November 30, 2010

The One with the Smoke Alarm Garlic Bread

I decided to be every teen's favorite person and make some garlic bread. I bought three loaves of Italian bread from Kroger, sliced them open, buttered them, and sprinkled with too much garlic. It was perfection. I heated the oven to the "low" broil setting. I set a timer, not wanting to burn the loaves. I thought that was quite responsible of me. But 5 and 10 minutes later, the loaves just weren't browning enough for my liking. So I upped the ante. I increased the temperature to the "high" broil setting. (The word "broil," incidentally, was what stumped me in round 3 of the third grade spelling bee.)

At this point I had to go the bathroom. No big deal--I would be back in approximately 1 minute and 49 seconds. Perfect. 

Or not. 

After using said bathroom, my phone rang. It was one of my teens calling with important news. By the time I hung up, my brain kicked into gear. "OH MY GOSH! THE GARLIC BREAD!!!" I raced to the kitchen to see smoke pouring from the oven. My husband was at his desk, not fifteen feet from the situation, and was completely oblivious to this near-disaster. "THE HOUSE IS ALMOST ON FIRE AND YOU DIDN'T NOTICE!" I shouted. He was almost in tears with the hilarity of the situation. 

I raced to the oven, pulled the bread/charcoal out and quickly realized it was a lost cause. This wasn't one of those times you burnt your kid's toast and can use a knife to just scrape off the burnt portions. No, these loaves were burnt almost all the way through. I am not joking. 

At this point, I'm really angry and also ready to burst out laughing. (Though I keep the laughter to myself, so as to not egg on my husband.) He quickly disarms the smoke alarm by removing the battery. (Oh shoot, we have to replace that!) I run around turning on exhaust fans and ceiling fans and throwing open doors and windows in hopes of freeing my normally delicious-smelling-home of the stench of burning bread. 

I remember one particular moment when I was standing by the dining room table, pulling the fan's cord. I looked over at my husband who was just across the kitchen at the smoke detector and I couldn't see him. Seriously. The smoke was SO dense, I couldn't see through it. My eyeballs were burning, my lungs were screaming. I was mad. But mostly embarrassed. 

Fifteen minutes later, the teens starting arriving. The stench hung in the air. Most of them wondered what was burning, but a few of them thought something smelled delicious. 


I should note that I did have 3 half loaves of bread left to feed my teens. The night wasn't a complete disaster. Just totally humiliating. 

November 29, 2010

The One with 6 Years and Counting

Six years ago yesterday, I entered into my first ever dating relationship. Yes, that's right, I was 19 years old before I started dating. I saved myself. I guarded my heart. And God truly blessed me. I married that man--the one with whom I shared my first kiss, the only one my heart has ever loved, the one who makes me laugh so hard I cry (I'm not looking forward to incontinence--that will NOT be good), the one whose shirts I have stained with my running mascara as tears stream down my cheeks, the one who never gets mad when I forget my purse or lose his keys or spill my plate of spaghetti. 

Last week, I remembered this fun anniversary was coming up and I could hardly believe it. But I also feel as if I've spent a lifetime loving him already. I look forward to many more years with you, Babe.  

(a couple of the very first pictures of us.) 



November 28, 2010

The One with my Birthday Days

On this brisk fall/winter morning, I wanted to remember--to be thankful for the wonderful 25th birthday celebration I had. Here's the run-down:

The Friday before my birthday, my husband's family took us out to dinner, enjoyed dessert at our home, and showered me with gifts. I'm really looking forward to using my cake decorating tips!

The Sunday before my birthday, one of my teens--Ashley--planned a surprise party for me. She made me a card and had everyone sign it. She had her mom bake me a cake and deliver it at the end of youth group for the whole group to celebrate with me.

The Wednesday before my birthday, another one of my girls--Michaela--had her grandma buy me a personalized cake and surprised me with at Bible Quiz practice. It was so sweet.

The day OF my birthday I woke up in Nashville, TN for the National Youth Workers' Convention. My phone started vibrating at 6:30am (though it was 5:30 with the Nashville time change) with messages from all of my youth group teens. It was a great way to wake up. I found tons of sweet notes on my Facebook wall from friends and family near and far. After I got ready for the day, my romantic husband gave me the most hysterical photoshopped card. He included a wonderful heartfelt note besides, but seriously, check out this picture:

Did you laugh? I hope so. I know I did. 

The rest of the day was spent at the convention where my husband told nearly everyone it was birthday and managed to snag me a bunch of awesome free tshirts and books. :) 

The Wednesday AFTER my birthday, we arrived at my parents' house for Thanksgiving. Dad took us out to a great pizza joint--all five of us. It was momentous to have my sister there. I was so happy and SO proud of her. The pizza was awesome and we headed back to the streamer and balloon clad home to have a mini party with Grams and Chuck. I was showered with lovely gifts--jewelry, leggings, sweet decorative shelves and more--and then we munched on the cake Ash made for me. 

I can't remember having quite so many celebrations with so many people who love me. It was lovely. Thank you, friends and family. I love you all. 

November 25, 2010

The One with the Solo Thanksgiving

We arrived back from Nashville at our central meeting location at 11pm Monday, still an hour and a half from our home. As we loaded our car, the rain came pouring down harder--with a vengeance in fact. I was uptight, tired and cranky--not at all in the mood to put up with blinding precipitation. Kevin wanted to get home and was going to plow on, but 15 minutes out, he decided to stop. Luckily we were just around the corner from his parents' house. We woke them up with our call (we figured it would be a bit of a shock to wake up with us on the sofa bed.) They had the bed ready for us when we pulled in. 

It was so nice to get a full night's rest. Kevin and I drove home the next morning--just in time for me to start a load of laundry and get baking. I taught one piano lesson, then headed to the kitchen to work on an apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, wheat rolls, wheat bread and chex mix--in addition to our homemade burgers and sweet potato fries. Wow. I must have felt seriously deprived of my kitchen to whip all of that out without feeling ready to pass out. I felt pretty awesome. One of my friends even said I should do a showdown with Martha Stewart. Ha!

The next morning, we packed everything into our tiny Escort and headed 3 hours east--a drive that seemed incredibly short compared to the 8 hours to Nashville. After a couple hours of relaxing with my family, I figured I should plan something for the Thanksgiving dinner I was about to tackle. I boiled the sweet potatoes and prepared the casserole to be baked the next day. I chopped 5 pounds of potatoes to store in cold water over night. I washed the turkey, buttered it up, patted it down with herbs, stuffed it with aromatic onions, and stuck that in the fridge as well. And I must say, those tasks took maybe 45 minutes and it was no big deal for me. I just LOVE doing it, and I'm realizing how blessed I am. I have this innate sense of timing--walking to the oven just as the timer dings. Knowing when to start the potatoes, the green beans, the broccoli casserole, the sweet potatoes, and the rolls so that everything gets done in just--that just happens. I thought I would need a timeline and a detailed step-by-step description of the Thanksgiving Dinner Process (as I used 2 years ago)--but I functioned better without it.  I'm not sure how or when I acquired these skills. But I had a blast today. 

All I know is, I've never heard "This is the best, juiciest, most flavorful turkey I've ever had!" 
I even conquered my fear of gravy-making. It was delish. 
And the Pecan Pie--aka Pioneer Woman's "Pie That Will Make You Cry"--oh my. At least four people said it was the best pecan pie ever--and a few more said it was the best PIE ever. Wow. I'll take that. 

I love making people happy with food. I love food. Good food. I love creating it, eating it, and (I cannot lie) hearing others' excitement. 



November 22, 2010

The One with a reCap of our 2nd NYWC

Now I must process my time at the National Youth Workers' Convention. (Henceforth referred to as NYWC.) This is a daunting task; one you would only fully understand if you've attended this convention. Thirteen hundred youth workers from across the country. Over 300 vendors in the exhibit hall. More brochures, business cards, and handouts then you could even imagine. Extravagant food prices. Giveaways, free tshirts, pens galore (aka “Mel's heaven”). Four pages, each with two columns and 8 point font detailing the 4 days of the conference—beginning at 8am and ending at 11:15pm with most time slots overlapping events. Most every big name in youth ministry speaking on every topic you've ever considered—all at the same time—and you have to pick one. Take all of that and mix in an eight hour road trip with six other youth leaders and you've got yourself.........something. I'm not really sure what.

It is such a huge blessing to be able to participate in this [very expensive] convention. God dropped the blessing of two tickets and a ride to Nashville right in our laps, 2 weeks before the event. We never thought we'd be here this year. It just wasn't feasible. But here we are. And we are thankful.

Worshipping with David Crowder, Jeremy Camp, NewWorldSon, and Starfield.
Learning from Tic Long, Mark Oestreicher, Kara Powell, Mike Pilavachi, Tony Campolo, Tim Eldred, Mark Yaconelli, and more.
Processing everything with my husband, the man with whom I am privileged to partner in this ministry.

Our concept of ministry, our vision for ministry, our passion for ministry have all been rocked. The speakers we've heard have been challenging us to forget about our programs, lose our agendas, and quit calling it “our” youth group. We should not do youth ministry. We should be training youth to do ministry. We should come alongside them and guide them from this adolescence into their adulthood. We should equip them to be members of The Church—participating in every aspect of the Body of Christ so as to not be lost once the youth leaders move on or they grow up and out.

And so, despite the 17 hour days—leaving the hotel at 7:45am and returning at 12:45am, the inability to attend every single session you are dying to attend, and the non-existent cheap food, this four day “weekend” has been incredible. Thank you, Jesus, for the opportunity, for the lessons, for the conversations, and for the changes you will make in us and in our church. 

November 20, 2010

The One with 25 Things

In belated honor of my 25th birthday which was yesterday (which I didn't fully grasp until I actually wrote the date down around 10:15pm...), I have decided to share Twenty-five Things I'm Thankful for in my Twenty-five Years of Life. In no particular order (unless otherwise stated.) 

  1. The beautiful diamond ring on my finger. 
  2. The French I learned in high school. 
  3. Being Italian. ("ih-talian" not I-talian.)
  4. All of my birthday cakes. 
  5. The inside jokes I still laugh about with my sister. 
  6. Home videos. 
  7. Braces. 
  8. Headgear. (yeah, I know.)
  9. My stand mixer. 
  10. The 10-15 Bibles I own. 
  11. My love of chocolate. 
  12. My daddy's lap. 
  13. The need I have for organization. 
  14. My propensity for deep relationships. 
  15. Hot tea. 
  16. My mom, my friend. 
  17. A friendship that has lasted since birth. 
  18. Blogging. 
  19. My teenage girls. 
  20. The love of my husband. 
  21. The way my life is overflowing with rich relationships. 
  22. God's provisions. Always. 
  23. Running. 
  24. Worshiping my Lord. 
  25. The process of learning that life isn't about me. It's all about Jesus. ALL. about. JESUS. 
Thank you to everyone for your kind words, your messages, your texts, your phone calls, your ecards, the cards that are likely sitting in my mailbox until I return home, and to my husband for the awesomest Photoshopped birthday card ever. I love you all. 

November 16, 2010

The One with Top Ten Things I Love about...

Currently our favorite tv show.
We enjoy dvd marathons and this is one show I really miss when it's not around. 
Here's why.  

1. There's something wonderful about Michael Scott. Mostly the fact that he's the worst boss ever, and I absolutely can not stand him. 

2. Multiple people have randomly pointed out how much I look like Pam Beesly. Honestly, I find this to be a compliment and pretty darn accurate. 

3. The humor shared between Pam and Jim is nearly identical to mine and Kevin's. 

4. Watching The Office on dvd, one right after another, makes every episode so very enjoyable. 

5. It's so awkward. 

6. There is absolutely no background music or fake audience clapping. This adds to the awkwardness. And proves the show's awesomeness. 

7.  The humor only seems to be relevant for those in a certain age span. Too young, and they just don't get it. Too old, and they just don't get it and they think it's the worst show ever created.

8. Every episode is completely hilarious and utterly grating. I can't stand it, and yet I can't wait to watch the next show. 

8. My husband actually enjoys sitting and watching with me. Right now, it's our thing and I look forward to the laughter shared while snuggling on the couch. 

9. The time Michael burned his foot on his George Foreman grill, the time Michael hit Meredith with his car, the time Michael attempted to lift an overweight man onto a table, the time(s) Jim convinced Dwight he was being summoned by the CIA, the time Michael drove the forklift, the time "the temp" became Michael's boss, the time Michael drove his car into a lake because he was following the GPS. 

10. The theme song.   

November 15, 2010

The One with the Weekend Goodness

A lovely weekend was experienced by yours truly. Friday, Husband got home early thanks to the school's pep rally. I always love when he comes home to me. We spent a few hours chilling and then got ready to meet his family at Ruby Tuesday in honor of my early birthday celebration. YUM. I had never been a big Ruby's fan, but that was mostly because it was always too overpriced for my family and me. I still don't like to spend money on a dinner out when I could prepare it myself, but for special occasions it's a great middle of the road selection. Kevin and I went to RT a couple weeks back to cash in on his free birthday burger coupon and that was when my love of their salad bar blossomed. It is THE BEST salad bar I've ever seen (aside from Sweet Tomatoes down south--which is MY kind of restaurant--a salad buffet!!) When Kevin's dad asked me for my restaurant choice all I could think about was that salad bar. 

(If you've ever been around me at a meal, you know I consider myself a salad aficionado and I'm not easily impressed by salads. In other words, I'm a salad snob.) 

We met everyone at the restaurant and I handed my free burger coupon over to Kevin so that I might thoroughly enjoy my salad bar. We all had a great evening of talking, laughing, sharing stories and just being together. Every time we're with my family or his, I wish they lived 15 minutes away. I would love to spend more frequent time with everyone. Ahhh, growing up. You're not all that awesome sometimes. 

Brian spent the night with us--the brothers need their bonding time, you know. They're quite the pair. The three of us loaded up on Saturday morning along with 9 others to head to our second Bible quiz. It was wonderful to be able to sleep in on a quiz morning. We didn't have to leave until 8am!! (Rather than the usual 6am.) The quizzers made us proud, everyone was in good spirits, and we all had a blast together. To top off the quizzing goodness, it was such a small quiz turnout, we got home at 3:30 instead of 5:30. 


Saturday night was our young adult small group which is always a good time. Before heading to bed, we had to venture over to the dark and creepy-at-night church at 10pm to check on the baptismal. The water level and heat were problematic. But it was all worth it given the upcoming church service. 

I like to say God smacked me across the face during the Sunday service. I had a bad attitude about a few things Saturday night and as soon as my teens arrived for Sunday school things started turning around. It was a fantastic time of studying John with a room full of teens. Then, we were blessed with a full sanctuary to witness 13 people (including 7 youth) coming into membership and 7 individuals publicly committing their lives to Jesus in baptism (including 5 youth). The worship was Spirit filled. (Even better because I got to play the new old grand and despite the bloody nose I got midway through playing.) Chris--the pastor's son and one of our great students--preached his first sermon. Kevin and I had the privilege of baptizing our teens. We prayed over our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes we had packed with love. And after all of that, we spent time laughing and celebrating over an awesome potluck lunch.



November 11, 2010

The One with the Phases of Home Keeping

I have reclaimed my house! It needed to be done, folks. After almost a week of snotty tissues laying here and there, sneezes spreading germs for miles, coughs ensuring that the world will share in your pain, my house needed a "disinfect and more" treatment. 

(Yes, I realize I'm referring to this home as "my" house. And yes, I realize that my husband lives here too. But I think even he would be ok with this particular area of control seeing as how it means I do all of the cleaning.)

I don't know if you'll identify with me or not, but I find myself cycling through the following phases of keeping a home.

Phase 1. Clean everything really, really well. 

Phase 2. Feel extremely excited about having cleaned everything really, really well. 

Phase 3. Get a bit irritated when, just 2 hours (or less) later, the house seems to be in disarray again. (Most likely because your husband and/or kids arrived home and started leaving their miscellaneous bookbags, shoes, coats, water bottles, paperwork, cellphones, etc everywhere you'd rather them not be.) 

Phase 4. Spend the next however many weeks "spot cleaning." (i.e. wiping down counters when needed, sweeping up obvious messes, stuffing paperwork in random drawers, and always ignoring the dust.) 

Phase 5. After however many weeks (or, in my case, months) of spot cleaning, you just can't handle it anymore. Suddenly the dust and cat hair and general grossness that has accumulated along every baseboard is impossible to ignore. The random items that cover every flat surface can no longer be tolerated. The kitchen floor that has so lovingly camouflaged the grime begs to be cleaned.

Phase 6. You ignore signs of Phase 5 for at least another week. 

Phase 7. One morning, you wake up and you just know--this is it. This is the day I'm going to be productive. And you hit the ground running. Clearing, dusting, overturning cushions, dealing with the ignored hair balls, vacuuming like there's no tomorrow (but still ignoring that darn mopping. Because you hate mopping.) 

Phase 8. Repeat phases 1-7.   

But maybe that's just me. 

November 9, 2010

The One with the Sick Top 10

1. I have spent every hour of today on the couch. Thanks, husband, for lovingly sharing your illness with me. Symptoms include--sore throat, congestion, headache, body aches, fatigue. 

2. I knew I was getting sick when I couldn't stay awake after 7:30pm last night and was thrilled to go to bed at 9pm. 

3. Yesterday, before the sickness hit, I made a batch of cookies to deliver to some friends I would run into while at a conference pastors' meeting today. (No worries, I washed my hands about 45 times throughout the process.) I was bummed to not get to share the sweetness. 

4. There is a strong possibility that I'm wearing the same clothes today as I did yesterday. 

5. Kevin and I are pretty much addicted to The Office right now. This is how we watch tv.: we find one show and watch it on dvd whenever we plop down on the couch. It's awesome. We spend the next few weeks quoting lines and discussing plots with fellow fanatics. We've done this with Lost, Criminal Minds, Friends, Gilmore Girls, How I Met Your Mother, and now The Office. Next up is Big Bang Theory. Any other suggestions? 

6. I'm so excited about the holidays. I'm also a bit overwhelmed. These next few weeks are going to take us by storm. Every. Single. Weekend. is booked solid with Bible quizzing, family get-togethers, National Youth Workers' Convention, etc. 

7. I started planning our Thanksgiving menu today. I'm totally looking forward to spending this holiday at my house--where I get to prepare the meal. Yes! (that is serious excitement in case you were wondering.) 

8. I'm so far behind in reading my magazine subscriptions. It makes me sad. But that's life. 

9. I'm going to be twenty-five in ten days. wow. 

10. I have a new found obsession with fonts. I am in love with designing logos and event titles using a cheap-o program. I love trying new things, expressing my creativity in this digital way. Maybe one day I'll have access to a more professional program. Did I mention how much I'm loving this? (it comes in super handy being a ministry events coordinators--that's what I call myself. :D) 

November 8, 2010

The One with our Fall Retreat @SBC

We had a phenomenal weekend retreat at Somerset with our teens. I really wasn't sure how things would come together seeing that it was the first retreat we'd ever planned for our youth group, but it far exceeded my expectations. It seemed like a lot of work for a 24 hour trip. There was the food to organize, the warm clothes to remember, rides to coordinate, the devotions to write, the activities to plan. But I have to tell you, it really wasn't all that difficult. We had the perfect amount of food, just enough room to fit everything in our tiny vehicles, and everyone had a wonderful time. 

The best part was I never felt an ounce of stress or frustration the entire weekend. Normally I'm easily irritated when my schedule gets stepped on, when things don't go as planned. But we had created a fairly loose schedule and, in the end, everything flowed wonderfully. I was quite proud of myself. :)

Despite the fact that it was snowing and we were freezing, the fire was burning, the cabins were warm, friendships were kindled, and God was at work.

::one of our 4 cabins

::chili for dinner. yum!

::hanging out in the loft

::just before our first devotional on Psalm 23 led by Kevin

::early morning hike around the lake

::playing the leaves (Amanda and me)

::this photo looks innocent enough, right? 
Josh, Amanda, and Kevin had been hiding in that huge pile of leaves (right in front of the teens) for an hour waiting for them to get back from the scavenger hunt. They wanted to jump out and scare them to death mid-photo, but suddenly one of the girls jumped INTO the pile of leaves and ONTO Kevin's head. It wasn't the perfect ending, but everyone laughed for quite some time while romping in the leaves. 

November 5, 2010

The One with the Leaves on the Ground

I have a small soap box I need to get on right now. 
I would like to publicly proclaim that I think raking leaves is ridiculous. 

I said it. 

Never in my life have I enjoyed raking leaves--I'm sure most of you don't. But I also never understand why we rake leaves. Are we really just that vain about our yards? Personally, I think it's weird to see a perfectly groomed, leafless lawn in the middle of fall. The colors on the ground are glorious. And besides that, why rake more than once a season. If you really want to rake up those leaves at least wait until ALL the leaves have fallen. OR, if you're lucky, wait until the wind blows them into someone else's yard. 

But have you ever stopped to think--maybe God created the seasons this way. Maybe we're not supposed to rake the leaves. After all, there is a reason for every shift in the environment. The leaves fall to the ground, they degrade into the soil thus enriching it and bringing new life to the grass and the tree from which they fell. 

So no, we're not going to rake up our leaves. And I'm going to try to ignore the comments and raised eyebrows of those who look at us like we're some sort of outcast. All because we're leaving God's circle of seasons to do its thing. 

/steps off of soapbox./

November 4, 2010

The One with My Grandma's Nuptials

Last Saturday, my Grams got married. Yep, you read that correctly. She was a truly beautiful bride. (I'm a bit jealous--she's lost so much weight she's now lighter than me! Go, Grams!)  It was a beautiful weekend of celebration. Kevin ended up with a half day of subbing--meaning we could take off at 11am instead of 3pm. We got a bit of extra time "home" --just relaxing with mom. It was nice. 

Around 6pm we headed out for the rehearsal. Grandma had asked me to be the pianist--I was honored that she trusted me with this responsibility being a pianist herself. Kevin was asked to "take a few pictures." He borrowed his dad's Canon Rebel and took a bunch of practice shots at the rehearsal. The whole weekend was a great photography experience for him and we talked most of the way home about our dream of being a wedding photography team. 

After the rehearsal we headed to Covered Bridge--a pizza parlour located in a real 1800s covered bridge (that had been moved limb by limb and reconstructed in it's current location.) It's one of our little town's most popular hang outs. We had fun catching up with my aunts and uncle and cousins, and afterwards I went with mom over to Grams to hang out with her and Aunt Wendy and Aunt Linda. We had a fun little "girls night." My favorite part was when my grandma asked me for wedding night advice. HA!! 

The next morning, we had plenty of time to chill with family before heading to the wedding at noon. I sat at the piano playing, playing, playing for a half hour prior to the service--you know those old people--always arriving super early to everything. :) I did three different "specials" throughout the service, all of which went well. The ceremony was great, the family and bridal party (aka their kids) looked awesome, and the sanctuary was packed. (And Grandma thought there'd be handful of people. She underestimates how awesome she is and how many people love her.) 

I played for another half hour as the attendees filed out to greet the newlyweds, then I took over as photography coordinator. The perfect job for me--bossing people around comes naturally. We got some nice shots before Grams was beat (wow that sentence sounds terrible out of context), and then we all headed to a classy restaurant in the formerly-awesome "downtown." It was a really nice dinner and the whole family had a great time together. (I think Kevin finally knows my cousins!--it's only been 6 years! lol)

Congrats, Grams and Chuck! We love you guys! 
my beautiful extended family (minus 6 cousins and 1 uncle)

my immediate family

the laughter in this photo is priceless. 
(the four siblings--my mom, Aunt Linda, Uncle Scott, and Aunt Wendy)

another beautiful moment. 

November 3, 2010

The One with Two Years at Home

I literally can not believe it's been TWO years since we moved in our home--the parsonage. As I sit and think of what to write next, I am literally at a loss, in a fog of memories. {thinking. thinking. thinking.} It finally feels like "home," though. For the first many months, it felt uncertain--mostly because we thought we'd be in our first apartment for years. We moved out five months later.

But five months in this house came and went. I have spent the last couple of years trying to get things "right" and I think, I think we're finally settled. For so long things were just kind of placed here or there because they "should" be. Now, we've made it our own. I know where everything is. I know the dirt I find is ours (and not some previous owners.) I've tackled jobs I put off for the first year and a half. This feels like "ours"--not just the place we happen to be living. 

We have family over and friends. Teens are here almost every day. And no one ever seems to want to leave. I think that's a good thing, right? We've made a house a comfortable home. It's like one of those big couches that you sit in and it just swallows you up and keeps you from ever wanting to set your feet on the ground again. 

Thank you, Jesus, for providing us with this home. Help us to be good stewards of the gift you've given us. May be keep our front door readily open to any who knock. Remind us to be thankful, always. 


Linked up with Wednesday's Walk. 

The One with Craigslist

If you haven't visited, you need to. This classified ads website is, honestly, one of my guilty pleasures--pursuing the goods for sale. It's like window shopping! I keep a word document of things I want or need. (Mostly want. I have everything I need, after all.) Whenever I'm bored or if I know someone's looking for a particular item, I head to my local division of Craigslist and start shopping. So much fun. Kevin bought me my 23rd birthday gift (a brand new collection of Friends for $90--not $200), he discovered a great Schwinn road bike for riding around downtown, and we found his electric guitar listed there too. 

We've also had some serious success in the SELLING department of Craigslist. So far, we've gotten rid of an old stove, Kevin's classic iPod ($100!), our ellipse ($150! Hope that was ok, Mom and Dad!), our entertainment center ($75), and the road bike we bought on Craigslist for $20 (sold for $50!!). I currently have my wedding dress and my desktop computer listed. *fingers crossed*

Some of those items were sold within a week of posting. Others--like the entertainment center and ellipse--took a couple months to have an interested party follow through. But, they have been picked up and paid for and we are thankful! 

I have also used Craigslist for hunting down the local garage sales and for listing our piano lessons. 

Seriously, check it out and see if there's a Craigslist in your area! 

And don't miss the "Free" section. You know know what treasure you might come across!

*note: I am very careful to use an email address without last names or other personal information. I do not give out numbers or addresses until the deal is actually coming through. Be wise, friends. 

November 2, 2010

The One with the Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten {Tuesday}

1. Yesterday, I baked chocolate chip cookies for Tammy--the winner of my giveaway from a few weeks ago. Yes, I realize that it's long overdue. I remembered last week that I had totally neglected this prize but Tammy was so gracious. 

2. I may have eaten WAY too many of said chocolate chip cookies. In fact, I may have had cookies and cookies alone for lunch.

3. I ran outside at 8am. I do not enjoy waiting that long to exercise, but the stinking sun was just not wanting to rise any earlier. It was COLD. So cold, in fact, I didn't think I would make it. To think, I used to run in 15 degree weather in college. brrrrr. 

4. The library just loaned me the brand new Jillian Michaels dvd--Shred It with Weights. I was scared, I'm not gonna lie. I've been beaten up by JM before, but I was thinking this would bring me to my death. I didn't have the kettlebell weight, so I used my wimpy hand weights. Surprisingly, I really liked the workout and it went by really fast. It wasn't as intense as I expected. Either that, or I'm just super in shape. Ehh. I'd place my bets on the fact that it was level one. I'll see how level two goes tomorrow morning. 

5. I had a victory last night. I didn't eat anything after 8pm. That's my biggest problem--snacking in the evening. I eat wonderfully all day and after dinner I feel like I should reward myself with a bunch of crap. Or even if it's not "crap" it still doesn't need to happen. So last night, I withstood my temptations.*

*please ignore the fact that I had cookies for lunch when reading of this victory. 

6. I have begun rehearsing the middle harmony of the song I have chosen to perform for special music with two of my talented friends. It's called Before the Throne of Grace. It's powerful. It's gorgeous. It's really difficult to learn this strange sounding mezzo soprano part. 

7. While I was plucking out my notes on the piano, Butterscotch came up on the bench and sat on my lap. This was a HUGE moment for so many reasons. 1) He has been quite disdainful of me ever since Maisy came to live with us. 2) He hasn't sat on my lap since Maisy arrived. 3) He hasn't purred since Maisy arrived. 4) He has NEVER been anywhere near me when I'm playing the piano. (Yes, I just did a list within a list.)

8. We have really made a home here. I think it's official that this is our hometown because the librarians know us by name and have our books waiting for us when I walk in. We LOVE them and they love us. It's pretty awesome. 

9. Along those same lines, the Aldi and local farm market employees also know me and chat it up with me often. I like that. 

10. Last evening, we watched Arsenic and Old Lace. Kevin played a part in his high school's theatrical version of this classic Cary Grant film and he's wanted me to see it for some time. (He was the crazy nephew who thought he was Teddy Roosevelt, digs the Panama Canal in the cellar, and gets committed to the Happy Dale sanitarium in the end. Quite the character.) This was such a ridiculously awesome movie. My jaw dropped multiple times, I was cracking up, I was nervous. It evokes every part of your emotions--all without special effects or even mood music. Totally worth watching (multiple times.)

This post is linked up at Oh, Amanda!