Friday, May 20, 2011

I need a new computer

So I need a new computer.  I bought a Dell back in early 2008 and it sucks.  It is big and clunky and slow.  Now I work for a computer manufacturer so I get a pretty good discount, but I keep putting off getting one because often at our employee events they will sometimes give away laptops and I keep hoping I'm going to win one.  But this is the year I will probably give in and buy one.  These are the three I am leaning towards:
Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Lenovo IdeaPad U260

Lenovo ThinkPad E420s
I probably shouldn't say this, but I am also considering the Macbook Pro.  They are just so freaking expensive.  And I don't want to have to pay for 2 operating systems (because I have to have Windows as much as it sucks sometimes).  Plus, I know how well made Lenovo products are.  They are not well known to American consumers, but most companies around the world use ThinkPads because they are just the best if you want something to last a long time.  I mean not many computers can handle this:

I just need to submit a request for them to make a computer with all my wants and needs:
- Under 4 lbs.
- Fingerprint reader
- Optical drive
- A color other than black
- Spill proof/backlit keyboard
- Shock proof hard drive
- HDMI port
- latest Intel processor

All of my choices above come close but none of them have everything I want. Maybe I should wait to see what they come out with next year.  What kind of computer do you have?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movie Love

Talk about movie love!  I just saw this on Chloe's blog and it had me crying and laughing.  So sweet!!  I just had to share because ya'll know how much I love "movie love"!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The world will end...

Someday...either you will die or you will be here for Christ’s second coming and the world as we know it will end. According to someone…I haven’t really researched it or anything, but someone out there is saying the world is going to end this Saturday May 21. I don’t believe it. Mainly because the Bible says no one will know the day.

"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” Matthew 24:36

But it has got people talking.

At church on Sunday our pastor preached on it. Do you know what was mentioned in the sermon? Bucket lists! Like my 30 before 30 list. He was basically saying how he doesn’t get how people can say “I want to do X, X, and X before I die” and spend your whole life trying to do those things because if you are a Christian, why should that stuff matter so much. You want to see the Alps before you die? Why? Do you know how much more awesome the Alps will be in heaven?! You want to run a marathon? Cool..but if you don’t before you die, don’t fear because I am sure you will be able to do it pain-free when you get to heaven with your new body! (Yes we get new bodies!! I am so excited about that part!)

The point is, you don’t need to do these “things” before you die because it isn’t the end. HEAVEN is where you will spend eternity (if you get in. do you have doubts about if your ticket is approved? Let me introduce you to this awesome guy…Jesus.) Your life here is but a blip on the radar.

So do I think bucket lists are stupid or unimportant? No. My 30 Before 30 list has enabled me to do so much, meet so many people, learn so much. But the center of it all is GOD. That is my motivation. Sharing Him with others. Learning more about Him and my relationship with Him. Building relationships with others and God. Changing my heart and making it more like His. The list gives me structure and motivation. And I think God loves that!

It has also got people saying “If I knew the world was going to end I would…” How you answer that reveals a lot about your heart. And if it doesn’t involving doing something for God maybe you are focused on the wrong things. The end of the world isn't the's just the beginning of eternity.

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:25

The past two nights I have devoured a sermon series by Matt Carter. He is the pastor at Austin Stone Community Church in Texas. Please go listen to it. I will warn you…I cried my eyes out listening to the first sermon. The other two kept me up until 2 am last night. But now, I am so freaking excited about heaven…or more importantly “the new earth”. I don’t care if I never get married or have kids or get skinny or get to stay in an over water bungalow in Tahiti…because heaven is going to be freaking awesome! If you listen to the series, please email me with your thoughts! Good or bad…for or against…I don’t care. I am just dying to talk to someone about it!

Listen here- Heaven & Hell- A study of our eternal destination

Or just search “Austin Stone” on iTunes and the podcasts are available there

Sorry- didn’t mean to get all preachy. We’ll return to regularly scheduled programming soon…you know…unless the world ends on Saturday :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

List progress

ohmygosh I am so glad Blogger is back up!  I was kind of worried I might lose my whole blog and have to start all over again.  That would have been tragic!  Don't scare me like that again Blogger or I may have to switch to that other blogging platform!  Now onto my slightly delayed post I wrote yesterday...

I haven’t marked anything off my list in a while. But I am slowly making progress with the remaining items:

#1- Get in the best shape of my life. Ok, so maybe I should have defined what “best shape of my life” means. My whole life I could barely run a mile. Even in high school when I played soccer I hated Mondays because that was the day we ran the mile. I have been steadily making progress with my running. I run 2-4 miles 3-5 times/week. I’ve ran three 5Ks in the last 6 months and even though I said I was done for the summer, I am running another one this weekend. But my body is nowhere near the “the best it has ever been”. I’m not the size 4 I was in high school. I can’t even fit in most of the clothes I wore just 4 summers ago. I’m working on that part of it. But does “best shape” mean what my body looks like or what it can do? Oh well, all I know is I’m not ready to mark this one off the list yet.

#9 kayak- It is the perfect kayaking weather right now. I’ve looked in to options around Raleigh and it looks like it will cost about $40-$50 if I do it around here. Last year I was going to sign up for a kayak excursion through the NC Aquarium while I was at the timeshare we have at Atlantic Beach. Well, it was sold out. They have that as an option again this year and it is only $20. I could do that, but I think the one in Raleigh would be better (way less hot if I do it now!). Hmmm…I can’t decide. What do you think?

#10 catch a fish- I keep telling my friend to let me know when her dad is taking her son fishing so I can tag along. Hopefully it will be soon.

#18 upgrade one room in my house- so I painted my Master Bath, hung some pictures, and installed a new faucet but I never touched up around where I got paint on the ceiling. I am working on re-doing my home office/gym/guest room. I also hung curtains in my living room. But the main thing I want is hardwood floors! I feel like I need to get the hardwood floors to mark this off my list. But I might not. Who knows. If the home office/gym/guest room turns out fabulous and I touch up the ceiling in the master bath maybe I will just consider it done and save that money for something like paying off my car early.

#26 Kiss in the rain- HA!! Yeah right! I think the only way this one will ever get marked off the list is if I die and heaven turns out to be one big long romantic comedy. There are no kissable boys even remotely on my radar. Let alone someone I could have my “movie love” moment with.

#27 Read the Bible all the way through- The Bible has 66 books. I have finished 12. I am getting closer to finishing Romans through a study my small group is doing and I am working my way through Luke with the sermon series my pastor is doing. I’ve done studies on Esther, Galatians, and Proverbs so those are covered. I gave up on the chronological plan I was using and instead just read in order they are written with the Bible app I have on my phone. I just finished 1 Samuel and it was actually a pretty good story- lots of action and adventure. I will say switching to The New Living Translation was a huge help! So thanks to you all that suggested that!

#29 Attempt Surfing- I am going to mark this one off at the beginning of August when I go to the beach. The NC Aquarium has a class for only $25!

So that’s it…just 7 things left. If you are just joining the blog I am already 30. I made my 30 Before 30 list a few weeks before my 28th birthday and apparently 2 years just wasn’t enough time to accomplish everything. So now my goal is to complete my list before I finish this year of being 30 on August 12, 2011. Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brad Cooper Trial Withdrawls

You all may remember a few weeks ago me mentioning how I was obsessed with the Brad Cooper murder trial. For nearly 8 weeks I listened to the testimony either while at work or after work. I followed all the comments on Twitter. I read the affidavits. I read the new articles and the nearly 22,000 comments generated from those news articles.

I'm going to try to make a long story short: Brad and Nancy were married.  Nancy went missing in Cary and was found dead in a construction site 3 miles from their home 3-4 days later.  All the housewives were accusing Brad from the get-go because Brad and Nancy were contemplating divorce and he had put her on an allowance of $300/week for gas/groceries (I would have been jumping for joy for that kind of spending money, but in Cary $300 cash/wk=poverty apparently).  3 months later Nancy's family got custody of Brad and Nancy's 2 little girls and a few weeks after that Brad was arrested for Nancy's murder. 

Here is why I think I was obsessed with the trial:

1. I remember clearly when this happened. I worked right near where Nancy Cooper went missing. I remember seeing the missing person flyers around my work. My best friend worked in the same building at Cisco as Brad Cooper. I went in to this trial thinking he probably did it and I wanted to hear how he did it.

2. I hate Cary, NC. Every time I go to Cary I get lost. My old boss joked that they have a magnetic force field under the city to turn your car around and confuse you. They also have a strict code that forces everything to look the same. People around here joke that Cary stands for Containment Area for Relocated Yankees- most are white, rich, and feel entitled I think. Plus I got laid off in Cary. There is something really wrong about that town. I wanted to see what this crack in their perfect little town was all about.

3. ALL THE DRAMA! This case was filled with nothing but a bunch of gossip from the Lochmere housewives. I hate it but it sucked me in. In fact I went through a lot during this trial internally. All their gossip and Brad bashing just looked so ugly. It made me look at how much I myself gossip and really want to stop but it is easier said than done! I just kept comparing their crazy drama filled lives with my circle of friends (we are no where near that bad, but we have own our drama sometimes). A lot of very personal stuff came out during the trial and it was just sad to watch at some points.

Well on Thursday the jury found him GUILTY. I was shocked! There was absolutely no hard evidence against this man except a 41 second Google map search that included the site where Nancy's body was found. He had googled his own zip code and Fielding Drive where her body was found is only 3 miles from their house so it was on the map. They said he zoomed in on Fielding Drive. The defense tried to bring in an expert witness to prove those files were planted on Brad's computer because they had invalid timestamps but the totally biased judge would not let him testify because he was not on the orignal list of witnesses.

But really...even if they weren't planted...he was on there for 41 seconds and do you really think a murderer who could get rid of all the physical evidence of the crime would be stupid enough to Google the dump site from his computer??  He was supposedly smart enough to fake a call from his house to his cell phone (the prosecution claims Nancy was dead by then and Brad somehow faked the call using his computer skills) but stupid enough to Google where he was going to dump the body?  And not delete it form the computer? Really!?

And during their closing arguments the prosecution made a big deal about Nancy not wearing a ponytail holder when she was found...thus she never went running that morning.  Ummm hello- she wasn't wearing shoes or pants for that matter so I highly doubt the lack of a ponytail holder proves anything.

None of the jury members have spoken yet. I hope they do because I would love to know what evidence made them think he was beyond a doubt guilty.

It scares the crap out of me that they can send a man to life in prison based on nothing but gossip and a 41 second map search.

In case you are interested one of my favorite tounge-in-cheek Raleigh bloggers wrote a great post about it including laying out all the other potential murderers. Here is a chart he made to kind of break down Nancy's other relationships and potential suspects:

There are so many other people who could have done it and they did not really look at any of those people as a suspect. Not to mention several mentions of suspicious vans seen in the area that night/morning suggesting it could have been a stranger.

In case you were wondering, my top 2 supspects were:

1. Jessica Adams- this lady seemed like she was obsessed with Nancy. She is the one who called the cops a mere 4 hours after Nancy didn't show up to paint at her house. Who does that?! I would never call the cops after a few hours of not hearing from my friend. She also organized meetings so all the neighbors could get their stories straight after Nancy was found dead. And she is the one who kept bringing up the necklace they said Nancy never took off (the defense disproved that by showing video of Nancy the day before at the store not wearing said necklace) and those stupid ducks she kept saying were missing from the Cooper's entryway (which the defense brought in to court. Turns out they were packed in a box in the front room and were in no way harmed in a so-called scuffle when Nancy was supposedly murdered according to their theories.)

2. John Pearson- Nancy had a one night stand with this guy. Almost exactly 9 months later Nancy's second child Katie was born. A few months before Nancy was killed, she had got in touch with John after 2-3 years of not talking to him. They met at a bakery and had several phone calls in the months leading up to her death. I think Nancy was trying to get money out of John. Also John was now dating Nancy's ex-BFF who her husband Brad had an affair with. That woman, Heather, was also involved in a lawsuit with John's ex-wife for alienation of affection at the time Nancy was killed (which the ex-wife later won). It just seemed too ironic of a connection. Which also makes me think Heather had motive as well because she didn't want to get sued again for the affair she had with Brad. Maybe John and Heather did it together. Or hired someone to take her out.

We will probably never know the truth. And really I feel bad for Nancy. She wasn't a saint and I think she was money hungry, but she was loved. She seemed full of life and to have that taken away from her and her friends and family so tragically and then have all the skeletons in her closet (along with those of all her friends) exposed to everyone was sad.

I feel bad for Brad. He lost everything and he may not have had anything to do with killing her.

And I really feel bad for the kids. They lost both of their parents and one day they will be old enough to read and listen to all this gossip about their parents.

Getting so invested in this trial has been so emotionally draining. I never want to do it again. But I can't wait to watch the Dateline special on this one day!

Have you ever become obsessed with a trial? Do you love 48 Hours Mysteries and Dateline specials on true crime? Do you read true crime books- if so I am looking for a good one as an introduction to that genre!

At the end of all this...the only thing I know for sure is I will never move to Lochmere...or anywhere in Cary for that matter.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Review- The Help

Go see my review of The Help on my Bookshelf Blog.  
I even included the trailer for the upcoming movie!! 

Movies, Motivation, and Mommies

I never go to the movies anymore. But I have been to see two great movies the past two Fridays in a row.

Loved it!
Liked it!
I had read both of those books a long time ago and loved them, but it had been so long since I read them that I wasn't constantly comparing the movie to the book and could really just enjoy the movies on their own.  I will say that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.  ALWAYS.  But both of these movies were pretty darn good.

My BFF and I have weekly challenges going on.  We are both tracking our calories and we will set a goal like most # of days under your calorie goal or come in under your total calories for the week and there is a small prize each week.  The first week I won so she had to pay for my movie.  This week though we both lost so neither of us gets an iTunes gift card.  The prize for the winner this week is for the other one to pay for a Zumba class for both of us.  It keeps me from giving up on this whole calorie counting thing.

Yesterday was mother's day.  I celebrated with my mom last weekend by going up to have lunch and attend a fancy tea party with her.  I did give her a call last night (like I do almost every night of the world) to wish her a Happy Mother's day.

Mother's Day is starting to be a little different for me as I get older.  A lot of my friends have children and I feel like I am on the outside of this really exclusive club and honestly feel like I am not as good, strong, hardworking, loving of a person because I'm not a mom.  And I may never be a mom...I mean I may not have any good eggs left in there.  So Mother's Day kind of hurts.  Is that weird?  I know it is, but it does.

I had to help out in the nursery at church yesterday in the 1 year old's room.  First of all, one year old's are not easy.  They can run and throw things but can't fully communicate yet. This one little girl was by my side the entire time and I ended up sitting her on my lap and reading a couple books with her.  It was sweet. 

But when it got close to pick up time two of the kids saw their moms coming to get them through the window. It takes a little while for them to get around to the classroom.  During that time those kids had complete meltdowns.  Crying big fat tears and screaming for their mommy.  I managed to calm the boy down but the little girl screamed "I need mommy" the entire time and when her mom walked up and I said "Look who's that?" She screamed "Mommy!!" and cried even harder.  During class there was another little boy that would just randomly walk up to the door with a little worried look on his face and say "Mommy?"  I kept having to tell him "Mommy's not here yet."  He would wonder back over to the toys, but 10 minutes later it was "Mommy?" again.  He must have repeated this routine at least 4-5 times.  I definitely saw through those kids how important Mommies are.  They are the be all end all for those kids.  I can't help but wonder.  Will I ever get to be someone's mommy?

So to all you moms out there, I know it is hard, but treasure it.  It is a gift.