Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.

~ Benjamin Harrison ~

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Smile

Going to see Bridesmaids this afternoon. Excited for the movie and extremely excited for the popcorn!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Snapshot Saturday: Missing

Missing the farm

and missing these ladies

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life Update

1.  If you haven’t guessed it yet, I have dropped out of the Spring Fever Challenge.  I like challenges (and Amy's are great!) so I may join another one like this in the future but right now I just want to concentrate on my 101 in 1001 list.

2.  Speaking of 101 in 1001, over the weekend I read the short story The Hunter’s Wife by Anthony Doerr.  I do not enjoy short stories because I can’t seem to develop a connection with the characters and this story was no exception.  (Sorry, Moll!) I went in with an open mind but apparently this is just not the type of reading for me.

3.  Earlier in the month, I was given the Stylish Blogger Award by Lisa at Charlie the Cavalier.  Thank you, Lisa! 

As part of the award, here are three of Crickett's quirks:

Crickett prefers dirt (and even snow) over grass.

Crickett will only drink water out of the cup in our master bathroom.  Her bowl is always full of water but it only gets used by puppy visitors.

Crickett loves to have her neck blown on.

4.  Between a trip to Washington D.C. and working the night shift, Mitch has been gone more evenings this month than he has been home.  During this time, I became a night owl and discovered reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”  I really like these shows and would venture to say that “How I Met Your Mother” has even made it onto my list of favorites; I now understand the good reviews it got from everyone.

5.  Mitch and I have been dealing with water in our basement again this spring.  We had a landscaping company come over to work on the issues contributing to the problem.  So now, instead of green grass, we have a patch of dirt on the west side of our house.  Combine dirt patches with wind and you have a situation that is not ideal for hanging clean laundry out on the clothesline.  Bummer.

6.  I got A’s in all of my classes this spring!  I start summer school on May 31st and will be busy with that until July 31st.  I will be taking two courses, “Principles of Macroeconomics” and “Management Information Systems”; sounds like exciting stuff, huh?  I received my graduation audit several weeks ago and it looks like I will have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree at the end of the spring 2012 semester.  So thrilled!

7.  On Saturday I watched my sister and her derby team compete in their first home bout.  It was so much fun and my sister did an amazing job as a jammer.  I was so proud of her and lost my voice from screaming so much.  Yesterday I bought my derby gear and on June 6th I have my first practice.  I cannot wait!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I got a Brand New . . .

pair of rollerskates!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

First Home Bout

SO EXCITED to watch my little sister and the rest of her team compete in their first home bout this evening! Yay for roller derby!

Knock 'em out Knotty B.!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Feelin' Sentimental

I've been feeling very sentimental this past week and have spent a lot of time looking through old photos and watching old videos. 

This is a photo of Mitch and me back in 2006, shortly after we started dating.  It was taken at one of my dad's ice-skating parties (he occassionally builds ice rinks in the backyard) and is still one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.

This is a video of Crickett in 2009, back when she was a mere eight-months old.  I love how she could (and still does) make anything a toy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Five Freebies

Today I'm joining Amy at Life's Journey With a Smile and playing "Celebrity Freebies."

Here are the five famous men with whom I could "spend time" and not get in trouble with Mitch.

John Krasinski

Jared Padalecki

Gerard Butler

Tom Brady

David Beckham

Honorable Mentions:

Brad Paisley

Dennis Quaid

Here are the five famous women with whom Mitch could "spend time" and not get in trouble with me.

Heather Graham

Scarlett Johansson


Katy Perry

Katherine Heigl

Honorable Mentions:

Taylor Swift

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Who makes your list?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Finals Week

It's finals week and while it has probably been one of the least stressful finals weeks I've ever had, there were semesters when I could definitely relate to the following article.  It made me laugh.

"How to Make Yourself Absolutely Miserable During Finals Week" by Alice Mills, PhD

For those of you who would like to increase the discomfort of your finals experience I offer some student tested techniques to help ensure an absolutely miserable finals week:

Start to decrease your sleep time the week before exams and continue this mind-numbing technique throughout finals week.

Skip breakfast and forgo all nutritious foods in favor of coffee, fast foods, and chocolate.

Stop all exercise and park yourself in one location with your books until finals are over.

Now that your body is beginning to show signs of physical wear and tear (you're feeling sleepy -- very sleepy), it's time to start on your mind:

Begin by reviewing what you should have done earlier in the semester. Tell yourself, "I should have started studying sooner," or, "I should have taken better notes." Should all over yourself! Spend your precious study time living in the past. Feel the guilt!

Next focus on what your instructors should have done. "They should have explained the concepts better. They should have assigned less reading." Share the blame. Why should you have to study all this stuff? Life is just so unfair. Get angry!

Focus all your attention on your discomfort. Tell yourself, "I can't stand this!" Awfulize, maximize your pain. "Finals week is unbearable!" Experience the dejection and suffering.

Pump up your tension with some extreme language. Sprinkle your self-talk with words like "never," "always" and "everybody." For example, "I'll never get done! This always happens to me. Everybody else is finished." Experience the angst of absolute defeat.

Maximize your weaknesses. Call yourself some names. Remember to use judgmental global labels that suggest you have no redeeming qualities. "How could I be so STUPID! Everyone will know I'm a FAILURE! I'm such a JERK!" Self-abuse can be the most potent kind. Feel inadequate!

Focus on all the negative events of the semester. Forget your successes. Paint it black.

Finally, predict the worst possible outcomes and ignore all evidence to the contrary. "I'm going to fail!" Live in the catastrophic future you've created in your head. Who can study or take an exam with all these negative emotions? You just can't focus.

Tomorrow at 3:00pm, I will officially be done with the Spring 2011 semester.  I can't wait for my two-week vacation!  My brain is tired!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Finds

This is interesting.  Can't say I will be participating.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list was to donate to a needy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and while I would donate to all of them if I could, when I saw this little girl I knew she was the one I was meant to help.

Lilliput in Kernersville, NC

This past Fall, an emergency call came in, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needed to be rescued. When the foster couple arrived at the designated meeting place they were handed a blue bath towel with an emaciated Blenheim curled up inside. This tiny girl trembled in silence as the foster couple returned to their car. She was smeared with blood and excrement. The pale pink Cavalier skin was filthy, and her ears were matted with dirt, leaves and food particles that required most of the hair had to be cut off. She looked so sad with those big black eyes peering out of that blue towel. Her head was tilted against her front paws and she was so weak she could not hold her head up for more than a couple of minutes.

Lilliput was rushed straight away to an emergency veterinarian hospital. She was in shock; her blood sugar was 24 (normal for a canine is 74 to 150). She weighed 5.3 lbs. The veterinary team began working to save her life. First she was given straight Karo Syrup to raise her blood sugar, and an IV was started to hydrate her. This began a very long and expensive road to recovery. Tests revealed that Lilliput had heartworms, hook worms, whip worms and awful teeth. She was so malnourished that the hair on the back of her legs, her neck, and tail no longer grew in those areas. The first 48 hours the foster couple took turns getting up every two hours to force feed this tiny little dog pureed high calorie/protein food. On the third morning they were awakened to the sweet music of Lilliput gently barking. It was music to their ears and they knew she was going to survive this episode.

She was treated over a three month period for heartworms, treated for intestinal parasites, and had 22 teeth pulled. Her weight was problematical and her weight gain was two steps forward and two steps back. One day, the foster couple came home to find Lilliput wedged in a corner, shallow rapid breathing, and rigidly curled up in a fetal position. She was rushed to the emergency vet and once again was give iv fluids to rehydrate and glucose for a blood sugar of 21. After blood work she was diagnosed with EDP (a pancreatic enzyme deficiency that causes the dog to waste away). She was placed on a regiment of high protein, low glycemic veggies, and pancrezine. Lilliput has shown continual improvement, and has gained up to 2 pounds, but as they would say she is brittle, she has good days and bad days.
It is very difficult to explain to someone the horrible conditions of a Puppy Mill – these little dogs live in wire cages all their life, receive small portions of very cheap dog food, and rarely see a vet. The fact that there are only 12 States (North Carolina is not one of them) that have puppy mill laws is unconscionable. Lilliput and other dogs like her have done nothing to harm anyone and in no way deserve the horrid conditions that puppy mills ignore in an effort to turn a profit.
Due to the horrible environment in which Lilliput was raised and lived for the biggest part of her life, this beautiful 3 to 4 year old little Blenheim with the body of an 8 to 10 month old Cavalier desperately needs your help. The Cavalier rescue has spent thousands to save, diagnose, and treat sweet Lilliput. We are reaching out asking for donation to help off-set these expenses and replenish the funds so that other rescued Cavaliers can continue to receive the care they need.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Fever Challenge: Week 5

Life's Journey with a Smile

I forgot to update you all last week on my progress with the Spring Fever Challenge; does that give you a sense of how well I've been doing with my goals? Yikes! I wanted to skip updating this week as well and have actually thought about quitting this challenge altogether. *Sigh*

Here is a little reminder of what my goals are:
Start walk-to-run program
Limit desserts to two a week
Limit Facebook logins and blog reading to once a day
Use my DSLR camera at least once a week
Complete five things from my 101 in 1001 list
Spring organizing and purging
Take Crickett for a walk at least three times a week

1. What have you done this past week to help you achieve your goals?
Goal #1 - Nothing to report yet. I love running and I love how good it makes me feel so why is it I can't get motivated to do it?

Goal #2 - BIG fail here. I lost all self-control when the Easter baskets arrived. That darn Easter bunny!

Goal #3 - Not my best week. I didn't spend much time reading blogs but I did hop on Facebook quite a bit.

Goal #4 - Forgot about this goal yet again.

*Can you see why I didn't want to report on my "progress"?*

Goal #5 - I did complete one thing from my 101 in 1001 list. I donated money to a needy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I'll share her story sometime this week.

Goal #6 - No organizing or purging in Week 5 but I did manage to do a little in Week 4. I attacked some of the mess in my scrapbooking room and it felt good.

Goal #7 - Crickett and I made it on two walks and this next week is supposed to be nice so I expect we will get out at least three times.

2. What did you do this past week to make you feel good about yourself?
I actually curled my hair one day rather than throwing it up in a ponytail like I usually do. I know it sounds like such a simple, silly act but I feel more attractive (and, thus, confident) with my hair down.

3. It's May! What were your victories in April? Challenges?
April was a good month in terms of health and happiness but it was also quite challenging mentally.  When I feel overwhelmed with school and work, I let everything else fall by the wayside and that is exactly what happened in April.

4. Do you have any plans for the challenge in May?
My plans for May will be to actually challenge myself with the goals I set at the beginning of this challenge. I'm tired of reporting about my lack of success!

5. Fun Question: What is your favourite type of ethnic cuisine?
Definitely Italian!

Positive Picture
An ad I cut out many years ago:

Sunday, May 1, 2011