Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Second favorite shopping day of the year

I absolutely LOVE the after Christmas sales. I love getting half price wrapping. I love getting half price gifts for next year. I love buying half price ornaments to put on packages. I love it all and I especially love going to Barnes and Noble and buying half price Christmas books for my future children. For the last few years I've made sure I stop by the bookstore to pick up a few good books for my stash. There's nothing like finding your favorite Christmas story at half the price. This year besides my favorite Christmas books I hit a major jackpot. Barnes and Noble had a big box of stuffed animals sitting out. I dug through them all and almost settled on the characters of Where the Wild Things Are but as I dug into the bottom of the box I notice a soft looking something. I pulled it out and it was a GIANT Classic Pooh bear. Now Pooh is not my favorite children's character but this Pooh was SUPER soft and pretty big. I knew Mark would LOVE it. I snatched up my half-price Pooh and headed to the register. So now beside all the wrapping and ornaments I bought sits the biggest, softest Pooh bear a kid could ever want. Our future child is sure to love it and in the mean time my little monster, I mean Mack, is eyeing him. I'm going to have to find Pooh a home on a high shelf before Mack claims him.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas

One of the joys of being a pet owner is dressing my pet up for all major holidays. Usually when I do this Mack looks as if he is saying curse words to me. Tonight was no exception. This should be our Christmas card.

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's happened

I'm pregnant. This is something I've been waiting on now for the past 11 months. To say we are excited is an understatement.


We took the test the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I immediately went back to bed because I thought 'Oh there's no way it will be positive.' After about 10 minutes or so Mark went into the bathroom to check it (as per our routine) and calmly walked into the bedroom. Then he exclaimed. 'YOU NEED TO COME IN HERE AND LOOK AT THIS THERE IS SOMETHING THERE!' I was like yeah right that isn't funny.


So I walked into the bathroom, glanced at the test and then pulled it closer to my face. He was right there was SOMETHING there. Now if we hadn't been using these things EVERY month and definitely knew what a negative test was this test would have been pitched into the trash and considered negative. But Mark and I were pros at looking for nonexistent lines and THIS test had something there.


As luck would have it, it was the only test we had in the house that month to encourage me not to test. So as I went online with my internet friends to debate what counts as a line with them, Mark scrambled around the house looking for shoes to go buy more tests.


Mark finally gets back with more cheap dollar store tests and I immediately take another. We thought maybe I waited too long with the first one to get accurate results. So after I peed we waited to watch the test. And slowly the faintest line began to appear. OMG could this be a positive. We didn't want to get too excited yet.


So we carried about our day. Then that evening we went to church. After church we decided to stop by the Wal-Mart to get some fancy tests. It was time to bust out the digital. We got home and Mark was like TAKE IT NOW. So I headed into the bathroom and he began to make our dinner. I peed again and started washing my hands. By the time I finished my hand washing I glanced down and the word I had waited months to see was there. PREGNANT. OMG I'm pregnant. I calmly scurried into the kitchen and threw the test into Mark's face.


And now the journey is really going to begin.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Carbon monoxide PSA

In honor of my anniversary coming up and in honor of the colder weather, I would like to share with my readers a cautionary tale of two young newlyweds embarking on their FIRST week together.

Mark and I were married Nov. 25, by the first week of December we were experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning. I don't joke. I moved into our lovely duplex on Spring Garden the day after our wedding and pretty soon after (like in the first week) I experienced my first and only migraine EVAH!
Mark worked at the car plant during the night. It was a Friday night when this all started. I went to work writing obituaries that evening with the worst headache of my life. I don't know how I made it through. After work I stopped by my mother's house. I was sick and didn't want to be alone. Mark called around 10:30 p.m. not realizing how sick I was, he refused to pick me up and instead made me drive the two blocks home. (I still hold a grudge) Instead of driving myself those two long blocks, I had my loving twin brother take me and drop me off. The next day was our town's Christmas parade and Mark and I were planning on attending. On Mark's way home from work he even stopped and bought us both long underware in anticipation of the next morning.

After stopping off for long underware, Mark made it home around 4 a.m. At this time I was dry heaving in the bathroom. I was in SO much pain, my whole body ached. After staggering back to the bedroom I asked Mark 'Where were you in my time of need!' He replied that he was sitting on the bed gathering up the courage to come watch me throw up. Turns out my new husband has a weak stomach.

The next morning I tried to gather up the strength to go watch Christmas floats on Main Street. No such luck. I was so pitiful and in so much pain. I couldn't even sit or stand. Not only did my head hurt but my whole body ached. Mark insisted on taking me to the emergency clinic.

We went to the clinic, missed the parade and all I could tell the doctor was 'Make my head stop hurting NOW!!!' So I left the office with pain medication and medication for a throat infection. Turns out I also had a throat infection which I should have been hurting from but I was in so much full body pain my throat felt wonderful.
So for about a week I was on the antibiotic for my throat and took a few of the pain pills. I didn't take many because I have really low tolerence for medication and they made me loopy (as in I did the cha cha slide at a wedding and professed my love for The Pick of Destiny and Jack Black all while taking them)
During this week I noticed that Mark and I were sleeping for long periods of time and our little dog was throwing up EVERY day. Little did we know what was lurking in our house.
When I moved into Mark's duplex my dad installed a carbon monoxide detector. He just said he felt safer with us having one there. I fully believe my dad saved our life.
A few weeks or so after the body aches the carbon monoxide detector went off. Mark had just left for work. It was a Thursday night. I was in the house with Mack and all of a sudden the alarm started going off. I grabbed Mack and the phone and stood by the back door and called my dad. After talking to my dad we decided we needed to call the fire department to have it checked out.
The fire department came. Remember I had been airing out the apartment before they got there. The firemen closed our apartment back up for a few minutes and then went in to take readings. The readings showed there was definitely carbon monoxide in our apartment and it was coming out of the air vents. I forget the numbers they told me but they were definitely high. The firemen confirmed that my illness earlier in the month and our sleeping late and Mack's throwing up were all symptoms. Our gas was turned off and they told me I needed to find a place to sleep for the night. Mack and I packed our bags.
The firemen told us we were lucky that it wasn't that cold outside because our heater wasn't working as hard as it would be in the upcoming weeks. If it had been colder out and our heater was running more often then it was quite possible that something could have happened.
So as we all enter the winter months, remember to make sure you have a working detector and if yours goes off, DON'T IGNORE IT. You can't smell or see carbon monoxide. It's better to be safe. I share our experience and symptoms so you will be aware that it can happen, even in your first week or month of marriage!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Major Christmas find

I just made a major find of the Christmas shopping season. My friend was looking for these adorable little Zhu Zhu hamsters for her kids. Evidently they are the hot new toy for the season. They are sold out from walmart, target and toysrus.com AND they are going for 30ish bucks online. She told me about them at around 7 p.m. and at midnight I went to Walmart with Mark to stand in line for the new Call of Duty.

I saw in the Walmart ad before we left the house that Walmart was supposed to have them and cost only $8. So when we got there I immediately high tailed it to the toy department and began my search. After walking up each aisle a man approached me to see if he could help. I told him I was looking for hamsters and he said 'Oh they are right over here.' I followed him and discovered seven of the little critters hidden behind a dog in a bag. Jackpot!!! He said 'And they are ringing up for $8!' I, of course, already knew this already and began to load my arms with the furry creatures.

Then I skipped back to the long gamer line to announce proudly to Mark. .... 'Look at all these great hamsters I found, now give me your phone so I can call my mom!!!!'

Mark informed me on the way to the car that a wife should not approach her husband while he's standing in line to buy a war game, surrounded by 50 other males and try to explain her great toy find to him while holding boxes of hamsters. Evidently the wife she bring her own cell phone, buy her hamsters and wait in the car. Well not this wife! This wife wants to share her great find with all within ear shot, including the war-game lovin' guys all around.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Party decorating


My Halloween party is coming up Saturday. I really excited! I wanted to share my favorite decoration for the party with everyone. Mark sprayed these cheap pumpkins with matte black spray paint and I think they look awesome! I had him do another batch tonight for the party. I plan on getting a couple bigger pumpkins and spraying them too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oh Subway......I hate you.

There are like 10 Subways in my home town. (Maybe a little inflated) Mark and I are not meant to eat at any of them. I don't know if the workers see us coming in the door and are like 'Oh it's that one couple! We must do something disgusting or rude to scare them off!' I would like to rundown our adventures to Subway.

It all started one afternoon when we thought we would break from our traditional McDonald's run to get a healthy lunch. We park. We enter into the Subway closest to our house and upon entering the establishment we should have walked right back out the door. But No we stayed to watch. When you enter this particular restaurant the restroom is right beside the door and straight across from the restroom door is the door to enter behind the counter. There's the set up. So when we come in we notice there is something going on to our right. ALL the employees are gathered around the bathroom door. This we note is strange. There is another couple in the Subway eating. So upon further inspection we notice there is one girl flinging a pee stick around about in front of her exclaiming 'OMG I'm pregnant!' Yes you read that right. She took a pregnancy test while at work, while there were customers inside eating and within full view of ALL who walk in off the street. Then we hear another coworker  who is standing beside the door to the counter say to another 'Well we have to believe her this time, we saw it with our own eyes.' And then they go back behind the counter to take our order. And all Mark and I can think about is the possible pee particles that have been flung throughout the air around us.

Then we have a few minor infractions: The guy at the Wal-Mart Subway dragging a trash bag across my sandwich and looking at my husband cluelessly when he is asked to make me a new sandwich. And we have this gem: My husband goes to Subway wearing a purple shirt (Now Mark is 6'4 and not one to be teased) when the boy behind the counter proceeds to sing the Barney theme song to him. Mark is not amused and the counter boy doesn't understand why. 

And that leads up to today's infraction. I stand in line at Subway while people are eating all around me. There is only one girl working I guess and she is counting down her drawer. I watch her count a large stack of one's twice, not even looking up to acknowledge me. When she is finally done counting, she walks over pulls out a paper to put my sandwich on and proceeds to ask me what I want. There was no washing of the hands and no putting on of gloves. Straight from the stack of filthy ones to my potential lunch. I tell her I'm not ordering and leave.

So Mark and I have determined that this is it. We aren't eating at our hometown Subways ever again. We've already marked the local Taco Bell off our list and now we are adding Subway. It's back to McDonald's I go.

Friday, October 02, 2009

In memory

October is breast cancer awareness month.  I would like to take some time to remember my aunt and her story.

My aunt was 37 when she died from breast cancer. Her death turned my family upside down. 

My aunt was one of the funniest people I knew. She always had some remark about the world around her that would make you laugh. 

My very first upside down roller coaster was ridden with her by my side. We went on a mini vacation with her, my uncle and their daughter. My dad had had back surgery and couldn't ride with me. My aunt and uncle encouraged me to ride. They talked me into it and then my uncle backed out at the last minute. My aunt rode with me. Once we got off and she made a joke about 'almost peeing on herself' and then she admitted that she really didn't want to ride it but she did it for me. That amusement park is long gone but I will never forget that ride.

I remember clearly where I was the moment I learned my aunt had a lump in her breast. I was at a cousin's birthday party. It was September.

I remember in October sitting in the waiting room while she had it removed. I remember being scared. I was a Junior in high school. It was fall break.

The next year was a blur. I remember trying to keep a positive outlook on what was going on. I remember praying so hard for her to get better.

I remember the doctor saying it was gone. I remember when it came back.

I remember her yelling at me in the hospital because I thought if she drank that Ensure she would get better. I remember her HATING that Ensure.

I remember spending every spare moment at the hospital.

I remember the moment I knew her fight was over. I remember the pain and hurt I felt when I heard my uncle talk about shopping for her casket. I remember hating him at that moment.

I remember seeing her pull back out of it and thinking things were getting better. 

I remember shopping for my prom dress with my little cousins while my aunt lay in the hospice unit. I remember getting a drab black dress because that's how I felt. 

I remember saying goodbye the night she died. Something told me not to leave without saying goodbye. 

I remember giggling at her funeral because the music played was something she would have laughed at if she were able to hear it. 

I remember the pain at not having her here for my wedding. 

I will never forget the battle she fought in that short time. I will always remember the good times I had with her. I will NEVER forget watching her fight.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and every one should take a moment to do a self-check or to remind a loved one to self-check or get a mammogram. Just a few minutes could save a life.


Monday, September 28, 2009

A costume for baby


I finished another tutu! This one is for part of a costume for my new little cousin. It's bigger than it needs to be but I think it will work. They can remove a few knots of the tulle and then cut the ribbon to fit once it's tyed onto her. Then they can trim the whole skirt to fit. She is going to be the cutest Tinkerbell out there!

And it's that time again

It's time to start getting ready for Halloween!!! It's my favorite holiday mainly because I get to get my large collection of Frankensteins out of the attic and decorate our living room and kitchen. That's right I have enough creepy decor to extend into multiple rooms of my house.
Frankenstein is my favorite character to use while decorating. I don't know if it's that frightful green complexion or the resemblance to my husband in body frame but there is something about that tall green man I love.
This year is going to be an even greater Halloween because my good friend and I are hosting a Halloweenie Roast. We are having our very first adult costume party and Mark and I have the best costumes ever!
Mark and I are going as Herman and Lily Munster. We spent all day today gathering parts to Mark's costume. We found him a head piece that is the top of a Frankenstein head and a brown blazer. We found the perfect blazer at our local Goodwill. Mark was hesitant about going to a used store to find the jacket (he can be even more neurotic than I am at times) But it's a good thing we went because this jacket is perfect for $5. Of course we bought it and then he promptly drove straight to our dry cleaners, asking me on the way if I thought they would 'run it through twice.'
So now we have to find all shoes that we can screw blocks of wood into to make Mark even bigger than what he is now. Mark is 6'4 and I'm 5'3 so we feel we are the perfect couple to portray Herman and Lily.
Mark is pretty much set for the party. I know some may wonder how I talked Mark into gluing a faux-front to his forehead and painting his skin green but Mark and I are very competitive and when he sets his mind to something he goes all out. So Mark wants to make sure he has the best costume of everyone at the party and that he looks accurate. And that's how I ALMOST have him talked into painting his fingernails to go along with the theme!!!
So now I'm really excited about Oct. 31. I'm going to a costume party AND I'm going to have a real, live Frankenstein! It's going to be a good night.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My new toy

I brought my Dad's old Pentax K1000 home with me tonight. I'm super excited. I'm so excited I made Mark rush me to Wal-Mart to get batteries for it at 10 p.m. And much to his surprise they had the exact battery we needed! I haven't used a 'real' camera since my senior year in high school for a graphic arts class. I totally feel in love with it then and have no idea why I waited this long to ask my dad to use his. For some reason I thought the flash was broken on this old camera but he said the base is only cracked and he thinks it will be fine.

I've been saving up for a Canon rebel and I am still no where near ready to buy it so this 35 mm will be perfect practice for me while I wait for my fancy digital. Mark and I have been looking for a hobby that we can both get into together and I think we might have found it. All our other hobbies (quilting, scrapbooking on my part; video games on his part) just don't appeal to each other. We have been talking about taking up photography together for a few years now and I'm ready to make the jump into 'new hobby world' with him.

I guess we'll see how well the old Pentax works tomorrow. Mark has a half day and work and I'm off the whole day so we are going to go to the park and use a roll of film and see if this old thing is still in working order.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sweet little furbaby

I thought I would talk about Mack. Over the course of time he has turned from something I wanted to return to the pound to someone I can't wait to snuggle with at night. But some days I love him and some days I still want to make him sit on the patio.

Mark and I adopted Mack the summer before we got married. We were buying a house and decided we needed a dog to go into said house. Well we went to the shelter and picked out this little, jumping, hairy thing. (I wish I had a picture of him. He looked HORRIBLE. He was so matted he had hair falling off of him. He had to be shaved and start over once we got him home.)

So after getting Mack from the shelter of course the lady we were buying the house from backed out on our deal. This left us without a house and Mack homeless again. At this time in our life, Mark worked at the car place and didn't get home until 4:30 a.m. I brought Mack home with me to my mom and dad's house. Upon meeting my family and my mom and dad's wonderful Shiz tu, Mack tried to pee on him. Yes that's right. Mack hiked his leg on my beloved little Shiz tu that I helped raise and train. He did this not just one time but EVERY time he came near our beloved Max.

Mack was banished to the garage for the night.

After crying all night long (on both mine an Mack's part) I told Mark we had to find somewhere for him to live. So Mark rented our lovely (not) duplex that we live in now and took Mack with him.

Our first cue that something was amiss should have been when we were trying to get Mack to come tous, we found him crouched under our kitchen table snarling at us. We just thought he was adjusting to the situation. NOPE.

Pretty soon Mack had bitten most of our friends and a few relatives. I invested in a Beware of Dog sign to hang in our living room. We had a monster on our hands here. And we also realized our dog had been mistreated in his past life before us. Not only would he bite at the least notice, he was so protective Mark couldn't even touch me when I was laying on the floor or throwing up in the toilet as was the case when our duplex became filled with carbon monoxide (that's definitely another post!) Mack literally jumped on top of me and growled and snarled at Mark while I was hunched over the toliet. He has also climbed on my back while I was doing push ups on my exercise ball and Mark got a little too close. The things someone can do to a little animal just infuriates me.

The worse part was this little monster who I had to knock across the living room because he was ravaging my friend's arm would then punish himself by growling all the way to his kennel where he would stay for a while. He is always so remorseful after being bad.

It's been 3 years now since we adopted Mack. I will admit he is 20 times better than he was when we brought him into our lives. Mark can now come near me. And we can have people over again. Now he will give a warning growl before he clamps down on your hand, arm or foot. But he will also climb in your lap and try to hug you when you sit on our couch. That's right even though Mack has bitten ALL of our friends, he also loves those same friends with all his heart. Mack just wants to be your friend but he DOESN'T want you to touch the person you are sitting next to!

Now if we could just stop him from Hungry Hungry Hippoing out from under our bed with the intent of snatching our toes off our feet when he's mad.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Christmas time

I project for Fall is quilting my Christmas quilt. I'm so excited to get started on this project. I bought my backing fabric last weekend and the batting. I have have 5 yards of Christmas tree fabric to cut in half and sew together then I get to pin the sandwich together and it's time to quilt. The actual quilting is my favorite part and I'm ready to begin that just in time for Fall TV. So each night when I get off work you'll find me on the couch quilting and watching tons of random TV. YAY for Fall!

Keeping mouth shut

A recurring fight in the our house would be over laundry. I wash, dry and put away almost every load. Every now and then Mark will wash and dry his work clothes or a load of towels. He NEVER puts these away. They wait in the dryer, on top of the dryer or in a basket until I come along and find their proper spot. He will NOT touch my clothing. He MAY put them in the dryer but he will definitely never put them away. 

So imagine my surprise last night when I came home from work and found Mark had cleaned the house, including putting ALL of my clothing away. Upon further inspection I found that he didn't really put anything where it belonged. There are shorts in the shirt drawer, Pj in the shirt drawer, shirts in the Pj drawer and socks in the completely wrong place. My normal nit-picky self would loudly proclaim 'Hey you didn't put ANYTHING where it belongs' but luckily something came over me and I thanked him for putting all the clothes away and  then reordered my drawers when he went to work today. 

Am I really learning to Keep My Big Mouth Shut? Possibly but probably not I figure it was a fluke. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day two or Wanna know a secret

Today was the second day of 30 Day Shred. It was much worse than day one because my arms were burning when I woke up from day one's work out. I could barely do a single push up today. It was really killer. And on a related note, I found one of my favorite pairs on jeans in the back of my closet. I really wanted to wear then today so upon finding that they were really uncomfortable when they were buttoned, I unbuttoned them and felt immediate relief. I'm now at work with the top button unbuttoned and very happy about the decision I made. Thank goodness for long tops!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day one

I just finished Day One of my 30 Day Shred workout. OMG I think I'm going to die. It's only a 20 minute workout but it's continuous. There is no stopping to even breathe. I had to pause it to go get water. From this painfully hard level one workout I have learned that I am WAY too weak to do push ups. They were almost the worst part. My stick arms are like little toothpicks trying to hold up a bowling ball when doing push ups. Now I'm super exhausted. I should have just gone for a walk. Hopefully it gets easier and I see results. Otherwise I'm going to be an unhappy camper for the next 30 days.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's get shredding

Well.....I'm making a bold decision....I'm going to get into shape. 30 Day Shred should be coming to my mailbox tomorrow. Netflix has sent it. I haven't read anything about what I'm about to embark on as I feel it's best this way. All I know is some girl lost 8 pounds in a month off it and I like the sound of that.

Don't worry, I've been in shape before. I know what it entails. I know it sucks. I used to do some hard-core cardio kickboxing two nights a week. And I clearly remember that sucking.

My unhealthy lifestyle is really starting to catch up with me. I have eaten my fair share of McDonald's Happy Meals when I get off of work. It's time to let someone else keep McDonald's afloat. (especially the after midnight crowd). I've noticed this weight gain / change of former skinny self happening for a bit now.

I graduated to curvy girl jeans at The Gap and have pushed my pant size up way farther than I care to admit. And it's about to be Christmas shopping season and I really don't want to go up another size when I got to try on my traditional holiday blue jeans.

So now I'm going to start the process of getting my 'old' body back. I expect there will be whining and tears and complaints but I'm going to push through and really try this time.

I'll keep you posted!

 


Monday, September 07, 2009

Another year older

It's technically my birthday since it's after midnight. I'm turning 27 day. I'm trying to hold it together. Someone at work asked me the other day how old I was and I told them I was 25. Then I was like no I'm 26 (but not immediately because it didn't register) and then I had to be like 'Wait, I'll be 27 in a week. Why? Because I want to stop at 25. I know, you say 27 isn't THAT old but to me .... it's old. I'm not ready for late twenties. AT. ALL. I really enjoyed 25. I felt it signaled "Hayley is an adult." Then I turned 26 and had a breakdown. I was not working on my 'life plan' at all. Time was ticking by and I was casually lounging on the couch while it went away. So at 26 I was ready to get busy but then I work up one day and realized 'Great' now I'm practically 27. And today I turn 27 and think 'Great here we are at 27, now what?' But on a happy note, I'm still young enough for Mark to make me an awesome birthay cake!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Potty training stinks

Our precious dog Mack came to us from the shelter. He brought with him MANY issues. One of them would be his lack of being able to tell us when he needs to go to the bathroom. If we don't take him out on a schedule he'll just go find a nice piece of carpet and turn it into his urinal. Well I guess he's been proud of himself this week because he found the ultimate urinal. Last night while Mark and I were getting ready for bed we discovered Mack found the potty and must have figured out how to use it. Most days he likes to spy on us while we are using said potty. But he must have been observing and plotting. Because last night while Mark was getting out of the shower he noticed it. Mack has been hiking his leg on our toilet!!! Yes that's right there was dried pee all over the base and the rug was definitely soaked with pee and from the looks of the mess he had done this more than once. So while I was spraying down the toilet last night it occured to me 'My gosh my dog is smart, he knows what a toilet is for!'

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Likes

Likes
(These aren't necessarily in order and only a sampling of all things I life.)

1) Opening a brand new book: There is NOTHING like getting a new book and reading it for the first time. No bent pages, no crease in the spine, no food on the pages. Perfect condition. I like this condition so much that I try to keep my books as new looking as possible and even refuse to let Mark read them. I offer to go to the library and check out Harry Potter for him but there is no way I'll letting him near by beloved paperbacks. I also prefer this condition for my magazines.

2) Hippos: This actually classified as a love. They are so cute with their little wiggly ears. I refuse to believe that they are dangerous. And I also choose to believe that they are in fact purple when in the wild.

3) Knee socks: Best. Sock. Ever. I will wear my knee socks up until the last moment of cold weather. I can now not function in winter without them. If you look closely through my facebook pictures you might even notice one with me in a bathing suit and knee socks. That one wasn't supposed to make it into the public but friends are liars when it comes to posting embarrassing pictures of you on their facebooks.

4) GAP outlets: There is something about discount jeans and camis that really makes me happy. I can't leave a GAP outlet without a full bag of clothes.

5) 75 % off Christmas decorations: I love all holiday decorations but I love discount Christmasware the most. There are things that become super cute when you are only paying a quarter of the price for them. I also like to look for stuff I can use during the regular time of year. I got a great big roll of green wrapping paper that I've been wrapping all birthday gifts in this year and a bag of bows in non-Christmasy colors. Plus I shop for all my first of the year birthday gifts during this time. Seriously, my favorite shopping days of the year!

A few dislikes

I thought I would spend a few words to go over my likes and dislikes. I would just like to personally reflect for a few posts.

Dislikes
1) Holey underware: I just can't stand it. Mark seems to think that unless it's falling off of him then it's still OK to wear. I'm sorry, it's not. When I do laundry and I see holes starting to develop it's straight to the garbage can it goes. I feel that it would be a reflection upon me as a wife if he were to be in an accident and the emergency officials were to see his holey underware. I would die of embarrassment while he would be trying to fight to keep them from cutting the things off him.

2) Sledding/winter sports: I hate the cold. While I LOVE to look at the snow and LOVE to walk about in it, I HATE to sled. Sometimes I'll forget this burning hatred and think 'It would be wonderful to rid down a hill at deathsped on a small piece of plastic' Then I go and try it and remember within one pass down the hill I HATE TO SLED. This I feel boils from when as a child I was forced to sled down a hill with a 3-year-old stranger. As we were making our descent a child of around 5 stood screaming in our path. I yelled for her to move, her sibling told her to move and she continued to stand and scream. Of course there is no steering on these death mobiles so plowed into her we did. The 3-year-old had a blast and me, I was scarred for life.

3) Green peas: I hate green peas. They remind me of mush. They just melt into a mushy mess while in your mouth. I can't deal. As a child I tried to disguise them in a roll but still the mush lived on. 

4) Driving: I was the first of my friends to get my license. It was fun at first, then they finally got theirs an I gave over the driving responsibility and never looked back. I think part of my hatred stems from getting lost EVERYWHERE I go. I seriously have gotten lost coming and going from my grandmother's house on multiple occasions and she lives in the same town I do. Plus I have horrible night vision and it makes for interesting navigation. 

5) Ewan McGregor: There is just something about him I find creepy.

Hello crayola

Mark has decided that I need to start painting my nails bright colors. He even went so far as to pick the strange shade of purple that I'm wearing right now. As I try to work all I can do is look at my fingernails like a moth would look at a light. I'm strangely attracted to them and must stare. I think he's trying to make me into that girl from He's Just No into You and Big Love, Ginnifer Goodwin. He admired her purple nails in that movie. Oh well, I'll just go with it for now.

Social commentary

Recent events in my life have led me to reflect on what is acceptable. I recently posted a news link on the pregnancy of Michelle Duggar. I feel this family has put themselves in the public eye. They allow camaras into their daily life to chronicle their growing family. I'm sure they are aware that their family is strange to some. It's definitely large by today's standards. They homeschool, which is also controversial to some. She obviously is a fan of public breast feeding as I've pointed out in previous posts.

This family isn't stupid. Jim Bob was a Congressman for goodness sake. They know their lifestyle is viewed as strange by some. I really don't think that is news to them. I give them credit for putting themselves out there and broadcasting their way of life. Most 'normal' families wouldn't welcome that kind of attention.

I feel with opening you home to TLC and allowing them to film multiple seasons of your hit TV show (which aren't they against TV?) then you should expect people to be talking about you. Some good and some bad. I think that goes with the territory.

I'm sure my Facebook wall is not the only place that this debate is going on. If people are discussing it on my Facebook wall then I can guarantee that it's being discussed on a much larger stage somewhere.

So let's get to my opinion. I think it's crazy to have 19 children! There's first the obvious. You have to go into labor with 19 children. The thought of laboring with one child terrifies the crap out of me. Seriously. When I start thinking about babies and such (as I'm about to be 27 that's only natural) I block labor and delivery from my head. I think about the 'joys' of pregnancy and planning for a baby and then I immediately jump ahead to having the baby here in our house. I don't dwell on the unknowns of labor. I keep it far from my mind. And I don't want to know of it at this point! I'm on a need to know basis with labor and delivery. Now Michelle Duggar definitely knows about labor and delivery. I just really can't imagine pushing a large item out of your vagina getting any easier with 19. I just can't.

Next on my list of opinions is the Duggars do'nt make it a secret that they pair their children up, the older ones with the younger ones. So now the older ones have the responsibility of caring for the younger ones. So who's Michelle caring for? Oh yeah the baby hanging off her boob for all photo opts, even the strange ones (like being the hood ornament for breast feeding while being filmed for your TV show and going down the main street of Pigeon Forge while on a parade float) But I'm not going to even touch the breast feeding card. I"ve already covered that in a prior post. I just think fine have kids. Have as many as you want and can care for. I think each child should receive equal treatment. I just don't think she can pay equal treatment to each child every day, breast feed the baby AND also teach her children. (What teacher could bring her young children to school and care for them and teach their class at the same time?) But that's going to be my only thought on teaching at home. I'm not looking to start a fight.

Now having made all these personal observations about the Duggars I'm left wondering is that my rite? Should I keep my big mouth shut? Or as the person implied who de-friended me from Facebook, am I not representing Christ by even typing these feelings?

I think I am in the right by commenting and I think I shouldn't keep my big mouth shut and I definitely think that even by expressing my opinion about not agreeing with the Duggar lifestyle that that doesn't reflect upon my personal relationship with God.

I feel the Duggars have God in their life, and I know that I have God in my life. Because I won't choose to raise my family in the same manner can we not both believe and support God? I think we can both of very spiritual lives full of love for God. I think this 'de-friender' took issue when I interpreted scripture in a different manner than she and her family interprets it. I think this is where the 'de-friending' came into play. Am I not allowed to have my own opinion? Can I not interpret scripture in a different manner and still have God in my life? Must everyone follow the same rules when it comes to God and following Jesus?

I think if we all followed the same rules we would be drones moving toward death at the same pace. I think as long as our goal is the same. That of loving God, honoring God and reaching Heaven when it's all said and done then why should you care that when I read a passage I get something different out of it.

I'm still left pondering and wondering.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pack rat

Mark and I live in a nice sized four-plex. It's two bedrooms with a LARGE kitchen. You would think this would be big enough for us and our 7 pound yorkie. It's not.

I should have known there would be trouble. When Mark moved in back in June of 2006 I took it upon myself to move all my extra stuff in while he was at work. At the time Mark worked 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and with overtime and the long drive he didn't get home until 4 a.m.-ish. You might ask 'How much extra stuff can a 24 year old who still lives at home have?' Let me tell you (or let my dad tell you) A LOT. 

See I had at least 6 rubber maid containers of Tupperware stored in my dad's outbuilding and maybe another couple tubs in his garage. This isn't counting the non-Tuppperware kitchen items I'd squirreled away in my closet and under my bed. I had A LOT of extra stuff. If Mark knew of all this stuff I don't think he would have given me the OK to move it into his brand new apartment.

At this point you may be wondering why a 24 year old would have this much kitchen stuff (mainly Tupperware) Besides the fact that I'm addicted to cute kitchenware and gadgets, I was a Tupperware Sales Consultant for a couple years. No I didn't sell that much. But I sure bought a lot. Basically every 'deal' available, I bought. So I amassed quite a collection. 

This collection found it's way to Mark's brand new kitchen with strict instructions that he couldn't use any of it without me. I even bought him cheap ugly fake plasticware to eat off of. This was my brand new Tupperware and I just knew he wouldn't take care of it. 

Well my cousin and I lugged all those Rubbermaids the three streets over from where I lived with my parents to this new apartment. We started stocking the cabinets. There are a good number of cabinets. And before we knew it .... they were full! We are talking 'Where is the food going to go!' full!! 

Needless to say I had to have a major sort. So my brother and friend inherited some pieces that I could part with and our other friends have been receiving nice Tupperware sets for their wedding showers ever since. 

So from that story you can tell I have a lot of stuff. Well add to that Mark who has a lot of random stuff too and before you know it our nice sized apartment has filled up. We have two bedrooms but we should actually say we have one bedroom and a large walk-in closet. 

So tomorrow we are going to tackle this giant walk-in closet and hopefully clear out some of  our stuff. And maybe we'll find some more potential wedding gifts along the way! (Do you think I could give a paint ball gun or a set of golf clubs at a wedding??)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Life at the Mortis'

Well Hayley and Mark are officially on a budget diet! We've SAID we were on a budget diet for oh about a year now but this time we mean business! (I feel writing about it will make it so!) Mark and I have big plans for this upcoming year and if we ever want to be home dwellers instead of renters then major changes have to be made! And that means cutting out .... McDonald's. It's going to be hard but it must be done. :(

Not only our bank account but our waist's will thank us in the end.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My best friend


Tonight will be exactly 7 years from when I became Mark's girlfriend.


I'll start from the beginning. I was 19 and in my freshman year at the community college. Mark was in his second year at the same commuunity college. We were 'friends' in high school. Meaning we were in the same group of friends so we were friends by association. I always thought Mark was cute. I even found an old diary entry where I talked about thinking he was so cute! (Mark doesn't believe this exists. He thinks I made it up)


My first day on campus Mark's friend had given me a shirt that was Mark's to give back to him. I was very nervous about giving this shirt back to him. (Remember high school crush?) So I gave the shirt to his best friend who I was actually friends with, not just mutual friends.


After this initial 'contact' we started hanging out on the weekends as a group of friends. And Mark and I became friends. We made each other laugh and enjoyed the same things. During this time period I began 'dating' some other people and getting caught up in my own boy dramas. But Mark was ALWAYS there. We began hanging out without our other friends. We went to the movies and Target and just hung out. Essentially we were dating.


I was in complete denial about this dating relationship the WHOLE time. My good friend would tell me ALL the time that Mark liked me and I was like 'No he doesn't. We're just really good friends.'


This went on my WHOLE freshman year. By the end of the year I considered Mark my best friend. He was usuallly the first person I talked to that day and the last person I talked to before I went to bed at night. We would always joke that we were counterparts. The male and female form of each other. I was starting to realize I LOVED Mark. I was like 'WHAT! I can't love Mark like that, He's my best friend!!!' So I continued to 'date' other people.


But during the summer Mark and I were hanging out every chance we got and talking multiple times a day on the phone. And then one night we had our first kiss! It was after watching Karate Kid and he'll tell it differently but I totally kissed him! Don't let him try to say he kissed me! He didn't!


You would think that this would be the moment we made it official. It wasn't. I totally freaked out! We had an official date and when we came back I mumbled something about not being ready for a boyfriend and left him standing there in shock. What was really going on in my head was 'I love this boy!' I knew that once we started dating it was official we would get married! I seriously knew. That scared the crap out of me. I had never had a real boyfriend and didn't know if I wanted the first one I had to be the guy I married. You ask if I really knew that this was the man I was going to marry? Trust me I knew. We had spent many nights together and I couldn't picture my life with out Mark. I was so scared that if we didn't work out dating that I would be without Mark and I didn't want that. I would rather be just friends with him than date and break up and not have him at all.


Well all week was torture. He told me he wasn't going to talk to me and needed some time apart. We didn't see each other all week but we did talk on the phone. At the end of the week we finally got together to talk about what was going on. By the end of the night we decided to start dating. This went on for the whole month. I was terrified to call him my boyfriend. He wanted me to be his girlfriend all month long but I just couldn't do it.


Finally on Aug. 24, 2002, I offically told him I would be his girlfriend (And I told him I loved him! :) ) By January he was telling me he was going to marry me. We never looked back. It took us what felt like an eternity to get together and was very obvious that that's where our relationship was going.


Seven years later Mark is still my best friend. Sometimes I want to stab him with a fork but I would NEVER trade him in.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Use the appropriate glasses

I've been thinking about how I enter into a new book or movie or even magazine for that matter. I like to change my expectations depending upon what I'm about to start. If I'm going to go see Transformers or Fast and the Furious then I'm not going to go with the mentality that I'll be seeing an Oscar-worthy production. I like to get my popcorn, settle into my seat and wait for some action. I'm ready to be entertained. I don't expect award-winning action but I do expect lots of special effects and action sequences that wouldn't happen in real life. And when I approach these big budget, low acting movies like this, then I'm usually satisfied. 

If I were to go into Fast and the Furious and say 'Gosh I really hope Paul Walker wins is Academy Award off this movie' I  would be let down. But luckily I know Paul Walker is not going to win an Academy Award but he'll always be nice to look at and this is the mental state I enter all of his movies with.

As far as literature goes, I use my same mental evaluation when picking something to read. I think 'Do I want to be mentally stimulated?' or 'Do I want to lose myself in a story and be entertained?' ( Not saying that you can't get both from a book *The Kite Runner anyone?*) I usually prefer one experience or the other when I'm reading. Having majored in literature I've read some really heavy stuff (heard of Zola?) and now I usually just like to curl up with some chick lit and laugh my cares away. Becky Bloomwood can do this for me (Shopaholic books for those not well versed in the world of chick lit and shame on you if you are in that category!)

While reading a book about Ms. Becky Bloomwood, I don't start the book thinking 'Gosh I better be enlightened here!' No I think 'What situation is Becky going to find herself in today!?' and when I think like this, I'm always happy. 

So where is this rambling going (besides to please Rachel and have another blog post for her to read while she's stuck at work?) I think to say I'm tired of reading reviews for movies like Transformers where the reviewer has his 'award-winning' glasses on and gives it a crappy review because the acting is bad, the plot is bad and gosh it was loud! But my gosh those special effects were awesome!!! 

I just think people would enjoy life more if they approach each event (or movie/book) with the appropriate glasses and stop comparing things to something completely unrelated. Everything doesn't have to be compared. If you want to watch The Reader or read Germinal (Yes that's Zola) then great but don't expect Transformers or Confessions of a Shopaholic to be on the same page. 

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Happy quilting








Another quilt done. This particular one is going to my cousin's baby. This baby will be here anytime this month. I wanted to make sure the quilt was done before she was born so the goal was to have it finished by the first of August. I almost made the goal. I'm very happy with this quilt overall. I used lots of the fabric that I had used in other quilts I've made. This was my first time using a patterned binding. (It has little white butterflies) The only think I'm not very happy with is where my binding connects. There is a noticeable bump. I cut one side too short and left the other side too long and tried to 'make it work.' It didn't work too well. It would be WAY too much work to redo it so I'm leaving like it is. I think for most it would be perfectly fine but for my 'Monica' tendencies it's definitely less than perfect. And you know us with 'Monica' personalities have to have things perfect. Overall I love this quilt. The backing I used was an accident. I bought a remnant at Wal-Mart and thought it would be enough to use in the front of a quilt so when I started on this quilt I drug it out to see how much was there to start cutting it up. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was exactly enough for the back! I really hope the new baby likes it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stick with the book

I went and saw My Sister's Keeper tonight and I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a few weeks ago. Having read both books way before I saw the movies, I'm left with a few thoughts. The book is ALWAYS better.

The first movie I remember seeing based on a book was Circle of Friends. This was probably early high school. I LOVED the book. I devoured it whole and was super excited when I found the movie at the library. I immediately checked it out and took it home and watched. Very. dissappointed. Such a let down. I never got over it.

Not only when seeing a movie based on a book do you have to understand that they WILL change things (sometimes your favorite parts) but there are other important things to point out. When you read an unbelievable part in a book, you can reread it immediately. Over and over if you choose. Words can really suck you in and take you to another place. And if you aren't ready to leave that place, then read it again. While a movie can make you cry and provoke instant emotion, it's gone as soon as that scene has left the screen.

True if you have rented the movie you can rewind it but it's not the same. When you enter that place with a book it's easy to block out the 'real world.' If you are in a theater or even in your home there are multiple distractions. There might be your husband or kids right there with you. Even the dog may be sitting there watching you. Watching your reaction, judging your emotion and seeing you laugh, cry or even swoon over what's happening on the screen. When you are reading a book, while you might be in the same room with someone else, they are more than likely not reading the words you are reading. It is more of a private situation. It's you and the book. You and the story. You and your own world you have created.

I love when a story makes me laugh out loud or even when it makes me cry uncontrollably (like The Notebook, When I finished that book I had to call Mark, who was my boyfriend at the time, and he sat on the phone with me as I read the last chapter. The Notebook was the first book in my life that really made me cry.) . When I'm finished with a good book, it can make me feel so complete for that one moment. Sometimes I want to share it with a friend and I'll suggest it to everyone who asks me what I've read lately (this happened when I finished Twilight) or at other times I might want to keep it to myself for the time being. But a good book really needs to be shared.

While everyone who knows me knows I love a good movie. I won't pass up a chance to go to the theater or to Blockbuster, but my one true love is a good book. There is nothing like being in that place that you create for yourself using someone else's words. A movie creates it for you but it's so much more when you create it for yourself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let's get cooking

I'm about to start reading Julie & Julia a memoir written by Julie Powell.  Julie attempts to tackle learning to cook from Julia Child's cook book. An amazing feat. 

Starting this book is causing me to think back upon my attempts to cook. I'll share a few instances with you all.

Mark and I had not been married very long when this first incident occurred. I was making dinner for us. It was probably the first married dinner I had made. It was some kind of past dish (I've blocked most of the details from my memory). Mark wanted garlic bread to go with the pasta dinner. He told me to put the bread in the oven and set the oven to broil. In the meantime, one of Mark's best friends showed up at our house. So now I had an audience for this cooking debut. Well I left the bread in the oven on broil for a bit. Finished the pasta and all of a sudden our smoke detectors started going off! Plus smoke was actually rolling out of our oven. Mark ran into our kitchen fanned the smoke detector and was able to get the alarm to stop. While he was doing this, I opened the oven and discovered that our bread was burned black. Then while I could hear Mark's friend in our living room laughing, Mark gave me a lesson on how to use a broiler. And from that moment on, I have not been allowed to do much cooking around our house.

Many of my other cooking attempts have gone off in much the same way. Once I mixed up the macaroni and cheese powered 'sauce' with some potato 'sauce.' My brother still likes to point this out. One Thanksgiving a cousin and I decided to make a cake. The cake was so horrible my 80-year-old grandfather was the only one who would eat it and I question the state of his taste buds at that age.

And the last event I'll share. I was going to make a lemonade cake. It require lemon cake mix, concentrated lemonade and powered sugar. Sounds easy enough right? Well I made the lemon cake and then I was supposed to poke holes in the cake an pour the lemon-sugar mixture all over the top. Well I poured a layer over the top of the cake and then had lots left in the cup so I continued to pour until it was empty. I iced the cake and put it in the fridge. I took it to my grandmother's house and served my family. I think I made their mouths permanently puckered. 

So with the reading of this book, I think I might break out into the cooking world again and see if I can improve upon my lacking skills. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Musical thoughts

I absolutely LOVE Dolly Parton. (Go ahead and laugh) Every time my iPod shuffles through her music I think to myself 'Gosh why don't I have more Dolly on here!?' This was the case about 10 minutes ago when her duet with Kenny Rogers, 'Islands in the Stream,' came up. Dolly is even one of my first music memories! 'Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That' is one of the first songs I remember singing along to in the car, that and various Randy Travis.  

I know this isn't a 'normal' blog post from me but I just had to express the happiness hearing a Dolly Parton song brings me. I really think everyone should have at least one of her songs on their iPod! 

On a related but unrelated note - Did anyone watch 18 Kids and Counting when the Duggars went to Pigeon Forge? Michelle Duggar was seriously breast feeding while standing on the front of a parade float and waving! I'm all for women's rights and all but my goodness! That's just awkward! I know, I know - she has that tent thing that covers her, but still! I'm open to all differing opinion on the topic! Let me know what you think.

More vintage planters

I got my first ebay purchase in the mail today. I was super excited to open it and see that it was all the vintage baby planters I ordered! I absolutely LOVE them. Mark is going to be so excited to come home and see them all. (not really) My favorite is the little lamb. I plan on definitetly keeping that one and the others I'm going to put back to use as centerpieces when I throw baby showers. I love to throw a party and every party needs a theme. Vintage planters is going to be mine!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tutu much

I finished some more tutus! These tutus are super easy to make and don't require any sewing. I made tutus for my Dallas cousins this last week. They loved them and looked gorgeous in them. I have to post pictures.

26 going on 80

I'll admit it. I'm an 80 year old trapped in a 20-something year old body. Even when I was 18 I knew this. I bought a purple shawl to take to prom with the intent that one day I would use it when I was in my rest home. I just picture myself at 80 with my purple shawl around my shoulders as I stroll down the halls limping behind my walker. (This is also the reason I keep up with my scrap books. I figure when I'm 80 and in my rest home, Mark and I will look at the books and remember everything we did together. I'm betting we'll have forgotten all our fun times by then.)

Usually being an 80 year old trapped in a 20-something year old body isn't so bad, but when that said '80 year old' marries someone with modern taste then there can be a problem.

Case in point. Our kitchen's decor consists of MANY chickens and roosters. I LOVE roosters. Mark HATES roosters. But I win because when we first got married Mark worked at night so I would 'decorate' while he was at work. I heard him tell someone once 'Everytime I come home from work there are MORE chickens in there!'

I'm including a picture of a shelf with some of my favorites from the collection.

Another side effect of being an 80 year old trapped in a 20-something year olds body is liking all things 'vintage.' My aunt just gave me this great old sewing box. The trouble is when you get someone's old stuff it usually needs to be cleaned. This particular sewing box had been sitting out in a barn for who knows how long. I cleaned for an hour on it and while it looks much better, it is still dirty! The dirt has gotten down into the stitching on the gold border.


Another example - I've become ADDICTED to planters. I just ordered a whole set of vintage baby planters off of ebay. (I'll post a pic when I get them) But I just scored a great giraffe planter from my brother's wife. It was in her great-grandfather's house. I absolutely LOVE it. Mark again.....HATES planters.


What's a girl (with a love for all things old lady) going to do?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rummage sale Rummage sale (in sing song voice)

I made a few stops this rainy morning and some rummage sales. The first stop I got this adorable Cabbage Patch for my niece. It's in brand new condition. I think it was probably just used as an Easter decoration because it was sitting out with other Easter bunnies and I saw no children's toys or stuff. Plus when you shake it, it chirps!! The CUTEST thing ever. I would have bought it brand new for her and I only paid $2.

The last sale I stopped at had these cute Dr. Seuss collectables. The Thing 1 and 2 is in perfect condition. I paid only $1. The Cat in the Hat has part of it's bow broken off but I'm going to cover it with some red paint and don't think it will be too noticable on a kid's bookshelf (one day). I love my 'finds' and can't wait until next weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Much needed vacation

Our trip to the Keys came at the perfect time for us. We really needed a chance to recharge our batteries after some stressful months in the Mortis household. The last night in Key West I realized I was stressfree! There really isn't a point to this particular post. I just wanted to share some of my favorite vacation pictures with everyone. I'll also give a run down of the trip for those interested. BE WARNED THERE ARE MULTIPLE PICTURES!




Once we got to Key West we went out to meet the bride and groom's friends for dinner. The above picture was taken that first night while we were waiting to be seated at the 'restaurant.' I put this in quotes because it was more of a bar that we were just waiting on our reserved seats.





The next day, Friday, we shopped on Duvall Street and around Mallory Square until about 2 p.m. and then we went back to our hotel and got ready for the beach party we would be attending that night. We went to Fort Zachary Taylor beach and had a blast! Then we went out on Duvall Street that night and continued our party.








Saturday was the wedding. It was beautiful. It was in the bride's parent's backyard overlooking the ocean. And it was SUPER hot! They passed out fans for all the guest!



Beautiful! Once the ceremony was over we went to a sushi bar to eat. (I'll post separately about this!)


After the toasts and meal we headed down to the docks again for our Sunset sailboat cruise! BEAUTIFUL. By far our favorite part of the trip!





As you can see 'We're on a boat.' We listened to that SNL song mulitple times while on the boat!

The last day there I finally made it to Hemingway's home! I was super excited to tour the property and learn all about Hemingway's time in Key West. Maybe I'll do a separate post on what I learned there! It was VERY interesting and a great way to cap off our trip!



Last I want to update everyone on my Crocs. ... They were fabulous! I wore them everyday and no blisters! They only time I didn't have them on was for the actual ceremony, but then I put them back on when we went to the sailboat. We did a ton of walking and they held up great. When I noticed they were dirty I jumped in the shower with them on and rinsed them off! Best vacation shoes ever! And it was so hot outside I didn't even notice my feet sweating in them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Home safely

Well I made if through the first plane ride! I took half a Xanax my sister-in-law gave me. (This is very out of character for me. I DO not support taking another's prescription) I took the half pill about 30 minutes before we boarded. It did not kick in until landing.

Once we boarded I proceeded to read the safety brochure. I learned what to do in a crash or water landing. I was devouring the safety brochure when Mark looked over and saw what I was reading and promptly made me put it away. (e did not feel it was good for my nerves or his.)

I was pretty nervous during takeoff. I felt a few tears escape and I think I made permanent nail indentions in Mark's hand but I made it into the air. I sat by the window and watched the wing. Interesting.

Finally I settled in with my book and neck pillow and got a soft drink. I slept for a bit and before I knew it it was time for the decent. After my short nap I guess my pill took effect because I loved the landing. I kept trying to get Mark to look out the window at all the swimming pools. Evidently it was bumpy and I didn't realize because he was very nervous once we landed.

My pill didn't wear off until after we made it to Miami to buy beachtowels. I was a 'fun' Target shopper that day.

More on the rest of the trip and pictures next time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Possible meltdown coming

In 12 hours I will be on my first ever plane ride. 

I'm starting to freak out! I was ok. I've been fine. No big deal right? WRONG! It started as a strange feeling in my stomach and it's progressed to me feeling vaguely like I want to throw up!

This happened to me once before...... The infamous Mammoth Cave event. I was fine. I was excited to go in the cave. I kept telling myself 'If Mark can fit I can fit, if Mark can fit I can fit.' Again I was completely fine ... UNTIL I got on the bus to take us to the entrance of the cave. I know have the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had while on that bus. At the end of the bus ride there were tears in my eyes. I figure that will come when we make it to Nashville. I'm waiting.

Want to know how that bus ride of doom turned out? Mark entered the cave in front of me (Remember if he can fit I can fit?) I started going down the winding staircase into the pit of the cave when I realized I was crying (uncontrollably) and my legs where shaking to the point my knees started to give out. About this time I hear Mark say 'You are doing so ......' And at that point was when he turned around and looked at me and never got out the word 'great.' He could see me in mid-meltdown. 

That's right at the beginning of Mammoth Cave I began my meltdown and it didn't end until we were exiting the cave. At one point I started to calm down  but then they turned the lights off to show us how dark a cave really is. I could have made it my whole life without seeing the darkness of a cave. 

So with this in my memory I encounter my first airplane ride. Let's hope this feeling in my throat goes away in the next 12 hours, otherwise I'm (Mark) in for a long plane ride!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let's get packing

Well it's time for a Key West update. Monday I began my packing. I tried on all of my potential outfits. (I had to make sure I looked good in the pictures!) I made sure everything I needed was washed and dried. Then I packed. I packed my wedding attire in my carryon (along with my swimsuit and extra skirt for when I get off the plane.) Everything I packed fit in a nice neat corner of our suitcase. 

So once I got to work I sent Mark a email telling him I was ready to go and he needed to get out all of his clothes to take and pack them in the suitcase while I was at work. When I got home from work last night did I discover that we were ready to leave for Key West? NO I did not. He did nothing. 

So after complaining all last night, I began packing him myself today. So all day before I went to work I matched outfits for Mark to wear. I tried to think about what he would want to wear to ach event and what shirt he would like to wear with which pair of shorts (he has a different system he uses when trying to see what matches) I got all of his underware and undershirts packed away in the suitcase. All that was left was for me to put all those carefully matched outfits away once Mark glanced at them and gave the OK.

So on my dinner break I made him break away from his Xbox and come back to the bedroom to look at the piles of 'perfectly' matched outfits and OK them to be put away. He takes one look at them and starts asking for shirts that aren't out on the bed. And starts moving the stacks around. He wanted different shirts to go with shorts I had picked. Was there any appreciation for the time and energy I had put into those 'perfectly' matched piles? NO there was not. 

But oh well finally he made his own stacks and I loaded them up and put them into the suitcase before he could change his mind. 

So now all of our clothes are packed away and I'm just waiting on some large freezer bags to put our shampoo and body wash in before sticking them into the suitcase. But as I look at the jam-packed case I wonder to myself. ..... Where is my blow dryer going to go? 

I might have to repack tomorrow! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Here comes the bride

This past weekend was the first big wedding of the season. I have two more to prepare for this summer. This was the biggest for me because I was a bridesmaid. I learned so much this weekend about being in a wedding. (One of them being, I will definitely boss a groom around :) but that's another post)

The first thing I learned was probably the best part of being in a wedding. You get to take your flowers home to enjoy! My wedding flowers were beautiful! And they are going to sit out in my house until they die!

The next thing I learned was more of a wedding tip. Bring comfortable shoes! Every moment I wasn't getting my picture taken or walking down the aisle, I had my Crocs on. I was worried at one point I might forget to change out of them.  And my feet thanked me at the end of the night!

The last lesson is definitely just a tip. This tip is for the wedding rehearsal. Make fun practice bouqets. Everyone love ribbon flowers! We saved all the bows from the bride's showers and used them to make practice bouquets. They make the rehearsal pictures super cute! I did them for my wedding and I made my friend do them for hers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Way to my heart


When I came home from work tonight Mark had this waiting for me. He really knows the way to my heart. :) I didn't even ask him to get me some. I just love him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In bloom


My African Violet is growing like a weed just the way I like it. I just had to share what a little African Violet Miracle Grow will do. Looking at this plant in my window everyday really makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Just another day in the neighborhood

Since I've been listening to the scanner traffic tonight and it is directed at my street, I thought I would reprint this note I wrote on Facebook. This note is from the first week of February but it accurately describes the street where I live. 

Mark and I were very excited to pick out our first place to live two years ago. We picked a place in the same neighborhood our families live in and thought nothing of it. We live on a nice sounding street by the name of Spring Garden, which evokes such thoughts of flowers and sunshine. Well our street is anything but. While sitting at my desk in the newsroom, I hear a call over the scanner to our lovely road about once a week. It turns out we live on the crime-ridden street of our 'nice' neighborhood. 

Last night I was the one making the call for help over the police scanner.

Mark and I settled down to go to sleep around 12:30 am. Mark had just dozed off and I was snuggling in when what did we hear but a loud bang. This isn't that unusual on our street, but our dog took off bounding out of the room to defend our little place from harm. So I got up to investigate. 

Upon looking out the window I saw headlights shining in our direction and while I was trying to figure out why the car was parked with lights on perpendicular to our apartment, my husband yells....'Oh my gosh they are fighting!' On further inspection I noticed that our neighbors are screaming profanities at each other (Yes we could hear word-for-word what was being screamed outside). Then right in plain view in front of the stage lights (headlights) was a woman kicking at a man. Not just light little brushes with her foot, we are talking straight out Tae Bo. Then the man proceeds to push her off of him and THEN as I'm dashing for the phone to call the police about the street brawl breaking out in front of my eyes....Mark yells 'She's trying to kick out his headlights!' And sure enough that's what I see when I rush back to the window.

So now I'm dialing 911 and the little man picks up and asks my emergency .... so I tell him about the street brawl happening in front of my eyes. But then I'm like 'Wait Wait I think they are breaking it up. They're getting back in their cars!' 'WAIT NO she's speeding off!' 

Now right across the street from by four-plex is my brother's duplex. Parked in front of his duplex is his big, red Ford F-150. This woman floors it almost crashing head on into his big, stationary wall. But nope she sees it just in time and swerves out of the way. And now I think she's going into the four-plex next door's front yard. (I'm giving the 911 operator a play-by-play to this effect) But nope she over-corrects going in the opposite direction.....now WAIT she's overcorrecting again and she's on two wheels!!! To which I yell into the phone "I THINK SHE'S CRASHING!!!!!" Now I'm for sure she's flipped her car next door.....she's gone out of my viewing area. But then after what feels like forever. I see her floor it again and take off down Spring Garden! To which I relay to the operator 'Nope nope there she goes again!' (I'm sure at this point he's utterly confused) Not only is she flying down the street but her 'boyfriend' proceeds to fly after her.

At this point in the story I turn it over to the local law enforcement. The operator says he has people on the way. Mark and I debated getting in our car and following them because that's the kind of people we are. We decided not to and instead I called and woke up my brother to tell him what just occurred outside our window and then I debated calling everyone in my cell's phone book to tell them also. ( I didn't) It took us until 2 a.m. to calm down and go back to sleep.

(UPDATE: Both vehicles survived the night. I've seen them across the street today. I'm guessing the law enforcement never caught up with them.)

Just another day in the neighborhood.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Officially becoming a 'Monica' part 2

So after scavenger hunt defeat you would assume I had enough 3 a.m. games right? Wrong.

A surprise game is about to take place. So cousin, 10-year-old, and other cousin and his friend decide to play. I've found some water and breathing has returned to normal at this point. Out-to-get me grump or OTGMG tells us the rules to this new game. We have to have one player run and get balloons and take them back to the group. Then the group must blow up balloons and tape them together making a tower. The person with the tallest tower wins. Sounds easy enough and there is no running. So I'm in. I'm ready to win.

Well first OTGMG tells us we will have to share masking tape with other groups because there isn't enough for each group to have their own. Fine whatever. So I start with a roll of tape. OTGMG starts the time! Group member runs out and grabs balloons. Brings them back and drops them in the middle of our circle. I start pulling off big strips of tape and passing them around. OTGMG yells that we must pass our tape to another group. I pull off one more long piece and pass mine on to the group beside me. We all start blowing up balloons. I take a deep breath and blow into my red balloon. I almost pass out. I feel the stadium start to spin around me. Great I'm not recovered from my marathon! 

So we start by taping four balloons together as a base. Then we start taping balloons one on top of the other. (These aren't average balloons. There are regular, water balloons and long skinny balloons. Of course we grabbed a bunch of tiny water balloons.) So we start piling our balloons up and we get a really tall tower. OTGMG calls time.

We look around. OTGMG announces that it's between our group and another group of 14 year olds. Great. There tower is between two chairs which appears to be propping it up. I, of course being the Monica that I am, point this out to OTGMG. Then OTGMG wants us to move our tower over to their tower to compare. Well that is an injustice! Why do we have to move our tower and they don't I ask OTGMG. She ignores me. So we move it over. In the course of moving our tower, it starts to droop. Great. Now our tower is even with their tower. I continue to say ours is tallest and it isn't fair that we had to move our because it fell a bit. ALSO upon further inspection of 14-year-olds tower we notice that they have wrapped theirs in tape. WHAT!!?? (Do you think Monica would not point out that we were supposed to pass our tape on and didn't have enough time to wrap tape around all balloons? No she would not! She would loudly call foul, just as I did. OTGMG did not care.) At this point someone's mother is glaring at my team and saying how they think 14-year-olds' tower is tallest. And all other teams jump on this bandwagon. OTGMG decides not to find measuring device or think for self tells us the everybody votes for them so they win. 

WHAT! Cheated again!!! And to top it off 14 year olds give us a smug look as they walk past with their free prize T-shirts. 

And it is all I can do to remember I'm at a family, charity event and not run up and grab T-shirt away from smug little girls and run off (as this is what Monica would do). So what do I do instead? I quit playing games and go pout at my campsite. I knew there was a reason I don't play games.

Officially becoming a 'Monica' part 1

I had a great time at Relay last night. I found my aunt's luminary and walked around the track with my cousin. It was a great night. Until the games began.

That's right I broke down and played some games. Most of my family and some of my friends know that I am highly competitive and a sore loser. I like to win. I hate to lose. If I lose or start to lose I may throw a fit or quit or both and then pout. So in the spirit of the night I decided it would be great fun to participate in the games that took place around 3 a.m.

And the fun began.

The first game I played was a scavenger hunt. My cousin -20, a team member - roughly 22, another team member, around 10 or 11 and myself - a out-of-shape 27-year-old all joined up to win! Well one team member had to sit in a chair and all the other team members lined up behind then designating that they were on a team together. Cousin sits in the chair and I get behind her ready for our first item to find. 

(It must be pointed out that this game was taking place on the 50-yard line of the football field. All the campsites surround the football field. Once you get your item you have to be the first to go find said item and rush back to the 50-yard line. Last team back is eliminated)

Well once we are all here waiting the 'judge' (I use this term loosely and like to call her out-to-get me grump or OTGMG) OTGMG announces that the person who sat in the chair gets to sit there and wait for other team members to bring back items and hand them off. Great! I didn't make the right choice. Oh well that's ok. I'm going to WIN! 

So the first clue is announced. Wallet ..... with SS card inside! OMG where am I going to get that you aren't supposed to carry that around with you! But cousin in chair yells 'IN MY PURSE IN BACK OF MOM'S CAR' And I'm off! I run 50-yards through kids playing football to the end of the field, across the track into the tents and to my aunt's car! (Who is asleep in said car and alarmed to find me flinging open car door) I rummage through cousin's purse and come out with wallet. Not even stopping to check on card I dash back through the tents and across track, through the football playing kids and across 50 yards to get wallet with card inside to cousin sitting in chair. As I'm running I can see cousin and cousin's friend yelling at me. Thinking I must hurry I pump my arms as fast as I can and go at top speed to 50-yard line. I fling wallet at cousin and immediately fall over to catch my breath only to find out I beat everyone back (by minutes) and they were trying to tell me I could slow down and not move into warp speed. Whatever I came in first in round one!

Now all the other kids make it back and we move onto the next item. I'm listening.....and it's a frisbee! I know exactly where that it! I run (at semi-warp speed) back through playing kids, across 50 yards, over track and to the tents where I grab frisbee (promising strangers I will return it) and fly back across track and 50-yards and kids playing football. As I'm running (flying) back to cousin in chair I see her yelling at me and this time realize that she's saying I can slow down. As I start to slow down then she switches her thoughts and says 'NO SOMEONE'S CATCHING UP!!' So I switch back to warp speed and barely be to cousin in chair in front of 14 year old sprinter! But I made it again! I'm first! WHOO HOO I beat you all! 

Last item. It's between my team and a team full of junior high and early high school gazelles. As I try to regain my composure because frisbee run has wiped me out 10-year-old team member says 'Don't worry I'll go with you this time and run the item back to cousin in chair.' I'm like great sounds awesome. So OTGMG tells us to go find nail clippers! I look at cousin in chair and yell 'WHERE ARE THE NAIL CLIPPERS?!' She's like I have no idea you'll have to go find some. So I hobble across 50 yards, through kids playing football, over the track and into the tents all while yelling at strangers that I NEED NAIL CLIPPERS! While they are searching their various bags, I run to aunt's car, wake her up again by banging on her window while making a clipping motion with my hands and yelling 'DO YOU HAVE CLIPPERS!?' She doesn't. So finally someone finds some in their car and hands them to me and I hand off to 10-year-old with healthy kid legs. He starts running for cousin in chair and I start crawling back to cousin in chair. 

WE LOST!!!! Stinkin' 14 year olds beat us! I knew better than to play a game!

Friday, June 05, 2009

In honor of tonight

Tonight is Relay for Life in my town. I'll be going once I get off work. Going to Relay for Life means a lot to me because my aunt died of breast cancer. She was only 37 when she died. She received her diagnosis in the fall of my junior year of high school and died the spring of my senior year. My high school memories will forever be marked by her battle and because of this I think of my aunt everyday. Because of her young age, I think it is a testament to others to keep up on all their cancer screenings. I know every summer I make a trip to get a skin cancer screening. Women should not only get skin cancer screenings but ladies you should feel your breasts! It's very important to catch cancer early! So tonight I will be walking in honor of my aunt. She will always be in my heart and on my mind.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Getting the jitters

My first ever plane ride is coming up soon! I'm going to south Florida with all Mark's friends to celebrate the wedding of one of his best friends. It's going to be so much fun. But as the day draws near, I'm getting more and more nervous about all aspects of flying!

I'm terrified of actually being in the plane. (Not terrified as in my extreme phobia, that would be caves) I'm really nervous that I will be afraid while on the plane but more than anything I'm nervous about packing! I know there are many rules when it comes to what you can take on the airplane with you and I'm worried about violating this rule and being detained. I know I'm completely ridiculous. 

I'm also worried about the actual packing part. I'm not a light packer. I like to cover all occasions, temperatures and events when going on a trip. I have to share a suitcase on this trip with my husband, who is quite a bit bigger than I and his clothes take up lots more room than mine do. I'm afraid I will get cheated out of suitcase space! I may be small but I have lots of stuff!

So as I prepare of the trip, I'm sure I'll come up with many more instances to experience fear. We'll see how I deal with narrowing down which shoes to pack. I'm sure it won't be an easy day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

On the bandwagon



I broke down and bought those very ugly, popular shoes last weekend. I got myself my very first pair of Crocs. I've been wearing them to work the last two days and on first impression they are comfortable. But they make my feet feel sweaty. I'm not for sure how I like that. Hopefully they will be comfortable for my upcoming trip to Key West. That is the real reason I bought the shoes. We'll see.