Friday, December 24, 2010

Back from NYC!

Hi girls! So sorry for my little leave of absence there! Robert and I have been in NYC for the past several days and by the time we got back to the hotel I was waaay too tired to do anything but sleep! Bad blog-ette, I know... oops! I can't WAIT to tell you all about it, but for now I've got to catch up on some serious sleep. Night y'all!

Oh, and here's a picture of one of my absolute best friends (Loren) and I at the Museum of Natural History. We went to school together from 2nd grade all through college and she just happened to be in the city the same time we were! I hadn't talked to her in a couple months since we've both been so busy, so I had no idea she was even going to be up there. Crazy!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Time to celebrate!

Good morning y'all! Today is Robert's graduation day and I couldn't be more proud of him! I got up at 7am this morning JUST to give myself 2 hours to do my hair... don't judge. To this day I've YET to pull off a successful Carrie Underwood/Jessica Simpson big curl do, and I was 100% determined to get it right for today! Thanks to the wonderful Ms. Allie over at Confessions of a 20-Something and her super-simple how to video on creating this gorgeous do (by the way, I just love this video Allie!), I was FINALLY able to pull it off... or a least a somewhat-close version of it! :) I was so excited that I finally somewhat got it, I almost finished off my entire bottle of hairspray making sure that it wasn't going ANYWHERE! Okay girls, off to celebrate! Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So What Wednesday

Hello my loves! I hope you all are having a fabulous Wednesday! I'm lacking quite a bit in the creativity department today, so I'm thinking that a "So What Wednesday" might be in order...

[So what] if the pile of clothes sitting on the floor of my closet has grown into a 4 foot tall small mountain, under which a small community of clothes gnomes may or may not be living.

[So what] if there appears to be a moth in said closet (due to the increasing amount of random holes in both Robert and my t-shirts) that I've vowed to kill with my bare hands since I flat out REFUSE to put moth balls in my closet. I will NOT smell like an 85 year old woman all day.

[So what] if I spend absurd amounts of money on my hair and clothes and still buy store brand groceries because I'm "trying to save money."

[So what] if I will run half marathons but still complain about not being able to find a close parking spot.

[So what] if I make Charley more home cooked meals than I do myself. Crappy food (which is WAY more common than you'd think) is the #1 (preventable) cause of canine abdominal cancer (the #2 most common form of canine cancer).

[So what] if I sometimes forget that he's a dog... He listens far better than most people I know.

[So what] if my "secret" chocolate chip recipe involves unwrapping the dough and placing the pieces on the baking sheet for 13-17 minutes. They're still amazingly good.

[So what] if I get just as excited about ordering takeout and watching Netflix as I do about going out. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE girls night out and date night... but there's just something so refreshing about staying in.

[So what] if I'm a total science nerd. I love what I do, and I love seeing kids faces light up when they "get it."

[So what] if I'll turn back around after driving 8 miles away from my house because I can't remember if I shut the garage door or not. It totally freaks me out.

[So what] if I'd rather get one handwritten letter in the mail in place of 100 emails. There's just something about the lost art of letter writing.

[So what] if I could go on forever with this list... I want to hear your "so what's"!

Goodnight y'all!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Craft o' the day!

Since I was feeling a bit arts & crafty today, I decided to seize the opportunity and get some Christmas decorating done. As of this morning, I literally had our 3 stockings up and a couple of Christmas-y candles out... that's it. I'm so slacking this year it's not even funny. So, here's what I made today! Sorry for the weird coloring (I took it with my iPhone), but the ribbon is actually a really pretty light gold. I'm hoping to get Robert to hang the lights tonight, but we'll see... I don't want to rush into anything. :)


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third time's a charm...

Last January I decided to make the switch from PC to Mac, and for the most part I have absolutely loved my computer. It's relatively idiot proof (which most days, I need), very intuitive when it comes to becoming comfortable with the differences between the two, and is absolutely amazing for photo editing (the screen resolution on this baby is crazy!). About a month ago, it froze for the first time. Okay, so yeah... I may or may not have had around 30 tabs opened in two different windows in Mozilla, but so what?! For as expensive as this thing was, it should totally be able my tab-happy moods and NOT cause the memory to crash every time I feel like keeping everything open at once. I know, it's kind of weird... But I literally know what each tab goes to, and you better believe it's all organized in a specific order. If I could color code them all, I totally would. So, yeah... it's just one of my little "things." The first time it happened, I called the Apple tech service  and took it into the Apple store and felt relatively comfortable that as long as I kept my tabs to a conservative minimum, I'd be ok... and for about a month, I was. This past week, it started doing this same thing again. Only this time, it was accompanied by insanely loud beeps and the occasional growl (totally not kidding) from the inside of my computer. A few days went by (hoping that the problem would maybe go away on its own... wishful thinking), and it just got worse. Yesterday morning, I called to make an appointment to bring it back it to get looked at. (A couple side notes... One of the best things about having a mac is that you have an actual place to take it in if you need to (i.e. Apple store instead of having to ship it to who knows where for who knows how long). Also, if you have a mac... buy the pro care membership! Especially if its still under warranty. You skip the entire line when you have a problem and are automatically put at the top of the list for repairs. When there's 57 people in front of you, you will be thanking God you spent the extra money on this.) I get my appointment time, drive across town (45 minutes), and explain what's going on. After 2.5 hours of working on it together, I leave it overnight and agree that it will be ready by the morning. At 10:30am today, I get a phone call that it's ready. I go pick it up (thankfully it's still under warranty so it didn't cost me anything) assured by the employee that it's fixed, take it home, and open it up. After literally 5 minutes of working on my computer... boom. It's frozen and shuts itself off. Are you kidding me!? During that 5 minutes I was able to use my computer, I managed to back up all my files onto the external hard drive I bought last time I was there. When I took it back again this afternoon, I spent another 3.5 hours sitting there waiting for my computer to get fixed with the 5,728 other people just standing around the Apple store. I mean, I know they're cool, but good. lord. Fire code has GOT to be broken on a daily basis at that place. About 3 hours in, I start to not even care about what it takes to fix my computer. I'm hungry, there's tons of screaming kids running around the store, and the heat MUST be at 97 degrees. I get up for 2 seconds to go look at the new Kate Spade computer covers (very cute, by the way!), and as soon as I come back the guy says "umm hey sooo... do you, like, back up your stuff?". Ignoring his very professional way of asking me if I backed up my documents, I said "yes, I do. Is there a particular reason you ask?" He replies "well yeah, your hard drive just crashed and everything is gone." Even though I knew everything was still on my external hard drive, my heart just sank. "Are you serious?" "Yeah, sorry." WHATEVER! At this point, I just want to go home. Forget email... I'll just send everyone letters from now on. They repaired the hard drive (or gave me a new one, I don't even know), and reinstalled the operating system. When I got home, I had to re-enter all my info as if the computer was brand new. The good news--- so far so good, now. I've been on my computer almost 2 hours (catching up on everything) and NO crashes. Le sigh... Moral of the story: "like, backup your stuff"

The original plan for today's post was supposed to be much more positive... so I apologize. My posts haven't exactly been the most uplifting lately. I promise, it will get better soon! As for now, I think I'll hit the gym for a bit and call it a night. This girl is one tired little belle. Goodnight y'all!


Saturday, December 11, 2010


Hi y'all... This will be a short and unfortunately sad post. Just a few moments ago I got off the phone with my close friend whose mother was in her last days of battling cancer. Around 10:30pm this evening, she passed away. As sad as this day has been, she is in a much, much better place now... As we get closer and closer to the holidays, I beg each of you to spend some extra time with your families this year. Life is so fragile and so uncertain. We never know how lucky we are until something is gone...


Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Do!

Okay my loves... here it is! My fabulous new design by the amazing Lauren at Blue Lux! I am so excited for you all to see it I can barely stand it! A huge thank you to Lauren for all your hard work, and putting up with all of my emails into the crazy hours of the night! You totally get my vote for wonder woman of the year. :)

And now on to my fill my sappy-emotional quota for the day. As most of you know, I'm still fairly new to blogging. It all began when I saw a link on a friend's Facebook to her blog, so I clicked. After browsing around to different blogs (and almost instantly relating to so many of them), I thought I'd give it a shot. Had I not had that extra free hour that day to take the time and set it up, I probably would have just left it alone and never thought about it again. I can't tell you how thankful I am that I didn't! I can honestly say that this has been such a wonderful outlet for me and I am beyond glad that I entered into the world of blogging. You all are such a wonderful people! I've met some truly great women here that I never would have had the pleasure of knowing before without this network. Everyone has a story... from the newly married 20-something just moving into her first house, to the new mom with the world's best little "surprise," to the girl who just graduated and can't find a job. The best part is being able to share in each other's journey, because at one point or another we might just be in the same place. To know that no matter how much it feels like no one else gets it, there's someone out there who's been through it. Knowing you're not alone is much better than trying to push through all by yourself, and makes a world of difference. At the risk of sounding like a major creeper, I feel like I've gotten to know some of you as if we'd been friends for years and just happened to live far apart. I mean, come on... how cool is that?! To that end, I'd just like to say thanks to all the women who have given me such a positive blogging experience so far! You're amazing.

Lastly, I'd like to ask for your prayers... About 8 months ago one of my very close friends found out that her mother had cancer. The doctors all thought they had caught it early enough for her to recover just fine. Unfortunately, this past week they found out that her cancer had returned and had spread quicker than they ever imagined... as it was now in her spine. This morning I received a text from her saying that the doctors are only giving her a couple of days left to spend with her family, and they expect her to be called Home any day now. She (my friend) just got engaged a couple months ago and will now most likely be getting married without her mother by her side... on the most important day of her life. As I hold back the tears, I ask each of you to be reminded of how fragile our lives can be. Cherish the time you have with one another now... you never know when that time will be cut short.

I hope you all have a wonderful night! And turn up those heaters, girls! It's getting cold (ok, chilly...) even here in Florida!

Goodnight y'all!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Monday!

Good morning y'all! I have super exciting updates for you! I'm sure some of you follow Lauren's fabulous Life with a Lab blog, but you may not be familiar with her design services at Blue Lux. Let me just tell you... Girls, she is absolutely amazing! Right now, she's in the process of giving "Life, Love, & Labs" a much needed makeover and I couldn't be more excited for you to see it! She's very reasonably priced and wonderful to work with! If you've been thinking about sprucing up your blog (or need any other graphic design services), I highly recommend her!

A couple weeks ago I updated you all on why I'd been gone for so long and introduced my new line of jewelry to you all. I've had so much fun making all the different pieces and had the pleasure of working with some truly wonderful ladies to create custom pieces for a couple special occasions. I'm in the process of putting up some new additions to the site as we speak, but for now you might want to stop by Lori's Shopaholic in Alabama blog. There may or may not be a something exciting going on right now... just saying. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life is short

I've seen this posted on a couple blogs that I follow (I believe I saw it first on Lauren's Life with a Lab blog!) and wanted to share it with you all, in case you hadn't seen it. Sometimes I need a little inspiration like this! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Promises Promises...

As I begin to finalize our plans for New York, I'm getting more and more excited! I mean, it's not like we've never been... I think it's more the time of year, decorations, weather (praying for nice, but chilly!) and well, of course the shopping! We've booked the hotel (Intercontinental in Times Square) and Broadway tickets (Radio City Christmas Show and "Promises, Promises") and now it's on to smaller details and day activities. Has anyone stayed at that hotel or seen either of those shows? I'm so excited about both of them!

On a different note, Robert's hard drive crashed tonight. Ohh yes... one week before finals AND his LSAT. Perfect timing, of course. Which leads me to add another item to my Christmas list... external hard drive. I know it's not the most exciting present, but I'd much rather suck it up for a boring gift than lose my (virtual) life when my computer decides to get moody. If you don't have one ladies, it's definitely worth the investment! I have to admit, I was quite impressed with how calm and collected he was when the "final hour" came. Had it been MY computer, some serious tears would have been shed alongside a rather unladylike version of my usual words...

Lastly, amongst all my pre-NY shopping I have decided to splurge on these little beauties...

Yours truly is now a proud owner of these adorable pair of Tory Burch flats that I've been dying for forever. Sigh... I finally broke down and bought myself some. I can't wait until they get here!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'd love to hear about it! Goodnight y'all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful little turkey

Christmas is one of my absolute favorite times of year, and I honestly couldn't be more excited that the holidays are here! Robert and I try to go to New York at least once a year, and have decided to take our trip in December this year. I looove snow (aka the Floridian likes snow for a week, then is ready for mid-70 degree weather for the rest of December) and I'm super excited to see NY during Christmastime again. We usually go during baseball season (since one of his birthday presents usually consists of Mets tickets), and have yet to go together when all the Christmas decorations are up. A couple of years ago, I went for a journalism conference at Columbia in early December and absolutely fell in love with the whole city at that time of year. From the ginormous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, to the perfectly decorated shop windows on 5th Avenue, to the feeling of walking through Central Park after it has just snowed. Okay, okay... I know that's kind of cheesy, but it just gives me this warm fuzzy feeling that you don't really get with Christmas in Florida. The last time we had snow was in 1989... That's right, 21 years ago. And (make sure you're sitting down for this one...) it was a whopping 2 inches of snow. Whoo hoo!!! If I can find it, I'll post the picture of us all out the front yard in our little "blizzard" making snow angels. Every time I see that picture it cracks me up. I literally looked (and felt like) the Michelin Man walking through the yard, with the 317 layers my mother had me in. You know in "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie's little brother falls over in the snow and can't get up? Yep... that was me. So, needless to say, I'm very much excited to escape the Florida warmth for a week and head up north. Since our coldest days tap only into the 30s and 40s for a couple hours, my winter wardrobe is seriously lacking. I guess that just means I'll have to go shopping... sigh. ;) I mean, I may or may not have been spent a 2-3 hours a day for the past week looking at adorable winter coats and outfits. Soo yes. I'm very ready.

On a slightly different note, I think it's so important to remember what this season is for. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this time of year should be about being thankful, being selfless, and thinking of others before ourselves for a bit. It's so easy to get caught up in all the parties, presents, and overall excitement of the holidays... and rightfully so, to a degree. Don't get me wrong, spending time with loved ones and "enjoying" the season is definitely a huge part of it. And I'm all for partaking in holiday festivities! :) A couple of years ago right before the schools were letting out for winter break, I was working with a teacher in her 5th grade classroom. A little girl (who was usually very shy, didn't talk much, but always did her homework and did well in school) came up to us and said "Mrs. C, can we come to school over winter break? Like, will it be open?" The other teacher and I looked at each other a little confused, and Mrs. C said "Well honey, I'm pretty sure the school will be locked up. They usually clean it over breaks. Was there something you needed?" The little girl looked a little sad and sighed. "Oh..." she said. "It's just that... well, we don't have breakfast and lunch at my house. And I was hoping I could could come to the cafeteria to get something to eat." My heart just sank. The girl received free breakfast and lunch daily at school, and didn't know what she was going to do over break. The teacher told me that after long weekends, the girl would come back to school a few pounds lighter, and very hungry. The parents both had drug problems, and the little girl was basically in charge of raising her two younger brothers... at 10 years old. I wanted so badly to tell the little girl to come to my house every day and I would feed her breakfast and lunch. It just absolutely tore me apart. Each year since that day, I always think of that little girl when school lets out for break. For the most part, none of us have to really think about whether or not we're going to have gas in the car, heat in our house, or breakfast and lunch to eat. The last thing I want is to come off "preachy," but I just wanted to share that story with you all. If you get some extra time, please donate a meal to someone who needs it, or an extra $5 to an animal shelter to give a blanket to an animal who will spend its holidays on the cold floor of a pound. To us it's just some extra cash but to someone who needs it, it could be the best Christmas present they get... or maybe even the only one.

On a lighter note, I'd love to hear about your holiday plans! Going anywhere fabulous? Or maybe even just staying home and doing absolutely nothing (which, I am a firm believer in sometimes being the best "vacation" there is).

Lastly, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who read my blog! It really means so much to me that you all take interest in it, and I'm thankful for each and every one of you every day. I love hearing from you, so please don't be shy! :)

Goodnight y'all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bring on the Tissues...

I found this wonderful story over on Ashley's very cute blog, "Life As I Know It," and just had to share it with you all... By the way, stop by her blog sometime! I just found her the other day and I'm already loving it! :)

Forewarning, you may want to have the Kleenex handy. This one's a tear jerker--- but oh so good! (Just so you know, the dog doesn't die! I don't want to give too much away, but sometimes I steer completely clear of stories where I already know what's going to happen to the dog... Some days I just can't handle that sort of sadness, you know?)

Here goes...

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike. For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. but it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "darn dog probably hid it on me." Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggies direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down with his back to me.

Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number. But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."
____________ _________ _________ _________

To Whoever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you. First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones -"sit," "stay," "come", "heel." He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business. I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially. Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you....

His name's not Reggie.

I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do seemed so final that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.

See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call the shelter... "in the event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting to downright depressing, even though, frankly I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. but still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you,
Paul Mallory
____________ _________ _________ _______

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously awarded the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast for days. I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly. The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright. "C'mere boy." He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball? His ears perked again. "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?" Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.
And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And here's why I've been gone for so long...

Okay, let me start out by saying that I feel absolutely terrible for leaving you all for so long... honestly. By no means was the following announcement (...anticipation!!!) intended to take me nearly as long as it did (I'll elaborate in a bit). Regardless, it's 99.9% complete, and I just couldn't wait ANY longer to share my news with you all! I think keeping this whole thing under wraps has been hands down the hardest part (especially since it took me so long!) about this whole process. So here goes... drum roll please!!! "Jewelry by Margaret" is fully up and running and open for business! (Insert huge smile!) For the past 2 months, I have spent countless hours making jewelry, photographing pieces, and getting all the details/descriptions up online. To be honest, I didn't even realize an entire 2 months had gone by. As I was getting the final pieces together last week, Robert asked me "When was the last time you updated your blog? I haven't seen you do anything but jewelry lately." Soo yes, I sort of got a bit addicted. And I'm really sorry... But hey, the hard part is all behind me!

So here it is! I would LOVE to hear feedback from all of you! If you're interested in some of my pieces, but would rather have a different color or stone, please just let me know! I absolutely love doing custom pieces and creating something that fits your style perfectly. Although I'm just getting things rolling, I hope to start doing bridal party pieces, and become a (very small) part of someone's big day! I could go on and on, but please do stop by my shop and take a look! I promise not to leave you all for so long this time... :)

Below is just a quick preview of my pieces. Please click this link to go to the full shop. Thanks!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010


I've officially received my first blog award! Whoo hoo!! The wonderful Danielle at "The Best Things in Life" gave me "The Versatile Blogger" award! I am soo excited and thankful you chose me, Danielle! Everyone should stop by and check her out sometime! :)

So here goes... The rules are to share seven things about yourself and pass the award on to 15 other wonderful bloggers!

1) I am craft-making obsessed. When I say obsessed, I mean it. In fact, I'm even getting ready to start selling some of my own hand-made jewelry online soon... so definitely check back!

2) I don't have a favorite movie. It's just a question I've never been able to answer. I mean, come on... there's just no place to even really begin! Top 10? That's something I could probably handle. I just can't eliminate it down to one.

3) I'm a complete science nerd. This is something you probably would never know/guess unless you got the rare opportunity to see me in that "element." I could literally sit in a science museum all day. In fact, I spent 5 hours in just the evolution exhibit alone the last time I visited the Museum of Natural History in DC. If my students develop even half of the love and passion that I have for science, I'll be a very happy camper.

4) I believe everything happens for a reason. 100% of the time.

5) It drives me absolutely insane when people misuse "your" and "you're" along with "effect" and "affect." I know this is completely ridiculous and shouldn't bother me near as much as it does, but it's just one of those things.

6) I played softball for 10 years (...another thing you'd never guess!) and coached for 4. Although being a player holds some of the best memories from my childhood, deciding to coach was one of the best decisions I ever made. I still keep in touch with most of the girls from my first couple years, and love each and every one of them to death. I'm pretty sure it was one of the main reasons I decided to teach.

7) Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the cool(er) weather (because it only gets "cold" for about week here! ha), and the the general spirit of everything around that time of year. For the most part, everyone just seems a little bit happier!

And now for the 15 wonderful women to whose blogs I am addicted! In no particular order, they are...
1) Julie at Brown Eyed Belle
2) Sara at Just Don't Quit. Ever.
3) Mrs. Newlywed at Newlyweds!
4) Jessica at Living the Swell Life
5) Polka Dots and Protein Bars
6) Leslie at A Blonde Ambition
7) Amber at The Survival Guide for the Young, Fabulous, and Newlywed
8) MMC at Black Labs and Lilly
9) Sweet Simplicity
10) Amanda at Run to the Finish
11) Lauren at Life with a Lab
12) A Wedding Story
13) Lindsay at Healthy Stride
14) Jessica at Living Better Together
15) Kristina at Fit, Sexy, Super-Wife

Thank you all for sharing a small glimpse of your life with me!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scary little brown box

Hi all! I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend and enjoying every last bit of it until Monday arrives (dun-dun-dun!). As for me, I've been trying to reorganize the house (...keyword trying) a bit while Robert is taking a 4-day course to become a certified court mediator. A little cash during law school is always a plus! Not to mention, it's a pretty good resume booster as well. Experience + cash is always good in my book! I really do enjoy cleaning once I get in "swing" of it, it's just actually getting in there and deciding to tackle the whole ordeal that gets me. I enjoy the outcome, but deciding to put in the work is another story. Which brings me to my next point... p90x! Ahh yes... the box came last week and I officially let it sit on the counter for 5 days as it ominously stared at me while I walked past it to the glorious homemade chocolate chip cookies. Sigh... Knowing exactly what was in that little brown box I told myself that once I opened it, it was on. No more complaining, no more excuses, and sadly... no more chocolate chip cookies. That being said, the scary little brown box is going to be opened Sunday night, for a fresh start Monday morning. I have to admit, although I know I need to do it, and in all truthfulness I really can do it, I'm still a bit scared. I want this to be something I finish. Really and truly, 100% finish. So often I find myself starting things like this, then just letting them fall to the wayside... eating a cheat meal and skipping a day here and there until "just this once" turns into "it's been 3 months, I should really start back up, but I'll finish the Oreos first." No more half-assing it (pardon the expression...)! 3 months (90 days) from now put me right New Year's Eve. Instead of making a New Year's resolution to do be fit, I want to have a head start; to be able to see pictures of myself from New Year's Eve and be proud of how I'm starting off 2011 (a little cheesy, I know, but true). Soo... if any of you have done (or are doing) p90x, I'd love to hear from you! Any advice/encouragement is greatly appreciated!

Goodnight y'all! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy (excited) little bee!

Yikes... a week and a half without blogging! Major oops! on my part. Sorry y'all! To my credit, however, this past week and a half has been busier than the last year and a half (...okay, maybe a little exaggeration there, but you get the idea). In this time, I have...
  1. Lost a cell phone
  2. Lived for an entire week without a cell phone (extremely difficult, but still "doable")
  3. Bought a new cell phone (...with entirely new cell phone carrier. Yes, I caved to the iPhone 4. Sigh...)
  4. Studied like a crazy lady for the my last certification exam, the FTCE subject area exam, to (finally) be certified to teach biology in grades 6-12.
  5. PASSED my last certification exam!!! Whoo hoo!!!
  6. Bought way more decorations/supplies for my future classroom than I will ever need (...a little caught up in the moment!)
  7. Lived 4 days without my computer, aka my life, while it was getting repaired at the Apple store (waaaaaay harder than the cell phone!)
  8. Traveled back and forth to Jacksonville three times
  9. Introduced Charley to my 3 month old "niece" (I say "niece" because she's technically RK's niece, but I figure 7 years of being around the family makes me at least a figurative aunt, right?!)
  10. Actually relaxed once, maybe twice.
*Big sigh of relief*

I cannot tell you how excited I am to have all of that behind me. For the most part, things usually don't happen all at once like that, but last week was a major exception. Yay for slowing things down a bit!

As I mentioned earlier, Charley met Catherine (RK's niece) for the first time this past week. For those of you who don't know, Charley (my 1.5 year old labrador) is a big teddy bear who wouldn't hurt a fly even if it followed him around for a week straight. He's the dog that lets all the other dogs play and roll all over him without even batting an eyelash. He does give the occasional "okay Mom, I'm getting a little tired of all these youngin's" look, but would still never do anything about it. He's always had a special connection with children, and I was eager to see how he would handle a baby being in the same room. I mentioned this in a post earlier, but I've always felt that dogs know and understand so much more than we give them credit for. Sometimes I feel like he just looks at me and automatically knows what I'm thinking. I don't know, maybe that makes me a little crazy/weird. Anyway, so the moment came for the two of them to meet. The carrier sat on the couch just out of Charley's reach to let him get used to the idea of a new little person in the room. Monitoring how well he was handling it, we picked up the carrier and lowered it to where he could see her. He sat down very politely, slowly peeked inside, and suddenly got the biggest smile on his face. He looked over at me, and walked away. At first I thought he just wasn't as interested as I thought he would be. But, he completely surprised me with what he did next. He went over to the baby bag, picked up one of her stuffed dolls, brought it back over to the carrier and placed it very gently next to her. It was absolutely one of the sweetest things I had EVER seen. Granted, this will probably never happen again... but I'm okay with that. He is so gentle with her it's unreal. I can't wait to see how he handles our future children in his older years...

On a different note, I bought the iPhone 4 (with an adorable purple cover!) this past week as well. I've been a loyal Verizon-er for about 8 years now, and felt it was time for a "fresh" change of pace. RK has been with AT&T since before I met him and, of course, has had every iPhone they've come out with. He's much more of a "techie" than I am. I have to admit though, I love it! I've heard some people have issues with dropped calls and whatnot, but so far so good with this one. Anyone else have the iPhone 4? Thoughts?!

Lastly, I'm officially a certified 6-12 Biology (potential) teacher!!! I cannot wait to finally have my own classroom, my own kids, and my own "teacher desk." Yes, I know, I'm a nerd! ;) I've completely stocked up on every supply possible (kudos to Target and their $1 school supplies!) and am so excited to start my laminating, labeling, grading, etc. I know a year from now I will be so far up to my ears in the aforementioned that I'll want to shoot myself for ever thinking that, but for now it's still exciting. I think I'll wallow in my inexperienced optimism for now. :)

Enough rambling for now... Thanks for reading til the end. I really do appreciate it! Night y'all!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teacher Tuesday

Quick post for the day! A year from now, I'll be teaching my first middle school (or possibly high school) science class. Whoo hoo!! In order to hopefully dodge the financial bomb of stocking my classroom all at once, I'm attempting to buy things a bit at a time from now until next August, when school starts. If any of you have any suggestions for "must-have" items for a beginner teacher, I more than welcome your input! As of now, I'm stocking up on borders and posters. I also want to get some lab supplies, but I want to be sure it'll actually be used and not something the school may supply for me. Thanks!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Food for Thought!

Hi ya'll! Okay, let me start out by saying that I honestly try to maintain a "glass half full" outlook on life and really try to stay positive at all times... so, I'm apologizing in advance for my rare moment of negativity. I know a lot of you may disagree with me on this, but I'm going to go out on a limb and just say how much I can't stand the whole "Jersey Shore" ordeal. Good Lord! I mean, the whole concept just drives me crazy... the cast, the over-dramatized lifestyle, the "glamorized" sleeze factor, and most of all... the dreaded "pouf." Don't get me wrong... I'm ALL for an Audrey Hepburn, Carrie Underwood classy pouf. Scratch that... I LOVE an Audrey Hepburn, Carrie Underwood classy pouf. After all, I am a southern girl who will wholeheartedly confess to my love affair with my $49 bottle of hairspray, but when the "pouf" itself is bigger than the actual size of your head it starts to get a little ridiculous. Most importantly, I don't like the message this show (...along with 90% of the shows on MTV) is sending out to all those young(er) viewers. So many pre-teen and teenage girls are seeing these people in magazines and on TV growing up accepting such a lifestyle as "okay." This really scares me... I mean, where is Boy Meets World, Saved by the Bell, Full House, and the Cosby Show? I know this completely makes me sound like my mother (yikes!), and I know a large amount of such exposure is highly dependent on parenting, but the truth is that it's out there and kids are going to be exposed to it to some degree (small or large) no matter how much parents may try to keep their kids away from it. Sigh...

Okay, enough of my ranting! On a happier note, this weekend we're celebrating RK's brother's 26th birthday. A group of his friends (who also happen to be our friends, which is always convenient!) have come in town for the party and I'm so excited to everyone! Since college and "grown up jobs" we don't get to see each another nearly as much as we'd like, so I'm definitely looking forward to what the weekend holds. Anyone have any fun plans?!

Lastly, I'd love to get some opinions from ya'll... For the past 7 months or so I've been in search for a new "everyday" purse. Purses have always been one of my splurge items, mostly due to the fact that they get so much abuse from my daily life. :) Lately, I've had my eye on this little beauty below. What do you think?! Oh, and just so you know... I know I've only been blogging for a short bit of time so I know most of you don't really "know" me yet but I'm not the kind of girl to be easily offended by an opinion, so feel free to let the truth fly! :)
Okay, off to bed now... early 5am run in the morning! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend! Goodnight ya'll!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

How time flies...

It feels like forever since I've updated! Oops.. sorry ya'll! Anyway, I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and had at least a bit of time to relax and do something just for yourselves! Sometimes I think that's much easier said than done, but soo important to do! Anyone do anything exciting?!

For the past couple of months, RK and I have been playing in a summer softball league with my parents and a couple of other friends and family members. It's been tons of fun, but boy has it been HOT! I know, I whined about this last post but holy moly! You would think a sport that didn't require near as much running as...well, running wouldn't be as taxing on the body in terms of heat, but that couldn't be further from the truth! Just standing out on the field is exhausting... Growing up I played for almost 10 years and never remembered it being so grueling. Maybe I just never really thought about it, or maybe I'm just getting old(er). Nope, definitely the former... ;) Age is totally relative in my mind! But on the up side of things, Charley and I both got a wonderful post-game swim out of it. Soo refreshing!! I definitely would not have minded a nice cold drink (preferably something fruity and pink, of course!) but settling for just a quick swim wasn't so bad either...

Next week, RK and I celebrate 7 years of being together. It's so crazy how fast time flies! I can't even begin to tell you. We're trying to decide on where to go for a mini weekend vacay, and are thinking possibly Sea Island, GA. It looks beautiful!! Any other ideas?!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Good news!! After a couple of months of anticipation (...and some heavy puppy rehab!) we found out on Friday that as of right now, Charley will in fact not need the second surgery we had planned for his hips! As it turns out, the hydrotherapy has done much more for his hips (and general well-being) than we originally thought. We knew it would help speed up the rehabilitation process, but the idea of it completely eliminating the next surgery never even entered my mind. Let me tell you... the little guy could not be happier! I'm starting to think that our next real estate purchase will have to have a pool, in fear of the dog going on strike if it doesn't. Okay, so I'm not completely opposed to the idea of being poolside every day myself... ;) All in all, he's a happy camper right now, and I'm right there with him!

Since we were in Jacksonville for the weekend for Charley's appointment, I joined up with some girls up there for Saturday's short group run of 3 miles. The group is training for the Chicago Marathon on October 10th, and is starting to get into the longer distances. This was the same group of women that originally got me into running in the first place and I was so happy to be able to catch up with them after my 5-month hiatus. I hadn't really thought about it until then, but I really saw how far behind I had gotten after running with my old group. They had all continued with the weekly training since our last half marathon, and you could definitely tell. With my shin splits wreaking havoc on my legs wonderfully mixed with the fact that I'm still essentially in the "starting over" stages of running, my self-esteem plummeted faster than a 14 year old boy being shot down by his life-long Kindergarten crush. It was 7am (two and a half hours later than I normally run), and it was hot. The delusional, body completely soaked, "I'm totally moving to Alaska" kind of hot. The run I was so excited about just didn't add up to all I had hoped. Looking back on it, I should have been more realistic and prepared for it... both physically and mentally. However, there's a small part of me that's glad that little mental "breakdown" happened when it did. It was only 3 miles, it wasn't raining, and it could have definitely been worse. Running isn't about out-running other runners; it's about out-running that little voice in the back of your mind that tells you to that you can't... that you can't make it that last mile, and you don't have to push yourself to become better. It tells you to settle, and accept things that are just "okay." I think this is one of the most important things to realize in running (and life), and I'm glad I figured it out now and not after I had accepted settling. So (...big sigh of relief...), I'm ready. I know that it's going to take time for me to get back to where I was, and I know that this is not the end of the world...

On a different note, RK and I are planning on going up to Vino (our neighborhood wine shop) tomorrow for our first "Wine Down Wednesday" tasting. The week has already been crazy busy (...yes, it's only Tuesday...) and I'm looking forward to this more than you know! I just found out that this cute little shop that holds tastings every Wednesday and Sunday for just $5. I'm not quite sure which rock I've been under for the past year we've been living here, but this definitely calls for making up for lost time!

Okay, enough babbling for one night! ;) I'll update more tomorrow! Goodnight ya'll!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life lessons

For anyone looking for a good summer read (or really any time of year!) I highly recommend "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. This book has officially topped my list of favorites! The book tells the story of a dog named Enzo, as he sees life through his eyes. His owner, Denny, is a race car driver and the bond these two share is simply amazing. I think the reason I enjoyed this so much was that I identified with it so well. Okay, this may sound a little weird, but I've always felt that dogs really understand us... on a much deeper level than we can imagine. I feel that there's so much we can learn from our dogs. Think about it... I don't think I've ever seen Charley upset that I'm walking in the door, or that he has to eat essentially the same thing every day, or that he has to live in our apartment with no yard of his own (...even though there's plenty of grass and parks in our neighborhood, they aren't just "his"). Simplicity. He's so happy with so little. The true riches of life (family, friends, love), he has more of than he could ever ask for. And he knows it. Gratuity. If I could be half as grateful for the unnecessary fluff that I don't need as he is for a simple ear scratch or tennis ball, my days would be much more fulfilling. In fact, I'll even branch out and say that if we all let ourselves learn a thing or two from our dogs, the world would be a much happier, healthier, safer place. Just something to think about...

On a different note... as happy as I am to get back into running, apparently my shins have disagreed. Scratch that. My shins have decided to rage against the rest of my body in shear pain and utter misery. It's bad. That being said, I've always maintained a minimalist perspective when it comes to hitting the road. I'm not one to carry a water bottle, 3 packets of gel, my phone, towel, etc. 95% of the time it's myself, my shoes, watch, and maybe half a packet of energy beans (or something of the sort) if it's a long run. With that in mind, I was not keen on the idea of using/wearing anything serving to remedy my new found shin splints. However it seems to have gotten to "that point." Yesterday I went to my local running shop and bought a pair of Zensah compression leg sleeves for $40. I know this is probably all in my head, but I've just always felt like if I were to wear something like this it would just come across as if I was trying to say "Yeah... I'm so fast I need these 'cool' leg things to make me even better." I don't know. I just don't like the idea of being "that runner." I have to say though, at this point I'm moving very close to the "I don't care, it hurts that bad" train of thought. I bought them on a Wednesday with the idea that I'd get in at least one shorter run on Thursday before using them on a long Saturday run (even though this Saturday is only 3 miles... which was the same mileage as today. But oh well). I had heard miraculous things about Zensah's and was anxious to see how they'd work for me. I don't know if I had the wrong size or just wasn't used to them, but absolutely nothing changed... In fact, I think the pain was a little worse. Although the fact that I only rested a day in between probably didn't help, I figured there would be at least some improvement. Not so much. So, I'll give them one or two more shots then I'm moving on... I've been reading a lot about kinesiology tape and how so many people have fallen in love with it. Apparently it really became "big" during the 2008 women's volleyball olympics, when some of the women used it on their shoulders. If any of you have ever used this, or know anyone that has, I'd love to hear your feedback... good or bad. Although it's only $15-$20 a roll, I'm more concerned with finding something that works right now. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Whew! I don't even realize how much I ramble here... I'll get better, promise! ;) Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it!

Tomorrow we head up to Jacksonville for Charley's orthopedic appointment. I'll update as soon as I find something out. Wish us luck! Goodnight ya'll!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And it begins...

After taking about 5 months off from doing sort of "organized" running, I've finally gotten back to the grind... When I really think about it, I'm not quite sure why I ever stopped in the first place. I had finished my last of 4 half-marathons and just let that be "it." Maybe it was more of a burnt out feeling, or maybe it was more of me just being lazy. Probably a mix of both. I joined up with a local running group for some early morning Tuesday/Thursday shorter, 2-4 mile runs, and a good long one on Saturday. I had definitely forgotten how great it made me feel. The 4am alarm? Not so much. But the feeling of getting the day started with a good flow of endorphins is wonderful. I finally broke down and bought a new pair of running shoes, too. It's pretty easy to forget how shoes are actually supposed to feel when they 1) fit right, and 2) aren't completely broken down (being in one, complete piece helps too!). A couple of new outfits, new tennie's, and a pair of sunglasses later, my retail therapy left me with no excuses to not get out and hit the road. Having new gear always makes me a little more excited to start back up though. Maybe it's the "fresh start" vibe that it all gives off. I'm all for starting fresh!

This Friday, Charley goes back for his second post-FHO checkup. On May 4, he had his first surgery (FHO, femoral head and neck ostectomy) of two to correct his hip dysplasia and first (of 3) steroid injections in his elbows to help with the elbow dysplasia. For those who aren't familiar with it (as I sure wasn't before this!) an FHO is a procedure where the hip joint is salvaged by removing the "ball" (of the "ball and socket") of the hip and letting cartilage form a new one. The upside to doing this in comparison to a total hip replacement is 1) no activity restrictions post surgery, 2) some dogs who go through a total hip replacement still end up needing an FHO down the road, and 3) it is a bit less expensive, especially since we were going to have to do it twice. The little guy had just had his first birthday on April 21. This condition usually doesn't present problems until much later in life, but his case was so severe (due to genetics) that he began to show pain at only 8 weeks old. :( Let me tell you... nothing breaks your heart more than watching an 8 week old puppy suffer like a dog who has lived a long, plentiful 10-15 year life. On a lighter note, he has been going to "puppy rehab" at a local hydrotherapy center and is doing great! This is his absolute favorite thing in the world. For 30 minutes, he becomes king of the pool. He swims for a bit, stops for some physical therapy (still in the pool), and swims some more. Every Wednesday and Friday he wakes up knowing that once 11am rolls around, he gets to go swimming. For anyone who has a lab, I'm convinced they're at least half fish! ;) Anyway, we find out Friday when the next surgery (and steroid injections) will be and after that he should be good to go! Please keep him in your prayers!!

Hmm... what else? The week has been absolutely crazy busy and it's only Tuesday! Whew! Luckily from here it's all down hill. I should be posting a bit more once things settle down. Just a side note... I love reading all your blogs out there! I'm adding a couple new ones each day to the list of those I follow and it's just great! Thanks to all of you who have invited me into your day to day lives, even if it's just in the slightest way. Goodnight ya'll!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First things first...

Hmm... where to start?! Well, as you can tell, this is my very first post! I'm very new to the whole process and more than welcome any comments/hints/tips, etc.!

I can't lie... I started this blog as a result of clicking on a friend's blog linked on Facebook for what I thought would be a quick read, then as my daily routine commanded, I would check my email, add a couple more pictures to FB, then clean the kitchen (exciting, right?! I know...). About 4 hours later I had literally 27 different tabs opened in my browser of different blogs I just couldn't stop reading. I don't know how I went so long without this...

A little more about me: I grew up in Florida and have been here my entire life. I'm a huge animal lover and have a special place in my heart for labs (...okay, and anything pink too!). I think CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) is an amazing organization, and if you're unfamiliar with them you should most definitely Google it. I love the beach, decorating anything, running (even though, as I mentioned in my 'about me' it's sort of a love/hate thing), teaching, and generally enjoying life. I guess you could say I'm in a transition phase of my life and I'm constantly trying to figure everything out (but who isn't?!). I like to say that I live life with no regrets, only lessons learned. If I could have a second "me", I'd be a wedding planner and/or interior designer. I could honestly sit in a pile of wedding and decorating magazines all day and be completely happy. I believe there's no problem in the world that can't be solved with a great group of friends, a glass of wine, and maybe even a good run. I try very hard to maintain a "glass is half full" perspective on life, and some days I'm more successful than others. Life is good... and I'm very excited for the journey it holds.

For future reference, here's a list of people who will most likely frequent this blog... just so you're familiar!

RK- My other half of 7 years. We've been through it all... ups, downs, and all the in-between. More often than not he knows me better than I know myself. He is truly my best friend in life and I honestly don't know what I'd do without him.

Charley- My 1-year-old yellow lab. He's the best four legged friend a girl could ever ask for. He has a personality 10 times bigger than himself and is the biggest "gentle giant" you'll ever meet. He was diagnosed with severe elbow and hip dysplasia (CHD) at only 8 weeks old. He has gone through the first of two necessary surgeries to help with the pain (and hopefully eliminate any future problems) and is doing great with his rehab!

LA- My best girlfriend since we were 10! Unfortunately, we had to leave each other during college but make it a point to stay close no matter what. No matter how long we go without talking, we always seem to pick right back up where we left off.

Okay, well I think that's good for now... I've got to get some sleep! I'll update more tomorrow. Goodnight ya'll! :)