Thankfully, this morning started out MUCH better than yesterday. Woke up on time, lost weight, was able to close my pants....things were going smoothly. Right before I walked out the door, I decided to grab some bobby pins and pull my hair back. I thought I remembered seeing some in the top drawer of a small shelving unit in my bathroom next to the shower. On top of the shelving unit, I have a cluster of bottles and lotions...perfumes and nail and hair ties. I looked there first just to see if I had taken any out a few days before and laid them there. Nope.

So I opened up the top drawer, and removed the curling iron that was sitting on top of everything else. I put it in my left hand as I used my right hand to continue rummaging through the drawer. Somehow...I don't know how or why...but I dropped the curling iron, causing it to fall on top of my *neatly organized* collection of beauty treatments, sending bottles and jars flying. Unfortunately, one of those bottles happened to be my blood red bottle of nail polish. And even MORE cracked on the side of the shower before completely busting open IN the bottom of the shower. I stood there for a minute, just looking at the spray of red nail polish. I wasn't sure what to do. Try to wash some of it away with water? Grab some paper towels to get the globs up before they dry? Leave for work and pretend it didn't happen?

You may think those are all bad ideas...but I ended up doing all of them! I wasn't sure what to do, so I quickly turn the shower on, ran to get a paper towel to wipe the glops off the side of the tub, and then looked at the clock. I gotta go! I know I have fingernail polish remover somewhere in my apartment, it's just a matter of looking in the right box! And let's be honest...this is going to take a lot more than one bottle! The result of me turning on the shower to "wash it away" helped in getting rid of some of the globs, but ended up spraying the polish further down the tub. And me trying to wipe the side of the tub with a paper towel just streaked it out further. I turned off the shower, grabbed the glass out of the tub, and thought paint thinner! I wonder if paint thinner will help get this off! *Note to others - it didn't work :)

After I'd done all I thought I could do, and the damage was done, I took a step back to look at the big picture. And then I realized something. It looks like I just bled out in the shower. I sprayed "blood" by turning the water on, it now looks like my hand was covered in "blood" as I wiped the side of the tub. Chris is going to freak out when he sees this! He usually comes by my apartment during the day, and I certainly don't want him walking into my bathroom and thinking that I fell and hit my head this morning in the shower!! He's helping a friend from church move today, and I tried calling to tell him what happened, but I got voicemail, and he hasn't called me back. Oh well....certainly the fumes of fingernail polish will hit his nose before his imagination gets the best of him.

FYI: I'll take of picture of this scene before I clean it up tonight. It's horrible...and funny.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Which is the same side I always get out of, so I'm convinced I never should have gotten out of bed to begin with.

I usually try to get up between 7:00 and 7:10, but I didn't hear the alarm at all this morning. I got up closer to 7:20. FAIL

I bought some scar bandages for my knees last night to try to obtain a look for summer that's a little less scary. You're supposed to keep them on for a minimum of 12 hours at a time, and throwing back the covers revealed that they had come off in the middle of the night. FAIL

I stepped on the scale to weigh myself. I gained. FAIL

I got out of the shower, brushed my teeth, and put foundation and mascara on. Then I proceeded to get dressed, unable to complete the task of closing my pants. Which is when I began to cry. Resulting in my mascara streaming down my face. FAIL

I go to the refrigerator to grab my new container of apple slices for breakfast. Only to find it's a combination of apples and grapes. FAIL

It's a chilly morning, and I turn the heat on low in my car as I start driving to work. Which is when my broken back window falls down and lets the cool morning air in. FAIL

I get to work late and think nobody notices. Get a call 5 minutes later from a professor, asking about my tardiness. FAIL

Lucky for's only 9:44am, or this list would be longer. Can I go back to bed, please??
Maybe it's my one thousand, seven hundred and fifty fourth attempt to lose weight. I can't keep up. Regardless, here I go again! I'm a yo-yo dieter, no doubt about it. My body clings to calories as though I'm about to shrivel up in the desert...yet refuses to let them go when I'm well nourished. It's a frustrating cycle. The smell of pizza makes me gain a pound.

I've done it all. LA Weight Loss, Weight Watchers, the Lemonade Diet, Alli, Slim Fast, all-natural detox, a form of Atkins, equivalent to the 3-Hour name it! I remember the first major weigh loss investment I made. I joined LA Weight Loss after someone told me I couldn't lose the weight. It just lit my fire. So I paid, saw my counselor every week, and ended up losing 40lbs. Was that my final goal? Nope! But I felt so accomplished and happy with my progress that I stopped going. That also happened to be around the time I was introduced to the world of bread and cheese via my first trip to The Netherlands. Yummmm! Why hello my formerly lost 25lbs...I thought I'd never see you again!

I kept those added pounds on for the remainder of college and until I moved to Eindhoven for a year. Then magically, with a lack of funds to buy junk food, and no car....I lost 35lbs. Yay! So when I got back to the States in '08, I was 50lbs down from my all-time high, back at my high school weight, and feeling good! I can keep this going!

Or so I thought. Then came the slew of pounds and additional diet plans. Up 10lbs, down 5lbs. Up 20lbs., down 15lbs. *Boing boing boing* It wasn't until recently I realized my main problem. I've been told (and believe) that the only way a diet can be successful is if you are doing it for yourself, and not anyone else. And that's what I thought I was doing. But I really wanted to hear someone tell me at church how cute I looked...not how cute the purse or jewelry I was wearing was. And once I'm a week into a diet, and the cravings are coming in massive waves, I begin to realize that I love myself for who I am, and can't reason with myself the need to care what others think. I've always loved myself and who I am. And I think that's the biggest reason I haven't been hugely successful at staying on a diet plan (and keeping the lost pounds away).

But THIS time...*let me insert your disbelieving chuckle*....I'm focusing on my future. Realistically, I can't even consider getting pregnant at my current weight. And realistically, I need to be concerned about how my weight affects my muscle disease. And REALISTICALLY, it should take me between 6 months to a year to reach a healthy BMI. If I keep putting it off, I'll never be where I want to be.

So I'll update you with my progress as I go. Over the past 3 weeks, I've lost 10lbs....but I've got so many more to lose! Feel free to ask me randomly to make sure I'm on track. Comparison pictures will come after more progress has been made!
Someone PLEASE tell me the point of micromanaging?! My newest boss just came in and asked me to make a phone call to the Post Office on campus after he found out a package intended for him was sent back. After asking me to do so, he left my office to return to his. But the second I picked up the phone, he walked back into my office and scripted to me what he wanted me to say. Did that really do either of us any good? I thought you asked me to do it to save yourself time, but you might as well have gotten on the phone yourself and said what you wanted!

I shooed him out of my office, so I could finish the conversation in peace....but I really don't get it! If you aren't comfortable letting someone else do something for you, why ask them to do it at all? Someone who wants to be involved in every aspect of a decision should just not give the pretense of trusting anyone else with it. Otherwise, it's a waste of that person's time...right??

Or am I way off base here?
I hit the McDonald's drive-thru on my way to tutoring last night (for a grilled chicken breast, tomato slices, and apples, Sherri!), and was pleasantly surprised to receive a random compliment from the 17 year old handing me my food. I didn't consider it innappropriate, uncomfortable, or the awkward attempt of a teenager trying to make a move. It was just him being nice.

When I lived in Eindhoven, I did that myself. Once I got comfortable with the culture, the people, and found out for sure that I wouldn't come across as creepy or hitting on someone, I stopped random people on the street to compliment them. I remember one time in particular, Willemijn and I were walking back home from having dinner in the center. We had to walk down a street with restaurants covering both sides of the walkway, and due to the beautiful weather, a large majority of the customers were sitting outside. Usually I didn't look people in the eye, as I felt awkward enough walking down this "runway" with judges on either side. But this day I did. And there was a table with two guys, one of them on the phone, the other just relaxing. The one relaxing made quick eye contact with me, and he had the most stunning blue eyes I think I've ever seen. I thought he should know.

So I walked over to his table, excused myself, and asked him if he spoke English. He responded with "yes" (probably afraid I was about to ask for directions), and I continued to tell him that I thought his eyes were simply gorgeous. Then I smiled and walked off. I figure he's never been approached in that manner, and probably watched me in confusion as I walked away...but my intention was genuine. I just wanted to make someone feel good about themself without strings attached. He wasn't the first person I did that to, nor the last. I thought the worst thing they could think about me was that I was a crazy American. And that's not so bad.

But getting back to the states, interestingly enough, put a stop to that. Now I worry that any compliment I give will be taken the wrong way, so I reserve it for myself. People accuse each other of jealousy and feelings of lust that aren't there. Compliments are not well received. And it can't be written off as a "crazy American" way of life. My own confidence level in wishing others well is low. It sucks. Makes me want to be a foreigner again.
Chris had been planning my birthday surprises for several weeks beforehand. I feel quite proud of myself for not being as nosy as I usually am and trying to figure it all out ahead of time! Things at work were going to be slow on Friday, so I just decided to take the day off. No work, no alarm clock, and a day full of surprises. I was pretty excited.

He came over around 9 (surprisingly, I was awake at 8!), and made me pancakes for breakfast and gave me my first gift - a heated jacket! It's technically a jacket made for skiers, but we all know that a degree below 80 turns me frigid. All I've got to do is charge the battery up, then plug in "into" my jacket via a hidden pocket. I have a remote control in another pocket, and I'm good to go for 6 hours! Totally stoked about it!

I got ready after that, and we headed to my parents' house, where my sister and nephews had arrived the day before. We spent a couple hours there, just playing around and talking, before Chris took me to the matinee showing of "Date Night" (review to come!). Theater was quiet and fairly empty, and it was certainly nice not having to pay $9.00 a ticket. He had told me that we needed about 2 hours free between the movie and dinner, but didn't tell me what for. So after we got out of the movies, he announced that he was allowing me to have a mini-shopping spree for new clothes. Now we're talking! 4 stores and 2 hours later, I hadn't found anything great enough to purchase, but he told me I could continue my endeavor the next day.

Then...on to dinner! There is never any discussion or question about what I want to have for my birthday dinner. Carrabba's every time. I order the same thing, fall in love all over again with the same thing, and always looking forward to going back for the same thing . However, Chris got swordfish, which I was able to try for the first time! Scrumptious! He mentioned to the waiter that it was my birthday when I wasn't paying attention, so we got to split a free dessert without the embarrassment of the birthday singing attached. Especially nice!

The following day, he had planned to drive me to Raleigh for an "all-sushi" restaurant experience, but we decided to stay in Fayetteville for sushi, due to time constraints. Then my parents took me out for birthday lunch on Sunday, as well. I pretty much gained 6lbs over the course of those meals....but it was absolutely worth it! Year I come!
Forget being a secretary. Forget being a teacher. I want to be a movie critic! I just love, love, love movies! They can't come out soon enough for me! I think I get my expectations up too high before I watch a movie, though, because I've been really disappointed in the ones I've seen lately! I thought I would create my own "movie critic" list for those of you who haven't had a chance to see the following:
  • Princess and the Frog - Seriously? Everyone made a big fuss about this?? I don't get it! The storyline was nothing close to the book, I was not prepared to watch a movie about frogs running from alligators, and it was all a bit overdone for me. Not my favorite Disney film.
  • Where the Wild Things Are - I probably shouldn't be giving a review for this movie, because I fell ASLEEP after 30 minutes of watching it. Talk about a slow beginning! So it's quite possible this COULD have gotten better after the first 30 minutes, but I wasn't about to stay awake and find out.
  • Bounty Hunter - I had my expectations set high for this one. I really did. I love Gerard Butler as much as the next girl, and Jennifer Aniston has always been a consistent actress in my mind. Good movie, overall. I think it just dragged on too long for me. And the basis of the entire plot was a little cheesy.
  • Alice (NOT Alice in Wonderland) - HORRIBLE. I actually rented this one, thinking it was Johnny Depth's Alice in Wonderland, and I just couldn't take it. The movie is supposed to last over 2 hours, but after the first hour, I was done. Not worth your time.
  • Dear John - I loved it! I personally loved the actress, and I love John Tyree in anything. It was sweet, but not overly sappy. Sad, but not overly sad. I thought it had a wonderful balance for a romantic movie!
  • She's Out of My League - Cute. Funny. Didn't make a huge impression. I'm now having a hard time recalling the details of the movie, but I know I enjoyed it when I watched it. Not necessarily one I'll be dying to see again, though.
  • The Hangover - I was told this was a movie full of "guy humor", but I laughed my tooshie off! I loved the dry sense of humor and abundance of sarcasm played throughout this movie. It jumps around some, so you don't always know why one particular thing happened, but I prefer movies where the whole story doesn't come together until the end.
  • Valentine's Day - Cute. Again, not overly impressive. Not worth the 6 month build-up they gave it. Worth a dollar at the local theater. But don't see it if you get real attached to certain actors. They will certainly blow their "reputation" in this movie!
  • Law Abiding Citizen - Totally awesome! Loved EVERY second of it! It is full of action, unexpected twists, and will mess with your mind a bit. You have to think about every detail along the way, and will love how it all comes together in the end. A must see for everyone!
Okay. That's all for today. Next on my "to-watch" list are Date Night, How to Train Your Dragon, The Last Song, Our Family Wedding, Why Did I Get Married Too, and Alice in Wonderland - the real one! I'm going to go look into my future career now.
Fayetteville has got to be the #1 city with the worst drivers. GOT to be!! I can honestly say I feel I am putting my life on the line every time I have to get in my car to go from one place to another. Just this morning, I was driving to work and was approaching an intersection. The light turned yellow, but I felt I had plenty of time to get to the other side of the intersection before it changed to red. However, the dump truck in the opposite lane, wanting to turn left....saw the light turn yellow and ASSUMED I would slam on my brakes to stop for it. Despite the fact that my car did not hesitate in making the decision to stop or go, the dump truck began turning left, then forcing me to slam on my brakes, stop in the middle of the intersection...where inevitably, the light turned red. Nice. So now I'M in the middle of the intersection with a red light. (As seen in my lovely diagram above!)

I'm not typically a horn-blower. My hands are too busy gripping the wheel and gear shift to worry about finding the exact spot in the "center" of the wheel to blow the horn. My focus is on making sure I don't hit them, not relying on warning them not to hit ME! Maybe someday I'll be a better multi-tasker. And if I can get my mind past the idea that laying on a horn is another way of standing outside your car throwing curse words their way....I might do it. It just seems so rude to me. Probably because people will honk at you if your foot isn't on the gas pedal within a millisecond of the light turning green. Ughhh.

But beyond my frustration is the fear that I'm becoming just like them! There comes a point where you have be just as aggressive as they are to save your life. What? Wait in line for a turning lane? Why do that, when you can cut one of the first people off after the light turns green?! It'll save you at least a whole 30 seconds! Slowly change lanes to get across to make your left turn? That takes too much planning! Just throw the wheel in the desired direction and shoot across all four lanes at once, while slamming on your brakes to make the last minute turn. No problem! Welcome to Fayetteville, folks, and hold on for dear life!
I remember arguing in high school with someone about how I would never have a gun in my house. I found them to be dangerous, unnecessary, and unnerving to have in a house with children. Part of me still feels that way, I suppose. I know the old argument "Well you keep the guns locked up". Noooooo...those that keep them for safety will NOT lock them up, but keep them in a bedside drawer or within reach for security. I can't imagine someone hearing their house being broken into at night, and taking 5 minutes to stumble in the dark, looking for a key to a cabinet, to load a gun, to be prepared for an attacker. Unrealistic, right? So which is it....locked gun not used for safety? Or safety gun left unlocked? Once again...this rant has little to do with my post today! :)

For whatever reason, I have wanted to go shooting for the past few years. Blame the military town, starting to live on my own...I don't know. Just wanted to go to a shooting range and shoot a pistol. On Saturday, Chris told me that a couple at our church had asked our assistance with decorating the church for their vow renewal ceremony that day. So I got up early (for me...on a Saturday!), got ready, prepared my meals for the day, packed up the laptop for down-time, and prepared for a day of decorating and wedding fun! As we're nearing the church parking lot, I see that there is NO one there. And we're 20 minutes "late", so in my head, I'm getting mad that Chris got the time wrong, thinking I could have slept in an extra hour or so. But then he drives past the parking lot and says "Happy Birthday!". I shoot him the half dirty/half confused look and said "Huh? You got me up early for an early birthday present?" And despite his desire to keep it a "surprise" until we got there, I guessed that he was going to take me shooting, and he confirmed it.

He had borrowed a pistol from another woman in the church for me to shoot, and invited two other guys along - one to teach me how to shoot, and the other just for fun. I got more and more nervous as I got there. There were several men on the range, and it was ridiculously loud when I first walked in. But the hour flew by! I enjoyed it tremendously, learned a lot, and have the target paper for proof of my relatively good beginners' aim! Thanks for a fun early birthday present, babe! And was worth getting up "early" for!
At what point is someone given credit for doing all they can to be the better no avail? As a Christian, I am fully aware that I need to love others and be the best person I can be. But how does it work when you are dealing with other Christians who don't seem to share the same thoughts? It wears you down and gets discouraging after so many "bigger person" attempts. And then what?

My practice has been to make 2 grand gestures. And that's it. If they don't respond favorably to either gesture, then I give up. I get so angry at the lack of response, that I can't bring myself to make a third attempt. Mostly because I take it so personally. And I probably shouldn't. It's more than likely not about me...but I feel lost on what to do. The first thing I should probably change is expecting a response! I wish I could get my mind to wrap around the idea of giving without expecting acknowledgment in return. And by acknowledgment, I mean a slight change in the awkwardness that was prior to making my gesture. Not a gesture in return, not a hoopla big deal made...just a difference in attitude, I suppose.

Whatcha think?
I'm a firm believer in sincere apologies. Apologize only for what you are truly sorry for. I feel people have gotten to the point of using apologies to hurry up and end a discussion, rather than express their genuine regret for something they did.

My apologies are far and few between. I'm not "sorry you got hurt", "sorry if I did anything", "sorry things didn't work out".....and so on. I'm only sorry you got hurt if I'm the one who caused the hurt (I feel bad with you and can sympathize, but I'm not sorry). I CAN'T be sorry "if" I did anything, if I'm obviously not sure what I did. And for the most part, I believe things always work out for the best, even if you didn't get what you wanted. If you have no control over a situation, why are you apologizing? According to the dictionary, I'm wrong in saying those things. I just looked it up, cause I was curious.


adjective,-ri·er, -ri·est.

  1. feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to be sorry to leave one's friends; to be sorry for a remark; to be sorry for someone in trouble.
  2. regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorry situation; to come to a sorry end.
  3. sorrowful, grieved, or sad: Was she sorry when her brother died?
  4. associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.
  5. wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful: a sorry horse.
So...until I read that, I felt apologies for something that you have no regret for were considered insincere and meaningless. Apparently feels differently.

But I'm going to make my original point, anyway...cause I'm pretty stubborn like that. :) You won't ever hear me telling you that I'm sorry things aren't going your way. I reserve my apologies for the moments when I feel guilty inside and feel the need to repent with utmost sincerity. If I throw my apologies around at every bad thing that happens in life to you, how are you going to know when I'm truly sorry, or when it's just an automatic conversation piece?
I know my sister has a blog, but I feel this story may not make the headlines. However, I found it quite hilarious! I have today off work, so Chris and I took off yesterday at 5pm, to spend Easter weekend with her and her family.

If you haven't seen "Baby Mama", you might not truly appreciate the following conversation.

I'm sitting here at the computer, while Charity is cleaning out the crib, getting ready to put Matthew down for the night. Eric walks in and the following conversation ensues (keep in mind, Eric has never pooped in the potty):

Eric: (holding his finder up in the air) Wipe it off?

Charity: Wipe what off? What is that?

Eric: Wipe it off?

Charity: Wipe what? Is that poop? You didn't poop in the potty, did you?

Eric: Yesssssss!

Charity: You pooped in the potty?

Eric: Wipe it off?

Charity: (Looks closer at his finger and smells it). Well it smells like poop! Where did it come from? Did you poop in the potty?

Eric: Nooooooo!

At this point, she's just assuming the poop went in the potty for the first time without her knowing, and he was rewarded with the sixlets candy I've been getting in trouble all day for letting him have. I was just sitting here quietly, WAITING for her to take his finger and lick it, thinking it was another chocolate ball I sneaked him when she wasn't looking. Seems best she didn't!
It's the hardest thing for me to comprehend why my imagination cannot create vibrant, fun ideas for gift-giving (as mentioned yesterday), in coming up with unique opportunities to help others, or doing something artsy - like writing a song, or turning a blank canvas into a masterpiece.

No, imagination only works one way. And that is to turn the unknown into the worst possible outcome possible. While I struggle to be creative, my imagination has no boundaries when it comes to creating possible scenarios of why someone is late to meet me, and isn't answering their phone. Inevitably, the scenarios always lead to death. I convince myself of car crashes, carjackings, break-ins that lead to hostage situations, or even begin question the seriousness of our friendship in their absence. Why? I don't know. I can logically talk myself out of such non-sense for about 5 minutes at a time...then my mind sets on the "best" scenario and creates more details and a plan of action should that ACTUALLY be the case. Really, Amber?

But there's no controlling it. If my boss sends me an email saying he wants to meet with me, I think of everything that could go wrong. If a friend is mad, I imagine the worst and go in feeling like the enemy. It's a madhouse. The imagination is a twisted thing. Goodbye optimism, hello Twilight Zone!