Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here it is!

The link to my new blog!!! I'm very excited about this. Hope it's everything I dream it is! *haha*

Please follow me over to: http://www.abitofsilliness.tumblr.com
All I have so far is one post, but the layout is FAB and completely appropriate.

Goodbye for now, Blogger!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Recap, Wrap-up, Moving on

A time warp...that's the only explanation for why my last post could have been so long ago. I mean, AUGUST?!? Seriously? I'm not THAT delinquent, couldn't possibly be. I truly must have been stuck in some sort of time warp that made the months speed by at such a fast rate that I couldn't possibly have kept up! Yes yes, that's it. And I think that they have a name for this kind of time warp: "LIFE!"

I never intended on taking that kind of break. I wonder if anyone is even still following this vacant space? I apologize if you are! ;) Now that I'm typing, I feel like I don't even remember HOW to blog! *ipe!* The problem is obvious: I just don't have as much time as I used to. But the good news is that I think I may have found a solution.

Have you heard of Tumblr? As much as it bothers me that they dropped the "e" for a lame attempt at being cool (and that a lot of people use it for pretty raunchy stuff), this is an AWESOME new site. It's just like blogging, but it allows for a more random format. I can write a full bloggy-post if I want, OR I can just post a photo, a quote, a funny tidbit - anything I want! So I can check in briefly, if that's all I have time for.

But wait, you haven't heard the best part: THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT!!! I can do all of the above from my iPhone!!! Which is great, because my phone is always with me...meaning I can blog anytime, anywhere: waiting for a movie start, on my lunch break, during a lull at work. It's the perfect solution!!! Seriously people, I feel like this website came gift-wrapped from God. (Ha, good thing I never get too high of expectations. *hehe*)

Anyways, so I'm going to be leaving this space behind in search of greener pastures. But first, I need to update you on a few things (in case you're not a real-life or Facebook friend) so you know what's been going on!

-Took our "2nd Annual" family vacation to Branson at the end of September. Dad rented a condo and we chilled, ate, shopped and enjoyed each other for a long, wonderful weekend. We went to Silver Dollar City (for the first time since I was a kid) and had a blast. Livvie and Jack enjoyed the kiddy-rides more than any of us even expected, while Jeremy, Mom and I got our thrills on an impressively fast and frightening rollercoaster.
However, the "thrill was gone," as the song goes, the minute we exited the ride and I realized the my beloved camera was gone. Apparently, the sheer force and momentum of the coaster had popped the thing right out of my pocket (where I had confidently thought it was wedged tightly). It was a devastating moment...I LOVED that camera. (RIP, my dear little Canon Digital Elph. We saw many good times together.) But Jeremy proved himself to be the amazing man that he is, by not once yelling, scolding or losing his temper. He calmly told me that it was alright, that he would get me another and to be glad it wasn't my iPHONE that I'd lost. *haha*


- I finally got to see Wicked!!! I developed an irrational fear that it wasn't going to be able to live up to my lofty expectations. But it SURPASSED THEM!!!
What an amazing memory! I didn't know how great our seats were going to be until the doorman tore our tickets and said, "You have AMAZING seats." And they were - second row, dead center!!
And as if that doesn't make me spoiled enough...the next week Jeremy got us tickets to ANOTHER showing and invited my Mom and Dad along. So I got to see it again and my parents got to enjoy the experience with us.

- Got a new camera for Christmas! Glory Hallelujah! Ain't it a beauty?

I told Jeremy that I wanted the exact camera I had before...and I basically got it, except this one is better (and obviously prettier.) I didn't mind new features, but I wanted the controls and everything to be in the same spot (aka: I wanted to learn as little as possible in order to use the thing.)

-One of my favorite NEW features on the camera is the auto-timer function where the camera doesn't take the picture until it recognizes a new face in the shot. It's amazing. We used that to take some family Christmas photos:


And lastly, because I forgot that I promised my sister I would post this, here is the final of the 4 photo-montage videos that I made this year. This is the one I made my brother in law for Father's day. Sorry it took me so long Lauren!

video

Ok, as soon as my Tumblr blog is up and ready to go, I'll come back and get you!!! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

In My Arms

Here's another video gift...this is the one I made for my sister. The song, "In My Arms" by Plumb, made me think of my precious niece and nephew the very first time I heard it. The lines "your baby blues" and "curly Q's" describe these sweetie pies SO perfectly!

video

Saturday, August 22, 2009

These Are The Special Times

Ready for the second iMOVIE?

This is the one I made for my Mom for Mother's Day. When I began to do this, I wanted to use "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift because that song perfectly describes the relationship my sister and I have with our wonderful Mom. We are great FRIENDS and always have been!! But the song (if you haven't heard it, you need to. It's precious!) talks about very specific experiences (pumpkin patch, finger painting in the kitchen, etc.) of which I had no pictures. AND it starts out, "I'm 5 years old," then proceeds to "I'm 13 now," and I just couldn't get past the fact that my pictures weren't matching what the song was talking about. It drove me crazy!

So I gave up and used this song instead. It's actually from Christina Aguilera's Christmas album. I've always loved it and because it isn't specifically about Christmas, just wonderful memories with family, I thought it worked!!

video

Daddy's Little Girls

I love iMovie! Using this easy software made gift-giving especially simple this year. I made photo montage videos for Mom & Lauren for Mother's Day and for Dad & Rich for Father's Day. I carefully chose music that went with the photos and evoked the proper emotions (my goal was to make each of them cry and I think it worked every time! *hehe*)


Facebook has recently buckled down on copyright infringement, so it won't let me upload these videos there because they contain copyrighted music. *phooey* Well after my success uploading my little dog video the other, I decided to try putting my other videos on here too. I'm going to post them one at time, since they take so long to upload.


First, here is the one I made for my Daddy for Father's Day. The song ("You're The Only Little Girl" by Steve & Annie Chapman) is particularly sentimental because we used to listen to it as a family when Lauren and I WERE little girls. I remember thinking that I would always be that age...that the future, with boyfriends and weddings and all that, seemed so far away. None of us could even imagine it. So perhaps you can see why my entire family gets emotional watching this video.
video(Note: I'm the younger, blonder one. *hehe*)

Cuddly Toys

Today was an exciting day to be a dog in the Butler household. I came home from running errands after work bearing gifts: a stuffed toy for each puppy. Even though plush toys are their absolute favorites, I don't often buy new ones. Wrigley destroys them within mere seconds of their arrival, so I don't see the point.

But today at Target I found these super cheap little plush puppies that DIDN'T have squeakers (meaning they stand a significantly better chance of lasting for a few hours). What the heck. It's worth having to pick up all the little bits of stuffing that end up all over my floor, just to see the thrill it gives them. :)
video
(Cuddly Toy - The Monkees)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Like I need something else to occupy my time.

When I began reading the Twilight series, I did it a little begrudgingly. As I mentioned, I was talked into reading the books by my sister who, like me, never really reads anything. I thought, ok I'll try the first one and see where this goes. Well the whole thing avalanched into me devouring the whole "saga." No, I didn't read it as quickly as some others have (Anne read the whole series in a couple of weeks, Lauren read them all in ONE), but for me, reading four books in a row was quite an accomplishment.

I hadn't anticipated the feeling I'd have afterwards. My lunch breaks? Boring. My evenings in front of the TV? Unfulfilling. Stupidly, it took me a while to figure out what was missing. It wasn't until I discussed it with Anne and found out she was feeling this same void that we realized our problem - gosh darnit, we MISSED READING! How on earth did this happen?!?!?


So logically, I ran out and picked up Stephenie Meyer's newest book, "The Host" even though it had nothing to to with Twilight. It's a kinder, gentler, romantic take on the "Invasion of the Body Snatcher's" theme. Sounds weird, I know.
It took me a little longer to get into than Twilight did, but once it hooked me, I loved it! The characters are infatuating. The story is intense, full of heartbreak and longing and anger and fear and drama, OH the drama. :) I couldn't put it down. I spent my entire Sunday afternoon ignoring the real-life responsibilities and chores I should have been attending to.

But...but now...what do I do now?!? I don't have anything to READ!! And the sadness has returned. This is ridiculous, I DO NOT NEED another hobby!!! Seeing as how I already feel like my free time is always sucked into a tiny black hole never to be reclaimed. The last thing I really need is something else I want to do.

Ignoring that logic, I need advice. Recommendations. I know many of you are readers. What books or series or authors float your boat? Let me preface this request by saying that I have no desire to read another vampire series. Yes, I adore Twilight and all of the characters therein. But vampires in general are not something I'm drawn to. Beyond that, I don't really know WHAT I would like to read!? There are so many options out there, it's absolutely daunting. I'm thinking of reading this, since we're going to see the musical in October. I already kinda know the story just by listening to the soundtrack, but it would probably be fun to know more. Other than that, I'm clueless!!
(BTW - my one year anniversary of blogging came and went without me noticing!! August 10th. Happy Anniversary to me! *hehe*)

Julie & Julia & Sarah

I just had the pleasure of enjoying the adorableness that is Julie & Julia. Have you seen it? What a GEM! Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses, based solely on how stinkin' cute she is (well not SOLELY, she's a good actress ta-boot). She didn't disappoint in this role - just as charming as ever!! And to even comment on Meryl Streep's performance would degrade it, since there are no words to describe how astounding she is. I don't know how she did it, but she actually physically transformed into Julia Childs! Bravo! I've never liked Julia Childs much but I walked away with a new appreciation for her.

Many people will probably go see this movie and be inspired to enter the kitchen with new fervor and bravery (my Mom, for example, who went to the movie with me, is probably going to go buy Mrs. Child's famous cookbook now). For me, not so much. Didn't change my opinion on cooking in the slightest. Can't do it, don't enjoy it, terrified of it. AND...not many of the recipes shown looked too appetizing to me (other than all the deserts, of course. *yum*) I doubt I will ever, ever cook because it "relaxes" me or because "it's the one thing in my life I can control and count on." BAH! I can't even control a bowl of cereal. ;)

What the movie DID inspire me to do is...this!! Blog! (If you're not familiar with the premise, Amy Adam's character Julie decides to cook through Julia Child's entire cookbook in 365 days and blog her experiences.) Watching her blog made me miss blogging terribly! The satisfaction of putting your thoughts down into words through the happy clickity-clack of the keyboard and the thrill of getting comments from total strangers that for some reason CARE about what you wrote. *sigh* It really is so fun.

Realizing how much I enjoy it makes me see that I need to make more time for it. I know I'm busy busy busy, blah blah blah, but in the scheme of things how long does this REALLY take? I've written, edited and rewritten everything you see here in the amount of time it took two songs to buzz by on my iTUNES. (Which were: an awesome version of "Heart of the Matter" done by India.Arie & a guilty pleasure, "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus. Don't judge.)

I think back to my stent of unemployment (aaah to be so relaxed again *haha*) and remember how much I loved taking the time to blog each day. And for Heaven's sake, I have SOO much more to talk about these days! *haha* But now I'm not blogging? Ridiculous! And if I'm not going to keep a journal or something, this really is the best way to document what's happening in my little life so I can look back on it later!

So thank you, Julie & Julia, for inspiring me to make time for the things I LOVE...and for making me crave whatever that scrumptious looking 3-layer cake with chocolate frosting was. Mmmmm. :)

I'll be back!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kitty Girl

I hate blogging so little, because every time I decide to make a post I feel like I need to grovel and apologize for my absence. So let's fix this problem right now, and just make the statement that there will almost ALWAYS be a ridiculous span of time between each post that I make. So therefore, I won't ever need to explain or make excuses. Kapeesh? :)

Yesterday I had a very sad morning at work. A family came in with their cat that had passed away suddenly, just a few hours earlier. One minute she was fine, then a while later they found her lying still on the couch. These clients hadn't been in to see us for a couple of years, so obviously I'd never met them. They didn't know what to do with the cat's body, so they brought her to us. I saw them coming from the parking lot so I met them at the door. The teenage daughter, whom I assumed this kitty had belonged to, was an absolute mess, bawling uncontrollably.  She didn't look ready to surrender the cat yet, so I escorted them into one of the exam rooms for her to say some final goodbyes. 

When they emerged a while later, the girl handed her cat to me, wrapped in an old baby quilt. I was a bit taken back...this is the first time I've held a dead creature in my arms. (Animals have died in the time I've worked there, I've just always been watching from a distance when the bodies were cared for.) But she was still bawling, and continued to do so not even 1 foot away from my face, as she fawned over the cat I was holding. It was incredibly sad and I had to really work on keeping myself together.  I tried to comfort her, best I could, reminding her that Kitty Girl (that was the poor little thing's name) had gone peacefully and hadn't suffered. I didn't want to downplay her sorrow, so I didn't say it out loud, but I kept thinking about what a blessing it was to have a geriatric pet die like this, instead of watching them live with pain for so long that you are forced to make the terrible decision of euthanasia. This natural passing seems to happen so rarely. 

Eventually she was able to part with her precious pet and the family left our lobby. Dr. Olson was in the middle of another appointment, so I just took the cat's body to the back room and laid her gently on a table. I knew this wouldn't be her final resting place, but I decided I'd let the doctor handle what needed to happen from there. :(

I am consistently amazed at what I'm faced with...and am able to handle. If someone had asked me in advance if I could handle these emotionally charged situations (or the medically gruesome ones) I would have probably said "HEEECK NO!" But there I stood, comforting this girl at probably one of the saddest points of her life thus far, saying goodbye to a friend that she'd known most of her life. And not just comforting her, but actually HOLDING that cat in my arms as she cried over it! All I can think of is that it's not ME working in that moment - it's God. I firmly believe that the strength I have found at these moments comes straight from Him. And all I can hope is that, in some way, His light and love will shine through to whatever individuals I come in contact with. And if it means being uncomfortable or pained for a few moments, so be it. I just want to be a vessel for whatever words of kindness or love He wants to give those people.

But at least I can say that the good, joyful days FAR outweigh the bad!!! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Photo Parade

I felt terrible when I noticed that I've only blogged ONCE in the entire month of July. What is wrong with me? Well, I'm fading fast this evening but here's a cheap  substitute for a post...

Random photos from recent life. :)

My nephew Jack. Does he have an angel's face or what?


My niece Olivia, decked out for the Fourth of July.


Like the new dog bed? It's a "Fatboy" beanbag bed. They're made out of super durable material that can be wiped-clean easily. And of course I loved the color. I got it at this cute little store called "Uptown Paws."


Wriggie Jiggies


Rub Cubby's belly for good luck!


MoJo enjoying the new dog bed.


The sweetest little girl on earth...and her proud Auntie Sarah.


My sister Lauren and I with our Dad on Father's Day.


My Mom, sis and I on a girl's night out


My hubby Jeremy and I chillin' with a tiger at the zoo.


Me at my home-away-from-home, Village Animal Hospital! This is where I sit for about 75% of my waking hours. *haha*


An amazing cupcake (they called them Babycakes) I enjoyed at this cute little place called Sugar Sisters.


Meet my new obsession: sparkly bangle bracelets. 


My buddy Anne and I, enjoying BLUE Coconut snowcones in Ft. Worth, Texas. 


Jeremy and I at our first fondue restaurant, The Melting Pot. (Jeremy doesn't look scared at all, does he?)

New hair do. The bangs SEEMED like a good idea. But I despise them now. 



Speed Bloggin'

I am a busy girl with a lot to tell you folks! Soooo, in an attempt to blog a lot of information in a limited amount of time, I am going to mimic the style of one of my favorite bloggers. We'll see if it works!


1. I got an iPHONE! 
After months of putting off the inevitable and denying Jeremy his one and only (at the moment) wish, I gave in and we got iPhones. I don't why I hemmed and hawed about it for so long...they ARE amazing! I should have known, since I am so head-over-heels in love with my iPOD and Macbook laptop, that I would love any and every product Apple puts out. They really are so user friendly. And fun! I've tried to picky in what "Apps" I've downloaded, but I still already have a bit of a collection. My sole complaint is that the texting is a bit tricky...just because of the touch-keyboard. I'm sure it's more my clumsy fingers than the phone, though, and thankfully the predictive text feature usually knows what I'm TRYING to say and fixes my mistakes. :)


2. I'm reading "Twilight!" 
I know, I know...."Wayta finally jump on THAT bandwagon after it's gone past." Honestly, I'd been resisting for a while. I did see the movie when it came out. I enjoyed it and was sorta curious about the story, but just rolled my eyes at all the hype and all my friends telling me to read the books. But then my sister got into it...and she reads about as much as I do (which is never). Well she finished the entire SERIES in like a week or something. That caught my attention. So I borrowed the first book from her...and bam, I was hooked. People told me this over and over...but there REALLY IS so much more in the book that the movie failed to portray (or left out, or changed). These characters are just absolutely engrossing...and talk about an amazing, spine-tingling love story. Wow. Sooo...I also read the unreleased "inside-Edward's-head" book that was leaked online, and now I'm reading book two, New Moon. And while it's not quite as mesmorizing as the first one was, I'm still really into it. Since I'm basically just reading on my lunch breaks (which last week was dangerously low on), I'm not running through these nearly as quickly as Lauren did though. *haha*


3. I love Sims3! 
Though I haven't really been able to play in a few weeks, I somehow feel this is still important information for you to know. I've always been a bit of a Sims nut, so Jeremy got me this latest addition when it first came out. I don't know if you've ever played or if you're familiar with the concept, but it's so fun and extremely addictive. Basically, you create people (at various stages of life, from toddler to elderly). You get to choose their features and clothes (my favorite part), then decide on their personalities. In this newest game, you even pick a life goal for them to strive for. Then you put them in a home and let them "live!" Of course you're making decisions FOR them all the time...which can get tricky if you have a large household of Sims to manage. The new features on Sims3 open up so many more possibilities...you could just play forever. Well, maybe YOU could, but I don't have that kinda time. *sigh* ;)


4. Got some really sad news last weekend: my coworker Anne that I've become such good buddies with is moving away. :( 
Just to Kansas City, which isn't TOO far away (as I've been reminded repeatedly), but she's still being taken away from my "everyday" which makes me so, so sad. We have so much fun working together and hanging out...she really has been a blessing in my life as a friend. And her hubby has become a good friend and golf parter for Jeremy, so this situation is sad on both levels. She's also become my workout partner, which brings me to...

5. I'm doing P90X! 
Ever seen the infomercials? It's this "EXTREME" DVD workout program where you can get completely RIPPED in just 90 days. Waaaaell...I don't know about all THAT, but we're certainly doing our best! *haha* The idea behind the program is "muscle confusion," so each video focuses on something different...and there's a different video for every day of the week! (Not that we've been able to do it that often, but again, I did say we're doing our best! *hehe*) It's nice because we aren't getting bored with it since there's so much variety. I am, however, worried about being able to keep this up once my workout partner is gone. :( I don't think I'm motivated enough to do it on my own!

I'm going to finally get to see "Wicked!!"
I can hardly believe it, but the show is coming to Wichita in October. (Did I already blog about this? I can't remember...my apologies if this is a repeat.) I never would have thought that Wichita could draw such a huge production, but it's going to be here for the a whole week! When I first found out a few months ago, the tickets weren't on sale yet but we found some "prices" on a site and they were OUTRAGEOUS!!! Even knowing that, Jeremy agreed we could go. But we were delighted to discover that those prices had been way off...and we bought two excellent tickets for the price of what we initially thought ONE was going to cost. HOO-RAY! I am so stinkin' excited. And thrilled that Jeremy isn't just sending me off on my own to see it by myself. What a great hubby I have!!

Well I think that's it...for now. What did we think of this style of blog? I don't know if it saved me any time...but I feel better knowing you're up to date on my life. *wink* 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Close Encounters of a Cook Kind

Went to see David Cook last night!! I went with Anne (my new buddy from work) and we had a most excellent time. (Bill & Ted reference, anyone?) It was at the Cotillion, which is this cozy, round, ballroom kind of venue with tables around the outside and a big open space in the middle facing the stage. That area seemed to be filled with a lot of uber-fans and drunk people, so Anne and I took a nice little spot at a table on the side. We still could see WAAAY better than we would have at any arena, so it was cool! 
David's voice was even better in person than on TV or CD's. Not hoarse at all (like I would expect it to be, since he's touring like crazy). Very crisp and powerful.  I was impressed with the way he dealt with the crowd, too. He was relaxed, personable and funny. But while they did a great, rocked-out cover of "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight," Anne & I both wished he would have sang "Always Been My Baby" like on Idol. Alas, he did not. 
Our seats weren't too far away from the stage exit, where the band had to cross the hall to get to the dressing room. (Yeah, poorly designed.) So after they left the stage the first time and everyone was cheering for an encore, Anne suggested that I go over and wait by where the door was so I could get a picture of David coming back to the stage. Thought this was a pretty good idea myself, so I eagerly headed over there. I was almost immediately joined by a handful of security guards and quite a few other fans. We waited with anticipation, cameras poised, hearts pounding, excitedly staring at the door. Then...all of the sudden the door flung open...and out came....some hispanic guy. Dang! That threw me off my game and I was completely unprepared for DAVID to follow right behind the guy! Shoot. So while I saw him very clearly with my own two eyeballs, my picture turned out beyond crumby. This is what I got, AFTER much altering and lightening on the 'puter.
Do you see him? He's the dark black blur on the left that is moving AWAY from the camera. You can make out his head, his back, his elbows, and his legs. It's him, trust me. *haha* I could never be a paparazzi. :^/

I loved this blog from a local DJ, talking about meeting David Cook's new puppy that he had backstage with him! I can totally relate to what she did...and it made me like David more knowing he's a dog person. :) (Since I can't link directly to the exact post, I'm talking about the one titled "I Am The Biggest Nerd!" although she did say she's going to post pictures soon.)



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's in the genes


What I'm about to tell you will probably solidify my place in your minds as a complete wackadoodle pet owner...but I don't care. Because when I found out I could have a DNA test run on my mutts to find out what breeds are in their heritage, I couldn't wait to do it. And Jeremy was psyched about it too, so we submitted some of Cubby's & Wrigley's blood (that Dr. Olson drew at the hospital...we didn't like do it ourselves! Duh!).

There are a lot of companies doing this nowadays, but the one our clinic uses is called Wisdom Panel. You can visit the website if you wanna know all the little details about how it's done. Basically they look into the dog's DNA and decipher the genetic codes and badda bing, badda boom, you find out what your dog is. That's the simplified version. :)


Here are the results!


Wrigley

We've always thought that Wrigley was a mix of maybe a Rat Terrier and Italian Greyhound (especially before we fattened him up). And maybe some other kind of terrier too. As it turns out, Wrigley's heritage includes:


(Can totally see this in his body structure and probably hair type.)

(This is where we were getting the Italian Greyhound thing from. Just a bigger, hairier version. Possibly the source of Wrigley's polka-dotted skin?)

You can see the face shape similarities when he has his ears back. See?

(Reeeally?? Hmmm. We can only assume this is WAY back in his lineage. *haha*)

(This surprised us, too. But perhaps it's the Doxie gene that makes him plump up so easily? *wink*)


Cubby's turn!
When we purchased Cubby from the shelter, we were told that he was a Chihuahua mix (it was their best guess), but we also thought he probably had some Pomeranian or Long-haired Dachshund in there too. But really, we've been mystified by this question for as long as we've had him. Well mystery solved!!! Cubby is a mix of:

(But of COURSE! Why didn't we see this sooner? The coloring, the fur type, the curly tail, the long-ish body! Its so OBVIOUS now.)
I got especially excited when I compared these two photos (Just change the face and it's the same dog!):

(*haha* Hilarious. Is this where he got his face shape? I kinda think so.)

(Hmm..you've got me!)

And the best one of all...wait for it...wait for it....



(NO WAY, right? Well it's waaaay back there in his heritage, like earlier than the Great Grandparent level. They did point out that Cubby did not have the same "size" gene as a Lab. Duh. *haha*)

So there you have it. Kinda neat, huh? It's especially fun to look at the temperaments of each dog and compare the similarities. If you have a mutt, I'd recommend you try this out! It's a bit pricey, but if you've always wondered what your dog REALLY is, it's so fun to find out. And the folks at Wisdom Panel were extremely helpful. (Cubby's lab results originally came back as ONLY Labrador, which naturally I wasn't satisfied with. So I e-mailed them and got an almost immediate phone response. They gave his blood sample to their top geneticist for further testing, and that's where the rest of the results came from.)

Now the only problem is when people ask what kinds of dogs they are, I feel obligated to run down the whole list! Like people even care? *haha*