Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stuck in my Head: Bruno Mars

Coming off of a week of wedding festivities for Noah and Salem along with jamming to Bruno Mars whilst I pack up the remainder of our house today, Marry Me has become stuck in my head.  This song first came into my life when the cast of Glee covered it and I thought,  "This song has dumb lyrics..."  And while my thoughts on the lyrics have not changed a whole lot as I believe in the longevity of marriage and the fabulousness that it is, the tune has definitely won me over and I have found myself humming it constantly.

The album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, is full of cute, catchy songs that I have bee-bopped to while ironing and cleaning many times over the weeks.

Now excuse me while I take a dance break...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Project 52: Week 25

Week 25 was all about weddings for me!  Dear friend James got hitched on Monday and then Tuesday started the week's festivities for Noah and Salem's big day!  Family came in from all over and helped us celebrate the two as they said their "I Do's."  Congrats to the new Mr. & Mrs. Noah Johnson!
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Project 52: Week 24

Last week only one photo was taken.  It's a bitter sweet photo.  It's our mark on our Allen house.
My dad has written our names in every house that I have ever lived in.  Benjamin and I wanted to start that tradition of sorts as well.  There it is.  In a beam in our attic.  The past weekend was Benjamin's last weekend of normal living in Allen.  I say normal living because I can guarantee that we will back and forth checking on things as the house is up for sale and visiting the ones we love.

This week marks wedding week; so excited!!
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Project 52: Week 23

Last week was dominated by practicing shooting and getting comfortable with our handguns in preparation for our CHL class and testing.  The Echol's came out to put a few holes in some targets with us.  Saturday evening was Salem's bachelorette party at the Gaylord...two weeks!!
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boxsal is the New Basket

Picnics in themselves are fun, whimsy and romantic.  There's something simply delightful about having a picnic on lush green grass with your honey bunny or group of girlfriends.  Part of the fun, I think, is the packing of the picnic food.  Making sandwiches, taking along fun things to munch on, carefully packing everything so that it fits in a cute basket.

Key word: basket.  That's what you are supposed to carry on your picnic.  At least, I thought it was until I met the Boxsal.  They are pretty. fun. picnic.  And indeed they are!
All three of the above boxes come stocked with 4 trays, 4 large and small bowls, 4 sets of utensils, 4 cups, 8 napkins and 1 trash bag.  
The super neato thing about everything that's supplied is that it is all eco-friendly!  You can reuse all of the supplies and when you are done with it, recycle them all!  The great thing is that this updated take on a picnic basket is only $25!  They would make adorable and memorable gifts for any occasion!  
all photos are from
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stuck in my Head: Sleigh Bells

One of the things that Andrew and I have in common is our love for crazy music.  I introduced him to Scissor Sisters.  He introduced me to Sleigh Bells.  Sleigh Bells is a duo who released their first album, Treats, last year.  The genre of music is classified noise pop.

A few nights ago I received a text from Andrew, who is currently digesting all of the music that he can while camping out at Bonnaroo(!).  That boy send me a picture of Sleigh Bells.  At 11 o'clock at night this threw me into a state of excitement and I promptly started playing my favorites out of my phone much to Benjamin's dismay and amusement.  He would agree that noise pop is exactly what this group is classified as!  :)

This song has been stuck in my head ever since.  Another fun fact: I listened to this song every morning for weeks and weeks while driving into work.  I mean, what says "Hello World!" more than kick awesome beats and someone telling you to go and do your best today!

Billy Elliot

Our season ticket subscription for the 2010-2011 season at the AT&T Performing Arts Center is now over.  I highly encourage all of you Dallas-ites to either invest in the next season for a series of date nights or at least make plans to see something at the venue in the near future.  It is a fantastic experience. 

The last show in our bundle was Billy Elliot, the musical of a coal miner's son who forgoes his boxing lessons for the ballet.  The story line is a very drab and dreary one dealing with out of work laborers, depression and the challenge of doing what you were made to do in the face of adversity.  The upside was comical relief peppered into the show: quirky characters and an unusual number with oversized dancing dresses and trousers that you will not see in the movie!  The entire cast oozed with talent from the oldest member down to the wee girl who was no taller than two feet and owned every dance move.  The young'un who played Billy on opening night blew me away with his range of emotion and each movement he made.  All in all, a successful night of entertainment!

Next up is Spamalot...
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Don't Be Homeless...

We've graduated.  
Now what?
Find a place to live.

The Tuesday after Memorial Day we packed up Blue Berry and drove to Houston with the intentions of meeting up with a landlord to look at one of her available homes.  After an hour into our drive, Benjamin called the lady to touch base and was told that the house was no longer available.  A few minutes of silence in the car, some prayers for guidance and we were mentally ready to start afresh in our search. 

Our search excluded anything on the North side of town because it would be a commute for Benjamin and we grew up on the North side.  We want to experience something different.  Our search ended when we found a cute home in Pearland.  Yup.  Pearland.  While some folks might have been put off by the bright yellow and turquoise walls in the pictures, we were drawn to it.  Without even seeing it yet, those photos reminded us of home!  We called the listing relator and drove down to see it the same day we stumbled across it.  

We were a little early for our appointment and Benjamin wanted to show me that Pearland wasn't the space of nothingness that I remember it being.  It was one of the places that I was not excited about possibly living.  However, less than 5 miles from the house that captured our attention is the Pearland Town Center.  The stores and restaurants remind me of what we have close to us here in Allen.  I think that Benjamin was trying to convince me with the nearby Which Wich, Freebirds, Macy's, Hallmark, Target, etc...

Walking through the house it seemed very familiar.  The layout is similar to what we have in Allen with the addition of an extra living or dining space.  Being new to the home leasing game, we learned that we couldn't just write a check and call it ours.  In the two days of the house being up to rent, 16 people had visited and there were a few applications already submitted.  We inquired about the application process and it seemed straight forward.  Expect for the part where they wanted proof of employment via pay stubs...  I resigned from PFS almost two months ago!  Benjamin and I decided to write a cover letter to accompany our application so that the owners knew that we weren't delinquents, that we were financially stable and that yes, I would be looking for employment once we were settled.  

The next day we went out with Jay the Relator to look at 11 more houses in the Pearland area.  In case we weren't the chosen ones we wanted to have another option or two.  Let me tell you we saw everything from the cute to the cruddy.  Some houses know how to keep up a lease property: fresh paint, good appliances, clean.  Others not so much: weird colored carpet, strange smells and mold.  Pass.  At the end of the morning we tried to put applications in on two other places but Jay insisted that we were the front runners on the house that captured our attention.  Fun fact: the cover letter was a hit!  We were told that the owners would be making a decision before the weekend.

And they did.
They chose us!  Praise Jesus!  Yesterday Benjamin and I were talking about how we are amazed at the perfect timing of our Lord.  I know that God wants us in Houston.  He has made that evident with placing Benjamin in the residency at UT Houston.  Our hearts desire to be used for His glory and we were open to where He wanted us to be. 

With "Don't Be Homeless" crossed off our list, we are now focusing on the next thing.  Doesn't there always seem to be a next thing?

Project 52: Week 22

Before another week gets past us, here is last week's photos.
Last week we went to the lake with friends and paddled a whole heck of a lot.  You too can see the blue dinosaur when you visit Frankston, TX!  Visited Houston where we saw Lulu swim, visited with Noah and Salem and found a place to call home.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Lake Adventure

Ever been to Frankston, Texas?  I didn't figure that you had.  It's between Tyler and Palestine.  It was our destination for Memorial Weekend.  Thanks to Jeffrey's uncle Larry, we had a fantastic house by the lake to call ours for three days.
Here are the folks we went with:
Here is what we got up to:
 I "helped" Andrew while he inflated his boat.
 The boys went fishing.
 There was sitting and relaxing.
 There was shooting.
 Jeffrey did some grilling.
 The girls did some relaxing.

 Andrew and his little Red Ryder.
 I cooked pancakes and bacon while Andrew assisted in flipping.
 There was more shooting.
 There was walking.  3.5 miles to be exact.  In the heat of the day.  Not doing that again.
 Andrew brought his water balloon launcher but no water balloons.  Valerie and I took a trip into the big town to get some Dairy Queen and stopped at Dollar General to grab a few things.  Water balloons was one of the items.  We made the boys happy.  What made them even more thrilled was that Valerie and I rowed the boat into the middle of the lake and acted a moving target while the boys took turns trying to hit us.  The key word is trying.  I think only one or two actually hit us.
 The ladies, mockingly waving at the boys.  It was hours, and I mean hours of entertainment!
 Thanks to these guys...
and these girls, a fantastic time was had by all!
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stuck in My Head: Foster the People

This song and band entered into my life a couple of months ago as I was driving to Tyler.  I was intrigued by the sound and the catchy chorus.  Now.  Today.  The song is stuck in my head and has been for the past two days.  It could be because I'm thinking about bullets and guns.  Not because I'm psycho, but because B and I are taking a CHL class on Friday.

Hope you enjoy it!  But not too much... I don't want you cursing me for getting it stuck in your head.

Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks from Foster The People on Vimeo

Book Review: The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

I packed all of my books.  All of them.  So in preparation for spending time at the lake relaxing I went to the library and picked up a few books to take with me.  When I don't have anything specific I want to read, I am drawn to books with interesting titles or cover art.  That's how this book came to be mine for the weekend.

The book is written from the perspective on multiple people.  I enjoyed style of writing as a break from the chapter format of a standard book.  The author took you on a journey through the development of each character.  As each monologue progressed you uncover more of the mystery of how these characters lives become intertwined.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is below:
It's easy to smile just to make other people feel better.  But when a person fakes happy, it has edges.  Regular people may not see, but the people who count, they can see the edges and lines where your smile ends and the real you, the sadness (me) or the anger (Grandma), begins...You shouldn't hold onto things that give you edges.
Makes me think: who are the people in your life that can see your edges?

Here is another review to consider if this book looks appealing to you!
Quote: pg 29; photo from link above.
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And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered the give-a-way for the Ultimate Boxed Card set!

Our winner for today is
Chelsea Ann!
In one of Chelsea's responses she said that she would want to travel to Banff.  And I would ask her to take me with her.  I love Banff.  In fact, you should google Banff and start planning your next trip to go to there.
Chelsea, shoot an email to to claim your prize!
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Project 52: Week 21

Week 21 started off for us at the Wildflower Festival with Jeff and Jessica.  Our draw to going on Sunday was so that we could listen to White Snake live.  We ended up going to the Bee Gees cover band in addition to WS and having just as good of time there as well!  The rest of the week involved heavy duty packing in preparation for new carpet.  And then packing for a fun long weekend at The Lake... those photos will be Week 22!
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Book Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  It danced on the line of fact and fiction.  The fabricated parts of the book were so intricately woven with the facts that we have come to know about Abraham Lincoln that you start to wonder if they could be true.  Like my friend Andrew said, it's almost like you need to read a biography of Abraham Lincoln to remember that he never actually met Edgar Allen Poe.  

Thumbs up on this one and I recommend it to you!

This marks 12 books down and 12 to go.  What have you read lately?

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