Sunday, January 16, 2011


Alrighty, well it's been ages and ages since I finished the design for my two blogs, and yet I had never gotten to the point of actually making buttons. I'm not sure that I need to set them up for anyone else to grab--I mean, would you?

But I have been planning these for a while. I'd like to link to one blog from the other with a pretty button, you know? So, here they are. I hope you like them. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011


Mmmmmm..... soda. Pop. Coke.

Call it by any other name but it still tastes as sweet. (Although technically I am a Pepsi girl.)

My church always starts out the new year with a fast, and this year I decided to give up pop for the 21 days. Now, I need you to understand that I am completely and utterly addicted to caffeine, but I only get it through drinking soda. I have been known to put a shot of coffee in my hot chocolate if I need a jolt before lunch, but otherwise it's Coke or Pepsi all the way.

So when I decided to give it up, I wasn't sure how well it would go. My office has a fountain soda machine, so they're pretty much saying "Here, why don't you just drink Cherry Coke for 4 straight hours?" And sadly, I often did.

The first week of the fast I had the hot chocolate-coffee, I had iced tea, but because I am not a very big fan of either, I only really had enough to keep the headaches away. I am a big fan of iced chai lattes but since I'm not entirely sure how to make them and I try not to go to Argot Tea too often, I've only gotten it on a couple "oh my goodness I only got 3 hours of sleep and I will pass out of I can't get caffeine" days.

The upshot is that not only am I not drinking pop, but I'm also slowly weaning myself off of caffeine. Hooray!

And I've found a few interesting facts about how I use Coke during the day, because the first week of the fast all I did was snack. Candy here, a bagel there... I realized that I was getting pop often just because I was bored, or needed a break from work, or was particularly annoyed about something and wanted to drown my feelings in sugary, bubbly goodness.

So this week (I am almost done with week 2) I brought in snacks--healthy ones. I have a banana for the morning, a pear for the afternoon, and yogurt for right after lunch. And I've found that I don't need to make the hot chocolate-coffee in the morning. It's really amazing how eating fruit (and drinking more water, we mustn't forget that) really raised my levels of awake-ness. And without that sugar crash later.

And here's a fun added side benefit--I seem to be more flirtatious when I'm not drinking soda. Ok, I know that makes like zero sense. But I realized one day that I had flirted with like 3 guys! And not for any purpose, just because. It was so much fun! Perhaps I should take this un-caffeinated self of mine out to a bar or speed dating or something. Who knows what could come of it. :)

Now I will be honest. On the 22nd I will very likely crack open a can of Pepsi and spend a magical 5 or 10 minutes drinking it. But it is good to know I can, in fact, live without it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Easy A, Get It?

Ok, so I just watched the cutest movie. I updated my Facebook status to reflect that so for those of you who are my friends on FB sorry, but you just heard me say it's a cute movie twice. I love the main character, I love the girl who played her, and I love that she referenced all the movies I watched growing up. And seriously, I love that I now know that Patrick Dempsey was the guy in Can't Buy Me Love, a movie I haven't seen since like 5th grade but I still have practically memorized vaguely remember.

If you haven't seen this movie and you want a nice light no-actual-sex-scenes-but-some-really-funny-sex-sounds movie, this is the one for you. And if you're a fan of Redbox, let me give them a free shout-out and say it'll be the best dollar and eight cents you've spent all week.


I do have two thoughts that have come about from watching this movie.

First: How does one "lose" their virginity anyway??? OK, so I'm not the first or the last person to say this but it needs to be said because maybe out there somewhere is a girl who has not yet "lost it." Call it the V-card, your flower, whatever the heck it is, you cannot lose it. Unless you are so very very drunk that you cannot actually remember a single moment of the three-and-a-half ten minutes it takes for your first time, you will know exactly where it has gone. And chances are, the next morning you'll wish you could go there and take it back. And don't be too quick with giving it away, either.

Ok. Stepping off the soap box.

Second: Are all of the Christians in high school really that obnoxious? Was I that obnoxious? Am I that obnoxious? I'd like to think that once little miss Christian Cheerleader of America goes to college and experiences some real life, she'll figure out that the Jesus she loves really kinda doesn't groove on that self-absorbed, holier-than-thou attitude. But still, why the stereotype? Ok sure, it's a movie rife with them, so I guess it's ok. Not trying to knock the movie here, {SPOILER ALERT-GO TO NEXT PARAGRAPH} because other than the fact that our heroine is still cool with the idea of giving away her V-card at some random time in the future, she did not, in fact, do so during the entire film. Kudos to her.

But you know what I'd love to see/read? I'd love to follow a story about a girl who goes to high school and loves Jesus but gives her boyfriend blow jobs because they figure that's not really sex, right? And how she goes to college and finds out that whoops--it was. And how she swears, and wears slutty clothes every now and then because even though she loves Jesus her self-worth is still tied up with what others think of her--or what they think of how she looks, anyway.

And no, that is not an autobiography. What it is, is an authentic story about a Christian girl who's still living in this world, and doesn't quite get how to be a part of the next.

Perhaps it's a plot treatment for something I should write.

But here's the rub--literally--if my audience is high-school kids, and I'm trying to undergird the whole story with the love of Christ... should I write about the blowjobs?

No really, I want to know. What do you think?

And... have you read any books like this?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I am Ripped

Ok, no, this is not me. But a girl can have goals, can't she?

Really though, I am quite proud of myself because I finally went to the gym last night for the first time in ages. I got an awesome deal with Bally's since I used to belong there--$99 for a whole year, at any location. I suppose that comes from when I paid through the nose for that ability, plus the personal training sessions.

To get this great deal I had to sign up back in November. And alas, since I was living at the office back then, I didn't get around to going. But really it's only a few bucks down the drain.

But after making it through my second weekend of the new year (no this isn't a "new year's resolution" it just happens to be the timing) without making it to Bally's, I decided that Monday was the day and packed the workout clothes, water bottle, and Zumba towel. The only thing missing was a combination lock, but I figured I could get one at the CVS or Wallgreens that I would pass on the way there.

Can you believe that both the CVS and the Wallgreens were out?

Of course you can, because everybody and their brother made new year's resolutions to work out.

Fortunately the wise people at Bally's had stocked up, so even though it was an extra dollar, at least now I could lock up my clothes.

I put in a good half-hour on the elliptical and was thrilled because my knees, which have become quite painful in the last few months, did actually still work, as long as there isn't much resistance. Glory be! The rest of the time was spent getting reacquainted with some of the machines they've got. Sadly I don't think they've gotten new ones at all--I was rather hoping in the last 4 years they would have. Oh well, they still work... most of them. :)

And can I just say that my favorite machines are the Hip Adductor/Abductors. Those are the ones where you sit down and have to either press your legs together against resistance, or swing them apart. It kind of looks  like you're practicing to lay an egg. You can't really make eye contact with anyone whilst using them, but they are fun. And I think my favorite part was when I got off the one where you press together which was at 120 pounds, and the chick who got on next moved it to like 80. Aw, yeah. Because it's all about competition at the gym. If I can't be thinner, I want to be stronger.

So the goal is to go 2-3 times a week. It's a bit of a time investment, because I walk 3-4 blocks there from the train, then about 7 blocks home, plus the time spent getting changed and then actually working out. But it's a worthy endeavor, and I was home just in time to see Castle, which is all that really matters to me on Mondays anyway. :)

Please check in to see how I'm doing, and feel free to ask how it's going. 'Cause I may never look like that woman in the photo, but I betcha I could get darned close if I really put my mind to it.

Have an Extraordinary Day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 In Review

Hello there and Happy New Year to all my friends and family!

It has been far too long since I have sent out a Christmas New Year's card. Better late than never seemed to turn into "never."

But thanks to the beauty of technology, I will now share with you my 2010. It was both a great year and a somewhat not-so-great year. Fortunately, I blogged about most of it. So I will give you a list below of the highlights, and leave it up to you whether or not you wish to click through for the details.

And yes, this means I'm going to be blogging more again. So feel free to follow me if you want to keep up with my goings-on in 2011. God willing, it will be a year worth following. :)

In 2010...

  • I started by comparing last year (2009) to this year (2010).
  • I embraced the purpose of my blog--to find the extraordinary in the ordinary--and changed my email signature to match.
  • I reminisced about words with very, very different meanings.
  • I celebrated my 100th blog post.
  • I started a sister blog called Moments of Majesty, where I do a Bible Study. The link goes to one of my favorite posts.
  • I bought a beautiful new loveseat and chair from IKEA--something that had been on my wish list for over two years!
  • My computer succumbed to a virus.
  • I thought about how I have experienced miracles in my own life.
  • A friend of mine at work got cancer.
  • He passed away, I had a birthday--it was a very up and down month.
  • I celebrated the beauty of the city I live in (Chicago).
  • And then I celebrated the beauty of my own neighborhood.
  • I mourned the loss of my camera with varying degrees of acceptance.
  • I said goodbye to my gallbladder (and I feel much, much better!)
  • I got my hair cut
  • With a fantastic team, I organized the third annual Golden Awards recognition ceremony for my company at their annual General Manager conference, and put together a "Recognition Toolkit" that all the manager-level people in our company can use to show their direct reports how much they are appreciated. I haven't written about this yet, but perhaps I will... I am quite proud of it. :)
Well, that is the highlights. I hope that you had a good 2010 and I pray that your 2011 will be successful and prosperous beyond even your loftiest dreams.

And as always... Have an Extraordinary Day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Resolutions

Resolve - n. to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have resolved that I shall live to the full.
I Resolve
To move
what God gave me and where He leads me.
To learn
more about myself and my purpose in life.
To grow
towards deeper and stronger relationships.
To shine
with the light of God's glory, not my own.
To live
my life to the fullest.
I resolve.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 Things You Need To Know About Having Your Gallbladder Removed

"Well, young lady," the doctor said, giving his head a slight shake (the better to send his luxurious hair cascading over his left temple) "You’re in fine physical health, you're absolutely gorgeous, and I think you and I would make beautiful children together. Let's get married."


What he really said was "You need to have your gallbladder out." (And he didn't quite look as good as Dr. McDreamy)

Woo. Hoo.

By the way, the next time you catch yourself thinking "Man, I would give anything to get a full week off of work this year," be careful that God doesn't hear you or he might just say "Ok, how about an internal organ?"

Really honestly, however, I think this is the best thing that could have happened to me. I needed to have the gallbladder out, and I really really really needed some time to rest and recharge.

Something I realized as I went through the process (and I'm fine now, thanks for asking!) is that there are things that you might not know will happen when you go to get your gallbladder removed. Or for most any surgery, in fact. So I thought I would share these things, in case it helps you:

1. Don't pee before you get there. 
I repeat. Do. Not. Pee. They will ask you to pee in a cup so they can check something. Maybe it's a quick pregnancy test, I don't know. All I know is I signed in, used the bathroom, got called right away to go to a room to get prepped, and was given a cup. And what kills me is the woman who signed me in told me where the bathroom was when I asked. She could've said "you know, you're gonna have to pee in a cup in like 10 minutes." Oh, and don't forget no food or water after midnight, so squeezing out a few more drops (and getting them into the cup) when you've pretty well peed out your last bit of liquid is not that easy!

2. Shave your legs. 
Unless you don't care if people see/touch your legs when they're all stubbly. Because they will put these amazing wonderful plug-in wraps on your legs that will keep your blood flowing and feels like a wonderful little massage every few minutes. Which, of course, means that they will be touching your legs! So be forewarned. (Besides, you soooo won't want to take a shower or shave for a few days after the surgery anyway, so you may as well start fresh.)

3. Have your driver on call all day. 
I was told that I would be out of there by 3pm at the latest after my 9:45am surgery. Right. First off, they didn't even start the surgery until 11am (which is crazy, since I was only the 2nd surgery of the day) Then, if you have any sort of nausea afterwards, they will give you medication that will knock you out again. I didn't leave until 6:30pm! Thank goodness my mom, who was coming from 45 minutes away, stayed at home until about 5:30 and then just took it upon herself to start driving in, so she actually got there right as I was getting dressed to leave. But seriously, if she'd come in at 3pm like I'd been told, she'd have been b.o.r.e.d.

4. Find a doctor who has more fun in the surgery than the office. 
Ok that may sound weird, but my doctor seemed a bit abrupt and not in the best of moods when I first met him in the office. But when he walked in before the surgery, he was like a whole new person. He practically bounced in, gave me a big smile, stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles and said "Ok, we've warmed up on one, now we're ready for you. let's do this!" and I suddenly realized here is a surgeon who really enjoys his job. I like the idea of a doctor who is excited about doing a good surgery cutting me open, not just some guy who can be personable in the office but may or may not get jazzed up about removing organs. As long as you know he's professional, take the first guy!

5. Do NOT make a post-surgery to-do list. 
I don't care what you think you're going to be able to do. You most likely will not be able to or interested in doing it. Now I know there are some people who are more stubborn than me, or who may feel the pressure to be constantly "productive" out there, so if you manage to sort your entire photo collection 2 days after a surgery, well then good for you. But as for me, all I know is that in 12 days I didn't do a single thing besides re-read the Harry Potter collection. Now, that's no small shakes given that all 7 books must be at least 3,000 pages. But seriously, I did nothing else. I slept, I watched some TV, I slept some more, and I read. That's it. And you know what? I'm glad. Because by the end of my time off, I was rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated. I'm not quite yet back up to 100%, but I think having the time off (and the gallbladder removed) was exactly what I needed to take a big step towards a more healthy lifestyle. Booyah.