Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life Lessons from Disney

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Despite what you may have previously assumed, it is not unacceptable to live with seven strange men at one time. Yet another shining example of pretty people getting away with whatever they want. Other examples? The Hills, The CW, and high school in general.

Pinnochio – There is an odd connection between your nose and untruths. I wholeheartedly believed this for a majority of my childhood.

Dumbo – Drinking is really really fun. I mean, did you check out that dream? Pink elephants everywhere! Actually, I’m unsure that alcohol can induce that kind of strangeness. So I’m going to go to a new life lesson: Clown-carnies do liquid meth.

Bambis – Hunters are evil. Just flat out evil. I mean, what kid did not have “Mother? Mother!” echoing in his or her ears for weeks after that movie? Also, hunters are stupid and inconsiderate and burn down forests.

Cinderella – If you are ugly, then you will necessarily be evil and mean. Also, if you are evil and mean, you will have gigantic feet. I mean, really, gigantic. I feel the need, too, to point out the ludicrous of the statement, “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep.” I dreamed last night that a crazed bride was swinging a hatchet at me. Does my heart really wish this evil upon me?

Alice in Wonderland – This life lesson might actually be useful. If you do drugs, you’re liable to get your head chopped off by a deck of cards. So don’t do them. Not even if the clown carnies ask you to.

Peter Pan – It is perfectly acceptable and even right for a preteen to remain in the nursery. Any father who would demand otherwise is borderline verbally abusive.

Lady and the Tramp – Coffee and donuts are a nutritious breakfast for dogs of all types.

Sleeping Beauty – Instead of telling your child not to touch sharp objects, send her far away into the woods with three old ladies and don’t tell her anything about spinning wheels. Surely the first time she sees one in her whole life she won’t be curious and touch it.

One Hundred and One Dalmations – If one hundred and one stray dogs knock down your door, it’s time for celebration! Sell everything you have and move out to the country to accommodate them!

The Jungle Book – Sometimes animal cruelty is just the only way to rid yourself of a pesky tiger.

Robin Hood – Communism is the way!

Go Ask Alice...

 I read "Alice in Wonderland" last night. Weird weird weird weird weird. I had to check and make sure that I was reading the right book. Then I had to check and make sure that I hadn't taken any particularly strong decongestants or inhaled any spray paint.
Overall, though, I liked it. It was a crazy journey and I'm not really sure what the moral was, but it was super easy to read and everything was really unexpected.
If you're wondering why this post is so lame, it's because I am also watching "How I Met Your Mother," the greatest show ever conceived by funny human minds.
I have to read a book every 3 1/2 days to make 100 in a year. That is so doable.
I'm going to make some spiced tea.

Day: 44
Books to read: 90

Look at this iPhone case I JUST found on Esty!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Pretend Home Remodel

So I've developed a severe fetish for Etsy. I mean, the kind where you seriously wonder if you should get medicated for it.

And so, since I obviously have nothing better to do, I am pretend redecorating my life with Etsy. Would you like to see the pictures? I know you would.

I love this Barnwood table. It's not so rustic that Jordan wouldn't eat on it, but enough to still give me something of that shabby chic look that I crave but can't really accomplish

I would use these all the time. Are they not the most precious things you've ever seen? Don't you think they belong on every teacher's wall?

I don't really need coasters because I don't have a coffee table. But when I do have a coffee table, these coasters are going to protect it.

I have way too much jewelry for my own good, I think, and my grandma just got me a beautiful jewelry box, but I just can't resist wanting this. It's really unique.

Right now my comforter is a straight black number from Target. It cost me about $40. I would really love to have something a little nicer. And this screams, "Really nice hotel" to me. I love nice hotels.

I think that this fits the theme of my life really well right now. I don't know if I would always love this picture, though. Which makes it not completely worth the $250. But it's still pretty.

This would match our couch right now, as is. I am seriously thinking birthday.

This phone? Would go in my office. When I have one.

I can't really decide where this plaque goes. It seems kind of awkward in the bathroom, but that was my first thought.

I am really really not a pink girl, but this picture is just so beautiful. I love everything about it, from the roses that are just about leaning out of the picture at me to the vase that is so blurry that you can barely see it. It's so artistic.

How adorable.

My mom used to sing me this song when I was little. I would love to frame this postcard and put it above my bed.

I WILL get this when i get my Macbook Pro. Which will be soon...ish.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 4 Hour Body

Seven Christmases later (and one more to go) we are finally back in our apartment, several tv series richer, plus two nooks, several books, and assorted household appliances. I'm also richer a WiiFit, which is awesome. My weight loss had been severely stunted in the last couple weeks, but I finally made it to 138 this morning, which is ten pounds lighter than I was when I said, "Oy. I am fat, " for the first time. And Jordan has been talking about joining a gym and gaining some muscle, so this is a good start for both of us.

Also, I bought (on my Nook! Eep!) a book called "The 4 Hour Body." I'm thinking about working through a couple of the different "courses" that he gives on the book, starting with the diet that he gives called the "Slow-Carb Diet." His basic intention in the book is to make the biggest change in your body with the least amount of work. The Slow-Carb Diet has these five rules:

1. Avoid white carbs
2. Eat the same few meals over and over
3. Don't drink calories
4. Don't eat fruit
5. Take one day off a week

My favorite is the one day off. He tells the reader that he would go out of his way to basically eat fat. And on top of that, you need to eat that way once a week so that your metabolism won't slow down. Amazing. I am going to make a journal of the wonderful things I will gorge myself on.

In any case, I will probably only do this diet for a couple weeks. I don't really need to lose that much, although it would be awesome to lose about ten more pounds or so. 120 is my overall goal weight, but I don't want to do it on this diet. I can't stick with it that long. Ten pounds would be plenty.

My menu this week? Roughly:

Sunday 6:00:
3 Chicken breasts
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Spinach (which I will never eat from a can again)

Monday thru Thursday
3 Eggs (2 whites, 1 with yolk)
4 Strips of turkey bacon

1st Lunch:
2 Chicken Breasts
Cauliflower and Broccoli

2nd Lunch:
5 Strips of turkey bacon
Black beans
Cauliflower and Broccoli

3 Chicken Breasts
Cauliflower and Broccoli
Black beans

Friday will be mostly up to my family, because we're having Christmas with my grandparents.

So... starting weight, 138.

And if I make it to 128 and fit the measurements, I'm going to get this:

In other news, I have kind of lost count of the books. So I'm going to read a few more then re-vamp my list. I bought an anthology of 50 classics for $3 on my Nook, so I will probably replace some. Holla!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh man


Calling all women! Click on this link! It's so amazing. It's a "taste test" that, in the end, gives you a list of items that are all your style. I could look through the list for hours and hours and never get bored. Maybe a little sad, but never bored.

This site is especially for you, Courtney. I'm just sayin'

Monday, December 20, 2010

Marriage, the Orchard, and the Favorite

December is such a great month to be married. I finished my Christmas cards tonight (too late to get them to people by Christmas, but it's the thought that counts). Jordan was sitting at his keyboard playing and singing and, every once in a while, conducting. It was great. It was basically everything that I imagined when I knew I would be marrying Jordan Cox.

I also finished the book "Tending the Orchard" tonight. Mark Shell, my pastor from Orchardville Community Church, wrote it as a how-to/memoir on how a church in a community of 100 people started running attendances of right around 600 on Sunday mornings. It really is amazing. I remember attending that church when there were somewhere between 50 and 100 people.

I think Mark hits it on the head when he talks about the people in that church being the reason that it prospers. It's impossible for a church to grow if the congregation doesn't serve. Partially because if the congregation isn't serving then it isn't growing spiritually. There was never a shortage on volunteers there, ever.

And there was a tiny shout-out to The Living Christmas Tree, the Christmas program that my mom started when we went there. It was very nostalgic and made me so proud of my mom. Creative woman, that one.

I also read the play "God's Favorite" by Neil Simon tonight. Definitely on the top ten list of plays I will direct soon.

I started "Little Women" tonight. I'm going to try to get through it quickly, at least by the end of this week.

Day: 36
Books to Read: 92

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2500 Pages Later...

I finished "Breaking Dawn" last night. I just had to. I couldn't go to sleep knowing that I would wake up to read more Twilight. I just couldn't.

As much as I rib Twilight, though, It wasn't an altogether un-enjoyable week. The story is simple and the writing style is just so easy to read that I felt like I was flying through the books, even though it took eight days to read them. Really, though, I averaged about 85 pages an hour, so if you're wanting to impress everyone by how much you read, the Twilight saga is the way to go.

I think by the end of it, though, I was just so sick of the love. Obviously it was a fantasy novel, so there's not point in going into a "that kind of love would never happen" diatribe, but the thought occurred to me nonetheless. I don't think I would have thought that much about it except that so many girls are expecting that it will happen to them now. Let's face it, every girl in the world can identify with Bella. Not even the most popular, peppy girl thinks that she's completely in the "in" crowd or that she is not an outcast in some way or another. Bella finding this perfect man/vampire who did not love her in spite of her quirky-ness, but rather because of it gives us all a little hope that it will happen for us.

It's really no different from the Disney movie fantasies that I subjected myself to when I was younger. It's the happily-ever-after plot all over again.

The funny thing to me, though, is that I so enjoy growing into a new person every day that I don't think I could ever live with someone like Edward. He is "perfect," to be sure, but probably too much so. I need someone to challenge me. To upset my status quo at least once a week. As it stands, Bella will just keep being ungracious about receiving gifts (a personality trait that is, really, not appealing), and awkward about any kind of compliments (a personality trait that I share with her, but am working on improving!). She will never grow into what she might be. Because no one is pushing any kind of better-ness on her.

Now, I know that this is fiction, but I'm just speculating here. If girls really though about it... would they really want a man that literally thought that every move you made was holy? I've decided that the girls that have sense, the girls that know that life is a transformational journey, well, those girls are probably team Jacob. Not that I'm on a team. I'm not joining your stinkin' teams.

Days: 31
Books to Read: 94

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goal Fail!

So... I got absolutely nothing on my goal list accomplished. I was pretty much consumed with reading Twilight. I'm still not done. I'm on page 512 of "Breaking Dawn," though, so I am oh-so-close to being finished with the Edward and Bella "lurve" nonsense.

Seriously. How much they love each other gives me a headache.

In any case, I will finish this book tomorrow (probably), and then have to pick up something a little less... time consuming. I'd like to read two or three short books (maybe a play or two) to lead me into Christmas. Because next week I'm reading "Little Women." It's not on my list because I've already read it multiple times, but I've been wanting to sit down with it again and Christmas week is an absolute perfect week for this book.

I have got to get these Christmas cards done tomorrow. And read this book. So tomorrow looks like this for me (I think):
1. Finish "Breaking Dawn"
2. Finish Christmas cards
3. Deliver Pampered Chef
4. Answer my neglected emails
5. Send out a reminder to my Pampered Chef hostesses
6. Actually write a coherent blog about the Twilight saga

I think that that is do-able for tomorrow. If I have more time, I may or may not start on another book. A really really short book. No more of this 700 page nonsense...for now.

Side bar: This marks exactly one month since I started this crazy plan. I'm only a couple books behind schedule and I have to give myself a little slack because I hadn't read in so long. It was just a matter of getting back in the swing of things. This week should put me right where I need to be.

Day: 30
Books to Read: 95

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In which I reem Twilight

I really don't have time to be blogging when I should be reading, but I just have to talk about this.

I watched "Twilight" at least a year and a half ago and this was my first reading of the book. Before I say what is coming next, I want everyone to understand that I have never said this before. I have been waiting for just the right book/movie duo. Are you ready?


There, I said it. Usually I fight with people who say it, because, usually, I think it is ignorant to say it. You cannot possibly fit all the pages of a book into a movie. The movie would be eight hours long. And every movie-based-off-a-book that I've ever seen has essentially kept the integrity of the book. Harry Potter, Narnia, The Lord of the Rings.

But this movie? Catherine Hardwicke (director) and Melissa Rosenberg (screenwriter) obviously believed that lying in a meadow staring at one another in silence was the best way to convey their "feelings" about one another. They also didn't believe that we needed to know anything about any of the other characters. Where was all the development of the movie? When I was done watching the movie I wondered, "What does Edward's family have to do with anything?" Every time Jasper walked into a room I wanted to say, "I'm Harpo!" and Rosaline was just angry for no reason at all. The. Entire. Movie. Carlisle and Esme served as little more than smiling parental figures. And who was that broody guy? Oh yeah, Emmett. He hates Bella, right?

No! No, the book says he likes Bella! Rosaline is angry because she is jealous that Bella is a human! Jasper has the power to control emotions in the room! Alice is becoming Bella's best friend! Carlisle is 322 years old! Esme binds the family together!

And how about that other clan of vampires? The ones that are dressed in fur and designer clothes and all have hair long enough to be ponytails? Oh, in the book they are in jeans and plaid shirts? The men have their hair cut short?

I may or may not take some flack for this, but the first Twilight movie? It sucked royally. I haven't seen the other two, but I might have to. It's the macabre fascination I have with cars crashing and burning. And exploding.

At least they kept the long long long inexplicable silences in tact. Sometimes leaving you wondering... "Have they forgotten their line?" No, they haven't. But the subtext we are supposed to read? We can't. Because Edward and Bella have, apparently, never taken acting lessons. I wish I have devilishly good looks to carry me through life. If I only looked like a vampire, things would be so much easier.

I picked up the other three books from Jordan's brother today and they get thicker. I just figured out that to be done by Saturday I need to read 486.5 pages every day. I'm not altogether sure that that is possible, but I will give it my darnedest. I should be able to finish "New Moon" today without any problem. It's the rest of the week that worries me just a tad. It's going to be a nutty week.

Day: 24
Books to read: 97

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time for the Goals

Wow. I need some shorter term goals than "100 books in a year" or else I am never going to finish. And that is why I am tackling the ridiculous task of reading the Twilight series this week. I think I can do it. I've started on the first one and it is ridiculously simple reading, so I'm not worried about it. I thought it would also be easier to read and comment on the series as a whole than to jump around.

So here are my goals for this week:
1. Read the Twilight series
2. Start on another book (possibly my next Jane Austen)
3. Finish my Christmas cards
4. Clean my apartment
5. Get presents bought and wrapped
6. Grocery shop

I think that's all I have time for. I definitely have my work cut out for me, because there are several other little things that I need to get done, as well as a large undertaking that will probably take me the rest of this month to figure out and complete. And that large undertaking I will announce January first. It's very exciting.

For those of you who are wondering where the running is going to come into play, the cold weather is making it impossible with my asthma to run. I had been running and training for a 5k, but it just isn't possible at the moment. Jordan and I are thinking about investing in gym memberships at the beginning of the year, so I will start then and chronicle my progress.
Day: 22
Books to Read: 98

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Bride

I am so digging this book, even if it is taking me much longer to read than it should.

The bare-bones of "Searching for God Knows What" is that the Christian faith was intended to be relational. Donald Miller analogizes this in many ways, but my favorite, for obvious reasons, is when he talks about the bride and the bridegroom.

I got married almost exactly 6 months ago, and so am still considered a newlywed. Probably rightly so. I'm just as (if not more so) enamored with my husband as I was when I fell for him.

Preparing for a wedding two hours away from where I was going to school was stressful and time consuming. My mom is a wedding planner, so this wedding was good press for her and she was doing it RIGHT! There was an entire book on etiquette that I attempted to wade through during the first month of our engagement, but promptly laid on a shelf because etiquette just makes me mad.

The morning of the wedding was pretty hectic, starting with the trip to Bella Chez for hair and makeup.

Then we traveled to the church, where I put on my dress.


And veil.

I mean, I did everything in my power to make sure I was the most stunning bride ever conceived by human hands. Because when I walked in that church, I was going to knock Jordan right off his feet. I mean, he was not even going to know what hit him. He was going to see me like he had never seen me before.

Except, you know... he looked at me just like he always did.

I know that sounds terribly unromantic, but hear me out. It's not that he was underwhelmed... it's that it didn't matter how much I cleaned myself up, he saw the same person coming down the aisle. He saw Kasey, the girl that he loved, that he asked to marry him when she was wearing a wig and was sweaty from just doing a show. And I think that is what redeeming love is like. It's when I go to Wal Mart in my pj's and people look and think, "She doesn't look like much, but there's got to be something there, because Jordan sure loves her."

I think that the picture of Jesus as the bridegroom is beautiful. I think it's what every Christian should try to accentuate in their faith. It's not by works that we are saved. It's grace alone.

Thanks, Donald Miller.

Day: 18
Books to read: 99

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Makes Me Slow

I've now found at least two different books to read (and more than that if I like them... they both in a series). I'm thinking that reading classics is great and Christianity books are also wonderful, but I could also seize this opportunity to read some pop culture phenomenon books.

So I've added "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" to my list. I know, English majors, it kills my soul a little as well. But I still think it's important. I mean, there aren't that many great American writers anyway. We've got Mark Twain... and probably the next best thing is Ann Rice. So in order to get my fast food literature fix, I decided to nab these two. Besides that, Jordan says that his students are absolutely going gaga over "The Hunger Games" and since he doesn't have time to read it, I should and explain it to him.

You never know, I may grow really fond of them.

In other news, I'm setting a decent pace on my next book, "Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller. For those of you living in a hole with wifi, he penned "Blue Like Jazz," which, basically, set the Christian world aflame in a million different ways. I was pretty certain that I was going to marry him when I was in 8th grade, no joke. He presents really difficult questions in such simple ways... such as, "How can a Christian be a pacifist?" or "How can a Christian not think that America is better than anything else in the world?" He's really delightful and I'm really enjoying my read. I'm hoping to get through with it tonight. I've got to pick up my feet because I'm never going to get through this list if I don't.
Day: 14
Books to Read: 99

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Today has been a day of accomplishment.

Today I received and submitted two Pampered Chef orders, finished Sense and Sensibility, tied off two scarves, started my next book, "Searching for God Knows What," and began my next scarf. I bought a set of 101 cards with different crochet patterns on each one and am slowly working my way through it. I'm starting to think that I might have some kind of obsession with 100 right now.

I thought about reading all of Jane Austen's novels in a row to kind of get the feel for them, but after that first one, I really think that I need to take a little break. Some Donald Miller humor is just what the doctor ordered.

Day: 8

Books to Read: 99

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's a Thursday

I finally got a list of 100 books to read. I would have never believed this, but I was grasping at straws towards the end to come up with books. I don't need to be buying any more literature, no matter how much I want to, so these are all from my home collection. Honestly, I will probably be swapping out some of the list after Christmas/when I get the gumption to go to the library. While I do love a good Christianese how-to book, my goal was more about reading a variety of things that I had never read. I think I will wish I was dead if I only read those books the last six months.

I'm still open to suggestions/borrowing a good book from a friend.

Time to read.

Day: 5

Books to Read: 100

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sense and Sensibility

I have loved Jane Austen for years. Starting with my lovely collection of Jane Austen works that I bought on my lovely trip to England in May 2008.

The first place we went was Bath. The buildings were magnificent, all of them built before America even existed.
We visited the Roman baths. The awesome thing about England is that they let you touch things. We walked on the same stone floors as the Romans. But it's considerably more dangerous now because the stones are super slick.
This is my delightful husband.
Don't jump in the water.
But the most amazing place we went was this:

Sally Lunn's. Established 1680. Jane Austen herself used to come here for tea.

Here's some proof.

And I got to drink tea here.

And here I drank it.

Immediately after this picture I got excited like a little dog and threw up on their rug. Not really. But the memory of it still brings tears to my eyes. I would go there every day if I lived in Bath.

I ran to a bookstore while we were in Bath and purchased my Jane Austen collection. Which leads me to today when I have read my first 100 pages of Sense and Sensibility. I get the sneaking sensation that I have read it before, so I hope you will forgive me for cheating just a little bit. I don't remember the plot or how it ends at all, so it's nice to rediscover its wonder.

In conclusion, this was sitting outside Sally Lunn's. 5 blog-follower points to the reader who can tell me what the heck it is or come up with the most entertaining guess.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Beginning

I can't tell the blogging world how many times I have begun a blog. It really is pretty disgusting. Every single time I promise myself that my blog will not be trite, that it will speak to others, that it will mean something. This is sentimental hogwash, probably. Nevertheless, I felt inspired again. So here I am.

In order for me to care about a blog, I think it must be about something outside of myself. My husband is a teacher and I recently sang for one of his choirs. It was the act 2 closer of Little Women: The Musical, "Astonishing." When I asked the girls how many of them had read the book "Little Women," I was appalled. One girl out of sixty eighth and ninth graders. I read "Little Women" when I was ten.

Of course, before I could get too judgmental about these girls, I realized that I hadn't sat down to read a good novel in ages. As a matter of fact, I couldn't remember the last time I read a book all the way through. What ever happened to that ten year old whose mother pried books out of her cold hands?

 Therein lies the reason for this blog. I am sure I will have very few readers, but if I could inspire even a few to being reading again or to pick up a great piece of literature, it will be worth it.

I have decided that by this time next year I will have read 100 books that I have never read before. Some will be novels, others biographies or self-help books. I'm going to start with the shelves in my living room and work from there. We really have an obscene amount of literature in our tiny apartment. It's disgusting.

Right now I have a list of 51 books, but I will add more... I haven't even gotten through my bookcase downstairs. And there's two more to go in our guest bedroom...

Day: 1
Books to Read: 100