Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week in Review


~ On Sunday evening, I hung out at my friend Kristin's house where we made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and watched movies.

~Kristin and I have also decided to start working out together on weekdays. Our preferred activity? Swimming laps in my parents' pool. I am getting in shape and simultaneously working on my tan. And I'm so excited that I weighed in this week at 9 pounds lighter than a few months ago!! Only 11 pounds away from my goal weight now. I'm pretty excited, and hopefully I'll start to see more muscles forming from our daily laps in the pool.

~Monday night Luke went to the Indians game, so my mom invited me over for dinner. This was really nice because I was lonely and also not feeling well. We ate tortilla soup and spicy enchiladas for dinner and it was all delicious. The best part? It cleared up my sinuses :-)
Mom's pretty flowers

~Tuesday through Thursday were all sort of a blur. Last week was a rough week because my allergies were flaring up so badly, and in addition to that, I was going through some emotional things with some friends. All that put together made for a few sleepless nights. But I have a doctor's appointment for my allergies in a week, and the other situation is now worked out for the most part, so overall it was a good thing. To quote Katy Perry, "after a hurricane comes a rainbow." haha, I told ya last week that I love that song! It is basically my life anthem right now. don't judge :-P

~I went to a show with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law on Thursday night that Luke's cousin had a lead part in. She did great, and it was fun!

~Friday night we went to the movies with some friends. We went to see Cowboys and Aliens. I expected it to be horrible, but was surprisingly entertained throughout the whole movie. It was...interesting.

~Saturday was a really fun day. We spent the entire day and most of the evening at my parents' house with my sister and her new hubby, Andy. They guys worked hard all day helping my dad build a deck off the back of their house. And the girls? Well, we spent the entire day in or around the pool. We probably would have just been in the way if we had tried to help :-P It was my sister's birthday, so later in the evening we had a big steak dinner and then cake outside on Mom and Dad's new patio furniture. It was just a perfect summer day!


Movies I watched: The Rite ( was too scary for me), Charlie's Angels Full Throttle (B), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (A), and Cowboys and Aliens (B) Lots of movies this week!

Books I read: Finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, started Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I'm also reading The Long-Awaited Child by Tracie Peterson. That's right, I read two books at once :-P

Favorite Picture:
Mom's flowers again, but with a filter from Instagram

Things I'm looking forward to next week: helping Julie move a few things out of her old apartment and then shopping tomorrow, softball games, and more swimming and getting in shape :-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back in the Day: Nickelodeon Shows

Boob Tube Babble

Did you know that Teen Nick is showing classic Nickelodeon shows from 12:00 - 4:00 AM every weeknight in a new programming block called "The 90s Are All That"? Well they are, and if you are a child of the nineties who had cable, you should check it out. Or DVR it since it IS on in the middle of the night! Luckily (or unluckily depending on the way I look at it) I seem to be suffering from a little case of insomnia lately, so I've been able to watch some of these shows while I'm trying to will myself to fall asleep. So far, they've shown episodes of All That, Kenan and Kel, Clarissa Explains it All, and Doug. However, I believe other shows may be in the mix later on as well.

I thought in honor of this wonderful new programming block, I would do another Back in the Day post, all about my favorite Nickelodeon shows. (You can read my last one HERE about Dawson's Creek).

So in no particular order, my favorite Nickelodeon television shows from the 90s are:

Tell me you're not singing the theme song in your head right now! This was not only one of my favorite Nickelodeon shows, it was also probably my very favorite cartoon as a kid. It was so cute and hilarious! It had the best characters with the BEST names: Doug Funnie, Porkchop, Patti Mayonnaise, Skeeter Valentine, Roger Klotz...It was the best. And I'm so glad it's one of the shows on Teen Nick now! We won't talk about when Disney took over Doug and ruined everything :-P

Clarissa Explains it All
Remember Melissa Joan Hart before she was a teenage witch? I will always remember her as Clarissa instead of Sabrina! To me, Clarissa was the coolest girl in the world. I so wanted to dress just like her (to my mom's horror, I'm sure). she was so cool! And just like Dawson's Creek, her best friend liked to enter her house through a ladder leading up to her bedroom window. What is it with shows like that, and why are they always so good?? Again, I'm glad this show is part of the new programming block.

Hey Dude
I don't remember much about this show as it originally aired from 1989 - 1991. I was barely more than a baby! (In 1991 I was 7, so that's probably when I watched it). But I remember that I LOVED this show! It was about a ranch where a bunch of teenagers worked. And it had an awesome theme song:

Haha! Please check out the fabulous 90s hairstyles. Melody was always my favorite...I was jealous of her pretty, straight, blond hair, even at age 7. Her character was played by Christine know, the actress who is now married to Ben Stiller.

My mom HATED this show because of the crude humor. I can still remember her rolling her eyes during the theme song. But my sister and I loved it! It was about a bunch of camp counselors at Camp Anawanna (wait...or were they just campers?? I can't remember). It was basically Hey Dude in a different setting with different actors. And more crude humor. I bet if I watched this show today I would think it's ridiculous. Nonetheless, I hope it gets added to the block of 90s programming so I can have a good laugh like my 10-year-old self.

Are you Afraid of the Dark?
Okay, now this show, Julie and I were legitimately not allowed to watch. But sometimes? When my mom wasn't home? We did anyway. I know! We were so bad! Such rebels. Sorry, Mom. But watching it always had a built-in punishment of it's own, because Julie and I would be scared to sleep for a week after watching an episode. I don't know why we wanted to watch it when it scared us so badly! But we did. Funny story: there's an episode of the show called "The Tale of the Whispering Walls." I don't remember much about the episode except that it's about some kids and their baby-sitter who get lost and go into a creepy haunted house to use the phone. There is a scary man there who wears a big ring. At one point in the show, you see the woman who you think is the baby-sitter, and then all of a sudden the camera zooms in on her hand, and you see that she's actually wearing the ring. So it's actually the scary man! My sister was so scared by that that for weeks afterward, she would ask me constantly to see my hands! Ha! She just wanted to make sure I wasn't being possessed by the scary man, and wearing his ring.


My dad and I were just talking about this show the other day. It was basically just a show where contestants would compete through crazy physical challenges. My sister and I would always root for the girls, and my dad would root for the boys just to give us a hard time.

I'm sure there are many more shows I loved on Nickelodeon. It was pretty much the only channel I watched when I was little. And I'm so glad that Teen Nick is bringing some of the old shows back! Even though I'm 26 years old...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bedroom Makeover

Sometime back in October, I started thinking about giving our bedroom a makeover. What can I say? My tastes change a lot :-)

I knew I wanted to lighten the room up a little bit. Here it was about two years ago freshly decorated...lots and lots of browns, and not a lot of "pop"

Well, I bought a new duvet cover and pillow cases this weekend during a trip to IKEA. And I shopped my house for some other things: The little red pillows that were tucked away in a closet, left over from when we used to have an Ohio State room, and the curtains that I moved from the dining room to the bedroom, because they just matched too perfectly. (I plan on turning the dining room into an all-white room as soon as the bedroom is finished, so the red curtains will no longer be needed in there anyway.

close-up :-)

Anyway, I think I've brightened up the room quite a bit with just those changes. The next step is to paint the walls. I would like them to be a pale blue color. Something like this:

"Bravo Blue" by Sherwin Williams

I think that will go nicely with the red. More projects that I'd like to complete would be to possibly re-finish an old dresser if I can find a cheap one on Craigslist or a garage sale. I'd like to paint one white and slightly distress it. I'd also like to buy a nice, new rug, maybe a white one. I've decided the bed will need a nice blue ruffly pillow right in the middle of the red ones to bring the two colors together.

I really hope it all comes together nicely, because unlike my interior designer sister, I do NOT have an eye for these things. If nothing else, I think I will at least succeed in brightening the room up a bit and bringing a little more life and coziness to it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week in Review


-Our church had our dedication service for the new building on Sunday night. It was a great service and a packed house!

-Spent a lot of time in the church library again. It's so quiet and peaceful in there. I really love working there.
-Enjoyed a few wonderful afternoons at my parents' pool because it was the hottest, most humid week of the year. I am not complaining, though! I wished for days like this like crazy in the middle of our blizzardy winter and rainy spring. I would give anything for more weeks like last week and less snowy, frigid weeks. Please don't hate me, fellow Ohioans. :-P

-Luke had a softball game on Thursday night and I had a great time watching it from the grassy shade. - Had a thunder storm on Friday night and I absolutely loved it for two reasons: 1. I love summer storms. They are peaceful and romantic. 2. Luke was supposed to mow until about 8 Friday night, but obviously got canceled since he was rained out. I enjoyed spending the evening with him. We had sweet corn and burgers for dinner and Luke spent the evening catching up on his DVR'd shows while I was consumed once again in a Harry Potter book. Life was good :-)

-Spent all day Saturday at Ikea with some of the women of Luke's family. It was a great time and I found a new comforter for the bedroom! I have been trying to find one since October. And while I didn't plan on incorporating red into the room, I decided on the fly that it would be a great idea. I am planning to paint the walls a pale blueish-bray color anyway, and I thought pops of red would coordinate well.I think I will definitely need a blue, frilly pillow in the bed too to bring it all together once I'm done :-)
Here it is close up...Gabby obviously loves it.

- I enjoyed a date night with Luke on Saturday night. We went out to dinner and were planning to go to a movie, but it was sold out. So we came home and watched one instead. I told him it was better to watch one at home anyway, because then we could cuddle :-P I have really become excited about our date nights which have been happening weekly. I really don't see Luke during the week now that he is working so much, and when he is home, he's asleep or too tired to function. So I love our weekend dates when he is more himself and We can spend some QT together, just the two of us.


Movies I watched: No Strings Attached (C)

Books I'm reading: Finished Nehemiah in the Bible, read What a Girl Wants by Kristen Billerbeck (it was such a good, light read, and I think I'll have to order the next two in the series as well!), and I'm just about done with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. (Obviously, I once again spent every spare moment of my time reading this week. I stayed up until 1 or 2 most nights completely unable to put the books down. It's an addiction).

Songs I'm Loving: Firework by Katy Perry. I know it's getting old, but I just can't get enough of it. It pumps me up :-)

Things I'm looking forward to next week: Movie night with Kristin tomorrow, my sister's birthday, and dragging Luke with me to see Crazy Stupid Love. Hellllooo, Ryan Gosling ;-) My sister and I have had a crush on Ryan ever since he was the skinny little kid on Remember the Titans. *Swoon* Anyway, that movie looks so good, and I've been looking forward to seeing it all summer!

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Speech

I've been wanting to post this on here ever since Julie's wedding, but I kept forgetting until today! This was my speech at my sister's wedding reception, and I wanted to post it here so I'll be able to keep track of it forever :-) What I'm about to post is a little longer than my actual speech, because I didn't want to read it at the reception. I thought that would seem more impersonal than just saying it, and in my nervousness I skipped a few things. But this was the major gist of it: (I sprinkled in some vintage photos of us and of Julie and Andy just for the fun of it)

Julie has always been miss independent. Growing up, she said she would never get married! I, being the complete opposite and hopeless romantic of the family, knew that she was wrong. I knew it was just a matter of finding the right guy. He was out there somewhere, just waiting to change her mind.

{Julie being the little ham that she is - 1995}

Julie's junior year of high school she came home from a youth convention all giggly and smiley, talking about a boy from her class who had been there. Julie was never giggly and smiley when it came to boys. So I knew that Andy must have been different. I wondered if he was the guy who would change her mind.

{Julie and I, Winter Sports Dance 2003}

I watched Julie and Andy begin dating, go off to football games and proms together, graduate from high school together, eventually go off to college together, and even graduate from college together. They have learned so much together about life and relationships. They have literally grown up together.

{Julie and Andrew, Homecoming 2005}

So since they have been together for so long, they know each other pretty well. There are a few things I feel I should warn Andy he probably already knows them. Like the fact that if Julie is crabby, she probably just needs food. Give her a cookie and she'll be happy again. Or the fact that her moods are like the weather in Ohio...if you don't like it, just wait five minutes. I don't have to warn him about those things, because after 6 years together, he already knows them all!

{Me and Julie at Magic Kingdom, 2005}

All kidding aside, I am so happy that Julie and Andy are sitting here today, and that I, as the older and wiser sister, was totally right...I knew she'd get married someday. I'm glad she finally found the man who changed her mind...and I'm glad she found him so young!

{Us at the wedding, June 25, 2011}

I'm so excited for my sister and new brother-in-law!

{Julie, Andy, and Oopa, the new family, at the wedding - June 25, 2011}

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Seeking Bible Study Advice

Awhile ago, I made it my goal to read the entire Bible. I had already read the New Testament, and most of it many times. I love the New Testament! All those stories about Jesus and His life and the disciples, and all those wonderful commands and words of advice that totally relate to my life, so many years later...I love it. And the best part is that it's easy to read and makes sense.

But let's talk about the Old Testament. I decided to read it straight through from Genesis to Malachi. And all through Genesis and most of Exodus I loved it. It was like watching an Epic movie! However, then I got toward the end of Exodus, and then had to trudge my way through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Those three are definitely my least favorite books of the Bible. Let's be honest: they're kinda boring. So needless to say I lost my momentum a little around that point.

Luckily it got a little more exciting after those three. And now I've made my way all the way through Nehemiah! I'm getting close, and will probably be finished by my goal of about 9 months from now.

However, I'm finding that I'm having a really hard time reading some of these books of the Bible. They are so full of crazy names and places that I can't even pronounce, and honestly, that trips me up. I get to the point where my eyes are scanning across the words, but my brain is not really hearing them. It's too busy trying to figure out what I'm going to do that day and wondering if I can sneak in some pool time. KnowwhatImean?

Since I have trouble concentrating on what I'm reading, I feel like I'm losing a lot of the meaning. So I guess I wonder if anyone else has read through the whole Old Testament, and if you have any words of advice to help me enjoy it more or get more meaning out of it? I feel like I am not really honoring the Lord because I'm kind of just going through the motions. It's definitely a marathon, and I'm getting tired.

I'm kind of excited for when I finish the Old Testament. I've decided I'm going to go through some Beth Moore Bible studies. I think I'll start with David. He is one of my favorite biblical characters, and I find him fascinating. I think it will be great to go through these Bible studies, because I want to go a little deeper. Have you tried any of her studies?? What do you think? I'm so curious.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DIY Dry Erase Board

I don't think I've blogged about my new, cute dry-erase board yet. I found the idea on Pinterest, which was originally posted from here

It was so easy to make. All you need is a picture frame, some scrapbook paper, and a dry-erase marker. I am going to use mine to write my to-do list for each season:

Not the best picture, but I promise it is cute in person :-) The brown scrapbook paper has tiny white dots all over it and I love it.

That picture was taken a month ago, and only a couple of items have been checked off since then. I better get to work if I want to accomplish all of this before the end of summer! Some of the items on the list are more wishful thinking, I guess :-)

I plan on changing the scrapbook paper for seasons and holidays. I just thought it was a fun way to keep me motivated :-)

Now with my menu chalkboard and dry-erase to-do list, my kitchen is full of organizational help. I need all the help I can get in that area!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week in Review

This blogging during summer stuff is hard. 'Nuff said.

I thought I'd at least try to scrape together a "Week in Review" post for last week, since I haven't done one in awhile.

Weekly Highlights:

~On Sunday, Luke and I were still on our little anniversary trip at Cedar Point. We spent most of the HOT day waiting in lines and riding amazing rides. It was a great trip!
~We left Cedar Point early on Sunday, mostly because we were so tired we almost couldn't stand up and walk anymore. But we got home just in time for a fish fry at Luke's aunt and uncle's house. We were basically worthless and just sat there trying not to fall asleep the whole time. Ha! But it was a beautiful, fun night :-)
This is a picture of my sister-in-law's Great Dane, Caly, at the picnic. I added a filter in Instagram because I'm addicted to that app right now :-)

~Monday was a fun day for me! I got to go with my mom and pick up my sister and brand new brother-in-law at the Pittsburgh Airport after their honeymoon in Scotland! It was storming when we got there, and although the plane got back in time, the passengers all had to stay on board because they couldn't get their bags out in the rain, I guess. (??) So mom and I enjoyed some shopping time at Pier One and Target while we waited. And then we got to hear fun stories about their travel adventures all the way home. Oh, and there were Scottish gifts involved, so that's always a plus ;-)
I am in love with the necklace! Julie thought it kind of looked like "The Bean" from Tiffany's. Except sideways.

~Tuesday the 12th was our actual anniversary. But between Luke's two jobs, he ended up working about a 12-hour day, so we simply celebrated with a very late dinner together and then a walk down the road for some ice cream.Cappuccino Chip in a waffle cone...pretty delicious

~On Thursday we spent some more time hanging out at Luke's aunt and uncle's house to celebrate his grandma's birthday. It was another beautiful, summer night.

~I spent part of the days Friday and Saturday at a garage sale at my cousin/neighbor's house where I sold a few things. I made a little extra cash, and even better, got rid of some of the clutter in my house. Win-win. Oh, and there were cute babies there the whole time. So really, Win-win-win :-)

~I was able to spend a little pool-time with my friend Kristin on Friday. But it was overcast, so we decided to head back to my house and watch a movie. We Instant Netflixed When in Rome because I guess we were in the mood for a sickeningly sweet, fluffy, chick flick.

~Friday was just busy and bursting at the seams with fun activities :-) Later in the evening, Luke had two softball games. And even later than that (like, past-my-bedtime-late almost) was a bonfire at my cousins Laura and Marc's house. Laura lives in Hawaii but was home visiting, so it was fun to see her and a bunch of other friends.

~On Saturday evening after an afternoon at the garage sale, Luke and I went out to dinner at Outback and did a little bit of shopping. I had gotten Luke a gift card to Outback for our anniversary so we could have a little date night. It was a fun evening! We came home and watched a movie.

~In addition to all of those fun highlights, I have again been spending every spare moment reading my way through the entire Harry Potter series. I've been wanting to read them all forever, and it's on my 101 in 1,001 list. All I can say is that the books are like crack to me. (Even though I'm 26 years old) Also, J.K. Rowling is an absolute genius. I am now in the middle of the 5th book. I'm excited that I'm close to the end, but at the same time, will be sad when I finish! ...And thanks to ABC Family and my DVR, I've also watched each respective movie as soon as I finish the book, too. Loving it.

Movies I watched: The first three HP movies (A+ to them all), When in Rome (C) and Unknown (B)

Books I read: Reading Nehemiah in the Bible, also read Forgotten God by Francis Chan and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

Songs I'm loving: You Are Good - Nichole Nordeman

Favorite picture:
Cedar Point

Things I'm looking forward to this week: Not much going on this week besides a trip to IKEA on Saturday!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Questioning Facebook

I have been struggling a little bit lately with Facebook. I love it, and it is a great way to stay connected with friends! Especially friends who live far away, or who you don't see on a day-to-day basis.

There are three big reasons that I'm annoyed with facebook lately:

Facebook has been causing me real struggles lately in some areas. For example, it brings out jealous feelings in me that you would not believe. For some reason, blogging and twitter don't bring out these feelings. I think the reason is because I don't know most of my blog and twitter friends in real life. But on facebook, the opposite is true. And there are some people I'm friends with on facebook whom I have sort of bumped heads with or felt a weird kind of competition with at some point in my life. And for some reason, when I see on facebook that they have something I want or are a lot further ahead of me in some area, it becomes difficult for me to be happy for them because of the jealousy I'm feeling. Is that horrible? Yes. and the guilt I feel for feeling that way is almost worse than the jealousy itself. I know that these feelings are not pleasing to the Lord, and I have tried to will myself not to feel that way. But it's really difficult to do on my own.

Also, I feel that facebook almost brings out a side of competition in people. And I'm not saying that I'm not guilty of this too, because I am. But people, including myself, sometimes use facebooks as a means to show off, I think. Whether it's showing off how cute your baby is, trying to show everyone how "holy" we are, showing off our photography skills, how good our relationships are, etc...most of us do it. Inadvertently or not. I know I have felt pressure and inadequacy that shouldn't be there when comparing myself to other people in my church on facebook. And I'm sure I have been guilty of putting pressure on other people, too. I am by nature a perfectionist, and I know I only portray my good side on facebook. And that doesn't feel honest.

The final reason I'm having a problem with facebook is that, I know it's not 5th grade, but it can really make people feel left out! Okay, having written that, it does sound immature. But it's true! I've been on facebook and seen pictures from parties that Luke and I haven't been invited to. And it makes us feel bad! I'm sure somewhere down the line we have made other people feel bad too if they weren't invited to a party at our house or something. Going back to the whole church thing...I absolutely LOVE my church, but all churches are filled with imperfect people, and are therefore imperfect themselves. And in a bigger church like ours, there are bound to be some cliques that form. I feel that facebook perpetuates those cliques by inadvertently shunning people and causing animosity between groups of friends. I'm not just speaking from my own experiences either, so I know I'm not the only person that feels this way.

So the question is, how do I deal with this? Facebook has become such a big part of my life and it's honestly hard to picture myself not using it. It's how many people get in touch with me now. Also, it would just be weird not to be able to catch up with people and see what they are up to. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to handle it. One idea would be to take a break for a certain amount of time. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that yet, though...Or I could just change the way I use facebook, and instead of using it to post status updates and pictures and to stalk people, (come on, we all do it :-P) I could use it solely as a way to keep in touch with people through messages. I will have to think/pray this through for a little while, I think.

Have you ever gotten rid of facebook or taken a break? What did it do for you? Was it difficult??

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

3 Years {Anniversary Weekend Re-cap}

Today is probably the last you will hear about our anniversary if you're sick of it...until next year, that is. But today is our actual anniversary, and I can't believe it's been three whole years since I walked down the aisle and became a wife!

Today I just want to re-cap our fun anniversary getaway. Luke surprised me with tickets to Cedar Point and a night at Hotel Breakers which is basically right in the park. It was nice to be able to walk right out the door of our hotel, and right into the entrance to the park. Also, being in a Cedar Point hotel meant that we got to enter the park an hour earlier than the public on Sunday morning. And we had a beautiful view of the pool and Lake Erie out our window. The room itself was dated and small, but all the other perks made it worth it. Here are a couple views out our window:{Some of these pictures are edited courtesy of Instagram, my latest iPhone app addiction}

We got very cheap "moonlight tickets" into the park on Saturday evening. We spent the night riding some of our favorite rides. We enjoyed seeing the park all lit up at night and could even see some fireworks while we waited in line at the end of the evening.
We especially enjoyed riding the new ride, Windseeker, at night. It is a swing ride that goes up over 300 feet, right by the lake. So when we went up at around 10:30 PM, we could see the entire park lit up. Also, the ride itself lights up in fun, bright colors

When we were done riding for the night, we rode the cable car ride back across the park for some more great views, and to save our feet!

On Sunday morning we were up bright and early since we got into the park an hour early. Having that hour was so helpful! We got to practically walk on to two of our favorite rides (Millennium Force and Maverick) and even rode in the front seats on both. Since we got those out of the way, we didn't feel so rushed all day and could take some time outs to relax. So we sat in rocking chairs in a little shaded area and relaxed for a bit while we waited for this wooden roller coaster (which pretty much beat me up) to open. It was nice since it was HOT that day!
We rode a few more rides and then had lunch at a nice, air conditioned buffet-style restaurant. I told Luke it was worth the few extra dollars to be able to relax in the AC for a while!

We rode the cable cars again to get across the park quickly to my absolute favorite ride of all time, Top Thrill Dragster. It was a beautiful day, and the views were gorgeous.Of course, riding Dragster was pretty much the highlight of my day :-) This is the best picture I got even though it's at night. There it is in all its glory...all 420 feet and 120 mph :-) What a thrill!
After riding Dragster, we were tired! We rode a few more rides, and then had to call it a day. All that walking in the 90+ degree heat and high humidity really wears you out fast! I enjoyed the view of the lake as we drove away.

What a fun way to spend our three-year anniversary! I'm so excited to be celebrating 3 years with Luke. It's still just the beginning :-)