• ~Psalm 46:4-5~

    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
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Putting Together Our Tree

On Friday I worked like a mad woman to get as much done as I possibly could while Bri was in daycare. I spent about five hours working on my portfolio and then I stayed up until midnight (after Bri went to sleep) assembling our tree.

tree with just lightsTo begin with I put together the wreaths for the front of the house. Then I hung them around the room so that Hubs can put them up later. After stringing the lights around the tree, I paused for a picture. The den smells amazing now!

This year I’m decorating with red and gold. So I started off by hanging all of my generic red and gold ornaments.

red ornament

I found these packs of gold, spray-painted, dried vines at a craft store a few Christmases ago. I love the effect of sticking them in the tree. I’m going to have to look for more when I do my bargain shopping after Christmas this year because the packs get thinner every year as I lose some to the tree.

Then I started pulling out the sappy ornaments. Those are the best. Each one reminds me of a story. I can’t wait to decorate the tree with Bridoodle in a few years. We’ll pull them out of their tissue wrappings and their tiny boxes and I’ll tell her story after story of how we came to own each ornament.

wedding ornament

This ornament was given to us the year that we were married. That year I decorated the tree with silver bows because we only had two real ornaments. I tied silver ribbons and used paper clips to hook about 30 disposable silver bows to the tree (the kind that come in a bag with a sticky pad on the other side). My medical school friends thought that it was hilarious when they came over for our Christmas party.

For Lilly’s first Christmas, Emma bought us this ornament. Isn’t it adorable? And the light catcher behind it was a birthday gift from one of my bridesmaids. It’s meant to go in the window but I liked it better as a Christmas ornament.

lilly and the light catcher

When we moved to our first house, our neighbors came over to welcome us with this adorable ornament. It was the perfect gift because we closed right after Thanksgiving.

new house

One of my favorite homemade ornaments came as a result of an unexpected walk through Lowe’s. I think Hubster was in the middle of some boring decision around this time last year, so I wandered off. While I was exploring I stumbled across the perfect Christmas tree ornament. He thought I was nuts when I came skipping up the aisle with a handful of red outdoor faucet knobs.

homemade ornament

I’ve also chosen my wrapping theme for this year. I’m going with striped paper and funky bows. Here are a few of Bridoodle’s Christmas presents.

Bri's presents

Can you keep a secret? She’s also getting this adorable rocking horse. I think it’s going to be a family heirloom. Her great-grandmother gave it to my cousins, who have graciously passed it on to Bri. Isn’t it cute?

rocking horse

Merry Christmas!

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BlogHer ’09 or Bust!

All I want for Christmas is money, money, Money! I’m saving up for the BlogHer ’09 summer conference. This past summer, all of my blogging friends went to summer camp and I had to stay home. Reading about the fun escapades they had in San Francisco made me green with envy.

So this year, I want to go too! It’s going to be held in Chicago on July 24-25 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The room rate is $199 per night, which includes free internet (for blogging in the evenings, of course). By the way, I need a roommate or two, maybe three! You still game Bridget?

Early-bird registration for the conference costs $202.95 but it jumps up to $300 if you register after February 28th. As of today, the flight costs about $297, but I think that will drop significantly when we get a little closer to the date.

Grand-total without a roomie: $900

Update: Grand total with one roomie: $700

So as you can see, I will be saving all of my Christmas, birthday, tax refund and portfolio bonus money (did I mention that I get a raise when I finish that ginormous portfolio?) to go to BlogHer this year. And I’m super excited about it!

It’s Not Even Lunch Time Yet!

The day has only just begun, but we’ve accomplished a LOT! Here’s a list of what I’ve done in the last four hours.

*Woke up, got Bri changed and dressed for daycare and fixed her sippy cups for the day. (Used the VERY last diaper in the house. I found it hidden at the bottom of a bag after panicking and ransacking the house in my search for one. Whew!)

*Took Bri to daycare.

*Came home. Read portfolio handbook. Printed several rubrics. Realized that the ink cartridge had kicked the bucket.

*Woke up Hubster and enticed him to come get McDonald’s for breakfast with me. (I learned this sneaky trick from my mom. Start with the promise of breakfast. Then when you have your prisoner in the car, announce that you must pick up a few essentials on the way. Hee hee!)

*Got bacon, egg and cheese biscuits.

*Hijacked Hubster and dragged him to Wal-Mart to get the new ink cartridge, diapers, and toilet paper.

*Found the diapers and the toilet paper. Bought all of Bri’s Christmas presents! (Wahoo for Black Friday!) But they were out of the ink cartridge I needed.

*Went to another store and purchased TWO ink cartridges. That out to be enough.

*Drove home.

*Rearranged the den.

*Got all of the Christmas decorations out of the attic.

*Set up the Christmas tree stand.

*Took the carseat out of the truck and went with Hubster to get a Christmas tree.

*Came home.

*Set up the tree.

*Unloaded the presents.

*Put the carseat back in the truck.

*Pulled the outdoor Christmas decorations out of the garage.

*Abandoned Christmas decorations to continue working on portfolio.

*Reprinted rubrics.

*E-mailed instructor with questions about the portfolio.

*Checked my blog.

*Updated with today’s post.

*Realized that I have been getting side-tracked too easily.

*Considered taking a nap.

*Worked feverishly on the portfolio instead. -sigh-

An Attitude of Grattitude

As a child, I remember the frustration of listening to a lecture about how I could “choose to be happy.” It seemed like such a dumb thing to say. How could anyone control their own happiness?

It dawned on me late in high school that I had missed the lesson in the “choose to be happy” phrase. I think the youth pastor must have fashioned a series on thankfulness, because that’s when I learned what it all meant. As a child, I always thought that the adults were saying I could just decide to be happy, but what they really meant to say was that I could choose what would make me happy. I couldn’t have a new American girl doll, but I could choose to love the dolls that I already owned.

It really boils down to the things that make you smile. What are you thankful for?

Right this second, I’m enjoying the pecans that I’m snacking on while I wait for Bri to wake up so that we can eat together. The weather outside is beautiful. I’m excited about seeing my family in a few hours for Thanksgiving. My new Sketchers look so cute with this outfit and I’m wearing my FAVORITE blue jeans.

When I start listing the things I’m thankful for, I start to smile. It makes me happy.

Most of the time, we tend to criticize every little thing. (Totally preaching at myself here.) By doing that, we’re just choosing to be unhappy. Do you want to be unhappy in your marriage? Then criticize your husband. Do you want to be unhappy at work? Make a list of everything you hate about everybody. It’s the perfect recipe for frustration.

The pattern is easy to slip into, and it impacts everyone around you. Personally, I’d much rather hang out with someone who seems to be too happy all the time than someone who files one complaint after another. So I’m striving to be that person, myself. (Because I’m stuck in here, so I might as well be someone that I like.)

Christmas Card Photos – Deleted Scenes

out take 1

out take 2

out take 3

out take 4

Crazy Search Phrases

Over the past few months, I’ve been saving funny search phrases. Most people find my blog by searching for “medical school dropout,” “cheesy potato casserole,” or “leaving children in the car.” However, occasionally a phrase comes along that just makes me giggle. Here are a few of the best ones in my collection.

1. “things a stalker would sayI have lots of strange visitors, but no stalkers … that I know of.

2. “ugly peopleMaybe there was a misunderstanding. I said ‘ugly portables.’ Know any graffiti artists?

3. “college could go barefoot Sounds a little ironic. I can just picture a bunch of hillbilly college students walking around without shoes. Although I might have mentioned the fact that I bared my toes for the North Campus fountain back in my college days, in my 100 Things post.

4. “teeth spit up baby You must have been looking for a tabloid headline. Or else English is your third language. Betcha found this spit-up vs. vomit post, instead.

5. “why do u want to have friendship with me More importantly, why is it so very hard to type all THREE letters in the word “you?” And if that didn’t scare you away, then I’m taking applications for friends because Emma moved away.

6. “what would be my punishment for leaving

A) medical school?

B) children in the car?

C) campus to make-out with a boy?

D) my cell phone on normal instead of silent?

7. “what to use to make my weed taste goodWell, chicken POT pie, naturally. Google has a sense of humor. (Note: Brain cells are limited and they don’t grow back. Don’t do drugs. ‘Nuff said.)

Photosynthesis Shirts

On Friday, I debuted the esteemed photosynthesis shirts for one of my Biology classes. It was a huge success! The yearbook stopped by to take pictures and the pictures will also land on the school’s wall of “Bright Ideas.” I feel special.

water

The best part though, was that the kids LOVED the shirts. They all wanted to keep their shirts and it was really hard to take them back up. I promised them that at the end of the unit I’ll be giving a few shirts away.

oxygen

The students in the audience directed their classmates as to where to stand to make the photosynthesis equation. Everyone got to be involved.

Each shirt is like a flash card. It has the chemical compound on the front and the English word printed on the back. When they face the camera you can see the familiar chemical equation but with their backs turned, you can see the wordy version.

equation for photosynthesis

Sunlight (Energy) + CO2+H2O -> C6H12O6 (Glucose) + O2 (Oxygen)