Friday, February 29, 2008

Sickie Boy

Matt's sick. He seemed a little out of sorts at breakfast this morning, but by mid-day he felt pretty bad. Sadly, he was working out of town today (in Monroe, 35 minutes away or so), so even once he got off work he had a long drive home. He said that while he was driving he could "feel his insides shaking." He came home with a fever and I put him to bed, but 45 minutes later we went to the prompt care center. Everyone and their brother has the flu lately, and since that seemed to be what he was coming down with, I figured the sooner we could start him on the flu meds, the better. At any rate, the doc said it isn't flu, it's a stomach virus, which means there's even less you can do to help it. So I brought ol' sickie home where he's now turning our bed into a sauna with his 100.3 degree body. Seriously-- laying next to him made me sweat. And he says he's freezing. He had on pants, socks, a tshirt, and a hoodie, and he was inside the flannel sheets, blanket, down comforter, and extra quilt. And the house is 70 degrees. And he was shaking. And...that's just not okay with me!! I don't like him to be sick!! Now he's sleeping. I plan on waking him up every 10 minutes to take his temperature. Ugh. Husbands aren't supposed to get sick.'s doubly sad because his brother Joseph is in town (he lives in Charlotte) for the weekend. We hardly ever get to see Joe and we were really looking forward to hanging out with him and the rest of the family a lot this weekend. Sadly, Matt was in no shape for family hang-out time, and the family didn't particularly want to get contaminated with his germs, so it was a boring night in for me and the sickie. He tossed and turned and said "I'm cold!!!" and I obsessively check WebMD in case the doc missed anything and then try to convince myself not to be such a worrier. And I blog stalk. At least we have a laptop...I can cuddle and comfort Sickie as he pseudo-sleeps and also entertain my mind!! So many people have cute "we just had a kid and here's five million pictures and anecdotes" blogs...I must confess a little jealousy. My blog lacks cute kid pictures. Maybe I should find something else to take pictures of compulsively. What if I became obsessed with, say, the tree right by our front porch?? And every day wrote riveting updates on the tree's progress ("it got 2 new leaves today"; "today, 3 squirrels were on the northern-most branch") and took pictures? OK, that would be a little kooky.

Anyway...I'm just bored. Sometimes not having cable sucks. And having a sick husband...that sucks too. Plus I have to be at work at 8:30 a.m. No fun. And if I were to catch Matt's disease and become sick myself?? Tough. Everyone else is sick at work, too. There would be no one to "call in" to replace myself. Ugh.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

the "funky couple"

Last night Matt and I went to a new homegroup that our church is having. We have been wanting to get involved with a homegroup (we recently joined a new church) but it seemed like all the existing homegroups were these long-established groups and we would be the "new guys" and that always feels a little awkward. Anyway, there was a new group starting up, so we decided to give it a try last night. Apparently there are really about 11 people that will be in the group, based on attendance the first 2 weeks, but last night a few folks were out of town so there were 7 of us-- a nice number for a getting-to-know-you kind of night. Two people in the group (the pastor and his wife, actually) we already know a little-- at least enough that if we saw them in Target or something, we'd stop and chat for a few. The other 3 people we didn't really know-- if we saw them in Target, we'd recognize that they went to our church, but not knowing their names, we'd probably duck behind the shoe aisle or something. You know how that goes. Anyway, so as we were getting to know each other, this one girl, Natalie, says to us "well, we may as well tell yall, cause it'll come up eventually anyway. People who don't know yall's names just call you the 'funky couple'. When I started coming to church, I said, 'who is the funky couple? you know, that couple that just always looks really cool?' and whoever i was asking, they knew I meant yall and said 'Oh, that's Matt and Erika.'" I mean, WHAT?? I busted out laughing. I have never, ever in my life thought that the distinguishing feature that people would nickname me by would be "funky"ness. I must say, though-- I'm pretty dang excited. So anyway, then for the rest of the night it was fun to laugh about how cool and funky Matt and I are...when in reality, if you even know us a little, you know that we're mostly just dorky and awkward.

As some people pointed out, though-- now I/we have a lot to live up to!! I can't just roll out of bed one morning and think "eh, I'll just bum it to church in my sweats today" (cause it's the kind of church where half the people ARE)...I have a reputation to maintain!! All in all, though, we had a really good time last night. We're so excited to get more involved with our church and get to know people better.

Right now, I'm doing laundry and Mattie's out for a run. He's running in a 5K this Saturday and has decided that today is a good day to start "training" for it. I's 40 degrees outside. That should speak for itself. I, for one, am doing everything I can to stay warm. In a little while we're heading over to our friend Sarah's house for our Thursday night tradition of dinner and Lost. Tonight Sarah's making homemade chicken noodle soup-- YUM. I'm bringing asiago cheese bread and making homemade apple dumplings (my fave recipe from the December Rachael Ray magazine)....DOUBLE YUM. I love dinner-and-TV nights. Food, friends, mysterious islands...what could be better?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2 more things.

As though my first blog today wasn't long enough (keep scrolling for evidence)...

1) I am completely and hopelessly addicted to playing Spider Solitaire on the computer. I have gone through phases over the last 8 years or so where I'll get really into it, then forget about it for awhile. Well, I'm "on" again. The thing is, I SUCK at it! No matter how much I play, I never improve. No matter how much I CHEAT, I never improve. Maybe this is an instance of cheaters never prospering?? I'm not sure, but I gotta go....I need another fix.

2) I have become very aware, recently, of how many house break-ins occur in Athens. Over the past few weeks I've acquired the somewhat strange habit of hiding my laptops every time I leave the house. Always in different spots, as though someone other than me were keeping track. I just notice that in the police blotter in the paper, whenever they report what was stolen from such-and-suches house, laptops and other small electronics are ALWAYS stolen (for obvious reasons). My thinking is that if our house were to get broken into, the robber would definitely see the computer desk with speakers, a mouse, a printer, etc...but no laptop. Perhaps he'll think "oh, they took it with them to work/school, I won't bother looking for it" and move on to looking for valuable jewelry or something (there is none. I wear my only valuable jewelry.) My question is, is this just smart thinking/planning, or have I gone batty??

that's my man!

It seems strange that it's been almost a week since I last blogged. I feel like I write all the time. It must be my internal blogging. I confuse it with what I've actually written. I know I'm not the only one who does this-- as you're driving home from work, thinking about all the things you're going to blog about...but then when you get home, the blog just never really happens. I guess it's good to have processed anyway. I also tend to do this with emails, which is much worse. Someone emails me and I read it and then think about how I'm going to respond...then I never actually DO respond, I just think that I did, when really it was all in my head. Yikes. This could be potentially dangerous. "So, Erika, I've been thinking it over lately and life just doesn't seem worth it. Unless you have any objections, I think I'm just going to jump off a cliff. Talk to you later." Then I spend a few days thinking about my the meantime, friends could be falling off cliffs all over the place. Or perhaps that's a bit dramatic. At any rate, I should work on quickening my response time.

Anyway...the weekend was good. Got to hang out with Matt's fam on Friday night and then I had breakfast at Big City with friends on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. Saturday night Matt and I went to an engagement party for a girl I discipled for 2 years. It was a surprise (he proposed to her at dinner, then when they came home, there were like 20 of us there!). It was so exciting because I feel like I've been a "part" of their relationship since the beginning. I remember the first time Trish ever mentioned John (they were co-workers)...and how they were "just friends" but she needed me to help plan really elaborate practical jokes to play on him (one of my hidden areas of expertise)...and no, Erika, we're really just friends!!!....and then a few months or years later when she decided maybe she had a teensy tinsy crush on him....and then they were dating...and then we spent a few afternoons practicing holding hands because she wanted to make that first bold hand-holding move but she didn't want to mess it up so I helped her prepare...and their first I love yous...and John emailing me for advice as to how often it is appropriate to say "I love you" and later, after I said you can never say it too much, he emailed me to say that he told her in Kroger in the rice aisle and it went over very well, thanks...and when they decided they wanted to get married, but thought they'd wait a few years to get engaged, til after grad school...I said they'd never last, but they could try if they wanted...and then a few months later, Trish said "yeah, we're never going to make it that next year too soon?"...and then Friday night John called and said "I'm going to ask her to marry me tomorrow, will you come over to celebrate?" And we said yes, and she said yes, and I absolutely couldn't be any happier. Maybe it's because I think Trish is one of the most wonderful people on the face of the planet. Maybe it's because her and John's story reminds me of me and Matt's story, and I get really excited when people marry their first-and-only boyfriends. Maybe it's because ever since the first time we prayed about her dating John, I knew it-- I knew he was the one, but I couldn't tell her with such certainty. But I feel like I've been pulling for them for so long...I'm just thrilled!!!

Anyway. Sunday we had fun at church and then a basketball game that afternoon. We've really enjoyed being on the bball team (well, Matt is on the team. I am the team mom. And self-appointed head cheerleader. Ok, team mom was self-appointed, too.) He gets to play ball and be manly with the guys, I get to hang out in the bleachers and get to know the other wives/girlfriends and play with their kids. It's been a lot of fun. And I love cheering for the team. On Sunday Matt made the game point, nailing 2 free-throws with 1 second to go in overtime. So he was the star of the show, and I loved getting to get a big sweaty hug and kiss after the game, bragging to all the other wives that that's my man!!! Sure, their husbands may have played solidly the whole game...but only one person can score the game-winning point, and that was my husband! We had another game Monday night and I felt very proud when lots of the guys/wives greeted us with "hey, there's the man who saved us last night"...and not just a few "so, did you guys have fun celebrating last night?" comments from the ladies! My my my. ;) We won again last night, which means that all in all, it has been the winningest season Vineyard bball has ever had! I would like to attribute that to my hubby joining the team. Any naysayers can meet Matt at the freethrow line to work out your disputes like men.

At any rate, it's our last kid-free night. Tomorrow the Spradlin chilluns move in to make our normally-large-enough 2 bedroom house feel much, much smaller! Matt had the kids for a few hours by himself yesterday while I was at work...he was a bit worried about having solo babysitting duty...but when i arrived home, all 4 boys were eating a lovely meal of whole wheat spaghetti with organic veggie marinara and sunflower seeds (this is the kind of thing the Spradlins eat)...and there was hardly any spaghetti sauce on my tablecloth, so I'd have to say they were doing quite well! Of course, they had already played tennis and kickball and gone to the playground, so the kids gave Matt high marks on his report card for "Funness", "Good Supervisor", and "Good Driver." He got slightly lower marks on "Good Cook" (although I didn't see anyone starving) and "Good Doctor," since apparently his Bandaid-ing skills weren't up to par.

Well...this post is really long. I'm off to enjoy my last night of peace and quiet and eating non-kid food!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

wednesday, wednesday.

I'm tired. It's only Wednesday, but it feels like it should be much closer to the weekend than it is. Oh well. It's been a good week-- just long.

Monday I worked 9 hours. Since I normally work 5 or 6...9 is a LOT! There was a lot to do, though, so that's good. It was a packed 9 hours, which is much better than a slow and dragging 5. Monday was also Matt and I's 2 year (dating) anniversary- yay for us! In some ways, it seems like we've been together forever. In other was, 2 years seems like a mere drop in the bucket. It's strange. He's the only guy I ever dated, though, so I don't have any other relationship lengths to compare it to. That's good, I guess.

Last night we babysat for the Spradlins-- 3 boys (twin 8 year olds and a 10 year old) I've "raised" since they were 4 and 6. We always have fun. Yesterday was "Free Pancake Day" at IHOP, so we took a family trip to the IHOP for dinner-- can't pass up free food!! Everyone made fun of me (I don't stand a chance against 4 boys) because I had to try allll of the syrups before I could decide which was best. Hey-- I don't want to waste time eating the not-best syrup! After the kids went to bed and Kevin and Heidi got home, we hung out with them for awhile. I really love them. Kevin and Heidi are going to Colorado for a few days next week for job interviews, so Matt and I are keeping the kids for 2 or 3 days. School carpool, swim lessons, the whole kid-shebang! Kevin always says that babysitting for them is the best form of birth control-- I don't necessarily agree! I think it's fun!! However, I think I would like to start my own personal kid-raising with babies...perhaps jumping into parenthood with 8 and 10 year olds would be a little bit much. PS In the picture they have pillows stuffed into their shirts for some "sumo wrestling." They're not all obese. :)

So tonight we're celebrating Valentines. I don't really know what to expect!! Our "first" Valentines came 3 days after we had started dating, so we didn't so much celebrate...ha. Last year, we were extremely extremely poor in February. And busy. And I honestly can't remember if we did anything or not. That's kind of sad, isn't it?? But this year we are doing something...I just don't know what! Matt's planning it. We chose to do it tonight rather than on the actual day for 2 reasons: 1) shorter waits and 2) LOST comes on on Thursday and we're just not willing to skip that!! Anyway, I already wrapped Matt's presents, so all that is left is for me to pick out something fabulous to wear. Whatever shall I chose?? It's freezing outside, which makes me wish there were some way to make yoga pants and a hoodie look really glamorous!! At any rate, I'm looking forward to tonight, whatever we end up doing, and I'm excited about tomorrow, too!! We watch Lost with a group of friends and tomorrow we're having dinner with them as well, so what could be better?? Have I ever talked about how much I love Lost? Perhaps tomorrow I shall....

Saturday, February 9, 2008


We bought these 10-for-10 passes to support a fundraiser at Wesley-- 10 gym visits for $10. We each got one. We've been contemplating joining a gym, and figured this would be a good way to get a good trial run. Tonight we went for our second time. In general, I hate gyms. They smell bad, sweaty people are everywhere, I don't like gym clothes, I don't like comparing myself to other cuter girls in gym get it.'s a somewhat necessary evil. I can't bank on good metabolism getting me through the rest of my life. So anyway...we just got back, and I am actually really proud of myself!! I parked myself on an elliptical machine conveniently located in front of two TVs-- one on Fox News (24/7 drama) and one on Bravo. Guess which TV I tuned into. It was great catching up on some Project Runway. Best part: Over an hour passed (and 600 calories burned!) and I barely noticed!!! Yippee!! I had no idea I could go for that long. I guess being TV-deprived will do that to ya. turn in the shower. Lata.

lazy saturday

Let me preface this by saying I can count the number of lazy Saturdays I've had in the last 4 years on one hand. One was on my honeymoon. The other was this past MLK Jr weekend, when we went on vacay. I'm willing to bet that over the previous 3 years there wasn't more than 2 or 3 more. I have a long-term committed relationship with the 8:30am-3:30pm shift at work. Unless I have major plans (aka my wedding), I never have off. I think I'm emotionally attached to that shift. It's like women who don't leave men who abuse them. (Okay, perhaps not that bad). I don't really like working Saturday mornings, I don't really even need to at this's just what I do. Anyway, I'm thinking about stopping that. Today was a trial run. It's been great.

We slept in (8:45 is sleeping in to me). Then a leisurely meal of chocolate chip pancakes. Then a nap (because eating can be so taxing). Then we took a nice long walk through Five Points (the area of town we live in-- nice old neighborhoods, cute shops, yummy restaurants). The weather is gorgeous today! I wore a v-neck shirt and I have a sneaking suspicion I may have gotten a little sun-- definitely a good thing. I bought a Christmas wreath at a yard sale. I almost got talked into spending $5 on an "air walker", which is this old workout machine that is really fun to play on, but would probably get used more to hang laundry than anything else. Mainly I have fond memories of playing on them with my brother and sister years and years ago when we would go to Sears with our parents. Playing on the exercise machines-- that was our idea of a good time. Flash forward 15 years and you can barely pay me to set foot in a gym. Oh the irony.

Anyway, we exercised great self-control and did not eat lunch out. We came home and I made an experimental (but delicious) pasta with whole wheat spaghetti, cucumbers, tomatos, artichokes, feta cheese, and EVOO. For those of you who aren't completely obsessed/in love with Rachael Ray, "EVOO" means extra-virgin olive oil. It's a staple. I have gotten to where I really love cooking (usually. Except for when I don't.) And I love Rach. Since we don't have cable anymore and I can't watch her talk show plus the plethora of shows on Food Network, I depend mostly on her web page and a magazine subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray. It's a great magazine. A lot of her recipes involve way too many ingredients, but there's always some that are easy and relatively cheap. And delicious. Earlier this week I made "Quick Chicken with Gouda Gravy and Smashed Brocco-taters" and it was awesome. Although gouda cheese is a little on the pricey side, it was awesome. Matt is off the phone, so I shall end this post and see where the rest of this day takes us. It's beaaauuuuutiful!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

why not?

I seem to spend a lot of time stalking other people's blogs. You know how it is-- you're reading the blog of someone you really do know, but then there's this other person leaving interesting comments, so you check theirs out. One of their "Favorite" blogs has an interesting title, so you check that one out, too. Six months later you find yourself laughing and crying and emotionally involved (on your end, anyway) in the lives of people who live far away that have no idea you exist...and all at once it's completely normal and also a little (or lot) creepy. Except they have no idea, so they're not creeped out. Since this seems to be me a lot, I decided I'd at least have the decency to get my own blog so I can leave non-anonymous comments like a good citizen. Anyway, I used to have blogs (or online journals/diaires, as they were called then) back in high school and early college. I loved it. I was so distraught when OpenDiary, the free site I used for 2 years, closed down. I felt like I lost a part of my life. Or at least what I'd published on the internet. goes. I work, but I usually get home 2 or 3 hours before Matt does. We don't have cable TV, so I tend to spend my free time reading, sleeping, and spending entirely too much time on Facebook. And blog-stalking. That is, after I finish all my wifely chores-- grocery shopping, laundry, slaving over the hot stove...which, as I'm sure many newlywed wives can attest to, actually takes way more time/effort than I'd originally anticipated. Boys: you have no idea how much you eat. I swear I go to Kroger every other day. And you make bath towels and sheets really dirty and in need of washing. And you require constant feeding (thus, cooking). So considering it's just the two of us, not even an inside pet, I spend a lot of time being a "housewife"! What do people do when they have KIDS?!

In other news, Matt got a flat tire today on his way to work (out of town). He was 40 miles away, in the middle of nowhere. No biggie, right? He's a man, he's got a spare, we're good to go. So he calls his supervisor to inform them that he'll be late. "We're so sorry!" she says. "But actually, we don't need you to go to Lavonia. We need you back in Athens." Well...thanks for the heads-up! So now he has to drive back to Athens on the donut. So, he changes the tire, and about 20 minutes later, the SPARE goes flat. GREAAAAAT. So he has to call a tow truck to tow him back to Athens. In the meantime, I'm at work, trying to help the million people requiring my eminent assistance. And trying to find phone numbers and policy numbers for Matt. And trying not freak out, because let's face it-- unexpected car troubles can seriously ruin the ol' bank account and thus my day. Anyway, he finally made it back to Athens around noon and the tow driver was nice enough to drive him to work (so I didn't have to leave to go get him). When he gets off, we'll go pick up the car with four nice shiny new tires and impeccable alignment. The thing that's truly depressing is that we're trying to save for a new(er) car-- Matt's really is old and on it's last legs (a '92, to be exact. No AC. Hello Georgia summers.) But we're nowhere near having enough to upgrade yet...and it's stuff like this that keeps setting us back. A new battery in November, 4 new tires adds up and it subtracts from what we're trying to save! And we'll never get the money back when we try to sell his car, you know? So that's just frustrating. But Praise God we had the money and we're not having to charge this or make any rash decisions. We'll make it.

So...this was a first post, and it's really long. Maybe I'll go figure out how to link to other people's blogs so that maybe someone will actually find mine!! Evangelize my blog-- is that accurate? Ha.