i'm happy, so deal with it

Well, here I am, back up on my soapbox. Get ready folks, this is going to be a tough one.

The past few months I've been hounded with sob stories, bombarded with drama and had to listen to one-too-many "Debbie Downers." Yes, I know the economy sucks....yes, I'm aware that a lot of people have lost a lot of money....yes, I know its hard to make ends meet right now...yes, by comparing your life to someone else's you might be on the short-end of the proverbial stick....and yes, I've actually been holding my tongue so far. But could we please take a freaking-stock of our blessings already?!

Please raise your hand if you have one (or more) of the following:
-indoor plumbing
-a doctor within a reasonable distance
-school (to any level)
-the right to vote
-right to assemble
-a bed

Also raise your hand if:
-you're healthy
-loved by someone/have someone to love
-have somewhere to live
-ate food today that you didn't harvest yourself
-used any form of transportation this week

I know that we can all want more, or we could all do more....but serously, if you have your hand up at this point, please re-direct it to cover your mouth....because I don't want to hear any of your complaints...look how blessed you are!

And what am I going to do this rainy weekend with $0.78 in my checking account? Eat beans and rice with my husband and sit lounging around, re-counting all of our many many blessings.


add lazy to the list

I watched this funny video on Leslie's blog yesterday....so I'm stealing it and putting it on my blog today. Call me lazy, I don't care.

Louis CK is a stand-up comedian....i'm too lazy to write more about him now, so you can look him up here if you're interested.

Check out this funny interview from the Conan:

So....everything is amazing and nobody is happy.



About 20 minutes after I posted my "JITA" post yesterday, I got a call from my sister Lauren. From the plane. That was supposed to have taken off. And didn't.

That's right....apparently I put out some bad travel-karma yesterday. Lauren and Jon ended up sitting on their plane for 2 hours on the runway (isn't that funny? models use a runway and so do planes....weird) and then they were notified that there was a malfunction and they were going to have to get on a different plane and have an extra layover.

Dear Lauren and Jon,
I'm sorry that I ruined your flight to NYC.
I was just trying to be witty on my blog.
I didn't mean to send out bad travel-karma.
Please forgive me.
ps: don't forget to wave to me on the Today show
pps: I want a fake Longchamp bag if you can find one


jealousy induced travel amnesia

Josh and I get to have little getaways often. An overnight here and a weekend there.....we are pretty lucky as far as vacations go. Our last big vacation was a trip to Mexico last May via my dad's timeshare (thank you dad!). In addition to the friends and family that let us borrow their vacation homes, I'm also pretty decent at saving up for vacations and get really excited when we get to travel (except if it requires flying, now that's a whole other story.) But somehow, I frequently experience jealousy-induced travel-amnesia (JITA).

What exactly is JITA? Well, its that thing that happens when you're around people who are about to go on an incredible trip and you seem to forget any trip you've ever been on. For example, your friend is going on a cruise around the western Caribbean and you seem to forget (until your husband reluctantly reminds you) that you went on an week-plus trip to Mexico 9 months earlier.

So what are the symptoms of JITA? Most notably, the major symptoms include increased heart-rate, headaches, general anger, eye-twitching and overwhelming forgetfulness. Persons experiencing JITA should not operate heavy machinery. Persons experiencing JITA may lash-out at others or make unnecessary purchases (but I really needed that rotating foot-massager from Walgreens!)

So why exactly am I enlightening you about Jeslousy Induced Travel Amnesia this tuesday morning? Well, I'm in the middle of a little JITA episode myself: today my sister Lauren is headed to New York for the week and my friend Elizabeth is heading out west to ski. And what do I have going on today? Well, I'm thinking about going to the grocery store later....does that count?


Shaq Attack

Ok, I have to admit it....I'm kind of in love with Shaquille O'Neal. I know what you're thinking, the height difference is too much, right? Well, 24 inches is nothing when you think about how amazing the Shaq is.

First of all, the boy can dance:

Second of all, the boys is too funny. Here are some of my favorite Shaq quotes:

“Our offense is like the Pythagorean Theorem. There is no answer.”

“Pluto is not a planet, but I am.”

“I’m dominant every night. I come in every night and get beat up. I never make a face when they try to flagrant or hack-a-Shaq me, because I’m not from this planet. Earthlings don’t faze me...”

“I take it personal when people don’t double me. It’s against my religion not to double me. It upsets me. It makes me think they’re saying to themselves I don’t have it anymore.”

“There is no answer to the Pythagorean theorem. Well, there is an answer, but by the time you figure it out, I got 40 points, 10 rebounds, and then we’re planning for the parade.”

“I’ve never had one.” (Upon asked about his most humbling experience.)

“It’s hard being the NBA’s sex symbol, but somebody has to do it.”

REPORTER: Why do you think there’s such a mystery about how big you are?
SHAQ: Because I’m a freak of nature. You’ve never seen anyone this big, this sexy, move this way.

“I made a 1,600 minus 800 minus 200 on the SAT, so I’m very intelligent when I speak.”

“If I were a painter, you’d be calling me Shaqcasso.”

“I’m a very quotatious person.”

Check out more Shaq quotes here. What's your favorite one?


Return to Sugar Mountain

After a 4 year hiatus from skiing, I returned to Sugar Mountain last night.

Josh and I usually have Young Life on Thursday nights out at GWU, but we decided cancel College Life and tag along on the GWU ski trip. It would've been even better if some of our College Life kids went on the trip. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

We left Shelby around 2:30pm and arrived at Sugar around 4:45. And then I remembered why I don't ski. Its cold. Very cold.

I was nervous and anxious about skiing. I hadn't been in so long. What if I forgot how to ski? What if I fell and broke a bone? What if I looked fat in ski clothes?!?!

long under wear and fleece and down jacket and shell? check.
glove liners and another pair of glove liners and wool mittens and waterproof mittens? check.
llama printed toboggan? check?
josh's girly purple snow goggles? check.
looking like I'm headed to Antarctica for the whole winter? check.

Josh and I hoped on the lifts as soon as they opened at 6pm. The first run was...well...slow. I pretty sure I clocked in at around 2.1 miles per hour. Now, I didn't "snow-plow" or "pizza-slice" or whatever you people call it. I just made it down Easy Street at a nice, safe speed. Yes, Easy Street is a green run and yes, it is the next step up from the bunny slope. But I did awesome. I'm not sure if it was my amazing athleticism finally coming out or my skis:

Ok, so I kinda cheated and got these snazzy Snow Blades. But I'm kinda in love with them. Call me a cheater, but it made the whole "why-are-we-hurling-ourselves-down-a-mountain-is-it-really-only-19-degrees-i-think-i-just-got-frostbite-a-little-bit-I-almost-just-fell-off-the-ski-lift" experience worth it to me.

Six hours, seven hand-warmers and one sai good-bye to my snowblades later, we were back in Shelby. Ah, winter.....I might not hate you so much anymore. I might almost like you.

*Many thanks to Amy Brown for the photos!
*And, I was actually really awesome at skiing, but I didn't really want to brag about myself on here. I mean, I never brag on here. So, if you want to hear stories of my snowblading-prowess, be sure to ask Josh.


Jesus is Lord at Bargain Shoes

One of my favorite places to shop is the store my friends call "The Jesus Shoe Store." Its located in Gaffney, SC near the giant peach water tower.

Necessary background information: The store was originally located in downtown Gaffney, SC. Its been there....well....for as long as I can remember. So at least 5 years. I've got bad long-term memory, sue me. Anyways, the building had a a giant fresco of Jesus on the outside of the whole 40-foot side of the building...long-flowing hair and out-stretched arms included. And it said "Jesus is Lord" right under his picture and then a smaller "Bargain Shoes" logo off to the right corner. A couple of years ago, the store moved to I-85 to a little strip mall. I wondered if the Jesus painting would be going with them. Sadly, He didn't make it. Now its just another building in a western-themed stripmall.

Back to the main story--->I stopped by the Jesus Shoe Store on Saturday afternoon. I was surprised to see a new display of designer shoes. See, most of the shoes at the Jesus Shoe Store are either generic, used or the occasional designer shoe in a size 5. None of which meet my standards or giant shoe size. (Some of my friends think that the owners of the store steal and re-sell the shoes from dead people---hey, everyone gets to have their own theory.) I was immediately drawn to the shiny Michael Kors and Gucci display in the corner. Several pairs of shoes fit my giant size 8.5 feet, but I couldn't swing the $175 price tag past Josh.
Utterly dismayed I walked over to the homegoods section. I have no idea why on Earth there's a "homegoods" section at a shoe store....but since the entire store is pretty much an oddity in itself, I decided to check it out. And then, amongst the quesadilla maker, rice-maker and knife set, I saw it:

A DeLonghi pump espresso maker!

I've been looking for months for a espresso maker. Let me correct that: I've been looking for an awesome but oh-so-inexpensive espresso maker. What seemed as elusive as Bigfoot, black holes or a truly seam-less pair of underwear was staring up at me with $89.99 staring back up at me. $89.99?!?! This particular espresso machine sells for upwards of $150. I couldn't believe my luck! And it gets better....as I was examining the box for all necessary parts and manuals, I saw something else...a sticker that says $49.99. Could it be true?! I asked the sales-lady on the next department over (clothing, but that's a whole other story) if the pricetag was in fact correct. She said, "Yeah, that thing's only $49. What exactly is 'expresso,' anyways?" After a short, but certainly awkward, conversation I proudly walked up to the counter with my 'expresso' machine in tow. The cashier rings up my DeLonghi and the display reads "$32.09." WHAT?! It turns out that there was a sale in the "homegoods" section and my $150 DeLonghi was only $32!

What could be better than a $32 espresso machine? A husband that used to work as a barista! So come on over to my house, where the lattes and cappucinnos are free!


Tour of California

I need a little disclaimer for this week:

I might be a little hard to get ahold of this week...because I'm going to be hanging out with these guys

Let me introduce you to Craig Hummer, Phill Liggett and Paul Sherwen.
Picture courtesy of Getty Images.

These guys provide great commentary for nearly every important cycling race. No, I take that back. They are on every race worth watching. I love them. Seriously. Sometimes, I pretend that my next door neighbor named Paul, who's British, is really Phill Liggett. (sidenote: Craig is American and Phill and Paul are British. That's why my little story is funny).

Cycling is a sport I've come to enjoy totally because of Josh. What started out as an attempt to spend quality time with my husband has turned into a new hobby of my own. I now like riding with Josh outside and really enjoy keeping up with the professionals. I really like some of the guys from Garmin-Slipstream, Rock Racing and Columbia teams. Yes, there are other guys that ride bikes besides Lance Armstrong.

So what's special about this week? The Tour of California! Its not quite as popular at the Tour de France (I don't think anything ever will be) but its got quite a lot of action and a ton of great riders this year. And we've even got a local in the mix! My friend Chris is driving a photographer, Doug Pensinger, for the tour. In addition to driving, Chris is keeping a blog of the daily happenings on the tour. Be sure to check it out....how neat to have a behind-the-scenes look at the tour!
**Chris is driving the motorcycle on the left

So what races will I be checking out this year?
Tour of California 2/14-2/22
Paris-Nice 3/8-3/15
Paris-Roubaix 4/12
Giro d'Italia 5/9-5/31
Tour de France 7/5-7/27
USA Pro Championship 8/29-8/30

By the way, the USA Pro Championship is held in Greenville, SC. All of you cycling enthusiasts out there have no excuse for not going! Last year we cheered on George Hincapie, Christian Vandevelde, David Zabriskie, Danny Pate, Fred Rodriguez and Tyler Hamilton. How could you possibly miss this event when its practically in our backyard?!

We were thisclose to Christian Vandavelde and Tyler Hamilton, two of my favorites, at last year's USA Pro Championships.


Nearly Newlyweds Game

This past Wednesday, Josh and I were one of the four couples competing in a Newlyweds game at church. I'm aware of how dorky that sounds, but we actually had fun. We were competing against couples that had been married for 25-50+ years.

They asked some pretty funny questions...and I was praying that Josh wouldn't embarrass me too much. Some of the questions were:

What outfit does your spouse wear that you really don't like?
What's your spouses most annoying habit?
What celebrity would your spouse want to be married to?
Name and item that your spouse has wasted money on?

This was our stiffest competition. Mr and Mrs Bowling.
They've been married for over 50 years...and dressed up for the event.
I love her sequins (always a classy touch) and his over-alls and tie (he also had a cowboy hat on).

Us getting a questions correct....the questions was "where was your first date?"
The answer? A John Mayer concert.
That's how much Josh was trying to impress me in the beginning.
Seriously. He went to a John Mayer concert?!

This was my reaction to Josh saying that my most annoying habit is hiccuping.
Seriously? Is hiccuping a habit?

We ending up winning second place!
Our prize? A box of chocolates.
Personally, I was kinda hoping for a cruise or something.


now that's entertainment!

Most every Friday I have a little panic over how to entertain myself and my family over the weekend. See, Josh and I both work really hard (between jobs and Young Life) during the week and generally look forward to celebrating on the weekends. The real challenge is not in deciding what to do....but in how to pay for it. Its not that Josh and I don't have money to spend, but more along the lines of i'm-so-stingy-and-no-you-can't-have-any-candy-at-the-movie-dont-you-remember-we-are-trying-to-save-for-a-car-and-pay-off-student-loans-and-save-a-little-along-the-way kind of attitude.

Since Josh and I will be going out to eat tomorrow night, we're going to try and stay in tonight. And all I have to say is 'thank goodness for Netflix!' My sister Lauren and her husband Jon gave us a trial gift-certificate for Netflix last year for Christmas. What started out as a fun gift has turned into a money-saving machine. Josh and I are usually too busy to make it to the great movies of the year....which would end up costing us $30 anyways (hey, I have to get popcorn at the movies---sue me). So what we do is go ahead and put all those movies on the Netflix queue. Then, a couple of months later when the previously hot movies are released to DVD, we get them sent straight to our mailbox. So we get to see great movies, at a time that's convenient for us, for only $9 per month. We end up getting about four to five movies a month. We just watched Rendition; have you seen it? Its really good.

Budgeting for entertainment, or budgeting in general, is really all about planning. So, to fit a movie (and popcorn) into my budget I'm planning ahead....way ahead.

Want to know where I'll be June 5? Lining up to see 'Land of the Lost".


what's with all that hammering?!?!

"what's with all that hammering?!?!?!"
These have been the first words out of my mouth every morning this week. It seems in my oh-but-i'm-still-kind-of-alseep-please-don't-wake-me-up-or-i-might-accidently-hurt-you stage between sleep and awakeness could also double as amesia. I guess some things we never quite master...mine just happens to be having my brain functioning at full capacity. Oh well, we can't have it all, can we?

So are you wondering what the hammering was all about? Here's a hint:

Yay! We got a port-a-potty! My dream of home-ownership is now fully complete. Ah, the sweet American Dream.

Just Kidding. We're getting new neighbors....or at least new construction men.

I wonder what they folks will be like that move into this house....maybe they'll build a huge ginormous house than dwarfs mine but still manages to bring up the value of my home, have a tether-ball court and invite me over to play, have a minature pony that I can play with and leave $50 bills in my mailbox. Hey, a girl can wish, can't she?

What I'm really excited about is that my view is about to completely improve. But, Blair! What could possibly be better than the view of this lovely abode from the next 'hood over?


Oh, St. Valentine

I was single on Valentine's Day for most of my life. So, I never put much stock into Valentine's Day gifts.......until I met Josh. Then I got really excited about gifts and wondered what Josh would buy me each Valentine's Day.

In the beginning of our relationship, Josh would ask/I would give him a list of suggestions of things that I liked. You kind of have to do those things when you're getting to know each other. Now things are a little different. Instead of giving Josh a laundry list of things I do like and would like to receive for a gift, I've been giving Josh ideas of things that I don't like. This way he can be creative and I can still get a good gift.

So guess what is at the top of my "please-don't-buy-this-for-me-or-I-will-think-that-you-kind-of-detest-me" list? The Jane Seymour 'Open Heart' Necklace:

1. I think that this kind of looks like a snake. No, I take that back. It really looks like a snake. Creepy.
2. Why exactly is Jane Seymour qualified to design jewelry? I thought it was a stretch for her when she was in 'Wedding Crashers', but really? Jewelry designer?!
3. Kay Jewelers is carrying this same necklace with diamonds in it for $1200!! Seriously? I diamond encrusted snake necklace for $1200? I'll take a mortgage payment over that any day.
4. And by the way, the only person who should buy this necklace is Medusa...'cause it kinda goes with the whole 'look' she's going for.
Please Jane, go back to being Dr. Quinn, medicine woman. We liked you better with Sully.


Windy Gap with College Life

I spent this past weekend up in the mountains with some of my favorite girls and boys. These friends are from GWU and we did workcrew (cooking, baking, cleaning dishes and waitressing) for the Greenville, SC Young Life weekend at Windy Gap. We had a ton of fun, with some work mixed in as well :)


oh, gladys!

I don't watch the Ellen DeGenered show at all...ever. But, a friend showed me this clip and I had to put it up here. Please check out this interview she has with a little old lady from Austin, TX.


Princess Rachel

My good friend Rachel won Miss Gardner-Webb last friday. I'm not sure how many of y'all know Rachel, but I'm really loving the fact that I can tease her about being a pageant-girl. See, Rachel is so down-to-earth, fun-loving, funny....and lets not forget that she's a fabulous hip-hop dancer!

So, needless to say, I was love-love-loving it when she told me she was participating in the pageant with two of her best friends...and that her "talent" was going to be a hip-hop dance. I couldn't wait to see her wow the judges!

Here are some pictures of Rachel from the night:

opening number


talent portion


the winning moments!

the crowning

I'm sorry that its taken so long to get these pictures up here!
My friends Becca and Mekina were also in the pageant. I'll be sure to post more pictures of them soon!


slacker slacker

So, I've left my camera card at home again.
This is why I haven't posted anything amazing or witty.

I'll be back with something great after I go home for lunch.
So just sit tight....I know, you can hardly wait for another fabulous post. But its really coming your way in a few hours.
Images by Freepik