Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just In Time For Halloween

At about 4:30 Friday morning, Michael and I wake up to our smoke alarm. There is no smoke, it's simply beeping to let us know the battery is low. Due to our high ceilings and groggy minds, we can't reach the detector and decide we'll mess with it later. And so we shut our door and sleep through it. Last night, we get home from having dinner with friends and notice the beeping has stopped. Happy that the battery has finally died, we are both grateful for a night of restful sleep.

6:00 this morning we both wake up to the beeping. Again. This time Michael takes matters into his own hands and removes the battery from the alarm. It keeps beeping. After doing a bit of internet research, he finds out it is connected internally and has nothing to do with the battery. Dejected and down, he goes back to bed. (Sidenote: He stood on our side table, which was perched on top of our coffee table.) (Second sidenote: We are buying a ladder today.)

We wake up a few hours later and Michael decides to remove the entire alarm. The next moment was absolute comedic genius and I'm so sad we don't have it on video. Michael is upstairs and I'm still downstairs in bed. After several minutes I hear Michael yell, "Take that, bitches!" as he removes the entire alarm from the ceiling. Three seconds later it loudly beeps and I hear, "...What the hell?" I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. He runs downstairs with the alarm in his hands and a very confused look on his face. We stare at the alarm, which is still beeping without a battery. Just as we decide we have a haunted alarm, it quietly goes, "Beep. Beeeeep. Beeeeeeeep." Flat line. Michael killed the alarm.

And now I believe it's time for a nap.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anniversary Post

In case you missed it, last month we were blessed with a Free Crappy Portrait, which still cracks me up on a daily basis (it's on my desktop at work and is currently my Facebook profile pic). Since I've had some super serious posts lately, we decided to have a bit o' fun with this year's anniversary post.

We present to you our own crappy portraits. I wrote all over mine so you'll have to click on the picture to read everything. Michael wrote commentary below his picture because he was afraid you wouldn't be able to read his handwriting.

I wish I could say we drew these when we were four, but no. The following pictures were drawn by two relatively intelligent (I think?) 29-year-olds using a box of 24 crayons. Perhaps we're better off calling it abstract?


The following was written by Michael:

This is a bouquet of your favorite thiiiiiiiiings. (It works better if you sing it a la Sound of Music.)

Let's start with the obvious. This is a celery stalk that has sprouted tentacles. Also, apparently everything you like is black or gray. Glad we splurged on the 24 pack of crayons. I probably could have done a better job with an old piece of charcoal from the grill.

Moving on, from left to right...

That is not a one-eyed baby seal with a horn, it's your camera! I'm so happy you found photography because you seem to enjoy it so much.

A calculator because you love math you big dork. You would find this specific calculator very frustrating because it only has number keys.

Your Prius! Amazingly enough the tires aren't round or the same size and you still get 40+ mpg. It's self conscious about its nose so don't bring it up.

The Mac. This is the only thing I was able to reference while drawing, and it's still awful.

Cheese! ...or the moon! Take your pick.

Hand bags. Though it's plain, this was about the most accurate representation of the lot. I was going to add a set of heels, but I knew that was pushing my luck.

And finally...Thumbs! Apparently she has a rash and is closer in relation to bovine than feline, so that would explain her size. I believe I was still able to accurately represent her disdain for me as she appears to be flashing the skank eye.

No manatees or ostriches were harmed in the making of this "masterpiece o' poo." (<-- Before & After, like Wheel of Fortune!)

If it's the thought that counts, I love you so much. If not, you shouldn't have married a left handed guy with the artistic ability of a three-year-old with two broken arms.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Left My Legs In San Francisco. My Heart? He Came Back With Me.

Michael and I just returned from our trip to Healdsburg and San Francisco! We had such a wonderful time and don't worry, I have full plans to completely bore you with detailed recaps of each day. Right now, however, I'm tired. And I have a huge suitcase that is begging to be unpacked. And a fat cat who is desperate for attention. And some sore legs that might not ever recover from those hills.

I will mention one tiny memory from our trip: we celebrated our 4th anniversary! As you probably know, we say our vows to one another once a year on our anniversary.* While no place or time will ever quite compare to the first, this year absolutely took my breath away. Why, you ask? Because we said them to one another here:

Hand in hand, walking down the most gorgeous, peaceful path. At that moment, I felt no want, no sorrow, no sickness. Only joy, plenty, and health.

I am the luckiest.

Each year we write our own anniversary posts, but this year we're shaking things up a bit, which you'll see in a few days. Should be fun.

*Have I mentioned (only 100 times?) how special it is to say your wedding vows to one another without the help of a pastor or sheet of paper? It is the best advice our pastor gave us, and four years later I am so grateful. If you aren't married (or heck, even if you are), I really encourage you to memorize your vows. We may only say them to one another once a year, but it is sacred to us, and a wonderful reminder. We vowed before God to be loving, to be faithful, and to stand by one another in good times and in bad. What a gift!

I Meredith, take you Michael, to be my wedded husband.
And I do promise and covenant, before God and these witnesses,
to be your loving and faithful wife.
In plenty and in want

In joy and in sorrow

In sickness and in health
For as long as we both shall live.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Favorites

Does anyone else think Fall feels like a new beginning? I know most consider New Year's Day to be their "fresh start," but on that day I can barely zip my pants, my skin is dry and pale, I'm slightly hungover from too much bubbly, and all I can see in my future is February. On January 1, I feel exhausted. Fall, however, makes me want to become a better person. You can walk outside and not immediately gasp for breath due to the temps, the trees are prettier, moods are cheerier, and something about school supplies at Target makes me think, "This is it. My slate is clean."

Anyway, thought it was time to do another favorites post and I believe I will keep the subject matter Fall-related because it's just so damn great. For the record, my favorite season is and always will be summer. However, after experiencing 71 days of 100+ temps, I think I'm ready to exchange the tanks and shorts for boots and blazers.

1. Oil of Olay Regenerist Serum. This is some good stuff. Fall = drier skin. Wrinkles have declared war on my face and unfortunately, they are winning. I try to use it every night. (There are still plenty of nights I don't wash my face before bed. Haley--don't hate me.) I always use it in the morning on my forehead and laugh lines, but avoid the eye area because it can cause your eye makeup to run. Oh and did I mention Target makes their own knock-off version? It's a fraction of the price. Oil of Olay is reasonable, but Target still managed to beat 'em and it works just as well.

2. Lululemon Define Jacket. Let me start out with the bad news. It's not cheap. Not at all. But the fit will cause you to not bat an eye at the price tag (well, maybe a few bats, but no permanent damage). I am the proud owner of two and am a very happy customer. I wear them all of the time, especially when flying. I don't enjoy looking like a slob in public but I refuse to fly in uncomfortable clothes. This jacket is the perfect answer. Anyway, if I can put on a workout jacket and feel confident (and dare I say a wee bit sexy?), I consider it money well spent.

3. Chai Latte by Cafe Escapes. This stuff is SO GOOD. I think I could drink four cups a day but that's a bit ridiculous so I stick to one. I feel odd spending a lot of time writing about how something tastes so I'll just tell you to go try it. FYI - My mom had it and thought it was too sweet. Then again, my favorite drink at Starbucks is a white chocolate mocha so that doesn't surprise me.
4. Football. I know. I can't believe I, Meredith Leigh Besancon Haynes, just listed football as a favorite. Hear me out. I really do enjoy a game each weekend in the Fall. Please note, I said a game. Singular. I'm actually doing pretty well in my Fantasy league and due to my competitive nature, it's made football more fun. Not to mention, I love how happy it makes Michael.

5. Fall fashion. Oh it makes my heart happy. Sweaters, cardigans, scarves, plaid button-ups, leggings, boots, leopard-print, menswear inspired shoes, stacked bracelets, blazers.... I love it all. I think my limbs are silently screaming because they're being covered up but I always feel more "put together" in Fall attire. I included some of my recent favorites from Pinterest. Sorry, such a broad category. I also included a few of my latest shoe purchases (well, one was a gift from the Mr.), which are both very Fall and very comfortable! (I cannot get enough of mustard!)

Source: None via Meredith on Pinterest

The latest newcomers to my shoe shelves:

They're a bit quirky but hey, so am I. It works.

6. HeyTell App for the iPhone/iPad (holla!) or Android (don't holla). Ok, this has nothing to do with Fall but you will FALL in love with it. (eh? EHHH?) Not to mention, it's free! My friend at work told me about it a few weeks ago and I'm hooked. It's similar to a walkie-talkie and great if you're driving and need to send a quick message (quit it with the texting)! Michael's messages are something like, "Don't take 635--heavy traffic" or "I fed Thumbs this morning." My statements are closer to, "Would you rather be a werewolf or a vampire?" and "Who do you love more: Me or ____ (fill in the blank with absolutely any person, place or thing)?"

So there you have it. Fantastically fun fall favorites from Feredith (I tried).

Do you have any fall favorites?

(Also--thanks for the sweet notes on my last post. Looking back, I should've turned off the ability to comment because my intent was to share my thoughts with you--not have it turn back to me. Anywho, from the bottom of my grateful heart, thank you.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Email

When I wrote the ridiculously long miscarriage post, I said I wouldn't talk about it again on the blog. However, my thoughts have changed a bit due to some of you. I've received A LOT of emails from friends and readers who've said they don't know what to do when they find out a friend or family member has suffered a miscarriage. I received an email yesterday from yet another friend and I thought I'd publish the email I sent her. I asked for her permission first and she mentioned it might be helpful to some of you. She said, " I was nervous asking you so maybe this will allow someone to know all the things you told me without having to ask you."

Anyway, I've modified it slightly and removed the names but this is pretty much it. As I mentioned in the below email, I only know how I felt. A miscarriage is a very personal matter and as with anything else, people react differently to tragedy. And again--you are always welcome to email me if you have questions. While it's not a club I love being a part of, I know it's something that touches everyone. If it's not you, it's your friend, or sister, or daughter, or wife.

Please understand, I realize a miscarriage does not just affect the woman, but again, I can only speak for myself. Due to my friend's question, I wrote from my perspective only.

Thanks for your email. I've actually had several people write with questions very similar to yours and I don't mind at all. Actually, I love it because it shows how much you care for your friend and her feelings. Perhaps I should become a national spokesperson and travel around the world (specifically places like Maui, Europe, etc.). Sorry, not trying to make light of the matter but you know me.

Ok, back to it. I'm so sad for her. You absolutely don't have to experience a miscarriage to feel terrible for someone, but having been there it just makes me angry when I hear someone else is going through it. I think one of the biggest struggles for the woman is moving from an incredible high to rock bottom. And all it takes is one minute. What she is feeling is a mixture of sadness and pain, but she's also angry. Very angry.

As far as what to say, I know it's different for everyone and I don't know her that well, so I can only tell you how I felt. I didn't want the few people who knew to completely avoid it. I didn't need 20 questions but acting like nothing happened was awkward. I wanted them to tell me they were thinking about me and then let me decide if I wanted to talk about it. Nice gestures like a card or a quick email are great. I even received some emails that included scriptures, which meant a lot.

Here's what she doesn't want. She doesn't want anyone telling her everything happens for a reason. She doesn't want anyone saying, "At least you weren't very far along" or "Now you can drink again!" The worst thing anyone can do is to make light of the situation or try to fix it or belittle it. Of course everything happens for a reason but she doesn't want to hear it. Not right now.

Unfortunately, the next "stage" she'll go through is a bit of bitterness (if she's not already there). She will notice all of the pregnant women around her, the babies, the whiny moms, the complainers who feel "fat," and it will piss her off. To be honest, I still have these feelings but they are not nearly as strong. It's more of a dull ache, but I'd be kidding myself if I said it was completely gone. (Added this:) There isn't much you can do at this point but if you are pregnant or have kids, be sensitive to her feelings. Don't lie or omit stories (of course you're allowed to be frustrated with your kids or pregnancy!) but be a little lenient if she doesn't respond the way you'd expect her to. At the end of the day she wants to feel normal, but she needs time to grieve.

I'm sorry she's going through this and I'm sorry you are too. I know the people who were aware of my miscarriages felt helpless and were frustrated they couldn't do anything for me. What you have to understand is there is nothing you can do to take away her pain. Don't put that pressure on yourself. My biggest prayer is that ___ married a good man because he will be the only one (on earth) who can carry her through this. I'm tearing up now just thinking about Michael and the way he took care of me. I knew I loved that guy but he absolutely blew me away. This stuff can tear relationships apart but fortunately it made ours so much stronger. I pray the same is true for them.

So there you have it. As a very brief update on us, we're doing well. I still have good days and bad, but the good days far outweigh the bad and as long as that's the case, I know I'm moving forward. The calls, emails and texts we received after I published that post confirmed we have a pretty awesome support system. So thank you for that.

And to those of you who've emailed me and asked for advice, I'm so grateful your friend, or sister, or family member has a friend like you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Butts About It (Har Har)

Thank you (so much) for taking part in the "What should go on Michael and Meredith's living room wall?" survey! I had no clue what you'd choose but the Sanibel Island beach shot won by a landslide. The silver medal went to my dear friend, the hibiscus, and as far as the other two....

Let's just say they received green participation ribbons and were quietly escorted out the back door.

So, beach scene it is. Several of you said the picture was probably tied to a great memory and you're definitely right. Every time I look at it I smile and relax just a bit. With that in mind, why wouldn't I want to stare at our butts, which will be blown up to a size no one should ever see? (But will. Every single day.)

Thanks again for your votes. This was fun!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Several months ago I ordered a 16x20 canvas (thank you, Groupon). I have yet to submit a photograph and noticed it expires next week. My original plan was to blow up our favorite wedding picture, but I think the wrapped canvas would cut off a portion of my dress (not good). I went through A LOT of pictures, narrowed it down to 16, Michael cut half of them, and then I cut half of what was left. For you non-math folk, that leaves us with four.

And now I'm stuck. I need some advice. Which one should we blow up? It will be hung upstairs in our navy/orange/chartreuse room so keep that in mind.

Thanks in advance for your help! (Please help!!)

Option A
(Nasher Museum in downtown Dallas)

Option B
(Backyard hibiscus)

Option C
(Deep Ellum)

Option D

(Sanibel Island--I love this picture, but is it weird to blow up a picture of us in swimsuits? I think it might be...)


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