Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Favorites

Just a heads up - being on vacation next week, I'm not sure what my blogging is going to look like
...I hope to be around. I may be so bored I blog DOUBLE... 
but if I'm missing for a few days, I know y'all get it

Favorite Sweatshirt

$22.99 for Back to School Time. Free Shipping I Am Freaking Cold! Nothing keeps you looking and feeling young like this letter printing sweatshirt. You Need It!:

I could wear this basically for 6 months straight

Favorite Beauty & the Beast

Hey, I found this really awesome Etsy listing at

Look at the details on this hand cut paper art
... Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip in the borders... & that hand holding #swoon

Favorite Easy Dinner

Need an easy dinner idea, or a party dish to share? This Taco Pasta Salad from @GirlWhoAte is perfect! It comes together quickly, and you can control the spice- just add more or less Old El Paso Taco Seasoning™ and your favorite salsa! Stand out at the party with this pasta salad with southwestern flair!:

Top that baby with some avocado & I could eat this every night of my life!!!

Favorite Reality Truth

This is so true - as I keep telling my husband :-):

Favorite Craft

Thoughts in Vinyl | Vinyl Letters and Wooden Letters | Super Saturday Crafts | Reversible Thanks and Jingle blocks:

Isn't this so cute!!!!???
& simple to make really. Some scrapbook paper, hodgepodge, stencil letters?
I may have to try this out

Favorite Book Item

Library Coasters:
These coasters would be so cute on a table next to your favorite reading spot!

Favorite Halloween Costume

Our Stick Family Halloween costume 2013. White clothes, black duct tape, foam board faces painted on with acrylic black paint with eyes cut out. There are even braces on the face of my Middle School kid. Fun for all!:

So easy & simple... & clever!!

Favorite Peencha

Faith In Humanity Restored - 16 Pics:

Favorite Funnies


Pinterest// beautywithjade5:

My Childhood Punishments have become my adult goals... totally my life!:

Funny Pictures Of The Day - 53 Pics:

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 35 Pics:

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 36 Pics:

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 43 Pics:

... me when Ricky comes home with a Starbucks cup in his hand

... when we're running late & I'm waiting on Ricky to even get started getting ready

... how I feel after the last Presidential Debate

... me every day at work after lunch at 4:00 leaving work for vacation!!!

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Happy Weekend Y'all!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cheerleading, my momma home & a baby Harvey.... {Thankful Thursday #94}

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This week I am Thankful For:
{The numbers go with my One Thousand Gifts Journal - just ignore them}

910 / Water pressure fixed. Our water pressure went down the tubes (literally) this past week. Showers were a joke.  Doing laundry took double the time. Cleaning the dishes was a hot mess.  Didn't realize how much I love my water pressure until its gone.  But after a few bangs of a pipe with a wrench, its free flowing again!

913 / Nice nurses.  My momma was in the hospital last week.  She had been throwing up... well, since June... but it got non stop Monday over night. My dad took her to the ER on Tuesday where they ended up keeping her. & she still was throwing up nonstop. All the way toFriday.  It's like a perfect storm of a few different situations coming together - but after having some run ins with some nurses that just seem 'put out' to help, it makes you really appreciative for the ones that are so nice & caring & do what they can to help you.

914 / Up front Parking. This hospital is the WORSTTTTT when it comes to parking lots. You just need to be prepared to walk a few miles to get to the hospital, so I considered it a win when I pull in & see a car pull out in the front row, & no one else around.  Made just for me.

915 / Sweet praying friends.  A big thank you to all my friends that reached out via message or text & told me they were praying for my momma while she was not feeling good.  I truly believe in the power of praying people.

916 / Mom Home!   After 4 days, she finally got to get in her own bed.

919 / Cheering on our tennis player. Just loved getting out early on this beautiful morning, having breakfast with my dad & watching Sophia play.


921 / Perfect Senior Session.  The weather was wonderful. The girl was beautiful. The session went so smooth.  It really was just the best session ever. I have loved editing these pictures this week.

922 / Youth Kiddos.  I so loved at the end of our small group time, one of the girls came up to me & told me she requested for me to be with her at a youth conference trip coming up.  I love connections with these girls.  It's everything to me in youth ministry.  Especially when they know I could basically be their mom, but they still want to talk with me & call me friend.

924 / Computer problem figured out. IN YOU FACE tech world!!! (& please dont break)

925 / Birthday Cake Oreos. I honestly have never liked Oreos in my life.  & then Ricky brought home these babies... & I have to restrain myself now. They are AMAZING!!!!!

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926 / Etsy piece going to the BEST PERSON!!!! So I mentioned last week how excited I was I sold my first Etsy piece.  .... & then, I found out, it actually went to one of my favorite blog friends, Audrey Louise !!!!  She had posted on her blog her birthday wish list, adding me on it (how freaking cute is that???) & her momma took note & she was the one who ordered a piece & had it sent to her. I had no idea who it was going to.  I know it was for her birthday, but I felt like the one celebrating.  Made my day to know it went to this precious girl.

927 / New Scentsy Light Bulb.  My bulb blew at work after we had a power surge & my scentsy is so needed to keep my office area feeling homey. I was so excited when I got my bulbs in... with some new scents.

928 / 3 year Gotcha Date. It feels like yesterday - but its true. 3 years we went down to meet Harvey Dent & took him in to "Foster" him... which lasted maybe - MAYBE - an hour... when Ricky finally gave in & said, "OK, we're keeping him"

Harvey is going through some funny growth spurt stages where his ears are doing weird things. I remember when Sydney did the same thing. Our growing boy. #australianshepherd #puppy  #rjvdogs:
Look at Baby Harvey!!!

So what good things have happened in your week?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Going solo....

Counting down....

2 more days & then I'm on vacation!!!!

& of course, this is how I'm feeling...

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... but it only takes a hot second & my emotions go to this...

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Because this isn't going to be like my normal vacation.  I'm going to be taking this one solo.

Now, for the past 21 years, Ricky & I have taken off the week of our anniversary for our vacation. It's a given.  Something we have done since I became a Mrs.  The end of October, you'll find us looking forward to those glorious 5 days away from work.

But this year, Ricky had to take time off to have a hernia surgery using up all his time.
So no vacation for him.

I guess I should look at it in a grateful way by knowing that in 20 years, neither one of us has had to use our vacation for anything serious that has popped up in life.  That's one way to look at it.

... but I feel a little lost.

What do I do?

Of course, I fully intend to sleep in.  That's a given. Duh!

& of course, I'll spend some time catching up on some DVR shows I've got going on...

& maybe finish up Gilmore Girls

& I could clean out my closets. This is a good time to make that change from summer clothes to winter clothes, even though its near 90 degrees today (WHAT IS HAPPENING???)
& I do like to be alone when I'm trying on a hundred different pieces of clothing that makes me rethink joining a nudist colony.
Let me correct that - THINK about it - not RETHINK. It's not something I have thought about before.

& maybe I'll go for a manicure & pedicure.
Fun fact - I've never had a pedicure in my life.  Don't know why. Just never have had one in my life. My twin nieces even get them regularly.  Like, they started getting them before double digits in the age category.  I'm 44 & never had one. How has that happen?

& every vacation, we usually go to the Outlet mall so I can get a new pair of running shoes.  Maybe I'll drive out there & pick out a pair anyways

... on my own...

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I'm so bummed out.

I'm even more bummed out that Ricky doesn't get off.  He works so hard & deserves some time off.

& I'm especially bummed that next Friday is our 21st wedding anniversary...
& we won't get to be together the whole day like we've always done.
Cue the sad eyes again.

maybe I can make a picnic & take down to Ricky's work for lunch.

What else do I have to do?

Any fun ideas to do for myself for a solo vacation? 
... give me some ideas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I've been at this blogging thing for 10 years now...

I had to look up some highlights from 2006

... George W. Bush was President
... Bobby Brown & Whitney Houston divorced.
... Wii was the hot Christmas gift
... Justin Timberlake bought Sexyback
... Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man's Chest was the top movie
... Steve Irwin was killed tragically
... American Idol was the top TV show - which was the year Taylor Hicks won... which may be the reason that was the last year American Idol was the top show


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I can't believe it has been 10 years TODAY.  A full decade.  Wow... where does the time go.

& you dont have to waste your time looking back - here's my first post

Starting anew
This is my first time blogging! I'm excited because I have an idea to show how my life goes. I am going to take pictures of things I see every day that I think are beautiful or amazing. I want to look back and see what draws my attention. A lot of it will be my knitting because it amazes me that 2 sticks (sometimes more) and a string of yarn can make something beautiful.

Exciting stuff, huh?

It's funny because I actually started this blog because I wanted to document my knitting.  Hence the name, Knit by God's Hand.
I thought it was a good way to acknowledge my knitting, but also my love of Jesus.  I also had the line that went with my blog name that said, "The Bible doesn't use the word KNIT for just any reason"... I have been corny since the beginning apparently.

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It's funny to look back at my beginning posts because they were honestly like a few sentences - maybe a paragraph or two.  Who knew how windy I could get. #dontaskmyhusband

But man, doing this for so long & seeing my own blog, I've seen so many changes happen over the years.


I have seen so many people who are big bloggers - great bloggers.  I get so invested in their lives & their story telling & then they just slowly disappear.  I am always so sad when that happens.  I really tend to see that when people have babies. (Dont be scared new moms out there) I know life takes on a busier lifestyle & blogging gets pushed to the side - totally makes sense.  But I know I love seeing blog friends, especially ones who have wished & prayed for a baby for so long, its so exciting for me to see them go through the pregnancy journey... & I get so sad when blogging slows down after that.


Back in the day (I'll probably say that a lot here in this post - its well earned) there was no Instagram - Facebook wasn't even that popular & if you "Tweeted" you'd probably have to say "Excuse me" right after.  There was no other place to connect other than Blog World.  I have to say, even when people stop blogging now, it is nice to connect with them on Instagram & Facebook & Twitter. You see life as its happening & in a whole other format through those outlets.  I am a picture person by nature anyways so I adore Instagram & love reading all the descriptions.  Its like a mini-blog to me.  So if you ever stop blogging, make sure you still Instagram or Tweet so I can make sure you're doing OK.  Please... I worry.


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Over 10 years, I have to say, I have developed some real, sincere, true friendships.  It really is amazing how you can connect with certain people via blogs, just like real life.  Those people that you are drawn to because you can tell they are honest & true. & the emails become more frequent & the personal messages on Facebook go into a text & then you may actually talk on the phone & you send packages & mail to each other to surprise someone.  & you rely on their prayers when you are in need,  & you text through shows like Dancing with the Stars & Big Brother & Survivor - basically any reality show you want to laugh with someone about, & you check in on their family - including their dogs - & you talk about what book they are reading & on & on & on...  it just become a true friendship.  Blogging actually does that.  It's amazing really. I wouldn't trade these past 10 years just for that reason alone.  I love my blog friends something fierce.  My family thinks nothing of the statement out of my mouth, "Yeah, my blog friend...." when that's a normal sentence in your world?  You know you have gotten to this level.


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Anyone else remember Google Reader?  There was no other way to stay on top of blogs that posted new posts. Unless you put them on the side of your blog under a "RollCall" sort of list.  When Google said they were taking their Reader down - I remember the panic that ensued.  Funny how you think there's never going to be anything that can take its place.  A life lesson in that.  Thank you Bloglovin' for stepping up.


This was something that seemed really big awhile back - I never understood it. & I'm not hacking on anyone that did it, still does it, or sponsored blogs.  But apparently, you'd pay another blogger a fee to be 'featured' on their blog & for them to carry your "Blog Button".  That always was strange to me.  Obviously, I never jumped on that bandwagon.  I dont see as many posts like this anymore.  Those sort of posts not only kept me away from the person paying to be featured, it usually turned me away from the blog that charged other bloggers a fee to be featured.  That to me isn't what a real blog relationship is about.  Now... granted... I do love a shout out from bloggers about another blogger. I have found some of my favorite blogs that way - but to charge them? ... um... no...Not for me.


I think my biggest issue with blogging now is it seems like those real life posts are fewer to find.  I see so many sponsored posts.  & again, if you do that, no offense. It's the way blogging has turned for the most part.  I for one have never stepped on that train.  Mainly because I feel like seeing the back side of blogging, where I have been contacted to do sponsored posts, I feel like even if they ask for an 'honest opinion' - its hard to really give a negative post if someone is paying you or giving you a product - at least for me. I know I do review books (because girlfriend ain't ever gonna turn down a free book) & I have felt HORRIBLE when I dont like the book. I can't imagine how I'd feel if someone gave me a bunch of products or was a big name brand & I didn't like the thing.

I just miss real life.  10 years ago, that's all the blogs were about.  How life was going. How their families were doing.  How happy/sad/frustrated/angry/excited the blogger was about their own life.  How their house was decorated.  How they were celebrating the holidays. How their dog looked riding in the car.  Just real life.

Now? Things are just so fast. Its like things are broken out in fast reads.
I just think that a lot of people don't take the time to want to read long posts... like this post right here.  Half the readers probably already checked out 3 paragraphs before.

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We live in a world of 140 characters & then move on to the next thing.  I think the blogging world has turned that way a bit... & it kind of makes me sad.

I miss the real life posts.

And I actually do still follow some amazing blogs that tell about their life & share how they feel about things & just post whatever they want. There are some out there - & those are my favorites. If I comment on your blog daily - you are probably one of those blogs to me.  Keep doing what you're doing.  Keep being real.

I just told my blogging friend Ashten that we need to turn the tides of blogging. Bring real life back again.  Share more.  Goodness knows we all share on the social media outlets. Why not share in a place where you can really make it your own?


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Another big change I've seen are these amazing blogs that look like something out of a magazine or something that is worthy of a Pinterest pin. GORGEOUS pictures. Beautiful photos of their dinner or their kitchen & home or how they made their food.  Or stunning pictures of their make up, or these gorgeous lighted pictures of books.  I love looking at them, but again - THE PRESSURE. I can't keep up. & I'm a photographer. The irony of that is not lost on me.  Again, I'm all about real life. If my cell phone doesnt take a grainy picture & its sort of in focus, I consider it a blog win!!


That used to be a bigger thing than it is now too.  Now, its just flat out a full production.  Vlogging used to be where you'd sit up a camera & talk instead of write.  & they'd be that same grainy look I was telling you about. Now?  You need a full set up with camera, lighting & editing software to do a video for your blog.  I do good to do a 10 second Instagram story.  I do love videos - seeing people in motion - hearing real voices.  But man, I'm not sure "vlogging" even exists anymore.  Now, its all about getting followers on YouTube & production levels are vastly different than before. ... no hate from me about it - I love watching the videos. Its just that I think the term "Vlogging" is a past thing now.


I get that most of the blogs out there any more are all about business.  People actually  make CAREERS out of blogging.  BLOWS MY MIND. I've been doing this for 10 years & I've gotten maybe 20 paperback books?  Can I call that a career?  ... dang it.  Nope. I've just been writing & typing for 10 years for fun.  That's what blogging is to me. FUN.  An outlet. A place to vent, share, just be me. A real life diary in the progress of life.   I don't see a career coming from my blog.  & I do think its amazing that people make a career out of doing the same thing I do. If I got paid, I'd take the time to step up my game as well!  But until that ever happens, Real Life... that's what you'll see here until someone pays me enough to stay at home in my PJ's & take fancy pictures of my veggie burger.  (Any takers?  Anyone?)


I know blogging has changed in the past 10 years. Heck, I've changed in the past 10 years.  My grey wasn't as thick. My knees didn't hurt as bad.  I wasn't a grandmother 10 years ago & now I have 3 grandsons & 2 Grandbuddies.  My best friend was still alive & living down the street from me.  Wow... just thought of that.  My grandfather was alive. My brother in law was still alive.  Sydney & Buffy were still around. (how I miss my girls) I had visions & dreams that were totally different for my life now.  I hadn't shot my first 'real' photo session.  I had never ran in my life & never dreamed I'd do a half marathon, much less quite a few of them!!!
... but I did still love Beauty & the Beast, Steven Curtis Chapman AND knitting.

Life changes... so does blogging.  I'm sure it'll evolve again as everything else does... & like everything else, some things work for me & some don't. I just want to stay true to who I am. I want to keep my memories around so I can look back one day & read a post & say, I remember when that happened.

That to me is what blogging is about. Sharing life. Letting others share it with you.  Making friends along the way.  Encouraging others & being encouraged.

Here's to another 10 years...

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What's your favorite thing about blogging?

What is the best thing / worst thing about blogging to you?

What do you wish there was more of in the blog world?

Monday, October 17, 2016

The weekend that had me want to use a lot of skin moisturizer...

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I can do it... so close... 5 more days & I'm on vacation!!!

& after a weekend like this last one, I need it.

Whew... I think I stopped just enough time to sleep at night. Maybe.

Some highlights of the weekend.

... my niece had a tennis game on Saturday morning so my daddy called me at 7:30am & said, let's leave early & get some breakfast.  I'm always up for some breakfast so it was a daddy date.  A good way to start a day.

Me & dad:

... Sophia is coming along so well in her tennis game.  She ended up not winning this game, but she did the day before. I can see her progress so much.  Sitting out there watching all the high schoolers play, it was killing me. I want to play again. Stupid shoulder.  I told Sophia that me & Ricky could double team it though & play with her.  I can hit some back hands which wouldnt hurt my bad shoulder as bad & Ricky can take the forehands.  She was shocked her Uncle Ricky knew how to play tennis.  A long haired guy on a tennis court? She wasn't around in the days of Andre Agassi... when he had hair.

...  I got home in time to sit down for may be an hour. I started playing with my calligraphy... when Ricky told me I was going to push it on making my photo session appointment. I can get lost in projects so glad he pulled me out of my calligraphy zone.


... headed downtown to meet with a Senior from a high school I hadn't dealt with before. She was just the most beautiful girl. Tall & long legs.  Plus, the most beautiful strawberry blond hair.  I really liked her because we got to talk Ironman. She was a runner but ended up switching & now swims for her school, but she loves all things athletic & volunteers at the bike part of the Ironman.  She is my kinda people... also because she saw a dog on our shoot & she got giddy excited & said, "I'm a dog person".  Girl, you could be my best friend.

... I loved this girl came so prepared with the easiest laid back attitude I've ever seen. She wore the same pair of jeans in every picture - had on a tank top under her shirt & bought just 3 different tops & 3 different pairs of shoes to go with each. She said fashion isn't her thing & I reminded her that SHE was the center of every picture anyways.  I can't tell you how fast it made the session go.  Some Senior shoots can take over 2 hours with wardrobe changes.  This beautiful girl? We were done in just under an hour & a half.  & she got just as many pictures.  I'm telling ya - this girl was high on my list!

... It took me an extra 30 minutes to get home with construction & roads closed. I was at my wits end by the time I got home.

... I had to stop for a bottle water at a local gas station. The lady that checked me out, who looked about my age gasped when she saw me.  My eye bugged out confused like, "Did I do something?" & she said, "OH MY GOSH - you look just like my mom!!!"... um... excuse me?  What? I look like her mom? This lady honest to goodness had to be my age. Did I look that rough that I looked like her mom?  I made a note to put on extra face cream that night.

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... started editing pictures & trying out my new computer, to find out, it doesnt support RAW files. Oh Lord, help me. I spent 3 hours on the computer trying to figure it out.  I finally gave up & figured this will be a vacation project to worry about. I've got pictures to edit.

... we had a really small group at church on Sunday but I loved that the girls were so excited that were there. They said they loved the more personal conversations - & I have to say, I agree. It was a great conversation on Self-Control & what areas we struggle with that in our own lives. I may have confessed my issue with Birthday Cake flavor Oreos!!!

... Ricky & I were able to sneak in some lunch together.  He said it was the only time of the weekend he got to see me.  It was basically true.

... Had to leave him from lunch to go to a meeting with my next bride & groom.  I wish someone would have captured the look on my face when she got out of the car & she has her arm in a sling.  Her wedding is 19 days away. I'm all of a sudden trying to envision working around a sling & a messed up arm.... ends up, she cut her hand as a surgical nurse with a blade & had to immediately go into surgery. She cut through nerves & they had to be repaired.  Luckily, the sling should be off for the wedding but the palm will still be bandaged.

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My face when I saw her get out of the car with the sling
... we sat outside at our meeting because it felt so nice... but then sitting in the sun for over an hour, my lips are sunburned. That's just the worst.  I'm sure all that sun exposure did nothing for my skin & making me look like someone's 70 year old MOTHER!!!!!!!!!

... Got home in time to make out bills. #adulting  No fun.

... Working on my computer again because I can't give up trying to figure out whats going on.  After about 2 more hours, I FIGURED IT OUT!!!!!  I went running down the hallway like Rocky when I got it to finally work.  Whew!  Talk about a brain twister!!!

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... & off to start editing away.

I have another busy week ahead of me - a youth meeting, 2 photo sessions, a LuLaRoe party, editing, wedding schedules to make, plus, just get caught up at work to take off... I'm already tired.

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How was your weekend?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Favorites

Favorite Food

Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

This sounds amazing to me.

Favorite Food - Part 2

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Sweet Potato, & Black Bean Chili - a protein-rich (and very tasty!) vegetarian chili recipe. Just dump it in the Crock Pot in the morning and dinner's made.:

I promised I'd put this up after talking about it yesterday.

Favorite Beauty & The Beast

Cogsworth and Lumiere Print Beauty and the Beast by InkistPrints:

Favorite Idea

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The Teal Pumpkin Project
I love this idea... you take a pumpkin & paint it a pretty teal color
& that signals that you are passing out items for Halloween that aren't going to cause any food allergies for kids that have issues.
I love the idea just because there's so much JUNK & SUGAR on Halloween - its great for all the kids.
But especially for kids that have to stay away from things for their health - even potentially dangerous things, like peanuts & products with eggs.
Plus, the teal pumpkins are just pretty

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Favorite Tee

I Need 3 Coffees 6 Puppies and Like 12 Million Dollars >> Change the puppies to cupcakes, and you got me like, YASSS!
OK... I'll be fair...I'll take 10 million... 

Favorite App

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I'm so excited that the 21 Day Fix finally brought out an app for Androids.
it's awesome. Really keeps me in check with my containers.
If you've never bought the containers, you can find the size of each container online - & this app shows what each container can hold (though as a vegetarian, its a little different) but it would work for those who wanted to try this plan without investing in it completely.
& the app is free!

Favorite Peencha

--Posted to DESERT HEARTS Animal Compassion-- 10/3/2013 Phoenix, Arizona ---

Favorite Funnies

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 37 Pics:

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This person must live with my husband too

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 38 Pics:

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 43 Pics:

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.... when I started playing with calligraphy pens & now want to learn more about it

... when I watch another round of political debates

... how I feel around carbs

... when I would hug random Ironman finishers

... me at 4:00pm today

Totally Starbucks though

Happy Friday Y'all!!!!