Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

Fwd: other pics from beach....
Originally uploaded by elittl304

I truly had a great weekend that just passed. David was in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with some friends, so I decided to take a trip home to see my family in Mocksville. I hadn't been there in about 2 months, so perhaps that's why it was such a special visit. I was able to spend great time with my mom and JD, as well as my sister, Erin, and her kids, Kaitlyn and Patrick. I also saw David's mom and sister while I was there.
I sometimes forget what it feels like to go home and have the nostalgia of what home has always meant come rushing back to me. I didn't grow up in the house where my parents now live. True, I did live there for 2 years after college, but that certainly wasn't a large part of my life...but it was important. I go home now and I go to my room (which looks almost completely different) and I stand at the window seat looking out the window and realize how blessed I really am. My mom always made our house a home. It's always so inviting and warm. I love having her around. She's one of the most comforting and loving people I know. She doesn't smother. In fact, I've often accused her of doing just the opposite. But she is full of love. She loves her children, her husband, her grandchildren, her sons-in-law, and her friends. It exudes from her and surrounds those who are in her presence.
So, thanks Mom. Thanks for being such a wonderful example of what a mom should be like. Thanks for always loving, supporting, and encouraging me. You're the best and I love you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Avenue Q

Last night was an interesting experience. David and I went to see "Avenue Q" at the Belk theatre in uptown Charlotte with Scott and Mindie, some friends of ours. Here are some facts about the show. It won the Tony award in 2004, beating out my personal, all-time favorite musical, "Wicked". The main characters are puppets, similar to the cute muppets we grew up with on Sesame Street. But let me tell you, this show is unlike anything you will EVER see on Sesame Street! I recommend this musical for mature audiences only. I wouldn't even take my teenager to see it (if I had one).

I know that David, Scott and Mindie really enjoyed the show. Where I enjoyed it, I didn't laugh nearly as much as they did. I guess I'm just old-fashioned at heart. As much as I try to fit in and enjoy more "modern" humor, it's just not that funny to me. Now, let me clear things up a bit. The song "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" was funny. BUT, I guess it also saddens my heart just a bit because it's true. I'm such an idealist and romantic that I want everyone to get along! Why do we have to be even a little bit racist?

The song "The More You Ruv Someone" is quite funny...mainly because I can relate to it! Pre-marriage I might've been schocked by this with my romanticist ideals, but now I know that it's really pretty accurate. Here are some of the lyrics:

The more you love someone,
The more you want to kill ‘em.
The more you love someone,
The more he make you cry

I have to admit that it was pretty funny.

At least Princeton, one of the main characters, is an optimist, too. Like most of us, he's searching for his purpose in life. Here's his first song, "What Do You Do With a BA in English?":

What do you do with a B.A. in English,
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge,
Have earned me this useless degree.

I can't pay the bills yet,
'Cause I have no skills yet,
The world is a big scary place.

But somehow I can't shake,
The feeling I might make,
A difference,
To the human race.

Well, I guess I know more about my purpose than most people. I don't always know what career I'll have and I don't know what will happen in my future, but what I do know is that God loves me no matter what. He sent Jesus to this earth so that I could be in relationship with Him. How awesome is that? I guess a piece of me wanted to tell that to the poor little puppets who had lost their way. We're so like that, aren't we? We need purpose and direction. God can give us all of that and so much more.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dr. Horrible

There are few people in this world who are as creative, talented and hilarious as Joss Whedon. Well, he's done it again, folks! Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. In fact, David and I watched it 3 times in a row. With Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion as superheroes (or super-villains as the case may be), who could go wrong! Good stuff. Unfortunately for those of you who haven't seen it yet, the free viewing is no longer available. BUT, you can get all three mini-episodes for only $3.99. Totally worth it.

I don't want to be a spoiler, but Joss Whedon's style comes through in the end, so be prepared. The tunes will get stuck in your head and you'll be humming them constantly. But let's face it, "a man's got to do what a man's got to do."

Friday, July 18, 2008

What do you do?

I seem to be getting this question posed to me quite often lately, so I've decided (there I go deciding again) to do my best to explain. I work at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. Yes, we have one of the longest names of any library in the country. My title is Program Specialist. Of course my old boss called me Program Specialist Extraordinaire, which I quite prefer. I work in the Youth & Outreach Services department where we...can you guess? Do outreach in the community and also work closely with youth services.

So what does this mean for me? I am a woman of many hats. Would anyone like one because I will gladly sell. Don't get me wrong, I do love it!

I provide programs. I typically go to the branches and offer programs that are new, different and exciting. I've offered programs like Webkinz, Family Portrait Day, Picture Book Clubs, and Noisy Storytime. I do go out in the community at times and offer storytimes, gaming programs, and festivals.

Another major part of my job is working on Large Literacy Initiatives.
We offered a great program back in the winter/spring called Paint the Town Read. It was quite the adventure to encourage families, single adults, children, and teens to have 5 reading experiences. What is a reading experience, you ask? Well, pretty much anything you read can be an experience! We ended the program the last day of National Library Week which happened to be April 18th this year. Our Red/Read Party was a hit! It was a fun program, but man am I glad it's over :)

Right now we are in the midst of Summer Reading. This is our biggest literacy initiative we offer all year, especially for children. We have great incentives for reading and offer many programs in 21 of our branches. Check it out! For my part, I order all of our prizes, make sure each branch has what they need, make sure our publicity is correct and the information on the website is accurate. This started last November with the wording of our reading records and deciding on the graphics we wanted to use.

The last large initiative that I hold high responsibilities for is the children's portion of Novello. Each year we invite about 10 different children's authors and/or illustrators to come to our library. They visit our schools for two days and then we culminate the week with our Book Brunch and Wordplay Saturday. Book Brunch allows children, parents, and teachers to ask our panel of authors and illustrators questions about their work and what they do. Wordplay Saturday is brought to you by your local library branches! We hire performers and use our own talents, as well, to fill the streets of uptown Charlotte with literacy, activities and fun! This is a wonderful part of my job. It takes a lot of work and preparation, but the outcomes are a sight to see. :) Our children's authors and illustrators this year are Deborah Gregory, Charles Smith, Jr., Margaret Haddix, Frank Remkiewicz, Lucia Gonzalez, Cynthia Kadohata, Jay Asher, AM Jenkins, Josh Elder, Gabrielle Zevin, and Ellen Hopkins.

So, that's a basic start to what I do! I have to say that working in the library is far more exciting and contagious than I ever thought it would be. And this is coming from a girl who thought, "I love kids and I love books, so maybe I should work in a library?" And that's what I do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Great intentions

Man, I look over this and I think, "But I have the best of intentions!" The only problem is that I love to start things and never finish them. I've done that with so many things in my life. I don't know how many projects I have at my house right now that are just half finished. But I have great intentions. Well, now is the time. I've decided (as I so often do...David laughs at me and calls me "The Decider") that I will be better about this. I'll have no excuses and I'll do my best to post fun, meaningful and hopefully interesting blogs that everyone will enjoy...we'll see how well this works.