Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh, goodbye.


We moved. To here.

Your feed should still work, but if it doesn't here it is again!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

In which I'm all "why can't we be friends?"

So, I've been seeing a lot of talk about politics lately. It's like there's been some kind of big event in America or something this week? Like, an election maybe? I don't know, I'm just a girl.

I've been a little fascinated with it, actually. In a "train wreck" fascination way, but fascination, just the same. My Facebook and Twitter feeds have ranged from uninhibited celebration complete with proverbial "in yo face"s, to passive aggressive jabs at the other side, to all-out aggressive rants toward the other side, to overly-dramatic "THE WORLD IS ENDING"s, to nervous, panicky "God is in controls" that convey more worry than actual confidence that He is.

It's an interesting thing, basically having insight into everyone's brains. Thanks, social media. But I wasn't going to blog about it, no sir. I can keep my mouth shut! Have self-control! Am adult!

And then I listened to this episode of This American Life, and it put me over the edge on the "I NEED TO BLOG ABOUT THIS FOR GOODNESS SAKE" scale. Because an entire act of the episode was devoted to the ways politics are interfering with friendships and families. Listen to it, and I hope you come away as horrified as I am.

People choose to end contact with those they love with because they are too petty to find a shred of something they have in common or try to see something from somebody else's view.


Because no politics - nay, NO ARGUMENTS AT ALL, are worth losing your relationships over. Seriously. They're just not. If you can't handle it, don't bring up politics. That's how I handle my parents all the time. It works, trust me.

And to be perfectly frank, if you feel strongly enough about something that you think you should trash a relationship over it, then you should really re-evaluate your priorities. We can coexist with very different opinions and beliefs, I promise.

The other day, the reading was in Galatians 5, and this passage stopped me dead in my tracks:

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

I read it over and over. I highlighted it. I programmed a reminder into my phone to go off once a day.

Use your freedom to serve one another in love.

(That reminder is really irritating when it inevitably beeps in the middle of my being a jerk.)

I'm not really great at using my freedom to serve others. And when I do serve others, it's not always in love.

With my husband, it can be in "here's your damn dinner that you wouldn't get up and get yourself," or "I guess I'll do the dishes because YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO DO THEM," and at work, it can be "if you want to make stupid changes to my clearly awesome creative project then fine, it's your funeral," and with strangers it can be "I guess you're going to cut me off in traffic anyway so please, go ahead, you jerk-hole."

And that's not really service at all, is it? That's not even close to love.

So, I'm learning to use my freedom correctly.

Beware of destroying one another.

I have a feeling that using our freedom to serve one another in love would eliminate whatever problems we have with our loved ones' politics. I have a feeling we wouldn't be so quick to throw away relationships if we focused on loving our neighbors as ourselves. If we didn't use our freedoms to satisfy our sinful natures.

How are you using your freedom?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In which somebody doesn't get me

Traveling with Jack is... how shall I put this... a roller coaster of crazy.

This morning, we left for the airport about 15 minutes after he had wanted to leave, which incidentally was the exact time I had originally wanted to leave. If Jack had his way, we would be at THE GATE exactly 2 hours before BOARDING TIME, because like I said, roller coaster. Crazy.

(No, I did not sabotage the schedule.)

(Shut up, I didn't.)

There are a couple of stages to traveling with Jack, especially if it's a morning flight. First, there is exuberance upon waking. Because in Hornbuckle's world, IT IS A BRAND NEW DAY TRALALALALA! Remember the "Morning's here" guy on that one episode of Friends? Yeah, I married him.

This is the day that The Lord has made and HE WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT AT ME.

Then, like a tornado suddenly changes direction and rips the roof of your house right off, Jack realizes that WE HAVE 10 MINUTES UNTIL WE HAVE TO LEAVE AND OMG WE ARE GOING TO MISS OUR PLANE AND ALSO PROBABLY DIE.

This leads to the "driving like a bat out of hell" stage, which is both uncharacteristic and terrifying of Jack. Also included in this stage is "REALLY"s and "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME"s every time traffic slows down a little bit, or if he happens to see, like, any other cars on the road at any time.

Once we reach the airport and he realizes that we aren't going to miss our plane (and subsequently DIE) after all, the "Morning's here" guy is back with a vengeance.

"Cheetles! We're going to Florida!"

"Cheetles! I want Starbucks!"

"Cheetles! Did you see the pictures of our hotel?"


This morning on the shuttle from our parking space to the airport, as Jack was bouncing off the walls and asking why I wasn't responding (CHEETLES!), I showed him the clock on my phone.

"It is still. Before. 8."

(In case you were wondering, that explanation does not shut him up.)

The airport itself brings out the "grumpy old man who hates people" stage in Jack. Which is funny, because Jack usually looooooves people and I'm the grumpy old man in the relationship.

The TSA agent is too rude.

The Starbucks barista is too loud.

The people waiting for their coffee are pushing in front of us even though we ordered first.

The guy over there is standing right in front of the TV and nobody else can see it now.

Fortunately, this leads to the making sarcastic comments stage, which is where Jack and I come back together as one and I remember why I fell in love with him.

Nothing will bring you together as a couple faster than making fun of others.

So as we were finally boarding the plane, we saw that the door on the other side of the entrance was also open, I guess so they could load food things on as people boarded.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The lady in front of us looked behind her and made a comment about how that was unusual, and I jokingly replied that I guess that we're supposed to just go all the way through and get on the little Sky Chefs trailer.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I was still laughing at my little joke when I saw the lady ACTUALLY START WALKING ALL THE WAY THROUGH to the trailer. She got almost inside before the flight attendant stopped her and pointed her in the right direction, which was, you know, toward the actual plane.

Jack and I looked at each other wide-eyed, stifling a laugh.

"Way to go, Mandy," he teased. "You almost put her on the food trailer."

"I thought she knew I was kidding!"

Apparently she didn't.

Maybe I should save my sarcasm for outside the secure areas.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honor her for all that her hands have done.

My jeans are loose.

Which makes me afraid to wash them and find out that they're just stretched out.

Because, I mean, who washes their jeans all that often?

Everyone? Oh, me too, totally.

Jack and I have been doing this diet thing (which I am NOT a fan of because diets suck and make you feel deprived whereas a healthy lifestyle, while it may not end up giving you as dramatic results, will make you feel good all the time and you won't have that yo-yo thing going and blah blah blah), because he wanted to try it so I said I'd do it too.

(It's called the "Advocare 24 Day challenge" and it starts with a cleanse and eww, there is nothing redeeming about that word, and I'm in the "you shouldn't need supplements if you're eating real food in the first place" camp, so you can tell I'm SUPER-INTO THIS).

We're on day... I don't know. Something toward the end. And we have been cheating. For example, Rosa's opened nearby yesterday, and there is NO WAY I was going to wait a few days to have a Rosa's tortilla. No way, dude. Five years is long enough to wait after leaving my beloved College Station Rosa's.

But, I guess cutting out carbs, dairy, sugar, fried food, and red meat will do something for you, because like I said, my jeans are loose now. Which, along with the year-anniversary of her death, makes me think of my buddy Sara, because,

1) I may have to buy new jeans soon and she always picked out my jeans. ALWAYS. From her house. I texted (tweeted actually) her a picture of every single pair I tried on, butt and all, and she told me which pair to buy. She had a GIFT for choosing flattering jeans.

2) She struggled with the way she felt about her own "jeans size" and body image (though obviously she traded in her jeans for PJ pants after she got sick) her whole life. Her favorite photo of herself was one in which you couldn't really see her face.

I have been thinking about that lately, especially with the diet thing and Sara's anniversary date. I use an app called "My Fitness Pal" and have a few friends on there who are SUPER HARD CORE about their dieting and training (Hi Lori!). Which, more power to them, seriously. I use the app to remind myself to think before stuffing ALL THE THINGS in my mouth and to make sure that the calories I choose are worth it, but many people use it differently.

Occasionally, however, I see people updating their status to chastise themselves for eating a cupcake, or going over their calorie goal for the DAY, or something similar. And I always think "I don't want to live like that."

I don't want to live feeling guilty about having eaten way too much of the most ridiculously amazing red velvet cake in the world at Bonnie Ruth's, because it probably also meant that I was laughing with my husband.

I don't want to live being a slave to workouts, because it might mean that I'll have to turn down an invite to go out for a drink (water, obvs) with the girls after work.

I don't want to live only seeing the flaws in pictures of myself.

I don't want to live unable to believe my husband when tells me that I'm sexy.

I don't want to live dreading a day at the beach because it means I will have to wear a swimming suit.

These are all things that we fight all the time (especially us girls, I think), and I'm not always secure or confident about everything, but the more I fall in love with my friends and my God and my LIFE, the more I realize that the way you look is not what makes you matter to them.

(I think Proverbs 31 mentioned that, maybe?)

Sara spent most of her younger years worried about how she looked and how skinny she was. And like anyone, she never completely lost her body image insecurities.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

But we have lived without her for a year now, and people have sure had a lot to say about her beauty during that time. And, though I could never convince her of this (did you SEE those beautiful heart-shaped lips and gorgeous green eyes full of life?), she really was beautiful on the outside.

They have had a lot to say about the other beautiful stuff, too.

Her perseverance.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

Her faith.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

Her attitude.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Her love. Her warmth. Her lovely singing voice. Her sense of humor. Her laugh (and subsequent snort).

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Her kindness. My goodness, her kindness.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Funny. I haven't heard a single person say a word about her jeans size.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things discussed on a Crawford family vacation

How far Cassandra could throw the baby

Who is the smartest spouse in each couple

How much force it would take to break off someone else's finger

Who, of the other six, we would kill if we had to choose


The fact that we shouldn't discuss politics

Whether Easy Cheese is real food (It is NOT.)

Whether Easy Cheese is delicious (It is only kind of)

When Jack and Mandy are finally going to have a baby too (Answers: "when we decide between a baby or another karate school," "when we are ready," "never," "why do that when we can take this one," and "none of your damn business.")

(The last one is definitely the most applicable no matter who is asking.)

How much Shane and Cassandra would sell us their baby for

(Turns out we can't afford that one.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heart-shaped sabatoge

I remember it like it was yesterday.

My high school boyfriend-at-the-time and my mom gleefully spreading the seeds around the corner of the backyard. He pointed at the lattice we had mounted to the side of our house.

"It'll just climb right up the lattice," he told her. "We have them at my house too. They're super-easy to grow."

When the morning glory ivy started coming in, climbing and twisting itself up the lattice, covering the small backyard wall in heart-shaped leaves and deep purple flowers, my mom and I were delighted. He was right! They did indeed climb!

And they were heart-shaped! And my favorite color! How sweet was he to plant these in my backyard for me? It was a reminder of him every time I saw them.

But I'm starting to remember it differently.

Because it's a decade later now. The lattice is gone, and I own the house with another man. (You know, that one I married?)


They're not pretty anymore either, no. They find anything and everything they can get their slimy little ivy tentacles on (Fences! Bricks! Other plants! DirecTV cables! The dog, if she sits there long enough!), clinging and wrapping and hanging on for dear life. Which I don't even think they need to worry about because I'M PRETTY SURE THEY HAVE SOME KIND OF DEAL WITH SATAN INVOLVING ETERNAL LIFE IN MY BACKYARD.

I'm racking my brain through that memory, trying to recall a scheming look across the high school boyfriend's face as he tossed the SEEDS OF DOOM around, some indication that he was psychically aware that he and I would eventually break up and I would marry someone else and be STUCK WITH THESE MORNING GLORIES FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

(Apparently his psychic powers overlooked the part where our breakup was quite amicable.)

No, this was no act of love. The heart-shaped flowers were a cover for the SABOTAGE and EVIL that he was unleashing on Future Mandy, who now spends several hours every few months cutting and pulling and spraying and shrieking every 6.5 minutes when imaginary geckos run up her leg and CURSING THESE #$%&*^ HEART-SHAPED LEAVES that have a root system ending in the backyard of some very nice Chinese family, I'm sure.

So, he was right. They are super-easy to grow.

What he didn't tell us, however, was that they are definitely not super-easy to break up with.

Well-played, ex-boyfriend. Well-played.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Some wisdom from the weekend

  • The best things in life may be free, but the free Kindle books in life definitely the worst.
  • If the lady with whom you have a makeup appointment looks like a circus clown, she will probably make you look like a circus clown too.
  • If not a circus clown, definitely like somebody who has been punched in the face.
  • When it comes to real food, what looks healthy may not be healthy. What seems unhealthy may actually be healthy. Ingredient lists, ingredient lists, ingredient lists!
  • Never book flights with stops. Nonstop American Airlines flights only. Otherwise you will get stranded in Indiana overnight when your first flight is delayed thereby making you miss your connection. (But at least you'll get to see your buddy that way!)
  • If you can't find a knife, you can use a hammerfist.
  • Sometimes letting a four-year-old unroll an entire roll of paper towels, one square at a time, to "clean" the floor (and also her knee for some reason), is totally worth the 99 cents and the wastefulness.
  • You can still lock yourself in a bathroom, even if there are no doorknobs on the door.
  • When you find yourself locked in your friends' bathroom in the middle of the night, on the complete opposite side of the house from where they are asleep, you will realize that you wish you had brought your phone with you into the bathroom.
  • To recap: take your phone with you into the bathroom.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You can't Photoshop moments like this

Everyone does it, I think. Especially us women-folk.

The first reaction to a photo that you're in.

My hair is weird. I look so tired. My butt looks huge. My face is all broken out.

I have been going through Ellyn's wedding pictures because Amie (who I might link to if she ever bothered blogging) left me copies of them before we parted. (She did a beautiful job, by the way). 

 I asked Amie to send a picture that I knew Ron took of me, CandyEllyn, and Amie (who I might link to if she ever bothered blogging). After Sara died, the four of us and Alece started a GroupMe group so chat so as to stop Twitter-bombing everyone's feeds. We are basically in constant communication, texting throughout the day and night with probably the most random and ridiculous assortment of conversations you could possibly imagine.

These are some of my very favorite people. And they all live so far away.

So although Alece and Sara couldn't be there, this is the closest to "the whole group" we had ever had in one place. I don't remember many other times where I felt as giddy, as happy, as fulfilled, as right, as when all four of us were in the same room together. So when Amie sent the photo this morning, I got all the warm fuzzies I had when it was taken.

Three of my favorite people in the world. And I actually got to be in the same room with them for a little while.

Of course, as soon as Amie posted it, Candy said "Man, I look well traveled." And then Amie said "I look squished. I should have turned." I immediately told them to shut up and then posted a passive-aggressive tweet about them, because that's how I roll.

(Side note: as I was writing this very blog post, Ellyn complained about herself in another photo. I swear, these people.)

But honestly, I get it. The first thing I looked for in the photos of me was the infamous arm/boob fat that comes along with strapless dresses.

I'm not going to lie, I will probably Photoshop my arm a little bit at some point.

(Now that your wedding is over, Ellyn, I can tell you that I hate wearing strapless dresses, which is a testament to how much I love you to have worn that bridesmaid dress.)

I have spent the last 10 months, and will probably spend the rest of my life, kicking myself for not having jumped in the car and driven 12 hours to Iowa, even if I had to do it alone instead of with the two sickies. If I had a picture of myself sitting next to Sara on her bed instead of next to her on a Skype screen? I don't care how crappy I looked; I would cherish it. 

The fact that I have a photo of three of my favorite people in the same room is important to me. Of COURSE I can find my flaws in every one of these photos, but the moment wins over the flaws.

After all, you can Photoshop your flaws out, but you certainly can't Photoshop the moments in.