Friday, December 30, 2005


Christmas was lovely and couldn’t have been better in my opinion. Everyone seemed to love the gifts I gave them. I was especially glad to see that my brother loved the shirts I bought him. I usually do have a good eye for what would look good on someone. And it was so adorable watching my nephew, Micah, open his and Sophia’s gifts. Have you ever seen a 2-year old get excited about clothes!? He does. His eyes light up and he exclaims “Mine!” and proudly shows his parents. I’m glad he can appreciate a good-looking piece of clothing when he sees it. He does look so cute in the little Gap jacket I bought him.

BF and I exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve, as usual, and I was relieved that she liked her gift, too, because it took quite awhile to make it. I thought it turned out just as well as I had hoped it would. Here is a pic:

I *loved* what she gave me, too . . a framed picture that she took of a door in Jerusalem, Israel. Yay!-now my art collection is officially started.

Time at Farmtown Grandma’s went fast! The highlights were the delicious smoked turkey and playing Disney Scene It! which is so much easier than the regular version of the game. Grandma was pretty excited about her bird tree. If you want to get her a good gift, just find something with a bird in it. I, for example, got her cardinal earrings. She was in such a good mood, she pulled out the accordian.

Uptown Grandma's house was a great time, too. Instead of having a traditional sharing time, we instead drew names and would bless or encourage the person whose name we drew. It wasn't mandatory, but everyone over the age of 8 wanted to participate and it was such a wonderful time! Lots of smiles and a few happy tears. I love my family!!! It's so amazing to have an entire side of the family that loves Jesus. Even little Jake who is 2 1/2 said he wanted to bless someone when we jokingly asked. We asked who and he said "Jesus" . . good answer :)

Grandma got all the girls warm pajama pants this year. Last year it was furry slippers.

Here's one of my favorite gifts . . a jewelry armoire . . can't wait to get organized!

Some of us, cousins, went ice skating the day after Christmas and it was a blast! . . no blisters or sore feet!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Meme

Yesterday I took the day off to try to catch up on shopping, baking, etc. It was such a productive day, which is something I can usually never say about days off. Finally, I've purchased all my gifts (including a few more for myself). It feels good to finally be done, even if it is only a couple days before Christmas.

In celebration of the eve of Christmas Eve, I've decided to do the Christmas meme I found on Cady's site:

1. egg nog or hot chocolate? neither . . . how about water or milk, because that's all I really drink

2. does santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? puts them under the tree. the elves wrap them.

3. colored lights on tree/house or white? white. when i was little, i would've said colored, but now i prefer white

4. do you hang mistletoe? no, but if I had it, I think it would be fun to hang it up

5. when do you put your decorations up? the day after Thanksgiving

6. what is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? my aunt's casserole or chicken tetrazzini

7. favorite holiday memory as a child? i vividly remember getting my first cabbage patch dolls when i was 3 (i think) and naming one marjorie (after uptown grandma) and the other barker lance (keeping his real name)

8. when and how did you learn the truth about santa? i asked my mom a logical question about the tooth fairy and learned she wasn't real . . . and then the wheels started turning as i stood there in silence and finally exclaimed in a very disappointed voice, "Does this mean that Santa and the Easter Bunny aren't real, either?" I think I cried. (It was the next worst realization to learning about sex.) But, then I thought all the kids in my class who still believed didn't have any common sense

9. do you open a gift on christmas eve? i exchange with BF at church and then go over my aunt & uncle's for dinner and exchange with my cousin, Joy

10. what kind of cookies does santa get set out for him? Oreos, of course . . america's favorite cookie

11. snow! love it or dread it? it's very pretty, BUT i don't like getting the bottoms of my pants wet or feeling like driving somewhere is dangerous.

12. can you ice skate? yes but i'm not that great at it, because i'm scared of falling down and having someone run over my fingers

13. do you remember your favorite gift? hmmm, i do remember really loving my gameboy and, of course, every pair of doc martens i got

14. what's the most important thing about the holidays for you? getting to see all my family that lives out of state (IN, TX, DC)

15. what is your favorite holiday dessert? hopscotches with chow mein noodles, marshmallows, and butterscotch

16. what is your favorite holiday tradition? i love the whole thing . . . christmas eve church and then dinner at aunt & uncle's . . . christmas morning w/ my immediate family . . . christmas midday at farmtown grandma's . . . and christmas evening at uptown grandma's with sharing time, which is where everyone shares about the past year (good times, bad times, God's faithfulness) and what they're anticipating for the next year . . . it's especially cute when the little kids want to share

17. what tops your tree? an angel, but i prefer a star

18. which do you prefer giving or receiving? the only thing better than that wonderful feeling that someone was thinking of you and was kind enough to bless you . . . is knowing that you could make someone else feel that way

19. what is your favorite christmas carol? oh come all ye faithful, o holy night

20. candy canes! yuck or yum? i love the fruit flavored ones

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Shuffle to the Back

Well, things with This Guy went well. I was dreading telling him my thoughts and as he began to say “nice things” I didn’t know if I would be able to. I was sitting there, thinking “S*&%, S#$&, S%@&” and then decided that rather than mentally swearing, I should probably pray about it. So I did, and it ended up going very, very smoothly . . at least for me. And in the end, I’m still glad I’m a girl, because I think ending something is a whole lot easier than starting it.

Last night was my fifth time line dancing with the Country Kickers. It’s my “new thing” and so much fun! Everyone there is so extremely nice and welcoming . . . and old. In fact, other than one other guy my age, I’m the youngest by probably 20 years. But it’s so great. I met a nice, older couple (M & S) in their late 50s who told me that I just had to meet their 29-year-old son and that they’d try to get him to come so I would have a dance partner my age. After talking a bit, I had quite a lot of reason to believe that he was a Christian. And his mother said he was very cute. And he’d come dancing before quite a few times so he should be familiar with some of the couples’ dances. Could it be that I would have a nice, young, talented dance partner and that he would be cute?

No. Neither. I mean I didn’t expect both to be true, but neither?? Not only can he not dance, but his mother is very biased. I could’ve easily overlooked his average looks if he could dance, but he was tripping over his feet and mine the whole night and his arms were more like the angel hair pasta I’ve been craving than those of a man who can lead. Even the simplest of dances had him stumped. With a last name like “Tucker” I expected him to be tearing up the dance floor like nobody’s business. Hey, if you’re country, it should be in your genes.

But, he was nice. And geez, most of the time that’s all I can say about single, Christian guys I meet. “Well, he’s really nice.” Not he’s cool or he’s funny or he’s such a godly man. He’s just nice. And I don’t want a “nice guy”. I want someone “who could be wicked, but wouldn’t” (Anne of Green Gables). Know what I mean?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On my mind . . .

1. How hungry I am . . and when is R going to announce today's desserts? We're having dessert every day this week leading up to Christmas and yesterday was R's delicious banana pudding, some chocolate walnut cookies, and store-bought Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes in french vanilla and chocolate . . . yummm.

2. How am I going to get everything done before Christmas? Like buying gifts for 9 more people and wrapping them all and finishing a "project" and baking a dessert for work.

3. How I am going to tactfully tell This Guy today over lunch that we should "just be friends" and how I hope he'll realize that I really mean "acquaintances" (as in people who have met but never really talk).

4. How lazy I am and how I should be ashamed of myself for always reading blogs and writing on mine on the clock. (I really do have a good work ethic and can't stand those who don't . . . I just have to maintain my sanity.)


Monday, December 19, 2005

The Sweetest Thing

My State?

I took this "State Test" that I linked to from Abra's site. First, it said my state was the "State of Greed" and I was a little bit confused, because I thought it was supposed to be one of the 50 states. It is supposed to be an actual state, but they tricked me! They gave me a trick question! Is it a crime to think you make a decent living? Anyway . . . So I retook it and ended up with the State of Oklahoma, which is pretty accurate since it's only two states south. Here's what it said:

After overcoming a terrible tragedy in recent years, you have shown the ability to really shine through adversity. You've renovated your home, picked up the pieces, and built things all over again. Meanwhile, you seem uncannily drawn to the classic board game Twister, though it doesn't always lighten your mood. Despite all the hardships, you're one of those quirky folks who simply breaks out into song at random times in life. Ultimately, you just want people to know that you're O.K.

The only thing true in that paragraph is the part about breaking into song . . but I only do that sometimes in private.

I kept re-taking it to see if I could get Nebraska and it took me 4 tries. Instead, I got Kansas, Wyoming, and Iowa. It wasn't until I was honest and admitted to being a procrastinator that I ended up with my home state.

Take the quiz.

Friday, December 16, 2005


It's been so long since I've posted. I've been training people this week at work, so there hasn't been much time for an update.

This week has been an "aaah" week. For one, I gave This nice Guy my number a couple weeks ago not because I was interested in him or attracted to him, but just because I thought "Why not? I'll be open and just maybe go out once . . After all, I should be open to getting to know new people . . expand my horizons, etc. . .or if I decide I don't want to go before he calls, no big deal - I'll just tell him. .". But, oh, it's just not that simple, is it? Because when This Guy calls, he doesn't call to ask you out . . . he wants to talk . . about nothing important . . and for long periods of time. And when you say you've gotta go, it doesn't end there. It's like, "Oh, what are you going to eat?" or "What store are you going to?" and that can lead right back into more conversation! And he is just so eager to go on an official date, whereas I'm a much bigger fan of "hanging out", because if I don't like hanging out with you, then why would I want to sit down and get to know you? Now, of course I wouldn't mind this all so much if I was interested in him, but I've already determined that I'm not. Sometimes it doesn't take long to make a final decision.

Though I already knew I wasn't really into him, I thought I should accept his invitation to lunch and just be able to say I gave it a shot. Then I would have more grounds for telling him we should "just be friends". BUT, before even going to lunch, we were discussing what day I would be free and I said Thursday was it. I was busy every other night. And then, he said it. . . . . .

"Well, the U2 concert is that night-

-"What did you say? Are you going????"

And then . . .

"Yeah, do you want to come?"

"DO.I.WANT.TO.COME? I would love to!!"

So he explains that he has basically a free pass . . . all he has to do is check ids and give out wristbands for those who want to drink. But after that he can go to the concert . . he doesn't have to miss any of it! He can see the whole thing . . for free! And I can come with! And I can bring a friend!

Suddenly I'm very very glad I gave him my number. I wondered if I should feel bad going along when I knew I wasn't interested in him, but in one of our *many* conversations this week, I was able to explain where I stood . . . not where he did. This made me feel much better about going "as friends" - yay!

So we went last night and OHMYGOSH, it was amazing! I was doubtful that it could compare to their "Elevation" tour, but I dunno, it was so awesome!! We had great seats. . . totally lucked out [were blessed], because we didn't have assigned seats. I was so happy to have AG there with me, too. (She and I had been looking online for tickets, but of course they were so freakin expensive!) We were dancing and jumping and screaming and singing and swaying the entire time!!! They played for 2 1/2 hours! And I was so excited that they played a few of the songs I'd wanted them to play at their last concert, but they hadn't. Ie: "Mysterious Ways", which is one of my faves! It's a miracle I have any voice left today. I do feel a bit hoarse.

I have a full weekend, which does not include attending the Christmas party This Guy invited me to. He really made me feel bad when I said no, and I do not like being pressured. I had already made plans Saturday night and, like I said before, I barely know him and I prefer getting to know someone in a more comfortable setting, as friends.

I'll post concert pics later.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Deck the Halls

So much family fun tonight. It was annual decorate the tree night at Uptown Grandma's. We first sat down to bowls of chili and/or potato soup with some yummy bread (perfect for weather in the single digits!) . Oatmeal cake for dessert . . pretty good stuff.

It's so fun to hang our favorite ornaments and see which new ones G-ma has gotten this year . . I accidentally broke one-whoops!

After some laughing and pulling out atrocious ornaments from various boxes, I overheard Grandma saying, "The girls better not get silly tonight or I'll be upset" (because this dec-the-tree stuff is very serious business). Isn't the fun part supposed to be hanging the big plastic apples that Grandma no longer likes all over the tree and when she complains, hiding them in the back of the tree so the neighbors can look in the window and think we're tacky?

Plus, I don't think it's possible for Joy & I to get together, along with my sister and not laugh and be silly. Here's an example:

And again, I make those I love brave the cold for a cool picture (this time in the sleigh):

Grandma always comes in at the top when it comes to Christmas decorations at the lake, though there doesn't seem to be as many lights this year . . . (that's a big Santa on the balcony):

Not to be cheesy, but it really IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Boots Made Me Do It

Well, this whole don't-buy-myself-anything-this-Christmas-season-thing isn't exactly working. I was so sure this would be the year I stayed strong and resisted the temptation to buy gifts for myself. And if I hadn't found these boots, I think I would've been fine.

The day after Thanksgiving, my small town of about 25,000 people has a little lights festival where all the downtown shops are open for people to browse and drink cider and cookies and listen to the carolers, etc. I wasn't planning on going, but hadn't been in years, so I called up my parents (who have a tradition of going with their friends each year) and asked if I could meet up with them for maybe half an hour. I hoped to maybe run into people I hadn't seen in awhile and get into the Christmas spirit.

We met up at one of the coffee shops downtown and headed down the street to one of the large antique shops my town is "famous" for. I immediately felt odd hanging out with my parents and their friends . . . especially when I found them near the shall-we-say "romance" section of the coffee shop library, reading up on how to basically have a better sex life. They were a little embarrassed when I walked up. Sorry guys, didn't mean to cramp your style.

The antique shop had everything one could imagine and when I wandered over to the western section, there they were. Justin cowgirl boots. They looked like they'd never been worn and they were only $40. I've been wanting some for years, but just couldn't bring myself to spend over $100 on something I would rarely wear. So how could I pass up this "opportunity"? I couldn't.

The problem is that this totally ruined my don't-feel-like-shopping streak, which never usually lasts very long anyway. Since then I've added a few more items to the list of what I've bought myself this season. It's not bad, but it's also only December 8th.

BF and I decided we were in the mood for the Cheesecake Factory last Friday night and spontaneously made the 2 hour drive to Des Moines, IA just to eat there . . and shop J. Crew and a few other stores we somehow haven't managed to get in Omaha yet. I ended up getting a very cute vintage t-shirt from Fossil and a super-warm vintage-y hoodie uniquely stitched and slightly frayed. And just yesterday I found the nicest black leather planner for 2006 with so many different features . . and only $10 at T.J. Maxx!

Today I'm making a list of exactly what I'm getting for people and when I go to the store, I'll be "on a mission". Go, buy, leave . . no browsing! The only problem is . . I still don't know exactly what I'm getting everyone . . .

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Sad News

I heard the news last night . . can't believe I didn't find out sooner.

Nick and Jessica split.

I'm really upset by this. I really thought they could make it. At least longer than three years! She said she was serious about keeping her vows.
I'm a Jessica fan, though I have been really disappointed by her the past few years. It's amazing what fame can do to you. I used to admire her for maintaining some modesty, saving herself for marriage, and seeming like a sweet, wholesome girl . . not to mention the fact that she is beautiful and has a great sense of style!

When I watched "Newlyweds", though I loved the show, I wondered how Nick put up with her. She acted spoiled, selfish, ultra-materialistic, unladylike and lazy. Perhaps she was putting on a show much of the time, but what kind of a way is that to start a marriage - acting for a camera, trying to get fans and publicity at the expense of your marriage?! And her videos kept getting more and more scandalous. Poor Nick didn't have much of a career anymore, so that couldn't have done much for his ego, not the mention the fact that his wife seemed too into herself to care. This is not to say that he didn't contribute in some ways. Of course no one knows what went on behind the scenes, but plenty went on for all to see that could lead anyone to see that marriage had to be tough.

I can see how so much publicity and fame could hurt their marriage . . I'm just disappointed that they didn't do whatever it took to keep it together.