Sunday, February 25, 2007

Weekend (sans James) Review

-Worked until 11:30 (off even earlier than usual!)
-Met some co-workers at River City Tattoo to partake in a support group. A suburban, mother of two, co-worker of mine decided to celebrate the 40Th year of her birth with a nose ring; she needed some back-up.
-Lunch at Buzz & Ned's with co-workers
-Sent James off to Timberline, WV to snowboard for the weekend
-Straightened the house
-Welcomed my wonderful friend Jess for a visit from her new home in Raleigh
-Bought some veggies, wine (very delicious, thanks Jess! Anapamu Pinot Noir & Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris) and Belhaven Beer (brewed in Scotland) from the Market.
-Went to the Modlin Center for a Modern Dance performance
-Hung out and caught up with Jess until the wee hours of the morning. Well, not exactly the wee hours, but late in comparison to my usual bedtime.

-Slept until 10:30
-Made breakfast & coffee: bacon egg and cheese biscuits, oj, hazelnut coffee.
-Said goodbye to Jess at noon
-Bummed around, little bit of housework
-Went to Jenna's apt. for lunch (sandwiches with her amazing home-made bread)
-Helped mom pick out fabric for curtains
-Got a variety pack of Belgian beer from Total Wine (thanks mom). A fun surprise for James when he returns from snowboarding.
-Walked the perimeter at Target (all the clearance stuff is at the ends of the aisles).
-Bought Zoolander, another surprise for James.
-Dinner at Chipotle (pork tacos).
-Home, played with Owen, more laundry and dishwasher stuff.
-Waxed my eyebrows
-Cleaned up the hot wax that Naomi spilled all over the floor
-Bed (with the help of some Ambien)

-Stony Point Church in the morning
-Lunch at Jason's deli with my parents
-Home for a quick power nap
-Franklin Street Community
-Coffee & yummy cookies at FSC
-Home, made lunches for tomorrow
-Welcomed James home into my loving arms
-Sleepy time

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Can't We Let These Ladies Live and Die in Peace?

It's a sad testament to the American public that Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith are the foremost stories in the media.

As a result of the set-up of my office (TVs in every room) I'm inundated all day with what the media deems as newsworthy. I try to watch anything other than the news, but many times patients prefer those 24 hour news stations of torture, so reluctantly, I concede to their wishes. For the past week, whenever such stations have been tuned to, the stories I have heard have to do with these two blonde(ish) ladies.

What I don't understand is why these stories take precedence over the 100's of other events happening all over the world that should hold much more bearing on our lives. How about just one example that involves 66,000 kidnapped children.

So Britney made some mistakes and has made herself look pretty silly over the years. Can't she just go to rehab and attempt to get her life back on track without her every step and new ink being reported on? And why does a judge who likes his name in lights get to draw out this silly trial for a week when the poor lady just needs to be buried?

Are people so sick of the War in Iraq being in the headlines, that they prefer something on the opposite end of the spectrum? Whatever the reason, it's just sad. America needs more hobbies so we can quite obsessing over celebrities.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our Parents Rock

Seriously, it's an amazing thing, the parents I have.

First of all, they're still married and love each other very much, which in today's society is a rarity.

The most recent example of how they're so awesome is the fact that they renovated our bathroom while we were gone. It was a real life episode of, "While you were out of the country, we worked for 15 days straight to change your completely demolished bathroom that had only a working shower and was stripped down to the studs, into a beautiful fully functioning bathroom that feels twice the size. Oh, and we also cleaned the whole house to get rid of the nasty dust that comes along with renovations and stocked your fridge with some home-made food."
I think it may be a new t.v. show on TLC next season.

My dad changed around all the plumbing, moving the fixtures to different places, rewired the electricity, and drywalled. I'm sure making innumerable trips to Lowe's, while working his extra full-time job. He's so talented. My mom did tons to help, picking out great lighting and hardware, decorating beautifully, and adding a nice touch of fresh flowers. (We'll post pictures when it's finished. They thoughtfully left the painting to us since they know how picky we are about those kind of things.) When we walked into the bathroom for the first time, you guessed it, I cried.

They have always been incredibly supportive and giving, it has only increased over time. I'm taking mental notes on all the ways they've loved me for the past 26 years, and how they've loved my husband as their son, and hope to be the same kind of parent to our children.

Not only do I have great parents, I've got great in-law parents. None of those stereotypical in-law issues here. We arrived at the airport Monday to find that my mom-in-law had made the 9 hour drive from Indiana to welcome us home and be the expert house-cleaner that she is: making our house spotless, our kitchen floor newly waxed, and our cabinets stocked. My husband's dad would have loved to come as well, but work calls.

Both sets of parents have been our biggest supporters in our endeavor to Scotland, and not just financially. It's so great when your parent's and in-laws are your friends too!

Our parents are pretty cool. I think I'll keep 'em.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Back Home in RVA

Ahhhhh, what a great feeling. Our 8.5 hour flight landed at Dulles Monday and I shed a couple tears of joy at being home. You haven't received much of an update recently as a result of our attempting to squeeze as much into our last week in Belgium as possible, and our inability to stay awake past 9:00pm while our bodies adjust to EST here in Richmond.

Just a few things I'm enjoying with greater depth after being in Belgium for a month:
*free public toilets
*free condiments at restaurants, especially mayonnaise
*Diet Coke (Coke Light is NOT the same)
*the sunshine!!!
*large drinks, unlimited refills, and free tap water instead of still or sparkling bottled water
*our king size bed (we slept on two single beds pushed together).
*real cheeseburgers, not mystery meat patties.
*the English language
*Owen and Naomi, my family, and friends
*my job

Just a few things I'm missing
*exceptional beer
*chocolate sprinkles served for breakfast
*a quieter culture (we Americans are LOUD)
*amazing public transportation
*beautiful architecture and really really old history (America is a baby; and in construction, beauty is sacrificed in the name of time and money)
*a slower pace of life
*our new friends
*Fanta Orange (it's a completely different drink in Europe)

Thanks for your support and encouragement while we were gone!

James checking out the guillotine, one of the many torture devices at the Castle of Counts in Ghent.

My skinny friend (please note the attractive, warm scarf made by my friend Valerie)

James' new buddy who aspires to be his equal in size.

Goodbye Friends! See you in Madrid and Mexico City when we visit!

One final self-taken potrait for you to enjoy