hot bliggity blog 267

Monday, March 26, 2012

and then there were none

'Snaps & snails, & puppy-dogs' tails;
And that's what little boys are made of.'
—Mother Goose

I don't remember actually finding out that Andrew was going to be a 'boy'.  I do remember, though, not knowing—Mom & Dad would talk about 'If it's a Girl' names & 'If it's a Boy' names.  But as fas as where I was & what my reaction was to, 'Girls, you're going to have a little brother in five months!', I have nothing.

I do remember a few things around his birth.  Like the Bike-A-Thon that I was participating in on the Saturday that he was born.  I fell and skinned my knee; Dad, who had dropped me off and gone back to the hospital to be with the baby was not there to kiss it.  I'm not bitter at all.

There was also the first time that Dad changed Andrew's diaper—Dad's diaper-switch-and-cover was not executed in a boy-appropriate timely fashion.  For those of you with sons you need no further explanation. For those of you who are now thinking, 'I should have had a son', I have provided you with a nice, stick-figure diagram:

Then there was the time that Emily decided to form tackle me in the hallway while I was carrying three-month-old Andrew.  This did not end too well.  I was hurt from the fall, Emily was hurt from the spankings  she received for causing the fall, and Andrew—thanks to my wolf-mom-like instincts—made it through the fall without a scratch.

I don't think any more examples are necessary for you to clearly see that I was always the victim and/or hero growing up in my family.  But trust me, I could go on.  For days.

But even though he put me through all of that I still love him to pieces.  I really have enjoyed having a brother to learn from & disgust me.  I really have learned a lot from him through the years and I know it has helped prepare me for future relationships, marriage, & life in general.  Some things I've learned:

  • Boy's really are made of puppy-dogs' tails; they can & will smell bad.
  • They have good intentions but they can & will disappoint.  For my birthday last year the family met and ate at a restaurant in Houston.  This meant that Emily & Andrew—both of whom were in school—had to drive to Houston at some point.  Everyone was able to be there and it was a lovely time.  BUT, the dinner was not actually held on my birthday; it was two days before.  On my actual birthday I received phone calls, texts, & emails from all of my family except for my brother.  I didn't say anything to him but it still hurt my feelings a little a lot; Emily was none too happy either.  On Emily's birthday three weeks later Andrew approached her and wished her a Happy Birthday to which she replied, 'Thanks; but you forgot Ellen's birthday.  When were you going to wish her a happy year?  Hmm?!'  [You go, girl!]  I wasn't there to witness it but when Emily relayed the exchange to me she told me that he looked very confused and reminded her that, Yes, he too was present at my birthday dinner.  But that wasn't her actual birthday.  And would you know that he actually had to ask her when my birthday actually was?!  Bottom Line: He made the effort to be there [all while he was sick AND he really didn't have time to take off from work] and he didn't complain.  He thought he had done good.  And he did; it did mean a lot that he was there.  Honestly, I'm really glad that it all happened as I know that I learned from the situation.
  • Any ball of the basket, soccer, base, hackie-sack, soft, Nerf, or wiffle variety can & will keep them entertained for hours.  Days even.  Weeks...
  • They will never truly 'grow up'; they will grow in stature but they can & will be a boy at heart until the day they die.  But this is why we love them, right?
  • And, if you're lucky like myself, he is a spiritual leader.  And this is simply the best; to be able to go to and talk 'real-life' in the Biblical context with your brother.  A true blessing.

I have learned much, much more [they steal your toilet paper and other bathroom supplies when they don't want to walk downstairs themselves] but I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Wearing the 'Alabama' baseball tee that I gave him!
Yesterday we all met up to celebrate Andrew's 21st Birthday!?!?!?!?!?  This does not seem right; not right at all.  But according to his birth certificate, passport, driver's license, and cross-stitched birth announcement on his wall it is true.  Trust me, I've checked.  So now, we are officially a family of adults; there are no more underage, minors, teens, or Barney reruns at our house.  It makes me sad but I know that this is just a turning point and we are all ready for the next stages—whatever that may be—in life.

Mom & Dad and their not-so-baby Baby!

Happy Birthday, REIUX!!!  
Now that you're 21, don't do anything that I wouldn't do ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

laura loo's six month anniversary

My sister is a photographer.  Most people envy this about me and I must say that, 'Yes', it's pretty cool-all of our family pictures are amazing [Dad always did a good job before]; we have the capability to zoom in on anything across the lake [any lake]; and if I ever need a 'profesh' picture of anything-anything-it is as good as done.

BUT; ahh . . . there is always a 'But'.

There are rules when your sister is the photographer.  For instance, any and all images are at her mercy and she will deliver them to you as she pleases.  She purposefully shoots in raw so that any computer that you might have laying around will most likely not have a program capable of opening the files-this is so she can look, edit, & crop before converting them to files viewable by you and I, the little people.

Another rule, or 'Photographer Etiquette', is 'Thou shalt wait to share/post pictures until the subject herself/himself has at least seen them.  Take a bride, for example.  The bride and her mother are the first people who get to see final pictures from the Big Day.  It is not a pretty picture [pun intended] if any files or images get leaked and the bride finds out.

Normally this last one is not a problem as I rarely have a personal interest in the weddings that she shoots.   But every once and a while when say, oh, I don't know, your COUSIN gets married, well, that changes things a little bit.

My cousin, Laura Loo, got married last September 17.  At one time she was a very committed reader of my blog and would comment on it regularly.  However, because six months have gone by and ZERO blog post has appeared to feature the wedding I cannot imagine that she is still in my audience.  She probably thinks I don't love her anymore.  I wouldn't blame her if she did.  BUT this isn't the case!!!  Loo, if you are reading this, I have PROOF that I tried-REALLY HARD-to do this at an appropriate time.

EXHIBIT A: ***my comments in regard to the pictures are BOLD & HI-LIGHTED
email pics?


to me

could you please email me any and all pics you took at my defense? i already have the one of me and jake. :) 


to Emily

Can you send me some from Lauras wedding?  I already don't have any


to Emily
I think this is how you use dropbox?  I'm not sure.
can you send me some from laura's wedding  PUH-LEASE!!!!!!


to Emily

ASLO, can i ahve a few of the good ones that Glen took?


to me

oh ps this is ONE way you can use dropbox. what is great about it is that you can access all of your files without getting on the internet. dropbox created a folder somewhere on your computer. you can create a new folder and then right click and say "share folder" or something like that. some menu should pop up with a spot to enter an email address. when you put in my email address i get an email notice that i have a new folder and you want to share with me. when i say "yay show me!" it opens up the folder on my desktop and i can see all the pics. that way i don't have to go through each picture and say "save" for each one. just so you know.


to Emily
ohhhhhhhhhkay. thank you.  i think i did that before but forgot how since it's been over a month since i used it.  so, did you share any photos with me?  like loo's wedding?  or your defense?


Ellen i love you but youre going to have to wait on the pics from lauras wedding. my paper is due in less than 48 hours and i still have to a lot to do. Please know im saying this with a smile. :) i did put pics on fb from the defense if you want to grab those. I will get them to you i promise. Your email is starred. I wont forget!

AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT?!?!?!  I STILL DO NOT HAVE PICTURES FROM HER.  At least I think I don't.  So, I am being forced to COPY & PASTE images from the internet, something that makes Emily CRINGE.  Hehe.  Maybe this will light a small fire.

So, here you go; pictures from the BEAUTIFUL occasion:

The venue was Uh-May-Zing!  There was a creek running through where the ceremony took place and an old, abandoned Gristmill.  I love ruins!  And we didn't even have to go abroad :)

Emily had a great idea to include a picture of all of the wedding rings in the family.  As shown here, Sherry [MOB] is decked out in Laura, Rhonda, & Amy's engagement rings as well as Sherry's own, original wedding set and her new and improved 40-year set!

When I wasn't arranging centerpieces, hair, or smiles you could find me entertaining this little guy.  Or, rather, he entertained me.  Nathan is Cousin Rhonda's youngest child.  So Adorable :)

My other duty: the other 4 kids!  They are so precious & CRAZY!!!!  But, if you knew their parents-especially their fathers [married into the family]-you would understand 110%.  I love them!

The studly men.  I don't remember/know all of their names but the one in front is Groom Spence, fourth from the right is Cousin Jonathan, and far right is Cousin Greg.  These guys are nuts but we love them! 


I LOVED the turquoise; Laura found the matching shoes on sale at a Nine West outlet [I think they were Nine West!].  I would attempt at telling you which ones are my cousins but I don't want to offend anyone.  I think Amy and Rhonda are on the far left and I'm almost certain Bride Laura is in the white ;)


The wedding party.  The day could not have been prettier!

The nieces & nephews.  Don't you want to just eat them up?!  Such a beautiful picture.

If I know Rhonda-and I'm pretty sure that I do-she's going to kill me for putting this picture up of her.  But if I know her older sister Amy-and I know that I do-she has done much worse than post a silly & cute picture of her dancing her heart out online :)

Reagan & Riley.  Two peas in a pod.  Two crazy girls who LOVE the Lord Jesus with all of their precious hearts!

I love this one!  Sherry & Laura just as she is about to put her beautiful dress on.

Happy 6 months, Laura and Spence!!! And thank you for letting us share your special day with you.  I love you both!

***For more information on Emily the Excellent E-mage Maker [corny, I know but it's Monday evening after a long day at work!] please go visit her webpage and tell her I sent you.  This probably will not help you out in any way but it is sure to get me some 'Good Sister' points :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

a sad day indeed

Today is a difficult day for me; I'm saying 'Good-Bye' to something that I have grown very fond of and even though it was very short lived, it is something that one can become accustomed to very quickly.  Like a drug, it's effects are felt immediately.  So much so that eliminating it from your daily routine can cause, among other things, anxiety, anger, stress, and loss of sleep.

Yes.  Today I say 'Good-Bye' to Spring Break and it's positive effect on Houston rush hour traffic.  This is a big deal.  And not just because my morning commute takes about 1/47 of the norm but also the reason why I am sad that Spring Break is ending shows me so much about myself: I am growing up.

Like so many, my Spring Breaks use to always take place somewhere between the water's edge and my condo's back door.  But not any more.  Now that I'm all grown up I get to get up and go to work everyday and imagine my spot in the sand.

Spring Break has taken on a whole new meaning for me: almost no rush hour traffic.  As in Zero.  Zilch.  Non-Existent.

I took advantage of it this morning by leaving for work at approximately the same time that traffic is normally at it's worst.  I never hit the breaks.  [On the interstate.]

Morning commutes normally look like this: bleary-eyed and all...

 ...and, with the exception of a hurricane evacuation, they NEVER look like this...

...this week has been GLORIOUS; all the roads have looked like this...

...but come next Monday morning, add 2,000,000 people and at least 17 of these...

 ...we will [sadly] be back to this....................................

But it ends today.  No more brake-less morning commutes.  No more available spots on the third floor of the parking garage.  No more quick shopping trips at lunch.  Yes, ma'am, Monday morning will not be bright, beaming, nor beautiful chez Ellen.  My sleep will be cut short by an earlier alarm AND said alarm [alarms at my house!] will ring annoyingly BEFORE the sun comes up.  Thank you, Daylight Savings.

Happy Friday :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

memory verse 3. Romans 6:19-23

Confession:  I did very poorly on my memorization this week.  It's only the second week!?!?!  That's okay, though; I will continue on to scripture number three while continuing to go over this past weeks.

And with that three sentence introduction [quite possibly my shortest blog post to date] I leave you with my memory verse that I will be working on for the next two weeks.

Romans 6:19-23

New International Version (NIV) 
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are you working on any memorization right now?  If so, leave your verse[s], scripture address, and version you are memorizing in the 'Comments' section below!  Happy memorizing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

an honest, real life example of hope

'I believe that in order to LIVE what I have been delivered to I must REMEMBER what I have been delivered from.'
-Gay Tuttle 
I love me some Beth Moore.

I love her spirit, honesty, and transparency.

I love the way scripture JuMPs off of the page when she reads verses aloud.

I want to follow her example of loving God, loving people, and ministering to girls/ladies.

I want to soak up her energy, passion for God, and teachings.

I admire her leadership skills, her willingness to serve, and how she carries out a plan of attack.

She is a 'Go get'em' kind of girl.

But behind every 'Go get'em' kind of girl stands an even bigger, even more so 'Go get'em' kind of God.

Without Him Beth has everything nothing.

Without Him I have nothing.

All I can do is all I am required to do: bring Him my all.  I must hand over this life that He has given me and watch in amazement as His Go Get'em-ness funnels through me, making me a Go Get'em kind of girl.

It's not easy.  Often times it's not even fun.  But, oh, is it worth it.

Beth has been hosting her sister Gay's life story over on Living Proof Ministries' blog.  I highly encourage you to check it out.  It is a story of hope.  One of temptation.  Addiction.  Struggle.  Redemption.  Promise.  Encouragement.  Tears.  Laughter.  If you've never experienced at least one of these I daresay you must not be human.

Please click here [Meet My Sister] for the first of about 7 installments of her story.  If I do not link up to the remaining installments in future posts you can find them very easily on LPM's blog.  And you should.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

daylight savings 2012

The past two mornings have been tough with a capital 'T'.  Daylight savings is rough with a capital 'R'.  For me, it's not the physical aspect of 'losing' an hour of sleep but a psychological block.  I have enough trouble getting up early when the sun is up let alone when it's not.  Haven't you ever heard the phrase, 'I'll sleep 'till the sun comes up?!'  Ok, I'm not sure if the phrase is that well known but it seems like something someone important should have said somewhere along the way.  I know!  As soon as I'm done here I will hop on over to Photoshop and create an image with the quote and my name [I am important to some!] and Pin It to my 'quotable quotes' board.  Watch out; I'm 'bout to be famously important.

The Bottom Line is this: I.  Am.  NOT.  A.  Morning.  Person.  Daylight Savings Time doesn't save me anything.  I had to come in to work early this morning which was even WORSE!!!  What's worse than getting up before the sun is getting up before the sun and driving to work in the dark.  By the time I got to my desk I was only beginning to see hints of the sun's rays peeking above the city.

When Emily & I visited Scotland/Ireland two summers ago we had no idea what we were in for: the sun was down for only about 5 hours a day!  Even less when we were as far north as Aberdeen.  Emily is another case for the sleep doctor.  While she doesn't sleep as deep nor as 'fast' as I do she can beat me in time spent down.  Hands down.  In preparation for the trip we made a sisterly agreement that we would get up no later than 10:00 a.m. every day that we were there.  I have to admit I was a little worried.  Shaking on a deal that we would each help hold the other accountable to get up on time is like asking Satan to help keep you from temptation.  Little did we know, however, that getting up each and every morning  at a timely hour would be the least of our worries.  Making Emily go to sleep was a much bigger issue.

One morning I woke up to her standing over my head saying, 'I don't know what they have going on here but it's great!  It's 6:00 a.m. and I'm ready for the day.  Get UP!!!' all the while balancing on one foot and pulling on the second leg of her jeans.  I kid you not.  Those of you who know her are probably snickering right about now as you know as well as I do that the chance of this happening is like a 65-story log cabin structure withstanding Hurricane Katrina-like winds.  It just doesn't happen.  But alas, it is true.

The downside of living somewhere like Scotland is the opposite time of the year: it is as dark in the winter as it is light in the summer.  Perhaps I should move to the Equator?

Back to this morning I must admit I did not have a smile on my face as I emerged from my hotel at 6:57 a.m.  I also found out that applying make-up in the car is next to impossible when it is dark outside.  Fortunately I had my radio tuned to KSBJ as I almost always do in the mornings.  Jesus is the only way to start a day.  Just as I realized that I was going to have to do my make-up right then and there with the lights on the first upbeat chords of Mandisa & Tobymac's 'Good Morning' sang through the speakers.  I'm pretty sure KSBJ plays this song every single morning and I'm sure that some people get tired of it.  But it was exactly what I needed to get me going this morning.  And with that I decided that I was going to make today a good day; no exceptions.

With that I was able to find a couple of good things about today: leaving the house at 6:57 a.m. means very little traffic on the roads; I never even hit my brakes!  The man who got a flat tire on his way to work this morning at 7:09 a.m. had fewer cars and crazies to worry about as he prepared to change said tire.  I was extremely thankful for four fully pumped and wholly hole-less.

Yep, it's going to be a good day.

And then it hit me: I left my key locked up safe and sound-like in my room.
'....It's a good morning;
wake up to a brand new day...' 

Monday, March 12, 2012

currently munching on: celery sticks


I have never liked vegetables.  I am a huge texture person and vegetables do not have it goin' on for me.  They never have; I've always hoped known that I need to consume them but ick.

My cousin Amy once told me that it takes your body more calories and energy to digest celery than the actual calories existent in celery itself.  So I started choking down eating celery.  I can't say that I thank her but I love her dearly anyways.  It's gotten better, though.  I have graduated up from the kid's table and can tolerate celery with only the tiniest dollop of ranch dressing; sometimes I even have a bite sans creamy ranch.  It's only one bite per sitting but, hey, I'm working on it.

I have not been happy with my outward physique for a while; losing weight would help me feel better altogether as well as a host of other things.  Last night I decided enough of being unhappy.  DO SOMETHING!  Which brings me to the celery that I brought as a snack.  Yummy!?  Um, I think not.  But I am a work in progress!

So I'm going to continue sitting here munching on my celery, getting on the nerves' of all who sit near me.  One more stick guys, I promise!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


via Ellen on Pinterest

My name is Ellen and I'm a Pinaholic.


That feels good to get that off my chest.


My sister told me about Pinterest a while back; she even put together a 'How To Get Started' that she emailed me on September 22, 2011.  But I forgot about it; clearly I had no idea what I was missing out on.  Over Christmas, she showed me one of her Boards and I thought it was the coolest thing; she reminded me of the 'How To' and promised me that I would love pinning.  The idea sounded great but eventually forgot about it again even though I had aninkling of what I was missing out on.  About a month later I began noticing these little 'PinIt' buttons littering every single website and blog that I visited.  So, I typed in the url and proceeded to sign in.  But this is Pinterest.  You cannot merely sign up for a Pinterest account, no.  One must ask to beconsidered and then wait patiently for an invitation.  On January 11, 2012, this showed up in my inbox:

 Thanks for joining the Pinterest waiting list. We'll be sure to send you an invite soon.
 In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter. You can also explore a few pins. 
We're excited to get you pinning soon!

- Ben and the Pinterest Team
To say I was shocked, angry, and put-out by this discovery would be quite the understatement.  I mean, this is me, Ellen; lover/creator/bedazzler/buyer/adorner of all things pretty, shiny, sparkly, and uber-colorful.  Are they going to do an image background check of my life to determine my worthiness of an invitation?

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

According to my emails, Ben sent me a formal invitation on January 14, 2012.  Still upset about this seemingly unnecessary and possibly invasive step in the process I ignored the invitation.  Apparently I ignored it for more than a month as my 'Welcome to Pinterest' email is dated February 19, 2012.  It seems I have a problem with forgiveness.

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest
Well, all has been forgiven now [but obviously not forgotten-I would appreciate your prayers] 110% and in 18 days since receiving my acceptance letter I have become a Royal Pinning Monster.  My stats:

30 Boards · 1060 Pins · 318 Likes
That's including the 24-hour hiatus I took yesterday after receiving this Facebook post from my dear, sweet sister:

you are seriously blowing up my pinterest wall. i think i need to stage an intervention.
Or a 'Pintervention' as my wonderful friend, Roxanne, commented on the post.

Source: via Ellen
on Pinterest
Jeff is also getting used to the change in our lives since Pinterest.  He sat and watched over my shoulder a couple of nights ago.  After 4 minutes' observation he began the following exchange:
'You pin at an astronomical rate.'   
'Are you kidding?  This thing actually keeps up with my brain...I pin now and return later...although I have yet to go back and actually look at things.' 
Thoughtful silence from the Engineer.  
'I also need to organize boards...they are getting out of control...another day...' 

Source: Uploaded by user via Ellen on Pinterest

I pin when my alarm goes of in the morning.

I pin on my way to work [at red lights and trains crossing!].

I pin while my computer is starting up.

I pin while I'm on the phone.

I would pin in the shower if I had one of those waterproof cases for my phone; how far away is Christmas?!

I think it's time I get back to pinning...

Happy Pinning!
- Ellen and the Pinterest Addicts