Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Guilty pleasures

Less than ten minutes after waking this morning I was in Target picking up my paycheck. I signed for and received my check and headed over to Starbucks to say hi to a co-worker. I apologized for still sounding half asleep and for my appearance, to which she replied "I woke up at 7:10 and had to be here at 7:30. I basically just threw on these clothes and grabbed a piece of gum since I didn't have time to brush my teeth."


In the eight minutes I'd been awake I made time to brush my teeth, if nothing else. Brushing your teeth, especially before work/school/leaving the house, is something you should never skip. She's not the first person I've met, who works with food, that skips a daily brushing. Yikes.

My brain works in funny ways. Some how the lack of there teeth brushing makes me think of guilty pleasures. Don't ask me how my mind took me there. I am in no way ashamed of brushing my teeth and would never consider a piece of gum a replacement, just thought I'd throw that out there. BUT I do drink instant coffee on occasion. This IS a guilty pleasure of mine. I mean, come on, how could I not feel guilty about this time-saving delight when I work at Starbucks of all places? I am drinking some instant Folgers right now. (Shhh, don't tell Joe Noga the coffee guy.)

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

And remember to brush at least once a day. At the very least.

Ugly Sweater Party

Nicole at 8 weeks showing off her little bump.

The ladies

Patti and I all cozied up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The look and feel of Christmas from a retail perspective

There's something about working in retail during the holidays that gives you an extra boost of holiday 'spirit'. Maybe it's the constant reminder with the toy purchases, all of the baking supplies that whiz by my scanner, or the fancy seasonal drinks like the Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. Consumerism at it's finest reminds me most of Christmas these days. Sure the dangling snowflakes and the Merry Christmas signs are a nice reminder of Christmas but it's the shopping, spending, and holiday buzz that really stick out to me. Joy's poem from Poel is suddenly coming back to me. Greedy, rushed shoppers with their eye on the prize: materialistic idols.

Yesterday a grandmother and her extremely crabby little grandson came through my line. He kept grabbing things out of her hands and throwing a serious fit when he wouldn't get his way. All his grandma kept saying to him was "Santa is watching you!" I couldn't help but laugh and recall how many times I, in my secular childhood, was told that very same thing. Santa, pssh. And to use santa as a form of punishment? Craziness. We should be acknowledging that God is watching our every move and not just when we're misbehaving.

Christmas isn't all bad from a retail perspective. You see glimpses of true believers scattered throughout the store. The ones who buy cards mentioning Christ. The few who will say "have a blessed day" which always puts a smile on my face. The children who truly appreciate their parents and thank them for the purchase they just made, being it so close to Christmas. The eleven or so year old boy who went through my line and just started chatting me up about his older brother that he is so proud of for being in the service. How he is going to make him a Christmas card this year and send him candy for Christmas. There are still believers out there. Still people who see Christmas as more than a day of receiving gifts but a day of celebrating Jesus, family, and friends.

Oh, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

John, Denise's exercise ball and laughter

Last Sunday, before Jake became insanely ill, John and I were having a little fun at the Kreighbaum's with Denise's exercise ball. I don't know who had more fun between the two of us but a good time was had by all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Life

It's 7:52pm Saturday evening. I'm watching Cops and barely holding my eyes open.

True story.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I'm employed for the first time in six months! I worked four hours and ten minutes tonight and it felt so good to have that change of pace, to actually work. Watching the "orientation videos" were a bit boring, and certain moments were extremely comical, but I smiled the whole thing through. I alternate between Starbucks and cashier every-other-shift, which again will be a nice change of pace. Avoiding the mundane is what I'm all about (ask Phil about that.)
I feel such a huge sense of worth again. I've felt like a worthy woman all my life but being unemployed and not contributing financially to my family made me feel terrible.
Hooray for employment!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A devotional worthy of sharing

It's Okay to Ask for Directions

Your life does not come with an instruction manual or a road map; however, your life with Christ does. All the dead-end streets that confuse and sidetrack so many in life are clearly indicated on God's road map, His word. More important, He charts out the highway to purity and destiny. Rebels who diligently study the map rarely get lost.

But God has given you even more than a map; He's give you a GPS! Before Jesus left planet Earth, He said He would send you His Spirit to remind you of His words and keep you oriented in your journey. He knew that you would regularly need His direction, but sometimes forget to pick up the map. So the Spirit becomes an internal positioning system to point the way to purity and warn you of obstructions.

I'm asking for Your directions this day, God. I trust Your wisdom to chart my course and lead me into a pure and unhindered destiny.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love my church family. I don't even like the term "church family." You're just an extension of my natural family. Actually I feel closer to more of you than most my biological family.
At any rate, what I'm trying to say is I love you all.

I thank God we're in each others' lives.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fill Me Up Lord

This is more a rambling note-to-self blog.

I'm running on fumes, out of gas, here. I NEED A JOB.
I applied for 10 jobs within the last 24 hours. Here's to getting ONE!

I had a self-pity moment yesterday for like .5 seconds then I got a phone call. I pulled myself together, got what I forgot, then turned on 90.7 FM. The man singing sang EVERYTHING I was feeling at that moment. I ugly cried for the first half of the song, realized that God was speaking to me through this song, really listened to the words and by the time the song ended I was laughing at myself. Thankfully it was raining so no one could really see me in my car driving along with snot all over my face. That was one of those "awe moments" that you can try to retell but words can't paint the accurate picture of how amazing the moment was.

God, I need to remain strong and look to you even when things seem like they cannot get any worse. You are faithful and I must remain the same way. Thank you for your sense of humor, the way you come to me when I need you most but may not seek you or realize how much I need to look towards you, thank you for your unconditional love Father. Amen

Monday, October 19, 2009

Six-Word Story

Post your own profound story using ONLY six words.

I have 4....

  • Through mom's many mistakes, I learned.
  • Through a deli burger, found Jesus.
  • Lost my mind, found my keys.
  • Laugh at funerals, cry at weddings.

Singing through tears

Sometimes a song will play that hits the "I'm going to cry uncontrollably for the next few minutes" button.

That song for me is Fake Plastic Trees [Acoustic Version] by Radiohead. It gets me nearly every time.

Fake Plastic Trees

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth.
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself.
It wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out.

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns.
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins.
And it wears him out, it wears him out.
It wears him out, it wears . . .

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love.
But I can't help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run.
And it wears me out, it wears me out.
It wears me out, it wears me out.

And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted
All the time, all the time.
Oh, oh.

What songs triggers your Tear Jerker Button?

Please, Notice Me (as Chris Carraba sings)

I read this in Seth Godin's blog and had to recycle it.

"Notice Me"

If the new web has a mantra, that's it.
So much time and effort is now put into finding followers, accumulating comments and generating controversy... all so that people will notice you. People say and do things that don't benefit them, just because they're hooked on attention.
Attention is fine, as long as you have a goal that is reached in exchange for all this effort.

Far better than being noticed:

Engaged with
Purchased from
Teaching us

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Falling down laughing

Fall is here! Fall is here! I repeat, fall is here!

Things I love about this season....

- Leaves changing from green to lucious reds, oranges, and yellows
- Sweaters & hoodies make a comeback. I am more confident in long sleeves.
- Fresh, crisp, cooler air.
- Football (Go Patriots!)
- Better hair days. Frizz-be-gone.
- I sleep better and tend to go to bed earlier since it gets dark earlier.
- Apple picking, apple cider, apple pie.
- Jumping in leaf piles. (Makes for excellent photos)
- Bon fires and s'mores
- Pumpkin patches and hay rides
- Pumpkin carving
- Halloween! (I love halloween)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why the heck don't we know our neighbors?

I met Lois today, my next door neighbor. Our garages touch. I've lived here three weeks and two days and just met Lois. I was outside photgraphing my duplex when my neighbors' door opens. I had a feeling she wanted to introduce herself sooner but there wasn't an opportune time. Barefoot, I walked up the driveway and said "Hi, how are you?" She never stepped out of her doorway but was pleasant the whole time we spoke. We shared names, talked about how the street was so quiet and nice, talked about where we'd previously lived and all that jazz. She then told me she comes and goes at random times and doesn't want to hit one of my boys when she pulls out of her garage. That was nice of her. I am not sure she's annoyed by them riding down her side of the driveway or if she is genuinely concerned for their saftey. Either way we met, conversed, and had our neighborly moment. Not sure how much we'll have to talk about in the future as she's 73 and I'm young enough to be her grandchild. I did tell her neighbors just don't talk as much anymore and she went on telling me how busy people are these days and ran through a typical day of hers. She is a busy woman. I hope to talk to her again sooner than later.

List 5 things you would do if you had 5 other lives to lead.

1. I would be a chef - even if it were just for friends and family.

2. I would get a PhD in English and passionately teach.

3. I would be a personal trainer who still ate Little Debbies snacks.

4. I would model and be best friends with Cindy Crawford's gorgeous hypathetical daughter. I'd be the prettier of the two, of course.

5. I would become a female Marc Driscoll.

I guess it's not too late to achieve some of these goals in this lifetime. Makes me sad to think I didn't start sooner. Makes me even more sad that knowing my personality I won't ever start.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/09: How are you making today a good day?


I'm appreciating life and the things that make it good; the faithfulness of God, my nieces big blue eyes, my awesome stepsons, friends that tell you the truth even when it hurts, "Run" by Snow Patrol, people who've helped mold me, art, my husbands quirkiness, Dunkin Donuts coffee, the smell of fresh cut grass, Jesus' great sacrifice, Pop Dan's gravy, quoting movies, The Office, little people that say the silliest things, church, independence, my country, and people who grate my nerves - because they help me with patience, understanding, and to appreciate those who do not grate my nerves so much more. Life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


345 S. Northpark Lane is where the Butlers now reside. (South Northpark always makes me chuckle.)

The first few nights here have been better than expected, to my surprise. I thought I would be lonely and sad but instead I've distracted myself with some unpacking and laundry. It's nice that Phil works a minute, yes literally a minute, away from home. He's come home for lunch twice and leaves the house much later for work.

Speaking of laundry...we are proud owners of a Kenmore washer & dryer duo! (An exclamation point IS needed on this.) I have been enslaved to coin-operated laundry for far too long. And those of you reading this know me to let laundry pile up until I am swimming in it. Only then do I go to the laundry mat or ask Bekah if I can bring a load, or five, over. (She always says yes - thanks Bekah!) Phil somehow managed to unload the washer and dryer by himself. The box said it was at least a two-person job but he's not much for reading boxes. This may seem like no big deal but those clunkers are HEAVY. I was beyond impressed. Installing the dryer himself was another story. It's truly amazing what duct tape can fix!

Speaking of Bekah...her kids are too stinking cute! I love them to pieces and was psyched to get to spend quality time with them and Patti this evening. Home group didn't take place tonight due to a meeting of the HG leaders, assistants, and other important people (I know, we're all important people.) Patti, the kids, and I went to the Mall Deli where Audrey out ate all of us. No joke. That adorable chubkins can EAT! I can't wait until she's in Preschool with Patti and she's quoted in a blog; that will be hysterical.

God is incredible. I must say His grace is overwhelming in the best possible sense of the word overwhelming.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Plugged in and ready to fall

"I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you....plugged in and ready to fall" - harsh song lyrics I am listening to right now.

I've had those days all too regularly over the last month or two. I'm in a dark place.

Things bothering me:

Lack of communication
Marriage's ups and DOWNS
Looking back instead of forward

I don't want to move. I don't want to talk about it anymore...

Friday, June 5, 2009

When I have no words...there are always photos

Stealing a smootch from Samantha, my adorable niece.

American Chop Suey. Looks very gross but tasted awesome. Trust me.

Doug's book. Very good stuff in here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

M.I.A Kerri?

I am out of my own loop. I'll get back on track soon enough.

Boston was a BLAST. I miss my niece already but it's so very good to be home with Philly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rewind in time

You must be sick of looking at the poop by now. Since I can't think of anything to say, even though LOTS is going on, I will just post some photos from my childhood to make you both laugh and wonder how I was ever that thin.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

At 8:30pm I am shutting off my lights for one hour. You should too in honor of Earth Hour. It's going on all over the world at 8:30pm their (whomever's) time.

Did/would you do it?

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's dark outside.

I have a piece of rice stuck in my throat.

True story.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Depression Hurts...

But it doesn't have to. Abilify can help.

Last night was Nicole's "send-off" party.

You know what, nevermind, I don't want to talk about it.

Foil Balling

Scott finally posted a blog on the foil ball blog!
This had to be announced because 1. It's a great blog post and 2. It's been FOREVER.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Help I need somebody! Not just anybody!

Jake turned eight on February 27th. The boy is EIGHT! He's missing four front teeth and it's simply adorable. The eight-year-old Jake received $25 from his great-grandmother as a birthday gift. It must've been his first time receiving money as a gift because he held that money in his hand and stared at it the whole ride home from Oklahoma last Saturday.
He must've been thinking really hard of what he could get with it.
"Do I have enough money for Wii music?" he asked. He did not.
"Maybe I can go to Walmart and pick something out" he stated.
Later that night, we went as a family to Game Stop where Jake got Wii Music as a birthday present from Phil and I. He used $10 on a Wii driving wheel controller. Not a bad choice I thought. John wasn't feeling well so he and I headed to Walgreens to pick up some medicine while Jake and Phil went to Hastings to see what Jake could get with his remaing birthday bucks.

I was elated with his second purchase. This just proves what kind of musical, and overall, influence we have on the boy. He purchased...wait for it....

The Beatles Help! cd. I was impressed. At eight years old I was too concerned with Barbies to worry about the Beatles. It was a proud moment to say the least.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stop that song!

Every now and then a HORRIFIC, yet catchy, song will get stuck in my head for weeks. Not just a few hours or a day but weeks. Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne is a good example.

She's like so whatever
You could do so much better
I think we should get together now
And that's what everyone's talking about!

[Chorus]Hey! Hey! You! You!
I don't like your girlfriend! No way! No way!
I think you need a new one
Hey! Hey! You! You! I could be your girlfriend

This morning I have that new Taylor Swift song in my head. These songs need to stop. Even when I have a good song in my head I end up singing only one line to the point I am sick of it. It's a sickness.

What are you listening to these days? What song often gets stuck in your noggin?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quarter-life Liberation

WARNING: This is heavy. But please do comment.


The new year is here and I have gone through a quarter-life liberation, if you will. No crisis here. Though, it was extremely difficult before the weights could be lifted.

You know how people want to make things right before they die, when they're in a 12-step program, or after a lift-threatening happening? I am not dying nor am I in alcoholics annonymous but I did have an "incident" or a series of incidents that brought me to what I recently did.

Some people write emails and click SEND while others drop a letter in the mail asking for forgiveness, forgiving people, or just thanking someone for the impact they've had on your life. Since a face-to-face encounter would entail a 1,500+ mile drive, I dove head first into the dreaded, then heart-breaking conversations. Voices from my past and mine trembled like babies starting to walk.

The first call lasted just five minutes but it was an eleven year and five minute converation I never wanted to have. That was supposed to be the conversation where I forgave...yet I was the one doing all of the apologizing. It was bizarre, too-few tears were shed, and one too many an awkward silence took place. I revealed things I wish never happened. Things I had little-to-no control over yet I continued to apologize to the confused voice on the other end. I wasn't apologizing for what took place all those years ago but for the ugly truth that I was confessing. She had no control over the situation nor did she have a clue. All she kept saying was "I wish you'd told me years ago. I never would have married him." That was the hardest call I ever had to make but I have no regrets. Two days later she told me they're divorcing. He confessed.

Having zero sense of rhyme or reason I made call number two just minutes after hanging up from my old foster mom (call number one.) This conversation ripped my heart out of my chest, stomped on it a few times and then threw it back into my body. This was the you-changed-my-life call that turned into something completely different. While I repeatedly told Patti she is the woman that shaped me into the person I am today she continuously thanked me and said our relationship never be the same as it once was. She's the best mom I ever had, ever will. Saying "I love you" and hearing "That's nice" back will do something to you no foster dad can ever do.

She gave me advice at the end of the conversation which let me know she loves me in her own way. I have to let go of the fairy-tale-like past and accept our relationship for what it now is; distant.

Company came over in the middle of call number two. Thank God for friends who will sit in your living room for twenty minutes not knowing where you are. And thank God for moments when you can come downstairs,all red-faced and puffy, and receive a hug, they pray with you, and share hot cocoa in your kitchen like nothing ever happened YET like they know EVERYTHING that happened without having to say a word.

If Pop Dan never spoke about his relative passing away and not forgiving those and asking for forgiveness before you die....

If I hadn't watched the most heart-wrenching movie about a 28-year-old man that was killed when his life seemed to have just began and ended too soon....

If I hadn't been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and realizing how precious my life is....

If I'd never found Jesus and continue to become saved day after day....

I wouldn't have made those calls. I wouldn't be writing this blog. I wouldn't move closer to the person God wants be me to be. I am so blessed and a burden has been lifted forever because He died for our sins.