Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bookworm



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Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Thoughts on Christmas

The coming of the Christ was foretold in the Old Testament. He would be a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and King David. He would be born of a virgin. He would be from Nazareth and born in Bethlehem. He would lead a sinless life and establish David's kingdom for eternity. He would be called Immanuel. He would perform miracles. He would be hated without cause.

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God. He has people with a "past" in his lineage like Rahab the prostitute and Judah the liar. He came from imperfect people. He came for imperfect people. I don't care if his birthday is December 25th or July 25th - I'm just happy he was born.

(We had this statue at our house when I was a little girl...it came out once a year as a Christmas decoration. I wish I knew where it was today...)

A Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

Love,

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Friday, December 24, 2010

State Pillows - All Done!

Remember when I told you that I loved the Catstudio State Pillows? The NC one looks like this:

I think it's so cute, but I don't think it's $149 cute. If you do, you can purchase it here.

Instead, I bought a couple of dishtowels for $20 each here.

Step 1: Purchase awesome dishtowels
Step 2: Receive awesome dishtowels in the mail in packaging so darn cute you don't want to open them.
Step 3: Oh, ok. Go ahead and open them.
Step 4: Sew 'em up! Insert Pillow form!
Step 5: Voila! Pillows:


Ok, so they're not *identical* to the other pillows. If I had wanted to do piping around all of the edges and square them up, they certainly could have been. In the meantime, I'm pretty content with my rectangle shaped faux pillows. As if I needed another pillow in my house...


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 23

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love looking under my Christmas tree and seeing what looks like bazillions of beautiful packages...and I thought we were broke.
I love giving gifts SO much more than I like receiving them, but my favorite thing in the world to hear as a gift recipient is, "when I saw this, I thought of you."
I hate being cold. BRRRRR.
I hate that you can't buy some people for what they're worth and sell them for what they think they're worth. We'd all be rich!
I like it when my house is clean. It's not right now...argh.
I wish that when I saw things on people's facebook posts that made me think, "this is probably going to offend me," that I wouldn't click. Why? Why do I do that to myself?
For goodness sake, please try to convince me that I really do want to make the trip to NC. Wish my friends and family were coming here instead.
I hope Santa doesn't have a hard time getting into our house tomorrow night...might have to leave the door unlocked or something since there's no chimney. How else would he get in? The window? That's kinda creepy...
I hope that one day we will be completely debt free...school debt is rough. Thank goodness we don't own any credit cards.
I pray for safe travels to and from the old North state.
I pray that next year, we do Christmas more simply.
I will brag tomorrow about the pillows I made tonight...wait til you see them!
I won't ever understand why people find it necessary to wallow. Maybe one day I'll be a wallower too, but right now I'm not, so it gets on my nerves a little. Don't you just want to tell some people to get some joy?
And for today...don't forget your manners. Sadie and I have been talking about manners a lot lately because I've been referring constantly to the fact that somehow people tend to forget their manners during the holidays - especially at retail stores.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Inside the Studio

Today was super awesome. I got to go to the Comcast recording studio! Not only did I get to go to the studio but they actually trusted me to get in front of a camera and read a script! The studio is inside of Comcast Center in downtown Philadelphia, and it's where they film a lot of things that are iconic to Comcasters (but probably won't mean a thing to you, so I won't bore you). Denise and I went together. We took pictures of each other - mostly because I *really* wanted to blog about this. :)

As you may already be aware, we're actually not important at all - we were just a test crew before "real" actors and actresses are hired to do the shoot. Regardless, I milked my on screen time. You never know when tinsel town will come calling, you know?

After we took the train to the city this afternoon, the first thing we saw when we walked in the studio was the 103" flat screen.
What??? We could fit FOUR of our home TV in that one. Would you like one? You, too, can have a 103" TV screen for the bargain basement price of $40,000.00.

(Also, I just noticed that the background is sort of reminiscent of talk shows - you know...like Dr. Phil)

This is me getting the mic put on:
You can see one of the teleprompters on the right...it says something awesome, I'm sure.

And this is me on a green screen for the first time ever:

...and this is what the green screen turns into when Greg (the guy putting the mic on me in one of the photos above) waves his magic wand a little and does a rain dance:
Hi, Mom!

The lovely Denise in her TV debut:

Jack, Denise, and Me playing with the green screen:

I had so much fun pretending to be famous. Giant thank you's to Scott B. for asking us to do this!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

30 Before 30 - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

9 down, 21 to go! I am officially 3/10 of the way through my literary adventure. 3/10 sounds so much better than 4/15!!


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a really good book if you can look past the "n" word. I hate the word, but I liked that the book was really forward thinking for its time, especially with regards to race relations. The (in my opinion) best character in the book was a runaway slave. I also liked the slang and the misspelled words. If you know me, you know I'm usually not a fan of misspelled words, but I gotta say, I hain't never read nuthin so convoluted that I liked so good in all mah days. :)

Loved the innocence of it, loved the adventure of it, and loved the feeling of being excited about getting to the next part.

In honor of the late, great, Mark Twain, here are some fun quotes with regards to Huck Finn:

"I have written 400 pages on it - therefore it is very nearly half done. It is Huck Finn's Autobiography. I like it only tolerably well, as far as I have got & may possibly pigeonhole or burn the MS when it is done." - Mark Twain, from a letter to William Dean Howells 8/9/1876
(Thank you Mr. Clemens, for not ditching Huck's tale!)

"The story is so interesting, so full of life and dramatic force, that the reader will be carried along irresistibly, and the time he loses in laughing he will make up in diligence to hurry along and find out how things come out." -From a review in The Hartford Courant 2/20/1885

(amazingly, still true in 2010)

In a letter from Twain to the library directors of Concord, Massachusetts:
"A committee of the public library of your town have condemned and excommunicated my last book and doubled its sale. This generous action of theirs must necessarily benefit me in one or two additional ways. For instance, it will deter other libraries from buying the book; and you are doubtless aware that one book in a public library prevents the sale of a sure ten and a possible hundred of its mates. And, secondly, it will cause the purchasers of the book to read it, out of curiosity, instead of merely intending to do so, after the usual way of the world and library committees; and then they will discover, to my great advantage and their own indignant disappointment, that there is nothing objectionable in the book after all."

(BAAAHAHAHAHAHA)

A couple of interesting facts about ol' Huck's "autobiography":
  • In 1957, the NAACP claimed that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was racist. In reaction to this, NYC schools removed the book from their curriculum.
  • The book continues to be widely banned from schools to this day. From 1990-1999, it was the 5th most challenged book. Between 2000-2009, it had slipped to number 14.
Yay for controversy in literature! Let's keep people's brains working - it's good for them.

Speaking of controversy - next book: The Bible

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I've Been Decorated...

Sadie came into the bathroom while I was fixing my hair before church this morning and told me she was going to decorate me "like a Christmas tree."

And then she wanted to take a picture of her masterpiece. So here it is: my booty decorated with terry cloth napkins and dryer sheets - from a preschooler's eye view...


You're welcome.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 22

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love my husband. Oh my gosh...I'm so lucky (blessed, fortunate, favored). He might be the greatest man alive...he's certainly the greatest one I've ever met. I'll stop so you don't throw up...but seriously. I adore him. And he knows it.
I love my Chrome notebook. Or I love the idea of my Chrome notebook...I'm not sure which statement is the most accurate right now. But I'm blogging from it right now!!
I hate it when people don't know how to shake hands properly. Please, for the love of all that is good, LEARN TO SHAKE HANDS with people. Truly, you have to learn it - it's a skill. You might *think* you know how to shake hands, but if no one has ever actually taught you, then you are probably doing it wrong. After you read this, you should go practice with someone successful. Successful people know how to shake hands.
I hate staying up until stupid o'clock for no good reason.
I like having an outlet for my snarks. You're welcome.
I wish I had gotten our Christmas cards done tonight. Sorry guys - they probably won't be in your mailbox until Christmas Eve.
For goodness sake, please learn to accept compliments well (you know...after you learn to shake hands). When someone compliments you, you should smile and say, "Thank you!" Say it as genuinely and appreciatively as you possibly can. Don't say anything about how they shouldn't be complimenting you on that particular thing...it's up to them if they want to compliment you - you don't get to choose what they like about you. If they like it, by gosh, you should appreciate that. People love it when their compliments are accepted. And please (pretty, pretty please with lots of cherries on top), don't disparage yourself...it's not cute, or demure, or any other positive adjective. It just puts doubts in the mind of the complimenter.
I hope no one decides to go to the gym under our apartment to night at midnight. There's some weirdo that likes to go down there and throw the weights all over the room (honesty, that's what it sounds like), and listen to his thumpity music as loud as possible while I'm trying to sleep.
I hope tomorrow passes quickly. I don't like to wish away the days, but I could really use a weekend.
I pray for the Griffin family...they're having a rough night :(
I pray that Eric gets over the crud...and that Sadie and I don't get it. Yuck.
I will be eating tabouli in 14 hours. MMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
I won't go another full day without plugging in our Christmas tree. It's so beautiful!
And for today, Eric is officially done with his third semester of optometry school. We are THREE EIGHTHS of the way through this part of our adventure! How awesome is that?!?! If you see this - please congratulate him - he's worked really hard :)

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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Finish Board

God is so good to me. In addition to provision for basic needs like a place to live and food to eat, He has given me:
- An amazing husband who, just when I think I can't love him any more, does something else that makes my heart skip and my knees go weak.
- A beautiful, well-mannered, thoughtful, funny, and oh-so-smart little girl.
- A family who loves us and supports us unconditionally.
- Friends who are closer to us than most families.
- A resume I don't deserve.
- Lots of education ABOUT education so that I can teach my daughter things even while we grocery shop or color on her drawing pad.
- Time to do the things I love.
- An opportunity to happily serve my family through sacrifice.
- A desire to be better.
- Knacks for this-and-that.
- Two working cars.
- Enough possessions to ensure that our house always needs to be straightened up.

And even though I have all of this stuff...stuff I absolutely, unequivocally, don't deserve...stuff that makes me realize just how much my cup runneth over...He keeps on pouring.


If I had my life to do over again, I really think I would have gone to school for textile design. I was always pretty good at art, and I think that would have translated fairly well to design.

But, I don't have my life to do over again, and I really love what I do...and I think I'm pretty good at it. My outside-the-home job is to be a resource. Every day, I do events, catering, onboarding, vendor management, negotiations, project management, and other exciting miscellanea. (my inside-the-home job actually isn't much different - ha!).

All of that said, there is something that I've come to really realize lately: God is in love with me. He's in love with me right now, just the way that I am. He's not in love with some future - better - version of me who gets it all right all the time. I don't get it right all the time, and I definitely don't deserve love from anyone - least of all the creator of the universe. But because He loves me, He cares about my heart. And because He cares about my heart, He knows the things that I love. And because He knows the things that I love, He gives me opportunities to experience those things every single day.

I would have gone into textile design, but God knew better - He put me into the education field (why?), put me in human resources (why?), allowed me to endure LOTS of hardship (why?), provided a miraculous job in NC (why?), and provided another miraculous job in Pennsylvania so that my family could be together.

Why?

So that tonight, I could write this blog post and tell you that today, at my work, I presented my very first ever design finish board. Something my job technically shouldn't require. But I won't try to tell God what my job should and shouldn't require. I'll just hold out my cup for more.


"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." ~Psalm 37:4

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Table Cloth Tree Skirt

I want this tree skirt:
If you would like to buy it for me, you can get it at Nieman Marcus for $650.00.

What's that? You already bought me a $650.00 Christmas present this year? Oh, well then I'll just have to take myself to Target and purchase a $10.00 60" round table cloth.

And cut it up one side to the exact center...

And not worry about sewing it because, seriously , who's gonna see the edges?

And then I'm gonna wrap the table cloth around my tree like this:

And now, even though my tree doesn't have Nieman's $650.00 tree skirt, I'm pleased. It's very wabi-sabi, and it makes me happy.

5 minute project - tops. If you finish the edges, it'll take you 15.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sadie and Santa 2010


Merry Christmas!!

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Christmas Tea Party

How cool would it have been to be invited to a fancy Christmas tea party when you were three? Never fear, these days, you can live vicariously through your own tiny tots because they will inevitably get invited to AWESOME stuff (like Christmas Tea Parties).

Sadie's BFF Madison invited her...they had such a good time!

They got to talk to Santa:

Here they are playing in a little house...

And I have no idea what happened here, but it cracks me up :)

And here's Madison with her beautiful mommy!

Very fun playdate with the girlies!! Sadie already wants to know when we can play with Madison again (thank you guys for inviting us!!).


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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 21

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love what I do for a living. Managing offices...it's my thing, I think.
I love eating cereal for supper.
I hate being scolded or spoken to condescendingly. I am not a child, and I'm a fairly responsible adult, I like to think.
I hate that I forgot to eat lunch today. That's how I know I'm too busy at work. Well, 2 things. 1) I don't have time to send Heather an email at some point during the day and 2) I forget to eat my lunch.
I like comedians. Actually, I just like laughing. It's so nice to be able to think about something completely ridiculous for a minute.
I wish there were more hours in a day. I would be a superstar.
For goodness sake, if you're gonna do it, do it with GUSTO! Put some grit and heart into it...you might as well, right?
I hope that Eric and I pass along our gift for fighting well to our child(ren). Civility solves problems that screaming and name-calling never could.
I hope that we never forget our journey as a family. I should write it down.
I pray with GRATITUDE for my mom. She gives until it hurts...and she loves to do it.
I pray for mommies and daddies who are dealing with sick babies. How fortunate we are to have a healthy kid and how ever-present is the reality that nothing is guaranteed.
I will share a fun quote with you: "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I won't clean my house tonight. Just in my line of sight, there is a toppled-over laundry basket, three post packages of Christmas presents, and a coffee table full of crayons. Ok, I'm lying to you...there's a lot more than that, but I'm too tired to type it all. Instead, I'm going to ignore it and maybe do it tomorrow. How very Scarlett of me.
And for today, there are 14 days until Christmas. EEK!


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Monday, December 6, 2010

First Train Ride

Sadie went on her first train ride today! She was so excited about it that she had been telling her teachers at school that she was going on a train after nap time. Of course, they have kids telling them that they're going on airplanes and rocket ships every day after nap time, so they didn't believe her until I got there and asked her if she was ready for the train. They (cleverly) thought that she had just watched The Polar Express and had a slight case of overactivimaginationitis.

Alas, here she is at the train station:

She was pretty stoked about it. We rode downtown, had a great time at the Comcast Holiday Party, and then rode the train back to our car.

Me: Sadie, how was your first train ride, was it so cool??!
Sadie: Umm...it wasn't that cool.

Awesome. Three years old, and her apparent expectations of awesome things like train rides already surpass the actual experience. Yay!

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

30 Before 30 - Little Women

8 down, 22 to go! 19 more months! I am officially 4/15 of the way through my little literary journey. Pretty exciting! :)

Little Women was good. I have to say that during the first half of the book, I was swooning. I was so in love with it that I thought it was destined to be my all time favorite. I would giggle and squeal while I was reading it...seriously, I did that. Then I got to part two and realized that I didn't love it as much as I thought I did. After Louisa May Alcott finished the first part of her book, it received amazing reviews and girls from all over wrote her letters with their little hearts full of hope for what might become of the main character. Out of spite (seriously...she pretty much said so herself), she made part two so VERY divergent from what it might have been that it kind of made me snarl a little. She even blatantly wrote in her journal, "I won't {insert thing everyone wanted her to do} to please anyone." (I took out the words in case you haven't read it...it would have been a spoiler). Despite my school-girl-esque disappointment, it was still a good book. I appreciate the fact that Alcott paid so much attention to making the "Little Women" so darling, upstanding, polite, literate, and industrious. Argh. Who am I to tell her how she should have written her book? All I know is that I agree with the thousands of young girls who wrote her with high hopes for the protagonist.

Anyway - she apparently hated Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, saying, "If Mr. Clemens cannot think of something better to tell our pure-minded lads and lasses, he had best stop writing for them."

Alas, that's gonna be my next book. I'm in the mood for a little rebellion against Ms. Alcott.

Next book: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stuff I Learned at the Bar Mitzvah

Sadie and I went to the synagogue today. The Bar Mitzvah service was beautiful.

Here's what I learned:
  • I think Sadie and I should have had head coverings - almost all of the other women did
  • I don't know any Hebrew except Adonai, Hallelujah, Amen, and Elohim - but that's pretty good, right?
  • The Torah book opens backwards. I think I knew that, but it still surprised me.
  • You're supposed to pelt the Bar Mitzvah (yes, that's his title) with candy once he finishes his Torah reading...that was funny.
  • I know a lot more about Jewish culture and history than I realized.
  • The Shabbat service is three hours.
  • You are supposed to touch your prayer book and your prayer shawl to the scripture scrolls as they pass and then kiss your prayer book and/or shawl - holy text is so precious.
  • I have a prayer shawl of my own...don't tell my Jewish friends...they might think that's weird, but I do feel honored to own one.
  • My sweet daughter sat through a three hour service without a single whimper or complaint. She was a model of patience. She is truly the jewel in my crown.
After the service, we went home for a bit so that I could get ready for the Bar Mitzvah party (i.e., cocktail party). We didn't have a sitter, so Eric had to stay home with Sadie. After I told him how good she had been at the synagogue, he asked her if she wanted to go out on a date. Of course she did! Date nights with daddy are her favorite.

The party was FABULOUS...they had gorgeous appetizers, a fantastic sit-down dinner of filet and salmon, a million desserts, a beautiful open bar, on-site photography, a wonderful band, dancing, an awesome sports theme for the guest of honor, a Wii (for the 13 year olds, of course), and open access to the Mutter Museum. It was seriously the coolest party I've ever been to. (You might think you had the coolest party ever, but you didn't...this kid did).

On top of all that, I had my first ever red carpet moment...


...and my date was out with another girl.


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fireplace-less Stockings and Crabapple Garland

We don't have a chimney. Don't worry...we're going to leave our windows unlocked so that Santa can get in. In the meantime, where the heck to hang the stockings?






Please don't judge me for still owning encyclopedias. From 1994.

After you're done *not* judging...do you recognize the berries??? They started out on a tree...then I put them in a bowl. Then I strung them up into a garland and hung them to dry! They shriveled up like little raisins and they shimmer! I'm so happy with how they turned out!


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