Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Thanks for all the feedback! Brittany and Kalyn (sweet, sweet friends that they are) suggested I get a dog (or two dogs and a cat). While that might provide some interesting blog fodder, I don't think getting a dog for blogging purposes only is much better than having a baby for blogging purposes. So, for now, I'll stay childless and puppyless. Nice try, though, guys.

My family seems to enjoy my posts about my childhood. Since my mom is my most dedicated reader, I will oblige her. I'm thinking about going through my old photo albums and scanning some pictures for your enjoyment (particularly pictures of my "awkward" stage). I ran out of time to do that tonight---it's already waaaayyy past my bedtime. So, for now, just a quick story:

I was about 12, and Hannah was about 10, I think. This was back in the day before cable internet, when going online meant tying up the phone line; crazy how much has changed since then. Anyway, Hannah was on the phone with her BFF, Sara, and I wanted to check my e-mail. I tried to check it, and it made that crackling, beeping noise on the phone. Hannah said, "I'm on the phone." For some reason, I was really anxious to check my e-mail, so I marched back to her room, grabbed the phone from her, and hung up. She, understandably, got mad, and kicked me. Well, she kicked me square in the knee, so she hurt her toe really bad. I, of course, was laughing so hard. She had to go the doctor; I think it ended up being sprained. (Edited to add: In the comments, Hannah informed me that her toe was broken, not sprained.) I don't blame here for kicking me; I was being really rude. But, at the time, l thought she had gotten what was coming to her. Mom didn't punish her because she said she had been punished enough. I don't remember if I got in trouble; I probably should have.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I am in need of some blog inspiration. I try to post at least once a week. For a while, I was posting 2–3 times a week, but now it's a struggle to do one post. I'm not sure why I have this self-imposed goal; I don't think any of you just sit around waiting for me to post (except for Mom, ha!). Maybe I should have a kid so I can just post cute pictures all the time. Just kidding. Kind of. :) No, really, just kidding. So, if anyone has any great ideas for blog topics, leave them in the comments. Otherwise, you can just keep reading my boring posts.

A couple of weeks ago, I threw a little birthday party for my friend Megan. When I asked her what kind of birthday cake she wanted me to make, she said "An Oreo ice cream cake. Can you make those? Or do you have to buy them?" I had never made one before, but sure I was up to the challenge, I told her I'd make one. I looked online and found a recipe. It was one of the easiest cakes I've ever made, and everyone went crazy over it! Seriously, every single person said, "I didn't even know you could make an ice cream cake!" So, if you want to impress people with very little effort, the recipe is below.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake
1 pkg. regular Oreos
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 12-oz. jar hot fudge sauce (warmed so it's pourable)
1 tub Cool Whip

1. In food processor (or in gallon bag with rolling pin), crush half of oreos into fine crumbs. Mix with half stick butter, and press in bottom of springform pan.
2. Spread half of ice cream on top of crust
3. Place remaining Oreos (reserve a few for garnish) in food processor and break into small crumbs (not quite as fine as the crust). Mix with hot fudge sauce. Spread on top of ice cream.
4. Spread remaining ice cream on top.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze several hours or overnight.
6. Just before serving, top with Cool Whip. I crushed a few of the remaining Oreos and sprinkled on top for decoration.
7. To serve, dip knife in warm water and run between cake and edge of pan. Remove sides of pan and slice.

Note: My springform pan does not form a perfect seal at the bottom. When the ice cream started melting, a little seeped out the bottom. I would recommend wrapping the bottom of the pan in foil or plastic wrap before you start.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sibling Reunion!

Hannah and Matt came to visit this past week. It was so much fun! Darby and I went to pick them up on Saturday from O'Hare, and we spent the weekend in Chicago. We saw a lot of the touristy stuff, but some of the most fun moments were crazy situations that we got ourselves into, involving me getting very mad at a Central Parking Service employee who threatened that our car would get towed because the machine where you pay for parking was broken, Darby getting very mad at Subway employees who almost refused to serve us because we had the nerve to come in 20 minutes before closing, and a guy almost jumping off the "L" train because he missed his stop. Aaahhh...memories.

Unfortunately, Darby and I both had to work all week, but Hannah and Matt seemed to have plenty of fun staying at home and playing Wii. And we were able to fit in a lot of game-playing between 5 and 11 p.m. I'm so glad they came; Darby and I are pushing for them to make it an annual trip.

Now, Darby and I are in Arkansas for his cousin's wedding. It's been a crazy but fun week. Below are a few pictures from Chicago.

Matt and Darby being dinosaurs. Wow. I had no choice in my brother, but I did choose my husband. What was I thinking? :)

Our reflection in "Cloud Gate," or, as Hannah calls it, "The Big Kidney Bean."

Hannah and Matt chowing down at Gino's East. We stood in line 1-1/2 hours for this pizza. I don't know that it was worth that long a wait, but it was pretty good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What I've Been Doing Instead of Blogging

  • Going to a women's Bible study at church. We're doing the Beth Moore study on Esther. I've done one other Beth Moore study in the past, Believing God. I think I liked that one better. Some of the homework for this one seems a little superficial, but I really enjoy the videos and our small-group discussions.
  • Getting ready for Hannah and Matt to come. I'm so excited! Darby and I are going to pick them up in Chicago on Saturday. We're going to spend the night there and do some sightseeing, then they're coming back to our house until Thursday! Yayyy!
  • Eating ice cream. My beloved Custard Cup reopened for the season last Friday, and, embarrassingly, Darby and I have already been 3 times. I told Darby last night, "We can't keep this rate up." We'll be broke and very fat by the end of the summer. But it's just so good!
  • Enjoying the spring weather. The past two days we've had highs in the 60s! (A little rainy, but who cares?) I'm not getting my hopes up that winter is completely over yet, but I'm enjoying being coatless while I can.
  • Being excited for my friend Kalyn. She is having a baby! I have been praying about this for a year (as many others have), and I'm so thankful that God chose to answer our prayers in this way. Baby Gensic will be making his/her (I think her, but Kalyn thinks his) appearance in October. Many excited phone calls and e-mails have been traded back and forth among the Fat Tuesday girls about our 2nd little addition to the group.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


So, last night I spent about an hour typing up a post about the book I just read, The Happiness Project. I went to publish it, and Blogger freaked out and logged me out. When I logged back in, a very early version of my post was all that remained. I believe this was a test . . . to see if I actually learned anything about being happy. I whined for just a minute, but then tried to put it in perspective. It was a blog post—it wasn't like I lost a term paper or something. I think I passed the test. I decided not to mess with it last night and re-create what I could in the morning.

I highly, highly, highly recommend The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. It is the memoir of a thirty-something woman's year-long attempt to increase her happiness. I saw so much of myself in the author. She wasn't unhappy to begin with; she just felt like she wasn't appreciating her life enough:

I had everything I could possibly want---yet I was failing to appreciate it. . . .
I didn't want to keep taking these days for granted. The words of the writer
Colette had haunted me or years: 'What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish
I'd realized it sooner."
She set up a happiness resolutions chart (a la Ben Franklin's Autobiography), where she tracked her progress toward different goals each month. (Most of the goals were very specific, but each month had a general theme: marriage, parenting, work, fun, etc.). This methodical approach appeals to me greatly. Gretchen has a website where you can set up your own charts and other resources; I think I might try it.

Two major themes of the book really affected me:
  • You aren't happy unless you think you're happy, and, conversely, you're happy if you think you're happy. This was a big realization to me. A huge part of happiness is believing that you're happy and acting accordingly. I always figured that I act happy when I feel happy, but really I have much more control over it than that. Why not act happy, and therefore be happy, now?

  • Happiness is work, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Gretchen talks about how it's so much easier to be negative, critical, and cynical than to be upbeat, energetic, and encouraging. She discusses how we assume naturally happy people are that way effortlessly, but, in reality, they likely work hard to maintain that happiness—especially in the face of negative people who try to bring them down.

Several of Gretchen's specific goals struck a chord with me, as well:

  • Tackle a nagging task. She wrote a 5-page to-do list of all of those little things she never seems to get around to and crossed them off one by one. I don't think my list would be 5 pages, but there are several little things (like getting renter's insurance) that I need to do. Remembering them takes so much mental energy; why not just do it now?

  • Enjoy now. She discusses the arrival fallacy: the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you'll be happy. This is rarely true because (1) you've been anticipating the destination so long that it is already built into your happiness and (2) the destination brings more responsibility. This is a big one for me. I'm always looking forward to the next thing (in high school, college; in college, marriage; in my job, a new job). I'll never have this time in my life again; I should enjoy it now.
  • Cut people slack. "Fundamental attribution error is a psychological phenomenon in which we tend to view other people's actions as reflections of their characters and to overlook the power of situation to influence their actions, whereas with ourselves, we recognize the pressures of circumstance." Busted again. I am really going to work on giving people the same slack I give myself.

As you can see, this book gave me a lot to think about. I could go on and on, but Gretchen explains it much better than I can. If you have any interest at all, I highly recommend getting the book. I'm going to be working in the next few weeks to come up with some "happiness resolutions." I feel like my list of goals before I turn 25 is a start, but I want to set goals for my attitude, as well as my actions.