Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review

I promise this is the LAST New Year's themed thing I'll be doing until approximately 12 months from now!

First of all, last year I posted that my word of the year was BLESS.
I'm sticking with that word. It's not a word of the year; it's the word of a lifetime. I firmly believe that I was sent to this earth to bless and to be a blessing. You can read more about why I chose that word here.

So with that in mind, my word of this year will be GIVE.
I have learned over the last year and a half or so that giving does not have to be monetary. I can give my time, my talents, my service. Having been the recipient of so many wonderful things, how could I not give back?

And now, on to the mindless meme:

What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
road tripped overnight with a BOY
(actually like 4 times!)
consulted and invoiced large corporations, interviewed for teaching jobs and didn't get them (I have always been hired on the spot before!) and worked in the non-profit sector which I LOVE
had a high school reunion
gone to my first NFL game--several times!

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions so much as I make goals/expectations. I didn't lose the weight, but overall have a healthier lifestyle, so the weight will happen this year. I'm cool with that.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several people. Starting with Laura (Israel), then a couple of babysitting clients: Anne (Elizabeth "Ellie") and Carolyn (Aaron), and then finally my friend Jessica (Finnegan "Finn"). I have a couple of close friends who are due in 2010 too!

Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, which is a nice break

What countries did you spend time in this year?
Just the USA

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
a full-time job with BENEFITS

What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Uh...nothing huge that I can remember. Anthony and I have made a lot of memories and have seen a ton of good times, but I don't know as any DATES are etched on my memory. Events are though: football games, road trips, anniversaries and Valentines day, girls nights, high school reunion, visits from college/high school friends...

What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
making it through without being in a complete financial pit! Even though no full-time income since August 2008...

What was your biggest failure?
I choose to see failures as learning experiences.
I guess not sticking to a weight loss plan, but even then...

Did you suffer any serious injury or illness?
swine flu? maybe?
and my back going out twice now...

What was the best thing you bought?
the Colts/Titans tickets for Indy, my iPhone or my Mac. Can't decide :)

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anthony's...several good friends

Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed?
Eh. No one really

Where did most of your money go?
bills, bills, bills, mortgage, bills, bills, clearance sales

Compared to this time last year, are you,
a)happier or sadder? about the same, and infinitely blessed
b)thinner or fatter? fatter if anything
c) richer or poorer? richer slightly in money, richer by far in experience

What did you get really, really excited about?
oh, lots of stuff

What do you wish you'd done more of?
uh...nothing? I struck a pretty good balance.

Did you fall in love in 2009?
I think that one was sewed up before 2009 :)

How many one-night stands?
Uh, none. What kind of a question is that?!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No...again, what kinda question?!

What was the best book you read?
Hmmm. The Search for God and Guinness was pretty interesting. I'll be reviewing it here within a few days.

What did you want and not get?

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 28. We spent it with wonderful friends, Andy and Mandy.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Who did you miss?
LaJuana and Randy once they moved...very sad

Who was the best new person you met?
Did I meet anyone new? I guess a few people at church and co-workers at my temporary place of employment...and Laura's mom Donna...

Tell us a valuable life lesson(s) you learned in 2009
Just how amazing people can be...and how humbling it is to accept help when it's needed...

What sums up this year (a word, a quote?)
"I get by with a little help from my friends"
-John Lennon


Thursday's Ten: Things about 2010

Ten things about 2010
1. Nashville is dropping a GUITAR instead of a silly 'ol ball. Because we're cool like that.
2. I WILL have a full-time job in 2010. I WILL.
3. I will lose at bare minimum 30 pounds this year. I'm hoping the majority will happen before May since I have a bridesmaids dress to fit into!
4. Since I have perfected a bloody mary next step is making a fabulous mojito.
5. The only big purchase I plan to make in the next few months is a Wii and WiiFit. I probably will wait and buy it with birthday $$ though...
6. My friend opens his pub this year, right around the corner from my house. I'm SO excited and thrilled for him. And he'll be headlining nightly :)
7. I really want to do the 3sixty5 photo thing. It should be SUPER easy since my iPhone takes great shots as well. So...we shall see.
8. I will carve out time for ME--as much as I carve out for loved ones.
9. Emi will get to go out to the patio more often this year because *I* will go out to the patio more often this year.
10. I will love and laugh and little more easily.

No MckLinky tonight--just grab the button and let me know you're participating so I can visit you too!


Today's Thursday's Ten

Will be up in approximately 3-4 hours...if not before! Topic: Ten Things About 2010. Take the title and fill in your own 10 :)


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Volume 5

This crazy news story brought to you NOT from Nashville...

...or is he?

This British dude escaped from prison in September and is now taunting police from his facebook page. You'd think Scotland Yard would have found him by now, eh?

story at


A look back:

*for those of you wondering, the back is still out. The sinuses seem to be somewhat fading, but I've definitely made the back worse after there had been a significant improvement over the last couple of days. I think I've taken about 10 steps backwards, and just hope that future progress is positive!*

Ellen quote that sums me up right now:

"This morning I hopped right out of bed...and by hopped I mean it took 30 minutes, 6 Advil, a pulley system and a handful of sedatives to get me out of bed in a seated position. And I know that you're probably thinking 'Ellen, you shouldn't have to be taking Advil and sedatives together', but the Advil was for me and the sedatives were for Portia; the screaming is killing her...she's tired of hearing me scream."

Sad...but true. Substitute "Lora" for Ellen and "Anthony" for Portia, and you have the partial scenario of me trying to get up off the floor tonight. It was NOT pretty.

anyway, on to the real blogging!

It's been quite a year! Here's a brief look back...

January: New Year's at Anthony's parents house; began "driving Miss Nancy"; Inauguration of President Obama
February: good friend from college visited; sweet Valentine's day; last praise team retreat ever with Randy (although we had no idea)
March: one of my best friends from high school visited this month; 28th birthday
April: Dave Matthews Band concert...uh...I'm sure there were other fun things too. We did join the zoo this month...and I did have one CRAZY day!
May: Anthony and I traveled together for the first time--to see his aunt in Atlanta; started doing some consulting work
June: 10 year high school reunion and reconnection with Dotty; good friend Laura had her baby Israel (and began the many births of summer '09)
July: Camp with youth group + Anthony's family vacation = over 2 weeks apart! Ugh.
August: Laura and sweet baby Izzy spent a few days at my house; went to Texas to a friend's wedding with Anthony and our friend Ben; celebrated a year of dating the most wonderful man :); began working at Catholic Charities temporarily; found out that Randy and LaJuana were moving
September: visited the Jack Daniels distillery; found out about Sam's cancer
October: 2nd annual ghost tour; finally cut my hair to donate (after over a year of growth); went to my very first NFL football game (between my two favorite teams no less!)
November: Thanksgiving with Anthony's family
December: Christmas with Anthony's family; 2 trips to Indiana (one for the Colts game, one for Christmas); got to sing in a friend's Christmas show downtown; also sold jewelry offline for the first time!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If I could have chosen...

I would have most likely picked either the sinus infection OR the back giving out. Not both. At the same time. I'm moving slowly and trying not to cough or sneeze! Right now I'm thankful to the creators of the Neti Pot, the heating pad, and Thermacare heat wraps.

I did have a great week leading up to Christmas, and I'm still celebrating! My tree always stays up at least until January 12...Epiphany.

I hope you all had wonderful celebrations with those you love.

I'm slowly getting back into the blogosphere. Be patient, I'll make it to your blog soon!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

For Unto Us a Child is Born


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

C razy News in Nashville (You Can't Make This Stuff Up, Volume 4)

A bank down the road from me was robbed yesterday. By Santa. He claimed to need the money so he could pay his elves.

I wish I were kidding.
In other news, looks like a wet Christmas here, but not a white one. Par for the course!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've been busy...

Had a few ribbon necklace orders to fill
(you can find more at my etsy shop)
Some wine to deliver

A present or ten to wrap

Moments to spend with friends

Some gelato to indulge in
A baby to snuggle

An impromptu photo shoot to capture

A kiss to steal

And a whole lot of living to do.

And you?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quick Weekend Check-In

Since this is the last Saturday before Christmas my wordle (join Shannon's party for this) is all decked out in holiday cheer. Of course, it's mostly about football and two-buck Chuck...

And my six words for today are:

I love spending time with friends!

My friend Laura, her mom Donna, and Laura's 5 1/2 month old Izzy are at my house for a few days! I'm enjoying early Christmas gift-giving, baby cuddles, and general girly giggles and conversation. We're planning a spa time this afternoon complete with the paraffin wax and the foot bath. Ahhhh, just what I (and we all!) need!


Friday, December 18, 2009

It's completely inappropriate

but also absolutely adorable..
and I want it.

Is that really bad of me?
Would I actually wear it?!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday's Ten: Ornaments

I did it! I took my ornament pictures.

And promptly forgot to upload them before I left for work this morning.

So here's your MckLinky...sign up and show us your favorite ornaments. I'll be joining this evening (for REAL this time!)


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I heart faces: pet edition

I've only entered the I Heart Faces contest a few times, but I couldn't resist this week's entry! It's all about pets. Here's Emi on our way to my high school reunion...really jonesing for my coffee. :)


Monday, December 14, 2009

Indy trip: the big town edition

Saturday after the parade and goodbyes to my parents and dog, we hit the road for Indianapolis.

We were on a Trader Joe's Mission.

You see, in Tennessee we can't buy alcohol in grocery stores. This is a bone of contention among most TN residents who just want to do all their shopping in one stop and avoid a liquor store for wine...but after several attempts to change state law it STILL hasn't happened.

Well, Trader Joe's has this two-buck chuck, you see.

And ours in Nashville doesn't have it because of the above explanation.

So anyone who goes to a neighboring state with a TJ's is in charge of bringing back the contraband.

We had thankfully checked with a friend (actually, a former teacher of mine, lol) to see if alcohol was available for purchase on Sundays in Indiana. It wasn't, so we ended up making our first stop in Indy at Trader Joe's. There we purchased five (5!!!) crates of wine for people here. Up until tonight, actually, I've had 4 of them in my dining room. Thankfully, I've now sent all but one crate home to their rightful owners so I look like much less of an alcoholic now!

Um, yeah. So here we are loading the carts of wine into the car.

With the two buck chuck run out of the way, we went downtown with our friends Brian and Angie. His aunt and uncle (who we were staying with) recommended a couple of restaurants to him and we stumbled upon one of them. BARcelona is a tapas place and it was AMAZING. If you like to eat and share food with the table tapas is the way to go!

After dinner we realized that a.) it was way too late to go to the mall as it was closed and b.) we had an early morning the next day. So we headed to our lodging, but saw the Christmas tree (made of lights) and a few cool buildings along the way.

Angie and I have been friends since middle school; Brian and Anthony have only met this summer. This was a good way to bond the two of them though, since I'm in their wedding this May and Anthony will be doing the bachelor party thing with Brian and the groomsmen/friends. Soooo, we only bugged them a little while, then Angie and I retreated to our room to indulge in a time honored tradition. Milk and oreos...or in this case, Joe-Joe's!

Sunday DID dawn early, and we also found out that Brian's aunt and uncle were season ticket holders...and offered graciously to drive us not only to their church but also to the game. So we all squeezed in one car and headed off.

They worship in a humongous United Methodist church. It was a beautiful service, filled with choral numbers, handbells, and normal high church liturgy. I loved this change in venue from our norm! There was even a flute choir providing music for our walk in the hallway between services!

Angie and I changed clothes in the backseat on the way to Circle Center Mall, where we were going to have lunch. Nice little feature: on game days if you have $20 worth in receipts for the mall you can park for the game for like $3. Believe me between our lunches (and my after game dash into H&M while everyone else used the bathroom) we had plenty of receipts!

The driving around was much more fun when the driver actually knew what he was doing and I could take pictures :) Creative upshots here because I was in the VERY back of the vehicle and was trying to avoid defrost lines!

We had lunch then hiked to Lucas Oil Stadium. Even the walk was kinda fun.

WOW. This place is amazing!

If you follow football at all, you probably know how the game went. I did have very divided loyalties, so I would have been happy either way...which was handy :0)

We were among almost 100% Colts fans (there were 4 or 5 Titans jerseys around our section), and the Colts fans around us were very gracious to Anthony...and myself when I started Titans flashing!

All in all, our seats had a tremendous view

There was a marching band at halftime (such an Indiana thing!)

It was fun to see my favorite 2 teams meet up

I got an awesome picture of Peyton from the flat screen

There were fans more conflicted than I
(random jersey of the day brought to you by the Pittsburgh Steelers...with "Peyton 18" on the back...)

The temperature was 70 degrees because the roof was closed!

And we left the game smiling.

Anthony enjoyed seeing the game in the first non-Titans NFL stadium he's visited! I was happy to have given him that experience first :0)