Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tomorrow: Going to meet Laura!!

So excited! Tomorrow is the day that I am flying to Pennsylvania to visit my friend, Laura!

There are some people who have expressed worry & fear & "are you out of your MIND?!" to me about this. But seriously. If Laura was not really Laura, she would have given up meeting me a long time ago. SIX YEARS, people! This is a true friend, a BEST friend & i am so thankful to get to meet her. We've been wanting to do this for some time now. 

Plus, I am sure Rainey, Kate, & Kim can all tell you that she is sane. And that her husband is sane. And that her kids are adorable & also, sane. 

Not to mention that Katie got to meet her, too. I am SURE Katie would have let me know if there was something psychopathic about Laura! 

I am sure none of YOU are worried. After all, there are blogger meet-ups all the time. I guess it's the non-bloggers who link blogging to chat rooms? Because it's not the same thing, y'all. NOT THE SAME THING. (Still, I'll do a quick post to let you know I am there & happy & alive.)

I am a tiny bit nervous, just because I can be shy & non-talkative around new people. I'm not nervous to meet Laura or Kim or Rainey! But I am a little nervous to meet her other friends & her family! I know it will all be fine, though! And FUN! I CANNOT WAIT!

I'm not packed yet. But don't worry. My flight doesn't leave till 5:05 pm. And I live 5 minutes from the airport. ;) I'll do it as soon as I'm up in the morning! Clothes are washed, though!

{{{YIPEE!}}}

Yay!

Y'all! It has been crazy! Crazy & fun. Crazy in a good way. All is well. :) 

Let's see. Saturday was lazy day. We did NOTHING. NO. THING. Except I watched Grey's Anatomy all day long & Brad watched The X-Files all day long. (Both in the living room on opposite couches with Netflix streaming on each of our laptops with earphones in our ears! Yes, we are such an exciting fun couple!) Gosh, that was a LOT of prepositional phrases! Woah! 

I don't watch TV. Except I do. I love that i got so out of the habit of watching TV that I didn't care, so it is sad now to say i watched Grey's all day. Not because I think it is wrong to watch one show occasionally! But just because i like that i am not a TV watcher. I used to be a TV JUNKIE! Anyway... apparently i got bored during my break from working & I wanted to watch something & randomly picked Grey's. And THEN, this weekend, i got to cramming it in as much as possible, because i know once I start work, I won't be able to watch much at all!
To all you Grey's fans, I just started Season 6! Season 5 was KILLER! Crazy! Insane! And i was HEARTBROKEN that they killed O'Malley! One of my favorite characters (sorry for the spoiler alert, but I AM 2 or 3 seasons behind!). It's a tear jerker. I like comedy. Such as The Big Bang Theory! Still waiting on some dvd's to come out on that one since we got all caught up from what was on Netflix already. But man. This tear jerker is pretty good! 

I did not mean to write about TV all day. I mean, really. 

I STARTED MY NEW JOB!!!

And i am going to LOVE IT!

I say "going to" because I haven't really started yet. I went yesterday & today only, but that was just to sit in on their new student's orientation. For those just tuning in, I got a job at Aveda Institute, a cosmetology school. I will be working in student services. I'll be handling the student's hours, grades, and lots of other stuff. I keep realizing that this job is the PERFECT fit for me. I had no idea it'd remind me so much of stage managing, but it does. Not the PLAY aspect, of course, but just... stage managers handle all the paperwork. Stage managers are the point of contact. Stage managers have to be firm with their cast & make them do things right! This is all stuff I will have to do! Lots of paperwork (& i like paperwork. I'm a nerd.), meetings with students regarding their report cards, etc. I think i am going to really like it. 

The orientation has been long, but good. I have learned a lot about hair & skin care! Haha! It's been fun!

I also found out we get the ENTIRE WEEK OFF for Christmas! WHAT?! I can't believe it. PAID!!!

My health insurance will start 1/1/12, which is what i was hoping for.

So far, i like everyone I've met. Of the staff. There are some students that I know are going to get on my nerves, but that's all a part of stage management! (The new cosmetology students are like my cast in the theater. They're about the same age as a lot of the actors, too.)

What else is new? Well, I'm off tomorrow to get ready for Pennsylvania. I also have tons of errands to run & want to get this house cleaned up! (I did manage to decorate for Christmas though!) On Thursday I'm off as well. Brad is going to get off work at 2:30 & come home & take me to the airport. My flight doesn't leave until after 5. I have one layover & then will arrive in Pennsylvania late that evening. I am going to see LAURA!!!!! And her (our) friends!

I can't wait! And I can't believe it, either!!!

Oooh! I also got an iPhone. And so far? I LOVE IT. It's amazing! YAY!

Talk to y'all later!!! Hope your week is going great!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rolo Cookies!!

I recently saw these on Pinterest. Actually, it's one of the first things I saw. 


                                                                       Source: sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com via Melissa on Pinterest



I decided to try them for our Thanksgiving yesterday at Brad's Aunt Sylvia's house. 

Two things to say about these: 

1 - EASIEST cookie recipe EVER.
2 - They were a huge hit!

I will now make these anytime I'm asked to bring a dessert. Unless I'm in the mood to try something new. But if i need something that I know will be quick, easy & delicious?! THIS IS IT.



ROLO COOKIES

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 package rolos

Mix together cake mix, oil & eggs. It will be very thick.

Take a small bit of dough & form a ball around the rolo. Only use enough dough to cover the rolo. 

Place on a greased cookie sheet. 

Bake 7-8 minutes. 

Cool. 

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
 (Actually, do this even if you don't feel like it. SO WORTH IT!)

{ENJOY!}

We may have gone a little overboard on the scarves. :)

We had such a great day today!! 

Despite the fact that me & brad stayed up WAY past our bedtime last night. (It was after 3 am. I have no idea why. INSANE.) We still got up & made it to my parents by 10:00. We headed to Perkins Rowe for breakfast at La Madeline's. We had it outside & it was delish! I had the breakfast sandwich: scrambled egg, bacon & cheddar on a croussaint. It had two ripe red tomato slices on the side... yum! I also had hot tea with lemon & honey. It's good for the throat. And for some reason, I've been loving hot tea lately. I'm normally a coffee person! (Still love my coffee but suddenly have taken a liking to hot tea!) 

After breakfast, dad & Brad went to Office Depot, while mom & i strolled along the shops in Perkins Rowe. We stopped in a Christmas Store & everything was 20% off. I really loved this shiny tree & picked it up! It was just $16, before my discount. It can hang on the door like a wreath or something. I don't have a lot of christmas decor. Anyway, this pic doesn't do it justice. It's so sparkly & fun!



After that we went to Sur La Table & browsed a little while. (Did I mention Perkins Rowe was not crowded at ALL? We assumed it was because everyone was at the mall. Well, that wasn't too bad either! A lot of people but no worse than a typical Saturday. Apparently people in Baton Rouge are much more interested in the LSU Tigers over Black Friday!?) (Also, lots of people did the crazy black friday shopping between 10 pm last night & 2 am this morning... I think they all went home after that to rest up before the game & that is why we got lucky with the crowds!) Wow - just a little tangent there, sorry!

ANYWAY... after Sur La Table, we stopped in Franscesca's. I picked up this cute ornament.

But mom got me two scarves! A fun turquoise one and a red&black one that I LOVE.

I should probably mention this was the actual purpose of the shopping day. I can only wear black to my new job. Black pants, tops & shoes. But I can accessorize with color! I noticed at my interview that a couple of girls had on their black with a colorful scarf & it looked super cute. I have never worn scarves outside of the kind you wear with a coat when it's cold, but I figure i'll give it a try! And with this guide from Pinterest, surely I'll be able to be slightly fashionable about it! 


So we went to get me some black clothes (since I only had 2 short-sleeve tops & 1 pair of pants that are black) & some scarves to accessorize with! And man! We hit the jackpot with the scarves! And the black clothes, for that matter!

So, yeah. Mom got me two in Franscesca's & one in Charming Charlie's. We met the guys in Barnes & Noble, and then headed to the mall. The guys dropped us off at Macy's & then they went to Lifeway & Best Buy. We racked up! Mom had tons of coupons & the nice checkout girl let us do FOUR separate orders so that we could take advantage of all of our coupons! How sweet is she?! Seriously, she was great. And I got 2 pair of black slacks & several shirts. A couple of basics & a few fun ones. YAY! See all the black in my closet now?!



I actually had to clean out my closet in order to make room for the new. See?




That is something I have been meaning to do! And actually, that is only my side of the closet. I need to go through Brad's side & my dresser drawers, too! I think I will do that tomorrow! :)

After Macy's, we headed to meet the guys again & passed a kiosk in the mall with the CUTEST scarves I have ever seen. Buy 2 get 1 free. Mom kept telling me to hurry & pick 3, but there were WAY too many too choose from! Finally did, though, and i love what I got!

Here are my new scarves...actually...some old, some new & some borrowed (a couple blue...um...anyway).

 Seriously?! I love these! The red/black one is an "infinity" scarf (I didn't know either... I had to look it up.) It's from Francesca's. The royal blue has some black in it. That, the aqua stripe & the purple/black tiger stripe are from that kiosk in the mall! LOVE! The pink is from Charming Charlie's.

 The turquoise one is my other one from Franscesca's. The stripe is one I already had that I love! The other two are mom's that she is giving to me. :)

 Details...

 I love these!!

You can see the design on the blue one a little better here.

How fun is that?! Now I would like some fun earrings... Maybe for Christmas!

Had a great time shopping today! Can you tell!? (Shopping is not even my favorite thing. But today just worked!) We met the guys in the food court after that for some lunch & then headed home! A SUCCESS!

{HAPPY FRIDAY!!}

Oooh, and GEAUX TIGERS! :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday - Attention, Shoppers!


Time to fill in some blanks! If you wanna play, answer the questions in your own blog & link up here!

1. Waking up at the break of dawn to go shopping is my idea of insanity. And torture. (We are actually going anyway, but not on purpose & not until 10 o'clock! I don't mind crowds, I just don't like the thought of getting up before daylight to SHOP! Or being stampeded to death. Or watching psycho moms fight over the last barbie doll.)

2. If I were to go shopping today I would be on the hunt for an iPad for my husband... he really wants one!

3. The best thing I ate yesterday was Aunt Sylvia's cornbread dressing! Oh my word, it was amazing!

4. Something I've been learning lately is that God's ways are perfect... even if I feel like His timing is a little off! ;)

5. I cannot start my day without putting in my contacts!

6. My nighttime attire consists of either pj pants & a top or a silky chemise - depending on the weather.

7. I am looking forward to meeting Laura, Kim, Rainey & Kate!!!!! (ONE WEEK!)

to the dark side...

Um. I just got an iPhone 4s. 

HOLY. CRAP.

I am so excited, I think I might die. 

For so long, I was totally content without one. But then i started looking over the shoulder of people who had one. And liking what I saw. And seeing their really good pictures taken with a cell phone, of all things. And watching videos. And all those cool apps (some of which will be a huge help to me!). And on & on & on. The sleek form. The pretty screen. It was calling to me, people!

Tonight, I succumbed. After days & days of thinking about which one to get, looking at our finances, and talking to Brad. We averaged how much I am spending on my tracfone (which is a pay-as-you-go thing) and as it turns out I am spending more on that then i will per month with my new iPhone. So that makes it a little easier to justify. ;) As for the price of the actual phone, well, i waited till after midnight for a Black Friday sale, and they offered me free shipping! Brad paid, saying it is my congratulations present for getting a new job. So sweet! I think he is just relieved we now have my income back (& I will be making more!).

I almost got an Android instead. Consumer Reports sings its praises. But my current issue hadn't yet tested the 4s. I was pretty sold on a couple of Android models, all of which were highly recommended by Consumer Reports. And i believe in Consumer Reports! But, like I said... they hadn't tested the iPhone 4s yet. Apparently Apple has made lots of great changes.

I got online tonight & watched video after video of comparisons. And i just... fell in love... with the iPhone. The main thing i really liked about the android... the talk to text feature? Well, you can do that with the iPhone 4s, too. And maybe you could before, but not as far as I know? Anyway, whatever. Me & Siri will be BFF's. Don't tell me your "should haves", it's too late!

I also went with Sprint, which rated 2nd amongst carriers. Verizon was first, and I was about to go with them, when i realized the monthly note for MORE messaging & data is LESS money (with Sprint). Yeah. I'm so glad I caught that. I am THRILLED to not be going back to AT&T. Because it SUCKS! I hate AT&T! And so does Consumer Reports, apparently.

So... YAY! I am pumped! And I can't believe it!!! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This year, I'm thankful for...

My new job that I start on Monday! It was nice having some time off, and I got what seems to be the perfect fit for me just in time! I had prayed that I would have something by January 1st & I got something sooner than that! I had prayed that I would be able to work for something I am a little more passionate about (previous job was just a job for me). I didn't expect that would happen because it seemed to me that my resume would help me get a job in the same type of work. But i got something at a place with creative types - a cosmetology school! I assumed my next job would have a cubicle, but no - I have my own office! Small, but cute! I am excited!!! 

I get to meet a blog friend... next week... several of them, really! FINALLY! 

I got to do a little more theater this year. Love!

I have so many great friends... I am truly blessed in this area! I have best blog friends, best church friends, best theater friends! I mean... they're everywhere & they are GOOD people who truly love me! I am truly blessed in this area!

I have been known to complain about where we live, but I am truly thankful to have a roof over my head & I know one day we will have a house. We may not live in my favorite area of town, but it's with my man & it's "home". 

I am so very thankful that I found the reason I was not losing weight. Insulin Resistance. So many view that as a bad thing, but if i didn't know about it, i would have continued eating how you are supposed to eat to lose weight, which would not have helped me in any way! Just being on the medicine for this has regulated my blood pressure, helped me lose weight, and other things. I am lucky to have formed friendships with people who also have this & who have done much of the research for me! And I love the people at the Metabolic Clinic! (Now... if i can just get back on track with eating well!)

It's been awhile since anything has fallen apart! We went through a season of everything breaking - cars, washing machines, air conditioners. It's been awhile. That's all i'm saying!


It goes without saying that I am thankful for my husband. But truly - I am thankful for another year of marriage that was wonderful! I feel like i *have to* say "hard times, of course", but seriously... sometimes my heart literally ACHES because I love him so. I am thankful to have been able to be by his side at his Granny's funeral. I am thankful that we made it through a hard season of me losing my job, lots of expenses, and other things. I am thankful for his kindness, his talent, that he humors me & still makes me feel beautiful. He calls me "my sweet girl" & it makes my heart melt. I LOVE HIM!

I am thankful for some great in-laws! I feel like I grew closer to them during Granny's last weeks with us, and in the week after her death. I feel like Granny left behind a fabulous legacy. She and her husband were strong Christians who did not waiver in their love for God or for each other. It is exciting to me that our children have them as their great grandparents, even though they won't get to meet them.

I am thankful for my own family. I love them & am glad my sister met a great guy & is now a newlywed! I pray they have a wonderful time on their honeymoon to ITALY! I am thankful for my mom who took me shopping these last couple of months! I enjoyed time with her during my sister's wedding weekend. She is the best! 

What are you thankful for this year?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh, how pinteresting!


google


I've been doing a lot of pinning this week. It's so fun! Time to share some things I've been pinning lately! You should do it too & link up at The Vintage Apple!

Most of you know that I love to cook! Here are two things I will be making very soon!

Crockpot Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup? Yes, please!

                                                                       Source: 365daysofcrockpot.com via Melissa on Pinterest



Rolo Cookies! 4 ingredients? I will be trying these tomorrow! :)

                                                                    Source: sixsistersstuff.blogspot.com via Melissa on Pinterest



I laughed at myself when i made a "projects & crafts" board on Pinterest. Some people have incorrectly called me "creative"... well, I'm an artsy type, but I am not very crafty. Haven't been since I quit scrapbooking 4 years ago! But since pinterest, I have been inspired to try some crafty things!  Here are some of the things I'd like to try... 

Cute Snowman Ornament!
                                                                        Source: redo101.blogspot.com via Melissa on Pinterest



And look at this fun little "wreath"!
                                                                       Source: bluecricketdesign.net via Melissa on Pinterest



I also want to try something like this for my new office!
                                                                                    Source: etsy.com via Melissa on Pinterest



I have a "beauty & style" board, too. I really need accessories. Especially earrings!
These are cute, and me!
                                                                             Source: fredflare.com via Melissa on Pinterest



I am in love with these, too.
                                                                            Source: laylagrayce.com via Melissa on Pinterest


And I love love love this dress! That periwinkle has to be my favorite color.



Well, I guess that's enough for today! :) What did you find on pinterest this week!?

P.S. If you have been under a rock these days, and have no clue what pinterest is, it's just a place where you can find ideas & steal them & pin them to your own bulletin boards! It's pretty cool! Comment your email address if you'd like me to send you an invite!


in all circumstances...

Sunday's sermon was a good thing for me to hear. Want to guess what it was about? Exactly

It was on being thankful. I know...shocker!

Anyway, it was about how important it is to be thankful no matter what you are going through.

Thankfulness should be a priority. You have to make it a priority to be thankful. 

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God, nor gave thanks to him. Instead their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21

It is HIS WILL for me to be thankful!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14

The Lord will give you the ability to give thanks in all circumstances!

Stop concentrating on what you have lost & focus on what you still have!

Let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess His name. Hebrews 13:15

I know this has been somewhat random, but these are some things the pastor said on Sunday that inspired me to make thankfulness a priority. There is much complaining and i don't want to be someone known for complaining. I want to give thanks to God even when I'm sad, even when things are going wrong... because I truly have so much to be thankful for. I am very VERY blessed. But sometimes I focus on what i DON'T have...and one verse he said (apparently I didn't write that one down!) says that complaining overwhelms your spirit. This makes sense to me, because how many times have i felt overwhelmed with sadness or with unanswered prayers? 

I don't have everything I want right now. I don't even have everything I feel that I need! But God is taking care of me & He knows what is best for my life. He has perfect timing for my life as well. Also? He doesn't owe us anything. Too many times we walk around with an entitlement attitude, feeling like He owes us something! But he doesn't! We are blessed just to know him! And to be able to worship him freely!

Give true thanks this week. Not just for the obvious things, like friends & family & food! But have a thankful heart even during the hard times... in ALL circumstances... He has done so much for us!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Something to Remember...

In light of Thanksgiving, remember this. I heard it in a sermon several years ago & never forgot it. So much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!



                                                                Source: stumbleupon.com via Melissa on Pinterest

Monday, November 21, 2011

I got the job!!!

I am so excited I can hardly stand it! 
*I GOT THE JOB!*

I will be working at Aveda Institute. It's a cosmetology school here in Baton Rouge. They have them in several other places in the south as well. I officially start December 12th, but I will go in next Monday & Tuesday. They get a new crop of students & will be having orientation for them, so they would like me to be there for that.

I am absolutely ecstatic!

I am so unbelievably thankful. I was hoping to find something before January 1st, and I did! I was hoping to not be in the same kind of field as I was before, and I'm not! I met a lot of people when i went for my interview & everyone was so nice & friendly! They are all artsy types & you know... I fit in very well with that type of environment. So, i'm pretty excited about that, too!

AVEDA INSTITUTE!

I get to work at a fun place!

Not to mention a better salary than I had before & a wonderful benefits package!

Don't ask me what I will be doing yet, because I don't remember! HA! They threw a lot of information at me while I was there, but I do know it was stuff I felt that I'd really enjoy doing. I will be working in Student Services. 

So that's it for now. Will keep you updated!

HOORAY!!! A big thank you to JESUS for answering my prayers!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This week.

I am finding myself in the mood to blog, with not much to say! Hmm. 

This week went fine. As most of you know, Brad's Granny died on Monday. We knew it was coming, as she was sent home from the hospital 4 weeks ago when Hospice stepped in. She finally took her last breath & I am very happy for her... that she is now rejoicing with Jesus, completely healed & whole!

I miss her, though. And i know her family misses her. Bad.

Honestly, it doesn't really seem real that she is not actually here anymore. That she won't actually be at our thanksgiving dinner. Or Christmas. It just doesn't seem real.

The wake was Wednesday night & the funeral was Thursday. I think this was the first one I've been to at Greenoaks Funeral Home, here in Baton Rouge. There is another one nearby & it's a great one too, but I was so impressed with the staff at Greenoaks & how they handled everything. They had a private room for family with food & they were just very kind. I loved the atmosphere too.
It was so good seeing family & spending so much time with them. Brad played Amazing Grace & Granny's favorite, It Is Well, on the piano during the service. Beautiful. 

Afterwards, we went to Brad's Aunt Paula's house where there was tons of food! It felt a little bit like an early Thanksgiving!

We were exhausted when we got home, but the next day, I felt like a weight had been lifted. A very heavy weight. I have been stressed & overwhelmed with too many things going on at once. Loved one dying, sister's wedding, job hunting & another thing that is personal. That is a lot to go through at once! So now I can kind of breathe a little bit. Ahhhh. Maybe it's time to redeem that massage I bought awhile back off of groupon. ;) 

So I am still in the job hunt & that other thing, but it feels more manageable, you know? By the way... I have been awful lately at my insulin resistance diet... & exercise... i have not been keeping up with either very well. Gotta get back to that now!

I had an interview yesterday with a company i REALLY want to work for. I knew i would, but after being there & getting a tour & seeing what would be my office & meeting so many people there... um, yeah. I REALLY want this job! It pays more than i made before & i would get great benefits as well. Please oh please oh please! I should hear something on Monday. Fingers crossed!

Tomorrow I am bringing a sweet potato casserole to church. Hopefully it'll be good as I've never made one before! We're having a church thanksgiving dinner tomorrow after the service. 

And this week is Thanksgiving! Crazy how time flies! Not sure what we're doing yet... but I bought the stuff to make Green Bean Casserole & these rolo cookies!

Not much going on this weekend. Just relaxation & working at the manship. Worked last night for 5 1/2 hours & will work again tonight. I have been waking up with a terrible sore throat these last couple of days, though. And so congested. Sneezy, coughy, sore throat? Ugh! I hope this doesn't last long...

Wow. Most boring blog post ever? Sorry 'bout that! ;)

HAPPY WEEKEND!

Friday, November 18, 2011

TWO fill in the blanks for you!

Hey! Today I have an interview with a company that i would REALLY like to work for. I have a good chance. I am praying! You should pray for me, too! ;) 10:30 tomorrow morning! I also have to return a call to a company that left me a voicemail yesterday. They would like to interview me also. This one is for a CPA firm. I was hoping for a job by January 1st, but December would be even better!

Well, anyway...


Link up at Lauren's!

1. My favorite new blog of the moment is ...well, my friend Emily started a blog & I am enjoying that one! She is a funny girl. :) Also, I love reading Angela's, which is semi-new to me. Okay, newer than everyone else! She is a fantastic writer & I love her!

2. Something I am thankful for is my in-laws. Spent the last several days with all of them as my husband's granny passed away on Monday. Funeral was today. I love those people. Fun & funny & just...good people.


3. Something that made me laugh this week was one of those you-had-to-be-there moments. Basically I forgot my husband's name. It's a long story... Also, I later elbowed a bald man really hard on his head. I am cracking up out loud thinking of this! Just one of those moments... at a funeral home, no less!!!

4.  An item that is currently on my wishlist is an iphone. I KNOW.

 5. I am excited about meeting Laura in person!!!! And her family! And her friends, who also happen to be my blog friends: Kim, Rainey & her sis-in-law, Kate! And maybe seeing snow! Two weeks! YAY!

6. If i were a color, i would be turquoise. Or that Tiffany blue. 

7. My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by cooking a delicious soup & having friends or family over for dinner to eat that & play games. 

It was not until question  7 that i realized i am on the wrong week! The above questions were from last week! OOPS!!
Let's try this again!


1.  A nervous habit I have is WAS biting my nails.  But I have been seeing pretty pics of nails & really wanting to have pretty nails too! Like this:


So i tried to quit, but my nails are so thin, i would end up peeling them just as they were growing. And then would start biting again! But for my sister's wedding I got my nails done...something i ONLY do for weddings i am in! I was never able to grow my nails with tips, because i end up pulling them off. Well, they did the shellac (or however you spell it) & it's a french manicure & they were awfully short, but now they are growing & I am in LOVE! It hardens your nails or something so biting is not as easy & when i go to bite them, i remember how pretty they are & ... yay! I keep showing my husband & saying, 'I have pretty nails!' ;)


2. Something that makes me sad is when my husband's heart hurts. 

3. Today I am thankful for some fantastic in-laws, good food, and my sweet husband.

4. My favorite room in the house is the living room. It's cozy & where we spend most of our time.

5. I can't stand it when people ask me when we are going to start a family. None of your beez wax!

6. If i had an extra $100 to spend on anything today, I would buy a new umbrella, some sunglasses, & a pretty pair of earrings.

7. The last person I hung out with was BRAD.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Taco Soup!

Three words for you: Easy. Cheap. Crockpot. 

I KNOW.

I made this recently & it was SO good! Incredibly easy & very cheap, too! We had it for leftovers for days! I plan to make it again real soon!


Image & Recipe from Dianasaur Dishes, found on Pinterest! Check out the original recipe here.

(I totally forgot to take pictures this time. I have no idea what was wrong with me!)

TACO SOUP FOR THE CROCKPOT

1 pound ground beef
1 red onion, chopped
1 can corn, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
2 cans chopped tomatoes with chiles
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning (or 1/4 cup if you get in bulk)
tortilla chips, optional
sour cream, optional
shredded cheese, optional

Brown beef in a large skillet. When it is close to done add chopped onions and mix well.  Cover and continue to cook until onion is soft.

Dump onion and beef with remaining ingredients into a large crockpot.  Mix well.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

Optional - Top with shredded cheese & sour cream, serve with tortilla chips.

SO DELICIOUS!!! Enjoy!

Mourning into Dancing (my testimony)

Today we are sharing our testimonies. Write your own story of how you met Jesus and link up here!
Salvation Stories

I am so glad Callie started this link-up. I realized I know how most of you met your husbands, but not how you met your Savior. And I haven't told you my story either. Who knows why! Now I am curious and would love to hear about how you came to know Christ. It's not too late! I am sure she wouldn't mind if you did it tomorrow if you're just now finding out about it. ;) 

I remember a few years ago, a friend from the theater asked me, "Did you become a believer because of your parents? Or did you have one of those dramatic conversion experiences?" I just smiled mysteriously, because he didn't really want to know. He was kind of picking on me, though probably actually curious. He paused & then said seriously, "I'm guessing you used to be totally different and then had some dramatic conversion experience." For whatever reason, I took that as a compliment... but it wasn't really true. 

I grew up in a Christian home. I thought it had always been that way, but later discovered that my parents did not become Christians until after I was born. My dad's family went to church growing up, but my mom's did not. Neither one of them were serving the Lord when they got married. Apparently they were going through some things and mom decided that church would "solve their problems". When she was a girl, she sometimes attended church with her best friend Rae's family (who I am named after) & they were Baptist. This is why she chose Zoar Baptist Church - it was the closest baptist church. She and dad began attending there when I was just a few months old and my sister was three. Mom & Dad both walked the aisle to receive Christ as their Savior. That is also where they met my husband's family. :)

They stayed faithful in their church attendance through my entire childhood. I remember being in Kindergarten at Brownsfield Baptist Academy. Our teacher spent the morning telling us about Jesus with those felt people on a felt board. ;) It was time for recess, and she said if we wanted to pray to ask Jesus into our hearts, then we could stay during recess. I stayed. She prayed the prayer & I repeated. I know I didn't fully understand the significance of what I was doing, but it was still that day that Jesus came to live inside me. I invited him in. And from that day on, He has guided my steps. My parents later began attending Cornerstone Fellowship, and then when i was nine or ten, they switched to Victory Harvest Church, where i was baptized with water & also, with the Holy Spirit.

Life was good for awhile, but at some point my family went through some very hard times that I did not understand back then. Sometimes when you are going through hard things, you take out your anger on those you love most. I have never written about this here, and I hesitate to do so, but I will tell you this. My mom became a very angry person. Most people had no idea what was going on in our home. I was never physically abused, but my mother said very hateful things to me & my sister & even our dad. From age 11 to about 21, I was emotionally & verbally abused. Sounds harsh, but it is true. Ugly, worthless, fat & stupid - all things I was called by my own mother. And I wasn't even fat at the time. Unfortunately, I became fat because i ended up eating to self-medicate. I didn't know this at the time. It was not a conscious thing. I also sunk into a deep pit of depression & self-hate.

Meanwhile, i was still going to church & very involved in my youth group. Yes, I was a youth leader & loved being there, but i didn't tell a soul of what I was going through at home. I pasted on a smile & pretended that all was right with the world... & for the most part, it WAS because i was happy when i was at church! I remember my junior year in high school, I started feeling a lot of pressure from everywhere about what i was going to do with my life. I didn't know. And for some reason, that felt like the end of the world. I remember one evening going to church & the Reverend Samuel Doctorian was our guest speaker. He is actually my pastor's father-in-law, but has traveled all over the world preaching the gospel. He preached that night on what it means to SURRENDER. To surrender your life to Christ, NO MATTER the cost, NO MATTER the call, NO MATTER His will for your life! I heard that sermon & "got it". It didn't matter what EXACTLY I was going to do with my life. All that mattered is that I gave my life to Him, so that He could guide me. So that He could direct my steps. So that He could show me the way to go! He didn't care if i knew what I wanted to be when i grew up. He just wanted me to follow him & surrender to His will for my life. So i did. I responded to that alter call & i cried. My first time to let go & cry in church. And that is the night i TRULY UNDERSTOOD what it meant to invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life. That is the night i believe I truly began to follow Christ. Not to say i was never saved. I believe my prayer as a kindergarten student was sincere and that it began the whole journey. :) But this night of surrendering to God as a teenager, well. That is what it's all about. 

I still struggled with depression, extremely low self-esteem & self-hate. I was called some terrible things by my own mother. I walked on egg shells, too, never knowing if it was a good day for her, or not. Having to deal with these things? Well, it causes issues, to put it lightly. However, God had his hand on me through everything. I am FOREVER GRATEFUL to my youth pastor back then. One day, the summer after I graduated high school, I got to church about 2 hours before it was to start. I had just gotten into a huge fight with my mom & had to get out of there. We had Friday night services for the youth back then so i went straight there. The whole way, my mind was battling with my spirit. I knew it was time to tell someone what I was going through at home. I knew it was time to receive some counseling. But I had never breathed a word of what I was going through to my youth pastor or anyone else. Only my closest friends had a clue, and that was only because they had seen a small dose of what my mother could be like. I arrived at church and my youth pastor walked to my car. I had just gotten back from kid's camp (where i was a counselor) & he wanted to see how it went. He didn't know I was on the verge of tears. Somehow he figured it out & began to counsel me right then & there. I cried all night long. So many years of hurt began to surface. I cried from about 5 pm to 11 pm. Haha. My eyes have never been so swollen! I just could not stop crying. But God was doing a work in me.

After that, God really began working to heal my heart & life. He did it, little by little, until ALL of the hurt was GONE, completely. I remember being so happy and joyful & hearing this verse: 
"You have turned my wailing into dancing, 
you removed my sackcloth & covered me with joy, 
so that my heart may sing to you & not be silent, 
Oh, Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever."
-Psalm 31:11-12-



This is what I began to call "my testimony verse" because that is exactly what God did for me. I have to tell you... he began the healing process before i forgave my mother. But he could not complete it until that was done. I had to forgive her. This is why i say that FORGIVENESS is the most important life lesson. I couldn't move on in Christ's freedom without forgiving her. I finally did it (though it was not easy) & God began to do such a work in my life. This has already gotten very (very!) long (sorry about that!), but I am afraid there is no way to express just how much God changed me. I began to come out of my pit of depression with God's help. He reached down & pulled me up & brought complete & TOTAL healing. I was so joyful, i had a real smile that I couldn't wipe off my face! I began to love myself & to gain confidence. He even completed the work by doing a lot of healing in my mom & by restoring our relationship. She is one of my favorite people and i am SO THANKFUL for a good relationship with my mom! And if you met her? You would never believe she ever treated anyone the way that she did. God truly did a miracle in her life as well as mine! He is good!

I was always considered a good girl. Whatever that is. ;) You see, because I knew Christ at a young age, I knew right versus wrong, and with his help I was able to stay away from things like alcohol, drugs & sex. I kept my virginity until I was married and to this day, I have never been drunk. But I am still a sinner in need of a savior! We all are! And the thing I want to make clear is that even if you haven't done anything "bad"...even if you consider yourself a good person... well, you still need his forgiveness. But you also need His healing! I know a lot of good people that are SO in need of a touch from God and they don't even know it! I honestly do not know how they make it through without Him.

A lot of people see me as a happy-go-lucky cheerful kind of girl. And I AM. But I haven't always been that way. I used to be afraid of everything, especially what people thought of me. God delivered me from that (though I am still a work in progress!), and that is why you see the happy girl that you do these days. Sure, i go through trials (am in one now!), but I know what Jesus has done for me & I know He is still moving in my life.

If you have any questions about my testimony or about God or His Word, please let me know in a comment or email me (link is in the sidebar). I will answer you as best I can. He loves you & wants to bring healing to your life, too! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NOLA Wedding Weekend: Reception at Rosy's!

The Limo Bus took all of the wedding party plus the parents of the bride & groom to the reception. There was another bus for out of town guests. It was pretty cool!

 The reception took place at Rosy's Jazz Hall... it was adorable! I loved it!

 Tiff & Joe in the limo! So cute!

 First Dance!

 So sweet :) 

 I think this is Mike's cousin... & her little girl, Carissa. The sweetest child! She was so content...sat there the whole time, eyes focused on the band!

 I had a glass of white wine... it was very good!

 Daddy Daughter Dance 

Aaron of Eye Wander Photo - hard at work! (Love him!)

 Me & the new Mrs Pellegrin! 

 Mike made a "thank you" speech to everyone. It was very sweet.

 Friends of the Bride & Groom - Paul & Courtney

My mom with her sister & brother-in-law (my Uncle Gary & Aunt Paula)
 The cake! So beautiful!

 Groom's Cake! The Saints Superdome!

 They did the whole cake smush thing... apparently he got it by her eye. ;) 

 Getting ready to toss the bouquet!

 Michelle & Joe

 Kelly & Kenny - so sweet! I loved getting to know them!

 Friends of the Bride & Groom - Jeff & Elizabeth - they were so sweet & so fun together! I loved watching them on the dance floor!

 Another couple that are friends with the bride & groom. Ashley & Brett. I LOVE THEM! Very sweet, lots of fun!

 Ashley & Robert... I got to know Ashley at the rehearsal & our friday night out... She is so beautiful & sweet. LOVED watching her on the dance floor - She was GOOD!

 That's the groom's mama in green. Dancin the night away! 

 This girl is 6 months prego & she danced ALL NIGHT LONG. She is so much fun & I loved getting to know her through all the wedding planning. She also cheered me up when i was missing my man on the wedding day! 

 The band got this little cutie on stage to help with the drumming. ;) He was so cute! And that was a FANTASTIC BAND!

 Mom & Dad had a great time, too!

Elizabeth & Kelly - so much fun!

A great time was had by all! Love it! 

CONGRATS TO MICHELLE & MICHAEL!