Sunday, September 30

Instapost

Sometimes I worry about having a fire at my house. I worry about not being able to tie my bed sheets in knots fast enough to make a rope & throw it out the window.

(isn't that what you are supposed to do, make a sheet rope??)

I worry about getting this little girl out.
Even though at this particular time she was in time-out for being bossy.
She gets it from her mama.

But mostly, I worry about getting my prized possessions out safely (besides Dev, of course). My pictures. For this reason, I sometimes carry photo albums upstairs at night and put them under my bed. Just in case.

I am a picture person, always have been. Pictures remind you of fun times, happy memories, loved ones & everything in between. When instagram started getting popular earlier this year, I knew it was fate that we team up. I was right. I love taking pictures of random things that make me happy. And, I love seeing pictures of other people's random happiness even more.

Here are some of my recent instagram loves.




Follow my random happiness snapshots on instagram: acarter402 (402 being my dorm room# in college. Long live Donner Hall).

And, I want to follow your random happiness too!




Monday, September 24

Make someone's day for $1.

Dollar bins. Whoever came up with this concept is a genius. You can never spend exactly $1 in the dollar bin...no way, jose. You can also never go into Target without dropping $100 either. Whoever invented Target is a genius too, & a billionaire I'm sure. Just like Scrooge from the hit 1990s cartoon "Duck Tales." My brother & I used to watch that show everyday after school. Remember Scrooge diving into his pool of gold coins? I bet that is what the inventor of Target does.


Back to the topic. I like it when someone makes my day. I have had people pay for my Starbucks, compliment me on a day when I wasn't feeling pretty, leave yummy treats on my desk, & send me flowers. Flowers always make my day. So, its fun to make someone else's day too. This is where the dollar bin comes into play. It's quite easy.

1. Drive to Target. Stop by McDonald's for a diet coke first. It helps when choosing your "make someone's day supplies."

2. Cruise the dollar bin. Don't forget to look & purchase meaningless things also like "Happy Fall Y'All" blocks or plastic organizing bins that you end up losing.

3. Pick out cute stationary.

4. Go home & write a nice note to a friend or family member. Or both.

5. Slap a stamp on it & mail.

BAM. There you have it. A fast & easy way to make someone's day for $1.

Now, go drop it like it's hot. Your dollar that is. Or in my case, my credit card. I never carry cash. This presents a problem when I forget my card & go to get gas after being on "E" for 2 days & then have to ask a nice lady next to me for money so I can get home. Hmmm...really wish I had her address to send a card to.

And don't forget about me: My address is...Well, Dev wouldn't like me broadcasting our address over the world wide web. So, if you really want to send me a card though, e-cards are 50% as effective in making someone's day as well.


Have a happy week, cupcakes (with sprinkles).







Friday, September 21

Fill in the blank Friday...

Cheeeers to the freakin' weekend.

Let's play a game called Fill In The Blank Friday. The rules are simple. Fill in the blanks with the first thing that comes to mind. You can make up your own, or copy my starters. Dev & I do this a lot when we go out to dinner, or are on a road trip. Yes, we have meaningful conversations about genies & things we would watch on repeat.

I can't handle...
dogs in hot cars with the windows rolled up. Do it in my presence & you will get the cops called on you in 2.2 seconds. I have my eye on you, Michael Vick.

A secret dream of mine...
is to live in NYC, Carrie Bradshaw style. Mr. Big required.

Everyone should have...
breakfast for dinner at least once a week.

Today...
is the perfect day to call up an old friend.

The best cure for a bad mood...
is to youtube "Titanic recorder song" by Matt Mulholland. Just don't do it while driving because you will wreck.

If I had a genie & one wish...
I would wish to snap my fingers & be ready. Oh, the joys of not having to wash & dry my hair, & put on make-up. Dev's wish? More wishes. So practical, he is.

I could watch...
Saved By The Bell on repeat. Preferably the "Snow White & The Seven Dorks" episode.

You might think it's weird ...
that I brush my teeth with hot water. I have a very strict PBR (pre-bedtime routine, term made up in college). There is not time in my PBR to wait for the water to cool down after washing my face. Therefore, hot water & toothbrushing must occur.

I need to try harder at...
reading my Bible everyday. Because it's really awesome.

My dad taught me...
to always make my bed.

You can never have enough...
pepper on your food. Learned that from my pops, too.

The best invention ever...
is PB2. Or gold in a jar. It's peanut butter with the fat sucked out & it's magic. Put it in your smoothies, over ice cream, in your oatmeal or just mix some up & eat it straight out of the bowl. Go to Whole Foods and get some right now. Nevermind, I have cleaned them out of house and home.

My next door neighbors...
are ghosts. I wish people would move in so I can stalk them, bake for them, & send DC over for a cup of sugar or an egg. Especially in the dead of winter, under 12 feet of snow (sorry, hubs. But those cookies I made were dang good.)

Fall makes me think of...
baggie sweaters, boots, & anything with pumpkin. Heck, I would put pumpkin in my gas tank if possible.

There you have it. Happy beginning of Fall to you.
Give a stranger a compliment today. Compliments are cool.

Monday, September 17

A Wrinkle In Time.

In order to be an elementary school teacher, you need: apple earrings, red pens & multi-tasking superpowers. I haven't found stylish apple earrings yet, but I own a plethora of red pens & I can multi-task like there's no tomorrow. I have to plan lessons, attend meetings, schedule conferences, keep up on emails, grade papers (or "sticker" papers in my case), manage an assistant, keep my classroom organized, tie shoes, and oh yeah...teach 25 people how to read. If you can't multi-task, you ain't makin' it in this profession. Because there isn't any time to waste. Luckily for Teaching, I love to multi-task.

I don't believe in wasting time. Unless it's a rainy Sunday afternoon & then I have no choice but to put on my husband's big baggie shorts, lay in bed with a good cup of coffee & watch movies.

Here are some things that I consider to be the biggest waste of time ever.

Cleaning.
I know, I know..cleaning isn't a waste of time because a clean house is a happy house. Yes, I agree. I love my house to be clean, I just don't like wasting time doing it myself when I could be doing so many other fabulous things. *MAJOR CONFESSION ALERT* In high school, one of my chores was to sweep the upstairs. I considered that the biggest waste of time ever so I came up with the brilliant idea to take the sweeper upstairs, turn it on so it sounded like I was sweeping & then go do something else (ex, read in my closet). Oh, pretty please don't read this, Mom & Dad. I'm really sorry. But, I think it worked because I was never caught. Until now. Eek. DC is a great cleaner & I don't think he minds wasting his time doing it so I like to leave him chore lists.


Driving.
I drive for my job. Literally. 50 minutes, each way, to & from school. Now, I know I chose to teach far away from where I live & I'm fine with that. I love my school & my homeland & I don't want to give up either, so I will drive until my right foot falls off. But man, oh man, it gets old. And, there are no multi-tasking opportunities in sight when you are driving. Just a big 'ol chunk of wasted time. Recently, however, I became intrigued with a friend's suggestion to buy books on cd & listen to those. I don't know, though. I just started using my ipad to read; I don't think I'm ready for another reading tool at the moment. But, at least my driving time wouldn't be totally wasted, right?



Nail Drying.
Another cringe worthy waste of time. I love to get my nails done. There is no better feeling on a Friday evening than to walk in a nail salon with a new polish in hand, a good magazine & a McDonald's diet coke. But, about half way through I start dreading the drying machine. It stares at me with a "haha, you have to sit under here & you can't multi-task at all" look. And it's true. You can't do ANYTHING when your nails are wet. No texting, no reading, no making lists, nothing. It's pure time-wasting torture.




Newspaper, newscast, basically anything with the word "news."

Except E-news, of course. The last time I read the newspaper was...oh yeah, never. I have never opened a newspaper because 1) I think it would get my hands dusty with black stuff & 2) I can tell you what it going to say anyway. Murders, rapes, robberies, child-abuse...should I go on? Same thing for watching the news on tv. I don't need to waste my time feeling depressed & sad. Now, when the newspapers/newscasts start reporting positive happy stories then it will be taken off the list. But, I still won't be able to watch because I can't add anything to my tv show schedule. It's jam packed.


I'm sure most of you are thinking, "Well, writing a blog about your extremely ordinary life is a huge waste of time, too." You're probably right. Oh well, though. You win some, you lose some.

We never know when our time is going to be up, so go out there & waste yours wisely.








Tuesday, September 11

Cheater.

Books & Abigail go together like chocolate & peanut butter, paper & pencil, & Justin & Britney. Boo...they don't go together anymore...but they always will in my heart. Especially when they wore these matching ensembles.

I caught the reading bug early. One of the many wonderful qualities my Mom has/had was letting us have fun, taking us fun places & always having fun things planned. Hmmm...I wonder why I like to have so much fun all the time. Between painting homemade Christmas ornaments to cooking heart shaped pancakes, we did it all with her. Including going to the library every week in the summer for story time. My favorite. I still remember our librarian, Golum. He was a short, sweet man from India who loved books, reading & passing that on to children. I could sit for hours at the library and listen to him read. I think he is a big part of why I became a teacher as well; I love reading SO much & want to pass that on to my littlest readers. My earliest loves were The Boxcar Children, Sweetvalley High, Goosebumps, and every 10 year old girls' favorite...The Babysitter's Club. Oh, I wanted to be tall & blonde & a fabulous babysitter just like Stacey. But I also wanted to be the President like Kristy...even though she was a tomboy who never had a boyfriend. SOOO not me.


Just like I don't discriminate with my love of different kinds of music (see "I'm the last person on earth" post), the same goes for books. Fiction, non-fiction, biography, self-help, I love it all. And I get attached to books and characters very easily. When I finished The Notebook, I literally felt physical pain that I wouldn't be reading more about Noah & Allie's lives. Same goes for the Twilight, Hunger Games, & Dragon Tattoo series. I guess that is the sign of a good author...your readers laying in bed at night wishing there were just 10 more pages to read. It's also a very good sign if your readers refuse to let anyone borrow their books & consider them sacred & unable to be touched by anyone but them. Ok, I know that is over the top. But thank you for giving me Bella & Edward, Stephenie Meyer.

I love the smell & the feel of books. I love the satisfaction you get when you finish one & you can tuck it away somewhere in case you ever want to read it again.

When the Nooks, Kindles & ipads came out, I slowly started seeing my book-loving friends & family transition over. I thought they were down-right despicable. How COULD they do that, just cheat on books like they never even mattered?! What about all of the good years books had given them? What about the laughter, tears, & late nights reading with a flashlight in bed?! What did books ever do to them?! When my friends would say, "You know Abigail, you should try out (insert technology here) sometime." I would smile & say, "Yeah, maybe"...while secretly judging them with daggers in my book loving heart. Devin finally stopped asking if I wanted a Kindle for Christmas because he was tired of my dirty looks & mumblings of "never gonna happen."

That all changed last week.

DC was doing what he does best at 7:30, sleeping. This is usually the time that I either 1)online shop 2) stalk people on the internet or 3)read. But strangely enough, our new ipad was staring me down & I didn't have a new book at the moment to stop me. Uh oh.

After much internal deliberation, I impulsively grabbed it & searched for a book that one of my friends had recently suggested, Gone Girl. She said it was twisted, creepy, & a page-turner. All great criteria for a new Fall read. I found it and thought, "No harm in just reading the sample." Uh oh, again.

Like a lot of new things I try out, I LOVE it. I feel free! Reading on the elliptical? Piece of cake. No more awkward holding of the book/trying to turn the page/while running, shennanigans going on. It's so thin & sleek, I can carry it anywhere! And, I can easily drink my coffee while holding it on my lap AND read at the same time. Cha-Ching.

Will I stop reading real books now? Heck no. They are a part of my soul, like my Sunday naps & yearly trips to the beach. Do I feel bad for cheating on my beloved? Yes. But, I like to make new friends & I hope one day my books will understand. They will always be my first love anyway.

So, I would like to publicly apologize to my friends & family for silently judging you & your new found reading tools as well. When you are sorry about something, you say it.

I'll leave you by singing a quote from the ever-popular 1980s (or 70s?) show, Reading Rainbow.

"Take a look, it's in a book..."
Or an ipad.

Peace, love, & happy reading.








Friday, September 7

I'm sorry, Tyler.

After a girl is grown, her little brother, now her protector, seems like a big brother.
~ Terri Guillemets




29 years ago, I was one. My mom wasn't feeling well & went to the doctor. Surprise! She was pregnant. With which she replied, "Um, I already have a baby at home." James "Tyler" Vestile was born on August 25th 1983...making us a little over a year apart in age. Wasn't he just a peach?

I'm sorry for a lot of things in my life. Like not taking piano lessons or trying harder in spanish class. But this post is dedicated to my brother & things I am sorry about related to him.

I'm sorry Tyler...for being a sourpuss at your birthday party. I just wanted presents, too.

I'm sorry Tyler...for always dressing you up like a girl, and subjecting you to neighborhood beauty pageants and Save The Dolphin clubs (Vice President, always. Never President.)

I'm sorry Tyler...for not teaching you how to dance before my wedding. Because your dancing skillz are less than caliber.

I'm sorry Tyler...for not learning how to ride a bike until jr. high & making you trail me everywhere on the back of yours.

I'm sorry Tyler...for not being able to sleep 3 years ago until I beat Super Mario Brothers 1, so you had to get out of bed, come over & do it for me. And, I'm equally sorry it took you twice as long to beat it because your furry niece kept interupting you.

I'm sorry Tyler...for convincing you that dying your hair Eminem style was cool. Well, it was cool in 1999.

I'm sorry Tyler...for selling all of your Abercrombie clothes to Plato's Closet in highschool. But I really needed money to go shopping, Tyler.

I think that's about it for now, Tyler. Thank you for being the best brother ever and always offering to take my spankings for me when I got in trouble. I hope I have been a good sister to you.

You're my superhero.





Wednesday, September 5

livin' the dream by theme

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would only write about things that make me happy...nothing sad, depressing, or scary. We have enough of that lurking around in this world. Well...I might blog about scary movies sometime. I love scary movies. Scream, Halloween, Poltergeist - bring 'em all on. But no one will ever watch them with me. Especially this boy, who is currently doing his favorite activity next to me right now.

Good thing he's cute.

Hanover College made me/still makes me happy. I met Husband there, I met Best Friend there & I became Teacher because of this place. (Do you like my usage of "proper nouns" here?) I thought it sounded fun!

Because HC was SO small, there was nothing to do there. Except have theme parties. Just about every weekend. Thus started my enduring love for all things theme.

Probably no caption needed here. But, just in case...we were 80s work out girls & Barbies. I was Bridal Barbie, respectively. I thought it would be cool to run around campus in my mom's old wedding gown. It only caused me to become overheated. You win some, you lose some.


I never really thought about how much I love living in theme until my brother-in-law called me up last year to get some ideas for a 40th birthday party he wanted to have. His exact words were "Abs, I need help with a party. I thought of you because you are only person I know who lives their life by theme." Hey - I'll take it! It's much better than, "You are the only person I know who picks their nose (ew, I don't really!) or "You are the only person I know who never pumps their own gas" Ok, that one's true. I don't pump gas or mow grass, folks. That's what gas station attendants at Swifty (love them!) and Husband is for.

If you can't have fun in Life, what can you do? Not much. I love this quote by Dale Carnegie..."People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing." I agree. Here are some of my favorite themed parties/days/nights, etc.

80s party for DC's 30th birthday. I went all out 80s style, down to the Nintendo themed cupcakes. Yay Mario & Luigi.


90's rap party for my 30th birthday. 90s rap is a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine. I don't feel bad about loving Nelly, Jay-Z & Eminem...they can always put me in a good mood. Word to your motha.

Royal Wedding party. God save the queen. What better way to watch the Royal Wedding than to dig out your old prom dress (don't worry, I couldn't zip it up in the back), serve tea and crumpits & pretend to talk British all night? Just wait to see what I have in store when William and Kate announce they are expecting.


Twilight midnight showing party. I easily get obsessed with things. Like looking at my wedding photo album at least once a week, going to Kroger everyday, & Edward Cullen. I am fully anticipating a 2-week crying session when the final installment of the Twilight series hits theaters in November.

Heck - even my vacations are themed related. Last year DC & I went on a cruise with friends and we decided to have a white night, followed closely by "jersey day at the pool." I really wanted to wear my all-time favorite player's jersey...Anfernee Hardaway. But, I couldn't find Penny jerseys anywhere. I can only assume that he must be everyone's favorite player as well.



Should I have better things to do with my time than to make t-shirts, bake cakes for a wedding I'm not invited to, or dig out old prom dresses? Yes. DO I have better things to do with my time? Not really. So, go out there friends & soak up some FUN too.

I'll be back soon to talk about my latest obsession. It happens every year around this time...Fall. Oooh, just typing the word Fall makes me want to throw on my baggiest sweatshirt, make a cup of coffee & watch Hocus Pocus.

Have yourself a great day.

Sunday, September 2

a&d = love.



Here is the story of a boy & a girl.

You can "choose your own adventure" (remember those books as kids?!) and pick which version you would like to read...the short version or the long version.

Short Version:
Once there was a boy and a girl. They met here, at a library on a pretty college campus. They started dating, fell in love & lived happily ever after. The end.



Long Version:
Once there was a boy and a girl. Ok, done with that kind of talk. Here's the long version homies...

I met Devin Trent Carter (DC to me) at the Hanover College library my freshman year. I remember exactly what I was wearing, exactly what he was wearing and exactly how I felt when he randomly came up to introduce himself. Happiness. After our brief, but meaningful introduction, I immediately ran back to my dorm & shared with my roommate that I had found the guy who I wanted to marry; therefore we needed to stalk him immediately in order to accomplish this goal. Done. Lucky for me, my roommate was perfect for the job & the stalking began. Eventually we did start dating...and dating...and dating some more. All through college and beyond. For more than 5 years to be exact. We had some great times in college & I will be forever grateful that we shared that experience together. Long live Hanover College. And chicken wrap day at my sorority house. Yum.

We were married on February 11, 2006 in front of 424 people, including my entire first class of kindergarten students & their parents. It was perfect...every thing I had dreamt of as a little girl. Right down to my 12 foot wedding dress train. The best part? Writing letters to each other that we read every anniversary. Ok, almost every anniversary. Sometimes I forget to get them out. But, we still remember what they said. Promise.

Almost seven years have passed, & we have adopted a 15lb ball of fur, lived in 3 different places (1 place being my parents crib while we were building. Oh boy.), gone on countless trips, built a house together & just had plain 'ol fun together. Fun is what we do best. Cue fun pictures.


We also like to do adventurous activities.

Like riding a helicopter in a volcano.

Or taking surf lessons.

Or laying out on a runway-turned beach in a foreign land for a day. Freaking insane.

And swimming in a shark tank.

Psych.

We haven't done that one yet. It's on the adventurous activities list, though. I just want to quote Richard Dreyfuss in JAWS and say, "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Has it been all fun & games? Heck no. We have had some disappointments. Like kids, for example. We thought we would have some of those things by now. Hopefully someday soon. Because this boy?

He's going to be a damn good daddy.

Devin is the most laid back, calm person you will most likely ever meet. Take, for example, a crisis situation. Our conversation would most likely go something like this.

Abigail: "Devin, our house burnt down and we lost everything."
Devin: "Ok, we will rebuild and figure it out."

Abigail: "Devin, I have to get my arms and legs cut off in 10 minutes."
Devin: "Ok, you will be fine."

I guess the saying of opposites attract really is true. You will never find a person as selfless as my DC either. I think I have heard him talk about himself a total of 5 times since we have been married. And, me? Well I started a blog about myself so you get the idea, folks.

Do we get on each other's nerves? Oh yeah. Like when he goes to sleep at 7:30 every night.

This causes me to be bored out of my mind. Which causes me to online shop. Oopsie.

And he gets annoyed with the way I organize the dishwasher...or lack there of.

But, an organized dishwasher is such a waste of time. I don't like wasting time. I plan on dedicating a future blog post to things I consider a waste of time, and you can bet your bottom dollar organizing the dishwasher will be included.

Even with the annoyances, the bottom line with us is love.
It's all you need.
Cliche, I know. But sometimes cliche things are true. I'm not sure where Life will take DC & I, but we have each other & I thank God for bringing him to me that day in the library almost 12 years ago.

Some people never find "it" and I did.

And, he's all mine.

Now, if you aren't completely bored out of your gourd then congratulations! You made it through your "choose your own adventure." I want to hear your love story. Love stories are fun & awesome. And they make you think about your own love story even more. So, do share.

love rules.







 
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