Monday, April 27, 2009

Waiting for the Bomb

Does anyone else get freaked out when too many good things happen all at once? Because I do. Rather than appreciate life's little pleasures, I tend to look for the thunderclouds in the distance. This is not to say I'm a pessimist but I do believe I'm a realist to a fault. We've all learned about gravity--what comes up must come down. Nothing stays up forever, right?

Michael had a random meeting with a recruiter in Dallas and exactly one week later began a fantastic job. Pretty incredible. What I keep reminding myself is that he was without a job for 5.5 weeks. 38 days. That is a long time to wake up each day and wonder, "Is today going to be the day?" So while the new job is great, the previous weeks were pretty horrific.

Michael emailed his (ex) co-workers to let them know the news and received an immediate response from one of his friends. She wants our house. As of this weekend, we have an offer on our home. Granted, it is contingent on the sale of her own home, but she has a realtor and already a few interested buyers. Really?! We decided not to use a realtor as it would have cost us $12-15,000. If it works out with our friend, our advertising costs (including buying the for sale sign, etc.) are at a grand total of $80.

So now I'm waiting for that bomb. Waiting for that thundercloud. All that's left is me finding a job. In a sucky economy. I keep thinking, "Ok, this is it. This is where we realize we are not the luckiest people alive." I'm meeting with a recruiter tomorrow in Dallas, have already emailed most of my Dallas friends, and have applied to countless jobs on Monster, Career Builder, etc. I feel like I'm completing all of the necessary steps, but I also know that I've barely scratched the surface.

Speaking of scratching the surface. My poor Prius was involved in another wreck last Wednesday. That makes two. Fortunately for us, this time the lady had insurance so we should have no problem getting it fixed. The story is quite amusing but only at the expense of the person at fault (which was not, thank goodness, me) so I'm going to refrain. I have no problem making fun of myself on here but that's where I draw the line (Ok, I usually pull Michael and Thumbs on my side of the line, but they're family so that's ok).

Our great luck with that situation? Michael and I decided to fix the bumper after the Prius' first brush with fate. The man who hit Michael did not have insurance so we were going to pay the deductible. Then Michael lost his job. Bumper got pushed to the bottom of the list. Car gets hit again on the same bumper. This time, however, the person at fault has insurance. So our poor bumper that has been raped and pillaged twice will now be replaced and we don't have to pay one dime. That's pretty awesome.

I'm done. I hope this post doesn't come off wrong. I'm not gloating. Quite the opposite actually. It's me being transparent with you and letting you know that I am preparing myself for something not-so-great to happen in the near future. And I'm scared. Keep in mind, I'm the loser that bought, "Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?" before Michael and I started dating. I think I am pretty darn good at finding that silver lining, but I also know we live in the midwest where it's sunny and gorgeous one minute and thundering the next. Such is life.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Want To Be An Old Woman Who Lives In A Shoe

Can someone be considered an intruder if they are a member of your family? I guess that doesn't make sense. But last night, a very sneaky, very hairy occupant made history.

I woke up quite happy this morning. It's Friday, which has always been a good day, but now it means I have my husband back. That makes it a great day. I walked to the closet to grab some jeans (yet another reason why I love Friday) and stopped in my tracks. Something wasn't quite right. Take a look.

My shoe shelf. My perfect shoe shelf was no longer perfect. I immediately turned to look at Thumbs, who was sitting inappropriately and staring right back at me. We had a staring war, and wouldn't you know it, I ended up looking away first (the eyes of a cat can be quite intimidating).

So rather than take the blame and admit that her larger than life ass disrupted my prized possession, she started looking for the culprit.

(Just so you know, the culprit was not under our bed.)

Can I just say I was so impressed my fat cat could even jump that high? As I mentioned before, she made history today! If she had a scrapbook I would write a new entry: "April 24 - The day you jumped and actually made it."

As soon as I got home from work, I took off my new shoes (WOOHOO! NEW SHOES!) and left the room. And what did I come back to?

(I'm just including this picture so you can witness the cuteness. $25--not too bad!)

It's true love, folks. I have tried to raise Thumbs to be a lady. To poop inside the box (usually works), to sleep without snoring (occasionally works), to eat without reckless abandon (never works)... I've never truly succeeded at anything.

But I learned something today. The girl loves shoes. And in my book? That makes me a complete success.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm A Good Driver

It happened. It finally happened. I knew it would happen and today, April 22, 2009, it happened.

(By the way, Happy Earth Day.)

I woke up, took a shower, talked to Michael, and chatted with my guest (my mom) before I left the house. As I was driving to work I realized I didn't straighten my ponytail (Does this make sense? If I wear my hair in a ponytail, I use the straightener on the entire ponytail and am good to go). I self-consciously reached back to grab my wavy hair and instead wrapped my hand around a very soft, very elastic scrunchie.

Oh no.

Oh no no no.

Lately I have been using a scrunchie after I've dried my hair. (For those of you who just started reading my blog, the only reason I even HAVE the biggest fashion faux pas of the 90s is because I was Nastia Liukin for Halloween last year. Moving on.)

So of course I panic. I immediately grab my purse and start reaching for a hairband. I come up empty. Check the console, under the seats (keep in mind, I'm doing this while driving 70 on a highway), and finally succumb to the fact that I, Meredith Haynes, will have to walk into work wearing a neon blue scrunchie. I call my mom to ask her to bring a hairband when she meets me for lunch and exclaim, "HOW could you let me leave the house wearing this?" She thought I did it on purpose. Oh man.

The way I saw it, I had four options.

1. Make an immediate u-turn and head back home for the correct hair accessory. Fantastic idea, but I was already running late.

2. Sit at my desk and refuse to move until my mom arrived four hours later. No good, I can't stay in my seat for long periods of time--my bladder doesn't take up my entire body and I didn't want to get the dreaded flat butt syndrome.

3. Move around the building, but walk backwards after talking to anyone so they can't see the blue party going on behind me. Not an option. Walking backwards has never been a strength of mine, although I do occasionally use this trick when exiting a boring conversation. It's a total optical illusion and works like a charm. One second you're there, next second you're in the kitchen where you belong, scarfing down cheese cubes and exclaiming, "Why yes, thank you so much" to another glass of the good stuff.

4. Use a real rubber band, the kind that could ruin Jennifer Aniston's hair with one fatal snap.

In the end I chose option 4. It beat peeing my pants, obtaining a flat butt, tripping over something behind me, or being late. So the next time you see my hair and notice more split ends than usual, you'll understand the battle scars. Were they worth it? Oh hell yes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Phone Calls With The Husband

When Michael and I dated long-distance four years ago we had quite the routine. I would wake up every morning to an email from him (he'd written the previous night before he went to bed), send a few emails throughout the day, talk once after work, again around 7:30, and right before I went to bed. Neither of us said, "This is how it's going to happen," it just did. And the pattern stuck. Fast forward four years and we've already fallen into a similar routine. Replace the morning email with a phone call and you've got the Haynes' schedule. I love it. Neither of us are avid telephoners (you may know this by the lack of calls you receive from either of us) but we know we have to make it work.

A brief look into the life of a long-distance relationship...

Last Friday we were chatting on our drive home from work and I heard very loud, very scary noises on his end. He kept talking nonchalantly so I finally interrupted him and said, "What on earth is going on over there? I keep hearing these horribly loud explosions!" Turns out it was just the Explorer going over a few minor bumps on the highway. Perhaps a tune up is order? (Did I mention I drove it a few weeks ago and it completely turned off and shut down WHILE I WAS DRIVING? That is not OK!)

Last night Michael told me about a teacher who was kidnapped (and most likely murdered) in Coppell. I begrudgingly said, "And THIS is where you want me to move and raise a family with you? Are you kidding?!" He paused before he politely said, "Meredith, the last time someone was murdered in Coppell I was nine." Oh. Touché.

A few minutes ago Michael gave me a quick call while he was running an errand. The church was right in the middle of its daily 30-minute bell performance so we were both screaming to hear one another. Lovely. Anyway, as he stepped out of the car I heard the sound of birds chirping on his end. "Are those birds chirping?" I asked. "Yes, they are!" (Pause.) "So you're telling me that I am listening to the 29th minute of bells tolling while birds are sweetly chirping where you are? This is not fair." To which he replied, "Yeah, and the grass really is greener here."

Sidenote: The last time we were in Coppell we noticed the grass is so much greener than ours. After last year's fiasco (Click HERE and then HERE), we now notice everyone's yards... Made for a good laugh. Oh how I love the ol' hubs.

My mom was watching television this morning and learned that the term used to describe me (and others like me) is "Recession Widow." I believe that might sound worse than Spinster or Old Maid. Sigh.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Does Not Equal Funday

Michael was in town this weekend for 46 hours. I enjoyed each and every hour immensely and was sad to say goodbye yesterday afternoon. Last week he was only away for a few days so I was able to ease into the whole "We're married but living apart" idea. But as I said goodbye to him yesterday, knowing that I would not see him for five days... that was tough. Really, really tough.

While he was here we spent time with two of our favorite couples, Lisa and her loving husband (Lisa--are you impressed?) and Kaitlin and Steve. When we were not with friends, we spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning and organizing the house. There's a show on HGTV that I despise (not sure of the name). A family wants to sell their home so they spend several thousand dollars making it more appealing to a buyer. Once they're done, the house always looks SO GREAT. I always roll my eyes and think, "You idiots, if you'd done all of that work years ago you could have enjoyed it as well!" I love how words come back to bite me. We didn't paint (or spend any money whatsoever) but we still organized the closets, pantry, etc. I was so pleased with the results--why did I wait so long? And I know you're thinking, "But wait, you've only lived there for 15 months, how could your closets already be disorganized?" And I say to you... Shut your mouth.

Anyway, I put an album on facebook full of pictures of our dream home, which I would love to sell to you! If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact me and I would be happy to show it to you in person!

CLICK HERE to take a look!!

And I realize my last post included a picture of Evan but I've noticed he is growing up SO FAST and I wouldn't want you, my fantastic reader, to miss a growth spurt due to my lack of picture posting. So here you go...

He cracks me up...


I wish I had a picture of Justin when he was little because I think Evan (in this picture) looks a lot like him...

He looks like he's about to start kindergarten! So sad!

I think he could give Zoolander a run for his money... Blue Steel or Magnum?

Love this face...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Texas Sounds Like Taxes

Since today is Tax Day I thought I'd share a few things to cheer you up (in case your rebate wasn't enough).

Before I do that, thanks for all of your comments regarding our move to Texas!! It means a lot and we are so thankful! Last year I wrote about April being a pretty incredible month and now we have another reason to celebrate. I find this pretty neat: I started my job at the church the day after Easter (three years ago) and Michael accepted his job on the same day. I love when little things like that fall into place.

Ok, let's cheer you sad folks up. So you all know I adore my nephew and think he might be the cutest baby in the entire UNIVERSE (hyperboles <-- love them). However! I typically look at his weekly pictures, smile, coo at his cuteness, and then get back to the real world (MY real world). But this picture? This picture made me turn to Michael and boldly declare, "I think I want a baby." I can't explain it. I'm not sure if it's the footy pajamas or the big, beautiful grin, but this, THIS my friends, makes me want to go to Babies R Us and register for our future child.

Because of the strong feelings I have when I see it, I'm going to post the picture on here for all to enjoy and then hide it for a few years.

Below is a great video my mom sent this morning. If you have five minutes check it out. I was a little "eh" about it at first but pretty soon I was tapping my feet and giving it the famous Meredith snaps. (Try snapping to a song without smiling. Impossible, I tell you.)

And if neither of the above items were enough to make you feel better, I'm at a loss for words. Which might be a good thing because this post is long enough.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Howdy Pardner.... (Is That How You Say It?)

Do you know that I did not wish one person a "Hoppy Easter" this year? Quite tragic. I believe last year I had a blog post with that terrific play on words. So, for old times sake, I hope you had a (wait for it...) Hoppy Easter. Done and done.

The past week has been insane. Not for me, but for my husband. And since many of you have asked for an update, here goes: We decided last week that we were going to start searching outside of Tulsa. Michael hadn't received many calls from potential jobs and the market has been pretty dead in general. So last Monday (a week ago yesterday) he decided to search in Dallas. Met with a head hunter on Wednesday and they were able to get him a job interview that afternoon. He showed up and realized the CEO of the company was the dad of one of his childhood friends. Wow! So Michael had his interview and drove back to Tulsa. When he was 30 minutes away from our house, he received a call requesting a second interview on Friday. In Dallas. Oops! I was off work on Friday so the two of us drove back to Dallas together and he had his second interview. Came back to Tulsa, spent Easter with my parents (hooray!!!!) and then found out yesterday he received the job!! Which means...

I'm about to become a Texan.

I'm freaking out, man. This all happened so fast. Michael is ridiculously excited, I'm cautiously excited, and Thumbs is just beside herself. I guess I shouldn't say cautious, but this is just the beginning for us. Now we need to sell our house, find me a job, buy a new house, etc. Crazy. Oh and did I mention he starts TOMORROW!? Yes, tomorrow.

We are going to clean our house this weekend, take some pictures, and then try to sell it. Our dream home. It's definitely a bittersweet feeling, I thought this house would see one of our kiddos and possibly two. But! I'm not going to lie, I am uber, UBER excited about a fresh start in a new place. I think it's going to be great!

That's all for now. If you or someone you know wants a beautiful home (yes it's my opinion, leave me alone), which is only one year old let me know!!! We'd much rather sell it to a friend or a friend of a friend than some complete stranger.

Have I mentioned that I am going to really, really miss Tulsa? Because I am. So much.

(I went to the Death Cab for Cutie concert on Sunday. Loved it, per usual. So here's a fab DC song for you to enjoy...)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

An Invitation...

I know many of you travel home to be with your families for Easter and I think that's fantastic! However, if you are in Tulsa this weekend, I want to invite you to our church! We have several services over the next few days and if you have any questions about any of them, please ask me!

Tonight! April 9
Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service at 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary

Friday, April 10

Good Friday service at noon in the Chapel

Easter Sunday, April 12
6:30 am - Sunrise service at Camp Loughridge (Have fun at this one--I will still be in my pajamas and snoozing!)
8 am - Sanctuary
9:30 am - Great Hall of the Bernsen Center (We will be at this one!)
11 am - Sanctuary
(The 8 and 11 am services are identical)

First Presbyterian Church is located at 709 South Boston Avenue in downtown Tulsa. I would love to see you tonight or on Sunday! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So THAT'S What It Means...

Had another great wedding weekend in Texas. And wouldn't you know it, the pictures are at home and I am at work. Before I turn 27 I will have a post dedicated to the two weddings.

Speaking of, my birthday is May 12. Oh how I love birthdays. Ok then, moving on...

Last night I decided I would give our jacuzzi tub another go. We have lived in our home for well over a year and it has been used once. That's ridiculous! I chose some great bubble bath, opened a Diet Dr. Pepper, grabbed a good book, and hopped in. There must have been some sort of time warp because the next thing I know I'm a 3-year-old, squealing and splashing in the tub. Michael walked in to ask if I'd like a glass of wine and I'm sitting in the middle of the tub with a goofy grin on my face, proudly pointing to this giant bubble creature I've created. We'll name him Sam.

Approximately 6 minutes later I'm having massive hot flashes and wanting nothing more than to be as far away from the tub and its scalding water as possible. And so ends my quiet, soothing evening in the tub.

Easter is this Sunday. Besides the obvious reason why I love Easter (I'll give you a hint: JESUS!), I am excited for several reasons. Allow me...

1. FAST FOOOOOOOOOD. It has been so, so long since I've had the privilege of stuffing my face with a cheesy gordita crunch. Just typing that made my stomach growl.

2. My parents are spending the weekend with us. It's been awhile since I've seen them both and I'm really excited. My mom was up about a month ago for an extremely short trip but I can't remember the last time I saw my dad. And I miss him.

3. Wearing white is officially ok in everyone's rule book. Between you and me, I have been wearing white pants for the past three months. They're selling them at the stores so I assume it's ok, but every time I wear my white pants I feel like I need to wear a sandwich board that proclaims (in a neat font), "I realize it is not quite Easter, but I am not a fashion faux pas." I think I would have faux pas in a swirly font since it is French and the French deserve better than Times New Roman. Ironically, I believe wearing a sandwich board would also be considered a fashion faux pas so I'll have to do without.

I will end with (what I consider) a funny story. As we were driving to New Braunfels Michael's mom asked, "Do either of you know what a 'jones" is?" Michael and I both displayed matching dull looks as we told her we had no idea. She gave a dramatic pause and then... paused even longer. After about 15 seconds she said, "Well a young girl was looking through birthday cards at the store and one of the cards said something about a 'jones.' She asked me what it was--I didn't know and then your dad told the girl she didn't need to be giving a card to someone if it said something like that." So Michael and I are now on the edge of our seats. What is a jones? More silence. Then his dad (in a booming voice I might add) yelled, "A jones is an erection!! (!!!)"

Oh. My gosh.

Cue time warp back to me being a 3-year-old girl. I couldn't stop laughing. Tears, people. There were tears. I was absolutely mortified that my father-in-law just yelled the "E word" yet it might have been the funniest thing I've ever heard him say. The next time you see Michael, ask him to do an impression. It is SPOT ON.

So there you have it. Guess it gives new meaning to "Keeping up with the Jones."

Friday, April 3, 2009


Evan has been the feature of my Friday posts for the past several weeks. It would be silly to change the tradition now, especially since we received this beautiful picture in the mail yesterday (thanks Justin and Michelle)!

I'm pretty sure angels really do clap (and birds chirp and babies laugh) when they see this little guy. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Dream Is A Wiiiiiiiiiiiish Your Heart Makes.....

When your mom and dad are teachers, expectations are pretty high for the kiddos. My parents raised us to take full responsibility for our actions, always complete our homework, and perhaps most importantly, display impeccable manners. I believe my first sentence was, "Yes, ma'am, I'd love another piece of cake--thank you so much." One of my favorite books as a child was a book of manners. Before you roll your eyes, understand that this book was hilarious. It'd describe a certain scenario and give three options of how to react to the situation. It was my job to choose which option was correct. (So as I type this I realize it doesn't sound that hilarious, but trust me, it was.)

As I've mentioned before, my family loved to travel. Always in a car. Always. When your entire family has three months vacation in the summer you go on a lot of road trips. On one of these trips my parents politely told us it was rude to sing in the car. As an adult I now understand that rule is silly and you will not find it in any manners book. But at the time, I put it right up there with "Say excuse me when you burp." Our road trips lasted many hours (and sometimes days) and we always had music playing. But you never heard a peep out of any of us.

Now that I think about it, how awkward is that?!

I also remember riding in the car with my best friend Julie and her family. The entire family would always sing and put the Von Trapps to shame. 4-part harmony at its finest. Yet each time I thought to myself, "Wow, they are all being SO RUDE."

But let me tell you about my family. First there is my dad. He doesn't sing--he whistles. I believe he has a 5-octave range. Then there is my mom. When the big man upstairs gifted her with talents, he went heavy in the math area and accidentally skipped over "musical ability" entirely. You can ask her to sing five different songs and they ALL SOUND THE SAME. I love it. Then there is my brother. He can actually carry a tune but instead spent most of his adolescence ignoring all of us and staring out the car window. That leaves me. When I sang, birds chirped and angels clapped. Babies laughed, the whole bit.

Or so I thought.

But as I was driving to work today, laughing about the ridiculousness of "Singing in the car is rude," I realized my mom made up the rule. By process of elimination, I figured out the rule was made... because of me. Dad and Justin never sang and mom fully recognized her shortcomings. Maybe birds were not chirping but choking? And let's face it, angels clapping sounds a lot like thunder.



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