Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TAG!

The amazing Adele (how's that for a title?) tagged me in her last post. The rules for this lovely game are:

[1] Open your "my photos" folder and select the 6th folder.
[2] Select the 6th photo in that folder.
[3] Post the photo and tell the story behind it.
[4] Tag some friends and have them do the same thing. :)

I was nervous! I had no idea what I might find...what if it was horrid?

But I need not have worried. This lovely memory is what I found:

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This photo was taken the Academic Team's State Competition. :) Every year our high school team travels from Irvine, KY to Louisville. We stayed in the Galt House Hotel for a weekend, and while we weren't competing, we were living it up in the city. Some of my best memories from high school came from these trips. The feet in this photo belonged to some of my friends: I think I have the order right. Starting with the brown ones: Brianne McKinney, me, Kylie Jenkins, Whitney Raider and Raina Rue.

Goodness gracious, I miss those trips...

I do believe our (the classes of '08 and '09) need to get together and take a Louisville roadtrip one year in honor of the amazing time we had. :)

Now, time for tagging! I tag:

Jessica
Courtney Paige
Iida
Girl Interrupted
Auri
Lyn


Get to posting ladies! And don't forget to link back here. :)

PS -- YAY for my 100th post!!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hollywood's Latest Trend:

Apparently dying is all the rage these days. The news has been absolutely morbid lately. It seems like every other day someone famous is dropping dead. I mean really, look at this line up (all dead within one week):

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Billy Mays

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Farrah Fawcett

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Michael Jackson

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Ed McMahon


I'm practically holding my breath and waiting to see who's next. Is anyone else disturbed by the number of celebrity deaths lately?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's today! It's today!
(2nd Annual Mad Tea Party!)

Pluff and I were ever so excited to get going this morning! We began dressing immediately. I wore my best blue dress, the one that makes me feel like an old movie star, and my favorite yellow shoes.

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Pluff donned his best straw hat.

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We looked so spiffy that we just had to snap a quick photo.

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Then we checked our map and decided on the best way to the lovely Mad Tea Party hosted by Vanessa Valencia. We decided the quickest trip would be through the Whispering Wood.

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And so we embarked!

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I was scared. The path was narrow and winding, and deeper in it was dark and scary. :( But Pluff was brave. He led the way and made sure I didn't get lost.

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And when we arrived...

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I couldn't believe how wonderful it was. It was most definitely worth the walk through the Wood.

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Click the image to meet the other guests and see what else Vanessa had in store for us! :)

Snickerdoodle Cake Surprise

Today I bring to you, live and in color (kinda), a scrumptious Snickerdoodle Cake.

To start things off I searched until I found my handy-dandy apron...because no cooking experience is ever the same without one.



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Next up: gather the ingredients and pre-heat the oven.
(I get bonus points for thinking ahead and being organized, right?)



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Then came mixxxxxing time. :D I've always loved this part.


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And becasue I know you're all wondering, the answer is yes. I did lick the beaters after I finished.



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Then it was into the oven.



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I was very impatient, but it turns out the cake was worth the wait...



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Doesn't it look absolutely delicious?

It tastes even better. The cake is rich and chocolatey, and the icing tastes mostly of cinnamon and cream cheese. It was incredible. So, for your enjoyment, here is the recipe. Let me know how it goes if you try it out! :)



Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cake
with cinnamon-chocolate cream cheese frosting

(From the book by
Anne Byrn)

Ingredients (cake):
-1 package (18.25 oz) dark chocolate fudge cake mix
-3/4 cup milk
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-3 large eggs
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


[1] Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease two 9 inch round cake pans.

[2] Place the cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix, mix, mix with an electric mixer for one minute. Stop the mixer, scrape sides with a rubber spatula, continue mixing until well blended.

[3] Divide evenly between the two cake pans and place side by side on the middle rack.

[4] Bake for approximately 28 minutes. (Until they bounce back to their original shape when pressed lightly.)

[5] Allow to cool before icing. :)


Cinnamon-Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

-1 package (8 oz) cream cheese at room temp.
-8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter at room temp.
-1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweeteneed cocoa powder
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-4 cups confectioners' sugar


[1] Begin by blending the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer.

[2] Then mix in the cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla and 3 cups of the sugar. If the mixture doesn't appear thick enough, add more. :)

Tip: This makes a lot of frosting, so ice the cake generously.


And here are the two lucky girls who recieved a piece:




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Brianne and Kylie were hard at work at The Twin. (Local, rather old fashioned, ice cream shop.) I thought they deserved a treat, so I surprised them at work. :)

(The fact that I wanted a couple of guinea pigs to test the cake out on didn't hurt either... And for the record, they liked it.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life Lessons - Take 2

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Image found here.

Under no circumstances should you EVER
anger the quiet, ancient, smiling, Brazilian lady.
And I mean EVER.

"Why?" you ask.

This is why.

Yep. They're still my favorite pair.




And a little announcement:

Tomorrow I'll be trying out my first ever recipe post.  This should be interesting.

Tonight I'll be preparing a scrumptious Snickerdoodle Cake complete with chocolate cinnamon frosting. (Recipe courtesy of Anne Byrn.) Good or bad, or just plain ugly, the results will be posted here tomorrow for your enjoyment.

Will she burn the kitchen to the ground?
Will it be a culinary masterpiece?


Only one way to find out...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2nd Annual Mad Tea Party!

mad tea party

Are you coming?

RSVP to A Fanciful Twist.
Go on, go!

Excitement!

I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but I'm planning a vacation next month. Things are really starting to come together now, and I'm excited!!!

The plan is for Kylie, Brianne and myself to be in Gatlinburg, TN for four nights and five days from July 22-26. (Which is perfect, because my one year anniversary is the 26th. I didn't really want to spend it all alone in KY. What better way is there to keep myself distracted than to get out of town with two of my best friends?) We're going to book our hotel this weekend, and start planning out the details of our trip.

It's a "girls only" trip, and Brianne and I are contemplating doing some adventurous/semi-reckless things. Like bungee jumping.

Oh. My. Gosh.
This is going to be great. :)

Kylie, on the other hand, will not be jumping off of anything with nothing but a giant rubber band to save her from certain death. She's probably the smart one out of the three of us. She'll just be taking pictures, which I'll be posting here. (That is, of course, if the practical side of me doesn't kick in and make me back out. And that very well may happen. I don't think the fear of dying has hit me yet...)

But assuming that I don't panic and chicken out, this could be me:

Bungee jumping Pictures, Images and Photos
:D


Even if the bungee jumping doesn't happen, it's still going to be a great trip. I really can't wait. The three of us always have a great time, and it will be one more set of memories to add to my collection.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

"While I loved, and while I was loved, what an existence I enjoyed! What a glorious year I can recall--how bright it comes back to me...This I can now see and say--if few women have suffered as I did in his loss, few have enjoyed what I did in his love. It was a far better kind of love than common; I had no doubts about it or him: it was such a love as honored, protected, and elevated, no less than it gladdened her to whom it was given."

-'Miss Marchmont' from Charlotte Bronte's Villette.

'cause this is how we roll...

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hannah jean,

you're my favorite bad influence,
and the world's best soap opera
all rolled into one.

we may be crazy,
but that's just how we roll.

lots of love,
carrie.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Marla B Marrs Photography

Allow me to introduce you to Marla B. Marrs. This young lady is both a very talented photographer, and a personal friend of mine. We met on our high school yearbook staff two years ago, and it is now my pleasure to be able to display some of her work for you to see.

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Marla has a unique eye on the world. She sees things in a way that many people cannot: to their fullest potential. Her photos capture the possibility and promise of life, and it's breath-taking. To view more of her work, click here.

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I think what I loved so much about this one was its simplicity. It's beautiful, but it is so because of the attention she has given it. Many would have walked by this plant without a second look, but Marla has a knack for finding the beauty in everything.

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This one is my absolute favorite! It captures the innocence and wonder of childhood perfectly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recently Discovered Things


Geri's Art World

I love it when I discover an exciting new blog! This girl has some serious talent. Get yourself on over to her blog and show her some love! Here's a preview of one of her watercolors:



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So You Think You Can Dance
My favorite pair, Melissa and Ade:
(Please forgive the terrible quality of the second video.
I couldn't find a better one.)



Abandoning My Planning Instincts

"Just go ahead and convince yourself now that you have little control over anything as long as his boss is the US Army. It makes life so much easier."
[Quote found at link given below.]

You know, I think that's just about right. There isn't any way for me to plan anything. I don't have an option other than to take life a day at a time and not worry about the big choices that are going to come later...

But my instincts are to plan and to look at the bigger picture. I want so badly to weigh out my options and formulate a fool-proof plan to see me safely and happily through this, but I'm quickly realizing that this just isn't possible. There's no way of knowing what will be happening one, two, or three years down the road. I have no idea where Kyle will be, what he'll be doing, or if I'll be able to be there with him. So any "will I go?" decision making is pointless, especially since my presence hasn't even been formally requested yet. (Note the use of the word "formally." =/)

Accepting that he'll just have to jump when the Army gives the word, and that I'll have to adapt to it one way or another, is not an easy thing to do. Having things remain so uncertain is terrifying. I hate that I don't know when I'll get to hear his voice, and that I don't know when I'll see him again after this August. It's absolutely tearing me apart. But at the same time, it's more than worth it. Our love is strong enough to stitch the thousand pieces of my shattered self back together.

In the meantime, this site has helped me decipher all those crazy acronyms he throws into our rushed conversations. It also has some very moving and inspirational stories.

And, you know, "just in case," I've been doing some hard-core Germany/on-post living research. Among other things, I've discovered that there are some rather breath-taking castles. :)


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I'm simply overwhelmed.

Well, I don't think I quite know what to say.

My blog gained it's twenty-first follower today. I couldn't be more pleased, or more flattered, or more excited. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys really do make my day!

Also, these two lovely ladies are celebrating birthdays today:
jasmine & naomi
Pop on over and wish them a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crazy Wonderful

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That boy of mine has done a couple truly remarkable things...

First off, he somehow managed to wait through the ridiculously long lines to use a computer and comment my MySpace. I realize that this doesn't sound like much, but in my world, it was the sweetest thing ever. I've commented his abandoned profile at least twenty times since he's been gone, even though I know he can't read them. (Or at least I didn't think he could.) He didn't tell me he was going to do it, either. It was a complete surprise. So when I logged in and saw a "comment approval" notice, I wasn't expecting much. I almost fell out of my chair when I read it.

Oh, I love him. I really, truly do. :)

Then, to top that off, in the same day I recieved another letter. And in that letter was a poem.

That's right, people.

He wrote one for me. It's actually really good, and completely adorable. I wish I could share it with you, but there are just some things a girl has to keep for herself. :)

But I'll tell you this: It was crazy wonderful. =D

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chocolate.

While shopping over the weekend I found this little gem. It's Chocolate: From the Cake Mix Doctor, by Anne Byrn. This woman is a genius, taking the ordinary cake mix and turning it into a work of culinary art.

Every single recipe sounds absolutely delicious, and all of them are loaded with chocolate. It's perfect for the girl with the chocoholic boyfriend...

I can't wait to try them all out. I think it'll be a trip to the grocery for me tonight...or maybe tomorrow. I'll let you know how my cooking exploits go. (I'm notorious for making huge messes in the kitchen. For an example, click here. And please ignore the dorky uppercase/lowercase title. I was a silly little carrot, and very new to blogging.)

Hm...maybe I could start a "Fridays in the Kitchen" series of posts?

Friday, June 12, 2009

happy birthday, love.

hehe Pictures, Images and Photos

I love you.
I miss you.
And I wish I could mail you a cake like this one.

Oh dear...not again. :(

Why do I always fall in love with the things that are too expensive for me to even be looking at? Why? It's just not fair at all.

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Oh yes. I fell hard and fast for this lovely little bag. I think it's the snaps that got me, acutally. And then I noticed how perfectly the colors go together, and how the pastels would match so many things in my closet...

But there's no way I'm forking over $248 of my hard-earned paycheck for it.

It's tragic. It really is.

(Adorable bag found here. *Sigh*)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oh Em Gee.

Preteens around the world are going to form a jealous mob
to take down Tyra Banks:


My Fair Lady:

My Fair Lady Pictures, Images and Photos

It made my day.
:)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Normalcy

These last few days have been nice. Kyle's been able to keep his phone since Sunday, and since then, I've enjoyed a phone call each and every night, and a "good morning" text message around 6am each morning. It makes this whole situation much less difficult, and keeps me from worrying myself sick.

I have to admit, I'm getting spoiled to this regular communication. I'm hoping he gets to keep his phone from now on, because if not, I'm not going to be a very happy carrot.

I miss feeling "normal."

I feel like I've stepped into an entirely different role since he left. Being his "military girlfriend" is nothing like being his plain old everyday girlfriend. It's ten times as scary, comes with ten times the responsibility, and is ten times as nerve-wracking.

Every conversation, though masked with jokes and light-hearted reminiscing, is laced with fear and longing and pain. Each time I hear his voice is a small, bittersweet miracle because I never know how long we have, or how long it will be until the next call. And I live for those phone calls. Every time my phone rings, I bolt to it, and I've aquired quite a few scrapes and bruises from falling and tripping into things on the way. I'm constantly obsessed with checking to make sure my cell still has service. Fuzzy phone coverage is my worst enemy these days.

I keep a countdown in my head of how long it will be until I can see him. It drives me crazy when I have a slow day, and my favorite days are the ones when I'm so busy I don't have time to check the clock. The faster I can push the next two months by the better.

When I wake up in the mornings, I instantly do two things: check for missed calls and whisper an "I love you" towards the window. Somehow I think it will get to him.

At work, when it's time for the mail, I'm a nervous wreck until I can get downstairs to check my inbox. I've actually been beating our mail sorter the past few days. He's had an easy job lately...I've been doing it for him out of impatience.

I've also become the walking encyclopedia of "how Kyle is doing." I can't leave my house without running into one of our friends who asks about him. In a way, I like that people know to ask me... Being able to spread his news and deliver his messages makes me feel slightly more useful. At least I can help him somehow.

I don't watch the news anymore. It gives me nightmares. (I'm not explaining that one. It should be self-explanatory.)

I'll just be glad when this is over. I'll be glad when I can go to sleep at night without noticing how cold and empty the spot next to mine is. When I can walk to my ringing phone instead of leaping over tables to reach it before it goes to voicemail. When I can see a car that looks like his drive down the road without my heart skipping a beat. When I can watch the news without repressing the urge to cry. When I can stop throwing things at the "Go Army" commercials. When I can stop feeling ashamed for being so impatient and bitter. When I can eat a chocolate-chip cookie without feeling guilty because he can't have them. When I can take the elevator to the seventh floor without feeling lazy because he's out running 15 miles. When I can bare to pick his clothes up out of my floor where he left them. When I can see a dog without wanting to take a picture and mail it to him. When I can stop rambling about him to total strangers. When I can...when I can feel normal again.

Being this stressed, this obsessed...it's just not like me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A bone to pick with Mr. Shakespeare...

"'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title."

-William Shakespeare


Dear Mr. Shakespeare,

I would first like to express my fondness for your work. I hold great reverence for your literary genius. I would never dispute your reputation as one of the greatest playwrights in the history of the written word.

However, in this instance, I must say: What on earth were you thinking? "What's in a name?" I believe, my good sir, that you've sold the role of a name short.

I realize, of course, that the essence of this passage was supposed to demonstrate the foolishness of the dispute between the Montagues and Capulets on the principle of "upholding the family name," so to speak, but sir, please consider what other connotations your words have.

A name is a very special kind of word. It holds within its letters the entire idea of a person. You only have to say someone's name and suddenly images come rushing into your mind: memories of times spent together, the way their laugh sounds, the particular shade of their eyes. Each and every speck of their being is conceptually contained there.

And family names are quite important too. Had Romeo been anything other than a Montague, he wouldn't have been himself. There is a stereotype that is associated with the Montague name, without which he wouldn't have become the person that poor Juliet fell in love with. The hypothetical rose would not have smelled as sweet. While a name isn't a tangible part of a person's being, it does undeniably shape them. Think of the children of celebrities. Their lives are irrevocably changed by the names their parents gave them. They'll forever carry that brand, and be expected to live up to it.

"What's in a name?" Why, everything. Long after we are gone, our names, carved into a stone and etched into the hearts of those surviving us, will be all that exist. Whatever we once were will be contained in that word. It will become the very essence of our presence on Earth. You, my good sir, more than anyone should recognize this. Your name has nearly become an adjective to describe the great writers of the day.

The role played by a name deserves some credit. A name isn't something to be flippantly cast aside as an incorrect label. It is something that we shape and fulfill every day.

At any rate, I've babbled on far long enough.

All the best wishes,

Carrie Chaney

Life Lessons



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Lesson:
No matter how much your day sucks, it could always be worse.
You could be an ant.
And you could be squished.
A hard time is better than no time at all.

Weekend News:

The weekend started out slow with a lazy Friday night/Saturday morning, which suited me just fine after a long week at the very boring office. I did make the best spaghetti ever on Friday night, too. I was really proud of myself. :)

But Sunday went by in a rush of phone calls from Kyle, hugs at the high school graduation, visiting new puppies, and doing summer proof-reading for the high school yearbook.

(Yes, I did graduate last year. I'm getting paid to come back and do more of these:

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For $50 from my favorite teacher, I don't mind a bit.)

Anyway, it's been a good couple of days. :)

And here is the newest picture Kyle sent me. (Thank God for camera phones.) He might kill me for this later, but he's adorable and I can't help but share. Besides, what he doesn't know won't hurt him...
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Friday, June 5, 2009

Stamping away...

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I have no idea who Donna Harmon is. I've never met her. But I've just finished stamping her name on hundreds of time sheets for the office.

All I have to say is that she's either a very busy woman or a very important one. This stamping business happens at least once a month, and she never does it herself. No, the monotonous task of approving time sheets falls to me.

I don't mind a bit. I'm paid very well for what little work I have to do, and I actually quite enjoy lining the stamp up just so with the signature line.

I like office-y things in general. I like alphabetizing and shredding and filing. I like answering phones and printing and copying. I like making conversation with the other people here. I like giving people directions to whichever office they need. I like knowing what's expected of me...

I like that I have my name on a door.
I like that I have my own phone line.
I like that I get to decorate however I like.
I like that I choose my own schedule.

I love my job. I really do.
(And if you ever need Donna Harmon's signature, I'm the girl to call.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Surviving The World

I stumbled upon this site today. It's provided quite a bit of entertainment while I was bored out of my mind at the office. This bit of advice was particularly amusing:

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And Kyle should probably take this one to heart:

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:)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Making Me Smile

It's a pretty easy thing to do,
and I have examples of how:


-Let me wear a new dress and bright yellow shoes without an occasion.
-Send me a real letter, not some hasty email.
-Bring me a flower on a random day.
-Let's bake a chocolate cake.
-Accept that sometimes, I just need to cry. Then be there when I stop.
-Take me to the park. I love swingsets. :)
-Remember a tiny detail about something we did together.
-Know when I'm lying about being fine.
-Make me laugh so hard my sides ache.
-Read my blog, or better yet, follow it. (Kudos to you for reading!)
-Tell me you like Twilight. It makes me feel less dorky.
-Walk slowly so I can keep up.
-Be completely honest with me.
-Let me edit your essays...and remember to say "thank you."
-Text me to say "hello."
-Eat ice cream with me when I say I'm on a diet.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dear Kyle,

Today I'm missing you more than ever. I think that's inevitable. Each day that I wake up is one day further away from you than the last one was. But it's also one day closer, and that gives me hope.

There are moments when I could kick you for leaving me like this. While I know that the benefits will far outway this pain in the long run, I have a hard time focusing on that. Can you blame me? Being here without is the hardest thing I've ever done...but it's not the hardest thing I'll do. Watching you walk away from me this August will be ten times worse, because I know I could be walking away with you.

I love you more than I ever thought possible. I didn't imagine, in my childhood, that love like this could really exist. I thought it belonged in fairy tales. I made myself independent and indifferent. And then I saw you and all of that changed. You took my world, turned it upside down, and shook it hard. All I'm left with are the parts of me that held on tight enough to survive: the things that make up my identity rather than the facade I presented.

What's ironic is that you didn't even know what you'd done. It wasn't intentional in the least. So I waited and I worked to make myself bold and eventually I made you see that I love you, and I guess you didn't want to pass that up because here we are together...

But now you're gone, and I'm miserable. I find myself walking around aimlessly sometimes, not knowing where to go or what to do. I focused so long on getting you, and keeping you, that you became the only thing in my future I could see. I've said it many times that you're the only thing I'm sure of. I meant that. I don't regret it. I don't mind that I look forward to being with you more than anything else. After all, you do make me the happiest. Everything else is merely a detail.

The current problem is that the details aren't a good enough distraction to keep the hurt away. And in some small ways, I'm angry. I don't know what I've ever done to warrant being hurt like this. But I can't be angry with you. I can understand quite clearly what you were thinking. I know it's for the best. And beyond that, I know it's what you want, and I'd never keep you from what you want. Still, when you said "I'll never leave you," I didn't think about making a claus that would prevent you from leaving this way too. I guess that's irony at it's best, huh?

Despite the pain though, I know I'm lucky. Not many people are blessed with a love like this.

This is the letter I can't send you, because this is the letter that shows me at my weakest, and I wanted so badly to be strong for you. I'm a hopeless mess without you, and I hate that. I'm sorry. But I'm trying my very hardest here, and at least you know I mean it when I say I love you. I am absolutely living for the day when I'll see you again. I hope you know that. And I hope you know I've kept my promises.

With all my heart,
Carrie

Twilight.

Mkay. Here's the deal. I am completely in love with these books:

Twilight Saga Pictures, Images and Photos

They may not be the most spectacular literary wonder that's ever graced the planet, but they are one of the most epic love stories ever. If you haven't read them, do so immediately. And do not use the excuse: "I don't want to follow a trend." I read them before the trend started. They were amazing then. You're getting the reccomendation from someone credible here, not just some Edward-crazed fan girl. Okay? Okay.

Now, the movie trailer for New Moon has just been released.
It follows.



It's safe to say that
I'M EXCITEDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(And yes, I will be attending the midnight showing. And I'll proudly wear my 'team Jacob' shirt. We Jacob girls are so few and far between that we're obligated to represent.)
=]