Friday, January 27, 2006

Add Some Witty Humor to Your To-Do List

Melissa over at Suburban Bliss has made some Uber Awesome notepads for our personal enjoyment. I have even purchased a few (okay, so I bought 6). So go feast your eyes on her clever craftiness! The 'Frenchie' ones are my favorite. Be sure to read the English translations at the bottom of the pages.

Monday, January 23, 2006

'Girl Meets God' and 'Night'

I bought myself 'Night' by Elie Wiesel Friday night. A little pre-birthday present from myself just in case my real presents were disappointing.** I have only sat down to read it twice so far, but I can already tell you that this is my new favorite book. I will even be so bold as to say that I think this should be required reading for everyone. It is the most gripping, gut-wrenching book I have ever read. Like I said, I have only sat down twice to read it but I'm already almost done with it. It's such an easy read and only 144 pages long.

My very good friend, Darlene (who by the way is abandoning me to move to Phoenix and I am demanding she start a blog of her own so I can still feel like I'm part of her life when she's gone) just gave me 'girl meets god' by Lauren Winner for my birthday present (along with a mini creme brulee and some yummy focaccia bread - she knows I have a disturbing love of food). I need to hurry up and finish 'Night' so I can get started on this new one. I'm so excited!!! (Thanks, Dar!!!)

**They actually rocked, surprisingly. My friend, Cathy gave me some really cool stationary (I LOVE funky stationary), my friend Corrie gave me a wicked cool cross for the house, and Jake gave me the Sonicare toothbrush I've been dying to get since they came out.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Never, under any circumstance, leave me alone with a camera after I've downed a triple-shot latte'

Yes, sweet internet, this is how I rang in my birthday. Don't be hatin'.

I need help. Seriously.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Very Merry Un-Birthday to Me!

Tomorrow is the first day of my final year as a 20-something. Bleh. Do you think if I hide in the closet or just pretend it's not my birthday that it just won't come and I won't ever have to turn 30? Not that 30 is bad, but there is something about leaving your 20's that is totally and completely frightening to me. Almost paralyzing.

Maybe it's the blatant fact that I am no longer cool and I have to be an official grown-up. To me, that's cause enough to run and hide.

Jake took me to his boss' restaurant for the best sushi I have ever had in my life - seriously - THE BEST!!!! It's an Asian-Fusion restaurant in Arlington called Xouba. It's just off 157 in the building where Fox & Hound used to be.

While we were eating, a party of 25 or so people were seated near us. I'm a huge people watcher, so I was quick to take notice of the charismatic ladies in the party. All were over the age of 40, but none of them wanted to admit it, much less face it. They all had been 'augmented' (which I totally do not look down upon, but just because you have big fake boobs doesn't mean you have to dress like a stripper), they all were dressed from the Jr's section of the department store, and they were all completely absorbed in themselves and their appearances.

That's when it hit me. I am terrified of turning 30 because I want to be able to still dress cute and trendy without it being inappropriate for my age. I'm afraid of turning into a card-carrying frump. I am nothing less than a future version of these caddy, plastic women. I'm going to be one of those 40-something moms that still tries getting away with wearing the denim mini-skirts and Uggs thinking I look totally cute, all the while looking like a complete moron because I don't want to admit that I'm just too old to dress like the cool kids. *If any of you EVER catch me wearing a mini-skirt or Uggs, shoot me on the spot. That's an order.

Upon my epiphany there was only one thing I could do. Order dessert. My OWN dessert - no sharing.

Girl's Night Out

I had a MUCH NEEDED Girl's Night Out last night with the divas from our Home Team. We went to Sundance Square in Fort Worth for dinner, Starbucks and a comedy show at Four Day Weekend. My gut hurts from laughing so hard.

Look, Kirsten! You're famous! :o)

Admitting You Have A Problem Is The First Step To Recovery

Can you hear that? That's the sound of me yanking out my hair and banging my head against my desk (well, really it's a Rubbermaid folding table. My desk broke in the move, but let's just pretend. Mmmkay?) It's also the sound of me going into spastic convulsions and foaming at the mouth.

"Over What?" you say.

Since Wednesday evening our Router has been out, thus forcing me to be disconnected from the internet. I know. You're gasping at the horror. The mere thought of not having 24/7 access to the internet is just an atrocity you probably don't even want to picture, let alone GO through.

You never know how dependant you are on something until you have to go without it for a while. I had my first taste of this when I kicked my crack habit, so I knew what to expect somewhat (I KID! No hate mail, please).

Let me just say, OH. MY. I had no idea what I was going to do if I couldn't check my email (which, by the way, I had over 60 emails in my box and about 30 that had to be answered - YIKES!). If I couldn't stop by my favorite blogs to see the amazingly witty things they had to say that day.

By the end of the day Thursday I had a tick in my eye and I found myself babbling uncontrollably. I would walk by my office and just gaze at the computer through the windows on the doors with a longing that was almost unbearable. I just stood there with my face and hands squished against the glass, my breath making little clouds of fog. A few times I got a little misty, but I was able to pull through it with a strong spirit.

But thanks to the genius of my husband, he fixed the problem last night while I was out with the girls (I'll post about that later). Surprisingly enough, my hiatus from my little crack machine actually had an effect on me, because it's almost 5:00pm and I'm just now sitting down to see what I've missed out on. Aren't you impressed? I have to admit I'm a bit shocked.

I guess admitting there was a problem was the first step.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Day 3 in the Land of Bliss

Yes, Sweet Internet, we are now in DAY 3 of pooping in the toilet. Did you hear that?? THREE WHOLE DAYS that we haven't had to visit the land of Someone Else's Poop On My Hands and Under My Nails. Three whole days that I haven't had to deal with a mushy mess in someone else's underwear (other than my own - HA!).

The best part is, Kale is uber excited about his new found fame and attention he is receiving from everyone (we have to call everyone in the phone book every time he poops) that I think this is actually going to last. *HUGE sigh of relief*

My only worry is that he's still going to be expecting trips to the store to get M&M's when he's 12. At this point, I could care less. As long as it means he's doing his business where he's supposed to, he can have all the M&M's his little heart desires.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Heavens Split Open and The Angels Sang!

There is a God and He LOOOOOVES me!!!!

Are you ready for some outstanding news?

**Drum Roll**

Kale pooped in the toilet tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And they all sang, Hallelujah!!!! Hallelujah!!!!

This has been the longest and hardest potty-training experience. He was getting it down before we moved - in JULY!!! But after that and up until now (that would be July to January, for those of you just joining us) he has straight up REFUSED to poop in the toilet.

I know this is probably the worst thing I could ever do, but I promised him after he finished that if he tells me tomorrow when he has to poop, that I'll take him to the store and buy him a bag of M&M's. HEY! At this point, whatever it takes to get me away from poop under my nails is what I'm putting into practice. So no judging!!

Nothing could ruin my night. (Not even my obnoxious husband standing over my shoulder, breathing down my neck, and farting and giggling in an attempt to annoy me as I type. Yes, Girls. He's taken. Sorry.)

This calls for a celebratory bowl of ice cream swimming in a pool of oozy caramel, topped off with a big mountain of Eazy Whip (an absolute staple in our house. It sits right next to the organic soy nuts and whole wheat tortillas. Who are you calling a hypocrite?)

Wrestle Mania

Jacob had TWO take-downs the other night! Even better, the kids he took down are REALLY good! I was so glad I was there to see it (I don't usually stay and watch). I guess three nights a week of practice is paying off (That's right - THREE! Yikes!).

He's the one in the green shirt and blue shorts. We pride ourselves in our boys' appearance. Can't you tell?


Just a taste of what I deal with. Call me anal, but I like to be able to actually close my beloved boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

(Click on picture for note)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Some Needed Encouragement

This morning I spent an hour and a half on the phone with my sweet, sweet friend (you know who you are, and I can't tell you how much I love and appreciate you!). My dear friend is such a treasure and I know I can be ME when I'm with her. I can tell her whatever is on my mind, what's going on with me in my walk with God, what's bugging me about something...anything!

This morning I revealed some things to her that only a few people know about me (literally like two people). She did not judge me, she did not lecture me, she just listened. Then, when I was done talking, she spoke such awesome words of encouragement to me and lifted me up like I have been needing for so long. And then she prayed with me, right there on the phone.

Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck by the time we ended our conversation. But some of the things she said to me I really needed to hear, no matter how much I didn't want to hear it. I needed that kick in the pants; the reassurance that I have so many priceless gifts to offer and I'm not living up to what God has molded me to be. Instead I'm letting the devil paralyze me with fear and shame.

I am so blessed to have friends that will hold me accountable when I need it, that lend a shoulder, that let me be transparent and raw with them without fear of judgement. Friends that will stop me short in my tracks and tell me when I'm out of line, or reaffirm that what I'm going through is something that they themselves have gone through as well.

My friend, you are a rare treasure and I am so honored to have you in my life. You will never know the kind of impact your words made on me today, no matter how simple they may seem to you. Thank you for making me realize that I am a beautiful child of God and reminding me that I did not go through the hell I went through in my life for nothing. I went through it so I could glorify God later in my life and in my ministry.

Oh, I have a story to tell and even my closest friends don't know the half of it. I am picking my bible back up and I'm praying for God to reveal to me how He wants to use ME. The REAL me. The broken, hurt, abused, abandoned, ashamed, flawed ME.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Gallon of Milk and a Nose Ring, Please.

I just got back from a late night stop at Wal-Mart**. As I was unpacking my bag, I noticed how random the items were that I had purchased and couldn't help but laugh out loud wondering what the poor guy cashing me out tonight was thinking of me (I noticed he was looking at me strange, but I'm sure there are countless reasons why he was doing this, and it probably had nothing to do with my selections).

1. Gallon of milk (so Jacob can make his own breakfast when he gets up and I can be the lazy mother I strive so hard to be)
2. The newest issue of Lucky Magazine (so I can stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest fashion trends)
3. A package of nose rings (Who knew they carried nose rings!? Now I don't have to go to the scary tattoo parlor for nasal bling. Yeah!)

Beat that for totally weird Wal-Mart purchases.

**What is up with all of the freaky people who shop at Wal-Mart late at night...with their kids!!?? SCAAAARYYYY! (Like I actually have room to talk, but let's just pretend I do.)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wee Wonderful-icious and Guilt-Free Shopping

I am so excited about this new site I found I can hardly contain myself. The oddest things bring me sheer pleasure, and cool, funky stuff is one of them.

Feast your eyes on the awesomeness that is Wee Wonderfuls. You'll thank me later.

I'm off to hit the shower to go out with my friend Lil' Kim (not the rap star - she's had that name long before the pasty-yielding diva hit the scene). I have a Sephora gift card burning a hole in my pocket, as well as one from Foley's and one from my haven of all havens, Banana Republic. I've been waiting for these and this to go one sale. There's nothing better than guilt-free shopping!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bra Revolution

I have nothing intuitive or witty to say today (well, I'm sure I could come up with something, but I'm too busy to think), so feast your eyes on a funny post from Suburban Bliss as she tells a tale of going to get a bra fitting. I'm afraid to go get fitted because they might laugh and tell me I don't need a bra - "Just go get some band-aids and you'll be good."

Happy Day!

I'm off to the kitchen to make pork roast with mushroom gravy, nutty green beans, and stuffed mashed potatoes. Yummmm! **We're having company tonight, so NO, that is not how I usually cook. In Jake's wildest dreams.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Kale Has Decided To Take Up Photography. Mostly Of Himself.

(Click on picture for entire set)

Must. Go. On. Vacation.

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Someone book me a trip. I don't care where it is. Just make it away from the chaos and alongside my sweetie. The bags under my eyes are begging you.

Notice where I had to go hide?? We live in a fairly big house and the only place to find peace and quiet is in the stinkin' closet!! Don't worry. The little twerps found me shortly after I went to hide. Nowhere is sacred. Not even the bathroom (but you moms already knew that).

A Few New Reads

Here are a few books I am adding to my wish list. I'm excited to get them and see how they turn out.

girl meets GOD: a memoir

The Yada Yada Prayer Group

If anyone has read them or if you read them before me, let me know how you liked them.

Why people with ADD shouldn't cook, either

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What? You don't boil your hot dogs for an hour and make the house smell like burnt hot dog water?

Keepin' It Real

When I was a tot (around a year old), my parents divorced. The marriage was a doomed one from the beginning. They dated for several months during their senior year in high school and married the December following graduation. 13 months later, along came me. Here they were, parents at the ripe old age of 19. So it's not so shocking that the whole thing didn't work out.

When I was around 3 or 4, my dad moved away to Texas and met his second wife, my step-mom. From the time I met her, I never felt included or welcomed by her. I guess the pressures of not wanting to take the place of my mom or the building resentment towards my mom and me got in the way of reaching out to me and getting to know me. My entire childhood is full of bad memories of annual visits to my dad's house in the summer time. Visits filled with the overwhelming feelings of not belonging. Feelings of awkwardness when I was alone with her.

They had three other kids. With the birth of each child came a larger wedge between me and my dad. I guess he felt that I was a lost cause and he was determined to make up for not being there for me to his new family. A second chance, if you will. Of coarse, as I grew, so did my anger toward this whole situation. And, being a young, extremely witty, pre-adolescent (the anger started brewing at around age 8), my mouthiness became an art form. My sole mission each trip was to lash out at my dad and step-mom and make them as miserable as I was. Of coarse, this tactic never worked to gain the favor of either of them. Instead, each outburst would later be used against me as an adult.

I tell you all this to draw sort of a picture (more like a vague sketch) of what life was like for me growing up between me and my step-mom. With all of the nasty behavior and dirty looks I received from her, she managed to do it when no one was looking. When people were around, she maintained this sweet, wholesome, mousy, shy image. When doors were closed, out came Mommy Dearest.

I knew she didn't like me, and she knew I knew, so we have always had a rocky relationship.

Fast forward many years and many blow-ups to my sweet Mammaw's funeral this past month. My step-mom and I had made amends months ago (so I thought) and we have been getting along really well. So the following story was quite shocking, and (I'll say it), hurtful to me.

For those of you who don't know me, I have funky hair, funky clothes, and a nose ring. I am not a drug addict, or an angst-ridden, Anarchy-flashing punk, but I used to be and I guess I still hold on a little to some of my roots.

Picture me standing a mere 10 feet from my step-mom and her parents (who have ALWAYS looked down their noses at me - for whatever reason. I guess because I'm a dirty little reminder that my dad was married before). I look over and notice they are whispering about me. You know, they all look over at me, then look at each other, whisper some more, trying to make it discrete even though it's obvious.

So I just stared at them wondering when they would stop.

My step-mom sees me and realizes I'm onto them. She tries to cover her tracks by saying, "Oh, Minnie, we were just discussing your hair. Did you get it frosted?" (I love it when people still refer to highlights as "frosted") My hair has been colored for years. It is not something new. Of coarse I point this out and continue the stare-down. They all get uncomfortable and walk away.

Later, she walks up to me and says, "We weren't talking about you earlier. My mom was just wondering if you had done something different to your hair." I was stunned that she thought I was that stupid to fall for her claim (since I could hear everything they were saying and it had nothing to do with my hair), so I just looked at her and kind of laughed. What I really wanted to do was scream "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!" right in the middle of people walking past my sweet Mammaw's casket to say their final good-byes.

But I didn't.

Sometimes I just want to run up to her and say, "So you don't like my nose ring? Well guess what? Your daughter has a tattoo the size of Fiji on her back!! So there!" (She thinks people who have tattoos are trashy and ungodly, thus making it impossible for my sister to confide to her mother about anything without fear of being dis-owned or causing the blow-up of all blow-ups.)

"What is the point of this rant?" you say.

It is this:

When is everyone going to put down the 'perfect' persona and just be real!? When will we all realize that having a perfect life is so unattainable? When are we all going to stop being so judgemental toward people we know nothing about just because they are different from us? When will it occur to us that perhaps God has placed them in our path for a reason? When will we all just accept one another for who we are?

So what if someone has tattoos or piercings or crazy hair? Does that make them less of a Christian? Apparently, in too many Christian brother's and sister's eyes, it does. Even worse, if they don't know Christ, does that make them ineligible to be accepted into the Kingdom?

For those people I have this to say: None of us will ever, in our entire lifetimes, lay eyes on one person that doesn't matter to God, that God didn't create with a purpose, and that God does not love unconditionally and want to spend eternity with.

So instead of looking upon them with judgmental eyes, look upon them with the loving eyes of Christ. You might see something you never expected and they might change your perspective on life forever.

I have a very good friend that confided to me after we had known each other for quite some time. She said that I was her first "skinny, pretty friend". She always had a perception that those kind of people were superficial and had perfect lives. That they had never been through any kind of adversity or hardship. Boy was she ever surprised when God threw me into her life. I broke every preconceived notion she ever had. She came to find we had more in common that she could ever have imagined.

That made me stop and think of how many women I have looked upon with judgemental eyes and made unfair assumptions about them. So many times I'm ashamed to admit it.

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us what it is to love unconditionally. Thank you for taking us as we are, right now, junk and all. Thank you for showing me that above all I am a child of God and if no one else loves me or accepts me, You do it with open arms.