Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I love October!

October is a big month for our family- Jason, Piper, and I all celebrate the glorious days of our respective births. As part of the celebrations, Jason and I (along with our little darlings) spent some time with my wonderful mother-in-law a couple of weeks ago. She thoughtfully gave Jason and I both $50 gift cards. She always knows exactly what we want.

If you know me, you know I can't go very long with cash burning a hole in my pocket, so after the little darlings were in bed last night, I decided to spend my hard-earned money (hey, living is hard) at the fancy french store Tar-zhay. Or Target, as normal people refer to it. You can get a pretty good bang for you buck in their clothing department. And let's face it... I'm not an Ann Taylor kind of fashionista. Target is about my speed. And, more importantly, my budget's speed.

I'm pleased to say that this shopping experience was significantly better than the one where the clothes tried to kill me. Although the dressing room still smelled suspicious. And I haven't dropped the pounds like I would have liked, but I did end up choosing 3 tops and 2 pairs of earrings and only went $9.47 over budget (of my $50 GC). It was the earrings that put me over the edge, but they were so funky I just couldn't stand to pass them by.

And it was especially fun to get dressed this morning in one of my new tops and some new earrings. Always makes my day a bit better. It's the small cheap things in life, y'know?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Does my blog look screwy to you?

I gave myself a bloggy makeover last week, and while I'm digging the red and aqua background (although I would have preferred something more girly with a little purple), my blog never does right when I look at it on my work computer. Not that I would ever do anything like steal company time for personal use or anything. So it's not like I'm constantly checking my blog when I should be using those minutes for to increase my productivity during the work week.

As a matter of fact, this blog in particular is only taking me milliseconds to write b/c I'm such a proficient writer AND typist (disregard this post) so it's like no time at all. It's less time than I would take to walk across the hall to file a paper because I'm lightning quick. Promise.

Anyway, I'm thinking it's b/c all images are blocked on my work computer. So the juvenile delinquents at my place of work aren't looking at naughy pictures when they're supposed to be researching or learning to type. But I really am curious if anyone else is having trouble viewing it. Please let me know if you can't see it. Because there's nothing more irritating than going to a blog and finding it difficult to read. And mine looks darn near impossible to read due to the red text against a solid red background (which is what I see on my screen).

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Sad State of Affairs

I've never recieved any formal typing instruction- ever. Keyboarding was offered as an elective when I was in high school so many moons ago, but I was way too busy with more important life-altering activities like dance and choir (I had 3 elective periods my senior year out of 6 total classes) to take a class that might actually make me life a bit easier.

Now my job actually requires a significant amount of typing for report-writing, but since I'm a self-taught typist, I have a weird habit of neglecting to use the pinkie of my left hand to type any letters which then makes my wrist turn out at a strange angle when I'm typing and causes a bit of discomfort in my wrist occasionally. And in conjunction with being right-handed, I lack a significant amount of dexterity on my left-side.

I really do have a point. I'm getting to it. Slowly. It's called build-up, right? So you, the reader can be sorely disappointed in the end.

Even worse than typing on a keyboard for me is trying to TEXT using the touch-screen on my iPhone. Texting should totally be an Olympic sport. I definitely know some teenagers who can have a lengthy exchange by text faster than Micheal Phelps can swim the 100M whatever-style.

And on an iPhone, you can do so many more things besides calling and texting. I can send emails, update my Facebook status, write a grocery list, and even play the most awesome game ever invented, Tetris.

The problem is that I can only do all of the aforementioned activities with my right thumb. I spent about 6 hours using my iPhone yesterday on our drive out of town to my parents' house for the weekend. I mean, listening to the children whine and cry about the lengthy car ride was like music to my ears and all, but after an hour or so of that I could hardly stand the enjoyment for a moment longer without feeling the desperate desire to shove hot pokers in my ears. My iPhone became a close friend.

Which brings me to a most embarassing admission: I have Texter's Thumb. It's similar to Tennis Elbow, only you develop Texter's Thumb by engaging in significantly less aerobic activity and you end up considerably less fit.

Today my right thumb is protesting all the levels of Tetris I forced it to play and all the texts I forced it to send out yesterday. I have tried to spread the wealth a bit and start using my left thumb to type, but I end up with unrecognizeable words like "vhsngr" rather than "change" or "drr you doob" instead of "see you soon." I just can't quite manage to master the texting technique on a touch screen with my left side.

But, like Michael Phelps' persevered with his swim training, maybe if I continue to practice for several hours a day, eventually I'll be as good of a texter/iPhone game player as the average teenager using BOTH thumbs. What else have I got to do besides raise children, invest in my marriage, and go to work 5 days a week? My only question is will it also be OK to consume massive amounts of calories during my training? Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Weekend Wedding

My sister is getting married this weekend and she has been planning this wedding since sometime last spring, I believe. Since she and I are the only 2 siblings on my side and since my children are her only nephews and niece, she asked if the children would be ring bearers and the flower girl (respectively). Of course, I'm more than happy to dress my adorable children up in formal clothing if for no other reason than to snap some of the cutest photos ever.

But it's not about me, right?

Anyway, a couple of months ago, we spent some time getting the boys fitted for tuxedoes for their, I mean MY SISTER'S, big day. We've talked to them about their responsibility as ring bearers and done our best to prepare them to do the job.

So imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, Micah informs me that he's a little nervous about the whole wedding thing. And I quote, "whole wedding thing." Of course, I asked him why he was nervous, and he replied, "Well, I just wasn't planning on going. I mean, I didn't really know about it ahead of time." Um, last spring wasn't "ahead of time?"

Obviously not.

Because, you know, his 6 year old self's social calendar is packed pret-ty far in advance. I mean, he has all the "pretending to be super heroes with his brother" and all the "trying to pick-up his sister" (literally, trying to pick her up off the ground every chance he gets) and all the "drawing apes and other jungle animals with crayons" and all the "home-based fitness training" (he's a little bit into developing a 6-pack. I regret ever teaching him that phrase...). Clearly there's no room to pencil in an event like his aunt's wedding.

It took a bit of persuasion and a gentle reminder that the whole reason for trying on tuxedoes MONTHS ago was in preparation for this weekend. So, despite his best arguments to the contrary, he had more than enough "notice." He also seems to have forgotten about whatever he had planned (in his mind) for the weekend and will be traveling happily with us this weekend. It should be a joy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I LOVE to read other people's blogs. There's an entire universe of perspective that I can only access through the internet. I even have google acount dedicated to keeping me up-to-date on a bunch of people's lives, opinions, and ideas, some of whom I know personally and some of whom I will probably never meet in this lifetime. They make me laugh and cry and think.

Since I've started blogging, I've noticed that several of the blogs I read are becoming much more "blogosphere savvy." I didn't even know there was a "right" way to blog, but apparently there are CONFERENCES you can go to for this sort of thing, y'all!

And a lot of the advice out there is all about giving one's blog an "identity." As if I don't have enough problems with my own identity, now I've created this techno-being blog that takes on a life of its own and it has to be identifiable, too? Whew. That's too much pressure. And if there's one area of my life where I don't want any extra stress, it's blogging for sure.

There are lots of mommybloggers and photobloggers and foodbloggers and scrappingbloggers and politicalbloggers and inspirationalbloggers on and on and on. And I have come to terms with the fact that I am not, and never will be, one of those. Come to terms with me people. Acceptance is like the 4th stage of grieving, right? I'm just a "me"blogger. "Hey, you know what? It is what it is." (Thanks, Paula Abdul, for such inspirational words of wisdom).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Makeover

I wish my blog title was simply referring to my blog, but alas, many areas of my life are in need of a serious makeover. However, since I'm obviously sitting on my (rather large) rump typing and surfing on the internets, I figured I'd start with my blog.

You know, I'm ambitious like that.

I try not to start things I can't finish and since I can't clean the entire house in one short evening AND lose 15 lbs., I figured, why start tonight?

But I can update my blog and make look all spiffy and cute! Yes, I said spiffy. I think the last time I used that word was in junior high. I suppose I'm clinging to my youth in the last few days before the 3rd anniversary of my 28th birthday.

And I'm still contemplating a name change (on my blog, that is- I'm not really a progressive woman). Maybe I'd feel like posting more often if my blog looked and sounded just so. Because I haven't had much to say lately. I've been the Thief of Joy (honk if you love The Office!). Just keepin' it real here, people. But I think this too shall pass.

If anyone else out there is feeling "funky" lately (and I don't mean Funky New York Funky Style (you'll be my BFF if you can name that show) or haven't-taken-a shower-in-one-or-four-weeks-funky) check this out:


I have no idea how to actually put the clip in my blog, so if anyone wants to help a sister out, leave me a comment with directions.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jason!

Today is my dear love Jason's birthday. To him, I say, you have finally made it to be a year older than Jesus! So, to honor you on this day that makes you 4 numbers older than me for a couple more weeks, here are 34 things I love about you (in NO particular order).

1. The way you cook for the family. My waistline is hating you, but my heart loves it. I feel a little bad that I'm putting this #1 b/c it seems like it's the first thing I thought of. But it was. But not b/c it's most important. Just b/c I love food so much, which says way more about my issues. Anyway, this is about you, not me, so let's get back on topic, shall we?

2. That you love your extended family, especially your nieces. I knew you would be a great dad before we ever had kids

3. That you proved me right once we had kids.

4. That you enjoy your friends and mine.

5. That you make me laugh, even when I'm in a bad mood.

6. That you laugh when I say something funny. And I KNOW it's funny if it makes you laugh!

7. That you "never" take naps, even though you snore when you watch Sunday afternoon football.

8. That you help others without conditions.

9. That you make coffee for me even when you don't want any.

10. That you love The Office and SNL.

11. That you love my "Neil Diamond sings Christmas" impression.

12. That you keep the internets and other technology up and running in the house so that I can surf the world wibe web AND simultaneously watch movies way louder than I'd ever actually want to.

13. That you love Harry Potter as much as I do.

14. That you are a fabulous cake decorator.

15. That you take my crazy ideas and make them come to fruition (see #14 for an example).

16. That you have the ability to choose good movies to see or rent (much unlike me. The Pledge. 'Nuff said).

17. That you make up songs to sing to the kids.

18. That you try not to get too upset when I lose the keys or can't find my (insert clothing/accessory item here).

19. That you don't get too upset about running late, even when I do.

20. That you do extra things around the house when you know I'm getting overwhelmed and stressed out.

21. That you shepherd the children way better than I ever could.

22. That you try to surprise me with birthday or Christmas gifts, but always end up either telling me beforehand or just giving me the present early.

23. That you care deeply about the spiritual growth of the entire family.

24. That you don't sweat the small stuff.

25. That you try to be handy aroud the house, even though it's not really your passion.

26. That you decided to go to grad school so that we can achieve our ministry goals together.

27. That you are a loyal friend.

28. That you introduced me to Facebook and insisted I start my own page.

29. That you always have a logical argument, even when I don't want to listen.

30. That you give thoughtful advice.

31. That you love musicals and will always go see them with me.

32. That you love to go shopping, even if it's just to browse.

33. That you pursue the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

34. That you love me.

Happy birthday, sweetie!! I hope the joy from all the special treats today help you forget that your getting older by the minute! And you'll always be older than me. Love you!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Couple of Cade Funnies

I'm really really bad about keeping track of all the funny stuff my children say or do, but now that I have a blog, I think I'll make a few notes here and there about things they do that Jason and I find particularly hilarious.  Cade probably makes us laugh the most, so to honor him, here are a couple of recent stories.

*Friday night is our established movie night for the boys.  We don't let them watch much TV during the week, mainly b/c we're just too darn busy.  So they look forward to Movie Night like Pavlov's dogs waiting for the bell.  Complete with growling and slobbering over choosing a movie. Last Friday, Jason wanted to let them see the 1st Harry Potter movie.  We're total HP geeks, and the 1st movie seems to be the tamest.  Towards the end of the show, we were trying to explain to Micah that his school, which subscribes to the British style of schooling that divides the students into "houses", was like Hogwart's in that way.  However, we obviously should have been more explicit in our explanation b/c as we were trying to explain that the schools are alike, Cade lifted up his head and said, "Micah's school has flying brooms?!?!"  Unfortunately, Cade, no.  

*Tonight at dinner, I was asking the boys about their respective days at school.  I like to ask them what they learned and Cade informed us that he learned about the letters "F and G."  Then he told us, "And I said the most F words!"  He must have gotten that from his father.  

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Owner of a Lonely Heart

On Friday night, Micah's school hosted a school-wide picnic and bake sale at a local park. It was one of those awkward times where we (and by "we" I mean "I") felt like we should go to show support for the school and because the kids would have a great time, but we don't really know any of the other parents at all. If there was a level system for how well parents of children who go to the same school know one another, I think Level 1 would be "Identify the Parent as "Child's Name + Familial Gender" such as "Suzy's Dad" or "Joe's Mom." We're at Level 1 with approximately 3 parents. Out of many. We were entering an atmosphere of awkward. But we sucked it up for the sake of the kids.

While there, we met the parents of Micah's friend K. K is a little girl in the neighboring kindergarten class. And Micah has a way with the ladies, let me tell you. Apparently, K goes home most days with tales of her favorite playmate, Micah. We've heard a little about K, but K's parents have heard a TON about Micah. When we told them our child was Micah, K's mom squealed with delight "Oh, you're Micah's parents!" That pretty much sums it up. It seems as though Micah and K have already had coversations about marriage. K, being the progressive lady she is, asked Micah to marry her. Micah, however, is a bit more old-fashioned and informed K that the boy is supposed to ask the girl. When pressed with the question from K "Are you going to ask me?" Micah decided to play hard-to-get with the (typical male) response, "I might." Ahhh, kindergarten relationships can be soooo complicated.

Jason and I asked Micah about K. Being the pillars of parenting we are, we asked him if he thought he would want to marry K. You know, because it's so healthy to push your 6 yr. old child into marriage. Unfortunately, Micah has some hang-ups about marrying K. And by hang-ups, I mean his little "friend who is a girl" E. from our old town. Micah and E. have been friends since they were just over a year old. They were betrothed to one another, once upon a time, until a series of bad choices tore her family apart and in turn forced distance into all of our friendships. I couldn't say the last time we saw E. nor do I have any clue if we will ever see her again since she spends the majority of time with her mom with whom we no longer associate.

So Jason and I felt it our parently duty to help Micah move on. When he told us his future plans included a marriage to E., I panicked a bit inside. Because 6 yr. olds never change their minds, right? I mean, when I was 6, I wanted to be a lifeguard. I was nothing if not ambitious. But as a mother who wants to not only protect her son but also help him lay the foundation for healthy relationships in the future, I blurted out, "E. found someone else." And let me say I have never felt lower in my life than in that instant. Micah's adorable face crumpled like a wadded up piece of newspaper. With tears in his eyes, the only intelligible words he could muster were, "Who is it?" Since I had just made "him" up on the spot, I answered as truthfully as I could. "I don't know." I am nothing if not creative in my own tangled web of lies.

Oh, was he upset! He simply couldn't comprehend the betrayal. Much to learn about women the young jedi has. To help his heart heal, Jason and I reminded him about sweet K. How wonderful and funny and smart she is. And she comes from a great family. When we finished our picnic dinner, Micah ran off to play, presumably with K. Back to business as usual. But I know these things take time. And when the topic of E. comes up again, you can bet I'll be prepared to remind him of all the lovely ladies in his life who aren't her. Seriously, though, it's terribly sad that his 1st and closest childhood friend is gone from his life. But I also hope to remind him he has lots more life to live before he has to make any adult decisions. In the meantime, K's mom and I will be secretly working on engraving some invitations.