Thursday, December 29, 2005


Hope everyone's Holiday went well! I must have been a very good girl this year because Santa et al were very good to me.

I am enjoying my week-plus off with my husband very much. This is actually the first time I've been on the internet since last Thursday. I didn't even go through any withdrawal symptoms!

I know!

We just got back from King Kong (which was very good, but VERY LONG) and we get to spend another night cuddling together on the couch and watching (even more) movies.

Well, I think I'm going to go read. I'm finishing up "A Million Little Pieces". I've barely been able to put it down since I started it a couple of days ago. It is awesome and I totally recommend that you read it.

Have a good New Year's Eve/Day if I'm not back before then!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Time is Here Again

I'm really looking forward to 4:30 this afternoon.

Want to know why?

Because after 4:30 this afternoon, I don't have to return to work until 8:00 (or probably about 8:20) on January 2. My husband doesn't either, so that's 11 days of no work. We're going to have a great time and not want to go back to work on the 2nd.

I'm very excited to have this time with him. And to have time with our families over the holiday weekend. I haven't seen his parents since this summer, or his brother since our wedding more than a year ago, so I'm looking forward to seeing them. Plus, his brother has a new girlfriend who we'll probably get to meet, so I'm excited for that too (new to us, actually, he's been dating her for a while now).

Then it's on to see my family. It's rare that our whole family is ever all in one place at a time. My brother lives about 8 hours north, my sister is at school, and I live about 80 miles away from my parents' house, but we're all going to be together this Christmas. This means there will be many board games and much eating and drinking and being silly. I'm really looking forward to it, and I'll probably be gone from here until early next week.

I guess what I am saying, is that I'm expecting to have a merry Christmas, and I hope that everyone out there has a wonderful holiday too! My best to you and yours!

UPDATE: I forgot to tell you! You may see some changes around here in the next week. I'm going to nag my little sister until she helps me spruce this place up a bit. So, yeah, that's what the purple is about right now. Trying to make some changes. Hope you like them when they're all done!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

One of my True Loves

One of my true loves (besides my sweet, handsome husband, of course) is baking.

I LOVE to bake. And? The holiday season is the perfect excuse to bake ginormous amounts of food. So far this season I have made:
  1. My Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe is on
  2. Northwest Pecan Treats (sort of like Pecan Pie but in bar form)
  3. Birds Nests - 2 batches actually (these are jam filled thumbprint cookies)
  4. Peppermint Thumbprint cookies
  5. Rugelach
  6. Brown Sugar Spritz
  7. Regular Fudge (I know, not really baking, but still fun)
  8. Peanut Butter Fudge
  9. Sugar Cookies
  10. Dark Chocolate covered Dried Cherries; and
  11. Magical Mint Kiss Cookies

I am also baking a little for Christmas day. I am making a Turtle Tart for my mother-in-law and a Buche de Noel for my husband (but taking it to my parents' house so the poor guy will probably only get one slice).

I guess you could say, I've been pretty busy. But a tasty kind of busy, because DAMN all these things taste good. I've taken to working out just about every day so that I can still indulge in these treats. I would totally bake more, but my husband has cut me off. This is my limit I guess.

(Whatever - there has to be something I can bake for New Years Day, and Valentines day is only a couple of months away. I always make heart-shaped sugar cookies then.)

The best part about all of this baking though? I really don't eat much of it. Maybe a cookie a day. I love to see other people enjoy what I've made much more than I actually enjoy eating it myself. I kind of get burned out on them quickly, so as much as I'm worried about my diet? I really don't have to be.

(Although now that I've written about it here, I totally want a big piece of fudge).

Monday, December 19, 2005

Yes, It's Boring, I Know, But...

My New Year's Resolution is to lose weight. I really only need/want to lose about 15 pounds, and then I'll be happy. As long as I stay right about there.

Another of my resolutions is to work harder on my housekeeping. I'm horrible at remembering to dust and vacuum, and I let laundry pile up until I'm out of things to wear. My kitchen is usually spotless, but the rest of the house? Needs tidying.

Oh, and I need to finish all the projects I've started, but have yet to finish, including knitting a scarf (there's only about 10 inches left - I'm so close!), sewing a quilt (if I really started to do it I could probably finish the top in one afternoon), a cross-stitch project for my mother-in-law (about half finished), and a cross-stitch stocking I started about 3 years ago and have gotten, oh, about 20 stitches into it. These project drive my husband nuts, and every time I talk about starting something new, he reminds me of these. I think making this resolution, as well as the housekeeping one, would make him a very happy man.

Do you have any good resolutions? I know mine aren't that exciting, but I think if I do those three things my life would be just about perfect.

Friday, December 16, 2005

30 Seconds That Changed My Life

I was reading over on the Oprah website today about topics for upcoming shows, one of which is "30 Seconds That Changed My Life", and almost instantly, the 30 (or less, actually) seconds that changed my life came to mind.

When I was a Junior in college, I was having a really hard time. I wasn't eating much, I was partying way too much, and I was crying all the time. I had my worst semester in school the previous semester, and already a week into the spring semester, I was completely miserable.

I called a guy I knew, named Matt, who lived around the corner, looking for somewhere to go. I needed out of my sorority house. I was having a fight with my friend over some gossip that someone else started and I was miserable and couldn't take it any more. When Matt picked up, I asked him what he was doing. He said he was just hanging out. I asked him if he would like some company, because I really needed to get out of "the house".

And he said the words that have made my life what it is today.

"Do you realize that every time you call me you say that? Maybe you should just get out of the house."

So I did. The next day I called a school near my parents' house to see if I could still register for classes. I could.

So I dropped all of my classes, called my mom, told her that I was coming home and that I was taking classes for the semester at the local school. She came to get me and I left "the house" behind.

It was the best thing I've ever done for myself, and I often think of Matt and how glad I am that he said that to me.

When I got home, one of the first things I did was to go out looking for a job. I went to the local coffee shop to get an application, and once I had filled it out, I handed it to this cute guy.

The cute guy went back to his boss and told him that he should hire me.

I was hired, and about a month later the guy who took my application and I started dating, and now we've been married for almost a year.

If I ever see Matt again, I will give him a big hug and thank him for changing my life. I appreciate it more than he'll ever know.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Same Old, Same Old

There’s nothing much new and/or exciting going on here. Just the same old stuff – it’s snowing (we’re supposed to get 3 to 5 inches today, so I’ll probably get to go home early. Yay!), I have a lot of things to do (didn’t get anything done last night because we were busy at church, preparing gift bags for the kids’ service that’s happening this weekend – that I won’t be attending because of our 1st wedding anniversary which is on Sunday), and I’m exhausted as usual.

I’m excited for our anniversary this weekend, although, again, it’s nothing really exciting that we’re doing. It is, however, something special to us.

We bought ourselves a new mattress about a month ago, so that’s our anniversary present to each other. So practical, yet possibly, so romantic.

We’re also going out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Beggar’s Banquet, in East Lansing. We celebrated our first dating anniversary there (almost four years ago), and we had our wedding reception there. It’s special to us, so I’m glad that’s where we’re going. The service is great, their menu changes each season and is always delicious, and it’s kind of a funky atmosphere, which we enjoy.

This week is also exam week at Michigan State, which means that by Sunday night, when we go out to celebrate, most of the kids will be gone so we should be able to celebrate in peace.

Since the 1st anniversary is the “Paper” anniversary, and since we didn’t want to spend anything extra on gifts, I’ve written my husband a poem/letter which I will write out on nice paper and give to him at dinner. My goal is to make him cry in public. I’m evil, I know, but I think I’ve really done a good job with my writing this time and I know he’ll love it. He’s helped me grow and mature so much since I met him, and the letter is all about how much I appreciate having him in my life.

So, bonus points to me if he cries.

And minus points to me if I cry.

Which I totally will if he cries, because I’m completely lost when I see a man cry.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mission: Accomplished

I have bought and wrapped about 95% of the presents I needed to get, and the rest just require a stop at my favorite grocery store (yes, I have a favorite. It's awesome and full of organic meats and produce and fancy foreign foods. And the freshest seafood in town. It rocks.).

Aaron decided to play like he was Nemo last night with his gifts. Have you ever seen the movie "Finding Nemo"? You know the scene near the beginning where Nemo's dad tells him not to touch the boat, but Nemo wants to defy him so he slowly goes towards the boat and quickly touches it with his fin?

Well, I told Aaron not to go near his presents. I didn't want him to shake them because it would be pretty obvious what it was if he did. So what does he do? He slowly edged toward the tree and touches the biggest one quickly with his foot. And looks at me like he's getting away with something. He is such a big kid sometimes!

I, of course, about died laughing.

His big present to me is also under the tree and wrapped, and it's BIG and HEAVY, and I have no idea what it is. He says its something that's not on my list.

Gah! I can't wait for Christmas (or the Friday before Christmas because that's when we're celebrating). It needs to get here faster.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Working for the Weekend

I really feel like I'm only working to pass time until the next weekend lately. With the holidays coming up so quickly, I just want to be able to get all the things done that need to be done, and work seems to just be getting in the way. Here's what I have to do by this Friday/Saturday:
  • Buy presents for my husband (he's the only person I haven't bought Christmas presents for yet)
  • Finish up presents for my friends (handmade - I'd show you but I think at least one of the people whose present I'm working on reads this site - but the presents are super-cool!)
  • Bake cut-out cookies.
  • Bake jam thumbprint cookies.
  • Bake mint-chocolate kiss cookies (recipe is on the back of the package - these cookies are AWESOME)
  • Make chocolate-covered dried cherries (my husband's favorite)
  • Wrap all Christmas presents
  • Write letter for my husband for our first anniversary (this Sunday)
  • Buy a new outfit for Christmas
  • Get hair cut (which is happening tonight - I'm so excited, which I know is lame, but it's been a while and I'm bored with my hair. It's time for a change.)

Hmmm...I don't think I've left anything out, but I think that the list is long enough. I love Christmas, but I've got to learn better time-managment skills. I spend all day daydreaming about getting these things done and then when I get home I change in to my pjs, think of an excuse not to cook dinner, and do sudoku puzzles while watching tv.

It's time to get off my lazy ass and get things done.

Of course it doesn't help that all the vacation I'm scheduled to take is the week after Christmas. At least then everything will have been accomplished and I can relax.

Ha! Who am I kidding. My to-do list will probably be just as long then and I'll probably be just as busy.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful...

The roads here in Michigan, they are slippery. I've gotten over the "Uh oh, slipping, white knuckles, so scary I may barf" reaction I used to have to my car slipping on the ice a little. Now it's more like, "this is fun" and "good thing there are no other cars around" and I deal with it.

Because it happens.

Multiple times every day.

It's really, really slippery out there.

Sometimes when I slide on the ice, however, I recall two scary incidences where I watched cars fly about the road while thinking, "Dude, this totally looks like I'm watching a movie, but it's real".

No, I wasn't high. I actually think like that sometimes.

The weird thing is that both of these things happened when the roads were bone dry with nary an ice patch to be seen.

First - one day I was driving home from work, and decided to take the freeway instead of my normal back-roads drive home. Traffic was pretty heavy, especially on the opposite side of the freeway, so I was paying close attention to what I was doing and keeping my eyes on the road (which I know you're supposed to do anyway, but I'm easily distracted. Could be why I'm without a car now for going on the 8TH WEEK!)

So, out of the corner of my eye, I see a car on the opposite side of the freeway go sideways. Then I notice that it's right in front of a huge semi that proceeds to HIT the car and PUSH it down the freeway.

(See what I mean about the "dude this could be in a movie" thing?)

I totally would have stopped, but there was a police car pretty much right behind this scene that immediately turned on his lights, so I knew s/he had seen it.

It was totally freaky. Although, I know everyone in the car was all right, because I watched the news that night and the next morning to see if they said anything and they didn't. Which here means that they're okay, because traffic accidents? Big news here. (Like the 200-car pile-up that happened last spring right by my office - it was still in the news about a month ago)

The second freaky-car-related-incident was when I was coming home from visiting my parents one day and this car flew by me going probably 80 in a 55 MPH zone. About a minute later, I see this guy lose control, fly to the left side of the road, then to the right, back to the left, then do a 180 and fly into a ditch.

And I was like, what the hell? Because it was a dry sunny spring day.

Again, I would have stopped (and I did pull over, but then kept going) but he pulled out of the ditch into the nearby parking lot and got out of his car to see what the damage was (it was a lot).

And again, there was a cop right nearby who turned on his lights and went over.

I think that people in Michigan really need to learn how to drive. (And there are plenty more deer-related accident stories - like the woman who hit 7 deer at once. Quote from the attending police officer "She didn't miss any of them" - but those are kind of gross, so I'll spare you)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Party Like it's 2

The other night, my husband says to me "We should party like it's 2 tonight" as he handed me a drink.

"Party like it's two?" I responded with a look on my face that said "I married a weirdo".

"Like it's two degrees" he says.

He got his wish. Tonight, we will be partying like it's two. At my office Christmas party.

I figure, to party like it's 2 in Michigan, that means you party just enough to make sure you can make it home through all the snow and ice. (Which, for anyone who is curious, is 8 inches right now. It was quite the snow storm last night).

So that means, I'll eat something warm, have maybe one drink right at the beginning and then avoid alcohol like it's the plague so that I can make it home in one piece. My husband won't be joining the party until about its midpoint, so he won't be able to drive me home if I decide to drink more than one drink because I'll also have my car there to worry about.

Partying like it's 2. Fun, no?

I'll just have to party more when I get home after the party.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Much Better, Thanks

I am much better today than I was yesterday. I even managed to laugh about it a little bit last night.

I'm in a good mood today (actually woke up that way) and I think that my good mood may have something to do with how beautiful and sunny it is outside today, despite it being zero degrees out. Did you see that? Yep. It's ZERO DEGREES outside right now. Thank goodness for warm inside air!

This weekend I'm going ice skating with some friends. But we're going to the indoor rink because it will be much warmer in there than outside. Ah, Michigan winters. So beautiful, but so FREAKING COLD.

Last year, at just about this time, my husband and I were on our honeymoon. In Chicago.

Yeah, we're crazy.

Really, we were broke and so a two-day vacation somewhere within driving distance worked with our budget. We decided to walk around one day (and got a little lost, but eventually found our way) and go to places like Shedd's Aquarium and such.

We got out there and started walking, and decided it was time to catch the El, because it was 2 degrees outside, and walking was just not going to cut it. The El station (or at least the one that we knew came out close to the Aquarium) was still a good 10 minute walk from the Aquarium, into the wind.

The bitter, cold wind, coming off Lake Michigan.

We made it, and had a great time (Aaron got to see an anaconda, so he was thrilled), but by the time we got back to the hotel that night after dinner and a play, we were both SICK. Because we were idiots, walking around in 2 degree weather all day, and when we weren't outside, we were inside near a bunch of snotty-nosed kids who touched everything, and we weren't smart enough to also not touch some things.

So, yes. Besides the play (Monty Python Spamalot - AWESOME) and dinner, we spent our honeymoon in two degree weather or surrounded by little kids.

We're brilliant, no?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Today Sucks, Y'all
Also, more information than you probably ever wanted to know about me, so if you don't want to know, don't read this

I never, ever, ever thought I was an emotional eater until about, oh, 2 seconds ago, when I realized I had just eaten, nay, inhaled, an order of loaded potato bites (which, eh, not great) and half a turkey reuben (which, ew, gross) from Arby's followed by a bag of peanut m&m's. All because I'm completely embarrassed to tears over something stupid. (Just writing "embarrassed to tears" has made me cry again - this is really not a good day).

Okay, here's the sharing too much information part - I'm going to tell you why I'm a blubbering, eating mess.

I caused the toilet at work to overflow.

(It's okay if you laugh at me, but know you will be laughing at me, because I am so not laughing right now, but most likely will be later)

And then I had to tell the office manager, who was very nice about it, but still. EMBARRASSING! I just want to go home or crawl under a rock and die. GAH!

I already had issues with going #2 at work, but I think this experience will keep me from doing so ever again.

Right after I told her I was shaking so bad I could barely walk. I guess you could say I don't handle embarrassment well. But, I managed to walk to my office, post my "Writing, Please Knock" sign on my door so that I would have a legitimate reason to have it closed, and then call my husband who proceeded to laugh heartily at me while I started to cry. I understand. It's funny. But I'm mortified.

So yeah, then I cleaned myself up and went and got some lunch that was totally not good for me (and gross - I hate Arby's generally, why did I think today would be any different). Also, I knew that the sandwich was on light rye bread, which gives me horrible heart burn, but which I ate anyway and now I have heartburn and I'm out of rolaids. So, I only ate half of the sandwich because it was grody, and then went and got some m&m's out of the vending machine. So, I know now that embarrassment drives me to eat.

Oh, and I just realized, that to make it even worse, the really cute but totally asshole-ish building maintenance guy is going to come and have to fix it which makes me even more embarrassed, even though he doesn't know it was me that did it. I always do something stupid in front of him. GAH!

Now, if only I wasn't such a big dork that embarrasses myself all the time, I'd be set.

Hope your day is going better than mine. Wish me luck that mine doesn't get any worse.

Wanna Hear a Sort-of Depressing Story?

You know you do. Schadenfreude says you do. This story will make you feel better about yourself because of how smart you are in comparison. Luckily, this story is not about me, so I'm not the one feeling dumb. Although, I don't know for sure if the subject of the story feels dumb about this. I don't think that registers with him.

I have a cousin who has had a very hard life, and as he got older he kept making it even harder all by himself. He's a drug addict and had a stroke in his early 30s due to cocaine use. We also think that the cocaine may have brought out schizophrenic tendencies because of some weird behaviors he's exhibited in the past. He's disabled due to his stroke, which also left him with severely diminished social skills. Due to this he can't hold down a job.

Depressed yet? It gets worse.

He got kicked out of his apartment (or had to leave for some reason - no one but him really knows what happened) and so decided to move back in with my grandmother (we all get mad when she takes him back in, but she's a loving grandmother, so she'll do anything for any of her grandchildren). However, he has a dog, and the apartment complex she lives in does not allow dogs, but he loves this dog and therefore won't get rid of it.

So it lives in his car. Which can't be on the property with the dog in it.

So he drives it around and parks it in different places so that he can still keep the dog and can also still live with my grandmother.

Well, he also has to let the dog have some free space to roam around in sometimes, so there is a dog park he takes it to, which he did early in the week of Thanksgiving. He drove to the dog park, let his dog out, and watched as the dog ran across the park and started attacking another dog.

Worried that his dog might get hurt he decided that he needed to break up the fight. So he went over and got between the dogs and the other dog (not his) bit off his finger.

Just when you think his life couldn't get worse - he loses a finger.

He's had surgery on his finger - a skin graft and whatever else to make sure that it doesn't get worse - so that's all taken care of. Thanks to whoever pays in to Medicare because you helped my cousin after he did something dumb once again. You also helped to pay for the pain medicine prescription they gave him which he took all at once. So now he's complaining that he doesn't have any more pain pills, and can't do anything because he's in too much pain.

Now, don't get me wrong, I feel bad for the guy. Always have. But, it always gets worse - something always happens and someone (usually my grandmother who is in her mid-to-late 80s) always has to bail him out (sometimes literally).

But now you can also see why on the Friday after Thanksgiving, in the morning at about 9 am after I talked to my mom and she told me this, I started drinking early. Very early.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Confession Time

So we seem to have solved our neighbor problems. However, the route we took did not involve taking cookies down to her. Mainly because she won't actually open the door. (that's the confession part - although I did make the cookies they were served to my church group instead, so they were still for a good cause)

We found out about her not opening the door when she was being particularly obnoxiously loud one night and Aaron went downstairs to knock on her door to ask her to turn it down. She was so loud that he had to basically bang down her door to get her to come and answer it. She wouldn't open the door but did say hello from behind it. Aaron asked her to please turn down the television. She asked what a couple of times, he repeated himself a couple of times, and she said okay.

I think that her television was so loud that she didn't actually hear what he said. I assume this because nothing happened. Later that night (and I mean way later because it woke me up at 4 A.M.!) her television in her bedroom was turned up really loud.

The next evening was more of the same.

So Aaron went to the main office to complain. They checked her file and it didn't say she was hearing impaired or had any other legitimate reasons to have her tv up so damn loud we could feel the bass through the floor. So Aaron asked them to do something about it and they sent a letter.

The day she got the letter, she came upstairs, introduced herself, apologized, and hasn't been loud since.

And since she was so nice we felt horribly guilty for tattling on her to the office. But we haven't heard much from her and so we're happy.

Of course, now that I've posted this, she'll probably be up to her old ways.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Living in a Winter Wonderland

Right now I wish that all of you could see through my eyes exactly what I'm seeing right now.

Or that I had a digital camera.

At this moment it is snowing outside. And not just flurries, but big fat feathery flakes swirling around in the air, landing on the pine trees outside my office window and making the world look heavenly.

This is exactly why, even though I complain about the snow and cold, I could never live somewhere where this did not happen. It's breathtakingly beautiful.

Every now and then a bright red cardinal is landing on the branches of the tree that is directly outside my window. It's hard to get work done when such daydream inducing sights lie just feet away.

How Many is Too Many?

My husband thinks that I have too many cook books.

You see, I love to cook and bake. It's my way of relaxing. It's fun and I learn new things and I always love trying out new recipes. I subscribe to a few different cooking magazines - Cooking Light, Every Day Food, Gourmet, and Better Homes and Gardens. I've had other subscriptions in the past. I also have been given and bought many cook books. In fact, cook books and magazines take up two shelves on our book case.

What really drives him nuts is when I look up recipes on line and print them out (I do have a binder so at least they stay semi-organized). He thinks that I should use the cook books I already have instead of printing off new recipes (of course some of his favorites - like Paula Deen's Meatloaf - are some that I've gotten from the internet).

All told, I probably have about 20 cook books and many more magazines. About once a year I go through the magazines and cut out the recipes I want and put them into a binder (which of course I have plenty of - I just recycle the ones from under grad and grad school. There are good things about being a sometimes-packrat. I have these things sitting around.).

I really think that he's afraid that I'll have as many as my mom some day. He hates to have too much stuff around, and she has probably over 100 cook books.

So, how many cook books are too many? Is there such a think as too many cook books? And should he complain since all these recipes keep him in good dinners and sweet treats?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Come on In

Or maybe it's out.

What I'm saying is, say hello. I know there are way more people visiting than commenting, so delurk. I'd like to know who you are, you know, just for curiosity's sake.

Or, if you don't want to comment here, or you already comment here regularly, you could add your self to my Frappr map.

So, hello, and welcome. Make yourself at home and read a bit. Hope you like it here.