Saturday, August 20, 2011


Welp - the results are in, and my suspicions were confirmed: A post's title has a whole lot to do with its number of readers.

The average number of page views per post has been about 30-40 after a week of being posted (for my blog, at least).  That being said, last night's post titled "Not single anymore!!" had a whopping 57 views in the last 24 hours!  It also has more comments than any other post, so far.  So, I guess I'll just have to come up with some really surprising/shocking/enticing titles to ensure maximum readers from now on.  haha - just kidding.  I'll keep doing what I was and hope that the post content draws more fans.

Thanks again, everyone, for participating in this little experiment.  : )

Also - forgot to share this story:
I brought back seashells from our trip to Florida for my students this summer before we were done with lessons at the end of June.  The other day, one of  the little guys I taught last year walks into his lesson with a grin on his face and something behind his back.  It was a seashell for me!  He picked it up for me on the beach when they went to Florida, too!  : )

That's all, for now!  Happy Sunday!


Favorites of the day:
dinner at the Parthenon and everything that went with it
clean sheets

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not single anymore!!

Wouldn't it be crazy if the title were true?  It's actually not...for me, at least.  I'm sure there are people out there who are in a relationship today who weren't a couple days ago, but I'm not one of them.

I actually titled this what I did as a type of social experiment.  I'm wondering if there's a correlation between post titles and number of page views, and if so, how strong it is.  I promise this is the only time I'll do something like this, so please don't feel taken advantage of or stop reading.

For those of you who don't usually read my blog and clicked on this post because of the title, thanks for being interested in my relationship status!  : )  Feel free to check out some other posts!  Also, please don't let this "trick" deter you from reading other posts with less, equally, or more enticing titles.

If you're reading this because of the title, please comment or send me a Facebook message, and let me know.  If you could/would not comment on the link I shared on Facebook, though, that would be great - don't want to ruin the surprise for others!  : )

Meanwhile, I really do have something to share:
I had a piano lesson with a precious 6-yr.-old boy today (it was his first), and one of the first things he said to me was, "Why do you have your wedding ring on your toe?"  hahaha!!  I wear a toe ring all through flip-flop season, and have for quite a few years, so I forget I have it on.  I told him, "That's just there for decoration - I'm actually not married."  He understood and accepted my answer.  Glad we got that cleared up.

Thanks for reading and being good sports!  

Hope you have a lovely weekend,

P.S. As of the other day, I have over 3,000 page views - thank you!  : )

Favorites of the day:
Olive Garden's never-ending pasta bowl...and salad!
coffee and convos with friends  : )
helpful coworkers 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Hey there!  

So, I've had some conversations recently about the single life, and I've come to realize there are many preconceived notions about single people, especially single women.  I'd like to make some clarifications about what I feel "single" is and is not:

Disclaimer: I do not at all mean to offend or upset anyone - single or otherwise.

Single is not:
-being desperate.
-sitting at home alone.
-hanging out just with other single people.
-agreeing to be set up or go out with just anybody.
-resenting anyone who is in a relationship.
-worrying about someone being jealous when getting special attention from waiters, mechanics, etc. - haha

Single is:
-keeping my own schedule without being accountable to another.
-appreciating friendships with guy friends.
-being available to meet and get to know new people as well as spend quality time with not-new☺people.
-appreciating and learning from friends/people in relationships.
-appreciating and learning from single friends/people.
-becoming comfortable with and remaining steadfast in who I am as a person, woman, future wife, and future mother.
-developing/solidifying my "wants/needs" list where a husband is concerned.
-being patient and faithful in knowing God's got it all under control.

This is not to say I don't have my emotional "ups and downs."  There are days when I'd like nothing more than to find my Prince Charming and get married already, but there are also days when I am really glad I don't have a man in my life.  There are days when I'm so happy for those in beautiful marriages and days when I'm green with envy of them.  Overall, though, this goes back to me being truly happy with where I am in life.  I will admit, however, that it's taken me awhile to come to and stay in this content frame of mind.  There was a point in my life when I took matters into my own hands and basically made finding a mate the focus of my life (hence the on-line (surprise!) and speed dating experiments).  That probably sounds more extreme than it was, but it wasn't what I needed to be doing or thinking about as much as I was.

I'm really looking forward to the single women's group at church, because it will potentially provide encouragement, affirmation, and accountability in many areas in which we may all struggle.  There is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from others (especially those older than myself), and I feel like I have a little bit to pass on, too.

I'd also like to clarify that none of this means I'm not excited about my (God-willing) future relationship/husband/marriage or the journey that will take me/us there. 

Perhaps you agree with these "definitions" and thoughts...perhaps you don't.  Either way, I'd love to hear what you think on the subject.

Enjoy the rest of the week,

Favorites of the day:
After I changed into my "teacher clothes" after nannying today, the 4-yr.-old I nanny for hugged me good-bye, did a double-take, and said, "You look pretty!"
the fact that Charlie is sooooo entertained by a bendy straw - he's been playing with the same one for a couple days, and it keeps him occupied for at least 15 mins. at a time
swimming workouts

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What a wonderful...weekend

Did anyone else have an above-average weekend?  We sure did here!!  The weather played a large role in making it so wonderful, but so did some great people and end-of-summer activities.  : )

After teaching lessons, Friday night was spent with my Bible study group for desserts and s'mores around the fire pit.  Such a beautiful evening weather-wise, and opportunity for some great conversation...and treats!

On Saturday, I subbed for a teacher at the studio, worked out for a bit at the Y, used coupons for an almost free lunch at Arby's, sat on bus stop benches while enjoying our Jamocha shakes, and went to see "Crazy, Stupid, Love" with my roomie.  If you haven't seen the trailer for the movie, watch it here.  It was sooooo good!  Of course, there may or may not have been an actor that enhanced the goodness of it, but the movie itself really was well done and enjoyable.  : )  Afterward, we came home, made a special housewarming gift for a few friends, and went to deliver it and hang out. 

Today, we went to church, then downtown to RibFest where the church's band was performing.  Got in some good sun time and enjoyed the music and food!  We also found out that there's a single women's Sunday school class starting next week.  Guess who'll be in attendance...these girls!

Now, it's time for some reading and nap, then the last Lincoln Municipal Band concert of the season.  Hope to see you all there!  : )

Thanks for reading,

Favorites of the day:
playing fetch with Charlie (yep - it's happening right now)
not using the A/C
fresh tomatoes from the

Monday, August 8, 2011

Beautiful Life

Hi there!  Hope this finds you well, staying cool, and enjoying what's left of summertime.  As promised, I'd like to share about the weekend before last, last week, and this past weekend.

One of my cousins on my dad's side got married in Denver at the end of July, and I had the privilege of playing piano for the ceremony!  It was an absolutely beautiful wedding for an even more beautiful couple!  The ceremony was in the morning and outdoors on the patio of a country club in the mountains.  The weather was gorgeous, and everything went off without a hitch!  I feel so blessed to know and be related to such an amazing couple.  They are so very much in love, and their love is Christ-centered, as was reflected in the wedding ceremony.  I'm so excited to see where God takes them in their new life together!  (I'm also excited to have a girl cousin around!)  Here are some pictures of the festivities:
Saw this guy driving across western Kansas.  Sure do wonder where he was headed...
Don't worry - this is not how I slept.
The rehearsal dinner was at one of their favorite local restaurants (that doesn't usually do large group events...but they made an exception for a couple of their favorite customers)!
They had these cool seats by the pool at the hotel.
Didn't sleep like this, either.
Wedding musicians!
Remember my post about growing up with boys?  These are some of them.  : )
: )
Told you it was beautiful!
Delicious cupcakes!
The bride and groom!
They choreographed their first dance - so cute!
Saw these rain showers across western Kansas on the way home.  We never got a sprinkle.
I had to book it back to Lincoln, because our "term" at the studio where I teach lessons began on August 1st.  So, last week was a little crazy, because I have 30+ students this year - many of which are new, but coming from previous teachers.  These first few weeks are going to be spent getting to know how each other work, and for me, getting used to the new schedule.  Yes, I'm still working my other jobs, which is proving to be a little stressful while I still have extra, time-sensitive librarian responsibilities due to the summer municipal band concerts, but it's all under control.  : )  Needless to say, though, I was ready for the weekend, because...

...this past weekend was the first I'd had at home with little to no obligations for a very long time, and it was glorious!  My new roomie was around all weekend, too, so we had a very productive couple of days!  

In no particular order, here are some of the things we accomplished:
-made a batch of pesto (after picking nearly 4 cups of basil and getting a food processor)
-trip to the farmers' market
-found a new pot for my plant and re-potted it
-helped a friend pick out decorations for his new house
-lots of loads of laundry
-watched two movies
-organized pictures and old receipts/financial things while watching the movies
-made frozen strawberry lemonade (instead of buying it from McDonald's after seeing the billboard)
-she spent a lot of time unpacking and moving in  
-trip to Sam's Club for the no-membership-required shopping weekend...and sample day : )

Like I said - these are some of the things we checked off our to-do lists.  We did lots of other little things...and definitely slept well afterward!

THEN, Sunday afternoon was spent with college friends from out-of-town.  We had a Mary Kay facial party, then went to the Municipal Band concert with a picnic supper.  It was so great!

That pretty much sums it up.  This week is the same song, second verse...except with more trips to the Y, because I kinda fell off the work-out boat...  :-/

I'll leave you with the question I've been asking my students, "What's the most exciting thing you've done this summer?"  Comment away!


Favorites of the day:
my young adult Bible study group
technology allowing for long chats with loved ones
Rainier cherries

Thursday, August 4, 2011

For Good

Yes, the title is in reference to the song from Wicked.  No, I am not graduating from high school, moving away, or anything of that nature.  Not only does this song exemplify what I'm about to tell you about, but we also broke out in song (this one, among others) many times during our trip.

The weekend before last, I went with my young adult Bible study group on a mini mission trip to Joplin, MO.  The trip was such an amazing time of fellowship for our group while being purposeful and serving others!

While we were there, we volunteered at two different distribution centers.  The town of Joplin was very blessed to receive so many donations, but it took/takes a lot of work to sort everything that came in and make sure the appropriate items get to those who need them most.  I love sorting/organizing, so this was actually fun for me - despite the heat.  We really enjoyed working and talking with other volunteers.  Unfortunately, the distribution centers were closed to the public, due to the high heat indices, so we didn't get to interact much with Joplin residents.  The little interaction we did have with the locals, though, was really great - heard some amazing stories.  There was also an article (click here to go to it) in the paper when we were there titled "22 Miracles in May."  (The tornado occurred on May 22nd.)  This article told 22 stories of survival and hope - pretty amazing...I'd read it, if I were you.  

I'll let some pictures describe the rest of our time there:
Our accommodations at a church in a neighboring community.   Such nice, genuine people and gracious hosts!
The first distribution center - we moved items from these tents to shelving in more permanent structures.
Hooray for organizing!
The path of the storm is between the curved lines.  I think the length of it was 6 miles...I think.
Former strip mall.
They've made a lot of progress as far as debris clean-up goes.  Many lots were ready for rebuilding.
It was amazing to see some houses still standing, while ones next door or across the street were completely gone.
The play place was the only part of the restaurant that survived.
High school
Do you see the books till on the shelves and posters still on the wall?!  This blew us away...stood in awe for awhile.  It kinda reminded me of things that are still in tact on the Titanic.  Strange correlation, I know, but I had a Titanic-obsessed brother.  : ) 
"Joplin High School" became "Hope High School"
Yep - that's a guard rail.  This also gives you an idea of what the trees looked like.  Sooo many were lost, and what is left of them (the trunks and some large branches) have sprouted leaves in an effort to survive.  We were told, however, that they won't make it and will have to be taken out.


A lady from the church in Lincoln that sponsored us survived the tornado in this stairwell.  The woman next to her did not.
Distribution center #2
Misti initially volunteered to do a few loads of laundry for those in need of clean clothes.  Her efforts turned into accepting semi truck loads of donations.  She plans to build a permanent, nationwide distribution center.  Look it up!
We took her some supplies she'd requested via Facebook, and also surprised her with some flowers "just for her."
This is a very small piece of the epic game of Telephone Pictionary we played on the way home.  Goooood times!  

I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to go on this trip and serve the survivors in Joplin.  I'll be honest and tell you that I was contemplating staying behind, because I had hardly had a weekend at home all summer.  As it turns out, though, God had me where He wanted me...and where I needed to usual.  : ) 

Hope your weeks are going well!  Look forward to a post about what I did this last weekend...and the crazy week to follow!  


Favorites of the day:
the break from the heat!
having a new coopmate : )