Sunday, April 25, 2010

randomly thankful

Do you ever have moments when you're overwhelmed with thankfulness? Okay, but how about for something really, really silly?

Occasionally I try to take a break from my constant whining and complaining (okay, that's just what I feel like I do sometimes) and appreciate the smaller things in life.

The really small things.

Or rather, the lack thereof.

It hit me this morning as I was digging in a bottom cabinet (in the kitchen), trying to unearth my Pyrex Portable (LOVE LOVE LOVE) to take a dish to our potluck at church. I just plopped down on the floor, moved aside the bags of dog food, half-empty packages of dog treats, and the salad spinner (that thing is HUGE, where do you keep yours?) and rearranged things until I could reach the Pyrex Portable. As I sat there, on the floor, it occurred to me: I'm not afraid.

I'm not afraid.

A bottom cabinet? In a kitchen?? Whew buddy. For the last few years of my life, you couldn't have caught me dead digging around in a bottom kitchen cabinet. ESPECIALLY the one with dog food. That is PRIME roach mouse EVERY kind of critter territory. I mean, the place we used to live...pretty much the whole HOUSE was prime nastiness territory. And it's not for a lack of's just the way it was. An old house in the woods. What do you expect. Well I for one expected LOTS of bugs, and that's exactly what I got.

I kept practically everything in my cabinets in tupperware boxes so that the roaches couldn't get in (or at least would have more of a challenge). And generally, digging in a kitchen cabinet was a conniption fit just waiting to happen. Expecting them though I was, I just can't encounter a roach without freaking out. It ain't gonna happen. I was frequently panicked in that house. Very frequently.

And I know this is a nasty story, not the kind of uplifting news you generally come here looking for...but I just can't tell you how thankful I was this morning when I realized how now I dig through cabinets so blissfully unworried about what I may find. In fact, we haven't seen a single roach since we moved here. It's been almost a year, too. Not even one. Not inside, not outside. NONE. Perhaps we live so far out in the country the roaches haven't even found us?? That's what I'm thinking. Ha., that's my Really Random Thing I'm Thankful For on this Sunday evening. What's yours?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SUYL: how we met

This week at Kelly's Korner the "Show us Your Life" theme is How I Met My Husband. It's a story I'll tell, if for no other reason than I love looking through (and sharing) old pictures. So here we go. [Editor's note: picture are not in any sort of order whatsoever and may have nothing at all to do with whatever I'm blabbering about.]

In summary, Matt and I met because of pirates.

It was fall of 2005. I had just graduated from the University of Georgia and started a full-time internship at the Wesley Foundation at UGA. There were about 35 other interns that year...most of them I knew, a few I didn't. The tall, dark, and handsome Matt was one of the few that I was not acquainted with. Please note that "not acquainted with" does not mean "never heard of." On the contrary, I had heard PLENTY about Matt a few years prior to this, when my then-roommate (but always-friend) Catherine had been madly in love with him. In fact, I'd actually partaken in some light stalking of said cute boy-- "pleeeeeease go with me to the mall, Matt's working there today!!" Like any good friend, I agreed-- begrudgingly. And with much mocking. ohhhhh Maatttttieeee..he's sooooo cuuuuute!!!! So when the internship started and I found that Cute Matt was now my co-worker...well, nothing. See, he had a picture of a girl on his desk. A large picture. Evidently Cute Matt had a girlfriend. Duly noted.

A few months went by. It was September 19, 2005-- International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'm a pretty big fan of pirates. It's genetic, by the way-- my dad has always had a thing about pirates. So it's more like an inherited fascination. So I was pretty amped up about celebrating TLAP day that year. Especially since the work environment at Wesley really lent itself to celebrating such things. Much to my dismay, most people were not as interested in talking like pirates as I was. Most people got tired of it by like 11am. Most people suck. Matt doesn't. Cute Matt seemed to enjoy talking like a pirate all day long. Talking about pirates. Talking about lots of things. And that picture on his desk? I don't know what happened; suddenly I didn't see it there anymore.

Fast forward a few months. Fast forward this story, too-- I talk too much. Anyway, much hanging out and talking took place. All at work, though. No numbers were exchanged. No facebook friendage took place. But we talked. And I maybe had a teensy tinsy crush.

By January we found ourselves "running into" each other a lot. Oh, hey, funny I should see you your house...I was just, the neighborhood and thought I'd drop by to see...your roommate. Yeah. Then one night he invited me to come over to watch the Superbowl with him and a bunch of people. I happily accepted the invitation. And then he forgot to invite all the other people. Silly Mattie. So we watched the Superbowl alone, and he cooked me Jiffy cornbread muffins and some really disgusting pancakes and I guess that's what pretty much ruined me for anyone else. We start texting all the time (ahh, 21st century romance), finding excuses to run into each other (at our after-Wesley jobs, at restaurants....yeah), and a few days later, in the comfort of our separate cars and while sitting in the parking lot of the Cingular building, we made it official. We became us.
Ten months later, on the night before my 24th birthday, he proposed. I said yes.

We got married on June 30, 2007. It was wonderful. It is wonderful. I am so thankful for my crazy pirate husband. He was totally worth the wait.

That's the end. Well, really it's only the beginning, but I would never be so lame and cheesy as to actually say something like that.

And now I would like to apologize for the absolutely wacky format of the pictures in this blog. Blogger evidently hates me and I can't figure out what I broke or how to fix it, so pictures and text are just all over the place. So sorry. Also, looking at all these pictures has made me desperately miss my long hair. I think I will grow it back. The end.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

waste my life

It's another stay-home-sick-from-work day. To keep my mind off the reason I'm sick, I've been immersing myself in learning the song I Will Waste My Life (by the lovely Misty Edwards) on piano and guitar. This involves a lot of going between Rhapsody on the computer (quickly running out of my 25 free listens per month!) and whatever the instrument of the moment is. And a lot of googling. It's easy to find the guitar chords for pretty much anything, but this song isn't even played on guitar-- it's a beautiful piano piece. And it's impossible to find the sheet music. So I'm having to figure it out. So today I have so ironically wasted my day on a song called Waste My Life. Every once in awhile I mix things up by throwing in a few rounds of How He Loves Us (by John Mark McMillan, recently re-released by David Crowder). It's always a crowd-pleaser. If by "crowd" you mean "an empty house and a lazy black lab."

In other noteworthy acts of productivity...I have been putting off calling DirecTV to cancel our movie channel package (it was free for 3 months and I have no plans of paying for it now) for like weeks. Flashbacks of horrible Comcast experiences keep me from picking up the phone. But I had no other excuses today so I did it and guess what. Four minutes and thirteen seconds. That was the entire phone call from please press 1 for English to thanks for calling, have a great day! Four minutes?? That's IT? I didn't have to pull out all my hair, listen to horrible hold music, or lose my religion? DirecTV, I love you.

Since that was such a positive experience it encouraged me to make two other phone calls of necessity: the library (renewing books, yay!) and the doctor (going to see her...yay?). I have an appointment for next week now to discuss this infertility thing...hopefully it will be a positive experience that will soon result in more positive experiences. Here's to hoping, anyway.

But let's on to the real reason you people came here today: pictures of my yard. I know, it's what you live for. ME TOO. First you need to see my azaleas. On the one hand I feel like I can't take much credit for them since they were here when we moved in. But they were completely grown over by weeds/grass (they weren't in a bed, that's an addition we made) since they were just planted on the side of the house. And our neighbors across the street say they never remember seeing them bloom like this before. So that makes me think that I have had at least a little something to do with them and I will now take all the credit for their beauty. And aren't they just perfect??

They're very tropical looking, in my opinion. OK, next on the list of things you need to see is the garden. Remember when we planted it? It was the day before Easter, so like April 3rd or something. Here's what it looked like that day.

And here's what it looked like last weekend, April 17th-ish.

Those huge things taking up the front left-hand corner? That would be the squash. It is...big. And if you'd like to take a few of these plants off my hands, feel free-- I've heard it will grow better if it's thinned out a little, so I am looking for a new home for at least a few of the little plants. Please! Before they take over my house! And get ready, cause in a few months I have a hunch I will be begging you for any and all squash recipes you've ever used/heard of/thought of/Googled.
And finally, the first true fruit of our labor: a strawberry. Last night we picked the little guy in the middle (his two neighbors need another day or 2) and Matt and I shared it and it was DELICIOUS!! And I'm not just saying that cause I raised it. It was so good! :) So I can't wait to have many more just like it!

Oh, and in NOT so uplifting news...we rented Precious last night. Um, now THAT was not uplifting in the least. It was good. But...disturbing. I had gone to the Red Box looking to rent The Blind Side (which was out) because I wanted to be inspired. This was what I ended up with and I was not so much inspired, but that's okay. It was still a really good movie. Also, Red Box is a really good invention and I wish I'd been the one to think of it.

Speaking of inventions, Matt had a great idea. We're going to invent (and by that I mean, I will talk about it here and never think about it again) a Yard-ba. It's like a Roomba, only it will travel around your yard mowing, finding weeds/shooting them with a laser to kill them/sucking them up. It may also have ant-killing abilities as well, we're not sure on that yet. Isn't that a great idea? We figured since they would probably be getting stolen a lot, we would also equip them with On Star ("now locating your stolen Yardba..."). I bet you think we are real ditzes based on the things I mention us talking about on this blog. I promise that we also talk about really deep and intelligent's just those are not exciting at all for anyone else to read about. Um, or maybe we actually DON'T talk about anything that's not super lame. I guess you'll never really know.

Well, I think I've efficiently wasted another hour of my day now. In the time it's taken me to write this blog I have also managed to spill my brand-new bag of pretzels not just once but twice. As in, bag falls off the desk onto the floor, spilling pretzels everywhere. And while most dogs would find this to be a dream come true situation (free pretzels!), my dog is MUCH too terrified of the loud noise the pretzels made when colliding with the hard floors. In fact, as I said "come on Lola! Eat!!" and made gestures to the pretzels, she stood frozen in fear. Me??? Eat those loud scary things?? Ha! I actually had to pick them up off the floor and feed them to her. Is that lame or what? She is so spoiled. (Note: and then I threw the rest of the pretzels away. I said, "I am NOT hand-feeding you 85 pretzels! Maybe next til you will grow a pair and eat them off the floor like a normal dog!")

That's all, folks. I can only hope your rainy Tuesday has been as well-spent (hahahaha) as mine. Am I the only one who spends her sick days being torn between getting rest and getting things done? Do share.

Friday, April 16, 2010

just like her

I never planned to turn into my mom. It just didn’t seem like something that would be likely to happen. Don’t get me wrong—I love my mom. I think she is awesome. I just didn’t think I was all that much like her.

We’ve always had some obvious similarities, of course. We look very much alike. We have the same laugh. We have the exact same Myers-Briggs personality type. We both love mint chocolate chip ice cream, laying in the sun, and anthropomorphizing our pets. We prefer our husbands to do the driving.

She was (is!) a wonderful mom to grow up with. I couldn’t have asked for better parents, and I’ve always known that when I “grow up” and have kids of my own, I’ll want to be just like her. I just didn’t know that I already am.

(Sarah, mom, and I- 2007)

It started with the whole gardening thing. My mom LOVES her yard. She LOVES her flowers. I never got it. She would offer to pay my siblings and I to do yardwork (weeding, etc.) and I’d turn her down every time. Yard beautification? Who cares! Cut the grass and call it a day, woman. Whenever someone came to visit (our extended family all lives in Texas, half a country away) the first thing they’d do is take the lonnnng extended walking tour of our yard. “Now these azaleas, you know, they’re the ones that blah blah blah….and now look how the begonias are doing!! Can you even believe it? Oh, and what do you think we should do about these philodendron? Is the spotting on the leaves what I should expect?” And this nonsense would go on for quite possibly two entire cups of coffee, as they walked and talked about flowers, plants, soil, pests, and life. And I never got it. Who CARES?!?! I mean, I see a flower, I think…nice. Lovely. And I move on with my life. These people…my mom…they lived for this stuff. Boooorrrrring. I just knew that when I grew up, I would hire someone to cut my grass and that would be the end of it. No landscaping unless it was like, some maintenance-free shrubs. No nothing. It’s not that I didn’t like flowers…it’s just I didn’t like them enough to be so involved with them.

I never had much of a yard in college or after. When my mom would come visit, she would always bring me a potted indoor plant of some sort which I would inevitably kill within a week. A green thumb I had not. One summer she got me two potted tomatoes that lived on my front porch. Those I managed to keep alive, and I even loved the fact that I could snag some free veggies out of the deal. I decided in my heart that while I still did not love plants, I would make an exception for tomatoes. Those plants paid off.

When we started looking for houses, or thinking about starting to look, I just had this gut feeling that I didn’t want a condo. Something inside of me (even before we got Lola) wanted a yard—a place to call my own. As we looked at more and more houses, the need for “space” became even more desireable—all this, for a girl who has never so much as laid hands on a lawn mower. Who doesn’t know a weed from…well, anything.

As you know, we got our house and the 1.5 acres of yard that came with it. And in one fell swoop, I turned into my mom.

(Mom, I, and Dad- my wedding, 2007)

Don’t come visit me—I promise I will not let you leave until you walk allll over my lawn and look at every single sprouting thing. I will tell you every boring story about how I got my canna lilies from my mom’s yard who got them from my grandmother’s yard in Texas…so I have 3rd generation lilies, and I love it. I want you to look at every fledgling veggie and every half-chopped down blueberry bush. I am a curator and my yard is my museum and I feel like I’m shortchanging you if you don’t look at absolutely everything. Every morning I give my own self a speed-tour of the yard…just to make sure everything’s okay and nothing new is sprouting. I do the same thing when I get home from work. And sometimes I’ll do it again in the evening. I’m obsessed. And I don’t even know why, except to say that I am my mother. I had no say in the matter, the woman raised me and somehow shaped me to be this crazy lady who now talks not only to her pets, but her plants. What a legacy, right?

But on the other hand, it makes me happy. I love my mom. I think she is incredible. And if I am just now seeing a part of her show up in me (the crazy plant lady part), then who knows how else I will grow to be like her in the coming years? I want to get her patience, and I hope I’m as good of a cook as she is, and I really want to develop her self-control for portion controlling her food!

I want to pray for my kids the way I saw her praying for us. I want to love my husband the way she chooses to love hers.

I am my mother. I think I’m a pretty lucky girl.

(My front flower bed- June 2009)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

on dishwashers and gym memberships

So Tuesday night after we finished doing the dinner dishes, I noticed that the dishwasher was full and ready to run. Not wanting to steal all the hot water from the shower I was about to take, I made a mental note to start it later on. An out-loud mental note-- you know, the kind Matt can hear so that he can either remind me later or do it himself. A few hours later, right before bed, I remembered-- Matt was in the kitchen shutting off lights, so I said "hey! Can you turn the dishwasher on for me?" and he did.

We ate out and then went shopping last night. Therefore the dishwasher never got unloaded. So THIS afternoon, as we spent our five minutes at home between work and going to the gym, I made another out-loud mental note: We need to unload the dishwasher later.

After the gym we went to Publix to do the shopping for the baby shower this weekend. As I was strolling the aisles picking up all the other completely necessary things I happened upon, I noticed that Cascade dishwashing detergent was on sale. "Hey Matt...did you notice if we're running low on dishwasher soap?"


"On Tuesday. When you started the dishwasher, do you remember if we need more detergent?"

--blank stare--followed by " didn't put the soap in it already?"

" you think I did?"


So, awesome. Our "clean" dishes have been sitting there for like 3 days while new dirty dishes (okay, like 3 cups and a few knives) accumulate in the sink...awesome.

I guess the silver lining is that at least we discovered the mistake before we unloaded them and put them away!

So may you all be re-inspired to be extra super clear when communicating about household chores with your loved ones. :) And I'm not saying this in a "men are so stupid" kind of way...because probably about half the time, I do put the soap in the dishwasher even if I'm not planning on running it til later. So I really should have been more clear. Lesson learned.

Other lesson learned this week? Maybe I'm throwing my money away going to the gym. So back in December when we started working out, we did just home workouts...stuff we could watch On Demand, a few DVDs, and some basic workout equipment. Then in late February, we joined a gym. Back in the "home workout" period, we would frequently do The Shred (Jillian Michaels). I wouldn't go so far as to say we "Shredded," because when I hear people say that I assume that they are going all out on this 30 Day Shred thing and doing it every single day, each level for 10 consecutive days. That's how it's designed to be done. We would do it like maybe twice a week, mixed in with a variety of other workouts. "Mixed in" because what the heck-- it's like the hardest thing EVER. I don't know how anyone could do it every day! However, I could manage doing know, more or less stick it out through the whole workout, not collapsing too many times, etc. So ever since we joined the gym, we haven't worked out at home much. We either go to the gym or we maybe go running, but we haven't done any videos. So on Tuesday, we both wanted to work out but we were too tired to make the trek to the gym. I thought, hey! Let's do The Shred...I bet it will be way easier since now we've spent 2 months doing "real" workouts at the gym! Matt thought it was a good idea, so we did it. We did the "intermediate" level as a compromise...Matt thought we could do Advanced, piece of cake. I wanted to do Beginner so that I could feel successful. :) We compromised. And...

HOLY CRAP, JILLIAN KICKED MY BOOTY. You would think I'd spent the last 2 months eating Double Downs while watching TV 24/7. Although I did survive the workout, I wouldn't exactly say it was the piece of cake I'd hoped it would be. And I WOULD say that every single part of my body hurt for the next two days, up to and including this very minute. I did crawl back to the gym today, and it felt so comforting to do my lazy-girl workout...which I never before would have considered particularly lazy, but I guess compared to Jillian, it's pretty cushy.

So, lesson learned. I think you can save yourself the gym membership and just buy the freakin $10 DVD and get in pretty dang good shape. But then again...I don't regret my gym membership. I get bored doing the same workouts over and over again. And I don't like moving our heavy coffee table. And I like seeing other people at the gym. And laughing at the ultra-macho men. Like the ones today who were TAKING PICTURES OF EACH OTHER as they attempted to lift this super giant barbell with like 400 pounds of weight on it...and then one of them DROPPED IT. I mean...were they staging photos for their ads or something? Seriously boys. Seriously. No one was impressed slash EVERYONE WAS LAUGHING AT YOU.

And thus concludes my observations for today. Feel free to share if you can relate to my dishwasher FAIL or working out woes...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

and then there were 4.

Once upon a time, I had two blueberry bushes.

Then I planted four more. When it comes to blueberries (especially little teeny tiny baby bushes like these), the more the merrier-- they need lots of options when the bees come to pollinate them. So four + two equals SIX blueberry bushes.

The bushes started growing! Wahoo! Well, most of them did. One of them has turned into a black stick. Unless there's some sort of blueberry miracle, I'm considering that one a goner. We're down to five.

And then today...well, it all happened very quickly. You see, our meadow-like back yard...well, the weeds are a-plentiful and quite tall. Taller than our fledgling blueberry bushes in most cases. And although the blueberry bushes are each surrounded by a little bed of mulch...well, the grass/weeds keep growing up through the mulch, too, so it's a little hard to even tell where the blueberries are.

And I was on the riding lawmower. And it happened so fast.

And-- chop! chop! chop!-- then there were four blueberry bushes.

I almost cried.

Luckily the rest of the weekend has been much less traumatic. Actually it's been downright good.

Last night Mollyanne and I went to Restoration-- "an evening of worship, dancing in adoration of the Lord." It's an annual event hosted by our alma mater and I look forward to it every year. I danced in it once, back in '07. And every year since, as I watch, it makes me wish I had some way to continue dancing now. Especially last night-- there was a TAP dance this year!! Believe you me-- I was quite the mad tapper back in my day. And I still have all my shoes. Don't think I won't bust them out and tap all over my garage, driveway, porch, etc. In fact, I just may do that tomorrow. Remind me.

Today has been a great Saturday. After sleeping in (well, as long as I hacking cough *thanks, allergies!!* makes any sort of lying down rather impossible) we made some blueberry-pecan pancakes and then hit up a few yardsales. Matt was impressed with my yardsale-savvyness. So was this random lady that we kept running into at different yardsales (it's a small town, not that unusual). I believe her direct quote was "now THAT'S how you do it, girl." This was after I asked the man running the sale how much these bookends were, and he said "$3" and I laughed out loud as I said "right, okay, thanks!" and ran back to set them down. He came over and said "how much were you thinking you'd pay" and I said "maybe a dollar." And he said "well, how about $1.50" and I stared him long and hard in the eyes and then agreed. And a few minutes later when I found a basket I liked, I just walked up to him and said "I'll give you a quarter for this" as I held a quarter in front of his nose and he looked kind of scared as he said "well that sounds good." That's how I roll, folks. I don't need to wait around for you to tell me how much you want. I'll tell YOU how much I'll pay and then you can take it or you can be stuck with your crap for another year. :) It was a good day of yardsaling.

Then we did some yardwork, and THEN we went to G-Day! G-Day is our alma mater's (our other alma mater. The one we gave lots of money and got degrees from.) annual spring football scrimmage game. It's in the stadium and the band's there and it's a lot like a "real" game...except for, you know, an opposing team...and the other half of the stadium being open...and the tickets are FREE! This was ultra exciting because believe it or not, Matt and I have never been to a Georgia football game together! Although we both went to and graduated from UGA, we didn't know each other during college and therefore never attended games together. And we haven't been to a single game SINCE graduation (August 2005) due to lots of unfortunate events such as having to work on Saturdays (2006-2008) and not having any way to get tickets (2006-present and forseeable future). Anyway, we do both love UGA football and were very happy to finally go to Sanford Stadium together. The weather was PERFECT and the game was good-- I mean, either way, Georgia won...there was just no way to leave disappointed!

We convinced our neighbors to take a pic of us before the game.

Walking to the stadium. They only opened up half the stadium so it was a little strange looking across and seeing absolutely no one!

At the game. It was a fun afternoon, and unlike "real" football games, only took up about 2 hours. That gave us plenty of time to go give Lowe's some more of our money (I swear that's where 80% of our monies end up) and get back home to do lots more yardwork.

Now we're about to watch a movie Matt got for his birthday (The Fantastic Mr. Fox...I dunno, some Wes Anderson cartoon movie?? There's no explaining Matt's taste in movies. We'll see how it goes.) and rest up for a semi-busy Sunday.

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

signs of life

It's been a wonderful and productive Easter weekend. Since the over-loaded dishwasher is finally running and everything is more or less back in its rightful place, I wanted to take a minute to reminisce...

Saturday afternoon we finally got our farm planted! I realize most people would not consider a 4x8 foot raised garden to be much of a farm, but...well, we're not most people. We're really optimistic, and we call ours a "farm" in hopes that that will somehow prophetically cause everything we planted to become extra fruitful. Check it out, baby!

It may not look like much yet, but...come June, you're gonna be BEGGIN for some produce!! We have 2 'big' tomato plants, 2 cherry tomato plants, 1 each of green/red/yellow bell pepper plants, a million little squash plants, a million cucumber plants (rough estimates), and 2 strawberry plants! Not to mention our 6 blueberry bushes (that are growing!!! and making little blooms!!) and lots of potted herbs. Ummm...yeah, just call me Farmer Erika. No, really. Do.

Before/during/after planting all of the above, I made my daily inspections of all the other plants/bushes/dead sticks in the yard. Since I am relatively new to this whole landscaping/green thumb thing, I have pretty much no idea what all is going to grow back from last year...what it will look like when it does grow back...heck, I can barely even weed the beds now because I'm perpetually terrified I'll be pulling up little tiny baby plants that are SUPPOSED to be there! Anyway, this week of 70-80 degree weather has been good for the plants, cause they're all showing new signs of life!! Things I thought were dead sticks have suddenly grown leaves! It's a miracle! (PS-- there is NO shortage of spiritual metaphors the mind can make when you're working in the yard. I could write a book of sermons of things I've thought while working in the yard!)

Oops-- this is still the farm. Strawberries in the foreground, a pepper in the background.

A "dead" stick that sprouted leaves!! I wonder what it will grow up to be?

The bushes in my front beds sprouted yellow flowers! Who knew!?

So yesterday was a long and wonderful day of getting my hands dirty-- my favorite thing. This morning we were excited to get to go to our own church for Easter-- the first time we've ever done so! The past 3 years we've spent Easter in Augusta with my family, so this was our first Easter at Vineyard, and might I say...I hope it's not our last! It was awesome!!

Um, yes, Kyle is playing his TROMBONE during Roll Away the Stone. Amanda and Marshall...please try not to be too jealous. It was so awesome!!

Then, since it was approximately 8259 degrees in church after worship ended, we opened up the garage doors to let some air in for the baptisms and sermon. I guess there are some cool advantages to having church in a converted warehouse!

After church we spent some time doing photo shoots with the Gurleys. This is like the first pic Matt and I have had together since like...Christmas??

I'm glad our church has cool brick walls to serve as trendy backdrops for pictures...

Then Mollyanne and I spent awhile trying to make her punk baby smile for a picture. He seems like such a happy baby...until you try to document this. Then he wants you to think his life is miserable! This was about as close as we got... and isn't his Easter outfit adorable?!

After church we came home and started preparing for Easter Feast 2010. Well, I prepared for the feast. Matt and our neighbor Alan spent their time performing Easter Miracle 2010: the Resurrection of our Riding Lawn Mower. Yes and amen-- it was time well spent. I will be quite happy to not have to mow the backyard (aka the endless meadow) with a push mower!! Yay for boys tinkering around with stuff until it suddenly starts working again!!
I cooked (although ham basically just cooks itself. And does a good job of it, too.) and did some light housecleaning-- this was really one of the least stressful events I've ever hosted...everyone had volunteered to bring stuff, so I only had to cook 2 things! Here's what the table looked like (inaugural use of the 'leaf' for the table)

This was when we thought there would be 8 people attending. About 30 minutes before dinner started, we found out two more people would be coming as well. The table looked considerably more ghetto after we added two more completely mismatched place mats/plates/knives/napkins. Oh well. This is an area I need to keep working on-- I have exactly 8 matching plates, 8 matching placemats, 6 matching napkins (of one set, 4 of another and 2 of another), 7 matching glasses (one broke, oops!), so I'm not really set up for large entertaining. Not to mention we had to borrow a neighbor's folding chair to be seat #10. Oh well. No one really cares-- they're there for food!! And it was good and there was plenty of it, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. We had Matt's parents, his brother and sister (and both of their +1s), and two neighbors. And us. And a partridge in a pear tree. Or something.
So that was our weekend. Busy and very wonderful. Tomorrow is Matt's birthday and I am sad to say we have NO plans whatsoever. I feel bad that he sort of had to share his birthday with a holiday...but then, I do this every year, so maybe I shouldn't. :) So far the only thing he's mentioned that he'd like to do (besides spend 8 hours at work, of course) is go to the gym. After what we ate today, I think we can DEFINITELY handle that!
Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It occurred to me tonight while I was fixing dinner that I feel like this week has been very successful. As I mentally listed the things I was feeling good about, I decided I should blog about it so that I won't come across as just a whiny brat. :) So here we go (in no particular order).

1.'s Thursday night, which means it's almost Friday, which means I've made it through almost another week at work. That in and of itself merits me some sort of award or something.

2. I've been BUSY this week, which carried over from last weekend, which has meant I've had exactly ZERO time to spend blogging/reading blogs/commenting on blogs/Facebooking. what, the world kept right on turning. As far as I know, no one has perished for lack of me stalking their lives. And I guess I didn't really believe that was possible. And guess what ELSE!! Now I get to savor what time I have (still limited) to catch UP on all of the above, and it's very exciting. OK- this paragraph made no sense. I'll just move on. I'll just leave you to ponder how any of this makes me feel successful.

3. I'm hosting another baby shower at my house in a few weekends. It's for a good friend from work and I've been thinking for the past 8 months that I would want to host or co-host her work shower...but you know what?? Baby showers are TOUGH when you're struggling with infertility. Really tough. Make you wanna throw up tough. And I've been to/hosted quite a few over this past year and a half. A few weeks ago I decided I would give up hosting them, at least until I was pregnant myself. Or until I became a nicer, less bitter person. Or something. But know what? My friend deserves a shower (and her baby is due in a month). We needed a place to have it. And so sometimes you just have to do what you know you should do. So I will throw her this shower and I will rejoice with her and I will just continue trusting that God really is in control. Of everything. And I will try not to fall apart at the thought of all of my co-workers and bosses traipsing through my house.

4. I am hosting (and cooking) Easter Dinner at my house!! Normally we spend Easter with my family, but since my parents are in Haiti for the week...well, we can't. So I decided to host Easter here and invite Matt's family and some of our neighbors. I am very excited and not too nervous. Naturally, it will involve a cleaning frenzy on Saturday. Although my "30 before 30" list has still not been finalized and published (sorry!!), you will be happy to know that this will accomplish TWO of my goals (host a major holiday; invite neighbors to dinner party). Success!

5. We have had REAL dinners EVERY NIGHT THIS WEEK. And by "real" I mean "not something that resembles this:"

Because frequently, this is what our meals are like. It's due to the constant too-hungry-and-no-time-to-cook-after-the-gym scenario that led me to this unfortunate incident a few weeks ago. But anyway, THIS week we have had real (and HEALTHY! and GOOD!) food each night-- yay!! Monday night was extra special because we went over to dinner at some long lost friends' house and they cooked us yummy food-- double score since I didn't have to cook it! (But no, we didn't go to the gym that night.)

6. I've read like...2 whole chapters of a book this week! This is a strangely big deal for a self-professed book lover. As much as I do love reading, I also seem to have Reading ADD (this is real, I promise). I have about 80 books that I've borrowed/bought and I WANT to read all of them and yet I actually read... none of them. I can't decide which one to start with, so I feel overwhelmed and just watch TV instead. PS- this is ridiculous. So last week I borrowed this book

from the library, and for reasons I'll never know, I'm actually reading it. It beckons to me, and since I've been unusually busy this week, I frequently find myself walking by the book and thinking dang, I really wish I could read that. I think maybe it's the dog on the cover. Calling to me. Calling me to learn all about the inner psychology of dogs and how their physiology and socialization has caused it and...well, so far all I've learned is how dogs became a separate species from wolves, and there is far more mention of DNA than I'm used to, but I'm really sucked in. The author continually encourages readers to "set aside our natural inclinations to anthropomorphize dogs" and since I think that is possibly the hardest thing I've ever been asked to do (okay, not)...I will keep reading to find out why.

Well, six successes is pretty good. I might have more, but now that I've started thinking about that book again, it's made me want to start reading. And since I just discovered that The Office is a rerun tonight, I now have time to actually do it!

So how about you? Any small (or big!) successes this week you'd like to remember? Anything really hilarious and embarrasing you'd like to forget? You know what they say, that the key to forgetting something forever is to start by telling people all about it...