Telling Truths from Lies

While we weren't looking, an award was bestowed upon us by Rachel over at Rachel's Ramblings.
I met Rachel way back in college, during my very short stint at Cornell College in Iowa. She lived across the hall from me, and we developed quite the bond. One of my favorite things about her is that she's always been a promulgator of truth, so it seems appropriate that an Honest Scrap award would be bestowed to her. By the same token, I'm flattered that she sees us in the same light.

Of course, the acceptance of this award has a few rules attached. The honorees are to: a) first list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep! B) pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

1. I suffer from a bit of social anxiety. I'm fairly certain that it's not clinical; however, I find myself dreading social outings. My fear is particularly acute when the gathering is 1) large (I find I do best in smaller groups) AND 2) comprised of people who I don't already know (As enjoyable as it can be, I tend to find the process of getting to know new people exhausting).

2. I love reading and writing and learning; but, I've decided that school isn't for me. Right now, at least. I tried to go back for my master's degree this past fall... but, it felt all wrong. For as much as I enjoyed the challenge, and the intellectual dialog, and the brain exercise, I found myself resenting every moment I spent working on my homework. After some really tough soul-searching, I've decided that it's not the right time for me to go on for my degree. Tough decision to make. But, I think it's all good.

3. I am hopelessly addicted to cooking. And entertaining. Some people relieve stress by working out. I wind down at the end of a long day by cooking dinner. There is something seriously "zen" about chopping vegetables and setting things to saute in a bit of hot oil at the end of a long day. It's gotten to the point where I can't think of much I'd rather do after a nasty day at work than roast a chicken. Entertaining people at our house is a close second. I can't think of much that's more enjoyable than having a few people over for dinner... unless I haven't had time to plan everything out (which is the only point at which entertaining feels like a chore).

4. Cooking has made me into a "gadget girl". I always swore that you only needed a few things in the kitchen -- a few good knives, some good pots & pans... the basics. And for years, I got along quite well with the bare minimum. However, in the past few years, I have managed to accumulate a variety of (very useful) gadgets. A panini press. A waffle iron. A cherry/olive pitter. A tomato knife. A pasta roller. A variety of cake decorating supplies, including a turn-table, 3 offset spatulas, and a cake leveler. Silpats. A cookie press. An outdoor convection cooker. And for Christmas -- a Le Creuset Dutch oven (yay!).

5. I sometimes lose my cool. My mother was a yeller. I always swore I would never follow in her footsteps. Unfortunately, frustration brings out the worst in me. And my vocal decibels rise. It's something I always mean to work on, but not something I've not been terribly successful in abolishing.

6. I am 100% certain that my marriage is meant to be. Peef and I have a pretty good marriage. Most of the time, it's a partnership of equals to which we both contribute our finest qualities. But, sometimes I wonder how Peef puts up with me. There are times when I KNOW I'd drive myself up a wall... and most of the time, he acts pretty unphazed. Even after ten years, we seem to be discovering new things about one another. Thank God for that.

7. I have never been thin. In fact, I have absolutely NO IDEA what it would be like to be thin. There is positively NO doubt that I could be thinner than I am -- but I am quite positive that it would be impossible for me to ever become truly THIN. I recognize this most easily when I try on clothing from the Vera Wang collection at Kohls. Some things will never hang properly on a girl who is 5'4" and curvy.

8. I am not the easiest person to get to know. Someone at work who I've been getting to know for a couple of years pointed this out to me just before Christmas. It's not something of which I was completely unaware; but, I dont' think that anyone had ever come right out and said it to me before. It's true that I'm more introvert than extrovert. I like people, and I have quite number of very close friends. However, I don't feel that it's vital for most people really to know a whole lot about my inner workings. Thinking back on examples of how this works, it occurred to me that I'd worked at Marquette for almost two years when a colleague who worked in my office asked me if I had any children... I guess that illustrates my point.

9. Hallmark cards sometimes make me cry. This is a fairly recent development. I used to be made of steel when it came to sappy movies and touchy feely birthday cards. But, these days, I can stir myself up into a whorl of emotion just by taking a walk down the greeting card aisle. Sometimes, it's a useful form of catharsis. I'd highly recommend it.

10. I am a bit of a control freak. For people who know me well, this is no mystery. I love overseeing the big picture and putting all the pieces in place. I don't need to control what everyone else does, but I like having jurisdiction over my own life. It used to be that I had every moment planned out to a "tee". Marriage has helped me to relax a little bit. The lemons that life has thrown us of late have also helped me to revamp my perspectives. These days, I'm working on letting go a little bit more. But, I'm still not perfectly comfortable letting someone else take the wheel.

And now, for the tagging! I don't think I'll quite make seven, but here goes my best shot.
... will be interested to read whatever it is that you decide to share!


Merry Christmas!!

We've been busy lately with all the preparations that go along with the holidays.
Like baking cookies!

And decorating our Christmas tree!
However, we haven't forgotten about friends and family -- who truly make our lives worth living.

Here's hoping that each and every one of you has a very Blessed Christmas... and that 2009 follows with more good things than any of you can imagine.


Winter Wonderland

You probably know that the Winter Solstice comes December 21st; however, for those of us fortunate enough to live in the Northern states, winter seems to find us prematurely every year. Here is a nice photo that I took during this week's snow storm. If you're sharp, you can find our house over on the right!
Am happy to report that I've met with some success with regard to job opportunities this week. I had an interview with a marketing firm this morning and I have a couple of phone interviews set up for Monday and Tuesday of next week.

In the meantime, Lo and I plan to spend our weekend hunting for a Christmas tree. More photos and fun to come!!

Happy weekend!