Archive for September, 2009

Loser 8.03: I’m Used to Pizza, Not Climbing a Hill!

If last night happened to be your first week watching Biggest Loser, you picked a good one! There was drama, tears, backstabbing, temptation, and a million amazing one-liners. I can’t even tell you how many times I thought to myself, “Oh my! I LOVE this show!”

We quickly found out that this week was a week of choices. To start: Would you rather have a 2 pound advantage or keep your trainers for the week? Alison gave this proposal to the contestants. She said that whoever stepped forward first, got the advantage (but had to give up their trainers) and nobody else would have the opportunity. CLEARLY nobody would be dumb enough to take this, so she made it clear that if nobody stepped forward, she’d raise the stakes. Apparently since Tracey was in the hospital the first week and we all felt sorry for her the second week, we didn’t realize that she is an IDIOT. She took a two pound advantage (without discussing it with her teammate, Coach Mo) and gave up the opportunity to work with Bob and Jillian.

Sean said, “I wanted to say ‘What are you doing you crazy woman?” but…. what are you doing you crazy woman?”  Which, by the way, was just one of Sean’s 17 billion wonderful quotes. I think I’d like him to narrate my life. So of course Bob and Jillian are hurt and disappointed and shocked that Tracey would make such a rash (and ridiculous) decision. They spent an hour talking to her about how she needs to have self-control and blah blah blah. She just stared and them and pretended to learn something and didn’t blink. That woman could DOMINATE in a staring contest. For real. How does she not blink for an entire 2 hour episode?

I need to take a quick Tracey break. Let’s talk about Abby. She went to the hospital to get an MRI on her shin because she’s been having so much pain. Turned out she had a pretty bad stress fracture and couldn’t do any land exercising. She didn’t seem too upset. She said that in the scheme of her life, this is not a huge deal. She’s handled much more. I just loved what she said (probably because it was almost verbatim what we talked about in Monday night Bible Study when we talked about Ruth and Naomi and how God can work through our baby steps when we heal… but that’s another story for another time) when she commented that, “I just did what I had to do that day because that’s all that I had. I gave what I could and nothing more.” You’re awesome, Abby. She went back to the ranch and talked to Bob about it. He was secretly concerned for her but to her face he told her that she’d be okay. She’d get through it. Why? Because he has experience training injured people and because there is Yoplait Light in the fridge! Try it! It’s fantastic. (We don’t buy Yoplait because their containers are shaped in a weird way so you get some yogurt stuck in the top lip and it’s almost impossible to get it out. This severely angers my husband so we buy Kroger brand. TAKE THAT Biggest Loser marketing.)

Oh dear, I’m already over 500 words into this post and I’m only half a page into my two pages of notes. (By the way, my notes look very much like a junior higher’s notebook because they are sloppy and have nonsensical  words and doodles like this…)

 ShayLiz

So now onto the first temptation. I love temptations. Each contestant was put in their own booth. Alison brought them 100 calorie cupcakes. Whoever ate the most cupcakes got to pick one person from each team to weigh in that week, the other teammates’ weight loss didn’t matter. All of the contestants were extremely scared to eat a cupcake after the drama with Tracey acting without thinking. None of them wanted to piss off Bob and Jillian. Very wise. And wise Liz said, “We don’t want to put a target on our back! We don’t need that control so soon!” And then wise Sean said, “I want to take a cupcake and rub it all over my body!” And then wise Chelsea said, “I love this show and I love Sean.” You’re right Liz (and obviously you’re right too, Sean and Chelsea). But Tracey decided to eat 4 cupcakes and pin a big fat target on her back. To which to cute brunette girl on the pink team said, “I think Tracey is a little bit… crazy.” Umm, yes. Idiot idiot idiot.

So needless to say, Bob and Jillian are not please. Bob has flames coming out of his ears, Jillian can’t look at her. Then Jillian decides to look at her so that she can scream at her. And it was good. Did everyone LOVE Bob’s imitation of Jillian?! If I had DVR, I would have watched it over and over. So at this point, everyone thinks Tracey is dumb. All we get out of Coach Mo is that this is “extremely frustrating.” Understatement of the century.

The challenge this week was an incline challenge. Each team had to carry 500 pounds up a giant incline. They could choose to do it in 10 pound increments from a close distance, or 25 pound increments from a further distance. The green team won- which is great news for Abby because she can’t do much this week. But even after the green team finished, each team kept going. They all wanted to finish the challenge. When the final weight was carried up the hill, they all walked together. It was awesome. The lesson was beautiful. “If you think you’re alone, you’re not!” (Sermon?) I love when they work together and you can really see them growing and being proud of themselves.

On to the last chance workout. Next awesome quote from Sean after dominating his treadmill challenge, “I don’t even think a puma could get on a treadmill and do this!” Bahaha! We didn’t see a whole lot during this workout. We did see a glimpse of Dina. She wanted to quit so Jillian yelled at her. She eventually decided she didn’t actually want to quit. I love that she said, “Do me a favor, don’t talk to me.” And Jillian just said, “Got it.” I think that we see how Jillian is able to learn each of the contestants and what helps them go on. She knew Dina needed to focus on her own and push herself. Well done Dina!

Afterwards, the pink team and Dan separately talked to Tracey about her choice for their team. They wanted to make sure they were all on the same page. Tracey hasn’t quite proven that she can make a stable decision up until this point, so I’m not quite sure why they thought she’d start now.

On the weigh-in. The drama immediately unfolds. Alison asks Coach Mo what he thinks about Tracey’s decisions that week. (Thoughts or feelings, Coach Mo?) He said that she is his teammate and he supports her and that he can’t change the decisions she’s made. So Jillian blows up. She yells at Coach Mo even though it’s not really his fault. I think she’s just yelling because that’s what she does best. But I do agree that he should have showed a little emotion towards Tracey and told her to STOP being an idiot and start thinking about him when she’s making her decisions.

Now to the scale. Everyone is freaking out because they have no idea who Tracey will pick to weigh in. I liked Julio’s take on it. He said that people need to stop worrying so much. Either way, someone is going to have to weigh-in. So just worry about yourself. Uh yeah! The whole season would be far less dramatic if they’d keep this in mind the whole time. But come on, that’s not good television!

Okay so I can see why Tracey would pick Liz to weigh in. But then she chose Rudy?! Rudy the Beast? Really? So what WAS your strategy?? In my opinion, it’s too early in the game to be pissing people off. Why make decisions that will make the rest of the contestants hate you? Enter pink team. More drama. (Go on, brush your shoulders off.) Then Sean, only lost 6 pounds. No red team dance, sorry Stefanie. Looks like I don’t have to do a vlog demonstrating the dance. Then Shay, more drama. She lost 6 pounds. Daniel is the best teammate ever. He is so supportive and encouraging.

So then it’s Tracey’s turn on the scale. Everyone is literally folding their hands and praying that she’s lost less than 2 pounds. We soon find out that Tracey may or may not be a witch because she somehow loses 11 pounds. ELEVEN. What??? We hear crickets. No cheers, no high fives, no celebratory dances. Just laser eyes and mental curses. So what this now means is that the red team and orange team are below the yellow line. NOOOOOO!

The red team is awesomely awesome. Got that? Fabulously fabulous. Stellarly stellar. Amazingly amazing. They said, “The greatest gift that anyone can give is self sacrifice.” There’s a sermon in there too but, once again, this is not the time! They said Shay needed to be there, had to be there. She didn’t have support at home and couldn’t leave yet. They asked everyone to vote for them. And everyone agreed.

The “where they are now” piece was awesome. Sean had lost 120 pounds since coming to the ranch. He was looking awesome. His wife is about to have a baby girl and name her Jillian. A little much? Seems to be the consensus. I have mixed feelings. Obviously this was a life changing experience for him and I’m sure Jillian made a huge impact in his life. I think it’s kind of cool to give your child a name that represents a really special time of your life. Not sure that I’d name my daughter after a woman who curses more than Snoop Dogg, but to each his own.

But what was really cool was when we saw Antoine. He lost 105 pounds and looks fabulous. We really appreciate that he answered our question from the first week. Who did Alexandra have a crush on? Well Antoine of course! And now they are dating and it’s wonderful and makes me oh so very happy!!

What a great week. Great show. Already can’t wait until next week. Did yall see the preview? Tracey is hurt. “Coincidence or karma?” Ha! Seeing as I don’t believe in karma, I think coincidence. But a funny coincidence. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

September 30, 2009 at 9:11 am 18 comments

Google: Tissue Paper Wall Treatment

This morning I signed on to WordPress and read through my stats. I enjoy doing this. I like to see what sites have linked to Roots & Rings. I can see how many people click over from facebook, how many come from Google Reader, etc. But one thing that always makes me chuckle (can 24 year old women chuckle?) are the search engine results.

Yes, I’ve blogged about this before. But I feel like I wouldn’t be letting you in on a joke if I didn’t tell you about some of these. The bold is what they Googled, the italics are my comments. (By the way, the other day I said “I googled something on Bing today.” And this is why Bing will never be better than Google- because the word “google” means “to search” in our minds.)

taller girlOkay yes, I’m tall. I’m approximately 5’12, give or take a few millimeters. (No, I am not 6’… I’ve decided 5’12 is acceptable.) But why would a phrase as common as “taller girl” put you here?

delicious conneryMy father-in-law looks a lot like Sean Connery just several inches taller. So I could see how maybe someone might end up here eventually from looking up Connery stuff. But I am 100% certain I never called my father-in-law delicious. That’s creepy.

i’m pregnantNo, I’m not.

astonote eating I don’t even know what this means.

let me know if you have any thoughtsYes, please do. I love thoughts and feelings.

the angus has landed– Are you kidding me?? McDonalds, you suck. Take these billboards down and be more creative.

rehersal bowquetIt saddens me that such an awful misspelling would end up on my site.

There are a few daily searches. Anything related to Google logos, Lorna Doone Cookies, or Harry Potter’s Scar. But lately, I’ve been getting daily traffic from people searching “tissue paper wall treatment.” I get these because I talked about how I was going to do this in my bedroom. But I never posted photos or instructions or anything. So to my readers and to the random people who end up on my site, here you go!

Tissue Paper Wall Treatment – the common questions

-Why did you do it? There are a few answers to this. Basically half of my house is covered in wallpaper. I am too impatient and lazy to try peeling it all off so I’m trying to be creative. It’s easy. And it’s cheap. I like things that are quick and cheap but make a huge difference. Like hair dye in a box and cream of mushroom soup.

-What do I need? How much does it cost? Depends on the size of your wall. I had a pretty large area so I bought a very large jug of wood glue for about $12-$18. I went to the dollar store and bought about $4 worth of white tissue paper. I did the top portion of an accent wall a year or so ago and used wallpaper glue. It worked well but was so expensive. I thought I’d give wood glue a shot this time. So this project is less that $25 for a large wall, not including the paint you’ll eventually need to cover it.

-How do I do it? Plop in front of the television and crumble and tear your tissue paper. Just enough to get you started. Contrary to Lauren’s post today, not ALL things can be returned… I don’t think the dollar store will take your leftover torn up tissue paper. So start small and tear more piles as you go. Leave the sections large.

Get a container for your glue. I used an old Cool Whip container. Add some water to thin it out a bit – trust me on this. Your wrist will thank you. Paint some glue on a portion of the wall, ONLY the size of a piece of tissue paper because it’ll dry quickly. Push the tissue paper onto the glue, don’t try to flatten it out but DO make sure that the bubbles are gone. Wrinkles are good, bubbles are bad. Just keep going… paint the glue, push the tissue paper on, use your brush to smooth it a bit, repeat. Make sure you use the straight edges of the tissue paper for the straight edge of the walls.

It’s that easy. Once it dries, paint over it. Here is the finished product.

Tissue Paper Wall

And here are the pictures of our finished bedroom that I’ve been promising you for weeks now! The brown walls are all tissue papered, the pink walls are just walls. They didn’t have wallpaper on them.

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Hello Rookie dog!

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Dear HGTV, Please don’t come tell me that I shouldn’t have bought a bed-in-a-bag and a matchy bedroom set. I like my comforter. And my furniture is beautiful. Thanks, Chelsea

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Yes, I have a vanity. Yes, it rocks. I love it.

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There are a few more things we’d like to do in here. I’d like to paint the cabinets in the vanity area. I’d like to figure out some sort of DIY thing to do to the awful countertops of the vanity. We’d like to get a few things on the walls. There is a mirror against the wall in the first photo, I’d like it to hang above the dresser in the second photo. And ONE DAY, we’d like to rip out the stained white carpet and put in wood floors.

So there is the master suite in Hurst Castle. I hope you enjoyed it. I strongly encourage you to try this tissue paper treatment if you have some nasty wallpaper to cover. Let me know how it goes!

September 29, 2009 at 9:36 am 12 comments

Ask the Hubby – Round 1

Hello everyone in blogging land!  This is The Husband, here to answer any and all your questions.  Since I would probably write something charged with political or religious fervor if left to my own devices, it’s best that I’m on here to answer the questions as prompted by you fine folk!  Below you’ll see what I think on this 1 of 2 Q&A post.  If my answers aren’t up to par for some of you, let me know and I’ll refine my answers on the comment section.

I hope you enjoy!

From This Heavenly Life: What do you consider to be Chelsea’s greatest trait? Or, if that doesn’t count because technically it’s about Chelsea, What’’s your favorite book?

Answer: Chelsea’s greatest trait is the combination of her thoughtfulness and organization and forethought.  Because of this, I have been challenged to grow those characteristics in myself, but when I fail (and always do) she’s there to back up.  Also, because this trait of hers can be a little too organized, I’m there to create the necessity of chaos.

After the Bible (duh), I would have to say Plato’s The Republic.  Reasoning within dialogue is something I value and cherish about these two books.

From Ken Kendall at What She Needs From You: What did you do yesterday to show your wife your commitment to her?

Answer: I left the house for her to throw a bridal shower for a friend.  Also, I cleaned before and after (on my own some and some at her request).  But the obvious answer to this question is that I came home to be with her!  That’s gotta be a big one!

From DebbieQ at Stop Her She’s Knitting: What is your favorite blog post here at Chez Hurst? What was your least favorite?

Answer: I can’t really answer my favorite post since there have been so many that have made me laugh and have been really well thought out in making a point.  Selfishly I want to say all my favorite posts are the ones where I’m mentioned 🙂  …but that’s not true.  My LEAST favorite (most disliked really) would have to be the post where Chelsea critiqued my fashion at Thanksgiving 3 years ago.  I was told to dress comfortably and did so, but no one remembers the night before when I looked very nice!

From Lindsay (Chelsea’s sister): What’s the best part about being my brother? OTHER THAN that means you’re married to my sister…that’s a cop-out answer.

Answer: I would have to say that it’s being able to be comfortable with you as with my own sisters with no strings attached.  Also I get to talk movies with you!

From Lauren from Texas: How do you feel about the fact that Chelsea met one of her favorite people in the world through blogging? And that I could have been an axe murderer?

Answer: I’m ok with it.  You’ve turned out to be really cool, along with Michael.  It’s only OK though for this one instance.  If this turned into a regular e-harmony for friends for Chelsea, I’d be worried because the odds go up in meeting axe murderers the more you meet random people!  You know how all you bloggers can be (just kidding ladies!).

From Kathleen at Kapachino: I would like to ask Stephen about his take on the Internet and specifically the blogging culture. Is he into any social media/networking trends?

Answer: I was into facebook for a while, but honestly, I’m not into any social media / networking trends.  I work all day using a computer, using the internet, and talking to people; the last thing I need to be or want to be involved in is trying to constantly maintain relationships online when there are people I can locally grow deep-personal relationships with.  NOT to say you can’t use social media for good things (see above questioner), but I believe it’s better to grow the deeper relationships with those around you who can be physically and emotionally closer to you.

With specifics to the blogging culture, I was always kind of weirded out by it.  This stems from when my older sister got involved in political blogging back in 2003/4.  The fact that this grouping of people spent what seemed to be a majority of their free time on their blogs made me wary of their opinions and makes me hold off on looking for advise from them.  But since there is a lot more diversity now, and it’s become essentially a journaling forum, I’ve grown to appreciate its purpose and helpful culture.

From Sarah at Life More Exciting: Would you rather have an arm growing out of your forehead or a nose on your butt?

Answer: I would have to say both.  The arm on the forehead would probably be good for getting those hard-to-reach itch spots on the back if you turned just right.  Plus the extra arm would have been really handy (no pun intended) for keeping your head from falling down on your desk during school when you got really tired.

The nose on the butt would be great, because then you could smell the roses without having to bend over!

From Rachel (Chelsea’s blogless friend in Kansas): Why won’t you let Chelsea blog about the blog idea she has? Are you trying to stifle her creativity?

Answer: Haha… no.

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Note from Chelsea:
I’m not quite sure why Stephen chose this moment of his life to be serious. After reading through his answers last night I said, “This isn’t very funny.” He looked at me and said, “They aren’t funny questions. They had real questions and I wanted to give them real answers.” Ladies and gents, the man took his job seriously. So thank him for his efforts and honesty!

If today’s answers brought on more questions, ask away. We’ll add them to Round 2.

Also, if you didn’t check in over the weekend, scroll down to read the bonus post!

September 28, 2009 at 8:58 am 11 comments

An Email From My Mother

I had to share this with y’all because, well, you just can’t make this stuff up. Here is an email my mom sent her sisters, my siblings, and myself. Reason #95874 why my mom is awesome:

 

Well, the group of ladies in my care group went to Cinemark tonight to see “The Wizard of Oz”.  (Mendy’s bday)  Apparently this is the 70th anniversary and they were “releasing it in HD” whatever that means.   So, we get there and it takes them 30 minutes to “get it set up”.  It was on DISH – just like watching it at home, I guess, if you have DISH network – whatever THAT is.   I thought it would fill the whole screen but it didn’t.  Oh well,  we finally got it going and then RIGHT AS THE WIZARD IS GIVING OUT THE GIFTS, THE SCREEN GOES BLANK!!!!   We sat there with a full theater and listened as the show finished.  No picture….needless to say there were some unhappy people, but no one was rude or mean (can you believe it???)
 
We stood in line for about 10 minutes and they gave EVERYONE 2 free movie coupons AND an $11 refund (that was the price – I know CRAZY!!!!)
 
We all had shirts that had a character’s name on it.  I was the Tin Man.  Mendy, the bday girl was Dorothy of course and I made her flip flops with red sparkly ribbon so it would look like she had on red slippers.    Will send picture when I get it.
 
Anyway, I wanted to apologize to MY KIDs if I scarred you in any way by making you watch that movie at any time in your life.  I always remembered how Lindsay said she hated it cause it was scary (she shared that when she was probably 18!) and I couldn’t figure it out.   After watching it through different eyes – I can REALLY see that movie would scare children!   What were we thinking???  Flying monkeys and a green wicked witch????    I am sorry if you were scarred, kids!   Love you!
 
Have a good day tomorrow,
Alice/Mom

And for your viewing pleasure…

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Mendy

Mendy and Cheryl

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September 26, 2009 at 9:00 am 16 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.8)

 Isn’t it weird how the days go at a snail’s pace but the weeks fly by? I hear this is what adult life is all about. Oh well, the one good thing is that Friday comes quickly and you get another volume of Seven Quick Takes. You can visit www.conversiondiary.com to visit other Quick Takers.

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1.
Three bloggers that I regularly read have announced this week that they are pregnant. And then one that already knew she was pregnant found out she was having twins. So to all of the other bloggers that I read, watch out. There must be something in the cyberspace I bring to your site.

2.
It’s feast or famine here, y’all! I either have nothing to talk about or too much. I’m approaching the too much stage right now. Consequently, I’m doing a bonus post tomorrow. If you’re like me and spend that majority of your week in front of a computer screen and need a smidgen of a break over the weekend, well don’t. Visit on Saturday because there is a 98% chance that I’ll be doing a bonus post.

Or don’t. It’ll still be here on Monday. Although I’m not quite sure what two doses of R&R in one sitting could do to a person. If you’re willing to take the risk, be my guest.

3.
The past few weeks during my Quick Takes I have talked about music. Which is really odd because I’m not a music appreciater. But there’s a song out that I really just need to talk about. But first, the rant. (There’s always a rant.) I hate when country artists throw in a few key words to guarantee that their song will be a hit. Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith are the main offenders that come to mind. Kenny throws in “high school” or “beach” every now and then to make sure the kids like him. Toby throws in “America” or “bar” to get hits. I don’t like this. It seems fake.

But there is a song out by Zan Brown Band called “Toes” and it is wonderful! If you’re having a bad day, listen to it and you’ll feel like you’re sitting on the beach with a cold beer (or fruity Pina Colada, if you’re one of those). Take a look see.

 4.
It should be an exciting weekend for me. My church is having a shrimp boil tonight but we won’t be going because shrimp kills Stephen. So my weekend will consist of cooking, decorating, hosting a bridal shower, cleaning up after the bridal shower, going to a wine bar, hosting a Pampered Chef Party, and cleaning up after the Pampered Chef party. It’ll be oodles of fun. (And I get to spend time with my Blog Friend 4 Ever, Lauren! Be jealous. Be very, very jealous.)

5.
Who’s brilliant idea was it to put Grey’s Anatomy and The Office on the same night? I’m forced to choose between the two and since I am married to a man, I have to choose The Office. Which is fine because I love The Office, but it makes me sad to see 42,000 facebook statuses (stati?) that say something about “OMG, Grey’s tonight!!” and know that I won’t be watching Grey’s tonight. And also, why are all of these shows so long?? I’m fine with giving The Biggest Loser 2 hours of my week because they can’t fit it all into an hour and it’s my favorite. But 3 nights of Dancing With the Stars? Two nights of Idol? A two hour season premiere of Grey’s? Sheesh people!

6.
I have a blog obsession. Well I have many, really. But there is a blog out there that is just AMAZING. It’s called YoungHouseLove. Kathleen from Kapachino told me about it when I was talking about painting my wood paneling. Thank you Kathleen. A thousand times, thank you. I have shared this website with so many people and wasted so much time browsing around it. You will not be disappointed. (Except when you learn that you didn’t win the $500 Lowe’s gift card.) On that note, I have three comments.

– SOMEONE needs to have a wedding like theirs. If I wasn’t already married, I totally would. Sister? Sister-in-laws? Check that section out and we will make it happen!

– Last night I told Stephen, “If we weren’t already married, I’d want a wedding like that. But not. Because I’m too scared of weather and I’d get a migraine from worrying about it.” Last night I dreamt about my wedding day. EVERYTHING went wrong. The cake was delivered in separate tiers for us to put together. When we put it together it was the shape of a car and there was a giant M&M person on top. I cried. My dad told me that there is nothing wrong with the M&M person, who doesn’t like giant M&M’s?? It was terrible.

– I’m sad to think that this site has been around for two years and I didn’t know about it. So would you guys please tell me what other blogs I’m missing out on??

7.
My Blog Friend Lauren is organizing a Houston bloggers meet up. Naturally I’m invited because, well, I’m her favorite. We’re both trying to see if there is any interest out there. If not, it’s okay. Lauren and I will split a bottle of wine, this cheesecake, and talk about how disappointed we are in all of you. It’s possible that many of you have already heard this request since Lauren posted it on Wednesday and I think we have many shared readers. (We’re trying to at least. That’s why we keep sending you back and forth.) So anyways, let me know if you’re interested via comments or email.

Have a great weekend!

September 25, 2009 at 9:09 am 16 comments

The Right Place at The Right Time

Remember how we talked about how I like to mentally plan my weekly blog posts? Well today was supposed to be my two word challenge. On Tuesday night when I was watching The Biggest Loser, I wrote out all the combinations, cut them up, and put them in a bowl. See?

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When the show was over I had Stephen draw one. I was EXTREMELY nervous to read it. You guys gave me some AWFUL combinations. So when Stephen opened it, I immediately said, “Ohh! That’s easy.”

Only it’s not. The two words are fairly common but they don’t really belong together. So this weekend I’ll have a couple glasses of wine and think it over. So that means I’ve got nothing for today. Last night I wrote a devotional for the women’s blog my church has. And honestly, I’m fresh out of words. So I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy!

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Have you ever felt like God thinks you’re an idiot? Well, maybe not an idiot. God is much too kind to think that. But He does realize that sometimes we are just too thick headed to “get” something the first go round. So He tells you again. And again. And all of a sudden it seems like the same verse keeps showing up all around you. You know what I mean?

I recently went to a one week class on Ecclesiastes. Man, what a powerful class! (I may or may not be biased because I know was raised by the teacher… but that’s neither here nor there.) Few of us are familiar with this book, it’s not one of those feel good reads. I’d bet that the majority of us only know Ecclesiastes because of the beginning portion of chapter three. “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under Heaven–” But y’all, that’s not it! If you listen really closely you can hear Solomon screaming at  you, “But wait! There’s more!”

So on I went to the first week of Monday night Bible Study. We’d chosen a Laurie Cole lesson. Guess what it was about? Ecclesiastes.  

Apparently God wanted me to study Ecclesiastes. I don’t think He is only interested in driving home the lesson in seasons, though. Come on, we’re in Houston. Don’t we always say that we don’t have seasons in Houston?? (Ha.Ha.) I think He’d like me to specifically learn a bit about contentment.

Contentment is a huge struggle for women. We are planners – always looking toward the next thing. What’s next? What can be better? Where am I lacking? I don’t know about you but this is a major issue for me. I can’t quite figure out how to rest in the knowledge that God has me right where He wants me. Instead I sit around thinking about my boring shoes, small paycheck, ugly kitchen, dated wardrobe,  etc. etc. etc! But why don’t I just live my life? Why am I never satisfied with what I’ve got? I’m always wanting something else.

A long while back I bought a can of asparagus tips. This intrigued me. I love fresh, grilled asparagus but I couldn’t imagine what canned tips would taste like. I thought I’d do some research and see if there was a tasty way to prepare these. So I bought the can and brought it home. A couple weeks ago I cleaned out my pantry. There in the back was the can of asparagus tips. And what do you know, it was expired. Canned goods are known for having a long shelf life… so it really scares me think about how long ago I bought those. And why did they go bad? Because every time I was menu planning I looked at the can and thought, “Nah, I’d rather have green beans this week.”

I started off excited about the possibility. But soon afterwards, I was not satisfied with what I had. I longed for something different. Maybe asparagus tips are gross and God was saving me from aluminum flavored veggies. But more likely, He was trying to teach me something.

“Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5

The lesson here? Stop trying to pass God up! You don’t know His plan. He’s got you right where He wants you and HE will lead you where to go. Listen y’all, if God thinks you are in the right place, do you REALLY think you know better? Look around your house. Praise Him for your dirty carpet and your air conditioning bill and your clunker in the garage. And now get up off the couch and go figure out what to do with those asparagus tips in the back of your pantry!

*If you’re interested in the one class Ecclesiastes study, you can click here. Scroll down. You’ll see a link to the handout, notes, and the audio.

September 24, 2009 at 8:58 am 14 comments

Loser 8.02: My Waterbed is Filled With Soda

What a week, what a week! Good gosh I love this show.

Let me start with a couple housekeeping matters. First if you notice the title, it’s a different format than normal. I realized that “Loser Week ___” will be repeated each season. So the title includes the season. Plus, adding a “.” makes things cooler, don’t you think? Second, in case you aren’t used to my Loser posts, just know that they are long. All my posts are long, I know. But I have a word limit goal on my normal posts. I don’t make goals for Loser posts.

Back to the beginning. In the elimination room Alison told the remaining contestants that there was a new challenge this week. If they could lose 150 pounds as a group, nobody would have to go home. But if they didn’t, they’d have to send home 2 people. Bum bum bum… and the plot thickens. People (read: Shay) are immediately concerned that Julio isn’t going to pull his weight (pun definitely intended). And Coach Mo sits everyone down and gives them a good talkin’ to. You know, since he’s “the eldest.” Wow, that’ll get annoying! Dude, I don’t care if you’re the oldest or think you’re a good coach. (Said in whiney voice…) You’re not the boss of them!!

We see very quickly that this could come back to bite Coach Mo. We have a lot of personality around here. A lot of leaders. When they all gathered in the gym, about 75 people tried to tell Bob and Jillian about the 150 pound challenge. They looked like idiots. But the drama was not lost. Jillian put her hand on her hand like she’d just heard a great tragedy. Oh Jillian, chill the *%&$# out.

(Speaking of $*&#@, they cleaned up the language this week. They only cussed three times… if you consider “ass” a cuss word. Which, for the record, I do. If a kid shouldn’t be saying it, it’s a cuss word. But good for them. I know a lot of people are thrilled with that decision.)

This was the first week that we saw a glimpse into their classes. I was pleased to see that. That pleasure was immediately torn from me when Jillian took two contestants into the kitchen to do a quick Ziplock commercial. And OMG the Ziplock bag STANDS! (Visible eye roll.)

Tracey, or as my blog friend Amber calls her, “girl that crawled in sand,” is back. She’s cute as a button. (Can I say that about someone three times my size? I think so… She is cute!) She joined the rest of the crew on a trip to some fancy place that I forgot because I didn’t write it down. And they were met by Alison and chef Curtis Stone. (Side note: last year Curtis Stone came on the show and I had no clue who he was. A few of you gave me grief for not knowing him. It’s been months and months since he was on the season 7 episode and I haven’t seen his face since then. And I’m no stranger to food related television or magazines. So shut up people. It was better when Rocco was on.) Moving on. Curtis gave them some nutrition lessons and Alison gave them a quiz. If they could answer 5 of 8 questions correct, they’d get 15 pounds knocked off their 150 pound goal. They did it.

Now onto the real challenge. Picture if you will, a baseball diamond. Only not. Instead of bases there are 3 big platforms. And instead of baselines there are balance beams. And instead of grass and dirt there is water. So the contestants have to walk across the balance beam to the first platform, etc, etc, etc. The twist (there’s always a twist) is that the balance beams get skinnier each time. Also, you have to go as an entire group. Once the entire group in on the balance beam, they can file on to the platform. Once they are all on the platform, they can start on the next balance beam. And so on. Each platform won a prize. By the end, they’d won 20 extra pounds toward their goal and calls from home.

Oh dear, there were lots of tears during those calls. (This is where Stephen did what probably all male viewers did, “Ugh. Another crier.” And this is when I released the wrath of Chelsea and spit flames at him and told him that if he wanted to watch MY show with ME, he needed to shut his mouth. He did. Thank you babe!) These contestants are emotionally and physically worn out. The second they hear the family’s voice, they cry. It was especially touching to hear Sean talk to his pregnant wife who had just learned the sex of their baby.

Last chance workout was awesome. No vomit. No gallons of tears, only a couple quarts. I really like Shay… minus her intense beef with Julio. Shay, please don’t start drama. I can see you being one of those types. Hopefully Daniel will keep you sane. And also, let me just say that Rudy is a beast. BEAST. He lost 28 pounds last week and he lost 14 pounds this week. A-freakin-mazing. Watching him pull Jillian and Bob on the rope was impressive. I’m excited to see how he’s going to look in a couple months.

Finally on to the weigh-in. Alison looked smokin’ hot in her red dress. (By the way, what were they ever thinking by having Caroline Rhea host the show?? Mark that down on the list of ridiculous things Biggest Loser has done. Right next to all things Joelle.) They needed to lose 115 pounds as a group. The pink team starts them off by losing 4 and 6 pounds. Not good. Not good at all. Thankfully, all the other teams were able to pull big numbers and even surpass the 150 goal. Fantastic. Shay lost like 18 pounds. Julio lost something like 19. I was impressed.

Should be a sad week three. Thoughts or feelings?

September 23, 2009 at 9:11 am 18 comments

This Is Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It

Good morning friends. I don’t know how things are in your part of the country but it is nasty here in Houston. God has presented us with some fantastic napping weather and then forced us all to go to work. I don’t think that’s fair. I’m sure there is a lesson on thanksgiving and contentment somewhere in there… but I’d rather just be annoyed.

My drive to work sucked this morning. The reasons were three-fold.

1. People don’t know how to drive in rain. If any moisture AT ALL is falling from the sky, people slam on the breaks and fear for their lives. This angers me and causes me to be 35 minutes late to work.
2. Rain gives me migraines and makes me sleepy. So I was simultaneously trying to stay awake and not get nauseous.
3. I asked permission from Stephen to post a certain blog idea. He said no. And while I may not understand why it’s embarrassing, I will be all Ephesians 5 and submit.

So now I come to you with a headache and nothing to say. And I’m kind of grumpy. But I have a solution. I have told you time and time again that there is never a dull moment in Hurst Castle. My husband is highly entertaining. And in an effort to prove that to you, I’m opening the comments section up for questions. Ask Stephen anything.

Were you wearing a bandana to match Molly?

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How did you get as strong as you are? And does kryptonite hurt you?

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Do you know how handsome you look in a suit? Even when you’re holding two mango shooters?

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Do you have any idea how lucky you are? 🙂

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What’s your favorite beer?
Does it feel weird to be married to a girl with gray hair?
Do you even read Roots & Rings?
Would you rather have really short legs or really long arms?

Your turn. It’s Ask the Hubby Day! Many other bloggers have done this and it’s always fun to hear from someone else in their life. I will make sure Stephen answers all of your questions, no matter how random and off-the-wall they are.

Ready? Go!

September 22, 2009 at 9:50 am 16 comments

That’s Why Pencils Have Erasers… Or Why Phones Have Cameras

I had one of those weekends that was wonderful beyond words. One that makes you consider quitting your job and living in a tent on the beach so you can keep it up. Although that really wouldn’t make sense. But it does a little bit, in my head.

I spent the weekend at the beach with my husband and 6 of our dear friends from Austin. I don’t have much to offer you this morning for two reasons. The first reason is that we got home pretty late last night and spent some time doing laundry, cleaning our house, and showering the Galveston funk off of me, so I didn’t have time to work on an interesting post for you. Now I’m at work and, well, these projects aren’t just going to administrate themselves. Whatever that means.

The second reason is that when I arrived at Bella Rose, my mom kindly asked me if I had my camera or if I wanted her to leave her’s here with us. To which I responded, “Of course I have my camera. I’m a blogger.” Later that evening when we were playing a ridiculous game called Quelf and my husband was wearing a face mask fashioned out of a reusable grocery bag, a twist tie, and that plastic doober that holds a six-pack together, I realized I was an idiot and my camera was sitting on my desk at work.

Hey, we all make mistakes.

I planned to show you a bunch of wonderful photos today but instead you have to look at photos taken from an iPhone and an LG Dare. Deal with it.

Veronica was quick enough to get a picture of the only wave we saw this weekend.

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Let me also say that when it’s really bright outside, it’s very hard to see the screen of your phone. Hence the off-centered photo of Stephen and Jake playing Monkey Balls. At least I got Veronica’s legs in there. Nice legs, V.

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I feel that I need to share the one crappy photo we have of Stephen with his mask.

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We decided that the person who invented this game was high. There is no other explanation. If you haven’t heard of Quelf, well, you’re not alone. None of us had- except, of course, the couple who brought the game. They can show their faces if they want. Imagine drinking about 7 beers and then sitting down with some of your friends and making a board game. That is Quelf. Need more proof?

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Uhhh, yeah.

So that’s all I’ve got for you. I’ll pepper in a few more photos during the week. And maybe some stories.  Too bad I don’t have the opportunity to draw a two word combination of “iPhone and drunk man” or “Cube and stud finder.”

How was your weekend?

September 21, 2009 at 9:07 am 15 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.7)

 What a beautiful Friday it is! I have an exciting weekend ahead of me and I’ll tell you all about it on Monday! In the meantime, here are some of my highly entertaining thoughts. (ha…)

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1.
I’m not one to talk about bands. At least in a promotional way. I can sit here all day and tell you how obnoxious Shania Twain is. And how I think Coldplay, Nickelback, and Dave Matthews band should have only been allowed to release one album because after that, they all sound the same. But I very rarely talk about bands I like. A friend of mine talks about this band called Darcy a lot. I never really paid much attention because I just don’t have that bone in my body that appreciates music. But last week she posted this video on her blog. And since I do have that bone in my body that cares about blogs, I clicked. Umm.. I like this. And I really like the video!! So here you go, for your viewing pleasure. (And here is their website incase you are one of those music-loving people. Check them out, go to their shows. Support Texan musicians! http://darcyband.com/)

2.
There is a saying out there that I absolutely hate. Everytime someone uses it, I want to shake them. “FML.” I’m sure most of you know what this means but for those who don’t (Mom), it means (Blank) My Life. It drives me crazy. “Kids these days” are using this on their facebook status a lot. “I need gas in my car, FML.” or “I have two tests in one day, FML.” or “My roommate’s music is too loud and I’m trying to sleep, FML.” SERIOUSLY people? A bit dramatic, do you think? Your life doesn’t suck. You have NO idea. (Neither do I, for the record.) You guys need a lesson on being thankful. Yes, I know it’s a joke but it’s dumb. Jokes aren’t meant to be dumb. That defeats the purpose of a joke.

3.
Every now and then someone new will come to my blog and click around and read old posts. Sometimes someone will Google something totally random and end up on an old post. I’ve been blogging for over 8 months now and definitely don’t remember everything I’ve written so when I see this, I often go back and reread the old post. Here’s one that was visited on Tuesday that made me laugh. It’s probably the shortest post I’ve ever written. Click here to read Marital Bliss.

4.
In the past, I’ve shared some phrases that people have Googled and wound up on Roots & Rings. The daily ones are having to do with Harry Potter’s Scar, Google Logos, or Lorna Doone cookies. But there are some pretty hilarious ones too. Yesterday, I got one that was quite disturbing. “girl died electrocuted.” Why me? Why did they come here? I don’t think I’ve ever discussed death or being electrocuted. Very, very weird.

5.
Thank you for your comments yesterday. Although you guys really dipped into the depths of random to come up with your two word combinations. I’m a bit nervous for this one.

6.
My mom just went to down to Alice, Texas to visit family. She came back with a bunch of goodies for me. A dining room table (pictures to come), two cantaloupes, and a big bag of jeans from my cousin who is no longer the same size as me because she just had a baby and apparently that does strange things to your body shape… I don’t want to talk about it.

I played fashion show with Stephen last night and I’m now the proud new owner of 4 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of slacks. I am realizing now that I should have washed them first because they smell like my cousin. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. My cousin does not smell. But they smell like her. You know what I mean by that? So I’m here in my office and keeping thinking she must be standing behind me. It’s sort of tripping me out.

Thanks Kim! You got a baby out of the deal, I got 6 pairs of pants! You win but I’m a close second!

7.
Want to know what came in the mail today?

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Uh, yeah. Thanks mail dude. It says DO NOT BEND. (Sorry about the shine on my watch. I wish you could see it. It’s pink with a white Longhorn. It pretty much rocks.)

But that’s not what I wanted to show you. Something else came in the mail yesterday.

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See that. HANDLE WITH CARE. Thank you for taking care of this one,  mail dude. This is precious material. Check it out!

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Socks. Beautiful, soft, amazing, custom, hand-knit socks compliments of my blog friend DebbieQ (<- That’s a link to her site). All mine. They fit my feet like a glove. When I opened the envelope, I was scared to put them on. I pet them over and over. I held them to my face and yelled at Rookie when she came near. I showed Stephen and made him cuddle with them too. He thought they were amazing. He said, “Take care of them! Don’t get those NEAR the ground.”

Are you jealous? Are you jealous that I have the most amazing socks in the world? For now they aren’t serving the purpose that socks are meant to serve. But I’ll work on that. For now I’ll just stare at them and drool.

September 18, 2009 at 9:10 am 14 comments

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