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Monday, November 24, 2008

One fab day

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and already something to be thankful for: my high school pal, Kimmie has given me a blogging award! Many thanks to someone that kept me company in my love for Sesame Street characters several years after it was appropriate :o)!

So here are the rules:

First I must list 5 things that I find fabulously addictive:

1. Dairy Queen Blizzards – If you read my blog (ever), then this is probably no surprise to you. I’m not sure what the deal is, but I can’t go more than 2 weeks without one. I think they sprinkle a little bit of magic in those things.
2. Aveda products – I only own/regularly use 2 Aveda products, but they are my favorite by far. Somehow they just leave my hair smelling better than the Wal-mart brand of Head and Shoulders. Hard to believe, I know.
3. Marshalls – Much like DQ, I probably hit up Marshalls at least twice a month. And every time, I go at least partially in search of a pair of shoes. And every time, I leave without buying a single pair of shoes. Don't worry, my time is not wasted for I have made many a purchase there, just none that happen to be for my feet.
4. Facebook – Ok so maybe this isn’t fabulous, but it’s most definitely an addiction. I literally feel behind in my day if I haven’t checked all of the updated profiles from that day. And usually once I’m done doing that, I click on the photos tab and find myself perusing total strangers’ photo albums in hopes of finding out what my 1st grade best friend wore to a Halloween party. Because that, my friends, is essential knowledge.
5. Return-address stickers – If you’ve ever donated money to a charity, you have probably received a pack of these in the mail. Maybe this makes me a huge loser, but I just think it’s a really useful gift. Unless, of course, the stickers come complete with some old lady looking floral design (usually printed next to “Mr. Brian Joiner”… very masculine), but that doesn’t stop me from using them.

Now to share the love with 5 fabulous bloggers:

1. Stephanie D. because she’s one of my favorite new friends from Bible Study AND she has 2 very cute little girls!
2. Stephanie C. because it’s always important to show love to fellow WHS class of ’01 Chaparrals. And because she also has cute kids :o)
3. Bonnie because she’s also a fun friend from Bible Study. And that’s right, also has a cute kid!
4. Maryanne because she is one of my bestest friends and maybe this will motivate her to update her blog for the first time in almost a month :o) And by the way, she has 1 cute kid and 1 on the way!
5. Stephanie H. because I already had the other 2 Stephanies on here! And because she’s great.
6. (Yes, I cheated) My sister-in-law, Kelly, because she is family, duh!

To conclude, I have a lot of friends named Stephanie and I have a lot of friends with children. Have a happy Thanksgiving week, all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stolen from a stranger... as usual

Sometimes (daily) I read total strangers' blogs. And sometimes they have fun blog ideas that I want to steal. And today is one of those times.

The idea is that you can only answer the questions using images. Enjoy, and feel free to copy!:

1. Where do I live?

2. What do I do?

3. What do I drive?

4. What do I wear?

5. What do I believe?

6. Where is my favorite place to vacation?

7. What is my favorite hobby?

8. What do I do in my spare time?

9. What do I want most this holiday?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I have LBS.

Yes, that’s right. I have Lumpy Butt Syndrome. I am wearing a new pair of pants today, and little did I know before I left the house that the pockets on the rear give me a lumpy butt! Tell me something, ladies: when in your life have you ever used the back pocket for anything on a pair of FITTED work pants? It just seems really silly to me that they are even there, but maybe that’s just me.

I also have a confession today: I abandoned my turkey sandwich-fruit-chips lunch today and rebelliously went out to eat instead. I packed my lunch and brought it with me and everything, but about an hour before lunch time, I just wasn’t feeling it. So what did I do? I e-mailed my husband and conned him into joining me for lunch at Cupcake Café. Actually, my exact words were, “Let’s go to Pappasitos/Cupcake Café/anywhere that isn’t turkeysandwich-ville.” Sometimes turkeysandwich-ville is just not going to cut it. And let me say that we made a wise decision, as Cupcake Café was delicious as always. We shared the pesto pollo sandwich and ginormous yellow cake cupcake with fudge icing. And so what if I’m still full 4 hours later? It was well worth it.

Also, Brian deserves a special shout out today. He drove to Beaumont yesterday to meet up with another Youth Minister friend and didn’t get home until 1:15 in the am from his visit. Despite his late night and full day of driving, he still woke up at 5:10 (4 hours of sleep later) to go to the YMCA with me! I’m guessing his work-out today wasn’t the best he’s ever had, but I appreciated him coming with me nonetheless.

So that’s about all that my lumpy butt and I have to say today. I am pretty pumped to watch The Biggest Loser tonight after last week’s big upset. More thoughts on that later. Adios!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why have children when you can have dogs?

Finally! We turned on the heater! It is a rare thing in Houston for the temperatures to be low enough to actually warrant turning on the heater. It’s definitely nice that it’s warmer inside the house than outside for a change. Looks like summer has finally decided to peace out… maybe now some of our leaves will start falling? Fat chance.

So we had another fun-filled weekend in Richmond. Allison and Wade came into town on Friday afternoon so that Allison could join my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and me at the Houston Nutcracker Market. Immediately upon their arrival, they were forced into taking pictures for us in hopes of getting a good one for the Christmas card. Allison hates taking pictures for me, primarily because I have a tendency to be somewhat particular. You’re shocked to hear that, I know.

So anyway, the plan was to include Noah and Buster in the picture, which would have been totally fine IF our dogs weren’t mentally-handicapped and completely incapable of being obedient for more than 3 seconds at a time. Ok that’s an exaggeration, they can probably last a good 20 seconds. But anyway, problem number one was that the cat who lives across the street from us, Eli, decided to come frolic in our driveway, aka: mercilessly taunt and tease our dogs. We love Eli and kind of pretend he’s our cat, so we didn’t dare tell him to leave, but he sure wasn’t helping matters much. Let’s just say they were a tad bit distracted.

Well then Allison and Wade pulled up, adding to the excitement, and pulled Rocky (their little white puppy) out of the car. Confused as to what the convulsive fur ball was and why it was in their yard, Noah and Buster of course responded appropriately by trying their hardest to break free from their oppressive leashes and see what the heck was going on. Obviously Brian and I, their insufferably uptight parents, didn’t want them to eat Rocky (for some reason I think that would deter Wade and Allison from making any future visits…), so we held onto the leashes for dear life and didn’t let them go.

In the meantime, I hand the camera over to Allison and politely insist that she takes pictures of us with the dogs in a few different spots in the yard. I don’t have any of the attempts on this computer, but just trust me when I say that the dogs weren’t exactly focused on the camera*. I think this is a taste of what it would be like to photograph toddlers. Or bumble bees. Or something else jittery and uncooperative.

Well in between pictures, Buster apparently decided he would have no more of this oppression. And what did he do? Yes, he quickly gnawed his way off of the leash. Who does that? I guess he is smarter than we give him credit for, because I would have expected him to just continue pulling harder on the leash in hopes that we would let go. So he of course makes a run for it, making the painstakingly difficult decision of which animal to chase: Eli or Rocky. In the end, both little critters scattered away for fear of being licked to death by little Buster Brown.

Eventually a suitable Christmas card was taken, but needless to say, it was no easy task. And unfortunately for my husband, my frustration with the dogs was directed at him. Sorry, Noah and Buster, but I’m not sure we’ll be pushing to get you in any future family photo ops.

After that, Allison and I spent the evening shopping with Terrie and Shannon at the Christmas Market. But if we’re going to be honest, only one non-food-related item was purchased, and we spent most of the time sampling toffee. I’m not even that crazy about toffee, but there were enough samples to feed a small country, and who I am to refuse free food? We followed the evening up with dinner at a very townie Mexican food restaurant—La Cocina. The food probably isn’t the best in the Houston area, but there was no wait at 7 pm on a Friday night, so you won’t hear me complaining! And my mother-in-law very kindly bought our dinner, so a big shout out to Terrie for that—thanks, MIL!

We finished the evening up by hanging out with Rocky and the boys at the house before calling it a night. The Olivers left early on Saturday, so because we were already up, we decided to hit up Walmart. Brian did whisper “Bingo” to me a few times during our trip, but I must say that it is a much, um, classier crowd at 10 am versus, say, Sunday afternoon. We spent the rest of the day running errands and (get excited) we finally went to see High School Musical 3. It was just as I expected—cheesy, predictable, and totally awesome. I don’t think Brian was all that impressed, but I bribed him with dinner after the movie at Five Guys (read: greasy hamburger and fries), so he kept his mouth shut. Thanks, Brian!

For some reason, when we got home from the movie, Brian thought it would be a good idea to turn on the Vince Vaughn re-make of Psycho right before bed. If you’ve seen the movie, I think it goes without saying that I didn’t take a bath that night. On Sunday we did the usual church activities and watched our latest Netflix movie—Ratatouille. Very cute. And to answer your question, yes, we did watch a lot of movies this weekend.

Now we’re back to another work week, but fortunately, Thanksgiving is in sight, as is a 6-day weekend for me (putting my vacation days to good use!), so I think I’ll survive until then. I’ll do my best to blog later this week, and hopefully it won’t be a detailed chronicle of the happenings of my life, since I know that probably isn’t as fun for you to read as it is for me to write. Adios, peeps!

*Edited to add: I got on my laptop at home and thought I'd add a pic that really captures the essence of our Christmas card photo shoot. They look so focused, right? Just not on the camera, unfortunately...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Next thing you know, I'll be blogging about Nascar...

So last night Brian and I were watching tv (The Biggest Loser to be exact… more on that later) when we saw a commercial for the Today Show. Apparently they’re airing a segment on germs, and in the commercial they say, “You’ll be shocked to learn some of the places where we found the most germs!” and then it flashes to a picture of a grocery store shopping cart. Shocked? Seriously? To learn that a shopping cart handle is covered in germs?

Apparently these people have never been in the Rosenberg Wal-mart (or any Wal-mart for that matter), because based on my experiences there, I would be shocked to learn that a shopping cart wasn’t covered in all kinds of communicable diseases. They might as well have flashed to a picture of a port-a-potty, or a public pool. And that brings up a good “would-you-rather?”: Would you rather lick the handle of a port-a-potty door 10 times OR lick the handle on a Wal-mart shopping cart 10 times?

And while we’re talking about Wally World, please allow me to give you a visual of the crowd that kept us company while we were waiting to check out on our most recent visit:

To our right: a very large woman with a t-shirt on that had “G-UNIT” written across the chest. She was, of course, with a screaming baby, whom she was, of course, ignoring. Is it that you can’t hear your child screaming bloody murder, or you’ve just stopped caring? Either way, the rest of us can hear him quite clearly. And now that I think of it, the “baby” was more like 6-years-old. In the words of my sis-in-law, Kelly, it made me want to stick my head in an oven.

Behind us: a man with a rat-tail pushing a shopping cart filled completely with an obscene number of giant cans of hominy. Seriously, like 50 or so cans. Why on earth would you need that much hominy… ever?

In front of us: an entire family wearing matching purple “family reunion” t-shirts that listed every single family member’s name on the back, complete with what I can only hope were nicknames like “Bubba” and “Lil’ John.” I assume they were either right in the middle of their reunion, or that they love the t-shirts so much that they intentionally wear them in unison whenever they leave the house.

Sometimes when I'm there I can’t remember if I’m shopping for groceries or if I've somehow walked right into the middle of a traveling circus. And for those of you that can relate, I have to pass along a forward that I recently received called Wal-mart Bingo. The idea is that you take the bingo card below with you to Wal-mart and see how quickly you can get a BINGO by checking off the things you see. I dare you to read these without laughing (you might have to click on it to make it bigger):

I think my favorite is “pregnant woman with visible ‘tramp stamp’ tattoo.”

And as for my thoughts on The Biggest Loser—weren’t Vickie, Heba, and their husbands just so tacky last night? I’m embarrassed for them that their behavior was displayed on national tv for all the world (including their kids!) to see. You can lose all the weight in the world, peeps, but it isn’t going to make a lick of a difference if you act like a big jerk. Deep thoughts, I know.

And speaking of (not) losing weight, Brian and I have another buy-one-blizzard-get-one-free coupon thanks to my membership in the DQ Blizzard Fan Club. And guess what—this month’s blizzard-of-the-month is Reese’s, my very favorite! So you can guess where we’ll be going tonight after he gets home from church. Oh the joys of being a townie… maybe if we’re lucky we can hit up one of the city’s dollar stores while we’re out, or better yet, the Tractor Supply Store! :o) Nothing but love for you, Rich-Rose, nothing but love.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A restful weekend at home…?

This past weekend started off on Friday as most weekends do in the Joiner household with a trip to Wal-mart and a thorough cleaning of the house… two of Brian’s favorite activities, as you might have guessed. However, when you combine that with an oil change, a trip to the dry cleaners, and some premature Christmas shopping (I’m a planner, I can’t help it :o), it doesn’t leave much of the day to just relax. Brian also had a junior high lock-in at the church that evening which we both were planning to attend. Suffice it to say that we were already ready for another weekend to begin by the time Saturday morning rolled around.

I actually only attended the lock-in for a few hours, whereas Brian endured it in its 13-hour entirety. Let me just say that 5 minutes with middle schoolers is enough to wear me out for a week, so I’m not sure how he physically survived the whole evening. Don’t get me wrong—they are a great group of kids, but where do they find all that energy? I don’t think the endless supply of cookies and soft drinks really helped matters, but what would a lock-in be without unnecessary amounts of food that your mom won’t usually let you eat? Anyway, after a few “getting to know you” games and the world’s longest battle of Capture the Flag, I was ready to pass out. And pass out I did… for 10 hours.

I should also add that it was pretty cool to get to see Brian in his element—their drama, their uncontrollable hyper-activeness, and their unwillingness to stop.talking.ever. didn’t seem to phase him one bit. It seems that youth ministry truly is his calling… I totally thought he was just doing it for the money. HA! :o)

So anyway, Saturday was an adventure. We decided to take Buster and Noah to the dog park because the weather was perfect and we have been talking about taking them for quite some time. We also decided that we would swing by Jamba Juice and eat “lunch” while we played. Little did we know that it would turn into the world’s longest and most repulsive trip to Jamba Juice ever…

Let’s just say that we couldn’t find the Jamba Juice that we were looking for (we had an address, but couldn’t seem to find it), and so our adventure was already off to a rocky start. After some bickering and several u-turns, we decided just to head to the familiar Jamba Juice in Sugar Land and go to a park nearby instead. So if you know me at all, you realize that this fact alone frustrated me because of the precious time (as if we had better things to do) and gas money we had wasted.

So we were driving along, me in a bad mood and Brian trying desperately to get me out of it, when we turned around to admire how funny it was that Noah was coating Brian’s truck in saliva—inside and out—and how sweet it was that Buster was sleeping peacefully in the back seat. Or at least how sweet it was until we realized that he was sleeping next to a giant pile of his own VOMIT.

Fortunately, we had put a towel in the backseat for any drool that was being slopped around, and he managed to barf on the towel. Unfortunately, however, he threw up on the other side of the back seat (where there was no towel, mind you) just minutes later. So we pulled over as quickly as possible (which was not easy considering there was traffic—yes, on a Saturday afternoon… it’s Houston) to a gas station. I took the dogs on a little walk while Brian got to clean up the barf—lucky guy, I know. And let me tell you, when he was finished, Noah and Buster had NO interest in climbing back in that seat at all. I wonder why?

So we proceeded on our trip, thinking Buster’s car sickness had passed, and I gave him a nice tall cup of water to drink, which he inhaled in about 60 seconds. Big mistake. Almost instantly after getting back on the road and FINALLY swinging by Jamba Juice, he threw up again (mostly water this time) all over the back seat. It didn’t take much for us to realize that the dog park was not going to happen.

We quickly got on the highway and headed home. I talked to him and scratched behind his ears and tried my best to distract him, and he was SO CLOSE to making it home with no more incidents. So close, but yet so far. As we were turning onto our street (our backyard in sight), poor Buster threw up a fourth and final time. Fortunately, the turning motion of the car caused it to spread all over the backseat. Awe. Some.

So can you guess how we spent the next hour or so? Yes, that’s right, shampooing and vacuuming out Brian’s car. And then to alleviate our bad day, we watched the Aggies lose miserably to OU… what a great day, right? Fortunately we turned it all around with a fun semi-townie date—dinner at El Tiempo, followed by yogurt at Berripop ... annoying name, but very tasty, I promise.

For the record, Brian stuffed his face like I have never seen him do before. He consumed four heavily loaded beef/chicken fajitas for dinner. FOUR. Plus chips. I had 2 lightly-loaded fajitas of my own and was pretty stuffed. And then he finished all of his yogurt (blueberry with fruity pebbles on top) and part of mine (raspberry pomegranate with fruity pebbles on top). How is it possible that he is so thin? The world is an unfair place.

And by the way, I realize that these establishments are not in Rich-Rose, but the fact that they are in the Houston area will make them count as townie-worthy, ok? Besides, there are only so many restaurants in our area and I think we’ve tried all of the good ones by now. All of them except Bob’s Tacos, which I plan to try some day. And the dog park was only 16 miles from our house (George Bush Park)… it’s the thought that counts, right?

Oh, and for those that were curious, we ended our date by watching our latest Netflix movie—Legends of the Fall. I had never seen it, and while Brian assured me that it would be a good movie (it was), he did NOT warn me that it would be incredibly depressing. So in case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s your fair warning.

Have a great week, peeps!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A series of unrelated thoughts

I apologize in advance for the lack of cohesion in today’s post. :o)

I had a realization recently that 2 of my favorite things share the same initials: California Pizza Kitchen and Cabbage Patch Kids. Coincidence? I think not. My favorite meal at California Pizza Kitchen? The Waldorf Chicken Salad. My favorite Cabbage Patch Kid? I never owned this doll, but rumor was that there was one named Amanda Jane (which, for those of you who don’t know, is my middle name as well!).

A good way not to make friends (as observed on my way to work this morning): cruise on the freeway during rush hour going 20 miles under the speed limit… with your collection of pink stuffed animals proudly displayed in your back window and a “git ‘er done” sticker on your bumper. What does that even mean? Get what done? And who puts a “git ‘er done” sticker on the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier?

Today is a significant day in history indeed… 10 years ago today, I got my braces off! Don’t ask why I remember these things, I just do. And in case you were wondering, Allison got her braces off that day as well. We got them on and off at the same time… because that’s how identical twins roll. Except I was always adventurous and would get different colored braces… ie: red and green during Christmas. Allison played it safe and ALWAYS got the silver ones. I think it’s pretty clear who the boring twin is :o).

We get it, Barack Obama is black. Can the media please move on to a new topic now? Thanks. It is great that the USA has taken this step forward, etc. etc., but don't you think that the more they harp on his race, the less of a step forward it really is? (This is by no means meant to be a controversial statement, by the way… it just seems that it’s all they are talking about on the news now! How about let’s discuss his credentials instead? Or his lucky number? Or his favorite breakfast food? Just anything else, please.)

We celebrated Buster’s pretend birthday on Halloween! And by celebrate, I mean that we left town and abandoned him and Noah. Poor guy. But nonetheless, his loving Aunt Allison and Uncle Wade got him a cute chew toy as a gift. He slept peacefully with it the first 2 nights, chewed one of its legs off the 3rd night, and the 4th night (last night) apparently tried to consume some of the chew toy and vomited twice in his kennel. What a fun sight/smell to wake up to, right?

And that's about all I have for today! I realize I have been slacking on townie updates lately, so I will make sure to incorporate them into my next post in some way. Until then, have a good one!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If this doesn't motivate you, I don't know what will.

I’m not sure which one is more exciting to me: this or this. Either way, both are great news. Granted, I don’t think I will be taking Ben & Jerry’s up on their offer… Halloween wasn’t exactly good for my effort to avoid obesity, so I figure I should steer clear of ice cream for a bit, even if this day does come only once every 4 years. Nonetheless, I encourage all of you to (a) vote, and (b) go to Ben & Jerry’s. And try the chocolate fudge brownie (frozen yogurt or ice cream)… you won’t be sorry. And if ice cream isn’t your thing, word on the street is that Starbucks and Krispy Kreme are also in on the freebie action, so feel free to stop by one of those instead.

And about Grey’s Anatomy, I think it’s safe to say that we are all ready for this shady story-line to come to a halt. In fact, I think it’s safe to say we were all ready for that before it even got started. Besides, Dr. Hahn talks like Kermit the Frog and the whole crying scene that we were all forced to endure last week was as painful for the viewers as it was for Callie O’Malley. And now I’m going to stop advertising my addiction to trashy tv shows.

And because I have nothing exciting to blog about (other than the same old, same old about the election), I’m going to share with you a few things I am really looking forward to in the coming months:

1. FINALLY getting to see High School Musical 3. I think I’m going to try and convince Brian to see it with me this weekend. He’s a lucky guy, I know.

2. CHRISTMAS. Yes, it’s in exactly 51 days for those of you who are counting! I don’t care that the stores already had their decorations up before Halloween was even over—in fact, if I had it my way, decorations would be up in August, and it would be permissible to listen to Christmas music year-round.

3. Oh, and Thanksgiving too. That’s a good one.

4. The arrival of my newest nephew, Sayers Wheeler, on January 7, 2009… or at least that’s when his c-section is scheduled to take place! I’m not sure that it’s possible for a child to be cuter than Emma or Brown, but I’m sure he will give it his best effort.

5. A trip to Washington D.C. Brian and I are headed there for a vacation the week before Christmas! We are going to visit a few friends and enjoy a real winter (one that doesn't involve weather conducive to wearing flip-flops) while doing very tourist-y things. This will be our first “big” trip together since our honeymoon!

That should suffice for now. And again, if you didn’t already vote, make sure that you do. I’m a very firm believer that if you don’t exercise your right to vote, then you lose your right to complain. Happy election day to you all!

... and feel free to join me in saying a little prayer that we will be seeing lots of RED on that map tonight! :o)