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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oops

I had a feeling that the last Richmond fun fact might have been a repeat... I should have gone with my gut! I apologize to those of you who are hungry for more Richmond fun facts. So here's a new one:

Today's new fun fact is about Calvary Episcopal Church in Richmond (the church we attend and the one where Brian works) Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas, signed the deed as a trustee of this church. The building was destroyed by a hurricane in 1875, but don't worry, it was reconstructed in 1878.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Wonderland, wonderland, shining stars, jingle bells!

Have y'all heard that song by Heidi Klum? It came out last year, but I have unfortunately heard it a few times this year as well. If you haven't listened to it, don't.

So we're back from a fun-filled Nelson family trip (minus Kelly & Andrew) to Santa Fe! It was chilly- just as predicted- and we even got snow on Christmas night! I, however, was the only one excited about this. Everyone else was moaning and groaning about how it would make the roads ice over and about how difficult it would make driving home the next day... which it was, but that's beside the point :) I was very excited about my first white Christmas, and made sure to yell "Yay!" over and over like a 5-year-old on the streets of Santa Fe. I'm so mature.

But anyway, we did a lot of eating, a lot of playing with Emma and Brown, a lot of walking around, and a lot (100+ rounds) of playing Apples to Apples. If you haven't played it, you most definitely should. Just don't play against me because I will beat you- ha ha :) For pictures of our trip, go here.

After 15 hours in the car on Wednesday, we made it safely home to Richmond. Sadly, Brian left for a retreat this morning and won't be back until Sunday. Boo :( However, my daddy is coming into town for work so I am meeting him and my grandparents for dinner tonight. And tomorrow I will be attending a Chi O alum/active/new member brunch with Brittany, Shannon, and Terrie... should be fun times!

So when Brian and I were on the home stretch of our drive (Austin to Richmond), a blog-worthy topic came up in our discussion: it really bugs me when businesses intentionally misspell the name of the business. For example, "Korner Kuts" is the name of a barber shop in College Station. In Santa Fe, I saw a daycare center called "Kidz Korner" (the "korner" theme is a coincidence). What is the deal with that? Does your business think it gains credibility by showing a blatant disregard for the English language? Or is that that you are just such a fan of alliteration that you refuse to have the words start with different letters?

Side note: I hate to be one of those people that just complains about things on my blog (or my "rant," as Brian refers to it), so I hope that I don't seem like Debbie Downer. It's really more or less intended to validate your feelings if you share them with me... or at least to validate mine- ha ha!

I am really excited for 2008 to arrive... not because 2007 was bad and I want to get rid of it, but just because it's exciting. There are already a few fun things on the calendar to look forward to (a few weddings, visiting my sissy & Wade in Salt Lake City one last time, having them move back to Texas, etc.). Besides, I think that 8 is a prettier looking number than 7 :)

Well it's been a while since the last Richmond fun fact, so let me see if I can dig one up for you:

Richmond-area historical tornado activity is slightly above Texas state average. It is 128% greater than the overall U.S. average.

Happy 2008, friends!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hit me baby one more time

So I was perusing the Houston Chronicle online today, and noticed two eye-catching stories that I just had to blog about:


The first was about a woman in Corpus Christi who had somehow "collected" (for lack of a better word) 237 dogs. 237. As in two-hundred and thirty-seven DOGS. In one home. I really can't see how this is possible, especially since my family used to have 3 dogs and it seemed like quite the full house (dog-wise). Anyway, the authorities-obviously-removed the dogs from the home of the 70-year-old woman because they weren't "living in healthy conditions." Wow, that's a shock. So anyway, they asked the manager of the city's Animal Care Services department to comment. She says about the dog woman, and I quote, "I think she slowly accumulated them to where they were more than she could handle." Really? You think? I can't believe an elderly woman couldn't maintain a house full of 237 dogs. I feel bad for the woman though, I'm sure she was attached to them and sad to see them go. By the way, can you imagine what it would be like for someone who was allergic to dogs to walk into that house?


The second article I read was about how Britney Spears's 16-year-old sister, Jamie Lynn, found out she is pregnant. I guess this really shouldn't come as any surprise, but it still makes me wonder if things could get any worse for this family. Not to say that having a baby is a bad thing, but I'm sure it was not the ideal outcome for this "role model" Nickelodeon star. Someone told me that the mom was writing a book on parenting... I'm sure it will be a real top seller now. The funny part of the article is that Jamie Lynn says she is shocked and didn't expect this to happen. I guess I can kind of understand that, but come on.

In other news, Christmas is less than a week away! I guess that's not really news (unless you are calendar-illiterate), but it's exciting nonetheless. Brian and I are preparing for a fun-filled Christmas in Santa Fe with the Nelson fam (minus Andrew & Kelly). The most exciting part is the forecast for Christmas day: High of 37 degrees! The only snow that I see in the near future forecast is on Friday, but hey, I'll even take left-over snow over no snow. Allison and I are bringing our matching Christmas PJ's, so that will be another highlight. Oh, and I made fudge for us to eat. I think that about covers the high points.

A shout out to all of my other hormonally imbalanced friends: today I listened to Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven" (the song from Mary's perspective before she gives birth to Jesus) on the way to work, and it actually made me tear up a little. I have probably heard this song 8 million times in my life, but for some reason today it made me emotional. Isn't that pathetic? Don't be alarmed, though... the same thing has happened in reaction to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episodes, as well as in reaction to this one Houston subdivision commercial that airs semi-regularly. Oh the joys of being a woman...

I have been doing a lot of blog-hopping and blog-stalking lately, and I realized that reading blogs from people who have babies is not smart. It just makes you want to have your own baby to post pictures of and talk about. Maybe the solution would just be to get a dog... although I don't think people would be quite as interested to read blog posts such as, "Our puppy is finally eating solid foods and sleeping through the night!" Maybe they would. Either way, I want a dog. The good news is that Brian wants one too, and our plan is to get one after the new year... so keep an eye out for a new addition to the Joiner household.
In case you only read bits and pieces of that paragraph, let me clarify that the new addition will be a puppy, not a baby :-)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ok, now I feel a little silly

So in case you read the blog recently, you might remember me talking about an incident at the Joiner house involving glass breaking and police being called in the middle of the night. It was a big mystery as to what happened, and I was creeping around the house paranoid that someone was going to break in and kill me. Well, I can fear no more, because today we discovered the real culprit: the glass from a hanging picture frame.

We have a frame hanging in our guest room that used to fall out of its setting (ok, it was cheap) all the time when it was hanging in my apartment. Well apparently I had rigged it pretty well, and it hadn't fallen since we moved in... until the other night. The reason we didn't discover it sooner is because the glass broke and fell behind the guest room bedside table... and stayed there. Needless to say, we felt both relieved and a little bit silly when we realized that we woke up 2 of our neighbors and called the police over a broken picture frame :) Oh well, chalk that one up as a lesson learned!

I realized I'm a loser today, by the way. My company had its Christmas luncheon from 11-1, and they were kind enough to let us take the rest of the day of when it was over. Most people went to hang out with friends, went shopping, etc. However, I came home and cleaned for 4 hours... and the part that makes me a loser is that I have been looking forward to it ever since I learned that we would likely get to leave early after the luncheon. Regardless, I feel much better sitting in a clean house. So there.

Busy weekend ahead- 3 Christmas functions to attend AND Shannon's birthday dinner! I heart the holidays. And I heart the recent seasonally appropriate cold front that came in... this is the way December should feel :)

Ok time to get back to watching a series of DVR-ed TV shows that Brian and I have missed this week. Until next time- adios!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside

That's not true at all. It's 80 degrees and humid outside. It is so humid that our front porch is covered in condensation and won't dry up, even though it hasn't actually rained. "It's beginning to feel a lot like summer, er, I mean Christmas..."

So I am at home enjoying my half day Friday and it is amazing. It has by far been my most productive day of the week, and might I add, the only time that I was at home this week during daylight. Very refreshing. I am officially finished Christmas shopping and very thankful that I won't have to compete with the crowds that will be out these next few weeks... although I'm stupid and will probably join them just because I like to see the stores all decorated.

Brian and I joined the YMCA last weekend. Yes, we do feel like we are 60-year-olds, if you were going to ask. We have gone twice at 5:10 am this past week (that's about as many times as I can drag Brian there per week without feeling guilty) and we were pleasantly surprised to see how many other people were up and working out so early with us! Watching other people's exercise habits can be pretty amusing. I watched one sweet woman pedal on the bike (I was spying on her screen and saw that she burned a whopping 90 calories in a period of 30 minutes... I think I could have beat that doing laundry or baking). Anyway, as soon as she got off the bike, she rushed out the door to get herself some coffee (nothing hydrates you like a cup of caffeine). As she was preparing her coffee, I watched her dump a butt-load (I haven't used that term in a while and I've been wanting to) of sugar in it. I just smiled and continued pedaling/fake running on the elliptical.

In other news, we had one crazy Wednesday night. Long story short: we heard the sound of glass breaking very loudly and clearly two separate times (within about 2 minutes of each other) and after checking out the house with a flashlight and baseball bat in our PJs, we decided to call the police just to be safe. They didn't find anything (here or nextdoor), but we know we aren't crazy... just can't figure out what happened. Needless to say, I am a bit paranoid now.

Ok so I'll end this post with one more confession: In my new office building, there is a set of elevators that has 2 on each side (facing each other). A lot of buildings - especially hospitals - are like this. Well I have to admit that every single time I get off of the elevator, I am turned around and can't figure out which way to turn unless I look for specific landmarks (ie: I know that our office is not on the side with the Christmas tree). For some reason, my brain just cannot conceptualize what side I am on when the elevator stops. It's as if all logic is somehow lost due to the upward/downward motion. And logically, I think that I would end up on the same side I was on when I got onto the elevator, but sometimes I don't think that ends up being true. Argh, I can't think about it. It makes my head hurt.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

Ok it's not true, I don't really want a hippo for Christmas. A puppy, yes. A hippo, no. And by the way, I had to look up the correct spelling for hippopotamus because I admittedly didn't know. That is huge for a spelling guru like myself to admit, trust me.

Speaking of Christmas, have you ever heard of that song, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"? If you haven't, then it's time to crawl out of whatever cave you have been living in. Anyway, I have (understandably) heard this song come on the radio a few times lately. Upon hearing it the other day, I remembered something (brace yourself, another embarrassing confession is coming): It wasn't until last year (possibly the year before) that I realized the song was talking about the kid's mom kissing the dad (who was, of course, just dressed up like Santa Claus for Christmas).

For many, many years, I thought it was such a strange song... I thought it must be based on some strange dream that a kid had about his mom kissing Santa. I guess I thought the kid had some abandonment issues from a father that left him, and he was hoping that Santa would be his new dad? And I remember thinking it was really strange that a song with such unusual subject matter had become so socially acceptable and popular. Fortunately, I never vocalized this, so I avoided a lot of personal embarrassment and was able to have that "aha" moment in solitude. But now I'm writing about it for all the world to see, so feel free to make fun of me. And by the way, I still don't really like the song very much.

Anyway, Brian and I had a fun- although quick- weekend in Austin for Brown's 1st birthday. He and Emma were, of course, adorable as always and much fun was had on the bubble bounce that was borrowed for his party. Here are just 2 pictures to capture the festivities:



I sure am glad we only live 2.5 hours away from these two- I would go crazy if we didn't see them every month!
Not much else to report here- the weather has been gross and unseasonably warm and humid... oh the joys of living in Texas. So to enjoy this rainy day, I have been cleaning, organizing, and watching Hallmark & Lifetime Christmas-themed movies to keep myself entertained. Brian is fulfilling his Youth Minister duties for 5 hours of youth group this evening... fun times!
Well, I suppose I should get back to watching "A Boyfriend for Christmas." As the title hints, it is a really complex plot and I want to make sure not to miss any of the important details :) Happy 23 days until Christmas!