Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mish Mash.

So. I might be on the edge of going slightly insane. A girl can only watch so many Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reruns and House Hunters marathons. And that pretty much sums up all I've done over break. I did get to celebrate a wonderful Christmas with my family (weird to think it's the last one without big changes though...), and I've checked a couple of things off the wedding to-do list (though I need to get going with a lot more), but all in all, I have been the definition of a lazy bum, and I'm trying to just rest and be okay with that, as things will pick up soon and I will surely miss the calming boredom of the past two weeks.

Thus, in the midst of doing nothingness, I turn to the blog in search of a few minutes of entertainment. I think I'll just share a list of the various mish mash on my radar as of late:

1. Houston. Well, duh. As the wedding day moves closer and closer, so does the move. I would be lying if I didn't admit I am super anxious and probably way too concerned with searching for dining room tables and deciding between a king or queen-sized bed. I blame the boredom, hah. Ben and I have decided we will make our first trip over spring break in March to do some preliminary looking and exploring. Can't wait to see this beautiful skyline!! (though I'll likely be living quite a ways away from it...and that's okay)


2. DISNEY WORLD. Honeymoon part 1 will officially be taking place here:


We're switching it up from the normal Value Resort stay and upgrading to Coronado Springs! Very southwest-y and festive:


I made all of our lunch and dinner reservations last night. I know, sounds ridiculously early to be worrying about what we will be eating some 6 months from now. But having never been over Memorial Day weekend, apparently one of Disney's busiest times, I was worried things would be filling up already. And I was right. Sadly enough, my favorite restaurant in the park (which is even going up to 2 table service credits on the dining plan come March), is already completely booked for every reservation time the entire week we will be there. So sad Le Cellier...I guess Benjamin will just have to wait to sample your delicious mushroom risotto filet mignon on the next trip.

3. Snow. and bitter cold...The last week of preschool I only had to work 2 of the 5 days thanks to a whole lot of snow and ice and temps in the teens. That was wonderful, though. Then we received a beautiful white Christmas in K-town this weekend, complete with even more snow and ice. And its still here! Well, not really, but I noticed this morning that my neighbor's roof was still partially white! I guess what I'm getting to is that I'm just really tired of being cold and being confined to indoor workouts. Jillian literally almost put me into cardiac arrest the other day, and the I swear the treadmills at Fort Sanders go faster than any others I've ever used. Ew. I want to sign up for another half marathon sometime in the spring, but I need to make sure I still have outdoor running capabilities first...and 28 degrees is not going to allow that to happen.

4. Solitude. My latest read is called Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen. It's a bit of a break from the traditional Christian living book, but I've found it to be really fresh and insightful as a result. The first section is about leaving behind our loneliness and instead reaching for inner solitude. I love how Nouwen describes this word that denotes such a solitary and even lonely meaning as being the key to our most Godly relationships and the most Christlike community. I liken this solitude to an inner confidence in God's will and Christ's love for us. It is our heart at rest in God's sovereignty. His love is true and thus all that matters. His Son is all we need.

Nouwen says that without solitude, we look to others to fulfill our worldly needs, things we only desire because we think we have to have them to be happy or successful. I have certainly seen such sin in my own life, especially as I continue to struggle with worldliness on a daily basis, but Nouwen's talk reminds me so much of what I learned this summer about relationships. If I am standing on Jesus as my sole rock and foundation, he will change my heart to desire him alone. Thus I don't have to look for fulfillment within my relationships, and my time with others can be pure and loving and selfless. It's all still a little jumbled in my head, which is likely obvious, hah, but yeah, I'm learning and I like that.

Okay, so that's that for now. Off to embark on a little more laziness!

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Make Your Workout Obsolete

It's really easy...

Drive to campus or downtown Knox...park your car...get out, start running, and make this your destination:



Mmmm...the famous chocolate factory above World's Fair Park. There's a greenway that leads right to it! So Ben and I have gotten into this terrible habit of running from campus and ending here. Then we go inside and pick 3 or 4 things to try, purchase our treats, and go enjoy them on a bench by the fountains (which are no longer running because it's supposed to be cold outside).

Today we shared a hazelnut truffle, a kahlua truffle, and peanut butter and graham crackers covered in chocolate. Yummm, it was all delicious, and totally worth the thirty minute sweat.

Hope they have good chocolate shops in Houston!! Have a great weekend and happy homecoming! Go Vols!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Materialism at its Finest...my apologies

I'd say the thing I'll miss the most come graduation in May is a college student's schedule. I do work two days a week, but when you're only taking 12 hours, that still leaves plenty of time to run around town and have afternoons very similar to mine today.

Ben and I both finish with class at 11:00 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so we met up right away and went for a nice (but very painful) run. After showers and lunch, we headed to the mall to run some errands. Well, "errands" might be pushing it. Basically Benjamin landed a sweet big boy job (that may or may not be on the other side of the country...) and he's so anxious already that we went shopping for big boy job clothes. Mom's credit card and 20% off coupon in hand, we did some damage. It's so fun spending other peoples' money! Belk was having a fantastic sale, though, and he found four new pairs of slacks and four new shirts that will have him looking super sharp! I do enjoy dressing him, and I'm glad he allows me to. :)

After Belk we walked down to Pottery Barn, since it's pretty much my second home these days. I've been spending way too much time on their website's Design Your Own Bed feature lately in an attempt to figure out colors and what not before we continue registering. My chronic indecisiveness does not help in these situations. At this point, our goal is to mimic this entryway (from the PB catalog of course) and somehow use it as inspiration for the bedroom:

I've been in love with this page since I first laid eyes on it. But yeah, great looking wall of frames and cute little skinny side table...now transform into a bedroom--bam! Wish it was that easy. Doesn't help that I'm the pickiest bedspread-picker-outer ever. Oh well, we'll get there! But really I'd just like May 28th to be here now!

Post-Pottery Barn we went to pick up Ben's rental tux for a gala Friday night (which I am sadly not attending), and then stopped for some free samples at the new Teavana store in the mall. I've tried before to like hot tea but have never been successful...until today. The lady offered us this Chai blend of some sort and it was so delicious. I wish I had a nice cup right this second in fact! I didn't even want to ask how much it was, so I didn't, but maybe that will be a nice little treat one of these days.

Then it was off to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to check out the selection pre-registry. And success! We finally found flatware we liked that isn't $100 a place setting. Very exciting, hah. I'd show you a picture but I know nobody cares. Nothing better than good news in cutlery...

So yeah, I looked at a lot of stuff today...stuff that doesn't really matter, but it's still kind of exciting, right? I've struggled through this whole registering thing with my addiction to stuff. Every time I point the gun thingie at a barcode my mind just resounds with "God before possessions." And I can talk all I want about knowing my true worth and identity is in Christ, but I'd be lying if I told you I practiced that all day everyday. I'm learning, though, and I'm glad to at least be aware of all the stuff in my life, but I want my true treasure to be in heaven. I don't want to try and create a kingdom of my own on earth. Someone much greater and mightier and richer already has a kingdom waiting for me that is more exquisite and breathtaking than anything I could ever imagine. And in that shall be my comfort.

Anyways, I just had a really great Wednesday. I got to spend some lovely quality time with the fiance, and that brings me joy no matter what it is we're doing. And I am so thankful for my Bible study tonight. It was a wonderful message and just reminded me of this summer for some reason. I think I just really felt the Spirit moving in me like I haven't in a while, and that was so encouraging.

So I hope everyone else had excellent days too, and here's to a good night's sleep that ranks up there as well! Sweet dreams all. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday and Memphis

Dear Monday,

You have been such a Monday. How is that, you ask? Well there was the nice layer of ice on my car this morning, the broken stereo in spinning class, the tennis substitute, the due date for the paper I didn't write, the afternoon in front of the computer writing said paper plus some, the Homecoming pomping, the sub-par Gossip Girl, and the very busy fiance whom I did not get to see...

See what I mean? Typical Monday to a T. Hmmm, and guess what? It's only Monday.

Sincerely,

Me

Okay, so today wasn't that bad. Not bad at all actually, though I did just ramble off a surprisingly long list of reasons to think otherwise.

Anyway, on to this weekend. Thursday afternoon I headed down to Memphis with Benjamin so he could do an on-site job interview all day Friday. Nat, Gav, and Louis arrived a little later and we all enjoyed a nice relaxing couple of days out west. We shopped a little, napped a little, visited a little, and ate a lot...as I always do when I travel.

Mom and I ventured to the Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma outlets, but as soon as I walked in I just got overwhelmed by all the color and style prospects of future room decor. My indecisiveness is not going to come in handy when we have to start choosing paint colors and purchasing sofas. Exciting though, eh? Mom got some glass containers to start her candy table collection for the wedding. She's so thrilled. It's precious. :)

I didn't have much luck at good old Anthropologie either, which is just so disappointing. Sometimes I think I'm just not stylish enough for that store. The manikins all look so well-put together and trendy, but I can never manage the same look back in the dressing room. It makes my wallet happy, though, so that's good.

I did anger my wallet at Dillard's, though, but it was so worth it. I finally found boots! I think I have scoured every single store in K-town, but nothing fit the bill. Memphis did the trick though! Oh I just love them:


While in Memphis, we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Salsa and at Huey's, a popular hamburger place downtown. We didn't make it to the game Saturday night, which is fine because it was freezing, but we did take the opportunity to walk down Beale Street before it got too crazy. Took some fun pics!

Dinner at Huey's



Beale Street!



Again...



On the trolley...

Overall it was a great trip! So thankful for such wonderful friends and my terrific fiance. Goodnight all!



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday

Brr. It is freezing in my room! Perhaps not quite as cold as the 35 degree temps this morning at Race for the Cure, but still, I'm sleeping in the socks tonight.

And yes, I already know that at this point because I have indeed donned my pjs and retainers and am currently sitting in bed waiting to watch some SNL and turn in early. The alarm rang at approximately 7 a.m. this morning and it has been non-stop since then.

I think this morning was my most enjoyable Race for the Cure to date. I always love the celebratory atmosphere and huge turn-out, but today I had fun people to run with and it just went by so fast! Likely that was because we were so entertained by the constant weaving . But anyway, despite my red nose and numb fingers, I had a really great time.

I met mom and Ma for lunch at the Apple Cake Tea Room before taking on wedding dress shopping experience #4. And it was a SUCCESS!!! My wedding dress is in my possession, currently hanging from a door in my living room at home. That. is. CRAZY! But so exciting. I love it and wish I could put a picture up, but I guess I have to stick to tradition and conceal all glimpses from the Benjamin. Therefore the reveal will have to be postponed for 7 more months.

We got a ridiculous deal. As in both of my prom dresses cost more than my wedding dress. You'd never know, though! We just got lucky. Finally we score one against the wedding. Woo!

Tonight the fiance and I had a little impromptu date night. We had planned on going downtown to see the band that is playing at the wedding, but then we decided that was way too cool for us, so we opted for dinner and a movie instead. Typical. Our meal at Bonefish made it worth it though. People, you need to try the Swordfish and Pumpkin Ravioli special. It was ingenious. One of my top dishes of all time I'd say. Yum! (The chocolate creme brulee was pretty awesome as well...) Then we went to see the Wall Street sequel. Eh. You could skip it. Especially if you're like me and have no idea how the finance world works. I was pretty darn confused for most of the time.

Alright, I'm gonna go watch Rhianna perform and go to sleep at a decent hour. I apologize for the lack of pictures, maybe I'll have an answer to that soon. Happy weekend! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Afternoon in the Basement

I can recall only two times in my life that I have had to take serious precautions due to the threat of a tornado. The first occurred in the middle of some random night, when a torrential storm sent my family to the downstairs closet to wait out the possible twister. It never came and we went back to bed.

The second time was a little more traumatic. We were on our way to Lexington, Kentucky when we hit a horrible storm. My dad, who had been listening to the radio and learned that an actual tornado was somewhere between the exit we had just passed and the upcoming one, pulled off into a hotel parking lot and we went inside the lobby. Even my mom was crying. I was scarred for life.

Well, today I added a third basement trip to my memory. Only this time, I was at the preschool when it happened, and the adventure included 20-something small children (who were actually surprisingly calm and chipper through the whole event). The threat was rather minimal and we were out unscathed in less than an hour, but still, I'll admit my legs shook the whole time and I checked my phone for the updated radar every 2-3 minutes.

I've been a weather-worrier all my life. I have gotten considerably better since I hit puberty, but I still get butterflies at the sound of thunder. I'm already concerned for my own future children and just really hope they don't share my outlook, because let's face it, mommy won't be much comfort when severe thunderstorm warnings roll across the screen.

At some point during childhood, my worry was somehow supplemented by my love for the weather. I literally watched nothing but The Weather Channel. Ever. Seriously. I knew every person's face and name and could probably even tell you their weekly shift schedule. Jim Cantore was (and remains) my all-time favorite, and it brings me a strange joy to know that the station rewarded him with his own show.

I used to put the tv on my favorite channel, mute it, and then stand next to it and put on my own performance. And I'm not even gonna lie, I was darn good at it too. I was especially stoked when we got our new, huge (at the time) 48" tv for the upstairs bonus room because my maps would be closer to actual size.

Wow. Loser. I know.

Anyways, my certain future as a meteorologist unfortunately died when I realized how much I hated science (and when mom informed me that Todd Howell really didn't make that much money despite his local channel fame), but my obsession with all things weather (especially those that were televised) still offers several swell childhood memories and at least served me well in terms of learning my states and capitals.

I consider myself fortunate to live just east of a plateau that pretty much destroys any form of severe weather that comes its way, meaning I rarely have to fear what is coming from the sky. However, the general East Tennessee population must not quite understand that, because this area responds to bad weather like it is literally the most dangerous threat on this earth. The bread and milk shelves of grocery stores are completely bare when even a flurry is in the forecast. Schools are closed if six inches of road are iced or flooded. Oh, and tonight, a whole slew of college classes and other events were canceled because we were under a tornado watch. It's really rather hysterical in my opinion.

But I can't laugh too much. Because I'll be the first to say it: I'm a slightly obsessed scaredy cat when it comes to the weather, and it comforts me to know someone else out there cares too.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Hello again blog world!

So I am completely out of practice. I believe I have sat here for nearly 30 minutes picking my brain for something to write about...and I'm not really sure how that's possible with the 327 things going on in my life right now. Oh well.

Sooo...

Let's talk wedding shall we?

After all, it is my favorite things to occupy my time with these days. And I'll admit I'm really good at clicking through Style Me Pretty albums until my eyes are glazed over. In all seriousness though, things are coming along quite nicely. Thus far, we've checked off...the church and venue, the officiant, the photographer, the band, and just today we decided on a caterer!

As of last week I thought I had confirmed the dress, but now I'm afraid the search must go on. See, weddings are expensive. Like ridiculously so. Like my poor parents could purchase a really nice brand new car and ditch my mom's sickeningly screechy brakes, but instead they have to fund an approximately 8-hour event. Dang. Kids are pricey. So anyway, after returning home from my seemingly successful dress search, I started crunching numbers and got a little hopeless. Dress A doesn't fit too well into the budget, and I'm not willing to sacrifice my guest's tummies. Those have to be full and happy! I have no doubts it will all work out, though. Just excited and anxious! :)

Well, sorry to be so short, but I've kind of been at my computer for 5 hours straight now, so I think I'll give it a break and go get some fresh air. In the meantime, I really wanted to share this excerpt from Cedar Springs' preparatory reading last Sunday. It spoke to me big time, probably because the second paragraph describes my life the past month or two. Planning a wedding is fun, but it can also easily take precedence over things it shouldn't...thus I need to hear this:

"For Christians prayer is like breathing. You don’t have to think to breathe because the atmosphere exerts pressure on your lungs and forces you to breathe. That’s why it is more difficult to hold your breath than it is to breathe. Similarly, when you’re born into the family of God, you enter into a spiritual atmosphere wherein God’s presence and grace exert pressure, or influence, on your life. Prayer is the normal response to that pressure. As believers we have all entered the divine atmosphere to breathe the air of prayer. Only then can we survive in the darkness of the world.

Unfortunately many believers hold their spiritual breaths for long periods, thinking brief moments with God are sufficient to allow them to survive. But such restricting of their spiritual intake is caused by sinful desires. The fact is, every believer must be continually in the presence of God, constantly breathing in His truths to be fully functional."
- J.F. MacArthur, Jr. in Alone with God

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gotta Start Somewhere...

Getting back on the blog bandwagon has for some reason been such a trying task for me. However, I really am determined to start things back up as soon as time permits!

Unfortunately for this post, it is now 1:22 am in K-town and I believe I will be playing tennis in t-minus 7 hours...thus I should probably be sleeping and not attempting to perfect my first blog post in 200-some odd days.


But I've been hard at work on yet another website I'm now going to have to keep up with: the wedding website! Here's the link:

http://www.weddingwire.com/emilybealandbenhyman

It is definitely still a work in progress, but I'm so glad to finally have it up and running! Okay. I have got to get myself to bed, but maybe, just maybe, this little trinket of a post will be my motivation to write a legit one tomorrow or sometime soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

13.1


Ta dah! It is over. And I survived.

And it didn't even rain on me!! Well, that's a lie. It didn't rain while running. It did however rain while Hales and I were waiting on our trusted ride Mr. Benjamin, as well as while we completed another mini-marathon trying to locate where that trusted ride was parked. I was somewhat miserable at the time, but now that I am showered and dry and much more able to walk, it was all just part of the adventure.

I arrived with Haley and her mom in Nashville late Friday afternoon. Our first goal was to somehow maneuver through ridiculous downtown traffic. Our second goal was to find the Expo and collect our race day numbers and materials. While there, we also paused to participate in some activities...

...like envision the happier times of the following day...


...and pose with some Elvis look-alikes.

Despite the intimidating number of people and vendors spread out throughout the Convention Center, the Expo really got me excited for the race. After once again conquering some traffic issues, we met up with the Benjamin, and he and I were off to some to a friend's house where we stayed Friday night.

Ya know, I attempted to sleep, I really did. I was tired from my week, and we even got in bed at like 10:30 or some ridiculously early time like that. Unfortunately, after factoring in the also ridiculously early wake-up time and multiple crazy dreams my head conjured up involving the morning's activity, I'd say I averaged about 2 hours of shut-eye. Whew, thank goodness for adrenaline.

God blessed us with great weather. The clouds and threatening rain meant cooler temps, but by some twist of fate, not one drop fell on me or Haley the entire run. While I was prepared to venture 13.1 miles in the rain, looking back, I just don't know if it would have happened, and I'm pretty sure I kept my smile much longer than I would have had it been pouring.

I unfortunately have no documentation from the actual race part. Ben was stationed at mile 11, camera in hand, but we somehow missed him, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. I really had a great time. I ran the whole thing and only had to stop once for a bathroom break. I was so proud of Haley, and of myself. I know it was the good Lord who got us across the finish line though! And with no injuries :) Hurray!

I'm already looking forward to the next one. It was just such an encouraging and fun atmosphere. My favorite part of the course was a loop through Belmont's campus and residential area. Everyone was stationed in their front yards with breakfast, coffee, even champagne, and whether they knew a runner or not, everyone had made signs and cheered on strangers for hours. What wonderful Southern hospitality, it was really inspiring and helped me along for sure!

Yesterday I could barely walk, but I've already just about got my legs back again I believe. Now I can run with less pressure, thank goodness. First I've gotta get rid of this awful cold I've acquired, though. I blame the rain...

I also wanna give a shout-out to my sweet sister who was confirmed this morning at church. It was a great opportunity to spend some time with my family after such an exhausting day. She too deserves much congrats and love!


Last week of classes, here we come! Happy weeks! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Forget to Breathe...

That seems to be the general reminder of my life these days...

Yes, I've been busy. Way too busy for my liking. But, things are starting to get checked off...I mean lookie here, I'm even blogging! (Although I'm pretty sure the only reason I have time to write is because I'm currently skipping class...oops!) Like I said though, things are looking up, so the lack of class at the moment is actually just an indicator that I'm pretty much done (with one course at least).

Anyway, here's a brief run-down of the last week or so:

Friday: formal (pics to follow)

Saturday: long run (my last one! documentation of anxiety in anticipation of upcoming race also to follow)

Also Saturday: begin writing 10-page paper and babysit

Sunday: Dream Connections flag football tourney for Chi O (not as bad as I was expecting)

Monday: unfortunate doctor's appointment including finger prick that almost led to disaster

Tuesday: longest day ever

Wednesday: TURN IN 10-PAGE PAPER!! HOORAY! and immediately turn attention to writing speech for Monday and oh yes, the 15-pager I also must achieve at some point

And today: take test, skip class, and breathe (sort of...)

Whew! Makes me tired just recounting it all. Note: I am not complaining. Hah, Tuesday night's Bible study was totally about why I should stop complaining about life. Shoot, I'm really good at that unfortunately. Anyways, just wanted to clarify-what you just read was not me complaining (yeah right...), just me explaining why I've been absent for awhile. Hmm, sure, that sounds good...

Anyways, now as promised...
Formal pics, yay!! The Benjamin and I had a really good time at Downtown Grill and on the Riverboat Friday evening. (And please forgive my Alph-Alpha hair in the first pic. It was super windy but I really love the sunsphere in the background...woohoo for K-town!)

Having formal on a moving vessel=it only lasts as long as the cruise=formal is rather short!!=sleepy Emily is happy :)

Except for that in this case, Quarry Trail had the epic fail because the power was out throughout the entire complex when we arrived home nice and early...meaning the lack of AC coupled with the really mature screams of excited college students outside my window led to an eventual 4 a.m. bedtime. Yeah that kind of sucked.

I was awake the next morning in time to squeeze in one last long run with Hales though! We made it about 9 miles, so it was a nice confidence boost heading into race day this Saturday. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a bit hesitant. Mainly because I'm probably going to have to wake up around 4 in the morning and the 70% chance of rain doesn't sound too appealing. I'm excited though. The Benjamin is accompanying us so he can be the designated picture-taker/banana-holder/emergency ipod-keeper on the sidelines. Those are all very important jobs.

Ok, enough procrastination. Time to work, work, work. And then go to work. And then come home to breathe again.

Whew, yes. Just breathe.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

As of Late...

What a wonderful weekend I've had thus far...and it could not have come sooner. I had quite the crazy week, with a group presentation, big test, and proposal all due this past Wednesday. And let's not forget it was the Wednesday after Easter, meaning last weekend I did not give much attention to school. But hey, it was Easter, I was technically on vacation, it was like 80 beautiful degrees all weekend, and it's over now, so no regrets!

The absolutely gorgeous weather of spring has returned, and I am in love. Don't get me wrong, I love temps in the 80s-they mean quality time poolside-but it was as if we skipped spring's crystal blue skies and perfectly perfect 70-degree afternoons...and I needed that time before summer dropped in full swing. Well Knoxville, meet spring, I think you'll get along just great. :)

Anyway, last night I went out with the roomies to Soccer Taco and to see the new movie Date Night. Let's just say they turned into two of my new favorite things. It was a little chilly once the sun started sinking, so we opted to sit inside at the restaurant, but I can't wait to return on warm summer nights to sit on the outside patio of Soccer Taco and enjoy one of their scrumptious margaritas...mmm mm. And I have to encourage you all to see this movie. Absolutely hilarious...in my opinion at least. I don't think I've laughed that much in quite a while. Now Steve and Tina are two of my faves, but I think pretty much everyone will enjoy it.

This morning I finally slept past 9:00. See, I love the sunshine, but it shines right into my eyes every morning and generally gets me out of bed at like 8:45, which in my opinion nowhere near qualifies as "sleeping in," so after a hectic and tough week, it was nice to get in a great night of shut-eye. I spent some time on my bed watching Freaky Friday on tv while getting some homework done this morning, then the Benjamin and I went out to Chick-fil-a for an outside lunch in the sunshine. Next it was off to the mall for some perusing/formal dress shopping, and finally we made it to Lakeshore for a gorgeous spring walk. Ahh, perfection.

Tonight Ben and I ate in and finished Season 2 of 24. Intense. That's all I can say. Intense and annoying because the finale was a total cliffhanger, which means a trip to McKay's for Season 3 is on the immediate to-do list. Oh TV on DVD, how addicting you seem to be...

Tomorrow I'm headed to the pool with mom, where I will attempt to not get sunburned like last weekend. Oops! Unfortunately the afternoon's reading materials are a stack of psychology journal articles, but oh well, there are like 3 weeks of classes left, so hey, I'll survive.

In other news, I declined my Disney offer this evening. It was really hard to click that button, but I just didn't feel confident enough in my decision to commit at this point, and well, I had to give an answer tonight. I never really felt a complete peace either way, but as my wonderful Bible study leader once told me: if a deadline comes and goes and you don't do anything about it, the date was meant to pass without a big decision being made. I'm sticking with that for now and excited to see what God has in store for me in Knoxville come the fall.

I leave you with a C.S. Lewis quote I saw tonight. It's the preparatory reading for church tomorrow morning at Cedar Springs and I just loved it, so I wanted to share:

"God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity would have been, more glorious than unfallen race now is (if at this moment the night sky conceals any such). The greater the sin, the greater the mercy: the deeper the death, the brighter the re-birth. And this super-added glory will, with true vicariousness, exalt all creatures, and those who have never fallen will thus bless Adam’s fall."

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope it's as pretty where you are as it's predicted to be here!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reasons to...



Haha, sorry, that's kinda creepy now that I look at it, but anyways, despite the cloudy coldness on this dreary Monday, I just have a lot of reasons to be joyful. So I thought I'd share...

1.) Leading off...


Ahh!! Please pay close attention to the high temps for Thursday through Saturday! Want to lay out by a pool? Why of course! I thought you'd never ask... :)

2.) This past Saturday, I made it 10 miles!

I have to give it to the Benjamin, he totally pushed me on when I really, really wanted to give up. And our conversation was way more entertaining than the same old iPod playlist. The poor guy has never run that far in his life, nor has he been on somewhat of a training schedule like myself. But he's such a trouper and was more than willing to be my rock through all the complaining and the stretching and the pain and maybe even through a few really foul words that emerged from my mouth when I was in dire need of a restroom (hah, funny story to accompany that one...).

I feel completely capable of finishing 13.1 in Nashville now. It's quite relieving, and I'm getting really excited!!

3.) And...


Can you read that? It bears good news, hah. Well, some might view it as good news. I'm kind of viewing it as the source of a lot of stressful confusion and big-time decision making.

Yep, at approximately 1:03 am (why that time I have no idea), I received a nice little acceptance letter via email from the Disney College Internship program, offering me a position in Merchandising. I'm aware that it's grunt work. I'm aware that it will be really hard at times. But there's still something in me that kind of wants to throw caution to the wind and say yes!! I have two weeks to decide, and for now, I'm giving it to God and waiting patiently for His answer. Because I'm totally not capable of these kind of decisions, are you kidding me?

I am so comforted by the fact that I can lean on Him in these times. What a beautiful reason to smile...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3:5-6

4.) This week is Knox County's spring break, which for me, means two things: one, I get a much needed break from the munchkins, and two, my mom and sis are around for me to go annoy! Unfortunately, in lieu of a beach vacation this break, mom and Maddie are officially (and awfully quickly I might add) kicking me out of my bedroom at the homestead. Apparently Maddie painted over my pretty hot pink walls today all by herself. She's serious about this one! It's cool, I'll allow it, she deserves a bigger bedroom. Tomorrow I'm planning to head out west and check on the damage. I'll probably bribe a meal or two out of mom's wallet while I'm at it. Woohoo!

Well that's really just a snippet of the reasons behind my smile today. Happy weeks everyone! May they be full of joy and sunshine! :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thoughts While Driving

I am in my car a lot these days. Between working two days a week, my refusal to ride the Quarry Trail bus, and those countless cheery trips to the homestead, the Solara and I are pretty big buds. But so much time in the driver's seat lends itself to lots of time to think...and this week I'd thought I'd share some of the stuff that's been flying around in my head on the road:

Firstly, a rant. I have Sirius radio. I love Sirius radio. Because I strongly dislike commercials. And in that respect, Sirius has been very, very good to me. But lately, I've kind of wanted to hurl my Sirius out the window. Why? Because, literally, every time I have started my car all week, I have been serenaded by the same person. Every time. I'm not even joking. And she's not really my favorite. Lady Gaga. Eh. Great songs for the first 5 listens, then I want to run away. Well, Sirius seems to like her a little more than me...grrr, play something else, pleeease!

Anyways, secondly, an expression of dire gratitude. For those of you from K-town, you might have noticed that in recent months, Cross Park Drive over in the Bluff has been a mine field of death. By that I mean severely pot-hole ridden. I took the road home from Bible study a month or two ago and was really just waiting for my car to bottom out and completely fall apart on the side of the road. Terrible!! It put me in the worst mood. (Ask Benjamin, I was on the phone with him the whole time...unfortunate.) Well, this past Tuesday evening, I followed my friends down the trap once again, extremely reluctant I might add. But, to my pleasant surprise, the city of Knoxville had actually done something right and filled all the holes! It was wonderful. I was happy. So thank you K-town road crew, I commend you.

So, I've lived in Knoxville my whole life. Could have changed that up when college rolled around, but I chose not to, because I just wasn't quite ready to leave. I did, however, move downtown to campus, which is a world of different from my suburban west Knoxville beginnings. But, anytime I head back that direction, it's kind of like being in a whole different city, and I love it. I trekked through Turkey Creek earlier this week and it just brought me so much joy. I love all the concrete, I love all the people, shoot I even love all the traffic. I just feel so far separated from campus and I always seem to end up there when I need that most. I think part of the reason for this happiness was the warm weather and accompanying open sunroof and windows on this latest trip. It reminded me of summer, and I have such fond memories of my home and surrounding area during the summer. Needless to say, all of this just means I'm probably going to be in my car even more as the weather warms up.

Alrighty. I suppose I'll stop with the boring nostalgia now. This Saturday is shaping up to be rather gorgeous! Just needs to get past 40 degrees...hmm. I'm off to commence in the usual suicide! (a.k.a. run way more than I'm interested in...) Hope everyone has a beautiful day!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make-A-List Monday

1. Just finished watching "Dancing with the Stars." Should be a good season! Though I'm sure I'll lose interest by week 3 or so....but for now, a few shout-outs:

Kate, please stop referring to your kids every 5 seconds. We know your publicist told you to do that, and quite frankly, it's only fueling my frustration with you.

Buzz, you're precious, absolutely precious. Unfortunately there's no way you're going to win. But seriously, precious.

Chad, nice job, hah. But my question: your cute little son they showed, is his last name "Johnson," or does he have to go through life tacking on "Ochocinco" all the time? Poor kid...

2. I register for fall classes tonight at midnight...unfortunately I still don't know what the heck to sign up for. All I really want to take is Tennis and Yoga, so I probably will. Hah, ohh senior year.

3. I'm on a quest to tackle a new hobby: calligraphy. I've always wanted to try it, and today, while viewing some beautiful hand-crafted wedding invites, I decided it's time to start practicing. I'm hoping to get a book and some pens to get going soon!


4. I'm forcing myself back into the running routine this week. I've kind of let things go recently thanks to various injuries and a pretty severe bout with burn-out. But April 24th is looming, and if I don't buckle down, it really just isn't going to happen. So here goes nothing!

5. Season 2 of 24 is r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s. And as selfish as it sounds, I wish I didn't have to wait on the Benjamin to watch another episode! I'm super-hooked but unfortunately am having to work around the rigorous schedule of the College of Business. Ugh.

6. It's birthday season in K-town! Last week was Nat's, and tomorrow belongs to Hales and Gav! Yay for the big 2-1 ladies! Wine tasting here we come!! (I hope...)

7. And finally, something to chew on:

"For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

-Galatians 2: 19-21

Have a happy (and hopefully warm) week everyone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun with Wontons

I remember the day I first came across the package of wontons in the Walmart produce section. The possibilities swirling through my head were endless. I threw them in the cart and let the excitement build for my experimentation.

And then they sat in my refrigerator.

And they sat...

And they sat...

And they sat...

And then one day I had the genius to check the expiration date...which I had so wisely let pass. But no worries, the date was not too far in the past, and they sure did look the exact same as the day I bought them, so hey, what the heck? I needed to act soon, though.

Yesterday evening I gave it a go. My original goal for the wontons was to make some cheese ravioli, so that was the first endeavor. I mixed some ricotta cheese, parmesan, an egg, parlsey, oregano, and salt and pepper...


Then put a dollop of the mixture in the middle of each wonton and folded them up! The Benjamin came to help at this part. We had some interesting shapes, haha.

I was having some camera difficulties at this point, so somehow the picture of the boiling pot and final product with tomato sauce disappeared, but it's really quite alright. Boiling the cheese-filled wontons like a pasta ravioli didn't work out so well. Some of them came unglued during cooking, releasing ricotta mixture into the water...ew. And once we removed the successful raviolis, they kind of just splat like dead jellyfish on the plate and got cold really fast. The Benjamin and I still each consumed a full plate, but we weren't satisfied.

Or I wasn't satisfied. I felt as though I'd failed.

But never fear! The fix? Oh you know...a pot, some oil, and the technique that truly makes anything better...

Fried ravioli wontons, eh? Oh yes, a delicious solution to the sloppy mess of the initial go. They stayed hot, they were crispy, they tasted great with the tomato cream sauce, and they were significantly worse for the waistline. Soo much better, yes?

Well, then I got to thinking...what else can I stuff into a little delicate wonton and fry to a crunchy warm bliss? What's that, Em? Chocolate? Ahh, well of course!

Nutella here I come!!

Oh yes, so delicious. I had to save some wontons in the fridge so I could cook up some of these again. Dust with some powdered sugar, and they're perfect!

I'll have to warn you: I don't know if it was the culmination of the week or the long Thursday afternoon with the munchkins or what, but after I ate this meal, I absolutely crashed. Couldn't even keep my eyes open. Yep, I was asleep by 10:00 last night and it was glorious. Kinda groggy this morning after 11 hours of shut-eye, but now I'm all set to go enjoy this absolutely gorgeous day! Thank you Lord for sunshine!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughts for Today

I've had these lyrics stuck in my head all day...well, all week really, ever since I downloaded a gorgeous version of "In Christ Alone." I absolutely adore the song as a whole, and I always have, but for some reason this week these words have just resonated so much with me:

"On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand."

Lately I've just been trying to wrap my ahead around the fact that really and truly, all other ground is sinking sand. Do you even know how often I find myself trying to stand on ground other than Christ the solid rock? All the time, unfortunately. I could go into detail, but I'd rather just leave it at that: for you to ponder and for me to ponder.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."
-Matthew 7:24-25

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Break, My Style

Yep, guess what? It's my first spring break after my 21st birthday, and where can I be found? Posted up at the homestead, completing job applications, reading the Pioneer Woman's Love Story, and flying through the second season of 24. And guess what else? It's pretty much exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Let's break it down shall we?

My vacation officially started last Friday at about 12:45 after I turned in my last of like a thousand school assignments flying around last week. I celebrated with a 7-mile run with Haley over at Tyson Park. Yes, that's right-7 miles! As in over half-way to 13.1!! Unfortunately, I've had some pretty awful pain in my left Achilles tendon ever since. I'm not freaking out this time, though, just resting and turning to other forms of exercise for a few days.

By the way, I promise I am not a crazed hypochondriac, just really really unlucky when it comes to injuries and long runs. But the pain is real, I swear...

Friday afternoon I went off with the family to Louisville, Kentucky for the sister's soccer tournament. Eh, it was fine. Probably just what I needed actually, I guess I'm just not ready to accept the fact that what I needed was hours upon hours in a hotel bed watching America's Next Top Model reruns.

Sunday night the Benjamin and I watched the Oscars (all 36,000 hours of them), then Monday I continued to be good and lazy, but did find the energy to make a terrifically delicious dinner for the fam: the Pioneer Woman's Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package. It was super tasty and flavorful. I give credit to the wine involved. Mmm mm.

Tuesday brought another sunny afternoon with the Munchkins and a trip to the hair salon for a serious chopping of the locks. Yeah...I don't have much hair anymore, but I really like it. See, I read this thing a couple of weeks ago about how walking into an interview with long hair gave the impression that you had yet to grow up. Now, I completely disagree with that, but it somehow stuck with me, and before I knew it, my hairdresser was cutting it to my collar bone. That's short! But it's cute...the Benjamin calls it my new "power hair-cut." Hah, we'll see if it's effective.

This morning I scheduled my phone interview with Disney!! I finished applying for the college internship last night, and now I'm moving to the next step. Whether it's the place I'm supposed to be come August, I'm not yet sure, but I just felt called to look into it, and now here we are! I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Well, I'm off to make some more sweet potato fries! I bought a bunch of sweet potatoes to make risotto at some point this week, but seeing as how nobody in my family seemed too excited about that but me, I figure I'll just make me an easy lunch instead.

So. While I haven't been basking on a beach somewhere in south Florida, I have been engaged in the definition of relaxation, and couldn't be happier! But I do hope everyone who is asleep in the sand is experiencing lots of warmth and sunshine!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lunch.

Yummm...


So I've found my new "I could eat this for every meal for a week and be okay" food...sweet potato fries. Made them for lunch today and can't wait to do it again.

My to-do list is ridiculous, so that is all I have to share for now.

But seriously, find some sweet potato fries and eat them. I hear they're the seasonal vegetable at Aubrey's right now...yummy yummy!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dreams of Late

Ya'll. I just ate grapes and M&Ms for dinner...how totally typical college student does that sound?

My belly hurts.

But hey, grapes are considered healthy, right? I think so.

Anyway, I've developed this new and wonderful hobby of stalking the shelves of Barnes & Noble while trying to kill time before work. Who knew it was acceptable to waltz right in, pick a random book off the shelf, and sink into one of the super comfy chairs to read it? And when you're done...you put it right back where you found it and leave, no money spent whatsoever. (Unless of course you desire a tasty hot beverage from the Starbucks inside...which today I did.) Yeah, I'm not sure if the store itself is necessarily an advocate of this method, but hey, I figure Barnes & Noble is a big company and must be doing alright, so I'm gonna keep doing it.

Well today I was immediately drawn to the beautifully blue cover of the Blackberry Farm cookbook. A couple of months ago, while randomly contemplating where one should get married in Knoxville...don't judge, lots of girls think about this stuff from time to time...my mind stumbled upon this gorgeous 9,000-acre estate in the Foothills. I'd always heard it was gorgeous and expensive, but then I checked out the website.


Well. It is gorgeous. And it is expensive. Yeah...turns out a wedding at Blackberry can range from $30,000 to (whoa) $80,000. Holy smokes. That ain't happening.

So I've let my wedding dreams somewhat subside since then...but now I have a new goal. I want my own Blackberry Farm. Never thought I'd be a farm girl, but I'm starting to change my mind. Back in the day my dream was to buy a mountain, so it's really the same thing, now I'll just stick a beautiful inn with a five star restaurant somewhere on it.

But first I've gotta find some money to buy a mountain.

Then I've gotta find a mountain...which could be difficult. Anybody got any leads?

But I guess really first I need to go work on my history paper.

Urgh.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Last Night in Review...

We begin around 11:30 pm...

I read blogs. I blog myself. I probably check Facebook. You know, I fulfill the items on a typical list of "how to waste a lot of time on the Internet."

One hour later...

I am getting tired and realize how late it is. I get in bed. I read my new book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It is very easy to read and thus incredibly addicting.

Approximately 12:50 am...

I put the book away, turn off the light (which requires an inconvenient trek across the room). And I get in bed and close my eyes.

Another hour passes...

My eyes are still open. Then my smoke alarm beeps. Oh no. This is very bad news. I turn on my tv to find the Olympics reruns. I watch for about 10 minutes. I seem to be getting tired. So I turn the tv off.

Now the clock reads 2:30 am...

And my eyes are still open! I return to the Olympics reruns. Shortly after, I feel the sleep coming on. I turn off the tv. My smoke alarm beeps again! I lie in anxious wait for the third beep, before getting up and removing the battery to ensure no more beeping. Yes, I realize this is breaking rules. I return to bed.

Somehow it becomes 3:00 am...

And somehow I finally fall asleep.

Very, very strange...needless to say, I've been quite tired today.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Untitled...

Sometimes I really despise coming up with post titles. I often have so many thoughts running through my head when I first sit down to write that I just can't seem to choose a name that can encompass it all. Tonight is one of those nights. So we forgo the title.

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend we experienced in K-town. And good golly we deserved it after weeks upon weeks of frigid temperatures and continuing cold fronts. I don't think I've ever heard so many kids say they're sick of the snow! I sure am. I'm not getting out of class, and I'm not getting out of work, so I wish the sky would just hold it in and stop stressing me out about driving in the possible treachery.

Geez. One little slide at the start of winter and I'm scarred for life. I've accepted it: I'm paranoid.

Anyway, I spent so many hours at Sequoyah throughout the weekend, and I just couldn't be more thankful for it. The sunshine, the puppies, the green, the random men's cross country team parading up and down the boulevard...it was blissful really. I'll confess though, I'm kind of glad it's supposed to start raining tonight and then get chilly again by the end of the week. I just have so much school to deal with the next several days, and it stresses me to be cooped up inside doing homework when the gorgeous warmth beckons. So just let me get this 2500-word history paper written, and then bring on the springtime!

So another confession: I tried to withdraw from the half marathon yesterday...but I failed. Yeah, unfortunately that lofty fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

It's not that I don't think I'll have enough time to train necessarily, it's just that I've realized how I've put the wrong label on this competition from the get-go. It's like an ill omen that I'm dreading and thus have to gear my entire life around getting ready for it. And it shouldn't be like that. I don't want to lose the joy I find in running, and I especially don't want to be droopy and depressed every day until I can start back up again. I need to be able to enjoy and be thankful for every part of every day, whether it includes a wonderful 7-mile run or a gimpy leg and a limp.

Limp...that word sounds so weird when you say it over and over again...hmm.

I just feel like I might be placing this race on a pedestal. It's like we talked about at Bible study a few weeks ago: if you fear something, you will begin to idolize it. Unfortunately my something is a half marathon.

And I'm not going to just give up and quit. Especially since I'm paying for it whether I run it or not...hah. But I am determined to put it in a new perspective. And in the meantime, I'm going to be thankful for what I can do, and just do that.

Speaking of being thankful, I just thought it might be good for me to share a few things I'm especially thankful for on this late Sunday night:
  • oversized flannel pj bottoms
  • puppies (especially little black fluffy ones)
  • grandmothers
  • families who care enough to call you after they hear about a wreck, just to make sure you're alright
  • roommates to vent with
  • McKay's
  • recipes you're really excited to try out (specifically Chicken Tamale Casserole)
  • spring-colored M&Ms
  • the Olympics
  • worship music
  • the professional feeling of sitting at a desk
  • someone in the passenger's seat on long car rides
  • a 60-degree day in February :)
And so much else...

One last thing while it's on my mind...this morning at church, Mike Kuhn preached and said something that God seemed to be directing right at my heart. I've heard it a million times in a million different ways, but today it hit home a little bit more. God desires nothing more than intimacy with us, and sometimes He lets us know that through pain. Right now, my pain is pain. Straight up. But I know that God is reaching out to me in my literal pain with a purpose, that I would desire Him more and rely on Him more. And it's hard, but I'm learning to do just that.

May you too find meaning in your struggle and pleasure in your pain, whatever that may be.

Happy last week of February!! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Struggles.

Let me begin with an apology...this is a fairly lengthy rant that most will probably find to be really whiney and boring. I think I just woke up this morning and needed to vent, and poof, there lay my computer...

Don't you hate it when you can't do something you love?

I do. And I'm really struggling with it right now.

As you might recall, on New Year's Eve, I committed myself to my new year's resolution by registering for the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon in April. I was a little unsure if it was such a good idea, being so far out, but I knew if I didn't sign up right then and there, I probably would put it off long enough to let the goal once again slip away.

At the time, I hadn't run in over a month in an attempt to nurse a stress fracture in my left shin back to health. It was really hard for me to stop doing something I had come to enjoy so much, but I took December off, knowing once January rolled around, I'd be in good shape to go at it again.

My primary fear in signing up for the half marathon wasn't so much taking the time to train or suffering through an intense training regimen. In fact, I was really excited to watch myself grow in endurance and finally prove to myself that I had the strength and willpower to set such a lofty goal and then see it through. What scared me the most as I spent that $90 to register, which doesn't even go to charity by the way, was the likelihood of another injury cramping my ability to train and reach that goal.

Well, for a good while, things were going great. It definitely took me awhile to get my lungs back in the swing of things, and I struggled at first to even get through a 2 mile run. Eventually though, the endurance returned, and I felt great. My shins felt great too, thanks to my sexy new Asics the Benjamin gave me for Christmas. I call them sexy because the guy who sold them to us did...and I won't even lie, they do look quite good.

Three or four weeks into training, however, I noticed a dull pain in my right quad muscle. It was really strange, and at first I just attributed the hurt to general fatigue...I was running a whole heck of a lot after all. I kept at it for another week or so before realizing that the pain was not going away, and in fact was getting worse. Walking even was becoming difficult.

I guess you could say it all culminated last Friday morning as I ran an early 3-miler on the treadmill. The pain was awful, and I knew I had to stop or the injury, whatever it may be, would never heal. It was terrible. I broke down. I thought it was over. I came back to my room and called the Benjamin bawling. I was so excited about this goal. And I was so on track to achieve it, but my body just wasn't cooperating.

I know it sounds crazy petty for someone to get so upset over some pain in her upper thigh. And I realize that not running for a week or two might not put everyone out there down in the dumps. But it is killing me. I talked with my mom about it last weekend, and she made me feel better about being upset. She herself used to be a frequent and avid runner, until hip problems stopped her from high impact exercise altogether. She told me it is still hard for her to see other people running though, and I can completely understand why. Yesterday the Benjamin and I went walking over at Sequoyah, and every time someone passed by jogging, my heart died a little more.

I had just come to love the activity so much. As much as I dreaded checking the next run off my training schedule, I found myself having a hard time even taking a day of rest. It's almost like I'm addicted to it or something, but not in a bad or harmful way, just because it makes me feel so free and empowered. I love running through God's creation and savoring the strength He puts in my legs. It was such a joy, and I truly miss it...even though it's only been a week. Hah.

And I'm struggling-hard core-with why this is happening. I have been learning in Bible study this semester the joy of simply delighting in life and delighting in the Lord. Delight is my new favorite word by the by... I thought I had reached a strong understanding of God's purpose in everything in my life, and then this hits. Could it be that I was starting to idolize my running and He wants me to step back and see that? Could it be an ever-needed reminder that He is in full control and I was beginning to take too much into my own hands? I really don't know, but all I can tell you is I'm a little frustrated.

I know I don't deserve anything from Him, but I'm just struggling to fully understand that and fully give up control I guess. But I wish I could let things go because it's seriously toying with happiness. I hope I can just continue to come to know a greater happiness that doesn't involve running...

I haven't gone to a doctor, by the way. It just takes so long, and in my experience, the only thing they can tell you is to stay off of it for 4-6 weeks. Well I don't have 4-6 weeks, so I'm hoping for a faster recovery, but we'll see how it goes. It seems like I've got some bigger stuff to take away from this experience, so hopefully I'll be able to focus on that instead. Or I might just run today. That would be wise. Psh.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Next Year...

Check it out....


I found my new goal in life :)

Unfortunately the 2010 race was held the first week of January, so I will have to wait a year. But no worries, the 2011 event is already scheduled, and I'm already putting it in my planner.

Pumped is an understatement.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sugar Rush

Have you ever played the Haha Game? You know, the one where everybody lies in the floor with their heads on someone's stomach and you proceed to say...

Ha.

Ha-ha.

Ha-ha-ha.

Ha-ha-ha-ha.

And hopefully by this point hysterical laughter has broken out. That's the goal. Otherwise it just gets weird and awkward...

But yeah, it's a classic...

Well, let's just the Haha Game is a pretty accurate representation of my mood at the moment. I was trying (and had been for like an hour) to compose a rather serious blog post, and it just wasn't coming. Then Hales decided to comment on her terrifically wired, full-on ADD state, and before you knew it, bam, we were discussing dead cow noises and laughing way more than I've ever achieved with the Haha Game.

Needless to say, at the moment, I'm just not one for intellectualism.

I blame the strawberry shortcake we had for dessert tonight. Bring on the sugar rush, folks. It's been a long week already.

In other news...

I'm seriously starting to resent running. Which is no bueno, considering my longest logged distance is 4 miles on a treadmill...9 more? What?! Ew. Not to mention the fact that I've pretty much come to accept the fact that my quads are just going to be in a constant state of pain for the next 3 months.

Oh, and let's also discuss my wisely planned 9 and 10-mile runs I get to somehow fit in over spring break week. Yessss....

Sorry. I'll stop complaining. It really hasn't been that bad, and I'm totally up for my future long-distance challenges. I'm just tired on this chilly hump day, and I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning's 7 am wake-up call. That's all.

Whew. And now comes the post-sugar rush crash. Time to hit the hay. Sweet dreams!

And I promise to get back to that serious post on a later occasion. It's a good one.

And another thing...be sure to laugh today. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guilty Pleasure.

I am pooped. I blame two things:

Abnormal Psychology.

And this chick...Ugh. And to think I sort-of think I liked you after the first episode. Curse you Bachelor for turning me into such a hateful person. AND for hooking me in with your crazed drama and that glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Jake will come to his senses and kick Miss Princess to the curb.

Doubtful.

And I wish I could channel that frustration into just changing the channel.

But I can't.

So I stay up into the wee hours of the night studying for early morning tests...since the evening was spent glued to the tube, watching Miss Thing desperately and annoyingly throwing herself at our prince.

Wow. I have got to get a more intellectual hobby. I think I'll do the crossword now...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Dance Anyone?

IT'S GONNA SNOW!!!!

I think at least...

I hope at least!

Probably not this much...(the 10 or so inches we experienced in New York)


But hopefully more than this! (the light dusting sometime last year)

It's not supposed to start until after 3 p.m. tomorrow, so it looks like I'll be at work regardless. I'm ok with that, though, as long as I get home safely and get to see some white stuff on the ground! I mean come on, we deserve something in return for all these frigid temperatures...

So do your snow dances, wear your pj's inside out, sleep upside down, whatever you think will work...cuz I want a snow day!! (For my mom and sis at least...)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Negative Nancy

Firstly, let me just point out that this is the third day in a row that I've posted. I'm on a roll, people. I deserve a cookie. Or TCBY...oh wait, been there done that today. Oops!

Secondly, I'm in a weird mood. Not the ultra hyper and happy kind of weird mood. The not so good kind...where I'm just really easily irritable and couldn't tell you the first reason why.

But I'll try my best...

The raging bush on my head currently holds enough static electricity to power the entire state of North Carolina. Ick. I despise winter. And seriously, as petty as it sounds, it has driven me crazy all day...and I shocked many a two-year-old as a result. (on accident...)

Another by-product of the season, it's ridiculously cold outside. As a result, when I get home from being out, I immediately throw on my flannel pj bottoms and as many layers on top as I can comfortably handle. Then I can curl up under some covers and carry out the rest of my day from a sufficiently insulated location. Sounds good and great and all, but the problem is, I end up donning the same sweatshirt to prance around the house every single day. And when it's time to come out of hibernation and go out again, my laziness only allows me to change my pants before I'm off.

Sorry. I'm rambling. Basically, every time I've left the house the past like two weeks, I've been in this:



Hah. And yes, I know those of you who see me regularly totally recognize it. It's my favorite sweatshirt, but still, wearing it continuously like I have makes me feel shlumpy, and that makes me feel weird and annoyed.

I also have this annoying pain in the back of my neck that just makes me want to go to sleep even though it's only 9:30.

Complainy Janey...that is my name tonight.

On a positive note though, today was my first day back at the preschool. I was kind of dreading it I'll admit, but it was surprisingly wonderful. I love how two year olds are gone for two weeks and when they come back their vocabulary is twelve times larger and they're totally potty-trained. Plus they're crazy cute. That doesn't hurt.

I hate being a negative Nancy. This morning my devotional was all about my faithful God who always provides. It encouraged me to just sit, be still, and feel the "enoughness" God has filled me with. That was cool. I know it probably deserves a much more sophisticated, deep, and inspirational adjective, but cool is a pretty accurate description. So despite my failed attempt to find my smile on this night, I am not lacking. I am filled with the love of a Lord who provides, and that is all I need.

And at times like these when all I can do is complain, I like to think He fills me with even more. :)


Monday, January 4, 2010

If I Had a Money Tree...

If you ever get the hankering to see a lot of people, head to Times Square. Trust me, I know from experience, it's packed.

But if you ever get the hankering to see a whole bunch more than a lot of people, I'm talking like squishing a small country's entire population into an area about one-fourth the size of Times Square, take a trip on down to The Pinnacle movie theater in Turkey Creek on any day of Christmas break. It will blow your mind. And they say we're in a recession...psh.

The Benjamin and I attempted to go see Sherlock Holmes the other day, and by attempted I mean failed miserably. Who knew all of Knoxville, its like ten surrounding counties, and their entire extended families, happened to have that same idea of going to the movies? We sat in traffic on Lovell Road for over half an hour, spent another three days looking for a parking space, and eventually ended up facing a sold out sign next to our showing. Terrible. Why Turkey Creek, why??!!

It was too early to head on to dinner, but too close to eating time to go back home. And we really weren't ready to face the shoot-me-now traffic for another hour or so. Solution? Meander through my favorite stores across the street until a sufficient appetite was worked up.

And now for the originally-intended subject of this post...

While killing time in World Market, (which is so wonderfully easy to kill time in) I stumbled across this painting that I became obsessed with!


Don't you just love that quote? "Sometimes the heart should do things without the brain's permission." So true! Oh, I love it. Unfortunately, the price tag showed a whopping $129, so perhaps I can take the quote and paint my own canvas. It won't be nearly as nice as this one, but as long as it says the same thing. That's the part I can't get over!

Anyway, that's really all I wanted to share. Everyone pumped for the Bachelor? I know I am! T-minus 16 minutes and counting! Mainly I'm just really excited for when I get back to school and can join all of my much-missed gals for Monday night Bachelor nights. I am so looking forward to seeing them!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Couch Potato

What a wonderfully lazy, relaxing, and restful couple of weeks I have had! I mean we're talking the don't wake up until 11:00, don't get out of my pj's until 2:00, and don't really leave the house unless entirely necessary kind of relaxing. Y'all. I love it. And I'm thinking that after one more week of this laying around bliss, I will be ready to hang up the worthlessness and start facing civilization again. Yikes. Could be a rude awakening.

I have managed to make a new best friend amongst the laziness, however. It's name is Dutch Blitz, and it's pretty much the most insanely addicting card game ever.

It's basically a group version of the game Speed, another super fast-paced but wonderful card challenge. I had never heard of Dutch Blitz before this week, and apparently you can only buy it at one specialty game story in the city, but I've already introduced it to pretty much everyone I know, and they're all hooked too. I've been meaning to head to the mall to pick up my own set...I'm just worried that as soon as I do, I will be pestering everyone around me to play at all hours. We shall see!

Guess what else I did from the comfort of my own couch the other night? Signed my life away for the next four months, that's what! By that I'm referring to my decision to just do it, and register for the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville this April. Running a half has always been a life goal of mine, and since the stress fracture hindrance of the past couple of months seems to be healed, I decided to go for it. I have concerns, yes. Such as the threat of another injury popping up during training...or the very real possibility of getting totally burned out by the time I build up to 8 or 9 miles...or the complete physical and mental breakdown mid-run one day in which I will have to just plop down on the curb and cry for awhile.

But no, I'm going to be positive throughout this experience, and I will hopefully overcome the challenge. My roomie signed on with me, so that will be encouraging. Plus I spent hours the other day formulating my own customized training schedule on a beautifully-organized and color-coded Excel spreadsheet, and we all know how much I love following regimented plans! I'm sure I'll be providing lots of updates on the victories, failures, and pain involved in the whole process, so get excited! Nash-vegas, here I come!


I also wanted to share a new daily devotional I've started for 2010. I was hoping to find a more Scripture-based book to use this year, and after a couple hours (literally) of milling through the Christian bookstore last week, I finally found one I've definitely enjoyed so far. It's called Solo, and it's based on the the Message, a version of the Bible rewritten in a more readable style. Each day there is a passage from the Message, accompanied by a page of thought-provoking questions and prayers to help you dig deeper into the Scripture. While the entire Bible is not included in the book, it is organized chronologically, and I am excited to encounter new stories and passages that I have not before read. I'm hopeful and ready for what God has in store for me through these quiet times, and I will definitely be sharing my favorites!

Well it's time to go don my onesie, which makes for the most comfortable sleep EVER by the way, and get to sleep before 2 am for once this break. The family is back to work tomorrow, so I'll be the only lazy bum still warming the couch, but unfortunately I have to wake up super early for an unwisely-scheduled dentist appointment in the morning. Ew. And brr...it's gonna be like 15 degrees...

Friday, January 1, 2010

To Be Continued...

Well I just can't seem to win with any internet connection these days. But the little red Vaio did manage to locate one tiny bar somewhere in the airwaves long enough for me to drop in and promise that I'll be back soon with a legit welcome to 2010. So stay tuned and channel some wireless juice my way if you get a chance...thanks and love! Oh, and Happy New Year!!