Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

We had a fun, fun Christmas weekend! Friday night we went to David's sister and her husband's Ugly Christmas Sweater party on Barry Road.

Cute Bets and two of her brothers. Joe missed the memo about the ugly sweaters.

Are these cute boys or what? My brother-in-law Zack and Davey

And Sunday, my husband did something very, very sweet. He surprised me with a real Christmas tree. I have been a little bummed that we weren't getting one for our first Christmas. We have just been so ridiculously busy that we haven't had a chance to get one. And then this weekend we had some time but it's only a week until Christmas so I didn't think we needed to get one. We are leaving right after Christmas to go skiing so I was concerned about getting it put up and then taken down in time. Well, I got back from Christmas shopping and this beauty was in front of my fireplace. How wonderful is he? And Bo helped.

Of course I loaded it up with purple ornaments.

And I added some purple ornaments around the house. These ornaments were used to decorate at our wedding reception.


And now, after eating homemade pizza my parents brought over, we are going to pop popcorn, light the fire, drink egg nog, smell the fresh trea, and watch our favorite movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." It is.

Nourishment

Today in church we talked about amazing parts of the Christmas story that we have all heard over and over, but maybe haven't really thought about. For instance, I don't know why on earth I hadn't thought to ask, "Why did the angel tell the shepherds first?"

We explored a lot of the signs from this story. One of my favorite parts was how the angels tell the shepherds that there will be a sign, they will know they have found the baby who is Christ when they find a baby in a manger in Bethlehem. Do you remember what a manger really is? It’s a feeding trough. And do you know where this particular manger was located? Bethlehem, the “land of bread.” And who was laying there? The “bread of life.” Right there in the land of bread, the bread of life, laying in a feeding trough like a platter.

And do you know who would understand sacrifice? Not as big of sacrifice as what would be to come, but still big, big sacrifice? Shepherds. But not just any shepherds. The shepherds that were in charge of the flock that would be sacrificed during Passover. So the angels went and told those shepherds about this tiny savior baby, laying in a manger, in the little town of Bethlehem, that was sent to save us all. And they got it. And they went to see and then they told everyone about this miracle.

I love signs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lights and Candy

Last night David and I did one of my favorite Christmas things...we handed out Cherry Mashes at Krug Park!

It was so much fun. If you've never been, you have to go. You get to drive through the beautiful park and look at the way they have decorated and listen to Christmas music. It's really quite amazing. And then at the end you make a donation and get a Cherry Mash.

Well last night we were the bundled up goofy people handing out the Cherry Mashes. It was so much fun.

If you come through our little town between Thanksgiving and Christmas, make sure you go through Krug Park and see the beautiful decorations.




Pictures from http://www.stjoemo.info/parks/holiday_park.cfm

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Almost Christmas!

It is two weeks until Christmas! I cannot believe how soon that is. I haven't really done anything Christmas-y that I usually do. For instance, usually by this time of year I have done all of my shopping and wrapping, drank so much egg nog I can't even stand to look at it, have spent many nights and morning staring at my Christmas tree, have read Little Women and all my fave John Steinbecks, and worn out my Gap slippers. This year, nada!

David and I have been busy. I know I've said it before, and I know we do it to ourselves, but yeesh, this holiday season has been busy! We have NOT had egg nog, we have NOT wrapped (or even bought most of) the presents, we have NOT watched It's A Wonderful Life, we have NOT gone to see the lights at The Plaza or EVEN Krug Park, and oh my gosh, hold in your gasps, we haven't even bought a Christmas tree.....

But all of that is about to change. This week. Right now! It starts now because I just finished my final school project! Now instead of going to class all night Wednesday and Thursday after working all day and doing homework all day Sunday and a some Monday night, I get to spend time with my husband. I couldn't be more excited. I have big plans for us this week and all of them include either hot chocolate, James Stewart. or tacky lights and decorations.

That is, of course, whenever my husband gets home from hunting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You Win Some, You...

I was driving home from class this Thursday night, pretty tired. You will think I'm crazy, but I started a new job this week. Again. Right in the middle of preparing for finals and the holidays. And it's a pretty intense job right now. I keep reminding myself that it's because it's new. And the bottom line is, I love it. It's a wonderful ooportunity. I am one of four contract negotiators/analysts for my same company. It's been challenging and exciting already. I have worked hard each minute of each day, and I love that feeling so much.

So back to Thursday night. I was driving home from my second class of the week at 9 pm after working a full day and heard that Jason Mraz song, I'm Yours. (I have no idea why my radio wasn't set on Christmas music, forgive me?) I decided, or was too tired to pay attention, to change it so I was singing along and heard myself say, "I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn..."

I love that line. I was nervous to leave my team and move to a new team with a completely new job. I was nervous about not liking the atmosphere and worried I wouldn't be able to figure out this role. And I don't know what came over me on the day I accepted (besides my loving husband's support and my prayers always feeling comforted and peaceful about it), but I felt like it couldn't be bad. Even if the atmosphere was different and even if it took me a long time to figure out the role, it would be new and I would be challenged and I would learn. So I said yes, and two weeks later I moved my pictures of my family and friends and my plant and coffee cup over to a new desk.

So I'm wondering if we don't have to worry about winning or losing quite as much. Even if this had been a wrong decision, wouldn't I have met new people, learned a lot about my company, learned a new role and experienced new processes? And it wasn't. This time I won. Even after one week, I love it and I'm so excited, even if I am a little bit tired and scared still.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jingle All The Way


Two years ago I was living on the Plaza in a little one bedroom apartment. When I say little, I mean little. I didn't have enough room for a full sized Christmas tree. My husband, then boyfriend of the time, sent me this adorable little pre-lit tree to put in my window. I loved it.

And today we cleaned our home and unpacked all of our Christmas decorations - half from him, half from me - to decorate our house for the first time as husband and wife. I pulled this beautiful little tree out of its box today and thought about all of the wonderful memories we've already made together and how excited I am to spend every Christmas from now on with him.

This little tree will always mean so much to me.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Old Navy Coats

I'm at work today so I'm not out Black Friday shopping. I do have some great finds to brag about though.

Last weekend Old Navy had a sale: 75% off of their outerwear. That's right. 75% off. Crazy right?

Another crazy thing is my obsession with the show Friends. Yep, the show that ended seven and a half years ago. I'm still obsessed. And I still love some of the outfits the girls on that show wear. For a long time I have wanted a short, hooded red coat like Moncia wears on and off in season 7, episode 6.  Well, can you believe that I found one at Old Navy on sale for 25 big ones? (Sorry about the bad dressing room pictures)



And I also grabbed this plain black, long peacot to wear to work. I love them both!


Did you get out at the crack of dawn to shop (or, I guess some even opened Thanksgiving night....that's just crazy to me!)?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gobble On!

I just love the blog world. One of my favorite bloggers shared a free template on her blog, compliments of yet another blogger. So fun!

Check out Shasta Anne at shastaanne.com for other great Thanksgiving decorating ideas. And click the link at the bottom for this cute, free printable. Thanks everyone for sharing!




Have to Pass on the Kindle


I promise that I tried it, and I just can’t do it. My boss at work just bought the new Kindle Fire, and it is so cool. Now he is selling his Kindle for an unbelievably great price. He let me take it home and try it last night. It’s so very cool. Don’t worry, I think it’s cool and I get it – it’s fun to be able to order books and have them right there, instantly for you to read. I get all the pluses. I just can’t do it.
I love books. And not just because I love to read. I love how the pages feel. I love holding something that someone else has held and written in and highlighted and folded. I love bending back the paperback covers and how it feels to write notes with a gel pen on old paper.
I also think the price is supposed to be a plus for Kindle books. I don’t usually pay more than 5 bucks for used books on Amazon, and from everything I have seen, the Kindle books average about 10 bucks. So you aren’t going to be able to cater to my frugal (cheap) side with that one.
And yes, I love the way they smell!

In case you can’t read that unbelievably small print, it says “lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.” Perfume: The Guide
So I tried it. Really, I did. And I just don’t want to do it at this time. Maybe someday they will invent a Kindle that feels like paper and lets you write with a stylus that feels like a gel pen. And maybe you will be able to see the two pages at a time and it will flip open like a book. And maybe they will even sell them in “old used bookstore” scent. Until then, I think I have to pass.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Drumroll Please...

It's time to announce the next series I am going to read to hopefully get me through my burning desire to re-read Potter from the first one....actually, I don't think I will ever get over this desire, but I have to at least read something else for a while. That's right, I'm still obsessed with Harry and friends. In fact, I can pretty much assure you that I haven't seen a movie in the past few months that doesn't feel like a huge waste of time because it wasn't one of the Harry Potters. (Disclaimer: I haven't seen Breaking Dawn yet and don't get to until Sunday...oh my, I seriously don't know when I became this person. Poor John Steinbeck, Little Women, and Charles Dickens...I'm so ashamed).

Anyway, back to my new (to me) series. I am going to start reading the four books in the Wicked series. Okay, don't yell at me, I know this is a very old idea. But just like I was late jumping into the Harry Potter and Twilight phenomenons (oh yes they are phenomenons!), I am late on this one. I actually read Wicked the summer after my freshmen year in college and LOVED it, but I need to go back and read it again. And one of my friends has agreed to read it with me. And that makes it oh so much more fun.

I know I owe you a discussion about The River Why. I know, I know. But right now all of my theoretical, deep, anything worth your time discussions have been spent on school. I have been reading and writing and reading and writing about technical communication theoretical foundations, practical foundations, and program assessment, and the different levels of edit. That's right. Just smile and thank me for not posting all of that information.

For now, can I please get away with saying that The River Why is important and good? I think it was a wonderful book. I gasped out loud, I cried, and I yelled for my character to buck up and snap out of it and then I was relieved and laughed when he did. It was good. I think you should read it. And I owe Sister #2 a thank you for suggesting it. And I will discuss it further with her, and maybe she will guest post for us on here about her thoughts on it (In case I can't persuade her to do that, check her out at http://loveitall-ajs.blogspot.com/ for some great ideas about health and happiness).

What are you all reading? I'm in the market for suggestions!

Boots, boots, boots

I am on the hunt for a good, casual boot. I love all the riding boots right now, but I am looking for something chunkier, maybe almost western like to wear with jeans. And not skinny jeans, but like to wear under flared jeans, khakis, and other casual looks. I want to wear them to work when originally I would have worn tennis shoes.

Well I found ones that I love, but when did Steve Madden become more expensive? I always thought of Steve Madden from when I was a little girl, and there's no way we would have spent $150 (at the super-low end of this brand) for boots!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Go Griffs!

This weekend I will be out of town and miss my Griffons taking on the Bearcats in the first ever playoff game at our stadium! I am completely bummed that I won't be in town for this, but you can bet your Bearcat-hatin' butt that I will be listening with my ears glued to the radio!

My whole family loves Missouri Western. It's in our blood. David grew up at the basketball games, my mom is an alumni member, David's grandpa was a teacher back when it was a junior college, Sister #1 and her husband are alumni, and Sister #4 is still a student there (and a retired dancer). We love it. And it is so fun to have this school right in our hometown. There is the cutest old couple in town and these two lovebirds make it to all sporting events - even out of town. This will be David and me someday.

Oh, and if you ever run into my friend Tim, tell him he still owes me cookies shaped like Griffons for our two weeks ago. Silly Bearcat.

Sister #4 and me two weeks ago when our Griffons beat Northwest! A preview for this Saturday? I think so!  M-W-S-U, Go Griffs! Go Griffs!

One Year Ago...

I was looking back at my posts from a year ago at this time. Check out the post from Nov 19, 2010 - "My list of Happy"

It is weirdly familiar to a post I can do this weekend. Look at this excerpt...

"I have been known to say that "I am just so excited I could burst" probably too often so that it's now lost some of it's emphasis. But, anyway, I am. So at the risk of sounding annoyingly happy, I wanted to wish you all a Happy Three Months Until Our Wedding, One Week Until Thanksgiving, First Month of Work, First Go Live as a PowerWorks Implementor, First Thanksgiving in Our House, Weekend Getaway With Abby, Weekend After My Two Shower/M.O.H. Visit Extravaganza, and so many Happys I know I am forgetting a million."

Okay so I guess it's not three months until our wedding, but it's three months until our 1 year anniversary! And it will also be one week until Thanksgiving (again), my first month of work in my new position (again), first Thanksgiving as a married couple, AND I am doing a weekend getaway at Abby's.

Isn't that weird? 

And yes, in case you were wondering, I am just so excited I could burst.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

So Behind. So Sorry.

You would expect a great update with a title like that. Sorry. I have been so busy with homework reading that I don't have much to update about books you might care about. Unless of course you are interested in hearing about Foundations for Teaching Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Program Design. I present my book review on this collection by Katherine Staples and Cezar Ornatowski this Wednesday. Then I move on to completing my literature review, creating and finalizing my style guide, and then and only then I promise to talk about something else.

Like maybe fun things like slumber parties with my nephew....we made homemade pizza, played Candy Land, popped popcorn, and colored his bath water with these homemade, magic ice cubes.


Or maybe things like David's hunting adventures...
Or things like my new job at Heartland! The list really goes on and on. But patience please. Because right now I have to finish my homework. Right now I have to stay focused, not on Thanksgiving and baking and Christmas crafting, but on completing my two classes. Only a few weeks to go! Stick with me, please.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hi My Name is Katy, and I Am a Pinterestaholic

I admit it, I am completely stuck on checking Pinterest. There, I said it. That’s all that I have to admit for the day. Actually, that’s a lie. I also have to admit that I don’t belong to Pinterest. I am afraid that someday there will be a knock on my door and I will open it to find some sort of Pinterest police.  She will arrest me for being a lurker. In my mind this Pinterest police is, of course, completely well dressed in the cutest Fall fashion and has a cloud over her head filled with all her boards of recipes, house projects, crafts, and adorable outfits.
Anyway, that’s not the point. I have found a few little sayings on Pinterest that have stuck in my head. As you know, I am not the best at making decisions and I overthink every, and I mean every, thing. Well two of the sayings go a little something like this (I can’t quote them exactly since I can’t re-pin them for future reference or give proper credit…you know, being a lurker and all.):
·         Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?
·         What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?
I have been thinking about both of these a lot. I tend to ramble on and on about any dilemma I am in (thank you to my adorable husband and wonderful family and friends for always letting me do this). Sometimes I talk about it so much that I change my mind about the answer not just once or twice, but a few times a day. For instance, I will be completely honest here and tell you that I am having trouble working the offered classes into my schedule for next semester. So of course, over and over all day long I think about what to do about this. I talk to my friends and family, and I talk to David and Bo until I’m sure they are ready to scream. But really, in all honesty, I haven’t discussed it with God in any way more than a quick “help me to make good decisions about school and work” mention at the end of a prayer.
And the next one. I mean, come on. What do you think this quote does to a borderline OCD list maker? I was falling asleep last night when this popped into my mind. Two hours later I was thanking God for everything from the hardwood floors that make me happy in my room to the warm clothes I have to wear to work to the fact that I wasn’t a millionaire. I mean, it was a little bit ridiculous. But, still, I think it’s a good reminder. I don’t think it’s supposed to make you sit and worry if you covered all your bases or not, but I do think it helps remind you that you probably should be filling your prayers with gratitude a little bit more than “do this, this, and this for me…please.” I like it.
And since I’ve done such a lousy job of giving credit to my references, I wanted to leave you with one I can point you to directly. I even know who said it. Here’s one to sum up these Pinterest sayings:
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.  (Isaiah 12:2)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Christmas Music

Usually, once it hits November I can find some great radio station to play Christmas music for me. Apparently they have promised all those crazy people out there that claim you can't start Christmas until after Thanksgiving that they won't start the 24 hours of Christmas music so early.

Well, if you are like me and want to shake your fist in the air, call them all scrooges, and move on with your listening anyway, here is a link to one of my favorite artist's blog and he has posted his Christmas CD for free for all of us. Thank you Andrew Peterson!

http://andrew-peterson.com/players/btlog/

Merry Christmas-season!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Duck Hunting, Wallpaper Removing, Tub Re-caulking

I know I have been slacking lately so I thought I would give you a quick update.

On reading...
I am still working through The River Why. This could be the longest amount of time it has taken me to read a book, but it's not the book's fault. The book is actually quite readable and wonderful. And I really am almost through it. It's all school's fault. I have six hours of class during the week, and then at least six hours of homework sometime throughout that same week. So I go to bed or curl up in my chair with great intentions of reading only to get a few pages in and wake up with a start and a "what's going on." I really am almost through the book though and I have a few comments to make on it when I am finished. And when I am finished, just in time for the end of the semester and a month of no homework, I think I will read the Lord of the Rings series. What are your thoughts on that?

On house projects...
Guess who finally got their tub re-caulked! Yay. Our dingy old tub is much prettier now. I am sparing you the pictures because removing old caulk and adding in the new was not a pretty experience. It involved lots of scraping, lots of pulling, lots of bleach, and lots of patience. But we have a like-new, beautiful tub now!

And we finally removed the wallpaper border from our bedroom and taped off all the wood work and windows so that we can paint! Here is the old wallpaper..



We removed all of this from the entire room. It was pretty tough. To all of you out there that says this stuff just comes right off, no big deal, you are liars! We had to use this goo stuff and remove it in two different layers. So now we plan to paint a very light khaki color on three of the walls with a darker brown on the wall behind our headboard that is mostly windows. I will add the after pictures as soon as it's all completed.

On David and Bo...
Did I mention that we completed these two major house projects all between two different hunting trips? Yep, we didn't get much sleep in this weekend, but we did have a lot of fun and get a lot done. Here's what David did when he wasn't being my house project hero..



Yes friends, it was duck hunting opening weekend! David and Bo's favorite time of year! So I might be pretty lonely, but don't worry, duck hunting is only lonely from about 3:30 in the morning until 11 in the morning. And I love it because David is like a little kid on Christmas morning every morning that the alarm goes off for duck hunting. It's so fun to watch him get that excited. And then I can fill up my coffee cup, crawl into my favorite chair and read my books or make a to do list of house projects.

So Happy November friends! What are you all up to for the most wonderful time of the year?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Wait, keep reading. This is not another post about how much I adore my husband (an incredibly large amount) and how long we have been married (8 months and 6 days). This anniversary is my work anniversary.

That's right. One year ago today I started with a little tiny company in St. Joe called Heartland (that "little tiny" was sarcastic if you don't know). I have had a year full of growing and learning. It hasn't always been pretty and I haven't always handled every situation gracefully, but boy oh boy have I grown a lot and learned a lot.

In the past year I learned two new software solutions and trained nurses and physicians on these solutions. I have walked into a doctor's office and felt unwelcome and I have walked into a doctor's office and made friends. I have driven to Nebraska to give a sales presentation to a room of physicians and didn't even cry or throw up (both things I would have advised you to bet money on that I would do). And I have done difficult things like watch coworkers move on. And I have done wonderful things like help write my first resonse to a state request for proposals.

And a lot of life has happened in this past year of work. I have gotten married, moved into our first house, watched best friends have babies, ran my first half-marathon, and so many wonderful things I can't even name them all right now...to which you are probably thanking me.

But all of this is just to say that I hope on your one year anniversary at work, or five year or ten, I hope you can reflect on all of the wonderful things you have learned. I can look at this past year and think, wow, I can't believe I did that, and wow, I can't believe how much I learned from that, and wow, I am so blessed to have met this person or worked with that person.

So Happy Anniversary to me and my company! Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sister #4 and Ethiopia!

Two years ago I had the amazing opportunity to travel to El Salvador and spend a week in a small village there, building a well. I can't explain how life changing this was for me. To this day I dream about the people I met there and still pray for them by name. Sometimes I feel selfish thinking about everything I gained from this trip. I think that Heaven will look a little like El Salvador.

For Sister #4, this piece of Heaven is Ethiopia. My little baby sister (yes, she is 22 but yes, she is still my baby sister) is heading to Ethiopia next spring for seven days to work at two different schools and share God's love with the people she meets there. I couldn't be more excited for what this is going to do in her life and in the lives of each person she meets there. Hannah is this little, hyper, ball of light who spreads love and joy to everyone she crosses paths with. I have always admired her energy and excitement.

If you have a minute, please check out her website. I think it would be so encouraging if people from all over who read my blog, who she might not even know, would donate money or leave her a nice message to help her along the way!

http://www.giveforward.com/hstrasserethiopia

Monday, October 17, 2011

Practice What You Preach

I had the most wonderful weekend. It's weekends like this that make me feel so overwhelmed with joy and blessings that I honestly don't know what to do. I woke up early this morning, I think my body is conditioned to get ready for my runs, and instead of getting out of bed and running in the cold, dark early morning, I just laid there and counted my blessings.

Among these blessings were the health of my friends and their newborn baby, the relationships I have with my sisters and parents, my adorable and adoring husband and the almost 8 months of marriage we have been blessed with, the Fall weather and this holiday season, and on and on and on for an hour or so.

And then I got up, started to get ready, and went through my morning prayers, asking God to show me how I could be a good person today. I always ask Him to not let me miss things. I don't want to let a moment go by where I could have been the person He wants me to be, only to miss that moment and hurt someone or not help someone else. So I prayed that I keep my focus on the right things today and that He would guide me.

There was a Monday morning, not so long ago, that I walked into work to find one of my friend's not here. He was gone that day because his wife had suffered a miscarriage that weekend. This is something I can't handle.

Then there was another Monday that I rode with my manager to a demo and he got a call that his father might not make it unless they got to Mayo very, very soon. This is something else I'm not good at handling.

So this particular Monday, I walked in with my Fall coffee and visited with my manager who just got back from visiting his dad at Mayo. His dad is doing great! And I walked by my friend's cube and he was there, and his wife is due with their baby in April and they had a good weekend. And I sat down in my cube and started working, happily working.

Now I have set you up this way for a reason. Because this is the scene when an hour later my other friend came and sat next to me to tell me he had bad news and needed to tell me. My mind rushed through some horrible thoughts. He stared at me for a second, and then said that our team had won $200,000 in the PowerBall that we all play twice a week and that I had not gone in this past Friday so I would not be splitting that money with them. He said they had each won about $4100.

The pit in my stomach filled again with hope. I actually sat waiting for the bad news, but that was it. This, my friend, is NOT bad news. Yes, it's not good news. Yes, I wish that I had been put in that pot, but compared to the nightmares playing in my head, this was nothing. This was something I could handle.

My beautiful grandma Wilma used to say that "if it's a problem that can be fixed with money, then it's not a problem." I think that also, if it's bad news about money, than it's not really bad news.

So yes, this can go in the "not the best of Monday mornings" list. That list is quite short. It doesn't even compare to my list of blessings.

Have a wonderful Monday morning.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

13.1 Miles!

We did it! And we did it quicker than we thought we could. We trained at a ten minute mile pace and ended with a 9 minute, 33 second average! This might not sound all that fast to you, but to me it's a huge accomplishment! We finished all 13.1 miles without walking, in 2 hours and 5 minutes. It was so much fun.

And along the way we saw a sign that said "Keep running because you can." And I thanked God that I could and then I did.

It was a beautiful day. I felt blessed and thankful for all of the beautiful mornings my friend Molly and I spent training together, the beautiful weather, our loving husbands who were there cheering the loudest, for my physical capabilities, and for all of the loving messages and phone calls we have had. This run was one of my favorite accomplishments and memories.

Before

During. This is the home stretch. Last block!


After

And after again. Isn't he too cute?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pre-Race Day Jitters

I was just sitting here, doing just fine at work, when I decided to review my race day packet. I feel like I have remained very calm through all of this, but all of a sudden I got really nervous. Really, really nervous. Like when I looked at this picture I got the "throw-up a little, Christmas morning excitement, wondering if they use a gun shot to signify the beginning of the race, what if I fall over and die" type of nervous. Tell me this is normal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Live Like You Were Dyin'..."

I heard this Tim McGraw song again today after hearing it a lot lately. And here it goes, prepare yourself for the cliché, but it really hit me: Why am I not living every day like I’m dying? I know that if I really knew that tomorrow was my last day on earth I probably wouldn’t sit at work and I would probably give all my money away without worrying about my future and I would do crazy things. I know that we can’t really do those things. We have to work and we have to save money and not go into debt. But, on a much smaller scale, I plan to implement this idea.
For instance, what would I do if I found out that at the beginning of this winter someone was cutting down every single tree on Ashland? Well, I would drive that way more often, even if it was out of my way, and enjoy each beautiful tree (while safely still watching the road). Or what if I knew that maybe Sister #1 wouldn’t live in the same house she’s living in now by next winter? I would make sure to sneak in more times sitting on her deck watching her kids play in her backyard. Or what if I knew that next Fall my favorite orchard wouldn’t be there? I would make sure I went every weekend that I could and would bake as many apple-ingrediented dishes I could think of.
So instead of selling everything I own and walking out on my job and moving to Yellowstone to live with the wolves and my husband and brown dog, I am just going to try to think this way a little bit more every day. I’m just going to try to sneak these things in more, knowing that there is no guarantee that the same opportunity or view or event or person or moment will be there tomorrow.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Goals

My sisters and mom and I are all a little weird together (no laughing). We have this thing where if, say my mom is thinking about one of us, we usually end up calling her at that second. Or if I'm really missing one of my sisters in particular I get a text or an email or something. This happens daily to us.
This morning was my annual review. I can't believe I've been here a year already; it has flown by. My review was great. As I've said before, I work with amazing people that are hard workers, driven, supportive, and exciting. This review completely re-energized me. I get excited thinking about my goals, and I'm lucky enough to work for a company that never let's us not have goals. Our CIO just asked us, a few months after his talk on the subject, what our personal, work, and world goals were. He followed up and reminded us to keep working on them.
I will share with you that when he asked us to have goals, to actually write them down, that I did just that. I decided that one of my personal goals would be that I would be the best, most supportive wife that I could possibly be, one of my career goals would include getting my Master's so that I could think about a leadership position with my company in the future, and that one of my overall goals would be to find a home church for my new little family that would help me do big things in the world. Pretty big goals. But guess what, I'm working on them and think about these things almost daily.
You might be saying to yourself right now that one of my personal goals should be to not get so distracted. Where was I?
I was walking back to my desk from my review thinking that I couldn't wait to talk to Sister #2 about this particular topic tonight when I received an email from her that her boss had sent. (If you want to hear about what's movin' and shakin' with her career, bug her to update her blog. Seriously, Love It All, it's way overdue.) Sister #2 didn't even know I had my review or that I was all excited and motivated, but this pretty much summed up what my boss and I talked about for the last few minutes while planning the next year. I printed it out and pinned it to my cube. Don't you think that while thinking about your goals, it wouldn't hurt to keep these things in mind?

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Here's To You, Baby Kennedy Sue

My amazing friends, Brady and Marissa, had their baby girl, Kennedy Sue today. Kennedy was actually in our wedding. We didn't know at the time, but Brady and Marissa knew, that she was standing up there with us. What I did know was that two of my bridesmaids were very pregnant. See the Purple rectangles below for Emily and Kimi, and then Marissa in the silver circle.



Emily had Neely about a month after our wedding:



And Kimi had Livia about a month after that:



And now, eight months after the picture with the silver circle, presenting...


Kennedy Sue Purvis!

Wednesday Humor

I saw this on a Facebook friend's profile today and had a little chuckle.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things I Love That Aren't Books


You have to admit that I don't usually push things on you or talk about brands of things I love or restaurants or shops or anything, but that's all about to change. And please don't throw Harry Potter in my face - I am very aware that I did nothing but push that on you. And I don't regret that. If you trust my opinions and views on the books I read, maybe you care about some of the other things I love too (or maybe not), so I thought I would start talking about some of these things between talking about books. Let's start with my hair stylist.

There's this fantastic, family-owned shop on The Plaza that has been there for over 30 years. Family-owned. On Main Street of the Plaza. For over 3 decades. Wow.

My future brother-in-law and his family own this wonderful business. I wanted to tell you that right off, that it's my brother-in-law's shop, so you don't think I'm being sneaky and trying to promote it for that reason alone whenever you might find that out. It's true. But, that's not why I think it's awesome.

This shop is awesome because of the atmosphere and the talent. When you first walk in, the beautiful receptionist greets you by name, offers you coffee or water, and tells your stylist that you are there. They make you feel famous. And to them, you are that important. You really can tell that they know and appreciate each and every one of their clients.

The stylists are all very experienced, talented people. The Salon does things like send their stylists all over the world (I'm not exaggerating on that one) to continue their education and refine their skills, or fly people in to do on-site, private trainings.

The Salon's stylists are somehow always a few months ahead of the current styles. (I remember the first time Shane told my mom he could put a feather in her hair. We thought he was crazy. Fast-forward six months later and everywhere is sold out of those same feathers.)

The list of products and services is huge. I go for my hair. They do cut, color, special occasion styling, permanent straightening or waving, extensions...and the list goes on. But in addition to hair, they do facial treatments, massages, waxes, body wraps, brow tinting, make-up, make-up lessons, etc. I even bought my wedding lipstick from The Salon - this is truly a complete salon.

I know I'm rambling on here, but I have been going to The Salon for almost three years now and I haven't ever been disappointed. It has become my fun, escape, pampering place. I can't tell you enough that I think you should check it out for yourself. In fact, I think we should make a day of it together. I've been dying to get a facial treatment before the dry, dry winter. Check out The Salon's website (http://thesalonkc.com/index.html) or Facebook page, and then call me and we will plan a day together!

Friday, September 30, 2011

In Remembrance

When you type "define remembrance" in Google, you are told it means "the action of remembering something or someone." I guess I could have figured that one out on my own.

Last night our dear neighbor, Herald, passed away.

This morning I made sure I had a picture of at least one of the blooms from the many flowers and plants he helped me plant this past summer.

In remembrance

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Or in my case, it’s a half-marathon but you get the point.
I have spent the last couple of months training for a half-marathon run. Training for a run means I get in a lot of miles throughout the week. And for me, miles mean time to think, make lists, and process and plan.
Last week I ran nine miles without stopping. This is huge for me, the girl who before signing up for this half-marathon hadn’t gone for more than five miles at a time. We added a mile a week to our runs and ta-dah, I can run nine miles!
Okay, it’s not really like that, there’s no ta-dah. Running for that amount of time and distance doesn’t just happen. It has taken a lot of dark, early mornings, a lot of figuring out how much water is enough water without being too much water, and a lot of planning to work in runs throughout busy weeks already filled with work, school, and family.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? I feel like everyone could say to me right now, “(insert your current project here) has taken a lot of planning, sweat, stress, and time, and not every single minute has been fun.”
I was getting pretty tired halfway through my run this morning when this Robert Frost line popped into my head – “and miles to go before I sleep.” Sometimes I get frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as I want them to. Some days I don’t want to have miles to go before I get to stop running or stop working or stop talking or stop studying. I sometimes forget that the things that take the most planning and work end up being the best. It truly isn’t as rewarding to complete a project you threw together. Anything that comes with an easy ta-dah doesn’t usually end up being worth it to me. I am not as proud or as satisfied with the things that don’t take “miles to go” before they are done, the things that you can accomplish in a sprint instead of a marathon.
I just hope that at the end of whatever marathon you are running, you get to say that “yes it has been a lot of work, and not always fun, but wow – that was worth it!” I will think back to these mornings and think that yes it was cold and dark when we started each morning, but wow, I saw more sunrises than I had ever seen before! And yes mile 7 might always be my toughest mile, but wow, I got past it every time! Those things should be the real ta-dahs!

On a side note, having miles to go before you sleep also warrants the purchase of new running shoes! This is my first pair of shoes that are actually made for running! I figured if I am running about 20 miles a week, I should probably own running shoes. Sorry Nike.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Reading

Have I ever said before that I had the best weekend? Well, this weekend was another one. Friday night David and I got a little confused about the plans with the cute siblings-in-law and ended up at Zona Rosa alone. I miss my siblings-in-law terribly and was disappointed we didn't get to meet, but David and I had a great little dinner at our favorite pizza place, Minksy's and then came home early and got a great, much-needed, night's rest.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and hit the ground running. My friend and I ran nine miles, nine beautiful miles early in the morning. It was encouraging and exciting, and a little exhausting. We ended our run at her three year old son's flag football game and then had a huge breakfast all together. I'm convinced that I can do the half-marathon in a few weeks. I felt wonderful and strong on these nine miles. It's so exciting to me that I can do - I never knew that I would be able to run so far. It's an odd and exciting feeling.

Later that same afternoon David and I sat outside at a Bluegrass Festival and drank Sierra Mists (okay, he had beer, but I wanted to say farewell to my favorite drink of summer) on the lawn. I love our hometown, and little festivals like this constantly remind me how wonderful it really is. I challenge the next person that says "there's nothing to do in this town" to call me. Seriously, call me and I will tell you something exciting to do that day.

Okay, so I know I'm rambling and acting like this is my diary, but I just love these weekends. After the festival I went to a movie with my mom and Sister #1. We saw I Don't Know How She Does It. I think it was adorable. And then, right from there I met David and some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the MU game.

So where is the reading in all of this? I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be about reading and writing. Woops. Well, my weekend reading consisted of my new Better Homes and Garden magazine and cookbooks. Okay, so we argue in our Tech Comm class that cookbooks should count as technical writing. I mean, what is more technical than deciding what the heck the difference between mixing, beating, or stirring is. And then, don't get me started on trying to figure out what a pint of sour cream is when my carton is labeled in ounces. So anyway, now I am sitting in my big comfy chair watching the Chiefs (lose) and not reading because I am exhausted from decorating and cooking and baking.

Today after church we went to the store to get all the ingredients to make pumpkin bars and enchilada casserole. I made these both, for the first time, following recipes. I'm impressed, aren't you? Just say yes. This is pretty big for me.

Pumpkin bars pre-oven. Isn't this pan cute and Fallish? It's from one of oldest friends, Sarah D.

Pumpkin bars, post-oven, post-cooled, and post-homemade, cream cheese, icinged

Chicken enchilada mixture. I baked the chicken, shredded the chicken, and then simmered (yep, didn't know what that word meant necessarily) the chicken in taco seasoning and added beans.

You add that chicken mixture, the enchilada mixture (not posted, but I made it with sour cream - 1 pint - cream of chicken soup, green chiles, and salsa), and some cheese to a tortilla...

Stack them in a pan....

And spread the remainder of the enchilada sauce over them.

Sprinkle with cheese. I made two - one for tonight with our chips and queso and one for the deep freeze (either for us for later or for my adorable friend who is having their baby girl ANY TIME now!! Watch for Baby Girl P on http://thepurvisfamilyblog.blogspot.com)

And finally, one of my favorite views. Dishes washed and sun shining in my open kitchen window.
In case I haven't said it before, I. Love. Fall!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy First Day of Fall!

Or, if you are my fifth grade teacher mom, you would answer your phone, pumpkin spice coffee in hand, with a, "Happy Autumnal Equinox!" I don't know where I get it.

Tonight we are celebrating this amazing midwest Fall weather with an outdoor dinner and concert with my cute siblings-in-law. Tomorrow I have my nine mile run early in the crisp morning before watching my friend's three year old son play his first football game.

After that I'm going to grab my pumpkin coffee, dress in snuggly clothes, light my pumpkin and pecan candles, and plan my list of supplies to make some Fall goodies and crafts. Then after my house has magically cleaned itself since I can't decorate a messy house, I get to run to the craft store with Sister #1 and then later see a movie. Such a fun weekend ahead.

When is a girl supposed to do homework when her head is filled with these cute ideas?
(Yes, I've become, like so many others, a Pinterest addict!)


Wreath from cinnamon sticks for our back deck


Wreath from indian corn for our front porch


Spray painted pinecones (I would use different colors) for our mantle


Sugar cookies!

I hope you all have a wonderful First Day of Fall (and mom, I hope you have a wonderful Autumnal Equinox).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Work - Ya Like It or Ya Don't

Our main character in The River Why is doing his own research to settle a family feud - this research is on Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler. Besides figuring out that deciding whether his mother or father is right about the content of the book is a useless fight, our character decides that he will take away from the book that "a truly compleat angler ought to angle more completely."

Last Friday I left work feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious. For the past year I have tried to not be that person, but I am in a career that makes this nearly impossible (add in my personality and you have as useless of a battle as our character is fighting). But yesterday it hit me. Do I want to do this job and do I want to be the best person for this career or not? Do I want to show everyone that I can turn this stress into productive work or do I want to complain that it's a little stressful? Do I want to do this work or do I not?

I do. I want to be a complete angler for this work. I don't want to come to work and just kinda do my job. And I don't want to do a different job. So to me, there are a couple of options and once you decide on one, move on it.

I think you can decide to like your work and do your work completely. Or I think you can not like your work and find a new job - and then do that job completely. When I look at it this way it's so easy. I want to be here. I want to do this work. And I want to do this work completely. It's exhausting not to.

A few weeks ago I listened to a sermon about working hard in our careers. The pastor asked what we would all work like if we recognized that God is paying us to be here. It's God's money after all. You see, it's not quite fair to come to work and not work hard. God has blessed you with your career, your work ethic, and your salary. When I think of it like this, there's no way I feel right not working my hardest each day, there's no way to not work completely.

So today I hope if you are a Complete Teacher that you are teaching completely. And if you are a Complete Editor you are editing completely. And if you are a Complete Caregiver you are caring completely. If you are a Complete Student you are studying completely. I think that we could all try a little bit harder to do whatever it is that we are doing more completely.

Monday, September 19, 2011

7 Months Already?

Doesn't it feel like I was just going on and on about our six month anniversary? I'm tellin' ya, it's going by too fast. Today is already our 7 month anniversary! I can't believe it's already been seven months - seven months of marriage to my very best friend - the funniest, most considerate, and hardest working man I know.

I thought back today to one of my favorite blogger's post. I grew up with her young children - her children who are now in college and a senior in high school. Although I don't get to be around her or talk to her as much as I would like, she is and always has been somewhat of a mentor to me, and absolutely a friend. In this post, she talked about our wedding and about how fast time has gone by, but how exciting our futures are. I wanted to share her post with you today.

Happy Monday. And Happy September 19th. And thank you for being, as the post says, a part of our past, present, and future.

http://21cents.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/past-present-future/



Sunday, September 18, 2011

"When You Loved Each Other the Least"

Last night we went to the most beautiful wedding (again, like last weekend). This wedding was filled with so much love I could barely hold myself together. Last year I worked at a company with some great friends. Among these friends was the beautiful Lindsay. Lindsay and I had known each other for a long time, but it was over that year and a half of working together that we got close. She is the most caring and generous friend.

Last night she got married. At the reception her dad gave the kind of father's speech that every daughter either totally understands and knows her dad feels the same way or is totally jealous over. It was wonderful. He thanked his beautiful wife, his new son-in-law, and went on and on about his daughter that he so obviously adores.

It was a wonderful night filled with dancing, laughing, crying, and celebrating.

He ended his speech by telling Warren and Lindsay that he only hoped that one day they would look back at this day and know that this was the day that they actually loved each other the least. What a wonderful thought.




Friday, September 16, 2011

White to Black

What makes me almost as excited as a new school bag? That's right, a new work bag. I loved switching my white summer purse out for this shiny black bag to carry to work today. This is the second version of this bag actually. The first one had a handle break within the first two days of carrying it. Cross your fingers that this one lasts because I do not have the energy to fight with the mean Dillard's workers again because I don't have the tags (I usually take these off to carry the bag!).

I am also excited to pull out my big comfy boots. On the way to class last night I really didn't want to wear flip flops, but I wasn't quite ready to pull out the fuzzy boots. I will give my classmates one more week. After that, I will not be embarrassed to be the first one wearing my MWSU hoodie and fuzzy boots to night class.