Sunday, July 29, 2007

Party Pics!

Saturday, my friend Steve threw Missi and I a co-going away party. How sweet of Steve, love him! It was a blast - it makes me wish I had spent more time outside of work with my co-workers. (Life in the rear-view mirror has such great perspective, doesn't it?)  I wish I had more time to write about how much these people mean to me and how touched I was that they all spent their Saturday night with us - but for now, pictures only. (So, at least everyone can see them @ work on Monday)  I had a blast, guys! Thanks for the sweet cards, the shoes, the bottles of wine, Starbucks, Target and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and books! You guys know me!! :) Thanks for the love.Img_1276_2 Some of these pics are courtesy of Michelle's Blog. Img_3306 Img_3307 Img_1275752309 Img_1278739422 Img_1279739558_2 Img_1281776764 Img_1282700994


Img_3308 Img_3309 Img_3311 Img_3313 Img_3312


Img_3315 Img_3316 Img_3317 Img_3318

Img_3320_2 Img_3321 Img_3323 Img_3325 Img_3326 Img_3328 Img_3329

20 minutes with "Mr. Puggles"

Img_3176Major shout-out to my friend, Missi, who graciously agreed to pick up Brokaw last week and take him to the PetsHotel at PetSmart for me.  I don't think she'll be the same. Haha... Missi sent me the following e-mail, which I'm copying and pasting word-for-word. My dog is CRAZY!

From Missi:

So I get to your apartment and I forgot the piece of paper I wrote down your apartment number made a good guess, but I was still expecting to open the door and be in some naked man's townhouse...hahhaa!

I get inside and Brokaw almost knocks over his cage...I was thinking, "Damn, he must have got real big."  So I go over to the cage and can't open the darn thing...hahha...and he's licking me the entire time I'm trying to not be blonde and figure this out...finally it's open and BOOOOOMMMM...Mr. Puggles is going CRAZY...running in circles, up the stairs, down the stairs, licking me...I think he even ran across the ceiling a few times...hahahha.  THis entire time I am laughing so hard because I can't catch him to save my life.  So I decide to play "hard to get" and I sit on the couch and ignore him...after a few more trips up the walls and onto the ceiling, Mr. Puggles seems perplex I don't want to chase him.  FINALLY, he sits next to me and I grab the leash! 

Next, Mr. Puggles and I go outside where he wants no part of going potty.  I think there is crack in your grass or!  I tricked him -- I put him on the big leash outside and went inside and just when he thought I couldn't see him, I caught him going the bathroom through one of your blinds! 

So now we're off!  Puggles is loving my jeep.  I made a big mistake though...I couldn't resist stopping at Sheetz before coming over so I had a latte and oh boy, did he spot that REAL quick (he's sooo your dog!)  So we're driving along and he's drinking to get a sip...which was fine...I can share, but then...I remembered you telling me he likes to sit on your lap while your I figured he'd just make himself comfortable, sit back, and relax.  Wellllll, lets just say I think me and Mr. Puggles had a makeout session as he "sat on my lap"...again I'm basically peeing myself and the lady at the stop sign next to me is cracking was one of the funniest things I have ever experience by myself!  Finally I found a piece of paper and put it on the front seat and he thought it was the best thing ever.  And of course, once we arrived at PetSmart the ladies were going crazy over him! 

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks a million, Missi! And everyone, wish the fabulous Missi Matthews luck Monday - it's her first day on her new job in Johnstown! I know she will rock the socks off of J-Town.Img_3305 

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Carolina in my Mind

I spent last weekend in North Carolina. Almost every waking minute of it. I left work, went to the airport... and came back from the airport and went directly to work - which is where I feel like I've been all week. I don't even feel like I have come home and slept in between days since Monday.

But, it was worth it. Oh, was it worth it.

That "..." above - well it was, amazing.

Just what I needed.

To get away from all of the craziness of work/moving/stressing out over what's next in my life.

And to see this guy: Img_3160

There is no one on the planet I'd rather go to Target and Bob Evans with.

It was all in celebration of this guy's 1st year of life:Img_3106

Wouldn't it be nice to be one year old? I think there are things we could learn from these little ones if we'd open our eyes.  When you're one, all you have to do is clap, and everyone claps for you. Smile, and everyone smiles with you. You bring so much joy. Does that really have to change? Think about it. If you have joy, wouldn't you still bring the joy - even if you're 25, or 30 or, gasp, 50? I think so. You bring the joy, the smile, the clapping, others will join in. Lessons from Brody. I took that away from the weekend.

Img_3161Sunday, for the first time, I heard Michael preach/speak/share... you fill in the verb - whatever you come up with, let it be a very powerful verb, full of action.  It was, sigh, amazing. It was his heart. It was the Holy Spirit. It was a beautiful dance of heart and spirit and it was clear, the soundtrack of God's hand was playing in the background. Something shifted in me as I listened. And it wasn't really anything I haven't heard before, but it was powerful. We all have scars. Michael does. I do. Jesus does. You do.  See them. Touch them. Feel them. There IS healing.

I know a lot of people who read this blog have ties to ministry - youth ministry - missions - etc. You need to hear this guy.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I have to give a SHOUT OUT to my friend Robin, for providing the soundtrack to my life for the last couple of weeks. I love the music! Can't get enough. Thanks maestro! I am LOVING Sara Bareilles, so. much.

Man, I wanted to have a blog-a-thon tonight but this website is being really stinky and slow.

I have to share pics from my amazing weekend.

Some other random thoughts, quickly:

1. Good for Campbell Brown.

2. The CNN/Youtube debate was AWESOME.  But I'm kind of mad at AC.

3. I am just now realizing I never wrote anything about that New Yorker article a couple of weeks ago about Katie. I need to do that.

4. Horrible news today - Diet Coke causes heart disease, and they're raising the prices at Starbucks? This is why people say watching the news is depressing.

Well.. I better go and get ready.  Perhaps the news will be better tonight/today/tomorrow/whatever this is.

5. Brokaw is the cutest thing, ever. (when he's sleeping)

6. I now have exactly ONE WEEK left at work. Sigh. How is it that time has this funny way of dragging on and flying by at the same time?

Shout out to Andrew for his sweet blog.

Blogfest begins in 5... 4... 3... 2...

Hi! Have ya'll been shopping lately. Well, don't. It's not worth the gas prices, seriously. There is nothing out there worth purchasing. It's a good time to have a clothing fast. :)

Gretchen and I had a very entertaining "shopping" trip. Old Navy. Marshall's. TJ Maxx. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. The stuff was SO BAD we had to document.  Digital pics will be entered into evidence.  I did find some cute Roxy luggage... but other than that it was a strike-out.  Highlights of the trip were when Gretchen asked the 15 year old pimply-faced guy who worked at Marshall's if he thinks people just leave stuff behind. He was like Butthead.. "uh...."

Here, see for yourself:Img_3042_2 Img_3043_2

Okay, let's start with these "dresses," if that's what you can call them. I think they were quadruple-marked down to like $5.00. Uh, no. If I'm going to wear this, Old Navy, you're going to have to PAY ME. Nice face, I know.

Img_3045Write it down? Write it down? Write WHAT down? Your number? My grocery list? A list of ways I could use this shirt other than as a shirt? Write it down? I need better instructions.


And don't you just LOVE how when things are on sale... all that's left is the REALLY small stuff and the REALLY big stuff. Exhibit A: These pink jammie shorts. Cute, right? Too bad I'd need two pair to cover MY bum. One for each cheek. Somehow, it's not double the pleasure.


Okay, are you ready for this? If you've ever needed a tote to carry around a huge quantity of fruit loops, we have just the thing for you. A basket-woven white plastic-like bag with a Toucan and a Snake?!?!  God knows what they're doing... but I'm pretty sure nothing like that even goes on in the jungle, and clearly, it has no business being on a bag!

Img_3053Yes, I am aware of the Red Hat Society. And you know what? I'm all about it. Sign me up in 40 years. I'm all about what it represents. But this bag makes me make a face.  Red Hat Society, this should offend you. Wear your purple dress. Your Red hat. But bring a cute bag. No matter how old you are, you're never too old for a CUTE purse. This is an injustice.

Img_3052 Img_3051

These are the bags that time forgot. I'm pretty sure I had a relative of the butterfly bag when I went to a Military Ball in 6th grade.


Finally... would you believe... MORE TOUCANS?

See? It's not safe out there. Don't do it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stay with me...

I can hear you snickering. I know what you're thinking... I haven't blogged in a while... standby for the major blogfest, etc. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, the Chick-Fil-A opens, and I suddenly have no time to blog! Oy, with the poodles already!

I DO have lots to share with you. Gretchen and I had a really unfortunate shopping trip the other day.  Is there NOTHING worth buying out there? Seriously. Pics coming soon. You HAVE to see this.

Saturday, my small group threw me a going away party at Dawn's pool. It was so amazing. I was humbled to know that people would give up their Saturday (Saturdays are precious, they only come once a week) to say goodbye to me. I was so touched. Thank you all. I wish I had pictures of that, but I was too busy enjoying the day that unfortunately, my camera spent all afternoon in my bag. I'll have to stalk Patti for that one picture...

I need to share with you what God is teaching me these days as well. It's a beautiful time for me. I'm on the cusp. Cusp? Is that a word? I was looking for something like "edge" but not edge, you know?

Seriously, sorry for the tease, but it's 9:35 and I have to ingest lots of local news before I go to work tonight.

Perhaps the blogfest will commence tomorrow?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Today is the day!

My Chick-Fil-A opened today!

Woo hoo!

Some people are clearly more die-hard than I am... they spent 24 hours in the parking lot, in TENTS to get free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches for a year.

THAT'S hardcore.

I hope I can get a biscuit on my way home.......

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Weekend Update

Consider yourself especially lucky to be reading this right now.  You're lucky you're reading this. You're lucky it's here at all. I almost lost a finger tonight.  So, I went to the grocery store, where the honeydew melon was looking especially good in all of its summer glory. I bought one. That was almost the last 5 dollars I spent with my left middle finger still attached.  Tonight, I was cutting it up and I seriously sliced part of my finger off.  See? Healthy eating kills!  It was disgusting. Would NOT stop bleeding for like 15 minutes! I was doing all of the right stuff. Applying pressure. Raised my hand above my head, all of the right things.  So, I saved my finger's life. Now you're reading this. I guess I can still type, which is good because I was kind of worried about that. The backspace button is getting even more business than usual, but that's just fine.

Another reason you're lucky you're reading this?  Yesterday afternoon, I was enjoying a nice afternoon at the Boyce Park Wave Pool.  It's a great place, if you can block out all of the unattended toddlers nearly drowning.  I took my ipod, a couple of good mags. (I tried to smuggle a salad in, but I didn't end up eating it) Anyway, you get the picture:Img_3033_2 Img_3036

Well, get this?! Apparently someone smuggled in A GUN, likely the same way I smuggled in the salad - but still, I didn't eat it! Okay, so now I'm thinking -- they really should check your bags! Seriously. I missed the action by only about 20 minutes. Scary!!

Also this weekend, I sold more stuff on Craigslist. I'm really getting into this! I'm trying not to get carried away! But I already raised enough money to get my new bedding set! I don't waste any time once I know what I want - anyone who knows me, knows that!

Img_2981 Before.


After.  :)

Img_1929Oh, Friday, while I was sleeping (for only about 20 minutes) Brokaw ATE one of my favorite possessions of all. One of my brown flip flops. Yeah! And just last week I wore them to work EVERY NIGHT, managing to dress the flops up just enough for work. I was thinking when I was standing Friday, Gosh, I love these shoes - It doesn't even feel like I'm wearing shoes AT ALL. I already bought replacements (the new ones are in the pool pic) but they're just NOT THE SAME. sigh.

I hated him Friday and Saturday, but by yesterday we were making up, and tonight we're friends again. I took him to the dog park and there was only one other person there, I'm guessing because it was like 91 degrees and you're really not supposed to take your dog to the dog park when there's a heat advisory. Oh well, it was my favorite dog park person who was there. It's this guy who I swear looks just like Ernest Hemingway!! His dog is named Holly.  He's a history professor at Pitt. I always enjoy talking to him. He's interesting and knows all kinds of cool local history. I can't decide if I enjoy hearing the history more, or just pretending that I'm having a conversation with Hemingway in the park! Ha ha!Ernest

Well... I better get ready for work. This morning our lead story was about the Pennsylvania government shutting down because they can't agree on a budget. So ridiculous! I wish I could "shut down" when I have a snafu in my budget! And get this: so, only "essential" things are in operation, okay? Apparently LIQUOR STORES and LOTTERY DRAWINGS are "essential" and things like drivers license centers and the Dept. of Education are NOT !?!?! This place is SO backwards, I'm telling you!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I LOVE Craigslist!

I am sitting on the floor right now. And that's okay. I sold some furniture on Craigslist. In 24 hours, the ad was posted, answered, people came and picked the stuff up, and I have money in my pocket! This is fun! I could get used to the idea of people coming to my house and giving me cash, hauling away my old junk! Woo hoo!!

Last night, I actually left on time for work, which means I have time to go to Dunkin Donuts - and still get to work 15 minutes late. :) I love the girls at DD because when they hand me my blueberry muffin and vanilla latte they say "Have a good day!" Like they KNOW it's 11pm and MY DAY is just beginning. I like that. They get me.

Why, on the first day of July sweeps, I ask, must I work - when Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, Chris Cuomo, Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer and Brian Williams have off? I say -- if the A TEAM can get a day off, throw a sister a bone!

Have a good Friday everyone. I am so loving Amy Winehouse right now. Download it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Granny!

Julytrip_034In my family, July 4th not only marks Independence Day, but it's also Granny Nora's birthday! This is an amazing woman, let me tell you!  I love her so much and want to be like her in so many ways.  Happy Birthday Granny Nora!  I wish so badly that I could be home in VA to celebrate. :(

Happy July 4th!

How cool is it that what happened on this day is so monumental - we literally say to each other - "Happy July 4th." Everyone knows the day. I can only think of one other day that is synonymous with the events of that day.  But we won't bring that up.  It's not a happy day, like July 4th was. 

You can probably recite the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, but have you ever noticed how it ends? I wiki'd it, check it out:

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Pretty cool, eh?


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I'm doing pretty good with my quest to get rid of much of what I own.  I actually found an apartment with a separate bedroom that's in my price range, which means I won't have to roll out of bed - into the kitchen... which would have just been tragic in so many ways.

Last night I took some CDs to CD Warehouse and got $38.00!! I'll definitely be going back with more CDs and DVDs - who needs this stuff?  The books, oh, the books. Well, I cleaned them out. I downsized.  I don't need to keep all of them.  So, I'll take the ones I'm willing to part with to Half Price Books - probably over the weekend.  I think I may have sold my elliptical trainer to one of my co-workers.  So, I'm making progress, and that's good.

Much of the work will have to wait until the weekend, however.  I just can't be in the garage organizing the garage sale stuff during the week, because the dust gets all stirred up and it makes me sneeze hundreds of times. And well, that's just not practical.  For example, a couple of hours ago, I accidentally took a couple of "nighttime" Tylenol Allergy & Sinus pills.  Now, I'm just praying that my coffee can penetrate the fog in about an hour. Ugh.

Oh, here's what I hope to buy when all of this crazy selling is over... it's rare that I do a total re-do of my bedroom (it's been about 5 years) but I think I'm ready:


P.S. My neighbors are all apparently amateur fireworks setter-offers. Poor Brokaw.  He keeps burrowing under the covers... then he runs a couple of laps around the house, then it's back under the covers.  Poor puggle. Stop the insanity, people!!Img_1307