Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sneak Attack

It's hard for me not to mess with you guys sometimes. You know, include one of you randomly and unexpectedly  in one of my pictures the way I do with Prancing Leo, or something like that. I wouldn't say your name, but you and I would know it was you.

But then again, one of my friends claimed he stopped reading my blog after I wrote a post about something jerky he did. He's paranoid though because I'm sure I've never written about him.

Or maybe I did.

The point is, I don't think I did that time, but now I kinda want to.

I love messing with my friends - not in a cruel way, just in a teasy way. The problem is, I don't know all of you as well as I know some of you. And some of you, I don't know at all. So maybe you wouldn't think it was funny? Or maybe you would be nervous that I'd feature you? Or maybe it would irritate you if you didn't get the joke? Or maybe you're in hiding?

When it comes to blogging, sometimes I'm not sure which side of myself to feature, so I stick with the same persona - the blog persona. I say some things, but I don't say everything. I cover certain topics excessively (Snuggies, the swine flu, Prancing Leo) and others not at all (the fact that I'm annoyed with aliens, am scared of commitment, and any other opinions that may not be well received {political feelings for example}).

And because I'm writing to a broad-ish audience, I try to write about a variety of topics. But sometimes it feels impersonal.... which is why I like the idea of sneak attacking some of you guys occasionally in a post - most likely by sneaking you in a picture. You know, just basically dragging you down with me. ;)

Part of me thinks it's a creepy thing to do. Another part of me thinks it would be hilarious. I may or may not do it but now's your chance to let me know if you're in the Witness Relocation Program and don't want your picture used. ;)* **

This could be you.

*Your secret's safe with me.
** I used emoticons twice in this post. Not cool.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

We're already at the end of June, which means summer is a third of the way over. As you know, I love summer, so I really don't want to waste any of it. Time to assess where I'm at, summer wise.

So far this summer I've:
  • Become addicted to bomb pops (I had four yesterday and was afraid my lips had permanently turned blue.)
  • Gone to two Tigers games
  • Been to Amococo (see pictures below)
  • Played frisbee
  • Gone swimming several times
  • Gone to an olde timey baseball game at Greenfield Village
  • Seen two fireworks displays
  • Ridden my bike into the ground
  • Saved a turtle
  • Saw the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys
  • Been to Lake Michigan & Ludington

Goals for the rest of the summer:
  • Go back to Ludington several more times and swim in Lake Michigan
  • Ween myself off of bomb pops (sad face)
  • See Strange fruit at the Ann Arbor summer festival. I saw them once a long time ago and they really were strange (but oddly, I saw no fruit.)
  • Go the the Fourth of July celebration at Greenfield Village
  • Attend the Ann Arbor Art Fair, even though I have a love/hate relationship with it
  • Either go to the Grand Canyon or buy season 3 of the Brady Bunch and watch the three episodes where the Brady's go there, and live vicariously through them. (Though quite frankly, I'm tired of living vicariously through the Brady Bunch.)
  • Attend a BBQ
  • Go to Cedar Point (in the works)
  • Survive a camping trip (you know how I feel about this)
...and so much more! What have you done this summer? What do you still want to do?

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, June 27, 2011


My friend Sarah says she's going to unfriend me if I don't unfriend 100 friends on Facebook. She claims "there's no way I'm actually friends with all those people." I wanted to tell her she was wrong, and that I'm close, personal friends with every one of my Facebook friends. But I had to admit that occasionally a name pops up in my news feed that I don't recognize, and I have to go to their page to figure out how I know them.

These people usually fit into one of these groups:

1. Friends of my siblings.
2. People I met once or twice.
3. People who read this blog but who I haven't met in real life.
4. People I knew for a summer 7-12 years ago.
5. Friends of friends.
6. Female friends who changed their last name when they got married.

I definitely don't plan on unfriending 100 people, but maybe - maybe - I should unfriend a few? At least a few of the people who fit into those categories listed above (not including #6). But even with that list, it's hard to know exactly who to unfriend, so I came up with a little list to help in the process:

  • People who's names I don't recognize.
  • People who were friends with my sisters while in high school, but who I don't know personally.
  • People who's lives are better than mine (so long, every friend on the list!)
  • Boys who didn't like me back. 
  • People I met once and haven't talked to since. 
  • Ex-crushes who are now married. 
  • Friends I'm kinda ticked off at (you know who you are).
  • Friends who aren't working hard enough to please me.
  • People who's attitudes I don't like. 
  • Friends who aren't cooking/baking enough food for me or buying me enough presents.

Did I leave anything out?

Truth be told, I'm pretty sure I won't unfriend anyone. I mean, what's the harm? The more, the merrier, right? How many Facebook friends is too many, in your opinion? I've seen people with more than 1,000 which seems pretty extreme to me, but is there anything wrong with it? I guess it depends on what you're using Facebook for.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

I discovered the cure for a bad mood today: catching "I got a man" by Postive K on the radio. If you are anywhere near me in age and remember this song, I'd highly recommend listening to it again. With lyrics like, "I'm not a dog baby, so don't play me like a clown; I'll admit it, I like how you kick it; Now you're talking baby, dat's da ticket," this song is timeless.

Wednesday Thoughts is kinda late today because I was feeling a wee bit crabby today. I'm better now.

This Friday I'm checking another summer goal off my list: going to Amococo. I've been telling friends about how much I want to go to Amococo, but when I try to describe what it is, I sort of freeze. I usually say things like, "It's an inflatable... village? It has a bunch of rooms... it's lit up in a variety of colors.... from the outside it looks like the birth canal (an image Sarah got in my head)...." Surprisingly, even with that awesome description, people don't know what I'm talking about.

So here's a picture, along with the inherent dangers of Amococo labeled (as I see them):

My biggest (and only) real fear is that it will deflate with me in it. For this reason, I'll be bringing a sword with me so I can cut my way out. One of my friends tried to comfort me by saying, "It might be a beautiful poetic thing to die inside of deflated Amococo." But I don't know, I just don't find that as comforting as he thinks.

I'm pretty excited to check it out though, even with the risks! Next up on my summer goals list: make rock candy. I remember making it as a kid and liking it. I tried some recently and it was awful - my mouth was all swollen from it's rough edges. (But I finished the whole sucker because I'm no quitter.) I want to make it anyway because I remember the process being kinda fun. If I make it, you guys should try it! It's really good, trust me!

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

High Maintenance

I don't like to think of myself as high maintenance. I mean, yes, I highlight my hair, and yes, I get my eyebrows done. I'm not opposed to getting an occasional pedicure or a massage. And I try not to yell at the servants but sometimes they need to be reminded to stay on task.

But other than that, I'm way low maintenance.

The only time I feel high maintenance is when it comes to camping, which I'm not a huge fan of. I know I should hide that so guys will think I'm outdoorsy and will want to marry me, but I may as well confess, I'm not much of a camper.

When I was a kid, we never went camping. At least, not the kind where you use tents and cook your food over the fire and just generally "rough it." We'd occasionally borrow a camper and stay at a campsite, but we'd usually eat out. My dad always said his version of camping was staying at the Holiday Inn. So really, I can blame my upbringing for my discomfort with camping.

As an adult, I have gone camping with friends several times, and I guess it's ok. I mean, I like the roasting marshmallows part, talking around the campfire, and playing cards in the tent. I don't like the sleeping on the hard ground part, the can't-sleep-because-I'm-freezing-part, the "what's that sound? I'm sure it's a bear" part, the frizzy hair part, the dirty face part, or the part where you never feel clean and there's always marshmallow on your fingers.

I feel like April, from Parks and Rec, who said in reference to a camping trip she was forced to go on, "I don't even want to be here! The air is too fresh - it's disgusting. I can't breathe. And there's a brook somewhere that won't stop babbling. SHUT UP!"

Too much of a princess to camp. (Not my real bosoms.)

I do like the outdoors though. In fact, I love the outdoors. I love hiking and swimming and riding bikes. I just prefer to go inside and sleep in a safe warm comfy bed at night.

Am I the only one out there willing to admit this? If you love camping, maybe you can tell me what I can do to make it a better experience for myself! Being a diva's getting old.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!
My dad is awesome. And here are some reasons why!

1. He always made sure we did fun things when we were kids - like taking the whole family to Toronto to see The Phantom of the Opera, or buying amazing tickets for just us kids (as teenagers) to see Harry Connick Jr. Great memories!

2. He always serves others without complaint. No, I mean, it - he never complains about helping other people - and he gets called on a lot to help out in various ways! He's a great example to me of selfless service.

3. He loves his family so much, and it's obvious to all of us. We never doubt his love for us!

4. He loves to tease and has raised a bunch of kids who love to joke and laugh.

5. He loves family vacations and is happiest when we're all together.

6. He's a wonderful husband to my mom and will often surprise her with flowers for no reason. He has always been wonderful to my mom and his love for her is apparent.

7. He has a great love for the Lord and the gospel. He encouraged me to serve a mission and was so proud of me when I did. He couldn't have been more supportive!

In conclusion, my dad is amazing. I'm sure yours is too. :) Happy Father's Day to all the amazing dads out there!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Feels Like Summer

Summer may not officially start until next week, but it already feels like summer to me. This past week has been FULL of fun summer activities, like the following.

1. Tigers game! I love going to baseball games and had a blast at my first game of the season. Plus, check out how great these seats are! And bonus, the Tigers won.

2. Olde time baseball! (aka historic baseball) at Greenfield Village. This is one my favorite summer activities. Baseball played with 1860 rules? Love it. I bought a season pass so expect more historic baseball game posts this summer.

3. New Kids on the Block/Back Street Boys concert. Where do I even begin?? The concert could NOT have been more fun. I'm so glad I got to go with my sisters. I lost my voice almost completely from singing and screaming but wow, couldn't have been more fun. I honestly don't even know what else to say about it. One of the most fun nights of my life to date though, that much I can say for sure. (And if case you were wondering, Jordan and I did fall in love, so be looking for your "save the date!")

4. My friend Sarah and I helped a turtle in need today. I took today off so I could recover from the concert, and Sarah had a half day today, so we met up in the afternoon for a nice long bike ride. On our ride, while going through a more rural area, we spotted a turtle who was struggling to get up on the sidewalk. Look at his little arm, reaching up!

We then spent 15 minutes worrying about him and wondering where he was going anyway. Eventually I carried him over to a little pond which he charged full speed into. When he didn't come out of the water for a long time (yes, we were watching and waiting - we got very invested in this turtle) Sarah worried that he was drowning and that we had assisted in his suicide attempt.

Neither of us knows anything about turtles but I assured her that since many turtles live in or near water, they must be able to hold their breaths or something. We stood on the raised train tracks watching it for a long time, though we were briefly distracted by tadpoles.

At that point I said to Sarah, "we're a real life Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn." To put Sarah's mind at ease about the turtle, I grabbed a piece of broken train track wood and lifted the turtle out of the muck to make sure he was still alive. He was and we went on with our ride.

I just wrote four paragraphs about seeing a turtle today.

5. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has begun! Sarah and I went tonight with her brother David, and loved it. We were especially amused by the Detroit Party Marching Band (pictured). When the Ann Arbor summer festival starts, summer starts.

6. On our way back to the car, we spotted the SURE sign of summer: fireflies (not pictured). Fireflies are so magical.

Summer! Summer!!!Summer!!!!!

Sorry, that was "Summer Elizabeth" - she comes out a few months of the year and it's hard for me to control her.

Has your summer started yet?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kids these days

The following is a conversation I had at work today with one of our summer interns. He's 19, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't realize how old I am.

Me: So, I'm going to a concert tomorrow night and I'm really looking forward to it!
Him: What concert?
Me: New Kids on the Block!
Him: I've never even heard of them. Are they like from the 80's or something?
Me: Um. Yeah.... Anyway, Backstreet Boys is playing with them too.
Him: Whoa. Backstreet Boys!? They're all old now! They're like 30!
Me: Yeah...

Wednesday Thoughts: The Boy Band Edition

TOMORROW... Tomorrow is the big day.... after 20 years, me and the New Kids on the Block are reuniting, and it's gonna feel so good. When I tell people I'm going to see the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys in concert, I get one of three responses:

1. Why?
2. Hahahahahaha
3. I'm so jealous!

Well, they (and you) should be jealous, because seeing NKOTB means one thing and one thing only: I'm going to see my tween crush: Jordan Knight, and he has done nothing in the last 20 years except get cuter:

Jordan was my number one tween crush and for obvious reasons - that first picture says it all - "I'm beautiful but also deep." What you can't see in this picture is his rattail, which I actually hated but which I figured I could talk him into cutting off when we fell in love.

Now that so much time has passed and we've both been able to learn and grow, I can see only one possible outcome from the concert tomorrow night:

I know what you're thinking, but you're wrong.
This isn't creepy at all.

You guys know I'm kidding right? I mean, I would hope that's obvious, but you never know. Marrying Jordan tomorrow night would just be silly. We'll probably have a fall wedding so we have time to get to know each other more and plan the wedding. Plus I'm sure Jordan will want to write a song for it.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hair vs. Fur

Who's flying hair/fur is more impressive?

My adorable niece, after going down a slide

Hungarian Puli sheep dog, Fee

These pictures are both making me very happy today. The first was sent to me by my sister this morning. The second is a sheep dog who was in the news several years ago and who's picture I keep up in my cubicle because it cracks me up.

I know it seems bad that I'm comparing my niece to a dog, but I'm really not. I'm only comparing their hair. I mean, one is my niece - my own flesh and blood - who I completely adore, and the other is a canine who I've never even met and who would probably bite me.

My niece has bitten me too, come to think of it, but that's where the similarities end between them.

Who's hair got better air?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Novica Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Novica giveaway! I wish you could ALL win (I really do!), but there can only be one winner. Tonight I went to a Tigers game and after the game, there was a fireworks show. You're not even gonna believe this, but during the fireworks show, the winner of this very giveaway was announced!* Luckily I captured it on film (or rather, my iPhone):

Congratulations Brady! Contact me and I'll give you your gift card information!

*The winner was actually chosen via random generator. The fireworks spelling out Brady's name was merely a coincidence.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Looking at my iTunes bill from the last month or so I noticed a certain pattern... or rather, lack thereof. Except maybe that I'm missing the gene that tells me to stop before buying embarrassing (or in my opinion, "awesome") music!

Here are 15 songs I bought in the last month:

1. Sydney (I'll Come Running) Brett Dennen (My current favorite song. I'm over-listening to it as we speak and am on schedule to be tired of it by next week.)
2. If It Isn't Love - New Edition (To get the full experience of this song, do yourself a favor and watch the video. Two words: stirrup pants.)
3. Please Don't Go Girl - New Kids on the Block (The concert is next week! EEeeeek!)
4. Bad Medicine - Bon Jovi ("Shake it up just like bad medicine"!? What does that mean? This song might be too deep for me.)
5. You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi (Shot through the heart! And you're to blame!)
6. Why Can't This Be Love - Van Halen (It's a gentle kind of rock.)
7. Love is the Right Place - Bryan White (Feel-goodery.)
8. Kickstart My Heart - Motley Crue (Do you think I was proud to include this on the list!?! Because I wasn't!)
9. Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue (Kids, don't do drugs! No matter what this song says.)
10. Borderline - Madonna (This song washes wave after wave of nostalgia over me.)
11. Danny's Song - Loggins and Messina (Um, this song is beautiful. Everyone knows this.)
12. I Am A Rock - Simon and Garfunkel (No one understands me. I'm all alone.)
13. Hillbilly Bone - Blake Shelton (Little known fact: I can sing lower than either of the men singing this song.*)
14. Gunpowder and Lead - Miranda Lambert (Too bad this song came out too late to be in my favorite J-Lo movie, "Enough.")
15. Try a Little Tenderness - Otis Redding (It's just plain good.)

Three questions:

1. Which is your favorite song on this list?
2. Which song is most embarrassing? (I honestly don't think they all are, for the record.)
3. What are you listening to these days?

Please know, this is just music from the last month but does not represent my entire taste in music. The rest of my ipod would probably give a clearer picture, but who wants to read a list of hundreds of songs? Not you, I'm sure.

I go through phases where I like rock best, then top 40, then hipster, then oldies.... This list just represents the last 30 days or so.

*For sure a lie. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

1. In England last weekend, a shin-kicking competition was held. Shin kicking. I know it's random for me to mention it, but I heard about it yesterday and just had to share! The rules are: hold onto your opponents shoulders, and kick until one of you falls over. You are allowed to stuff your pant legs with straw for padding. (Duh!) Here's a link to a video if you're curious - I watched part of it but got overwhelmed because of the complex strategies involved.

2. I received my order from Novica yesterday, and I just ordered it last Thursday! Talk about fast! It came in a beautiful box, with a handwritten note from Thailand (yes, the entire country wrote me a note). You still have till Friday to enter the Novica giveaway and you could win a prize of your own choosing!

3. My last thought today is this: my friend Sarah and I try to get together to exercise a couple times a week. We rotate among biking, hiking, walking, or swimming at the pool. Lately though, it's been so hot that the pool seems like the only good option. Normally we practically have the pool to ourselves, but yesterday, with temperatures in the mid 90's, and a heat index of over 100 degrees, that was not the case.

The pool was packed. And even as the sun started setting, it continued to fill up. There's something about a ton of people swimming around me that can gross me out if I think about it too much. But I tell myself that no one ever caught anything from a pool and to just not think about it. And once I get past the ick factor, I love hanging out at a community pool. The football being tossed over our heads, the splashing, the conversations, the people watching! We had a blast last night.

How are those two related?
Is that kid theirs?
What language is she speaking?
How old is that good looking man, do you think?
That lady looks pretty good for being as pregnant as she is!
(-things said by either Sarah or I as we dried off after a long swim)

Those are my thoughts today! I wanted sooooooo badly to mention a certain scandal with a certain congressman with a really embarrassing name and a Twitter account, but I decided to not debase my blog with the word "wiener."


Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly

At the company I work for, a lot of different nationalities are represented. Because we need to translate books and journals from around the world, it is important to have a lot of diversity in the staff. This often makes work potlucks very interesting and fun - with people bringing all sorts of dishes from all around the globe. I've tried a lot of new foods while I've worked there - some I have loved, and others I've...well, I've passed by without trying.

This morning we had a birthday potluck for a couple coworkers. One of the people celebrating her birthday is a coworker from Russia. She told us that she went out to eat for her actual birthday (last week) and had a delicious meal. When we asked her what it was, she warned us that it might gross us out. When we convinced her we could handle it, she revealed that it was pig pâté. A little too much explanation was then given about the boiling of the pig head to make the pâté, and, well, I'll stop there (you're welcome).

At that point, another co-worker, an American, told a story about how she once asked a friend of hers who was visiting America, what the grossest American food is. Her friend's answer? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! I was shocked! What's more simple and yummy than a pb&j sandwich with a cold glass of milk!?

Another co-worker from Brazil agreed with my co-worker's foreign friend, describing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as gross, and more specifically, "too slimy." At that point another co-worker, also from Russia, said that she used to think pb&j sandwiches were weird when she moved to the States, but has acquired a taste for them now (something most Americans do at age three).

Up to this point, the only food/drink I've consistently heard my non-American friends complain about is root beer, which they often describe as tasting like medicine (delicious, bubbly, thirst quenching medicine...) But pb&j?! I never knew.

Years ago I served as a missionary for my church. I was assigned to serve in Houston, speaking Spanish. For the most part, the people I served with were Mexican. Mexican people are so kind and generous and many of the people we worked with would often invite us over for delicious home cooked meals. I love Mexican food and you won't hear me complaining about any of it, except this: menudo.

And no, I'm not talking about this Menudo:

I'm talking about this menudo:

also known as tripe, or stomach. I can't eat stomach!! That's just confusing to my stomach!! It's a mental thing I know, but I don't care how delicious people say it is, menudo is not going in my belly. No belly in my belly, that's my motto.

Other than that, I love Mexican food. I guess all cultures have at least one food that just seems inedible to people not used to it. What's yours??

In case you missed it...

Enter the Novica giveaway! All you have to do is be a blog follower and tell me the top three countries you want to visit!

Scroll down to enter!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


If there's one thing it's taboo for bloggers to talk about, it's comments. Yeah, I said it, comments. As in, how many you get. I'm positive at least a few of you are cringing right now, wondering if I'm going to comment grub and try to guilt you into commenting somehow. But that's not what I'm doing - I just want to put some ideas out there and you may respond if you please. Or not, that's your prerogative.

When I talk to other bloggers, I find the topic of comments often comes up, as in "I don't get very many." It's obviously something that matters to bloggers, but why? What I think is that when you publish a post, you are putting yourself out there - sometimes in a very personal way, or a silly way, or a thoughtful way, or whatever. But either way, you're creating something, sharing it, and hoping people read it, get it, like it, think it's funny, appreciate it... and maybe even give you some feedback. And then you wait....

and wait...

and then yay! A comment! And later, another comment! Now you feel like not only were you heard, but you are having a conversation.

The problem is that if you don't get many comments, or your comments fluctuate, you start to wonder too much - "did people not think that was funny/interesting?" "Did they get it?" "Oh, why did I put that out there?"

I have noticed on some blogs that the posts that seem to get the biggest reaction from people are ones in which people really open themselves up in a raw way, like talking about depression or hurt or pain. I've wondered if I could write about something that personal, but I'm pretty sure it's not in me to put something like that on this blog - at least not any time soon. You're much more likely to see more Prancing Leo posts on here than serious talk about pain and anxiety (although too much Prancing Leo could cause pain and anxiety, I suppose)...

That time Leo joined my friends and me in Hell, Michigan

So here's the question I propose to you: How often do you comment on blogs you read? For me, I try to comment on at least 1/5 posts per blog. Or more - but that's just me, I'm not saying you have to comment that often.

And just to show you I'm not begging for comments, but am simply curious about your opinion, I am going to make a poll on the upper left so you don't even have to click on the comment box if you don't want to.

But you can if you want.

Friday, June 3, 2011

YOU get a car! And YOU get a car! And YOU get a car!

Ok, you aren't really going to get a car. I just thought that now that Oprah's show* is over, someone needed to fill the void of giving things away! So while it's true I can't give you a car, you COULD get a necklace, or a new bag, or a hammock and any number of other prizes!

The winner of this giveaway gets a $37.50 gift card (virtual) to use at the online store Novica, in association with National Geographic! Novica sells goods from all over the world so if you are interested in goods from a certain region, you can search the website by region! It's very cool. I ordered a necklace from Thailand and got notification that it was shipped from Thailand the next day. If that package isn't covered in multi-colored stamps when it arrives, I am going to be very disappointed.

I know what you guys are thinking (well, some of you, anyway), "But I won't know what to do if I win!! I'm overwhelmed! I'm never going to use the gift card!!! I'm just not going to enter!" Ok, maybe that's just what I thought when I was first invited to use a giftcard of my very own with Novica. I should have more faith in you all to get less overwhelmed than me. But in case you feel like I did, here are the steps you follow when you find out you won:

1. Cheer a lot! Then maybe praise my name - just a little. Then email me and I'll send you your gift card number.
2. Go to the Novica website and choose what you want to buy.
3. Go to "checkout" and when they ask you for how you want to pay, type in the number that I have sent you and you will get notification that your item was sent!
4. Eagerly check your mailbox/doorstep every day until your package arrives.

So easy!

OK, HERE'S HOW YOU WIN!! First, if you are not already a follower of this blog, become one! (It's easy.) Then, since Novica sells products from all over the world, tell me what are the TOP THREE countries you want to visit!

I think mine would be something like:

*England/Scotland (I am cheating by combining them because they're so close to each other)
*Australia, and....hmm...I can't decide...
*Somewhere in South America. Chile maybe? What about you?

You have until Friday, June 10th to enter! Winner will be chosen at random.

Now enter to win the giveaway and then check out Novica's website! Here are some ideas for things you could purchase with your giftcard. I did all the work for you. :) You don't have to order one of these - they're just ideas of things I thought you'd like!

1. Finger Puppets - trick your kids into thinking your finger's a giraffe! Kids love being tricked!
2. Pearl Cluster ring, which is beautiful and which in retrospect, I wish I had ordered!
3. Cozy Parachute hammock - I want one of these right now! (Also available in blue)
4. Cotton Handbag - OooooOOOo, I wish I had ordered this too!
6. Glass pitcher - perfect for the summer months ahead!

*Interesting fact: I've never seen an episode of Oprah.

Good luck everyone!

Oh, and just like last time, if you re-post this to Twitter or Facebook, you get an extra entry! Just leave me an extra comment to let me know!

Here are some other links you may be interested in:

Wool scarves
Walking sticks

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

Well, I already wrote a pretty long post last night and some of you probably haven't even had a chance to read it yet, so I'll do something different here today and make it a quick post so you can move on to the last post which has some of my best art work to date. ;)

I thought I'd share a few things about myself today that you might not know:

1. I think it's inhumane to expect someone to sleep in pajama pants. They get all twisted up and hot! I honestly don't know how anyone can sleep in those things.

2. My favorite show these days is Raising Hope. Have you guys ever seen it? It's surprisingly hilarious and occasionally heart warming.

3. My go-to movie when I'm feeling down is Fools Rush In. I could watch it over and over again. What's yours?

4. What really makes me fall for a guy is how nice he is. Kindness really matters to me. Especially when I expect him to be upset and he is kind instead. Totally wins me over. I've said that to guys before and they say, "yeah right, women like jerks." Ladies, what do you think? Back me up?

5. It really baffles me when people do emoticons backwards. Doesn't everyone agree that a smiley face goes like this :) and not this (:!? It's so weird!

6. I've been sick for eight full days now. I'm not saying I was on death's doorstep or anything, but being that sick makes you feel really withdrawn from life. Now that I'm starting to get better, I'm looking at my life differently, like I'm joining a show already in progress and noticing the problems with it. It's been an interesting experience and has motivated me to make some goals. Secret goals though, sorry. Can't divulge them yet.

Happy Wednesday. Now go read my post about road trips, k?

Road Trips

On Saturday, most of my family (my brother couldn't make it) met up together at the Scottish festival, in Alma, Michigan, which is a couple hours away. I rode with my sister, Heather, and her three kids. It was nice to catch up with Heather and of course, I love spending time with nieces and nephews. Plus, my youngest niece, Samantha, is in the most adorable phase where she says "me" instead of "I." This conversation really took place, as all three kids were claiming they "didn't do it," though I can't recall now what the "it" in question was:

Paige: "I didn't do it!"
Ethan" I didn't do it!"
Samantha: "Me no did it!"

Melts my heart every time.

Anyway, the ride up was overall uneventful, with nice conversation and the normal kid antics in the back seats. When we got to Alma and met up with everyone, my mom asked me, "So how was the ride up?" I replied, "Oh, it was fun. Ethan and Samantha got on each other's nerves, and Ethan asked 'are we there yet' about 50 times. Oh, and Paige threw up." In the retelling of the ride, I realized it hadn't been as relaxed as I'd thought. But really, it hadn't been bad. With a van full of kids, that stuff comes with the territory.

In thinking of this, I've been reminiscing about road trips I went on with my family when I was a kid. We went on at least one per summer, but usually more - a lot of them were to northern Michigan, camping in a borrowed camper trailer, or staying in a hotel or cottages. We drove to the upper peninsula to visit my uncle and his family, then to Ohio to visit them when they moved, then to Maine to visit them when they moved again! We went to South Carolina, and all the states in between. We basically drove all over this side of the country.

We always had a mini-van, but not the fancy kind with a DVD player, thank goodness. (I don't know why I say "thank goodness" except that for some reason I feel a DVD player would have taken away from the experience. I could be wrong though.) Instead we were loaded up with books, walkmen, blankets, flashlights, and snacks. We sang together, argued (probably) and pretty much had the time of our lives.

I drew a picture of us at Niagara Falls - in the cave you can go into to be behind the falls - but then later I was able to find some actual pictures from that trip for your viewing pleasure. (Though for the record, I think the drawing captures the experience pretty well on its own.)

I didn't realize we had our hoods up and weren't totally in a cave, but other than that,
my drawing was dead on. Please do not go back to my
drawing to find inconsistencies. Just trust me.

Pretty sure my fly is down in this picture, but I was too busy with
my lollipop to notice. Also, were my suspenders awesome,
or what!?

I loved family vacations, and have very fond memories of them. Every place we visited was so full of possibilities and my parents did a great job of taking us to fun and interesting spots.

As an adult, I'm still a fan of the road trip. What's more fun than stuffing a trunk full of as many suitcases and sleeping bags as possible then hitting the road? That reminds me of a picture I took last summer on a road trip with Katherine, Amy, and Brian (see below). Oh, and the road trip I went out to Moab with Emily last summer? Such a blast. Road trips are just unique in what they have to offer.

I hope I didn't have to put the car in reverse at all...

I think it was on road trips when my brother and sisters and I really bonded. Did we get on each others nerves? Heck yeah, I'm sure we did. But we also started inside jokes (like the time the ducks ate Katherine's bracelet), we told stories, we helped each other out, and we met vacation friends together. And not to be totally cheeseball, but we also formed lasting memories that we still talk about. 

What are some of your family vacation memories? Do you like road trips?

Post script: The first year my brother and I decided not to go on a family vacation was a bit of an adventure too actually, since my brother took the opportunity to allow a couple of traveling artisans to live in our patio for the week before they moved on to their next Renaissance Festival. They burned a hole in the grass in our backyard with the kiln they used to make their ocarinas. My brother and I tried to replant the grass the best we could but the hole was glaringly obvious. The memory still makes me laugh.