Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I've had a wonderfully relaxing week. Yesterday I didn't have to work, so I spent the entire day reading a book, drinking hot tea, and organizing my new planner. I was in bed by 9:30.

I'm 95 years old.

Today I am very thankful for 2010. There's only a couple days left of this awesome year. I am so thankful for the new friendships I've made and old friendships I've nurtured. I am thankful for my health. I am so thankful to attend one of the best universities and also to work for the Best Bank in Town.

I am thankful for the people in my life that choose to love me every day. Brian is the love of my life, my best friend. And is it just me or is he the most handsome man you've ever laid eyes on?!

I am most thankful for the people that are forced to love me every day. My family. I am truly blessed to have a sister that I can share everything with and a mom and dad that are happily married, in good health, and are great role models in my life.

Take time to reflect on the year and thank God for the blessings in your life. I read that it is helpful to write down EVERYTHING you've done this year--from the mundane to the monumental--in order to see everything that you have accomplished. I plan on doing that task and I suspect I will be surprised at some of the things I've done (and forgotten I've done) this year.

If you make New Year's Resolutions--good luck! I hope everyone follows along on my blog as I live Facebook-free in 2011. I'm excited to share with you the things I have planned for next year! THANKS to my faithful followers. My blog is my daily journal, but I only write it because I have an audience (however small it may be).

The days are long, but the years are short.


Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happiness



Going to Barnes and Noble gives me a high. 

And who's idea was it to put a Starbucks in every store?

That person deserves a prize.

Books and Coffee.

It really is the simple things in life.......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Week

This week has been filled with Christmas parties, long days working at the bank, and early bedtimes.

Sorry to my faithful readers for the lack of blogging.

On another note,

My boyfriend sometimes makes this face:


No, he's not sleeping.  He claims this is his "frown" face, but I'm still unsure why he has to close his eyes in order to frown.

It's weird.
He's weird.
I absolutely adore him. 





Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful my wonderful boyfriend bought me a KitchenAid Mixer for Christmas!

Here's the mixer...
Ooooo....Ahhhhh....

I've been Ooo-ing and Ahhh-ing all morning.

And I've been putting it to good use!

Monster Cookies


Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low Country Cookies

Chocolate Gooey Cake Cookies

Pecan Praline

Coconut Macaroons

I've been taste testing all morning. Which might explain the tummy ache.

All of these recipes were taken from Food Network.com and are all top-rated cookies!

But if I had to rate which one is the best.....

Low Country Cookies win my vote. These "cookies" seemed a bit odd (and actually they are more like bars than cookies), but the reviews made me want to try them. Hands down they are the best of all the recipes.


Enjoy your holiday baking! 

Yours truly, 
The Cookie Monster

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hello Christmas Break

Here is an example of a question taken from my Chemistry exam:

You wish to determine the weight percent of copper in a copper-containing alloy. After dissolving the sample of the alloy in acid, an excess of potassium iodide is added and copper cations and iodide anions undergo the reaction:
2Cu(2+) + 5 I(-) -------> 2 CuI + I (3-)
The liberated I(3-) is titrated with sodium thiosulfate according to the equation:
I(3-) + 2 S2O3(2-) ------>S4O6(2-) + 3 I(-)
If 26.32 mL of 0.101M Na2S2O3 is required for titration to the equivalence point, what is the mass percent of copper in 0.251 grams of the alloy?


Now that you've read this (or at least half of the first sentence), you might understand the immense joy I feel today knowing that my semester is over.

And you might understand why I'm ten pounds lighter than I was when I started the semester.

And you may be impressed that I was able to correctly solve that problem.

Okay. Maybe you're not very impressed.

Either way.


For the next 3 weeks, I will be in a food coma.

The End.



Friday, December 10, 2010

Cat in the Basket

I am not (nor will I ever be) a cat person.

I've decided that there is only room in my heart to love one cat. RIP my sweet DC.

However, my parents have had a cat for the past four years that resides in a basket. Yes, the cat lives in the basket. It does not leave the basket. Ever. And for that reason alone, I sorta think it's a pretty cool cat.

My sister's little dog decided to chew on a basket one day, and my mom sat it on our dining room table with the intent to throw it in the garbage.

But then our cat, Cammie, decided that the basket belonged to her.

And she has lived in it ever since.

 
8am- Hey, it's me, Cammie. Sitting in a basket.

9am- If you need me, I'll be in my basket.

12pm- Is it just me or is this basket a little small?

Any normal cat would look at this table with delight. So much stuff to sit on! So much opportunity to be the center of attention!


7pm- No thanks. I'll just stay in the basket.

No, Colby. I haven't forgotten that you're standing there.

8pm

9pm

10pm- You callin' me a basket case?!

11pm- It has been a long day. I think I'll call it a night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh, that? You mean my engagement ring...

Today, the kids and I were at a salon for a haircut.

The salon also sold jewelry. As I was looking at the selection of necklaces, rings, and bracelets, Cooper picked up a ring and announced that he found the perfect engagement ring if Brian were to ever propose.....


"What do you think Ms. Kelly? It would be the perfect engagement ring, right?"

"Um, I'm not sure perfect is the word I would use, but I would definitely be speechless."

On another note...

Usually when we are driving home from school and Cooper is in the backseat talking incessantly, I will throw in an occasional "cool", "oh, cool", or "that's cool, Cooper" to give the impression I'm listening (note: this can backfire and occasionally Cooper will stop his story and say "wait, what's cool?" at which point I act confused or simply act like I didn't hear him).

But last week I definitely tuned into Cooper's chatter when I heard him make this announcement:

"Ms. Kelly, did you know that last time my family went to the beach, I forgot to bring underwear and my mom made me go commando the whole weekend. I had no underpants for the whole weekend!"

Thank you, Cooper. I couldn't have lived another day without knowing that. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Exam Week

This week is exam week! I have a Chemistry exam tonight, an Anatomy exam Monday, and a Chemistry final next Tuesday. This time next week fall semester will be over! I guess time flies even when you're not having fun!

So since I am studying for finals and I am miserable in the process,

I wanted to take a moment out of my day to smile....




Colby, Charlie (photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman), Chloe, Pug (courtesy of Pioneer Woman), Mason (photo courtesy of Sherwood family), and Charlie


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Upgrading (but not updating) My Status

It happened on a cold, overcast December afternoon. There I was, attempting to study for a final, but instead skimming my Facebook news feed and watching “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” on TLC. Funny, isn’t it, how we often claim that there aren’t enough hours in the day, complain that we have way too much on our plate, or attempt to function on only two hours of sleep? Where is all our time going?
While I’ll resist my urge to proclaim that Facebook is causing the downfall of humanity (simply because I’m a guilty Facebook addict myself ), I’m convinced that our culture of social networking is definitely harmful to one of our most precious commodities: time. I will often find myself on Facebook when I sit down to write a paper. The children I babysit fight over the computer every afternoon because they all want to get on Facebook. While I used to defend my Facebook and Twitter behavior as keeping in touch with friends or taking a temporary mental break from schoolwork (My synapses are hurting, okay!), there’s no denying that my time spent reading about someone else’s life is negatively impacting my own.
Statistics from the Facebook website indicate that there are over 500 million active users on Facebook, that 50% of active users log on to Facebook every single day, and that people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. Just think about it. Maybe without Facebook (or Twitter or Myspace), people—myself included—would invest their time in more productive things—perhaps studying longer, exercising, doing their jobs, or focusing their attention on driving instead of looking at a mobile device.
Although there are various claims to the amount of time the average person spends on Facebook, a widely accepted amount from a study in January 2010 revealed that the average person spends seven hours a month on Facebook. And although I often try to deny it, I guess I can be labeled as “average.” It was on that unproductive December afternoon when I had my light bulb moment. I knew it would be hard, but I decided I would give up Facebook for a year. An entire year. Of course I’ll wait a couple of weeks so I can get my Facebook fix a little longer. But yes, my 2011 New Year’s Resolution would be to abandon Facebook.
Once I had made the decision, I thought about what this would mean for me. Short of stripping me of my sanity (I imagined myself wandering the streets, shouting my status for all those to hear. “Kelly is on a walk!” “Kelly is in a relationship!” “Kelly is Thank God it’s Friday!”), I figured that it would benefit my life overall. In fact, I might even make better grades next semester. Or maybe my relationship will improve if I’m no longer stalking my exes. Sure, I might miss out on some social events because I’ll never receive the Facebook invite, but maybe I’ll finally make time for all the stuff I’ve never gotten around to.
In an undergraduate psychology class, I once learned about Higgins’ Self-Discrepancy Theory. If our actual self differs from our ideal self, we are motivated to change. Ideally, I was adventurous. I was discovering. I was trying new things. I was active. I was making the most out of my short life. In reality, I was a somewhat lazy, Facebook-stalking, computer addict. That was who I actually was. And that had to change.
In the year ahead, I will dedicate myself to a year of ideals. I am going to train and run a 10k. I am going to start volunteering. I am going to take cake-decorating classes, which is something that has been on my to-do list for over a year. I’m going to become a political activist (or at least do more than just actively voice my complaints). I’m going to start the book club I’ve made excuses not to start. I’m going to finally take the pole-dancing class at the gym that I’ve been too nervous to try. And finally, I’m going to write. And write a lot.
            Maybe, while I’m exercising, volunteering, dancing, reading, and writing, I’ll discover something new about myself. Hopefully I’ll have time to tell you about it. Because you won’t be reading about it on your news feed. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On (lack of) Patience

Patience is a virtue...that I do not have.

I've heard it said--good things come to those who wait. Well, I'll take the mediocre if it means instant gratification.

Going back to school has been the hardest thing I've ever done. Really. I just racked my brain for 30 seconds considering all the hard things I've done in my life. That was at the top of the list.

I hate it. I absolutely hate it.

I had graduated college, started my banking career, and loved my job on the teller line. Of course, like all jobs, there were feelings of being over-qualified, under-paid, and frustration at my co-workers when their kids were always "sick." But I had an income, I had freedom during my nights and weekends, and I had vacation days (and an abundance of banking holidays)! I even felt like an actual adult. Sort of.

And then I decided to put my life on hold.

And go back to school.

And take on an incredible amount of debt.

And be flat broke for the next five years (assuming I get accepted).

And assume I'll get accepted.

And you know what they say about those who assume.


This is dangerous, people! My sanity is on the line. Along with my money. And my patience.

Today, in my moment of madness (i.e. About once a day my mind screams something along the lines of WTF ARE YOU DOING, KELLY?!), I did something I don't do often--I read the Bible. Because who better to offer me wisdom and guidance than Jesus Christ.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

So then I prayed for patience.

And sometimes I use curse words when I pray.

So then I prayed again for forgiveness.

This whole "plan" of going back to school and one day being the world's greatest dentist is really causing me to go crazy. Please first and foremost have sympathy--lots and lots of sympathy. And also, if you think about it when you're talking to God, please pray that I don't lose my mind (if I haven't already). Your prayers would be much appreciated and I'll be forever thankful.

Patience with others is love.
Patience with self is hope.
Patience with God is faith. 


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Recommendation

When it comes to shopping, I always favor quality over quantity. I would much rather have a few really nice things, than a lot of really cheap crap. In the past, I favored a large quantity and high quality. This situation is problematic and will likely get you here: Dave Ramsey Live.

When it comes to handbags, I'm pretty picky. I buy one handbag and expect it to last at least a year. I will carry this bag everywhere. In fact, since I purchased my previous bag over a year and a half ago, I have not once removed the items and placed them into a different bag.

These are the qualities I require in a bag:
-Must be large enough to carry everything I need
-Must have a shoulder strap
-Must be brown (I find that this color will go with just about anything. And if it doesn't match, oh well.)
-Must be between $100-$350 (too cheap = won't last, too expensive = there are starving kids in Honduras)
-Must look great (that's a given, right?)

I present to you the perfect bag (which is what I carry now and am hoping to replace soon):
B. Makowsky "Bella"

Best money you will ever spend, and definitely worth the splurge!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa, 
I'll take this house (preferably re-located and not within walking distance of the parents), 2-4 children (preferably having a Y chromosome), a dog (preferably a Border Collie), a six-figure salary (preferably from a job requiring minimal work) and a handsome husband (Brian, you game?). 

Okay, Okay. For now, I just want money to pay towards my MacBook Pro. Which leads me to this...

December Goals
-Pay $300 towards MacBook
-Make A's and B's in my classes (this will require a miracle, much like that of the virgin birth)
-Apply for columnist position 
-Map out detailed dental school plan for Jan-July
-Finish 2009-2010 scrapbook

And that is all I am putting on my plate for the month of December. 


December Goals

Tomorrow is the first day of December! I am so excited! I anticipate Christmastime every year (and am usually somewhat disappointed), but hey--it is truly a joyous season!

My absolute favorite thing about the holiday season? Eggnog. Above all else.

Other Christmas-y things that I love include:
Spending time with family, friends, and Brian
Shopping for other people!
Holiday baking, Christmas music, scented candles, and eggnog (all at once, obviously)
Wrapping presents
Watching Home Alone (thank you Meggy for that tradition)
Walks with Colby that require bundling
Porcelain white skin and a pink nose (I'm over the whole tan look when it's chilly out)
Eggnog and Gingerbread flavored coffee creamers
Making fun of Christmas cards (specifically ones including two-page letters of arrogance unsuccessfully disguised as pride)
Christmas Eve service at church (It's almost as if this holiday is to celebrate Jesus' birth or something!)
Oh Holy Night. Best Christmas song ever. Gives me chills every time.

*Note-this post was actually supposed to be December Goals. I got completely side-tracked. My first goal will be to write my goals later today. Stay tuned, all of you who (probably don't) care! :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Opposites Attract

And birds of a feather flock together.

Last week I was reading an interview with Heidi Klum, and when asked about her relationship with husband Seal, she responded "Oh, we are completely different people! But we compliment each other so well." That same day I read an interview with another celebrity. She and her husband have so much in common, she claimed, that they were made for one another.

So which is it?

Once I read these interviews, I got to thinking about my own relationship.

On the surface, Brian and I are complete opposites....

He is humble. I will find any reason to brag.
He is a night owl. I'm asleep by nine.
His interests include cars, pool, movies, fish tanks, art, cars, pool, cars, and mostly playing pool.
My interests include reading, writing, cooking, shopping, and most anything involving food.
He is quiet. I will talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything.

But I guess we do have some things in common...

We both don't watch television.
We both have the same values and beliefs when it comes to religion, family, politics, character, work ethic, etc.
Neither of us are "romantic" in the cheesy, disgusting, don't-make-me-puke sorta way (i.e. let's make every Facebook status a song lyric reflecting our love for each other).
We both have a similar sense of humor.
We both like to stay busy.

After reviewing my list I have come to the conclusion that relationships work best when you share some things in common (most importantly sharing the same core values) while still having separate interests.

Profound, I know.

What about you? Do you think you have more differences or more similarities with your significant other? I'm curious...

And I will leave you with this,
A conversation from this past weekend that basically sums up my relationship with my loving boyfriend:

Kelly: Every time I wake up beside you, I think to myself "I am the luckiest girl in the world!"
Brian: Every time I wake up beside you, I contemplate suffocating you with my pillow.

I'd say the initial honeymoon-period of our dating has no doubt ended.



Happy Monday, Everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekend Recap

There is nothing overly-exciting to recap for this weekend. Friday night, Brian and I went to see comedian John Caparulo. Money well spent. Saturday, I went with Erin to David's Bridal to try on wedding gowns. She picked out her wedding dress! (Her parent's) money well spent.

Other than that, I have spent the past week on a homework hiatus. So basically, I have done nothing. The homework ban is in celebration of my chemistry lab ending last Tuesday. It was a wonderful day. Maybe one of the best days of my life in fact. So it is only reasonable that I celebrate the end of that chemistry nightmare with one week of nothingness. It has been glorious.

I only have two classes tonight and then it is officially Thanksgiving Break! I will be spending the week with Brian's family in Annapolis, Maryland, which has quickly become one of my favorite places. If only I had money for shopping on Black Friday, this Thanksgiving vacation would be perfect.

While in Maryland next weekend, Brian and I will be attending his high school's 10 year reunion! Exciting, eh? I can only imagine what Brian was like 10 years ago! When I was 18 years old, Lord knows...I was anything but an angel. Thank heaven Brian didn't know me then (the one guy unfortunate enough to date me at that age probably curses the ground I walk on)! Funny how much life changes in five (or ten) years. How have you changed since you were 18 years old?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Best Friend

Colby decided to join me on the couch tonight while I was on my computer. Thank you Photo Booth. And thank you Colby for your unconditional love.










The Daily Tar Heel

Since I don't have enough on my plate already, I decided it might be a fun challenge to apply for a columnist position at The Daily Tar Heel.

My application is far from complete, but one question requires that I write an essay on what it means to be a Tar Heel. Gag me, but okay...I'll see what I can do.


What it means to be a Tar Heel:

I’ll give it to you straight—I don’t consider myself a Tar Heel. A part-time UNC student? Yes. A Tar Heel? Absolutely not. I bleed Duke blue, I cheer along with the Crazies, and I worship Coach K. So of course when I saw that the application required an essay on what it means to be a Tar Heel, I was ready to throw in the towel. I mean, Tar Heel? Really? I’d have more success writing an essay on what it means to be a black male (I’m currently listening to country music and last time I checked, I have a vagina). The way I see it, this left me with three options—don’t apply, lie through my teeth, or embrace my Tar Heel family. And, well, I’ve never been good at lying.
You see, I got to Chapel Hill by an unusual route—the road less traveled. I received my acceptance letter to UNC in 2005, and like most people I smiled, jumped around like a maniac, and then eagerly told my parents the good news. But like any good Duke fan, I buried the letter in a junk drawer and confirmed the next day that I would be attending Elon University in the fall. While Elon was a great experience, I often found myself wondering how life would have been different had I chosen Carolina. Five years and one bachelor’s degree later, I am finding out.
 While I don’t consider myself a Tar Heel, I definitely consider myself part of the UNC family. I truly do love the school, the traditions, the campus, and my professors. I have been impressed with the talent and intellect that is evident in every classroom. I am honored to be a part of this family.
I found over ten definitions for “family” in the dictionary, but if I had to define it myself, I’d say that your family consists of the people you (reluctantly) love and (unwillingly) identify yourself with. I mean, who hasn’t ever been extremely embarrassed by their family? Tortured by a brother or sister? Swore they were adopted? That’s what makes a family a family. At times it is a war zone, but love always prevails. So next time I’m watching a Duke game at Cameron, singing the fight song, and chanting “Carolina, go to hell,” I’ll be smiling. Because what would life be without a little family rivalry?

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my parents.

In today's world it's rare to find a mom and dad that are still happily married after 30 years. And it's rare that this mom and dad also have two children that are smart, stable, and grounded. Honestly, other than drinking a little too much on occasion, my sister and I have  always been the good girls. And unless my sister is a closet crack addict and I just don't know it, I can say with confidence that we've never gotten into drugs and we've never been in trouble with the law. It's not that we've never made poor choices (trust me, I have my share), but we both try to make the best choices and live honorable, selfless lives to please the Lord. 

My parents must have done something right.

If I had to pick just one thing that my parents instilled in me as a child that has influenced my life, it would be accepting responsibility. It is no doubt easier to play the victim, point a finger, and blame other people for a situation, but that doesn't accomplish a thing. Accept responsibility. And while you may not always be completely responsible for a bad situation, you are responsible for how you respond to a bad situation. 

My parents not only taught me responsibility through their words, they have demonstrated it in their lives every day. They both have accepted their responsibility as parents, as spouses, as Christians, as employees, as friends, as homeowners, as teachers, etc. Actions, undoubtedly, speak louder than words. 

So to Mom and Dad--thank you! Because I don't say it enough and because I'll be forever thankful.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Like a Tree in the Sky

While riding home from school today, Cooper gave me his latest sales pitch. He has been fixated lately on selling things to kids at his school. This week it's paper airplanes. Last week it was a guava-like, unidentifiable object that fell from a tree. He went so far as to make up a story about how he travelled to Tennessee and came back with this rare fruit, and then he tried to sell it for $5. I tried to tell him that being from Tennessee would not make the fruit more appealing to 3rd graders (or to anyone). Needless to say, it was never sold. 

A+ for effort. 

So today Cooper announced to me that his friends Matthew and David were no longer going to partner with him in his business, Wheels Incorporated (which obviously sells comic books). He told me that Matthew was starting a new comic book business that would definitely create competition, and as for David, well he is "like a tree in the sky."

Like a tree in the sky.

He said so assertively that I found myself wondering if this was a common expression people use. Had I been living under a rock? Maybe everyone knows what "like a tree in the sky" means. 

But I quickly came to find out that not even Cooper knows what this means.

When I asked him what he meant by "like a tree in the sky" his response was simple:

"You know, Ms. Kelly. Like a tree in the sky. Just like a tree. In the sky."



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday (On a lighter note)

Today (and everyday) I am so thankful for the people in the military who are serving/have served our country.

In particular, special thanks to my dear friends Chris and Meg McCarthy. Chris, for serving in the Coast Guard, and Meg, who is making huge sacrifices in her life to support her husband. I love you both so much!

Happy Veteran's Day, Everyone!

Thankful Thursday

An article in the newspaper this morning informed me that the FDA is proposing to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packs.

Unfortunately, I doubt that will stop the 46 million Americans who smoke from smoking, or put an end to the 443,000 deaths/year caused by smoking.

Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by idiots.

Yesterday I read this article Durham Schools Ease Path to Graduation about how the number of credits needed for graduation will be lowered for those at risk for not graduating. Rewarding poor behavior. Typical. 

Today I am thankful that God gave me common sense. Some people are clearly lacking.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Recommendation

Today I am introducing my “Wednesday Recommendation.”

Be it a restaurant, a movie, a beauty product, etc., I love a good recommendation.

I am frequently encouraged by Google AdSense to allow advertisements to be displayed on my blog to make a profit. Given my blog traffic, I estimate I will probably profit $0.02 a month, so I guess it’s just not worth it.

Instead, I will do my own advertising. And although “Wednesday Recommendation” is not as perfect an alliteration as “Thankful Thursday,” if you say it ten times fast, I assure you it will be.

Today, I am recommending the Roomba. The Roomba was a gift I purchased for Brian last Christmas.
I cannot stress this enough: It is wonderful.

First and foremost, it is a great vacuum cleaner. It is programmed to vacuum every day and I have noticed that the carpets look so much nicer! Even after a year we have yet to change the brushes and it still leaves those beautiful vacuum marks like it did on the first day!

Not only is it a great vacuum, the Roomba begs to be personified. It truly has a personality of its own. The Roomba has been known at times to hide under furniture, chew on earrings, and follow me around the house.

Phrases you might hear at Brian’s house:
“The Roomba got lost and never made it home today.”
“The Roomba attacked my bare foot today.”
“The Roomba seems confused.”

Really, it's like a pet, only it picks up hair instead of shedding it. It's fabulous!

If you want to learn more about the Roomba, check out the website here.

And if you want to be entertained, watch this hilarious video of cats riding the Roomba: Cat riding Roomba

Overall, I give the Roomba two thumbs up!



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Kelly Strawberry, DDS

The kids that I babysit have developed an affinity for saying "Kelly Strawberry, DDS."

They will say it when they are referring to me, addressing me directly, or sometimes just out of the blue and for no apparent reason at all.

And every time they say it, laughter ensues.

It's really quite amusing how they can amuse themselves so easily.

On another note,

My favorite Cooper Quote yesterday,

"Ms. Kelly, if I ever become a midget, I'm gonna start my trek to the North Pole."


I love these kids.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kelly Lawrence for Staying Home

In the spirit of election week, today I am unveiling my campaign to stay at home.

Stay at home?

Yes.

Stay at home.

It’d be somewhat similar to a stay-at-home mom, only with no children and with no need to call myself "a" stay-at-home, simply because that’s just plain silly. I’ve never once called myself a go-to-work bank teller (although I might start doing that actually…just for shits ‘n giggles).

Ok, I regress. And confess to my obvious jealousy and slightly offensive remarks.

The following list is the top reasons why I believe I would be a prime candidate for staying home:

1. Morning runs. It is glorious when I am able to roll out of bed, go for a run, take a leisurely shower, and then make my morning coffee. Not so tempting when I have to wake up early and rush to get ready, and more often than not, I end up skipping the run completely in favor of extra sleep.

2. Blogging. I mean, seriously, I need at least two seconds to brainstorm an idea, ten seconds to estimate how many people I’ll be offending, three seconds to think of a new idea, and about 20 minutes to write it. This stuff takes time, people!

3. Cake decorating. Have you noticed how the Cake Decorating link on my blog has not once been used? There is absolutely no time for my passion. And no, I have never actually decorated a cake, but I feel pretty passionate about learning.

4. Baking. I, myself, have an undeniable sweet tooth and nothing makes me happier than being in the kitchen. I live for the holidays--mostly for reasons regarding food--and all holidays deserve festive treats.




These Nutter Butter ghosts and pretzels sticks were made on a day when I was fortunate enough to stay at home. Cute, right?

5. Housekeeping. If I could spend every day at home, the house would be spotless. I am not opposed to doing copious amounts of laundry, scrubbing toilets, and emptying trashcans. I adore a gorgeous, clean, inviting home.

To wrap it up, I would be great staying at home. I’d wake up every day with a smile on my face and a spring in my step, ready to take on the monotonous tasks that lay before me. And if those tasks ever become overwhelming, I am certainly not opposed to the couch, the remote, and a box of bonbons.

Now who votes I quit school?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mountain Weekend, Maturity, and Testosterone Poisoning

Halloween Weekend/Laura's 30th Birthday Weekend was spent in the mountains of Boone, NC.

The weekend was full of fun, laughter, and surprising revelations (or maybe confirmations?).

Revelation #1 

Never doubt the ability of grown-ups to act like kids. And never doubt that throwing pumpkins off the cabin deck is perfectly good entertainment.



Revelation #2

As a science geek, I am well aware that men and women differ in their DNA by only a small percent, yet somehow the differences between men and women never cease to amaze me.

On Friday evening, the ladies sent the boys down the mountain to do the grocery shopping. That was our first mistake. And as you can probably predict, a second grocery store trip was needed on Saturday.

The one grocery item I specifically requested from Brian was cranberry juice. I wasn't quite in the mood for beer and tequila shots, so I figured it best I sip on some Cape Cods. As I was putting away the groceries, I became increasingly suspicious that no cranberry juice was purchased at the store. When I finally asked Brian if he had bought the juice, he replied "of course, honey" and picked up a 2-liter soda bottle and exclaimed "here it is!".

If you're like me and think that a Master's Degree is proof of intelligence, well, we both have been deceived.

The bottle read "Cranberry Dry" and below it read "Diet Cranberry Antioxidant Soda". And although the boys claimed that the cranberry juice was hard to find, I'm willing to bet that the Diet Cranberry Antioxidant Soda was damn near impossible.

How Brian returned with cranberry-flavored soda is beyond me.

But what's even worse...

As we were packing to go home and distributing the leftover grocery items among the couples, Brian reminds me to grab the Caesar salad croutons.

So I pondered out loud for a moment, wondering what croutons he was referring to...

"The bag of croutons I brought with us from home? They were all used last night so I threw it away."

In which he responds, "Oh, but I bought a new bag of croutons when we went to the grocery store that was never opened."

And then he grabs this off the counter top.....



All weekend I had been wondering who the heck bought the Snap Pea Crisps.

Let's Talk Money

I have none.


End of story.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hello, November!

Life is good.

Surprisingly, given that:

1. I had to unexpectedly buy a new battery for my car this week, because apparently the one I had was "about to explode." There goes the money I was planning to put towards the Macbook.

2. The whole stereo system in my car will not work because I got a new car battery. A security code is required to re-start the system, which can be found on a card given to the buyer of the car from the dealer. Well, my Honda was bought used. Hmm...The word "headache" comes to mind.

3. I had to drive all the way to Elon today to cast my vote because I forgot to change my address form from when I voted in the 2008 election. Dedication to the Republican party--pure and simple.

4. I had to listen to my Ipod using headphones in my car while driving to Elon, since the forty-five minutes of silence was extremely awkward. Using headphones while driving is completely unacceptable, but I had to cave in and do the unthinkable. Driver's-seat-headphone-usage is typical for those that drive lousy cars or are too cheap to buy a new stereo. "Appearing cheap" is my personal definition of Hell. The stoplights were torture.

5. Even worse than having no music to listen to in the car is having no clock. You'd be surprised.

6. I finished my lab report at 2:06 am this morning. At 1:50 am the AutoSave on my Macbook stopped working due to the "Macintosh hard drive being full," although I don't see how this is possible. The document, due at 7 am, would not save to the computer. And I could not find my flash drive anywhere in the house.
I curse my technology skills, I curse God for my bad luck and said technology skills, and ultimately I curse my dreaded Chem lab.

But besides being broke, having no radio, and having no life outside of my grade-dwindling classes,

I welcome this month....

And all the food that comes with it.....

With a thankful and happy heart.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my friends. Which means I am thankful for YOU!


Friends have a way of speaking without words.


I hope everyone has a safe Halloween weekend and a wonderful time celebrating with friends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

I live and breathe The Pioneer Woman.

If you aren't familiar with her blog, it's probably for the best.

You will spend hours of your life admiring her photography, studying her recipes, and reading her "Confessions."

And if you're like me, you will be extremely envious.

A husband she adores. A fabulous career. A house full of kids. And a yard full of dogs.

Oh, and let's not forget....

One huge kitchen.


Does life get any better?!?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mission: Accomplished

In November of 2005, Erin Hemric and I participated in the Turkey Trot 5K at Elon University. After 0.03 miles of trotting, we contemplated catching the tram, riding it through the Danielley loop, and then exiting inconspicuously and continuing the race. Mission: Failed.

On Sunday October 17th, 2010, Brandon and I ran the Heels for Hope 5K at the University of Chapel Hill.

WOOHOO!!! WE DID IT!!!!

Race results were posted on the website. Out of those running competitively, I came in 217th place with a time of 33:37 minutes. Sounds pretty lousy, yet I finished before 100 other people and was able to run the entire 3.1 miles! Mission: Accomplished.

Here is the proof:



It was a very fun event and I am so proud of myself (and Brandon)!!!

In April, we will be participating in a 10K in Cary, NC. Let the training begin!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I want to preface this post by saying that honesty is not always the best policy. But when it comes to blogging, I firmly believe that honesty is what makes for a great blog. Real, brutal, I-can't-believe-I'm-thinking-this-much-less-sharing-this honesty. And now that I have your attention....

Today, surprisingly, I am thankful for Facebook. 


I usually loathe Facebook and find it to be a complete waste of my time. When I waste time reading a friend's status or  end up spending half of an unproductive hour flipping through a stranger's photo album, I feel like...well...I don't know...like I've just spent half of an unproductive hour flipping through a stranger's photo album. 

But there are benefits of Facebook, too. Obviously there must be or it wouldn't be so darn popular. In another world way back when, if your best friend in 4th grade moved away to another state you would cry, mourn, and then life would move on. 

I found my 4th grade best friend on Facebook a few years ago and we've been "friends" ever since. 

Also, Facebook makes party planning a breeze. And birthday reminders are always a good thing. 

But Facebook brought me happiness today for other reasons. 

I will admit that I am a confident person. I use the word "admit" because confidence is not always a good thing. Sometimes it can be synonymous with arrogant--in my case at least. 

It wasn't until I was one year into my current relationship (Okay, my only relationship. Those nine weeks freshman year don't count.) that my confidence started waning and I started seriously battling insecurities. Some people might think that that is a warning sign--a flashing red light that screams "STOP," because aren't you supposed to feel better about yourself in a relationship?

Well, yes and no.

No, because there is such a thing as ex-girlfriends. And the whole "the past is the past" thing just doesn't cut it sometimes.

Thinking about my boyfriend's previous girlfriends makes me feel insecure. 

Ouch. 

That is embarrassing for me to even type. 

To even think about his ex-girlfriends makes me cringe. And I will admit there are times that I wonder if he is comparing me to them. I wonder what they look like, if they are better looking than me, if they have better bodies, a better income (ha!), a better you fill in the blank. I wonder if they are smart, funny, kind. I wonder why their relationship didn't work out. And I wonder if I will one day be just another girl from his past that his future girlfriend will be wondering about. 

Well today I decided to Facebook stalk a girl from his past (Remember the brutal honesty I mentioned earlier? Yeah. Not my proudest moment). Curiosity got the best of me. You see, this girl, this stranger, is the one that I wonder about the most. 

And in that moment, I was thankful for Facebook. And thankful for a lack of privacy settings on her profile. 

So there I was. Like an idiot. Perusing through her pictures. 

And these were the thoughts that were running through my head:

You are gorgeous....Do you always look so perfect?....finally a bad picture.....Why can't my boobs be that big?!....You have really pretty teeth...My mom would say your smile is "gummy"....My mom would have a field day with you actually...Cute outfit....In five years you'll be fat....

And then I came to it.

A picture of her and her current fling.

And I had to smile. Laugh, actually. Because he looked like a cross between Jack Black and Oliver Platt.

+










In my moment of laughter, I realized how absolutely pathetic I was being, how dumb it was to even waste one minute of my life wondering about her life. I re-connected with that confident self that dwells inside of me (I may have also connected with that arrogant self, too). So I smiled, I laughed, and I confessed my pathetic Facebook-stalking moment to Brian, hoping that he would find humor in it too! 

Today I am thankful for Facebook simply for the realization that life is so amusing. In my pathetic, self-depreciating moment, I was able to realize how amazing my life is, how amazing I am, and how amazing she probably is too!

I personally don't doubt that Brian is a good judge of character. I mean, after all, he is dating me....

I once heard that if God made man in His image, then he must have a sense of humor. I thought about that today when I was looking through her pictures. Not only was I laughing at the guy she was dating, but I was laughing at myself for being so ridiculous. I decided right then and there that my jealousy is accomplishing nothing, my self-doubts are ludicrous, and my fears are often irrational.

If I were to update my Facebook status right now, I think it would read: Kelly Lawrence is blessed, because "blessed" is how I felt when I realized that I am about to get into my car, roll down the windows on this gorgeous Fall day, blast Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A", and go babysit for three of the most awesome kids in the world. 

And tonight I'm going to say "I love you" to my boyfriend....
who (according to some) is a cross between John Mayer and Shia LaBeof.