Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting to Ireland and why I hate plane rides...

I thought I was going to die on that airplane.  In fact, I was almost certain that I would.  It was my idea of hell.  And we're not talking die like "oh my God, this plane is going to crash and I am going to burn in a fiery inferno."  No, this is one of those "Oh my God, this is slow death.  If I do not get off this plane right now, I swear, I am going to die this very second." 
Now I don't know if all of you are aware of this (I know a few of you who know me outside the blogging world do know this and will find this post amusing), but I am an easily irritated person.  On average, I find that about 80% of the population irritates me.  I don't know why, but I'm tightly wound and have a short tolerance for stupidity.  When T and I are out and about, and we come across someone that is annoying the living daylights out of me, I'll turn to him and say "80%" and he'll know exactly what I'm saying.  So let's just say that the trip from Indy to JFK airport in NYC was trying for me.  In fact, it was the perfect storm for annoying things for Nain.
First off, let's just say that I have riding in planes.  Growing up as a kid, we never travelled in airplanes.  We drove everywhere.  I didn't ride in my first airplane until halfway through high school.  To me, airplanes are flying death machines.  Really fast flying death machines.  (And yes, I know the statistics of how you are more likely to die in a car accident than a plane wreck, but here's my thing.  I'm not driving the car 7 miles over the Atlantic Ocean really really fast.  If this plane were to crash, I don't care how my seat cushion can be used as a flotation device, we're all going to die.  Optimistic?  Yes, I am.)  I get nervous, scared, anxious, etc., and pop Tums and Rolaids like it's my job as we sit there and wait to leave at the gate.  I also hate the small commuter planes where they cram you in there like sardines.  This was such a plane.  Sure, we were in the second row from the front, and T gave me the aisle seat (quick exit), but I still felt like I was suffocating in a flying coffin. 
And the people around us?  Um,  First off, we had some lady in the front row who didn't understand the concept of size of your carry-on bag and how certain objects don't fit into small spaces.  You know, like those toys they give toddlers?  A star shape fits in a star shape, a square shape fits into a square shape?  Well, big things don't fit into small spaces.  My four year old niece could tell you that.  She was cramming the largest floral carpetbagger type bag that I have ever seen in my life, shoving some poor man's bag as far back as possible and into some shape (I hope that there were no valuables in this man's bag) that didn't seem recognizable, with no success.  The flight attendance, who could only be described as some sort of Stepford Wife/Russian Barbie/Fembot (Seriously, I'm sure she meant well but the lady was stiff, I couldn't understand her at all, and she showed zero emotion.  I mean zero.  She was very robotic.  It was kind of creepy.) was trying to explain to her that she would have to check her bag and pick it up when we landed for about twenty minutes before they compromised on her taking a few items out of said bag and using an alternate overhead compartment (you know, a bigger one? ding ding! We have a winner!) 
Then, there was the middle-aged gentleman behind us who refused to get off his cell phone despite announcements to get your cell phones and the signs everywhere that indicated to do so.  He spoke English so I know that he could hear these announcements, but no, he just had to fix some error in his Verizon Wireless account, so he was barking orders as loudly as possible to probably some poor assistant at his office.  He wouldn't even hang up his phone when Russian Barbie calmly tried to get him to do so.  She finally had to be firm and say "sir, this plane is delayed because of you."  And even then he still had to get in a few words before hanging up.  Self-important Ass. 
The flight was OK.  It was short with only a few moments of turbulence where I dug into T's hand like my life depended on it.  But I survived, and we landed safely. 
Of course, as soon as we landed, we have people unbuckling their seat belts despite instructions by Russian Barbie not to do this, and the signs that light up that have the big "x" through the unbuckling picture.  And of course, you get those cell phone addicts who have to immediately turn on their phone the second we land to say "we've landed."  Yes, we have landed, but can you wait it until you've exited the plane?  And it's always at this loud volume, too, for all of us to hear.
But the part where I damn near lost my mind was when we pulled up to the gate.  We sat there, trapped, for what seemed like an eternity.  I'm not sure if they were pouring asphalt and paving a new walkway for us or contemplating the meaning of life, but we sat there, trapped, in the smallest plane known to man.  (Or at least in my dramatic eyes)  I'm claustrophobic so that part was tough.  As we sat there waiting for outside oxygen, I began to become acutely aware of every single annoying noise within a five mile radius around me.  The man next to me on his phone.  The woman behind me who was standing, crouched in the aisle, muttering "Jesus" under her breath and sighing every five seconds.  (I wanted to turn around to her and say "No, Jesus is not on this plane.  He's on another.  So stop saying that, for the love God.")  And, there was the sniffer.  Oh my God, the sniffer.  The guy in the row directly behind us must have had SARS or some kind of communicable disease because he kept coughing and sniffing (thank you, recirculated air) and it wasn't the kind of sniffing that one could tolerate.  No, it was full-on, snot-filled sniffing, and it was constant, and it was gross.  It took all I had in me not to turn around and shove a Kleenex at him and say "blow."  But I didn't.  I retreated to my happy place, as I held my head down, saying the rosary to myself in my mind, and T sat there laughing at my deteriorating sanity. 
So, what seemed like two hours later, the doors opened and we rushed out, finding the nearest restaurant serving alcoholic beverages, to sit for our three hour lay-over.  Luckily for us, the second leg of our trip, the overnight flight to Dublin, went much much smoother.  (Sure, that glass or two of wine helped, as well.) 
Join me next week for "Getting back from Ireland why I still hate plane rides..."  I wish I could tell you that this was my only traumatic plane ride experience during the honeymoon.  Actually, in hindsight, reading this makes me feel like that first plane ride was nothing.  Trust me, I have one hell of a story for you next week!  But for tomorrow, I'll end the week on a high note, telling you about "Arthur Guinness Day!" (It's the happiest day of the year, you know...)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mental pictures...

I have been holding out on you guys, mostly because I haven't been able to get Blogger to upload pictures and also because well, I haven't gotten any pictures from the wedding yet.  We're still waiting on the professional ones, but for now, I want to share with you a few mental pictures I will forever keep in my heart from that special day...

My father giving me away...I was barely holding it together at this point. It's far enough away you don't see my red eyes and tears...

 Exchanging our vows....when I looked into T's eyes, I could see a reflection of myself.  I remember thinking that I loved this man more than I could ever imagine possible, and I couldn't feel more blessed than I was right then. 

 The feeling of relief and immense happiness as we were pronounced husband and wife.  It was like one huge sigh of relief after months and months of planning, waiting for this day to happen.

Being greeted by our family and friends outside of our church.  It was windy that day, and you can't tell, but they were trying to blow bubbles at us but were having one hell of a time getting that to work.  

 Our reception hall was beautiful, lights and candles everywhere, and our cake looked amazing.  I couldn't have been more pleased with how everything looked.

 Here we are cutting our cake, and you know, this is a lot more work than you would think.  That cake was pretty thick.  I managed to feed T without any mess.  T, on the other hand, managed to miss my mouth with icing.  It was some damn good icing, though, I'll give you that...

 I don't have a picture of the first dance or the father/daughter dance just yet, but this was taken during the dollar dance of me and my Grandpa.  It meant so much to me to be able to dance with him on my wedding day.
 (Out of order, I know) but this is us lighting the unity candle.  I was petrified I'd set the church on fire, but we managed to do it without any incidents.  The symbolism of two flames, representing our two families, joined as one, means a great deal to me.

"You may now kiss your wife."  During rehearsal, our practice kiss was just a peck, and we were teased for that.  I was worried about giving too much in a kiss in church, but our photographer said to hold it long enough for a picture.  This moment is one I will treasure forever. 

This is a small glimpse into the day, and I will have more as I receive more pictures.  Coming soon...the honeymoon and pictures from Ireland!

A Grand Entrance

The topic of this week’s Spin Cycle brought to you by Sprite's Keeper is laughter, and I couldn’t think of a better story for all of you than to tell you about the bridal party entrance to the reception. See, T and I had thought long and hard about how we wanted to enter the reception hall. I’ve been to a lot of weddings where it’s really cheesy how they come in, and the way our DJ was originally explaining how he does entrances, I thought we were going to be coming in like a late 1990s NBA basketball game. I didn’t want that. I wanted something funny, something that was us.

We tossed around the idea of coming in to gangsta rap, but our elderly relatives would be in attendance so we didn’t really want to offend anyone. T is really into rock and metal music, so he made the suggestion of coming in to Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” I wasn’t sure, but after pulling up the song in iTunes, I knew this is how we had to come in. (Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the song, pull it up really quickly and then come back for the rest of the story. Trust me, it’s worth it.)

We decided to keep the song on the down low with the parents, in case the idea got nixed before the wedding, but we did tell the bridal party in advance. My brother took the idea and ran with it, stopping at a party store the day of the wedding to get some props for our entrance.   He got some cheap sunglasses for all of us to wear, some fake rocker wigs, inflatable microphones and inflatable guitar.    The finishing touch?  A bat.  And my brother was clever enough to cut the head of said bat and then tape it back together so that when he entered, he could bite the bat's head just like Ozzy.  We were so set. 

So we arrive at the reception and the DJ corrals us downstairs before our entrance.  We can hear music and rumbling above us as people mingled at the reception hall, and pretty soon, the DJ asked everyone to get to their seats so that the bridal party could be announced.  The room quiets down and pretty soon all you can hear is this loud drum beat and an even louder guitar chord followed by a robotic voice saying "I am Ironman..."  Then the music starts, and for those of you who are familiar with this famous song, you can imagine how this went (loud and very rock).  We could hear laughter starting upstairs before anyone was announced, so at least it was well received.  The first person announced was my nephew, the ring bearer, who is about 7 years old and loves Guitar Hero.  He came in with sunglasses and the inflatable guitar.  My brother came in and bit the head off the bat and threw it in the crowd, and T's brother rocked the black 80s rock band wig.  It was classic.  Definitely one of those mental picture moments I will remember forever.  I only wish I could have been upstairs to see the looks on people's faces when the music started.

After T and I were announced, I rushed over to my mother to give her a hug and say "surprise!"  She was laughing, so that was good, right?  Mission accomplished.  If you knew me and my family, you'd have to know that this kind of stunt is to be expected.  I couldn't be serious if I tried. 

Since I consider laughter a treasure, too, I'm going to use this as well as part of Chantel's Small Treasure Tuesdays  (one day late, mind you but I blame the jet lag).  Check out her site to read about other people's small treasure's and Sprite Keeper's site to read other spins about laughter!

(Oh, and Blogger and I aren't on speaking terms today.  I've tried all day to upload the picture from our entrance at the reception without success, so I'll keep trying.  Sorry guys!)


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can I leave reality again?

I am a slacker today, folks.  Yes, it's true.  It's back to reality for Nain and T, and I don't wanna do it.  In fact, I'm kicking and screaming the entire way.  Why?  Because coming back to reality has, well, kind of sucked. 
We took yesterday off to try to recover from jet lag and get things in order, which was a great idea in hindsight.  However, what I didn't think would happen is we would have 2 broken cars and both of us sick.  Both of us have brought back some kind of cold/sinus viral thing from the plane or Ireland.   I woke up feeling like death yesterday, and T was like that the day before.  We're taking our vitamins and medicine to feel better, but I'm seriously dragging. 
That and the car thing.  Side note, I hate dealing with cars.  I just do.  I could totally  move to a big city and deal solely with public transportation and be perfectly happy.  That was one of the things I loved about Dublin.  But alas, I have a car.  And before the wedding T's car started making some weird noises, so we got that checked out and fixed (an actuator was acting up or something...hell, I don't even know what it is, but it was acting up), and the price wasn't too shabby.  So, as I'm pulling into the driveway in my car, I notice a loud scraping noise like metal dragging on the concrete.  I get out of my car, lay down on the driveway (which was attractive, I'm sure) and check to see if anything was dragging under my car.  Nope, nothing was.  So we drove it around and realized the brakes were the cause of the noise.  Yeah, that's not good, so after much convincing, T gets me to take my car to the dealer and get it checked out. (I told him that I could drive it until this weekend, but he didn't like the idea of my brakes failing.  I even said I would be willing to take non-interstate routes to work but he said fiery car crashes on side roads aren't better either...) So, we took it in and we got a rental for today so they can keep it overnight.  Shortly before dinner, we get the phone call.  It wasn't a pretty phone call either.  Turns out my brakes on all four wheels are completely shot.  Like falling apart shot.  In fact, the mechanic said the rear one was falling off in pieces.  And something else called a serpentine belt was cracked and a whole bunch of other things wrong.  Basically I'm driving a death mobile to work on a daily basis on the Interstate through downtown Indy.  The fact I've made it to work alive is a miracle of loaves and fishes.  So, everything  needs replaced.  And the price wasn't what made me want to start hyperventilating.  $1,200.  Seriously?  Why?  We just fixed T's car and now mine is dying? 
So it's in the shop today, and I'm driving some Toyota around.  We'll be picking up my Saturn this afternoon after work, but I'm still in shock from the news from yesterday.  Hello, reality.  Welcome home, right?  So we need a plan.  A plan to pay off our car bill.  I came up with said brilliant plan last night at dinner. 
We need a reality show.  On TLC.  So I figure, we could start trying to have kids now instead of later, but make sure we have multiples.  And not just like twins or triplets, but like eight kids.  And these eight kids could grow up to be bakers in a shop we have in our home selling cakes and chocolate, but, for part of the pregnancy I could not know that I was pregnant so I can get on that show, too.  And maybe we could hoard, too?  Or no, that would get our children taken away from us, but maybe the girls could be on beauty pageants.  Yes, beauty pageants are much better than hoarding.
T didn't think it was such a great idea.  I just feel bad that now that we're married I'm causing us to go into debt to fix my POS car.  So I'm desperate to think of ways to help with this.  But, it sounds like we'll be in the market for a new car shortly. 
They did say for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and in sickness and in health, right?  We just didn't realize they meant it so literally and that it would happen so damn quickly.  It's a good thing T is there to keep me sane, I'm not sure I could deal with this without him. He's my rock. 
So I'll be back with more wedding/honeymoon posts after I recover from my shock from yesterday.  God willing, I'll be driving a safer car to work tomorrow!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Butterflies and happiness

I was oddly calm the morning of our wedding.  Sure,  I didn't sleep more than four or five hours the night before despite the sleeping aids I took that night.  We got up (we, meaning the girls in the bridal party) around 7:00 a.m. and headed out for our hair appointments to start at 8:00 a.m.  As I sat there in the salon, watching my sister, my sister-in-law, my cousin, my friends, and my nieces get their hair done, I felt fairly relaxed.  Then it was my turn.  Even then, I wasn't as stressed out as I thought I would be.  Everything was going smoothly as we planned.   I even had enough energy in me to goof off.

 As we headed to the church to get dressed, I started to get them.  The butterflies.  I could barely eat my subway lunch my Dad got all of us, and I kept fretting over all of the things that could go wrong that day:  I could trip up the aisle, I could knock over the unity candle, setting my dress and the whole church on fire, I could drop my bouquet, say the wrong words during the mind was having a hay day with all possible worse case scenarios.

After the girls got their pictures taken, then came the waiting part and even more nerves.  I just wanted it to start, I wanted to see T.  But I had to stay hidden behind this wall, posting all of the pictures of the clergy for our church.  It was the only place where T couldn't see me, so there I stood in my dress and veil, waiting.  I stood there, knowing very well that T and all of our friends and family were behind that door.  My sister, noticing my pale face and shaking hands, stood there with me, trying to calm me down as I rambled on about the new nuns and the priests at our church.  Why that topic?  No clue.  I think I was just grasping at damn near anything to keep my mind occupied at that point.  Soon, it was my sister's turn to leave, as my Dad took her place.  I grabbed onto his arm like my life depended on it, already feeling the tears forming in my eyes.  I tried blinking them back, so as to not mess up my makeup, as my Dad patted my arm reminding me to breathe.  I could hear the sounds of Canon in D starting to play so I knew it was our cue to exit the back room to stand behind a white curtain placed to hide me until it was our turn.  My heart began to race just a bit.  This was it.  This was really happening.

For over a year now, whenever we went to church, T and I pictured in our heads the moment where we first saw each other that day.  It's honestly my favorite part of a wedding.  I always love to see that first look - the look of amazement and love between the couple as the bride begins to walk down the aisle.  I've always wanted that feeling.

The music started and we got our cue to start down the aisle.  From behind my veil, I could see the people in the church stand and turn our way.  In my heart, I knew everyone I loved and cared about was out there, but I was focused on one thing and one thing only - the look in T's eyes.  The second I locked eyes with him, I couldn't look away.  I saw myself in his eyes, I saw pure happiness and the love that we share.

I'm pretty sure I cried the entire way down that aisle.   I know I cried when my father lifted my veil and kissed me on the forehead, as he has always done since I was a little kid. 

As we recited our vows, I could barely get out a word without tearing up.  I can't describe the feeling I had up there on that altar.  It was pure happiness, bliss, love, and everything I dreamt it would be and more.  On that day, I was joined in marriage with my soul mate, my best friend. 

Sure, things went wrong that day.  I was told they would.  a piece of lip liner fell and stained a spot on my train, I had a small wardrobe malfunction with my straps to my dress before the reception, the limo driver got lost on the way to the reception, but honestly....none of that mattered.  All of those little details paled in comparison to the feeling I know we both felt that day. 

I have been so blessed.   I love you, T!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We are back!

Hi, everyone!  Oh, how I've missed you all!  T and I have arrived back from our wonderful honeymoon in Ireland, as of midnight this morning.  It was a long day of traveling (21 hours to be exact), so I'll be back with posts tomorrow.  For then, I'll just leave you with a few pictures from our trip:


Friday, September 17, 2010

I promise....

It’s tomorrow. I cannot believe it. The day that we’ve been planning for a year is tomorrow. It’s surreal, really. This whole time I’ve felt like I’ve been going and going constantly, trying to plan everything and make sure everything is ready and in place, and tomorrow’s that day. Tomorrow I marry the best friend, the love of my life, my soul mate all wrapped up in one person. Tomorrow I will be reciting my vows and pledging myself forever to T. And while the vows we will be reciting are ones prewritten ones by the church, there are a few others I’d like to add before I say “I do.”

I promise to laugh at all of your jokes, even if some of them don’t make sense or even if I’m not in the mood to laugh.

I promise always to buy you chocolate milk as a special treat when I go grocery shopping.

I promise to let you have your Cheez-its every now and then, even if I think it’s just a bit too much for lunch.

I promise to always make sure you go through your excess t-shirts and never let the problem get out of hand.

I promise to be an equal partner in our relationship and include you in any decision made for the good of our relationship.

I promise to never give up on us, no matter how huge the problem we might face, that I will always stand by you and our family we will start together.

I promise to listen to your Beavis and Butthead impressions as you prepare a firepit or vacuum the house or do pretty much any activity that requires a “ummm…hey…umm…how’s it going? or a fire! fire!” And I promise to always respond with a “pretty good” when asked "um,'s it going?"
I promise to take care of you when you’re sick, to make sure you go to the doctor, take your medicine, and drink plenty of liquids, even though I can't promise I'll do the same when I'm sick :-)

I promise to try to keep the refrigerator and pantry as organized as possible, even though we both know I’m terrible at doing this.

I promise to let you deck the house out in Christmas lights every Christmas and someday, eventually, let you sync the lights to music. (pending neighborhood association approval, of course)

I promise to not force you to eat asparagus because I know how much you hate it.

I promise to keep our traditions of making honey chicken stir fry for special occasions, of taking the day off for St. Patrick’s Day, our Sunday viewings of “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” and of Carrabbas every June 25th.

I promise to give you the room and chance to grow and follow your dreams and to not give up on mine either.

I promise to be your biggest fan and support you in whatever you do. I also promise to be your advocate and stand by you during the toughest of times.

I promise to love your family as if they are my own.

I promise that I will love you more every day and always let you know that you are the best part of who I am. I will love you forever, T.   This I promise.

We will be back September 27th with lots of wedding and Ireland pictures!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gonna go get me some learnin

The topic of this week’s Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite’s Keeper, is on education. Growing up, education was always super important in my household. My mom is a teacher, and now both my brother and sister are teachers, as well. When you have a mom who works at the same elementary school you attend you know you better behave in class and you better do well in class. Lucky for my parents, I was one gigantic nerd. I loved to read and write and do my homework. I always got everything done on time and always got A’s on my tests. Well....until we moved to Indiana from Alabama in my 4th grade year, and then I had a little bit of a struggle to catch up to a more advanced school system in my new hometown. But I did it, eventually.

Science and math were never really my favorite subjects, though. My dad’s an engineer so he would always be the one stuck helping me with my word problems in math class every night. Oh boy, did I hate word problems. Really, who cares if a train leaves one station at a certain time and the other train leaves another station at the same time at a different speed…hell, I don’t even know where I’m going with this, I’ve already lost my train of thought. (No pun intended.) History and English were my favorites and still are. I love to read, and I love to learn about history. I even have a favorite President. (Teddy Roosevelt. Yes, I know, I’m a nerd.) And when I was a kid, I created my own sovereign government in my bedroom with a written constitution, cities, mayors, congress, the whole nine yards. It was called “Alainia.”

Well, I guess the studiousness paid off because it did get me through four years of undergraduate studies in journalism and then three years of law school. I was never a huge fan of high school, but I absolutely loved college. I loved all the options I got in classes, the people I met, the beauty of the campus where I went (Go Hoosiers!), everything. Those were hands down, the best four years of my life. I learned more things than I thought possible and went through some difficult experiences but some rewarding ones nonetheless. While journalism was my goal, in the end I chose a different path and went towards the law. I made the decision my junior year to apply to law school and went full steam ahead.

Law school was different.   I went from this huge university to a rather small law school.  I often compare law school to junior high.  You have your cliques, everyone is competitive and petty, and everyone knows everyone's business.  I hated junior high, and I wasn't a big fan of law school either.  It's very cutthroat and competitive, and that is totally not me.  I basically treaded water to get through law school and didn't look back as soon as that hood was placed over my head and diploma in hand.  Would I do law school again?, no thank you.  And honestly, I don't know a whole lot of lawyers who would say that they would ironically.

Of course, law school is a big tease, you know.  Sure, you have a law degree, but you can't use it without that license.  Thus comes the tortuous summer of constant studying for the bar exam.  I can feel 100% comfortable in saying that the bar exam was hands down the hardest things I have ever done in my life.  I studied 8-12 hours a day for 2 1/2 straight months, and in Indiana, we take two days of testing, one day with six hour essays and one with seven hours of multiple choice.  When I left, I was exhausted, and I had myself convinced I failed.  The multiple choice counted for 50% of the test, and I seriously thought I bombed it.  I called my dad and cried the whole way home that I was going to fail.  You then have to wait three months to get the results, and in Indiana they give you the results by posting them on a huge list online of who passed.  That list was posted at 8:00 a.m. on September 29th.  I was shaking as I scrolled down the list and found my name and then burst into tears when I saw it.  I have never felt so much relief in my entire life.  Would I take the bar exam again?  Um, hell no.  I say that with full confidence.  Hell to the no.  But I did pass on the first try so go me, right? 

So that's my story on my education.  I feel so bad for our kids because between T and I we have two undergraduate degrees, a masters in engineering and a juris doctorate.  We like our learning, and we're nerds and damn proud of it. 

So go get your learning on and check out the other stories at Sprite's Keeper!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The joys of lactose intolerance

One of the banes of my existence is the fact that I have lactose intolerance. It took me years to figure out that I did, mostly because as a kid, my parents didn’t believe me when I said milk made me sick and my doctor never diagnosed said condition, but…that’s besides the point. As soon as I was in high school and college, I put two and two together and life hasn’t been the same ever since.

Yes, there are much worse things that one can be afflicted with, and this is small in comparison to my heart condition, but it’s still a major pain.

I hate having to tell people what exactly happens with lactose intolerance, but suffice it to say it’s not pleasant. Poor T didn’t know what he was getting himself into until I got really sick this last Valentine’s Day when I made him this special dinner with heavy cream, and despite taking my Lactaid I was in such pain and couldn’t sit up straight for 24 hours that I had to call in sick to work. It was awful. So now he knows what he gets to deal with for the rest of his life, lucky man.

When I was a kid, they didn’t have the medicine they have now, like Lactaid, to help you digest dairy. Yes, they had nondairy alternatives to food. For instance, when we would get ice cream, I’d always get sherbet because it didn’t make me sick, but I never really realized that hey, this is because I can’t stomach milk! My parents would try anything they could to get me to drink milk. They would get chocolate syrup and make me sit at the table until I finished my chocolate milk. (I know, child abuse, I’ve already told my parents that if the statute of limitations hadn’t run on this, I’d totally pursue it…) Since I wasn’t getting calcium they had to resort to other means of getting that. I couldn’t swallow those horse pills they give you for calcium supplements, though I take them now, and the chewable ones tasted like chalk so they had to give me calcium at any chance they could. Did you know that Rolaids has calcium? And Tums? Guess how I know how I know this? Oh, because this was what I had to take every morning to get my calcium. Yuck. I still can’t stand the stuff. But my stomach acid had to have been great as a child, right?

Now I’m used to having lactose intolerance, but it’s still a pain. I love pizza, and I can eat it but only with Lactaid (take two pills before eating). I get frozen yogurt and sherbet only. I use dairy free creamer with my coffee. I eat yogurt cheese with my sandwiches at lunch. It’s truly a pain. Where it has particularly become annoying has been with wedding planning. One thing I’m adamant about with our menu is that the menu needs to be milk free. No way am I going to have any stomach “issues” the day of my wedding, not while I’m in that huge white dress. We’ve done pretty well so far, except for the cake. The cake is made with cream. So…that means I have to take Lactaid before eating the cake. So I’m trying to envision how this is supposed to play out. Is T supposed to feed me the Lactaid and then feed me my first bite of cake? Or could he just stick the pill in the cake and I take it together? Either way, doesn’t it sound romantic?

I only hope that once we have children, I don’t pass this onto my children. I want them to know the joy of dairy and not be forced to chew Rolaids and dip your Oreos in Iced Tea as a child just because you can’t handle the milk.  Because, come on, that just isn't the same...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Small Treasure Tuesday: Happy memories

Back in the day, before wedding planning craziness and when T and I first met, we had all the time in the world to go do and see whatever we wanted.  We went on actual “dates” back in those days.  You know, no errands or tasks that needed to be done, we went to places we thought would be interesting and did fun leisurely stuff. Ah, the good old days…not that I’m complaining now, of course, but it was pretty sweet back then.

Anyway, I digress, what I’m trying to tell all of you about is what I consider to be one of our most perfect dates ever. I forget which date this was exactly (fourth, fifth, though I’m sure T could tell you), but we had planned to go to the Indianapolis Indians baseball game that night. It was the last game of the season, so headed downtown a little early to purchase tickets beforehand. We parked and walked a mile in the heat to get there, and when we do, we see the place is crowded beyond belief and wouldn’t you know it, the game was sold out. Yikes. And I’m not the spontaneous type, and really, neither is T, so both of us kind of looked at each other and were thinking “ummm…what do we do now?” We had already paid to park downtown so we might as well use that. I’ll be the first to admit it, too, but I got really grouchy with T for the very first time. It was hot, there were a ton of people swarming around us, we had no idea what to do, and I had to use the ladies room like nobody’s business. But I didn’t want him to see what a gigantic witch I can be during such a mood swing, so I tried to hold it in with no avail. We ended up going to a hotel near the stadium and pretending like we were staying there so I could use the facilities and be a little happier, and after that, we decided to head to the canal downtown and just take a walk.

So, we headed to the canal, and that place was pretty crowded, too. It was the Annual Rib America Festival I told you about on Saturday, so the place was packed, and it smelled of BBQ and ribs. So we held hands and walked and talked and just enjoyed each other’s company. Pretty soon, though, we noticed that a concert was about to start at the Festival, and when we heard who it was going to be, we had to stay and listen. It was the former lead singer of Styx, Dennis DeYoung. Don’t know of him? I’m a gigantic nerd, and I was stoked to hear him sing Mr. Roboto, so we had just had to stay and listen. We didn’t go to the actual festival itself, but rather, we parked ourselves outside the park where everything was going on by the Indiana State Museum and stayed for the entire show. It was awesome. Hearing Mr. Roboto live? Sublime.

But that wasn’t my favorite part of the night. What I loved is that we had nowhere we needed to go, nothing we needed to do, except sit and enjoy the music and talk. That night was one of the first where I really started to open up to T and kind of let him into my world. And it was the first time he ever said I was beautiful. I will never ever forget that. I remember we were talking about how some lady at a party had mistaken me for being pregnant and how that made me feel like absolute crap about myself, and I think I also opened up to him about how in my previous relationship, how out of eight months of dating, not once had I ever been told I was pretty at all.  I started to doubt it myself.  And he looked at me like I was crazy and said “but you’re absolutely beautiful.” It took my breath away, butterflies in the stomach, the whole nine yards. No one had ever looked at me like the way he looked at me or made me feel the way he made me feel. I will never forget that memory and will treasure it forever.

After the concert we headed back towards the car, and by this time the game had let out, and they were doing a fireworks show downtown. So we stopped and watched that together. It was a completely spontaneous and unplanned evening, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s hard to believe that it’s been just two years since that date together, and it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come.

I guess we should try being spontaneous more often, huh?

Go visit Chantel's blog by clicking the link image above and see what other small treasures people are sharing today!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oops, I did it again....

I’m a klutz. I’ll be the first to admit it. I have bad luck with it comes into running into things, either way my car or myself. The bad thing is, in addition to this, I bruise easily. And badly. Every day, T will see a new bruise on me and go “what in the world did you do there?” Sometimes I can remember where I got it, but more times than not, I couldn’t tell you for the life of me where my latest mark came from. I don’t know if it’s because I’m moving around too fast and not paying attention to where I’m going or what. Either way, I know that I’m a klutz.
Take last weekend as an example. While T was outside working in the garage and on the yard, I was doing my usual A.D.D. style of cleaning. I had taken everything off of the bathroom counter, had started dusting the living room, and was making the bed all at the same time. Our bed is pretty large (it’s a Queen), and it’s got a headboard and foot board. I’m always always running into the foot board. I think it’s because I cut corners too closely or what. (I have the same problem with driving. I see a pattern here). So while I was trying to make the bed, I ran into the right corner of the foot board, causing sharp pain to my upper thigh. “Shit,” I thought, “that’s going to bruise. But I kept going, despite the pain, of course, and what do you know, I ran into the exact same spot within five minutes of the first injury. So now I had two rather large (and growing) welts on my leg. That last one hurt worse than the first one, but I kept going. However later, T notices them when we’re getting ready to leave the house, and he asks “what in the world did you do?” I told him how I ran into the bed twice, to which he replied “I keep telling you, you need to watch where you’re going!” I know, I know. I need to watch where I’m going. Whatever. Not like I’ll actually do it, but I just say “ok, honey,” and off we go.

The next day, the bruises actually hurt pretty badly and I couldn't sleep on my right side because they hurt so badly. And both bruises are about the size of golf balls, which is a really attractive look in shorts, let me tell you. So it’s Sunday, and we’re cooking dinner (correction: I’m cooking dinner and T’s on the computer…ha), and I’m on the phone with my mom telling her about my stupidity from the previous day. While I’m doing this and rushing around the kitchen, I slam my right arm into the back of T’s chair. Ouch! I actually say “ouch!” out loud and both T and my mother go “what did you do now?” Yeah, so I have another bruise on my right forearm. That’s pretty, too.

I think I should slow down or something because by the time this weekend gets here and I have to look all pretty and unblemished in my white dress, I’m going to look like I just played a game of tackle football. And people wonder why I don’t play contact sports…

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Steals: I heart free concerts!

It’s the weekend again (yay!) so that means it’s time for Saturday Steals from Archives of Our Lives. I’m pretty pumped about this week’s steal, but sadly, I don’t have a picture for it. Sorry everyone! Maybe next week…

This last Labor Day weekend, in downtown Indy, they had the annual Rib America Festival. Two years ago, T and I, when we first started dating, stumbled upon this by accident, though we didn’t go to the actual festival itself. See, the park the festival is in is adjacent to the canal we like to walk on during the summer and fall months. During the festival weekend, they have a bunch of artists come and perform each night. The person we heard two years ago was the lead singer of Styx, and man, that was awesome. We just sat outside on the canal, talking, and enjoying the beautiful lyrics of Styx (no laughing, I thought it was pretty damn cool..) Well, this year, they had quite a line up – I mean we’re talking Ted Nugent, Candlebox, Seven Mary Three, Bret Michaels, and my favorite, Collective Soul. Collective Soul has been my favorite band, hands down, since about 8th grade, and I know all of their songs by heart so I was so excited to hear they were coming. We decided that even though we are poor because of wedding planning, we could still go downtown and listen to the concert for free. It was a beautiful weekend, so the weather was perfect, and the concert didn’t start until 9:00 or so, so after dinner on Sunday, we packed up a blanket and some snacks and headed downtown. We scouted out the perfect location to park ourselves for the next hour and a half, and we laid down and relaxed and listen to some awesome music. It was great and just what both of us needed with all of the stress going on around us. Collective Soul never lets me down either, as I’ve seen them in concert before. They sound just like they do on their CDs, which is pretty rare in terms of live music. All in all, it was a great night, and hey, it was free!

Turns out the parking only cost us $1, too. We parked at the mall parking garage, and the lady who gave us our change back apparently didn’t know how to make 50 cents of change for $2.00 (parking was $1.50) so we gave her $2, and she gave us back $1.00 in change. (3 quarters, one dime and 3 nickels…random, right?) So all in all the night cost us $1. I’m a cheap date, aren’t I?

So stop by Camille’s blog and check out the other steals people have gotten this weekend. Happy Saturday! AND….it’s only 7 days until the big day! Can you believe it?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spin Cycle: The Great Outdoors

This week’s Spin Cycle, brought to you by the Spin-master herself, Jen at Sprite’s Keeper, is about nature, the great outdoors, being out and experiencing the beauty around us. This topic…is well, not one I’m really drawn to, but I’m totally up for the challenge, so let’s do this…

Now, I am by no means a nature girl. My idea of “roughing it” is staying at a Holiday Inn Express. And experiencing nature and wild life? I’d much rather go to the zoo and see it behind cages where it can’t bother me. I’m just not into it. No desire to go camping whatsoever, which is great because T doesn’t have that urge either.

However, this isn’t to say that I haven’t experienced nature, the great outdoors. Back when I was just a young thing, my parents tortured…er, I mean, gave us the great opportunity to go camping around the state parks where we lived. I lived the first 10 years of my life in Huntsville, Alabama, close to the Smokey Mountains, where you could always see green hills on the horizon (compared the flat land we have here in Indiana overgrown by corn stalks). We had one of those pop-up campers, so at least we weren’t on the ground in tents, but it was still roughing it in my young eyes. We went everywhere: Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina…all over the southeastern part of the country. I got to see so many cool things, yes, and experience places that not every child gets to experience so for that I’m definitely grateful. However, being outside with the bugs, having to hike in your flip flops to shower in bathrooms that were absolutely disgusting and also bug-ridden, and being forced to hike for 3-4 hours with my parents in the woods with no food or water, well…all of this left much to be desired.

We always brought with us our toys, a few dolls for the trip, coloring books, Frisbees, bikes, you name it. As the youngest of three, my parents would sometimes let us walk to the nearby playground areas and venture out on our own. Of course, with today’s dangers, I definitely wouldn’t tell my children they could just wander off into the woods, but this was the 1980s. People were more trusting. And I was a brave girl. Whenever we would go hiking, I’d be the one walking along the edge of the cliff. I had no fear, and I thought I could be self-sufficient without my parents or sister and brother.

I do remember one such occasion where this got me in trouble. I don’t recall how old I was, possibly seven or eight years old, and I don’t recall which park or state we were in at the time, but I do remember that I went to the playground with my brother and sister, and while we were there, we saw this outside amphitheater place next door. Of course, we all got on stage and pretended we were stars in some play, performing for audiences of thousands. We had a great time, but of course, we had to get back to the camper, so off we went. However, later in the day, I got this bright idea. See, I had brought one of my “children” (a Cabbage Patch doll, as I had about 5 of these, and I considered myself their mother and them my children) This particular doll was my favorite. Her name was Cara, and she had that corn silk hair you could brush instead of the normal yarn the old dolls had. I decided I was going to show my daughter what we discovered earlier in the day. So, without anyone noticing, I walked off, doll in hand. I managed to find the place, did my desired “sight-seeing,” and I’m not even sure how long I was gone at that point. I headed back to the camper, fully being aware of how to get back safely and soundly (I knew what I was doing, you know…), and as I get back to the camper, I see my parent’s van is gone. My mom is walking up and down the street around our campsite yelling my name, and when she sees me, she about faints. Apparently not long after I disappeared, my parents noticed I was gone and freaked out. My dad was out driving the campgrounds searching for me, and my mom had been walking around trying to find me for about 30 minutes. Of course, I was oblivious and thought she was crazy to be so upset. I mean, I was just showing my daughter the cool thing we found earlier. What’s so wrong with that?

My poor parents…I can’t help but think karma is going to come back at me for that one.

So that’s my story of adventures in the great outdoors. Stop by Sprite’s Keeper to read other posts on nature. Some of these people might actually like nature, too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When you know you’ve lost it…

I’ve said it once, but I think it needs to be said again, with all the stress of wedding planning I have officially started to lose it. The thing with me that you have to understand is that my mind is constantly going, a lot like a hamster running on one of those wheels. I will start thinking about one thing, then that thought goes to another and another until there is no semblance of the original thought and I’m totally freaked out about something unrelated.
This last weekend T and I both had the plan to catch up on our sleep. With everything going on, this hasn’t been easy. Seeing as it was a long weekend, I thought “whoo-hoo! Three mornings to sleep in! Yes!” However, my mind and my body had something else in store for me. I did manage to sleep in Saturday and somewhat on Sunday, but Monday, not so much. I woke up sometime around 6:30, which is natural considering it’s the normal time for me to get up for work anyway. However, instead of falling back to sleep, I lay there awake – thinking, thinking about the wedding, thinking about my list of things to do before the wedding, thinking about everything that we need to do before leaving for Ireland, thinking about the fact that I need to set my DVR to make sure that all of the season premieres we will be missing while overseas are recorded, to thinking about Dancing With the Stars.

I love this show. I am sad I’ll miss the first two episodes, but as soon as we get back, I’m watching the recorded ones before the next new episode. I’m such a fan that I’m a “fan” of the show on Facebook, and the other day, when they posted the new cast pictures of which star was paired with which partner, I noticed that one particular star was missing: The Situation. So, there I am, at 6:30 in the morning, laying there thinking “who is The Situation paired with? Which professional dancer was missing from those photos? Did he quit the show?” All sorts of thoughts were running through my head that made no sense whatsoever. By the time I had laid there for an hour, I thought that maybe I should get up and head to the living room so as to let T sleep in peace.

So I headed out to the living room, having gotten maybe 4 hours of sleep max that night, and started watching DVR episodes of Chelsea Lately. After watching about 4-5 episodes of that, T emerges from the bedroom around asking how long I had been up. When I tell him I couldn’t sleep at all, he asks if I was worrying about the wedding, so I tell him yes, I was worrying about the wedding and packing and The Situation. He looks at me like I’m crazy so I try to explain that I was deeply concerned about whether The Situation was going to still be on the show. His picture wasn’t on the Facebook page, so I was curious what that meant. At this point, T’s laughing at me and shaking his head. To answer my question, he Googles The Situation and Dancing with the Stars to show that he is paired with Karina Smirnoff. Whew, that question was answered. Now I can rest easy.

I think I’ve hit my wall here. I’ve now created things to worry about.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I never thought I would....

About a month ago, I submitted an article as part of a contest to Real Simple magazine. I’m not sure what will come of it, but the idea was to finish this sentence “I never thought I would…” Since we’re just days away from the big day, I want to share with all of you what I wrote:
I never thought I would get married. Not me. Sure, I have been a bridesmaid in countless weddings and have always said I wanted to eventually get married, but I never pictured myself up there on the altar, saying "I do." Yet, here I am, just weeks from the big day. It's surreal, but on September 18th, I will be marrying my best friend, the love of my life, something I never in a million years saw myself doing. I will be that girl. That girl I never thought I would be.

See, I wasn't the little girl who dreamed of her perfect wedding day. I was not into the happily ever after fairy tale ending. I never pictured myself with Prince Charming. I did not dress up as a bride for Halloween. My Barbies never got married to Ken. Rather, they were more like characters from Sex and the City: they had an awesome job, lived in a great house, and wore the cutest and most stylish 1980s couture. Ken was around, but he was more of a side character. He was there when Barbie wanted him around, but as soon as she got tired of him, Barbie was off spending time with her girls, Midge and Teresa. (See, I was also that girl who owned all of Barbie’s sidekicks.) It's not that I did not date. I had a series of serious boyfriends starting in high school and through college. I fell in love, and I fell hard. But I also had my heart broken, several times, and each time, I felt a piece of my heart break away until it felt as if there was nothing left. After about six serious relationships, I started seriously doubting the truth behind happily ever after and the myth of soul mates. Did that even exist? People were always telling me to not give up, but at the same time “don’t settle.” Settle for what? As far as I was concerned it was some pretty slim pickings out there, and I felt that regardless of who I dated, it really didn’t matter who I ended up with in the end.

I would not say that I was a complete cynic, but I would say that by the time I reached my late twenties, I was definitely a little jaded and hardened to the idea of love and being with one person forever. I wanted to be happy, and I wanted to find a partner in life. I was just never lucky in love.

By the time I reached 27, I ended a rather toxic relationship with a man who did not treat me well and had a bit of a wandering eye. I decided that I needed to learn what it was like to be on my own for awhile. I wanted to find myself, whatever that meant. All I knew is if I kept going the path I was going, by the time I did find true love, if that ever happened, I would be too jaded to even recognize it when I saw it. When and if I gave my heart away to the one who truly deserved it, I wanted to give my whole heart away, not just whatever was left of it after so many failed relationships.

The problem with finding myself was that along the way, I somehow lost myself. I lost my identity. I lost my passion and drive for life. I felt almost as if I were a shell of my former self. I got my butt drop-kicked by love, and I was just about down for the count. Around the winter of 2008, I had given trying. If I wanted to be honest with myself, I also gave up caring around that time, too. I made a series of bad decisions, not caring how much I hurt myself or where I ended up towards the spring of 2008. It took one huge wake up call in April 2008 for me to snap back into reality. The decisions I had made for myself were ones that I could not erase and ones with possibly permanent consequences. I did not seem to full comprehend this until I had no choice but to face the facts. I had to learn to love myself first and before anything. I am not quite sure when I stopped taking as good of care of myself as I did of others, but my self value plummeted farther than it had ever gone before. This realization forced me to take a step back and reevaluate my priorities in life. That reevaluation included love.

I was caring more about pleasing the person I was with than pleasing myself. I thought that I should just take the first man that comes along who shows any sign of interest, because I did not consider myself to be worthy enough of anything better. By doing this, I was setting myself up for failure and heartbreak. I did not consider myself to be good enough for any man who was good, kind and decent.

In the spring of 2008, a coworker of mine sent me a link to a site called Catholic Match. I was unsure about this for some time, so I saved the email until I could give it some further thought. Sure, I had done online dating before, but I never had much luck from it in my previous searches for “the one.” My coworker had told me, following my last break-up, that all I needed to do was “find yourself a good, Catholic boy.” Growing up in a large, Catholic family, I joked that this would make my mother’s wildest dreams come true. However, I never really considered it a possibility. I was no angel. I had made my fair share of horrible choices, especially lately. Why would any guy of value or standards want to date me? However, in my quest to find myself, I decided to join. Why not? What harm could it do? I signed up for a one month trial membership and let go of the reigns for a bit.

It was not but a couple of weeks before I got an email from a guy named T. He was an engineer, which I found hilarious because he had my father’s name and he, too, is an engineer. We emailed back and forth for about a month before deciding to converse over the phone. As soon as we started talking, we hit it off. He was a sweet, kind person, very intelligent and motivated in life. He always seemed so interested to hear about my day and my life. After a few weeks of phone contact we decided to meet in person. We met at a neutral location for dinner during the week on June 25, 2008. Little did I know that, on that day, I would be meeting my husband. We instantly clicked over dinner, and the conversation just flowed naturally. Shortly after our first date, we decided to go out again. Each time I saw T, I let my guard down more and more. We took it slow, slower than I had ever taken a relationship in the past. Little by little, I let T in. He was patient, never pushed, and never made me feel anything less than perfect in his eyes. He wanted me to follow my dreams, and he wanted nothing in this world more than to see me happy. I fought it as hard as I could, falling in love, until I could fight it no longer. I loved this man. I saw my future when I looked into his eyes. We both realized this one evening, sitting on his apartment balcony, enjoying each other’s company and conversation on a cool summer evening. I looked deeply into his eyes, and I saw love. Later, he confessed that he felt it, too. It was a connection that neither of us could deny.

Now, two years later, we are just days away from our wedding day. We have been planning for this day for well over a year, and as the days get closer and closer, I can hardly believe that this is actually happening. I have found what I thought never was possible – the love of my life and my best friend all rolled up into the same person.

On September 18th, as I am holding my father’s arm, walking down the aisle, I know I will be focused on only one thing: the look in T’s eyes. I will be walking towards my present, my future, my everything, and I could not feel more blessed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Small Treasures Tuesday

Wait, it's Tuesday?  Already?  Long weekends always throw me off.  So that means it's time again for Small Treasure Tuesdays with Chantel.  As we approach the wedding day in just 11 days, I have lots of treasures to talk about, but I have to pick just one and with how beautiful this last weekend was, it was pretty easy to choose. 
My small treasure is this past weekend and the amazing weather we had.  Seriously, it was beautiful.  Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and around mid-70s all weekend.  It was like this Saturday through Monday, too.  Absolutely amazing.  Granted, we need rain like nobody's business, but T and I took full advantage of this past weekend's weather and spent it out and about just enjoying ourselves and relaxing as best we could before the next few weeks approach.  Saturday we were out shopping and went out to an early dinner/late lunch and spent the evening outside on our deck enjoying a nice fire pit, built by my fire starter himself, T.  Sunday we did things around the house and enjoyed a nice walk outside before heading downtown for a concert on the canal.  Yesterday, we found ourselves up in Noblesville with the fam at the annual Labor Day car show where my fathers shows off his 1972 Chevelle.  All of it:  beautiful.  I only hope that the weather we had this last weekend lasts the rest of September and that our wedding weekend is this amazing. 
The weekend was so beautiful I didn't want to come back to work this morning, but sadly, here I am.  Luckily for me I made these next two weeks pretty light to reduce stress before the wedding.  Only 11 days from today, folks!  The big day is almost here!
Hope everyone had an amazing long weekend!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yes, I really did just ask that...

Everyone has their moments.  You know, those moments where you say something incredibly stupid, but you don't realize it's stupid?  It's a good thing I tend to only share these moments with T.  He loves me, so he won't judge.  Case in point:
Yesterday we did a TON of stuff around the house:  cleaned the entire house, vacuumed our cars out, laundry, worked out...and even prepared a nice dinner before heading downtown to listen to Collective Soul, my favorite group of all time.  So by the time we sat down to dinner, I was tired, but I don't think exhaustion will excuse this. 
We listen to XM radio while eating, and the station we had on was The Coffeehouse, which is all acoustic/singer-songwriter songs.  The most random songs play on this station but in an acoustic version.  It's kind of humorous.  So we hear Sheryl Crow's "Soak up the Sun," and I verbalized a question I've had ever since I heard that song for the first time.  I turn to T and go "what's a 45?  Is she talking about SPF 45?"
T looks at me and goes, "You really didn't just ask that, did you?" 
But really, I didn't know what a 45 was.  In my mind, it's either a level of sunscreen SPF or a gun.  And why would she need a gun if she was going to "soak up the sun?"  So I look at T and say "yeah, I don't know what it is...what is it?"
So T begins to go into an explanation about records and record players and the speed at which they rotate and how 45's were smaller records for singles and that obviously she was relaxing to a good song played on a 45.  (Seriously, how in the hell was I supposed to know that?  Come on...)
But the lawyer in me wants to argue.  "It could be SPF 45.  I mean, she is going to soak up the sun, and skin cancer is a prevalent problem that needs to be taken seriously." 
At this point, T's just laughing shaking his head.  "No, it really is a serious issue, and sure, she's going to go out there and relax and soak up the sun, but she needs to be smart about it.  I mean, she could have a cancerous mole appear later in life, all because she didn't wear her sunscreen." 
Yes, this was our dinner conversation, and I still think this is a valid argument.  So we'll just agree to disagree.  For now. 
We're heading up to my parent's house for a little Labor Day cookout, and folks, while I'm soaking up the sun, I will for sure be putting on my 45 so I can rock on.  It's just the sensible thing to do. 
Happy Labor Day!  (Oh, and just so all of you know...this is my 100th post!  Whoo!  Go Nain!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Momma always told me I was special....

One of the things that people keep telling T ever since we started dating is how perfect a match we are for each other and how “it takes a special kind of person to handle Nain’s quirks.” My sister told him this about 9 months into our relationship.  This was even a part of my Dad’s toast T referenced in his guest blog. While I appreciate everyone’s acknowledgement of my special individuality, part of me has to laugh because I never really thought I was that quirky of a person…that is, until I really started to think about it. And damn, I kind of am a quirky person....
We’re all different and unique, each in our own right, but yes, I do have my quirks. Aside from my normal moodiness and short temper, I do have my quirks.  And yes, T should be nominated for sainthood for putting up with my quirks on a daily basis. I’m well aware of it, and I will admit my idiosyncrasies. So for fun, I’m just going to let you in on my little world…you’ll have a whole new respect for T when you’re done:

I have cleaning A.D.D. This drives T nuts. When it’s just me cleaning the entire house, I can’t stay focused on more than one task for too long. Example: I’ll start cleaning the bathroom by clearing all of the stuff off of the sink counter and putting it aside and spray some 409 on it. Then I’ll leave the room and start a load of laundry. While I’m in that area where the washer/dryer and kitchen are, I’ll notice that the dishes that were drying are now dry and need to be put away so I’ll do that. Then I’ll start dusting, and then I’ll remember that I started the bathroom so I’ll go back to that and so on. It makes no sense whatsoever, but wouldn’t you know it, that house is spotless in less than two hours. And I’m exhausted.

I have A.D.D. when doing other tasks, too, like filling out a form. When we were out to breakfast and I was filling out the DJ form for later that night, I drove T bonkers by starting at one blank and then moving to another blank at the bottom of the page and then back to the top and then one to the middle. I can’t focus my mind long enough to just do the form in order. I’m like this when I have to fill out those patient forms at doctor’s offices, too.   But what does it matter if the thing gets filled out eventually, right?

I’m organized when it comes to work but not when it comes to my personal life. My closet is a wreck, my drawers are just stuffed full of clothes with no organization. The kitchen cabinet organization makes no sense, as does neither the pantry or the fridge. T is always telling me we need to go through it, and I know I do…it just seems too daunting. Hell, you should see my file cabinet at home!   Post wedding, that is a task I plan to tackle with T and then pass the job along to him to maintain it because God knows the damage I will do.

Let’s see others…oh, my car….so, you’ll find random things in my car on any given day. Since I’m in the legal profession and transport files to and from places, you’ll randomly find pens, binder clips and paper clips all over the place. And random items of clothing and shoes because sometimes when I head out to work, I worry in the back of my mind that the shoes will make my feet hurt by the end of the day, so I’ll throw a spare pair in the back. Then I forget said spare pair is in the back and I’ll do it again. Eventually, I’ll end up with a couple pairs of random workout shorts in the back along with five pairs of flats and one pair of flip flops like I did the other weekend (I brought all of these in the house last weekend and now we just have a pair of flip flops back there). T says when he’s heading to work, sometimes he’ll look in the back of my car and just shake his head at what he sees. 

I’m scared of finding bugs in the bedroom and in the bed so before we go to bed, I will look under the pillows and sheets and do a perimeter check on the walls to make sure there are no spiders. I will turn the light back on if I lay down and haven't done this just so I can do it.  Weird, yes, but I have my reasons. My old apartment when I was on my own was bug rampant, and I would often find bugs on my ceiling in the middle of the night, and it freaked me out. I can spot the tiniest of spiders a mile away. I’m that good.

I will nuke my food regardless of how warm it is. It has to be hot. We had dinner the other night in the crock-pot, and the food was steaming on my plate, and I still stuck it in the microwave. I’ll leave the dinner table to go back to the kitchen and nuke it for 10 more seconds if I’m not satisfied with the heat level of my food.  Every day I do this.

When in the car, I cannot stay on a radio station for more than 1-2 songs. I will change it constantly because I grow bored easily. I’ll even do this when I’m not conscious. When I got my wisdom teeth out my senior year of high school, my mom said that I was changing the stations on her radio when I wasn’t even awake due to the drugs they used to put me under. I must have been aware enough to know a crappy song when I heard one, though!
I don’t like going to movies or concerts that much because I get bored too easily. I’ll go to them, don’t get me wrong, but just to humor T because I know he loves them. But personally, I don’t get that excited about them.  I just don't like them.  What's wrong with me?

Constantly brushing my hair like Marsha Brady is another quirk of mine. I always have to have a brush on hand in my purse or near me in my office because if I feel like my hair is getting all knotted up or doesn’t look good, I have to brush. It’s become second nature to me, and when I do lose my hair brush and don’t have one all day, part of me just feels lost.

So yes, these are my quirks…and in no particular order of significance, and honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. But I do love that T loves me because of my quirks and not despite my quirks. That’s what makes him so special.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Respect: You get what you give

This week’s Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite's Keeper, is on respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. So I have to ask myself….what does that mean to me?

Respect is huge for me. I expect it at work, I expect it at home, and I try my hardest to treat others with equal respect that they deserve. It’s simply how I was raised. Growing up in the south you were trained to treat others, especially those older than you, with respect. You referred to any adult as “Sir” and “Ma’am.” Of course, when we moved up here when I was in 4th grade, I got made fun of for being so polite. (Kids can be so mean.)

Now that I am in the professional arena and work daily with a number of different attorneys and judges in the court system, I try to use that same mindset as an attorney. One of the things I absolutely cannot stand is when people in my profession do not treat others with respect and walk all over people to get what they want. There’s a lot to be said about civility and respect, and I’m of the school of thought that you don’t need to be rude, pushy or loud to get what you want. You can stand your ground when you feel its needed and respond accordingly, but you should always treat others with respect if you want it given to you in return.

Sadly, not too many of my colleagues do this. It’s really how attorneys get the bad reputation that we do. If you are a pit bull in the courtroom, you’ll win cases. Or you won’t get clients by being a nice person. While, yes, some people do pay for certain attorneys because they’ve heard that they can really fight to the death in all of their cases and that they basically scare others into settling cases with them, I tend to think that only goes so far. Have I put a parent on the stand and been tough with them to get them to admit some of the bad things they have done? Yes. Have I been known to lose my patience every now and then? Yes. But do I ever raise my voice in the courtroom or lose my cool? Do I ever disrespect them regardless of what they've done?  Never. Sure, in my head I might, but how is that going to win me respect in the eyes of my fellow attorneys I’m working with or the judge on my case? I certainly don’t want to be one of those attorneys where whenever a judge sees that I’m on the case, they dread it being called in.

I feel lucky that I was given the upbringing that I was in that I treat others with respect, always act with kindness, with a please and a thank you, and never look down on others just because I can. Not everyone has been as lucky as I have to be brought up with such great parents and a good moral background. I hope someday to instill those same values in my own children and lead them down the right path. Because the old adage really is true…you get what you give.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Small Treasure....Wednesday?

Doh! I totally dropped the ball and forgot that yesterday was Tuesday, which meant that it was Small Treasures Tuesday with Chantel! (See? I told you all I was losing it!) So I decided to do a small treasure Wednesday instead, just a day late. Better late than never, right?


This week’s small treasure is not necessarily a small treasure but one that should be recognized more often than it is. It’s our friends and family.

As we get closer and closer to the big day, it’s more apparent to both T and me how much we are loved and how blessed we are to have our close friends and family in our lives. It has meant so much to me how much they have done for us, with wedding showers and helping with the planning to just being there when we need to vent about wedding stress. I feel so loved after this last weekend. I had my third wedding shower, held by my coworkers, after the first one done by my family and then my sister for my friends in July. After the third wedding shower, T and I headed to evening mass, and we ran into some of our friends we met through a retreat at church. As I gave one of my friends a hug, she quickly asked me when I was free. She and the girls from our retreat group want to take me out to dinner and have a mini bridal shower before the big day. I was so touched that they thought of me, and it means so much to have them in my life. I truly am blessed.

So that’s my small treasure for the week – I love you guys, and it means so much to have such thoughtful and loving people in our lives. T and I look forward to sharing our day with our family and friends – just 17 more days!