Friday, July 30, 2010

A weekend for the guys

So last weekend I told all of you about my bridal shower and bachelorette festivities. It was a great time, and I am now fully recovered from my "fun" over the weekend. Well, guess's T's turn now. Yep, the big bachelor party is set for this Saturday. And T couldn't be more excited. Truth be told, I'm pretty excited for him, too. See, unlike me and my glory days in college, T was pretty tame. He went to a local college and lived at home with his parents. He worked his butt off for six years and got his bachelors and masters in engineering. That being said, I do know one of his huge regrets is that he didn't really go out and have fun a lot in his college days. Since we've been together, I've tried to change that, exposing him to a whole world of new experiences, but I can't really pull of a guy's night out. I lack several pieces of equipment important for that, and while, yes, I can drink beer and eat wings like any other guy, I'm simply not one of the guys. So he'll be able to experience a bit more of that this weekend.

My older brother is planning this excursion for T, God help us. No, I'm actually being a bit dramatic about that. I'm very happy that my brother is planning this for him, and I'm sure it'll be an awesome time. They've got their "guy" activities all planned out - go-carting in the afternoon, dinner at a local microbrewery, and then hitting the bars downtown. T's Dad and brother are making the trip from Michigan to attend this weekend, and I know that T's super excited to have them here. They'll be coming in Friday night and staying until Sunday morning. We try to see T's family as much as we can, but they live about 5 hours away so that can make it difficult at times.

Since our house will be full of men, I am hitting the road and staying with my parents for the weekend. We're doing some wedding stuff, getting my dress for the rehearsal dinner, working on the bags for guests at the hotel, getting the bridesmaids' gifts, etc. I feel bad leaving T for the weekend, but at the same time it'll be great to get this stuff done and also to let him have a guys weekend, just him and the boys. He deserves that.

I'll also be helping watch Roo, since my sister has a work conference to go to on Saturday, so that should be nice. Just a little Nainy and Roo time would be good. I'm sure I'll be regaling you with stories of that next week.

Just a thought to ask you all out there in would you feel about a guest post from the man himself, T? It's an idea I've been toying with, and if you all ask nicely, I'm sure he'll oblige :-) I just can't promise you what it'll be about. I'm sure lots of math and engineering stuff. Cars, tools, you know, that kind of talk. Things that make me want to poke my eyes out.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spin Cycle: The First Time

It's time for the Spin Cycle, courtesy of Jen at Sprite's Keeper. Oh Spin Cycle, how I missed thee in the week you took off. Anyway, this week's topic is another interesting one: the first time. And no, we're not talking THAT first time. So get your mind out of the gutter, people. No, I'll talk about a different first time for all of you.

Ok, so I have a small problem. A driving problem. Well, correct that...a parking problem. See, I, Nain, have what people call a depth perception problem. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear type of thing. When I was in driver's ed, I remember them telling us about this, and I blew it off thinking "please, that problem doesn't exist." It wasn't until about one month after I got my license that I discovered that, yes, this problem does exist. And it's a bitch.

Over the course of my year of being a licensed driver, I've hit several parked cars. The last count I had was six, and that doesn't count inanimate objects: walls, rocks, fences, curbs, etc. I can't keep count of those. I have really really bad luck when it comes to cars. Really bad luck. I could give you a post for every incident when I have done something stupid in my car, but since this one is about my "first time," I'll just tell you about my first parked car.

I know I've already told you guys about my first car - my awesome 1992 Dodge Shadow convertible. I saved and saved and worked my butt off to get this car, and when I did, I was so excited. My own set of wheels. Finally. I tried my best to keep extra good care of this car. Keyword: tried.

It was a beautiful sunny day. I had just gotten out of school and was heading to my afterschool job. I was a junior in high school, and I had the world at my fingertips. My job was at a local elementary school working as a babysitter basically at an afterschool wrap-around program where kids could stay until around 6:00 p.m. when their parents got off work. It was a pretty decent gig. I was running a little late on this particular day, and the parking lot was ridiculously full at the school. I pull into the lot and see a spot to my right in between two cars. I turn my wheel as far as I think it should go and start to pull in.

It isn't but a few seconds before I hear it. The crunching noise The noise of metal being smashed and distorted. Sadly, I know this noise all too well. I dream about it in my sleep and wake up in a cold sweat. Yep, I hit a car. Panicking, I put my car in park. Right where it is, the exact position where I hit the car next to me. I think my the side of my car was still up on the other car's door just a bit, but I didn't know what to do. My first reaction: call Dad. He'll know what to do to fix this. Of course, my father works in a city about 50 minutes north of where I grew up. It's not like he could have instantly beamed himself there and made the car accident go away. So I call him. In tears, I tell him that I hit a blue Cavalier in the parking lot at work. He asks, "where's your car?" I tell him that it's still in the position it was where I hit it. He instructs me to figure out whose car it is and let them know. This isn't what I wanted to hear.

Obviously, this person was probably a teacher at this school. It was an elementary school, so clearly it couldn't belong to a student. The process of elimination was pretty easy with that one. So I go to the front desk and ask the secretary if she knows who owns a blue Cavalier at that school. She doesn't know but tells me that all of the teachers are in a meeting down the hall in the cafeteria. Why don't I go ask there? Again, not what I wanted to hear. But remember, my car is in an awkward position, blocking this car in, in the parking lot. I had no choice.

So I make my way to the cafeteria. I have tears in my eyes and this huge frog in my throat. The last thing I want to do is stand before a room of adults and say "hey I hit someone's car...who has the blue Cavalier?" But I did. I interrupted a teacher's meeting and embarrassed the hell out of myself in the process. Of course, the teacher who owned the car was really sweet. She gave me a hug, as I was in even more tears at this point, and she went outside and helped me back my car up and off of hers and then pull it in somewhere else. She said not to worry, that her husband could hammer out the dent in her car. Mine, on the other hand, was a whole other question. I did some pretty decent damage, too, I must say. However, in the grand scheme of things, I couldn't have asked for a nice person whose car to hit.

I'd like to say that that was my only experience doing this, but that would be one huge lie. However, this is my first time we're talking about, so we won't get into that. Another day, another blog post...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Telling my story

“I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.”

― Harold Kushner

Now, I've alluded to the fact that I'm currently writing a book in several posts before but I haven't really told you much about the content of said book. In fact, I've kept it about as vague as humanly possible, and well, I've done that for several reasons. 1) I'm afraid no one will like what I'm writing and 2) I'm afraid I won't ever have the nerve to finish it. It's probably the first fear more than anything that has kept me from really disclosing what is in this book. I've let T read the first nine chapters I've written, but that's about it. Perhaps I should change that...

I've debated putting a chapter or two on this blog, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea yet or not. See, this book is not just purely fiction. Throughout my life, I've been through a course of events and experiences that have changed me as a person and have brought me to be the person I am today. These experiences weren't easy ones, they sure as hell would be something I would want to see my own children go through some day, and they aren't always easy to revisit in whatever fashion, whether that be through writing or just memories. In the past few years, and in talking with friends and family about some of these things that have happened in the past ten years or so, I'm always hearing "you should so write a book about this. You can't make this stuff up." Well, that's true, you can't make it up, but that doesn't mean that writing about it wouldn't be equally as difficult. However, I made the decision a few months ago that I would finally do it. I would take an isolated experience and write about it. Most of it would be based off of fact and things that actually happened but it would be loosely written around those facts, enough to spare the parties involved.

Shortly after I started this blog in May, I also started writing. Once I got started, it just flowed out. I knew the basic story I wanted to tell, and I drafted a brief storyline and outline to go from. However, as I got further into the book, I started to realize something. By writing about all of this, I'm reliving some of my darkest moments. It's cathartic, but at the same time, it's me reliving things I've worked so hard to forget.

When I sent T the first few chapters of my book, I was kind of worried how he would react. He knows my story, and he knows everything about me, yes. However, a lot of what I found myself writing were things that I never told anyone. Not even my closest friends at the time. I kept these thoughts to myself, and now, I'm finally getting them out.  He said he loved the book, but it does break his heart a little because he realizes that this character was me at one point in my life and he doesn't like that I had to go through all of that. Granted, my story does have a happy ending, and the book won't be like that the whole time. But I'm trying to be as honest as humanly possible in my writing. I just hope it doesn't bite me in the butt in the end.

So what do you think, my faithful readers? Should I post a preview to my book in here at all? Just a passing thought...let me know what you guys think.

We're halfway through the week...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Friday is near!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Small treasures and awards

You get 2 posts from me today - can you believe it? I've been inspired by Chantel, from My Thoughts and Treasures, who is quite possibly one of the sweetest people you'll ever see on the blogosphere, to participate in another meme today: Small Treasures Tuesday. My small treasure today is you guys. My readers. And this small treasure leads me to yet another meme-type thing...I got an award from Cori over at Cori's Big Mouth. She's a new blogger I've come across, and I absolutely love reading about her and her daughter's adventures. I've been giving an award for being a Versatile Blogger. Seriously, I've never considered myself versatile by any means, and honestly, when I first started my blog, I wasn't sure where this would take me and whether I would even have readers. So to be honored by someone like that, it really means a lot. I love where this is taking me and the fact that I have gotten back to writing and following my passions and what I love. And I can't wait to see what the future will hold for me.

So the rules are this:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!
  4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award! I’m sure they’ll be thankful. 
So seven things about goes nothing: 

1. I love to cook and to try new things in the kitchen. I think T likes this a lot, too.

 2. I probably exercise more than I should, and if I don't exercise in a day, I have myself convinced that I'm suddenly going to get really fat from not working out. (Please see another irrational fear...)

 3. I am the youngest of 3 children in my family but you wouldn't know that by talking to me. I often get mistaken for the oldest.

 4. I love stupid comedies. Anything that makes me laugh. I'm not one for the serious in anyway.

 5. I love to dance, even though I might not be the best dancer. The way I describe my style of dancing is silly white girl dancing. But I don't care...I just love to dance.

 6. We're getting married in exactly 53 days from today.

 7. In exactly 54 days, I will be in Dublin, Ireland. I couldn't be any more excited for Number 6 and 7


 And 15 bloggers...this one might be a little more difficult because I'm relatively new to this and am not sure if I'm aware of 15 bloggers (well, new bloggers) so some of you have been tagged before. But, because I think you're so awesome, you are still getting this award:

2. Chantel @ My Thoughts and Treasures
3. SIF @ Single, Infertile Female: Now What?
4. Holly Renee @ Love Imagine Create
5. Chloe @ My New Life As a Housewife
6. Helena @ Life In the Pitts
7. Megan @ Best of Fates
8. Suzie @ I Married a Moron...and Survived!
9. Vandy @ The Testosterone Three and Me
10. Peg @ Square Peg in a Round Hole

Ok, so now I'm getting into people I've already tagged before so, sorry, folks...just 10 today. But go check them out because they really are all great! And thank you, Cori, for my award, and Chantel, I hope this suffices as a small treasure for the day!

More random thoughts

It's Tuesday - that means it's time for you all to read my Random Thoughts! I know you're excited...enjoy!


On Sunday, out of pure exhaustion from being out the night before, I spent six hours watching I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant on TLC. I'm not sure why, but I was drawn in. It's amazing how many people don't know they were pregnant for nine months. Even more many of these women have eight pound babies and STILL didn't know they were pregnant. Or twins even.  I don't know...I tend to call bullshit on that one. That, and I will never feel the same when I have a massive stomach ache and need to use the restroom. I will forever be paranoid that I am about to unknowingly give birth. Damn you, TLC.....

I found out on Saturday that my nephew, baby nephew of only 13 young years, has his own Twitter account. I don't even have a Twitter account.  And in his bio, he refers to himself as the non biological offspring of Chuck Norris. Wow. I need to get a Twitter account just so I can see what this kid writes on there. Too funny...

So, my brother has invited T and I to participate in this co-ed fantasy football thing. See, this is something I don't and fantasy football. Isn't it just imaginary football league? So yesterday on facebook, my brother and his two guy friends are emailing back and forth (replying to all, of course) about their draft picks, and they do this all day long. Some of us are working and don't need messages constantly flooding our inbox, but hey, that's ok. So I finally email everyone back and say this: "Would you three ladies please stop with the back and forth? Some of us get these messages every time you write. Don't three will get to play imaginary football league. It'll be stop your's annoying." Yes, I'll play, and no, I have no clue what I'm doing. And do I care? No.

One of our presents we got from my sister as part of of the game we played was magnetic alphabet letters to put on the refrigerator. So we have taken to writing obscene words to leave for the other. Yes, we're 10.

We've had a rash of creepy crawlers in our house lately. The kind that look like water bugs...little centipede things, and dude, these things fly. Or something along those lines. One was above our door frame last night, and T pointed it out to me so I rushed to get my trusty Swiffer to kill it. When I returned to the room, the thing had fallen off of the door frame and was crawling on the floor. That thing fell like 8 feet. I yelled at T for not keeping his eye on it at all times, and then I swiftly beat the life out of it. I'm mean like that. Bugs. If you're in my bedroom that's enemy territory buddy.

So there are your random thoughts for the day...head over to The UnMom and check out some others!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I haven't done this since college....

So, despite my anxiety behind the whole thing, I survived the weekend. And I had a ton of fun in the process. The shower was incredible, thanks goes out to my sister for putting this whole thing on. She really did go above and beyond in making the day special. I had some great friends to share it with, too. I was so happy to get to reconnect with a couple of my friends from college who I haven't seen in forever. We got a ton of loot, too. Seriously. I have no idea where to put half of it either. Right now, we have bags and boxes just stacked up in our hallway in front of the linen closet. They were stacked up in our guest bedroom but since T's dad and brother will be coming into town for the bachelor party festivities this weekend, I felt they deserved to stay in a clean room rather than wedding storage facility. So these items have made their way to the hallway. Not much better, really.

Anyway, I digress...after the shower festivities, the bridesmaids and everyone going to the bachelorette party stuck around my sister's house until dinner time. The plans were to hit up a local pub for dinner and drinks and then head downtown. The theme for the night was pink leopard print. Back story: In college, I had an obsession with leopard everything. My dorm room my sophomore and junior years was all decked out in leopard. Most of it was stuff I made personally. I painted items, including candle holders, the edge of my bulletin board, frames, etc., in a leopard pattern. Leopard sheets, bedspread, rug, the whole nine yards. I still have most of this stuff in a box somewhere, though I'm not sure why. I doubt T will let me have a leopard room when we build a house someday. We'll see. Anyway, so my sister got me all of this cute bachelorette stuff to wear that incorporated the pink leopard theme. Shot glass necklace, sash, cute little leopard bag to carry items in, leopard flip flops, the whole nine yards. Before we left she decided to play dress up with me, too, and she dressed me up in a cute little black dress and even did my painted my nails pink and black leopard to match. So we got all dolled up and headed out for the night...

Now I should let you know that I did let my anxiety get the better of me for the first portion of the night. I felt so sick to my stomach due to nerves throughout dinner, and I hardly ate a thing. It took all I had in me to drink my beer at dinner, as well. Not sure why I had myself so wound up, but I had myself convinced I was going to drink too much and get sick. (Irrational fears, how I love them.) However, thanks to my friends, I was able to loosen up throughout the evening, as we headed downtown for some dancing. I haven't danced like that in ages either. It was a great precursor to the wedding reception, I'm sure. We hit two different bars, the Cadillac Ranch and Ike & Jonesy's. And we stayed out until 2:45 a.m. I didn't hit the bed until a little after 3:00 a.m. I have not done that since college, let me tell you, and even when I did stay out that late, that was a pretty rare occasion. But the night was incredible, and I had a great last hurrah as a single lady.

The next morning, surprisingly, I woke up pretty much OK. I was exhausted beyond belief, but I wasn't hungover at all. (Yay!) I laid around and played with my niece for a little bit before heading back home. I arrived home to T and a clean house (isn't he the best?) I pretty much laid around the rest of the day watching episodes of The Jersey Shore and I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. I did decide to do a little bit of laundry, which took all the energy I had in me, and then I got the bright idea to get dinner started for the next day. I took out my crock pot and began to get things set out for the morning when I lost my grip on the stoneware insert to the crock pot, letting it fly out of my hands and then shatter all over the kitchen floor. Lesson learned: Don't do anything productive when you're that tired. Poor T had to console me (I was in tears because it scared me so much and well, I was exhausted) and then clean the floor of shards of stoneware before we could head to bed for the evening.

So the worrying was unnecessary. I know, you all told me so! I would have pictures on here, but I'm not one to post drunken pictures of myself for the entire public to see...sorry ladies!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I love samples!

It's Saturday! While I'm getting ready to head out of town for my bridal shower and bachelorette party festivities, I wanted to participate in my weekly Saturday Steal, brought to you courtesy of Camille at Archives of Our Lives.

My steal this week is pretty interesting. Ever since I have gone to law school and officially became broke, I have gone on an Internet search for coupons, samples, freebies, etc. I have a few sites bookmarked that I frequent, one of which is Mommy Saves Big, a blog offered through I go on there every now and then and see what I can find. I often times find things like free shampoo samples, granola bar samples, soap samples, etc. A few times I've hit the motherload and have actually gotten a substantial amount of stuff. T finds it hilarious because sometimes he'll come home and we'll have a few random boxes marked from Wal-Mart, and they'll have a sample of cereal in them or something like that. Hey, every bit counts, right?

So a little while ago, I was looking again on my favorite free samples blog, when I came across an offer from telemundo (I think that's what it was) for samples. Of course, when you clicked the site, it was all in Spanish, but I know a little Spanish so I was able to fill it out with ease. I didn't think anything of it until just this last Saturday, when the following box came to my door. And look at the goodies that came inside of it!

I mean, that's a big sample of Bisquick. Even I was impressed. A free box of cereal and a free granola bar, as well as a coupon for $40 off 5 yoplait yogurts. Whoo-hoo! I've scored the motherload!

So yes, I'm cheap, but when you owe as much as I do in student loan debt, you do what you gotta do. Plus, getting this package in the mail made my day, even if it was in Spanish, as well as the directions for the Bisquick.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shopping for men can be difficult...

Yesterday morning on the Today Show, I heard a promotion for Christmas in July sales. The lovely voice of Matt Lauer (I heart Matt Lauer) told me about different stores having "Black Friday" type deals for people to buy Christmas presents 5 months in advance. Part of me started to freak out because we have a lot of people to buy for, and man, time runs out quickly. But then I took a deep breath and said "calm down, Nain, Christmas is 5 months away." After my brief panic attack, I turned my focus back to Mr. Lauer as he told me about the different places doing these sales. And that got me thinking just a bit about gifts and what I want to give my wonderful family this year.

I think I can get the support of all of you ladies out there when I say that men are pretty hard to buy for. They just are. The men in my life specifically. Now, while T would love anything I give him, I always want to give him something he actually wants. I'd rather not waste my money on something that's just going to sit around. The same with my father. I find it ironic because both my father and future husband have the same first name AND they are both engineers, meaning they like gadgets and stuff. They're practical men so they need practical gifts. Last Christmas, I gave T a shop vac. He likes to clean out his car, he didn't have one, so I figured, why not? My dad is a whole other quandry. He has a ton of tools, most of them I don't even know what they are. The man rebuilt a 1972 Chevelle for God's sake, so he's pretty stocked up. Usually I give him the standard Starbuck coffee and case of Microbrew beer. Coffee and beer. You can't go wrong. However, this year, I'm debating going a different direction. You know, keep them guessing?

So I was approached the other day by the folks at Brookstone to feature their store and write a little bit about them. Of course, I was happy to oblige because I'm quite familiar with the store and their products. Back when we were kids, after my brother had gotten his drivers license, he, my sister and I would load up into his beat up Mazda RX7 and drive to the mall to wander around a bit. Since he was the one with the wheels we went where he wanted to go, which meant spending time at Best Buy, the computer game store, and of course, Brookstone. I would always find the massage chair to sit in and would enjoy the back massager for a little bit, while he and my sister would check out the many cool gadgets everywhere. (I'm sure the people at the store just loved us!)

I haven't checked out their Web site in awhile, so I did a little searching (and pre-Christmas shopping brainstorming, of course). They have a lot of great things! I may subtly hint to T about a possible massager (you know, I do have a very stressful job, after all), but they have a page totally dedicated to ideas for your dad. It's great because I can never come up with these on my own, and I really like some of the ideas. I'm sure he could use the anti-snore pillow, but I might insult him with that one. I really like the talking grill meat thermometer.

One idea for T is found in the outdoor furniture covers. See, we have a grill cover that sucks. It really does. Any storm, any breeze, will blow that puppy off and then our grill gets all wet. And it's not like we have this amazing grill, but we've only had it a year and would like to keep it nice for now. So I'm seriously eyeing the grill cover here. It looks much sturdier than our current one.

Ideas, anyway, for all of my loyal readers (and yours truly), Brookstone is offering this awesome discount if you click on one of the hyperlinks on my blog. The coupon code is: 22SAVE for $10 off any online purchase or $70 or more. That's a really great deal, and if you're like me, and you like to plan ahead, this is an excellent opporunity to do just that.

As always, I'm open to suggestions for gifts for my two T's for any of those of you who are really good with the ideas. I'd like to thank Brookstone for checking out my blog and giving me this opportunity to talk about them, too.

Enjoy, everyone! And of course, TGIF!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How about this face?

I know I've talked about my niece Roo an awful lot on this blog, but I can't help it. I love all of my nieces and nephews so much. And, since I'm her Nainy, I feel it is partly my job to make sure she's always smiling and always loved. That's what aunts are for. Truth be told, I'm that way with all of my niecse and nephews. T says I'm the "cool Aunt." I'm the one who talks to them like their miniature adults. I can't help it. One, I don't really have a censor so it's hard for me to say "now, step back here, Nain...should you say this to your 13 year old nephew?"

Case in point, back in March, T and I bought tickets with my brother and sister-in-law to see an Irish rock band, Flogging Molly. We love love love their music. Anyway, sis-in-law got sick with strep the day before the concert. She felt absolutely horrible, but to her oldest son's delight, she passed the ticket down to him. My oldest nephew has some excellent taste in music, let me tell you. His iPod puts mine to shame. So he was familiar with the band and was excited to go. So we had them meet us downtown before the concert at a restaurant called the Rathskeller, a German restaurant T and I frequent (and it's right across the street from the concert venue). I figured they'd have sandwiches and stuff to eat and it wouldn't be extraordinarily expensive. I was wrong. Dude, the dinner menu is ridiculous. More like gourmet German cuisine. No way would a 13 year old boy eat this. So I scour the menu frantically before the concert looking for an idea. And I found one, in the form of 2 appetizer platters...the brat and krat balls and the bratwurst sampler (a whole host of different german sausages). Now, I live with a guy who has the mind of a 13 year old when it comes to things like this, and he was already giggling over the word "balls" and "bratwurst" so I figured, hey, why not? When they got there, I could tell my nephew, C, was out of his element. Who wouldn't be at 13? So we order this meal, and for the rest of the dinner, I proceed to tell C that he needs to eat his balls and wieners because we're not going to the concert until every ball has been eaten. I got some laughs out of him, and he loosened up. Score! We ate and then headed to the concert venue. He had to have been one of the youngest ones there, so I tried to make him feel comfortable by, what else, embarassing him with my idiotic white girl dancing. Why not? More laughs from the nephew. Score again! And since this was his first concert, I felt it only necessary to buy him a t-shirt because that is a rite of passage for a young man. My only requirement was no profanity on the shirt. We stood in line, picked the shirt out, and it seemed ok...until he wore it at my mom's house the next weekend, and she noticed the beer mug in the corner. Doh. It's a rootbeer mug, mom, ok? (Am I bad influence?)

I've sucked T into my sick little world of warping the minds of my brother's and sister's kids. At the reunion a month ago, we could tell Roo was getting bored (well, we were too), and restless (again, ditto). So I decided to make her laugh by sticking my water bottle cap in my mouth holding it with my teeth until the thing popped out. T joined me, and pretty soon, we had Roo want to join the game. My sister looks over, shakes her head, takes a picture and says "look at what they are teaching my daughter." What else are aunts for?

So anyway, poor Roo has come down with the stomach flu, and nothing makes me sadder than to hear that my four year old niece is feeling under the weather. I must cheer her up. We have this thing we do with her where we make goofy faces and go "how about this face?" to make the other person laugh, and then it's the other person's turn to make a face. She's pretty good at it. The faces this kid comes up with crack me up. Such a clown. So I decided, as I pulled into court this morning, I was going to send my sister a picture message to cheer Roo up. So I made my silly face, and sent it to her saying "Nainy hopes this face cheers Roo up!" I have been told that it got a giggle out of a now recovering Roo. Mission accomplished.

So yeah, I might be a bad influence, but I'm a good aunt. Or at least I try to be! Just wait until T and I have young ones of our own...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh, my irrational fears...

Ok guys, so I have a confession to make. So yesterday, I got to subject you to my random thoughts, but today....we have irrational fears!  (whoo!)  Now, despite the fact that I talk a lot and try to keep myself as busy as possible and meeting new people, I have a bit of social anxiety. I hate being the center of attention. I hate having big events loom over my head. This does not bode well since I will be the center of attention on September 18th and I do have a big event looming over my head. A few big events for that matter. This presents problems...

This problem has reared its ugly head this week. See, I have my bridal shower and bachelorette party on Saturday. My sister has worked so hard to put together an amazing party, and a normal person would be super stoked about it. I'm having friends come from out of state to attend, people I haven't seen in forever. But yet, I'm kind of anxious about it. I know I have nothing to worry about, but I have that anxiety looming in the back of my head. (I know, it's crazy...)

I used to do this when I was a kid. I'd be invited to someone's house for a slumber party, and I'd get myself so worked up about it that I wouldn't have fun, I'd end up feeling sick to my stomach all night, and then my mom would have to come pick me up at 10:00 at night. It's all in the head, right? I have that same fear - will I drink too much at the bachelorette? What if people don't show up? What if people don't get along? What if, what if, what if. I don't get it, but you know, there it is.

See, I'm really good at psyching myself out. That, and well, I'm a bit of a homebody. I love nothing more than staying in my house, cuddling on the couch and watching DVR with T. I can't help it. I'm a's in my nature. I'm a homebody, and I love it.  I told T this thought of mine this weekend that I was more nervous about this weekend than excited, and he looked at me like I'm crazy. Hell, I've just typed that, and I think I'm crazy.  But I think he's more concerned than anything that I won't have fun because I'm so anxious, and I don't want that to happen at all.

I'm sure right now, it's just the whole anticipation of the thing that has me (I'm 9 and going to a slumber party all over again), and I know that I'll have a great time no matter what. But it's on my mind, and I just had to get that puppy out there. (You know, so you all can think I'm equally crazy...)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh the things I come up with while driving to work....


So the other day, I was having one of those mornings, driving into work, where every little thing annoyed the crap out of me. I admit it, I have those days. Despite the cheery and wonderful persona all see, bitchiness can and will rear its ugly head from me occasionally.

So when I get in one of those "moods," I tend to pick apart everything. Every comment is dripping with sarcasm, and no topic is off limits. So this got me thinking, as I was driving...there are a lot of unanswered questions that I have to life's many mysteries. In typical Nain fashion, I decided to confront every single one of them to see if you have any answers to these deep questions...heck this will serve as my RTT (Random Tuesday Thoughts) too since these are kind of random...

Why are the Kardashians so famous? I mean, come on, is Bruce Jenner even still relevant? How are they paying for that huge house they live in?

Speaking of Olympics, whatever happened to Nancy Kerrigan? Not sure why I'm asking this, but the thought came to my mind the other day.

What is all that crap on Lady Gaga's face? Makeup? Is it permanently tattooed to her eyes?

Why is there a 4th hour to the Today Show? So that Kathy Lee has a job and an excuse to drink early in the morning?

Why did I become a lawyer again? (I ask myself this at least monthly as I see my Sallie Mae loan balance)

Why isn't Sallie Mae's legal department hiring? They seem to be making so much money from me...surely they have some job openings...

Can you return your degree for a refund if you're not happy with it?
Why is it that companies can take money out of your account so much quicker than they put it in? (Follow-up: Why is it when the bank makes a mistake on a withdraw on your account it takes about 2-3 weeks to correct?)

What makes Miller High Life the champagne of all beers? Because I kind of like champagne...but this ruins it for me....

Why is John Mayer still making songs? And why are people still listening to them?

Further, why do women continue to sleep with John Mayer?

Why am I asking so many questions about John Mayer?

Why are there so many maniac drivers out on the road? Did these people NOT take driver's ed?  And further, how in God's name is it that I make it home safely every day with these nut jobs out here?

Why does it rain at the worst possible time? Like when you have something big planned?

Why did I forget to add "honey" to my recipe of "honey chicken stir fry" yesterday? That's like the main ingredient!

So yeah, these are the thoughts I think of when I drive. It's amazing how my mind wanders. Maybe I need medication for that...

Monday, July 19, 2010

The countdown continues...

Yesterday marked our official "2 month" mark until the big day.  I can't believe we're getting that close.  I'm super excited, but as the day nears, getting super anxious about making sure everything is done.  Anyway, as I said on Friday, one of our traditions is T makes me this dinner he has made me pretty much since I've known him:  honey chicken stir fry.  It's delicious.  He always seems to make it on special occasions, like when celebrated our first Christmas together and on anniversaries.  Somewhere along the way we've started a tradition of making this on the 18th of every month as we count down to September 18th.   So today, in honor of the big day, T made this for me for dinner.  I threw together a fruit salad and tossed salad, and we had a big mid-day meal, as we usually do on Sundays.  It was awesome.  We also drank a bottle of blackberry wine we got earlier in May on our trip to Bloomington.  That, too, was awesome.  It was a great meal...a little candlelight, a little background music, and just me and T.  We said the prayer for engaged couples we got from our sponsor couple, too, and we've been trying to keep that tradition, as well, as we get closer to the day.   (Just two more months!!!)

I promised some of you the recipe, and I had meant to take a picture of the feast but...sadly, I forgot, or at least I remembered when my meal was basically eaten.  Another day perhaps...

Honey Chicken Stir Fry
What you need:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (actually, we find that using chicken tenderloins works best because they are easier to cut)
1 garlic clove, minced (garlic powder works, fact we prefer it to the garlic itself because it's too strong)
3 teaspons of olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
1/2 cup onion
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Hot cooked rice

What to do:
In a large nonstick skillet, stir-fry chicken and garlic in olive oil.  Add the honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper.  Cook and stir until chicken is lightly browned and juices run clear. 
In a separate skillet, stir fry the vegetables in a bit of olive oil and soy sauce for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. 
Return chicken to the pan; mix well.  Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into chicken mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for one minute or until thickened.  Serve over rice.
Nain's tips:  I find this meal goes really well if you start drinking the glass of wine while cooking.  And turn on a little 1990s pop for mood music, and you've got a party!  But I definitely recommend the recipe.  Try it and let us know what you think!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Steals - One cup coffeemaker!

So it's that time again - Saturday Steals, brought to you by Camille at Archives of Our Lives!

Now this week, this isn't necessarily a steal, I've personally purchased, and the person who bought it for us, I'm sure, paid the normal full price,'s our new toy, we love it, so I just have to feature it on a post!

It's our Keurig one cup coffeemaker!  When T and I registered for this, we didn't think in a million years that someone would actually purchase this for us.  We kind of figured we'd buy it with gift cards after the wedding.  It was a pipe dream.  However, my aunt and uncle from Buffalo, NY, and their entire family went in together and this was our wonderful shower present from them.  I love it!

Now for those of you who haven't used one of these before, let me explain...a year ago, T and I did retreats at our church, and someone brought one of these for coffee in the morning and during the day sessions.  This thing is so cool.  You buy little cups for different flavors of coffee (I bought us some Caribou coffee to start), You open the top part, stick the plastic cup thing in it, close it (and it punctures a hole in the cup to brew the coffee).  You put some water in the container in the side, hit the button for how big of a cup you want, and voila!  Coffee! 

Now I love coffee almost as much as I love getting oxygen to my brain, so this is the perfect gift in my book.  So there's my Saturday's free to us, right? 

 I'm off to clean my house from top to bottom before T and I have a date night out.  (whoo-hoo!)  Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Growing up as a child, my family had a lot of traditions. Holidays were always spent together, family dinners, Euchre nights, camping trips, you name it. Birthdays are always a really big deal with my family. As a kid, we would always get to go out to dinner to a restaurant of our choosing, had a ton of presents, birthday party with our friends from school, the whole deal. As an adult, we do the same thing, doing a big meal as a family and having a little party, usually with some kid theme picked out by one of my nieces and nephews. Two years ago, it was "Hannah Montana" for my birthday. (Roo hit this phase where, for some reason, she swore up and down that "Nainy loves Hanna-tana" I got Hannah Montana gifts for everything.) It's fun, and it's always a great time for us to get together.

Now that T and I are forming our own family, we are starting to establish our own special traditions to carry on. One of these is we both take off St. Patrick's Day every year. No work, no computers, nothing. We sleep in, get up and get breakfast out and head downtown to see the St. Patrick's Day parade in Indy. We then head out to a fun bar in downtown, the Rathskeller, and hang out outside in the biergarten all day. It's relaxing, it's fun, and it's a day that we spend just the two of us. And it's one we hope to keep up.

T and I both make a big deal out of holidays - the house is always decorated to the nines for Christmas and Easter, and we always celebrate birthdays with a big bang (check out last weekend's posts if you don't believe me...)

Right now, every 18th of the month before we get married, as we count down to the big day, we make a special meal, just the two of us, and it's always the same. T's honey chicken stir fry. (I can post the recipe if you guys want because it is GOOD!) We'll be doing the same thing this Sunday as we hit the "2 month till I do" mark. I'm definitely looking forward to a good meal that night!

We have silly traditions, too. For instance, every Sunday, we have a standing date of watching TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive. It started when I just found it on TV out of boredom one night, and it's quickly turned into a big thing, usually with me squealing with pure delight "Oooh! Hoarding is on tonight!" (I think I thrive off of watching other people's misery...I don't know...) It's silly, but it's something we do together, and I love it.

Of course, most of our traditions involve just T and myself, but as we grow as a family, I can't wait to start fun little traditions for our kids. What kinds of traditions do you all have?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just like riding a bike...

The other day I was at my parent's house, playing outside with my four year old niece, Roo, when she asked if she could go ride her bike. She has a Barbie bike, pink with a cool little Barbie plastic bike you clip onto the handle bars where the Barbie can ride with you. She's on the training wheels at the moment, but man, can she get around! Anyway, she wanted her Aunt Nainy to ride with her. I kind of laughed when she said this and went "oh, sweetie, Aunt Nainy hasn't been on a bike in years. She might hurt herself!" But my mom insisted, saying that they pulled my old 10 speed bike from the shed, and my sister was riding around on it the other day, and it still works just fine. So, after much discussion, I decided to get on that bike and try it out.

Of course, I wasn't really dressed for it. I had on my work clothes, but I hopped on and pedaled after Roo, who was speeding off down the court. "Follow me, my Nainy!" she squealed. Man, it was a rough start. I wobbled all over the place, but eventually I got my pace and started to enjoy myself. It was a lot of fun! And it got me thinking, it's funny how those things you used to do all the time but haven't done for years, like riding a bike, can come back to you easier than you think they would.

Like music, I've been back to playing my viola for about 2 months now. It's come back to me a lot easier than I thought it would. Those seven years of playing in school must have stuck with me. True, I have my shaky moments, but I'm picking it up the best I can. And I'm loving it along the way. I find that it's become a huge stress reliever, too. When I have a bad day or am in a grumpy mood, that seems to go away after my 30 minute weekly lesson.

And school, I used to write all the time - poems, short stories, and I wrote for the high school and college newspapers. After law school, most of my writing turned into legal briefs, and it's been that way for the past five years. I thought coming back to writing would be really tough, but amazingly, it's come back to me as if I never stopped. I'm nearing chapter eight of my book I'm writing, and I love it. It's cathartic, and it gives me something to look forward to.

So I guess that adage of it's just like riding a bike is more true than I thought it was. What about you all? What sorts of things come back to you easily, just like riding a bike?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why I make a bad patient

Over the next few weeks, I have quite a few doctors appointments scheduled. I dread these for a couple of reasons. One, I don't want to have more medical bills to pay for. I feel like I've just caught up, and here we go again! Two, I hate going to the doctor. Always have, and I probably always will. And this isn't to say doctors are bad people because they are not. I actually feel sorry for these poor souls who were cursed with me as a patient. And I'll explain why...

Since I was born with a heart condition and had surgery at the young age of four months old, I've been to many many different doctors my entire life. As a child, once a year, we'd make the trip down to Birmingham, Alabama, to see my cardiologist, and of course, my parents would have to bribe me with promises of a toy if I did well.  This changed to going to Riley Chidlren's Hospital here in Indy to now going to an adult cardiologist in the Indianapolis area. I also had a pediatrician and an allergist since I received allergy shots every Thursday for many years. I absolutely hated Thursdays.  Part of me still does.

See, I have a huge fear of needles. This probably dates back to when I was a baby and all the things they stuck in me in various places to draw blood (I have been told they even tried to get blood from my head), etc. I used to try to negotiate my way out of shots when I was a wee young child. The nurses had to have hated me. I'm sure they were all in the back saying "I had her last time, you get her today." Or "Oh shit, it's that kid again..." Because, every Thursday, without fail, I'd desperately grasp for negotating points with them. "I'm not ready yet! Give me a minute!" "Can we talk about this?" "I'm not comfortable with this, can we talk about it?" I'd try anything to talk my way out of the shot I knew was inevitably coming.  It'd always end with me in tears sucking on a Dum-dum lolli-pop afterwards as my Mom rolls her eyes at her drama queen child. I would even bring in my stuffed animals, as moral support, of course, but then I'd throw them to the wolves by suggesting the nurse give the stuffed animal the shot first. (Didn't work.) With the doctor, I'd work it another direction. If I had strep throat, that would always result in a shot of antibiotics. So I grew wise to this, and I would negotiate if I didn't cry or throw a fit when he gave me the strep test (stick down your throat thing), I wouldn't have to get the shot. Wouldn't you know it? It worked! Maybe THAT'S why I'm an attorney, huh? I had mad negotiating skills even as a child.

As an adult, I do suck it up like a big girl and get my shots (it wouldn't be as cute coming from a grown woman if I tried the above tactics), but the new thing I can't handle is blood drawing. I pass out. And not because of any particular reason, but it just happens. I can't explain it.  If they distract me, I'm good, and if I lay down, I'm good. But if you start talking about what you're doing, the needle, the fact blood is leaving my body, anything, I'm out cold.  I always warn the nurses, "Please just talk about anything but what you're doing, and I'll be fine."  Most of them get it, but some talk about how I'm a 'hard stick' or how they can't find a vein, and then I'm out.  (I try to warn them!)  I hate that feeling, too. You feel sick and then the room goes dark. Sure, you get some tasty OJ when you're done to get the feeling back into your body, but it still sucks. So T goes with me to get blood work (that's why I love him). One of the last times he went, it took 4 sticks to get it right. Somewhere around the 2nd stick was when I told the nurse that 'hey, just fyi, I'm an attorney' (meaning "Don't mess this up. I have the power to sue sans legal fees.") Poor T. He was standing there looking down on me lying down, trying to make me believe that they were even close to being done, and by the fourth stick, tears were starting to come out of my eyes no matter how hard I fought it, and I started to feel that nauseous feeling. Luckily, the fourth time was the charm, but I was scarred after that.

Aside from my passing out cold in a hospital room, I'm also not a trusting patient. Too many bad experiences for that. One failed CAT scan where the lady accidentally missed the vein all together and injected the iodine directly into my skin (which, let me tell you hurts like you know what), and I'm a full-time skeptic of people doing work to me. They had to pull the needle out, and another nurse came in to kind of calm me down because I thought my arm was going to explode with pain. So the nurse who messes up looks at me and says "we're going to have to do it again, sweetie," to which, I turn to the other nurse and glared asking "is SHE going to do it again?" I do feel somewhat justified in my fear there, though. My arm looked like a water balloon was in it for days. And it was really uncomfortable.  Ick.

I worry karma is going to come and get me later in life. Trust me, when T and I have little ones, I guarantee we're going to have children who negotiate their way out of doctor's appointments. You just wait and see.  I'll have another little negotiator on my hands. 

And that, my friends, is why I make a terrible patient.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Thoughts of Nain


It's Tuesday! You know what that means? I get to subject all of you to my random thoughts. (See, T is normally the lucky person to be the receiver of these, but on Tuesdays, I get a much larger audience. muah-ha-ha) So here goes nothing...

I think I've said this before, but it needs saying it again. I want it to be fall. For several reasons, one of them being my wedding day, and the other being I just love fall. I love the weather, the colors, the football, everything. So yes, can September get here just a bit sooner? I could seriously go for some college football and a beer on a Saturday afternoon.

Speaking of fall and wedding stuff, we are meeting with our church lady this week. She's the wedding coordinator for our church and is our go-to person for all things ceremony. I'm looking forward to it because this is the part T and I are really excited about. Sure, the reception will be a blast, and I'm definitely looking forward to it, but what I really am looking forward to is marrying T in front of God and all of our family and friends. The ceremony is the most important part, and I just can't wait to start planning it. And I can't wait to marry T :-)  We've already started receiving some of our RSVPs, so it's getting close!

My hair has gotten super long since I'm growing it out for the wedding. It's not the longest it's ever been, but it's pretty darn long. The problem with it is that it's so thick so the summer doesn't bode well for it. That, and I shed. All over the place. Poor T is constantly (well, weekly) cleaning the drains in our bathroom because they're always clogged. In fact, he did so last night.  I feel bad, but what can I do? T likes it long, and honestly, I do, too, but maybe not so long. I think deep down he's worried that after the wedding I'm going to chop it all off. Or post-baby when we decide to have kids. Maybe I'll do a Kate Gosselin look. ha

I have to go to the dentist today.  That, aside from the gyno, is my least favorite appointment ever.  I hate the taste and grittiness of the toothpaste, the scraping of the teeth, grinding of the drill...ugh, I hate it all.  Most of all, I hate that every time I go, I seem to get more cavities.  It's a side effect of being lactose intolerant.  No milk and very little calcium as a little girl means pretty weak teeth.  When I was little, I used to throw fits for my parents when we had to go the dentist.  While I don't do that now (because people would likely stare and point), I do throw these small fits in my head as I'm driving to my appointment.  ("But I don't wanna go!!!")  But alas, it's the price I must pay for clean teeth. 

Anyway, those are my random Tuesday its time to get to work while I can start dreading my 3:45 dental appointment...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Party recap

So the party was a success! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures to show you because, well, I underestimated just how busy you can get when throwing a party at your home. Sorry! Anyway, this was the first big get together we've had at our house since we moved in in November. I think throughout the night we had about 30 people at our house. It was a beautiful day, so luckily we got to hang out outside. It was quite the learning experience, and I'm going to share some of the tips I've gained from the weekend:

Nain's Party planning 101:

1. Decorating. If you're not the creative type, such as me, be sure to have a friend help. It really helps if someone is a teacher because they are really good at this kind of stuff. My sister made the house look awesome.

2. Ice. You need it, and you always need more than you think you do. Buy extra ice if possible. Because what you don't plan for is how quickly it will melt and then there's none to go around. Oh, and when trying to break up ice, throwing the bag on the ground to break it is fine, if the bag is closed. Otherwise, ice gets out. And chipping it with a butter knife? Be careful because you might cut yourself on a shard of ice or the stupid knife. After cutting up the ice to go in the ice bucket for drinks, I noticed my finger bleeding. Apparently I sliced it open or something.

3. Food. Have some. Enough for everyone to go around. But know that when you're making your grocery list, and you buy 5 lbs of hamburger, you will be eating leftover burgers for weeks.

4. Sweets. So you make a cake and cupcakes for the party, and you tell everyone the party is BYOB and bring a lawn chair to sit in. Know that people will definitely bring desserts, and they will also leave said desserts at your house. And you will have these sweets sitting around your house to tempt you for the next few weeks. Case in point - T and I now have leftover birthday cake, cupcakes, brownies, and apple pie on our kitchen counter. Normally I'd be all like "hell yes!" but, we have a wedding to get ready for, and I have this beautiful, expensive white dress to fit into in 2 months. Not cool.

5. Music. It's good to have this in the background for when people first start arriving because it helps with the awkward silence, especially if not everyone knows each other. I didn't think of this detail, but luckily, I pulled T's radio from the garage for a little background noise. It helped.

6. Booze. Be careful. Limit your intake of alcohol, and for god's sake, keep an eye on that bottle of wine and regulate how much you have. Nain had just a bit too much to drink Saturday night, and it wasn't pretty. Sunday morning was rough. Let's just say I'm not 21 anymore, and my liver now hates me.

7. Enjoy it. Don't let the stress of party planning take away from the fact that you have a house full of your closest friends, and be sure to enjoy and have a good time. That should actually be #1 come to think of it.

8. Bug spray. Use lots of it. Otherwise, you will be finding random mosquito bites on you for days - on your scalp, on your foot, your knee...and these little buggers will drive you insane for the next few days.

All in all, it was a success, and I know that T had a great time. That's what I really wanted, and it made throwing the party so worth it to see him so happy. Now things are back to normal, the house is cleaned, and I am no longer getting sick. We have decided that this next weekend we will be playing it low key and staying home since it feels like we've been busy and out of town the last five weekends, and then we have my bachelorette/shower on the 24th and his bachelor party on the 30th. So I think we need a weekend of rest, for sure.

I have got to say, I used to recover from weekends like this a heck of a lot quicker than I am today. It's making me feel old. Hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Steals - Love Them Summer Outfits!

Sadly, I was absent from last week's Saturday Steals,  brought to you courtesy of Archives of Our Lives.  With the holiday weekend and us being out of town, I didn't have the ability to post.  However, never fear - I am back with one amazing steal.  A couple weekends ago, T and I spent our weekend in Indy, and we did a little shopping at Circle Centre Mall.  We hit one of my favorite stores, New York and Company.  I used to to work at this store in college, back when it was called Lerner New York and Company (and I still call it that sometimes because old habits die hard).  It was a decent job, but I didn't make much because I was always buying clothes with my paycheck. (I couldn't help it...they made us wear the new stuff to the store when we worked!) 

So we went to Lerner (ha, see I did it again!), and I picked out this cute outfit that was amazingly on sale.  The skirt was just $9.99, and the top was just $5.  I also got a cute pair of shades, but those aren't in this post, sadly.  So today, for T's birthday, I am wearing my cute outfit because it's a beautiful summer day, and what better than to wear a cute, breezy outfit on a warm summer's day? 

I took this picture in haste as I was beginning my party prep for the day, and I'm sadly also writing this post in haste, as I wait for a dozen fun-fetti cupcakes and yellow cake to finish cooking.  Sorry if it's not too long!  Keep your fingers crossed that the party goes off without a hitch!  I'll be back with loads of pictures, of course!

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy birthday, T!

Today is a very special day - it's my T's birthday! So this blog is dedicated to him, my one and only, the peanut to my butter, the chocolate to my chip. Now T is one year younger than me, and he will always be younger, which yes, I like my men young, thank you very much. So today is the big 2-8 for him. It also marks the beginning of T's birthday weekend. We're starting it by going out with some of my coworkers tonight for some live music and good beer at the Rathskeller in downtown Indy, and tomorrow is the big Happy Birthday T extravaganza. We're having a party at our house, which has turned into quite a big deal. Around 30 people are supposed to come, and I realized last night that "oh crap, I don't know how to throw a party for that many people." But we went shopping last night, and I think we have a good handle on things. It should be a lot of fun, perfect weather and good friends to celebrate with. Sunday I'm cooking T's favorite meal - baked spaghetti - for dinner, and we're having a romantic meal, just the two of us. It should be a great weekend.

So happy birthday, T. You deserve the best birthday ever, because you are one of the best people I know. My life has never been the same since I met you, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life. I can't wait to begin a lifetime of birthday traditions together, as we start a family, and to celebrate birthday after birthday. This weekend is all about you, babe! Happy happy birthday!
Now I could do the Chi-Chi's birthday song...I used to work there in college, and I had to sing this song on a daily basis (and I still have nightmares where I am singing it), so this one's for you, T!
Happy happy happy birthday! Happy happy happy birthday! Happy happy happy birthday! To you! To you! To you! Ole'!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I've been tagged

You lucky people, you.  I am posting TWICE in one day!  Why?  Because I have been tagged by Vandy J at Testosterone Three and Me, and I never back down from a challenge.  I'm supposed to tell you all 25 things about me and then tag ten bloggers to do the same.  I'm not sure I can think of 10 bloggers to do that too so I'm just going to pick a few and go for it...
  1. I have a huge sweet tooth. Sure, this wasn't a bad thing when I was in high school and had an awesome metabolism, but a few pounds and cavities later, I'm paying the price for that.
  2. I worry about everything. Absolutely everything. And then I worrying about worrying. It's a vicious cycle. 
  3. I clean as therapy. Whenever I'm extremely stressed and feel like my work life or anything else is out of control, I clean or do laundry. It's silly but it just makes me feel better. At least something has order to it, you know? Heck, it saves on therapy bills at least! 
  4. I check my bed for bugs every night. When I lived on my own, I had this bug problem with these centipede type things. One got in my bed one night, under my pillow, and I have never been the same. I check it every night. Neurotic, yes? But what if I found a bug?  
  5. I am not really an outdoors person. Yes, I like to take walks and hikes, but camping? No. And my idea of experiencing wildlife? Going to the zoo. Not a camper at all.  
  6. My favorite show of all time is Gilmore Girls. I own all seasons of it, and I basically have every episode memorized. It's a sickness, but I can't help it! I love that show.  
  7. I am currently working on writing my first novel. I'm six chapters in, and I am hoping I can keep up the momentum.  
  8. I love my dark beer. My favorite is Guinness, and we'll be going to tour the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin this fall during our honeymoon.  
  9. I am getting married in just two months as of July 18th! Couldn't be more excited!  
  10. I love pancakes. I could eat them for any meal of the day...delicious!  
  11. I love to cook and try new things, especially on the weekends.  
  12. In 2006-2007, I took ballroom dancing. It was a class in the area, and I absolutely loved it. I secretly want to get back and do that again someday.  
  13. Because of my love of ballroom dance, I am addicted to Dancing with the Stars. I don't miss an episode when they're on, and I have been known to vote for contestants, as well.  
  14. Back in college, I used to have an obsession with all things leopard. My sophomore and junior year, my entire dorm room was decked out in it, some of it stuff I painted myself. I still have a lot of it, though I doubt I'll be dedicating a room solely to leopard again :-)  
  15. I like my food hot. Even if the food comes fresh out of the oven, I still nuke it for like 15 seconds to get it warm. I'll even get up from the table and go nuke it if I think it's luke warm. It drives T crazy...guess I'm a little OCD.  
  16. I think DVR is one of the best inventions of man-kind.  
  17. I'm lactose intolerant so I can't really handle my dairy all that well. I didn't know this fact until I was in college. I couldn't handle it all my life but never put two and two together. It's too bad, too, because I love ice cream and pizza, cheesecake, etc. I take lactaid but that doesn't always do the trick. Stupid body!  
  18. I work out daily. I'm a fiend about it. It's a stress reliever, but it's also me being hard about my body because I always think that I'm fat. So I work out. A lot.  
  19. I'm originally from Alabama, but I moved here when I was 10 (Indiana). I used to have this thick southern accent, but it's gone away throughout the years. However, it does come back every now and then, and T always finds it hilarious when I say things with a bit of a twang.  
  20. I have a bit of a potty mouth. I don't curse much on my blog, but that's because I make a concerted effort not to. In daily life? I curse like a sailor.  
  21. I have a hard time focusing. Sometimes I wonder if it's A.D.D. I've been distracted a few times already just writing this. Look! Squirrel!  
  22. I hate law shows. Hate them. Everyone always tries to get me to watch them, but I have no interest. I deal with that stuff on a daily basis, why would I want to watch it as entertainment to relax?  
  23. I'm stubborn, especially when it comes to my health. I have a heart condition and asthma, but I like to think of myself as any normal person so I push myself to the limit with activities until I about lose it. This, too, drives T crazy.
  24. I love my family more than anything in the world. They mean everything to me.  
  25. 25 is my favorite number, too! Good number to end's the day T and I met :-)

 Hope you've enjoyed my ramblings, and hey! Two posts in one day! That's a new record for me!

Oh, and I'm supposed to tag some people, too, so here you go!  Tag, you're all it!

Spin Cycle: Poetry!

So this week's Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite's Keeper, was a tough one.  Poetry.  Man, that's not so easy to do.  Since I'm always up for a challenge, I decided to put my creative juices to work and put together an original poem by yours truly.  It's based on my own personal changes and struggles over the last few years (well, probably last ten years, but who is counting?)  Be kind...remember, I'm just now getting back into this :-)

Gazing at a picture
At a girl who looks a lot like me,
I wonder where her life took her
and how she came to be,

Did she know then where life would lead her,
And of the challenges she would face,
Did she know then how she should guard her heart,
For some things you can never erase,

Did she surround herself with love,
And believe in faith and hope and trust,
Would she lose herself along the way
To temptation, despair, emptiness and lust,

I look into the girl's green eyes,
And realize they are my own,
I know my heart and hers are the same,
Though I am fully grown,

I am not who I once was
Through life, I have taken a detour or two,
Trials and tribulations I have faced,
But my faith has seen me through

I've come out stronger through test of time
I may bend but I will never break
My heart is strong, my faith resound
What life gives, I know that I can take.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reunions, showers, baseball and fireworks!

As promised, here are some photos from our fun-filled but very busy and extremely hot weekend. We started our weekend off by traveling west to the thriving metropolis of Seelyville, Indiana. (It's a one stoplight town)  Every two years, my mom's family has a huge reunion where all of the extended family gets together and has a day-long party with games, slide shows, more games, food and drink, and we all congregate in the backyard behind the house where my great-grandparents once lived, where now my mom's two cousins live who put together the huge show. It gets a little hot, and this year was no exception. I think I cared how I looked when we first got there, but as the day went on, the hair went up, and my clothes were basically soaked in sweat. It was a late night, and by the time we made it back to our hotel, we pretty much crashed after showering, of course. (I'm sure I smelled lovely!) We spent the day playing go fish and Bingo with Roo, of course, who stuck to her best friend T's side like glue. Here they are enjoying the day.

Of course, I had to get a picture in, too:

The next morning, we had a joint bridal shower for T and me and my cousin, Jessica and her fiance' Chris. It was not your traditional shower by any stretch of the mind, as boys were invited to this one, but I was definitely ok with that because I'm not really the formal shower type. My aunts who were organizing this shower knew this, and we had Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, of course, and some good eats. Now if you recall a few weeks ago, my sister helped me pick out a dress to wear to this event because I was clueless in that I needed to dress up. I loved the dress she picked. I'm definitely not used to getting my picture taken constantly, and neither is T, so this was a good warm up to the big event. I think T was a bit out of his element, too, since this was his first shower that he has ever gone to. We had a great time, and I cannot believe how generous my family was. We got some awesome presents, one of the most creative being a basket of Ireland - Irish whiskeys, Bailey's, Guinness and other Irish brews, and items to bring on our trip to Ireland. Right now all of our gifts are sitting in our guest bedroom because I'm not quite sure what to do with them just yet, but I better figure this out soon because we have our second shower (which is girls only this time) in two weeks.

This shower was extra special because our Grandpa was there. He's my last grandparent I have, and he hasn't been doing so well in his health. You could tell he was really happy to be there and it meant a lot to him, too. After we finished opening presents, he came up to me and Jessica and gave us both $20 and said "this is from your Grandma." It took me a second to register what he just said, and of course, I cried. I miss her every day, and I know she would want to be here, too. I will be carrying a hankerchief of hers that my mother gave me with my bouquet so that I do have something of hers close to me. I love this picture we took of the four of us with my grandpa.

My brother had the camera, and he got a little crazy with his artistic expression...

After the bridal shower, T and I headed home to drop off all of the gifts and change, and then we headed downtown for the afternoon. Our first stop was the Monument, of course, as this was the location where one year ago we got engaged. The weather was definitely different than it was last year, but it really brought memories to be back there together.

We walked around downtown and headed to the Indianapolis Indians game for the evening. Food, bear and baseball. Can't ask for anything better

The Indians lost, but it was still a fun game. A little hot, but hey, what can you do? We stayed in the stadium afterwards since we had an awesome view of the 4th of July fireworks:

Overall it was a great weekend but one that went by way too quickly! I'm looking forward to this weeekend, though, because it brings a very special holiday...T's birthday! We're having a huge bash on Saturday night, so I'll be busy party planning this week.

Happy belated 4th everyone!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thank you for being a friend (and a good commentor, too!)

I received an award today from Square Peg in a Round Hole for being a SUPER commentor :-)  I love receiving awards...what a great way to start my work week!  Anyway, so I have lots of pictures from my weekend, including our family reunion, a bridal shower and fireworks, but I'll be posting those tomorrow so come back for more.  Today I'll leave you with the my answers to the list that goes along with my award.  Then, I'm tagging some of you lucky people out there who are also super commentors on my  blog, too!  (See, what more could you ask for on a Tuesday morning, right?)

Here goes nothing....

1) Why do you blog?

I got into blogging because I have been talking forever about getting back into writing, but I wasn't quite sure the best way to go about it.  Since I can remember, I've been saying "I want to write a book" or "I should really write more," so this summer, after being inspired through a fellow blogger, Confessions of a Young Married Couple, who I found randomly through an article on, actually, I decided to start blogging as a way to get the creative juices flowing and see what I could do with it.  I'm going on two months now, and I am loving every  minute of it so far!

2) What was your favorite age to be and why?
Man, this is a tough question.  So I'm going to pick a totally random age.  I'd say my favorite age to be was 8.  It was the year before we moved from Alabama to Indiana, and I had no worries in the world.  Just played with my best friend Michael whenever I could, enjoyed the warm Alabama weather, and was a kid.  Sometimes I truly miss just being a kid.  Just you and the world to explore.   So yes, that would be my favorite age.  Random, isn't it?

3) What’s your favorite sport to play?
Hmmm...I'm not really a sport playing person, since my exercise really involves speed walking and a little taebo on the side.  But T and I do 5ks all the time, so I guess speed walking would be it.  However, I used to play tennis, so if I had to pick a contact sport, that would be it, I guess.  However, it's been many many years since I've even picked up a racket.

4) What’s your favorite sport to watch, and who’s your favorite team?
Well, I'm a Hoosier, so naturally, my favorite sport is basketball, and of course, my favorite team to watch is the Indiana Hoosiers!  But, I'm also a football fan, too.  In fact, I'm really wanting fall to get here because there is nothing I love better than having a nice afternoon inside, drinking a cold one and watching a football game.  (Yes, I know, I'm a guy, right?)  For football, I'd have to go for the Indianapolis Colts and show some home team support.  I'd say Indiana Hoosiers for football, too, but that would surely get a few laughs considering how wonderful our football team is...

5) If you could pick your perfect career (and money doesn’t matter/the kids are out of the house) what would it be?
Honestly, I'd be an author full time if I could work from home and write novels and free lance articles on the side.  I'm not sure how quickly I could get into that, and how much money I'd make but if money were no option, that is definitely what I'd do.  Don't get me wrong, I love the law, and I'm good at what I do.  But the pace of my career definitely is not ideal, and I think eventually I want something with a little more freedom and something that lets me expand my creativity just a bit.  Already working on it, too, with four chapters down in my book!

6) Do you ever feel guilty for blogging?
Sometimes.  It's a tough one...when I started this, I knew I had T's total support behind me.  However, writing something on a daily basis does take a chunk out of my time, and since we don't see each other too much during the day, I do feel guilty if I'm sitting next to him on the couch updating my blog or commenting on other's.  However, I know he loves that I'm doing this and supports me in getting back into writing.  I think it's just the guilt-ridden person inside of me who worries that I'm being a neglectful soon-to-be wife.  It's hard balancing everything at the current moment, though.

7) What is your favorite holiday?
I'm a big Christmas person.  I used to work at a Christmas/Seasonal store called Graham's Crackers here in Indy for about four summers and four Christmas vacations while I was in college, so I was surrounded by Christmas all the time.  I love decorating the house and getting it all cozy for winter, playing Christmas carols and drinking warm mulled wine on a cold winter's night.  That and I love buying Christmas presents for people, especially my nieces and nephews and picking out something I just know they're going to love and seeing them get all excited on Christmas morning.  I just love Christmas, what can I say?

8)  What’s your favorite kind of music?
I'm pretty versatile in the crap I listen to.  I wouldn't call myself a music snob by any stretch.  Actually, most of my CDs are mixed CDs made up of pop songs and stupid 80s songs I find on iTunes.  T is more of the music connoisseur of the two of us, but if I had to pick, I would pick 90s pop music as my favorite.  Anything I can dance to in the car and look like an idiot.

9) Do you consider yourself a good driver or bad driver?
OK, here's the thing...driving, I'm great at., not so much.  I drive daily back and forth in rush hour traffic through downtown Indy, so I am pretty good at holding my own on the open road.  However, I have a small depth perception problem, and that does not go too well with parking.  Let's just say I've hit my fair share of inanimate objects and non moving cars.  I won't give numbers, but you get to it by counting on two hands.  (Don't judge!!!)

10) What’s the farthest away place you have visited?
After this upcoming September, it'll be Ireland...but until then, the farthest I've ever traveled (from where I live in Indiana) is Phoenix, AZ, or Las Vegas, Nevada.    I've never been out of the country, but this will change in just two months!

OK, so now I'm supposed to tag those of you who are awesome commentors.  I appreciate any and all visitors to my little piece of the blogosphere, but these people specifically are terrific with their comments and keep coming back for more of my insanity.  Thanks so much you guys!
1.  Jen @ Sprite's Keeper
2.  Mrs. D @ Life of a Doctor's Wife
3.  Super Wife @ The Supers' Blog
4.  Sarah at @ Crazy Love Gamble Style
5.  VandyJ @ The Testosterone Three and Me
Check out their blogs and say hi!  And thanks so much for all of you reading my blog and for commenting like you do...I greatly appreciate it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Our engaging year

Normally, I would write this on Sunday, since July 4th is officially the one year mark, but since T and I will be out of town this weekend, and with it being a holiday all, I shall write this a few days early. One year ago on Sunday I was asked the most important question I will ever be asked, but yet the easiest one that I have ever had to answer. It was the day T asked me to marry him, and it was the happiest day of my life thus far. (I'm sure it will be come the second happiest after September 18th)

T's birthday falls just short of the 4th of July, so last year, I surprised him with a night out in downtown Indy. I booked us a room at the Omni downtown, and I got tickets to the Indianapolis Indians 4th of July game. The great thing about that game is that after it's over, the Indians have their own fireworks display, and then you have an awesome view of the Indianapolis fireworks. I took him out to lunch beforehand, and the plan was to just walk around downtown before the game and then go out after the game was over. However, mother nature had other plans. Last year, the weather was cool and rainy all day on the 4th. Like sweater wearing cool. And it didn't just rain a little bit. It poured all day long. So needless to say, when I saw that forecast, my heart sank just a little bit, but T kept assuring me that we'd still have fun, no worries. However, I was a little more preoccupied with the fact that the game could be rained out as well as the fireworks. The whole birthday event would be ruined.

Little did I know that T had other plans. I should have suspected, and part of me had a teeny tiny suspicion because he was so adamant that the day would be perfect no matter what. I should have also been suspicious that week after everyone in my family was being really really nice to me, and my mom had invited us over on the 5th for a cookout at their house and was really really nice about it. (She's nice normally, but this was extra special nice so something was up.) What I didn't know was my whole family knew a couple weekends before, after T had gathered up the courage to ask my dad for his permission to marry me, that everyone knew when and how it was going to happen. Of course, my dad had sworn to T he would keep it to himself, but in my family, telling anyone anything means it's going to be on the CNN ticker in about 15 minutes. So it was all planned, and everyone was in on it except me.

We headed downtown, me griping the whole time about the damn rain and how it was going to ruin everything and how the humidity was wreaking havoc on my hair, and we parked downtown and headed to Rock Bottom Brewery for lunch. T was acting all fidgety, not eating his food, talking about a mile a minute and driving me absolutely crazy. (He does this when nervous) So lunch was a bit odd, but I figured he was just excited and that was why he was acting all weird. After lunch, T said "let's go for a walk to the Monument!" I looked at him like "our you out of your damn mind, boy? It's pouring rain out there!" But I went for it, because I just can't so no to that face. We each had an umbrella in tow, and we headed a few blocks north to the Monument.

As we started walking closer to towards it, T grabs my hand and starts walking a little slower. He starts talking, and honestly I don't remember everything he said because the way he was talking, I kind of new something was coming so I started to get a little nervous, too. We walk up the stairs to the foot of the Monument, and he turns to me and says, "I have a question for you..." I look up at him and said "what?" He pulls out a little black box, opens it and there is this beautiful, amazing ring. "Will you marry me?" I think my heart stopped beating for a few seconds, and I don't recall exactly how quickly I answered because I had to catch my breath but T tells me that I gasped and immediately said "yes!" We were both in tears at this point, hugging, kissing, and laughing. It's pouring rain at this point, and we're the only two people down on the Circle. We stood there for a good 15 minutes under my umbrella...pretty much making out, yes, in public, but I don't think either of us cared at that point. It was hands down the happiest moment in my life. There was absolutely no hesitation in answering his question. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I knew it for quite some time before we got to that day, and I knew how I would answer if he asked. I just didn't know it would feel the way it felt that day. I couldn't have been happier or more in love. (Well, that's not true. I'm actually more in love today with T than I was that day. I grow more and more in love with him each day I'm with him.)

I think both of us were a little scared to put the ring on my finger because we were afraid we'd drop it or something, but I put it on, and I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day. I was getting married to my best friend, and I wanted the world to know. We called our family and friends immediately after, all of whom were so happy but were already expecting a phone call, of course, since they all knew.

The rest of the day was a whirlwind. The game got rained out, bu not after T and I sat in the stands in our ponchos and umbrellas waiting for the rain to give. But we didn't care. We were too happy to let it rain on our parade. I think the smiles in this picture speak for themselves.

Happy 4th everyone!