Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Did someone lose two pounds last week?

Because I think I found them on my thighs this morning.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Kinda makes you want one, right?

OMG, I almost died laughing when I got this in an email today. Thanks for the smile on a Back to Work Monday, Buster!

Do I need a receipt to return these neighbors?

Dear Inconsiderate Neighbor,

Do you not see your trash blowing all over the freaking cul-de-sac?!

I know that you are home today because school is out, your garage door is up and I saw your husband taking out still more trash earlier this morning. I understand that you have a bazillion children and that Christmas generates more trash than your already over-worked container can possibly hold, but can't you at least secure the overflow on what is clearly a very windy day?

If I wanted to decorate my yard with styrofoam peanuts I would have done it with my own trash.

Peeved in Indiana

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

Returning to our house tonight I realized I have never been so content to come home from a vacation. We had a wonderful time and I miss family already but when I walked inside tonight I was overcome by a wave of gratitude for our beautiful home and the many blessings we have in our life here. I am one lucky girl!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I love me a Langer Christmas...

Because Christmas dinner wouldn't be complete until someone spits liquid through their nose.

Late night + Early morning = Stupid Sara

As always happens when I am at home in SC, I stayed up late into the night spending time with my sisters. By the time I got ready for bed, I was bleary-eyed and sleepy and ready to hit the sheets.

Unfortunately I don't have the vacation time to take this whole week off, but at least I can take my work with me and log the time from here. Thus I was up at 6:30 this morning quietly going through my morning routine so as not to wake the rest of the house. Suddenly, there is a five alarm fire in my eyeball! The tears are immediately flowing full force down my cheeks and I am writhing in pain in front of the bathroom mirror. Clearly, there is something wrong with my contact but it hurts so bad, I can't open my eye to get it out!

I finally pry the contact out and desperately flush my eye with water, contact solution, anything that might help the burning, pulsing and swelling. As I reach for my contact solution, I suddenly realize that is not my contact solution but Nate's. Which is totally different than mine and contains hydrogen peroxide. Which I used to refill one side of contact case last night. Which then soaked my contact all night. Which I then inserted directly into my eye. I basically attempted to dissolve my eyeball this morning with hydrogen peroxide.

Needless to say, my eye is not a pretty sight today. After much flushing, it still burns in the corners and the red is still very noticeable. Luckily, I packed my glasses as an afterthought Friday morning as we were walking out the door. Let's just say, glasses will always be on my packing list from now on, just in case. At least I am getting some good mileage out of my new glasses!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Dad's a Ninja

My dad just left for the office where he will check the Secret Computer, for important government secrets. I am 27 years old and I still think that's pretty cool. My dad's cooler than your dad. (Don't be jealous).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happiness is...

Wrapping Christmas presents while my little sister sings and plays her guitar. I love that kid.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

At home in the Dirty....

We made it to South Carolina safely last night. It took 11 l-o-n-g hours with lots of rain, but at least it wasn't snow or ice. We had a book on CD from one of our favorite authors so that helps the time pass a little more quickly.

It is 70 degrees here today! WTH? A whole suitcase full of clothes and I have nothing to wear! Guess I'll just have to go shopping.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just in the knick of time!

The gifts are finally wrapped with not a second to spare! I wanted to have it all done last night so tonight I could focus on packing everything else. Between our own two suitcases and myriad doggie accessories, I'm not quite sure where we're going to put all this in the car!

I had a little help from Lola. I was 'protecting' her from the big scary vacuum her daddy was using in the living room. That's why she looks so terrified!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And the hits just keep on coming....

As if one cranky car wasn't enough for this month, Nate's car decided to stop running on his way to work this morning. Like literally stop running while he was driving it. That was after the window fell in yesterday for the 6,543,762nd time.

The bad news? It's the alternator. The expensive alternator.

The good news? They can actually get it fixed by the end of today. So we don't have to leave town with a car in the shop.

Guess it's time to get serious about some new car shopping for poor Nate. I think we've nursed that stupid car along about as far as we can. One place we won't be looking? The Pontiac dealer!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I (heart) Peyton Manning

....oh, and the rest of the Colts football team, of course!

So Sunday I got to go to my first NFL football game. We did the tour of the new Lucas Oil Stadium a few months ago and Nate got to go to a preseason game, but this was my first live Colts game. We had nosebleed seats and could barely see the ball moving around the field, but it was fun and exciting nonetheless.

Pre-game warm ups.

That tiny person on the 30 yard line in the middle of the picture is Peyton Manning!

This is the face Nate usually makes when I ask him to take a picture with me.

And to be fair, here is a bad one of me, too.

Eight pictures later, one we can both live with.

Here we go! Get excited!!

This as close as we got to the action.

I have to start plotting now to get to more games next season and hopefully, maybe better seats. But I can't complain, I got to go and I had a fantastic time (and cotton candy, which makes anything more fun!).

Here I am to save the day!

Just in case you are a slacker and haven't finished your Christmas shopping, here's a little extra online savings. You can still order now and receive it in time for Christmas (or go the easy route and send it straight to Mom and Dad's, like I did!).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me Monday

I have not, in the last 18 days, polished off two entire cases of Cheerwine. I most certainly have not justified this two-a-day gluttony by reasoning that since one is diet (and therefore calorie free), it basically doesn't count. That would be self-delusional. And I am definitely not self-delusional. Nope, not me!

I did not substitute brown sugar for white sugar when making short-cut lasagna, because I somehow forgot to buy white sugar at the grocery store. I mean who forgets a basic staple like sugar? Not me!

I did not openly gloat when Oliver had an accident in the house, because that wouldn't make my dog (Lola) the 'good' dog. I mean, who is secretly not too unhappy about an accident in the house? Not me!

I did not scream like a school girl and otherwise make a general idiot out of myself when I discovered a huge slimy something-or-other under the wash-out drain in front of the house. That would be silly and embarrassing to do in front of the neighbors. Who was that raving lunatic on my driveway? Not me!

Just in time for the holidays....

Bad news - no raise for me this year. Announced via conference call just in time for the holidays. Merry Christmas to me.

Guess I should concentrate on the good news - I still have a job (for now).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shh! Don't Tell!

Well, after a total of eight hours Christmas shopping over the last two days, I am happy to say I have found my missing Christmas spirit. Apparently it was at the mall!

I found nearly everything on my list, plus a few things for myself. What's that? It's Christmas and I'm not supposed to be buying things for myself? Well, who made up that silly rule? Who can resist the amazing deals desperate retailers are putting out there, especially when you have coupons on top of the sales?

Like this dress at New York & Company for $6?

And this adorable sleep mask from Bath & Body Works for $4? (Yes, I do wear a sleep mask every night. Don't knock it til you've tried it!)

I also finally found navy blue tights at Old Navy. Well, navy-ish. They're not true navy but they'll work for the dress that I need them for.

Really when you add it all up, I spent maybe $25 on myself today, so that's not so bad. I'm afraid to add up what I spent on others - that number isn't going to be nearly as pretty! But once I finally found my Christmas mojo, I found it hard to stop. I love giving gifts and I love my family, so giving gifts to my family is especially fun!

Now for anyone who might still be shopping for me, here is what I managed NOT to purchase for myself today. (Truth be told, it's only because they didn't have my size!)

After weeks of waiting, these booties are finally on sale.

And while admiring those booties, I ran across these online too. Sigh. Almost makes the snow tolerable if I get to wear these every day.

Okay, enough lusting over my 77th and 78th pair of shoes (it's not a matter of if, but when). I am off to wrap the mountain of gifts waiting upstairs. I don't what is better - buying them, wrapping them or actually giving them? I love all of it!!

Blessed Hands

What better way to start the weekend than with a much needed massage? After 12 hours in the car last week, I am in desperate need of a little massage therapy. My new massage therapist, Terrin, has nothing on Rebecca (from Knoxville) but I am still looking forward to it. (She's not bad; it's just Rebecca was AWESOME!).

Then it's off to hopefully finish up my Christmas shopping. I made good progress yesterday but am still having a hard time finding a few certain items.

If I throw in a trip to Starbucks somewhere in there, sounds like a perfect day to me!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why Didn't Someone Tell Me?

I just realized that for all intents and purposes, Christmas is only a week away! Nate and I will be leaving for vacation next Friday so all Christmas shopping must be basically done by Thursday night. And I am not even half way done! Do you feel the panic jumping off your computer screen?!

This is so not normally the way I do Christmas. But this dumb flu bug has totally screwed up my plans, not to mention that Christmas was already a week short because Thanksgiving was so darn late this year.

Taking deep breaths and trying to make a list to tackle this weekend. God, I hope I don't forget anyone.

Anyone Know How to Do It Right?

Take a picture of a Christmas tree, that is! (You thought I meant something else?)

So I finally got around to putting up the second tree last night. Got kind of tired of hearing Nate's sarcastic "Nice tree" every time he walked by the living room. Tuesday night I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up eight boxes of twinkly white lights (among several other things!). At the last minute I got worried that eight wouldn't be enough, so I snagged two more for a total of ten boxes (1,000 lights or 300 feet!).

As some of you may recall, I got this new tree on one of my favorite websites, Freecycle a few months ago, so when I finally opened the box, I had no idea what to expect.

Let me tell you, I was shocked. This is seriously the weirdest Christmas tree I have ever seen. And having worked at a Christmas shop in high school, I have seen more than my share of trees! First, this six foot tree has like fifteen layers of branches. The layers are all really close together but they only have a few branches per layer, like this:

There are only six scrawny branches on the bottom layer. That's weird, right?

So not only are there a bazillion layers, but they are lettered funny too. You know how most tree layers are labeled A, B, C, D, E and so forth? This one is lettered too: F, G, G, H, H, I, K, L, M, M, etc. WTH? Anywhere there is a letter shown twice, one will be one color (like orange tab with white letter) and the second will be the same colors except opposite (like white tab with orange letter). Um, why not just use a different letter? There are, after all, twenty six of them.

Anyway, I digress. Once I got past the randomness that is this Christmas tree, it actually turned out really great. It's not as full as our regular tree, but this one has it's own charm. And with so many layers it used up every single box of lights, and the top is a little scantier than I would like it to be. At 9pm last night I was thankful to my worry-wart self for buying those extra two boxes!

Sara's Tips for the Perfect Christmas Tree:

1. Light it up as you go. For maximum twinkliness (twinklage?), add your lights as you add the layers. I run my lights up one side of the branch and down the other (see above picture). It takes more lights this way, but makes the tree glow from the inside out.

2. Add ribbon running around or up/down the tree for added visual interest. Make sure to use wired ribbon so that it won't lose its shape.

3. Hang 'filler' ornaments first. You know, those plain ones that you get 20 for $5 at Wal-mart? Hang these inside the tree, close to the pole to make the tree look full and give it some dimension. Plus, nosy guests who 'inspect' the tree up close will be surprised to find ornaments that deep inside the tree.

These are the filler ornaments for the new tree. Some are just plain jane, others are sparkly but still not as pretty as the 'good' stuff.

I scratched the mess out of my arms putting these way back there, but it was worth the pain because it turned out fantastic!

4. Hang especially sparkly ornaments in little alcoves. I make little alcove spaces in the branches for the sparkliest stuff so that they get maximum exposure to the twinkle lights. This makes them shine beautifully!

5. Hang your favorite ornaments first. Once you've got the filler done, make sure you put your favorite ornaments front and center so you see those most often!

I really love everything on this tree, but here are a few of my favorites.

6. Hang the rest of the ornaments. Don't forget that the back and sides of the tree are important too! Step back every few minutes to see where things are looking a little bare. You don't want to get the whole thing done and realize all the red ornaments are on just one side of the tree!

Voila! A beautiful Christmas tree!! Mine took about four hours from start to finish, but I also had to unbox and untag everything since it was brand new. Next year it will probably go much faster!

Here is the finished product. While I am very pleased with the tree (I want to sit only in that empty room now!), I am bummed by the pictures. They don't do it justice at all. Which leads me to the title of this post - anyone know how to take a good picture of a Christmas tree? The tree is all glowy and sparkly and the picture is just so blah. Guess you'll just have to come see it for yourself!


I want to go to the Britney Spears concert in the worst way. There I said it. Don't judge; you know you want to go too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That's Disgusting... (Or How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Evening)

Scene: A perfectly cozy night at home. Me, reading a book on the couch. Nate, playing video game.

Suddenly, Nate looks up from video game -

Nate (excitedly):
Oh, yeah! I forgot to tell you this when I got home!

Me (curiously, expecting an engagement or baby announcement; possibly a promotion/raise or other news which would account for his level of excitement): What?

Nate: Today on the way home from work, this fox came flying out of the woods and smashed into the car in front of me! It got totally obliterated!

Me: Stunned silence *crickets chirping*

Nate (noticing that maybe I don't think this is a good story):
Well, I'm sure he died on impact.


WTH?! Since when in our nine year history have you known me to enjoy stories of furry woodland creature deaths? Um, that would be never. I practically tear up at the sight of roadkill.

Thank you, darling husband, for ruining our perfectly cozy evening with your vivid story of death and obliteration.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crafters Paradise

Dear Hobby Lobby,

You are the best craft store ever. I could spend hours wandering your bountiful aisles. Your Christmas ornaments are unbelievable. Your whimsical wrapping paper selection is unmatched. Your scrapbooking sales are unequaled. Your generous markdowns ensure that I never leave your registers feeling guilty, no matter how many bags of stuff I don't need full of treasures I haul away.

Your faithful shopper,

Girls Night, anyone?

Just saw a commercial for this movie and it looks too funny. Plus it's got Kate Hudson, one of my favorites! Anyone for a Girls Night January 9?

What Could Be Better....

...than a warm puppy in your chair on a cold, rainy December day?

(This is how Lola likes to spend her mornings. In case you can't tell, that is my *um, cough* derriere in my chair and my adorable furbaby cuddled up behind me.)

Monday, December 8, 2008


There's nothing better than a Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chocolate Chip milkshake to sooth a sore throat.

Today just got a little bit better.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

For the Record....(Or How I'm Going to be the Next Julia Child)

Ladies and gentlemen, mark this day in your calendars. Today, Katie actually called me for cooking advice. Quick! Someone look out the window - I think pigs might be flying.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly cooking advice.

And maybe we already happened to be on the phone when the question came up, so she didn't exactly call me for advice.

The point is, that I know where cocktail wienies are at the grocery store while Katie did not, and without my sage advice, her small group Christmas party would be missing out on some awesome cocktail wienies.

O Christmas Tree

After nearly 6 hours and just as many rest breaks, the Christmas tree finally made it up. I must admit that I didn't particularly feel like doing it at all but I knew I would regret it in a few days. I just can't seem to get in the Christmas spirit. I don't know if it's just my yucky cold sapping my energy or something else, but I'm just not feeling it yet. Maybe the Christmas tree will help.

I started to put up the new tree today but quickly realized that the six boxes of what I thought were white lights are actually just more colored lights. Boo. Guess a trip to Hobby Lobby is in my near future. If that doesn't snap me out of this funk, I'm a lost cause!

Friday, December 5, 2008



Get it? That's me, wallowing in misery this morning. I am miserably sick. I haven't breathed out of my nose in three days. I cannot get warm enough or cool enough. My head is pounding. My ears are so stuffed I can't hear well. And there are a thousand tiny men with a thousand tiny swords stabbing me in the throat. Oh, wait, maybe not, but I swear that is what it feels like.

Someone please come shoot me and put me out of my misery.

Bring it on

My dearest baby sister Emily,

Please consider this your not-so-engraved-but-at-least-public invitation to come to school in Indianapolis and live with us. We cannot wait for you to come. The sink is full of dishes, the dogs need a bath and I'm pretty sure the laundry hasn't been done in two weeks.

When can you get here?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I heart Knoxville

What's the best part about a business trip to Knoxville? Seeing my girlfriends and dinner at Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse. Man, I miss these girls. And shrimp sauce.

A close second? Cherry limeade from Sonic. I hit Sonic before I even checked into the hotel!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advil is a gift; let's unwrap it!


This is the good stuff they keep behind the counter. You have to show your license, give fingerprints and sign over your first born child to get it, but it's totally worth it. I'm like an addict at the pharmacy counter - How many boxes can I get at once? How soon I can come back for more? Can I send Nate back for another box or two later or do they track that by address?

Off to pop another one and (hopefully) get a good night's rest.

Don't lie - you know you watched it too!

Did watching this make anyone else sad?

Monday, December 1, 2008

And just like that....

My car is fixed. Go figure. It hasn't run for a week so we finally had the tow truck come today to take it to the shop. In order to get it onto the tow truck, they asked me to put it in neutral and roll it out of the garage a little bit. And don't you know, as soon as I turn the key, the darn thing started up! Boy was I embarrassed! I turned it off and on a couple of times and it fired right up every single time. I apologized over and over to the poor tow truck guy, who had come out in the snow and sleet on a super busy morning.

I drove it to the shop anyway, just to have them look it over and they pronounced it completely fine. Said that possibly the engine was flooded and that sometimes that happens when it's really cold.

Cost us $50 to find out nothing is wrong; but I guess that's better than what it could have been, right?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

End of an Era

Sad day. Coach Fulmer just coached his last UT football game after 17 years as head coach. I don't care what anyone else says, I liked him and am sad to see him go.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Good Luck and Trouble

My shopping adventures today went well; I got the two big gift items on my list (can't say what or for who!) and several other good deals that were just too good to pass up. I started at 4:30 with a trip to Fry's where I waited in the freezing cold for twenty minutes before the doors opened, but I snagged what I went for so it was well worth the temporary suffering.

Then off to Target for another twenty minute wait in the cold. This wait was a little more pleasant because they had live Christmas music and were handing out 'breakfast' boxes with Christmas cookies and mini-bagels. How great is that? This stop was also wildly successful as Katie and I shopped our way through our lists via cell phone (she lives in Florida).

A quick trip to Old Navy (more success in the form of several sweaters for Nate!) and I was home by 7:30am.

After a quick breakfast and some make up (I was looking rough on Round 1!), we headed out to the mall and Michael's. I scored some more ornaments for my new tree and wreaths to decorate the front windows, all for under $40 (yeah for sales plus coupons!).

The best buy of the day was this new coat that I picked up at Ann Taylor Loft. It was on sale plus a 20% off coupon, and they were flying off the rack like hot cakes. I am in love with the collar and despite my closet full of coats, I don't own anything in this color. When it's this cold outside, you can never have too many coat options, right?

Sadly, our shopping foray was cut short when Nate was locked out of the house and we had to go 'rescue' he and his dad. But it's probably lucky for my wallet because I was having some serious decorating envy at Pier One when we got the call!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Ladies and gentlemen, I have stuffed my first turkey. And I didn't throw up once. (There may or may not have been some covert gagging, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ain't That Always the Way?

What better way to kick off the holiday season than with a car that won't start? That's right folks, no one else has to worry this weekend, because the obligatory car horror story has already happened to me. Save your thanks; send cash.

It happened yesterday as I was loading the beasts dogs for a trip to the groomers. They were in bad shape and with the in-laws coming, a little haircut was in order. Trips to the groomer are always an ordeal. Oliver loves to be in the car and shows his pleasure by bouncing from seat to seat and joyously licking your face (while you are driving). Lola, on the other hand, does not care so much for car rides and registers her displeasure by keening at the top of her lungs. This is worse than barking or howling; it is so high pitched that I am sure other dogs can hear her in Canada. Then she will claw her way up my arm to sit around my neck, the better to make herself heard (READ: keen directly into my ear).

Needless to say, I was already dreading the ten minute drive to PetSmart. So we have leashes, we have keys, we get in the car and the hysterics have already begun...but the car does not.


After trying in vain several times to turn the engine over, we pile back out of the car by which time the puppies are frantic (why aren't we going?!) and I am more than a little pissed.

Put the dogs in the house, call Nate, call PetSmart, call Dad, call Nate again. Not exactly how I had envisioned my puppy free afternoon going. Boo.

Long story short, it's not the battery or something easy like that. And the shop that the neighbor recommends can't take it until Monday. So on this most busy of holiday weekends, we are a one car family. And then for who knows how long once we finally get it in the shop.

I have been car-less for less than 24 hours and already I am stir crazy. Not that I have anywhere in particular to go, but just knowing that I can't is enough to make me desperately NEED to get out of the house. Go figure.


Who can work when her inbox is piling up with coupons and fliers for the holiday weekend?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

Okay, so technically this is now Tuesday, but these things happened on a Monday, so isn't that close enough? I have been enjoying the blog My Charming Kids for awhile now and finally decided to get in on the "Not Me!" Monday action.

This week I did not turn the wrong way out of the Wal-mart parking lot and make it three miles before I realized I was going the wrong direction. Again.

I did not try to buy wine for Thanksgiving and discover that I did not have my driver's license in my wallet.

Last night when Nate asked for grilled cheese for dinner (WTH?), I most certainly did not sneak off to call my sister Katie to make sure I knew how to make grilled cheese correctly.

And I definitely am not posting this while eating yet another spoonful of cookie dough from the refrigerator.

Start Your Engines

Search engines, that is. In preparation for the Most Important Shopping Day of the Year, here are a few websites to help you plot world domination your shopping course. Many of the Black Friday sale fliers can already be found online at one of these websites. Don't forget that many online retailers will start their Black Friday sales online on Thursday!

Black Friday 2008
Black Friday at Gottadeal.com
Black Friday Info

And just in case you suddenly fall deathly ill from a turkey overdose (or possibly food poisoning at my house) and can't make it on Black Friday (HORROR!), never fear! Check out the deals for Cyber Monday here.



If you just can't wait until Friday, check out this 30% off online offer at NY and Company.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Somebody Stop Me

I am completely incapable of staying away from the Nestle cookie dough in my refrigerator.

I knew I should have put off Thanksgiving grocery shopping until Wednesday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

He's a Keeper

Bad day: When your husband has to work on both Saturday AND Sunday.

Good day: When your husband brings you Starbucks because he had to work on both Saturday AND Sunday.

Great Expectations

As if I didn't already have enough to look forward to in the next few weeks, we have finally ordered our entertainment console for the family room. We picked it out several weeks ago in the hopes that it would come before Nate's parents visit for Thanksgiving, but it's a new piece at Haverty's and apparently very popular - it's on back order through Christmas. So we decided to hold off a few weeks since it wouldn't make a difference anyway. And I'm so glad we did, because this week I got a coupon for 15% off any one item. Yeah for saving money!

This lovely merlot media console will arrive just in time for New Year's Day football. I can't wait to get the ugly craft table out of our family room and finish up my craft room upstairs!

Up next - new couches and tables for the family room!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Press Play

Last weekend I bought the new Taylor Swift CD, Fearless. Don't judge; you know you secretly like country music too! I was a big fan of her first CD, Taylor Swift, so I went ahead and bought the new one before I heard a single song.

That's a big deal, people, in case you didn't know. I buy maybe one or two CDs a year. In fact, I made it to November before I bought one this year. I rarely like an entire CD enough to buy it; I copy borrow from my parents anything I really want or just download the one or two songs I like from the Internet. So buying a CD, songs unheard, is unprecedented.

And totally worth it! It's maybe not as great as her first one but it's pretty darn close. I have already listened straight through several times and only skip through one song (It's about the prom. Ugh). I haven't found anything I like quite as much as Our Song (from the last album), but think Track #4 (Hey, Stephen) and Track #5 (White Horse) could be contenders for my new favorite Taylor Swift song.

I think this one is going to be in heavy rotation for quite awhile. Might even supplant the Christmas music for awhile!

Wish I Had Thought of That

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