Tuesday, April 29, 2008

3 Things Meme

I was tagged by Sarah over at Rose in the Making for this meme, and it's a quiet Tuesday afternoon, so why not?

3 places I go all the time:
* Starbucks (yeah, I know, big surprise there)
* the Library (for the free fast internet)
* Kohl's (I'm trying to cut back on the shopping, but they keep tempting me back with those extra 15% off coupons!)

3 people who email me:
* Dianna who I used to work with at KB Home, sends me lots of funny jokes and forwards
* my Grandma, who at 87 has mastered e-mail!
* Aunt Jo, who lately has been e-mailing updates on her 14-day Caribbean cruise (next time, can I come?)

3 favorite places to eat:
* Claim Jumper
* Mimi's Cafe
* Gino's East of Chicago (A pretty rare event, so local pizza until my next Gino's fix.)

3 places I would rather be right now:
* at the beach
* shopping (with my lottery winnings, or failing that, someone else's money)
* on vacation - anywhere!

3 Projects I'd like to get started:
* writing a new budget
* sewing baby gifts (a couple of which are WAY behind schedule)
* my worship planning assignment for church

3 people who will do this: (I either need to make friends with more people who blog, or I need to convince more of my friends to write blogs... these are all long shots!!)
* Sarah at Life in the Key of A
* Mom at Stampin' Janny
* Sara at Sara Goetz Photography Blog

3 TV shows I could watch over and over:
* Friends
* Frasier
* M*A*S*H (long story)

Book: The Wedding

I enjoyed this sequel to The Notebook so much that this entry marks my second reading of this book. I have decided it's time to clean off my bookshelves and pass on some books to others who might enjoy them more, but I couldn't let this one go without a second reading.

I've read nearly everything Sparks has written, and have enjoyed almost all his books. There were some things about this one I liked even more than the prequel, especially the the surprising plot line at the end. I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't read it, so I won't say more!

The Wedding
by Nicholas Sparks

Friday, April 25, 2008

I ate Sushi and lived

I know that title sounds pretty dramatic, but an adventurous eater I am not. So when my brother decided that he wanted to go out for Sushi to celebrate his birthday, he persuaded us that it would be really good and we wouldn't have to eat anything raw.

Not only did I survive, but the food was so good that I'm ready to go back tonight. And tomorrow night. And the day after that. By then, I'll be broke, but will have eaten some great food. I don't remember what any of it was called, but I did bravely try eel (very good) and tempura (fried) strawberries for dessert, which were amazing!

Too bad the our next family birthday isn't for 6 months. But it is my birthday, and my choice of restaurants... so sushi will get some serious consideration!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aunt Rebecca

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, we had an exciting family announcement this week: my brother and his wife are expecting their first baby later this year, and that means... I am going to be an aunt!!!

I'm so excited! I can't wait to spoil that kid rotten, buy cute clothes and do some babysitting. 2008 is definitely going to be an exciting year. Junior is due November 25, and I already can't wait to meet him or her. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am finding so much to be thankful for, and have at times been overwhelmed by the blessings that are being poured into my life right now. God is so good!! Here's the update on a few things...

* About half an hour after I posted about my lost driver's license, the phone rang. Someone had found it and was calling to arrange to return it to me. I lost it at the zoo, about 50 miles away, and he was even willing to mail it so I didn't have to drive down there to retrieve it. How cool is that??

* My taxes AND my grad school application both got in on time, in spite of my using up every minute until the deadline. (I know this is not "news," but I'm still grateful, and it IS Thankful Thursday after all!)

* I was surprised this morning to find that my GMAT score has been finalized, which means the score report is on its way to the university, at least 2-3 weeks ahead of what I was told to expect. My hope is that this will mean a quicker admissions decision. One can dream!!

* Here's the best one: I'm talking with someone about some part time work as a follow up to one of the calls I got last week, and it sounds like the perfect arrangement to go along with my grad school plans!

This all serves to remind me that there are no coincidences, only "God-incidents." I didn't make this up, I just heard it once and liked it! Thinking of things that way helps me to turn my gratitude heavenward, and be aware that God places so many fabulous blessings in my life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lost Identity

Lost my driver's license today. Don't worry, I still know who I am... I just hope I don't have to attempt to prove it to anyone else before I can get it replaced. And I was just thinking how much I missed having to wait in line at the DMV since I was able to renew by mail last fall. NOT.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Under the Wire

I have a love-hate relationship with deadlines. I love them because sometimes they will light my fire and get me motivated when I most need to be. I hate them because they are nerve-wracking, especially when something important is on the line. Like a grad school application.

My plan was to hand-deliver my application today, and my plans were postponed due to circumstances outside my control. (No, really, completely not my fault!) Thankfully, tomorrow is the actual deadline, so I can reschedule my delivery until then with no dire consequences. I just was hoping to be DONE today, so I could be rid of the gigantic knot in my stomach.

Some people get this way about taxes... which I do not since I started using software to finish mine. I'm just glad I'm getting a refund! And as I mailed mine return today, I thought (for the Nth year in a row): Since I'm getting a refund, why didn't I make the effort to send my return before every other procrastinator in the country showed up at the post office??

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Super Cool

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Starbucks. I do try to limit my consumption since my favorite beverages usually do run pretty close to the “fourbucks” nickname for the place. Not only is the coffee great, but these people are brilliant marketers and their sense of style and design is fabulous. Every time I walk in there, I want to buy one of the cute new mugs on display! And for a while, I saved my used-up Starbucks cards because they had such cool designs on them.

Around Christmas, they rolled out this new program where you can go online and design your own Starbucks card. Of course, I thought this was the coolest thing EVER, and immediately wanted one. REALLY wanted one. So, naturally when I received one as a gift last week, I was VERY excited. I blabbed about it to anyone who would listen, most of whom looked at me like I had 2 heads (one of which was clearly insane) and failed to see how “cool” and “fun” it was to create your own card. I did not let their enthusiasm dissuade me. I ordered my card and it arrived yesterday.

I designed it with a quote about friendship, because when I use it, I want to remember the sweet, thoughtful friend who gave it to me. Thanks, Sherri! I worked with Sherri at my last job, and I will miss her a LOT!

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 11, 2008

Whew! [Big Sigh of Relief]

I survived the GMAT! Yes! I'm a little mentally drained, but it went well, and for that I am thankful. Mostly, I'm just relieved it's over. Now if I can just get my taxes done in time, I can maintain my status as a law-abiding citizen.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick Thankful Thursday

Well, I'm knee-deep in studying, so this will be quick... but I wanted to at least post something today.

* My mom recently joined a Christian women's organization that exists to raise money for furthering higher education for other Christian women. On Sunday, a fellow member asked my mom if she knew of anyone who might be a good candidate for loans or scholarships. Hmmm... I guess it took her about a millisecond to come up with my name.

* Twice this week (TWICE – I can't get over this!) I was called with information about possible job opportunities. This is especially remarkable because although I've done some surfing through ads for openings, I have not actively applied to any positions yet. God is good!

* A practice test this week indicated my score is likely to be in the range of those candidates accepted to San Diego State. All I want is to do my best, and have the resulting score be within that range, and I am encouraged by the practice test results.

* Today, I am a bundle of nerves... test is 24 hours away!! But I'm trying to look on the upside: this much stress must burn a few calories, right?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cost vs. Benefit

I'm two days away from taking the GMAT to get into grad school. That big orange book is getting a bit dog-eared, and I've got more math formulas swimming in my head than I have since high school final exams.

I'm remembering that feeling that used to come over me at finals time: with limited hours to study, how to realize the greatest benefit? If three hours of study are likely to increase my grade by 10% in one class but by 25% in another, and I have only 4 hours total to study... how should I divide the hours? Obviously I've been reading too many word problems. But if you know how fast Susie can get from city A to city B given that her hybrid gets 53 mpg and is yellow, give me call!

Friday, April 4, 2008

On the Road Again

Actually, it's more like "in the air again." Yep, the traveling bug got me again, and I'm planning my next adventure... I'm going to Iowa!! Yippee!!! I've been to Iowa before, so I can honestly say that it isn't the most exciting place I've ever visited, but this trip will be special because I will get to see some good friends in IA and MN, that I haven't had the chance to see in a long while. Then I'll meet up with a bunch of my family who will be celebrating my cousin David's graduation from college.

If you live out that way... order me some good weather, would you?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This morning, I was sitting at my desk enjoying a few quiet moments, and in a pause of thought, looked up at my bulletin board. I blogged about this in January, it's the place where I display all the photo cards I receive at Christmas, and add the ones throughout the year. This year, it's very, very full, and as I looked at the dozens of faces there smiling at me, I was reminded how fortunate I am to have each and every one of those people in my life. I have been abundantly blessed!

The board includes a lot of young faces these days. I am now watching the children of my far-flung friends grow up in Christmas cards. In a perfect world, you would all live in my town and we could meet regularly to visit and catch up, but since God has led each of us to cities miles apart, I treasure the snapshots you've sent. They remind me not only of my blessings, but also to pray for you.

I don't know if it's because I am older, or because I pay more attention, but it seems there is so much brokenness in the world. Last week, friends of mine wrote to say that their mom was diagnosed with cancer and had begun a difficult fight to beat it. Another friend lost her mom recently, a dear lady and someone who was special to me, too. Some friends have children who have faced health or other challenges. I guess it's freaking me out enough that my friends' parents are starting to struggle with age, and it's doubly hard to watch the kiddos have to bravely fight such grown-up challenges.

Through it all, though, you have shown the most incredible bravery and found renewed and strengthened faith. Somehow, when the way is hardest is when our faith is greatest. I've been there, and in situations not as difficult. I thank you for sharing your stories of faith with me, for being so honest about your fears and struggles, but also testifying to God's faithfulness that brought you through.

God is Good. My bulletin board is proof of that.