Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"It's fun to stay at the..."

Did you finish the line of the song in the title of this post?  My apologies if it's stuck in your head, now - it's definitely been stuck in mine...  As of this morning, I'm officially a member of the YMCA!  Wohoo!  I'm excited to take part in the variety of physical activities they offer.  : )

In other news, the Bible study I'm a part of is doing an awesome study called The Tangible Kingdom.  The main focus of the book this study is based on is the concept of meeting people where they're at, rather than expecting them to find their own way to the church body.  We've talked about the fact that while it's a very simple concept, it's hard to put into practice.  To put yourself in uncomfortable situations can be inconvenient, messy, and hurtful.  This is what we're called to do, though - to love others...and to follow God's leading without question.  It is important not only to remember this, but also to remember that we are not alone in our walk - God and the entire body of Christ are working alongside us.  So, step out of your box!  Call that person who's been on your mind, stop and chat with that homeless person, simply be there for that friend in need (though it doesn't really fit into your schedule).  God will show up...especially when we're not expecting Him to...be ready.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and your week is off to a great start!

Hasta luego,

Favorites of the day:
fresh asparagus from mom's garden : )
the ease of communication due to today's technology

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thanks, yoga/cat, alleluia!

Good morning!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the week!  I feel like it's much more enjoyable now, because the sun is out!  Wohoo!!!

As of 2 minutes ago, my blog pageviews count was 1,998.  So, I'm going to go ahead and thank you for the 2,000 views (that's close to 350 views a month)!  I feel incredibly blessed to have so many people caring to read what I have to share about life.  I hope you have gained something from it and/or have been able to share it with others.  Thanks in advance for the next 2,000!  : )

I have a little Charlie story for you:
I took time this morning to do some yoga (found a video online).  As I was doing the various poses, Charlie was weaving in and out of my legs and arms.  He eventually lost interest and did his own thing, until the end.  I was laying on my back doing the relaxing thing at the end, and he came over meowing in a very concerned way.  He was walking all over me, licking my arms, and nuzzling my face.  I'm assuming he was checking to make sure I was still alive.  : )  Once I opened my eyes and acknowledged him, he laid down to relax, too, using my arm as a pillow.  Now, he's curled up on my lap, asleep.  I can just here the "Aww!"s...haha.  Once again, you're always welcome to come visit him!  I can't guarantee he'll be this sweet when you're here, though.  : )

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter!  May you all be mindful of the magnitude of the events of these next few days all those years ago.  In case you're memory is failing you, here's what happened in a nutshell: Jesus (the King of Kings) was beaten, died on the cross for our sins, and was raised from the dead three days later before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God.  Did you catch that second part? - He died on the cross for US...because He loved us.  That love is what I've chosen to base my life on, and if it's not reason to praise and worship Him everyday, I don't know what is.  Easter is probably my favorite church service of the year ("Christ the Lord is Risen Today" is in my top 5 favorite hymns).  It's such a joyful celebration of new life, love, and the hope we have in our Lord.  I hope you are able to join in this celebration and spend some time with family and friends in honor of the holiday.

Thanks again for reading!


Favorites of the day:
Trader Joe's (esp. their tzatziki sauce)
the conversation I had with the 3-yr.-old I nanny for yesterday about dinosaurs/sharks/people and mammals/carnivores/humans
my family coming here for the weekend

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

True confession of a cat owner


(If you're not going to read this entire post, please at least watch the video in my "favorites of the day" section!)

I just have a couple Charlie pictures to share, really quick:
Don't know if you can see the little lady bug (or Asian beetle) to the right of Charlie on the scalloped wood, but Charlie is hunting it.
The hunt continues...this kept him entertained for quite a while!
Now, I'm going to share something that may cause you to judge me.  I always thought this concept was silly and frivolous.  After adopting Charlie and deciding he'd be an inside cat, however, I decided to try it.  I wanted him to be able to be outside, but didn't want to leave him there unattended, because who knows when he'd decide to come back in...and there are stray cats and dogs and coyotes in VERY close proximity to the coop.  

So, my confession: I walk my cat.  Go ahead - take a couple seconds to laugh, etc., and when you've composed yourself, let me explain further.

Charlie absolutely loves it!  Granted, the first time I put his little harness on, he couldn't figure out how to walk, so he sat down and fell straight over like a statue (it was the funniest thing!).  Once we got outside, though, he was more interested in all the new sights, sounds, and smells.  Now, he's all about prowling/walking around (though I still have to drag him if I want to go anywhere), rolling in the dirt, climbing little trees, and he cries when we come back inside.  Here he is modeling his harness:
Isn't he a good kitty to pose like that without even being asked?  : )

Furthermore, I have some video footage that supports cat-walking (thanks to my mom for drawing my attention to it!).  It's a pretty hilarious clip, whether it's meant to be or not, so you should probably watch it: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7362302n&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CBSNewsGamecore+(GameCore%3A+CBSnews.com)

I almost feel like "the crazy cat lady" in posting so many pictures of/stories about Charlie, but I also know many of you would be happy if that was the only thing I wrote about.  So, my apologies to those non-cat lovers out there, and "you're welcome" to the rest of you.  : )

One more unrelated story to share: When I was nannying yesterday, the little 1 1/2-year-old girl took my hand and said something that sounded like, "Peace."  I said, "Peace be with you?" and she lit up and excitedly said, "Mmhmm!!"  I shook her hand and said, "And also with you."  : )

Enjoy the day,

Favorites of the day:
this dramahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSwCOs-uXzU  (They did it at church on Sunday, and I was in tears.  I'd seen it before, but it gets me every time!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I clicked my heels three times, and...

Hello, all!

I hope you are having a wonderful day!  It's soooo beautiful here!  Don't worry - I've been out to enjoy it.  Charlie and I just came in from a "walk."  Then, we played fetch.  Now, this is what he's doing:
Also, thought I'd share this picture from last night:

Anyway, I want to tell you about my weekend last weekend:
I went back home to hang out with my parents and brother (and BFF) for a little bit, then went to visit some relatives near Kansas City.  Being at home was great!  Went to my brother's favorite thrift store, played the newly refurbished (don't know if that's the right word...seems like an understatement) player piano (thanks, Dad!), and just hung out.  I also got to meet this little guy:

I'd really like to share more about my time spent with some great relatives near KC!  Here are some of the things we did:

  • cooked Thai food (links to recipes similar to the ones we used: shrimp spring rolls, thai salad with cucumber and jicama, and chicken pad thai)  Jicama is on sale at HyVee right now, btw.
  • chatted...a lot  : )
  • visited various ethic markets and specialty cooking shops (including The Tasteful Olive - who knew sampling various olive oils and balsamic vinegars could be so fun/delicious/intriguing!  I was gifted a sampler pack and am so excited to put them to use!)
  • cooked Ethiopian food - a first for me...and it was sooooo yummy!  (links to recipes similar to the ones we used: doro wat and atakilt wat - both served with injera from The Blue Nile Cafe)
  • ate at Chick-fil-a (per my request - yummmm)
  • took a yoga class (may have inspired me to join a gym...)
  • went to The Chocolate Store - yep, it's as perfect as you think...they have samples!

Those are the highlights.  It was also nice to just hang out and spend quality time together!  Also - I borrowed something to maximize my time in the car from another awesome relative: Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University CD series.  Most of what I've listened to so far is just affirming things I already know/do, but it's very enjoyable to listen to!  I've found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions.  I'd recommend it, even if you don't think you need "financial peace"...or already have it.  :-)

I'll leave it at that.  Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Favorites of the day:
sunshine and warm weather
trees budding and flowers blooming!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


You’re welcome for not pulling an April Fool’s Day joke on you, dear blog readers.  : )  Instead, I’d like to share with you the best April Fool’s prank I’ve ever participated in.  It went something like this:

Boyfriend procures very-real-looking ring.
Boyfriend proposes to girlfriend in front of a very-close-mutual-friend.  In his proposal, he acknowledges the fact that it’s April Fool’s Day, but makes it clear that he isn’t joking and just couldn’t wait any longer.
Girlfriend (who is in on the prank) reacts appropriately saying, after picking her jaw up off the ground and between skrieks, “Are you SERIOUS?!?!”
Boyfriend assures her he’s for real and pulls out very-real-looking ring.
Girlfriend goes into near-hysterics and is in tears…and says, “Yes!”
They embrace.
Girlfriend shows very-close-mutual-friend, who is standing in shock, the very-real-looking ring.
Girlfriend and boyfriend say in unison, “April Fool’s!!!”
Very-close-mutual-friend displays feelings of anger and defeat…and is also somewhat impressed.
Boyfriend and girlfriend give very-close-mutual-friend permission to use the “engagement” as an April Fool’s Day prank for others (i.e. she told other people the proposal happened and that it was real).
Very-close-mutual-friend promises revenge.

(I played the part of “girlfriend” in this sketch.)

Yesterday, I subbed in a middle school, so I was kind-of on edge all day – prepared for someone to pull something.  They were perfectly innocent, though, so I let my guard down when I left, because I was pretty sure the preschoolers I taught later in the evening wouldn’t try to pull anything.  I was caught off guard, however, when the aforementioned “very-close-mutual-friend” sent me an “I’m engaged!” text.  She got me – hook, line, and sinker.  I figured out what I’d fallen into within a couple minutes, but not before I left an “initial reaction” voicemail that will probably be re-played more than I care to know.  She definitely got her sweet revenge.  : )

That's all for now.  I'm off to play player piano rolls with my dad!  : )

Thanks for reading,

P.S.  Have a great April Fool's (or otherwise) prank story to share?  If so, the comment section awaits your contribution! 

Favorites of the day:
Panda Express Orange Chicken
being home with the family and other loved ones!