Much Too Young

I went through an extensive country music phase in middle school, sandwiched between my oldies and Stevie Wonder phases. While there is a large portion of country music I find veritably unnerving, I appreciate what a music connoisseur such as myself would consider “classic country.” This is one of those classics. I will never remember the name or the artist or that this song even exists, but whenever it pops up on the radio I find myself singing the chorus, missing nary a word.

At the age of young twenty-something, I find myself relating entirely too much to this song. Granted, part of it may be the cold that is robbing me of every ounce of energy, coupled with the fact that I ran [read: jogged] for the first time in months [read: a year] and my shins and quads are exacting revenge, but as this song twanged [?] from the radio, I felt so weary. Also I found another juicy gray hair today. At the age of young twenty-something.

I sat there and pondered what to do when you already feel old and tired at the age of young twenty-something. When you feel exhausted and weary and you’re not even old enough to rent a car. And then I thought about restoration and renewal and how the LORD promises to renew our youth like the eagle's (Psalm 103:5). 

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”
Isaiah 40:31 

Some days I think we all feel old, weary, and sapped, no matter the state of our physical bodies. On those days, remember that hope, renewal, restoration, rejuvenation, [these words make me feel like I’m at a spa] – in their purest state – they came from the Lord.



TechniColor: Holidays and Colorful

Do you ever smile and feel a little lucky when you come across a great song that you just barely found? That's how I felt when I heard this song.

apartment therapy
peacock-inspired dinner table

via TOMBOYstyle

brown dress with white dots

J. Crew


inhabitat via  the hairpin

"put a plant on your plant!"

Kristian Schuller via a subtle revelry

"It works best if your name is Ainslay, but other names fit as well."
the hairpin

David Horvitz promises to do the most precious things for random amounts of money.
"If you give me $5 i will write down a memory I haven't thought about it a while and mail it to you. I will think really hard for this. I will only write down things I haven't thought about in over a year."

NieNie Dialogues

I love these homemade snow globes using old jam jars and glitter.

a wall on the kunsthof-passage  in dresden neustadt   via happiness is...
"a wall that plays music when it rains"

my two favorite food things are cupcakes and holiday food. this must be some form of synergy, right??

Princess Vader

a view through my lens

Things You Probably Won't Hear Me Say

Old Love
Anthony Michael Hall & Molly Ringwald

booooooom via buzzfeed
Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow
Top: a remake by Katie Jackson
Bottom: Mondrian

Milk via French by Design
a kid's corner and cots 

martha stewart
milk shots with sprinkles

hello, friend
sweet notes from a wife to her boo

via buzzfeed

how to get around slow walkers - it even worked on the elevator! haha

roseytsp via buzzfeed
my favorite holiday food. way better than the homemade stuff.

 artist soon young lee via colossal
miniature rooms and photos thereof

? via buzzfeed
the best mash-up

wit & whistle
a DIY painted mug that looks so simple i could do even do it. i mean, i obviously won't because i'm lazy, but it does look lovely, doesn't it?

artist: lisa solomon
a series of  beautiful representations of toxins and viruses

joey roth via awwwards
felt mouse

miss moss

menno manheim via most interesting libraries of the world

i love libraries.
truth: i went to my hometown's library for the first time in years yesterday. it was closed. i felt the keenest sense of disappointment and bitterness.

artist: Darrin Zammit Lupi via the atlantic
a glass bauble Christmas tree

a "like" song
"I've liked a lot of girls in my day, baby. And you , you are definitely another one of them."

via buzzfeed via facebook

have you guys heard of the new "girly" legos controversy?

my milk toof

The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth -- the very thing the whole story has been about.

 -C.S. Lewis

Merry Christmas,



Orneriness and Candlelight Carol Sings

You'll see that it's hereditary.

arm wrestling with my father at Thanksgiving Dinner circa 2008.

We're an obnoxious crew.  I get ten times worse as soon as I get home. Trust me - being home is perfect fodder for therapy.

We all went to the Candlelight Carol Sing on Sunday eve [I'm only using the word "eve" because I feel like that's something you have to do on the holidays. amIrite?]

We go every year, and it's something to which I look forward. However, I feel like my family gets snarkier every year, or perhaps the Sing just becomes increasingly formulaic...

Each year:
The church's most beautiful family, with all 7 children, sings a perfectly tuned Christmas melody.
I always snicker when I imagine my family trying to sing a song on stage in harmony.

An adorable four-year-old comes on stage and sings a really weird and endearing version of "Happy Birthday, Jesus."
Exploiting child cuteness for mass appeal? Check.

Dad falls asleep.
Try throwing something at him.

The sixty-year-old pastor's wife with crazy insane vibrato sings a song that lasts for approximately forever 
My family has perfected a synchronized eye roll when she walks onto the stage.
Then I begin praying for forgiveness on behalf of my whole family.

Mom and my little sister get into a pinching war.
I whisper-yell at them to hush.

A high-schooler solos in the next song with the adult choir.
She sings extra loudly, drowning out the entire adult choir and inhaling a bit of microphone with every note.

We sing Christmas Carols.

We light our candles.

Everyone [and by everyone, I just mean the members of my family] makes an obligatory "don't burn the hair of the person in front of you" joke.
Is that obligatory or just something weird my family does?

The best part of the whole night is blowing out the candle and playing with the wax.
My sister blows my candle out when I'm not looking.
Night. Ruined.

We then spend the rest of the evening re-running our commentary from the Candlelight Carol Sing. 

We may just be the slightest bit ornery.

How are the holidays with your family? What obnoxious traditions herald the holidays in your crazy house?



Song: Tiny Tree Christmas
Artist: Guster

Well, I am finally done with that whole school schtick and am back at home with the family for the semester. Which means, of course, exciting times for this little blog.

Not nearly as exciting as gallivanting through Europe or attempting to cook, of course, but it will be a good chance for you to see my family's hilarious hijinkery. This blog, then, will become sort of a documentary: an inside look in bRob's family life. A blogumentary

Coming up soon: the yearly candlelight carol sing. My family is embarrassing and loud and ornery, as per usual. More on that later.



well, then

I saw in my stats that someone came upon my blog by googling the phrase "food baby", and I had to see which of my posts had the word food baby in it.

I sure am glad I have a blog, so I can reread Grumpy bRob's rants whenever I want.
Now you can reread it too. Also my life hasn't been nearly as exciting as that one time I was in Germany, so I don't have anything super thrilling to post.

Man, I just out-lamed myself.

I had the greatest intentions of thinking about possibly beginning my Prague post.

I took a nap instead.

So I'll just tell you a story. I went to the grocery store today.

They didn't have my spinach in stock. Nor the pretzels I and my food baby wanted to buy for breakfast. But I am a really understanding and adaptable person, so I let it slide.
I worked around it and bought cookies instead, which is kind of the same thing except better tasting.

Once I had all of my groceries in order, I went to check out. I got stuck behind some broseph buying two super fancy bottles of beer. I was trying to figure out if this hipster was American or German. I stared at him both rudely and intently, and then decided he must be American because I have yet to see a German hipster.
And then I re-decided that I really didn't care.

Fortunately for me and the mental debate going on in my head, the cash register man took approximately 55 minutes to up each person and had to call customer service twice - once to ring up bananas, and also because he didn't know how to use coupons.
I thought about getting really aggravated, and I almost asked him, "Ist heute deine erste Tag bei der Rewe?" in a snotty voice, too, but then I remembered that I actually did not have anything better to do than wait on Boss here to figure out how to work a cash register.

Sometimes it is very convenient to have no life.

Anyways, here is a Prague teaser picture:

Maybe that's not much of a tease...I don't know how exciting stained glass really is...



Southern Comfort

I had turnips for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I'm crazy about them.
I have broken my 20-something-year vegetable fast and eat these all the time now.
I made myself a nice dinner of turnip greens with salted pork and some sweet tea the other night.

Sometimes I fancy myself a southern girl.

And in that spirit, here's one of my favorite Loretta Lynn classics:

I want to be her best friend so badly. She's so saucy.

Do you have any old school country favorites?


If You Fail, I Won't Point and Laugh

Merry Christmas
from our house to yours

On a note unrelated to anything, I'm going to tell you what frustrates me.

Do you ever express worry or concern about an upcoming something you have to do, only to be told, "Oh, you'll be just fine" ?

For instance, "I have a really difficult final next Monday. It's going to be bad."
"You'll be just fine. I have absolute faith in you."

Well, that makes one of us. Seriously, though, I know this is the most ridiculous pet peeve on earth, but when someone assures me I will be so fine and I couldn't possibly screw something up that badly, it makes me that much more tense.

Because what happens if I actually do mess up? Will this non-doubter suddenly be disgusted or dismayed by my performance? Will he or she rethink every positive thought he or she ever thought about me? Something alone the lines of, "Wow. Maybe bRob isn't on her game at all."

When someone brushes off the possibility of failure so cavalierly [and we always do], it terrifies me. If the idea of my failure is so inconceivable, what does it say about me if I do fail?

So here is a harsh brick of truth for you. You might do wrong. You might mess up. You might screw something up terribly. You will not always land the job, get the A, or win the election for historian of your favorite club.

But guess what? I will not judge you for that. Even if it makes no sense how you messed up so badly, I will still think you are an incredible person [assuming I felt that way to begin with...]. You may get down on yourself, but I won't. You're still you, and bombing something terribly, while embarrassing, will not change that.

And not to Jesus-juke you...
but almost certainly to Jesus - juke you...

Jesus will love you too. You can do the dumbest, most twisted thing on earth, and He will not change His mind about you. You're still God's awesome, beautiful child.

And if you are a cavalier "Nah, you'll do just fine"-sayer, maybe try saying something like "You will probably do just fine. But even if you don't and you do really really terribly and it's just embarrassing, it won't matter to me one bit."

Or am I being ridiculous?

Maybe. It's kind of a thing I sometimes do.

Outtakes from a failed Christmas shoot


Awkward Truths

Herp derp.

I watched my Grandma get hit on. While we were at a gas station. "Dandy Don", as he is called, asked her to come see him at the Masonic Lodge....

Let me get this straight: I am a single, 20-something-year-old female at an engineering university, and my Grandma still gets asked out more than I do. I'm clearly doing something wrong.

 I dropped my bottle of dry shampoo in the toilet. Again. You would think I would just start washing my hair more, like a normal person. You would think wrong.
Super senior year is not a great look for me.

 I accidentally drove the wrong way down a one-way road. Right after I took my GRE's. We're really lucky the GRE's don't test common sense.

My friend gave me his student ID so I could use his meal plan for breakfast at the dining hall one day. The dining hall lady was pretty cheesed off when the card didn't swipe properly and she actually looked at the ID.

I can't even sneak into a dining hall. I'm losing the edge I never had.

 I'm being coerced into attending a dept luncheon as the guest of one of my former (70+ year old) professors. This may not seem awkward yet, but trust me, it will be. And if you knew this professor...it would seem a whole lot more awkward.

 I bought a few bags of mini-marshmallows to put in my hot chocolate. Two bags later, I still haven't actually made any hot chocolate.

How's your awkward going? Be cool, folks!



Thanksgiving: Who Did it Better?

This post is incrediLate, my apologies!
Like Who Wore it Best, only where Wore = Did and Best = Awkwardest.

My Bible study gals and I were sharing our Thanksgiving plans, and we all came to the conclusion that our plans are all very...atypical.

In the name of friendly competition, we texted one another the most bizarre and interesting photos from our Thanksgiving breaks to see whose T-Day was weirdest.

Awkward Thanksgiving 2011

Pressly had a ginormous family reunion at her aunt's cousin's second stepsister's amazing house, or something like that. Here she is peeking out from one of many secret passageways in the house. Cute, no?

Ashley and her speed demon Granny went cruising around the lake in a golf cart. Fairly typical Thanksgiving activities, if you ask me...

My Grandma and I went to the Alabama Theatre for a Christmas holiday music special. Alabama - the nineties country music band.

Eryn very bitterly reported that her family had Thanksgiving at a golf course in lieu of a home-cooked meal. Though she didn't get any pictures of this joyous affair, she and her  sister snapped this shot of what Eryn calls her "demon eyes."

Jenee ate a Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving dinner and followed it up with the latest Twilight.
Full disclosure: This Thanksgiving sounds like it would have been a lot of fun.

What do you think?
Who had the most bizarre Thanksgiving?



Sweet Songs and Snow Days

November was a very sad month for Conversations, and I hope you'll kindly pardon me. I don't have any legitimate excuses, other than the usual I'm so busy, blah blah blah, nonsense.

It's been a while since I've done a commercial with music post [...or any post], and I knew as soon as I saw this commercial that I wanted to share it with you

Snow Day by Matt Pond PA

This song makes me want a snow day, and I don't even like the cold. 

My winter music is always slower and much more melancholy than my spring and summer music. Winter mellows me, I suppose. 

What's your winter music?



Let's Pray

Hi readers -

   One of my friends and Bible Study leaders just went into premature labor and also has high blood pressure. I don't know much about the situation, but it is my understanding that they are extremely concerned about the baby. Please stop and pray for my sweet friend and her husband and their little one.

I'm praying too.



The Cool of the Day

One of my favorite parts of the creation account is in Genesis 3:8:

"They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day..."

Now this verse is post-Fall and takes a dark turn right after these words as it goes on to describe Adam and Eve cowering and hiding from God in their shame. But , just looking at this first portion of the verse, I love that the Lord was there, in the cool of the day, to walk with His children.

Whenever I go on walk, I always think about that verse. I think of the Lord walking with Adam and Even through Eden, and whenever I feel a sweet, sudden breeze, I think about the fact that He probably likes walking with me, too. 

Today I walked to the rose garden. It's a beautiful spot, and I can't even imagine how many kisses, hand-holding lovers, proposals, and weddings that garden has seen. 

Of course I just went by myself. I picked up some of the fallen petals laying on the ground. I love the smell of roses.

I thought I might press the petals or do something artsy with them.

Instead I sprinkled them on my roommate's bed. 




That's Probably Not Right

Truth: I can eat to the point of discomfort.
Once, when my family ate fondue, I ate so much that I laid down on the couch, couldn't move, and moaned in agony for two hours.

Truth: I can exercise up until I feel the slightest discomfort.
As soon as I feel slightly ache-y, it ends. 
Which means as soon as two minutes of mildly rigorous exercise has begun, I call it quits.

So, in review - I can eat until I absolutely hurt, but I can only exercise if nothing hurts, nothing is sweaty, and I'm not exerting too much effort.

That's messed up.



Monday Morning Jams

Happy Monday, InterWebs!

Go conquer lots of things!
Such as:
Finishing [starting?] a data structures project
Getting recommendation letters from professors
Starting a personal statement
Buying groceries so that there is more to eat in the house than ice cream
Figuring out why the commode keeps making weird noises
Lots of other stuff



DeadBeat II

I'll be back one day, I promise.

GRE's have come and gone, I have another exam about something in some subject tomorrow, and a slew of things next week. But don't we all?

So I will return to blogging with regularity after tomorrow's exam. It'll be like I took blog-Metamucil.

Trust me, my life is still incredibly embarrassing, I still spend way too much time on the InterWebs browsing for things to make you look at, and I'm as querulous as ever,  so I have lots and lots to write.

After tomorrow. 

Also, here is my friend Kyle eating a cupcake. 
He helped me solve today's cupcake shoppe riddle, so I thought it only fair he get my extra cupcake.

How awesome is megaCupcake? 
And Kyle's megaMouth?

You know it's a good cupcake when you get icing up your nose trying to eat it.




Grandma: "Wha...where did all my brandy go? It must have evaporated."
oh really? is that what happened, Grandma? 

Grandma: "Blackberry brandy is really good for the diarrhea."
words of wisdom. 

Still studying. Not loving it.



The Dictionary is my Bedtime Reading: GRE Update

No joke. It is.

I am learning some intense vocabulary.

Unfortunately, having this arsenal of beautiful words at my disposal is a lot like having a closet full of ballgowns. They're perfect and exactly what I need for this one day, and after that they'll just be ridiculous.

After all, how often can you drop the word pusillanimous in casual conversation?



someone's being a deadbeat

Hey Blogosphere -

   I just wanted to write you a quick note saying, yes, I do know I am being a terrible blogger, and also that I am very sorry. I have the GRE's next week and am in crunch mode, so you probably won't see very much of me for a little bit, but know that I will be back soon. Very soon.

Also, I have a really neat [...subjectivity] idea for a delicious new segment. And by "really neat" I might mean "extremely dumb".

a temporary adieu,

P.S. I'm still going to group workouts, and imma tell you what, bRob 2.0 has triceps that are hard. as. rock!

HealthyintheCountry via Asdfghjkllove


Awkward Truths

I really outdid myself this week.

that's just how my face looks. 

I walked directly through a funeral procession. I was a little confused, because the procession didn't stop at the intersection when the light turned red. A hearse driver waved me through...or held up his hand for me to stop. I couldn't really tell, so I bolted. I mean, it's not as if a hearse has a reason to rush...right?

I can't use chopsticks, and I went to the one sushi restaurant on the planet that doesn't take pity on people like me and provide forks. I ate sushi with my fingers. In public.

While I was playing with my robot in the lab the other day, a happy family stopped and watched me through the window. The only thing is that I can't figure out how to make my robot move forward, much less do anything awesome, so they sat there and stared as my robot rotated one inch forward over the course of two minutes. The family gave up and walked off, presumably to find something more interesting to watch, like grass growing.

The jewel on my crown of shame:
While out with a friend the other night, I pointed out that the guy sitting behind him looked just like Ray Lamontagne, the love of my life. My friend, despite my loud protests, walked over to fakeRay's table, told him my name, and then walked off, leaving me sitting alone and staring directly at fakeRay in awe. I was like deer in headlights as fakeRay turned to look at me, chuckled, and proceeded to turn back to his friend and continue his conversation.

RUDE. Real Ray would never do that. I debated whether to cry or kick my friend in the back of the knees. I opted for grabbing my phone and pretending I had fourteen texts to answer.

While walking past a bunch of frat boys playing football the other day, I walked face-first into a low, twiggy branch.

You've gotta laugh to keep from crying, right?



For My Mom

This is my Mom.

Today is her birthday. [29th?] 

She is a working professional woman and former valedictorian of her high school. She has worked extremely hard to get where she is today, never taking no for an answer, and not letting her circumstances define her.

I owe her a lot. She is the one who taught me perseverance. When I'm tempted to quit, or if everything goes awry, she's the one who will find another way to make it work. To my mom, a closed door is just one roundhouse kick away from being opened.

By the grace of God, I have a mother who didn't tell me I could be excellent, but rather expected me to go fight for excellence, no matter what the odds. Without her, I would have settled for mediocrity a long time ago.

Mom is fierce, determined, and a force to be reckoned with. I'm glad I was raised by a woman with such strength - she never stops teaching me what it means to be unstoppable.

Thanks, Mom.



Dear European Readers

Is this true?

"The United States as Seen By a European"
via buzzfeed [via reddit]

Hah, oh 'Murica.


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