Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Crags and Clay"

(by Gungor)

When this song first came out, I knew that I had to post it during NEDA week.


On the Gungor blog, Michael Gungor had the following to say about today's song:

It ends with Lisa’s voice singing “fearfully and wonderfully and beautifully made.” I think in a world full of plastic surgery and magazines and film constantly bombarding us with what is beautiful; women in our society have an especially difficult time with self-image. Beauty in our culture is valued in terms of beauty over and against other human beings, and it is based on the small variations of specific physical features. However, human beings as a work of art in and of themselves are exceptionally and beautifully made.

If our girls grew up finding their value and their beauty in their humanity rather than their measurements, we would have a healthier society. I want our baby girl, Amelie, to grow up knowing she is beautiful, but not just beautiful compared to other creations of God. I want her to know that she is beautiful primarily because she is a creation of God.
That is my prayer for my baby girl, for every girl that I know, and for every girl who reads this blog.


"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." {Psalm 139:14a}

"He has made everything beautiful in its time..." {Ecc. 3:11a}

Amy

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Perfect"

(by P!nk)



{I posted the edited version because there are some words I simply can't justify putting on here! Please excuse the b*word in the video, though. This song has such a great message that I figured you could excuse that!}

If you dropped by yesterday, then you're aware that it's NEDA Week!

This is such an important week to me because I struggled with an eating disorder for over half of my life. This year's theme is "Everybody Knows Somebody" because we all know someone who has been affected by eating disorders. Early detection and intervention are possible if we educate ourselves about the contributing factors, signs, and symptoms of eating disorders.

In our culture that is saturated with unrealistic body-image messages, almost all of us know somebody who is struggling with an eating disorder. I am healthy today because my friend cared enough to intervene. If you know someone, please don't be afraid to say something! ♥

Amy

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Crazy Beautiful"

(by Chasen) Crazy Beautiful - Shine Through the Stars



It's NEDA (National Eating Disorders Awareness) Week, so once again I'd like to devote this week to eating disorder recovery! This is a special year for NEDA, because it's their 25th Anniversary!


As someone who suffered from an eating disorder & body image issues for a good portion of my life, this week is one that I hold near & dear to my heart. Being over 17 years recovered, I believe that one of my purposes in life is spreading hope that recovery is possible! When I was struggling, there were very few accessible resources for recovery. With the internet in everyone's home (as well as most everyone's pocket or purse!), there is so much more hope & help easily accessible now. There are also many organizations devoted to awareness, early detection, prevention, and recovery. Today I am grateful for the following recovery, body image, & ED-related organizations and websites...

  1. NEDA
  2. Freedom from Eating Disorders
  3. Finding Balance
  4. To Write Love On Her Arms
  5. Project Inspired
  6. Someday Melissa
  7. Operation Beautiful
  8. Freedom to...
  9. Proud2Bme
  10. Eating Disorder Hope
  11. End Fat Talk
  12. Academy for Eating Disorders
  13. ANAD
  14. The Joy Project
  15. Eating Disorders Coalition
  16. Healthy Place Eating Disorders Community
  17. The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty
  18. Olive Branch Outreach
  19. Something Fishy
  20. MentorCONNECT
  21. The Elisa Project
  22. Weighing the Facts
  23. Caring Online
  24. Voice in Recovery
  25. My Broken Place

By way of disclaimer: I don't agree with every single thing on each of the websites, but I agree with most of what I have seen through the years. Overall, they are promoting health & hope. And I am thankful that there are so many people out there supporting recovery & freedom! ღ

Amy

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"People of God"

(by Gungor) People of God - Beautiful Things

People of God by Gungor on Grooveshark


Apparently it was another Gungor week. There's no real reason this song is #1 except that it tied with a couple of songs I've already posted. It's Bible stuff, which is always good! :)

Once again, I have a Saturday post full of bits of randomness...

I almost got in a bit of a trail ride traffic jam the other day! Fortunately, I was turning at the light just behind them. It is kinda neat, though, so I drove up to an area where I could still see them & took some pics! :)


I finished another scarf this week! I don't really intend on devoting entire blog posts to each project. Plus the scarf I'm showing you today is named "Cinnamon & Lipstick", and I posted that song in the playlist yesterday. This is my first attempt at a twirly scarf. I think it turned out cute, but it folds over  sorta flat around my neck. I'm not so much a fan of that. I'll have to look into some ways to keep that from happening next time I make one...


We had a surprise visit from Christopher's Dad, step-mom, & baby brother! Keith had to deliver something to Houston, so they stayed at our house last night & hung out with us today. This is the first time they've been here since we moved from Dallas, so I was glad that we had a mostly free day to spend with them! We went to the San Jacinto Monument & Battleship Texas...


How cute is this girl?!


The boys were brave enough to climb as high as people are allowed to go on the ship:


The kids had a great day with their uncle! :)


One last thing...Have you seen this commercial?

I love it when he says, "We just had ourselves a little Journey moment there." Ü

I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend! ♥

Amy

Friday, February 24, 2012

"With a Little Help from My Friends"

(by Joe Cocker) With a Little Help from My Friends - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Joe Cocker

With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker on Grooveshark

It has been a super long time since I've done one of these posts! The other day I mentioned that I had a list going. And since I can't come up with a better name, I'd like to call this "Friends' Theme Songs: Random Assortment of High School Friends Edition"...

The first song goes out to Amy (aka Curly, Mooncraters, etc). She is one of three of us Amys that were in youth group together. I don't remember how it happened, but at some point we started referring to ourselves as Moe, Larry & Curly. I remember it involving a phone call that went something like this, "This is Amy. Have Amy call me at Amy's..." & somehow morphed into, "This is Moe. Have Larry call me at Curly's". {And NO, I will never forgive y'all for the picture you put in the paper for my 18th birthday! j/k} Oh, Amy, we have so many memories ~ & unfortunately, pictures to prove some of them! {OK, I'm not going to lie: I even love the horrendously awful ones of me!} I don't even know where to start...youth group, camp, riding around in The Colossal Unreversal & G Taylor {I totally forgot your car's name!} To be considered one of your daddy's daughters was an honor. I love the fact that you had his nickname for me put on my beer milk mug at your wedding! {& I love that you bought me a gallon of milk!} Your family welcomed me into your home at a time in my life when I desperately needed a family. Your mom is amazing, and I admire her ability to work and still make delicious home-cooked meals for your family each night! And I am so grateful that she always prepared enough for me & expected me to eat with y'all! {Did I seriously eat dinner with y'all every night of my Senior year? 'Cuz in my memory, I did! & we ate lunch there, too, didn't we?! Man, I owe your mom some $ for food!!} & I enjoyed sharing your little sister & brother with you! Anyways, though the song I picked for you is a more recent one {& it's really intended for a guy to sing to a girl} I think a lot of the lyrics of “Cinnamon & Lipstick” really sum it up for us! ♥ {p.s. I came across a picture of Clay in the units "dress". He'd kill me if I posted it on fb, wouldn't he?!}

Though I didn't actually go to high school with Nick, my friendship with him began back then. I met him & his twin brother when my youth pastor brought them with us to the Galleria, and we were instant friends. Those were the days before cell phones & email, so our friendship didn't come easy. He lived about an hour away from me (and it was long distance for us to call each other), so we wrote letters. When I was at Dad's, we could call each other for free. And we did. Every time. When I started driving, I'd hang out with him when I drove in to Houston for trips to the mall or on the way to/from a visit with my dad. I now live about 10-15 minutes from his old neighborhood, so I'll find myself driving through there every once in awhile & picture his little drawings on the letters he would send me. One of them was a little map he drew of his town & mine. He was headed West (towards my town) in his car, with the words “Go West, Young Man” above it! :) Hence, his song.

And now for Vicki Vidi! We quickly became friends my Freshman year, & I still have such fond memories of our friendship. We wrote the longest notes ever ~ full of random teenage drama! Among other things, I was so glad to be her driving partner for driver's ed. And I knew that all those hours driving around our little bitty town would be worth it if I got to drive with her. {Though I must say I was pretty happy that we got to use up several of them by driving to Austin ~ though I was too scared to drive over the Bluff!} We used to schedule our orthodontist appointments at the same time so we could ride together. Though that memory will forever be marred by the one we missed on that tragic day. Is it weird that I'm glad we are still able to grieve together? We have emailed each other several times through the years, just grieving. But we understand each other, and it is so comforting. On a happier note, I will never forget Spanish class, which is the origin of her song. We had to learn it in the class, and it has her birthday in it. So it has always been her song. You have NO idea how happy I was when I was able to actually find it for the playlist! I figured it was nearly impossible, but I found it! Eeeeeeee! :) Oh, & I will never forget the time I had to describe Stephen en Español & quietly added (for her ears only), "Es muy guapo"...only to hear Señor Blanco say, "Si, Amy, si." {mor.ti.phied.} Vidi, as I've said before, you & Spanish class will always be intertwined in my mind & in my heart!

The other Amy {Larry} has a song, too: Wayne Watson's “Friend of a Wounded Heart”. That may seem weird & somewhat sad, but it was a song that we would sing to each other when one of us was feeling down. As with my friend Karikins' song, there were dance moves involved. {These were a little less dramatic than "For You", in case you wondered!} I remember sitting across the sanctuary from her one day after she & her boyfriend had broken up, & I did a few of the actions to the song. It made her smile. ü & when I needed it, she would return the favor. Yay for friends who know how to cheer you up! :)



I have a few more that I was planning on including, but this post was getting way too long. I figure I'll remember somebody else's song tomorrow, anyways. So I'll tell y'all about a few other peoples' songs another time. I'm pretty sure I've asked this before, but do any of your friends have a "theme song"? If so, I'd love to hear about it! :)

Amy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Good News"

(by The Skatalites)

Good News by Skatalites on Grooveshark

If you read my last post, then you saw that we got a good report at the ocular oncologist on Monday! We actually received several bits of good news, though unfortunately none of it affects his prognosis or anything {because of this stupid type of cancer & its potential to micrometastasize long before anybody has a clue that they even have a problem ~ have I ever explained how all of that works?} But we like good news any way we can get it!

Anyways, Chris actually has more improvement in his visual acuity. You may recall that he was CF at face before cataract surgery. He is now CF 3-4'. It's really just in his peripheral vision & hasn't changed his life, but it's still an improvement. And Dr B was able to see much better, which is what they were all hoping for.

I'm pretty sure I explained in the very beginning that the tumor will never completely go away, but it should flatten. Upon examination, Dr B could tell that the tumor had flattened quite a bit, & he is quite pleased. He sent Chris for pictures that proved it. And he showed us that it is also losing some of the pigment, which he seemed happy about, too. So basically, the tumor flattening is indication that the radiation did what it was supposed to do: sterilize the tumor. And as the cancer cells have died, they have been absorbed into his body, causing the tumor to shrink/flatten. So the flattening confirms that the tumor isn't active, which is definitely a good thing.

And guess what else the whole flattening thing means?... It has flattened enough that he won't have to do ultrasounds anymore! Ultrasounds used to not be a big deal. They would use a little wand on his eyelid, & the most difficult part was looking the direction the technician told him to look. {That sounds easier than it actually is, but my main point is that they weren't painful or anything!} I had read other patients' descriptions of ultrasounds that were performed directly on the eyeball, and it really sounded quite torturous. I was glad for Christopher's sake that he didn't have to have that kind...until he did have that kind last time. He would agree with the other patients' torturous descriptions. So needless to say, he was quite happy to hear that he won't have to go through that again!

And lastly, I think I've complained about how much time & money are spent seeing Dr C (the retina specialist) each time we would see Dr B, even though they were basically doing the same exact thing. So Chris asked Dr B about it, and he didn't think it was necessary to continue to see Dr C right now! How about that?! His pressure is good, and there isn't currently any bleeding inside the eye. Those crazy radioactive vessels still have the potential to do some damage, but for now they're behaving. So we were able to cancel the appointment with Dr C & won't see him unless/until there's more radiation damage discovered in the future. And we're pretty happy to save a specialist co-pay 4-6 times a year!

So we don't have to see anyone for a few months. I'm not getting too excited about that, though. Last time I wrote something like that in all caps, he ended up going to the dermatologist every two weeks or something crazy. So I'll calmly say that I'm glad & hope it stays that way!

Amy

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Thankful"

(by Jill Phillips) Thankful - God and Money

Thankful by Jill Phillips on Grooveshark

If you didn't play the song, you really should. I hadn't heard it before this little series, but I discovered it at some point along the way. She says some good stuff in there! Anyways, today I am thankful for...

  1. Yarn shops with some yarn that feels amazing
  2. Running into a girl from high school at a local yarn shop :)
  3. A box of chocolates in which I actually like every piece {Thank you, Chris & Hershey's, for a box without orange &/or other nasty flavored cream-filled chocolates!}
  4. Neighbors that I can borrow & lend things like sugar and coffee :)
  5. A close parking spot when I'm running late for an appointment
  6. Nice people who hold the elevator doors for me
  7. Mixed nuts
  8. A super low gas bill
  9. A super low electric bill
  10. A coffee/tea date with my friend Angels
  11. Samantha spotting me at Kroger just after I had missed her important call {is it OK that I put something I'm thankful for that didn't benefit me at all?!}
  12. A chance to try freezer cooking with some great ladies!
  13. NOT sailing away in a bit of extremely high water on the way to the church for said freezer cooking event
  14. Nice guards during our visit with my baby brother {some of them can be grouchy sometimes, but  we had the nice ones this weekend!}
  15. Not too personal of a shakedown this time {I tell ya, sometimes I feel violated. Seriously, where could I possibly hide anything in a bra that I buy in the little girl department?!}
  16. Dad staying for dinner {because he had three house showings in one day! Did I tell you he put his house on the market so he can move out this direction?!}
  17. Uncle Dan {who had a birthday on Saturday, along with 8 other people that I know ~ crazy, huh?!}
  18. Being welcomed into Wade & Amy's home group {when I had to leave mine early to pick Cody up from a birthday party & take him to Alex's ~ I was totally just going to drop him off, but they invited me to join them! :) Don't worry, Jana, I'm not defecting or anything!}
  19. Going to bed by 11:00 two nights in a row {baby steps, people...}
  20. A place for Cody to play on a day off of school {when I knew I'd be at a doctor appointment with Chris for at least half of the day}
  21. A friend to come over & hang out with Elly {when I knew Cody & I would both be gone}
  22. A good report from Christopher's ocular oncologist
  23. Getting to eliminate one doctor (the retina specialist) from our routine {for now, at least!}
  24. Finding the time to prepare my Bible study lessons {I had no idea how much time it would take, but I'm loving it!}
  25. The sound of Elly playing the guitar {she's still learning, but it sounds really good right now!}

I'd love to know what's on your list today!

Amy

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Brother Moon"

(by Gungor) Brother Moon - Ghosts Upon the Earth (Deluxe Edition)

Brother Moon by Gungor on Grooveshark


I'm only going on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep {thanks to a scaredy-cat of a dog who's afraid of rain & three beautiful but LOUD teenage girls} So I'm going to try to make this quick so I can go to bed. Not sure if I can do that & actually make sense, but I'll give it a go...

I found out that there was a yarn store in the town just north of me, so I decided to go check it out one day when I had a little free time. I had hoped that it would be as good or better than the other one, because it's closer to my house. And I was not disappointed, which is a good thing because of what I'm about to tell y'all...It should come as no surprise that the owner is a girl I went to high school with! ü What are the odds?! Amy & her twin brother David were two years ahead of me, but their little brother Allen was my classmate & good friend. {Allen & I were voted "Most Likely to Succeed". I think it worked for him, but the jury is still out on me! I guess it depends on what you consider successful...} Anyways, it was so good to see Amy! I see David at class reunions (because he married a classmate of mine), but I haven't seen Amy since my Sophomore/her Senior year. And she knows way more about knitting than I could ever dream of knowing, so I'm hoping to go up there for classes & such.

I may have told y'all that Valentine's Day isn't really a big deal at my house. Maybe it should be, but it just didn't really start out very well for us...So anyways, you may get a kick out of this: our family ate Valentine's dinner at the Waffle House. Ya, we're classy, huh? I had actually never been. And as crazy as this sounds, it has been on my list of places to eat since we were dating! {No lie. There's a nearly 17-year-old list somewhere, & Waffle House is on it!} Anyways, I'm not sure how it came up in conversation with my friend {do you know, Marcie??}, but next thing I know we're talking about making Valentine's Day at Waffle House a family tradition...

My little Clara Belle came with us {because my little friend Caleb had fallen & needed stitches} & can I just state for the record that she is absolutely adorable?! I've known this since she was born, but so far she hasn't gotten any less adorable! She says the cutest things. She's so matter-of-fact, but the things that come out of her mouth are so funny sometimes that it's hard to keep a straight face! :)

It has been a Gungor & Mozella kind of week. Interesting combination, huh? I think my baby girl had control of the iPod most of the time, but I'm not complaining (this time). What I like most about today's song is the chorus:

Maker of it all
You provide it all
In You we live
In You we move
In You we have our being
You're glorious
You're holding us together
All together


Alrighty, I'm off to bed! I hope your weekend is going well!

Amy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Your Disguise"

(by James Greenspun) Your Disguise - Penelope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Your Disguise by James Greenspun on Grooveshark

I don't have much to say these days, but I wanted to let y'all know that I'm still alive! I have a couple of random stories that I plan to share with y'all on Saturday. I also have a list going of Friends' Theme Songs that belong to a random assortment of high school friends. Not that y'all really care, but I'll probably write one of those posts sometime soon. It has been quite awhile, huh?!

Anyways, Elizabeth & I love the movie Penelope. We watched it again the other day, and I heard today's song. I guess I had never paid attention before, but I think it's super! So if you didn't play it yet, what are you waiting for?

I hope y'all are having a great day!! ♥

Amy

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Thank God"

(by Ty Tabor) Thank God - Balance

Thank God by Ty Tabor on Grooveshark

Today I am thankful for...

  1. Receiving a replacement Bible without hassle {for my new one that was missing around 65 pages}
  2. New recipes to try
  3. Cheap sunglasses {'cuz let's face it: I'm dangerous & can't afford to continuously replace expensive ones}
  4. Breakfast with Marcie {finally!!}
  5. A lovely yarn store
  6. A little girl who likes the fact that she gets to ride to church with Cody on Wednesday nights ;)
  7. The chance to simply be silly with the students at church
  8. A friend who forgives me for totally forgetting about a crop day
  9. The free time to actually make it to said crop day {an hour or so late}
  10. Laughter with my "little sis" {the lovely Lydia}
  11. A productive first meeting for goingLOCAL leaders
  12. Good discussion time at MOPS
  13. Students who sacrifice an entire Saturday for a service project
  14. Another wonderful Alpha Day with my baby brother
  15. Grease from fried chicken to provide a little moisture for my lips when I had to do without Chapstick for the whole day {I almost didn't type this for fear that y'all would think I've totally lost it. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, & I was quite thankful for some temporary relief!}
  16. People who volunteer their time to pour into the lives of Aaron & his "brothers in white"
  17. My picture making it into the video for Caleb's first year :)
  18. An opportunity for rest on what was originally going to be a busy Sunday afternoon
  19. B12 supplements
  20. Buckeyes {have I mentioned that I love peanut butter & chocolate?}
  21. My friend Desiree who opens up her home every Monday morning for Moms in Touch
  22. Finally catching up on blog posts that have been in my reader for way too long
  23. Drought conditions improving
  24. Kettle cooked jalapeno flavored chips
  25. Socks on cold & rainy days

I'm 3/4 of the way through this little "One Thousand Gifts" meme. It seemed a little overwhelming at first, but it really isn't so hard to come up with things I'm thankful for. God is so good! What's on your list today?

Amy

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"The Heat"

(by NEEDTOBREATHE) The Heat - The Heat

The Heat (Album Version) by NEEDTOBREATHE on Grooveshark


I've had a busy {but super great} week! I'll try not to bore you with all the details, but here are a few highlights...

I met my friend Marcie for breakfast in Sugar Land & found a yarn store nearby. In case you missed the picture of the map that I posted on fb, this is how Google was wanting me to drive to the yarn store that was just under the overpass & in the first shopping strip to the right:


We had our first leaders' meeting for this year's local mission trip! {You may remember me talking about it last year} I'm so excited to be involved with it again, and I look forward to continued outreach in that community. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this in the future...

Dad & I spent most of today with my baby brother at Alpha Day! {I mentioned doing a previous Alpha Day at the bottom of a post in the Fall} We sang again & enjoyed skits, poems, & songs from inmates & their family members. It was a great day, and I'm so glad that I got to be a part of it!

I was finished with Alpha Day just in time to attend my favorite little snuggly friend's FIRST birthday party! He really is so adorable, but I'm sad to think that someday soon I won't be able to refer to him as "snuggly"! ;)

OK, I'm incredibly exhausted & fear that I'm starting to not make much sense. So I'll wrap things up now...I've been listening to Needtobreathe a lot lately. I hope you're not getting tired of seeing their songs on here. {If so, just know that I think you're crazy!} Am I weird that I get all excited when I hear one of their songs on commercials & TV shows? Today's song tied with "Drive All Night", which I've already posted. Since I heard it on Pandora at Felicity's on Thursday & again at The Warehouse tonight, I declare it the winner. I don't have just one favorite part. I love the entire bridge & chorus. But if I had to pick just one line it'd be, "Push the life that brought you here away from you tonight."

I hope y'all are having a super great weekend! ♥

Amy

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Eleven"

(by Have You Heard) Eleven - Take.Create.Revive.

Eleven by Have You Heard on Grooveshark

Brooke tagged me in an “Eleven Things” meme that she was tagged in. I’m not sure that I can come up with 11 things that y’all don’t already know about me, but I’ll give it a try…

The Rules:

  • Post these rules
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
  • No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 Random Things about Me:
  1. I wore corrective shoes when I was a baby. I had casts on my lower legs & feet at first. After that, I wore those awesome saddle shoes with a bar connecting them.
  2. I absolutely cannot eat that strange little squishy piece of meat that is generally attached to the side of a chicken breast. {Gag!}
  3. Not only do I constantly twirl my hair, but I’ve somewhat recently picked up the habit of tying it in a knot {with only one hand ~ sorta like how you tie a ballon. Ya. I blame Nicole.}
  4. I have a hard time eating things like corn on the cob, sandwiches, & chicken on the bone, because I don’t use my front teeth to bite. I have no idea why, but I bite food on the side of my mouth instead. So if a finger food is too big to bite on the side (&/or I can't cut/pull it apart to eat it), it's difficult & somewhat uncomfortable for me to bite into.
  5. I'm literally incapable of telling the kids that we have five minutes [until we need to do something like leave the house, get ready for bed, etc.] without singing Lorrie Morgan's song "Five Minutes".
  6. I still use the word “cahoots” {& my family gives me a hard time about it}
  7. I keep a random assortment of items in my van in case of an "emergency". These items include (but are not limited to): hair bands, dice, salsa, deodorant, Sugar In The Raw, a hair brush, mascara, a Bible, gum, & a deck of cards.
  8. Sometimes I can’t handle the feeling of my toes touching each other (especially when I’m trying to go to sleep).
  9. I have an incredibly hard time swallowing pills (even small geltabs). I'll count to ten, trying to psych myself into swallowing one. {Sometimes I have to do that twice.} Chris accidentally got me a huge bottle of Excedrin Migraine that is full of chalky tablets, & I only take them when there’s someone (other than Chris) around that can give me the Heimlich Maneuver. {Chris says he’s not comfortable with it, because he only knows the Heimleich in theory but has never been formally trained!}
  10. I can’t function without lists. I have about 12,000 of them {OK, maybe just 12} with random bits of information all around the house, in the van, & in every pocket of my purse. I keep trying to keep just one list, but that doesn't usually last very long. I just write on whatever is handy when I need to write something down. I think it's a sickness.
  11. I chew each bite of my food upwards of 37 times. This may be the reason for #9.

Questions I was tagged with:
  1. Do you keep your nails painted? Yes! Not necessarily with a color, but I usually have a French or American manicure. It's my one splurge (other than coffee). Toes? Not during the winter, 'cuz I like to give them a little break. But when we have hot winter days, I'm always frustrated that they aren't painted.
  2. Do you budget?  Explain. Yes, but I’m not always the best at sticking with it & have to shuffle a few things around with each paycheck.
  3. Which do you like better – Twitter, Facebook, or blogging? I like blogging for myself, but I like Facebook when it comes to keeping up with everyone else {b/c very few of my friends blog}
  4. What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had (and remembered of course)?  I’m not talking goals, I’m talking about the crazy movies you see in your head when you sleep at night. Umm...how can I pick just one? I have bizarre dreams on a regular basis...The strangest ones usually involve Chris. Let's just say he's not "the man of my dreams". They're never good when he's in them! He's evil! {not in real life, ftr} The strangest one was when I walked in on him & a woman who had been stabbed. I couldn't tell whether he had stabbed her in self-defense or not, but I fled. I pulled the kids out of school & tried to figure out where we could go for safety. Because Chris would think to go to my brother's or dad's houses, I decided to go to Jana's parents! {When I told them about it, they told me I was always welcome to seek refuge at their house!} :)
  5. Who was your childhood hero? My Mema A
  6. Do you still look up to that person?  Yes Why/not? She gave up a serene life of retirement and travelled far from home to care for her 6 & 7 year-old grandchildren for an unknown amount of time. I found out this summer that when my aunt took her to the airport, Mema A said that she didn't think she'd ever be back home. And she came anyway, because she loved us.
  7. Do you have a song that describes your life? Just one?! This is so difficult for me! I wrote a post for Brooke awhile back where she asked me to write about my life song. I still love that one, but I'm feeling like "Chasing the Daylight" describes my life, too. So I'll go with that one for now...
  8. If you had to choose 1 item of clothing to wear every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? My American Eagle 77 Straights {I'm assuming I could also wear a shirt? If not, I suppose I'd pick my Fossil dress!}
  9. 1 food item? I’d have to say a mocha, because I couldn’t do without coffee or chocolate, & mochas have milk for a little substance, right?
  10. How do you feel about tooting (my grandmother fussed on me for writing “fart” on my Facebook wall) in front of your significant other? I don’t do it. I don’t judge people who do, but I don’t generally do that around anyone.
  11. What’s in your coffee? Half-and-half & some type of flavored creamer (preferably Almond Joy)

My Questions for you:
  1. What was your most embarrassing moment?
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  3. Do you regularly dust your blinds?
  4. What do you like best about yourself?
  5. Do you have a celebrity crush? If so, who?
  6. What is your favorite Bible verse?
  7. Do you lie about your weight on your driver's license?
  8. What is your worst pet peeve?
  9. Who is your favorite musician?
  10. Do you return your grocery cart to the designated area?
  11. What would your ideal day entail?

The People I’m Tagging:

Amanda
Becca
Becky
Cole
Hannah
Jennifer
Jess
Laura
Melissa
Natalie
RR Mama

Amy

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Thankful"

(by Josh Groban) Thankful - Noël

Thankful by Josh Groban on Grooveshark

I know I've said something along these lines before, but I really am so glad to be doing this list. It helps me be more aware of the good things in my life & really puts things into perspective. Today I am thankful for...

  1. Cody taking the trash out without being told
  2. A half-birthday card that totally made my day!
  3. A half-birthday lunch with Jana & Caleb :)
  4. Elly's art teacher's letter of recommendation for advanced art next year
  5. Elly's ELA teacher recognizing & encouraging her writing skills
  6. Empanadas with Dan, Amanda, & Isaac
  7. Peanut Butter & Chocolate dessert empanadas
  8. Bloggy friends who "big puffy heart long comments" {'cuz I can be a little wordy!} :)
  9. A baking afternoon with Amy
  10. Discovering Biscoff
  11. A 10-pack of Twix from my baby girl
  12. Bible discussions with my friend Carrie
  13. Hanging out with my neighbors in my van in front of their house {'cuz they're adorable & quirky ~ no wonder I love them so much!}
  14. Laughter at Game Night with my friends at church
  15. A video that make me feel slightly less quirky
  16. A non-traumatic haircut {'cuz I'm a wimp & only had a few inches cut. I felt like it was more than usual, but my family didn't even notice...}
  17. An afternoon to catch up with Laura
  18. Rocking Isaac until he fell asleep in my arms
  19. My windshield wiper not breaking until the rain had stopped
  20. A beautiful service honoring the life of Brother Jerry
  21. Reconnecting with some high school friends
  22. Finding out some encouraging news from a classmate
  23. Dad telling me that he's happy that I had Brother Jerry in my life ♥
  24. Chris being asked to speak at an OM conference
  25. Good food & conversation during Super Bowl parties

What are you thankful for today?

Amy

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"He Walked on Water"

(by Randy Travis) He Walked On Water - I Told You So - The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis

He Walked On Water by Randy Travis on Grooveshark

In lieu of Scrobbled Saturday, I'd like to take today to honor the life of an amazing man of God who meant a great deal to me...This morning I went to a memorial service for a man whose example of Christ & unconditional love for me helped me become the woman I am today. Brother Jerry was my pastor when I was in high school, but he was so much more than a pastor. He was a father to me when I lived far away from my dad. He & his wife Tina welcomed me (& other ragamuffins kids) into their home on a daily basis. Their door was always open, and we never had to knock. We had off-campus lunch & ate at their house every day. He even let me sit in his rocking chair, except for when it was time for him to watch the noon news (with his dessert: a spoonful of Cool Whip)! He let me drive his car a lot, and I was incredibly grateful when he let me use it for my driving test (because my car didn't go in reverse). He taught me to leave the keys in the ignition, though ~ so I totally blame him for my car getting stolen! {Not really. I mean, it really did get stolen, but I don't blame him for it!} He was rarely seen without his cowboy hat, & he actually gave me one of his old ones. I treasured that dirty old thing & wore it all the time! {He even mentioned it in the middle of officiating my wedding ceremony!}

His birthday was the day before mine, and I threatened him (all throughout high school) that one day I would call him at 11:59 pm on his birthday so he could be the first to wish me a happy birthday a minute later. Finally, the summer after I left for college, I actually followed through with the threat. I barely got out my birthday greeting when he drawled out the words, "Happy birthday, Amy." {ftr, he wasn't real amused, but he wasn't mad either ~ 'cuz he loved me!} Speaking of his drawl, it really was something else. He was born & raised in the Deep South; and his voice was deep & somewhat gruff, yet beautiful & soothing at the same time. He had this way of dragging out certain words, and I loved it! When I'd tell him a sob story, he'd respond in fake pity by saying, "Awwwww" in this way that I wish you could hear. And he incorporated that into my last name. {I don't typically disclose this type of information, but most of you are irl or fb friends with me anyways! And I suppose anyone else can find out personal information easily enough these days...} My maiden name is Alford, (not like the "al" in "Alfred", but like in "almost" & "always", though I'm not offended if you say it wrong), & he called me Amy Awwwwwwford. ;)

He was larger than life & seemingly invincible, which made it so much harder to see what stupid cancer did to this big, strong, cowboy-turned-preacher. The last time I saw him, I wouldn't have recognized him if it weren't for that voice that I loved. Brother Jerry will always have a special place in my heart. I have so many fun & beautiful memories of him & Tina. Though I know he wasn't perfect, he was an example of the love of God & what it meant to walk out your faith. I didn't actually think that he walked on water, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that "his hat seemed to me like an old halo." ♥

Amy

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Streets of Gold"

(by Needtobreathe) Streets of Gold - The Heat

Streets Of Gold by Need To Breathe on Grooveshark

I thought I'd share a little bit about the trip I just took with my dad. We decided that the theme of this trip should be, "I should've taken a picture of that!" But we also had a bit of a "gold" theme, so I went with this amazing NTB song {surprise, surprise!} It all began with a skein of yarn in a shade called "Sungold", and it continued with what my dad referred to as "gold dust" all over his car. {It was actually little fibers from my yarn. I'm not sure if all yarn sheds fibers like that, or if we just happened to notice because of the sunlight streaming in. I don't know, but I'm rambling, aren't I?...} I'm sorta getting ahead of myself, but I'll go on & show you the little project I completed on the trip. You probably don't really care, but I think my "Streets of Gold" cowl turned out pretty cute:

Yes, I realize the name isn't very creative & a little similar to the last one. But I figured "A place where love can't die" was a little much (though that's my favorite part of the song). There are other songs that could've worked for the knitting project AND the trip; but quite early in our journey, this song came on the radio. I think it was a sign...

I've heard it on their second album, but never on the radio. There were other bits of the trip that contributed to the gold theme, but I'm already dragging this out way longer than I intended. What's new, huh?

I can't really tell you about the trip without sharing a bit of the added craziness that is my life...We found out on Thursday evening that Christopher's grandma (GMC) was going to be taken off all life-sustaining equipment on Friday morning. He decided to drive up to Dallas that night so he could say goodbye in the morning. He thought he might stick around until Saturday, so I called my friend Angels to see if Elly could spend the night there (with her friend Abby). Cody already had plans to spend the night with Alex, and Kristi was willing to let Pepper out on Saturday morning. Things didn't quite go as we thought. In God's great mercy, He didn't allow GMC to suffer very long. She passed away Friday afternoon, and they scheduled the funeral for Monday morning. Chris could have come home to care for the kids & driven back on Sunday night, but that seemed like more driving than necessary {though, crazy little fact: I could've driven to Dallas, back home, then back to Dallas in the time it took Dad & me to get to NM on Friday ~ crazy, huh?!} Anyways, because I have awesome friends, Angels had already offerred to keep my girl for the entire weekend, Amy was planning on having Cody the entire weekend anyways, & Kristi had already said she'd be around all weekend. So, I just had to make a few phone calls to make sure they were all game for that actually being the plan, & we were good to go. Sigh. Chris ended up getting to spend some quality time with his dad, step-mom, & baby brother {OK, he's 13, so he's technically not a baby. But if I can still call Aaron my baby brother, then Alejandro can certainly be called that, too!}

Anyways, Dad & I had a fairly non-eventful trip up. We left as the sun was rising & stopped for lunch in Sonora, a little town where my car died after it had been stolen when I was in high school. Though I'm pretty sure I've never been to that town, I still had some interesting memories of it! ;) We drove through plains, desert, mountains, & basins...


And we finally arrived as the sun was setting.

{We still had about 100 miles at this point...}

We had a great time visiting with our family at the rehearsal (& dinner afterward). We got to watch a slideshow of Brandy & Russell, and it was so cute. But it was so strange to see a bunch of pictures of a little girl who looked exactly like me as a little girl! I knew that Brandy & I resembled each other somewhat {Cody referred to her as my twin after he met her this summer!} but I really hadn't realized just how much we looked alike as toddlers. We didn't really know each other while we were growing up. She's actually my cousin's daughter, and I didn't really know my cousin very well. I'm on the tail-end of my generation of our family, and most of my cousins are around 15 years older than me. In fact, they started having kids when I was two, so I actually grew up more with that generation {first cousins, once removed? idk...} And the ones I saw the most were my Aunt Linda's grandkids, while Brandy is my Uncle Robbie's granddaughter. This may be more than you care to know, but I'll continue anyways! ;) It has really just been in the past few years (with my cousin Kim playing softball nearby, Nikki graduating, & Christin getting married) that I have really gotten to know this part of my family. I remember meeting Brandy & her sister Amanda when I was around 8, and I remember that she resembled me when I was her age (around 2). But seriously, it's crazy how much we looked alike. Dad & I couldn't get over it! If you had told me that it was me in those pictures, I totally would've believed you! I'll have to find some pics to post some time. It's not as obvious in this picture of us now, but I think you can tell we're related:


Anyways, we stayed at the hotel where the rest of the family stayed, so we got to catch up with everyone there. We also got to meet Russell's family. Some of them had driven in from California ~ as far as 20 hours away! I thought Dad & I drove a long way! The wedding was nice! It was real laid back, which I think is super. I sat with my cousin Ginger (Brandy's mom) at the reception, and I enjoyed getting to know her & her husband a little better. As I've mentioned before, my camera isn't so great. So I didn't take very many pictures. I did get this one of the bride & groom:


& another one with me, too, where you can see a little more of my $13 dress! :)


There's really no point going into any details of our long drive home, but I'll close with this bit of randomness:

A fake little town?! There's actually a real gas station & convenience store in the midst of the pretend buildings...

Hmm...?

Alrighty, I've rambled on enough for today, but I'm going to post this as is. If you're still reading at this point, you really are a true friend!

Amy