Back to Life, Back to Reality

Ok. So. I just got a little overwhelmed with life there for a few days. Sorry to leave you on such a sad note. And forsake NaBloPoMo, even though I was technically disqualified earlier in the month. In fact, I had every intention of posting each day for the rest of the month and finishing strong – and even twice in one day so I’d still have met the personal goal of 30 posts in 30 days. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

But what’s been going on behind the scenes has been pretty crazy. Like…I bought a car. After a long, drawn out process in which I realized that 1) I hate car shopping and 2) I really hate car shopping, I purchased a 2007 Toyota Corolla in a dark silver grey. It only has 44,000 miles on it. AND it has power windows. And a CD player. I’ve never had either of those things before.

On top of all that, Amy moved to the Virgin Islands, which leaves only two of the fourths stateside. Good thing we’re together here in Cincy. I also traveled to Houston for a long Thanksgiving weekend and work has been busy busy busy!! 

It’s no secret to those who know me well that when faced with stress, I chose inertia. And then, when I finally can’t wait any longer to take care of a stressful issue I become like the starship Enterprise on Star Trek (The Next Generation, of course), when it’s under attack and the captain needs to divert all power to the shields, leaving only enough power for life support on all the other parts of the ship. Do you catch my geeky simile there?

Right so. That explains my absence my now renewed commitment to getting back in action. Here we go!


A long post about mostly me.

So yeah...remember when I said I would be blogging this weekend? That didn't happen.

But, I did get some things done. I went to Target and the grocery store on Friday night and took my time just wandering the aisles. Mmmm....that's one of my favorite things to do. When I got home, I put everything away and did some laundry, and really the productivity ends there for the weekend. Boo.

Saturday I woke up and lounged in my robe and talked to my mom and dad for a long time. Then I got dressed and went on a GORGEOUS walk throughout the neighborhood. Seriously, it was 75 degrees out! I probably walked about five or so miles, but unfortunately, I wore new shoes without socks and now have gigante blisters on my heels. They are seriously so bad that I couldn't even walk yesterday. I can't wear shoes with backs on them - a problem when it comes to going to work in the fall. But I solved it today by folding down the backs of some flimsy flats I have. Ugh.

After my walk (and before the blisters reared their ugly heads), I drove over to an antique mall I'd seen on my way to church last week, which is great because I'm in the market for a cute, vintage kitchen table and guess what! I found one. But it's $180. So. Not this weekend.

Then it was home for zoning out with football. And then movies. I didn't even cook anything. I had leftover pizza.

Sunday morning I awoke bright and early for church, then limped directly to my car afterward, came home and took a long nap. After that, more movies and lazing. Bleh. I felt horrible by the end of the day. I didn't even shower.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good lazy weekend - when I plan for it. But I was feeling so productive last Wednesday, and then fzzzzz....

And I know exactly why. This weekend I got into a funk. You know, one of those moods where you feel kinda down about something or everything or nothing at all. You don't know. And since I didn't have any diversion or anyone to think about this weekend besides myself, I just mentally retreated and retreated until by Sunday night I wanted to just crawl into a hole.

I know this post is getting long and somewhat macabre and you probably don't even care...but I just want to type it out. Over the last week I've had a nagging feeling that something must be wrong with me, since I don't have a boyfriend and haven't had one in such a long, long time, though I meet guys all the time. (I know this isn't true, trust me. Most times I don't feel this way at all. But sometimes I just do.) And then I start thinking about how I long to be a wife and a mom and feel all the love and devotion that come with those roles. But how will I ever get there if I'm clearly unlovable? So then I get mad for feeling those feelings and try to tell myself all the good things I know about God, etc. But anyways. It's just a vicious cycle sometimes.

So, there you have it - my weekend date with narcissism. I look back on the weekend and can so easily see how I could have pulled myself out of it. A weekend with few responsibilities?? Why not spend some good, quality time with the Lord, reading His promises, meditating on them, praying to Him and not just complaining. Maybe it wouldn't have jump-started my productivity, but it probably would have been better than the mess I found myself in by Sunday night.

How blessed am I that I have a wonderful, merciful Savior! He offers hope when my heart has hopelessly lost the way.


Fellowship trumps blogging, I guess.

Well. It happened.

I forgot to post yesterday. So I guess that means I'm out of the NaBloPoMo contest. Sad!!

On the other hand, the reason I forgot to post was probably because I had a busy, busy day yesterday. I woke up early to do some housework (and laundry) that I just couldn't leave until the weekend. Then work was busy. Then I raced to my neighborhood Kroger to get milk and chocolate chips (can you see where I'm going here?), and then raced home to make cookies that I could take to my Community Group which was starting at 7 p.m.

Community Group is wonderful, and I'm starting to really get to know and invest in the people there. So that's what my night was spent doing, instead of blogging. When the regular "Community Group" time was over, I stayed a little longer to finish a beer with the host/leader, his girlfriend and his roommate. I was there until past 10:30, just talking and laughing with new people who I actually really like.

When I got home, NaBloPoMo was the furthest thing from my mind - all I could think about was bed, and about the ways that God's taking care of me here in this new city.

So I guess it's ok that I disqualified myself. Fellowship trumps blogging. :)


What to do, what to do??

So, this weekend I have no plans. I know it's only Wednesday, which might seem kind of early to be thinking of weekend plans, but to that I say, "No way!" I'm of the opinion that we should be thinking about the weekend as early as possible!

Anyways. Both of my go-to sets of friends are out of town this weekend which means that I'll have lots of time to do lots of useful things around the house. Or, I could make more friends...

My list includes:
  • Laundry (Some of which may have to be done earlier so as to avoid a shortage of something...)
  • Cooking (I have seriously been in a cooking rut and I hate it!)
  • Getting groceries (One can't cook if one has no food.)
  • Cleaning (Wow, this list makes it seem like I'm living in squalor. I'm not.)
  • General organizing of life (Occasionally I need to do this to remain sane. Usually involves list making.)
  • and maybe a little shopping (For some chairs! And maybe a cute little table for the kitchen!)
Oh! And of course blogging! :)

How about you? Got any plans for the weekend?



An Impromptu Movie Review

Just got back from a free sneak peak of the new movie Morning Glory (yes, sneak peak movie passes come with the job :) It was good! It's only slightly a romantic comedy, so I was able to enjoy it without rolling my eyes every two minutes. Really, though...it's very cute and feel-goodish. A little long in some parts, but mostly a lovely movie! (Despite the what the reviews on that Rotten Tomatoes link up there say.)

But, what I really want to know is WHERE in this universe does a girl get asked out by an extremely attractive former rower on her second day on the job?? And of course he's charming and witty and tan and head-over-heels for her. AFTER THE SECOND DAY OF WORK. Seriously...wherever that is - I need to move there.


Weekend Update

I'm a happy girl.

Today, I found myself in Leah and Jimmy's kitchen, helping Jimmy cook (it was Eggs Benedict Time!!), and I just felt so, so full of love and happiness and rainbows. ;)

No, really though - this weekend was just the best. Kelly and I spent Saturday morning lounging and then went shopping most of the day. That's like one of my favorite-est things to do with Kelly - we're really good at spending money, you see. Then we went and picked up Leah and brought her back to the city for Don Pablo's and other going-out-preparations. Once we were ready to go (and had each downed a cup of coffee), Jimmy picked us up and we headed downtown to explore the Cincinnati nightlife scene.

Our first stop was Mynt Martini, and it was lots of fun! I was kind of skeptical of what Cincinnati would hold in terms of actual nightlife, seeing as I was coming from Chicago and its myriad choices for expensive drinks and dancing. But Mynt was great. My martini was strong, the DJ was pretty darn good, and I was with my best friends. We danced most of the night at Mynt. And can I just say...there's something about just letting go amid all the people and the loud music and crazy lights. It's hard to explain - suddenly the music takes you and you just can't help but let your body move how it wants to. It fees so free. That might not make sense...but I think that's why I love going dancing.

Anyways, here are the only pics of the night - taken by Kelly's phone at Mynt.

After that we went to two other places to finish off the night, but they were slightly lame and we were tired, so we went home and were in bed by 2 a.m.

Then today after church, we decided to have Eggs Benedict Time at the Hoopers' house and Jath and Aaron came over and that's when my heart just kind of swelled. Five - or six, if you count Natalie, which I will, so - Six of my favorite people all together. Jimmy bossing me around the kitchen. Best friends getting to know one another. AH! It was wonderful. Happy girl.


If it's wrong, I don't want to be right...

So, I don't know if this is going to be the worthwhile post I promised yesterday, but I'm posting - so deal. ;)

I just got back from Don Pablo's with Kelly and Leah. I know, I know. But before you begin to judge me for eating chain-Mexican and forsaking everything I learned in Chicago about being a food snob, I just want you to know that I love Don Pablo's. It holds lots of feel-good memories from my youth. I actually don't think I've been there since high school, when it was a favorite destination for pre-dance dinners and after-mall refuelings with my friends.

So tonight, we went. And it was glorious. I had a Dos Equis, plenty of chips, and salsa and a taco/enchilada meal that was tasty, tasty, tasty. I'm stuffed. And quite nostalgic, actually.



Here's another nothing post just to remain eligible for NaBloPoMo!

Kelly's here (!) for the weekend, and I just ran out of time between work and picking up my apartment and then welcoming her.

Tomorrow there will be something worth reading here, I promise. :)


This one's gonna be quick.

Cause I'm tired. I can hear my bed calling my name. Even though it's only 9:30 p.m.

So, the post tonight is on the fun fact that I will see my family in only 20 days!! When I got my ticket, if felt like I had to wait an eternity, and now poof! Here we are, 20 days out. :)

This makes my heart happy.

Also adding to the heart happiness is that while here in the Midwest, we're expecting SNOW tonight (unbelievable), in Houston, the average high for the next 10 days is 79 degrees. :) :)

And goodnight!


Pumpkin Coffee Cake!

When I was planning for Jath's baby shower, I knew I wanted to have coffee cake. I love coffee cake. And one of the best excuses to have it is when one is hosting a bevy of grandmothers, aunts and other luncheon-type ladies who want to sip coffee and chat. I also knew I wanted to do a sort of autumn theme with the menu - and naturally, the best way to fall-up a coffee cake is to add pumpkin, right? So I decided to take a recipe from the Pioneer Woman and tweak it to include pumpkin.

So on the Wednesday nights of the two weeks before the shower, I had Baby Shower Test Kitchen. I figured if I couldn't get it right in that amount of time, I'd give up and make regular coffee cake.

The first Test Kitchen attempt was all guesswork and also all fail. The second Wednesday, I tried consulting different recipes with actual pumpkin to see how they incorporated it. And it turned out much better. Here's the recipe I came up with:

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

1/2 stick butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 stick butter (room temp)
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon

Combine topping ingredients, cutting with a pastry cutter to make streusel. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Spoon 1/2 into greased 10" springform pan. Spread applesauce over batter. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spoon remaining batter evenly over streusel and then spread carefully. Top with remaining streusel. Bake at 350 for 50-55 mins., or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 mins. Remove outside ring. When completely cool, transfer to cake plate!

(I thought about drizzling a little glaze, but ultimately decided it didn’t need it. And I wouldn’t have added the apple filling, but I thought it needed something in the middle, and I had apples I needed to use up. Oh, and I forgot to add the streusel on top of the applesauce when I made it for the shower. Oops. It was still good.)


The erroneous apostrophe is not my fault.

Yesterday, I got to do something really cool. One of the radio stations I work for had a listener lunch with the Plain White T's and I got to go hang and take the video! True, this is not really a responsibility of the copywriter, but I was helping out in a pinch, and it wasn't even a little bit of a hardship. Not only did I get to leave the office for a few hours and enjoy free food, but I also got to meet the Plain White T's, who I love.

 Here's me and Stephanie (the photographer to my videographer) with some of the Ts after the lunch.

They played their current hit, "Rhythm of Love," and then played their next single, "Boomerang." And after a question and answer time, they wrapped up by playing "1,2,3,4." It was great. I love this job. :)



Happy birthday to this blog!! It's one-year-old today!

In review, I think I had bigger plans for it initially than what my procrastinating tendencies could really handle. Hence, only 52 posts in the last 365 days. :)

But! Another year, another valiant effort to keep this blog alive. I've decided to do the NaBloPoMo Challenge again, to give myself a kick-start.

So today, just to round-off the season, here's me in my favorite Halloween costume from my youth:

I was determined to be a nun that year because in VBS the previous summer, we had made cross necklaces out of cinnamon sticks, and I thought mine looked just like the Reverend Mother's from The Sound of Music.

Even though playing dress-up was one of my favorite things to do as a little kid, I don't really get into costumes on Halloween anymore. I refuse to be a sexy mouse/nurse/firefighter/Sponge Bob. And, unless I'm suffering for fashion's sake, I'd rather be comfortable in my normal jeans than uncomfortable in a cheap polyester costume, scratchy wig, and flaky face paint. Also, I think after four Halloweens spent in Chicago, I've learned that it's best to stay in and avoid contact with all of the crazies that suddenly emerge to roam the streets at all hours and in all stages of undress.

That makes me sound like a Halloween Scrooge. Let it be known that I love carving pumpkins. And I love cute little trick-or-treaters. Someday, when I finally live in a house in a neighborhood that is conducive to trick-or-treating, I'll string faux cobwebs embedded with little plastic spiders around my porch and light candles in jack-o-lanterns. And I also love the fall season in general and all its associated decorations like Indian corn and beautiful leaves and gourds (seriously love gourds). And the food! Caramel apples and hot cider and popcorn balls and anything and everything with pumpkin in it!!

Ok, so I don't really know why I felt compelled to give that little diatribe, but there it is. Consider the first post of a new year (and new challenge) done!