Tuesday, June 30, 2009


*disclaimer: all photos in this post were taken in my poor college/no digi camera days, so please pardon the awful quality!*

When I look back at it, a lot of my life seems to have been spent in line.

Take today for example. I had to wait to leave the house because an ambulance was blocking my car as they checked on the ill son of my next door neighbor (not that I was complaining. I read some of your blogs as I waited for them to be done. And he's ok. I think.). Once I was out on the road, I waited in line at Starbucks, the emissions testing center, and finally the county clerk branch so that my car will be legally driven. I don't normally wait until the last possible moment, but with money so tight this year I did. The lines weren't nearly as bad as I had imagined they would be! And I had the foresight to bring my laptop so that I could get a little offline work done as I waited in the car.

It did get me to thinking though. Which is always dangerous, right?

The longest line I have ever been in was this one:

We were told by our tour guide that we were lucky we were there on a weekday. Weekend traffic was even more. Oh, and that line? Stretched out to nearly double that on the other side of the wall. I don't remember how many hours we actually spent in the line. But I'll never forget the treasures at the end of it.

La Pieta
The Last JudgementCreation

Singing @ St Peter's Square
(I'm nearly smack in the middle with a huge black bag draped in front of me)

Vatican City was amazing. I wasn't even as interested in Catholicism then as I am now, and still part of my heart resonated with every step through this historical and reverant place. I remember stopping at the gift shop because I wanted to buy a rosary. My Nazarene buddies on the trip thought I was a little nuts (what else is new!) but I chose a beautiful one made of crushed rose petals. 7 years later I can still smell the faint hint of rose when I pick it up and run my fingers over it.

Knowing what I know now, I'd love to someday go back, but as many things are it's on my "waiting" list.

There are a lot of things there.

My career path, marriage, children, travel, new homes, a hybrid vehicle, being able to volunteer, etc. And there are times I get impatient and wonder what in the world I'm doing still waiting. It's at those times I'm reminded of simple truths that God's timing is everything and He really does know what He's doing.

If I hadn't waited on his timing I would have never moved to Nashville
If I hadn't been fired I would have never realized His provision
If I hadn't completely put my love life in His hands I would have never dated again

So I wait...and I've learned to be content even though every part of my impatient self screams to hurry up...I wait.

And it's here I've found Him, more so than any other time.


Dear Starbucks,

I realize that today may have been punishment for leaving my reusable cup at home, but just in case it wasn't, let me just ask that next time I order an iced coffee I am given a lid and straw that are meant to be together. The ones you handed me today seemed to be mortal enemies. I should not have to sit in your parking lot for 3 minutes attempting to jam the straw in while approximately 1/8 of the coffee leaks out of the lid. After that fails and I sit at the stoplight trying yet again, I am hardly pleased when a hole somehow gets poked in the straw. Finally, after successfully getting the straw in the dang hole I don't necessarily love the fact that the straw doesn't exactly work because
a. it's all bent from the aforementioned attempts to place it where it belongs
b. the bottom of said straw is contorted into a diameter a fraction of the size it should be
c. there are teeny tiny holes in the straw from the lid protesting it's entry into the cup.

I've learned my lesson.

I shall always bring my reusable iced coffee cup.

Your loyal customer anyway,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sleuths? I need your help!

I just watched Sunday night's episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and the end featured a gorgeous, ethereal version of "Nearer My God to Thee".

I must have it. I've found a youtube video that shows the scene it was played in...the song starts at about a minute 30 seconds in. Anyone who can find it gets a prize. Seriously. I want it THAT badly :0)

I've tried googling and have just found lots of people with the same quest. So help!



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recipe of the Week -- Chicken Stroganoff

Although I don't much feel like standing over a stove during the summer months, some meals are just worth it. This being one of them. I was looking for a slightly more healthy version of beef stroganoff, and as usual I combined about 3 recipes to come up with my own. Enjoy!

Chicken Stroganoff

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons whiskey (Gentleman Jack here)
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 cups hot cooked egg noodles (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta) -- I used Trader Joe's tri-color egg noodle ribbons

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Spoon mixture into a large bowl.

Combine 1/4 cup flour and paprika in a shallow dish. Cut each chicken breast half in half lengthwise; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Dredge chicken strips in flour mixture; shake off the excess flour mixture. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sauté 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Add chicken to mushroom mixture.

Remove pan from heat. Add broth and whiskey to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low and place pan back on burner. Place sour cream in a small bowl; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Stir with a whisk until combined. Stir sour cream mixture and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt into broth mixture. Stir in chicken mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add noodles; stir well to combine.


Monday, June 22, 2009


Emi thinks Anthony belongs to her, much because of this!

high school friends reunite--from left: Melissa and her fiancee Steven, Angie and her boyfriend Brian, and A and me

Last weekend Anthony and I went to my hometown to (gulp) stay with mom and dad overnight. The real purpose of this was to go to my 10 year high school reunion. Which was odd, fun, weird, and great all rolled up into one.
we stole a kiss when we visited my old high school

on mom and dad's front porch after church

Now, my parents aren't the most warm fuzzy people on the planet. Quite the opposite actually. So, bless Anthony, he was a real trooper through the uncomfortable silences and backhanded insults delivered at the hand of dad.

Sunday afternoon we escaped.

I've spoken some about my eating disorder history, but I don't think I've ever mentioned here that my school nurse in high school was much more than your average school nurse. She literally became my therapist, doctor, nutritionist...and friend.

My first real interaction with Dotty was when she called me into her office as a high school freshman and said "I noticed by your weight chart that you've lost xx pounds since this time last year."

I was in denial. I was sullen. I informed her there was nothing wrong. She informed me that there was, and that she would be weighing me weekly from then on out.

I was pissed.

HATED it. Didn't much care for her either. I was not very nice for the 3 months or so this went on. And then on one of my visits she said words I did NOT want to hear...but desperately needed:

"If you lose even one pound between now and next week I'm calling your parents."

I lost 3.

She called them. Long story short, nothing happened. They were also in denial, not wanting to think that their "perfect" daughter would ever have something so foul as an eating disorder. My father at one point over the next 24 hours said to me "you should probably eat more."

That was it.

And a huge part of me was relieved, but my spirit was crushed. To this day I don't feel like I can trust my parents, and to this day they do not know how deep my struggle was in high school and how it resurfaced and I ended up much worse off than I was *during* high school.

I continued losing weight until I was at a truly alarming and dangerous point. And something within me became terrified. I didn't know how to fix it, but I knew I had to. Slowly but surely I read articles on nutrition and tried to introduce more calories into my diet. And I prayed. A lot. By the time I entered my sophomore year I was at least up to triple digits again.

I still remember dropping a note by Dotty's office on my way in to school one spring morning asking if I could come to talk to her. Nearly a year after the awful scene when she told me "I won't weigh you anymore but I'm calling home today" I was called to her office, this time at my initiation. She closed the door and just looked at me, and it all came spilling out. That I was so sorry I'd been awful to her last year, that I really had been sick, that I had gotten scared and with God's help I was trying to beat it. I'll never forget the look on her face when she asked me how it had gone after she had called and spoken to dad and I told her nothing had happened. Before I left her office that day she wrapped her arms around me and for one of the first times I felt like I had an ally in all of this.

She retired that year. We kept in touch somewhat, but it was hard. My parents did NOT like our newfound relationship, and they certainly didn't understand *why* I wanted to talk to her...and I know they were threatened. She came to my graduation party when I left high school (at a healthy weight!) and we kept in touch all throughout college. And I still call her every month or two, write letters, etc. She was one of the only people I told when everything resurfaced. I was cleaning out my office right before Anthony and I left for Indiana and saw a card she had written to me right after she found out I was struggling again. And I immediately picked up the phone and called her...and asked if I could bring Anthony by to meet her while we were in town. She said absolutely.

So Sunday afternoon I took Anthony to my first house growing up (which is just a shell since it burned down a few years after we had moved), my grandmother's old house (which has been trashed by the new occupants :() and to the cemetary to visit Grandma too. And then we made a drive down a country road to see Dotty and Luther at their farm.

We literally sat with them for an hour and a half just talking and enjoying their company. They did all the things that "parents" should do when meeting the boyfriend--they were interested in A, asked him questions and were genuine in their response. Being with them for the two hours we spent at their place was SO therapeutic and healing for me. It had been years since I had actually been able to visit with Dotty, so this was an amazing gift...and to be able to share Anthony was just gravy :)

That's right...I said 2 hours. Because once we stepped outside to get back into the car we found out that 2 of their cats had kittens. And we played and enjoyed them for another 30 minutes. I fell in love with this one (and she followed me around until I picked her up and cuddled her) and am still toying with the idea of going back and getting her. Dotty said she would have sent her with me right then, but she was way too tiny for that.

After I finally put the kitten down, Dotty wrapped her arms around me, and as I do every time she hugs me, I felt secure and loved. Her whispered "I love you" didn't even need to be spoken for me to know it in my heart, and I'm sure that my echoed response was unnecessary as well.

I called Dotty yesterday just to thank her for letting us crash their Sunday afternoon. Her response was "We loved it! We're still talking about it." And then she went on about how much they adored Anthony and what a good man he is...and how they are looking forward to our next visit.

And honestly? So am I.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

and now...

I am sitting on my couch, with my foot elevated from my very first bee sting. From a bumblebee. On the arch of my foot. Needless to say, pretty painful.

(we went back to the zoo today to say goodbye to the white baby tigers, and on the way out to the car I got stung. Anthony was a wonderful caregiver though--carried me into the house, put a baking soda paste on the sting, and just generally made sure I was doing ok.)

It might get interesting when I have to sing at church tomorrow. Considering it hurts to put on a shoe, I'm thinking standing for 3 or more hours might not be so great.

It already is interesting at my house though. Walked ...er, hobbled in the door and was on the phone with Anthony to let him know I made it when I saw him...

I have another home invader.

A lizard is in my living room.

Note that I'm using present tense here. Yeah...I have no patience or energy to deal with getting him out. So for now, he's staying.

You'd think Emi would be interested. Nope.

Oh, and I may bum my very first cigarette soon. Apparently the absolute best thing to use on a sting is tobacco. I stopped at Walgreens to see if I could find anything for it, and that's what the pharmacist told me. Anthony's mom had already suggested it, actually. Who knew?

Got a light?

*crawls out from under rock*
*rubs eyes*

Well, hello blog world! It has been forever since I've updated. In the time I've been gone I have
  • attended my 10 year high school class reunion (and poor Anthony was subjected to a weekend with the folks...but he survived)
  • babysat some adorable kiddos
  • completed one part of a c-r-a-z-y deadline, with 2 more to go within a few hours...one of which I still have NO materials for!
  • randomly had a visit from my sister...
  • and once in awhile slept in a bed or had a meal
Seriously, it's been crazy at my house the last few weeks. I promise I'm still reading blogs when I can...but I'm awful at posting comments, I have awards that I need to accept and pass on, and I haven't posted a blog of my own in a very.long.time.

I'll leave you (for now!) with this gem.

So I'm sitting on the couch Wednesday night, watching tv. Mind you, this is probably the first time in a week the tv has been on longer than an hour. I'm watching, chugging along on my laptop with some work and I reach up to brush the hair off my shoulde...

It's not a hair.

It's a spider.

A big 'un.

Amazingly, my hand continued the sweeping motion and he fell to the floor (I know it was a he. What female do you know that would hop up on a fellow sister's shoulder without a little warning?!) It was only after he was safely off me that I began to worry. I stared at him, silent and wondering...

What if I get up to get a tissue and he moves and I can't find him and then he crawls upstairs and gets on me when I'm in bed and OH MY GOSH he's gonna crawl in my mouth.

And Emi is no help.

I finally have the presence of mind to remember a little piece of heaven sitting right next to me...

A box of Kleenex. (Puffs, actually, but who's counting?)

And triumphantly I carried him to his watery grave in the half-bath off the living room.

I want to go on record to say that never once did I make a sound throughout this whole ordeal. That's impressive, no? However, I immediately sent Anthony the following text:

Spider. On. My. Shoulder. Huge. Scared. Me. To. Death. Holy. Shit.

I still feel creepy crawly.

Another text I sent Anthony this week:

"The redneck comedy tour bus just cute me off in traffic. I can't even be mad, I was laughing so hard."

Really? Must they have their own tour? At least I know what bus NOT to get on now.

*crawls back under rock*
but promises to be back within 48 hours. Really.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Dear Facebook Friends,

I really don't need to see the results to your quiz entitled "what position are you?" complete with the results that no, indeed, you are not missionary but something more exotic. I really REALLY don't need to see this if I've been among your youth group leaders. It may make me feel really really weird.

Really? Do you *have* to use the f-bomb in every status update? Could you change it up a bit?

I currently have 131 "requests" in my notifications. If I'm not adding the applications you sent me last week I probably won't add the deluge you send me today.

How about checking out my political and spiritual "preferences" in my info tab BEFORE inviting me to that group, thank-you-very-much.

I don't do drama in real life. Please don't try to pull me in via a virtual community either.

That's all for me...what do you want to tell your facebook friends?


Friday, June 5, 2009


...cue the music...

I'm busy, busy, dreadfully busy

You've no idea what I've got to do!
Busy, busy, dreadfully busy
Much, much too busy for you!
(dear blog)

But not too busy for my bloggy friends. I promise I'm reading. I promise I'll go back to commenting. I've had a sick and pregnant friend at my house most of the week, I just landed a great new contract gig (whew! and yes, I promise more about that sooner rather than later), I'm working my other part-time job, and somewhere in this I've got a big boat party to go to on Saturday as well as my (GULP) 10 year class reunion in my hometown next weekend!

Perhaps soon we'll return to our regularly scheduled blog programming. Until then...love to you all!