Monday, February 27, 2012

Home from the hospital

Just wanted to do a quick update for my blogging family on how I've been doing. Not so good...but things are looking better. In a nutshell, I spent the wee hours of the morning and mid morning in the hospital. I had very bad lower abdominal pain which apparently is the result of a bladder infection that got inflamed and traveled up to my kidney, giving me a kidney infection.

It was not a fun morning, especially for a needlephobe like me, and the nurses decided to make me a pin cushion in an attempt to get blood drawn from me. I have two 'attempts' that look like a vampire bite on the inside of my elbow and then finally they had to have the doctor give me the nasty IV lead in the back of my hand so he could draw it from there...most painful IV I've ever had!! That doctor needs a lesson in being gentle but judging by his needle skills, he's only had jousting lessons! They kept me for a few hours to get the blood results back and to make sure I wasn't having an appendicitis. Thank goodness I had a horde of people praying that it wasn't an appendicitis, so *whew!

Anyway, I am exhausted and so is poor Branden, who is battling the nasty cold that I gave him on top of it. So we are off to bed but we have to say that we have amazing friends here. I will sing of their praises and give you more details about my morning later but for now, I am going to crash......

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I'm going to take the brief moment of mental clarity in order to announce that I am alive...but not well. I got hit hard with a cold that completely wiped me out and has left me in bed since Monday. I hardly have a voice, I have no energy, and I even had to take a nap after my shower because the 10mins of standing was too much for me. Branden's enjoying the lack of voice part and he's been really productive with his school work despite having to take care of all the meals, tea, and whatnot. I haven't seen much in the way of getting better but this morning I finally woke up without a pounding head and I've only blown my nose a few times instead of practically burning though tissue like I have been.

Wow, this one paragraph took me a good 15mins and I feel exhausted so I'm not sure if I'll be able to make a start on my backlog of blog reads. I hope you all are well and oh, *brain function!* I just noticed it's Thursday so Janie over at Janie Junebug's Journal (a private blog) is featuring my answer to her questions "What is love? What is intimacy?". You can request permission to her site by emailing her at:

Her blog is wonderful so you would be very blessed to be part of her readers! I certainly have!

There, so technically I have written a blog post, it's just not here and you have to go to Janie's to see it. For those who haven't seen it yet, I wrote a second post in my new blog on Saturday. You can check it out HERE. I think I need a nap now...and it's not even noon...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Do not attempt to lick your doesn't work

Looks like Paige Kellerman is trying to fatten some of us up as her prego belly grows because look what she gave to me!

I see your plot Paige, but seriously, I think I now have a sore throat from licking who knows what germs off of my computer screen...and I didn't even taste a hint of strawberry!

If any of you are crazy enough to not know who Paige Kellerman is, then perfect, more readers for me! click on one of the links above and discover why she is my favorite pregnant mommy with twins. And that means she is pregnant AND already has under 2 year old twins (see, that already classifies her as crazy so you know her writing must be hysterical!)

With this award comes rules: Give 7 random facts about myself and pass the award on. Simple enough!

1. I have a new blog and it's officially launched as of yesterday! (ok so most of you probably already know this but I've got to get a plug in while I can!) If you haven't done so yet, go check out my first post in With a Meek Heart.

2. When I lived in my cute little 2 bedroom duplex in the States, I was so desperate for a cat (and couldn't have one since I was renting) that I would buy cat food and put it in a dish on the back deck. A few neighbor cats would come by regularly, and then a cooky black cat showed up. I never found out if anyone owned her, but I called her Pandora, and she had the biggest green eyes I had ever seen. Then a family of 5 nasty raccoons discovered my cat food dish and that ended that. Pandora still came by to visit though.

3. I had huge rosemary bushes around the front of that duplex, but the raccoons liked to have sex in them, so I am very much put off by rosemary and would never pick any.

4. I was allowed to get a guinea pig in the duplex. I found a family that was trying to find a home for theirs, and I knew she was for me when she peed on my lap as soon as I held her! I called her Lucy, and we had some good times before I gave her to another family with guinea pigs before we moved to Scotland.

5. My living room in that house was all Asian decorated. My first Christmas in the house, I actually created an Asian decorated Christmas tree. The topper was a trio of big fans, I had little Japanese lantern ornaments, fan ornaments, Asian coins, and I made a garland out of colored wooden beads with symbols on them that were originally bracelets. It was pretty cute!

6. I know I have mentioned this in the past, but for all the newer people since, I have a fear of goats. Little ones and babies are ok but the adults creep me out! Their eyes are so creepy and I just get the willies around them.

7. I never, ever, ever want to go to Australia. If a country is filled on land and in sea with creatures that are poisonous and/or want to kill you, then it's not a country I ever want to visit (HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIZE OF THEIR SPIDERS!?!). New Zealand on the other hand, would be fantastic!

There ya go, my 7 things. So now to pass this award on!

She has been a friend of mine since middle school, and I was ridiculously in love with her brother at that time (yes, he was younger than me too)...she even made me a paper mache figure of his foot as an inside joke! Anyway, she is one of the most irresistibly sweet, funny, and brilliant (she's almost a doctor!), and I would give almost anything to have another slumber party with her:
Alicia: A Journey of the Mind, Body, and Spirit

If this next lovely lady wasn't already sweet and wonderful, then I could have just given her the award simply on the adorableness of her daughter's Valentine's Day outfit! A bazillionaire fashion designer couldn't have created a cuter outfit! So this next award goes to the incredible wife, mommy, and career woman:

This third award goes to a very special woman who I have learned a lot from these past few months of reading her blog. She now has a private blog, so you will need to email her for access, but she's so worth it! Her thought provoking Monday questions, series on what is love and intimacy, and learning from her own journeys through depression and anxiety have been a true gift to me. and I love her to bits! Her naughty side is Lola, but I've come to know her more as:
Janie Junebug: you can email her for permission to her blog

So there you have it! Enjoy these blogs over the weekend and I'll see you all next week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Here!

Finally the day has come! My new blog With a Meek Heart is officially launching today! If you are all about a good laugh and light hearted fun then Padded Cell Confessions is most likely what you will prefer, but if you like soul searching and looking into the heart of someone, then With a Meek Heart would be more up your alley. Some of you will like both and some of you will only like one. That's fine by me; that's why I thought it best to separate the two.

My first post can be read HERE

As Tuesday was Valentine's Day and Wednesday was my busy day with the girls, I am extremely behind in all of your blogs. Branden has a lot of work to crack down on for the next couple of days so I should be able to catch up with all of you by the weekend!

We had a good Valentine's Day which we started off by going to see The Muppets! It was so good and we absolutely loved it! Then we headed to a burger place for lunch and then headed off to the grocery store to pick up some chocolate and a bottle of wine. We planned on making up some pork chops, Branden's famous mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts for dinner since going out to dinner is just too expensive here. Later in the afternoon, we were loungy so we watched a classic Cary Grant movie "His Girl Friday". It was funny and very good, plus it was just nice to snuggle up under the comforter and watch a classic romantic comedy on Valentine's Day. We were able to have all day together (except for the first part of the morning when Branden had Latin class) and we loved just being able to kick back and practically do nothing! It was a great day.

One of our engagement photos taken by our friend Kim Logan of Fleur De Lis Photography

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thanks for the Memories

It's Valentine's Day! Branden and I are going to be headed off soon so I should make this short. I wanted to share another bundle of Valentine's Day memories that are blessed to exist in my mind because of my dad. Every year for a long, long time, he cooks a special Valentine's Day dinner for his girls. This includes my mom, my sis, myself, and my Granny (mom's mom) since she has been widowed for over 20 years. Dad goes all out to spoil us and typical dinners include lobster, steak, his specially bbq salmon, king prawns, a big tossed green salad, garlic bread, and then something absolutely decadent for dessert. He dresses the table to look all nice and makes sure that we don't lift a finger. My sis and I won't be there for this year's feast but Dad will do it anyway because he still loves to spoil his girls and mom and Granny are well worth spoiling.

Happy Valentine's Day Dad! Thank you for all of the wonderful memories and I can't wait for when I get to enjoy another one of your feasts some day!

Another thing that I wanted to note is that I will be officially launching my new blog "With a Meek Heart" on Thursday (so just 2 days away!!!). I'm very excited and can't wait to get it started because so much has been happening and I've been learning so much!

Happy Valentine's Day and mark your calendars for Thursday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fun with friends...and Elmo

What a fun weekend! I hope you all had a good one because mine was great, and I'm totally going to brag it up now on how great it was! Saturday I suppose wasn't the greatest part, since Branden had to work, but it was still good because I went into town to meet him for lunch. It was raining, and since he works in basically a covered farmers market there is no break room for him to eat in, so we went across the street to a coffee shop. They have a "tea for two"deal which is cheap and means we can sit inside while Branden eats his lunch and we sip tea. We then headed to the grocery store since our fridge shelf (that's right, we only have one shelf since our fridge is shared) was looking bare. Branden's lunch hour came to a quick end and he then gave me some cash so I could go to the butcher's BY MYSELF (take THAT social anxiety!) and get some pork chops, ground beef, and turkey sausages. I did just fine, and even had a lovely conversation with the lady at the butcher stand where we get our mince and sausages! Then I headed home and made a big pot of chili! Branden came home and we had a relaxing night but were all excited for the next day because we were meeting up with friends.

Sunday was an 'early' start for me. I even asked Branden if he was sure it was healthy for people to get up at 8am; he kind of laughed and didn't take me seriously. I still have my doubts about 8am but I did get right out of bed because I was excited for the day! We were headed to the "early" service of church, the 10am service, because we were leaving right after with our new friends that moved here from the States about a month ago. This is the woman that was just over a couple of weeks ago because she's pregnant, had a kidney stone, AND had to see kitties having sex in our back garden! Her and her husband live way out of town so they drove us out to their house for Sunday lunch, and 3 other couples, all friends of ours, were invited as well. We had a ball! The house they are staying in is AMAZING with a tub that you could bathe a cow in! I have never seen such a big tub in my entire life! We spent the entire day with them and then caught a ride with our other friends who have the sweetest, most adorable little 1 year old boy. I got to babysit him last week for just a couple of hours and he is the most easy going baby! His parents are pretty laid back as well and are such a fun couple. All of the couples that were there yesterday are incredible, fun, and we all get along so well. Branden and I were taken in so warmly and quickly, and now we all get to do the same for this 'new' couple from the States. Although they don't feel new really; they fit in as if they have always been here.

Today for your music, I have to share a good parody video. I found this for my nephews since I know how much they love dance music and Elmo. If you haven't heard the original song "I'm Sexy & I know it" ....well, I wouldn't necessarily suggest looking up the original video. I ended up watching most of it through my fingers because, despite living in Europe, I can't take that many images of men in speedo things. Elmo has my vote for the better video!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Silly Grandpa!

My grandparents are highly entertaining, and my Grandpa is easily the quirkiest of the 3 grandparents that I have left (my other grandpa died when I was 6).  He can't get his words strait and either makes up a new word or just replaces it with one that doesn't even come close to matching. 
Example:  He and Grandma went over to some friends' house for dinner.  When they got there, they knocked on the door.  Nobody answered so they knocked again; still no answer.  Finally after a while, the people answered the door and Grandpa said, "Man, I was getting worried.  Thought I was going to have to burst in and perform artificial insemination!"  Poor Grandma wanted to die!  Respiration, insemination...what's the difference!?!
Grandpa also does some things that are poorly thought out, but luckily they end up to be pretty funny.

Example:  They have a large gravel parking area next to the house and it gets a lot of leaves in the fall.  Grandpa has a leaf blower, but he has to stand and walk around with it...too much work! So he got the brilliant idea to use his riding lawn mower so then he could just sit back and blow away those leaves with ease! Not too bad of an idea until Grandma came screaming out of the house because he managed to break the bathroom and bedroom windows with the gravel that also inhabits the parking area!  Then Grandma noticed that he also broke out a back window of their car!  He was in soo much trouble that you would think he'd have learned his lesson...oh no.  Next year he did it again, and broke out the same windows!  I think Grandma might have taken the lawn mower away from him...we can only hope!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Now this is talent!

I don't have anything humorous to report. For the most part, I have been feeling not so great. I'm pretty sure it's my winter allergies finally kicking in and after 2 days on allergy meds, I am slowly feeling better.

I am excited to share this music video with you all today though! Noelle has been part of Branden's circle of friends for a long time. She has a fabulous voice and the band Branden was in, used her for some songs for backup vocals. Also, she is a very gifted photographer and I think her video really shows her artistic side as well. She's a sweetie and she just had her birthday (yes, she's very young!) so what an accomplishment in her life! I can't wait for more! This song will be available in the next couple of days on Amazon and iTunes but for now, the only place to get it is from Bandcamp HERE

Noelle, your song is amazing, catchy, and I hope it goes viral! I love how creative your video is and I loved seeing everyone at the end! It makes me a bit homesick. For all my readers, feel free to email it, share it on facebook, and just pass it around! Let's help get her music out there!

Oh, and the video was shot in the area I grew up in...just wish I would have thought about running across those big hay bales! That looked like fun!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday blog lovin

I swear, I haven't been drinking (it's only noon!!) but I love you guys! I discovered the joys of blog family back in 2005 when I first started Padded Cell Confession on MSN Spaces (which no longer exists). Some of my past readers are still in my life and I have "seen" them find love, get married, and have kids all via the world we are family in, the internet. I love that I still have them as part of my life and it makes me feel good because I know that if for some reason I had to stop blogging I would have a lot of you who would stay in my life.

I have watched my views and followers climb up and up over the months, despite the fact that I have stopped actively trying to draw in new followers and even stopped looking for new blog reads. This does not mean that I don't appreciate new followers or new blogs that I happen to run across, but I miss the days when I could easily read everyone's blogs, comment back on every comment, and make new connections with new people. For me, it is quality and not quantity. I feel bad when I'm days behind in reading your blog posts and especially feel bad when a new person leaves a comment and I never get around to checking them out and adding them to my existing blog family. I feel like I'm loosing the personal touch, and I hate that feeling. I like having a successful blog but I don't want to be a big blog where I get 500 comments from all sorts of random people who I feel I'll never get a chance to get to know. Does this all make sense??

Anyway, I am sorry that I have been very neglectful this week but life is picking up a lot over here and I'm discovering more and more how I'm part of it. Not having a job is actually fantastic because I am free to just be available for people. I just wish I had as much time with my online people as I do my physical world people. Last week, one of my favorite, hilarious online people gave me an award! If you haven't checked out The Ginja Ninja yet then you should do so now, before I sick a horde of flying monkeys on you!

Of course, we all know that with blog awards comes rules. My rules aren't too bad actually. I just have to tell you 5 random things about myself and then pass it on to 5 other blogs. Simple enough!

1. I went to the store, by myself, for the first time this week since moving here last March! This may sound absolutely ridiculous to some of you, but my social anxiety would keep me from going to stores by myself when I lived in the town I grew up in for 25 years! When I went to the store this week, I had no fear, no worries, and I survived! It's a huge exciting step for me.

2. I ate a dried caterpillar last week. We have a new housemate from Botswana and he has two big bags of caterpillars that have have their guts squeezed out, been boiled in salt water, and then dried in the sun. They tasted like soy nuts with a hint of jerky, and he told Branden and me to help ourselves.

3. I still have a little Christmas display set up on my dresser. I need to get around to putting it away but I've been lazy in getting around to it. I currently have Christmas decorations stored in 3 different countries. A couple of boxes are in my parent's attic, a little tree and decor is stashed away with the neighbors we had in Scotland (they are saints for holding our stuff!!), and then we have our decorations here in Ireland. Maybe this is a world should be odd enough to be!

4. I am a "missionary". This is a word that turns people off right away and I am not a huge fan of how it is thought of now days. We aren't affiliated with a certain church, denomination or organization. We aren't handing out Bibles or literature or just talking to random people in the streets about God. We think that being a missionary is a way of life that is to be seen and not necessarily heard. This is why I'm separating my Padded Cell Confessions blog from my new blog. If someone wants to read more about my beliefs then they can, but if they don't then they can just stay here and have a laugh.

5. This leads me to my last thing. My new blog has a name! I am very grateful to all of you for your input. Sadly a lot of them were taken, but you got me looking into a different direction than I had before. I dug into my Bible and came across a great description of my life: "and blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." Matt. 5:5

Yes, this does sound terrifying for a meek person like me, but I actually read it a bit differently. I have met more people from around the world since living here than I ever did living in America for 25 years. This meek, anxiety ridden girl has found the world open up to her in ways she never imagined, so I see this verse as perfect. Unfortunately, "Blessed are the Meek" is a clothing design company in Australia, so I slept on it and came up with: With A Meek Heart
It should be fully launched by next week, so for those that are interested in a different side of me, you won't have to wait much longer.

Now to pass on the 5 awards. I have some people who are newer to my blog family, so I'm passing most of the awards on to them in order to learn a bit more about them (plus they are fabulous!) and the rest of the awards to bloggers that I've known a while and would love to learn more about.

Dave: Cimba7200's thoughts: He's been part of my blog world for a long time but I would love to get to know him more! Dave is in New Zealand and has incredible photographs that make you itch to book plane tickets!

From the heart of Alicia Marie: She recently wrote a blog post on things about her, but I loved them and want more! Her conversations with her husband make me crack up and think about Branden and my conversations! She has a way with her humor and also a way to tug at anyone's heartstrings as she goes through her personal battles.

Rachel Whitley: Wordstream: After reading her post about a beloved cat she had, I knew we were kindred spirits. She's a fantastic writer and really knows how to describe pure emotion with just words.

RCB English Class: He's blue and sarcastic, what's not to love?? He leaves me hilarious comments and I love reading his way of looking at things. Oh and I believe he's taking his blog readers to Bora Bora  ;)

Scope-Tech: Just the fact that he shared the horror of a Walgreens selling sushi in Chicago was enough for me to realize that we had similar world concerns! His fun little video clips he finds and shares are great little additions to my day as well.

So that is my award sorted and my new blog almost sorted! I am excited about Monday because I have a friend from my hometown who put out a fantastic music video recently! She has the voice of an angel and her video is so professional! I'm very proud of her and I look forward to sharing it all with you on Monday! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh the horrors!

So as I mentioned in my last 'non-post post', I had a friend, Marcie, over all day to make sure she wasn't by herself as she's going through a kidney stone while being pregnant. I should note that being pregnant means any pain relief she can have from her kidney stone would only come in the form of Tylenol because the prescription pain killers are too strong for baby...also note that I would have DIED if I had to 'get by' on Tylenol. She will probably laugh her way through childbirth after this ordeal!

Anyhoo, we had a such a fun day! She came over for lunch and I made pizza puffs, broccoli salad and then later when our other friend stopped by for a visit, I sent us all into a chocolate coma by making my mug brownie AND shoving half a Toblerone triangle down the middle of it! Oh My Heavens!!! After our visiting friend left, Marcie and I went into my room and sat on the bed to chat. Branden was sitting at the desk laughing along with us when all of a sudden, I got really excited! Out the bedroom window, I saw not just one, but two kitties, run along my back garden wall!!! Marcie by then, had heard all about my "I want a pet!!" moaning so she wasn't too surprised as I squealed like a little girl seeing Disneyland for the first time. This is how it went:

Me: EEEEEEE!!!! There are TWO kitties!! They are so cute!!
Marcie: Awwww, how sweet!
Me: *bouncing up and down excitedly on the bed a bit and still squealing
Marcie: Wait, what's that one doing??
Me: Uh....
Marcie: Is it trying to eat it?
Me: Oh my goodness!
Marcie: It's biting it's neck!
*one kitty proceeds to 'mount' the other kitty as we are watching, now in horror!
At this point, I jumped off the bed, threw the window open and yelled: NO HAVING SEX IN MY BACK YARD!!
The naughty kitties ran away...probably to find a more secluded bush...

Branden was at the desk so he couldn't actually see out our window, but he got to watch our faces the whole time and he was laughing at us so hard! Needless to say, I've got my 'kitty fix', the neighbors need to get their kitties fixed, and I probably laughed off that amazing mug cake because it just got sillier when her husband came over from work for dinner. We'd never met him before and we fed the poor guy a giant dried caterpillar (story about THAT soon to come!) and at one point he looked at me and asked, "Who are you people???". I'm pretty sure he enjoyed himself though as we all were just a barrel of laughs all night.