Friday, May 30, 2008

Lonely Days

Well, E is gone an ANOTHER business trip this week. I am glad this is the last one for a while. I feel like we barely see each other anymore because of all of the business trips we both have been on lately!

But I forgot that I took this picture of him and Maggie in bed together the morning he left and I thought it was cute!

Happy Birthday Kim!

Kimberly, yes, it's finally your turn. And no I didn't forget it's your birthday too!! I am SO sure you have been starved for attention lately!! HA!

If you can't tell already, I am close with my family, my extended family and all of E's family!! I am the oldest of 9 nine grandkids on my Mom's side of the family and for the most part, we have all grown up together. Kimberly is number 5, poor kid, she really got hit hard with the middle child stick, middle in her family and middle of all the grandkids. Just Kidding!!

She works hard and plays hard. She graduated early from Auburn last year and moved back home where she works for Coca-Cola full-time now and at 22 already working on her MBA. Man!! The things you can do if you know what you want to do with your life!!!

Happy Birthday Kim! Me, E and Magpie love you very much!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Congratulations Graduate Joe

I hate growing up sometimes especially when that means you have other priorities (work) when you don't want to miss important family events. Unfortunately, I had to miss the graduation of my cousin, Laurel, because of work and Maggie and then fact that E was out of town. But nonetheless, she deserves a Congratulations live from Everyday Bailey!

I know you will go on to do great things. You have always been a good kid, good friend and a good cousin and I love you very much. You have worked hard, created opportunities for yourself and really turned into the young lady that I always thought you were. I have no doubt that you will go far in life. So go to college, study hard, party a little and love every minute of it!! We are super proud of you and miss you very much!!

(P.S. the check is in the mail...I know you were wondering...and sorry for the pic...all your mom sent me was a handful of blurry ones....this was actually the better of them all...sometimes you just have to make lemonade)

What's Cooking...Thursday...Margarita Pizza

Something about Margarita Pizza tastes so fresh and healthy (which I don't think it is) but I always feel so good after eating it. For all of you meatlovers out there or those who cook exclusively for those beloved meatlovers in your life...this may not be what you are looking for. However, this was exactly what I was looking for.

If you have a pizza stone, use it. (I forgot to use mine and was kicking myself the rest of the night) And feel free to add whatever else you want to this pizza...but be warned that you will have to come up with a new name for your creation. (I will admit that sometimes I like to add mushrooms) So easy, so fast and's just GOOD!!! This is one of the new items on our weekly menu.
Did I mention that it was pretty...

Tennis Days are Here Again

Well, I thought I was in better shape than I really was. I showed up for my first tennis practice on my new mixed doubles team and felt ok. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to keep up with everyone for the most part but the little things that I had forgotten really put me in some pain:

-Remembering to cut my fingernails down so I don't cut myself
-Having grip tape available in case your grip starts to degrade
-Wearing certain shoes so that when you stop abruptly and repeatedly, your toes don't bruise
-Bringing enough cold water for an entire family
-Having a dry towel and t-shirt available after all is over
- Remembering to stretch certain muscles I rarely use while jogging
-Bringing hair pins so my hair doesn't stick to my sweaty face

I am sorry that I don't have a picture for you all, but I didn't know how to take a picture of the ENORMOUS amount of pain I have been in for the past 2 days. So much so that I didn't go to work yesterday. It took too long to sit up in bed and all I could do was groan once I there. So me and Magpie had a girl's day in.

My Mom called to laugh at me and call me a "Weenie." I told her that I wasn't arguing with her. I felt like an old lady.

So yesterday in my downtime, I bought lots of excellant stuff to get my through the hard times.
New Shoes
New Tennis Bag

Lots of Tennis Balls

New Thorlos (I live and die my these socks) - Courtesy of Maggie...she has now eaten through the toes of too many pairs of these!!
New shorts (with built-in ball panties)...and they're so purpley!
Plenty of grip tape

The only thing I couldn't find was a water cooler, so that's my mission for today!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Happy 3-day weekend everyone. It's so nice to have a break once in a while. I love three day weekends because I never feel like I have enough time to finish my projects on a 2 day weekend. I start work on Monday exhausted from the weekend, so much so that I look forward to the work week for some relaxation. I know...quite sad. Saturday was full of hard work. I cleaned house and worked in the yard ALL day and E was called into work TWICE!!! He was a little aggitated about that too!!

We have a small problem at our house. Neither of us are sleeping these days. Evidently, when one of us doesn't sleep, neither does the other...and lately, we have been alternating keeping each other up because our bed is the one my parents bought for me when I moved out of the house to go to college. It's old and was very cheap and now it's killing both of us so we decided to get a new mattress. So on Sunday, we went and looked at several stores and decided that if we were going to spend money on should be out mattress. If anything is going to get us through our childbearing years, it's going to be quality sleep! So we decided to purchase a sleep number bed at the end of the summer. Wow those beds are expensive but SOOOOO nice!!! But we are excited about that.

We also spent alot of time at Gander Mountain on Sunday afternoon getting new camping gear. Now that E went camping a few weeks ago, he could assess and figure out what we were missing. We also use our camping supplies as our hurricane kit and after you live in the Florida Keys for a few years, you learn how crucial those are. So I got a new sleeping bag, a cleaning kit for our Camelbak bladders, some camping utensils, new water bottles and some new clothes too. Here are some of the new things I got minus a columbia jacket I got on sale since it's the summer time.

Monday was alot of fun since we had NO PLANS!!! We got up very slowly and spent a long time discussing what our plans were for the house remodel. We took Maggie for a long jog and then had a special breakfast...Mmmm...Cinnamon, Apple, Raison Strata. Since E is in school, I have taken on the housework for a while. Our deal has been that I get stuff done around the house so he can focus on finishing school. And when school is over, we will re-assess and share more household duties. So I have been doing all of the laundry lately and have been incredibly frustrated with the state of his closet and drawers. So Monday was spent going through both of our closets and drawers and deciding what we can and can't fit into anymore and what is now inappropriate for people our age. As a twenty-seven year old married woman, I don't feel the need to wear a mini skirt, incredibly short shorts and a halter top anymore. I'm no prude, I did keep a few things for the beach and for when I loose a few pounds, but let's be realistic.

I also have a new addiction to the show, NCIS, (so does E which is very rare since lately he hates everything on tv because "it's all so fake") which was being shown as a marathon on the USA network on Monday. So I Tivo'd the whole thing and watched several episodes while I rested in the afternoon. And finally, to get ready for tennis debut this year, me and E went to play tennis with Elizabeth and Matt last night. It was so weird being back on the court again. But more like an old friend that you haven't seen in a while. It was actually nice. E had a good time too and wants to play more.

So how did you spend your 3-day weekend?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spring Cleaning and Other News

What started out as spring cleaning, turned into a fight to the death to throw away software and old equipment they have been saving for over a decade. And what's sad, is that I have already done this once already and will have to do this again before the end of the summer. Our supervisors fight hardcore to keep all of these storage closets, to the point where they make serious enemies out of people we will need down the road, that we don't need. We basically have 3 storage closets and one storage room that will all fit into our larger closet comfortably.

Have I mentioned that I hate being sweaty in an air conditioned room wearing work clothes? Gross! For those of you that might not remember the first pile click here to see. However, here is the second pile.

On the plus side, I talked them into buying the new Nikon D40 as our departmental camera yesterday. I am super pumped about playing with that (personally, not professionally).

Also, I joined a mixed doubles league today. We start playing in June and I am super apprehensive. Yes, I played high school and college tennis, but I haven't set foot on a court since May 2003!!! That was 5 years ago!!! I still think I am in descent physical shape and I have spent all week running harder and working out more to ready myself for this challenge. It's going to be bad! I always hate when people hear that you played college sports and they expect you to come out and be AWESOME and I know I won't live up to expectations!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesday - Chocolate Toffee Espresso Shortbread Cookies

I went to Smitten Kitchens blog a few months back and printed out several recipes that I was dying to try. I made one of them last week for you and will this week too!

I honestly have to admit that I like my cookies a little more soft, chewy and sweet than the shortbread cookies gave me, but after I cooked them 2 minutes less and added an extra 1/2 cup of powdered sugar I think they tasted much better. And I also added some toffee chips for fun. Once they cooled, they were really good. I just love anything that tastes like coffee.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Almighty Quote

Well, Lucy called on Saturday and wanted to know if I wanted to go four-wheeling with their family. Of course I said yes!!! I headed over to her house and cooked lunch for her brood, crawfish etoufee', and then we headed out to the woods. I found a great a place to take Maggie swimming this weekend and some really cool hiking trails. We had a great time and only got stuck a "few" times.

After church on Sunday, I rented a movie. Evan Almighty...I know it's old but I remembered wanting to see it when it came out forever ago and E wasn't home yet so he wasn't around to dissapprove. Turns out he was sitting in his hotel room the night before watching the same movie. Very Weird!! However, as we talked when he got home last night about whether we liked the movie or not, we both found ourselves liking the movie for one main quote that Morgan Freeman said towards the end.

"If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?"

This is why we go throught the trials and tribulations of develop character within ourselves and make a difference in the lives of others.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I am Soliciting Help!!!

My boss had tasked me all summer long with a solution to his problem and so far I am coming up with nothing!! He wants to find a way for cell phones to be incorporated into the classroom.

Almost every kid has a cell phone these days.
Poor, rich, middle class, foreigner...everyone!!!
And yes, they are being taken up by teachers and administrators around the globe because kids are abusing them in the classroom with text messages and games, but, eren't calculators also banned in the classroom at first and now they are required for most high school and college courses. That's where his thinking is going and I am still unsure whether a communication device would help or hurt the focus of the kids in a classroom setting. We all know I don't have kids and things have changed so much in the 10 years (or less :) I have been out of high school that I don't know what the needs are of kids in school these days.

Does anyone else have any ideas? I could only come up with the basics: phonetrees (mostly for emergencies), voting (maybe for homecoming, etc), calling the homework hotline if you were absent from school that day...the end!! HELP!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dog Wars: The Weather Radio Strikes Back!

Well, if you saw my earlier post about Neel and Maggie and my lack of sleep over the past 2 days, you are probably a little puzzled by the title! I came home with every intention of taking Neel home that last night so I could get some rest. But I figured that I would let him and Maggie play outside until bedtime and then take Neel home. BIG MISTAKE!!!

Maggie is pushy with other dogs because when she wants to play, that's all that matters. I don't think that Neel has the energy to survive her for 3 days. They went out and played in the backyard for a while and I would check on them every 15 minutes or so to make sure they weren't getting into trouble. The very last time I checked on them, I could only see Maggie and she was in the process of digging a giant hole under the house. From what I could tell, Maggie dug the hole and Neel, trying to escape Maggie's advances to play and to just get a little peace, crawled under the house and wouldn't come out. I panicked. I laid in the hole and stuck my head through the tunnel to try and find him with no luck.

I ran circles around the house thinking that maybe he crawled all of the way from the back to the front of the house but I still didn't see him. So I went back to the hole, laid down again in the hole and shoved my body inside the tunnel with my legs until I saw his eyes. He came towards me to lick my face and I was able to grab him by the collar with one finger and drag him the rest of the way out!!

If you have seen the picture of Neel, he is a pretty dog with lots of pretty long hair! I was terrified to wash and dry all of this hair. I just knew that I wasn't going to do it right. But he was covered in brown MUD like the wet kind since it rained yesterday! It took me almost an hour to bathe and brush him. Geez I am glad I don't have a dog with long hair.

After he dried off, I took him back to his house since his neighbor was coming home from vacation and could watch him the rest of the week. HELLO RESTFUL NIGHT FOR ME!!!
I crawled into bed about 9 and prayed that I would drift off quickly. All went well until the weather radio (Thank you Nanny and Papa for buying us that demon and pandering to E's paranoia) starting going off every 15 minutes anouncing that there were severe thunderstorms 2 counties over!! I don't care!! Unless there is a tornado down the street, do not interupt my sleep tonight!! After living in KW and knowing how unpredictable the weather can be (one minute it's beautiful and the next there is a hurricane headed straight for you as well as several water spouts heading for my house), I am too chicken to unplug the radio so I listened all night long to the weather radio go off and with it's LOUD ALARM and then computer generated NOAA voice announce the weather conditions over and over again!!

Oh well...I guess there is always tonight right??? Where's Friday??

Crawfish Boil

This weekend, we had a Crawfish Boil at our house for our Sunday School class. Me and E had never hosted one of these before, much less ever cooked crawfish before. So we learned as we went along. The crawfish farmer told us that 4 lbs. of crawfish per person is about what we would need. So just in case we had some extra people show up, I ordered five lbs. per person. I really should have thought this through better. We got 50 lbs. of crawfish for 11 people and after everyone had their fill, we still had about 30 lbs. left. Yeh!! 30 lbs. left!!!! What am I going to do with 30 lbs. of crawfish???

We went ahead and cooked the rest of them and threw them on the table and peeled them as we all chatted until late in the evening. We sent each person home with a bag of tails and I still have a HUGE bag of meat leftover for me and E as well as a cooler full of cooked crawfish left. I gave them to my neighbors across the street. Here are a few pics to enjoy!
This was only half of the food we prepared for 11 people!!! Yeah...there was alot!

Lindy came super excited about eating mudbugs!!

Lucy and Lindy brought their new pups Maggie and Rueban.

Me, Lucy, Samantha and Paul pretending like we know how to peel crawfish from a paper plate that's not on a table! That was a bad idea! I was worried about getting food on my clothes and Lucy actually did end up with food all over her white shirt!

Brian and Christi are new to our class and are excited about their baby that's coming due during the summer!!

Ed and Samantha helped out alot getting crawfish peeled (even though Sam doesn't like crasfish, she was a good sport). I like Ed and his wife Amanda though. Their are originally from sweet home Alabama so it's always fun to talk about the good ole days and the landmarks that are familiar to us both!

(Belated) What's Cooking Wednesday - Spring Panzanella

Sorry this is late!!I keep forgetting to bring the pictures with me! However, I have a new favorite right now and it is SPRING PANZANELLA from Smitten Kitchen's blog!!! (check out her site...she has WAY better picture than me!)

I honestly jumped at this recipe because it was pretty and because I had never cooked with leeks before and wanted something to try with. The leeks were ...ok. I don't know if I will use them again but I at least I tried them.

The vegetables that the recipe called for were asparagus, leeks and white beans. Since I don't like white beans, I substituted for shelled edemame. I also added alot more veggies (sautee'd green beans, quartered artichokes and mushrooms, and white corn kernels), extra parmesan cheese, and a double helping of the dressing since I added so many more vegetables.

This is my new favorite! The test will be if my husband will eat and like it. Since there's no meat in it, he will think I am trying to turn him into a vegetarian. I guess I will have to serve it as a side dish next to some fish or grilled chicken. But since he has been gone all week, I have been eating this for dinner!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Camping Pic

Just a cute pic of my husband I just found on Matt and Elizabeth's blog from their camping trip together.

Dog Wars

E left to go on a business trip all week so that leaves me at home with Maggie for a few days. Normally, that wouldn't bother me since she is much calmer lately.

However, since Matt and Elizabeth are in Africa on a mission trip for 2 weeks, I offered to take care of Neel (their dog/Maggie's boyfriend) for a few days. Instead of leaving him at their house to stay by himself all day, I went ahead and brought him to our house so him and Maggie could play. Neel has spent the night for the past 2 nights. Maggie has a problem about leaving him alone. She feels like she has to be in his face 24/7. So my thought was to put him in her cage at night so he could get some sleep. Well that didn't work. Maggie sat in front of the cage all night whining for him. She would get up in the bed with me for a few minutes and then jump down to check on Neelfor several minutes...then back in bed with me. This happened about every 20-30 minutes during the night. By 4:00am I was TICKED!!! I was exhausted and only had 2 hours until I had to get up. I kicked her off of my bed and commanded her to sleep in her bed which she did until morning.

However, I can't function with 2 hours of sleep. I was already planning to take off a little early for a function I had to go to last night so I went ahead and took the whole day off to try and get some rest. So last night, I left them both out thinking they would find a cozy spot on the floor together (like they had done all day long) but that didn't happen. They got into bed with me. That's fine as long as they go to sleep. Neel groomed himself most of the night and Maggie felt the need to be in his face while he was doing this. Neel would then growl at her because he doesn't like to be messed with once in bed. They finally got still and I thought we were home free until the whole process started over again. At this point, it's 11:30pm. I typically go to bed around 9:30 since we get up at 5:30 and I wasn't going to have a repeat of the previous night. I locked them both in the kitchen together for the rest of the night. It seemed to work until the barking started. Maggie started barking at Neel because he wouldn't play with her. I went into the kitchen where she had him cornered, told her to "HUSH" and "Get into to bed." Which worked for about and hour and a half. And this process repeated the WHOLE NIGHT!!!!! I finally stopped getting up and just screamed "HUSH!!!" from my bed, which seemed to work, until morning.

So now, I have to function like a normal person today without 2 nights worth of sleep. I am taking Neel home tonight so he can sleep and I can finally get some rest too. It's my stupid pup that's keeping me up all night. The "Great Experiment" failed. I wonder if this is how Marie Curie felt! HA

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday Kayla

Well, Aunt Everyday Bailey screwed up big time this week. My niece's birthday was on Saturday. I thought it was on Monday. So being the "on top of things" aunt that I am, I called her on Sunday, the day before her birthday because I wanted to be the first to wish her happy birthday!

So here's how the conversation went:

EB: Hey it's me
K: Hey what's going on?
EB: Not much...just wanted to be the first to tell you happy birthday!!
K: Huh? My birthday was on Saturday!
EB: Huh?
K: May 3rd...that's my birthday...not May 5th

I felt so stupid and I even have one of those email reminders that reminds me when someone's birthday is coming up. I guess I had it programed wrong. Those only work as good as the retards that program them. I told E, "Why didn't you tell me that her birthday was yesterday? You were there when she was born...not me!!"

Anyway, poor kid. Lots of stuff going on at home and no time to party like it's her birthday. K...putting your present in the mail today!! Love you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

For our families, May, June and August are the busiest months for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries in our family. May has three birthdays, 2 holidays and one graduation! So let's start with Mother's Day. Hi Mom!!

I don't think I have been home for Mother's Day in several years. So either my sisters will get together and figure out what she wants and I will chip in, or I will get something here in town and send it to her, which is what I did this year.

I bought a large bag when I went to Arkansas a few weeks ago to carry on the plane with me. I love this bag and thought my Mom might want one as well...and now I like hers better than mine. I really like the red bag better but another friend of mine already had the red one so I didn't want to be a copy cat! Happy Mother's Day Mom. I am putting your present in the mail today.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

We are the Heroes of the Homefront!

For those of you who are military spouses, I want you to know that I appreciate and celebrate you today. I know first hand the sacrifices you have to make...most of them being your sanity...but in the end, those are the sacrifices that matter most!!

Yes, we make a big difference in the lives of our husbands, wives and children but we also make a big difference in the lives of other military spouses! Our compassion, our listening ears, our understanding, our ability to potluck anywhere, and our friendships are the only things that have kept us from falling apart on most days. For all of you who have helped me get through the tough times (and I don't have your email address), thank you for all that you do and have done in my life.

A few military spouse favorites:

-The Misadventures of a Military Wife - Excellent book and I think we can all relate in more ways than you would ever think or admit on most days.

-Milspouse Magazine - I just starting getting this a few months back and have really enjoyed reading the ones that Maggie didn't eat! Lots of good information and tips and resources as well as articles related specifically to us as loyal spouses.

-I was going to find my favorite place to get military T-shirts because I have have bad experiences in the past but I think I have it saved at home. I don't recommend Cafe-Press though. They print the decal on an iron-transferrable sheet of paper and then attach it to the shirts. VERY STIFF and very cheap looking for $20 bucks plus shipping per shirt!

-Dr. Laura - She is a hillarious talk show host who helps people solve their personal (common sense) problems. She is also the "proud mother of an American Paratrooper!"

-Seaworld and Busch Gardens - Both theme parks are still allowing military members and their families into their facilities for free. We took advantage of Busch Gardens last year and it was So much fun. We need to hurry up and hit Sea World before they change their minds and want to start charging again.

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

Bad Days...Good Apple Dumplings!

Well folks, hopefully I will have more time next week. This week I feel like a superhero in a post apocolyptic universe. So busy and so tired. We have hosted 2 conferences this week at work and those always make for incredibly long days. I also finished planting my front flower beds since we have company coming this weekend. Tonight, we are hosting a crawfish boil at our house for our Sunday School class so I wanted to get the front yard ready and the garage cleaned out (and of course the house cleaned) before everyone started stopping in. So the days are mashing together. With my right hand in the air, "I do so solemnly swear to purpose to be a better blogger in the coming weeks."

However, I will leave you with this since I gypped you all on What's Cooking Wednesday. I had my pictures and recipe all ready but can't seem to find the camera. This recipe is SO GOOD! I have more requests for this one than anything else I make. When I was in college, I worked at our church part time. One day the piano player called to say that she was going to bring the office staff lunch. This recipe was one of the things she brought and I immediately got the recipe from her and make it all of the time.

At our house, we make it for dessert, breakfast, and if E had his choice, he would have it for lunch and dinner too. I don't have a picture of the end result...Sorry...I just got so darn excited about eating them that all other thoughts were shunned from my mind! But I do have a few pics of the process. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Boring Day! Interesting Site!

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing interesting is happening? I have had several of those days. Mostly because I live, eat and sleep work lately. However, I do want to share a website with you. I added it to my favorites list for you all yesterday.

With this website, you can watch lots of television episodes and clips as well as movies online. They do put a few commercials in there but it's FREE!!!

P.S. I forgot the picture of my Wednesday recipe and will have that tomorrow once I find the camera!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Getting Pumped

Now that life "seems" to be calming down a bit and I am finally feeling better, it's time to hit the roads again. Running is not about keeping fit and's about staying mentally stable. Whenever I am stressed out about things at work or at home...I run until I don't remember what was bothering me. I was able to get out of the house once last week and get a small run in with Maggie and boy did that feel good. But I can feel my blood pressure starting to creep up and it's time to detox in a pair of running shoes. So for all of your that live in town and have been consistantly telling me that you want to run in these races with me, here's your chance.

The Searim Striders are having a Summer Series of 5K race around town and I would like to hit a few of them. But they aren't as fun by yourself so check your calendars and come out in full force. It's seems that almost every Monday night during the summer, there is something going on!

2008 Summer Series

June 9 - Orange Northway
June 16 - Pt Neches Park
June 23 - Claiborne Park
June 30 - Beaumont Tyrrell Park
July 21 - Claiborne Park
July 28 - Beaumont Tyrrell Park
August 4 - Orange Northway Park
August 11 - Pt Neches Park
August 18 - Claiborne Park

Thursday, May 1, 2008

E, I, and Maggiepie

Since I have a rough week coming up next week with lots of long hours, and since I have been sick this week, I stayed home a few days to rest up. Here are a few pics from my quality time spent with Maggie!

While I napped on the couch, she took a seat in the back den and curled up for a nap!

I think all dogs have a born desire to take off with their owners undies. E thought he would take it one step further and actually put them on her. She was so confused.

Then we taught her how to catch the ball in the air last night. She repeatedly jumped up into the air after the ball until she was too tired to move. I never did get a good picture of her catching it but this one was rather funny.

E had just cut the grass when we started playing with her so everytime the ball hit the ground, a few more grass blades stuck to it. By the end of the night, this was what Maggie's tongue looked like.

Hot Springs

Don't you love it when you end up with a swanky room at a super hotel that you didn't have to pay for? I know I do! I had a suite all to myself with a king size bed and 36 inch LCD TV with a separate living room/kitchen area that looked out onto the Hot Springs National Park. It was so nice. And for breakfast, none of that skimpy continental fruit. It was the big daddy. There was a cook-to-order chef who would make you pancakes, omelets, fresh bacon or sausage... MmmmMmmmMmmm. So good. But do you think I was able to partake in any of that? Ah...NO!! And that's a big fat NO! I was barely in my room long enough to enjoy it. And as for breakfast, they didn't open until 7am and we had to be out the door by 6:30. So much for getting all of the perks!!

We used the Hots Springs Convention Center for 2 of our sessions and another hotel in town for the third session. The convention center was very classy. Lots of art, photography, and modern furniture everywhere. However, the hotel we used for the last day did not compare to the convention center one bit! When we first met with the event managers, they scrambled desperately to find our file, and then notified us that they had to squeeze our event into a smaller room because the air conditioner in the building broke. The room they moved us to had A/C though. Their new A/C wasn't going to arrive for another 3 weeks. They were in the middle of renovations. Stained wallpaper, faded carpet, broken lights, dusty old chandeliers, holes in the walls, oh yeah...and this...

Luckily, the duct tape was only there for our preliminary tour and not the conference. But the stained carpet and walls weren't going anywhere.

Here's Viki performing "Delta Dawn" in front of our INCREDIBLY chipped podium.

This is me posing with some guys I met that let me go fishing with them. Look at that big fish I brought home!!

Here I am with Shannon, another conference helper, at the Hot Springs National Park.

In this picture, I am retrieving my purse that I dropped off of a cliff. After making my way down the mountain in flip-flops, I finally found it resting in a holly bush. OUCH!