thanksgiving tradition

First of all....I need to thank Amy for showing me this video.
Second of all....I need to apologize to Laura for posting this video on my blog.

Amy, who I work and do Young Life and who is my best friend and who is the most beautiful person in Shelby, shared this video with me. Her family dresses up in costumes to celebrate Thanksgiving. They get to chose from either a pilgrim, a turkey or an indian. This video is from 2006, when Laura (Amy's twin sister) dressed up as a turkey. She's singing 'Turkey sat on a barnyard fence'....which is apparently a Thanksgiving Classic (which is yet another blow to my earlier post about how much Thanksgiving is lacking).

This video is definitely something that I'm thankful for this year.

Now, if you weren't already in the mood for Thanksgiving, I bet you are now!!!

Josh and I are going to spend some time with his family for Thanksgiving this year. Josh is the 5th generation born on their family farmland in Hendersonville, NC.....or as I like to call it " The Compound." His aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were neighbors growing up. How small-town America that?! We celebrate holidays Grandma's house, which is always the hub of activity. I've really come to enjoy the time we spend with Josh's family. I'm not sure if it's the after-lunch walks, jello baseball, shooting guns at coke cans, the farming game (like monopoly, but about farming) or last year's game night....but time with his family is so much fun. I'll be sure to fill you in on all adventures from the next couple of days!


poppies, poppies everywhere

I got flower fever. Its a serious condition, trust me: its highly contagious...I think I caught it from my sister (she loves little flower accents.) I want to wear them on purses, scarves, jackets, shirts, in my hair....so, basically everywhere.

Here are some of the flowers that I've been loving lately (feel free to buy me some).

I love this little broach and I can think of about 27384 ways I would wear it. Click here to buy one for me.

I think this one is a little hippy-ish, but I still love it! Buy me one.

I even want to wear them in my hair. Aren't these clips the cutest?! Why thank you! I'd love one!

And, I do confess that I love this bracelet too. I love etsy!

I mean, really....how sweet it this? Get one!


just call me aunt b

That's right folks. I'm an aunt now. Aunt B, just like off my most-disliked TV show series: The Andy Griffith Show.

Meet little my new niece, Stella Blue.

At some point, I think that Lauren and I will both have kids. And I think it would be kinda cool if we had them around the same time...its just that my sisters and I were close growing up and are still close now and I think it would be great for our kids to be close too. (Plus, since Lauren's a doctor, I want discounted healthcare for my kids....hey, don't judge me, I'm in ministry, ok?!)

Lauren is finishing up her residency and will start a fellowship soon. I don't know where kids fit into that picture. [And for all you YL leaders out there that are reading this blog, I am not insinuating that Josh and I are having kids soon.] So combine that with that fact that I don't know when we'll have kids either, I guess I'll have to start out by loving this sweet little girl.

There are two other pups still available in this litter and Lauren keeps trying to get me and Josh to buy one....because then the puppies would be family, get it? Josh and I are not really in the market for a new pet (remember the goldfish incident?) so I think we're going to pass on this one. Sorry Lauren!

happy little family :)


skinny b*tch

I'm really sorry for the offensive title....but I think this book is hilarious.

Skinny B*tch was published back in 2005. It was written by two models, one with a master's in nutrition and one with just a lot of dieting experience. (They also used over 100 sources for the book). Here's a summary of the book:
"The frank, "get real" approach of this diet book may be just right for those who have tried and tried without success to lose weight and keep it off. As the title indicates, the language is salty as Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin tell readers just what they must get rid of in their everyday eating: sugar first, followed by meat and dairy. Freedman and Barnouin recommend a vegan lifestyle, and tell why, and then offer more than 75 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacking. They help readers break through the mental denial about bad food habits, and offer responsible and fun food choices without denying cravings and appetite."

So how did I come to pick up this crazy book?! Well....I was working out with a friend of mine the other day. We were sharing out workout woes (me trying to lose weight, her training for a marathon---so the same thing, right?) I mentioned to her that I had really lost a desire to eat meat since working out with PT. She said that she too had experienced the same thing while working out with her PT. Then she recommended reading Skinny B*tch, which was about the funniest thing I'd ever heard come out of her mouth. I started laughing so hard that I almost fell off the treadmill (seriously.) When I had regained my composure, she encouraged me to go and get a copy of the book. But she didn't want me to reveal her identity, since the title is so risque ...so she'll remain anonymous (ooooooo how mysterious!)

I'm almost done with the book; its a really easy (and short) read. Some of the chapters make total since and some are a little hard to believe. I was a vegetarian for about 6 years before I got married. At this point in my life, I'm planning on going back to strick vegetarian and then moving towards being a vegan.

Let me tell you a little bit of what I like about the book:

1) I learned about artificial sweeteners and how they wreck your blood chemistry.....goodbye Splenda, hello Steevia.

2) I learned what they to do kill and process meat (pork, beef, chicken) and I was so sick to my stomach. I also read about how their environment, laden with infection, impacts our bodies when we consume them.

3) I learned about all the crazy hormones in milk. What the heck is that all about? I'm not a big milk drinker but I'm a HUGE fan of cheeses: goat, gouda, brie, etc. This was really bad news for me.

4) I learned that you can still eat plenty of snacks...the girls recommend a ton of websites and companies. I haven't tried any of them yet, but I definitely plan on checking out the soy dream icream soon!

I'm not trying to truen anyone into a vegetarian or vegan here. And don't worry my little Young Life girls....we'll still make real brownies and cookies on thursdays and sundays :) This is just something I thought I'd try on my parth to a healthier me.

On a less diet-y note:...what are your plans for the weekend? Its supposed to be cool but beautiful here! Its the first weekend in a while (and for a while) that we'll be home the whole time. I plan on working on some Christmas presents this weekend. I know, I know....its not even Thanksgiving yet! BUT, some of my projest require hammering, sanding and painting...don't I sound handy?! And if I don't get them finished soon, people will just be getting a hug instead of a gift, yikes!



talented friends

Its so nice to have talented friends! When I was younger, I think having talented friends would have made me feel inferior (ok, I'm SURE it would have!) But now, that I'm so much wiser and more mature, I love it----it somehow feels like I'm cooler by association.

I've introduced y'all to Cat before, but I didn't quite brag about her enough. Not only is she gorgeous, fashionable, smart and a great interior designer BUT she's a phenomenal photographer. Cat graduated with a degree in design, so she's got this really unique eye for photo composition. Cat created Peacock Photography earlier this year. She's based out of Austin, TX, but does a lot of shoots in San Antonio and just did a wedding in Houston (plus, she's available for travel!) I get more and more impressed with her work with every shoot she does. You better book now, Peacock Photography is all the rage!

click here to check out more (and book a session!) with Peacock Photography


walmart bingo

Ahhhhh, Walmart.....how much do I loathe thee?

Call me savvy, a penny-pincher or a financial whiz. But the actual truth is this: I shop at Walmart. Eeeeek! I can't believe I finally said it! Whew!

I like to purchase my produce and meats from our local farmers market or at least the grocery store. But, I do head over to Walmart for all my other household items: toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc. We have nearly 50 people in and out of our house all week, which can add up to a lot of materials. I would buy these products a the local grocery store too....but each item ends up being several dollars less at walmart which does end up saving us a lot of money. However, Josh doesn't like to shop at Walmart....for the same reason I don't like to: it sucks the life out of you. Seriously. There have been tests done on this. Trust me!

I don't know if its the fluorescent lights, the vast amounts of recirculated air or the women that beat their kids in the middle of the aisles. Who knows? But somehow I manage to lessen my lifespan by about 6 months everytime I shop at Walmart. But hey, anything to save a buck, right?

But all that life-draining stops now!!

I've got a little game for y'all to play next time you are at Walmart. It will certainly make the trip more enjoyable. Its called "Walmart Bingo". Standard Bingo rules apply. I'm betting I'll win the first round in no time----afterall, I'm the Walmart veteran in our family. May the best player win!!


sweet tarheel blue!

UNC Tarheels on the cover of Sports Illustrated
featured: Tyler and Rashanda (Rashad's little sister!)

One of the things that I love the most about living in North Carolina, besides the bluegrass and bar-b-que, is the Tarheels. For all of you who aren't from this fine state, the term "Tarheels" refers to the men's basketball team at the University of North Carolina. It refers to Roy's boys and only to them. This year the boys are ranked #1 in the 2009 NCAA's men's basketball rankings (according to AP Top 25 and EPSN/USA Today Poll.) What a time to be a Tarheel fan!

I love Tarheel blue. I love the way is accentuates the seats in the Dean Dome, the sticker on my car and any outfit I wear. I love the uniforms...they have the Michael Jordan logo on the shorts and argyle down the sides of the jersey...can uniforms be any more stylish?

Let me introduce you to some of my favorite boys:

Wayne Ellington(#22). He's a 6'4" guard from Pennsylvania. I like him because he has an amazing 3pointer and because he's cute. He's a junior this year...I hope he stays to play next year!

Bobby Frasor (#4). He's a 6'3" guard from Illinois. I think the main reason that I like him is because he joined the team with Tyler Hansbrough and was always easy to spot on the court (because they were the only to white guys out there.)

Ty Lawson (#5). He's a 5"11" guard from Maryland. I love him because he looks like he's 40 years old. Seriously.

Deon Thompson (#21). He's a 6'8" forward from California. I like him because he tries to look like a rapper. Have you seen all his tattoos?

Tyler Hansbrough (#50). He's a 6'8" forward from Missouri. I like him because he too has problems keeping his contacts in. Also, because he kind of looks like an idiot sometimes.....like when he holds him mouth open all the time. What the heck?

Sorry for all the pictures today. But I had to do it! Be sure to watch the 'heels tonight as they take on the Kentucky Wildcats at 9pm.


Thanksgiving...a minor holiday?

Good Monday Morning friends!!

I woke up this morning and went to work out at the un-Godly hour of 7am. But this isn't another rant about working out (I heard that collective sigh of relief by the way.) I've some here today to discuss minor holidays.

Almost as soon as my alarm went off (at 6:50am, 7am, 7:10am...) I started thinking about Thanksgiving. I'm officially in the mood for Thanksgiving. I don't think this has ever really happened to me before. So, like always, I'm analyzing everything.

1: How come there is no theme-music for Thanksgiving? If we had songs written specifically about Thanksgiving, what would they sound like? Where are the great songs about turkey, pumpkin pie, tryptophan or Black Friday?

2: Why is a cornucopia the only symbolic decoration used for Thanksgiving? Christmas gets trees, garland, poinsettias, mistletoe and wreaths! I sense a little favoritism amongst the decorating industry here!

3: Where are the Thanksgiving themed movies? Where's the Thanksgiving equivalent of Home Alone?

I mean really, we've got over 300,000,000 people living in the USA. We might not all want to celebrate or believe in holidays like Ramadan, Yom Kippur or Nordstrom's Anniversary, but it seems like the one thing that we should all have in common by being Americans is Thanksgiving. Seriously. Its not a minor holiday.

Any ideas for how I could decorate my house or spread Thanksgiving cheer? Email me.....I'll be eating some pecan pie and writing some Thanksgiving carols :)


oh happy day!

Today two of my friends, Chelsea and Lacey, are coming to town and they are bringing their friend Sarah too. I can't wait to hang out with Cheslea and Lacey and get to know Sarah more :)Yay!!!

Our small little town is really only fun to visit for those people who used to live here. Its almost like you have to leave to be able to appreciate what you had while you were here. Point and case: Chelsea, Lacey and Sarah. These girls graduated from our local university a couple of years ago and are back in town for the night. I'm so excited to take them to our BRRC for coffee/chai and Barley's for pizza. These are of course two places that I don't make it to all that often but would miss TERRIBLY if I moved. What's up with that?

Its my secret plan to make them have so much fun this weekend that they want to move back here! Anyone have any jobs they want to offer three cute, sophisticated, organized, fun, Jesus-loving women?! Also, just as important, these girls are all single too :)

I'll fill you all in on our adventures from this weekend on Monday morning. Have a fantastic weekend and remember: "A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous." -Coco Chanel


dropping off the kiddos

So today is my last day as fake-mom to Macey and Mattison. They survived. More importantly though, I survived. It wasn't really as bad as I thought it might be. No one got sick or lost any body parts (acutal fears of mine.) The kids will be returned to their parents in basically the same shape they started out in. So, yay! Success for me and Josh! But don't get crazy. I'm not trying to open up a daycare in my living room or anything.

The whole "parent" thing seems kind of difficult if you ask me. You have to like have food for them, wash their clothes, make sure they go to bed/wake up on time, drive them around town, entertain them...whew, that's a lot, right? A round of thunderous (and authentic) applause to all the mamas out there from a worn-out week-old fake-mom :)

Josh also deserves a big thank you for all the work that he did this past week with the kids. He's actually the one that did all the work (taking them to school, picking them up from practices, playing games with them.) It was more convenient for the kids if they stayed at their house, so Josh stayed with them over there while I held down the fort at our house. (Hey, I really like my bed---sue me!) All I really did the whole week was cook dinner a couple of times.

But I do have to end this post with a very funny story. Josh called me from Macey and Mattison's house at around 10pm last night. He was in the middle of telling me a story about what they had been doing when he started laughing really hard. When he finally got over his fit, he told me what had been so funny. He had found, in plain view on the table in the middle of the kitchen, a list of directions and instructions on three pages of legal paper! It turns kids do actually come with instructions...you just had to read them.


ode to the camelbak

I love my new Better Bottle Camelbak. Its like a cross between a no-spill sippy cup/baby bottle/nalgene. I orded the 1L bottle off ebay. It was $5 cheaper than getting in a store, I didn't have to pay tax and it got delivered straight to my door. And the best news is that its BPA free. I don't really know what that means, but I know that everyone else does...so when it comes up in conversation I usually just end up knodding my head and trying to drink something so that I don't have to talk (since my mouth is full and all.)

The Big Bite Valve is a little hard to get used to. I'm sure that its Freudian or something, but it just seems to be weird to drink out of something that kind of resembles a baby bottle. Maybe its just me. No, on second thought, its not just me; its gotta be true. Its just weird.

They even came out with a 'holiday' series. I guess they can't say 'Christmas' series? They should get over it and call it a Christmas series. I mean seriously, how cool would it be if there was like a cartoon little baby Jesus on one of these bottles? I know I'd buy one. Heck, I'd probably buy 10. It would fit in well with Josh's Jesus action figure. (Yes he has one.)

So go ahead and tell the one you love that this is what your want for Christmas. It'll be the best Christmas yet (except for that one where Jesus was born.)


lets get physical, physical

I've finished two weeks with my personal trainer (PT.) And its official: PT's kicking my butt.

PT has the following schedule set up for me:
Sunday: rest
Monday: interval cardio in the morning
Tuesday: whole body strength training and interval cardio after work
Wednesday: interval cardio in the morning
Thursday: whole body strength training and interval cardio after work
Friday: rest
Saturday: whole body strength training and interval cardio in the morning.

I'm hoping that this schedule combined with weight watchers will turn me into one hot non-mama. I'm trying to be realistic...I'm not expecting big loser-type results, but at the same time I'm really excited to see what I'll look like in 6 more weeks. Two weeks ago I took my starting measurements and weight and I even took a picture and then subsequently fainted from shock. After recovering, I committed to the mission: look hotttt by Christmas.

I've really enjoyed working with PT and would totally encourage anyone to get one. I feel like I actually know how to use the machines at our YMCA. I mean, I knew how to use the machines before (I'm not a total idiot) but PT has taught me how to maximize each machine and work out the most muscle groups per exercise. Its also really great to have someone to encourage you on those extra reps in the last set that seem so impossible to finish (where I would usually give up by counting: 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, i'm done!)

There are only two major downsides to getting a PT: 1) working out in the morning. Can I get a collective "booooooo" from the crowd? Who seriously wants to get up early and work out before work? If you just answered "yes" to that question then just know that we'll probably not every be very good friends. I've just recently managed to bring my "angry workout face" under control when PT broke the news to me that I had to do three morning workouts a week. I walked in the YMCA with the sleepy version of my "angry workout face" yesterday. The overly energetic desk clerk shouted "Not quite awake yet are we?!!" Then I turned around and scowled "No. Got a problem with it Richard Simmons?" Ok, I didn't really say that, but that's what I was thinking (and he could probably tell a little bit since I had my "angry workout face" on.) Problem 2) PTs use big words. I seriously have no idea what PT is saying half the time. Last week he told me about the muscle group that I was going to workout next and so I walked over to the leg press. He laughed (which is a serious break in character for him) and pointed to the arm machine. Oh well, it was about time he figured out that I failed biology.

So folks, let get physical, work it out and whip it (into shape). See you at the gym. I'll be the angry one on the treadmill.


oh anna!

sweet little anna

i'll give you a minute to recover.

Is she not the cutest thing EVER?! This is Anna; little sister to Daniel and daughter to my friends Elizabeth and John. And I love her.

Some of y'all know that I'm not exactly a "baby" person. I'm surrounded by girls that just go absolutely gaga over every newborn. Its as if their biological clocks went into overdrive as soon as they hit puberty. Y'all know the girls I'm talking about...the ones that have planned the first and middle names of all 3 of the children they haven't had yet, can't leave Target without checking out the cute baby clothes or want a baby as soon as their married (cough *Cat* cough cough.)

I'd never really had a personal connection with any babies until just over two years ago. I learned that Elizabeth and John were trying to adopt and that they were on a long waiting list to adopt from China. I watched them prepare their son Daniel for the arrival of a new baby sister. It was so cute to hear Daniel talk about "ladybug" (their name for Anna) and to see Elizabeth check out every single book on China from the local library. It seemed like the dates for Elizabeth and John's file to be reviewed was getting pushed back every time I asked. So I stopped asking Elizabeth about it and started telling everyone I knew to pray for Ladybug. It was so neat to hear about my home church praying for Ladybug and to have my family asking about her too. Everyone around me eagerly anticipated little Ladybug's arrival. Last December we got the call: Elizabeth and John were packing up for the two week trip to bring Anna home.

I remember the day that Elizabeth told us (via her blog from China) that Anna was finally their's....I was sitting at work, anxious about the birth of Travis (my friend Cat's son.) And then it hit me...when the heck did I become a 'baby' person?

I don't think that I've gone full baby-loving crazy...I'm not watching "a baby story" on TLC, volunteering at the church nursery or asking to hold every random baby. BUT, I cannot enough of this sweet sweet sweet little girl. Don't you just want to hug her?


adventures in babysitting

let me introduce you to the two newest members of our family:


macey (13) and mattison (15)

Macey and Mattison's parents are headed down to the Cayman Islands and instead of asking us to come with us, they asked us to watch their kids. Nah...no way....not me...I'd much rather stay in Shelby than have to worry about tedious things like sunscreen, what kind of fruity drink I want or if I packed enough bathing suits.

Yes, you all should probably be slightly concerned for how this whole situation is going to turn out. Josh and I haven't exactly had any pets or indoor plants to practice on and we haven't babysat either. Well, not only do these folks have a pet AND indoor plants, they also have two kids to throw on the responsibility. On a good note, it seems that almost every mom's radar went off this week because we got tons of calls from mom's offering to help us pick up kids for school, from spots practices, have a kid over for dinner, etc. So we've got like 248 mom's to call for favors if we're in need, which I'm sure will happen at some point.

I had Women's Fellowship with my Young Life girls last night which lasted until around 10:30pm at our house, so Josh just spent the night with Macey and Mattison at their house. So I guess "us" babysitting officially starts tonight. I pray there are no frantic calls from friends, trips to the city in a station wagon, flat tires, scary tow-truck men, mafia deals or situations that require us to cling to the outside of a 50-story building. (Now that I think about it, watching 'Adventures in Babysitting' in 1987 was probably the reason I've never wanted to babysit.)

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on how things turn out and if everyone makes it to next Thursday afternoon in one piece....and if we had to use the grocery money their parents left for us to hire a second set of babysitters :)


just call me the splenda fairy

I've got it in my sugar container by the coffee pot, my glove compartment in my car, the cellphone pocket of my purse and its spilling out of every pocket in every jacket I own....SPLENDA!

So I've got a serious sweet tooth (which is probably why I'm on weight watchers and finally got a personal trainer....) On the road to weight loss I've managed to cut out the serious no-no's such as icecream, cookies and cake. But I can't seriously be expected to cut out all sweets together. Seriously...that would be like world war 3, the end of the world or just a general attack from a crazy sugar-starved woman. Then entered my sugar salvation: Splenda!

I can now have my morning coffee, my evening cup of tea and caramalized sweet potatoes without wrecking my diet. Its the miracle ingredient!

But here's the only problem....Splenda is kind of expensive. Its seems like all the things we do to try to loose weight or keep the weight off can wreck our budgets. The ultimate dilemma: that fat wallet VS the fat booty.

Until now.

Most restaurants nowadays have splenda on the table (inbetween the blue packets and the pink packets). So sometimes (or most times) that I'm at one of these establishments I take a packet or two for the road. I only take what I deem to be my share per restaurant visit, but I do in fact like to take advantage of all the Splenda opportunities that I've been given.

So, the next time your dining out, grabbing a cup of coffee or just loitering around (ok, maybe not in that example) check out the sweeteners and see if there's enough Splenda for you to take a roadie. And remember folks: Splenda is what makes the world go round! (Well, that and Oprah, Maybelline mascara, the international date line and yodeling.) So go ahead and endulge that sweet tooth!!


shabby apple

One of my FAVORITE new clothing websites is Shabby Apple. Now, I don't usually give away where I shop because I like to keep all the goodies totally to myself (I can be selfish if it helps me be stylish!) But I'm making this one exception, because its for a good cause: to help me win a fabulous new outfit. Seriously, what better cause is out there?!

Shabby Apple is giving away a whole outfit ensemble (she's calls them "vignettes") to the person with the best outfit. So here goes my efforts at being a stylist:

"Style Icon of 2008"
This outfit is for all those 20-something girls who grew up dreaming of dressing like Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, Grace Kelly. So if you managed to survive leg warmers, tie-dye or scrunches with your fashion sense still in tack: this is the dress for you!
It says:
I refuse to let my budget limit my style.
I am the one you want to borrow clothes from.
I am leaving my college t-shirts in the bottom drawer.
I will make my ex-boyfriend regret EVERYTHING.
I am going to stop traffic today, from three blocks away.
I will no longer be the "other" sister.
I am classic. A classic beauty that is.
I could host a makeover show, the Emmys and the best party of the year.
I am the girl you'll be talking about for the rest of the day.


1) included with this dress: hundreds of paparazzi, your face in a fashion magazine, Mr. Right, V.I.P. status, attitude and other envious qualities.

2) care for this dress: wear often, hang in a prominent spot in your closest or room as it will lift your spirits even when you are not wearing it, write your name on the label so your sister doesn't try to steal it and show your husband the price tag so he'll believe you when you swear that its not a $400 dress.

be sure to click here to check out the rest of the Shabby Apple line!!


one of my favorites

I love to read. I love it, love it, love it! I'm pretty sure that I can trace reading to a specific moment in my childhood. There I was, at the tender age of 9 trying to argue my parents out of going to bed. After a while, I finally wore them out. My dad said that I could stay up as long as I was in bed, in my pajamas and reading a book. I would have settled for reading the dictionary if meant I could stay up past 8pm, but to read an actual book (with pictures and all!) was quite a bonus.

Thus began the reading frenzy in the Rollins household. Taylor and I are full-blown reading fanatics. Lauren is....well....she's getting there. (love you sis!) I actually have a slightly less serious addiction than Taylor. My family has actually recently stopped buying books for Taylor because that's all she's gotten for her birthday and Christmas since 1994.

But I have to take a minute to rant and rave a little about one of my new favorite reads....The Shack by William Young. I know, I know. I am the LAST person that jumps on the pop-Christian culture bandwagon. But I seriously could not help myself. No, really. I was at 30,000 feet with nothing to read. Josh offered me his copy of The Shack. It was either that or browsing through SkyMall for the 4th time. I read the entire book on the flight. It was so, so, so good.

The Shack is a non-fiction/fiction (still up in the air) story about a period in the life of William Young's friend Mack. The Shack opens on a camping trip that Mack has organized for his three young children. As Mack is rescuing his two middle children from an overturned canoe, his youngest daughter Missy is abducted. The Shack is an account of what happens in Mack's life when he comes face to face with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit during his time of depression and mourning. The Shack lifts the veil that sometimes seems to hide the power and love of God. It exposes our grief, anger and unbelief while reveling God's goodness, love and mercy in a new and very powerful way.

I am finishing up my last week of a 8 week study of The Shack with my young life girls. I feel so attached to the characters in this story and it seems weird that I won't be reading about and discussing them anymore....its going to be one of the books I keep on my nightstand for many months to come.

So get off your butt already and order a copy!!!!

"Finally! A guy-meets-God novel that has the literary integrity and spiritual daring. "The Shack" cuts through the cliches of both religion and bad writing to reveal something compelling and beautiful about life's integral dance with the Divine. This story reads like a prayer--like the best kind of prayer, filled with sweat and wonder and transparency and surprise. When I read it, I felt like I was fellowshipping with God. It you read on work of fiction this year, let this be it." Mike Morrell


fat albert strikes again

Seriously. I love the "Fat Albert" game at the fair. Here's how the game is played: there is a large "wheel-of-fortune" type wheel in the middle of the fair booth. The wheel is divided into tons of little pie shaped pieces that each a different color. At the outside part of the pie piece there is a small hole. The carnival man will spin the wheel and then put the mouse in the middle of the wheel. The mouse will run to the edge of the wheel (I'd run for my life from this particular carnie man too---or all carnie men for that matter) and jumps into a hole. If you were lucky enough to bet (minimum of $0.25) on the particular color of the pie-shaped slice that he jumped into, then you win A TOKEN! Yes folks, a REAL FAIR TOKEN. (ooooo, ahhhhhh)

Josh and I usually waste $5 in quarters in this game. Sometimes playing 6 or 7 pie pieces in a round. We have never won. Do I sound bitter? Well, I'm trying to. This year we introduced our friend Tera to the game. We let her borrow two quarters from us. AND SHE WON. What the heck?! She was so overwhelmed with the whole "fair" experience in general and I was so in shock that someone I knew won something that I actually let her walk away with a stuffed tiger. Really? What kind of friend lets a friend get a stuffed tiger/any other member of the animal kingdom from the fair?

But what is a bigger issue here is that my friend Amy came into work wearing this shirt:

First my fish died and now I don't have that shirt. I think I'm going to never go the fair again....until next year when I get fair-induced amnesia and go crazy for holding baby chicks, trying to win a goldfish, fat albert, bingo, roasted corn and funnel cakes.
Images by Freepik