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Friday, November 27, 2009

♪♫ ♫♪♪♫ ♫♪♪♫ ♫♪

I love Christmas music.

It is just wonderful. And merry. And jolly.

And, well, any other adjective that has a positive connotation for the holiday season.

Now, Christmas CD's can be a little tricky if you aren't careful. For example, one Christmas my parents picked up a 2 CD pack of "elegant Christmas music." Well, when we put it in the CD player while decorating the Christmas tree, you can imagine our surprise and chagrin when we discovered that the CD was really "elegant disco styled Christmas music."

Ta-cky.

And so, in the spirit of the season, I am going to "gift," you a list of some of my favorite Christmas CD's.

Michael Buble's "Let it Snow!"

WOW Christmas

Kenny G's "Faith"

Chris Rice's "The Living Room Sessions"

Josh Groban's "Noel"

Any of Mannheim Steamroller's christmas CD's

Mariah Carey's "Merry Christmas" (trust me, it's great!)

Chris Tomlin's "Glory in the Highest" (this is going to be my new CD for the season!)

Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song"


Happy Christmas musicing!

Do you have any favorite Christmas CD's that are good?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Not Cool

So, usually, I'm not all "doom and gloom," whenever anything happens to my clothes. Usually.

Today however, when I was sitting on the couch and I watched my in-laws' 3 year old dachshund run into the {off limits} office and come back out with a mischievous look for the second time, I knew something was definitely not right.

Then, before I could stand up, my husband walked by the office door and froze (I couldn't see into the office, mind you.)

He yelled and moved quickly, and within seconds, he came back out holding one of my brand new ugg boots.

I sprang into action and grabbed the boot from him before running back to our room.

I couldn't look at it!

I got back safely into the room as my eyes were welling up and finally worked up the courage to take a peek at the damage.

Alas, there was only a few slobber marks on the outside......but I certainly felt my heart start to race on that one!

(in hindsight, this isn't a very Thanksgivingy post, and since it is only 38 minutes until it officially Thanksgiving, let me just make a little amendment to this post. I am hereby thankful that my brand new Ugg boot, that I had waited so long for, was not obliterated by an 8 pound dachshund.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let Me Count the Ways...

Let Me Count the Ways That I'm thankful!

(I know, I know, poor Elizabeth Barrett Browning would be rolling in her grave if she heard me using that phrase as such....but, alas, she's not alive, so oh well!)

I decided to start a new family tradition.

Well, Ian doesn't know it yet, but we are starting one.

Every year, we will list things we are thankful for, how every many years old you are that year. So, for example, I'm 22 this Thanksgiving, so I need to come up with 22 things!

I think this will be a great tradition to carry on when we have children, because it is something even young children can do!

So, without further delay, my Thankfulness List for 2009....

1. For my sweet, wonderful, loving Husband. He spends so much time taking care of me and making sure I'm alright!

2. My sister. For giving me someone we can laugh, cry, scream, or smile with and in the end it will all be alright.

3. My parents. They are wonderful. Seriously. Wonderful.

4. For a roof over our heads and a bed to sleep in. We may have been out of job and "homeless," now for almost 8 months, but our families have taken care of us!

5. For my in laws. I may not always understand how they communicate or why they do things certain ways, but they love me and I love them! I'm so glad I don't have an "everybody loves raymond," type of situation.

6. For my friends! They really are the best. They have really stuck with me despite my moving all around (and the future moving around!)

7. For my Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. I am so glad that God gave me extended family that tries so hard to stay involved!

8.For blogging....it has been such an outlet for me over this stressful year or so. I can't wait to see where I go with it and what gets recorded!

9. For my camera. Though I really have a love/hate relationship with it right now, I know that it is a good camera and that it could really last me a long time if necessary!

10. For the Florida Gators. They make me happy. Even if they weren't doing so great (and I really don't think this year is as good as last year,) they are still my team and provide me with great joy.

11. For books. Um, do I really have to explain?

12. For the ability to travel. I can't imagine how different my life would be if I lived even a hundred years earlier!

13. For Chocolate. Oh how I love thee. I have missed you greatly since living in my {health nut} in laws home!

14. For our church family. We have quite a few of them now, since we have been moving around, but our real home church makes me feel like I just stepped into a giant hug when I come home!

15. For a job. Though we aren't on payroll yet (one more month!) we do have a job and it is such an answer to prayer!

16. For our freedom. I don't think about this often enough. And I know I'm not thankful for it as much as I should be!

17. For prayer, because it is what brings me peace in stressful situations and joy in the day to day breathings of life.

18. For coffee. I am really getting into coffee lately. I'm not really a coffee snob either...I can even go for the instant stuff!

19. For my softie. A lady gave us a blanket for a wedding present and for whatever reason it has become a great source of sleeping comfort to me. Maybe because we had to pack up all of our other sheets and blankets so this is the only constant. But seriously, I'm like a 2 year old with a blankie with it...I can just pass right out for the night if I have it on me!

20. For Icy Hot. I pulled a muscle in my neck on Sunday and it is all bruised and swollen and uncomfortable right now.

21. For children. Like, in general. haha. I love kids so much and they have brought me so much joy!

22. For my intelligence. I know this one is especially strange, but I am so glad that God created me like He did! I can't imagine what I would be like if I wasn't into learning, reading, and growing!

So, that's it for now. I skipped into the other room and let Ian know we have a new tradition. I told him he better get writing! Maybe I'll post his....we'll see!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Right Now..

Right Now, I am listening {from the other room} to my mother in law squeeling in horror at the actions of the pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 movie. She keeps yelling "why are they doing that?"

Right Now, I have finished 1 out of 3 text book chapters that I want to finish tonight, and have rewarded myself with a chance to blog.

Right Now, I am tired from a day full of friends, laughter, and conversation.\

Right Now, I am full from a {mostly} good dinner. My father in law decided to make his own marinade with a red wine, honey, molasses, and coke. Not so great. Trust me.

Right Now, my mother in law called me out in the family room to go over the Thanksgiving Day menu. Apparently she's rescinded her request for me to make the stuffing. I'm majorly bummed.

Right Now, I'm looking forward to 9:30 tonight, when I can watch The Big Bang Theory.

Right Now, I really want to skip over my homework and go play some Pixel Junk Monsters on my hubby's PS3. Does that make me a dork? Probably.

Right Now, I'm going to post this and read another chapter.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blogging Book Goal-Book #39

For security reasons, I'm not really going to blog about this book. It's called the M____ Call, and is all about what we will be doing with The Company. Super great book if anyone is interested in learning about the process!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Distractions

Usually, distractions are my enemies.

But, today, they are my friend.

I love distractions today.

But, tomorrow, today's distractions will have become my enemies.

Isn't that they way it usually works?

***

Must. Get. Schoolwork. Done.

Go away distractions, BOO!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blogging Book Goal- Book #38

Alright, this post has been back logged for quite awhile, and since I will be doing a ton of reading over the next few weeks, I decided to go ahead and back post it to a date where I had no posts.

If that even made a lick of sense.

For my 38th book of this crazy reading adventure, I read the second book of Alexander McCall Smith's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," aptly named Tears of The Giraffe.

Now, I don't really remember too much about this book, other than I really enjoyed it. It followed the same sort of layout as the last one, with Precious, the main character, attempting to smartly solve many mysteries that she is put in charge of solving.

The difference though, was that this one had a romantic side to it, with Precious being courted and proposed to by a close friend. I really enjoyed the comedy and dialogue in this book, not to mention the mysteries!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who Says Whining Doesn't Pay?

Apparently my whining on here paid off.

I'd been sobbing, whining, and complaining about my impending frozen footsies with a "northern," winter on our near future. I just couldn't figure out how to wear socks with ballet flats without looking completely ridiculous, or, you know, European.

(now, come on. You know those people with sandals and socks at Disney are all mostly European, let's not fool ourselves!)

Tonight, at girls' night, my best friends presented me with a pair of Uggs!

My very own!

It's really a funny story though. The girls contacted my husband in secret, letting them know that they wanted to do this for me. Ian knew my size (really a shocker actually,) and what color I wanted (chocolate brown please,) so they were good to go. I guess they were going to wait until Christmas, but when I started showing signs of premature frostbite, they decided to gift it to me a little early.

Maybe just to shut me up.

hmmmm.

Well, either way! I now (as in sitting in my pj's, blogging,) am wearing my beautiful, new, most expensive pair of shoes I've ever owned.

And I love them.

AND, I love THEM (as in my friends.)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hacker

I just spent the last two hours *hacking* into my father in law's f@cebook account.

*not really hacking, I suppose, since he gave me permission, his sign on, and his password, but I'll use semantics to make me sound cooler.*

You see, my poor DIL* went a little f@cebook tagging crazy. I mean, he was tagging himself in everything! A picture of a dog, a landscape, my bridal portrait (yeah, that one really got me riled up for some reason.)

So I offered to clean up all of his F@cebook photos and to give him a few lessons on tagging and picture rights.

It really got me thinking about how particular we are about unspoken rules online. For example, if someone posts a whole bunch of pictures, it's really not polite to save them to your computer, then upload them as your own.

So unpolite, that it's consider plagiarism, but I won't mention that to my DIL.

Also, profile pictures aren't really supposed to be a collection of pictures you love, they are supposed to, well, you know, profile YOU!

Hopefully the "lessons," go smoothly tomorrow and I can teach with love and grace to the technologically unsavy.

We'll see!

* Dad-in-law

Not Really Sure Where to Start

But, I'll try to remember.

This past week and a half have been absolutely insane.

There has been laughter and tears, smiles and frustrations, and mixed in with a ton of family time.

We flew in from Louisiana on Wednesday, and set out for our "Great Southern Trek '09," the next morning.

I'm going to be back dating a few posts so that I can fulfill my blogging every day in November goal, because I'm particular like that.

Now that we are "home," in our hometown of Oviedo, FL, we have plans of doing nothing for a day or two before starting our visiting with family and friends, and before we buckle down to finish up our semester of classes strong.

We are so excited that we are officially hired by The Company now, and are looking forward to our training that starts in January. We made some great friends in those few short days in Louisiana and we really want to get to know them better!

We'll also be working on really getting our crate ready to ship overseas. We have a few items we want to add to it, like area rugs, this one piece of furniture from Ikea, and some extra linens and such. We have to go through and do a test run in our storage unit to make sure it will all fit, and that will be hard physical labor for a day or so.

Also, in exciting news, one of my favorite photographers did a session with Ian and I yesterday, and I am so ecstatic to see the end results! I'll link you to her as soon as I get permission!

Bear with me as I get my feet back on the ground! I haven't gotten to read anyone's blog for almost 2 weeks and I am impossibly behind!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the Road Again...

Ian and I got off to a late start today.

We had some, um, issues.

Family issues.

Bleh.

And ended up in a crying, frustrated mess.

We finally resolved to just hit the road, even though we didn't really have a conclusion on the issue (not be our lack of doing, mind you.)

So we left Nashville around 2 and started the long 7+ hour drive to Lynchburg, Virginia, to see our friends John and Onastazia. We Hung out for a little bit, before absolutely crashing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogging Book Goal- Book #37

This book has a funny story behind the whole "me reading it," part.

I had remembered my sister talking about woman who was a detective mystery series, so while at the local used book shop, I spotted Alexander McCall Smith's "The No. 1 ladies' Detective Agency," series, which I remembered as being best sellers when I worked at the book store.

So, naturally, I texted my sister to make sure she definitely approved of the series, then picked up the first 3 for about 4 dollars a piece!

I devoured this book. Seriously. It was just a very interesting, easy read. The characters were well developed and the plot line was intriguing.

So, I called my sister up and thanked her for recommending the series. She was all "Yeah, I love James Patterson." and I was like "what? No, it's Alexander McCall Smith." and she was like "No way, it's totally James Patterson."

This went on awhile until we were both thoroughly confused.

Finally, I said something along the lines of "Heather! I'm looking athe book! It is NOT James Patterson."

And you heard the dawning revelation. "Um, what series did you say it was? Don't you mean the Women's Murder Club? Because that is the series I read! Sorry!"

Thanks big Sis, for recommending a series you had never read.

Good thing they turned out excellently!

This series is about a woman detective, Precious, in Botswana, who is appealed to by many local citizens to find answers for the problems in their lives. She may not solve high profile cases, bu there is always alot of heart in the cases she takes on. Plus the beautiful scenery and people of Botswana draws you in and keeps you asking for more.

HBO has begun to make the books into a tv series. We don't have HBO, but I can't wait for them to be out on DVD!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Candle to Burn

"I have but one candle to burn in this life, and I'd rather burn it in a land of darkness rather than in a land flooded with light."

-John Keith Falconer

Today is the day! Tonight we will be appointed with The Company, which means we are officially hired. Tonight will be a sweet time of testimony and commitment, please be in prayer.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Notches on My Proverbial Belt

Ian and I were walking through the airport the other day and we began a little contest.

I say "little," contest, because it lasted about 30 seconds and could not ever be repeated.

We decided to see how many airports we had been to.

You see, most of our travel has actually been separate from each other, and though we share five to ten of our airports, we thought it would be really interesting to see who has flown the most.

So, here are the airports that I have flown into:

Orlando, FL

Sanford, FL

Tampa, FL

Miami, FL

Atlanta, GA

Shreveport, LA

Memphis, TN

Nashville, TN

Charlotte, NC

Richmond, VA

Lynchburg, VA

Roanoke, VA

Dulles, WDC, VA

Reagan, WDC, VA

Pittsburg, PA

Philadelphia, PA

Heathrow, London, England

Gatwick, London, England

Amman, Jordan

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Porto Alegre, Brazil

That's 21 airports! I actually think that I might have one or two more in Brazil, but we didn't really get out of the airport there, so I am not really counting it.

And, in case you were wondering, Ian and I tied, despite our differences in lists. Turns out we have both flown to and from just about the same places, it's really a matter of how many times.

And I don't want to play that game, because I'm not sure I could really count that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday, Sunday

We had another wonderful day here at appointment week!

We started off the day by being picked up by a local church and taken back for their service where we were the guest speakers.

I about puked into my hymnal, but I survived.

And, you know, I talked. So that's always a plus.

(I am not a big fan of public speaking. Give me a group of kids and I am a wizard, give me a group of adults, and I am a pile of nerves. Like the "i'm going to pass out," kind of nerves.)

We had lunch with the pastor and his wife after socializing with the people from the church, and we came back to the hotel and got ready for our next meeting.

For our appointment, we had to construct a 100 word testimony for the both of us (which is very very hard,) and since we are going to a high security area, we had to be even more careful to make sure we weren't giving out any information that could cause us trouble.

We wrote our "testa byte," then filled out our I-9, which basically means we are officially employed! Wahoo!

We had a little bit of a break before dinner, than we had another meeting about shipping of our goods overseas and all of our flight baggage allowance.

After the meeting, we hung out with two other couples who are going to FPO (our training in Richmond,) with us, and we are all headed to the same region of the world. One of the couples will also be going to Vancouver with us and is actually headed to the same exact city of us after that! What a blessing that God has placed in our laps!

The wives stood around chatting about what to crate (ship in a cargo container,) what to buy over there, and how to sedate children on a long plane ride (ha!)

The husbands, well, I have no idea what they talked about. But I did hear talk about the local food of where we are going - hummus, falafal, and lots of lamb!

Tomorrow we have to be up for an official breakfast which is at 7:15 (yikes!) and then we have a non stop day until after our dress rehearsal for appointment tomorrow night at 10! Not sure if I will update tomorrow, but I will try to set up a post anyways!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Simple Saturday

Today was the first real day for appointment week and it has proven to be an interesting week already!

We have lots of paperwork to do, packing to think of, and lessons to be learned.

There are people here that have been on the field for decades, been on the field for one rotation, or, like us, are complete newbies to The Company!

We took a walk to Kroger to pick up some fresh fruit, bagels, milk, and chips to snack on during the week.

And we also were in a very confusing meeting about our packing and shipping of goods. Bleh. More clarification will come on that, I hope.

Friday, November 6, 2009

We're Here

And we are hiding in our hotel room.

Not really hiding, just socially exhausted after a day of flying, friendliness, and meeting of some of our fellow Appointees.

That's what happens though when you have been unemployed for 6 months, and have been living in an unfamiliar town for 3 months! We're not really used to having to maintain conversations anymore (isn't that just pathetic?) and we were so beat after hanging out with new work buddies for only an hour or two!

We arrived in Louisiana around 3 and our hotel shuttle took awhile to get us all to the hotel. Our group got picked up around 5, we checked in, then Ian and I walked about a half mile away to a McAlistar's Deli for dinner (yum!)

Then we came back into the hotel and just crashed in front of mindless television (Say Yes to The Dress and, what I refer to as TV Crack, How It's Made, anyone agree?)

And now it's 9:30 and I am heading to bed, no questions asked.

Tomorrow will be a grueling day with a 6 hour long meeting on how to perfect our presentations, which wasn't mandatory, but somehow we got signed up for it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Leaving, On a Jet Plane

Tomorrow morning (Friday,) Ian and I are boarding a plane for Shreveport, Louisiana, for our appointment week!

Appointment week is our official hire date with "The Company," so it's a really exciting time for us.

We'll be in meetings, learning about how our stuff is going to be shipped to the Middle East and about what our two month training (in Virginia,) and our four month training (in Vancouver, Canada,) will look like.

We'll also be meeting the people who we will be spending the first six months of 2010 with.

Please pray for a great time of fellowship and encouragement. We are hoping to make some great friends this weekend, and look forward to building on relationships we already started last spring.

I'll try to post from the hotel, but we'll see if that is possible!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jellies and Such

We started our weekend in Helen, by taking a day trip into Atlanta. My sweet husband, Ian, knew that I had been desiring to seethe Georgia Aquarium since it opened several years ago and he wanted to make a visit to a childhood favorite, The Varsity.

So we made the hour and a half drive down there, ate our wonderful lunch, and enjoyed some people watching before heading to the aquarium.




Let me just tell you, wow, oh, wow! If you are ever in Atlanta, make it a priority to visit the aquarium. It's not too pricey and you can really fill up half a day there, if you are one that can stand still and just be at peace with taking in the beauty of your surroundings. Ian's not like that so much, so we marched our way through all of the exhibits in an hour and a half.

My favorite though, was the jellyfish. WOW, they were just stunning. Plus the staff was decorating for Halloween so there were some special visitors in some of the tanks.



(yes, I take pictures of random people's children. No, I'm not a creeper, I promise. I just love photographing children. I would do it for a profession if I was good enough.)




I love this picture of the daughter and her elderly mother in the tank. It makes me think about how each generation has different priorities and we never seem to make enough time for each other.

A scuba diver was in a tank, so that was neat to see him cleaning up something in it.

And then there is the petting pools, where I bravely touched a couple of rays, and carefully avoided sharks. I'm smart.

Ha. This shirt says "Hairy Otter." Isn't that a riot?

We had a beautiful day there and I look forward to one day taking my children there!

What's your favorite sea creature? Although I loved seeing the jellyfish, they are rather lacking in personality.

Or, you know, a face.

I really loved seeing the seahorses. So intricate, so small, yet so beautiful!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Brief Detour

On our drive back from Helen, Ian and I took a very scenic route from Georgia to Tennessee, and were looking for opportunities to pull over and capture the beautiful scenery.

I would have been happy pulling off to the side of the road, but apparently, when there isn't any shoulder and guard rails, that would be deemed "inappropriate."

Whatev.

So Ian found us a nice, safe, protected scenic overlook which we pulled into, scampered up the path, and took several quick pictures.

Reminded me of Psalm 121....

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


It was a beautiful minute and a half.

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Scavenger Hunt

Jessica, over at Called to Serve, is hosting a photo scavenger hunt this month, with five themes. I was so looking forward to doing this, because it sounded just like a photo class assignment, and I loved photo.

But then, my camera frustration sunk in deeply, and the weekend didn't go quite as planned, so some of the photos that I had planned for were not possible. Not to mention the fact that Ian's grandparents house received not one trick-or-treater!

So, here is my attempt at the scavenger hunt. The results are rather last minute, and I can't wait for next month's topics so I can work on them earlier.

1. Trick or Treat

2. Orange

3. Together

4. Delicious

5. Harvest

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Returned

We're back! Our trip to Helen, Georgia was a great success. We got to do alot of things, but that will be coming soon. Today, I want to share with you about the things we did NOT get to do.

We didn't get to go hiking. The reasons were two fold. One, it rained on one of the days. Two, by the time the rain was gone, our friend Sam had arrived and he did not bring anything but flip flops. I was so sad!

We didn't get to do the corn maze. Because of the above stated reason.

We didn't carve our pumpkins. We had brought them in the car from Tennessee, but by the end of the day on Saturday, rain had moved back in and we didn't want to mess up the inside of Ian's grandparents house.

I tell you all of this so you would understand if I told you I was disappointed.

But I wasn't.

At all.

Which is a really big step for me! I'm such a planner/organizer, that when things don't go as I plan, I have a semi nervous breakdown and face deep DEEP disappointment.

It's been a real struggle to deal with, but this weekend really showed me how much I have grown over the last year or so! Yay!

More on what we DID get to do tomorrow!