Thursday, December 30, 2010

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things... Part III

I haven't done one of these in awhile and thought it might be a nice way to end the year.

I present to you some of my (our) favorite finds of 2010...

1. Gap Tuxedo blazer. It's cute, it's comfortable, and it's cheap. I wear mine all of the time with a casual top, dark jeans, and heels (or flats). I believe I will be wearing it tomorrow when the clock strikes midnight!

2. Method "Refresh Mint" soap. I originally purchased it because it matched our dish towels (leave me alone). Now I'm hooked--I adore the scent. The last few times we've shopped at Target I've noticed their lime green scent is now cucumber and while that might be fine for some people, I need Refresh Mint. I will always support good soap with a clever name.

3. Penguin Classic books. Michael and I were wandering around Anthropologie earlier this year and noticed these books. They were a bit expensive so we left them at the store but Michael found them online for a great price and started our collection. We now have 20 and are expecting another 4 to arrive in a few months. Our goal is to actually read (or re-read) all of them.

4. Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker. My coffee addiction has reached new heights with this glorious masterpiece. Since Michael has yet to jump on the coffee wagon, this is perfect for us. Makes one cup of coffee for me and hot chocolate or hot tea for him. Overpriced? Yes. Life-changing? Yes.

5. Photography (10th edition). I was going to include my camera on this list but since I've already mentioned it (*if you're looking to buy one, I highly recommend a Canon Rebel t2i) I'll include this incredible book. It's actually a text book but it's perfect if you're really wanting to learn more about your camera and lens.

6. Madewell Rail Straight Cords. Everyone knows Madewell's sister store, J. Crew, but Madewell is a hidden gem that deserves its own accolades. I was on the hunt for some straight or skinny cords and had tried all of the typical places. I have relatively small legs so I thought it would be a quick search but I really struggled. Strangely enough, J. Crew's cords looked the absolute worst on me. I put them on and my legs doubled in size. I stopped in Madewell to try these and loved them. Bought a pair that day and ordered another pair a few weeks ago!
7. Victoria's Secret Incredible Bra. I tend to avoid Victoria's Secret because I know I'll spend a lot of money if I walk into the store. I decided it was time to buy some new bras and right now they have the "buy one get one 50% off" sale. They no longer carry my favorite (Ipex) so I thought I'd try this one. GLOOOORIOUS! Super comfortable. Highly recommend. And in case you don't know what a bra looks like, here it is:

8. Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel. I've used the same brand of shave gel for 15+ years (Skintimate). It worked well so I never considered anything else. Michael went to the store a few weeks ago and I asked him to grab some for me. He couldn't remember what I used so he grabbed this--and I am so glad he did. I'm not sure I buy the whole "shave less often" guarantee but I like it and it smells good.
9. Mad Men on AMC. Michael and I caught up on all of the seasons and we're hooked. It is one of my favorite shows of all time. I know it's not to everyone's taste, but if you hate the show just mute it and spend the hour looking at their clothes. Or Don Draper. Or Betty Draper. I have a crush on both.

And I figure I might as well share my must-have item for 2011....

Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. I'm already counting down the days to my birthday--this will be my gift. Whether Michael gives it to me or I give it to myself, it will be in attendance on my 29th birthday. :)

I think that about sums it up. 2010 was great but I am ready for 2011.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Breaking The First Rule Of Fight Club

If I had to guess, I'd say Michael and I agree on any particular issue 93% of the time. You know how they say opposites attract? We don't really fit that mold.


A few months ago we discovered there is one small thing on which we vehemently disagree. It is not life-changing, nor is it newsworthy, but it shocked me how strongly we felt about this particular issue.

In fact, it caused (what I believe to be) the first outright lie in the Haynes household. We were about to leave for Tulsa and I asked Michael to add a certain song to the iPod so we could listen to it on the drive. He agreed to do so and moments later let me know the song had been added. On a whim, I decided to play the newly added gem to accompany us while we packed. I opened up iTunes and scanned the list until I reached the song. Except, there was no song.

I looked a few more places before it hit me... he never downloaded it. I had this vision of us being halfway to Tulsa before realizing the song was missing from the playlist and Michael grinning whilst letting me in on his terrible lie. At that moment he walked up the stairs and we made eye-contact. My eyes narrowed and then his eyes narrowed (keep in mind we both have very squinty eyes so when our eyes narrow it is REALLY difficult to see). I pointed in his general direction (vision was limited) and said, "You LIED to me. YOU lied to me. You lied to ME." After emphasizing each word in my short statement, he simply said, "I hate that song."

Our biggest disagreement of 2010--hell, quite possibly the biggest disagreement of our 6-year romance. And since this is my blog and I've written 300 entries to his three, I shall post this glorious song so it will be a part of us forever.

Such a tumultuous life we lead.

(Sidenote--I am not a fan of her voice, especially the first 30-seconds. But this song? THIS SONG IS AMAZING. Especially in the car.)

(Sidenote II--I was NOT this kind of teenager.)

And if one version wasn't enough...

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I've learned a lot of things this December. The first is quite simple: If you aren't home much, your Christmas decorations have fun without you.

This has been, by far, the most interesting Christmas season I've ever experienced. As I've mentioned before, Michael and I are not "Christmas before Thanksgiving" people. We like to enjoy one holiday at a time and let's face it, neither of us are fantastic multi-taskers. But something was different this year. Thanksgiving came and went and I still wasn't ready for Christmas.

We bought a tree. It stood naked (well, as naked as something with 5 billion pine needles can be) for about a week. Finally Michael convinced us to decorate the tree and the rest of our home. We purchased all of our Christmas presents months ago so we had no shopping to do. Last and certainly least, work was so crazy that I simply couldn't find the Christmas spirit.

Yesterday we finished busy season. I'd told the group my goal was to complete everything before we left for the holidays and at 3:57 we finished. At 4 pm, the office closed for Christmas.

Honestly? It was my (work-related) proudest moment to date. I would have screamed and run up and down the halls if I knew my proudest moment wouldn't end with "you're fired." So instead, I smiled, stretched out my legs, and felt 6 weeks of pure anxiety, nerves, and 3 am panic attacks leave my body.

It weighed at least 4 pounds.

As I walked to my car I was hit with this MASSIVE surge of Christmas spirit. It had been building up inside of me, hiding somewhere (my ankles, perhaps?), aching to get out. So with a grin on my face, I let it consume me.

It came in the knick of time since Christmas is a mere 2 days away. I can't say it's better than having an entire month of Christmas cheer, but there is something to be said about that much build-up hitting you all at once. I think I understand how Scrooge felt when he woke up from that crazy dream.

So with that said, I'm back! Thank you so much for your sweet comments and encouraging emails. They meant the world to me and always came when I needed them most. This blog has been such a blessing to me. I am so grateful for the people I have met along the way and for re-discovering the absolute joy of writing.

I hope you've found your joy this year, whether it be your family, friends, faith, a new hobby...

Or a delicious Sprinkles cupcake.

If I've learned anything this Christmas, it's that it is NEVER too late to celebrate the blessings you've been given from the One who created you.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas.

Love - Scrooge Haynes

Monday, December 20, 2010


"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."

-Love Actually

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Countdown Begins...

This time next week I'm a free woman! I just made an appointment for a one-hour massage so not only will I be free but also RELAXED!

Until then, enjoy this lovely Christmas montage played to one of my very favorite Christmas carols:

"Then He smiled at me..." Makes me tear up every time.

Hope you're all enjoying the holidays!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well Hello There

Ho boy.

So it's been awhile. And in that while, a few things have happened.

1. I fell in love with coffee.

2. I turned into "Work is my Life" Meredith.

Let's begin with the first statement. It's true. After 28 years of refusing this disgraceful substance, I came to work one morning and realized I needed some caffeine. I poured myself a cup and thought, "Well, this isn't so bad." Day 2: Walked in, sat down, thought about how nice it'd be to have something hot on the coldish day... BAM! Coffee. Day 3: Walked in and headed straight for the coffee pot, not even stopping by my desk to take off my coat. 28 years denying its existence, less than a week to get absolutely addicted.

I wouldn't consider myself proud of the first statement, but I am downright disgusted at the second. Mid-November and all of December is busy season for me and it just so happens I'm supposed to run the show. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being the leader (ask anyone who has known me for 4 minutes), but I DESPISE it if I don't know exactly what I'm doing. I think about work constantly--what needs to be done, what needs to change, what needs to stay exactly the same, etc. Michael will be telling me a story and ever so slowly my eyes start focusing on the right side of his forehead. At that point he has lost me to class codes, loss runs, and audits, none of which are as exciting as whatever he's telling me.

Tonight I came home from work and realized I hadn't taken a deep breath in approx 8 hours. I stood in our bathroom and told Michael I just needed to take a few big, relaxing breaths. I got my arms in the "big, relaxing breaths" position and as I breathed in and breathed out I realized my arms were going the wrong way. Damn. Michael showed me which way my arms were supposed to go (inhale up aaaaaaand exhale down) and it did actually make me feel better.

Until I realized I'm supposed to lead a team and I don't even know how to breathe properly. Yowza.

So I guess this is my "please forgive me" post in case I disappear for the next 6 weeks. I'm actually working on a weekend recap that covers approx 8 weekends (I wish I was kidding) and will hopefully have it up soon.

Until then.... Inhale aaaaaaand exhale.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Evan Laymon

Last week Evan turned two! As much as I love to hear about his growth (both physical and mental), a part of my heart aches when I think about how many milestones I've missed. Fortunately, his parents do a great job sending pictures and videos so we feel like we're right there with him, cheering on his every move.

Before we look at where he is now, let's take a look at how far he's come! And because pictures are always better with music, I've included a song that sums up how I feel about the little guy. My dad and I danced to this at my wedding and while I'm not a fan of country music, I think pretty highly of this song.

Happy Birthday, Evan! We love you and can't wait to see the great things God has in store for you.

Love - Aunt Mermi and Uncle Mickey

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,

And each road leads you where you want to go.

And if you're faced with a choice and you have to choose,

I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.

And if one door opens to another door closed,

I hope you keep on walking till you find the window.

If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything...

My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to.

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold.

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too.

This is my wish.

I hope you never look back but you never forget,

All the ones who love you in the place you left.

I hope you always forgive and you never regret,

And you help somebody every chance you get.

You find God's grace in every mistake,

And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, more than anything...
My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold.

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too.

This is my wish.

"Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young,

but be an example for other believers

in your speech, behavior,

love, faithfulness, and purity."

1 Timothy 4:12

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Should Be Sleeping...

Tyler tagged me. Go check out her blog! (I believe most of you already do. Blog-land makes Kevin Bacon look weak--only 2 or 3 degrees of separation here. I can't decide if that's cool or very, very sad.)

If you could be in any TV show when you were a kid, what would it be?
Age 5: Today’s Special.
Age 10: Saved by the Bell. I remember thinking (if I were on the show) I’d be able to steal Zach away from Kelly. Obviously I thought very highly of myself at that age.

What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child?
Teddy Ruxpin (& Grubby). I adored this duo.... until the tape player messed up and I watched Teddy die a slow and horrible death. “Heeeeey everybooooodyy-y-y-y.” (Silence)

What actress would you want to play you if your life was made into a movie?
This question was so much harder than I thought. I spent my entire drive home from work trying to think of someone and all I could think of was who it would not be. That list would include (but is not limited to):
Miley Cyrus
Paris Hilton
Jessica Alba
Cameron Diaz
Drew Barrymore

Shall I continue? I shan't. I asked Michael to name an actress and within 12 seconds he'd named three: Rachel McAdams, Charlize Theron, and Kate Bosworth. Don't think I agree with him but what a smart guy for choosing such pretty ladies. :)

What decade fad do you wish would come back?
Mid to late 60s – Short skirts, shift dresses, awesome hair.

What song describes your life?
I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

(Have you seen this movie? If not, I beg you to watch it. So good.)

What was your favorite subject in school?
Math (my all-time favorite was Algebra II) and English.

If you could have a dream job for a day, what would it be?
Normally I’d say “author” but there’s no way I could write an entire book in one day and I’d feel sheepish the next day when I'm back at my real job and have only written 20 pages. So I’ll say one of those people on the travel channel that visits amazing hotels in fabulous places and tells the viewer about their glorious experiences. My dad says I remind him of Samantha Brown and I think that means I should take her job
(ironically, I find her quite annoying so I'm not sure what that says about me).

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
I realize I’m turning my back on the ostrich and manatee by not picking either (hellooooo pea-sized brain and endangered species—no thanks!), so I think I’d say a thinner version of Thumbs Magee: good food, good parents, no responsibilities, no competition.

I don't know the official rules so I am going to tag two people. I know, I'm such an overachiever.



Good night everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eerily Similar

Someone just forwarded this to me and I can't stop laughing. Why?

1) It's damn funny.

2) It is my husband. The humor, the thoughts, everything about it. I think anyone who knows him (or has read some of his posts on here) would agree.

I know this went around a year or so ago but it still makes me laugh. Happy Tuesday!

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Honeymoon Is Over

Want proof?

As we were about to fall asleep last night, I rested my head on Michael's shoulder and thanked him again for the sweet letter and wonderful anniversary. I pulled back to look at him (which was nearly impossible since it was so dark) just as he started to say, "I love you very much." Unfortunately, he wasn't able to finish the sweet statement because his retainer popped out and a large amount of spit landed right on my cheek.

That, my friends, is marriage.

(And I wouldn't trade it for anything.)

(But I think I'll put a box of tissues on my side table.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And One From Michael

Michael and I planned on writing separate anniversary posts but never mentioned what they would be about. Turns out we both wrote letters to one another. I apologize for so much sappiness in one day. No, I take that back. No apologies.... (ps. The Chipotle story is in no way true. Ahem....)

Dear Meredith,

I wanted to let you know that you've made all the cliches come true. I know we're definitely not newlyweds anymore on our 3rd anniversary, but I still get excited when I see you for the first time each day and when we get to do our favorite things together whether that be eating sushi or heading to bed on a cold night. When times have been tough, you've been my rock. You're always there to support me and make sure I don't get down on myself, but you also won't let me give up and you'll let me know when I need to change my attitude. You miraculously hold up to my sarcastic humor, less the humor, and always let me know when I've done something warranting the big dumb animal title. We're happy even when we're not because we've always got each other. We can come home from work, complain to each other, and then make everything melt away by putting on our comfy clothes and crawling in bed with some orange rolls. We both love traveling, but I would be happy with you if we couldn't take another trip the rest of our days. We plan who gets which bathroom on the way home from Chipotle. We know what petting the crusty means (Thumbs!). People watching. They say to always include praises with our prayers and I know I always have at least one. At Steve and Kait's rehearsal dinner, Steve's dad asked which one I was with and I pointed to you. He looked over, then looked back to me and asked how I managed that. I told him I had no idea, but that I had you trapped now and wasn't letting go. I'm so lucky to have you in my life, and I love you more every day. Thanks for putting up with the awkward package that is me and being so wonderful. I love you Meredith Wee.

A Letter To my Husband


Dear Michael,
We've been married three years! Can you believe it? I'm sure you can since I've mentioned it every day for the last few weeks. I guess that gives you an idea of how happy I am to be your wife.

I, Meredith, take you, Michael, to be my wedded husband...
The other day I said I was so proud of you and you asked me why. Michael, I'm proud of you for so many things. For your quiet grace. For your humbleness. For your optimism. For your constant patience. For your love of our family and friends. For not only forgiving my quirks but loving them. For knowing when to laugh. For knowing when to say absolutely nothing. For simply being you.

And I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful wife…
Recently you asked if I pray every day and I told you I do. You didn’t ask what I pray for but the answer is you. Always you. I pray for your present, I pray for your future, and I thank God for our past. It is my greatest joy to be Mrs. Haynes.

In plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow,
in sickness and in health…
2009 was a year of ups and downs so we declared 2010 to be the year of simplicity and ease. I think we’ve both learned that trying to plan our own life makes the big guy upstairs laugh. 2010 has had its own challenges, but we’ve managed to get through each and every bump with a shrug and a laugh. I know more bumps are on the horizon and call me crazy but I’m almost looking forward to them. Every struggle, every misstep we conquer together is valid proof that you and I were meant for one another. My prayer is that we never take the plenty, the joy, and the health for granted.
As long as we both shall live.
Since we started dating I’ve been cursed with a few wrinkles and you’ve been blessed with a few grey hairs (let’s be honest: grey hair is hot, wrinkles are not). This is not to say we need a cane and walker, but as long as we’re around one another every wrinkle and grey hair is the result of a precious life well-lived together. And for that reason I will cherish these smile lines because I know why they’re here.

I can’t wait to grow old with you, Michael Haynes.

Happy Anniversary! Love love. Merdi
But there is not enough time
And there is no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We're better together… -JJ


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