Sunday, July 31, 2011

30DBC17 & 30: Highs and lows

I’m cheating today, and combining topics 17 and 30.

Have you been able to tell fro the tone of my writing that I’m starting to feel a little blasé about these topics?  I am.  Maybe I just feel “put on the spot,” even though I’ve been picking and choosing the order in which I write these challenge posts.

That said, my response to the topic at hand today (#17, highs and lows of the past year) is, “if you really want to know the highs and lows, go re-read the last 12 months of blog posts.”  There were good days, there were bad days, there were boring nothing-to-report days.  There were things that happened that I didn’t share on the blog in the past year, and if I didn’t share it then, I’m probably not going to share it now.

But for those of you who don’t have the time or desire to go back through my archives, here, off the top of my head are my top three of each:

Highs:

  1. Seth’s successful potty-training as relates to peeing.
  2. Erin’s healthy first year – no major incidents, and she is happy, healthy, and developmentally on track.
  3. Great spring break vacation in Florida.

Lows:

  1. Seth’s unsuccessful potty-training as relates to pooping.
  2. Disappointing “vacation” to Las Vegas in November.  We knew it was a “work” trip going into it, but we didn’t really think it’d end up being ALL work and (very, very little, almost non-existent) play.
  3. Not meeting my weight loss goals, neither by my birthday last fall, nor in general.

That said, let’s move on to our final topic, #30, highs and lows of the past month.

Ah, July 2011.

You started off with a bang – ha, ha, no pun intended – with a great visit with Nonna.  Cheekwood, the zoo, the pool, a party, fireworks, ice cream at Big D’s: it was a stellar way to start the month.

A surprising treat this month was a last minute trip to Pigeon Forge to visit friends who blessed us with a place to crash and free passes to Dollywood.  Jim also made a huge personal decision, and was baptized by Pastor Ashley this month.  Such a proud and happy moment for our family.  Add in our church block party, a couple random play dates, visits with Miss Tiffany, and the first (of many, we hope!) dual family vacation with our besties, and July did not disappoint.

The only “low” points I’ll give a nod toward were the stomach funk that ensnared both Seth and Erin the week before vacation.  Oh, my, the number of times I had to….well, I’ll spare you.  Let’s just say stain treater, carpet cleaner, and Lysol were my BFF’s that week.  And, then, there was the uber-uncomfortable waiting game that we played all month long in regards to some big family news we’ll be hoping to share soon.  I’ve not had to wait for much in my life, and this recent season of stillness has made me appreciative of just that.

Overall, it was a great month.  We started July in one place, and had a 31-day journey that has brought us to a whole new place as a family.

I hope y’all enjoyed reading the 30 Day Blog Challenge posts, and I hope that you’ll stick around for August.  I’ll be highlighting some of our July memories, as well as revealing our family news, and, of course, it’s back to school time, so there will be that to commemorate.

Hope you all are sending July out in style!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

30DBC22: Changes in the last 2 years

This is a tricky question.

I mean, by 30, you’re pretty much who you’re gonna be, you know?

None of my core values have changed.  My world view hasn’t changed.  My beliefs haven’t changed.

My circumstances have, but they’ll do that every two years, I’m sure.

Two years ago, we were in the middle of our genetic testing.  Duncan had been gone only 8 weeks; Erin was a dream that we weren’t sure would ever be realized.  I weighed significantly less than I do right now (boy, do I wish I were back to that number!).  Seth was SO much easier to parent then (he has been a joy at both ends, but I’m not afraid to tell it how it is – 18 months is WAY easier on mommy than 3.5 years!).  Jim’s job was still new enough to be great and exciting and an adventure.

Now…..we’re tiptoeing around the thought of a baby #4.  My weight….meh.  I’m tired of being preoccupied with it, and am ready to figure out what is up with my body that is just hanging onto this baby weight with a vengeance.  Seth is a wonderful test each day, and Erin isn’t far behind him.  She is so much spunkier than I ever would have anticipated, and there is never a dull moment with either of them.  And Jim’s job….I’m not even going to go there.

We are much more settled here in Tennessee, of course, but that was expected to come with the passage of time.  We are more in love with our church family that we ever thought possible; on the flip side, we miss our Ohio and Florida families more than we ever thought possible, too.

I’m not sure how much different a post I’d be able to write 2 years from now…..life is a constant change.  My role as mom will change as my children grow.  My ZIP and area codes may change, too.  Who knows?

It’s all about the journey, though, not the destination, right?

Friday, July 29, 2011

30DBC28: Goals

What are my goals for the next 30 days?

  • blog consistently
  • lose 10 lbs.
  • get my hair cut
  • mail 2 birthday cards on time
  • try 5 new recipes
  • host 2 families for dinner
  • clean out master bedroom closet
  • organize bottom kitchen cabinet
  • repurpose living room canvases
  • read The Midwife’s Confession for book club
  • plan girls’ weekend for September, either Chicago with Ohio gal pals or Pensacola with college gals (for a wedding)

It’s the season of newly sharpened pencils and fresh pages in your day-planner.  What’s on your agenda for August?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

30DBC28: Something I Miss

Don’t get me wrong.  My children are incredible.  I love them indescribably.  I live for loving them.

But.

I’ll admit it.  I miss the degree of freedom that comes with being childless.

I know that I have a few close friends/readers that are struggling with infertility, so I don’t confess that lightly.  I know that this particular flavor of “the grass is always greener” is hurtful to those waiting to be blessed with a baby.

But, it’s still the truth.  Because Jim and I were a little more settled when we married, we didn’t wait all that long to start our family.  In fact, we’d just celebrated our first anniversary when we decided we were ready for a baby.  So I don’t think know that we didn’t fully appreciate the time we had when it was “just us.”

Just us on our spur of the moment dinner dates, even if it was just to Applebee’s.

Just us on our mindless Home Depot wandering, dreaming of our homes to come.

Just us to waste $25 on a bad movie.

Just us to stay up super late on a Friday night, not having to wonder who was gonna get up with the baby in the night, or the toddler at the crack of dawn.

I missed out on appreciating the cool guys my husband was, before he was a daddy, too.

Anyway, I’ll admit my nostalgia, and move on.  I may miss the freedom, but I wouldn’t give up my reality to regain it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

30DBC26: Attraction

What kind of person attracts me and why?

Physically, in a guy, dark hair, blue eyes, and just about 6 feet tall has pretty much been my go-t0 default.  Oh, and the scruff.  Apparently, I like the scruff (as seen yesterday!).

In other areas, I guess I lean a little toward liking a little bit of “bad boy” mixed in.  Like, with Jim, there was the fact that he had a motorcycle.  There was a little extra something there because of that. ;)

Other traits I find attractive, gender notwithstanding, are attentiveness, sincerity, integrity, intelligence, loyalty, sensitivity (though I have a couple no-nonsense friends and I love them, too), compassion, and forgiveness.

Oh, and anymore, a really attractive feature is love for my kids, and the willingness to take them off my hands once in a while.  It doesn’t get any more attractive than that!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

30DBC23: Famous attractive men

Only 5, huh?

Well, I get a freebie, ‘cause you all found out a couple weeks ago that I have a huge celeb-crush on Joshua Jackson.

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Here, for your viewing pleasure, are 5 more.

imageBradley Cooper

image
Simon Baker

image 
Jesse Williams

image 
Guy Fieri

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Josh Turner

Sorry the pics aren’t all the same size, I did random image searches.  But there you have it.  And apparently I have a thing for guys with some scruff.  Who knew?  Good thing I married a hairy guy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

30DBC25: Fascination!

Lady Gaga fascinates me, and here’s why:

Her talent is unquestionable.  Whether or not you like her, or her music, you can’t argue that she is an incredible lyricist, vocalist, dancer, and performer.

That said, there is just something about a celebrity who starts our SO NORMAL (a girl named Stefanie, the firstborn in an Italian American Catholic family in New York), and turns into a larger-than-life legend.

I don’t agree with much of her philosophy, or support the same causes she champions, or even understand a lot of the choices she makes, but that could be said about a lot of celebrities.

I’m not going to say much more; Wikipedia did a pretty bang-up job of her life in a nutshell.  But my choice of Lady Gaga is about as honest as I can get in answer to the question of the day.  I  guess it’s part awe and part can’t-turn-my-head-away-from-the-horrific-train-wreck…..

Sunday, July 24, 2011

30DBC24: My favorite movie and what it’s about

Hmmm.  There are a dozen movies that, no matter what, if it comes on, I’m watching. 

My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Armageddon.

Frequency.

The Little Mermaid.  (Stop laughing.)

But my favorite?  Probably the 1954 musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, starring Jane Powell and Howard Keel.

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It’s 102 minutes of pure fun, and if you’ve never seen it, here is a synopsis:

A backwoodsman named Adam Pontipee and his new bride Milly agreed to marry despite only knowing each other for only a few hours. On returning to his cabin, Milly is surprised to learn that Adam is one of seven brothers living under the same roof.

Milly teaches Adam's rowdy, ill-behaved younger brothers manners and social mores, and shows them how to dance. At first, the brothers have a hard time changing from their "mountain man" ways, but eventually each comes to see that the only way he will get a girl of his own is to do things Milly's way, which they test at a barn –raising (my favorite scene!), where they meet six girls.  However, the girls already have suitors from town, who jealously taunt the brothers into fighting during the barn-raising.  Although the brothers do not start the fight, they are banished from the town after destroying the barn in the process.

Winter arrives, with the six younger brothers pining for their girls. Adam tells them that they should stop moping around and take whatever action is necessary to get their women back, so the brothers kidnap the girls, then cause an avalanche so that they cannot be followed by the townspeople. They have, however, forgotten to kidnap a preacher. Milly is furious at Adam, as are the girls at having been kidnapped. Adam, surprised and offended by Milly's reaction, leaves for the trapping cabin further up the mountain to live out the winter by himself.

Months pass, and eventually it is spring. The girls have now fallen in love with the brothers, and Milly gives birth to a daughter. Adam returns home in the spring just as the pass is opening. As a newly responsible father, he has become aware of how worried the townspeople would be about what has happened to the girls. Adam tells his brothers that they need to take the girls back to their homes in the town, but his brothers do not want to do so, and the girls do not want to return home, either.

The townspeople arrive, with the intention of taking vengeance against the brothers for the kidnappings and charge to their rescue. The preacher, hears Mlly’s baby cry in the distance, and worries that the baby might belong to one of the girls, who decide, simultaneously, to claim the baby as their own. This misinformation gives the girls and the brothers their fondest wish -- the townspeople insist that all six couples marry immediately in a shotgun wedding.

I love the story of Adam and Milly and the whole Pontipee clan; I love the costumes, the choreography, and the music.  But mostly, I just love that it makes me feel good – always, no matter what my mood, if I can turn this movie on….I don’t know.  It’s just my go-to comfort film.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

30DBC18: Beliefs

Seriously?  I  mean, I guess unless you are an atheist, how is this any different than your thoughts on religion? I dunno.  I guess I don’t differentiate.  So, if you’re looking for an answer to this topic, I’m just gonna send you here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

30DBC20: Importance of education

This topic kind of seems like a no-brainer to me, and forgive me for not padding this post with a lot of facts and statistics.  It’s just a whole lot of my opinion, served up for your reading pleasure.

I went to private, parochial school all the way through.  Jim, public.  So, yes, we come at the idea of Seth and Erin’s school from very different perspectives.  But regardless of where our children will get their education, the importance of it has never been the issue in question.

I think education is unquestionably important, kindergarten through 12th grade.  Whether traditional public school, private or parochial school, homeschool, or a combination of any or all of those, a child needs the formal teaching and the social interaction that primary education provides.

Now, secondary education….that’s a little different.  I have a bachelor’s degree, and some course work towards my master’s degree.  Jim has an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree.  If left up to me, my children would also pursue secondary education resulting in at least a bachelor’s degree.

That said, I know that this may not be the path they choose.  They may decide to pursue a trade, or be entrepreneurial, or they may join the military.  I don’t know where their respective dreams will take them.

I can only pray that I will have the grace to be supportive if their decisions, when the times come, don’t necessarily mirror what I’d choose for them.  And I guess that pretty much will apply to everything they choose, not just their potential alma mater. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

30DBC19: Disrespecting your parents

Um, don’t do it?

There really isn’t a need to wax eloquent on this topic.  No matter the age, your parents are your parents are your parents and they deserve your respect.  You don’t have to always like them, agree with them, approve of their behavior, understand their choices, or listen to them.

But you have to respect them.

Period.

This is the way I feel about my parents, and I hope that I raise my children to feel this way about me.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

30DBC08: A satisfactory moment

Hmm.

There are a lot of moments I’ve been really proud of my myself, my accomplishments, really satisfied with who I was/am.  Graduations, my wedding, birthing my kiddos.  Those are obvious ones.

But one moment I’ve been most satisfied with my life was probably when I won the Team Spirit award at the annual corporate-wide meeting for the insurance agency I worked for before we moved to Nashville.

I was promoted 9 months after I started working for this agency, and I threw myself into my new position heart and soul.  I like who I worked with, and for, and I was so pleasantly surprised to find that I truly enjoyed what I spent my hours doing, despite the fact that one doesn’t natural draw a correlating line between English Journalism and commercial insurance.

The year and a half between my promotion and when I went on bedrest with Seth was fabulous, from a professional and personal standpoint.  But professionally, it was stellar.  I was happy with what I did, and I was good at it.

And when it was recognized among hundreds of other deserving employees….well, it was just a great moment for me.  The icing on the cake was that the annual Customer Service award that same year went to the agent that had really shown me the ropes in the months before my promotion.  I credit a lot of my initial success to her, and to the time and effort she put into me.   So, Joanne, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Anyway, I guess in the grand scheme of things, and compared to the life-altering moments like childbirth, this one little award doesn’t matter, but at the time, it did, a lot, and it still does, in the sense that on the days when I feel I just plain, well, suck, at being a mommy, there is a small crystal (-like) award tucked away in a closet that reminds me that once upon a time I was really good at something else.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

30DBC09: My hopes for the future

Seriously, who ever came up with these topics needs to diversify a bit.  I mean, my answer to this question isn’t a whole lot different than when I answered where I hope to be in 10 years, and you could even say that I elaborated on this a little bit when I talked about the beach house I’d love to have one day.

But a general picture of my “perfect” future would be a happy, healthy, and little-bit-larger-than-it-is-now family.  Which translates that I hope to give Seth and Erin at least one more biological sibling, and ideally, I’d love to have the space and resources and funds to adopt one more.  I know anymore a family with more than 2, let alone 4, children is not the norm, but it’s what my heart wants, so, who’s to say what is the norm.

I want to be close to family.  I want to be close to our parents as they age, and I’m sad that Ohio and Florida are so far apart to make it a literal impossibility to be close to everyone at the same time.  Not to mention that for now, we live in Tennessee.  But who knows…..  In addition to being close to our parents, as our children grow, leave the nest, and (if God wills) marry, I’d selfishly love for them to settle wherever Jim and I are.  I know it’s rarer and rarer, but, again, it’s my dream.  I can’t quite wrap my head around the thought of being a grandmother, but given enough years, that day will come, and I can’t think of a better things than to have my little’s littles running around my ankles nonstop.

I want to be close to Doug and Sara.  Again, I know firsthand that God will provide wonderful relationships wherever He places Jim and I, but again, if I’m dreaming of perfection, I can’t exclude being able to raise our families alongside and grow old with our dearest friends.

I want that vacation home. Maybe it’ll be a cabin or an RV instead of a lake house.  I don’t know.  And I guess it doesn’t matter.  I just want the place, ya know?

I want Jim to have a fulfilling career.  I don’t care what he does.  It can be blue collar, white collar, no collar.  He can keep working in an office, or grow our real estate portfolio to the point where he manages property full time.  I don’t care, as long as he is happy and fulfilled and doing something that makes him the best version of Jim.

I want to be actively involved as a family in our local church, wherever that may be.  In addition to using my musical talents, I have a strong passion for womens’ ministries, and hope to be used in an role that is both fulfilling to me and beneficial to others.  Jim also has gifts that could be used so powerfully in a church body that, at this stage in our lives, his schedule prohibits, but it is my dream someday that that “fulfilling career” I hope for him will allow him to serve in his church as well.

I want to live in a home that is paid for, with ample room for entertaining friends and all the family I hope to have living near me.  I want rooms that my grandchildren can think of as a home away from home.  I want a yard with big mature trees that we can hang swings and hammocks in and under which we can picnic and party to our hearts’ content.

I want the financial freedom to give generously – to our children, our church, our community – and to give back and bless others the way we, already at “just 30,” have been blessed by our parents, church family, and neighbors.

And lastly, I want a best girlfriend.  That one heart-sister that has seemed to elude me thus far in life.  I’ve had tastes and glimpses, and I’ve had sweet friendships wax and wane, but still, I wait, for that one special someone (of the female kind) to walk through life with.

But, when it’s all said and done, it’s all relative.  Contentment and joy are, I truly believe, a state of mind, and a choice, so, whatever life throws at me, I’ll figure it out and make it work.

Monday, July 18, 2011

30DBC10: First love and first kiss

I was going to go through the hassle of putting a poll here in the post, but…..yeah, that didn’t happen.  But I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate the most of you reading will fall into the same category as I.

The category that looks at question #10 {discuss your first love and first kiss} and thinks, '”but they are two separate entities.”

Am I right?

Because my first kiss was certainly not with my first love.  I wish it had been; but, in fact, there were three “frogs” before I met my first “prince.”

So, I’m going to opt to forego the story of my first kiss.  Because while I remember it in vivid detail that would make for a riveting story, it was with a boy that I’d rather it not have been, under circumstances that carry a good bit of shame, and I’d just as soon tell y’all about the sweet, rather than the bitter.

So….instead, I’m just going to tell you a little bit about my first love.

In the middle of my sophomore year of high school, I transferred from one small, private school in our town to another small, private school in our town, under circumstances that made it even more difficult than your average switch.

I, alone, had a “free period” during 6th hour, since I’d already completed the math course the rest of my class was taking, so I sat in on the junior’s chemistry class.  And it was during that period that I got to observe him.

He was adorable, and just my type.  Dark hair, blue eyes.  About 6 feet tall.  A captain on the soccer team.  Popular, and funny, and available.

It wasn’t until the following school year that I realized he knew who I was, too, and in the fashion of small, private school romances, we went from a glance across the cafeteria (September 7) to a sweet Tommy-scented puppy on my sixteenth birthday (September 30) to an after-game-bus-“proposal” to be “his girl” (October 15) just like that.

And the rest is history.  I had a storybook, fairy tale, sweet, innocent, pure high school romance.  Each day, we’d exchange notes (sorry, Mr. Beaman and Mr. Hobbins) and by the end of the school year, I had a 3 ring binder of 250+ letters that could rival any Hallmark card out there.  Every Thursday, he’d call me at 8:00 pm, and we’d talk until ER came on at 10:00.  Each month, on the 15th, roses corresponding to the number of months we’d been together, appeared in my locker.  After scoring the winning soccer goal that would take us to the state championship game, he dropped to his knees on the field, found my eyes on the sideline, and gestured “that was for you!”

He ate lunch with my every day; took me to see The Phantom of the Opera for Christmas; (almost) beat up one of his best friends after he (the friend) chased a loose basketball during a tournament and instead of catching the ball, slammed me (the unsuspecting cheerleader) into a door post, cracking my head open and giving me a concussion.  He would pick me up for Friday night dates in the sports off-seasons and we’d go ice skating or double date to local pizzeria’s with his best friend and his girl or simple hang out at his house shooting baskets in the barn with his parents.  He was sweet, attentive, romantic, sentimental….

Sidenote: The brand Adidas.  Did you know it (supposedly) is an acronymn for “all day long I dream about soccer”?  I didn’t.  At least not until I questioned a banner he’d hung over his desk at home that read “adidam” and he simply explained, “All day long I dream about Monica.”  Swoon.

He took me golfing for the first time.  He took my little brother and his buddy to Cedar Point and helped them win this ridiculously ugly and HUGE stuffed alien.  He held my hand as he turned his tassel on his graduation cap.   (A tassel, I’ll admit, I still have and that is tucked away in my hope chest, nestled between my baby blanket and my mother’s wedding veil….)

And, because we both thought that I’d be right behind me a year later, we decided to break up during his freshman year of college.  We didn’t want to do a long distance relationship, so we said we’d see each other at Christmas, and then, in the fall, after I’d graduated we’d pick back up where we’d left off.

And I cried myself to sleep after he called me on September 15 and told me how much he missed me and that this separation was harder than he’d expected.  But the months ticked away, and I we were both focused on our grades, and by the time December came, and he was home from break, there’d been a shift.

We sat on the hood of my car one cold December night, and held hands, and cried, because…well, it was over.  Nothing had happened.  Neither of us had met someone else.  Our romance had just come to an end.  I have no doubt that as we sat there, we both would have said “I still love this person,” but we were both being realistic.  I’d chosen a different school to attend in the fall, and he wasn’t even sure if he was going to go back to his college.  So, that night, we sat there until we couldn’t feel our toes, and until there was nothing left to say, and then he hugged me, and I drove home.

And a few years later, he married one of my high school classmates that he’d known since he could walk, and I met Jim.

And in August of 2008, I saw him at my 10 year high school reunion, and it was awkward, because, hello, you have this incredible, whirlwind, fairytale at this amazing juncture of your life, and then a decade passes, and there you stand, across someone’s backyard, with your spouses and children looking on…..

He was, and is, an amazing guy.  We are Facebook friends, and I’m still close to his parents, and his wife and I exchange the occasional email about parenting boys, since their son was born just a few days after Seth.  (And get this, she and I were both on bedrest in the same hospital, at the same time, in December 2007.  I know!)

And that’s the story of my first love.  It was amazing, and it’s given me a perspective on high school dating that I’d never expected to have.  If Erin is ever lucky enough to meet a young man like my high school sweetheart, I’ll whole heartedly give my blessing to her, even at 15/16.  Because, yes, there can, and most likely will, be heartbreak, but I truly believe a love that sweet and simple and pure is worth every tear.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

30DBC27: Problem

A problem I’ve had?  Sorry, can’t answer, I’m perfect, and so is my life.

As if. ;)

Problem: Acne.  Emotional eating.  Potty-training.  Squeaky dashboard in the Flex.  Ants. Callous-prone heels.

Solution: Cetaphil and Body Shop concealer.  Self-control and MyFitnessPal.com.  Prayer and patience and Resolve stain remover.  Procrastination and eventually Town and Country Ford service department.  Protech Pest Control.  Pedicure.

You have a problem, you find a way to address it.

What’s a girl to do?

I know that probably wasn’t the intent of that topic question, but, meh, there you go!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

30DBC16: Mainstream music

This one is fairly straightforward.

I like mainstream music, but I can’t tell you much about it, by way of tracks or artists.  The extent of my exposure to it comes from whatever is played on The Pulse, which is Sirius XM’s “mainstream music” channel, which I only ever listen to on the road, and even then, I bounces between that channel, the 90s station, the country station, and the contemporary Christian station.

So, I know who Adele and My Chemical Romance and The Fray and Bruno Mars are, and I can tell you that I love James Blunt’s I’ll Be Your Man and The Scripts For the First Time, and I can admit that we (read: Jim) own Lada Gaga’s album (and it’s honestly not that bad), and I know what I like and what I don’t like, and unlike my views on religion, when it comes to music, I can wholeheartedly say, to each his own.

Friday, July 15, 2011

30DBC12: Bullet point the day

Y’all are in for a RIVETING read today!  (Not!)  (But I do apologize in advance for the number of time I have to mention poop for you to get an accurate idea of how I spend my time.)

There has been SO much going on this month, and starting next week, when we head into full-on first-family-summer-vacation preparation mode, we have a couple crazy-full weeks ahead, so….we have taken this past week to just stay home.  It’s been hot, and there were no playdates scheduled, so we have left the house only for a trip to the grocery store and to the post office.

That said, you’re about to read a bullet-pointed recap of my Thursday.  And let me tell you, it’s pretty much the norm around here.  And while I may make excuses about how “boring” and “uninteresting” it is, I know I’ll look back on this blog entry in a few years and smile.  Because I don’t take time often enough to just cherish these moments of being home with my preschoolers….

So, without further ado, Thursday, July 13, 2011, looked like this:

  • 12:37: awoke to Erin’s crying over the baby monitor.  Will her to go back to sleep until at least 5:30.
  • 6:54: Seth crawls into our bed and groggily asks for cartoons and chocolate milk, in that order.
  • 7:33: Erin wakes up.
  • 7:37: out the door for donuts, which I’ve been promising Seth all week.
  • 7:56: home from the donut shop
  • 8:17: refill milk cups and turn on Disney channel
  • 8:19: receive a text from Jim that reads: “Can you see if our toilet is leaking.”  Great.
  • 8:24: sweeping the kitchen floor, but then I’m needed to break up a sippy cup fight; realize Erin has blown out her diaper…sitting in the middle of the coffee table.  On with the HazMat suit
  • 8:30: put Seth in time out for whacking Erin on the head with a poster mailing tube.  His “train tunnel” is now in the garbage can, along with the uber-offensive diaper.
  • 8:38: finish watering the rose bushes and weeding the back landscaping bed; wait for the bug bites to start appearing on my legs
  • 8:49: light a candle (B&BW Caribbean Salsa) in the kitchen when I notice a funky smell coming from the kitchen trash.  I don’t get it, there isn’t hardly anything in there…?
  • 9:02: clean out the fridge.  Bye, Little Ceasar’s crazy bread and a starting-to-turn tomato.
  • 9:12: fill in some more activities on our summer fun to-do list/calendar
  • 9:24: more poop.  Big brother.  Hairs pulled out.  I swear, every time he has an accident, I tell myself, next time, I’ll be calmer, I won’t scold, I won’t lose my cool, he won’t cry, I’ll do better, and each time, Lord, help, me, I lose it.  I am SO SICK OF MY THREE AND A HALF YEAR OLD WHO KNOWS BETTER pooping in his pants 10 feet away from a toilet.
  • 9:30: sit down to watch a Special Agent Oso episode with Seth.
  • 9:55: realize why my house still smelled (yes, again, sorry) like poop this morning after two you-wouldn’t-believe-how-bad blowouts that Erin had as I was making dinner last night.  She’d crawled behind the chair in the living room, and seeing as how there was, ahem, stuff all up her back, when she leaned up against the wall, well, there was a transfer, one might say.  (I was going to post the picture I took to send to Jim, but it’s graphic, and you’re probably eating breakfast, so I’ll spare you….)
  • 10:22: make plans to get out of the house and meet Jim for lunch at his office.  Going to attempt a shower….
  • 10:43: lunches packed, if you can call a pack of peanut butter crackers, a banana, a hot dog and a packet of mustard, a granola bar, a pack  of fruit snacks and two sippy cups “lunch.”  Hey, they had 5 donuts between them for breakfast.  I’m thinking they might not be hungry.
  • 10:54: potty run for Seth, and get this party started. In the car, little people, let’s go!
  • 11:16: swing through Sonic for slushes.
  • 11:54: lunch is over, short and sweet.
  • 12:23: back home to attempt to get Erin down for a nap, and maybe – don’t hold your breath – start packing for vacation
  • 12:48: stalling on the nap.  Erin is playing with Seth’s “power tools,” happily, and Seth is watching Phineas and Ferb, happily, and that is a dynamic that I do NOT mess with.  Gonna take some time to write a couple blog entries to auto-post during our vacation.
  • 12:50: text from sweet Tiffany.  She’s gonna come over to hang out for a few hours.  My day just got a little sunnier.
  • 1:16: phone call from Hillary to plan our Nashville Zoo date
  • 1:52: attempt to put lil miss down for her nap….shh!
  • 2:01: laundry started, beds made, rooms tidied, and….what do you know, silence from the monitor.  Success!
  • 2:18: load the dishwasher, and sit down to some Play-doh fun with my little guy.
  • 3:22: dining room table cleaned up from the “crafting.”  Checked email.  Time to switch laundry from washer to dryer.
  • 3:42: Miss Tiffany arrives; chaos ensues from my wild children
  • 4:59: time for dinner prep: sausage and rice!
  • 5:36: Jim comes home, grabs a PBJ, and leaves with Tiffany for a church service project.
  • 5:49: put away the dinner leftovers, and wonder how I’m gonna survive solo til bedtime with a VERY CRANKY toddler.
  • 6:09: they’re both crying hysterically for Daddy; nice.  Is it bedtime yet?
  • 7:32:  The littles are bathed and jammied.  A couple drinks of milk, a little Wipeout to unwind, and then they are off to dreamland.
  • 8:06: books with no stories; not my favorite kinds, but they like the pictures.
  • 8:32: sweet and sound in their beds, and I’m signing off for the night.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

30DBC15: Favorite Blogs

Ready for a link fest?  Here we go!

Ordinary gals with great home design and ideas:

A Thoughtful Place

Nesting Place

Young House Love

A Soft Place to Land

320 Sycamore

Personal friends who just write fabulously (and regularly, which is how I narrowed it down):

The Heir to Blair

Chapters

Bringing up Bug and Bee

Miracle of the Moment

What I refer to as “bloggy bloggers” or not-one-particular-focus bloggers:

BooMama

Lisa Leonard

Antique Mommy

Life Rearranged

Those are just a smattering, and most of you are probably already reading most of them, but maybe you’re not.  And maybe you’ll find a new favorite of your own in the mix.  Happy surfing!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

30DBC05: Suicide

Or, as the topic actually reads, A time I thought about ending my own life.

Um…..I don’t know.  I mean, I do.  But that’s a hard one to narrow down.  I don’t think I’ve ever been suicidal, per se, but yes, there have been seasons in my life where I’ve thought, man, it’d be an easy out to just steer this ol’ car a little too far to the left…..

I think if one were honest, anyone would say there have been times where life just gets HARD.  So hard that you wish, even for a moment, for just an easy out.

And I’ve had those moments.  And I’ve faced them head on.  And I’ve moved past them.  And I’m not so naive to think that I might not have those moments again.  But I’ll face those moments head on, too.

And I’ll live to blog another day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

30DBC04: Views on religion

I have been putting off this post, but then I read Sara’s (sorry, no hyperlink, her blog is private), and I realized I didn’t have to pen a sermon, so here goes.

My views on religion….

I think a lot of people don’t know why they believe what they believe, and that to them, religion is more of a tradition than anything.

Which is why I don’t really consider myself to be a “religious” person.  Yes, I attend church regularly, but it stems from desire, not obligation.  I pray before meals, but not from a place of sanctimony, but gratitude.  I have a contemporary Christian music radio station programmed to my Sirius XM, but it’s not because it makes me a better person than the one blaring Eminem; it’s because I like to worship in my car.

But it is all because I have a personal relationship with my Lord.  I do all that I do, and I am who I am, in light of my desire to live a life that is pleasing to Him.  If those around me benefit from my lifestyle, so be it, but my motivation is first and foremost out of love for my God.  I don’t behave the way I do to ensure a spot in heaven.  I don’t abstain from “unholy” things out of fear of offending the gods or fate or whathaveyou.

I respect people who hold to beliefs that don’t mirror mine, but I can’t honestly say that I don’t think they are wrong.  I’m not one to say “to each his own, we’ll all get there in the end.”

And because I said I wasn’t going to write a sermon, I’ll stop it there….but if you, reader, would ever want to know more about what I believe and why, or if you would have any specific questions, my email in in the sidebar.

Monday, July 11, 2011

We interrupt the 30DBC to tell you:

  • Erin learned how to use a straw this weekend;
  • Seth took his first long road trip in “man pants” (aka underwear, not PullUps) with no accidents;
  • Seth mastered his first round of mini-golf;
  • Erin is walking like a champ (**sniffle**); and
  • I have to meal plan for this week and am wholeheartedly stumped, which is while I’m not allowing myself any more time to blog than it takes to make this bullet list, which is why I’m not posting a thought-provoking 30DBC topic….and no promises for tomorrow, either.  It’s summer, people, and life is coming at the Gregory’s full speed!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

30DBC14: My earliest memory

My earliest memory is vague and not at all exciting.  Given the location, I must have been going on 3.  My cousin Jim and a friend of his were babysitting me at our apartment on Bowser.  And that's it!  I don't remember anything else about the memory -- it's just a sketchy, foggy snapshot of the hallway, maybe the nighgown I was wearing, and that's about it!

Sorry it's not a more riveting post!  Better luck tomorrow!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

30DBC13: Someplace I’d like to move or visit

Man, this could be a really exhaustive post.  There are so many places I never been but want to see; so many places I’ve already been but want to re-experience with Jim and my children; places Jim probably wants to visit that I’ve never considered…..the list could go on and on.

But something – someplace – that has recently become a dream for me would be the opportunity to have a vacation home.  When I was growing up, I had the opportunity to make frequent trips to cottages on Lake Erie – belonging to good friends of ours, and also my grandparents.  Even though I’m not a big lake/water sports fan, I LOVED the pace, the tranquility, the “just gotta get away” vibe that came with packing up the car and heading 60 miles east and emerging in an entirely different world and mindset.  (And if I could appreciate that at age 9, imagine how I’d relish it at 30!)

lake erie dream

I’d love a place that was large enough to house 3 or four families at a time, if not in style and luxury, at least in comfort.  Bunk beds, sleeper sofas, sleeping bags rolled out on a covered porch – I don’t care.  Just enough space for us all to enjoying eachother.

Maybe it’s the anticipation of vacation with Sara and Doug in 2 weeks that has me dreaming of how we can make this happen on a more regular and permanent basis….I don’t know.

And I’m not really sure that I even answered the question, actually.  But still, there you have it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

30DBC06: 30 interesting facts about myself

Ugh.  I don’t like this one.  I can do lists of interesting things about my friends. I did that for Daina when she hit the third trimester with her twins.  But to come up with 30 things that I think are interesting about myself….?

Wouldn’t it be more fun if I could get 30 people to leave a comment with something they think is interesting about me?  I like that approach better!

But, in the sake of accountability to the series, here we go.

  1. I don’t eat white condiments like mayo, sour cream, or cream cheese.
  2. I’ve never had a drink of anything alcoholic.
  3. The only two movies we owned when I was growing up were The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins, both recorded onto VHS tape off of network television
  4. I was a pre-med major when I started college, and hated every minute of it until I changed my major to English.
  5. I’m a really, really bad tipper.  And I know it, and I’m not proud of it, but I just am.
  6. I can’t drive a manual transmission.
  7. I should have been valedictorian of my graduating class, but I attended a private school, and there was drama over the fact that I’d only been at the school for two years, as opposed to the person who I’d “beat out” for top spot (who had been at the school since kindergarten), so a new “stipulation” was created, and, well….let’s just say it’s a good thing I already had another scholarship coming to me….
  8. I love to cook, but I hate to bake.
  9. I wanted Seth to be a boy, and he was.  I was sure Duncan was a girl, and he wasn’t.  I wanted Erin to be a girl, but was sure she was a boy.  And if I ever were to be pregnant again, I (as of right this minute in this current mood) would want to have another boy.
  10. Jim and I have rental properties back in Ohio, and actually have 10 “homes” including the one we live in here in Tennessee
  11. Sometimes I really wish we’d gone with Paisley for Erin’s middle name.  Maybe someday I’ll explain why.  On that note, I’ve never, ever, ever questioned Seth’s name, even for a second.
  12. I’d rather curl up with a good book and a good latte than do just about anything else.
  13. I have a pretty healthy fear of water, mainly large natural bodies like the Great Lakes or the oceans.
  14. I’m a horrible housekeeper.  My house is almost always super-tidy, but it could almost always benefit from a good, deep cleaning.
  15. I was late in coming into the Twilight hype, but really loved the books.  The movies, on the other hand…..meh.  Take ‘em or leave ‘em.  I’m not a huge Kristen whats-her-name fan.  And on that note, I was more current in reading The Hunger Games trilogy, and I’m gonna be royally disappointed if they don’t do them justice in any future motion picture attempts.
  16. My ears are double pierced, but I don’t think I’ve worn a pair in the second holes in almost 10 years.
  17. In college, we’d make a meal out of animal crackers and store-bought frosting, or microwave popcorn with a bag of M&M’s dumped in.  Oh, to have that metabolism again!
  18. My go-to cosmetic is lip liner.
  19. I can play the piano and the flute.
  20. I don’t eat any type of seafood.
  21. I hate to spend money.  (That doesn’t mean I don’t like to shop; it just means I hate the actual “paying for it” part.)
  22. If I could have ideal childcare, I’d more than likely go back to work.  I love being in a corporate environment.
  23. When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better.  And if it has coconut in it, it doesn’t stand a chance!
  24. I’d love to take dance lessons with Jim, but I don’t think he’d ever go for it.
  25. I’m not a great secret keeper.
  26. I HATE to have socks and shoes on.  Barefoot is best, baby!  Yes, my teenage years were sheltered!
  27. I would change almost everything about my wedding, except my cake, my flowers, and my groom.
  28. I love books by Jodi Picoult.  I’m currently reading Sing You Home, and it is making me angry.  That’s an unusual response for me.
  29. I hate to paint (like, walls in a home), unload the dishwasher, or clean tubs/showers.
  30. I’ve never painted my toenails anything but shades of red.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

30DBC11: Ipod shuffle

Since I made y’all read a TON yesterday, I’ll keep it short and simple today, because the challenge today is to put your ipod on shuffle and share the first 10 songs that pop up, and…

I don’t have an ipod.

So, there you go.  (But, if you were to pull up my Pandora preferences, the first song you’d get is “Long Way to Happy” by Pink.)

(For what it’s worth, though it has nothing to do with the 30DBC, I also don’t have an iphone or an ipad or any other Mac product.  I pretty much don’t live in the same century as the rest of you!  Oh, well!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

30DBC07: My zodiac sign

I’m a LIBRA.

And I have to confess that I had to google “libra” so that I would have something to go on to write this post, because technically the topic (and yes, I skipped ahead a couple of days) is “what is your zodiac sign and does it fit your personality.”

I don’t put any stock in astrology, but it was interesting to see how some of the “standard” traits of the Libra sign align with my personality. Here are some highlights from the site I visited:

Libra is the only inanimate sign of the zodiac, all the others representing either humans or animals. Many modern astrologers regard it as the most desirable of zodiacal types because it represents the zenith of the year, the high point of the seasons, when the harvest of all the hard work of the spring is reaped. Librans too are among the most civilized of the twelve zodiacal characters and are often good looking. They have elegance, charm and good taste, are naturally kind, very gentle, and lovers of beauty, harmony (both in music and social living) and the pleasures that these bring.

They have good critical faculty and are able to stand back and look impartially at matters which call for an impartial judgment to be made on them. But they do not tolerate argument from anyone who challenges their opinions, for once they have reached a conclusion, its truth seems to them self-evident; and among their faults is an impatience of criticism and a greed for approval. But their characters are on the whole balanced, diplomatic and even tempered.

*An aside here – my name actually means “wise one” or “counselor”

Librans are sensitive to the needs of others and have the gift, sometimes to an almost psychic extent, of understanding the emotional needs of their companions and meeting them with their own innate optimism - they are the kind of people of whom it is said, "They always make you feel better for having been with them." They are very social human beings. They loathe cruelty, viciousness and vulgarity and detest conflict between people, so they do their best to cooperate and compromise with everyone around them, and their ideal for their own circle and for society as a whole is unity.

Their cast of mind is artistic rather than intellectual, though they are usually too moderate and well balanced to be avant garde in any artistic endeavor. They have good perception and observation and their critical ability, with which they are able to view their own efforts as well as those of others, gives their work integrity.

In their personal relationships they show understanding of the other person's point of view, trying to resolve any differences by compromise, and are often willing to allow claims against themselves to be settled to their own disadvantage rather than spoil a relationship. They like the opposite sex to the extent of promiscuity sometimes, and may indulge in romanticism bordering on sentimentality.

Their marriages, however, stand a good chance of success because they are frequently the union of "true minds". The Libran's continuing kindness toward his or her partner mollifies any hurt the latter may feel if the two have had a tiff. Nor can the Libran's spouse often complain that he or she is not understood, for the Libran is usually the most empathetic of all the zodiacal types and the most ready to tolerate the beloved's failings.

The negative Libran character may show frivolity, flirtatiousness and shallowness. It can be changeable and indecisive, impatient of routine, colorlessly conventional and timid, easygoing to the point of inertia, seldom angry when circumstances demand a show of annoyance at least; and yet Librans can shock everyone around them with sudden storms of rage. Their love of pleasure may lead them into extravagance; Libran women extravagant, jealous and careless about money sometimes squander their wealth and talents in their overenthusiasm for causes which they espouse. Both sexes can become great gossipers. A characteristic of the type is an insatiable curiosity that tempts them to enquire into every social scandal in their circle.

In their work the description "lazy Libra" which is sometimes given is actually more alliterative than true. Librans can be surprisingly energetic, though it is true that they dislike coarse, dirty work. Although some are modestly content, others are extremely ambitious. With their dislike of extremes they make good diplomats but perhaps poor party politicians, for they are moderate in their opinions and able to see other points of view. They can succeed as administrators, lawyers (they have a strong sense of justice, which cynics might say could handicap them in a legal career), antique dealers, civil servants and bankers, for they are trustworthy in handling other people's money. Some Librans are gifted in fashion designing or in devising new cosmetics; others may find success as artists, composers, critics, writers, interior decorators, welfare workers or valuers, and they have an ability in the management of all sorts of public entertainment. Some work philanthropically for humanity with great self-disciple and significant results. Libran financiers sometimes make good speculators, for they have the optimism and ability to recover from financial crashes.

The symbol associated with your sign is the scales of balance representing the balance that you continually seek in your self and your life. The scales were also adopted by our judicial system to symbolize a balance of fairness in the law which is emphasized by 'blind justice' holding them.

Anyway….if you even bothered to read through it, maybe you at least got a smile, if you know me.  I bolded the statements that at least stood out to me as being “true” of my character.  I do have to point out, though, that I could have just as easily gone through another sign and found representative similarities.  In fact, for kicks, I went through the virgo description at the same website, and actually, seem to line up more with that: (modest, shy, meticulous, reliable, practical, diligent, intelligent, analytical, fussy, worrier, overcritical, perfectionist, conservative)…..I guess I was just born a week too late. ;)

All that to say: I don’t buy into it; it’s entertaining, at best; and, well, that’s all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

30DBC03: Drugs and Alcohol

Yesterday, I said that I didn’t have the energy to pursue this topic, but as I sat down to blog today, I realized that I can actually keep it pretty straightforward.

Drugs: I hate them.  While I have never personally tried any type of substance, I have firsthand knowledge of the havoc that substance abuse can wreak on a person and a family.  So, yeah.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Alcohol: My stance on this one is a little less emphatic, but not by much.

People initially don’t believe me when I tell them that I’ve never had a drink, of anything alcoholic.  Ever.  And I’m 30.  But it’s just something that I knew, at a young age, that I would never try.

Alcoholism runs in my family, and it has taken the lives (either directly or indirectly) of several people I love.  Nothing good comes of anyone drinking to excess; I just happen to have some people in my life who may, either on occasion or as a standard, drink too much, and it alters their personalities beyond recognition.  And I hate it.

My aversion to alcohol, personally, is so strong that it was one of those “differences” that I mentioned  in my post about Jim.  In fact, on our second (I think) date, I told him that if he wasn’t willing to give up alcohol, entirely, for me, that we didn’t have a future.  And for almost 5 years he did.  It was only after Jim had gone above and beyond to prove his commitment to me, and to show me that he was a man of extreme self control, that I let down my guard enough to trust him when it came to his decision to have the occasional drink.

But I digress…

I don’t judge or condemn those who drink.  My parents, my friends, pretty much everyone I know drinks, to some degree.  And that’s fine.  It’s just not for me.  I know that I have an addictive personality.  I can admit I enjoy my post-c-section pain pills a little too much, and I’m a little bummed when I don’t have the pain to warrant taking them…that right there tells me that I don’t need to play with fire with any other type of mood-altering substance, be it drug or alcohol.

So, there you have it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

30DBC21: One of my favorite shows

It’s late Saturday night, and we’ve been partying all day at the pool and at a friend’s home and at a small-town fireworks celebration and I am tired (and I have a piece of plastic stuck in my right foot, so I’m cranky), SO.  That means, I’m not in a mindset to write the third topic in the 30DBC series, which is my view on drugs and alcohol, so I’m cheating, and jumping ahead to Day 21.

And I’m not really even going to expound on they whys of my answer, you’ll just have to take me at my word that it is a good show, and that you need to catch up on past seasons post haste.

I love the FOX hit Fringe, primarily for two reasons.

One, because the writing is so well done that it manages to keep me interested in science fiction, which is almost impossible.

And two, because I have only ever had one celebrity crush, and it is on this guy:

joshua_jackson 
Any day that has Joshua Jackson in it is a good day, indeed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

30DBC02: Where I’d like to be in 10 years

Do people really know the answer to this question?  I mean, really?  Because I don’t.

Honestly.

I mean, in 10 years, I’ll be 40, and I’ll have a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old.  I want to be healthy.  I was to be established in a safe home.  I want my family to be healthy, safe, and happy, too.

But beyond that, I’ve found that life can take some unexpected (and sometimes unwelcome, but often wonderful) turns, and I’m not one to handle crushed expectations well, so….

Does that make me a coward?  I don’t think so.  Life with Jim has just made me a little more of a “roll-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” girl.

Will I be working again?  Will I just be a kick-butt SAHM who rocks out the bake sales? (I doubt that – at least the bake sale part.)  Maybe I’ll be freelancing from home.  That third option is probably the closest thing to a “hidden dream job” that I have, but honestly, who knows?

If my husband, and my children, and my parents are all still healthy and happy (well, me, too), I’ll consider myself to be exactly where I want to be.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

30DBC01: My Current Relationship

A lifetime ago, when I started this blog, it was actually titled "Writer Chic and Lawn Boy."  Do y'all remember that?

Obviously, I'm the Writer Chic -- the girl with the English degrees who talks too much and tries to channel that blathering onto this tiny piece of internet real estate.  But the Lawn Boy -- he doesn't get too much air time around these parts, so, today is his day.

My current relationship is ..... MARRIED.

Happily, for 5 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.

And here is an abbreviated (okay, an attempted abbreviated) story of how this Writer Chic met her Lawn Boy.

Once upon a time, I worked for the advertising department of a small private college.  I had a great boss, and great co-workers, but up the ladder rungs of the chain of command sat a matriarch who was smart and talented .... and, honestly, well past the point of retirement.

She was hard to work for.  And by hard, I mean impossible.  And by impossible, I mean, I-was-so-stressed-out-that-I-started-having-severe-migraines-that-put-me-in-the-hospital impossible.  So, I sucked it up and toughed it out and held my breath til I'd reached my one-year-anniversary in my position, and then I resigned.  I resigned, and ran back home (home being, litterally, my childhood home of 20 years, in Ohio), sick, and broken, and defeated.

I was 22, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with myself or my degree.

And then I met Jim and we lived happily ever after, la la la la la.....! =)

Not really, but we'll get there eventually.

It was early May, 2003, and I applied for a handful of jobs that I was either over- or underqualified for, and was offered none of them.  At the time, the hours of availability that I was proposing to prospective employers put me in a less than desirable position, because I was taking the opportunity of my free time to chauffer my mom back and forth to the University of Michigan for post-bone marrow transplant appointments.

But one day, the perfect job found me.

I'd applied for a cashier position at the Kohl's department store that was just up the street from our home, and was asked to come in for an interview.  I honestly didn't feel very confident, because I'd never run a register (underqualified) and I already had a college degree (overqualified).  But I met the manager, Wendy, and over the course of our conversation, she came up with a position much better than cashier: regional recruiter.

Basically, I got to work my own hours, report to Human Resources, screen applicants, maintain personnel records, and conduct orientation and training classes at my convenience.  (Score!!!)

And I know you're probably thinking, what does any of this have to do with Jim?  The answer: nothing.  But I promise, we're getting there.)

So, I accepted the job at Kohl's, and went on my merry way, which involved not having to work weekends, which meant that I had a standing movie date with my dad every Friday night.

On our way to the movie theatre, we would pass the church that my family had started attending while I'd been away at college.  I was joining them on Sunday morning, but hadn't really branched out more than that.  But each Friday, we'd notice from the interstate that the parking lot would have upwards of 20 or 30 cars.

"You should go check it out, hon," my dad would say each week (it being the Friday night singles' group gathering), and each week I'd reply, "I'm not ready."  And this back-and-forth continued pretty much for the whole summer.  Until I gave just a little an agreed to attend a Wednesday night small group meeting instead.

And then I met Jim and we lived happily ever after, la la la la la.....! =)

Ok, well we're not quite to the "happily ever after" part, but the "and then I met Jim" part is true.

That night at the meeting there was Chris (the guy my dad worked with who led the study); his wife Julia (who I actually went to high school with); Chad, whose house we were at; Joshua, Chad's one-year-old son (mom Melissa was out of town that night); Christie; John; and, last but not least, Jim, whose arrival was heralded by Joshua's exuberant "Dim, Dim, Dim!!!" at the roar of Jim's approaching motorcycle.

Now, a few pieces of history: my "type" is typically: intelligent-in-a-geeky-scholarly-way; muscial; white-collar; talkative; and dramatic.

Jim?  Not so much those things.  I mean, please don't get me wrong.  He is smart.  Smarter than me in a lot of ways.  And he likes music -- but more to listen to what he likes, not necessarily perform, like me.  And owning your own lawn care business (hence the moniker Lawn Boy) is about as blue-collar as you can get.  And he's not really a talker.  In fact, I'm not sure I know anyone who more aptly fits the "man of few words" description.  And he isn't dramatic at all.  I'm not sure I'd ever met someone so mild mannered and even tempered.  And did I mention he had a motorcycle? He had a motorcycle.



Basically, what I'm trying to say is: he's not my type.

Anyways, seeing as how Jim was not my type, it was anything but love at first sight.  I mean, I wasn't appalled or anything, I just wasn't interested, in Jim, or anyone, for that matter.

But time went on, as time has the tendency to do, and summer turned to fall, and fall to winter, and sometime in the cold month of January 2004, my heart tripped just ever so slightly, and landed right at the feet of Mr. Not My Type Jim.

Nothing dramatic had happened to get my attention.  I'd just gotten to watch him, and know him, from a distance, and I liked what I saw.  My interest was piqued.    His?  Not so much, it seemed.

So, I kept my feelings entirely to myself, and began to pray that (a) he would "notice" me, or (b) my feelings would change.  In the meantime, I just went about my life, applying to grad school for the following fall, and making plans to spend the upcoming summer in Santa Cruz, CA, working at a camp/conference facility.

And 15 days before I was supposed to leave for California, I got an email.

From Jim.

Asking me to go to the movies (Shrek 2, to be exact).

And I said yes.  And went.  And broke EVERY first date rule out there, in that I told him I'd been interested in him for months; that I was still leaving for California, but that I was hoping I'd have a reason to come home at the end of the summer; and that I felt more strongly about him than any logical reasoning would warrant.....seriously, I'm surprised he didn't throw me out of the car and hightail it out of there.

But he took it in stride.  He told me he'd been interested back in the fall, but that he thought there was someone else in the picture (on my end), so he just didn't pursue it.  But here we were, so now what?

Well, "now what" turned out to be a LOT of dates in the two weeks we had before I left for Cali.  I met his parents, his best friend and his wife, and we parted on June 3, bascially committed to each other.

Now, there are more initmate details that I'm not going to take time to share at this point about how remarkable it is that I didn't scare off Jim that May -- deatils that would only highlight his incredible character and show what a selfless, generous man he is.

But I'll instead just try to wrap it up.....I went to California, got a full time job offer there, turned it down to come home to Jim and grad school (Jim worked out, grad school didn't), worked through a couple differences in opinion (and by worked through I mean Jim was gracious enough to put aside his opinions for me), went to a Brad Paisley concert (where Jim will tell you he would have proposed if he thought I'd say yes), went to Florida to visit the rest of my family, and on February 11, 2005, he asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

So we got married, moved around, bought a house or five, had some babies, built a life....and I can say, after all these years, Mr. Not My Type turned out to be a pretty good type after all.

And we're living happily ever after....

Friday, July 1, 2011

30-Day Blog Challenge INTRO

Okay, people, here we go.

I teased you a while ago with the announcement of a new blog series, the 30 Day Blog Challenge. And I'm making myself commit to it this month (which, given some craziness that is going on in our lives (good crazy, don't worry!), is about the most foolish thing I could do at this point), but I'm all about the accountability.

So! Starting tomorrow, I'm going to begin working my way through the challenge (which, from now on, I'll abbreviate with 30DBC). July is going to be a fun, busy month for us, so be prepare to have August posts be all about our July goings-on...

But for now, buckle up! The Writer Chic 30DBC starts tomorrow!
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