We have a tree in our front yard that is special. I'm pretty sure I recently overheard my dad saying that he hates the tree and think it's ugly, but I love it. Yes, it is a bit different than other trees. Rather than growing up it has decided to grow out, and for some reason it's got this bark disease so we have to keep the trunk wrapped. But I love the tree. And I love it especially in the spring when it starts to bud pretty purple flowers. My pictures don't really do it justice. I just thought it deserves it's own little post because every time I pull up to my house and am greeted by it I think, "Ah, I love that tree." So here I am.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
About a year ago I seriously considered becoming a baker for a living. I contemplated culinary school for a while, and baked for money on the side. It quickly became apparent that few people will pay money for muffins or cookies or cupcakes, because pretty much anyone can make those. What most people will spend money on is a nicely decorated cake. Unfortunately for me, I dread decorating cakes for people. I am completely self-taught yet a perfectionist so they take me forever and rarely do I finish with a product that I'm truly happy with.
I do enjoy baking simple cakes though. Or cakes I get to chose the design for. Yesterday I got to decorate a cake for my brother Joel's birthday. Honestly, I'd been looking forward to it for a week because I knew I could keep it simple and have it look just how I like. (Hopefully Joel liked it, too.) It's pictured above (obviously).
This evening I did something that I've never done before... decorated a fake cake. A cake made out of styrofoam actually. A friend of a friend asked me to decorate one for this benefit her company is sponsoring for the American Cancer Society called Shave to Save. She gave me pretty much all creative license, so below is what I came up with. I used the theme for their flyer to decorate it, and with a little help from my graphic design genius of a brother Cory, I pulled off the logo which is exciting. But it's still simple. Which I like.
(It was a HUGE "cake", so I thought I'd show you our
kitchen table to get grips on the scale of things...)
Anyway, it was great having an excuse to bake some things (and fake bake some things), and for the finished products to be exactly as I wanted them. Yes, I suppose I am a selfish baker... (P.S. Yes, I still do have plans to someday learn how to use my own camera so my pictures don't turn out like crap like these did...)
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Flowering Dogwood - Missouri's State Tree
Besides the fact that the calendar indicates that Spring is here, we're actually starting to catch a glimpse of it! (actually, Summer even decided to stop by unannounced the other day with a record high of 91 degrees, but thankfully Spring is back... for now.) How I know Spring is here? We've had a tornado watch, we've had an unexpected hail storm, we've had weather in the 90s one day and in the 40s the next... But more importantly we've had days like yesterday: sunny and 60s, the grass is starting to green, I've busted out the flip flops and skirts again....
One thing I specifically love about spring is the budding and blooming of the trees. Sure, there are lots of flowers that bloom and are beautiful. But something that I love about Missouri is how beautiful the trees get in the spring. While doing a little bit of research I came across some information about the trees on the Missouri Department of Conservation website. They way they described things is better written than anything I could come up with, so here it is: "Although we're accustomed to celebrating the annual show of fall color, Missouri's flowering trees of spring deserve as much fanfare. The sight of serviceberry and redbud blossoms can banish the last of your winter blues."
So true. Here are a few pictures I found to demonstrate the beautiful trees that make Spring such a special time. I can't take credit for these pictures, but you better believe I'm going to try to make some time to get out and snap some shots of my own.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
So, last night something kind of ridiculous happened. It's a funny story really. Well, it's one of those stories that's so close to being tragic, but wasn't, so it's funny. You know what I mean?
Anyway, here's what happened: I went to Walgreens to return a movie to the Red Box there. (I rented How Do You Know. That movie has all the potential to be a quality chick flick: Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, but it wasn't, so don't rent it.) So I pulled up and parked my car, but left my keys in the car because I was only going to be a minute. I remembered I got a text with a free Red Box code so I decided to take a gander at the selection (I ended up renting The Switch; also has all the potential to be a quality chick flick, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Anniston... thankfully that one didn't disappoint. I think I'd even recommend it.) All of a sudden I hear this noise behind me that sounds like someone slammed their trunk closed really hard. I turn around with a small scowl on my face thinking, "Now is that really necessary...?" And then I see my car all the way across the parking lot. That slamming sound that I just made a mini-scowl at.... was my trunk, not slamming shut... but slamming into a brick wall.
Apparently I hadn't put my car in park, it had gotten stuck in neutral, and because the parking lot has a small incline my car just rolled its way on back until it hit a brick wall that stopped it. As soon as I realize what happen, I look all around wondering, "Who saw that?," "How stupid do they think I am right now?" Thankfully no one was there. And thankfully there was no parked car, moving vehicle, or person around for my car to roll into. And thankfully, that despite the fact that my car jumped a curb and ran into a brick landscaping wall, it is just fine.
Needless to say, I'm thankful. But man, what a story. And yes, I am ridiculous.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Yesterday I was driving with the windows down. The weather outside was glorious. I had my music turned up. Not a care in the world. Now I know, I've blogged so many times about how I love driving with the windows down. This is nothing new. But yesterday when I was doing it, I thought to myself (as I often do when I'm driving with the windows down), "I am completely happy right now." It may seem a bit strange that something as minor and insignificant as driving with the windows down could evoke such a sure emotion, but it did, and it does. So it got me thinking, "What else in my life brings this kind of happiness?"
Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite movies. At the end of the movie (spoiler alert! as if you didn't suspect it...), when Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy finally get together and are married, Elizabeth tells Darcy that he can only call her "Mrs. Darcy" when he is "completely, perfectly, and incandescently happy." The list that follows consists of things that evoke that kind of happiness in me.
5 Things That Make Me Completely, Perfectly, and Incandescently Happy:
1. Driving with the windows down. Duh. That's why I listed this first. See the reason above.
2. Singing: specifically leading people in worship. I love to sing. It makes me happy. It's funny, for a generally insecure person, when I get in front of people and start singing, all of my insecurities and worries go away. It's not because of the musical talent I may or may not have. I think it's because I was created to sing and lead people in worship. So when I do it... I'm just happy.
3. Laughing. Now I know that that seems like a "what came first: the chicken or the egg?" kind of statement. If I'm happy, I'm going to laugh. But I love to laugh. It's not just a reaction of happiness, I actually love the action of laughing. This is hard to explain, but it makes sense in my mind, which I suppose is all that matters.
4. Playing games. I love playing games. There are few activities that I enjoy more than playing games. I especially love to win at games. :) It's not my fault. I'm a Thomason. We love to win. But I love playing games even win I lose. That shows how much I truly love it.
5. Talking to people about life. It makes me really happy when people feel comfortable enough with me that they can open up about life. A few weeks ago a co-worker told me, and only me (at work at least), that he was planning to propose to his girlfriend that weekend. A month earlier this same co-worker said, "No, I don't want to." when I said to him, "So, tell me something about yourself." We've come a long way. I love that.
What makes you happy...?
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I've been gone for too long. I know. It's not that I haven't been observing the glorious things around me, it's just that I feel like I've already blogged about a lot of them. I'll try to be more creative though. Today I even got a Facebook wall post from my faithful friend Sarah, asking where I've been. I'm here. I promise.
Anyway... Today I cleaned out my drawers because I'd noticed that I have a pile of shirts that I actually wear that sits outside of my dresser because my dresser is filled with clothes that I've grown tired of. (That's sickening, I know, I'm such an ungrateful, wealthy American. Not making excuses, but we've all been here...) So I was going through my clothes so I could give away what I don't wear anymore, and I realized a trend... I have solid colored t-shirts. Lots of them. A t-shirt in every color. It's kind of ridiculous. But it's true. I love solid colored t-shirts. I'm not sure why I'm so afraid of print, but there is something wonderful to me about the simplicity of a solid color. I'm crazy, or boring, one of the two, but it's true.
I just thought you'd enjoy my rainbow of t-shirts. (No worries, I decided to give away quite a few of them.) But I do love them, those solid colored t-shirts. It's true.