Monday, December 22, 2008

Elf Yourself

The Hathaway's sent one of them to us last year and the Davis' sent one this year. I had forgotten how great this is... enjoy the video!

Traci Rowe

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I need a new planner

Its almost 2009 and my current calendar runs out on Jan. 5th. I am kind of freaking out inside because I can't write down anything for after that yet. Its hard to check my email, its hard to think past what I have written down... I hope I get one for Christmas, but I don't know if I can take 5 more days of scheduling ambiguity.

I know, I know, I have issues, but don't we all?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are you ready for Christmas?

This morning in my aerobics class I got asked 3 different times if I was "ready" for Christmas? I'm not really sure how to answer that question... what is being asked? Do I have all my shopping done? Am I packed for my journey to VA? Am I emotionally ready to be around my family? Have I baked enough food?

Or could it be... am I ready to consider Christ entering into the world? Jason posted this video on his blog this morning too... I'm stealing it from him. It kind of puts into perspective...

This Saturday night Matt and I are going to spend time with my in-laws making christmas gifts instead of exchanging them. I'm excited about that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Taxing Sugary Drinks

I just read this article from CNN that discusses how the Governor of NY would like to impose a tax on soft drinks and juice drinks with less than 70% juice.

I kind of like the idea because I do agree that childhood obesity is something to have concern about, but I wonder if you can take taxing things like this too far... is there a slippery slope of taxing things that are unhealthy? or is this similar to extra taxes on cigarettes that have lessened the amount of smoking?

I also wonder if this would mean that would tax diet sodas or sweet tea (maybe they don't have sweet tea in NY?)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Requesting Advice

I really like to cook, especially for special occasions or when I know others are going to be enjoying my concoctions. Recently I have had several opportunities to do this. On Sunday afternoon I made spiced peanuts for the Smith's Christmas gathering. The process went like this...
  • Roast peanuts on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile boil water, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Pour roasted peanuts into spice mixture
  • Spread coated peanuts on wax paper until dry.
This went fairly well, although they stuck together more than I thought they would. The only problem I had was that a few of the peanuts went underneath the eye of the stove when I was pouring them into the spice mixture... this is not good.

Last night, I made dinner for Jason and Diana, I was boiling some water on the same eye and one of the peanuts caught on fire. Flames shortly started to rise up the side of my really nice pot. I had no idea what to do... I called Matt, um... honey, I kinda started a fire... he was able to be patient with me... "What?"...

I asked him what to do, he didn't really have a response except for, how big is the fire?

Thankfully, the flames subsided once the peanut was thoroughly burnt to a crisp. So I didn't have to save our precious house from flames (Secretly I wouldn't mind if our house burnt down).

But, my question is, if the flames didn't go out by themselves, how would you recommend I put the fire out?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nofo adventures

Today was probably one of the busiest days that I have worked in a long time. It was a little hectic, but over all everyone did a great job. Rigo and Reggie rocked it out in the kitchen. I was so thankful they did such a great job. 

But, that is not what is sticking out in my mind. As the hours were winding down a young man (probably early 30's) came up to the bar and explained that he had eaten there this weekend and exchanged "glances" with a girl who was eating with her friends. They did not speak to each other, but he was wondering if I could get me her name via our credit card receipts... he knew the exact time she would have been eating and which table she sat at... 

I said "No." First of all, that is creepy. I guess if the girl was making eyes at him she would have been flattered that he wanted her digits... but no... it just seemed stalker-ish to me. 

Second, we might have been able to go back through our weekend records, but it would have taken at least 30 minutes and I was tired and not quite even sure how I would do that. 

Anyways, what do you think? Is that sweet or creepy?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Do you have any Christmas Traditions that are meaningful to you?

Last year we started one with my in-laws... a Christmas "hike" through the back woods of Holly Springs. It was a fun adventure. I will miss doing that this year as we are on my side of the family rotation.

My family has quite a few traditions...
  • Opening one present on Christmas Eve, usually just before we go to the Christmas Eve candle light service at church.
  • Wait until everyone is up in the morning to open gifts, stockings are our favorite part.
  • Summer sausage was a staple for breakfast (Dad, can we get that this year?)
A few years ago my parents started doing "Happy Birthday Jesus" presents. They will give to some organization or help support people that we (the recipients) believe advances the Kingdom. I love that! Although, I'm usually not that great at telling them where I want the gift to go. I'm starting to dream about it more this year.

How would you like to wish Jesus a happy birthday?

He knows what we need

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

At the Y on the check in desk down stairs there is a large jar full of bible verses, free for anyone to take with them. Sometimes I pick them up when I am leaving or just before my work out, and other times I pass by. This morning I said a quick prayer before reaching in...

Lord please speak to me with something!

He did. The verse above is exactly what I need to cling to. Whenever things with my health and plans for my life don't go as I think they should, how I think they would go if God wasn't extremely mad at me for something that I have done in the past I struggle with extreme guilt and feeling like I am being punished.

The truth is, God doesn't work like that. He forgives, he loves, and he is with me now, even when things don't go according to my plan...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Need Help finding Christmas Gifts?

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She still lives in the same area, but instead of selling her body she sells Freeset Bags. Now she has choices, the choice to work decent hours for decent pay, to reestablish her dignity in her community and to learn to read and write. Now her daughter won’t stand in the street selling her body like her mother used to. Freedom has been passed on to the next generation.

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Friday, December 5, 2008


I just read one of my friend's blogs and he linked to this website. You can enter your annual income and it will compare you with the rest of the world. It kinda helps to put things in perspective. 

Pampered for a day

I hesitated for a short moment to write this post because I am enjoying something so wonderful when many others are facing hardships and tough times; but, I quickly realized that enjoying my life and sharing the things that I do NOT take for-granted might express my gratitude and bring a smile to your face. 

Matt works for an awesome company that is having their Christmas Party this year at the Grandover Resort in Greensborro, NC. He had to come up early this morning to work for the day, and so that means that I get to play in the Spa. I love my life! 

10AM: Deep tissue massage by Elka. It was fabulous :) So relaxing and invigorating. 
11AM: Cucumber mint pedicure by Stephanie. If you have seen my feet, you know how much I needed this one. 

Then up to my room where I am still sitting in an oversized bathrobe, enjoying a Chicken Salad Croissant and doing a little bit of work. 

A few Side Notes: 
  • Matt and I came about 2 years ago for my birthday and got hot stone massages. I wasn't thrilled with my massage because I like to get a pretty deep one, so this time I made sure to tell her what I wanted. It worked! So, if you ever go to get a massage I greatly suggest voicing your opinions about what you like and don't like. 
  • Every time I eat a croissant I think, "this is delicious", buttery, flaky, light, the texture is just perfect:) 
  • I have this really bad habit of picking at my feet. I'm sorry for any of you have noticed me doing this! I am going to try to stop and hope this pedicure is the first step to curing my bad habit and cracking heels. 
  • It used to be hard for me enjoy days like this... I should be doing something more "productive"... but, I am realizing that enjoying each moment, soaking in the beauty, cherishing the little frills all around me, taking time to pray, read, and rest is a gift from God.
Thank you God for blessing me so immensely today. Help me to cherish these moments with you and to see them for what they are, a gift, nothing to feel guilty about, something to enjoy. Help me to extend these gifts to other people with your spirit of love and humility. Amen

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Musing on the The Shack

Over thanksgiving my grandma handed me the book, The Shack. You may or may not have heard of it before, but I highly recommend it. Before reading it multiple friends had recommended it to me and said that it deeply affected their perspective on the world and on God. I try to stay away from best selling Christian books for the most part... not quite sure why... I think I just don't want to jump on the bandwagon of contemporary Christian thought sometimes...

Anyways, for those of you who haven't heard of this book, it is a book written about a man (real person) and his journey through The Great Sadness towards a healing relationship with God. Its a gut wrencher for the non emotional person.

Some personal take aways:
  • God is fond of each one of us... Question: Do you really believe that? I think I am still in the process of learning this. I want to believe it and over time am uncovering layers of internalizing this. As I dwell on that, my desire for acceptance and need to perform and compete diminishes... so cool how light drowns out darkness!
  • The mysterious idea of the trinity is personified in a way that spoke to my heart. I have always had questions about it, but just accepted that God is bigger than me and there are things that I just won't understand. But, the way this book describes the unity and diversity of God in relationship with herself is compelling. Its like there is no room for oppression, at all, that is how he created us.
  • If you have questions about where God is when bad stuff happens or why there is so much crappyness in our world this books sheds some insight into that as well, I won't spoil it for you.
  • Pursuing freedom from the internal battles of our hearts is worth every difficult feeling that we will face in getting there.
There is so much more... if you have some time over the Holidays it would be a great read. Let me know what you think!