Friday, June 26, 2009

Quotes for the Week

"Patricia, I want you to try something. It's a relaxation exercise I do in situations like this. I want you to close your eyes and breathe deep. Picture a peaceful mountain stream. Now picture yourself drowning the kidnapper in the stream. We're taking a rock from the stream and raising it above with your hand, and with tremendous force you're bringing it— " -Fiona Burn Notice

"There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being." - James Joyce

"I better make this clear: no leader is beyond rebuke, correction or exhortation. And if you think you are then it's the beginning of the end. But what I'm focusing on here is unwarranted criticism or unfair treatment. If the sermon you are preaching or the vision you are casting is from the Lord, then people aren't rejecting you. Don't personalize the rejection. I think this is one key to evangelism: if you personalize the rejection you'll stop sharing your faith." - Mark Batterson

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Coupons have changed my life. Not as much as Jesus, but still alot.

I hadn't really thought about it that much until my friend Tina was in town a few weeks ago. Tina lives in Indiana now and I don't have company over to my place anymore, so no one had been there to point out the changes.

When Tina and I were in our hayday and every night there were 15 people at my condo, I was broke. I had bought my first place when I was 22 and trying to keep the bills paid was tough (but totally worth it). So I had the cheapest of everything- the bad paper towels that really don't work, the scratchy toilet paper, the hand soap that smells funny etc. And most of the time, I didn't really have that much of anything in the house. Often times I would be trying to make things last until the next paycheck so I would be rationing toilet paper or shampoo for a few days. This is the world Tina remembers.

Then coupons happened. I know they have been around forever, but only in my world since my sister introduced me to the concept at the end of last year. And now when I go into stores (after a little prep work) I give them shiny pieces of paper that I cut out of my sunday paper and they give me toilet paper for little or no money. And paper towels. And tooth paste. And shampoo, razors, food etc. The list goes on. So I take as much as they will give me and stick it in every nook and cranny at my house.

And you know what? None of it is scratchy anymore. I use toilet paper with lotion in it. Or air pockets. I use paper towels that you can rinse and re-use and have pictures of licensed characters on them. My soap smells like a million bucks. It turns out the free stuff is better quality than the cheap stuff.

So two weeks ago when Tina hollered through the bathroom door "Oh my gosh, you have toilet paper everywhere!" I yelled back "Yep, they don't make me pay for it anymore!"

And I laughed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day

I haven't blogged about Father's Day yet! We had Father's Day over at my sister and brother-in-law's new house, which is mostly finished. It's gorgeous. I can't wait until they can move in so I can come visit.

Anyway, Missy did a great job getting the food ready and Jonathan did great on the grill. We had corn on the cob, hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, potato chips etc. The weather was beautiful and we got to sit on their back porch and just hang out.

There was also cake from Jamie's Bakery (if you have never had cake from Jamie's Bakery you aren't ready to die yet). It was a really cute cake to celebrate the upcoming baby, with pink and blue icing and storks. There were no small pieces so we all enjoyed a huge chunk of cake with ice cream. (If you check my sister's blog, I believe there are pictures.)

It was fun to be with the family and catch up, since even though we all live in the same area, we don't see each other very often!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Roll Back the Clock night at Harbor Park. $.25 hot dogs and Diet Coke. That's good stuff!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kicking Myself for no pictures!

I actually had a really fun weekend and am very bummed I didn't take a camera around with me!

Friday night my friend Misty, her husband and son were in town. It's been about 2 years since I have seen them and I had never met their son, Ajoni, before. He's 18 months old and so much fun! We had dinner at Surf Riders on Laskin and went down to the boardwalk and hung out for a bit. An 18 month old looking around at the tourists was hilarious. It's been a few weeks since I was down at the beach, so it was nice to just go and walk around. After that, I went home and ran to the gym to do some weight training. It was nice and empty- turns out no one lifts weights at 10 p.m. on Friday night!

Saturday morning I headed to the studio to teach my first piano lesson. One of my voice students, Hannah, has been dying to take piano but her parents really can't afford it. So, for the summer, I agreed to go half piano and half voice to see how Hannah does. If she really picks it up and works hard I am hoping to make some kind of arrangement for her in the fall.

After that I fought the crowds at Old Navy to buy $2 tank tops and was also able to buy maternity clothes for my sister. Woo hoo! I have been wanting to do that for a while! I ran into my friends Laura and T.J. there so Laura helped me with the maternity clothes. My sister and I don't have the same taste, so a second opinion is pivotal.

Saturday night I met up with an old friend for coffee at Barnes and Noble, which actually ended up being water on the bench in front of Barnes and Noble since we couldn't meet until 9:30. She's a piano teacher, loves the outdoors, loves Jesus and is going to be an aunt in January as well. We have a lot in common so I am hoping the planets will align more frequently and we will be able to hang out. Our schedules are insane!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quotes of the week

"By selecting, interweaving, and prioritizing our values, we define who we are- or atleast who we want to be." - Doug Lennick & Fred Kiel, Ph.D. Moral Intelligence

"Courage doesn't have anything to do with medals. It's simple. You run to the gunfire, not away from it." -Jethro Gibbs NCIS

"If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. The more intelligent and more gifted the person God creates, the greater the capacity to love and to be a positive force in the universe, but also, if that person rebels, the greater capacity to cause evil, to inflict pain and to cause unhappiness. " C. S. Lewis The Question of God ( An amazing book if you are looking for something to read)

"We like to talk big. Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people, billions of people walking around like Happy Meals on legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision, with a real... passion for destruction. Goodbye Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square." - Spike Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

If you haven't seen the movie, you should give it a viewing. It's several years old, so it shouldn't be too hard to get your hands on. I was just watching this part today and it still gives me chills.

"...the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards" (C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, 1950).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Quote I Loved

"I love when a city rains the day I leave. Like it's crying for me. I love you too, Paris."

- Nathan Fillion

Monday, June 15, 2009

CHKD Run/Walk for Kids

Saturday morning was the Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters 8k race. I ran this race last summer with Missy and was running it this summer with Mom (Missy had to sit out due to my future niece or nephew). Last summer it was a great race- perfect weather, lots of water, smaller crowd. Good times.

This summer was completely different. It started with them losing my registration, so I didn't get a t-shirt. As ridiculous as it sounds- the t-shirts are part of the reason I run the races! And there were 2,000 more people this year than last year- they were not prepared for that either.

Then we started about 20 minutes late- which is alot of waiting around in the heat. And its HOT- much hotter than last year. We finally get going and as we reach the one mile point I am REALLY excited about the upcoming water station. I come around the corner to where it was last year and BOOM- NO WATER STATION! And since the one mile and four mile mark are the same place (the course is a loop) that means there will be no water at the four mile mark either.

Before I hit the 2 mile mark I had seen two people needing assistance from the heat. And at about two miles I start walking- I was not feeling all that great. As I approached our only water station, they are dumping water out of the bottom of the coolers. They are almost out of water, and there are several hundred people behind me! So I grabbed a cup of luke warm water, chugged it down and started running again.

When I finally finished I did not feel well at all. Some people looked great and some people looked awful. I had to leave really soon after I finished to go teach (if we had started on time I wouldn't have had that problem) so I don't think I really cooled down properly. Needless to say I took a LONG nap on Saturday.

The conclusion- No CHKD race for me next year. We are going to have to stick with spring and fall races.


I left work at 4 to head to the studio for recital. After helping with set up my students start arriving about 5:15. I have 9 students singing in recital- 8 of them are doing great. All have warmed up, are dressed appropriately, seem just the appropriate amount of nervous and are running around the studio like lunatics (which is normal).

Meanwhile in the music room, one of them (my seventeen year old) is sitting on the floor convulsing through tears. I'm not exactly sure what had set her off so much (it wasn't just the singing- there is some personal stuff going on), but she is the same one I have been having a rough time with over the last few weeks. I let her aunt (my boss) and the other adults in the studio take care of her and concentrated on the rest of my students.

We pulled my sobbing student out of the line up for the evening and progressed without her. About half way through recital my boss pulls me aside and tells me that she will sing, but only if I sing with her. So I ended up singing with her. If I got quieter, in an effort to hear her sing, she got quieter too. My boss understands completely- it doesn't reflect poorly on my job performance- but if I had been a parent paying for voice lessons all year and that was what I got I would be angry.

None the less it did not ruin my night. The rest of my girls did fantastic and their parents were very happy! It was a great way to end the year. I will only have three or four students over the summer and then we will see what happens in the fall! Year two of teaching is coming to a close!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Tonight is recital. At 6 o clock. This is the longest day of the year. Waiting for this is like waiting for Santa to come on Christmas Day, except there is a chance there will no presents and instead the tree will be on fire. They are trained and ready to go, but anything could happen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quotes of the Week

"You know, I was thinking about becoming a doctor.... I was thinking dermatologist. Normal hours, big bucks, never an emergency. I mean, nobody ever died from a zit." - Tony DiNozzo, NCIS

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - Confucius

"You have about as much chance of going out with Penny as the Hubble Telescope has of finding that at the center of each black hole there's a little man with a flashlight trying to find the circuit breaker." - Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory

"Nothing is so common as the wish to be remarkable." - William Shakespeare

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." - C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Man (or Woman)

Last night I was reading a book on Esther that happened to be sitting on my nightstand. It's one of my favorite stories from the Bible. A person, thrown into a situation out of her control, who obeys God and saves a nation. It got me thinking about how many times in the Bible one person made a difference.

In the same way that one person saved the nation of Isreal, one man almost caused God to eliminate all of them:
Numbers 16:22 But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, "O God, God of the spirits of all mankind, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?"

In the same way that one man's sin made us a world of sinners, one man's death saved us all:
Romans 5:15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

And an entire nation, that still exists, came out of one man:
Hebrews 11:12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

The next time I think a decision I am going to make only affects me, I need to remember that sometimes one person can make all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Johnny Depp!

Johnny Depp is 46 today. That's kind of ridiculous. He's like the Dick Clark of my generation. He never ages.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Locked in a Closet

Nope. I'm not talking about Clay Aiken.

Came home after the gym today to a very intense meowing noise coming out of my bedroom. The cleaning lady had locked Bella in the closet. Since they usually come between 11 and 12, I am going to venture she was in there about 6 hours. Needless to say she's been kind of clingy tonight while I have been watching NCIS re-runs.

Mark Harmon is hotter now than he was when he was younger.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I like Pineapple

I didn't know until about a month ago that I actually like pineapple. I'm not sure if there was some traumatic childhood pineapple experience that made me discriminate, but I was decidedly anti-pineapple. I am now pro-pineapple.

This is my revelation for the day.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Peaking in High School

Think back to high school. Remember those kids who were popular but treated everyone else like crap? I didn't watch 90210, but I remember the character of Brenda being that way. And I know for a fact Shannon Doherty is. She got fired off of two shows for just being too much of a pain.
Last night one of my voice students came in upset. After talking about her issues, she mentioned that someone had told her these were the best years of her life. I assured her that they were not, that much better times were coming. That when she is a litle bit older and more independent, her level head would help her succeed.
But what about those people that high school WAS the best years of their life? The ones who discovered popularity wasn't going to get them by in college, or that drinking habit that make them popular in high school is considered a liability in the real world? The ones who ended up miserable who always look back on high school cheer leading or prom as the epitome of their existence.
I can't help but look back at them in my pettiness and feel a little bit of satisfaction. They were the kids who called me "four eyes", knocked my books out of my arms in the hall ways and tried to cheat off of me in class. They are the guys who would talk to me in class when they needed help, but wouldn't even make eye contact with me in the hall lest their friends know we had spoken.
And now they aren't happy. Some of them are, don't get me wrong. But the ones who truly peaked in high school spend alot of their time looking in the rear view mirror. I am happy to be one of the ones staring out the windshield. God has alot of great things in store for me. I don't want to waste any time looking at the past.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Singing at the Fight

5 years ago I had never sung the National Anthem at a public event- besides "White Men, White Meat"- which was an Atlantic Shores sanctioned event. My first ever big public performance was for the Globe Trotters in the Constant Center in Norfolk. That place is amazing to sing in and, ironically, I got that gig from singing on the radio during the morning show on 94.9 The Point. That was really cool.

There are a million people in Hampton Roads who want to sing and after the acoustics in Harbor Park singing for the Tides, I decided to cool off with the sporting event singing.

Yet today my phone rings and Elaine Varner, who organizes the local "King of the Ring" fights is asking me to come sing for the third time. Everything in me wanted to tell her no, since I am not actually going to the fight this time, but I couldn't do it. So Saturday night I will be back in the big metal cage, singing the National Anthem again.

I wonder if you can make a living just singing the National Anthem? Especially if you know the first TWO verses?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Famous Aunts

In case you live under a rock and haven't heard, I am going to be an aunt sometime around December/January. Since I am a student, I thought I would look back at some of the great aunts on television and see what lessons I can learn from them!

Auntie Em (The Wizard of Oz)- Auntie Em taught Dorothy some valuable life lessons: always go under ground during a tornado, don't go wandering off by yourself or some gypsy might tell you your future... I bet she even taught her how to sing. Plus, when Dorothy woke up, Auntie Em was right there to hold her hand on her trip back from Oz.

Next is Aunt Becky from "Full House" She helped the girls with their hair and talked to them about boys since their mom wasn't around. But even better, she demonstrated the lesson all girls at the time wanted to know: how to get John Stamos to marry you. If you get a lucky, you get to move into the attic with Uncle Jesse, and all his hair gel.

Last but certainly not least is Monica Gellar. When her nephew Ben was born she said "Hi. I'm your Aunt Monica. I will always have gum." I almost never have gum but I will try to get a video game in my living room so my nephew or niece can come over and play. And I will find some secret recipe from Nest-le Toul-House so I can make great chocolate chip cookies (only when their mom says I can though).

Monday, June 1, 2009


Saturdays during the summer are always fun. The teaching load at the studio lightens, when I go to the grocery store it doesn't cost $12 a pound for cherries ($3.99 a pound at Fresh Market this week) and church softball starts. This week was the first week of softball.

The 757 team lost their first game and tied their second at the bottom of the last inning! It was really exciting!

After the game, Erin and I headed down to the ocean front to watch "The Michael Clark Band" (who I could not get a single decent picture of due to crappy lighting).

They are one of two local bands that Erin keeps up with and I LOVE watching them. They have a singer named Tracy Clark whose voice I am crazy about. She's incredibly talented. I got to talk to her after their set and she said they have a full schedule for the summer, so hopefully we can stalk them some other places. They were playing Saturday on the stage at 31st street, so we hung out around Catch 31 and listened to them. The weather was perfect and it was a great night!