Sunday, May 29, 2011

The art of making cupcakes

Besides anything with apples and cinnamon, cupcakes are my very favorite dessert. So much better than cake, although I don't know why. But here are some things I have found to be true of myself as I was making cupcakes today:

1. I recently read somewhere that an ice cream scoop is good for filling cupcake holders. So I tried it and it was a lot less stressful and easier to know that I was getting the same amount every time.

2. It never occurs to me to get out the spatula/scraper to scrape the bowl in order to make more cupcakes or fill a cup further. I only think to get the spatula out when I am ready to lick the bowl. Than I use it to get every last bite of batter!

3. You have to have a good cupcake carrier. I love cupcakes but they are not the easiest thing to transport. Luckily, my mom is great, and got me a double-decker carrier for Christmas a couple of years ago that will carry up to 24 cupcakes. Just remember, you still have to be careful when you carry the container, because it does not make the cupcakes indestructible!

I think 3 makes a good list, because I all of a sudden can't think of what else I was going to say! :)

Scripture Sunday/ word picture

I haven't done a Scripture Saturday in a while, and technically I am not sharing a Scripture, but a quote from a book I am reading.

I have been reading "A Praying Life" for quite a while now, and I had some time this afternoon to try and finish it. Honestly, I sat down because I wanted to be done with the book. I have enjoyed it, but there just comes a time when I am reading a book that is taking me a while, that I say, "Enough. I just want to be done!" So, I probably didn't sit down with the right attitude, but as usual, God still speaks.

I am not a gardener, so I'm not sure why this particular quote struck me. But it painted a word picture that I could really grasp onto.

"We don't need a praying life because this is our duty. That would wear thin quickly. We need time to be with our Father every day because every day our hearts and the hearts of those around us are overgrown with weeds." (p. 261) I don't know. The words just painted a picture of me praying and God plucking the things out of my life that are trying to choke me, leaving room for growth.

The Cloud of Doom

In the sanctuary at church, we have a huge window with a huge cross hanging in the window that is behind the stage. Today during service, the sky kept getting darker and darker and darker and darker and... Well, you get my meaning. It was a tad bit distracting. At one point, it almost looked like it was night time out. But it was also a good reminder that when the storms of life come, if I cling to the cross and what Jesus has done for me, I will always be on solid ground.

Other distractions in church today:
1. The little girl sitting two rows up. She was dressed in a super cute, very girlie dress. And she was pulling dinosaurs out of her super cute, very girlie purse.

2. The thunder that accompanied the cloud of doom.

3. The songs in the bulletin (technically not a distraction since I read them before the service began). But, you know the game where you change one letter in a word to make a new word? The songs in the bulletin kind of reminded me of that. The songs went from "Our God" to "How Great is Our God" to "How Great Thou Art" to "Your Great Name".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


It's funny how things in perspective change their appeal. Here is how my train of thought went tonight:

Do laundry or exercise? Laundry.
Eat something or exercise? Eat something.
Watch the weather radar or exercise? Watch the weather radar.
Do paperwork for work or exercise? EXERCISE!
Watch NCIS or do paperwork? Do paperwork. HaHa! Just kidding! :)

Guess who isn't going to do paperwork tonight?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not to mention

Side note: this is a continuation of the previous post in case you haven't read it.

Not to mention...
...I had to kill two spiders that were super hyper and moving really fast and were both two steps from crossing over onto my desk! One of which while I was eating my lunch. At my desk. Yuck! And all while one of my office mates was freaking out because spiders are the one thing she can't stand. Childhood trauma from a spider. Maybe she should find a good therapist! :) And the first spider I saw while on the phone with a client's mom so I couldn't exactly jump up and kill it. I just had to watch it move really fast all over the other desk and make sure it didn't cross over onto mine!

...I've had a pretty interesting continuation of the dizzy/carsick feeling while driving this afternoon. Which both times has resulted in a minor headache.

...the above mentioned dizzy/carsick feeling makes me not want to do any exercising today. And I was so motivated all day, too.


Nothing like feeling useless in your job on a Monday afternoon. Not to mention a little gullible. And like you maybe should learn to read people a little bit better.

I have a fourteen year old client that I've been having a hard time engaging in therapy in general. So, today I picked her up and she came bounding out the door like she was happy to see me. She showed me the burn on her forehead from a curling iron. Something about the way she made a comment made me ask if she had gone to school that day. She said yes. Fast forward to partway through out session. I asked her how things were going at school. She said good. I praised her for the limited amount of trouble she has gotten into at school because I was a little worried when she transferred to her current school at the beginning of the semester that she would not be able to maintain her behavior. I praised her some more for not only almost getting through the year, but also getting through the year with just a few office referrals. We talked about school for a few more minutes. Fast forward to when I took her home. Normally I just drop her off, but because I needed to reschedule our regular appointment next week, I went in to talk to her mom. After scheduling the appointment, her mom says, "Did she tell you that she got suspended from school for five days?" She didn't mention that when I asked her if she went to school today. And I'm pretty sure she didn't mention it when I praised her for not getting into trouble this semester at school. I had an internal volcano going on! I mean, I wanted to slap my forehead because of the things I had said that were so encouraging that were also so untrue! But I remained calm and asked her why she didn't tell me. To which she didn't answer and shut down completely and wouldn't talk to me. Which is typical behavior for her. I just smiled and said I would see her next week. I knew it would do no good to address it with her at that point.

So, maybe I should look into getting a different job. Obviously this one isn't going so well for me today!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Exercise and Starbucks

I don't really have anything to talk about, but it was this or do dishes before leaving for church :).

Why does everyone always try to convince me that I can like exercise if I try hard enough? What if I don't want to like exercise? I mean, at this point, I'll do it because I feel like I have to and I have that infernal need to do the right thing, but it doesn't mean that I will ever truly enjoy it.

It's kind of like when I tell people I don't like anything at Starbucks and they try to convince me to try such and such a drink. They just can't help it. They want me to like something at Starbucks, as if I'm unAmerican if I don't. But what if I don't want to like anything at Starbucks? Because it saves me lots of money. I mean, if I was a mathematician (and believe me, I am not!) I could do graph upon graph of how much money I have saved over the last 10 years by NOT liking anything at Starbucks. Well, if we want to get technical, I probably didn't actually save any of that money, I just spent it elsewhere, but that is so not my point!

So, please don't try to make me like exercise. And don't tell me there is the perfect drink for me at Starbucks. OK?! :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

When did THAT sneak up on me?!

I was considering some things while in the shower this morning (which I think is always a little dangerous) and I realized that this month marks my 10 year college reunion. Yes, you read that right. College. Not high school. College. When did that happen? I know the obvious answer to that question, but still, when did it happen? There is no way I feel like that could be accurate. But alas, it is. Which also means that next year will be my 15 year high school reunion. Sigh.

When I shared this news with my roommate, she said, "for some of us." We are the same age, really she's a month older (not that I'm counting :)!) but she graduated a year later than me from high school and college. It's all very confusing, but true, nonetheless.

So there you have it. Should I have a party to celebrate being done with college for 10 years? Maybe I can just watch You've Got Mail 10 times in a row (there was a time that my roommate and I watched it almost every week). Or eat lots of Belgian waffles (a staple dinner in the cafeteria while in college). Or post-it note someone's room/house (one of my favorite pranks that we pulled on some friends in our dorm). Or study something (I'm pretty sure I did some of that in college).

Tickled my funny bone

I was at Kari's last night looking through a magazine and I saw this and started laughing out loud! She thought it was funny, but I think she more thought I was crazy because I thought it was so funny. Her exact words (well, I don't really remember her exact words) were "I think you're tired." Which also made me laugh because I WAS tired. It immediately made me think of sleepovers in high school where we would stay up too late and everything at 2:00 in the morning would be hilarious.

I brought it home and showed it to Emily because I was hoping for a better response than Kari gave me! Emily laughed too. Than I hung it on the refrigerator. I read it this morning and still thought it was funny, so I thought I'd share it with you, too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I am a wimp

A crybaby. A low-tolerance woman. A whiner.

And I'm trying to change my ways. :) For those of you who have talked to me in the last two days know that about me. I have been complaining for the last two days about my lack of sleep. Poor me. Tear. Tear. Whine. Whine. I held it together for two days before I caved and started talking about it :).

But really. I talk as if it is the end of the world. Life as I know it ceased to exist. I was barely surviving each day. And I realized that it had to stop. Who knows when I will lay down and fall asleep right away again. But who cares. I need to learn to suck it up.

Hello, Teresa. There are so many people out there who are suffering through extremely worse things, who would give anything to just be not getting enough sleep. Instead of being in chronic pain. Instead of having a terminal disease. Instead of _______ fill in the blank.

So, I'm a baby. I guess the first step is admitting it :). Although, just to complain a little bit more :) would be much easier to get through the lack of sleep if there was something to show for it. You know, like turning in a really big paper that's worth 40% of your final grade. Or because I'm up with a baby and I can at least look at the baby and decide, "Okay, this lack of sleep is worth it for you." But, no such luck for me. Just no sleep.

Okay, now I'm really done complaining! I promise. If you hear me talk in a woe is me voice, just remind me that I'm through complaining about it. You can even give me a swift kick in the rear. Wait, strike that. You should just kindly tell me that I'm being a crybaby.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe" Ephesians 2:14-15 Nothing like a Bible verse to give you a swift kick in the rear! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

9 Ways to Get Psyched About Going Grocery Shopping

1. Think of all the food you don't have.
2. Think of all the food you can put on your list.
3. Think of the chores that are worse than grocery shopping that you could be doing instead.
4. Think of all the exercise you're going to get because you're going to the store on a weekend with the rest of the town.
5. Think of all the people you could run into (it's hard to go to Walmart without seeing at least one person that you know.)
6. Think of scratching that chore off your to do list! (oh, wait, I never made one of those. Maybe I should do that before I make the actual grocery list. Than I can have two items to cross off--1. make grocery list. 2. go grocery shopping)
7. Think about not eating peanut butter and jelly again for dinner.
8. Think about the skills you will get to practice of darting around the slow Sunday shoppers who are bent on making your trip take all afternoon.
9. Think of the math skills you will get to use in order to count your groceries to make sure you are under the 20 item limit for the "speedy" checkout (which you technically know is not any speedier because Walmart enjoys putting the slow checkout people in the speedy lanes).

Monday, May 9, 2011

I almost forgot!!!

I can't believe I almost forgot to post about a very important part of my weekend. Probably because I didn't have a picture to go with it. Well, I did take a picture, but only with my cell phone.

I got to eat at Chick-fil-a. In Illinois! It was kind of surreal. :)

I knew they had built several in the Chicago area, but I had never really looked at a map to see where. I assumed they were still pretty far from my mom's house. But one of them is only 10 miles away. Granted, it was 10 miles, 30 minutes. But that is so doable (for some reason, when I write that, it doesn't look like a real word, but I say it all the time and it sounds like a real word). I wonder if my mom realizes we will have to go there a lot when I visit. Forget Chipotle (well, maybe not entirely).

Mother's Day Weekend

I have lived in Illinois for 5 years, but this was the first Mother's Day weekend I actually spent with my mom. She has always done the Y-Me Race at Your Pace with family. It is always on Mother's Day in Chicago. I have not gone in the past because they get up super early on Sunday morning and than if I went I would have to drive home that afternoon. But I decided that I could go without the sleep this year. It was a perfect day for the walk. This is my favorite picture of Mom and I after the walk. I can't resist this comment: doesn't my hair look super dark next to hers? :) Actually I really think in a lot of the pictures that my hair looks darker than usual.

Another of my favorite pictures. We made a lot of good memories that day!

In front of Buckingham fountain. I laugh when I see this picture because those t-shirts were so darn long! I tried to trade mine in for a small but they were all out.

I think this was the start line, but I'm not sure. It's called a Race at Your Pace because there is a 5k run, a 3 mile walk, and a 1 mile walk. The group I was with definitely went at their own pace :) This is us just arriving at the race. As you can see, the runners have already started and at the start line, the walkers have already started as well. We joined about a half hour after this. But we didn't start at the start line, we just kind of joined in where there was a break in the barricades. But it didn't really matter...we were having fun no matter what we did!

The group after the race. At this point, Autumn and CJ (the two kids) were more interested in playing with the free Happy Meal toys they got than getting their picture taken! But they were good sports.

This was one of the more emotional parts to my day. Aunt Kathy got a free t-shirt from one of the booths that said "Survivor" on it. Here she is with her daughter, Melissa, and her future granddaughter!

I don't know why the pink port-a-potties amused me, but they did. The funny thing is, both Aunt Kathy and I took pictures of them and I didn't even know it until she gave me my disk :)

Mom wandered off at one point in time (said with some sarcasm because the standard question of the day was, "Where's Cindy?")

I love this picture. CJ is in that "you can make me get in a picture, but you can't make me smile" stage. But boy did he smile for this picture!

Another group picture at Buckingham fountain.

I showed CJ how his dragons made shadows on the sidewalk specifically so I could take this picture :)

Autumn and I. For some reason, she really likes me. :) I got to see her and her mom, Sara, on Saturday night too and Autumn wanted to sit by me at dinner. When I came back with my food, her foot was in my chair. As soon as she saw me, she moved her foot. I asked her if she was saving it for me and she said yes. How cute is that. She was literally saving it for me! When was the last time that you actually physically saved a seat with part of your body? :)

I have no idea what building this is, but I thought it was cool that they were celebrating the walk with us.

We all went to Aunt Kathy's later. Marta and Ryan met us there with the twins. They had to twist my arm all afternoon, but I finally agreed to hold Landon. Landon and Gavin are not identical, but they are hard to tell apart unless they are right next to each other. Ryan told me that CJ, who is only four, can see them apart and name them every time. No one knows how he tells them apart so easily.

"I Call the Couch!"

This phrase has been running through my head for the past hour. When I was growing up, there were several years that we only had one couch and two chairs. So, if we were going to watch TV together, my brother and I would fight over who got to lay on the couch. Because of this, we started calling the couch before we got there in order to reserve it for ourselves.

Emily rarely lays on our couch. She prefers her chair. So I don't have to call the couch in the evenings. But today I was quickly trying to get things done in order to lay on the couch because I am so tired. So in my head, I was calling the couch for myself! :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The end of the AWANA year

I cannot believe the AWANA year is over! But it is. We had our awards night on Wednesday. It was a great year. Sometimes a bit chaotic, especially at the beginning of the year. I was able to climb over some obstacles. First year as director. First full year in the new building. A gazillion very confusing changes for all the girls. A new commander.

But even with the chaos it was a good year. It was good to see how things started settling into a routine. It is fun to see the girls growing and maturing as they say their verses and get so excited to get new badges. I have an excellent group of girls that I lead. And they make the job easy for me.

It is always sad to see the year end because it means I have to say goodbye to the sixth graders who will be heading to youth group next year. But it also means I will get to say hello to a new group of third graders next year. And that is always fun because they bring a great sense of enthusiasm and excitement with them.

People have been asking me for a while if I will be director again next year. I just laugh every time and say "What else would I do." Some of the time I miss directly leading a small group of girls, but for the most part I enjoy what I do as director and I get to know more of the girls and their parents this way.

So, now what should I do with my Wednesday evenings for the next four months? :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Fun Work-free Morning

And afternoon too, but that's another story!

I had the opportunity to go with Kari to a sneak peek of WICKED this morning! It is coming to Peoria in October which is very exciting. The girl that played Elphaba in Chicago sang "The Wizard and I" and one of the Glinda's from New York did a duet of "For Good". The producer talked about the show and its popularity. It was very fun and an experience that I've never had before. Now, we just have to wait until October to actually see the show again. Yes, it will be my third time, but I think very worth it. And I don't have to travel this time. Well, the 10 minutes to downtown.

Now, I'm procrastinating packing so that I can head to Chicago for the weekend to see Mom for Mother's Day. It's a great day to travel. 68 degrees and sunny. Maybe I'll play the Wicked soundtrack on the way :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

I don't know what to title it Monday

I can't think of a catchy title today, so I have given up.

Here is what I learned about myself today, in list format, of course (I am my mother's daughter).

1. It takes me a long time to motivate myself to go to the gym.
2. It takes me a long time to get ready to go to the gym once I find the teeniest ounce of motivation.
3. I feel the need to shave my legs before going to the gym. Trust me, the other people around me were very grateful, even though they didn't know it!
4. I can be equally unmotivated and motivated about the same thing. It has been a while since I exercised. After exercising and changing my diet fairly significantly and seeing absolutely no results for 4 months, I decided that if I couldn't even lose a few pounds, it was no longer worth it. I don't like exercise enough to see no results. But than I realized that I was starting to feel more tense and I didn't have as much energy. Darn exercise that actually might benefit me! So, tonight, I decided that with my lack of motivation, 20 minutes was better than nothing. So that was the goal I set. 20 minutes of something at the gym. I got on the bike first. And set the timer for 20 minutes. About halfway in I got the crazy idea that I wanted to walk on the treadmill after I biked. So I got on the treadmill and set it for 30 minutes. I really don't know what I was thinking. But at that point, I was all in. Well, sort of. After about 5 minutes I was really close to hitting that stop button and calling it a day. But I pushed through just to say that I did it. And now I'm telling all of you. Not to toot my horn or to get you to leave a comment about how great I am :), but just to let you know that once I'm at the gym, even if I've complained about it for an hour beforehand (just ask poor Emily. I am not exaggerating), I can be motivated to actually do something while I am there!

And now I am going to crash on the couch again and watch Hawaii Five-O. That is, if I can move from my seat.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Playing Nice

Our church did a new pictorial directory this year. I have always said I would not get my picture taken for a directory until I was married. I think it's depressing to have my picture taken alone. I feel like it screams, "Look at her! She's single!" But I decided to put on my big girl panties be an adult and play nice and cooperate with the nice people who were encouraging me to get my picture taken. The directories came in today and here is my picture: The ironic thing is that I really like the picture :). But it begs the question, what do you do with your free 8x10 as a single person? Emily and I have joked about hanging our pictures in the hallway. But as of right now it's just sitting in a drawer in my bedroom.

Ironically, Stuff Christians Like just did a blog post on church directories that was pretty funny. One of the things suggested was doing a back of the head photo so you can recognize the people who sit in front of you at church!
p.s. I'm not sure I was supposed to take a picture of my picture and post it on the Internet :)