So Very Thankful

Y’all, I know that this post is about four days behind Thanksgiving, but in the spirit of the holiday, let it go, ok? I was the solo- cook for Thanksgiving (not because my guests didn’t offer, but because I am a control freak. Maybe I should work on it, but I have bigger fish to fry…) ANYWAY, there is A LOT I am grateful for this year (being able to live in our house, Steve getting this amazing job, getting to move to Nashville, our health,  not working Black Friday, blah, blah blah…). The thing I’m most grateful for? My marriage…

It hasn’t been great, people. Steve and I made a lot of mistakes while dating (y’all are grown- ups, use your imagination). These were mistakes that led to the foundation of our marriage being made of paper mache, as opposed to cement. So we’ve basically spent every day after that day, working on patching up cracks and trying to fortify our marriage with the cement we were supposed to use in the beginning. Only we still weren’t. We were still trying to do it all on our own, as opposed to lifting our marriage up to God, and following His instructions for a healthy marriage. We were using a glue stick. Not good enough.

After we starting attending Summit Church, it really clicked for us, and things started to really improve (and not just the temporary mini- improvements of before). Then, he got a job, in another state. We knew this would make or break our marriage. At times, we were really more like roommates, so would we actually miss each other enough to stay committed and put in the extra effort a long distance relationship requires? The first few day were a little rough. I do not have a car, and so I’m basically stuck in our house all day long, dependent on other people. I did not handle this well at all. And I let Steve know it. Then I started to use a lot of that extra time to pray, and to worship and to study and to revel in God’s word. Things became a lot easier, and not so lonely.

The best part? Somewhere in the middle of that alone time with God, I became a better wife. I really missed Steve, and I knew he missed me. Our phone conversations got longer, and more meaningful. He came early, even though it was more out of his way, and he would have to then drive back down to Atlanta, and I knew he was inconvenienced for me, and that kind of meant a lot. So I went with him to Atlanta , and even though we were exhausted, and only there for one day, it was a great trip.

We had some pretty serious conversations when he was home for Thanksgiving, and we really each had enough concerns that it maybe would have seemed easier to be done. There’s a lot of hurt feelings, and a lot of wrongs that while forgiven, won’t be soon forgotten. So were we both in? Or were we done? We talked, we cried, and then we prayed. We decided to devote our marriage to serving God, and to following His instructions, and to doing the right things, even when the wrong ones are just easier.

I’m thankful for my marriage. I’m thankful that next year, I can be thankful for my marriage again. I’m thankful that for the rest of my life, I will have my marriage to be thankful for. Mostly, I’m thank for my marriage to God. It’s a marriage full of His forgiveness, which leads the way for the forgiveness of all else…..

 

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Steve and I had been dating about a year when I decided we needed a dog. We had just moved to Greenville SC, both having been promoted into new positions, and life was great. Except, my job was kind of suck-y. Not like at Bible- Mart, but not what I was used to. I was brought in to be an acting General Manager while someone was out on maternity leave. I was new to the position, new to the area, people in the store were bitter, and I was very aware that the DM was counting on me to have a lot of company loyalty, and that my primary purpose was to help her clean house. Which I excelled at, but it meant I had a very long lunch break to myself each day.

 One day I discovered there was an animal shelter right around the corner, and that’s where I would go on my breaks. I was walking through the dog area one day, when I saw him… the dog we needed. Actually, he was probably the worst dog choice I could have made at the time. It’s hard to fit a St Bernard mix into apartment living. But he was sweet, and had the biggest head, and all four paws looked like he was wearing socks. And he looked so sad. So everyday for a week, I bugged Steve about him. FINALLY he gave in and said I could get him. Y’all, I am aware this was only to shut me up. I did not care. I was rescuing this dog.

I was told at the shelter he didn’t like men. I couldn’t get him into my car. He smelled horrible. And he coughed like an asthmatic smoker. But he was mine. I changed his name from Simba (stupid) to Bama, which I thought would help Steve get over losing the dog- battle. I called Steve at work to tell him to be careful when he came home, as the dog didn’t like men. YEAH RIGHT…… from the moment Steve walked in, Bama followed him everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I tried explaining to Bama that Steve didn’t even want him, that I was the one who had rescued him. It didn’t matter. Steve was the owner Bama adopted. Which is the exact reason why, after having owned Bama for 2 weeks, we brought home my little Shih-Tzu, Yogi…..

In the last 2 years, I have watched Steve and Bama snuggle on the couch, sleep together on the recliner, and spoon in bed. I am not kidding. Then, the other night, I had to sign papers and help Steve say good- bye. Bama was too badly hurt after the car hit him, and it was prolonging his pain to keep him alive any longer. When they brought him in the room for us to see one more time, he was sleeping, snoring like a fuzzy old man. He went peacefully, much to the relief of everyone in the room.Yogi still hasn’t been found. I hope and pray that means some other family is loving him right now.

They were good dogs. They could be annoying, but mostly they were full of unconditional love. They liked to sleep in the bed, because it was way more comfortable than the floor. They didn’t really like each other inside the house, but outside, they were a team. They were crazy protective, but sweet and good with kids. They are horribly, terribly, devastatingly missed. And so, because I’m a selfish human, and it makes me feel better, I will choose to believe Disney on this one….. All Dogs DO Go To Heaven

Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 11:35 am  Comments (2)  

Life Lessons

Here’s what I learned this week….

1. People were very supportive about my new pathetic beginners knitting skills.

2. But, since I posted that I m trying to learn to knit, there is pressure to stick with this and actually learn how.

3. Never assume that Springform pans are airtight.

4. My pumpkin cheesecake is all kinds of problematic due to this assumption.

5. I think it has to be re- made, which is the first time in years I’ve messed up a dessert.

6. My alone time limit is three days. After that, I start to feel crazy.

7.I’ve been praying for a new car so I can actually leave my house and be not crazy social.

8. I’ve been praying for that A LOT. Very a La persistent Widow.

9. It feels kind of materialistic to pray for a car, so I’m praying about that too.

10. Oprah’s cancelling her show. I think I’m among the minority excited about this.

11. Somehow I have to get my small dog to not stand under the big dog while he’s urinating.

12. We’ve had three doggy baths already this week.

13. I do not want to think about the possibility that he might be enjoying his golden shower.

14.On that note, have a great weekend!!!

 

 

Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Not so crafty

I’m not a crafty person. I don’t have great hand- eye coordination, and I have even less patience. I have many a slightly- started project laying around the house, waiting for a bug to find it. I want to be crafty, but my skills are pretty much limited to providing snacks for the people who can actually figure out how to make a scrapbook look cute, instead of a big glue-y mess, or sew something without running their finger under the needle…..

That having been said….. check out how I spent my Monday…..

Yes, friends, that is the scarf I am KNITTING…… Here’s another look …..

 

See my giant needles? It’s like Knitting for Dummies or something. But isn’t it pretty? Yay me!!!

Just in case you thought it was too good to be true…. here’s a close up

Please don’t judge the messiness or many, many mistakes I have made. Because y’all, knitting is hard. And I was busy yelling at Oprah while I was working on it, which was very distracting.

Now, I understand, knitting a foot long scarf doesn’t exactly make me crafty, but I woke up today craftier than I woke up yesterday, so it’s a start!!!

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  

To have and to hold…..

My husband and I eloped. We weren’t planning to, and didn’t have a fun, dramatic reason why, we just did. I wasn’t pregnant, neither of us were at risk for deportation, we simply just didn’t want our wedding. We had been planning it for almost six months. It was annoying. We were both working crazy hours, we were getting married 8 hours away, wedding party members were asked to step down, then others quit on their own, the church double booked, and it was spiraling out of control financially. It had become more about the party than the commitment…..

So we quit our wedding. We called/ emailed/ sent letters to friends and family telling them to please ignore the save-the-dates, that we were postponing it indefinitely. We fielded phone calls (NO, we’re NOT breaking up, YES, we’re FINE, NO we do NOT know when it is rescheduled for….).

Three weeks later we both had a long weekend off for his birthday. We had already made plans (weeks before we called the wedding off) to go to the mountains. We woke up the day before we were leaving and decided to get married while we were there. We got a marriage license, called some friends to meet us there to be our witnesses, found a preacher from the internet and got married.

This is what I remember from our day….

I wore the dress I was supposed to wear to my shower. It is blue- green silk and beautiful. I got it on clearance for $18.99. I had it on for 2 hours, and it’s been in plastic ever since. Someday, I WILL show it to my daughter, because it’s part of our history. The “preacher” was a woman, she was 20 minutes late, and had marinated herself in Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew. She had us pick out and customize wedding vows the day before via email. She did not come close to using the ones we picked. She gave us a card and told us if we every needed help “re-fueling the fire sexually” she could counsel us on that (Y’all, I am NOT making this up). We were married at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. It is beautiful; we found a little koi pond with a waterfall to stand in front of. It may not have been a church, but God was still there. A random hotel guest walked through mid- ceremony, which made me laugh so hard. My friend Amanda took about a million pictures. I remember being annoyed about the color pantyhose I was wearing. My legs were the color of an Ace bandage. Steve’s shoes were scuffed and he was wearing a tie we had bought the night before. Afterwards, the preacher and her perfume cloud left, and we changed into jeans and went for hamburgers and ice cream with Amanda and Brandon. They went home, and we made good use of the Do Not Disturb sign. It was the best weekend ever.

People ask me if I regret it. Not so much. Sometimes I wish I could have worn my big puffy fancy wedding dress, but the only thing I would change is that maybe we should have had our parents there. It’s probably the most selfish thing I have done, but it was an amazing day. And that’s the story of my wedding……

P.S. My husband still owes me a honeymoon….

Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 3:05 am  Comments (1)  

Life Lessons

1. I am more self sufficient than I may have originally thought.

2. This week I learned how to use the Xbox.

3. As a DVD player. My friends at Netflix sent me Season 1 and 2 of The Office.

4. How have I missed out on the genius of that show all this time?

5. Anyway, I’m making up for lost time now.

6. My dogs ran away for 3 hours the other day.

7. Then they came home.

8. I kind of didn’t miss them. Which probably makes me an awful dog- mom.

9. Sometimes I wish they were cats.

10. I have little patience for giving out repeat advice to the same people, over and over and over again.

11. My friends might feel the same way about me. I’m going to work on being more aware of that.

12. I miss Steve. A lot. When we first realized he would have to move to Nashville way before me, I was all like “sweet, my house will be clean”. Now that it’s clean, I rather have the mess and him.

13. That was super cheesy. I am more than a little nauseous.

14. I miss the social interaction of work; not the social interaction of customers, just my associates. But for the first time in years, I do not have to work Black Friday. So it evens out.

15. I’ve had “writers block” all week. This post is pretty much living proof that it hasn’t yet gone away. *sigh*

 

Published in: on November 14, 2009 at 12:40 am  Comments (2)  

Stuffing Battle 2009

My crazy husband hates stuffing. He’ll eat it if it’s on top of a casserole, but that’s about it. For the last four Thanksgivings, I have tried, with very minimal success, to change his mind. The first Thanksgiving we spent together, I had never actually made it before, so I was winging it. It was just so- so. That was the year I found out he didn’t care for it. At the time, I was way more focused on the fact that he BOILED our turkey. Can I tell you how much flavor turkey cooked in water has?  Let’s try NONE.

The next year, I took over cooking the turkey. It was amazing. Unfortunately, it was also an all- consuming drain on my attention, as I was trying to prove that it was, indeed, possible to cook a moist turkey in the oven. I succeeded admirably. Due to hyper- focusing on the turkey though, it was a Stove- Top year…

Last year, I had the turkey under control, and I was ready, and  feeling confident  in branching out in the dessert category, so I began to look for a great recipe for stuffing. One that could convert him to stuffing- lover. I felt passionately that he just hadn’t ever had the right one, and therefore, didn’t know what he was missing. I myself had previously not cared that much for it, so I could understand. Every year growing up, my grandmother made the stuffing. She used to cook it inside the turkey (which I am vehemently opposed to doing), and then she would scrape it out when the bird was done. The result was kind of slimy and (because she was too heavy- handed with the sage), and green. This was a combination I could not handle. Most of my cousins and I insulted her yearly by choosing to eat Stove – Top instead.

Then I grew up and moved away, and it was then, by eating other peoples non- green, non- slimy stuffing, that I discovered a true love for stuffing. But mine struggles every year. It shouldn’t, as every recipe for it seems fairly basic, but I haven’t been able to create an inspiring version, one that I know will make my husband EAT HIS WORDS.

Since I’m home a lot now, I’ve already spent HOURS looking for a recipe that will make the perfect stuffing. And now, I’m asking for recommendations. So if you’re reading this, and you have a stuffing recipe that is TO DIE FOR, please, please, PLEASE let me know what it is, or where I can find it.

Because this year, I WILL be triumphant…..

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Life Lessons

1. Apparently I can cry on demand. My contractor wasn’t fixing the heat, and then I cried and now someone will be here Monday. I was totally faking it.

2. Fake tears are pretty much as effective as real ones.

3.Tyler Florence is HOT. He can cook a chicken in my kitchen. Anytime.

4. Spiders must hibernate.

5. Maybe they are still grieving the losses of their children.

6. I don’t care which it is, I’m happy I haven’t seen one all week.

7. I detest that new Reebok commercial.

8. I was sick so I watched A LOT of TV this week. I think my brain is rotting.

9. When you are home alone, and your dogs are barking insanely at a window when it’s dark out, it makes you wonder what’s out there.

10. What you learn from watching too much TV…. never actually go outside to see what it is. Assume the dogs are crazy and move on.

11. The Yankees won the World Series!!! Some people owed me an apology. I graciously accepted.

12. Stuff like that makes me miss my family.

13. They understand the unquestioned superior ability of the Yankees.

14. If not, we disown them.

15. My husband was on the fence about them. He got onboard real quick- like. Therefore, he can stay.

 

 

 

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm  Comments (2)  

For the Love of Heat

People, do you know that I STILL DO NOT HAVE HEAT?!?!

THAYER STONE INC.  SUCKS…. DO NOT HIRE THEM!!!

Can I discuss how crazy this is making me? SO crazy!! And I was already pretty close to the edge. Plus I’m sick, and now it’s probably going to turn into pneumonia and I might die. Maybe, maybe not.

THAYER STONE INC. SUCKS…. DO NOT HIRE THEM!!!

This week alone, I have called our contractor twice a day, and have sent a daily reminder email. He FINALLY managed to work up the nerve to answer his phone today, at which point I squelched my inner desire to curse him out from here until tomorrow. Y’all, that is A LOT of squelching. Instead I calmed myself down and channeled all of the nice- ness I had left in me. Which wasn’t all that much, but I did what I could. And I THOUGHT I made myself clear, but apparently not so much….

THAYER STONE INC. SUCKS…. DO NOT HIRE THEM!!!

Because guess what? Still no heat. So I have a new plan…. tomorrow, I have to go up to Raleigh because I have some appointments. And I feel pretty strongly that in between my appointments, I am going to camp out at his office building. Because he has heat. Plus his office is also his kitchen cabinet and granite showroom, which is open to the PUBLIC (i.e. his potential new clients). I am pretty sure I might not be a welcome presence, but maybe he’ll fix my stupid furnace!!

THAYER STONE INC. SUCKS…. DO NOT HIRE THEM!!!

It might be playing dirty, and it might be a bit over- dramatic, but Y’all, that is how I roll……

Published in: on November 5, 2009 at 12:27 am  Comments (1)  

Know it… Fight it… End it…

So I’ll need you guys to bear with me on this one…. I’m super sick and I have had to listen to giant construction trucks tear up my front lawn since 7am. Apparently the neighbors sewer pipe burst, but the smell (oh yes, there IS a smell….  and it is NOT GOOD) and the mess get to hang out in my yard. Awesome. So I am not-so-perky right now….

Anyway, there are two things that make me really, really mad, and I am VERY anti both of them… Porn and Pancreatic Cancer. I’m not going to discuss the first, because it is disgusting and my mom reads this (you have to draw the line somewhere). I AM going to write abut the second one though, because November is P.C. Awareness month!!

Pancreatic Cancer has the highest mortality rate of ALL cancer…. usually because it isn’t diagnosed until it’s in its end stages.In fact, 52% of cases aren’t diagnosed until it’s invaded other organs, and it’s usually too late. My Papa lived for only 3 weeks after his diagnosis. Three weeks isn’t enough time for anything…. and we all know that Patrick Swayze recently lost his battle to it. If it can take out Johnny Castle , it can take anyone out.

There is no early detection or screening for Pancreatic Cancer, which accounts for why it isn’t found until it’s too late. Currently, the government contributes for close to 5 billion dollars for cancer research… and only 2% is earmarked for Pancreatic Cancer. Many symptoms of pancreatic cancer are vague and can be attributed to a variety of other conditions. They include pain (usually abdominal or back), weight loss, jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, and diabetes.The types of cells that make up pancreatic cancer tumors are unique—which contributes to the unfortunate resistance of the tumors to chemotherapies. All of this information can be found at www.knowitfightitendit.org or www.pancan.org. I strongly urge you to visit those sites to learn more about this, and how you can help.

Finally, my mother-in-law has a friend at her school who was recently diagnosed. She is at the Mayo Clinic this week to determine her course of treatment. Her name is Peggy Dill, she has 2 daughters and a son, and they need our prayers. Please lift Peggy and her family up, as they battle this awful, awful disease.

I know this wasn’t light- hearted and funny, and it’s not something people want to think about. It’s important though, and I want people to be aware of the risks and intensity of this horrible cancer….

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment