...I accidentally didn't post any blogs for 10 days again. I have got to quit doing that. What's been going on these days? Just allot of stuff that probably seems insignificant to most people but are great to me (insert cliche here: Its the little things that make life great, or however it goes). For example....

I made my very first meatloaf! AND, it wasn't just any ordinary meatloaf. Oh no. It was a meat-free meatloaf! This is what made it so great. Seth is a vegetarian, and he hasn't been able to eat meatloaf for 12 years - 12 YEARS! - until last Monday :) I know allot of people would be suspicious of meatloaf without meat in it, but seriously, it was soooo good. Here's how to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute: 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 medium onion (minced), 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 c. minced carrots, 1 c. minced celery, 1 package of Morningstar Farms Crumbles (saute until onions are tender).
3. In a bowl, mix 1/2 c. ketchup, 1/3 c. breadcrumbs, 2 eggs.
4. Mix ketchup mixture and "meat" mixture, put in a greased loaf pan, and spread 1/4 c. ketchup over top.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes.

I got the recipe out of a cookbook that my sister Lana gave us for Christmas - thanks, Lan!

On the art front, I started and finished a painting for the first time in years. Sure, its on a tiny canvas (5x5), but its still kind of a big deal for me. Its a portrait of June:

I'm really happy with how it turned out, but even more than that, I'm happy because completing it gave me a much-needed boost of confidence. It reminded me that its okay to just paint something because I want to (this one was a birthday present for Stacy) doesn't have to be a ground-breaking piece that's going to "wow" the art community :) I think all those years of art school really made me over-think art and get obsessed with doing something that's never been done before. That line of thinking sort of paralyzed me creatively - if I'm not going to make something amazing, then I'm not going to make anything at all - not good. Another thing I had stuck in my head was that its bad to work on such a small scale. Well, that's what I like best, so that's what I'm going to do for awhile. Remember that huge canvas that I hardly did anything with for the past 8 months? I covered it with chalkboard paint this weekend, and now I can just draw without holding back, without all the pressure.

What a relief :)

Maybe I shouldn't read books in the cafeteria on my lunch break anymore.

There I was today, reading the last couple chapters and completely lost in another world...and consequently fighting to keep it together. Every couple sentences, a wave of tears washed over me and I had to stop reading and take a deep breath. Then, as if that wasn't enough, I looked up and saw the most adorable old man walking with a cane and wearing Chuck Taylor's and the sweetest little grin...that's when the real wave came on. I started thinking about my parents getting older, but that got too overwhelming, so I forced myself to think about how that old man used to be young. At one point he was 28 years old, and 14, and even a baby! That blows my mind every time.

Shew. This all may be too heavy to think about on a Friday afternoon. I don't know when I got so takes almost nothing for me to feel that wave. You know that cheesy You-Just-Got-Kicked-Off-And-We're-Going-To-Make-You-Feel-Even-Worse video montage they make the loser watch on American Idol after they get voted off? Makes me tear up every time. Even if I can't stand the contestant and have wanted him/her gone for just makes me feel so sad for them. And then, evil Ryan Seacrest makes them sing one more time, and they're up there, trying to get the words of "Turn the Beat Around" out while they're choking on their tears. Pitiful.

Now that I've typed all that out, it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to tear up over. The people at Fox are just mean. But anyway, the point is - I'm allot more emotional than I used to be, but I'm really kind of glad. It can definitely be embarrassing when I'm wiping away the tears during an episode of The O.C. (yes, it's happened, and on more than one occasion), but I think overall it's good because maybe before I had too many walls up to let that happen. Or maybe I'm just turning into a basket case, who knows :)

Okay, well...enough of all that. Need to lighten the mood, and what better way to do that than post a couple of sweet pictures of my gal, Ruby.

When she's really tired, her tongue hangs out when she sleeps. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

After a long walk with her, exhausted, and happy.

Much better. I guess that's about it for now. I'm so excited for the weekend! No big's just gonna be great to be free of the cube and dress clothes and spreadsheets for a couple days.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and Happy Friday the 13th!

paranoia will destroy ya

It's been a long time since I've posted, again. At least once a day, I think about something I want to write about, but then I never get a chance to do it. Things have been kind of hectic these days, which is good in some ways and bad in others. During the month of March, Seth had his first 2 gigs, we both had birthdays, we had out-of-town visitors, we went to Greeneville to visit friends, we went to Gatlinburg to visit parents, and we went to Florida to visit my sister and her family. All of it was GREAT, don't get me wrong. More than great. But because of all the activity, allot of the daily stuff has fallen by the wayside (like blogging, reading other people's blogs, emailing...okay so maybe all the computer-related stuff has fallen by the wayside). On top of all that, work has been super busy, and I have mixed feelings about that, too. On one hand, it's wonderful. The day flies by, and I feel like I'm really accomplishing something while I'm in this cube all day. There's not much I hate more than not having enough to do at work. On the other hand, it's really weird to be all stressed out and rolling around in my office chair in a fury over work things that I ultimately don't care about. I have a bad habit of sighing really loudly over and over when I'm stressed out. This is what my poor cube-neighbors get to listen to all day:

tap-tap-tap-tap-tap [furiously typing] SIGHHHHHH tap-tap-tap-tap-tap SIGHHHHHH

Some lady came around our offices last week to take pictures of people in their natural working environment, and she roped me into posing for this one that's featured on our department's website:

Of course, I blurred out my last name and Cindy's last name, because you can never been too careful (or too paranoid in my case). I guess this is my 15 minutes of fame?

So anyway, I guess I'm going to try to remember all the things I've been meaning to write about lately and write about them now.

The Lady Vols won the National Championship for the 7th time last night!! This picture is from 1987, when they won their first national championship. Patt Head Summitt is awesome.

Seth and I went to Florida last weekend to visit my sister Christy, my brother-in-law Michael, and their 3 kiddos. Aside from some wicked traffic in Atlanta (I don't know how anyone lives in that city) and 2 horrible sunburns, it was a GREAT trip. We played croquet, saw a parade, got lots of beads and candy at the parade, went to the beach, made a sandcastle, ate great food, and laughed allot. It was kind of hard to leave, actually. But I'm just so glad we got to go...this was the trip that we had to cancel a month ago because I got sick.

And last, but certainly not least, today is my sister Lana's birthday, so.....

I hope you are having a great day, and eating lots of delicious cake and doing fun things and feeling like a queen for a day :)