Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Baking

Tomorrow I am going to hang out with my friend Whitney are little ones and do some Christmas baking.  Here are my staples for the holiday:

1. Chex Mix -- I may or may not have already made 4 batches of this in the past two weeks.  I like mine a little spicy so I've experimented with using both Tobasco sauce and Sriracha sauce as additive to give it a nice kick.  The Tobasco gives it a barely there heat while the Sriracha sauce definitely had a lingering bite.  I must admit I was a fan of both.  My granny made the best Chex Mix ever.  Don't even try to tell me so-and-so makes better Chex Mix because you are wrong.  The end.

2. Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies - I saw these on Bakerella's website a couple of years ago and they are so good. With or without the frosting.  Even those who say they don't like pumpkin love these as they don't have an overwhelming pumpkin flavor.

3. Holiday Pretzel Treats - Easy, peasy, one, two, threesy.  A cool alternative is to use Rolos and pecan halves. Then it tastes like a Turtle.

4. White chocolate covered Nutter Butters.  These need to explanation as they are amazing on their own.

5. The basics - Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sugar Cookies, etc.

6. One of these days I might get brave and even try these: Decorated Christmas Cookies

Do you have any holiday baking traditions?  What is a must have for you to feel like it is Christmas?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

In keeping with the Thanksgiving tradition, here are a list of things I am thankful for.

  1. My 3 readers who missed me enough to remind me it had been almost a month since I blogged.
  2. My family.  They are crazy, but the more I hear about other people's families, the more thankful I am that mine is a normal kind of crazy.  
  3. My friends.  Old and new.  The old ones keep me grounded, the new ones are a journey.  
  4. My best friends.  You know who you are.  And you know why you fit in this category.  We may not have everything in common or be in the same stages of life, but God saw it fit for us to to do life together, and I'm thankful for you.
  5. Netflix and Wii.  I know this is superficial, but being able to watch TV shows without commercial streaming over the internet into my TV keeps me sane during the long days working from home.
  6. My health. I do not take it for granted that I am healthy.  I can get up each morning, care for myself, travel, visit, and care for others.  I am not constrained to a bed or a chair and for that I am thankful.
  7. My church family.  Church is not defined by 4 walls, stained glass windows, and a pulpit.  Church is defined by the community of people who come together to share in the blessings and reach out to those around them.  I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of a community that is doing big things for His kingdom.  
  8. My job.  It may not be glamorous (or even long term) but in a time when the economy is struggling I am thankful to be employed.  
  9. My past.  It may not be pretty, but it's what has shaped who I am today.  I have made many mistakes, but each one of them was a growing experience and I have learned so much from each one.  I am thankful for the challenges I have faced and the hills I've had to climb.
  10. My faith.  This is not last because it is least important, but last because it is most important.  God is good, all the time.  And while we may not see it always, His hand is in everything and He is orchestrating every minute of our lives.  I am thankful that I know He will always be there for me.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  It's a guarantee.
I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have been able to share time with people you love.  If you haven't, I am saying extra prayers for those who are away from loved ones or are feeling unloved at the moment.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Letter to October

Dear October,

I used to love you.  You provided me with my favorite niece Doodlebug and favorite cousin Jennifer.  Let's not forget great friend Autumn either.

It used to be that I could count on you for cooler temperatures.  Yesterday, the heat index was 88.  Today the heat index is 88.  October, this is just wrong.  I need low 70s.  I need 0% humidity.  You see, October, you are the month that begins allowing me to wear my hair straight.  Today, the humidity is 69%.  This is not cool.

I have looked at the 10 day forecast and apparently you are going to play the tease and have a high of 69 on Friday.  But Sunday, the last day of your month?  77.  Ridiculous.

So, October I want you to think long and hard on what a huge responsibility you carry each Fall.  And I want you to think about how you have failed me this year.  And next year, well next year I'm anticipating you being on much better behavior.

Sincerely,

RandomCarrie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Contentment

Miriam-Webster defines content to mean satisfied.  I was sitting here tonight wondering how many people in life are truly content.  Let's think about this.  Our whole lives we are always looking ahead to the next thing.  Let's start with childhood.  We get a tricycle.  Then we aren't happy until we get a bicycle w/ training wheels.  Then we can't wait to have the training wheels off.  Then it's elementary school where we yearn for middle school.  Then we want to be in high school.  Then we want to be able to drive.  Then we want to go to college.  And then we want a job.  And we want to be married.  Then we want a kid.  Then we want another kid.  Then we want the kid to be potty trained.  Then we want the kid to stay in bed all night.  Etc., Etc., Etc.  (Oh, and I am totally basing those last couple off the observations of those with kids because this story for me stops at the "and we want to be married step.")

So, I'm just wondering, are we ever content.  If our live stop at a certain point in any of these steps and never progress to the next one are we going to be content?  Because it seems like we're always wanting more.  My new prayer for myself is for God to make me content in my situation.  To make me not be so focused on the fact I can't make it to the next step that I don't enjoy where I am and the blessings that my stage in life have to offer me.  It doesn't mean I don't want the next step, but I don't want the desire of the next step to define who I am.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Sad

There's a big thing in my life right now that consumes way more of my thoughts than it should.  And I pray about it.  And I've talked to my friends about it.  But unfortunately I'm still a few weeks away from knowing how it is going to turn out.  And while I wait it weighs so heavy on my heart.  It could be a very good thing or it could be a very bad thing.  I try not to dwell on it, and I'm fully prepared for the outcome to be bad.  Even though there is a part of me that is hoping for the good.  And maybe bad isn't the right word.  Because it won't really be bad, it will just leave me sad.  I am so hoping for the good, while living in the reality of the sad.  And I know that even if I end up sad when the decisions are made, I'll still know I'm right where God wants me and that there are lessons for me to learn in everything I go through.  So, may it be good, may it be bad, or may it be sad, let me learn and grow as God intends me to, and may I end up a better person in the end.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quotes

I love quotes.  I think I love them like I love song lyrics.  It's the words someone else has said that just make complete sense.  And let's face it, I'd never come up with this on my own.  I had most of these stuck to my wipe-off board in my cube, but in a moment of decluttering I decided to take them down and just put them in one document.  And now I'm going to share them with you.  Because I'm nice like that.


Everybody is interesting for an hour, but few people can last more than two.  
– V.S. Naipaul

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. 
– Marcel Proust

Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you. 
– Alex Haley

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. 
– Unknown

Success is the result of countless failures you’ve done in order to attain it.
– Mark Aaron A. Corrales

The prices one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. 
– James Baldwin

There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness.  I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.
– Tom Hanks

I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything. 
– John D. Rockefeller

Don’t look back – something might be gaining on you. 
– Satchel Page

To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves, and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows.  It is easy to say no, even if saying no means death. 
– Jean Anouilh

Hell, there are no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something. 
– Thomas Edison

Chaos is a friend of mine.
– Bob Dylan

There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. 
– George Sand

Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify!
– Henry David Thoreau

1.       Out of clutter find simplicity
2.       From discord, find harmony.
3.       In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
– Albert Einstein, Three Rules of Work

We work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work.
– John Dos Passos

Worry is the misuse of imagination. 
– Church Sign in Charleston

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sleep Less in Seattle

Yes, the space is there for a reason.  This was not one of those lounge around and get lots of rest trips.  But that's ok.  I saw so much of the Seattle area and had a great time.  Here are some highlights.

Thursday - The Fair.  We spent an entire day at The Fair.  Seattle greeted me with its finest misty rain.  I suppose I had to be indoctrinated into life must go on in the drizzly rain.  We saw art work, chainsaw carving, fresh baked goodies, and lots of animals.  This little goat was my favorite.  He went all in for his food!


We then saw Jeremy Camp and Mercy Me in concert.  WOW!  Jeremy's concert was so worshipful.  I could have listened to him for an extra two hours.  Except for the fact my body couldn't remember that it was no longer in the EST time zone.  

Friday.  Oh, Friday, you were a busy day.  I had a conference call first thing so my friend cooked me breakfast while I worked.  Yeah, I'm spoiled like that.  Then we headed off to the Washington Park Arboretum.  I could have spent many hours here just wandering through the trails.  But alas we were on an agenda so off we went to the Ballard Locks.  This is where the salt water meets the fresh water. And where the fish swim upstream to have more fish.  See, it's a fish ladder (or steps.)


Oops, I forgot.  On the way to the locks we stopped off to meet one of Freemont's most famous citizens.  


Then our agenda allowed for time to stop and eat a crepe.  A banana and Nutella crepe to be exact.  And yes, I took a bite before I took a picture.  It was heavenly.


Next stop was the Space Needle.  Thanks to my tour guide for the day, we had a connection and I was able to get a guided tour which included information about Seattle and the surrounding areas as we walked aroudn the top.  Here's a view of downtown Seattle from the top.


Our final touristy stop of the day was the Museum of Flight.  I could have easily spent more time here, but it was a lot of fun to learn about the history of Boeing, flight in Alaska, and even what the numbers on the runways mean.  I even got to go aboard the plane formerly known as Air Force One.  


Friday ended with a nice dinner cruise around the Puget Sound harbor.  The weather was amazing and the sky was clear. 


Saturday: We headed downtown to Pike Place Market and the waterfront.  What a perfect day.  Low 70s, clear skies, good food, great friends.  In order to get some sleep, we opted to sleep in and grab something to eat downtown.  Kerri, I had a Piroshky for breakfast.  Sadly I was so hungry I did not get a picture.  My favorite part of the market were all the lovely flowers.  Forget the fish being thrown around, I could not get enough of all the flowers.



Thanks to the wonderful weather and clear sky I was able to get some shots of both Mt. Rainier (over Qwest Field) and the Olympic Mountains from the market and waterfront.


Next we headed North to a corn maze which is in the shape of the state of Washington.  The paths through the maze are the highways and interstates of the state and there are items/signs throughout the maze telling you about different parts of the state.  If any of you read Twilight (which I don't/won't/shan't) this picture is for you.



Sunday - Snoqualmie Falls: On Sunday we haded East to Snoqualmie Falls.  Sadly the trail to the bottom was closed so we couldn't hike down there, but the view from the observation deck was incredible.  I am so glad we made the drive to see it.  I've been told to come back in 2013 so I can do the hike when it reopens.  Sounds like I better start saving my pennies!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

This May Be The Only Time I See The Top This Trip

** Mt. Rainier as seen from seat 24A **

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bucket List - Updates

1. I took a train trip. On Amtrak. It was cheap, I had plenty of legroom, and it got me from point A to point B on time and without the long security lines. Oh, and having one of my dearest, bestest friends meeting me at point B was fabulous.

2. Shuttle Launch - Scheduled. So, my good friend Adam hit the jackpot of both the ability to buy shuttle launch tickets and he gets to go to the TweetUp. I know he will enjoy that so much more than I would so I could not be happier for him. Especially since I get one of the launch tickets he isn't using. And he'll take great pictures and so I'll get to benefit from seeing them because I am not so good at taking pictures and so I'll get to enjoy his.

3. Season tickets to Broadway shows. So, More Lucy is totally to blame for me splurging and buying season tickets to the Broadway season here in the Low Country. I think she peer pressured me so she'd get some nights out. Hmm... but anywho, the tickets came and we have plans to see the first show shortly after the Shuttle Launch. Looking forward to a girls night out with one of my favorite bloggers whom I also know in real life.

2010 is proving to be a very good year for my bucket list. Here's the the good times that have been had and the good times I am looking forward to.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Another Goodbye

You know that to-do list I published. I might as well give myself until the end of the year. I've marked off 2 items. Oh well. Here's what I have done though:
1) Went camping
2) Slept in a tent
3) Roasted marshmallows
4) QT with the BFF
5) Made homemade peach ice cream
6) Grilled some steaks
7) Looked at the mountains
8) Stared at the stars
9) Walked to the cemetary to clean off my grandaddy's stone
10) Said goodbye to Bonnie

Yeah, that last one got you didn't it. "Bonnie? Who's Bonnie?" Well, meet Bonnie. She was our family raccoon for the past 3 months. My parents ave a long history of rehabbing wild animals. Bonnie came to them right before Father's Day this year. After several of weeks of feeding her, taking her for walks, and letting her sleep on the back porch (or in the recliner, the bed, or wherever else she foudn herself) she was ready to spread her wings and join her little raccoon friends in the wild.

Bon-Bon, your antics will be missed but you are where you belong. Enjoy the fresh crawdads!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A To Do List

I'm going to put this out here for all 10 of you to read so that you can see how much I fail at getting it done over the next month. But these are the things I need to do in the next 4 weeks. That's 28 days. Of which 12 I will be out of town. No worries, right?

Downstairs Bathroom
  • Touchup paint
  • Hang picture
  • Order wall cabinet - complete 09/06/2010
  • Hang towel rack
Kitchen
  • Finish painting "test wall" to ensure I like the color 09/19/2010
  • Reorganize cabinets to make items needed regularly more accessible
Dining Room
  • Get everything out that does not belong
  • Measure pictures for wall and send measurement to mom so she can get picture made of Dad and Doodlebug
  • Take leaf out of table and store upstairs
Living Room
  • Get carpet and couches cleaned
  • Rearrange furniture
  • Fix curtain
  • Put away items that don't belong
Master Bedroom
  • Put away items that don't belong
  • Decide if I want new mattress or get rid of queen bed (moved queen bed to guest room 10/09)
  • Clean out closet; get rid of clothes I have not worn since I moved to the low country (10/09)
  • Move TV into other room
Green Guest Bedroom
  • Find someone to haul away old mattress
  • Finish painting
  • Decide if I want to put a bed in there or make it an office/work-out room
  • Move TV stand from other guest bedroom into this room
Other Guest Bedroom
  • Decide if I want to move that bed into my bedroom (moved 10/09)
  • Decide if I want to just put daybed in there and only have one guest bedroom (after all there are two couches) (Decided to put queen bed in there and moved double bed to my room 10/09)
Guest Bath
  • Test paint color on wall
  • Hang towel rod
  • Hang shower curtain rod
Outside
  • Mow
  • Weedeat
  • Pull weeds
  • Take old lounge chair to dump
  • Mulch
Personal
  • Budget
  • Resume - complete for the purpose it was needed
So, if I fall off the face of the Earth it's much more likely that I've jumped off my roof in an attempt to try to mark off even 3 of these items. Oh, and I also need to get an applicance person to come look at my washing machine because it isn't aggitating, which is aggitating in and of itself.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saying No to Starting Over

I had a call this week about a possible job opportunity. Well, actually I first heard about it last week. The job would be with my same company, but when I first heard about it the idea is that it would be part time for another client. That was attractive to me based on my current situation. Then I found out it would be full time at the other company and would involved relocation in about 6 months. So tonight I said "no." Mainly because I don't want to start over again in 6 months. I don't want to have to pack up my life, sell another house (at a loss), and rebuild my life by myself again. In 6 months I may have no job, but I will have friends who care about me and a life that is somewhat familiar to me. And if I'm going to start over, I want it to be surrounded by people who know me and love me, not the other way around. I don't want to start over again knowing no one and having to rebuild my life from scratch. So for now I'm saying "no." I'm doing this for me, and not for the financial security I may be turning down. But I know one thing for sure, if I had said "yes" it would have been because of my desire to follow some worldy idea of what is right and secure and not because of Him. And that would have been the wrong reason. And this gives me peace.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Say Goodbye, You Say Hello

Tonight my family said "goodbye" to my Granny. She said "hello" to her eternal life with the Heavenly Father. It's only hard for those of us on this side. We're the ones left with the void in our lives. My cousin and I were talking this afternoon before she passed about the things we never thought. She said she thought our grandparents would just have Alzheimers forever, our moms would take turns living with them, and that's how it would be forever. I mean, after all, grandparents don't leave their grandkids do they? I am facing the reality that if I ever get married or have kids my Granny won't be there. I never thought I'd face a wedding day without my Granny. She's the one who was supposed to tell me not to see or speak to the groom after midnight until I would walk down the aisle. She's the one who would wear the brightest lipstick and the most fragrent perfume. And she'd have to have a new dress. My granny loved her a new dress. But it's not meant to be. Tomorrow I'll get in the car and drive home to a life I've never known. The life of only one grandparent. The life of a Papaw and not a Granny. The life of a 31 year old whose Granny has been taken from her by a disease that is more cruel that can be put into words. You see, I got to go home and tell her goodbye a few days ago. But my Granny, she never got to tell us goodbye. And that hurts a little bit too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anonymity

Sometimes I wish this blog were completely anonymous. That you didn't know anything about the person who writes it. And maybe you don't. Maybe you've stumbled onto it from some corner of the universe. But I know a lot of my 10 readers in person so sometimes I don't want to just put everything out there. But here's what I do know. I know that if this blog were anonymous I would tell you that I wish I'd never met him. But then I'd tell you that he is perhaps one of the neatest people I've ever met. Then I'd tell you there are lots of reasons why he should not be part of my life, with one of them being big. Then I'd tell you how much I love talking to him, and how sometimes those conversations are that glimpse into a relationship I wish I had. And then I'd tell you how I know I'm setting myself up to get hurt. And then I'd tell you how I know, but yet it feels so good to feel again. But since this blog is not anonymous, you don't know any of this.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hodge Podge

I'm over the rainy season. And by the rainy season I'm referring to the Summer months where it rains from 6-8 on weekend days so that you either get soaked going about your evening plans or your evening plans get cancelled. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. I am ready for FALL!
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Last night I played a two person card game over the phone with a friend. The mental aspect of it was a little much for me on a Friday evening, but it was quite entertaining.
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A friend texted me that she is engaged. Yeah for young love. I truly hope she enjoys this season of life and that God will bless them as they start planning a life together.
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This coming Friday night I get to go on a harbor cruise of Charleston. So excited because I've been wanting to do another one for a few months and have the opportunity to as a thank you from work for the latest project we completed.
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Saturday morning I will head home to see my Granny, I hope. Her health is deteriorating and we really don't know how long she will live. It's so hard because she doesn't remember us anymore due to the Alzheimers and yet she's still my Granny and I miss her. The hardest part of moving away was leaving my family. I miss them a lot and wish it were easier to see them more often.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Random List


  1. I love throwing surprise parties.

  2. I hate being the recipient of any type of surprise. This includes gifts I have not personally picked out and sold to you to give me or explicitely described and approved for purchase. I also do not like to be the recipient of surprise parties.

  3. I love cupcakes.

  4. I hate lima beans, pinto beans, and collard greens.

  5. I love to travel, so I fly because I have to, not because I think it's exciting.

  6. I would love to take a month-long road trip and see as many random road-side attractions as I can.

  7. I would also love to just go stay in a cabin in the mountains or on a lake for a month.

  8. I love trying new foods, but 95% of what I cook is certifiable Southern: it's either fried or in casserole form

  9. I have always wanted someone to pick me up at the airport with flowers.

  10. I need me time. That means every so often I just want to stay home for 48 hours straight.

  11. I like the idea of going to grand events, but I much prefer small gatherings.

  12. I love playing games and I am fiercely competitive.

  13. Cooking dinner and working on a puzzle is a perfect evening in my book.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Plans

Mish-mash. Is that even a word? It basically describes my brain right now. It's a mish-mash of wondering. Wondering what I'll be doing 6 months from now. Wondering where I'll be 6 months from now. I know one thing. If you had asked me at 18 where I'd be at 31, it would not be here. It would not be the sole provider for my family of 1. It would not be 5 hours from my family. And it most certainly would not be worrying about if I would have a job in a year. I've been out of college for 8 years now. And I'm on my second job, not by choice. It's hard. It's a lot harder than I tell anyone. And as much as I have not worried about my status before, it's heavy on my heart and mind these days. I wish so often that I had someone to go home to at the end of the day. Someone to hold me and tell me it will be ok. Someone to celebrate the highs with and someone to talk to when the lows hit. And I do have Someone. I have the Someone. He's always there to listen, but so often I don't want to talk to Him. And that's what I need to work on. I need to work on turning my problems over to Him first and foremost. Because no matter what happens, no matter where I am or what I am doing, He is in control. He knows the path my life will take. And really, that's all that matters.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 08, 2010

And If You Haven't Had Enough

A couple of weeks ago I wrote you an itinerary of what we'd do if you came to visit me. And I knew someone would want to know what day #2 includes. And yes, I knew who would question this. And they did. Love you guys!

For day #2 I suggest a carriage ride. And I suggest going with the Old South Carriage Co. I have done two tours now and this one was much more professional than the first. It takes about an hour and gives a good overview of one of three areas in downtown Charleston. It's always fun to learn something new and this is a great way to see a good bit of the downtown without having to walk it all.

If you're wanting some more history then a visit to the H.L. Hunley is in order. Lost for over 100 years, the first submarine to ever sink an enemy ship in battle was found off the coast of Charleston. A recovery project to restore the ship and learn more about it is just a few minutes drive from my home. To see and learn how this small vessel was able to tackle such an incredible task is very interesting if you're into history and random facts. And you know I'm all about the random facts.

The second day of your trip can also include some time for relaxing on the beach. The coastline at Isle of Palms always offers the relaxing sound of waves and walks along the water include views of some gorgeous homes.

Dining Options:

Breakfast - Charleston's Cafe
Lunch - One of the options you didn't eat the day before
Supper -- Coast Bar & Grill if you're feeling like seafood, Basil if you'd like something spicy

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Sometimes Life Takes Us Full Circle

I was looking for a specific blog post the other day and I ran across this one. So appropriate for my life right now. This time I took a risk and let the person in. And then I got hurt. And instead of walking away, I've let them hang around as part of my life from afar. Part of it is because I know that in a few months I will gain some benefit from this person. Part of it is because this person fascinates me. And part of it is because it gives me hope that there are people out there who share some of my same quirks.

But I know that in a few months I'll also say goodbye and walk away knowing it's what I have to do.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Let's Talk Bucket List

You know those things you've always wanted to do in your life? Mine is sort of ever growing, but here are a few of the highlights:
1. Visit all 50 states (airport layovers count)
2. Visit all 7 continents
3. Spend a week at a cabin by a lake
4. Take a transatlantic cruise
5. Watch the sun rise on the East Coast
6. Watch the sun set on the West Coast
7. Spend a week with my dad in the mountains
8. Sponsor a child on each of the 6 inhabiteted continents
9. Spend the night in a lighthouse
10. Watch the Boston Pops live on the 4th of July

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Highs and Lows of Late July

It's hot. The temperature is much higher than I would prefer to ever dwell in, but alas it comes with living in the low country.

It's been four years since she left us.

My dad will be 62 tomorrow. He's now twice as old as me. And simply amazing. I love my daddy.

My uncle has been gone two years tomorrow.

The S.S. Scotts celebrate four years of marriage on Thursday. Love you guys! Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day and so many days since then.

LoveGave -- Go. Donate. I'll be standing outside W@l-M@rt Friday and Saturday. If you're in the low-country head over, say high, and buy some crayons! If you're not in the low country and have already donated THANK YOU! If you still want to donate, please do and THANK YOU!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Itinerary

As I stated recently I'm headed to the Pacific Northwest for some vacation time in a few weeks. One of the friends I'm going to see has an entire itinerary planned for the day. Seriously, from breakfast to supper. I'm going to go ahead and apologize to all the people who have ever visited me here because I have FAILED you. Ok, not really. You all seem to still love me and keep coming back. I'm going to pretend it's because I'm a great hostess and not because I leave near the beach. So, I've been thinking. If someone did come to visit me in my city because they want to see my city (and not my beach) what would the be the best way to showcase my 'hood. So here are my thoughts. For those of you've who have been, let me know what I missed or what you didn't like about what I did include.

Breakfast -- Hominy Grill -- There are several great places to grab the 1st meal of the day, but I find this place has the best bacon. And really, breakfast is all about the bacon.

Aiken-Rhett House -- This is my favorite of the historic homes. You get an MP3 to guide you through the house and yard which allows you to tour the home at your own pace. It's my favorite of the historic homes I've been able to visit in person thus far.

Follow this up with a drive down to The Battery and then a walk through some more of the historic district using the amazing walking tour book my auntie Susie gave to me.

Lunch -- The options are unlimited. There's Waters Edge if you're feeling like seafood, Jack's Cosmic Dogs if you're feeling like picnic food, Taco Boy if you're feeling like tacos, Sesame if you're feeling like a burger and sweet potato fries, etc. etc. etc.

Now here is where you'll have to make a decision. For the budget concious we'll head toward John's Island to see the Angel Oak . Trust me, this will not make you want to come back to Charleston, but it is the oldest tree East of the Mississippi. The trip will continue on down to Folly Beach where you can witness first hand the devestation that was Hurricane Hugo. With a section of the island completely washed away, you can now walk to the edge of the surf and see the Morris Island Lighthouse as it sits in the middle of the waterway.

For those who want to spend a little more we'll head over to Boone Hall Plantation. From touring the house to walking through the gardens and learning about life on the plantation in the restored brick slave homes, this plantation is one of my favorites.

Supper -- Old Village Post House -- It's not in the heart of downtown, but it is one of my favorite places to dine.

Dessert -- Kaminsky's -- It's the ultimate dessert place. It may not have creme brule (Anson's has the best), but the offerings are amazing. You can get it to go, walk down a few blocks, and walk along the waterfront as you eat it. Hopefully one of the swings will be empty and you can get a nice breeze of the water and enjoy a perfect end to a great day in the Holy City.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Movie Quotes I Love

I am a sucker for a good chick flick. I've seen them all. Multiple times. My favorites are The Wedding Date, Sweet Home Alabama, 27 Dresses, When Harry Met Sally, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, etc, etc, etc. And each of these movies has some great lines. Here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order:)

When Harry Met Sally

Harry: I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

The Wedding Date

Kat: You know what pisses me off? I've been spilling my guts all weekend and I don't know a thing about you.

Nick: I'm allergic to fabric softener. I majored in comparative literature at Brown. I hate anchovies. And I think I'd miss you even if we never met.

Sweet Home Alabama

Melanie: Look at you, you have a baby... In a bar.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jake: What do you want to be married to me for, anyhow?
Melanie: So I can kiss you anytime I want.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Sountrack of My Summer

In order to survive working in a small trailer at work with some overly loud people (which I know I can be one of those people at times) I rely on my iPod and my Bose headphones. Seriously, two of the greatest inventions ever. So here's what I'm listening to these days to get me through the work days with a bit of my sanity intact.
  1. Matt Nathanson - Some Mad Hope
  2. Train - Save Me San Francisco
  3. Need To Breathe - The Outsiders (Seriously, they have a song "Girl Named Tennessee". What's not to love?)

What is the soundtrack of your Summer?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My New Family

So, in my previous entry I introduced you to some people who have been part of my extended family for a period of time long enough that they are pretty much stuck with me. Sorry guys!

Now for the new members of my family.

Mike, Whitney, and the boys -- You can meet them here. They are the leaders of my community group. And we also went to the same college. While Mike and Whitney met and fell in love, I didn't know either of them. Whitney and I knew some mutual friends and Mike and I made to sure take every class in the College of Business. But alas, 8 years after we graduated our paths crossed and I love these two dearly. It's great to have people in our present who can also understand part of our past. Mike and I share some similar sentiments of our time at TTU so we can relate on what warped us during those college years. Whitney is a bookworm so it's always fun to share books and discuss what we read. Top if all of with a shared love of Christ and it's win/win. Plus they are about to have a baby (any. day. now) and we all know how much I love babies!

Benji, Lauren, B and baby -- Lauren was the first person to really welcome me into River Church. She's the cutest thing you've ever seen. Really, I've never seen her look bad even when she was moving boxes into their (super-cute) new house. Benji played minor league baseball so it's like having a mini-celebrity in our midst every week. Just kidding, he's in no way conceited. It's awesome to get to talk to someone who got to live out a childhood dream of being in the leagues (even if it wasn't the big leagues.) They bring a real heart for their friends to grow closer in their faith and it's great to hear how God is moving in those relationships each week.

Stephen, Annette, and the kids -- I told you to read Annette's blog a few posts ago. Guys, I'm sorry, I should have said it was for the girls. It's true. It's really not guys reading material. I apologize. I never leave this couple's presence without truly seeing something so God-like and God-minded. I know they have no idea what impact they have made on me and words could not even begin to desribe it. I watch them constantly be obidient to God's calling even if it means wondering how the dollars will stretch the entire month, but knowing that they are where they are supposed to be and that's the ultimate goal. To be where we are supposed to be, no matter the circumstances. And the circumstances, they will show up. Just ask Stephen or Annette. They'll tell you.

And there are so many more. Danna and Corey, Candise, Zhenya, Todd and Lori, and more. To say I have been blessed is an understatement. This group of people has finally made the place I've lived for the past 2 1/2 years finally feel like it might be home to me.

Thought don't think I've forgotten you Tennessee...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

We Are Family

Lately I've thought a lot about family. What is family? Two definitions of family are as follows:
  1. a group of persons of common ancestry
  2. a group of people united by certain convictions or common affiliation

I love my family as defined by #1. They have shaped so much of whom I am today. And I would do anything for any of them . But I think there is something to be said for the group who fall into #2. These people may not be related by blood or share a common DNA, but sometimes they shape us, the love us through the pretty and the ugly, and they leave footprints on our lives that will always be visible. So, I'd like to tell you about some of my family #2. The ones who've been there the past few years and have made an impact that will be long lasting.

S&S -- You can read about them here and here and here. And as much as I loved and respected the two of them then, the love and respect has only deepened over the years. I know that I can pick up the phone and call Shanle to tell her about my deepest secret, my happiest joys, and my random rants. We can talk about 200 things in the course of 5 minutes and know everything that was said. It's through her that I got my title "RandomCarrie" because I don't know that we've ever discussed one item for more than 3 minutes straight unless it was really important. They are my family.

J&A -- Jeremy and I have been friends for 3 years. He married Amy. Praise the Lord. She's perfect for him. Jeremy is like the brother I never had. We've vacationed together, we've watched chick flicks together, and we've watched Dumb & Dumber together. His idea, not mine. He was my wedding date when one was needed and last Summer I had the pleasure of watching him marry his perfect mate. We don't get together as much as possible, but when we do, it's great. My heart is currently breaking for Jeremy as his father passed away unexpectedly today. But I think that's part of being family. We hurt for each other.

A -- I've told you about Arynda before. Many, many times but this one is my favorite. We may not get to talk as much as we used to, but her faithfulness to the calling of serving others always sticks with me. And when I had to pick up and move 5.5 hours away, she immediately said she would go with me to move so I didn't have to go by myself. Her gift of service in such a selfless manner is still an inspiration to me. Now, if I could just get her to learn the word "No"... She is my sister.

A2 -- I don't know if I've told you much about Autumn. Our friendship was cemented through Gmail chat. She served two years in the Peace Corp in Cambodia. And I served 6 months of extreme lonliness here in the Low Country. And God let us cry on each others shoulders, laugh at each other antics, and develop a friendship that 10 years ago would not have existed, but PTL for technology it does. She's that special someone whom I know I can count on for keeping it real. And for telling me in plain English what is going on in the political world both domestic and international. A future CJ Cregg.

Tomorrow I am going to introduce you to the newest members of my family. These are people whom I didn't even know 7 months ago and I have now vowed to love through thick and thin, pretty and ugly, no matter what we may go through.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Monday Musings

  1. I had 5 cubic yards of mulch delivered on Friday. As of tonight there are still 5 cubic yards of mulch piled on my parking pad. Tomorrow that pile will hopefully shrink by at least .5 cubic yards.
  2. I hate weeds. Seriously, they are a thorn in my side. Thankfully I have not encountered any with thorns so that is not a literal thorn in my side.
  3. There are bats in my attic. They will not leave. I'm becoming anti-bat because they are doing nothing to help the mosquito population.
  4. I have mosquito bites. So many I have lost count. Including one I got between my pointer and middle fingers walking to my car the other day. I hate mosquitoes.
  5. My pastor's oldest daughter M completely made my day the other day when she ran up to me at Wal-Mart, made me pick her up, then had to hug me and talk to me the whole way out the store. Love that kid. She also wanted to come home with me last night, but she doesn't want to live with me. She's going to give me her little sister N though.
  6. I love all my kids at church. Seriously. Every single, stinking one of them. And some of them, well they wear diapers and they stink. Literally. But PTL for Huggies and wetwipes. They can redeem their cute, snuggliness.
  7. I have booked a trip here for later this year:
  8. I am on vacation tomorrow. Guess what that means? Yep, I have to log on and check some jobs for work to make sure people do their jobs. But I refused to do so today because it's a holiday. I checked my email for critical items and that is all. Go me.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Today my thoughts are heavy for Amy Beth. If you've never read her blog (women) you are missing out. She's a fiesty girl in her mid-20s who loves Big Hair and Beth Moore. In college she started a ministry for girls in her community and watched it grow. The Lord laid it on her heart last year to end that ministry. Since then she has learned that she has more severe health problems that she ever imagined. So, take some time and catch up with Amy Beth's story. And say a prayer for her. For physical comfort and the emotional comfort she is going to need going forward as she faces the possibilities that lie ahead in her treatments.

Tonight, please lift up Amy Beth. She's in a lot of pain. And as someone who has taken care of so many throughout her short life, she can use all the prayers of as many of us as possible. As a single girl who would love to have kids of my own, I cannot imagine the hurt she is and will be feeling emotionally, but I know that the thought of going through what she's going through on her own must be tremendous.

So, Amy Beth, I'm praying for you. And I'm sure my readers will do the same. You have and you will touch more lives than you can ever imagine.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. -- James 1:12

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life Lessons

This year I have had an interesting encounter with an adult in my life. We don't see eye to eye with each other and thus we will never be best friends. But alas, we should still act like adults. This person when given the chance has chosen not to act their age. I was reflecting on this today because I just don't understand how some people can act the way they do. And then God gave me a reflection. I think some people are placed in our lives so that we can learn to be better people by not being as they are. I by no means will ever appear to be perfect as I am far from it. However, I sometimes realize that I see how other adults are acting and I catch myself saying a prayer that God will allow me to catch myself before I ever handle myself in the way they do.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Emily Post, I Apologize for Technology

Etiquette. It's not just for people raised in the South. It's for everyone. And it exists to differentiate us from college fraternities. So, when the following happens it riles me up.

Roommate: Did you get the invite to B's shower?
Me: Huh?
Roommate: On Facebook
Me: Haven't checked.

So I log on and check and sure enough B has sent out an invite to her own baby shower. Now, based on the wording I am thinking she is just needed people's addresses. However, there is a proper way to go about this and a Facebook event is not the proper way.

Now, that being said, if the person throwing the shower (who should NOT be the bride or mother-to-be) decides to save paper and go with evites, I am totally ok with that. But receiving it from the Bride or Mother-to-Be is just wrong.

Here are my other two major pet peeves when it comes to etiquette.

1. Invitations are to be addressed by hand. Getting an invitation in the mail that has been sent through a printer is wrong. Even worse, when it's peel and stick labels.
2. White before Easter or after Labor Day. No way, Jose. I love Heidi Klum, but this is one rule that should not be broken either.

So, if any of the above apply to you then I will make fun and talk about you behind your back. I'm sorry, but it's just what I do. Except that is probably bad etiquette as well....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You Won't Catch Me

Nope. You're not going to catch me doing the following things this Summer.

1. Twilight. I don't do vampires. That also goes for vampire TV shows on The CW and HBO.
2. Harry Potter. The only potter I do is "Potter"y Barn. And I do enough there I don't need any other potter in my life.
3. The Bachelor/Bachelorette/or whatever lame reality show is currently on. In fact, I really don't do reality TV. I used to watch SYTYCD, but even that is lame now that they changed all the rules, etc. and so forth.
4. Tanning. You may see me at the beach, but that's just so I can burn. It's what I do.
5. Peeing on the beach. I leave that to More Lucy's kids. (There will be a whole blog post on this woman soon. If you're not reading her, start. She's the best thing blogging since sliced bread.)
6. Riding a bike. I don't have one.
7. Eating oysters. I don't like them. Raw or fried. Yuck.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Love Finds You In Golden, New Mexico
Summerside Press (May 1, 2010)


by


Lena Nelson Dooley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For several years, Lena worked on the support staff of a church, but in November of 2002, God changed things so that she could stay home and write full-time. It has been the desire of her heart for a long time. In Proverbs 37:4, it says, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” She believes that this blessing is a result of her delighting herself in Him, and she praises Him for the opportunity.

She have been a professional writer with a free-lance writing and editing business since 1984. In that time, she has written curriculum for public schools, private schools, and three different denominations. For one company, I managed a writing team that produced a two-year American History course for at-risk students. One of her clients was a Christian comedian for whom she wrote several routines. An airline training company had her edit and design International business reports for them.

Her first novel was published by Heartsong Presents in 1992. Since then Lena Nelson Dooley has written more than 25 works of fiction and nonfiction.

Lena has been married to her husband James since 1964. Theirs was one of those love-at-first-sight relationships. They were married three months and three days after they met. He truly was God’s gift to her. They are absolute opposites, but that means that his strengths are her weaknesses, and her strengths are his weaknesses. Together they make a more perfect whole. She believe that is what God intends for all of us.

They have two daughters. Marilyn Van Zant is married to Roger, and they have a son named Timothy. Tim is now in Tennessee at Ft. Campbell. His son Sebastian is almost 2 years old. Jennifer Waldron is married to Eric, and they have three children—Austin, Marissa, and Amanda. James and Lena love to spend time with their family, and they are blessed that both families live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, so they see them often.

ABOUT THE BOOK



All that glitters is not gold. It’s 1890, and Golden, New Mexico, is a booming mining town where men far outnumber women. So when an old wealthy miner named Philip Smith finds himself in need of a nursemaid, he places an ad for a mail-order bride—despite the protests of his friend Jeremiah.



Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, young Madeleine Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. But just as she begins to win over Philip—and Jeremiah himself—the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden...and tarnish her character beyond redemption.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You In Golden, New Mexico, go HERE.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Tailor-Made Bride

I loved this book! Karen Witemeyer really outdid her self with her first historical fiction novel for Bethany House Publishers.

Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to consequences neither could have foreseen--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

I loved how Karen wove Biblical value and Bible verses into the story and really told a story of how people can assume one thing about a person and turn out to find their inner person is completely different. The old saying is "you can't judge a book by its cover" but the inside of this book is as cute and clever as the picture on the outside. It will challenge you to really seek what is true without making untrue assumptions about all people based on a solitary experience with another person.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Hopeful Heart

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


A Hopeful Heart
Bethany House (June 1, 2010)


by
Kim Vogel Sawyer

ABOUT THE BOOK

Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher--or the wife of one.



Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she'll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have?



Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once--and he got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice.

When Tressa's life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life--and his heart--to help this eastern girl?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Hopeful Heart, go HERE

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sometimes

As I sit here in a hotel room in the midwest I have too much time to think sometimes.

And sometimes those thoughts go like this:

What if there was someone waiting for me when I got home, who had missed me all week.

What if there was someone to call me in the evenings and let me vent and share my frustrations a well as share how much I have been surprised at what we have accomplished this week. And just to share life with in general.

What if there was someone to remind me that when all seems hopeless that there is Hope.

What if there was someone to text me randomly during the day just to say hello because I was on their mind. Or good night because I was the last thing on their mind.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind being single, most of the time. I have opportunities my married friends don't have. And I know that a perfect relationship would not encompass all of the above, all of the time. But sometimes, just sometimes I wish I had that chance. The chance to experience at least some of it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Post Where I Finally Tell You About My Trip, Part 1

So I teased almost two months ago about where I was at that time. So, here's some more information. Through some life circumstances I had the amazing opportunity to go to India. While there I was able to see things that I will remember for the rest of my life: things both magnificent in Earthly beauty and heartbreaking in eternal significance.

I rode a train (train station in New Delhi). The railway system within India is their largest employer of people. For a relatively cheap price you get a train ride and food. And the food isn't bad. Airlines could learn something from this.

I "petted" an elephant made out of broken pieces of pottery. I rode a camel at this location. Worst. Experience. Ever. Camel's are totally overrated. Especially with 3 adult on them. But it was an experience.

I rode in a cab. It was a Toyota. I felt right at home. Except for the fact that this cab ride which lasted about 6 hours in each direction was the equivalent of ground turbulence. We would be riding along and all of the sudden the road would drop several inches. The only thing I can think of to relate it to is air turbulence, but we were on the ground. I think.

I donned the traditional clothing of the region and visited the Golden Temple. While I may be smiling in this picture, the sadness of this was so overwhelming. People so close to believing what is right yet so far away. It is also so surreal to see such beauty in the midst of a city that is so dirty.


I also got a glance of Pakistan. Daily there is a pep rally at the border of the two countries where there is a "changing of the guards" type celebration with a contest between the Indian and Pakistani guards to see who can kick the highest. There is dancing and celebration and both sides have a grand time. It's quite interesting to see as these two countries are not known to be friendly at all times.

More to come....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Things I'm Enjoying Right Now

1. River Church -- Seriously, it's not church...it's community. It's a community of people who all love Jesus first and love each other and their community second. I have only been involved for a couple of months and these people have touched my life in so many ways.

2. Kindle -- This little piece of electronic wonder is amazing. I can take as many books as I want with me on any trip and it takes up less space than one book. And the wireless capabilities: amazing! When my cell phone died recently I was able to email the person picking me up from the airport to let them know when I'd arrive.

3. PapaJohns.com -- Because who doesn't love the ability to be able to order a pizza and have it delivered to their door without picking up the phone.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Sneak Peak



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

If I Had Two Middle Names, Procrastination Would Be One Of Them

On Friday I am going on an adventure. For 15 days. So, guess how much I have packed. Yes, reader #3 (I think I have 3 now), that is correct. I have packed nothing. But never fear. I will be packed by Friday. I promise.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh Beautiful Day

Today has been one wonderful day! My friend Angela texted me early this morning to let me know that her husband was going to work so she'd be able to run errands with me. I knew I had to run errands today so having someone to go with me forced me to leave my house and get out. And it was beautiful! Having spent the past few days in the frozen land called the American mid-west, I was so excited to put flip flops on my feet. So we shopped and then ate at Gringos. It's no Chipotle, but it's definitely a nice step up from Moe's or Q'doba. After we finished up a few loose ends I dropped her off at home and checked Twitter for the first time all day. I saw that Annette and Danna were going to the park so I tagged along. Such fun. Annette has 3 of the cutest kids and it was so fun to see them in an environment outside of Sunday school. The middle one, C, is such a cuddle-bug on Sunday mornings. Oh, and I totally blame Annette for the fact that I stopped at McDonald's for a $1 sundae. With caramel of course. Once the kids got tired we all headed our separate ways. Such a great day though. Most of my stuff has been purchased for my next big adventure and I got to hang with some really cool people who are becoming a bigger part of my life here in the low country. Now it's off to do unfun things like laundry, but knowing I had such fun all day makes it all worth while.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What's Your Comfort Food?


You know, I don't know that I can give a 100%-of-the-time-this-will-make-me-happy answer to this questions, but I can tell you what is just a simple pleasure for me. There is just something about the simplicity of it along with the silky smooth texture. When it comes to the pudding, I'm a straight up vanilla girl. However, if you can find the Jell-O Pudding Pops, I much prefer the chocolate/vanilla swirl.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Not Global Warming, It's El Nino


A view of the snow from my upstairs balcony.

My neighbor's shed and the snow in their backyard.
My balcony and the street view.
I was considering saying "Why me?" but really, how cool (literally and figuratively) that I get to live in the low country during one of the freak times there is actually snow on the ground. Doodlebug, be prepared for me to always talk about that "winter we got snow in the low country." I can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow before it all melts by noon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some Housekeeping

1) I apologize for the nasty pop-up you get if you actually click on my blog to read it. I made my Twitter account private for a while. It will be back eventually, but for now please know that I needed something that was not out there for the world to see. I could just take that feature off, but then I'd have to go put it back on. So, until I decide what to do, please just "x" out of the annoying pop-up box and know that I love you even more for taking the time to do so to read my randomness.

2) I hope to finish up my dining room project tomorrow night. Well, finished up enough to take pictures and post the before and afters. I'm super pumped about how it is all coming together.

3) I am tired. The kind of tired that I think only a week in bed will cure. And by a week in bed, I mean a week in bed with no insomnia. I have no idea why I have insomnia, but I do. And I'm the kinda girl who needs 8 hours of solid sleep (at least) to function as a normal human. The fact that I have not lost it on anyone yet is nothing more than a miracle. That and I don't have the energy because I am so tired.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Desperately Seeking Cake

This is a real conversation that took place between my friend Tammy and I today. Tammy is engaged to be married to Scott. This is important to the story.

(Phone Rings)
RandomCarrie: Hello
Tammy: Hey, do you have plans for Sunday?
RC: Yes, laundry.
T: Will you be my valentine?
RC: Um, is Scott out of town?
T: No, but I don't think he will want to go to the bridal show with me.

And that my loyal reader, is how I, the consummate single person who is not a fan of Valentine's Day even when in a relationship, have ended up with plans to go to a bridal show on Black Sunday. (Note: it would be Black Monday if Valentine's Day was on a Monday, etc. and so forth.)

It's also important to note that Tammy called me back less than 5 minutes later. I answer the phone as follows:

Are you breaking up with me?

Nope. We're still going to the bridal show. I can only hope there will be some good cake to taste as I doubt I'll be receiving flowers and a box of chocolates.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Greatest Gift

Have you ever given someone something and it almost made you happier to be the giver than it made the recipient to receive it? And it's not that they weren't happy, but eventually the gift will wear out, or get lost, or possibly even end up in a yard sale or at Goodwill. But you know you gave them a gift. And you obtain more happiness from knowing you made their day than they possibly received over the life of the gift. Maybe it was the element of the surprise in them not expecting the gift. Maybe it was the thought you put into the gift and knowing how perfect it was for that one special person.

I wonder if God ever looks at us and feels that way. That He gave us the most perfect gift ever. And unfortunately as we go through life we do forget. It's not that it's a permanent kind of forgetting. Especially if we acknowledge Him as our Savior. But the forgetting that happens as we go about life. Maybe when we stump our toe or have to deal with that incredibly difficult person in our lives. But God doesn't forget. He remembers. And we remember we sit back and think "Wow, how blessed am I that He would give me the greatest gift of all. A gift that can never wear out, never break, and is impossible to return." And know that no matter how happy we are, He is immeasurably more pleased. He knew the perfect gift for us at the perfect time.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Energizer Bunny, I Am Not

Recently I've had a social calendar that would rival that of a socialite. The problem is I am not a socialite. I'm a homebody. With every ounce of my being I would rather be in my own home or in the home I grew up in. I'd rather be surrounded by 2-3 close friends than a roomful of acquaintances. So do you know where all this socializing has landed me? Pure exhaustion. I feel like I've put myself out there so much lately that I don't know how much more I can give. This probably wouldn't be a problem except that between my job and wondering about the future of my job, I'm already shot from a mental perspective. So throw in physical exhaustion due to insomnia and you have one dead battery running this person.

So, do you know what I did (or should I say didn't) do: I didn't leave my house on Saturday. Not because of any real reason other than I was tired. Mentally, physically, emotionally tired. Now, should anyone read this who has spent any time with me in the past month, I don't regret a moment of it. But I did need to recharge. I needed to be able to sit on my couch, lie in my bed, and just be. I have so many decisions lying before me right now, yet I have been unable to really focus on them, on me, because I've been so busy being and doing so many other things. So, in the coming days I am going to take some time for me. Go to bed a little earlier. Try to get organized and stay organized. Enjoy what I have instead of worrying about what I have to do. And focus. Focus on the One who has it all under control. Focus on me. Focus on being the best version of me possible.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Never Say Never

This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Never Say Never


Bethany House (February 1, 2010)


by


Lisa Wingate

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa lives in central Texas were she is a popular inspriational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books. Her novel, Tending Roses, received dozens of five-star reviews, sold out thirteen printings for New York publisher, Penguin Putnam, and went on to become a national bestselling book. Tending Roses was a selection of the Readers Club of America, and is currently in its fourteenth printing.

The Tending Roses series continued with Good Hope Road, the Language of Sycamores, Drenched in Light, and A Thousand Voices. In 2003, Lisa's Texas Hill Country series began with Texas Cooking, and continued with Lone Star Cafe', which was awarded a gold metal by RT Bookclub magazine and was hailed by Publisher's Weekly as "A charmingly nostalgic treat." The series concluded with Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner.

Lisa is now working on a new set of small-town Texas novels for Bethany House Publishers. The series debuted with Talk of the Town and continued with Word Gets Around and Never Say Never. A new series is also underway for Peguin Group NAL, beginning with A Month of Summer (July 2008), and continuing with The Summer Kitchen (July 2009) and Beyond Summer (July 2010). Lisa's works have been featured by the National Reader's Club of America, AOL Book Pics, Doubleday Book Club, the Literary Guild, American Profiles and have been chosen for the LORIES best Published Fiction Award. In 2009, A Month of Summer was nomiated for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots in any one place--and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence.

And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily--until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the winds blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store--especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Never Say Never, go HERE