Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The saddest story ever told...

There is a poll conducted by Fox News that asked the question: Which film makes you cry the most?

Scientists at the Smithsonian found that the 1979 flick, "The Champ" was the winner.

Since I have never seen the tearjerker, I cannot comment on how valid the answer is but I can list my top 5 tearjerker movies (in no particular order):

1. Titanic - End Scene

I will admit, the first time I saw this movie in the theatre, I was crying the moment the music started at the beginning of the movie. Prior to the movie, (in my 7th grade glory), I had conducted research on the Titanic, the people aboard and its history. I was connected. I felt as if I was a part of this movie. The scene I was to highlight is the end scene; you see old Rose lying on a bed, the camera pans to a line of photographs of young rose doing all of the things that Jack and Rose talked about doing. Then camera then goes through the sunken Titanic, then you are back on the intact ship. You end up at the grande staircase where Jack and Rose are reunited for eternity. Give me a tissue, please.

2. Bambi - Death of Bambi's Mom

Don't even try to tell me that you didn't cry whenever Bambi's mother was shot. You know you did.

3. Moulin Rouge - Death of Satine

It never fails, every time I watch this movie...which...I don't even know how many times I've seen this movie...I cry. I bawl. I use a whole box of tissues. "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return."

4. Steel Magnolias - M'Lynn's monologue on Shelby's Death

This scene is both heartwrenching and funny. "Take a whack at Ouiser!"

5. What Dreams May Come - the whole movie

I bawled throughout this movie. There is so much sadness...and so much beauty.

Some other movies that deserve to be on the list:

Up, Million Dollar Baby, The Notebook, The Lion King, Passion of the Christ....and there are so many more.

What makes your list?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things I love...

Here are a few things I love. They are romantic, whimsical, sweet, beautiful and some of them are downright unpractical. That's okay though: Enjoy! (Click on the photo to go to the Etsy shop!)

I found these cuffs on Etsy by JezebelCharms. The cuffs are made out of brass and are printed with quotes and photos. Love, love, love!

If you have been around me lately, you know I have a thing for birds. One day while in Michael's I saw these cute, antique-looking ceramic birds. On the display they had said birds perched on top of old, worn out books. Thus began my obsession with the whimsical little creatures.

This lariat necklace features a twig and sparrow and is different and beautiful! 

This photo took my breath away. It makes me long for the ocean. I don't know why but there is something nostalgic about sea oats.

I also wanted to feature one of my dear friend's Etsy shop. She doesn't have anything for sale but I know she makes the most gorgeous paper roses. To all the guys that read this blog, I urge you to order your wife a dozen or so of these beautiful roses. They are shabby/cottage-chic. I have two sitting on the buffet in my dining room and they add an understated beauty to the room. She can make them in any color and even...wait for pages!!!! Eeek! I swoon over anything book related.

Edit: I can't believe that I forgot about my own sis-in-love's etsy shop!!!! Guys...she is such a talented painter among other things. I couldn't decide which painting I loved best so I will post both of them.


What's your favorite Etsy shop? Have you bought anything from Etsy?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kettle Corn

There is this group. The group consists of 3 ladies (not including myself) that I love and adore.
Because I love and adore said ladies, I decided to make them kettle corn for our weekly meeting.
The popcorn was a medley of salty, sweet, crunchy and chewy. Perfect, in fact.
Just in case you want to make some salty, sweet kettle corn for a group of amazing ladies, or if you just want to make it for yourself, see below:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
Salt (to taste)

In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add two or three kernels of popcorn. When you hear two or three pops, quickly add the popcorn and sprinkle the sugar over the kernels. Cover and shake the pan violently until the popping slows down. Remove from the heat and toss with the salt.

Voila! You have kettle corn for yourself and those you love. If you want really sticky, sweet popcorn, add a bit more sugar.
I will note that when I say "shake violently", I mean shake like you have never shook anything before. Don't shake it like a Polaroid picture. Don't shake it like a salt shaker.
Shake it like it's your job.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I like definitions, so I will start this post by defining. [in-som-nee-uh] -  inability to obtain sufficient sleep, especially when chronic;difficulty in falling or staying asleep; sleeplessness.

I have officially, unofficially self-diagnosed myself with this "disorder". Typically, I find it hard to go to sleep. Joseph is usually in snoozeland before I can say, "good night honey". (Seriously, his head hits the pillow and 5-seconds later he is out. Cold.)

My typical night looks like this:

10:30 pm - Lay down

10:35 pm- Turn over on my side

10:40 pm- Turn over on my other side

10:45 pm- Return to Go. Do not collect $200

11:00 pm - Count sheep that start out as cute, fluffy Serta sheep and end up as zombie sheep

11:05 pm - Pray that said zombie sheep don't eat me

11:15 pm - My mind begins to drift

11:30-midnight - At some point during this time, I fall asleep

2:31 pm - My mind drifts out of dreamland

2:32 pm- Elbow Joseph to deter him from snoring

2:33 pm- Lie awake until the cycle comes back around (minus the zombie sheep)

Almost every night this cycle occurs and for some reason I always wake up between 2:15 and 3:00 am and have the hardest time falling back into blissful slumber.

Oh to be Sleeping Beauty or Snow White; to fall asleep and stay that way, maybe not eternally, but at least for an 8 hour period.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Fear

First hit the play button and listen to this song while reading the post. Beautiful...

We all have fears. Fear of self, fear of the unknown, fear of spiders, snakes or other creepy crawlies. Fear of public speaking, death, rejection. Fear of loss or love. Fear of water, airplanes, and heights or in my case, fear of needles. Even a fear we don’t think about: grief.

Whatever the fear, no matter how big or small, whether the fear is tangible or mental, it is there. Fear is there.

Fear: [feer] –noun. A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

I think the key phrase is, “whether the threat is real or imagined”. Many people don’t understand my fear. At the mention of shots, IVs needles, I have a fit. I rub my hands together, tense up and sometimes I get light headed. No flu shots for me. I can't give blood. I'm allergic to needles, I promise.

Most people think it’s funny, they don’t understand the psychological fear that comes along with the thought, sight or even the physical application of needles/IVs. But how can they understand, when even I don’t understand my fear?

I can’t remember when the fear started but I do remember the first episode I had regarding needles.

Picture it: Carolina Forest High School 2002. We were having our yearly standardized tests and I was in a classroom with a teacher that I didn’t know. After testing, you are encouraged to bring a book or homework to work on while waiting for everyone else to finish. I brought a book that described in detail the methods of chemotherapy (I wish I could remember the name of the book…it was good).

After reading a few of the graphic lines, I started seeing spots that turned into tunnel vision. I felt very warm and after a few minutes got up and asked the teacher if I could go to the restroom. I made it to the hallway, right outside of the classroom door. I pressed my cheek against the cool, concrete walls. Next thing I know, I’m on the ground and the school’s resource officer was standing over me asking if I had taken any drugs. Drugs? Really? No. I hadn’t taken any drugs. Unless you consider literature a drug.

And may I remind you, I have a tattoo! (I almost passed out while getting tatted...but I didn't pass out...)

The second episode was similar as it happened at school. It was during health class, when the girls and boys separated to talk about safe sex, birth control and the like. It also happened to be the only day that year that I wore a skirt. While the teacher was talking about Depo-Provera and Norplant (implanted birth control methods), I started to get the same tunnel vision. “Seriously Jessica? Again?” I thought.

My mom had told me if it happened again, to put my head between my legs. Yeah…I was really going to do that in the middle of class with a skirt on. Again, I got hot and the next thing I know, I’m on the floor. Again, no drugs.

Another favorite story is when I went to the health department to get my shots for Africa. One of the teenagers who was accompanying us to Africa went in before me. She came out and said, “Oh it’s nothing”.

The nurse calls my name. And since I am a big girl, I asked my mom to come back with me. The nurse took me to an office, with a desk and two chairs. She asked me to sit in one of the chairs. She came back into the room and had the needles with her. I gently commented that she should have me lay down as I would pass out otherwise.

She reluctantly led me back to a room with an examination table. I lay down and the shots were administered and the whole time, tears were streaming down my face. The shots didn’t hurt necessarily, it was the fear that took over my emotions and the tears didn’t stop.  However, I didn’t pass out.

So, I pass out and freak out. The fear is so great that I pass out. I get so freaked out that my body goes into shock and I drop like a fly.

I have tried to process the fear, to think about why I fear something as common and ordinary as getting a shot. I know it doesn’t hurt. I’ve had IVs, shots and have had blood drawn and overall there is little or no pain.

It isn’t the thought of medicine going into my veins. It’s the thought of a needle being in my body. As I type this, my heart is racing and I have the urge to rub my hands so the phantom needle will go away.

What is your fear? How do you cope with it? Do you avoid it completely? Do you face it head on?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Maybe in the future:

Loving this song and this artist.

Where was she during my heartbroken college days?

Ingrid Michaelson is so cute and quirky. Her videos are overall creative in theory (though one freaks me out because the video revolves around clowns. And if you didn't know, clowns are creepy...)

That's all I got for today. Some big things are brewing and I will be posting more in a couple months on what is pouring out in our lives.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Don't Waste Your Life

A couple of Sundays ago, I was at my cousin-in-law's house for Sunday lunch (which they graciously provided as they had no clue that three additional people were attending).
After dinner, Kurt and Lanaea introduced me to some music that I thought I wouldn't care for: Christian Rap.

I thought, "Christian Rap...hmmm...this is going to be terrible." Most of you probably don't know this about me: but I used to love rap music. Whether is was in the club or in the car, I was bobbin my head and dancing to music that degraded women and glorified drugs and murder.
Needlesstosay, I stopped listening to it when I turned my life back to Christ.
So when Curt and Lanaea introduced me to a few rappers that make up a group called the 116 Clique (One One Six Clique), I was surprised by not only how amazing their beats are, but how deep and theological their lyrics are. The rappers could easily be heard on popular radio and people wouldn't think twice about it (except their lyrics are geared towards glorifying Christ and rebuking gang life and other negative lifestyle choices.
Here is his testimony:

So I could sit here and talk about it all day...but it would be better if I posted a video and let you decide for yourself. I encourage you to take a look at Lecrae, Trip Lee and Tedashii. Listen to the beats but more importantly listen to the message. It's legit...word. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mexican Restaurant-Style Cheese Dip

You guys may not believe me when I tell you this secret...
How do I know it's a secret? Because one of the waiters at an unnamed Mexican Cantina told me it was.
Okay, it probably isn't a secret but I like to think it is.
Please make this dip, then invite me over. I'll bring the chips.

Mexican Cheese Dip

16 oz White American Cheese (Land O Lakes preferred. You can find it in your grocer's deli)
1/2 cup milk
1 can green chilis (or do what I did - chop up some pickled jalapenos!)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Place cheese, milk and chilis in a sauce pan, heat on medium heat until thoroughly melted. Add cumin and salt. Add more milk depending on how thick you like your dip.
Transfer to a festive bowl (or margarita glass) and serve warm!

That's it! So simple even my sister could do it. (I love you can make me a grilled cheese later)

Notes: The chips we have were already pretty salty so I halved the salt.