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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween!

Happy Halloween! (courtesy of Melissa totally inspired by Pinterest)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Applepalooza!

Finally, the long-awaited Applepalooza post!

What's Applepalooza you ask? Well, the ONE thing I wanted to do during last week's vacation/staycation was to go apple picking. I've wanted to for years, but work always gets in the way. Silly work.

Anyhoodle, we were finally able to go! We went to Carter Mountain Orchards,which was UHmazing! It was a three and a half hour drive. One way. We were there maybe an hour in total. Then we drove home. To.tally. worth. the. drive. Seriously. WORTH IT.

See? I told you. I took about five thousand photos just of the drive up there. For your sanity, I give you these.


I don't know if I'm sheltered or what, but I'd never seen a water tower any color but white. It was a pretty color of blue (NOT Carolina blue) so thought I'd share it with you.

We spent about forty minutes admiring the beauty and God's amazingness. We only picked for maybe 4 minutes. The other 16 minutes were spent huffing and puffing our way up and down the mountain. Who knew a mountain orchard would actually BE on top of a mountain?

1. The first pick! (We picked Fujis. Amazingness.) Aren't you jealous of my hobo gloves? I usually wear them at work during services. Freezing fingers are not a good thing when you're running lyrics and sermon notes. 2. CC is not playing stickball. They have these grabby things you use to get the apples that are up high. You tall people wouldn't understand. 3. For Steve Jobs. 4. Apple cider doughnuts! Because we forgot to eat lunch before we drove three hours through nothingness. 5. The haul.

The results! Apple tart. Applesauce. Apple crisp. Apple panini. Apple Mac... Applebee's... oh wait. Sorry. Got carried away.


Scout was all up in my face trying to get in on the bounty. She did not win but you see she tried to use her cute wiles, don't you? Those ears! The paw on the shoulder trick! The puppy eyes! The submissive pose! She almost got me.

I am *almost* appled out for now, but I have gobs of applesauce in the freezer and about 6 actual apples left. I've been using them for sea salt caramel apples (thanks, Ree!). I already can't wait to go next year. I love that I wanted this to be the epitome of Autumn and it totally was!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Staycation Continued (PicFrame)



This was our super fun fair day. I've discovered PicFrame (thanks a lot, Kim!) and now I'm obsessed. Seriously, you'll believe me soon enough. We went to the fair with Mom and our friend, Melissa. She's a hoot and together, neither of them know a stranger. It took us an hour to find food because they kept talking to people. Lots of fun, but it took awhile to find the food. Just sayin'.

I did NOT eat the krispy kreme burger. Rule number one: NEVER EVER contaminate a krispy kreme with anything, but especially with meat. Wrong. So very wrong. NC is the home of the Mt. Olive pickle. They're delish! CC liked the deep-fried Koolaid. I thought it was pointless. But free, so yay! We ate many other things, but if you knew how much.... well, let's just move on to the next photo, shall we?

Because something had to be done after Fair Day... my 'age' changes daily. I liked when it thought I was 29 but 40? Not so much. Of course, the other day one of the worship team kids thought I was 58... I got upset until he called someone younger 6 million years old. Better now.



The precursor to Applepalooza... Very exciting going into it, I must say. Stay tuned tomorrow for Applepalooza!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vacation Recap! (Autumnal version)

Here it finally is! What we did during our staycation last week. I promise in advance, we had a blast, and did some stuff, but not sure you'll really find it all that fascinating (too much build-up, not enough to deliver? you be the judge.). I will tell you that we had not only a whole week off, but two glorious Sundays visiting the local Bedside Baptist church. Jammies, coffee, Fall mornings, coupons, and extra sleep and Schnuggles. Total blissdom.

The first weekend we had off, CC's mom (my beloved mil) came to town from far, far way. The one thing she asked to do was hit up the state fair (oh yes!) and spend time together. Requests granted! So we basically hung out at home and Wallyworld until Fair Day. Or as I like to call it-- Stuff Your Face With Random Fried 'Food' You Think Is Okay To Eat Because It's Only Once A Year Day. See, Fair Day is easier and faster and shorter to say.

This photo won't prove it, but Scouty was VERY happy to see Grandma. They played, they schnuggled, Scout got DRENCHED with the water bottle... good times.

It's apparently not good to watch SPCA videos and look at the available animals for adoption. If you do, your hubby will put the smack-down on you. Especially if you want a kitten even if you're a dog person and he's allergic to cats. Especially then.

Fun at Wallyworld. CC found this irresistible and yet, I did not come home with the cute hat. Hmm... (please excuse the lack of hair and make-up. I believe in afro frizz when it comes to vacation days)

Just before he left for staycay, Hubby found an UNUSED IPAD just laying around at work! InconCEIVABLE! So of course he usurped it for our seriously professional usage. We got the free Sesame Street Grover book code from Starbucks. Yes, our dog apparently likes to watch Grover on the iPad. She's highly advanced. She starts college in January.

And because you haven't begged for mercy from puppy pictures, this is Scout's face after I put a tshirt on her. In my defense, she was shivering from the Fall air. You can't see the shivering, but it's there. Can't you see her gratefulness to be clothed? As Julie called it and I'm adapting for this purpose... rich puppy problems.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Challenge Accepted!

My friend, Jan, blogged about a marriage challenge she's linking up to and I thought I'd accept this throwdown as well. Check it out. Looks like a good time of growth and learning and generally making sure hubby knows he's loved. (CC, ignore this post and challenge! You're not supposed to know about it.) If you want to participate and link up, here's the button:

Skinned Knees


Let me know how it goes for you if you decide to participate! I am always open to ideas/help/pedicures for further romancing my hubby. (Disclaimer: Hubby does NOT do pedicures. He's a man's man. A Ron Swanson man. Wii Kung-fu and all that tough guy stuff.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday

I've seen other blogs that do wordless Wednesdays, which I think is neat. The problem I have is that I like to write/talk/elucidate/go on and on and on... so with that in mind, here's my not so wordless Wednesday post...

Yesterday was sort of a crappy day. I got so angry and frustrated about a situation that I ended up bawling all over the office (which I HATE to do). The day got better but then worse. I'm very thankful it's over. (Interesting, that I was choosing to be thankful during all of that. Thanks God, for growth!) Anyway, my darling sweet hubby gave me an early Christmas present to cheer me up and make the day better. If you know me AT ALL, you know I adore Jane Austen, and especially her novel, Pride And Prejudice. (My blog's name actually came from this novel.) CC found this children's counting primer hardcover book and I LOVE it! It's adorable, the pictures are cute, and hilarious! I looked at it multiple times and am enjoying it immensely. This kind gesture by my hubby definitely made my day and cheered me up!


Yesterday also marked the end to my six months of earring stud exile and the beginning of my obsession with all kinds of earrings. I can now wear whatever I want whenever I want, which makes me incredibly happy. The downside is I had my first casualty this morning. I wasn't even to work yet, when I realized I'd lost one of my purple sparkly Mickey heads (even with the rubber backing on!). Especially sad when you realize I got these at Disney World, so I can't just go back and buy another pair. I called CC to look at home, but I am pretty sure it's lost and gone forever. Fortunately I brought a back up pair to work with me today, just in case something happened.

Hopefully the day only gets better, but I am sad I can't wear purple sparkles today. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And I'm So Thankful...

..That I'm incapable... Of doing any good on my own! (sorry, a little Caedmon's Call came out there for a second)

Anyway, back in the swing of things today after a lovely vacation (to be shared soon!), but thought I'd take today to focus on the blessings in my life.

1. That our staycation rocked our socks off!
2. We both have jobs to go back to, that we enjoy
3. Applepalooza (it's not over, but homemade apple crisp and applesauce are our winners thus far)
4. Ina Garten (see above recipes that are amazing!)
5. Autumn & all its beauty that reflects God's glory
6. Supplemental insurance and Church Administrators/Superheroes
7. Chipotle (because who's not grateful for that?!)
8. My sweet hubby
9. Scout, of course
10. Blog friends who make me smile and think
11. Isaiah 53:2-9 (thinking on that today)
12. And on and on and on...
13. Oh and chocolate. Because. seriously. Chocolate.

What're you thankful for?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Open Letter To One Of The Loves In My Life

Dear so very beloved Apple Tart,

Why has it taken us so long to reconnect? Almost a whole year has passed since we last hung out!

Thanks for making time for me tonight! We had a delicious time together and I for one am thrilled that I got to see you.

Looking forward to seeing you again soon! (maybe for breakfast tomorrow?)

Love,
Susan

Friday, October 14, 2011

InstaWeek

Here's what happened this week via Instagram!

(Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for my relatively boring week, especially if you've already seen these instaphotos. We've been busy getting ready for VACATION next week, so not much else has been going on.)


Scout loves to play, especially with her glow-in-the-dark ball. We didn't get it for that reason, but it happens to glow in the dark. Handy for when she loses it in dark places, like under the couch, or on our bed. At least she's trying to help find it!


Okay, I promise that's my last adorable puppy photo for today. Or at least for this post.

It's been a really dreary, depressing week with the rainy, cloudy weather. It's great to have all the rain, but it's been hard to be cheery at times. I had my weekly meeting on Tuesday and it was like sitting in a meat locker it was so cold! I thought I needed hot coffee to warm up, but also a cheery mug to perk me up. It worked! How can you not look at this and be happy?


We met our friend, Jennifer, for dinner on Tuesday and we had a blast. Since it was so close to her birthday we went ahead and gave her her gift. Nothing major, but when she got home she texted me this photo of her cat, Jack, enjoying the birthday present too! (He thought the present was the bag and the tissue paper.)

Due to the Beatles making a surprise appearance at our volunteer leader appreciation night, we now have black wigs lying around the worship center. Creepy and funny all at the same time! I thought this one in particular looked like it could be from my own head. (yeah, pretty creepy) Since my hair's getting a makeover at the end of this month, I'm trying to enjoy my hair in its natural state while it's still curly and nutso.

And most importantly...

My premier, charter, first issue of the new HGTV magazine finally arrived! Woohoo! I'm dying to dig into it, but haven't yet had the chance. With my vacation officially beginning today (I don't work on most Fridays), I am going to read it cover to cover! And then probably go straight to Home Depot for spray paint supplies... and Jo-Ann's for fabric... and AC Moore for crafty stuff... oh this vacation is going to rock my Pinterest-lovin' socks off! Woohoo!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

V to the A to the CATION!

Now that the workday is over, I'm officially on vacation! I must admit, I'm ready for some R & R.

We have no set plans, except to staycate, go to our super awesome state fair, spend gobs of time with our furbaby, get in a super fun quick visit with my MIL, whom I adore, see lots of movies, and NOT go to church (aka work)!

This sounds fun & relaxing; we'll see. I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exercising My Right To Vote

Yesterday was election day here. As I was researching and checking out the candidates, I really got into it. I was so excited to vote and 'cheer' on my choices!

Sadly, most of the folks I voted for didn't win (go figure), but I really enjoyed the process. It didn't take long to check out the candidates and now, when our school board makes national headlines (sigh), I know more of what's going on.

I vote when I can, but it always seems like the world is getting worse, doesn't it?

“If My people would but listen to Me,
if Israel would follow My ways,
how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes! (Psalm 81:13, 14 NIV84)

I don't really have anything profound to say, except these verses speak to me especially regarding our country's leadership. I pray our leaders will listen to the Lord and obey. Can you imagine how it'd be if these folks would obey God and not seek to please men? Wow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

PinterTest #1

This weekend I've been a pinning fool, on Pinterest constantly. I have many things pinned that I want to get to, but I was looking for something fast and easy since I had to work this weekend. I'm trying to participate in Jessica's PinterTest Kitchen, which seems to basically be an online Pinterest party. Fun, right?!



Well, it was fun, until I realized what a failure it turned out to be. I decided to make these caramel chocolate dipped marshmallows! They looked fun and easy and I could put Fall-colored sprinkles on them to make them seasonal.

After working all morning at church and having lunch with friends, we hit up the Target and got all the supplies.



Looking good already right? Started melting the caramel for the first step...



Dipped the marshmallows into the caramel and let them sit... so pretty!



Started to melt the chocolate and prep the caramel covered marshmallows. Realized this wasn't going to go well when I couldn't get the caramel to come off the parchment paper (The instructions called for butter-greased wax paper, I think. that's me, thinking I can not follow directions and still get beautiful results. Apparently I was wrong.).

First mistake- bought the wrong kind of caramel AND chocolate. Of course I didn't know that until after I was too far into the process. Sadness.

The chocolate seized up and wouldn't melt. Added milk to it to thin it out. NOT the proper thing to do. Added a pat of butter and lots of tablespoons of water. Better decisions on my part than the milk. It looked gross but it was chocolate-- it had to taste good right? Harumphiedoodle!



This is what they turned out to be. So NOT AT ALL the pretty image on Pinterest. Also, I couldn't find Fall sprinkles which I was VERY disappointed about. Lots of Halloween sprinkles, but nothing generically autumnal.

Went BACK to work, hating that I did this instead of hanging out with the hubby on the couch, enjoying the Sunday afternoon that we actually had a second to relax. In the meantime, hoping these would magically become blessed by the Lord and become wonderful instead of horrible.

I came home from work last night to find I couldn't get them off the plate hardly to even try them, so into the trash they all went. Very bad. I want to try again with the right caramel and chocolate, and follow the directions properly next time.

However, I think I'll wait a little bit until I do this again. If you try these, let me know how it goes. Seems like it should be a piece of cake, but it definitely was not.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sleepy Scout

Last week Scout was at Grandma Camp, which she loves! We love it when she goes to my aunt's house because there are four cats for Scout to play with, especially Taz, her boyfriend.

The really funny thing is when she finally comes home, she's so exhausted that all she does is lie around looking super cute and slightly pitiful. Because she's so still, it's the perfect opportunity for the paparazzi to get some great shots.





CC got these of her the other day and I think they're hysterical. It cracks me up that she sleeps with her legs (arms? whatever they are) stuck up in the air.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You...

Sorry, that song's stuck in my head. Now it can be stuck in your head too! :-D Aren't you glad I share?

Since my post revealing all my deep, dark secrets was such a hit, I'm doing another one. Remember to comment about yourself so we can keep up with the whole getting-to-know-each-other thing! It's not much fun if I'm the only one sharing, am I right?

In no particular, totally stream-of-consciousness order...

*My favorite Bible passage is Philippians 4:4-8. Philippians is my all-time favorite book of Scripture. I can reread those four little chapters every day and never learn the same thing twice. Amazing. God is just jumping out of that book for me especially. Love! Oh, what are they? Here you go-

"4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Powerful stuff, am I right?

*When my voice is recorded, I think I sound like a four-year-old. Which is why I'm totally dragging my feet regarding Kim's vlog challenge. I promise I'll do it. Soon. I really want to. ;-)

*I'm dying to play some Kickball. Doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but I love it and want to play. Who's with me?

*It's Fall here and we have vacation coming up! I'm super stoked. We're actually staycating, but we're planning some fun Autumnal outings, like apple picking and the State Fair. Woohoo!

*God's been revealing some crazy cool things to me lately. Our senior pastor, Chuck, has been ROCKING the sermons God told him to do. Specifically the message from last Sunday, October 02 and the one coming up tomorrow, October 09 (should be posted online Monday). God is moving and you better be ready is all I can say.

*I was sad to hear of Steve Jobs' passing. He seemed like a fun, creative guy who truly loved his family. It saddens me more to know his legacy does not seem to be of a spiritual nature. When I'm gone, I hope my friends and family talk about how much I loved Jesus and how I tried to help others have their own personal relationship with Him.

*My hair is naturally crazy, kinky, curly, and nutso. Drives me bonkers on a daily basis. I've given it all summer to be in its (mostly) natural state. At the end of October I'm going back to the chemicals that straighten my hair in lovely, organized-feeling ways. I am ecstatic and can hardly wait! My hair will still drive me nuts and you might hear me mention that, but I will be happier for having straight hair. Also, it will seem longer once it's straight, and that is making me really happy. Trying to grow hair out is just exhausting! In fact, here's a sneaky peek from Pinterest of what I'm hoping for. Keep in mind I look nothing like this girl, so I'm sure my hair will be totally different, but I can't wait!

*I made Pumpkin Pie Pancakes last weekend. Fanflippin'tastic! I even made extras and froze them for quick breakfasts. Yummy! (Recipe: Make pancake mix according to directions, add 1/3 c. pumpkin pie filling and 1/3 c. pecans (optional). Stir together and make like normal.) So good!

*I can't whistle, wink, or bat my eyelashes. This makes flirting with my hubby really interesting.

Friday, October 07, 2011

For The Fun Of It

Some randomy randomness today...



This video's been going around fb this week, and I finally saw it this morning. This video is for our county's SPCA. I am in love! I don't even like cats all that much, but I want about five of the kittens seen in the video. I think Scout needs a little playmate buddy, don't you?

More Christmas music today... this time from Bebo Norman. LOVE this song! The lyrics are just beautiful!



Is anyone else having issues creating links in their blog posts? It's putting the link in bizarre places within the post, not where I want them to be. I don't necessarily want to embed everything, but this is frustrating the snot out of me.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

iPhone 4 Goodness!

Last weekend, I sold my iPhone to my friend and upgraded at no real out-of-pocket cost to the iPhone 4. I think I like it; I didn't particularly care if I got the latest one (now not the latest one) or not. I will say, I like that I can use the reverse camera to be sure nothing's stuck in my teeth (don't you love my brutal honesty?), and if CC's on a business trip, we can video chat on our phones.

With that in mind, here are my iPhone 4 photos from this week!


CC was running the video switcher on Sunday and noticed I was testing out my iPhone camera. He started giving me something worth photographing, I suppose. On the sly. Then, he just really wanted to be sure I saw what I was supposed to see. The turkey!


I FINALLY had my Fall candles going all over the house. Cozy! I fell asleep on the couch and when CC got me up for bed I had to wake up long enough to count all the candles I'd lit to be sure we blew them all out. Eight, by the way. Eight. And that wasn't even all of them. I love this time of year!


I went to get Scout from Grandma Camp Monday night. We let her go since we weren't home much last week and over the weekend. We missed her terribly which is why she got lots of treats and schnuggles.


My October vacation is around the corner, so I'm busy getting set lists for worship together and prepping for our mega-rehearsal next week. These are the new songs we'll be introducing this upcoming quarter. I love It Was For Freedom! It rocks your socks off!



See? Isn't it super cool? I especially love the chorus- how passionate and exuberant we need to be about proclaiming our faith!

So that's what I've been up to this week with my new phoney phone. It's growing on me after all, I'm thinkin'.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I Know, I Know.

So I am wayyyyy behind on posting which you already know. I'm really sorry about that and hope to fix that soon.

In the meantime, here's what's on my heart today.

This week somehow all our money went out the window. Not sure how as we haven't gone frivolous or anything, but financially we are low. Payday is Friday and we are counting down the days. We have food in the house, but already made several plans this week to not be home for meals, as well as unexpected expenses. Thus, the regular routine of stretching the money occurs again. We really are blessed, so it's not like we're barefoot starving to death, but God is so amazing to me that I just have to share.

1. Scout desperately needs to be groomed. She's adorable and clean but her hair's in her super-expressive eyes, and she hasn't been to the 'spa' in a while. I was trying to get her in sooner than later, but I couldn't take her until Friday. Yay #1 for God, working it out for Friday (when we get paid). We gave her a bath last night which should tide her over until her appt. In the meantime, we just push her hair out of her eyes. I know this doesn't seem a big deal to you, but to me it is.

2. I made Pretzel Crack for birthday presents for friends (it was specifically requested which is why I made it-- I knew I'd get it out of the house right away! Also, this is Jessica's blog. She's super awesome!). Fortunately (or unfortunately), the ingredients were already in my kitchen. This morning I went to Target to get treat bags and birthday stuff. I had a $5 gift card and somehow cash in my purse. The bags were on clearance so I was able to not use debit. Then, I checked my receipt and was overcharged for something, so I got a refund back for that. Yay for God #2!

3. We've been trying to get Groupon to issue a credit for something we'd purchased through them. It didn't look like we'd get it, but today they issued a credit for it, yay God #3! On top of that, today's Groupon is to this yummy Mexican place we like near our house. Using the credit for that, and we get to eat out later twice! Woohoo! Yay God #4!

4. My super cool, super crazy aunt made chili last night for herself and gave me a to-go bowl of it for my lunch today. The reason this is so awesome is because CC doesn't eat beef or beans, so if I made chili (which I love), it would basically be tomato soup. So there's no point for me to make chili. Sadness. Especially in this weather. But today for lunch, a fresh, delicious chili for lunch, courtesy of my awesome aunt! Yay God #5!

5. Last week I sold my iPhone 3Gs to my friend, and was able to upgrade to the iPhone 4 for no cost to us. I didn't particularly care, but apparently CC thought we should have the same phone so no one got jealous or discontent. Smart man, he is. Yay God #6!

And just because I want to point this out, apparently TobyMac AND David Crowder Band both released new Christmas albums today! I haven't heard them yet, but I am a sucker for Christmas music. I'm actually limited to just one new album a year/season, but CC might make an exception! Woohoo!

Isn't God just so amazingly good to us? What's He been good to you about recently? I'd love to know!