You Capture: Friends

Best friends always, always amaze me. The relationship that best friends share is just so special. To know someone so well that you know just how far you can push her before she's had her morning coffee. Or to ask her opinion on what you're wearing for the evening. Or to laugh at something that the other says that no one else gets. "A best friend is a sister that destiny forgot to give you".

A best friend is someone that you can have tons of fun or "get lost" in an unfamiliar city with.
(Okay, so we didn't get lost. We did take a few wrong turns, though.)


A best friend is definitely someone you ride the wienermobile with!
(Sorry for the poor quality, this one was taken on my phone.)


A best friend is someone you can talk to when you can't talk to anyone else. You can cry with her, laugh with her, and take pictures with her.


Last weekend I roomed and spent the weekend with best friends. And I'm so very lucky they let me witness what a truly amazing and wonderful friendship that they share.




If you'd like to see more friends, head on over to Beth's.

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A BlogHer Outsider...

Originally, I wanted to write a lecture on how incredibly disappointed I was in witnessing people actually stealing swag from a party this weekend at BlogHer, but I have decided that I’m not going to waste my time on these people. They know who they are, and I think my twitpic of them says it all.

This was my first BlogHer. But technically it wasn’t. I didn’t go to the conference. At the time I decided to go, the conference was sold out, so I went for the sole purpose of hanging out with my friends and meeting some truly wonderful, amazing, special people. And meet them I did.

And I met more than I expected.

Sarah - I so enjoyed meeting you!! Your baby boy is just the sweetest little thing! I will help you snap your baby carrier thingy any time!!

Steph - You and Ivy are ADORABLE. The end. I think BlogHer without you AND Ivy would have been something less wonderful.

CE - OMG. Meeting you? Seriously a super surprise that I love, love, loved!!

Elaine - You rock! Seriously, you are one pregnant mommy who can HANG with the dancing, drinking girls!! I’m so glad we met!!!

Kim - You and Libby are the best! You are so funny and Libby just can make me melt with her smile!

MidwestMommy
(from FL) - You are a trip! You crack me up and I hope you never have to pay $14 for a drink again!!

Heather - OMG! I never thought I would meet Maggie Gyllenhaal!! I’m seriously stoked about it! No for real, you are awesome and funny and awesome and funny….want me to go on? Love!

Beth - You are the definition of awesome. (Don’t scrunch your face at me.) You care wholeheartedly, and I just love that about you. I am so very glad we got to meet, and I hope we can hang out again one day! And you really do give great hugs. ;o)

To my roomies, Christy and Lisa - I love that you laugh at the silly things that I say. I love that you allowed me to room with you. I love our idea for the Room 2216 Party. We should totally make that happen some day. I love that you listened to me almost ruin lunch with the seriousness of my conversation and you love me anyway for it. I love that we have met and hugged and laughed and danced and chatted and taken silly and fun pictures together. I know we will be friends always, and I cannot wait to see you again!! I love you both very much.

I know I met lots of other people and I’m so glad that I did! It was so great to actually see people in person that I see online every day. As an “outsider looking in” at BlogHer what I witnessed was a truly amazing thing. I saw faces light up when they recognized someone and set out to meet them. I saw people that truly cared about one another spend a weekend of friendship. I saw best of friends meeting best of friends and becoming friends themselves. I saw friendship. I saw love. And that was my favorite part of BlogHer.

PS. To those I didn’t get to meet. I had better one day. That is all.

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In Real Life

I was having a discussion with a friend last week, and we were chatting about bloggy or online friends vs IRL friends.

This is a hard concept for me to grasp. Or I guess a better way of putting it is I have a hard time distinguishing between the two.

Now, you’re saying, um, duh. Right? Well stick with me here, and I’ll attempt to explain it.

I love surrounding myself with friends. And while it’s true that there are only a select few that get to really get to know me, I still love talking to people and getting to know people.

A little over two years ago on MySpace, I was going through the list of people I went to high school with. I came across this girl that I was friends with in elementary school and the beginning of Junior High School. (Yes, I went to Jr. High, not Middle School.) I always was very fond of this girl and always hated that we just sort of drifted apart.

So, after some debating on whether to contact her, I sent her a message titled, “Remember Me?” I was surprised, but thrilled when she responded right away! And we’ve been friends again ever since. She is THE BEST.

And she lives four hours away from me.

We talk almost every single day. Mostly online or through text messages. (Jess, I KNEW you’d give in to texting! ;o) If it weren’t for being online, we would have never found each other again. But she is my friend in real life in every single way.

These days, being online is such a big part of our real lives that becoming friends with someone is no different than being friends with someone “in real life”. Or at least to me.

So whether we’ve met in person or we haven’t. Whether we talk everyday on the phone, in person, or online. If you’ve given me the gift of friendship, I consider you my friend. Period.

And if we've never met face to face, I know we will someday. :o)

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Here We Go!!!

This may possibly be the start of the busiest week of my entire life. (A week and two days to be exact.) I think I may have more on my plate than even my initiation week for my sorority. No, I'm sure of it.

Honestly. I'm a little nervous. Right now, a lot frustrsted. (Keep reading.) And heck let's just go with Christy and throw a tad bit overwhelmed in there right now. So, let's start with today...

Friday - Work. Yay. Then, right after work I went to see the new Harry Potter film! YAY! So, my mom and I have my nephew for most of the weekend, and I call her after I get out of the theater to see how things are and my nephew's mama didn't pack the kiddo any nice clothes. Why does this frustrate me? We're taking him to a family reunion tomorrow, (don't even ask why my brother's not coming) and well we wanted something a little nicer than play clothes. Am I wrong in being just a tad bit picky about this? I guess I could be? Still, I went to Target, and now I'm washing the new outfit that she'll probably snag, and I'll never see him in it again.

Saturday - Family reunion. We're driving two hours to my parents' hometown to go to see cousins that I didn't know I had. It's important for me to be there because my grandmother is now the matriarch of this branch of my family tree. And well I want to show off da boy. ;o)

Sunday - BABY SHOWER!!! Fun stuff right there! Also, I'll have dinner with the parental units. Important part of Sunday: MUST GO TO BED EARLY. See below.

Monday - Wednesday: I'm pretty sure each one of these days is going to look exactly the same, so you'll get them together. Work: 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. (I get an hour lunch.) I'm headed to meet some of you lovely people this weekend, and couldn't get time off, even though I have almost 4 weeks of time off built up. (Don't ask.) So, the solution? Work 40 hours in 3.5 days. I know it's going to be a hard 3 days, but I'm so glad that my manager worked with me so that I cold take half of Thursday and Friday off! The only thing I'm worried about is the sleep part. I usually don't nod off until after 1 every morning. A bad habit I know, but get inside my brain (or don't), and you'll see why. ;o)

Thurday - Work: 5:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. ; Airport: 9:45 a.m. Plane leaves at 11:18 a.m. I have a small layover in Charlotte and then onto.....

CHICAGO!!!! The rest of Thursday - Sunday!!!

I'm so excited!!! I can't even tell you! I wonder how many people I'll think in my head oh that's @________ . Do ya'll think in twitter names ever? No? Me either.

I've never flown by myself before. A little nervous about that. But it should be interesting and I'm willing to bet that at least one funny story comes of it. Something like me falling somewhere. This happens a lot. And holy heck, did you look at that? I just read above. When the hell am I going to pack? Hmmm...

Are you tired yet. Think I'm going to go to bed now...wait I have to fold laundry before I can do that. :o)

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You Capture: Shapes

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Beth's You Capture challenge this week was Shapes. I truly hated geometry (and I was a math major!), but I'll play along. *sigh* Kidding!

I tried all weekend to get nice captures of shapes, but well, sometimes trying to get good shots, while drinking, um, soda, just doesn't work. So, I took these instead.


Square (and diamond):
This is a quilted wall hanging that my mom made to match the quilt she made for my bed. The pattern is called Sparkling Gems. (I think.)


Oval:
This is a dream catcher that I got at a pow wow when I was in high school. It's been hanging in my window every night since then.



Diamond:

Fence. Not much else to say about that. ;o)



Octagon:

Stop sign in the corner of my yard. Please ignore the bird poop.




Circle:
Okay, this was from my Girls' Weekend. I just thought this circular mirror was cool. :o)


Want to see more You Captures? Go over to I Should Be Folding Laundry!


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Weigh-In Wednesday: Whew

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

We're quickly approaching the end of the Shrinking Days of Summer Challenge over at the Sisterhood. How are you and your teams doing?? Great, I hope!


The last time we chatted, you all read that I was headed to Girls' Cabin Weekend. Last year I lost weight during Cabin Weekend, but I couldn't be sure that the same thing would happen. I planned on swimming laps, but I didn't. So, when I stepped on the scales this morning, I knew that this could go either way.

Last week's weight: 144.0
This week's weight: 143.2

I lost! Even though I know that I probably didn't lose this the most healthy of ways, I can't pretend that I'm not excited about it because by the time we talk again next week, I will have gone to a family reunion, a baby shower, and I will have worked two 12 hour days. My goal is to just survive. I know that working out is not going to happen once Monday comes, but I also think that I can manage. In fact, I know that I can.

So, tell me how did you do this week?

Girls' Cabin Weekend '09

If you look at the the pictures of our cabin, you would think that this is the best place on the planet.

I mean, am I right or am I right? But we quickly found out that the owners of this magnificent spot on Earth are not keeping the place as nice as they could and should. The weeds around the pool were awful, the pool water tasted like salt water, the hot tub needed more water and, honestly, it smelled funky. But if you want to talk about some stank, you should have smelled what was coming from the dishwasher that didn't work. Try fishy. And last night, when trying to used the sink, the water poured right on out into the floor from the dishwasher. And I'm pretty sure the basement was well on it's way to being flooded.

Oh no, you're saying, right? Well, hold on. I'm not going to spend the entire post talking about how there were some things that sucked about that house. Because as nice as it is to go to CABIN, the house isn't what makes Cabin the most wonderful thing that it is.

Cabin is about the people. It's about escaping from everyday life to spend 3 wonderful days with girlfriends.

It means grabbing the microphone and singing karaoke and dancing the night away.

It means taking silly photos because, who cares? It's Cabin, and we can do what we want.

It means having an 80's costume party because who doesn't love the 80's?

It means just hanging out on the back deck, telling good stories, and laughing lots.

And yes, Cabin even means that all Cabin activity must stop at 9 p.m. Sunday night for those individuals who are hooked on the show True Blood. I mean, ya'll were truly on the edge of your seats!

To Jess, Rachael, Christine, Susan, Becky, Kerry, Rainy, Naomi, Tammy, and Joalenn: THANK YOU, ladies for the 3 day party-I mean a most wonderful weekend! Cabin is not Cabin without you there. It's you that makes Cabin what it is, so the weeds at the non-chlorine pool, the fishy smelling dishwasher, and the lack of cell phone coverage-oh yeah, did I mention that?! You get cell coverage in very few places at this cabin. One of the spots is right here:

Not good if you're addicted to Twitter. But, with you all at Cabin, I can handle all of those things because YOU are my Cabin. If that makes any sense. :o)

Girls, you'll have your pictures soon, I promise. All 500 of them.

Love, April

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You Capture: Independence Day and food

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The Salem Fair comes to town every year near the 4th, and while I didn't go on Independence Day, I did go today to take my nephew on his first carousel ride. See?

(Okay, so I think at this point he was still unsure of the ride, but do you SEE what that is in the background? Do you?)



Oh yeah, it's pizza...



And there was cotton candy too. Are you drooling yet?


No? Well just look at this candy apple!!


And there's nothing better than a fresh funnel cake. What do you like on your funnel cake?



There is just nothing like fair food, huh? Who's hungry?

Want to see more You Captures? Head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry!!

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Weigh-In Wednesday: Choices

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans


Good whatever time of the day you happen to be stopping by my blog! It's Wednesday and weigh-in day over at the Sisterhood! How did you do???

I knew I was going to have a gain. On the 4th I went to a cook out, and I had choices. I could have made better ones, but I didn't. I could have not eaten both a hamburger and a hot dog, but I did eat both. I could have chosen not to eat a piece of that eclair cake, but I didn't make that choice.

And now, I could choose to throw my hands up in the air and say screw it. Have you ever had those moments? I sure have. Every single thing that happens to our bodies is a result of the choices we have made. We all know that. So, yeah, I made bad choices over the weekend. Lots of them, but if I were to now make the choice to throw my hands up, then what good would it have done me to lose those 62 lbs? None. And I would be more disappointed in myself about that than I would be about one or two days of bad choices.

We are all going to have moments when we cave and eat that cake and that hamburger and hot dog and the potato salad and macaroni salad. It's just going to happen. The important thing isn't the choices we made then because that's in the past. What is important is trying to focus on the choices we make from now on. To pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again today and to not let a few bad choices turn into many bad choices.

So, if you have had a bad week, you're not allowed to feel bad about it. I'm not going to let you. It happened, it's over. Start over. All we can do is to focus on the now and the choices we make now.

Now, this weekend I have a real challenge. Girls' Cabin Weekend. My goal for this week is to just maintain. Because let's be real, the exercise will be little (even though my plan is to swim some laps) and the calories are going to be beer, margaritas (sugar free ones!), and maybe some crown and coke zero. And as long as I can maintain, I will be very, very happy.

Last week's weight: 143.2
This week's weight: 144.0

So, how was your week? Good? Bad? Lay it on me, get it off your chest, then if it's bad, throw it away and focus on today. That's an order.

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Over There!

I did a guest post over at Thea's place today....care to join me?

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White Water Stuck

On Friday, I leave for Girls Cabin Weekend '09! It's taking place here, in case you're wondering! (You want to join, don't you? I know you do.)

This year, we're kicking off the weekend with a day tubing on the Shenandoah River! We are so excited to get the party started off right. But, I don't think I can go to Cabin this year without mentioning the, ahem, interesting day we spent on the river last year. (Note: this story is told better by Jessie, in person, after a few drinks. I'm just sayin'. But I'm going to try my best to give you the idea.)

So, we were a little slow moving that morning. Okay, we were so slow moving that we missed our chance to actually go tubing. I have NO idea why. I mean, I know one of us was insistent on packing a cooler, with, um, sodas. (Yeah, that's what they were.) But surely, I don't understand why they wouldn't give us tubes. Or maybe they would have. I don't remember. Jess? I mean, didn't those punks that rode the same bus with us have tubes?

So, we had to settle for rafting. Could be fun, right? A relaxing ride down the river. I mean, it was just for three miles. No problem.

First, something has to be said about the bus ride to the river. Imagine the boat ride in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory except ten times faster. I'm convinced we were traveling at light speed. It was both amazing and scary at the same time. Now, onto the river:

We found out pretty quickly that we actually had to paddle. And some of us were better at paddling than others.

Mile 1: Fairly uneventful. We did; however, realize that we were VERY thankful for those "sodas". We also learned that paddling sucked, and we sucked at it.

Mile 2: This mile felt like it was approximately 5 miles long. I was sure we had already passed the mile marker, only to see the mile marker 5 minutes after I was sure we had passed it. We also took a break during mile 2 right before we headed down the "raging rapids". When I say raging, I mean, not so much. They lasted all of 10 second, and I clearly remember one of us saying (could have been me, I'm not sure), "That's it?" We were positive that there were more rapids somewhere. Nope. This was also the mile when we found ourselves just sitting still in the water. WTF? We're on a river!

Mile 3: We get to this mile and all is going a tad better. We're moving at a fairly decent rate, but is it a bad thing that I can touch the bottom of the river with my paddle? Yes. It is. Why? Because rafting on a river at the end of July when there hasn't been much rain = raft gets stuck. A LOT.

This was both the longest and worst mile of my life. I really kind of hated it. The first couple of times we got stuck, we laughed. After that, not so much. One time, I got out of the raft to try to help get it un-stuck, my foot slipped on a rock. All I remember seeing is the bottom of the raft smashing my face, being thrown back, and my knee smacking a rock like a hammer on a nail. Wow, that kinda hurt. I look up, and Jessie has fallen too, and the other girls are trying to help me back into the raft.

After that, we got stuck about a hundred times more. At one point, we could see the pickup point. Seriously could see it, and we would move about 5 feet then get stuck. I KNOW people were laughing at us. They had to be. I would have laughed at us.

When we got back to the cabin, I walked onto the deck to hang my towel to dry, and Jessie's mom asked, "How was the river?"

My reply, "It sucked."

But in the spirit of cabin, we laughed and laughed as we retold our story about a dozen times and soothed our aches and pains with the hot tub and Crown and Coke Zero. :o)

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A Beer Review: Shiner

It's no secret; I like beer. I like most beers. Light beers, amber beers, dark beers. If it's beer, I'll try it at least once. My favorite is Chimay, but at $5 for 10 ounces, I don't buy it very often. (Not to mention that it is loaded with calories.)

Christy
has been telling me that Shiner, which is made in her very own Texas, is the best beer.

Today has been A DAY, so I decided that I'm going to have some beer tonight. I worked out, showered, then headed to the grocery store, and there right in front of me (well, okay, it was above me, I'm short and it was on the top shelf) was Shiner. And, if that wasn't enough to get excited, they have a variety pack! I did NOT squeal in the grocery store, and the dude next to me most certainly did NOT look at me funny. Nope. I would NEVER do something like that.

Choice made. (duh.) And I may drink all six. Because afterall, I'm doing this review for you guys. ;o)

Shiner Bock:

Ooooh, it has a really nice amber color. I love me some amber beers! Taste: Loving it...nice and smooth, no after taste. Man, these go down really smooth. And quick. Shhh...don't tell anyone, I've only had it poured for about 20 mins or so, and, well, there isn't much left. Christy says this is her favorite. I can see why. Kudos, my friend!

Shiner Light:

Slightly darker than typical light beers. Reminds me a lot of Sam Adams Light. (BTW: I've never met a Sam I didn't like.) I'm loving the taste on this one too. Slightly stronger taste than the Bock; not as sweet, but still very enjoyable. No aftertaste. Me likes. The bock is still in the lead though.

Shiner Blonde:

Color reminds me more of Bud Light, but it tastes oh so much better than Bud Light!! (Sorry all of you BL fans! Sort of. Bud Light is crap. Miller Lite is better.) I'm noticing now that they all have a similar flavor to them, and I really like it. A lot. I think the bock is still my favorite.

Shiner big long H name-crap, hang on...Hefeweizen:

This is an unfiltered wheat ale. You can always tell unfiltered beers because they look kind of cloudy, and to me they're some of the best beers out there. This one has a citrus-y taste and I've totally had this before. Cabin last year. I'm sure of it. Love it lots. I still say the bock is better. Need more bock, I think. ;o)

Shiner Kosmos:

Color: Not quite amber; not quite light. Tastes a lot like the light. It's a tad bit sweeter; maybe. I don't remember. Not the worst, not the best. Bring more bock. Now.

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager:

Looks much like Guinness. I have to admit, I have to be in a mood for Guinness. And that's rare. I'm hesitant around beers that look like motor oil, but this? Not bad at all. For a dark beer, it has no after taste. Is really kind of sweet. I like.

Overall assessment? Love me some Shiner.

The winner of the night?? Shiner Bock.


You Capture: Photographer's Choice

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I was all set to give you You Capture: My Town this week. It was going to start off with something like this:

Welcome to Roanoke, VA

Then I was going to show you this photo:

Then I was going to show you some of my favorite places. Like this place:

This is St. Andrew's Cathedral, and while I'm not catholic, I've always loved this place. I called it a castle when I was little.




But soon, my post decided it had its own plan for me in mind.

Roanoke is called "The Star City of the South". Why? Because we have this huge star that overlooks the city. (It shines red, white, and blue at night.)

So, because my mom hadn't been at the Star in a while, she and I head up there. The Star is huge, can be very hard to get all of it in a shot, and I've never taken a good photo of the Star. So today, I have a plan. But I'd rather there not be a bunch of people up there when I do this. There was one guy, but he left pretty quickly. Score!

Me: Mom, be my look out, will you? I'm going to try something.

Mom: Um, okay.

So, I lie down on the deck in my good work clothes, so that I can get a good shot of the Star, and I get this:


I get back up, and walk up to the star to get a different perspective. Something like this is what I was thinking:



But before I can take my different perspective shots, I see this:


So, it seems that in my You Capture adventure, I got captured, and who knows who saw the crazy chick lie down on the deck at the Star just to take a picture. So, this week, I give you Roanoke Captured: April. And it seems that the photographer didn't have much of a choice. Yay. :o)

Want to see more You Captures? Head on over to Beth's place.

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Weigh-In Wednesday: This Is Just My Life

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means! It's weigh-in day over at the Sisterhood's Shrinking Days of Summer challenge! So, lay it on me, how did you do?


I only lost 0.2 lb this week, but considering that I have that monthly visitor that we all love to hate, I can't really complain. Any loss during this week of the month should be highly celebrated. I could have easily stepped on the scales and had a gain.

A lady at work this week complimented me on my weight loss. This particular person is not my favorite person to talk to, but I thanked her and tried to continue to work. She just stood there which meant she wanted to talk more. Great.

So, I looked back at her, and she asked me how I did it. (I've told her this before. But whatever.) So, I said, I just eat eat healthy and exercise. She asked how much more I want to lose. (She's never going away, is she?) I tell her 14 more pounds. And she tried to finish my sentence and say, "and then you can quit, right?"

Wrong. I politely answered no. Then I sort of when into lecture mode. I will have to eat healthy and work out for the rest of my life. (Seriously. Do I have to scream that IT'S NOT A DIET!!) I told her this is just my life now. And really while ever now and then I will give myself a break, I will never not eat healthy and work out. And I'm just fine with that. I'd rather eat healthy and BE healthy than to eat crap every single day and be back to a size 18!

I also learned that people I don't want to talk to will leave when I get on my exercise and nutrition soapbox. (Because they don't get it yet and don't want to hear that it's a lifestyle change.) Trust me, this was noted. :o)

Last week's weight: 143.4
This week's weight: 143.2

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I'm a walking contradiction. While I love to draw, paint and read, I also love all things gadgets, science and even science fiction (I know). My animals (two dogs and two birds) are my heart, and if I could figure out how to legally own a giraffe, I would. That all said, I have my BS in Mathematics. :o)

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