Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Cheer!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope that you all will have a wonderful and heartfelt Christmas! Enjoy this time with family and friends!

Remember its not about the presents you receive which are a token or sign of the person giving you the gifts sign of love and affection to you! Like God's most precious gift to us in Christ Jesus was a sign of His love to us.

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" - which means, "God with us." ~Matthew 1:23

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


How quickly a month can fly past without so much as blinking, eh?

I lost posted at the end of October about leaving my job, you can read about it here. I surrendered my life to the Lord and He responded! Praise God!

I had interviewed for a position the week before I put in my notice. I wasn't expecting to hear anything from them until mid-November and wasn't feeling extremely hopeful because of my past history with interviewing and not getting the job.

My last day was October 31 and I had nothing lined up yet. I was fighting so many doubts and nerves. I received a phone call offering me the position on November 1, 2013!! How crazy is that and so God's precious, perfect timing!

I started on November 18, 2013. The day after tornadoes ripped through our area, devastating the community of Washington, IL. I live across the Illinois River from Washington, but its heartbreaking to have this hit our area again. But once again God's hand was in the protection of so many lives that day!

And I guess God isn't done with me in ministry because my new full-time job is once again as a church secretary, haha!! And going through training with the girl I am replacing and speaking with her, it is truly God's prefect plan. She delivered a healthy baby boy on Dec. 2, 2013 and will become a stay at home mom!

Please pray for me and this new position! Pray that I seek God in continuing to do His work!
And thank you for all the support and prayers over the past 3 years!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Winds of Change

If you've been dropping by here periodically you know that I have been looking for a full-time or career job for over 3 years now, and in that time I have worked several part-time jobs. Retail being the one usually tacked on at places like Kohl's, Running Central, & White House Black Market and more recently as the evening/weekend scale operator at a grain elevator. All the while my main job was as a church secretary (also only part-time).

The position as a church secretary has been my safety net for 3 years now, the job that I kept while looking for another full-time position. I've learned so much about the seedy-underbelly inner-workers of a church. I have enjoyed working in ministry and the flexibility and freedom this position allowed me to have, especially right after I got married and with my husband being a cop and having his days off during the week!! However, the time has come for me to move on.

I have felt a deep, urgent pressing on my heart lately. I spent a lot of time in prayer, reading scripture and just being alone with the Lord in seeking His guidance and wisdom. And I truly feel the time has come to leave this position without another job already lined up. (Buh-bye safety net).

There is always more to the story but honestly I deep down feel that God is leading me out of this position here at this time. So, tomorrow, October 31, 2013 will be my last day.

I am surrendering to the Lord and His direction and timing in this circumstance (I try all the time to do this but I fail majority of the time, I just can't let the need to control go usually).

I've been extremely blessed to have had this job and the chance to really dig-in and grow in my faith at a job that encouraged me to seek after God. I would not be where I am now with out it. The Lord has something coming and I must be ready to receive it and serve Him in it.

11"For I know that plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and pray to me and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Man Up or Shut Up

I'm beyond excited and happy for my friend, Kayla and her husband who welcomed their first baby in September, Wesley Collins M.

But this has brought up the conversation of starting a family with my own husband. Especially, since his really good friend and his wife are also expecting their first son later this fall. (Seriously, Baby-apocalypse!)

I get that this is just the stage of life we are in and we've had the "when" talk and both agree we can wait a while longer. After seeing my sister's go through pregnancy, labor, delivery, and coming home, I'm good to hold off for a while yet. (I ain't going in blind to pregnancy, delivery or home care).

However, through talking with Jon and hearing other men talk about babies. I have only found a limited amount that seem to be really pumped about being first-time dads or looking forward to it or were the one pushing more for starting their families.

Which got me to thinking: Why are men taught to dread fatherhood?

Pop cultural seems to give becoming a father a negative view. Now, I know they usually show the guy freaking out about it (which I would be worried if you weren't, I've hit the panic button on even thinking about starting myself) but also that having a baby ruins your life. And usually at the end of a movie its about how much they have changed their view of fatherhood in 30 seconds.

Why not show a man who looks forward to starting a family with his wife? Not one where the wife pushes and nags him into it but a guy who truly understands the precious gift that the couple is giving to each other?

Is it considered unmanly to want to have children? Or a trap? Is it wrong of me to want my husband to be excited about having children someday? (I mean its not like he's gotta do the whole carrying, baking, and birthing bit).

Or is it just the responsibility of caring and providing for another human that is yours for keeps? And needing to be completing unselfish?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Being A Grown-Up Stinks!

As a kid you have an idealized version of how being an adult is, little do you realize that it is not how it really is! It's more than getting to stay up late, eating whatever you want, buying whatever you want or going wherever you want.

Being a grown up means paying bills, worrying about the roof leaking, budgeting, make sure your doing everything to prevent illness, finding a decent job, making hard life choices, etc.

It really stinks!

I've had a more idealized version of adulthood from one perspective: I've only worked part-time jobs while looking for a career/full-time because Jon has a semi-decent job.

On the flip side: I've not been able to find a full-time job. I'm either over-qualified, under-qualified or not qualified at all for positions! I've canvased applying and I've been picky! And still nothing after 3 and half years! No full time job, no career path to follow and feeling stuck in random part-time never-ending-land.

I know 3 years of waiting is a drop in the bucket to the 20+ years Abraham and Sarah waited for Isaac to come. *(Lord, please give me strength if Your plan is for me to wait that long! I won't make it without You!)

Jon and I have a lot of decisions to make in the near future that does not include a family! We are still a way's off from that path. I'm feeling the urgency (God's calling?) to make some major changes and wreck my cushy, comfortable, stable, never-changing life.

Pray for me during this time; that I would seek God's wisdom and strength in making decisions that will hopefully glorify Him more!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Warning: I will be extremely terrible about posting for awhile! (Not that I've ever been the greatest at regular postings). But now I have a legit reason!

I am working 2 part-time jobs this fall! YAY! Not so much!

I'm still working at the church 3 days a week and another 3 afternoon/evenings a week. The other is as a scale operator at the grain elevator my sister, Teresa has worked out for over 15 years! They need an extra set of hands to help ease up the burden on the office "girls," Teresa and Suzie.

I work there Thursday evenings for about 3-4 hours after putting in 8 hours at the church and then Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday's. Saturday's are crazy; my day starts by waking up at 5:00a to get ready, 6:30a - leader's meeting for BSF (I love this time though), pick Hattie up from my sister (my other job), Maggie's work place @ 9:00a; after Hattie's morning nap and lunch we had out to the elevator the goal is to be there by 1:00p; then Teresa takes Hattie to her house leaving me to operate the scales into the evening.

Pray for me! Hoping that we have good weather so harvest can be over quickly with a bumper crop and happy farmers!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Great Blessing

I have worked as a church secretary for 3 years now. I really do love this job (though only part-time and not what my degree is in). It has opened my eyes to seeking and expanding my knowledge of the God I love and serve.

One down fall was I was not learning or finding a study to focus me. But in the Spring of 2011, my sister Elisabeth was raving about the bible study she was in in Edwardsville. She like me was raised in the same Christian home, going to church, Sunday School, Wednesday nights and youth group but I had never seen her so in love with loving Christ and studying God's Word. I was envious of this group she was in.

But then came the shock, it's a group called, Bible Study Fellowship or BSF, and they are an international bible study with groups meeting all across the country and world. I looked into finding one that met near me. To my surprise there was one right in my own city!! How had I never heard about this?

I emailed the class secretary in June of 2011 to find out they meet Sept-May and were not in session at the moment and encouraged to come back in September. So, September 2011, I went to my very first BSF class night. And my life was changed!

Through BSF my bible knowledge and understanding of God has grown so much I can't even put into words how grateful and blessed I feel to have finally found a study that gives me the structure and tools I was desiring and needing so I could learn God's Word and plan for my life.

I started with The Acts of the Apostles study and learned about Paul and the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire. Last year, we started at the beginning with Genesis! And I took a leap and joined the leadership for that year and was a Group Leader and helped facilitate my own group.

This year we are learning about Jesus Christ through the study of Matthew (and leading again)! Only 1 lesson in and again my eyes are opened to details I never noticed before!

This is not a post to try and get you to believe or think the way I do; it is simply where my life is and what I believe, love and how I am growing in my faith!

BSF has been a great blessing in my life in helping me dig into God's Word!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On the Hunt...

Jon and I are on the hunt... for a new computer.

We are in serious need of a new computer! However, life things come up that make this decision hard! We have found that for big purchases we usually double where it comes from.

So, this new computer will be an anniversary and Christmas present and count for both of us. We determined our budget (aka what we are comfortable spending/need to save).

Any suggestions?

Given our budget, any form of an Apple computer is out. They are like double/triple what we are looking to spend. Trust me, even refurbished ones won't cut it, with all the programs that we would need and have to download it still blows are budget out of the water. Sorry for all you die hard Mac users.

Maybe someday we will get to have that luxury! Unless someone out there is willing to sell theirs for cheap! ;)
As my friend Samantha would say, "Darn you and your grown up life choices."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

And Once Again...

It's August! Where did July go?

I've been M.I.A. this summer. Sorry.

Still working at the church despite applying for a few jobs and interviewing. (I had another crushing disappointment on Monday.) And once again, Bible study helped pull out of the self-pity party I'd been throwing Monday and at work on Tuesday (extremely emotional.)

The past few weeks have been rougher, I was ill with chest pain which tests should nothing out of the ordinary which leads me to believe I has having anxiety/panic attacks which caused chest pain/back pain. It started after applying for this job and has now ended since I interviewed and was told ""

So, at least one good thing came out of being told no, I'm feeling better!

But seriously, I blinked and its August!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What is wrong with me?

I've been in a major funk this past week! No clue what caused it or where its coming from. Feeling a bit depressed and agitated! Help me get out of this! Everything is on the level in the Hill House and has actually been above the level lately so just wondering what's causing this. I've been in the Word, and praying more regularly, we're doing okay financially and having a nice summer. So what is my deal?

Has this ever happened to you?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

Warning: This gets mushy!

This week at work we've had 2 separate funerals (one Tuesday and one Wednesday). I got a call from the pastor on Monday, one of my days off, giving me a heads up on what was going on (plus I needed to order the floral arrangements for the church so good call pastor!)

Tuesday morning was stressful! Thankfully, I didn't need to go shopping for supplies for the luncheon that afternoon and a family member showed up to help set up and help run it. It was great getting to meet Debbie and found out that we probably have some distant relations through marriages, crazy!

But the real treat and bright spot in the day was when walking between the church building and education building in the afternoon, was that across the street a guy was being yelled at by some girl. Turns out the guy was a boy I crushed on about 10 years ago, who "dumped" me via email! First time I've seen him in as many years and it was exactly what I needed for the 15-year old girl inside and to throw off the stresses of the day.

But the blessing was realizing that God had protected my heart from this boy I wanted so much and how blessed I am to have my husband, who respects me and cherishes me. Yes we have our fights and our moments but we have a love and respect for one another. I look forward to having a family with him and watching his red hair, that I adore, turn gray.

I love you, Jon and am so blessed be able to give you my whole heart and being!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time is a Flyin'

Whoa! It's already June and my birthday already passed!

I had a nephew graduate from high school, another who is turning 16 in May, a niece and nephew both graduate from 8th grade and not to mention a niece that turned 3, and a niece who on her 2nd birthday got a little sister of her own, yay for Lola Jacqueline!

Craziness, I tell you! Craziness! I seriously graduated high school and blinked and here I am 7 years later; a college-grad and married! How did that happen?

What is even crazier is that one of my closest friends from high school had her 2nd child! We are not old enough to be having babies! Heck, I'm still a baby! Congratulations, Carmen and her husband, Zach on their daughter, Quinn Michelle's birth!

When you are a kid it seems like you have to wait forever to grow up! But once you are a grown up you can't slow time down, and no matter how badly, you can't go back to childhood. I was fortunate to have so many older siblings and realized that I shouldn't rush growing up. And I really didn't, I played with Barbie's clear up to leaving for college, if I'm being honest. (I'm also disgusted with how much Barbie has changed in the past few years!)

It's been a crazy few weeks and years and it really doesn't show signs of slowing down! Remember to enjoy the little things and try not to get caught up in the rush to grow up!

Seriously, I'm still only like 19 in my head!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Sloth Epidemic

When I say, The Sloth Epidemic, I'm not talking about this kind of sloth:

but this kind of sloth:

Seriously? That is not an outfit! Are we so lazy we can't even put on two separate pieces of clothing?

We've all seen it and we are all guilty of it! I, myself am guilty on occasion of going to the store in sweatpants. (Be mindful of the store your going to, a hardware store you can totally sloth it in if you are in the middle of a project). But for the most part, even when I am just at home for a day, I will try and put on clean yoga pants and a cute shirt and when the weather is nice I love wearing sundresses around the house. I brush my hair, my teeth and wash my face and maybe put on some make up.

In college, I slothed it a lot, especially freshman and sophomore years but my junior year I started realizing that I needed to up my clothing game. I love putting on clothes and looking presentable for all occasions. I began taking more pride in how I presented myself in my classes. Heck, I wore pearls almost everyday the entire spring semester (even with jeans and Uggs)! That was were I found my balance.

Ladies, it is not that hard to put on some jeans or a skirt and a clean shirt, brush your teeth and hair and put on some make-up! I am a girly-girl and love getting ready but I'm completely able to shower, do my hair and make-up and dress in 30-45 minutes tops when under pressure. (Even less when its warm outside because the hair doesn't need to be completely dry; I have semi-curly hair so I rock the air-dried, wave-curl).

We can't point fingers at others without first inspecting ourselves. I'm not saying everything single day of the week. And you don't need to wear dresses and heels! Find what works for you, what makes you feel most feminine, put together, what makes you the most happy and have higher self-esteem.

You are a walking billboard for yourself, dress like you respect yourself because if you don't no one will.

I try and make an effort every time I step outside my house because:
  1. I represent myself, my husband, and our families. 
  2. I respect myself.
  3. You never know who you will meet.

And remember:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's the little purchases..

Is it not amazing how when you just go shopping with an idea, not concrete, and just wonder a store, how you can find some awesome deals or cool/unique things?

Last night, I finally did just that first I hit The Attic, this awesome tiny, cramped little shop here where you can buy secondhand furniture and I found some awesome pieces that I need to think about, bonus, the price are marked with the next mark down price once it hits a certain date. As badly as I wanted a few items (a rocking chair, a make-up vanity and mirror and a cedar chest), I told Jon that for now my shopping focus will be on outdoor and bathroom remodel stuff.

Anyway, after The Attic, I headed over to Tuesday Morning, I just recently discovered what this store is and am shocked I never knew before, while there I proceeded to wonder, I'm debating on what color towels to get for the bath once its finished (hopefully sooner rather than later), they had a good selection that was decently priced.

But I ended up getting a WoodWicks candle in a manly scent, a Village Candle (looks like a Yankee knock-off) in a summery scent, a new rug for by the back kitchen door for $10 (aka Duncan's door) and a new Sealy pillow for me for the bed for $10! And it was glorious nights sleep!  Jon actually cuddled me because he wanted to try out the pillow too, haha!

I have used everything but the WoodWicks candle, obviously, and all have been great! I love when that happens! I'm looking forward to starting to get more decor for the bathroom hopefully that will help light a fire under us to finish it!

I also dropped in Jeffery Allens, and found some super cute pillows for the living room but I controlled myself since I had already got a few things. But I'm now on the hunt for new throw pillows for the living rooms!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Happy Birthday!

So, Saturday was my birthday! Very exciting! I love birthdays and mine in particular.

It was a full weekend. My sister, Elisabeth, had her 3rd baby girl, Lola Jacqueline, on May 27, exactly 2 years after her last baby girl, Ava Frances. She's done a great job of doubling birthday's! Anyway, I went at stayed with her Thursday evening through Saturday morning. (I did this the last time too).

I made the 3 hour drive in 2 hours and 30 minutes (speed racer) home on Saturday morning. Got home, got lots of kisses and hugs from the hubs and Duncan, and then got ready for the night! My nephew, Adam, graduated from high school and his graduation party was that night (not to worry, my sister, Teresa, checked with me first).

Jon got me an ice cream cake on the way home and I got lots of cards and love! I realized that I got to be with all but one of my seven siblings on my birthday! I honestly do not remember the last time that happened!

It weird to think that I've hit my mid-20's! I'm officially 25 years old and I am looking forward to the year to come!

Psst: Hopefully, I will actually upload some photos, eventually!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Praying for Moore, OK

Monday, May 20, 2013 a EF4 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. Devastating everything in its path.

I live in Illinois and normally would have not been affected by this, however, the senior pastor that I work for came to our church from Moore, OK, almost 2 years ago and his family still lives there.

My thoughts and prayer go out to my pastor, his wife and their 4 daughters (who attended Plaza Towers School) and the rest of their family as they continue to be updated on the situation and make contact with friends and family.

Pray for those affected by this natural disaster.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Creative Blues

Are you like me in that while at work you just want to be home working on your chore/project list?

However, when you are home you do none of the things you so desperately wanted to be home doing?

I blame myself, I'm a lazy person. I need to be more intentional in how I spend my time at home and in the Lord. I need to keep busy so I don't fall into a pit of self pity and bitterness. Though I am not above a night crashing in front of the TV because sometimes that is just what you need.

This Spring I have worked on staying busy. I have already painted two rooms in the house (am still working on putting the last one back together; its the man-cave so I can't just pitch what I don't like). Jon's bathroom project has its moments of productivity and then lapses of laziness; which most my projects do as well.

I've been working on the yard more this year. I finally broke down and cleaned up the flower bed o' weeds. Success, I found the source of the ivy which had over taken the bed and yard; I will be pulling the runners out of the yard for years I bet. My dad spread them late last summer killing them; I just never pulled them up. I planted a few flowers in the pots on the front porch, got a yard flag (which already blew away, need to get another I guess and Velcro it the post).

My next step is to work on keeping the weeds from over running the yard and other flower beds. The problem, not having the right tools... like a canister sprayer and its been rainy lately.

And I cleaned out the garage and am waiting to find someone who can come with a truck so we can have a dump trip day. We've got a lot to go; like a couch and other trash.

How would you plan to keep your hands and mind busy this summer? Or any time really?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


It is finally starting to really feel like spring around here! Thank goodness!

Life update:
  • 5k this coming Saturday (May 4, and I have not been running so this will hurt)
  • Bible study is beginning to wind down for the summer (though I'm looking forward to a break, the whole summer is a little much). But I am so excited for next years study of Matthew!! 
  • 2 more of my friends are expecting (still no baby-fever here though). 
  • My sister Elisabeth and my friend Carmen, are coming into the home stretches for their pregnancies. 
  • Duncan got a haircut! :D (that's my baby)
  • Working on house projects
I know I need to be better about posting and even better about uploading photos. Our computer has always hated me and now its even turning on Jon, so a new computer could be on the horizon sooner rather than later.

Hope that you are enjoying the nice (finally) weather in the Midwest! I'm getting pumped for summer! I might even get a tanning package so I'm not so pasty this summer!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blog Over-Achievers

Do you ever feel like your own blog sucks?

I do! Now, I know most of the blogs that I follow are how some of the bloggers themselves make a living. And they have to be on their A-game. But some you can tell are more of a creative outlet and they are still hands down far beyond anything I could dream of doing!

What is your secret? Maybe mine is a lack of motivation to seek answers on my own, or that even when I try it never comes out how I thought it would. (Hence, why I am not an artist!) Seriously, crafts are not my friends, I have the vision but my hands won't do what I want. This is why Jon still gets nervous when we go to trim/cut his hair, or anytime I try to be crafty.

Direct quote from Jon, "You're just not that could with your hands."

I don't understand Photoshop, I can't figure out my digital camera, I can't craft, and the list goes on and on. Problem may be that I have always needed someone else to show me how to do things, I just can't figure them out for myself due to lack of understanding and general laziness.

I feel I am creative but I can't make what I envision come out which in the blog-a-sphere does not help me win any points.

For me its difficult because I have a sense of being stuck right now. I need to remember that God will grow me where He has planted me and that He has a much bigger dream for my purpose here than I could ever imagine. (Clumsy hands and all!)

Someday I will find my true purpose/career in this world but ultimately God is in control and He has a plan.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hurt So Good...

"come on baby, make it hurt so good..."

This has been replaying in my head since last week because... I started working out!

By working out I mean that I was helping coach my boss's oldest girl, to get ready for her first track season last week! She did more of the running and I was trying to remember everything I knew about track. This will be her first time ever going out for a school sport, so its very exciting for her!

Even still getting out there and hitting the track has been harder on my body than I thought! The last time I trained was 6 years ago and I was at my physical peak. Running 6 miles at 7:00min pace was a breeze and now I am struggling to get through a mile!!

I'm also finding that my 24-year old body is not recovering like my 14-year old body could.

I ended up taking the weekend off because Jon and I both ended up with sore throats, coughs and running noses. It was ridiculous to the point where Jon spent Saturday night on the couch and I ended up sleeping through my alarm for church. We slept most of Sunday.

Here's hoping I can get back out on the track this week. The goal is to be able to run 3 miles 3 times a week before the summer is over! haha

Maybe going to her track meets will help motivate me some more!! Who knows, maybe she and I will be running buddies this summer to help get her ready for her next school in the fall!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not much to say...

So there is not much to say right now about what's going on in the Hill's life...
  • Still attending Bible Study Fellowship
  • Still working at my church job
  • Still babysitting Hattie on Saturdays
Duncan has bad teeth and is overweight. So, he has been downgraded to one meal a day and only frozen green beans for treats since they don't have any sodium. However, last night he was left only for 10 minutes in the basement living room and he snagged a Papa John's Garlic Sauce container and ate all the sauce in it and then peed on the laundry room floor. (We also apparently need to start brushing his teeth...)

Jon had to witness his first autopsy for work this week. FUN! (no)

That is about all that is going on beside gearing up for Easter! (3 dozen eggs are waiting to be deviled for Resurrection Sunday!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What is my design style?

If you are anything like me, I have had a hard time defining my decorating/design style. I have flipped and I have flopped back and forth and have stalled in progressing decorating my home. (The other problem is I have no money to decorate my home, having replaced the windows put a huge dent the decorating fund). And while waiting not so patiently, at times, for the bathroom remodel to move forward, I have had a chance to think about what I really want to see in my home.

After glancing at my Pinterest board, DreamHome-Ideaway, I believe I can now define the look I want for my home:

Country Chic!

Now to me this means a more modern/glam version of country. I love bright, light colors (mainly whites, grays, blues, browns and soft pinks with pops of bold colors). I appear to lean more towards browns than blacks for accents.

I will need to balance that since my guest bedding is black but that can be my black accent room! I still like the look of black accents but on the whole browns seem to be winning.

I like clean lines more often so no super chunky or heavy looking pieces, unless its a chair or couch. Though I do like delicate detailing which can lead to a touch of whimsy!

I can really say that I have stalled on decorating for a few reasons:

1. Budget - its just not in the cards right now, which is good because the big reason is:
2. Styles have changed - meaning that in the 3 years we've had our home, I have grown up and my tastes have changed.

I never realized how much I would change in the last 3 years but its true; thank you mother and sister's for warning me this would happen. When I was in high school, I heard my mom say that no one should get married before they were 25 because you do so much growing up in your early twenties. Now, I did not listen and got married at 22 (with my parents blessing and assuring them I wouldn't rush into having a baby too soon). And I can say that mom was right, just by looking at how my decorating and design styles have changed in the past 3 years.

So, now that I feel more confident in decorating its just waiting for the budget to catch up! But I am so glad that I did not rush into making big, expensive purchases on decorating, with the exception of the windows! That needed to be done first.

How have you evolved over the years in both personality and design?


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So Over...

I am so over the Kardashian's!  Their whining, fighting, and UNREALISTIC lives!

I will make a concession; I love Khloe! She even seems to think her family can be ridiculous. But lets examine the 4 Kardashian siblings: 

Kourtney has had 2 children with a man she seems to have no intention of marrying.

Kim is pregnant by a man that is not her current husband, which is also her second marriage and been trying to get a divorce for longer than she was married to him. She is also the reason why the whole family is famous because she made a sex tape with a man that she was just dating!!!

Rob, what does he even do?  Did he graduate from college? I will give him credit since he did run cross country in high school!

Khloe, she has been married to 1 man for what 3-4 years, is in a committed relationship and has openly shared her struggle to conceive. (Sorry she is still my favorite; but girl you need to stop stressing about having a baby; enjoy this time with your husband; and enjoy his children)

None of them actually have a talent, as Barbara Walters said. So, why are they famous and rich? Have they ever sacrificed themselves to fight for others (Thank you to all military branches, and any fireman, police officers, etc.)? Kim's illegitimate pregnancy is getting more press than any one of the men and women who have died in the line of fire for our safety and freedom.

They clearly do not understand what life is actually like for real people in America. Which makes them impossible to watch anymore. And now, apparently, Kris is going to have a talk show! Well, guess who won't be watching, (two thumbs point) This Girl! They flaunt their fortune in front of national television when there are millions who can't make ends meet. All I want is to be debt free, find a full time job that doesn't make me leave my morals at the door, and Lord willing be able to start my family someday and not worry how we will provide for them.

America what is wrong with you!? My generation and culture make me very sad and disturbed for the future of America.

(I do admit that I only see what is on television and obviously do not know the inner workings of their true private lives but they are not role models or people we should idolize).


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Them's Fightin' Words

The other day my girlfriend sent me a link to an opinion article  on our Alma Mater's website about student athletes. Let's just say my sassy button was pushed!

If you remember back to this post about me thinking about running again, I mentioned that I was a D1 collegiate athlete my freshman year. I realize that I only ran one year and I did get to experience the perks of being an athlete, like Irwin, that awesome planner, free tutoring and some gear.  I was required to spend 10 hours every week at Irwin or face disciplinary action that could also be felt by my teammates if I didn't fulfill them, depended on how the coach felt! And lets be honest, I was there way more than 10 hours each week. Along with the mental stress of having the coach yell at you during practice, worrying about everything you ate that day and if you would be seeing it later at practice, letting your teammates down, etc. etc.

I got to experience campus life both as an athlete and as a non-athlete. And I can tell you that I would rather be a normal college student than a student-athlete. I am grateful for the chance to experience that opportunity but I wouldn't choose it again, and not every athlete is treated that awesome by their school, depends on the sport and it depends on their performance ability.

I was the absolute bottom of the barrel athlete on the team, so I never got to travel to meets, I competed a total of 3 times, yet I was at every practice and doing the same workout as my teammates. I spent a minimum of 3 hours (I had 1 practice last for 5 hours) in practice everyday, including Saturdays and Sundays, and usually 2-a-day practices. Along with having a regular course load, and doing homework like other students.

And going out for a good time during season, forget it! Runners are 3 season athletes, so at most we'd get a 2 week break for such things as partying between seasons, oh and we still had to practice in those 2 weeks.

I realize that there are those who worked multiple jobs while doing a full course load as well. But think on this, these "privileged" students work and are not paid in money, they are paid in those perks that every other student seems envious of but the true cost comes at what performing at that level can do to your body.

Yes, student athletes are prime examples of being physically fit but have you ever trained so much that your foot literally breaks from the stress your body is under? My own sister had that happen after recovering from having her other foot broken in a race. There are ligament tears, there are lost toenails, muscle pulls, stress fractures, the injuries are endless. They are constantly putting their bodies and health on the line for a sport they are passionate about and for school pride. Would you be willing to do that, just for a free planner?

And to be at the collegiate athletic level, you don't just wake up one morning in high school and decide that what you want to do, most of these athlete have been doing their sport since grade school or even before they were in school. Me and my sister started running and training when she was 8 and I was 6. Granted she enjoyed and trained 50x harder than I did. It started out fun but it became more and more competitive as we got older.

Sorry for the rant, but I have seen both sides of this coin something that most do not. I stopped running because I couldn't handle being a student and an athlete. The stress of the the sport and training pretty much hammered out almost all love I had for doing my sport again even for health and fun. In fact, most student-athletes will experience burn out and some may never get back to just having fun in their sport. Something you find relaxing and fun may forever be seen as competition and bring back memories of injuries and disappointment to a student-athlete.

So, until you have truly experienced the level on which these athletes perform and live, don't think they are getting perks just because they have a study center and a planner. Their heart and soul go into something they have been doing for at least 10 years and that after college they may never do again.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Sunday night I was making a romantic dinner for an early Valentine's dinner. (I work first shift and Jon works 2nd shift on the day of love, so we won't see each other). The entree was done, the salads ready, one side was done and I was working on the last side. Homemade mashed potatoes! I was cleaning out my stick hand blender I was using, and accidentally pushed the trigger and ZING!

I cut my right index finger pretty badly. I hollered out for Jon, he came in saw what happened....and 20 minutes later we were waiting in the ER for another 2 hours for me to get 3 stitches. So much for a romantic, early Valentine's!

So, now I have 10 days until I can have them removed. That's 10 days of having it bandaged and avoiding getting the stitches wet (no doing dishes and showering is a challenge). Writing and typing are proving difficult, and opening doors and drying my hair, and other bathroom, routines. I never realized how much I actually use my index finger until the past few days and not having the use of that one finger affects using the rest of the fingers.

I have a great respect for any one who has suffered a much worse injury than I did.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pinterest: Tried It-Nailed It-Failed It #4

Time for another Pinterest Challenge! You can check out past experiments here, here, and here

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I tried making this chocolate truffles from over at Sugar & Spice and it was an epic failure. I think I probably made the mistake Naomi mentions. I should probably try making them again sometime, with better quality ingredients and following the directions better!

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Blooming Brie Bowl = really yummy! The link goes on to the Food Channel website. I didn't had all the spices....too many spices in something and I get nervous because I don't handle spices very well! I take after my dad that way. But the brie in the bread was really good, but it took longer for the cheese to melt/get gooey; and the bread got really hard. The other thing is you need to eat right way: It doesn't keep to be reheated very well.

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 This Crock Pot smoked sausage, beans and potatoes from Get Crocked was a HUGE hit with the hub's and myself! Pretty start forward and basic. I would probably add the green beans in when you add the sausage. And it makes a lot so I would cut the recipe in half for the next go but Jon loved eating the left overs!
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This Bacon Wrapped Chicken recipe from Artsy Fartsy Mama has quickly become a favorite of mine! I made it the first time when Jon was at work just to make sure it was good! I loved it so much I made it again this past Sunday for our early Valentine's dinner. Unfortunately, while making one of the sides, I sliced up my right index finger badly enough that we ended up in ER getting stitches. Whomp Whomp. However, this is great reheated! And Jon loved it just as much as me! I love bacon!

I've also made a whole chicken in the Crock Pot taking notes from a few different pins and picking what I liked, namely salt, pepper, onions and a whole lemon! I tried a few variations on chocolate shakes, like adding Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder instead of Hershey's chocolate syrup. It makes it more chocolatey!

Hope you enjoy and this inspires you to go from pinning to creating!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Celebrity Crushes

We all have celebrity crushes! And if you say that you don't then you are lying!

I have so many, the main ones I have mentioned Harry, Jennifer, and Jenna. A few I haven't named are Robert Pattinson, don't judge, I loved him in "Remember Me" and "HP & the Goblet of Fire."

And none will compare with my first real movie star crush, Heath Ledger! I was so in love that when he died my mom actually called me to see if I was okay. I was in college by this time, and she said that she just remembered how much I was in love in I was after "10 Things I Hate About You" came out. I was in the middle of my Heath Ledger movie marathon with my sorority sisters, when she called!

But I think there may be a new crush to add to the list:

Tom Hardy!

I watched the 2009 Masterpiece Classic: Wuthering Heights over the weekend, its been popping up on my Netflix for ages and I never realized that Tom Hardy is Heathcliff! Hello!

And I am not alone! Jon has become a bigger and bigger fan of Tom Hardy for his roles in movies like, 'Bronson', 'Inception',  'The Dark Knight Rises,' 'Warrior,' and a lot more. And I am becoming a bigger fan thanks to Wuthering Heights and spotting him in 'Marie Antoinette' with Kirsten Dunst.

Here's hoping I can get a few more of Mr. Hardy's movies watched, though I have tried watching some and just can't make it very far because I get freaked out...cough*Bronson*cough. I don't even think I made through the credits on that, probably didn't help that Jon wanted to watch it at 11:00p while I was trying to go to sleep and I finally had a tantrum. Though listening to him speaking as Heathcliff, I could definitely hear hints of Bronson in it but maybe that's just me.

Also, I got Jon to start watching the first episode with me because Tom Hardy is in it, and so far, he says, that its okay but would like to see what the writers could do with an R-rating for the big screen. He's a man!

When I next try to read 'Wuthering Heights' I will be picturing Tom Hardy as Heathcliff! Swoon!

Disclaimer: Jon and I totally support each others celebrity crushes. I know that if Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio ever show up that Jon's peacing out. And on the flip side, if Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Lawrence, and now Tom Hardy come around, I'm out! Its a joke, we wouldn't actually leave each other; but we would totes be okay with any one of these celebs being besties with us! ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Running, Really?

Is it true that I am seriously considering running again? Ugh! I never thought I would feel the need to run again ever!

It has been nearly 6 years since I last truly ran or trained. Its hard to believe that time has flown by that quickly! I stopped running mid-April of 2007. It was the end of my freshman year of college and I could not have been more grateful for that school year to be almost over! I had committed to running 1-year with the coach at the University of Illinois. (I am the first to admit that if it had not been for the coach I would not have gotten into school there, for that I am thankful). But it was a long, stressful, horrible year!

I even told my mom and sister, Maggie (who also run for Illinois) that I was good for the next 5-6 years to do nothing, after I quit. Welp, those 5-6 years are up! Eek!

I never really enjoyed running or competing it was just what we did, and I had some natural ability for it and I actually got really good when I started weight lifting (which I loved). So, now I need to again find what love I did have for the sport, oh so many years ago!

I know I won't be back to the level I was on, and not sure I would really want to be. This is more for my health and future health. Wish me luck and motivation to actually get back out there and run! Below are some photos to let you see where I was physically going into college and where I am now. Maybe if your lucky I will do a new spandex and sports bra photo! ;)

Summer 2006 - Just before freshman year of college with my sisters (I'm on the far right)

April 2007 - Last official track meet of my life!

Fall 2012 - Still supporting and loving the Illini!
Summer 2012 - With Jon (check out the difference in my arm from 2007 to 2012)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It says, "I beat Meryl!"

So, I didn't really watch the Golden Globes, however I was watching when Jennifer Lawrence won for Silver Linings Playbook.

I love Jennifer Lawrence because she seems to truly accept that she is human and embraces her randomness! And isn't afraid to make a joke at her own expense.

Anyway, I didn't realize that Twitter has been going insane with people getting mad at her for "dissing" Meryl Streep when accepting the award. When she said, "It says, "I beat Meryl."" It was a quote from one of my favorite movies, "The First Wives Club." I got it and thought it was awesome since no one ever seems to know what the heck I'm talking about! J. Law, we could be besties? (fingers crossed, haha)

No shocker that the leader in this is Lindsey Lohan; that girl needs a dose of reality! Your an actress and should be more familiar with random movies like that. I don't even remember you ever being nominated for a Golden Globe, Lindsey, so in the words of Jenna Marbles, "Pipe the F*** Down!"

I have a dying urge to watch "The First Wives Club". Its a major female cast: Bette Milder, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith, and SJP; just to name the ladies!

Thank you, Jennifer Lawrence for referencing a classic to my! And seriously, she did beat Meryl Streep, so it was a perfectly timed quote!

J. Law, keep doing what your doing!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thrown for a Loop!

I'm so out of sync right now with life! Jon and I are having a schedule change-up going on right now and will be trying to settle into a in rhythm. Jon's work schedule has changed. Still 2nd shift but with his days off on Sunday and Monday for 2013. Luckily, my work has let me switch too! This is the first time ever in our relationship both dating and married that we will have the same days off! I seriously never thought it would happen!

Now my schedule is all off and up in the air. Jon also used up his last few vacation days last week and the weekend switch just happened this week. So, I have been very spoiled with him being around. It will be a little while before we are able to truly comfy with the changes.

I am looking forward to 2013 so much! I can't believe I will get 2 days off with my husband! The downfall is that I will be alone every night when I get home from work and on Friday and Saturday but 2 days off together makes up for that!

The big hiccups are that I have bible study Monday nights and I have my shows on Sunday night that we will need to work with....

Have you had any scheduling changes for 2013?