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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Because I don’t feel like coming up with transitions between unrelated topics today

Buster and Noah reached an important milestone this past weekend—they attended their very first puppy play date! We had a bring-your-own-dog lunch at our friends, the Higgins’, house along with our newly engaged friends, the soon-to-be Cruikshanks, and in total, there were 5 doggies present. We all watched the furball frenzy nervously, hoping that our dog(s) wouldn’t be the first to destroy any property or inflict bodily harm on the other dogs. Fortunately, the dogs all behaved very well, and aside from Buster’s incessant barking and Noah’s need to “mark his territory” repeatedly in the Higgins’ backyard, they did nothing to embarrass us. And also fortunately, Buster did not vomit in the car. Amen to that.

Have you all seen that Weight Watchers commercial that has been playing lately with the little orange fuzzy guy named Hungry? I think I have a crush on him. And I think Brian might as well, because last night he became rather indignant when the woman in the commercial smashed Hungry in the copy machine. And on that note, I also think the stack of dollar bills that follows people around on the new GEICO commercials is pretty cute… doesn’t take much to pull me in, huh?

I really don’t have much to say about last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser. I will say, however, that Tara is really hardcore. At first I was impressed and thought she was really motivated, but now I am starting to question whether or not she is on steroids. Also, I hope David knows that he totally blew it for Daniel. I’m glad Daniel still managed to lose weight at home, but STILL. Talk about putting a strain on the friendship. And I also wanted to say that I was a little let down by the “football challenge”… there really wasn’t very much football to it. They could have used ping pong balls, or beach balls, or ham sandwiches for that matter and accomplished the same task.

I went to College Station for work this week AND I ate at Shake’s. This really doesn’t need an explanation, because if you went to A&M, you are already jealous.

I am totally a fan of the arctic blast that came through last night, but kind of upset that I don’t live in an area where winter weather advisories were an issue. (A) I wouldn’t have minded work being cancelled and (B) I kind of think extreme weather and/or natural disasters are exciting. That’s right, I enjoyed hunkering down and waiting for Hurricane Ike, and when I was younger and lived in Dallas, I used to secretly hope that the local tornado sirens would go off. So of COURSE I was hoping for some icy roads this morning, but no luck.

And that is all for the day. Now we will return to your regularly scheduled programming. Or reading. Or whatever.

Because there's no one like '01, baby

It is no secret that I was fond of my high school days and have been known to reminisce about them a time or two. Brian used to tell me I was obsessed with high school and still wanted to be in it, but I think that was really only because (a)I was working with high schoolers at the time (and therefore adapting their behavior)… and (b) I was still watching Dawson’s Creek for 2 hours every day. So sue me. :)

Anyway, a friend from work found this “high school” tag and passed it along to me, so I thought I would give it a shot. Feel free to copy and do the same!

1. Did you date someone from your school? Yes. There were a few someones, but the main someone was for about 2.5 years. 2.5 years that I will never get back, sadly!
2. What kind of car did you drive? Red Jeep Grand Cherokee—I shared it with Allison… and as with most of my possessions, I use the term “shared” very loosely.
3. Did you pass your driver's license test on the first try? Yes indeedy
4. Were you a party animal? Yes, if a party animal is someone who occasionally participated in renegade dance parties in the high school parking lot?
5. Were you considered a flirt? Ha I had my moments… and Mary Locker always accused me of “ditzy driving” whenever boys were in the car.
6. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? None of the above
7. Were you a nerd? Well I was smart, but I don’t think I was lumped in with the nerds.
8. Were you on any varsity teams? Yes—soccer. And I was a captain, so boo-yah.
9. Did you get suspended/expelled? No, but I did get called to the principal’s office for wearing a shirt with a “plunging neck-line”…!!!!!
10. Can you still sing the fight song? OF COURSE. "Fight the team across the field, show them that Westlake’s here… send the earth reverberating with a mighty cheer (GO WESTLAKE!)…" ok I’ll stop there.
11. Who were your favorite teachers? I really think I liked all of my teachers, but I guess my 2 favorites were Coach Anderson (soccer) and Mr. Lassiter (Teen Teaching)
12. Where did you sit during lunch? On the right side of the cafeteria until senior year (off-campus lunch… so hardcore)
13. What is your school's full name? Westlake High School
14. School mascot and colors? Chaparrals; red, white, and blue
15. Did you go to Homecoming and who with? Yes, all 4 years, although it wasn't an actual semi-formal dance until junior year- 9th (David), 10th (David), 11th (Eric), 12th (Jeremy)
16. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Nope… had fun while it lasted but I’m glad to be who and where I am today!
17. What do you remember most about graduation? Getting in a physical fight with Allison on the way home from Project Graduation in the wee hours of the morning!
18. Where did you go senior skip day? I don’t think we had a senior skip day, but I can pretty much guarantee that I wouldn’t have attended even if there was one.
19. Were you in any clubs? Yes- I was co-secretary of the Community Service Club, are you impressed?
20. Have you gained some weight since then? Well I did after college, but I think I am actually back to the same size I was senior year. Thanks to off-campus lunch, I'm pretty sure I gained my "freshman 15" as a high school senior instead of a college freshman.
21. Who was your prom date? 11th (Danny) and 12th (Jay)- I actually really liked prom both years, which is more than a lot of people can say!
22. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? Yes! And I will drag Brian with me, of course.
23. Did you have a job while in high school? Yes… being awesome.

Ready, set, copy!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Pretty exciting that today's "Verse of the Day" (on the left side of the screen) is my favorite verse! In case you are reading this after the fact, here's a reference for you:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. - Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

I can see clearly now, the crack is gone…

And no, I’m not talking about recovering from a drug addiction.

Do you ever just have that feeling that something in particular is going to happen and you just can’t shake it? I believe they call this intuition, but if you’re like me, sometimes it borders on obsessive compulsive paranoia. So anyway, I had this feeling for a few weeks that I was going to get a crack in my windshield. I have no idea why, other than the fact that I have never had one before, and just assumed my time was coming. But anyway, I was fairly convinced that it was going to happen.

Either due to the fact that I’m a psychic, or the fact that I live in a highly populated area and drive on a highway amongst thousands of other vehicles on a daily basis, my prediction came true the week before last. I don’t even know when it happened, but I do know that I got in my car one day after work and there was a ginormous crack on the passenger side of my windshield. Was it in my line of vision? No. Was it going to lead quickly to my windshield bursting into pieces? Probably not. But did I need to get it fixed IMMEDIATELY? Of course. And anyone else with a personality that is heavily inclined toward both instant gratification and perfection can completely relate. Plus, I have to be honest and say that I think windshield cracks are really tacky. I know that I am risking offending some of you who happen to be blissfully cruising around with existing cracks in your windshields, but I’m sorry. I judge you.

So anyway, I asked around and a co-worker gave me the name of a place nearby that could do the job. She warned me that it wasn’t the most formally-run business in town, but that everything seemed legit and she was pleased with the work they did on her car. So off to A to Z Windows (or some equally creative business name) I went! And I say “I,” but I mean “we,” because I do not venture into car repair territory without my husband. I tend to get insecure in new environments where there is the potential for someone to ask me a question to which I do not know the answer. And when it comes to cars, there is a very high probability that I will not know the answer.

So the first sign that we were somewhere safe was when we pulled in to the parking lot and noticed that the business premises were fenced off with barbed wire. Excellent. We walked into the “lobby” (read: blank walls, a glass window separating customers from the employees, and a “coffee table” decorated with phone books—in various languages, mind you—for reading material) and got in line. Meanwhile, the local gang had apparently decided to have its weekly meeting in the lobby and proceeded to stare down the conspicuous looking young couple that just entered the door. Very comforting. I confidently told the man what I needed, to which he responded, “Did anyone give you a price?” Well I had, in fact, done my homework and called earlier that week, and was quoted a price. But the point is this—could I have just listed any price and he would have matched it? Because if so, I should have said ten bucks. I didn’t, however, because unlike this blog might suggest, I am actually quite the rule-follower.

So I told him the quoted price, and he nodded his head in agreement (phew, passed the first test). He then asked for my keys and told me to come back in an hour. Um, you don’t need my name? Phone number? License? Proof of ownership? Guess not. I dropped the keys in his hands and said a silent prayer that my car would still be there upon my return an hour later.

We ran some errands and came back at the appointed time, and lo and behold, not only was my car there, but the windshield was repaired! Well, better than that, it was replaced! I forked over the dough (and was somewhat surprised to learn that the “establishment” accepted payments other than cash), and upon perusing my receipt, noticed that this glass company (whose primary business is replacing windshields) referred to them as “winshields.” I guess that’s spelled like it sounds, so I didn’t fault them for it. Ok well I did a little, I can’t help it.

We said our goodbyes and the friendly man told me to make sure to leave the blue tape outlining the glass on there for 24 hours. I mean, I’m no expert on glass or cars, or anything along those lines really, but it seems to me that if a windshield is going to attempt to escape from my car while I’m driving 70 mph on the highway, a little tape isn’t going to stop it. But for good measure, I left it on there for 48 hours. Because I am nothing if not an over-achiever.

And I’ll have you know that other than questionable rattling noise accompanying me to work this morning, I have been quite pleased with the result, and the price for that matter. Just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or a glass repair shop by its barbed wire fences.

Let me end this post by telling you that I had planned on including more weekend coverage in this entry, but because this has already gotten a little lengthy, I’m going to wrap things up and move on. Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good thing I'm literate

My loyal WHS friend, Kimmie, tagged me, and because I have no entertaining stories to tell you about the Y (update: my machine was open today, since you were all dying to know), I figured I'd give it a shot!

[1] Grab the nearest book.

[2] Open to page 56.

[3] Find the 5th sentence.

[4] Post the text of the next 2-5 sentences and these rules.

[5] Pick the closest book (not the favorite, cool, or intellectual).

[6] Tag 5 peeps!

(So I'm assuming that my wedding album doesn't count, considering it is lacking in one important item for this tag: text.)

"It is the apostle Paul. . . . The apostle who was bound only by the will of God is now in chains- stuck in a dingy house- attached to a Roman officer. He is writing a letter. No doubt it is a complaint letter to God. No doubt it is a list of grievances. . . . He has every reason to be bitter and complain. But he doesn't. Instead he writes a letter that two thousand years later is still known as the treatise on joy - Philippians. Why don't you spend some time with it?"

Grace for the Moment, Max Lucado

This great little one-year devotional book lives on one of our coffee tables, and as I am currently hanging out in our living room, it is the closest one to me. So there you go! I believe someone (Katie, was that you?) gave it to me as a gift when I went off to college, and in fact, I think I will pull it back off the coffee table and have Brian go through it with me this year. So thanks for the motivation, Kimmie!

I tag (sticking with the WHS theme):

Fight the team across the field, show them that Westlake's here...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who says it's fun to stay at the YMCA?

So for those of you who joined me in skipping Inauguration coverage in favor of The Biggest Loser, is anyone interested in traveling to Detroit with me to slap Joelle in the face? I know I mentioned this same desire last week, but I am still really in favor of it. And let’s please review the jumping challenge last night: she did not complete one successful jump. Not a single one. I highly suspect that a wheelchair-bound participant could have beat her in this challenge. All I’m saying is that she doesn’t really deserve to be on the show. Harsh? Perhaps. True? Most definitely.

And I have to say that as I was watching the show’s ending, I had to blink a few times and check the info button on DVR to make sure I wasn’t actually watching an episode of The Hills by mistake, because that ending could not have been any more scripted! There is no way that a fully conscious person would have willingly voted to keep Joelle on the show. No possible way. I have to admit that I almost lost my faith in the show upon realizing that (brace yourselves) reality tv is not as real as I might have thought. WHO KNEW?!

So as long as we are on the theme of people ruining other people’s work-outs, let me tell you about my visit to the YMCA yesterday morning. We strolled into the work-out room at approximately 5:19 am, and as I walked through the door and made my way toward my usual machine, I noticed that something was out of place: there was a man using my machine. Ok, ok, so my name is not written anywhere on the elliptical, and my 2-visits-per-week schedule there doesn’t exactly give me the privileges of a regular, but WHO does this guy think he is? Every Tuesday/Thursday I get on the same machine at the same time, and suddenly Mr. New Year’s Resolution-ist (using labels and getting angry helps me get over things, obviously) is taking over my space.

Suffice it to say that he just about ruined my day… is that a tad dramatic? The good news is (phew, here comes the silver lining) that there was an identical (open) machine about 5 feet away. The problem is this: my regular machine is placed conveniently in front of a tv that plays the news in the morning (ok if we are being honest, it plays Fox News, which is purely a coincidence and has nothing to do with yesterday’s conservative rant!). Anyway, the alternate machine, aka: the life-ruiner, is placed directly in front of the tv that plays ESPN in the morning. I am pretty sure that I would rather watch paint dry while working out than news coverage of various sports events between teams I usually care nothing about. Brian will be disappointed to learn that… but then again, I think I’ve made my feelings on ESPN pretty clear to him in the last year and a half or so.

Anyway, somehow I managed to survive the work-out. But let’s just hope that “my” machine is available tomorrow, or you might be reading the sequel to this post. And I have a feeling you aren’t as interested in my YMCA woes as I am. Happy hump day to you all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A return to shallow thinking

Confession: I caved in and ate my afternoon snack (normally scheduled for 3-3:30 pm) at 1:50 pm… approximately 1.5 hours after finishing my lunch.

Confession: Hunger struck (again) around 3:45 pm, so I made a voyage to the vending machine.

Confession: Even though I went up there with the intention of getting semi-harmless fruit snacks, I decided on peanut M&Ms instead.

Confession: I accidentally pushed D1 instead of D10 (I thought I had to press 1 and then 0… didn’t realize there was a 10 button!) and got a Baby Ruth instead… slightly worse for me.

Confession: I ate it anyway. The whole thing.

And to make myself feel better, I’m going to devote my evening to watching The Biggest Loser. Does that make me a horrible person??

Pardon me while I get political

Alternate titles for this post: And here’s where I offend some of my readers

But don’t worry, this will be brief!

I realize that today is a big and important day in our nation’s history. And while I personally did not vote for Barack Obama, I realize that he does have some strong points and I’m sure he will do many great things as President. Do I think it will be tough for him to live up to all of the hype about him? Sure. But nonetheless, he has the momentum and support to get a lot accomplished, so I wish him the best (as if he needs my blessing).

I do, however, find one piece of news that I heard this morning to be very frustrating. Obama has promised that one of his first actions as President will be to pass legislation (a reversal of legislation passed by Bush) that allows taxpayers’ money to help support International “family planning” groups that promote abortion or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion services.

According to CNN, when Bush initially passed the legislation against using our money to support these groups, he said, “It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion.”

Anyway, I will not beat a dead horse here, because I think it is obvious where I stand. But I just have to say this: I think it is absolutely ridiculous that taxpayers’ money will be used to support any groups (here or internationally) that promote, encourage, or condone the so-called “right” of a person to take the life of another human being. Because in my opinion, “freedom of choice” is only applicable to what you do with your own life, and does not give you the freedom to choose whether or not another human being gets to experience life.

But with all of this said, I don’t mean to sound hopeless or defeated, because I know that God is not limited by legislation, or by lawmakers for that matter. And so on that note, I am going to drop the subject. Don’t worry—I’ll be on to more life-changing topics like the latest happenings on The Biggest Loser soon enough. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I need to get a life

Ok so first of all, I ate more than my weight in tortilla chips at lunch today, and I’m fairly certain that I am in some kind of food coma. So please forgive me if this is not coherent.

Secondly, I have discovered that my behavior when my husband is out of town is nothing short of paranoid. In my mind, the house settling is very clearly Jack the Ripper opening the attic door to climb down and attack me. And those tree branches tapping at the window? That would be the robber trying to sneak in through the back door. And please don’t even get me started on the neighbors that watch me leave the house to go running or walking in the morning when he’s gone… it’s pretty obvious that they are just waiting for the perfect moment to rob us blind and/or burn down my house.

But here’s the good news—I was facebook chatting with my good pal, Chrissy on Friday night, because that’s what cool kids in their mid-20s do on the weekends (that’s not the good news, I’m getting there). And did I mention I was also watching Varsity Blues at the time? Is my maturity showing? Anyway, I was relieved to learn that I am not alone in my craziness. Chrissy is also married to a Youth Minster, and he also happens to travel some on the weekends. Let’s just say that her husband was also out of town this weekend, and she might or might not have admitted to taping paper over the window on her front door. Because hey, the only thing worse than being abducted is having to see the intruder coming, right, Chrissy? :o) I’m just glad not to be alone in my paranoia.

Moving right along, it is probably no news flash to you (unless you know nothing about me) that I am a bit of a stickler for grammar. And for following any rules, for that matter. I’m not sure if any of you can relate to this, but I honestly find grammatical and spelling errors to be almost offensive… as in, I would rather listen to my husband clank his cereal spoon against his teeth or to a person run his/her nails down a chalkboard than some of the grammatical catastrophes that I encounter.

Can I just please point out a few to you, in case you were not already aware of them? Thanks.

1. “Supposedly” – this is the way the word is spelled. This is also the way the word is pronounced. I simply cannot understand people who cannot sound out words. I know, I know, I would be a horrible kindergarten teacher. And that is why I am a recruiter that works in a fabric-covered box instead! But anyway, it is not “supposably,” or “supposively,” or any other variation that you have deemed appropriate. Now say it with me… “supposedly.”

2. “Broke” vs. “broken” – If something is not functioning and in need of repair, it is “broken.” If you were to tell me that your “computer is broke,” then my response would be this, “Well, then give your computer some money.” You can say, “Oh my! The computer broke!” After that point, the computer is broken. Not broke.

3. “Moot point” – yes, I’m aware that “moot” is a funny word, and sounds more like the combination of the sound a cow makes and a bodily function than an actual word. But it is, in fact, the correct word to use when you are saying something is a “moot” (read: irrelevant for the time being) point. If you refer to it as a “mute” point, then either you are referring to a point that was never stated out loud, or a point scored in a competition between the “mute” and “volume” buttons on your remote control. Amusing? Perhaps. Correct? No.

I know it might seem like I'm overreacting, but really, I can’t stress to you enough how passionate I am about correct grammar usage. And yes, I realize this gives you full license to point out any past or future errors I make in my blog… feel free to do so. But also, please be aware that my pride will prevent me from thanking you for pointing it out :o)

Have a great day, readers, and happy grammar-ing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apparently today is not going to be a self-esteem booster

Well, peeps, I had yet another piece of mail with my name on it today! That's right, 2 days in a row, so boo-yah. The bad news is that it was an unrequested mini-magazine from Weight Watchers. So if you thought you'd do me a favor and drop a hint by ordering one for me, thanks, but no thanks :)

I also had someone tell me today that I'm not very photogenic. At least that was a little more to the point, I guess?

I think I'll put on my pj's (check), eat an unnecessary amount of Starbursts and Hershey's kisses (check), and watch last night's episode of American Idol rejects to make me feel better about myself.

And PS- just in case my sarcasm was too subtle in this post, I'm not really having a self-pity kind of day. Just thought those were amusing occurrences.

Who said TV couldn’t be educational?

Upon arriving home from work yesterday, I was excited to find not one, but TWO items in the mail with my name on them—the latest issue of Real Simple and the latest issue of Cooking Light. And although that sentence might suggest that I am cruising into my mid-40s, believe it or not, I am, in fact, only 25 years old. Anyway, being that our mail normally consists of a thrilling combination of ads from our local Fiesta and various other coupons addressed very personally to “Resident,” you can imagine my excitement.

Because Brian was still out of town and I was on my own for the evening, I decided to go ahead and tackle both magazines rather than putting them off for a few days like I usually do. And because I am nothing if not a multi-tasker, I thought I would turn on the tv and give myself a little background noise. I settled on the news (again, I promise you I’m only 25), and while flipping through the DVR menu, I saw that Oprah had ended not long before I turned on the tv. Curious as to what the latest episode was about, I went to her time slot and hit the “info” button. And here is what I read:

“Oprah discusses topics before a studio audience.”

Well thank you, Captain Obvious, I never would have guessed Oprah would be (a) discussing topics or (b) doing it before a studio audience. That was a real shock.

My tv-watching continued for the duration of the evening, and of course that included two fun-filled hours with The Biggest Loser. Ok first of all, if you didn’t tear up when they all started helping Dave (David?) up the hill when he was in last place, or when Jerry got the boot, then you might want to sit yourself down and really think hard about whether or not you are actually human. So anyway, to make light of the show’s depressing moments, they included a great deal of footage to showcase Joelle’s (not sure how she spells it) whine-fest 2009. Much like with Vicky in the last season, while watching last night’s episode, I almost wished I weighed 250+ pounds just so that I could go on the show just so I could have slapped that girl in the face.

Anyway, annoying though she may be, her behavior did prove to be somewhat amusing. At one point during the show, there was a temptation scene where the hostess was offering people money to walk off the show and forfeit their chances of winning. The first offer they made was $5,000. Joelle’s response?: “FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS?! You can get a house in Michigan for $5,000!” Um… what? I mean I know the housing market fluctuates from place to place, but I didn’t realize you could get such a bargain in Michigan. I’ll make sure to keep that in mind next time we are looking to buy a house.

I also wanted to add that the morning stand-in news anchor currently taking Lauren Freeman’s place informed Law and Order fans today that in spite of Mariska Hargitay’s lung collapsing, she does not plan to miss any SUV. I thought her character was part of the Special Victims Unit team, but I guess it’s possible that she in, fact, investigates crimes regarding sports-utility vehicles. That sure sounds like an exciting new plot twist.

So a special thank you to the television for making me a little bit dumber each day. And while we're at it, a special thank you to DVR for making it possible for me not to miss these special moments.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just call me “Mina”

Well I have some good news, folks—Brown decided that my name is no longer “Yucky.” Instead, I am now addressed as “Mina,” and I’m married to a foxy guy known as “Bri-nan.” And on a somewhat unrelated note, there was a little girl that lived next door to us when we were growing up who couldn’t pronounce “Allison” and “Amanda,” so she called us “Sally” and “Man.” Well, understandably, she also couldn’t tell us apart at the ripe age of 2, so she referred to us both as “Sally-Man”… no point in telling that story other than my amusement at finding so many variations of one name.

So anyway, we had a fun, though fairly exhausting, trip home to Austin this weekend. As evidenced in my previous post, Sayers was so adorable that I considered kidnapping him from my own sister and brother-in-law. It has been a while since Emma and Brown were born (3.5 years and 2 years, respectively), so I had forgotten how teeny tiny newborns are. He literally would have fit in my purse, although somehow I can’t see his parents agreeing to that method of transportation. Regardless, Brian and I both got to spend some time holding him and watching him sleep, which is somehow infinitely more entertaining than watching an average person sleep. Maybe it’s the unusual ways in which he contorts his little face, or maybe it’s the fact that he is the size of a small puppy, but somehow you just can’t take your eyes off of him while he is snoozing. Or eating. Or sneezing. Or simply existing for that matter.

Our time with Emma and Brown served as a pretty sharp contrast to our time spent with Sayers. It was really a whirlwind of My Little Ponies and pirate-talk, to tell you the truth. Emma has really become quite assertive (as one who shares the same attribute, I have learned this is simply the polite word for “bossy”) these days, and it was never more evident than when she was around her new baby brother. And let me put the emphasis on her baby brother. She was fairly confident that no one else was capable of (or allowed to, for that matter) holding him properly, feeding him properly, or existing in his presence properly. We were reprimanded on more than one occasion for “waking up baby Sayers” and doing things that “baby Sayers doesn’t like.” How anyone has ever raised a child without Emma’s help, I’ll never know!

It was endearing, however, to see that she is already very protective of her new baby brother, and her reaction is greatly preferred to the other possible response—“get that baby out of here!” So it definitely could have been worse. Brown was more or less blissfully unaware that any change had taken place. Occasionally he would notice Sayers in the corner of his eye and come over to pat (more like assault) the baby’s head and give him a kiss, commenting that, “Baby See-ers is cuuuute!” And then he would quickly go back to treating Brian as a jungle gym or otherwise expending his never-ending supply of energy.

Brian definitely won the good sport award for the weekend, as his main role really was to exhaust Emma and Brown so that they would fall asleep more easily that night. He played in the bubble bounce, fought against the foam pirate sword, watched Bambi 2 (less depressing but not nearly as good as the original Bambi), and even spent some time playing with the My Little Ponies in Emma’s bright pink tent. I don’t think it was all sacrifice for him, however—my dad was watching Brian and Brown play with trucks and commented that Brian looked more into it than Brown was. Had there been Transformers involved, I’m fairly sure that I would have had to drag Brian away.

Needless to say, we had fun hanging out with the fam, but were more than ready to hit the hay upon our return on Saturday night. And looking back at the weekend, it’s kind of funny that my first response when we saw Sayers (mind you, this was before Emma and Brown had arrived at the house), was, “Look at how cute and precious he is! I want one!” and I think Brian almost agreed… until 24 hours after babysitting set in. He then looked at me and said, “Hey, how do you feel about adopting 8-year-olds?” So I guess we’ll be waiting a little longer before adding to the colony of Nelson grandchildren—you’re welcome for that, Franny and Pop Pop! :)

And a big congrats to Lorne and Maryanne Liechty, by the way, for welcoming their 2nd daughter, Mary Kate, into the world on Sunday—we can’t wait to see pictures and meet her in person!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Warning: You WILL want to steal this baby.

As promised, below are some pics from our weekend visit to meet baby Sayers! Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen? Anyway, I will blog more about our visit later!

Friday, January 9, 2009

On the road again...

Sometimes I feel like my life is a never-ending series of weekend trips to Austin. For a while I blamed these trips on wedding-planning, but the wedding is over a year behind us, so I have had to come up with new excuses. Having my twin sissy and her husband move back to Austin along with the seemingly ceaseless births of children brought on by my baby factory of an older sister really haven’t helped matters much.

If we could just scrape enough cash together for a private jet, I think it would make the travel a little more bearable. In the meantime, we’re just going to have to suck it up, buckle in, and try to enjoy the ride. Fortunately for Brian, he has a very chatty wife, so at least we are never lacking in conversation topics. Unfortunately for Brian, however, he also married a major backseat driver. I’m not this way with other people (well, except maybe with Allison, but that’s another story), but something about riding shot gun in my own car while watching someone else simultaneously endanger my vehicle and my life just brings out the control freak in me. Let’s just say that I have been known to mutter under my breath that a certain someone in the driver’s seat needs to get a refund for the driver’s ed class he allegedly passed in high school. And maybe “mutter under my breath” is a bit of an understatement…

But anyway, we are very excited to go to Austin this weekend to meet the newest member of the Nelson clan—little baby Sayers. And yes, I will be sure to take my camera and behave as the paparazzi for all of the Wheeler children. Emma is sadly at an age where she doesn’t like to ham it up for the camera like she used to, but fortunately Brown is more than willing to smile on command, and Sayers is too young to stop me, so I’ll be sure to come out of the weekend with a picture or two.

I don’t have much else exciting to share with you, except for the fact that Brian is ditching me for work not once, but TWICE next week. So feel free to send your pity my way. Or feel free to come clean my house and do the grocery-shopping for me. Either one is fine. :o)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baby Sayers has arrived!

My newest nephew has arrived!

Sayers Ward Wheeler
Born Wednesday, 1/7/09 at 12:56 pm
8 Lbs and 0 oz
20 ¾ Inches

I wasn't able to be there to greet him, but word is that he has dark hair like his big sissy, Emma, had when she was born... and of course, word is that he is cute. And he looks like a newborn, who would have thought?

I don't have any blog-friendly pics yet (where he isn't covered in goo or showing off his privates), so I thought I'd share this cute one of baby and mommy with you in the meantime :)

Things that make you go hmm…

Yesterday someone asked me how to pronounce my last name. I’m not sure if that person had forgotten my last name and that was his polite way of asking what it was, or if he suddenly forgot the rules of pronunciation for the English language, but personally, “Joiner” doesn’t strike me as very phonetically complex.

Did anyone else watch TBL last night? And if so, was anyone else really confused as to how Jerry (the grandpa) lost 25 pounds in one week? Did he do anything besides go to the hospital? Don’t get me wrong, the old couple is definitely my favorite so far, but I was just baffled. Brian thinks the hospital scale (where he weighed in separately from the group) might have been rigged. But then again, he also accused a couple of the groups of being up to “shenanigans” that resulted in inflated weight loss. Apparently we need to take this show a little less seriously.

In case you don’t live around these parts, you might not have been experiencing the weather’s severe mood swings as of late… but I’m pretty sure I was comfortably walking around in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops on Saturday, and then left the house today wearing a jacket, scarf, and gloves (among other things). But don’t worry, it’s supposed to get back up to 78 degrees tomorrow. I think I am going to have a talk with the weather about the importance of consistency. And about my inability to deal with change, especially on such a frequent basis.

And I think that’s about it for my deep thoughts for the day. Hope the weather where you are is as nice as it is where I am… for now anyway!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Double whammy

A word to the wise: If you ever want to feel poor, unfashionable, and ugly, arrange for a J Crew catalogue and a Pottery Barn catalogue to arrive at your house the very same day. Make sure to read them while wearing mis-matching pajamas and stuffing your face with tortilla chips while impatiently waiting for dinner to be ready.

The real kicker is that I never requested EITHER of these catalogues to be sent to me- I apparently made purchases at both stores at some point and they have continued to plague me ever since. Don't get me wrong, I think both stores are great, just a tad on the pricey side for this newlywed.

J Crew, to answer your question, NO, I am not willing to spend $100 for ballet flats. Pottery Barn, to answer your question, YES, I would be very willing to spend in excess of $1,000 (yes, seriously) for that cute sofa ("sofette"?!), but I'm afraid it's not going to happen. Better luck finding another sucker to give in to your overpriced goods!

A new year, a not-so-new series of incoherent ramblings

So happy new year! I realize this is 6 days overdue, but frankly, I’ve just been too busy living life and enjoying the new year to sit down and blog about it. Or I’ve had constipation of the brain and can’t think of anything to blog about that you didn’t already read on Allison’s NYE re-cap, or that doesn’t involve endless rants about how depressing it is that Christmas is over. But I decided that I needed to stop stalling and just get back into the swing of things, so here goes nothing.

2009 has been pretty uneventful thus far… just getting back into a routine and re-teaching my body to wake up at 5:10 in the morning without ceasing normal functioning. And re-teaching my body that cookies don’t need to be part of my daily diet. Ok let’s be honest, they do, but not necessarily part of every meal (and snack) that I consume. Don’t worry, this is not where I tell you about my grand new year’s resolution to lose weight, because I have no such resolution!

And speaking of resolutions, I really have never been one to make them. However, a few years ago I did make a resolution to stop swallowing gum. I’m not sure if it was due to laziness, or, well, laziness, but I used to swallow every single piece of gum I chewed up until about the age of 20. I know, Doctor So-and-so, that it will stick in my stomach for 8 years and ruin my life, etc. Although I don’t think that’s really why I decided to stop swallowing it in the first place, but that’s not the point. The point is, to this day, I very rarely, if ever, swallow my gum.

So anyway, I am expecting 2009 to be another great year, because I have no reason to expect otherwise! The first monumental happening of the year will take place tomorrow (unless something big happens tonight, like I win the lottery without actually buying a ticket) with the birth of my newest nephew, Sayers. Brian and I will be heading to Austin to meet him on Friday, and can’t wait to spend time hanging out with big sister, Emma, and big brother, Brown, as well. Having nieces/nephews is the best job ever, I highly recommend it. Anyway, because we won’t get to be there when he is first born, my sweet twin sister kindly offered to pretend to be me at some point after meeting him so that he would start getting used to the idea of twins. Isn’t that thoughtful of her?

And while we’re on that subject, I want to commend my brilliant 3 year old niece, Emma, for being able to tell Allison and me apart pretty flawlessly. And I don’t just mean in person… she can pick out “Peekie” from Amanda in pictures of us at all ages—even in some baby pictures where I’m not even sure which one is me! I’m sure it has something to do with babies noticing random facial features blah blah but I am choosing to credit it to her brilliance.

Brown, on the other hand, my apparently less observant (but still very brilliant) nephew has not made the distinction yet. Because he sees Allison (Peekie) more often, he assumes that we are both Peekie… even if we are both standing next to each other in the same room. And I believe I already blogged about the time that I asked him my name and he responded with “Peekie”… after which I said, “No—that’s Peekie (pointing to Allison). What’s my name?” and he responded with “Yucky.” Such a little darling, isn’t he? I can only hope Sayers is as loving and sweet.

Other plans for the year include a trip with the Olivers to Indianapolis to visit the Callens/Chicago over our birthday weekend, and another Oliver-Joiner trip in the Fall to visit our brother and his wife, Kelly in Vermont. I’m sure there are plenty of other really exciting (ok marginally exciting) things going on this year, but I can’t think of any of them at the moment, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.

Oh, and to really get the year started on the right foot, I am going to watch the premier of the newest season of The Biggest Loser tonight. Yes, already! They waste no time. Anyway, I suggest that you watch as well so that I can share my opinions on the blog without everyone rolling their eyes in disgust that I am talking about the same show again. I can’t help it, it’s addicting to watch big people become un-big. Deep thoughts by Amanda Joiner.

Later, peeps!