Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Life In An Outline Format

I'm going to be completely honest: I'm not excited about updating the ol' blog today. Usually I wait until I get the urge to post something but the urge is nowhere to be found. Quite a bit has happened in the past week and I'm afraid I'll forget if I wait much longer so I'm sucking it up, putting on my big girl pants, and writing this post. I know you usually come to this blog expecting to fall out of your chair laughing at my charm and wit but I'm just not up to it today. So... let's call it a case of the Mondays, shall we?

Bullets! Ah yes, the answer to everything!

• Thursday evening. Went to Utica Square to hear a rock n' roll band with Kait and Steve. Had a fab time. Discovered a new, delicious bottle of pinot noir. Discovered the bottom of the bottle at the end of the evening (oops).

• Friday. Had a glorious half-day (although it was a terrible day at work but I needn't go into details). Went to the salon to finally, FINALLY color my hair and now feel like my hair has surpassed blonde and reached the forbidden zone: platinum. Yes it's kind of fun. And yes, I will have roots by Wednesday.

• Saturday morning. Went to the members only viewing of the Object Project at the Philbrook. I know you are so impressed. We decided there are 2 types of Philbrook members: the hippy, artistic folk and the rich "I don't really know what this painting is supposed to represent but I'm rich so it doesn't matter" folk. Michael and I decided (somewhat proudly) that we did not fall into either category and then immediately felt awkward and out of place.

• Saturday evening. Celebrated Stephen Sutton's belated birthday (he had strep the first time so party was postponed). Ate at a relatively new restaurant on Brookside called Keo. Ordered one of the most expensive things on the menu because it sounded so delicious. Anyone seen that Capital One commercial where they bring the food out and it's tiny? Yea... that was me. Even the green beans were tiny (both in size and amount). To be honest, I was ready for Taco Bell afterwards to fill the void in my stomach.

• Sunday. Church in the morning followed by laying out at the pool (had a nice chat with Justonian) and ended with Bluegrass & BBQ at Camp Loughridge. Our J-Life kids found us at one of the tables and ate dinner with us. It was great to see all of them and hear their summer stories. I have really enjoyed having Wednesday evenings to ourselves... but I miss those kiddos.

There you have it. Below is a picture of Evalyn. Isn't she a beaut?!

(Evalyn is more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound--the size of a large mango)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Um, June? Would You Please SLOW DOWN!?

I am a sleepy, sleepy Merd. Michael's parents arrived late Friday night and I tried (unsuccessfully) to stay up late and talk each night. I ended up waving the white flag and left the Haynes family (the originals) to chat amongst themselves. On Saturday and Sunday we watched a lot of soccer and the Olympic qualifiers. I think I know all of the female gymnasts by name. My favorite (her name is Shawn) is almost a foot shorter than me with thigh muscles that are larger than my waist. A bit intimidating. Michael's parents left around 5p and then our small group came over at 6:30. It was a packed weekend!

As most of you know, Michael and I have always been a big fan of twins. And by "big fan of twins" I mean we would like to actually have twins someday. Chances of that are pretty tiny but we think it'd be fantastic. I am addicted to Jon and Kate Plus 8--I talk about the family quite often and always feel happy after I've seen an episode. Michael enjoys it as well. Last night, however, I took it to a new, ridiculous level. After watching an episode I turned to him and said, "I think triplets would be fun!" As soon as I blurted it out I kicked myself in the face. No I didn't but I bet that gymnast could. I think I need to take a break from that crazy family for awhile.

On the way to work this morning we were listening to the radio and a Geiko commercial came on. Michael happily said, "Oh I love that... iguana." I slowly turned to look at him and said, "I'm sorry?" He mumbled that he coudn't remember what the "Geiko animal" was called. Oh dear.

Tonight is "chore=bore night" (named by yours truly). I HATE washing clothes, Michael HATES folding clothes. So we both put it off as long as possible. Together we are a lethal combination. I don't like how he washes clothes and he can barely stand watching me fold my own clothes so don't even think of suggesting he wash and I fold. Not happening. Sidenote: He can fold and pack 438 shirts into one tiny suitcase, I promise you. When I think of my packing style, the words "cram" and "shove" come to mind.

We've made an executive decision that once the baby birds have reached puberty, the bird condominium is coming down. If any of you would like a bird nest let me know.

Anyone else think June flied by?! YIKES!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Birthdays, Babies, Birds, and Boy I Love That Song!

It's been quite the week! Yesterday was mom's 39th birthday and I was a bit bummed that I wasn't there to celebrate with her. Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Anna and Gary came over last night and we cooked burgers and chicken (God bless our little charcoal grill). They discovered a few weeks ago that they are expecting a baby in January! Michael and I realized we have 9 friends/family members that are pregnant. Good Lord!! Anna had been feeling pretty rough all week but she was a trooper last night and we had a fantastic time. They're such a fun couple.

Before they came over Michael mowed our poor, pathetic yard. Funny story--as we were eating dinner last night the doorbell rang and it was a TruGreen guy. He was asking if we'd ever considered service for our lawn and I told him that we were already using them and they'd come out once. I went on to tell him the entire story and then ended with "soooo it's actually the best it's ever looked. Funny, huh?" He mentioned he was driving around and saw our yard so he just HAD to stop and make sure we were doing something to help the poor thing. So sad. And true.

After Michael mowed the yard he cleaned up the MOUNTAIN of poop that continues to accumulate on our front porch thanks to the Von Trap family living in the ever-growing nest. I have been complaining daily about the bird poop AND the fact that the birds love to hear themselves chirp as they fly around our front yard. I think they're calling out to all of their friends, "Move HERE--these idiots don't care! Follow our ridiculously loud voices and join us at beep beep beep W. beep Street!" (Censored on for Michael, Thumbs, myself, and the 84 birds protection.) I feel like we're on the set of a horror film. To make matters worse, they now try to dive bomb all that get close to their nest, which includes anyone that walks to our front door (sorry Anna, Gary, and TruGreen guy). Sigh.

I woke up this morning with a huge grin on my face. Have I mentioned that I adore 4-hour Fridays? Yes, yes I do. We even got an earlier start than usual by leaving at 6:38a, a new record. When we were about 5 minutes from work, I realized I'd left some brochures in the other car. Boo. So I dropped Michael off at work and drove back home. My fabulous Friday had been shat on (sorry, this post is a lot about poop!) but I tried to keep my chin up. As I drove BACK to work, it was like the radio gods knew exactly what I needed: Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror. It is one of the top 5 greatest songs of all time. I love songs you can snap to and this masterpiece actually INCLUDES snapping sounds--brilliant! If everyone heard it as they drove to work there would be world peace. And Barack Obama would be elected president in the fall.

Michael's parents come in this evening!! Should be a fantastic weekend!

Why did he have to turn into such a creeper? I still love him..

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby B

Justin and Michelle had an appointment with the doc yesterday. Baby B is doing really well and they actually changed the due date to October 26! Michael and I are excited that we might be an aunt and uncle 5 days sooner than we thought! My birthday is on the same day as my aunt and uncle's anniversary and I think it'd be neat to carry on the tradition. So Justin and Michelle, if you could just move the date up a few more days to October 20, that'd be great. :)

Picture of ultrasound to go HERE. -->
(I am including this as a semi-permanent reminder to Justonian to send me a scanned copy of the ultrasound.)

And for all of you that have asked me, they are not going to find out the sex of the baby. Which is going to force me to call this baby "Evalyn" as a combination of the two possible names. It is not too late to change your minds...

Aunt Merdi

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

My parents drove to Tulsa yesterday so we could celebrate Father's Day and Mom's birthday (this Thursday). We had a great time and the only bump in the road (literally) was the drive up here--they were cursed with a flat tire. After an hour delay, they made it here safely.

Father's Day is a little different for me this year. The first thing I thought about, obviously, was my dad (aka. greatest dad in the world). Then I thought about Justin and how he's a dad right now even if he hasn't officially met Evan or Adelyn yet. He and Michelle are now a family of 3 and I hope today is great for him too. And then I thought about Michael--no, we're not having a baby--but I couldn't help and think about the upcoming years when we'll be able to celebrate this special holiday too. I am still more than happy to wait several years before we're able to experience it personally, but it is definitely a holiday I look forward to celebrating with Michael one day.

But back to my dad. On Mother's Day I wrote a post to my mom (aka. greatest mom in the world) and I remember after I finished it I started looking forward to writing a similar post the following month. And here we are...

5 of my favorite dad memories...

1. Tucking me in each night. Dr. Miller told this story at our wedding but I think it's worth mentioning again. When I was young, my dad always popped his head in my room to say goodnite and sweet dreams. Sometimes I was awake and would be able to respond and other times I was fast asleep. And then there were the times I was wide awake but would pretend to be asleep. I would anxiously wait and see if he would still say those sweet words when he thought I wouldn't hear them. And he never missed a night. The only reason he never saw me break into a huge smile was because the lights were already out.

2. Teaching me how to drive. My dad should get a huge award for this. Some people pick up driving quickly, and then there are people like myself. In my defense, he taught me how to drive a manual so I would be able to drive any car I wanted when I was older. As soon as I received my permit (at the tender age of 14), we went to Fort Chaffee all of the time so I could practice braking, changing gears, starting the car on a hill (how many times did I kill that poor car?)... the list goes on and on. I know I got frustrated at him, I am absolutely positive he got frustrated with me, but we were a team and we stuck together until the sweet, victorious end. I'll never forget the day we reached that gruesome hill and I was able to turn right and drive off without killing the engine.

3. Spending the day with me in 6th grade. Part of this story is a bit sad. I had recurring nightmares in 6th grade about a man that lived in Fort Smith, which turned into a borderline anxiety attack. After a night of tears and pain, my dad took off from work and spent the entire day with me. Just the two of us. I remember we drove around Fort Smith and he also took me to the Arkansas dam (I'm not sure what its actual name is). I loved that day, and I loved that he was willing to put everything aside to make sure I felt safe.

4. 37-day-trip-from-hell-vacation. Ok, folks. Usually I bring this trip up because I am wanting to share a "You think YOU'VE been to hell and back, listen to THIS" story. But somewhere, deep, deep, deep down, I loved this trip. I loved the places we visited, I loved cooking food over the fire, I even loved dad's morning wake-up call, "Start stirring!" (Hopefully that got a smile out of Justin...) How many kids can say they've spent 37 days straight with their parents? I know teenage years can be rough and kids are always trying to get away from their parents, but deep down I think they'd be crushed if their parents ever did give them that space. This was an incredible journey and one I will remember forever, thanks partly to my battered journal but mostly to the good memories I will never forget.

5. Walking me down the aisle. October 20, 2007. I spent 11 months excited and nervous about this day, but as each of my bridesmaids walked down the aisle, I stood next to my dad and felt so incredibly calm. I linked my arm through his, he patted my hand with his hand, told me he loved me and how happy he was for me. I know weddings can be hard on dads but he smiled the entire day. I am so glad I was able to walk down one aisle and up another with my two favorite men.

My dad has been the biggest supporter of this blog. He has printed off every entry (I believe there are 65 so far) and put them away in a binder. He even mentioned the other day how he'd started at page one and read through all of them again. I often remind myself that my parents are extraordinary--they are not average, they are not suitable. Together they blessed me with a wonderful childhood, a fantastic brother, and a lifetime of memories that I hope to share with my children one day. Happy Father's Day, dad, you will always be this little girl's hero.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bring the Rain!

Two things I've noticed recently...

1. Today is my 1-year blogging anniversary! It's a little bewildering to me that I have actually kept up with it for an entire year. As I mentioned in my very first post, I was hoping to last two weeks--tops. I've started approx. 37 journals in my lifetime and all lasted about a month before they collected dust next to my bed. It's been a really great year, filled with wedding showers, weekends with friends, poor Thumbs getting terribly sick, our wedding and new home, friends weddings and babies, and the recent discovery that we're going to be an aunt and an uncle in a few short months. Unbelievable. I'm so, so excited that I have an account for the greatest year of my life (thus far). In short, thank you so much for reading and I truly love the comments, but I can honestly say I'm doing this for us so we can look back at this "journal" one day and smile at the amazing times we've had together.

2. I heard a fantastic song the other day, "Bring the Rain" by MercyMe. I've listened to it several times now and have yet to make it through without tearing up. It's one of those songs that lets you know He has a purpose and a plan for everything that happens to you, be it good or bad. As I mentioned previously, it's been a great year, but I have had several moments of pain in the past (just as you have also had) and I wish I'd had this song to listen to in those times. I even remember feeling so sorry for myself once that I bought the book, "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People." Probably should have turned to my Bible and read the book of Job. Anywho, it also hits home in the literal sense with all of the storms and rain we've been having. Anyone that knows me knows I HATE the rain and I will complain about it to a stranger if I think he'll listen to me. But just the other day Michael and I noticed that we're getting new growth in our front yard (praise the LORD!) and I'm not sure we can take credit for such a feat. So... bring the rain. Read the lyrics and then go download the song. You tell me if you can make it through without tearing up and I will classify your heart as 95% stone. :)

Bring the Rain--MercyMe

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tiger Woods, Eat Your Heart Out...

I am quickly getting accustomed (and possibly addicted) to this 4-hour Friday! Michael and I had full plans of going to the Tulsa Zoo after work but noticed the coupon we received for 2 free tickets is not valid until July. Quick change of plans. Instead we had the Jeep's oil changed, ate at Albert G's BBQ next door while we waited (it's tradition), and went to the Toyota dealership so we could test-drive a Prius. I loved it! It was such a fun car, so many small details that make it so unique. I was ready to sign the dotted line (or at least consider putting myself on the short waiting list that will eventually lead to signing the dotted line) when we were told the waiting period would be at least 5 months. By the time it would be our turn, the Prius would be an '09 and have a different body style, etc. Suddenly, out of nowhere and completely unexpected (and unwanted) comes the schpeel about the Camry hybrid that is uber powerful and uber sleek and what a deal, why would you ever want a Prius when you could be big man on campus and get a Camry? I'm all for paying a bit more for better gas mileage, or getting a great deal and losing a few miles per gallon, but showing me a fancy shmancy car that costs quite a bit more and has dramatically less mpg is not really doing it for me--especially when the point of this new car is to save money. Gah. I test drove the Camry and it was nice but my heart was still with the dark grey Prius. We left with some information and I think we'll wait and see how the '09 does (review-wise) before we add our names to the ever-growing list.

I forgot to mention that on Friday we also went to the Salvation Army to pick up some clothes for the party we attended Saturday night. The theme was "Golf Pros and Tennis Hoes" (Hos? Ho's? I have no idea, but yes, you read that right). Michael's inspiration was Payne Stewart and I wore some workout gear I already had (with stilettos, obvoiusly). We were quite the team.

Once we were at the party we realized we'd taken the dressing up to a whole new level. Most of the girls wore tennis skirts and collared shirts. The guys looked like they'd just left work. I felt a little awkward (what with my stiletto heels and plaid socks) and the site of my husband next to someone wearing normal clothes was pretty damn funny. Luckily the group grew and several late attendees arrived with the same gusto as us. One of our friends had the same inspiration as Michael. :)

It was a great party and we left around 12:30 to get our "4th meal" at Taco Bell. That place is fantastic in the day but it is sheer heaven at night (minus the lady who worked the drive-through, she was NOT angelic).

Sunday was spent cleaning the house and preparing for our first small group. We are going to meet every other week at our house with several couples around our age. Most of the couples are coming from the Dave Ramsey class but we've extended the invitation to several others (so we can make fun of their spendy ways since they have yet to learn the baby steps to becoming a bazillionaire by age 30. Just kidding.)

Last night I saw Sex and the City with Kaitlin (it was great), tonight Michael and I are going with another couple to the Drillers game (thank you, Samson, for the free "box tickets") and Thursday we're having the Black family over for a barbeque. So as I mentioned before, the 4-hour work day on Friday is fantastic. My energy tank is on empty by the time these weeks end--I need to trade myself in for a hybrid version. Anyone know where I could find one of those?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Botox, Anyone?

A few weeks ago I noticed something on my fingers that was kinda cringe-worthy. It looked like a bunch of tiny, tiny water blisters. They eventually went away and were replaced by dry skin. You could barely see the dots but I'm sure my finger said all sorts of things in braille if you rubbed your finger across it. I became Meredith Haynes, web M.D. and looked up my symptoms. From what I could tell it is a type of harmless exzema, fairly common and completely safe. Directions were to apply cortisone cream and deal with it (more or less).

I emailed my mom the news and she replied (and I quote), "Get thee to a dermatologist." Didn't have quite the same flair as "nunnery," but both make it in the top 20 places I never want to go. So I called, made an appointment, and waited 3 weeks.

Now. Most people think going to a dermatologist is harmless. I thought so too until a year ago (February, 2007) when I had a tiny speck of a mole removed from my back and passed the heck out on a recliner chair. Mortified doesn't begin to describe how I felt once I finally came to. If that wasn't terrible enough, the doctor then said (in a rude tone I might add), "You were supposed to tell me you were a fainter. Now you have to tell all doctors you faint around needles, etc." LISTEN, lady, I have never fainted before in my life (except for that one time in 6th grade, which doesn't really count) and frankly, I blame it on the fact that I didn't have time to eat lunch and you made me nervous by saying, "I'm just going to scrape that mole off." SICK! I kept trying to sit up but was afraid something else might also come up so I stayed on her uncomfortable reclining chair for a good 15 minutes. Called Kaitlin who thankfully was able to pick me up and I took my first sick day ever at the church.

Soooo now you can see that with the dermatologist comes anxiety. Moving on.

This morning I sat in the same uncomfortable recliner chair and explained my deathly illness. She looked at my hands and in 4 seconds (possibly 3.5) declared I have exactly what I researched. Gave me cortisone cream. Entire process took 4 minutes and that is because 3 min and 45 seconds were spent talking about the large crevice I have between my brows. I asked her if there was anything I could do to get rid of it besides botox and she let me know that botox was the only cure and I needed it. Like, now. Apparently Honest Abe was her grandaddy or something. I told her I wasn't that interested in botox and then out of curiousity asked her more about it.

Folks, it lasts 3 months and costs $275 a session. Sometimes I wish I was terrible at math so I could live my life in blissful ignorance but I started calculating what it would cost if I kept it up for the rest of my life. I actually laughed out loud. She did not. I thanked her for the cortisone cream and we parted ways.

I did not tell her about my recent sunburn for fear she'd "scrape off" another mole out of sheer anger. And between you and me, I forgot to eat breakfast this morning so I was not about to let that happen.


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