July 22, 2008


Okay, okay.....I heard your pleas and feel your disappointment. Some of you were out of town or stepped away from your computers for 24 hours plus, so I am doing a contest redo......but now you have to work for it!

Each person who comments on this blog will be entered to win a set of personalized monogram note cards, but your comment must feature one of these items:

1. First rememberance of meeting me- when was it; where did it take place; what did we talk about; what was I wearing (just kidding), etc.


2. Where was your first kiss.....no need to say with whom unless they are or were a celebrity


3. Your secret indulgence.....which, I realize, will no longer be a secret once you post it here, but hey, we're all one big blog family!

You have until the next time I post something to enter my contest, and while your comments will not be judged, they will be read and a clever answer may just win you an extra special place in my heart.

To keep the contest fair, Simple Guy will draw a number to determine the winner.

Ready? Set. Go!

July 18, 2008


I am very curious to know who is reading my blog these days. I know some of the usual suspects (my mom, Simple Guy's mom, Naomi, Liz, Leslie, etc.) but who else checks out my blog and reads what I have to say?

So in an effort to lure you out of secrecy, I am going to hold a contest. Whomever posts a comment on this blog by 9pm tomorrow night will be entered in a contest to win a set of customized note cards with your monogram on the front. That's right folks- I'll send you FREE personalized stationary! How chic to have your own set of monogrammed note cards to send as thank you notes, thinking of you notes, please return my CD's since you had them for almost three months notes, etc.

So comment away.....oh, and no pressure to write a long comment.....maybe just introduce yourself to me and the rest of the readers and we will all get acquainted and live as one big blog family.

July 15, 2008

Music Moves Me

Music has always moved me- I learn best through music. Some of my deepest understandings of who God is has come from beautiful hymns and worship songs. Music can instantly take me to a place I have been or replay a memory for me. I love music and am so thankful that it exists.

I think we can learn a lot about a person by listening to the music they like and if you were to listen to the songs on my play list at the bottom of this blog, you would get a glimpse into what makes me.

Amy Grant
I love Amy Grant (click here to read more about why I love her so much).......I love her unconditionally. She puts a record out, I am buying it. I am not a huge fan of her "Baby, Baby" days of music- I much prefer her music from the days of "Lead Me On" and I love "Behind the Eyes"- but when you love someone unconditionally, you love them no matter how bubble-gum their music can be at times!

So it's no surprise that she shows up on my play list the most. Her rendition of "El Shaddai" is beautiful. "Gabriel's Oboe" is from her last Christmas album and we played it as part of our wedding ceremony- I love how haunting it is, but not in a creepy way.

I didn't realize just how much I like Coldplay's music until I heard this song as part of someone's video montage. I think I'll pull out Jason's Coldplay CD that he bought eons ago and give it a listen again.

Bebo Norman
When I think about Bebo Norman's music, I immediately go back to my life in MN and my alma mater. I was in MN when Bebo first hit the Christian music scene and he was on fire with college students and young 20-somethings. I booked him for a concert at our alma mater when I was working there and had the chance to talk to him before the concert. What a down-to-earth guy- there was nothing pretentious about this man.
I chose "Great Light of the World" as my Bebo selection because I have a vivid memory of him and his guitar on a dark stage at a differnt concert with nothing but one bright spotlight on him belting this song out like no one was there listening to him- like it was just him and God.

Who doesn't like U2? I mean, seriously, there is a song for everyone when it comes to U2! I feel like U2 has always been in my life and although I do not own a single CD of theirs, I still love to listen to them. It's their lyrics- they are dripping with meaning. Listen closely to "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and you may just walk away with a beter understanding about what it is they are trying to say through this song.

Watermark is another all-time favorite. No one's music moves me like Watermark's. Their music ushers me into a state of worship immediately. This is another group that I will buy their CD without giving it a preview listen. The song I chose would not have been my first pick because me and this song do not have a story like some of their other songs. But from the stance of listening to words that serve as a gentle reminder that none of us is worthy of God's love, this sure is the best one!

Chris Rice
Chris Rice is like an old pair of sweats- comfortable and well-worn. I go back and forth on Chris Rice because sometimes his stuff his hoaky to me, but this particular song evokes strong memories of my dear Naomi for reasons still unbeknownst to me. Maybe it's because if anyone is going to appreciate kicking off their shoes, sitting on a porch and watching a fly close enough to know it just hit a screen and tumbled down, it's Nome!

Michael Buble
Really, I am not a huge fan of Michael Buble- I mean, I appreciate his music and all, but I am not a fan per se. I just love the song "Home." It makes me think of me and Simple Guy when we are apart- doesn't matter what or whom is around us, we just want to be together. Also, the CD that this particular song is on ususally is our backgroun music when we have company over.

Moody Blues
I grew up listening to the Moody Blues, but not by choice at first! I thought they were horrible, this coming from a pre-teen who thought Tiffany was the best singer in the world! My aunt and her husband at the time would always listen to them when we were in the car and I feel like my mom listened to them, too.
Anyway, my very first CD was the Moody Blues and "Nights in White Satin" became a favorite. I just had to include it to pay homage to the first group I ever listened to on my pink CD player!

I was introduced to Enya my sophomore year of college and to this day cannot find a better CD to relax or fall asleep to! One person in particular (whom shall remain nameless....you know who you are!) thinks her music is creepy, but I don't think so. Neither does Simple Guy......we fall asleep to this very CD each night!

Everything But the Girl
My cousin Melissa gave me my one and only Everything But the Girl CD years ago and I immediately took to them. I chose this song because, once again, it reminds me of Simple Guy and just how much I miss him when he leaves.

There are so many artists/groups that I like/love, these being just a few:
Alaina Davis
Sara Groves
Shane and Shane
Alanis Morisette

What about you- what music do you love?

July 14, 2008

Turn Your Volume Up!

I figured out how to add music to my blog, so turn your volume up for double the fun when you visit! The first track's quality is horrible, but what can I say, I have never been one to shun bad music when the title of the song fits perfectly with the name of my blog!

Wondering where it's coming from? Scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see my play list.....double click on the song you want to hear.

Random Shots

I thought it would be fun to share a few photos with you from my gallery of never before seen photos- it's my simple way of saying to you, "Hello, welcome to my blog- here is a glimpse into my life."

Simple Guy and I co-led a trip to New Orleans to gut a house in the Lower 9th ward with a group of college students. All the homes had been spray painted by FEMA or local authorities to indicate that the house had been checked and whether or not there were any victims found inside. Needless to say, it was a bit eerie to see this and of course, very sad. This house in particular communicated a much different message and how true it still is today for the people that are still trying to rebuld their lives there.

This is a self-portrait of us taking a break from gutting the house we were assigned to. Those masks and goggles were absolutely necessary to block out the debris and fibers that were floating around when we were tearing into walls and moving moldy items. The masks also helped block out the smell of what was the worst odor I have had occasion to smell to date.

Last Memorial weekend, we took our first couples vacation with Katherine and Geoff to Door County, WI. Wow, what a beautiful place to see and what a fun trip we had. It was that weekend that Simple Guy and I were introduced to the game "Settlers of Kattan"- I may have the spelling of that wrong. Anyway, this was taken on our last night- immediately after this was taken we went for ice cream......Katherine's favorite treat!

The morning we left Door County to come home, Simple Guy got a call from his mom telling us that his sister was in labor at a hospital in Milwaukee. So instead of going home, we went to Milwaukee and waited for Madelyn to be born- she is Simple Guy's first niece and my third. More importantly, she is the first grandchild on either side of the family, so you can imagine how excited everyone was to finally meet her. Here we are holding her just minutes after she was born.

I love this picture of Simple Guy with little Eric, my cousin's youngest child. I think they look a little alike here. Eric loves Simple Guy- he loves to jump on him and chase him around.

And this picture is Simple Guy and his Grandpa - they were super close. Simple Guy did a lot with his Grandpa growing up and we would try to get to where he was at least every other month to spend time with him, especially when he fell ill and went into a nursing home. Grandpa passed away in January 2007- this picture was taken Christmas 2006. It really does not depict the jovial man that Grandpa was, but I like it so much because it shows him in his dapper hat that he liked to wear.

July 12, 2008

I Confess

I must confess to you that I ate a piece of cake at the wedding reception we were at last night. And really, the only reason why I did so was becaue I felt it would be rude to not partake in the delectable cake that the bride and groom wanted to share with me and the other guests.

Liz was right in her comment on my last post about wedding cake most of the time tasting like cardboard and I was hanging my resolve to not eat any cake on that very truth, but after I saw someone eating a slice I could not say no. You see, the cake was unbelievably moist and full of flavor for the chocolate part of it was dense and real and the filling and frosting was not sugary, but rather creamy and tinted with the slightest hint of vanilla.

Oh, it was good folks, it was good and worth the temporary fall off the wagon. But I am back on the wagon of Operation: Just Say No!

July 9, 2008

Just Say No!

Okay, so if you know me well you know I am a sweet freak! I blame it on my mom- she ate hot fudge sundaes every week after lamase classes. I am not bitter (how can I be bitter when I love sweets!) about my love affair with sweets that started in my mother's womb, but I am realizing just how hard it is for me to say no to them and now that I am getting up there in age, I feel the need to take on a challenge and just say no..........


Oh my gosh, you must think I eat a piece of chocolate cake every day and while that would be my ideal, I actually know better than to keep anything like that in the house......Simple Guy has a sweet tooth, too!.....so we only have tiny morsels of semi sweet chocolate or heavenly bars of 72% dark chocolate in our cupboard. But I have a small handful or piece of chocolate almost every day and while I know that is not bad (some healthy studies would say it is good for me in moderation), it does fuel my cravings for more sweets, which can easily lead to baking cookies or other delectable sweet treats.

Today is day three of Operation: Just Say No! but day five may pose the biggest temptation, for that night we will be at a wedding and we all know that weddings promise the taste of marital bliss cake and who knows what else (spumoni ice cream if the bride or groom are Italian or chocolate fondue if they are hip and trendy).

But just knowing that I will have to report back to you is enough will power to help me JUST SAY NO to sweets that night even though everyone around me will be savoring each bite on their dessert plates.

Okay, I have to stop writing about this.....I can hear those chocolate chips calling from the cupboard and need to do something about that.......I am gonna grab a celery stick and call it a night.

Sweet Dreams! For you, maybe.......but not for me!

July 7, 2008

Thirty.....Oh What a Weekend!

That's right all, I turned 30 this Sunday! And what a weekend of celebration it was......I'll tell you all about it.

On Friday, Simple Guy and I picked up my mother-in-love from the train station and whisked her off for afternoon treats in our building courtyard and then we walked for coffee. Friday night dinner was simple (this is, after all, the Simple Household) and then off we went to see this:

It was fabulous! And then we had dessert at the Italian Village. The silky chocolate mousse we had there was straight from heaven.

Saturday morning was kicked off with a trip to Starbuck's and then off to the farmer's market we went, where sugar snap peas and plump tomatoes awaited their doom- to be put in my sack and taken home for immediate comsumption! =)

After lunch, we went shopping and came home with some great (and unexpected) deals. And then it was time to get ready, for this night we were dining here:

We (myself, Simple Guy, my mom, and my mother-in-love) feasted on succulent shrimp in butter and garlic to wet our appetites for what was to come next: our own entrees. Everyone had something different and everyone enjoyed what they had. And then came dessert- a perfect creme puff sandwished between vanilla ice cream and smothered in the most decadent fudge sauce I have ever tasted (er, shamelessly shoved in my mouth without taking a break until it was all gone!).

On Sunday, I awoke next to Simple Guy and laid with a smile on my face as he sweetly mumbled in his morning fog "Happy Birthday." And then at 7:47am I turned 30!

And that night, we drove to my mom's and had dinner and you guessed it, more dessert- this time coffee ice cream and fudgy brownies.

And so tonight, in celebration of turning 30 and eating desserts three nights in a row, I went to the gym and here I sit not feeling guilty at all for ringing in my third decade with all those tasty treats.

My thanks to: Simple Guy, mom, Grandma, Cindy and Paul, Pam, Bob, Stacey and Bob, Matt and Ryan, Naomi, Chuck and Alice, Gabe, Erika, and Uncle Bob for the birthday cards.

And a special thanks to the Montaniez family for their singing message on my cell phone- I loved it!

I have to say, I had a very big smile on my face when this card came in the mail:

Who knew that the peeps in Hamden ND (this is the town where Naomi is from) had their own line of greeting cards?!

Well, now it's time for bed......I am 30 now, so it is now a rule that I must not make it to the 10pm news anymore......you know, because I am 30!