Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Save the drama for your mama

So, this week's Spin Cycle topic is a fun one...DRAMA. Oh, drama drama drama...too many things to say about that one. If any of you haven't caught on, my life is all about drama. Sure, I don't talk about the ins and outs of my job all that much, due to confidentiality and all, but dude, I work in child protective services law. That's about as dramatic as it comes. I used to also do divorce work for a little while, too, and that lead to some interesting dramatic stories. Just like a Jerry Springer episode, let me tell you.

Anyway, so yes, my job is stressful and comes with lots of drama. Every Thursday I have court where we handle about 30 cases any given morning. It's constant stress for about 4 hours every Thursday morning. The stories I hear, the things I read...all just really not so good. I also handle termination of parental rights trials, where I basically tear a parent apart for a good eight hour day to try to get Judge to end the parent/child relationship with that person. There's no way you can walk away from those trials with a warm and fuzzy feeling. It's tiring, it's emotionally draining, but you have to hold it together and keep your composure while you're doing it. I'm pretty good at this. I don't let my emotions show unless something really upsets me, and unfortunately the meter for that has gone way up since working with DCS. It takes a lot to shock me. It shouldn't be that way, but we just get conditioned to certain events. I can hold it in pretty well during the day, but sometimes, on particularly bad days, I come home and just explode. I'm like a ticking time bomb. You never know what will push me over the edge. Poor, T...

Case in point: last year I had a particularly difficult termination trial I prepared for for months, and it was set for two days of trial in mid-March. It meant two days straight, eight or more hours each, of witness after witness saying why this father is not capable of providing for his children. It ended with father on the stand and me tearing him apart. It had to be done, I will say, because there was some bad stuff that went down with respect to these adorable kiddos, but still, it was tough. On the last day of trial, I packed up my stuff, breathed a sigh of relief that it was over, and headed home to T. He had promised me that he would cook dinner for me and would have a glass of wine waiting for me when I got home. (An amazing guy, right?)

So I get home, plop on the couch absolutely exhausted and feeling pretty much numb from the day, and T tells me "hey sweetie, we're having spaghetti for dinner!" My response should have been "oh, T, thank you so much for taking care of dinner for me. I really appreciate it and everything you do to make my life easier" or...something along those lines. My actual response, "spaghetti? Again? All you do is make spaghetti, can't you think of something different?" And no, it didn't stop there. This then turned into Nain bursting into tears and going off about how he's stuck in his ways, how spaghetti is representative of his unwillingness to change or try new things in his life, etc. etc. I think somewhere along the way, in the back of my mind, I knew "um, hey, this is a bit stupid. You're having a fight over spaghetti. Back the truck up there, buddy." I just exploded on T. Let it all out, and he was the unwilling victim. And he's just standing there dumbfounded, spatula in hand, probably thinking that I've officially lost my mind and wondering where we took a turn from what's for dinner to why don't you put my needs first and why is spaghetti so important to you? The fight did end eventually, as is likely when one of the participants has no idea what's going on, and I ate my spaghetti, sniffling and feeling like an all around ass but not ready to admit it just yet. (I'm stubborn like that.)

Now, before you guys judge, I did apologize. Many times. Later that night, I looked at T, and sheepishly asked "um, did we really just have a fight over spaghetti?"

I told one of my coworkers about this fight the next day, and she found it to be hilarious. My new code word whenever I'm stressed about something at work is to just shout "spaghetti!!!!!" Believe me, I've had several times this has been necessary. I'll get off the phone with a particularly difficult public defender, walk into her office and just say "spaghetti" and she knows what's up. It's my way of coping with stress and my way of being dramatic when I can't exactly be dramatic.

Yes, I am a drama queen, and I know that in my line of work, I'm sure there will be many many other days where I let my emotions get the best of me. Maybe when I finally decide to bite the bullet and quit the practice of law for something a little less stressful, like, say, yoga instructing, I won't need to resort to such measures. Until then, I do what I gotta do.

Or, as Mary J puts it, "no more drama."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Want some random thoughts?

randomtuesday
It's Tuesday, and that means it's time to subject you to more of my Random Thoughts, courtesy of The UnMom....enjoy!

I can't tell you how happy it makes me that this weekend is a long weekend. One of the few perks of being a government employee...the mandatory days off. I'm definitely ok with having July 5th off, especially since T and I have plans the night of the 4th. Whoo for sleeping in one extra day!

So yesterday I had one of those really bad spacey-type of days. Seriously, I was a space cadet. Not sure why either. I just kept doing all sorts of stupid things, making stupid mistakes...left and right. It was kind of frustrating. By the time I left work yesterday I was wondering "how am I going to make it home without steering my car into oncoming traffic?" Seriously, with the way I was feeling, that was a distinct possibility! Luckily I made it home in one piece but not before taking the wrong exit to get to my house. I pulled off on the exit right before ours, and as I was driving on the ramp, I realized my mistake. Um, yeah, someone needs more sleep.

T's birthday is coming up, and in two weekends I'm throwing him a birthday party at our house. This is the first time we've had people over like that to your house, and I'm kind of wondering if we're ready. We don't have enough seats outside on our deck for people to sit down. That, and I'm trying to think of some cool food stuff to make for people that evening...got any party recipes you want to share?

So I've been taking viola lessons for one month now, and I have to say, it's going pretty well. It's surprising how quickly you pick up things that you knew a long time ago. I'm kind of excited, because I really want to get back to playing at the level I used to play. My ultimate goal is to play for a community orchestra. We'll see!

Ok, last random thought for the day...when we were downtown this last weekend, I noticed that by the canal they had these huge pots with soil in them and weeds growing all over the place, and I thought: "how do weeds grow in pots that aren't a part of the ground? How do they get there?" And that brought me to the deeper question of "how did WE get here? Are we really just weeds growing in a big pot? What is the meaning of life?"

Ha, no not really...but I was curious about the weed thing. Just saying...

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Weekend Away...

As promised, I bring you pictures from our little weekend "getaway," though it was not really what I would call much of a getaway since it was two days and we went to a city about 20 minutes north of where we live, but anyway...

So Friday, after work, we headed to our special restaurant, Carrabbas, to celebrate our "two year" anniversary.  Dinner was awesome, as was expected, and dessert made the meal even that much better.  I absolutely love tiramisu, so of course, there was no question we would order that.  It's nice to go back to the same place where we first met two years later and reflect on how much has changed since that date and how far we've come.  After a nice dinner, we headed downtown and checked in our hotel for the weekend. 

The next day, we got up and headed to the White River Canal located downtown to do a little exercising.  It was so muggy and hot out, though, so as soon as we reached the canal for T to run and me to walk, we knew it would be a tough workout.  And my asthma did not disappoint...definitely had a hard time with that walk.  But the scenery is so pretty down there, and it's a nice change of pace from our normal path.  We finished and headed back to the hotel to eat breakfast, change and head out for the day.

The first thing on our list of places to see was to visit Easley Winery for a tasting.  Ever since we went down to French Lick a few weeks ago, T and I have made it a goal of ours to eventually hit all of the wineries in Indiana.  We have quite a few to go, but we got to check this one off of our list.  We thought it would be a good idea to walk there from our hotel since both places were downtown.  Um, yeah, famous last words.  I knew where the winery was for the most part, and it's technically downtown, but it's quite a haul to get there.  I'm not sure how many miles we walked in the 90 degree heat to get there, but needless to say, I think both of us were about to pass out from heat exhaustion by the time we made it.  Luckily, the place was air conditioned, so we enjoyed a tasting of the wine there and made a new friend in a guy who was there from Oregon, Lee, who I guess was giving some speech at the convention center, though we could not confirm or deny this.  He was fun company, though, so I could care less what he does for a living.  We enjoyed the tasting so much, and the thought of going back into the heat was not tempting, so we decided to get a glass of wine and just relax a bit before heading back to the oven outside.  We also bought a bottle to take home, of course.
It was delicious!  And the bottle we bought is called Monument Red, which is really good, too.  If you live in the Indianapolis area, I would definitely recommend stopping by the Easley Winery.

The famous shot of Nain with her glass of wine.  (All family photos seem to be of me holding some alcoholic beverage, and no, I am NOT an alcoholic...it's my family that drinks a lot.  ha)

Afterwards, we headed to the cultural district area of downtown, Massachusetts Avenue, to check out the shops and to get a bite to eat (you know, to soak up the booze?)  We stopped and got some sandwiches at a little place called Hoaglins, which was delicious, and good, too, because the place was air conditioned, and we needed the break.  After lunch, we continued our walk back towards the center of downtown so I could take a few pictures along the way.  Photography is a hobby of mine, though my camera kind of sucks, and I particularly like taking pictures of city structures.  Most of our pictures in our house were taken either by T or me...hey, it's a cheap way to decorate!

The Chase building:


The downtown Monument:

The State House:

And I had to get a picture of this...apparently they had some car show around the Monument circle, but it was all of 1990s Mazdas and Camaros etc.  I guess the douchebag convention was in town, though I didn't get the memo on that, so I had to document our sitings of douches in their element:

Another shot of the Chase building and the Monument:

We hit up the Circle Center mall to cool off and do a little shopping...so exciting, too, because I got a really cute skirt and shirt outfit to wear this weekend with some really awesome shades for only $29 for all of it.  I love New York & Company!  Later that day, we had dinner reservations at PF Changs, thanks to T's Mother who bought us a gift card there for Christmas.  (It only took us exactly 6 months to get around to using it, but hey, every bit helps!)  After dinner, we walked back up to the Monument to get some ice cream and just people watch.  Man, the people you see out and about on a Saturday night...it's something else.  You get the biker guys who all park their  "hogs" outside the Monument, and then you get tourists taking pictures, families enjoying ice cream on the Monument, street performers, and then just the freaks.  You know, the guys who take their families to the Monument and walk around the city barefoot, and you can see that the soles of their feet are completely black?  Yeah, those kinds of people.  Anyway, it was entertaining to say the least.

I'm not sure T wanted his picture taken.  Either that or he was deeply disturbed by something he just saw:

And then, I include this picture because I just took it for the heck of it, and I really like the way it turned out.  This is the church they have on the Circle...it's not really big, but it's just this quaint Episcopalian church, and I just thought it was a pretty shot.


And of course, the obligatory "T and Nain" pose.  We have so many pictures of us doing this, but I felt the evening needed to be documented appropriately.
Later, we headed back towards our hotel and stopped at the Claddagh Pub for a few drinks and to enjoy some Irish music.  It was definitely a way to get us in the spirit for our honeymoon in less than 3 months.  Can't wait!  We had a fabulous time this weekend, and as always, I had my wonderful company with me.  Until next time...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fun in the sun!

Summertime fun!  We're back from our weekend getaway in Indy.  I'll have pictures tomorrow from our little trip, but today I'll just leave you with this adorable picture of T and his best friend:

Last weekend, we spent Father's Day with my parents and sister and Roo.  Each Father's Day we have a tradition of attending a Father's Day Classic Car Show in my hometown.  See, my Dad restored a 1972 Chevelle, and during the summer and fall, he shows it in car shows and competitions all over the area.  The Father's Day car show is a special one because it's close to our home and is just a fun event.  It's always on a really hot day, though, in the middle of June.  This last year was no exception.  It felt like an oven out there, and a humid one at that.  There's a playground in the park, too, so we take the kiddos over there to distract them because, well, it's kind of boring if you aren't into cars.  Heck, I get a little bored, too, so I welcome the break from sitting there watching people check out my dad's car and ask questions about it.  It's always funny because my dad's car is one of the favorites there, and we get really protective of it.  Kids and pets are all over the place, and I'm always thinking "don't touch that car...you don't know how much it costs..."  Anyway, I digress...so we took Roo this year to the carousel to cool off a bit, and she picked (of course) T to be her companion.  She couldn't have been happier.  It was so cute.  So here's a picture of Roo and her best friend riding the carousel.  We'll get to see them this weekend, too, as we have an upcoming family reunion to attend this weekend AND a bridal shower, too!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Steals - Staycation in the City

On this week's installment of Saturday Steals from Archives of our Lives (doesn't this sound just like a soap opera?):


This weekend, T and I are celebrating two years of knowing each other...yes, I know, it's sappy, and this will likely be the last year we can do this as we will begin celebrating official anniversaries after this year, but we decided to just go for it this year. A few months ago, T got an email from The Omni Severon hotel stating that we qualified for a deal where we would get one night free if we reserved a night's stay at their hotel in downtown Indy. We've stayed there a couple of times before, and the place pretty much rocks. So of course we took the offer - I mean, 2 nights for the cost of 1? It would be like a little mini-vacation at a really awesome price! So we decided to pick this weekend for our stay so that we could have a little celebration and enjoy the weekend downtown. It's kind of nice because there's so much to do downtown, and I promise to regale you with stories of where we went and what we did, but for the weekend, T and I will not have anything pressing to do or place to go but just enjoy ourselves. With the stress of work and wedding planning, I welcome any break like this!

So yes, I'll be back with lots of pictures. Until then, have a happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Two Years Ago from Today....

Two years ago today, I met my husband, but I didn't know it at the time. See, two years ago, T and I met for the very first time and had our first date. How did we meet, may you ask? For while, I wouldn't tell people because of the stigma associated with it, but we met online.  Back in 2007, I went through a really tough breakup, and a coworker of mine told me that I needed to get back on the wagon and "moveon.org!" She said that all I needed was to find a good Catholic boy who would treat me right, so she sent me a link to the dating site Catholicmatch.com. This was back in November 2007, and I held onto it for a really long time until May 2008 when I decided to sign up. I didn't want to just jump back on the dating scene until I was fully over my previous boyfriend. I wanted time to heal. I wanted to give the next guy I met all of my heart and not what was left of it after so many broken relationships.

So I signed up, and within a few days, I got an email from an interesting guy in the Indy area...we'll call him T. He seemed really fun, smart and educated and liked to go out and do things, be active. (That was big with me because my previous boyfriend was basically a lazy guy.  We spent most of our time sitting and watching TV.  Very little wooing.) So T sent me a message, and I took a good day or two to respond. (Didn't want to seem desperate, you know!) We had been emailing back and forth and talking on the phone quite often, so we decided to go for it and set a date to meet and see if this was going to go somewhere. Believe me, I had dates where we met, and I knew pretty much within the first 15 minutes whether I liked this guy or not. I am that decisive, folks.

He picked Carrabbas as a place to meet. Instantly, he won my approval because I've had a lot of guys pick places like B-dubs or worse for a first date...this showed he had good taste and wasn't against doing something nicer. Points for T! So I met him closer to his apartment since he commutes a long way for work, and I got there about 15 minutes early. So rather than park in the Carrabbas parking lot, I drove around and parked at a hotel near by and called my mom for support. I'll never forget what she told me. "Just be yourself and if you need to loosen up, have a glass of wine." To which I responded, "I'm already loose!" Ha, I didn't realize what I was saying at the moment, but I still find that funny. So it got to 7:00, and I waited until exactly then to get there. I parked my car, and immediately T approaches. (He must have gotten there early.) He looked just like his picture (whew) and was dressed pretty nice from work and all (won some more points). I, on the other hand, had taken forever to pick my outfit. I went to the mall with my best friend Erika the night before and picked out the perfect outfit that would highlight my eyes and be cute and dressy but still casual. A LOT of thought went into it. So we shook hands and went into the restaurant.

If my memory serves me correctly, the boy even got reservations. So we sat down, and I admit, I wanted a glass of wine. (It's an Italian restaurant...you have to have wine!) However, I didn't want to seem like the alcoholic in the group so I wanted to see if he ordered anything. Little did I know, he was waiting to see if I ordered a beverage. So we didn't. I was disappointed but sucked it up. Dinner was delicious and the conversation went really well. We talked about our jobs, where we came from, our families...we kept talking so much I think our waitress was getting irritated that we were holding up her table.

It got to dessert time, and as a girl, I'm a big fan of dessert. But, again, didn't want to seem like a pig so I waited to see if he wanted anything. T, bless his heart and his ignorance of dating, says "well, I had ice cream earlier today, so I'm good!" Doh! So we kept talking a little bit more until the waitress basically came to the table and told us to leave because her shift was over. I remember T suggesting we get coffee, but I said no, because it was a weeknight, and we both had work the next morning. He walked to me to my car, and I gave him a hug. I totally surprised him, too, because I'm not sure he was expecting it. We said we'd do this again and headed our separate ways. And you know what, we did!

Last year this time we went back to Carrabbas and had another date.  We did get wine and dessert this time, too. :-)  Tonight we will be doing the same, and I can't wait.  Saying yes to meeting him was the second best decision I have ever made, the first being saying yes to marrying him. It's amazing where two years has taken us, and I've enjoyed the journey. I can't wait to see where the road will take us! Love you, T!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ode to my first car

In the course of the thirteen years I've been a licensed driver, I have only had three cars, believe it or not. My current one I've had for about six years now, and it's getting up there in the mileage so in the next two years, T and I will have to get a new one for me before this one dies out. I'm pretty tough on my cars, I will grant you that. That, and I'm not one of those people who really cares about what kind of car I'm driving. So long as it gets me from Point A to Point B, I'm a happy girl. Also, being able to see over the steering wheel is a big one, too. Now don't laugh, but I actually had to sit on a pillow during drivers ed to see well enough to drive. Sad, I know, but true. Anyway, my father is normally the guy I go to when thinking about purchasing an automobile, but that role will soon be going to T. (Lucky lucky guy). My dad has done a pretty stand up job in picking my cars, with the exception of the first one.

As I'm writing this, I'm hearing Adam Sandler's song "POS Car" playing in my mind. Granted, the first car I got was one that I purchased. Yes, yours truly. I worked my butt off after school and during the summer scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins and watching children after school at AYS (At Your School Afterschool program). I saved my money, and I was able to buy a 1992 Dodge Shadow convertible. From what I remember, we got it for about $3,000, which isn't too shabby. I was so stoked to have a car, and a convertible at that? I was in heaven. The first day I got the car, I swore to my dad that I would take really good care of it and wash it and everything. Of course, about three weeks later I hit my first of many parked cars, but...it held up pretty well. However, the thing was NOT without its quirks.

First quirk. The key could come out of the steering wheel and the car would continue to drive and run. I remember the first time I realized this. I pulled into the drive-thru ATM at my bank and was shifting around in my seat to reach the ATM machine when I knocked into my key and the thing fell out of the ignition. Scared me to death, but wouldn't you know it? The thing kept running! So I played around with it. While driving, I would pull my key in and out, and the thing kept going. Back in high school, I used to play pranks on my friends when we'd be driving to the mall or to the movies, I'd quickly pull the key out and freak them out. All in good fun. Of course, towards the end of my relationship with my car, I often thought about taking the plates off of the thing, leaving it on a street somewhere running but without the key.

Second quirk. The dashboard lights would go out, and you would have to bang your fist on the dash repeatedly to get them to go back on. I discovered this little lovely aspect of my car while driving home from work one night and my lights on my dash just went out. I couldn't see the speedomoter, so I totally freaked out. I pulled into a bank parking lot and restarted the car. It wouldn't work. So I hit the dashboard really hard with my fist, and the lights magically appeared. This quirk also got a little old after awhile. Nothing like taking your friends or boyfriend for a ride in your car, and you have to beat the crap out of your dashboard before you can go anywhere. It kind of interrupted conversation, if you can imagine.   That and I looked like I just had a huge anger problem.

Third quirk. The convertible top. While I was SO excited to have a convertible, I thought putting the top up and down would be so easy. Um, yeah, not so much. I basically had to jump up and lay on the top to get it to lay down flat it enough to put it back on the car, and it took all the strength I had in me to hook the thing back on. A real pain. Also a huge inconvenience when taking a road trip and it starts raining. My friend Erika and I had that happen to us once when driving to Ball State. We had to pull over and quickly put the top down, which was always a hard task, let alone on the side of a highway. Plus the sides of the roof weren't flush with the car so when it rained, the car leaked. And it leaked a LOT, too. I would keep extra beach towels or trash bags in my car to sit on when it rained. In the winter, since moisture could get in the car, I'd have to scrape my windshield on the outside and inside. Scraping on the inside took some creative manuevring on my part.

Fourth quirk. Windows. They were automatic windows, but the motor for them was dying so I would try to roll them up, and the window would just get stuck about halfway through. So I would have to push the button to push them up and then take my other hand and pull the window up the rest of the way. It would make this weird groaning noise, too, like I was hurting it when doing it. Very interesting.

Fifth quirk. No AC. Now, granted I had a convertible, and everyone always told me "oh, when it's hot out just put the top down." Ok, that so doesn't work when it's 1) raining; 2) you're going somewhere where you can't have the top down; and 3) when it's really hot out, you're just blowing hot air back onto you if you have the top down. I remember some summer days, my mom would feel so bad for me and worry about how it would affect my asthma that she would drive me to work because the temperatures were too hot to handle without AC. Considering how little we paid for the car and how much it was worth, my dad and I couldn't justify paying to fix it.

Sixth quirk. Towards the end of my stint with this car, the front hood kept popping up. For no reason, too. I'd be driving along, and it would pop up. Now, don't think it popped up all the way and think of that scene in Tommy Boy when they hood flies open and they crash. The safety would catch it so it would only be slightly open, but everyone and their second cousin would point it out to me when I was out driving. "Hey, did you know your hood is open?" Yes, I do. Please stop asking me. One winter, I had to come home for winter break from IU, both the hood and the trunk wouldn't stay closed so I had to duct tape them both closed. I couldn't have been anymore classy.

Seventh quirk. The check engine light was permanently on. We weren't sure why, and I can't imagine that was a good thing, but it was on constantly.

Eighth quirk. It was two-toned. My senior year of high school, my boyfriend's mom hit my car on the passenger side so we took it to get fixed at this real stand-up place in a bad side of Indy. The guys who fixed it said that it would look as good as new, and the paint they put on it matched the car until it sat out in the sun for a day. Then the door was a lighter shade than the rest of the car. It was hot, baby, it made the car.

Ninth quirk.  The muffler fell off.  It did this one day as I was driving to the store.  I crossed this bridge through town and heard a loud "clunk" and some scraping.  Before I knew it the entire muffler and exhaust pipe were lying in the middle of a bridge downtown in my hometown.  So I pulled around, parked and walked back to get it.  I didn't want to leave the thing where it was because it would cause accidents, so I thought I could carry it back to my car.  Of course I underestimated how heavy and how hot those things are.  Picking it up, I realized that it was a little heavier than imagined so I struggled carrying it back to my car.  So if you can picture, if you will, a short little high school girl walking alongside traffic on a downtown bridge, carrying a muffler.  People weren't about to help me, and one girl even rolled her window down and shouted "is that YOUR muffler?"  I looked at her and said "No, I just collect them."  My dad thought that story was absolutely hilarious, and in hindsight it is.  It took us a month to get it fixed, and for that whole month, my car was so loud.  You could hear me coming a mile away. 

I could say the tenth quirk is that it had a cassette tape player, but this was an early 1990s car, so that was to be expected. However, it was very cool when I had to plug in my discman to play CDs in my car, let me tell you...

I drove this car from 1997 through 2000 when my parents decided enough is and they decided to get me to lease a 2000 Saturn. I actually found a sucker willing to buy the car for $500, which was being generous. The person who bought it said they were going to drive the car down to Florida to school from Indiana. My dad and I both prayed to God that the car would make it. Luckily it made it. I said good bye to my car and hello to the world of CD players, cars that have working AC, dashlights, windows, and did leak on you whenever it rained. My experience with my Dodge Shadow made me appreciate quality.

And now, here's a picture of my baby the day after I got it. I think this was after I washed it, and it was one of the very few times I did that.  Isn't she a beaut?


"Piece of s**t car, I've got a piece of sh**t car..."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stress Management

Ever have one of those days when you know before your feet even hit the ground that the day is going to be one big epic fail?  Well, it's definitely one of those days, folks.  For sure.

This fun day began at 12:30 a.m. when we got hit with a new round of thunderstorms.  I'm getting just a little bit tired of all the severe weather here in Indiana, and while I enjoy sleeping in when it's raining outside, I don't enjoy being startled awake by claps of thunder repeatedly and continuously between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.  The weatherman said we got somewhere around three inches of rain overnight, and it wasn't just rain, let me tell you.  T and I are both very light sleepers so needless to say, not much sleep was had last night.  When the alarm went off at 5:30 for us to get up to workout, we both immediately knew that that wasn't happening today.  We slept a little more until 6:30, but the storms kept coming so even that was short-lived. 

So we get up and start getting ready for the day.  I turn on the news and hear about all of the flooding that was happening all over the Indianapolis metro area. Apparently an explosion occurred underground and blew open a manhole downtown, too, and lightning struck and took out a strip mall on the north side.  From the way they were talking on the news, you would have thought the apocalypse was occurring that very moment.  I have expected to see locusts swarming outside are window and four horsemen riding in.  As I'm getting ready, I hear the traffic report state that the Interstate I take from our home to my work is basically a parking lot.  No one is going faster than 10 mph.  Unfortunately there aren't many ways to get up from the south side of Indianapolis to my work, so I had no choice but to face it.  And boy, they weren't lying.  My normal 20-30 minute commute took well over an hour.  There was a 45 minute long period where 10 mph was the fastest I traveled.  The rain came down in sheets, and visibility was definitely not good.  Momentarily I thought, eh, I can just head home and call in sick, right?  Nope, I had an 8:30 hearing.  So I get there at like 8:26 and rush in, hair all a mess, clothes wet and now cold because the air conditioning at the courthouse keeps the room at a nice 55 degree temperature.  All of this before 8:30 in the morning...

The hearing went fine, which is always a really good thing, but when I hit the office a second wave of stress hit.  Now, my job is normally stressful, which is to be expected in child protection law, but today the stress was just particularly high.  I won't go into details of why, since I like to keep my work life for the most part private, but let's just say tensions are high.  Lunch could not come quickly enough.

I have my days like this where I think "I should have been a yoga instructor" or "maybe law wasn't the smartest profession for someone who doesn't handle stress well."  No wonder I got a B minus in Stress Management in college!  (Yes, they had a class called Stress Management, and yes, I took it and only managed to walk out of it with a B minus...don't judge!)  Just trying to remember to breathe and think of hte weekend...not sure if anyone else out there is feeling my pain today.  I think I want a do-over today.  Anyone with me?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wedding planning in high gear

Since Friday marked the official 3 month mark for T and I before our wedding, things have definitely picked up in the wedding planning process. This weekend particularly, I was hit with a realization that "oh this is coming up pretty fast!" For the past year, we've been planning this wedding, and it's always been in the distance, something coming up but hasn't quite been real yet. Well, correct that, it was pretty real when I bought my wedding dress but that was some time ago, too. But now it's really hitting both of us. It's really exciting, but overwhelming at the same time. All the things I thought were in the distant future are now here, and I've hit the "oh shit" mode.


This weekend I started the daunting task of addressing invitations. Now I'm not normally an organized person when it comes to my personal life (only work stuff...you should see my home filing cabinet!) so I took a cue from one of my friends who has already gone through the wedding planning thing and made a spreadsheet of every one's names and addresses. I tried to also list the formal names I'd put on the outside envelope to make the process easier. However, I think I underestimated how much is really put into writing out invitations. First you have about four different things to put correctly into an envelope. You have to know each person's formal name and their spouse's formal name. I didn't realize I had so many friends and families who went by a nickname instead of their actual formal name. And then there's about ten different ways to spell each formal name. Then you have to make sure they haven't moved in the last year, which many of them have. And then I have to write on the RSVP card their names and how many seats are reserved for them. And then comes the question...how old do I reserve a seat for a relative who has a kid? Two years old, shouldn't they have an actual seat? They don't get charged for food, but surely their parents can't keep them in their lap all night! Before I knew it I was officially overwhelmed. I got through about 25 invitations so far, and I have about 50 more to do.

And my handwriting? Wow...when did it get so bad? I've become one of those professionals I used to make fun of. I have a doctor's signature. My cursive is more of a hybrid between cursive and print, and I quickly realized that I had forgotten how to do certain capital letters in cursive. Like a cursive S. I tried to be so careful with this one invitation that it ended up looking like a cursive G instead. Thank God for the extra invitations we ordered! I just hope I don't go through them all!

We also went dress shopping with my sister this weekend. I have two bridal showers coming up in July, and I thought I could probably just wear whatever I had to them. But no. My sister quickly educated me that I was the bride, which meant my picture was going to be taken many times that day, and I'm supposed to look good. And bridal. I'm not sure how to pull that off, but luckily I had her with me to pick out a few dresses. I walked away with two new dresses for the two parties. Apparently I have a lot to learn!

Which brings me to the surreal feeling T and I are having right now. I know I said this in my 100 days post a few weeks ago, but I honestly have never pictured myself doing this, getting married. I've been a bridesmaid many times, so I've always gone to my friend's showers but have never pictured myself having one. This feels weird. I'm so not good at being the center of attention. Not in the slightest. But we better get used to it and quickly because on September 18th, we will be doing just exactly that.

Another reminder of the reality of how soon all of this will be happening...we got home yesterday and saw a big brown package on our front porch. A few days ago, we ordered our unity candle and the groomsmen presents at Things Remembered. I wanted to spend a little extra and get a really nice unity candle because, to us, that is an important symbol of our love and of the day we are united as one. We got one where the main candle holder could be engraved with our names and dates. It came in this large white satiny box to hold all of the pieces to the set. I'm so glad we spent that extra amount, because the final result was beautiful. We both sat there just staring at our names and September 18, 2010, engraved on that candle holder and it hit. This is really happening. And soon. And I can't wait, and I know T feels the same. The day we been planning for almost a year is almost here!

Until then you will find me at our dining room table, meticulously addressing wedding invitations....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spin Cycle: Father's Day!

"The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get." Tim Russert


This week in the Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite's Keeper, is the subject of Father's Day. I would normally wait to do another Spin Cycle until later in the week, but...Father's Day is tomorrow so I want to post now :-)  Now, I saw this quote the other day, and I loved Tim Russert as a fellow journalist, but I have to disagree with Tim just a bit. Not that I don't think my dad is smart, but I've always thought he was smart. That fact has never changed to me. In fact, growing up and still to this day, I view my dad as one of the smartest people I know.

My father is an engineer, as I come from a long line of engineers, and I'm actually marrying one, too, ironically. Growing up, I thought my Dad knew everything. He was always the one I went to when I needed help with my homework, and sometimes this would be a bad thing because with math homework, he'd always end up getting frustrated because the teacher was "teaching it wrong" and I didn't quite understand. That was usually when it came to word problems. I hated those with a passion. That and conversions. Anyway, I digress...he was my go-to guy. When I was stuck with something, he could help. As I got older, that fact just grew stronger and stronger.

When I was a teenager, he was the man I went to when I needed to learn how to drive. Granted, I was scared to death to drive with him in the car because I was afraid of doing something wrong, but I always thought he was the best driver I had ever known, so he'd be the best person to teach me. Growing up, we'd go on long trips back and forth between Alabama, where we lived for 10 years, and Indiana to see family, and I always felt safe when he was behind the wheel. When I started driving on my own and had my own car, if there was ever something wrong, I'd call Dad. Now, I've hit a few parked cars in my day (and no, I'm not going to say how many), he would always be the person I'd call crying about it. Not sure what he'd be able to do about it, but I just thought maybe he could fix it. When I had a flat tire, he'd fix it. Car wouldn't start, he'd help. Oil needed changed, there was no question I'd go to him. Up until when I met T, he still was that person. He still jokes about the times I called him a couple years ago when my car wouldn't start, asking 'what do I do?' He works 45 minutes away from my apartment, so he was like "what do you need me to do about it? I can't come there!" But I'd still call him. Because I always though, he'd fix it and make it better.

Also, as a child, my dad would be my go-to with medical issues. See, I was born with a congenital heart condition and had surgery at four months old. So I went to a cardiologist yearly my whole life and still do to this day. As a child, I'd normally be pretty scared to go, but my parents would always go with me. My father was always my rock about it. He still is. Just two years ago, we had a bit of a scare where we thought legitimately that my heart condition had resurfaced. I was not well, and I needed to go in for a series of tests: blood work, doctor's appointment, chest x-ray and CT scan. I was scared, but I didn't want to let on. I didn't let myself get too scared or cry. I just focused on it, and the person I asked to go with me was my father. He's always there for me, but not in a smothering kind of way. He knows how I get with tests like these and knows that all I need is him there. I don't need to talk (hell, I can barely talk I'm so nervous), and I don't need hand holding. I just need to know he's there. He went with me to each and every appointment that morning, spanning four hours, and he supported me. It meant the world to me.

Now that I'm getting married, T is taking a lot of these roles that my father has, but he will never replace him in any respect. I often joke with T that he needs to handle my doctor's appointments more like my father and he needs to learn to deal with my car incidents like my father...but it's all in good fun. My dad is an amazing dad, and I love him more than anything. I tear up already thinking about September 18th when I'll be holding his arm, as he walks me down the aisle to give me away. That, I'll admit, is going to be extremely hard. I'm his youngest child, his baby, and he means the world to me. I don't think he realizes it fully but I hope someday to truly show him just how much he does.

I'm passing it onto the next generation...Roo and I had this exchange at the garage sale two weekends ago:

"Roo, you're getting a swing-set!!! Pawpaw will have to come over and help you put it together," I told her.

"He can??? How?" Roo asks in disbelief.

"Because he's Pawpaw, and he can do anything. He's the smartest man ever," I tell her.

"Oh...." She looks at me in total awe. She then runs of to play with God knows what....See, he's not just the smartest man to me either!

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

At the Crack of Dawn

Today marks three months to the day when T and I will be married. We couldn't be any more excited (You know, for those of you who haven't read my previous posts and gotten that point already...) But it also means that it's go time in terms of getting ourselves in shape for the big day. Sure, I exercise as often as I can, but now it's time to push it into higher gear so we both feel and look great on our big day. So for this whole week, T has been getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go out running. I would get up just a little bit after him to walk, but I decided yesterday and today that I was going to tough it up and get up at the crack of dawn to go walk outside.


Now, normally, I don't wake up when there is a five on my clock. Just not happening, but I do this to keep myself motivated and to keep T motivated. It's a decision we're making to better our health.  So both days, we both groan as the alarm goes off, debate hitting the snooze a couple of times and then decide against it as we get up and throw on our workout clothes. Since it's summer, it's somewhat light out when we go outside, but not too much. We kiss each other good bye, start our watches, and T heads off running as I begin my speed walking for the morning. I pop in my i-Pod and start playing my upbeat "exercise mix," which is really just a blend of crappy pop songs, J-Lo, Britney, anything that will keep me going with a good beat. I watch T jog off into the distance as I begin to push myself to walk harder than I did the day before. T and I are very fortunate that our house directly faces a walking path in our town that goes about a mile and a half down the road and loops through a park. It's great because it gives us no excuse NOT to go out there and exercise. That, and it saves us the expense of a gym membership, and you can't beat that.

The sky is still a bit dark as I push myself to go farther, and I feel myself waking up a bit more and more as I walk. It's amazing how many cars you still see on the road that early in the morning, and I think of what everyone is doing, going to work or coming home from a late shift. I wonder if they think, "is that girl crazy to be out there this early?"  The answer is yes, of course. 

The one thing I've learned as I've begun this routine is that there are definitely some different creatures out first thing in the morning. T had warned me that in the winter, he had come across a fox running through the park as he was jogging, and he also warned me of bats flying around the trees nearing the park entrance. As I get closer to the park, I look up and see these black winged creatures fluttering around. I think I can add bats to my list of fears from yesterday because these things creep me out. Not sure why, but they do. To me, bats are the drunk drivers of flying creatures. Birds usually fly in a straight enough path with a strong and steady pace and a direction to their flight. Bats flutter all over the place. Up and down, like they can't quite control their wing span or have no idea where the hell they are going. That's the part that makes me nervous. They get pretty low as they're flying around, but I just walk faster and pray to God that one of those things does not fall on my head.  Luckily I'm two days going and one hasn't hit me yet.

As I enter the park, I can see the dew on the baseball fields and playground. You can smell it, too, which is a nice and refreshing scent first thing in the morning. A little bit of early morning fog comes off of the grass, and I quickly realize that I am the only person in this park. It's quite and serene, and the sun is just starting to come up. The sky is a clear light blue, and the clouds a shade of pink as the sun begins to rise. I keep my pace going and walk past the baseball fields and take a loop around the park. As I'm doing this, I can see T running towards me in the distance. He's already halfway through his run, as I'm only about a third through my walk. It's cute because it seems like he picks up his pace as he sees me approaching and begins to spring towards me, and I can't help but smile because I'm so proud of him for doing this. As we come up to each other, we pass with a high five and an I love you and keep going. I continue through the park and do another loop before heading back up the path to our house. The nice thing is first thing in the morning, I'm not actually thinking of anything in particular as I'm exercising. If I do this in the evening or afternoon after work, my mind is usually racing with the stress of the day and the items on my to-do list, so it's kind of nice to get out there early and just look at the scenery around me and think of nothing for a little while. I know this reprieve will be short-lived so I'll enjoy it while I have it.

The hill back up the path from the park can be a challenge, but I lean forward and tread ahead, keeping focus on the road in front of me and letting the beat of my music keep up the pace. I know that I have breakfast waiting for me at home and a warm shower before I begin my day. As I near my home, I check my watch to make sure I've done the normal 45-50 minutes before I go inside. It's only 6:30 a.m., and I've already accomplished something. It's a good feeling, and I'm on a high as I begin my day.   I think "today will be a good day." 

And let's hope it is!  Three months to go, T! I love you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spin Cycle: Fears (yikes!)

This week, I have taken up the challenge of a Mystery Spin Cycle, offered by Sprite's Keeper. Normally we all blog on the same topic, but this week, random topics were chosen by Jen and Sprite herself. My topic this week? Fears. (I was told that love would be too easy of a topic to discuss, considering previous posts...ha)

Fears...I have many, as I'm sure we all do, so I'm going to narrow mine down to a top 10 for you all. Now, don't judge...some of these are irrational, but hey, they're MY fears! These are listed in no particular order:

10.  Clowns - Ever since I saw It by Stephen King, I am petrified of clowns. That, and there was an episode of All My Children that had a clown in it with Erica Cane...I think she was raped by the clown or something, but it totally scarred me. I hate clowns. I will go out of my way to avoid them when approached by one at a public event. Ugh. Scary.

9.  Spiders (well, all creepy crawly bugs for that matter) - If I see a spider in my house, that thing is dead. Dead as the day is long, but I have had a few really gross spiders in my apartment before. Once when I lived on my own there was one in my bathroom at the top corner of the wall, and this thing was huge and hairy. So huge that you could hear it breath. I smashed it with my Swiffer and flushed it down the toilet, screaming the entire time, of course. And I check the bed for spiders every night, too. Neurotic? Yes, but what if there was a spider in my bed? I'd want to know!

8.  Snakes - Once, we were at the zoo, and we went to the desert part of the zoo because my companion wanted to go. I knew I didn't because the desert? Seriously? Lizards, hairy spiders, and snakes? No thank you. I don't care how cute meerkats are, snakes scare the bejesus out of me. But my companion wanted to go see the snakes. Ugh. So we went. And it's in this dark room, where several different types of snakes are lined up on the wall in glass cages. That's fine, let's keep them there. But they had this kid who must have been interning at the zoo or something who was walking around with a snake talking about the different types. He spotted me, and he must have known I was scared, because he kept following me around. Over and over, and he kept talking about what the snakes ate and how they killed their prey. I wanted to hit the little punk. There was a line to get out of the room, but you bet I beelined it there as soon as the room cleared out. Ugh, I hate snakes.

7.  Needles - I hate needles, too. I faint when I get blood drawn, and getting shots, I'm the biggest baby ever. This fear goes back to my childhood. See, I had heart surgery at the young young age of four months old. I was really not a healthy kiddo, and I had a lot of things done to me, needles, procedures, etc. Ever since then I'm scared to death of them. I had to get weekly allergy shots, too, as a kid, and I would try to negotiate my way out of it. Every Thursday would be a struggle. I'd cry, I'd beg, I would ask the nurse "can we talk about this? I'm really not comfortable with this?" Can you imagine your kid at the young age of six or seven trying to bargain with the nurse? Maybe that's where I got my lawyering skills. I've gotten better, but now, when I get blood work, I get all clammy and faint easily. I dread these appointments, and T always goes with me to distract me and hold my hand. God help me when we start having kids....

6.  Blood and guts - on that same note, I don't like seeing blood and stuff. Even fake blood. If CSI comes on, and they start pulling out some dead guy's guts, I get really creeped out. I think that goes along the same lines as needles, but still. I don't even like seeing my own blood, for that matter. Like I said, god help me when I have kids....

5.  Flat tires - I've had a few situations where I've gone out to my car, and my tire is flat. I don't know how to change a flat tire, and yes, I probably should, but I don't. So every time I think my car looks like the tire is a little low, I'm extremely paranoid and make T check all of the tires twice because I'll be damned if I'm stuck with a flat tire again!

4.  (Some) dogs - I used to be scared of ALL dogs as a kid, even the little yippie ones you can kick out of the way. However, I've made a lot of progress in that area, so now I'm only scared of big dogs. Like pit bulls or rottweilers. My mom's cousin was brutally attacked by 3 pit bulls a few years ago, and man, those things can scare me to death. When T and I are out walking, and I hear a loud dog barking, I do kind of jump out of my skin just a bit. I can't help it. It's just an automatic reflex, but we're working on it...

3.  Making someone angry or disappointed - I'm a people pleasure, as much as it pains me to say it. I know I should say I don't care what people think, and I tell others they shouldn't worry about what others think, but I kind of do. If I know I've let someone down or hurt someone or angered them, it takes quite a bit for me to get over that. So yes, irrational fear as it may be, a fear nonetheless.

2.  Losing a loved one...because, well, who wants that to happen? None of us, right? Moving on...

1.  Failure - I am my toughest critic. Not kidding either. I'm the kind of person who sets the bar really high and then gets upset when I don't do as well as I think I should. I have a huge fear of letting myself down or letting those I care about down. Not good.  And with me starting to write a book, I have this huge fear of failing at that or people not liking what I write.  I know, stop it....

So there you have it, folks! Nain's top 10 fears! What sorts of things are you afraid of

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Healthy Choice?

This morning, I was getting ready for work, and again, I heard something disturbing on The Today Show. However, this time it wasn't about Tony Danza.


See, I, like many women out there am in a constant struggle with my weight. I've been this way since high school. In high school, it was I weighed too little, and my family was worried I was purposely not eating. In college, it got a little better, but then in law school, I ended up gaining quite a bit of weight, which put my health at risk. I fell into a pretty bad depression my first year of law school, and I didn't get out of it until later in my third year. This caused me to eat pretty badly and make some poor decisions with respect to my health. However, after rather shocking blood work results in my third year of law school, I became determined to eat better and exercise daily. I ended up working out every day and eating a more balanced diet, less sweets and carbs, and I dropped 25 pounds in a few months. I've kept most of that off since then, though it does fluctuate every now and then. I still work out like a fiend, even though the eating better has its good days and bad.

However, like many women, I still am not pleased normally when I look at myself in the mirror. It's possible I see a distorted image of myself when I look at myself, but I don't know...I always beat myself up for being too fat or not skinny enough. It's hard. I know it kills T to hear it, too, because what I see in the mirror is not the same thing at all that he sees when he looks at me. It's just tough. A constant battle that I know I'm not alone in.

So where am I going with this? OK, yes, I know...dieting. We all do it. And with some girls, it starts really really young. I remember when I was in fourth grade I started thinking about it after I heard someone on TV say that to lose weight you should eat only salad dressing that you can see through like Italian dressing. So I was neurotic about it, and it drove my parents crazy. At age 10, isn't that sad? There's a whole industry surrounding the whole diet market and losing weight. Like many, I do eat those diet meals they sell in the grocery store, too, Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice meals. I had to do that during law school when I had to stay on campus until about nine at night, so, to avoid buying out and spending that money, I would just heat up a lean cuisine with a salad. It worked. I still eat them for lunch when I'm too lazy to get anything else or don't have leftovers around. They don't really taste good, but they serve their purpose.

I did realize that these meals are packed with sodium which does wonders for your blood pressure and heart (note the sarcasm), but I wasn't totally against these meals until I saw this segment this morning on The Today Show. Apparently the labels on these meals I eat regularly are not correct. In fact, many of them are way off. Meals were randomly tested from each brand to see if the fat grams and calories on them are, in fact, correct. What they found was that some of the brands were actually lower than what the advertised (Healthy Choice being the big one), but some were much more than advertised. The shocking one, if you click on the link, is the Sweet and Sour Chicken from Smart Ones. The fat grams are 350% off (they advertised 2 grams of fat and 220 calories). And apparently, the FDA has told them that there is a 20% allowance for numbers to be off on labels. It blows my mind that they can put numbers on labels that are, in fact, incorrect. So many people rely on those labels when making their food purchases at the store and choices in caloric intake for the day.

After watching today's segment I'm 100% turned off from buying these meals in the future. There are just too many things wrong about them. Sodium intake and now the calories and fat grams listed are on the product are off. What gives? It's frustrating, too, because for the past few months, T and I have been making a concerted effort to eat healthier and make the right choices in food and exercise. We've been getting organic produce delivered to our house weekly, working out daily, and watching our calories, etc. In the spirit of continuing that healthy eating, I am not cutting out these frozen meals from my lunch routine. I just can't support companies that falsely report numbers like that. I want to make this decision for the good of my health.

I don't usually get on my soap box people, but this morning, when I saw that, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Sorry for my ranting here this fine Wednesday morning...I'll be back tomorrow sans soap box, promise!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Random Tuesday Thoughts by Nain

randomtuesday

So, it's Random Thoughts Tuesday, and that means it's one day closer to the weekend which is just fine by me.  As was the case last Tuesday, I'm feeling kind of random today, so please bear with me as I share my thoughts this morning:

OK, here in Indiana we have gotten severe thunderstorms pretty much every night.  We got another one last night, and I'm getting really tired of it to be honest.  I mean, it was not nearly as bad as Saturday's storm where T and I thought our house was going to be brought down by a tornado, but ever since Saturday and being stuck in our internal guest bathroom for 45 minutes under a tornado warning, I'm scared to death when I see any red on the radar in terms of storms.  They say we're supposed to get more tonight, and I say enough is enough.  No more, please go away now.  Thank you. 

So this morning, I was sitting there in our kitchen enjoying my Chocolate Cheerios when I hear on the Today Show that apparently Who's the Boss's Tony Danza has been teaching 10th grade English for the past year.  I have several questions about this...OK, first of all, why is this relevant news?  And when did Tony Danza get his education degree?  And when a student gets an answer right in his class, does he respond with an "Eh-oh!!!"  That piece of news coming from Anne Curry was one of the most random things I've heard this morning, but hey, to each his own, right?  Good for him that he's doing something other than annoying other people on TV...and apparently he loves it, so that's a good thing, right? 

I am amazed at how quickly this summer is passing me by.  And the more it passes by, the more I start freaking out about wedding planning.  T and I did order two other things for the big day last night...the unity candle and the groomsmen gifts.  I'm pretty excited about this because a  lot of thought was put into what we'd get.  All we need to do next is get the bridesmaid's gifts, our parents' gifts, and then something small but thoughtful for people who are helping out during the ceremony.  With that, I'm drawing a complete blank, so I am open to suggestions from you guys.  Also, last night, I checked out our registry, and people have started buying stuff!  How exciting, right?  I was kind of worried people would judge us for the random crap we registered for (yes, I know, on Sunday I told you I'm a master at worrying, and I totally didn' t lie about that), but it's kind of fun to check on what has been bought and stuff.    I just can't believe that as of this Friday, we only have three months to go.  Time is just passing by so quickly!

Lastly, I want to rave about one of my all-time favorite shows on TV right now.  Cake Boss.  It's Monday night on TLC at 9:00 p.m., and I love this show so much.  The cakes look so delicious, and Buddy's creativity with them is just awesome.  Plus, there's always the Italian family drama, and you can't beat that.  T always laughs when the show comes on because I just get in a better mood watching it.  It just makes me happy.   Last night, Buddy was making tiramisu, which is my favorite dessert ever, and to see Buddy make it was just breathtaking.  Apparently I couldn't hide my excitement either because T said when he started making it, my eyes just got really big and I got this huge smile on my face.  I can't help it.  I love Buddy.  And his cakes.  So if you haven't checked out the show, definitely watch it sometime.  It'll make you hungry, though!

Happy Random Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hotels, meetings, gambling and wineries...oh my!

As promised, I have some pictures from our little excursion Friday through Saturday to French Lick, Indiana.  This was actually a free trip for T and me, as I am the member of the Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Council, and this was our annual fun meeting.  I took Friday off as a personal day, and T, and I headed down to Southern Indiana to check in by 4:00 p.m.  We stayed at the French Lick Springs Resort.I've been there once before with the state bar association, and the place is beautiful.  And huge, too.    So we got there a little after 4:00, and checked in.  This was what greeted us when we got there:
Pretty, right?  This place has been here for ages, and I should probably know the exact date and all, but...I don't.  They renovated it not too long ago, so the place has been revitalized since 2007 or so.  The place has this huge front porch with rocking chairs all over it, and when you get there, you get hit with a bunch of old people just staring at you, which is funny.  That, and when we got back from dinner that night, there was a band (banjo and all) playing on the porch.  Pretty cool...

Our room was a deluxe king, and the bed was HUGE.  The room was amazing, too.  Here's a nice shot of what greeted us after we checked in.  (Keep in mind, this whole thing was free, so we were pretty stoked)

We were on the fourth floor, and here is the view from our window:

So after we checked in, we met up with the other young lawyers for dinner at the French Lick Resort Golf Course.  We were supposed to eat dinner out on the restaurant's porch, but mother nature had other plans.  So we ended up eating in this tiny conference room down in their basement area, which wasn't as cool, but the food was good and was free, as were the drinks, so hey, can't go wrong with that?  A shuttle bus took us all back to the hotel after dinner, and we played a few games of bowling down in the hotel basement.  Now, disclaimer here.  I totally suck at bowling.  I mean really really badly.  I can barely make 100 with bumpers, let alone without them.  T is pretty good, so he puts me to shame.  We've only been bowling a handful of times since dating, and this is the reason why.  So I was very open with everyone about my sucking and tried to set expectations low.  I think I should have set them lower because I ended the first game with a score of 57.  Yep, 57.  I wish I could say I blamed the drinks, but I am pretty sure that wasn't the cause of my sucking.  Anyway, after that, we all hit the casino for a bit.  Part of our package deal stay there was we both received $5 in free money to gamble on the slots and a chance to spin the wheel for a prize.  I won a French Lick t-shirt (whoo!) and T won $10 in money to use at the slots.  This is me before I lost my $5:

This is T after he realized that we couldn't just cash in the $10 and take that but that we had to actually PLAY the $10 and see what we won.  We came away with $6.25, though, so that's not too shabby considering we didn't spend anything of our own, right?
So the next day, the council had a quick meeting in the morning, lunch, and then we headed out.  There is another hotel in the area, West Baden, which is similarly huge but even more breathtaking than the French Lick resort.  So we decided to check it out, too:
The inside of the place is this huge dome, and all of the hotel rooms have a window facing the inside dome and some with balconies.  Let me tell you, when you walk in there, you can't help but look up.  The place is so beautiful. 
The rooms here are just a little more expensive than French Lick, and I can see why. This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is a closer look at the dome.
They have couches everywhere, and this place would be a wonderful place to just sit and read a book all afternoon.  It was pretty peaceful, except for the wedding they were setting up for in the afternoon.  (Can you imagine having your wedding in this place?  Pricey, I'm sure, but that would be so awesome)  I found a chair that I felt suited me:
Doesn't it just look like a natural fit for me?  I did let T join me on it after awhile.  We were so comfortable sitting there, we didn't want to get up.

Now, before West Baden, we did go to the French Lick winery and did a tasting there and bought a few bottles to take home.  We then made the two hour trek back home, stopping by another winery, Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville, Indiana, on the way home.  It's really close to where we live, and we've been talking about going there for ages.  They had a folk band playing while we were there so we got a glass of wine and relaxed before returning home.  It was a great day...you know, before the tornado warning that hit later that evening and us hiding and the bathroom and all :-)  T and I have made it a goal of ours to eventually hit all of the wineries in Indiana.  That will be a feat, but I'm up to the task.  Hope you all enjoyed our pictures! 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Are you the master of your universe?

We're back from our little trip down to French Lick, Indiana, stopping by a few other sites on the way home, and I had the best of intentions last night that I was going to load my pictures from our trip last night but mother nature had other plans.  We spent a great portion of our evening huddled down in our guest bathroom because we were under what felt like the longest tornado warning ever, and we don't have a basement so...internal bathroom it was!  It was really scary, actually.  I was legitimately frightened, which is saying something considering I grew up in what was called "tornado alley."  A funnel cloud was spotted about a mile from our house, and ironically, we were at our church festival right where the cloud was spotted about five minutes before we got home and before it was spotted.  Too close for my comfort, but we survived it.  So enough of that...I have other things to blog about. 

So I've been thrown a challenge today by Square Peg in a Round Hole, and I'm always up for a challenge.  Game on, baby.  The question is what six things are you the master of, and then you tag six bloggers you like and read regularly....of course, when I saw "master of" I thought immediately of that Seinfeld episode where they were trying to see who could remain the master of their domain, but I won't make my blog post rated-R today...so here we go:

1.  I am the master of multi-tasking.  My mind goes about a million miles a minute, and I'm constantly thinking of about twenty different things at once.  Sometimes I wonder if maybe it's adult onset ADHD, but, I don't know...needless to say, when I'm at work, I'm working on about six different cases and two court dockets at once.  I freeze up my Internet explorer with how many windows I'll keep open at once.  And cleaning?  I start the bathroom, get distracted and throw in some laundry, then take down picture frames to start dusting, then come back and clean the sink, then vacuum, then finish the shower...I'm all over the place, but I can get it done in like 60 minutes, and that includes every single room, every aspect of the house.  I'm tiring myself out just typing this. 

2.  I am totally the master of worrying.  I worry about everything.  It's my craft.  Heck, you don't get tested for an ulcer at the ripe age of 10 without being born a worrier.  And then I worry about worrying.  Or worrying too much.  I could worry about whether you guys are judging me for being such a worrier, too, if I wanted.  In my line of work, working in child protective services, worrying is not a good thing to do because you end up taking too much home with you, but...it means I care, right?  It's a miracle of loaves and fishes that I haven't given myself an actual ulcer yet, though people have laid bets...I thought it'd be 2nd year of law school, but I outlasted that one.  (Ha!)  Now I'm worried whether I've written too much about worrying...hmmm...

3.  My kitchen.  It's my domain.  I love to cook.  I'm no Rachel Ray, but I love to experiment, and I'm happiest when I'm in my kitchen cooking T a good dinner.  It gives me great pleasure to see him enjoy a meal.  I don't know why, I just love it.  My grandma was a big cook, and I used to sit by the kitchen counter and watch her just throw a meal together with no recipe, and I hope someday that my grandchildren will do the same.  It's too much fun...I just love it. 

4.  Loving my family.  We're a close knit bunch, and that now includes T, as we are now our own family.  I love them all with all of my heart, and there isn't a thing I wouldn't do for them.  If you get me talking about my nieces or nephews, you can't shut me up because I am so proud of all of them and love them a lot.  The same goes with T.  I bring him up to people ALL the time. It probably gets old, but I just love him so much. 

5.  Cursing.  Now, I don't do it much on my blog, but it's one of my bad bad habits.  I curse like a sailor, and it's bad.  I know it's bad.  If you get me behind the wheel during Friday afternoon rush hour traffic in downtown Indy, I think I say just about every word you can think of.  I'm really trying to work on it, as when I know we have kids, I do not want those words coming out of my children's mouths so I know I need to learn to stop it, but I do have it down to a fine art.  Shame on me. 

6.  Quoting movies or TV shows.  I have the innate ability to recall stupid movie quotes and use them in random situations.  I think I've already detailed that my favorite movie is Airplane! So I could probably quote that one verbatim, but my other favorites are Anchorman, Dodgeball, Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles to name a few...it can get annoying at times, but it entertains me :-)  And lightens up a good situation. 

OK, so there you have it...and now I get to pick six blogs I read to take up the task here.  You all should definitely check them out:

1.  Check out Mrs. D at Life of a Doctor's Wife.  I love the humor she puts into her posts and reading about her husband's quirks, as my fiance' has many similar ones of his own.  Gotta love the nerds, right?

2.  Archives of Our Lives - Camille also has an incredible sense of humor in her posts, too, which I love, and I love to participate in her weekly Saturday Steals, so check her out!

3.  Helena at Life in the Pitts  is a new blog (well, new to me...) I've come across that I've really liked....she's creative with her posts and her blog design...something I could for sure use a little bit more of!  So check her out, too!

4.  I've read Crazy Love Gamble Style since I started blogging about a month ago, and Sarah has one of the cutest kids I have ever seen, aside from my own nieces and nephews, of course.  I love checking her blog to get my daily dose of cute kid...

5.  Meagan at Meagan gets her MRS inspires me to be a better bride because she totally has this wedding planning thing down.  I check her blog out to get ideas and be inspired and also because the pictures she posts each Wednesday are just awesome. 

6.  Last but definitely not least, Erika at Musings, Rambles, and Creative Expressions is one of my best friends from high school, and we go way back, and she, too, has a blog but hasn't updated hers in awhile, so maybe just maybe this will motivate her to do so :-)  She has some awesome crafts on here, and I've even used her services before in designing our Save the Dates.  So definitely check her out, too! 

OK, so now you six people have been tagged...what makes you the master of your universe?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Steal: In the name of good dental hygiene....

My Saturday Steal (from Archives of Our Lives) comes to you courtesy of T. At his work on Tuesday, they had some kind of safety event where vendors came by to advertise their safety things (in my technical terms, yes). So apparently they were handing out free stuff. Engineers are notoriously cheap, so giving free stuff to them is like providing crack to an addict. It's just too easy. So, T goes down there and checks this thing out, and mid-morning, I get a text:


10:36 a.m., T: "Just scored a free toothbrush and toothpaste at the safety thing. Hell yeah!"

10:41 a.m., T: "After lunch, I will walk through again and get another toothbrush so we can each have one. Any little bit helps, right?"

10:42 a.m., Me: "ha, you are too funny..."

So later in the day, I get a text from T, who is frustrated that the truck testing he was supposed to do for work wasn't going to happen because of some "technical glitches."

2:21 p.m., T: "Ugh....so no fuel economy testing until next week because the truck is a P.O.S...."

I didn't get the chance to respond because I was in the middle of something at work, but I felt bad for him. About five minutes later, before I can even respond.... T: "HA!! Just scored my second free toothbrush! This day is not a total waste...."

My response: "It's good to see you're recognizing those things that are truly important."

I am so glad that it's the little things in life that make T happy. That makes birthdays and Christmas SO easy for me :-)

Check out our steals - 2 free Colgate toothbrushes, 2 sample toothpastes and 2 floss containers. Not too shabby, right? It's the little things in life that really can make your day.