I just finished a book. Never the Bride.

Now, admittedly, I'm a bit of a cheesy girl who likes her sappy love stories from time to time. So I was all excited to fall into a light hearted little book about someone falling in love 27 Dresses style.

Was it ever not what I expected. The beginning was the same...with the main character going on a series of hopeless dates, crushing on her best friend, and wanting love more than anything. But then God shows up. For real. God shows up, in the flesh. And at first I was all, okay, this is weird. But as it went on...it shows both how God wants to romance us...wants us to continually fall in love with Him, and shows how He knows what He's doing, and we're best off when we relinquish our pens to Him and let Him write our life story.

Oh boy, do I need that reminder sometimes. I know so much of how I want my life to go, what I'm working for and what I want to become of it...but that doesn't mean it's God's plan. And I really should let God have the pen in my life...and let Him take the lead. Letting Him bring me where He knows I should be is what I want...I want what He wants for me because I know it's best. But letting go of that pen...letting go and finding out what God wants for me even when it's not what I want...that's the hard part.



I got new glasses, and I think they're fantastic. When my mom mentioned getting new ones because my old ones were getting a little scratched and I'd had them for a couple years, I started thinking about the thicker, librarian type glasses. I wanted black, square ones that stood out more than my other ones did, and that were bigger frames. I loved my old glasses, but they fit tight around my eyes and I wanted a change.

When I got to Eyemart Express and started trying on glasses, most of the ones like that seemed too huge for my face. I was getting all disappointed that the style I really liked didn't appear to work for me, and then I found these. Love them!


I love this family. Kathy was my piano/voice teacher in high school, and her and Bryan have three of the cutest kids in the world, Riley, Ali, and Kaden. This weekend Bryan and Riley got to go on a Boy Scout camping trip...and it rained pretty much from Friday night til Sunday morning. Poor guys! Kathy and her friend went to a woman's worship conference in Green Bay, so I got to hang out with Ali and Kaden on Friday night at Saturday morning! We took a bunch of pictures, here's my favorites.



Any time is a good time to remember and focus on what's really important in life, but especially with the economy being the way it is. No matter your bank account, it's more than possible to find overwhelming happiness.


Round two of the thankful parade.

That makes no sense but it was in my head and I had to spit it out.

Who I'm thankful for today, Alex.

He's this constant in my life lately. We've got an ongoing e-mail from January. It takes forever to load on my computer, and it's full of ramblings from the two of us. Some days it's entirely random and pointless, some days it's deep and meaningful, but it's always there. As often as we can write to one another.

He's such a critic. Loves to play the devil's advocate whenever I'm excited about something, and drives me just crazy enough that I think things through and still tell him everything. He's good to have around.

And, you know, he has hot cars. For a purely shallow reason to like him.

So, thanks God, for blessing me, for now, with Alex, and his thought-provoking tendencies.



Last night I had an excellent night at work. It was surprisingly busy...apparently there was something going on in town that I didn't know about. I was happy to enjoy the business though.

I had a table of four older gentlemen all out for dinner and a beer. They were great. I walked up to their table and asked if they were ready to order, and the man to my right jokingly said some of them weren't quite ready, because of their poor eyesight, they couldn't quite read the menu, did we have any menu readers available. I joked back and said no, that's what their friends are for, and he immediately responded that those guys weren't his friends, they just bought him beers.

Now, when I get a table that will joke like that within the first few minutes, I am thrilled. I love tables that open themselves up for me to create a mini relationship with them. If I can create an experience instead of just provide them a service...I see a drastic difference in my tips, and I have far more fun than if all I do is ask what they want and thank them when they leave.

So, with this gentlemen, I stepped right into the opprotunity he left for me with that comment, and said something about him being a mooch, and walked away as they laughed. When I came back up again to take their order, he told me I'd given him a new nickname, and all his buddies were calling him Mooch now. I bantered with them and made sure to give them good service, and when they were done eating I printed out their seperate checks, and instead of just writing "Thank you! : )", like I normally do, I put "Thanks, Mooch!" with a wink face.

Mooch asked me to keep his receipt with that on it, and each guy gave me four or more dollars when all their bills were under ten dollars. As they were leaving, Mooch thanked me for the good time. That's what I love. He didn't tell me the food was great, he didn't comment on my simple service alone, he thanked me for making their time at the restaurant entertaining. I'm so thankful I work in a place where the food is good and our runners and bartenders are prompt, because it allows me to really have the time to create those relationships and experiences.


I love human videos. I always have, it's like a mini-musical. Puts human faces and emotions into a song. This one is a song by Lifehouse called Everything...and it's so good. I cry everytime, right about 4:41. It's such a perfect example of God's love for us and how much He's fighting on our side, even when we won't acknowledge Him. I love it!



I am a zitty person. I just always have been, even when I never skip a day of washing my face and keep my hands off it as much as possible and do all the normal things you're supposed to do to prevent breakouts. I'm just zit-prone, it happens, I deal.

I'd always used ProActiv, and it worked pretty well for a while, far better than anything else I'd tried, but I was still always sometimes zitty. Recently though, my aunt, who has very similar skin to me, gave me a nearly empty bottle of Rodan & Fields's Unblemish cleanser to try.
The stuff is magic. My face was crystal clear. Not a single zit.

I loved it, but I was still trying to decide if it was worth the price difference, or if ProActiv did a good enough job for me to deal with. And then my sample bottle ran out, and I could find constellations in the zits sprouting up all over my face despite the fact that I was still using ProActiv.

Oh it is DEFINITELY worth the price difference. There's a bottle en route to my house as we speak.



Phil's mom, Kathi, is a drama coach at our church, and she's brilliant.

We always have a play in the summer, and this is the first year in a long time that I wasn't in it. We got split into two different groups this year because there's so many of us, so the college kids did a play for Easter, and the high schooler kids did Kathi's drama on Friday. The one we did at Easter was one Kathi found, but normally she writes everything we do.

She has an incredible gift. She knows each of us kids, and she writes us into everything. Our real personalities shine through in everything, and the skits are witty and always have a biblical message. The shows are always full of laughter...lined with both cheesy and clever humor.

One thing I noticed specifically this year, and I don't know if it's because I was a normal audience member instead of an actor, was how much Kathi really knows about everything. Seriously EVERYTHING. She can relate salvation and following God's plan for your life to complex science theories and cupcakes. She knows about science and baking and boats, not to mention knowing practically every Bible story and how to weave them together into a play called Pair-A-Bulls Cruise Line.

It's occurred to me that that's a big part of what makes someone really good at writing...and writing anything, not just a play. It's knowing lots of different things from lots of different subject areas, and knowing how to pull them together to make something really entertaining and thought-provoking.

Haha...maybe someday I'll be able to do that.



I have an addiction called One Tree Hill.

...I'm realizing a lot of my blogs start with me mentioning things I'm addicted to. I wonder if I should be concerned about that...

This addiction started at the beginning of the summer when my roommate Laura started watching my roommate Amanda's seasons of OTH. I would see bits and pieces of it while it was on in the living room...and then I got suckered in and started watching the seasons myself.

It's really not all that good. Honestly, some of the acting is beyond terrible, and now that I'm in the 5th season things are getting to be all too predictable. But...they still make it possible to connect with the characters. And connecting with the characters is what makes me like a show. However, I still enjoy Bones and Grey's far more than One Tree Hill...shows where I connect with the characters and the writing and acting is actually good.

Point of this is, I'm getting my hair cut. And I'm getting it cut like Haley, one of the characters on the show. This season she has perfect short hair. I've been trying to grow mine out again but it really doesn't look that great grown out. I don't have thick, gorgeous hair. I have hair that's fine will never look full when it's long. So, short hair it is. And I love love love Haley's hair this season. I'm also getting it colored like hers...just a bit darker than mine already is.

Problem with this is, I can't get it cut until after my friend Kim's wedding, because we all have to have updos and I'm doing my own hair and have no idea how to make short hair look good all up. Oh well, it's only a month!


I've found a new love.

I told Phil this early today and he was not nearly as upset as he should of been. Apparently he just knows me well enough to know that my new fascination doesn't effect my love for him. Ruins my fun.

Anyway, this new thing I'm in love with is Dr. Scholl's insoles. They are amazing. My mom has been using them for a while and I never thought much of it, because I don't tend to have feet issues. However, weddings in dress shoes all summer, even if they're flats, have been changing that a bit. I borrowed a set of my mom's insoles and tried them out in my flats...and suddenly they're supportive! It's a miracle! They're comfy for long periods of time and my heels don't get sore anymore.

So, if you've got achy feet, I highly recommend picking up yourself a pair of those wonderful insoles.



I'm so prejudiced, I know it, but my cousins are the cutest farmer boys in the whole world. Hands down.


I am hopelessly addicted to Victoria's Secret PINK. I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't help myself.

What's cool about PINK is how phenomenal their marketing is. They leave no detail out, and they've defined their brand. Most people think of sexy things when they think of regular Victoria's Secret, because that's how they've branded their store in general, but PINK is for college girls, and a younger, more fun version of sexy. Still bras and underwear, but with funny(underwear with lollipops and the word "sucker" on them), bright patterns at a more affordable price. Not that it's cheap, but slightly more affordable than their usual stuff. Plus they have comfortable clothing, like zip ups, hoodies, sweatpants and yoga wear, and perfumes and body sprays in light, fruity scents. They've got a younger set of models with bright-eyed, girl-next-door looks and the photoshoots are fun and basic.
They use a little dog as part of their logo, and they also sell them, or often offer them free with a PINK purchase. I love mine, just because it's bright and happy. They do a lot with coupons for a free panty, or $10 off a purchase, drawing broke college kids in, and they market using things those college kids care about. They've combined a peace sign with a heart in their current line, and promote things like going green and recycling with a hint of college-age humor(shirts saying, "save water, shower together").
It's so smart. They bring young girls in giving them exactly what they need at that stage of their lives, and then they've already got that door opened for when those college girls get their first jobs and need professional clothing, and guess what? Those coupons work for any Victoria's Secret product, not just the PINK line. Maybe $10 free would be better used towards a purchase for Victoria's Secret dress pants, or a blazer, or new wear-anytime boots that they can wear to work and wear out at night. And when that working girl gets married, there's a whole section of white lace that her husband is bound to enjoy on their wedding night.
Possibly the most brilliant thing they've done is teamed up with colleges, combining the school's logo with theirs, and making it available online and in stores near those colleges. I bought right into that scheme, ordering a zip up as soon as they came out. Girls love that stuff, having athletic wear that's more girly, fitted and also carrying the VS logo.
They've recently put out a new line of organic body care products. Lotions, hand cream, chapstick, shave cream, body wash. The works. All the products are green, and I'm crazy about them. I'm not even a huge green backer. I mean, it's 100% a good idea and I try to make smart purchases, but if a lotion smells good and moisturizes, I'm going to buy it whether or not it's green. I tried the shave cream and think it's excellent, but what I really love is the lotion.

There's three of them, Energizing, Nourishing, and Soothing. There are days where I wear all three. I put on the Energizing first thing in the morning because it smells so fresh and gets me more excited about my bike ride. Then after my shower I'll put on the Nourishing one for the day, or whatever other lotion I might want to smell like. Before bed I put on the Soothing one...it smells amazing and makes me sleepy because it's a part of my nighttime routine now. There's no question, I'm definitely hooked.



At the wedding I went to this weekend I sat at a table with Phil's family, plus his cousin and her husband. His dad and his brother have I think a 15 year age difference, so his cousin is in her late thirties or early forties, not real sure. Somewhere in there.

She's really bubbly and lots of fun, and she said something that made me go all mushy and aw-like. She said she likes whatever I've done to Phil, because she thought he'd said more that day than in all the time she'd known him.

Obviously an exaggeration, but probably not too much of a stretch. I'm dating a quiet guy. Another way we're polar opposites. He's always been talkative with me, but after she said that I've noticed how he really is more talkative just in general. He was talkative at the wedding, and when we went out to BWW, he talked to all my friends. A couple months ago we had a cookout and he was seriously silent for over an hour. He conversed the whole time we were at Wings.

It makes me happy that I'm rubbing off on him. He's rubbing off on me in so many good ways too. :)


Phil and I got all geeky yesterday again.

He came to visit me after work, and we had plans to meet up with some of my friends for wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. But before hand we went to Barnes and Noble, like we do practically every time he comes to town.

Now, my friend Ray at work has been studying for the GRE. He's kind of brilliant, and I've always enjoyed talking to him because he talks SMART. A lot at work is "so and so got drunk last night and did this stupid thing, and so and so is going to get drunk tonight, thank goodness, or we wouldn't have anything to talk about tomorrow!" And I can only handle so much of that. So I like to talk to Ray, because we talk about school and our futures and traveling, and it's just so much more interesting.

So, GRE. He's going to graduate school for math, so he has to take the math version of the GRE and the general version. So he's been going through his huge calc book, and his goal is to be able to open that book and be able to do any problem without having to review. This is a goal I'd never be able to accomplish(part of that being because I have ZERO ambition with calculus), but there's little doubt in my mind that Ray will. He'll do great on the math GRE.

However, he's also feeling the need to study for the general GRE, in particular, the vocabulary parts. He uses words really well, another reason I enjoy talking to him, but he doesn't have that large of a vocabulary. Which is actually kind of cool, that he can use words that well without using that many of them. But, alas, it doesn't really help him with the GRE, where they have questions like "indolent is to zealous like deft is to ______?", where his reaction is, "ehhh, uhhh, banana?"

To fix this lack of vocabulary, he bought a book made specifically for the GRE full of vocabulary words that he goes through every day, adding ten new words each time. And he had it at work on Monday because it was deathly slow but he need to be there until 11. So as I was leaving I stopped to talk to him like I always do, and thought the book was totally cool.

Okay, now, the difference here is, Ray NEEDS to know more words. He has to to get into grad school. I just think it's cool to know a lot of words. I love language. I get excited when I use words I don't often use. That would be why I am a total geek, and Ray's just a good student. However, I may have called him a geek to make me feel like less of one.

So when Phil and I go into Barnes and Noble, he heads to look for a Russian cookbook and I head to the Standardized Test Study Guide section. And geek out over all the books. I wanted the psych one for the GRE, and I wanted more than one vocab book, and I wanted French vocabulary flash cards, and grammar flash cards, and I just totally geeked out. And finally decided on the English vocabulary cards by SparkNotes, because they were $10 and there's 1000 words and I didn't know the word on the back so I figured it'd be hard enough. Some of them had words like "convince". I wanted it harder than that.

Meanwhile, Phil found a Russian cookbook that even got me excited about the food in it, and found German vocabulary cards just like my English ones when he came to find me. So we head up to the check out with these three things, and as he's checking out the cashier starts TALKING TO HIM IN GERMAN. He asks him how long he's been studying it, and Phil's all taken aback and goes, "uhhh...awhile". And the guy keeps talking in German and Phil keeps answering in English. And my eyes are bugging out thinking the whole thing is totally cool! We found out the cashier's about to graduate from UWGB and is this linguist who knows a bunch of languages. I was sooo excited to see Phil understand another language.

Now that I think about it, this could probably become a trend for us, if we ever travel like we talk about. Phil understanding and talking and me standing there with my eyes bugging out. Oh well, I do all the talking when we're speaking English, he can take the reigns in everything else.



Recommendation. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, have a seizure around people who love you. It tends to freak them out a bit.

A couple of days ago I had one. This is something that isn't terribly uncommon for me. By that I mean I've had three in my life. Not a ton, not like I get to have a seizure dog like in My Sister's Keeper to live with me and bark every time I before I have one, which is disappointing, but this isn't the first time I've had one. One in 5th grade, one junior year of high school, and now one more.

I was at a rehearsal dinner for a wedding I was going to shoot the next day. Normally I'm not at the rehearsal dinners but Phil was playing guitar for the ceremony, so he had to be there, and I was invited along with his family. And I didn't want to go because I had cramps from hell all day and just wanted to go home and get better, but for some reason I went anyway(thanks, God). So we get there and they do the rehearsing thing and I'm walking around the backyard where it's being held trying to relieve my cramps and setting up shots in my head for the next day. All is well.

Then we sit down to eat, all scattered about the multi-level porch, and Phil's sitting in a chair and I'm sitting on the edge of the porch in front of him on the highest part of the porch, talking to the groom's mom who's sitting on the edge of a lower part of the porch in front of me. She's asking about certain pictures she wants to get the next day, and all the area around her is getting black and splotchy. And I know what's going to happen, but for some reason feel the need to answer her question and ignore the fact that I'm going to conk out. So I stop for a second and breathe and then respond to her, turn around and look up at Phil and say I'm going to pass out. And then my body goes limp and I fall into his leg.

Now comes the part where I retell what I was told happened.

Apparently Phil thought I just meant that I was tired because I say that sometimes when I'm exhausted, so for the first few seconds he thought I was just leaning on him. And then the seizing part happend and I got all tense and he grabbed my arm and his mind got all, "what do I do what do I do?!?!" His mom asked if I was okay and he responded, "noo!" like it was the most ridiculous question anyone could be asking him in that moment.

And mild panic ensued. Kathi started praying because that's Kathi's default reaction to everything, and Rodney said he rubbed my head because he felt like it was what he should be doing, no idea why. Somebody mentioned calling 911. Had I been conscious I would've said, "no no, no please don't, I'll be fine, this just happens sometimes", but I wasn't, so one of the bridesmaids who happens to be an EMT came running over and started asking Phil questions about if it had happened before and he's all, "yeah, I think so, a couple of years ago, I don't really know if it's the same", because we've never really discussed this in much detail.

Meanwhile I can hear people saying my name while I'm in dreamland and I'm all, oh crap, I had a seizure. I was just talking on the porch like a normal person and now I'm dreaming, I must have had a seizure. Phil said all the sudden I just sat straight up and went, "I'm okay, I just had a seizure, it happens sometimes." And the EMT's all, "Have you been drinking?!" And I'm all, HELLO, I'm at a family function with my boyfriend and his parents, none of whom drink, what do you think?! Only I actually just said no. And then I wanted a nap. I always want naps after seizures, I normally sleep for like 3-4 hours. So the groom's mom let me fall on her bed, and I'm lying there trying to fall asleep and all I can think is that I'm in some woman's bed and I can't even remember her name for sure.

And while I'm thinking this, Rodney came in with some water and I assured him I was okay, and then Kathi came in and squeezed the life out of me and I assured her I was okay, and then I apparently dozed off for a bit because Phil said when he came in I was sleeping. But then I woke up before he came in again and I assured him I was okay. Lots of reassuring happening, and after enough of that I didn't feel too tired and we all got in the car to go home.

Now, my parents were in Utah. Vacationing. So I figured I wouldn't call them and worry them or worry them until they got home, because that's a roaming charge and they can't do anyting from there and no big deal, it happens, I'm alive. Kathi didn't like that too much though, and she sighed and looked at me and said real gently, "I think you should call your mom. If it was my daughter, I'd want to know." Now, Kathi and my mother are complete and total opposites, but I obeyed and called. My stepdad answered and was all, hmm, okay, so you're okay now? Alright, good, we'll see you when we get home. Which is exactly how I knew they'd be and I'm totally okay with that, because it's rational. We're a rational family. Just so long as they know I'm okay, then they're okay.

Kathi and Rodney and Phil aren't quite like that though. Kathi had a bed made for me at their house within the first five minutes of getting back. And I wasn't allowed to drive anywhere. The next morning Phil drove me back to my house to get ready and pack everything for the wedding. He doesn't usually like to drive my car and I knew I was okay, so I was like, "Hey, it's okay, I can drive, you can just come with me and pacify your mother." And he was all, um, no way. You are not driving you are not carrying anything heavier than a feather you are not being left alone for more than the two minutes it takes you to go to the bathroom, and your shower better not exceed five or I'm pounding down the door to make sure you're not seizing again.

All of this was endearing yet annoying. I like my space. It's harder for them because they'd never experienced that before, but to me it's been there, done that, let's get back to life.

By the end of the wedding day they'd been reassured enough that I was capable of driving and sleeping in my house alone. I wanted my own bed and a good night's sleep, and I needed to make sure the house was ready for my parents to get home the next day. You know, put away my coats and shoes that never tend to make it to the closet, make sure there was milk in the fridge. The basics.

Overall though, I am thankful for this second family that loves me nearly as much as my first. It's nice to know you've got back up when you need it.



Number Ten on my 30 before 30 list was to play with sparklers. This one was the only one that was something I've done before, but I haven't played with them since I was little and I wanted to do it as a grown-up, if that's what I am now. Sadly, it wasn't as fun as I'd remembered. I burned one and then spent the rest of the time taking pictures of my cousins playing with them, and I'm happy I did. This picture is currently the background on my computer.