Saturday, April 30, 2011
I have a habit of buying the cheapest, shortest-lasting umbrellas ever made. When standing in front of a selection of them in a store, I always pick the $5 one. Never fails.
It lasts maybe two rain storms, and breaks.
Then I'm back at the store, buying another two-use umbrella.
But then, last summer, I splurged on a $12.99 umbrella! I'm happy to say that I still have it and it's still going strong.
Please let this be a lesson - learn from my mistakes: spend a few extra dollars and purchase a worth-while umbrella. You won't regret it.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Teachers are the unsung hearoes of our world. In a recent article I read on msnbc.com, teaching ranked as the #3 most stressful job in the nation, second only to careers in the medical profession.
I come from a long line of teachers. My grandmother was one, my mother was and so are all 3 of her sisters. I also married one of the world's best teachers. And, even though I am planning for a career as a guidance counselor, I have spent the past two years in the classrooms of some of the most wonderful, caring, dedicated, underpaid, underappreciated people ever.
A typical day in the life includes getting to work at 7:30am, making copies, answering emails, making sure students don't kill each other before school even starts, monitoring classrooms, hallways and bathrooms, listening to students who have drama going in their lives, listening to fellow teachers who have drama in their lives, monitoring situations between students who don't get along, keeping an eye on hyperactive students who can't focus, watching a lunchroom full of students who are constantly trying to get away with something, providing boundaries and discipline to 100 different children a day, considering 100 different learning styles, grading papers, entering grades into a non-user-friendly online gradebook, planning for the next day, preparing materials for the remainder of the week, taking a verbal beating from a parent whose student is failing because they haven't turned in work for 4 weeks, motivating every student to pass a standardized test a mere 3 weeks away from summer vacation...
...oh yeah, and teaching lessons.
I have the utmost respect for teachers who dedicate their lives to the profession, because that's what it takes to be a great teacher. It's not just a job, it is a lifestyle that these brave people have chosen. It doesn't end at 3pm and it doesn't end in June when school lets out. It's constant and I applaud those who are up to the challenge.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
A few years ago I got a silly chain email with directions on making a "soundtrack to your life." I looked into it and decided I'd fill one in for myself.
Two weeks later...after carefully selecting songs from a variety of favorite artists...and borrowing cd's from Kelli...here's the finished product. I wouldn't change a thing!
OPENING CREDITS: "Square One" by Coldplay or "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall
WAKING UP SCENE: "Sleeping In" by The Postal Service" or "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane
AVERAGE DAY SCENE: "Times Like These" by Jack Johnson
BEST FRIEND SCENE: "Walking Out of Stride" by Badly Drawn Boy or "The Puppy Song" by Harry Nilsson.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT SCENE: "Hit 'Em Up Style" by Blue Cantrell
FIRST DATE SCENE: "Clark Gable" by The Postal Service or "Nice and Easy" by Frank Sinatra
FALLING IN LOVE SCENE: "Passenger Seat" by Death Cab for Cutie or "Do You Want to Know a Secret" by The Beatles
FIGHT WITH SIGNIFICANT OTHER SCENE: "Consider This" by Anna Nalick or "Long Day" by Matchbox 20
BREAK UP SCENE: ""What If?" by Coldplay or "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" by Brendan Benson
"LIFE'S OKAY" SCENE: "The Hardest Part" by Coldplay
HEARTBREAK SCENE: "I Can't Seem To Make You Mine" by The Clientelle or "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" by Colin Hay
CONCERT DAY SCENE: "Let Me Roll It/Back in the USSR" by Paul McCartney
LIFE ON THE ROAD SCENE: "Clocks" by Coldplay
RUNNING AWAY/MOVING OUT SCENE: "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" by The Postal Service
MAKEOUT SCENE: "American Woman" by Lenny Kravitz
LESSON LEARNING SCENE: "Faith my Eyes" by Caedmon's Call or "We Become Silhouettes" by Postal Service
DEEP THOUGHT SCENE: "Half-Life" by Duncan Sheik or "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds
FLASHBACK SCENE: "100 Years" by Five for Fighting
PARTY SCENE: "You Rock My World" by Michael Jackson
HAPPY DANCE SCENE: "All I Wanna Do" by Cheryl Crow
REGRET SCENE: "Blackbird" by Paul McCartney
LONG NIGHT ALONE SCENE: "It Never Entered my Mind" by Miles Davis or "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" by Ray Charles
DEATH SCENE: "On Your Porch" by The Format
CLOSING CREDITS: "Such Great Heights" by Iron & Wine
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Here are some of my favorite Retro TV shows from the 80's:
1. Saved By The Bell.
How ridiculous is this show? I loved watching this show as a kid and thinking that's what high school was really going to be like. Who remembers the Hawaii episode where 17 year old Zach falls in love with a woman who has a 6 year old child?! And Kelly Kapowski gets into a relationship with a lawyer...? Really? He has to be in his late 20's/early 30's. Illegal? I think so.
2. Full House.
"Have mercy" - I was madly in love with uncle Jesse. This show doesn't ever get old.
3. You Can't Do That On Television.
Why did my parents let me watch this show?
4. The World of David the Gnome.
This was a cartoon about a gnome who lived in the forest and rode on a fox. Anyone?
5. Hey Dude.
I loved this show about life on a dude ranch. Every girls goes through a horse phase, right?
6. Fraggle Rock.
I loooooooove puppets! This show had it all, as far as I was concerned; adventure, a catchy theme song, and puppets! "Laugh your cares away...worries for another day..."
7. Perfect Strangers.
Cousin Larry and Balki Bartokomous got into some sticky situations...always good for a laugh!
8. Double Dare.
Who didn't want to be on this show?! I loved it and always fantasized about competing in the final challenge - sliding down into a giant sized ice cream sundae to retrieve a tiny red flag before the bell rings...!!!
9. The Snorks.
Another beloved cartoon about a group of mysterious under water creatures...
10. Hey Vern, It's Ernest!
This show is soooo obnoxious but boy did I love it as a kid. We currently have the first season on DVD, courtesy of my in-laws.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
These are some of my favorite quotes from all types of famous, not-so-famous (and otherwise) people from the past and present:
"All that glitters is not gold, and not all who wander are lost."
"Any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value."
"It wasn't that the Gospel proved useful for my many worries, but that the Gospel proved the uselessness of my worries, and so refocused my whole attention."
- Henri J. Nouwen
"We are called to be fruitful - not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness.”
-Henri J. Nouwen
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
-C. S. Lewis
"Now to him who is able to do beyond all things, super-abundantly beyond all we ask or think, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end! Amen."
"if it is possible, as much as depends on you, live at peace with everyone"
"Having grievances or resentments is like drinking poison and thinking it will kill your enemy."
What are some of your favorites?
Monday, April 25, 2011
Those of you who know me understand my love for this man. I grew up listening to his songs, courtesy of my mother (who lived in London in the 60's when the Beatles were just getting started).
My lovely and dear friend Kelli sent me 2 books one year for my birthday. One was of Paul McCartney's artwork, and the other was of his poetry. These are among my favorite gifts that I've ever received simply because this girl gets me. I've pored over the pages of these books because I love the poetic way he sees the world. My favorite poem/song of his is "Blackbird." (Trivia fact - it's also my all-time-favorite song)
When we lived in Ohio, Andrew (who shares an appreciation for Sir Paul) and I heard that Paul McCartney was coming to Columbus! We looked into it only to find that the tickets were waaaaaaaaaaay out of our price range. Sad that he was going to be 20 minutes from our apartment, we resigned ourselves to purchasing the DVD of the show and pretending we were there....
A few weeks later, I got a phone call from Mandy Fessahazion (Mandy Taylor, at the time) informing me that her dad had 4 tickets to see Paul McCartney. In Columbus. At the Schottenstein.
Then...she invited Andrew and I to go with her and David.
I should have pulled my car over because I was immediately intoxicated from the excitement. We were going to see Paul McCartney!!!!! LIVE!
I blogged about it when I was on xanga.com, and here's what my experience was like. I get goosebumps reading this!
Where to begin…let’s start with a special thanks to Mandy for scoring the tickets to begin with! These weren’t just any tickets…they were INCREDIBLE tickets! We were no more than 100 feet away from Paul McCartney! 2nd row, in the middle on the right side of the stage…
Paul was on fire! For 63 years old, he is quite the entertainer. I was literally breathless watching him – completely in awe. I found myself with my jaw hanging unabashedly open several times. Andrew and I kept looking at each other, wide eyed and in disbelief saying “That is Paul McCartney right there!!!!!” It was hard to sit or stand still…he played all of our favorites, including a lot of his new stuff.
Then it happened. We recognized the song in the first two notes. Our favorite. “Let Me Roll It” – we were on our feet, arms entangled in one another’s, swaying to the music and belting out every word…with our eyes closed. It must’ve caught the attention of the camera man because when I realized that I was at the concert and could open my eyes and see Paul McCartney in front of me, I opened them to find a camera with a bright light on top of it filming our every dorky move. With nothing to lose, we continued to sway and wail to the song. Once he moved on, we erupted in laughter! We sooo made it on to the DVD. Paul McCartney will likely watch that DVD some day, and will see me, clad proudly in my “No More Landmines” t-shirt, singing his music.
He played for 3 hours straight. His band is absolutely incredible, but I’d have to say that my favorite is Abe, the drummer. He is so animated and sooo talented. I’m still in absolute awe. Neither Andrew or I could sleep Saturday night, we just laid awake repeating to each other “we just saw Paul McCartney…”
It was easily the of the top 10 best nights of my life.
I SAW PAUL McCARTNEY!!!!!!
I doubt I’ll be able to focus much this week, I’m still totally on a high from it. It was such a special time for Andrew and I, and we made some lasting memories. And I don’t mean to discount the amazing experience we had, but I have to say this – as enthralled as I was and as astounding as the whole event was, it wasn’t a deeply moving, spiritual experience like I have when I’m worshipping Jesus. It made me sad for the people there who will never have that, who only have the high that comes from a wonderful secular event like that. It’s almost as if I left there feeling like something was missing.
There’s nothing like looking forward to something for 6 months and not being let down! He really delivered and I will never forget it.
AND I SAW PAUL McCARTNEY!!!!!!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I love the ocean. Love it. Everything about it....aside from going in it.
I could sit on the sand for hours (and I have, this week!) and watch the waves roll in and out. There's nothing like it. Any stress or tension I might be feeling rolls right off of me with it. The sound, the feel, the breeze, the smell...it's my favorite place to be.
I used to love going in the ocean, until the shark incident of 06.
Long story short, Andrew and I were splashing around at Myrtle Beach. He was trying to teach me how to body surf. We were standing approximately 6-8 feet apart. Andrew gasped and pointed to the water, and exclaimed "Look at that!!!" I turned and saw a shark.
Yes, a real, live, 4-5 foot shark.
Before I knew it, I was running full speed toward the empty beach, flailing my limbs and screaming the word "shark!!!"
Since then, I've been paralyzed by fear any time I think about stepping foot in the ocean.
I still love and adore everything else about it. So it's filled with man-eating, dangerous and potentially deadly fish/mammals...I hold no grudges.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The way I got my name is a great story.
So...the night before I was born, my parents watched "Peter Pan" with my brother. My dad stated that he liked the name "Wendy." My mom shrugged it off - she'd wanted to name her daughter "Ashley."
A few hours later, I was born. My dad signed the birth certificate and put my name down as "Wendy!"
They brought me in to see my mom and she said that she didn't have a Wendy, she had an Ashley.
My dad has some explaining to do.
Really, my mom was just glad I was healthy....
And that's how I came to be a Wendy!!
Friday, April 15, 2011
I want to visit the Mediterranean so badly.
Perhaps on a cruise? Perhaps. Or maybe we could go backpacking along the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea.
While seeing Italy, France and Spain would be wonderful, I think I'd spend most of my time in Greece. I love their food - I could eat Hummus, Spanikopita and Baklava all day long. Andrew and I went to a Greek Festival last summer and felt like we'd died and gone to heaven.
Not only do they have amazing delicasies, they also have this:
As long as we're wishing and money isn't an option, I'd stay there for about a month in a seaside bed and breakfast. I love the simplicity and beauty of the white buildings with blue rooves. I'd rent a scooter and see the sights! Sounds like a dream.
Where would you go if money and time weren't standing in the way?
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Yesterday's post was about something that makes me laugh. A lot. I think it is adorable and hilarious all at the same time.
Andrew and I have discussed this at great length and have decided that talking about comedies (movies) that you like can be divisive. It seems, for some reason, that if you say "I saw this movie and it was hilarious" to a friend, who then goes out and watches it and didn't find it the least bit funny, that you feel like they are personally attacking you. Too much? Maybe.
Have you ever noticed, though, that if you both have the same sense of humor and find the same movies to be hysterical, that it can bring you even closer in your friendship? You start quoting lines of the movie to each other, it becomes and inside joke, etc. So with that being said I am going to go out on a limb and tell you the top 5 comedies that make me laugh long and hard every time I see them, in no particular order:
What are your faves? Maybe we'll connect - maybe we'll end our friendship...
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I do not know how to juggle.
I've always wanted to learn but simply haven't. One night, I successfully juggled 3 clementines for about five seconds. I tried over and over to do it again, but failed. I managed to show Andrew but I got so excited that I dropped them all.
If anyone reading this knows how to juggle - please teach me. I'm desperate to know the secret!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Who doesn't love ice cream? Seriously.
A few years ago, Andrew discovered this little gem and taught his Chemistry class how to make ice cream. We, of course, had to test it at home first and it was a hit.
Here's how ya do it:
•1/2 cup milk
•1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
•1/4 cup sugar
•1/4 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring
•1/2 to 3/4 cup sodium chloride (NaCl) as table salt or rock salt
•2 cups ice
•1-quart ZiplocTM bag
•1-gallon ZiplocTM bag
1.Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or any other flavor extract you'd like - I'm a fan of coconut) to the quart ziplocTM bag. Seal the bag securely.
2.Put 2 cups of ice into the gallon ziplocTM bag.
3.Use a thermometer to measure and record the temperature of the ice in the gallon bag (you don't really need to do this part)
4.Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup salt (sodium chloride) to the bag of ice.
5.Place the sealed quart bag inside the gallon bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon bag securely.
6.Gently rock the gallon bag from side to side. It's best to hold it by the top seal or to have gloves or a cloth between the bag and your hands because the bag will be cold enough to damage your skin (this is true, it gets super cold! I wear oven mitts)
7.Continue to rock the bag for 10-15 minutes or until the contents of the quart bag have solidified into ice cream.
8.Remove the quart bag, open it, serve the contents into cups with spoons and ENJOY!
If you are a science nerd and want to know the explanation for why this does what it does - go here
Saturday, April 9, 2011
These are some things that make me truly happy:
1. Seeing my parents hold hands
2. Kisses from Andrew
4. A really good book
6. Hearing the perspective of a child
7. Crab legs
8. Sitting and watching the ocean
9. Helping someone
10. Sleeping in
12. Warm weather
13. Seeing new places and experiencing new things
16. Getting a hair cut
18. My friends. All of them
19. Every memory I have of college
20. The freedoms I have every day
A lot of the things on my list are edible. Maybe that's a problem...
What are some things that make YOU happy?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Another year at home, Jason (who has always preferred to hide the eggs) surprised me with a real live bunny as a grand prize. I have a true fear of rodents (we had them all growing up – mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and bunnies – and each one bit me multiple times) and while I appreciated the gesture, I turned it down in favor of a more friendly, less scary chocolate bunny.
Monday, April 4, 2011
This was the day we "adopted" her (05/07/2008)
We tried coming up with a really great name for Cat, but nothing stuck. It wasn't until we had to take her to the vet and they asked for her name that we had to come up with something permanent. I was embarassed to call her "Cat" so I said the first thing that came to my head - "Penny!" (We had just been listening to "Penny Lane" by the Beatles in the car). So now when the vet calls about Penny I forget and tell them they have the wrong number. It's a problem. So Cat has learned to get along with both of the dogs, and even plays with Samson from time to time. Surprisingly, she allows him to help clean her. It's a strange little relationship they have. Maggie, on the other hand, feels that she has to patrol Cat's every action and barks when she does something that Maggie deems inappropriate (i.e. scratching the carpet, etc.)
Here are Cat, Maggie and Samson in their favorite spot - looking out the window.Cat enjoys cuddling, purring, and chasing hair ties around the floor. She is a joy to have around, and Andrew puts up with her in spite of his allergies, and I think we all appreciate that.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
This is Margie and I when we were about 12 at King's Dominion for one of our birthday trips!During my first semester of college I met Jeanne. She and I were hit by a car on the side of the road, and that really does something to bond two people together. We were roommates the next year. She and I share the bond of having gone through one of the scariest experiences in our lives together, hand in hand. I love Jeanne and think of her often. She and her hubby live in Chicago. She is one of the most generous and loving people in the world, and she is the epitome of the word "sweet."
While I was home for a semester in college (due to said accident) I was really lost and lonely, and God brought Leah into my life. She is one of the most ambitious people I know. She has a very strong relationship with the Lord and really helped me to find joy during that dark time. She was never afraid to ask me very pointed questions, and she helped me learn what accountability meant. I can’t think of a memory of the two of us that doesn’t involve coffee or baking of some kind. We were friends all through college and every summer we’d pick up where we left off the year before and were inseparable.
I can't believe I can't find a picture of us together! I'm not sure if we've seen that much of each other since digital cameras were invented.During college I lived with some truly wonderful, smart, compassionate and hilarious girls. I loved their spontaneity, their creativity, their passion and their acceptance. I had some of the best times in my life with these girls. "What are you going to remember in 10 years? Studying, or piling 8 of us into the convertable to drive to Taco Bell?" I needed people who would push me to do my best, to try new things, who would be honest with me, and knew how to have a good time.
During college I met Kelli. She was one of the aforementioned ladies I lived with. She and I spent about 2 years working together at the American Heart Association and I miss those days more than I miss college, I think. We were so carefree, we’d spend our lunch hours together almost every day, either running errands, sipping coffee, indulging at Panera or shopping at JoAnne Fabrics, Target or wherever else we felt like. I also knew I could share anything with her, and I did. Kelli is the most caring, honest and creative person I think I know. I love how she fully embraces and experiences life, the good and the bad. She and I are two peas in a pod and I adore her.
This is Kelli and I at our favorite coffee shop (Stauff's!) during a post-college reunion in Columbus!
Now we live in Virginia and God has blessed me yet again with an incredible group of ladies. We do life together, share our fears and encourage one another in our moments of strength and moments of weakness. I feel free to share my heart with them and know they’ll love me no matter what. I don't know that I've ever felt as loved by any group of people in my life.
Tacky Christmas sweater party at the Snovers!
I’m also very excited to say that my mom is my latest best friend. It hasn’t always been that way, we’ve had a very tumultuous relationship, but in the past few years we’ve really come to be very good friends. She is a fighter – she fought for her marriage, for her son, and has beat cancer twice now. She is an example to me in so many ways and I love basking in the wisdom of her experience. We’ve decided that when we’re both old and gray we’re going to move to a deserted island. Just the two of us, no one else. Whenever life gets to us and we’re overwhelmed, we’ll remind the other of the island and all seems well with the world. Here we are on our cruise in 2009!Then there’s Andrew! He’s been my best friend for over a decade. He and I have learned how to love each other in our brokenness and speak love and truth and encouragement into the other’s lives. Marriage is a journey, I know it’s been said before, but it really has been a long and winding road for the two of us. I’m thrilled to have him by my side. He’s easily the funniest person I know, he has no filter and you always know where you stand with him. He is phony with no one. He’s also a complete genius and has a wonderfully caring heart. I love him.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Today is brought to you by the letter A.
A is for Apples, Artwork and April Fool's Day!
April Fool's Day used to be like Christmas to me, but I'm sad to say that I've lost my gusto. I'm even more embarassed to say that I didn't plan anything major this year.
I think as a young married couple, it is your obligation to pull the "we're pregnant" prank on at least one family member. We did this a few years ago and got the following responses:
Me: "We're pregnant!!"
My Dad: "No you're not, here's your mother..." (he is the one I learned the art of pranking from, so he handed the phone to mom)
Me: "Mom, we're pregnant!" Mom: "What?! You ARE?! I'm going to be a grandmother?! Wait...what's today...? (flipping through her calendar) WENDY! I'm not speaking to you anymore."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the family...
Andrew: "Hi mom, guess what? Wendy's pregnant!"
Andrew's mom: "She is?! That is such great news!"
Then, Andrew kept it going way past the point of it being a joke, using lingo like "we are in our first tri-mester so we aren't really telling anyone yet." He even told his mother "if it's a girl we'd like to name it after you" - I grabbed the phone from him at that point.
This year I'm targetting a co-worker. Andrew's gotten used to all of my "oh no, we slept past the alarm and it's 9am!!!" type jokes, and really doesn't believe half of what I say any more anyway. So far so good, I put tape on my poor, unsuspecting co-worker's mouse so that it doesn't work, changed the font on all of his monthly reports to Chinese, and it's not even noon yet!
What are you doing to celebrate April Fool's Day?