Thursday, December 31, 2009

Truth be told...

Truth be told, If I Was a Stay at Home Mom, I would actually:
- Stay in my pajamas ALL day
- Eat ridiculous amounts of cookies etc.
- Online shop WAY too much
- NOT clean my house (or at least not very much).

My time is running out... I only have four more days of break and I still have seven closets to clean out, a house full of Christmas decorations to take down, three crafty home projects to do, 150 essays to grade, etc. etc. etc.  Oops.  Maybe I better stick with my day job for now!

Good news?  They are calling for snow this weekend... maybe I'll be blessed with more days to procrastinate.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

9 Highlights of 2009 + Some New Year Goals

1. Ashley & Chip Schnabel's beautiful winter wedding & Big Chill Reunion. (January)

2. Our trip to Colorado to visit Jon & Lea in Littleton & ski Breckenridge. (April)

3. Jeff's week in Seattle & Portland/ My Extreme Home Makeover Week (May)

4. Mulvaney Family Reunion in Virginia Beach (June)

5. Mountain Weekend with my college girlfriends from Clemson + Baby Quinn (June)

6. Brevard Camping Trip with our COR Group (July)

7. Summer Kickball League (June - August)

8. Jake & Amanda McCrowell's beach wedding (October)

9. The Blizzard of 2009... 18 inches of snow! (December)

Goals for 2010:
* Take more pictures.
*Drive across the country.
* Wear lipstick.
*Be able to comfortably (for me and those around me) wear spandex and boots by next Christmas
These are serious... do not judge.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house
Sounds of "gun fire" rang clear from the basement & my spouse.
The gifts were all unwrapped, paper thrown without a care
In hopes that my new Kindle soon would be there...

While Addy slept, all snug in her new L.L. Bean dog bed
Visions of gourmet dog treats, danced in her head.
Jeff is in his Stormy Cromer, a very goofy looking cap.
And me, just settled down, for a long lazy nap.

... Ok, I planned to go the whole way, but it is just WAY too long...

Hope your Christmas was wonderful!!! We feel totally loved, stuffed, and spoiled!! :)

I'm off to Northern VA for a few days to see family... enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

Merry Christmas Friends! What a fun year 2009 has been! Jeff & I are so thankful for such great families, friends, and blog readers. :) Hope you all enjoy the holidays and get some rest. I love you!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If I was a Stay-at-Home-Mom

1.) My house would always be clean. I would gladly vacuum every day and change the sheets at least once a week. (Promise.)

2.) We would eat FABULOUS food. I would cook delicious dinners to be waiting for Jeff when he walks in the door and bake cakes and cookies for all my neighbors and friends.

3.) I would be an excellent wife/friend/daughter/granddaughter/etc. (Morning bible studies at my house? Sure. Dinner for twelve? No problem.)

4.) I would be skinny b/c I'd have plenty of time for exercising and "tracking" my WW points. (Please pay no attention to #2... I would also have excellent self-control.)

5.) We would wear clean clothes every day. I would do laundry regularly & even iron on occassion.

6.) I would spend less money on clothes. (Being a teacher is a very high-pressure job when it comes to my wardrobe... 100s of people, literally, judge me every day. If I stayed at home, I could wear PJs and sweats ALWAYS.)

7.) Addy would not eat gifts, poop in other people's houses, or shed as much because I would brush her, walk her, and train her all the time!

8.) I would be prettier. (Less bags under the eye, stress zits, etc.)

9.) I would learn to sew, write a novel, make tons of crafts, train for a marathon, call all my girlfriends at least once a week, read more, write hand-written letters, wash my windows, rake leaves/shovel snow, volunteer, etc. etc. etc. (Look, I only wanted to write 10 things.)

10.) I would have a baby. (Yes mothers, I realize that actually voids numbers 1 - 9; but, it is kind-of vital for the stay-at-home-MOM title, which is much more socially acceptable than just quitting my job for fun. It's not really my reality right now... So please just let me live in this ignorance for a bit.)

Hmm... I'll let you know if this list has any effect on our plans for 2010. My guess is no... But I'm loving these two weeks at least!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I hope all of my "loyal readers" know how much I love you and respect you each for the individual person you are and place you are in. I don't claim to have ANYTHING to offer but a cheap laugh occassionally and a glimpse of my sometimes messy life.

Just to clarify... my intention with my blog is to be silly & real (in the "not putting on a show" sense). I love that it makes people laugh and gives me an opportunity to write -- both of which I really love & don't get to do near enough. I am SO sorry if anything I've written (or my "guest bloggers") seems insensitive. I promise, it is all with a humble and light heart. -E

Monday, December 21, 2009

D.E.F. (A Dating Follow-up Guest Post)

Five guys sitting around a white board, shirtless. (They made me write that last part!)

This is my reality tonight.

What started as a conversation about my Dating Blog Post, ended up as a full-on rebuttal.

I give you...
My First Ever... "Hot Guy" Guest Post (Authors anonymous... but pretty obvious.)

Dos & Don'ts

  • Do be laid back.
  • Do pay compliments about our physical appearance.
  • Do make-out a lot. (Or, at the very least, touch our forearm.)
  • Don't freak out. *We asked you out in the first place because we were interested. That said, we have NOT planned our wedding, designed our future house, or named our kids.
  • Don't talk about your period. EVER.
  • Don't suck. (i.e, Please just enjoy the evening... If, at some point, you decide we are not going to get married, please don't just "give up." If you feel things going down hill, remember "all's well that end's well" and proceed to final "Do" immediately.)


Expect a disaster, but be prepared to be swept off your feet. Again, we asked you out on purpose. But, there are certain things out of our control.

*NOTE: Please disregard the above expectation if you comment on last week's GIVEAWAY. (We've decided to re-open the competition HERE.) If you do, you SHOULD expect the greatest night of your life.


There are three possible outcomes after a first date. We might fall madly in love. We might get really excited; but, flame out like Gilmore Girls when Rory went off to college. OR, we might - for TRULY unexplainable reasons - just not be interested. It's not you, it's us. (Really.)

A.B, J.H, L.H, J.R., J.C.

Well, this really clarifies a lot! (Ha!) Happy dating!

Blizzard of 09

"Snow slows everything down; Snow makes everything beautiful." -Gilmore Girls
(w/ some liberties because I simply saw this on someone's facebook wall & couldn't remember the exact quote.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dating 101 (+ a Giveway)

Some of our good friends are having a "Singles & Stockings" Christmas party tonight. Jeff & I were awkwardly invited to "dress as Santa and Mrs. Claus," but that's weird, so we're not going. I'm TOTALLY fine with it.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand... The preparatory discussions among our friends before this party have led me to think a little bit about some of the advice guys need to hear...

Disclaimer: I don't claim to know what dating is like right now, but I do know a lot of guys... And, I feel like I can say the things other girls wouldn't because, frankly, I'm ok with them never asking me out. **Even though, I do think many of you would be excellent catches!**

So here goes...

My ABCs of Dating after College:

A = Just Ask.
I know that you guys start practicing "pick-up lines" around the same time you learn to pee standing up; but really, they are dorky, ineffective, and all around lame. Just don't. Period.

Even worse, a friend of mine was recently hit on via a fake "technical difficulty" on Facebook. Said man sent a message that said "I've been meaning to ask you..." and then just cut off. Look, that is sneaky. It MIGHT work with a cell phone. But, Facebook doesn't send independently; and, even if it did, you can always just send another message. **It is bad enough that you are asking a girl out via F-Book, at least do it with some guts. :)

Please just call her and ask her on a date. Yes, she might still tell you no - I'm making no promises here - but at least she'll respect you.

B = Be Creative (But not too creative!)

  • Movies are lame for a first date. (The darkness of the movie theater and the smell of stale popcorn on your breath is NOT enough to make us want to make out in a movie theater. That is so 7th grade; not to mention, totally disgusting.)
  • Lazer Tag is also not a good idea. Believe it or not, we really aren't as in to shooting and pretending to be at war as you are. Sorry!
  • I personally also think a candle lit picnic (or anything candle lit for that matter) is a little over the top too. Save it for the proposal... or at least the one-month anniversary, if you just can't resist.
  • A safe bet would be dinner at a fun place and maybe a concert (nothing fancy, just some live music at a bar), a sporting event, or a play/show of some sort.
C = Don't Play the Credit Card Game.
"also, i went on a date with another guy. it was awful. at the end of the date we played the "credit card game" to see who would pay. basically, you put your credit cards down on the table and the waiter chooses one. it is awful. mine wasn't chosen. the whole point is that i thought it was strange. maybe i'm stuck in old fashion dating and this is new age dating? anyways, later we met up with friends and went for drinks. we played the credit card game again and i lost so i ended up buying 3 pitchers of beer." - Email from one of my best friends recently

Guys, yes, it is 2009. We do not want you to ask us to do your ironing, order for us off the menu, or stand and bow every time we leave a room. We WOULD appreciate it, however, if you respected us enough to treat us to the meal you invited us to. Do us all a favor and just avoid the after dinner awkwardness & be a man. This does not mean we are "dating." It does not mean you have to pay for every meal for the rest of our lives. It does mean that you are a nice guy with a little class. :)

In conclusion, it's the holidays & we're all feeling a little romantic. Plus, your "Secret Santa" at tonight's party, might just turn in to New Year's date 2010. Hope this will help spark your season!!!

For today only, I am offering a FREE date with THIS guy. Ladies, he is SMOOTH in the dating category.

All you have to do to win is post a comment below. A winner will be selected & revealed (maybe at the party) tomorrow night! *And guys, don't be shy to comment too. He also offers lots of great tips on how to pick up chicks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Remember those cute paper packages?

Dear Howard,

Here is your Christmas gift. I worked on it ALL day while everyone else was at work.


(... I guess that's what I get for being a little smug yesterday. - E)

Christmas Change

One of the bloggers I like to follow (Chatting at the Sky) recently wrote a guest post for This website is really powerful. In the midst of busyness, baking, and buying, it challenges us to "a season of change, a life of return." (Please go read her post RIGHT NOW... I'll still be here when you get back.)

Ok... Confession. I've spent a lot of time and energy on my blog telling funny stories that make people laugh. Sometimes, even, they may border on "inappropriate." I want to be liked. I want to be real. I want people to know me - good and bad.

Hopefully, this will be a glimpse into my real heart - underneath the awkward moments, creative decorations, and dog hair...

As a teacher, I tend to think in terms of school calendars rather than the actual calender year. That said, August usually brings about my clearest pledges for change. (Just in time for all the leaves to DIE and fall off the tree. Ironic? Maybe.) Then, when those don't work out, I gear up for good ole January 1. But this year, I'm giving up on New Year's Resolutions (we all know I won't really lose 50 pounds in 2010), and focusing, instead, on Christmas Change. Afterall, the whole world - and more specifically, my life - changed because of that cold night in a Bethlehem stable, right?
So what does this really mean to me?

Sadly, I don't ask myself this question enough this time of year. (Or any time of year, for that matter.) As much pride as I put in my ability to be "different" in terms of Christmas decor, cards, gifts, etc., my heart is still in pretty much the same place as the rest of the world: Busy scratching items off of my to-do list and running my gas tank empty.

...I DO love my "To Do" lists, but isn't empty often where we find ourselves on January 1st? We've spent the whole month trying to be so much to so many, that by the time things "slow down," we're heavier, grumpier, and a lot more tired. Not really such a "fresh start" afterall.
So what if we really did start over, from the very beginning?

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." - Luke 2:4-7

The Christmas story is actually about Jesus wanting to be with me. The world didn't want him - they couldn't even make room for a poor pregnant lady about to go into labor in an inn. Yet he came, as an infant, with no clothes & not even a crib for a bed.
Now, I'm not a mom yet, but I know a baby is A LOT of work. They need someone else to feed them, change them, even burp them. So why in the world would the Creator of the Universe come down to earth like this? Maybe to teach us a little something about accepting gifts.
Maybe so that I don't have to stress over how pretty, or liked, or put-together I am. *Jesus lived an oRdInArY life for 30 years before he started his public ministry - which only lasted about three years - So why do I feel like I have to have it all figured out at 25?

Jesus wanted to be with me. Not just looking down from a fluffy cloud throne up in the sky, but really WITH me. Here. In this dirty, ugly, messed-up world.

THAT changes things.

This Christmas I want to return to dependency. I want to learn how to really accept a gift - someone else's offer to host the Christmas Party, a day of reading & napping, help with my piles of laundry... Jesus.

That's freedom. That's a "fresh start." That's a Christmas Change.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift Wrap

The one thing Jeff & I have agreed on this Christmas, is our wrapping selection.

I got this idea from pretty much every holiday magazine, catalog etc., but Jeff jumped all over it because of the inescapable practicality.

*Image from sugarnspice.creations.blogspot

Brown paper. GENIUS.

$2.99 for a giant roll, AND it can be used long after snowflakes and santas have been tucked away in closets.

Plus, it looks so darn cute under our tree. :)

(For added garnish, I just used plain white ribbon and little snowflake ornaments that I got at Crate & Barrel (24 for only $4.95). I am also re-using the gift tags & stickers that I used to make place cards at Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I bought some dark brown satin ribbon & cute little gift tags to add some spice. The possibilities are endless!)

For more fun & thrify ideas check out Real Simple Magazine's "Creative Wrapping Ideas." They even include a wrapping "How-To," which, trust me, I NEED. A good idea can only go so far without a little talent. :) NOTE: Jeff does almost all of the wrapping at our house.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2 Little Randoms

1.) When you notice that a person got a haircut, the polite thing to say is: "Oh, I love your haircut." The incorrect thing to say is: "Did you get a haircut? Oh. Do you like it?" If you go with option B, you may as well say, "That haircut is totally hideous." FYI. (And, yes, I did just get a haircut... But I also hear this very conversation going on between my students ALL THE TIME!)

2.) I have been humming "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" for days, and I JUST figured out that "Santa Claus" is really the kid's dad. All these years I've been wondering why a song advocating adultery would become such a classic. Oh, growing up.
That's all for today.

**Don't forget to look at my Tour of Homes entry if you missed it yesterday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Tour of Homes

Welcome to my home! Merry Christmas! And thanks for caring enough about my decorations to check out my photos. If nothing else, these are proof that decorating can be done without a lot of cash-ola, fake fruit can work for ALL seasons, and red & green are NOT the only holiday colors.
I hope you enjoy my first ever Christmas Tour of Homes.

That's Addy's stocking down front. Yes, it is a lot bigger than ours. Yes, I bought my dog a stocking. Yes, Jeff thinks it is ridiculous.One of my favorite parts of our decorations: the tree topper. Jeff does this by hand very meticulously with my guiding from below; he is the best. Not to rag on the classic Star or Angel, but isn't this fun?!?!
If you are like my mom, you are thinking "Oranges? At Christmas?" Let me remind you of cloved oranges & the traditional "oranges in the stocking." See. I think about these things.
Haha. Remember this little guy?

That's all for now! Come back again!
(If you haven't already, be sure to check out the other great decorating ideas at The Nesting Place today! Guaranteed to help you waste MANY hours at work.)

*Photos courtesy of Howard Chen.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Public Humiliation (For Kathryn)

My sister and I honestly shouldn't be allowed to go out in public together, especially not when the situation calls for anything exercise or food related. Case in point: Two years ago we decided to book a joint session with a personal trainer at our gym. The trainer turned out to be very short (in stature) and a little ridiculous. Individually, I would have been very mature and polite to this man. BUT, Kathryn kept saying such absurd things that I spent most of the session laughing so hard I couldn't hold even two pounds. For example, she made him hold a pack of gum for her while she lifted weights and "reward" her after each rep with a new piece. (Really, who does that?) Anyway, we caused such a spectacle that for months afterwards we had to sneak in and out of the gym and avoid said trainer at all costs.

Ok. Flashforward. Yesterday. Weight Watchers meeting.

We already are outcasts in the group. Everyone else is close to double our age and take their weight loss very seriously. We, on the other hand, have lost a combined total of approximately 5 pounds in ten weeks. (Look, don't judge. We'll get serious after the holidays!) In addition to this obvious difference, Kathryn usually does work during the meetings and makes fun of me for nodding in agreement or trying to actually participate. Yesterday's meeting was one of the worst to date...
The topic was STRESS and our fearless leader asked us to identify things we can do to cope with stress besides food. People were saying very generic things like "go for a walk," "read a book," etc. etc. Then, I (very excitedly) yelled out "shopping!" Kathryn thought this was hilarious and preceded to make fun of me under her breath for the next five minutes. THEN, with no warning, she calls out "SEX." Yep. I died.
I did not stop laughing the rest of the meeting. Only my sister would say this in a public meeting with women old enough to be our mothers.

Next week we are going to try out a new meeting. Time to recreate ourselves. The topic is PERSEVERANCE, which also happens to be the word Kathryn has tattooed across her neck. I think she should tell everyone she put it there to keep herself from overeating. I'll let you know how that goes.

P.S. Don't tell Poppy we've only lost 5 pounds... He is very strict about our commitment to WW. Oh, and also don't tell him about Kathryn's tat. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shopping Extravaganza!

I think Jeff felt guilty after my last Anthropologie shopping post because this weekend he actually encouraged me to go hog wild. Woohoo!!! (See, my blog is serving a greater purpose than just random ramblings after all.)

This weekend, Jeff & I took a little mini-vacay to Richmond for his company Christmas party & a shopping extravaganza! If you have never been to Short Pump Mall in Richmond - I HIGHLY recommend it. It is a little bit like a dream! What made it even better is that I had saved up and got to do ALL my Christmas Shopping in one swoop. Translation: Although I was actually buying gifts we budgeted for, it felt like I was a true shopping queen, just whisking through stores like a professional, gleefully selecting gifts, and casually tossing my debit card around. This all sounds very glamorous, doesn't it? In fact, at one point, I had to call Jeff to literally come and "rescue" me, because I had so many bags that I couldn't move and I kept knocking over display items. (Nevermind that people were actually quite annoyed with me and I didn't look very "cute" at all.) When he and his bud John, finally came to dig me out of the consumerist pile in Pottery Barn, I was smiling like a pig in slop. Honestly, life doesn't get much better than a new Starbucks re-usable cup filled with coffee, a snowy afternoon, a gigantic mall, and two studs to carry around my bags and open doors for me. Just call me Jessica Simpson. (Hey, a girl can dream!)

In other news: I WON the table decorating contest!! Table #2!! (Check out all the pictures here.) **I don't want to gloat or anything; but, my table not only won, it was also the most homemade AND the most affordable! Even the creepy owl didn't keep me from winning!! Thanks for the votes all you fashionable friends!
Final Score:
1st Place - Me!! (Table #2 with 25 votes)
2nd Place - Peg (Table #1 with 21 votes)
3rd Place - Mom (Table #3 with 19 votes - It might have been the "woodland creatures," I'm just saying.)
Stay tuned next week for my decorating entry in a "Christmas Tour of Homes" on December 14th... I am trying to make a name for myself in the blog world. Haha.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Is it weird that Jeff and I have been training our dog to "speak" for the past two hours on a Friday night?

Maybe not. But, it probably IS weird that the "training" involved me also pretending to be a dog by sitting on my bottom with my two "paws" in front of me while Jeff yelled and tossed treats at me when I barked on command.

Whatever. Addy can speak now. It was worth it. Our dog is officially better than everyone else's.

Goodnight. (Or should I say "Ruff Ruff"?)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To the Rescue!

I officially broke up my first fight today.

I'll spare you all the gory details, but it definitely involved me risking my life by stepping between two giants and using my supernatural strength to pry them apart. I came out of it with only a few minor scrapes and two black eyes, but at least I protected my innocent students.

OK... Actually, two little 90 pounders were having a shoving/cussing match & I grabbed one by the hood of his sweatshirt and half-choked him as I drug him out of the classroom. I did, however, chase him (in my dress & boots) down the hall to the office to "write him up." (That part might have been more entertaining for the hallway crowd than the fight itself. Glad I could contribute.)

I'm feeling pretty heroic about right now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Addy's BFF

Meet Squeaky Toy.

This little dude is Addy's Best Friend Forever. If you have been to our house EVER, there is a 99% chance you have met Squeaky Toy. It goes everywhere with our beloved girl; and, because we support creepy addictions at our house, Jeff & I go right along with it. Our favorite game: hiding "Squeaky" in all sorts of odd places (including in the chandelier, as pictured) to drive Addy crazy.

A little history...

My "Secret Pal" at school gave me this hilarious toy last year right after Thanksgiving. (Thus the purpose of this post, we are celebrating Squeaky's first birthday!) I took one look at it, imagined my "champion chewer" pooch, and gave it two days to live. Little did I know the relationship that would ensue...

Addy is literally obsessed with this toy. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. Squeaky goes everywhere with her, all the while crying out an annoying high pitched squeal - either in joy or pain, the verdict is still unclear. This noise is just background music at our house, much to the dismay of many an unsuspecting house guest. Jeff & I have even adapted Squeaky for our benefit, typically using it to get Addy to do ANYTHING we want - i.e. pose for the above picture wearing antlers. :)

At night, Jeff places Squeaky in some tall location so that Addy cannot squeak during the night. Then, in the morning - before eating, peeing, passing go, or collecting 200 hundred dollars - Addy heads straight to her BFF. Many a morning I have found her standing beneath the mantel staring longingly at it, perhaps for hours. No lie.

Recently Squeaky died a sad death. Tso, Howard's dog, was jealous of it and decided to take out her aggression on something smaller than her. Luckily, I found an EXACT replica at Kroger. Addy was delighted and never knew the difference. (This is good practice for what we probably will have to do with a pet hampster or something one day!) We parents do whatever it takes to keep our kids quiet and happy.

Happy Birthday Squeaky, may you squeak on for many years to come!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Picture This

Last night, my friend Katie & I decided to go for a night walk around the neighborhood to catch up on some quality time & see the new Christmas light additions. I already looked like a 70 year old lady because I had on sweat pants with elastic bands at the ankles & tennis shoes. HOT. I also was wearing several layers of clothing & a real goofy hat. Not my finest moment.

THEN, Kathryn decided to join in on the fun. (I was literally shocked when we stopped by her house to say hi & she said she wanted to walk with us.) The kicker: Although she was wearing a trendy hat & UGGs, she was also carrying a full bag of Gardetto snack mix which she finished off while we walked.

Exercise at its finest. *Katie, thanks for not being embarrassed to be seen with us.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Club

A few months ago, I stepped out on a limb to pursue one of my dreams. I started a Book Club. Jeff thinks this is the funniest thing ever, and our friend Jake told me last night that I needed to apologize for the dorkiness of this every time until I'm 40, at which point things like "Book Clubs" become more socially acceptable. Luckily, I learned back in my high school newspaper editing days not to let a few jealous haters ruin my fun. :)

Last night, eleven wonderful girls from all different areas of my life came over to sit in my living room, have wine & cheese, and chat about a fantastic book. We had so much fun that I thought I'd include you all too. **If you are like my sister who RSVPed: "I hate reading and don't drink wine. I LOVE cheese, but that's not a big enough motivation to outweigh the other two" I'll forgive you if you think this post is boring. Just come back tomorrow when I move on to more ridiculous and funny things. :)

This month's book was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The story takes place in Mississippi in 1962 and centers around a 22 year old college graduate who is more or less an outcast among her high class "Junior League" friends because she isn't married yet. Anyway, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement across America, the main character decides to write a book anonymously telling the stories of some the black maids living and working for her friends' families. I can't really put it into words but it is BEAUTIFULLY written, and really opens your eyes to our past and even a little bit of our present. I HIGHLY recommend this book for your holiday reading.

Also, if you are feeling especially motivated, check out The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society too. This our December/January pick. Read up, and I'll post some notes from our discussion in mid January.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has already voted in our Table Decorating Contest. We've had over 50 votes and the race is CLOSE! (Thanks to a major comeback on my part today... whew.) I'll keep the poll up until Wednesday, so, if you haven't already, cast your vote now!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

TODAY: Table Queen 2009

It's finally here... Thanksgiving!! Hope each of you enjoy your day with family friends & remember all the things you have to be thankful for. I'm certainly thanking my God for all the blessings he has given me this year!

In the meantime, check out our table pictures for the decorating contest and PLEASE cast your vote on the RIGHT MARGIN.

Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hey folks,

As promised... tomorrow is, yes Thanksgiving, but also the 3rd Annual Table Decorating Contest at my house!!

This began as a "convenience" a few years ago when my mom and her BFF decided to say goodbye to stuffy Thanksgivings with the same family members they see every week and join together for more of a "Thanksgiving Party." However, since no one had matching dishes/flatware/etc. for groups of 20+, it was decided that each "hostess" would set & decorate her own table. The idea being that, at the end of the evening, each person would only have to take home and clean up dishes and linens for six-eight people instead. Being a newlywed that year and anxious for my first chance to use wedding china, I joined in.

Thus, a healthy competition was born.

If you came to my house right now you would find three gigantic plastic tables with hideous folding chairs overwhelming my usually "simple" decor. BUT, tonight at 7, we will begin the transformations. In years past Mom, Peggy, and I have taken photos of our tables and e-mailed them (without our names, obviously) to friends for a vote. This year, we will use the blog!!
So, in between parades, turkey, naps, and football.... please stop back by tomorrow to vote for the Table Queen 2009.

Love & Thanks to you ALL!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Am Thankful For...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Worst Nightmare!

This morning, while preparing to share the very exciting extra credit opportunity with my 1st period class, I made the mistake of saying: "I have some really good news for you..."

Then, without warning, a student yelled out: "You're pregnant!!"

Nope. Just chubby.

I said: "No... Not pregnant."

Another student: "You're getting a divorce!'

Nope.... And sad that that falls into the category of "good news" for you.

Just 5 points extra credit for turning in a picture of something demonstrating irony.

Monday with 15 year olds... Never a dull moment!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Things We Do

It is Saturday, & I am at school monitoring "Saturday School." It is a detention-type event targeting the real delinquents of the school. Lovely. We also offer something called "Second Chance Saturday" simultaneously.

SO... yesterday I invited (that's my nice/deceiving way of saying ASSIGNED) "Second Chance" to one of my students who has several missing assignments. I told him I would be working & could help him catch up. I also e-mailed his mom to make sure she was aware of the opportunity.
Her response?
I quote:

"I would love for him to be there, but Saturday's aren't good for us. Could you possibly give us a 'wake-up' call that morning?"

And thank you for staying at Holiday Inn.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Installing a Husband

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as: NASCAR 5.0, NFL 3.0 and BASEBALL 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?



First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2. Also, do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the jewelry and flowers applications.

However, remember that overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1. *Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck !
Tech Support

DISCLAIMER: (Because my friend JOE RICHMOND told me I've been too hard on Jeff lately.) I did not write this, my friend Steph sent it via e-mail forward this morning. My husband is wonderful. He has only gotten more wonderful since we got married. He DOES play a lot of video games, IS balding, and tends to stifle my shopping abilities; however, he is excellent with a vacuum, takes really good care of me, AND makes my life so much more fun! I like Husband 1.0 a lot more than Boyfriend 5.0. **P.S. I also really love my Mother-in-Law!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This is a rant, a plea for help.

For the last three weeks I have lost .4 lbs. at every Weight Watchers weigh-in. SO encouraging. THEN, this week I actually gained .4 lbs. Even better. This brings me to a whopping total loss of 1.8 lbs. in FIVE WEEKS "on plan."

Today I am so frustrated. What is wrong with me? Other people like food too - trust me, I go to these meetings. I see people; I hear what they say. But, I, have no self-control. Even paying $9.00 a week doesn't seem to do the trick, to stop me from a second helping of cake or a cheeseburger over a salad. I just don't know what it will take --- especially this time of year. It seems I am surrounded by delicious food and skinny friends. Ugg. **Even my sister has lost 5 lbs. now and, last night, won her first "5 Pound Loss" sticker. Oh how I coveted. A sticker. See what my life has come to?

Yesterday Poppy said, "Well, that's not worth it. You should quit." Awesome. Then again, at least I'm not GAINING... at least not more than I've lost. :)

So, my question today: Should I renew my membership at WW and keep on "trucking" for another 2 lbs. in a month, or should I just give up? And, if I do stick with it, what in the world can I do to get a grip on myself? I need help... really.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marriage Advice

Fact. Shopping with a man is a fun spoiler.

If anyone asks, I always say that money has been the hardest area of my marriage so far. Jeff is a financial planner. He is a budgeter. He is a saver. I am a shopper. I can't help it; it is in my genes. **Even my 78 year old Granny redecorates her living room once a year and has a new outfit for church every Sunday. I often tell Jeff that if we weren't married I'd have the cutest apartment and the best wardrobe in the world; AND, I'd be in credit-card debt up to my eyeballs. I mean, life's about choices, right?

Now, there has been improvement. Big improvement. I still shop, but I'm more of a clearance-rack,consignment store, TJ Maxx girl these days. However, I still "glow" when I'm shopping. I love it. And, after our very wise Pastor once told Jeff not to "stunt my creativity and passions," Jeff has learned to embrace and accept at least a good sale & a reasonable amount of shopping. So, life is pretty good...

...10 months out of the year. And then... it's the holiday season, which presents a new challenge. This weekend was no exception.

After Thursday night "shopping," which to Jeff only meant "browsing," at the Junior League Stocked Market, we were already off to a bad start. Then, Saturday we found ourselves with a glorious 30 minutes inside a huge mall in Charlotte. I'd like to give you a glimpse of our conversation:

Jeff: "Elizabeth, you literally light up when you walk into a mall. You are so excited? Do you love this? Are you so excited?"

Me: "Yes, this is a beautiful mall. I'm glad you recognize how happy this makes me. At least I can't do too much damage in 30 minutes - maybe just some Christmas shopping."

(2 minutes later in Anthropologie) *Jeff has been picking up items and dramatically gasping at their price. (VERY embarrassing.)

Me: "Oh, can I please buy these tropical bird plates for my Thanksgiving Table decorations? They are only 4 dollars each and I really love them."

Jeff: "They are plastic. And, they are ugly. Do you really want these?"

Me: "Yes, they are so cool. Besides, we need plastic plates - you know, for pizza and more 'casual' meals."

Jeff: "No. If I liked them, you could get them. But really, they are ugly. I know you want Anthropologie to be your style, but let's face it... it really isn't."

Me: "Let's leave. I'm over shopping. You take all the joy out of it."

(10 minutes later... After I have pouted all the way down the mall & through JCrew.)

Me: "Jeff, you really don't think about how what you say effects me. Anthropologie IS my style. How can you say it is not? Do you know how much I enjoy decorating? The plates were on sale. I don't understand why you have to be so negative about everything. I hate shopping with you."

***At this point, Jeff kindly apologized. (He knows what a passionate and very serious subject this is for me.) And then proceeded to take me through Pottery Barn to "get ideas." Later, he suggested we go back and get the plates... but I refused. (Truth be told, they really were a little weird for Thanksgiving. Tropical Birds on Plastic?)

Sunday night, my mom announced that she and my dad bought all new things to decorate her Thanksgiving table at Pottery Barn. See what I am up against?

Moral of the story: I bought new napkins and a centerpiece yesterday at TJ Maxx. It tends to work better for me to discuss purchases with my husband AFTER I have bought them.

Oh the hardships of married life! Haha!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Burnt Toast

This weekend, Jeff & I took a whirlwind trip with his family to Charlotte for a family friend's wedding. The wedding was beautiful and lots of fun --- the night even ended with Marshall & Freda gettin' it down in a dance club called "The Dirty Martini." Folks, it doesn't get much better than that.

Anyway, this was a Southern Baptist wedding with no drinking and no dancing; therefore, to fill the time, each member of the wedding party was given an opportunity to speak into the microphone and toast the couple. I don't think the maids and men were warned about this obligation because a lot of nervous giggling and inappropriate stories ensued. One woman even actually mentioned having her feet in STIRRUPS at one point... at a wedding!

Naturally, this got me thinking about wedding toasts. In the three and half years since we graduated, goodness knows Jeff & I have heard our fair share. *We've both even stumbled through our own blunders plenty a time - so no judgement here. BUT, the truth is, most toasts would really be better off written in a friendly letter later on. So, as a professional wedding guest, I offer:

Top Ten Things NOT To Do in a Wedding Toast:
1. Discuss reasons and/or examples of why you thought the couple would NEVER work.
2. Mention (repeatedly) how many times the bride/groom said they would NEVER marry said partner.
3. Giggle uncontrollably about nothing. Example: "There are SO many funny stories... (Giggle, Giggle, Giggle.)" (If you do plan to do this, at least TELL the funny story eventually.
4. Talk about previous boyfriends/girlfriends. (Obviously.)
5. Mention anything having to do with the bedroom, the bathroom, or the labor & delivery room.
6. Release well-kept secrets (like the couple already living together) to unassuming grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
7. Talk excessively about your wedding/wife/husband/etc. (This is not YOUR day, please.)
8. Thank the parents of the bride for the open bar --- really, just tacky.
9. ANYTHING that takes you past the five minute mark. (Avoid all powerpoint presentations and the like.)
10. Profess YOUR love for the bride or groom.

Let's keep this going... What would you suggest?

A few pictures from the weekend:
And... Just in case anyone is more interested in a wedding of their own than a wedding toast. Meet my single brother-in-law. Trust me, he has PLENTY of flaws... But he's a good guy all around. Contact me for more information.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fashion Frustration

This morning, because I was feeling especially put-togetherish, I decided to starch and iron my pants before work. Big mistake.

Apparently, I did something wrong because I have been sticking to chairs and making weird rubbing noises all day. At least my pants are pleated.

ALSO, I bought a cute, new, trendy outfit to wear to a party tonight ONLY to find out that, because of the torrential downpours, everyone is wearing jeans.

This is why I don't try.

P.S. How cute & funny are these?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Facebook Envy

Is it just me, or is Facebook ruining any one else's self-confidence and contentment?

I admit that I have a little bit of a Facebook obsession. I really like it - especially when people post pictures and/or funny status updates. However, I've started to realize that Facebook really makes me feel bad about myself. Why?

For starters, people only post beautiful pictures of themselves and feel totally comfortable tagging hideous ones of other people. I'm not really a photo poster, therefore, the pictures of me are ugly while everyone else seems to be getting skinnier, happier, and tanner with each day.

Second, rarely do people post things about every day "adventures" like working or going to class. Instead, it seems that all of my friends are travelling around the world, meeting celebrities, saving kittens, etc. etc. etc. Honestly, life appears to be exceptionally exciting for everyone BUT me.

Also, Facebook makes me become slightly stalkerish, and I feel left-out of things I would never even normally know about. Example: If a friend writes on another friend's wall about getting lunch, I am hurt that I wasn't invited. What is wrong with me, really?

Finally, FB just makes me want to have a baby THAT much more. (Preferably, one that I can dress up really cutely, take pictures of at all events/holidays, and write funny stories about.) Really, the things I am most envious of involve baking while my baby naps, or taking my pre-schooler to Story Time... Oh, one day...

Hmm... Could it be time for a social networking detox? Anyone with me?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

If you are a 15 year-old boy, or my husband and his friends, you know that today is a very special day: It is the release day for the video game 'Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.' If you are especially dedicated - like my 25 year-old husband & his friends - you went to Walmart at midnight last night. **This is probably the dorkiest thing I've ever heard of, but I try not to judge. Imagine if I tried to do this on the day JCrew released a new cardigan.

A little history is needed here...

Jeff's video gaming addiction began back in high school - an acceptable time to experiment with "hobbies," in my opinion. Through-out college his interest decreased -- a reasonable ebb -- and by the time we got married, we didn't even own a gaming system. (See how well I now know the lingo?)

THEN, on the eve of another one of these releases a little over two years ago, in the spirit of being a "cool" new wife, I accompanied my husband to Walmart late at night in a moment of frivolous passion to buy an Xbox 360. If only I had known what I was signing up for... (SIDE NOTE: This is probably the first and only frivilous purchase Jeff has ever made.)

In our small apartment, the video gaming began. We even set up a separate TV for his game so that it didn't have to dominate my life too. Then, one afternoon, in the name of re-decorating, I dropped the hunk of a television (I had to call Poppy to come over and help me pick it up again... You know you are desperate when you call a 91 year old for help lifting heavy objects). The TV was no more.

And so began a two year hiatus. During that time, we moved into a new house and I graciously offered Jeff a small upstairs closet with the broken TV and a beanbag to serve as his game room. I fondly referred to it as the "clubhouse," but Jeff didn't buy it. Xbox went untouched.

THEN... Howard lost his job. This might not sound like something that would effect our life too directly; but, trust me, it does. Howard had a lot of extra time on his hands and a spare flat screen just laying around; thus, the creation of the MAN CAVE. Just months ago Jeff & Howard set out to build some space for their ridiculous addictions in the basement. **This is really just an unfinished basement with one wall, a nice TV, and excellent surround sound. Whatever floats your boat.

Welcome to my life. There is nothing like decorating your upstairs and lighting a relaxing Pumpkin Spice candle with the sound of warfare echoing through the house. (Sigh.)

Hello 'Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2,'
Please make yourself at home in my basement (under no circumstances are you allowed upstairs). I know you will be having an affair with my husband for the next two to three weeks, but I expect to have him home safely by the holidays.
Thank you,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Contest

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