Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Blessed :)

I just found this in my drafts folder (8/30/11)... wanted to go ahead and publish. Was from last winter (November 2010). I still feel so very blessed! And it's great to be back from my blogger hiatus!

This year I am so grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with. Here are a few blessings I have been pondering lately:

1) My Incredible Husband. I cannot say enough to describe what a thoughtful, compassionate and uplifting man he is.

2) My Family. I have grown so much closer to my mom, dad and sisters this past year. I have also gained a whole new family who I cherish so much. My new sister in laws (and mother in law) particularly have become some of my closest friends.

3) A job. I may be a little tired, and a little frustrated at times, but I am so blessed to have a job in this economy. I am learning so much and recognize that any hardship are only for my good.

4)My Education, and my love of learning. I am so grateful to have a love for reading, for critically thinking and for being interested in new ideas.

5) My friends, new and old, who listen to my struggles and encourage me to keep on going. Who play games with me and John, who challenge my mind through engaging and insightful conversation.

Most of all, I am grateful for my knowledge of Jesus Christ, Our Savior. For the knowledge that families are eternal. Recently I read the personal history of John's grandfather. I never met the man, yet feel close to him. I am grateful to know that through Heavenly Father's perfect plan and Christ's atonement we can all be together one day. Those I have love and have lost, and those I cherish on earth now will all be reunited one day.

I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still Alive... promise.

I really miss you blog, sorry I have been so despondent. Here are a few status updates to prove I am alive (and let you know what I am up to):

1)Have been travelling a lot lately, with work and also on the weekends. John and I went to Nauvoo last weekend and I will be in Dallas and Little Rock for the last two weekends of the month. Travelling is fun and I enjoy it-- but sometimes it wears you out!!

2) Because I am travelling I should be blogging twice as much. Lots of funny experiences and interesting people... Like the time I was desperately looking for the third Hunger Games book in Raleigh and ended up in a sex shop for homosexuals. They really should have clarified what the "Things" were in "Books and Things".

3) Did I mention I have been reading a lot? All of those nights in a hotel and on the plane. It is a nice change, I love reading. Lately I have finished "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave, the Hunger Games Saga by Suzanne Collins and Mitch Albom's "Have a Little Faith".

4) I paid of my highest interest loan!!!! (9.75%!! Scary!) This only marks about 1/8 of our loans being paid off-- but it still is an accomplishment. Getting out of debt (even good debt like student loans) is a long road! I have to celebrate the little milestones!

5) I am leading a big Christmas Workshop for my Church, so sadly (or gladly!) much of my blog energy has been shifted temporarily. You should check it out-- and if you are in the Ann Arbor area you should consider attending :)

Thats all for now. Hope to not prolong this blog hiatus. Hope all are well :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fear of Fishies

I have a problem. With Seafood.

I don't know what traumatic event in my childhood did it-- but for some reason I absolutely cannot stand seafood. Looking at it. Smelling it. Walking through that part of the grocery store. Just gives me the shivers thinking about it.
I have tried getting out of my box (I eat crab rangoons with fake crab atleast?), but to no avail.

While John and I were in Raleigh this weekend, I promised John we could go to 42nd Street Oyster Bar, a famous seafood restaraunt in the area in an attempt to be a sweet and thoughtful wife.

I ordered one of the 4 non-seafood items on their menu, and John ordered snow crab. I fairly quickly finished my dinner, and John had made it through only ONE crab leg.

The rest of the dinner I sat across John trying not to smell or watch too closely as my nausea grew more profound.

Does anyone else have problems with certain foods?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What class would you take in college if you could choose differently?

Whenever I reflect on this question, I think of fun and interesting classes that would have enriched my mind and stimulated my intellectual curiousity. You know, none of the boring finance, accounting etc. that I had to struggle through. I am thinking Shakespeare, Sociology, maybe creative writing or a philosphy class. Something I would ENJOY.

But right now, I wish I had taken a class on excel.

Computers might just be the deevolution and evolution of man simultaneously. I feel like an ape smacking a computer trying to figure out pivot tables.

Don't you hate when practicality plays a trump card? I sure do.

What class would you take (practical or not?)

Monday, October 11, 2010

don't you wish your rental car was HOT like me?

Week 4 of Full Time Travel. The Insanity Begins.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Work Survival Dinner

I miss you blog. It has been way too long. In a few words, right now I am at.work.a.lot. But I thought I should share what made up for it today:

Honey Rosemary Tenderloin and Focaccia Salad

A half-pound of fresh beef tenderloin marinated in honey, olive oil, soy sauce, chopped garlic, and fresh rosemary, then charbroiled to perfection. Hand sliced into bite-size pieces, then tossed in balsamic dressing with spring greens, freshly grilled herb focaccia croutons, Parmesan cheese, marinated balsamic tomato onion relish, and creamy bleu cheese crumbles.

This has everything I love in food. Rosemary, medium cooked tenderloin, olive oil, honey, focaccia bread and balasamic vinegar/onion combo. OH AND BLEU CHEESE. YUM.

Not bad for working late.
And oh yeah, there is a sonic by my hotel...

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Friday, September 17, 2010

200,000 +

Can you see me?

Yeah, I can't either. But I am in there somewhere, and I am part of a global company with more than 200,000 employees.

I am really proud to be with Accenture, and very excited for this milestone.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Slightly Obsessed with fabric flowers...

One of my favorite trends right now is fabric flowers. They are simple and sweet and add a pinch of cute to virtually anything. They make me want to have a fabric flower making party asap. Anyway, here are some of my favorite flower tutorials:

Fabric Rosettes by Little Birdie Secrets

A Petal Pillow from Cluck Cluck Sew

Tattered Flowers from Sew 4 Home

Or these adorable (and simple) flowers from Jones Design Company

I also like this version with Organza from Sew 4 Home

And don't forget these pretty babies I posted about a while back. I have tried my hand at most of these and love them-- I can't wait to make more :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Anticipation and anxiety

Today, in an effort to not prolong my blog hiatus, I will write about some of the "anticipations" on my mind. I am not sure anticipation is the right word for some of these things. Dictionary.com tells me anticipation is expectation or hope. I am definitely hopeful, but I would also add anxious. As a preface to this list I must add I have been a little more hormonal lately. So alas this may be the product of some inconsistent moods (and should I hit publish??) But here is what is on my mind anyway:

1. Not knowing where I will be next week.
I just was rolled off my project in Ann Arbor, so now I am in the process of finding a new project. This is fairly overwhelming, and I am still trying to acclimate to the idea that I really can't plan too far ahead. Such is the life of a consultant. But I am looking forward to starting something new.

2. Having another Birthday...
My birthday is Sunday, and while I am still quite young, it has been unsettling lately how time has flown. I also am slightly anxious at the diminishing significance of birthdays. I really like my birthday, but it may pass by more insignificant this year than in years past. It snuck up on me.

3. Paying off these dangblasted loans
I dont think I have talked too much about this on my blog, but my U-M education had a big price tag that creates a heavy weight on my mind (and my pocketbook). Each day these loans come up at least 3-4 times, and it is a constant worry deciding what to spend, how to spend it and if I really NEED whatever it is I am thinking about. I feel so fortunate to have a job and to have had the privilege of an U-M education, but I definitely anticipate, hope, and will turn a million backflips when these loans are payed off (3-ish years).

4. Starting a [Bigger] Family
John and I don't feel ready to have kiddos yet, but I feel great anticipation (coupled with a stronger dose of anxiety) for when that day will come. Am I really going to be patient enough? Will I try to kill my children/husband? Can I keep up my positive attitude? Will I have enough energy? How on earth will I keep my house clean? I am really looking forward to having children. I love holding sweet new babies, seeing them just about brings tears to my eyes. But it scares me often how monumentally they will change my life.

These are just a few of the things on my mind right now, thanks for reading. I am not usually inclined to sharing my non-cheerful feelings (worry, stress etc) because somehow I don't think it is usally appropriate or very fun. But hopefully you will to know me better and help me express myself (just in case I fooled you into thinking that I am always happy, positive and full of energy).

Friday, August 27, 2010

this pretty baby...

is coming to the McElderry house!

After John and I got married, we had big plans to use some of our wedding gift money to buy a Kitchen-Aid Mixer. Alas, after rent down payments, buying a bed, comforter set and a few other necessities for our home there was just not enough to buy our dream mixer.

This is where the great performance award program at my company comes in. I got a few performance awards this week- and voila! Enough for this pretty baby (we are getting the 6 quart one too!)

Just thought I should share my exciting news. I still have $130 dollars left to spend. What would you get?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Texas Bridal Shower

My mom and sisters threw me a really awesome bridal shower back home. I just stumbled upon these pictures again today. We really had an incredible time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

just in case you need a laugh

I recently upgraded my work laptop to Windows 7. Included in this update are a bunchy nifty backgrounds like this:

Backgrounds that really make your clients take you seriously. As in my boss saw one of these backgrounds and asked me how old was. Yeah, I am a real winner.

Some of these are way cool though; however,you might want to keep the "rotate background" setting to your personal computer only.

Tour De Food (and Ann Arbor)

Both of John's sisters, and his sister Liz's family (Brother in law + 3 kiddos) came to visit us for our summer vacation. It was awesome! We spent the first few days in Ann Arbor, and then we headed up to Sleeping Bear Dunes for a few days of beach time.

All of our family are notorious foodies, so we spent one of the days visiting Zingerman's. If you visit Ann Arbor, Zingerman's really is a must. Their tour de food gets you a free tshirt and a lot of yummy samples if you visit all of their locations.

Here are Jason (Spectacular Brother in Law) & John (you know, my one and only) enjoying a sample of balsamic vinegar. Did I mention this balsamic vinegar had been aged for 50 years and was $250 for a little bottle? It is super yummy, usually used for desserts and such (I once tried it on gelato-delish!)

Here is the whole family at the creamery . This was too much fun and the kiddos even enjoyed it. Other fun Ann Arbor adventures included a walk of campus, eating at Kosmos, the Farmers Market and visiting the wave field. These are definitely a few of my favorite places.

the john will kill me post.

John had his wisdom teeth taken out the day after we got home from vacation. And yikes... this minor surgery was not so good to John.

I just had to share this pic... even as a drugged chipmunk he is cute. I mean, just look at those freckles!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

my college experience, as told by tshirts

I am working on a tshirt quilt of all of the tshirts I collected during my time at the University of Micigan.

I was in a sorority, in a bunch of student orgs, and worked 3 jobs. Needless to say, I had a LOT of tshirts. But a lot of great stories can be told from these tshirts, and they represent a lot of great memories.

I am hoping to post on some of the more memorable(and entertaining) of these experiences, maybe I will finally finish my 40 things I learned in college posts? And hopefully I will get this quilt finished soon too, unlike the first quilt I made (which is still not backed or bound!).

Let me know if you want details on making your own tshirt quilt. This was a fun and reflective craft project :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Apartment Revamp: Complete!

**I am going through my old posts that were drafts and that I never published. This one is from August!! Hope you enjoy anyway :)**

I mentioned earlier I was working on an apartment revamp, and also a few organization projects. For the most part, this has been finished in my main room/kitchen.

Here are the super quick curtains I whipped together one evening. To make I reviewed the previous curtains I had (

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crafting is in my blood...

I think creativity and the desire to create is a part of my heritage. I have many incredibly talented family members, but I know without a doubt that my love for crafting came from my mother.

My mother has "been there and perfected that" in pretty much all crafting medium. I am constantly impressed that my mom can just decide to try something and so naturally become so skilled. She made the bridesmaid dresses for her wedding while she was still in college. She learned how to make intricately decorated birthday cakes to make her children's birthdays special. She made many halloween costumes growing up.

She gave hand made cards and gifts most years at Christmas. For my 8th "American Girl Doll" birthday party, she made every one of my friends an American Girl Doll Sleeping Bag. She single handedly scrapbooked my entire existence before high school. She sold homecoming mums to friends and neighbors. She made all of the floral arrangements for my wedding, and did pretty much everything else.

Now she does maternity, baby and wedding photography for friends, family and colleagues. To sum it up, she is incredible.

My mom was the one who taught me to craft. She helped me pick out paper for my first scrapbook in 8th grade and taught me some of her favorite techniques. When I was 16 she talked the owner of new scrapbook store into hiring me. She bought me my first sewing machine. And she stayed up with me nights before I started college to help me create some cute things to decorate my room.

I am so grateful for my mother, and for the joy she brings to my life. I am also so grateful she shared her crafty passion with me, it brings me great joy and in many ways defines a big part of me :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

fun calendar for my kitchen :)

Recently I made a pretty cute calendar for my kitchen.

I started with a baking sheet (mine was one I had used from Ikea). I painted the outside of it red with a few coats of paint, and then sealed it with modge podge (ie miracle glue) so the paint wouldn't scratch right off.

Then I used a 3/4" paper punch to cut out small circles, and I stamped numbers 1-31 on a circle.

I used glue dots (small adhesive dots, you can find them at any craft store) to adhere the circles to some 3/4 magnets (found at Hobby Lobby, very very very magnetic).

With the magnetic dates for the calendar, I will beable to put dentist reminder cards, or any other kind of note under each day. They also make it easy to remove or add items, which I really like.

Next I did a zig zag stitch on the ends of some supercute fabric (cut into a 12 by 12" piece) I found at a little fabric shop in Columbus, OH. Then I used tacky tape (another essential scrapbook item, it literally will stick to anything, found at most craft stores), to adhere the fabric to the cookie sheet.

Then I used my friend's Silhouette SD (I dream of owning one), to cut out the letters for each month. You could just handwrite it or use stickers if a diecute machine is not handy. These I affixed to white pieces of cardstock (I attached this with a sticky dot, will attach a new one each month. I am thinking about using velcro instead...)

Then I put the dates on the board, and uses white cardstock scraps to write some of the stuff we have going on this month (weddings, vacation, wisdom teeth-- oh my!)

And Voila! A pretty calendar that sure brightens up my kitchen.

Here it is hanging in my kitchen :)


Pop it, lock it...

Yep, I definitely spent New Years Eve (appox 40 hours from my wedding) learning the hoedown throwdown by Miley Cyrus. I was inspired by one of John's roomates and a bunch of girls at church who learned it for our Christmas Soiree. And, my little niece knew it, why not?

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun and as close to a choreographed wedding dance as John would let me go :)
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