Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Here's hoping your house doesn't get egged and you get all the treats you can wish for!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the day before Halloween..

I'm wearing my witchy socksAnd my witchy shirt
Andy has a cold. I'm probably going to get it. You don't want to come to our house.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Snow

It snowed last night. Yes, that's right, three days before Halloween.

I'd be lying if I said that I hate snow. But I'd also be lying if I said that I was excited that there is snow on the ground THREE DAYS before a major FALL holiday.

Don't believe that it snowed? I have proof.

Here are my feet in the snow. Ok, well my feet in UGG boots in the snow.
Do you like my pajama bottoms? They're awfully cozy.

A text conversation

This morning the bunnies have been extra mischievous and giving me a hard time. I haven't made it into the shower yet and about the time I started to hop in (around lunch time) they decided to set up camp in the bathroom.

So what else could I do but complain to Andy, through text, about how they were getting on my nerves.

Me to Andy: Your sons are driving me crazy

Andy's response: You could heat me up some pot pie

Me to Andy: If you can come get them out of the bathroom

Andy's response: Why is the pot pie in the bathroom?

Oh Lord, please help my patience today.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goodbye old friend

This Saturday my parents had to have our old dog Tinker put to sleep. She was suffering from kidney failure and was going to pass away slowly. In order to save her from more suffering they decided to let her go.

She was such a sweet little dog and she will be sorely missed.

Goodbye sweet girl. We love you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My love, on his birthday

It's been a wonderful birthday. Or at least I thought so and when I asked Andy he agreed that he'd had a good day. I'm going to spend the rest of the evening snuggling the birthday boy and watching whatever he wants with no complaints. It's going to be a long night.

Happy Birthday Andy! I love you!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Box cake never looked so good

The pumpkin patch is ready for tomorrow's birthday celebration!

My Love, I sure do have a lot of pictures of him

Andy is out working today and I'm going to make his cake while he's gone. I thought I'd leave you with some pictures of the man in my life. For someone who hates having his picture taken, I sure do have a lot of them.

He's a family manHe's so darn cuteTaking pictures is his art mediumHe's a scholarWe were scholars togetherHe likes to do crazy things with his JeepHe is silly with meHe likes NASCAR racingHe does not like having his picture takenHe likes to skiBut he doesn't like to fall downMore artBrunswik kissed him firstHe likes to ride bicyclesHe's a grill master
He prefers to be outdoorsSometimes he'll take a nice picture for meMore artHe does an awesome dog impressionHe does not like to get dressed upHe likes beerMore artHe'll dance with me if I ask nicelyHe loves baseball and going to gamesMore art

Friday, October 24, 2008

My love

The celebration isn't over yet. Julie's birthday has come and gone until next year, but there is another upcoming birthday I feel I must tell you about.

My dear, sweet husband is celebrating his golden birthday this Sunday. He'll be 26 on the twenty sixth, and for the next six months he won't be able to call me an old woman because we'll be the same age. He gets way too much enjoyment out of that six month age difference.

If you haven't noticed, I get crazy excited over birthdays; or any celebration for that matter. Andy does not share my enthusiasm, but that doesn't stop me from pretending like he does and partying like it's 1999 whenever his special day comes around.

He has managed to crush a small piece of me though. Prepare yourselves for a shock...

Andy prefers box cake to homemade.

Now to some wives this might be a welcome preference. I know that not everyone loves to bake and would rather just throw together a mix and call it home made. But I LOVE to bake. Give me some flour, eggs and sugar and I'm a happy camper. Throwing something together from a box is the highest form of blasphemy in my kitchen. It's unheard of, and I think it's a cruel joke that God saw fit to match me with the one person on the planet that prefers box cake. But I will persevere. I have big plans for the box cake that is dirtying up my cupboard. I'm not allowed to make it taste any different, but no one said I can't make it look homemade and fancy. I have big plans for that little box of powder. It never saw me coming.

For now I'll leave you with the #1 song the day of Andy's birth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Best, A Birthday Wish

Dear Julieanna,

Today is your birthday. I thought I'd remind you in case you had forgotten. I had big plans of waking up early and calling you to be one of the first to wish you a happy day. I failed miserably. You, in fact, were the one to wake me up because Andy and I stayed up too late last night. Oh well, maybe next year. Or better yet, maybe next year I'll get to see you on your birthday.

I've been thinking about what I should write about you on my blog today. I've written stories about you in the past and these last couple of days I've been telling everyone about how important you are to me. I couldn't decide what story to tell today. There are so many to chose from.

Finally I decided that I wouldn't tell a story, but rather write you a letter with all of my birthday wishes for you. Not just for the coming year, but for your life.

When you blow out your candles tonight you can make your own wish and think about the ones I'm making for you here and hopefully they will all come true.

I wish for you a long happy life with your husband, Frank.

I wish for you a new house soon.

I wish for you a home full of laughter and many tiny feet.

I wish for you ease in creating all those tiny feet.

I wish for you health.

I wish for you peace of mind.

I wish for you compassion from those around you.

I wish for you to always have music in your head and heart.

I wish for you many sunny days.

I wish for you happiness.

I wish for you strength to deal with the pain that is inevitable in life.

I wish for all of your wishes, for yourself and your family, to come true.

Most of all, I wish for you to have joy in your life.

I will also make you a promise. That even if none of these wishes come true, or all of them do, I will be there through it all. There is nothing like a good friend. If I haven't learned anything else in my 26 years I have learned that, and I learned it from you.

Now go enjoy your day and have a piece of cake for me. Because we all know how much I love cake.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Best, A giving heart

I mentioned yesterday that Julie is a giver. She would give away everything in her possession to make another person more comfortable or happy. But she doesn't just give material things. She gives of herself as well. She has a knack of lifting people's spirits and she uses any means necessary to do so. Even if it means giving up her dignity. She'll make a complete fool of herself just to make people around her laugh.

Everything reminds her of a song. She has constant music going in her head and if she can't come up with an actual song to sing, she'll just make one up. There comes to mind a song about bugs that still makes the rounds every now and then. She was in the car with her mom and it was summer, when it seems all bugs have a death wish. Their windshield was plastered with dead insects and so Julie made up a diddy to commemorate their passing. We sing it often and it is the source of much laughter.

One time I was having a bad time of it and Julie wrote me a story. Here it is:

The Unenchanted Kingdom
by Julieanna

There once was a girl named Joanna and she was a fair princess who lived in the enchanted Kingdom. Her father was the fair and just king who ruled with her mother, the queen. They lived in a large castle where they had many servants and guests. Princess Joanna loved to live here, but felt that she needed to obtain some adversity. So she told the king and queen she was moving to the unenchanted kingdom ruled by the fun loving and shameless princess Julie!

The king and queen begge
d and bribed Princess Joanna not to move to the horrible fun place, but princess Joanna wouldn't listen. She packed her bags in her jeep and drove to the unenchanted kingdom where she found an apartment next to Princess Julie. There princess Joanna learned how to cook, how to do her own laundry, and how to spackle and paint her own room!

he jumped and screamed so much that Princess Julie came over to make sure everything was OK. Princess Joanna Said she was awesome and wanted to live here forever. Princess Julie said that was groovy and there were some simple rules of the unenchanted kingdom. Rule #1. Have fun Rule #2. Laugh a lot Rule #3 Be happy with yourself Rule #4 Be yourself

This made Princess Joanna happy. She and princess Julie became fast best friends
and remained so forever, and t hey lived happily every after.

The End

I have no idea what was going on that made her write this, but it makes me smile to read it and think about everything we've experienced together. Julie is the sister I never had, and I look forward to all the fun we are going to have in the future.

Writing some nonsense and enjoying hershey barsOn a vacation to the Natahala River with Julie's family.
This picture was taken about 30 seconds before
Jule ate it in the river and lost one of her flip flops
forever. We sure did love our overalls, huh?At the beach with my family.
You can't tell here, but we had matching swimsuits.
feet on the beachThis one is too ridiculous to explain,
but it makes me laugh.In our hotel in NYC getting ready
to go see Aida. It was amazing!At her grandparent's 50th wedding anniversaryMy college graduationShe laced me upWedding feetBalling our eyes out before I walked down the isleJulie's wedding, two weeks after mine.
This is where I would have put the picture of our feet from Julie's wedding, but I can't find it on my computer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Close to my heart

Click on this icon to be dazzled by an amazing mother and wife.

Click on this icon to meet her equally amazing sister.


The first blog is written by a woman named Stephanie Nielson. She and her husband Christian were in a private plane accident on August 16. They both sustained severe burns and are looking down the barrel of a long recovery. They have four children and you can't not fall in love with this family if you go read some of Stephanie's blog entries.

The second blog is written by Stephanie's sister, Courtney. She is currently caring for Stephanie and Christian's children and posts regular updates on their recovery. Courtney also posts about her life and writes with amazing wit and sincerity. You'll fall in love with her family too. But that's ok, because the world can always use a little more love.

I first came across Courtney's blog a couple of weeks ago. I don't remember how, if you linked to her and think I found her on your blog, please let me know. I followed the link on "Cjane enjoy it" to "NieNie Chronicles". I can't get this family out of my head, and felt lead to share them with the rest of you.

Here is the link to the Nielson's recovery website. You can go here to donate to their recovery fund. If you can't donate or just don't feel compelled to; please at least keep this family in your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure they appreciate any love and good thoughts sent their way, regardless of what form it arrives in.

My best

Two days from today one of my favorite people will be celebrating the anniversary of her birth. I won't tell you how old she'll be because it isn't polite to ask a lady her age, and it's even less polite to tell it without permission. I am, however, going to take the next couple of days to tell you a little bit about her and our friendship.

I am talking about my very best friend, Julieanna. I just call her Julie.

We've known each other since the fall of 1997. I had entered my first year of Ensemble (the auditioned chorus in our high school), and I didn't know anyone in the class. Actually, I did know one person but she clearly didn't want to admit that she knew me considering that she pretended I didn't exist.

At this point I'm sure you're wondering why the heck it matters if I knew anybody. It's a class, shouldn't I have been focusing on the teacher and not socializing? Well, yes, in a normal class I would have. But ensemble was different. There was a lot of down time as we would often practice in individual parts. I was a soprano, and when sopranos weren't practicing I didn't have much to do except stare at the wall. This is why it helped to have some friends to distract you.

I was a newbie and most of the class fell back into the groups they had formed the previous year. I was often left alone to entertain myself. I didn't mind much. I like my alone time and it isn't often in high school that you get such a rare opportunity. The first week or so it bothered me that I didn't have anyone to talk to, but I got over it quickly. I started bringing a book to read; saving it for this one time of day when I could do whatever the hell I wanted. At the time I was reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. I think I was on book three or four. When I was free from singing I would find a private place in the classroom, away from everyone else, and lose myself in whatever shenanigan Anne had recently gotten herself into.

Then one day, about a month into school, I hear someone say, "Hey! What'cha readin'?" I looked over the top of my book to see a girl with dark hair, high cheekbones, and a big beautiful grin looking up at me from a chair a couple of feet away. I answered with the title of the book. I was annoyed because she could read the title from where she was and why the heck was she interrupting my solitude? She asked me a few more questions, I answered as shortly as possible and made it pretty obvious that I preferred to read my book. Eventually she gave up and left me alone, but she came back the next day. This went on for a few days until one day I grudgingly caved and just stopped reading all together.

Her name was Julie, she was and alto, and she was going to stop at nothing until I joined her group of friends. So I did. I began chatting with them in class and sat with them at lunch (ensemble was during lunch period), and they invited me to games and things after school. I had found a group of people that I enjoyed being with. I had made friends in ensemble.

Julie, however, was the leading influence in my activity with the group. She invited me to do all sorts of things. She even drove me home from school a few times, and let me tell you, I was going to be her friend forever if she would save me from having to ride the bus.

The school year was going along and then Julie started talking about her birthday coming up. I knew I wanted to get her something, but couldn't quite figure out what.

This is where I tell you the weired thing we had going in our group. We were all girly girls and one of our major loves were pretty panties. A local department store always had a really good selection of cheap, frilly panties, and we loved to go shop there. Often if one of us was having a bad day Julie would go and buy a $3 pair of panties, wrap them up and give them to us just to make us feel better. She's a giver like that. It was fun, and to this day I can't resist a pretty panty display.

Then one night I was walking around the local Walmart and I came across a little box. It was painted yellow with a vine pattern on it and it had six tiny drawers in it. The drawers were the perfect size to hold one pair of panties. So I went to our favorite panty store, picked out six different pairs of panties and stuffed each drawer full. The perfect gift.

Something about that little box filled with women's underthings sealed our friendship. From that birthday on Julie and I have been like two peas in a pod. I haven't been able to replicate such a perfect gift in the last eleven years. I don't know if I ever will.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Look out Emeril

I have a gift. In the kitchen. I'm a good cook. I'm a spectacular baker. Give me a recipe and I can replicate it with ease. However, my gift does not allow me to just throw things together. I need to be prepared or I'm at a loss. The dots just don't connect for me without a recipe to use as a guide.

Andy, on the other hand, is a culinary genius. He can take in the inventory of our fridge and pantry and instantly come up with a handful of meals to choose from. He did that today. I was out of ideas (read recipes), but we had plenty of stuff on hand (apparently). When Andy walked in the door he declared that we were going to have Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops; then he sprung into action, and whipped up some of the tastiest pork chops you've ever put in your mouth. I was in charge of side dishes so we had leftover mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Imaginative, no?

Making the coating in our Cuisinart
(thanks Aunt Lea!)Beat that egg honeyMy man in action;
he didn't even bother to take off his sunglassesAfter dinner Andy had to go back to work
for a late night sale.

I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies
with extra chips to welcome him home with later tonight