Jo-Ann Fabrics

Celtic Groove. Look it up. It will change your life.

My Christmas/birthday present from Little Rachel was a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts. Say no more, little sister!

I could spend all day in that place. Between the jewelry-making aisle full of beads, the cheesy elevator music kiosk, the sewing notions, and the bolts and bolts and bolts and bolts of fabric in every color, pattern, and texture known to man, I can be kept occupied for an indefinite period of time.

Fortunately, Josh was there to keep Rachel and I in check (in other words, he hates the craft store and couldn’t wait to go home).

I can only imagine what these seemingly-crafted-from-papier-mache body parts are for. I suppose one could decorate them and use them to store jewelry and whatnot. All I know for sure are that they are located at the end of the jewelry-making aisle and kept Josh occupied while Rachel and I frolicked among the beads.

Wooden beads and beads covered in red velvet ❤
Half of these strings of beads I would just add clasps to and wear as necklaces! I regret that I don’t invest more money into my jewelry collection. Necklaces, earrings, and bracelets can get really expensive and difficult to justify in light of the fact that I should be spending money on clothing or, you know, food . . .
For now, I really need to focus the meager budget Josh allows me for DIY on revamping articles of clothing that can’t be worn as is. 
Don’t you just love that? A shirt or skirt that could end up at the Salvation Army or in a landfill for all you care can suddenly become your favorite clothing item with the help of some decorative buttons, a silk ribbon, a bottle of dye, or anything!
Josh also entertained himself by playing with the price check scanner

The real reason Rachel and I were at the fabric and craft store was to buy material. I didn’t know what I was looking for when we first entered the store, but Rachel did. She wants to make a striped sundress using differently patterned strips of fabric. Armed only with the knowledge that we were seeking three different types of fabric somewhere in the realm of green and blue, we took the store by storm.

This is what we came up with after much deliberation in the clearance aisle (they were on sale!):

I’m excited to see how the dress turns out. The solid fabrics look so good with the pattern and really bring out the different colors.

As for me, I ended up in the artificial furs. Wonder of wonders, the exact same dark leopard print fur with which I began a fur vest over a year ago was perched in the center of one f the shelves. I never finished the vest because I ran out of fabric before I finished the second front panel, but now I can!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday to me 🙂

Awkward and Awesome Friday

Wowie! Being out of my normal routine this Christmas break as we stay at Josh’s parents has had me forgetting all sorts of responsibilities that normally come quite naturally. Among these forgotten habits is Awkward and Awesome Thursday!


I know it’s not the same ;-), but I now bring to you Awkward and Awesome Friday.



  • Making Christmas dinner single-handedly. What was I thinking?
  • Poor BJ having a seizure last night :-(. Way beyond awkward. Sad and scary is more like it. 
  • Buffalo wing dip that did not agree with me at all. Am I getting old?
  • 48-degree weather in December. I have been so cheated of my White Christmas . . .
  • The things that get thrown into my parent’s back yard. Rockets, condoms, unopened candy bars . . .
  • Gaining five pounds over the holidays. Blarf.


  • The above picture which is the only surviving image of me from Christmas at the Crosbys. I was slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon and knew I would have to take one of myself if I was going to be seen at all 😉
  • Spending an hour and a half primping in my parents bathroom. It’s good to be home.
  • Just Dance 3 and Just Dance Summer Party.
  • Holding my newest baby cousin. She spit up on me and I still want one!
  • Mama Thurston’s biscotti. Heaven on earth.
  • Euros. So excited to have them!
  • Skyping my cousin in Japan. Skype is such a gift.
  • Jo-Ann Fabrics!
  • My huge, wonderful, lovely family.

Your Space: Josh’s Adventurer Dreamland

When Josh moved out of the Thurston’s home rather permanently at the start of our marriage, his bedroom was converted into a guest bedroom. He had already grown up sleeping in a queen-sized bed, so a newer, dressier bedspread and some decorative pillows were all it took to revamp the man-cave of his youth into a spare room. Nowadays, this room has become our typical landing pad on our visits spent zipping through the Valley. 
This Christmas, it is serving as more of a home since our apartment in Rochester is completely wiped out, and we will have no other permanent accommodations until Avila.

Just like my sister Nicole’s bedroom, Josh’s room is (even after moving out) an excellent physical representation of his personality, likes, dislikes, and character.

Elements of Josh’s Bedroom Decor:

  • World Travel/Languages
  • Action Films
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Mementos from Childhood

I’m not a monstrously sentimental person, so Josh’s willingness to preserve and display little tokens of memories from his childhood is quite endearing to me. The shelf pictured at the top of the post holds souvenirs, childhood projects and milestones, photographs, awards, and gifts from loved ones. I love this little shrine to my man and how well it sums him up in a few sentimental trinkets.

He even has his baby bracelet from the hospital displayed!

Josh got this when he started working out 😉

Maps and the Lord of the Rings are two definite recurring themes. Maps of the Lord of the Rings world of Middle Earth? Even better! I think these emphasize Josh’s expansive imagination and the fact that he wouldn’t have enough room for it even if he traveled the whole world–which we hope to do someday, by the way 🙂

I feel so comfortable and at home in this room. It feels like being wrapped up in a big Josh hug all night long. It reminds me of when we were kids and he first let me peek inside. I felt so special . . . and still do.

How would you like to sleep with this guy crouching over the bed?


This is a trend I’ve seen in the blogging community that I wanted to try out. I got the idea from the darling Casey Wiegand.
Obsessing over: chocolate peppermint, naps, comfortable high heels (is that an oxymoron?), College Humor videos (the clean ones), suede, musicals, snow, Zhang Ailing
Working on: expanding Nine to Phive, finishing up the last of my final papers, a poetry series, DIY winter clothes, C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, a bunch of books on sign language, styling a photo shoot with Kelly for tomorrow 😀
Thinking about: my honey, the future, how much I love school, money worries, my Nikki back in PA
Anticipating: going home for Christmas, Spanish food, basically just Spain and Europe in general, having babies, my family’s move up here to Rochester!
Listening to: My Christmas playlist on Spotify which I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get onto my blog . . . 

Drinking: Theraflu. Real exciting.

Wishing: to become more like Christ in the New Year, to become fluent in Spanish, for a new laptop, to have a baby 😉

Perry vs. Obama, A Clash of the "Christlike"

*NOTE* This article will be even more interesting if you keep in mind that I am a conservative Republican who did not vote for Barack Obama. Also, I would love it if you all posted some links to this article via Facebook, email, etc. I really think this needs to be heard.
Have you seen Rick Perry’s faith-based campaign ad? Odds are that you have, since this video officially has more dislikes than Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” making it the most hated video on YouTube!
I decided to see what all of the hubbub was about. Since Perry is a presidential candidate who allegedly shares my faith, I was interested . . . then less interested . . . and then quite disgusted.
Watch for yourself.

First of all, I would just like to mention that even if you do believe that homosexuality is displeasing to God, how do you think He feels about homophobia? So their love of the same sex is more of an abomination than your hatred of them? Give me a break! If you think that they, as sinners, shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the military, better get all of the drinkers, liars, cheaters, and porn-watchers out of there, too.  

We’re all sinners, and we all love our country.

Okay, now that that’s over . . . Christian, homophobic, or otherwise, this man is plain confused! 

Obama is anti-religion because kids can’t pray in school? The last time I checked–and this issue is of great importance to me–the Supreme Court ruling against institution-organized prayer in public schools, Engel v. Vitale, was passed in 1962 when Obama was the ripe old age of 1. Blaming this current unfortunate situation on our current president seems more than a little ridiculous.

As for Obama being the Grinch who stole Christmas,  play just a few minutes of this video of Barack Obama’s speech at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

Does this sound like a man who won’t let children openly celebrate Christmas in school or otherwise?

I hate to crash the conspiracy theorist party where they write songs about Obama being a Muslim because his father was, but the President verbally attests to a personal Christian faith.
I have no desire to enter into debates about his sincerity. All I know is this:

  1. It is not my place to judge the sincerity of Barack Obama’s faith.
  2. It is not your place to judge the sincerity of Barack Obama’s faith. 
  3. It is and will always be God’s place alone to judge the sincerity of Barack Obama’s faith.

All I can judge is what he says and does publicly; and what I see is a man capable of presenting the love and hope that Jesus Christ embodies without sounding like a judgmental, religious nutcase. *cough* Rick Perry *cough cough*

Alright, here is my last piece of “evidence,” if you will, in my argument that if you’re looking for a president who promotes Christian values, you may not have to look much farther than the White House–and I, for one, won’t bother looking in Rick Perry’s direction.

This video is a little bit longer than the other two, but it is some of the most spiritually influential material I have ever heard in my life. I know it will open up all new cans of worms about scary things like global religion and Obama being the Antichrist, but bear with me for a moment.

I know some Christians will interpret this as being “lukewarm,” but I interpret it as being Jesus to a world that wants nothing to do with him.

Barack Obama is absolutely right in that being stubborn, unmoving, and judgmental about issues vital to our specific faiths on a national level will only further alienate people who have already been turned off by the fundamentalism of modern religion. When it comes to public policy, the cure is not radical conservatism which the masses will reject altogether, but rather gentle moralism that will slowly guide the population to Christlike values.

Granted, I wouldn’t recommend living like this in one’s personal life. By all means, stick to your guns in terms of personal convictions. On the other hand, I am not as interested in the President’s personal convictions as I am in his ability to shape the values of a nation. I do not think this is lukewarm. I think this is radical and risky, and I am able to appreciate the fact that Obama is pursuing public policy that will make it possible for Christians to honor God without excluding the unsaved from that possibility.

He may not be the world’s best president, but from what I can tell, he just might be a great guy . . .

I get no such vibe from gay-bashing Rick Perry who swings to the extreme right in order to garnish votes from the legalistic Evangelical population in Iowa (so I’ve heard.)

P.S. Did anybody else notice this about the jacket Perry was wearing in the campaign video?

What I Wore: Pre-Winter Wharf

Thrifte blazer, Rainbow tank, American Eagle jeans, Payless shoes

I have from the above images deduced two disturbing truths:

1) I have yet to master the art of keeping both eyes open when a picture is being taken.
2) Posting pictures of the nasty November pre-Christmas weather devoid of snow is very sad in light of the fact that we finally got some accumulation this morning!

Anyway, here are some other pictures from the Seneca Lake rest stop where we took a break on a little road trip to visit family with Mom and Dad. This town is such a big part of my childhood. My memories are filled with experiences in this lakeside community en route to my grandparents’ home in Canandaigua.

We were told to expect sunny and 60, so we all look (and were) a bit under-dressed for the chilly weather.

Dad needs stretch breaks for his back. I think it’s cute 🙂

Lovely Mommy and Daddy

Awkward and Awesome Thursday: Wish I Could Be Lazy

  • The fact that we were watching Singing in the Rain in the above picture as opposed to a movie that would match how scared we actually look. Josh liked it a lot, by the way. It was already my favorite movie, so no opinion change.
  • Earache. Never good.
  • Monday begins the dreaded finals week. I hope the student association brings Taco Bell to the library like last year!
  • Being so tired that my spelling and grammar slip abysmally. I almost spelled shirt with a ‘u’ on a friend’s blog . . .
  • Cold without snow
  • Making a film version of War Horse. Watch this linked montage from the play version. Am I right that the puppets are 100% of what makes this show? I’m on the verge of tears just from watching the trailer. Why make a movie? Especially since there’s already a movie out from a couple decades ago.
  • Staying up until 4:30 am to finish a paper .  . .
  • Related to the above item, thinking today was Wednesday first and then Friday . . . sleep deprivation will do bad things to your brain. I was finally in bed at about 5:00, and I just laid there hallucinating about screaming ducks in the hallway . . .
    • The bright sun reflecting off of the metalwork of the library and shining right in my eyes. It might be cold and windy, but it is as bright and beautiful as I could imagine.
    • Seeing my Mom and Mimi (Grandma) yesterday :-). We had such a lovely talk.
    • Oral Interpretation chapel tomorrow! So excited!
    • I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Wegmans boxed macaroni and cheese. Comfort food to the max.
    • Ali recoloring my hair like a boss.
    • All things Christmas–cookies, galas, concerts, decorations–all epic wins.
    • Passing one of the older Spanish majors on the path today just in time to hear him say to his friend, “Mmm, this is Avila weather!” I can sooo live with this.
    • The exchange rate for euros. I think it’s 1.75 right now. Could be worse, you know?
    • The Amazing Race finale this weekend!
    • This video. Gene Kelly is a gawd.
    • Promise of a date night this weekend to watch Braveheart.