Monday, March 30, 2009

Kiss The Cook

Last Sunday we had our small group over and I made a cake for Michael Homan's birthday. It was simple but (if I do say so myself) quite delicious. Our small group consists of five couples and usually half of us have dessert. With that in mind, I cut some pretty large slices. I would cut, Adam would pass, and pretty soon I noticed he kept reaching his hand out to grab another plate long after I thought the passing would cease. I started panicking. The cake was getting smaller and smaller and I felt like Milton from Office Space. What if I didn't get a piece? I don't believe there has ever been an event where cake was served and I did not have at least one piece. I often think in fractions so I judged the remainder of the cake by quietly saying to myself "3/4... 2/3... 1/2... 1/3... oh no.... 1/4..." As the cake got smaller, the beads of sweat on my forehead got larger, and I was in quite the state. Finally the last piece was served and there were still a few slices left. WHEW.

When I am responsible for dessert I almost always have leftovers, which I enjoy over the next few days. There were no leftovers. In my book, that is not acceptable. So after our trip to Dallas this weekend (details later), I told Michael I would like to make another cake. And this time we would share it with no one. One cake split between the two of us lasts an entire week. My dream come true.

We did not have any cake mix or icing so while we were out yesterday we stopped at Target and I grabbed both. Once I was home I turned on the oven and started pulling out the ingredients....and realized we had no eggs. I yelled to no one in particular, "We don't have any eggs!?" And no one replied, "No, I thought you knew that!" I did not. My lip stuck out. I looked down at my clothes and debated whether or not I could really pull off the look in public. Old yoga pants with a Cheetos stain on the leg, man's undershirt, and long socks with rubber nubbies on the bottom. Definitely not ok. Michael rolled his eyes and was out the door and in his car before I knew it. Did I feel bad? Terribly. Ok, maybe just a little. What a guy!

He came back 20 minutes later with the eggs and I got to work again. Baked the cake, waited for it to cool, and prepared myself for my least favorite part--icing the cake. As I removed the two layers from the pans they both crumbled. What was going on? I tried my best to put the pieces back together and my glorious cake turned into the cake from hell (aptly named as it was Devil's food cake). The white icing turned a lovely shade of grey as it mixed with chunks of chocolate cake. How depressing. I cut myself a huge piece (which immediately crumbled into a gigantic mess) and curled up next to my husband to watch a movie. He laughed at my creation and I (quite rudely) stated, "I have no idea what is wrong with this cake. I know I did everything correctly. It only has four ingredients, there is no way to mess it up!" He continued watching the movie. I continued staring at my cake. I thought back to what I'd been doing an hour ago. I added the water. I added the oil. I added the eggs. Wait. Wait a minute. I don't remember throwing the egg shells into the sink with athletic precision. Surely I...

I slowly stood up and walked to the fridge. Opened the door and there they were, the untouched eggs that Michael had made a special trip to the store to buy so I might have my cake. I walked back to the couch and sat down. Michael looked at me and asked what was going on. I shook my head. And then I felt my face turn red velvet (since we are talking about cakes--when in Rome). After my face contorted into a mixture of laughter and humiliation he said, "You forgot the eggs, didn't you?" I kept staring at him as he slowly shook his head. One wasted trip to the grocery store. One wasted cake. He reached out and gave me a hug as my dream of cake for an entire week vanished.

I think we're going to have biscuits and eggs for dinner tonight. You're welcome to join us, I am quite confident we will have enough.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Best Medicine

What a happy little guy! I especially love what his parents have taught him to do (near the end). :) I don't think the video shows up on google reader but it works on the blog...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Hey Evan, it's Friday! What do you think about that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm In A Glass Case Of Emooootion

Lately, the thing to do on Facebook is post pictures from high school days. I have tons of my own but I believe they are all collecting dust in Fort Smith. I haven't looked at them in years so when I do see a picture I am absolutely blown away.

I look so young.

And yes, I was young, but I look so young. This goes back to a post I wrote several months ago. When you haven't experienced things, your face is the definition of innocence. It's what makes growing older so incredible. Each wrinkle, each freckle, each bit of gravity that makes your eyes and your jawline droop, is proof that you have learned something and are still around to talk about it.

How lucky are we?

I hate, I repeat HATE the wrinkle between my eyes. It is past the point of being a "fine line" and is a blatant wrinkle. And unless I can convince the hubs that botox does not, in fact, send you straight to hell, it is permanent. But let me tell you why I have that wrinkle. On the 30th week of every year, the Besancon bunch climbed into some variation of a station wagon, drove to Sanibel Island, FL and spent a week in paradise. The annual vacation was only a week or two before the "S word" (school) started so it was the grand finale to every summer. While I was there I would go to the pool each day and lay out next to my mom. I remember when I was young I would stretch my legs on my lounge chair so my feet would reach the length of her knees. The last time we were there my feet went several inches past her own. I would squint for two, three, four hours straight because it was so bright outside. The sun, that gorgeous Sanibel sun, gave me this wrinkle. And for that I am eternally grateful.

When I look at old pictures I think about the year it was taken. What do I know now that I didn't know then? The other day I was looking at my mom's drivers license and mentioned, "Did you know when this picture was taken I was not married to Michael?" I think she might have murmured a polite, "Oh.. hmmm," but that is how I view my life. It is one long black line interrupted by hash marks every few inches depicting dates and memories. When I see a picture I temporarily place it on that line and look to the left and to the right.

The biggest change I see in myself is my eyes. Isn't that funny? The actual eye never changes, but oh the things you understand when you look into them. I was quite the sheltered child and this is the first year I've ever been told I look my age. I think it's the eyes (ok, perhaps it's the wrinkle too). :)

One day I'll look back on this and think, "Wow, when I wrote that post on March 25, 2009 I had no idea ---- would happen. Incredible." I'm only hoping the "----" is a pleasant experience, but I know there will be variations of both. What I pray is that my eyes will always give me away. There will be times when the only way you'll know what's going on in my life is by finding out for yourself. And I hope these green eyes are always willing to share.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Think I'm Paranoid...

Last week was quite bizarre. Along with DVR (And cheese. Ok and red wine...), I have an unhealthy addiction to It is, after all, the #1 Celebrity Site on the Web. I like to check in once or twice a day to see how my good friends in California are doing. You know, the ones that like to share one name. Have I told you ours? It's Merechael, pronounced "Mer-ah-kul," which is strangely close to "miracle." I believe this name came to be after I'd had a few glasses of one of the aforementioned addictions. But I love it and so do my friends Bennifer and Brangelina.

While I was on the website I read about Natasha Richardson's tragic fall. Long story short: Liam Neeson's wife was in a minor skiing accident, walked away feeling fine, came down with a terrible headache, ended up in the hospital, suffered brain damage and died shortly after. What happened to her could have happened to anyone. One innocent fall that had severe consequences.

Later in the week I heard about a deadly spider (Brazilian Wandering Spider) found in a shipment of bananas at our Whole Foods in Tulsa. It is said to be one of the most lethal spiders in the world. Just hanging out around the bananas. Its venom can kill a human within a half hour. A HALF HOUR! Spiders don't typically scare me unless they have hair. And this one, my friends, had hair. Updates say it was not as deadly as previously mentioned but for this post's sake, we're going with the original story.

Friday I received a text message from one of my jLife kiddos, which said something about a gang initiation at Wal-Mart. Exact message: "Do not go to any Wal-Mart tonite. Gang initiation to shoot 3 women tonite. Not sure which Wal-Mart. Confirmed on tv." I rarely believe texts and/or emails such as these. Don't ever send me anything that needs to be "forwarded to 12 people or you will die," because, let's face it, I'm going to delete it and you might die. But after the week of ski injuries and hairy octo-freaks, I wasn't about to go near a Wal-Mart in case my little 12-year-old friend was right.

Turns out she wasn't, it was some huge hoax that was later reported on the news.

Well this turned out to be one of the most anticlimactic posts I've ever written. But still, crazy week eh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Because Sometimes? An Ode Says It All.

An Ode To Fast Food

Oh Taco Bell with your gordita crunch,
Soft tacos, chalupas and the rest of the bunch.
I miss you all--more than you'll ever know,
My stomach does too, it wants to grow!
The gorgeous golden arches are calling my name,
Stop it, won't you? This isn't a game!
I long for your key ingredient (that's grease),
It tastes so much better than green beans or peas.
And who can forget Sonic? You're glorious as well!
Texas toast, bacon, tator tots... Oh hell.
It's been 3 weeks since I've graced any of your doors,
The time now known as the "fast food days of yore."
It's been good for my stomach and for my mind,
And I know re. food, you're the worst of your kind.
So as much as I love you, I know this is right,
To take a break, and try as I might.
I'm thankful for Lent and it's opened my eyes,
but man I can't wait to get my hands on some fries. :)

This post is dedicated to myself, the most pathetic human on God's green earth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Will Never Let the Sun Go Down On You, Elton...

Holy Uptown Girl. Last night was amazing. Right now I'd like to throw out the words "best concert ever" but I think I need a few days before I make such a bold statement. Elton and Billy (we're on a first name basis)...those guys are good.

The concert started around 7:30 and they didn't stop playing until after 11. They opened and closed the show together but each played several songs on their own as well. I always get this surge of pride for an artist when they momentarily stop singing and everyone sings their song for them. Can you imagine writing something and then years later hearing a ginormous crowd sing the song you wrote--your words--in unison? I think that must be such an incredible feeling.

Lisa and I had a fabulous time singing along, clapping, tapping the feet, and both left with severe hearing loss. I believe we might have been yelling, "Wow, that was an amazing show" as we walked to our car. Speaking of amazing, there were also some very interesting outfits in the crowd. Did you know some unfortunate shoe store out there sells silver knee high boots? They do. And they should be shot.

I found this on youtube--it's from their concert in NYC a few weeks ago and was one of my favorites last night. I love this song and they did an awesome job singing it together (the lighting was great too):

I was really impressed with Billy Joel except for his attempt to dance with the microphone stand. Watching an old(er) man swivel his hips and (dare I say) pelvic thrust the stand several times is just awkward. I flinched a few times and then finally got over it because the song was great. And he's right, it's still rock and roll to me.

It's been a busy few days. Mom was in town on Monday, concert last night, and we are going to meet little Miss Opal tonight. I have yet to catch up on the sleep I missed from this weekend so I'm pretty much a zombie. A zombie who randomly breaks out into songs from decades past. I remember I was on an Elton high for several months after his last concert, so send your condolences to Michael now. Elton and Billy might last through Christmas.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Once again, thank you (thank you, THANK YOU!) for all of the positive feedback we've received through the blog, facebook, emails, etc. I'm overwhelmed by the kindness shown to us not only by close friends but also by those of you who took this opportunity to introduce yourselves to me. I am so grateful for the optimistic and inspiring stories each of you candidly shared. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm typically not much of a crier but I had many tearful moments this weekend. It's an amazing and humbling feeling to know there are so many of you who care for us and are praying for our future. I've always wondered who took the time to read our blog--our story--and it's nice to know I have other followers besides those who share my maiden name. :)

My good friend Emily asked if her bridesmaids could meet up this past weekend and brainstorm her upcoming wedding. Seeing that two of us are in Tulsa, one is in Kansas City and Em is in St Louis, we realized the central location was none other than Shoji Tabuchi's stomping grounds: Branson, Missouri. After the job situation, I'd thought about backing out of the trip but am so thankful I decided to go. It was so nice to see the girls and was yet another reminder that life is good (great, even!) and I am very fortunate. We stayed up late both nights and it felt like we were in suite B at the Delta Gamma lodge once again. Except this time we didn't have to hide the wine. :)

Do you know what tomorrow is? Let me give you a hint.

(I'm totally going to ask him where he got his jacket)

Oh yeah. It is going to be amazing. Lisa and I have been counting down the days. She is a Billy Joel fan and my heart belongs to Elton. We are going to be a fabulous combination.

A piece of advice to all of you out there with kids (or in my case, pets): They really do watch what you do and learn your habits--good and bad. But mostly bad. Ask my mom or Michael and they will both tell you that I love when someone plays with my hair. I will be the 45-year-old woman who still lays her head on her mom's lap if it means she'll play with my hair. Who cares that my mom's hands might be arthritic or that I might have my own child who is old enough to drive himself/herself to school, I LOVE it. I get very frustrated if either of them plays for a bit and stops, so I will tap their hand (or face, or arm) to remind them that I am still there and am expecting attention. Last night I found out what it feels like to be in their shoes, and I didn't like it one bit. I was comfortably sleeping when I heard a strange noise. It was Thumbs, who had taken "invasion of personal space" to an entirely new level. Add that to her plus-sized physique and I thought I was being attacked by a grizzly bear. I briefly scratched her back and the strange noise turned into ridiculously loud purring. Just as I started to fall back asleep I felt her paw tap my face not once, not twice, but three times. "Wake up, mom!" I groggily opened my eyes and saw her staring at me with a "You've got to be kidding me" look. I scratched her back for another minute and then it was back to dreaming about Elton and his red piano. Before I knew it, "tap, tap, tap" on my face AGAIN. This happened four times, people. FOUR TIMES. As I was thinking, "Seriously Thumbs, you could not be MORE annoying," I remembered doing the EXACT same tap dance to Michael before I fell asleep last night. Tap, tap, tap. Little did I know the furry beast memorized the entire encounter so she could give a repeat performance at 3 am. Unfortunately for her, I'm not as nice as Michael so she never saw the part where the annoying subject gets booted from the bed. Lesson learned.

Friday, March 13, 2009

J to the O to the B

Hello, my name is Meredith Leigh Haynes. Figured I'd reintroduce myself in case you forgot who I was. Sorry for the crickets, it's been an interesting few weeks. Thanks for your prayers, calls, and emails. I know I was cryptic last week but I just wasn't ready to say much.

Now I am.

Michael lost his job. The news came out of nowhere and we were both pretty shocked. Actually, "pretty shocked" is the understatement of the year. I was speechless. He has been great about everything, and I have been... less than great. I hate surprises, and even more than surprises, I hate the unknown. If I knew it would take 10 months to find a job, I would be ok. But not knowing if it will take 10 weeks or 10 months is extremely hard. I just want to know. He was given a very nice severance package and that along with our savings will allow us to be just fine for a fairly long time--but only if we cut back... a lot.

I like to call it Extreme Lent--we've giving up everything. Even (gulp) DVR, my second true love. There have been several times this week that I have started to hit the glorious "record" button only to realize it is sitting pretty and mocking my DVR addiction.

I have so much to say but I'm afraid if I start it could be the world's longest post. And none of us need that right now. I will say that Michael and I are handling this pretty well and we know there is a reason for everything. We really do. That doesn't mean it isn't hard. Or scary. But we know there is a plan and we're willing to wait patiently (ok, maybe just wait) to see what God has in store for us. My only request: Please don't tell us it could be so much worse. We know that. Instead, we prefer to hear the optimistic stories, the stories where someone lost their job and then found one they loved even more. The only way to get through situations like this is to be optimistic and open to what lies ahead.

We did not go to jLife last week and several of the kiddos signed a card for Michael. They're so special. I wanted to share a few things they wrote...

"We are praying for you."

"You will find a much better job. God is calling you to do something better!"

"Hi Michael. Sorry about the job, but remember Jesus loves you."

"I love you! You're so cute! Let's get married." (Um, EXCUSE me? Girl better back off...)

They gave it to us at jLife this Wednesday and it cheered us up immensely. One of the girls politely asked Michael, "What did you give up for Lent? I mean, besides your job?" Ha. I love a sixth graders attitude. :)

So enough from me about this. I'm sure I will talk about it from time to time but right now I prefer to talk about other things. Continue to pray for Michael, and I ask that you pray for me too. I want so desperately to be the wife Michael needs me to be right now and I'm afraid I'm falling short.

Woohoo for uplifting posts on Fridays! :) Scratch that, I'm going to end this thing properly...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:4-6

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Friday To Ya...

This guy wants you to have a great weekend (as does his proud aunt).

If you think about it, please say a quick prayer for Michael and myself. I'll share more later, but a simple prayer would mean the world to us. Thanks!

Days without fast food: 10 (My pathetic thought process: "Ohhhh yea, I hit the double digits. I am awesome. Double digits... Mhmmm... Double quarter pounder with cheese.... Mhhmmm..."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm Back...

I have finally emerged from hiding under my rock.

Rock = work, work, and more work

I've noticed that writing a blog is a little like exercise. Once you do it, you want to do it more. But if you take a break it's pretty hard to get back in the swing of things. I used to write a post every 2 weeks, then it became one a week, and recently I was averaging a whopping 2.4 posts each week! That just sounds exhausting right now.

I want to make one thing is clear to all of you out there that I know and especially to those I might not know. I love my job. Last week was hard, and more than that, it was frustrating. But I completed all 6 (count em': 6!) projects in the time given. Not only that, it was known around the staff that I was quite busy and everyone bent over backwards to ask if they could help, checked on me to see how I was doing, and took minor projects (that I normally do) and completed them for me. It was remarkable. I know I'm lucky to have my job but sometimes I forget how lucky I am. I had similar "panic moments" at my last job at least once a week and I remember feeling very alone most of the time. Not here. So thank you for letting me vent last week and now thank you for letting me get over myself.

I am blessed.

After I left work on Friday, I finished up some last minute plans for my sorority's Founders Day. It was held on Saturday--Kait and I were in charge of the event. It went really well and we met some of the collegians. It is a very eerie feeling when you are unable to recognize one face or name in the group. Didn't I graduate last year? Has it really been that long? I knew some of their older brothers or sisters but even they were several years younger than me. Ugh.

Sunday was the annual meeting at church (remember the annual report?) so I went and helped with that. I came home feeling completely worn out from the previous 7 days. Decided pretty quickly that Monday would be spent at home, in pajamas, reading a good book. And that is exactly what I did.

Michael's parents were also in town this weekend. I didn't get to see much of them but Michael said they all had a nice time catching up. He was (is) extremely sick yet AGAIN with allergies so he was pretty limited with what he could do/where he could go. I think the three of them got to know our living room really well. :)

That's my synopsis of the week. This post is complete crap, I just reread it and not only did I bore myself to tears but it sounds like an English paper from the fourth grade. Yuck. Unfortunately for you, I don't really feel like rewriting it. Perhaps I will redeem myself with a post later on this week.

You want a 5-minute explanation of why I love my church? Watch this:

(Make sure the volume is up!)

Days without fast food: 7


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