Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You Like Me!?!

A few weeks a go, super mom Christa nominated me for the Liebster Award--what a sweetie she is! Lauren nominated me a couple of months ago so I was familiar with the award and THRILLED to be nominated again! The award is given by bloggers to bloggers with less than 200 followers to encourage them to continue their writing and to keep up the good work. I technically don't qualify anymore because thanks to some amazing sponsors, I am over 200 followers. However, since Christa was so nice to nominate me and since I qualified at the time that she nominated me AND because it was my fault for not getting my post done before now, I'm going to accept her award anyway--yay!! :)

Since I already did the "11 things about me" part of the post I'll spare you those details again, but you can check them out HERE if you are so inclined. (I have to admit I thought they were pretty entertaining)
On to Christa's questions. Her questions were actually asked by her nominator Cortne. You should totally check these girls out!!! 
Ok, here we go with the question portion of our show:

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Questions? I LOVE answering your questions!!

Are you a beer, wine, or cocktail person?

Wine or cocktails. Typically, I'll order wine (my fave is pinot noir, but I enjoy a yummy glass of moscato too) but I love a cocktail. I usually only order cocktails on vacation because I'd much rather eat dessert than consume 1100 calories in a drink (but hey, I'll do it, don't get me wrong). I NEVER drink beer. I just can't. 



What is your favorite genre of food, for example: American, Italian, Indian, Mexican or other?

Mediterranean. I love all things Italian and Greek. Man, now I'm hungry. Really though, I'll eat just about anything. 



What form of exercise do you partake in, if any?


I started running back in February when I found out I have very high cholesterol. It's genetic so the only things I can really do are to take meds and/or run. I chose running for now, since I am so young. I actually ran my first 5k over the weekend!

Do you think question #3 crosses out indulging in question #1 and #2?
YES! I'm all about canceling out. After I ran the 5k I requested Outback for dinner. I had a sangria sampler (3 different fruity drinks at once), Bloomin Onion (shared), Cheese fries (shared) wedge salad (only dressing, lettuce, and cheese), and dessert (shared). Since I ran that day, none of the dinner calories counted, right?


Fishhooks, Courage and the Cowardly Dog, or Beavis and Butthead?

I don't know what Fishhooks, is, but the rest are cartoons so I'm going to use context clues. I hate cartoons--they literally make me want to pull my hair out. Heaven help me when I have children.


How do you hang your toilet paper, over or under?

OVER--it is the only way!!!


Do you drink alcohol while answering questions like these and why?

No--I don't think I have ever drank while I blogged, probably because I blog in bed or at work.

When choosing your toothbrush, do you pick a particular color?
Purple only. It's my favorite color. My husband is a dentist so last year he got me this super awesome electric toothbrush with 2 heads (I don't share) and a part that you put the head in that heats up to sanitize it.It's like using a new brush every time! Perfect for this germaphobe. It came with little colored bands to put on the heads so you know whose is whose (again, I don't share) and they were all shades of blue but no purple. It made me sad. 


Who is your favorite nemo character nemo in a Disney nemo movie?
I'm thinking Courtney is a NEMO fan, but I have to go with Dory. Just keep swimming swimming swimming!!



 Lipton or Luzianne?
Luzianne--the only way I roll! I haven't made iced tea in a while, but my mom only does Luzianne, thank you very much!!


That's a wrap! Christa, darling, thank you SO much for nominating me and I'm sorry it took me literally 18 days to do this post! You are a DOLL and I hope I can be an awesome mom like you one day! You are a rock star!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ready to Run

Why did I wake up on Saturday earlier than I woke up for work during the week? It was my first ever 5K!! I've been doing couch to 5k since February and once I got "good" at running, my friend Kelly decided that we needed to do a 5k to keep us motivated. We chose one several weeks away and started practicing the course every week. This course was tough, let me just say. There were lots of hills and so we had to keep a consistent pace even though we had to deal with inclines. Getting to a good pace was the toughest part of our practice. We never thought we were going to win, but we wanted to be able to run the entire time and not be basically walking--that defeated the purpose. We got quicker each time we practiced the course, but the thing that helped me the most was running the course with Forrest. He is a foot taller than us so of course, he runs faster than us without having to even try. He kept us on pace and we shaved a whole minute off of our time in a week! By Saturday, we were ready, but I was really really REALLY nervous. Since it was my first race, I was worried about running with all the other people around me. What if someone fell? What if I fell? How do you stand when it starts? Aren't the people at the back of the starting line at a disadvantage? Do I tuck in my shirt? What do I eat before the race? I'm sure I drove Forrest crazy with all of these questions, but his sweet and simple response was the best advice ever--JUST RUN.
I went to the race by myself and I instantly felt out of place. There were TONS of runners stretching, jogging, wearing cooler outfits than me. I waiting in the parking lot for Kelly and started doing ballet stretches so I would fit in. (In retrospect, I probably looked like an idiot, but ballet stretches are the best, thank you very much). Kelly arrived and we quickly signed in and then tried to assess our "competition". There were men, women, and children of all ages. Apparently we picked a very attractive race because there were cash prizes, so LOTS of great runners were there. I kissed all hopes of a division trophy good bye (which was really had because they were really pretty) and Kelly and I decided that we were just going to have to beat our best times because we probably weren't beating most of the runners.
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We are ready!!

 Approaching the starting line made me crazy nervous, but made me feel like a real runner (Forrest was taking pics of me so maybe that reduced my credibility a little).
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Getting on our mark...
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"Why are we in the back? The people in front of us have to take less steps to finish!!"


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The gun sounded and off we went! It was hard to have people flying by me, but we kept our pace. I actually started feeling really sick during the race but we couldn't stop so Kelly just coached me through. I don't know if it was because it was morning or what but I definitely felt different than usual. At one point I asked Kelly if we were going fast enough and she said OH YES, at which point, this VERY old lady flew past us (turns out this lady was over 70 and came it at 26 min, see above pic). That made me very worried. At the 2 mile mark, a man was calling out the split time. We were at 18:34! We had never run that fast before so that spurred us on. When we reached the final turn, Kelly said to speed up so we could finish under 31. By this time I was exhausted but we did it anyway. We held hands and finished together, right at 31 min--basically 10 minutes per mile. UGH I was so  tired and felt so sick so I immediately sat down (not good, I know) but after a couple minutes I felt great. We were SO proud of ourselves!

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We are the champions!!! (or something like that)

Forrest could not have been prouder if I had won--I had beaten my very best time!! While we didn't win trophies (the overall winner ran it in under 17 min--omg) we felt like we had actually won. It felt great to see such positive results after working so hard to achieve a goal. If anyone out there is considering running, you should definitely go for it! It is great exercise and a wonderful way to spend time with friends, plus, the sense of achievement is indescribable! Even though by the end of the race my brain was screaming "NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!!!!!" I will definitely be signing up for another 5k in the future!! Go me!

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Kelly's husband brought their boys to the race. We actually passed them while we were running. It was adorable. 

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My friend Clint came to run the race with us! We were at college together and I haven't seen him in ages!!


Don't forget to link up your weekends!

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm Loving It!!

WELCOME FRIDAY! I can't wait to get this weekend started--how about you?? Here are my favorite things from this week!

OLIVER CONRAD LEBLANC
So on Wednesday I did a post about Shannon's surprise shower that we had at our supper club night. Well, one tiny detail that I left out of that post was that on Monday, little Oliver was born!! Silly scheduled post! Daniel called us Sunday night to say that Shannon was going to the hospital. Forrest helped out and stayed with Eloise (their daughter) on Monday morning while Shannon was in delivery and that evening, we got to meet the little man!


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Shannon made this sweet wreath for her hospital room door and now it's on the front door of her house (her house is on my 5k route, actually, I'm not a stalker)

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Forrest meeting baby Oliver

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I'm sad this picture turned out fuzzy because I wanted you to be able to really see how great Shannon looked. I mean, it really wasn't fair. All I had done was go to work that day in my office and she still looked better than me! 

Congrats Shannon, Daniel, and Eloise on your new addition!

...and speaking of babies...
My friend Lauren found out this week that she is going to have a baby boy AND a baby girl!! How exciting!

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She used this pic to make the announcement. I can't wait to meet Raegan Elise and Grayson Wells!! Hurry up September!!

Photo Shoots!!
I have recently been asked to write a "Gracious Entertaining" column for our local magazine. I was THRILLED when they asked me because I really love writing and I LOVE entertaining! I've been working on the column for a while and this week I got to do a photo shoot at my house! My first column is about planning a party and what all comes with that task, so they needed photos of a party set up. I had never done a shoot before and so I was really nervous. My mom came on Sunday to do the flowers and help me with my table. She is really artsy like that so I REALLY needed her. The shoot was on Monday and I really think it went well. I can't wait to see the finished product in the magazine in June! I'll be a published writer! Yay!

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Didn't Mom do a great job on the flowers? They told me they wanted a "casual summer party feel" so that is what we tried to create. 

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I just loved the way Mom arranged these flowers!

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This is a long view of the entire table. I think it is quite summery!


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I loved the way each place setting turned out. Part of the column talks about making your guest list so they wanted me to do place cards and be photographed while writing them. I think the cute card with the umbrella, coupled with the fruity napkin was a perfect summery touch!


Impromptu Dinner Parties
What do you do when you have your table set for a summer party? You throw a summer party! I really didn't want all of Mom's hard work on my table to go to waste, so on Tuesday I invited the Hayes and Hedgspeths over for a casual dinner. When I say casual I mean that the girls better be wearing stretchy pants and a tshirt or else they are no longer invited. I threw together basalmic chicken, which is one of my faves and was also a cooking club recipe for this month. Farrah brought a salad and Claire brought dessert and voila! Quick and easy dinner! Kelly was out and about and had a sitter so she even stopped by with wine--hooray! The guys ate outside enjoying the great weather and the girls staying inside enjoying the flowers and some light gossip!

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The balsamic chicken before I put it in the oven. I actually prepared it at lunch that day, threw it back in the fridge, went to work til 5, ran, and then threw it in the oven while I was showering. I was clean and it was cooked by the time our friends arrived!

Run Catherine Run!!
I started the Couch to 5k program a few months ago, and I'm actually doing my first 5k on Saturday! Forrest has been SO great to help me practice. With his help this past week I shaved a full minute off of my time! Kelly and I even practiced with him in the rain this week, because it is supposed to rain on race day. That really kills my pre-planned race day outfit, but it is what it is. Wish me luck on Saturday, I'm getting really nervous. I'm not worried about winning, because that isn't going to happen, I just want to do a good job and make myself proud!! Now, there ARE trophies involved and if they wanted to give me one, I would accept it, but I just don't see that happening. These little 5'2" legs can only go so fast!

What are you all loving this week? Let me know!! Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Missing Winter? NOT

Ok so everyone knows by now that I HATE cold weather. Although, would like to welcome some awesome new readers and followers--"HI THERE!!"--so maybe not everyone knows this particular thing about me. Anyway, I hate it. There is nothing about being cold that is fun or exciting to me and once I hit the "cold" mark, I cannot warm back up, no matter what! That being said, now that we are in full spring mode here in Alabama (aka summer--we typically skip straight from winter to summer to surface of the sun), I do have a few things about winter that I miss. Notice that they are all WARM things.

1. Electric Mattress Pad--the day I discovered that these existed was one of the best days of my life. I was living in Tuscaloosa in an old drafty house with leaky windows and no matter how high I jacked the heat, my bedroom remained frigid. My sheets were SO COLD that I couldn't warm them up myself. I'd go to bed shivering, wake up shivering, stay shivering. This is NO way to live! Enter, the miracle mattress pad. Turn that baby on while you are getting ready for bed and once it's time to crawl under the covers, everything is toasty! When Forrest and I got married I bought one with dual sides because I like my bed much hotter than he does. I don't sleep with it on, I just use it to warm up the sheets. It is also nice to turn on low and crawl under the covers and spend a wintery afternoon with a book.

2. Being Lazy--all that bed talk above made me sleepy. On cold, dreary days, there is NOTHING better than staying in bed or on the couch under the blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and just doing absolutely nada all day. No need for make up or fixing your hair, you have your trusty wool socks, a tv, and no reason to go outside! When it is warm and sunny out, I feel like I'm wasting the day by staying indoors and doing nothing. I could get over this, and yes, I've tried, but I just can't be a sluggish on beautiful days! In the words of some great old Southerners, "Quit wasting daylight!"

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How could anyone stay indoors on such a gorgeous day as this one was??

3. SOUPS--OMG is there anything better than soups in the winter? I love throwing everything in the crock pot in the morning before work and returning home to a piping hot bowl of soup. This year, my favorite soups were Tomato Basil Parmesan and Taco. I also really like a good bowl of chili, and I ran across this Ratatouille recipe that was perfect for warming up a cold tummy! Try as I might, I just can't handle a hot bowl of soup on a hot day.

4. Coats--I love wearing coats, especially knee length wool ones. They look so classic, don't you think? I have one in just about every color (red, white, black, gray, houndstooth, pink, purple--next year I want to find a light pink one). They are a quick and easy way to jazz up your look on any winter day and I always feel so professional wearing one.

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See? Doesn't a coat just sass up everything?? Even a cheesy selfie??

5. My earmuffs and crochet hat--no you are not supposed to wear these at the same time, although yes I have done it (I was THAT cold). My mom made my hat and I have to say I think I look really cute it in. The ear muffs were just for fun but they really turned out to be a great find because OMG they are SOOOO warm!

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Exhibit A: My crochet hat and my houndstooth coat (see, I told you I had a thing for coats)


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Exhibit B: crochet hat and winter white coat (Clearly Deb and I are NOT Tennessee fans)

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Exhibit C: Ear muffs with crochet hat and houndstooth coat. NOT my best look, but OMG those babies are so warm. 


 6. Kate Spade snow boots-I got these for a steal on eBay and have been obsessed ever since. They have a wedge heel so I don't look short and a BOW at the top--who doesn't love bows?? They are insulated so my feet are always toasty and dry no matter the conditions!
I have NO pics of the boots, which is sad, because I would totally save them if a disaster was befalling my closet.


Ahh, that feels better. I needed to unload all of that nonsense so I could move on into spring without looking back! Bring on the swim suits, flip flops, and sunscreen! Summer here I come!

Are you missing anything from winter?? Is it just me? Say it isn't just me!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Supper Club and a Shower

Last Thursday the Gandhi's hosted our monthly dinner club--but we had a trick up our sleeve--we were using it as a cover to throw Shannon a surprise baby shower for Oliver! Mamatha went all out with dinner (tons of pick up foods--my most favorite type of dinner) and the preparations for the shower. See for yourselves!!


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 Is this not the most adorable cake ever???

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This made me tear up! Mamatha found this pic of Shannon and coupled it with the quote. 

 Next, it was time for presents.

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Eloise was such a big helper for her mama. She will be a great big sister!

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Girls with the mommy to be! 
Claire, Shannon and Eloise, Mamatha, Me, Julie, Claire, Farrah 

 Congrats Shannon and Daniel!! We can't wait to meet sweet Oliver in a few weeks!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Legally Blogging, Straight No Chase




The Legally Blogging idea was dreamed up by three ladies who all met in blog-land and instantly clicked.  You could say it was love at first sight.  The immediate connection stemmed from the one thing they had in common: Law.  Obviously, as time went on, they discovered they had much more in common than just law, but that was a great starting point.


Here they are!



They decided to join forces and start a blogging series, to show that lawyers aren't always what you'd expect.  The main goal of the series is to connect with other legal ladies out there and meet some great new people.  Every week, the hope is to showcase a new person in the series.


Series so far:


If you're interested in participating in the Legally Blogging Series, just send an email to Jackie: jjstoughton [AT] gmail [DOT] com. 

We'd love to have you on board!


*****

Hi, I'm Josie from straightNOchase, a lifestyle blog where I share all things fashion, travel, food, fitness, decor and of course my never ending, ongoing wishlists. I also post about my life as a new mother AND a law student.


1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging as a means of let out some of my frustration. When I first started blogging in 2009 I was in a transitional moment in my life and I didn't quite know how to handle it. Blogging quickly became my way of finding inspiration in the world around me and I've been blogging ever since.

2. What do you like to do when you're not blogging?

Since I'm still in law school, the brunt of my life outside of blogging is hitting the books, and of course spending as much time as possible with my little boy who just turned
six months.

(this is how I get work done now-a-days)

I also enjoy a glass of wine once in a while (or every night). And try to practice Yoga when I have downtime.

I'm a big fan of being outdoors whenever possible... So If I do not have class, and my blog posts are complete you can catch me basking in the sun at the park or beach (in the summer).



3. What do you find is the biggest misconception about lawyers?

I think the biggest misconception is that lawyers know all of the law. People choose specialties so a real estate attorney will probably not know as much criminal law or vice versa!

4. What's your favorite vacation you've been on?

My ideal vacation is laying on a beach with a drink in my hand at all times. So... my best vacation is probably somewhere in the Caribbean. If I had to chose, maybe my trip to St. Kitts a few years back?  I have enjoyed my trips to Europe and Africa but they were always days packed with walking and being out and about that they didn't quite feel like vacations to me -- first world problems -- I know.





Thanks for hosting me! I wanted to keep it brief but I hope you guys come and check me out at straightNOchase

xoxo,
Josie

Monday, April 22, 2013

Birthday Shenanigans

Hello and Happy Monday! Did everyone have a great weekend? Mine was all about birthdays! We started our celebrations on Friday night--Michelle was turning 30! I had been helping her sweet husband Ben plan a surprise for her for MONTHS and I really couldn't hold it in any longer! We all gathered at a local restaurant  and waited for her to arrive. Ben's parents brought Daniel, Ben and Michelle's adorable little boy! He and Forrest played with his cool light up Buzz Lightyear and with Woody who talked. Kids toys are pretty fun, I have to admit! Daniel was SO proud of his mommy and kept running up to people saying "IT'S MOMMY'S BIRTHDAY!!" Finally, Michelle arrived!! Surprise!!


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St. James Young Marrieds girls celebrating with the birthday babe! 
 Jenna, Me, Michelle, Emily, Diem 

 We had a great dinner complete with key lime pie, and of course, presents for the birthday girl!!

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Ben and Daniel helping Michelle with her present from them--a gorgeous necklace! 

On Saturday we were up and at'em for two birthday parties, both for 2 year olds. The sun was shining and even though it was chilly, it was a beautiful day! Our first party was for Henry at Noccalula Falls. Julie had the pavillion decorated so cute for the train themed party. I really enjoyed watching all the toddlers running around, chasing balloons, and thoroughly enjoying themselves!

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Happy Birthday to Henry!!

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His cute smash cake!

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Cookies for all the party guests!

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 This is Forrest with our friend Paul, who is married to Claire and they have an adorable little boy and are expecting a baby girl this summer. Paul is a fan of Taco Bell, Waffle House, and Bailey Dailies. He was mentioning that he never makes the blog, so I wanted to make sure he had his day in the sun. Hi Paul!! 

 After singing to Henry we had to head to Hudson's birthday party. It was Bubble Guppies themed--what is that? I still have no idea. I know it is a tv show and I'm guessing it is about fish. Lauren and her mom really went all out with the fishy theme--everything was so cute!

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 SUCH a cute cake! Delicious, too!!

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Forrest hanging out with Hudson. Hudson LOVES balloons and has about 4 tied to him in this pic. Also notice more cute party decor in the background!

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 Opening his present from us--a cute dish set with fish and turtles. Notice again the balloons he has tied to him! Sweet boy! 

 We ended the party with fun and frolicking in the bouncy house. Yes, by "we" I do mean me and Forrest, Joseph and Lauren, all the grown ups! Obviously I have no pictures since I was jumping but Lauren took several which I'm sure she will post. You can check them out on her blog HERE!!

We definitely learned a lot about kids birthdays this weekend and truly had a blast at each and every party! Have a great week, friends!!


Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm Loving It!!

Hi and happy Friday! I don't know about you but I am dying for the weekend! Here is a glimpse into what I've been loving this week! 

New Spring Outfits
I like spring clothes much better than winter clothes. Sandals, dresses, anything flowy.
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This is a new dress I picked up during the winter and have been dying to wear! I love the cute hot pink skinny belt! I wore it with some chunky wedges and the necklace is my grandmother's. She was oh so hip! 

Spring Cleaning
We spent a solid Saturday, plus some time during the week last week spring cleaning. It took forever but it was totally worth it. I was most excited to get my gift wrap station set up (most of my wrapping stuff was in a pile--not helpful) and to reorganize my closet for spring!

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It took me at least 2 hours to transform my closet from this...


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to this. Can you tell a difference? No? I promise it's different!! :)

Spring Flowers

March showers bring April flowers at our house, apparently! I LOVE these tulips that Forrest planted for me last year and was tickled when they started to bloom again this year!

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Boston
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I mean really, there are no words. I was about to strike my first jury when news of the Boston Marathon bombings came out. I only heard a quick snippet about an explosion at the finish line and since we were so engrossed in trial prep, that was really all I knew until I got home that evening and turned on the news. Devastated is the word I would use to describe my feelings when I saw the scene. Who would do such a thing at such an iconic event? Who would do such a thing, EVER? Why people want to intentionally hurt others, especially innocent, unsuspecting strangers, is beyond me. I mean, isn't that what we are taught when we are little? Be nice to others? Surely I'm not the only one who learned this in kindergarten. How do we get from the Golden Rule to blowing people up in a matter of years in our lives? I saw so many people on Facebook and Twitter talking about the end of humanity, lack of faith in humanity, etc. In times like these, it's easy to jump on that bandwagon, and I don't blame anyone for feeling that way. However, bad things happen, and when they do, I like to focus on the GOOD of humanity--those first responders who rushed back into the smoke to save people, the boyfriends who jumped on top of their girlfriends to save them from the blast, the men taking off their shirts to use as bandages for the wounded. Those are the things I like to focus on in times of tragedy. There were thousands of people at the marathon, and only a few were bad people. If we focus on them, they win. If we focus on the good, which far outnumbered the bad, the good wins. Maybe that is simple, maybe that is naive, but I have faith in God and in HIS people, and that faith is what gets me through it all.

and lastly but certainly not "leastly", New Followers
Hi all of you new friends out there! Thanks for stopping over from Bonnie's blog! She has an AWESOME giveaway going on right now so if you don't know Bonnie, go check it out HERE! Want to stay in touch with Bailey Dailies? Don't forget to follow on GFC (button on the right), Bloglovin (also a handy button on the right), Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram! I hope you all have a great weekend and that you have lots of fun ahead! We do, so there are bound to be lots of fun tweets and instagram pics ahead! Happy weekend to you all!
 
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