Friday, August 31, 2007

Evan Almighty

Daniel and I met for lunch at McAllister's and then spent several hours at Lowe's going over our planned purchases for the master bathroom renovation. We have a 10% off coupon for Lowe's that expires soon and there are some great sales this weekend for Labor Day so we were planning our shopping trip. It looks like we will probably spend a big chunk of money which is overwhelming... but it is in the name of progress...


After Lowe's we stopped by the dollar theater and decided to catch the matinee of Evan Almighty. It was a cute movie. Mostly it brought to life many of my personal thoughts about Noah. I cannot begin to fathom how I would react if God requested that I do something that seemed nonsensical to me.

In Evan Almighty, Evan tried to fight God. He tried to be sneaky and do what he thought would please both God and man, but God did not give him a choice. How hard would that be to keep doing what God said even when people were laughing at you and then on top of it to know you didn't really have a choice?


I really like how they showed the change in Evan and how even his wife eventually came to realize that even though it seemed silly she needed to support Evan. Even when crowds of people gathered to gawk and laugh while they worked, the family continued to do God's will. I would definitely recommend this movie. It is cute, has some good laughs and as well as a powerful message.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Daniel's Birthday and some random stuff...

Yesterday was Daniel's 27th birthday. I was going to surprise him with a trip to Inner Peaks, the local indoor rock climbing gym. However his neck has been bothering him since he let my 4 youngest girl cousins spend hours tackling him in the swimming pool all of last weekend. So instead we are going rock climbing tomorrow when he gets home from work at noon.

To celebrate last night, we went to one of his favorite restaurants,
131 Main. We celebrated with some fresh seafood that was fantastic. Afterwards we swung by REI to pick up an order he had placed and he also ended up purchasing a down sleeping bag... so happy birthday to Daniel! After REI we went to Barnes&Noble where we split a dessert and coffee at the Starbucks and then spent time reading. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable evening (minus the fact taht I had a killer headache)...

Today we discovered that a house in our neighborhood burned down early this morning. Luckily there was no one in the house when this happened. It is 4 blocks from where we live and completely destroyed.


Tonight I was cooking and I was trying out brown rice instead of the normal white rice. The instructions were different from how I am used to cooking and I burned the rice! I mean it was BLACK and our house smells terrible! Who knew that you could burn rice like that???


Anyways we did a kind of a "cheat" meal. I put the stir fry I had made into a glass dish with a lid and we ran into town to Mama Fu's (a semi-fast food Asian place). We purchased a side of brown rice, some pot-stickers and 2 waters for $4.11. Then we sat in the outdoor dining area and waited for our food. After they brought us the rice and pot stickers, Daniel ran to the car and grabbed our stir fry which we ate with the rice. I am not sure if there is etiquette rules governing whether you can combine your homemade food with your purchased food... but hey, we did it, it was good, cheap and faster than me trying to make a new pot of rice!


After Mama Fu's we went to the Books-A-Million in that shopping center and spent about an hour reading. Talk about a cheap date night. Actually Daniel ended up buying 2 magazines which is good for us b/c normally we just browse.


It is FINALLY raining. I love to throw open the windows and just listen to the rain. Someday we are going to have a screened-in porch with a couch or bed on it that I can go be lazy in every time that it rains!

Life is a funny thing...

Life is a funny thing. It doesn't always turn out the way that you expect. People and things disappoint you. Things that you think should work out, don't. But there is always a silver lining. God always has something lined up for you. Right now I am not sure what that something is, but I am learning to trust more fully in God. Some days it is harder than others. But I keep praying and trusting that everything will work out.

If you haven't heard, I didn't get the job with Sporting News. I am somewhat disappointed, but I know that it will be okay. It was a chance at a job here in Charlotte and the odds were stacked against me: 350 applicants... 20 phone interviews... 7 face-to-face interviews... 1 job. Kind of felt like the odds of making it onto American Idol and I was one of the 7 finalists...


Growing up I never really cared about being #1 but now I am learning that the difference between being first and second has a greater consequence... like the difference between having or not having a job. Anyways I know that my life is in God's hands and he is in control. Things may not always work out how I expect, but I know without a doubt that they will work out in the best way possible.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Tree Fell In Our Back Yard/Family Reunion Recap

This is so bizarre... Daniel and I had just got back into town from my family reunion in Kentucky. As we pulled into the neighborhood, I made an offhand comment about how I hoped we didn't have any trees fall while we were away. I should have knocked on wood b/c as soon as we pulled into the driveway we noticed some branches in the back yard. When we went to investigate, we discovered that a tree from our neighbor's yard had fallen and is laying across our back yard. We have probably spent a month of weekend's in the last year cutting up fallen trees. Hopefully our neighbors will do the right thing and take care of this one. I am still incredulous.

We had a wonderful time with my family. There were 34 out of 36 of my extended family all together in Kentucky for Friday - Monday. We can from North Bay, Ontario; Manitoulin Island, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Port Colborne, Ontario; Welland, Ontario; Auburn Hills, Michigan; Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee & Searcy, Arkansas. This is the first time in a long time that everyone has been all together like this and it was truly a lot of fun as well as a good time to reconnect.


We had fun playing games, hanging out, swimming and visiting. The food was good and the company was better. The best part of my whole weekend was Sunday night when we had skit night and my brother was asked to do a skit by our cousins. Jonathan took Mark downstairs while Joel told us that Mark didn't know it but he would be demonstrating "going to the bathroom" for us. Mark came up and sat in a chair and started doing all sorts of crazy antics... turns out Jonathan told him that he was riding a roller coaster. This was the most hysterical roller coaster ride I have ever seen. My stomach hurt so much from laughing. Angela video taped the whole thing and will post it on YouTube. I could watch it over and over and it would still make me laugh every time!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We Made It To Kentucky

Daniel and I made it to Somerset, KY about 15 minutes ago and are waiting for Mark, Angela & Robert to show up. They called about an hour ago to say they had really bad traffic in Memphis and have another 2 hours of driving.

We lucked out with a nice hotel, at an excellent rate and my brother even gets a rollaway cot and does not have to sleep on the floor! I brought a trusty Thermorest and a sleeping bag for him just in case. Since he is the baby of the fam and does not have to pay for the room he doesnt get a "real" bed, but since he is in college he is cool with that.


Tomorrow we will all head over to the cabins to check in and wait for the rest of the fam to roll in. Angela and I will go take care of the grocery shopping for the weekend - meals for 36 people for 3 days... thank goodness for organization and my trusty shopping list! I hope that I didn't forget anything...

Family Reunion Weekend

I am really excited about this weekend. It is the Lock Family Reunion, which means I get to see a lot of my extended family that I do not see on a regular basis. I am also excited because almost the entire crew will be there and I haven't seen some of my cousins in a really long time.

This year's reunion is in Burnside, Kentucky. It is relatively central to where everyone lives. We have people coming from as far north as North Bay, Ontario Canada and as far south as Searcy, Arkansas. I suppose Daniel and I coming the farthest from the east from Charlotte, North Carolina but we definitely do not have the longest drive.


I am tying up some last minute things and then I will be off to pick up Daniel from work and we plan to head out around 3:00. I am excited that I will get to see Mark, Angela & Robert tonight and then everybody else will roll in sometime tomorrow. I am sad that my parents won't be able to get in until late tomorrow night, but I am thankful that they came and spent 5 days with us earlier this month (so I have already had my special time with them).


We tried this trip 13 years ago - meeting in Kentucky and all. Our family has changed a lot since then. There are 5 new grandkids in the family and 3 great grandkids (which I will get to meet for the first time this weekend). Our family has also grown with 5 of us grandkids getting married.


We have rented 3 rather large cabins at a resort in Kentucky and I am excited just to see everybody and kick back and relax.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust

I just heard from an old co-worker that another person has quit the marketing department at Allen Tate. I know that everyone has different experiences and opportunities that arise but (if you include me) this is the 5th person to leave the department since last fall... out of a staff of about 15 seems pretty significant.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What's That Burning Smell?

Today Daniel was working on some finishing touches to drywall in our guest bedroom. At one point he yelled asking me what had fallen and I said nothing and that I had not heard any noise. So he continued working.

About an hour later, he stopped and we ate lunch and he took a break to read outside. When he came back in he asked me, "What is that burning smell?" Up until that point I had not noticed anything so I said that I wasn't sure. He went back to the guest bedroom and didn't notice anything amiss and turned off our air purifier machine since that was the only thing on in the room - thinking that there must be something wrong with the motor.


He had finished the drywall sanding, so I went in to vacuum up all of the dust. As I worked around the room, I noticed that the burning smell was still strong. I had to move a lamp that was in my way and when I moved it I noticed a piece of wood had fallen into the top of the lamp and was burning - not a fire (yet) but there was a significant area of black charred into the wood.


I called Daniel into the room and we agreed that the loud noise he had heard was the wood falling from the top of the closet into the lamp but it went undiscovered. Thankfully I found it because it would have eventually started a fire, which would have been a HUGE disaster!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

my saturday

we have had 25 days in a row of heat with no relief. the grass is dead - which means we don't have to mow the lawn, but rain would be nice.

i have been waiting all week to hear about some job possibilities and the waiting is killing me.


last sunday i lifted something and bruised my right thumb. since then i have been experiencing pain throughout my right hand. i have been trying to avoid straining it further, but it is difficult to function without using your right hand.


i haven't had the best week (to say the least). i don't know what possessed me, but i decided i should go swim suit shopping today. on an already not so great day, swim suit shopping was a bad idea - i didnt find anything that i was satisfied with.


then while i was out, daniel called and asked me to make a stop at lowe's and walmart. both of these super stores should be avoided on a saturday afternoon!


at lowe's a worker stopped and asked me if i needed any help. i said no and he persisted with, "are you sure?" i am in lowe's at least once a week and am completely aware of the ENTIRE layout of the lowe's store and have no problem finding and picking out things that i need, thank you very much.


at walmart, there were massive amounts of people there. on busy weekends, i should just pay the extra money and run to harris teeter instead!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Recent Movies

We recently saw Spider Man 3, The Bourne Ultimatum and last night we saw Ocean's Thirteen. All were excellent movies.

We are on the cheap side, so we waited to see Spidey and Ocean's at the dollar theater. Bourne we decided to see last weekend at a matinee - then we were shocked to find out that matinee prices in CLT are now $7 which reinforces why we do not go to the real movies. It was nice to be in a nice, clean theater with good AC and comfy chairs and people that didn't talk as much.

 
I really liked Ocean's 13. I have to say that I was disappointed with 12, but 13 really came through. I really liked the cinematography, the story line and the chemistry between the characters.
 
  
I was also impressed with the Bourne Ultimatum - I think this was my favorite of the three... which is hard to say b/c the first 2 were really good. I saw somewhere that they filmed everything live on location and the actors did their own stunts. It was a great spy movie with non stop action that both Daniel and I enjoyed.
 
  
Spiderman was great, but what I expected for a comic book movie. I love all of the affects and the story was good.

Earlier this week, we watched An Unfinished Life on DVD. Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Lopez all did a good job in this movie.

I am not a movie critic, but I know what I like and what I don't like and all of these movies make my like list.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Raccoon cont.

Daniel just found this post on someone's blog that is pretty funny about a raccoon living in someone's chimney. It could be bad if the raccoon we heard last night is using our chimney as a home...

We saw him on the roof by the chimney a couple of weeks ago and then last week I was mowing the yard in the evening b/c of the heat and I saw the darned thing scampering through our fence row...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Raccoon Stuck In Our Chimney

Daniel just called me down into the basement b/c he thinks there is a raccoon stuck in our chimney. Thankfully the flume is shut, but there is definitely something in the chimney. I have no idea how it is going to get out. There is no way that we can let it loose in our basement - that would be an absolute disaster!

Does anybody have any suggestions as to how you can safely remove a raccoon from your chimney???

Bid on Hatch Prints

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine found out that a college friend of hers had passed away a few hours after giving birth to her first son. (It was unexpected, and very, very rare these days!) She left behind a healthy little boy and her husband of 3 years. They are doing remarkably well considering the circumstances, but still have a life ahead of them.

Some friends of the family put this site together to help raise some money for a scholarship for the baby and for a Pam Lippert memorial fund. They are selling some really cool posters from a letterpress print shop in Nashville, Tennessee called Hatch Show Print.

Check out the prints at the site below.

Site to bid and more info:
http://www.sendinglittlekites.blogspot.com/



Hatch Show Print site:
http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com/site/experience-hatch-today.aspx

Monday, August 13, 2007

Surprise Date Night

Daniel called me from work today and said that I didn't have to cook tonight as he had made plans for us for dinner.

Hmmm...


Well thanks to a previous client giving me a gift certificate to
Mickey and Mooch we had a really nice meal. Daniel had Filet Mignon and I tried the Fresh Lobster Tails Tempura. Both were delicious. This was my first experience ordering lobster and it was fantastic!

After our late dinner, we walked down to the pet store to look at the puppies. We keep dreaming about getting a dog, but it never seems to be quite the right time. We can continue dreaming for now.

Mickey & Mooch on Urbanspoon 

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fried Chicken Fiasco (Sort Of)

When my parents were here, my mom showed me how to make her fried chicken. We walked through all of the steps. Easy enough, right? Apparently not. I am a pretty good cook and in almost 5 years of marriage there are only a handful of meals that I have really botched and last night was one of those times.

Last night I attempted to make fried chicken. I think I got distracted and wasn't paying attention and the next thing I knew, the outside of the chicken was burnt! I finished cooking it and in the end we were able to eat it by pulling the charred skin off. The meat tasted good, it was just the fried part on the outside that was terrible. AND since I had burned the outside I really didn't want to use the grease to make gravy so we had to eat mashed potatoes minus the gravy.


I guess that I will just have to keep trying with the chicken. I know that the more I practice I will eventually get it right! Our house still has the burned smell in it this morning! Lesson learned: don't get distracted when cooking, especially if you are cooking something new.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

If The Shoe Fits


And it finally does. After much searching, I have found a shoe for my wide little foot. I think that I have ordered and tried 8 different shoes from Zappos - all except the one that fits have been returned. I have also tried on countless pairs of shoes in shoe stores.

The first running shoe store was a disappointment with a young, college-age guy informing me that no one made shoes that would fit my abnormal foot.


After a round of pairs of shoes from Zappos - all of which didn't fit in various ways, I went into a New Balance store where a young, college-age girl was extremely helpful. I was very forthright in discussing my wide feet and she had me try on several pairs. She never once told me that I was the problem. She actually found me my perfect shoe, but unfortunately they did not have the right size in stock so I went home and ordered online from Zappos. I tried 2 different sizes of this shoe, just in case.


So the winner that fits my feet is the size 7, width: EE, New Balance model 882. It is wide in all of the right places, keeps my ankle secure and it is the softest shoe that New Balance makes. I wasn't really buying the "softest" aspect, but the shoe is incredibly soft. I don't even know how to describe it. Also, I am a pronator and the shoe will help adjust that for me.


I am soooo happy to have finally found the right shoe for my foot - it does exist!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Renovations

I was just looking back through photos of our renovations and I am amazed at how far we have come. It has been a long journey and even though it is not over, we are definitely seeing the fruit of our labor. We have a few major projects left and then we are down to detail work. Knowing the end is in sight is such an amazing feeling. I have no idea what we will do with our time when the renovating is over. Oh wait, we will probably have a life again!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dusting

Dusting is my least favorite chore to do. I normally just pretend that dust doesn't exist, but sometimes you can't ignore the dust.

If you know anything about installing drywall, you know that dust is part of the project. Dad did a lot of drywall work for us while he was here and now I have a lot of dust to clean up. Drywall dust gets everywhere - the floors have a fine coating of white that gets tracked EVERYWHERE, the furniture does as well. Clothes and sheets must be washed. But I suppose that is the price I have to pay for progress on the house. I am extremely thankful that Dad was able to help us, that makes less work for Daniel and I in the long run.


We are hoping to have the master bathroom completely finished in 5 weeks in time for a visit from Daniel's mom & grandmother...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home Improvement

A lot has been accomplished on the house over the last 4 days, thanks to Daniel and my Dad. This is the first time I have had virtually no involvement in the work and I have to say it has been kind of nice. Poor Daniel has put in 14 hours a day for the last 2 days and Dad is right up there with him. It is Sunday afternoon and they are still going strong.

House Progress: 

Dad has dry-walled the closets. Daniel and Dad did the final demolition of the bathroom. Daniel took a stab at moving the plumbing - did an excellent job, Dad was very helpful with offering advice. They took out the toilet (it is in the front yard - needs to go to the trash), they also removed the ceiling and relocated the vent.

Once we complete the master bathroom all that is really left is the hall bath, the basement and some detail work. We are definitely getting to be close to count-down mode. I will be sure to post some photos of this weekend's progress.


On the other hand, Mom and I have had a really nice, relaxing visit which has been really great. We were also able to get the menu planned for the upcoming Lock Family Reunion and she has also taught me how to make her Fried Chicken and Pot Roast! We even went out and bought me a cast iron skillet so that I can properly cook everything!


It is really funny to me that my Mom's friend's from Arkansas always ask her to tell them how to make her fried chicken - you would think that since she is originally from Canada and most of them are from the south that she would be asking for their advice instead of the other way around! After all, everyone knows that real fried chicken is a southern thing! I believe she has shared her recipe and secrets to Robert as well.

Recipe for a Happy Birthday │Jack's 6th Birthday Party

Over the course of the last six years, my idea for what is a good kid's party has evolved. And by evolved, I mean relaxed. ...