Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thanks, Dave.

I love pay day. While my small paycheck isn't much and doesn't last a long time, I must say, I AM grateful to be receiving one during our country's economic crisis.
At the beginning of every month I tell myself, "this month is going to be different! I'm going to be really good with my money!" I know I'm not telling you something you don't already know, but IT'S.SO.HARD. I'm not a huge spender, and I've tried budgeting a little, but nothing really seems to work. I still normally struggle to make it to the next paycheck. Where does my money go?

We've all heard of Dave Ramsey. He's a financial genius who seems to have all of the answers. I've read a little about him before, but to be honest, I get annoyed when he (or anybody else for that matter) says something I don't want to hear. Like it or not, though, I've decided that this is the month I'm really going to listen to what he has to say (or read what he has to write). Claire, a fellow teacher and friend, and I were discussing this topic recently, and she found a fantastic tool on his website. It's pretty self-explanatory. He basically breaks down your finances and helps you create a budget that really seems do-able! I entered all of my numbers in the appropriate blanks and I was amazed by how much money I SHOULD be able to save each month, while still being able to use money for some fun things!
So, starting tomorrow, I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm going to use the "envelope system," and hopefully, by the end of this month, I will start seeing results!
If you're just getting by like so many of us, give it a try! I may be needing some accountability partners here!
(Emily, I know you and Reed are so proud of me for spreading the word! I'll let you know how it goes!).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let me brag ONE MORE TIME, and I promise I'll stop.

Here are a few more pictures taken of me by the photographers at the half marathon. They were emailed to me earlier today, and thought I'd share!
(please take note that I'm in front of 3 males here!) :)
(by the look on my face, I'm guessing this one was taken around mile 10!)
(that's me with my arm up on the left! ohh... and NO it didn't take me 3:20 to run the half! That's the time the very first runner began. There was quite a lot of dead time in the beginning before I even started!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

sweet, sweet Paxton.

I got to spend the evening watching AI with the Overstreets tonight! Most of my time was spent holding a sleeping baby and I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

Look how much he loves his LT!

(I decided to let Katey join us for a picture or 2!) :)

I like the number 8.

I like these things and I like the number 8, so this should be fun. It was stolen from this blog friend (even though I added a few!). Enjoy and feel free to do it yourself!
8 Nicknames I have:
1. LT. More people call me this than Laura
2. LaLa (Henry)
3. YaYa (high school friends. Thanks, Alexa!)
4. Laura T. (HEGS)
5. Miss T. (students!)
6. LouLou (dad...not sure where that came from!)
7. "Kristen's sister"
8. "Heather's sister"
8 of my favorite things in the world: (this one is hard)
1.* spending time with my family AND friends*
2. Mexican food
3. Max
4. Sleeping
5. Rain
6. Mexican food
7. Red wine
8. blogging. Duh.
8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1. S U M M E R
2. Going to the beach! I'm going to Orange Beach with my friend Heather, and then after that I'm heading straight to Seaside to meet my family! I can't wait. HEGS and I have been counting down since our beach trip LAST year!
3. Starting a family one day.
4. Getting out of debt.
5. Working at MINT this summer! Come see me!
6. Retiring (HA! 20 more years???) :)
7. Friday.
8. Did I mention that summer is almost here?
8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Went to work.
2. Took Max for a walk (NO RUNNING WAS INVOLVED)
3. Ate Mexican food with Mandy
4. Talked on the phone
5. Drank a diet coke.
6. Changed a light bulb (wow...could my life get any more exciting?)
7. Watched House Hunters
8. Took a bubble bath.
8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Sing
2. Dance
3. Make more money :)
4. Find a cure for childhood cancer
5. See the future!
6. See Henry every day.
7. Shop at Anthropologie regularly
8. Buy a house.
8 Shows I Watch:
1. Desperate Housewives
2. Seinfeld
3. The Office
4. American Idol
5. House Hunters
6. Jon and Kate
7. Oprah
8. Fox and Friends
Who's next?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I DID IT!

If you've been reading my blog from the beginning, you may recall this post I made about goals I wanted to one day accomplish. Number 7 on that list was to run a half marathon, and after this weekend, that one was checked off my list! :)
The half marathon was GREAT. As I crossed the finish line I realized that all of my training had really paid off! My goal was to not only finish the race, but do it without stopping a single time. Even during water breaks and such, my feet kept on moving! I didn't stop one single time.My mom was a real trooper throughout the entire weekend. I couldn't have done it without her!....and Shannon! She was there to cheer me on, too! I had the best time hanging out with her and was so glad to have her there.

Now, it's questionable if I'll run another half-marathon, but if I do, I've already compiled a list of things I want to do differently next time. Perhaps this will help you if you're hoping to run one sometime in the future!:
1. wear a sports watch! I HATED not knowing the time while I was running.
2. wear my ipod! There were bands playing throughout a good bit of the race, but there were also periods of "quiet time," when I needed a little pump up music to keep me going! I listened to my ipod all throughout my training and although I enjoyed all that went on during the race, I missed having it.
3. wear my NAME on my shirt! So many people had their names written on their shirts, so people watching could cheer them on! Somehow I think if I'd heard random people saying "GO LT!" throughout the race, it would have been a huge encouragement to me while I was running! :)
4. run with somebody! Although I generally prefer running by myself and I trained entirely by myself, there was a good bit of down time before the race when it would have been nice to have somebody to talk to. I arrived at the race around 5:45 am, rode a shuttle to the starting line, and had to wait for over an hour before the race actually started. It got a little boring being by myself.
5. have more specific plans about WHERE to meet friends/family after the race! Even though I knew there would be 30,000+ people running in the race, I had NO IDEA how many people would be there just watching it and supporting their friends! The crowd was a little intimidating. It literally took me 45 minutes to find Mom and Shannon after I was finished running!
Now I know.
Finally, I leave you with a picture of the newest addition in Shannon's family. She got this adorable little guy the day before I got there, and he's only 7 weeks old. His name is Titan and he's a boxer. I wanted to take him home with me, but Shannon wouldn't let me. Look at that face!

Thanks for keeping up with my running journey these past 4 months! I'm here to tell you that even though my training was very regimented and tough at times, it was totally worth it to say that my goal was accomplished! Today I feel a little like I've been pushed off a cliff, so I'm looking forward to NOT running for a few days!

I hope YOU have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"ready, ready, ready, ready, ready TO RUN!"

Well, friends. It's that time. I've been training since January 1st for this half marathon and it's here! As of right now, I've completed the last run in my training, and I'm packing my things for Nashville! I'm off work tomorrow, and Mom and I are heading out in the morning. I can't wait to see you, Shannon!
The next time you hear from me, you'll probably be seeing what I'm sure will be lovely pictures of me from the run. Oh, and if you're awake at 4:30 am on Saturday, think of me---I'll be waking up about that time! Yikes!

Have a great weekend and wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Totally inappropriate (and a little scary too!)

The Burger King guy really freaks me out. I will probably be one of those over protective parents, but I just don't think I'd want my small children watching this one...

a MUST READ for all you teachers out there!

My dear Claire emailed this to me earlier and I thought it was priceless (and more true than you realize...unless you're a teacher!)....
After being interviewed by the school administration, the teaching prospect said, "Let me see if I've got this right: You want me to go into that room with all those kids,
1. correct their disruptive behavior,
2. observe them for signs of abuse,
3. monitor their dress habits,
4. censor their T-shirt messages,
5. and instill in them a love for learning.
You want me to..
6 - check their backpacks for weapons,
7 - wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases,
8 - raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.
You want me to...
9 - teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and
10 - how to register to vote,
11 - balance a checkbook, and
12 - apply for a job.
You want me to...
13 - check their heads for lice,
14 - recognize signs of anti-social behavior, and
15 - make sure that they all pass the state exams.
You also want me to...
16 - provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and
17 - communicate regularly with their parents in English and Spanish by letter, telephone, conferences, email, homework hotline, web page, midterm, newsletters, and report card.
You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. You want me to do all this and then you tell me......
"I CAN'T PRAY?"
Are you nuts?!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jake, Zac, and Darius...just to name a few!

I love country music. If you're a reader then this definitely isn't new news for you. I like all kinds of music, but there's no doubt that my heart belongs to country. No question about it.
Anyway, for those of you share this love, I have a question for you. Is it just me or does it seem like there are so so many new amazing country artists out there right now?
As you know, I just got a new computer, so I had to re-download Itunes, transfer all of my download purchases to the new computer, AND recopy a lot of my CDs to my computer. All that to say, I've spent a lot of time getting my music the way I want it, and I've just added some really fabulous songs. I thought I'd do you a favor and share some new favorites with you. Oh, and for those of you who don't like country music (particularly BOTH of my sisters!) , don't be turned off. You really may like some of these. Just wait and see.
First of all, allow me to introduce Jake Owen to you. Not only is this guy a little hottie, but he's also a very talented hottie. I especially like "Don't Think I Can't Love You." I mean--I love it.
Secondly, you may have heard of the Zac Brown Band. They've got a couple of really good ones out right now, but my favorite is "Whatever It Is." Their music is definitely worth downloading!
And of course you know Darius Rucker (aka Hootie!)....yep...that's right! He switched over to country and what a smart move it was! I like "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," but I really like "It Won't Be Like This For Long." If you're a parent, it might even put a tear in your eye (after all--isn't that what country music all about?).

Now, do you have any download suggestions for me? I'm open-minded and want some new music!!

It looks like it's time for you to start downloading.

I need American Idol right now.


PS...you need to check out the new feature added to the blog. Look right above my blog list. I found a jewel of a website earlier. You'll have to click here and check it out yourself, and if you're a TV fan at all, you'll love it. Trust me. Have I ever let you down before?

Monday, April 20, 2009

TWO birthday shout outs!

I think April is one of the busiest birthday months on my calendar year.
I love the month of April and I love celebrating birthdays so I guess it only makes sense!
ANYWAY, 2 very important men in my life celebrate birthdays! Yesterday was my Uncle Bobby's (50th!!!) birthday and today is my dad's big day. My dad was 6 when Bobby was born, and since that day, they've basically shared every birthday together!
They are complete opposites of each other, but they're very close and enjoy spending time with each other. In fact, they take an annual golf trip with friends and it's this weekend. Listening to them talk about this every year is like listening to 2 kids talk about Santa. Seriously. And last night, while opening their birthday presents, they would have to stop and admire every single golf ball they received. It's also quite amusing to listen to them talk about the "snacks" they're going to pack for the car. Pitiful really. :)(notice a resemblance at all? :) )

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BOTH!

(....not that either of them actually reads my blog!...)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

500 on the 500th!

So, this is it. My 500th blog post. Don't believe me? Go back and count them. I promise you'll get 500.
Perhaps you were expecting something big for this post. Maybe you were thinking I was going to compile a list of "500 things...." I may have a few free minutes a day, I don't have THAT kind of time.
In my opinion though, this is much more exciting than anything else I could have come up with for the 500th post!
If you keep up with the blog, you not only know that I've been training for the half marathon (6 more days, people!), but you also probably know that during the entire training period, I've been raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Well, I'm thrilled to say that I've collected OVER $500! It makes me so happy to know that in less than a week, I will not only be achieving a major goal of mine, but also helping out (a little!) with the many people around our country who have Leukemia or Lymphoma.
So....cheers to my 500th blog post AND for the $500+ that was raised! Thanks to all of you who contributed!
(I guess now I need to start thinking about what I'll do for the 1,000th post...)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Greetings from the couch; Day 3

I think I've taken more naps this week than I have in my entire life combined. In case I haven't mentioned it before, I hate being sick. I'm just not good at it. I don't like being forced to rest, eat soup, and take meds. I spent a lot of time this week thinking about people (children specifically) who are terminally ill and have to LIVE like that all of the time. It made my heart hurt. Anytime I found myself complaining about not being able to exercise, clean my house, run errands, go to work, etc., I thought about these innocent children. (And to think: I've only been sick for THREE DAYS!). Bless their little souls.
I did attempt to go to school this morning. I know it's hard to catch up at work no matter what your job is, but it's a total PAIN to miss school when you're a teacher. There are papers to grade, plans to make, neverending paperwork, etc., most of which I was able to get done this morning thank goodness. I felt a little "out of it," totally unable to focus and concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing. When I realized that there really was no point in me being there, I left work and came home to...sleep of course. I made it half a day though, so at least I tried.
I always like being at school the first day back after being sick. Those sweet students are so happy to see me. I've never felt more missed by anybody in my life. And the look on their faces when I told them I was leaving right before lunch? You would have thought their lives were about to end. Precious ones... most of the time.
I am feeling so very very much better today though. Z Packs are totally the way to go when you have the same crud I've had. Other than being weak and a little fatigued, I feel like a totally different person than I did yesterday.
Claire is on her way here, so I'm trying to get a little cleaning done, and perhaps I'll even be out of my pjs before she gets here. It's a good thing I don't have to impress her!
Happy Super Bulldog Weekend to all! And, if you're not a bulldog fan, well, I feel sorry for you.
Oh, and have I told you how much I'm loving my new computer? LOVE.IT.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NOW I see what all the fuss is about.

Mom was the first to mention this to me, and once I searched for the video on Youtube, I saw that it was everywhere! If you haven't watched it, click here and you'll see why it's become so popular. (I was unable to get the actual video embedded on my blog--it must be restricted or something). I think I kinda want to be this Susan person!
On a side note, I'm home sick from school for the 2nd day. I'm planning on trying to go back tomorrow, mainly because I have a lot to get done and I don't want to show up Monday morning feeling behind.
I don't know what's going on, but I'm just not a fan of all this mess. The half marathon is next weekend, and I must admit that I'm a little nervous about losing some of my strength before then. Hopefully this will all be behind me this weekend, and I'll have next week to get some energy back!
Here's to hoping that your Thursday has been better than mine! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to you!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANNON!!!!
Today marks the 27th birthday of one of my dearest, Shannon.
We went to the same elementary school, but her family moved to Nashville right before she started Junior High. We've remained best of friends even after all of these years!
Below, you will see a lovely photo taken of us in '93, not too many years after our friendship began. I am about 12 in the picture and she's probably 11. Did anybody else love those booths as much as us? Wow.
Don't hate me for posting this, Shan, but I came across it recently and just HAD to share it! HA! I've also posted a picture taken of us last summer. I just wanted you know that despite our big bangs and bushy eyebrows, we did turn out ok. :)
(I'm very thankful that you can't see my hair very well in the above pics. It was before I "discovered" that my hair was indeed curly. I wore it as just one big frizzy mess.)I've also copied MSKS's alphabet game to tell you a little bit more about my sweet Shannon.
Amazing friend
Beaches
Chippy and Dippy. People just wouldn't understand.
"Don't Speak"
Escalator. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Fresh Prince. Don't ask her to sing the song unless you're prepared to see her dance too!
Graduations (she came to my highschool AND college graduations!)
Has an older sister and a younger sister--just like me!
Italian food--her favorite.
Junk food-OUR favorite thing.
Kind. So very very kind.
Listener/Advice-Giver/Counselor/Friend. She's all of these.
Mickey Mouse watches
Nashville. Her hometown and one of my favorite places to visit!
One of my favorite people. EVER.
Puppy chow. Extra peanut butter, please.
Quiet? HA! I think not.
Roadtrips. I hope they never end!
Sid the Sloth
Twenty-seven today!
Ultimate 4-wheeler driver. :)
Very fun to be around.
Wine
eXample of a Christian woman.
Year younger than me. Poo on her.
Zestful (I used the dictionary for this one. Sorry it's not very good!) :)

I hope it's the best birthday yet, Shannon! I love you and can't wait to see you NEXT WEEKEND!
WOO HOO!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter weekend and a NEW COMPUTER!

I spent Easter Sunday in Clinton with my family. I hope your Easter was as wonderful and relaxing as mine!


I also bought a new computer today! After several weeks of shopping around (and nagging others about what I should buy!), I did it. I went to Best Buy by myself and I'm proud of myself for making a decision about what to get, although I have to admit, it was quite overwhelming! Despite the fact that about 75% of you recommended that I get a MAC, it just wasn't the most practical laptop for me to buy. The MAC is a good bit more than I was able to spend, so I decided to go with something else. Sweet Sam Hardin (who, I might add, is a NEW DADDY!), did some researching for me after I told him what I'd need a computer for and what I was willing to pay for it. He sent me the link to several computers and I actually purchased one of HIS recommendations. Thanks, Sam!




It's a Sony Vaio much like the one here:

So, hopefully my blogging will start to pick up again! Get excited! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mr. Belding

Well. I did it. I met Mr. B. The pictures (and sweet video) basically speak for themselves. I'm also quite positive the Em will do a complete recap of the night, so you need to be sure to check out her blog. For those of you unfortunate souls who have never had the opportunity to meet Mr. B, let me tell you that you're truly missing out. What a comedy act he is indeed. My only complaint: He didn't do karaoke.
video



Oh, here's Em...she went on stage for some SBTB trivia and OF COURSE she knocked everyone's socks off. Duh. Here she is after receiving her free autographed copy of the cast. Those competitors didn't know who they were dealing with.



...look at the excitement on her face. And of course...how could I resist my very own autographed copy? I will keep this in a very safe lock box to ensure that nothing ever happens to it.
Here's to my last day of school before a nice looong weekend! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The BIG BAG sale...

I love my "other" job--working at MINT! I don't get much working time there during the school year, but I'm looking forward to spending some time there this summer! Last weekend was the semi-annual Bag Sale at MINT, and needless to say, it was very successful (as you can see in the pics here!). If you've never shopped at MINT, you're really missing out! Oh, and get excited, because as you may already know, Emily is opening up a MINT store for your HOME in just a few weeks!

So...guess what I'M doing tonight...

click here and you'll see.
Oh, and it's OK to be jealous.

Monday, April 6, 2009

tshirt design...

I appreciate your patience on my lack of blogging, as I am computer-less. I'm shopping around and hopefully this issue will be solved shortly. :)
I wanted to show off my new creation. I decided to design a t-shirt to wear in the half-marathon instead of going out and buying a cute "running outfit" (which I don't think even look cute on me anyway!).
Here's what I came up with. I thought the finished product turned out pretty good! I'm excited about wearing it in a few weekends!
What do you think? (front)
(back)

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

a sad day in the life of the Dell...

Perhaps you've noticed a lack of blogging on my part this past week. Want to know why? Well, it appears as though my 5 year old laptop has officially kicked the bucket. He has given me a few scares before, but he always managed to pull through. This time I'm not so sure. Now, we all know that I can't live without a computer, so it looks like I'm going to start computer shopping! I want a nice one of course, but I obviously can't afford the best of the best. What do you suggest? I NEED YOUR HELP FRIENDS!
R.I.P., Dell. You've been good to me and you will be greatly missed.
Until next time, readers, which hopefully won't be too long. I hate not blogging.