Friday, December 29, 2006

Our Christmas Movie

If you haven't already, go see it now! Since we were burning up I-65 for the pre- and post- Christmas holidays, we celebrated "our" Christmas on the 22nd. I awoke to a cup of coffee at my bedside and Christmas music playing. Patrick and I ate breakfast and opened our presents for each other and, of course, for Maggie Moo. Then we had "Christmas Lunch" with Clay and Lori before we went to our Christmas Movie--a tradition of ours. We saw We Are Marshall. It is a must-see. I do love almost all sports movies, but this movie is about so much more than football--the healing of an entire community and the way both the disaster and healing process affected its individuals. It really touched both me and Patrick, and we love the Matthews in this movie! I would recommend it to any movie-goer.

Christmas is for kids!

Patrick and I are back from a whirlwind visit with both of our families. We feel very blessed, and we had such wonderful times in Decatur and Brentwood. It is always too short, and we are always very sad to go. One of my favorite things about being married is that I inherited the role and title of "aunt." Haley Beth is so special to me. She was the flower girl in our wedding, and she has been a highlight of both of my Christmases in the Crawford family!

Each year we go on the quest to find her the "perfect" gift. It's almost become a competition--in a funny, non-competitive, laughable way. In competitive terms, however, Patrick and I are 2 for 2! Last year, we scored by giving her a Disney princess couch that folds out in a pallette/bed. Everything happens in her couch. This year we gave her the movie, Cars, which she opened and immediately shouted with glee, "Look! It's 'Mater and the Race Cars!!!" I love it! I am definitely the "weak link" in the family as I cannot tell her "no" because she is so precious and fun, and so she is always "Kristy, this and Kristy, that," knowing that I will succumb to her every desire. We played baby dolls, read the same story 5 times, walked Maggie, jumped over cracks, and laughed and sang. Like I said, I love it! Christmas is definitely for kids, and it brings us such joy to celebrate with her.

Friday, December 22, 2006

From our house to yours...

Merry Christmas! Love, the Crawfords

Saying good-bye to an old friend...

Well, for those of you who are dear friends of mine, you know the special relationship I have had with my dear old accord. 9 and 1/2 years of riding around, road trips to the beach and college football stadiums, many trips from Auburn to Nashville to Auburn, a summer in Charleston, drive-bys, fender benders, all out swipe outs, tickets, cruises, Sunday drives around University in Auburn... I took that '95 accord 190,000 miles. The time has flown by, and it has been too short. On Sunday, I had my last drive with her before thick gray matter began pouring out of every available vessel. Her prognosis at the Honda shop was not good, and we prematurely said our good-byes. I'm not going to lie--I bawled like a baby as I cleaned everything out...

But then we moved on. Thankfully the honda place gave us an extremely fair trade-in price. After much deliberation, checking out every used car lot in Montgomery, test-driving several used accords, we went with this new civic:

Merry Christmas, Kristy!

Reasons why I love it: GREAT gas mileage; always wanted a car this color; the reliabilty of and my loyalty to hondas; it is the first car that Patrick and I have ever bought. Dad said we did good!

P.S. Disclaimer: Picture above is not my actual old car. I couldn't find one at the moment, but it is the year, make, and model--minus the spoiler. Notice the auburn sticker, anyone? :)

Christmas Babies!!!

Congratulations to Amy and Scott Stapler on the birth of Elijah Kyle Stapler on December 7, 2007, to Kimberly and Jack Mann on the birth of Henry Mann on December 11, and to Sarah and David Greer on the birth of their new little boy on December 17. As a Christmas baby myself, I have been so excited about the timing of these births by such special friends. I was able to visit Amy in the hospital on the night of sweet Eli's birth which was one of the most special moments. Here are a few pictures of my new little best buddy!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Iron Bowl

Poor Maggie Moo. She's so confused--a red and white bow in 1 ear... an orange and blue one in the other! What will our poor kids do?

Hope everyone who is invested in one of these 2 great schools has a memorable weekend! Waarrrr Eagle, HEY!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

BAM October Book Club Book

I read this book last week. I thought the movie seemed interesting. I had previously read some of his short stories and thought they were hilarious. I needed something different.

It highly disturbed me. Has anyone else read it? Am I being too narrow-minded with this? Did it bother you?

I'm glad I have read it, but now I'm looking for something a little more upbeat. Ideas and/or suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!
Now, it's on to Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Macbeth on Star Wars?

I was grading my seniors' Macbeth Acts 3 and 4 tests today, and I had some funny responses that I thought I'd share...

When asked what 3 questions Macbeth asked Banquo, the correct responses would be in the family of...

Ride you this afternoon?
Is't far you ride?
Goes Fleance with you?

My favorite response of the day:
"Ride ye to the mothership?"

When I asked this student where he got this answer from, he responded: "Oh, I meant to write, 'Ride ye to the motherland?'" Motherland? That word is nowhere to be found in Macbeth! He said he is sure he wrote it on his study guide. I think he must have been watching Star Wars as he was "studying."

Second response:

The question asks, how have Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's roles reversed?

When teaching, I said something to the effect that Macbeth is keeping Lady Macbeth out of the loop. Favorite response:

Macbeth is in control now. Lady Macbeth is in the loo.

These seniors are OOC!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Anniversary Gifts

Any thoughts on anniversary gifts? Traditional or non-traditional? Over the top or not at all? Our 1st is coming up, and I'm aiming for something special/sentimental within a reasonable budget. The traditional gift for year 1 is paper. I'm thinking that could include stationery, books, magazines, tickets to an event, the paper I wrap the non-traditional present with...? Any ideas would be welcome.

pumpkins galore

October is my favorite month. It just feels good to me. The weather is cooler; football season is in full swing; all of the Montgomery festivals are around the corner; hayrides and haunted houses and costume parties are in full swing; and it's the month of high school Homecomings. I also get to celebrate my first anniversary this month! Shopping is dangerous for me during this time of year. I have a weakness for anything that I can use to decorate my house festively, and I start my holiday baking early. I also pick up every magazine known to man, well (wo)man, that has a fall theme to it. It's quite ridiculous, but it keeps me in good spirits and gives me things to look forward to. My weakness of the week has been William-Sonoma. They start serving their mulling spice hot beverages about now, and they always have some other sample of a tasty treat. Yesterday, I splurged and bought the cookie cutters, and today I went back for the pumpkin bundt cans. Here is my first attempt at a pumpkinesque cake. Come on over and have a peace! Happy Fall festivites!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Streams and Espanol


I love the fall! It is finally starting to show signs of autumn, and I think I'm going to go ahead and decorate my house for Halloween!

I didn't plan to go on such a hiatus from blogger, but my month has been full of action and reflection--if the 2 can even co-exist. I have refrained from posting, somewhat intentionally, somewhat absentmindedly. I've been trying to immerse myself into this life as I know it and make peace with some situations that have seemed to linger. In this month, I've had a lot of time to think, mull, and ultimately rejuvenate my spirits. In this month I have been reminded that God is so good; he is faithful and consistent, and he has a masterplan behind everything... Praise him.

During college, especially my Senior year and Grad school period, I found a treasure in the book Streams in the Desert. It is a daily reading kind of book, and for a little over 2 years, every day seemed to fit perfectly into whatever present situation was going on in my life. I was amazed, and I bought a copy for (or at least recommended it to) nearly everyone I knew and cared about. I haven't read it in a couple of years, and just recently I picked it back up, and was again amazed at how specifically it is resonating with my current feelings.

Today's reading reminded me what how God is constantly working on us, never allowing us to grow stale or reek death. The verse for today was, "My Father is the gardener." ~John 15.1 The write wrote about how gardeners prune their plants to produce beautiful flowers and fruit, and compared the thought to how God must trim away our dead areas to produce new, mature growth in our lives that reflects Him. These words particularly touched me,"There is rich symbolism in this account of the pruning process in the Christian life. Pruning seems to be destroying the vine, and the gardener appears to be cutting everything away. Yet he sees the future and knows that the final result will be the enrichment of the life of the vine, and a greater abundance of fruit." While these words are not anything new, they are refreshing all the same. Patrick and I are learning to become content in our pruning--even learning to be thankful.

At our Lifegroup on Sunday, my friend Ann, who just moved to Montgomery, refreshed me by reminding me of another verse that used to be one of my favorites, one of those key verses that I put a lot of stock in and found a lot of hope for. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of Heaven and Earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being." ~Acts 17:22-28.

So, in this time and place, I am enjoying many things. The '06-'07 school year is off to a great start. I finally feel like a "veteran" teacher. I have my organization figured out. I feel comfortable with the material and am pumped about teaching 2 novels for the first time, Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies.

Auburn football is off to a great start, and I get to go to my first game in 2 years (last fall=showers and wedding) this weekend with Patrick and Lindsay and Daniel. P.S. I had to watch the ever intense Auburn vs. LSU game with some volatile Alabama fans while tailgating outside Byant-Denny Stadium. I was so relieved when it was over, and our win helped me enjoy my Tuscaloosa experience and time with Adam and Bevin even more...

I have a new show: Prison Break. Patrick and I watched Season 1 on a long weekend, and are so hooked. Michael Scofield is a GENIUS, and his "masterplan" has to be sybolical to God--ok, so he is an escaped con, but he is AWESOME! Plus, all my other shows start up this week!

Maggie is growing like a weed and knows "Sit," "Stay," "Rufus," (her stuffed dog that I named), "Flossy" (her rawhide bone), and of course, "good girl!" and "bad girl!" She is quite rebellious sometimes, but has a wonderful, friendly personality, and she is thoroughly and consistently housetrained except during thunderstorms... She really enjoyed going to Broadway Under the Stars last week at Shakespeare (which was definitely one of my Montgomery highlights) and playing with her friends, Titan, Hector, and Fifi. :) She can't wait for Sadie to come this weekend...

And, finally, I am taking Spanish and LOVE it!

Hasta Luego! God Bless!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just breathe...

Well, the first week of the 2006-07 school year is finally over. Only 35 more to go! It was a whirlwind that I have yet to recover from--hence the absence of posts on this blog. I have been extremely stressed out these last couple of weeks, and I haven't quite been able to figure out why or how to snap out of it. I decided to begin writing again in my "blessings book" that my dear friend Jesse gave me several years ago to remind me of all of the cool things that God is doing. So, instead of all of the frustrating, negative "back-to-school blues" things that I could vent about, I have decided to write about the highlights of my week...
  1. I get to eat lunch with my friends! After having "Lunch Duty" last year, I was relieved to be able to sit in the lunchroom and eat in peace but, I was thrilled when I found out that my lunch wave was the same as my English chicks as well as one of my good science friends. (That NEVER happens...)
  2. I have 4th period planning. That is huge because that means I have 3 classes, a break, and then 3 more classes--an even break in the day and a time to get reenergized. 4th period planning also comes right before lunch, so it feels like I have a longer break than I actually do.
  3. I have some really sharp students. Of course, I have some not-so-sharp ones as well, but any student who seems at all interested in reading has potential to me. This week they took their literature "pre-test" and wrote a diagnostic essay. Usually, these are painful to grade, and many of them were excruciating, but since I'm being positive here, I am pleased to report that I have some good writers and grade-level readers. I actually had one student make a perfect score on his reading test; of course, he was moved to AP lit the next day, but it was nice to have him in class for 4 days. I'm hoping there's another Preston, Darrius, or Ter'Merria in the midst of them...
  4. I get to teach 4 12th-grade classes and 2 11th-grade classes again. Last year, I was sort of stressed about that because British lit is my passion and my experience; however, I fell in love teaching The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men last year. I'm pumped to get to do it again--and hopefully a better job of it.
  5. I have a new barricade from my students, a larger work space because of it, and a more organized system as another result. I get very annoyed and personal-space-violated when my students walk up and get right behind me or in my face when I am sitting at my computer. I added a table and a file cabinet that streches my desk space while also closing me in. So far, so good. The extra table allows me to spread out my "stuff" and not feel so cluttered and junky. Thanks for the idea, Jen.
  6. I am getting to teach some of my 11th-graders from last year again in the 12th grade.
  7. I have 2 student teacher's aides during different periods in the day to help me not get so bogged down with rudimentary grading, filing, copying.
  8. I get to come home to my puppy, Maggie, and my hubby!
It's overall a pretty good life if I'll just slow down, enjoy it, and let it be. Check out my updated class website if you want to keep up with the goings on in my classroom. :) Any Takers?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

"My kids bore me..."

This British mom is taking a lot of heat for writing this article about how her kids can sometimes bore her--Gasp. She writes that much of "mommyhood" is glamorized. I heard she wrote this in response to an article written by a mom who gushed over how perfect and wonderful motherhood is. What do you think about it?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Marley and Me

With school lurking around the corner, I am trying to pack in all of the summer pleasure reading that I can this week. I just finished a GREAT book, Marley and Me. Great books to me are books that evoke all types of emotions, books that you laugh out loud to one minute--and then sob to a few minutes later. This was definitely one of those books, and I'd recommend it to any of you dog lovers out there... Maggie was sleeping soundly on my stomach as I tearfully finished it, and it just made me want to soak in all of her and what she has brought and will bring into our family. (Thanks, Linds, for letting me borrow it, I'll bring it to ATL this weekend. And, Mom, when you read this, I think you will be hooked into getting another dog--Cassie, rest in peace. <>< :> )

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's in the air...

It's back to school time. I can feel it, and I'm starting to get that giddy feeling of going back to my classroom, meeting new students, having routine, acting out Macbeth, and even grading research papers... I must be doing what I'm called to do if I can find something good about research papers...

I went back to my classroom today for the first time all summer. It was a bit of a rude awakening. Dust mites everywhere, air conditioning not working, complete filth... At one point, I was rearranging things and in the process of moving a pencil sharpener, pencil shavings dumped everywhere... in my desk drawers that were open, all over my desktop, the floor, on my shirt, down my shirt--I even ingested quite a bit and have been sneezing and wheezing off and on all day long... I attempted to get my schedule so I could, I don't know, start doing my lesson plans since school begins in less than 2 weeks, but I learned that they are not giving out schedules yet... What!?

In spite of all of these seemingly disappointing factors, I am STILL looking forward to a new school year, and I am determined to have a good attitude and look for the positive things that remind me why I love teaching. I'm excited about being with teacher friends again, and I have high hopes for the two new teachers that will be on our hall. (Keeping fingers crossed) I went shopping for new school supplies and got a new desktop calendar, some clear page protectors, post-its for my students to take notes within the texts, pens and pencils, dry erase markers, sharpies, dividers, the works. I also visited Target and was thrilled with all of the "One Spot" hot teacher items.

Tonight after dinner with some friends, Patrick lovingly took me "Back-to-School" shopping--as has been a ritual since I was a student and will continue through my teaching years. A good outfit on the first day of school helps take away some of those jitters and gives an extra measure of confidence--I buy it. We found some great deals at Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, and I really got excited about the first day with my new students.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Old friends

I love all kinds of friendships for the variety of functions and purposes that they serve, but there is something special about old friends...

This past Saturday, and old friend came down to Montgomery for the day. We had the best time talking and hanging out, and I couldn't believe how fast the time passed. It was one of the most refreshing days that I've had in a long time, and it made me think of all the reasons why I love old friends.

1. Old friends know where you have you have been. They know your history, so you don't have to qualify answers or reasons for things.

2. You can pick up right where you left off fairly effortlessly. Time stops.

3. Old friends have supported you through crises, celebrated your happiness, and mourned your sadness.

4. You have been through many phases of life together: high school and all of the corresponding drama, college and major life decisions, disappointments in jobs and other friends, sad break-ups, exciting marriage journeys, deaths and new lifes.

5. You never have to guess where you stand or try to impress. You can just completely be yourself and know that you love and are loved.

Thank God for special friends... Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sadie and Maggie: Friends Forever

Last night was the big meeting: Sadie and Maggie. It went well considering that there was a 51 pound puppy meeting a 2 pound puppy. There was some mutual hiney sniffing, some staredowns, some mini growls and excited yelps, and some great pictures. Sadie gave Maggie a tennis ball and a football. She loves both of them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Welcome home, Maggie!

She has arrived! Our wonderful little bichon pup, Maggie Moo Crawford, entered her way into our hearts and our home yesterday afternoon. She is so tiny and marshmallow-y, weighing just 2 pounds. She has a spunky personality like her mom, Miss Feisty! After a rough 1st night (lost of yelping and destruction), she is settling in nicely. She has found her special bathroom places in the yard, and she is playing hard and crashing all the time. Her sister Sugar Sweet sent her a package of goodies today (thanks, Suzanne!), and her friend Titan brought her a present (thanks, Hnnah!). She is really excited about meeting her cousin Sadie, and her friends Princess Fifi Rodriguez and Chloe. All is well in the Crawford household. Hope you enjoy some of our recent pics.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ciudad de Angeles

We have returned from Cozumel where we spent 8 days working with the City of Angels. I was not looking forward to this trip; I had been anxious, almost dreadful, in my anticipation of my week in Mexico, but God's power and truth and love provided my week with so much purpose and love. I seriously did not want to come home.

Our time in Cozumel was spent working with the orphanage called "Ciudad de Angeles" which is an organization that has brought in 21 Mexican children who have been abandoned, removed from abusive homes, and have nowhere else to go. We put on a VBS for the angels, did a work project in the community, and put on a sports camp for the community. Each individual element of our trip provided us with the opportunity to step outside of ourselves, serve the Lord, and show unconditional love to these angels.

My specific job in the VBS was to teach the older angels ranging from ages 10-14. Last year, we had difficulty connecting with them, and so we put an extra effort into making the lessons and crafts more age appropriate. God truly blessed us in forming close relationships with them.

Whenever I come back from a mission trip, my initial reaction is to gush over every story and try to articulate every experience to my friends and family. I'm not sure how effective that type of communication is, even though my motives are to just make them feel a part of it all. This year I feel a bit more reflective in just trying to see what God wanted me to see in these children, in our teens, in my own walk with him. He was very good to me, and I feel as if he is truly restoring my soul. Patrick and I definitely caught the passion of this ministry, and it was refreshing to me since I have not bought into church-type stuff in the last year and a half or so... I know that God was gently reminding me that my faith is in HIM; my Christianity is in HIM. And because of that reminder, I feel like He may be ready to use me again. Patrick and I are praying about how we can be a part of this ministry long-term. Please pray for us in those ways.

God bless your day, and may you find purpose in your walk today.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Pilot's Wife

In less than 24 hours I have completed a fascinating book that my good friend Carrie lent me, The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve. (This was a former Oprah book club book and was written in '98.) I have been wanting to read her work for awhile, and yesterday Carrie brought over several of them for me to take on my trip to Mexico. (Yes, I am leaving for Cozumel in 12 hours and have yet to begin packing due to my entrancement with this book.)

I am very impressed by Anita Shreve and the way that she writes, and I was very disturbed by many of the things in this book because they were so real and gripping on me emotionally. The major plot of the story is about a woman who is widowed when her pilot husband is involved in an airplane crash (doesn't give me peace about flying tomorrow :)) and the investigation that follows. Her world is shattered when she learns that her husband is living a secret double life with another family, and all of her once-fond memories are now weighted with this all-consuming discovery. She cannot even grieve her husband because she realizes that does not know who he really was. There were so many things that she was naive about--bank records, his accomodations while traveling, his childhood. It really blew me away and made me feel sort of nosy, although I guess I'd rather be nosy...

Reading this book affected me personally. In my life, I have been blessed with a dad who has shown an example to my sister and me of how to be a good husband who not only loves but enjoys every aspect of his wife and his marriage. I am so thankful for that. I am also blessed with a great husband who seeks to be God's man and is selfless in giving love. However, I have also, in my life, experienced the pain and destruction that unfaithfulness in marriage causes for anyone related to the situation through several friends' and family's experiences that I have been closely connected to. For a long time, I wondered if I would ever be able to trust a man besides my dad. For a long time, I put off the thought of being in a serious relationship with anyone because I was afraid that I could not trust "him." For a long time, I kept Patrick at such an arm's length because I could not differentiate him from another... Thankfully, God continues to heal my heart by reminding me to trust in HIM. Thankfully, God is showing me that love can be pure and good and true--even when it gets hard.

One of the things that struck me in this book is when the wife, Kathryn, is talking to her friend Robert. He mentions that having a memorial service to honor her husband is something that God would want her to do. She reflects that never, in her 16 years of marriage, has she thought about what God would ask of her and Jack. Those words made me sad. I hope that no matter how high or low I feel spiritually, that I will always strive to do what God asks of me and Patrick. In premarital counseling, Jim emphasized in every meeting that "marriage is HARD WORK." He said it over and over, and I'm thankful for that. I have learned from situations that I've been involved in that people don't just wake up one morning and decide to be unfaithful (emotionally and/or sexually). Instead, somewhere, at some earlier point in time, the couple has stopped working at their marriage, has stopped connecting, and has a void that desires to be filled. Thinking about that freaks me out because it is so easy to just put your marriage in "cruise control" and coast along... I am committed, now more than ever, to work and pray and seek God in our marriage.

Upon finishing this book, my reactions are similar to how I felt after reading The Shofar Blew, by Francine Rivers... although at that time, I felt like I was watching that book being lived out...

Next on my list of Anita Shreve's are All He Ever Wanted and Wedding in December. Thanks, Carrie!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

My country tis of thee...

Happy Birthday America!

I love the 4th of July. I always have. Some of the reasons I love this particular holiday are...
1.) cook outs
2.) watermelon
3.) homemade ice cream
4.) fireworks
5.) red, white, and blue
6.) time with family

I have many memories of beach trips, lake days, cookouts in the back yard, and always ALWAYS some good ole' homemade ice cream. This year we were able to meet all of the items on my list except for spending time with family... SAD. We are leaving for Mexico on Saturday, and with the holiday being in the middle of the week, we were unable to make a trip anywhere...
Since we couldn't be with our family, we decided to have some friends over who are also transplanted to Montgomery and couldn't be with their own fams.

I have really come to love having "parties," especially when there is a theme. I have been looking in magazines all month (well, including June) trying to come up with fun theme-ish food items, decorations, etc. Unfortunately, our party-planning budget is pretty tight, so I was not able to bring any of these ideas into fruition... Instead, I just came up with some make-shift, spur-of-the moment decorations, but it was fun and definitely 4th-of-July-ish. We took a few pictures to document the event... (Note: Pictures were taken after the party-which means that most of the food is gone, and, yes, I did halfway reset the table for effect. Also, we sort of forgot to take pictures of our friends who came... But we had fun, Hannah, Jan, Lindsay, Jeremy, Lance, and Jeremy!)

We ate hamburgers with all of the fixins, baked beans, chips watermelon, homemade ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies. Yum. Then we played an intense game of Cranium: guys vs. girls. It was neck and neck, but the girls were victorious!!! Overall, it was a fun night. God bless the U.S.A.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Not-So Guilty Pleasure

This post is for anyone who has a chocolate-loving sweet tooth while also trying to maintain the waistline... ME! I posted earlier this summer about a new website that I found that provides nutritional values to menu items at various restaurants; now I'd like to share some new, extremely simple cake recipes that I got from my mom and aunt that make eating chocolate cake guiltless!

1.) Cola Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can diet soda

Mix cake mix and diet soda for two minutes.
Pour mixture into greased bundt pan.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

2.) Choco-pumpkin cake
1 box of chocolate cake mix (During the holidays, substitute chocolate cake mix for spiced cake mix.)
1 can of pumpkin
1/2 cup of water

Mix ingredients for 2 minutes
Pour mixture into greased bundt pan.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

*Note: These recipes are lower in calories and fat because you are omitting the eggs and oil. Nutritional values will vary depending on the cake mix of your choice.

Instead of icing or ice cream, I have been serving it with lite coolwhip.

I have made them both, and they are ooey-gooey and moist, delicious, satisfying-my-sweet-tooth desserts! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A lost art...

Disclaimer: ranting ahead...

There are several things that are pet peeves of mine about wedding/social etiquette:
1. Not RSVP-ing to weddings, showers, birthday parties, dinners, etc. This especially bothers me when someone shows up that did not RSVP. It is a simple common courtesy to let a host/hostess know whether you can attend the specified event so that they can plan accordingly. I have not always been the best at this, but after showers I have hosted and our wedding, I have vowed to pay that respect.
2. Not sending a gift after receiving an invitation. It's just rude and lazy.
3. Not sending a thank you note. This is probably my biggest pet peeve and current rant. While numbers 1-2 can be frustrating social faux pas, not sending a thank you note is simply unacceptable. Don't you think? Both Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt agree that thank you notes for wedding gifts should be sent within 6-8 weeks after a wedding. They even suggest that for gifts received prior to a wedding, one should send a thank you within 2-3 weeks. I will even go as far to say, though, that a thank you note is always better late than never.

Many people get overwhelmed at writing thank you notes because they want to make them personal. I definitely appreciate a note that makes me feel special and my gift valued over a generic "blah" note; however, the overwhelming feeling is not an excuse to not write a note. And if it does take you (*someone*) over a year to write your thank you's, please make your note dang good. A once close friend sent her thank you note 10 months after her wedding, and it was so impersonal, you would think we hadn't even known each other.

One of the last mini-lessons that I shared with my seniors this year was the "how-to's" of writing a thank you note. I emphasized to them that graduation gifts that go unthanked will not lead to future gifts for college graduation, weddings, babies, etc. We talked about 1) acknowledging the gift; 2) its use; 3) and the hope for a future meeting with the giver. It's that simple.

I realized today that 5 out of the last 8 wedding/baby gifts that I have given (some to friends and others to aquaintances) have gone unthanked. This is problematic to me for a couple of reasons:
1. Did they get my gift? Some were sent in the mail, and what if they got lost? I even asked one of the girls over Christmas if she did, indeed, receive the gift... She did. Still no thank you.
2. Is thank you note writing a lost art? I hope not...
3. Do people in general appreciate others' generosity? I hope so...

I think I am going to write a thank you note to a friend for her personal, appreciative thank you note... sigh.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Opened Eyes!!!

Maggie has been born!!! These are the 3 girls from the litter. They are 18 days old and have just opened their eyes. I cannot wait!!! I have been waking up thinking about her... Lindsay and I held two little bichon puppies today at the flea market, and we played with Sugar (our cousin's pup) Tuesday night. Both times I have melted. So we're deliberating over her registered name... I have a slight aversion to anything with Margaret. No offense, just not for my puppy. Mom mentioned Maggie Magdalene. Patrick vetoed it. I love Maggie Moo ice cream, but isn't that sort of cliche? Any ideas for a unique registed name, pass them along!

Monday, June 19, 2006

bathing suits and pajamas

I love my friends! This weekend is going down in the books as one of my favorite EVER. 4 of my best girls (Lia, Kelly, Andrea, and Mindy) made the trip down to Fun-gomery this weekend to reunite, and I had been looking forward to it for months... Now that it is over, I am a little sad, but still laughing at all of the fun that was had. At good ole' DLHS, I was blessed to be a part of the class of 97. I loved so many things about our class and have so many great memories of unique friendships, and that is what made high school not just bearable, but SO much fun for me. There were 9 of us girls who were pretty tight, and we still get together for holidays, weddings and babies, summer trips, and random spontaneous events. These girls are so special to me!

This weekend we celebrated Andrea's pregnancy (she finds out boy/girl news today!) and Kelly's upcoming adventure to Japan (she is going on an 18-month stint there with her cool husband who is an engineer for Nissan). We also brought recent pictures and videos of vacations, weddings, and babies to just laugh, cry, and share the special things in each others' lives. We definitely missed Tara, Nicole, Jenny, and Kristen, who were unable to come, but I promise you, girls, you were definitely there in all of the conversations and walks down memory lane that we went through... And we pretty much covered them all from...
  • Spring Break trips
  • Tara's campout
  • Stewart and Brad's lakehouse weekend
  • Spartan Cheerleader
  • Lia's bachelorette weekend
  • our fateful Gatlinburg trip
  • the Charleston summer
  • New Year's at Karkau's
  • STARS Spunky and the cigar
  • 8th grade Washington and the bus mess
  • Basketball with BA
  • sleepovers at Nicole's
  • Class Days
  • Homecoming dress disasters
  • Junior/Senior dates
  • old boyfriends
  • all our crazy guy friends
  • our Senior song... All the places I remember...
  • Getting pulled over in Panama city, sun roofs
and so many others that I can't remember. All weekend was spent staying up late talking and laughing, wearing only bathing suits and pajamas, grilling out, sitting on the back porch, and swimming. We did take a nickel tour of Montgomery, and we all just had fun. One of our main goals was to name all of the 124 graduating seniors in our class. We got to 109 and then stonewalled. I've got one more to add girls, Cliff Chunn... If you think of others, let me know.
My favorite thing about the weekend is that no matter how we all change and go our own directions, our friendships remain the same. We pick up where we leave off, and we laugh until we cry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Shout outs!

Lindsay and Daniel Meek just celebrated their 1-year annniversary, and Mom and Dad just celebrated their 30th year of marriage!

Thank you for being good examples of marriages. Can't wait to see you ALL next week.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Pool Party via the "Calypso"

I am whipped. So is Patrick. He got back from camp late Friday afternoon; we had an intense work-filled Mexico meeting for several hours on Saturday; and then well went full-force in planning our "Summer Kick-off" party for the teens at Landmark. We did not sleep this weekend.

Just before he left for camp, we realized that our Kreepy Krawler, i.e. pool cleaner, was broken... Not what we wanted to hear. We priced these contraptions, and to our dismay, regular-priced they were in the $400- 500 range, and even on Ebay, they were going for around $350. A huge would-be dent in our "Maggie fund." That's when we were charmed by the Calypso pool cleaner... We bid on this product on ebay and got it for about 1/3 what we would have paid for anything else. Thank goodness! Our lifesaver product arrived just in time for Patrick to come home from camp. (Yes, I swam in a dirty pool last week...) It was amazing what a difference a working cleaner made on the lining of our pool, and now it's so clean you can't get me out of it.

Our summer kick-off turned out great. We had around 40 teens, grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, ate homemade ice cream made by Jeremy and Hannah, and swam, played 4-square (sort-of), and volleyball/badmitten. It was a good bonding time dunking kids in the pool, playing "Categories" and catch off the diving board, and hanging out. A fun time was had by all.

Then we crashed, and we're still recovering. We are, however, grateful for our Calypso which made the whole thing possible.

Eating out without packing it on...

This post goes out to all of you weight watchers out there...

In following through with one of my summer goals of eating healthy, I have been researching nutritional values and figuring out how to eat out without putting on the pounds. I walk with a dietitian on Thursdays who I have been pumping for tips; I have a friend who has been on Weight Watchers for a year who has lost 28 pounds, and I asked her how she planned her meals. She gave me several helpful websites that have been a springboard of information. During the summer, I like to eat out for lunch pretty often since during the school year I am locked in at Lee; it's also a good time to get together with teens or friends. However, I stress out at restaurants because I want to be healthy and make good choices without being annoying. Well, I will worry no longer thanks to Dottie's Weight Loss Zone. Looks can be deceiving, so just scroll down to the button that says, "Restaurants." Included in this list are almost all of the restaurants that I frequent, and I am now able to make informed choices. Hope this helps any of you who are interested.

Windfall: My Summer Filler?

Thursday night I watched NBC's new summer show, Windfall. I was intrigued by the show because I am familiar with several of the characters: Dylan McKay from 90210--yes!; Kate Warner from second season 24--the girl whose sister is a terrorist and woos Jack; and Sarah from 24 Season 3--the girl who is wrongly framed for being an insider mole and then demands "two pay grades" in a saucy little voice... Then there is the premise of the show: 20 friends go in for lottery tickets and when they win, they split their winnings of 380,000,000. The show is basically about how the money affects their lives and relationships. I was glued to the tv Thursday night. The jury is still out on how I feel about it, but it will provide me with a summer filler from my tv withdrawals... I hope.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In Cold Blood

I just finished watching Capote. It took me three times, and he really creeped me out, but I'm glad I watched it. I loved that Harper Lee, a fellow Chi Omega and a major reason for me pledging, was in it. I plan on rereading To Kill a Mockingbird and then following up with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. My mom and dad both really enjoyed it...

Some of my favorite things...

Yesterday I spent the day in Auburn. I get a good feeling every time I drive on campus--something just clicks and makes me peacefully reflect; it's quite inspiring. :) Living in Montgomery, you'd think I'd visit quite often. Sadly, it's not often enough. I had a gift card to use from speaking at a retreat, a free day since Patrick is at camp this week, and some friends to catch up with... It was a good, refreshing, fun day, and I thought I'd write about some of my favorite things about the place. Disclaimer: This list is inconclusive; it just includes things I did yesterday...

1. The Auburn Christian Student Center: I don't really know how to begin to put into words how this place impacted my life. I thought I knew what being a Christian looked like before I came to Auburn, but I say with conviction that my faith was solidified through my involvement with this ministry. Jim and Mary are spiritual heroes to me. I learned that being a Christian didn't mean being perfect or even "good." I learned how to share my faith and study with someone who was seeking to know God. I saw lives transformed. In this imperfect, but genuine place I learned a little more about what I wanted my life to be like. Yesterday, I got to see Jim and Mary and spend time with one of my best friends who is interning there for the summer. It was good.

Chi Omega : Before coming to Auburn, I had all of those Lifetime movie channel preconceived notions about sororities. I went through RUSH to meet people (since I knew no one), and I was surprised by Chi-O. It was not carbon copies of girls, but unique individuals who intrigued me. I pledged, and my life has been blessed through that organization with some of the coolest friendships I have experienced... All of my roommates in undergraduate years were Chi-O's, and during our Junior and Senior year, we were privileged (at the time we really believed this :)) to live at this big old house called the Chi-O mansion that had been passed down from pledge class to pledge class. I have so many fond memories from there, and I spent a big part of yesterday with one of the "mansion girls"--as we were called.

3. Amsterdams: The home of the famous "turkey wrap" with honey mustard and sweet potato chips. I'm salivating as I write this...

4. Heartstrings: The best gift shop on the planet... and the place where my gift card from the retreat was from. I remember thinking during my last days at Auburn, "IS there life after Heartstrings...?"

5. Momma G's: There's not much better than a Momma's Love combined with the famous nachos... (doritos with melted pepper jack cheese... I've tried to recreate them at the house, and I can never do it...) Yes, I ate the whole thing by myself, and, yes, I'm salivating once again!

Anyway, it was a good summer day, and it helped me not miss Patrick so much... Sigh.


That's me.

I didn't vote yesterday in the primaries.

It's not that I just didn't get around to it; around noon I intentionally decided not to vote. I felt angry at the whole idea for some reason...

What does this say about me? What happened to all of my SGA/politically active days from college?

Did you vote?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

what kind of coffee are you?

Rainy afternoon drinking some coffee... yum.
You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Graduation Completed.

(Pic taken from Jen's page... thanks :))
Deep breath. School year 2005-2006 is finally completed. Today was my last day of work, and I feel complete closure with the class of '06 after graduation last night. I told myself this last year, but I forgot, so I am reminding myself again this year: I need to always remember the positive, sentimental feeling that I get at graduation. It's those types of feelings, and bringing them to mind, that get me through rough times. I have been down about my job lately, and last night reminded me why I was in education. The smiles on those kids faces are priceless. They are so proud of themselves and so appreciative of their teachers--especially the ones who know they barely made it (i.e. needing a 79 on the final exam to pass the class and making an 80... I had three of those) and that they owe you big time. For the past two years, I have been a "line leader" for the ceremony, and while it can be quite chaotic, it is so cool to get to see and wave and hug every kid as they are about to walk on the stage for their "big moment"--for some, the biggest moment of their lives... Warm fuzzy, definitely! I am excited about my summer away, and I'll be ready for a brand new crop of students and a new school year come August...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Circa 1999

7 years ago, 3 friends and I embarked on a summer adventure to Charleston, South Carolina. We sublet an apartment from some College of Charleston girls(see pink building picture), took off from our respective colleges (none of which were the same), and made a life for ourselves in this spectacular city. We all got jobs, worked as little as possible to pay the bills, and enjoyed every facet of the city, beaches, and surrounding areas. We made a list of all the things that we wanted to do during our time there, checked them off one by one, and had a blast doing every single thing. There were more good times than bad, and the summer of 1999 was a defining time in my life and in my friendships with these women. I absolutely fell in love with the city and have since then read every book I can find that is set there. (Pat Conroy being my all-time favorite author!) Since our adventure there, I have only been back to visit once, but I have thought about it so often...

In just a few days, Patrick and I are going to Charleston!!! We have had our trip planned for several months now, and we cannot wait. I am going to get to do all the romantic things with him that I dreamed of doing with someone I loved that summer... :) We have a list of restaurants in which to dine, places to visit and tour, and walks to take. I can't wait to show him the Citadel, the CoC, the beautiful antebellum homes, Rainbow Row, Isle of Palms, Folley Beach, and so much more!!! We are staying at a Bed and Breakfast on the Battery (pictured below), and our view is amazing. I'll try to take some good pictures and post them when we get back!

Monday, May 22, 2006

puppy dogs and codes

Well... Patrick and I have been doing a lot of thinking, praying, researching, and we think we are ready to add a puppy dog to our family! What in the world!!! Since Patrick has yucky allergies, we need a dog who won't shed or bother his sinuses. We have decided on getting a Bichon Frise. Sugar Sweet, my cousin's dog, has greatly influenced our decision, and we spoke today with the owner of her parents. Our "Maggie" will be born in 2 weeks, and we'll get her in 9 weeks if all goes as planned. I really miss my "Cassie," and I love my sister's "Sadie," and I'm going to be obsessed with my sweet little "Maggie."

In other news, we went to see The DaVinci Code this weekend. It was a good thriller with cool cinematography tricks. There has been so much controversy about first the novel, and now the movie. When I was doing campus ministry at The University of Alabama, this book was all the rage because it was shaking so many people's faith. I was particularly interested in the book since I was in the middle of my Masters in Biblical Studies. The truth is that the book is purely fiction, and while interesting, it is based on inaccuracies and simple fallacies. We heard a sermon yesterday on "Cracking the DaVinci Code," and I was worried that it was going to be one of those, "Christians should stay away from this movie and boycott it lalalala stuff." It wasn't. I appreciated Buddy's approach. He said from the start that he had read the book and seen the movie. He gave our members some facts to help dialogue with those who might be struggling with some of the ideas that were presented. Then, he focused on how people today aren't influenced as much by Christian or non-Christian evidences as much as they are by watching others live out their faith with authenticity. I agree completely, and I recommend the movie. Then, call me and let's talk about it over coffee or tea...