Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
On Wednesday night, J and I went out for some Thai curry. It is not often that the two of us go out for dinner just for fun. We have found a really good Thai place (PadThai Kitchen) just right down the street from us. I got Spicy Curry Noodles. yum. After Thai, we met up with our friends R and S for coffee at Fido's. We talked about hunting and Christmas crafting. Perfect for everyone involved. Getting to know R and S over the past couple of years has been a real joy. I have a lot of love and respect for both. J and I even held hands under the table. It was an evening I needed and enjoyed.
Last night, I stopped to visit my grandparents. Nana makes the absolute best salads. Always colorful and delicious. Then, Whitney picked me up to go to an ornament swap party. The party was held by the ladies of the church I used to attend. It was nice to catch up with old friends. We snagged these cute ornaments! Mine was actually the one I brought. I stole and people stole from me so in the end I wanted to play it safe and get the one I brought because I knew I liked it. ;)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Last week, I stumbled across a gorgeous yarn wreath at The Little Things We Do. I saw another oh-so-cute wreath that would have matched my bedroom at Kirklands. That got me to thinking... Maybe my dislike for wreathes is like my dislike for eggs. I don't like eggs unless they are made like Nana's/I make them. Maybe I dislike wreathes unless they are simple and unique/I make them. That led me to the decision to make my own.
Yesterday at Hobby Lobby I picked up my supplies. Luckily, they were having a sale!
Skein of yarn
3 pieces of felt
Sprig of berries
Yard of red ribbon
(I also used pearl-head pushpins that I already owned.)
I googled "yarn wreath" and found several tutorials for free. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to make. Most of that time was spent wrapping the yarn around the wreath.
I love the way it turned out!
One step closer to a cozy Christmas...
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
But if I can't have the perfect whale boots, should I go with something else? These duck boots are fitting and I am sure the kiddos in the car rider lane would love them.
Should I go with something uber classic?
Maybe because I have a little SEC championship on my mind, but I am also leaning towards these...
Even my boots could say "War Eagle!"
Should I keep holding out for my dream pair?
Oh, the possibilities!
It did not go as well as I hoped.
I will be going for a scan next Monday.
Just going to keep busy until then.
Will be glad to see some "China friends" this weekend.
Thankful J was home yesterday to reassure me that all will be well.
Prayers are always appreciated.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
1. I have a mantle! I cannot tell you what joy it brought to my heart to hang stockings where I feel they were made to be.
After putting all the lights on the tree and then the ornaments, I plugged lights in only to find that one strand was out. Fail. As a Christmas expert, I was disappointed in myself. Last night I went to pick up some more and only had to redo a portion of the tree. Now we can sit all cozy by the tree.
I have a new tablecloth for the dining room table and even a couple of things for the kitchen that I will put up after Thanksgiving break.
I think Christmas on Stockell will be extra snuggly and beautiful this year.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Lauren and I have been friends since 4th grade. We used to make pendants and sell them on the school bus. A Barbie was never without blankets when we were together. We lived on the same street. Our names were practically the same... Elizabeth Lauren and Lauren Elizabeth. Destined to be life long friends.
Lauren is a talented graphic designer now. She has helped me design the Deeply Rooted Race for the Cure shirts for the past two years. (Below is the 2009 shirt) She has created graphics for the teacher line at Dollar General, campaign materials for a candidate for governor, wedding announcements, baby annoucements and countless shirts for youth groups, social clubs, etc.
Check out more of Lauren's work on her blog.
Thanks Lauren for being such a good friend and sharing your talents to bless my life!
We stopped in Cookeville to see my sister Caitlin and Amy's family. I'm so glad that is becoming an annual pit stop.
Friday night was spent catching up with our friends and watching You Tube videos. (Another tradition!)
Saturday morning, we ate brunch at Apple Barn (tradition) and went to play putt-putt. The score card said Brian won. The girls then did a little shopping while the boys headed back to the cabin. I fell in love with a kelly green pea coat at Old Navy, but sadly they did not have my size. After shopping, we headed home to cook a Chinese feast. Feast it was! It had been a long time since I had some authentic Chinese and I ate like it had been. (Note: When I say "please take the todu si away" that really means I am going to have another plateful.) I thought that we would all fall into a dinner induced coma, but I was wrong. Way wrong.
The next four hours were spent playing Toy Story Mania on Wii. Let me just say, don't knock it til you have tried it. Super addicting and super fun. It ranks up there with Christmas. The next morning my arm was sore. The only break was for a Tim Tam Slam. Tim Tams are these Australian chocolate cookies that you bite off opposing corners and then slurp up some coffee through before shoving the cookie in your mouth. It is an art.
Sunday morning, we spent time singing and lifting each other up before God. (A little cry fest tradition) This group of people is very honest with each other and I truly wish we all lived in the same city for more small group time. Each time we all walk away encouraged and with a renewed sense of hope and love. I am so thankful for Amy, Jeremy, Brian, Rachel, Danielle and Heidi.
Of course, the trip could not end before a visit to Christmas Village. (Tradition) Apparently, I have a new love for partridges in pear trees. I don't know where it came from, but everything I loved was a partridge in a pear tree. I settled for a cute tree ornament (tradition of getting an ornament wherever I travel to) and a glass bottle of Cheerwine (a North Carolina soft drink).
After saying goodbye to our sweet friends, Amy and I stopped in Knoxville for some Christmas shopping. I found the pea coat in my size! $35. Major score. We stopped again in Cookeville to have dinner with Caitlin. We managed to get home by 10 pm.
A weekend of tradition. A weekend I needed.
Monday, November 15, 2010
My cookbooks stand proudly between my hand-painted fruit/veggie bowl and a bottle of a Malbec wine. I have the staple Julia Child, a chocolate lovers, a Gooseberry Patch, a Habitat for Humanity, and my Hao Chi Fan cookbook. Hao Chi Fan was a cookbook that Amy and I created while in China. Over the years, I have stuck other recipes in and now it sits with papers sticking out every which way. Not so pretty.
Today, I heard about Skip To My Lou's recipe maker. How adorable are these! Free printables to help me get organized and look cute at the same time... yes, please!
One step closer to another dream come true ;)
A smothering of children's book characters lie all over my house in anticipation for tomorrow's Family Reading Night. Not shown would be 300 books scattered in my living room waiting to be labeled, creates of literacy centers and games, a pile of dirty dishes that will be done on Wednesday, and one very tired Beth. This will be the biggest event I have coordinated so far in my new job as Family-School Coordinator. I am so excited! (Insert Jersey shore fist pump here.)
Friday, November 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Last week while at Fido's, we stumbled across a little book of Nashville's original/local restaurants and an idea was born. Why not try a new place each Wednesday night? We were pleased to see that Fido's is included. The plan is that each week we will take turns opening to a random page of the book- whatever restaurant is on that page is the restaurant we will go to the following week. If it is a restaurant that is pricey then we will share an appetizer or dessert.
Our first pick of the SHeBrews and Nashville Originals was Suzy Wong's House of Yum. We tramped out to Church St. in the rain this past Wednesday for some wonderful eats! We had Red Curry Queso, Pineapple Red Curry Shrimp, Peanut Sauce Chicken, and Wanton Deluxe Nachos. The plate says it all. Yum. My appetite was not up to par so I am looking forward to going back for some more yum. The prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere is chic. SHeBrews will be going back to see Suzy Wong again.
I got to make the random pick for next week. Next Wednesday we will be at Cha Chah. Spanish and Mediterranean tapas, already can't wait.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Last night I made a decision that with all honestly was out of love for someone. The decision lead to large amounts of hurt and hours of worry.
Did I handle it right?
What else could I have done?
I thought I knew what I was doing.
I thought it would help. Help them and help myself.
There were flashbacks of a past that used to control me.
How do you shed hurt and pain?
How do you love?
The clock's hands seem to turn so slowly as I wait to hear.
I wish I had the wisdom of Solomon.
Monday, October 25, 2010
I successfully cooked my first porkchops ever! I was a little nervous as I am with all meats that I cook for the first time. It is funny that I get more nervous about nicely packaged and labeled meats in America than the slabs of different and unlabeled meats in China. Anyways, if you plan on cooking porkchops anytime soon, you should try this recipe...
1 1/2 tsp. basil
dash of salt
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 T veggie oil
4 boneless porkchops
Mix sugar, basil, salt, cajun seasoning and 1 T of veggie oil together in a dish. Rub mixture over both sides of all porkchops. In large skillet, cook porkchops in 1 T of veggie oil over medium heat. (About 8 minutes on each side.)
Hannah and I liked the chops a lot. I even got a "great!" from Justin which is rare. ;) Yea for stormy nights, little sisters, and good food.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I have done a fairly good job of not planning anything on Sundays, but rather actually using it as a day of rest. We go to church on Sunday nights. I might go see my parents. Other than those two things, it is quiet. It is peaceful.
This morning, I am listening to my favorite playlist, writing letters, and enjoying a glass of orange juice.
I used to write letters a lot. I love writing. I love getting the mail. I love what a letter can mean to someone. I love what it means to me. My letter writing over the past couple of years has dwindled and as of recent come to a screeching halt. My creativity is not what it used to be. That makes me sad. But this morning, I have returned to my love of letter writing and hope that my creativity lies just around the corner.
May your Sunday be just as heart-warming and hopeful...
Friday, October 22, 2010
I was excited to spend my first day of fall break on a little hike. I managed to talk J into going with me after he excessively made fun of me wearing my brown puff vest. Yes, it was in the 70's, but it is also fall. I know many of you understand. ;)
Anyways, our little hike turned into just a walk and sit, but it was oh-so-nice. We saw geese, chipmunks, a turtle, squirrels, dogs and strange people. The park was crowded more than I have ever seen. We walked. We sat and talked. We watched a woman bike down Otter Creek Rd. yelling "left", but then confessing she did not know her right from her left. (I am talking a 40+ year old woman. I wanted to tell her to make a "L" or put her hand over her heart, you know all the things we do when we get confused. That isn't just me, right?!?!) We enjoyed the afternoon together.
Afterwards, we stopped by my grandparents for a quick dinner and made a trip to the children's hospital to see a miracle (more on that later!). All in all, a good day. The kind where you can lay down at night with a smile on your face. The makings of a quiet, simple, and fantastic fall break.
Monday, October 18, 2010
While in Little Rock, we ate at Bosco's, walked in RFTC, napped, went to the Museum of Discovery (super fun!), shopped at Ten Thousand Villages (another tradition!), and visited the Old Mill. Of course, we loved playing with his niece. She is at such a fun age.
On the way back to Nashville, we stopped in Memphis and got to visit with my friends- Marcus, Mandy, MJ and baby bump Emma Paige. It was so nice to see old friends who have meant so much to me. We ate dinner at Westy's (and missed out on their famous Fudge Pie... what were we thinking?!!?). Justin and I also ran into this cute shop call Red Fish Gifts. That might have to become a tradition too. :)
This week is fall break for me so I will be cleaning, cooking, and just relaxing. Can't wait!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
It was a beautiful day. This year, I was able to cut about 45 minutes off my time just walking. Amazing how much life can change in just one year! I ran into old friends, caught up with people I haven't seen in awhile, collected some nice freebies, and was filled with emotion.
This day was a big deal for me so thanks to all who made it so special.
Also, thanks to those who have walked/run in Race for the Cures in their cities. It is great to see pictures and hear stories of friends who are walking and thinking of me!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Since then cancer has come and gone. I am "in the clear", but its effects linger. I still don't have the energy that I once did. I cry at least once a week about my physical appearance. I get scared anytime my hand runs across my breast in the shower or during a self exam. I dream about recurrences. Other days, I feel so good. I realize how I have made it through something that has brought down others. I am blessed to be alive. Cancer is something I think about everyday.
October is a big month for me. Almost every weekend I will be walking in breast cancer awareness races. Next Saturday, Oct. 9 is Race for the Cure in Brentwood, TN. October 16 is Race for the Cure in Little Rock, AR where I will be walking with Justin's family. October 30 is the Striders Walk in Nashville. I am wearing pink each day. (Think about doing the same!) I am currently reading Promise Me which is about the founding of the Susan G. Komen foundation. Each day I am praying for a cure.
I know breast cancer is not high on everybody's list of concerns, but it is very real to me. I am asking that all of my friends and family think about donating to the cause of finding a cure. It wasn't just a rough year for me, but for those who were by my side. We can help keep somebody else from going down that same road. We can find a cure. I am deeply rooted in that hope. If you wish to donate, please click on the link that goes to my first walk's page.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Oxford Comma- Vampire Weekend
Home- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Fallin For You- Dierks Bentley
Man of a Thousand Faces- Regina Spektor
Landslide- Dixie Chicks
The House That Built Me- Miranda Lambert
Wagon Wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show
Miss Magnolia- Matt Costa
One Fine Day- Natalie Merchant
Enjoying anything by Laura Marling these days too.
Delightful (and random!) little songs.
On Monday, I woke up in a terribly good mood which was to get even better when I checked the weather. Sunny, high 72. I decided it was time to celebrate fall! I pulled out my brown vest, a crisp white shirt, gold earrings from India, my favorite jeans (to school on a Monday!), my brown wedge shoes (have to dress up a little!), and a purple scarf. I listened to Snow Patrol on the way to school and felt even more autumn-ish when some leaves fell from the trees as I pulled away from my house. I decided to stop by Starbucks to pick up a chai (my favorite fall drink!) and when pulling up to the window found out it had been paid for. In the evening, I went to Bible study and was warmed when I saw so many others in fall attire. So many scarfs and light sweaters. After study, Renee and I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some little pumpkins. I chose a slightly big-little orange pumpkin and little white pumpkin for my mantle. We went back to her house and watched a fall episode of Gilmore Girls. The evening ended with making grilled cheese sandwiches for Justin and me.
It was a good-for-the-soul, celebrate Fall day!
Friday, September 24, 2010
2. If I could change one thing about the world it would be the lack respect people show others.
3. Yesterday ended with a nice Vespa ride and an episode of The Mentalist. So thankful for quiet nights at home.
4. My favorite comfort food is cream cheese mixed with salsa and served with Wheat Thins. Easy comfort fix. (Warning: do not use full block of cream cheese as you will be tempted to eat the whole thing...)
5. My new favorite blog find is GOOP. GOOP is a blog that Gwyneth Paltrow writes. She has great tips on things on going, making, seeing, doing, getting, and being. I look forward to seeing her weekly emails as well.
6. My favorite breakfast food is Pete's Breakfast Torta at Fido's. $4.99 worth of egg, veggie sausage, cheese, peppers, salsa, and sour cream deliciousness. (With a cup of coffee of course!)
Link up your Friday Fill-In-The Blanks here.
Friday, September 17, 2010
When I was teaching I had to dig into my pocketbook many times to get what I needed for lessons. We only get $200 for supplies a year. Think about getting something for a class of 28 on $200. It is hard to do. While I don't think anybody goes into teaching for the money, I don't think many people realize just how much of their own money they can spend on supplies for the classroom. Now it is attractive to get a loan to cover those costs... Sad day, my friends.
I did love this little quote I found this morning...
“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.” –Garrison Keillor
2. High school was a wonderful experience. I went to a small and challenging public school. I had great friends (The Angel Buddies). I made good grades. I also credit my cultural awareness to some of the classes I took with Mr. Fleming and Mrs. Jones. It definitely made me a better person.
3. A little dream I have is to get my doctorate. I say it is a little dream because it comes and goes and there is not a lot of passion with it (as one can tell by my masters program work).
4. A big dream I have is to have my own bed and breakfast, The Silver Elephant. One day.
5. If I could drive any car my pick would be a working one. Mine has had issues all week.
6. A time that I felt really and truly beautiful was when I walked into my classroom one day and my students clapped and said I looked pretty. Apparently jeans and a hoodie are glamorous in China. Hmmm....
7. Tomorrow I will be spending the day celebrating the marriage of my friends- Roan and Shawna. Outdoor ceremony, pig roast, dancing, and friends sound like the perfect Saturday.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
1. The strangest thing I've ever eaten is octopus legs. The texture made me want to... well, you know.
2. I wouldn't be caught dead in skinny jeans with ugg boots. I could and have rant and rave about this for a long time. I don't know why I hate that trend so much, but I do. With a passion. Ugg.
3. When I am 75 I will hopefully look back on life with no regrets.
4. If I had to be named after a place I would want to be named Savannah (as in the beautiful city of Savannah, GA).
5. My name is "Elizabeth"- as in John the Baptist's mother and some classy ladies in my family, and "Lauren"- I guess because my parents just liked the name?
6. My all time favorite photo is the Yichang Christmas picture.
7. If I could afford it I would be sitting in the mountains today.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Having two parents, six children, four significant others, and two grandchildren all in one place for a period of a week could make for pure torture, I am happy to say it was the BEST vacation ever. Really.
We took a old time family portrait, made good use of the indoor waterpark at our condo, had a goofy golf challenge, celebrated Jakson's 2nd birthday, go-carted, played games, hot-tubbed, strolled through Gatlinburg, made a crazy amount of U-turns in Pigeon Forge, visited the Christmas store, and caught up on life. I was blessed to be able to spend some quality time with Caitlin and Cameron while they picked out Cameron's wedding band. Justin and I had a day to ourselves on which we got to see a black bear!
Sadly, we had to leave on Wednesday night in order for me to get back to work. I ended up taking Wednesday off and I am so thankful I did. There are not many times that the whole family gets to be together and I am so thankful that this one was so special.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
A few little updates...
The flea update. I used a total of 19 bombs, three house saltings, three house sprays and two visits by the Orkin man. The fleas finally disappeared long enough for me to return to sleeping in my house. I still find a couple every now and then, but I keep spraying. I will give it a good spray before I leave for vacation tomorrow.
Socrates is living in Arkansas. Justin and I took him to stay with Justin's mom. Soc adores Renee and it seemed to be a good fit. It was a very tearful goodbye on my part, but I knew he would get more attention than I could give him. (Good thing since I have been staying much, much later than I ever thought.) I miss Soc sticking his nose up on my bed and sitting on my feet.Gingersnap, the stray that I took in, has also found a home courtesy of EAST C.A.N.
The new job has not been exactly all I dreamed of. In fact, I spent much of the first two weeks in tears and stressed to the max. It is starting to get better. The biggest cause of my stress has been the Free and Reduced Lunch forms. To get Title I funds, the school uses these forms. They are very particular about what all needs to be filled out. Because we are sitting at 980 students (the largest elementary school in Metro!), it has taken me a lot of time to go over each form to make sure they have been filled out correctly. If they are not correct, then I have to mark it and send it back home with the students to be done over again. Once the form is finally filled out correctly then they are sent to the central office to be approved and entered. Sadly, after all of my hard work, all of our lunch forms were sent back! (insert explicative here.) Apparently, whoever (not me!) put the forms together, did so on the wrong type of paper where they cannot be scanned in. So the process had to be done over again. Sigh. With all of that, I am just now getting to work on the family calendar which is the reason I took this job. September is filled with all kinds of testing. October though will be my month. ;)
I have started another Bible study on Monday nights. I joined a Beth Moore's Breaking Free study at Fellowship. It focuses on breaking free of the things that have strongholds in our lives (insecurity, fear, addictions, etc.). I have been struggling with insecurity in pretty much every aspect of my life lately so I think this study will be a good fit. I have already found encouragement in my daily readings.
I will be going for my next doctor's appointment next Thursday. Please keep that in your prayers. It has already been a source of sleepless nights.
I am happy to report that I am going on FAMILY VACATION tomorrow! I am beyond excited!!! Dad and Mama have a timeshare in Gatlinburg that all (6) of us kids plus significant others (and children), parents, and one house helper get to use. Old Time family portrait, goofy golf tournament, Jakson's birthday party, water park and lots of games are on the schedule. Of course, we will be visiting the amazing Christmas Store! Justin and I will leave right after school tomorrow to meet up with everybody there. We will come back on Tuesday night. I have not been on family vacation in about 7-8 years. Keep us in your prayers because there tends to be a little drama and with all of being in the same quarters for several days... But it is going to be great! I am so stinkin' excited!!!!
I need to pack, make dinner, and finish up some work, but I am happy to be blogging again.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Last week, Amy and I joined our forces to make a yummy Vegetable Fritatta of sorts. It looked beautiful and was a nice dish for lunch leftovers. :)
A&B's Veggie Fritatta
1 cup milk
1/4 cup of cheese (we used Romano)
2 peppers (we used hot peppers straight from A's garden)
1 small onion
2 cups of spinach
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
small handful of cherry tomatoes (also from A's garden and only a small amount because B doesn't like tomatoes)
2 tablespoons of basil
handful of Feta cheese crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs, milk, and cheese with a little salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in skillet and saute garlic and peppers. Add onion and spinach. Once spinach has wilted, add egg mixture. Top with tomatoes and basil. Let cook for 5 minutes. Stir only enough to keep from burning the bottom.
Transfer to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with feta cheese crumbs. Cook another 5 minutes. Let cool.
*Use cast iron skillet if possible
We did note that next time we would probably use a little more basil for some extra flavor. I noticed that the peppers had kicked in when I ate at a later date, making it even more delicious.
Amy, enjoyed cooking with you once again!
Friday, August 20, 2010
1. My favorite current TV show is House. I am an addict! Justin and I have watched all of the episodes that are currently out on DVD. Season 6 comes out on August 31st. Only 11 more days!
2. The TV character I can relate most to is Hannah Montana. (WHAT?!?!) I am serious though. That girl has more bad luck and lucky moments than anybody except for maybe me. We both can laugh about it later with everyone else.
3. My life is like the show Dallas. Lots of family drama. Shocking and yet somewhat expected events. Very memorable.
4. My all time favorite show is Law & Order: SVU. For a girl who is super queasy and a big scaredy cat, I for some reason can't get enough of this show! I am always enthralled and surprised at each ending. How do they come up with so many unique story lines and endings?!?! Plus, Olivia is so bad-A.
5. A TV show that is ridiculously stupid, yet I continue to watch is Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Because I don't have cable, I rarely get to see this show. However, if I am ever near a tv with cable and it is on, you will find me on the couch.
6. My favorite TV couple is Carrie Bradshaw and Aiden Shaw from SATC. It was sweet while it lasted. Lorelai and Luke from Gilmore Girls would be a very close second. (Can you tell what kind of guy I like?)
7. One TV show episode that I could watch over and over again is the episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse and Becky have a baby. I laugh myself to pieces each time. Oh memories...
Well if you are new to reading my blog, I am sure that after reading this you think I am shallow and ridiculous. I really though don't watch much tv. (Thus, all of the outdated references.)
If you want to link up, look at The Little Things We Do.
Stay tuned next week for the next Fill-in-the-blank Friday...
Thursday, August 5, 2010
My house has been attacked.
Ginger and Socrates left me a pricey present.
Round #1 - I salted the entire house. Someone told me you cover house with a layer of salt, let it sit for awhile and then clean it all up. No more fleas. Not the case! It took me hours to get the salt up and still have fleas.
Round #2- Raid flea bombs. I thought 3 then was told that would be too many. I did 3 anyways. When I showed up expecting no fleas, I was jumped! Sigh.
Round#3- Goes down between 6-8pm tonight. The Orkin man is coming. He will be visiting me 4 times. He was pricey. (Reasonable though when you have been attacked!) He does come with a money back guarantee. This one is mine boys!
Fleas:2 Beth:1 (hopefully.)
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I did not get to stay the full two weeks like I had hoped, but did have a very enjoyable week. My friend Josh that went with me will stay on for another week.
Portland is a city after my own heart. Can't wait to visit again!
Run down of things I did...
- Met some wonderful people!
- Worked at the Oregon's Brewers Festival
- Volunteered at Zenger Farms
- Biked until we physically couldn't
- Visited the Washington Park Rose Garden
- Went to a "special" dessert place (don't want to ruin this for others who might go)
- Go a private, after hours tour of Widmer Brewery
- Spent hours at Powell's Books
- Tried Stumptown coffee
- Drove down the Oregon coastline
- Visited Oregon's shortest lighthouse
- Saw sea lions
- Ate grilled PB&J's at a food cart
- Tried several of Portland's 30+ breweries
- Ate award winning clam chowder
- Fell in love with the public transit system (Oh Nashville maybe one day!)
- Sadly, did not take many pictures
Playtime is over and it is time to get back to the swing of work. I'm excited about the school year ahead, but also thankful for this break before things get really hectic.
I love Portland.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
So this morning while checking email, I saw this on my "How-To" sidebar.
"How to Live Like Socrates" (taken from Wiki-How)
1. Begin by reading some of Plato's dialogues.
2. Don't change your life immediately.
3. Follow Socratic principles and ideals.
4. If you truly wish to live like Socrates, then you need to devote yourself entirely to philosophy and searching for the truth.
5. Make sure where you debate with others is in a public area.
6. Never be afraid to voice what your think, or more importantly the truth.
7. Never fear death.
8. Show humility.
9. Remember the Socratic paradoxes.
10. Stick to your principles even in the face of death.
11. Be sure to "know thyself".
12. Meet distinguished or influential people.
13. Remember that the truth is the most important thing ever and you must do everything you can to find it.
While interesting, I thought I wonder what my Socrates' list would be...
1. Begin by looking as cute as possible so the humans take you home.
2. Change owner's life immediately.
3. Follow owner as close as possible to her heels.
4. If you truly wish to live like Socrates, you must eat twice a day, take as many naps as possible, and eat something of the owner's at least once a week.
5. Make sure when you bark is when humans are asleep.
6. Never be afraid to bark at 5:45am. Your owner should know that you think it is time to play.
7. Be afraid of everything that comes near you.
8. Show love.
9. Remember to jump on owner when covered in mud.
10. Stick to the couch when all else fails.
11. Be sure to "mark your territory."
12. Meet other dogs with loud bark or ferocious growl.
13. Remember being handsome is the most important thing ever and you must do anything you can to be that way.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
If you dig through my purse, you would surely find at least two checklists. It might be on the back of a receipt, on a cute teachery piece of paper, or just on a post-it in my planner.
The thrill of marking something off is exhilarating. I will go back and add things that weren't on my list just so I can mark them off.
So in my newest venture in art journaling, I came across several people that make a 101 in 1,001 list. Sign me up!
Then, I got to thinking about it. I will turn 30 on April 27, 2013. (Insert a four letter word here.) So if I plan to end my 101 in 1,001 day adventure on my birthday then I have to begin on July 31, 2010. (Makes 30 seem so much closer!) I have so many things already on my list, but this will give me a couple of weeks to mull my list over. I will blog list on my first day.
A checklist that ends at 30... This is so Beth Quarles.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Today the subject line caught my eye... 53% off Pole-Dancing Classes.
Sure enough, the Groupon is for a set of 4 pole-dancing classes at...
Wait for it....
Goddess A Go-Go.
I can't stop laughing.
Here is the Groupon's description...
"Today's Groupon offers a pole-based exercise more effective than 1920s pole sitting, more energizing than pole-vaulting, and more sensual than polenta. For $49, you get four 90-minute pole-dancing fitness classes (a $104 value) at Goddess a Go-Go in East Nashville. Up to two Groupons may be used per person, and classes must be redeemed within one month of the first class.
Pole-dancing participants of Goddess a Go-Go's flesh-toning workouts will harness the power of centrifugal force and their own curvaceous bodies to increase flexibility, boost self-confidence, and learn how to sexily repair phone lines. Each student will benefit from small classes that include two knowledgeable instructors and no more than 12 women (also known as a baker's harem), ensuring personalized attention and a smaller chance of pole-climbing traffic-jam pile-ups. Goddess a Go-Go's quality facilities at GYM 5 boast six permanently installed 14-foot poles and 1,600 square feet of lustrous hardwood floors, plus a tip-top locker room with showers and challenging palm-tree climbing equipment.
Students of all ages and backgrounds can trim their fleshoskeletons and buff up biceps thanks to a convenient class schedule that offers four weekly classes-allowing participants to pursue full-body fitness, slide up poles, and drive gravity crazy with lust at whatever time works best for them. Whether you're looking to spice up your love life or tone up your curves, today's Groupon to Goddess a Go-Go will have you arching your back as if you were a sexy long-haired wildcat, not to be confused with the long-eared hedgehog, which is really more cute than sexy. "
Thank you Groupon for starting my day off with a laugh. I think I will pass this time. ;)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Ravioli with Sauteed Zucchini and Squash
1 lb. cheese ravioli (I use Buitoni's... the small package for 2 meals for myself or the large package for a meal for 2 people and a small portion of leftovers.)
2 T olive oil
1 large zucchini
2 small yellow squash
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
First, add ravioli to about 5 quarts of boiling water. Boil for 7-9 minutes. Drain and put in a big serving bowl. Then, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and squash. I normally add a little salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and then cook for another couple of minutes. Then, add veggies to the ravioli. Toss with Parmesan cheese. Eat.
I have fixed this meal several times over the past 3 years and cannot get enough of it. I will say it is not a good reheat dish, but it also tastes yummy chilled.
Because I volunteer at the Farmers' Market on Wednesday afternoons, I can get my zucchini and squash for the meal then. Perfect.
I have several different journals I write/draw in. A journal that records all of my travel adventures and any romance (ha!) that I might find myself in. A journal that is filled with spiritual enlightenments so to speak. A journal that I pray is burned immediately upon my death so my darkest sides will never be known. A journal of lists. A journal of doodles. The owl is on my newest doodle journal.
Everybody needs a little creative outage. Even if you are so analytical (like my brother!) that it tends to cause much rolling of the eyeballs ,there is still a need for creativity. Mine is drawing and writing.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Dale Chihuly is one of the world's greatest glass artist. He is lives in Washington, but spent time in Venice, Italy where he learned the art of blowing glass. His work is unique because he ties it with landscapes. The exhibit at Cheekwood was designed specifically for Cheekwood.
Nana treated me to a morning visit to the Chihuly exhibit and then to lunch at the Pineapple Room. Thanks Nana!
Because we had a little time, Katie and I took a little stroll only to find Hillbilly Tea. Sounds like the perfect place for dinner! And it was. They had a big selection of teas that you drink from a Mason jar. All of their food was served on pine wood planks. Katie got tofu and I opted for bison. While we were eating, our ears perked up... Did you hear Chinese? Yep... We confirmed with a worker that we were listening to a little "Chinese R&B". Could this restaurant be more perfect for us?!!?
(picture taken with Hipstamatic app on iPhone)Before we headed home, we were able to see the city of Louisville's fireworks show on the riverfront.
Nana and I went shopping today. She wanted to get me something for my new job. :) I need to look a little more professional than what I got away with wearing while teaching. Four stores and piles of clothes later, I finally could not hold it in anymore. I cried and told her what I had been thinking the whole time. Things would look so much nicer if I had more hair. We decided to call it a day.
I can't really explain it, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed in thinking that nothing is ever going to be the same again.
I have become more insecure since August when things got a little more serious. I feel shallow because I struggle with how I look which before was never a big deal. I didn't even go to a friend's party once because I knew I would have a hard time with all the beautiful girls that would be there.It is hard to look at old pictures or even pictures taken last summer. It sounds so silly. I know that. I know it is silly. But even this moment as I sit here typing, I am crying because of how I feel.
Looks aren't the only thing I struggle with. Patience, energy, faith, and independence all seem to be lacking in my mid- to- post cancer life. I guess maybe I thought all of those things would be better/stronger when I actually got through treatments. Maybe I psyched myself up too much.
Sorry for the word vomit, but maybe a fellow cancer survivor or just a friend will read this and know just what to say because my own pep talks aren't working...
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Last night I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see Indelible Grace at the Ryman. Indelible Grace is made of well-known Belmont graduates (and spouses) who take old hymns and give them new music. I actually had never heard of Indelible Grace, but knew of (and love!) Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and Matthew Perryman Jones who perform in Indelible Grace.
The concert was actually a hymn sing so members of the audience were encouraged to sing along. Growing up in a Church of Christ, I was blessed to learn many hymns. Hymns have such deep and rich lyrics that I think are sometimes lost in worship music today. It was great to sing songs that I love (including Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah and On Jordan's Stormy Banks) paired with music that I love.
Here is just a minute of last night's performance I found on YouTube.
Thanks Melanie for snagging tickets for me!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Bryers Mint Chocolate Chip or Graeters Black Raspberry Chip.
Tonight I just learned there might be a new one in the running...
Bryers Grasshopper Pie.
Ice cream and my favorite summer dessert in one.
It is only being sold at Wal-Mart. In this case it might be worth it to join in with the masses.
I will post results. :)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
It all started back when Expage was around. I would sit as patiently as I could while AOL dialed for connection. I would argue and fight with my sisters about whose turn it was. Finally, Schmekkleb was signed on to AOL and then would go to her Expage site. Thank goodness they took that site down. I am sure it was filled with over-dramatic teenage rants.
After Expage, I moved on to Xanga. Who knew that was still around? Sadly, my blog isn't. Xanga carried me through the college years and the very beginning of China. I am sure people just LOVED reading about my fast paced college days filled with social club-ities, great "loves", and the many jobs I had.
While in China, Xanga was blocked so I had to move the blog once again. This time I settled on Blogger. I called my blog "Scattered" because that is exactly how I felt. Home didn't seem like home. China didn't seem like home. Life was so jumbled in many ways. After my first year, I changed the name to its current title "Deeply Rooted". Deeply Rooted has suited me just fine. Day after day that is more how I feel. I am learning to love and settle in what I love. Things that make me me. Shoot, I even have the phrase tattooed on my wrist! :)
I have become interested in learning more about blog design because I have always used pre-made templates. Last year, I finally had a designer work on it a little bit. I want to make it mine though. Now I am teaching myself. Amazing how technology can teach you almost anything you want to learn. Tonight I learned that deeplyrooted.com is an already owned domain. You should check out http://www.deeplyrooted.com Guess I won't be using that address ;)
10 years... who knew I could commit to something for such an amount of time?!? I think my love for mint chocolate chip ice cream and Mexican food is the only commitment that has surpassed that.
To the 1-2 people who have been reading my blog for the past 10 years.... Bless you. ;)
Happy 10th year!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Last Thursday night, Justin and I headed to Jonesboro, Arkansas. It was a really enjoyable trip filled with family, friends, and lots of good memories.
On Friday, I drove to Searcy to have lunch and go shopping with my cousin Sara. Growing up we used to have so much fun together, but since getting older we don't get to see each other often. Sadly I missed her wedding while I was in China, but this trip allowed me the opportunity to see her house. So nice! We ate at WhichWich which might be my new favorite sub shop. :)
On Friday evening and Saturday morning, we spent time helping Janae (Justin's little sister) get ready for her wedding reception. Janae and her husband Jesse were married the week before in Jamaica, but hosted a reception so everyone could celebrate with them. Janae is so creative! She made her cupcake stands! (Yes, those would be real fish in the vases!) Some cupcakes were sprayed blue to look like the ocean while some had brown sugar to look like sand. The reception was beautiful!
Saturday night was spent with friends playing games and laughing.
On Sunday, we got to spend some good time with Justin's mom. We went to church, looked at houses (for her!), got ice cream, and managed to talk Justin into going to see Letter to Juliet with us. ;) It was nice not having to rush around and really get to visit.
On Monday, we ate lunch with family before heading to see some of his dad's side of the family in Paragould. We went to see his sweet aunt and uncle and got to fit in some time riding around on their Harley. Justin showed me where he grew up and told me more about his family. It was really special for me. We met back up with his aunt, uncle, and grandfather for some delish pizza before hitting the road.
Because I could not find a house/dog sitter Socrates made the trip with us. I was really worried at first. How did he do? He slept almost the entire way in the car. He played well with the other dogs and kids. He wagged his tail the entire time. He played fetch with Justin's mom and actually brought the ball back to her. He slept in a kennel without crying. He was a different dog. It seems like he had just as good of a time as we did. I almost hated to bring him home to this quiet and boring house. He really needs a playmate.
Anyways, it was a terrific trip and I look forward to the next time we go back.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I thought it was over with.
I get home tonight about 11pm and as soon as I open the door, the ghastly fumes hit. This was no accident. My poor doggie must have exploded. I could not punish him because I felt so bad. He ran outside as soon I let him and now he is lying in the corner look absolutely pathetic. The house is still airing out after two mopings and Febreeze overload which did nothing. Hopefully he will have the same results in the morning as I did.
Sometimes I take my health for granted and tonight I learned that I take my dog's health for granted too.
Signing off from the House of Ill...
Friday, June 4, 2010
Working with families. Working with community. Keeping up with Title 1/ NCLB.
Sit on leadership team for school.
I will get to start a Parent Center from scratch.
A position that will let me be creative, help people, and fund those ideas.
Title: Title 1/NCLB co-coordinator, Parent and Community Outreach Coordinator
Pay increase which means I can pay off student loans quicker and not sweat as mush about finances.
I am geeked!!!!!!! :)
When I first moved in the office was a space I did not put much thought into. Teaching, grad school, being "crafty", plus the other 1,000 things I do and enjoy can be overwhelming when kept in one room. Pictures below should be proof for you. If that is not enough, all of those things have also started making a home on my dining room table. It is time to get organized!
For the next couple of days, this is my project...
view from kitchen
right side... what does one do with a master's hood?!?!?
laundry room/storage... I could not open the right door because my bicycle is in the way, but there is a stackable washer and dryer there. This picture is down right embarrassing.
Maybe if I have a clean and organized office, then I will be more productive on my thesis... ;)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Went to school to clean classroom
Volunteered for awhile at the Antioch Relief Center
Had a GREAT conversation with principal about a job possibility
Played with Socrates in backyard
Finished a "Miss Julia" book
Wrote a letter
Went to see a free screening of "Get Him To The Greek" with Whitney
Planned some for a trip to Austin, Texas
Ate some banana pudding
Fixing to swing on porch for awhile before going to bed
If everyday could be as productive, fun, and mostly relaxed as today then summer is going to be amazing.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
What better way to start then by heading out late Saturday to a concert?! Whitney and I went to Exit/In for the Let's Kick Cancer's Ass breast cancer benefit. Cortney Tidwell, HotPipes, and The Features. The Features were why we really went. They have been a local favorite of ours for several years. I was pretty impressed though with the HotPipes.
I got to meet Candace Burnside for whom the proceeds were going to. She is in her 20's like me and just had a mastectomy 5 weeks ago. It looks like chemo might be in her future. Keep fighting!
I got this great poster which will be hanging in my house sometime soon. I just need to decide what room.
The fight against cancer is going strong!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
My summer vacation did not start yet. Friday, I had to attend a 4 hour faculty meeting and get records ready to send to middle school. Last night, I had a technology class. Today, I have technology class. Some time before 5 pm, I will finally be on summer vacation! :)