Friday, May 31, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 31

Today's prompt: A vivid memory

Oh goodness. I tend to vividly remember lots of things (and completely disregard others). Hmm, since I've talked about my husband/wedding quite a bit this month, let's shift gears and talk about another family member: my little brother.

My brother and I are 8 years apart. I remember asking my mom for a brother, sister, or puppy. She chose a brother. ;-) He was born in September. On the day he was born, my aunt picked me up from school, and we went to Sonic. I think I had a chocolate malt. I also think I punched my straw through the styrofoam cup, but that could've been another time. We went to the hospital next, and a lot of my family members were in the delivery room waiting. I very vividly remember my mom yelling my dad's name at one point. Now that I'm getting close to that point in life where we will have children, that part scares me a little terrifies the crap out of me!

I don't remember when I saw him for the first time or holding him or even when he came home, but I remember the things leading up to it. I guess that Sonic drink was more memorable than my brother! Ha!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 30

Today's prompt: React to this term: Letting Go

I think that this term sometimes gets a negative connotation, but it doesn't have to. There's a song that talks about letting go of control and letting God take over your life. In that case, it's definitely a good thing to let go. Letting go means taking His path and being able to live to the fullest rather than always trying to be in charge of everything. I'm writing this kind of late at night, so I hope this makes sense! I've included the song to see if that helps!

I'm Letting Go by Francesca Battistelli on Grooveshark

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 29

Today's prompt: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post

1. "Stellar" by Incubus: Incubus is one of my favorite bands, and this was the first song of theirs that captured me. Oddly enough, I heard it at a shoe store that was closing down (Just For Feet...I randomly remembered this after asking the husband if he remembered it and seeing his confused look. My brain is amazing sometimes ha ha). They played the entire CD, but this song just stood out to me, and when I was checking out, I asked the cashier what it was. I bought the CD as soon as I could afterwards and have loved them ever since...even the newer stuff. ;-P

Stellar by Incubus on Grooveshark

2. "No Such Thing" by John Mayer: Actually any John Mayer song would do here, but this was one of his first radio hits. This one's for you, Jen. ;-) (I'm also dedicating the entire Golden Girls theme song to you...heh)

No Such Thing by John Mayer on Grooveshark   Golden Girls Theme by Golden Girls on Grooveshark

3. "Fringes" by Shane and Shane: I had never heard of them until I went to a Passion Conference during college. They performed this one night after all of the daytime sessions, and it just enthralled me. To this day, it's one of my favorite songs.

Fringes by Shane & Shane on Grooveshark

4. "Step By Step" by NKOTB: This was my first concert at age 7! I've seen them again since then and will see them on June 18. I'm a junkie, I suppose!

Step by Step by New Kids on the Block on Grooveshark

 5. "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley: When I asked my husband if we had a song or if there was any song that reminded him of me (besides "Baby Got Back" bahahaha), he immediately sang this one. True love...

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley on Grooveshark

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 28

Today's prompt: Only pictures

Presenting my long weekend via smartphone pictures...







(Commercial break...contents of my Influenster Spring Fever Vox Box. Post coming soon!)





Also, I hadn't linked up in a few days even though I've been doing my posts daily. I'm all caught up now, so take a look at May 24-27 if you have some time to spare! =)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 27

Today's prompt: A letter to your readers

Dear readers,

Thank you for being a friend.

Nah, forget the Golden Girls ripoff. Thank you for reading, commenting, favoriting Tweets, and all of the other cool stuff that you do. Also, thank you to those who are blogging and creating more great content that I can read. Blogging isn't always fun or easy, but as long as I know I have readers, I'll keep doing it.

Short and sweet today. Hope you take a moment on this Memorial Day to honor those who made sacrifices for us to be able to read and write silly blogs, worship how we please, wear shorts in public, I could go on and on...


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 26

Today's prompt: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like

"What if you wake up with the thought that today is the day that the Lord has made just for you, geared to your needs and perfectly suited to your strengths and weaknesses and abilities? A day perfectly ordered to build you into the woman He desires you to be. Will you rejoice and be glad in it?"

There's nothing I can say that is better than that. Read more: When Your Days Are Filled With Busy

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 25

Today's prompt: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)

When I was in college, I worked as a membership associate at a gym. Basically, that meant that I kept the welcome area clean, scanned membership cards, greeted members and potential members, etc. Since I had pretty consistent hours, I knew a lot of the regulars who came in. I would always try to make small talk with them and go above just saying hello. On every shift, we had a wellness staff person also who was supposed to help members with equipment and other workout-related tasks. One day, a regular came up to the counter and asked me for help with something on the other side of the gym. I thought it was weird, especially since the wellness staff person was on the floor at the time, but I thought he just didn't want to disturb the wellness person. When I got to the other side of the gym with him, he admitted that he didn't need any help and just wanted to get me away from the counter because he had something important to tell me. I will never forget what he said next.

"God is proud of you."

That man nearly brought me to tears that day! I had been struggling with a lot of things but had recently decided to try to renew my walk with God and be a more faithful Christian, so for an almost complete stranger to give me that message just confirmed that I was doing the right thing. At the time, I was purely selfish and so glad to hear that message that I didn't think about how brave and bold he was to be able to convey this to me. He was clearly following God's instructions to him and completely unconcerned with how I would react.

I know there have been times since then that God may not have been too proud of me, but I keep that close to my heart and know that He is proud of me and that He uses others to convey His messages. I also use that as a reminder to keep my ears open for what He may want me to tell someone else because you never know how you might brighten someone else by being obedient to His Words!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 24

Today's prompt: Your top 3 worst traits


1. Procrastinator: As someone who works in a college library, I'm always fussing at students for waiting until the last minute to work on assignments. I have uttered the words (more than once) "we could've gotten that resource for you if you had given yourself more time." Little do they know that I am a procrastinator just like them. I have pulled multiple all nighters. I have worked on homework for one class while in another. And the procrastination didn't stop once I finished grad school. I have waited until the last minute to do things like cleaning, which brings me to number 2.

2. A smidge lazy sometimes: I'm a stash and dash girl rather than a white glove inspection kind of housekeeper. I'd rather lay around and be lazy than to scrub, mop, etc. Now, that's not saying my house is filthy, but if you go into the spare bedrooms, you're taking your life into your own hands.

3. Negative self-talk: I mentioned this on Monday, but I'm so, so, so bad about being mean to myself. I say things to myself in my head that I would be horrified to hear someone say aloud to someone else. And that's worse than all of the procrastination and laziness combined.

Guess I'll go work on something I've procrastinated on for a unpacking and cleaning the spare bedroom!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 23

Today's prompt: Things you've learned that school won't teach you

1. How to unjam the copier, using the directions on the screen, while 10 angry students who have papers due in five minutes stare at you.

2. How to gracefully tell people to keep it down, particularly when they're in a study room and think they're soundproof.

3. How to explain tech problems to people without sounding too tech-y.

4. How to cheerfully tell someone for the thousandth time to save their work often because the student terminals have "hiccups" and freeze...or because it's storming and we're bound to have a power outage.

5. How to keep your butt from going numb if you sit at a computer most of the day (hint: drink a lot of water so you're forced to get up at least once an hour).

6. How to explain the concept of a library to an international student who has never been in one.

There are oh-so-many more that I could mention, but I'm short on time today!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 22

Today's prompt: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)

It was hard for me to write this in light of the tragedy in Oklahoma. However, I know that no matter how many things happen and how often I say I'm going to be a "better person," there's always a rant inside of me... ;-)

I'm working to lose weight. It is by no means an easy process. I like to workout (once I drag myself out of bed), and I'm getting better at the healthy eating thing. During this process, I'm tracking my food and weight loss on MyFitnessPal. Since last week was the first week I really refocused my efforts, I had a decent week and lost a few pounds (likely water weight). One of my friends on there made the comment- "I wish I had your luck."


I get where she's coming from. I know how frustrating it can be to think that you're doing everything right and not see the numbers on the scale more. I get it, I really do, but this is in no way luck.

It's not luck when I'm at the gym at 5:30 AM. It's not luck when I meet a friend to run at 6:30 (er, 6:45) AM. It's not luck when I'm drinking 80 ounces of water per day. It's not luck when I'm tracking every bite that goes into my mouth, constantly planning my food, and passing up unhealthy treats that I know are delicious. Luck has nothing to do with this; it's a little willpower, a little determination, and a lot of habit-changing.

I've been in this struggle for most of my adult life. I've lost and gained weight more times than I care to even discuss. If you go into my archives, you'll see one of my "weight loss experiments" when I decided to try blogging about my progress. This isn't luck at all. This is making informed decisions about nutrition and choosing to move my body at least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days per week. If it were luck, then there wouldn't be any hard work involved; I could just choose to do and eat whatever I wanted, and the weight would fall off.

I wish her the best as she goes through her weight loss journey, but if she's relying on luck, something tells me she's in for a long, difficult road.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 21

Today's prompt: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

This one made me realize that I need to write more fun posts!

Here we go:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 20

Today's prompt: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now

Each time we've had these "heavier" prompts like this, I've had to fight the urge to be really flippant and jokey and resist saying something like "I'm struggling with not scratching the mosquito bite on my foot." I think it's because I have a tendency to cover things up with jokes. I know I'm not alone in this, and it doesn't make me a bad person. I try to be relatively private, so it's hard for me to admit personal problems or things that are negative. So, this may be one of the more difficult posts that I've written.

I'm struggling with my brain.

My mind tells lies. It tells me that I'm not good enough, I should've done this, I should be at this point in my life, I need to be this way, and so on and on and on until I can't take it anymore. My husband tries to help me get past these things, but he admits that it's going to take time for me to reprogram my thinking. My pastor has given me a lot of great tools and verses to combat this (not just me personally but everyone who attends the church...wanted to clarify that), but I haven't made use of them.

I want to change, but I guess I don't want to enough to actually do it. I'm tired of feeling defeated. I'm tired of the negative self-talk. I know that I'm better than this.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 19

Today's prompt: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them

I almost forgot to do this today! I've been doing a lot of my entries in batches, and I thought I had done this one already. Oops!

1. Suri's Burn Book: The description is "a study in Suri and the people who disappoint her." Written by "Suri Cruise" (daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes), Suri's Burn Book talks about the children of celebrities and Suri's viewpoint on them. It can be pretty mean sometimes, and I feel a little guilty reading it, but I haven't been able to break away from it yet!

2. Stuff Christians Like: I've done a guest posting for this one before, so I'm a little biased, but this is one of my favorite blogs! Its' funny, serious, and is the origin of great terms like "Jesus Juke." Plus, it doesn't make me feel guilty. Bonus! ;-)

3. Women Living Well: Recipes, marriage and family advice, and knowledge about Scripture, among many other things. Great resource!

4. Finding Joy In My Kitchen: Great, healthy recipes and meal plans. Since I'm still getting the hang of the whole cooking for two people every night (because if it was my choice, I'd have cereal or toast for dinner!), I need all of the help I can get!

Finding Joy in My Kitchen

5. Librarian Wardrobe: Because not all of us wear buns and sensible shoes every day!

Librarian Wardrobe

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 18

Today's prompt: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

 I remember the first time I realized that the day I was living would be the only time that day ever happened. I can't remember how old I was exactly; I was likely between 9 and 11 years old since I remember what house I lived in when this occurred. I was playing Barbies and listening to the radio, and something they said on the radio just triggered it. I stopped and realized that the particular day was going to be the only October 12, 1993...ever (not the specific date but used for the purpose of this entry). It was a little earth-shattering for me. For some reason, I had never really thought of life as being a finite thing and that days were not repeated or recycled. It also fascinated me. Those who were born after that date would never get to experience that date, just as I would never experience dates that happened before I was born.

 I'd like to say that this gave me a profound revelation to live each day to the fullest or take charge of life, but it didn't. I sat there for a few minutes, then happily went back to my Barbies. If there was only going to be one October 12, 1993, I was going to live it how I wanted to.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 17

Today's prompt: A favorite photo of yourself and why

This was right after the pastor (whose name I don't even remember because I met him about five minutes before the wedding started) had pronounced us man and wife. I had giggled my way through the wedding, and it went really quickly, so I was just stunned and excited that we were actually married. I'm 29, so there were many, many, many times in my life that I was convinced that I was never going to meet someone and get married. Guess that was a good lesson in patience, huh? ;-)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 16

Today's prompt: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it

Honestly, it's something I can't talk about right now, but I'm hoping that I'm going to find a solution for it this summer. Sorry to be all vague and whatnot, but this isn't the time or place to talk about it.

I really just wanted to post again today, even though I knew I wouldn't have anything to really contribute...


Here's a picture of hipster Ariel. She's the only one who understands the inner conflict I'm currently experiencing...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 15

Today's prompt: A day in the life (include photos from your typical day- this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like)

Crud. I completely forgot to take pictures today, so here are some random pictures to represent my day:

I went to the gym. This picture is from my gym, but it was taken back in November. I'm on the far right. My eyes are closed...story of my life:

I did laundry:

I mowed the back yard while my husband did some carpentry work inside:

I paid bills:

I did a lot of other things too, but that's all of the energy I have left for today!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 14

Today's prompt: Ten things that make you really happy

There are the really, super obvious things that make me happy, like Jesus, my husband, my parents, my brother, and the couple of friends I still have (ha), but there are other (sometimes weirder) things that I don't talk about as much that my adoring fans deserve to know about, so in no particular order, they are:

1. When writing is easy: Sometimes I want to blog or do book reviews or whatever, but it's tough. I can't think of the words I want to say, I get easily distracted, I get frustrated, I give up. But, other times, things are good. Better than good. My fingers are magically connected to the keyboard, and I'm on fie-ah (that's how a Southern girl spells a word in a Northern accent). Those are the days when you sit at the computer for hours before you realize it.

2. The end of the workday, especially before a weekend or any other break from returning the next day: I'm fortunate to have a job but some days, you just don't wanna be there. Am I right or am I right?

3. Winning things: For a while, I was on a hot winning streak. I won concert tickets, event tickets, items, etc. I can't even remember what all I won because it was a season of plenty. Alas, the golden days of winning-hood are over.

4. Brownies: Especially now that I'm back in weight loss mode. They're a rare treat in my world.

5. Changing out of sweaty clothes after a really good workout: Or should I say unsticking them from yourself? Ick.

6. When my husband is silly: I know, I know. This still kind of counts as talking about him, but I'm putting it on here anyway. I'm definitely the more goofy one of the two of us, so when he does silly things that he knows are going to make me laugh (particularly when I don't wanna laugh and I'm making the "pouty face"), I just melt...okay, no more gushy stuff...

7. Tiny things that look like bigger things: Like dollhouse furniture, miniature food, or baby clothes. Seeing shrunken versions of things that are supposed to be big makes me giggle.

8. Getting to go "potty" (#1 or #2...I'm not nitpicking here) after you've had to hold it a long time:  Don't even act like you've never experienced that.

9. Really green grass: One of our neighbors has the most beautiful yard I've ever seen. It even won "yard of the month" once in our subdivision (yes, we live in a subdivision that gives out a "yard of the month" award. Sigh). I don't know what they put on their grass to make it so green, but it's true that the grass really is greener on that side of the fence. Ha.

10. Making unintentional jokes: Inspired by the last sentence of #9. Boo-yah.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Review of Empty Promises by Pete Wilson

Ever think "if I just had more money, a bigger house, a better job, ________, life would be better?" You're definitely not alone if you have! Everyone has fallen for an "empty promise" at least once in his or her life, but those who succeed are the ones who can break free of these lies and learn to live fulfilled lives without falling into the empty promise trap. 

Wilson, a pastor at Nashville's Cross Point Church, has a a lot of valid points and is definitely knowledgeable about the topics he has written about, but I found myself distracted while reading this. Sometimes I didn't feel like the book was cohesive and there was a little bit of jumping around. I also found myself wishing that he would revisit some of the stories he talked about in the book so readers could find out how those people fared. For example, he talked about one man who was so distraught over the loss of his job that he told Wilson he wanted to end his life. I assumed the man was okay (or else his story wouldn't have been included in the book), but I would've like to have known more about the people that Wilson introduced. However, overall it was enjoyable, and I would recommend it, particularly to anyone who has ever fallen for any of the "empty promises" that he talks about. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Blog Every Day in May: May 13

Today's prompt: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be. 
I had to fight really hard not to write out the lyrics to Mrs. Jackson by Outkast here (you know, "Sorry Mrs. Jackson...I am for real..."). I had a little bit of a difficult time with this one because I wanted to make it funny, but I know that there are a couple of serious apologies I need to make also. In the end, I went with a serious one because it's Monday, and I'm feeling serious, so here we go...

Dear girl I saw at the Lion King last week,

I'm sorry for making fun of your dress. I'm not sure if you heard me or not. I thought I was being so clever by nodding at my friend, then nodding at you to indicate that I was perplexed by your wardrobe choice, and then the snarky comment I made just sealed my fate as the funniest person there, right?

The truth is, I had no reason to say that. You were probably just 16 or 17 years old, if that, and there was no reason for me to be rude to you. I shouldn't be rude to anyone, despite their age, but I should be especially careful about what I say to and about younger people. One mean comment can damage an already fragile self-esteem. One mean comment can stay with you for years. And honestly, my mean comment was just for the benefit of my friend; I didn't really care one way or the other what you had on, and it didn't look bad. So to her and all of the other people I've misdirected my snark, anger, displeasure, etc towards, I'm sorry. Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make mine look any brighter, and it's definitely not the best way for me to share Jesus with others. 

I'm sorry.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 12

Today's prompt: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)

I miss friendships. In college, friendships were so easy. You had lots of time. You had common interests and goals and plans. You had opportunities to just sit around and talk (or "socialize" as I called it). It was easy to meet people, and there didn't seem to be the awkwardness there is now with making friends. It just seemed like it all came together a lot easier than it does now.

Don't get me wrong, I have a few friendships now, but lately it's more and more of a struggle to find someone to do something with if my husband is busy or if I want to do something girly. And some of it is my fault. I didn't really care for and cultivate the friendships that I sustained in college, and people got tired of that. I don't get invited to things as much, and unfortunately, I don't often say yes to the invitations I receive. So, I guess I can't really miss something that I didn't put a lot of effort into, but it still would be nice if it was as easy to make friends now as it was then.

Now if you'll excuse me, my imaginary friend and I have somewhere to be...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 11

Today's prompt: Sell yourself in 10 words or less

Jesus lover, awesome wife, daughter, and sister. Loves bacon.

Shoot. I'd buy whatever I'm selling with a description like that! ;-)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 10

Today's prompt: Most embarrassing moment(s). Spill

This one was a hard one for me, not because I was reluctant to share an embarrassing moment but because I  usually feel awkward instead of embarrassed. I was trying to remember the last time I felt truly embarrassed, but nothing came to mind. So, I decided to recap a couple from my younger years.

No Homers Club

12 points to Gryffindor if you get the reference...
When I was in elementary school, there was another girl named Amber in my class. One day I was in class, and I noticed an envelope on a table that had my name on it. I ripped it open and saw that it was an invitation to a birthday party of the most popular girl in the class. I was so excited! And, well, we all know how this one ends, don't we? I don't know why it never occurred to me that it wasn't for me. Sigh...

Oops I Ripped My Pants...

Oh Spongebob. You always know how to illustrate my pain

In college I used to participate in theater. Since my house was about 17 miles from the school, I didn't really like to drive home during the day then have to come back for play rehearsal, so I would hang out at a friend's house. We'd generally watch TV, do homework, have great philosophical debates about the history of the universe, you know, the normal college kid stuff. One day I decided that I wanted to show him some dance moves. It must have been a particularly boring day since I'm pretty rhythm-less. I had on fairly new jeans, and I guess they were still pretty stiff because I threw my leg in the air and rrriiippppppp. They didn't even rip on a seam either! They ripped on a random part of the front of the leg. Thankfully, I had some sweats with me, so I was able to change, but the poor jeans were toast.

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump Away

Two Homers in one post? Say what?

My church has a two weekend program for people who are interested in different areas of ministry to attend. After you complete the sessions, they call everyone up during the next weekend's service and congratulate them. I wasn't married at the time and my maiden name started with a W, so I was one of the last people to be called up. While I was walking up there, it seemed like it was taking too long, so I decided to skip. In front of the entire church. I didn't feel embarrassed until my mom called me out when I sat back down. A brisk walk just wouldn't have cut it, I suppose...

I know this is twisted, but I can't wait to read some other embarrassing moments from the linkup! If you're not participating and want to share your embarrassment, leave a comment below so everyone can commiserate! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: May 9

Today's prompt: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)

Grainy phone picture...sorry!
This is a typical night in our house- my husband is on the couch, and I sit on the floor in front of him since my laptop is on the coffee table. I don't really know why I don't just move the laptop to the other end of the couch. Maybe I just like sitting in front of him. We're still newlyweds, so I think that explains it. =)