Thursday, December 29, 2016

So long, farewell, 2016!

It seems like people on Facebook and I agree: we can't wait to see 2016 end.  I'll admit, I've been wishing 2016 away since March.  My mantra this year became, "It can't get worse..."  And then, in my mind, it did.  I'd give you the laundry list of things that happened in 2016, but frankly, some of them are private, some of them are between me and another person, and I just don't think it's worth airing for all the world to see (or my few faithful followers).

But, really, let's put some things into perspective.  My life is not horrible.  My life is not even half bad.  Blessings have happened this year, too.  Did the year turn out as I expected?  Absolutely not.  Am I guaranteed a better 2017?  Nope.  That is both scary and reassuring.  Whenever I would state my mantra, "It can't get worse, right?!" one of my friends (God bless her for her honesty) would say, "Teresa, it can."  I'm not promised a bed of roses, a pie in the sky type of life.  But I have a God who was not surprised by anything that 2016 threw at me, and I have to remember that He will not give me more than I can handle.  I'm hoping for a better 2017, I'll be honest, but if that is not what God has planned for me, than bring on the roller coaster!  With Jesus strapped in beside me, I know I can get to the end of the ride!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Decorating for Christmas 2016.

Same pictures, different venue.  My first decorating experience in the new condo.  I almost didn't buy a tree (the old tree was Emily's).  I had decided that I would wait until after Christmas and get a tree when it was on clearance.  But then the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Target had all their trees 50% off.  So, meet my new tree:
I also had to "make do" with half the lights because Emily and I split them.  I only know one way to decorate a tree, and I was a little afraid that I was going to have to decorate and de-decorate a few times because I thought I would run out of lights before I got to the top.  But, lo and behold, I managed to have one strand left over the first time!
And I may have watched all four episodes of Gilmore Girls both Saturday and Sunday.  I'd give a sheepish look, but I was on vacation, so I didn't really feel sheepish.  Saturday I watched with Daynah, Lydia, Hayden, and Emily (for the last two episodes).  Committed to watching with no distractions.  Sunday, Kinsey came over to watch and I decorated and watched at the same time.  Emily was here to help with lights and also watched the first two episodes, which she has missed the day before.  Don't judge! :)
Pretty, twinkly lights.  The tree is a little lopsided.  I couldn't figure out how to fix that. But it's still beautiful with lights and ornaments!
The other decorations had to find new places too.  The kitchen got some plates, glasses, and a Charlie Brown display.

Mom brought this small tree when she came for Thanksgiving (remember, I wasn't going to have a tree, so she wanted me to have something).  And then she left it, so I put it in the corner of the dining room.
Usually these decorations go on a bookshelf in the old living room, but the bookshelf is not downstairs anymore, so I used the new entertainment center instead!  Worked like a charm.

My new birds that I bought when I got my tree because I thought they were ADORABLE!
My 2015 ornament from Mom.  The new ornament always gets hung first. (Hanged?  I am never sure which is grammatically correct.)
Aunt Kathy bought this ornament for me as a housewarming present.  The snowman is even holding a key!

And there you have it, Christmas 2016 is up and running in the new condo!

Thanksgiving 2016

 This Thanksgiving I got volunteered to host the family meal.  I was a little skeptical at first, I'll admit.  Chris, Ann, and Mom couldn't host because they don't have a fully functioning kitchen.  So, I had a kitchen, and got named as the best place to host.  Even though I had no table, no door on one bedroom, no bed in another bedroom, and no curtains on one set of bedroom windows.  But I went to work.  I got a door, got a bed, ordered a table, didn't get the table in time, borrowed a table, borrowed a table cloth to cover the table, and was ready to host.  Phew!  Here are pictures in no particular order, mostly because I couldn't figure out how to put them in order!
 I decided I needed a centerpiece, so this is what I came up with. Yes, I crafted it myself!  I was impressed, too!

 And then I got the guest rooms ready.  An air mattress for the boys.  And the new guest bed for Chris and Ann.  Mom slept in my room with me.

 We played games a lot.  which is wonderful!  Also, note that we decided there would no dressing up this Thanksgiving.  Four out of six of us stayed in our pajamas and may or may not have showered.  I taught Michael how to play Uno.  We played Blokus and Sorry, and did puzzles (lots and lots of puzzles).  And Ann and I played Scattegories.
 The table is set!
 Right as we began to prepare food, Michael thought it would be a fun idea to line up all of his trucks between the kitchen and dining area.  We adjusted.  No serious injuries happened.
 John did a dot to dot.  It made me happy.
 Meet Fred (left) and Buster (right).  I've had Buster since I was in high school.  John has had Fred since before that.  Just kidding, he got Fred sometime in the last 9 years.  We had no idea they were long lost cousins.  Actually, I had an idea because I told John about Buster the first time I met Fred, but no one else remembered that!  Buster and Fred hung out all during Thanksgiving.
 Ann promised Chris that she wouldn't post this picture on social media.  But I did not.  Chris did not want his picture taken because of the whole pajama/no shower thing.
 The food ready to be consumed!
 Chris: the official turkey carver.
 John and Michael really got into helping with the food prep.  Above: Making mashed potatoes.  Below: Learning how to peel carrots.

 I love the sincerity on John's face and the goofiness on Michael's face!

 Another picture from Uno.  I just wanted everyone to know that I was enjoying myself, since the other pictures looked questionable.  Also, by John is Shoot the Moon, a game we played as kids at Grandma and Grandpa Forsberg's that Mom got for me one Christmas.  The boys enjoyed trying to master it.
 The boys way of helping make Jello mold: sampling before it goes into the fridge!

And helping to stir a little bit!

My first hosting of any holiday ever.  I feel like it was a great success!  Especially since hosting did not include cooking the turkey, just buying it! :)

July in Christmas

You know, instead of Christmas in July?  I was going to blog about Thanksgiving and decorating the Christmas tree, and I realized how far I am in blogging.  For instance, this never made the blog. And it's a tradition, so how could I have forgotten!!!  Mine and Hudson's annual photo shoot.  Just 6 months late, no big deal!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Funny Client Conversations

I haven't posted funny client stories in a really long time.  But today's two conversations tickled me and I want to remember them.

I picked up my 7 year old client this morning (he was out of school for Veteran's Day)
Client: Is today Saturday?
Me: No, it's Friday.
Client: I thought you said you were coming on Saturday.
Me: No, I don't work on Saturday.
Client: You WORK??? (Said with extreme shock and dismay)
Me (trying to keep a straight face): Yep, that's what I'm doing right now.  Working. (All the while very confused and thinking, "You think I just drive around and pick up random kids all day for the fun of it?!")

Fast forward to when we get to the office.
Client: How old are you?
Me: How old do you think I am?
Client: Are you older than a frog?
Me (slight pause since that was not the answer I was expecting): How old are frogs?
Client: Two.
Me: Do you think I'm older than two?
Client: Well, I'm older than two.
Me: Ummhmmm.
Client: So, how old are you?
Me: How old do you think I am? (All the while thinking, I'm not telling you how old I am, kid!)
I never got an answer.  I never answered.  Good therapy?  Who knows.  It was Friday--cut me some slack!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Who is like the Lord our God?

Friday I had the privilege to see Keith and Kristyn Getty in concert for the second time.  It was a great time of worship.  If you are not familiar with them, go check them out.  They write and perform amazing music that glorifies the Lord.  

This song in particular, "The Lord is My Salvation" spoke to me the most.  It brought tears to my eyes because the truths in the song were so timely.  Our God is strong to save, faithful in love.  I've been listening to the song on repeat for the past few days, and each time I hear it a new truth pops out.  The line, "He flowers each promise of His Word" was such an odd line the first few times I heard it, but then I think I wrapped my brain around it today.  God's promises are always true, but their truth is not always seen right away.  The promise is like a flower bud, which opens up and flowers as that promise comes to fruition.  Friday night the line that stuck in my head the  most was, "I know His grace will renew these days, the Lord is my salvation."  Go to youtube and listen to the'll be blessed.  Here are the lyrics:

The grace of God has reached for me
And pulled me from the raging sea
And I am safe on this solid ground
The Lord is my salvation

I will not fear when darkness falls
His strength will help me scale these walls
I’ll see the dawn of the rising sun
The Lord is my salvation 

Who is like the Lord our God?
Strong to save, faithful in love
My debt is paid and the vict’ry won
The Lord is my salvation

My hope is hidden in the Lord
He flow’rs each promise of His Word
When winter fades I know spring will come
The Lord is my salvation

In times of waiting, times of need
When I know loss, when I am weak
I know His grace will renew these days
The Lord is my salvation 

And when I reach my final day
He will not leave me in the grave
But I will rise, 
He will call me home
The Lord is my salvation

Glory be to God the Father
Glory be to God the Son
Glory be to God the Spirit
The Lord is our salvation

Friday, October 7, 2016

I'm a homeowner

Condo owner, technically.  I don't feel any different.  Someone told me through this process that it was the most adult-like she felt, even more than getting married.  At some point it will sink in.

 Here I am, unlocking the door for the first time. Or not.  Funny story (because what would a Teresa experience be without a funny story?!).  I could NOT get the keys to unlock the door when I went over.  I jiggled.  I tried the key not quite all the way in.  I turned left and right.  Nothing.  I finally had to call the realtor.  Long story short, I had to wait a few hours to get in, and the key did work. I just didn't stand on one foot, upside down, and say the three magic words for it to open.  And don't worry, I already have a new knob to replace it!
 This is the view from the bay window in the living room.  Two of the bedrooms also face this view.
And this is the view of the living room from my "couch".

I'm excited for the coming process.  I'm painting next weekend but probably not moving in until the end of October.  More pictures to come once I get settled.

Friday, September 9, 2016

4 numbers that will not stick in my brain

Before you read this post, you should read the post from 4 1/2 years ago that will make this one even funnier.

This week I forgot the PIN number to my debit card.  It's not the first time it has happened in the last ten years.  Second time.  I still don't understand how a number that I use almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day can just exit my head without any warning.  It has been an extremely busy two months.  And stressful.  My brain is just being overwhelmed by things I have to remember.  And for some reason, this is what it decided to let go of.  Not very convenient.  Because if you read the previous post, it will probably take almost a week to get my PIN number in the mail.  And until then, I have been charging everything on a credit card again.  Today I did get cash from the bank, although it stresses me out to carry lots of cash in my wallet.  Also, if you read the previous post, you will be asking the question, "Why didn't you just find the previous letter that you saved?"  I didn't remember that I saved it until I saw that post.  And so I just went and looked.  If I really did save it, it is not in the place that I thought I would have put it.  So, I don't know where it is.  So I have to wait until it comes in the mail.

Maybe I should just crawl under my covers and wait for it to come.  It might save me some money.  And a little of my memory.

One of my favorite things from the post in 2012 was that I predicted I would forget my PIN again in 6 years.  I'm just an overachiever, I guess! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Online Dating and House Hunting

Now that I have you intrigued by my title, I need to do a little catch up on my life.  My roommate and I have lived together for 8 years!  But Emily recently took a new job and is moving away from Peoria :(.  So, I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life.  Find another roommate?  Rent a 1 bedroom apartment?  Buy a house?  Buy a condo?  Live in a cardboard box?  Move in with my mom?  Move in with my dad? Live in denial?  There were a lot of options.  But I felt that the best one for me was to look for a condo.  I have absolutely no desire to have to do yard work, so a condo seemed much better than a house.  And more affordable than renting a 1 bedroom apartment.

And so the hunting begins...

I have not loved the process.  The current plan is for me to move in with some friends who have graciously offered me a bedroom in their house until I find something.  So, most of my life is going into storage and I am temporarily relocating at the end of the month.  It gives me less pressure to find something yesterday!

I was talking to a co-worker the other day and telling her that I feel like people keep telling me that "I'll know it's the condo for me when I see it."  And I told her that it reminds me of dating where people always say, "You'll know he's the one."  I've always struggled with this, maybe because I haven't found "the one."  But if he's not the one, you certainly don't always feel that with such assurance.  Anyway, as I said these things, my co-worker started laughing and said that looking for a house seemed a lot like online dating.  You search for houses online and look at all the gorgeous pictures.  Comments like, "I could see myself living there," or "These qualities are really neat," or "Look at that feature!" come out of your mouth.  And so you schedule a viewing.  And then you realize, "That picture made the room look way bigger," or "that quality isn't what I was looking for after all!"  It's the same with online dating.  Not that I've ever done online dating, but I know how it works.

All that being said, I'm still in the process.  I've been out twice with a realtor and looked at what feels like a billion condos.  I'm not really sure I've loved any of them.  But I'm seriously looking at two right now.  It's overwhelming.  I usually come home with a headache.  And it makes me not like the responsibility of being an adult! :)  But apparently, I can't change who I am. I'll keep you posted on what happens in my life next...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Really, sometimes I think I have a blog just so I can make up words all the time and no one can say anything, because, hey, it's my blog.  And my birthday.  :)

I am so loved.  I think that is part of the reason I love my birthday so much.  Because even amidst disappointments and bad days, there are people who love me.  And those people come out of the woodwork on my birthday!  Facebook messages, texts, phone calls, balloons, cards, flowers, presents, lunch.  Those are all things that made today special from other people.

Emily got me a beautiful orchid for my birthday. And Ginger, Taylor, Hudson, and Daniel brought me balloons.  It was a pretty quiet birthday, which is exactly what I needed.  I binge watched lots of TV, colored, had Chickfila for lunch, and am heading out to Bible study in a few minutes.  It was a fantastic day.  Sometimes, I wish it could be my birthday every day.  But then it wouldn't be so special, would it?

3rd/4th of July

I can't not post about the 4th of July.  It's my very favorite holiday.  Okay, almost, since we all know that my birthday is my very favoritist holiday.  As such, I tend to be stubborn pretty determined about not travelling anywhere for my birthday weekend.  I don't like that I don't get to see family for the 4th and my birthday.  But I travel for most every holiday, and I really like to be at home.  So I get pretty stubborn, selfish, persistent when it comes to staying home for my birthday.  For years I have been trying to convince some of my family to come celebrate the 4th with me because Peoria puts on THE BEST fireworks display!  This year, I almost succeeded in getting Michele and Sergio to come for the 4th.  Except apparently some people have to work on the 5th.  Who knew?!  So they came for the 3rd instead.  Lucky for them, Peoria puts on a pretty good fireworks display on the 3rd too.

And, yes, we are in sweatshirts.  The high on Sunday was only 68 degrees!  Crazy Illinois weather!  We also went to lunch at Avantis and dinner at Sugar (nutella smores pizza...YUM!).  And since it was raining earlier in the day, we went to the Riverfront Museum.

I was so glad to have family in town with me!  Maybe they can bring a few more people along next year.  And take the 5th off so they can see the riverfront fireworks!  Because they are AWESOME!

 This year, several from our group went down really early to stake out a great seat. We were on the second floor near Joe's Crab Shack.  Then the rest of us joined them for dinner around 5.  It was another beautiful evening.  I still wore jeans, even though it was closer to 80 degrees.  Above is Holly and I with the bridge and some crowds in the background.
 The Spirit of Peoria.
 And the crowds are starting to gather!
 What is this, you may ask?  Why such an odd picture, you may ask?  Memories.  Even the grossest, weirdest things make for the best memories.  We will forever be able to say, "Remember the year the mayflies started dive bombing us and dropping like flies just minutes before the fireworks.  This, folks, is a whole heap of dead mayflies.  Right where we had been sitting for most of the afternoon while they innocently watched and waited for just the right moment.  We were able to mostly ignore them during the fireworks, even though I may have had one fall down my shirt.  And I may have had a few dead in my hair.  And I may have jumped every few seconds as more fell from the sky.  But, honestly, even a few million mayflies couldn't stop the spectacular from happening!  Have I mentioned that Peoria had THE MOST MAGNIFICENT fireworks display.  Where every song (they are shot off timed to music) seems like it is the finale, but then you realize that another song is starting.  And it goes on for 30 minutes of amazingness.  My pictures didn't even begin to do it justice!

Oh, yeah, back to those mayflies, this was during the fireworks.  I didn't take time to take a picture after the fireworks, but their were even more!  Weirdest experience ever!

PS.  Don't let this sway you from coming next year to see them with me...In 10 years, this is the first time I have ever seen the mayfly epidemic.  You'll be safe, I promise!