Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Dad!

My Dad & I dancing at my wedding
I've always been pretty close to my dad. He is a geek like I am, and I can trace my entrance into geek-dom to him reading me Lord of the Rings when I was very small.

Today is my dad's birthday. I called him up and he got to talk to Emily, who told him that she colored him a picture for his special day. My dad is is a great Pop-Pop to Emily and wish they could spend more time together.

So Happy Birthday Dad! I hope you have a great one! And I'll be glad when Emily gets to see her Pop-Pop again in April when he and his wife come down to GA for my cousin's wedding.

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The Royal Rumble

Originally my husband and I were going to have movie night after Emily went to sleep Sunday. But he asked me if I'd rather watch the Royal Rumble, which I did.

The Royal Rumble is my favorite of all the WWE live PPVs. We got to see the Rumble live in 2010 when it was in Atlanta, and it was an amazing experience.

I live tweeted through most of the Rumble, which was fun seeing the trending topics on Twitter change as the matches went on.

Me and Chris Jericho in December 2007
I was really happy to see one of my favorite wrestlers back. Chris Jericho was one of my first favorite wrestlers when I started watching WWE back when I was in college.

He was also the first wrestler that my husband and I met in person. On December 26, 2007 we got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Nashville just to meet Chris Jericho. He was signing copies of his memoir at a Books-A-Million. It was well worth the 4+ hour drive to meet him.

Watching the Rumble was a great way for Todd and I to spend our Sunday evening. I hope that we can see another Rumble live someday, along with seeing another WrestleMania. Though we are seeing another one of our favorite PPVs live in April.

TNA is the other major wrestling company and one of their biggest PPVs is Lockdown. Lockdown is unique because every match takes place in a steel cage. It's going to be in Nashville this year, so we just had to get tickets. I'm really looking forward to seeing it and it will make three years in a row that we have seen a major wrestling PPV live.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Day of Sunday School!

Today was a milestone in the life of Miss Emily, since today was the first time that she attended Sunday school.

She could have started back in the fall but we were so busy this fall that we were rarely in town weekends enough to try and go to Sunday school.

There was a break for the Christmas holidays, and the Sunday learning at our church just started up again.

I dropped her off at her classroom and I went to the women's Bible study. It was nice to have a little time for fellowship with other Lutheran women. Emily was waiting for me when I came to get her.

I'm not sure what she did during Sunday school, but she says they sang songs and learned about people. She was really excited and wants to go back again.

So here's to Emily's first step to learning. Next step will be preschool in the Fall!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Spring in January

I think Mother Nature is a bit confused. Because it feels like spring has sprung even though it is still January.

Even though I live in North Carolina, we do still have winter usually. It's just usually a lot shorter of a winter than the ones I had to endure when I still lived in Michigan.

The last few days it has been beautiful, with the temperatures being in the mid 50's to low 60's. I've put our winter coats in the spare room since we just haven't been using them.

The trend looks like it is going to continue, since the 10 day forecast on Weather.com has the lowest temperature being 49 degrees on Sunday. I heard birds singing outside the window this afternoon and it definitely feels more like the end of March.

I'm not complaining though. I love this weather and I hope it continues to stay mild. If the temperatures dip into the freezing range, my eczema starts acting up and it makes me very uncomfortable.

Hopefully I can get Emily to the park while the weather is still mild. It's a good time to get some outdoor play in.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Writing Challenge - And The Skies Went Black

I had felt off all day, but I couldn't put my finger on why. I got up and went to work, the same as I always did. And I went to the cafe across from my office building for lunch, another normal occurrence for me. But it wasn't until I was leaving work that things got strange.

It had been 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I had been headed to my car after getting out of work. I had been fumbling with my keys, when I heard a scream from behind me.

Whirling around, I saw one of my co-workers, Mary, standing by her car. There was no-one around her so I was just about to open my mouth, when my eyes glanced upwards. I strangled back my own scream as I saw the sun go pitch black, with the skies following.

I clutched my keys and flung myself into my car before things went totally black. For a moment, it seemed like all the lights in the world had gone out with the light of the sun. I struggled to get my key into ignition and turned it to start my car.

It roared to life, and I hurriedly turned on my headlights. The stream of light illuminated Mary, who was laying across the hood of her car. I paused for just a moment, as my heart raced and my brain told me to get the hell out of there.

I jumped out of my car, making sure to leave it on and ran across the lot to Mary. It was apparent before I even got to her, that she was dead. There were large tears all over her body and her clothes were becoming red as the blood seeped into them.

I turned and ran as fast as I could back to my car. But I hadn't gone more than a few steps when the lights on my car flickered and died. I was plunged back into total darkness. I continued to make my way back to where I thought my car was, slowing down considerably even though I had the nearly overpowering urge to just run.

Time seemed to stop in the endless darkness and I tried to listen hard for danger. But it seemed like all the sound had been turned off as well because I didn't hear anything. But I felt it when something that felt like razors sliced through my back.

I fell to the ground, writhing in pain. "Help me," I cried, "Help me!" But my words seemed to be swallowed away into the void of the darkness. The attack continued, but the pain seemed to start to ebb away as the overwhelming urge to close my eyes came over me. I finally subcomed, slipping away into the darkness.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Kelly Garriott Waite challenged me with "The sun winked out and the skies went black. What happens next?" and I challenged Liz Culver with "The toddler and the kitten"

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Terrifying Ascent into the Tubes of Madness

The Tubes of Madness (AKA A McDonald's Play Area)
On Saturday, Todd, Emily & I headed to help my best friend, Dolli and her family get moved into a new house.

Dolli and I were on toddler duty and we ended up at a McDonald's play area. It was all tubes and had no toddler area, but we figured the kids could run around a little and then we could have some dinner.

Well, Dolli's daughter, Kaylee, was feeling adventurous and ended up going into the tubes. She wasn't coming down so Dolli attempted to go up after her. But she didn't last long until she got freaked out and had to come out. I didn't even think about it - just shed my shoes and my sweater and started up the tubes.

While the tubes were big enough for me to fit in, they weren't designed with a full sized person in mind. I got nearly to the top of the tubes when a little boy helped Kaylee out. I hurriedly found my way out of the tubes and was actually a little shaken once I was back out again.

I really hope that I never have to go up in those tubes again.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Wish I Was An Elf

I'm starting a re-watch of The Lord of the Rings movies, partly because it's been a while since I watched them and partly because of The Hobbit being released in December.

I've been a LOTR fan since I was very small. My dad used to read to me from the LOTR books and once I was old enough to read them myself, I would read them every couple of years. My early introduction to LOTR has inspired a life-long love of epic fantasy and put me on the geeky path.

If there was any race in LOTR that I would want to be, it would be an elf. Elves are willowy and beautiful, but they are also pretty kick ass. And they speak one of the most beautiful languages ever.

But if I'm honest with myself, I'm not an elf. If anything, I'm a hobbit. I'm short and round. I like to eat and take naps. Though I'd like to think if I am a hobbit, I'd be a Baggins. After all, I did pick up and move from Michigan to NC. And I enjoy traveling and going on adventures.

I need to embrace my hobbit-ness, since hobbits are pretty cool. My favorite hobbit has always been Merry, with Sam being a close 2nd. But I think someday I may have to attempt to cosplay as a Tolkien style elf, even if I am a hobbit.

What LOTR race do you identify with, if any?

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Writing Challenge - The Flickering Lightbulb

The lightbulb was flickering as I blinked my eyes open. My head was throbbing and I groaned a little as sat up. I looked around because I had no idea where I was.

I was in huge bed that was covered with red, silk sheets. The bed took up most of the room but there was a small table on each side of the bed. On each table there was an old lamp made of an assortment of seashells.The walls were painted a pale pink and were free from decoration.

I slipped out of the bed, looking around for my clothes. I shivered but I felt my cheeks burn as I realized that I was completely naked. I found my clothes in a pile next to the bed and I hurriedly dressed.

I moved to the only door that I saw and I winces as a shot of pain flared up my right leg. Images began to flood my mind as the previous night started to come back to me. I had been in a club and there had been a man.

He had been attractive and lean, with short black hair and piercing blue eyes. He had approached me, asking me to dance but I had said no because there was something about him that had creeped me out.

I stayed close to my friends the rest of the time I was at the club because his eyes kept following me around. I ended up leaving early just to get away. But somehow he had been waiting for me right beside my car.

"I've been waiting for you so long, Holly," he said, his voice low and seductive.

Fear moved through me and I was rooted to the spot. "How do you know my name?"

"I know everything about you," he said, moving his hand to my cheek. It was so cold and that was the last thing that I remembered.

I hurried to the door but I found that it was locked. There was no windows as I looked around, fear rising up in me again. I went to the bedside table where the light from the lamp was still flickering. There was a single piece of paper laying on it, with the word, "You are mine," written in red ink.


For the http://www.indieink.org/writing-challenges/" target="_blank">IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, http://amaruwan.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Dili challenged me with "the flickering lightbulb" and I challenged http://www.mayabahl.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Maya Bahl with "The man with no face"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Going Black to Protest SOPA / PIPA

You may have noticed that many websites are going black today to protest the bills that are being considered in Congress right now. SOPA and PIPA would change the internet and many bloggers, like myself, could face criminal charges under these awful bills. Even if that worse case doesn't happen, there will be a lot of censorship going on without really stopping piracy, which is the so-called purpose of these bills.

So I'm going silent today on social media today as part of the protest. I don't know how to black out my blog because I'm not very tech savvy, but I'm writing this post in place of actually blacking my blog out.

Wikipedia has blacked out, but they also have a way to find your local representatives. If you really want to make your voice heard on this, please contact your representatives.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

The Disneyland Adventures Experiement

Like many people, especially at the first of year, I'd like to lose some weight. Diet changes aren't enough to cause me to lose weight, but working out is hard for me because of my daily chronic headaches.

So, I thought I'd do a bit of an experiment. Disneyland Adventures is a Kinect game that gets you moving but isn't too high impact. It's something I can do even if I'm not feeling great.

But I'm not sure how much weight I'd be able to lose since it's not high impact, though I will be working on diet change as well. I'm going to play Disneyland Adventures for a half hour every day (except for days like this Saturday when I'll be helping my best friend move - I figure I'll get enough exercise chasing after our toddlers) and I'll see if it actually makes any difference.

I probably won't blog about it every day, but I will make updates as the experiment continues.

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Movie Review - Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

I got to go see the newest Mission: Impossible movie yesterday. It was mostly an excuse to get out of the house, but from the previews it looked like it was going to be decent.

Like the other Mission: Impossible movies in the series, it was pretty much a mindless action flick. I enjoyed it but it was very forgettable as far as movies go. The story just seemed to be built to give Tom Cruise an excuse to do strange stunts and show off his abs.

This movie is worth watching, but I'd recommend going to see something else in the theater and saving this one for DVD.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster

One of the big presents to my daughter from Santa Claus this year was the Kinect game, Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster. But we've been plagued by illness pretty much since we got home from spending the holidays in Michigan, so we haven't had the chance to play it until today.

Emily was excited to play especially as she got to play as Elmo. The gameplay is hard enough that it's not boring for adults or older kids, but you aren't penalized if you get something wrong. Emily had a blast playing with me and then with Todd. She was just partly excited to have her very own Kinect game to play.

This was a great purchase - especially since we got it half off on Thanksgiving. I have a feeling that we will be playing a lot of Once Upon A Monster in the days to come.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

It's the Itchy-est Time of the Year

I like winter for the duration of December and Christmas, but now that it's January I'm firmly into my big hatred of winter. Right now, it's mostly because the cold, dry weather is making me very uncomfortable.

I have, in the words of my dermatologist, really bad eczema. I've heard people talk about having patches of eczema on their bodies, but my whole body is one big eczema patch.

For a good portion of the year, it's okay and I can ignore it. But the last few days have been horrible because I've been itching all over. I do have a humidifier and eczema cream to help somewhat, but I've been having trouble sleeping because of the itching.

I am glad that I live in North Carolina and the cold won't last as long as it did in Michigan. But I'll be glad when this bitter cold weather that sucks all the moisture from my skin is gone.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Writing Challenge - TSA Incident

 I really hated flying because the crowds in airports make me feel uneasy. But then I started dating Dave who loved traveling all over the world. I had a good time going to exotic locales with him, at least in the beginning, so I told myself that any time spent in the airport was just temporary.

Dave had booked us a romantic trip in Morocco for Valentine's Day. We had been having issues, fighting a lot over about little things. I think he thought a romantic vacation was just the way to get the spark back into our relationship. I wasn't sure about that but I agreed to go because I still thought I loved him.

The trip started out bad by lengthy delays in the airport in Atlanta. My nerves were frayed before we even set foot into Morocco, so it wasn't a surprise that Dave and I started to fight before we got into our hotel room. The fighting continued for several days, until Dave conceded defeat and got us an earlier flight back home.

We were going through the TSA checkpoint when Dave's bag got flagged. They went through his suitcase in front of everyone looking for the contraband. His suitcase was full of porn, mostly in the form of X-rated magazines. There was also things like handcuffs and a whip in there as well. But what got him flagged with the gun at the bottom of the suitcase.

When the TSA official pulled the gun out, he began to look it over. "Its not even real," the official finally said after he finished looking it over, "What were you two doing in Morocco anyway?"

Dave mumbled something about getting the flame back into our relationship, and I just felt my face get so hot. "Can we go through?" I asked, my voice no more than a whisper as I could feel the eyes of the TSA workers on me.

We were allowed to through and I ripped into Dave, asking him what the hell he was thinking. He didn't really have a response and we didn't talk during the whole plane ride home. Once we were safely back into Atlanta, I broke up with Dave. I called a friend who was willing to pick me up from the airport.

At the time, I was horrified, but now it's something I can look back and laugh about. But I still don't airports and I haven't been in one since.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Brad MacDonald challenged me with "A fictional, humorous, TSA incident at an airport in Morocco." and I challenged Carrie with "Body Slams For Everyone".

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review - "The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook" by Brian Carter

The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook by Brian Carter is an interesting look at how to make money by using Facebook ads and cultivating fans to increase sales for your business.

Social networking is important and using social networks is very important for businesses. This book goes into great detail on how to use Facebook to help your business.

The Like Economy is definitely geared towards businesses, which I'm not. So some of the book got a little too technical for me. But there were some tips and tricks in this book that even someone like me who just maintains one small blog can use.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking into using Facebook to help grow a business. The Like Economy has all the information you need to get started and can help anyone who isn't familiar with using social medias understand the importance of using Facebook.

Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012


My Little Sicky
Emily and I, and to a lesser degree Todd, have been sick for the last few days. It's just a cold but it's been making life a little difficult around here.

For one, a cold is never just a cold for me because it makes my daily chronic headaches worse. So I'm tired, stuffed up and suffering from a pretty bad migraine.

Emily has been dealing better, though the cold is taking a toll on her as well. She has been extra cranky and extra clingy. Though she has been mostly playing like usual.

Because Todd has been working so much, I have been trying to let him sleep in. But all I want to do is sleep myself, but alas I have to be awake for Emily. Such is the life of a mommy.

Now is a good time for us to be sick because I've not got anything pressing that needs to be done. But it's been several days now and I'm tired of being sick. Today Todd has off, so hopefully I can get the rest I need to be able to feel better.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Football Geek

I've been a Lions fan for a long time. I started watching football with my parents when I was in high school. I was in the marching band so I had to be at every high school game, so I decided that I wanted to be able to follow the games.

My mom and dad always watched the Lions and they would use those Sunday games to teach me the basics of the game of football. I continued to follow root for the Lions, even though they were a really bad team.

Then I started dating Todd, who is a huge football nut. So once I moved in with him and after we got married, we would watch football all day on Sundays. The only exception was when we were still gaming with our friends Alice and Josh. We get the NFL Sunday Ticket partly so we can have the ability to watch the Lions every week.

We have been fans of the Lions even through all those seasons where they were horrible, including their 'perfect' season where they won no games at all. Every year before the new season would start, my husband would say that they were going to do better this season. And finally, that season has happened.

Now Todd and I are watching the Lions play in the playoffs and it's so cool. Even though they aren't going to win, it's awesome that they made it to the playoffs. We are diehard Lions fans and football geeks so this is a great time of the year for us.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writing Challenge - No Longer Exist

It had been a long night for me as I had been drinking and dancing my cares away at the local bar. I was a student at a local college and I had gotten the bad  news that my loans were being cut off for the next semester.

I was only half awake when I crawled out of bed and went to check my email. I was mildly annoyed when I was told that my password didn't work and I went through the steps to recover my password. I was getting more awake and more annoyed as I was told that my email address didn't exist.

My heart started to thump as I tried to log into Facebook, Twitter and even my bank account to find that they all didn't exist anymore. I went to my cell phone to see if I could log on from there to find that it was completely blank and I could no longer make calls from it.

I went to Google and did a search for my name and even my social security number. Nothing came up at all so I convinced myself that I must still be sleeping. After pinching my pale cheeks several times, I was completely awake and completely frightened.

After I took a quick shower, I went out to the corner 7-11 to try the payphone. I dialed my mom's number after feeding several dollars worth quarters into the machine. After a few rings, my mom picked up. "Hello?"

"Mom, It's me, Sandy," I said, feeling relieved to hear a familiar voice. But my relief quickly slide away as my mom said, "I don't know anyone named Sandy. You have the wrong number."

"I'm your daughter," I said, the fear making me feel like I was going to throw up, "You've had this same number since I was a baby."

My mom's voice got very gruff and angry. "I don't have a daughter," she said then I heard the dial tone that told me that she had hung up on me.

I went out to the curb in front of the store and just buried my hands in my face. My hot tears slipped through fingers as I just sat there sobbing. I looked up sharply when I felt the pressure of a hand on my shoulder.

I turned my tear stained face up to see a tall man with a wry smile on his face. He offered me a hand and helped me to my feet. "Things aren't as bleak as they seem," he said as he brush a lock of black hair from his blue eyes, "You have been chosen for a higher purpose."

As I looked at him, I weighed my options. From everything I had seen and heard today, I was no longer a person who existed. I looked up at him and said, "Tell about this higher purpose."

He grinned and took my hand. "A wonder awaits you, Sandra. I can't wait to show you."


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Kelly Garriott Waite challenged me with "Each of your passwords no longer works. All of your cell phone contacts have been mysteriously erased. Your social security number, your credit card numbers, your health card number, your bank account, your address...all invalid or unrecognized. In the world of bits and bytes, you no longer exist. What do you do now?" and I challenged Maya Bahl with "Food to die for".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


There are lots of social networks out there that have different niches but most of them I just ignore because it can take a lot of time. I used Foursquare for a bit, but it ended up being a chore.

I had seen people on Facebook and Twitter use GetGlue but I wasn't tempted to start using it because it just looked like another social network that would be a chore. But one word got me signed up and addicted to GetGlue.

That word was: Sticker. When you sign into things in GetGlue, you have the possibility of unlocking stickers. You get stickers when you sign into things a certain amount of times as well as for things like new episodes or new movies. The best thing is that you can request the actual stickers to be mailed to you for free! You get to request 20 stickers once a month.

The stickers aren't very big but they are good quality and free. I've loved stickers since I was little so I now use GetGlue everyday to unlock ones. Some of them I'll give to Emily, but most I'll be saving to put all over the new laptop I'll be getting at some point this year.

If you love stickers as well as TV, books and movies, I would check out GetGlue!

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Thoughts on Depression

One of my favorite blogs is The Bloggess. Usually her blogs are so funny, but yesterday she got serious.

Apparently she has been suffering from depression and she had the courage to blog about it. Depression is one of those diseases that people usually suffer from alone. Near the end of her blog post, she said this:

"I hope to one day I see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle and that they celebrate the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like."

I'm not sure if I blogged about it, but I suffered from bad postpartum depression (PPD) after Emily was born. It went undiagnosed for about six months since I didn't realize how depressed I was until I wasn't excited at all to go to ConCarolinas. I love cons so I knew that something was wrong. I quickly got into the doctor and I was put on Zoloft. It was like a switch going off and I got to be me again.

I'm no longer suffering from PPD, but I remember what it was like. It was awful, and I felt really alone. I later found other moms who were suffering like I was. But it would be nice that it was something that people didn't feel like they have hide. I hope that in the future, depression can be talked about more freely and people won't be afraid to hide.

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