Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend Update

My weekend was a blur. I know "I'm sick" stories are dull so I'll keep that part brief. But suffice it to say, I was insane when I decided I was healthy enough to go up north for the weekend. Insane or delusional. I guess I thought I could will myself healthy. Though I did will myself to get out and enjoy the location and company from time to time, I was mostly sleeping and/or coughing the whole weekend (especially Sunday, when I slept for something like 20 hours).

K, I'm done talking about illness. Unfortunately though, I'm not witty today. And I can't think of anything interesting to say (still sick). So I thought I'd just share some pictures from the weekend with you!

Tell me about your weekends!

Luckily I was healthy enough to enjoy this
delicious meat pie at the Scottish festival!

How can you NOT kiss those cheeks?
I love my adorable nephew.

My cousin skipping stones was way more
entertaining than you would think. He's seriously
Look who I ran into!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rainy Day Thoughts

Today is day two of my vacation, and day two of being super sick! Yay! But even though today was dark, rainy, stormy, and sick-y, it had its nice moments.

1. After running errands for a couple hours this afternoon, getting in and out of my car multiple times during a downpour, I was soaked. My shoes felt like they were filled with water. It was miserable. As soon as I got home, I changed into warm dry clothes and cozy warm socks. Heaven.

2. While I was running errands, I saw a license plate that said, "IBELVNU." (I believe in you.) I found it very inspiring and sweet. Who doesn't need to hear that?

3. I spent quite a bit of time today reading which is pretty much the best way to spend a sick, rainy day, don't you think? I'm loving I Captured the Castle so far!

4. I briefly got to visit with my niece and nephew, which always makes me happy. They put on quite a show for me, doing somersaults, jumping jacks, half flips, and much more, each time saying, "A-beth, watch this!" or "Salibis, did you see that?" And my nephew announced to my sister (his mom) that, "Salibis's favorite holidays are Christmas and summer!" I don't know where he came up with that, but I loved it.

5. I started antibiotics today so things are looking up! Healthy Memorial Day weekend, here I come!

6. Is there anything more decadent than falling asleep whenever you want? I love naps.

What made you happy today?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

My pen jar
Today is the first day of my six day vacation! To celebrate, my immune system decided to take a short vacation too, leaving me with a cold. Oh well. I guess it gives me an excuse to stay in bed and tackle this stack of books on my bed side table! In case you are curious, those books include:

I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith (For my book club!)
The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone (Very interesting so far!)
In Zanesville, by Jo Ann Beard
Murder at the Vicarage, by Agatha Christie (I'm almost done and I still have no idea whodunnit)

Because I'm not feeling too great today, my thoughts will be brief*. But if you're bored and looking for more to read, I wrote a movie review of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which you can find here.
Without further ado, my thoughts today:

1. Another movie is being filmed right by where I work this week and next, but will I see a celebrity? NooOooO! Even with all the movies filmed in downtown Ann Arbor the last couple years, I haven't seen a one. And quite frankly, I'm tired of it. Any celebrity spotting tips out there?

2. I'm not now, nor will I ever be, a vegetarian but I'm trying to be more of a vegetarian than I used to be, and eat meat more sparingly. Do any of you have any great vegetarian recipes or websites you use for tips? I'd be very grateful!

3. With the unofficial start of summer coming this weekend (Memorial Day), I am getting very excited for summer! I want to make sure I don't miss any fun opportunities, so I am making plans. Those plans include, but are not limited to:

*Greenfield Village (I'm buying a season pass, so if you want to go with me sometime, let me know!)
*Tigers games!
*Ludington (duh)
*Travel to other destinations (yet to be disclosed)
*Bike riding, kayaking, hiking, swimming, frisbee tossing, etc...

Sigh. It's summer, I'm in love.

Happy Wednesday.

*Turns out that was a lie. Oh well, brevity was never my strong suit!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happiness Squashers

There are some people in my life who I call "happiness squashers." These are otherwise good people who just don't want to let others get above a certain level of happiness. Namely, their level of happiness.

If they sense you're getting happier than they are, they say whatever it takes to squash your happiness.

Here are some examples of ways in which they do this. Maybe you'll recognize one of the happiness squashers as someone in your own life. Or you'll recognize yourself in one of them.*

Me: I'm thinking about trying to sell some of my photographs.
HS: A friend of mine tried to do that and it didn't work out well for her. She was really disappointed and lost a lot of money. But it'll probably work out for you! Good luck!

Me: Guess what? Matt asked me on a date!
HS: He used to like Alison but she turned him down. I think he liked me too but I didn't like him because he has that twitch. But good for you!

Me: I lost three pounds!
HS: It's probably mostly water weight, but it's still a good feeling. Keep it up!

Me: Maybe I'll move to California where it's more sunshiny.
HS: It's expensive there. Plus, the mudslides.

Me: I was so nervous about giving that talk. I'm so glad it's done!
HS: It was a little short, but you did fine!

Happiness squashers can't just say "congratulations" or "you'll be great" or "of course he likes you!" or "you did a good job." They have to take you down one notch when you've accomplished something good or might accomplish something good or when something good might be coming your way.

I suppose their attitudes come from insecurity or jealousy. Or they're just disappointed with the way their lives are going and want to keep you at the same level as them. Either way, they are balloon poppers, and they bum me out.

The more I've become aware of these people, the more I've found that at times, I myself am guilty of trying to rob people of their full happiness potential. I'm trying to be more aware of this so that even if I feel a twinge of jealousy at someone else's successes, I will keep it to myself and be kind to them. Why not let people be more happy? Why should it take away from my happiness?

Do you have happiness squashers in your own life? How do you deal with them?

*All conversation examples are made up and not based on real incidents. Except one. But besides that one, any similarities to you or someone you know are coincidental.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stuff you can't write with a joke pen

My actual hand
I love goofy pens. If I'd thought ahead I would have taken a picture of my pen jar at work before writing this post. But you'll just have to take my word for it: I love silly pens. Guitar pens, witch pens, flower pens, bison head pens, whatever it is, I have one and I like it.

My friend Janice and I have a tradition of buying funny pens for each other - the crazier the better. She recently got back from a trip to Seattle and brought me back a ginormous novelty pen that says "Seattle" on the side, as seen here:

I love it, not only because it's pretty funny, but also because I can always find it in my purse. And because I can always find it in my purse, I use it a lot.

I've become immune to its size and forget that it's funny looking, but today, while writing with it at church, I heard people giggling in my row. My friend Erin said, "You can't write anything serious with that pen!" I told Janice what she said and the two of us made a short list of things you can't write with a silly giant novelty pen.

Here's what we've come up with so far:

1. A letter of resignation
2. A break up letter
3. A blackmail letter
4. A will
5. A suicide note
6. A letter saying, "I'm your real mother."
7. A letter saying, "The test came back positive."

A letter like this:

I wrote this letter but didn't send it.

What else can't you write with a goofy pen?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Save the Date!

In case you guys haven't heard yet, a certain religious group (I'm honestly not sure what religious group it is) believes the Rapture is coming Saturday. I'm not sure what time on Saturday though, so it's probably better just to clear the day.

No offense meant to that group, but I don't think the Rapture is Saturday. Now that I've said that I'm probably going to get Left Behind, huh? Anyway, I've been really enjoying all the Rapture talk this week, regardless. Did you know there's a website where you can sign up to have your loved ones taken care of when you are taken up and they're left behind? There's also a "Post Rapture Looting Party" event on Facebook. Which may be taking things too far, but which sort of made me chuckle. Wow, I really am going to be Left Behind with talk like that.

A friend and I have been going back and forth this week about what we would do if we believed the Rapture was on Saturday. His list was mostly full of semi-criminal behavior. Mine was something like:

1. Get my repenting up to date.
2. Not show up to work the rest of the week.
3. Eat whatever I want (remember those lists we made of what we'd eat if we
knew we were dying tomorrow? Time to get those out!).
4. Make sure my friends and family knew about the Rapture and spend the rest of
the time until then just chilling with them.
5. I can't decide on #5. Too much pressure.

If the Rapture were Saturday, what are the top 5 things you'd do between now and then?

"Nice Rapture, Einstein!" - Dr. Hibbert

No religion bashing please, this is just meant to be a light conversation. About the Rapture. That is possible, right?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Dating is like a game of Racko.

Have you guys played Racko? Basically each player has a little rack(o) with numbered cards in each slot. The point of the game is to have your cards, through drawing and discarding, "read in any numerical progression from low at the front to a high number at the back." The first person to have them in order, wins.

The game is mostly luck, but there is some strategy involved. You have to look at your cards at the beginning and make a plan: which cards are you going to get rid of? Which are you going to keep? Is this card too high to start with? Is this one to low to end with? Then as you draw cards, you have to decide "is this going to help? should I discard this? which slot should I put it in? how important is it?" It's hard. And I'm not very good at it.

Did I mention it's like dating?

What order should they go in??

I suppose Racko isn't the only game that's like dating. Yahtzee comes to mind. Years ago a good friend of mine mentioned to me that she often participated in Yahtzee tournaments. When she first told me this, I had to laugh. I mean, if any game is based on luck, it's Yahtzee. I asked, "Is there any strategy to winning Yahtzee!?" And she said, "Yes. Go for the Yahtzee every time." In other words, take a risk and you could win big.

Dating is like a game of Yahtzee.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Update

I can never decide about doing weekend updates - do you guys like them or not? I hope you don't mind them because I'm about to start one in

 The weather quickly shifted from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. My spirits survived but my hair was a casualty.

 My brother and his girlfriend came over and being the "two strong people" they are, put together my trampoline. It is pretty awesome and high tech - it even has a counter on it that tells you (among other things) how many times you've bounced. My 12 year old nephew bounced 2,000 times and claimed I couldn't beat that. I scoffed at the challenge and got to bouncing. 1,000 bounces later I could no longer feel my calves. If you're trying to get in touch with me this week, I will be going back and forth between bouncing and icing my muscles as I work to beat his record. He already told me that no matter how many times I jump, he will beat it. We're not competitive in my family at all.

 My nephew asked me "how come your hair is mostly really blonde but at the top it's a little darker?" Um... I have a hair appointment later this week, ok?

 I slept 12 hours Friday night then took a nap Saturday. Not sure what was going on there. But the good news is that I couldn't fall asleep Saturday night till 4:30. (The sarcasm is translating through the text, right?)

 I started thinking a lot about risk taking in dating. I feel like I'm usually too risk averse when it comes to dating. If I meet someone and see something that I think could make it hard for us to date in the long term, I tend to hold back. This year I've been branching out and taking more risks. And it's been good. And it's been bad. It's been exciting, and painful. And confusing. And fun. How much of a risk taker do you think you are when it comes to dating? Those of you who are married, did you take a risk when you started dating your spouse?

 I got to see my other nieces and nephew too and I found out I'm bad at Memory but awesome at Chutes and Ladders. Three year olds always beat me at Memory. Legitimately. I'm not proud of that.

 The rest of the weekend will be summarized here: I hung out with friends and witnessed one friend do something very brave! And I was very proud of her. I saw an awesome band play, I was the murderer at a murder mystery, I spent time with friends and family, my heart melted at the cuteness of my nieces and nephews, and I felt sad when the weekend ended.

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 13, 2011

And the winner is....

Today is Friday the 13th! But for me and one lucky person (to be announced in just one second) it has been a lucky one! Here are some good things that happened to me today:

1. I should have gotten a parking ticket because I forgot to move my car out of a two hour parking zone (for eight hours) and Ann Arbor looooooooves parking tickets, but I lucked out and didn't get one!

2. I went to a murder mystery tonight and it turned out that the murderer was (dramatic pause)... me. No one suspected me, Shugga Ann Flower, of killing the celebrity London Wilton! Not even me. I would have been just as happy if I'd been the murder victim though because she got to talk like a ghost for half the night which is one of my favorite things to do.

3. I did not hear the Rebecca Black song, "Friday," once today. Yay!

Did any of you have a lucky Friday the 13th like me?

I'll tell you one person who did! A Ms. Savannah Olive, who won the FHE book giveaway! I wrote all the entries on pieces of paper and drew out a name. Savannah, please email me at and I will get your information so you can get your copy of the book!

To the rest of you who didn't win (sorry!), you can still order a copy of your own! Check out for ordering information or to find a store that carries it near you!

Thanks everyone who participated!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

This should have been me
I'm living in fear of assembling my mini trampoline. I bought it yesterday in an effort to add variety to my work out routine but as soon as I looked at the box and realized the box wasn't trampoline shaped, I knew I was in trouble. The words "assembly required" make my heart hurt.

When I got home from the store I dumped out the contents of the box, decided for myself which parts were necessary and which weren't, then opened up the instructions. This warning was written multiple times in the instructions:


I don't know what the rails are, so I have no idea what to avoid. Also, I'm only one person - not "two or more strong" people. Oh, and may I add that the instructions have a picture of two men assembling it? So not only are the instructions anti-weak people, but they're also sexist.

In an attempt to stick it to the man, I started assembling it by myself: just me, a kind of strong single woman. Thought I'd show them, you know? Well, I started out strong, unfolding the trampoline and snapping it into place (no small feat, trust me),  but didn't make it past the stage of putting the protective wrap around the edges (which was step two out of about ten steps):

That doesn't look right...

At that point I gave up. For now. Not because I'm weak, and certainly not because I'm a woman, but because the instructions scared me and I'm too young to die. And it'd be really lame if I died folded up in a mini trampoline.

Anyone want to come over and put it together for me? I'll let you have the first bounce! (But not the second.)

Happy Wednesday.

PS - There's still a couple more days to enter the FHE book giveaway! Remember: if you re-post the giveaway to Facebook or Twitter you get an extra entry! But you have to leave a second comment to let me know (each comment = one entry).

Monday, May 9, 2011

FHE Book Giveway!!!

Some of you may remember this book from last year when I wrote a review of it. Or maybe you're one of the many lucky people who already owns a copy of it! If you do not yet own your own copy of this outstanding resource, now is your chance!

The name of the book is "There's no place like home...evening! An FHE planning guide for young single adults." It is full of creative and fun ideas for hosting Family Home Evening activities for singles (though the ideas could be easily used as theme parties)!

In case you didn't read my review, or haven't heard of this book, here is the link. Read it real quick, then come right back, k?

You might be thinking "but I'm not an FHE planner, so I probably don't need a copy." Well, stop thinking that immediately and read these reasons why you will want a copy of this book:

1. There is any possibilty of your becoming FHE or activities planner in the future (you never know!).
2. You are in any other auxiliary and may have to plan an activity at some point.
3. You like hosting parties and are always looking for themes, tips, and invitation ideas.
4. You like owning awesome books.

Some of my favorite ideas in the book include:  Backwards Dinner (p. 53 - or should I say Rennid Sdrawkcab?), Haunted Home Evening (p. 79 - learn part of the Thriller Dance!), and Pioneer Day Games (p. 78 - will someone please pull me some taffy??). And bonus, the book comes with a CD rom that has a ton of templates on it! And plenty of tips for planning and motivating people to attend your activities.

My sister is currently flipping through my copy of the book gasping at every other page as she finds more and more fantastic ideas she could use in her calling as Young Women's President.

Ok, now that I've convinced you that you must own this book, here's what's you need to do:

To enter, first, become a follower of this blog (it's so easy!) and then answer this question: what is your most favorite FHE of all time?

Bonus entry: Repost this on Facebook or Twitter and get an extra entry! (Leave a second comment to let me know you did this!)

The winner will be picked at random on FRIDAY! Good luck!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mom and Me, circa....well, a long time ago.

Some things my mom has taught me by word and example:

1. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
2. Sharing what you have doesn't give you less - the good feeling you get only makes you feel like you have more.
3. Study the scriptures and learn about the Gospel.
4. Attend the temple.
5. Sing out loud and appreciate music.
6. Flowers can make any day better.
7. Find joy in the little things in life - a sunny day, a phone call from a friend, a good book.
8. Serve others without complaining.
9. Do what you know is right, even if it isn't the easy thing to do.
10. Homemade chocolate chip cookies always beat store bought.

Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you!

What have you learned from your moms?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


In case you've never heard the word "meme" before, here's a definition:

Meme: An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.

Lately, I've been having fun with a few internet picture memes, namely:

Basically, you just use the same photo everyone is using for the meme, cut the person out of it, and place them in a different photo. Some of these are old but they're still fun. I'm not awesome at Photoshop because I just started using it in the last few months but I needed a laugh so I thought I'd play around with it. Here are the ones I made:

Leo, prancing on the breakwater in Ludington

Brian does look pretty scary...

The donut eating competition at the bonfire makes Keanu sad.

I'll admit it, I'm easily amused. I hope you are too!

Wednesday Thoughts

Today I have two dating questions for you, and I would love your feedback! (Married readers, feel free to participate too!)

1. At the end of a first date, when the bill comes at the end of dinner, do men like it when the woman reaches for her wallet and offers to either pay or split the bill (whichever)? I have heard that guys appreciate the gesture, even when they have no intention of taking her up on it. But my friend Vaughn insists that I couldn't be more wrong about that, at least for a first date. What do you guys think?

2. How do you feel about holding hands on a first date? My opinion on this is vague because I think every date is different and no one rule applies. I mean, maybe you don't always want your date to hold your hand on a first date, right? But say things are going well, both people seem to be enjoying each others company, sparks are flying, etc... How common is hand holding on a first date in your experience?

The reason I bring this up is because at some point in the history of my life (vagueness is always my goal in the blog!), I went out with a guy who held my hand on the first date, and it was nice. And I realized how uncommon it is for a first date, in my experience. And how often it's skipped right over entirely for it's more passionate cousin: the kiss.

I know a few of you have pretty strong opinions about dating (remember that post I had to take down about how serious the questioning should be on a first date?) but I'm sure we can handle these two questions. And I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Answers to yesterday's quiz

1. I speak Spanish. True.

2. I am a Democrat. False. This was a trick question because I think most of my friends think of me as a Democrat. Though I lean left, I'm actually an Independent.

3. My favorite flower is the poppy. True. I like both the flower and its name.

4. My favorite place to visit is Mackinac Island. False. While I do love Mackinac Island, my favorite place to visit is definitely Ludington.

5. I have a mole the shape of a heart. True!

6. I can beat ANY of you at Dr. Mario. Absolutely true. And I'd be happy to prove it any time. Unless you're scared.

7. I've visited the Eiffel Tower. True.

8. I love musicals. True. My favorites are: Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, Annie, and Hairspray.

9. When I was a child, I thought I was a midget (sorry, "little person"). True. When I was in third grade, my teacher lined us up to go to specials (art, music, gym, library) by height. I was at the end of the line pretty much the whole year. And to make matters worse, a boy named Justin M. was always in line in front of me. He had a perpetual cold and his nose was always running. It was disgusting. But anyway, since I didn't seem to grow much that year, I got it into my head that I was a midget. Eventually I got up the courage to ask my parents about it. They told me I was not, but I debated them about it for awhile until they convinced me. Eventually I did grow (a little).

10. I play the trumpet. False. I played the trombone in high school but now the only thing I can play on it is the dramatic slide they played on Lost before going to commercial. And for the record, I nailed it.
How many did you get right?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

7 truths, 3 lies

I'm so vain, I made
a quiz about me.
How 'bout a little game? Here are ten facts about me. Three of them are bold faced lies. Can you pick them out?

1. I speak Spanish.
2. I am a Democrat.
3. My favorite flower is the poppy.
4. My favorite place to visit is Mackinac Island.
5. I have a mole the shape of a heart.
6. I can beat ANY of you at Dr. Mario.
7. I've visited the Eiffel Tower.
8. I love musicals.
9. When I was a child, I thought I was a midget (sorry, "little person")
10. I play the trumpet.