Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge...I MADE IT!

My Dream House
My dream house would be a bungalow style with a pretty open floor plan inside - built in book shelves, 3 levels (upstairs, main floor and basement). I have this picture. This house is right down the road from Ronnie's parents:

This house is really close to my studio:

I haven't seen the inside of either house, but from the outside, I'm pretty sure I could live with whatever the inside looks like because I like the outside so much!

I have traveled quite a lot in the US. I have family spread out all over the place - West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee. We had many family vacations (UGH! Car trips SUCK!) - Florida, Georgia, Texas, Kansas. I've been to Iowa. I took a bus trip to NYC (flew every time after that!). Gatlinburg. Branson. Good grief. If it's a tourist spot in the midwest, I've probably been there! I was able to see New Orleans before Hurrican Katrina

I would like to go to Seattle, Las Vegas, Paris, London, Ireland. I want to see Niagra Falls and the Pacific Ocean

I Believe...
I believe that I actually made it through this 30 Day Challenge (barely). I guess I can still blog and be busy. I'm not certain if I've said anything this month that's of any interest to people other than myself, but it's kept me on my toes.

I believe that life is too short to not tell people that you love them.

I believe that dessert should be enjoyed (sometimes that means before dinner since you never know if you're going to be too full after dinner).

I believe that I CAN lose this weight before our wedding (perhaps I should stop eating the dessert).

I believe that we will not always understand why things happen the way that they do but that God most certainly has a purpose in everything.

Computer Giveaway!

Angie Smith posted this awesome giveaway. Check it out!

Monday, November 29, 2010


So, for the next 2 days you are going to get 3 blog topics in 1 blog. I am behind. Imagine that!
20 Favorite Things
1. Fresh's Sugar Lip Balm
2. Chi Flat Iron
3. Chi Blow Dryer
4. Freshly Baked Cookies
5. Laughing
6. Kids being kids - I work in Cairo where everyone grows up a little too quickly. It's fun just to watch them play games and have fun for 5 minutes.
7. My studio
8. Christmas
9. Happy endings
10. My bed
11. Singing
12. Days when I am able to listen to music and not critique the singer
13. Buxom Mascara
14. Urban Decay Eye Primer
15. Shopping (I like shopping for nothing in particular. If I find something it's like a nice surprise.)
16. Simplicity
17. Nook Color
18. Musicals
19. Rainy days where I don't have to get out of bed.
20. Fall

Favorite Songs
This blog topic is tough for me. I listen to a LOT of music, but trying to nail down some favorites is a little difficult. Sometimes I will really like songs for a while and then grow a little tired of them. So, here's my list of songs that will never grow old.

  • At Last - Etta James
  • Respect - Aretha Franklin
  • Beat It - Michael Jackson

 Favorite Films
  • Singin' in the Rain is my favorite movie musical. I have NO idea why...it just is!
  • August Rush was a favorite. I'm a sucker for a happy ending and it had some great music.
  • Love Sandra Bullock - Miss Congeniality and The Blind Side
  • Cheaper by the Dozen was funny. (The Steve Martin one.)
  • Finding Nemo
  • Up

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I Love About Life

Wow, this whole 30 day blog thing has been crazy! I've never blogged this much since I started blogging! So, I guess it's been good, but I may be a little behind the 30 day mark. Sorry for the days of multiple posts...some days are better than others as far as having time.

So, today, I LOVE the fact that I can hang out with family. It's strange how life changes your perspective. For years, I tried to stay away from home (typical teenager) and now I would rather spend time with family than just about anything else.

I love that I have my own studio to teach in and that I have such wonderful, talented students to work with.

I love that the girl who never wanted to get married is now planning her wedding.

I love love love my girls and I love how our friendship has grown and changed through the years. I honestly don't know what I would do without Crys and Kate.

Life has this way of changing you for the better, if you will allow it - that's what I most love about life!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Favorite Websites

A few websites that I frequent:

This website offers one t-shirt everyday for $10. The t-shirts are American Appearl and are often pretty humorous! I have a "Moses Parts the Red Tea" shirt. Moses is a tea bag standing on the edge of a tea cup where he is parting the red tea. Awesome!

This website allows you to print sheet music and you can even change keys before you print.

Yummy tea!


A great way to keep up with all things musical theater!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

I've thought about this quote alot over the last few years of my life - different situations, but we really can be creatures of habit. I typically don't have issues with change. I mean, if change is going to make things better, then why not? Don't get me wrong, though, some people insist on change for the sake of change - that's a different kind of insainity.

Others just refuse to change.

I don't ever want to be the person who does the same thing over and over and expects different results.

It happens in education.
"Well, I've done it this way every year and I've taught for 22 years. I am not going to change now. It's worked for others, so it will eventually work for these students."
Are you kidding me? That's INSANE!
I LOVE the educators who say, "This isn't working. Trash it or tweak it, but something has to change. I'm not getting the results I want."

I feel like we frequently do this in churches - not every church, but the church as a whole. We do things because "that's the way we've always done it" not because it's reaching people for Christ or empowering Christians to do more and expect more from Almighty God.

Here's a thought: It is 2010 (almost 2011). While the TRUTH never changes, perhaps our methods should.

Stop the insainity. If something isn't working...STOP. Try something else. Change is ok.

What's in my purse?

What's in my purse? I'm not sure, but it weighs a TON!

Here's a list - no rude comments. You may NEED something from my purse one day!
  • phone
  • wallet
  • checkbook
  • keys (2 sets)
  • ipod
  • 2 packs of gum
  • camera
  • lotion
  • ear plugs
  • 3 pens
  • 2 pencils
  • throat drops
  • lip liner
  • lip gloss (3)
  • lip balm
  • glass cleaning kit
  • moleskin notebook
  • credit card case
  • comb
  • nasal spray
  • medicine
  • mirror
  • more lotion
  • bag with all of the following: wet ones, tide stick, nasal decongestant, perfume, eye drops, splenda, flavored splenda for coffee, propel, band aids, neosporin, nail clippers, nail file, some pills that I don't know what they are (hmm...probably not good), ponytail holders, barrettes, dental floss
No wonder it weighs a ton. Perhaps it's time to clean out the purse, eh?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Miss...

I miss the simple life.

(NOTE: Simple - when I didn't ALWAYS have somewhere to be; when I didn't have bills; when I had plenty of time to spend with friends; when my biggest concern was whether to have poppyseed chicken or chicken nuggets and curly fries for lunch)

I miss performing. I LOVE LOVE LOVE musical theater. (It WAS my major after all.) While I love teaching voice at my studio, I miss performing terribly. I can't explain it. It's just a part of me. And if someone gave me the chance to perform Elphaba in Wicked, I'd drop everything and begin rehearsals tomorrow!

I miss the days of thinking that all people who go to church make it their goal to walk out their faith everyday. Ignorance really is bliss sometimes. I miss not being frustrated with 'church people'.

I miss thinking that ANYTHING is possible. Now don't get me wrong, I know that all things are possible with God, but I'm talking about those crazy dreams we used to have when we thought we were unstoppable. I now realize that I have limitations.

A Few Good Reads

Ok, so I am a little behind on this 30 day blog challenge, but I haven't felt well for a couple of days. In fact, I have been more sick than I can ever remember being before. I'll spare you the details, but I am going to attempt to catch up while I'm sitting at home. I tried to do the craft fair thing - I survived half of it.

So, books. Yeah...I have several favorites, so I tried to think of a few of my all-time favorites - books I would read multiple times.
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - This came as a recommendation from Ronnie. It was fabulous and I highly recommend it.
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala - I HAVE read this book multiple times. It is part of a series, but this is by far my favorite.
  • Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell - LOVE LOVE LOVE Rob Bell! Ronnie has bought me every book he has written. This is such a wonderful book.
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - A recommendation from Crystal and I really loved this book.
  • Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster - I would read anything that she writes! I think I love her because I can totally identify with her AND she's hilarious!
There are so many more that I have read and loved. A LOT of them were recommendations or books that I borrowed from friends. What are some of your favorites? I'm always looking for a good recommendation.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Life Goals

As I look at this topic, I'm a little torn with which way to go. When I was in high school or college, my life goals revolved around career. I don't think that I really thought about much else. Marriage and kids...hmm...wasn't really my cup of tea.

Don't get me wrong. I still have career related goals. However, they just don't seem as high on my list of priorities as some of my personal goals. I want to be a great vocal instructor and coach - giving my students shots that I never really felt like I had, but in those sessions, I want to be a good mentor and I want to point them to someone who could make more of a difference in their lives than any human ever will.

Time has a way of changing our desires. I'm getting married next October. Its important to me that I am a good helpmate to my husband. I want to be a wife who strives to keep Christ the center of her marriage.  Along with that comes growing into the Proverbs 31 woman. I say growing because I'm not even on the same page.

I guess if I had to narrow my goals down to 1, I would say my life goal is to be the woman God created me to be in every single area of my life. It's a work in progress.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our Wedding...Hasn't Happened Yet

So, weddings....

Kate LOVES a good wedding. I never have cared for them, however, I am a little excited about mine and Ronnie's.

October 15, 2011 - Save the Date

I have already picked out reception decorations - Aunt Sandy is in charge - SUPER excited about this!! I have a reception site, a photographer, a caterer, cake is in the works (since that's the most important part), I have talked to my favorite DJ (Chadd-o - I still have to confirm details, but I think he's game), and a dress paid for (not ordering it until Feb). John Windings is going to marry us and I'm working on the guest list (the least fun part). There WILL be a peanut butter and jelly unity sandwich! The girls picked out their dresses. We're way ahead of the game, but the part I am struggling most with??? MUSIC! Why am I (a music person) struggling with music???!!!

It will all come together. It will be beautiful and exciting and NOT HOT (because we're praying for normal October temps), but most exciting is that fact that Ronnie and I will begin a new chapter of our lives.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Video Favorite

This is one of my most favorite videos EVER! So much truth...


Monday, November 15, 2010

Afraid of...

Oh, this should be fun.

While I am not afraid of everything, I most certainly have fears...some of them irrational.

I am not afraid of heights or flying or dying or finishing last

I am afraid of spiders, snakes and flying bugs in the car. I will pull over to the side of the road and 'abandon ship' until that bug or spider is out of the car. Ronnie doesn't understand, but it really freaks me out! Irrational? Probably, but I don't care!

I am afraid of disappointing certain people in my life. People in general...pfft...I don't care, but there are certain people that I care about more than life itself and I never want to let them down or disappoint them.

I have an irrational fear of going blind and deaf. I could still play the piano and sing if I were blind, so I guess I fear going deaf more, but it sure would be difficult to teach voice if I couldn't see or hear.

I am afraid that I am going to suck at this whole marriage - being a wife thing. Pray for me, people! Well, pray for Ronnie. Bless his heart.

I am afraid of not being a good example of a Christian woman. I look at some people and think, "Man, they sure do have it together. They have this whole walking with Jesus thing down!" I'm certain that I just don't see their faults, but when I look at my life compared to theirs I secretly hope that they have as many faults as I do (is that wrong?) and that others can somehow look past my faults and see that I'm not perfect, but simply redeemed!

OCD? Me?

Well,  I missed blogging one day this weekend, so you're hopefully going to get 2 today.

OCD. Hmm. It would probably be easier to tell you what I am NOT OCD about. I AM getting better, though. I am a perfectionist. Well, I like to think that I am a former perfectionist, but sometimes it just creeps back in.

Matching. I like for things to match and be symmetrical. I call this balance. I like balance in my life, so whether its decorations or the desks in my classroom, I like matching and symmetrical.

Clutter. I HATE CLUTTER! It makes me feel like I'm going to have a panic attack. My grandparents were pack-rats and I swore that I would never let crap pile up. Right now there is a Rubbermaid tub in my room with wedding stuff at the end of my bed and it's driving me NUTS! I tried covering it up but I still know it's there.

I'm going to stop there because the list really could be quite extensive. Rest assured, however, the list has dwindled through the years.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Little Red

Ok, so one of my new favorite foods is Pag's Little Red pizza with wheat crust! Crys and Chris had us try their Big Red but tonight we ordered the thin crust. YUMMY!

Other favorites?? So many...mostly desserts.
Coconut Pecan Cookies
Jaime's Butter Pecan Cupcakes
Jello Sugar-Free Pudding (no kidding...the Boston Cream Pie rocks!)
Crystal's Shortbread
Debbie's Cubed Beef Steak
Almond Cream Scones from Long Branch

Friday, November 12, 2010

Defying Gravity

I don't really like concerts, so I'm going to have to take the show route. I LOVE musicals! I have seen a ton of them and I have 2 favorites out of the shows I have seen.

#2 is The Lion King. The staging and costumes were nothing short of AMAZING! It helps that my friend Chris starred as Simba in the show, but it's one of my favorite for reasons other than him (no offense, buddy). If you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend going. I could brag all day on Julie Taymor's costume designs.

#1 is WICKED!

Hands down I LOVE this musical more than any other!!!!!! The score is fantastic, the story was adapted very well, and the set and stage mechanics blow my mind. Ronnie took me for my birthday after the show came to Chicago. I would love to have a chance to play Elphaba.

#1 show I haven't seen, but would like to: In the Heights

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite Picture

My Favorite Photograph

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture! David Michael Webb, a photographer friend, loved having guinea pigs (until he got a permanent one in his wife) for all of his new 'toys' and this was from a shoot a few years ago. This photo never fails to make me smile. I am pretty sure it captures how 'off' we really are.

Through the years our friendship has grown and changed - thank God because we may have killed each other. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these women and we really do have fun wherever we go. I went back to the bridal shop to pay for my dress and the lady there wanted to know where my girls were. I am not sure why she thought that they would be with me, but I thought it was awesome that we made such an impact that she was disappointed we weren't all coming back to entertain her again. That's because we're awesome (and a little on the crazy side)!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My Friends

Well, let me begin with my girls. These ladies are two of the most important people in the entire world to me. Through good times and bad, they have been there. I can't imagine my life without them. We've been friends for so long that I can hardly remember life before them. Love ya, girlies!

Kate...with a goat! She got Ronnie a goat for Christmas one year. You'll have to ask her-it's a good story.
Crys' 30th birthday. 30 looks good on you, sis!

Crys and her Favorite! I'm pretty fond of him too!
Kate and Amber looking like a million bucks!
Here's Jaime! I call her Jaime, hair genius sometimes, but mostly I just call her friend. She's quite an amazing woman and I'm so thankful to know her and call her friend.
Jaime at her studio showing off some photographs.
Off to Chicago. Yep, I have friends EVERYWHERE! Todd and Jen are such a blessing. I SO wish that we lived closer to each other. Micah and Beth (don't have a pic) also live right around the corner from Todd and Jen. Ronnie, Todd, and Micah went to Olivet together. They were 'borrowed friends' - now they're MY friends! :-)

Chicago - August 2010
Another 'borrowed friend'
Kevin. I am quite certain that he would've been my friend first if I would've known him first! :-)

My Cairo Pals
Jesse and Stacy
Heather Carney
I don't have a pic of Melissa G, but she's another one of my Cairo pals.

Mom - She's my bud! Love her!
Dad - How can you not love someone who you act so much like?
Mom and Dad-in-law
Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jason - their friendship provides plenty of entertainment!
Jake! Oh how I love him! Honestly, how can you not love that face?

My Best Friend
At Brian's HS Graduation
At Ronnie's Graduation - SIU - May 2010
Love this man!

I am truly blessed!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TV. What's that?

First of all, TV??? WHAT?!!!?! Who has time for that?

I watch The Breakfast Show on KFVS-12 in the morning while I am getting ready. And I watch a lot of things like NCIS at Ronnie's each evening. There must be a 24-hour CSI/NCIS channel, because dad can ALWAYS find an episode on!

There are 2 shows that I DVR and try to watch at some point during the week.


Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE LOVE LOVE musical theater. This show embodies everything I think life should be - I mean, honestly, who wouldn't love a life where you and all of your friends spontaneously break into song complete with 4+ parts harmony???!!!!???

I also love The Big Bang Theory! I think I love it because it reminds me of so many people that I know. It is certainly one of my favorite TV shows.

Other shows I love to watch when I can catch them:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

American Pickers

Monday, November 8, 2010


My Blog Title

I am totally unoriginal! My blog name just reinforces this truth. I like to sing. My life revolves around singing. Some of us do it better than others, but most of us do it, so Sing! was a pretty obvious title choice for me.

30 Day Catch Up - A Recent Photo AND The Town I Live In

A recent photo I took:

So, Crystal and Kate decided that I needed to try on this crazy dress! And while I'm certain that someone would think this was THE dress, I just felt like I needed to be hung from the ceiling to light the room.
My attempt to take a pic of the "chandelier dress"

A better view - Thanks Debbie!

The town I live in...hmm, well I technically don't live in a town. I live about 1.5 miles from town. It's a little town in Southern IL called Olmsted. SMALL. REALLY SMALL! I lived in town until I was in college. Our house burnt and we moved to 'the country'. Olmsted is about 20 miles from the very southern tip of the state (Cairo - where the rivers meet...that's where I teach). Olmsted had a bank, a restaurant, a library, a post office and a Fill-Up Mart (small gas station). It is also were they are building a new Lock and Dam. They've been working on it for years. I lost track of where they are at or how much longer before it's complete, but its apparently a pretty big deal.

Olmsted has one main road that leads to 2 hills that meet at the bottom. One hill takes you by a park. The other hill is really steep and is good for sledding in the winter. I used to live "uptown" very close to the Ohio River. Since we've moved out of town, things seem to have changed quite a lot, but it's still a quiet little town with the appeal of any 'small town America'.

Wedding Dress Success

While I can't post a picture, I did indeed find a wedding dress. It's actually the first dress I picked out on-line. It's an Alfred Angelo gown. My mom and I went to Anne's Bridal in Paducah because that's where Alfred's site sent me, but they only had bridesmaids dresses. I thought I was going to have to go to Nashville or St. Louis to try on this dress just to see it in person, but after some additional research, I found a bridal shop in Jackson, MO that carried the bridal gowns. As soon as I walked in the door, I spotted the dress I had been looking for. I tried it on that day and loved it. However, I wanted to be certain (it's a little expensive!). I value the opinions of others! :-)

On Saturday, mom, Debbie, Aunt Sandy, and my girls (Crys and Kate) joined me on a search. I tried on several gowns at David's Bridal. I found a couple that were ok, but I really couldn't wait to get to Jackson to try on THE dress for them. Everyone agreed that the Alfred Angelo dress was THE dress. So, while I haven't purchased the dress (at this shop, you custom order gowns) I have most certainly found my wedding gown and it's absolutely gorgeous!

My girls also found dresses! They are going to look stunning! So exciting! (We won't talk about their dress search. I really wish we had pics of 'the really good ones' - think of the craziest prom dresses you've ever seen and multiply it by 10!)

Now, 30 Day Blog Challenge - I promise to catch up this week. Most to come this evening....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Not slacking

No, I am NOT slacking. I simply had a very busy day. I will fill you in later and catch up on my 30 day challenge.
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Friday, November 5, 2010


I always tease Ronnie about how random shuffle is on his iPod, but after this little exercise, I think some people would probably say that my music collection yields a pretty random shuffle.

1. Call Me Beautiful – Ginny Owens
2. Always Enough – Casting Crowns
3. Theme from Schindler’s List - Itzhak Perlman, John Williams & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
4. Come Round Soon – Sara Bareilles
5. Apathetic Man – Lauren Kennedy
6. The Lord’s Prayer (Deliver Us) – Selah
7. Crazy – Willie Nelson & Johnny Cash
8. To Know You – Nichole Nordeman
9. My Romance – Carmen McRae
10. They Can’t Take That Away From Me – Ella Fitzgerald

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pet Person?


I don't currently have any. However, I have had plenty through the years. Let's see if I can remember most of them.

Snowball, a white rabbit.
Baby, a cat (still think dad dumped her...he is NOT fond of cats)
A goat (I don't remember naming it, but we should have named it Garbage Disposal.)
A raccoon (no, I'm not kidding)
Several dogs:
- a husky
- a pekingese (Sparkles)
- a mut that followed dad home (Betty)
- a dalmation (Blossom)
We had 2 horses at one point - Big Boy and I don't remember the other's name.

That's all I can remember. I'm not a pet person. I like them, but I can live without them. And YES, we actually had a raccoon!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh Weekend, How I Long For You

Day 3 - My Weekend Plans

This week, several of the students in my studio are performing in Seussical, The Musical at Shawnee College. So, Ronnie and I have tickets for the Friday evening performance. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product that these guys have worked so hard on.

Saturday, I'm going wedding dress shopping with Crystal, Kate, my mom, Ronnie's mom and Aunt Sandy! WOOT!
Saturday evening, I plan to stop by Monarch Studios in Cobden for a Trunk Show.

Sunday is our church's annual Veteran's Day program. It's always spectacular and I'm really looking forward to it, as well.

That pretty much sums up my entire weekend...don't think I'll have time for much more!

Getting Rid of Songs with ! (Missing) in iTunes

So, I had to reload EVERYTHING on my computer after I got it back from BestBuy. When I reloaded my music into iTunes, I had duplicates of EVERYTHING. Half of them were dead tracks, though. I don't know how or why it happened, but I wasn't about to delete thousands of songs manually, so I did a few internet searches to figure out a shortcut.

If you are ever in this situation, here's your solution:

1. You have to isolate the missing tracks.
-Create a standard playlist called "Not Missing".
-Drag your entire library into that playlist. Missing tracks cannot be copied to a playlist.

2. Then, create a Smart Playlist called "Missing" where Playlist - is not - Not Missing.

3. To delete the matched files in the "Missing" Smart Playlist, Select All (Ctl + A), hold down Shift (or, on a Mac, Option) and Delete keys at the same time.

Hopefully it never happens to you, but this is the 2nd time it's happened to me, so an easy solution if you do have this problem.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wedding Dress Shopping

Day 2 - Looking forward to something....

So far. So good. I really like blogging, but finding time to do it is like trying to find time to exercise. It isn't a priority, but I'm trying (to blog-I don't care about exercise right now! Whoever says, "If you're tired, you should just exercise" has obviously never experienced my level of exhaustion).

What do I look forward to? Let's see....

I look forward to going to bed. I LOVE bedtime!
I look forward to going to the studio to teach (even though I've already worked all day).
As much as I look forward to going to the studio, I'm looking forward to having a week off at the end of the month (and 2 weeks in December).
I am looking forward to going wedding dress shopping with my most favorite girls this weekend!
I am looking forward to Ronnie being off during Christmas this year.
I am looking forward to our wedding day and to being married.

YAY! Two days in a row of blogging. Everyone should be proud!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nae - no, NOT the sound a horse makes (well, maybe...)

So, I have committed to the 30 Day Blog Challenge along with my friends Crys and Kate. I am a poor excuse for a blogger, but hopefully, I can find a few moments each day to commit. We'll see. If not, check out their blogs. They will post every day. They are NOT blogger failures!

Day 1 - Nicknames You Have

Nae. Only one. My middle name is Renee. My older brother Randel started it from what I remember. Not because he couldn't say my name (he's 9 years older than me), but I think he was just always looking for a shortcut. So, it's pretty much stuck through the years.

In high school, I put NAE 1996 on the plates of my car.

Very few people call me by my nickname. My brothers, and a few of my friends. I don't mind it. In fact, I kinda like it - mostly because it's reserved for special people who know me a little too well.

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