Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekend Reflections

This has been a super busy week. Monday was a fairly typical work day but then I headed back to my hometown Monday night for work on Tuesday.

On Tuesday I had to work in my hometown until mid afternoon and then I had head to south Alabama for work there on Wednesday. On Wednesday I worked in South Alabama and then drove to West Alabama for work that afternoon. By Wednesday night I finally got to come home. I made it to church that night but that was about all I did. I fell asleep Wednesday night laying in bed watching TV and apparently I was so tired I never moved and slept the whole night holding the remote.

Thursday I was in the office for about an hour and then it was back to my hometown for a work meeting. This was just a day trip and fortunately I did not have to drive. By Thursday night I was finally back home and so glad to be there. I don't remember accomplishing anything Thursday night other than watching TV and cooking mac and cheese for dinner. This doesn't sound nutritious to most (and it probably isn't) but after having to eat out most of the week I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Friday I was honestly glad to be back in the office to try and catch up on things. Mid morning my brother (who works in the same office) came in my office and said that he wasn't going to be getting much work done because Friday was a Woot off. If you have never heard of a Woot off I have to refer you to Normally on Woot, they have one deal per day and they sell them until they are gone. When the deal sells out you have to wait for the next day for the next deal. Some of the specials are great and some of them are for things you would never need.

Well when they have a Woot Off they have constant deals. When one deal sells out they immediately put up another one. Some sell out very quickly (in only a minute or two) and some take hours. This process usually goes on for 24-72 hours in order to help clean out the Woot warehouse. My brother got some great deals on the last Woot off so I immediately became distracted by this and spent much of late Friday morning and afternoon watching the Woot off.

Friday for lunch, my brother and I met Leslie, ToolMan and CRB at a local restaurant. It was yummy... but then it was back to the office and back to watching Woot. I actually did get some work done but not as much as I had planned to. :-)

Friday night Leslie called to see if I wanted to come over for dinner... so I went over to their house for dinner and to spend the evening with them. I probably wasn't the best guest because I was still watching the Woot off... fortunately they became intrigued as well. I actually didn't buy anything during all of this time but it was a lot of fun to watch. Then at 9 something Friday night this came up on the Woot off. It signals the end of the Woot off and immediately clicked the link to buy. I got three!! Yea!! They sold 10,000 of them in less than two minutes so I was fortunate to get them. I am keeping one for me but I will have to decide what to do with the other two.

Today has been a relatively lazy day at home. I love my family, I love my friends, I love my dog and I love my roommate but none of them are here today and I am okay with that. I have been in my pajamas all day long and I haven't left the house. I have cleaned, watched TV, done a little work (to help make up for the time spent watching the Woot off on Friday) and worked on some sewing projects.

To name a few things that I am thankful for... I am thankful that I have a good job... even when it does force me travel. I am thankful that I had safe trips driving all over the state this week. I am thankful that I got three screaming monkeys in the Woot off :-) and I am thankful for lazy days at home.

I hope everyone else had a great week! For more Weekend Reflections, visit Judi at Mommy of Two.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Favorites: Restaurant

Last week Amberly started the Friday Favorites theme. I didn't get a chance to participate last week but I have been thinking about this one ever since. My favorite restaurant was the first "favorite" that popped into my head so I had to include it.

For anyone that knows me you know I am a picky eater (this week we have discovered I am a picky sleeper and eater... anyone see a theme?). :-) Anyways I don't have a favorite restaurant in my hometown or in the town where I live but when I go to Birmingham, The Fish Market is my favorite restaurant. Here are some pictures of the indoor and outdoor eating areas that I stole from the website above:

The original restaurant is is located in downtown Birmingham near the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus. It is owned by a cool Greek family and so it has an awesome relaxed Greek theme. There is a second restaurant in one of the prime shopping areas in town but it is not quite as good as the original. I love seafood and I almost always get the Grilled Rainbow Trout with French Fries and Corn on the Cob. Yum!! I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

So if you are ever in Birmingham I highly recommend checking it out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Purse Meme

Amberly tagged me for the purse meme earlier today. I didn't carry a purse for years but at this point I'm not sure how I got by without one! I feel like I carry around everything I own and given that I don't have kids I can't imagine how big my purse would need to be if I did!

Here is my current purse:

It is a Vera Bradley that I use for the Spring/Summer. I have three Vera Bradley bags that I love and put in and out of the rotation. Some of them are getting a little worn so I may have to look into retiring them.

I love the size of this bag (not too big and not too small) and I love the long handle that I can easily throw over my shoulder. So here are the contents:

Row 1: My wallet, my personal cell phone, my work cell phone/PDA, life savers, an Advil bottle with Advil and Pepto Bismol pills inside.

Row 2: My camera, my Oakley's (can't leave home without those... but most of the time they are on my face or on top of my head), my checkbook, my notepad for lists and random notes, lotion and a random assortment of pens, pencils and highlighters

Row 3: A small flashlight, my ipod (my brother borrowed the earphones and hasn't returned them), some pressed powder, my business cards that I printed up for my new side business (more on that later) :-), my bluetooth headset for my phone, a key chain for all of those cards you get from the store like Winn Dixie or Hallmark

Row 4: my normal keys (car key, office key and house key), an assortment of lip gloss and lipstick (I recently have only been using the the clear Aquafina lip gloss), Purel hand sanitizer, a USB memory stick, fingernail clippers and other keys that I keep in the bottom of my purse (keys to my parent's house, my brother's house, Leslie's house, the neighbor's house... you get the idea)

Believe it or not I do carry all of that stuff around all the time. Now you know why my purses are starting to look worn. :-) I am not going to tag anyone else for this but let me know if you play along and I will come check out your purse as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On the Road Again

I travel A LOT (usually at least one day per week). In my life there are two major types of travel... the type you do for work and the type you do for pleasure. I try to mix the two as much as possible but that is not always very easy to do. Fortunately for me I do have to travel to my hometown for business pretty often so in that case it is much easier to mix the two.

Being the type of person that doesn't like change and that likes a normal, boring routine, the travel can really wear on you. I honestly do like to travel (or at least I used to) but somehow the more travel I do for work the less I want to do for pleasure. If I have been traveling a lot for work I just want to go home and enjoy my house and my stuff. :-)

As a part of all of this travel I have to stay in a number of hotels. I HATE hotels. I don't know why exactly but there is pretty much nothing about them that I like. I don't like the choice of TV channels I might or might not have, I don't like the fact that I don't have my TiVo and I really don't like the fact that I don't have my own bed. I am very much a "Princess in the Pea" who wants her comfortable mattress, relatively high thread count sheets with the right mixture of fabric softener... and most importantly my pillow. If I don't have these I am a grump and I am doomed to even less sleep than usual.

I have learned to combat this in a number of ways. If it is a car trip I take my own pillow with me... if it is a plane trip I take my own pillow case to use on the pillow I am forced to use. For Christmas, my best friend Leslie gave me one of these dream sacks. It is wonderful and I highly recommend it to anyone who has to travel a lot. These things all help but it is not as good as home.

I am of course on the road again this week and will be out of the office three out of five days. This means one night at my parents house and just one night in a hotel. I am actually fairly excited about the hotel I am staying in tonight. I will let you know how it goes after I have determined whether or not the mattress allows me to get a good night's rest.

Good night!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Weekend Reflections

Well it's been another good week... nothing particularly bad that I remember so that is always an accomplishment.

Last Sunday I came back home from my weekend trip to my hometown. Monday wasn't a great day but then Monday night I headed back to my hometown for work on Tuesday. I took advantage of being in my hometown and participating in a smocking class on Monday night. On Tuesday I taught a class for work in my hometown and then came back home. I was in the office the rest of the week and it was pretty routine.

Tuesday night and Wednesday night were spent at church. We had a Gospel Meeting the first of last week and heard some wonderful lessons that I know I needed to hear.

On Thursday night my parents came into town pretty late but after they got here we decided to give Brun a haircut. He had been in need of one for quite some time and by the time we finished it looked like a dog exploded in the back yard... not that I really know what that looks like but you get the picture. He looks so much better and younger somehow. I will try to get a good picture of him sometime... he wasn't very cooperative this weekend.

Friday night after work I had dinner with my family, my brother's girlfriend, Leslie, ToolMan and CRB. It was a bit chaotic at the local Pizza Hut with our big group but it was a lot of fun. After dinner my weekend of crafting started up.

My mom brought her sewing machine to me and so I worked on several embroidery and craft projects. I embroidered a pillow case for a friend for a gift she needed, a t-shirt for CRB, and made and embroidered some receiving blankets for a diaper cake that I made on Saturday. I also worked on my smocking.

On Saturday morning I got up and cleaned the yard (one of the joys of having a doggie and a fenced back yard), washed the dog (another doggie mom pleasure) and got back to my weekend crafting projects. I spent part of the afternoon at my brother's house (which is technically my grandparent's old house) and helped my parents with some painting in the basement.

So it was a fairly mundane week but a good one. I like being able to finish projects and mark things off of my list. I was able to do that with a number of things at work and with my own projects. Of course the list for this coming week is already growing but hopefully this week will be as productive as the last.
I hope everyone else had a great week... go visit Judi for more Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Photo Hunters: Steps

I actually meant to take a picture of the steps in my office building... but I forgot. So this will have to do. As a big NASCAR fan I was in "race fan heaven" last Spring at the Talladega race when I was oh so close close to these steps. Each driver walked down these steps as they were introduced to the crowd. Thanks to a lot of luck and some good friends in law enforcement I was allowed on the track for driver introductions and was able to take pictures like these.

For more Photo Hunters participants, click here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: In our thoughts and prayers

Source: Facebook

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Smocking Class

If you read my last post you know my Monday didn't start out too well... but that it was on it's way back up by the afternoon. It continued to get better Monday night. It was back to my hometown for work on Tuesday and so I decided to come to town a little early tonight to take a smocking class at the same store where I took the sewing classes this weekend.

My mom smocks and I did learn to do the back stitches ten to 15 years ago... but that was my last smocking experience. I really wanted to learn and my mom and I both decided that if she tried to teach me we would kill each other. So instead of that, I am taking a class. You go whenever you can on Monday nights and my work schedule will easily accommodate that.

So this is my start:

I still have a long way to go and I think I pulled out as much as I did tonight (hence the half done lines and red fuzz) but I will keep posting my progress. I'm not telling you what it is but it will eventually be part of an outfit for CRB. Shhh!!! Don't tell him... it's a surprise. :-)

I really enjoyed the class and will hopefully be able to make it to the class next week. I have my homework to do for next week so I think you will be able to see my progress by the next class.

Oh and since some of you asked here is a picture of the pillow I made in the sewing class this weekend:

It is actually just a cover... you have to put a pillow in it but I haven't gotten one yet. There are also supposed to be three big buttons down the center of the black part but I don't think I am going to put those on. The pillow really doesn't match my home decor so I think the pillow may become a pillow for Brun. He likes pillows to sleep on so I might as well put it to good use. :-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

One of those days

Do you ever have one of those days... where you feel like it's just poop on you day? I'm sure you have... everyone does. Mine seem to happen on Monday (which I can only assume is fairly typical). I don't know why they happen on Monday's... maybe it's because I am more tired than usual on Monday's or maybe it's because of the concentration of work overload and meetings that come on Monday's. Regardless of the reason today was one of those days for me... or at least it started that way.

It actually started out just fine but I got an e-mail on the way to work (yes I read e-mail on my PDA while driving) that took my day down hill in a hurry and had me in a terrible mood by the time I got to the office. I won't go into all of the details but it boils down to someone forgot that they promised me their faculty football ticket order form and instead gave the order form to someone else that I work with. So I told my brother, my best friend Leslie and a couple of other people at work and everyone agreed that it was an honest mistake but still very annoying. I then accomplished nothing at work all morning, was in a FOUL mood and took out my irritation on everyone I came in contact with.

From this point in the story you would think that my day was shot... but it did get better from there. You know what makes those crummy days better... people who love you and care about you and try to make things better any way that they can. I have a lot of those people who seem to get more opportunities than they deserve when it comes to dealing with me. :-) My patient and caring mother listened to me whine and fuss over the phone and sympathized and tried to help by offering solutions. My wonderful brother, my thoughtful best friend and her husband actually fixed my problem at lunch. They offered me their ticket order form and went and placed the order for the tickets.

So I know today isn't Thankful Thursday but it is my Thankful Monday... for family and friends who don't forget about you when you are having a crummy day and try to make you feel better any way that they can.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weekend Reflections

As I said in my photo hunters post, I am a bit behind on my blogging but I wanted to stop a second and reflect on the week that was.

Sunday was Easter and it was spent at home with my family and friends from my hometown. It wasn't particularly bad and it wasn't particularly good but you can read more about it here. Sunday night after church Brun and I headed back to our home and we had a nice relatively relaxing week. Monday was a normal day of work and Monday night I had a nice dinner (if you call Pizza Hut nice... and I do) :-) with Leslie, CRB, ToolMan and my brother.

On Tuesday Brun had his yearly vet checkup and I spent the evening trying to make him feel better. Wednesday was a normal work day with church that evening.

Thursday was another work day with several people from my office out of town. Fortunately this allowed me to get a lot of work done and they had a good and productive trip for our organization.

Although it was not in my original plans for the week I decided to take off from work on Friday and head back to my hometown for a serger sewing class with my mom. I do not own a serger and so Thursday after work I went over to Leslie's to borrow hers for the weekend. I had a brief visit with their family and then headed out of town. I was late getting into my hometown but my wonderful parents waited on me for dinner... which meant dinner was not until about 9:30 that night.

Then came time for the serger class. I was really looking forward to the classes on Friday and Saturday and was hoping to learn a lot. Friday went pretty well... I was mentally exhausted by the end of the day but I learned a lot and did not hate the serger. Then came Saturday. This was part two of the serger class and let's just say it was not as positive as Friday was. The goal of Saturday was to finish a pillow project by the end of the day. I did complete the project but as a perfectionist it did not meet my normal standards. :-)

The teacher of the class was not my favorite person and at some point made me so angry that I started crying. I hate to cry in public so this was fairly monumental. However, the owner/manager of the local store was very nice and tried to help cheer me up when my frustration became obvious as the day went on. After class was over I came home and took a two hour nap because I was once again exhausted and frustrated.

I am glad that I took the class but I don't think I will be serging anything any time soon. Sewing with a regular machine and embroidery projects are much more up my alley. I think I will leave the serger stuff to my mom. After I got up from my nap I had several embroidery projects to finish for people by Sunday so I took care of those... and they all came out very cute!

So all in all I would say it was another good week. I was glad to be at my own house for part of the week and glad to be back in my hometown. I do enjoy expanding my horizons and so I did like the serger class... regardless of my tears and frustration. :-)

I hope everyone has a great week... and go visit Judi for more Weekend Reflections.

Photo Hunters: Hobby

Okay I know I am technically too late to participate in photo hunters this week but I wanted to play anyways. This is one of my newest hobbies and the reason I didn't really have a chance to post earlier this weekend:

I have WAYYYYYY too many hobbies. Anyone who has set foot in my extra bedroom can attest to that fact. It is a bit overrun with all of my project materials. How does the saying go... "jack of all trades, master of none." Sometimes that's how I feel... but I enjoy them all so I keep adding to the list.

Sewing is definitely my latest hobby... but really it is more machine embroidery and not so much sewing... but I am working on the learning to sew part of it. The picture above is actually of my mom's machine but I have certainly used it more than she has.

In addition to that I scrapbook, knit, paint crafty things, make wreaths on occasion, take lots of pictures... and there are probably 10 other things I have forgotten. If you want to check out some of the other photo hunters (who probably weren't as late as me) :-) go here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Poor Brun

Today was a day that comes in the life of every dog... usually on a yearly basis. It was time for Brun's annual checkup and shots. He hates going to the vet with a passion... which is probably my fault. I have never boarded him but I do take him and leave him for the day on occasion to be washed and have his nails cut. This has apparently caused him to have a problem with separation anxiety when he thinks we are getting close to the vet. We go to a wonderful vet who has a great staff, and they all really love the dogs... but this doesn't seem to matter one bit to Brun.

I have to practically drag him in the door and tell him the whole time that I won't leave him. Nevertheless, whenever he gets a chance he tries to bolt towards the car. So on top of his anxiety about being there, he has to stand on a cold vet table and get two big ole shots plus go through some other things that don't look very pleasant. This does not make me a particularly popular "doggie mom." He got a great report and actually seems to be feeling just fine but I will have to work on making this up to him. Hopefully he will forgive me soon. :-)

On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful...

On the coast of somewhere beautiful
Trade winds blowin' through her hair
Sunlight dancin' on the water
And I wish I was there
--Kenny Chesney

Two years ago my family and I were in one of the most beautiful countries on this earth... Australia. We were fortunate enough to go on a two week vacation where we spent time in Brisbane and Sydney. During our time in Brisbane we drove up to the Great Barrier Reef for a snorkling trip. The weather was absolutely horrible that day!! Seas were at 15-20 feet and almost everyone on the boat was terribly sick on the way out to the reef.

I have to say that the weather was not the best that day but by the time the day was over the clouds were clearing out and the blue sky was breaking through. I can't take much credit for this picture... when things are that beautiful and the blues are that vibrant, anyone can make a good photo. I would like to go back to that beautiful coast one day and I thought I would share this picture with you today. I have this picture and one that I put up in an earlier post framed and one day I will actually get them hung up in my bathroom.

Monday, April 9, 2007

This Week in My Life

I didn't get a chance to post my Weekend Reflections this weekend so I thought I would post an outlook for the coming week.

I started my week in my hometown for the Easter Holiday. I have had better holidays but it certainly wasn't terrible... and it had its good moments. Every year I try to get together some of the "kids" from church for our annual Easter pictures. It's a nice tradition and I have pictures going back for 16+ years. As you can see some of the "kids" aren't really kids any more. Here is a picture of three of my favorite girls.

Sarah (in the middle) you have met before. Keeley (on the left) I have known since the day she was born and her sister Lindsey I have known since she moved to my hometown just before she turned one. I love all three of these girls and I look forward to seeing all of them every time I go home. Lindsey has a big school trip coming up this week and I hope she has a GREAT time!!!!

Today was a typical long Monday followed by dinner with Leslie, CRB, ToolMan and my brother. I was tired from working all day so I don't know that I was the best company but it was fun to hang out with them.

The rest of this week should be pretty nice and relaxing. I am actually in town all week and a lot of the people from my office will be gone for two days. I like working with these people but with them gone I will be able to get more work done with fewer meetings and fewer interruptions. Definitely a good thing!

Other than that it's back to my hometown this weekend for a sewing class with my mom. More on the events of the week as the week progresses. I hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Busy Saturday

What a great day! I am in my hometown for the Easter weekend... so that led to a busy Saturday. Early Saturday morning (or "early" for this non-morning person) my parents and I headed to Nathan's baseball game. Let me just say that if it is 40 degrees outside with a 10+ mph wind... all little league games should be cancelled! It was SOOOOOO cold! We all did our best to bundle up and keep our booties from freezing to the cold metal bleachers.

Here is the hearty crowd that braved the cold to cheer Nathan on. In the back row is my dad, Mr. John and Mrs. Betty. In the middle row is Amberly, Abby Grace and Tiara. On the bottom row is my mom and Sarah.

Nathan played a great game and the team gave it their all. Unfortunately it was not one for the win column... but they all seemed to have a good time. Here's a picture of Nathan up to bat.

After the game and after warming up a little bit, I tried to get some shopping done. I am not a big shopper but my hometown has better stores than the college town where I live, so I needed to get a wedding present for an upcoming shower and I needed to look for some clothes for me for work. I accomplished the wedding present purchase but no luck on the clothes for me.

After my brief shopping excursion I headed over to Sarah's house to get ready for the party. My dilema from earlier in the week continued and I never decided what to wear. So I decided to bring Sarah three options and let her decide for me. No surprise to me... she picked out my prom dress from ten years ago. It was definitely the fanciest of the three options... and I'm just glad that it still fit!

The party was a lot of fun! All of the guests looked beautiful and I think everyone had a great time. If you haven't seen it, click on over to Amberly's blog for some great pictures and a recap.

I'm usually not much for having my picture taken but here is a picture of Sarah and I in our fancy clothes. Looks like it is time for some new highlights for this "bottle blonde." :-)

Abby Grace tried to avoid having her picture taken but I caught her in this one. She borrowed Amberly's camera which probably resulted in some interesting pictures.

Thanks to Sarah for inviting me to her party. It was a lot of fun to dress up and hang out with a bunch of sweet girls. They definitely kept me entertained and smiling the whole time.

Photo Hunters: Clean



My desk at work usually looks like the first picture. When I saw that this week's theme was "clean" I used that as a good excuse to clean off my desk. Not only did it give me a picture for the theme... I should be able to enjoy the results for at least a few days before it fills back up with stuff.

For more photo hunters, click here!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Made Me Smile

So last night I had gone out to a local fast food place to pick up some dinner. I'm not much of a cook and a lot of times it is easier to eat out than try to cook something. So when I got to the drive through window to pay, a young man (probably about high school age) was standing behind the guy taking my money. I didn't pay that much attention to him until he started waving at me. So I politely waved back and smiled. After I got my food and was about to pull away the waving guy came closer to the window and stopped me. He reached through the window, handed me a piece of chocolate cake and said to have a nice night.

This made me smile and it made my night... and I really enjoyed the cake once I got home.

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Somewhere to go with nothing to wear

This weekend I have a very special party to attend. Amberly's daughter Sarah is having a party and I'm invited. Sarah is an exceptionally sweet and thoughtful girl who holds a very special place in my heart. There is no way I will miss her party but I have no idea what to wear. The invitation says to dress up for an elegant girly affair.

I am not a very girly girl. I like to dress up on occassion but I am much more comfortable in jeans, a t-shirt and a ballcap. So in the last discussion Sarah and I had, I asked for her approval on several dresses that I have. She politely told me that they weren't dressy enough. :-) Sarah certainly meant no harm by this comment and I know that deep down she will be happy with whatever I wear... even if it is jeans and a t-shirt. But after a very helpful suggestion from my mom, Sarah suggested I could wear my prom dress from ten years ago. Aside from the fact that I'm not even sure where it is, I don't think I could squeeze myself into it. Add to that the embarassment factor of the fact that I once wore it to prom, I will probably add it to the "No" pile of dresses.

So the debate still goes on... whatever will I wear? I have a closet full of clothes but I'm not sure any of them are right for this "elegant girly affair." I have a couple of things that might work in my own closet and hopefully something in Leslie's closet that will work out better. I am going over to her house this evening to see what I can find.

Stay tuned for pictures and a final verdict on what I end up wearing. Whatever I wear, the party should be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - One Tired Pup

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Monday, April 2, 2007

The Rains Came Down...

In James 5:17 it says that it did not rain on the land for three years and six months in I Kings 17. While it certainly has not been that long since it rained here in Alabama it kind of felt like it. It had been nearly a month since it last rained... but it finally rained yesterday. Yea! My yard and my car (which I apparently refuse to wash) really needed it.

I think Brun had fogotten what the rain sounded like because at 2:30 AM he decided to wake me up so that we could go out and see what the noise was. He had no interest in going outside but he apparently thought that I needed to wake up and see it for myself. So there we were standing in the doorway watching it rain in the dark. I was happy to see the rain but I would have much rather been asleep.

It rained for awhile Saturday night/Sunday morning and then again while I was sitting in church... which is probably why I thought of the scripture above. Unfortunately it stopped raining by Sunday afternoon... which would have really helped my nap. :-) We need some more rain so hopefully it will rain some more later this week.

I hope everyone is having a good week so far!