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Finding Mr. Right

1 Dec

To begin, I’d like to clarify that this is about my sister, Sarah Jean, and her recent discovery of her very own Mr. Right. Please direct any congratulations to her, as I need not be congratulated for an upcoming wedding that ain’t mine.

The following post may be recognized by any of you who attended her bridal shower, which I had a part in organizing. One of the hats I wore was the imaginary funky whirly-doo hat of Game Moderator. If I actually had a hat for the part, I imagine it would look like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Some of you may have heard of the Left Right Game. The directions are simple. The Game Moderator (hat or no hat) reads a story with key words sprinkled generously throughout. Most often the key words are “Left” and “Right,” so when the word “left” is read, the object/prize is passed to the left, and exactly the same yet somehow also opposite for the word “right.” I wrote a game script about Sarah and Philip, so the key words I chose were…..“Sarah” and “Philip.”

The writing took quite a bit of planning! I had a script written out which had the displacement marked to make sure the object/prize was going fully around each table of (up to) nine ladies, and not just going back and forth between a few. It started out as a very informative, get-to-know-the-couple type of game, but as you can see by the color coded marks towards the end, there ended up being a lot of back and forth as “Sarah (pass right) and Philip (pass left)” met in college and did things together! I mention in the last paragraph about the prizes. I spent several weeks gathering up some items that Sarah likes that I thought other ladies would enjoy too – such as candle scents, body care scents, favorite beverage, musical items, etc.

Ahem! Attention please! The game is about to start….

All of you here should know Sarah by now. Sarah is the blond one sitting here with the sparkly engagement ring from Philip. Some of you here might even remember taking care of Sarah in nursery or a kids class. But did you know that Sarah was born in Hawaii? Sarah didn’t move to Pennsylvania until she was the ripe old age of one.

Around the time wee little Sarah was flying from Hawaii over Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, the Rains family in Wisconsin was preparing for the arrival of Philip. Except they got more than just Philip, they got his twin brother Paul too! Philip and Paul are the next-to-youngest in a family of eight kids. Philip was raised in the same city he still lives in – Mukwanago, Wisconsin. After Philip’s parents homeschooled him for a few years, Philip went to Mukwanago Baptist Academy. Philip learned to play the french horn, and Philip learned how to sing tenor. Most importantly, at age 9, Philip accepted Christ into his heart and became an heir of God. You’ve heard of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh? Well at the moment of salvation, God began preparing a different Prince Philip (the Rains one) for a special princess in PA whom Philip hadn’t even met yet.

The name Sarah means princess. And Sarah enjoyed the royal status that accompanied being the oldest of five children. Just like Philip, Sarah was also homeschooled for the first few school years, then Sarah attended Emmaus Baptist Academy. Sarah learned how to play the piano at an early age, and has enjoyed music ever since. Sarah sang alto in the school choir, as well as at several state choir concerts. This love for music was a factor in Sarah’s decision to pursue a music degree at the Baptist College of Ministry in Wisconsin. When Sarah was 17, she surrendered her life to God in salvation and God has been preparing Princess Sarah’s heart for Prince Philip ever since, even though they didn’t know of each other’s existence yet.

In December of 2008, Sarah graduated from LCCC with a degree in Accounting, but she felt as though the Lord wanted her to do more with her life than be a human calculator. Philip was part of a men’s octet from the college, and he sang at Grammy Coulton’s church, which was the first time Sarah met people from the Baptist College of Ministry. Neither Sarah nor Philip remember meeting each other that day, but God used that to pull Sarah toward BCM.

In the fall of 2009, Sarah left for her first semester at BCM. Sarah was on the same student fellowship with Philip. You may have heard this fellowship referred to already as “Fraser Fellowship,” which was named after James Fraser, missionary to the Lisu people in China. Throughout the four years of college on Fraser Fellowship at BCM, Sarah was on the same softball team and the same volleyball team as, you guessed it, Prince Philip. In their junior year at college, Philip was the president of the fellowship, and Sarah was the secretary. By this time, unbeknownst to Sarah, Philip had already begun to pray about if Sarah was part of God’s will for his future.

Toward the end of their senior year, while Sarah was busy preparing for her senior piano recital, Philip’s parents called Sarah’s parents with a very important question. It was a question that Sarah’s parents posed to Sarah the night following her recital: Sarah, would you be interested in a Biblical courtship with a certain Prince Philip Rains?

As they say, the rest is history. But in this case, the rest is the future! Don’t forget to pray for Philip and Sarah as they start a life together in January! I’m sure most of you are wondering what you’ve been passing around the table. I’ll give you a hint: it’s a favorite item or product of Sarah’s. And whoever has it NOW is the winner. You may open it at your leisure!

I unfortunately do not have prizes to dole out to all my faithful blog readers. Rest assured, you would’ve had a one-in-nine chance of winning if you had attended the bridal shower last month!


Per request

14 Jul

It has been with some gentle urging and prodding that I hereby make a guest appearance on my own blog. I have had no shortage of material about which to drone on and on. Time, however, has prohibited me.

To begin, I would like to expound upon a pet peeve.

“Me” is not a dirty word. It is the objective form of the personal pronoun “I.” Simply put, if I am the object of the sentence, “I” becomes “me.” See what I did there? I used correct grammar. Correct grammar was used by me. That’s easy enough if I use “I” or “me” by their own lonely selves in a sentence.

But the disconnect seems to come about when introducing a second party to the sentence. When Matilda and I went to grammar school, they doled out highest honors to Matilda and me, NOT to Matilda and I. Just like they wouldn’t dole out such honors to I, they would not dole out honors to Matilda and I. Do you see where I’m going with this? I am afraid that people are so tired of being corrected by us Grammar Nazis for saying “me and Billy Bob went a-huntin’ for varmints” that they equate “me” with bad grammar. It’s sad. If you catch yourself saying a preposition before bringing a personal pronoun into the conversation, you should probably use “me” and not “I.”

Remember this: I do awesome things, and you give awesome gifts to me. You and I are best friends, and people point and laugh at you and me.

*steps off soapbox*

*slips on soap*


*picks self up, looks around to make sure no one saw that*

Totally unrelated to the slip, trip, and fall that nobody saw, I have a heart-shaped bruise on my forearm.

Isn’t it awesome?! It’s like a temporary tattoo from playing volleyball on Thursday. Which, by the way, was the perfectest day for volleyball yet this season. It wasn’t too hot, nor too cold. It was overcast, but not raining. There was a beautiful sunset, yet the sun wasn’t in anyone’s eyes to prohibit awesome spikes. And best of all, there were enough people for two full teams plus one sub per team, so everyone could take a water break every six rotations, but not soooo many subs that anyone had to wait more than a couple minutes to get back onto the court!

In conclusion, I would like to share a couple anecdotes.

First, my hair has gotten so long these past few months! With the exception of the days where it is like 90+ degrees outside, I like to drive with my windows down. Unbeknownst to me, I have been shedding as well, so my long brunette hairs flew off my head and onto the carpeted/felty back part of my car that covers my trunk. (I will call this part of my car “the rear dash.”) However, when I was gassing up my car the other day, I noticed that there were long white hairs strewn all across my rear dash! I felt anger begin to rise within me. What AARPer has been taking my yellow car for joy rides while I was sleeping, and leaving their telltale white locks on MY rear dash?! Then it occurred to me….it was MY hair that the sun had bleached! There was also a dead wasp, who had finally baked after taunting me on many an early-morning ride to work.

Lastly, I was pulled over recently on one of those aforementioned early-morning rides to work. It was actually a morning that I’d left on time, and was hitting greens instead of reds, and there seemed to be less congestion on the highways, so I actually consciously chose to drive within the speed limit. Doing so allowed me to people-watch. Other drivers are sometimes really funny to watch! Sometimes they’re really infuriating to watch since the dumb fools think they can text and drive. I always honk at them. Always. Then I pray that they crash into an indestructible tree in such a way that they need all their fingers amputated so that they can never again text and drive and endanger the lives of thousands on the road.

But I digress. Back to my leisurely morning drive…. I was taking the on-ramp between one highway to the next, and I noticed a police car parked on the shoulder with his lights on. Out of respect and an innate sense of caution, I slowed down even more than my already-within-the-speed-limit speed. Merged onto next highway, continued the mile or so till my exit. The police car had turned his lights off and pulled out a few cars behind me. No biggie. I wasn’t speeding. I hadn’t cut anyone off. I used my turn signals for merging. I had my lights on even though it was only slightly overcast. I had current registration stickers, and my inspection still had about a month left. I had taken the body out of the trunk and scrubbed the blood dribbles off the bumper. Kidding. As I took my exit, I was thinking to myself about how glad I was that I’d decided not to speed that day. Aaaaand the police car was suddenly on my tail with his lights on.

On the shoulder of the exit ramp, I pulled over with barely enough room for other cars to get by, put on my hazard lights, and rolled my window down before turning my car off. I’m a pro at getting pulled over. Upon the officer’s request, I produced my license, insurance, and registration. After a looooong silence, he told me why he’d pulled me over. I have an after-market amplifier on my muffler, and I could get cited for that. I asked him if he was citing me for it, and he said no, he was just letting me know that I could get cited. So I did what any good female would do, and asked the man for his advice on what I should do. I can’t remember exactly what he said, for he was an older gent, with really long nose hairs which danced disconcertingly and distractingly as he answered my question. I don’t think it helped that I was looking up into his nose from my perch in my drivers seat. In any case, I was not ticketed or warned or cited. Just politely informed that I could get cited, and to have a good day, ma’am.

Diatribe to Hurricanes, and Advice for the Rest of Us

27 Oct

If you are a hurricane and reading this, please stop. We can’t be friends if you remain all hurricane-y. Simmer down, stop acting all maniacally, and just be the sweet li’l fall breeze we’d all love to have around.

If you are not a hurricane, that doesn’t automatically mean we can be friends, but it’s a really good start.

I’m not very experienced when it comes to hurricanes, and it’s been months (at best) since I actually sat down and watched the Weather Channel. However, to my guests at the hotel, I have the final word when it comes to what this storm will bring to our humble northeast region. I told one guy that if I knew what the storm would be like, I’d be a millionaire because I could tell the future. Another guy asked if I thought he should stay in his hotel room all week. One lady flipped out at my coworker, who was unable to predict whether or not we would have power throughout the storm. We’re amazing, but we’re not THAT amazing.

Last year about this time, we were experiencing the second of two terrible storms. The first was Hurricane Irene in August, which literally washed away many of our belongings as our basement filled with water. The second was Snowpocolypse, the white storm that downed trees and froze Jack-O-Lanterns all over this lovely region, resulting in enormous amounts of power outages.

The main difference that I’ve noticed between this storm and last year’s storms is this: people are freaking out waaaay more and are thus more prepared. I guess the memory of last year’s storms are still very vivid. Example: Last year lots of local people were calling up my hotel the day the lost power, wondering if they could book a room that had heat; this year the locals are booking in advance and expecting us to know if we will retain power or not. One positive note is that the power companies seem far more prepared as well; as I was leaving the hotel, I saw at least 10 big humongous trucks from power companies parked in our lot. They came from out of town to help our wonderful town. How kind.

Before a big storm (snow or otherwise), everyone buys the standard essentials: bread, milk,  and eggs. That’s perfect if you want milk with which to wash down your French toast every morning of every single storm. Because I am more creative, I instead purchased bacon, coffee, and jelly beans. I recommend that sugary, greasy, caffeinated combo. Also, I hear most places are out of the “essentials” anyways.

Oh, and buy a generator a few weeks before the storm. It’s too late now, they’re sold out. Lesson: plan ahead next time.

Yes, I think we’ll get rain when Sandy comes to town. And wind. And snow, if Sandy has a run-in with the cold front. And tornadoes if Sandy’s middle name is Dorothy. And sandstorms if Sandy wants to stay true to her name. But I really hope she’s just plain ol’ no-middle-name Sandy who wishes her name was actually Staycalmanddrinksomecoffee.

Theory of Distraction

18 Jul

I am easily distracted. Some call it forgetfulness; others say I sidetrack with little effort. I have given it some thought and formed a theory. No, it is not a scientific theory, for if it involved science, it would still be a hypothesis….and even that is being generous.

I have taken several brain-activity tests to determine whether my left or right brain is dominant. Neither is. They affect my life and thinking habits equally.

My analytic left brain allows me to memorize number sequences, see patterns where there are no obvious/visible/existing patterns, use words proficiently, be a painstaking perfectionist in my fashion pattern making; my artsy right brain is what enables me to be creative in my pattern making, draw with exquisite detail, enjoy a vivid imagination and exotic sleeping dream world, be inspired by the simple things like ribbons, fabrics, buttons, shapes, colors, etc.

I frequently switch between analyzing and creating. Mid-nerdy-sentence, a creative thought will strike me and I must stop talking and chase that train of thought. To the onlooker, I was distracted. To me, it made perfect sense. It was a momentary switch from left brain to right.

For example: A guest approaches the front desk of my hotel with two questions. First, would I print out a bill for them and explain the intricacies of tax refunds and rate changes? Sure! My logical left brain starts thinking through the best way to explain our tax and rate policies.

As I begin pulling up their bill on the computer, their second question descends. They are afraid that their pet has carried fleas to the hotel room, would I be so kind to bring a flea spray to their room as soon as possible?

My right brain’s vivid imagination kicks in. This time it’s a Pixar-style animation of me in a Monsters Inc. orange exterminator suit walking in slow-motion to their room, armed with Home Defense spray. As I open the door, the background music grows louder and more sinister; their poor pooch cowers in the corner and the room is obviously infested with fleas hopping wildly. I hook up the hose to the Home Defense spray and push the spray release. Looks of terror cross the faces of the fleas as they die mid-hop and flop onto the floor, where miniature x’s replace their eyes as death settles in. Music becomes triumphant again as I turn to see all the guests from the hotel standing outside the room with rousing applause, a shower of roses, and blown kisses. I smile to myself as I imagine some of my guests with their disproportionate Pixar-style features. Of course, dear guest, I’ll bring some flea spray to your room.

And already I forgot why I was looking at their bill, so I exit it. The guest asks for their bill again, and they can’t believe it’s taking so long.

The problem is not a deficiency in my brain that causes me to forget or be distracted. Rather, my brain is so advanced that it switches so quickly from left to right brain and back again, that my brain does not have time to log information in its short term memory. It appears as though I have forgotten. The truth is that I have yet to be able to control my brain. It’s almost as if my own brain is too amazing for me to handle. Scary, huh? It’s still a theory I’m playing with. I haven’t even thought of a good way to word my theory, which makes it obviously very unscientific. Even so, I felt the need to inform my general public of the reasons behind my frequent distractions.

In other news, I’m still thinking about my amazing carnitas burrito from Chipotle several days ago. Life-changing.

100 is a big number

6 May

I can count to 100 in English, Spanish, and French. Most kindergarten children of average intelligence have learned to count to 100.

100 seconds is pretty short. But try holding your breath for 100 seconds going through a tunnel. Some can do it, others cheat. Either way, those 100 seconds seem to stretch endlessly.

In 100 minutes, you can drive from my hometown of Emmaus, PA, to the Newark airport, with just enough time to grab a coffee before getting stuck in line for security. I hope you’ll send me a postcard from wherever you’re going.

If you think staying awake for 100 hours is no small feat, then you’ve never been in my shoes preparing for a fashion show getting minimal sleep for 4 days. 4 days is a mere 96 hours, while 100 hours takes it to the next level: the fifth day of sleeplessness. I don’t recommend trying this without interspersed naps and superfluous caffeine.

100 days will take you from the shivery days of January to the windy days of April, and another 100 days will usher in the heat and humidity of July.

Not many people can boast of living for 100 years, but kudos to those who can. That’s big.

Andy Warhol’s One Hundred Cans

100 pennies will make a 5-year-old boy feel rich, and make his pockets all jingly.

$100 is enough to buy a nice coffee grinder, or yardages of exciting fabrics, or a sale-priced Coach purse, or an overpriced Walmart purse.

If $100 is mere pocket change to you, how about $100 thousand?! Still petty? Eh, I’d settle for $100 million. I mean, $1 million is impressive, but $100 million is 100 times better. Literally.

100% A+ is a big deal. Celebrate it, you smart cookie you.

Let’s pretend that Pongo is at the vet. We’ll take 100 humans, pair each human with each of the remaining 100 Dalmatians, and put them in a 100-square-yard balloon at the top of a 100-yard hill where the sun pelts down at 100 degrees. Get the balloon rolling down the hill at 100mph, and watch as they fly off the cliff and drown 100 leagues under the sea. Be prepared to answer questions by the 100 reporters who flood the scene, and hope you have a good alibi or 100 to clear your good name. (It was Pongo.) At some point in this fictional debacle, you might begin to grasp the magnanimity of 100.

100 is a big number.

So thank you for reading my 100th post. I thought it was a pretty big deal.

Happy Old Year!

31 Dec

Like last year, I have no New Years Resolutions for 2012. At the end of the upcoming 366 days, I would rather reflect on the past year with happiness, than remember where I failed in my resolutions.

2011 started off with January, as all years do. That was a long time ago, and if something exciting happened then, I have quite forgotten.

February passed. Quickly. It’s always such a short month. I think the 31st of every 31-day-having month should be dedicated to the memory of February since it is so short and speedily gone. Smack in the middle of February, I was privileged to attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day party with some single girl friends. We’re not anti-love. We’re just anti-make-a-big-stink-out-of-love-with-roses-and-chocolate. But do give me the chocolate, please.

The last day of February took me to Wisconsin, where I visited Sarah for a week during a special Bible Conference. It was nice to meet all the people she’d been telling me about! I arrived home at the end of the first week of March, with the measurements of a half-dozen girls in hand. Off to JoAnn Fabrics to buy skirt and jumper fabric I went!!

Skipping on down to summer, I did alterations for two weddings. One was bridesmaid alterations, one was a wedding gown alteration. It was definitely a good experience for me!

For the August wedding, some dear friends came up from Tennessee and stayed in my sewing room for a little less than a week. No get-together with them is complete without a night of energy drinks, ice cream, coffee, and walking in the middle of a deserted street with fuzzy blankets.

At the end of August, SURPRISE! My sister came in for a week to shock the socks off the rest of the family. I knew all along. *smug grin* What none of us knew was that on the day of her arrival, the entire east coast would have a mild earthquake. Furthermore, on the day before Sarah’s departure, Hurricane Irene lended her hand in a refinishing/redecorating project for our entire basement.

After August, the year whooshed by.

  I participated in my first fashion show on October 15. A mere 2 weeks before the big day is when I was invited to put a garment in the show, so there was all manner of patternmaking and fitting, trial and error, staying up all night and all day to get the jacket-skirt set done. But it done got done!




In December, my dear childhood friend, Hannah, was visiting from WV and I met her then-boyfriend, Todd. He is her now-fiance as of merry Christmas, and what a cute couple they make! I’m so excited for her!!

2011 brought a lot of new things into my life:
– New phones! I went through two since February, and made the joyous switch from T-Mobile to MetroPCS. And yes, my newest phone is a smarty-pants phone.
– New friends! Met some awesome people at the hotel, and am privileged enough to count them as friends now – both coworkers and guests! I even made friends with some non-hotel people! And thanks to one of those new friends, I have a….
– …New haircut! I went from having sorta long-ish hair to a shorter ‘do, which I’m loving! (compare the Anti-V-day pic to the bridesmaid alteration pic!)
– New infatuation! Do you all know about Pinterest? You should. I talk about it a lot (with my mouth, not really so much on my blog). And it’s awesome. If you need an invite, let me know. Start your new year right with a new Pinterest account!
– New coffee! I was introduced to Turkish coffee recently! There was a moment of awkwardness at the beginning of our relationship, but all has been ironed out and we are grand friends indeed.

Why make wild endeavors for the new year when my old year turned out just fine by winging it?

lovely driving

26 Feb

Who needs a destination when the adventure is driving?! I have a new (to me) car. Tis a lovely yellow and black Mitsubishi Eclipse.

It’s bright. It’s noisy. It’s speedy.

I know that driving is not a race, and there are no prizes for the winner. But I just like to prove to the guys in the jacked-up jeep that my yellow car and I are better. Because we are.

I like to drive on curvy back roads just when autumn is beginning to put Penn’s woods into a trance of yellow and orange.

I like to drive down the left-most lane of the highway with the windows all the way down, the music all the way up, sunglasses on, and flip flops off.

I like to drive in the snow and feel my tires slip just enough to freak me out, but not so much that my life is jeopardized.

I even like to sit in traffic because I’m sitting in MY car, a delightfully yellow car that I absolutely love….even when it gets stuck in snow.


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