Friday, December 30, 2011

A Good End

(click the youtube link to watch)

My friend, Lizzie, posted this video a while ago and I was immediately drawn to it. I don't make a habit of listening to Christian rock, nothing against it, it's just not typically on my radar. I'm more of a J Beibs girl (kidding!).

Now the year is coming to a close and after many bumps and bruises I remain grateful. The message of this song is so applicable to all of us, no matter our situation. The message being that He will let us hurt and let us stumble, but never fall. He really is all around us. So I end this year and look forward to next year knowing that yes, He is always with me. My faith in Heavenly Father has been tried and tested but I know that His faith in me is constant.

Have a wonderful and safe New Years!

"No, I can't deny that you are right here with me"

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I hope your day is filled with love, family, eating and smiles.
Anyone else grateful it fell on a Sunday this year? Kinda brings it all home, doesn't it?


Friday, December 23, 2011

Where I Learned My Moves......

Just a little bit of cheer to kick off the weekend! I hope your is fabulous!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Post

I guest posted on In Morse Code today! Check it out and stay a while, Bryton is a pretty dang cute blogger!

Monday, December 19, 2011


On the Vietnam Memorial people are listed two ways:

1 - with a diamond to signify that they died in battle or later from their wounds
2 - with a cross for those who are missing in action or prisoners of war, about 1200 people total. If/when they are found the cross is blasted into a diamond shape

A museum is being planned that will house some of the knick knacks and personal memorials left at the site.

I often feel very detached from this war, but whenever I visit this memorial I feel such love for these servicemen and women. The spirit here is undeniable and so, so special.

God Bless America

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just Like That, It Happened

(I definitely did not make these cookies)

By now it is well documented that it takes me a while to get into the Christmas spirit. I cannot predict when it will hit, typically it's when I get to my parent's house and I see all the decorations I grew up with and I get to be with the greatest joys in my life.

It happened today at church. I was interpreting and we were singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem", the third verse reads -

"How silently, how silently
This wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heav'n
No ear may hear His coming;
But in the world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in"

The tears started immediately as I reflected on those first two lines. Jesus came into the world with little fanfare and few who sought Him. But what a truly wondrous and remarkable gift was given to all mankind on that holy night. I've never noticed how this song is not limited to that special event but also serves to encompass His ministry.....

"Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in"

Merry Christmas

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."

-Anatole France

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Hitler Became Famous

This seriously had me laughing so hard!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For Devon

I was not the most attractive middle schooler. True story. My situation did not improve once I entered high school, but then of course I got to mix in two heaping scoops of awkward, a dash of too tall, one gorgeous, popular older sister, and the disastrous result was helpless, hopeless Rachel. Ta da! My family has joked that rather than having an awkward phase I had an awkward decade. Gems, every last one of them. 

When I began sophomore year my self esteem was in the toilet and I didn't see how it could possibly get any better. I knew that I needed to do something to pull myself out of the doldrums, so I simply opened my eyes. I started looking around and ended up making a very astute observation - ugly people get married too! Hallelujah! One day I was sitting in 10th grade Chemistry class and I realized that while I probably couldn't get anyone based on my looks, maybe if I had an awesome personality I could con someone into marrying me eventually. (editors note - I know this is crazy and a uh, TMI to the extreme. Remember, this is for Devon's benefit). I thought it was such a novel idea to have someone like me for me, rather than what I could outwardly provide.

That day in Chem I decided that I wanted my future self to be funny. Funny could eventually be attractive enough for someone to overlook whatever was going on from the neck up. I started studying what would make people laugh. Honestly. I was very scientific about my approach because I was literally planning a total personality overhaul. If I was going to be this new person for the rest of my life I wanted to be sure that I became someone I liked!

I like myself now and I definitely don't feel the same way I did back then (PS - this is NOT a post fishing for compliments, thankyouverymuch). I wish I could spend a day with anyone who reads this dumb blog so you could really know me. I promise, all my studying paid off and I'm way funnier in person.

I wrote this post because from time to time Devon will say, "I'm so grateful for that decision you made in Chemistry class". I am too. It was born from a place of horrific self esteem, desperation at the perceived circumstance, and being bullied. I am very lucky in how it has turned out for me, just the amazing ability to like myself, but I recognize that this is not the case for everyone who has experienced bullying or who gets down on themselves. We have to teach our children to love themselves and to always look for the beauty in others. Everyone has something to contribute - let's find out what it is.

Oh, what a wonderful world it would be.

(New Years resolution #114 - no more soul bearing!)

Surprise Gift

I stepped off the metro on Monday morning and walked toward the gentleman handing out the Express, the free DC paper. I like the crossword puzzles.

Chuck handed me a paper and we chatted for a moment. I may be crazy awkward with guys my age, but middle aged men passing out free things seem to be my forte. As Chuck and I were conversing, a guy handing out the Examiner (another free paper) came over to chat with us. He pulled this sweet little box out of his pocket and said,

"I have a gift for you"

It could have been full of dirty pennies or ketchup packets, but look - it was Hersheys kisses. 

I love this place.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

National Disappointment

Here it is - the national Christmas tree
It looks awful in real life, like something from a parallel Dr Seuss universe

What an attractive bunch!

Each state and territory has sponsored a tree that borders the main tree. Check out the White House in the background

My favorite of all the ornaments

I'm sloooooowly getting into the Christmas spirit.
I just need a few more days - I promise

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Love Affair Continues......

Sunday afternoons are always exceptionally lazy 'round these parts. Yesterday was the exception, and may now become the rule. My dear friends' sister's Girl Scout troop was performing Christmas songs downtown so we went to throw our support her way.

I walked past the Navy memorial while on my way to meet them and I had to pause a moment to reflect on my dad's time in the service. Happy tears ensued, naturally. 
"I can imagine a no more rewarding career, and any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 
'I served in the United States Navy'
-President John F. Kennedy

Creepy Segway tour!

They were adorable. Congratulations to them for making it so long, I quit Brownies after a year or two.

Quite possibly my favorite family, other than my own

After the Brownies we watched the Country Steppers, a group of seniors who two-step or something like that. This lady was our very favorite, she really understood the enthusiasm necessary to get me in any sort of Christmas spirit.

Big finish!

Just like Megan to be sandwiched between two gorgeous gents

I seriously love this city. I need to take better advantage of living here! Come visit if you want to see for yourself

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Product Review

Ladies (and gents, I suppose) this stuff is wonderful! I wanted to call it a miracle but that word is in the title and I feel a bit awkward about that. One word to describe it? magic

I use it maybe once a month and I adore the results I get. Soft, shiny hair - who doesn't want that?


Friday, December 9, 2011

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” 
— L.M. Montgomery

Why I Like the Fall

I definitely do not like the cold. Fall is just a cruel reminder that the sunny, carefree days of summer are over and soon we will be faced with frozen noses and toeses (you like how I forced that rhyme? neither). Well I suppose Fall is now pretty much over and the bleakness of winter is descending upon us. I promise, the negative tone of this post is going to turn around very soon. So despite all these horrid reasons to dislike Fall, I have some reasons to be somewhat onboard with the season. 

I like the colored leaves -

I like reasons to guzzle hot cocoa - 

but I especially like.....

All your favorite shows returning with new episodes and brand new series to fall in love with! *happy sigh* I am a TV junkie so the past couple months have been great! There are some pretty great new series to get addicted to, so let's discuss. My new favorites are:

Once Upon a Time
New Girl
Allen Gregory

and the winningest winner of all -

How about you? (Come over any time and watch TV with me, nothing gets you to soulmate status faster than having *good taste in TV)

*good meaning my same taste in television. it may not actually signify that you have good taste because i sometimes doubt that i do

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Really Like This

Oh how I adore the Muppets! I haven't seen the new movie yet, is it worth it?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beach Boys and John Stamos - Oh My!

I was asked to interpret for an event at the Kennedy Center this evening. It was a tribute to the troops, emceed by John Stamos and the current Miss America with performances by the Beach Boys and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Coolest night of my life. The end. 

For starters - I'm a HUGE Beach Boys fan because my parents raised me right. So I already knew the songs (bonus!) and who doesn't love the opportunity to completely dork out?

Mike Love, original member, waved at me twice and kept giving me big smiles! The little flirt.....These guys are darling! They sound just as good as the records we would dance to as kids and that I car dance to now. John Stamos - what can I say? Charming, good hair, talented, the future father of my children. He was good, to say the least.

At one point he walked off our side of the stage but I was temporarily oblivious. I had my back turned so my saint of a team, the lovely Andrea Smith, told me to turn around and I came face to face with my future. He smiled at both of us, said hi, and then TOUCHED MY ARM. May I repeat - John Stamos touched my arm! Oh, the giggles that escaped my mouth and would not quit. Honestly, I giggled like a fool for quite a while.

Close to the end of the evening I was onstage signing "Fun Fun Fun" when Mr Bruce Johnston (pictured above) came over, grabbed my hand and pulled me over to sing! (honestly, what? who? is this real life?) As he was pulling me over the little section we stood in front of gave a loud cheer. They were so fabulous and attentive the whole evening even though not a single one of them were deaf. I totally sang onstage with the beach Boys and John Stamos. Me. Huh?

I don't even understand what just happened, but I'm so glad. I needed a win and I would call this just that - I'm not coming off this high for a while!

UPDATE: What Andrea wrote on my facebook concerning "the touch hear 'round the world" -

"I'm just sayin'...this married old hag got a simple "hi". You got eye-molested and then actually molested. I am seriously thrilled for you. The night couldn't have gone better!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cafe Rio Comes to Virginia

Oh yea, this is a big deal.

There has been one 45 minutes away from me for the past few months but it has been kind of a hassle to make the trek out there. Finally(!) one has opened about 12 minutes from my house.

I took myself on a date tonight and got the lonely lady special for one.
It was divine.

I foresee loaded punchcards in my future.....

(PS - the "free meal" cheer is very lackluster out here) 

One Last Time

My theme for the year was to take more risks. It is completely out of my comfort zone to be spontaneous and risky so I thought that it could be a great challenge to make it my year long theme. I'm happy to report that I was tried and tested,stretched and bruised, but I did it. I was faced with several situations this year that I would normally have handled differently but I was brave (or fake brave, same thing).

I'm happy to report that I took one last risk and am finally feeling the peace that should come with living boldly. Hopefully nothing else will come my way by the end of the year because I'm too busy planning my theme for next year to be worried about that nasty little thing called the comfort zone. I like it there and I want to stay in it a while!

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

You Have One Week!

(i know, i know...those are muffins. whatever)

My darling friend, Aubry, is doing a cookie recipe swap. There really is nothing this girl can't do! Check out the post here. Doesn't matter if she has never met you, she's just all about sharing fabulousness!

I still haven't figured out which recipe to send her because my family is not one of those who claims to have the "be all, end all" recipes. But I will do ANYTHING to get the treasure trove of amazingness that she is collecting! 

You have until December 11th! Get on it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

You Should Be Reading This.....

A few months ago I stumbled upon a Tumblr called Suri's Burn Book and I immediately fell in love. It is "written" by Suri Cruise (the offspring of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) and is her burn book dedicated to Hollywood. It's snarky, clever, and super speaks my language.

In case you aren't familiar with burn books, please watch the instructional video below:

Friday, December 2, 2011

An Awkward Start

I pulled on my knit gloves before leaving the house because today was the first day I had to scrape the frost from my car. Have I ever mentioned that I despise this time of year? Well I do. I drove to the metro, parked, and went in.

As I got on the metro car I did a quick scan to see if there were any seats available. Nope. No big deal, it was only two stops. I have been battling insomnia this week and that is the only reason I can think of for why this next thing happened. The train started and I zoned out. I was like a fat baby in a warm car who was on the cusp of a lovely REM cycle. In a few seconds I realized that I was no longer holding the pole. I was holding a hand. I had gotten so relaxed and my gloves were so slippery that my hand slid down the pole and came to a rest on top of the guy's hand that was below mine.

He didn't even have to buy me dinner! How does one recover from that? You pretend like there's something REALLY interesting on your phone.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


My buddy came to this side of the country a couple weeks ago for a conference so I went and hung out with him for a day. We went to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and I loved it so much that it then inspired the day trip that Devon and I took the next week. 

This is in their memorial to 9/11. It is the top story of a tall building that overlooks the city and this part of the memorial has all of the names of the victims.

The original USS Constellation is docked there and is now a museum

There are signs guiding you to it and I was really excited to see the ship because my dad was stationed on the USS Constellation in San Diego. When we turned the corner and saw this I had to check my memory to make sure he was actually on it. Yes, he was, and the two now look VERY different.

The Inner Harbor has some really cool buildings and lots of amazing history

Oh hey, Judd. It was fun, buddy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of the flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love love?"

-Eugene O'Neill

motivation, please come back to me

Am I the only one struggling with motivation lately? Sheesh! My room is a mess,I haven't worked out in a looooooong while, and the thought of Christmas makes me physically shudder. Granted, I never really love this season until a few days before the actual event but I was told last night (ahem, Devon you're a gem) that I am EXTRA Scrooge McDuck this year.

What's so bad about wanting to lay around all day? Oh, I know the answer - you don't make any money and your thighs expand to the size of baby hippos. Not something I'm interested in presently. So who is going to share their tips on motivation with me? Other than paying for a 24 hour live in life coach, I will accept all wisdom you care to impart.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Visit Highlights

We had such a blast! Mom and dad left this morning but very few tears were shed because I'll be home for Christmas in a few weeks!

#1 place on my dad's list was Gettysburg and now I know why. It's fantastic! 

This is in front of a giant cyclorama in the museum at Gettysburg. This oil painting was done in 1883 and it depicts the charge during the battle that won it for the Union. We heart history in this family.

In Georgetown. Aren't they just the cutest?!?

At the American Art Museum. If you enlarge the photo you can see the Preamble on the plates

Mom dorking out over this Alexander Calder sculpture. After we took the picture and walked away then we saw the plaque that says "no touching or climbing on the sculpture".....oops

In the war exhibit in the American History Museum

Rachel the Riveter! I did really well on my first try! It said I was ready to work with Rosie 

At the Korean War Memorial

This little brazen squirrel wanted mom's strawberry scone

Vietnam War Memorial

Monument to the 56 signers of the Constitution
(totally one of my favorites)

Thanksgiving day was absolutely beautiful

I had a wonderful time having my parents all to myself. It was wonderful to share my love of my city with my two favorite people.