Life Update

Due to the fact that I'm working a Farm Show this week in Boone, IA and I woke up at 5:30 am this morning and stood on my feet in a 90 degree tent all day passing out key chains, pens, magnets, and the like for nine hours, i'm too tired for full paragraphs. and pictures. and maybe even full sentences. And because I love a good outline and I love any type of list here's the last few days in bullet points for you.

  • ho-down-western 50th birthday party for our good friend, and pastor Jon Sterns
  • late night discussions with friends over wine and laughter
  • Slept in till 10:30. YAY!
  • Hopped on our bikes and decided to ride to the farmer's market to check out the fruit and veggies. 
  • Realized the farmer's market is very picked over and not really worth it by noon.
  • Met up with Cheryl and Jeremy to head over to the Pfunky Griddle (no, pfunky is NOT misspelled. in this case my horrible spelling is not the reason for this title atrocity.) Had a great time flipping a few pancakes, tasting each others concoctions and being encouraged by this amazing couple. I'm so glad God has brought them into our lives.
  • Found a cute strawberry mug, a new purse I can use on my bike rides to work, and the book "Chasing the Dragon" by Jackie Pullinger at goodwill. 
  • Had a spontaneous double date with Mike and Meg (the besties - who "get" us and are always a blessing to be around) at Macaroni Grill/Barnes and Nobel.
  • biked to church
  • went to see the Organic Farm where JP works. Saw some peck hens. watched him water some plants. got a free butternut squash. felt even more of a need to own some land. 
  • Ate at a BBQ restaurant that I never noticed before, but have probably driven past about 50 times. Ordered the biggest salad i've ever seen. decided I will go back to said BBQ restaurant sometime soon to get a week's worth of veggies in one sitting.
  • hammered a nap. 2 hours. yes.
  • Flew on a puddle jumper to Des Moines, IA and then drove an hour to our (negativity alert) crap super 8 hotel, where we were given our mildew covered rooms. Apparently a few weeks ago the hotel flooded and the decided it was still a good idea to rent out the rooms. Luckily, there was a room on the 3rd floor that was significantly less gross. 
  • ate at coldstone creamery. yes.
  • Woke up at 5:30 am.
  • got rained on at 9 am and had to deal with wet tennis shoes all day. blech.
  • Drove around in a golf cart all day
  • handed out a bunch of magnets, pens, fans, etc.
  • was actually excited to get back to the crappy super 8.
  • ate at a pizza buffet.
  • was reminded why i don't eat at pizza buffets.
  • And now this.
So i've just realized that I will be traveling quite a bit in the near future. I'm going to need to find a way to either make time to write while I travel or pre-schedule my posts so you don't have to suffer through another one of these types of posts again. :)

here's to another two days in the boonies. literally.


Bike Adventures

The weather has been beyond perfect in Franklin recently. right around 76/80 when I leave in the morning for work with a slight crisp, hint of fall in the air. With this turn of the seasons (and because we were down to one car on Tuesday and Josh's work is considerably further than mine is) I decided to start biking to work. I honestly can't believe I waited this long at my new job to start doing this. The office is a mere 2.5 miles from my house and I always feel a little funny when I drive to work, but I just couldn't justify it in the 105+ heat. However, now it has been bliss.

This is what it looks like.

Clicking my little lock on the chain to free my wheels (and dare I say my inner child?) around 7:45 am... (ahem) ok, ok 7:58 am. 

Hopping on the borrowed blue mountain bike gripping the ribbed handle bars and being acutely aware of my aching palms and "sits" bones as the journey begins. 

avoiding the giant pot-hole that the condo complex refuses to fix i speed out on to Murfreesboro Road. Let me take a min to explain something to you. I have zero grid for biking etiquette. so using that as my crutch, (even though I know you are supposed to ride on the street right next to the cars) I pled ignorant and on Day 1 of my ride I stayed on the sidewalk. I was too scared of the road. 

Day 2 I went halfsies. Half side of the road amongst the ever-present gravel, non-existent shoulder and dangerously close mailboxes on my right and speeding cars on my left. And Half on the sidewalk avoiding pedestrians, sticks, low hanging limbs, more gravel and a really annoying car that's always parked over the public walk area.

Day 3, I went all the way on the road. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

Where was I...

Oh yeah, speeding out on to Murfreesboro Road, I pass the Vandy minute clinic and the fire-station and turn onto Jordan road. Oh Jordan Road, what a beautiful and deceitful little road you are. in a car you look like this: 

On a bike you look like this...minus the beauty.

There are several hills on this road that even though I knew existed because of my brush with death on rollerblades two years ago I somehow managed to block it out of my memory for all time. The first two hills aren't bad. stand up. pedal harder. burn your quads a bit and then coast down. But then there's the 3rd hill...oh 3rd hill. you are my enemy. I didn't have to conquer the 3rd hill on my roller blades in my brush with death two years ago because the 3rd hill is past the church.

This is what it looks like
(thank you pretty blue mustang for making my picture slightly less lame) 

The 3rd hill is about 150 yards long on the ascent and probably only about 20 ft change in elevation, but man does it kick my butt! As I struggle pushing the pedals down, my purse flopping wildly about, sweat beads ruining my work makeup and skinny jeans bunching in places they shouldn't. coming to a snails crawl with only enough momentum to keep the bike from toppling over into traffic about half way up the hill.  it must be a sight to see. sigh. alas. I'm hoping that eventually, I will be able to triumph over you, but for now, you are the victor.

after "the 3rd hill" i'm faced automatically with the next challenge of know how to act on a bike at a traffic light. i opt for potential rudeness and scoot my sweaty little self on up nose to nose with the first car waiting to cross Mack Hatcher. Place the pedals, just so. prep feet for take off...wish i was riding a motorcycle so I could rev my engine wait for it...wait for it...green! GO! 

pedaling as fast as I can to make it across the busy intersection on Liberty Road to find myself coasting and keeping up with traffic in the school speed zone of 15 MPH. This is my favorite part of the trip because there is a lot of "character" one might say. One might also say it's the "ghetto" of Franklin. (if that's even possible.) but, I will stick with "character."

Arriving at work still damp with perspiration, I convince myself i'm "Glistening" instead of sweating like a {INSERT CLEVER SIMILE HERE}. 

A great way to start/end the work day. Not sure I'll be able to keep it up everyday, because I do like to wear a dress from time to time, and bikes aren't conducive to that type of garb. 

Any other women out there biking to work? What do you notice on your rides? Any advice for a novice?


A Weekend for the Record Books

Seriously long post warning.

This weekend was full of reminiscing, celebration, dreaming, and driving.

We started off with a 4.5 hr hull to Indianapolis where we stayed with two of our favorite people ever: The Fanchers. Since we rolled in around 11:30 pm and there was so much to catch up on, we obviously stayed up until 4:00 am chatting away the hours.
Laughing. praying. remembering funny stories from school. Drinking "Oliver's Finest."
This stuff is nasty. never get it. We only bought it for sentimental reasons.

talking about life and how God was teaching and shaping us so much as we grow older.

Even at 4 am she is beautiful :)

I wish the Fanchers lived in Nashville. My heart was so full as we rested our heads on their fluffy and pristine guest room pillows to finally sleep. and sleep. and sleep. I don't think it matters how long you sleep when you stay up till 4...you will never be fully rested. But it was worth it.

We decided we would get to Anderson for my friend Heather's wedding early so we could spend sometime driving around our old college stomping grounds. Luckily we left SUPER early because on the way the GPS took us "the long way" (read: 40 mins out of the way) to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a gift for our wedding that day. (procrastinate much!)

Even with our little detour we had plenty of time to spare. As we drove into town both of us kept pointing at things along the road into town, Scatterfield road. The conversation sounded like this.
"Oh look, Perkins is gone!"
"Can't believe that chinese place is still around"
"What happened to Wal Mart?"
"Oh...mounds mall."
"I think they made the road wider here..."
"That old building still creeps me out."
"Remember when we would go to the Donut Shop really late at night to visit Heather?"
"They opened another location for Real Ha!"

Then we drove around campus and were "those guys" that took pictures of the buildings

as continued our nostalgic conversation of memories and what we miss and don't miss about College and we made some really awesome video, but for some reason I can't get it to upload. :(

Then it was time for the most amazing thing in the world...

Arroz con Pollo at Real Hacienda.
I was this excited.

I ate the. whole. thing. and I'm not ashamed to admit it. You see...Real Ha is one of those places that has more memories than most. I still remember the first time I ate Arroz con Pollo. It was that good. The only thing that has changed about this place is that the food is about 1.50 more that it used to be. Good for them. I'm willing to pay $1.50 more for that plate of goodness if it means that they will be around when I'm pregnant in 3 years and can send josh on a 10 hour trek to get me some. if it means they will still be around when I'm 41 and come back for my 20 year reunion. If it means they will still be around when I'm 50 and my kid starts college there and we move them in and get to open their eyes to the gloriousness that is a plate of rice. chicken. and melted cheese.

After stuffing our faces finishing a plesent meal we headed off to a beautiful wedding full of long lost friends, more catching up, more realizations of growing older and one gorgeous bride and handsome groom. I sang "Can't Help Falling in Love with You" and my song was the only reason the entire ceremony was over 10 mins long. (Josh timed the whole thing from the beginning of the processional to the last bridesmaid's exit and it was 11 mins. My song was 3 mins long...almost 30% of the ceremony!)

I'm so happy for them.

Look at us! We're cute, too! And I got a corsage for singing! Thanks for that detail heather, made me feel special. :)

That night we played some euchre with Nat and Ryan back at Hotel de Fancher. I think there is a requirement that you have to euchre when you are in the state of Indiana. Nat and I won. obviously. then I was forced to play a game called "bid euchre," which I was not very good at and started falling asleep towards the end. the boys won that one...so we will call it even for now.

Headed to bed around 2 am (another college-late night...what is up with us?!) and then rolled out of bed before the sun thought it was appropriate to wake up. (I think there should be a law against waking when it's still dark outside...) But, yet again the lack of sleep was totally worth it when Josh and I saw Andrea's face when we walked into the Campbellsville Vineyard church that morning.

Now, walking into church might not seem like that big of a deal to you, but,you see...we decided to surprise her and michael, so they had no clue we were coming. (which I, personally, would never really like anyone to do to me, i'm way to anal about people seeing my house when it's messy to allow surprises to be fun. it's sad. i know. i'm working on it.)

Campbellsville is one of those places were my heart feels so full and content and happy and joyful and rested and peaceful and excited and fun and {insert every good feeling you can think of because saying and over and over again is getting old}.

Things I love about C-ville
  • Andrea and Michael
  • Campbellsville Vineyard Church - such a desire for God's presence.
  • Worship at c-ville vineyard church - long and loud with no apologies.
  • The fact that their pastor owns a vineyard...like the kind with grapes.
  • Everyone there knows us as "andrea's family" but, they treat us like life long friends whenever we walk through the doors
  • People with cool tattoos
  • The rolling hills filled with cows crowding under the one shade tree
  • The BEAUTIFUL homes...every other one was a giant white farm house that had an air of elegance and old-world country to it all at once.
That afternoon couldn't have been better. We spent it scarfing some Little Caesar's Pizza and then heading out to the vineyards to harvest grapes as sweet as sugar. seriously. they were like candy. Sweating. sun beating down on my unsunscreened back. examining the grapes for just the perfect color of honey/beige. snipping them off the vine. tasting a few from time to time and letting their juice satisfy my thirst. Watching as butterflies surrounded our pickings and bumblebees found themselves at home among the dangling clusters.

I. could. not. stop. smiling.

Back to the winery where we stemmed (is that a word?) and crushed. The "free run" juice, which is the juice that just naturally comes off the grapes without pressing, we were told is the best possible juice. We had 18 gallons of free run juice plus another 5 of pressed/crushed juice and were were expecting to only have 15 gallons of wine total. Multiplied blessing and what I like to call that.

The entire process was inspiring.

Afterwards I've never had such a strong desire to own land. Land that I can plant and harvest. sweat over. get my nails crusted in dirt with. Watch God's creation. walk. live on. have a family on. see life in.

maybe some day. that's going to be one of my new dreams I'm asking God to fulfill. Give me some land, Lord.

Hope you all had a good weekend, too. Tell me about it in a comment please! I love to hear. :)

p.s. My camera's battery died, that is why there are no brilliant photos of the vineyard/grape process. sad. :(

99 Things

So much to write about this weekend, but I don't have time right now. Maybe later tonight or tomorrow. For now, I found this "99 things" list posted on some other blogs and i'm a sucker for these kinds of things. Everything i've done is in bold.

1. started your own blog

2. slept under the stars

3. played in a band

4. visited hawaii

5. watched a meteor shower

6. given more to charity than you could afford to

7. been to disney

8. climbed a mountain

9. held a praying mantis

10. sung a solo

11. bungee jumped

12. visited Paris

13. watched a thunder and lightning storm

14. taught yourself an art from scratch

15. adopted a child

16. had food poisoning

17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty

18. grown your own vegetables

19. seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. slept on an overnight train

21. had a pillow fight

22. hitch hiked

23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. built a snow fort

25. held a lamb

26. gone skinny dipping

27. run a marathon

28. ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. seen a total eclipse

30. watched a sunrise or sunset

31. hit a home run

32. been on a cruise

33. seen niagara falls in person

34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. seen an amish community

36. taught yourself a new language

37. had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person

39. gone rock climbing

40. seen Michelangelo’s David in person

41. sung karaoke

42. seen old faithful erupt

43. bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. visited africa

45. walked on a beach by moonlight

46. been transported in an ambulance

47. had your portrait painted

48. gone deep sea fishing

49. seen the sistine chapel in person

50. been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. kissed in the rain

53. played in the mud

54. gone to a drive-in theater

55. been in a movie

56. visited the great wall of china

57. started a business

58. taken a martial arts class

59. visited russia

60. served at a soup kitchen

61. sold girl scout cookies

62. gone whale watching

63. gotten flowers for no reason

64. donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. been sky diving

66. visited a concentration camp

67. bounced a check

68. flown in a helicopter

69. saved a favorite childhood toy

70. visited the lincoln memorial

71. eaten caviar

72. pieced a quilt

73. stood in times square

74. toured the everglades

75. been fired from a job

76. seen the changing of the guard in London

77. broken a bone

78. been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. seen the grand canyon in person

80. published a book

81. visited the Vatican

82. bought a brand new car

83. walked in jerusalem

84. had your picture in the newspaper

85. kissed a stranger at midnight on new year’s eve

86. visited the white house

87. killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. had chickenpox

89. saved someone’s life

90. sat on a jury

91. met someone famous

92. joined a book club

93. gotten a tattoo

94. had a baby

95. seen the Alamo in person

96. swam in the great salt lake

97. been involved in a law suit

98. owned a cell phone

99. been stung by a bee


You wanna know...

...how amazing God is?

Since my "sad-no-friends" post this is what has happened.

Wednesday afternoon: I lost my phone. Thought I left it at work but when I got there this morning (Thurs. morning) it wasn't there.

Wednesday night: I enjoyed pizza and some excellent shiraz with Josh + two of our friends...who just so happen to seem to want to get together again soon. Who also believe the same things we believe. Who are super fun. Who are really encouraging. Who don't have kids (yet). I don't leave this relationship up to chance...i'm going to be intentional about keeping in touch with them.

Tuesday Lunch: Met up with 5 wonderful ladies from church at the Factory for lunch! Felt encouraged and surrounded by community.

Tuesday after work: Found my phone under the passenger side seat in the car. I had no less than 7 missed calls. 5 voicemails and 12 text messages. 2 of the voicemails were from friends from college. calling unprovoked (at least I don't think they read my blog) just to catch up. And the text messages were from random people about random things: my sister wanting to get a sister tattoo with me, my sis-in-law telling me one of the girls in her class introduced herself to the class and then her fun fact about herself was that she wants to be a vampire...neat. mommy just saying "hi", another friend asking me about a book I recommended a while back, etc., etc. All of these not only made me smile, but made me realize, that even, when I'm alone by myself in my echoey condo and feeling like my throat is going to collapse from crying into my pillow that I am surrounded by people who love me through the tap of a touch screen.

Tuesday night: Chili dinner with with housemates watching football on the boob-tube. nuff said.

I'm going to leave you with some love pictures from this past weekend. (no...not those kind of love pictures...get your head out of the gutter!)

My two loves! (is it okay to lump them into the same category like that?)

These two loves! They are both ridiculously good looking.

So many things i love in this pic. 1. The word speakeasy is in the name. 2. there is an explicit message regarding open time on buckeye game day. 3. so many good memories from this weekend happened at this sketchy, but surprisingly awesome hidden gem of a bar.

Puppy love and food love.

Long lost college friend and red lipstick love.

Fabulous love.
p.s. i'm testing out what I want my "signature" to say. Let me know your thoughts


100th Post

It's the 100th post.

There's a lot of pressure to be witty and amazing in my 100th post. To post reflections over the past 2 years of blogging. To thank all of my avid blog reading fans (went from 17 to 16 followers yesterday afternoon...sigh). To announce some big life change. To have some deep life meditation moment of how this blog has changed my life.

it hasn't.

But it has taught me how to process things. It has helped me sort through my thoughts. It's helped me put words to the emotions and feelings the fly around in my head. It's stretched me to really nail down and contemplate what God is teaching me. It's helped me recognize the beauty in everyday life. It also helped me work through the pain.

As I said in my very first blog post. "It will be real. It will be blunt. It will be me." and all of those things pretty much sum up what it has been thus far. (except i DO occasionally hold back a cuss word or two...knowing my aunts are reading it. ;)

With the formality of the 100th-Blog-Post-Recognition out of the way, I would like to say "thanks." Thanks for your comments and e-mails that were sent in response to my last blog. It truly was encouraging to hear all that you had to say and to know that others are praying that God will bring me a close friend.

And, in case you were wondering, I do feel better now. I'm no longer staring blankly at the celing crying my eyes out. I'm moving on. I'm even feeling pretty positive and happy today, thank you very much. :)

However since my blog does help me process my thoughts and deep ponderings i've been thinking a lot about the whole friend thing since then I've realized some things:
  • Some of the acquaintances I have here could potentially grow to closer friends, I just need to give it some time...
  • I should make more of an effort with my long distance friendships.
  • That God has a plan, and there is a reason i'm in this season - but that He also wants good things for me and wants to see me happy so my prayer of one good friend WILL be answered.
  • I need to try more spontaneous friend gatherings - you see, i'm a planner. I like to set a coffee or dinner date "on the books" several weeks in advance. Maybe this crazy planning cycle i've gotten myself into is the only reason why I don't see these acquaintances more often to build them into close friends!
  • I truly do feel like I'm in need of one close friend, but that I might be feeling this heightened need for friendship because Josh and I have been really disconnected from our church community this summer. Traveling a lot. no small groups. when we are at church, we are serving in some way and never truly connect...etc. etc.
  • I need to spend more time alone with God. Listening and Praying. Praying and Listening.

I think that's all for now. Thanks again for all your encouragement over the past couple of days. It means a lot to me...really.


One of those Days

I'm having kind of a rough day today. It's really hard because I've been doing really great about staying positive and always seeing the blessings that the Lord has given me, but for some reason today the day was going normally and then I decided to lay down and make a conscience effort to see if there was anything I was learning in this stage of my life...and all I could think about was how lonely I was and how much I am really yearning for one or two girlfriends.

The more I thought about it the more I thought it would be impossible because i didn't just want a girlfriend...I want a close girlfriend, who has the same beliefs as me, who is funny, likes music, who wants to spend lots of time together, who is in a similar stage of life (i.e. married, no kids, working, yadda, yadda...) and whose hubby also liked my hubby and was someone who I can encourage and watch grow while at the same time I could look up to as a mentor and example for myself... a bosom buddy as Anne of Green Gables might say...and then I realized...that person probably doesn't exist.

Then I got really sad. There is no one who could possibly fill shoes so big. It would be amazing, nay a miracle, if someone had all those characteristics and just happen to live in the same area as me (because we all know proximity is one of the biggest factors in keeping a friendship alive)...and then it happened.

I tried to stop it from happening and think about all the blessings God has poured on me. Be thankful. Be gracious. Be Joyful...but it felt really fake. and alone in my room. laying on my new green bed spread with shiny purple pillows, I cried.

I cried for about 30 mins. I cried while starring at the celing. I cried into Willows fur. I cried into and probably ruined the shiny pillows. I cried with my eyes shut. I cried till my lids were all puffy and my nose running with snot and salty tears streaming across my face and into my ears and then Josh got home.

He asked why I was crying. and I told him. And he understood. He gets that while he is my best friend and I LOVE spending time with him and telling him everything, that I need some solid spirit filled women to surround me and walk with me through life as well.

I'm a very social person and I'm also a very loyal friend. In high school I had 3 or 4 really close friends. We did everything together. In college I had 3 or 4 really close friends. We did everything together. And now...after 3 years in Nashville...I feel like I have hardly any close friendship ties with anyone. It feels like everyone I know is a distant aquaintence that I see once every 2 or 3 months because all of our lives are so busy... too busy for acquaintances anyway...

I told Josh "I feel like we could up and leave this area and no one would really miss us when we were gone...except for maybe Kitty and Jon." (our pastors.)

Then he prayed for me. He prayed that the Lord would bring my dream friend into my life and that we would find encouragement here or that he would open a door for us to go somewhere else.

I doubt that will happen. Buying a condo with a mortgage payment in this economy basically nails us to this area. Not to mention we both have great jobs and we would be crazy to just give up and leave after investing 3 years here...right?

I dunno - sorry to be depressing today. I'm just spilling my heart out all over the place today...i guess it's my blog so that's okay. If you're still reading...pray for friends...no A friend...to come.

I'll leave you with something slightly less depressing and actually kind of hopeful...Lisa Gungor. She inspires me to write music.



I'm headed to Columbus, OH this weekend for my cousin Kristen's Wedding. I am a part of a super close knit extended family. We had so many great memories growing up. Whenever I get back together with everyone I end up getting all nostalgic and want to dwell on fond years of yore. I don't have a lot of time today cause we are trying to hit the road, so rather than typing a bunch of memories, i'm going to post some amazing photos of my family and look forward to taking many more pictures and having tons more fun this coming weekend. Love all of you guys. :)

Holly and I watching Uncle Dale take a canoe bath at the A-Frame house. LOVE holly's hair.
Grandpapa. A true patriarch and virtuous man who put up with and loved all his crazy grand babies. Emily...being emily.
Aren't my Dad handsome, and my sister freaking adorable here?!
Mom in High School doing something artsy.

Me and Cynthia dressed to the "nines" one might say...another might say dressed like Little house on the prairie and minnie mouse.
I love AD!
Mo-Hair was a big thing when we were in high school. Don't judge. (Kristen, bride to be, is in the middle.)
My mom and all her sisters (aka my aunts) from top left counter-clock wise: Aunt Debby, Aunt Cindy, Aunt Linda, Mom, Aunt Kathy
Cousin Nick. Overseas serving our country right now at war. I love him.
Uncle Dewey!
Aunt Debby and sweet lil Becca-Boo
All the girl cousins. I think we went to Cosi that day or something cause we look like tribal children of Africa.
All the cousins on mom's side (before Emily, becca, charles tanner and william) and Aunt Linda!
This picture is amazing for obvious reasons.
And my mom with Nick being an Aunt for the first time. :)

Another comparison of how much they look alike and just because she is so pretty and willow is so cute.
And of course and all around classic with all the older cousins represented that should probably be on awkwardfamilyphotos.com.
p.s. I googled how to spell nostalgia and what yore meant while writing this post. sad...i know.


Books books and more books

Just found this one someone else's blog and decided I would post it on mine too. Apparently BBC put together this list and the premise was that a group of readers were trying to determine the best novel ever. And an average person has read about 30 of them. Putting "x's" next to the one's I've read. Going to try and work my way through some of the others as time goes on.

[X] 1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
[] 2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien Couldn't get through the Council of Elrond chapter where they forge the fellowship.
[] 3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
[X] 4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
[X] 5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
[X] 6 The Bible - does it have to be the entire thing? If so, i'm working on it.
[X] 7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - loved it but got a little sad at the end because of how depressing and messed up everyone is.
[] 8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
[] 9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
[] 10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
[X] 11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
[] 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
[] 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
[] 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
[] 15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
[X] 16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
[] 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
[X] 18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
[] 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
[] 20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
[] 21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
[] 22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
[] 23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
[] 24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
[X] 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
[] 26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
[] 27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
[] 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
[] 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
[] 30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
[] 31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
[] 32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
[X] 33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
[] 34 Emma - Jane Austen
[] 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
[X] 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (is there a difference between this one and #33?)
[] 37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
[] 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
[X] 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
[X] 40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
[] 41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
[X] 42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
[] 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[] 44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
[] 45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
[X] 46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
[] 47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
[] 48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
[X] 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
[] 50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
[] 51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
[] 52 Dune - Frank Herbert
[] 53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
[] 54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
[] 55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
[] 56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
[X] 57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens LOVED IT BTW
[] 58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
[] 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
[] 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[X] 61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
[] 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
[] 63 The Secret History - Donna Tart
[X] 64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
[] 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
[] 66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
[] 67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
[X] 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
[] 69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
[] 70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
[] 71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
[] 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
[] 73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
[] 74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
[] 75 Ulysses - James Joyce
[] 76 The Inferno - Dante
[] 77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
[] 78 Germinal - Emile Zola
[] 79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
[] 80 Possession - AS Byatt
[] 81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
[] 82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
[] 83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
[] 84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
[] 85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
[] 86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
[X] 87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
[X] 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
[] 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
[] 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
[] 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
[] 92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
[] 93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
[] 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
[] 95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
[] 96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
[] 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
[] 98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
[] 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
[] 100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I'm at 22. only 78 more to go. Next on the list for me to read is Bleak House and Sense and Sensibility. not sure why some books didn't make this list, but it is a good place to start reading some great novels.


Troubel with Spelling

I've always had a difficult time with spelling. i'm not sure why, but often times I find myself googeling words like aisle, spaghetti, cliche, queue and more as a spell checker. I mean why can I NEVER remember how to spell deffinitely. One F or two? One L or two? I or E argh! I'm not really sure why i'm such a bad speller.

When I was a kid I was always really good at spelling tests, but i honestly think it was just because i was forced to make flash cards and go through them over and over and over again the night before a test. I guess that method doesn't stick long term. Maybe the reason it didn't stick is because I don't have a printed dictionary in my house. (which apparently is a really bad thing I discovered this weekend when my parents went into a state of shock when I told them while we were playing scrabble.) Anyway...praise God for spell check.

Just thought I would throw that out there. Anyone else have words they have difficultly spelling?

So I know that was random, but I really don't have anything else to write. Today was average to say the least. But even in it's averageness, I find myself filled with a giddy heart. I'm so happy that God has blessed me with the amazing story i'm a part of called my life. It's hard not to get overwhelmed with thankfulness from time to time.

For instance, today I was walking out to my car afterwork thinking about work things and all that I had to get done tomorrow that wasn't finished today, and I found myself getting a bit stressed and frustrated at how much needs to be done and then randomly I started smiling about it. I mean, I have a GREAT job!

I am in marketing. I get to be creative. I have a lot of freedom to work at my own pace and take projects by the reigns and run with them. I have a really thoughtful inspirational and wise boss, whom I look up to immensly (emmensly? imensley?! sp??!!). I work 5 mins from my house in a super cool venue/office. I get to be in on the ground level of a really quickly expanding company with lots of room for personal growth within the company. My co-workers are really all very driven and smart, but friendly and down to earth. and last, but not least I get to work from a Mac. a big Mac. ha. What more could you ask for.

me at my desk. you can see the keyboard of my Big Mac. :) photo credit: mom

And my job is not even the most important part of my life. Not really even close, honestly.


Blessings abound.






Weekend Miscellany

One of me and Josh's favorite restaurants is Boscos Brewery. over the last 3 years here in Nashville we have had some really fun memories there. Brewmasters Dinner with Nate and Jo, Josh's 23rd birthday dinner, Josh surprise 24th birthday party, late night dinner and drinks with friends, Sunday morning brunch seeing Dave Ramsey there, meeting there for lunch when we both worked downtown because it was the perfect in between place , and on and on. This past Friday we made yet again, another memory at Boscos.We met up with our good friend Mike and his girlfriend, Christina who is new to the area, for a late meal. It was a great time of chatting and getting to know the two of them as a couple and not just single mike. :)

Steak Dinner
My parents and littlest sister came to visit this weekend. Last Thursday was Emily's 18th birthday and Saturday was my Dad's brithday so they come on down to Music City for a special celebration. It's so great having them around. There are two major things you can count on when you are around my family. One is that there will be great conversation. My dad being a philosopher and my mother being the wise woman she is always have amazing insight into things and bouncing a discussion/idea off of either of them is always a good time. Layer that with me and my 3 sisters talking over each other getting louder and louder, laughing harder and harder and you are sure to end up with some lively conversation, and a stomach ache from laughing so hard. The other thing you can count on is that you will eat. and you will eat well. Saturday night culminated in a classy steak dinner complete with baked potatoes, asparagus, corn on the cob, crusty bread and 8 steaks the sizes of your head. Wash it all down with some carrot cake and ice cream and you have yourself a recipe for being "full as a tick" as my sis-in-law jo-jo would say and "happy as a clam". It was worth it though.
all around deliciousness.

Sunday morning
Worship was amazing. My Hubby preached. I was super proud of Him. God showed up. Nuff said...

PF Changs
The family decided to meet up with working woman and doctor extrodinare, Cynthia for lunch after church since she was one call at the Hospital Sunday morning till Monday afternoon. Cynthia's choice for food was PF Changs. Unlike Boscos, PF Changs has been less than impressive to me over the years. Horrible service and cold food at one in C-bus, and stuck in the mall hallway at one in Indy led me to believe that PF Changs wasn't going to live up to it's reputation of awesomeness. However, this past Sunday changed all that for me. Our server was probably one of the best servers i've ever had and the whole experience from crab wontons and lettuce wrap apps to the dishes we all ended up spontaneously turned to family-style once the plates hit the table to the giant 12 layer chocolate cake dripping in raspberry sauce goodness. My heart has been won over to PF Changs for good now. No good pictures at the actual table, but these ones are keepers.

This is what 30 years of marriage looks like! I'm so thankful for my parents.
Sister love.
Brotherly bonding while despising photos together.
I'm pretty sure I have another photo that looks exactly like this...like wearing the same outfits and everything that was taken a couple years ago at the Causey's house....yup...there it is.
Tour de Hospital
Got to see where Cynthia works after lunch. It's a hospital. No big deal. She saves lives and stuff. I'm pretty amazed at how awesome she is.
Josh taking full advantage of the free soda/coffee offer in the doctors lounge at the hospital. that's my man.

So the whole point of the trip for my family down here this weekend was to surprise lil-sis Emily with a concert to see one of her favorite groups. It was super fun to see her eyes light up and her huge grin when Dad nonchalantly told her what we would be doing Sunday evening. The concert ended up being great. we arrived no less than 2 hours before the performance to ensure we had good seats because it was general admission and there were already people waiting in line to see that boys perform. I say boys because this isn't just your average 18 year olds favorite band performing, this is literally a boys choir from south london. Apparently they have a cult following and they were actually quite good. pure crisp clean voices soaring notes higher than you and I can even imagine. Their voices are angelic and they came out wearing white monk style robes that cover from head to foot. Here's a picture...
Just kidding. Here's one.

Just kidding again. (p.s. I miss paint. the software program from my childhood.) Really though...this is the only picture I got the whole night. They wouldn't let us take pictures during the concert.

Overall, it was a very peaceful and calming experience that I'm so glad I got to be a part of with my family and I'm so glad Josh was able to endure. Love you babe! Check Libera out here.

My adorable dog.
Just for fun - a stoic picture of willow.
She's so freaking cute!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters