Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Year Gone......

I honestly don't know what happened to 2011.

And, seeing as I have a lot of memories to record from 2011....... I'm not completely saying goodbye. I'll be revisiting the last quarter of it for a bit longer as I recap.

Regardless, another year is over.

As I was going through my blog from this year, I realized a couple things....... 1) I posted a lot less this year than in 2010 and 2) 2011 was a lot less dramatic that 2010.

I'm ok with 2, but not so much 1.

This year has been pretty good. Slightly uneventful (with the exception of a few points), but fun.

I wanted to read 12 books this year. I know I read over 12 books, but I also know they weren't all the books I originally planned to read.

I know I wanted to free myself from some emotional ties with the male species. I have in a lot of ways and not in others. If you pay attention to me on Twitter, at all, you know that just a couple days ago, I was pissed at a certain FD. I still am ticked, but more resigned to trying to remember what I knew this time last year. Things with TG are in a good place.

I lost 20lbs in 2011. That's a good thing. I started WW and (with the exception of the holidays) have done well with it. Reading as many blogs as I do, 20 lbs doesn't seem like a lot. Then, I remember that I've been consistently losing weight for six years, now. I've lost just over 100 lbs. It's slow, but it's loss. I've had to remind myself that my body is soooooo used to losing weight that I probably won't have huge losses from week to week or month to month.

Something that I never said or posted was that I wanted to tithe the entire year. And, I did it!! I am not good at giving up money. I stress a lot about money, so the idea of just handing over 10% of what I earn has the potential to send me into a panic. But, I did it and plan on doing it in 2012, too. It's what God calls me to do, so I'll do it.

2011 was a year of just putting my nose down and doing it. I didn't have a ton of lofty goals. Any goals I had were more practical.

It's been good knowing you, 2011.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!

Wishing you an amazing day, filled with family, love, and lots of laughter!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fun With Our Phones Monday

I have a few pictures in my phone that I thought I'd dump on this ole blog!

A coworker that likes to hunt made this chili and brought it into work. You can see from the little sign I made how I felt about it, lol.........

Every year, my church puts on this HUGE community event for Christmas. They have a walk-through with all these lights and characters and then they have a walk through Bethlehem. It's two weekends long and over 30,000 people come through each year. 

Buddy the Elf......... This guy is SPOT. ON.

Lydia loves the event. So much, in fact, that she was brought 5 out of the 6 nights just because it keeps her entertained for so long, lol. She makes personal friends with all the characters, lol.

Each year, I choreograph a scene. This year was Alvin & The Chipmunks. The Chipettes were dancers and did these cute little numbers. The last night, ALL the Chipettes on duty (they had shifts of three) got on stage with their admirers for a Grand Finale!

Gratuitous Lydia Picture.......... Heaven help my blog when I actually have kids of my OWN.

On a totally different note........ This was an actual shirt that was walking through the mall on Saturday. I *had* to take a picture because I didn't think anyone would believe me.

Yes, that is, in fact, a woman wearing it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Card 2011 (well, one of them, anyway)

 So many of my favorite Bloggers have been sharing their Christmas Cards this morning! It's been so fun to see that I had to join in :)

You can hop on the Christmas Card Carousel, too!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. When it comes to Christmas Cards, I'm a bit indecisive. There are way too many cards to choose from and too many personalities to whom I'm sending cards. So, I tend to choose 2 or 3 cards, each year (hint.... the Shutterfly promotion that gives us lucky Bloggers 25 free cards does allow you do do this. It doesn't have to be 25 of the same card). Then, because I'm single with no kids or pets, I tend to make individual cards for people with whom I have a picture during that calendar year. 

Anywho........ Here's one of the cards I'll be sending out this year! (Nope, still haven't sent them out).......

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ornament Exchange Party

All-American Jess

Hello All!

Sorry for my horrid delay in posting an Ornament Exchange reveal. At first, I just became super busy. Now, I'm having Linky problems.


If you would like to share your ornaments, please leave the link to your post in my comments and I'll add them in my post. It's kind of the ghetto way of linking, but it will work.

Also........I promised that I would pick one participant by random draw to receive an ornament from me. That person is........


Congrats, Breanna! Email me your address and your ornament will be on its way!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Florida Is Like A Man

It's fickle and can't make up it's mind on what it wants.

Is it summer and 85 degrees?

Is it winter and 39 degrees?

Oh, it's both in less than 18 hours?


If it would just decide what it is for more than five minutes, I could plan/dress accordingly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Plank

I'm a day late posting the ornament swap linky, I know. I'll get it up.

This past week has been discombobulated. Great in some ways. Rough in others. And, as is required during this time of year, extremely busy.

I've been wrangling a post in my head for a couple days now. It's weird how that happens, isn't it?
Anyway, this past weekend was Weekend #1 of a big Christmas event we do at my church. It's actually pretty awesome and I love being a part of it. I do choreography for one scene each year and I'm so proud of "my girls." They are doing such a great job, this year. Because of my work schedule and helping with Youth Group, I didn't have time to volunteer to be an Elf this year (which is why I used an elf picture from last year in my header).

Friday and Saturday nights were spent helping with the event. Sunday was Youth Group. We did what is called "The Plank."

The Youth Pastor has this big piece of wood that he drops on the ground. It creates this loud, loud BOOM. From that point on, no one speaks unless they are on The Plank. The lights are dim, there is soft music playing, and there's a microphone, just waiting.

Sometimes, there is a question posed. Sometimes, it's just an open mic. Sunday, the question was, "If I could have the one thing I desire most, it would be......"

Again, no one speaks unless they are on The Plank. What is said on The Plank, stays on The Plank. There is no judgement. No ridicule. No wrong feelings or opinions.

It was an intense hour, let me tell you.

Because when you ask a room full of high schoolers what they desire most, their answers will floor you. They'll break your heart. They will bring you to your knees with just how real and UN-materialistic they can be. 

The Plank was open to leaders, too. Which is a fairly scary thing. Because, it can be difficult to admit to a room full of your peers AND the people you're supposed to be leading just how weak you really are.

I won't share what others said, but I will share what I said (paraphrased)..........

I was raised in a Christian home, a Christian school, and a Church. None of it was perfect, but I've spent my whole life being led in a direction. And, I've spent my whole life doing what I was taught was right. Society has a plan for the majority of us....... we go to high school, we graduate, we go to college, we graduate, we go out on our own, we fall in love, we get married, we have kids, and we live to raise them to follow that same life pattern. So, my whole life, I've tried to live that way. I do the things I'm supposed to do and I don't do the things I'm not supposed to do. I've gotten to the point where I have this image of what I think other people think of me and I try to uphold it. But, I spend a lot of my time wondering if I am where I'm supposed to be. I pray that I'm doing what God has planned for me.... and if I'm not, that He'll show me what I AM supposed to be doing. Because certain things AREN'T happening and I just wonder if it's because I'm doing something wrong. So, if I could have the one thing I most desire it would be the peace and the knowledge that I'm where God wants me to be.

Afterwards, I had a girl from my small group approach me. This girl is the image of the daughter we all want. She's sweet, she's caring, she's involved........ she's an absolute doll. And, she asked if we could talk at some point. Because, she wasn't ready to talk right then, but she knew she needed to sit down and talk with me. That everything I said up there rang true for her and that she thinks she's probably a lot like me.

I'll say this...... hearing from this little girl that I admire so much that she thinks she's like me was altogether humbling, flattering, and terrifying.

It is strange to be at war with yourself (which is where I'm at, right now).
So, I have a question for you. I'd love to hear your answers, but understand if you don't want to share......... If you could have your heart's desire, what would it be?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas.....

..... around this ole blog o' mine.

It's not much, but I designed it myself.

See, I'm the type of person that can see someone do something creative and want to do it myself. So, I'll spend hours and HOURS trying to figure it out.

I love my previous design by Krystyn of Krizzy Designs that I've had for about two years now and will probably go back to it. However, I wanted something fun and Christmasy and my own. And, well, free.

So, I labored and researched and tested until I got this :)

A couple of thanks to some peeps/sites that either gave me info I needed, offered moral support, or answered a specific question......

Monday, November 28, 2011

Only in Social Networking

Have you ever gone to a blog or FB profile that you haven't checked out in a while, only to be BLOWN AWAY?!?!?!?!

For instance.............

- Recently, I found out that a current FB friend (and former high school classmate) is in a relationship (as in living with and raising their child) with a man 39 years her senior. *cuemindblown*

- Just today, I found out that a couple that my parents are friends with at church have separated. I mean, their children and my brother grew up together. She and I frequently end up on neighboring treadmills. How did I not know that her husband had up and moved to another state?! *cuemindblown*

- Recently, a blog that I haven't checked out in a while showed up in my Reader. While reading through the first page of posts, I came across a sentence that had my doing a double-take. Then, I read closer. Then, I read the previous three months of posts to figure out what I'd missed. *cuemindblown*

Am I the only one that is sometimes floored by these little social networking revelations?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fill in the Blank: Black Friday

Happy Black Friday!!!! You can join in over at The Little Things We Do!

1. Waking up at the break of dawn to go shopping is my idea of a total tradition! And, if you're waiting until dawn, you're too late. I will say this I MUCH preferred this year.... all my typical stores opened up at 10pm or 12am. I was in bed and asleep by 2:30am. I more a night owl and early bird, so it worked perfectly. Then, later in the day, I got up and went to a few secondary stores.

2. If I were to go shopping today I would have a plan. Make that, I *did* have a plan. My friend and I were on a mission and we accomplished it in record time, lol. Any further shopping that may occur today or this weekend will be brainstorming.

3. The best thing I ate yesterday was the turkey, the mac and cheese, and the Apple Sage Sausage stuffing.

4. Something I've been learning lately is it's sometimes better to be candid. Lately, I've had zero patience and have been speaking my mind more often. Respectfully, but firmly. It's sometimes stressful for me to be that way, but I seem to get more accomplished.

5. I cannot start my day without making my bed and taking a shower.

6. My nighttime attire consists of a sports bra (yep), a tshirt, and pajama pants/shorts.

7. I am looking forward to really gearing up for Christmas. It *is* the most wonderful time of the year!! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Ornament Exchangers..... Did you mail out your ornaments, yet? No? Well, here's a reminder!!

I'll post a linky on the 5th, so you still have time!


I wish I was better at Twitter.

I have an account, but am so sporadic with it. Ya'll seem to have so much fun on there everyday.


I'm taking some comp time (yesterday and today) and have so enjoyed doing nothing.

I've been watching "TODAY" and their doing their St Jude - Thanks & Giving Kick-Off. It makes me wish I were at St Jude NOW. I can't wait for seminar.


I have to admit. There will be two things on my Fall Bucket List that won't be crossed off. They just won't.

Oh well. 11 out of 13 isn't bad.


Boys are irritating me, right now.

I wish they'd just make up their minds.

Does anyone know of a nice, single male that doesn't have problems making decisions? If so, please send him my way.



I haven't worked out in two weeks.

Which makes my planned power workout for today a bit scary.

The amazing part is that I haven't gained anything in this two weeks.


You may need to file the above under "Spoke Too Soon" after tomorrow.


I puffy glittery heart the Target Lady. Her commercials make me laugh every.single.time.

And, after the Target Two-Day Sale is over, I miss her. It's true. Pathetic, but true.

Monday, November 21, 2011

If I Won The Lottery....

..... the first thing I'd do would be to hire a hairstylist to come fix my hair every morning.

I would kill to be able to do my hair this pretty, by myself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Hi, friends!!!

I have missed you!!

The past 5-6 days have been some of the most intense and rewarding days of my career. The high (and utter exhaustion) I'm feeling right now is akin to Radiothon.

This is one of those times that I can't be really specific, but wish I could. Let's just say that a project that began with a meeting on August 19th has been completed. It took three months of preparation, countless hours of crossing t's and dotting i's, and five days of complete stress, but it's done.

I've made friends with some of the greatest people (and listeners) you could imagine.

No joke, my event ended with ME (yes, me) receiving a standing ovation. I'm still stunned and humbled.

Now? I sleep.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"A" is for Applesauce

Ever wonder what approximately 2500 individual containers of applesauce looks like?

Well, now you know.

This afternoon we did a drive to collect applesauce for a local charity that feeds homeless children. The kids don't have anything to eat from the time they leave school on Friday until they get back to school on Monday. So, the organization puts together little survival kits of food that allows them to get healthy, ready-to-eat food over the weekend.

We ended up with roughly 2500 individual containers.

Which was WAY more than we were expecting.

Since we weren't expecting that much, I told the organziation they could pick it up on Monday. Which meant it had to go from the drive location to the station.

In my car.

Little known fact: Ford Escapes can hold a lot of applesauce.

Then, said applesauce had to be taken into the conference room.

Thankfully, I had a coworker willing to help.....

The ironic part?

I don't even eat applesauce.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Liking 'Large'

This past weekend, I went to Disney. While I was in the Orlando area, I stopped by some outlets in search of warm clothes. A couple years ago, we had a lengthy cold snap and I bought some sweaters, etc. That got me through last year, even though they were a little roomy. However, a couple of cool days already showed me that they would NOT work this winter.

As I don't like spending a lot of money on clothes, period, I *really* don't like spending a lot of money on clothes that I only need about 2 months (if that) out of the year AND that I have no intention on fitting into next year (30 lbs until my goal weight).

Hence, outlets.

I hit up my favorite bargain clothing store.... Old Navy. The lady in the dressing room was amazing. She gave me her completely honest opinion on everything I tried on. My favorite line?

"Honey, all of these clothes are too big on you. What size are you bringing in here?"


"Ha! No, let me go get you smaller sizes."

See, my whole life....... well, since I have been old enough to pick out my own clothes and take them into a dressing room..... I've been XL or XXL. At my heaviest, I was a size 26 going on 28 (this is the first time I've ever said that publicly, lol....... still not sure I'll ever be comfortable saying my actual weight).

When I walked out of the store, I walked out with four Large long-sleeved shirts, one Large long-sleeved sweater, and two pairs of size 14 jeans. Now, depending on the store or the make of the clothing item, I still may need an XL or a 16. However, that's becoming less and less. The dressing room attendant pointed out that I *think* I need the larger size...... when I really don't.

I know, to a lot of people, the thought of wearing a Large or a size 14 is appalling. I mean, it's still chubby and by its own name, Large. However, my 5'7 1/2" big-boned frame has NEVER been this small. It was an awesome feeling to walk out of that store carrying clothes smaller than I've ever worn.

Like I said earlier, I still have about 30 pounds to go. I don't know what size I'll be at that point.... I am more concerned with being a healthy weight, BMI, etc.

Walking out of that store, though? Was definitely a nod to how far I've come.........

February 2005 (pretty much the heaviest).......

July 2005 (I'd just started losing weight)......

June 2011......

August 2011.........

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ornament Exchange: Emails Sent!!

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know that partner emails have been sent. If you didn't receive yours, let me know!

Laura (Musings of an Orange Sheep), email me, please. My computer is being stupid, so I can't get a hold of you, lol.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Stealing

1. Have you ever licked the back of a CD to try to get it to work?

No. I've done the whole "breathe on it and rub it to get it to work."

2. What’s the largest age difference between yourself and someone you’ve dated?


"The Guy" is 7 years older than me. "Fun Distraction" is 16 years older.

Apparently, I am attracted to older men who don't like to commit. Alas, my longstanding celebrity crush on George Clooney.

3. Ever been in a car wreck?

Yes and no. I've never been in a wreck with another car on the road.

However, one time I got into my car and it started rolling down our rather steep driveway. The emergency brake didn't work and I ended up in our neighbor's front porch.

4. Were you popular in high school?


5. Have you ever been on a blind date?


6. Are looks important?

They shouldn't be, but if everyone is honest, then yes. They do matter, to some degree.

7. Do you have any friends that you’ve known for 10 years or more?

Yes :) I have several dear, dear friends that I've known most of my life.

8. By what age would you like to be married?

In my earlier plans, I'd be married by now. But, you know the saying, "We plan. God laughs."

So, I'd like to be on my way to married by 30/31.

9. Does the number of people a person’s slept with affect your view of them?


10. Have you ever made a mistake?

Haven't we all?

11. Are you a good tipper?

I usually tip 20%.

12. What’s the most you have spent for a haircut?

For cut/style, around $40-$50. When I get highlights (every 6 months), it runs around $90-$110.

13. Have you ever had a crush on a teacher?


14. Have you ever peed in public?

In a public restroom, yes. Just peeing? No.

15. What song do you want played at your funeral?

I have no idea.

16. Would you tell your parents if you were gay?

Yes, I would. They'd still love me.

17. What would your last meal be before getting executed?

I hate the thought of this question. To answer, it would be Thanksgiving dinner.

18. Beatles or Stones?


19. If you had to pick one person on earth to die, who would it be?

I refuse to answer that.

20. Beer, wine or hard liquor?

Occasionally, a glass of wine.

21. Do you have any phobias?

Yes, swinging bridges. And, rats.

22. What are your plans for the future?

Hopefully, get married and have kids.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

1) HOW is it November?!?!?!?! How?

2) I'm going to Disney this weekend. It's a good thing, too, since it will be my one and only chance to hit up the Food and Wine Fest :(

3) I *heart* November Sweeps. However, I'm so far behind in my TV watching that I probably will watch November Sweeps during January.

4) Speaking of TV. There are a few new shows that I'm loving right now.........

5) My Ornament Exchange entry ends tomorrow. Join, people!

6) From Saturday, 11/12 through Friday, 11/18, I am scheduled to work 70 hours. I just needed to put that in writing.

7) I've achieved a couple of work goals that I set for myself when I landed the job. For that, I'm super proud of myself.

8) My mom rocks. She's volunteering her time to help me at work, just because she knows how overwhelmed I am.

9) This was Youth Group on Sunday.........

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Bucket List: Savannah, GA

*** Don't forget to join my Ornament Exchange ***

One of the things I wanted to do this Fall was go to Savannah. About a year and a half ago, some coworkers and I decided we needed to take a Girls' Trip to the city. Then, this summer, M and I decided if we were ever to go, we just needed to go, lol.

On October 7th, we took off of work early and headed north. We had the best chats on the way up! You never know how you really gel with someone until you're stuck in a car with them for a long period of time, but we got along like gangbusters, lol.

After a good night's sleep we got up on Saturday to explore Downtown Savannah. Pretty much right away, we decided to take a trolley tour. Some people hate them, but I love trolley tours. I think it's a great way to get a feel of your surroundings while finding out a lot about the city. I took a lot of pictures from the trolley. I just loved the architecture.....

Leopold's is apparently a famous ice cream shop......

'The Waving Girl'......

After we finished the tour, we walked around the City Market. Then, we headed down to River Street. And by down, I mean DOWN.......

Those are steep iron steps!

M and I

The thing I loved most about River Street was the fun signs, lol......

On our way back to the car, we stopped by Paula Deen's restaurant, Lady & Sons, to see what chances we had to get in. Much to our surprise, they had a reservation for 9:15pm! We went back to the hotel to rest and freshen up. Then, it was time to pig out!!

We stuffed ourselves and headed back to bed. The next morning, it was time to go home :(

We really had a wonderful time and, even though it was a short jaunt, I loved getting to explore a city I'd never been. Also, we realized that we didn't talk about work the whole weekend! That was amazing in and of itself, lol.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

It is rare for me to post more than once in a day, but I just had to share. Some of my coworkers decided to have fun with the day...............

Hope you have a GREAT day :)