Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Updates

I hope you all stuffed yourselves with turkey yesterday! I have been enjoying my time off from work and my time with family. Here are some highlights of my weekend so far!

* I found out my 9 year old niece LOVES Full House. She was exposed to it while on vacation recently and talks about it all the time. I couldn't be more proud.

* We had a sleepover with my little nieces and nephew so their parents could do the Black Friday sales this morning. I used to do the Black Friday sales but the last few years I decided it wasn't worth the hassle. I love laying in my warm bed, knowing I'm not hating my fellow men for pushing past me to get to the $3 DVDs. And this morning I got to wake up to this adorable sight:

* We showed the movie "Nacho Libre" to the kids last night and they giggled nonstop (so did I). In fact, my nephew was giggling in his sleep last night. He doesn't remember why, but I assumed it had something to do with Nacho.

* I broke my rule about optical illusions, which I usually hate, and made one with the kids:

So messed up.

* When the kids got up, I made pancakes and bacon for breakfast. What's better than pancakes with a big glass of cold milk? The best part is I got a text from my sister this afternoon telling my about a conversation she had with my nephew after she picked him up:

Nephew: Did you know I'm wearing the pants with the hole in them?
Sister: No, we should throw those away.
Nephew: No way! These are my lucky pants!
Sister: How are they lucky?
Nephew: Hellllooooo! I got chocolate chip pancakes this morning!

* I did some Christmas crafting. I made a wreath, a light display, and a candy dish. I loooove Christmas! Also, I discovered that Vanna White is in the yarn biz. Turning letters for a living just doesn't pay what it used to I guess.

* I watched one of my very favorite Christmas movies, "Christmas Vacation." My favorite line is when Clark is trying to get the lights to work at the beginning of the movie, and his dad says, "If you need any help, give me a holler. I'll be upstairs asleep." I quote that all the time when I offer to help but don't really mean it.

Best scene

* I saw Catching Fire again! It was just as tense/good/sad/excellent/suspenseful/wonderful the second time. And this time I snuck in a turkey sandwich so it was even *that* much better.

What are some Christmas movies you bust out after Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

I shouldn't save Wednesday Thoughts till the evening. By the end of the day my thoughts basically consist of, "....." This is how it seems to work for me:

Morning: A million thoughts
Early afternoon: Brain starts to deaden.
Late afternoon/early evening: Burst of energy/thousands of thoughts
Night time: 3-4 thoughts
Laying in bed trying to sleep: Ten million thoughts

I'm in the 3-4 thoughts area right now.  Here they are!

Today after work, I got together with the youth from church and worked on the float for the local Christmas parade. It was cooooold but still super fun. We played the Charlie Brown Christmas movie soundtrack and got to work!

It's going to look so great when everything is up - it's the tree lot from the Charlie Brown movie.

After that I went to the doctor for a follow up visit. The form there for me had some information that seemed a little harsh:

Seems to me that that "never" is a little mean. How about "not yet married" or "still looking for Mr. Right" or "married to the Lord"?

This evening I went out to dinner with my family, then the baking began. I've made cupcakes, graham cracker houses, jello jigglers, sweet potatoes, and maybe other stuff. I'm not even sure at this point. I've been a whirling dervish in the kitchen.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Mine is a tie between Oreo Delight (a special dish my mom makes for holidays), mashed potatoes, turkey, pistachio pudding, stuffing, corn, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole.

I'm sorry for this boring post, guys. You caught me in my 3-4 thought range.

Happy Wednesday and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Conversation Guide

For many people, spending time with family for the holidays is stressful. Getting everyone together can be an emotional time bomb that usually explodes all over the pumpkin pie. Luckily, I have a great time with my family and generally don't want to stomp on any of their toes in a fit of rage, but I know not all of you feel the same way about your own families during the holidays. So I thought I'd help out today by making a conversation guide to help you get out of sticky conversations.

If you follow this guide, you just might be able to get through Thanksgiving without binge-eating a second turkey. Results not guaranteed.

Unwanted question: So, are you dating anyone?
Response: You know who I would love to date? Ryan Gosling - the guy has it all! Is he married?

Unwanted question: Are you pregnant?
Response: Yes, it's triplets. I'm kidding, I just gained weight. I was hoping someone would notice.

Unwanted question: I heard you got arrested this year!
Response: The good news is I'm not allowed to leave the state for the next year. It's a great opportunity to explore this beautiful place! Ever been to the U.P.?

Unwanted question: I know a wonderful single man I want to set you up with.
Response: I'm legally not allowed to be set up. It's part of my probation.

And if you want to completely avoid letting them ask you a personal question, you can control the conversation yourself. Here are some great talking points that are sure to get people thinking about things other than your personal life (warning, some of these will make you sound like a lunatic but the upside is you won't have to answer personal questions):

I heard poisonous snakes are moving their way north from Florida because of global warming. We probably don't need to worry about it for a few more years though. I hope.

So, universal health care? More like communist China, am I right? (this one should buy you a lot of time to sit back and enjoy your mashed potatoes.)

I wonder what the baby of a dog and a fish would look like. 

Would you rather have ten fingers on each hand or have three elbows on each arm?

Sarah Palin. 

I only eat pumpkin pie made from pumpkins that died of natural causes. How about you? Are you ok with eating murdered pumpkins?

 Did you know this house is rumored to be built on an Indian burial ground? Anyone ever seen anything spooky here?

I heard there's an escaped convict nearby so I should probably head home before dark.

Before anyone in my family reads these and gets offended, I want to reiterate, I won't be needing any of these. But I am here for you guys and want to help in any way I can to make your holidays more joyous and less stressful. So if you are anxious about all that family time, print these talking points off and let them be your guide to a stress-free holiday.

Also, I wasn't kidding about the snakes migrating north because of global warming. It's messed up.

Monday, November 25, 2013


I realized this morning that Thanksgiving is this week (yay!) and I haven't given much thought to what I'm grateful for. I've given it a little thought. But then I just moved on with my life and never looked back at that little bit of gratitude. So I thought today I would make a list of things I am grateful for.

These are in no particular order - just listed as they came to mind.

  1. My family - I have so much fun with my family and love them times ten.
  2. My church - the other largest source of happiness in my life.
  3. My friends - besides family and religion, nothing makes me happier than my friends. And I've been so blessed with wonderful friends!

...Ok, here's where I make a difficult decision. Do I stay serious and list things like "freedom, shelter, employment, food, and safety"? Or do I go on to other less important things like "tv, books, my bike, vacations, my Kitchenaid mixer, Full House, and days off of work"?

This is why I don't make gratitude lists! It seems inappropropriate to list the frivolous with the serious. I can't decide on the order! PLUS, what if I list "tv" before "employment"? Or "crafts" before "freedom"? Even though I said things where in no particular order, it just doesn't look good! And people judge! Oh boy do they judge!

Here's what I'll do. I'll go to one of those "word cloud" websites and just type in a list of things I'm grateful for. Then I'll let the word cloud decide which of those things to emphasize. That way the pressure is off me. 

You might notice what made the headline of that word cloud - totally not my fault. I mean.... we all know that I'm not more grateful for Full House than more important things. PLUS, this particular website picks and chooses which words you listed to put in the word cloud. Like, Michigan didn't even make the cloud even though it was on my list. I'll try again:

These things just do their own thing. There's no controlling them. Obviously I love my own family more than Full House.

So from my family to yours, I hope you are filled with the spirit of gratitude this week!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

Tonight I thought I'd tell you a little about my day. It wasn't a particularly interesting day at all - it was just a normal day. But I don't know, maybe you're just bored enough to enjoy it?

This morning:

I really couldn't get out of bed this morning. It was so warm in my bed. So, so warm and cozy. When I finally got out and started walking across my bedroom, I was overcome with a shiver from the cold air and I bit down on my tongue. Hard. But I survived to tell the tale.

I got ready quickly and when I got out to my car, I saw that I was going to have to scrape my windows. I need a new scraper. Or a garage.


I worked from about 8:30-4:30. While at work, I listened to some podcasts, ate a lot of pomegranate seeds, and had the same soup for lunch that I've had every day this week. I also finally remembered to take down the Twilight picture a coworker had put on the side of my overhead bin at work, and which I only discovered yesterday after it had been up for weeks.

I thought about how Adam Levine was named "Sexiest Man Alive" (like anyone could even know that) by People magazine. I read a tweet that I think sums up this decision:

On the outside!! I laughed out loud, for real.

I also worked, of course. Oh, and I listened to "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" by Celine Dion on repeat.

I read an article about how Angela Lansbury isn't thrilled about the Murder, She Wrote remake. If you know me at all, you know I have passionate feelings about Murder, She Wrote. I'm with Angela on this. I mean, that show was perfect as it was. Why re-do it? I can't talk about it anymore, I'm getting all worked up.

After work:

I had to stop at the grocery store on my way home from work. My shopping list was as follows: pomegranates (I just can't get enough), tissues, Mio water flavoring, rice, and eggs. While walking through the grocery store parking lot, I saw this bumper sticker, which I loved.

Stuff I bought that wasn't on my list: Pringles and two cans of Cheeseburger Spaghettios for a friend whose favorite food is Spaghettios. Gross.


I went to a youth activity at the church. I work with the 12-13 year old girls and tonight we had a game night planned. We started with Cranium, after which we played Taboo. We ate Pringles, popcorn, and potato chips. The Pringles were "loaded potato" flavored. They were disgusting.

After those games, one of the girls suggested we play Truth or Dare. I got picked on first and was forced to reveal information about my first kiss. Things almost fell apart a couple turns later when it was revealed that two of the girls have a crush on the same boy. I don't even want to talk about the dare portion of the game. Let's just say, as a leader I was starting to get nervous. Thankfully the game was short-lived.

Later, while I was washing dishes in the kitchen of the church, two of the older girls came in to help me and to chat. One of them told me I really need to work on finding someone to date.

I can't catch a break.


I baked a cake for a dinner tomorrow:

Pretty interesting day, huh? (She asked, sarcastically.) I can't complain though. Most days are like this - get out of bed, work, run errands, make food, eat, exercise, watch tv, bathe, clean, do laundry. It could be much, much worse.

Over all, I'd say today was a good day.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hep Alien

Warning! This post contains:
*embarrassing facts about my music taste
*80's glam rock pictures/references
* lengthy discussion of the band "Skid Row" and more importantly,
*a brief history of Sebastian Bach

On my way home from work yesterday, I heard the Skid Row song, "18 and Life" on the radio. I hear this song on the radio a lot considering it came out a million years ago (20?). And of course, I always rock out to it when it's on. I can't decide which Skid Row song is better to rock out to - that one or "Youth Gone Wild" or maybe even "Monkey Business"?

Weigh in, if you have an opinion (and if your opinion is that Skid Row sucks, then amscray). You may have to listen to all three before you can decide. I'll give you a minute. 18 and Life, amiright?

Anyway, as I was turning the volume up and rocking out, I was thinking about the lead singer of Skid Row, Sebastian Bach, and how I thought he was so hot back in the day. So I texted my friend Jesse about it. Not because Jesse would agree (he's a heterosexual man), but because he's my go-to friend for rock music references.

I googled a picture of a young Sebastian Bach for reference and had a serious "What in the...." moment. He looked like a girl!!! I had forgotten about that "glam metal" look of the time!

So many feelings

Here are a couple of the textversations yesterday (and one this morning) I had with Jesse about it.

What Jesse doesn't realize is that I am nowhere near done sending him pictures of Sebastian Bach. (I never said it was easy being my friend.)

I think the reason I forgot what Sebastian Bach used to look like is because the last time I saw him was when he was in Lane Kim's band, Hep Alien, on Gilmore Girls.

Much more manly. (Side note: I miss Gilmore Girls. And I'm still not ok with any of the guys Rory dated. Except maybe Jess.)

Have any of you ever looked back on your early crushes and thought "what was I thinking..."!?

Monday, November 18, 2013


Today marks the start of the LLW - Last Lame Week of the year! By which I mean, it's the last normal week, by Elizabeth standards. Next week is Thanksgiving week, and after that marks the start of Christmas Season!! I am super excited. Time off of work, Christmas parties, Christmas cookies, family time, movies, and so much more.

I can't guarantee that you won't have lame days between next week and the end of the year. But at least there are fun things to look forward to, right? I mean, unless there aren't. In which case, I'm sorry. But maybe these happy corgis will cheer you up?

These corgis accurately represent how I feel about the upcoming season!



LLW for the win!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Opening Day

This morning on my way to work, I drove past a pumpkin patch. In that pumpkin patch was a deer, just
looking around, trying to find the perfect pumpkin for breakfast. It was a majestic site, but my first thought was, "watch it, deer." Why? Because today is the opening day of (regular firearm) hunting season in Michigan.

Why do I know this? Because in Michigan Opening Day is a big deal. In fact, when I was growing up, we didn't even have school the first day of hunting season. No one in my immediate family hunts, and it's not something I'm interested in (though I'm not opposed to it - the deer population in Michigan is seriously huge. I see them out and about nearly every day as I'm driving around town), but growing up in Michigan you can't help but be aware of the start of hunting season. It's part of being a Midwesterner.

Yesterday, a facebook friend of mine posted a link to an article about sayings that are unique to Midwesterners. I read through the list and assessed if they are true to Michiganders or not. I mean, not all Midwesterners are the same. Not all Michiganders are the same either - you have the Yoopers, the trolls, the fudgies, Ted Nugent, the townies, the farmers, and so on. So I guess I'm not speaking for all Michiganders when I assess these sayings but in my experience, here is what I think.

Without further ado, here is the list of Midwestern sayings from this article (link) with my assessments:

1. "If I had my druthers" - No. I mean, yes, this is said, but no it is not common. I've never said it in my life, nor to I intend to. Maybe because I'm under 60 years old.

2. "Oh for cute!" or "Oh for fun!" - No. In fact, I thought this was a Utah thing. I wouldn't be caught dead saying either of these.

3. "For crying out loud!" - Yes. I say this all the time. Doesn't everyone?

4. "That makes as much sense as government cheese." What!? No. I mean, I don't even know what that means. I know what government cheese is but I've never heard that expression in all my days.

5. "He's schnookered." No. I guess in context, I might be able to figure out what it means but I don't think this is a regular saying.

6. "The frozen choosen." No! Who says that!?

7. "Slow as molasses in January." Hmmm... I've said the first part but I don't add "in January." That's too specific. Let's be real, February is as cold as January. So is March. I don't even want to talk about April. Let's just leave it at "Slow as molasses" and call it a day.

8. "Duck duck gray duck." WHAT is that!? NO! We don't say that. It's Duck Duck Goose, the end.

9. "He's got the holler tail." I don't know what that means and I don't want to know. Maybe it's a product of incest or something.

10. "Puthergoin-eh." I can't even.... I mean, what does that even mean!? Makes no sense.

11. "Tough tomatoes." I think I've heard this one before but it's by no means common in my experience.

12. "You betcha." Maybe I'm just not country enough for these sayings. Maybe because I didn't grow up on a farm or something but seriously, while I have of course heard this saying, I don't say it myself. And neither 99% of the people I know.

13. "Dontcha know." Once again, this feels like a very country thing to say. I don't know if Michigan humans actually say it or not, but it feels more like something someone in a book would say.

14. "Uff Da" - Never heard of this, never want to hear of it. Don't know what it means. I'd like to keep it that way.

Michiganders, what do you think? Have you heard of these?

And if you're from other states, what are some common sayings where you're from?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

I'm finally coming out of a sick fog. I have been fighting what turned out to be bronchitis and a sinus infection for about a week or longer. I finally broke down and went to the doctor on Monday. I was so sick and so miserable, that I expected the doctor to say, "your suspicion was right. You are dying. You are so brave for waiting so long to come see me. It's a miracle you were able to drive yourself here. We'll have to check you into the hospital and get you the best care available until you can get back on your feet again."

Then the next week or two would look like this:

But all she said was, "stay home from work at least one more day and take these antibiotics."

There was no mention of how brave I am at all.

And now here I am, a couple days later, back at work. Wishing I was in the bed pictured above. Wishing I had the luxury of staying in bed a few more days but since I am just well enough to be back to the grind, I'm back to the grind.

But aren't antibiotics a wonderful thing? I'm so grateful for them. I'm done whining now.

Here are some other thoughts for this Wednesday:

* I ordered the movie Son in Law over the weekend. Remember that movie? I think it won like ten Oscars and it stars Pauly Shore. It got 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. I bought it for $6. I haven't seen it in forever, but I remember it being worth $6. Not $7 though. Just $6. I'll let you know after I watch it if it stands the test of time.

* While I was in bed with the plague, it snowed. I missed it. I looked at it out my window once though and it was really pretty. This morning I walked out the door and saw a dusting of it still left on my pumpkin. And the grass was frozen and crunchy and my car was covered with frost. Thick frost. I guess it's time to start rushing out to my car while I'm getting ready and warming it up so I don't have to scrape my windows.

* I'm getting super excited for Thanksgiving. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe? I'm trying to find one that will really wow everyone.

Guys, that's really all I have today. Those are my Wednesday Thoughts. I hope they are acceptable to you.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Thoughts

When fall starts to get darker and colder, it always reminds me of the 70's. Mind you, I was barely even alive in the 70's - I'm actually quite young (I sort of ruined that by admitting to being alive in the 70's, didn't I?). Maybe it's just because of the color palette - brown and green were really popular colors for home decor at that time. But for whatever reason, when it starts to look like this outside:

I think of the 70's. I think it's because of this picture of me as a baby, outside in the late 70's. This is one of my favorite pictures of myself as a baby because of how my parents look. So groovy I can't even stand it.

With my mom and dad, fall of 1970-something

Or maybe this picture of me in the fall in the 70's, surrounded by leaves.

Or this one with my cousin.

Check out my coat. Pretty groovy, huh?

I feel like most of my outdoor pictures from my early childhood were taken in the fall. Walking down the street looking at the colors, I think of these pictures I've seen from my childhood, and I get Simon and Garfunkel songs in my head. Probably because of the time change. "Hello darkness, my old friend." That's usually the first line that comes to mind.

And for good reason. Now that we've "fallen back," the sun is setting on my drive home from work. It's not my favorite. But we'll get through it together, ok?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November's OK

In the past, I've written some disparaging things about November. I can't help it, I just love October and it bums me out when it's over. But I've been thinking about it this year and I've realized that November actually has a lot going for it.

Here's the list I came up with for why November is actually pretty ok.

Left-over Halloween candy

This one is both a blessing and a curse. Ever since the day after Halloween, we have had three bowls/bags of extra candy in our office. THREE. And we're all trying to watch what we eat, so the candy only decreases by a tiny margin every day.

The interesting thing about left-over candy is what you learn about your coworkers. Like, no one in my office likes Whoppers. Or 3 Musketeers. Those are always the last to go.

You also learn who has good taste in your office. I held up a mini Twix and a mini Milky Way to my friend at work and asked him which I should choose. He said, "Well, they're both kind of ew." Aghast, I responded, "You're kind of ew!" (I chose the Milky Way.)


Turkey is on sale this month, so it doesn't have to be limited to Thanksgiving, people. And I don't know if you realize it or not, but turkey is straight up delicious. If you thought Thanksgiving was only for pilgrams and Native Americans, and that turkey could only be eaten on Thanksgiving, I'm here to tell you, it's not.


Pre-Christmas month

I'm not a Christmas purist. I sometimes listen to Christmas music in the middle of spring. I'm a full on honey badger when it comes to Christmas music - I don't even care when I listen to it. I love it! I am one of those persecuted innocents who listens to Christmas music regularly starting in November. I don't force it on others though, I just listen to it on my headphones, so don't have me arrested or anything.

I've also started planning my Christmas cookie exchange party, Secret Santa, a trip to Bronners in Frankenmuth, and I'm teaching a Christmas candy making class at my church's Christmas workshop this Saturday. And there's nothing you can even do about it! So don't even try! Christmas!!!!


Sorry, I'm calm now.


Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays out there. Don't worry, even though I love Christmas, I still give Thanksgiving its due. Over the weekend I even put up Thanksgiving decorations. (Though I think a lot about Christmas in November, I hold off on decorating for it until after Thanksgiving. I know the rules.) I really do love that November is a month where people focus on what they are grateful for. Gratitude really does wonders for the soul. Plus, turkey, and parades, and family time. My excitement level is seriously rising right now.


No Shave November

Beards are popping up everywhere!  How many of you are participating in this? Have any of you women participated by not shaving your legs? (Or your beards, I'm not here to judge.)

Am I forgetting any of the awesome things about November?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Treat Yo Self

Now that it's November, I am legally allowed to talk about Christmas. Not toooo much, of course, or the "wait until December police" will arrest me. But it's now legal for me to mention it, at least.

I've been doing a little Christmas shopping here and there since July. As we all know, one of the most stressful parts of Christmas is the shopping. Whether it's finding the right gift for that impossible to shop for person*, or the financial strain that comes with buying lots of gifts, it's hard on most everyone!

I have been taking stock of what I've bought so far and what I still need to buy. Having done so much shopping before, I'm feeling fairly relaxed about it. But there's one person I'm wondering if I should shop for: me.

In the past, I've occasionally bought myself a little something for Christmas. Nothing overly expensive, just something I know I'll like: a book, an article of clothing, a DVD, a baking utensil, or something in a similar price range. I don't wrap it or anything, I just buy it and enjoy it. But between me and myself, I know it's a Christmas gift and not just another purchase.

Do any of you buy yourself a little something (or big something) for Christmas, or am I alone in this?

*I'm talking about dads, of course. Or men in general. What do men want for Christmas? I have no idea. It's one of life's great mysteries.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekend Updates

This weekend has been wonderful. It was one part active and one part relaxing. The perfect combination. I have been so busy lately - overextending myself at every turn - so it was wonderful to have some down time. Wonderful and much needed. Here are some of the weekend highlights, in no particular order:


This weekend I got to celebrate the birthday of my good friend, Brady. He spoiled all of us by catering the party with food from Red Rock.  I want to try to express to you how good the food was, but I'm afraid you'll just be like, "yeah yeah yeah, food is good, moving on..." But I need you to know that this food was good like whoa. You should go check it out for yourself. If you don't want to go by yourself, give me a call.

Haaaaappy biiiiirthday to yooouuuuu!


My grandma has been really concerned about how busy I've been lately. In fact, she has determined that if I don't rest more, I'm going to die young. I'm not exaggerating. She said, "I know you like doing stuff and staying busy, and I know I'm not your mom, but if you want to get married, you have to slow down. If you get married then and get sick, that won't be any fun for your husband." May I add or me. (Side note: I'm healthy and fine.)


For years I have been wanting a Kitchenaide mixer. My mom told me she'd get me one when I get married. But as my grandma is fond of saying, "I can't wait forever." So I saved up and this weekend I finally bought one. It was such a happy day. I am in love! Let the seasonal baking begin!

My precious

Shout out! 

My uncle told me tonight that I was mentioned in an article about local legends! Unfortunately, I'm not the local legend. But my blog post in which I talked about local legends is referenced. Here is a link to it if you want to check it out. The best part of the shout out? They called me a "writer!" I want to find out who wrote the article and give them a good hardy pat on the back for that compliment.


I didn't get a chance to dress up this year, which was super disappointing. But it made me much more interested in looking at pictures of friends who dressed up! You people are so clever! But one of the best costumes I saw was that of my friend, Doug. He gave me permission to post this since he is no longer in the Witness Relocation Program. Is this the best Johnny Depp or what!?

He said that even people he is really close with didn't recognize him at the party. Seriously, I am so impressed.


I know how hardcore you guys think crafts are so I thought I'd show you a little craft I did this weekend. A week or so ago, I collected some pretty fall leaves. I didn't have time to do anything with them at the time, so I pressed them in a book until I was ready. Over the weekend I mod podged them to a piece of cardboard and framed it! It was easy and it turned out pretty good!

How about you? What are your weekend highlights?