on. But often I have a hard time with what day it is.

I wonder if God's like that? Not scatter-brained like me, but just so cognizant of all that each day or week or month or year entails, seeing it all at once, as a big picture... I just think that's a really cool thing to think about.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

And One More Taz & Scout Story...

Because I am not sure how convinced y'all are about the hilarity that is my aunt, I'm adding one more Taz & Scout story for you.

From Mary:
"Taz just asked: mew, meow, MEOW, ow, ow?
So what do you think?"

Me: "Hmm oh yes! Tell Taz I said mewmew meowwwwww meow!:-)"

Mary: "Great! He's smiling!"

Me: :-D

The following day, when I'd forgotten all about my "conversation" with Taz...

Mary: "Taz is so happy! He's been on wedding planning websites since yesterday! I didn't think you would let Scout get married this young."

After this we went back and forth to settle my confusion on why Taz was under the impression he and Scout were engaged. Mary promptly reminded me of my conversation with Taz the day before. Oops! I'd somehow given the impression that I gave my blessing. Once I understood...

Me: "Trickery! Deceit! Different dialects of the feline language are often mistaken for others. I said he could give her a promise collar; he heard marriage was acceptable. The answer is NO."

Mary: "He very clearly said marriage. OK, I'll tell him you meant to say Promise Collar."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Taz & Scout

I am generally not a fan of inter-special dating. However, one such couple changed my views on just this subject.

I believe I've mentioned Grandma Camp before. Basically so that my super cool aunt feels she sort of has a dog, we let Scout go to visit Grandma (my aunt) for a few days about once or twice a month. This gives us "parents" a little break (especially when the schedule is so crazy) and my aunt gets to visit with her granddog.

We've had Scout for over two years now and in that time she has made one very close friend, my aunt's cat, Taz. Now my aunt has three cats, but Taz is closest to Scout's age and energy level. He's a weirdo, which makes it perfect that Taz and Scout would fall in love. What you have to understand at the same time is my aunt is a writer. A hilarious, funny, so hilarious writer. Who doesn't realize it. She never believes me when I tell her she is writing the wrong genre (She likes writing fan fiction and sci-fi/fantasy.).

Well it finally dawned on me one day that if I saved all the emails we write each other back and forth, I could one day compile them into a funny book. This is my retirement plan for my aunt, because I know it'll be a bestseller. I just know this.

CC titled the book for us a few weeks ago. Not sure you can handle the awesomeness, but here we go, along with some sneak peeks of this once-in-the-future-to-be-published novel...

Taz & Scout: A Tail Of Forbitten Love

"She grabbed a toy off the shelf [at Petsmart] as we were walking by and then tried to carry it out the door.

I had gotten some more, lighter weight cable for her outside tie-up so we had stopped at the front check-out when I noticed her shop lifting. It's the material that you pointed out this morning that she liked so much so I couldn't be mad at her.

She acted very, very hot and thirsty after Home Depot so of course we had to stop by McDonald's to get her some water. And since I couldn't just get her h2o, I got some biscuits for me just be polite. She sat up in my lap, with her ears up, taking in the sights and waving at the money collection person as if she'd done it every day of her life and twice on Sundays.

When we got home she started crying and pawing at the door as I collected the stuff to carry inside. Then she pulled at the leash all the way up the porch stairs and into the house. I took off the leash and she ran through the house looking for the cat. He was on the back of the couch so she took a flying leap onto the couch then on to the back of the couch, landing on top of Taz. She licked his face while he hugged her for a few minutes and then Taz jumped down and then zoomed through the living room into my bedroom, sliding on the floor under my bed, with dog in hot pursuit.

They have been at it off and on ever since."

Here's a bit of Taz & Scout's relationship. Whenever Scout is naughty, she goes to "jail" (her crate). Taz is visiting her while she's locked up.

Taz is short for "Tasmanian Devil," which is his full name. My aunt also calls him Monster. Dusty and Bissette are her other two cats...

"Monster has a well chewed appearance. His hair is wet and mussed. I tried taking a picture but then remembered the Text ban. Don't worry it didn't come out all that great to begin with.

Right now I have three kitties and a puppy on the corners of the bed all facing away from each other. Monster and Scout because if they start to play on the bed I use the water gun--Dusty and Bissette--because we all are beneath their notice.

I think I need a King Size bed."

And one more laugh for your day: Whenever it's close to time for us to go pick up Scout from Grandma Camp, Mary (my aunt) pretends Scout isn't available. Below is a prime example.

"Bo Obama has asked Scout to accompany him on a very important top secret diplomatic mission! They will be out of the country until some time next week.

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!

I know you are very disappointed that you won't get to enjoy Christmas with her, however you should be a proud American dog mother that she's put her country first."

I hope you find this as funny as I do. I have over two years of these emails, so maybe another day I'll share some more. I think it'd make a fabulous book and if nothing else, make Mary very happy. I know Scout & Taz would definitely appreciate the support for their bizarre relationship.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tangent Tuesday!

I have some random tangents for you today. Nothing really cohesive, but hopefully it can still count as an update.

Last night we drove up to my aunt's house to take dinner and hang out with my uncle, who's visiting from California. CC and I got ChickfilA, and they ate olive, fish, & fungus pizza (I have a strange family.). Scout went too so she could meet her great-uncle! We had a fabulous time reconnecting and visiting, despite Scout being very disobedient almost the entire time. We think she was a bit too wired after being in her crate all day, but we're still not sure how she managed to OPEN the bathroom drawer so she could then casually stroll through the living room holding a toothbrush in her mouth! Crazy mutt. But it was wonderful! I wish we could see more of him.

I know you are tired of Scout pictures, but this one is a fabulous one CC took of her this morning, before he left for work. She was super sleepy after bouncing around last night.

Isn't she adorable?! (No bias here.) I love that she's trying to hide her eyes from the camera flash. Too funny!

Last Friday I went shopping now that I'm becoming a girlie girl. I use that as the basis for my excuse that I needed to go shopping. Lots of shopping! I found some great bargains and a couple of new stores and found this very cute skirt I Had To Have. I was very grateful when it fit, because I had planned to buy it anyway.

Well I finally wore it today and I must say I feel right sassy in it today! It's a romantic, flirty skirt to me, and I'm thrilled that it worked out well (because like I said, I was buying it either way!). :-D

Here's a photo of me from this morning. Be warned- it's another iPhone picture and it's not that great of me, but the skirt is in the photo and that's all I was really going for.

In new news, I finally qualified for a focus group study! Woohoo! I've been trying to qualify for one for about three years and I always either don't make it to the question round, or at the most, through the question round. Today I passed! Woohoo! Easy money here I come! And it's about my furbaby? Oh yes, I am so there! Yippee! I can't wait!