Thursday, January 29, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Its a good thing that Joel and I only have 2 children. I always have good intentions, but I cannot, for the life of me, seem to follow through on them. When I was pregnant with HannahKate, we stopped on the way home from the first doctor's visit and bought a beautiful journal to chronicle my pregnancy. I wrote in it religiously, expressing hopes, fears and dreams for the child I was carrying. When I found out I was expecting Hallie four years later, I kept meaning to buy a journal, but didn't get around to it until about the 6th month. I think there are 2 entries in it.

And so it goes...

For HannahKate's 13th birthday, I blogged about how much my life had changed since she came on the scene. I talked about what a blessing she is and dedicated one of my Weekly Pics to her. Poor little Hallie celebrated her 9th birthday on Tuesday. I've wanted to do something special for her, but my blog-a-tivity seems to have dried up. I cannot come up with a fitting tribute to the child that keeps us on our toes, in stitches of laughter and in awe of her ingenuity.

There was an ice/snow storm in Texas the day Hallie was born. We left early that morning before the weather got bad to go the hospital. Joel's mom and dad brought HannahKate with them and arrived just before lunch. The doctor said the baby was in no hurry, so everyone could relax and get a bite to eat. There was plenty of time, she said...

Hallie was born about 30 minutes later. No hurry, my foot! We should have known then that this little one had a mind of her own. She has been doing things in her own way, in her own time ever since. That is Hallie in a nutshell. She will do what you least expect when you least expect it. Just about the time you think you have her figured out, she changes the rules. When you get to the point you want to scream because she's so aggravating, she does or says something that dissolves all your defenses. I think she's a lot like her daddy...

(Christmas 2005)

So, happy birthday, HallieBeth. You are my sunshine and my sugarbear. I can't wait to see what the next nine years hold.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Better Than a Guinea Pig

You may remember that Hallie was lobbying for a guinea pig for Christmas. She had tried to bargain with her dad and ultimately called in the "big guns" by writing a heartfelt letter to Santa.

Joel and I agonized over this. Part of me wanted her to have the best Christmas ever. You know, the one gift so special that all other Christmases pale in comparison?

But the practical side of me reasoned that a guinea pig or hamster will get out of its cage. That's just what rodents do. No matter how careful you are, it will find a way to escape. While I don't relish the idea of a mouse-like creature running loose and unaccounted for in my house, what I was most afraid of is that our dogs would be the one to "locate" the escapee. I just knew that when that happened, there would most likely be blood and fur to clean up and a hysterical, traumatized 8 year old to deal with. And I also felt certain that this would happen while Big Joel is away...leaving me to deal with the ugly details on my own.

As I said, we agonized over this decision. We even found ourselves in the pet store, with everything in the shopping cart except for the actual animal. But in the end, we just couldn't get a peace about bringing another living creature into our home and giving the responsibility for its well-being to a child who can't even care for the cyber-pets on her Nintendo DS because she forgets to charge the device's battery.

So what, you may ask, did Santa bring instead of a furry friend? In a sheer stroke of genius on Joel's part, Hallie ran downstairs on Christmas morning to find Kit Kitteridge, the American Girl doll, waiting for her. Now Hallie has never been one to play with dolls. She has always loved horses and dogs more than babydolls. So it was a huge gamble, but it paid off.

She loves the doll.

And I love that the doll will not get loose in the middle of the night and be eaten by the dogs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekly Pic--Worth a Thousand Words

Trujillo, Peru--June 2008
What I wouldn't give to know what this woman is thinking...

***Note: Someone mentioned to me that they'd stopped reading my blog since I'd stopped posting a weekly picture. So, since the approval and happiness of others is always my first concern on this blog, I decided to bring back this weekly feature. ***

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lesson Learned

BigJoel came in this morning and announced that he needed a break from all things inaugural. It was a beautiful day and we formulated a plan of action to take care of several errands that had been shelved for the past two weeks. It was nice to be feeling good, get out in the fresh air and feel a sense of purpose.

Mid-morning, we walked into Hometown Wireless Store to inquire about a problem that just recently developed with my cell phone. The store was relatively busy with several customers and only two employees. We weren't in any hurry, so we waited patiently. Already in progress when we arrived, was some sort of drama involving a young college-aged girl whose phone had malfunctioned for the third time in two weeks.

We weren't really paying much attention until she used the store's phone to call Customer Service, demanded to talk to a supervisor, then another supervisor, then another. At one point, she was trying to emphasize the severity of her dilemma and she said, "They said they fixed it and it worked for a while. But yesterday I was on my way home from Bible study and it just did it again." I shot a glance at Joel and saw him make the "ooo, ouch" grimace.

One our biggest pet peeves is when Christians misbehave in public. You know, the people who've obviously just come from church on Sunday and then give the waitress a hard time at the restaurant. Or the guy who cuts you off and flips you off in traffic but has the Christian fish emblem on his bumper. Joel says if you want to act like an @$$ that's your choice, but don't bring Jesus in with you. Miss Thang had thrown the Bible study card. *eyes rolling*

The situation was awkard. I felt myself physically turning my back to the girl. I just kept thinking, "Doesn't she know how bad she sounds? In the grand scheme of things, is a cell phone worth losing your witness over?"

Finally, our situation was resolved and we went on our way. When we got in the car, we let loose. The nerve! I knew immediately that I'd be blogging about Christians' responsibility to be above the fray when dealing with the world.

Time got away from me this evening, so I went to bed before posting. But as I lay there with my thoughts rolling around in my head thinking how I would cleverly use this situation to remind others everywhere to mind their manners, something happened. A Spirit of conviction came over me. Hard.
This is what the Lord said to me:

You were so quick to judge that girl. You condemned her for making Me look bad. Yet I put you there at that moment and gave you insight that you could have used to help her. But instead you looked the other way. You physically turned your back on her. As the only other woman in the room, you did nothing to encourage her, to help her see that those boys working there weren't heartless, they just didn't have a clue how to communicate with a girl in distress. That girl may or may not have been a believer. Going to Bible study doesn't make you a know better than that. If she wasn't a believer, did she get a glimpse of Me in you today? If she was a believer, don't you remember my admonition for the older women to teach and encourage the younger ones? You've been asking for opportunities to share your faith, to be a witness in all you do. I gave you that opportunity and instead you sat smuggly by and thought to yourself, 'Lord, thank you that I am not like that.' I believe I spoke about people like you in My Gospels. I believe they are called Pharisees.

Ouch. I haven't come face to face with my sin like that in quite a long time. Evidently, its been long enough.

So the moral of the story is, "Christians, remember who you are and Whose Name you bear."

I hope you've learned your lesson.

I pray I have.

Monday, January 19, 2009


***Disclaimer: I like my blog posts to be like a TV sitcom. Clever and entertaining with the storyline neatly tied up at the end. I'm afraid this one is more like C-Span coverage. But I needed to do it for myself. And I certainly understand if you want to change the channel. I promise not to make it a habit.***

I've mentioned before that I'm not into New Year's Resolutions because of my near perfect record of breaking every single one I've ever made, but thanks to my recent *brush with death* I've been doing some soul searching and some things are just gonna have to change. They just must.

I'm in my pre-teen 30's (30+ 11, which is considered a pre-teen in my estimation). My mom was about this age when I was about Hallie's age. And to the best of my only-child recollection (read: totally unaware of anything that didn't have a direct impact on my immediate happiness), it was about this time in her life that she first began having health issues. She'd struggled with weight, and maybe some other things I didn't know about, but nothing terribly serious until her early-to-mid 40's when she was diagnosed with diabetes. And I remember the doctor saying, "Even if diabetes is well-controlled, it still takes a toll on your body over the years."

When I was thirteen, my mother had a triple-bypass. I was in the eighth grade, the age HannahKate is right now. It's sobering to remember how my life changed from assuming my mother would always be there to wondering if she'd see me graduate from high school.

Enough with the doom and gloom, though. I've come to the realization that I must take better care of myself and my family. I. simply. must. I'm so sick of hearing about "diet and exercise". Probably because I know its true, but it requires so many characteristics that I lack: discipline, willpower, and motivation just to name a few.

I wish I could say that I have a fast-track plan and the whole-hearted support and cooperation of my family. I wish I could say that its just a matter of making up my mind to eat healthy and exercise regularly. I wish I could say that I will not be discouraged by the whining, complaining and arguing voiced by my kids about what we will and will not eat. (I REALLY wish there wouldn't be any whining, complaining or arguing...but that's definitely pushing it.)

But I can't say any of those things. All I can do is bring this burden to the Lord and bathe it in prayer. I don't mean that to sound preachy, over dramatic or holier-than-thou. I mean that I understand that, short of His supernatural intervention, I am destined to fail.

One of my constant prayers for my church is that God would move in such a way that no person or persons could conceivably take credit. A move that can only be "explained" by the Holy Spirit...that even skeptics shake their heads in wonder. And I don't believe I'm exaggerating when I say that it will take this same kind of movement in my life and the lives of my family if we are going to defy heredity.

So I'm praying. Praying, praying, praying...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

God Reads My Blog!

You may or may not have noticed/cared that I have a little gadget over on my sidebar called "Daily Snippets from the Word". Its free and I thought the Michelangelo-ish angels complemented my layout rather nicely.

Today when I opened my blog, this was the verse:

He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing.
Job 8:21

(It may or may not still be over there. It changes frequently...uh, probably daily...hence the name.)

Anyway, since my children have delighted in making fun of my inability to smile and slurred speech due to my temporary facial paralysis, this was truly a Divine Word of encouragement. So I may not have the largest readership on the blog-o-sphere, but apparently I have the attention of the One who matters most.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Woe is Me

I've started a couple of different posts this week, but they wind up sounding like I'm a wah-wah-crybaby, so I'm going to keep my crazy to myself.

Let me just say that Weapons of Mass Destruction have nothing on the shingles.

And that's all I have to say about that.

I'll get back to you when I'm in a little better state of mind.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Close, But Yet So Far

Well, I made it to church yesterday and other than the fact that apparently operating only one side of your face tires you out more quickly than using both sides, I had a very good day. I thought I'd reached the end of my growing list of symptoms and was basking in the light at the end of the tunnel. I was changing clothes I felt a small rough-ish patch on my shoulder. I asked Joel what it looked like and his reply was, "Poison ivy." I knew this was impossible because the last time I was exposed to poison ivy, I was 8 years old on a Girl Scout camping trip. Not the outdoorsy type, am I. But the over-65 population at church on Sunday evening knew immediately what it was...shingles!

Another call to the doctor this morning. The receptionist said my regular physician was booked, but she'd be happy to schedule me with someone else or I could wait until 4:00 tomorrow. I declined having to rehash my medical history with yet another stranger and asked to leave a voicemail. When Dr. M returned my call after lunch, the minute I mentioned a small patch that looks like poison ivy, she gasped, "Its shingles! I need to see you this afternoon."

And so the saga continues...

You know the saying about hindsight being 20/20? I believe it was coined for just such an occasion as this. As we laid it all out in the doctor's office this afternoon, it was like putting pieces of the puzzle together. All the way back to last Wednesday when my only real symptoms were a swollen lymph node and that when I drank carbonated beverages my ear drum burned. Hot liquids felt soothing, cold drinks were no problem, but DietCoke caused a tingling burning sensation deep inside my ear. We focused on the lymph node and didn't catch the warning signs of nerve impairment.

So Bell's Palsey does not cause shingles, it is a side effect of shingles. In my case, it just happened to identify itself more quickly than the real culprit. So while I thought the worst was over, I now have oozing, weeping and scabbing of the "poison ivy" patch to look forward to. Oh, and excruciating pain.

Well, the next few weeks might not be pleasant, but should be interesting. Let me just apologize ahead of time for anything I might say or do in the near future...we'll just chalk it up to all the steroids, anti-virals, antibiotics and pain killers that now live on my nightstand. K? Thx.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Day, Another Set of Symptoms

Here's an update in the ongoing saga of my mystery illness. Its a lengthy post and kind of like a bad episode of "House, M.D.", but if you're interested, make yourself comfortable and read on.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a call in to the doctor to see if I needed to come in again. When I finally spoke with her, she said, yes, I did need to be seen but unfortunately she would be out of the office. She scheduled me in with one of her perfectly capable associates.

This time, the focus was more on the ear lobe than the lymph node, resulting in a change of antibiotics, a high-powered ointment and thankfully, some pain medication. Official diagnosis: post-auricle cellulitis (an infection of the tissure surrounding the ear).

I was optimistic that I would take/apply the meds, and fall into a deep, hydrocodone-induced sleep. I just knew that when I awoke, I would be pain-free and the swelling would be reduced enough to venture out into public without frightening small children.

But no. While the ointment did seem to provide a little relief to the raw area behind my protruding earlobe, the pain medicine did not even touch my discomfort. I tossed and turned all.night.long. I finally fell asleep about 6:15 a.m.

When I awoke three hours later, I stumbled to the kitchen to get my customary first-thing-in-the-morning Diet Coke. But when I started to take a sip, I had the oddest sensation. You know that feeling when you've been to the dentist and he puts your gums to sleep, but your tongue and lips are also affected? Yes. That was the feeling. Only I hadn't been to the dentist.

The doctor on Friday had been very adamant that she would be working the Saturday clinic and if I needed anything to come back. I felt this merited a return trip.

Upon our arrival, I was immediately referred to the Emergency Room. I guess something about the severe swelling and numbness affecting the entire right side of my face caused the clinic personnel to think I might need a little more in depth medical attention.

I haven't spent a lot of time in Emergency Rooms and I've never been there on my own behalf. So now I am at the mercy of a third medical professional who, of course, disregards either of the previous diagnoses.

"We're going to do some tests," he says. The lab comes in to draw blood. No surprise. Someone else comes in to do a Strep culture. Pretty routine. Next, however, a nice man arrived with a wheelchair to take me to get a CT Scan. When the doctor said "tests", I didn't know this is what he was referring to. A little intimidating...because I've never had one. Only seen them on episodes of ER when they are diagnosing a brain tumor or a construction workers' cranium has been impaled by metal re-barre.

Turns out a CT Scan's not really that bad, except for the part where they tell you, "Don't breathe or swallow." Something about the power of suggestion, because suddenly I needed to take a breath and swallow. Then there's that "warm sensation" when they shoot die or something into your IV. I'm glad the technician warned me, otherwise I would have thought I'd wet my pants.

To make a long story short (I know, too late for that) I DO NOT have Strep, mono, an abscess in a lymph node, a brain tumor or re-barre. What I do have now is Bells Palsey, a temporary paralysis of the face caused by trauma to the 7th cranial nerve. Probably, the extensive swelling of my lymph node put undue pressure on the nerve and I woke up after 3 hours of sleep with the right side of my face almost completely paralyzed. The prognosis is good. The paralysis peaks within 48 hours of onset and does not spread or get worse. Full muscle control usually returns within 2 weeks. (I'm sure someone out there probably has a horror story about Bells Palsey and their aunt's sister-in-law's cousin, but I'd appreciate it if you'd kindly keep that to yourself.)

So I'm on steroids for the next two weeks and the pain medicine they gave me at the hospital helped tremendously. Just now, as HannahKate went to bed she asked, "So are you going to church tomorrow?" I told her, "If I feel like this tomorrow, I'm going to church. But since I've woken up to a different set of symptoms every day since Wednesday, let's just wait and see."

And so, we will wait and see...

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Ears" Lookin' at You

You know the old wives tale that says if your ears are burning, someone is talking about you? If there is any merit in that whatsoever, then I have been quite the topic of conversation somewhere lately.

On Tuesday, I noticed the lymph node under my right ear was a bit swollen. On Wednesday, it was worse and also very tender to the touch, so I went to see the doctor. She did a cursory exam and said I appeared to have some fluid in the eustacian tube and prescribed a five day round of antibiotics.

On Thursday, the swelling had worsened enough that it was visible. The entire right side of my neck and down into my shoulder hurt. And for some strange reason, my ear lobe began to swell. By last night, I was miserable. I kept the heating pad on my neck, took ibuprofen and tried to make myself comfortable.

So this morning, I'm three days into my five day regime of antibiotics and should be well on the road to recovery. But I'm not...the lymph node has improved a little, maybe, but is still extremely swollen and tender. And now, my ear lobe! Its huge! It is so swollen, it is almost perpendicular to my head! Its freakish. I took pictures of it so you could see it. Otherwise, you might never believe me. I also took one of my left ear to prove that I am not normally prone to large, protruding ear lobes. Beware, the following images are quite graphic and may not be suitable for young children.

See? Left ear. Perfectly normal.

Right ear. Freakishly large.

I do have a call in to the doctor, since this is Friday. I would hate to have my ear lobe rupture over the weekend. The swelling in the lymph node is pronounced enough that I have trouble turning my head, but at least its not disfiguring. This ear thing, on the other hand, might keep me from venturing out in public for fear of being shunned like the Elephant Man.

So back to the wives' tale. I cannot imagine what I could have possibly done that would warrant someone talking about me to the point that my ear would not only burn, but become inflamed and swell up like a cherry tomato. Whatever it was, I'm sorry. So sorry. Could you please send a few kind words my way now? Cool, soothing, balm-like words...thank you. Thank you very much.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crazy Eights

I've been tagged by my friend Amanda and the topic is the #8. I thought this would be a really fun, easy meme. Uh, not so much. Apparently, I don't have a lot of diversity in my life. It was extremely difficult to come up with 8 of anything. But I did wait to post this until the 8th of January...because I'm cre-8-tive like that.

8 TV Shows I Watch
This one was hard because I don't particularly like TV, and I refuse to put anything on the list that I watch only because another family member subjects me to it. For example, The Suite Life of Zach & Cody (Hallie) or UFC (BigJoel)
1)American Idol
2)The Office
3)Miami Ink
4)Jewelry Making
5)The Soup
6)House Hunters
7)Dirty Jobs
8)Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

8 Favorite Restaurants
1)Del Frisco's
2)P.F. Chang
3)Taco Casa
4)Chicken Express
6)Genghis Grill
7)Giordanno's Pizza (Chicago)
8)Carmine's (NYC)

8 things that happened today
1)took Hallie to school
2)made chicken salad with Big Joel for lunch (I love chicken salad, but I've never made it myself)
3)dropped off clothing donation at women's shelter
4)registered my Jeep (tags expired in December. I was expecting a dirty look for tax clerk, but she was surprisingly friendly)
5)went to Mexican grocery store to find aji amarillo (yay! they had it...and Inca Kola so I bought some to surprise Hannah & Hallie)
6)drove around on country roads looking for old churches with Joel
7)went to doctor for swollen lymph node (I was afraid she'd yell at me about my weight, but my blood pressure was so high she didn't notice I've gained 10 pounds. She still yelled at me...and doubled my BP medicine)
8)went to church

8 things I look forward to
Does this mean things I'm excited about or just things coming up in the future? I'll include a few of both, but I'll leave it up to you to decide which is which...
1)Peru Mission Trip in March
2)Elizabeth's 30th birthday bash in the Carribean
3)traveling the country in an RV when BigJoel retires some day
5)roadtrip with Johanna TBD
6)Hallie's birthday party at the American Girl Doll Store
7)Hannah's 8th Grade Sweetheart Dance
8)Monday Nite Supper Club

8 things I wish for
1)a new computer---one that still has the "h" key
2)a motorcycle for BigJoel
3)self-discipline to lose the 10 pounds I've about 40 more
4)a band-saw
5)a fancy-smancy sewing machine
6)my girls to become neat freaks
7)for BigJoel to win Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes--we'll take the $5,000 a week for the rest of our lives, thank you very much.
8)a bigger bank account (in the event that #7 doesn't pan out)

8 songs I just listened to
1)Viva la Vida (Coldplay)
2)I Will Rise (Chris Tomlin) technically, the entire Hello, Love CD which would be more than 8
3)God of This City
4)Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
5)Fix You (Coldplay, again)
6)Love Story (Taylor Swift)
7)Bring the Rain (MercyMe...hey, it was playing on someone else's blog)
8)Who's Side Are You Leanin' On? (kid song during AWANA)

8 Movies I love
1)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
2)Moulin Rouge
3)Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
4)Walk the Line
6)Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
7)Across the Universe
8)Nacho Libre

8 People I tag
I'll tag 'em, but I'll be surprised if they actually particip-8...

So to close out my tribute to the number eight, here's a throwback to grade school, like maybe when we were 8 years old:
"I 1 it, I 2 it, I 3 it, I 4 it, I 5 it, I 6 it, I 7 it, I 8 it!"

I believe Eight is Enough. Yep. Defin-8-ly enough.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

MNSC--Poppy Seed Chicken

I haven't mentioned Monday Night Supper Club in a while. The main reason is that the last time we hosted, I made spaghetti with meatballs, Ceasar salad, and cheese bread. I didn't figure anyone would be interested in how I fed my guests a meal which came entirely from either a box, a bag or a jar. Oh, I did make mint chocolate brownies, but we were only able to eat around the edges because the center did not cook. I'm even a fan of gooey just-barely-done brownies and I was afraid of salmonella from the raw eggs. So I didn't want to post that recipe because, *its* obviously flawed...

Yesterday was our turn again. I decided to make my friend L's Poppy Seed Chicken. It is seriously one of my favorite meals and its so easy. I haven't made it in quite a while, and I can't remember for the life of me why not. As I was putting it together in the large casserole dish, HannahKate walked through the kitchen and asked, "What is that and have I ever had it before?"
To which I replied, "Poppy Seed Chicken. Yes, you've had it before and you loved it."
"I don't believe you." Have I mentioned that HannahKate's gotten pretty nervy since turning 13?
"Yes, you have. It's Miss L's recipe and you love Miss L."
"All I know, is I don't ever like anything you make in that dish." Seriously. She doesn't even know what's in it, she's just going to judge a casserole by its Pyrex. I've failed as a parent.

Anyway, back to the recipe. It was ready in just under an hour and I served it with green salad, English peas and dinner rolls. (Still relying heavily on pre-packaged food in bags and cans)

Poppy Seed Chicken
4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can cream of chicken&mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 stick of butter
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
poppy seeds
Place chicken cubes in a large casserole dish. Combine soup and sour cream. Pour over chicken. Crush Ritz crackers and spread over the top. Melt butter and drizzle on crackers. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
You'll be amazed at how good this is for so little effort!

HannahKate wound up going down the street to eat pizza with a friend...and its a good thing, because we ate every single bite of it without her. She has no idea what she missed!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Family Ties--When Your Dad is Also Your Brother (in Christ)

Hallie and Jesus share the same birthday...sort of. Hallie's real birthday is in January and scholars don't honestly know the exact date of Jesus' birth. But December 25 is the day we celebrate His coming to earth as a baby. And in 2006, it became the day we celebrated Hallie coming to a saving knowledge of Him as her Savior. She made a public profession of faith on Christmas Day two years ago. A few days later, on January 7, 2007, Big Joel had the privilege of baptizing her. Now she's not only his daughter, but also his little sister in Christ. It was a special day...yes...a very special day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

End of the Year Meme

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? went on a cruise

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't make resolutions...too depressing when I fail.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Paige, but we didn't really get to know Em much til they moved back to Texas. Pretty much everyone else in my Girls Night Out group.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No immediate family, but several spiritual mentors.

5. What countries did you visit? Mexico, Peru

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? organization & time management...wait, this sounds suspiciously like a new year's resolution...

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hallie's 8th birthday, HannahKate's 13th and our 17th wedding anniversary

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? quitting my job

9. What was your biggest failure? quitting my job

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? no, and neither did my family, thank goodness; except my dad did have surgery

11. What was the best thing you bought? hmmm, maybe my PalmCentro phone, but that was an upgrade so I didn't really buy it...does that count?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? HannahKate, at times;

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Oprah, professional atheletes

14. Where did most of your money go? Wal-Mart

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? New York City trip

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? David Cook's Idol performance of "Music of the Night" love. love. LOVE David Cook and we saw "Phantom" on Broadway in October

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? a)happier, b)like I'm gonna admit that, c)financially poorer, but richer in contentment

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? travel

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? procrastinate...hey, this also sounds like a resolution...

20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve & lunch with Joel's family; Christmas night with Joel, Paige, Elizabeth, Lee, and HannahKate's friends.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? more & more with BigJoel every day

22. What was your favorite TV program? American Idol

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? no, still loathing the usual suspects (just kidding)

24. What was the best book you read? The Shack

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Brooke Fraser

26. What did you want and get? metal-stamping kit

27. What did you want and not get? must not have needed it very badly because I can't remember

28. What was your favorite film of this year? possibly The Kiterunner; but I did enjoy the midnight premiere of Twilight although more for the experience than the cinematic greatness

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Sambuca with Elizabeth and Nancy; enjoyed family & friends; and if you really must know, I turned 41...ack!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? hypothetically, a million dollars, but realistically, not a thing

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? I spent as much time in my pajamas as possible without embarrassing my children in public.

32. What kept you sane? Jesus

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? David Cook; and I was intrigued by Sarah Palin

34. What political issue stirred you the most? the lack of respect for our current President

35. Who did you miss? my mother

36. Who was the best new person you met? Robyn! She rocks!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. There is a difference between saying you believe something and living out your beliefs.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I sing because I'm happy.
I sing because I'm free.
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me."

***I'm afraid I originally neglected to give credit where credit is due. I totally lifted this meme from Monica at Transplanting Me. I really enjoy stalking, er, following her blog.***

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who Are "They" Anyway?

"They" say that whatever you do on New Year's Day is what you will be doing all year long. While I would like to be on the beach in a tropical paradise to lock in my luck for 2009, the best I can do is have lunch with some good friends and avoid the laundry room. I did also get to sleep late, make some jewelry, shop at Target and spend a fun evening with my family playing games...oh, and the dogs didn't pee or poo in the gameroom floor today. I guess if that sets the tone for the year I'll be doing ok.
Happy New Year!