Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas tree pics

Here are some pictures of my little Christmas tree. Like I said, once I decorated it, I was glad I went through the effort. I went with a silver theme, and I must say I love it. I even found stockings to match at the dollar store. Gotta love a bargain!

You can kind of see the spiraly things in this picture. I have no idea what the official name of them are, but I love them. They add a 'modern' look to my tree.

All lit up....

I tried to get Mimi to pose in front of the tree, but she isn't the best at "sit". When you tell her to sit, she thinks that means on your feet or somewhere touching you. So, I had to tell her to "lay down" which she thinks is punishment! Surely it's easier to pose children - you and always bribe them, right?! Haha!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas time is here....

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year
Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share
Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there
Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...
Let's just be honest, I love Christmas. I'm fond of snow at Christmas (but no other times!), I love the music, the smells, the sounds, the friends and family, and of course the food! I came home from Thanksgiving with my family and decorated my tiny little house, and I love it. It feels so cozy and "Christmas-ey". I went with a silver and white theme this year, and am so OCD that I am carrying it over into my wrapping paper. I have some gifts to wrap this weekend, so I'll post a few pictures after is all together. There are even stockings hung on the wall for us and the dogs. I even put a timer on my tree so I could fall asleep with Christmas lights glowing. About a month ago, I was being bah-humbug because I just wasn't feeling Christmas, I was down in the dumps about being 'alone' and feeling sorry for myself, but surrounding myself with pretty decorations and my nativity sets really reminds me of what Christmas is about. I'm even getting to spend an extra weekend with my family during this season.
Add all of this to the fact that I only have three gifts left to by, and I'm a very happy girl on this Friday night!
A blog I follow, Marla Bernard's, a beautiful lady I know from my Stillwater/OSU days, posted asking people their favorite Christmas memories. Here's what I posted on hers (because I'm too tired and lazy to rewrite it!):
One of my favorite things about this time of year is talking about Christmas memories! Every year before we opened our gifts with my dad's side of the family, someone would read the story of Christ's birth from the bible and we would all pray as a family. That is one of my favorite times, and something that I hope to continue when I have a family. Anway, one year, my brother, two cousins, and I decided we wanted to act out the story, so we raided my grandmother's linen closet and used towels and sheets to dress like Mary, Joseph, and the shepards. We had a lot of fun doing it, but what I remember and love the most about it is that my it was so special to my grandparents that they talked about it for many years after.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Honesty and Vulnerability

I do not blog as often as I want to because I tend to be cautious regarding the things I blog about. I want to be honest and transparent about my everyday feelings, but I do not like the thought of having to be overly cautious about the words I choose to say. I'm going to take a stab at it today, minus the caution.
The holidays are approaching (too fast if you ask me - wasn't it just New Year's???). Thanksgiving and Christmas used to be my absolute favorite holidays. Is there a better way to end a busy year? Spending time with friends and family celebrating the things we have to be thankful for? ~ Not to mention good food and football! ~ and then topping all that off a few weeks later with the celebration of the birth of Jesus and a reminder of love and new beginnings. Like I said, I used to love the holidays, I still enjoy them, just not the same way. Living so far away from my family, I look forward to the time each year when I can get away and spend some quality time at home with my parents and brothers, cousins, aunts, and uncles. The hard part about the holidays? Another year without someone special to celebrate with. I know a lot of people struggle with loneliness during the holiday season, particularly those who have lost loved ones. My cousins and I like to talk about our favorite memories of Christmases past with our grandmother and grandaddy, and I love to hear my mom and dad talk about their favorite memories as well. This to me helps bring those loved ones into the celebration in a way that we are able to honor the legacy they have left in us. I love family and everything that family entails. I love to spend time with my family, laughing, reminiscing, dreaming planning, and sharing the special bond and closeness that is only shared with family. The loneliness comes in because I am past the point where I want my own family to start traditions with. To dream with, plan with, celebrate with. I'm ready to get my life started, yet I constantly feel like I am at a stand still.
  • Wait until I graduate from college. Check.
  • Wait until I get my Master's degree. Check.
  • Wait until I get a 'real' job. Check.
  • Wait until I get my mind right. Check.
  • Wait until....... I feel like its always "Wait until".
I love my family; I have amazing parents, a wonderfully supportive brother; cousins I would consider close as sisters, aunts I admire and love talking to, and uncles that are genuinely interested in what is going on in my life. I even have a baby cousins who I love and adore like nieces and nephews. The longings of my heart are not meant to take away from any of that - not in the least. My heart longs to add to that. I long to have a family of my own, a husband and children. I would love to have a beautiful home to decorate for the holidays like my mom always does. I am not even sure if I will decorate for Christmas this year. I don't feel a lot of joy for the holiday at this point. Add that to the economy and I can't even make a Christmas list. Me, the queen of lists! I've sat down to write it out three or four times and don't have a clue what to get anyone!
I'm all over the place mentally - I'll write more tomorrow. Thankfully, I'm off to Texas on Tuesday morning to spend time with my beautiful family.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two Cakes, and some Cookies

Today was the end of the season football party for Jaylen's 3rd grade team that Willie and Randall coached. We had a fun pizza party complete with a pinata and cake and cookies (supplied by yours truely). This was my second time with a frozen buttercream transfer on a cake. I was very pleased with the way it turned out, and judging by the fact that there wasn't a piece left, it must have been yummy too!

Earlier in the week I made a cake for Sarah, one of my Lead Coaches. Her birthday was actually two weeks ago, but better late than never! This was my first time with a frozen buttercream transfer, and it was a lot of fun. It cracked a little when I was trying to put it on the cake, but I was able to patch it up so it looked good.
I thought I might take a brake for a few weeks, but I have volunteered to make a cake for Diani's birthday party next weekend. Then, maybe a break???

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Halloween Cookies

Ok, Ok, a little late, but here are my most recent creations. This was my first time with rolled buttercream icing, and I was so excited that they turned out so well. Oh, and they tasted SOOOOO yummy too!

Update, and Yes, I'm still alive!

OK, so I started this blog with the intention of writing at least a couple of times a week, but we see how that turned out! I have made a deal with myself and I will definitely be updating more frequently. The past three times I have sat down to update, I realized my camera batteries were dead, so I had no pictures to download. Yes, I will look for an excuse anywhere! The thing is, I'm on the computer literally all day - both at work and frequently at home; so there's no good reason not to blog.
I have been thinking a lot about what I want my blog to really be about. I read quite a few other blogs, and they all seem to have some kind of theme, or are about journeys people are experiencing. I'm not big into copying other people, never have been, so that leaves me trying to figure out what to do. So, as the title of my blog says, I'm going to figure it out as I go. That's pretty much how I do everything else, so that shouldn't be too hard.
I have some pictures of cakes and cookies to post that I will get up as soon as I recharge the batteries in my camera. I also have many stories and experiences that happen to me through the day that I will get better about posting. However, for now, I must return to the exciting land of work and grade some papers and create agendas for my meetings the rest of this week. Don't be jealous - its not as exciting as it sounds! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Professional Escape Artist

Meet Mimi

On the outside, or to the uninformed person, Mimi looks like a very pretty, seemingly innocent black lab. Don't let appearances fool you! Mimi is a professional escape artist. Now, before you laugh, let me assure you I am not making this up. You can ask my dad. Mimi loves to be outside. Her two favorite things in life are being outside and getting petted (is that a word??). When we are in the house and I get up off the couch or walk from one room to the other, she assumes this means she gets to go outside. It's pretty funny actually, and I'm very fortunate that she enjoys being outside so much, especially in such a small house. The problem lies in the fact that Mimi has a severe case of "the grass is always greener..." I hate to keep her on the leash all the time, but if I don't she will find any and every way possible to get out of the yard. She drives me crazy with this. Especially because all she does once she gets out is stand on the other side of the fence and taunt the other two dogs, or run around to the front and wait for me to open the door and let her in. Seriously, this drives me crazy! As I type right now, she is off the leash in the backyard, and I'm crossing my fingers that she will still be in the yard when I go check on her.
The other two dogs we have are Tia and Beta. They are both sweet, and luckily not nearly as creative in getting out of the yard as Mimi is! I'll post pictures of Tia and Beta soon.

Roses & Crazy Sundays....

I have sat down to post these pictures about three times in since Wednesday night, and it just never happened. So, now that it is Sunday afternoon and I need to be working on stuff for work tomorrow (yuck!), I decided now is as good a time as ever!

My cake class is going good; its a four week class, so I only have one week left. Last week we learned how to start a rose - but for people like me who don't like to start something and not finish it, she showed us how to finish it. She promised we'd have a lot more time this week to practice - I sure hope so! I also learned how to make a couple of different flowers as well as some other cool techniques like the shell boarder. We were supposed to make this cake with icing clowns on the top, but not being a big fan of clowns, I opted to do cupcakes with flowers and balloons - unique, I know.

So, here's some pictures of my first roses and the cupcakes I made:

So, tomorrow I have an Open House for work. Basically, its a come-and-go reception for the faculty on campus. We post our most recent data for them and showcase the different facets of our program. I bravely have nominated myself to decorate the cake for the open house. I figure it if looks terrible, I can always cut it up before anyone gets there! Hahaha! I did however, decide to buy the cake already iced so all I will be in charge of is putting the logo on the top. So, in addition to compiling the data for the display board for the open house, and grading 60 journals and assignments from my classes this past Friday, and writing detailed lesson plans for the next two weeks, I have to ice a cake! I am currently questioning my sanity! At least I have the Ryder Cup and the Cowboys to keep me occupied! I'll post pictures of the cake for work tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Some days you just need a little encouragement, ya know? There are times that I feel like I am the only one who knows what I am going through and no one is even capable of empathizing; much less sympathize. Those thoughts usually come on my pity party days! Sometimes, though, especially in the middle of a pity party, God will gently nudge me or send me a soft reminder that I have special people in my live who do empathize with me. I have a beautiful friend, Jessica, who is so close to my heart. We are the kind of friends who can go for months without talking and then pick right back up like we never missed a beat. I had the honor of standing beside her in her wedding last fall, and she has just welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Makaela Jane. We were corresponding yesterday, catching up on each other's lives, and she wrote to me:

"I hope things start falling in place for you soon. I know they will eventually, it's just hard to wait for eventually to come! "

Those words were just what I needed to hear at that moment. As you know me, you know that I am person who stays busy. I'm always doing something or taking on some new project or task, whether at work, at home, or anywhere else I can find it. I do that because I do not like to sit around and think too much. I do not like to have too much time on my hands, because my mind wanders and I never know where it will lead me. I desire more than anything else to be a wife and a mother. I desire to make a large scale impact on under served populations in the community, especially children. I desire to help other mothers and fathers become the best parents they can be. I have so many desires, and so much that I want to do......eventually.

Where I struggle is that I do not think my "eventually" is contingent upon myself solely. I know there are things I need to be doing along the way, of course. What I get tripped up on is the feeling that I am waiting on God to help things 'fall into place'; especially with the husband and kids part.

So, thank you Jess for your encouraging words and your reminder. It helps to know that others are as aware of the frustration that accompanies waiting for "eventually".

Here's a picture of Jess (left), Lindsay, and myself the weekend of Jess's wedding. (Pardon the fact that I look sunburned - it was cold and windburn!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Game I Love

After playing golf almost every day for so many years, it feels weird to have gone the whole summer without playing. I've been itching to play, but haven't made the time. At the same time, I have been spending Tuesday afternoons/evenings with Jaylen, my friend Willie's son. Jaylen is 8 and in the 3rd grade, and is quite the athlete. He loves basketball, but his passion is football. So, this Tuesday I decided I would introduce him to golf! It was so funny! He is so competitive and wanted to beat me so bad! We hit a few balls, basically just trying to teach him how to hold the club and a few of the basics. Here's a few pictures:

He was actually pretty good, and we had a lot of fun. It was funny to watch him after he hit it in the air the first time! Oh, I remember that days! After the driving range, we went to the putting green for some more friendly competition. I must say, it didn't take long for it to all start coming back to me.

All in all, it was a fun day in the beautiful weather.

Cakes Galore!!!

I have a new hobby!! I have wanted to learn to decorate cakes for a long time, but have always convinced myself that I was too busy to take a class or didn't have enough money for the class and supplies. So, in my new effort to take time for something I want to do - especially now that the pool is closed and its getting cold outside - I signed up for the Wilton Course I at the local JoAnn's. I signed up during their Open House preview and got a great discount on the class, and shopped around to get the best prices on the supplies, and took the plunge! Here's some of my supplies when they arrived in the mail:

The first class was just a lecture, but for this week's class we had to make our own cake and pick our design. We also had to bring a small truck load of icing with us, so I spent most of Saturday making icing, cleaning the mixer, making more icing, and then coloring it. Here's a glimpse:

(By the way - did you notice my new do-it-all handy-dandy appliance? Yes, it is a toaster/convection oven/broiler/defroster/etc. It does it all. I LOVE it - my mom and dad got it for me at the Linens-n-Things going out of business sale while they were here in August, and its the best kitchen purchase I have made in a long time!!!)

Back to for tonight's class I made up my own design of interlocked circles. Here's the finished product:

Not too bad for my first try, if I say so myself. I was a little tired by the end of the night so my border is a little lacking. I admit I have a long way to go, but I'll keep you posted on my progress. Next week in class we learn to make roses!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Plan to Plan

I am a planner. So much so that I plan to plan....yes, I make plans about when I am going to plan things. Laugh if you want, but when you are wasting time trying to decide what to do, I am getting ahead - because I had a plan and you didn't!!!! Along with the planning, I am typically one of the most decisive people I know; I always know what I want to do, when I want to do it, and how I want to go about doing it. When I go to eat with a group of friends, I always know where I want to go; when I went to college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. That's just me.
Until now. I'm embracing what some researchers call the "Quarter-Life Crisis". I am not exactly at a crossroads, but I feel like I am, thus making me feel like I need to make decisions. The main one: Do I stay in Kansas City, or do I look for a job in Texas? That's a tough one - and for the first time in my life, I feel completely baffled and indecisive. I have been struggling with this decision for close to a year now, and change my mind at least once a week. However.....I now have a plan...albeit a contingency plan. But a least it's a plan, right? I won't go into too many details at this point, but stay tuned. The bottom line is at least I can sleep a little easier, because I have a plan!!!

Welcome to Bloggerville

I am officially welcoming myself to the world of blogging, aka "Bloggerville". I signed up for and started creating this blog somewhere in the neighborhood of nine months ago, but then decided that my life was so boring there was nothing to blog about, so I let it sit. I love to read blogs, I 'lurk' on other people's blogs all the time, some of them friends, some people I 'kind of knew' in college, and even some of perfect strangers. I find it fascinating, and so I have been trying to inspire myself to join the party.
Today while I was doing some baking and preparation for my cake class on Wed (more about that in another post), I came up with close to twenty things to blog about, so I decided now is a good a time as ever! So, here goes.......