Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Sister(-in-law)

It's so great when a new family member is also a friend.

My husband James has three younger sisters, Leah is the oldest of the three. Before we got married, Leah and I lived together with two other girls. LBH, we had some tough times, me and Leah. With the rest of their family out of the state, I wasn't very understanding about how James' getting married might have been upsetting to Leah. Really, the thing that solidified our friendship was her and Jeremiah's temporary break-up (they just celebrated their 2 month wedding anniversary) and the hours we spent discussing how bad of a decision he had made. I guess I'm good at commiserating.

Last night I had to say good-bye to Leah and Jeremiah. They left today for home (California) and we probably won't see them for three years since we're moving to Scotland. Tears flowed from places I didn't know I had. You know that term, "cried myself to sleep"? Did it. It's not so much the actual act of saying good-bye that gets me, but after the fact, when I'm left with only my thoughts and my husbands shoulder. This is the first good-bye in the string of farewells we'll have to make before leaving for Scotland, and I think it might have been the toughest.

Here's a picture I saw this weekend that I love. It's from Leah's Bachelorette party in October. Fun times. Leah's in the turquoise

I miss my friend Leah.

Christmas Weekend in Review

Friday: After work, went home and made some Puppy Chow (delicious chocolate, pb, crispix, and powdered sugar desert thing). Left at 4:30 to babysit for my boss' 11 year old son, 5 year old daughter, and 4 year old twin boys. Had a ton of laughs and didn't stop moving for 5 hours. The daughters funniest comment came when I put chapstick on and she said to me, "I know why you wear chapstick...because you're married." My boss and his wife returned from finishing up Christmas shopping and, surprise surprise, bought me a gift! Not just any gift, OMG, a ridiculously expensive gift. Seriously, I was, and still am, in shock. This was on top my Christmas bonus and being paid for babysitting. Such generosity, how amazing. Arrived at home to find my fabulous husband working hard to straighten the house: just because we're used to living in a construction war zone, doesn't mean the in-laws have to be.

Saturday: As you may have seen from a previous post, Saturday was consumed by cleaning. We slept in a little and then got tons of stuff done. It was great. James and I have discovered that when we join forces, our efforts are not just doubled, but multiplied. My mom stopped by to check out our new bathroom...Whoo Hoo! When we moved into our house we had one bathroom. Now, instead of a closet downstairs, we have a half bathroom! It's the best thing ever. It wouldn't have been possible without the help of my dad. He did all the plumbing and tons of other stuff to make our dream a reality. Now I regularly yell, for no one in particular to hear, "I'm going to the bathroom...DOWNSTAIRS!" After cleaning, I cooked dinner: Pork Chops, each with a slice of green pepper, onion, pineapple and a tablespoon each of butter and terriaki. Served with spicy rice and green beans. It was quite good if I dont's say so myself. Some of the in-laws (James' parents and his two younger sisters) arrived around 7:30. We ate dinner. Hung out with the in-laws, went to bed.

Sunday: Went to Sunday School and Worship service at Stony Point Church. Had lunch at Jason's Deli with a bunch of people. Had the California Club, it was good. Went home, got ready for Franklin Street Community. Constable preached similar sermon to the one he had preached earlier that morning at SPC, it was a good one. Drank a little coffee after FSC, left for my parents house for the Christmas Eve family time. Had yummy lasagna, got some great gifts, gave some great gifts, had a great time overall.

Monday: Had the best wake-up call ever: my sister-in-law and her husband were on their way to my house! They arrived at 10:30. Had Christmas morning time with the in-law's. Made breakfast for everyone with James. Hung out until it was time to go to my parent's for the BIG family Christmas, tons o' cousins. Tried to go to sleep at midnight. Lay awake in bed for 2 hours. Took some meds to help me sleep, but they didn't work. Got really anxious about all the stuff that has to be done before we leave for Belgium. Got a couple hours of sleep before getting up to go to work...blah.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Cleaning Whirlwind

Today James and I are cleaning like mad people. For one thing, we've lived in a construction zone (and still do) for the past year, or what seems like a decade. And when you know everything will again get covered with drywall dust, paint chips, or sawdust, your motivation to do a thorough cleaning is lost. So since we're going out of the country for a month in January and in-law's are coming into town today, we figured it was a good time to git er' done (isn't that the most hick expression you've ever heard, it sometimes comes into my head but I refuse to say it out loud; I feel writing it is a little more acceptable, just this once).

Alright, that was enough of a break, I must get back to work...right after I sit here for a few more moments.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No more freedom of speech for me!

Last week, my friend Justin let me know that he saw a reference to my blog in Brick magazine in their blog watch section (good lookin' out Justin!). First let me just say how surprised and flattered I was. Maybe it's not such a big deal, but it was pretty exciting to me.

After I got over the coolness of it, and I read the excerpt that was published, I began to get a little nervous. The portion of my post that was published was about a patient at the dental office where I work. I realized that I could get in some serious trouble if the wrong people read my blog. What with the whole HIPPA law stuff, I could potentially be looking at a law suite. Crap.

So I've just finished scanning previous posts I've written and did a little editing.

But thanks Brick people, for thinking my ramblings are worth recommending!

Weekend Edition

It's already Wednesday???

Friday: Worked until 12:30. Had to go to Short Pump (ugghhh) to pick up some Christmas presents that were being engraved from Penelope. Got a few grocery items/pet products at Wal-Mart. Bought some coffee at Ukrops: Blanchard's brewed by a local. I highly recommend it. It's not available at all Ukrops, but if it's there, it will be located near the produce in bins, you bag it yourself. I have the Holiday Blend, delish. Did some domestic things around the house (actually, I don't really remember what I did, but I'm sure it was house stuff). Husband and I put a coat of primer on the soon to be bathroom, it's amazing we both fit in there at the same time with a ladder and paint. Went to a Christmas party for the Sunday school class we help teach. Played some fun games with them, but because they are 9th & 10th graders, the games are 10x funnier.

Saturday: More house renovation stuff. Mostly painted the exterior. Which included climbing through the access hole in the ceiling to get on the roof. And then lying on the roof and leaning over to paint the very top piece of molding on the front of the house. Amazing. A woman walked by and yelled, "Women can do anything men can do!" Also while outside painting, a man walked by and asked for bread and bologna for his four starving children. We said we didn't have bologna, but would be glad to give him turkey, ham, or roast beef. His children are picky, they only like bologna. So he left with a loaf of bread, no cold cuts. Went to my office Christmas party at 6. Had a white elephant gift exchange. I took a jar of 4 large bait frogs that was about 2 years old. My boss ended up with it. Left around 9:30 and made it to my friend's house for their Christmas cocktail party. Had a fabulous time chatting it up with some lovely ladies. Had some yummy food.

Sunday: Slept in, didn't make it to Sunday School. Went to church for the worship service. Had trouble staying awake. Went home and took a nap while James played football. Made some food for the FSC Christmas potluck. Had James pick me up for FSC because my keys were left in the car (left NOT locked, there is a difference). After FSC and potluck, went home and painted the first coat of paint on the soon to be bathroom walls, a nice green.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pets Are Wonderful Additions to Life!

Kristin over at Double Vision has had a couple of great posts recently about her dog (soon to be dogS). She's got a fun blog, you should check it out sometime. Here is where you'll see some of the negative feedback she's received on a recent post about possibly the cutest dog on earth. In support of her love for her dog (and sympathy for the mean emails she received), I'd like to tell you a little about our animals: Owen and Naomi.

Owen first came into our family in January of 2005. She was one of a litter of 6 that was left at the Richmond SPCA. Who knows how many breeds she's got in her. People have said she looks like any of the following: lab, pit bull, doberman pinscher, german shepherd, name it, apparently, she looks like it. Here she is enjoying a brand new bone. She can chew on something forever. I just bought her a new bone today since the other one is down to almost nothing. The bone in the picture lasted for months.
We love her so much, she just has to go to Scotland with us. Now let me tell you, it is not an easy thing to take an animal into a country that doesn't have rabies. If you take an animal into the country, they have to be quarantined for 6 months: not gonna happen to my dog. So there's this long process an animal must go through to bypass the quarantine. She's been through the process: she has a microchip, she's been vaccinated, her blood has been tested in a lab in Kansas, she will have more vaccinations, she waited 6 months...she's ready to go!

Naomi: We got her from a friend in May of 2005. I was having a really tough time choosing between two kittens. I left the room for a minute and was praying for some sort of sign to help me decide (sometimes I have a terrible time making decisions). When I returned, Naomi had jumped into the basket I would be transporting the new kitten home in; that sold me, she made it known that she was the one. She is a feisty one. At first, Naomi and Owen fought so roughly, we were afraid for Naomi's safety. But now, they are best friends. They wrestle all the time like they are the same species. Owen would never hurt Naomi, you can tell in the way he plays with her. Here she is as a kitten, so cute and tiny!
No, James is not trying to squeeze her with his humongous hand. Now she's bigger and getting more lovable by the day. Here's a picture of Owen and Naomi when they had only been sisters for a short while:
Naomi has also been through the necessary process to be allowed into Scotland, but we're not sure if we're going to take her. She can be a very anxious cat. When I take her to the vet, she has to be sedated. One time they had to put a muzzle on her to give her a shot! She HATES the car. I think the flight over there might be the end of her sanity. We are torn. Breaking the best of friends up and leaving our precious Naomi, or doing what's best for her. So now we are searching for a caretaker for two years, or possibly...(insert tears here) and new owner. The problem is, I don't think she would get along with other cats. So it's hard finding someone who would like a cat and who doesn't already have a cat. Any ideas?
Two final pictures:

Hope you enjoy your pets as much as we love ours!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Some things about my husband.

1. His laugh is seriously the most amazing laugh I've ever known. It's one of the first things that attracted me to him. If I hear him laugh and I'm not in the room, I smile and am instantly comforted.

2. My feet get REALLY cold. Especially in the winter, and especially in our 100+ year old house. Every night he lets me warm my icicle feet on his warm feet as long as it takes for them to warm up. This is truly a sacrifice, you would agree if you felt my feet.

3. He doesn't really have a 'mad face'. If we're arguing, even when he's really frustrated, he never shows it on his face. Somehow, his face always looks calm and collected. I love this.

4. He works very, very hard. He also know's how to relax like a champ.

5. Almost every time I tell him I love him, he says, "I love you more." And if it's, "You're so cute" he says, "You're cuter." Not to always one-up me, but to truly show me how much he loves me.

6. He's so silly, and loves it when I'm silly.

7. Growing up with three younger sisters, he's seen his share of drama. So now, he trys to keep the drama to a minimum.

8. He loves his guy friends and encourages my friendships with my girls.

9. I'm 5'4'', and he's 6'4'', and it's perfect.

10. The only thing he's addicted to is Sports Radio. And maybe Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus.

11. He appreciates, and works toward, a clean house.

12. At this point in time, we are equally frightened of having children.

13. He loves our animals.

14. He forgives, and apologizes, quickly and easily.

15. He knows how to find good deals.

16. I can get emotional, he stabilizes me.

17. He truly enjoys hanging out with my family.

18. He puts up with me constantly commenting on his dental health.

19. He helps me be punctual.

20. He proposed as we were jumping out of an airplane. There's a video.

21. His first words to me in the mornings always make me feel so loved.

22. He loves Jesus. He knows how much Jesus loves him. James' love for me helps me see how much Jesus loves me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Weekend Review

I love my friend Valerie for many reasons. One reason is her love for and interest in her friends. She's made it known that she'd like to know what her friends have done during their weekends, so for her and anyone else who cares, I'm making this a weekly ritual.

Worked until 1:00. Went home to play with dog Owen, eat lunch, and relax on the couch for an hour. Drove to Southside to Sherwin-Williams to get the help of James' friend Jesse in picking out MORE paint for our house, interior and exterior. Left with a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude for friends like Jesse. Got some gasoline. Drove home to see husband and spend some time with him before he left for his basketball game. (he plays in a church league). Did some laundry. Decided to make some brownies for Ross and Marks birthday party. Made a huge mess when getting brownie mix out of cabinet and a full glass bottle of balsamic vinegar fell, shattered, and splashed all over the place. Cleaned up mess. Left for previously referred to party at 8:45 (would have left earlier if husband had been there to keep me on task and motivate me to hurry like he so capably does). Had amazing time at party, enjoyed some beverages, didn't leave until 2:30, felt less like the old adult I'm becoming.

Woke up at 7:00am to Owen's barking. Had a killer headache. Drank lots of water, took some Ibuprofen and a B-Complex Vitamin and went back to sleep. Woke up at 9:00 to my phone ringing. My amazing dad calling to say he was on his way to help us do some more work on the bathroom we're adding in our house. 11:00 went to my friend Blare's house (BFF since 3rd grade) for her and her roommate's second annual Christmas Brunch. Had a very fun time, ate delicious food, enjoyed some great conversations with people I hadn't seen in a while. Felt really old after I had a 10 minute conversation with another 26 year old about electric vs. gas ovens. Came home, still exhausted. Used some Great Stuff to close some gaps in the foyer (where we tore out the plaster and will soon have new drywall). Took the blinds from the living room outside and used the hose and some soap to clean them (they'd been off the windows while we were renovating the room and had gotten dusty). Took them back inside while still wet since it was sub-freezing temps and they had already begun to freeze. Went to Lowe's with husband. Bought sink vanity and toilet for new bathroom, and a chandelier type light fixture for the foyer (originally $103, our price $20!). Went to Stony Point mall with husband to use a Gap gift card I've had since the summer, got a sweater and some jeans. Really wanted to eat at PF Changs, it smelled really good. Went home and ate leftovers, glad we didn't spend the money. Hung the blinds up. Did some more laundry. Went to sleep at 12.

Woke up at 9:00, left for church at 9:45. Went to Sunday school (we help teach the 9th & 10th grade class) and then the worship service. Came home in time for James to get ready to play football with his friends at 1:00. Started making some lunch (Mrs. Fernow's Delicious Brunswick Stew...yum). Found more splashes of balsamic vinegar that I missed earlier. While waiting for lunch started using more Great Stuff. While on ladder, heard phone ringing. Saw that James had called, called him back. He had dislocated his finger and needed to go to the hospital. Turned off stove, Mrs. Fernow's would have to wait. Picked up James and drove to Henrico Dr.'s Hospital. The finger looked awesomely gross. Got to the hospital at 3:00. Saw the x-ray. Oh man, the bone was totally out of place. Dr. lady said she could pull it back in place without anesthesia. James said he wanted anesthesia, I said that would be best. Got the finger fixed. Left the hospital at 5:15. Picked up some pain meds from CVS. Drove to church for the congregational meeting. Listened to people talk about church business. Got home and ate Mrs. Fernow's! Did some more laundry. Watched A&E (Flip This House and Intervention). Went to sleep at 12.

Wow, recapping the week makes me see how packed it was, and appreciate all that I was able to do! Thanks Val!

Friday, December 08, 2006

the crazies were coming out in droves

Yesterday I came home from work and could not stop laughing about how crazy of a day it was. I mean, seriously, all the crazies were coming to the dentist at my office! (Wasn't there a full moon recently?) I'll just list them for you:

1. First patient of the day: very nice lady, hates the dentist so was IV sedated for her dental work. Not crazy at all, accept for the time she bit my boss (the dentist) so hard on his finger that he had to pry her mouth open (see the aformentioned IV sedation) and he was bleeding. No worries of disease, the skin was torn, but not the latex glove.

2. Second patient.

3. Third patient: 20 year old male who thought he was too cool and too smart for the world. The best thing that came out of his mouth: "I'm pretty much apathetic about this whole situation"

4. Fourth patient: Basically friendly, vary particular. After his treatment had ended, he stated his satisfaction by loudly proclaiming, "That was so effing fast, I can't believe how effing fast that was!"

5. First patient after lunch: While patient was in the chair, she told the assistant that she kept bumping into her chest. And to emphasize how it was easy to do, she lifted up her shirt to show all of her stuff to the assistant. Assistant's response later "Those things were bigger than my head."

6. Second to last patient of the day: After fracturing her crown and remaining tooth off at the gumline, she insisted the tooth be cemented back in place. (if she were to chew on cool whip, chances are it would break off again.) When told what treatment she would need, she exclaimed loudly, "Hell no, I aint' doin' that, you can forget about it! (Repeat 2x)"

7. Last patient of the day: Needed cavities filled. Dentist gave her anesthesia to numb the tooth. While we waited for the tooth to get numb (nobody wants a big cavity drilled on if it's not numb) we watched some television in the operatory. The patient exhibited her impatience and lack of concern for her own pain by stating to the dentist, "Am I going to have to turn the t.v. off to get you to pay attention to me?"

8. A paitent seen by a hygienist, whom I've seen before myself: When doing a cancer screening on head and neck of patient, he stated to her, "There it is, do you feel it? That's where I shot myself in the head." Apparently, this man (in his 60's) shot and killed his girlfriend and shot and wounded the man who was object of the girlfriend's cheating (in the crotch...9 times). This patient then attempted to kill himself, but failed. The hygienist asked what happened (when wondering why this man was sitting in her chair and not jail) and he said the man didn't press charges.

I know I'm forgetting something, but I think that pretty much sums up how hilarious of a day it was.