Saturday, February 27, 2010

I love girl's nights!

There is nothing that quite compares to a good girl's night, sometimes, they're just necessary! With all the work, errands, and things to do during the week, it is so refreshing to hang out with my favorite girls! Last Friday, after a particularly hard week at work, Ashley and I decided to go out for dinner and a couple of drinks, and instead of my usual spots, we tried The Ironhorse in Ashland. So we got dolled up, met and drove there, and arrived in a place that really wasn't quite what I had imagined. It was actually better! They had a jazz band playing, and we sat at the bar. We enjoyed some DELICIOUS appetizers-Ash had the crabcake and I had fried oysters, we enjoyed a couple of drinks, and then had YUMMY desserts! She got the cheesecake and I got the chocolate mousse, and yes, they were to die for! I figured there would only be a bunch of older people there, but there were all kinds of people there! It was a nice change, and we really enjoyed ourselves.  It was nice to spend time with one of my favorite girls outside of work =) After dinner Ash was gracious enought to make a late night Walmart run with me to get food to prepare for Coco's birthday the next day. I love this girl!

Since apparently I hadn't had enough fancy delicious food for the week, I went to Melting Pot with Elisabeth for eve more great food! On certain weeknights each month, MP has a "Ladies Night" special. Lots of DELICIOUS fondue, and half price speciality drinks! After another particularly trying day at work, those really hit the spot! For our cheese fondue we decided on the fiesta cheese-my favorite! Yes, we of course scraped the bowl. Sometimes I think the cheese is my favorite part. But then I remember all the other great courses, and then I can't quite decide! We both got the California salad-another favorite-and it was great! We decided to not go for the meat this time, because we really wanted a chance to enjoy dessert, and sometimes, after all of those courses, that can become difficult.  As if the delicious treats they brought us on a platter weren't good enough, then we had chocolate fondue to dip it in...YUM! We got the Flaming Turtle, because really, setting food on fire is just cool. Don't you worry, we scraped that bowl as well.
One of the reasons we'd decided to go on this particular Ladie's Night was because they usually have different vendors there, and one of them piqued our interest. While I'm pretty sure neither of us believe in this at all, they had a free psychic there doing readings, and we really wanted to see for ourselves! Sadly, we couldn't find him when we first got there, and after finally finding him after eating, it was too late. Oh well, guess we'll just have to figure out our futures as they come to us, hehe :)
Another delicious, awesome night with one of my best friends! I heart Elisabeth!!!

Funny how happy we both look here, too bad 1 minute earlier, just before the food came and we gobbled some before snapping a pic, we were ready to kill anyone in our line of sight due to starvation! :)

Yup, that's me scraping the cheese bowl. Don't judge me. You'd do the same.

Yayyyy for my yummy drinks!

I love this girl! And yes, that's our dessert plate, minus the chocolate we dipped it all in! Be jealous! hehe

Looking forward to next week's girls night already. We must've been exhausted when we finished our last one, because we haven't even discussed this one yet! :)

Life is good! xo

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sparrow at Starbucks

Another great email that was shared with me today! =)


The song that silenced the cappuccino machine

It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st
Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square . Early November
weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill
of late December and January, but it's enough to send the masses crowding
indoors to vie for available space and warmth. For a musician, it's the
most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I'm told, and consequently,
the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right.
Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our
basket was almost overflowing. It was a fun, low-pressure gig - I was
playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with
an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the '40s
to the '90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional
rendition of the classic, "If You Don't Know Me by Now," I noticed a lady
sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the
beat and singing along.

After the tune was over, she approached me. "I apologize for singing along
on that song. Did it bother you?" she asked.
"No," I replied. "We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to
sing up front on the next selection?"
To my delight, she accepted my invitation.
"You choose," I said. "What are you in the mood to sing?"
 ... do you know any hymns?"
Hymns? This woman didn't know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on
hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest
singer a knowing look. "Name one."
"Oh, I don't know. There are so many good ones. You pick one."
"Okay," I replied. "How about 'His Eye is on the Sparrow'?"
My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine
again and said, "Yeah.. Let's do that one."
She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse, straightened her jacket and
faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing.

Why should I be discouraged?

Why should the shadows come?

The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of
the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing
to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.

I sing because I'm happy;

I sing because I'm free.

For His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me.

When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a deafening roar
that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.
Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, "Oh, y'all go back to
your coffee! I didn't come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to
get somethin' to drink, just like you!"
But the ovation continued.. I embraced my new friend.
"You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!"
"Well, it's funny that you picked that particular hymn," she said.
"Why is that?"
"Well ..." she hesitated again, "that was my daughter's favorite song."
"Really!" I exclaimed.
"Yes," she said, and then grabbed my hands. By this time, the applause had
subsided and it was business as usual.. "She was 16. She died of a brain tumor last week."
I said the first thing that found its way through my stunned silence. "Are
you going to be okay?" She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my
hands. "I'm gonna be okay. I've just got to keep trusting the Lord and
singing His songs, and everything's gonna be just fine." She picked up her
bag, gave me her card, and then she was gone.

Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular day that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it.

God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of
time, and it's no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a
coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary gig into a revival. It
was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs,
everything's gonna be okay.

The next time you feel like GOD can't use YOU, just remember...

No more excuses now!!

God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren't the message, you
are just the messenger. God bless.

The Old Phone

Awesome email that was sent to me today...


When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood... I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know. Information please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.

"Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.


"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.

"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.

"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.

"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.

"No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."

"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.

I could.

"Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything.

I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math.

She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called,

Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."

"Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?"

I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much.

"Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I

somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.


I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying,

"Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."

I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any Idea how much you meant to me during that time."

I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me.

I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls."

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

"Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered,


I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.

"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.

"I'm sorry to have to tell you this,” She said. "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago."

Before I could hang up, she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne ?" "

Yes...” I answered.

"Well, Sally left a message for you.

She wrote it down in case you called.

Let me read it to you."

The note said,

"Tell him there are other worlds to sing in.

He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

Whose life have you touched today?
May you find the joy and peace you long for.

Life is a journey... NOT a guided tour.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coco is TWO!

Let me just say...

1. I have the best friends in the word. 
2. I love my dog So freakin much-obviously.

Why do I think my friends are the best? Because no matter what, they are there for me-even when I throw my dog a birthday party. Yes yes, a dog birthday party, I don't have kids and may never have them, so get over it! =)  The party was originally scheduled to take place a few weeks ago, but due to all of the recent blizzards, we had to reschedule. This year Coco turns two, so instead of the cutesy first birthday party, I opted for a cocktail party-yay! Because let's face it...Coco and her dog friends don't even know what a birthday is, so we'll just say this is a celebration of her life, and a good excuse to get together with friends and eat good food. 

We had quite the little spread for the party, even though I promised I wouldn't go overboard this time (yeah sure). And my fabulously generous friend Brooke even offered to make my favorite dip-black bean and corn salsa...YUM! I decided to do pink cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, buffalo chicken bites, H & D rice cracker trail mix, heart Runts, Sweet tarts and of course chips and Brooke's salsa.  Ukrops had my favorite flowers in-Stargazer Lillies-and since I can't see to find my vase, I decided to use the adorable treat jar Mom bought for Coco for her birthday.  Perfect! I also made sure to have plenty of treats for our pet guests.  We all quickly devoured most of the food and chatted for hours, and played a fun game of Apples to Apples at the end of the night. =) That game can get pretty funny, so I love it! In case you were wondering what Coco's birthday present from is-a dog carseat! (And a ton of treats) I know you may think I'm ridiculous, but just google reviews for these things, they've saved a ton of lives! Coco has taken to it well, so I am pleased. Happy birfdayyyy!

Just a quick thank you to everyone that could come to the party-Mel ( and Coach), Brooke, Scott, Honor, Brian, Elisabeth, Matt, and Crystal. What a great time! Here are a few pix...enjoy!

Life is good! xo =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I heart Hollie Dyson Photography :)

So, this past weekend my friend Hollie came to take some pics of Lil Miss Coco (and me!) We had a GREAT time, even if Coco wanted to be a little stubborn. What can I say...she's a diva! Here are some of the best, I was REALLY pleased with the results...dogs are like babies...hard to photograph! But Hollie did a GREAT job for her first pet photoshoot! Can't wait to see more of her work! You can check out her blog at

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

God's Grace

Got this email the other day, love this one! :)

God's Grace

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town.
One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying
a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.
Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response,
Pastor Thomas began to speak...
"I was walking through town yesterday
when I saw a young boy coming toward
me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of
the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.
I stopped the lad and asked, "What do you have there, son?"
"Just some old birds," came the reply.
"What are you going to do with them?" I asked.
"Take 'em home and have fun with
'em," he answered. "I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers
to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time."
"But you'll get tired of those birds
sooner or later. What will you do then?"
"Oh, I got some cats," said the
little boy. "They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."
The pastor was silent for a moment. "How
much do you want for those birds, son?"
"Huh?? !!! Why, you don't want them
birds, mister. They're just plain old field
birds. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!"
"How much?" the pastor asked again.
The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?"
The pastor reached in his pocket and took out
a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was
gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end
of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the
cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars
persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the
empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just
come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and
boasting. "Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set
me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!"
"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked.
Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun!
I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate
and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I'm gonna
teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other.
I'm really gonna have fun!"
"And what will you do when you are done with them?" Jesus asked.
"Oh, I'll kill 'em," Satan glared proudly.
"How much do you want for them?" Jesus asked.
"Oh, you don't want those people. They
ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you..
They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don't want those people!!"
"How much? He asked again.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your blood, tears and your life."
Jesus said, "DONE!" Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

My lil bird friend at the apartment :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baby it's cold outside...

So with all the blizzard conditions lately...there's not much to do-especially with a puppy that hates snow! So, we stay inside. Lots of Real Housewives on TV, movies, and playing online. Oh...and eating lots of junk! Get me out of this house before I gain 50lbs! This past week I've mostly been either working or hibernating inside. I did have a fun girl's night with Elisabeth on Wednesday. I made chicken parmigiana with penne, and some garlic bread (don't be impressed, I was being lazy, it was Bertolli hehe) and we devoured all of it, then we chatted and watched movies. It was a nice relaxing girl's night, and we had a great time! We also played with my photo editor a little bit.  Here are some of the pics we played with, and some of the pics of what Coco and I have been doing this past week. Enjoy! :)

So, Coco's birthday party has to be rescheduled because of the snow. Julie from NJ and Mel from NC couldn't make it, conditions were just too dangerous. I'm working on my schedule to see what the best day will be.  Next weekend is Valentines Day. I think we'll be doing dinner and a movie, but not sure yet.  Also on Vday Coco and I will be doing a photo shoot with Hollie, and we are soooo excited! She's been working on her photography, and I can't wait to see what she can do with Coco, since she refuses to look at the camera for me! I'm looking forward to next weekend, and I pray that we won't have any more of this ridiculous weather. The other day when I looked at the forecast for tonight, it's supposed to be 9 degrees ...ahh!!! Lots of snuggling with Coco so we won't freeze to death! :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friend of the Month: Coco!

Ok, I know, I know, she's not a human. She's my dog. But whatever. This is my blog so I do what I want! I figured she'd be most well suited for this month, since it's her birthday month! Coco turned 2 years old on Feb. 2.  We've spent quite a bit of quality time together lately from all of this ridiculous weather. She's sitting by me as I type! :) It seems like such a short time ago I was picking her up from the breeders.  A gorgeous day in April, I met my best little friend! Coco is always here for me, always happy to see me, and extremely loyal to me. She depends on me, and its wonderful to be needed. She's adorable. She is constantly happy. She loves life and she loves everyone she comes in contact with.  She's never met a stranger. She is patient with me while I dress her in ridiculous outfits. She's small, so she's able to travel with me to most places. I HATE leaving her at home, but sometimes I have to. I love how she can read my emotions, whether playful or sad, and she's able to comfort me.  She's my favorite (dog) to cuddle with, watch tv with, take walks with, and take pictures of. 
I love my Coco Mai! :)

Stay tuned for March! :)

February Word of the Month: Love

I figured it would be fitting since it's the month we celebrate Valentine's Day that the
WOTM (Word of the Month) be


I guess I should start with the definition, as always:

How Webster defines LOVE:

1: a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests

2 : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration ;a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment

3: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others b : a person's adoration of God

I think these are awesome ways to describe the most sought after feeling, emotion, and state in the universe.  I feel you can love many different people in many different ways.  I love so many people, and since this is my blog, I get to ramble on about it!
Let's start with family first...Mom-I love my mom for taking care of me, being there for me when I need it, her beauty, her honesty.  Dad (David)-I love for being there from the beginning, even though it wasn't his resposibility. Little David-I love his confidence, his love of life, his affection for others-including me! Samantha-I love that she's a diva, a mini-me, her love of the arts, and her love of fun. I love my father and his family so much as well, even though I don't get to see them as often as I like, they still mean so much to me.
Coco-I love her companionship, loyaltly, and her excitement when I'm around. I love that she loves EVERYONE, and that everyone seems to love her.  I love that she can read my emotions. She seems happy and upbeat when I'm happy, and she cuddles when me when I cry. She also puts up with my ridiculousness-and dutifully stands there while I dress her like a human. :) She makes me smile EVERYDAY!  
I love my friends-Melody-(the LOML!) hehe...I love our inside jokes, the fact that we can have a good time whether we're in sweatpants on the couch, or dolled up for a night out, I love how much we laugh when we're together. She's probably hands down one of the coolest people in the world. :) Kathy-I love how long she's stuck around for my drama! I love that she is there for me when it counts. I love her love for her family.  Brooke-I love that most of our together is spent laughing and lounging, I love her acceptance of everything, I love the fact that she stands by me no matter how ridiculous the choices I make are.  Elisabeth-I love that we seem to have a common bond in such a short amount of time, I love how much fun we have together and how we share so many of the same interests, I love her determination to make anything work, whether it be a relationship, a busy schedule, or some crazy craft. Crystal-I love her ability to make everything fun and beautiful, her creativity, and the best thing about her is she is able to find the good in EVERYONE.  Becky-I love that after all these years, we still can get together every once in a while and reminisce and pick up right where we left off. I love her affection for her family.  Ashley-I love how much time we get to spend together at a place that would be terribly dull if she weren't there.  I love her concern for what's going on with me, and how she always provides a listening ear.  Honor-I love her for being there for me at a time when I was really low, and opening her home to me.  I love her love and compassion for her close friends. 
I love all of my fabulous friends, even if they weren't noted on here...but no one wants to read a 20 page blog post. :)
Last but CERTAINLY not least, my Savior.  I love him mostly for His unconditional love for me and the extremely imperfect person I am.  He loves me for all of my faults, and He died for me! There have been many times in my life that I feel closer to Him than others-but one thing is for sure...the closer I feel to him, the more happy and fulfilled I feel about my life.  I screw up everyday, multiple times a day, and He forgives me.  I love that no matter what the circumstance, I have always been taken care of.  I feel like most of my worries are foolish, because He always takes care of me. Whether it be some huge worry about a family member, or some small worry like me forgetting my lunch, I've always been provided for. I am so thankful for that.
My favorite part of the definition of love is "the unselfish loyal and benovelent
concern for another" I think this is beautiful!
I'd love to hear about others and their loves. :) So please share!


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