Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Nick!

Two birthdays in one day?! How did that happen? Apparently, Nick thought that Grandma needed someone to share her birthday with and decided to be born the same day.

So today's your 7th birthday Nick! I remember when Robbie and Raelynn turned seven, and your dad said that seven was such a big number because it's longer than any of the other numbers you've been so far!

Nick, you're such an awesome part of our family, and I can't even tell you how happy I am that you were born. I love the head nodding game :) and the spy game. And unfortunately, as much as I love giving you wedgies, I did say that once you turned seven, I wasn't going to do it anymore. Oh well, I'll have to give you one more birthday wedgie... but then NO MORE!!!

I love you Nick!
<3 Aunt Amanda

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today, January 31st is indeed my mom's 59th birthday! That's right, you read it correctly. This beautiful woman I call my mother who HAS INDEED been mistaken for my sister! But would you blame anyone? She's gorgeous :) All I can say is that I'm super amazingly happy that I am related to her and can only hope that I hold on to the good-looking genes she passed to me. But good looks aren't the only thing she passed along *wink wink* Here's just a few other things she's passed on throughout my life that I am so happy to have from her.

1) Her amazing artistic tendencies. I feel such a strong connection to her in this way as I know that our minds are so similar when it comes to art and that we relate to life in such a similar way.

2) The songs that i learned by heart when i was little because she would play them for us on the piano as we went to sleep. Whenever I hear those songs, it instantly takes me back to those times.

3) Her ability to love others and be a "Pollyanna." She loves people beyond herself.

4) Her unfailing walk with the Lord. She is such an inspiration to me and always has been. Her walk with the Lord has helped me get myself back together at times when I felt like giving up.

5) Her serious sense of fashion. She blames this on me, but it takes a truly fashion forward person to be as daring and accepting of the criticism that I give her. She could be stuck in above the waist, navy blue and tapered slacks on a day-to-day basis... but instead, i raid her closet regularly cuz i would like to be just that cool :)

6) Her amazing listening abilities. When i vent out my entire day that sometimes takes longer to tell than the actual events took, she will just sit there and only listen. That's how i've learned that sometimes the best thing to say, isn't anything at all.

7) Her seasonal decorating tendencies. I used to think that seasonal decorating was a little "over the top" although kind of cool. She's found the perfect happy medium and is one of the best decorators i know.

8) Her parenting skills. She often tells me that she feels like she didn't do a good enough job raising my brothers and me. But i really couldn't disagree more. There are so many things i learned from her and now am able to pass along to the kids I take care of and later on kids of my own.

I love you, Mom! I am so proud to have you to call my mom and I hope that you can look back and say that each year just gets better and better!


The Grossest Girl Ever aka Alicia

It's been a few days since my last post, and over the course of these few days I have actually come up with quite a bit to blog about. however, certain circumstances have gotten in the way of me actually following up with them. I don't really need to go into the details of these extraneous situations, i just need to dive in and begin with my first blogworthy topic.


i only have one other friend i have known longer than her. But to qualify this, I am actually much closer with the one named Alicia. In fact, i would dare say that at this juncture in my life we are as close as it gets to being bestest friends. There are so many things that I love about her but the one thing i would like to discuss here is the many names that she has come to be known by over the years.

The first that comes to mind is "The Grossest Girl Ever." I do not in fact remember exactly where this name comes from except for a few vague details. And those are that it originated at Elim, which is where most of them come from. At any rate, it's countername (aka my own personal name) is "Your Worst Nightmare." Often times in class when things would get boring beyond compare, we would bust out our paper and begin writing eachother ridiculous notes consisting of our own made up "German" language and always beginning and ending with these names.

Anyways, I am going to move on and make a list of the rest of them, offering little to no explanation. Enjoy.


So there it is. A list of names not worthy to be placed on anyone besides the one and only. Names that she answers to no less.

I love this girl and can't imagine what i'd do without her!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy 50th to Me!

In case you didn't figure out what the 50 is for, it's for my 50th post! And since this particular cake is one that i have actually looked at before hoping that someday i can be good enough at cake making and decorating AND it has the number 50 on it, i thought it would be completely appropriate. I actually think that it looks pretty doable. Except for the base icing that is so perfectly smooth. there has to be an explainable trick! but the other stuff i know how to do.

The only problem with this cake is that i can't eat it :( nor would i want to!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I have actually been intending to post this for about two days, and in fact it's been written for the last two days. I've basically been waiting for a good picture of her. i really wanted to take a picture during the daytime so that i didn't have to deal with horrible artificial light or use a flash. That's just my quirky thing. Well yesterday my mom pointed out that i was having such a hard time accomplishing this goal because i am in fact NEVER home while it is light outside! Just one of the hazards of winter i guess. But here is the post in it's entirety. Saturday has finally allowed me some beautiful light so that i could take a picture *smile!*

I have a little kitty cat whom we affectionately refer to as "kiki." However, her real name is Sophie. Add onto that the rest of her name, the complete pronunciation looks like this:

Sophie Stegasaurus Shape-Shifter Slakes

Please notice that there are 5 "S's" in her full name resulting in a shortened although not often used name. Quint"S"a. Pronounced - Quintessa.

This post, however, is not about the many names i have for my cat. It is about a certain affinity she has for living her life "outside the box." Although in this case, she was kind of in a box... but the terminology still works.

Tuesday night I was readying myself for a wonderful night of slumber and warmth by brushing my teeth when I heard her begin to "mew." Soph doesn't "mew" very often. She usually makes this audible purring sound. It's not unusual for her to run around waiting for me to go to bed as she likes to sleep with me. But it IS unusual for her to "mew." I didn't think a whole lot about it since she's always keeping me guessing. But when i had finished doing everything i had to do before bed and still had not seen her, i started to wonder where she could be. So i called her a few times and the only answer i consistently got was her pathetic mewing. I followed the sound back into the bathroom and searched for her (there aren't many places to hide in there *wink*) I finally realized that the sounds were coming from inside the wall.

My dad has been working on finishing our bathroom over the last year. It's been in working and running condition since about July or so, but there is one spot that has been neglected due to other more important things needing to be done. All of the plumbing for the tub and shower runs along the wall right outside the bathroom door and it has not yet been covered with drywall. Earlier that morning though, my dad had placed a huge sheet of drywall over the hole just until he could come up and finish it up. This happened at about 10am. I found the cat about about 9:30pm... in the hole...

PS: she is still going into the hole... i guess she is refusing to relinquish her favorite hiding place until the last possible minute. She's even been growling at my dad as he works on covering it up and she watches him from this vantage point. In case you can't tell what this picture actually is, it's actually right through the hole, past the pipes, and she is underneath the bath tub.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Robbie and Raelynn!

Twelve years ago today the Slakes' world changed forever. We waited and waited in anticipation, and you must have known how anxious we were to meet you because you came a little too soon! I'd like to know which one of you it was that decided that would be a good idea... *wink*

With that said, I wanted to let both of you know just how much I love you and how happy I am that you were born!

Robbie -
I blame you for the fact that Grandma still calls pockets "pocks". There are numerous other abbreviations that have decided to stick since you coined them back when you were 2 or 3 such as "i sor" meaning "i'm sorry" or the classic "appoh pie" that you and your sister seemed to always be making. I love that when we play video games together, i've actually met my match! It would be easy for me to "let you win" but trust me, you've got me beat any day!

You are a sweet boy Robbie Slakes! I love you very much and couldn't imagine our family without you!

Raelynn -
Or should I say... hamster? I love the sleepovers we have, even though sometimes you end up on top of me :) I love that I get to be friends with you, and I am so looking forward to being friends as you grow up! We definitely have so much fun when we're together, and i'm so excited that you have a phone now so we can talk more!

I am so thankful to God to have you as my niece, Raelynn. You bring so much LIFE into our family!

Happy Birthday you guys! I love you both with all my heart!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Cake

This is it, i swear... i won't post anymore about cake... at least til next time :)

This will probably be the longest blog i've ever posted, but i think it's worth it. I decided to try my hand at cake baking as you can see in my previous posts. It turned out really well and I wanted to share it with anyone who reads this blog. I found the original recipe from another blog and since copying is the sincerest form of flattery I am not ashamed to admit that my ideas were truly inspired and not thought up on my own :) Plus, I had some amazing help from melissa. Together we make up 66% of a brain... we haven't quite figured out where the other 33% went...

I made a few of my own changes, only out of necessity... aka messing up and not being able to find certain things *smile* But I was really happy with the way it turned out. The cake was delicious. It had a very dark chocolatey taste and as I was enjoying some with alicia yesterday, we were discussing how we don't necessarily ever CRAVE chocolate... but once we start in on it, it's just sooo good. This cake did it for me!

Chocolate Lovers' Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Filling: Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache (enough to fill one layer)
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces 72% dark chocolate (about 7 squares)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

For the ganache: (used as topping)
2/3 cup (3 oz) heavy cream
4 ounces best-quality bittersweet/dark chocolate

Chocolate Raspberry Milano Cookies
Easy white frosting
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 Tbsp milk, divided
- Beat shortening and vanilla at medium speed for 30 seconds.
- Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, beating well.
- Add 2 Tbsp of milk.
- Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough milk to make the frosting of spreading consistency.

Make the cake:

- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper.
- Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla.
- Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. I didn't get an exact time for this because I tend to go by instinct rather than the timer. But as a guideline, I would say leave them in the oven for about 15 minutes and then check them every 4 to 5 minutes after that. It shouldn't take longer than 25 minutes I would suppose.
- When the center no longer looks liquid, insert a toothpick in the center of each cake and if it comes out clean, they are done.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely.
- Peel off the parchment paper.
- After the cakes are completely cooled, use a cake leveler to make all 3 cakes the same thickness.

Make the whipped gananche (filling):

- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a small *metal* bowl.
- Prepare some HOT water in another larger bowl.
- Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan until it bubbles on the edges and immediately pour it over the chocolate.
- After you pour the cream onto the chocolate, place the smaller bowl into the larger bowl.
- This allows the heat from the cream to melt the chocolate and the hot water will keep the heat in so that the chocolate can melt completely.
- Stir slowly after a minute or two to make sure all the chocolate is getting melted.
- Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
- Slowly stir to make sure that the chocolate has completely melted.
- Cover bowl with foil and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to use the ganache, use an electric mixer to whip it until it is a fluffy but thick consistency. It only take a minute or so with the mixer before it is ready.

Make the gananche (icing):
(do this after you have already assembled the three layers with the whipped ganache)

- Bring 2/3 cup of heavy cream to a near boil in a small saucepan.
- When it is steaming well, remove it from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.
- Stir or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
- The mixture should be smooth and should spread over the cake easily.

Assemble the cake:

- Spread some icing on the cake plate to keep the cake from moving around
- Set a cake layer on the plate with its flat side facing up.
- Evenly spread the whipped ganache over the cake. Top with the second cake layer, and repeat with the third.
- Once the cake is assembled, use the dark chocolate ganache icing to spread evenly on the top and the sides of the cake.
- Immediately place the Milano Cookies around the outside.
- Then you can use your imagination with the top. I used the easy white frosting and squeezed it out of an icing bag into a blob in the center and topped with some raspberries.

- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

more cake... and other yummy food too

I really like photographing food. even if i didn't make it. in fact, i really am finding that it is an itch that i must start scratching. I love to see beautiful pictures of food, no matter who took them. So i thought I would share these that I took today at Beka's shower.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

cake and cadre

Last night I put together a practice cake to make sure i knew what i was doing when I go to make the cake for the shower this weekend. It turned out well I thought. it's going to be completely different next time i make it because i just used a plain cake mix and some buttercream frosting that i mixed up and dyed black. The ingredients for the actual cake cost me an arm and a leg so i decided that i would take the time to do a dry run first!

Anyways, I had this beautiful cake and i knew that my family couldn't eat it before it would be gross. So i took it to cadre. They were all so polite as we ate our one piece each. There was exactly half of the cake left. Well, after we got our tea, someone very politely asked if they could have some more. I was like "go for it." and that is EXACTLY what happened. The cake was no more than a slice shortly thereafter... and that slice promptly got eaten with multiple forks slicing into it.

We had so much fun tonight, we totally lost track of time. It was 8:30 before any of us knew it... I love when that happens. I especially love that I was not cannibalized.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

winter favorites

i've read a few blogs lately that are a list of "favorites." at first, i really didn't want to do it, since it'd been done, and redone... but i have been thinking lately about the things I love about the different seasons. So i decided to list out the things that i actually DO like about winter.

There are just so many days when the sun doesn't shine here that it is hard for me to think of the things that i love. But when i think about the things that make me feel warm, i start to remember what they are...

my kitty cat sleeping next to my face because it's warmer there :)

going to sleep in a nest of blankets and pillows (honestly, I would do this year round, however, it is just too warm in the summer to make that comfortable)

putting on my slippers in the morning (it helps make getting out of bed a little more bearable)

hot chocolate with coffee flavor (notice this is not coffee with chocolate flavor... i'm talking mocha EXTREME)

getting into a hott shower in the morning and finally shaking off all the cold from getting up

sitting in front of the fireplace doing varying activities... such as reading, watching tv or scrapbooking

Notice, most of these have to do with sleep, bed, resting or waking up. Winter is truly a time to hibernate for me. I am extremely reflective year round, but i hold a certain fondness for the season of winter... it seems like I have to try harder to be happy so it helps me to see the beauty all around me. I love when it snows new and all the dirty snow gets covered up and all you can see is white... yah I like that too :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

an undiscovered talent?

no, I did not make this cake...

but i'm going to try!

I have to say that I am so excited about this. I am working on planning my friends bridal shower and i don't have to do much except make sure there is food. So i decided on cake and punch and a fruit plate of some sort... that's an entirely different adventure.

As i have dabbled in cake baking and decorating for a while now, I know where my limits are. I wanted to make sure I picked a cake that was going to be attractive but at the same time doable. I didn't want to take on some super cake that was going to turn into a monster minutes before i had to leave with it! So i began looking for pictures online and found a few good ones to get some ideas from. I knew that I wanted to do black, white and red, which are the colors that she is using for the wedding. With all that in mind, I finally found this.

i've made a few changes, and when I make it, i will put up pictures. I am really excited about this baking adventure... I love so many different kinds of art and I decided a while back that i didn't have to just choose one! I can do it all!

But we'll have to wait and see if i can live up to the standard. They say that you can be a jack of all trades and master of none... but that doesn't mean i can't be pretty darn jacked, right? that doesn't sound right, oh well...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the most beautiful day in January

Today, January 8, will go down as the most beautiful day in upstate NY this early in the year I have ever lived through. I have been anticipating this day for about 4 days when I first read the weather report.

I decided that A and i would go to the zoo and let me tell you... everyone else in rochester had the same idea too. The place was PACKED. and there were soooo many new babies out! It was all i could do to not just relinquish my position as a decent citizen and take off with one!

During the summer, A liked me to make his hair "bikey" which means "spikey" all the time. However, the last couple months, he has totally resisted anything being done to his hair. So today I made a deal with him. If he let me do his hair, then he could do mine. I just absolutely love his hair when it's all spiked up in a little mohawk, it's almost more than i can handle. So the deal was made and when I got all done with his hair he pulled out the hair dryer and went to town. the do he gave me didn't look much different than what I started out with today, but he noticed all day what a nice job he had done. At one point he was riding on my shoulders and told me, "manna, you're hair look nice today."

I love that kid!

backtracking a bit

ps: since i learned how to upload the videos, you are going to be seeing a lot more of them. this particular video was indeed shot at the zoo, however, it was taken this summer. but since this post was about the zoo, i felt that it was an appropriate place to stick it. the adorable albeit almost scary laugh in the beginning of the video is my nephew nick.

notice the music in the background

this was supposed to be posted LONG ago around the time it was taken... that would be Christmastime. however, i am somewhat technologically challenged in some areas and it took me awhile to figure out just how to do this. So here it is.

--> For those of you who know my brother Dan at all will totally appreciate this clip. Heck, even if you don't know him you still might appreciate it. We were setting the table for Christmas dinner when this took place. He is completely OUT OF CONTROL... or am i because i took the video?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

you must read the one in red

What’s your biggest dream?
to eventually become financially stable enough to be able to leave the country for a month at a time a few times a year doing missionary work in different countries.

Do you know who you are?
yes... i am amanda. need i say more?

Favorite childhood game?
dan and i decided to share a bedroom for about 6 months when we were around 7 and 9. we wanted to have an actual playroom, so we converted my room into the playroom (which consequently never got played in) and we put the bunk beds together in his room. we made up this elaborate story about a man and his son that were traveling from the florida keys to idaho in a tractor trailer truck... it got way more in depth than that, but i won't go into further details. i'll never forget that game!

What do you like most about your friends?
i like that they love me for who i am... and that i can be crazy around them

Favorite dessert?
oh my goodness, who knows... i seriously love dessert. right now, i would say that it would be peanut butter chocolate ice cream with peanut butter chocolate shell on top.

How do you handle arguments/disagreements with other people?
depends on the person. usually though i will try to figure out a way to smooth it over without getting into any kind of confrontation... and if that doesn't work then i run like hell. HA! well it's not too far from the truth... i need to work on that.

Last thing you dreamed about?
i can't remember... but i dream about the stupidest things every night and unless they are exceptionally stupid i don't remember them for long.

Where were you when 9/11 happened?
i was in my creative writing class

What is the largest amount of popsicles that you have eaten on one day?
maybe like 5 or 6

Would you ever consider living abroad? Where?
absolutely! i would totally love it, and i wouldn't care where... actually that's not entirely true. i wouldn't want to live somewhere colder than here... which isn't hard to do!

Favorite quote:
a man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling "darkness" on the wall of his cell... - CS Lewis

Do you look more like your mom or dad?

Most missed memory:
summers before i was a teenager

Most over asked question on a survey?
questions about favorites

Have you ever done something really stupid that you still laugh at today?
yes... the time that i fell out of my bed and broke my foot.

What color is your mailbox?

Ever hit a deer?
nope, but i had a deer run along side my car the other night. it was so scary.

What aspect of your personality do you like best?
my ability to laugh

What are some things about you that might annoy people?
i am too outspoken sometimes... i say what i am thinking a little too often.

Who has had the greatest impact on your life?

What song reflects your current mood?
i have been listening to the song just another day in paradise by phil vassar all day... i don't think it reflects a mood necessarily but it makes me feel good.

What happened the last time you were completely speechless?
usually when you are speechless you don't have anything to say... not a whole lot you can do from there.

Favorite year of school?
my junior year in high school... the year of beka and rebekah and i... it was amazing.

Ever been bitten by a dog?
probably, but nothing that was worth remembering.

Whats the movie you could watch over and over again?
how to lose a guy in 10 days

What is your most embarrassing childhood memory?
well it's not so embarassing now, but then it totally was. i was about 8 and i called my friend but i forgot that she was in school all day (i was homeschooled) i was going to just leave a message but her dad picked up the phone. i panicked and didn't know what to do so i just said that i had the wrong number... and her dad was like "hi amanda" when i asked him how he knew it was me, he said that it was my number on the caller id... i almost died... and really thinking back on it, it wasn't even bad lol

Did you go to preschool?

Do you consider yourself creative?
totally. i love to make things that are artsy and even fartsy. i like to write too and i think that is creative.

What kind of shampoo do you use?
literally whatever is in the shower... i have been trying different ones to see if i can make my hair less greasy... i hate the word greasy by the way... it just sounds soo, well... greasy.


I have been thinking lately that i haven't posted any random and or crazy stories... which after all, I am known for. So i thought i would post one now to remedy that.

let's talk about my benevolently acquired super nintendo game system. if you were born in the 80's then you will for sure know what I am talking about here, but if not then i will explain a little.

Nintendo made it's debut in 1978 in the form of an arcade game Computer Othello. In 1981 Donkey Kong was created and instantly became hugely popular. Then the first NES (nintendo entertainment system) finally came out in 1985. After a few years the original NES, nintendo got pushed aside as we moved on to what we knew then as the greatest advancement in gaming history, the Super NES.Welcome to the early 90's.

I had a friend who lived a few houses down on my street and we would spend hours playing on her SNES. Our favorite game to play was Donkey Kong, and when DK2 came out, we invested a large part of our memory space into that.

So here I am, 16 years later in the year 2008 still playing DK2. I don't know for sure how many times I have beaten the game. After you beat a game once then there is always the challenge of beating it better the next time! Well at least that's how I think. So last night, my brother Dan and I began yet again a team game of DK2 and worked our way almost through Krem Quay before we hit the deck. In non-gaming terms, that means world 3... still a game term... oh well.

So there is a pathetic and random story about a piece of my childhood that I still carry with me today.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

more self-reflection

I am doing a Bible study right now online, and tonight as i was reading through and answering the questions, this one came up. Sometimes i don't really think too hard about the questions, but this one really hit home for me, and brought forth some emotions that i didn't really know i had. The question was basically this:

Matthew 6:24 says you cannot serve two masters,
you will love the one and hate the other,
or be devoted to the one and despise the other.
if you continue in your sin, one of two things will eventually happen:
you will come to despise God, or repent of your sin.
have you ever come to the point where you hated God because of the sin you were in?

So i wrote my answer:

no, i can honestly say that i've never gotten to a place where i've hated God. i have always held a place in my heart that belongs to Him, but i have made so many mistakes throughout the years. this past year was a really good one for me in a lot of areas. i began to really grab hold of who God is in my life, and how i can let him be who he is and not who i think he should be. i am becoming comfortable in my skin and the fact that i'm not perfect. i've never been ok with that before. i felt that if i couldn't be perfect that God wouldn't want me. that he couldn't just keep forgiving me day after day... but what i've realized is that no matter how hard i try, i'm still not going to be perfect. so why waste my time punishing myself for the things that God took care of on the cross. i realize that God is so much bigger than me or my sin and he has forgiven so much... i could never hate him. he's saved my life, and i owe it to him to do my best... if that means giving up the sinful areas in my life so that i don't ever get to that place of hating him, then i can certainly do that.

I just felt i should share that with whoever reads this. It's so true that God has done so much for us. it's so awesome to be experiencing God the way that I am right now, and he is opening my eyes to see how much i was missing as i allowed certain sins to keep me from where i am now.

Yay God!

gettin back in the groove

All of yesterday was spent doing... well nothing. it was so boring, and i didn't really care. but i did think a lot about how i wouldn't want every day to be like yesterday. Today A and i are going to the strong museum and i'm happy about that. i'm hoping that it will be fun. well i'm sure that A will have fun, i'm thinking selfishly, because it's just the two of us and i think that i will get bored. oh well though. i've been looking forward to getting back to taking trips up there since the end of the summer. We had a membership the expired at the end of august, and when i came in yesterday i found a brand new one on the counter.

Anyways, i've been feeling like i need to write some reflective thoughts down. I mean that's what you're supposed to do this time of year right? Well i'm not going to write the whole new year's resolution bit, or the one about how i'm not going to write about new year's resolutions. i'm just going to write about my life and how things have changed and how i am praying that it will continue.

i am a very analytical person, and for so long this has been a huge thorn in my side. it's taken me a long time to get comfortable in my own skin. So here is a sort of "list" of things that have happened for me this past year.

> this is the first year that i've really begun to realize who i am and what i was made for.
> i have begun to let go of my obsessive tendencies that tell me i have to do things perfectly, or not at all.
> i have started realizing who God is in my life, and that is huge because for a long time i had no idea where he fit.
> i feel stable and like i am learning how to commit to the things i am doing.
> i stopped obsessing about finishing school and decided to just do it at my own pace.
> i began my life as a jet-setter... and it changed my life.

Those are pretty much the big things. There's like a million other little things, but i can save that for now. I am praying that in large part, this past year repeats itself in a lot of ways. i feel like this past year has really enriched my life. I wouldn't wish for a year to repeat itself often, because i realize that that's not always a good thing. But there were a lot of cool things that began that i would like to see continue on

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

the real new year's eve

i've already posted about one event that occurred last night, but this next thing i felt needed it's own post.

I went down to avoca last night to spend the night with alicia. we went to some people from her church's house where we played games and laughed about the most ridiculous things ever. things not worth mentioning here... or ever, HA!

well midnight came and went, and aside from the fact that verizon went down for about 2 hours straight and noone could text or call we had a great time. it was alicia's first time to actually watch the ball drop. we thought about tricking her into being out of the room when it happened, but realized that she would have been truly devastated if we had done that.

shortly after all that, we left and went to the local truck stop to have some late night grease. and i do mean grease. i swear, it's one of those places where you have to suppress every fraction of neurotocism in your mind to be able to even drink the water. it's NASTY. I had a brownie sundae and alicia and beth had french fries. none of which were very good but that's not the point.

throughout this time, none of us had been drinking and didn't have any plans to (besides the bars had already given the last call) I had this "feeling" that i was going to get pulled over and i was kinda worried because i didn't have my license with me. but i was telling myself that it was ridiculous, i wasn't going to get pulled over.

well sure enough. I got pulled over.

he pulled me over because apparently i crossed both the white and yellow lines while he was following me. i think i crossed the white line when i went around a curve, but not excessively. beth was driving behind me and said she never saw me go over the yellow one.

the cop was really friendly, i am pretty sure he was a newbie, and i almost asked him... but i didn't HA!

So that's my great story for new years eve. if you made it through, good for you! wow, i am rhyming... i am tired. later on i'm going to post about some more reflective thoughts, since that's what you're supposed to do this time of year.

from my mom

I just got home from a wild night of rousing and fun new years eve activities to find this email in my inbox. It's from my mother, and it made me laugh.

Human interest story -- this morning when we came home (about 1:30), I found a small baggie on the floor -- nearly shredded. I thought the cats had gotten something from the trash and had a "picnic" with it. I bent over to pick it up and realized it was the bag I'd had in the cupboard that HAD been full of CATNIP. It was ALL OVER the kitchen floor! They were very happy cats! They had climbed up on the counter and grabbed it out of the cupboard (apparently) and had had themselves quite the party!

I love my cats, they are great. Last year was sophie's first Christmas and after we put up our tree she found a little lamb ornament that i had had since i was little and since it was made out of cotton it was the perfect thing for her to shred into pieces. my mom was more upset than i was, but instead of being distraught, she just took the ornament and put it in a ziploc bag and wrote "Sophie's first Christmas" on it.

My mom rox my sox!

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