Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One book, two book, red book, blue book

I have mentioned before that I'm a little bit book obsessed.  It started when I was little, grew with accelerated reader and an hour long morning bus ride and I just can't seem to stop it from growing.  I prefer music, painting, and reading so much more than television I actually removed the t.v. from my room when I was in high school.  Since then, and with the addition of Zac to my life, it's slowly snuck it's way back in the t.v. seems to be on most of the time, but I ignore it and read away.  

Currently I'm stuck in the middle of a series.  Well, the tail end of the series really.  What series you ask?  The Left Behind Series.  It starts with this book, Left Behind.  It's the story of a group of people that are left behind on Earth after God raputures his church.  It's the story of how they find salvation and live throught the 7 years of tribulation.  It's fiction, mixed with fact and I've loved them.  
I know this series may not be for everyone, as it does sensationalize a bit, but that's the purpose of the fiction in this story.  It contains a lot of scripture, which we all know can be a bit dry, but it applies it in a completely applicable way and I've learned quite a lot about the book of Revelations.   It does leave me asking, what if this is really what things will be like?  And it does encourage me to make reading the Bible a habit, not only to satisfy curiosity stirred up by prophecy, but to develop the kind of faithfulness you feel from the characters.  

I started reading the series years ago (I think the first book was published in 94' but I don't think I started reading them til 99') but had to wait for the 12th book in the series to be published and then never made it through.  There are 13 in the series (and 3 books written later that precede the first book in sequence, so 16 total really) and I'm on the 12th now.  For the last 2 months it's been all I seem to want to read.  
I know 13 books seems daunting, but as I mentioned before, there is a lot to keep you interested and it's so much biblical knowledge that I feel more equipped now in case the author's "fiction" actually happens in my lifetime.  

For everyone out there that believes that all you need to do is acknowledge that there is a god and then "be a good person," this book will make you uncomfortable.  It makes a very strong point that it does not matter if you are good, if you attend church, if you have morals, if you are not saved, you will not be ferried up to heaven when you die.  For that reason alone, I encourage you to read it.  It's clearly written, "For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."  Enough of me badgering, just read it for yourselves.  And if you also find it encouraging and entertaining, please tell others.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The ugly duckling

Also known as our office.  I posted blogs showing the rest of the trailer from start to finish, but our office was ugly.  It served it's purpose, but it didn't look good doin it. 
 I hastily took this picture when I was moving in to show my husband where I'd put things (or was in the process of putting them considering there is still stuff all over, including the handy drill).  This, was clearly our wall of movies.  As you all know by now, my husband is a media hoarder.  It's his job and his obsession and it keeps growing.  Thus the need for ugly bookcase, well, moviecase.  
I, on the otherhand, hoard books.  My textbooks and references are mostly hidden in this little guy cabinet.  I hate it, and it will soon be replaced also, but that's not the point of my little post today.  Like I said, our office serves a purpose for us, it holds all of Zac's movies, my books and my adjusting table for my family.  The only problem was, it was full and Zac started stashing movies with my books and we simply needed more storage.  So....after a long week away on family vacation (which I will eventually blog about) we decided to build more shelves.  

We kept this guy mostly the same, but added trim and facing on all the shelves to make it look a little more finished.    
(and yes, I know, the amount of movies we own is beyond ridiculous)

We then built a matching, but narrower cabinet for the otherside.  After that was just a matter of building and installing 3 shelves in the middle to hold a few extra things, we painted it all, and done!  Now our office looks a whole lot better.  

And, I have have room for my table.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the next degree I earn :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From boring to bright

I tend to collect an eclectic mix of furniture.  This was the case, especially in my bedroom.   I had a waterfall style short dresser, a modern side table and a buffet that we used as a second dresser.  It wasn't too long before I got sick of the mix and match look.  
I liked the dresser wooden, but it was fairly cheap and I had put a candle warmer on the top that de-laminated a small part of the top and made it look all dried out.  
This little guy I also liked, but was a boring. I did, however, hate this piece.  I painted it orange but it seriously took like 6 coats to cover and never fully cured, so it felt permanently tacky.  
So, this summer the sisters and I finished a dresser for one of our Ethel Edith shows.  It didn't sell so I claimed it for myself and hauled off that orange one with a quickness.  Viola!  Great turquoise dresser.  
 After that I started to dislike the other two pieces more.  I debated about what color to paint them and decided just keep a little continuity.  A few days later I drug everything outside, annoyed my neighbors with lots of sanding, and before the end of the day, had a whole new bedroom set.  
Dresser, check, sidetable, check.  You can't see the side table very well, but it is still the same look, just poor picture taking on my part.  

You may also notice, the bedding is completely different.  This is because we now have a king bed, which is an excellent reason for new bedding!  I love this set from Kohls.  It's called Thyme and it is really cute.  I want to get the matching sheets, but we will have to wait for another 30% coupon for that.  Anyway, hope you love it because I do.  Yay to turquoise!  Now all I need to do is fashion a headboard and I will be set!

Where, oh where, can anything be?

I honestly believe that by nature men are slightly blind.  At least this is the case for my dear husband...that can never seem to find things even though I KNOW they are where I tell him (I shouldn't have to tell him, we both live in the same house, I mean come on) and I can find it for him in the spot I say.  This was the case awhile back when Zac got a little thirsty.  He was at home and wanted to make tea.  He had to call me at work to find out where it was.  I told him, "In the cabinet where it always is.  Did you look for it?"  To which Zac said, "(scoff)Yeah, but I am not searching through every cabinet to find the tea."  I replied, of course, with "Seriously, we keep food in FOUR cabinets.  Just open them up!" The tea is just one example.  I just have to laugh because this happens on a regular basis with everyday items, like extra toilet paper, his work shirts, and tooth paste.  He is ridiculous and I love him because it is that ridiculousness that cracks me up on a daily basis :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dance magic dance!

Tonight I am hosting one of the most ridiculously awesome parties I've ever been privy to attend.  It's a (get ready for it) LABYRINTH PARTY!  When my sisters and I were little we watched this movie all the time and it blew our minds.  Just look at this poster.  See how David Bowie is drawing you in with his cat eyes....he wants you to watch Labyrinth, and you want to, he can see it in his crystal ball!
Just incase his look alone isn't enough to convince you, perhaps you'd like to take a peak at the original trailer for the film.  That's right girls, the imagination of Jim Henson, the wizardry of George Lucas, the excitement of David Bowie (in super tight pants with big hair no less)!  It's amazing.  Just check him out here, can someone say seduction (hahahahaha classic). 
Basically the girl in the picture above is forced into watching her little brother Toby.  She resents it, wishes him gone, and David Bowie, as an evil king comes and steals Toby away to the Labyrinth.  She must then find her way through the maze to find her little brother before he is officially an evil prince.  On the way she runs into many crazy puppets and a bog of eternal stench, talking hand faces and characters of all types.  My mom claims she's never seen it (apparently it shut us up and kept us busy so she took that time to get things done around the house).  I was shocked and that made the sisters and I wonder who else might not have been witness to the glory that is Labyrinth.  Before you know it, I've got a party planned and it's not just mom and the sisters, but my cousin Ellen and her two girls, Aunt Jamie, our friends Melissa, Jamie H. and Jamie M. that will basking in the Bowie tonight.  Jealous much?  I thought so.  Especially since there will be popcorn and brownies and cheese dip.  
I encourage everyone out there to buy this movie.  Invest in your happiness.  Just do it, after all, David Bowie wants you, just look at him and try to deny that!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Update on Baby Ollie

My sister and her husband have been traveling a lot this week.  Yesterday was a trip to Peoria to meet the Cardiothoracic surgeon there and get to know the team that would be taking care of Ollie.  Today, they are in St. Louis doing the same thing, to figure out which hospital/doctors they are most comfortable with.  The doc in Peoria provided lots of answers and Annie wrote a big ol' blog o keep everyone up to date.  Keep praying for all of us over the next few months as Miss Ollie continues to grow!

Monday, December 6, 2010


A while back my family and I attended a church service (it was part of a series actually, but, I must confess, my attendance can be spotty) about being "in the zone."  The preacher claimed that part of being in the zone, being on purpose, was tithing.  More to the point, recognizing that all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God.  That it's not my money, or my career, it's the career that God led me toward so I can serve them with talents I've been blessed with and the money that he allows me to manage.  That service changed my entire perspective on money.  Now, don't get me wrong, it's still important to me, mostly because I'm in sooooo much student loan debt and so many goals I need cold hard cash to accomplish (like building a house and being secure enough to have kids), but the pastor made a good point.  Would I rather be working with 100% of "my" money or 90% of what I've earned that is being blessed by God.  Seems like a fairly simple choice to me.  Decision made.  New budget including tithes made.  It was shocking to see how much we would be "giving away."  It was kind of disheartening to see the dates for paying off our car and trailer and etc shift back by months and subsequently years, but I did it.  I took the leap of faith.

A couple weeks later my husband and I attended church again, this time, with two checks and a bunch of cash for tithes.  Zac looked at me and said immediately "We can't afford that!"  and I told him, "Yes we can, it's our tithes. "  After we got home, we argued about it (Zac didn't attend the "in the zone" service with me).  In all fairness, I didn't talk to Zac about it before I made the change to start tithing because I handle our finances and I do it well.  I should have at least told him so it wouldn't have been a shock, but it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission right?  Zac is not willing to give tithes yet and I believe you have to have your intentions in the right place, so I will give him time to decide for himself but this is a whole different tangent about our beliefs that I don't need to get into in public so I digress......So, we argued,  I told him I would continue my tithes.  Zac's tithes (which he didn't know he'd given) totalled $120 that week.  Lo and behold, I get a call later in the day from a lady that is interested in baskets.  She came to our house, looks over the Longaberger baskets I'm selling for my mom and buys exactly $120 in baskets.  Tithes just slapped Zac in the face!  He chose to ignore it, siting the fact the had the baskets long before we started tithing, but that's enough about my Doubting Thomas.
God made a pretty obvious point there I'd say.

That was just one example as tithing continues to prove to me it's worth.  As some of you know I earn a percentage of the service I provide at my office.  So, the more patients I see, the more I make.  I have a bonus check each month where I am given anything I earn above and beyond my small base pay.  In November, my bonus was nearly 3 times my October check.  Zac has also been working lots of overtime, making his checks bigger by about 20%.  This is a big blessing as we work to get out from under out debt.

After the basket deal, and the suprize refund check I got from Verizon on an account I ended a year ago, I didn't need too much more convincing, but what happened today is what solidified things for me the most.  My family and I just got back from 1 week of vacation at Disney.  I didn't work for an entire week, which would undoubtedly affect my bonus check for December.  But, Zac has been upped to working 6 days/week through the rest of the month AND!  my boss decided that because I've been working so much by myself this year, I deserved to be paid for a week of vacation!  Paid vacation is definately not in my contract, it was what he decided to do.  I am so excited.  I haven't gotten a chance to tell Zac yet, but I am curious to see what he says.  I am also curious to know when I give him his tithes from his last check and tell him he can do with it whatever he sees fit, where that money will go.

The moral of this story is pretty clear.  Tithes serve a purpose.  It's not just to "prove" your dedication to a belief system.  It's about furthering your trust in God and his ability to care for you in every way.  It's about recognizing that we really can surrender our worries, emotionally/spiritually/financially, and we will not be let down.  You may even end up surprised at the pride you had, believing you knew better how to manage your money.  For those of you who do not tithe, I don't have any intention of guilting you, but if what you are looking for is a personal relationship with God, tithing does help to open lines of communication to Christ you might not realize were closed.  Think about it, 100% to manage on your own, or 90% supernaturally blessed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Riddle me this

If Zac is one of 6 kids, and all of those kids are married and have kids, how many dinner rolls do I need to bake for Thanksgiving dinner?  ( That's 14 adults + 14 kids = 28 people)

Also if Sally is three times older than John, John is 4 years older than Carl, and Carl has a 5 year old sister named Tammy, how old is Carl? j/k but really, how many rolls?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Super(califragilisticexpialidocious) Excited

The next week is gonna be super busy, super fast, and super exciting, for it is the week leading up to DISNEY!  Woohoo!.  My family doesn't go on many vacations.  In fact, this is the first in a decade.  Oddly enough, it's a bit of a repeat with a few new faces.  Ten years ago the sisters, mom, dad, and I (plus Annie's then boyfriend Jade, and my bestfriend Courtney) headed down to Florida to used up my aunt's time share.  Over Thanksgiving we are going again, to the same, though thoroughly revamped resort.  Annie and Maggie both went to Disney on their honeymoons, but I haven't been back, so it will be like brand new again!  

This year instead of Courtney, I'm taking my husband and the sisters will be bringing along their kids.  I can't wait to see Aubrie and Everett's expressions as we walk into Disney.  It will be incredible.  Especially considering their reactions as they walked into my newly Christmas decorated house the other day and each got wide-eyed and said "it's beautiful!"  Little do they know friends, little do they know.  

The vacation itself will be great.  The lead up may be crazy.  I know I have to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  Zac won't be home after Monday next week, so I have to have him pick out all his clothes this weekend.  After work on Wednesday I have to meet him in Springfield (about an hour and a half away) then we are going to his parent's house for Thanksgiving.  We have to drive back Thursday evening and he has to go straight to St. Louis for his Black Friday 4:30am - 5?pm shift.  Our flight leaves Saturday at 7am from St. Louis.  So....should he drive home for us to drive back the next morning, or should I drive down Saturday night and we stay in a hotel or find friends with enough space to store 2 cars for 7 days.....ughhhh.  I think I may want Zac to come home considering his boss warned him that if he took the time off during what should be blacked out days (from thanksgiving - february no one is supposed to be able to request off)  he may have to work 7 straight days after we get back.  That's a lot of away from home time.  Anyway, aside from Zac's job, my job, driving and packing, it's gonna be awesome!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year

I have done it.  I've put up the tree. (I'll post pictures eventually) Just thought you all should know, and get on board.  Look at this tree, then tell me you're not ready.  

Merry Merry Christmas already!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I love Chicago.  I do.  I know there are a lot of people not on board with that statement, but I don't care.  I love it!  Everytime Zac and I go we have fun together and is worth the cost of a hotel always.  Our anniversary trip was great.  We got in late on Friday night and headed first to Zac's favorite pizza place, Lou Malnati's for some deep dish pizza.  It was super delicious.  Always is!  To make things even better, our waitress gave our pizza to a different couple and we had to wait a little longer, but they gave us our pizza free for the mistake.  It was awesome.  Just look at that pizza, and they really do look like that at the restaurant, not just in advertisements.  I know that makes you hungry!

We went from Malnati's to our hotel.  Priceline hooks us up everytime and we got to stay at the Palmer House for supercheap.  We were pumped!  They gave us a king room instead of a room with two double beds and charged us nothing for the switch in reservation.  We also got a corner room, so we had views of the city on both sides from the 19th floor and the room was huge.
Our second day there we first stopped at a record store cause we can't go anywhere without searching for great old vinyls.  It's one of Zac's new favorite things.  Shockingly enough, it was 2 blocks away from the hotel.  After that we jumped on the train and headed over to meet my friend Megan for lunch at a delicious tapas place.  It's called Cafe Ba Ba Reeba and it was also great.  It was in a trendy part of town so we walked and wandered and window shopped for a while before heading back to take a nap at the hotel.  Unfortunately, we realized about 3 hours before our dinner reservation that the place was "business casual" attire and we had jeans.  So we were off again.  The hotel sits right on State Streets and there is tons of shopping.  There was Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Old Navy, a thousand different shoe stores.  We found new outfits for ourselves in a little over an hour then had some down time before dinner.  We decided to do something special, so we had reservations at Mortons (it had great reviews).  It was wonderful!  The food was amazing, the service was great.  We would recommend it a thousand times.  This is Zac looking too cute before our dinner.

The next day we packed up and headed out.  Took us three tries to find the entrance to our parking garage, but we finally figured it out.  We got home early enough we still had some time to hang out before bed.  It was a  great trip.  Zac even says we should do it every year.  About that I'm not sure, but for 5 years, it was totally worth it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sleeping like a king

Over they years I've had many mattresses.  They've all been bad.  When I moved from Carbondale to start chiropractic school I was sharing a full sized bed with a 6'4" man (and I'm 5'10"ish).  I told one of the girls I worked with that I would LOVE a bigger bed, it would make my life.  She said she had a queen in storage that her aunt had given her.  The day before our big move, we went out to her storage unit, dug it out from beneath the piles and loaded it up into my brother-in-law's S10 truck.  Only after I drug out my other mattress and threw it on top of the "queen" did I realize they were the same size.  Mattress upgrade fail.  I did, however, haul 2 box springs and 2 mattresses in the back of an S10, pulling a trailer packed to the brim and sitting next to a multiple lamps and a large potted plant the entire way to St. Louis.  I kinda looked like this, with the addition of a trailer, moving very slowly in second gear up hills.  

Once in the Lou we dreamed of a bigger bed.  It didn't happen.  At least, not for awhile.  
After 2 years we had found a house and were all set to move.  The week before our move I was getting the mail and saw that there was a queen set for FREE because someone was moving out of state and could only take what fit in the car.  I called her up...and she lived just across the hall.  It was meant to be!     And it was clean! I was thrilled.  Now, one thing you should know, my husband is a flopper.  This is how he effectively broke the full size mattress, and subsequently the queen sized as well.  By the time we were ready to move home, the mattress was not so great anymore.  Luckily, there is always someone in need, so I gave both beds away (thank you Craigslist) along with piles of stuff I didn't want anymore. 

When we moved home we finally got a decent bed.  Annie and Jade had taken Mom's king when she and Dad bought new, and their still rather new bed was now for guests.  I figured Mom loves me more than guests so I got it!  It was great..for awhile.  It's gotten to the point where Zac and I sleep on extreme edges of the bed so that we don't fall into a crevise so deep we can't get out.  I found out that Annie had a warranty on said mattress and I told her she was crazy not to use it.  We found out the requirements.  It had to be "nearly perfect."  We were disappointed.  We had it steam cleaned, and then it kinda looked like it had been grilled from where the upholstry head of the steamer had been run across it.  But, to our surprise, it was "one of the cleanest mattresses" the guy from the furniture store had ever seen.  YAY!  He ordered Annie and Jade a new mattress and viola, Zac and I are sleeping like a king!  Now I realize this doesn't fix the whole hand-me-down mattress problem Zac and I seem to have, but I can't wait.  My husband will finally have a bed his feet don't hang off of and I will have more room than I know what to do with.  Life. Is. Good. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Years Gone By

This weekend I'm doing something shocking, something "wrong," something you just don't do after you get married. My husband and I are taking a weekend out of town to celebrate our 5 year DATING anniversary.  I think it's a great idea.  My family thinks it is ridiculous.  I don't care.  I don't subscribe to the belief that it's not an important day anymore.  In my mind, I shouldn't have had to start the clock back at 1 day when I said "I do."  I knew I did way before that.  Technically, I think I should've started my clock this night, 5 years ago.  Enjoy the walk through time :)
That's right, Halloween 2005.  The night Zac decided he just couldn't live without me.  And shortly thereafter, I was surprised to realize I felt the same.  Of course, how could you not love me, dressed up as Dolly Parton?  (PS...those sleeeves were puffy as all get out and they came to a point on the back of my hand, I wish you could see that in this picture).  

Zac knew he loved me right away.  By the time I had made this wreath (annual Christmas craft #1 with my bestie), he had abandoned his boys and was spending most evenings at my little apartment.  
He even came to see my family and spend some time with us, as awkward as that may have been.  Just imagine, he called me on his way up for Christmas (the second time he was gonna be around my family) and I told him, "Just stay on I-57 until Mattoon.  You can meet us at the hospital." He didn't even try to negotiate. God knows I waited forever for my Aubrie Grace to get here and I wasn't missing one minute of her.  Now, Zac hasn't missed a minute of my first niece's life either, and I love that.
From then on, Zac made it up to almost all family holidays.  
Like Easter 2006
When we were back in Carbondale, he slept in on Sundays with me...and got annoyed that I thought he looked cute sleeping wrapped up in his dino blanket. 
But he still loved me and let me take more pictures, like this one.
He bought himself a sweet tight t-shirt that said "American Power"and a flame covered bandana to wear "for grillin' out" and I still loved him. 
I especially loved him in his uniform. 

Zac made it to my first college graduation. He even took the time to stare down my ex-boyfriend....and then tell me about it.
Time moved real fast, and before I knew it we lived in St. Louis.  A few months later my sweetheart was 24, but not too old, or too big, for balloons and party hats.  Admit it, even you love him in this picture.
 Two weeks later, it was time to celebrate our first anniversary.  One year down, lots more to go.
Over the course of the next year I got to meet Zac's parents, Jim and Lolla.  I got to find out that Zac comes from a highly functional family, a fortune we are both lucky to share.  
I also had the opportunity for Zac to prove to me that he would even give me the shirt off his back if I needed him to.  In this case, I needed kleenex for a terrible cold.  Zac instead gave me a big white t-shirt and took the liberty of cutting out the pit stains before he handed it over.  I laughed really hard at this, then couldn't let him leave the room until he modeled the pit-free shirt for me first.  I think it's marketable don't you?
By the time we got to Christmas again, Zac was fully a part of the family.  He even participated in Ugly Sweater Christmas.
2007 brought many great things, like the marriage of my best friend 
and my little sister, Maggie...
and the birth of this little guy
and another themed Christmas...
We watched some ball in 2008
ate big steaks
and got engaged.  
When I came home with a ring, Dad took the opportunity to make sure Zac was prepared for the life he was signing up for and took us to Rural King to get Zac fully outfitted for farming. 
Doesn't he make a darn cute farmer! 
In February we made the time for a short familyvacation to Galena to ski
and before I knew it, we were pronounced man and wife. 
Then we were off to see the world. 
We got home just in time for Caroline to join us and for me to graduate....again.
Then we wrapped up the year with the Vest Christmas ever!
This year we made it to Portland
and had our first married anniversary and so much more that would make this post even more ridiculously long.  
So you see...after all these years, I can't just start back at one.  I will not give up my dating anniversary.  Zac and I earned a little time for celebration.  Five years have passed so much faster than I ever expected.    I imagine five years from now I'll be putting together another couple dozen pictures asking myself again, where did it all go? 

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