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Thursday, May 29, 2008

For My Wife on Her Birthday

So, it is not really her birthday yet, but I figured that she will still be surprised to see this when she opens it in the morning, so SURPRISE AMANDA!

I, being a man and liking to keep things simple, am not very good at blogging (see my one previous attempt where I narrated my post to Amanda). So I am going to my best to make this blog to honor my wife, and I intend to do so with one of those letter thingies...I think its called an Anagram. Anyway here goes

A - Amazing, back when we first started dating I remember coming up with words using the first letters of our names that were supposed to describe ourselves, and I told her that she should use Amazing because she is just that.
M - Makes me laugh with the ridiculous faces she makes (ask her to make one for you sometime)
A - Able to write very well. I think we can all agree that her blogs are entertaining and I tell her all the time she should be a writer
N - Never likes to be late. There is a joke in the family that if she says that she will be somewhere at 6:45, she will get there exactly at 6:45 or, more likely, 10 minutes early
D - Duck lover. She shares her passion of ducks with me all the time, whether they be ducks with afros, imaginary ducks, or baby duck, she loves them.
A - Alot of A's in her name haha. Really though, this A stands for authentic. She is the most authentic, real person I know. What you see is what you get and that is awesome if you ask me
J - Just about the greatest wife a guy could ask for (ok so that was a little sappy and predictable, but get over it!)
O - On the ball. If you ever give her a job to do, you can be assured that it will be finished as fast as she can do it a week before the deadline.
I - Insatiable appetite for chips and queso. I love eating that with her because it can sometimes count as sort of a meal I guess. Anyway sometimes I feel bad for the poor waiter that has to bring us 4 baskets of chips, but there is nobody I would rather eat them with than her.
N - Neat freak. If you have never lived with her then you just don't know. I regularly leave crumbs on the counter and I also regularly get dirty looks for doing so. I guess I should learn. Anyway if it was left to me our place would NOT be clean
E - Enjoys doing "wifely" things. I cannot tell you how cool it is that she likes doing things like cleaning and washing clothes. I hate those things and because she sorta likes them, it makes my life easier.
R - Reminds me every day of why I love her. Well she doesn't say anything and she doesn't tell me that I have to... but the 11 reasons I just wrote are only the tip of the iceberg.

So Amanda, here's to you on your birthday, and I can't wait to spend the next 3/4 of a century with you!

Ode to my look-alike

As you might know (because I advertise it shamelessly any chance I get), Saturday is my birthday. But equally as important, it is also the birthday of someone very near and dear to me—my very own identical twin sissy, Allison! She will turn 25 at 2:08 pm, and I will turn 25 a minute later at 2:09 pm. Yes, it only took those doctors 60 seconds to pull her out, notice that another baby was inside, and then quickly yank me out to prevent me from losing any more oxygen. Thank you, Allison, by the way for trying to kill me at birth!



Allison and I may not have always gotten along throughout the years, but since way back in our tight-knit days in the womb, we have always “done” life together. And as such, it is only fitting on my birthday to celebrate not just my life, but hers as well. And so today (2 days early, in true Nelson fashion), I present you with an ode to my twin sissy, my mirror image, and my BFF. Because I like lists, I would like to share with you the 25 things that I love/appreciate the most about her. Enjoy!

1. She is a planner. She makes lists in her sleep, plans itineraries for visitors months in advance, and knows what she will be eating for every meal for the next week at least.
2. She is always early/on time.
3. She likes food as much as (and sometimes more so) than I do. No one is as much fun to play the “if I could be eating anything right now, it would be…” game with.
4. She is thoughtful. She always makes sure your favorite candy is out in a dish if you come visit, and she was the first person to send me “real mail” after Brian and I moved into our new house.
5. I don’t have to explain myself to her. Ever. If I tell her a story about something irritating, I don’t have to explain why it irritated me, because she is probably already irritated just thinking about it.
6. She is reliable.
7. She is disciplined… whether that means waking up at 7:30 am on Saturdays in college just to do laundry, or getting in her morning work-outs regardless of how late she stayed up the night before.
8. She is gullible. Ok well she isn’t anymore, but she sure was when we were little. My brother and I actually convinced her that McDonald’s chicken nuggets were made out of duck meat.
9. Did I mention she maintained her lisp until 4th grade?
10. She’s fun to shop with.
11. She is the mother of a very volatile and often inappropriate imaginary baby duck named (aptly) “Baby Duck.” I receive phone calls from this duck on a semi-regular basis, and one time she even sent me a card in the mail!
12. She’s a good cook, and a good baker! She has recently become a cupcake connoisseur and will hopefully one day be running her own cupcake shop. In the meantime, I am just waiting for her to make me one. ONE freaking cupcake is all I’m asking for, sis.
13. She’s thrifty. If it weren’t her birthday, I would use the word that I usually use to describe her: cheap :o). But really, she knows how to stretch a dollar!
14. She is a loyal friend.
15. She’s pretty funny, although I wouldn’t admit this until I was older (primarily because she didn’t acquire this skill until later in life).
16. She’s a good dancer, and is one of my favorite people to dance with at weddings (even though she spends most of her time making fun of me).
17. She has good (translation: similar to mine) taste in music.
18. She let me boss her around for the majority of our childhood/young adulthood.
19. She has good fashion sense… when we were about 8 years old, she actually said the following to me: “Amanda, sometimes you have to sacrifice comfort for fashion.” So true, so true.
20. While I wouldn’t say she is fearless, she is not afraid to speak up for herself, and she often finds great delight in sticking to the man when she has been wronged.
21. She is a wonderful wife. She is very domestic and always makes sure Wade is well taken care of—I think he would agree!
22. On that note, she is supportive. No matter what happens, I know she will be always be one of my biggest encouragers and supporters, even if that means putting me in my place every once in a while :)
23. She calls and e-mails me every single day without fail.
24. She is trustworthy, and gives very helpful advice.
25. She is my original “other half” and I owe a good deal of who I am today to her.


So here’s to my sissy, the greatest identical twin sister I’ve ever had! LYLAS!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long time, no talk

Eek it has been quite a while since I last blogged… but don’t worry, I’m back in action. We had a fun Memorial Day weekend in Austin and Tuesday morning rolled around way too quickly in my opinion. My only solace in coming back to work yesterday was that I was/am one day closer to my birthday- hooray! Yes, that’s right, on Saturday my twin sissy and I will officially be 25 years old… or young, depending on how you want to look at it. I have no idea what the plans for the day are, as my hubby is keeping them top secret, but I am excited nonetheless because in my book, birthdays are equivalent to national holidays.

Anyway, back to last weekend. We ate out with the fam a lot, as is typically the case when we go home to Austin. I usually attempt to eat as healthily as possible in the days leading up to a trip home in anticipation of the food-fest that will inevitably ensue, but it never prepares me adequately. I always leave at the end of the weekend feeling morbidly obese and vowing never to eat again. That usually lasts for about 2 hours. So anyway, on Saturday night we had birthday dinner for me and for Emma (who turned 3 on Friday). She was a little bit sleepy (and therefore a little bit grumpy) but we still had a good time, primarily because she had a new My Little Pony AND Brian’s duck imitations to keep her occupied. On Sunday we went to Chrissy (high school friend) and John’s wedding which was a-mazing to say the very least. Here are 3 pics from the wedding for your viewing pleasure… one of the bride and groom, one of me with the bride, and one of me with Brian. Fun times.


We headed back home on Monday and now here we are. I don’t have much else exciting to report except that Noah somehow broke out of the fence again last night. Thankfully his plan was foiled this time, as I heard his collar rattling in the front yard (which would be unusual being that he stays in the backyard) and quickly went out back to check out the scene. When I discovered that Buster was alone in the backyard (and not participating in a questionably gay wrestling match with his brother as he usually is), I ran into the house and yelled to Brian that Noah had escaped. He shot out of the front door only to find Noah frolicking harmlessly within feet of our front door. Not sure why he decided to stay close to home rather than run away like last time, but we are just thankful that we didn’t have to spend the evening searching for him. Each day I grow more and more convinced that having dogs is preparing us for having children… children that dig holes all over the yard and try to break out of the house on a semi-regular basis.

Ok so blogs that just include updates on my life are boring, so I’m going to end this one now. Hopefully tomorrow or later tonight I can blog about something more interesting, like perhaps a response to my sissy’s most recent post!

Friday, May 23, 2008

My, how time flies...

So here is what I heard on the news this morning:

Temperatures are reaching a record high this morning. This afternoon, it’s supposed to feel like 104 degrees outside with the humidity. Gas prices are possibly going to rise 50 cents in a 3-day period this weekend. And of course, several people were murdered, a few buildings burned down, and the price of throwing a Memorial Day bbq will cost us 16% more than it did this time last year. I think they need to hire someone on the news stations just to intermittently say something positive. It would go a little something like this:

Anchorman: “And in this morning’s news, another person was murdered senselessly outside of a gas station. Meanwhile, 3 blocks down, a gang member set an apartment on fire which ended up burning down the entire building. Gas prices are scheduled to be $5 a gallon in no time, and you’ll all end up in poverty on the streets.”

Extra Person: “Today one of the giraffes at the zoo had a baby! A cute, tiny baby giraffe!”

And then they would flash up a picture of the baby giraffe for a few seconds until everyone forgot what was making us so miserable. Anyone else down with that? I thought so.

Ok so if you haven’t noticed, I am trying to win the award for mentioning cockroaches the most times in my blog. Last night when I was putting away an empty container, I noticed a familiar-looking friend kicking his legs and struggling not to end up like all of his other buddies… in my chip and dip tray. Vomit. Even after cleaning the tray, I am going to have a hard time getting that visual out of my head. What I want to know is: how the HECK are they getting into closed cabinets? There are no holes in there! Do cockroaches have the ability to teleport themselves, and I was just never told about this special power?

Brian, seeing the familiar pout on my face that ensues after finding a roach in the house, then made the foolish mistake of promising me that in the next house we live in, there will be no cockroaches. I laughed in his face, to which he replied, “OK, well there won’t be as many of them.” We’ll see about that, BJ!

In other more exciting news, my sweet little niece, Emma, is turning 3 years old today! It is hard to believe that 3 years have already gone by, and equally hard to believe that she is walking and talking and behaving just like a little person. She is sassy—just like her mommy and aunties—and fairly opinionated, as every three-year-old girl should be. Anyway, here is a pic of when she was just a month old, and then one that's a little more recent.



Happy birthday, Emma!

And lastly, I came home from work today to a WONDERFUL surprise... Brian had cleaned the whole house and washed the dogs! We had talked about doing it this afternoon and I really wasn't looking forward to wasting another Friday cleaning, so I was very pleased to say the least. Now if I could just figure out how to get him to volunteer to do this every Friday... :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another fill-in-the-blank kind of day

Maybe I should – paint my toe nails tonight because I’m not digging the clear polish look right now.

I love the smell of - chocolate chip cookies baking, camp fires (but I don’t like smelling like them), Brian’s cologne, anything vanilla-scented.

People would say that I - am addicted to facebook and blog-stalking. And they would be correct.

I don’t understand why – no matter how many times the exterminator sprays for bugs, the ROACHES WILL NOT LEAVE.

When I wake up in the morning – (my alarm gets out of warnings, I don't think I'll ever make it on time...) I turn off my alarm, get immediately out of bed, and go straight to the bathroom. I am not a snooze button pusher, that’s for sure!

I lost my willpower to – resist chocolate. Ever.

Life is – a highway, I wanna ride it all night long. Good song!

My past made me – who I am today? I don’t like this one.

I get annoyed when I – take too long to eat my Raisin Bran and consequently slow down my morning routine.

Parties are not a good time to – corner people into one-on-one conversations. Nothing bothers me more than when I’m trying to socialize and one person corners me and prevents me from talking to anyone else!

Dogs are – a handful, but well worth it. Noah and Buster are certainly evidence of this!

Cats are – cute, but usually pretty sassy.

Tomorrow is - one day closer to Friday! AND it’s the day of the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. Whoop.

I have low tolerance for – laziness, excuses, and potty mouths.

I’m totally terrified of – cockroaches eating my soul, losing a loved one, and being alone.

I wonder why I thought my life would be – different? Growing up I always thought I was going to be a hot shot lawyer or some studly executive right out of college. And here I sit in my fabric-covered cubicle…

I always knew I would – get married? I’m not sure what else I always knew I would do.

Never in my life have I – been skiing! Or eaten a pickle. Refer to a previous post for details.

High school was – fun! Brian says I still wish I was in high school. Life was so much simpler then, even if people were meaner.

When I’m nervous - I get antsy and irritable… surprise, surprise!

One time at a family gathering – I broke my foot playing Guesstures (charades). I have already blogged about this, but long story short—my word was “hurdle” and my landing didn’t go as planned.

Take my advice – drink more water and get more sleep! I am convinced that those are 2 big reasons why I hardly ever get sick!

Making my bed - was the first thing I used to do in the morning… before I got married. And it would continue to be the first thing I did every morning if it didn’t mean that I’d be making up the bed while Brian was still in it! So now it’s typically Brian’s job, which he does very well (when he remembers to do it) :o)

I'm almost always – worrying about something that isn’t worth worrying about.

I’m addicted to – dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses and gum. Currently I’m on an Orbit Sweet Mint kick.

I want someone to – offer me money to blog!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roaches are the root of all evil.

You might have a hard time believing this, but last night as I was crawling into the bath tub, I spotted another larger-than-life cockroach in the bathroom. He was just as large, just as intrusive, just as disgusting, but thankfully, he was already dead. Again, Brian swooped in to save the day by picking up the roach with some toilet paper and flushing it down the toilet. And again, I spent the next few trips to the potty fearing that the cockroach would crawl up my butt.

I seriously don’t know what I ever did without a husband, by the way. I guess in my younger days I had Allison, who I attempted to recruit as my lifetime indentured servant until Wade had to come along and steal her away. I was fully planning on her being my live-in maid/nanny, but I guess I’ll have to set my sights on another dream.

Anyway, I ask Brian to do so many things for me that sometimes when I get in bed at night, I wonder how I ever functioned before we got married. He fills up my Nalgene bottle before bed, he kills the bugs, he brings me my towel when I’ve forgotten to put it on the hook next to the shower, he makes the bed in the morning (please note that this is entirely by force because he has seen me cry—yes, cry—on more than one occasion when he forgot to make it), and he sometimes even goes to the grocery store all by himself to do our grocery shopping. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things that I do on my own, but it sure is nice having such a handsome helper around! If you don’t have a husband, I highly recommend getting one :o)

Is anyone else really incredibly excited to have a holiday on Monday? I am having trouble focusing on anything else. Except on the Grey’s Anatomy season finale on Thursday. And speaking of finales, did anyone else appreciate the finale of The Office last week? Brian and I couldn’t stop laughing, especially at the whole part about Dwight convincing the new girl that Kevin was retarded. That show is truly amazing.

Feliz martes, mis amigos!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Peace out, weekend.

It’s Monday again? Seriously? Does anyone else feel like it was just Friday? Such is life when you look so forward to the weekends, I guess.

This past weekend started off with a bang when my alarm clock went off promptly at 5:23 am on Friday morning. I got up and went straight to brush my teeth. As I was slowly coming out of my state of sleepiness, I noticed something unusual out of the corner of my eye moving quickly across the wall. Yes, you guessed it—a gigantic, soul-sucking cockroach. I hate them with a fiery passion, in case I haven’t already mentioned that. He was easily 2 inches long, and because our “master” bathroom is more like a small closet, Mr. Cockroach and I were way too close together for my liking.

I opened the bathroom door and “quietly” yelled (is that possible?) Brian’s name, jerking him out of his peaceful slumber. I informed him that there was a giant roach in the bathroom… I didn’t have to ask him politely to get up and dispose of said roach because he has learned that if I mention a bug is somewhere in the house, his husbandly duty is to kill it and get rid of it. So he stumbled into the bathroom, grabbed a shoe from the closet, and put our nasty little intruder to death. He then tossed the critter in the toilet for a burial at sea. And although he flushed the toilet (and I stayed there to make sure he swirled all the way down), I had a fear every time I used the bathroom for the next day or so that the cockroach would be resurrected from the dead and would surely crawl out of the toilet to seek revenge on me. That’s rational… right?

I’m not sure who spread the word that our house was a bed and breakfast for cockroaches, but I do not appreciate it. We found one in the guest room on Saturday that was dying/very close to death 1 pm, and when Brian finally went to pick it up TEN HOURS LATER, it was still not dead! How is this possible? I’m starting to think that cockroaches would have a really lucrative career at motivational speaking, because who else hangs on for dear life like that? Ok I’ve devoted entirely too much blog space to roaches now. I’m done.

I should also share that I received an interesting e-mail on Thursday that some of my readers may appreciate: a letter from Turbo Tax informing us (“valued customers”) that our rebate might be delayed if we used their direct deposit service. And guess who signed it? That’s right, none other than Bob “the blog crasher” Meighan, VP of Turbo Tax! Now was that so hard, Bob? Receiving that e-mail a month ago would have been nice. Anyway, my first thought is to say, “too little, too late,” but I am going to attempt to be gracious (we all know that’s not my forte) and just let it go.

This next subject is probably really immature to blog about, but I don’t care. Today on my way to work, I was wearing my sunglasses because the sun was particularly blinding. The great part about sunglasses (besides that they block the sun) is that you can stare at people in your rearview mirror, and they won’t know that you are looking at them. As some man pulled up behind me while I was waiting to turn onto 59, I decided to take advantage and stare away. Unfortunately, I got more than I bargained for because he was TOTALLY picking his nose. And not just the subtle “I can get away with saying I had an itch” picking, but I’m talking about shameless nose-picking. And when he was finished, he pulled out his finger and examined—even admired!—his findings. I wanted to turn on the song “Gold-digger” and roll down my windows and blast it for him. I guess that’s what I get for using my sunglasses to spy on strangers.

In townie news, we went out to Gringo’s (a Houston area Mexican food restaurant) with some friends for dinner on Saturday night. It’s not technically in Rich-Rose, but it’s not inside the loop either, so I’m still going to count it as townie news. Brian and I shared fajitas and they were really good! They also had free soft-serve (Jason's Deli style), so basically it's now one of my new favorite restaurants. We then hit up Sugar Land Town Square for their “movie under the moon” night. We set up some lawn/camping chairs and watched “Bee Movie”… under the moon. It was kind of hard to hear because of the giant fountain gushing just a few feet behind us, but from what I could decipher, it was a cute movie and a fun setting. And best of all, it was free! We will most definitely be trying out another movie under the moon in the future. Feel free to join us!

That’s all for now. Have a happy Monday… and remember, just 12 short days until my birthday! :o)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

They walk alike, they talk alike, sometimes they even think alike...

So I just read the “breaking news” that California overturned the ban on gay marriage. My first thought was, “Great. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.” And then I began to wonder how this 75-year-old woman got trapped inside of me, and should I let her out?

I won’t elaborate on my feelings (disappointment and frustration to name a few) on this controversial topic, but just know that I stand exactly where you would think I would stand, and that is in opposition to the court’s decision. But I think we’ll all admit that this blog doesn’t tread “deep” water very often, so I will stick to what I’m good at it and revert back to my shallow ways.

So who else is excited that Angelina Jolie is having twins? (How was that for a quick transition?) I personally couldn’t care less about the goings-on of the Jolie-Pitt family, but as a twin, I of course appreciate this. I have a good friend (shout out to Kaimey!) who actually gave birth to twins just last week, and let’s not forget about J-Lo’s newborn twins earlier this Spring. Maybe it’s in the water. Anyway, in honor of all the twins joining the world, I thought I would share just a few thoughts with you about what it’s like to be part of a pair.

First, let’s talk about the questions that Allison and I heard (and still sometimes hear) on a regular basis growing up:

Are you identical or fraternal?
The answer: Identical. And yes, we know that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are fraternal even though they look exactly alike.

Who’s older?
The answer: Allison

You would think by the anticipation with which people ask this question that the answer has some really monumental significance, and it is always one of the first things people ask. It’s usually asked more like a challenge, as if we competed intensely to be the first to come out of the womb and as such, reserve eternal bragging rights.

(To one) If I hit her, (to the other) will you feel it?
The answer: No. If you hit me, I will feel it, and I will likely hit you back!

So what’s it like being a twin?
This one always makes me laugh. It’s kind of like asking someone what it’s like to breathe, or what it’s like to be white. I have never not been a twin, so it’s kind of hard for me to describe what it’s like?

Do you like being a twin?
The answer: Yes. But in case you didn’t know, we didn’t really have a choice in the matter :)

I think what surprises people most about me (knowing that I’m a twin), is that I am very possessive and territorial, and probably one of the worst sharers you will ever meet. Just yesterday Brian was saying that if he asked me for a piece of gum, he didn’t know if I’d say yes or no. And I responded with, “Of course I’d say yes! … well, unless it was my last piece…”

One would think that being raised having to share everything (including a womb) would make me/us much more likely to be willing to share things with others. I think the opposite happened to us, however. Because so few things were really our “own,” we clung to those things for dear life and didn’t dare put them in jeopardy. So if you ask for a piece of gum or anything else that may say trivial and I very reluctantly say yes (I’m just trying to be nice) or if I am bold enough to say no, please don’t take it personally.

Another characteristic I chalk up to being a twin is my absolute inability to be in solitude. I HATE being by myself and doing things by myself. I think my husband suffers the most heavily for this one, because I insist that he joins me for practically everything that I do… trips to the grocery store, watching tv, going to the YMCA. And it’s not so much because I enjoy his company (even though I do), but it’s more so that I need his company. Kind of sad, isn’t it?

You will also almost never catch me driving in the car by myself without being on my cell phone. Please remember that Allison and I shared a car for 5 years, and as such, I become very accustomed to having someone to talk to while I drove. This makes the commute to/from work much more enjoyable for me, but (again, poor husband), Brian probably doesn’t appreciate that he has to talk to me for the first 5 minutes of my drive home even though I’m going to see him 10 minutes later. And yes, to answer your question, I do call Allison as soon as I hang up with Brian. And if she’s busy, I move on to my mom, or whoever else I feel like catching up with.

I could probably go on for days about my twin-ship, but I don’t want you singletons to feel left out, so I’ll spare you :) However, if you have any twin questions, facts, or trivia, please feel free to share!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Please pardon my sudden case of blog rage.

Ok so if you will kindly refer to the comment on my last post from “Bob,” you will see why my blood is boiling a little bit. Actually, you won’t see because “Bob” deleted the first comment that he left. The only difference, however, between the second one (that you can read) and the first (that he deleted), is that in the first, he addressed me as, “FratBoy Investor.” Very mature.

So I have a few things to say about this comment:

1. If this comment was made by a reader attempting to make a joke, your joke was not amusing. Instead, your joke served to put me in a foul mood while I ate my bowl of raisin bran this morning. So if you plan to make any further un-funny comments on my blog, please change your plans.

2. If this comment was for real, I fully intend to get a hold of “Bob” (the alleged VP of Turbo Tax) and let him have a piece of my mind.

3. I think it was fairly obvious that above all, my frustration was not that our checks wouldn’t be directly deposited, but rather that Turbo Tax did not notify us of this. And I have a hard time believing that notifying customers who are required to enter an e-mail address when registering would be such a difficult task.

So if you were the one that (a) played this joke or if you (b) happen to be Bob, please feel free to comment again so I can tell you how I really feel.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Turbo Tax, you OWE ME!

Ok so the mystery of our non-existent tax rebate has been solved. I checked our account obsessively on Friday, Saturday, and again today, but to no avail. I realize the government is slow, but the schedule on their website is so specific and doesn’t say “give or take a few days,” so I began investigating just to be safe.

After an unsuccessful phone call to the IRS's rebate “hotline,” I decided to get on turbotax.com (where we did our taxes) and see if I could find any information about what the hold-up might be. And lo and behold, Turbo Tax is the problem! Basically, we did direct deposit through Turbo Tax for our refund, and used part of the refund to pay for the processing fees. Well apparently when you do this, they create temporary direct deposit access into your account, but they don’t give the bank account information to the IRS. As such, the IRS doesn’t treat it as a direct deposit.

Go here to read about it on turbotax.com. My biggest frustration is that they didn’t send us any kind of e-mail or anything to notify us that our check would be delayed as a result of using their service. They apparently just expected us to stumble upon this information on our own. Fortunately, I am pretty obsessive, so it didn’t take me long to get there.

So the result is that we have to wait until June 13… 35 painfully slow days after the date on which we originally thought we’d receive it. Oh well, the damage is done (the tv arrived at our house this weekend!) and I’ll just chalk this up to another lesson in patience.

How’s the new tv, you ask? Well the main benefit for me is that I can sit farther away and still see what’s going on. What’s amusing is that Brian—who so desperately wanted this larger flat screen—still sits on the floor about 4 feet from the screen. I guess for him, it’s just about the added clarity of the picture. Regardless, we have welcomed the tv into our home and are satisfied with our purchase.

Did I mention that we recently joined the world of Netflix, by the way? So far, I’m a fan… although the first movie we rented was horrible. In case you were planning to rent “Enchanted,” don’t. Trust me. Next up is “Cloverfield,” which Brian insists that I will like. Anyone else have movie suggestions they’d like to share?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oh rebate check, where are youuuuuuuuuuuu?

Is anyone else sweating a little bit? According to the chart that I posted previously, Brian’s and my rebate check should be deposited to our account by May 9. Oh wait, today IS May 9… and still no check in sight. I know I shouldn’t be worried (yet), and that it will probably just happen later today, but in the back of my mind, I still have this tiny voice saying, “What if the government lied and they aren’t planning on giving you a rebate check after all?!”

And you know what my response is to that little voice? “Shove it.” Idealistic (translation: impatient) newlyweds that we are, we wisely decided to go ahead and spend our rebate money before it even got here. The waiting was just more than we could handle, and Brian is pretty firmly convinced that our lives will instantly be transformed for the better once we have a large-and-in-charge flat screen tv taking up space in our tv room. And who can blame him? I, too, feel that it’s important that McDreamy’s head is as large as possible on that screen, so that when I aim to throw my shoe at the tv in a rage against his love affair with the dumb nurse, Rose, I won’t have to try so hard to hit such a small target.

In townie news, our good friends Lauren & Drew are coming in town tomorrow with their loveable pup, Cali. We have big plans to go out to lunch and socialize while Cali, Noah, and Buster romp around our backyard together. I am just crossing my fingers that tiny little Buster doesn’t get squashed or eaten in the midst of the chaos. I’m not too worried, though, because he’s a pretty feisty little fellow. Anyway, we are debating between taking Lauren & Drew to Sandy McGee’s or Another Time Soda Fountain & CafĂ©. Thoughts?

Not sure what the afternoon will include post-lunch, but I can almost guarantee you that it will at some point end up with Drew and Brian planted firmly in front of the Wii. Did I mention that (in addition to Guitar Hero 3, mind you), Brian used his birthday gift card to Best Buy to purchase another video game? Gotta love that eternal teenager that I married, right? But seriously, I love you, B-ri :o)

And speaking of Brian, he will be making a debut in today’s Richmond fun fact. I recently read an article online listing the world’s most stylish cities, and jokingly forwarded the article to some family members asking why Richmond hadn’t made the list. Well in response, here is what Brian sent me:


(just click on the picture to make it bigger)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

You think you know me, but you have no idea

Ok so that’s not true. I am admittedly pretty transparent, and as you might have noticed, I don’t mind spilling many of the details of my life on this very blog. With that in mind, I am presenting you, reader(s), with a challenge. My sister-in-law created one of those “all about me” quizzes online yesterday (on which I scored a lame 50%) and inspired me to do the same.

So if you’re feeling lucky (or bored), click here to take my quiz and see how much you know about me. Feel free to comment with your results. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Out of my comfort zone

So the week before Brian’s birthday, I gave him a new “coupon” every day for various activities that he could redeem at the time of his choosing. He got a coupon for a free fast food date (I am not usually up for eating fast food unless I’m forced to do so on a road trip), a free pizza delivery/scary movie date night (I am not usually up for delivery pizza either!), a trip to Kroger instead of Wal-mart (he prefers the slow pace and older age range of the people at Kroger to the chaos and child abuse at Wal-mart), and one for a chips and queso outing (umm… this one might have been more for me than him). The final coupon that he received was on his actual birthday for an Astros game double date with Brittany and Chris, which, of course, he was required to redeem that night.

There was one more coupon given to him that I have yet to mention, and that perhaps presented the biggest challenge for me: one blog entry solely about sports written by me. If you know Brian, you know that he is a big sports fan. I am convinced that he forgets simple things like making the bed and putting away his shoes because his brain is so clogged with sports trivia and information. And because Brian very kindly reads my blog on a daily basis, I decided I would give him something entertaining to read. But if you know me, I am not so interested in sports, so this is slightly more of a sacrifice for me than eating a Big Mac or spending the extra money at Kroger.

So alas, here goes nothing:

As many of you may know, the Astros' season got off to a rocky start. But as of late (including in the game against the Brewers Saturday night that we attended) they have been catching up and actually doing (dare I jinx it?) well! According to espn.com (yes, I had to do research to write this blog), their current record is 17 wins and 16 losses. And much like Barack and Hilary are learning on the campaign trail, they may only be ahead by one game, but when it comes down to it, every game counts!

Because I have no sports knowledge whatsoever, I am going to make the following assessment based solely on my opinions. So here’s my theory: I think the Astros started out with a losing record to weed out their fair-weather fans. They decided that they would lose a few games, see what kind of alleged followers dropped off, and then—once their true blue (or should I say true red?) supporters were revealed—start picking up the pace a bit. That way, when they hear people chanting their names from the stadium seats and see people sporting their jerseys around H-town, they will know that they can trust these fans, and that they won’t give up when the going gets tough. Brian is a great example of a loyal fan… he never gives up hope for the Astros, and neither should you!

And as a side note, did you know that Miguel Tejada’s 2008 salary is $14,811,414, followed closely by Lance Berkman at $14,500,000? Doesn’t that make you throw up in your mouth a little bit? Not that I’m a professional athlete hater, but seriously? Ok moving along.

While we’re on the topic of Houston sports, let’s talk about the Rockets. I appreciate the Rockets for 2 mains reasons: (1) I have attended 2 of their games and (2) they have a gigantic Asian team member whose name makes for some really catchy songs. But anyway, their loss in the first round of the play-offs this year is particularly painful to me because it was to the Utah Jazz… a team based out of Salt Lake City. In case you didn’t know, Salt Lake City viciously stole my twin sister from me 2 years ago. And while I have enjoyed my visits to SLC, I still hold a grudge against the town. Now I have double the reason to do so.

And what really gets under my skin is that the same thing happened last year. Do you think Utah has it out for Texas? I’m thinking it might be a conspiracy. Regardless, apparently the Rockets have made a habit of losing in the first round of the play-offs, including to another Texas team (I think) 2 years ago (I think). Some fans might consider this a reason to be frustrated with the Rockets, and write them off as incapable of making it past the first round.

I, however, choose to view things in a different light: I applaud the Rockets for their consistency. At least they are sticking to a pattern, right? Would you rather them go all the way one year and not even make it to the play-offs the next? No way, you want a reliable team. So that is why I am ok with their first round loss. And if you find yourself getting riled up about it, maybe you need to adopt my viewpoint too. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fill-in-the-blank

I saw this on someone else's blog and decided to copy the idea :)

1. I'm looking forward to _____ next week.
hanging out with Brian (we really don’t have any plans for next week yet, so that’s all I’ve got)

2. I don't handle _____ very well.
snakes- ha ha; anything requiring patience

3. _____ is something I could eat every day.
A turkey sandwich

4. Warmth and sunlight _____.
have escaped Houston for the last couple of days

5. _____ here I come!
Weekend!... ok so it’s still 3 days off, but you better believe I was already ready for it first thing Monday morning

6. I _____ tattoo(s).
am too mainstream and unadventurous to get a

7. And as for the weekend, Friday I'm looking forward to _____, Saturday my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!
watching our first Netflix movie; hanging out with the Days!; successfully prepare a meal for my mother-in-law

Monday, May 5, 2008

Why I love the wave

So in my last post you read about how we attended an Astros game on Saturday night. I enjoy baseball games more than most sporting events for several reasons—the food is good (I am a big fan of crackerjacks and hot dogs), it’s a “wholesome,” All-American kind of game, it’s easier to follow than most sports (ok it’s easier to follow than football), the baseball players are generally good-looking (Brian, you can pretend that sentence said, “generally nice guys”), and they get cool intro. songs when they come up to bat. I have decided that my at-bat song would be “Little Miss Can’t be Wrong”… for (sadly) obvious reasons. What would YOUR baseball song be?

Anyway, of all the things I enjoy about baseball games, my favorite part (and I guess this could apply to any sporting event) would definitely have to be the wave. Yes, the activity where people stand up from their seats, raise their hands, and cheer in a domino effect around the stadium. It’s pretty magical, you have to admit. Think about all the effort that goes in to getting one started… you have to really rally the troops behind you in your seating area, or else you will just look like an idiot when you flail wildly out of your seat and no one else follows suit.

I also enjoy the wave because it gives me something else to watch besides the game. Even though I find baseball more tolerable than most sports, it still gets pretty boring… and nothing shakes things up and catches my attention like a good wave. And I love how the people at the “end” (the group that sits farthest from the start of the wave) are always the most enthusiastic. It’s like all of the anticipation has built itself up and they can hardly contain themselves by the time it’s their turn.

And in case you’ve ever been to an Astros game, I think you’ll agree that Minute Maid Park’s horseshoe seating arrangement is a perfect setting for the wave. You really get to see it from its conception until the very end… and if you’re lucky, just when it hits the end and you think it’s done, the other end starts it up all over again. And thus the magical cycle repeats itself.

The wave says, “We’re all on the same team!” (even if we aren’t), and is a product of real teamwork. In fact, I think that if all the nations’ leaders around the world would just get together at Minute Maid Park and get a wave going, we could really solve a lot of the world’s problems, don’t you?

One year closer to retirement

So another weekend has passed, and Brian has completed another year in his life! The birthday weekend—in my opinion—was a success, but you’ll have to ask Brian for confirmation on that. Friday afternoon was spent kicking off our church’s 24-hour prayer marathon and then watching Made of Honor at the movie theater. The movie was predictably cheesy, and predictably predictable, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. If you can get past the fact that it’s almost exactly the same (only the reverse) of My Best Friend’s Wedding, I think you’ll enjoy it. Brian even laughed at a few of the lines, so to all my male readers, there’s hope for you too.

We spent Friday evening having birthday dinner with Brian’s family, at which time he received his gift from his parents—Guitar Hero 3. Brian has been wanting this video game for months now, so he was understandably really excited about this gift. As soon as we got home from dinner, he popped it into the Wii and started jamming out. He asked me if I wanted to give it a try, and although I really didn’t have any interest in doing so, I figured I’d better go ahead and get it over with so that he could see how pathetically awful I was and never ask me to join in on it again. You see, I have never in my life played an instrument, so I figured that a video game based solely on one’s ability to do so wouldn’t exactly be my forte.

Not surprisingly, I was pretty awful. But surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it! “Slow Ride” has really been the only song I’ve been able to handle (on the easy level, mind you), but I have a feeling that in a few months’ time, I will work my way up to “medium” level and possibly be able to tackle a song that’s less likely to get stuck in my head for eternity.

Saturday (Brian’s birthday) started off as any good Saturday should with a long walk with our pups. We sufficiently wore them out for the day (mission accomplished) and got to enjoy some very pleasant weather. After we returned, I made Brian some French toast (I’m so domestic, I know) and then we busied ourselves getting ready for the day. For me, this meant showering, drying and straightening my hair, and picking out the right outfit. For Brian, this meant a quick shower and an hour or so of Guitar Hero. Go figure.

We then went to McAlister’s where Brian thought we were just meeting his family for an impromptu birthday lunch. Instead, he was surprised to see several of the youth group kids (and some parents) hiding behind menus when we arrived. Yes, Brian got his first ever surprise party! He was surprised—thankfully—so my work was done. After lunch we spent the afternoon looking at flat screen tv’s. I never realized what a chore this would be, but we looked and looked and looked until I thought my brain was going to turn to mush if I heard “1080p” or “120mz” one more time.


After a quick stop at Larry’s for some chips and appetizers, we met up with Brittany and Chris and headed to the Astros game (Brian’s gift from me). The weather was perfect and the ‘stros won (although I only know that because someone told me the next day… I have a very hard time focusing at sporting events). We ended the evening with a trip to House of Pies, which was straight out of the 50s in my opinion, and stuffed ourselves to the point of illness with larger than necessary servings of dessert. Yum.


Sunday was spent recovering and with the usual activities… me cooking dinner for the week and watching Lifetime movies while Brian performed his Youth Minister-ly duties at the church for 5 hours. Hooray! Now it’s back to Monday (barf) and back to work (barf). I think I’m going to turn my brain on auto-pilot and pretend it’s still the weekend. Feel free to join me.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Brian Wayne Joiner

Anyone know what tomorrow is? That’s right, it’s my husband’s 25th birthday! He will be a whole quarter of a century old… practically ready to join AARP and get himself a wheelchair. Of course, I shouldn’t say that since I’ll be catching up with him in 4 weeks, but I figure I should enjoy these next 28 days where he is my “senior,” right?

Here's a cute picture of him when he was little:



Anyway, I love him very much and am excited to celebrate the day of his birth, so in honor of Brian, I decided to write an acrostic about/for him… and for all of you to enjoy!

Bugs flee from him in fear.
Runs a lot like Phoebe on Friends.
Is a very talented hamburger-flipper.
Always puts a smile on my face (even when he makes me mad).
Never complains or makes me feel guilty for all the things I make him do.

Would give you the shirt off his back—he is very unselfish!
Avid video game connoisseur
Youth Minister by day, Dog Whisperer by night
Notices when I wear a new outfit or cut my hair… usually :o)
Excels in guitar-playing and worship-leading.

Joyful always, regardless of his circumstances
One of the easiest to please people that I know—that is a gift!
Imitates animals with great skill… and he imitates Kermit the Frog really accurately as well!
Night owl… “n” could also stand for “not so much a morning person” :o)
Enjoys watching bad movies on tv (and admits that they are bad).
Resourceful, reasonable, reassuring, relaxed! (I admit I pulled out the dictionary on that one.)

I didn’t find anywhere to put this in, but he is also very handsome :o)

Anyway, please feel free to leave comments with your favorite fun facts about Brian! And don’t forget to wish him a very happy birthday tomorrow (Saturday, May 3rd)!

Happy birthday, Brian! I love you!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Five

Well today happens to be the first day of the fifth (and my favorite) month of the year! So in honor of May Day, I stole a post idea from a random stranger whose blog I stumbled across. Enjoy and feel free to do the same:

Five Things on My To-Do List Today:
1. Work out
2. Do laundry
3. Do Bible Study lesson for Beth Moore study
4. Watch obsessive amounts of tv
5. Not eat everything in sight (I have had a bad habit of doing this lately!)

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses
2. Triscuit Thin Crisps
3. Peanuts
4. Chewy Granola Bars (peanut butter, chocolate chunk, and s’mores are my favorite flavors)
5. Chips and queso

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Pay off my car and any debt for family members
2. Give a lot of money to our little church
3. Not work anymore :) and become a professional volunteer!
4. Buy a lot of land somewhere and build a house on it
5. Go shopping and NOT go straight for the sale rack!

Five Bad Habits:
1. Slouching—I want to have better posture!
2. Complaining
3. Worrying
4. Picking on my sweet husband :)
5. Leaving all of my hair in the shower drain

Five Places I Have Lived:
1. Dallas, TX
2. Austin, TX
3. College Station, TX
4. Salamanca, Spain
5. Richmond, TX

Five Jobs I Have Had:
1. Camp Counselor
2. Chi Omega National Consultant
3. Youth Ministry Intern
4. Corporate Recruiter
5. Offshore Oil Rig Recruiter

Five Friends I Would Like to Tag:
1. Allison Oliver
2. Anyone
3. Else
4. Reading
5. This!