December 28, 2009

the accordion on christmas...

shelly trivia: i own and play an accordion, but i only play one day a year.

that day my friends, is christmas day. the most wonderful day of the year. last year i gave a glimpse into the fabulousness that is our christmas sing-a-long, and this year i'm doing the same. you may notice my playing seems to be getting worse instead of better...but i guess that's what happens when you only practice once every 365 days. my uncle mick is the dashing gentleman heading up the percussion section with his washboard and the new addition of a kazoo. my cousin heather is on the piano with the daunting job of trying make what we're doing sound like something resembling music. prepare to be impressed...



December 5, 2009

this never, ever gets old...

i could watch this for hours. it always makes me laugh. and in honor of her special day, i have invited kim to join in the dancing. happy birthday friend.
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

November 26, 2009

the things i'm thankful for...

in honor of my 99th blog post, and the national day of thanks, here are 99 things i love and am thankful for (in random order):

camping . sharpies . vanilla steamers . sbu . the beatles . missions . egg nog . elf . bike rides . cupcake sandwiches . settlers . my mom . laptops . exploring . flowers . the cosby show . sunshine . quick trip . popcorn on the stove . the office . flip flops . Jesus . planet sub . blogs . my family . mix cd's . christmas . my piano . stars .dancing . my friend's kids . travel . gene kelly musicals . rain . christmas sing-a-longs with my family . free food . free anything . the library . weddings . smoothies . snow . riding the train . memories . toffee . getting the mail . leftovers . the beach boys . organizing . knee high socks . the tv show friends . cheese balls . records . being outside . the haygoods . puzzles . bible study . maps . my friends . skim milk . coupons . back to the beach . grace . live musical theatre . history . public transportation . chick lit . saint louis . giving . trips with friends . countdown chains . outdoor movies . ozzie smith . the smell of sunscreen . hyvee . old people . float trips . the olympics . white castles . london . birthdays (whole and half) . kids camp . adventures . hammocks . the empty tomb . reusable shopping bags . water parks . iced sugar cookies . opportunities to serve . boat rides . fluffy down comforters . the beach . balancing my checkbook . my funny uncle . hand-me-downs . potatoes . chapstick . sleeping with the window open . bingo . grandpa's red plaid christmas pants

November 23, 2009

i can't wait to meet my newest little friend...

his name is g.t. and he's coming soon!

November 14, 2009

welcome to the family...

my 'cousin' matt with his new wife lindsay

christy . matt . shelly

the meinhardt delegation
jackie . bob . paula . donna . rich . marilyn . mick . linda

October 28, 2009

what makes a little girl smile...

this is lizeth, she is eight years old. i met lizeth and her two younger sisters a few weeks ago on a trip to mexico.

lizeth is a serious little girl. before coming to live at casa hogar de gozo she had a lot of responsibilities. her mom went to work very early in the morning and did not come home until very late at night, so lizeth was in charge of taking care of herself and her sisters most of the time. she made sure they were dressed and fed, if there was food to be had that day. recently the three girls were invited to come live at the orphanage run by a couple named pedro and zoila.

during our visit, we noticed that lizeth and her sisters had pretty bad cases of head lice. so when we went shopping to get some toothbrushes, toothpaste and some other items to leave for the kids, we picked up some lice shampoo as well. to be honest, i wondered if it would even make a difference, knowing that it would be difficult to get rid of the lice altogether. before we left, we made sure zoila knew what the shampoo was for and we said our goodbyes.

yesterday our team received an e-mail from the missionary we traveled with. he wanted to tell us this story. last friday lizeth was looking in the mirror with a smile on her face as zoila fixed her hair for school. zoila asked her why she was smiling so big and lizeth said, "this is the first time in my life i do not have any head lice and the kids can't tease me anymore!"

it doesn't take much to make a little girl smile.


on that same trip i also met ruby. she is eighteen. when we were visiting i had a very hard time getting ruby to let me take her picture...and now i know why. ruby has a bad front tooth and recently told zoila that she is really embarassed about her appearance and smile. it will cost $950 american dollars for two years of braces to fix her teeth. to me, that's a lot of money...but to ruby, it's unthinkable. i want to help change ruby's life, and maybe you will too.

October 16, 2009

the behrs and the vikings...

matthew and jacob have the distinct privilege of playing football for the francis howell vikings. i have the distinct privilege of showing up at their games and embarrassing them to no end. it is quite enjoyable. sometimes their teammates tease them, but i know they're just jealous that no one has brought a large sign with their name on it. i mean really...what's better than that?
matthew . shelly . the sign

jacob . shelly . the homecoming game


i also took some matthew.jacob.gracie photos
and this is one of my favorites.
click on it to see more!

October 13, 2009

una semana en mexico...

our small but mightily hilarious team of five just returned from a week in san pedro mexico. (which is outside hermosillo for those of you with stellar mexican geography skills) there is an orphanage there called casa hogar de gozo which just opened two weeks before our arrival. right now there are seven children (from three families) living there so we spent the week helping them make their new house a home. we painted all the interior rooms with fun, bright colors and gave the doors and windows a fresh coat of paint. there is still work to be done, but eventually they hope to house fifty to sixty children here.

this is lizeth, the mexican jumping bean.
you can see more picture of the kids by clicking here.


this trip also provided one of the funniest mexican experiences ever. one evening we were sitting on the porch chatting and laughing while the kids played around us, when a man in a cowboy hat appeared out of nowhere and joined the group. he joined right in the festivities and started singing to us. at first we assumed he must be friends of the couple that runs the orphanage, but we soon realized he was just a random drunk man who wandered through the gate and onto the property. he was the friendly sort, though we didn't understand a word he said. he entertained us for about twenty minutes until the police came and kindly offered him a place to stay for the night. here is a bit of his little song...

October 2, 2009

the finale...

yes it's true...the summer of fun is officially coming to an end. i realize it's a bit of a stretch to refer to the early days of october as part of summer...but that's the way it goes.

it's been a fabulous few months. i spent a lot of time with people i love and i enjoyed them immensely. i often found myself talking with a friend and being a bit overwhelmed at how glad i am that we met. i have some fun, inspiring and lovable friends for sure!

one thing i wanted to do this summer was to simply be available and be generous with my time. sometimes that meant just spending time with someone, and other times it meant helping out with work, kids or other tasks. the summer finale is that kind of opportunity. tomorrow my mom and i are heading to mexico with three other people from calvary. we'll be helping some missionaries there who are working to transform a facility that has been used for summer camps in the past into a full time home for kids.

i think people often wonder what the point it to short term mission trips. why not just send the money directly to the missionary or project and let them use it to buy materials, hire workers, etc? it's a good question, and one i ask myself on occasion, but i do think there is a reason! part of it is for our own benefit, so we can be a part of something bigger than ourselves. like this cademon's call song says...
he doesn't need us, but he lets us put our hands in
so we can see, his love is bigger than you and me
it's also because people are people, not just numbers. you can send money, but money can't give a kid a hug, and sometimes that's what they need. our last night in honduras the kids did a drama to a song called 'child of the street'. here's the chorus...
i don't need money, i don't need compassion.
what i need is love, i am a child of the street.
when you travel somewhere, whether across the world or down the street, you're showing people that someone cares for them, and they are not forgotten.

September 29, 2009

mr. and mrs. carr...

this past weekend i had the privilege of coordinating owen and susan's wedding in champaign, illinois. since i love weddings, organizing and sometimes telling people what to do...i had a great time! i also took a few photos for them when i wasn't busy doing something else. you can see more images by clicking here.

owen and susan...thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your special day!

September 24, 2009

shelly and the terrible horrible no good very bad day...

i was robbed. i don't think i've ever been robbed before. it is no fun.

wednesday morning i went to church as usual for our weekly meeting. i also hooked up the bike rack on my trunk and brought along my bike so i could stop for a ride on my way home. i was trying to be wise and combine trips. before i left church i safely stowed my wallet in the console and the church laptop in my trunk. out of sight, out of mind.

so i went to my biking destination and had a nice ride. as i came back up to my car i noticed the bottom straps of my bike rack were hanging loose. weird. it's not like they can just fall off on their own. so i hooked them back up and put my bike on. then i walked to the front of the car and saw that my drivers window had been smashed. my mind started racing as i calculated what had happened. i hurried to unlock the back seat so i could look in the trunk...no laptop. opened the console...no wallet. by this time i am crying. and by crying, i mean sobbing and wailing. this nice man stopped to see what was wrong and offered to stay with me until the police came. he even gave me a hug, which i was really needing at that point.

thus began my terrible horrible no good very bad day. i cried a lot. i lost my own stuff...but even worse, i lost a lot of the church's stuff.

thursday was a much better day. i got a call from a policeman in the morning saying he had recovered my wallet. there was no license, money or credit cards but there were other things left in it. i was elated as i drove to meet him. a woman had come across it laying in a driveway that morning and had called the police. almost everything was there (including my check register!) but he told me where it was found in case i wanted to go look around and see if there was anything else there. so i drove up and down the street scanning the grass for anything interesting. i spotted a card sized object and jumped out to inspect it further and what do i find...my drivers license! i was dancing in the street. i walked around some more and found a few other things that were mine...it was better than an easter egg hunt.

there's still a lot missing...many files and photos. but i'm okay, and as someone said 'stuff can be replaced, shelly cannot'.

September 22, 2009

i think i've found my calling...

can you make a living doing this? i sure hope so. at the very least, participating in a dancing flash mob has officially made 'the list'.




i've posted my all time favorite before, but if you want to see it again (and i think you should) click here.

September 19, 2009

health awareness month...

due to the inspiration of my friend tara, i have declared the month of september to be 'heath awareness month'. initially i was curious to see if drinking the recommended amount of water a day would really make a difference in how i look and/or feel. considering my current liquid consumption was approximately 2oz. per day, i figured if there were results to be seen, i'd see them. but i went ahead and added a few other stipulations to make it interesting. here are the requirements:
  • drink 64oz. of water per day
  • eat at least one fruit or vegetable every day
  • ride my bike three time a week
  • only eat dessert on the weekends
i'm halfway through and so far have not drown, but i have yet to discover any visible benefits to drinking so much water. i'm starting to doubt those 'experts'.

September 15, 2009

fun flight facts...

total air miles traveled from june 2009 to present: 30,080

most surprising inflight movie selection: summer catch (starring jessica biel and freddie prinze jr.)

best airport food find: nathan's corn dog nuggest for $2.50

annoying airline that doesn't give you a snack even when you're flying across the country: united/u.s. air

most exciting airport for landing: tegucigalpa, honduras

September 10, 2009

September 9, 2009

happy times in honduras...

*disclaimer* - sorry if i worried some of you with the last post...the policemen always come along when they take groups to the street (political crisis or not) just as a precaution. we were safe the whole time!

that said, i have to admit i was surprised at how fond i became of this country in one short week. other than knowing it was somewhere in central america, honduras wasn't really on my radar as a place i was too interested in. there are, of course, many similarities to mexico, which isn't a surprise. but i was amazed at how beautiful it was, especially the bright blue of the sky. and i'm not really sure why, but their flag is one of my favorites. (maybe it had to do with all the soccer fans waving and wearing it everywhere)

we spent the week in the town of talanga, about an hour from tegucigalpa, with a bunch of lovable kids. they all come with different stories, but the bottom line is that at some point they each found themselves without anyone to care for or about them. most had been living on the streets for a period of time, forced to take on the responsibility of a grown up at much too young an age. but thankfully, God decided to give a man a desire to help these kids, and project manuelito was born. there are now thirty six kids who are off the streets and are instead being fed, loved and cared for by some very dedicated people.

our main job was just to love the kids and have fun with them. it's really cool how they consider those that come to visit as their family. we also had some work to do, as in manual labor. the biggest project was to finish pouring a sidewalk from the dorm to the dining hall. i managed to get in a little weight training as i pushed the wheelbarrows of cement back and forth from the mixer to the sidewalk. there was also some painting, sewing, washing and other little projects to take care of.

what made this trip different from any other i've been on is getting to see the same kids all day, every day. even though they mostly spoke spanish and we mostly spoke english, we were able to laugh and play together. (and just in case you were wondering, high school musical crosses all cultural and language barriers) these kids are all special and very unique. i don't really know how to get it across in words, so i'll just let you see them for yourself...

sara


cristian


jenni


sara kisses


while i'm so thankful that these kids are being loved, there are so many more on the street right this minute who don't have anyone to care for them. to help them all is an overwhelming task, but you gotta start somewhere. there are currently over 20,000 street children in honduras, or as they like to say at manuelito...20,000 minus 36.

August 30, 2009

a landing to remember...

our honduras adventure began with quite an entrance. we had heard stories of the bumpy landings that are common in the tegucigalpa airport. the runway is very short, making it a difficult place to land a plane. in fact, there is a limited number of pilots who are even certified to fly here. so needless to say, we were prepared for a less than smooth landing. as we bumped down on the runway, i thought “is that all? that was a lot of hype for nothing.” immediately following that thought the plane banked hard to the right, and lets just say if i hadn’t been wearing my seatbelt, this aisle seat passenger would have been plastered to the window. you know the landing was exciting when the pilot comes on the intercom during taxi and simply says “wow”.

saturday night we stayed in tegucigalpa, the capital city. after dinner jeremy (an american who lives here) took us out to the streets to hand out some food and see where the kids at project manuelito come from. there were less kids than usual, probably due to the recent political issues and government curfews. many of the ones we did see were high on glue and were pretty out of it. while it’s hard to see kids living in those conditions with no hope, it does make me excited for sunday afternoon when we’ll get to talanga (about an hour outside of the city) and get to meet the kids that have been blessed with a chance for a better life.

we had a personal police escort for our night on the street, so i’ll leave you with a picture of my new friends…

August 28, 2009

simply be who you are, where you are...

that's a quote the bible study girls and i came up with while we studied ecclesiastes this summer. and that's what i hope to do next week in honduras.

my mom and i are leaving in the morning with a team from calvary, our church in st. louis, to spend a week at project manuelito. calvary has been partnering with this ministry for a few years now...it is a place for kids who were formerly living on the streets to live, be loved and have the opportunity to choose a different kind of life for themselves.

we know we'll be doing a lot of "handy work" around the property...fixing things, painting, washing clothes, etc. we're also planning on giving out a lot of smiles, laughter and hugs. but as with most mission trips, we'll never really know until we get there.

there will hopefully be updates posted throughout the week on one of our team members blogs, so click here if you're interested!

August 26, 2009

the body cast adventure...

three weeks ago my friend tara called to tell me that her daughter sophia had broken her femur bone and was in a body cast for four weeks. naturally i responded as any caring friend would, which means i laughed and said she should have practiced her delivery more because her joke wasn't believable at all. but after hearing her recount the story of her fall off a balance beam at the park, i figured out it was for real.

as you can imagine, the thought of caring for a three year old in a body cast, along with her one and a half year old sister, was a tad overwhelming. so i worked some travel magic and flew from georgia straight to cali to help out for a few days.

despite the obvious setback, we managed to have a great time. it's always so much fun hanging out with the ardens...chatting, laughing, spontaneously breaking into song and eating matt's delicious popcorn.

the arden family
sophia . shelly . tara . tori . matt



loving their aunt shay shay


and just to show you that she really is in good spirits, here's a video of sophia singing her rousing rendition of "jesus love the little children this i know".


for more of the adventures, and views of the body cast, check out these photos on facebook

August 21, 2009

for my dear friend...


happy thirty lindsey!

you are special because you are...

it's great getting to visit you...you're one of my favorite friends.
love you bunches!

August 20, 2009

the pickle pop...

bet you didn't know about this southern delicacy...

i found this little gem in georgia while visiting the broomes. it tastes exactly like you would expect a pickle flavored popsicle to taste. luckily we also made a batch of our legendary peanut butter balls, so it all evened out.

thanks for a super visit...i love me some broomies!

lindsey and shelly






shelly and anna bell

August 9, 2009

things i love about summer...

  • outdoor movies

  • lounging at the water park

  • playing with friends

  • road trips

  • swimming

  • lakeside bike rides

  • sleepovers

  • the stl zoo

July 20, 2009

so now i'm thirty...

it's not too bad so far, except i've already had check the '30-34' box when filling out a survey...that was not fun. there were many fun surprises to be had...lots of e-mails and facebook messages, yummy treats, cards in the mail, flowers, a blog post and a bouquet of fruit!

on thursday some of my best friends and i stayed at a hotel down by the plaza, and saturday we had a 'park party' in lee's summit. thanks so much to everyone who made my birthday special...in person or from afar!
kim . jackie . casey . missy . shelly



me and the happy meal...both thirty


a few more birthday pictures can be seen here

July 13, 2009

mr. & mrs. talton...

after a very quick turn around from africa, i was on my way to the beach in north carolina for a great friend's wedding. we had so much fun! this was my first 'destination' wedding and it did not disappoint. i got to hang with some really fun (and hilarious) people, lay on the beach, help with the wedding details and dance the night away! i would do it again in a heartbeat. here are some pictures of the fun...
beach day

shelly and jenn

jenn and tyler's first dance...they were groovin'

mimi and me


you can see more pictures of the weekend festivities here.

July 11, 2009

the many pictures of africa...

for anyone out there on the edge of their seat with anticipation...the pictures are here. we have three options for your viewing pleasure:

one: for the short, fifty picture tour on facebook, click here

two: to see all one hundred and fifty of my pictures on flickr, click here

three: if you're really into it, you can check out a gazillion pictures from the whole team here

July 5, 2009

africa the sequel...

we finished up our vbs and headed out of town for our two day safari at mvuu camp. our first day there we went for a game drive, during which you are given strict instructions to stay inside the jeep. twenty minutes into the drive our jeep broke down, so we all had to climb down in order to switch vehicles and gallivant around with the animals a bit. the drive began in the afternoon and lasted until evening so we could also see the animals at night with a large spotlight one of the guides had. once night fell and it was good and dark…we got a flat tire. out again we went, into the wilderness. thankfully there were no elephant stampedes passing by at the time.

round two of ministry was working with save orphans ministries in ntcheu. we spent some time loving on kids at an aids clinic. there are about fifty kids that spend friday, saturday and sunday at this clinic getting medicine, nutritious food and learning about the love of Jesus. the kids don’t look any different than the other kids around, but all of them have tested positive for hiv and most won’t make it past the age of fifteen or twenty at the most. but they were just as happy as can be singing, playing and laughing. we gave out lots of hugs and were able to encourage them by just reminding them that there are people out there who love them and care about them…they are not forgotten.

my girl zondiwe

July 1, 2009

three days in africa and there's so much to say...

in the mornings we've been doing a vbs at the african bible college for the children of the missionaries and the kids that live in the city (as opposed to villages). these kids are educated, well fed and have families. not the sort of kids you generally think of people going to serve in africa. but whenever teams come they want to help with orphans and these kids are often overlooked. it's been great to see how much they've been looking forward to and enjoying this week. and many of the parents have expressed how much it means to them for someone to come do something for their children too.

monday afternoon we took an authentic trip to the market. we hopped on malawian public transportation (which is an adventure all by itself) with our shopping list, which included a chicken. that's right...a live chicken. which we carried home. on the mini bus. and ate for dinner.

tuesday we walked about thirty minutes into a nearby village to help feed orphans their afternoon meal. it was like a parade. all the kids would yell "azungu" (white people) and run after us waving. it was so cute. the kids we were feeding and playing with all loved to get their pictures taken...all together i think our nine person team left the village with approximately one gazillion pictures. thank goodness for digital.

wednesday we spent a couple hours at a crisis nursery holding and feeding babies. if malawi allowed international adoptions to people other than madonna, we would have had a few more passengers coming home with us for sure.

June 28, 2009

the best welcome ever...

after spending an obscene number of hours on an airplane, i am really in africa. it's a bit surreal still...we just arrived at the african bible college in malawi this afternoon, so i haven't had too many adventures just yet. (unless of course you include the countless times we've loaded, unloaded, checked and claimed our seventeen pieces of luggage) but we've already seen why malawi is called "the warm heart of africa". as our plane from johannesburg to lilongwe was taxiing to the terminal today, our nine person team (all conveniently located on the left side of the plane) looked out our windows to see this...

in case it's too small for you to read, the banner on the right says "welcome calvary church . vbs 2009 . abc malawi". the funny part was that i had just remarked earlier that day how fun it is to be greeted at the airport with a sign...and there it was! it's really nice to be loved.

June 24, 2009

give out grace...

the african adventure officially begins in thirty six hours and i am ready to go.

it is becoming abundantly clear that the major theme for me on this trip is grace. both accepting grace for myself and giving out grace to others. a month or so ago i was reading what's so amazing about grace and had the idea to write the phrase "give out grace" on my hand as a reminder of what i'm doing on this trip. sometimes it's hard to see the point of traipsing halfway around the world for a few weeks on a mission trip. couldn't the money be better spent on supplies rather than travel? but it's not about the money or the time, it's about being the hands and feet of Jesus. maybe sometimes that will be a very practical thing, like building a house that stands long after you're gone. but other times it's less tangible things...giving out hugs, smiles, and reminding people that they aren't forgotten and that someone cares about them.

the funny thing is that today, i got a little lesson in accepting grace. i met missy and sophie for lunch at pei wei. i was a little early and they were a little behind, so it ended up that i was waiting for about twenty minutes. no big deal. i had brought my computer in and figured i'd just play around while i waited. the workers were apparently very concerned about me and after asking a few times if there was anything they could get me they brought over some water and lettuce wraps on the house! since that was what i was planning to order anyway, i tried to pay them for it but they refused. a little later in the afternoon i went to my appointment to get a henna tattoo on my hand, and after having to wait awhile due to a scheduling confusion, they refused to let me pay for it...not even a tip! it hit me as i was driving home that this was a perfect example of grace being given to me.

if you'd like to keep up with us while we're gone, we have a team blog that will hopefully be updated during the trip. you can find it at www.malawiorphans.blogspot.com. i hope to also be able to post updates here, but i'm not holding my breath.

June 20, 2009

in case you were wondering...

part one of shelly's summer o' fun (aka - two weeks in st. louis) has been a little on the crazy side, but good just the same. i ended up spending the whole first week at church helping with camp edge, the new all-day version of vbs...yes that's right, i said ALL-DAY!! welcome to the world of crazy. my mom basically becomes an unpaid employee of children's ministry when the summer starts and i told her i would tag along on sunday and monday to help with the final preparations and the madness of day one. then on monday morning i was granted ownership of a highly coveted walkie talkie and i just couldn't tear myself away. (did i mention there were 750 kids? hence the need for walkie talkies and "support staff")

once that week was over i was able to see some friends that i don't often get a chance to see when i'm in town, which is always great. we had some classic summer fun...played in the pool, saw a show at the muny, went to the old time picnic and played some serious games of settlers. and in between visits i managed to squeeze in painting most of my mom's garage. it's not totally finished, but i made some progress. now to get ready for africa...

June 9, 2009

this is a stick-up...

last friday my super fabulous friends at john knox threw me the going away party of the century. it all started when i came back to the office after serving lunch to the residents and amber jumped out at me shouting, "this is a stick-up! don't say anything...do what i tell you!"

this is me being surprised/frightened

i followed her to the parking lot where i was blindfolded and told to put on a large shirt, which i couldn't look at. we drove for what felt like a long time, while amber continuously shouted (and yes, i do mean shouted) trivia questions at me, which were based on the various funny things that have happened at my job during the past three years. when we finally arrived at our destination and the blindfold was removed, i was greeted by the rest of my co-workers and a big sign welcoming me to my "i quit my job shower". (editors note: i had recently been lamenting about always throwing baby and bridal showers and never getting one, so they were really granting a wish)
not only did they feed me, which most people know is super exciting for me, they literally did shower me with a LOT of great gifts! i still can't believe how generous they are!

in case you can't read it, the shirt says "today i quit my job at john knox village"

thanks ladies...you're the best coworkers a girl could ever ask for.

June 5, 2009

my life in a nursing home...

today was my last day at john knox village. it was bittersweet. i just celebrated my three year anniversary (officially making it my longest lasting job to date) and though the job has had its share of annoyances over the years, it also provided many fond memories.

i will miss my residents. i will miss the way they make me laugh and the sweet things they say. i'll miss they way they will sing and dance with you when they're in a good mood. i might even miss the way they make mean faces and occasionally shout at you when they're cranky.

funny things happen when you work with older people, especially the ones who are a few fries short of a happy meal, if you know what i mean. i tried to keep track of some of the funnier stories in a document i like to call "my life in a nursing home". i've shared some
fun memories and funny stories in the past, and in honor of my last day, would like to amuse you with a sampling of the conversations that occur with our beloved residents...

me: would you like to hear some keyboard music today?
resident: what?
me: would you like to hear keyboard music?
resident: i can't understand what you're saying.
me: keyboard music.
resident: i should take a laxative.
me: okay then.

amber: robert, are you a veteran?
resident: yes
amber: what branch did you serve in?
resident: i don't know
amber: i heard that you served in the army
resident: that's definitely not true.
(editors note: it actually is true)

joyce: look what the bird did today
(shows me where the bird pooped on the back of her shirt)
me: gross
resident: what happened
me: ruby made a mess on joyce’s shirt
resident: you should just shoot it

amber: frank, would you like some fruit?
resident: no, i would like a suppository.

June 1, 2009

pictures and pedicures...

it's almost my friend sophie's second birthday, so we spend saturday morning documenting the occasion with a photo shoot. is this girl cute or what?!?

if you're a sophie fan, you can see a few more shots from the day here.


the fun continued in the afternoon with some pampering. our friend jen surprised missy and i with birthday pedicures (a bit of an early gift for me!) and it was my first pedicure ever! i do have to say, it's quite an enjoyable experience.

May 27, 2009

the beginning of a beautiful summer...

it’s not often that adults get the chance to really enjoy the freedom of summer, but since i have no kids, no house and no career ladder to climb…i’m doing it. school’s out, tax season is over and i’ve put in my two week notice at john knox. goodbye work...hello summer.

lest you think i have an aversion to work (although i’m sure some people would argue that i do) here are a few of the reasons i’m doing this...
  • life is just better with other people. one of the reasons i so love to visit out of town friends is that i really get the chance to 'live life' with them. i’m not just stopping by for a few hours, i’m moving in. we laugh together, play together, cook together…it’s great. i wrote a 'life mission statement' a few months ago and one of the things it says is that i want to enjoy the people in my life. so what better way than to carve out a big chunk of time to spend with them? so whether you’re an out of town friend, or a lucky stay-at-home mom friend…get ready, ‘cause i’m probably coming to visit.

  • i want to be available. another thing my mission statement says is that i want to be exceedingly generous with my time and talents. so i just want to free up my time to be helpful. some of this is already planned, like helping my mom finish painting her house and mission trips with her to africa and honduras. other things will be more spontaneous. either way, i want to be available.

i'm looking forward to spending time with my mom and many dear friends this summer. and i hope when i look back on these few months i can see it's been fruitful, both for me and the ones i love.

*if anyone out there is interested in trying to keep up with my travels over the summer, i added a link on the right side of my blog that will take you to a calendar that shows where i'll be and when. i feel like carmen sandiego.

May 10, 2009

we love the umpire...

my cousin matt is an umpire for double-a baseball in the southern league. he's been working his way up the ranks for a few years and has one more level to go before he gets to the big leagues...which is pretty amazing. my mom and i were anxious to see him in action, so this weekend we hopped in the car with christy, matt's sister, and her three year old son tommy and headed to jackson, tennessee.

the game wasn't exactly filled with thrills, but we were much more interested in the guy behind home plate, so it didn’t matter much. the second game was rained out, but matt was able to take us in the umpire clubhouse and out on the field instead, so that kinda made up for it.

matt working the plate


my mom and tommy @ the game...and no, it wasn't raining...


mom and me on the field

May 3, 2009

she plans to motor west...

it's my mom's birthday! and in order to kick the sixty-sixth year off right, i thought it would be appropriate to play a little song. she's in for an adventurous year, which ironically includes a road trip out west...coincidence? i think not.

happy birthday mom...i love you!

April 30, 2009

the end of an era...

for the past five years i have been a big fan of walgreens. i've given them so much free publicity i've often thought i should be on the payroll. in the event you haven't heard me drone on and on about the benefits of the walgreens easy saver rebate program, i'll spare you the details and just tell you that it has supplemented my income significantly by providing free toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, light bulbs and dozens of other bathroom necessities.

but the day i feared would come has come at last...walgreens has discontinued the easy saver rebate program.

(i'll give you a moment to compose yourself)

they are replacing it with the newer, confusing, register reward program that i am still stumbling through. something about "proceeding in an exciting direction" and "offering our consumers new and improved services"...which to me just sounds like a cover up for "we no longer wish to supplement your income by providing free bathroom necessities".

it's been a good ride...i'm just so sad to see it end.