Saturday, January 30, 2010


I've had a bit of blogger's block lately. I'm sure you've noticed, since you no doubt eagerly visit my blog each and every day, hoping for a morsel of wit and wisdom, only to be disappointed by a complete dearth of new content. I'm sorry to have caused such agony over this past week...but if you woke up this morning thinking you'd love nothing more than a long, nonsensical run-on sentence, then you need look no further than this sentence. And the one before. I try not to disappoint.

Wow. You see why I haven't been able to write lately? My thoughts? They make no sense.

But today is Alyssa's birthday. And for that, I have no lack of words. Which may have been evidenced in the comment I left on her blog today. It was approximately the length of...a real blog. To me, "leave a comment" means "write your own blog here." But whatevs.

So where do I start? I met Alyssa back in...pardon while I count on my fingers and do complicated Year Subtraction (I explained my troubles with this math skill earlier this year)...I'm going to say it was approximately 2003. It was at the Women's Retreat my sophomore year of college, and Alyssa had the great fortune of being roommates with me and two of my BFFs (Laura and Elizabeth). I'm sure there's nothing greater in life than being stuck in a room with three girls who are all ridiculous and weird and friends already...but Alyssa rose to the occasion and proved to be a most excellent roommate. So good, in fact, that we took the following photograph to document the occasion:

(from L-R: Laura, Elizabeth, Alyssa, me)

How's that for a relic?? Anyway, for the next few years I got to be better friends with Alyssa. We were part of the same small group for a few years, and we shared a mutual friend who was Alyssa's roommate, which meant we ended up hanging out on Tuesday nights to watch Gilmore Girls together rather frequently. Then we lived in the same neighborhood. And then we both became prayer interns at Wesley after we graduated. Oh, but graduation. We did that together, too. It was only right, since we shared the glorious honor of the Three Tassels. Three tassels, you may ask. What EVER did they do to earn three tassels? Oh, well to be a Three Tassels, you have to earn two degrees (bachelors of science and bachelors of arts) and also be freakin smart (magna cum laude). Then you get three tassels to adorn your hat with. And take photo shoots with. (And the whole 'freakin smart' comment is tongue-in-cheek. Our degrees weren't exactly in rocket science or anything. As evidenced by our less-than-lucrative jobs SINCE graduation, ha!!)

After graduation, while we interned, we took our Three Tassels status to heart and had a semi-frequent Book Club where we (yes, just the two of us. This was fairly exclusive...) would read short stories, poetry, and novels together and then discuss. This was most often done while sharing a couch at her house Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style...if you recall the four grandparents sharing the one bed (head to foot, foot to head)...that's how we rolled. Or laid, rather.

So anyway, Alyssa and I made many more memories throughout our two years of interning at Wesley. We continued being neighbors and carpool-partners, Pump it Up co-workers, and Three Tassel Book Club members. We also made lots of trips to the Gulf Coast in the year following Hurricane Katrina. These frequent trips gave us LOTTTTS of quality time in the car to become extra-ridiculous.

This was from a particularly chilly trip to Biloxi in December, 2005

One of Alyssa's more interesting finds during a New Orleans trip in June, 2006

It was Alyssa who ultimately convinced me that my "friend" Matt might actually be interested in me, and that I perhaps may also be interested in him. And she also told me that we should quit flirting so much if we were "just friends." I think that was sound advice (no wonder she's in grad school for marriage & family counseling! She's always had the gift!).

And then Alyssa had the nerve to move away to Tanzania. Blast her, she's always been so good at Following the Lamb...but it's okay. I think that's a good thing. :) She lived on the other side of the world for a year (which meant she missed my wedding, which I will someday forgive her for) and I was very happy when she moved back. She is Matt & I's "third strand" (see Ecclesiastes for details...and yes, we know that the real 'third strand' is God. It's a joke.) and we hate for her to be gone for long.

Then she lived in Athens for awhile, which I did not take nearly enough advantage of, and now she's moved off to Atlanta. But it's okay-- a few miles between us can't do much damage...especially now that she's blogging!!

So in conclusion, let's review. This is Alyssa:

She's silly.

And maybe even a little bit ridiculous.

And she's one hundred percent beautiful, and one of the best friends a person could hope for. And it's her birthday, so show her some love!!

Head over to her blog and wish her a happy one. But before you go, if you know Alyssa (or even if you don't but you WISH you did)...share your fave Alyssa Memory here! I'd love to hear from other members of the Alyssa May Fan Club!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

gone country

Last Saturday morning started a little brighter and earlier than I usually prefer, but those are the kinds of sacrifices you make for friends like these:

Although the very fact that they dared to move a zillion miles away last April did make me question what kind of friends they were...I'd say that spending the weekend down in the country with them has led me to forgive them for that act of desertion. I can now look at it as not so much 'losing friends' and more like 'gaining a pet-friendly b&b that also serves lunch and dinner (FOR FREE) and has delightfully entertaining hosts'. I'm just a glass-half-full kinda girl.

That last paragraph didn't even make sense, but let's not focus on that. Let's just move on.

So we drove down to Brooklet (basically Statesboro...except even MORE cotton fields) on Saturday in the rain. Did I mention we took Lola? Yeah, she's not such a fan of riding in the car. I glanced over my shoulder every few minutes to see something like this:

"Mom, HOW could you do this to me? You KNOW I don't like driving long distances. Can't you hear my incessant whining?? Doesn't that stir your heart even a little?"

Yes, I hear you. I just have a heart of steel.

Sometimes she'd mix things up and go torture her dad. We can see he's just as moved by her antics as I am.

Anyway, the long drive was worth it because eventually we got there. Amanda had a delicious lunch ready for us (being 9 months pregnant just can't stop that girl) and we spent the afternoon enjoying tours of their house and city, including an exclusive after-hours behind-the-scene tour of Marshall's clinic (he's a vet). That was pretty sweet. Except that the scale there LIES. Don't worry, I was SO INCREDIBLY TRAUMATIZED by the number that appeared on the screen when I stood on the scale that the first thing I did when I got back to Athens was drive to Target and buy a scale just so I could prove to myself that the one at the vet office was wrong. And it was. By seven pounds. Luckily I was able to block out the memory of that horrid number on the scale for the rest of the weekend...or it might have ruined all the eatin' that was about to commence. And that would have been a tragedy.
For dinner we enjoyed Marshall's famous (to us) homemade pizza. When they lived in Athens, eating homemade pizza with the Moores was practically my religion. It happened at least twice a month. So every time we get together now, it's pretty much a requirement. On Saturday we stuck to 2 BBQ pizzas and one margherita (sp?).

Yes, there were only 4 of us eating. And this is all that was left. What can I say...I didn't want to be rude or insult the chef!

Throughout dinner we brainstormed the best way to build our dessert pizza. Matt definitely contributed the clincher idea-- cover the (homemade) dough in PEANUT BUTTER (like pizza sauce). That took it to the next level. On top of the peanut butter we sprinkled generous handfuls of chocolate chips, toffee chips, and pecans. It was pretty much out of this world.

Pioneer Woman, eat your heart out.

And no, there was none of that left over. :)

On Sunday we had a great morning attending the Savannah Vineyard. It was a lot of fun and the worship was freakin awesome. It was well worth the 50-minute drive...especially since there were a boatload of delicious cookies and breads to enjoy during the service! As you can see, we practically starved all weekend.

After church we ate at the Distillery. It was delicious. It was also home to one of the most beautiful and fun ladies restrooms Amanda and I have ever experienced. Normally I'm not tempted to do a photo shoot in a public restroom. This place proved to be the exception.

In addition to being just beautiful (exposed brick, ornate mirrors, awesome sink spout-thingies), it housed one of the most INTENSE hand dryers known to mankind. As in, when you put your hands underneath it it makes all your skin incredibly distorted. Totally weird. We did take lots of pictures of our distorted hand-skin, but I will spare you from looking at them. I think you just had to be there.

After lunch we got some fresh air and light exercise (haha) checking out River Street. Oh yeah, we also ate fresh pralines. I'm sure this is shocking to you since we're such light eaters.

My companions for the day

My companion (for life) and myself

Umm...things got a little silly.

For the rest of the afternoon we just enjoyed slothing around and watching the dogs play. Oh, and chasing Lola all around the neighborhood when she escaped out of the backyard. Eventually the boys decided to make a fire. Amanda and I enjoyed it with them for about 10 minutes. Then the boys enjoyed it for another 3 hours.

So we went inside and goofed off, looked at cookbooks, played guitar, and cooked a HEALTHY dinner (vegetarian stir fry! with fried rice! and salad!!). That way we felt less guilty later when we watched the Golden Globes and had (virgin) Hoedowns. These are another tradion...a true Hoedown is a blend of (cold) coffee, ice cream, chocolate syrup, and Kahlua, blended up like a milkshake. YUM. This time we subbed in toffee chips for the Kahlua and it was a worthy addition.

On Monday we slept in, ate some cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and headed back home. It was strange leaving, knowing that the next time we see them they will have a baby!! Oh how the times are a-changin'.

We got home in time to still have a productive know, buy a scale at Target, go grocery shopping, go running, weigh yourself a few (thousand) times and regret eating those last 12 pieces of pizza and such...make a new commitment to healthy eating and good exercise habits...the usual. :)

Work today was a little more boring than usual, coming off such a fun weekend. But I'm excited about the rest of the week-- our DirectTV with DVR (hello, welcome to the 21st century, me!) will be hooked up tomorrow and then the weekend is only 2 more days away!

If you made it all the way through this post (and you're not Amanda or Marshall, haha) then you deserve a prize. But just so that I know that I'm giving a really GOOD prize, do tell me...

If you could have an all-expenses-paid trip for your family (kids too, if you want to bring them along...but then, maybe you don't!!) and another couple/family...for one week...where would it be?

You never know, I could win the lottery tomorrow...and this might be good information for me to know! (Although it might help if I played the lottery...)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

optimistical (again)

I don't know what else to title a blog when you a) don't really have much of anything to say, but b) do feel pretty happy/upbeat/optimistical.

I think it has something to do with the weather. HalleLUJAH, praise the LORD, it is 50something degrees outside. In general 50something degrees isn't anything worth writing home about...but when it's been in the TWENTIES and THIRTIES (if not LESS) for 2 weeks straight...well, fifty feels downright balmy. Makes me want to bust out my flip flops and drink a pina colada. And do a little dance. But maybe it's just me.

Ummm...let's see. I'm home from work early, waiting on our new furniture (see previous post) to be delivered! Naturally they gave me a very specific window of time in which they promised to come...2-6. I get off work at 4:45 and although I can almost guarantee they wouldn't actually get here til 5:30 or something...I know if I took the chance and stayed at work then they most CERTAINLY would get here before me. So I left at 2 and just as I suspected...still no furniture. It's okay though. I had lots of other things to work on.

We're going to visit our long-lost friends the Moores this weekend and I am very excited!! We haven't gone to see them since they moved away in April and now that they have a baby due basically any day...figured we should go visit. :) Because once that baby is born there's no way we'll get a proper tour of their home and town...cause everyone knows newborns are big fat attention hogs. Geez. Therefore once Hartley is born, I have a distinct suspicion that Amanda's attention will be torn away from that which is truly important, which is cooking for me. And I can't let that happen.

It's the memoir of a Jewish girl who struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder from her early childhood into her thirties. I just spent like 20 minutes trying to summarize the story but if you really want to know, just click the Amazon link above and check out the reviews. :) It was amazing and I couldn't put it down and it was a very eye-opening look into how OCD looks/develops in a young child. An intense read for sure. I cried a lot. I got it at the public library, so you should check it out at yours.

Speaking of intense reads...I came across this article last week via another blog I read. It's from The Journal of Biblical Counseling (which should interest all you marriage/family therapists in training!) and the article is entitled The Bible and the Pain of Infertility. It's a good read...eye opening and heartbreaking, but very practical. I loved it not only because I can identify with much of what the authors talk about (hello, hope/despair cycle!) but because I loved how explicitly they discussed the Biblical viewpoint of suffering, mourning, and anger. And that they broke down (for counselors, which is whom the article is geared towards) how to use all this information when counseling people suffering infertility. Um, and what to say/what NOT to say. That was good too. I think that anyone who knows someone dealing with infertility would benefit from reading this...not only to get a glimpse into the minds of people suffering (which the authors definitely do) but also to learn how to encourage and pray for them.

Well I guess that's enough for now. You've got your reading assignments ;) and I still don't have my furniture. Go figure. Have a wonderful weekend! And if you read/have read either the book or that article...let's discuss!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

out with the old...

Lest you think we have stopped making improvements at the ol' Bates homestead...well, let me assure you, we have not.

I know that very few of you have actually been here. It's not your fault. It's a combination of us being really awkward about inviting people over...and people living far away and/or having busy lives (how dare you?). In my head, since we live "far away" (even from people in Athens), people can never just drop by. I mean, you don't drive half an hour to just drop by. I need to feed you, and well. And I need to entertain you. And probably lots of other stuff too. I don't want you to have wasted all that time and gas! And therefore...people don't come over that much. (Exception: our neighbors) But it's okay. That's not what this is about, anyway!! I'm talking about-- what's new at our house? I will show you, since you may not get to see it in person!

First off, since most of my life revolves around food, let's discuss our dining room table. We have a separate (but attached to the kitchen) dining room that houses our one and only table/chairs. There's no 'eat-in' part of the kitchen, so the dining room is it. Anyway, our current dining room set was something we inherited right before we got married from...Matt's grandmother? Great aunt? Someone who had passed away and had a farmhouse full of furniture available in South Georgia. So we went and got it and it was really nice, but old. But still, nice! Definitely 'dining room' material, too nice to be 'kitchen table' style. So that's what we got, and we loved it and have used it daily, but let's face it: time is taking it's toll. The top of the table got so bad (water/heat/scratches) that we've had it perpetually table-clothed for 2 years (which is NOT my favorite look. I prefer to see the hardwood.) And it's...uh...falling over. Really. It's got a definite slant on the top. Here's what it looks like if you put a level on it:

Yeah...roll-y food (like peas) will uh...roll off the table. :) It's rather amusing. But we have become so paranoid about the table literally collapsing that eating on it isn't much fun of late. (Note: it has 2 'pedestal' thingies...not 4 legs...if that helps with a mental picture of how it could possibly be this slanted) The chairs are suffering a similar fate. It's really not their fault...we should probably invest in a step-stool or something and quit using our dining room chairs to stand on to reach things. But they too are creaking and falling apart one at a time.

So we've known a new dining room set would need to be our next investment. We've saved our monies up and have spent the last few months perusing furniture stores, trying to get something we like and are excited about, but can afford. Oh, the harsh realities of only buying what you can afford with cash. :) Anyway, today we made the purchase!! And it will be delivered on Thursday!! Yippeeeeee! I am so excited that I tracked down some pictures online so that you wouldn't be subject to terrible phone-pictures.

They were having a sale that gave us the bench for free! Since the table comfortably seats 8, we wanted to have 8 spots because we find it to be super ghetto when you have like 6 'real' chairs and then 2 folding chairs or something. So we bought two additional we will have 6 chairs and the bench!! (Which, the bench could easily seat 3 adults. If they had small elbows.) Anyway, I am SO pumped up and excited!! I love that the seats are (fake) easy to clean! And it's made of solid hardwood so that if it gets scratched or something we can sand it and stain it. Surprisingly, most tables we looked at were NOT solid wood (even at really nice furniture stores), they had veneer tops, which means if you scratch it? TOUGH.
We did not get a china cabinet or anything because...well, we have no china. So that would be useless to us. :) Also, we have not the money for it.

Just think-- now my beautiful new chandelier will have a pretty table to illuminate!! Wahoo!! That won't have to be covered with a tablecloth!

The only other big change of late has been the (oh so sad) retiring of the bed in our guest room. The bed I've had in there I inherited from generations of my mom's side of the was the first thing my great-grandparents purchased when the immigrated to the U.S. from Italy! And it's cast iron and beautiful and I wanted it my whole life and got it about 7 years ago when I got my own apartment in college. the table...time takes a toll on furniture. It's had a broken thingamajig where the rails attach to the footboard ever since I got it. It sat in a iron-welding shop for the first 3 months I had it where they attempted to repair it, finally giving it back to me saying they had no way to work with that kind of material anymore. (???) So I've had it rigged up with an elaborate series of cinderblocks, duct tape, and prayer for many years and it's been just fine...but the last move wasn't kind to it. Our rigging isn't what it used to be or something, because the poor thing more or less fell apart a few weeks ago when my parents tried to sleep on it. So...until I can find someone to FIX it again...we have removed the bed and our mattresses are just on a boring old plain bedframe (BOOOOO). No pretty iron. No history. But...a lot safer, I guess. If that kind of thing matters to you. :)

So, to those who tend to be overnight guests (STINE. AMANDA.)...feel free to come visit again without fearing for your life while you sleep. :) Your safety is my #1 priority. Promise.

Anyway...I think those are the all the major changes of late. Now I just need to figure out what to do with our old dining room table.

So that's been my Saturday thus far...helping furniture salesmen make their sales quotas...trying to not get frostbite...the usual. Oh, and we cancelled our cable service (BYE Comcast!) yesterday. It will get cut off on Tuesday (blast, the DAY OF Biggest Loser!! Horrible timing!!) so we will be TV-less for an unknown amount of time until we decide whether to go ahead and get DirecTV or try our luck with the digital antennae thing. We've been a few places where people actually get really good reception with just an antennae...anyone have any experience with this? Or do you know any way I can watch the current season of Biggest Loser online for free? Or do you live in Athens and we can come watch it with you on Tuesdays? Haha...sort of.

Friday, January 8, 2010

an open letter

Dear Lola,

It's true that you are my only child. As such, I find your every move, antic, and thought to be delightful and precious and noteworthy. Every minute I spend with you is sunshiney and butterfly-y and joyous, and I'm quick to admit that. However, it seems to have escaped your notice that it is like TWO DEGREES OUTSIDE. It even SNOWS. In other words, when we go walking, it is BUSINESS TIME (and not in a Flight of the Conchords kinda way...) and not really an ideal time for you to chase every moving blade of grass, inspect every mailbox, and sniff every cigarette butt. Please let's just speed things up and save all your excitement about life for the (heated) indoors.

Thanks and love always,

Pictorial Evidence of Snow:

PS. I originally had a link to the Flight of the Conchords song I referenced above, then removed it because if you're not familiar with FotC you could be offended if you just blindly jumped into that song. :) I recommend hitting up YouTube and checking out as much of their work as you can, particularly Hiphopopotamus v. the Rhymenocerus, Jenny, and then easing your way into Business Time. By then you should have a feel for how dorky, silly, and tongue-in-cheek these guys (and their songs) are. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009, in retrospect

A Look at my Last Year...

And a fair warning: This thing is like 39 questions long. It's Sunday afternoon and I have nothing to do. And apparently only two things happened to me in the year 2009: I bought a house and I didn't get pregnant. Those two pieces of information will cover almost every answer in this entire survey. Don't say I didn't warn you!


1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Bought a house! Mowed a lawn! Used a Swiffer! Blogged semi-regularly! Wow, need to stop using exclamation marks!!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any last year. I did decide and make a goal around mid-January to start blogging more regularly, and I think I did a good job of keeping that goal. In early December I decided to start working out, and I've done a good job of that, too...but then, it's not even been a month!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Mollyanne! And Jolene!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

Mexico (Cozumel and Calica), on our cruise.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A baby.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Nothing is really coming to mind, actually. Buying, renovating, and moving into our house was the biggest "deal" of the year, but it happened over such a long timeframe that no particular date stands out in my mind.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I worked out on Christmas Day. BEFORE opening ANY presents. Someone needs to put that down in the history books.

Oh, and I read the entire Black Heels to Tractor Wheels saga on the Pioneer Woman's webpage. In record time. That felt like an accomplishment.

Oh, and I won two blog giveaways (both CDs)! That was fun!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Well...I failed to get pregnant. But I don't really think it's my fault, so lets not count that. Um, I think I sort of failed my body and my health this year. I can (and do) chalk it up to being overly emotional about not getting pregnant, but I am still responsible for the amount of ice cream I consume and the amount of exercise I get (or don't get). And none of it helped me feel any better, anyway.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major. My asthma and other breathing issues were slightly worse than usual, and I had a cold for like 2 months that I couldn't kick, but nothing really worth writing home about.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A house! A cruise! Footie pjs for my sister's Christmas!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Huh?? Lola, for sure. Sometimes. Not when someone knocks on the door, though. Or enters the house. Then it's all barking and jumping. Other than that, her behavior was celebratory.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Haha, Lola. See above. Also, Jon & Kate Gosselin. And all politicians.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Are we seeing a theme here yet? 2009: I Bought a House and I Didn't get Pregnant. Haha. That answers pretty much every question. My money? Went to the house. And decorating it.

15. What did you get really excited about?
Our cruise. Finding out how awesome our neighbors are. Living in the "country". The holidays.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Umm...I don't really know.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) happier or sadder?
that's tough. Sometimes I think sadder, because I'm much more stressed about how on earth I'm going to get pregnant (last year at this time I had no way of knowing it would be this hard for us)...but I'm happier, too, in other ways. I have other goals and other things to aim towards (besides pregnancy) so hopefully I will have more things to celebrate this year. We won't have the stress of buying a house this year, which is VERY happy! We will also get the $8000 homebuyers credit, which will give us lots of happiness...mainly because it gives us some financial security for having a baby.
(b) thinner or fatter? umm...fatter? How depressing it is to admit that. But I'm working on it!
(c) richer or poorer? Richer! Sort of. We bought the house, but it's not like that money is overall, richer.

These questions better get better. This is depressing to think about being sadder and fatter. MOVING ON!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercising, ha. Being with my friends in real life. Seeing my family.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Emotional eating...hahaha. (However, Kroger is very thankful I didn't!) I wish I spent less time crying, too.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With all of our families! It was great!

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
With Mattie, yes. More every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Lost. Amazing Race. The Office. House Hunters and Property Virgins. Hoarders. Intervention. I Didn't Know I was Pregnant. Biggest Loser. Umm...can you tell we got cable for the first time this year? Ha.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

I didn't read much this year. I think the most impactful book I read was probably a book our home group read/studied- Communication: Key to your Marriage (H. Norman Wright). Can you guess what it was about??

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Umm...I have the lamest taste in music ever. I really doubt I made any great discoveries this year.

26. What did you want and get?

A house. A vacation. New sofas.

27. What did you want and not get?

Let's all say it together, unison! "A BABY!!!"
Also, a fence for the backyard. And non-sucky floors for our kitchen/laundry room/dining room and bathrooms.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Despite having Netflix for half the year, I really can't remember any super awesome movies. We certainly don't GO to the movies. Therefore...I can't answer this question.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27 and got to hang out with both Matt's family and my family in Augusta. It was great!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I bet you can guess.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Umm...whatever fit. :) I wore lots of "play" dresses and skirts in the summer, that was fun. I found that my wardrobe this year mostly revolves around recess at school and what will keep me comfortable then. Strange but true. The rest of the time I usually was wearing old paint-covered clothes because I am usually doing manual labor on or around the house!

32. What kept you sane?

Matt. Lola. Reading blogs.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
That's tough. I don't really know.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Nothing. Politics stress me out too much for me to pay attention and get "stirred." I prefer to pretend it's just not happening.

35. Who did you miss?

I miss my friends who I never get to see. And it makes me sad that most of them still live in the same town as me...I'm just that sucky of a friend!!

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I don't know about "best," but I've enjoyed getting to know all the new couples in our home group. Also, Anahi and Hudson (babies born to the ladies previously mentioned in #3) are pretty awesome.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

You (I) are really, really, really not in control. And that's okay.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Haven't we already gone over how lame my musical taste is? What makes you think I'll be able to come up with a song lyric without spending 3 hours Googling things? Right...

I'd love to see all of you fill this out! Bear your souls! Impart your wisdom! Help me look less lame!! Introduce me to cooler music!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

the new year that i shall not say

I don't know how I feel about 2010 so far. Is it "twenty-ten" or "two thousand ten"? I can't decide, and that just leads to further feelings of ambiguity about this year. It's like when you're unsure how to pronounce a word or (worse) someone's name. You sort of just want to avoid that word/name altogether. it's a new year. A year that Shall Remain Nameless.

Despite my feelings of ambiguity about what this year should be called, I still maintain that it is an excellent year to have a child or get married or do anything else that is noteworthy. Think how easy it will be to calculate dates! No crazy subtraction or addition when you're trying to figure out what year Junior will graduate or retire or how long you've been married (or alive). I think it would be great. I'm math-challenged, so I've always wished I could have been born in a nice even year like 1980 or 1985 (I do realize 85 is not an even number, but it's MORE even in my brain... ????)...figuring things out would be so much easier. I was born in 82, but in mid-December of 82, which is really more like 83. So my age subtraction has always been tricky. Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm going on and on about this...I've lost track of where I was going.

But wait--let me linger here one minute longer. I'm not sure anyone reading this has any idea what I'm talking about yet. Age subtraction? Who doesn't know how old they are? Okay, so lets say people are talking about some song or movie that was popular in 1991. Maybe I'm not familiar with the song or movie, so my reasoning for why this is the case (other than the fact that I was/am incredibly sheltered!) could be that I was only x number of years old in 1991. This requires some quick math. 1991 minus a 9, carry the 2, multiply by 7, find the cosine...uhhh...I was... YOUNG! Had I been born in 1980? Piece of cake...91 minus 80, 11. BAM. Easy. This illustrates what I mean by age subtraction. (Kristina: I know you absolutely followed my sketchy math back there a few sentences ago, so go ahead and give yourself a Q.E.D. and head to the library...)

I think this new year has made me dumber.
So moving on! 2010 has been pretty good so far. Matt and I both had off Friday and Saturday which is pretty much a never seen before miracle-- that, and we actually DIDN'T HAVE PLANS. I'm thinking this has never really happened before. So yesterday we were quite productive, working on some home improvement projects (they never end) and actually doing a few things that we meant to have finished...oh...before we moved in six months ago. Oops! Silly things! Things that really only took 20 minutes to do! But alas, we procrastinate.

This is our kitchen window. Nice blinds, right? Don't you like how they're REALLY SUPER LONG and therefore STACK up for the bottom six inches of the window? really was quite funny. That's why we left them that way for six months. For giggles.
But when it comes down to it...well, those suckers needed to get fixed. So we did it. It's amazing how much I can see now! I never knew what the bottom of that window looked like!
We also installed the cabinet knob thingies. Matt bought them for me for Christmas, so it's a Christmas miracle that they were installed within one week of me receiving them! (As you may have noticed, usually we begin a project about 7 months before we attempt to complete it.) I was going to hunt down a "before" picture, but I'm lazy, so just put your finger over the little silver dots on the cabinets and that's what they used to look like. Trust me, it's better now!
After all our hard work and a hard workout with Jillian (No More Trouble Zones...OW OW OW!!!) I made us a semi-traditional New Years meal. That means I incorporated the traditional foods that appealed to me/I had the ingredients for/I felt like, and improvised the rest.

Ham with a YUM homemade brown-sugar honey glaze, hoppin john with rice (hoppin john has black eyed peas, so that counts), steamed broccoli, and cornbread. Ham is pretty much my favorite food (second only to BACON) so this was a darn good meal in my book!

Somewhere in between working out, cooking, and eating, I had a revelation that resulted in a Facebook Status Update that has turned out to be my most "liked" and popular status update ever! "[I] work out with Jillian Michaels every day. And cook like Paula Deen every night. This makes no sense..."

Such truth. Such irony. Such the story of my life.

Then we stayed up all night watching Biggest Loser episodes courtesy of On Demand. Each episode is 88 minutes long (since they combine the show with the results show, I guess) and we watched...oh...6 or so? This kept us up approximately 16 hours past our usual bedtime.

Therefore we slept in LATE up, finished the season of BL (can't wait for Season 9 to start this week!!), and have spent the rest of the day just chilling, running errands, and staying warm. And doing a Bootcamp Legs workout. OW.

New Years Resolutions? I'm not big on those. I like to set goals whenever I feel like it. Like when I decided I wanted to start getting in shape, I didn't feel like waiting til some popular day to start. I just started then. December 6th!! Therefore I've been working out for almost a month-- BOO YAH, all you people who started yesterday. :)

I hope to be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend this year. I hope to be a better blogger (note to self: blog less about math). I hope I will continue working out and continue being proud of myself for doing it! I hope I become a mom this year. Since I evidently have very little control over that, I will continue to put my hope in the One who does.

"Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed." (Isa. 49:23)

Happy New Year. May yours be full of joy, peace, and love. And hope. Always hope.