Archive | March, 2010

AirTran Gets an A+++ on this Wear a Dress Tuesday

31 Mar

First thing’s first.  Remember my flying grievances?  Part of them were due to the fact that we landed in White Plains on Thursday night and proceeded to sit on the tarmac for an hour and fifteen minutes while there was a plane with mechanical difficulties stranded in our gate.  When we checked the mail today, Bruce and I had each gotten a letter from AirTran.  Because of the inconvenience we may have been caused, AirTran has offered each of us (and everyone else on the plane) a $100 credit towards a future flight as well as qualifying the flight we were on for twice as many A+ reward points!!

Thanks, AirTran – you get an A+++ from me!!

***

Now on to Wear a Dress Tuesday.  After my long weekend and traveling woes, I was in serious need of Wear a Dress Tuesday to lighten my mood and put some pep in my step.  Here is today’s picture:
From left to right – Whitney, Beth, Sara, me and Sarah
Candler students Stacey, Taylor and Mary also joined us but weren’t able to make the picture.
I just talked to my parents on skype and my mom showed me her dress (well, skirt and top) – she says she’s still not sure she understands the point, but she likes wearing something different.
Sarah has yet to fill me in on the Southeast Pennsylvania installment of Wear a Dress Tuesday … stay tuned for that update.
Did any of my blog-tastic friends take part?  Comment and link up and I’ll make sure to link back to you!!
***
Okay.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a cooking mishap.

I thought I was getting better.
Tonight, I was making potentially the simplest meal known to man.  Romaine salad with rice, tomatoes and walnut pieces.
Guess who added HALF the amount of water she was supposed to and forced herself and her husband to gnaw on hard, brown rice?
Sigh … 
It’s keeps me humble.
***
Last but not least … 
You all know how much I am absolutely LOVING my new camera.  Of course (and this happens with all new gadgets, I’m convinced of this), this camera is only causing me to drool over the many accessories for it.  
Lenses and filters and tripods, oh my!!
I decided I would start small – I wanted to protect my lens with a clear filter, so I went into a local camera shop to see what they had.  I found a kit that not only included the clear filter, but also a polarized filter and a case for both of them for only a few dollars more than the cost of one individual filter.  I bit the bullet and dove into the world of filtering my lenses.
Like most things camera-related, I really have no idea what I am doing.  However, the sun was SO bright this afternoon, so while I was taking in some rays, I put on the polarized filter (think about what happens when you put polarized sunglasses on in bright sunlight) and snapped some pictures outside at Emory.
Isn’t that color incredible?  This picture is straight out of camera – I love it!!
***
I think that’s it for me today – phew!!  I’m ready for bed.

Flying Grievances

30 Mar

I guess I should start off this post by saying that I have never really had any issues with flying. My parents first brought me on a plane when I was really young and I have never been nervous or annoyed by the nuisances that come with traveling around in the big winged vehicle. Turbulence has never really scared me and I guess I’ve always figured that if we crashed, it would be quick and I would have no control anyway. Post-9/11 security is what it is, I have a fairly good routine down with my shoes, electronics, coats, etc. and I just try to be patient as I get through.  I love the fact that you can get from point A to point B faster than driving (particularly when there is an ocean separating the two points) and I think AirTran’s latest venture into in-flight WiFi is probably the coolest thing an airline has done in awhile.

But …

(The president of my mom’s seminary once told her that, “Everything before the ‘But’ is bullsh**” – if that gives you any idea of where this post is going.)

… flying has become more and more of an annoyance.

Between my trip two weeks ago and Bruce and my trip this weekend, I have a few grievances I would like to share with the blogging world.

Grievances Regarding AirTran
– I understand that having to cancel a flight due to weather makes scheduling complicated. But please don’t bump me off of a flight I booked two months ago to accommodate those that were cancelled the day before.
– If a plane lands and the gate it is supposed to go into is occupied by a plane that is having technical troubles (but full of people and therefore unable to move) please at least keep the air on in the plane unable to get to its gate and stuck on the tarmac.
– If said plane is stranded on the tarmac for an hour and fifteen minutes (yes, I said one hour and fifteen minutes), not only would it be nice to have the air on, it would also be nice to hand out some drinks and consider letting people get up to use the restrooms.
– Please stop making it seem like you are helping out in these tough economic times by offering “complimentary XM radio and headphones” and “free coffee at the gate” (even though I’ve never actually seen coffee there) when you are charging me excessive fees to check one bag. Call a spade a spade – you want more money.
– If you have a flight scheduled to leave at 6:28, perhaps start the boarding process before 6:15. When has it ever taken 15 minutes to get a 747 full of people onto the plane, carry on items stored and everyone safely in their seats?

Grievances Regarding Westchester County Airport
-If a plane is having technical troubles is stuck at the gate, please reroute the planes trying to get into its gate somewhere else. People get cranky when they are stranded on the tarmac for an hour and fifteen minutes and their rides home are restlessly texting/calling them.
-Try to find a way to not schedule your flights to all take off within 5 minutes of one another. Your two-gate terminal is entirely too small to have five flights worth of people waiting together in it.
-Please put a credit card machine at the café in the terminal. I rarely carry cash and find it annoying to not be able to use plastic to buy a bottle of water and a snack once I’m through security.
-If you do find yourself in a position where you have five flights worth of people waiting in your two-gate terminal, please turn the air conditioning on.  More bodies = heat.

Grievances Regarding My Fellow Flyers
– When you are planning a trip where you are going to need a fairly full suitcase, try to budget in enough money to pay to check your bags. Yes, it is a stupid fee, but it takes twice as long to get everyone on the plane when every single person is rolling something down the isle.
– Please don’t try to give yourself more room by putting up the armrest in between yourself and me. Do you remember Dirty Dancing? “This is your dance space and this is mine” – This is my seat and this is yours.
– FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS – Cell phones interfere with satellites (ever wonder why your radio explodes if your phone rings while sitting next to it?). Please don’t text while we are landing.
– FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS – If the plane lands and pauses before it gets to the gate, don’t get up and start digging through the overhead bins. The flight attendants won’t let the pilot start moving again until you sit down.
– Question: Why do you all insist on standing and flooding the aisles as soon as the seatbelt light is off? The door to the plane isn’t even open yet.
– When getting off the plane, it makes the most amount of sense to let people get out one row at a time, starting at the front and working your way back. If you are more towards the back, please don’t try to push your way up, it just crowds the aisles and everyone gets stuck.

I think that’s it for now.

(Bruce and I just got back from our long-weekend in Connecticut. Despite the frustrations on the traveling front, it was a great trip and I am so glad we were able to get up for my dad’s show. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!!)

The Falls at Bulls Bridge

29 Mar
When I was up in Connecticut two weeks ago, I posted about Kent Falls, a state park up the road from my parent’s house.  This time around, Bruce and I stopped at Bull’s Bridge, a waterfall and trail about ten minutes south of my parent’s house.
You have to cross this old and rustic one lane covered bridge to get to the falls.
The falls were absolutely gushing that day.
And I could only imagine how cold it was.
It was so nice to be able to get out with Bruce before spending two straight days at the high school doing musical-related things.
And, as usual, it’s always nice to get out of the city and have some country time.
Did anybody else get a mini-vacation this weekend?

I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham, I Do Not Like Them Sam I Am

29 Mar
Bruce and I flew back to Connecticut this weekend for the closing weekend of my dad’s musical.
We updated our family picture so Bruce could be in it this time.
Bruce and I met Gib early one morning for breakfast.
Bruce took me hiking on the Appalachian Trail
We took some video with our Flip.
And saw my church from afar.
We watched my dad’s musical three times.
In addition to the Cat in the Hat causing all sorts of trouble, we saw … 
Horton … 
… The Whos … 
… and Maisie the Bird.
(The shows were sold out so we watched from the catwalk – you can’t give seats to family when you can sell them to a paying customer!!)
It was a whirlwind weekend, but a wonderful one.  I am so proud of my dad, his staff, volunteers and students!!
(This was a vague account of my weekend, I will try to fill in the blanks later this week)
xo,
Sarah
p.s. Please keep the Lewis family in your prayers – Larry, Virginia and Larry Jr.  Larry passed away today after two weeks in the ICU hooked up to ventilator.  Larry Jr. is only a few years older than I am.

It’s Spring, It’s Spring, It’s Spring!!

25 Mar
First things first … Wear a Dress Tuesday update:
A fellow Candler student, Whitney, also participated in our fun on Tuesday, but she wasn’t on campus until 6 p.m. and couldn’t be part of the group picture.  Check our her blog for pictures and reflections of her day, as well as an awesome budget break down of her entire outfit.  She was definitely proof that you do not need to spend a lot to look fabulous.
I got an e-mail from my mom this morning … I’ve worn a dress to work – last Wed, Thursday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, today! 🙂 Hooray!!  Thanks, Mom!!
*     *     *
Over the past couple of days, Atlanta has exploded in colors
Pinks and reds … 
… big blooms and small … 
… and purple … 
… lots of purple.
Some for fully open for the world to see … 
… some just starting to peep out.
Oh, and the trees of white … 
… has anyone ever seen trees this white before?
So fresh … so clean … 
For some reason I kept thinking about my wedding dress when I took these pictures.
I may or may not have been trespassing as I took some of these pictures … 
… I’m leaning towards may.
I couldn’t help it.  If you grow beautiful flowers in your yard you are practically asking someone with a dSLR to sneak onto your property and take pictures.
Yellow that shined as bright as the sun … the sun that shined us up to 75 degrees (!!) yesterday … simply spectacular.
Anybody else living in the middle of a rainbow right now?  I know Kari over at p.s. love.love posted pictures of SNOW up in Colorado.  We cannot even fathom snow around here right now.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

24 Mar
Have I mentioned I love Wear a Dress Tuesday?  Not only do Sarah and I have something that connects us (besides the 800 miles between Pennsylvania and Georgia), but now that we are getting other people to join in with us it makes the day so much more fun!!
Here are three of my friends from school that joined us today.  Beth, Sara and Sarah.  Our friend Stacey was also wearing a dress (well, a skirt), but she had class over at one of the other graduate schools and couldn’t be in the picture 😦 – next week, Stace!!
We were five giddy girls walking around in dresses and we definitely turned some heads.  People commented on what we were wearing and we happily told them that it was Wear a Dress Tuesday.  By the end of the day I had explained it to several people and hopefully got some new participants on board for next week!!
Sarah and one of the interns for the PR firm Sarah works for both partook in Wear a Dress Tuesday, as did a friend of ours who teaches in Havertown, Pennsylvania.  Yay!!
At the end of the day, I didn’t care that I was up until the wee hours of the morning working on papers last night.  I didn’t care that I was in class for most of the day and then worked late.  It was Wear a Dress Tuesday and it was a fabulous day!!
Will you join us next week?

Wear a Dress Tuesday

23 Mar

It’s Wear a Dress Tuesday!!

Click here to read a post I uploaded on mine and Sarah’s blog about why Wear a Dress Tuesday is more than just a dress.

Let me know if you are partaking and – if possible – send pictures!!

xoxo,
Sarah

2:03:18

22 Mar
2:03:18 is my sweet husband’s finishing time for this morning’s ING Georgia Marathon / Half Marathon!!
We woke up early this morning (and when I say early, I mean … early … as in … my alarm was set for BEFORE 5 a.m.) and headed to the train station.  
We got downtown around 6:30.  Bruce put his number on, took a final swig of water, checked his bag and headed for the starting line.  His nerves seemed to be gone and he was raring to go.
At 7 a.m. 16,000 runners took off.
16,000!!!!!
Running a marathon or herding cattle?
After he took off, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do.  It was early, dark, cold and rain was in the forecast.  I knew I could go to the different cheering stations but I had left my map at home and was concerned straying too far from the starting point wouldn’t get me back in time when he finished.
So first I took some pictures.
The beautiful Omni Hotel.  This place is really special to me because it is where I stayed when I came to Atlanta for the first time in 2005 for General Synod, the biennial meeting of the United Church of Christ.  I fell in love with the city and started to consider Emory as a viable option for graduate school.  It was also my first synod, which proved to be extremely formative to me as I discerned my call.
Anyway … 
Then the aquarium.  No sentimental value there, just a really cool place.  I kind of wish they had it open early for the race – I would have looked at fish for two hours!!
Luckily, before my memory card filled up my friend Elisabeth called me.  Her husband, Tim, (who I go to school with) was also running and – because she works downtown and has parking – she was heading back to her car.  We figured we could drive to one of the later cheering sections and then quick drive back to make it to the starting line.
Which would have been a good plan.  If we hadn’t decided to go to Krispy Creme instead.
Yes – our husbands were running 13.1 miles in the rain and we were inside a Krispy Creme eating donuts and sipping coffee.
They knew we were cheering on the inside.
As we were driving back we actually pulled up to a blocked intersection where the runners were coming through.  We saw Tim and a couple of people from their church and rolled down the windows of our nicely heated and dry car and screamed and cheered.
Really – we had a pretty sweet deal.
We got back to the finish line about ten or fifteen minutes before Tim came through.  She left to meet him – they were rushing to church – and I waited for Bruce (who had started in a later group so was coming through on the finish line later).
I was so happy to see him that when he came over to the corral where I was standing I didn’t care that he was covered in sweat and rain – he got a big hug and kiss from me!!
(I was also happy to see him finish with a smile on his face!!)
This is him coming out of the corral covered in a blanket they were handing out.  The temperature had dropped significantly (hi, Mother Nature, I thought I moved to the South?).
All in all, a FUN morning!!  I left shortly after this to teach Sunday School, but Bruce hung around for some of the festivities.  The rest of our day was incredibly lazy but I think he deserved it!!
So did I – after all, it took a lot of brain power to decide between glazed and chocolate frosted.
Congratulations to all the runners!!

Star Struck

20 Mar
Have y’all ever hear of this book?
It’s called Chi Running, a program that applies the principle of t’ai chi to running in an effort to improve form and relieve some of the force and tension that running often puts on the body.  Danny Dreyer developed this program, wrote the book and now travels all around the country giving running workshops.
He also developed Chi Walking, a program that applies some of the same principles, only focusing on how this improves walking form and function.
Before Bruce left for Africa and I was looking towards my final summer living at home with my parents, we were browsing through a Barnes and Noble looking at running books.  I saw Chi Running, flipped through it and told Bruce I thought it might help me with some of the knee problems I had been having.  Dreyer writes in Chi Running about some of the rehabilitative affects changing the form of a person’s running can have on their joints, knees, bones, etc.
Right before Bruce left for Africa, he handed me a present.  It was Chi Running!!  He told me to read up and tell him all that I learned when he got back.  I loved it.  You don’t have to be a hardcore runner to pick this book up and benefit from it.  There are tons of simple exercises that can help you improve your form and strengthen your core.
When Bruce got back from Africa and we moved to Atlanta, he started to read Chi Running and I bought Chi Walking.  It was just as good.
***
Okay, so fast forward to almost three years later.  That would be today.  Bruce and I headed downtown to pick up his race packet for tomorrow’s ING.  The marathon was hosting the ING Georgia Marathon Health & Fitness Expo at the Georgia Dome, so after he picked everything up, we wandered around and checked out all of the booths, looked at running clothes, energy snacks and more.
And when I say “and more” I mean … THERE WAS A CHI RUNNING BOOTH AT THE EXPO.
And not just a booth.  DANNY DREYER WAS THERE.
My initial thought when I turned the corner and saw him was, “Oh my God, that’s Danny Dreyer.  I’m a little star struck.”
So, of course, the next words out of my mouth were, “Oh my God, that’s Danny Dreyer.  I’m a little star struck.”
Bruce and I walked up to the booth and struck up a conversation with one of the guys who is on the ChiLiving Team (okay, okay, I’m a total dork and later googled him and found out that his name is Jeff). We were talking running form, injuries and the race (while I was thinking to myself “BE COOL”) when my sweet husband decided to TELL JEFF that I was star struck over Danny Dreyer.
Not exactly what I would call a “smooth move”.  
I tried to talk my way out of it, but Jeff said that Danny was really nice and that he would definitely be able to talk to me.  He then motioned to Danny, waved him over and told him that I wanted my picture taken with him!!
So much for being cool. 
He came over, said hi and I believe my exact words were, “ma-flup-en-haggen” (smooth, right?).

In the end – did I care?  Absolutely not.  This guy is like my running idol.
Good luck to all of the runners tomorrow!!
Click here for more information on Chi Running.

72.6 Degrees and Sunny

19 Mar
Happy Friday!!
This pictures make me happy for multiple reasons.
1. The flowers are beautiful.
2. I took these while standing outside with the temperature creeping over 70 degrees for the first time in awhile … 
… and the bright sun filling me with Vitamin D.
3. I also took them outside of the center where my interview was held for the summer CPE position I am hoping to get.  This makes me happy because … 
… the interview is over (phew!!) … 
… and it went really well!!
Have a great weekend everyone!!  I will be cheering my sweet husband on as he runs in the ING Georgia Marathon / Half Marathon.
Hooray for spring!!