Monday, November 30, 2015

A Progress Report & Some Vocabulary

Well, y'all, it's the very last day of November. Can you even believe it? Christmastime is officially here. Cody and I are busting out all the red and green decorations we can find today, and my Christmas cards are all addressed and waiting for me to go buy cute Christmas stamps so they can fly all over the world to people I love. I thought it fitting on this the last day of November to pop in here and say hi. November has been my worst blogging month yet, though to be fair, I did warn you that the posts would be getting more sparse through the end of the year.

Anyway, I am still hung-up on Theodore, and truth be told, I haven't read so much as two pages of it since we've been back from North Carolina. But I am determined to finish him off by the end of this year. I am currently on page 587 out of 816 pages. This book is as big as my head.
See. I'm not even kidding. It's like a textbook. 

While I was making serious headway on this beast during vacation, I jotted down a few unfamiliar words I came across, and I thought I'd broaden your vocabulary today before we head into the most wonderful time of the year.

Our first word is bellicose.

bellicose (adjective): demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight; hostile

This word jumped out at me on page 466, and since then I've noticed it several more times which makes me wonder if page 466 wasn't the first place it made an appearance. Theodore Roosevelt was certainly a bellicose man, so it's definitely an accurate descriptor. 

Our other word today is imbroglio. Isn't that just fun to say?

imbroglio (noun): an extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation

I came across this word at the top of page 582, and it was actually within a quote from Roosevelt himself referencing a mess he was in with Japan during his second term as President. I think it's a super-fun word, and really, why don't we use words like imbroglio anymore?

So there you have it. Two new words and a little update on my progress in TR. Are you trying to finish any hard books by the end of this year? How about any fun ones? Had you ever heard the words bellicose or imbroglio before today?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Casual Fridays

Well hello there! It's been a while, and frankly, I don't have the slightest idea where to begin so I've decided to grace you with another Photo-Prompted Post. But first, an update on the Pumpkin Predicament of 2015: I am happy to report that last Thursday, Cody took me to Coldstone (the one in Lakeside for any likeminded people who are distressed by the deplorable lack of pumpkin-y goodness), and they had pumpkin ice cream. And y'all. It was to die for. I got graham cracker cookie crust mixed in, and I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing. Loved it. Also, I bought a pumpkin pie from Publix. Because I can always count on Publix, hallelujah. And on Tuesday night, my parents took Cody and me to LongHorn for my birthday, and LongHorn is currently serving a pumpkin spice lava cake which, although I didn't actually order it, looked amazing. I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about life.

Anyway, on to our Photo-Prompted Post. 
First up: my Gracie girl is in college. And we got to visit her a few weeks ago. I can't talk about how much I love her and how proud I am of her without crying, so instead, let me just tell you that she took us to this place called Steel City Pops. They sell gourmet popsicles made from all-natural and local ingredients. And I had a pumpkin popsicle. (Are you so sick of hearing the word pumpkin yet?) It was amazing, and I wanted to try every popsicle on the menu (except for the smoked fig with cheese....too weird even for me). We had a blast visiting with Grace, and her new school and town are beautiful. We will definitely be going back soon. If not for Grace, then for those Steel City Pops. Holy moly.
Our quick visit with Grace was actually a pit-stop on our way to North Carolina for family vacation. Fun story: I was driving when we crossed into North Carolina, and as soon as I saw that beautiful welcome sign, I pulled off the highway. There was this steep--and I do emphasize the word steep--road leading up to a gated community right before you passed the sign. So I crawled up this hill, did a little U-turn, pulled off, and was quizzed by my husband on the proper direction to turn the wheels when we're parking on such a steep incline. (I passed the test, by the way.) We almost broke our necks running down this slippery hill, snapped a couple pictures, then we huffed our way back up to the car, during which I almost lost my flip-flops several times. We jumped back in the car, pulled back onto the highway....and almost immediately passed an entire parking area for what I can only assume is a place for crazy people like me who want to take a picture in front of the state welcome sign. My poor husband was just shaking his head. Bless. Welcome to North Carolina.
My family is the best and we know how to vacation. Here we are playing Golf late into the night. This photo really represents an entire week of fun games, the most memorable of this trip being Family Feud. (Good answer!) Even though we're extremely competitive people, we love each other and have a blast playing together, although to the casual observer it might seem more like one death match after another. And speaking of death matches, my biggest triumph in the realm of family games this year was definitely sustained during a game of Rack-O in which I completely annihilated my mom and two of my sisters. Fun times.
The leaves were all turning and the fall colors were gorgeous. We don't get any of that down here in Florida (what we do get is 70 degree weather in November--praise Him!) so we took all the opportunities to take pictures with that beautiful backdrop.
A sweet lady from our church sent all these cozy, handmade, stocking caps up with my dad for all of us to enjoy throughout the week. And let me tell you, we were grateful for any warm thing considering we're pretty much all tried-and-true Floridians and those temps were dipping down into the 40s all week. Also, have I mentioned my family is the best?
Personally, one of my favorite things about vacation (and probably the only thing in this post relevant to the actual purpose of this blog) is having time to read. I did some major damage to Theodore, but still wasn't able to finish it. I was seriously hoping to knock it out completely but apparently that was wishful thinking. As far as my reading goals for the rest of 2015 go, my only one is to finish this dang book. Vacation also affords my loving family members numerous opportunities to make fun of my hermit-like tendencies. While everyone else was out shopping or hiking or doing who knows what, I was holed up by the fire, reading a biography of a dead president. And loving every second of it. 
While I was snuggled up inside reading to my heart's content (#introvertsunite), my boys were out exploring and adventuring. I really don't have much else to say about this photo except I love those two with all my heart (the one in the hat especially). 
Last week, I got to take my BFF Erin and her firstborn to Busch Gardens. Since Cody and I have annual passes, I got a free day-pass for a friend during the month of November because of my birthday and I'm so glad I got to take Erin and her daughter. And there's a brand-new baby rhino! The first time Cody and I had BG passes, we got to watch a baby rhino grow up throughout the year. Now that we got passes again, another new rhino was born. Coincidence? I think not. Busch Gardens should just give us free annual passes for the rest of our lives, amiright? Anyway, call me a nerd if you must but I'm excited to watch this little rhinoceros grow. It's amazing how big they get so quickly.
And in case you missed the multiple times I mentioned it, I got older this week. But it was fairly painless thanks to this amazing guy. He had the six days leading up to my birthday off, and he really spoiled me. Those six days included dinner and a movie and Coldstone, new ChapSticks galore, a date night to Old Town, the new Cinderella movie on DVD, a full-body massage, more presents than any one girl should get, and all his love and affection (just to name a few). I couldn't be more blessed.

And I think that's about it for this post. Good catching up with you. Let's do this again soon. What have you been up to the past month?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to Our Other Sweetheart!

Happy Birthday, Shallot! We love you forever, sweet girl!
I'd like to take today to direct your attention to the right side of your screen (if you are viewing my blog on your phone, you're going to need to scroll down to the bottom and change to the web view). Have you noticed that Compassion box? As you can see, I share a birthday with our darling girl Shallot. She lives in Uganda, and today, she turns 8 years old. We love her dearly and pray for her consistently. We write her letters, and she writes us back. I would encourage you to consider sponsoring a child in need. You will change his or her life for the better and fall in love in the process. We hope to be able to visit Shallot one day, but we may never get to hug her this side of Heaven. If you have questions about how this all works, I would love to talk to you more about this amazing ministry. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

For the Love of FALL, Y'all!

Listen guys. I realize it's been a little quiet around here. And before it got quiet, we wandered deep into the pumpkin-y realms.

But today, I have a bone to pick with the free world. Or maybe it's just the state of Georgia. I'm not entirely sure.


And I'm so not okay with it. 

Over this past weekend, Cody, Sarah, and I traveled up to Georgia to say our last goodbyes to my brother and sister-in-law before they make a giant move to Japan. (Caroline, we didn't really say goodbye. We said, "We're coming to Japan all the time now." Because we are.) Anyway, back to the point of this post. At two different establishments over the weekend, I was told that all the pumpkin had gone away. I won't name any names--cough*CRACKERBARREL*cough*DAIRYQUEEN*cough--but I was extremely disappointed.

And here's the real kicker: when I asked about specific menu items (pumpkin custard from Cracker Barrel and the pumpkin pie blizzard from DQ), the response I got as to why these items were no longer being served was, and I quote, "Well, we only serve those things during fall-time."

Excu' me, miss! What?! Last time I checked, winter does not begin until December 21st. Since when is November not "fall-time"?? Friendly reminder: after Halloween comes THANKSGIVING (not Christmas) and it's supposed to be Pumpkin Heaven, okay?

I can't even.

Someone--anyone--please tell me where I can get a pumpkin fix like, yesterday. I'm desperate.