Friday, July 31, 2009

Great-Grandma's Pineapple Cake

Yesterday I finally managed to make the time to make a second cake. The recipe was a special one. When my great-grandmother passed away this summer, it was one that was found in her belongings. According to Dad, I hit it spot-on. According to me, it's delicious.

Here's the recipe for all you lovely bloggers:


THE CAKE:

2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
2 tsp. backing soda
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (NOT drained)


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Combine all ingredients, blend well, and pour into greased 13x9 inch pan.
3) Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

 This is a very moist cake, and will not rise like most. When it's a deep golden on top, it's done.


FROSTING:

1 brick of cream cheese
1 stick butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla


Blend with mixer until smooth and spread onto cake while it's still warm.



Mkay, now I have an announcement:


I have a big surprise for you all! Since my blog has been gaining popularity I've been thinking about what I should do with my newly acquired voice in the blogging world. I've finally come to a decision, and I'll be sharing it with you on Monday. Hope you all have great weekends, and I can't wait to share my news!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surprise surprise...

Yesterday I had every intention of having a quiet day at home. I was planning to bake a pineapple cake and do laundry and start cleaning up my shambled home.

But that was before Christina called me. Christina, as a few of you may know, was my best friend for years. She still is, for that matter. But we hardly ever see each other these days. Our lives took very different paths after high school.

Christina was an absolute rebel. I got into the worst trouble when I was with her, and always had the best times. But she was also the solid figure in my life. She was the one friend I always knew I'd never lose, no matter how far apart our futures took us. She was the sister I should have had, and my complete opposite.

While I went away to college, Chrissy started her family. She married the boy that we all thought was "just a phase," had a beautiful son, and made a life for herself that none of us saw coming. We all thought she'd stay the rebel forever, but she didn't. In fact, she's quite the model mommy. ...and I'm so proud of her.

While some may say her early decisions were irresponsible, or not thought out enough, she's handled the extra responsibility very well. She's gave up a lot, that's true. She didn't get to have a lot of the cliche "senior year of high school" experiences that the rest of us did, and she didn't come away to college with us, but she gets so much more. I think she said it best herself: "[W]hile my friends will be away from their family, I get to spend every precious moment with mine. I won't miss any new sound or movement my son makes and that to me is more important than any degree! I am about to Major in the hardest subject in life: MOTHERHOOD 101."

Over the year since we graduated high school, we haven't been able to see each other all that much. She's busy with her family, and I'm busy planning my career and worrying about my crazy boyfriend. So when she called my yesterday and asked if she could come to visit, I cleared my schedule.

We spent close to three hours talking while Isaiah, her gorgeous little boy, played. I can't believe how much I've missed her.

But the big surprise came when I realized how much I envy her. Even though everyone tells me I'm on the right track, and while I know the career I'm persuing will help me later, I can't help but be a little jealous. As I'm getting older, I'm absolutely longing for a family of my own. I want it so badly.

I'm going crazy being on campus with a bunch of immature party-happy young adults. I just don't think with the same mindset as most college kids. I want a home of my own, a husband I trust with my heart, and a gorgeous little baby. (And a dog, of course.) And it's a terrible thing to want, because there's no way on earth I can have it for a long time. I'd never forgive myself if I gave up on my degree. I can't even consider it. And things...aren't exactly lined up for "settling down" right now. Not with a boyfriend who's running off wherever the Army sends him. Not to mention that I know I'm not ready for all that yet.

But still...it's fun to daydream about it. And shocking, because I never thought I'd want to be tied down. I used to be so...independant. I wanted to be able to do what I want, when I wanted. To be able to leave town on a moment's notice. But that's just not that appealing anymore.

I'm a bit disgusted with myself really. I can't make up my mind about anything. I want very different things that can't be reconciled.

Jeez.

But I definitely need an apartment at the very least...as a compromise with my ever-battling self. :/

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The mess of debate and shock and craziness that's been going on in my head. Will I never stop surprising myself?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Breaking news!

Jasmine from An Experiment in Poverty is having her first ever giveaway!

The prize:

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Isn't it spectacular?
Pop on over to enter for your chance to win, and while you're there, check out her lovely blog! :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Three days in...

Today is day three of our (Kylie, Brianne and I) vacation, and I have a little downtime before our next event (a formal girls night out--photos coming soon). Here are some links to the pictures we've taken during our Tennessee shenanigans. Enjoy! :)

Misc.
This is the bulk of the trip.

Adventures at Adventure Golf.
One picture per hole meant a lot of photos. There were too many to just throw in one album.

Shenanigans at the Wax Museum.
My personal favorites. =] We had a blast, but once again, too many to put in the general album. There's a sample of this one below:

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More photos from the rest of the trip to follow! There are still two more days of fun to go. :) Hope you're all having great weeks!!

---


PS--Did I mention that the pool here has a waterfall feature? It's pretty amazing. Remind me that I MUST post pictures of that next time. :)

And the fudge is absolutely devine.

And the aquarium (pics under misc.) was top-notch.

It's just been swell.

My first ever blogging award--


Mayra over at Life is Bananas presented me with this lovely award:
thank you - thank you - thank you - thank you

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"This award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

And with no further ado, drumroll please, I hereby pass the award on to:


1.Rachael--A Sweetheart and a Soldier
2.Jessica--Learning Along the Way...
3.Jessica--Learning As We Go
4.Adele--Poptart
5.Iida--With My Head in the Clouds
6.Robyn--Randomly, Robyn

Congratulations on wonderful blogs, ladies! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I couldn't resist...

I was browsing on etsy today when I came across The Chrysanthemum's lovley shop. I purchased a lovely yellow necklace from her, but I loved EVERYTHING. (I had to close the page before I wasted away all of my vacation money.) Here's a sample of her work:

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Isn't it wonderful?

You can browse through her little shop full of gems by clicking here.

PS - I'm leaving for Tennessee tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! I'll catch up with you all later this week with lots of photos and hopefully a few stories to tell...

Monday, July 20, 2009

rush rush rush rush...

Okay. This is going to be super short:

Just wanted to pop in and say that my last post was very correct. I'm extrememly busy. (Running in circles and feeling like I'm accomplishing nothing...) After this week, and my vacation, are over I should be back to blogging with a vengence, but until then it's going to be kind of slow my way.

Sorry. :(

I can't wait to get caught up on all of your lovely blogs, but it's going to take me a bit. Bare with me. I'll be back soon. ;)

If all goes well I'll have a post up later this week from TN!
See you all then!

Lots of blogging love,
Carrie

Thursday, July 16, 2009

grammar nazis.

This was too incredible not to share.
Enjoy:




And for the record...it made me burst out laughing in my very quiet office. I think I may have to stop blogging while on the job...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Life Lessons - Take 3

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Image via the amazing Hannah Jean.

It sort of speaks for itself.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh my my my...

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Photo via Baron Bob.


Today is a pivotal day in the life of Carrie.

Today that little countdown on the left side of my blog rolled down from "1 month" to "0 months and 30 days." Now, I realize that only one day has passed, and that not much has changed since yesterday. But you know, it's still kind of a big deal.

Suddenly I realize how quickly time has been going by. There's a party to plan and a trip to Missouri to outline. I have yet to buy the jewelry to match the dress I bought specifically for said party. I need to clean my house from top to bottom and kick things into gear. In 30 short days, we'll be back together...and goodness gracious I have so much to do before then.

And my vacation? It's a miniscule 9 days away. Everything is happening so quickly, and I get the feeling that if I blink, I'll miss a whole week. =/

(Did I actually hope for that before? What was I thinking? I need preparation time!)

Anyways. If I've been blogging a bit less frequently lately, this quickly moving space of time is the reason. I've had so very much to do, and so little time left to accomplish it all. I really do need to stop procrastinating, I suppose.

But if I go missing from the blogging world for a bit, never fear. I'll be running around my house like a crazy person making it look acceptable, and making a mad dash for the jewelry counter to find a pretty yellow necklace, and making a huge amount of phone calls to be sure that everyone will have themselves at the party at the appropriate time, and packing for the two trips that are swiftly approaching, and maybe, possibly finding the time to sleep. (All the while wondering if I've changed some imperceptable amount while he's been away, and if I should wear the red shoes or the black ones with the outfit for his graduation day...)

Oh my my my...what on earth have I gotten myself into?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

For your enjoyment:

Here, for your enjoyment, is another short story of sorts. I don't think this can really be considered a story though...it's more of a...creative tidbit? I don't know. I was bored and thoughtful one day and this is what came of it. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. :)

The heat was soft and damp, but far from comforting. It felt as if the sky were pressing down upon the earth, smothering it. Every home had the AC running constantly. Saving money wasn’t an option in weather like this. Everything was still. The humid air flattened everyone to the ground and dared them to try and move.

At the gas station, old Neilson was leaning on the counter and fanning himself with a used scratch off ticket. Every time the door was pulled open by a customer a new wave of heat rolled in and he fanned more frantically.

He had lived in this city for years, but this was the first summer he could ever remember being this miserably hot. The door opened. He fanned. A girl brought a bottle of orange soda to the register. He told her the price without scanning the bottle and gave her the appropriate change when she paid him.

“Don’t stay out there too long, miss,” he said. “You’ll melt.”

She laughed. “Not me. I love it.” He gave her a look that questioned her sanity, but then relaxed the expression, assuming she was making a joke.

“Mmmmhm. Sure,” he responded with a chuckle.

“No, I’m serious. I really love it. Summer makes me feel alive.” He wondered at how she could possibly feel alive when everything was withering under the sun. He tried to remember if he’d ever felt that way.

“Enjoy it then,” he told her as she turned to leave.

She flashed him a brilliant smile. “I will.” She left then, and as another wave of heat rolled in through the door Neilson could swear he saw every muscle in her body relax under the sun’s glare. Her walk transformed from that of any bouncy teen to the lithe step of a ballerina. She positively oozed grace and peace. He grinned and shook his head. Crazy kid, thought the old man.

He resumed fanning, but his mind wandered. He recalled days spent wading in creeks, and long lazy afternoons lying on a picnic blanket in the sweltering sun. He thought about the way it felt to snap a fresh cucumber from the vine, or the touch of a cool cloth on his forehead after a long day in the fields. He remembered the way his girl’s lips had tasted as they twirled under the summer stars to the sound of singing crickets.

Maybe the kid wasn’t so crazy after all. Maybe she was just young, and able to feel happy and alive even with all the weight of the sky on her shoulders. He smiled again, and when his shift ended he grabbed two orange sodas.

He walked through the front door of his home with a lighter step than he had in years. He kissed his wife, put a bottle of soda in her hand, and pulled her back through the front door into the blissful summer twilight where the crickets were chirping and the stars were just beginning to dance into the sky.

dandelion daydreams.


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Transplanting

I'm transplanting a few things here from my Tumblr blog. These are "reblogs" from other users. You can find the blogs they came from by visiting my Tumblr account. They're just too lovely not to share with all of you guys. :)

Enjoy!


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Isn't it just a perfectly fitting description?
I thought so. :)

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I'm not exactly sure what about this one is so appealing to me, but I think it's just beautiful.

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This one amazes me.

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And I'd LOVE to have a gate like this one. :)



I also found this quote via Tumblr, and I absolutely love it:

"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together...there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart. I’ll always be with you."
-Winnie the Pooh


Isn't it lovely?

Monday, July 6, 2009

C'mon, really now?

This morning was designed for me. I'm not sure if it was meant to be a good thing or a bad thing, but I took it as a good one.

Coincidence #1:

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Have you saw the nifty new World of Warcraft/Mountain Dew commercials? Well, when I started up my car this morning, one greeted me on the radio. I automatically thought of Kyle. (He's WoW obsessed.) I smiled a little and pulled out of the driveway.

Coincidence #2:

Then, about ten minutes into my drive, I switch stations to find a better song. I didn't find a song, oh no. I found recordings of soldiers coming home to their families after deployments. One was meeting his three month old daughter for the first time.

I may have cried a little.

Coincidence #3:

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About thirty minutes in, I get stuck in traffic behind this gigantic camouflage thing. Obviously, it made me think of him again. This was the last straw. I started laughing hysterically and cried out to the heavens: "What the hell kind of sign is this supposed to be?"

I still haven't figured that out, but I find it all pretty amusing.

Am I the only one that has strange mornings like this? Any of you guys ever have a day when it seems like things just can't stop smacking you in the face?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Updates:

[1] My job is still the greatest ever. I had the morning from hell today and was almost an hour late and no one noticed/cared. It was great. (reasons for lateness: dysfunctional alarm clock, roadwork that cost me 20 minutes and caused my gas tank to run dry, slow traffic.)

[2] Kyle has finally phased into the last portion of his training, so he now has his phone at all times. He only gets to use it for about an hour each day, but that's still great. I get daily updates on how he is now, and I don't feel like he's so disconnected from what I've begun to think of as "normal life." I can keep him up-to-date with everything going on here without writing until my fingers bleed. It's great. It really is.

[3] No cake baking this week, but definitely next week. It took us so long to eat the last one that we won't be ready for another until then.

[4] I started a tumblr account! It's going to feature most of the same posts that are found here, along with some more fun, lighthearted, short posts. For those of you that don't know, tumblr is a slightly less serious form of blogging. There's a link in my right sidebar to my page if you want to check it out. I'd love to hear what you think about it. :) (However, you'll have to tell me through comments here or an email. Tumblr doesn't support comments.)

[5] I'm almost positive that I have kittens. My cat went from extremely fat to tiny in a matter of a day. The last time this happened we found kitties under our porch. I'm excited!!! Assuming that things go well and we can find the babies, I'll post some pics here later.

[6] Bungee jumping probably isn't going to happen. Sorry, Brianne, dear. :( My crazy wonderful boyfriend didn't take to kindly to the idea of my jumping off of a building without him here to make sure I don't die in the process. (So perhaps it's postponed rather than cancelled. I just may make him take me while he's home for a bit this August...) However, the vacation planning is coming along nicely. Our hotel is booked and most of our events are planned. I'm super-excited. :)

[7] Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my Mad Tea Party post! I'm glad it was such a hit. I'm still in shock that I had a total of 60 comments. It's mind-boggling. But it's wonderful. :D

I hope you're all doing well, and I wish you all very happy days. :D

I'll leave you with the latest pictures Kyle and I have exchanged via cellphone:

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Kyle

Thank God for technology. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting By

Monday started out with a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. It was too sweet and perfect, and too stark a contrast to the real world. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t focus on anything. I couldn’t do anything but long for better (less lonely) days. I neglected my work, spent little time on the posts I managed to turn out, and didn’t leave my house when I finally got back to it.

It was coming. As I sat there on the sofa I could feel it rolling in the same way fisherman senses a thunderstorm. Every muscle in my body tensed and I drew my knees close, hugging them. My heart ached; a physical pain that felt like a hand clenching it made me gasp. The all-too-familiar knot rose in my throat. My eyes began the dull ache that signaled the approaching flow of tears. Goosebumps covered my arms.

Oh no. No. No. No.

Walls of despair were surrounding me fast. I kicked and beat at them with all my strength. Screamed. Dug my nails into them and tried to climb my way out. But it wasn’t any use. They’re impenetrable. The darkness settled over me like a thick fog.

And everyone says I handle it so well.

Just before the first tear could trickle down my cheek, the faintest of lights broke through the shadow, and I smiled as warm sunshine came pouring back into my day. I was up and moving before the phone had finished its first ring. I didn’t look at the caller ID. I didn’t wait to hear the voice on the other end. I just said, “You called!” because I already knew.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I make it through. Just when I begin to think I can’t do this, just when it starts to feel like it’s too much, the waters part, the clouds move away, and the universe aligns itself properly for us. My getting by has nothing to do with some great strength, and it certainly isn’t the product of staying busy. It’s moments like this one that make me realize that things will be okay. Things will work out, because in this life love is stronger than any pain, any fear, and any obstacle. It is what is always there to lift me back up out of the abyss.