Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Mike & I hope that this Christmas & New Year's greeting finds each of you healthy & happy. As we have settled into celebrating the Savior's birth as a married couple we have juggled some busy days lately! As a result, our Christmas cards went into the mail without any kind of letter but with a note to check the blog for an update. Finally - here it is!

Last Christmas we were celebrating as a newly engaged couple. If only I had known how much wedding work lie ahead of me! January found me dress shopping. What a fun day! It really didn't take long for Mom, Beth & I to find THE DRESS.

This pic of me & Steph was taken on the day we got our dresses fitted. I just loved my dress. It was plain & simple - I still think it looks like fondant icing. Smooth & beautiful & white!

In the midst of all the wedding hoopla, I continued training for the Indy Mini. It was a much bigger than usual struggle for me as I worked both jobs, trained, worked on the wedding & we continued with some major house projects. I was sick on a fairly regular every six week schedule. I was just praying I could complete the race without getting sick the next day. The Lord answered my prayers & allowed me to finish at a very good for me finish time. However, there was one tiny bump in my running road that I always meant to blog about but never got down to doing it. I had been running/walking at a great pace. I was somewhere between mile 10 & 11 when the small crowd that I was running with had to turn a corner. We were all kind of bunched up & I was getting carried along with barely any room for my elbows. I couldn't see the pavement & caught my left foot on a uneven spot. I fell & I mean I fell HARD & skidded on my hands & knees. I was terrified I was going to get stepped on so I jumped up really quick. Man, did I come to a quick understanding of how road burn feels! There was no blood, but there was some major burning! All I really wanted to do was sit down on the curb, howl & cry but the other runners were all cheering me on. I. was. humiliated. And I was trying to cry while I couldn't catch my breath. I made some very interesting noises as I hobbled along. At that moment I had firmly decided never to run the Mini again - the race was too crowded, too long, too awful! Mike took this pic of me after the race. You can't really tell at this point, but my knees were black & blue the next day & I was walking like a 93 year old arthritic woman. Crazy stuff!

And I have not signed up for the 2010 Indy Mini. Although at this point it is not because of my spectacular wipe out. I've just been too out of it lately to feel like I can tackle a 13 mile race. I've got no enthusiasm for it this year but I've got my sights set on 2011. Right now my goal is a 5k with my sister & nephew in March. That's enough.

The weeks following the race we worked very diligently on wedding plans. I had no idea how many details there were to take care of. I made lists & then lists of lists. In the midst of it all I tried to enjoy myself but as the day approached (& has now passed) I have to admit that eloping definitely has it's positives. But I had so much fun, too. I had a wonderful group of girls standing up with me & a troop of special ladies at my church that took care of many things for me. It was a wonderful, wonderful day! I was tightly wound, I can tell you that! It's funny because the Lord did an excellent job of keeping my stomach calm. I didn't have any butterflies whatsoever. I was feeling pretty good but I felt an awful tightness around my rib cage. I told my mom that I was really unhappy with how tight my dress felt & how in the world had I gained weight around my ribs? She reached out & tugged at my dress to show me that it was not tight at all. Hmmm...then she put on her stern momma voice & told me to relax. My mom is so good at that. I love her for her tough love :-) So we proceeded with all the pics beforehand - such a great idea (especially if your groom is a nervous crowd-hater like mine is). Carmen did a wonderful job with the pics - it was so fun! We had a light lunch & then it was time for the wedding to start! I was so anxious for it to start that I remember dancing around on the landing in the foyer while I was waiting for Mom to walk me in. It was so silly, but I could not stand still! I was so excited to marry Michael; I was so excited to see who all had come; I was so excited to get it over with!
Then before I knew it, it was over with! Mom walked me in, I took Mike's hands, & a short 27 minutes later we were the new Mr. & Mrs. Pastor Jeff did a wonderful job of keeping the ceremony succinct - exactly how we wanted it! Actually, he left a little paragraph out about the rings b/c he was nervous, too!
Then once again, before I knew it we were running out the door in a cloud of bubbles! It was so fun...but I told my mom yesterday that leaving the reception was a little weird. It's kind of like leaving your own party first. I'm kind of used to being the last one there instead of the first to leave :-) We had borrowed Mike's brother's car as our get-away mobile. It's a fun Hyundai Tiberon & the girls had filled it with balloons, written some stuff on the windows & attached some streamers to the bumper. Mike was so embarrassed! We had never before or since made such good time getting home from church :-)
Unfortunately that was when I started to feel even a little more than tightness around my ribcage. I had figured that once the wedding was over & I relaxed that it would go away. Not so much. I actually woke up the next morning with strep throat. Mike took me to the urgent care clinic, I got a shot & a prescription, then we headed out on our honeymoon.
We actually had a wonderful few days in Brown County. We rented a lovely little cabin in the woods & we relaxed, shopped in Little Nashville, drove all over the countryside & I re cooperated from being stupid sick.
I have a zillion pics & I am so computer challenged...I've been clicking through the wedding pics narrowing down which ones I want to upload but I can't really figure out how to do it. *sigh* I am going to attempt to upload them to facebook. That wasn't really what I wanted to do, but at least that way maybe some folks can see them.
As far as any further news about our year...Mike & I are grateful that in spite of difficult economical times the Lord has continued to provide work for his company. Recently we have been assured of his employment for another couple of months. That is how it seems to go - about every two months they get another order & we praise God for answered prayer.
After much prayerful consideration (the kind where I finally listen to God if you know what I mean) I decided that it was time to let go of my second job. My last day was October 29th & I have to say that I have not regretted the decision once. It has been a very sweet blessing to be home evenings with Mike. It has allowed me to be quite a bit more relaxed schedule wise & that makes room for a lot more fun (and SLEEP)!
The rest of our year has been spent getting settled. It has been so much fun! For every tense conversation about socks on the floor or how we are going to spend holiday time there have been many more sweet moments. And the fun times filled with laughter just multiply. The Lord has given us a lot of joy in our marriage & I pray that joy only increases as time goes by.

This is kind of a lengthy, picture lacking holiday update - forgive my amateur blogging skills. The real message we were hoping to convey at this special time of the year is that the Lord has done many things for us in 2009. He has taught us many things, He has provided all our needs - including our greatest need of a Savior, He has blessed us beyond measure. He is a great God & we thank Him for a great year. We look forward to serving Him in 2010!
Michael & MaryAnn

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Massive Update

I've been meaning to get on here & let you know the latest news!

*First of all, you guys gave me some great ideas of how to handle the jean skirt dilemma. Funny thing is, when I went to Old Navy last Saturday to snatch up a $5 fleece, I noticed that they had some jean skirts! They were on sale for $15, they were the distressed style I was kind of hoping for, & they had one in my size! Yippee! I snagged one for Mike to buy me for Christmas :-)

*The little girl from my church that was in the car accident has a very long road ahead of her. At this point it seems that she is paralyzed from the neck down. She has done a little bit of twitching but the doctor's do not believe that the twitching is any reason to hope. She suffered a ruptured colon & severe whiplash. She will have to have surgery/surgeries & be in the children's hospital for several months. Her mother is recovering well. Her grandma is having some major pain issues & will have to have another surgery for a crushed ankle. Please keep praying for this family. There are so many needs. Please also pray for our church to be helpful & comforting.

*I have all the results from my gall bladder tests. I do not have any gall stones or anything like that. They took a test that measured my gall bladder's ejection fracture. It is at about 20%. From what I can understand with just a little research, normal ejection fracture should be 30% or above. I have an appointment with a surgeon at the beginning of January. I'm not sure if the surgeon will think my case is severe enough to have it removed or just try to deal with it. It's a situation that doesn't improve, but it also doesn't necessarily decline rapidly. So right now I'm just trying to carefully watch what I eat & pray that the Lord will show me what I should do & that He will give the surgeon wisdom to know what is best for me. We will see.

*I just finished our Christmas cards - HALLELUJAH!!! They will hit the mailbox tomorrow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Candy Making Fun!

I only worked a half day today; I clocked out & headed over to Grandpa & Grandma's for our Annual Christmas Candy Making Day!

Here I am coating homemade toffe with white chocolate. Say it with me people, YUM!
My Grandma is making Divinity. If you've never had it, I have to say that it's white fluff tastes just like the clouds in heaven. My dad says, "It's so sweet it will rot your head off!"
Here is Beth testing the Divinity to be sure it's done. First you boil sugar & Karo syrup until it forms a hard ball or string in cold water. Then you add it to stiffly beaten egg whites & VOILA! You either have some of the best homemade Christmas Candy ever or you have a burnt motor on your electric mixer. Yes, it has happened to us. Several times.
Aunt Ruth was painting the chocolate in molds for homemade peanut butter cups. Once again, YUM!
Grandpa mostly supervised & made sure that Grandma's laundry got moved from the washer to the dryer ('cause she was obviously preoccupied elsewhere!). All of those little chocolate balls you see on the table there are coconut & butter cremes. YUM!

We had so much fun today...I don't think I've laughed so hard in quite a while. My family is great & we share so many super fun traditions. My grandparents have taught me so much - how to make things myself, how to work hard, & how to give a little tough love.

What fun Christmas traditions do you share with your families? What kinds of goodies do you make at home?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh my - not good news

I think I might need to disconnect my cell phone today because all it seems to be able to do is deliver me some bad news.

First I received a prayer line request from my church. A 5-year old girl that attends our church was in a car accident last night. She has life threatening internal injuries & her mother has serious head injuries. Her grandma has serious injuries.

Second, I received a text message from my mom. She works for a financial institution & one of their branches was robbed this morning. No one was hurt but of course they are all shook up. Ever since my mom started this job (I was in 3rd grade so it's been a long time!) I've had this little obnoxious worry that someday they would get robbed. I'm so grateful that it happened at a branch where she wasn't working at the time & I'm so grateful no one was hurt. I'm just concerned now that my mom will have a lot of work to do to deal with the robbery.'s been an eventful start to the week. If you think of it, please remember these wonderful people in your prayers. We need His healing hand for the car accident victims & His hand of protection & wisdom for the robbery situation. I'm so grateful to know that His help is ALWAYS available!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What do YOU want for Christmas?

Yep, that's all I really want. Just a knee length denim skirt. I would prefer one in a dark wash without all the funky seams like the one pictured above. Just a nice, tailored, dark denim skirt. I have one now, but the fit is horrible. It sits too low on my waist & I have to be on patrol the whole time I wear it, if you get my meaning. So I've been looking around at several different stores & I've looked online. Can't find a single one I like. I'm kind of tall (about 5' 10") so all of the knee length skirts are not knee length on me. I'm sure not looking for a mini style. And a long skirt would be ok, too - if it was long enough. I'm way NOT into mid-calf hem styling, thank you very much.
Actually, I've seen lots of denim skirts out there that I really like. The problem is, they are skirts that other ladies are wearing. Is it ok to ask them where they got their skirt? Seems like a socially awkward situation to me. However, I REALLY want a new denim skirt for Christmas!

What's on your list?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Things around here lately have NOT been dull. I actually have thought about posting numerous times, but have not really been in the mood. But that doesn't mean that we're not busy & things aren't crazy!
The truth is, I'm kind of struggling. The weather is super cold & we've had snow. I should be rejoicing about it b/c it seems so Christmas-y, but I get preoccupied with being mad about being cold. Yuck.
Also, I haven't been feeling very well. If you've been on facebook you may have noticed that I updated my status the other day with a comment about an ultrasound of my gall bladder. I have been having episodes of chest pain & nausea. I've never had chest pain before & let me tell you, any chest pain seems like a life or death issue! I spent most of last Monday & Tuesday thinking, "hmmm...maybe I should tell somebody that I feel like there is an elephant on my chest?" I ended up seeing the doctor on Thursday & she feels like it is most probably my gall bladder acting up. She ordered an ultrasound to check for gall stones. If they were apparent on the ultrasound then I would go directly to a surgeon to discuss removal of the gall bladder. If not, then I would need to follow up with a nuclear scan to determine if the gall bladder is functioning properly. I had the ultrasound on Monday & the results were normal. Immediately I started wondering if I was a head case. No offense to any hypochondriacs out there, but I do NOT want to join your club. People think I'm crazy enough already! I had really been praying that if my gall bladder was what was making me sick that all I would need would be the ultrasound. Obviously I'm now going to have to follow up with the nuclear test. It's called a Hida scan & the drug that they will use for my test will actually come from the pharmacy that I work in. I'm might ask my boss if I can draw up my own dose! I was just really hoping to avoid another test b/c that just means another test to pay for. And the other nagging thought is what if this test comes back normal too? Then I will have joined the above mentioned club, I suppose.
So with all of these not so fun thoughts running round in my head & not feeling very well, & strife at my workplace, & Mike being sick, too (a very, very, very bad headcold) I've struggled to keep my focus on what is true & right.

I need to think about things like:
~ it's Christmas-time! The songs of the season & focusing on Christ's birth really makes my heart rejoice. The words of "O Holy Night" have always especially touched my heart. What's your favorite Christmas carol?
~ completed projects & some much needed organization around our home! The Christmas tree & decorations are up & sparkly. Our basement (which has been a storage/woodworking wasteland) is finally starting to take some organizational shape.
~ the faithfulness of God's Word! I've been reading in the books of Kings recently & the Lord has taught me (reminded me of) some basic truths:

1. Love Him first & foremost
2. Obey Him wholeheartedly
3. Hate sin

~ Mike & I both still have jobs! Actually, my job has not been in jeopardy (that I know of!) but Mike has been faced with possible layoff & constant rumors of shutdown for longer than I can remember. The Lord has been faithful to supply his plant with orders so that the skeleton crew that remains has work. We are praying about January b/c it's the next possible layoff/shutdown time, but we are confident that the Lord is in control & He will do what is best for us.

There's a whole lot more to say about how the Lord has blessed & sustained me even while I've tended to be meloncholy, attitudinal & ungrateful. I'm so thankful He is faithful, even when I'm not.

What has the Lord been teaching you lately?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I have been thinking for quite a while about how I wanted my Thanksgiving post to be. Did I want to do a list of ten things I am thankful for? Or maybe go through the abc's listing something I am thankful for with every letter? Or possibly just a pictorial list since I now have the internet at home & I can upload pics to my heart's content? What to do...what to do...

I am not a very decisive person. Those who know me, will not be surprised by this admission. So as I sit here typing, watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, I still haven't made up my mind. So I guess I'll just keep typing and let it flow!

What I am most thankful for would have to be my relationship with the Lord. I cannot express my gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ for dying on the cross to save my soul. Recently He has been reminding me of a couple of things about His character that I have long known, but not fully meditated upon. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever." This verse actually popped into my mind Tuesday night as I drove to church for the Thanksgiving & Praise Service. So I allowed my mind to consider the thought that Jesus never changes I realized how wonderful that is for me as a falliable person. Jesus always knew He was going to have to die for the sins of the world. He was always willing to do it. He loved us then, He loves us now, & He will continue to love us. The plan of salvation will never change. The Lord laid out the plan of redemption long ago and it will never change. Can you imagine what life would be like if we had to be concerned about whether or not Christ would change His mind about loving us? Or if the Lord decided to change the plan of salvation from generation to generation? What saved our great-grandparents would not work for us. We would have to figure out God's new plan & hope that He didn't change His mind. What a mess! I am so grateful that my God never changes. His love for me never changes. His plan of salvation is sure & has always been the same. What a great, constant God!

On the heels of these thoughts about the Lord's constancy, came the thought of what would I do if I didn't have the Lord to thank? Thanksgiving for me is all about thanking God. He is the one who has given me so much - salvation, family, a wonderful church, a job, a home, and on and on. I just don't know what the thought process would even be if I didn't have faith in God. Who do you thank then? Luck? Fortune? Yourself? How terribly empty that would be. Oh, thank God for faith in God!

I am also so grateful for the lessons that the Lord has taught me this year. It's been a busy, crazy year, but it's been so good. The Lord has definitely made it clear to me that I need to slow down. Reprioritize. Breathe. Spend time with Him. Learn to be still. These are all very difficult things for me to do. I am a very restless, driven person. I like to work a lot. I like to do all the household stuff. I like having a list of things that I can do. Even this morning I got up early, exercised, read my Bible, put a chicken on to cook for the noodles I will make next & then there are several other things to accomplish before heading to Mike's family Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful for the things to do & the blessing that I can be to others through my work. Making the noodles & a pumpkin angel food cake to take to my family Thanksgiving so my mom won't have to make those dishes. Keeping the house picked up & clean so that Mike & I can both enjoy living here together. I like my jobs, my roles, whatever you might want to call it. But this year with all of the sickness I've had, the wedding planning, the marriage adjusting, the Lord has made it clear that He wants first place. He deserves the best of my time & service. Evidently, my role as wife & the fulfillment of that job is in service to the Lord. The same with my involvement at church. Where I fail the most is spending time one on one with Him & being quiet in spirit so I can really pray. I am so thankful that the Lord bothers to teach me these things. It amazed me that He cares that I have an abundant life through a close relationship with Him.

Those are the major lessons I have been learning & what I am most thankful for. Ultimately, I am the most grateful to the Lord for letting me know Him & that He would care to know me. The rest of what I am grateful for I think I will post as a crazy, crammy paragraph below, typed out just as they pop into mind...

my husband - sweet, patient, kind, & full of love for me. our home - little, cozy, & full of happy, fun memories. my family. Mike's family. my Bible. our jobs. the Lord's provision. physical health & strength. good friends. lovely church family. freedom of our nation. internet coupons. double coupons sales. dependable cars to drive. paid time off. good health insurance. internet access at home. a lovely wedding with lovely people and lovely photos. my bike. a lovely autumn season. all things pumpkin - pie, bread, ice cream, cake. forgiveness - others have granted to me & the ability the Lord has given me to grant others. restored relationships. tears of joy. tears of empathy. love. laughter. music. my ipod. time spent running, walking, biking. sunshine. faith. peace. freedom from fear - a direct gift from God.

I could keep going, but the noodle making is calling! I wish you all a wonderful day of Thanksgiving - may your heart & soul be focused on the many reasons we should be thankful to the Lord today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Posting From...

My own little living room couch! I am excited to annouce that we now have internet at home. Mike has managed to give my old laptop some better brains so that it can actually navigate the downloading of the pages. We splurged and signed up for high speed cable internet - the picture posting possibilities have put a smile on my face!

It's like an early Christmas present. I am a happy girl. In truth, I am a very grateful girl. The Lord has been teaching me so much lately & it's all been trapped up in my head. Eventually the lessons & the gratefuls will make their way from my brain to the keyboard. How's that for a Thanksgiving Post Teaser?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Giveaway!

Head on over to Theo's blog to enter the giveaway she's hosting for her first blogaversary!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Today might be Thursday...

but it's MY Friday!

This evening Mike & I are headed out to visit for a couple of days with his sister, Jackie. We haven't been to her place for a little over a year, so I'm excited about spending some time there. Jackie is a high school chemistry teacher (& more than a little brilliant). I always enjoy time talking with her b/c she knows lots of computer stuff & she's an excellent cook. Our conversations topics range far & wide so it's always entertaining!

Then we will get to see Mike's other sibs on Sunday afternoon at his other sister's house. Gwen & Jason are having a big party for Canton, their son who will be turning a whooping one year old! So bring on the end of the work day & let the good times get started! Only about 3 hours to go...

Small Confession: I have been a teensy bit disappointed with my first week with only one job. Unfortunately I am definitely the type to build things up in my mind & of course I develop huge expectations about how I think things are going to be. I'm sure that's why I feel a little disappointed right now. The truth is, we spent a lot of time away from home every evening this week. Monday night we tried to work on my mom's computer. It has a vicious virus; recovery is ongoing. Wednesday night was church. As a result, I'm still tired. My house isn't any cleaner. I still didn't develop a menu plan for the week (so we were definitely eating in scrounge mode all week - yuck!). I still didn't go running or exercise much. It has felt like a two job week.

Ugh. I wasn't going to go on a big complaining rant, but I kinda just did. Oops!

Now for the positives - b/c yes, there are definitely some positives!

We did get the leaves all raked up in our yard. The laundry is caught up. I have washed dishes every night so there are not any dirty dished stacked up on every available kitchen counter space. I did get to go shop & get some great deals this week. Mike & I have spent much more time together which equals good times, good talks, & good feelings.

I guess we will see what next week brings. I have some lofty goals (AGAIN!). I'm sure you're not surprised. Until then, I'm going to enjoy this party-all-the-time-weekend!

What are your weekend plans? Anything fun going on out there?

Monday, November 2, 2009

I have been enjoying this regular eight hour work day Monday! Usually I would have to go to the second job for the evening shift. Monday tends to be the busiest day of the week in a pharmacy so I was almost always scheduled to work. I am so glad that today I am planning to go home at 3 pm & enjoy the evening! Don't worry ~ there are chores to do, but that's just fine with me. I'm going to do some laundry, maybe rake some leaves, cook something for dinner & relax!

But the real reason I am posting under the Works of God banner is b/c the Lord has done some interesting things in our lives lately. The very next day after I decided that it was time to say adios to working two jobs, Mike had a meeting at this work. He knew that they would have jobs to complete until Christmas but what he didn't know was that there were so many jobs to get done that they would be on mandatory overtime until Christmas. Unfortunately that means that Mike will have the long days now, but he will at least get paid overtime for the extra effort. The income that we will lose from my second job will be more than covered by his overtime pay. Jehovah Jireh! Only the Lord knows what will happen in January. We are praying that more work will come in for them. As we all know, the Lord is more than faithful to meet our needs. I'm excited to see just what He has in store!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recent Happenings

The month of October has simply FLOWN by! I feel a little dizzy from the ride, if you know what I mean?

I love autumn. I just kind of struggle with dreading winter as it approaches. This year I have tried to relax a little, enjoy the changing leaves & the fall activities. Mike & I had a blast the first weekend of the month, going to an apple festival & then a pioneer village. The next weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday with a full-on turkey dinner (bless my mom's heart - she'll fix anybody's favorite meal for their birthday!). The third weekend I took a much-anticipated trip to Tennessee to visit with some wonderful college buddies - the Dr. Pepper Group.

We all gathered at Christie & Ryan's house in Nashville. I was really happily surprised to realize that it was not nearly as long of a trip as I had anticipated. Stephanie rode down with me & we had a blast catching up. You know you are with a great friend when you can drive a little over 4 hours & not have a lull in the conversation :-) Rachel came down from Michigan with her three sons & that rounded out our party. All together we had five adults and eight kiddos. If Steph had brought her two boys we would have been outnumbered two to one!

We spent all day Friday conversating, looking at my wedding pictures, encouraging one another & catching up. It was great. That night we went to Opry Mills (the huge shopping mall) & the Opryland Hotel. We walked through all of the atriums - it is a beautiful place! After dinner at Applebee's we headed back to Christie's for some more visiting. It's amazing how much we find to talk about!

Saturday I was ready to head back to my husband, but I was glad for the time away. Just a little pinch of time apart makes me appreciate the time together so much more.

That day was the beginning of revival meetings at my church. I was more than a little frustrated about the timing of my schedule in relation to the meetings. I missed the first night b/c of the TN trip. I got to attend all day on Sunday, but then I missed Monday & Tuesday due to work; I missed Wednesday as well b/c it was my turn to help in the nursery. The Lord was still very good to teach me some things in Sunday's meetings. The speaker spent just a few minutes teaching about Martha & Mary, but it was enough to really convict me about the priorities I have concerning my time. Frankly, I am just working TOO MUCH! When we got married Mike left it up to me to determine if I would continue working my second job. It just 'made sense' to me to keep the job until my car is paid off (March '10), especially since Mike's job is so month to month right now. I thought that I could certainly juggle all of my responsibilities plus the extra work hours for the next few months, right? Wrong. So wrong. I hadn't even really prayed about it. It just 'made sense' to me, so I was doing it. I was so convicted about that lack of surrender. I was also convicted about the things that were not getting done b/c of my frantic schedule, my exhaustion, & my feelings of being overwhelmed. All of that to say, tomorrow night is my last shift at the second job. I am so happy about the additional time I will have to do what is highest priority in my life - getting to know my Lord better by spending time with Him consistently, spending more time with my husband (we are newlyweds, you know!), and managing our household better.

*do you get the feeling that a lot has been going on??? *grin*

So, after the meetings & the resignation had been handed in, I left work at my full time job Thursday evening to do some frantic grocery shopping before some other college buddies came to town to visit. Roxanna & Bekah got to my house around suppertime on Thursday & we visited, talked, shopped, & enjoyed each other until Sunday morning. On Friday we drove up to Lafayette to visit Becky b/c she couldn't get to my place. We enjoyed the day with her & her family, getting to see their new house for the first time. Then on Saturday we headed to the outlet mall & Bekah got some serious shopping done! Clothes, shoes & other goodies to help get her ready to go to the mission field of Japan in January.

Here's a pic of the four of us at Becky's house. We always have so much fun & so many laughs when we are together. Thank the Lord for the blessing of good friends.

And that's a quick recap of this month. Whooo! I'm a little tired :-) I think it's always a good idea to take a moment or two & think back over the last week, month, year & see what all the Lord has done & what all He has brought me through. By the way, exactly one year ago yesterday Mike asked me to marry him & a year ago today I was flying to Vienna to visit Missy - wow!

Kefir Update

I have officially made it through my first jug of kefir. I bought the unsweetened, unflavored kind b/c frankly, it has a lot of calories already! The first time I tried it I just about choked. My goodness - it is sour! I was in a hurry so I shoved some frosted mini wheats in the cup & tried to get it down like that. Not a recommended method, let me tell you! Since then, I think I have perfected my kefir smoothie skills. Or at least I've developed some kefir smoothie skills.
The first thing I did was buy some juice. We are not juice drinkers so I immediately began to worry about the money we were going to waste b/c the juice would probably never get drank. But I figured I would need at least a splash in each smoothie to help with the kefir's thick consistency. *shudder* After a little more thought I decided to freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. I kinda hate regular ice cubes b/c they melt and then your drink is watery. Yuck. And that's where my inspiration has ended. I just make a simple drink with my juice cubes, kefir, a splash of juice, & maybe just a dash of sugar. I don't really like it. It doesn't especially taste good. I'm sure I should branch out by adding some frozen berries. I bought some the other night I just can't decide if raspberries would go well with apple juice?
As far as whether or not the kefir is keeping me healthy, I guess so. I haven't been sick yet (thank God!). And with the way the flu is seeming to circulate this year, I am extremely grateful I haven't gotten it. An additional unexpected benefit of the kefir is that it seems to help keep my stomach working better. I won't elaborate, but it does seem to be beneficial.
I am still accepting suggestions regarding how to get the stuff down my throat - bring on any smoothie suggestions!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Works of God Monday

My last post was all about my crazy hectic schedule & I have to admit that I seriously wondered how I was going to get through all those hours of work. To recap, I worked 10 days in a row and I worked 3 fourteen hours days in a row. I was dreading it with every fiber of my being. I was afraid I would come down with some sort of illness (it always seems to strike when I am stressed). I was worried I would be too beat to enjoy my trip to Nashville, TN to visit Christy, Steph, & Rachel. I was worried. I was afraid. I was anxious.
And every morning my Lord met me at my bedside. I received grace & strength from Him to make it through each of those work days. And I didn't plod along, barely holding my head up. I was joyful; I handled difficult tasks with a smile; I was able to drive for hours without going to sleep at the wheel.
One of the friends in our group that usually makes our little reunions is Adele. I was thinking of her on Monday morning & how I would miss her this year. She was unable to join us due to the responsibilities of deputation as they prepare to go to the mission field of Slovakia. One of Dellie's favorite hymns is "Day By Day." As I thought of her the words to that hymn flooded my mind - especially the line that says, " thy days thy strength shall be in measure." That thought set the tone for the rough work days. As the hours ticked by I was reminded of truths that I already knew well (but needed to be reminded of). The Lord has never left me alone. He has never left me without the strength for the task that lies before me. I can never praise Him enough for the way He cares for me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are You Kidding Me???

Oops...I think that might have been my expression when I checked the schedule at my second job last Friday night. The work week there runs Sunday through Monday. I didn't have to report for duty last week until Friday night. I knew I was supposed to work Saturday and that was going to be my 11 hours for the week (5 1/2 on Friday night & 5 1/2 on Saturday morning). Wrong! I was scheduled a full eight hour day on Saturday. Ugh, but you know, I can roll with it was what I thought. Then I looked a little lower on the bulletin board for the next week's schedule. Major angry frowny face took over my visage at that point. I was on the schedule for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, AND Wednesday. Six hours on Sunday plus 5 1/2 hours on Monday through Wednesday = 22 1/2 hours! That is just a little more than the 11 hours per week that my manager & I had agreed upon as the hours I would work. Ugh, ugh, double ugh!
One of the other pharmacy techs decided she would take a vacation this week. Plus our pharmacy manager is on vacation which means that we will be using floater pharmacists all week so there can be no scrimping on technician coverage. We only have two part-time techs including me. The other part-timer is a college student & she is 'overloaded' with assignments this week. So I get to tote the load! Today is my first of three 14 hour days and day #8 without a day off. *sigh* Do you feel sorry for me yet? 'Cause there's one more thing! At my full-time job my boss is on vacation, too. So the other pharmacist is covering all the hours - open to close, Monday through Friday - and he tends to get a bit grumpy, too. It's been all sunshine here today, let me tell you!
The bright spot in my week - Thursday Steph & I take off for Tennessee to get together with Christy & Rachel (college buddies). I'm very sad to leave Mike, especially since I will hardly get to see him for the next three days. It will be wonderful to catch up with the girls, though. And I'm so grateful my husband understands that.
How is your week shaping up? Anybody doing anything fun or fall-ish? It's a beautiful, crisp autumn day here with the leaves just starting to look colorful...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ok, so me sitting at my desk doesn't look exactly like this pic, but it's kinda close. Instead of tea, I've got some coffee. Instead of having my hair up in a bun, it's tucked under a baseball cap. Yep, it was one of those kinds of mornings. A little crazy, a little hurried, a little TOO MUCH, if you know what I mean.

And so now I'm sitting at my desk. The rush of the second run is over & I've gotten my office work taken care of. I am kind of just waiting for the fax machine to spit something out or for the phone to ring. *sigh* Yeah, it just rang & we have an add on dose! Something tells me that it could take a very long time for 3pm to roll around.

An additional 'yippee!' for today is that I have been chosen for a random drug test. Another coworker was also chosen & he left almost two hours ago & he is still not back. I anticipate sitting in a clinic waiting room for hours today. Surrounded by sick people in the worst case scenario. Let's just say I'm not looking forward to it. At all.

Did I mention that it's cold & raining, too? *sob*

I'm full of bright, cheerful thoughts today, aren't I?

Sooo...let's have some happy thoughts.

I don't have to work my second job this week until Friday & Saturday.'s almost like having the week off!

We had a SUPER weekend with our little festivals to visit & yummy food. Mike & I got to spend all day Saturday & Sunday together. It was great! A more complete post & maybe even some pics to follow soon!

Mike & I are going to have a friend (& possibly her boyfriend) over for dinner on Thursday evening. Such a fun thing to look forward to, plan for, & a much more motivating/fun reason to clean the house.

I got to go running yesterday. It was HARD!!! I had to take a break between mile one and mile two, but it was great to be hitting the track again.

Well, my coworker just got back so I guess I'm up for the drug testing fun.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Another Half Day!

Woot! Woot! I'm leaving work early!!!
I'm bumming out at 11:00 (only 46 minutes to go!) b/c I'm meeting up with my college friend, Erin today. I haven't seen her since last fall, so we have LOTS to catch up on. I've got my laptop equipped with wedding pics, her giveaway prizes, & a full tank of gas. We are both traveling about an hour to meet up in a town that we don't really know. I have been there several times b/c there is a hospital there that we occasionally deliver to. So I know where the hospital, a truck stop & a Starbucks are located. We should be fine! :-)

As far as other weekend activities are concerned - it's gonna be great! I sometimes struggle with fall, even with all of its beauty, b/c I know winter is coming. This year has been even harder b/c I feel like I kind of missed summer - the temps were cooler here, the wedding took a ton of time that I could have been outside, etc. So I'm trying to remind myself about all the fun & super interesting fall festivals that take place this time of year. Mike & I are hitting one tomorrow in a little town where he spent a lot of time as a child. I'm excited to see his 'old stomping grounds'. Then Sunday afternoon we are meeting up with my family to go to a park where they have a pioneer village all set up. We have gone to this little festival every year for as long as I can remember & it will be Mike's first time. Here's hoping for some warm sunshine to shine down on us!

What are your weekend plans? Anything fun or adventurous?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

NOT What I Meant!

Facebook is a dangerous playground for me to play in. I get on there & I just get overstimulated. It doesn't help that I only log in every month or so. The screen is covered with stuff & people are trying to chat with me & I just get a little skitzy, if you know what I mean.
Last night I committed a facebook no-no. I was chatting with three different people, talking to Mike (in real life), texting a friend on my phone & trying to change my status all at the same time. I thought the status thing automatically read, "Mary Ann IS..." However, it only reads "Mary Ann..." It doesn't seem like a big deal, does it? I typed in "wanting to hear some good news - anybody??" Meaning: I would love for someone to tell me some good news!
I was assuming everyone would read the sentence, "Mary Ann is wanting to hear some good news - anybody?" Instead it read, "Mary Ann wanting to hear some good news - anybody?" like I had some special wonderful tidbit of joy to pass on.
Well, we will just say that a lot of people misunderstood my meaning. I got a couple of phone calls. I got a lot of emails. It's just embarrassing. I don't have any good news to share. I am a false advertiser of good news. Except of course the Good News of the Gospel. If you have any questions about THAT, please do email, call, text, etc. I'd be happy to chat.


Last night I had Mike draw a name out of a hat (and yes, he was rolling his eyes the whole time) to determine who would be the winner of my first ever GIVEAWAY!

And I am pleased to announce that the winner is...

Which is totally sweet because I am actually going to get to see her tomorrow - haven't seen her in a year so this visit is much overdue.
Thank you all for participating. It has been so fun to interact in bloggy world. Aunt Ruth, I'm super proud of you for learning to comment (finally!). :-)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Apologies!

Due to being a bit under the weather yesterday (as in, perhaps a stomach virus or perhaps too much antibiotic from my sinus ordeal building up) I was unable to go to work and therefore unable to check my blog for last minute giveaway entrants. Sooo...long story short, I will be drawing from a hat tonight & posting the winner tomorrow!
Forgive me?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Goodies!

As I announced last week, I am hosting a Giveaway to celebrate my 200th post. The giveaway will close tonight at midnight, so be sure to leave a comment to enter!
Here is a pic of the things I have gathered for the prize:
*Venus razor
*Softlips chapstick
*Thermacare wrap
*Glide Floss
*A nice new clicky pen
*Two Gooseberry Patch cookbooks
*A pretty pad of writing paper
*Five little heart shaped post-it pads
*A country basket with a bird house themed lid

The winner will be posted on Wednesday. That will allow me to check again on Tuesday for final entries & have Mike help me draw the winner on Tuesday evening. BTW, he's so into the bloggy world that he thought I was crazy when I said I was hosting a giveaway. Obviously he understands football better than blogging!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend & that Monday has not been too painful so far. Our weekend was super busy & I enjoyed a wonderful time at the Ladies' Retreat. One too-stressful-let's-not-ever-let-that-happen-again moment at the retreat was when my g-ma took a spill & hit her head on the concrete floor. Camp can be a dangerous place for Grands (especially when they have a tendency to be unsteady on their feet!). But it was a profitable time for sure. We learned a lot about not letting our emotions control us, how to comfort others in times of trial or pain, & how to love our husbands. It was fun to sit in a session like the last one & know that the teaching is now practical to my life b/c now I have a husband! :-)

Anyway, today it's back to the grind. We both overslept this morning & had to hit the ground running! I kinda hate mornings like that, but the Lord has been good to bless me with a very un-hectic work day so far at the first job. Here's hoping & praying that job #2 is this smooth & relaxed!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Headin' Out!

I'm getting ready to hit the time clock to punch out, run a couple of errands, get home & do a quick workout video (target toning area - my sad noodle-y arms!), pack up some clothes & then head out to camp for ladies' retreat!
The weather is less than stellar (cold & rainy) so I'm not sure if I will be spending lots of time on the zip line like I did last year. Oh well.
It's gonna be a good time but I will be glad to get home. Funny how having a husband makes me want to come home :-)
What exciting & fun things do you have planned for your weekend?
*don't forget to enter my Giveaway!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Giveaway!

This time not by me...but by Tricia over at Spend Freely. If I know how to insert a link, I would do it. But since I'm not that savvy, you will just have to go to

I've been wanting to try this granola stuff for a while b/c I've heard it's YUMMY.

So go win something!

A Milestone...AND a Giveaway!


And since that equals a


in my opinion,

there shall be a


Ever since I read about a giveaway on someone else's blog, I've wanted to do one. Now I have a reason to ~ I can't actually believe that I have stuck with this blogging thing long enough to have a 200 posts milestone. Yay for me! :-)

Now, I am a newbie at giveaways. Actually, I can't even promote what I will be giving away because it has not yet been decided. I'm sure I'm breaching giveaway etitquette, aren't I? *grin* I'm sure you all will forgive me. Trust me though, it will be a good giveaway.

So here's the nitty gritty...I'm not going to insist on a United States address. I have a couple of friends that live abroad & I just can't exclude them. All you will need to do is leave me a comment & an email address or some other means of contacting you. The deadline is Monday, September 28th at midnight. I will probably choose the winner by some very technical method, such as writing your names on a piece of paper & having my husband draw one out of a hat (I just love to get him involved!). He loves it, too... believe me! *LAUGH*

For me, today is a special day. Not only am I writing my 200th post & announcing my first bloggy giveaway, there is MORE. I got to use my crock pot today. That may not seem special to a lot of you but to me it's a special occasion. Since I work at least two nights a week I don't actually cook much. And I don't use my crock pot a lot because I have to go to work so early in the morning (and who wants to get up at 5 a.m. to get a jump on dinner prep???). But today, we are going to nosh on beef stew which will be especially yummy b/c it is raining & chilly. With some fluffy biscuits, we will be happily fed. Plus, I'm not sure if you noticed that today is special b/c it is three months until Christmas Eve!

Yes, I do actively think of things to be excited about. My boss especially loves the Christmas Countdown that usually begins sometime in May or June ~ I just can't help myself!

So...leave your comment & enter the giveaway! Earn an extra entry by posting an additional comment about why today is a special day for YOU!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Starting Down That Path AGAIN???

I'm slowly coming out of about 10 days of just feeling held under by a sinus infection. Yesterday & today I have actually felt like I am back to normal. I didn't realize how yucky I had been feeling. It was like walking uphill all the time. Thank God for antibiotics - otherwise I would have died of snot long before now.
Anyway, this little bout with sickness has caused me to experience the temptation to worry that this winter I am going to have another ongoing battle with my pathetic immunity. I was doing a little research about immunity boosters & I kept coming across the words 'probiotics' & 'kefir'. So I bought a jug. I had a coupon. I thought, why not? But I'm just not sure what to do with it. Anybody out there ever partake of kefir? Do you just drink it straight up or do you smoothie it down? If you smoothie it, how do you do it? Do you pour it over cereal?
Give me some ideas & I'll give them a try! Maybe I'll start a little series of posts reviewing your ideas :-)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't Laugh!

I'm just going to put the disclaimer out there - you asked me to post my essay if I got one written. Well, I wrote it & now I'm posting it. DON'T LAUGH or I'll cry bloggy tears!
Just teasing, but there is something terribly intimidating about letting you all ready my essay. I emailed it the magazine without a thought b/c I don't know those people & I know I won't win anyway :-) it is!

For most people, the desire to feel all grown up begins at an early age. For me, it was very early. With an older brother and an older sister, there was no shortage of people in our house who felt that it was their responsibility to boss me around. “Someday…” I would think to myself. “Someday I’ll go where I wanna go! I’ll wear what I wanna wear, listen to the music I wanna listen to, play the games I like!” and the list went on and on.
Now when I crawl out of bed each morning my thirty-two year old face stares back from the bathroom mirror. My white gold wedding band gleams on my hand and I have definitely reached the point in my life where I would be described as a ‘grown-up.’ But when did it happen? Could grown-up-ness just happen to me one day without me even noticing? Is it like that first gray hair I ever had? I wondered how long it had been there before I even noticed it. It just snuck up on me.
Maybe I became a grown up in the same subtle way. After high school I went to college out of state. I could now freely do all the things my childish mind had determined to do. There were no older siblings to boss me around & best of all, my parents were 500 miles away. Yet, I depended on them for so much – money (of course!), support, guidance. I certainly was not truly standing on my own two feet.
The years after graduation were crazy and fun-filled. I labeled myself a ‘Fake Adult’, moved back in with Mom and Dad, loving the single life. I worked a very flexible job which was not high paying by anyone’s standards. I wanted to travel. So I did – road trips, camping trips; beaches and mountains were the places I roamed. I was having a wonderful time but I was not really living the grown up life.
Then things started to happen, in a very gradual way. I got a real job that I actually enjoyed so the thought of staying there for more than six months was not distasteful. I started saving money instead of booking airline tickets. By God’s wonderful design I landed in a stable relationship. I even bought a house. After a little more time had passed, I got married. I entered my thirties - oy! By any standards, I can no longer label myself a ‘Fake Adult’. And yet, some nights I still half expect my mom to pop her head out the front door and call out through the fading evening light for me to come home and get ready for bed. Sometimes I still feel like we are playing house.
There is evidence to the contrary; evidence that shows I have reached the status of Grown-Up. My parents talk with me and our conversations are different. Now they ask me my opinion of things or what would I do if I had been in a certain situation they had been faced with. Since I work in pharmaceuticals, they ask me questions about their health and medications. These are not conversations we had when I was a child. Things have changed.
Now each morning the alarm clock goes off at an early, cruel hour. I lie in bed savoring my husband’s warmth for one last snooze session before stumbling into the bathroom to stare at my thirty-two year old face in the mirror. The truth is, no matter how I try to determine just when the transition from child to grown-up occurred, the fact is that it has. And not just because I bought a house or got married. It is just like that first gray hair that sneaked up on me – it is inevitable. And it is a good thing!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh my, oh my!

This is me starting to sound like an old person - what happened to my summer? it's over ALREADY & I'm not ready for that!!! Time just seems to go faster & faster...

Tomorrow when I flip my calendar page it will look like this:

See that word written across the top? Yep, it really does say SEPTEMBER. *GASP! CHOKE! SPUTTER!*

Yes, I am in disbelief at how fast this summer has gone by. We've been busy getting married & all. *grin* I am a true hot weather lover. I don't love the humidity (who wants frizzy hair??). But I love hot sunshine. Feeling warm in my skin. Working up a good sweat - I'm convinced it's healthy! Being outside, wearing tank tops & flip flops. Ahhh...all good things in my book.

But I'm feeling a little blue as this August wraps up. I totally have missed the Ride-Your-Bike-To-Work season. The nights are too cold & the mornings are too dark. I'll guess I'll have to double enjoy it next year. *sigh*

I also could probably count on two hands the times I actually got sweaty this summer. This is due to several factors.

#1 I'm cold blooded like a scaly reptile. It's awful always being so cold (I type this while my space heater blows it's warm breath on my feet. Crazy, isn't it?)

#2 We have had the mildest summer I can remember. I don't remember more than 2 or 3 days where the high was in the nineties. Ridiculous.

#3 I haven't been able to get out & around to run/walk/ride my bike. It's just been too hectic. It's been a little more difficult (not really the right word, but it will have to do) to adjust my time management since we've gotten married. When I get home & Mike is there I don't really like to leave again. He's not a runner & his work is really physical so he isn't motivated to go walk or bike or whatever most days. Therefore I have had a hard time trying to figure out when it is best for me to get this thing moving. And believe me, I need to get this thing moving!

So, here's to fall. yay. wahoo. yippee skippee.

At least I'm trying to be happy about it! *little grin*

As I force myself to mediate on things like Fall Festivals, hot dog roasts, all things yummy & pumpkin flavored I'm going to ask you - what do you most look forward to as the season changes to autumn?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Staycation Accomplishments!

I always seem to plan more tasks than I actually have time for (a habit of mine that Mike just shakes his head at). My staycation was a classic example of my tendency to over plan, but I still feel like it was a raging success! I was determined to get up every day & see Mike off to work & then dive in! That image above is a tiny picture of my two page To Do List. You can see several things marked off with blue & then several other things circled in red. The circled items are the ones I didn't get to ~ YET.
Here's the Blue - what I got done!
*Finished the wedding Thank you notes
*Put remaining wedding gifts away ~ 'a place for everything & everything in it's place' takes on new meaning when you have two people with lots of stuff living in a tiny house ;-)
*Updated my driver's license (did you know that in Indiana you are no longer allowed to SMILE in your d.l. pic? I was aghast ~ & my pic shows it! lOl)
*Got my hair cut & colored. It is so nice to have layers again. We had let it kind of grow like crazy so that it was long enough to updo for the wedding. Now it's nice & layered again (although still a bit longer than I want; all of a sudden Mike likes it longer!)
*Water the magnolia tree (times two)
*Exercise every day ~ I ran, walked, biked & it was great!
*Refill the shampoo/conditioner/body wash dispenser
*Clean the storage cabinet in the basement
*Reorganize bathroom closet & move extra supplies to storage cabinet in the basement
*Reorganize the china cabinet & built-in hutch
*Store trifle set
*Go through cookbooks
*Go through bookshelves
*Go through desk drawers
*Organize & store gift wrap supplies (if anyone needs any wedding themed gift bags JUST LET ME KNOW!) :-)
*Replace broken light cover in bathroom
*Put scuff pads on dining chair feet
*Budget/make deposit/pay bills
*Tidy/reorganize night stand
*Store down mattress (if anyone needs one of these, I would be willing to gift it to them; it kept me warm all last winter but Mike doesn't want to use it - something to do with the fact that he is ALWAYS HOT!)
*Make grocery list
*Grocery shop at Kmart (double coupons), Walmart, & Kroger (in MaryAnn speak that phrase actually means "Wear yourself out trying to hurry & get all the deals!)
*Clean the coffee pot
*Find lost sunglasses (yay!)
*Move alarm clock to my side of the bed
*Clean all ceiling fans
*Dust bedroom, living room, dining room, & kitchen
*Shine up & disinfect the bathroom
*Mop kitchen & bathroom floors
*Sweep bedroom, living room, & dining room floors
*Load all donations & recyclable in the car & drop off at Goodwill (this was a hilarious sight to see! my entire car was full - I looked like someone who was trying to live out of their car!)
that's a little exclamation my g-ma always lets rip whenever she gets a big task done *grin*
she's so sweet & fun!
So, I hope you will rejoice with me about all that got accomplished (if you are still reading!). I know this is seriously boring to anyone else but me; however, I feel compelled to record my accomplishments because I find it so encouraging!
Now on to the red circles...I hang my head in shame (heehee!)
*Find receipts for my health care spending account. It would seem that the HCS people have no problem with me swiping my card to buy vitamins & contact solution. It's quite another story to use it to pay my doctor or dentist. Figure that one out. It vexes me so bad that I've put this little project off for a couple of months. I finally decided that I would like to use the rest of MY money that they are holding. ~UPDATE: I mailed this off yesterday so now it's a BLUE!
*Write the essay. I still want to get this one done. The deadline is sometime in the first week of September so there is still a chance I can enter the contest. I'm hoping this weekend I'll have some quiet time to put some thoughts on paper.
*Cross stitch. I'm really ashamed about this one. I started a lovely Christmas gift for my Aunt Ruth & Uncle Allan last year. I have it 8/10 of the way done & it's still not finished. *blush* R&A - I haven't forgotten! Please forgive! I promise it will be done before this December so that you can use it in your Christmas decorating! Love you both!
*Vacuum out car.
*Wash car - I'm glad this one isn't done yet. Sometime this week some sort of bird colony has moved into our trees & I'm sure you can imagine what this has done to my car; I won't elaborate. It still has to be done though, the poor thing is covered in tree sap & you know what!
*Get kitchen table from church. This is the table we used for our wedding cake. We cannot seem to remember to bring it home with us! It's getting embarrassing b/c it had to be moved out of the fellowship hall Wednesday night so they could set up for a dinner this next Sunday. Oops!
*Go through my file cabinet.
*Replace light bulb in our shower.
*Clean the register covers in the kitchen & bathroom
*Upload pics from the wedding ~ so sorry! I am so not computer savvy & there are several hundred pics. I need to go through them & create a couple of files that can be easily uploaded that have the most important pics. Someday soon, I promise!
That is my complete report. I hope no one is disappointed in my productivity! I have created a (much smaller) list for this weekend, too. What are you all doing to get things done or just have fun? I'm determined to try to savor as much outdoor time as I can as autumn sneaks in on us! Great weekend wishes to you all!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Only about seven working hours to go & then I am on STAYCATION for the rest of the week! I never dreamed there would come a time in my life when I would plan to take time off just to STAY HOME but that time has come. In the past, paid time off was carefully hoarded in order to take some fabulous trips - Hawaii, Utah, Austria, South Carolina (those were a few of my favorite vacation places). These days, my desires, finances, & paid time off revolved around a little something more than myself & spending time with friends ~ namely my husband & our house. There is a lot of work to be done, people!

Being the psycho that I am, since there is work to be done there are goals to be set & lists to be made! I have several appointments to keep during these days off ~ a meeting with DeAnn tomorrow afternoon to get my hair dealt with (the gray & the length - ugh!), prayer meeting/choir practice tomorrow night, & running with Beth. All other moments in the next three days are mine to work with. And work I will!


*Run/workout every day

*Finish all wedding thank you notes.

*Get my new driver's license (new name, new address ~ I've been putting this off for a while)

*Finish putting away/organizing all of our wedding gifts. It may seem like we are taking a super long time to accomplish this task. It is taking a long time. But our justification is that we have put things away. Now we are in the process of reevaluating. Is that really the best place for this item? Should it go here with this other thing instead? That kind of thing. Also, I intend to do some more weeding out. We will not be having another yard sale, so...

*Make a huge run to Goodwill. Dump off recyclables & donations.

*Detail my car ~ man oh man oh man, does it need it!

*Double coupon shop at Kmart!

*Clean the house from front to back from top to bottom. Dare I say it needs it? Yes, yes it does!

*Write my essay for the contest I posted about earlier. If I get it done, if it feels like it might be any good, & if you want me to (comment if you do!) I'll post it here.

*If I get the chance (& the computer access) I would like to upload all of the wedding pics to facebook & link them here. I'm not sure how that gets done, but I want to try it. Plus I would like to post some before/after shots of our house ~ once I get it all clean & tidied up, of course!

My greatest desire is to whack off as much as I can from this list so that Mike & I can enjoy a true 'do nothing' kind of weekend. I cannot remember the last time we slept in, just watched a movie, or slummed around on a day off. WE. NEED. IT. *grin*

So I suppose I'm probably signing off for the week. I'll let you know what all I get done! Anybody else out there tackling any big projects? Or are you just keeping your heads above water? :-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

You know how that saying goes. Friday afternoon/evening did NOT go according to plan. I was supposed to get off work at 3pm. I had to work over until 5:15 (I'm not going to complain about 2 1/4 hours of overtime, though!). I left town at 7:15 rather than 5:30. I had some major attitude struggles b/c of chores I wasn't getting done before I left, but by the time I hit the road Mike had coaxed me into a good mood. I was SUPER sad about leaving him at home; we both were, actually.

I got on the interstate, set the cruise, & set my mind to make the whole trip without stopping. I had plenty of gas, a 20 oz. Diet Mountain Dew, and my ipod. There would be no reason to stop.

Or so I THOUGHT. The Lord had other plans. His plan went into effect almost exactly two hours into my trip.

Yep. I had a blow out. Something that I have always been terrified of. I was going about 72 mph with my cruise set & I was humming along. I had just talked myself out of making a quick stop just to walk around a little. I passed an exit; I didn't note which one. Almost as soon as I drove under the overpass I felt a sensation like I was driving over a rumble strip. I peered down at the interstate & did not see a rumble strip. Commence pounding heartbeat. I tapped the brake gently & began to slow down to pull over. I was so focused on slowing down gradually that I probably drove a quarter of a mile to stop. All I could think of was not to make any sudden moves - no brake slamming! no wheel jerking! no freaking out!

My rear passenger side tire was flat as a pancake & yeah, pretty shredded. What to do? I was two hours from home & a good hour away from my brother's house. In situations like these I kinda really hate being such a girl. I called my brother & he was on the rescue detail immediately. I love that he is so helpful like that. He got on the road within minutes, told me what to do (seat belt on, parking brake on, sit on the passenger side). I really get anxious on the side of the interstate. I mean, no one wants to get clobbered by a semi or something stupid like that. I called Mike & he immediately started kicking himself for sending me on my own. He kept me company while I waited. Thank God for cell phones!

Andy & Dad got there, got the tire changed, & then Andy drove my car the rest of the way. Between the experience & the Mountain Dew I was a little rattled. Saturday morning I had a hot date with Tire Discounters to get four new tires. When I bought my car Andy cautioned me that Toyota didn't put very high quality tires on their new cars & that I would be lucky to put 30,000 miles on them. I knew they were getting bad; I had even checked the wear bars & they were still looking fairly decent. The problem was dry rot in the side walls. I don't know how to check for that issue! I had just crossed the 59,000 mile mark so I guess I really can't complain. It just was not an expense I wanted to face right now - nothing like a $400 surprise bill!

I do have to say that I thank the Lord for keeping me so safe & well cared for. My brother is a very good rescuer & he was not the least bit irritated that he was out until 12:30 in the morning taking care of his baby sister.

I was very, very, very happy to get home on Sunday, though! How was your weekend? Did you have any surprises?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Headed Out!

This will be me in just a few short hours! Sadly, I will not be in a convertible; no one wants to deal with the hair hardship that the wind would cause anyway! This evening I am headed out to my brother's house in KY for our little family vacation. The last couple of years we have all spent time at Holiday World & camped out at Lake Rudolph. This year we decided to go for something a little more economical & different. We chose Andy & Valerie's place b/c they love to have company in their big house, there are lots of fun & inexpensive things to do around there, & it's not too far away. Ta da! They are a winner!

Mom, Dad, Beth, Caleb & Maddie are already there. I couldn't get out of work these last two days b/c my boss is at a national meeting. If he's not here, I gotta be. Boo! Plus Mike can't go with me so I am adjusting my departure/return times so that we spend the least amount of time apart. I know, I know...I'm cheesy & pathetic but I love the guy & I'm gonna miss him!

All I have to do is endure a little more work time (please Lord, let it fly by!), run a couple of errands, finish a couple of chores, pack, eat dinner with my man (zucchini lasagna - yum!), & then hit the road by 5:30 or 6.

My intention is to pack my digital camera, after checking to be sure the batteries are fresh & that there truly is a memory card in it. Then I intend to actually take some pics with said camera. Then hopefully I can have a much more interesting post about the weekend!

I hope you all have a great weekend - enjoy the summer weather, be outside & have fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Few More Goals...

You know that old saying that you gotta shoot for something or you'll be sure to hit nothing? That's why I make goals! Otherwise, yep, I'd be doing a whole lot of nothing!

*Wash dishes more often. I know this sounds gross, but Mike & I don't get to eat at home very often. So our dirty dish collection mainly consists of plastic-ware that we use to take our lunches/dinners. Plus, if I'm not washing dishes that day I make sure they are all rinsed. But having them piled high & counter top full is overwhelming. Gotta tackle them daily when I'm not two-jobbing it.
*Do some laundry through the week. Laundry is a chore that doesn't vex me at all. I appreciate the exercise I get toting it to the basement & back. I enjoy sorting, folding, putting away. Maybe it's b/c I'm drugged by the April Fresh Scent, who knows? But I tend to save all the laundry for Saturday b/c it feels like I need several hours at home to finish a load or two. But that makes for a lotta work on Saturday. Gotta step it up during the week.
*Speaking of stepping it up during the week...I would like to make up some kind of house cleaning schedule that would assign certain tasks to be done during the week. Lately I've saved it all for Saturday (thank God we have a small house!) but as a result, our Saturdays are hardly relaxing. Also, if there is a special occasion on a Saturday the cleaning doesn't get completely done.
*Begin keeping the Sabbath more faithfully. This one is actually a big deal to Mike. I have always been faithful in church attendance, morning & night, but I usually use the afternoon to catch up, do chores, get ready for the week, etc. I used to laughingly say to Mike that my ox was in a ditch. His reply was that my ox was ALWAYS in a ditch. He would prefer that we not shop that day as well. He isn't die hard about it, he just wants us to be conscious of it. I think he's right & I want to begin to conform to that way of thinking myself.

I feel like there's lots of work to do, but we'll just say it's a work in progress!

~Little update - Beth & I went running yesterday & I'm going again today after work. It totally helped combat my fatigue & achey-ness. yay!