Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kathryn Goes to the Grammy's

It started as a simple night at my parents' watching music's biggest night of the year...

So they invited her in...

Just your typical night with my family and all the stars.

Snow Day (Again)

So... we got another 10+ inches of snow here in Virginia.


I'll be honest, snow is beautiful... but it really just isn't as fun when it happens on Friday night, cancels perfectly good weekend plans, and doesn't get us out of school.  It is funny to see everyone's Facebook messages etc.  As the second big snow of the season, this one definitely was not as welcome as the first.

Anyway, I'll try to look at the bright side.  Here are some things I've LOVED about the last two days.

My new boots.  I bought these right after Christmas and they have TOTALLY changed the way I feel about rainy/snowy weather.  They make my feet so happy!


Playing cards and drinking coffee with Jeff. (We might actually be 80 year olds stuck in 20-something bodies. I'm ok with that.)


Walking to the local movie theater with my sis to see a movie.  No photos of this because: a.) We were both wearing spandex, and b.) we already looked weird enough without taking pictures of ourselves.
*Side Note: Being the only ones at the theater definitely has its advantages - i.e. all you can eat popcorn, not having to silence my cell phone, and taking off my shoes to "stay awhile." - BUT, it is also a little creepy.  Kathryn might have mentioned more than once that she felt like we were going to be killed.

Addy's nose when it is covered in snow.  (Poor little thing... she is DYING to spend more time out there but we literally JUST got her groomed on Friday - notice her cute Valentine's "dress".  A few little "dips" is all she gets!)


On a different note, in a few hours I'm going to venture out and brave the roads to volunteer at the Junior League Bargain Bazaar (rescheduled from yesterday).  If you live in Roanoke and can get there safely, come shop our sale at Tanglewood Mall between 1:00 and 6:00PM today... There are sure to be some EXCELLENT deals on cute stuff and all proceeds go to a great cause!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Doppelgänger Week

No, this is not a vocabulary lesson.  Doppelgänger Week, rather, is an interesting Facebook "holiday" being celebrated this last week of January.  The basic idea is that people are supposed to post their "celebrity look-alike" photo in place of their FB profile pic (Click on the above link for more details).  In honor of this event, here are the "famous people" I've been told I look like.  Please, try not to be jealous.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (credit)

Lindsay Lohan in - ONLY - The Parent Trap (credit)

Peppermint Patty from Charlie Brown (credit)

Reese Witherspoon... (credit)
... Ok, maybe not.  But let's all just admit that I needed a little "ego booster" after those last three, which are all real by the way. What are people thinking when they tell me these things?!?

Who do you think I look like?

Who is your celebrity look alike?

In Style

This week at Kelly's Korner: Fashion Tips
You might recall from my Style Intervention post this summer that fashion is not my forte... This was, once again, confirmed yesterday when I checked out In Style Magazine's "Look Good at Any Age."  According to this, in my 20s I should be wearing sheer lace shorts.

But of course! I will be sure to rush out and purchase some of these this weekend... And while I'm at it, maybe someone is having a sale on Blake Lively's legs too. (Because I just said Blake Lively's legs I will probably get lots of blog hits today from perverts. FYI.)

The article also says to women in their 50s: "With age comes the authority to wear polished clothes that younger women often can't pull off, like pencil skirts and embellished button-down shirts."  Well, I wear skirts and blouses most days -- I'm glad to know that I really can't pull that off either, AND it will be another 25 years before I have that "authority." So far I'm 0 for 2. Welcome to my life.

The moral of this story? If you are into true Hollywood style, you should disregard any tips I might give. However, I think In Style would have done well to hire someone a little more "regular" - like, hmmm, me? - to write this article.  Until they realize that, my blog will have to do:

In your 20s...

  • Switch from ribbons to headbands.  On my 21st birthday, I bid farewell to my favorite colorful, satin, ponytail accessories.  This was a very sad day.  However, in the four years since then, I have begun a very passionate and satisfying affair with cute headbands.  I have not been disappointed.  For fear of becoming the old lady with the long gray ponytail and a gigantic bow, please, make this move now.

  • Invest in a pair of classic pearl earrings.  The bigger the better.  (And don't be afraid to wear these to work, play, the gym, the pool, etc.)  Jeff actually has to BEG me to take them out about once a week because they start to be a little smelly.  Oops.

  • Try skinny jeans.  Contrary to popular belief, skinny jeans are not JUST for skinny people.  Now, I'm not suggesting that you spray on your denim, but a well tailored "slim" fit is actually really flattering!  It sure looks better than cutting off my legs another five inches with a bell bottom! I recently bought a pair from Ann Taylor Loft and I plan to wear them until the inner thigh rips from too much rubbing.  (Does that only happen to me?)

  • Embrace tights and turtlenecks. These two items are a pale girl's best friends - literally!  I have become a great lover of fall & winter, mainly because I can layer everything with black tights and a black turtleneck.  Not only is this look slimming and work appropriate, but it also allows me to play with "trends" that I might not wear otherwise.  For example: try pairing a silky top or dress over a dark turtleneck.  I feel a lot more comfy in layers, but still like I am "going out"... Since I do this so much.
Yes, I did change into this outfit specifically so Jeff could take a picture.  But, I DID actually have it picked out to wear downtown last weekend when we ended up having to cancel.  And yes, I did change into sweats as soon as this "photo shoot" was over.  All in the name of honesty here... (P.S. If you have exceptionally negative feelings about this look, please let me know privately to spare me the humiliation of actually wearing it out... Husband, Mother, and Sister need not reply.)

Oh, and one note to the boys (because I know you are reading this too)...
  • Please wear an undershirt.  I can't stress this enough.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Leftovers

I wish I could tell you that I cook a nice dinner for Jeff and me every night.*    The truth, however, is that I usually cook once or twice a week, and then we eat some combination of leftovers + frozen/canned items the rest of the week.

Fact. I LOVE leftovers. 
Fact. I think most things - i.e. casseroles, spaghetti sauce, pizza - are even BETTER the second time around. 
Fact. I HATE having lots of "old" food in my refridgerator. (Exhibit A: The Indian Curry leftovers from last week... I had good intentions of fixing these for dinner, but then the stomach bug hit our house.  I won't go into details... but the Indian food just didn't seem so appetizing.)
Fact. I like sharing. I am very kind.

Fact. Jeff rarely gets to eat any of our leftovers because...

  1. I eat them for breakfast (even if they are clearly NOT breakfast foods... I probably dreamed about them all night. There is really nothing like cold enchiladas and a cup of coffee.)


  2. I eat them for an afternoon snack before he gets home from work. (And yes, 9 times out of 10, I still eat a regular sized dinner two hours later and PRAY that Jeff "forgot" about the leftovers.)


  3. I give them to my friends who can't cook for themselves --- usually because of laziness, rarely because of some actual physically disabling condition.


  4. I give them to my very old grandparents - who might go without a meal if I don't show up with two day old chili.

I didn't really realize that this was bothering Jeff, until last night when he expressed great disdain over these facts.  As I heated up leftovers of all sorts after our Bible study for a kitchen full of people, Jeff literally began panicking because the broccoli-chicken casserole was missing.  An outsider might have thought he had lost something of value like a wallet, family heirloom, or small child.  Who knew a casserole could evoke such emotions?  Apparently, he has had quite enough of my grandparents taking his well-deserved leftovers.

Fact. Jeff could stand to gain a few pounds. (Not that he isn't incredibly HOT already!)
Fact. He is perfectly content with taking those pounds from my poor frail Granny and Poppy.

*In this context, "me" is appropriate, because it comes in the predicate of the sentence. It seems that our education system has made most of us completely avoid the word "me" for fear of being corrected. I'd like to bring it back. That is all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is this bad?

Last night was one of those nights when Jeff and I were both scooting around town from one meeting to another and fast food just had to do for dinner. In the spirit of the new year, I decided to go through the Arby's drive-thru and order ONLY a market-fresh sandwich and a diet coke. 

In theory, this plan was good... BUT, the combo meal is just too good of a deal.  Basically, the fries are free, and I just couldn't pass them up.  So... sandwich, fries, and drink it was.



My good intentions lasted until I pulled into the parking lot for my meeting.  I finished my sandwich, ate a handful of fries, and headed in.  On my way, I made the very strong-willed decision to throw away the rest of my french fries.  I went inside feeling very proud and healthy.

Here's the catch.  On my way out the door, two hours later, the FIRST thing I thought of when I looked at the trash can was "I wonder if I can still get to my french fries?"

Is that bad?

(And, no, I didn't go in for the kill. Thankyouverymuch.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eavesdropping

Ok... A little something you might not know about me: I am an eavesdropper.  I LOVE to listen in on other people's conversations, and I am not ashamed of it.  *I am a good secret-keeper and a very trustworthy friend; but, if you are in a public place, and you are speaking loudly enough that I can hear you at another table/bench/etc.  I consider your conversation fair game... I like to think this is the "writer" in me.  Go with it.

Now that that is out of the way...
This Sunday was the perfect rainy afternoon, so after church and a plethora of meetings, Jeff and I took advantage of the opportunity to sit in our favorite coffee shop and consume excessive amounts of hot caffeine.  Little did I know when I settled down with my java and lesson plans, what a "show" I was in for two tables over.  (Cara, if you read this, I couldn't hear what you and your sis were talking about - no worries!)

In all my eavesdropping experience, I have never had someone make it SO easy for me to follow their discussion.  This woman - who, according to my calculations, was counseling a friend about a bad relationship and seeking advice on her own latest rendevous with a 43 year old man in Texas - literally laid out her entire life story in a tidy little timeline.  I learned ALL about her first marriage and divorce, raising three kids under the age of four, parenting teenagers, and adult-dating.  In fact, by the time she left, I had enough information that I could actually pull up pictures of her and her family on my Facebook account to show Jeff a slide-show as I summarized my "investigative findings."  It was glorious!! (Stalkerish, yes, but glorious all the same!)

Jeff, as you might have guessed, is VERY unsupportive of this hobby.  Personally, I think he is just jealous because his hearing isn't as good as mine and sometimes he can't follow what I am saying to him, much less another conversation; but, I digress.  Typically, I am quite good at managing basic small-talk with him while listening in on others (that's the magical teacher trait), but sometimes he does have to yell at me to stop craning my neck, staring, zoning out, etc.  I guess I can imagine how this would be embarrassing for him. Also, in his defense, sometimes I get entirely too wrapped up in the sagas around me.  For example, once, in a Chinese restaurant, I was CONVINCED that the couple in the booth behind us was breaking up.  I was very distraught all through dinner and even suggested that Jeff and I pray for them.  In the end, I realized they were simply discussing whether or not they should move to a house with no stairs as they aged.  I think I watch too much TV.

Anyway, I'm wondering... Does anyone else eavesdrop? If not, I highly recommend it. But, I do suggest you enlist a "monitor" - like Jeff is for me - to keep you from going too far.  (*Facebook stalking may be going too far, I admit.)  I'd LOVE to hear how your first attempts go!

And, to those skeptics out there that are judging me right now... Consider this a warning to you the next time  you share your deepest darkest secrets with only your closest friend at a public coffee shop.  Look, I'm just trying to help out greater mankind one piece of advice at a time. -E

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Glimpse into my Life

I interrupt my regular scheduled programming to draw your attention to the comments between my mother and sister on my "Jeggings" post here. (My mom is Julie and my sister is the "Anonymous" post.)

Also, Jeff asked me today when I got dressed if my jeans were jeggings.  Nope, just a little too tight. Awesome.

This is just a little glimpse into my life.  Hope you enjoy!

What Am I Thinking?

I went for a jog with Katie the other day and was able to run all of 4 MINUTES before nearly dying.

In response, I registered for the Ukrops 10K in Richmond in March.




That makes sense.

Positives:
  • I get to spend the weekend (my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY - 26 on the 26th) with one of my best friends' Lindsey who recently moved to VA, but I haven't visited yet.  AND, one of my other closest friends Liz, may be flying in to run with us.  (Liz, I REALLY want you to come, even though you have long legs, are a talented runner, and disgustingly seem to look cute even when you are sweating like crazy.)
  • I get to meet lots of local Clemson alumni and support my alma mater.  I will be running with the Tigers 10K Team as part of the Clemson Virginia Alumni Group.  I even get a new orange t-shirt - I haven't bought one of those since college!
  • Katie will "train me," which means I get to spend at least three days a week hanging out and chatting with her... even if we are doing something miserable (see Negatives).
  • I might (and I realize the odds are against me) actually get in shape and lose some weight training for this.  Let's all say an extra prayer for that one...
Negatives:
  • I have to start running.
Training plan starts February 1st and lasts 8 weeks - right up to the race on March 27th.  You know I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jeggings?

It is a 4 o'clock in the morning.  Jeff is sick again - this time with food poisoning, we think - so I am awake playing nurse and pondering important life questions... Like, for example...

What do you think about "Jeggings"?




They are really an interesting anomaly.  They LOOK like leggings, but they have a denim texture and are complete with butt pockets and a button/zip fly. 

Where do people come up with these things? You'd be surprised though... even my fashionista, "hips don't lie" sister LOVES the jeggings... And so does Paris Hilton - a very "normal" body-type, with very reasonable style. (Right?)



And, while we're at it, can we please talk about American Apparel advertising their jeggings as "unisex"?  Actually, on second thought, I'm not going to go there.



So... Yay or nay?  (And don't worry... I KNOW my booty couldn't handle these... This is a purely hypothetical poll.)

*All photos from www.blog.bevello.com.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tips from a Reformed Shopping Addict

It's finally Friday!!! If you are visiting from Kelly's Korner, thanks for stopping by!!  This week's "Show Us Your Life" topic is: SHOPPING... I mean, I didn't think she could hit any closer to my heart than diet and exercise, but SHE DID!  Kelly and I would totally be friends in real life!


First, you should know:
  • My husband is a money man.  He is into saving and investing.
  • I am a money woman.  I am into spending and shopping.  (Ugly, but so so true.  Read this post to hear more about this interesting partnership of styles.)

To cope with this "personality difference" - which, I should add, is legitimately good for me - I've developed a new little habit I'd like to share with you.  It is a modern technological twist on the classic "buy and return" strategy... I call it: "Shopping Bag Splurge."

Here's how it works:
Step 1: Go to favorite online shopping cite.  (i.e. JCrew, Anthropologie, ModCloth, etc.)

Step 2: Shop until fingers hurt (from clicking, of course).  *I put EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, that strikes my fancy in my digital shopping cart.  Money is NO object.  I feel like a princess -- a very well dressed princess.  (Believe it or not, this really does help me get my shopping "fix.")

Step 3: Make deal with self.  Example: "If said dress is still in my cart AND at least half price by pay-day, I will purchase." 

Now, here's the catch, most computer systems automatically update your "shopping bag" when items go on sale or out-of-stock.  VERY rarely does an item actually meet my price requirement for purchase AND remain in my shopping cart.  HOWEVER, at the end of the day, I feel satisfied and wise.  And, occassionally, I get a really cute item at a really great price.  :)

PLUS... The best thing about my "Shopping Bag Splurge"? No dressing rooms... So, no worries about skin shade (see second photo below -- can we say SPRAY TAN?), hip width, leg length, etc.

What's in my shopping bag now?




Both dresses are from ModCloth.com... I highly recommend it if, like me, you want an original "boutiquey" looking dress that cost more "TJ-Maxxish."  (Shoot... I'd already written this when I realized Kelly plugged ModCloth too... Oh well, it's just that good!)

Happy "Shopping!"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Invader and a Hero

On Sunday, an unwelcome guest invaded our home... His official name is Sin Us Infection, but I fondly call him "Darth Vader."  And worse, he seemed to take residence in my husband's head and leave me free to play nurse.  Miserable.

There is really not much worse than when Jeff gets sick.  For as wonderful and strong and manly as he is (and he really is), he becomes an instant 3-year-old when he doesn't feel well.  I knew things wouldn't be good when I woke up in a literal SEA of tissues, and Jeff's breathing was so loud and congested that I thought an airplane was landing in bed next to me.  Even Addy couldn't take it and had resorted to the hall to get her beauty rest.

Then, things got worse when Jeff felt "well enough" to call the cell phone company to sort out an issue, but proceeded to tell the lovely receptionist that he was "not feeling so great" and prove it by blowing his nose excessively into the receiver.  I can only imagine her reflections on the work day.

It was not pretty.

But then, the HERO arrived.  We'd tried DayQuil, Ginger Ale, hot rags, etc. etc. etc.  But, the real saving grace was Net E. Pot.



Have you seen these things?  I know it looks illegal, but I promise - it's not. 

Speaking of not pretty... it involves holding the spout of this little pot in one nostril, while you watch the warm water mixed with solution pour out the other nostril.  Gross.  And, the sound effects... Well, we won't go there.  (Kind of reminds me of the time my mom came after me with a turkey baster because someone told her salt water up the nose would cure stuffiness.  That's another post for another time... I'm still sorting through the emotional scars of that one!)

But the bottom line, it works!  By the next morning, Jeff was so much better... and ole "Darth" had moved on to someone else's home.

Speaking of home, I'm thinking of putting this beautiful white peicce of pottery on my bookshelves downstairs - what do you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ode to Coffee

On Tuesdays, one of my favorite blogs - Chatting at the Sky - asks readers to "unwrap" one of the simple things of life, to pay attention to the details, to notice the little, everyday things we take for granted.



This week, I'm unwrapping the sweet gift of a hot cup of coffee.  I mean, I honestly feel warm & cozy just thinking about it...

Like a good, old friend, coffee has seen me through years of early mornings spent reading and waking up in a silent house, afternoon heart-to-hearts, and late nights forcing myself to stay awake and be productive.  My coffee doesn't judge my morning breath, my mohawk morning bangs, or the dark circles that magically appear under my eyes after midnight.

Our first year of marriage, Jeff and I began a mandatory Saturday Morning Coffee ritual.  In our very busy schedules of work, Young Life, Small Group, etc. etc., we vowed to leave Saturday mornings free for coffee and catching up.  Now, that has become a valued treasure for both of us --- and we are constantly sneaking it in on other days of the week too!!

I used to say I'd never drink coffee... Then, I discovered flavored creamers (another very wonderful gift), a full-time job, and the reality all the "adults" in my life seemed to already know:
Coffee may give me energy, but also, peace - if just long enough for a sip - and really, who doesn't need a little more of both?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heavy Heart

This weekend left me with a heavy heart.

It was one of those weekends, where, in my little world of "important" things like weight loss and busyness, I realize how much suffering and sadness there really is out there.

On Saturday, I heard about a terrible fight between two childhood friends - both of which, I had met recently but did not know - that left one of them dead and the other in jail.  Then, yesterday, Jeff and I received a phone call about a friend from high school, who we hadn't seen in years, who took his own life.  And of course, there's all the suffering in Haiti right now. 

There are whole communities of people who don't want to wake up this morning, because life is SO hard... I still believe in the power of laughter and joy; but, sometimes, I need to learn how to really "mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15).

I'll leave you with these beautiful pictures of Jeff on a mission trip to Haiti a few years back.  Pray for THIS spirit to return to that land.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Brief History of My Even Briefer Diets

If you are here from Kelly's Korner - THANK YOU for stopping by!!!  Leave a comment or become a follower so that you can "Show Me YOUR Life" too. :)


I feel like I should start with a little warning... This may not be the most "encouraging" thing you've read all day. :)  The truth is, I'm a big believer that you have to really know your past, before you can fully change the future.  And, if nothing else, I've discovered that being able to laugh at myself is GOOD FOR ME - maybe even AS important as five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

So, with that in mind, I bring you...

"A Brief History of my Even Briefer Diets"
... I know "briefer" isn't really a word.

July 2003: After the dreaded "Freshman Fifteen" I joined Weight Watchers for the first time.  Two months in, I gained six pounds in one week, the woman told me she had "never seen anyone do that before," and I never went back.

April 2004: I trained for a 10K to mark it off my "Bucket List."  Didn't lose a dang pound, but felt good and looked better than I had since graduating from high school.

May 2004: Quit running.  Cold turkey.

August - December 2004: Lived in London.  Ate fried food at least once a day.  Lost weight from excessive walking.

January 2005: Continued eating fried food. Quit walking.  Gained weight. *Results typical.

January 2006: Graduated from college.  Moved home.  Allowed my mom to drag me to the gym in exchange for food and a place to sleep.

June 2007: Got married in a fitted strapless dress.  Felt really good.  (Could have used a spray tan, badly, but that's a whole other post.)

2007 - 2009: Started teaching.  Ate like I had Jeff's metabolism. Began ignoring my mom's phone calls. Joined Weight Watchers again.  Quit Weight Watchers again. 

September 2009: 21 Day "Skinny Bitch Detox."  Became "Bitch," not "Skinny."

October - December 2009: Went to one session with a trainer... Wasn't "hard enough" on me.  Quit trainer.  Started Weight Watchers... again. Tracked 2/7ths of the week.  Lost 3 pounds.

So, my advice... Don't beat yourself up.  Take a good look at your past and try to identify patterns.  (i.e. "I give up when I don't see results within, oh, 10 hours." OR "I look and feel best when I'm exercising.") And, be honest about your struggles and your goals.  Plus, it always helps to have a few loyal friends cheering you on.  (P.S. That's where YOU come in!)

My goal for this year... Heeding my own advice.  Getting healthy for ME.  And, allowing myself to laugh at the inevitable mess-ups and "relapses" along the way.


February 2010: Heart Shaped Bikini by Valentine's Day.  (Ok, maybe just a cute red dress in one size smaller... Baby steps.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Diets Schmiets

Tomorrow, I am participating in "Show Us Your Life" over at Kelly's Korner, an adorable blog that I immediately started stalking when I found it.  (I also added her daughter's name to my list of future baby ids... Harper = Adorable and Classy.)  Anyway, she is doing this fun thing where bloggers are asked to write on a certain topic about their lives every Friday.  This week's topic is -- none other than, DIETS and WEIGHT LOSS.  (Lucky for my readers, I am an expert at talking about these topics.) 

BUT FIRST, before I give any enlightening information, let me give you a glimpse into my reality:

Tuesday night we had a friend over for dinner.  After dinner, we began a discussion about New Year's diets.  The conversation between he and my husband went something like this:

Friend: "Have I told you about the new work-out plan I've started?  It's called the Call of Duty Exercise Plan."

Jeff: "Does it involve playing video games and eating chips?"

Friend: "Kind-of.  You know those 45 seconds in between games when the screen re-sets?  I get up and do push-ups and sit-ups then.  It is great.  I am so sore the next day, and I think it is working."

Jeff: "Awesome.  I'll start tomorrow."

See what I'm up against?!?! This wasn't any more help than reading in US Weekly that Holly Robinson Peete uses a "coffee enema" to lose weight. Gross!

Ha!  STAY TUNED for my post tomorrow... I promise to offer a little bit more help than this, PLUS, a healthy dose of ridiculousness. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One More Reason...

Why I need to give up drinking soda.

CNN reported Sunday that a study in MY TOWN found fecal matter in fountain drink machines at fast food restaurants.  Disgusting.  (Click here for the whole article.)



I mean, honestly, how many more reasons do I need?!?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Liar, Liar

... Pants on fire!

Seriously, my nose is growing.  (I'm pretty sure it is just a zit, but still.)

I'm having some serious convictions this week about my committment to my word.  I tell my students I'll have their papers graded tomorrow, and it takes five days.  I tell my mom I'll meet her at the gym, and I call to cancel.  I tell my friends I'll meet them late at a party, and I never show up.  I say I'll stick to a diet, and I last a week.

I need this sign --- adorable, and completely customizable at Dayspring-Danielson --- on my desk next to my planner. 

The deal is: I don't have to say "Yes" to everything... I just need to DO what I SAY I will do.  I don't know why this has gotten so hard. 

I'm committing... TODAY... to be a woman of my word. Wish me luck!  (This means I have to go to Body Combat tomorrow - no excuses!  Miserable.)

Bad Teacher!

[with respectful apologies to Jana Mathews at The Meanest Mom]

Long after the final bell, when everyone has cleared the hallways, I crawl under my desk and plot evil ways to destroy my students.  I change all of my due-dates to one week earlier and re-write tests to ENSURE that NOTHING we have actually studied is on them.

I do this because I want to ruin their futures and make myself look better by having a class full of failures.

While I'm at it, I usually break into their lockers and steal all of their notebooks and writing utensils.  I also violently shred the projects they have been working on for weeks and pour soda deep into their backpacks until their textbooks are illegible. 

When I have time, I use a sledge hammer to detonate their computer hard drives and randomly delete all their "Very Important Documents."  And when I'm super bored after my work day ends, I stay up all night doodling with a red pen on their homework and callling parents to BEG them to disconnect their Play Station or cell phone.  If all that still doesn't CRUSH their hopes and dreams, I wait until the next morning when I see them in class and then hypnotize them all so they fall fast asleep and miss all my instruction.

I am a fun stealer and a torturer of all young people.

Or so my students believe.

*******
It's exam week here... The most wonderful time of the year!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just your average Sunday afternoon...

Spent playing dress-up...




...with a dog and a 91 year old man.

No big deal!

(And, in case you were wondering, Poppy does NOT normally wear his hair like that - that beauty is my handiwork.  But, he DOES normally wear that ski mask.  Creepy?)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Anxiety

I suffer from anxiety about a lot of things, but this is new.

Thanks to the current "chain message" going around Face Book (see below,) I am now suffering from a rare disorder known as:

Bra Anxiety.

Some fun is going on.... just write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY girls no men .... It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color in their status.  (This came directly from my FB inbox about two days ago.  I thought it might clarify for some of you non social-network addicted friends.)

Are people really wearing zebra-print, polka-dotted, rainbow-striped bras all the time?  With t-shirts? To work? What ELSE are you people wearing?!? What about when you wear a white blouse?  Or a light -colored turtleneck?  Am I the only one that wears these things?  I mean, I understand a little kink once-in-awhile, but every day?  Wouldn't you rather invest your money in something a few more people see - like a really cute dress?  I honestly thought this was only in the movies... and maybe my sister!

I wear boring "nude" every day.  I never thought this was a big deal - after all, it is the most practical shade - that is, until NOW.  I can't even bring myself to write it in my status even though I obviously support Breast Cancer Awareness.  I would try wearing something more exciting tomorrow... but those options include black (for when I am feeling especially wild) or more nude.  I am so vanilla.

What if my husband reads these status posts and catches on that he is missing out?!

Can anyone relate?  Please someone be able to relate!

Baby Names

No, I am not having a baby.  (At least not right now or any time in the next 9 months.)

I did, however, have an interesting discussion with one of my classes yesterday about creative baby names.  It started because a student was presenting a project on Tiger Woods (we won't go into all his drama here), which led me to announce that I hope to name a child 'Bear' one day. 

Bear Chapman.

Now, THAT, is a cute & cuddly name.  A hot-boy name. A MAN's MAN name.

What do you think?

A few other goodies that came up in our discussion: 
Note: These are actual names of people I "know."
  • London Email -- The mother thought of this because her friend "emailed" her a list of  potential names
  • Mary Magdelene Moses
  • Precious Snow White
  • La-a (pronounced La-dash-a)
  • Marijuana.  (As in... "Press 1 for Janice, Press 2 for Marijuana.")
And the very best...
  • Apurv.  Just imagine it: "Hi, I'm Apurv." Poor kid.
Kind-of makes 'Bear' sound normal, huh? Which, by the way, I'm really sincere about. Feel free to put in a good word with Jeff if you like it!

What are some interesting names you've run into?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Members Only

My name is Elizabeth and I like to join clubs.

In pre-school, I was part of a very exclusive club where we only wore skirts and dresses and chased boys on the playground.

In elementary school, I was obsessed with The Babysitters Club, even naming all of our pets after the characters and secretly HOPING I'd get diabetes so I could be like Stacey - the prettiest one.

Middle School, High School, and College are literally a BLUR of clubs.

Now, I'm in a Book Club, a Weight Loss Club (or seven), the Junior League (which is also a CLUB), etc. etc.

And... my newest club...

The Frosty Club.

Nope, it has nothing to do with cold weather.  It is a club dedicated entirely to fast food consumption...

Jeff came home last night with a "treat" for me.  He said it was to support my latest resolution and efforts (i.e. Operation Spandex & Boots).  Ha!

The "treat" involves a free Frosty EVERY time I visit a Wendy's in Southwest Virginia.  He even had a very cute Frosty-shaped scanner tag for my key-chain, which even I have too much pride to actually carry.


I told him I wouldn't join, but who am I kidding? I've been waiting for this all my life...


I couldn't resist this photo... It is just TOO appropriate.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Motivation?

Last night I watched The Biggest Loser next to a man in a spandex leotard on the Stair Stepper.  I'm not sure which was more motivating - 500 pound people working harder than me at the gym and losing 30 pounds in a week, or a man confident enough to bare his ENTIRE body to me at the gym.  Hmm...

Note to Self: No matter how fit you are, spandex leotards are a no go.

Edited to Add: I have NOTHING against spandex itself, in fact, I hope to be wearing a lot more of it myself in the  new year.  (See my Goals for 2010.)  It is the spandex LEOTARD that I have a problem with... If it comes above the waist & is only one peice, you should avoid it at all costs.  Thanks!  *This is especially for my friend Lindsey in response to her post "Announcement" - No, she's not pregnant. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Outside Looking In


I WISH this is what you saw when you look in my house.  (Photo courtesy of RealSimple.com)

This morning, as I was downstairs getting my coffee, I could hear Jeff laughing in the bathroom - never a good sign.  It turns out he was watching our next door neighbors use their Wii Fit for a little morning aerobics in their living room, and it was pretty funny.

I know we sound like two creepers, but it is the reality of living in the city.  Jeff wasn't planning to witness their morning exercises; but the way our windows line up, we may as well be living together!

So I started thinking... I wonder what our life looks like from the outside looking in? On any random night (or at 7 o'clock in the morning as the case may have it), what might our little life look like through our window panes?

Here's what I came up with:

Well-lit.  One can always tell when I am home because there are only carefully selected lamps on.  If the house is pitch black or - worse - glowing from the hideous overhead light in the front room, Jeff is probably the only one home.

Studious. Our laptops sit right in the front foyer area looking out the two main windows of our house.  Sometimes I like to imagine evening passerbyers noting me "burning the midnight oil" on my laptop and assuming I am working on some very important document.  The reality, of course, is that I'm probably just mindlessly surfing Facebook... But, that is the joy of the window pane delusion.

Crazy. "Hide and Seek" and "Tag" with a dog. Need I say more?

Busy.  (Or, as some may call it... Suspicious.) We have a lot of people at our house, a LOT of the time.  We love it this way... but it probably looks a little odd from the outside.  For example, just yesterday I discovered Howard in our basement at 6:30 AM lifting weights. (I might add that I actually did think he was a burglar and armed myself with Addy the fighting Golden Retreiver before sneaking down in my fuzzy polka-dot robe.)  We also, fairly frequently, have randoms in our guest room or a friend asleep on the couch.  And even, occassionally, a visitor in our bathtub.  (See here for that story!)

In conclusion, if nothing else, I hope this was a friendly reminder to close your blinds!

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Delays and Closings"

I realize that most people in "grown-up" jobs don't get two weeks off in a row EVER, so I shouldn't complain.  But honestly, as I prepared to go back to school last night, I was really dead set on a two-hour delay for COLD WEATHER this morning.  I mean really, where do I think I live? Antarctica?

Before bed, I made sure to lay out my clothes for the morning and pack my lunch, because it is bad luck to "plan" on a delay or closing.  But, deep down, I was counting on yet another morning to sleep in and drink coffee by the fire with Jeff & Addy.  So much so, that I hardly slept a wink waiting for the my phone to beep with the "magical" automated message from the school system.  I even woke up at 4:00AM to crawl downstairs and check the school website JUST IN CASE my cell phone wasn't working. What is wrong with me?

All the world really should run like a school system, if you ask me.  I remember the first year both Jeff and I had "real" jobs and it snowed.  My school, of course, was closed, so Jeff just assumed his office would be too.  Afterall, who thinks about digital floor mats when it is icy outside?! Anyway, around noon, as we sat in our pjs watching a movie, his boss called to make sure he was ok because everyone else was at work, on time.  Oops.  The work force is boring and unfun...

In case you are wondering, we did not have a delay today.  I was drudging in to school with all my bags and graded papers with the sun this morning.  The building was FREEZING.  And, the kids were wild.  I guess I wasn't the only one who wasn't ready for today's reality check.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

TV Junkie!!

I think, despite my greatest efforts, my real New Year's Resolution is to watch more TV. Is that bad?  Isn't it kind-of like committing to drinking more, eating more, or cussing more in 2010? You don't hear those resolutions much, do you?

My house is set up to make TV watching as undesirable as possible.  To begin with, we don't have cable.  This was something Jeff "gave up" for us one day on a whim last year.  We did not discuss it.  Then, we got one of those digital converter boxes that the government was giving out --- I'm not sure, but I think they were kind-of like "entertainment welfare," and we jumped right on that bandwagon.  Anyway, when Jeff set up the man cave this summer, he messed up the wires and now we get only ONE fuzzy channel on our main TV.  Thus, our current situation forces me to sit in the dirty, freezing, basement every time I want to "relax" and watch a show.

But, fear not, I will not let these inconveniences deter me from my goal.

Here are the three shows I am committing to --- beginning RIGHT NOW.

1. Brothers & Sisters (ABC - Sunday 10PM) -- I LOVE Calista Flockhart... even if she really doesn't eat.

2. The Bachelor (ABC - Monday 8PM) -- This, and my love of Taylor Swift & Miley Cyrus music, are my guilty pleasures.

3. The Biggest Loser (NBC - Tuesday 8PM) -- Which, for the record, I DO plan on watching this from the treadmill at the gym... VERY motivating!

**All three of these shows premiere this week... so if my blog posts suffer, please understand.

What are you watching this year?  I'm always up for a good challenge!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2010 friends!

It is hard to believe it has been a DECADE since Y2K.   I remember that New Year's Eve well... I was a sophomore in high school, I wore a hideous pink sparkly top, & Jeff kissed another girl at midnight - I was heartbroken.  (In his defense, he really didn't know how much I loved him.)  My how things can change in ten years!  :)

I LOVE the start of a new year... everything seems so fresh and "clean slate."  I'm trying to stay away from resolutions this year because I'm not good at them... but I do hope 2010 will be a year that I spend caring for myself physically, mentally, and spiritually! 

I'm having a "clean out" for the new year today... I'll be attacking closets all day.  Already the house feels so empty with the Christmas decorations down.  Only three days until I'm back to the grind.  Ten bean soup tonight - gotta get in my traditional black-eyed peas (and sneak them in so Jeff will eat them too) for good luck.

Have a wonderful, fresh, new day!


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