Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in 13 Photos: Searching Hard for 13 Pics So I Can Join the Link-Up

Okay, well, it's been an interesting few months around here, and I've definitely let the blogging slide while I try to get the Graves' Disease under control.  And of course, right when I was going to get started again about a month ago, hubby gets sick, then I get sick, then hubby gets sick AGAIN, then Christmas, so yeah.  Bad blogger!  Anyway, here are 13 fantastic photos from the last year.  Please enjoy feasting your eyes on these (recycled from previous blog posts) photos, and I hope to be back strong in the new year.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Still here

Wow, it's been a month since I wrote a post.  I don't know if anyone even reads this blog, but if so, sorry for dropping off the face of the web like that.  I'm still here, and I have ideas of things I want to write down.  It just seems like I don't have the motivation to do so.  I think most of my extra energy has all gone into dealing with the Graves Disease, and that has left me feeling drained and blue.    Hopefully that will change soon, and I'll get back to blogging.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 11

Wow!  It's been a month since the last time I participated in the Quick Takes carnival.  It does't seem that long, but then a lot has happened since then.  I went to the ER a couple of weeks ago because my heart was racing, and it seems I have hyperthyroidism.  More than likely I have Graves' disease, which is an auto-immune disease that causes over-active thyroid.

Now, I'm not saying I'm glad I have this condition, because I'm not.  I'm not looking forward to being a daily medicine taker for the rest of my life, for one thing.  But, I am very happy to know that the tremors, racing heart, heat intolerance, and panic-attacks all have an actual cause (read: NOT hypochondria), and it's fairly easy to treat.  Ain't medical science grand?

That smile?  Soooo not how I was really feeling.  I was one sick girlie.
I've always loved the idea of a home library.  My ideal home library

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Five Favorites: Vol. 1

Five Favorites, hosted at

Big Tex is back at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas!
We love going to the Texas State Fair every year (usually multiple times).  There is so much fun involved:  great shows, thrilling rides, amazing people watching, and of course, FRIED FOOD!  If you've never been, come on down to Texas and check it out.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Story in Pictures: My Trip to the ER

This is me.

heart beat photo: Heart beat beat1.gif
This is how fast my heart was beating when I just sitting and doing nothing.  (That's 120 beats per minute, in case you're wondering.)

This is me in the Emergency Room, where my primary care doc sent me after an EKG really concerned her.  I think she was afraid I might have a heart attack.  To be completely honest, I was afraid of that too.  My heartrate was between 120 and 150 bpm at rest.  YIKES!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Careful What You Wish

Who here likes Metallica?  Don't be shy now, raise your hand.  I'll admit, I went through a Metallic-fangirl period when I was younger.  Although they aren't my favorite band anymore (if you've read my previous posts, you should know which one is my favorite), I still enjoy listening to them every now and then.  One of my favorites is the song "King Nothing".  One part of the lyrics really stands out to me:
Careful what you wish.  Careful what you say.  Careful what you wish, you may regret it.  Careful what you wish, you just might get it.  
Or in my case, be careful what you pray for.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 10

Already stylin'!

Here he is!!  My brand new nephew, Jonah, also know as the Little Flirt.  That's right, at only a week old, he's already good with the ladies!  I was holding him while he slept this evening, and I was trying to slowly coax him awake so he could eat.  He started streeeetching and yaaaaawning and opening his eyes into little slits, so I thought I was making progress.  Then, he fell back asleep!  I called him a tease, and he gave this impudent little half-smile. Such a Little Flirt he is, trying to win his auntie over.

Thanks to all who prayed for my sister to have a good labor!  It's much appreciated.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Quick Prayer Request

My sister is having labor induced today, because that stubborn baby boy just won't come on his own!

So, if you have a spare minute, please say a prayer for my sister to

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GOTR Weekend

Remember how I said I love the band Mumford and Sons?  Guess what I got to do this last weekend:  I went to see them in concert!  Specifically, I went to the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in the little town of Guthrie, Oklahoma.

For those who don't know, Mumford and Sons have their own label called "Gentlemen of the Road," and last summer and this they have hosted a series of weekend music festivals, which they call Stopovers, in small towns that don't normally get concert traffic.  They invited about a dozen of their favorite bands to come out and perform on Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 9

I changed my blog background.  Do you like it?  I decided I wanted something a little more personal and pertinent than the generic picture that came with the template, soooooo I took a picture of my bookshelf and used that.  Ta da!  If your eyesight is good enough to read the titles, you will be privy to some of the actual books in my library.  See any of your favorites on there?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Seven Quick Takes - Vol. 8

In this post last week, I discussed some of the good and the bad of my introversion/shyness.  Rebecca left a lovely comment on the post about the 4 Temperaments, which I found very helpful.  I looked up a 4 Temperaments test online and took it, and, surprise surprise, I'm a Melancholic!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm Not Angry, Dagnabbit!!

My mouth naturally turns down at the corners when I'm not smiling.

I have two all-too-frequent frown lines between my eyebrows, because bright light causes a glare that makes me unconsciously furrow my brows in an attempt to protect my eyes.

Apparently, I look angry most of the time.  I'm not, actually.  But I've had several people tell me that I look like it, when all I'm doing is just sitting there and being!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learning to Love Myself (Vol. 4)

There is one part of myself which I have always hated.  Call it what you will:  shyness, introversion, social awkwardness, difficulty connecting with other people and making friends.  (Or all of the above, really.)

You know how little kids will hide behind their parent's legs when introduced to someone new?  I'm 34 years old and that's still what I want to do when I meet new people!  It's frustrating, lemme tell ya.  It makes making friends hard-to-impossible, and going to a party FULL of people I don't know?  DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE LEVELS OF STRESS THIS CAUSES!!!
Being awkward:  Because I couldn't possibly feel more like an ass than I already do.

One of the worst things is that I think back on my life and wonder

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Seven Quick Takes - Vol. 7

I love me some thrift store shopping!  The thrill of the hunt for that perfect bargain balances out the frustration of searching through horribly disordered racks and shelves for something in my size and style.  Every so often, if you're really lucky, you come across a little gem like this, as I did when searching the men's section for jeans for the husband.
Because what lord of creation doesn't need "Constant Elevation" plastered across his ass?

Or how about this snazzy piece?  Neon yellow with gray striping.  Perfect for those nights when you feel like impersonating a TV with no horizontal hold.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Learning to Love Myself (Vol. 3)

OK, this may sound a little odd, but one thing I really like about myself is my large bone structure.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Hunh?  Who in the world loves their bone structure?!  This lady is grasping at straws."  Why yes, I am grasping at straws, thankyouverymuch.  (It's a lot harder to find things I like/love about myself than I thought it would be.)  But please, allow me to explain.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Inexplicable Me

You know those people that are difficult to get along with?  There's just something about them: either they rub you the wrong way, or they mystify and annoy you with their oddness, or they bore you so much that you dread talking to them.  The people that it's so easy to forget about because that's so much easier and more pleasant than being with them. 

Yeah.  I'm pretty sure that's me.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 6

Why, Texas?  Why do you have to be 105 face-melting, energy-draining, will-to-live-sapping degrees?  My car gets so hot inside after a day in the sun that I expect to hear sizzling anytime my skin touches ANY non-cloth surface.  I love slow-cooked barbeque, but I don't want to BE slow-cooked barbeque, so please, a little cool front would be fantastic!

Apparently, I'm getting my wish.  I decided to consult the weather forecast after writing my first take, and check this out!
Dallas 7 day Forecast
WOW!  Look at all those days under 100.  Downright chilly!

I'm a catechist at my parish.  For those who don't know that word, it means

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Learning to Love Myself (Vol. 2)

You know what?  It's really hard to identify things I like about myself.  Good traits.  Things about me that are  lovable.  I had to sit and ponder for a while before I came up with something.

I am a thinker, and I love that about myself.  I haven't always, though.  There have been (and still are) times when my analytical mind has been frustrating.  For example,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 5

*If you have followed a link here from Facebook, please click the "Home" tab at the top of the page to take you to the most up-to-date homepage, then scroll down to read more recent posts.  Thanks!*

In a post earlier this week, I shared that I am combatting negative thoughts that I think about myself.  I am learning to love myself a little better, and I'm doing so by finding and sharing one thing about myself that I like or love every week.

I know that negative self-thinking is probably far more wide-spread than I realize, so consider yourself invited to join me in acknowledging your lovely, lovable qualities every Wednesday.  If you have a blog and decide to share your lovely qualities with the blog-o-sphere in a post, please come share the link to the post in my combox so we can all go read about what makes you lovable!

I've been rereading Pride and Prejudice lately, as well as reading a few other Jane Austen novels for the first time, specifically Emma and Mansfield Park.  I love how witty the dialogue is, and I really love the sweetness of the romances.

But I have discovered something else...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Learning to Love Myself (Vol. 1)

I think a lot of people tend to think of themselves in a negative light.  They focus on their faults, their failings, and what they don't like about themselves.  I know that I do this far too often.  I find it too easy to make self-deprecatory statements and play them off like jokes.

I think we all need to be a little more charitable to ourselves.  We need to recognize the lovely, funny, beautiful, and gifted parts of ourselves.  We need to remember that we are lovable because God made us and loves us.

Now, keep in mind, I'm not advocating self-centeredness or narcissism.  Just a healthy acknowledgment of the gifts and blessings God has actually given to each of us (which, by the by, is the part of the definition of humility).

So, that's what I'm going to do.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 7: I Made It

7 posts in 7 days really wore me out!
Well, I did it!  I successfully wrote 7 posts in 7 days, in response to the Jen Fulwiler's blogging challenge over on Conversion Diary.  And boy, am I pooped!  It was harder than I thought it would be.  Not so much because I couldn't think of things to say, because trust me, I've got plenty of opinions on plenty of subjects that I don't mind sharing with anybody dumb interested enough to listen.  No, the tough thing was just finding the time every day.  I work full time, and I have a nastily long commute to and from work.  So by the time I get home, I'm pretty tired and just want to relax, not spend even more time in front of the computer trying to compose a new blog post.  At least, not every single day.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 6: What To Do, What To Do

Well, I've got a long and busy day today, so I don't have time for a longer, more coherent post.  So here are my thoughts on things I want to do (or should be doing).

  • Read Scripture more.  I need to develop a daily Scripture reading habit, because how can I hear what God wants to say to me if I don't bother listening to his Word.
  • Start working away at the rather large backlog of books in my personal library.  You remember this picture:  
          Well, at least two full shelves of books need to be read.  Cripes, that's going to take me a while!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 5: 7 Quick Takes - Vol. 4

I've been participating in Jen's 7-Posts-in-7-Days blogging challenge.  I've discovered a couple of things.
     1.  Blogging every day is HARD.  I guess my writing muscles are weak and flabby or something, because  it is a real challenge for me to come up with the words to say every day.  Especially when I'm drained after a day of work and an hour+ commute home.
     2.  I like writing, and I think I'll keep it up.

My husband and I went on vacation with my parents at the beginning of July for a whole week.  We drove a loop through Memphis, Chattanooga, Charleston, Birmingham, and back to Texas.  We rode a train, walked through downtown historic Charleston, visited a monastery and a plantation, and went fishing in the Atlantic.  It was a lot of fun!  And it rained on us for two days straight!  And I got a cold that developed into bronchitis half-way through the trip, and which I'm still suffering from now!  FUN!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 4: Au Naturale

Sex au naturale, that is.  As in, we use no contraception of any kind, and we haven't since sometime within the first year of our marriage.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, because it is National Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week this week, and I want to tell you a little bit about it from my experience and encourage you to ditch the birth control, and use NFP to space pregnancies instead.

What is Natural Family Planning?  It is a scientific process of determining when during her cycle a woman is fertile and when she is infertile, and using that information to determine when to have or not have intercourse in order to achieve or avoid a pregnancy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 3: Restless

I feel restless, and I'm having a hard time pinning down what the restlessness is due to.  All I know is that something is missing.  Or maybe, several somethings are missing; I'm not sure.

Something is missing, or I'm not doing something I should be doing.  I can think of lots of things that fit this bill:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 2: A Recipe and A Debate

So, on Facebook today I asked for some suggestions on topics to blog about this week.  I got some good ideas, and since I'm writing this Monday night, and I'm tired and want to go to bed, I'm going to choose the easy suggestions for Tuesday's post.

At my buddy Amy's suggestion:

Stuffed Pasta Shell Appetizer

Monday, July 22, 2013

7 in 7 - Day 1: Finding My Voice

I love to read.  Oh man, do I ever love to read!  Books, articles, blogs: whatever I can get my hands on.  And after a lifetime of being a reading nut, I can definitely say that one of the most important components of a good read (for me, at least) is the voice of author.
Behold my personal stash

Sunday, July 21, 2013

7 Posts in 7 Days: I Must Be A Little Insane

Jen Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary has issued an epic blogging challenge to any interested bloggers, and I'm just nutty enough to take her up on it.

The challenge:  to write 7 blog posts in 7 days, starting Monday, July 22 (tomorrow!!!) and ending Sunday, July 28.
This is me by the end of this week.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 3

Kaboom Town in Addison, TX. Not only is the fireworks show fantastic, but the folks there know how to get the party STARTED, because this Independence Day event is always on July 3RD. That's 2 DAYS OF FIREWORKS IN A ROW, y'all!!

This cake is full of awesomeness. I want to make it, and then I want to eat it. Of course, my baking creativity doesn't really get much better than box cake mix, so an attempt to make it would likely be a big fail. But I would still eat it. Yeah, I think I've got that one covered.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Enjoying Life on Two Wheels

My old, faithful, old, slightly rusty (did I mention old?) bike.
You know that feeling you get when you're coasting down a hill, the wind whipping your hair into crazy banners behind you, as you speed along faster than you could ever manage to get by just pedaling?

Yeeeaaaahhh, that's the one.  I love that feeling!

Recently James got a new bike, and I dragged out my old one from college.  We've been trying to ride for a least a little bit every day, in an attempt to get more exercise than just walking from the car into work and back out again.  Getting exercise outdoors in the face-melting heat that is the special hell purgatory of a Texas summer can be daunting, especially for people like me, who have lost all of their ability to withstand the heat after years of near-constant exposure to air conditioning.

Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 2

--- 1 ---
I am going on vacation for the first time in 4 long years this year.  I'm pretty stinkin' excited about that, because I love to see new places and try new foods.  We were considering going to Colorado and Utah, but  unfortunately those states seem to have CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!  At least, the parts we were wanting to go to did.  So, even though the wildfires will likely be out by the time we actually travel, since the fire danger is high for the rest of the year, we are planning on going in the completely opposite direction.  See how smart we are?

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Knotty Little Problem

Definition of a GORDIAN KNOT
1.  an intricate problem; especially : a problem insoluble in its own terms -- often used in the phrase cut the Gordian knot
2.  a knot tied by Gordius, king of Phrygia, held to be capable of being untied only by the future ruler of Asia, and cut by Alexander the Great with his sword

FEAR.  As far back as I can remember, I have been afraid.  Now, I know everybody is afraid at some time or another in their lives.  It's normal, and even good, to experience some fear.  But I have always seemed to take it a notch or 10 beyond normal, and I don't know why.  Being afraid is so deeply ingrained, that it just feels like part of who I am.

Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 1

I've loved reading Jennifer Fulwiler's weekly quick takes blog carnival for several years, so now that I finally have a little blog of my very own, I thought I might try joining in!

--- 1 ---
Have you ever clenched your teeth so tightly that it makes your jaw hurt?  Yeah?  Well, I can beat that.  I clench my teeth so tightly, and so often, that MY WHOLE FACE HURTS!!!  The first time it happened, I thought I had a never-ending sinus infection that refused to respond to any medication whatsoever.  Nope, turns out, I'm just really high-strung.  I need to d-e-c-o-m-p-r-e-s-s, but apparently, what I've been doing to relax isn't working, because, yeah, MY FACE HURTS.

Do you have any suggestions for stress-relief/relaxation that works for you and you think I should try?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Picking At Scabs

You know what I'm talking about.  You do something stupid and get a big ol' bloody, oozy scrape. After a little while, it finally starts to heal over and form a nice, thick scab.

And you Can't. Stop. Thinking about it!

It itches and catches on things, and you keep finding yourself subconsciously rubbing at it.  Eventually, you give in and start picking at it in earnest, working at it until you've peeled the darn thing off.

And then you start bleeding again. Of course.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Do You Know What I Love? (vol. 1)

I don't know about you, but it is so easy for me to fall into a negative attitude.  I hear the phrase, "Do you know what I hate...." coming out of my mouth way too often sometimes.  (Especially after a particularly nasty 1.25 hour commute home from work like I had earlier this week.  GEEZ LOUISE, Dallas, learn to drive!!)

So, in an effort to remind myself to smile and be positive:

Glitter Text -

(oooh, sparkly!!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Who's Yo' Mama?!

So many people think motherhood begins when a woman gives birth.  They're wrong.  No, it doesn't even begin when she conceives a child.

It begins in the heart and soul of a woman, long before a new life might start growing inside her.  Indeed, it begins at her own conception.  At the first moment of her life, motherhood is a part of her very being.  A part of what she IS.  She can't escape it, any more than she can escape herself.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Burn, Baby, Burn

Five long years.  More than 60 heartbreaking months.  Over 1,825 days of riding a rollercoaster of hopefulness, despondency, and aching resignation.  God only knows how many more days, weeks, months, and years of the same are in my future.

I am infertile.

Friday, April 5, 2013

You Can't Squeeze Blood From A Stone

Poor thing!  He's exhausted from trying!

It's a funny saying, isn't it.  Of course you can't squeeze blood from a stone.  It's ROCK, for crying out loud!  It's cold and hard and just doesn't have any blood to give because it isn't alive.

So why do I seem to insist on squeezing, like a crazy person?  Why do I want to yell, "If I just keep squeezing, keep trying, harder and harder, eventually I will get something out of this dang stone"?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Procrastinators Unite!!!

Hopefully, I will be as awesome as this guy!

Well, this has been a long time coming.  The idea of starting a blog has niggled at the back of my mind for, ooohhh, 2-3 years now.  I, however, have steadfastly ignored the siren's call of blogging using only the strength of my mighty, mighty procrastination skills.  Impressed yet?

The niggling has persisted, and gotten more frequent, and so I have decided to cave in and give blogging a try.  I don't know how successful this will end up being, but what the heck!  I do a lot of thinking, and this may be a good place to work through and organize my thoughts.  And if people want to chime in with their own thoughts and ideas, even better!!