Wednesday, September 19, 2012

28 before 28...An update

I realized today that I am less than a month from my 28th birthday. Yikes. Therefore it is time for an update on the 28 goals I set out to do before I turn 28. Here it goes....

  1. Sew a dress or skirt 
    • This one is incomplete. I am working on a quilt though, so maybe that counts?
  2. Watch the movie "What About Bob" - seriously, I'm going to watch it this year.
    • Incomplete - This one isn't even hard. I just need someone to show up at my house with the movie & force me to watch it.
  3. Get married - I'm claiming it. :)
    • Incomplete - No where near marriage at this point. Although I could really use a husband because there is a slug on my garage door & my dog food bag that I bought tonight is too heavy for me to pour into the dog food container.
  4. Finish decorating my back patio
    • Somewhat complete - it's decorated, not to my standards, and it really needs a good cleaning.
  5. Get in the habit of sending cards to friends
    • I'm going to stop this list now because I'm starting to feel like a failure. Incomplete.
  6. Start using reusable bags 100% of the time at the grocery store
    • When I go to Aldi's - yes. When I go to Hy-Vee - sometimes. When I go to Wal-mart - never.
  7. Hit my weight loss goal
    • Incomplete, but I'm on my way. I officially hit 50 pounds of total weight loss Monday, so that's kind of a big deal, right?
  8. Go on vacation some place new
    • Accomplished! I went to New Orleans (a.k.a. NOLA) this summer. 
  9. See a shooting star
    • I saw a few of them. (2 complete in a row!)
  10. Build a snowman - yes I put it on again this year. :)
    • There really wasn't a snow big enough for Frosty, so not my fault.
  11. Get a new camera
    • Complete! I love my new Canon 7d
  12. Go a month without sugar - yep, this one's back again this year, too.
    • I went three weeks, and now I highly monitor my sugar, so complete.
  13. Get into a regular work out routine
    • Somewhat complete. I've had good months and bad months
  14. Read Pride and Prejudice again
    • I have about 5 chapters left.
  15. Learn how to drive a stick shift - need to find someone who owns a stick shift
    • Incomplete. Ugh!
  16. Bake bread from scratch
    • If cinnamon rolls count, complete.
  17. Figure out how to solve a Rubix Cube
    • Incomplete, and I have no desire to complete this one, so I doubt it happens.
  18. Photograph my whole family
    • Incomplete, but I have photographed my adorable nephews.
  19. Bake something new
    • Complete! I have baked a few new dishes, and my favorite is Nutella Bread Pudding. I should blog about it.
  20. Deep clean my house
    • Complete! This summer I got every closet cleaned out. (Don't look in them now.)
  21. Makeover my blog
    • Complete!
  22. Make a photo book of my college years - I will get this done some day!
    • Yeah, I'm convinced this will never get done.
  23. Ride a roller coaster
    • Incomplete - I think there is still time for this one. Who's with me? My vote is Fire in the Hole. :)
  24. No fast food for a month
    • Somewhat complete. I've gone at least a total of a month without fast food. Just not consecutive.
  25. Do a puzzle
    • Incomplete. Geez, this is not my best work.
  26. Do not complain about anything for a week
    • Complete, but I want to try it again soon. It was refreshing.
  27. Make 4 new friends
    • Complete.
  28. Have a girls weekend
    • Complete
Well, luckily I still have a bit of time, right?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Have you all ever noticed that there is a typo in my Thankful Thursday graphic? I've known about it for a while, but I can't edit it because it's on my old computer, so I'm just ignoring it. I just wanted you to know that I knew in case you also knew but were too timid to let me know you knew. Got it? The English teacher in me is cringing, but sometimes you just have to say, "Sorry 'bout it," and move on with life. (I learned that phrase from my friend Laina.)

  • Gum - I know. This one is silly, but there have been a couple of instances this week when my breath was less than stellar, and I was thanking the good Lord for chewing gum. Such a simple thing, but a little bit life changing. Okay, now I'm just being dramatic.
  • Thursday Night Bible Study a.k.a. Launch - Every Thursday night I go to this tremendous Bible Study. I can't rave enough about how much I love it. I learn so much during my time there, and then we all gather together for dinner, and it is usually hilarious. 
  • My new toaster - Momma got me a toaster. I think she was feeling sorry for me about the whole toaster in the jogging stroller debacle.
What are you all thankful for this week?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Miss Natalie

Are ya'll ready for some cuteness?

Check out little Miss Natalie. She is so adorable & photogenic. Seriously, one of the easiest baby shoots ever. I put her in a suitcase, and she just grinned. I sat her by a random door, and she'd give me the cutest expression ever. It was perfect.

Seriously. Her chubby little legs are so adorable. And those eyes! Ugh, too much cuteness for one post.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Toaster, The Jogging Stroller, & Gma's House

This is the story of the toaster, jogging stroller, and grandma's house. All day long I've been thinking about blog material, and it came right to me in the form of Momma. Okay, let's start at the beginning...

Gpa was subbing at my school today. (Yes, my 76 year old grandpa is a substitute teacher. The students love him. I think it's because his hearing is going, so he can't hear them talking while they work. But hey, ignorance is bliss.) He always stops by my office when he's in the building and today he mentioned that Gma needed her toaster back because a family friend is coming in town, and she likes toast.

Why did I have Gma's toaster? Well, I had a gaggle of girls staying with me for a few weeks, and they also like toast. The problem is I don't have a toaster. I know. How does a girl make it to the wise old age of 27 without a toaster? Simple. She's never had a bridal shower, and she doesn't eat much toast because bread goes bad quickly in a house of one girl and one huge dog. So I borrowed Grandma's toaster, and kept it for the month, but now she needed it back.

So tonight I set out to return the toaster to Gma. Well, grandmother's house is exactly one mile away from mine. (Not that I've MapQuested it or anything) It's close enough that I try to walk when I can, but it's a bit far sometimes. Especially when you have a toaster to return. And not just any toaster, this is a stainless steel 4-slice toaster. But I really wanted to walk because it seemed like a nice day. (In actuality it was a bit hot, but that's another story.) So I figured out that I could just put the toaster in my jogging stroller. (Which worked out really well. But I did put a baby blanket over it to avoid stares from the neighbors.)

Now, why does a single, 27-year-old girl have a jogging stroller? Well because she has a gma that found one at a garage sale, and nephews that used to live right up the street, so it came in handy from time to time. But this story isn't about the jogging stroller, nor the toaster. It isn't even about grandma's house. It's about Momma.

You see, when I got to grandma's house, my mom was there. (Gma's house is like my family's Grand Central Station. You never know which cousin or aunt or random person you are going to find there.) Momma was quite concerned about the fact that I had walked an entire mile in the heat, so she offered to drive me back home. And I was going to take her up on it because I'd already done 2 miles on the elliptical, and heaven knows that too much exercise is bad for the soul. (That and my allergies were driving me insane.) 

But there was a problem. I don't know how to fold down a jogging stroller. No body ever taught me that skill, so I couldn't get the stroller into Momma's car. By this time, the sun was beginning to set, so it was quite a bit cooler, and I'd eaten a banana, so I was good to go. I told Momma that I would just walk the mile back to my house, and life would be good. No big deal.

Except for the fact that my mom is a stalker. And had to follow me the entire way. With the window down. Talking about the most random things from the election and Paul Ryan being cute, but married with three kids and Catholic, or what my plans were for the evening, or about how she wouldn't be able to rest until she knew I was home safe. At one point she offered to just push the stroller, so that I could ride with her. Mind you, I was not asking her to give me a ride at this point. In fact, I was about 2 blocks from my house. But she insisted on trying...

It didn't work out very well, but it did make me laugh, and I'm sure if my neighbors weren't already talking about the crazy red head pushing a toaster around like a baby, they were talking about the crazy lady in the white SUV pushing a stroller around while driving. What can I say, this acorn didn't fall far from the tree. 


Monday, September 03, 2012

Ray to the Lene

Some of you may be wondering why I've become a regular blogger again. It's because of a certain little lady named Raylene. About 2 years ago, Raylene started a blog because I was blogging, and it inspired her. Then she decided to get an MBA, and quit the blogging scene all together, and now she is back. So if my protege is back, I feel like I should be back too. So tonight's blog post is 5 things I love about Raylene, because 5 is her favorite number.

1. She has a good laugh - Now when I say this, I'm not talking about her every day laugh. I'm talking about the laugh she gets when I do something utterly ridiculous like make up new words describing Twitter Wars. It's a mix of, "Oh, my, goodness, this is hilarious" and "Oh, my, goodness, I can't believe I actually am friends with this lunatic" and "Oh, my, goodness, bless her heart, Jen's gone crazy." It's wonderful in every way.

2. She enjoys color coding things - Let me be honest here, Internet, I can appreciate a good color coded system, but I never take the time to do it. Raylene is one of those people who carries 9 different colors of Sharpie pens in her purse in case the need to color code comes over her. And I'm not exaggerating. She literally has Sharpie pens in colors that I've never seen before. It's impressive.

3. She is honest - You know those friends that you can count on to give you a real answer? She is one of those. I can say, "Raylene, does this dress make my legs look stumpy?" And she answer completely honestly with, "Yes, you look like you should be singing 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' with the munchkins." Or, "Raylene, what if I married that guy standing by the counter at Starbucks?" And she'll say, "Jen, you're not going to marry a complete stranger." It's so good to know that I have her honesty on my side at all times.

4. She strives to be better than she was yesterday - This girl is crazy motivated in her career. Just sit down and talk to her about her job, and you'll understand what I mean in 4 minutes or less. Plus you'll have a much better understanding of Corporate HR. She is goal oriented, but allows herself grace. It's motivating.

5. She doesn't think I'm crazy - This is usually one of the things I love about all of my friends because I'll admit that I'm a bit crazy. Raylene not only tolerates me, but she encourages me to be all that the Good Lord created me to be.

I could list so many more things, like her heart for God, her amazing driving abilities, her Twitter posts - tweets?, her sassiness, or the fact that she is a Mizzou fan. So many great things.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my parent's 34th wedding anniversary!

A few weeks go, Momma and I were chatting about marriage. A friend of mine had just mentioned to me that he doesn't think marriage will end up being as difficult as people make it seem. I asked Momma if she thought marriage was hard, and her response was, "Not necessarily, but sometimes I want to do something and your dad won't let me. That's the hardest part." Apparently she has a rebellious streak.

I have come to realize how fortunate I am to have parents who have remained happily married for 34 years.  They have been an incredible example to my brothers and I of faithfulness, respect, and love, and I am so glad that God chose me to be their daughter. Happy Anniversary, Momma & Daddy!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Turn your T into a V

If you are anything like me, then you have a drawer full of T-shirts. And if you're anything like me, you aren't a huge fan of the crew neck of T-shirts. Luckily you don't have to live your entire life only wearing crew necks. Here is a quick and easy way to change your crew neck T-shirt into a V-neck T-shirt. All you need is a needle and thread. No sewing experience required.

1. Gather your materials: T-shirt, thread in matching color, needle, and scissors
2. Thread your needle, and start about 4 inches down from the middle of the crew neck.
3. Stick the needle up from the underside of the shirt.
4. Do a loose stich about a half an inch up from where you stuck the needle through
5. Continue "weaving" the thread. About 4 loose stitches is perfect.
6. Turn the shirt inside out (or just fold the neck down a bit) and pull the thread's ends so the fabric accordions
7. Tie the thread ends and snip off the excess
8. Make sure nothing looks janky
9. Wear with pride.
I'm telling you, it's simple. So go and turn all of your T-shirts into much more flattering V-necks.