Friday, April 30, 2010

Also, Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

Lauren, at the little things we do, is going with the themes again this week - this time, it's movies! Go to her site, link yourself in, and play along!

1. My absolute favorite movie of all time is
Pride and Prejudice. I love the soundtrack, I love the story (thank you, Jane Austen), I love the casting - I just wish Colin Firth had been Mr. Darcy. I can't think of Mr. Darcy without thinking of him... .

2. My favorite movie as a child was all the Disney classics, especially The Little Mermaid. I think I identified with Ariel, as she also has red hair :).

3. The best movie quote ever is Oooh ... this is a tough one. I love, in Swing Kids, where the girl that Robert Sean Leonard is about to dance with says "How do I look?" His answer? "Like gold." That one makes me melt every single time .

4. My favorite actress is Maggie Gyllenhal. She has this real, natural beauty that I don't think is very common in Hollywood anymore. And I love the characters she plays. My favorite actor is Gerard Butler, for crush factor. Denzel Washington for acting.

5. The movie I could watch over and over is Love Actually. My best friend calls it porn for women. I know none of the stories are real. But man, I love that movie .

6. My favorite movie genre is indie, I think. But I do love a good drama .

7. A movie I'd like to watch this weekend is ... there are so many! But I think next on our Netflix queue is the Harry Potter series, in continuation of my current and ongoing obsession.

Good morning!!

It's a lovely day outside already - the birdies are singing me songs, and the sun is shining through my window. I'm back in Birmingham today - Mark will wake up in a couple of hours and we'll go take our morning walk. We're having date day today! Out to eat for lunch, then I'll hit the grocery store for dinner tonight and make yummy food out of my food and wine cookbook. And he's taking me to see Thoroughly Modern Millie at Samford tonight - his idea! What a fun day :)

I am sad that my week with Lissa is over :( Update in pictures from the rest of the week:

One morning, my mom and I played a duet on our keyboard. Lissa took pictures. I look sort of like Quasimodo the way I'm hunched trying to see to play and reach the keys at the same time... (Plus, my hair was wet. I'm looking rough.)

Piano hands!

Yesterday, we went to tea! There's this tea room in Ooltewah called Beyond the Garden Gate, and it is absolutely lovely and completely girly. So much fun :)

Pictures outside!

Me and my pretty Mommy :)

We got inside, sat down, and then a group with a couple of little girls came in, and the ladies at the tea room got them HATS to wear!! So Lissa and I decided that we wanted hats too.

The tea room lady picked out the purple one to "match" Lissa's outfit, but we thought not so much. So she snuck out and got a white one. Much better. She looks like she could be attending the Kentucky Derby this weekend :)

We had such a good time! (Not really sure why my blogger decided to start underlining everything...)

Sadly, I probably won't be seeing Elissa for a little while at least. But the happy news: it's only a week until we cruise! I cannot WAIT.

Hope everyone has a very happy Friday and a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's already Wednesday again!!!

My weeks are passing in a blur. I can't believe we are this close to cruising!!!

First of all, because I promised: a picture of my quiche!!

It was really yummy :)

This week, I'm at my parents' house through tomorrow. Elissa is here too. It is our last hurrah before she starts dayshift.

What you've missed since Friday's Fill-in-the-Blanks:

Saturday and Sunday, I worked. They were good, slow days. I'm ready to pick up the pace a bit again, but it appears that everybody's census is down (and when I mean everybody, I mean the entire Southeast... any NICU nurses out there? Is this true?) So maybe I'll just have to be a bit more patient, and enjoy these slower days while I can.

Monday morning, I headed out - arrived in Chattanooga around noon-ish. We had a pleasant, slow day. Elissa got here that afternoon, and we talked and caught up and looked at pictures, and then we played Speed Scrabble with my mom that evening. Fun times!

And yesterday was my Daddy's birthday. Happy birthday to him! We went to the aquarium, and then Kelly and Colton came over and we had dinner at a hibachi grill. Yummmy!!

Pictures of yesterday:

We started at the Ocean Adventure side, with the butterflies, which is my very, very favorite part of the aquarium :)

I thought this butterfly was GORGEOUS!

Hibiscus :)

Me and Lissa!

Lissa made a friend while we were there... and carried him around for quite a while.

My Mommy and Daddy

Pretty blue butterfly - my favorite! I spent the whole time trying to get a picture of these, and they didn't want to land on anything.

We moved on - to the penguins!!

And then we saw jellies. I love to look at them ... they're so other-worldly, and ethereal

Can you find the tiny sea horse?

Mr. Alligator thought I looked tasty

After a long day at the aquarium, we went to Shogun for dinner! So yummy!
My dad, mom, and grandma

Me and Lissa

So glad Kelly and Colton got to come too!

Back home, for cake and birthday presents!

Unwrapping gifts

He likes the polo shirt from Mark and me!

Kelly's present was the best of all, though. She wrote and performed a Birthday Rap (with Colton's assistance) ... it is worth watching. My sister is amazing :)

So today, I'm not sure what's in store. We might take a little field trip to my mom's friend's house and see her chickens (who lay green eggs! they're soooo pretty - and yummy, too.) And I think Lissa and I might venture downtown to coolidge park and the carousel ... hopefully it'll be a bit warmer today. We shall see...

Hope everybody has a happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

Good morning! Happy Friday! How this week has flown...

And now...

1. One song that always takes me back to my youth is anything by N'Sync. I know, I know... but I was just the teeniest bit obsessed with them in middle school. It's sort of embarrassing now, but that's just how it was ... and when I hear one of their songs, I just can't help being transported back to that difficult, angsty, love-sick time in my life. So glad I never have to relive those years...

2. My first concert ever was I honestly don't remember. I think it might have possibly been Jacki Velasquez with my church youth group, but I'm not sure. I've never been much of a concert girl, even though I love music .

3. If I could create my dream music festival I'd want these bands to be there: The Avett Brothers, Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson, John Mayer, Iron and Wine, and then we'd all dance to the best big-band swing music ever :) .

4. The best make-out/"boot knocking" song ever is Hmmm ... I guess, for me, totally sappy stuff (see Jack Johnson's "Better Together") or Frank Sinatra? I'm all about the romance :) .

5. The best concert I've ever been to was actually a very small, very intimate acoustic Songwriter's Round in Nashville at Exit/In. Elissa's friend Aaron Long (who is awesome live, btw) was there, as well as Levi Weaver, Kate Havnevik, and Matthew Ryan. Links to youtube videos of that concert can be found here and here and here and here . It was so, so good. You should watch those links - totally worth your time :) .

6. A memorable musical moment for me was participating in (and winning) my first-ever chamber choir competition during our choir competition my junior year in high school. We did several songs, mostly lovely and ethereal-sounding, but one was this lively Romanian folk song that had stomping and clapping and was extremely difficult and high-energy, and I remember being up there on those risers, sweating from the stage lights, and we were all singing and stomping and getting way, way ahead of the tempo we were supposed to be at just because we were all buzzing with the energy. And at the end of the song, with the very last stomp/clap/tam-pok we sang, we knew we'd KILLED it, and the audience erupted and we got a standing ovation :) It was one of the proudest moments of my life, actually, being a part of something like that.

7. The song on my iPod that's getting the most play these days is ... it depends on where I am, and where I'm going. When I iron, I pull up my playlists on the computer, and I listen to my chill music - my favorite currently is Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch. I'm listening mainly to Coldplay's Viva La Vida and The Avett Brothers' I and Love and You in the car, with a little bit of Glee thrown in the mix when I'm happy. And lately, when we eat outside on our patio for dinner, I'll drag the speakers outside (much to my husband's dismay) and fill the apartment complex with Frank Sinatra. It makes it feel like something out of a movie :) It makes me happy. .

Wow, my answers were long this week. I get a bit wordy sometimes... (not that you guys don't already know that...)

I'll try to do a decent update tonight, with some pictures and stuff. Then it's back to work this weekend, wahoo!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I can't believe it's already Wednesday...

Happy Wednesday to everybody! I don't know about you guys, but this week has flown by already - probably because I worked extra on Monday.

Mark and I have been trying a new exercise adventure - it's not very adventurous, really, but hopefully we'll actually continue to do this one. We've started walking every morning. (Well, every morning that I don't have to work...) I figure we do about 2-2.5 miles each time, so it's a decent amount of walking... I'd rather do a lot farther, but Mark doesn't seem to want to. Hopefully tomorrow we can do a much more strenuous trail at Oak Mtn.

After we got back from our walk this morning, I headed straight into the kitchen to try my hand at quiche for brunch/lunch today... We'll see how it goes. I am quite ashamed to admit that I did not try to make my own crust (the lack of food processor is a definite hindrance to making pie crust), but instead used store-bought refrigerated crust, which cracked and did not quite fill up my 9.5-inch pie pans. (WHY do they make pie pans 9.5 inches when pie crust recipes and store-bought crust CLEARLY say it's meant for a 9-inch pan?? I will never understand this.) So some of the quiche mixture seeped over the top of the crust, and it won't be very pretty. I'm hoping that it will taste good, at least... I guess we'll find out in about 40 minutes.

Now, I'm off to hit the shower while the quiches bake and maybe start a load of laundry (or finish doing the dishes) before it's time to eat.

Hope everybody has a lovely hump day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just so you all know...

... I haven't disappeared. Not completely, anyway...

I've been sucked in - obviously I worked this weekend, but every other spare minute went to reading Harry Potter. I'm on the 7th book now, and I've read about 400 pages today. I'm going to try to finish the book tonight so I can actually get some stuff done tomorrow (and the next several days, actually...)

So, my sincere apologies for deserting you all for my beloved (yet fictional) Harry, Ron, and Hermione (and I should make some apologies to the hubs for this same reason...)

I'll be back soon :)

And now ... I've got about 200 more pages to go. In the words of the great Albus Dumbledore...

"And now [Harry], let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."

Since I'm somewhat of a weakling myself, I'll just enjoy while Harry, et. al. do it for me :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

Good morning, lovelies! Happy Friday to everybody! I've fallen off the Fill-in-the-Blanks bandwagon in the last couple weeks, first because I was working extra, and then because I was in Nashville! Which I will post about later, but for now, without further ado...

1. The first thing I do in the morning is kiss my hubby. and then pee .

2. Every night before bed I read. currently, I'm reading Harry Potter, so I read a lot later than I probably should... .

3. My favorite thing to do when I'm having a bad day is Call Elissa and talk to her. And get some Baby Bites, the most wonderful little confection-y goodness you will ever, and I do mean EVER, put in your mouth. Oh, yum. Here comes a craving.. .

4. Something that makes me cringe is Rude people. Which I get a lot of, sometimes. I mean, there are nice ways to say things, and there are not-nice ways to say things, and to be honest, MY momma taught me the difference. And how important your tone is when you speak. And how it's important to respect people you come in contact with. Apparently not everybody's mommas taught them this important part of life... .

5. Social situations generally make me happy. If I know the people I'm going to be with, or at least some of them. I'm decent in a group setting, if given a few minutes to feel things out .

6. I like to collect children. No, just kidding, that's the first thing that popped in my mind :) I'm not Angelina Jolie... Anyway, I don't really know that I "collect" anything, per se... I mean, I don't think clothes count as a collectoin necessarily, and I have more of those than anything. I guess I sort of collect cards that people send me, meaning I don't throw them away. But only the ones that really mean something to me .

7. Weekends are for working, for me. Sometimes I miss having my weekends. But, then again, I get 5-day weekends nearly every week, which is a definite perk, and during those five days, I either get stuff done around the house, or I go and visit friends/travel .

If YOU want to participate in Fill-in-the-Blank Friday, go to and link yourself in!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Recap: Destin

So, I last left you in Aldridge Gardens, where Kristine and I were discussing how we might go to the beach while she was with me.

Maybes turned into definitely-s, and we headed home to plan and pack...

And we got a bit distracted along the way.

Because wearing sunglasses inside is H-O-T.

Aww, I love her :)

After a lot of phone calls, and a near-mishap, we found a place to stay, and headed out the very next morning!

Token leaving-the-apartment picture:

Driving, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Never have I been more grateful for my iPhone's GPS navigation system (which we lovingly dubbed "Archibald" during this trip). We would have been HOPELESSLY lost without that little blinky blue dot. I can't even tell you the number of times that we were like "...Let's consult Archibald."

First sight of the ocean

And we're here! We checked into the hotel, called our loved ones to let them know we were safe, and hit the beach!


Beautiful beach around sunset

It's been 6 years since we've been at the beach together - and my, how much better this trip was! (Our previous trip, on spring break of our freshman year at Samford, involved a lot more people and a lot more drama.)

Beautiful :)

About to head home after our extremely long walk on the beach

We headed back to the hotel and watched a movie, and then fell asleep.

And the next morning... we were right back at it again!
We were some of the first people on the beach, and we got a prime beach-towel location. I love the beach in the mornings. I feel God there :)

So excited to be in Destin!

We spent our day doing a lot of this:

It was SO relaxing :) I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in its entirety that day.

The view from our beach towels

Then some people came and set up chairs. You had to pay to sit in them. We didn't want to. I should have.

Talking to my hubby

Around mid-day, it got warmer, and we got tired of reading, so we decided it was time to play!

Kristine would literally live on the beach, all the time, if she could. She would build herself a house out of sand, I think.

Time to build castles!

...or cars. We were very proud - later that afternoon, a bunch of kids came and were playing by the water. They saw our car sand-sculpture and positively identified it as, indeed, a car. And then they stomped all over it and destroyed it. Oh well...

After the car, we built OG, Resurrected. On spring break, me, Kristine, Andy, and Mark all built this monstrosity of a city that Kristine and I named Planet OG. This was supposed to be a recreation/tribute to that, but we accidentally made it look more like a mosque...

...And also spelled Resurrected wrong. FAIL.

Sooo happy to be in the sun! (I wouldn't be later, though...)

So after 8 hours on the beach, I decided that it was time to head in... I was starting to get pink, despite my waterproof, broad-spectrum coverage SPF 55 with three reapplications...

So we went home, got pretty, and found dinner.

By this point, I'm not feeling all that great, and am getting very very red.

But I still love her :)

We went and bought anti-inflammatories and aloe, and went to bed. I didn't sleep well because of the sunburn, and was pretty ready to go by the next morning.

The token leaving-the-beach picture:

My hand, after lunch. You can't really tell all that well in the picture, but it's HUGE.

After a very long drive, we finally got home, and I crashed with Mark. It was a super-fun trip, despite my intense sunburn, and I'm so glad we decided to go!

Mental note to self: While on the cruise, and in Jamaica and Grand Cayman - RENT AN UMBRELLA!!!