facebook fun

so my dear cousin lindsey "tagged" me in a note that asks you questions and then you place your answer into the search line on flickr and place a picture into this "mosaic maker" and voila!  you end up with a really fun picture.  make sense?  not at all?  here is a copy of what it asked me to do:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search (http://www.flickr.com/).
b. Using ONLY the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Mosaic Maker. Change rows to 3 and columns to 3 (http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php).
d. Save the image and post it on this note!
e. If you're tagged, pass it on. And if you want, you can tag me. I don't care.......

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? -- Stacie
2. What is your favorite food?--- anything from La Fiesta
3. What is your favorite color?--- green
4. Favorite drink?-- sweet tea
5. Dream vacation?--- a tropical island
6. Favorite hobby?--- knitting
7. What you want to be when you grow up?--- i am grown up! a RN
8. What do you love most in life?--- my family and friends
9. One word to describe you?--- sleepy

so that is what i came up with and this is what my mosaic turned out like:

i love it!



please keep praying for stellan.  you can stay updated, if you wish, my clicking on the "button" to the right.  his heart is tired and not functioning as well as it should be.  the medical staff is having a difficult time starting iv's and drawing blood because of this and they have just inserted either a central line or a picc line (long lasting, invasive iv) to help him.  his heart rhythms continue to be unstable.  please pray for this sweet baby and his family.


the results are in

finally. michael sarver. gone. i knew they wouldn't save him after they told him last night he wouldn't win the competition. no brainer, yeah? i CANNOT believe that matt was in the bottom three. it should have been michael, scott, and megan.  oh well.  good results tonight.  what do you think?

american idol, top ten

ok. so i don't have long before the results of the vote are made known. i worked last night and have just finished watching last night's performances. i loved motown night way more than i loved country night, and i am a country girl at heart. but, i did grow up listening to "the oldies" (sorry to call them that, mom) and i love so many of these songs, too. so, without further hesitation and incessant rambling, here is my recap on the night.

let me just say this for the judges: randy- is he the new mr. rogers? seriously? that man has more sweaters than mr. rogers could ever fit in his hall closet. kara- lovely. always looks great. great hair. tasteful clothing. paula- needs to find clothes she doesn't overflow out of. and stop talking so much. simon- finally wearing a shirt that didn't come in a 3-pack.

1. matt giraurd- "let's get it on"
fabulous. (for the parts that i heard... mediacom, our cable company, sucks. that's all i will say.) matt continues to grow on me with his talent and i am more impressed with him every week. great way to start out the night.

2. kris allen- "how sweet it is to be loved by you"
thought he did a great job. still love him with the guitar and thought he was in his element.

3. scott mcintyre- "you can't hurry love"
ok. so not great. i really like scott and am so glad he made it to the top ten. he has some SERIOUS piano-playing skills, too. i do good to blast out some chopsticks. but the singing isn't great and week after week he sort of just sounds the same to me.

4. megan joy- "for once in my life"
loved that the lyrics really meant so much to her. she looked really cute, too. and that was it for me. she still seems really nervous with what to do with her body while she sings. (still twisting her hips in weird ways.) i thought the vocals were a bit rough this week. i think quirky can only get you so far...

5. anoop desai- "ooh, baby baby"
loved it. simon was right, though, about the serious qualities of his face. i mean, he really could have smiled some. but he showed some great diversity from week one to week three. he is a great surprise every week.

6. michael sarver- "ain't too proud to beg"
... which is good b/c he should be begging for votes tonight. i totally agreed with the judges. he obviously won't win. agreed. i forget every week what he sings by the end of the show. however, he's got some competition for being voted out this week, so we'll just have to wait and see.

7. lil rounds- "heat wave"
so mediacom messed up during lil's performance too. but what i heard i liked. however, i really did think she would have done better than she did. not that she was bad. but she wasn't lil. but she'll make it. she's great. (but so was alexis... but seriously, i'm not worried.)

8. adam lambert- "tracks of my tears"
ok. so i will admit, i was in a patient's room last night when he was singing. i came in during the middle of the performance and tried really hard to not stare at the tv and pay attention to my patient. so, while doing so, with adam's new look, i totally thought it was kris singing and not adam. yeah. and i liked it when when thought it was kris. and i loved it tonight when i saw it was adam. it was fresh. he looks great without eyeliner. i still don't love adam. but he has totally redeemed himself from being satan last week to endearing this week.

9. danny gokey- "get ready"
loved the singing. i did think the running back and forth with the background singers was a bit goofy, though. but i love the raspy-ness of his voice. (he could bust out with some kenny rogers "lady" or "the gambler" and totally melt me into a puddle. yes, i love me some kenny.) that is the quality of danny's vocals that melt me every week, no matter how goofy he is. and he has a pure heart, and that shows every week.

10. allison iraheta- "papa was a rolling stone"
so, while she was singing, my thoughts were that this girl is an "old soul." like way beyond her years in ability, maturity, everything. if you couldn't see her braces every now and then, who would know she was sixteen? she owned the stage and the song. i really like this girl and every week she gives me new reasons to do so. she was the perfect ending for motown night.

what did you all think? who did you love? who did you hate? did you agree with who is voted off? guess we'll find out the results in a few hours!


please pray for stellan

Prayers for Stellan

this little mckmiracle, stellan, needs a mckmiracle today. if you click the button, you can read mckmama's updates for yourself. the long story, short, is that stellan has a respiratory infection and now his heartrate is stalled in SVT, with heartrates from 250-300 beats per minute, and is not responding well to medications to convert it to normal. this is what he was diagnosed with in the womb and his parents were told he would surely not survive. he was healed then and his parents are asking now that God's will be done in his situation now. thanks for praying, friends.


list maker

i make lists.  for everything.  lists for the grocery store.  lists for what to try to accomplish on a busy day of cleaning the house (keeps me from procrastinating as much).  lists for Target so i don't buy $100 worth of stuff i don't need every time i go.  lists for what to pack on trips.  lists for what to do in a day of errand running.

during lunch last night, i enjoyed flipping through january's RealSimple (a great magazine- you should treat yourself to it next time you are anywhere that sells magazines (unless it's Target and you've already spent over $100 and you only went in for sunscreen and a birthday card) and found this list titled "the to-do list you can actually do."  it's fantastic, and i think you might all be able to do this in a day, too.

  • hit snooze.
  • shampoo; rinse; repeat.
  • forget to floss.
  • eat a bagel.
  • forget to put laundry in the dryer.  clothes can be permanently pressed (whatever that means) tomorrow.
  • screen phone calls.
  • see mailman coming and realize netflix and bills are still on the kitchen counter.
  • get sucked into a movie on Lifetime.
  • grow anxious as meredith baxter (birney?) murders the dad from 7th heaven.
  • put off remaining duties while reading celebrity gossip.
  • decide for yourself "who wore it best?"
  • skip pilates.
  • eat a burrito.
  • pick up the world is flat on nightstand.
  • read paragraph.  put book down.
  • leave eye makeup on.
  • lights out.


a little surprised

sorry to go american idol on you two posts in a row... i cannot believe america voted alexis grace out last night.  seriously?  who even remembered what michael sarver sang last night?  anyway... who did you think would go?


country week

so i usually don't write about my tv obsessions (grey's anatomy, LOST, the office, etc.), but i do feel like commenting a bit about american idol this season.  every week i like someone new.  every week, someone different impresses me that has not impressed me before.  i was pleasantly surprised tonight during country week.  i must say that i was a little excited, because, being born and raised in music city, usa (nashville, people), i was hoping to be blown away this week, but knew deep down it would probably just be a decent night.  this group of singers this year don't really have the country vibe.  but let's dive in a bit deeper, shall we?

 1.  michael sarver- "ain't goin' down 'til the sun comes up" (garth brooks)  
i really expected more from michael because, lets be honest, he was the only one i expected to really pull off country.  and i think he did a good job, but i thought he could have chosen a song that showed off his vocal ability.  by the end of the two hours, i had forgotten this one.

 2.  allison iraheta- "blame it on your heart" (patty loveless)
i like this girl.  i think she is really great and polished for 16 years old.  she can sing well, and unlike last season's rocker chick, this one doesn't scream every song.  i think she pulled out a good performance, but country definitely isn't her thing.

 3.  kris allen -"to make you feel my love" (garth brooks)
loved, loved, loved this one.  (loved seeing his daddy tearing up, too.)  i must admit that i didn't really know who this guy was until last week and was impressed with his john mayer/dave matthews stylings with his guitar.  this week was just as memorable.  he didn't hold his mouth quite as weirdly as last week, either, which is a huge bonus.  sweet guy who can sing... what else do you need?

 4.  lil rounds - "independence day" (martina mcbride)
so i didn't really expect lil to blow me away this week.  she didn't.  and that's okay because i never expect her to put out a country album.  she seemed really reserved and almost nervous during the verses.  but she'll make it through this week, for sure.

5.  adam lambert- "ring of fire" (johnny cash)
was i the only person in america who though satan was going to come out of my tv and attack me?  that was weird and creepy.  i appreciate the musicality of it all, but would have liked to see him actually attempt something that still sounded a bit more like country music.  it did, however, remind me a bit of some dave matthews band circa "before these crowded streets," but being a huge dmb fan, it did not endear me to adam.  he was not, and still is not, a favorite of mine this season.  

 6.  scott mcintyre- "wild angels" (martina mcbride)
i like scott.  i don't expect him to win, but he is an amazing pianist.  i am always puzzled with his song choices, but he makes them work for him.  i can't imagine what it must be like to be on a stage that large and not even be able to see the audience.  he did okay this week, but i'm ready for more.

 7.  alexis grace- "jolene" (dolly parton)
this was my favorite female performance of the night by far.  i loved the little changes she made and the way she delivered the entire song.  i don't think she needs to "dirty up" every song every week to make america love her.  she has a super powerful voice hidden in that little frame.  i hope she makes it closer to the end.

8.  danny gokey- "jesus take the wheel" (carrie underwood)
love danny.  he has been a favorite of mine since before hollywood.  i liked his choice tonight, too.  he sang the song well, and of course, reminded everyone of what his voice is capable of.  i can't wait to see more of him!

9.  anoop desai- "you were always on my mind" (willie nelson)
i would love to say i heard this and loved it, but my cable is really bad and i heard the first 2 lines and then everyone was applauding.  i did hear the short recap at the end, and i was really impressed.  i like anoop.  i think he's fun and interesting and not afraid to take risks.  this was a risky song, and from the comments and bits that i heard, he did a fantastic job.  

10.  megan joy- "walking after midnight" (patsy cline)
i like megan's voice.  she even sounded great despite her illness.  i would go to a concert of hers.... if i didn't have to watch her.  every week she "swishes and twists" her hips and holds her hands in weird alanis morissette type places.  it is distracting.  she is quirky, but not as good as the judges seem to give her credit for being.  

11.  matt giraurd- "so small" (carrie underwood)
this is one of my favorite carrie songs.  and, i admit, i haven't been a huge matt fan until tonight.  he did an amazing job with this song and now he is right up there with danny as my favorite male performer.  i can't say enough about how much i loved this.  i can't wait to see what else he can do, now that he has my attention!

what did you think about american idol?  who do you think will make it to the end?  who is your favorite?  who would you like to see go home tonight?  leave your comment and let me know!


have you had your vitamin d? (and other random items)

so, today, our rain has been delayed and the warm weather has decided to hang around a bit longer than expected. (yeah!) that being said, i decided to go and soak up some sun and let the animals play/eat grass/roll in the dirt. i remembered that sun exposure (limited, of course) is a great source of vitamin d. it is explained well, and simply, in this article (if you want to read the entire thing) or summed up here...

Simply put, exposure to the sun helps our bodies make vitamin D. Ultraviolet rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin, creating vitamin D for our bodies to use. A deficiency in this important vitamin can cause serious health problems, and vitamin D deficiencies are becoming more common than most of us realize.

Eating foods that contain vitamin D is good, but exposure to the sun is much more efficient. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sun exposure is perhaps the most important source of vitamin D, because normal exposure to sunlight provides most humans with their total vitamin D requirement. However, season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, and sunscreen use all affect UV ray exposure and vitamin D synthesis.

For example, sunlight exposure from November through February in Boston is insufficient to produce significant vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Complete cloud cover halves the energy of UV rays, and shade reduces it by 60%. Industrial pollution, which increases shade, also decreases sun exposure. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 or greater will block UV rays that produce vitamin D, but it is still important to routinely use sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer and other negative consequences of excessive sun exposure.

An initial exposure to sunlight (10 -15 minutes) allows adequate time for Vitamin D synthesis and should be followed by application of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect the skin. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen is usually sufficient to provide adequate vitamin D.

now, how is that for a great excuse to catch a little sunshine?! the breeze outside today is even warm and while this was my current view as i sat on my patio

in my mind, this was my real view...

... much better, yeah? if only...
the dogs and cat don't mind the grass and backyard, though. in fact, it was all i could do to get them to come back inside. check them out:

dave lovin' him some grass

pets who graze together.....

and, for the bit of randomness, my sister-in-law has some new pictures of my sweet niece, courtney, on her facebook and her blog. i cannot resist posting a favorite, or two! (you can check out her blog by clicking here.

wearing her outfit i got her for her birthday :) i love her curls!

i totally love this face!

wordless wednesday

i cannot wait for summer!!! (yes, that is cotton many many summers ago.)


spring fever

...we all have it! the weather has been so lovely the last few days that it is hard to stay indoors. i decided i could use a little "sunshine on my shoulders" to make me "happy" this afternoon (which i did and i am), so i opened the door and out we all went. cotton and barley had a great time playing outside, and even dave came out for awhile, so he could chomp on some grass. i got some great "portraits" of cotton and tried to get some of barley, but she was being a bit obstinate today. ha! who says dogs aren't like kids?

sweet cotton
i asked her to "sit." she did... facing the wrong way!

much better, although we will try again another day

fun tug-of-war time with the rope

barley's ready to pounce!


looking forward

we are looking forward to vacation in 2 months. in fact, we will already be at our destination in 2 months time. we have not been on a real vacation (i.e. for an entire week that hasn't included going to visit family/friends- not that this is a bad thing) since our honeymoon. our friends, becca and brad,
invited us along with them to cape hatteras. the dogs will even be joining us, too... yes, 2 yellow labs, 2 chocolate labs, 4 adults, one rather spacious beach house, 2 SUV's, 1 beach... sounds fun, right?! so we will be going here

and we will be staying here

and we absolutely cannot wait! jay's not super excited about the long drive, but we are excited about seeing the rest of north carolina on our way to the coast and the outer banks. it should be great fun and it is quickly creeping upon us... vacation will be here before we know it. (and i am definitely looking forward to that!)


a bright (white) sunshiny day

i thought you all might like to see some pictures of our snowy mountains today. after the sun helped to melt the ice on the roads, we ventured out (to walmart, of course!) and to visit alicia at work (poor thing) and got some great pictures of the mountains.

the top of our street in the neighborhood

mt. pisgah

looking towards the black mountains

pretty mountains over walmart

another pretty shot over our target shopping center (yes, check out all my shopping!)
after our little excursion, we came back and i took the dogs out to play. we still have a couple of snow drifts in the yard, and they had a great time playing in and eating the snow.

the drift behind the chairs grew overnight

the girls were having a great time playing in the snow

sweet barley and her snowy nose

both girls enjoyed eating the snow

cotton in the drift, having a snack

check out our "blizzard"

i woke up yesterday afternoon (yes, i worked all weekend) to the power shutting off... how did i know the power went off? my room became very quiet... i sleep with a sound machine. it was about 3pm. i got up not expecting to see much snow on the ground because they always say we will get it and we never do... well, they finally got it right! and we did get power again around 4:30pm only to lose it again around 6:30pm (jay and i actually witnessed that transformer blowing out) and then it came on again around 8:00ish and stayed on the rest of the night. (surprisingly.) it was so windy that, while it was snowing the hardest, we couldn't see the houses on the street behind us and we could barely see the ones across the street (why they called it "blizzard conditions".) the sides of the house and windows were covered in snow and it is hard to know exactly how much snow we accumulated because of all the drifts the wind created. jay went out to brush the snow off the

all the snow on the window
jay's measurements of the deepest snow drift

view from the front porch

snow-covered front door
after capturing the view from the front yard, i cut through the house, of course, and captured a few shots from the back porch. (the first picture is of the back yard.) it was really pretty, extremely windy, decently cold, and surprisingly winter. it was so windy and the snow was so wet that the dogs didn't play too much... until their after-dinner outing... they both got some blow dryer time after that excursion!

the snow plastered against the back of the house and the kitchen windows (the wind spared none of the four sides of the house)

the patio drifts

towards the neighbors

today it is still quite windy and most of the pretty drifts in these pictures have been blown away. it has taken us from may of 2007 until now to get a real snow in asheville, but it was worth the wait. (and i am sure i speak for myself when i say that if it takes 2 years again, that'll be okay with me!)