A Tale of Two Princesses

Once upon a time (let’s be honest, it was like 12 years ago), a delightful girl decided to teach overseas. She raised a bunch of money and went to training and wondered who she’d meet in this new adventure. Delightful could've sworn it'd be a husband, but God had other plans. The first night, she met this really cool gal with blonde hair and a sparkly personality. They connected quickly and deeply as friends and each thought the other girl was so cool that she couldn’t possibly want to stay friends over the long haul. But boy, were they both wrong. 


Um, hey

Dear Blog,

Um, hey there. It's been a while. I wish I had a good excuse for avoiding you like a bad setup but I don't. I had some disappointments this spring and I let that get in the way of our relationship. For that, I am sorry. To be honest, I think we take it out on those who are closest to us, because you've been nothing but supportive and amazing {except for allowing those spammers to constantly comment on you...that was pretty low, blog.}

I promise to catch up soon {boy, do I have loads to tell you!} but I just wanted to come say hello and that I've been thinking about ya. You know I have issues with proper time management, but that's no excuse for ignoring an old friend. I am trying to think of how to word what's been going on with me...I'm gettin' close to figuring that out. When I do, you'll be the first to know. Pinky swear.

Glad we could break the ice like this and it was really good to see you again, P. You always did have a way with the fonts.

With love,


Don't talk to me (unless you send spam e-mails for a living!)

FYI for those faithful commenters (I love you.) I've had to turn off my comment button because, about 15 times a day, I get this e-mail on my phone:

"Hi! You site is much interesting. I truly like read for wonderful content! My friend has blog such same as yours and she finds routes to many threads such as you do. I'll post your blog on my work page as I have network of kind individuals. Please visit my page Gonna spam the crap outta you"

I'm so tired of getting these spam e-mails...I wish it were nearly as fun as trying to write one! But being able to imitate one on my blog was worth all the battery-drainin', inbox-crammin', second-language readin', attempted wool-pullin' spammy-town ridiculousness. 

My only question is: does it actually work? Why else would they take the time day in and day-freakin-out? Anywho, if you have something burning you'd like to say in regards to one of my posts, you can use the contact e-mail on my About Me page. Or, you can just catch me at work Ashley. Or Facebook message me, Francine or Christina K. Or call me, Boogs and Amanda. You get my drift.

And thanks a lot blog comment spammers...that's why we can't have nice things.


Get the Guy?

"You seem different...like you are more confident than before," said one of my best guy friends as we were hanging out recently. This may seem like it's not a big deal to you, but it is for me. You see, there are several reasons why this made me grin from ear to ear.

For starters, I've been told by friends that I'm a pretty easy-going, charismatic, jovial kind of person. I tend to agree...untiiiiiillll an attractive boy enters my 'awkward' radius. I seem to turn absolutely robotic. If you don't believe me, ask some of these friends of mine. They've witnessed the brain-mouth delay firsthand. I recently answered a flirty guy with something that sounded like this:

This particular guy friend I was hanging out with is someone who knows me very well and has seen me at my absolute worst/awkward times. Because of this closeness, he also knows the different boys I've liked and flirted with (I use that term loosely); he has graciously given me words to say so that I don't sound like a doofus. Ooops. I might've failed that test though.

To be honest, I've even turned the tables on this same guy friend and tried to DTR with HIM! {I kinda hope he's not reading my blog...I guess it wouldn't matter because although he's darling, we're totes in the friend-zone.} Regardless of where we stand, I was so excited that he noticed a genuine change in me. I'd love to say it's because I'd taken some risks with my hair or started dating someone but it wasn't. I'm going to let you in on the secret to my new confidence...

Matthew Hussey.

Wait! I thought you said it wasn't because you started dating someone. Well, that's true. It's a dude I found on YouTube. I'm totally serious. I've been watching his videos over the last year and I hinted to his program a bit during goal #2 in this post.

When I started watching him and his 3 minute nuggets of wisdom, I wasn't totally sold. His advice kind of flies in the face of what I've always been told. Then I realized that what I've always been told is a load of poop. I started taking his advice and trying it out, bit by bit, until it came more naturally. I've still got a looonnng way to go overall (have you forgotten the above clip of the camel doing Peter Griffin's laugh? I haven't.) but man, I feel like a different person when it comes to confidence around cute peacocks.

When I hopped aboard the Matthew Hussey love-guru-train I had no idea he was about to become a wee bit famous. He's now one of the relationship experts on NBC's Ready for Love and he's just released his book Get the Guy!

I mean, even Eva Longoria read his brand new book and called him "a genius who has cracked the code on men and relationships".

He's blowing up! And I knew him way back when...haha. But in all seriousness, he created a system to get women a date with the guy they want within 30 days, and then keep him! It gives you the behind the scenes secrets to how men think, and how to have your ideal guy chasing you for a relationship. He's done events for over 50,000 women (and I'm going to one in Dallas! Keep reading if you wanna come with...)

Here's Matt talking about the attraction formula:

And here's a Q&A at one of his live events:

The good news is that I've bought the book and I nabbed an extra to give away to one of you! But that's not even the best news...since I'm so tight with Matthew's people (you see what I did there?), I've secured 30 special guest tickets to his live tour. I'm not kidding. {Married peeps--don't run away yet! You keep reading too...}

He's going to be holding his talks in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, NYC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago, and Dallas. I'm heading to the Dallas event on May 11th. You can view other dates here.

You wanna ticket to the live event? Easy peasy:

Just grab a PRINT copy of Matt's book from Amazon. That's it. (kindle/ebook orders won't count towards getting your free tour ticket, so make sure it's the print edition you order).

Once you've made your purchase, email your receipt to me and I'll get your place confirmed. Woohoo. I've only got 30 spots, so get crackin'!

>>>Get the book

**And if you are married and made it through this post, I hereby declare it your duty to forward this blog post to a single gal you know! Or better yet, buy it for her and get.her.to.this.seminar.

Trust me...if Katie, the Princess of the Awkward, can start to show some real confidence, then you know this dude's advice is legit!
E-mail me that receipt and if you can't buy a book right now, that's ok...still comment or e-mail that you are interested so I can give one away!



I've done a couple of WIWIW (What I *wish* I Wore) posts in response to blogland's versions called What I Wore Wednesday. Feel free to read them here, here, and here. I ain't got nothing in my closet you'd want to see, trust me. In fact, my jeans are so threadbare and worn that I've split 2 pairs of pants in 2 weeks. If that doesn't make you want to lose some weight and get fit, I don't know what will!

My clever friend assured me that all threadbare pants split like that so I am choosing to believe her. I DID realize that one pair of those jeans was purchased 8 years ago from Goodwill for $3. Maybe it was time for them to go in
like 2005?

Back to the point: WIWIW. This week I've been thinking a lot about hair. I've cut my hair before and always regretted it, except for the one time I chose to chop it off for charity. When I donated my ponytail to make wigs, it felt so purposeful. 

Very opposite to purposeful was the time I cut my hair to an Annie-style 'do because my grandfather gave me $100 to do it. True story. I've shredded all those pics but this will give you a good idea of what I looked like:


The good feeling from donating hair also helps when all the awkward-hair-stage annoyances crop up as I'm growing it back out {which I ALWAYS want to do as soon as I cut it!} This time around, I wanted to give to a charity that makes wigs specifically for kids. So, we'll see if I bite the bullet and go for it.

I've been thinking/dreaming a lot about changing up my hair pretty drastically. Many of the organizations want minimally processed hair without coloring or highlights. Because of this, I wonder if now's the time to go ahead and ponytail it/chop it/donate it and THEN proceed to color it and experiment. What color would I go for, you ask? I've always been drawn to red hair {must be my Irish roots!} and I love how this gal Katie styles/colors her hair. 

Her blog is called Skunkboy Blog and she also makes adorable handmade critters. Awww.

I've toyed around with the idea of going really dark {maybe it's my Native American roots!} or edging more toward my natural tendency for blonde highlights if I spent more time in the sun. My hair typically looks like these pics in that perfect world of sun and no responsibilities (read: when I was 13):

I also like some version of those blonder looks but with the ombre style that allows for darker roots (a subtle, natural dye job though). Something like this:

Just kidding. Nast. I mean, like this:

 Or this:

 Not so much this:

I guess if my hair is chopped, I can't pull off these longer ombre styles as well. I may have to wait for that until it grows out a bit. 

Any ideas on what might look good on me? Should I go for it?


Let's just say 'Blue Mason Jars' from here on out

I'm Katie. I love Mason Jars. Especially blue-tinted vintage ones. Please don't make the mistake I did and use 'I love blue mason jars!' in a sentence while you are simultaneously replacing the word 'mason' with the brand name of the jar: 'Ball' and accidentally fading out on the word 'jars.' It makes for an awkward moment at Canton when you loudly exclaim to your bestie how much you can't get enough of them. oops.

{You can see the joke carried over to her blog post, as well as check out how we used the jars for my sister's darling wedding shower a while ago.} 

I mentioned before when I showed you the mini-mustachioed 'B' on the right side of my book shelf that I fully believe a classroom should teach academics as well as life skills and lessons. After many shopping trips turned sour by little hellions running about the store (Lately been to Ross, anyone? Yuk.), I decided it was important enough for me as a teacher to show children how to respect their surroundings. These are real life things that I purchased and they can see how much I enjoy old things juxtaposed with new. In fact, one of my students recently declared that I must really love this particular thing they were showing me because 'you KNOW how much you love old things, Miss Brown.' Thank you kids, for listening. So cute. {Still wishing that I could take a few of these little guys & gals antiquing.} Ok, I'm getting lost in happy-land discussing antiques. Where were we?

Oh, yes. I was hesitant to put my favorite blue mason jars in my classroom because of the aforementioned banshees, but I realized that this is the place where I spend most of my time and I should enjoy being there. The rest of my classroom reflects that sentiment as well, but it was far too messy to display for today's post. Laters, much laters.

I thought I'd show you the other side of my bookshelf from the B post:
A close friend and fellow teacher gave me a nekkid wooden crate that I whitewashed like the day before school started. I set the Ball Jars in there to help buffer them from attacks and I positioned our classroom owl, Roscoe, next to it just in case kids needed reminders to be careful.

It seems silly to go through all this to have nice things around kids, but I tell you, they have risen to the challenge. Only one thing has been broken all year *knock on wood* and that was a fluke-door-slammed-and-rattled-the-wall-so-an-owl-fell accident. I have seen them respect my things and work to keep their own things protected as well.

I even added LED flameless candles to them for looks. We've only turned them on once and it was a big pain. The kids sure did 'ooh' and 'ahh' though...they sounded like ladies at a bridal shower. I snapped a pic but it is a little blurry:

While I do believe these are ultimately just 'things', I think we are called to steward what we've been given. I keep my new books crisp, my car in shape, my clothes in good condition. I'm not such a stickler that people can't live around my stuff, but I think some people take advantage of their circumstantial abundance. Regardless of whether these kids will grow up as good personal stewards, it is definitely worth teaching them not to bust up someone ELSE'S property. I learned that lesson years ago by skateboarding into a neighbor's planter pot...only to lie about it and get in double-trouble.

What do you think...am I crazy for letting kids be around glass in a classroom (as some teachers have gasped about)? Or do you believe this is a lesson worth fighting for?


T.I.L. #5

Y'all remember when I mentioned I'd been payin' off debt aggressively? Well, I took 2 steps back in this area around Thanksgiving. Hear me out though. I think you'll find that it was probably needed(?)

This Toyota Camry has been an amazing ride. She's been with me for 12 years and I got this car right after I graduated from college. You see, I'd only had one car previously and its name was Doo-Doo Brown. Partly because my last name is Brown, partly because it was a brownish color, but mostly because it was a piece of poo. Many weekend nights my friends & I would drive by my lonely car chillin' in the school parking lot because it wouldn't start. It served me well my freshman year at A&M and I am grateful. Oh, I definitely abused ol' Doo-Doo Brown. I once parked it in 'Fish Lot' way across campus for 2 weeks and when I retrieved it, it was covered in bird poop (Doo-Doo White?) Seriously, A&M parking lots are like scenes from horror flicks involving crazed birds! In fact, there was so much bird poo that I ran into a pedestrian (thankfully he jumped out of the way just in time). He took one look at my car after cussing and started laughing.

On my way back down my sophomore year {with my sissy transferring in! yay!}, ol' Doo-Doo died on the side of I-35 near Waco. I called my dad to deal with it and I never saw it again. We high-tailed it in my sister's car the rest of the way and shared her car for a couple more years until graduation.

So, as you can see, the one-year old Camry was the fanciest thing I'd ever driven. And I drove her to the ground (kind of):

Once I hit that mark, I decided it was time to get another ride. I was losing hubcaps by the hour and maintenance costs started to add up. I didn't want to buy a new car because I am soooo close to being debt free (I would make an exception for a house though...doesn't count to me). But rather than hold on to this idea I'd had, I decided to start looking for something I'd love as a replacement. I had a list of things I liked, didn't like, and didn't care about. I searched some lots and found them to be just awful. Horrible deals, high pressure sales, and they treated me like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, only I was flaunting good credit, not a wad of hooker cash. It was ridiculous.

Thankfully, a friend's wife saw my plea on Facebook and directed me to her husband's new business: Sign It Drive It. He basically FINDS the car you are looking for and gives you a great deal on it. No pressure. No gimmicks. No shady business.

I know Jake's family and his business partner seems like a great guy. They are a local small dealership but waaayyyy better than any of the other guys. Please give Jake a call if you are in the market for a car. Here's what he found for me:

Haha, nope. That's what I traded in...here's the slightly pre-owned ride I'm sporting now:

It's a 2012 Nissan Rogue (note the spelling...the 'other' dealer before Jake kept writing Rouge. I couldn't help but call it that after seeing him write it so many times!) It ha(d) 6,700 miles on it until I got a hold of it.

And I absolutely enjoy driving it. And it has 4 hubcaps. And room to carry crap around. And it's fully loaded (which I didn't care to have before...but is it wrong that I now use my seat warmers as a heating pad after a long day?)

Before (oxidation and rust suit her well, don't ya think?):
I mean no disrespect to Camry-girl, but this car is Bad-A! I can officially say I like driving now. So boo to all you high school folks who didn't understand why I was nervous about highway driving. When your car shakes above 55 mph, you'd be scared too. Now I have to be careful that I don't go 90! Anyway, I waited to share the news in case Jake sold me a lemon. Which he didn't...and he wouldn't. But now it's official:


T.I.L.#4: Valentine's Edition

It's Valentine's Day and I can't think of a more appropriate post than to say...

And by that admission, I mean this Darcy:

Not this one:

I guess it should be more about Mr. Darcy's character and growth, not on the particular actor but c'mon! You can't watch the 5 hour A&E version of Pride and Prejudice and not come away with a Colin Crush (I read that sentence like 6 times and I'm still not sure I said it correctly. But you get it...watch movie. Crush happens.) Unless you are a guy. Even then, it'd be a man crush.

So, fellas (not that I truly think there are any eligible bachelors reading this), if you are wanting to date me, please consider P&P an important instruction manual to win my heart. Here are my reasons for loving Mr. Darcy:

1. He's snooty but teachable--therefore, his character grows as he humbles himself
2. He doesn't start out with great manners but practices them because it's important
3. He dances to be close to a girl even though he hates it 
4. He doesn't trifle with silly gossip girls
5. He likes a spunky, independent woman and offers love, protection, and provision

So basically, he ain't perfect. But he'll admit it and learn. Yum. There's so much more to this character, but you get the idea. And before you say 'he's fictional!' please be mindful that I've met guys like Mr. Darcy. Yep, they are showering their women with love right now as we speak. I will only give you the 'it's fiction' excuse when the main squeeze sparkles in sunlight and doesn't have a heartbeat. 

Single peacocks, I'm now taking applications.


T.I.L. #3

Though my goal had previously been to post every weekday, I've realized that the goal of writing every day in 2013 was lofty enough. I've pretty much met that goal so far & I've only missed a couple of days here and there. I don't think I need the added pressure of constant blog posting...these puppies take a long time to    plan/write/edit/pimp out on Facebook & Twitter!

Plus, the whole purpose of writing daily in 2013 is to push myself toward finally publishing one of my many book ideas. At the rate I'd been going, I would've probably seen Jesus come back before my book hit the shelves; the discipline of writing daily has been a great exercise. With that said, I can't use all my writing steam telling the world about teeny mustaches and grown-ups wearing tutus, now can I?

With that said, I've been sharing a few things I love since it is February. You can read about Things I Love (TIL) no.1 and no.2 if you so desire. 

On to TIL #3:

What's that? I'll tell you.

I know you know by now that I have explored the areas of diet and exercise for a while. I've had challenges with co-workers to cut out sugar and have scoured the interwebs for the latest and greatest perfect-diet-du-jour. I am a huge nerd and I genuinely enjoy reading medical websites and health blogs, as well as having deep scientific discussions with my equally nerdy brother in law. In fact, I think we both accidentally made my pregnant sister cry because of our 'helpful' diet advice. oooops.

I've honestly struggled with my weight/size my entire life. It's not SUPER noticeable to the outside world because my 5'8'' body wears extra pounds well. But it is enough for me to know. {And maybe a few others--I recall the one time in 9th grade when we were supposed to wear hand-me-down cheerleading uniforms and of course, very few fit me. I painfully found this out by trying them all on in a room full of short, tiny girls giving me the stink eye. The only taller (read: above 5'4'') cheerleader in the past had worn a size 4 and had zero lady lumps. My summer 'surprise! You're a C cup!' growth spurt caused the whole squad to have to re-wear our current uniform the entire year. gasp.}

From that point on, I've tried everything under the sun to lose weight and keep it off. Carrot sticks and diet Sprite? Yes, please. Until I almost fainted at school. That one cost me 10 extra pounds after I gained back the initial weight lost. No sugar? You betcha. Until I lost the will power and ate triple the amount of sugar I had been before starting. That one got me a firm extra 10 pounds as well. You get the idea. With each fad, I can do it for aboooouuuut 4 weeks. {Vegetarianism lasted 6 years though. I was proud of that one until the doctor said I'd killed my female hormones. oh, snap.} With each of these attempts at weight loss, I'll usually lose 10-20 pounds, go back to normal eating (because that's what happens when you live life), and gain the original weight plus a little extra. Boo, right?

Well, it turns out that it isn't just me and my broken will power. It's the nature of tinkering with your body. You may remember how I decided to 'go primal' to kick this 'problem' once and for all. I had some success. In fact, RAPID success. But that's the problem. Like I said, I know HOW to lose weight. I can do it well. But each time, I get cold and shivery like a chihuahua in a pool (and not half as cute!) and start to show signs of metabolic distress (anyone else have a peeling scalp and hair falling out in clumps? No? Just me then.) This is where rapid weight loss can get dangerous. I've realized that as much as I want to be my ideal size without too much extra junk in the trunk, I don't want my metabolism to suffer for it.

Enter the whole friggin' point of this post. I'd read a book (surprise!) written by Matt Stone called Diet Recovery & another called Eat for Heat. He's funny, smart, irreverent, and well-versed in the latest dietary dogma. Anything you've tried, he's done too. But instead of being stubborn and lying about progress after the weight-loss honeymoon ends, he tells it like it is. Because of this, some of his ideas grow/change with experience. I was frustrated at first: "just tell me what to eat, Matt!" But that's the problem in a nutshell. Everybody is different and every body is different. I started following his general recommendations to restore metabolic function and have seen a pretty remarkable improvement. My average temps went from 97.4ish to 98.7 in about 4 weeks. My hands and feet are warm, I don't have to wear my black puffy coat indoors as much (you guys who know me are probably laughing right now...), I had some eczema that cleared up when my temps normalized, and I went up a cup size. Thankfully, more chest is a problem I'd like to have now that I don't have to fit in any cheerleading hand-me-downs. That's about all I've seen so far, but this is a process. I no longer feel the need to lose weight by some arbritrary timeline. Bikini by Spring Break? Maybe not. But I have the freedom to approach health as more than a number on a scale. Metabolism is now my friend and frankly, it's kind of refreshing to hang out with the new kid in town. Weight loss was getting too bossy and was kinda starting to piss me off.

I'll keep you posted as I learn and experiment. Are you interested in this? Do you have low temps or symptoms of impaired metabolism? If you want to see what I've been doing, grab Matt's new e-book Diet Recovery 2** while it is ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS. Yes, less than a buck. But get it before 11:59 Eastern on 2/15/13 or it goes up to $9.99. Which to be honest, is still worth it in my opinion. And isn't that why you are reading my blog in the first place?

**Edited to add: Matt's book has some harsh language in it, as well as a few pictures of women's body parts to show the changes in body composition when restoring metabolism. But of course, he does it in a totally inappropriate way cuz that's how he rolls...so, you've been warned. Doesn't detract from the message for me, but it's nice to have a heads up I guess.


T.I.L. {Things I Love} #2

I believe that you absolutely cannot go wrong with owning a tutu skirt. Maybe it's because I wanted to be a ballerina (still do!) or maybe it reminds me of princesses, but I am just drawn to them.

I own only one myself (thanks to my bestie, Amanda, we have matchy black tutu skirts) but I could seriously have one in every color.

To be honest, they are darn hard to wear well. I mean, who wants EXTRA fabric around the mid-section/hip area? Maybe that's why I will only wear it when I've been sick and haven't eaten for a week (just kidding...kind of.)

But I love to look at them on people who just look stunning. Sorry, I don't have credit for the original pics except for a few: 

Emerson Fry @ www.emersonfry.com

Rosie @ The Londoner

 Oh, and don't get me started on this girl:

She made this tutu skirt because she didn't want to buy the one from Anthropologie and I think hers is waaaay cuter. Plus, she pairs it with the best things...sweaters, boots, girl-ties, chambray shirts, etc. So fun! I've actually got a little more share time about her in the future. Until then, just look how cute her family photo of mom & the kids turned out:

So, moral of the story...you should own a tutu skirt. Even if you only wear it to cook dinner.


Things I love Series

Since it is February, the month of love, I thought I'd share about some topics that are near and dear to me. In no particular order (other than because I darn well felt like posting about it that day), here is the first:

I adore music...most genres, most artists. There are very few bands that make me cringe (I'm glaring at you Nickelback!) I love live music, local music, international music--you get the idea.  

I really enjoy going to concerts; case in point, for my 10th birthday, I asked for Def Leppard/Queensryche/Stryper tickets and people to go with. My mom (best mom ever!) took me and the sibs to my first concert. I've been to over a hundred since then and I STILL enjoy finding people to go with me to my favorites. I just realized that I have taken very few pictures at these concerts, but here's a couple:

My sister and I at a 30 Seconds to Mars Concert

Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars at Edgefest

2nd row (for a few songs) at Coldplay in 2010
At Edgefest
Coldplay 2012
And if I can't find someone to go with, I have no qualms going solo! I get lost in music and the whole experience of a production.

In addition to the genuine article, I also get a kick out of cover songs from incredible artists who put their own spin on songs. One that I heard recently really blew me away:

And for most who know how much I LOVE Coldplay, I've now madly fallen for the baby-fied version of their music. I am definitely ordering Rockabye Baby's Coldplay Lullaby Renditions. Who says it needs to be for a baby? Seriously, listen to the sampler. So incredible.

So there ya go. The first post in the many things I love! What is your favorite music or band?


Life As It Is: Part Deux

If you have read this post, you will notice that I mentioned that I am trying to live 'life as it is' by taking risks and accepting life as it comes. I said I'd give you more info on that later. Well, now is later. Later is now?

Somewhere along the line I forgot how to take risks. I'm not really sure when it happened...apparently not before I decided to wear this to my middle school dance {the caption says it all}:
As you can see, my middle-school bestie and I shared a last name. Both of our older sisters were named Sara(h)...yes, it got confusing. I mean, not as confusing as the reasoning behind our wardrobe choices, but I'll blame that on the early 90's.

In 6th grade I poured my heart out to a boy only to be crushed {Want the juicy story? Read my old blog to find out.} But that didn't stop me from taking risks. In fact, I'd say I put myself out there even more. Later in 6th grade, I auditioned for a performing arts school with the audition song, "My Favorite Things."
Yes, that really happened. And not well, I might add. Surprisingly, I got in. And once I was in, I continued to audition and get roles. I got out of regular school each day to finish my day at the acting and performing arts school. It was incredible...we even got to travel around the city to perform our stage productions for other elementary schools. I got rejected a few times as I auditioned for commercials and such, but that wasn't it. My risk taking continued as I was moved to Texas and away from my dream of acting. I moved on to other things and kept putting myself on the line.

Through heartache and disappointment, I wasn't fazed. Through friendships turning on me and parents going to rehab, I pressed on as a risk taker. As boys told me they'd rather be friends, my confidence only took a tiny dent.

So why do I consider myself someone who avoids risks now? I'm not sure exactly what happened but I can pinpoint it to the time I became a Christian. No longer supposed to rest on my skills, talents, or abilities, I struggled to relinquish the control in my life. If I had to give that up, I felt powerless over the outcome. Which makes me scared to even try.

Some might point me to the verse 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' I hear ya. It makes sense. But my heart learns from experience. The more I want or try for something, the harder it becomes to attain. It's a bit frustrating really. But please hear me...this is not how I believe God intended us to feel or live. It's just how I (mis)interpreted 'walking' with Christ and took it to the extreme.

Today was supposed to be a big day in the risk taking department. I was all prepared to share the exciting news, but as risks go, there is always a possibility of losing. And so far in this area, I've lost. So while there is no exciting 'end' to this risk-taking venture, I believe taking the risk itself was huge for me. I'll probably share more on it later, but it still stings. For now, just know that I'm growing in this area and can't wait to keep taking risks, no matter how difficult it is for me.

To end on a happier note, I decided to share a couple pics of a project I did for my classroom. Frankly, you may never need to make one of these, but it just makes me happy to share it and it reminds me of gambling/risk-taking. Ok, so there's probably no real connection, but anyways...

I wanted a box to hold the sets of dice for my classroom and I found one at Hobby Lobby for $20. Um, no. I ended up buying a $3 wooden box and painting my own to match my classroom colors. 

Naked wooden box that I thought I could get away with spray painting: 

Nope. Craft paint it is:

I'm visual so I used dice patterns online and created my own tiny-sized dice template. When I brought it to school, it was all wrong. Is there a standard way to 'number' dice? Too late now, I guess. 

Tiny die pattern:

Burning the midnight oil to git 'er done before school starts. I get by with a little help from my friends. And by friends, I mean baristas at Starbucks:

The final resting place above my math stations and next to the real-but-the-kids-swore-it-was-fake plant:

I lightly sanded the edges and surfaces to 'matte' it out a bit. It's ready for its closeup:
See that little twirly note holder in the background? That came from my family's deli and means a lot to me. I love that the kids love it as much as I do. I swear, I'm gonna create a bunch of antiques dealers...maybe we should take a field trip to Canton? Yes please.