Music Monday

This Music Monday Song was the last one the man gave to me before we got married. We were trying to decide on a 'first dance' song and of all the other songs he had given to me (there are others, and even a few I gave to him than just those that I've featured the last few weeks) none seemed just right. The songs were 'right' for the time they were gifted - but not 'right' for a first dance.

The Geoff Moore song "If You Could See What I See" (from this post) was already decided to be used during the ceremony and it was the closest we'd come to a song we both liked.

The man was over at my house one afternoon and had borrowed my car. I went to run an errand and there was a cassette (yep, a cassette) in the player and I hit play. Emotionally Yours by Bob Dylan began to play, and as I listened, I knew I'd found our first dance song.

When I got back, I ran in the house and told the man I thought I'd found our song, and he said, 'funny, so did I, I meant to ask you to listen to it while you ran your errand, but what was your song.' I said, I don't know what it's called, but it's on the tape in the car. Yep! We were talking about the same song - and from that minute, it was our first dance song as husband and wife.

I guess you could say we gave this song to each other. Man, I am, forever, Emotionally, Yours.


Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.


Music Monday

This week's Music Monday was a song given to me by the man sometime between getting engaged and getting married.

It ended up being the last dance at our wedding reception (by our request) - it just seemed like the perfect send off. When I hear it start, I'm immediately transported back to that moment.


Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.
For more pet photos, go here.


100th Post

It seems that the 'thing' to do in Blogland when you reach your 100th post is to do a "100 Things You May or May Not Know About Me" Post. So, as not to be left out, here are 100 things 'bout me (in no particular order, y'all are about to see just how random my brain is)...

1. I love ice cream. So, go ahead and grab yourself a bowl to eat while you read this very long list. Really. Go ahead. I'll Wait.
2. Welcome back! What kind of ice cream did you get? Personally, I'm a plain vanilla topped with peanuts and chocolate syrup kind of girl - unless I'm at Dairy Queen, then it's vanilla with cherry dip in cone; or at Cold Stone, then it's cake batter or banana ice cream with chocolate chips.
3. I do not like it when my food touches. For example, on Thanksgiving, the mashed potatoes should not touch the turkey.
4. I'm 30. I don't like being 30. Not one little bit. I miss my '2's.
5. I'm married to my best friend and the love of my life.
6. My dog is her own unique designer breed - a Sharmation (that would be a Chinese Shar-Pei and a Dalmation mixed together). She's one of a kind, well 1 of 4, she has 3 siblings in the world.
7. I live in the town I grew up in. We tried to move away, but missed it so much, we were back in 5 years, stat.
8. I have 4 parents. Mom. Dad. Stepmom. Stepdad. I'm a lucky lady.
9. I have 2 brothers. One is 28 (almost) and the other is 13.
10. I love to swim.
11. I am Roman Catholic.
12. I was told once that I have big ears. I now have a complex about my ears and adjust my hair before photographs to hide them.
13. A night of wine and board games with the man is a pretty good date in my book.
14. I love to travel. Car. Plane. Boat. Train. I'm not picky.
15. Audiobooks kept me sane during the 4 years I had an hour and a half long one-way commute.
16. If I could have any car it would be a Navy Blue Ford Explorer with the optional 3rd row seat. Tan leather interior. Sun-roof.
17. The man is apalled that if I could have any car it would be a Ford Explorer. I like what I like.
18. I have a terrible sense of smell.
19. I sell candles as part of my job.
20. The man bought me lillies for our anniversary. I can actually smell them. They are my new favorite flower.
21. I HATE cleaning. I will put it off until I can actually see the dust on the furniture. Then I at least feel like I've accompished something when I'm finished.
22. I love football. And football players.
23. I don't get celebrity crushes. Except for football players.
24. And Jake Gyllenhal. Not the Brokeback Mountain Jake Gyllenhal; the Jarhead Jake Gyllenhal. The Christmas Scene explains this. Side Note: Don't watch this movie if you are offended by the "F***" word when used as a noun, adjective, verb, adverb, or any other part of speech.
25. I love the beach.
26. I hate sand.
27. I drove across the USA twice. Once along I-40 and once along I-70.
28. There is a small little ice cream shop along I-40 somewhere in Texas with really yummy Watermelon Ice Cream. I really wish I'd journaled about our drive while we were driving.
29. I didn't understand 'Purple Mountain Majesties' until I drove I-70 through Colorado. A.Maz.Ing.
21. I went to graduate school in Los Angeles at USC.
22. Our WVU Season Tickets are one of my prized possessions. Die-hard fan would be an understatement.
23. I'm proud to be a West Virginian. We might be a little behind the rest of the world, but we're honest, hard working, and always have each other's backs.
24. I played basketball and volleyball in high school.
25. When I started college I was a Chemical Engineering Major.
26. Then I switched to Early Childhood Education and Speech Pathology and Audiology.
27. Then I went to grad school for Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing children.
28. I taught for 5 years.
29. I left teaching to run my own business and work from home.
30. I like crunchy food. Chips, peanuts, sprinkles, pretzels, it doesn't matter.
31. I watch 2 soap operas. Every. Day. The Young and the Restless & The Bold and the Beautiful. I don't know how I did it before DVR. Did I really just admit to that? Now you know it's real 'round here.
32. Snow is ok with me. So long as it comes on Christmas and leaves after New Years.
33. I am a horrible singer. No exaggerating here. It's really bad. I don't even sing karaoke.
34. I don't often pay attention to everything going on around me. This sometimes leads to funny conversations...sometimes it's rather embarrassing.
35. Finding my best-friend from high school again on Facebook is one of the best things in my life.
36. I am always looking for the bright side of things. I've even been accused of being 'too positive'. My glass is 1/2 full and that's just the way I like it.
37. Don't get me wrong, I have my pity-party moments. I just prefer to look at the brighter side of things.
38. I love thunderstorms. Rain. Lightening. Thunder. All. of. it.
39. When I lived in Los Angeles, I felt one Earthquake. It was a little one (4.0). I'm glad that's all the bigger it was.
40. I'm socially awkward. I don't know what to say. I don't know how to hold my hands. Where to put my feet. I feel like everyone is looking at me - even though I know it's not true. Most of the time.
41. I have an uncanny ability to spill things on myself more days than not.
42. This creates lots of laundry. I don't like laundry.
43. Well, it's not so much the laundry I don't like. I actually love the smell of fresh clean towels and clothes. It's the empty laundry basket that goes back in the closet and 2 seconds later has more dirty laundry in it. It's so deflating.
44. A man who can fold laundry is very sexy to me. Two of the man's friends taught him to fold shirts. Three attractive men, all folding shirts at the same time, I was just about beside myself. TMI?
45. Moving on...I'm extremely Patriotic, but no blindly so. I'll disagree with policies or wars, but NEVER with our soldiers! I ask them to do something every day that I choose not to do myself. Put on a uniform and risk their lives.
46. I love to do nice things for other people, big or small.
47. I'm a serious chatterbox. Really. I'll talk your ears off.
48. Except in elevators - I just stare straight ahead in silence.
49. I enjoy wine.
50. It used to be just white, but I'm broadening my horizons and have found a few reds I enjoy now too.
51. Expect during football season, then it's Beer or Captain Morgan's.
52. Back to football, I will stay to the very end of any game I attend. Winning. Losing. By a little. Or a lot. I'm not going anywhere until the game is over.
52. I don't know how the man feels about this. I've never asked. I'm not going to because it won't change my mind. That's not very nice is it?
53. Hmmm? I am how I am I guess.
54. I fought getting a Twitter account.
55. But I gave in (as evidenced on my left side bar).
56. I actually really like Twitter and wonder what took me so long.
57. I also really enjoy blogging. More than I thought I would.
58. I've never kept a diary or a journal for more than a couple of weeks. Wonder what it is about blogging that's kept me coming back?
59. I do love me some technology. Maybe that's it.
60. I love me some functional technology - if it doesn't serve me a purpose, quickly, I'm not interested.
61. The man knows this about me. That's why when he was wanting a PlayStation3, he made sure to point out the positives of it also being a BluRay Player.
62. It worked. I love the BluRay Player that also happens to be a PS3.
63. We own a 23 lb. cat. He's like a big teddy bear. That drools. When he drools, he has to get down. Kitty drool is just nasty.
64. Other than the drool, he's a really cool feline.
65. He hates Kali (our dog). He'll hiss at her if she just walks too close to him.
66. Oh well, siblings are supposed to fight, right?
67. When I married the man, he gained brothers - 2 of them - and I gained sisters - 4 of them.
68. Anyway, I also like fruit. Watermelon. Apples. Blueberries. Cherries. Grapes. Yum. Yum. Yum.
69. And popcorn.
70. And pizza.
71. I do not like onions, black olives, or mushrooms. Not. at. all.
72. I am going to be very sad (I think) when Lost is over.
73. I'm waiting to buy any of seasons of Lost on BluRay because I want to know how it ends first. If it's a bad ending, I don't want to waste my money.
74. I like to shop, but I don't like to waste money. In fact, I really hate it when I feel like I've wasted my money.
75. I've not always been great at managing money, but I'd like to think I'm getting better.
76. I'd also like to think I'm getting better at being a work from home wife. You know, keeping a cleaner house, making better-tasting food, etc.
77. The man is the best husband a girl could ask for (sorry y'all he's taken) and I just hope to be 1/2 the wife to him that he is a husband to me.
78. At the very least, I'm entertaining. You never know when I'll say or do something stupidly funny.
79. The man, he's quite the practical joker. Only once or twice have I beat him at his own game. It's hard.
80. I think random acts of kindness are only random to the person on the receiving end. They should be deliberate by the person on the giving end.
81. I wonder why, and I know it sounds naive, we all can't just get along. Really. We've got one Earth and one life, why not be kind to each other while we're here?
82. This naivety and earlier mentioned glass-half-full mentality can get me in trouble. I tend to err on the side of expecting the best in people and at times am hugely surprised when they don't live up to my expectations of being a basically good person.
83. When this happens, I have a hard time opening up to new people for a while.
84. I don't have a large circle of friends, I've never been part of the 'cool' crowd.
85. I'm ok with that. Now.
86. Moving on, I went to visit my brother (the one who is almost 28) in Dallas in July.
87. In our whole lives I think it's the best time we've ever had together. We weren't close growing up and are very different in a lot of ways. For the first time, I really think we found some common ground.
88. I went to visit my brother. I gained a friend. Time and distance did us good.
89. Ok, at #89 of 100, I can't put it off any longer because I'm pretty much out of other juicy tidbits, and I figure most of you are gone by now anyway...I still sleep with a stuffed animal. Charlie.
90. He's a stuffed (well, not really stuffed anymore, he's a kinda really flat) dog and I've had him for almost 30 years.
91. My mom used to tell me "No man is going to let you have that dog in your bed when you get married." The man does - he has 'Noopy (that would be a very old Snoopy dog). We tuck Charlie and 'Noopy into our pillows in the mornings. Don't tell the man I told you about 'Noopy.
92. I fully believe in the power of a dream. I don't think dreams come true by accident. But with hard work. Dreams do come true.
93. I dream of a big house with a backyard full of trees and dogs playing among them.
94. I dream of growing old with the man. Of sitting on a porch swing watching thunderstorms roll in. Of always walking hand in hand. Of just being. Together.
95. I dream of travel all over the world.
96. I dream of helping others. I dream of giving to others, both of time and money.
97. I dream of kindness in our lives. Of love in our hearts. Of laughter on our lips. Always.
98. I am willing to work for my dreams.
99. I married my best friend. The man of my dreams. Who shares my dreams.
100. I am blessed.


Music Monday

This week's song is one of my favorites - I don't remember the exact circumstances in which this song was given to me by the man - most times he just gave me a tape (yep, a tape) with a song set to a track and asked me to listen to it. Sometimes it was just before I drove away, other times it was as soon as we'd get together. The man turns ordinary moments into extraordinary moments with such ease - it's how he catches me off guard and is able to surprise me.

Coming tomorrow - more than you ever wanted to know about me (it's my 100th post)!


Football, Funnies, and Fresh Air

Ahhh, football season is finally here - well, pre-season anyway.

Maybe it's coming off a Super Bowl by the Steelers or all the unknowns for this year's Mountaineers, but I am so READY for football - and on Thursday the man and I were given a little teaser - the Steelers preseason game vs. the Cardinals.

We decided to make a day of it and headed to Pittsburgh in the morning. We saw Harry Potter at an IMax theater (the first 20 minutes were in 3-D - wow!), then headed over towards the stadium for some pre-game tailgating.

We ate at Cafe Milano in the cultural district - a delicious calzone and Yuengling on special - perfect! We had a drink at Jerome Bettis's bar and enjoyed people watching and hearing nothing but football talk all around.

The Steelers won (I know it's preseason and doesn't count - but I hate to lose, so a win is a win in my book) and 1st round draft pick Ziggy Hood looked pretty good!

On Friday, after we were both finished with work, we walked down the road to "The Wit's End" and checked out the comedy club that is every Friday night with some friends - funny! We think this might just become a semi-regular Friday night thing to do.

Yesterday, we packed the hammock, dog, picnic basket, and some charcoal into the car and headed up the road to my step-dad's land along the Cheat River. We spent the day lounging in the river and by the fire. It was Kali's first time in water that was too deep for her to stand in, at first she wasn't sure, but with some prompting (and promises of treats) she waded out to where I was and swam! We got so excited it startled her and she headed for shore - poor pup. She did try again later and really seemed to get the hang of it.

We can't wait to go back - this might just become a semi-regular Saturday afternoon thing to do.



Almost 11 years ago, I gave the man a gift. She was gray (just like he'd wanted) with little flecks of orange throughout. She had a tiny, straight tail, a little squeak instead of meow, and the biggest purr I'd ever heard come out of such a tiny kitten.

We named her Pumpkin. It was fall and the orange in her fur stood out so from the gray. And we were both in love.

One year ago today, I had to do the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It was time. She was starting to suffer. It was right. It was hard. So. Very. Hard.

Of all the animals I've met in my life, I've never known a cat to be so in-tune with its people (and I only had cats growing up, Kali is my first dog). Pumpkin and the man had a love and a connection that can't be described. She would follow us around and meow and talk to us. When she was ready for bed, she would 'yell' at the man and anytime he neared a sitting or laying position, she'd jump into his lap.

She loved dogs (the man's roommate when she was a kitten had a Husky). She did not like other cats. The only other cat I ever saw her be nice to was Max. She loved mandarin oranges and sleeping inside the man's shirt - while he was wearing it.

I believe pets have jobs in our lives. She taught us how to love unconditionally. She taught us how to give of ourselves as she did. I wish I could explain the depths of these words, they seem so hollow.

A year (and a move) later, I still think I see her sometimes. I'll still put mandarin oranges in the shopping cart and think "Pumpkin hasn't had these for a while." It's still so hard to believe she's really not here.

We were blessed to have Pumpkin in our lives. I don't think we'll ever have another cat. She was special - a special I can't put into words. I miss her.

Kali and Pumpkin napping on the couch (un-posed).

Pumpkin and Max as you'd most often find them - together.



Courage, Revisited

Just a few days ago, I came across and posted this quote:

Courage does not always roar.
Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying…
"I will try again tomorrow."
~Mary Anne Radmacher

It spoke so deeply to me, yet the words, they just wouldn't come. So, I posted the quote and left it at that.

But, inside I was taken back to how I felt when I wrote this post about God going before me; about praising in a storm; about His Voice being Truth. How some days it took all of my energy to just put my two feet on the floor and get out of bed. How some days, I didn't couldn't. How as I'd close my eyes at night and search my day for things to be grateful for, sometimes it was hard. So. hard. How I promised myself 'I'll try again tomorrow.' How I felt weak. so. very. weak.

Each morning, I'd pray for strength and courage to face the day. I'd remind myself of the quote "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather doing what is necessary in the face of fear." But I was struggling to do what was necessary. My prayer to try again the next day just reminded me of my failures of the current day. It felt like desperation. It felt like an excuse. It certainly did not feel like courage.

And then I came across the quote above. And a process of healing that had already begun was moved along exponentially. And a process of forgiving myself began. A shift in thinking and praying happened. Now instead of praying out of desperation to 'please, be able to, maybe, try again tomorrow,' I pray a prayer of praise for the opportunity to try again tomorrow. Instead of feeling weak, I am able to remind myself that for now, my courage is not roaring. It's barely even meowing. But. It. Is. There. It's a quiet whisper that says, "I will try again tomorrow." It's a quiet whisper that says, "Do what is necessary in the face of this fear." It's a quiet whisper that says, "Trust in God, He goes before you."

So why now? Why did the words come? Was it a coincidence? I think not. I think His timing is perfect.

One of my favorite blogs (and one of the first I ever followed) is I'm sure well-known to many of you - Bring the Rain. Angie posted about a new blog that was starting this week. A new blog that she would be contributing to. A new blog, called (in)courage. I linked over to check it out and in addition to loving what I was seeing, I also say that as a part of this new blog, they've asked readers to write about courage and what encourages them. And then, the words came.

Before the last few months of my life - before finding the quote above - courage to me would have roared. Soldiers who fight for freedom. Americans who fought back on Flight 93. First Responders. Survivors of cancer and other diseases. Victims of domestic violence. The list could go on forever.

Now, courage is all that roaring and more. It also whispers. Sometimes it cries. Sometimes it sits quietly on a porch with a bible in a lap watching the trees. Courage is what is necessary in the face of fear. And sometimes, whispering is what's necessary.


Music Monday

To continue introducing sharing the songs given to me by The Man when we first stated dating, I give you Wish You Were Here, by Pink Floyd.

Soon after the night we stayed up until 4:00 am talking, The Man was over visiting me at home and brought a guitar with him. We sat out and enjoyed a beautiful spring day on the deck and as he played, I chattered. Then all of a sudden, he started singing. I had no idea he could sing! I'll never forget hearing his voice for the first time. Of all the songs he gave me, this was the first and every time I hear it, a part of me goes back to that spring day on the back porch and falls in love all over again.


For Today, 8/7/09

For Today, August 7, 2009...A glimpse into my day, just an ordinary day.

Outside my window....sunshine and cool (for August 7th anyway).

I am thinking....about what needs to get done today. Enough items on the list, but not too many.

I am thankful for...a good night's sleep.

From the kitchen...cheesburgers and french fries. (not Fast Food - made at home).

I am wearing...blue jogging pants and a WVU Football T-shirt.

I am creating...a product list for my virtual open house.

I am going...to the grocery store and the post office.

I am hearing...the quiet hum of a fan.

Around the house...the last bit of organizing that needs done after getting a different desk (not really new, it was one of two we had in our house and I needed a change from the one I originally thought would work best in our space when we moved last fall).

One of my favorite things...all of my office supplies organized and in their place.

A few plans for the rest of the week....comedy and beer sampling tomorrow at the Brew HaHa and a visit to see my Nan on Sunday

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Picture from here.



Courage does not always roar.
Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying…
"I will try again tomorrow."
~Mary Anne Radmacher


Wordless Wednesday, 8/5/09

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.


Can of Worms

Evolution or Creation?

Why can't it be both? Really. Why can't it be both? I am not sitting on a fence here undecided. I feel very strongly that it is just that - both. This post is also not to try to convert or convince you of Christianity or any other religion. It is to focus on the topic of How did we get here? I will speak in general context of a creator and at this point not focus on Who that creator is.

I'm not going to quote scripture or a science book to you. I'm going to explain why I feel this way in plain terms, because, well, that's how I think - in plain terms. If you know me IRL, you know that I don't use big words and very abstract concepts are a struggle for me. (And that's also why no post about Christianity as of yet - I think it might just require more than "plain" terms and I'm not there yet - but, I'll get there).

I've flown across the Atlantic. Driven across the USA twice. Flown across the USA 16 times with many other flights up and down the East Coast. This world is A.Ma.Zing. It is clear to me that it is no accident. While that isn't based on theory, theology, or resarch, it is my gut feeling.

Our bodies are In.Cred.Ible. The way our bones, muscles, tissues, and organs all work together is a wonder. An accident? I think not.

Is it an accident that in this vast Universe there is a planet exactly as far away from a sun as it needs to be to sustain life? I think not.

Can Science show us how our bodies work? I think so.

Can Science teach us about the history of this planet, that is exactly as far away from a sun as it needs to be to sustain life? I think so.

I think the Universe, the Galaxy, this world, and all life (living and extinct) were created, on purpose, but with the Science that is studied. Before there was the Universe, there was something. If you subscribe to "The Big Bang" theory, I ask, what caused the initial expansion? My answer, it was created.

What caused humans? We were created. Created using evolution. Water, land, animals, birds, they were all here BEFORE humans. Were we an accidental, evolution over time? A survival of the fittest alone? I don't think so. I think we were a deliberate evolution over time. I think we were created purposefully. I think the survival of the fittest was deliberate, working and improving what was already created. Not in a sense of 'trial and error' but in a sense of creating this world and all the creatures on it to live alongside each other as we do; with a variety of and varying degrees of both mental and physical skill.

Have you ever gone to the zoo and watched the monkeys, gorillas, and orangutans? I mean, really watched them. They are so similar to us it is uncanny. We could learn a lot about our surroundings and using our resources from them. When you watch with an open mind, I challenge you NOT to see them as pre-humans (for lack of a better way to describe it).

Finally, I think that the very thing that people use to argue against the idea of creation - science - is just one more creation. Science was created so that we could understand how this creation worked. Science was created for us to be able to connect the dots of creation, for us to follow the steps of our evolution.

This "Can of Worms" has been opened - what do you think about Evolution and/or Creation?