Wednesday, June 27, 2012

photographic proof

I told you I didn't plant a dandelion.

Monday, June 25, 2012

the race course and the dress shop

Saturday morning we woke up at 6:30 to run in a race.

Only one of us ran.
The other spent time taking pictures of the surrounding area…
...and her feet.
Elizabeth is always saying that if I keep taking pictures of my feet, they’re going to disintegrate. My response is at least I’ll have a picture of them before they go.
Please especially note my sparkly flip flops. No one told me that EVERYONE attending races, regardless of whether they’re running or observing, wears sneakers and a tshirt. I was there in a ruffled pink shirt and cute flip flops. Too bad they didn't have an award for the most overdressed. 

Here's Christopher crawling through the mud pit.
After the race (and a very necessary shower) we did a few errands before heading to the mall. The dress search is on for upcoming transportation ball, and for the first time ever, we went shopping for dresses together. Before you start saying that I should do something he likes because he went shopping with me, I’d like to turn your attention to the times I have watched movies with him that I absolutely hated (I’m looking at you, Sherlock Holmes and The Good Shepherd) and the fact that I had just gotten up at 6:30 ON A SATURDAY. Really, things are only just beginning to even out.

Due to a serious of very unfortunate events, my number 1 dress choice AND my number 2 choice didn’t work out, so we were back to square one. Or dress hanger one, as the case may be. We tried three stores with no luck, so we headed to David’s Bridal on what seemed to be the busiest day of the year. There were girls EVERYWHERE. And then there was Christopher, sitting on a little ornate chair next to the dressing rooms. Whenever I’d look over at him, he’d be staring very intently at his phone, probably wishing is was some sort of transporting device that would send him to a more manly place.  I was dying to take a picture of him surrounded by dresses (because how many more times do you think I’ll get him into a bridal store??), but I didn’t want to go too far. Do you think it would have been going too far if I tried on some wedding dresses? I really wanted to. Thanks to Pinterest, I’m already planning our vow renewal. 

Christopher was not the most objective shopping partner because he said, “That looks nice” every time I put on a new dress, but he was much more helpful than the sales lady we were assigned. She was very laid back about dress protocol for a military event. Apparently she belongs to the school of thought that says, “I think you should just do whatever you want, as look as it feels good to you.” I’m sure you do, oh lady with odd makeup and multiple face piercings.

Thanks (in a small part) to Miss Whatever and (in a much larger part) Christopher, we found  a dress. It looks nothing like the two dress I initially wanted, but I think it will work well. If it "feels good to me", maybe I'll even wear my sparkly flip flops to the ball. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

how I usually feel when I go running

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

beauty in the ghetto

Last year I had a little pot garden on our patio. This year I have even less space for gardening (and none of it is outdoors), so I had to downsize even more. It takes a bit of creativity (translation- I bought a window box that does not fit the window, I have to take the plants in and out depending on the weather, 18 flies come through the screen-less windows everyday, etc, etc, etc), but I have myself a little garden. I did some investigation and with the exception of one other spot, these are the only flowers within a six block radius of our house. In my mind that immediately makes it the best garden. (There is a bamboo grove up the road and that just boggles my mind. Are there also panda bears in our neighborhood?)

I have two impatiens, a petunia, and a flag in my living room window box. I had to lean waaaay out the  bedroom window to take this picture and I nearly fell out. Had I fallen, I do hope Christopher would have blogged about it.
Despite the fact this looks exactly like I put a dandelion plant in a pot, I did not. It's a bright pink Gerber daisy but I forgot to take a picture when it actually had to flowers on it.
I also bought a gardenia plant in hopes that it would survive inside, but it's only half alive right now so I'd say it's chances of living to see another summer are slim. I'm trying to keep it alive until we move in August and I can put it outside.

A few weeks ago I was talking to Christopher about the weather. (The weather is just one of the many topics I frequently feel the need to thoroughly discuss.) Just as I was saying I didn't understand how so many afternoons had gone when it rained while the sun was out yet I hadn't see a rainbow, he pointed out the window. LOW AND BELOW, a rainbow had appeared.
It seems there are things of beauty in the ghetto after all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

three thoughts from the weekend

* On Saturday we went down to the American Legion so Christopher and some of his classmates could do their volunteer hours. Consider this your lesson of the day- what Army people call AB or Area Beautification is what normal people call yard work. Of course, if you're trying to sound extra professional something I do on a daily basis , you could say, "AB is SOP in the CONUS." (For the record, I have not come across many opportunities to say, "Area beautification is standard operating procedure in the continental United States", but hope springs eternal.)

* If you ride around town on a motorcycle, you can just 
bid farewell to having a good hair day. Between the wind and the helmet, it's an exercise in futility.  

* Saturday night we went out to eat with the A.B. group. One lady was there with her beautiful little girl named Cameron Diaz. Her twin brother's name was Tom Cruise. Just kidding about the Tom Cruise part, but the baby really was named after Cameron Diaz.
It inspired me to name one of my sons Harrison Ford.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Happy Father's Day, Dad!!

Your favorite child 

Friday, June 15, 2012

In a people house- our bedroom

Linking up with Kelly's Korner

Our apartment used to a luggage and bag factory which explains the high ceiling and pretty brick walls. It's rather ironic that we live in a former bag factory because I can NEVER have enough bags.

This is the view from the living room/kitchen.
Over to the left is Christopher's bureau and you can see his side of the closet. All of our furniture is in storage at Fort Campbell so we had to rent furniture for the time we're here. That, my friends, is how we ended up with bedroom furniture that does not match and the creakiest, shakiest, most unstable bed on wheels in the world. Almost every night we talk about how we can't wait to have our own bed again. 
Our bed is one of the places is sit to do my school and I've seen a lot in my times by the window. The man with the large trash bag over his shoulder and the equally large radio from 1980 that was blasting Paul Simon. The lady at the top of the street shouting to the man at the very bottom of the street. The prisoners setting up tents in the church yard across the street.  Things are klassy here in the ghetto.
This is my bureau. If you look very closely, you can see two pictures from balls we've been to in the bottom right corner of the mirror. When I put them there I felt almost like a preteen girl decorating her mirror, but I left them on anyway. Maybe I should add a sticker or five to make the mirror even more festive. Christopher would just LOVE that.
This is my side of our closet. I like to keep my closet organized so it's color-coded according to season. This is the fourth home we've lived in together and is the closest we've come to sharing a closet. We're technically not even sharing this one because his side is to the right of the bathroom door and mine is to the left, but sometimes we're both in our respective closets at the same time and it gets CROWDED.
Oh! Look at two of the cutest things in my closet! These are only a small (SMALL) portion of my extensive baby shoe collection. If anyone from Walmart is reading this, you really need to kick it up a notch in the baby shoe department. I have done extensive research and concluded that you have had the same baby shoes out for the last year. I've even gone so far as to research Walmart's in four states, so I feel I'm an expert on the topic. 

Notice the two books of the nightstand- the Bible and But Not the Hippopotumus. We like to do a little bit of light reading after our nightly devotions. ;)
Thus concludes our bedroom tour. Our apartment only has four rooms so you've seen a full fourth of our living quarters! If you come over to visit, make you show speak softly and tread lightly as our neighbors are a little picky about noise. Not that that's ever stopped me from singing Sweet Caroline with great gusto. ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

it doesn't help that I frequently confuse zip code and area code

One of my least favorite questions these days is, “what’s your zip code?” I always have to put on my thinking cap (it’s a very cute cap, by the way) and try to decide which of my five zip codes would be the best answer given the circumstance. Do they want the Massachusetts zip code? The New York zip code? The other New York zip code? The zip code formerly associated with our debit card? Our current zip code? This is what moving four times in less than a year will do to a person. 

In an attempt to solve this problem, I wrote down our address on a piece of paper and stuck it in my wallet to pull out at any time. I thought it would be so convenient to have it written out, thereby freeing me from having to go through the work of putting on my thinking cap. The only problem with this otherwise flawless plan was that the address on the paper does not match where we currently live, thereby making it null and void. This was discovered on numerous occasions when I was forced to write out our current zip code only to came face to face with the zip code of our other New York address. If you know any secretaries looking for a job, please send them my way.

To further complicate things, for the first time we have a license plate on our car that matches the state we live in. For most people this wouldn’t be an issue, but the whole time we've been married our car had a Mississippi plate which made it relatively easy to locate in most parking lots. You would think that would have stopped us from walking up and down numerous parking lots because we lost our car AGAIN, while I poked fun at Christopher because the scout couldn’t find his own car (that’s a joke that doesn’t grow old), but it didn’t.  My usual plan in parking lots is to park next to an obnoxious/can’t lose it car while I do my shopping so that when I come out, I only have to look for the obnoxious car, not ours. As you may have guessed, that plan only works IF THE OBNOXIOUS CAR IS STILL THERE. If not, we’re back to square one.

Since we’re on the subject of cars, for a while the clock in our truck was all messed up so in order to figure out the time, you had to do math. While driving. It’s a wonder I’m still here. I figured out that in order to know the correct time, you had to subtract 5 from the hour shown and add 7 to the minutes shown. Even then, the clock was finicky so sometimes it changed on me and I’d have to figure out the new time formula. And you know what? The only way to be SURE you had the correct time was to look at a watch or cell phone, in which case you didn't need to do the math anyway. It was so confusing. But like they say, it’s five o’clock somewhere. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

deer and owls and bears, oh my!

After the motorcyle shenanigans of last Saturday, we returned this weekend to our usual Saturday tradition of visiting old homes and historic site.

This house wasn't too shabby.
Most places we've visited so far have been lacking in the animal department, so I was delighted so see a herd of goats. I named this goat Cyrus, but when we discovered that he was actually a she, I renamed it Beverly.
This goat was particularly friendly. I think he was saying something along the lines of, "HEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO girl with two braids that I would so love to nibble on!"
Our second stop (technically our third because of course we stopped for lunch) was an old estate turned into a park/garden/wildlife exhibit. We saw buffalo, owls, a bear (at least the sign said that the small black bump in the rocks was a bear), and a bobcat. 
I loved the deer. It was so cute when one deer looked like she was kissing the other that I said, "OH DEER. Isn't that sweet?!" Apparently I just crack myself up with word play. (Last week I almost took a picture of the can of olives that said "Live OLIVE life to the fullest." I only stopped myself because I started thinking about what on earth I'd do with a picture of a can of olives. So says the girl who took a picture of a bag of onions because it had Josh Turner's face of it.)
Last, but certainly not least, we saw two bald eagles! The whole time we lived on the river in New York I watched the sky for bald eagles but never saw any. I did see the yards and homes of our neighbors across the water much more clearly thanks to my special eagle watching binoculars. It was hard not to be nosy interested in fellow people while searching for birds I never saw.
I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. 

Or should I say, OLIVE you.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

'Cheese Cake' is among the more sophisticated of his names

Today is Andrew's birthday, so we are displaying a collection of "look how cute you were!!" photographs from times of yore.
Happy birthday, Cheese Cake. 
You'll always be the person I go to when I need someone to help me pick up pennies off the bottom of the pool using only our toes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

glimpses into our marriage

Glimpse #1

I like to know the details about everything. Sometimes Christopher will provide the details I’m seeking, but sometimes there a little lacking. The following is an actual conversation from last week. (I should point out that I am always VERY interested in what he eats when I’m not around. It's almost as if I want to vicariously enjoy extra meals.)

Me: Did you have lunch today?
Him: Yep.
Me: What did you have?
Him: Spinach salad.
Me: Was it good?
Him: Ehh.
Me: Did it have strawberries and nuts in it? Or blueberries?
Him: It had strawberries and some sort of small nut. Maybe almonds.
Me: Did it have a vinaigrette dressing on it?
Him: It was something yellowish, so it was probably honey based.

This is probably how the conversation would have gone had I been the one being interrogated questioned.

Him: Did you have lunch today?
Me: I bought a spinach salad with strawberries, some unidentifiable little nut, and a yellow dressing. I’m guessing it was a honey dressing because not only was it sticky, it tasted distinctly like honey. OH! The cashier was this little lady who reminded me of my friend Eden who is just about the smallest full-grown person you’ll ever meet. Seeing her reminded me of the time I went campaigning with her and Lindsay. Did I ever tell you that story? Well, we were going door to door handing out literature and at one house we met a tiny old lady. She wasn’t as tiny as Eden, but she was still tiny. Anyway. She told us to wait in her little entryway two feet from the front door while she went to get her husband (maybe his hearing aids worked better than hers). We had been told multiple times NOT TO GO IN ANY HOMES, yet here we were, in someone’s home. It was one of the three times during my teenage years I was rebellious and I still have a guilty conscience over it. Lindsay and I kept looking at each other like, “Um, should we be in here? Maybe we should leave before she comes back." We kept the door wide open just in case we needed to hightail it out of there. You've probably guessed that we made it out of there safely because I'm here to tell the story. What was the question again?

Some might say I provide too much information.

Glimpes #2
This is a little game I like to call Guess Which Book is On Whose Nightstand.

Whoever the Dolly book belongs to is obviously doing some VERY DEEP reading.

Monday, June 4, 2012

pickles and motorsickles

You will never believe how I spent Saturday (besides sleeping in three hours). I spent it on the back of a motorcycle. Or as Arlo Guthrie likes to say, a moooooootersickle. 

(This is the point in the story where people always say to me, "Christopher has a motorcycle? Why didn't you tell me that??" I simply didn't know you wanted to know, but now you do so we shall move on.) 

It was only the second time I had ever been on the motorcycle, and my first time on the road. I spent the first half of the ride holding on for dead life and closing my eyes at every little turn because I was so nervous. When my eyes were open, I had to bite my tongue so I wouldn't be the backseat rider shouting things like, "DO YOU SEE THE GUY CROSSING THE ROAD 500 YARDS AHEAD??? DON'T HIT HIM!!" Christopher was a wonderful driver(steerer? person operating the machine?), I was just slightly paranoid by the thought that I might see some of my life flash before my eyes at any moment. We stopped for a relaxing picnic in the park and, thanks once again to Arlo, I started singing, "I don't want a pickle, just want to ride my mooooootersickle." Except that a pickle really would have been a lovely addition to the picnic.

Please ignore the giant helmet that makes me look like some sort of alien. 
Our next stop was the Harley store to buy more a more appropriate headgear. The saleslady (bejeweled and bedecked in Harley Davidson jewelry) asked me what type of helmet I was looking for. Did I want whole, 3/4, or 1/2? That was a question I was not capable of answering, so I simply replied that I needed to see the options. I figured that sounded slightly more intelligent than saying, "I really have no idea. Just give me something that covers my head and looks good with a wide variety of clothing." She put several on my head and explained how this one was aerodynamic and that one was ecofriendly and this one will make you want to ride for days. It was very hard for me to stay serious during this because I never even considered riding a motorcycle, yet here I was purchasing a helmet! The whole thing struck me as very funny. I just about lost it when the lady said, "It's good to spend the money on a high quality helmet that will last for years DOWN THE ROAD." I almost died.

After the Harley store (I believe the die-hards call it a "shop"), we rode around some before stopping at the shooting range to practice for a test Christopher is taking. (Could the day have been any more outside of my normal Saturday routine?) We went to see What to Expect When You're Expecting after that because we needed a little bit of girly in our day. Honestly, I enjoyed the riding (mostly because I didn't fall off) and the shooting (mostly because I didn't kill anyone by accident). We hadn't been able to spend a whole day doing nothing except hanging out together and it was so fun.

When I got home, I discovered that it was a very good fan mail day! Daniel and Erika sent me this beautiful canvas for my birthday! We don't have a hammer so I had to use the bottom of a pepper grinder to bang the nail into the wall.
Sweet Laura sent me this very exciting birthday package! I oohed and ahhed about everything. Believe me when I say I have studied the W & K book like nobodys business.
We ended the day by visiting with people at the American Legion. Apparently I now spend my days on a motorcycle and my nights with senior citizens. It's almost like I don't even recognize my own life anymore. At least I have an eco-friendly, aerodynamic, goes-with-everything helmet with which to meet these crazy days.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

the loooooong day (subtitled: the day I stopped a flamingo from falling over)

Yesterday was one of those days when you think that SURELY it must be 5:30 already, but when you look at the clock it only says 12:15. It was a loooong day.

To start off, I had to wake up at dark o’thirty. Technically it was only 6:30, but I don’t enjoy rising when the first number on the clock isn’t a 7 or higher. I had to make my first batch of frosting for that evenings cake class. Making frosting is not something I really love doing at a normal time, so you can imagine the warm fuzzy feelings I had towards Crisco and vanilla flavoring at 6:42. As soon as I finished the frosting I had to leave for babysitting.

Normally Amelia and I will venture out to Pet Smart when we want a big adventure, but I needed to buy my friend a wedding gift and I didn't think she’d appreciate a new dog bowl or a hamster cage, so we went to Pier 1 instead.  Pier 1 isn't normally among the top 12 places to take a two year old, but she’s not Molly a wild child so I figured we’d give it a shot. I had built The Fancy Store up to being a very special place, so special that rule was we ONLY touch things with one finger. Things went surprisingly well. I think part of this has to do with my over-enthusiastic exclamations of “Have you EVER seen such a pretty napkin ring, Amelia? Do you see this monkey salt shaker??” to keep her attention. I guess I didn't need to be so enthusiastic because she found a green and blue broom that held her fascination for a good three minutes. I gave her a silk flower to hold and she alternated sweeping the floor with it and using it like a metal detector. Her flower broom found its way to a flamingo statue that she paused to look at before kissing it squaring on its beak. The flamingo was so shocked that he started teetering back and forth and I barely made it over in time to catch him from falling. Amelia gave me a look that clearly said, “What? Don’t you go around randomly kissing things at The Fancy Store? Not even that napkin ring you so enjoyed?”. By that time I had found what I was looking for and we exiting the store, triumphant in the knowledge that besides the flamingos heart breaking by our departure, we hadn't caused any damage.

I spent- and I wish I was exaggerating here- no less than three hours the afternoon making and coloring frosting. The kitchen was a disaster, the frosting on cake had crumbs in it, the sink was FULL of dishes, and I had frosting in my hair. I even put the sponge in the trash instead of in the sink. Finally I had everything cleaned up and my bag for class on the table so I could just grab it and go. I was carrying over the cake holder to put with the bag when I realized the cake wasn't even in it. It was still sitting on the counter. Can you imagine if I forgot to bring my cake to the cake decorating class?? I couldn't even say my dog ate it because we don’t have a dog! Like I said, looooong day.

Considering how my afternoon was, I wasn't expecting the class to go very well. It was the last class of Level 1 so we had a big decorating project and I was so nervous. Thankfully the whole thing went much better than expected (I had kept my expectations very very low), and I think my cake came out well! 
I was so happy to go bed last night. SO SO HAPPY. And this morning, I got up when the first number on the clock was A LOT higher than 7.