Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Books, books, books!

My in-laws are moving soon...into a smaller place. Because of this, they're getting rid of a lot of stuff they don't need. For my mother-in-law, this means getting rid of some books. My mother-in-law is an avid reader, and lucky for me we like the same kinds of books. She gave me a big bag of the books she is getting rid of & told me to take any if i wanted them. 


These are the books I picked out. I am excited... it will be awhile before i need to get another book! :) 

EMBRACE ME, by Lisa Samson

Embrace Me was good. Really good. It's kind of strange... it kind of goes back & forth between ladies that are a part of a traveling circus... they are a part of this circus because they are different. One of them has a burned face. The other is a quadripelegic. They are "freaks" (their words) & make their money by allowing people to come stare at them. The story goes back & forth between them and a man who is in a state of depression & despair because of the mistakes he made as a pastor. He is seeing the error of his ways & desperate for change in his life...or to end his life. This book eventually ties the two groups together, when at first you're wondering what in the world these people have in common. But their stories come together & along with it? Grace. Redemption. Love. 

I have always seen books by Lisa Samson, but hadn't read anything by her. It was a good story. She's a good writer. I will read something by her again. 

After that, I read Self-Incrimination, by Randy Singer. 

I loved it. I LOVED IT. I don't usually read mysteries or novels about crime. I reserve that for TV, as you may have guessed with my Law & Order SVU obsession. I am so glad i read this book though. It's a christian novel about two lawyers who are engaged & the murder trial they are working on... it's GOOD. After i finish this huge stack, and after i read Emily Giffin's book that just hit bookshelves (I LOVE HER!), i will definitley be reading more of his books! 


I am currently reading The Elevator, by Angela Hunt. 

I can't wait to see what happens to these three women stuck in an elevator together! They are rushing back to an office when a hurricane is on its way. There's nobody out in the streets, most have evacuated, and these three ladies are running back to a hotel room. My guess? The SAME hotel room... it's pretty crazy, actually. But i will do a review once i finish it! 

What are you reading?

Speaking of books... i have a giveaway going on here. I pick a winner tomorrow night!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Dear Monday,

{Linking up with Megan for Dear Monday.}

Dear Monday,
Thanks for being pretty easy on me. Traffic to work was way lighter than expected. And once the initial Monday morning exhaustion & craziness passed, it was a pretty good day!

Dear Cupcakes & Cream, 
We give y'all lots of business by getting a cupcake for every one of our graduates. Today, however, you were closed. At noon on a Monday, when your sign clearly says you're open from 11 - 7 Monday - Saturday. We called later, but...still closed! So...Ben had to go all the way to Cupcake Couture - where the cupcakes are smaller & more expensive! Not to mention it's not right by the school. So, yeah... that was kind of a bummer.

Dear Amber, 
Thanks for giving me a rocking haircut today. And the scalp massage... oh, my. That was HEAVEN!
Dear Emily,
I'm going to be very sad when you graduate Aveda. Your give the best eyebrow wax!

Dear Mom, 
Thanks for making sure the fridge had good food for me while i am here dog-sitting! And thank for having such amazingly comfortable beds. And for having cable. I have been watching the Olympics and tonight, Bunheads, which is hilarious. Molly is being SO SWEET, but of course she misses you.


Dear Mom & Dad, 
HAPPY 36th ANNIVERSARY!
 I hope this is your best year together yet! Thank you for everything. I love you!

Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seriously?!


Mandisa just tweeted that there is a church in Mississippi that refused to marry a black couple

Y'all. This makes me so stinkin SAD. What kind of a world is this?! 

How can we beat & overcome racism when there are still people who think this way?

I honestly feel like Baton Rouge is full of racism. I'm just being real. I see it, probably DAILY. I'm talking whites being racist against blacks AND the other way around. I have felt the sting of racism from someone hating ME because i am white. And no, I'm not reading into anything. It's obvious. 

But it goes the other way too. I know people who are racist...even if they deny it...actions speak louder than words. 

But this? This goes beyond anything I've seen. I can't think of a church in town that would refuse to marry a black couple! ESPECIALLY if they are church members! I mean, this couple had been going to this church! For a year, I think the article said! And the congregation doesn't want them to marry there because they are black? And the pastor says "okay" because he's afraid to lose his job? What a coward. 

I know that is a terrible thing to say about a pastor. I believe in respecting our pastors. But this is just terrible. It makes my heart hurt. I just want to slap some people & say, "WAKE UP! It's 2012!"

A year or so ago there was a church that wouldn't marry a mixed couple... i think that was Mississippi, too, but i could be wrong. People were outraged. I was upset too... i think mixed couples are beautiful! But this is a black couple - and the church refuses to marry them!! GIVE ME A BREAK! 

Oh my gosh. 

Crazy, crazy world we live in!

I hate racism.

The end.

Sunday Social

Today I'm going to participate in Sunday Social for the first time! 
I have been meaning to do this... :)


{one} What is your dream job?
Stay-at-home mom. Praying this will one day be a reality for me. Also, a broadway, film or tv actress. Or professional stage manager. You know, the ones that actually get paid. ;)

{two} If you had just won the lottery & didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time? 
I would keep the house clean & cook dinner a lot more often than i do now! Stay home with my babies, and go on lots of play dates with my girlfriends. Do more volunteering at BRLT (our local theater).

{three} When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pediatrician or an actress. I gave up on the pediatrician thing when i realized it required a lot of math & science during school. Ugh.

{four} What piece of career advice would you give someone starting out in your field? 
I currently work in student records at a cosmetology school. I am the sole person keeping up with student's attendance, academics, stateboard applications, graduation, and a whole lot more. It's kind of like the administrative assistant of Aveda. My advice? Be extremely organized & be a team player. 

{five} Biggest Pet Peeves either in life, in blogging or at work?
In Life:  people who are easily offended, being nagged, when people think they are above everyone else, fake people, politics on facebook, people who don't notice that the light turned green ages ago!, seeing children not in car seats or seatbelts, 3 lanes open at Walmart...

In Blogging: Y'all. The word verification. Turn it off. PLEASE! :)

At Work: Coworkers who don't know what it means to be a team player. Students who are full of excuses, who constantly miss school, and who are constantly negative.

{six} Biggest Fears
Never getting to be a mom, something happening to Brad or another close family member or friend, stinging things (wasps - eek!).

Your turn! :)

P.S. I have a giveaway going on here...drawing will be Wednesday night!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It was CRAZY, y'all!

Some of you may have seen my facebook post Thursday. It said, 

"Felt like we just accidentally entered a scene from Law & Order...the only place I have ever seen a cop draw a gun! We just saw about 40 cops, guns drawn, after an apparent high-speed chase on Essen Lane! It was CRAZY, y'all!"

Um...yeah.

It was.

But i feel the urge to explain the story in detail. Because it was pretty amazing. And, horrible. But kind of awesome. (Probably not awesome to most. But I'm weird.)

So, Brad's car has been giving him trouble. After getting it fixed last weekend, it wouldn't start again on Thursday. So I had to take him to work. I left work a little early to go pick him up. I turn from Jefferson, to Essen Lane to his office which is right off of Essen. For those of you who don't live here, Essen is a four-lane road that is always FULL of traffic. But i never sit in it for too long because i only go there if we are carpooling to work for some reason & his work is close enough to Jefferson & the interstate ramp to where we don't have to sit in traffic for hours. 

ANYWAY.

So i turn from Jefferson to Essen & get to his office. Everything is just like any other workday on Essen at that point. I pick Brad up. He gets in the car & says, "Do you hear all those sirens?" This is barely five minutes later, mind you. I turn my music down (ha) & hear TONS of sirens. Nearby. What the world???

We turn out of the parking lot & see people coming out of other offices looking up at the sky. There are two helicopters slowly circling above Essen. We figured there must have just been a MAJOR car accident. Although how would ambulances & helicopters get there THAT quick. I mean, i was JUST THERE 5 minutes ago & nothing out of the ordinary was going on!

We get closer to the light to turn from the side street Brad's office is on to Essen. All four lanes are full & even though we can see a few lights from police cars, we can't really SEE anything because traffic is blocking our view. There is a ramp to the right to get on the interstate, but we actually need to go the OTHER way on the interstate. No can do. Police are not letting anyone go anywhere except off the interstate to the right. 

At this point, Brad says that there is a bank right there (across the street and to our right just a bit). We thought it must be a major bank robbery with a hostage-type situation. I'm waiting to get into traffic on Essen & a car moves out of my view & i see a police car with four policemen behind it, GUNS DRAWN! I said, "OMG! Their guns are drawn! Holy crap!" HAHAHA. 

It was exciting! So, sue me!

I did start praying, though. I was thinking some serious bank robbery was underway & that it was serious enough for cops to have their weapons ready. Yikes.

A car FINALLY lets me out onto Essen (people are so generous in BR traffic. NOT.). As we're easing closer to the light (the ramp for the interstate is just past the light. I know you don't care, but when i tell stories i get ALL detailed. It annoys people. I'm sorry! Ha.). Anyway... as we are passing it & getting closer to the ramp for the interstate, we see what is going on. And this is what we see... 

About 20 cop cars. About 40 cops behind those cars, with guns drawn & pointed at a truck. We didn't notice the truck at first. We just saw a bunch of cops, guns drawn, pointing toward the bank (kind of)...then we noticed that opposite them was cops pointing towards US (not US, but towards essen) - then we realize they're all in a semi-circle pointing towards a truck that had crashed. It wasn't a horrible crash but the guy was hunched over with his head hitting the steering wheel. We figured it was a high-speed chase that happened to end right by the bank (in some land to the right of it) & that he was either knocked out from hitting the steering wheel or just kind of sitting there. 

I didn't know he had just shot himself in the head. 

My window was rolled down & despite all the traffic, it was quiet. Strangely quiet. Tension in the air that you could feel several yards away. I honestly don't remember hearing sirens at that point, although i must have? But i did hear one thing. A policement in a megaphone yelling, "STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE RIGHT NOW!" 

But the guy didn't move. At this point we are merging onto the interstate. 

It was SO like the scene from a movie that of course i wanted a picture. I mean, i have never seen so many cop cars in one place in my life! But that just seemed SO disrespectful! So i refrained. Ha.

Since we had to go the wrong way to leave, we ended up seeing it again as we passed over Essen from the interstate... even a cooler view from up high.

I'm sorry that i thought it was cool...especially since it ended in death. Obviously, the guy they were chasing was guilty of something. 

Turns out that an LSU cop tried to pull him over on LSU's campus. He had almost hit two pedestrians & a golf cart. A little reckless driving...maybe he was on something. When the cop tried to pull him over, the guy started flying across town. They were all over the place. It resulted in the LSU cops having to call BR & state police for backup. It was an 40-mile 80mph chase, ending on Essen when the guy crashed into another car & then shot himself in the head.

We found out later had drug charges & stuff like that on his record. What made him kill himself though? People with drug-related things on their record get pulled over - but it doesn't usually end up in a high-speed chase with the suspect killing himself?!

Anyway, it was crazy. What is really crazy to me is i was in that same spot just five minutes before they ended the chase! I am so glad i wasn't the one he hit or that i wasn't actually on essen when the chase was about to come to an end! It would have scared the mess out of me!!

Here is the article.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Thoughts


Whew! What a week it's been already. I missed Monday & Tuesday of work, due to the wonderfulness of The Sinus Infection. Ugh. It was gross. And painful. And not fun. Thankfully, the doctor gave me a good ol' shot & z-pack & I am feeling about 90% better! Just a tad bit of congestion still going on, but at least that sinus headache & inability to breathe - those things are no more. :)

So...on to some thoughts for you!

{one} My blog-friend Tricia Nae finished up my blog design this week & I love it! If you're reading from your reader, you should pop on over here & check it out! I love it, I love it, I love it! Oooh, & scroll to the bottom, too! There's a footer! And i got social networking buttons - something I could never figure out on my own. Yay! Thanks again, Tricia! 

{two} While out sick, I discovered Undercover Boss: Canada on my Netflix Streaming. Y'all. So GOOD! Really. It actually inspired me to give it my ALL at work at all times, even those stressful, annoying, I'm-going-to-punch-someone-in-the-face-right-now times! And it made me emotional when the undercover bosses rewarded their bottom-of-the-totem-pole workers with things like $5000 to one chic's daughter's school (her daughter is blind), a trip for two to paris (somewhere the recipient had always wanted to go), etc. One girl even mentioned to her undercover boss that she had always wanted to work for the home office, and put her education in business to good use - he offered her a job, of course. It was SO sweet & made me cry! I'm a sucker, I know. :)

{three} I'm kind of so sick of facebook, I don't know what to do. If all of the people i really want to keep up with would either switch to twitter (which I am actually still trying to get into...) or Instagram or blogging, I would totally quit. Maybe I should just take a leave of absence. I don't know. But i am SO SICK TO DEATH of seeing political stuff in my news feed. I just ... I hate to say i don't CARE, because I DO, but i just don't want to talk about it. Or read about it. Ever. And you can only hit the hide button so many times....arghh...

{four} I am having Mariska Hargitay & Law & Order SVU withdrawals. Bad.

{five} Brad's car wouldn't start yesterday. AGAIN, y'all!

{six} We have some new friends named Billy & Mandy... Brad has actually know them both for many years (but not since they've been married & they've been married almost a decade...so it's been awhile). It's actually my worship pastor & his wife. Anyway. I have withdrawals from them. Every week. I like them that much. It's kind of maybe creepy!
Me & Mandy at the tea last Saturday. Love her!

{seven} I made an appointment at work for a haircut on Monday. When it gets past my shoulders i want it OFF. It is just too heavy & too hot/humid outside. I'm over it.

{eight} I had dinner last night with two long-time besties, Sarah & Shana. I have been besties with Sarah since 5th grade & with Shana since... maybe 12th grade (which, let's face it, has been more than 15 years ago! Gah!). Unfortunately i NEVER seem to get a pic when I'm with them...there is just WAY too much chit chat going on! But we went to Lagniappe, which was oh-so-good & we talked for ever. Much needed. I love them. :) Here is a pic from my wedding...i don't have a pic of the three of us together after this. Wow, that is just...SAD.
They were lacing me up! Ha!

{nine} Um... they keep opening businesses around my workplace that i object to. I mean, they are currently building a Dunkin Donuts two doors down to the left & a Dairy Queen a few doors down to the right. I mean, y'all. Seriously? Obviously, i know these business owners just know they'll get good businesses here (read: MONEY), but isn't there a single HEALTHY place that knows Louisiana is like the capital of obesity rates & seriously needs some better food choices? I probably will never set foot in either of these places (really. we have a baskin robbins on campus that i only went to once - to pick up Brad's favorite ice cream on his bday), but if someone brings donuts to work - oh, heaven, HELP ME! That's all i can say!

It's like when they started building something new right by our house & me and hubby got all excited, wondering & wondering what it would be - a new bookstore? a little cafe? what could it be? And then one day we saw the golden arches. And we were like "REALLY? ANOTHER McDonalds?!?!"

{ten} Tomorrow is Friday. Can i get an "amen, praise the Lord"?! :)

{eleven} I have a little giveaway for a great book going on here, if you would like to enter! :)



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway

The Necessity of an Enemy
by Ron Carpenter Jr.


I was recently given the opportunity to read & review this book. I am so glad, because it turned out to be an excellent book with a message that I definitely needed to hear.

I was unsure if I would benefit from this book. After all, I don't really have any enemies, not in the human form anyway. But i do at times battle addiction, fear, anxiety, depression... would this book help me understand God's purpose for our own internal struggles?

The answer is yes. Anything you face - any person, any struggle, any weakness - may feel like an enemy. But sometimes your enemy is your best opportunity. ALL things work together for good! God may use an enemy to bring about your great purpose & destiny. But it is all worth it in the end! 

From the back of the book: Congratulations! Your Goliath has arrived! Enemies often get in the way of our plans, leaving us discouraged and disoriented. But what if these obstacles are a part of God's plan for us? Our enemies can become a stepstool to new breakthroughs in life, if we leverage the opportunity. Just as David's encounter with Goliath transformed him from a delivery boy to a national hero, our enemies can be a blessing in disguise - if only we recognize & face them head-on.

Life can be hard. It seems like we have barely made it through one battle, when we're facing another. But this book is a great encouragement & testimony to the fact that God is with us & sees us face our enemies. He knows, and it isn't him punishing or being angry with us! He is actually just using these trials to promote us to the next level.

I think this book was well-written. I also liked how it was broken down into short chapters. It made it seem like an easier read that way! Ron Carpenter used personal examples, too, which was very helpful in knowing that He has been through some HARD TIMES as a pastor but that God truly brought him through it!

Here are some things I highlighted in my copy... 

The unrighteous hate the righteous. The lazy despise the diligent. People want what you have, but they don't want to do what you did to get it. They simply are more comfortable hating you because you have what you have; it's a safer alternative to challenging themselves to rise above their mediocrity. 

The battle is over your position and identity in God's eyes, the purpose you're called to fulfill. Most of the time, your enemy knows and recognizes your potential better than you do. 

If your enemy knew all he was doing by making you greater by bringing adversities in your life, he would back off. Because all he is doing is bringing about God's intentions and being used as a pawn of God, a catapult to propel you towards your destiny. 

The enemy knows that if you ever uproot and defeat the enemy within, you'll be free to help others win the same battle. 

Some people could be delivered by tomorrow if they would quit giving their flesh so many opportunities. Ouch!

A stronghold of darkness is established when you believe a lie to be a truth. 

In any area of life where we don't know the Word of God, we're vulnerable to enemy activity. 

Bad thinking that sticks will take our lives in the opposite direction of God's plan for us. Bad thinking is a weapon we must constantly battle as new situations in life bring opportunities to choose between believing what we hear from darkness and believing God's promises about us.

I could go on & on, but I think you got the picture. If not, you are welcome to read Chapter One for free! :)

I would like to give my copy to one of you! Please leave a comment if you want this book for free! I will pick a winner next Wednesday at 7pm Central time. Once I announce the winner, you will have 24 hours to contact me, or i will pick a new winner.

{I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.}

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yay!

I have a new blog design! Do you like it?

I LOVE it. :) 

I am excited about the colors, the design, the social  networking buttons, everything! Scroll to the bottom to see the footer! :) So CUTE! 

Thank you, Tricia Nae! You did an awesome job!

Now, if only I had something to blog about! Ha!

Sick.

I am sick today. Started feeling crappy on Thursday, left work early on Friday, and pretty much felt yucky all weekend. Yes, i still went to the ladies tea & I still went to church Sunday morning. Maybe not the wisest decision but i didn't want to miss either! Today i am just SICK. I can't breathe, I'm coughing & sneezing a lot, I have chest congestion and major sinus pain. Ugh! Hopefully I feel better soon!

Yesterday we were brought up in front of the church as new members. Everyone came by, much like a receiving line at a wedding, and introduced themselves and welcomed us to their church. It was neat. I have never been to a church that had official memberships like this, but I liked it. I am so thankful God brought us here. It's been awhile since we have felt "at home" in a church. 

We have had some crazy car trouble lately. It seems to be one thing after another. Brad's car started making funny noises on the way home from work Thursday. He called our mechanic who said he could come fix it Saturday and that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to drive it before then. On Friday, I took Brad to his work before going to mine. A coworker told me my tire looked low. My brand new tire, I might add. I picked up Brad early because i was sick and on the interstate remembered what my coworker had told me. We pulled over & Brad put air in the tire. It was nearly flat! We have a portable thing that you can plug into the cigarette lighter to put air in your tire. Comes in handy! Anyway, we got home & Brad found a nail in my tire. I swear they just flock to my car! Geez! So Saturday morning, he patched up the hole in my tire all by himself! :) Now for the mechanic to fix Brad's car & we will be all set! :)

We watched Fly Wheel the other day, which is by Sherwood Pictures, the same group who put out Courageous. This is their first movie & it shows, but it's still very good with a powerful message. I liked it!
I'm done with Law & Order SVU, and I'm so sad! I want something else to watch but there is NOTHING on Netflix that i am interested in seeing. Any ideas?! Please note that we only have Netflix streaming, I don't get the DVD's, so it would have to be available that way. We never watched Season 4 of the Big Bang Theory & a friend let us borrow it this weekend. So we have been watching that some. It's hilarious. 

Well, wow. I really have nothing else to say! If you're still reading, thank you. I will file this under "most boring posts". Haha.

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Church Ladies Tea

Today was a Ladies Tea at my church. We just started regularly attending this church after going to their Easter service with my parents. I have been there many times through the years, but this time was different. This time Brad & I both felt like it was to be our church home. Since then, we haven't looked back. And i am so thankful God brought us there! 


So, the tea. I was looking forward to going as it is the first time we have gone to anything besides Sunday morning service. Plus, this woman, Liz, was speaking - a lady who i have grown to love through her words of knowledge &/or encouragement to the church body on several occasions after praise & worship. She teaches a Sunday school class there & at some point i will be joining it. I just love her! 

The tea had four hostesses: Sandra, Mandy, MaryAnn & Melanie. They each decorated a table & served each course to the ladies at their table.
Sandra, Mandy (our worship pastor's wife), MaryAnn (our pastor's wife) & Melanie

They did such a great job! The food was delicious, the decor was beautiful & they made everyone feel special. :)

My mom & I sat at Mandy's table. She loves pink & green, and her favorite flowers are daisies (mine too!) and her table reflected that. See?


This was the centerpiece on Melanie's table. Too pretty not to share!
Sue & Anne (mother & daughter) sat with us. I remember them from probably fifteen years ago. They are just moving back from Tennessee. Turns out, Anne (the daughter) is interested in theater - she did a lot of backstage work in Tennessee. So we had a good time chatting about that!
 
 Here I am with Mandy. She is a new friend & I just LOVE her. We had her & her hubby for dinner last week & now I just wish we could hang out all the time. She's sweet, and we have a lot in common. Yay for new friends. :)
Excuse the crazy hair & goofy smile. I think Gayle (behind the camera) had just said something to make me laugh! But this is me & Mandy. I love her.

Me & my sweet mama. :)

Mandy & Gayle - these women are HILARIOUS.

And, last but not least...
This is my mom with Gayle. I think this is my favorite picture of the day. I just LOVE my mom's smile in this one! She looks so pretty. :) 

Well, there you go! We had a great time!

Hope you are having a great weekend, too!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts


I am so in a bullet point post mood, and here you go. By the way... I love Sar's blog & I am so glad I found her & some other fun new bloggers from her 15-Day Challenge. Yay!


So...my thoughts for today...

{one} Tomorrow is FRIDAY. I am just SO happy about that. 

{two} My friend Laura is finally getting a house & I am so excited for her!

{three} My friend Tricia is designing a new blog for me & I am so excited! I can't wait to see it! 

{four} Work has not been bad this week. Thank God! Some days are really really stressful. And some are just really frustrating. But this week? Not too bad. We got an assistant director & he's great. The perfect fit. And he makes me laugh pretty much all day, which is good. 

{five} My mom ordered me this fabulous dress... and i FINALLY tried it on... and it fits PERFECTLY. I love it! It is hard to find a dress that flatters a girl my size. This one is super cute & I love it. We got the one in gunmetal gray (but it's actually a little bit purple. But i still love it.)

{six} Speaking of that new dress. I had to stand on my bed to see how the rest of the dress looked on me. I sure could use a full-length mirror!

{seven} My friend Patti just sends me non-stop encouragement. She is so awesome & I love her. Anyway, she's on a weightloss journey like me & today she texted me this verse. I love it. 

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; 
Your love, Oh Lord, endures forever.
Do not abandon the works of your hands." 
-Psalm 138:8

{eight} Saturday I am going to a Ladies Tea at church & I am looking forward to it. I am loving our new church & SO THANKFUL that God brought us there. We feel so at home! This is the first time I am going to something outside of church on Sunday morning. I'm ready to get more involved there! The Ladies Tea is going to include lunch and a speaker. The speaker is this lady named Liz who is older, and who i look up to so much already.

{nine} Speaking of our new church...we have new friends & I am loving that. Billy & Mandy came over for dinner last weekend, and i just LOVE them.  They're just so sweet. Billy is the worship pastor & his music is just amazing. He has an awesome voice, too. Brad actually has known Billy for years. He also worked with Mandy at one time, before she was dating Billy (& they've been married for almost 10 years, so it was awhile back!). But I didn't know either one of them until we started going to Covenant. I just like them SO much. They're hilarious & fun. Yay for new friends!

{ten} I want a haircut SO BAD. I can get them at work, but we don't get a discount on Fridays or Saturdays (because it's taking away from real actual clients who pay full price. Haha.). Hopefully I'll do it Monday. I have picked the student i want to do it as an educator told me she does a really great haircut. :) I cannot stand for my hair to get past my neck, my hair is too thick & heavy & it's just TOO HOT for that! 

Yes, that is me bottom right, 2007. I miss my blonde, too!

{eleven}
I am still so obsessed with Law & Order: SVU. When i finished Season 12 on Netflix, i thought that was it until the season premiere in September. But it turns out that September is premiering Season 14, not 13, meaning i had a WHOLE NEW SEASON to watch! I have been watching & it is GOOD, y'all. Detective Stabler is gone, and honestly? I don't miss him. Okay, i do, a little, I didn't dislike him or anything. But the new actors are GREAT & i think the show is doing just fine without him. Now, if Mariska leaves, I will be sad. I have what you would call a "girl crush" on her. She is amazing. 

Did I mention Olivia finally has a love interest? Harry Connick, Jr, y'all. Oh, yes.
 Now, that is one good-looking couple!

Well, that's all I got. Happy almost Friday!! 




Saturday, July 14, 2012

My favorites.



Life of Love


I missed yesterday's prompt because we were busy entertaining dinner guests...we had a wonderful time! Love new friends!! 

I am not missing yesterday's prompts, because I would love to share with you some random favorites of mine. And it's been fun reading yours. So...


Day 13: Share with us some of your FAVORITES.

{FAVORITE DOG}
Mine, of course.

{FAVORITE DISH}
The crawfish etouffee from Chimes is the best I've ever had, ever!

{FAVORITE NEW BLOG}
My friend Brittany started a blog to share her adventures in finding local gluten/dairy-free foods, and she blogs about the recipes she tries herself as well. She's also adorable. 

I randomly found MelissaJenna's blog & i love it. I love how this girl speaks the truth, even when it's not the popular opinion. She is inpiring, genuine & kind. Not to mention a great writer. Very cool blogger.

{FAVORITE APP}
I love Instagram. Follow Me: Lissaraye33

{FAVORITE TV SHOW}
Law & Order SVU
And, y'all. I just watched Seasons 7-12 on Netflix. I thought Season 13 was to start Sept 2012, but found out this morning that what is coming is Season 14!!! Which means there is an entire season out that i have yet to see. YIPEE!! I will start it today. Yes!

{FAVORITE MOVIE}
 Sleepless in Seattle. I love it.

{FAVORITE FUNNY QUOTE}
One of those pinterest things...it cracks me up because it explains EXACTLY how i feel about math.



{FAVORITE ROLE}
Something you may not know is that i LOVE theater... i played Little Becky Two Shoes in Urinetown, the musical (yes, you read that right). SO MUCH FUN. (The pic above is from a live performance.)

{FAVORITE FRUIT}
Fresh pineapple, something i always hated until about a year ago. YUM!

{FAVORITE PICTURE OF US}
This is my favorite wedding pic. Even though my dress is kinda messed up around the neck. It's the way he's looking at me. Like i am loved and cherished. He still gives me that look. LOVE HIM! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blog Challenge: Days 10-12


Life of Love


So, I'm a little behind, y'all. Thankfully y'all don't care. You're cool like that. :)

Day 10: What's your most embarrassing moment? 
I am SURE I have one or two or more of those, but I just can't think of any! Except for your minor ones that involve my klutzy self: (1) i fell down the stairs in 6th grade just before the bell rang, so students burst out of their classrooms to find me falling. That was fun. (2) At that same school, I fell on my way to class & landed right on the ground - about an inch from 3 cute popular guys. This is a tragic thing to do anytime, but in junior high? TORTURE. (3) I fell at LSU walking to class & immediately grabbed my backpack & acted like i had randomly stopped mid-sidewalk to look in my backpack for something. Hahaha! 

KLUTZ!

Day 11: What is one thing you wouldn't change about yourself? 
I love people. Just like they are, flaws and all. I am very accepting of everyone & I usually see the good in them, even if nobody else does.

Day 12: What are you most looking forward to over the next 6 months?
-Becoming more acquainted with our new church family.
-Hopefully, singing again. I miss it.
-My friend Rachel's wedding in August, because I love Rachel, I love weddings, and I love & miss Brittany (who will be in town for the wedding!). 
-Getting healthier & healthier, day by day!
-Knocking out debt - or a lot of it!
-My friend Becca's wedding in November!!!! She has met a wonderful man who will love her & treat her right! And she deserves this! SO happy for her! 
-Our 4th anniversary in November. Just a good month to get married, y'all! 
-THANKSGIVING & CHRISTMAS - i just love that time of year. 

Well, there ya go. Happy (almost) Friday, y'all!
-

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FOOD... & other random pics.

How about some mid-week peeks for you? Actually some of these are from last week! Oh-well. Just some random iPhone pics. If you follow me on Instagram, or FB for that matter, you have probably already seen these. :) 

Also, you should be warned. I take photos of food. I usually just post them in my other blog, but some of these are pinterest inspired, so maybe you'd like to see how they turned out?

Here we go...

I don't know if I've told you, but I am pretty obsessed with Mango Chobani Yogurt. OMG. SO GOOD, I tell ya. All of them are. But this one's my fave.

Here is something I tried last week from Pinterest. You probably pinned it, too, and just don't recognize it because mine is much uglier than theirs! Um, it was OKAY. Brad loved it. :)

On the 4th of July, my mom took me to breakfast & shopping! Oh, it was pretty much a fantastic day. We went to Another Broken Egg - I am overjoyed that we have this restaurant. It is SO YUMMY! If you have one, Go! :) This is the Farm Fresh Omelet, and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite that I've tried so far!

Saturday, I met my friend Becca for breakfast & then we went to Lancaster House. It's a store in Central (small city right outside of BR where i grew up) that is only open the first weekend of the month. They have cute things like you would find in Hobby Lobby. We LOVED it!

Sunday after church we stopped at Oak Point, where they have much better produce than Walmart. I got some DELICIOUS pineapple! I just started liking pineapple over the last year or so & MAN! I LOVE IT! As you can tell... I want some more!

Also on Sunday, i tried THIS pinterest recipe. Um...it was gross. Brad liked it, though. 

Also this week, i finally tried Zucchini Pizza... Um... SO YUMMY!! And healthy! A total win! Brad LOVES them. YAY!!!! (Thanks, Patti!)

Oh...I have been reading this book. And it is SO GOOD, y'all. SO GOOD. I needed it. It's not necessarily about other people being your enemies (although it definitely covers that), but also about enemies such as fear, pride, sin, etc. I so needed this. I'll talk more about it once i finish!

So there ya go. Hope you're having a good week so far! I am so ready for the weekend!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Best Day of my Life


Life of Love


Day 9: Tell us the best day of your life to date.

I was going to write this about different moments of our wedding and about our honeymoon. But then i remembered a REALLY good day, and i just had to share that one. :)
 
For those of you who don't know our love story, some background: Brad was actually my first serious boyfriend when I was 19 years old. We dated for a little over a year & then we broke up. For YEARS after we broke up, I still believed he was "the one". I was CERTAIN. I just figured God would bring us back together in His time. I know my friends got tired of hearing about him, i know they were ready for me to move on. I finally did move on. And i spent all of my twenties single. I wondered about him often, figuring he had long since been married, probably even had kids. I never dreamed he would be back in my life. 

 Us - October 1997

Our breakup was in January of 1998. He got in touch with me in December of 2007. It was the craziest thing EVER. I figured maybe he was the one & kind of hoped so. At this point, I was 29 and really beyond ready to meet the guy for me! But after 3 dates it was obvious that he was definitely NOT the one. Nice guy. But not the one for me. Only... I got home one night to find an email from him. We ended up emailing & talking about things that had happened in our relationship ten years ago & it was CRAZY but most of the hurts that happened back then were GIANT misunderstandings. We didn't see each other at all during these emails (which occurred between december & february) because we recognized that God was doing something through them. But our last email was the day after valentine's day & we were officially official on 2.16.08. 

I tell you all this to say that the best day of my life may very well be
FEBRUARY 16, 2008!

He came to my church. We went to eat at Carraba's afterwards. Then we went to my place and spent the entire day together. We became best friends again. We took a long walk where i was scared to just hold his hand! It was so stupid! We already KNEW that we were going to get married (You don't play around when you're nearly 30!)! FINALLY at the end of our walk, he grabbed my hand. And then we had to walk the neighborhood AGAIN instead of going back in because we were finally holding hands & didn't want it to end so soon! HA!

But can i tell you? I was falling in love. Again. Except he was so different now. The same, but different. Older. Wiser. Better-looking, even! Haha! And everything from our past was set right. Not that anything horrible happened! But we were just not on the same page back then, and so immature. 

I could say when he first got back in touch w/ me was the best day of my life, but that was more confusing and crazy and a little awkward! This was the best day because it was romantic, we KNEW that this was IT, and it felt like we were falling in love for the first time (even though it was actually the second time). 

Us - February 2008! This may very well be 02.16.08, but if not it's within a week or two after that. :)

We were engaged a month later & married by the end of the year. And he was SO worth waiting for.

You can read all the details in our love story (see tab at the top). This was the short version! Haha.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The good, the bad & the ugly

And, the blog challenge continues! 



Life of Love


Day 8: Describe the good, the bad & the ugly about yourself.

Oh, geez. This should be fun. ;) 

{THE GOOD}
-I am very compassionate. I feel like I can understand where someone is coming from in just about any situation, even if it's something I haven't been through myself.
-I am very, very loyal. Loyal to a fault, I have been told. I love my friends & family. Don't judge them, don't gossip about them, don't be mean to them. The end.
-I am silly. Yes, I'm in my 30's & sometimes act like I'm 7. (Not in an annoying way...I don't think! Haha. Just in a goofy way.) I think this is a good quality, no? Hubby says yes.
-I forgive very easily & I am not easily offended. I think these go hand-in-hand? Or maybe not. 

{THE BAD}
-I am lazy. See also: The Ugly, Unmotivated.
-I am impatient. With myself & with others. At work, in traffic, at home. My understanding & compassion comes to an end quickly when I am behind a slow-moving or stupid person. Ha.
 -I worry. This is a recent issue - I used to be worry-free. I don't know what happened. I became an adult, I guess. And more responsible for things.
-I don't finish things. I am just realizing this is a pattern.


{THE UGLY}
-I play the comparison game. I see your babies, your houses, things I don't have that i desperately want. And i get mad & jealous & cry & ask God "What about me???" Yep. That is definitely ugly & I am working on it.
-I am so unmotivated that it is just...SAD, really. I have almost ZERO determination, motivation, etc. Actually, I do have it but it comes in waves & right now i am really struggling. You can read more about this on my blog about my journey to good health

Well, there you have it. The good, the bad & the ugly about me! Your turn! ;)
-

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good Reads



Life of Love


Well, I am finally caught up with this little blog challenge (I did skip two days, though.). Today's prompt: 

Recommend a book for us to read. Why is it important/special to you?

The best book ever in the whole wide world? 
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

Now, many of you have already read it. If you have not, i suggest you head STRAIGHT to the library, amazon.com, the book store, or your friend's book shelves & get it IMMEDIATELY. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars - it's just that good.
This book is a fiction book, but it could change your life. Your perspective on things. A very important perspective about how much God loves you. Some backstory...Francine Rivers was a popular romance novelist...she wrote the kinds of books that you see in the store with half naked people about to make out on the cover. Haha. Then she got saved & as she was about to start writing another book, she felt like God was telling her to write a modern take on the book of Hosea. Now, if you don't know about the book of Hosea (in the Bible), it's about a man that God told to marry a prostitute...to show how God loves us. 

That's all i will say. But it is AMAZING. 

If you have not already read it, please read The Last Sin Eater, also by Francine Rivers.
This one is just...really really good. It's my second favorite by Francine Rivers - if i must rank them. I love ALL of her books, but these two are, in my opinion, the BEST. I think this one gets overlooked as much as Redeeming Love gets praised. I think the title puts people off. Don't let it. Read it! Very good book!

Here are some fun reads you might like too! 
Anything by Emily Giffin (the first two are the best!). 

Anything by Sophie Kinsella. Like this one!

Well, there ya go! :) 
See also: Good Reads in my sidebar.