Wednesday, February 29, 2012

it's every 4 years. promise.

Monday night, I was minding my own business, waiting for my Zumba class to start. "My" spot happens to be near this paper towel dispenser that has the Group Class schedule/calendar taped to it. People tend to congregate around the schedule, because it FREAKING CHANGES EVERY MONTH, which is not annoying at all. So I thought nothing of it as a few of my fellow Zumba regulars were hanging out at the schedule, easily within earshot of me, and chatting while waiting for class to start.

I was keeping myself busy on the phone and by physically occupying my spot-- otherwise people start creeping in on your zone. Which is not cool with me. So I have to be vigilant while waiting for class to start. I wasn't paying much attention to the girls (women-- all at least 30 years old) at the paper towel machine. I did see (in the mirror) that they were gesturing to the calendar, towards the bottom-- where this week would be.

Yeah...sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, I heard one of them comment. I figured they were talking about one of the classes or something. I go on playing my Words game.

And when it doesn't just...goes on to the next month!

OK, I obviously missed something in my eavesdropping, but no matter. Talking about the gym schedule is boring. Back to my game.

...yeah...every other year. It's every other year. The other years, there's only 28 days.

Umm...ok, I'm starting to feel slightly concerned that they are no longer talking about Boot Camp or Butts & Guts classes here and might be talking about something...else. Something that should not be being debated or pondered about by grown women. I really start trying to focus on my phone, because I don't want or need to know what they're discussing at this point.

Yep. Every other year. So this year there's 29, isn't that cool?! The woman who was saying this was being rewarded with nods and smiles from her companions, as "oh, NOW I get it!" looks came over their faces. This girl, whom I regularly speak to and consider to be a nice, friendly, normal person, was evidently the 'teacher,' enlightening her friends about something critical on the calendar.

Our instructor walks in and we all quickly assume our spots. The crew at the schedule breaks up. But in the mirror, I see another girl-- not a part of the original Schedule Club-- walk over to the ringleader/teacher of the Schedule girls.

It's every four years, actually.

We start warming up. Shoulders are getting loose. But it's never too late to learn something new!

What? the ringleader/teacher says.

Yall are talking about Leap Year, right? my new BFF says. It's every four years. I just...couldn't NOT tell you. I'm sorry. It's every four years.

Surprisingly, the ringleader takes this news with grace. "Oh! Thanks! I knew it was something weird like that," and goes on with her warmup.

But me?? I couldn't concentrate the rest of the night. Are you SERIOUS??! If you had asked me how many adults in the COUNTRY were unaware about Leap Year, I wouldn't have guessed more than a handful. And yet there were AT LEAST THREE in my one little Zumba class one night?

Ay yi yi. God Bless America.      

And Happy Leap Day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the rogue

A few nights ago, Matt and I crawled into bed. As I was stretching out and preparing for a peaceful night's slumber, my foot grazed across something decidedly non-sheetsy at the bottom of the bed. I immediately recoiled. "Ew!!" I exclaimed. "What's that? There's something in the bed?!"

I jumped out of bed and pulled the sheets all the way back. To my relief, it was merely a band-aid. A little sketch, sure...but in the grand scheme of things, not a bad resolution to the situation. Besides, I knew where it came from: from my own ankle, the night before. I remember nicking myself shaving and putting on a band-aid. Evidently it came off while I slept. No biggie. I fetched the band-aid and threw it in the trash. End of story.

For me.

Not for Matt, though.

EWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! He was more or less quietly shrieking. That is SOOOO sick!!!!! Ew!! Ew!!! Ew!!! I'm serious. He was almost dry heaving as he curled his body into the fetal position and flashed disgusted looks at me.

"Seriously, Matt? It's not that big of a deal. It came off my leg last night. It didn't even touch you, it was way on my side. Chill out."

He continued on with the dramatics. Seriously, this performance would be much more appropriate had we discovered there was a LIVE COCKROACH in the bottom of the bed, or perhaps a NEST OF RAT BABIES. It was entirely too much for a lone band-aid. But yet he carried on still.

After a long while of putting up with his drama, I finally decided I should get to the bottom of this situation. I do have a bachelor's degree in psychology, after all. Which makes me entirely qualified to evaluate and analyze someone's ridiculous and uncalled-for behavior, right? Right.

After literally minutes of assessment, I determined that to Matt, a used band-aid is THE GROSSEST THING EVER. It is THE WORST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN. It is THE MOST NASTY THINK HE CAN EVER POSSIBLY IMAGINE. To think! All these years, I never knew this about him! I even posed this question to him: Which is worse, a band of zombies chasing you, or a used band-aid? and he couldn't answer. This is SERIOUS, folks.

So like any good counselor would, as soon as I unearthed his deepest, darkest fear, I decided to exploit it.

Matt, you don't even KNOW about how nasty band-aids can be. If you walked a mile in my You would DIE, buddy. Do you KNOW what kids do when they find used band-aids on the floor at school? They PUT THEM IN THEIR MOUTHS. Yeah. I have actually used the phrase "please take that bloody band-aid out of your mouth and put it in the trashcan" on MORE THAN ONE OCCASION. You have NO IDEA how nasty kids and band-aids are. And as their teacher, I have to witness it all.

Upon hearing this most-disgusting tale, Matt is doing that squeamish-freak out thing that you do when you see a roach run across the room and disappear underneath a big pile of your stuff. That's why I decided to tell him a few more stories.

Yeah, and SOMETIMES I even find a random band-aid that ISN'T MINE stuck to my pants or my shoes at school!!!! And I have to pull it off and throw it away!! Just think! Stuck to ME!

Basically, I've been getting a lot of mileage out of this amazing phobia for the last few days. Which is why when I got to school today and saw this, I immediately snapped a picture and texted it to Matt:

Did I get a few strange looks from other teachers and students as I crouched over to photograph this gem? Yes. I believe I did. Was it worth it, to send my unsuspecting husband a picture of his Greatest Fear-- a rogue band-aid?

Absolutely. A thousand times over, yes.

Monday, February 27, 2012

'bout time

A few weeks ago, Amanda J. tagged me in a little blog survey meme thing. I've been procrastinating filling it out and passing it on because it looked rather intimidating, and I'm a basically lazy person. However, since I have no other decent inspiration for things to write about at the moment, I figured I'd give it a go. There are a lot of rules for this one, and I'll try to follow them all.

Rules For Bloggers: (you must repost these)

1. Post these rules.

2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.

3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.

4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.

6. No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people! 
Section 1: 11 Random Things About Myself
PREFACE TO SECTION 1: It is so hard to think of 'random' things that you don't already know! Hello-- I've been blogging for like a billion years...if it's worth knowing, you probably already know. Ugh. Anyway. I'll try.

1. I wear a size 9.5 or 10 shoe. Narrow.
2. Even though at this point in my life there is a 0% chance of this ever happening, I still cling to a childhood dream of being a Broadway singer/dancer. And I occasionally practice singing and dancing at the same time, just to make sure I'm ready if I get the call. (From who? My agent? Who knows. I just wanna be ready.)
3.  I keep several cities on my 'favorites' on Athens, Ga (where I live); Burlington, VT (where my SIL and BIL live); West Palm Beach, FL (where Stine and James live); and Abu Dhabi, UAE (because I still slightly want to move to the Middle East). The result is that I almost always feel thankful for the weather where I am. Except for when I look at West Palm Beach.
4. I am giving up peanut butter for Lent. It's hard. I am also giving up infertility. Ha. We'll see how that works out.
5. I HATE and avoid at all costs sleeping in hotels.
6. I'm loving that in the past week or so, I am getting TONS of repins on Pinterest (from strangers) of things on my 'garden' board: this is all really old stuff I pinned last fall...which means people are thinking about spring and searching for flower tips! This makes me HAPPY!!!!
7. I am going to West Palm Beach in 13 days!!!!! WOOHOO!
8. I read Water for Elephants this weekend. Loved it.
9. I am super excited to bust out my spring/summer clothes because they look WAY BETTER this year. MyFitnessPal FTW! (How do I know that they look way better? Probably because I spent like 30 minutes Friday night having a fashion show for myself. True story.)
10. If I could only eat one 'genre' of food for the rest of my life, it would definitely be Mexican.
11. I would really like to be a mommy. Really. Seriously. Now.
Section 2: My Answers to Amanda's 11 Questions
1. If you had to have any one song play to announce your arrival whenever you walk into a room, which song would it be? 
How about the chorale section from 'Jupiter' (part of The Planets by Holst)'s what I walked down the aisle to and I think it's beautiful.

2. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? (Note: there is a correct answer to this question in my book, so answer carefully.)
Ummm...I guess I'll go with the chicken.

3. What one thing is guaranteed to make you cry?
Finding out someone is pregnant.

4. What do you do for a living? Did you grow up wanting to do this?
I teach (and tie a lot of shoes, get snot and other bodily fluids on myself, and love dirty germy kids more than I ever thought possible). some point I wanted to be a teacher, but it wasn't like a lifelong dream or anything.

5. If you had to name your next (or first) child after a pet you’ve had during your life, which name would you pick?
My three most recent pets all have excellent names: Lola, Aidan, and Nadia. I would probably not choose Aidan since it's so popular (and also since I still currently have Aidan the Cat) or Lola (since it would confuse Lola the Dog), but Nadia would be a good pick.

6. What’s your favorite sport to play? And to watch?
Play? Zumba. It's definitely a sport. Otherwise...ummm...maybe volleyball? Watch: college football.

7. What’s your pet peeve of the moment (because if you’re like me, they change from day to day)?
Being stuck in a group of people who only talk about pregnancy/kids.

8. If you had to eat one thing for breakfast every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That's impossible. Breakfast is my favorite meal EVER, so I could never narrow this down. It would be a nice spread of bacon, pecan waffles, Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes, biscuits and gravy, fried ham, grits, cheese toast, and fruit salad. And oatmeal. And English muffins with peanut butter. And breakfast tacos.

9. How many glasses of water do you drink, on average, per day? Are you proud of this number?
Drinking water is the biggest nutrition struggle I have. I try SO HARD to drink lots of water. It's usually 4-5 glasses. On the rare day I manage to drink 8 or more, I feel SO sick. I don't know what's wrong with me.

10.What was your favorite grade in school growing up and why?
All of them. I loved school. Except for 4th grade, when I had mean teachers.

11. How many pairs of shoes (estimate) do you own?
I suck at estimating, so I counted and I have 66 pairs. In my closet. It's entirely possible there are more hiding out in other rooms, but that would be a lot of work to go figure out.
 Part 3: My Questions for YOU
1. How many pairs of shoes do YOU own? (I need to know if I'm normal)
2. If you had to have one type of plastic surgery done (and it were free), what would you pick?
3. If you could have one exotic animal for a pet, what would you choose?
4. What was your (first, most memorable, lamest, you pick) AOL Instant Messenger screen name? When did you stop using AIM (or DID YOU)?
5. If you had to move to another country tomorrow, which country would it be?
6. If you had to enter the Witness Protection Program and get a new identity, what would you choose as your new name?
7. Do you believe aliens could (or do) exist?
8. What's your favorite book?
9. If you could be on a reality show, which one would you choose? (All are fair game: trashy ones (Temptation Island?? Haha), contest ones (Survivor, The Apprentice), as well as stuff like House Hunters)
10. If you had to live in another era, which one would you want to live in?
11. If you were going to invite me over for dinner, what would you serve?

Part 4: Bloggers I Tag for the Above Questions

Note: I'm trying not to tag people who I've already seen do this or get tagged...and I'm tagging more than 11 people because I know most of you WON'T do it!! (slackers....) (or you could try to prove me wrong...)

1. Kristina @ Altogether Beautiful
2. Catherine @ Life's A Beach
3. Mollyanne @ The Gurleys
4. Amanda @ I'm Trying
5. Jenny @ Big Jen the Punisher
6. Lisa @ Beginning the Journey
7. Brooke @ All Boxed Up
8. Colleen @ The Ranunculus Adventures
9. Hollie @ Blog-o-Holl*ic
10. Amy @ Let the Good Times Roll
11. Katy @ Life is Golden
12. Diana @ By the Well

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

can it be weekend already, please?

OK, sorry I've totally sucked at blogging this week. I have no good excuses except that life is busy and when I have a few spare moments at night, I'd rather be lazy and READ blogs rather than write one. And also, nothing exciting has happened that inspires me to rise above my laziness. Thus-- no blogging.

ANYWAY. So today I had a dentist appointment (I KNOW, how many of your favorite stories start with THAT intro?). In itself, it was completely boring and un-noteworthy (no cavities, FYI) except that it reminded me of one of my favorite stories about my husband.

Over the years, I've gone to more than a few doctor's appointments with Matt. The ones I've attended are typically at a prompt care place on the weekend, when he's sick with the flu or a virus or whatever and I haven't had anything better to do than just tag along and "take care" of him at the visit. Every time you go to the doctor (or dentist, as the case may be) they ask you if you have any allergies. Usually they even ask it in writing, too, on that form you fill out while you're waiting in the lobby with the people who sound like they have The Plague and you're focusing really hard on NOT BREATHING THEIR AIR. So anyway, right. The allergy question. Not that tricky.

But on more than one occasion, I've been sitting in the exam room with Matt when the doctor, about to complete the diagnosis and write a prescription, drops the question on him: "Any allergies I need to know about?"

At this point, Matt squints as he thinks, and then shakes his head slowly. "Naa--oh yeah. Bee stings."

The end.

At this point I wait. Really, Matt?? You're done? Bee stings?

The doctor goes back to his computer, assuming Matt is done listing his allergies. "Bee stings, eh? I don't know HOW I'm going to treat this sinus infection without using the bees! Back to your hive, boys!" That HAS to be what he's thinking.

At this point, ever the micromanaging wife, I gently butt in: "Ummm...aren't you allergic to penicillin?"

The doctor snaps up. Penicillin?? Are you allergic to that?

Matt nods in the affirmative. "Oh, yeah. I am allergic to penicillin. Sorry. Forgot."

And for some reason, this just KILLS ME (in a dying-laughing sort of way, not in an angry way). Every time!! He remembers to inform the doctor that he's allergic to BEE STINGS (which is relevant information, I'm sure, if he had just been stung by a bee or had a strange rash or something, but probably not what the doc was looking for when he's writing a prescription) but neglects to think of the PENICILLIN??!! HAHAHA! 

If you think this is the stupidest story ever, then I'm sorry for wasting your time. But I thought about it today when the dentist was double-checking my allergies, and I momentarily considered telling her I was allergic to grass pollen JUST IN CASE she was thinking about using some to polish my teeth with or something. And also, just so you know, Matt gave me permission to share this story with you folks. I told him I had writer's block really bad and people of the world would REALLY LOVE this story, so he relented. So you should thank him later if you liked the story. 

In other news, I have found ANOTHER awesome new show to be obsessed with this week (because there is NOT enough news about Walking Dead to keep me entertained all week long): Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo. HOLLA-- this is a show that features all these different people who are convinced that DOOMSDAY IS COMING (for a variety of reasons: each show features 4 people with different doomsday paranoias) and are preparing accordingly. It is REALLY interesting and bizarre and provides a lot of people to mock and laugh at while secretly wondering if they might just be on to something. I am sorely unprepared for any sort of survival situation. Walking Dead and Doomsday Preppers has completely convinced me that I will be one of the first ones to go when the poo hits the fan. Oh well. 

My mom took her first Zumba class tonight (in Augusta, not with me)! Apparently I have inspired her! She called me as soon as class was over and her first words were "do YOUR hips move like that??!!" Hahaha. She enjoyed the class, but mentioned several times that "I was just so aware of how WHITE I am the whole time..." which made me laugh. Hopefully some day we can do a class together-- I bet we will be the best mother-daughter Zumba team EVER!

In conclusion, I am going to make Pioneer Woman's Comfort Meatballs (from her cookbook) on Friday night and it's all I can think about. This is how exciting my life is. Be jealous.

Monday, February 20, 2012

i'm sexy and i know it

(Yes, we Zumba to that song. And it's awesome.)

I know you've all been waiting with baited breath to see those pictures from Zumba After Dark the other night. And some of you have been waiting even longer, seeing as you were requesting VIDEOS of me Zumba-ing way back in January. You're going to have to keep waiting for the videos, but the newspaper's webpage did post the pictures from ZAD with great promptness, so at least you can kick your Monday morning off right by having a good laugh at my expense. As I mentioned in this post, Zumba is one of those things that you definitely FEEL cooler than you actually LOOK while doing it.

Yesterday morning (during church, awesomely enough) a co-worker texted me this picture. I think it sums it up the phenomenon pretty accurately:

Right, that's pretty much it.

So here's the real deal, courtesy of Online Athens. You can view the entire album (all 504 pictures!) here. I labeled the pictures for your convenience, to help you avoid a rousing game of 'Where's Waldo (Erika & Sarah)' so early in the morning. You're welcome!

 Personally, I think I look like The Hulk in the picture above. Yikes.

Try not to be jealous of how smooth my moves are. And feel free to join me at Zumba After Dark next month! It's dark and crowded (SEE ABOVE FOR PROOF) and no one cares if you look like a giant dork. Winning!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Last night I attended my first ever Zumba After Dark-- a super-fun event hosted by a local Zumba instructor. Basically she rents out the 40 Watt (a pretty popular/famous bar/venue in downtown Athens) and invites all Zumba enthusiasts to come shake it for a few hours on a Friday night-- cocktail drinking is encouraged but not required. (FYI: I took no part in the cocktails. Are you kidding me? I was practically puking up my WATER it was so hot and I was so exhausted...I have no idea how people were doing that AND drinking) It was REALLY fun-- I went with my friend Sarah and also saw about half of the teachers in my school district was absolutely the place to be!

I will probably talk more about it later, especially once I get some pictures. There was a photographer there (from the local paper) and I swear it felt like we were having a one-on-one photo shoot, just the two of us. And every time she took a picture the flash blinded me and I crashed into the person next to me (263 people Zumba-ing in a small space= NO SPACE TO DANCE), so even though I'm sure I'm going to look super hot in all of those pics...COULD YOU CUT IT OUT ALREADY, LADY?

ANYWAY. So 'sore' does not even begin to describe how I felt after 2 hours of that (plus a half-mile walk to our car each way). After consuming basically 1 of everything at Chickfila (at 10pm, sure they loved me), I collapsed into bed.

During the night I had TWO charley horses!!! UGH! I have not had one of those in several years, and they are AWFUL! And then to be woken up twice in one night?! Ugh ugh ugh. Not to mention they apparently make me wake up screaming and hysterical, so Matt got totally freaked out. Twice.

This morning, while still laying in bed with my poor broken body and crampy calf muscles, I decided to do a little charley horse research to see if there were any good remedies. I first consulted WebMD, which was very useful. But then I thought I'd see what Wikipedia had to say on the topic. You know, because I'm sure that's more reliable than WebMD.

They had a good bit to say, but I'm not sure how trustworthy the info is. After all, when THIS is at the beginning of your article... makes your credibility a little...umm...suspect.

Seriously??! Charley horses are a common complaint during PREGNANCY while ELDERLY!?!?! I don't know all that many elderly people getting pregnant, but I tend to suspect they would have bigger things to complain about than some charley horses. Like maybe...I dunno...BEING PREGNANT WHILE ELDERLY?

Wikipedia, I might suggest you invest in some extra commas, periods, or connecting words in this sentence: How about "...common complaint during pregnancy and while elderly"? Something like that? Now to be sure, I did check that footnote reference, but since I don't have access to the medical journal it got its info from, I could be totally wrong here. Maybe elderly pregnant women DO have tons of charley horses (since WebMD also mentioned them being common while pregnant)...but if that's the case, I'm going to be a lot more interested in the pregnant elderly people than their charley horses. Where's the Wiki for THAT?

Thanks for the entertainment, Wikipedia! Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the back seat of the van

The Blogivers

Get your minds out of the gutter, folks. This is a G-rated Way Back When-sday. Aren't they all, for that matter? My past is pretty G-rated. As is my present. But my that might be a different story. For another day. Of course.

So! My growing-up included a lot of lonnnng road trips. Both of my parents are from Texas, you see, and all of my extended family lives there still. So being the far-flung members of the family growing up on the East Coast, it was our Family Tradition to drive out to the motherland at least once a year. That's a long drive, people. 18 hours-- because my dad drives UNDER the speed limit, and also because having 3 kids and 3 dogs means you make far more stops than should ever be allowed. In addition to the annual trek to Texas, there were also annual trips to Florida and any other vacations we happened to be going on. Occasionally we flew, but for the most part we packed up the van (Ford Econoline with a high-top, anyone?? AMAZING RIDE.) and hit the road. This was the tradition from the time I was born until...well, the present, except that Matt and I (and my siblings) rarely are able to participate anymore. But my parents still brave the road a few times a year-- sadly, not in the van, though. It is no longer with us. *moment of silence*

Anyway, our van had a TV and VCR in it and that was pretty sweet back in '94 when we got it. We were basically the talk of the town AND the coveted van to get a seat in if my parents were chaperoning any youth group trips. I realize that now it is no big deal to have a TV (or 4) in your car, but back in the Days of Yore, it was pretty special.  Having the TV definitely helped the hours pass more quickly. But NOTHING livened up a road trip quite like that most excellent of inventions: the digital camera.

The day digital cameras got into the hands of Sarah and I was the day road trips ceased being torturous. Because we are actually (as you have probably suspected) supermodels. And also twins (born 5 years apart). And we make really awesome faces. And all of these things could finally be properly documented, analyzed, and enjoyed once the digital camera came along. Wanna know how many pictures 2 teenaged girls can take in the back seat of a van on an 18 hour drive? I could probably tell you. Or show you, as the case may be. Onward!

Today's pictures are all coming from the renowned Thanksgiving '05 photo shoot in Tennessee. 'Twas a glorious year. The lighting was perfecto in the back of the chariot that year. Our coordinating cream tops make us look even more twin-like than usual. And towards the end of the shoot, we even brought in some props that are a delightful foreshadowing of our (my) future craftiness: just wait and see!

 Above is the 'turtle face.' It's a classic in every shoot. Obviously.

  So right before this trip, I'd learned to crochet! And then I taught my sister! This did help us pass the time in the van...but not as much as photo shoots did.

 And once you start actually posing with your freshly-crocheted scarf wrapped around your head, your photographer (aka MOM) will probably start punking out on the job, claiming you are getting "too wound up" and "acting hyper." Whatever, photographer. We're just getting into the groove. And you're killing the vibe in this van. Psh.

The bottom line here is that if you are ever forced to go on a road trip to a faraway land, it will be best if you can take along with you an awesome sister (preferably a fellow supermodel) and a digital camera. And even if you happen to be a grown up (as Sarah and I were roughly 18 and 22 in the above pics), don't let your mean parents boss you around and try to separate you so that you can't sit together and be happy in the back seat. Because the back seat is where the party is. No one should stop you from being there. The end.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

meme of LOVE

How long have you and your significant other been together?
Since February 11, 2006! I told that story in all of its detailed glory right here.

How did you meet?
Whaddaya know, I've told that story before, too! In short, we met while doing a post-grad internship at the UGA Wesley Foundation, mostly because of a mutual love of pirates.

If married, how long have you been married?
We got married June 30, 2007. If you are reading this on Feb. 14, 2012, that means we've been married for 4 years, 7 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day. If you're reading this on another day, check out my little ticker-thing on the sidebar. :)
If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? 
We got married at the State Botanical Gardens in Athens, Georgia. You can look at some wedding pictures (and hear stories about the wedding) here, here, and here.

 Our wedding was medium-ish (how's that for noncommittal to a size categorization?)...about 130 people.

Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? 
Oh, definitely. And I'm sure they are 100% nauseating to anyone other than us. We normally call each other 'baby,' which sounds really stupid when you just write it out like that, but sounds much better in real life. I always call Matt 'Mattie,' and he sometimes returns the favor by calling me 'Erika-ie,' which doesn't actually work. We sign our emails to each other (we send about 100 emails per day) 'husbie' and 'wifey.' That is a huge improvement, since for the first year of marriage, Matt signed his emails to ME with his FULL FIRST (Matthew) AND LAST though I might be unclear about WHO this was emailing me? Which Matt is this? It was so weird.

Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
Only 3? Impossible. We'll sum up with: he's smokin' hot, he cheerfully (most of the time) does all of the stuff I hate doing/won't do, he's creative and dreams big, he loves Jesus, he serves selflessly, he works hard, he gives great back massages.

Tell us how he proposed?
It was the night before my 24th birthday and we were in Augusta for the weekend. He'd taken me to a fancy restaurant that night and I had expected him to propose then. But he didn't. But I looked cute anyway, right?

So we went back to my parents house, changed into PJs, and got ready for a game of Scrabble by the fire.
And it was the worst game ever because I had the worst tiles ever and therefore the worst attitude ever. I was sick of it and ready for bed. And then I stuck my hand in the tile bag to get some more stupid vowels  tiles, and LO AND BEHOLD there was a ring box instead! So I pulled it out and got over my bad attitude long enough to say "yes," but only if we could stop this stupid game immediately.
We ran and woke my parents up to give them the good news, and got them to take some blurry, teary pictures.

Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Umm...luckily for us all, neither-- because I am not the kind of girl that would enjoy EITHER of those options. He's a flowers frequently kind of guy, because I am a flowers frequently kind of girl-- but not red roses or anything cheesy like that. I don't think he's EVER given me roses, which is great because roses are rather lame as far as flowers go (knock-out roses excluded, of course...but considering we grow those ourselves and I've never noticed a florist sell them...those aren't really an option). Rose PETALS? Are you kidding me?? PULLING THE PETALS OFF OF FLOWERS? That is infuriating and ridiculous. And messy. Pass. Teddy bears? I'm not a 2 year old, so no thanks. I have no problems with strawberries or champagne, which is why I will buy them myself at the grocery store if I see a need for them in the pantry/fridge.

Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Both of those sound good to me, except I can rarely stay awake long enough for a whole movie. And we live really far from the beach. But in theory, I'm good with both.

Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
Do anything? Have children and raise a family together.
Go anywhere? One of those little huts over the water in Fiji.

Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
Go to work, come home, walk the dog, eat dinner with his family like we do every Tuesday night.
Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
Umm...snow? There's like a 2% chance or something (and it goes away and becomes a chance of rain instead like 10 times a day)...but that would be pretty awesome!! Also, we'd like to have a kid. Just FYI.

Give us one piece of advice for keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
 Honesty with yourself, each other, and people who love you: what's working for ya, what isn't, what do you need, how are you hurting...I think honesty is the key to keeping your marriage on track. Also: have fun. Do things together that are fun, that make you happy. Don't get stuck in the boring day-to-day (if your day-to-day is boring, that is).

Show us a picture of what love means to you.
 I bet it'd be great to have a picture of us with our kid(s) to put here, right? Ugh. In lieu of that, I will show you this: Matt being the best husband ever by a) putting together shelves so that our garage can be more organized (organization is my love language, putting stuff together is NOT a gift of mine) and b) READING THE INSTRUCTIONS so that it can be done correctly the first time. Not many men do it this way, and I love that mine will (not because he really WANTS to or "needs" to read the instructions, of course, but because he knows that I want him to). LOVE.

Happy Valentine's Day, yall!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Matt and I are kind of like zombies today. Not in an insatiable desire for human flesh kind of way, just in a lay around and do NOTHING all day kind of way. More on that first kind of zombie later, though.

I woke up this morning with horrible cramps, so I opted out of going to church and instead went back to bed with Advil and a heating pad until noon. Then I felt a lot better. We did get up then, but I can't say we have anything the least bit productive to show for our day. We're both still wearing our pajamas-- and it's 6:33pm. Yup. Zombies. I finally convinced Matt to brush his teeth about an hour ago and that felt like a major accomplishment. Trust me. It needed to be done. It's super cold and windy outside, which majorly discouraged us from wanting to get dressed and go do anything...hence a nice day inside in our PJs.

Yesterday evening I decided to DVR the AMC marathon of The Walking Dead (Seasons 1 and 2). We've never seen it before, but I know it's popular and it seemed like it'd be at least DVRing to see if we liked it. Last night we watched the first 2 episodes and today we polished off the rest of season 1. It's really good. It's also really creepy. It reminds me of Lost in a lot of ways, so whenever I start getting freaked out I just try to remind myself that if I could handle Lost for 6 seasons, I can handle this. Although on Lost they didn't go around sledgehammering people's (zombie's) brains out and rubbing zombie intestines all over maybe it's not exactly the same. 

I must say, though, that watching post-apocalyptic shows like this causes you to reflect on yourself and what kind of person you would be in a situation like that. As much as I'd like to think I'd be gangbanging through zombie-overrun Atlanta with my rifle...seriously, I think I'd have been one of the ones that chickened out at the beginning. No way. I was not cut out for that sort of thing. I'd have stayed in the CDC building at the end of Season 1 with the doctor and Jacqui, I'm almost certain of that. Not sure what that says about me as a person, other than I'd rather die instantly in an explosion than be attacked by zombies and then become one and try to kill my family. Just a little self-reflection there.

Matt and I both have tomorrow off (furlough day for my county; Matt took the day off so that I wouldn't be lonely), so I'm sure we'll finish up Season 2 so that we're watching the show live with the rest of the world now. We have tons of other exciting plans, too (haha). At 11:00 we have appointments to go donate plasma-- FUN TIMES, right? And at 3:00 we have a phone consultation with an adoption law firm. I know, we really know how to party it up on a day off. 

Now that the world is caught up on my SUPER EXCITING AND AWESOME LIFE, I think I'll go sneak up on Matt in the dining room and pretend to be a zombie. Cause that's how I roll. Peace!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

guess i'm that girl

OK, so what's up with people not blogging (as in writing OR apparently reading/commenting) on Saturdays? I don't get it. I feel like I'm the only one that does it. Oh well. I mean, Saturday is when I have the most free time. Apparently other people's weeks are structured differently. Feel free to comment and elaborate on this (when you read this on Monday).

So anyway. Tons of things to chat about today! Let's start with the Most Vain stuff, shall we?


Seven is an important number this week. Wanna know why? Two reasons.

We won $7 in the Powerball Lottery this week. WOOHOO!! I know, we're basically set for life. Which is why we did what ALL smart lottery winners do, and re-'invested' that money right back in, in the form of more lottery tickets. This time, we 'diversified the portfolio,' so to speak, by getting a nice mix of Powerball, Mega Millions, and scratch-offs. I'll let you know if those end up paying off (already a no on the scratch-off). In case you are about to busy yourself judging me, please know that the original $4 we spent on the tickets was from our 'blow money,' which (in case the title isn't obvious enough) is (a very tiny amount of) money that is designated to be 'blown' anyway. So don't worry your pretty little heart. We're not as irresponsible as we sound. 

Second reason seven is an important number? I lost seven pounds in the last month-ish! Woohoo!! I know it's very stupid and vain to brag about weight loss, but I guess I'm willing to be that girl. And now that I've said it, I'll probably lose no more weight (or gain it all back) for a month. But whatever. I am very proud of myself, considering I've put basically no effort into the cause other than logging every single bite of food that passes through my lips into My Fitness Pal and making myself a devout Zumba follower. Since this is the first time I've ever made even a half-assed attempt at losing weight, it's nice to see that it isn't rocket science and that it works the way it's supposed to (for me) and that you don't have to starve to death or eat really weird things. Basically I should write a book, since I am WINNING AT BEING SKINNY right now. Even though I was feeling pretty proud of myself after losing 1 pound, or 4, or 5, seven was the best because at that point I decided to pull out a pair of jeans that had been retired awhile back due to tightness. And now they are too loose. For REAL. Oh, also my face looks normal again. That happened even earlier than 7 pounds. I'd noticed over the past few months that my face was looking really ROUND...I mostly noticed in pictures. It didn't look normal (like the way I think my face usually looks). Happily, my normal face shape has returned and I am happy to see it again, even though the skin on it decided to rebel and break out. Whatever. Can't win 'em all, right?

OK, so in less ridiculous news, today is an awesome day.

(I realize the irony of this picture following a long paragraph bragging about weight loss)

My friend Diana invited me to a craft day hosted by her and some ladies from her church. There was delicious coffee and breakfast breads followed by card-making/stamping and KNITTING (and other people brought along other crafts to work on). I was all over this because I have been needing to learn to knit for like, ever. I've never done the cardmaking thing before, but now that I've done it, I see why people like it. Only now I have a bunch of cards I need to write and send people...
 I made this one! It's for Mother's Day, obviously. Look at me, thinking about Mother's Day more than one day in advance! (In a positive way, that is-- planning for our OWN mothers. I always dedicate plenty of time to dreading/hating my own personal lack of Mother's Day well in advance, as all infertile girls do.)

 Look how many fun card making and stamping things there were! It was awesome. I even won a door prize and it was some stamping things of my own! I am super excited.

I also learned to KNIT! I am totally pumped. To say that I was not a quick study might be the understatement of the year. Basically I had to be put in the remedial class and given a tutor of my own, but DANGIT, I learned! But to be clear: I can knit (and purl). I definitely could not START the thing (cast on, if you will) or finish the thing (bind? Can't remember the word). But until my ball of yarn runs out, I will be knitting. And then I don't know what I will do. Also, I am not knitting anything in particular. Ha. It's just a random rectangle/square thing. Maybe my next project will actually be SOMETHING. (Note: since I was busy learning, I wasn't able to photograph myself attempting to learn to knit. I think Diana did, and maybe she will be generous enough to share the pictures, since I'm sure I looked calm and cool and collected as I stared in bewilderment at people rapidly doing what I could NOT figure out.) 
 Update: Diana sent pictures! Check out how awesome I look when I'm learning to knit:
 Above: utter confusion. This is me with my original teacher during a group lesson that I was clearly not understanding.
 So instead of paying attention, I focused on POSING like I could knit for the camera. This looks totally normal, as you can see.
Eventually I got my own tutor, who was able to get me focused enough to actually learn. God bless her.
Take home message: some crafts are easy to learn (stamping!) and some crafts are not easy to learn (knitting). Make your Saturday craft day less stressful by offering some of each, along with plenty of good snacks and conversation. I met several closet blog-readers (hello, stalkers!) as well- always good times!

Since the first half of my Saturday was so overwhelming and taxing (hahaha), you'll be happy to know that the latter half involves Matt and I going for a couple's massage! It may appear to be a Valentine's-themed thing, but the timing is really just a coincidence-- we got a Groupon for this thing back in September or something and needed to use it before it expired. Luckily, my Zumba addiction keeps me constantly sore, so it's always a good day for a massage!

Lastly, while I was busy knitting and stamping, Matt was picking up our first-ever Bountiful Basket! It's a produce co-op that we joined this week, and here's what we looted!

 Yes, that is a crapload of fruit and veggies. Luckily they are all easily identifiable and usable, although the cauliflower and eggplant are going to cause me to rack Pinterest for a good recipe. I am pretty excited about the whole thing though.

Alright. I think that's all the things I have to overshare about today. I better get back to my ball of yarn to make sure I haven't forgotten how to knit yet. These craft skills-- they can be so flighty! Like sewing-- I forget how to use my sewing machine basically 10 seconds after I unplug it every time. It's sew annoying. HAHAHAHAHA on my own pun. (Look, it's Saturday. No one else is blogging hilarious things to make me laugh. It's all on me to do it for myself!)