Friday, December 31, 2010

peace out, 2010.

So here it is, the last day of 2010. I tried to think of a good way to recap the year, but since I am currently lacking creativity, I decided to go with the old standby...the Year-End Survey. In case we weren't friends last year at this time, you can check out my 2009 answers. But I must warn you: in a sad twist of fate, it seems that not much has changed in the last year. A lot of answers are eerily the same. Also? This thing is LONG! So...yeah. Beware.

  1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Let’s see. I had an HSG. I was in potentially life-threatening car accident. I joined a gym and actually went regularly! And we’ll end on that positive note.

  1. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t think I made any particular resolutions last year, but I will say that I did work out regularly all year long, which seems like the fulfillment of a very popular resolution! I also had made a sort of mental resolution to stop neglecting all of the other parts of my life in my baby-making obsession and I think I did make progress in that area. Despite the months of endless doctor’s appointments and tears and obsessing, I did manage to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle, I consumed WAY less ice cream than in 2009, and I lessened my emotional load by sharing more with other people (and the world! via blogging more openly).

That was a long answer. Will I make more for 2011? I think I will try to continue on the same path. Staying healthy. Pursuing things other than just pregnancy.

  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Funny you should ask. It feels like EVERYONE close to me gave birth. I would list them all, but it could cause me to swirl into a deep and dark depression, so we’ll just move on instead! (This is me keeping myself positive, haha)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?

Only America. My passport expired in January and I haven’t renewed it yet. Not that I would have gone anywhere anyway, but that’s a convenient excuse. I did, however, visit the great states of Florida and North and South Carolina. Wow, I sound really lame.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Well, the obvious. A baby. Also, wireless internet at my home.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 19. If for no other reason than I had to quote the date to no less than 4,000 insurance people. That’s the only specific date that sticks out to me. Other than that it’s more general timeframes/events.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Working out consistently!! I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. It’s not even that I got in such great shape or lost any weight, cause I’m not sure I did. It’s just that I feel better about myself when I’m not being a sloth all the time.

Also, I consider it a great achievement that I’ve become addicted to basically every crappy, trashy reality TV show that there is. I feel like I’ve reached new lows, but at least they’re lows that allow me to connect with the rest of the women in my demographic.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I dunno. Maybe jealousy. I’ve found myself avoiding situations and places just because I know how jealous and left out I will feel once I’m there (and surrounded by moms and/or moms-to-be and all their babies and talk and such…) and I don’t know if that’s really a good coping mechanism.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Why yes, yes I did. And since I’m the world’s biggest whiner, I bet you already knew that!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hmm. I got a lot of good yardsale buys, like our china cabinet. I like our new car, although not the circumstances that forced us to buy it (it taints it)! I’m loving the new sweater I bought at Ann Taylor on Monday…

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I would have to say Matt. He has been the best supporter and co-survivor of this infertility journey that I could have asked for. He has never once made me feel like I’m stupid, or neurotic, or going to hell for my lack of faith. He is my rock. And he buys good flowers.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Probably all the moms on Toddlers & Tiaras. They are RUINING their kids’ lives!

14. Where did most of your money go?

To doctors! And hospitals!! And we have nothing to show for it! How exciting!

15. What did you get really excited about?

I think the thing I was most excited about the whole year would have to be the manatees. And maybe that’s sad, but that’s my life. I will never forget how happy I was when we were with the manatees.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Umm…no song. I don’t get into that sort of thing.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
(a) happier or sadder?
(b) thinner or fatter?
(c) richer or poorer?

(a) Maybe about the same. I feel sad when I think about how optimistic I was last year at this time. I think I am not nearly that optimistic this year. I’m a realist now. But I don’t necessarily think that makes me overall sadder. I don’t know. This is a tough one.

(b) About the same? Or maybe I would say “more in shape” if that were an option. I might weigh the same, but it’s more muscle than it was last year!

(c) Probably poorer? How sad is that. It would have been “richer” except for buying the stupid car and all the stupid medical bills.

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

Spending time with other people. We let ourselves get kind of isolated living out in the country and being fairly introverted. But it would probably be healthy to spend time with people other than ourselves sometimes.

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

Oh, you know. Crying. Lamenting. Being sad.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Day was with my family in Augusta.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

I fell in love with couponing!! And lots of really lame TV shows!

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Ah, finally a question that doesn’t depress me. It would be too hard to pick just one. There was Lost, and I miss it now that it’s gone. Amazing Race and Biggest Loser…those are must-see-when-they-come-on level. Then the rest of these are “DVR every episode and watch as desired (which is often)” status: Real Housewives of New Jersey, Atlanta, and Beverly Hills; 16 & Pregnant; Teen Mom; Keeping Up with the Kardashians; House Hunters; Property Virgins; and as of this week, Toddlers & Tiaras. Good job T&T, you barely squeezed in to my 2010 lineup!!

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


24. What was the best book you read?

I haven’t read much this year. Unless you count blogs. Then I’m an avid reader. Lately I’ve been reading The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World One Correction at a Time and it’s very enjoyable.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Oooh I discovered that all the awesome music I listened to in high school/early college was still saved on my computer somewhere. Those were some sweet tunes.

26. What did you want and get?

A garden. A beach vacation. A new fleece.

27. What did you want and not get?

A BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Um, I think I maybe saw three movies this year (including movies on TV and movies on DVD and movies in the $1 theater). Toy Story 3 was probably the best of them.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 28 and we went to church, then lunch, then saw some snowflakes (that didn’t stick), then stayed home the rest of the night. It was very exciting.

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

Oh I don’t know, possibly seeing two pink lines…

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

I’ve been getting more into accessories. And for the last few months, definitely hopping on the leggings-with-tunics/dresses bandwagon. Because it’s the most comfortable thing to ever happen to fashion. Oh, I also started painting my nails. It makes me pretty happy.

32. What kept you sane?

Matt, some of my real-life friends, and the friendship and community of fellow pregnancy-challenged women I’ve managed to find on the internet. I don’t know how I’d make it without them.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Probably…all the women from Real Housewives. But only if by “fancy” you mean “are curiously puzzled by."

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

LOL! I think we all know that I am not stirred by political issues.

35. Who did you miss?

I miss life before infertility. I miss the days when I could just think/say “oh, when I have kids…” and not feel supremely stressed out by that phrase and whether I should actually be saying “if”.

Oh, it said “who”. Oh well. I stand by my original answer.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Well, I’m not sure if it counts if you’ve only “met” online, but I would have to say that “meeting” Amanda J. has been pretty great.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Well, it goes on. And somehow, inexplicably, God will show His goodness through it all.

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

How about…every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. It’s all I could think of.

So that's that. As a final PS-- how awesome is it that I have the exact same number of blogs for 2009 and 2010?? Pretty awesome, I know. I think that for 2011, I will try to beat that. Maybe I'll go for 90. 100? What do you think? How many times do you want to hear me whine next year?? Haha.

So, goodbye 2010. You were good, but you coulda been better. Looking forward to tomorrow, when I will plan to write lots of checks just so that I can write 1/1/11 on the top.

(PS again. This is a REALLY crucial story I'm about to write. But it has to do with dates that are like tomorrow's. I remember that on 3/3/2003 I signed a lease on my first apartment and paid a security deposit of $333.33. I mean, how cool is that?? That check was AWESOME.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

got time??

Our Christmas in Augusta has been rather...relaxing, you could say. It's been just us (Matt & I), my parents, and my grandparents (in their mid-80s), with occasional visits from my brother and his girlfriend and/or my sister and her husband. But most of the time, it's the 6 of us, and we're not exactly...hoppin. More like, we sit and eat. And talk, sure. And then sit and eat and maybe watch some TV. Sit in the hot tub, eat some more, and maybe take a nap.

It's pretty awesome, really.

But as you can imagine, when that's all you're doing all day, you grow extra-appreciative of the availability of wireless internet. Because when all you're doing is eating and sitting, it's not too much to add in a little mindless web-surfing. Especially if you're me and you're internet-deprived most of the time.

So I've had a lot of time to spend surfing the 'net. And just in case you are also finding yourself in a situation where you have time to kill, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite reads from this week. Or maybe you're just lucky enough to be snowed in. Or maybe you just have some new-fangled electronic device like an iPad or iPhone or iSomething and you need new materials to stare at. Or maybe...well, whatever. I just wanted to share.

1. First of all, I spent seven a few hours catching up on the last few years of Stuff Christians Like (SCL). Have you read that before? It's hilarious. It's a blatant rip-off of Stuff White People Like, which is also an excellent read, but not the topic of this paragraph. SCL is 90% tongue-in-cheek sarcasm and 100% awesome, especially if you are/were/have ever known a Christian. Jon, the author of the blog, divides his time between the silly (which is the bread-and-butter namesake of the blog, the actual stuff Christians like numbered posts), the serious (he actually is a Christian, and he has some amazing insights that he skillfully shares with both passion and wit), and the hey, this is my blog, here's what's up in my life.

If you've never visited before, here's a good example of a stuff thing Christians like (or don't so much like, as the case may be): #871- The guy who tries to fix your problems when you make a prayer request. Classic.

But if you're more in the mood for a little encouragement and/or conviction, you could check out this one, Our $29,000 God. I've read it about 10 times this weekend and it's good every time. Promise.

2. While we're at it, discussing list-type, numbered blogs, maybe you need to look at 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility. This is a classic amongst those of us who are infertile, bitter, REALLY hate that iPhone 4 commercial where the girl video-chats with her husband and announces her pregnancy pregnancy-challenged. But I think it could be enjoyable even if you're not a member of our fun-filled little club. This one, much like SCL, is funny only because there's so much truth in what we're laughing at.

I found much to relate to in #697- Happy Infertile Christmas...Again. And, sadly, in #717- This is the LAST box of tampons you'll ever buy. Check it out. It's kind of a win-win situation, really. If you're pregnancy-challenged, it might lighten your mood for a few minutes. Or at least make you giggle. And feel happy that you're not the only person thinking/doing these things. And if you're pregnant or a can get a little insight into the other side. And feel extra-thankful for your own not-sleeping-through-the-night babies or your morning sickness.

3. And finally, I would like to recommend The Life of Ashley Salazar. This one will either seem really random to you, or it may sound strangely familiar. If you are as ultra-cool as me and you watch 16 and Pregnant with great devotion, you may recognize Ashley as being the subject of the recent season finale.

Just so we're straight-- I watch 16 & P primarily because I am selfish. It makes me feel better about myself and my own life. Yep- I'm not pregnant. And on one level, I hate the show because it basically showcases idiotic teenagers who have managed to achieve the one thing I cannot. But for some reason, instead of making me feel angry or sad, it mostly makes me feel a sick sense of superiority. Because really? My life is awesome compared to those hot messes. I don't have a baby, sure. But I have a car. A job. A husband. And if I did have a kid...I would be so much awesomer at raising it. And I wouldn't look like a selfish, delusional brat for all of the world to see, that's for sure. So I usually watch the show and laugh, or to shake my head and sigh.

But Ashley?? She changed it all for me. Ashley was smart. She had adult emotions. She was relate-able. She wasn't a brat. She chose adoption for her child and she constantly second-guessed herself. She fell in love with her baby and still gave her away. And then she changed her mind. And her family? They were strong. But they were weak, too. They struggled with her. I have never seen such a real and raw picture of what it's like to be a teenager truly battling to figure out what is best for both your baby and yourself. I never really thought much about the teens who are giving up their babies and what kind of emotions they experience as a result of that.

And lucky for me, Ashley blogs. She blogged before she got on the show. She blogged during. And she's still blogging now. And guess what? She still doesn't have it all together. She still constantly second-guesses herself. She is broken and depressed and uncertain and eighteen and she pours it all out on her blog. I couldn't stop reading. I couldn't stop praying.

It's not a light read and it's not for the faint of heart. And it's not going to give you the I am so much better at life feeling you normally go to 16 & Pregnant looking for. But it might challenge your thinking and it might break your heart. Proceed with caution.

So there's your mixed-bag of links. We're headed back to the land of no-internet home tomorrow, so I won't have hours upon hours to stare at the internet, but if you have any interesting pages you want to share, put it in the comments! I love new reading material!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

a Christmas miracle (of sorts)

I don't want to mislead anyone. This is not the sort of miracle you (and I) were really hoping would happen to me. No happy news to announce. Not today. But still-- a Christmas miracle...perhaps of a lesser order, but a good story nonetheless.

After all, it involves my favorite (and only) daughter!! And doesn't she look festive with her scarf??

So we're here in Augusta (and crossing our fingers for the First White Christmas since 1492 (or something)). Because life is cruel, I am being forced to wait until LUNCHTIME to open presents. This is truly unacceptable, since I am still the girl that wakes up at 4am on Christmas morning, ready and rarin' to go. But this is how it goes in adulthood. You have to wait until your punk little brother does Christmas with his girlfriend's family first before he can come and Christmas can commence at your own house. Jerk. So since I found myself with some time on my hands this morning, I decided to channel it productively by spending some time at the Fancy Gym.

Our gym, Anytime Fitness, is a franchise-type deal where we can use any of their facilities in the country. Conveniently, there is one about 2 miles away from my parents' house...and even though it's the same name as our home gym, it is WAY cooler! Hence calling it the "Fancy Gym". It's fancier than our home-sweet-podunk-home gym. It has way more awesome equipment than ours does, so we always look forward to visiting when we come to Augusta. Anyways. This is more or less irrelevant to the story at hand.

So we went to the gym, and YES we were the only people there at 8:30 am on Christmas Day. We are just that awesome. And I think I heard somewhere that you burn double the calories when it's on a major holiday. Or something like that.

We came home, and my mom really had to twist my arm to convince me that a good follow-up to my Christmas Day workout would be to lay in the Jacuzzi for awhile. I mean, since I had to shower already and everything...why not first lounge in a hot, bubbly spa??

I must say-- not too shabby. Especially when my servants Mom brought out the fruit plate and coffee. Really not too shabby. At this point I started considering the feasibility of moving back home. Fancy Gym. Coffee in the spa. This is the life.

While I'm enjoying my spa time, my beloved dog-ter is running wild in the yard. See, we don't have a fenced-in yard at our house, so Lola pretty much NEVER gets to play outside off-leash. She loves coming to my parents' house because they have a giant fenced-in yard and she gets unlimited play time. So she's running wild with her ball in her mouth, and I'm trying to convince her to bring it to me (in the spa) so that I can throw it for her. She's having none of it-- as far as she's concerned, I'm lounging in a giant, loud, bubbly bathtub and am two seconds away from hauling her in for her annual bath. So she keeps her distance.

Matt comes out off-and-on and will throw the ball for her. The thing is, as you can see, there are TONS of leaves on the ground. And the ball is a nice greenish brown, slobbery mess. So when Lola runs off and drops it somewhere, it can be hard to find the ball again. At one point she does this and Matt spends the better part of 10 minutes raking leaves, trying to unearth the ball. Unsuccessful, he goes back inside to find another ball so they can play some more. About 2 seconds after he goes inside, Lola runs over to where Matt had just left and quickly emerges from the leaves with her ball in her mouth.

Christmas Miracle 1: My daughter is a GENIUS! She can hide a ball so well that Matt can't find it, and then she REMEMBERS where it was! Brilliant. I think I'm having her tested for gifted next year...

Now along the back fence, there are some areas where the bottom of the fence gaps from the ground about 6-8 inches. I have noticed that our neighbors (who share a fence with us) must have a dog since I can see four paws and a little nose peeking under the fence. Apparently their dog is curious about the 3-ring circus going on in our yard.

So Lola is once again prancing around the middle of the yard with her ball. She throws (drops) it for herself and pounces on it...over and over. All of a sudden, she stops, ball in mouth. She sees the four paws at the fence. She runs over to investigate.

And she drops the ball. Right next to the fence.

Lola, No! I call. I can just see the ball rolling under the fence. I don't know those neighbors. I'm not going knocking at 10am on Christmas morning (in my bathing suit, haha) to fetch Lola's nasty old ball.

But she dropped the ball. And then...

she pushes it under the fence. With her nose, and then her paw. She gives away her ball. To her unknown playmate on the other side. It was absolutely on purpose.

And if that's not a selfless act, I don't know what is. My dear sweet baby. Giving away her only-begotten ball. (And yes, I know she didn't begot the ball. I just like that phrase. Especially at Christmas.)

So there we have it. Even our furry, adorable baby girl has caught the Christmas spirit. A miracle, for sure. Because Lola's an only know, sometimes I worry that she's not properly socialized. That she doesn't know how to share with the other kids. But then I see this, and I know I don't have to worry. She gave away her ball!! My baby is a friggin martyr.

Soon we will open presents, and I heard that Santa left a few new toys for Lola. So I guess she won't miss her old tennis ball. But I just may have to go stick a brick under that hole in the fence. I mean, seriously. As sweet as that was, i just can't have her giving away all her toys. She's going to make me look selfish. You should never be out-martyred by your dog. It's just a rule I try to live by.

So, Merry Christmas. I hope you meet someone as generous as Lola today!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

yay for vacay!!

Woohoo!! It's CHRISTMAS BREAK!! It's been a long time since I've gotten to participate in this ritual of lots-of-days-off...for the past few years my work calendar has meant that (even though I work for the school system) I work for several days a week even during Christmas break. However, this year, since I took a 13-day calendar reduction (and subsequently a 13 day pay cut, yippee!!) I get most of the break off! No work for me until January 4! Yippee!!

That pay-cut "yippee" was sarcasm. The last "yippee" was for real. Just so we're clear.

Anyway. I have kicked off the celebration by waking up at the exact same time as normal, since my sweet husband doesn't get to have the whole week off. And he still needed company and breakfast, so I got up to do my part. And then I always have these lofty of goals of going back to sleep after he leaves, but once I've been up for an hour, I have a hard time going back to bed. Hopefully this will improve, because there is really not a lot to do at home alone at 7:30 am when you have no home internet. It's even a little early for my beloved trashy TV shows...I can't handle the drama of Real Housewives at that hour. It has to be at least 9 for that, I think.

Anyway. Last night one of my former co-workers had a little soiree for co-workers past and present...not all of them, just the ones she liked. Ha. At least she's honest, right?? So we had a good time wining and dining and whining and dining. And I personally feel that someone should come out with a fad diet that relies on eating pigs-in-blankets and Oreo balls and drinking wine. I think I would be a major success at that diet.

I also think it is interesting to see where the conversations of 20-something educators go...even when we're not at work. You throw together a handful of outspoken, opinionated women, some throwback tunes, and a few bottles of wine...buddy, you just may change the world. Or at least we might. Before the night was over we'd all but written a grant to fund our innovative and flawless theories.

Does anyone else work in the world of grants? It's funny that when you do, that's just your first inclination for any issue. Need someone to do something? Write a grant for it. Need a new table for your classroom? Write a grant for it. Toilet paper running low in the bathroom? Write a grant. And then when you get your grant you can spend the rest of your days whining about how sucky it is working for a grant. It's awesome.

Anyway. Enough about working and grants. I'm on vacation!!

We have another Christmas party tonight and then Christmas with Matt's fam tomorrow night and then it's back to Augusta for Christmas with my family this weekend. I am pretty much done shopping, just need to get a few more things for stockings. And print a few pictures. And wrap the presents. But other than that, done.

Oh!! You guys were so helpful with all the suggestions about thermostat settings. I think that was the most comments I've ever gotten on a blog!! Since then we've been much warmer...and when we get the bill, we'll see if it is worth it, ha. You may notice me putting up a little money donation paypal thing on the sidebar: Help Erika pay her electric bill!! But I did want to share a link that Lisa shared with me. It's from the Department of Energy and deals with exactly what we were debating-- is it better to turn down the heat when you're asleep or gone, and does the heater actually have to work harder to heat up the colder air? What the DoE says is actually different from what many of us were thinking, so it may be worth looking at. Trust me, it's a reader-friendly article, not too science-y or boring. Check it out!

Well, this may officially be one of my most boring blogs ever. Grants. Science. I hope you'll still be my friend after suffering through this.

Oh wait-- before we go. I just need to share this really depressing fact.

I decorated my house for Christmas (like I do every year). It looks great-- I've posted some pics previously. And it occurred to me yesterday that NO ONE has come to our house and seen the decorations. Only Matt and I. NO ONE else!! And it's been decorated since the Saturday after Thanksgiving! I guess this is one of the drawbacks to living in the "country" (that is really only 15 minutes away from town), but it is making me really sad. I think I may just invite the UPS guy in the next time he comes by, just to make me feel like someone appreciated my decorations other than me. Does anyone else have this problem? I mean, it's not that I regret decorating...because I do really enjoy it. But I think the thing that made me saddest is that I got these cute towels to put in the guest bathroom...and no guests have been there to see them.

Please. Join me in my pity party. Actually, why don't you physically join me. Then you can see my decorations!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

back and at it

Is anyone else familiar with this expression? It's something my family uses frequently (ie: "I took a break from mopping, but now I'm back and at it") but for some reason the words all run together and it sounds more like backanatit. [side note: now that I actually spell it OUT, it looks like "banana tit" at a glance, which is really more than I can handle] I think I was like 15 before I realized that this expression was actually four different words and not just one. Anyway.

The wedding's over (with great success), the newlyweds are on their way to the Keys (and I got to FB chat with my sis this morning to catch up), and we're home sweet home, back and at it. The first thing we did (after turning the heat up to 69, thanks for ALL the advice-- you guys ROCK!) (and unpacking) was go to the gym for a long and torturous time of penance. Because we also brought home with us approximately 2900 pounds of leftover wedding food. And surprisingly, very little of it is healthy (hello, one lone head of cauliflower. You have no company!). So I think the gym will be my new BFF this week. Boo.

Anyway, since I don't have any dinner to cook (leftovers, remember?), I thought I'd zip up here to Ye Olde Library and share one of my latest crafty endeavors with yall. See, I have a lot of earrings. A lot. And most of them are dangly, or chandelier, or big, or all of the above. And they lay in a jumble in my jewelry box and cost me precious minutes in the morning as I try to hunt down and detangle the ones I want. So I decided to innovate. What I came up with is a hybrid of something I saw in a Pottery Barn magazine and something I saw in an antique store. And I like it!! Check it out:

And that's it: some empty frames (cheap cheap at an antique store), some chicken wire (cheap cheap at Home Depot), a stapler (free cause I already own it), and some patience cause working with chicken wire is a little out of control...but in the end, I have the perfect place to hang my earrings! I'm so excited about it! And look-- there's room for more earrings! How convenient.

I also bought a much larger frame that I am planning on doing the same thing with, but this one will be for necklaces and bracelets. All you have to do is hook some tiny s-hooks over the chicken wire, then hang the necklace from the hook!

So there's a good 20 minute project if you have some supplies on hand. I would not recommend doing this with children around, though-- little bits of metal go everywhere when you cut the wire...I might actually wear safety goggles (aka sunglasses) next time I do it.

As for me, I go back to work tomorrow (just for Monday and Tuesday) and other than that I'll be finishing my shopping and wrapping and going to Christmas parties Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights! Whew! Good thing I have all those leftovers....mwah ha ha.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Warning: MANY pictures ahead!!!

Why do I feel like lots of my blogs start with a warning?? Strange. Maybe I'm an over-warner.

But seriously. There are a lot of pics ahead. I tried really hard to pare it down to only maybe the top thousand you needed to see...but that was hard. So now I'll just try not to provide commentary on every single one, because let's face it-- you're probably familiar with weddings and you know me and my people well enough that I shouldn't have to label every single picture...but let's really face things: you KNOW I can't mince words. I'm compelled to over-comment on everything. I'm an over-sharer like that. I over-warn. I over-comment. I over-share.

But only via writing. In real life I don't usually talk that much. But that's another topic for another day.

On with the pictures! Here are recurring themes you should look out for: a) my sister is BEAUTIFUL. b) it's very handy to have a sister and other bridesmaids who are cosmetologists. c) my sister should be a model. d) I want to get re-married (to Matt, duh) so that I can wear my sister's dress. e) did I mention that my sister is stunning?

Here we are post-rehearsal dinner. You should be stunned and amazed that this is the ONLY picture from the rehearsal day that I'm putting here. I opted out of torturing you with 40 others. Amazing. What self-control I am showing! But how could I pass up on me and Sarah with Santa & the Mrs.??

And here we just jump right in to the wedding day photo shoot. A few things you should know: 1) these pictures were taken at a local RETIREMENT COMMUNITY...hahahaha...we were in it for the scenery, friends. The old folks had fun gawking though! 2) It was like 40 degrees or something. Or maybe 40 below. It was cold. 3) I had an ovarian cyst rupture at approximately 3pm, or 1 hour before these pictures were taken. For the record, it hurts a lot and I was in excruciating pain until about 8pm, at which time the pain became only moderately unbearable. I should receive an Academy Award for the smile on my face in the following pictures. And the fact that I didn't faint during the ceremony. Or maybe that one should just be a Badge of Courage or something. Anyway. Just wanted to over-share that I had possibly the worst-timed medical event of my lifetime yesterday. 4) The semi-crappy pictures came from my camera. The good ones came from Sarah's BFF/my fellow person-of-honor Lindsey. The professional ones are to come. But that's why we appear to be staring off into the distance in many pictures. Really we were just looking at the "real" photographer...and other people were snapping from other angles. 5) Sarah is BEEEEEYUTIFUL!

Well you KNOW I have to start by showing off my hottie husband!

Me and the other bridesmaids: L-R Katie (Mark's sister), me (matron of honor because apparently I'm a MATRON???), Sarah, Lindsey (Sarah's BFF since kindergarten and the maid of honor), Rebecca (Sarah's fellow fabulous doer of hair)
Sarah and Jake (our brother) cute I could die!

Is she fabulous or WHAT??!

There are a million more pics from this photo shoot...go to my Facebook if you want more.

Didn't get many shots of the ceremony since we were kind of in it...

At the reception:

Yes, I would like one of these chocolate-covered-strawberries trees at every table I ever sit at for the rest of my life, thanks. Oh, and the cheesecakes too.

My aunt and uncle cuttin' a RUG!!!

Me and Stine! So glad they came to love on my sister (and keep me company!)

Keepin things klassy (and safe)...leaving in a Taxi!!! (don't worry, we did a "fake leave" photo shoot way earlier in the night when we did sparklers and stuff....hilarious)

The this morning (morning after the wedding) there was a brunch. This time James & Stine brought baby Adoration so that I could hold her the whole time and show her to all my relatives, pretending she is mine. They indulge me like that.

Okay that really did not seem like that many pictures. I have a thousand more, just let me know if you want more (with more commentary).

It's been a great weekend, I'll share more later!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

baby, it's COLD outside!

Just so you don’t think I’m lying about how cold it is, check it out:

This is the little thermometer thingy in our house. Notice it was FOURTEEN DEGREES outside this morning. But no snow!! Not even any ice! This is truly unfair. Plus, with the 20mph winds, the weather people said it officially felt like 6 degrees. I can’t even comprehend temperatures like that. I’m a Georgia girl. This does not compute.

This one shows what Matt’s get-up looks like in the morning when he’s making our lunches. It is slightly frigid in our house, so his leather bomber jacket is absolutely necessary.

So I’m wondering…what does everyone set their thermostats at? I can’t decide what a reasonable temperature is. Here’s what we’ve been doing: When we’re home and up and about (ie: 6-10 pm on a weeknight) we set it at about 66. And we feel extremely cold, even though it says it’s 66. We do have really high ceilings in the living room and master bedroom, and I suspect all the heat goes straight to the ceiling, which is—strangely—not where we are hanging out. Then we have this little space heater we usually have on in the bathroom (if you’re IN the bathroom, not just all the time) and in the morning we put it in the kitchen/dining room. When we sleep, we set the thermostat back down to 61 or so. This isn’t a problem, we stay plenty warm when we’re asleep, but it does make you pretty miserable to get out of bed in the morning. And then when we’re at work (or otherwise out of the house for 3+ hours) we set it to about 62.

I guess I just feel confused because except for when we’re sleeping, I feel like it is always cold. But yet—the heater is always running. I mean, if it’s 20 degrees outside all day, the thing has to really work even to keep the house at 60 degrees. So I am already envisioning a very very expensive electric bill this month. Would it make a big difference if I kicked it up to like 72 when we’re home, just so we could maybe feel slightly comfortable? Should I be knocking it down even lower when we’re gone from the house all day? Should we just try to be gone from our house as often as possible so that we can mooch off other people’s and stores’ and our gym’s heat?? These are the questions that plague me.

Luckily, it’s supposed to warm up to a much more normal temperature range by late this week. “Normal” in Georgia is mid-50s (during the day) for this time of year, and that’s sounding pretty good right about now. Also, we’ll be heading to my parents’ house on Wednesday (staying through Sunday), so I think that I’ll just set the heat at like 52 or something for the entire time we’re gone and that will save us some money. Is 52 fine? I feel like I’ve heard you shouldn’t cut it off altogether or your pipes may burst or something. But what if it isn’t going to be that cold outside? Can your pipes still burst? Am I completely over-thinking this whole thing?

Bills are stressful enough without getting some $300 electric bill to push me over the edge. I have to over-think things like this! But let me know if you have any enlightenment for me, or if you just want to share what temperatures you keep your own houses at. I’m very nosy like that.

So speaking of going to Augusta…my sister’s wedding is this weekend! Crazy, right? I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t seen most of my extended family since my own wedding, three and a half years ago, so that should be fun. My sister’s wedding should be pretty much the exact opposite of mine in every single aspect. Mine: June, morning, short & sweet reception because I hate being the center of attention and couldn’t wait to get outta there. Hers: December, nighttime, long alcohol-and-dancing-and-karaoke-filled reception…basically everything I tried to avoid in my own, ha. It’s cool though. That’s why we didn’t have a joint wedding. Among other reasons.

The only thing I’m dreading is the seemingly-innocent “So, are you guys thinking about having kids yet?” question that is bound to come from distant relatives and friends not-in-the-know. I’ve yet to find the proper response to that question…since most people are probably not really interested in a two-hour dissertation about the specifics of all our medical conditions…but yet, I need to get the point across that any “advice” that is along the lines of well, just relax and it’ll happen! or you’re young! or You should think about adopting, lots of people get pregnant once they start adopting! is completely un-wanted and will be probably not be received with much grace.

So let’s role-play a few different possible responses I could have for the above scenario:

So, yall thinking about starting a family soon?

1. No. (It’s a lie, but at least it ends that conversation. Hopefully. I mean, would you think anyone would really want to go into a debate from there?)

2. Yes, we’re trying! (And leave it at that? What if they ask “for how long?”…then do I go into it? Also, what if they respond to this, my seemingly optimistic response, with the old “oh, it’ll happen for you soon!”? Then do I just slap them across the face and run off crying, screaming “YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!”)

3. See, the problem with ALL of my imagined scenarios is that they all end sort of like the one above. With me looking like a raving (not to mention infertile) lunatic. But let’s keep going here.

4. Yes, go here and you’ll know all you ever wanted to know. (Hand them a business-type card with this blog address on it. Then we have a roomful of people sneaking off to the side/the bathroom to read my blog on their iPhones while at my sister’s wedding. This is looking bad for the sisterly relationship. I can’t help it if my whiney blog is more exciting than your reception, sister!! Kidding. But what if that happened??)

5. Yes, we’ve been trying for two years and have exhausted every medical avenue except for in-vitro, so we’re waiting on a miracle and/or $10,000 for IVF or adoption, whichever comes first. (This might sound a little rude, but hopefully it could get the point across that I don’t want any random “medical” advice they’ve heard somewhere before, I don’t want any anecdotal stories about people they sorta know, and I know what I’m doing and talking about. And also that I’m completely open to any cash or checks they want to donate to the cause. I certainly do want that point to get across!)

So far none of these responses are feeling like winners to me. What do you think I should say? Or should I just avoid the whole thing by dancing like a raving lunatic all night long so that no one can ever catch me standing still long enough to think I might want to chat it up about stuff like this? (Or, for that matter, about any number of topics I hate making small talk about, such as my job and politics.)

Actually, maybe I should just carry around a small card that has a list of small-talk topics I DO want to talk about. It would look something like this:
The weather.
Reality TV.
Couponing and anything else related to stretching a dollar.
My dog.

See, short, sweet, and surely everyone can talk about something on the list, right?

Okay, well, I think I’ve overwhelmed you enough today with my obsessions and insecurities. If you have any emotional energy left, please feel free to comment about a) your heat-thermostat situation, b) what I should say to people about our failed attempts at making babies, and c) anything else that may come to your mind…like about how TOTALLY PUMPED you are/were that an all-girl team FINALLY won Amazing Race!! Or how you can’t WAIT to cheer on Ada on tonight’s Biggest Loser finale! You know, the important things in life.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a snowy birthday

Snow!! On my birthday!! This has never happened before! I am taking it to mean that this next year-- my 28th-- will be a year for miracles. That sounds good, right? I'm about ready for some miracles. So I'll take a couple of non-sticking snowflakes to be a sign of good things to come.

Obviously the picture above is NOT from today. But it's still a cute pic, right?

It's been a great weekend FULL of food and fun things. I'm completely exhausted and it's only 5:30 on Sunday. Could have been all that wild partying....or the 3 hours of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills I just watched. All that drama can be exhausting.

I don't have any good birthday wisdom to bestow on you just yet. And if I did, sitting here in the library parking lot in the mini-blizzard wouldn't be the ideal to do it. I think we should all say a prayer that I can find some money in the 2011 budget for internet at home, don't you?? Hey, if it can snow on my birthday, I have to believe that anything is possible.

And by the way, just in case you were thinking ahead-- you guessed right. YES, my 30th birthday will be on 12/12/12. Amazing, right?? I hope it snows then, too.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

a cold and rainy Saturday

It wasn't supposed to rain today, for the record. The weatherman said it would be cloudy, but wouldn't rain. He was wrong. Matt's thinking about suing. I mean, seriously. We got wet. And we were unprepared. But anyway.

It's my last complete weekend of being 27. Next Sunday I will be joining the ranks of the super official late-twenties. I mean, when you're 27 you can still sort-of pretend that you're in your mid-twenties. But 28 takes that out of the question. Oh well. I think I will age gracefully.

Anyway, check out my Christmas-y house!!

Here's our Big Fat Tree 2010. Super fat. We ran out of lights. Twice. So we're making do. Don't judge.

The mantle. I added a few bowls of ornaments, that's why it's different than the last time I showed a picture of it.

Our room. I haven't decorated in here before, but I added a few small things to the dresser.

I thought this was pretty-- my wineglass-turned-candle-holder. I got the idea from Christopher's mom and I like it! I stuck a few small ornaments in there.
And all around my house are vases/bowls/mason jars filled with ornaments. LOVE that look!

And laugh if you will, but this is a tree in our backyard. Last year on the last day of school one of the teachers was throwing out these 4 giant gold ornaments. I took them. And then I stuck them on our tree. And yes there are only four, and yes they are all congregated on the one side (the side we can see from our dining room window) and yes we didn't bother to get out a ladder to put them up's ghetto, just the way we like it. And I would buy more of those huge ornaments, but those suckers are like $5 each!! Not happening.

Anyway, those are most of the exciting decorations. I forgot to take pictures of a few other cute things...shame on me.

Today we got a lot of our shopping done! We have only a few more things to get...unfortunately, they're for people we have NO IDEA what to get for them. So who knows when we will finish up.

I think that's all the news I have. Happy (cold and rainy) Saturday!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

random mish-mash

I have lots of random thoughts running through my head. Obviously the whole world needs to know about them. Right??

Or maybe I'm just going through blog-withdrawal. Being internet-less for an extended period of time (over a month now, minus one weekend it worked) will do that to you. And yes I know I should buy my own internet. And if you have any money to give me, I will do exactly that. Until then...we will probably be internetless, save for whatever free wireless we can mooch. It's a sad state of affairs, but it's my life.

Anyway, the first bunch of thoughts running through my head on the way to work this morning (when I like to think about what I would blog about if I had a chance to blog) were all about things I was feeling thankful for.

It started when I pulled up next to some other car at a stoplight and noticed that he was going through the always-ridiculous process of trying to de-fog his windows. I hate that process. I can never remember-- run the defrost on cold? Hot?? Make the inside the same temperature as the outside-- oh wait, I'll freeze to death. Do it the opposite? Just wipe it off with my hand...until it fogs up again? It usually takes me like 20 minutes to get it right. But today, that wasn't my problem-- just that guy next to me. Me? I park in a garage now. And I don't want to take that for granted. It's awesome. My windows never fog up or get icy!! I don't waste 10 minutes de-icing my windshield or pre-heating the inside! So this morning I felt really thankful for my garage.

And clementines. You know, the fruit. I've been on a clementine kick this week and I marvel at how delicious and easy to peel they are and how they don't have seeds. Truly a rarity amongst citrus fruit. All hail the mighty clementine.

And Christmas music. Christmas music, how do I make it without you 11 months a year?? Christmas music makes me feel happy and nostalgic and it really makes me feel like I'm a great singer. I really like belting out some diva-fied version of an old hymn-y Christmas song. Even though it feels really ironic. I mean, can you imagine Mariah Carey getting all into any other hymn?? It kind of makes me laugh. I hope she'd put on a few more clothes for the occasion.

I'm also a big fan of money-making couponing. I love me some couponing, but I really love the ones that make you a straight profit that you don't even have to work hard for. Like this week, Coffemate creamer was on sale for $1.25 at Publix. I had two coupons that were for $1.50 off one creamer (each). Um, hello 25 cent profit on each creamer!! I mean, Publix paid me 50 cents to take those 2 creamers off their hands! That stuff just makes me happy. Not to mention, holiday-themed creamers make me happy. Fat, but happy.

Those are some of the things I'm feeling thankful for this week. Now, back to our regularly scheduled whine-fest.

Haha. It'll be quick this time.

It seems we've sprung a leak in our roof. Probably a small one (Matt poked around the attic and thinks he can find it and it's small), but we had some water on our living room and garage ceiling on Tuesday night. So we needed someone to come look at it and give us an estimate to fix it, right? Matt made an appointment with Bone Dry Roofing for 8:00 this morning. He (obviously) had to stay home from work, but (also obviously) the roof needs to be fixed, so you do what you gotta do, right? Well, we do. Apparently Bone Dry Roofing doesn't. Matt sat and sat, waited and waited, and they never showed up! He got mad around 9 and just left to go to work. He got a voicemail about 9:30 from them, saying-- get this-- We forgot to look at the calendar, so we didn't know we had to be somewhere that early this morning. Um...what?! Is that the lamest excuse ever, or WHAT?! Well, at least they're honest. They forgot?? Well thanks...too bad Matt still had to miss over an hour of work for nothing. Can we get that money back? And his time? No thanks, Bone Dry, I don't think we'll be needing to reschedule that appointment. Last I heard, it's not really the best economy for housing-related contractors like yourself...yall must have enough business that you don't really need ours. We'll support someone who does.

So add them to my infamous and ever-growing Black-Listed Companies list. Anyone in the Athens area have a recommendation for a competent roofing and/or handyman company??

Well it's getting dark here at the library...I better drive on home to see my puppy and my beautiful Christmas tree! Happy almost-Friday!!