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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Friends

There are alot of things that good friends are compared to.  Flowers, diamonds, even bras!  But I think good friends are like a comfortable pair of shoes. It's just better to go through life when you have them.
I am so not a photographer, but I think this might be my all time favorite picture.
Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's been an enlightening year...

On her 34th birthday, a friend of mine complied a list of 34 things she'd learned throughout her life. As I leave 31 behind, I realize that I have learned a lot this year alone.  So while I may not get 31, here are the things I have learned since December 12, 2009:

1. Good friends really are hard to come by.  Hold on to them when you find them.
2. Try to laugh every day.  It makes everything better.
3. You may wish you were someone else while someone else is wishing they were you.  The grass really isn't always greener.
4. Choose happiness.  It's much better than the alternative.
5. Sometimes it's good to just have fun and not worry about anything else.
6. Don't let anyone make you feel inferior for not being what they think you should be.
7. It's okay to be a single thirtysomething girl.  And if you don't agree, then you're an idiot.  I'm not saying my life is better than my married friends. I'm just saying it's not worse.
8. Stop to smell the fresh laundry (I much prefer that smell to roses)
9. Take chances
10. Hug your grandparents every chance you get.
11. Don't forget to say I Love You to those that you love.
12. Some things are more important than getting an A in a grad school class.
13. If you get the chance to make new friends, do it.  Every lifelong friend was once a new friend.
14. When it's your birthday, it's okay to be greedy.
15. Don't waste your time worrying about things you can't change.  Everything really will work out in the end.
Friday, December 3, 2010

O How Happy I Am!




That's right... I know you all are anxiously awaiting to read the latest installment in my ABCs of Happiness post, so here goes:

Oreos: Milk's favorite cookie.  And my favorite cookie.


Orange Juice: Sometimes it just hits the spot! If you haven't tried Simply Orange, try it.  It will be the only orange juice you will ever drink again!


One Shining Moment: Y'all know I love the Cats.  And I love college basketball in general.  And March Madness is basically my most favorite time of the year (EPIC FAIL for not putting that under my M post)... Anyway, from Selection Sunday I am hooked.  The games, the brackets, the upsets, I love it all.  But One Shining Moment is always one of my favorite parts.  Not so much last year when Jennifer Hudson took over, but, you know, you can't win them all.  In case you aren't a March Madness fan and you have no idea what I am talking about (Author's note: if this is true, why are we friends again?) or in case you are Alisha and you love this as much as I do, here's the one from 2008 (special cameo by Mr, Wildcat)

and basically a shot by shot remake of that one by some kids (if I ever accidentally get pregnant, this will be what my sons do in the basement)
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let it SNOW!


I love the first snow fall of the season.  It's just perfect. The snow is still pretty, and it's usually not interfering with traffic yet (although I do love a good snow day or two).  I really love when it happens at night and I can just go outside and listen to the silence of the snow falling from the sky (snow lovers will understand that sentence, even if the rest of you don't). Yeah, I'm sad to drag out the jackets, and even sadder to officially retire the flip flops for the year, but somehow the first snowfall makes that all a little easier to stomach.
 



Author's Note: Apparently it snowed in Lexington in the wee hours of Black Friday morning.  As I did not get back into town until that afternoon, I didn't actually get to see the snow falling, so, to me, that doesn't count.  That means this morning, when I opened the door to leave the house and saw the big, fluffy flakes dropping gently from the grey sky, it was the first snowfall of the season.
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 7: Thankful for Family (and carbs)

Cooking lunch with mom, telling funny stories at the table, and loading up on carbs until I think I'm going to fall asleep into my plate.

I may be a Grinch about Halloween and New Year's, but I sure do love Thanksgiving.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 6: Thankful for Small Town, USA

Everything in town is within 5 minutes. You can't drive down the street without someone waving at you. You can't run in the grocery without seven people stopping you to chat. Local businesses just give you stuff. Everyone makes you feel like a superstar when they see you.

I had issues with this place when I lived here, but somehow I forget all of that when I come to visit...










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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 5: Thankful for Waffle Night

Even though it's two days early this week, tonight I'm thankful for waffles...


And bacon...



And great friends to share it with. Great end to a short work week!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 4: Thankful for Pandora


Since I arrived at work this morning, I have been downloading, printing, copying, and stapling the near 100 teacher iPad applications that must be read and a decision made before school is out tomorrow. So today, I am thankful for my Glee station on Pandora Radio. The past four songs: Hate on Me (Glee Version), Don't Worry, Be Happy (how did Bobby McFerrin know I needed to hear that this morning?), and A Whole New World (Aladdin), Cherry Pie (Warrant). I have no idea how those really go together, but it's making reading these applications much better.
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 3: Thankful for Fresh Air

I love to have my windows open. I'd keep them open year round if I weren't in a state with really hot summers and really cold winters. So today, on a Sunday that hasn't really been all that great, I'm thankful that I get to feel the cool breeze blow through my house for one of the last times this year. The stresses of life are easier to handle when you're sitting by an open window.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 3: Thankful for Wasting Time!

So after I F-I-N-A-L-L-Y got motivated to do my grad school homework, I started working on something even more important... A Facebook forward! My friend Peggy from high school tagged me in one of those "30 Random Things About Yourself" notes. And you know what? After reading fifty pages on budgeting for instruction and budgeting for school activities, then writing a one page (SINGLE SPACED!) reflection on said readings, it's nice to just waste a little time coming up with 30 random things about me.

I love lazy Saturdays!

(And here's the list in case you aren't Facebook friends with me)
1. I am finally FINALLY really happy with my life.
2. I was always better friends with the guys growing up. Now I am friends with my friends' husbands. I like hanging with the guys.
3. I am an expert Google-r. If it's online, I will find it.
4. I have a near photographic memory. I remember what I had packed for lunch when my elementary school burned down, and the combination from my high school locker.
5. I rub my index finger and thumb together when I am nervous or uncomfortable.
6. I send/receive between 200-250 text messages a day. In contrast, I will go several days without actually talking on my phone.
7. I love doing things that I know I am good at. However, there's a chance I will become irrationally angry if I have to do something I know I am not good at (see: archery videos)
8. I love to make people laugh. Even better if it's an inside joke and no one else in the room gets it.
9. I love sports more than you do.
10. I am a night owl. If I could, I'd stay up all night, and sleep all day.
11. I don't understand the point of using one writing format (ie. APA vs MLA) on a paper. Just read the content. Why does it matter the fonts and margins and nonsense?
12. I am going back to graduate school (AGAIN) to get an administration certificate. I am not even sure that I want to be a principal anymore, but I think maybe it's just this class I am in now (see above APA rant).
13. I've been to 52 consecutive UK Football home games. I missed the Florida game in 03 and haven't missed one since.
14. Sometimes I really miss teaching. Especially when a friend who really loves teaching is telling a story about his or her classroom.
15. I can't imagine actually ever leaving Kentucky, but I'd really love to live near the ocean.
16. The first of my year is August, and the end is July. Too many years of functioning on a school year calendar will do that to you I guess. Maybe that's one of the reasons...
17. I HATE NEW YEAR'S EVE. It is by far, my least favorite holiday. (No offense Jerad!)
18. Every year in early April and early June, I stand and cry in the middle of Hallmark and cry as I read through birthday cards and father's day cards for my dad.
19. Every time I fly, I go back and forth from thinking that it's the coolest thing ever, to being sure I won't make it back to the ground in one piece.
20. I still love snow days.
21. Cream cheese should be its own food group. It's just so darn versatile!
22. Since I paid off all my debt several weeks ago, the only thing I've bought for myself are some cardigans and long sleeved t-shirts from Target. And they were on sale.
23. I love my friends.
24. I love my family.
25. I need to take more pictures. But as Megan McCarty says, "Our life is too fun to always stop and take pictures!"
26. I was so scared that when I left RDES, I wouldn't have any friends. I couldn't have been more wrong. They can't get rid of me that easily, and now I have new friends too!
27. Most used iPhone apps: texting (see #6), mail, Twitter, Facebook, imdb.
28. Starbucks Christmas flavors are one of my favorite things about the season
29. Very often when a situation presents itself in life, I'll say, "You know it's like that one Friends episode when..." You'd be amazed at how many things you can reference this way. (Unless you are Trish, and you won't be amazed, because you already know it!)
30. I could eat breakfast for every meal.
Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 2: Thankful for Down Time

Today I am thankful I get to relax. After some much needed girl time with the RDES gang, I came home to an empty house. A quiet empty house. And you know what? It's glorious. I love my friends and I love their kids and I love to have people over. But tonight, I'm enjoying the quiet and peacefulness that an empty house can bring. Because I have friends that would pay millions to have an hour or two of quiet, and I often overlook how nice it really is.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful: Friends



On this 100th blog post, and the first in a week of thankful posts, I am thankful for my friends. I have long said that if you think you have the best friends, you are wrong, because I do. I know it sounds corny, Hallmark-y, and as my high school teacher friends would tell me, "SO elementary!" but I honestly don't know what I would do without my friends. I'm thankful for the friends that make me laugh
(see: Beers, Melissa; also Cornelius, Lindsay), the ones that listen to all of my stories, put up with all of my issues, and love me just the same (see: McMillen, Autumn), the ones that love hearing the newest ridiculous thing I've done (see: McCarty, Megan), and the ones keep me sane through work stress and grad school (see: Holland, Heather). I'm thankful for new friends for letting me infiltrate their group (see: O'Bryan, Andi; also West High Math Department). I am thankful for the friends who do all of the above (see Wainman, Jennifer), and for all of those not listed who make me smile a little everyday!

I'm a very lucky girl.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ahh...Sephora



If you know me at all, you know I am not a girly girl. Never have been. I have the most precious picture of me when I was about two in a red and white gingham dress and little blond pigtails...and skinned knees. I am that girl. The tree climber. The sports fan. The "I can get ready in 20 minutes including a shower" girl.

That being said, I do have a confession to make: I. Love. Sephora. I could spend hours testing out all of the fabulous colors of eyeshadow and lip gloss. I usually end up leaving with something ridiculous like gold eyeshadow (I mean, really, where do I go that I am
ever going to wear this?) or yet another kind of shampoo and conditioner (another confession: I have four different kinds of shampoo and conditioner in my shower right now). When I walk in there, it makes me happy. Plus, you've got to love a store that sells a make up line with this name. (Thanks Christy for letting me borrow the Brian Fuller Thumbs Up for this picture!)



Author's Note: If I ever get to the letter S on my ABC's of Happiness post, I will for sure mention Sephora, but I just thought it needed its own post today.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

N and Out of Happiness (Well, just "N" really...)

The ABC's of Happiness: N

Nieces and Nephews: I know I already said Family when I was on F, but these guys need their own entry. They are super sweet, really funny (they get it naturally!), and all around great kids. And this isn't all of them. Just a sampling. I have 10. (12 if you count Carter and Hadley, which I do). I love them. They make me smile.


Noodles & Company: Have you heard of this place? My sister Robin and I stumbled upon it on one of my visits to NC, and I have been obsessed since. Anyplace that is centered around pasta (read: Carbs) is A-OK in my book. But a place that lets me get buttered noodles or mac & cheese as a meal...well now, it doesn't get much better than that!

Nachos: And not the fancy kind from a restaurant. The cheap kind from a concession stand. YUM!

Netflix: Although "the group" makes fun of me for using this service instead of the "Hard Drive," it works for me. (Although I think I do need to check into that hard drive thing...)

Nintendo: I do like my Wii. I won't lie. But the old school one. C'mon! Fantastic. I got my original Nintendo for Christmas when I was in middle school (???). My mom and I started our quest to "Save the Princess!" after lunch on Christmas day. I was Mario, she was Luigi. We played all through the night that night, and the entire day of the 26th. One of us would heat up leftovers from Christmas Dinner while the other was playing. We continued playing all through the night of the 26th. When my dad got up to go to work on the 27th, he made us put of the controls and go to bed. That's another reason I love my mom!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taking a Closer Look

It's been a dreary day today. C-O-L-D and overcast and gray and yucky. Doesn't do much for a girl's spirits, that's for sure. But then I got home, and stepped out of my car, and I saw it.

Do you see it?



The little patch of blue sky behind the clouds? It's there.

I might've missed it. You might've missed it in the first picture. But look at the second one. Do you see how brilliant the blue is? It's barely there, but if the whole sky was lit up with that color, it might hurt your eyes to look at it.

I guess it just goes to show you that when all you see are shades of grey, and you've just about given up, there might be some color out there after all. Maybe every cloud does have a silver lining. Or maybe it has a brilliant blue sky behind it, just waiting to peek out and make you smile.
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mix It Up!

You know what I miss? Mixed tapes. I used to love making mixed tapes. And burning a CD isn't the same. Not by a long shot. You can make playlists or burn CDs in seconds, but a mixed tape? That took some thought. That took time.

In Junior High, my BFF Becky and I made mixed tapes like they were going out of style. And they took time. There was no "all of this won't fit" iTunes message. You had to do the math. You'd look at the reel to see how much tape was left, and try to figure out the shortest song you had to fill the space. (We always squeezed in Janet Jackson's "Again" when nothing else would fit.) You also had to consider the recipient. Were you keeping it or giving it away? What kind of message
do you want to convey? Sometimes we'd make one side depressing songs and the other upbeat songs so the tape was versatile enough to fit any occasion. How would you make sure the songs flowed? You couldn't put two Aerosmith songs back to back regardless of how much they made you think of that certain boy. There had to be a buffer song or two in-between.

I listened to some of those tapes until I literally wore them out. Even now, there are old love songs I hear on the radio, and I know what should come next. (I guess music really does improve memory!)

Making a mixed tape was an art... An art lost on this generation. Just like kids today will never really understand what "Party like it's 1999!" means. Nor will they know why when you crank your arm while standing outside a car, the driver knows this means roll down your window.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

$0.00

Honda, Chase Visa, University of the Cumberlands, my dentist, the US Dept of Education (or whoever it is that gives student loans). Add 'em all up, and what do you have? $0.00. That's right folks, I'm debt free. (Not counting my mortgage of course, but what 31 year old has their house paid off?)

Maybe when I get paid Friday, I'll take it all out in cash and roll around in it..


Actually, come to think of it, I used to work at a bank and saw people pull money from weird places. So nix that.

Maybe I'll just do a little shopping... :D



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Big Five -Oh

I've sat through every second of 196 Quarters. I don't come late. And I don't leave early.

I've endured 15 overtime periods (which STRESS ME OUT!)

I've seen 2777 points scored. 1537 by the Cats, 1240 by their opponents.

If you're a LSUKFF (Long Suffering UK Football Fan) like me, this one might surprise you. 27 wins-22 losses. I knew it was close, but I thought it would tilt the other way. I guess I have Woodson, Tamme and Co to thank for that.

Of the 27 wins, the average margin of victory was 18, with 10 of them (37%) being decided by one possession or less.

Of the 22 losses, the average margin of defeat was about 14 points, with 12 (55%) being decided by one possession or less.

Why all the stat work? you ask...

Well, today is a milestone. When I enter Commonwealth Stadium today, it will mark my 50th consecutive home game. I missed the Florida game in 2003 and I haven't missed one since. I didn't set out to reach this goal. In fact, I was a few seasons in before I realized I'd not missed a game in a while. But now that I am this far, I am all in. Watch out "Superfan" Jim Brown (and all of the other people with streaks longer than mine). I am younger than you. And I will outlast you. I sat through three losing seasons with this streak. I saw Florida beat us by 45 points. Hell, I saw Ohio University beat us by a couple of touchdowns. I can take it. I have staying power.

Hopefully I will be able to write a glorious post in the morning about knocking off the Dawgs. But either way, here's to the next 50 games.
Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Post Brought to You By the Letter M

On this glorious Sunday, today I am happy for:



Magical Saturdays at Commonwealth Stadium- Okay, I know that's a stretch, but c'mon, I have to mention last night's win against South Carolina!!!!

M♥M-I love my mom. She is the bravest woman I have ever met. BY FAR. Selfless, loving, caring, nurturing, funny, adventurous. She's the best. I call her every Tuesday morning on my way to work to catch up... She loves to hear me yell at the stupid drivers I'm sure. She said when she was little all she wanted to be was a Mom. And she's the best anyone could ever ask for.

Mashed Potatoes-Carbs. Butter. Milk. Can't go wrong. It's my dish at all family gatherings, so I must've learned something from the great cooks in my family along the years!

Macaroni & Cheese-Carbs. Cheese. Butter. Milk. Can't go wrong!

Milkshakes-I know I talked about Ice Cream with I, but I'd really rather have a milkshake anyday. (Mmmm.... Crisps Peanut Butter Milkshake)

Memory-I have a ridiculous memory. I remember what I had packed for lunch the day my elementary school and what I was wearing the day my nephew was born. I love when a friend calls and wants me to settle a bet between two people because I was present when whatever it was was discussed, and they know that I will remember what happened!

M Friends-Turns out I have lots of friends who fall under this letter. MBeers, McGuire (who I guess could've been under J, but sometimes I forget he has a first name), Megan, Melanie, ML, even my UofL good luck charm Micah. Looks like people with M names are good at putting up with me. And each of these people know too much about me to ever NOT be my friends anymore! =)

Mint Kit Kats-Anyone ever have these? They were out around Christmas several years ago. I think Alisha and I bought every bag we could find. And then, they were gone. So really, thinking of them makes me sad and not happy. But remembering how fantastic they were? That does make me happy...


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning...

  • You may think you have the best friends in the world, but you're wrong. I do.
  • I love that it's just cool enough outside to elicit a breeze through my (of course) open windows, but not cold enough that the birds aren't outside chirping.
  • This week was basically the longest week of my life
  • ESPN College Game Day=Love
  • Made $110 selling two textbooks on eBay the other day
  • Pumpkin Spice creamer for my coffee makes me a happy girl
  • I wish I would've gotten those Oreos at Target yesterday
  • No tailgating again this week. Bummer.
  • I hate Steve Spurrier
  • Go Cats!
Monday, October 4, 2010

The One

So people talk about finding "The One"... You know, that one article of clothing that you love more than anything else? (C'mon, did you really think I was going somewhere lovey dovey with this?) Yours may be a favorite pair of jeans or a cute pair of shoes. Mine is a hooded sweatshirt. And not just one, I actually have three that I love: The NAVY one I got in Annapolis last winter, a pink Kentucky one Kim got me for Christmas several years ago, and a blue Kentucky one that I got super cheap at the bookstore when I worked there. The last one and I have been through a lot together. Lots of cold football losses. Some cold football victories. I've even changed out the regular drawstrings with cute ribbon. If I could wear a hooded sweatshirt every day, I would. Sometimes I even get excited about cold and dreary weather because that means it's a hooded sweatshirt day! So even though the first day of my fall break is unseasonably cold, I will not complain. Because me and my trusty sweatshirt are going out on the town today!




Sunday, October 3, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know It, Write a Blog...

(Author's Note: I feel like I have been doing these posts f-o-r-e-v-e-r and I am not even halfway through the alphabet yet, so I've got to get movin'!)

The ABCs of Happiness: L

Laughter- There are few things in this world that I love more than laughter. Medicine, mood changer, calorie burner--however you look at it, it's a great thing to do. Sure, sometimes I need to have a good cry (And if that's the case, luckily, I know just how to make that happen!) but there's just about nothing that feels better than a good laugh.

Lexington-(See also: Kentucky) When I was a little girl and Dad would bring me to Midnight Madness, as I sat in line at Memorial Coliseum, I'd see the college girls crossing the street and think "That's going to be me one day..." And it was. And I'm still here!



Labrynth- As far as 80's movies goes, this one has all the elements: Jim Henson puppet characters, bad green screen effects, baby-sitting, apathetic parents, amazing soundtrack, and as an added bonus: David Bowie. It's pretty phenomenal.


Lindsay- After my second year of teaching, I was interviewing candidates for a 4th grade vacancy in the classroom that adjoined to mine. This cute blond came in and answered her questions like she'd just read the SAT Vocabulary book. I didn't even know what some of the crap she was saying meant! When she left, I told the committee, "I can't work with her, she uses too many big words!" But those big words landed her a job, and this cute blond and I quickly became friends (because she's friends with all kinds of people!) =) I love Lindsay for lots of reasons, but at the top of the list has to be that she's so upbeat that I never feel bad about myself when she's around. And at times, that was saying alot! I love my job now. If you know me, you know that. However, I can say with near certainty that I don't think I will ever be as happy at work as I was the two years I teamed with her.
Saturday, October 2, 2010

All Grown Up

My blog is officially all grown up. It has a new real URL and everything! You can still follow from the blogspot address, or now from www.a-little-bit-of-everything.com.

And I'll try to get back in the habit of writing more often!
Friday, October 1, 2010

Taking Chances

One of my favorite authors is Sophie Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic books. Her books are funny, easy to read, and she uses a lot of voice in her writing. My favorite book she has written is called Can You Keep a Secret? (Which BTW, I am fairly certain that someone stole from my house, because I can not find it ANYWHERE...) In this book, the main character, Emma, is on a flight back to London, and the plane encounters some turbulence. As in the oxygen masks drop and everything. Emma, being fairly certain that she is going to die, decides to confess all of her secrets, and I mean ALL of them, to the handsome stranger next to her. Of course, she doesn't die, the plane lands safely, and the next day, she finds out that the man next to her on the plane is the owner of her company. Hilarity ensues.

On my way back from New Jersey last week, my plane hit a touch of turbulence itself. Not as much as Emma's and not nearly enough to spill my guts to the old man next to me (he probably couldn't have handled my secrets anyway), but enough to make you wonder. What if something happens? What are my regrets? What do I wish I would've tried? What would I do different? What would I change about myself?

But of course, my plane did land safely. And there was no hot stranger in charge of my company when I got to work the next day. And I completely forgot all those things I was going to change...

A few weeks ago, my friend Andi asked me to come to her classes to let her students interview me to practice on their questioning skills. Most were simple: "What's your job title?" " Where'd you go to college?" "How long have you worked here?" But then they asked me one that stumped me: What would you change about your life if you could? I wasn't prepared to have to think during this interview! So I hemmed and hawed around, and then decided on the fact that I think I would've been just as happy being a high school teacher as I would being an elementary school teacher. Then later that evening, it hit me. I would've taken more chances. Not been so careful. Not been so guarded.

You know, you do only live once. You've got to make it count.
Friday, September 24, 2010

Perfection

Take a few minutes and read this. And then let's all be REAL.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Finally!

Just a touch of fall in the air
A little bit of rain, but not enough to damper my spirits

Tailgating and The Cat Walk

The promise and hope of a new season, a clean slate
This could be the year we beat Florida
Or South Carolina
Or Tennessee
In September, anything is possible

Being a resident of the third largest "city" in the state
Seeing my football family for the first time since November

My Old Kentucky Home, the new video intros, and the team taking the field
The coin toss and the UPS Game Ball Delivery

"It's Football Time in the Bluuuuuuuuuuegrass!!"
Then the opening kick

"First Down, Kentucky!!!! Wooooo!" (even if other people do think it's stupid)

The hits
The runs
The touchdowns

The sounds.
The smells.
The sights.

Praise the Lord, it's Football Season

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time for some happiness...


After a really rough couple of weeks, I thought maybe it was time for me to do another happiness post. So here are the things that make me happy that start with K:
  • Kitchen: I love cookbooks. I love to cook. I love to bake. My kitchen is the main reason I chose this house. It's big and open, and blue and white to boot. Perfect for me!
  • Kool-Aid: Even though some people think it tastes like Jello (only two people in the world will get that joke), I love my Kool-Aid. I have some purple in the fridge right now. And according to Alisha, purple is a flavor.
  • Karaoke: My favorite way to spend time. And not just out at a bar somewhere (although I have rocked some karaoke at JD Legends). Anytime I can sing at the top of my lungs, I consider it Karaoke. I have a "Road Trip" playlist on my iPod that is basically Karaoke in the Car. I think I need to start keeping a hairbrush in my glove box.
  • Kentucky: Bourbon. Basketball. Bluegrass. Backroads. Football, farms and all four seasons. The Derby. Corvettes. Hot browns. The real Land of Lincoln. (No matter what Illinois tries to tell you!) The landscape, the parks, and the people. I do love this place. A lot.

(Author's note: When I Googled "K" to get a picture, this was the first thing Google gave me: Boltzmann constant = 1.3806503 × 10-23 m2 kg s-2 K-1 For the record, I do love math, but this is not one of the things that makes me happy)
Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sometimes Life Throws You Curves...



I love the movie Field of Dreams. And when I say that I love it, I mean it's my favorite movie in the world. Obviously you know I love sports, plus it has a great father/son storyline, and as an added bonus, Kevin Costner was really cute when he was younger! =) But I always loved the character of Doc Graham. For those of you not familiar with the movie, I shouldn't fill you in on his back story, I should just tell you to go watch it, but I'm feeling generous, so... Archie "Moonlight" Graham was baseball player when he was a boy, got called up to the majors but hadn't seen any action. At the bottom of the last inning of the last game of the season, he got to play right field, but never got to bat. He was called back down to the minors after that and quit baseball to become a doctor in Chisholm, Minnesota. He was the kind of small town doctor everyone knows and loves, and everyone has a story about (you know, the one guy talking about the boxes of hats in his office is the part where I predictably cry every time). Kevin Costner's character, Ray, meets him late in his life, and this conversation ensues:
Ray:...if you could have a wish....

Doc Graham: And you're the kind of man who could grant me that wish?
Ray: I don't know. I'm just asking.

Doc Graham: You know, I never got to bat in the major leagues. I'd have liked to have had that chance, just once...to stare down a big-league pitcher. Stare him down, then just as he goes into his windup, wink. Make him think you know something he doesn't. That's what I wish for. The chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes to look at it. To feel the tingle in your arms as you connect with the ball. To run the bases, stretch a double into a triple...and flop face first into third. Wrap your arms around the bag. That's my wish. Is there enough magic out there in the moonlight...to make this dream come true?

Ray: What would you say if I said yes?

Doc Graham: I think I'd actually believe you. 

Ray: There's a place where things like that happen...and if you want to go, I can take you.

Doc Graham: This is my most special place in all the world. Once a place touches you like this, the wind never blows so cold again. You feel for it. Like it was your child. I can't leave Chisholm.

Ray: I understand. I do. But I really think you're supposed to come with us.

Doc Graham: No.

Ray: But your wish?

Doc Graham: It'll have to stay a wish. I was born here, I lived here, I'll die here, but no regrets.

Ray: Fifty years ago, for five minutes, you came this close. It would kill some men to get that close to their dream and not touch it. They'd consider it a tragedy.

Doc Graham: Son, if I'd only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes...now that would have been a tragedy.

This weekend, I was home for a funeral of one of Grayson's favorite residents: Jack Calhoun. Some knew him as a great coach. My dad knew him as a great friend. I knew him as one of the greatest teachers I ever had. Before the visitation Friday night, I was reading an article about him from the Ashland Daily, and they told of how he'd been a promising shortstop until a car accident injured his shoulder. Dad says Jack was definitely headed to be a ball player before the injury. As I saw the hundreds of people filing into the East Carter gym for the visitation and funeral, I couldn't help but think of how that injury changed his life, and there are thousands of his former students who are better for it. On my way back to Lexington today, I started thinking of Field of Dreams, and the similarities between Big Jack and Doc Graham. Both small town legends. Both loved by all who knew them. And I am sure Jack had the same wish: to bat in the majors. But just like Doc Graham, I think if you'd have presented him with the opportunity, he would've said "If I'd only gotten to be a teacher for five minutes...now that would've been a tragedy."

Our loss is Heaven's gain. And to borrow from a fellow Raider's Facebook status, I sure hope the Angels have their hall passes. ♥
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Close Second

I know I said the email I got about being accepted to the ETS Technology Praxis panel was the best e-mail I'd ever gotten, but then this morning, this was in my Inbox:



Dear MS. ERIN WAGGONER,

We wanted to let you know that your 2010 Football season tickets were sent to you on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 via 1st Class Mail.

I've got to say this one was a close second!
GO CATS!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Garden State

Several weeks ago, I got an email forwarded to me from our Curriculum Department. The Educational Testing System (ETS) was looking for nominations of teachers to be on a panel for a Technology version of the Praxis (the test you have to pass to get your teaching certificate). They wanted to nominate me, so I filled out the information, had them sign it, and faxed it to Frankfort. Today I got an email from someone at the state level that I'd been chosen to participate in the state panel in March. I replied and accepted, thinking that was a pretty cool thing to get to do. Then this afternoon, I got another email. This one was from ETS. I have also been selected to be on the national panel. Which is in Princeton, New Jersey next month. There was a number for a travel acency to book my flight through so ETS would be billed directly. And a list detailing what they'd reimburse ($15 breakfast?!? Are you kidding me?!?). By this point I'm pretty pumped about things. Then I see a note asking for me to send them my cell phone number. I think it's odd until I see why. "It will only be used in the case of a delay and the limo driver needs to contact you." Umm, I'm sorry, LIMO DRIVER?!? This is officially the best email I've ever gotten! Look out Garden State, here I come!










Wonder if I'll run into Danielle Staub... :)
Monday, August 2, 2010

ABCs of Happiness: J

In a weird timing thing that I couldn’t have planned better, summer is ending, the new school year is beginning, and I am writing about the letter J. So here are the J things that make me happy:

June and July—I know I said that I was bored early into the summer, but I do love being off of work. Mostly because I am totally a night person, and I like staying up crazy late and then sleeping in until noon. However, it's not that hard to go back when I also love my...

Job—I have loved every job I have had in my teaching career (I am a firm believer that you can’t be a teacher if you don’t love it), but I really love my job now. I love being in all of the schools and meeting new people. I love being able to leave for lunch. I love not having to deal with irate parents. And I love…

JCTC—Basically lack of space has placed my office with the Administrative offices of our Career & Technical School in Jessamine County. There is no room at Central Office or DTO for me, but you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. The staff has accepted me as one of their own, I have made new friends, and I swear they have more potlucks than a country church.

And last, but certainly not least (in fact, most):

Jenny—I know that she goes by Jen now, but she will always be Jenny to me. I love this girl. There is something deeply comforting about having a friend that knows all of your secrets (and was present for some of them) but loves you anyway. We’ve known each other since we were eight, so we have been through some pretty rough stuff together: poor fashion choices (shoestring hairbows—who thought these were a good idea?), poor love choices, and heartbreaking loss, but through it all, I have always known she was there for me. We have so many inside jokes that sometimes we can just say one word (i.e. “Paintsville” or “Daffy's”) to each other and we will start cracking up. Some days we will talk on the phone for hours, and sometimes we will just send a few text messages, but we are always in touch. She makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she makes me feel good about myself, she makes me happy. It's cheesy and I may sound like a Hallmark card, but I can't imagine my life without her.

These pictures make me laugh so hard. This one was taken too soon (or maybe too late) by my self timer in a movie theatre in Philadelphia. We are were having one of those moments when we could not stop laughing.



And here's how excited we were about her marriage license. We are weirdos.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy New Year!


Okay, so some of you think that I have lost my mind, or perhaps that this blog post has been lost for eight months. But that's because you are all using the wrong calendar. The one that starts in January may make sense to you, but to me, today is New Year's Eve. I guess it's 8 years in the school system (not counting the years I was there on the other side of the big desk), but I consider August 1st New Year's Day. That's just the way my brain works. As such, here are my New Year's Resolutions:

  1. I will not stress about my job. The job I currently have is funded through a two year grant, this year being the second. However, with my tenure, I will have a job in 2011. It may be teaching Kindergarten (Lord help us all), but I will be employed. So there is no need to worry about what the job will be, because that's not going to help anything.
  2. I will not quit grad school. As some of you may know, I am working towards my second Master's Degree/Principal Certification. I have learned in these first two classes that I am not as motivated as I used to be. But I am not going to quit. (Besides, Heather would kill me)
  3. I will continue to make a conscious effort to stay positive even when the environment around me isn't.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I will go have some champaign. And by champaign, of course I mean beer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Southern Belle

I love being from the South. Not in a "The South Will Rise Again," Confederate flag and gun rack in the back of my pick-up kind of way, but I do love it. In fact, I have even toned down my complaining about the humidity (I am not cutting it out completely, mind you, but I am lightening up) and just decided to wear my hair curly most days. For those of you who may not understand this, let me fill you in on why I love the South:

  • SEC Football, SEC Basketball. Enough said.
  • People in the south smile and say "Hello" when you pass them on the street. We aren't weird, that's just the way we were raised. You may walk past 100,000 people a day in NYC, but not a single one of them even looks at you.
  • I can get sweet tea at restaurants. (Quick Side Note: I will never understand why some of my friends order unsweet tea and then add artificial sweeteners to it. There is no way that tastes better than sweet tea. And yes, they are saving calories, but is it worth it? Not to me, that's why I drink my tea with sugar. The way God intended.)
  • We have great restaurants like Cracker Barrel, and more importantly, we know how to make the food on their menu at home.
  • I like having four distinct seasons. Not too far north for a long winter, not too far south for sweltering heat all summer long. Like Goldilocks would say, Just Right!
  • And my favorite: I can basically say anything I want about someone, and not be considered the least bit mean as long as I end it "Bless his/her heart."
FYI: technically Annapolis is south of the Mason/Dixon Line. I'm just sayin'...
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello, my name is Erin and I am a Cookbook-aholic

When I first saw my townhouse, I fell in love with the kitchen. It was big and open and looked like the perfect place to make a meal. It was one of the main reasons I even put in an offer on the house, and when it became mine, I quickly filled up the kitchen with more appliances and accessories than a single gal should probably have.
See, I love to cook. Appetizers, soups, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, I don't really discriminate. Some are old tried and true family recipes and some are off-the-wall new ones. Some are super healthy, and some would make Paula Deen blush. I just love to cook, and thus, I love cookbooks. I mean REALLY love them--especially if they have pictures of every dish (which personally I think should be a law).
So tonight, I was rearranging my kitchen and thought it would be nice to bring all of my cookbooks out and display them on the counter since some were actually in a cabinet. When I got them all out, that's when I realized I had a problem.

Did you count? There are 40 of them. 40! And this does not include the dozen Pampered Chef "Season's Best" booklets I buy every time I order from them. Or the 19 Kraft Food and Family magazines I have saved and tabbed. Or the 100 or so recipes I have torn out of Every Day with Rachael Ray or Real Simple and organized in a binder by genre (did I mention I have OCD?) Or the recipes in my recipe box. And the thing is, I only use about three of my cookbooks on a regular basis. The other (37!) I have made one or two things from, or worse yet haven't made anything yet, but have tabbed a page or two with the intention of making something. But I can't get rid of them. Nor do I have the room to store them all on the counter without looking like the cooking section of Joseph Beth, so I compromised. My favorites and the ones that were Mamaw's are staying on the counter, along with a few others, and the binder.
The rest are stacked two deep in the cabinet for now.
Maybe I will rotate them out on some sort of schedule. Or buy a house with a bigger kitchen.

Do you think there is a 12 step program for this?