12.31.2008

Last Post of 2008!

What a year it has been! I got engaged and married, I got two precious dogs, and of course, I got this blog. It could not have been better. I thought that to end the year I would leave you with a final Sustainability thought for this year:

Make sustainability your New Year's resolution. Sustainability comes in many forms - environmentalism, volunteering at a local charity, donating money to a great cause, buying more environmentally and people friendly groceries/clothes/housing items/everything. Work it in to whatever you already planned your New Year's resolution to be. Want to lose weight? Vow to eat more organic fruits and veggies! Want to watch less TV? Replace it with volunteering at a local soup kitchen or women's shelter! Want to waste less money? Find a charitable organization that you really love and make it your goal to donate a certain amount of money to them every month. Then save that money by using less energy in your house!

Sustainability is a way of life and in 2009 I encourage you to make it your way of life!

So, what's your New Year's resolution? Mine is to take a picture every day (maybe I'll even post some here on the blog) and to clean a portion of my house really well every day (but with environmentally friendly products of course).

Happy New Year everyone!!!

12.30.2008

Oh Glory!

It's time for Girl Scout Cookies again!
My personal favorites are Thin Mints.




What's your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

12.29.2008

Christmas Recap

Our first Christmas together! This would be the part where I put in a cute picture of Derek, me, and the dogs in front of our super cute Christmas tree right? Wrong. I am finally accepting that I'm bad at taking pictures. I just get so caught up in the moment that I never stop to think oh! I'd like a picture of this. Then later I wish I had pictures. I've been trying to think a New Year's resolution and maybe that will be it - take more pictures.

Anyway, it was a wonderful first Christmas and it definitely bodes well for all the future ones. IT went as follows:

1. The Saturday before Christmas we spent Christmas with part of my Dad's family which was definitely fun. We played Dirty Santa and had great food. Derek and I walked away with some coffee mugs and 2 Starbucks gift cards. Secretly we wanted the gifts that we brought, but we refrained from stealing them.

2. Christmas Eve we went to Alabama to see my Dad and the rest of his family. At this particular celebration there were 4 children so there was lots of unwrapping to be done! Derek got a pocket knife which might not really be his style, but it has come in handy recently so we're not complaining. I got a necklace. If you know me then you know that I don't wear necklaces. Or any jewlery for that matter. It's okay though because it was totally Derek's sister's style and she had no problem taking it off my hands.

3. Christmas morning we woke up and opened our gifts from each other. I gave Derek and iPod and a pair of TOMS (yeah, I know you're shocked). Derek gave me a TOMS t-shirt, the first season of The Big Bang Theory on DVD, a Harry Potter version of the board game LIFE, and a fabulous photo that my friend took that I've been desperately wanting to hang in my house.

4. We showered and headed over to Derek's family's house for what can only be described as complete chaos. There was wrapping paper flying everywhere. I'm still not sure what everyone else got, but we got some really great stuff so we were both excited! Then it was on to lunch with his family which was great.

5. Soon after we left for Valdosta to see my Mom and Stepdad so that was a fun 4 hour drive on Christmas Day. Did I mention that we had to give our dogs a bath before we left because they managed to get completely covered in mud at Derek's parents house?

It was definitely a busy holiday that ended in us getting a Wii (woohoo!) and Derek getting strep throat and having to go to the Emergency Room on Saturday night. Surprisingly I did get pictures of the ER but I don't think Derek would want me to put those up here. No one looks good with an IV. Don't worry he's much better now though and hopefully I won't catch it!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Now I'm looking forward to New Year's Eve!

12.23.2008

If you don't already know me well enough

I think I've been "tagged" several times to do one of these I just never got around to it. But since today is such a slow day around here I thought I'd take the time to now.

So here are 7 things about me (I tried to think of things that people might not know, but sorry if you already do):

1. I LOVE to take the wrapping off of Cd's and DVDs. Particularly those strips of sticky stuff that hold the case shut, it gives me a freakish amount of joy.

2. When I was a kid I carried a book bag full of books with me everywhere I went. I can't even imagine how much money my parents spent on books for me.

3. I haven't said the Pledge of Allegiance since I was in the 9th grade.

4. Even though I'm a huge music snob and I really dislike cheesy Christian music I cry like a baby every time I hear that Christmas Shoes song.

5. I really want to adopt a child from every continent one day.

6. I never really liked dogs until I got one. Now I sort of love them all.

7. I would love to only wear clothes that are organic and sweatshop free but most of them are kind of frumpy I'm too self conscious to do it.

Okay now it's your turn! Go!

P.S. Merry Christmas

12.19.2008

Attention All Animal Lovers

The Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is in big trouble! They desperately need money or they will have to shut down. The SPCA does great work and so if you love animals and you want to help them out then go to their webiste http://www.georgiaspca.org/
and donate!

P.S. It's tax deductible! :)


P.P.S: Isn't this the ugliest dog you've ever seen? But he's like so ugly he's cute



12.17.2008

Thought for today

For those of you who have facebook you know how the news feed will mention a story about a really random person that you are friends with and an hour later you find yourself looking at their second cousin once removed's wedding pictures? Well that happened to me earlier. Except it led me through a long line of my high school friends who I haven't talked to in a couple of years. If you've done that lately I wonder if you had the same reaction that I did today. What the heck happened?!




My friends and I were soooo close in High School. Like SUPER close. Most of these people went to my church and we were incredibly tight knit. We were together pretty much 24/7. I loved (and still love) them dearly. I was inspired by these people. We kept each other accountable, we encouraged each other, we supported each other, we learned and laughed constantly as a group. Eventually I moved away to college and so did some others, and we sort of lost touch as we began to grow up and change, but I still am reminded of them all the time.





This is a pic of my AP Lit class with a number of my good friends in it. Feel free to laugh at my hair.




Today as I took the journey through my HS friends I was amazed. What happened? My friends were the smartest people I knew! They all had plans to do these great things. I had great things imagined for them. I certainly never imagined that one of them would be working at Hooters. Or that another would be working at Publix with no degree (especially if you knew what a freaking genius this person was). I'm fine that they made different life choices than they had originally planned I guess it's just a bit of a shock to see how it all actually turned out. It's so very different than we had imagined.
I guess that means I'll have to wait and see how my besties now turn out in 10 years... good luck to us all!

12.16.2008

A post about nothing

This weekend was so great! Why you ask? Because I had nothing that had to be done! I didn't have to work or proctor the SAT and neither did Derek! So what did we do?



Friday night we watched the original version of The Day the Earth Stood Still with some friends and it was much better than I anticipated. The message of the movie was actually very good. And from what I gather from the previews of the new version it will be COMPLETELY different. I'm not a big Keanu Reeves fan anyway, but I am a little interested in seeing how he screws up this movie. I probably won't be paying $7.50 to see it though. I'll just wait to rent it.



Saturday Derek decided to take up golf. Yeah, I said that - golf. So he and two friends went to the driving range to practice their swings. And just in case you were wondering he's been sore all week. Apparently golf is a great upper body workout. After his athletic morning we went Christmas shopping! We got gifts for pretty much everyone that we needed to, so I'm excited that's over. Now I just have to start wrapping (this is not something that I am good at and I kind of dread it). But we also got ourselves a little sursie (my friend's cute word for surprise) and got this:

It was on super sale and my husband really wanted it and we had the money to afford it so we splurged. It was our Christmas gift to ourselves. For the next 5 years. :)

I also got my dogs raincoats which are freaking adorable!




Sunday we went to our fabulous church, got some food and just hung out together which was great.



Monday I worked half a day, felt like I was going to die, went home with a fever, slept for 2.5 hours, watched Animal Planet, did not cook dinner because I felt like butt, watched the funniest episode of the Big Bang Theory ever and read Harry Potter until I fell asleep again. Miraculously I woke up this morning feeling perfectly fine.



Tonight we're going on a date to Callaway Gardens for Fantasy in Lights which I'm super excited about!!!

12.10.2008

I'm bringing back Sustainability Day

I know, it's been forever since I've written about anything sustainable, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking or doing things that are sustainable. Forgive me friends.



I actually wrote about this product in one of my very first posts but I thought it might just need to be addressed a little more. I'm talking about TOM's shoes. I personally think they are one of the absolute BEST products that you can spend your money on. What to know why they are awesome?

Here you go:
1. "One for One" That's the principle that TOMs operates on. For every pair of shoes that is purchased a pair is donated to a child in a need. Thus far TOMS has done "shoe drops" in Argentina, South Africa, the US, and they're getting ready for a drop in Ethiopia next.

2. The shoes are manuafactured in factories that practice completely fair and ethical working conditions, and now many of the shoes are being produced "vegan" so they are free of all animal products or byproducts.

3. They're COMFY! TOMs look a lot like slippers, and luckily they feel a lot like slippers too. If you live in a chilly state you can even get them fleece lined!

4. They're cute. I know, fashionable is a factor in buying shoes so TOMs makes shoes in a wide variety of patterns. Or if there's not a pattern or color that you like you can buy white and paint your own! I went to a TOMs Style Your Sole party and I made some pretty rocking neon pink and silver shoes and it was super fun!


5. They come in Men's, Women's and "Tiny" sizes so you can buy a pair for everyone you know!!!

Seriously, check out the website and if you're looking for a gift for someone who is caring, in need of comfy shoes, stylish, or who you just have no idea what to buy for them get some TOMS!

Great find!

Last week one of my co-workers emailed me a link and I just got around to looking at it. For those of you who like saving money and shopping online I introduce Coupon Cabin. This site has coupons for so many online stores and it's especially great at the holidays!

Have fun browsing!

12.08.2008

Tear jerker

For the past few years the staff at the college have sort of adopted a family or two for Christmas. It's not necessarily intentional, but typically someone will know of a family that is in great need during this time of the year and bring it to everyone's attention and before you know it the college has rallied together to provide what we can for these people. This year is no different, but it's the first year that I've really gotten involved in this.

Two families were mentioned this year that were in need of help. The first one, a local bank had actually sort of adopted but there were a number of unmet needs that we could have answered (we found out today that the bank actually took care of every need. Way to go Charter!). But when the family was being described to us it went something like this:
"The people at the bank found out about this needy family so they decided to get a list of Christmas gifts the kids all wanted and then get those gifts for them. There are 6 children ages 16 months to 16 years old. When the oldest daughter was asked what she wanted for Christmas she said, 'A door for my room'. So the people at the bank decided that they would fit new doors on every room in the house. When they went to measure the doorways they discovered that none of the children had doors on their rooms, and they found the family crowded around the stove because there was no heat in their house."

The bank has since fit doors on all the rooms, they are in the process of installing a heating system for the family, and they have purchased a number of Christmas gifts for the children.

The second family is the one that the college is really striving to help this year. They are a single mother and her 8 children. The husband/father of the family was extremely abusive and when they got the opportunity the woman shoved her kids clothes in garbage bags and got as far away as she could. They have now settled here in LaGrange and we found out about the family through the daughter of a co-worker. The daughter is a teacher to one of the children in that family. A few days ago after collecting some goods from the college community the teacher told that little girl that she would be bringing some stuff to her house that afternoon. The little girl got so excited and asked what she was bringing. When her teacher replied sheets, towels, curtains and pillows the little girl exclaimed "You're bringing pillows? Will there be enough that I can have one of my own?!"

I cry every time I think about it. My eyes have welled up about 100 times today. That family has 3 beds for 9 people to sleep in. I can't even imagine what that must be like. It is a sad thing when a child only asks for a door, or a pillow for Christmas. Seriously, think about how often you take your bedroom door for granted.

We are so fortunate. Thank you Lord for reminding me of that.

12.04.2008

I know what you're thinking.

Did I fall off the face of the earth?
Was I killed by a resurrected turkey since I haven't posted since Thanksgiving?
Did I actually reach my goal of eating my own weight in dressing?!

No to all of those. I've been meaning to take a picture of my Christmas tree to put up, but I haven't done it yet. And that's pretty much the only thing that I've had to post about at all so I've been reading everyone else's blog hoping for inspiration.

But alas, there is still no picture of our super cute tree. So instead I thought I'd share some exciting news with you!

I have some friends who are in this really great band. They're called After Edmund and they're incredibly talented musicians, but more importantly they are wonderful people with big hearts and a great sense of humor (I recommend you watch some of the videos on their page for a good laugh). But surprisingly this morning I woke up to find that they had been NOMINATED FOR A GRAMMY! It's just always nice to see good, talented people get recognized. Go After Edmund!

11.26.2008

It's Thanksgiving!

Isn't this a great holiday? There are no expectations for gifts or extravagant plans, just a time for us all to be with people that we love. Even if your Thanksgiving is mostly centered around eating, that's still a great thing. Meals are a traditional time for conversation and pleasant company and of course, delicious food. I personally cannot wait for some dressing which is my all time favorite food! I'm a little nervous because it's my first Thanksgiving with my in-laws and I'm so used to how my family does Thanksgiving, but I hear the turkey is delicious so at least I know I won't go hungry! I'm sure that it will be a blast, and like I said in yesterday's post this is my first Thanksgiving with Derek! Yay!

So, what am I thankful for this year?

1. My husband. He amazes me every day. He works so hard as a full-time employee and a full-time student. I don't always understand how he can do it, but he manages with very little complaint. I love him so so so much!

2. A few days break! After traveling so much and then getting back into the slightly monotonous office work I am in need of it. And I know Derek needs a break. We get to spend 3.5 days together with no work to do!

3. My dogs. I know, it might seem a little silly, but our sweet little dogs are part of our family and I just adore having them around.

4. Stability. The world is in serious chaos right now, especially the economy, and I'm so glad that thus far we have been fine. I think this is the only good time to not have investments or anything. We had nothing to lose!

5. A God who speaks. Even when I'm silent, God isn't. God is constantly showing us new things, and giving us new lessons to learn. I'm so thankful to get to grow and learn all the time, even if it can be really hard.

So what are you thankful for this year? Feel free to comment, or share it with those who are close to you. Have a Happy Turkey (or Tofurkey for my vegetarian friends) Day!

11.25.2008

Just one more day

Before Thanksgiving! This has been the longest day of my life and I can't wait to get home. But more importantly, I'm ready for Derek and I to celebrate our first Thanksgiving together! We actually started dating on Thanksgiving Day last year so this is the first year that we'll be together for this delicious holiday! Woohoo! Let the countdown begin...

11.24.2008

Eventful Weekend

So this weekend Derek and I were pretty darn busy, but it was nothing too tiring. It was so wonderful to just spend an awesome weekend together. 


Friday night was the annual Night at the Dodd which is where all of the college's art students show off their best work! It's always so neat to see what my artistic friends are capable of and I was not disappointed this time. Derek and I even walked away with a beautiful pot and cup hand made by our friend Jordan and I was soooo excited about it! Then we headed over to Starbucks to hang out with some good friends we haven't been able to spend much time with lately. I decided to follow my lovely coworkers advice and order the Caramel Apple Cider. Let's just say that it was HEAVEN in a cup! I loooove that stuff and I think I could drink it every day. Well, I would if I could afford it anyway. 

Saturday after Derek got off work (yeah, he goes to work every Saturday morning at 8 -bleh!) we traveled to Alabama to see my Daddy since we won't get to see him for Thanksgiving. We didn't eat, but we did have a great time visiting with him! Our dogs especially enjoyed sliding around on his hardwood floors. If I'd had a video camera I would have recorded it because they were so funny! 

Saturday night we participated in an annual event for Derek's group of high school friends. They have Thanksgiving dinner together! Isn't that cute?! It was really delicious too. If you aren't up for cooking a ham all by yourself this year, just go to Publix and buy a precooked ham because someone brought one of those and it was DELICIOUS! Who would know you didn't cook the ham yourself anyway?

It was a great great weekend, but mostly because I got to spend it all with my husband. And... we've officially been married for 1/4 a year! I know that's cheesy, but I don't care. I love him!

11.20.2008

Susainability Day is back!

Okay ladies, (I say ladies because gentlemen - you will probably want to stop reading RIGHT NOW!) I have been a horrible blogger lately because nothing is going on in my life and so I have nothing to write about. I haven't even gotten motivated to talk about sustainability. Until I ran across this article. I get the weekly Grist newsletter which always has great articles and tips, but it's also very funny which makes it an awesome read!

Well, when I saw this article I knew I had to share it. It's a review of eco-friendly feminine hygeine products. I will admit, I was visibly uncomfortable while reading this in the solitude of my office. I blushed a little. But mostly, I thought I can't wait for my co-workers to read this so that we can all laugh about it! Don't get me wrong, I might just try some of the more standard products that they reviewed, but there are a few that I just don't know that I could deal with. But I found the articles (it's a two parter so be sure to click on the link at the top of the first article for the continuation) informative and entertaining. And definitely eco-friendly in a way that you may have never thought was possible!

Enjoy!

11.17.2008

This always makes me laugh

So when I was little I definitely watched cartoons and Power Rangers, and all those class Nick shows like Hey Dude and Salute Your Shorts, but I also LOVED Nick at Night. My favorite show when I was younger was Dragnet. It was in black & white. I watched super old shows like I Love Lucy and Doby Gillis, but the show that I watched religiously and could still watch over and over again today is definitely Designing Women! They still show reruns on Lifetime, but I'm never home to watch it. I always wanted to be like Julia Sugarbaker when I grew up because she's just so dramatic and really knows how to make a point. I still laugh histerically when I see things like this:

I wish I was a kid again...

So I could ask for this for Christmas!


This might not look very exciting, but let me explain. It is a 2.5 foot moving dinosaur! What kid doesn't want a dinosaur for Christmas?! Heck, I'm 23 and I want it. Yes, it costs $250.00. and yes, it requires 6 "D" batteries which probably cost another $250.00, and I'm sure that it will break within a matter of weeks, but it roars and moves and even eats (fake) leaves!!!!
This is the coolest toy ever. It's like The Land Before Time right in your living room. I so need this.

11.14.2008

hehe

This is something that one of my friend's who is a nurse wrote on her myspace blog and it reminded me so much of my rant that I attempted on dumb high schoolers that I thought I'd put it here for you all to read. Can't you just imagine how some of these situations went down...

I will never be an ER nurse... because people like this piss me off and I will do all the things listed just to prove a point!!! it's L&D and babies for me!! not alcoholics who fell down....
1. Don't tell me you have abdominal pain as you eat doritos in my triage booth.
2. If you come to the ER by ambulance, the first thing I will ask you is how you are getting home. No, we don't have people on staff to drive you home, And don't tell me you don't want to "bother" one of your family members at this hour. You had no problem bothering 911 for the back pain you've had for months.
3. You don't get to pick your own IV site. This will irritate me and I will probably miss your IV on purpose and start your site in the place I wanted to initially to prove a point.
4. "Butterfly" is not an IV size, this word signals me to put in a larger bore needle.
5. Nausea is not a reason to come to the ER. If you are not in severe pain, are not vomiting or pooping your pants in front of me, your butt goes back to the waiting room.
6.How can you have the worst migraine of your life, but be able to yell at me about the wait after you just put down a magazine you were reading?
7. Don't ever say things like, "I usually get 4 mg of Dilaudid." Requesting your med and dosage will prompt me to squirt out half of the med before I inject, then I lie about the dose.
8. If you are allergic to Tylenol, Toradol, and Motrin, I have already assumed you are a drug seeker.
9. If you came to the ER having a family doctor appointment that same day, I will make sure you are still in the department well past the time of your original appointment.
10. I don't care if you are neighbors with the GI specialist. Unless he drove you to the ER himself, you can't be that friendly.
11. Just because, "my doctor sent me here," does not mean you get right back to a treatment room. This tells me you are a pain in the ass, and he's pawning you off.
12. The louder you moan/whine, the bigger size IV needle you get.
13. Foley catheters cure pseudo-seizures. They also cure intoxicated persons.
14. If you are on more than 2 medicines at home, bring a list. Don't say, "you know, the little white pill," I am not a pharmacist.
15. RN is not synonymous with waiter/waitress.
16. Don't bitch about missing breakfast when I'm on the ninth hour of my shift and haven't peed yet.
17.What gives you the right to complain about your sore throat you've had for a week while I have diarrhea from the antibiotics I've been taking for pneumonia so I can work my shifts?
18. Broken toes are not an emergency. We'll make you feel stupid by putting a little piece of tape down there and kicking you out.
19. I am currently inventing a trapdoor system in triage to be triggered when you say the word "toothache."
20. Cover you mouth when you cough/belch. This is just common courtesy. When you neglect to do this, I am tempted to bust butt in your room, then close the door.
21. If you tell me you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, know that I'm rolling my eyes and thinking you're a loser.
22. If you list Haldol, geodon, Xanax, and trazadone as allergies, don't tell me you have no psych history.
23. Never sign in with chest pain because you were too embarrassed to write "penile sores" or "foul smelling discharge," This will piss me off that I bumped you ahead of other people and I'll make your visit horrific.
24. Although you've been in the ER four times this week, you cannot list the ER doc as your family physician.
25. Do not talk to me while I'm trying to listen to your lungs.
26. Don't tell me you have no money for medicine while you have a carton of cigarettes in your purse (next to your cell phone), and each of your seven children are playing their own PSP's.
27. Gravida 7 at age 22 means you are a slut.

I think 23 is my favorite...

11.12.2008

Obsession

I fear that soon my blog roll (aka the freakishly long list of blogs I read all the time) will consume the whole page. I love that my friend's have blogs and they let me keep up with their lives, and I especially love that my blog roll tells me which friends have posted most recently... but it's about half the reason I even have a blog.

Oh the things technology will do to us...

11.11.2008

Nature or Nurture?

I have a confession - I'm a huge scaredy cat. I get super freaked out all the time and it's gotten increasingly worse as I've gotten older. I hate the dark, I can't watch scary movies, I can barely even watch suspenseful TV shows. Getting out of my car at night to go into my house takes an extreme amount of courage. Once, in college, I freaked myself and my roommate out so bad that we sat in my car for 30 minutes before we managed to force ourselves to get out of the car and run screaming all the way to our dorm room. If someone jumps out at me and yells "Boo!" I scream... every time. I hate going to the store at night. Really anything involving being by myself at night terrifies me.

I used to think that this was normal behavior. You should keep in mind that I was an only child and my mom was a single parent, so I wasn't overly exposed to other people's personal habits. I didn't realize until college that other people weren't so freaked out and paranoid. Anytime I'm outside at night I'm convinced that a man is lurking in the bushes waiting to kidnap me. Once I realized that this wasn't a rational line of thought that everyone had, I began to wonder where this was coming from. I got concerned for a while that maybe I needed to see a therapist or something...

Until last night. As I was packing up to leave my college fair I accidentally hit a button on my phone while it was still in my purse and called my mother. I didn't realize that I had done so until I heard yelling coming from my purse. I got out my phone, realized I'd dialed my mom and started explaining that I'd called her on accident. Her response? "Well, I just knew that you had hit the speed dial to call me because someone had kidnapped you and was raping you and I was trying to figure out how to tell the police where to find you." It was like a light bulb had gone off in my head. Well no wonder I freak out, I learned it directly from my mother! I informed her that if I ever were kidnapped and called her that I would be screaming out my location so until she heard that she didn't need to worry. But, it was nice to know that I'm not actually crazy... my mom just is!

For those of you who have children or ever will have children - be careful. They pick up the most random parts of your personality!

11.07.2008

A great end to a great week

I think this prayer is a great way to end this week, and begin next week.

God Bless!

p.s. I kind of love Shane Claiborne - the guy who wrote the prayer. If you want a great read then pick up one of his books.

Why Thursdays are my favorite....

I love Thursdays! They are what I look forward to every week and here's why... TV. I know that's so stupid, but I don't care. I am obsessed with Survivor and Grey's Anatomy which come on right after each other on Thursday nights. Last night was awesome because both episodes were both so stinking great!! I won't bore anyone with details who doesn't watch these shows, but for those of you who do:

How precious is Bob on Survivor with his buff/bowtie?
How much do you dislike Susie and Krystal... and how hard is it to imagine that Krystal has an Olympic Gold Medal?!

Did anyone else sob like I did while watching Grey's Anatomy last night?! I love Denny! I love that old couple!
How hot is McArmy?
Who knew Christina had a heart?!
Anybody else think the way they had Hahn leaving was ridiculous?!
(In case you don't know, last night was her last episode because she got suddenly fired. They writers didn't really know where to take the whole lesbian relationship thing. Do these people not write stories for a living?!)

I hope you had a great Thursday too!

11.05.2008

Incredible

I'm not going to brag or rub it in or anything like that. I think John McCain was incredibly respectable in his speech and I know how hard their campaign worked. What an amazing campaign season this was.

I feel like I need to explain my love for Obama just a bit. You see, not only do I think he has great policies, but it's more than that. I was raised in a small town in Alabama and I am the daughter of two incredibly racist people. My parents regularly use the "N" word. My mother's greatest fear has never been that I will be harmed or killed, but that I would marry a black man. I have fought this hatred my whole life. I know that I am not African American or even a minority of any sort, but I do despise prejudice. So to see someone who is the product of an interracial relationship, and the son of an immigrant, and the child of a single parent, who fought his way to the top... damn it that's inspiring. It makes me believe that all my fighting with my parents has actually been worth it. I haven't been a naive little kid for so long, I've just known that more is possible.

I've never felt more patriotic in my life.

11.03.2008

Sustainability: Advent Conspiracy

So I had already planned what I was going to write about as my sustainability topic for this week and then my lovely friend Danielle wrote a post that just confirmed that this was definitely the thing I needed to write about. God certainly does send us little messages throughout the day and I'm just glad that I recognized this one! So Dani Mac posted about a great organization called Living Water International which is a great organization that helps so many people! Definitely check it out.

But what I was actually going to write about it something that LWI has actually given a name to. It's called the Advent Conspiracy. Advent is the season in the Christian liturgical calendar in which we anticipate the birth of Jesus (woohoo!). So basically, it's Christmas. This year Advent begins on November 30th (look forward to it). Anyway, the point of saying all that is for anyone who isn't familiar with the Christian calendar and explaining what the heck Advent means. To best explain what the Advent Conspriacy is LWI made a video. Watch it now (don't worry - it's quiet, no talking, safe for work)

I'm posting this well in advance of Christmas because I know many of you are already starting to buy. So instead, why not stop buying? If you want to give to LWI then that's a great cause. But today I actually intended to tell you about my favorite Christmas gifts ever! World Vision has an amazing gift catalog every Christmas. You can actually purchase something (like 2 chickens for just $25 or a small business loan from $100-$1000 for a woman in a developing nation) and then World Vision will send you a card explaining that gift and the impact it will make. You can donate in a friend/relative's name and instead of giving them just another thing they don't really need you can make a huge difference in someones life! There are so many gift options that you really can personalize it for the person you're donating for, i.e., if you're donating for a child who loves sports then you can choose to donate two basketballs to children for just $16! What a great deal!!! Or if you have a man (or woman) in your life who loves to fish, well you can donate a brand new fishing kit to someone who could use it for business and for food and it's only $40! You know that button up shirt you were planning to buy would cost more...

There are so very many options! If you want to keep the funds here in the U.S. there are specific categories just for that or you can see all the other areas that the gifts are going to. I know this is a long post, but if you've made it here to the end then be sure to go check out the WORLD VISION GIFT CATALOG!

Bonus: It's one stop shopping!
P.S. Check out the Maximum Impact section - there are gifts that come with those donations!

10.31.2008

Happy Halloween!

So this if our first Halloween as a family. Really, it's our first major holiday as a family and I was super excited about having candy for trick-or-treaters. But then I found out that we really won't have any because we live in an apartment complex that has pretty much no children (but lots of sweet elderly ladies that I love!). So instead, Derek and I will be joining his parents and little brother and going to a fabulously fun fall festival held by a local church. This is not your typical fall festival though - there's free admission for everyone with games, food, and lots and lots of candy. Apparently there are children EVERYWHERE at this thing. So I'm excited, because while I don't love children, I do love kids in costumes! Does it really get any cuter? I don't think so anyway.

Hope you have a wonderful, safe, HAPPY Halloween!

10.30.2008

I know you'll be shocked...

but I just went and voted for Obama/Biden! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!



Vote early - it's easier!

10.29.2008

Yes we can

Like I'm sure many of you are, I'm watching Barack Obama tonight. I know that some people doubt his capability, but I think you have to admit that he seems pretty darn presidential. But even if he didn't seem presidential at all, I still think that he would be the best candidate that we possibly have. I am tearing up just watching his speech, not because of the flowery words, or the background music, but because I can see hope and opportunity on the horizon. I know that if he is elected president that we will be better off. I fully believe that for the first time in far too long, our government will be most concerned with the well being of the people of America (and hopefully the world) and not just the corporations of America. I think that he is a man of his word, and his words are empowering.

I finally see what we are capable of becoming.

10.28.2008

Sustainability

Okay, so apparently I have trouble adhering to posting about sustainability on Sundays, so I guess I'll give up that constraint and just do it whenever I feel like it. Lucky for you, I feel like it today!

You know how every time you're in the grocery store you see all those reusable bags for sale for roughly $.99? Have you bought any yet? If not, then why friend?! They're great! I don't know about all of you, but I'm one of those people who saves all the plastic bags that I get from shopping and use them as lunch boxes, stuff carriers, bathroom trashcan liners, etc. But I still seem to always have so many! They overflow and take over my kitchen and look awful and accumulate until I can bring myself to take them to the plastic bag recycling bin at Publix (did you know that you can recycle plastic bags? Check your local grocery store for the bin!). But now that I have my fabulous, eco-friendly, reusable bags I don't have to worry about that problem!

Sure, buying the ones from your grocery store is great, but let me recommend a set of reusable bags that I absolutely LURVE! They're called Envirosax and they are wonderful! First, they're cute
but more importantly they can hold a ton of stuff! One of my Envirosax holds what 2 regular plastic bags can hold. They fit comfortably on your shoulder which makes it much easier to get them into your house (or in my case up 2 sets of stairs to my apartment!).

But most importantly to me are the enviromental and charitable benefits of buying Envirosax. The problem with the bags in my grocery store is that I have absolutely no idea where they were made, or what products they are made from. But Envirosax are made with sustainable products, and sustainable production processes in mind. Also, a portion of the proceeds are donated to Enviromental charities.

So, if you don't have any reusable bags yet, or you need some more then check out the website and order your favorite patterns right now!

10.23.2008

SAD!

I spent quite some time writing a blog about the stupid things high schoolers say, and that's when blogger decided to freak out so it only saved half of my post. What actually got posted made no sense. Sorry to anyone who had to read that. Maybe one day I can bring myself to recreate it.

10.22.2008

Not much to say

I am completely exhausted. I do not sleep well when I am traveling, no matter how comfortable my Hampton Inn (or tonight my Country Inn & Suites) bed may be. It's hard to sleep without my husband being there. There are only two days left. I can make it.

Today I did have a very pleasent afternoon with 4 other college recruiters. We walked around downtown Thomasville, GA. There are tons of cute clothing and home decor boutiques, but they were muy expensive. My favorite though was called Relish and I had a delicious cup of Moutain Green Organic Fair Trade Coffee (look for it in your local grocerty store!) for only $1. However, every city should have a place where you can take naps, cause we seriously needed one today. I was sleepy like woah.

Tomorrow I might just blog about the stupid things that high schoolers ask me on a regular basis. Or maybe there will be something better to blog about... we'll see.

10.20.2008

Sustainability Monday

Okay, from now on I promise this will be on Sunday but I had something extremely important to talk about yesterday. Of course, I think sustainability is extremely important as well so that's what we're talking about today.

What is sustainability? Most people think it's just about the environment and global warming, but sustainability is about so much more than that. It's about the environment, but also about the people who live on this earth and our responsibility towards each other. Sustainability is about policies and practices that support both of those.

So in my personal opinion what's the most important part of living a sustainable lifestyle? Fair trade
Right now we're hearing a lot about free trade in our national debates, but very little about fair trade. You know all that stuff that you pick up in Wal-mart or Target that says made in China? Well, none of that is fair trade. Part of Fair Trade certified goods includes that the products must be made in a sweatshop free, worker friendly environment. If the products are clothing or other textiles then you can almost guarantee that they are handmade, artisan crafted, high quality items. If it's coffee, tea, or other food products then you can bet that the products will probably organic, super fresh, and really delicious. How can those things be bad?!

I also feel that you should be warned: fair trade is not always easy for us consumer driven Americans. Fair trade items are often higher than non fair trade. For instance, a beautiful handmade, fair trade scarf made by a widow in India will be more expensive than a cute scarf from Old Navy. But you can guarantee that the quality of the fair trade scarf will be much higher, and that by purchasing that item you are actually helping to change a life. Many Fair Trade items actually include a card with a story about the people who made the product. These products make a difference!

So where do you get these wonderful products? You can find some in your grocery store! Look for this seal on products like Newman's Own brand Coffee or certain teas. Check out these links for amazing Fair Trade products!
TransFairUSA
Global Exchange
10,000 villages
World of Good
Seriously - there are some great Christmas gifts waiting for your friends and family on these websites! Comment and let everyone know if you find something really fabulous.

10.19.2008

Sustainability Sunday...

will be postponed until tomorrow. It's been a crazy day and I had to devote my blogging today to my wonderful husband. Read below to understand why he deserves a whole day just for him!

22 years and so many more to go

Today is my husband's birthday. This is the first birthday that I'm spending with him and I'm so glad that I get to spend every other birthday he ever has with him. He's 22 today (I make fun of him for being so young) and I can only begin to imagine how wonderful the next 22 years will be, and all the years after that. So let me tell you why I love him so very very much!

1. He's so darn cute!
2. He works so incredibly hard for our little family.
3. He's the smartest person I know.
4. He's always calm and relaxed (the exact opposite of me).
5. He's super funny.
6. He always know's what kind of mood I'm in - even if I try to hide it.
7. He's so sweet to our dogs - he loves them.
8. He's even sweeter to his 3 yr. old brother. What woman doesn't love a man who loves kids? (Even though I don't really love kids, it's still adorable).
9. Not only is he smart, but he knows a lot of random stuff. That can be useful.
10. He makes me not hate sports.
11. He's not easily offended (definitely the opposite of me!).
12. He hates to fight which makes it hard to argue with him.
13. He has great taste in movies and music (mostly).
14. He's started listening to NPR even when I'm not in the car with him.
15. He puts up with me watching the dumbest VH1 shows in the world.
16. He's the sweetest man imaginable.
17. He always makes sure I know how much he loves me.
18. He's a great debator.
19. He loves politics and wants to change the world.
20. He has an uncany passion for chips and salsa.
21. He has no idea how amazing he is.
22. He makes me happier than I ever could have imagined.


My husband is great!

10.15.2008

2008 National Blog Action Day: Poverty

So today is National Blog Action Day and this year it is focused on Poverty. I think it's fitting that this day falls on the same day as the last Presidential debate before what will be a ground breaking election. Poverty is the biggest killer in the world today. Poverty is often the direct cause of disease, lack of education, starvation, homelessness, crime, unwanted pregnancy/abortion, death, etc. It is an issue that must be faced if we want to progress as a nation, and as a world community. More importantly I think it's something that must be done to be the Church. Something must be done.

A few days ago I began to think about what I would ask John McCain and/or Barack Obama if given the chance. There are a number of issues that still haven't been addressed in well watched forums like the debates. I think that it is extremely important that both candidates more directly address their policies on the environment, education, the military, and so many more. But ultimately, if I could ask one of these men who will be the leader of our country one question it would have to be "What will you do for the least of these?" It's the question that Jesus asks of us in Matthew 25:31-45.

Poverty, and specifically poor people, are seen as plagues on the American society. We frown upon those who are products of poverty, we blame them for needing help and we fail to look at them as children of God. I truly believe that God is disgusted with us. Very simply and clearly we were told that Jesus would come to us in the form of the poor. Every day we kill him again by leaving him lying in a cardboard box, by refusing to buy a meal for him, by allowing him to suffer from a lack of education or water or heat, we kill him by electrocution and lethal injection. We kill him by allowing the poor, sick, homeless, imprisoned, orphaned, naked, diseased, hungry and thirsty of the world to die.

As Christians we love to go to conferences and to Bible study, we love to fellowship with the other believers, we are happy to wear cross necklaces and WWJD bracelets and put "fish" on our cars and pray before our meals in restaraunts. The money we waste on golden idols of our faith could be used to feed Jesus Christ. Surely we have failed to be the Body of Christ.

So today as you think a little about poverty (and about the presidential debate)remember that it's not just a nice thing to adamently fight poverty, but it is the holy thing to do. It is the work of the Kingdom of God and therefore should be the highest priority of our churches, our families, ourselves, and (wishful thinking) of the nation.

10.13.2008

Randomness

Well I'm sitting in yet another Hampton Inn watching TV and dreading waking up tomorrow to go to another college fair. I'm so over travling right now. It's part of my job, and I really like my job a lot, but I just get tired of this particular aspect of it after a while. I've definitely started the countdown to Oct. 24 when I have the last college fair of my busy travel season. Lord, let time pass quickly please!

I think part of the reason I'm having so much trouble with all of this is because I had such a great weekend relaxing with my incredible husband! We really just got to hang out together all weekend for the first time in a while. Friday night we got to spend some fun quality time with his family and then went to a surprise b-day party for his best friend! Saturday we laid around the house eating, napping, and even doing a little cleaning. Saturday night we went to a friend's house to sit around a fire in the back yard, make s'mores, laugh and talk. It was great! Traveling so much makes me feel so anti-social most of the time. I never get to see people and the past few weekends I've had to work on Saturdays too :( This weekend was so relaxing, so it definitely made it even harder to leave Sunday night.

On a completely different note, I'm thinking of starting a theme day here on my blog. I have a huge passion for sustainibility and social justice and I know of some really great resources that I'd love to share! I have several friends who do these (Wedding Wednesdays, Movie Mondays, etc - alliteration is an important part of theme days) so I'm thinking I'll start doing Sustainability Sundays! At least that way I'll be bound to writing at least one blog a week. (Sorry I'm a bad blogger!)

I should really go to bed now. Good night!

10.08.2008

I know, I know...

I suck as a blogger. Sorry, but I've been driving all over the world (or at least South GA) doing college fairs and being fully exhausted by my job right now.

However, (other than my wedding/marriage) this week I experienced the most incredible and amazing thing ever to happen to me and you need to know about it.

So, in case you didn't get it already, I am a HUGE Hanson fan. Not the weird, stalker, I want to have your babies, kind of fan but a genuine fan of the music and Issac, Taylor and Zac as the wonderful people that they are. They are currently on their "Walk Around the World Tour". Before each concert on this tour they host a 1 mile barefoot walk in the city that they are in to raise awareness about poverty, specifically in Africa. The also generously donate $1 for each person who walks a mile with them to a cause of the fan's choice i.e. I donated my $1 to helping build a well in a poor African community. It's an awesome cause and if you want to learn more about how to help then go to their official website

I needed to explain that to explain this... I WALKED WITH ZAC HANSON! Before my beloved husband, Zac Hanson was the love of my life. Every girl has that one huge crush and he was mine.

Um, hi, can you blame me?
I have seen Hanson every time they have ever played in Atlanta and even traveled to NC once, but I have never met them. Until now. We talked, he shook my hand twice, and even gave me a baby wipe (to clean off my gross street feet - will I ever use it? NO!). It was incredible. He was so much nicer and more wonderful than I could have ever hoped. Definitely my greatest dream come true.

I have pictures, but haven't had any time to upload them, but when I do they'll definitely be posted here.

OMG I'M STILL SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!

9.29.2008

The wedding!

Okay, so I now have my fabulously amazingly incredibly wonderful wedding photos that I love so much! So I thought I'd share just a few of my faves with you. I promise I'll try not to post them all... but it will be hard.


















I loved my wedding!

9.25.2008

Mosaic


My beautiful coworker just put this up and I think it's really cute so I wanted to do it too!


Answer the following 12 questions about yourself in order to influence your mosaic! (my answers are in parentheses after each question):
1. What is your first name? (Amber)
2. What is your favorite food? (Chicken and Dressing)
3. What high school did you attend? (Lowndes HS)
4. What is your favorite color? (Orange and purple)
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Zac Hanson all the way!)
6. Favorite drink? (Dr. Pepper)
7. Dream vacation? (Africa)
8. Favorite dessert? (Chocolate cake)
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (Minister)
10. What do you love most in life? (my husband)
11. One word to describe you? (wacky)
12. Your Flickr name? (I don't have one ) -- this one won't work because I haven't uploaded any pictures, so I'm choosing to search for Harry Potter because I'm a big nerd!

All you have to do is type your answer to each of the above questions into Flickr's search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker (3 columns, 4 rows)... Have fun!

9.21.2008

I'm a winner and you can be one too!

My beautiful and wonderful friend Tracy posted this "Pay it Forward" on her blog, and I love prizes so I responded. Now, I'm giving you the chance to do it too! 


Here are the rules:
I will send a gift to the first 3 blog owners who comment on this post. Those 3 people have to post this on their own blog and continue they cycle! 

So start commenting and maybe I'll give you something cool!

9.20.2008

We're taking a trip

to another blog! My friend Nate asked me to guest blog for him this week. He has a theme for every day and Fridays are about Religion. You might want to check out last week's Religion Friday on his blog to get the context of the post, but either way I hope you enjoy! 

9.15.2008

HILARIOUS!

Okay, no matter what you think of policies, it is undeniable that Sarah Palin named her children interesting things. Go to this link and find out what Sarah Palin would have named you if you were her child! It is hilarious!

http://politsk.blogspot.com/2008/09/sarah_13.html

I would be Flack Gobbler Palin. hehe.

Just the highlights

Okay, so the past few days have been mostly boring sprinkled with some craziness. Here are the highlights:

Yesterday as I was leaving my apartment I got in a small fender bender. By that I mean I backed directly into the side of a brand new truck... oops. So, unfortunately/luckily I was in my rental car for work. It sucks because I think I'll probably get in big trouble at work, but on the bright side it wasn't actually my car that was damaged. I freaked out for a while, but I'm over it now.

I'm in South Carolina now for a few college fairs and it's been super quiet so far. I even went to see House Bunny by myself. I wasn't sure if it would be the dumbest thing I've ever seen or cute, but luckily it turned out to be cute. The biggest thing that's happened is that the remote in my hotel room doesn't work. Actually, the TV doesn't work with any remote so it's something wrong with that. The hotel staff was so nice about it though. They offered to move me to a different room, but I really didn't feel like doing that so they sent me a free gift! It's a lavender oil diffuser, which is nice.

Up until now there haven't been any more good college fair stories to tell without being really mean about not smart high schoolers, but I'll tell you a little about the SC kids. Nothing really stood out except the shoes. Apparently high schoolers in South Carolina are obsessed with brown colored shoes. Seriously, nearly every person had on one of the following brown shoes:
Sperry's
Rainbow flip flops
gladiator sandals
Wallabee's (yeah, I didn't really think those were still in either)
or...
Birkenstocks! I don't think I've seen Birkenstocks in like, 8 years. Not only did I see the more common closed toed kind
but I saw multiple pairs of these:

which I haven't seen in FOR-EV-ER! It was like I'd been transported back to 1996 and it was awesome!





So... that's my super exciting life right now... I know you're jealous.


I do need a little advice though. How important is it for your husband to like your haircut? Let me be more specific, I want my hair cut like this

really really bad! But my husband hates bangs like this. So, I'm not sure what to do. Help! Anyone who's a husband please tell me if it bothers you when your wife gets a haircut you don't like!

Hope you're having a great Monday!

9.14.2008

I miss my husband

I don't remember travel to be this hard last year. I already feel like I've been on the road for a month and it's only been 2 weeks. Not even 2 weeks yet actually. I can't decide if time has somehow actually slowed down this year, or if it's just because I'm married now.

Last year at this time Derek and I weren't even dating. I didn't really have anyone to miss last year. Not like this anyway. I hate being away from him. And maybe it would be different if we'd been married longer than 3 weeks, but it's driving me crazy. Also I'm dealing with the strong temptation to make myself feel better with retail therapy which is so not good - especially when my hotel is directly across from a mall like it is tonight.

On a different note, sometimes I feel like I have a million things to blog about but I have to stick to one subject, but other times I feel like my mind is completely devoid of thought and I couldn't blog if I was paid to. Anyone agree?

9.09.2008

Who wants a pit bull with lipstick for a VP? Not me!

Okay, so as I promised, here are my thoughts on John McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin. I'm not a McCain/Palin fan, but Palin is definitely my least favorite of the two. With that being said, I'm sure that she is a very nice, intelligent, talented person so I'll try not to be mean. I'll try.

And so the reasons I dislike Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate are:

1. It is ridiculous for someone with her miniscule amount of experience to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I understand why people think that Barack Obama is lacking experience, but Sarah Palin is far worse. She was the mayor of a town with 9,000 people and the governor of a state with less people than Dekald County, GA for a mere 1.5 years. If she and John McCain are elected, I will move to Sweden just to avoid the chance that she could be President. Honestly, this is the least of my worries about her because I'm far more concerned about her policies. But I honestly think that the President of the college I work for probably has as much "executive experience" as Sarah Palin and I would much rather back him for VP.

2. Just like her running mate, Sarah Palin changes her policies with convenience. John McCain claims that he would now vote against the immigration policy he helped to write(!). In the same vein, Sarah Palin pats herself on the back for opposing the now infamous bridge to nowhere in Alaska, when she originally supported it and then after she cancelled it she kept the funds the federal government allotted for it!

3. She hates polar bears. I know this is a small detail, but she sued the government to take the polar bear off the endangered species list. Have you seen polar bears?! They are cute. They drink coca-cola. Doesn't it make you think there's something wrong with her?

4. She wants to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve for oil. Despite the fact that no oil would come of new drilling for years, wouldn't lower current gas prices, and would destroy a national wildlife reserve (where more cute animals live! have you ever seen a baby seal?) she thinks it's just a grand idea! I'm sure it would be great for the people of Alaska (not that they need any money because she's wrangled plenty of that for them), but not for the people of America as a whole.

5. She thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old. I believe the Bible people, but can someone please point out where in the Bible it says that the earth is 6,000 years old? I'm calling shenanigans on that.

6. She thinks global warming isn't caused by people. I don't really know where this comes from either. I think in her head (and many other evangelical Christian's) it's somehow connected to the whole "Earth being 6,000 yrs. old thing", but that makes no sense. Maybe the reasoning is that God created the earth and therefore it's impossible to mess up, but God created lots of things that we mess up all the time. That's what sin is. And even if you don't agree that global warming is real Sarah Palin, what's so bad about recycling? Why is only having to buy light bulbs once every 5 years wrong? Why not have a car that gets 50 miles to the gallon? Really someone explain why anyone is opposed to this stuff.

7. She wants to make abortion illegal completely illegal in all instances except in the risk of the mother's life. Please don't get me wrong, I'm pro-life, I think that unborn babies are people who are in need of love and deserve to have the chance at life. However, Sarah Palin is so vehement about reversing Roe v. Wade, but that's where her plan ends. Making abortion illegal doesn't stop unwanted pregnancy though. She's supports abstinence only sex education despite the fact that it has been proven not to work (case in point: Evangelical Christians teens - most of whom are raised in homes that teach abstinence only and pro-life beliefs- are more likely to get an abortion than any other group). Not to mention, teens are already having sex. That's why the teen pregnancy rate is up. That's why they're having all the abortions. Stop unwanted pregnancies and you stop abortions. Stop abortions without stopping unwanted pregnancies and that's when you have people throwing themselves down stairs or having surgery in a garage.

I think 7 reasons is probably enough. There are plenty of other reasons why I disagree with her, but that covers the basics. Ultimately I really do think it would be another 4 years of exactly what we have now and that's one of the worst thing's I can imagine.

And if that's not enough then just take a look at this admittedly partisan clip from Keith Olberman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BAwgT6gWRE

Feel free to comment, argue, agree, etc.

9.08.2008

College Fairs = Freak Fest

Okay, so I figure since I have to go to all these college fairs I'll put up a quick rundown of all the stuff I see at them.

Today there were:
5 pregnant girls
3 students who looked like they did Meth
6 guys who said really inappropriate things about what they wanted to do to some girl
3 recruiters from other schools who had inappropriately short skirts
1 off the shoulder 80's sweater
Approx. 60 really snooty private school kids (Normally I like students from private schools, but these particular students wouldn't even "drink out of a public school water fountain. ew.")
1 police dog
1 police motorcycle
1 girl who passed out
4 couples who made out or touched each other grossly
and a plethora of the typical high school stereotypes.

Also two things that we always see at college fairs are that I feel need to be explained first are:
1. A trend specific to the particular high school or area. This college fair it was waaaaay too tight skinny jeans. I mean, skinny jeans are in and all, but these were so tight that you could see individual leg muscles.
2. My most hated this at college fairs are military recruiters. I'm not dissing the military, but I do oppose their recruiting tactics. It pisses me off that my tax dollars are being used for stupid gimick giveaways to students who just want free stuff. Also, the things they give away are annoying. So, todays annoying military recruiting tool is:jelly yo-yos. They were these squishy yo-yo type things that the students kept flinging at each other. I just knew I was going to lose an eye.

I'll keep you updated on how the rest go.

9.07.2008

I am a woman desperate for Hilton Honors Points

I travel for my job. ALOT. Tomorrow is the first college fair I have to go to and in the next 2 months I will have done 38 more and stayed in a freaking lot of Hampton Inns. But in the Admissions world this is completely normal. Usually I don't mind the first couple of weeks of travel, but this year it's only been 2 weeks since I got married and now I'll be gone for him 4 nights this week. It's torture. To cope with this I've had to come up with something to make myself feel better and so, I've decided I'll do it with Hilton Honors Points.

We always stay in Hampton Inns and, as part of the Hilton family of hotels, we can get Hilton Honors points from it. So, how does this help me deal with being away from my husband? Well, I keep telling myself that by staying in 20 Hampton Inns I will earn enough points for my husband and I to be able to go somewhere and stay for free. I'm keeping myself from going crazy by earning a little vacation. I'll let you know how long that works.

On a side note, did anyone see Michael Phelps on the VMA's tonight? He should really stick to swimming because he is AWKWARD on television.

Maybe tomorrow night I'll blog about the recent political frenzy. I haven't shared my thoughts on Sarah Palin yet, and I have a lot of them.

9.03.2008

I'm back!

I know it's been forever since I blogged, but I've been a little busy GETTING MARRIED! It's so incredibly exciting and wonderful and amazing etc, etc, etc. I love my husband more now that ever before. So there's tons to talk about but I guess for now I can just give a brief overview of the events (there will be pictures to come with more specific blog posts):


The Wedding
My best friend (well one of the two) Julia came down early to be my "wedding elf" (I recommend that everyone get one of these) and help out with a few last minute details. And by last minute details I mean single handedly putting together all 130 of my wedding programs that were FABULOUS!

Sooner than I could have ever imagined the rehearsal was here and it was the day before my wedding! The rehearsal went smoothly (thanks to Julia's mom and sister) and the dinner was DE-licious! I was a less than 24 hours away from becoming a Mrs.! After much giggling with my incredible bridesmaids I actually managed to sleep...
 
and then the big day arrived! Before I could even focus people were pouring into my house to do hair, and bring breakfast, and make sure that every detail was taken care of. We got to the Chapel to get ready and take pictures (which I can't wait to show you because OMG!). After almost no time at all I was sequestered in the tiniest room ever with 3 bridesmaids (1 which had nervous gas) and people coming in and out to see how we were. To be honest, we were cramped and I was tired of having to duck to not be seen. But the next thing we knew everyone was loaded into the Chapel and we were getting ready to walk down the aisle!

It went perfectly and it was beautiful and meaningful and I loved all of it - and I was married!
We took some more pictures then rushed to the reception where we had a small bite of delicious cake (and nothing else because there was no time) and then walked through all the bubbles and we were off!

The Honeymoon
We went to Cocoa Beach/Orlando, FL for our honeymoon and we had five wonderful days of beach and Disney World! It was great (except for the sunburn) and I wish that I were still there. I really like my job, but it's not nearly as fun as the beach! 

I promise I'll post more pictures and details soon! But I'm glad to be back and so glad to be MARRIED!!!!

8.22.2008

AH!

I am getting married tomorrow and I can't wait!!! 

8.19.2008

What's wrong with me?

I am not a calm person. I get anxious and nervous about all sorts of things. I am cranky and not at all the type of person you'd call laid back. Call me emotional if you need to, but I am the type of person who will sob over an episode of "24" (if you've ever seen that show then you'll know why that's crazy) or get absolutely livid over something that Bill O'Reilly says even though I know it's all for TV. I am easily offended and get my feelings hurt often. I'm defensive and sometimes a little mean. I promise I have good traits but I say all this to prove that I am not a calm person.


I haven't freaked out about my wedding yet. Does this mean I am somehow deformed? Seriously, what's wrong with me? Derek's grandmother got put in the hospital yesterday for a mild stroke and will have to be there until at least Thursday, meaning that the only grandmother in the whole wedding could miss out. But I'm not the least bit concerned about that. I'm very concerned for her health, but not at all for my wedding. I haven't really discussed the wedding cake with the caterer at all, but I could care less. It's just cake right? The programs are all crooked and crazy because Staples is stupid, but I'm really not worried. I mean, I figure I'll just get it fixed.

If you had asked me when I first got engaged if I thought I would be a Bridezilla I would have lied and said no. But in my heart I fully believed that I would look something like this the week of my wedding



But I am calm. Nothing is shaking me. When trouble comes my way I deal with it. Who is this freakishly mature person that has taken over my body? I keep waiting for the usual feeling of anxiety to take over, but things are just rolling right off of me. Did God actually answer my prayers in the exact way I wanted for once? Maybe it's easier because I know the wedding is just one day and doesn't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. I'm going to be married for the rest of my life and there's nothing that can change that. Or maybe an alien has taken posession of my body and I'll implode soon. I guess we'll just have to see...

8.14.2008

AHHH!

Be warned: the posts for the next few weeks will probably completely revolve around my wedding.

I haven't really talked much about my wedding plans, my future husband, or even how incredibly excited I am to be getting married in just 9 short days! Forgive me. I just know how annoying and overwhelming it can be to have someone talk about only one thing for days, weeks and even months on end so I've avoided it to this point. But up until now I've also been as cool as a cucumber. Sure I've been excited, but not shriek with joy do cartwheels across the room constant butterflies in my stomach excited. Until about 10 minutes ago.

Suddenly it hit me. I'M GETTING MARRIED! Of course I knew that already. I mean, I have the ring and the dress and I've been planning and doing stuff non-stop for 2.5 months (yeah this is one of those super quick weddings - no I'm not pregnant), but it's like it hasn't really hit me until now. Now I'm ready. Now I'm excited. Now I can't wait!

You see, in 9 days I'll marry the perfect man for me. Is he what I imagined? Not at all. I was supposed to marry Zac Hanson, I mean, not really Zac Hanson, but basically the same. In my head I was going to marry a drummer, who was goofy and artistic and a little bit of a hipster. Except that was all wrong for me. But, suddenly Derek appears and I realize that what I really want is someone who is incredibly smart and the sweetest person ever. I needed someone who could read me like a book. I had secretly been hoping for someone who "cared about shit" as much as I do. And ultimately I couldn't live without this specific someone who was meant just for me.

Derek and I are incredibly different in so many ways. I'm loud and he's quiet. I'm snobby about so many things, but he's always so down to earth. I'm easily angered and he's calm and rational. We don't like the same music or tv shows, sometimes we don't even like the same people, but we adore each other and that seems to be enough.

I'm not quite as flighty and mushy as this probably makes me sound, but the point is - I'm getting married and I can't wait! At this point it's so not about the wedding, it's just about getting to be with this person for the rest of my life. WOO HOO!

8.13.2008

You should check this out...

So I thought I'd share a few things/websites that I love with you and why they're so great!

Tom's is so great because a. the shoes are sooooooooo comfortable and b. because for every pair of shoes you buy a pair is given to a child who doesn't have shoes. Click on the link to do some shopping and find out more about this great cause. Oh, and as a bonus the shoes are sweatshop free which you'll see is a huge deal to me!


Hanson (yeah the same guys who sang MMMBop back in 1997) are my favorite band! They sound a lot different than they did when they first came out, but that's because they were 11 and we all sound different than we did at that age. The great things about they're website is that you can listen to their whole new album for free, you can find out about all the great work they're doing with the AIDS crisis in Africa, and you can look at all the beautiful pictures of them! I dare you to give them another chance.


I've already mentioned that I love Barack Obama. I can't wait to vote for him in November. I guess it's a cliche thing for someone my age to love Barack, but I'd like to say that I don't just love him because of an ambiguous promise for change or because he's charismatic and gives good speeches or even because he's biracial. I love him because I believe in his policies. I don't agree with him on everything, but I definitely think his leadership is the right direction. The great thing about his website is that you can easily find information on his policies and there's a great fact checking section for you to research all those rumors you hear about him on the internet.

I don't have a pic for this one, but this is a Fair Trade/Organic Coffee Company out of Americus, GA. They have the most delicious coffee ever and they only use Fairly Traded coffee (Fair Trade is another big passion of mine). Try some pleeeease!

The Open Door Community is where I did my internship in college and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Open Door in and Intentional Christian Community that serves the Homeless of Atlanta. They also have a ministry with Death Row inmates in the State of Georgia and the lobby for the rights of the poor. I love them and they are my forever friends! So if you live in the Atlanta area and you want to do some volunteering or great worship, then visit the website and plan to go!



Okay, so finally something about being United Methodist. I love the United Methodist Church. I'm pretty sure God created me specifically to be United Methodist. No we're not perfect, in fact we suck a lot sometimes, but we can be awesome. The best part of the UMC (in my opinion) is the General Board of Church and Society. My life's goal is to work at the GBCS office in Washington, D.C. Check out the website to see a little more about what they do and how they try to create change in the ways the country works to reflect the Kingdom of God just a little more.
So, after all that hopefully you'll know a little more about me. Oh, and if you have time you should probably stop by www.petfinder.com too to find a cuddly little friend to come live with you!!!

8.11.2008

Oh the happenings

Well this weekend/morning has been quite eventful.

Friday Night
My tire was shredded by something nasty and mean. I don't like it.

Saturday
The almost husband and I went to a wedding which only made me that much more excited about getting married in 12 days! He was so super cute in a suit :) . After seeing the Unity Candle disaster at this weekend's wedding I'm even more glad that we aren't having anything lit at our wedding. Congratulations to Brad and Jasmine though - I know how happy they will be together! (You could tell by the mondo kiss he planted on her)

Sunday
After I slept in and completely missed church, Derek and I went to Ikea (the land of goodness!). My mom gifted us a slightly used sofa (which is soooo comfy) and so we needed extras to go with it. We picked out the cheapest chair and loveseat that they had and I absolutely love it! Seriously, I bow to the Ikea gods for their excellence. But if you've ever been there you know how overwhelming it can be and just how stressful on a relationship. I think every couple I see in there is arguing at some point.

Then we met with my fabulous former roommate and her love at The Vortex in the ATL. I'd never been there before but the burgers lived up to the promise. It was delicious!

After a great time of chatting and stuffing our faces we headed back through the horrific ATL traffic just in time to prevent the dogs from peeing on the carpet (they really aren't good at the potty training thing). Then I put the new furniture together all by myself (no Derek isn't a slacker - he was returning the SUV we borrowed to get the furniture in and grabbing some stuff from his house to start moving in!). Really it just consisted of screwing in legs to the bottoms of the chair, but Ikea instructions have no words so you have to decipher pictograms first which is half the battle. It's like being 5 again except they expect you to know what you're doing and use tools. Ikea should work on that - you'd think they could afford translators for instructions. Once my living room was all pretty we started organizing a few of Derek's belongings (which meant I had to give up some coveted closet space). But I'm so excited that he's almost my husband/roomie! I've never lived with a boy before, and I hear they're gross but I'm looking forward to it anyway.

Monday
After the wonderful night before I got to work this morning only to find that all the laptops had been stolen from our office. So my colleagues and I are left to sit in a computer lab and keep ourselves busy while being really mad at the stupid person who theived from us. Just another day in the Admissions Office...

8.08.2008

The First One!

I'm Amber and along with my friends/colleagues I'll be blogging. I'll probably write about anything and everything.

I'm 23 and getting married in 15 short days to the love of my life (can't wait!). We have two dogs - a terrier mix named Darby and a chihuahua named Barkley. Those three definitely keep my life interesting and I wouldn't have it any other way because I love them all!

I work as a Admissions Counselor for my alma mater and I love it! It's pretty great that I have a job where I just get to tell people about something that was so important to me and that I love so much. The only downfall is that I have to lug around 20-30 lbs. of materials to do it with. Oh well, life could be harder.

After my(soon to be) husband is done with his undergraduate degree I'll go on to pursue my Master's of Divinity and be ordained in the United Methodist Church. One day I plan to do social justice ministry and hopefully change the world just a little for the better.

A few more things you should know about me: I'm probably surprisingly liberal, I do not care for babies and I don't plan to have one (I'm just going to adopy middle schoolers), I am extremely passionate which can sometimes come off as angry (I'm working on it), and I really really really love Harry Potter, Hanson, NPR and Barack Obama!

 
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