Thursday, March 29, 2012

Did I forget to mention...???

Branden's birthday is tomorrow and today feels like we've started the celebration early! The sun is glorious and we've had a picture perfect day so far...quite literally actually. We met up with 2 of my girlfriends (my other sister wives) as Ciara, the one with the cutest boy in all the land, was taking maternity photos of Marcie in the lovely park by our house. Since Branden turned in the paper he's been slaving over for the past couple of weeks, he and I met them in the park to visit and help if we could. It was fun and we laughed a lot!

Afterwards, Branden and I headed up to the University to go to the gallery and cafe for lunch. The cafe was fabulous and I was actually surprised at how reasonable the prices were for Cork! Going out to eat is ridiculously expensive here so I was shocked at what all we got for just under 9 euros a meal. I had a seared tuna salad with roasted red peppers, hard boiled egg, green beans, roast potatoes, and a tomato dressing. Branden got a teriyaki duck salad with candied pecans, roast peppers, red onion, papaya, and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was amazing and we were able to sit outside and bask in the sun. We have received birthday money so this little splurge was such a wonderful treat!

Tomorrow we are going to Waterford to see the cathedral, town, and museum. Technically Branden will be using the trip for study purposes but we've also been wanting to go so it will be fun for his birthday. We have reservations for dinner in town and are really looking forward to the day. The weather is also supposed to be just as nice so we couldn't ask for anything better!

I mentioned in my last post about getting ice cream in the park. We took a photo of the two of us with our cones but it's a little wonky...Branden's eyes are closed and I look like I'm wearing a lovely steeple hat.

I've also had the crafting bug lately and made a couple of needle felted rings yesterday. The beads are sewn on.

 The band is needle felted so it's a little stretchy and comfy.

I am slightly nervous that I look like a British sympathizer with this one but oh well, it's cute! 

For a first time at making rings, I think I did fairly well. Wearing felted things isn't typically my style but I actually think I like these...I've been wearing the first one all day! I also made a needle felted elephant toy for my girlfriend's daughter who recently turned 2. It turned out pretty cute and it actually didn't take me as long as I thought!

Some cheesy posing 

Cute little fluffy tail 

He was fun to make and I am quite happy with how he turned out. Well, we have a skype date with Branden's parents so I'm off for now. I am way behind in blog reads this week since the weather has been insanely nice and I've been trying to be part of it. Hopefully I'll catch up next week when temperatures are supposed to get back to normal. Have a wonderful weekend! We sure will with Branden's birthday celebrations!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Irish summer is basically here!

The weather has been fantastic and should keep up for at least the rest of the week! Although my allergies keep trying to convince me that I don't like this dry, sunny weather, I have called it a big fat liar and coughed in it's face! Take that! Yesterday was fabulous as I met up with 2 of my girlfriends. One has a 1 year old boy, who is the cutest thing in the land, and the other is almost 1 month away from her due date. I said we looked like a group of sister wives and I appeared to be the unloved one...

Today has been even nicer outside and Branden and I even took a break to go to the park by our house. There is almost always an ice cream truck at this park so when we saw the Mr. Softie van, we looked at each other with excitement. (NOT what she said!) This was a different ice cream truck than the normal one that scours our neighborhood. This is a good thing as we were pretty much convinced that the other truck was a drug dealer as he would loudly jingle through the streets at 8:30 at night, long past dark, and in the dead of winter...crack cream cone anyone? I hear the Meth with chocolate chip is to die from!, for...

I will be posting about my birthday fun but Branden is hogging his computer (how selfish of him!) which has all of our photos and videos on it from the day. I probably need to take some time to continue to calm down from the experience because I TOTALLY GOT 3 FEET FROM A LEMUR!!! I don't think a 4 year old girl meeting all the Disney princesses could have been as excited as I was! There was some serious flipping out going on and the photos of me as the day progressed had me looking more and more crazed with a questioning look on my face as if to say to Branden, "Can we put a kangaroo in your backpack??" Sadly, no animals were smuggled out in the process of our visit but we got some great shots and some great videos. I really want to upload a video and share it where Branden and I are looking at a baby monkey. Our conversation is completely normal for us but to the general audience, we would sound like a couple of nutters who should not be allowed out in public.

Even though today is Tuesday, I am sharing something under "Music Monday" because it's too hilarious to pass up! I love hounds and I love towheaded kids playing harmonicas so this was just brilliant! I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Branden wins

So my upcoming doom  birthday is on Saturday. Branden, because he's only turning 25 this year he's sweet and wonderful, has been trying to convince me for the past week that I can actually have fun and enjoy my birthday. He really wants to make it something special and I tried to explain that it's like a big pile of rhino poop and no matter how you dress it up, it's still rhino poop...28 piles actually. But since my husband is amazing, he found exactly what to do to make me squeal in glee: he planned for us to go to a wildlife park! I, unlike Paige Kellerman and Joshua, love zoos, animal parks, or just chasing the stray cats that run on my back garden wall. And you all really need to click on Paige's name because it takes you to a hilarious post she wrote about the horrors of the zoo, which usually would make me instantly befriend her and cry over the lack of love for such a magical place made me laugh my pretty little head off!

Anyway, I have a Street Pastor's meeting on Saturday morning, which I am really excited about and will be blogging about on my other site With a Meek Heart soon. Breakfast will be provided and I will get to meet up with our current team members, who are all amazing people, and others who may become part of our team. Branden has to work in the morning so we plan to get lunch afterwards then catching the train out to the wildlife park. It's on an island only a 15 min train ride away so I'm excited! We will come back and go out to dinner so it really pains me to say it should be a good day!

Tonight I have a big feast with a big group of my friends as we celebrate our friend Marcie's parents visiting from Mississippi! It will truly be a feast as Marcie's parents are cooking for know how that Southern hospitality is! It will be a great night, even if we will be missing two very loved members of our 'group'. Marcie's husband Zack is away for business and Linda who is away in India right now, but she is having a good time and I can't wait to hear her stories when she comes back! We will already have plenty of stories from our other friends who will be giving us their tales from their recent trip to Siberia. It's amazing the places you can go when you follow God's call in your life..we wouldn't be here if we hadn't.

Last night, my fabulous American house mate took me out for a birthday drink since she will be gone over the weekend. She only got here a few weeks ago and she only has a couple of weeks left in the house but she has been a wonderful addition to the house. She even started a blog when she got here! You can check it out HERE. We went to a cozy little pub and had a nice time, enjoying good Irish beer and cider.

I posted on my other blog yesterday. It was a post I did for Janie (a private blogger and you can request access to her blog by emailing answering her question of "What is love and intimacy". Feel free to take a peek HERE. With Branden being so busy studying all the time, all I can think of for that question right now is this:

I miss my husband and I think that's probably why I'm so excited about Saturday. My birthday doesn't matter; I get to spend time with the man that means more to me than anyone else in the could I not have a wonderful day?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pirates, witches, and PRIZES!!

Elisa over at Crazy Life of a Writing Mom has published yet another book! I laughed and cried through her first book The Golden Sky, which if you haven't read yet, you absolutely must get it now! This newest book, The Sword of Senack is her first fantasy novel and I can't wait to read it! Here's a little taster of the plot:

Aliya Fisher knows nothing about her true heritage until a vindictive sorceress kidnaps her brother and sister. The young adventurer must take up her birthright, battle eerie creatures, and find the Sword of Senack if she hopes to best the witch. But even if Aliya finds the famed weapon and survives the perilous oceanic journey, the enchantress is far more than she appears. How does one defeat an immortal who lusts for revenge? 

Now you know why I'm so excited to read it! Go over to Elisa's blog NOW by clicking HERE for more details about the book (including an excerpt from the book which is fantastic!) and a couple of prizes including a Kindle Fire!

Monday, March 19, 2012

First St. Paddy's Day in Ireland

We moved to Ireland about a week after St. Patrick's Day, so Saturday was our first time celebrating it here. There were reports that the weather would be bad but the morning was glorious. We started the day by making German pancakes (note: I do not know the blogger from who's blog I got the linked recipe from) and they were amazing! A parade was set to take place in Cork at 1pm, so we trekked into town to claim a spot along the street. The parade was wonderful! I love how it wasn't commercialized like most US parades that I am used to. Some of the floats were made out of cardboard and they were brilliant! As soon as the parade ended past us, the heavens opened up and chucked down rain and hail on us. Branden and I cuddled under an umbrella and waited for it to pass, which it did in about 5 mins.

If you look closely, you can see the rain/hail pelting down.

Since we were in town, we decided to check out any sales in town. We haven't been clothes shopping since we've been here, and with Branden loosing a ton of weight, he was starting to look like a well dressed, white rapper since his clothes hung off of him. We were pretty successful, and I even got a cute top for 1 euro! My jaw about hit the floor to see Branden step out of a dressing room in jeans that fit him and a shirt that fit as well...I almost thought he was the shop model! After walking and standing for about 6 1/2 hours, we headed home, crashed for a bit and then made tacos! We are so festive, I know!

Branden is now playing electric guitar in the church services, so we went to the early 10am service yesterday as he was on the music team. Our church was having a competition for best festive dressed man, woman, and child in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The congregation was a sea of green, and we had fun singing and doing hand motions for an Irish folk song, learning some Irish, and then having a Poc Fada competition, which is just seeing who can hit a ball the furthest with a hurley (stick/bat thing). Hurling is a massive sport here in Ireland and I can usually only watch it between my fingers as I anticipate someone being bludgeoned to death about every 5's wild.

We had a pretty good weekend I'd say. Branden has classes off today and most places are closed as it is a bank holiday, so today started pretty good too! Sleepless in Seattle came on this morning and even though I own it, I watched it on TV anyway...ahhhhh, I love that movie! Branden's spending all of today on a paper and studying for his Latin exam that will be on Thursday. I get to clean, clean, clean as we have been so busy lately and I'm a bit behind... There was ANOTHER spider crawling next to my pillow this morning! It was small and I wasn't sleeping but still!! All this lovely chat about how wonderful Ireland is around St. Patrick's Day to say, I'm moving! soon as I find a nice place to live that doesn't have any spiders...

Since it is Music Monday and I just finished watching Sleepless in Seattle, here's a wonderful classic song for you today!

Now go make someone happy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not on Speaking Terms

This year my birthday and I are not on speaking terms. I am finding this very awkward as it is trying to make it's annual visit in a couple of weeks, so it's not really abiding by the rules. The separation agreement never really went through, and my restraining order only lasted for about 6 months, which was a complete waste and utterly useless, as I will not be covered by it when it is due to visit. I did try to send a contract stating that from this year forth it would need to start moving backwards, but the stubborn thing insists it pursue forward with our relationship, much to my dismay.

Offers of having it visit my husband instead and then having my husband's visit me as a sort of swap was also turned down, despite years of looking into the legalities of it maybe working. I tried to see if it would agree to maybe visiting every other year, but the punctual little devil just won't budge. Sure we have had some great times together in the past, but I find our relationship changing and I really don't see it going in a direction I like...much like my skin.

I have tried Googling ways of getting rid of it but all I come up with are links to "negative emotions", "how to run away from home", and "getting rid of worms". Wikipedia doesn't even help as it says I am supposed to be celebrating this thing! Well, we all know how reliable Wikipedia is.

Maybe it could be really nice and recreate the first time we ever spent together. A big cake would be plopped down in front of my face and all of my friends and family would get to watch me eat the whole thing with my hands. Then I could have a good cry for no reason and be put down for a nap. That sounds nice actually!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Needless to say, I'm never sleeping again

Tip of the Day: You will wake up much quicker from the discovery of a spider crawling out of your hair/off of your face than if you were to inject 4 espresso shots directly into your veins.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I love being an adult

To say that I am not a morning person would be a serious understatement. I LOATH mornings! The only way I would like them is if they started at noon. Friday is the one morning that Branden and I can sleep-in together (since he or we have to get up at a set time every other day of the week) so I am not a fan if our one morning of being sloths gets interrupted. I woke up at 9am this morning just to go to the bathroom and crawled back into bed, expecting to doze for at least another hour or so...but the doorbell rang. Everyone else in the house is gone by this time so Branden nominated me to answer it since I just got up.

Looking like disheveled road kill, I answered the door to the postman who handed me a package with my name on it! I squeaked out a "Thanks so much!" in my best "no, I have been awake for hours and this is my normal horrid sounding man voice." Getting back into bed, I ripped into the box as quickly as I could since I saw the list of package contents taped to the side, and it read "Girl Scout cookies"! We don't have Girl Scout cookies here in Ireland and we keep being horribly taunted by our US friends and family back home who keep singing their praises on Facebook. Being the responsible adults that we are, we ate Thin Mints, Dulce de Leche, and Samoas for breakfast in bed! Now that is my idea of a great morning! I even happily got up again to make coffee, spurred on by the high sugar content that was now in my system.

All this to say, THANK YOU! to my sister, bro-in-law, and nephews for the wonderful package this morning! As an added bonus, I even got a new pretty bracelet made for me by Hunter (my 5 year old nephew). It's so sweet and I love it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bears in Ireland???

Tip of the Day: If you fall for the lotto commercial here in Ireland that says you have a better chance of winning the lotto than you do of being attacked by a bear, then you clearly are an idiot who shouldn't be gambling because there are NO bears in Ireland! With those chances, you could also have as many odds of turning into T-rex and becoming the next big soap opera star!

Join me today over at With a Meek Heart where I'm discussing the reasons as to why I can't work in Ireland. It makes about as much sense as their lottery odds.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm back! If only my brain knew...

So I am finally off meds, feeling better, but I still have some leftovers from the cold and my energy is still lacking. I slept in till almost 11 this morning (unusual even for me) and my brain is still thinking it's nap time. I am cheating a bit today by sharing an old story with you. This was written for my old blog back in 2006, when I was a wee 22 year old. Since it's also Music Monday, I have a song to share from a friend who's music video I recently shared. She has put out yet another song and this one is so catchy and fun! She even came and saw us 2 weeks ago (the day before I got sick) with another friend! It was great to have people from home in our neck of the woods and we absolutely loved having them! This song is actually written by both of them (although Noelle seemed to say it was mostly Braden's doing), and it has a fantastic message. I hope you all enjoy it and share it as much as I do!

Now for the tale from the past:

The Blackberry Pie Bomb

In the summer, when I was about 15, my cousin (who lived in Minnesota at the time) had to go to Colorado with her husband for some business meetings. They only had 2 kids at the time (now they have something like 7 last I heard!). The oldest was probably only 4, and the youngest was probably only 2. My cousin, Kristin, was going to fly me down to watch the kids while they were in meetings. I thought this would be great! 

The plan was for me to fly to Denver and then we'd drive around Colorado for about 4 or 5 days until we finally got to Snow Mass (which is just outside of Aspen). This was where the meetings were and also where our two storied, 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom condo was! It was bigger than my house! I only watched the kids for a few hours out of the whole trip, and it was usually in the evening when they were sleeping. I got to stay in incredibly nice hotels, bed and breakfasts, condos, went on a morning horseback ride through the woods on a Tennessee Walker, and even got paid! It was great, but now for the explanation of the blackberry pie bomb. 

Blackberry pie is a big thing in my family. At any big get together we HAVE to have blackberry pie. Not just any blackberry pie either, homemade with wild, picked by my dad, blackberries, and Mmmmmm warm with vanilla ice cream. Since my cousin lived in Minnesota, she had been missing out on blackberry pies, so my mom decided to make her one. The only problem was transporting it. She made it in a glass casserole type dish that had a Tupperware lid on it. I had to stow it in my carry on bag, and dad didn't want it coming open so he covered it with cardboard and duct tape. It looked like a redneck footstool when he got done with it! The thing weighed like 10lbs too! 

When I got to the airport to check in my bag, security put it through the x-ray machine thing and of course all they saw was some solid black, large, brick type they put it through the bomb scan! I was so embarrassed. I was just praying that I didn't resemble some 15 year old Caucasian, blue eyed, terrorist! (luckily this was before 9/11) It passed inspection; they didn't open my bag and didn't even ask me about it...thank God! When I arrived in Denver, my cousin met me and offered to take my bag. She grabbed it and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! What did you pack, bricks?" I smiled at her and said, "Nope, a blackberry pie!" Her totally puzzled look was priceless and then we cracked up as I told her the story. It was a good pie too! 

Tomorrow, I'll be over at my other blog With a Meek Heart, answering Joshua's question of why I am not allowed to work in Ireland. For those of you who have wondered, you will want to take a peek...then throw rocks at the Irish government!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

The next bestselling author??? I hope so!

Hello everyone. I truly miss all of you and I am planning on getting back to my usual blog schedule next week. I finished up my antibiotics yesterday but my kidney still feels a bit sore and I am still pretty tired. Luckily I keep my email program on all day so I noticed an email about Melynda's new book!

With some sneaky work from Elisa from Crazy Life of a Writing Mom,  Joshua from Vive le Nerd, and the infamous Fishducky, they were able to publish the book that Melynda had started before her eye troubles got significantly worse. Melynda is going in today for the most horrific optical procedure I have ever heard of! I will admit that as I was blubbering in the hospital about my pain and being tortured by needles, I did keep thinking, "Come on! This is nothing compared to what Melynda has to go through! Buck up!" ...but I've never been a very good self motivator.

So everyone please, go wild clicking the links above and have a great read about the wonderful Melynda and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE buy her book since all proceeds will go to her and the medical bills that her eyes have been racking up!

Love you Melynda!