Friday, December 19, 2008

This is what the world looks like outside of my window right now in Tysons, VA:

I actually found this picture through Google-image search- and what do you know - China and Tysons, VA could be twins!

Seriously though- today is one of those days where I just want to make a run for my car, turn up the heat and the Christmas tunes, beat the Friday-rush home, change into soft pajamas, curl up in bed and take a long nap. Or watch a movie, bake cookies while making up alternative words to Christmas songs with Love, give George a long-belly rub. The possibilities are endless; and beat sitting in a cubicle!

Here's to the weekend before Christmas!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pho Friday

Today is Pho Friday. Didn't you hear?

If you have never had a bowl of Pho, you are definitely missing out. I was too, for the first 25 1/2 years of my life. Then my tastebuds were opened.
It's a Vietnamese soup. I like mine with a little bit of spice and a lot of broth. It is so good for you too. If you have a sore throat, runny nose, sinus pressure, upset stomach, heart-ache from a recent break're good! Pho covers everything! Can't wait for lunch!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Black Friday: 3 1/2 weeks and counting

This year in honor of Black Friday, I entered a contest to win $1000 shopping spree to Best Buy, a limo ride to/from the store, and some other cool stuff.

The assignment was to, in 250 words or less, explain how you celebrate Black Friday. Since 50% of the judging was on creativity, I decided to write a poem.

Presenting...My Black Friday Poem:

There is a day that comes 'round every 12 months or so-
In the middle of each town's paper, the ads start to show.
My girlfriends start calling, "Let's plan this event-
Do we spend the night this year? How bout a tent?"
Our men all start groaning, recalling their moms and aunts
While visions of dollar signs fly from the pockets of their pants.
Just as the leftovers are sealed with Saran-
It's to the drawing board to map out my plan.
"At 3:35 I'll arrive at the mall
Make my way up Elm Street in my mini U-Haul."
The first stop is Best Buy to get my brother a game
I bump into his girlfriend who is there for the same.
If all goes as planned I'll hit 12 stores by two
And to think that men refer to the mall as the zoo!
I've even heard them call Black Friday "a prison"
Just because we come home well-after the moon's risen!
They'll take back their spite when Christmas Eve arrives
With their gifts under the tree, THEN they'll forgive their wives.
You see, without these women, who would do the shoppin'?
The coupon cutting, the standing-in-lines, and all the mall-hoppin.
For every December, on that Christmas night
Each man leans to their woman, and tells them it's alright.
"Thanks for the watch babe, and that new cologne spray-
Boy, am I glad you went out on BLACK FRIDAY."

Stay tuned. Winners announced by Nov. 24.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Click to view my Personality Profile page

INFJ - The "Confidant" Jungian Personality Types (Free Test)

INFJs, making up an estimated 1% of all people, are the most rare type (males even more so). They are introspective, caring, sensitive, gentle and complex people that strive for peace and derive satisfaction from helping others. INFJs are highly intuitive, empathetic and dedicated listeners. These traits tend to act as a "tell me what's wrong" sign on their forehead, hence the nicknames Confidant, Counselor or Empath. INFJs are intensely private and deeply committed to their beliefs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Papers were Right.

Or at least our hometown paper. There is indeed, a black bear, roaming the neighborhoods of our town. My dog, G, confirmed this yesterday. (And my brother confirmed that G saw it.)

I was at work when the smack-down occured. Apparently the bear came a little too close to our house, which G was a bit uncomforable with. Giving Bear only one shrill-warning bark, G was out his doggie door, straight to the front yard as far as his electric boundary would allow him to go.

G scared the bear away. If only he'd gotten through the fence like the threatened, and mauled the bear to death. Then I'd finally get to ride a-top the Haymarket Parade Hometown Hero Float.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Biggest Decision of the Year.

And the most important one, too. "What to Carve my Pumpkin As, 2008".

I begin contemplating this life-changing choice every November 1. However, being the indecisive person that I am, I usually rush around and make a rash, last minute decision 364 days later, mid-afternoon October 31, leaving me rushing around trying to find the pumpkin-carving knife, rumaging through Easter...Valentine's Day...New Years...Christmas...Thanksgiving jello molds, ah Halloween! there's the knife... finding and printing a pattern...shoot the printer's out of ink again...running to OfficeMax for the ink, returning to fight my brother for use of the pumpkin knife that I had just won right of using by finding it in the first place, removing the top of the pumpkin only to chase my pup for it once he discovers that it's much more fun than his frisbee, quickly carve a poor excuse for a jack-o-lantern, steal a votive Yankee candle from Mom's collection...ALL before the first doorbell ring of that evening. If I'm lucky, this is displayed on our front porch before the pitter patter of little trick-or-treaters appear:

Boring. Guess we get to eat all of the King-Sized Twix this year because we are getting NO trick-or-treaters with this bad boy.

Last year was a good year for me, however. Observe:

This one is going to be hard to beat. I had thought that I'd had a design picked out:

...Until I saw all that it involved:

In all honesty, I have a design and template picked out. I am not revealing it yet because, um, well because I just don't reveal these things until they actually happen. You'll understand once you see it. Let's just say that the chance that my pumpkin gets smashed this year is about 99% higher than last year, and I don't want to give people a head-start to my house. Oh, AND the image will probably be on the 11 O'Clock evening news. Stay tuned for my November post. I have to run to OfficeMax.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Two-Month Novena to Mary, Refuge of Holy Love

Mary, Refuge of Holy Love, intercede for our country with your Immaculately-Conceived Heart during the upcoming elections. Since you are the Ever-Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from the Blessed Trinity a president and other elected political leaders who will help the United States become a country of great purity and high morality.

O Sweet Blessed Mother, intercede for us that our next president will support life for each individual at every stage, uphold family life, and influence other countries throughout the world to love God above all else and neighbor as self, to serve Him, and to live for Him alone. Time and again you have given us your gracious assistance, and thus we humbly and gratefully acknowledge you as our Patron.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee and all those who do not have recourse to thee!

May Our Eternal Father shine his Light upon our country and the whole world. Amen.

Sept 8 - Nov 4

Friday, August 15, 2008

Consider it a Challenge.

I love challenges. I love the feeling of accomplishing a challenge. I'm not always great at accomplishing a particular challenge (ie- finishing my nephew's scrapbook by his 1st or 2nd birthday)- but I love the feeling just the same. I choose the name "challenge" over "chore" or "daunting task" just because it makes it more exciting and adventurous. Well, I haven't given myself a new challenge ever since I cut going out to eat and pedicures from my life. So it's time for a new one.

This latest challenge was sparked by an email from a good friend yesterday. The email had a link to an article titled: "8 Drugs Doctors would Never Take". Well what do you know, but the first drug listed was Advair; my joy, security blanket, purple-disked best friend and life-sustainer. Well duh, of course a drug has side-effects, especially one that you inhale directly into your lungs so that you can breathe. But what drug doesn't have negative effects. It wasn't until I researched further into Advair that I learned how scary the drug really is. I won't bore you with my 65-page research and findings, but I can summarize: Advair is killing people in the U.S. and Canada. The medicine, over time, can prevent the bronchial tubes from properly retracting during a serious asthma attack. Yikes. According to several websites I viewed, the FDA claims that the death-count is not high enough to take the drug off the shelves. Double-Yikes. One death is enough for me! Time to do something about this.

My challenge now is to wien myself off all of my asthma medications, particularly the ones that I take daily to prevent an attack. But where do I start?

I first tried quitting cold turkey. Advair is inhaled every 12 hours. I generally take my puffs at 9 am and 9 pm. At about 9:03 am, three minutes after I'd made my resolution to quit, I started getting dizzy and gasping for air. I made it 3 1/2 minutes.

Time to consult my good friend google. (He's my second-best friend after Advair.) The results that I found were shocking. I am here to share with you, real life articles that people have written, claiming that they have found a way to "Cure their asthma naturally":

1. "I have one solution. Breathe in a load of dust and make sure it's a load because if it's just a little it will kill you. Listen to me. Go hoover our bedroom and with the dust, you chug it down. The overload of dust will straighten the lungs. Use dust or clay."

Insert photo of my gravestone here.

2. "This is my personal account of curing my asthma by deliberately infesting myself with the intestinal parasite hookworm. It involves a great deal of research, a trip to Cameroon and a lot of barefoot walking in open air latrines in West Africa. It worked."

Copy/paste gravestone picture.

3. "Here are my steps to curing asthma naturally. First and foremost, you absolutely have to give up all processed foods and animal products such as meat, milk, eggs...Secondly, DO NOT CONSUME LIQUIDS WITH YOUR MEALS AT ANY TIME..."

Wien myself off of meat: 6-9 months. Wien myself off of processed foods, 12-18 months. Wien myself off of milk, get the point. I suppose that this will help me in my saving money challenge.

4. "I know a guy who was kicked out of the south African army because his asthma was so bad. When he started smoking weed, it cleared up."

Goodbye Advair and stunning IQ.


As you can see, the internet was very little help. Looks like I'm going to have to go the old-fashioned route and consult my doctor. Although he (and all others) are the ones who put me in this place.

You cannot wein your body off of anything- food, alcohol, cigarettes, Advair...without the help of a support system. I am so lucky that my husband has agreed to do whatever it takes to help me through this... minus catching me a hookworm or lighting up my pipe.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Penny Saved...

With gas prices reaching an all-time high, the stock market on shaky ground, grocery-bills rising and the cost of a Starbucks latte higher than ever, I decided this was the best time to cut some unnecessary spending. I have credit cards and student loans waiting patiently in the wings to be paid-down. My husband and I sat down and talked about ways we can lower monthly spending on frivolous items and apply that saved money to lowering our debt and raising our savings. (I love reading up on msn money articles at work on how to do this. I also had a great talk with a friend at lunch yesterday that motiviated me to make some lifestyle changes.) So here they are, in no particular order:

Emily's life-style changes and the projected annual amount saved.

1. I am saying goodbye to the blonde highlights. As much as I love being blonde (I was a blonde child), it takes its toll in the long run. Not only do I need my hair touched up every 12 weeks or 4 times a year, the cost of conditioner rises too as my hair gets more tangly and dry when it's blonde. The next salon visit: dye it back to natural please. My kids will thank me for a college fund.
Projected annual savings: $520

2. While on the topic of beauty, there will be no more manicures and pedicures. While I only get this done a few times a year (and usually only for special occasions), the cost can add up.
Projected annual savings: $110

3. In addition, at the risk of being confused for a man, I am going to be stopping salon-visits for eyebrow and other facial waxing. I'll buy a $2.00 pair of tweezers and a $4.00 bottle of Nair. Ok, I will have one more waxing only because I am in a friend's wedding in 2 weeks and that is the worst time to be confused for a man. (I look horrible in a tux.)
Projected annual savings: $252

4. No buying clothes. I know I know, it sounds drastic and cruel. The truth is, I have clothes coming out my ears. I have 2 dressers, a closet, under-the-bed drawers and still not enough space. I make it a point to give old clothes to the poor at least twice a year. I still have too much! Buying clothes is an unnecessary addiction that I need to overcome. It's not like I will be walking around in rags if I decide not to spend half that paycheck on the season's hot outfit from Macy's.
Projected annual savings: ##ERROR number is too high for publishing## OR $1100

5. My husband and I decided that we will be going out to dinner once a month. We were married on May 24, so the 24th of every month will be date-night. (Thanks for the idea, Sardoniccatholicdad.) It works out great for us since I am such a great cook anyway. I mean, who doesn't love 365 ways to cook Ramen?
Projected annual savings: $1900

6. I love eating at Subway. It's convenient, fast and very yummy. I met Jared and I took the Subway challenge to eat healthy back in '02. A Sub sandwich is only $4.00. Hm, I'm feeling a bit thirsty, add a coke. Do I want a bag of chips, you ask? Sure! Now my bill is $6. Ah, it's only $6. Well guess what, it was $6 yesterday and it will be $6 tomorrow too. Subway is dangerous. Time to revert back to the PB&J days, or at least last night's leftovers. Subway, I'll see you once a paycheck now.
Projected annual savings: $936

So there you have it, my list so far. Overall, I can save my husband and myself a whopping $4818 per year. Dang! With that money, I can buy myself a new computer and a big screen TV! I down debt and save.

I may be a dark-haired, bare-nailed, bushy-eyebrowed, mustache-sportin', naked emaciated girl 365 days from now, but I will be able to fill up the gas tank and pay down some student loans! Now if you'd excuse me, I've got to run. It's time for some Chipotle!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's been a month...

Time for a new post!


1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your significant other? Work
3. Your hair? wet
4. Your mother? NY
5. Your father? peace
6. Your favorite things? pictures
7. Your dream last night? scary
8. Your favorite drink? cranberry
9. Your dream/goal? teach
10. The room you're in? cubicle
11. Your church? Catholic
12. Your fear? tornado
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? own-house
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you're not? single
16. Muffins? blueberry
17. One of your wish list items? camera
18. Where you grew up? Haymarket
19. The last thing you did? ate
20. What are you wearing? skirt
21. Your TV? flat
22. Your pets? George
23. Your computer? Lap-top
24. Your life? too-fast
25. Your mood? happy
26. Missing someone? Mom and Robert
27. Your car? Prius
28. Something you're not wearing? sunscreen
29. Favorite store? BedBathandBeyond
30. Your summer? not LG:(
31. Like (love) someone? husband
32. Your favorite color? Yellow
33. Last time you laughed? 45 min ago
34. Last time you cried? few weeks ago
35. Who will re-post this? whoever

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm not laughing.

"Heelarious" - or "her first high heels" - are exactly that, your (infant) daughter's first high heels. I have one question and one comment: Why??, and obviously the creators have all sons (although their bios say differently).

I am pretty sure that Heelarious finally snatches first place of the world's dumbest inventions from this guy:

Friday, May 16, 2008

I was born in the wrong century.

All of my best friends are in nursing homes.

You Belong in the Silent Generation
You fit in best with people born between 1925 and 1942.
You are a person of high values and character.
Family, your country, loyalty, and hard work all important to you.
You are willing to do what's right, even when it's difficult.">What Generation Do You Belong In?

Friday, May 2, 2008

'morning Sunshine!

It absolutely amazes me that I once lived the life of a college student.

This week I am celebrating the one year anniversary of "waking-up-at-5:30-am-every-Monday-through-Friday". Yes, for an entire year, I have had my alarm go off, peeled myself out of the warmth of my bed, taken a shower, gotten dressed, put on make-up (sometimes), and gotten out the door-- all before the sun is even up.

I have been reminiscant over the past week about this phenomenon. For 262* days in the past year, I have woken up at or before 5:30. Let me explain why this is such a big deal, and possibly deserves attention from The Washington Post:

1. When I first started my job in March of last year, I wept bitterly when my interviewer told me that I had to be in the office at 8:30 am.
2. I bawled hysterically when I was promoted 6 weeks later, and had to be at the office at 7:00 am. (Keep in mind that I commute from Manassas, VA to Tysons, VA everyday- that is approximately 20 miles, or 90+ minutes.)

1+ year ago, I was still in college:
3. 5:30 am meant bedtime.
4. I made fun of roommates/friends who went to bed prior to midnight.
5. I was borderline depressed if I had a class that had "a.m." listed after the time.
6. I stayed in college an additional 3 semesters just to keep this schedule. (Ok, not entirely true...)

There are many more reasons, but I think my point is clear: the college life and the work life offer an extreme difference in bedtime hours. Looking back to the college years, if I could do it all again, I would probably set my alarm for 10:30 am Freshman year, 9:15 am Sophomore year, 8:00 am Junior year, and 6:45 am Senior year. The gradual easing process would have prevented all that mid-interview crying.

*366 days (leap year) - (52 weeks * 2 day-weened)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Wonderful Surprise

I love those kinds of days that start out as "just another day at work"--only to turn into a day you'll never forget.

I have been anticipating today for over a month. Two of my co-workers and good friends, Britny and Jessica, are both expecting. Jessica is having a girl any day now; Britny is having a boy around May 10.

Several of my co-workers and I have been planning a baby shower for weeks. We had the menu(Bertucci's catering!), the decorations, the registries, the gifts, the blue, the pink, the invitations, passing cards around the office to be signed...everything. We even did a surperb job keeping it a secret. (Secrets are difficult to keep in ANY office environment for those who don't know.)

So today comes. Everyone is running around, frantically whispering to each other about final plans. At 11:30- everyone disappeared, presumably decorating the conference room. Well that was my cue. I walked over to help... only to be denied. I was told that it was already set up; and that I was too late. Obviously I felt crushed. How did I miss decorating and preparing after weeks of anticipating? I went back to my desk to try and distract myself with work.

As the time approached for the shower to begin, I was told to escort the girls in so they wouldn't know anything was up. We walked in just as everyone shouted "Surprise!" I smiled as I watched Britny's face light up. She was staring right back at me with a confused look on her face. It was then that I noticed the room decorated with wedding gifts as well as baby. I was so surprised! On the table were framed pictures of Jim and me with "Congratulations Emily" written above.

It was such a gift to be able to share my wedding shower with these two young women who will be bringing children into this world any day now. Today I also had the opportunity to reflect on how blessed I am to work with such wonderful people. I complain a lot about my job- commuting, government loans, not having 3 months off in the summer, etc. But I truly do work with some of the greatest people I have ever known.

Thank you Lord for the gift of these people, this beautiful day, and my wonderful fiancee.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Unlikely Running Partner

As the title suggests, I have taken up running. *Pause for laughter to subdue* Seriously though, I have been running for about 3 weeks now. *Pause for my OWN laughter* I know it's crazy, and again where did I come up with this idea. But I am one who loves to plan ahead. I am getting married in 46 (woohoo!) days, and I want to be in shape. I don't desire to lose weight or eat healthy, I just want to be in shape. Especially if I happen to get pregnant within the next few months.

I usually run with my brother and we chat about life as we go. But yesterday he courageously volunteered to cook dinner for my mother. So, the IPod was my companion. (I needed a dose of George Harrison anyway.)

I took off, jogging down the quiet suburban street. I had gone a good 1/2 mile when a car driving toward me slowed down almost to a complete stop- staring inquisitively as they passed. I smiled and waved and gave them my best "yes-I-know-it's-weird-to-see-me-exercising-isn't-it" looks. They finally passed, almost hesitantly. I shrugged it off and kept jogging. Finally, I felt that feeling that you get when you know that you are not alone. (The same feeling that my roommate Demi got in Europe when we were in London, in a hostel, and she was showering. After feeling overwhelmed with this "feeling" while 'pooing her hair- she looked straight ahead of her only to see a big brown eye staring at her through a hole in the shower wall. Ek!!!!) Anyway, my feeling is not perverse. I looked to my side and then toward the ground to see my dog George running along side of me. He glanced up toward me as if to say "oh? So you are going outside of the electric fence boundaries without me? We shall see about that. I don't let you run alone."

I was completely shocked! Not only had George escaped the highest power, "stubborn" dog-collar, but he was running aside next to me at my pace, and not escaping for his life! The last time that George escaped from our yard, my fiancee and I chased him through the neighbor's yard, past the county line, through the hunters' stray bullets, across to the Civil War battle zone! This dog has never made escaping easy on anyone! Yet here he was, as proud as could be, running along side of me.

Thank God Jim driving along just at that moment. I'm not sure how much longer this would have lasted.

Monday, March 31, 2008

...than the Road that Leads to Heaven!

I can't believe it, but I am actually starting a blog. I'm not sure what led me to this. Part of me would like to blame the fact that Facebook has been blocked at work for several months now; while the other part of me is slowly starting to face the fact that there are not enough minutes in my day to put a pen to a piece of paper and actually journal, the old fashioned way. (I journalled for 10 consecutive years up until last year when I got a full time job.)

I'm not quite sure where online journaling is going to take me. Most of those who know me would probably be shocked to hear that I have started a blog...which may mean that it will take a while for me to tell any of my friends! I have always been a very private person; rarely speaking about myself except to extremely close friends. The only reason for this is not because I am hiding some deep, dark life; rather I love listening to other people and their much more interesting lives!

I hope that this blog becomes an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Check out the blogs listed under "My Inspirations" that are instruments. They have helped me so much-- Just reading them when I'm having a bad day lifts my spirits and enables me to do whatever it is that I am called to do for that day. And as everything else in my life; this is dedicated to Jesus through Mary.