Saturday, February 28, 2009


-At work, the girls are always talking about renting movies. I finally told them that J buys movies pretty much every time we walk into ANY store, and they should check with us before renting movies, 'cause we're happy to loan them out. Friday, J came to pick me up from work, and they convinced him that if he created a movie spreadsheet, they'd "rent" movies from us for a dollar. So, we tallied up the movies today, and I have to's pretty ridiculous. All the movies are kept in J's man cave, so I really didn't have any idea that we have 352 freaking movies! Lordy! They'll be able to "rent" movies from us for the rest of our lives!

-I finally took a cue from Renee, TYH, and every other blog I've been reading lately and planted a few things in an indoor greenhouse. I know I'm late at doing this, but I'm hoping I'll still have some veggies this year. So far I've got jalepenos, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, mint, bell peppers, watermelons, and sugar snap peas. I'd like to add strawberries, cantelope, corn, spinach, and potatoes to the mix too. I would LOVE to not have to buy produce all summer. Not only is produce pretty dang expensive, but it just isn't very GOOD around here. For flowers, I planted some morning glories and sweet peas. I have a total black thumb, and I didn't even look to see if these things can grow in our region or level of sun, but I'm hoping they turn out! Maybe this will give us some incentive to get our backyard under control so that I have somewhere to PLANT these babies once they start blooming.
I came home from work last night and basically crashed. I feel SO congested, and my whole head and neck hurts. I don't have much to say other than that...I still feel like my whole head is going to explode. Awesome.

This was the first paycheck of Justin's that we've had to pay for medical insurance, and man it kills that check. I know that it's a necessity, but I don't like it one bit. Nothing like being paid and realizing that you're STILL BROKE.

Also, I want chocolate.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Woop woop!

So, I was accepted as a ChaCha guide. I know that some people report that it isn't worth it since they've decreased their pay, but I also know others who think that it IS worth it. And hey, it's money that I probably wouldn't have otherwise, so it's at least worth a shot!

I haven't had ANY chocolate today--not even hot chocolate! Go me! I'm not very disciplined when it comes to food, so this is a good exercise of self control for me.

The Top Chef finale last night really bummed me out. I was so excited to see the sous chefs from last season (I loved Casey), but was really sad that she exerted so much influence into Carla's dishes. Then again, Carla probably should have better asserted that this year, Casey's role was just to shut up and chop. I hope that Carla or Fabio win fan fave at the very least.

And that's about all. My brain is fried. I need to go home.


Over the weekend was Payton's Princess Birthday party. Naturally, I took my camera and headed over. These pictures just make me smile--some much pure joy, fun, and innocence!

Our other niece Shelby

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ChaCha and Chocolate.

Some of you asked about ChaCha in the comments of my last post. Basically, they're a question and answer service. People text in questions like "What are the hours of the Wal-Mart in Orlando, Florida?" or "Who won the superbowl in 1990?" Their texts are then transformed into a computer question and sent to ChaCha guides, the position for which I applied, who research the answer provide a credible source, and send it back to the computer, who then forwards it on to the customer's phone in text form. Usually all within 2-10 minutes.

I haven't heard back as to whether or not I was accepted, but I'm really hoping that I was. It's right up my alley, and it would be a huge blessing to be able to make some supplemental income while watching movies or hanging out. So send good thoughts my way about that please, because I hear that once you've applied, you can't ever re-apply. Oye Vey.

Moving on...I have exactly one hour left of being able to eat chocolate candy for the next 40 days. Growing up, my church did observe Lent, and we were encouraged to give something up, even though we weren't Catholic. In our family, we considered Lent to officially begin at the Ash Wednesday service, which happened at 7pm at our church. This year, I think I've decided to give up chocolate candy. I am not giving up chocolate entirely, because I often have a cup of hot chocolate to unwind from work...which is a GOOD thing for me. It gives me time to acknowledge and then discard anything that was difficult to hear at work, and keeps me from breaking confidentiality. Not to mention, it's often just plain cold at our house and it helps warm me up. On the other hand, there's ALWAYS chocolate candy and cake at work, which I often eat mindlessly. I kind of feel like I'm being a flake by not giving it up all the way, and I worry that I'll just replace my mindless chocolate eating with mindless licorice eating. We'll see.

ETA: I did decide to go ahead and shoot for giving up chocolate candy desserts for Lent. I'm not giving up hot chocolate, as I don't see it as a vice!

Interestingly enough, Justin's family (who is also fact, his dad is a Lutheran pastor), never gave things up for Lent according to Justin.

PS- How do y'all like the new layout? It isn't even a CBOTB layout...I did it all by myself in Photoshop! I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself!


- I took the test to become a ChaCha guide yesterday. I know that I answered the questions correctly with solid .edu or .gov sites for almost everything and I know that they're hiring. I studied way more than most people do. I'm still paranoid that I failed. It would be such a blessing if I passed, and hopefully a quick and painless way to make some extra money.

-I have a meeting this morning for work that I'm absolutely DREADING. I'm finding that I'm dreading going to work in the mornings at all, which isn't a good thing. I'm not sure whether a vacation would make things worse or better.

-I am tired of rain. I want some sun. Actually, I want summer. This weather is making me way too tempted to go tanning.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crock Pot Love.

Yet again, a recipe that doesn't photograph well, but is SO yummy! On Monday, I made one of my favorite Crock Pot recipes to date--Chicken and Dumplings! Definitely yummy comfort food. I first came across this recipe on, and then shortly thereafter saw it on Cooking with Court. I asked Court a quick question about the dumplings, and then put it in my "to make" file. It definitely got J's stamp of approval. I did make a tweak to the recipe to suit our tastes, so I'll post my own version here:

4 boneless skinless chicken pieces (breast or thigh), cut in small chunks
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups water
1 (10 oz) packages refrigerated biscuits (I used Grand's Original)

Combine all ingredients, except biscuits, in crock pot.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken looks cooked through. 1 hour before serving, tear biscuit dough into 1-inch pieces. Add to crock pot; stirring gently so that the biscuits are covered in soup mixture, but remain on top. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour or until biscuits are fluffed up and cooked through.

I LOVED this recipe. But then again, I LOVE fridge biscuits so I'm not surprised. It's so much easier than the stovetop version, and I love being able to toss stuff in and forget about it all day. Glorious.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Song

This song features TWO artists that I absolutely love--Everlast, and Santana. When this song came out, I burned a CD of this song and only this song, and played it in the car for weeks. It's still a song that makes me want to grab a glass of wine, close my eyes and dance.

Put Your Lights On-- Santana and Everlast

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I am calm.

J: We'll be done working later this afternoon, but we'll probably spend the night since the hotel is already paid for. Plus, Simon and I want to go to the bar tonight and get drunk.
M: Okay, well just don't get arrested tonight. And please don't drink TOO much or you won't get up tomorrow morning to drive home. How long of a drive is it?
J: About six hours. I'll be home before noon, and make it in time for both birthday parties.
M: Babe, are you really planning to leave at 6am? You have a really hard time getting up after you've been out drinking.
J: Yes! We're leaving by 6am!
M: Okay. If you tell me you're gonna do that, you really have to do that.
J: I know, I will. I promise!

{This morning, 8am, J calls M}
M: Morning! Where are you guys at?
J: Ummm...the hotel. We'll leave in the next hour or so. We both overslept.

I should just KNOW by now that J can't do ANYTHING Saturday mornings, no matter how much he promises. But really, he should not make promises that he's not willing to keep.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A non-J post...

Leah has asked a couple of times if I've researched about Bengal cats. It's actually kind of funny--I had been looking at a few bengals, and was a bit disappointed that Bones wasn't one of them. But, after taking Leah's cue and doing some research, I've learned that Tabbys can be a type of bengal. And after reading about some of the characteristics, I'm thinking she at least has some bengal in her. This is the picture that the wikipedia entry uses to demonstrate the "mascara", or the horizontal striping that bengals typically have next to their eyes.

I think Bones has it too. I know...her eyes look pretty demonic in this picture.
Other characteristics are that they're very loyal and affectionate, very vocal, and sometimes require near-constant attention. I do think that most of those describe her...though she hasn't tried to hop in the shower with me, which is also typical of bengal cats. She also doesn't have the more prominent "spots" that I typically associate with a bengal.

Overall though, no matter what she is, she cracks me up. She often sits in the window and "chatters" at the birds outside. She wraps her paws around my neck and gives hugs, and she likes to sit on top of my head. Crazy cat, but I love her...and am really appreciating her right now!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This calls for more wine.

Talked to J tonight. They will likely be home late Saturday night.

The only problem? It sounds like he will have to go back up Monday morning for another week. And we have so much shit to do on Sunday, it isn't even like we'll actually get to spend any time together.

And if absolutely anything goes wrong between now and Saturday morning, I probably won't see him at all until the end of next week.

I know I should be thankful he has a job, but right now I am NOT happy.

Better Day

Both yesterday and today I've slowly been feeling a little less depressed and a little more optimistic. J left his first job site in WA today and is now heading to Everett. After they finish in Everett, they'll likely head down to their next job site in Oregon. They should be home Sunday or Monday. The bummer is that a night job is starting soon, and J may be expected to start working it either this Monday or next Monday. I am hoping that he gets at least a day off to recoup--they've been working 14-18 hour days up there!

Blessings for the last couple of days:
-Wine, chocolate, and french bread with Kait last night
-I will get to see Renee, Ryan, and maybe their kids tonight...I hope!
-My silly, neurotic cat. I know those of you with kids probably think I'm exaggerating, but seriously, she's like a child. She wants to be held AT ALL TIMES. Freaks out if I leave the room, and cries all night. This cat isn't an independent sort at all--she wants nonstop attention and love. But I love her. Her new favorite activity is to intentionally roll off the couch.
-I am currently downloading an episode of TOP CHEF! Heck yes for New Orleans
-We ordered Direct TV and he will be here Monday! Now, we've never had any cable of any sort since we've been married, and it's been fine. Sometimes though, I do miss watching the news or football games, or just watching a show the night it actually AIRS. And their package with 150 channels was less than $30/month for a year. So we'll try it out. Hopefully it isn't a mistake.
-God has blessed me with sleeping well since J has been gone. It's a small mercy. I typically don't sleep well even when he's here, so I didn't think I'd sleep well when he's gone. I was armed with large amounts of simply sleep, but haven't needed it at all. The entire bottle of wine last night may have helped!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

By Your Side

So there's this song by Tenth Avenue North called "By Your Side" that has sort of become my anthem this week, so I guess we could call it a belated Sunday song. Part of the song goes, "I'll be by your side, wherever you fall. In the dead of night, whenever you call. Please don't fight these hands that are holding you." Let's just say that I've been doing a lot of late night calling lately, and this song brings a brief moment of comfort. Here's the You Tube video:

I talked to J. There's pretty much no way that he'll be flying back on Friday. They're thinking that he may be driving back on Sunday morning if we're REALLY lucky, but more realistically, Monday. I have to say, hearing that was like a punch in the gut. I really had my hopes up that he'd be back on Friday--there are just a ton of things that we're supposed to be doing this weekend and that he'll now be missing: our niece's birthday party, my dad's birthday, my aunt and uncle coming to visit us and see the new house, he's supposed to be leading two worship services on Sunday, and he'll most likely be missing band practices on Monday. And that's just the external things...forgetting the fact that I NEED to have him here. For some reason, my mind equates him being gone for work this week with him being gone forever. Somehow, my mind has me convinced that he's going to get into a car crash, or airplane crash, or construction accident, and I won't ever see him again. I know that's a pretty irrational thought, but in my mind right now, it's a very real thought. I know that there's absolutely nothing I can do about it, but right now, it's completely consuming. And I'm having a hard time coping. To be honest, I'm kind of a basket case. If there weren't so many things going on this weekend, I would probably drive up to see him. It would be totally worth it, even if I only saw him for a couple of hours at night. Honestly, I won't relax at all until I see him.

I'll tell you this much--if he does come back Monday, I'm taking Tuesday off work, and we're locking ourselves in the house all day long.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The beat goes on...

I came SO close to taking a mental health day today. If I were still in school and not working, it would have been a no brainer. Here's the round-up from yesterday:

-Kev ended up having emergency surgery and they had to put multiple pins and rods all up his arm. He's VERY upset that the projected recovery time is 6+ months. Not only was he expected to go to state for snowboarding, but he's also been invited to go to Japan with the football team this summer, and they aren't sure that he'll be able to go.

-The car is in the shop. No idea what's wrong with it at this point, nor how much it will cost to fix it. In the meantime, I'm driving my sister's clunker around, and hoping that I don't break THAT car too, since J and I have a history of breaking cars that have been leant to us.

-J is pretty sure he won't be coming home on Friday, and I'm really upset about it. I can DO until Friday...but we have a lot on our plate this weekend, and I just NEED him when things go the way that they have been. I know that other people deal with being away from their husbands for much more extended periods of time, but I just can't handle it. I DON'T handle it well. I turn into an anxious, crying basketcase who eats ice cream and drinks wine like it's going out of style.

In other news, since I have no control over most of these things, I have begun obsessing about other, I've decided that my cat may have fleas. I have no reason to suspect that she has fleas other than I saw her scratching her ear one time, but now I'm utterly paranoid and spend vast amounts of time googling "cats + flea treatment".

Also, I got a fortune cookie on Sunday that said, "Remember three months from today. Something exciting will happen." Justin is convinced this means a pregnancy. Even though we aren't trying. He's funny like that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Are you kidding me?

So J had to be at the airport at 5am this morning, and he'll be gone for at least a week, but more likely 2-3. He may get to come back in between--we're not sure. I drove home from the airport, stopped to get gas, and took a nap. Woke up around 9:30am to take the cat in to get her nails trimmed. I got one street, and the car...the NEW car that we bought just last June...died. I will start, and run, but it will not STAY running for any extended period of time. Of course this happens--the minute J goes out of town, the car that we have had absolutely no problems with breaks. Have I mentioned that it is our only car?

So, I call my dad to see if he can come over to look at it, who says that they are on their way to see an orthopedist. Kev hurt his wrist snowboarding, but they did x-rays and they don't think it's broken, but they just have to go check in with the orthopedist and he'll be over later. The doctor just gave him vicodin and told him not to share with his friends or his mother (okkkaaaayyyyy). A few minutes later, I got a call from my dad--Kev has to have surgery today at 12:30pm. Obviously, my dad needs to be there.

Yeah, no clue how I'll be getting to work tomorrow.


Well, we went to look at cats and kittens yesterday. We went a couple of different places and didn't really see any that we liked and that liked us. I was fairly tempted to get one of the ugliest cats I have ever seen in my LIFE from the humane society, but I didn't. Instead, we headed over to a pet store that we knew was having cats from a rescue mission in CA.

We liked a couple of the cats, but most of them didn't seem to have any interest in us. Except for this one little sweetie, who immediately started sucking on Justin's ear and licking his chin. I LOVE the little neurotic cats, so we decided to take her home!

She spent most of the afternoon under the couch yesterday, but has since started to venture out and climb all over J and I. And she's starting to talk all the time. She's about 7 months old, and was abandoned on the side of the road in a box. Her name was "HMS Pinafore", but I think that's about the dumbest name for a cat ever, so we've renamed her Bones. Personally, I was voting for Lucy, but Bones will do. And hey, she IS neurotic like the TV character.

Her claws are extremely long...I really should take her in to get them clipped today (she won't let me anywhere near them), but I think that might be a little traumatic for her. I DO need to call the place that we adopted her from because once we got her home, we noticed that she still has stitches from being spayed--something they didn't mention to us at all. I wonder if we need to have them taken out or if they'll dissolve themselves?

Anyway, it's nice to have some company...J is out of town all week for work (dropped him off at the airport at 5am). He's supposed to be coming back Friday, but I have a feeling he'll be there longer from the way the guys were talking. Ugh. I hate him being gone.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What's In Your Wallet?

Lori at Nothing Else Matters tagged me to participate in this fun little blog game. Here are the rules:

1. Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying as of late. And whats in it? No cheating!

2. I want to know how much it costs. And this is not to judge. It is for entertainment purposes only. So, spill it. And, if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it.

3. Tag some chicks. And link back to this post so people know why the heck you're showing everyone your bag.

Okay, so I actually just downsized bags a couple of days ago. I had been carrying a bright green tote from Tar-jay, but then it started effing SNOWING again, and I needed something that zipped fully. So, I busted out my trusty $8 Wal-Mart purse. No stories on how I obtained it, but I will say that it's usually my Wal-Mart purses that people stop me on the street to ask me about. Not so much this one, but this one is just basic, black, and has lots of zippered pouches for me to put my zippered pouches in.

1. My wallet. It's one of those thin, magnetic ones. Love.
2. Glasses case. I doubt there are actually glasses inside. They're probably on my head.
3. Keys. Note the giraffe :P
4. Phone. I'd love to upgrade to a Crackberry, but noooooo.
5. Name badge for court.
6. Love me some Burt's Bees!
7. I keep all my pens in this little zippered pouch so that they don't explode and I always have one for court.
8. All my meds. Yes, I take these all on a daily basis.
9. See what I mean about zippered pouches? This one carries bills, check book, car payment book, etc. I've tried leaving them at home, but I always forget about them if I do.
10. Make-up for after the gym. I think I only have lip gloss, mascara, eyeshadow, and maybe some liner and lotion.
11. Planner. I've been REALLY bad about using this lately.

I almost always have a book in my purse too, but right now it's in my gym bag. I used to carry a camera all the time, but I've been trying to break that habit 'cause they're not allowed in court.

Okay, I tag Sarah, Kait, Lisa, Renee, and Chelsie

Let's see it girls!

Flameworthy Confession

Okay folks, I have a seriously flame-worthy Valentine's Day confession--I did not like my Valentine's Day present. J tried very hard, and I would really LIKE to like it, but I just don't, and I feel really crappy about not liking it. Let me back up here about a month and explain why.

One month ago. J and M are in Target, looking at the Home Design section. They come across the aforementioned giraffe-print mugs, plates, and bowls.

M: Wow. Giraffe print is really popular this year.
J: Giraffe! You HAVE to get the giraffe plates and bowls.
M: Nah. Look how expensive they are! The mugs are great, but I don't really like the plates and bowls. Plus, as much as I like giraffes, I don't want the WHOLE house to be giraffe themed, and they don't match any of our other stuff either.

Subsequently, I've told Justin that as I've seen the mugs go on clearance, I've almost purchased them a couple of different times. So, I was a happy girl when J gave me two of the mugs as an early V-day present. I think we all know that he did good there.

This morning, he had me wait in the bedroom while he got my present ready. To be quite honest, I thought he was cleaning the house for me (which would have been great), since I heard a bunch of clatter in the kitchen. He came back all excited, and pulled me into the dining room...and there sat four place settings of the aforementioned giraffe plates and bowls. The ones that I had previously told him that I didn't like. Now, it quickly became obvious to me that J either did not hear, or did not internalize the above conversation. He likely heard "Nah. Look how expensive they are!" and nothing else. He was so excited, and thought I was absolutely going to love the present. I looked at the plates, I looked at him, and I just burst into tears. And they were not happy tears. And I felt like such a crappy, crappy wife, because his intent was just so, so good. He immediately asked what was wrong, and I told him what I had said about the plates...sure enough, he hadn't heard the last half of the conversation. And then he felt like crap too...because who wants to receive plates as a Valentine's Day present unless they're plates that you really, really want?

But, it also IS about the thought, not the gift, and the thought was so there...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Choices, Choices

One of the major perks of J's job has always been the benefits--we have a Costco membership through them, they gave great vacation/sick leave, and spouses and children received health, vision, and dental for free.

When the economy started to turn, they put a freeze on accruing vacation and sick leave, and they've now announced that insurance will be changing. Basically, we have the option to pay $120/month pre-tax for insurance for J alone, or $220 for health/vision/dental for both of us (I think it's $320 if you have kids). I'm already insured through my work, but on my insurance alone, a re-mix for my allergy shots is over $1000. So, I'm thinking that it would make sense for us to keep me on his insurance and keep me double covered in the event that (a) I get pregnant and get put on bed rest or (b) my agency loses a bunch of its grants/donor funding, and my position gets cut.

It's just one more expense that we haven't budgeted for....we could definitely and easily swing it...but it also sucks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

She was 12.

I arrived for court a few minutes early the other day, and ended up catching the end of arraignments for juvenile delinquency cases. Towards the end, they brought in the smallest, most petite little girl. She walked in wearing shackles on her hands and feet, looked up, and smiled at her parents. She looked all of 12. I figured that she had probably been lodged overnight for something like harassment or theft--shoplifting or maybe getting into a fight at school. Sometimes they'll lodge first time offenders to "scare them straight". The judge asked her whether she planned to admit or deny, and she responded that she was ready to admit. The judge asked what she had done, and I was SHOCKED to hear "possession and use of heroin." Turns out they had already tried to release her to her parents once, and on the first day, she snuck out and used again. This time, she was in detention until a residential treatment facility opened up. Ugh. I'm totally desensitized to accounts of abuse and neglect, but watching those juvenile arraignments still really get at me.

Tonight at training, I had to come in and read a bunch of case files. We do this to give new workers a real-life idea about what they'll be dealing with. J and I are still sharing a car, so I asked the lead trainer if he could come sit in the lounge. He's already had to sign confidentiality agreements since he helped drywall the office, so the trainer suggested that he just sit in on the training. It was kind of nice, because I was leading the training, so J actually got to see me in action. Also, I usually can't go into any case detail with him at all, but this time he heard all the actual case info, but just with last names's nice for him to hear some real examples of the stuff that I have to read and deal with every day.

I gave J part of his Valentine's Day present early (Season 2 of Bones), and so he decided to give me part of mine early as well. Lisa, you'll appreciate these:
Y'all may all recall the giraffe/ryno/hippo story. It's also this reason that Ethan's log in name is Baloo. Anyway, I mentioned to Justin that I've almost purchased these mugs a couple of times, but always ended up putting them back on the shelf...I don't NEED another coffee mug (though I DO need one that doesn't burn the heck out of me when it's microwaved). Sweet hubby got a set for me and delivered it up with some nice hot chocolate tonight. Major points for hubby....but I'm still hoping for a kitten!


So, I love me some Top Chef. I think that I've watched all 5 seasons, and
sadly, the cheftestant that I wanted to win has only won once (Harold). I have a feeling that the dapper young gentleman that I love this time (Fabio), probably won't win this year's competition, but he's certainly my favorite.

Really, cooking...when I have TIME to cook is one of my favorite things in the world. I would absolutely love to be in a position to not have to work, and to be able to cook home-cooked meals from scratch every day. They just taste better, and I just FEEL better after eating them. What's really neat about Fabio is that I really COULD cook some of his dishes at home. Sure, he knows molecular gastronomy, but most of the stuff he ends up cooking is just simple, good food....which is my kind of food.

PS- J loved the taco soup...he definitely couldn't tell the difference between ground beef and ground turkey ("Ohhh YES! It has ground beef in it!").

My allergies are absolutely terrible lately. You know that Claritin commercial where she talks about being in a fog? Yeah, that's me for the past week...along with killer headaches due to the changes in the barometric pressure. All I want to do is come home and sleep. Alas, I have to work late again tonight. Boo and hiss.

What are y'all doing for Valentine's Day this year? I know a lot of people don't really celebrate it, but I LOVE V-Day. Justin didn't do a DAMN thing the first year we were dating (not even a card). Really, all I need to be happy is a card, and maybe some Tart Hearts. I know it's a silly made up holiday, but I like those grand gestures, and they don't happen any other time, so I take what I can get. This year, I'm hoping for a kitten (doubtful).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Love

Folks, I've got some serious baby fever. I'm used to having baby fever for a couple of days...MAYBE a week, and then it's gone. But this particular run of baby fever just won't quit....I had it three weeks ago at Bible study when I was holding one of the sweet newborns, and it seriously hasn't gone away. Really, if I thought that J's work would continue to have insurance, I'd probably be dunzo...that, and figuring out how the HECK we'd pay our mortgage are the only things bringing me back to sanity. Then again, if I were to listen to what Emerson says, I just need to instill in J that I respect that he will provide for any future family we have, because that's what he's driven to do.

I don't know. I DO know that I'm freaking exhausted. I was almost falling asleep at Bible study last night, came home, went to bed, and I'm STILL exhausted. I have to go to court this morning (boo), and then I'm thinking my lunch break may be spent napping in the car. I am excited about dinner tonight with Stump and Kelsey....if only I can stay awake!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Updates/Shameless Family Promotion

First, can I just say how much I HATED going to the doctor yesterday? I'm now on several different antibiotics that make me feel like crap. But even worse, they weighed me. Now, I've pretty much been going to the gym faithfully at least 3 times a week. I'm actually working hard, not just phoning it in. I was starting to feel like I was getting a little bit toned, and the other night, J even commented that my stomach seemed a lot smaller lately. Yeah, and then they weighed me, and I weigh more than I've ever weighed in my life. By a lot. I know that it shouldn't be all about the number, but that just really sucks. It should be an increased motivator but really, it just makes me want to do nothing at all.

In other news, I've got Taco Soup in the crock pot. I made some alterations to make it healthier (ground turkey instead of ground beef, subbed some pinto beans for some black beans), and while normally J wouldn't eat that stuff at all, I'm betting that he won't even notice.

And now for the shameless family promotion...okay, so I've been talking on the blog a bit about the band that J is a part of, but haven't really promoted it on the blog for security reasons. That said, I've been altering the Myspace page for the group and uploading a new version of their song. In the process, I decided to make things a little more generic and a little less location specific (they're actually getting quite a few friends on Myspace, and it just feels more comfortable for anyone and everyone not to be able to track us all down).

ANYWAY, the link to the band's Myspace page is

I'd love for you all to check it out--all the music is original, and I might be a little bit biased, but I think they're fantastic. My hubby sings lead on the song "For God Alone" (Ryan wrote it), Renee wrote and sings lead on "Where Is Your Cross" and "The One". Ryan and Renee both sing lead on "Stay Awhile."

I'm also pretty proud of my layout design--I've never worked with a top banner layout before, but I thought it turned out nicely.

End shameless family promotion. PS, I know you can find my personal Myspace page through the band's page... and I don't mean to sound bitchy here, but if we're not already friends, please don't try to add me. As much as I love nesties, I draw the Myspace friends line on people that I actually know in real life. Just thought I'd get that out there...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Almost Done!

I came home from work tonight and discovered that J and his dad had just about finished the living room! I didn't bother to whip out the DSLR, so you'll have to forgive the crappy pictures with spots. I promise I'll take better pics soon (maybe even with natural light!), but I was just so stinking excited, I had to share a bit now.

Okay, so to refresh your memory, here's what the living room looked like when we bought the place in November:

And, here's what the place looks like now! We still have a bit of work to do, but we're getting really close to being finished.

Still left to do:
-Transition strips
-Put on trim
-Assemble other side table for the other table lamp, get rid of current lamp
-Install double curtain rod. Possibly get cream/white colored sheers.
-Finalize art placement
-Buy new TV stand, or repaint the current one (any ideas?).
-Try to convince J to let me center the bookshelves!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekend In Pictures

Saturday night, the band played a fundraiser concert. It was a little difficult because when we arrived at the hotel, the manager then informed the band that they were only allowed to play acoustically--couldn't hook up to speakers at all. That was just a bummer because the band was supposed to be the entertainment for the dessert fundraiser, and I'm not sure than anyone could really hear them. What can you do though?

Sunday, we headed up to the mountain to watch my little bro compete in the rail jam competition. I had fun testing out the camera for action shots and in the snow.

Later Sunday, we headed back home to start working on the floors. I thought this picture probably gave the best indication of the coloring of the floors and the walls. Things are coming along pretty quickly...J got a BUNCH more done while I was at the doctor's office today. All that's really left is to go down the hallway. Which means that HOPEFULLY, we'll be able to put the living room back together either tonight or tomorrow.

While I was at the doctor's this morning, Justin's mom also dropped off an afghan that she crocheted as a wedding present for us. It's a little belated, but well worth the wait!

Sunday Song

I chose today's Sunday Song for the sole reason that it makes me happy. Growing up, we used to listen to this song (and pretty much all the others from American Graffiti) with my dad in the car. He used to LOVE 50's music--so much that we'd drive the 45 minutes to the town where J's parents now live every Friday night to go to this little diner that served real fountain sodas and had a live band that sang 50's songs all night. This song always just makes me want to dance.

Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Today has been a busy morning. First, we finished ripping up the carpet, and then determined that we'd actually need to put down plywood before putting down the flooring since the sub-floor is significantly lower than the kitchen. Another unexpected expense and chunk of time, but what can you do? Speaking of expenses, J's Costco card and receipt for the flooring are totally MIA. We need both to get the $160 refund on Monday, so please say a prayer, throw a penny to the little people, rub St. Anthony...or do whatever it is you do when YOU lose something important!

Also, here's a macro close-up of the rug that I got. It isn't really indicative of the texture, but it's pretty close to the color. I think that it will look really nice with our floors and our couches. I hope so anyway! I was hoping to lighten things up, but also to give the room some different texture.

The Dell tech came, replaced my hard drive, only to discover that Dell forgot to send the Vista installation CD. Yay. I pulled out all of the CD's I received when I bought the computer (which was a feat in itself since everything is still boxed up), and nope...I didn't get one. So, my hard drive went back in the computer, and hopefully I'll have some installation CD's on Monday. Oy Vey. I cannot WAIT to fill out my Dell satisfaction survey!

Ryan and Renee stopped by today to let us use Ryan's truck to pick up the plywood, and Renee dropped off my gorgeous painting. She added a couple of different iris silhouettes. Knowing Renee, I was sort of expecting at least a few changes :) Sometimes she paints three or four paintings on the same canvas before she finds what she really likes. Anyway, I loved the first version, but I absolutely love this version too.

Also, I had a giant grapefruit this morning. It's been almost 4 years since I had a grapefruit after my gyno told me that grapefruit interacts with birth control pills and will lower their effectiveness. Even though I loved grapefruit, I stopped eating it because I was absolutely terrified of becoming pregnant. I've still hung on to that idea, even though I've switched gynos because mine was basically a quack, which I discovered after she said that I was too young to possibly have a tumor in my boob, even though breast cancer runs in my family. Several months and second opinions later, I had to have surgery to remove a grapefruit sized tumor from my boob. For quite awhile, they thought it was cancerous...luckily, it turned out to be begnin. Anyway, I don't know why I hung on to that piece of advice from the crazy doctor for so long, as my current gyno has basically said she has NEVER seen someone get pregnant from eating too much grapefruit. And you know what? Even if it happens to me (and with my luck I WOULD be the first), oh well. It's not the end of the world if I were to get pregnant. Speaking of the gyno, I have to go see the new doctor on Monday...NOT looking forward to that. It's not time for an annual, but I'm pretty sure she's gonna want to do an exam. I've got all kinds of different female issues going on right now, and they just aren't fun. And neither are the potential treatments!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another brick in the wall

I am so blessed that my wonderful sister in law Renee decided to paint this BEAUTIFUL painting for me. As many of you know, I absolutely love purple irises--they were the flowers for my wedding, but also have deep family significance for me. Isn't she talented?! She's super crafty too...I keep telling her that she should open her own etsy shop!

I am getting a migraine and it sucks. The doctor gave me a new medicine to try, but I've never taken it before and I'm worried that it will put me to sleep. I'm gonna try to hold off until I get off work to take it. But then again, if I wait too long, it probably won't work. Also, me getting my allergy shot yesterday is probably compounding the situation (my allergies are REALLY bad for a couple of days after getting a shot). Anyway, all I want to do is go home and go to sleep. We have a LOT of work to do tonight though, so I'm not sure that's possible.

I am going to go get my hair cut and my highlights touched up this afternoon at 2:30. I am so excited! At least if I still have a migraine, I can just sit there in the chair with my eyes closed. Four more hours of work today, and THAT'S IT. I hope that I can make it that long with this awful headache.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


- After approximately 8 hours speaking with Dell reps over the last few days, I finally got two GOOD agents last night, who were extremely understanding and helpful. Basically, after hours of diagnostics, they've discovered that my wireless card is shot, and SURPRISE, so is my hard drive. To re cap, Dell has already replaced the battery, power cord, plastic casing, motherboard, and memory cards this year. Now they'll be replacing my wireless card and hard drive. Basically, they just should have sent me a new laptop. Really though, I'm thankful that once my warranty expires in April, I'll be entering the laptop world with all new "guts". And while the hard drive issue sucks, it's at the crashing, but hasn't crashed yet stage, so hopefully I'll still be able to back everything up when I get home tonight.

-I have been really bad about the gym this week. I've only been once so far. I probably could have gone this morning, but I'm watching Top Chef instead. I LOVE me some Top Chef. I may go at lunch. We'll see.

-Kait is coming today! I'm so excited to see her again!

-This should be a fun photography weekend. Hopefully, we'll get a start on our floors on Friday night, work most of the day on Saturday, and then Saturday night there's a big event for the band (Kait is going to be my date), and hopefully we'll get some good pics out of the deal. Sunday, we might trek up to the mountain--Kev has a snowboard competition that will actually be visible from the lodge. I haven't ever seen him compete in snowboarding, and really want to go.

-I got TWO pairs of Gap clearance pants yesterday. One pair wasn't long enough, but had a cuff bottom. I let that out, so I think I might be able to swing it now. They're trouser cut, which is not something that I usually buy because I feel kind of short, squat, and frumpy in them. But I'm 5'10", so I doubt I actually look short and squat even if I feel like I do. Besides, they're the pants that EVERYONE raves about, so I figured I'll try.

-Yesterday morning, I was up at the butt crack of dawn. I headed right to pee before taking Justin in to work. Justin came inside from warming up the car, knocked on the bathroom door, and said, "Mere, is that you?!" Who the heck else would it be? We're the only people that live here!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Liar Liar

Sooo...hubby and I lied a little by omission tonight. I really don't like doing it, and feel a little bad.

Last weekend (as y'all know), we went to the warehouse store that shall remain nameless because they were having a manufacturer's rebate of $8 off a box. But they only had 6 boxes, and we needed like 20. They told us that there was no more coming. I found out today (as y'all know) that they actually received a shipment today. The manufacturer's rebate no longer applied...but I happen to know that starting next Monday they go to $8 off again via coupon. But like I said, we wanted to do it this weekend. We asked a manager if we purchased today, if they would honor the coupon price if I came in on Monday. The guy said that he couldn't promote doing that, but if we did, "they'd take care of us" (in a whisper).

We decided to buy today and take our chances--we were fully okay with the possibility of not getting a refund for the extra $160. As we were checking out, one of the cashiers said, "Wait, I think this goes on sale on Monday." We knew it was going on sale, but didn't say anything. He asked a couple of other cashiers and they said that they didn't think it was going on sale. So we checked out, and were loading up our car when the cashier came running out and said, "I'm glad I found you! It does go on sale on Monday! Come with me!"

J kept loading the boxes into the car. I went along with it and followed the guy to the customer service desk. He told the gal that we had just bought 20 boxes of flooring and it goes on sale Monday. He asked if we should return it and come back and re-purchase on Monday, or if it would be too much work to re-stock it. She said that we can take the flooring today, bring in the receipt on Monday with the coupon, and they'll credit us the difference. She said they don't LIKE to do it that way because they end up losing money, but that it would probably be a wash with the time and effort it would take to re-stock.

I feel a little like a terrible person for playing along that I didn't already know it was going on sale... technically we didn't LIE, but we weren't completely honest either. It's nice to know for sure that we can install the floors this weekend and they'll still credit us the $160 (for sure) though! Are we terrible people? Would y'all have done the same thing or no?

Flooring. Again!

So apparently Costco received another shipment of flooring today, in EXACTLY the color that I'm looking for! No idea why the guy on Saturday said it was discontinued and they wouldn't be getting anymore. Tim to the rescue! I knew photographing a wedding for free would pay off somewhere down the road!
I was looking forward to going to family faith night tonight, but it looks like we're off to Costco instead :)

Scratch That

I knew that I spoke too soon about the great customer service experience I had with Dell. I was shocked when the tech called yesterday and said he could come out already ( I wasn't expecting a call until at least today or tomorrow). Only, since he left, all hell has broken loose.

Since he was here, I suddenly don't have a wireless card. I've reinstalled the drivers multiple times, all to no avail. System restore doesn't work either. Also, I was suddenly hooked up to a network that I didn't set up, and it looked like someone was remoting in all night--coincidentally, this was happening while I was speaking to a Dell tech who was preparing to remote in, but to whom I hadn't actually given consent to remote in to. Dell says that this is all a coincidence, and maybe I'm just a bit of a conspiracy theorist here, but I just find it AWFULLY coincidental.

I was on the phone with a tech this morning, and the crazy lady said, "Okay. I call you back in 15 minutes, or you call me back in 15 minutes."

I asked which one it was--who was calling whom. She responded, "Whoever calls first." Nice plan.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Making Progress...

You may recall our living room prior to this weekend...finally a yummy paint color and some nice accessories, but still missing something. Well, a lot of things really.

And...this is what it's looking like now. Definitely not as much open space, but a LOT more seating. We still have the brown circle chair from the above picture, but only drag it out when needed 'cause it takes up too much space.

And here it is looking over the loveseat. Please ignore the Christmas ornaments that are STILL sitting on the bookshelves. Also, the candles don't normally live there...I just threw them up to make the house smell yummy. On another note, please tell my hubster to let me move the bookcases about 4 inches to the right. I don't care if the garage door won't open all the way! The non-centeredness drives me batty.
Here are our little side tables. I would have preferred a big table, but these were like $20 a pop, so I'm not complaining that I have to push two together. We have a third one that will eventually go on the other side of the couch (where all the wires are in the above picture).

So here's what's still left to do:
1. Laminate Wood flooring through out
2. Once that's down, I already have a nice cream colored shaggy rug to put under the furniture.
3. Replace the tall picture light with either a light just like the one on the opposite table or a different standing light.
4. Eventually add can lights or track lights to the ceiling for some overhead light
5. Buy a flatscreen TV
6. Buy a new entertainment table/center for new flatscreen
7. Hang the double curtain rod (already have). I'm also considering replacing the brown sheers with white/cream sheers to lighten things up and tie in the rug. What do y'all think?

Typing Out Loud

- Woke up in the middle of the night to hear hubby puking his guts out. I finally convinced him to call in sick...not sure if it's the flu, or if he ate too much of the wonderful Superbowl food yesterday. My tummy is a little squeamish now too, but I'm the type of person that throws up just because I saw/smelled someone else throw up.

-This morning, my computer wouldn't turn on. At all. I was dreading calling Dell Tech Support, but they were awesome! Turns out it's a memory card AND a memory card reader problem. Once we isolated which ones weren't working, we were able to stick the working card into the working reader, which was a lifesaver. So, although I'm running using like 80% of my memory for the next couple of days, the tech guy should be out at the house here in 2-3 business days. Now getting the time off work will be the problem. Maybe he'll agree to come next Monday.

-We are thinking about making the road trip up to P-town to the nearest Ikea to get this flooring (it's the Tundra line). However, I'm a little nervous because I've never been to Ikea and I've never seen the flooring in person. I've heard from some that the quality is crap, but some people think Costco's quality is crap, and I've never had a problem with their laminate. I don't know...I'm not really sure that I love this color...I just don't know.

- I found a pair of jeans yesterday at Wal-Mart of all places that I loved. Tried on a pair, and then I decided that I wanted the jeans in a different wash. So I bought the same brand, same style, same size jeans in another wash. Got home...they don't fit. Not even close. Has anyone else noticed that this seems to be happening more and more? Not just at Wally world, but I've also had it happen at Old Navy, Gap, and Target recently. Drives. Me. Nuts, especially since I have to order a lot of my clothes online since I'm so tall.

-Off to search for a rug and possibly a flat screen. I think we've got our living room almost how we want it, save the wood floors. The arrangement that we wanted didn't work at all. I'm not loving the current arrangement because it just feels a little cramped, but I guess that I need to think of it as COZY rather than cramped. And there is so much more seating.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

All I can say is that my life is pretty plain....

So, after ordering a couple of things from the TALL section of Old Navy, I have to say that I've decided that my clothing choices are fairly plain. Also, I'm kind of pissed that any time I actually have money to spend, they don't have sweat pants in my size. They only have XXS Tall, which doesn't do me any good. They might be nice arm warmers. Also, I should note that while most of my choices are pretty plain, I ACTUALLY wanted to order different versions of some of these same shirts that had great fun springy prints...but again, nothing in my size. Which is pretty sucky...I mean, it isn't as though I wear a XXXL or an XXXS. I wear a medium or a large tall. How hard is that people? Anyway......

Can you believe I don't have a single black zip up hoodie?

This is a plain color, but I think the cut is different, and it's nice and springy.

I am not sure what I'll be wearing with this, but I just loved the color.
I loved this. It's so totally not me--loud, and PINK, but I loved it. So I got it...I think I'll be able to wear it to work, and will love it.
Somehow, the white shirt and the pink shirt ended up coming in normal sizing rather than tall. They say I must have forgotten to select tall, and I could have SWORN that I selected tall, but oh well. They were kind enough to send me those two shipping free, and then I can just return the larges to an ON store. Sucks that I ended up paying $90 for $60 worth of clothes initially, but I understand why, and I'll get that last $30 back soon enough.

I also got the cutest little green cotton maxi dress from Target. I'm nervous about actually wearing it, 'cause I always feel frumpy in long dresses. However, I'm thinking that (a) if I feel frumpy or (b) it isn't long enough, I'll just hem it to be a tea-length dress.

I'm also totally crushing over these trouser jeans from Gap. They'd be perfect for jeans Fridays when I still have meetings.

And these lighter wash long and lean jeans from Gap. I should probably search eBay instead for these. After too much What Not To Wear, I've been staying away from lighter wash jeans, but there's just something so summery about them!
I'm trying to hold off on the I-wants until we've figured out the floor business. Apparently, Costco no longer carries laminate wood flooring?! WTF? So, we priced it out a few other places, and it was $400-$500 more than Costco and didn't include padding. Yikes!
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