Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

It's been another great year. Jack and I both have jobs. We have a house. The dog isn't always bad. We have pretty much the coolest blog ever. Okay, maybe not that last one, but it's still pretty fun. Here's what this year looked like for the Hornbuckles.

January
 
Most of this month was spent hanging out with friends and family, a lot of the time around our new dining room table. It was our first "grown-up" purchase, and I don't know how I lived without this table for so long. It's one of my best friends now. Anyway, we had fun "friend" activities all month, including visits from Angela, Brittany, Jack's parents, a bridal shower for my boss, Awana starting back up again, and, as pictured above, a game night with close friends. It was a good start to 2009.

February

We had a lot of activity this month as well. We had visits from Jack's Uncle Jack (the one after whom he was named) from Chicago, my mom and I went to a Mavs game, we got a visit from my brother from Boston, we went to College Station for Valentine's day, and we visited the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art with the Wildmans. But I chose this picture because this month Jack's school won "School of the Year" for Texas, which Jack got to accept at the Houston tournament (where he also won two firsts and a third) and I got to visit my friend Brittany while we were there as well.

March

This month was our one-year anniversary, and to my surprise, Jack took me back to the hotel where we spent our wedding night after a super-fancy dinner at Capital Grille. I also threw my friend a bee-themed baby shower this month (and she had her baby later in the month), turned 23, and went to Vegas with Jack for a national tournament.

April

Jack turned 30 this month, so I threw him a surprise birthday party. And surprised he was. We also went to Nacogdoches over Easter weekend, visited the JFK museum with the Wildmans, had a visit from Brittany, and went to a Point of Grace concert, started couponing (which has saved us hundreds of dollars this year), and celebrated the end of the Awana year.

May

This month was extremely eventful. Not only did I get to visit my brother in Boston and Angela in Austin (for her graduation!) but Jack and I spent a long weekend in San Antonio, where we stayed in a fancy hotel, took long drives to tiny towns around the area, visited historic San Antonio things (like the Alamo) and got drenched on a riverboat ride when it started pouring rain. We also got a visit from Angela, took my parents RENT for Mother's Day at the Dallas Summer Musicals, I tried to go to one of Jack's tournaments, I rode BikeMS until it got rained out, and we celebrated a few of our friends' graduations (Angela, Garrett, Jared, Matt, and Alicia).

June

This month, Jack and I went to Little Rock, Arkansas for world championships. Jack was ranked top ten in the world in forms and weapons again, and he had the opportunity to compete for world champion that weekend. Although he didn't come away with the title, he did win second in weapons on Sunday. Other notable events this month were the bridal showers and wedding of my friend Ashley, a George Strait concert at the new Cowboy's stadium with the Wildmans, a visit from Angela, a tornado, and a (super-ridiculously-hot) Ranger's game with the Wildmans, and we went to The Wizard of Oz at the Dallas Summer Musicals.

July

This picture is from our trip to College Station for Kyle and Michelle's wedding, where we got to see a bunch of Jack's buddies from the Corps in college. We also got to go see A Chorus Line at the Dallas Summer Musicals, got a visit from Jack's parents and Darlana, and I got to meet my new blog friend, Jessica, in person.

August

This month, a bunch of Jack's favorite students earned their black belts, an achievement two years in the making. Jack also won a first in weapons and third in forms at Texas's largest regional tournament, and we did quite a bit of house organization, including our pantry, laundry room, and Jack's office. My parents also bought me a new laptop, we bought a sleeper couch for Jack's office, I went to a Ranger's game with my mom, Women of Faith with some co-workers, and my friend Lindsey's bridal shower.

September

This month, I launched a non-profit organization called Survival Mode Parent. Within 10 days, more than 100 volunteers had signed up to help parents with kids in the hospital, and by the end of the year, almost 200 volunteers had signed up. It was an incredible response to a ministry that I wasn't sure would take off, but I'm hoping that I see God do amazing things with it in the years to come. Other notable September events were a trip to East Texas, Jack starting our bathroom remodel (a little early!), a Taylor Swift concert (squee!), welcoming a new baby cousin, and sadly, the death of my friend Will.

October

It was really difficult to pick just one photo this month, because along with our trip to Orlando, where Jack visited Disney World for the first time and won a first in weapons at Nationals and I met my blog-friend Ellyn in person for the first time, we worked super-hard on remodeling our guest bathroom (with Jack's dad's help, as always). I also received a check from a very generous donor for the amount that I needed to get Survival Mode Parent incorporated, got a visit from Angela, went to our friends' Earl and Kara's wedding, and enjoyed a game night with the Wildmans on Halloween.

November

We spent Thanksgiving weekend in East Texas with Jack's family, and as has become the tradition, we came home and decorated for Christmas the same weekend. Jack gets so excited about Christmas. I have to fight him from putting up the tree on Halloween weekend! Other notable November events: Almost finishing up our guest bathroom renovation, Jack's dad getting a kidney stone while visiting us, Jack competing and winning at the Coppell tournament, a game night with the Hocks and Wildmans, and the birth of two friends' babies - Kara Roberson and Evany McCall.

December

Jack and I spent Christmas with both of our entire families (minus my sister-in-law, who was spending Christmas with her family in Ft. Worth). It turned out to be a really nice Christmas. Jack and my brother, Shane, spent most of the Christmas break playing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" together. We also spent the weekend before Christmas at Jack's family's house, where Jack gave me a "pre-Christmas" present: a Nikon D60 SLR, which is one of my favorite gifts ever. Also in December: a fancy Apple Color training session for me at work, a bunch of overtime on a video crew at the church, my work Christmas party, a fruit cake roll victory, and a non-profit expo where we distributed more information about Survival Mode Parent to the community.

--

That's pretty much it for us, at least this year. You can find many more pictures from our year on our picture-a-day (Project 365) blog, which really needs to be updated (but I do have the pictures for it!). And if you're interested, you can find the (much more succinct) 2008 year in review here.

As cliche as it is to say, it's hard to believe how quickly the time flew. Here's to an even better 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The one in which I use a lot of caps-locked phrases

It's 2:30 a.m. And I am awake.

I'm not all-too happy about it, either.

I took a vacation day today. For Christmas weekend. And what a vacation day it was. I think my head may explode from all the SIN AND DEATH inside it.

I just spent a half hour completely tearing both bathrooms and a nighstand apart, because OMG WHY DO WE NOT HAVE ANY NYQUIL IN THIS HOUSE!?

That's not really fair. We do have Nyquil. And Dayquil, and Tylenol Cold, and all kinds of other cold medicine. They just all expired in 2008 or earlier. As in, about two years ago.

Evidently we keep them as souvenirs. 

Gah. That can't be safe. But don't think for a second I didn't consider chugging that super-expired bottle of Nyquil, because I SO DID.

Fortunately, before I could break into said bottle of poison (or the liquor cabinet), Super-Husband offered to go to the store and get me da drugzzzz. Because even the Vicks Tissues weren't cutting it anymore. I KNOW. BLASPHEMY.

I'm pretty sure he was willing to do it for me because I am just so very sexy today. What with all the loud nose-blowing, pathetic moaning, unbrushed teeth, clown-red nose, pronouncing my "m's" and "n's" like "d's" or "b's," unwashed orange hair, and mouth breathing I've been doing today, WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO GO OUT OF HIS WAY FOR THIS!? Grrrrowwwl.

And on his way out the door I was like "Oh, honey, can you also get me green tea? You know, only if you see it." And he's like, "yes, sweetheart, anything for you." And I'm all "And honey! Honey for my green tea? You know, only if you happen to pass by it?" And he's like "Sure dear, anything for you."

Anything for me. Almost worth the "feeling like I'm going to die" thing.

I'm getting really great at this wallowing in self-pity thing. I think I may go professional soon.

Who am I kidding? I was always a professional at that.

--

Update: He ended up going to two different stores looking for the Advil Cold and Sinus, but since it was 2:30 a.m. and all, they wouldn't sell it to him since it was behind the pharmacy counter. When he came home, I told him he got "60 points" for trying, which he got extremely excited about and decided to cash them in right away to play his video game right now. (He's very serious about being assigned points for everything he does and keeping track of them. I don't have the heart to tell him that they're not actually real points.) He did bring Nyquil though, so I should be okay n...o.....w......zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blog design tip of the day: Removing the border from around your header image

I know. I haven't done a blog design tip in a while. It's not because I don't want to share... it's more of an "I'm lazy" kind of thing.

So I'm going to (re)start small.

You know those double borders that a lot of blog templates automatically have? The ones that look kind of like this (from my review blog)?



 I like to remove those when I upload a header image, to make it look like this:



See the difference?

Anyway, here's the code for your header. Yours may look a little different, but what you're looking for is highlighted in red:

/* Header
-----------------------------------------------
*/


#header-wrapper {
width:780px;
margin:auto -5px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;
}


#header-inner {
background-position: center;
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
}


#header {
margin: 5px;
border: 1px solid $bordercolor;
text-align: center;
color:$pagetitlecolor;
}

When you see the parts that say border: 1px solid $bordercolor; either remove that whole line, or simply change the "1px" to "0px" if you may want to add the border back in later. Then, that line around the header will disappear.

Also, for what it's worth, do you see the first line that says "width: 780px;" in my code above? This is how wide my header is set to be. I can find that number to know how wide I need to design my header image in my editing program (I use Photoshop Elements) when I'm creating one from scratch.


Happy blog designing! And as always, you're welcome to ask specific questions about blog design in the comments of this post and I'll do my best to answer them.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winners!

I totally forgot about yesterday's contests ending. Because it was Christmas and all. And I was busy playing with my fancy new telephoto lens for my fancy new SLR. And praising Jesus, of course.

So, I had random.org pick a winner for the Taylor Swift CD giveaway, and it picked #10, which was Jamie! E-mail me your address and I'll get it sent to you.

Also, for the blog makeover, I had Jack read through all the comments and pick the one he thought was most deserving. I did the same, and planned on using my mother-in-law as the tie-breaker should we need one. But we didn't. We both picked this comment from Cindi:
I want to nominate my good friend and business partner, Starla. I always use two words to describe her; beauty and grace. She has such a full plate, but she shines with GOD's love and beauty and grace are the qualities that I feel God has blessed her with. She is married to a hard-working godly man. Starla and Garry have 4 children that they have adopted. The 3 oldest have varying degress of special needs. All 4 of the children live at home. They are Rosie - 19 and her new husband Chris, Evelyn - 16, Daniel - 9, and Garret - 3. Starla's mom also lives with them. Starla and Garry's household is very busy and at times chaotic. But they always have room at their dinner table for one more. Starla also is the director of Ruth's Room, a free clothing program sponsored by our church. She does so much for everyone else and I want her to know she is special to me and that she deserves some pampering.

Congratulations, Starla!!  You can e-mail me with any questions or simply fill out the order form and ignore all the prices.

That was fun! I'll have to do more stuff like that.

--

Hope your Christmases were as fun as ours. We had both my family and Jack's family in town, so we just did one big Christmas together. It was nice.

Here are a few of this year's gifts, for record's sake:

Jack:
  • Pancake air compressor
  • Video game (Assassin's Creed II), which turned out to be disappointing. Guess he should have rented that one first
  • Jigsaw
  • Remote control for his PS3 (for DVDs)
  • "Catch Phrase" (the game)
Mandy:
  • Nikon 55-200mm lens
  • Camera bag for said lens and SLR
  • Space heater (and it oscillates! And it shuts itself off so we don't have to die!)
  • Books ("Pirate Latitudes," by Crichton, "Superfreakanomics," by Levitt, and "The Last Song" by Sparks) - I've got some reading to do!
  • High reach hanger hook, for the really high clothes rack in my closet (I get to stop hauling the ladder in and out of my closet! YES!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Surviving the salon



I love how supportive my blog readers are. You're all "Awwwww man that sucks; I'm sure it'll be okay, but more importantly, WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OF YOU LOOKING RIDICULOUS!?"

Never fear, internets. I clearly have lost all shame, because I did indeed take a "before" picture this morning while my hair was a shade of platinum orange before we headed to the salon. Dance, monkey, dance!



The back actually wasn't too bad. It's the top and front that turned the most orange. It did, however, turn out much lighter than I was going for (which is odd, considering I bought the box called "lightest blond." OMG who knew?)

So my mother-in-law and I got to the salon this morning where I usually get my hair cut, and when I walked in, all the stylists stared at me, wide-eyed and as if I had a bomb strapped to my chest.

"Um. My hair is orange," I said, matter-of-factly, as if they couldn't tell. "And I would like it not to be."

They continued staring, silently, for long enough to make my mother-in-law and me both uncomfortable. Then, they slowly approached me, and had me sit down in a chair, and started arguing amongst themselves.

"This is going to be a two-step process," one of them said. "We're going to need to strip parts of it using foil and then color it."

"No, we need to just use this shade of color," another cut in.

Then there was more yelling... a lot of "blah blah blah Ginger" and I sat back and kind of wondered if I had any say in it at all. At some point, my mother-in-law asked how much experience she actually had coloring hair, and the lady goes "Oh, a lot. I've done a lot of famous peoples' hair."

Um, okay. Is there an "a lot" to "years" conversion chart I can look at, maybe?

When we asked how much it would be, she answered "$45 an hour, and since it's a 2-step process, it's going to end up being two hours." Alright, that's called a dumb-tax. I can live with that.

Then, after we decided on a color, the lady went to the back and got on the phone with her manager, came back 20 minutes later, and told me that she couldn't possibly charge less than $65 an hour since she has so much experience with this."

"Um, okay, but you just quoted us $45 per hour," we replied, a little annoyed that she was changing her tune a half hour after we actually got there.

"Well, a lot of people come in here and pay $300 for a hair color. Are you willing to pay that?"

Um, no. I'm not, actually, since you quoted $90 to begin with. Also, I was back and forth on whether to even come here in the first place or head back to the drug-store and buy another super-dark color and do this all over again.

I'm a quick learner, I know.

But long story short, she basically told us it would be at least $150 after she had quoted $90 to begin with, so we left, sure to heed her "you won't find a better price than that! It's going to be expensive!"

We went across the street and found a better price. In fact, it was $45 total, she knew exactly what to do with it, and I was really pretty happy with the result.


There's a little before and after for you.

It's still a little redder than I'd like, but I've done this before and it fades. And I can live with a brown-red before I can live with a platinum-blond-orange. I had wanted a change, and I got it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to cut my bangs by myself. Because I'm just full of good hair decisions lately.

Orange you glad you don't have to go to work Monday?

I'm beginning to realize that good ideas do not originate in the drug store hair color aisle.

When I was in high school, it was about 1 a.m. when my best friend and I decided it would be a brilliant idea to go get hair color right then and try highlighting our hair.

It did not go well.

Elizabeth's hair wasn't terrible. It definitely wasn't the color on the box, but it was okay. But mine? Was bright neon orange.

I would post a picture of it from that night, but I can't because there aren't any. Because I didn't allow that. Which is probably a really good thing. But I do have this picture of what it looked like after they darkened it back up a little:



Needless to say, it took a lot of hair coloring appointments to get it back to normal. I wasn't exactly looking to be a redhead at that point in time. But that's okay; it did finally get back to normal. I even got to be blond for a while after we got the orange out of it. Live and learn, right?

Evidently not.

Because last night, when I was with my mother-in-law in the hair color aisle, I picked up a box. And I thought, I've been wanting to make a change for a few months now. I could be blond again. And when I asked Jack what he thought about it, he said "whatever."

And so tonight my mother-in-law colored my hair. And it turned orange again. Not neon-orange like it did in high school, mind you, but orangey-blond none-the-less.

And I looked at everybody and was all "it'll fade before I go back to work on Tuesday, right? Right? Right?" And they all looked back at me and at each other and were awkwardly silent as if I had just asked them if my butt looked big in these pants.

I guess I'll be making a trip to the salon sometime this weekend.

When I Googled this orange-blond thing, the internet machine told me that it was pretty common to get orange when you try to go blond. Fantastic. Could have used that information about 4 hours ago, Google.

When Jack saw it and I asked him what he thought, he kind of gave me a tight-lipped smile and said "um, it's different.... I liked your old color better."

Hopefully, the next time I ask him if I should buy blond hair color, he'll learn to use the phrase "Honey, I don't think that's such a good idea."

Friday, December 25, 2009

That's about right


Thursday, December 24, 2009

"I was just going to play one more level."

My dad always said that the mark of a truly great video game is when your wife walks into the room at 3 in the morning and says "Do you know what time it is?"

Jack got a new video game last night. And evidently it's a good one. Because I fell asleep on the couch around 2 a.m., Shane left the house at 4 a.m., and I woke up at 7 to light streaming through my dining room window and the sound of my husband still shooting bad guys.

"What time is it?" I asked him, groggily.

"Um..." he hesitated, knowing I would not be happy with his answer. "It's... 7 a.m."

"Seven?" I asked, in a tired haze but still aware that my husband is a loon. "You stayed up all night playing this game?"

"Um..." he hesitated again, not looking away from the screen. "Yes."

"Oh, Jack, it's Christmas Eve... and... you're going to be... sleepy..." And I went back to sleep. Because I am just so committed to my husband's healthy sleeping habits.

An hour and a half later, he woke me up again.

"Um... sweetie?" he said, in his most syrupy voice as he shook me awake. "It's... uh, time to go to bed!"

I opened my eyes and looked at him quizzically.

"Really?" I asked. "Time to go to bed? What time is it now?"

He gave me kind of a goofy smile and told me it was 8:30.

"Seems like we should really be getting up then, not going to bed." I replied.

And then I went to bed with him and slept until noon.

Because I am nothing if not a supportive wife.

Sibling Rivalry

There was a time, about 7 years ago, when my brother, Shane, and Jack did not get along.

Actually, that's putting it pretty mildly. That hated one another.

Shane didn't like that Jack was so much older than I (7 years, to be exact) and "after" his little sister. Which was odd, considering that Shane never really played the role of the protective big brother until Jack came along. Jack didn't like Shane's attitude toward him as a result. They clashed in a big way, and to be perfectly honest, it was almost a deal-breaker for me.

A few years into the relationship, Shane saw that Jack wasn't just trying to get into my pants, and after a trip to Boston to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Shane and Jack became quite the pair. Actually, they became a dangerous pair, since their bad habits rubbed off on each other (mostly Shane's on Jack).

For example, Shane taught Jack how to walk by and unhook a girl's bra through the back of her shirt without her knowing. Um, yeah, that's a fun one. My sister-in-law says that sometimes she'll be walking around later and realize her bra is unhooked and not know when he did it. My brother, ladies and gentlemen.

And on his last trip up, Shane informed Jack that if he wanted something from his wife, like an ice cream sandwich, he simply starts making a very loud, very irritating sound until she's so fed up with him that she says "What can I do to make you stop making that noise!?"

Hopefully as long as shouting out things he wants works for him, Jack will keep the annoying noises to a minimum. Though I'll be honest, the man talks a lot.

Anyway, my point is that there was a time when I figured my only two options were to 1) live with the fact that one of them was actually going to kill the other, or 2) dump Jack if I had any hope of hanging out with my brother when I got married.

But tonight? Tonight my brother bought my husband an Xbox so that he could play together when Shane's in Boston (Shane calls it "the Xbox that he's going to keep at our house"). And they are playing a new game together. And they are laughing. A lot.


 
And even though I may not ever see my husband without a video game controller in his hand again, this is exactly the way life was supposed to turn out.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Unwise

You know how you were just so busy patting yourself on the back about getting all your Christmas shopping done so early online that you put off buying the stuff for your husband's stocking until 3 days before Christmas?

And you know how you thought you'd take, like, 20 minutes at Wal-Mart during lunch and pick up a few things you know he'd like there?

And then it takes WAY longer than 20 minutes because the place is a circus, obviously, because it's 3 days before Christmas and all.

And then when you're standing in line, and the lady in line behind you is standing so freaking close to you that you think that she should really buy you dinner so you can get to know one another a little first, except that you don't want to get to know her because she's screaming at her kid like a loon?

Oh, and that kid is like, running around like a monkey and coughing like a professional smoker and putting his disgusting little hands all over your merchandise you have on the conveyer belt because news flash: just standing there and screaming at your kid into a stranger's ear doesn't help him behave?

And you're thinking I've never punched a kid in the face before. It's probably not wise to start now.

Yeah, me either.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas card 2009

So, remember last year's Christmas card? You know, the one I made myself with the color Christmas letter inside. I handmade all 80 of them, and by the end of it I kind of hated everybody I had to send them to.

Yeah, it's different this year.



This year, I designed them on the computer (with this kit) and had them printed. Then, I designed and wrote a little Christmas letter (using this kit), ran off black and white copies (oh, the horror!) and stuck them all in envelopes and called them good. Say what you want about the laziness, but at least I don't hate you all this year.



Also, I threw in Survival Mode Parent business cards. Because I'm okay with shameless plugs.

Speaking of shameless plugs, that card I was talking about last year is up for a vote for best card at Tip Junkie right now. Number six, if you can't find it.

And if you vote for me, I could win a blog makeover.

Ha. Ha. Ha ha ha. Ahhh, irony.

Either he's cheating...

...or he's trying to win "Husband of the Year."



Because why else would he buy me this super-cool shiny new...



 ...Nikon D60 SLR?



"Husband of the Year" it is.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nice work, public school system

I walk into a restaurant and tell the girl at the hostess stand that I would like to buy a gift card.

"Okay," she says. "How much would you like the gift card to be?"

"$30," I reply.

"Well," she says "we're running a special where you get another $5 gift certificate if you get a $25 gift card."

"That's great!" I reply. "Can I get the extra $5 gift certificate when I buy a $30 gift card?"

"Um," she hesitates, clearly taken aback by the question. "I... don't... think so..."

Since she obviously doesn't realize that a $30 gift card does in fact have the minimum $25 requirement in it, I decide to play along, since the recipient of the gift card wouldn't mind.

"Alright," I say. "If that's the case, I would like to buy one $25 gift card, and then another $5 gift card."

"You mean you want to buy a $25 gift card and get the free $5?" I have her dumbfounded.

"No," I speak slower. "I still want to spend $30 here. I would like to buy a $25 gift card, then I would like the free $5 gift certificate. Then, I would like to buy another $5 gift card."

She has me repeat the sequence again and then begins repeating it back to me very, very slowly. As she does, a manager walks up behind her and begins to listen.

"You know," the manager says to me, "you can just get one $30 gift card and we'll give you the $5 gift certificate."

I smile. "Why, that's a great idea! I'd like to do that then."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Champion

We have this tradition at work. It's called "the fruit cake roll."

Many, many years ago, a donor sent us a fruit cake in a tin from Collin Street Bakery. Obviously, nobody wanted to eat said fruit cake. Because, gross. But this fruit cake had a much, much higher purpose. It would be rolled like a bowling ball by everyone in the office, with the object of the game to roll it the farthest.




At some point, management decided that it would be inappropriate to use the donor's fruitcake for such a game, and we began buying our own. And every Christmas season, we all find a parking lot and compete.

And there can only be one champion (of each gender). And that champion keeps the fruit cake in the tin the whole year. And you guessed it: I was the winner.



Depending, of course, on your definition of "winner."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why you love Eric

My boss's name is Eric. Together, Eric and I solve terribly boring (to you) technical audio problems. Eric's a nice guy. He has three perfectly-behaved little kids, a love of all things Christmas (especially the music), a beautifully decorated new house, and the most fabulous wife ever. You would like Eric. Actually, in a minute, you're really going to like Eric.

A while ago, Eric went on a hunt to find a special Christmas present for me. Something I'd been looking for for a year and couldn't find. He found it on eBay, ordered it, and awaited its arrival. When it didn't come, he checked the address. It had been sent to his old house. And then it had been returned to sender.

He contacted the eBay seller and begged him to send it to his correct address. A few weeks later, the seller got it back and sent it along to Eric's correct address. Finally, Eric had my special present ready for Christmas!

In the meantime, Target began marketing an exclusive-to-Target CD. At the store one day, Jack walked by said CD and stopped in his tracks. It was the kind of CD you don't think about. It was the kind of CD you buy for Mandy no matter whether you know if she wanted it or not, because trust me, she will want it.

And he brought it home. And he was right. I had wanted it. For a year. And I hadn't been able to find it anywhere.

Fast forward to our work Christmas party. We always do a white elephant gift exchange, and this year I decided that this Christmas CD would be the best gift for said gift exchange. Because, really, how could anyone not want this!? 

So I went and bought another copy of the Taylor Swift Christmas CD and wrapped it up. When Donna opened it she didn't look quite as excited as I would have been, but that's okay, because surely it would get stolen over and over, because she's, like, the best artist ever!

It didn't. Oh, the horror.

But that was okay, because I figured if Donna didn't like it, she could just put it in Eric's huge Christmas music collection that he brings to work every November to share. Everybody wins!

When Eric saw the CD, he nonchalantly asked me whether I had the CD as well, and I said that yes, actually, Jack bought it for me a few days ago.

Evidently that was a sad answer. Because as you probably have guessed by now, that was the CD he had searched high and low for and found on eBay when you couldn't find it anywhere and it had only been released for NBC the year before.

And, of course, now Eric already had the Taylor Swift Christmas CD in his Christmas collection, because Donna had given hers to him.

This was a really long way of saying I have an extra Taylor Swift Christmas CD, and Eric wants me to give it away to one of you. Because he's nice like that.


IS ANYBODY ELSE EXCITED!?

Here's how to enter (there are 5 possible opportunities):

  1. Your first comment must be a) a poem about Eric, b) an acrostic using the name "Eric," c) a clever narrative (fictional or not) about somebody named Eric, or d) if you're lame, just anything nice about Eric. This is a required first entry.
  2. If you know what Snowflake Adoption is, leave another comment.
  3. If you know what Survival Mode Parent is, leave another comment.
  4. If you donate food or money or coats to a food shelter or an organization that provides food/coats for the hungry/homeless this season, leave another comment.
  5. If you nominated somebody for a blog makeover on this post, leave another comment.
I'll probably random draw a winner on December 25, but I reserve the right to pick somebody who has entered all 5 times and has a first entry that made me laugh a lot.

Merry Swiftmas!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You

You are really, really mean to other dogs. Even my parents' 13-year-old dog, who can't defend herself.



 You poop and pee on the floor when we're not around. Even worse, you pee on the bed. Even worse than that, you pee on my clothes.



 I hate cleaning all those yellow spots.



If I get a text in the middle of the night, it wakes you up, and you bark for hours.



You will steal food right off our plates (or out of our hands!) if given the chance.



But when you look at me with those big brown eyes, or cuddle up to me while I’m petting you...



I forget just how bad of a dog you really are.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Event(ful) crew

I try not to complain about being busy. It kind of drives me crazy when people whine that they're soooooo busy, and oh, my life is so important that I'm needed everywhere, but I'm miserable because I'm just so busy.

Because if I'm busy? It's really my own fault. It's because I've chosen to be busy (mostly because I'm learning that I have a limited ability to say "no" to people). So instead of telling you I've been busy, I will tell you that the last few weeks have been eventful. Very eventful.

Like, "working extra on weekdays and also for the last two weekends" eventful. On a video crew at the church for some choir concerts, where we wear fancy little headsets that let us make snarky comments to each other about the little kids who are singing badly.

I mean, we could use the headsets for that. Not that we would.

Anyway.

Evidently, something about being dressed all in black and looking quite busy with a super-fancy HD camera just screams "TALK TO ME! I'm really quite friendly!"

Which I am most of the time, by the way. Friendly. My friends at work make fun of me because I say "hi" to everyone. Maintenance workers, random other people who work in the building, the guy enjoying his coffee at Starbucks who looks up when I walk in. Evidently that's weird.

But that's neither here nor there.

The point is, people see a video crew girl and think it's a good idea to talk to her.

You have the people who ask you if it's okay if they can sit in the seats in front of you, or the ones who think you are, in fact, an usher, and ask you how long the concert will be and whether there will be an intermission, and you have several who come up to you and point at the camera and say "don't forget to take the lens cap off!" Because, OMG ha! Ha ha ha ha! It's so funny that I'd be bad enough at my job that I wouldn't realize that the lens cap was still on! Hilarious, random man. Hilarious.

And then you have the awkward ones.

The one who sat on the end nearest to your camera and mumbled something to you about probably needing to be able to get up and go to the bathroom a few times during the show. And you smile politely and say "okay, I'm sure that won't be a problem." And then he kind of blurts out that he's a heart patient and that he just drank a whole bottle of water, and you wonder what being a heart patient has to do with drinking a bottle of water but you don't want to be rude so you nod and smile politely again and pretend to adjust a camera setting and hope you won't have to recesitate anybody tonight because you are so underqualified for that.

And the usher, the really nice one who's aged somewhere between your dad and your grandfather, who seems to have decided to befriend you and keeps coming by to chat every time he seats someone near you. And during a lull he comes by and actually grabs you by the arm (in a sweet, grandfatherly kind of way but also in a invading-your-personal-space kind of way) and tells you to read the pin on his jacket.

"Um, what?" you ask.

"What does my pin say?" he asks again, pointing to his lapel. "Read it out loud."

You look down at the pin, and it has three letters on it. "I Y Q."

"Um..." you hesitate, deciding that the pin probably isn't a trap to get you to say something dirty since you're in a church and all. "I... Y... Q?"

He smiles.

"I wike you too!" he responds, beaming at his little joke and the fact that you fell for it.

And you laugh politely at his little joke. Because that's what friendly people do.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blogwear, baby!

Remember how I redesigned my blog with this awesome new kit?

You should, because you're looking at the design right now.

Unless you're in an RSS reader, in which case you should click over, because, Christmas!

Anyway, Jacabean's new kit called "Gift Wrapped" is out today (squee!), and guess what!

I MADE BLOGWEAR FOR YOU.

I know, I know. I probably just convinced you not to buy a seasonal blog makeover from me. But if you really feel bad about the download, and you must pay me, and don't lie, I know you want to, feel free to donate to my BikeMS ride. You feel better now, don't you?

You're welcome.

Check this out and download if you like it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Robot love, birds, and drugs

Jack got home tonight in rare form. As I was talking to him about my day, he broke out into song (it was "I want to buy these shoes," if you must know.)

"Sweetheart?" I asked, sweetly "Did you know you just interupted me?"

He stopped singing.

"Oh... Um, I got confused." he said slowly.

"Did you get confused because you weren't paying attention?"

"Correct."

Later, when he was in the kitchen making coffee, he was beeping like a robot.

Beep BOP BOOOP Beepity boop!!

"What are you doing?" I called out to him from the living room.

"Talking to my robot," he called back.

Now, a little background here, because we have this robot thing. This recurring, long-standing robot thing.

Disclaimer: we are not cool people. I know. You're shocked. Up to this point, we've appeared to be such popular people.

Anyway, back on June 24, I tweeted this conversation:

Me: "I wonder what non-nerds do in their free time." 

Jack: "I wouldn't know what nerds do in their free time." That was this morning.

This led to a conversation about who is nerdier. He thinks me. I think him.

Then, just now, I was telling him that if he and I were robots, we would still be in love. He argued and said robots couldn't feel love, to which I pouted and said OUR robots would be in love. He just looked at me, busted out laughing, and said "remember that conversation we had earlier? Yeah, it's you."  

Then, on July 3:

"Just finished Wall-E. I told him! I told Jack that robots could feel love!" 

And another on July 11 (told you there was a lot of background on this one):

"Jack: "My robot loves your robot." YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!"

So there you have it. After 6 months of this conversation, he's talking to his robot in the kitchen. When I asked if he was telling his robot to love my robot, he said yes.

I guess I finally have him convinced.

Then again, he also just made bird noises, and told me that his bird was talking to my bird. When I told him I didn't have a bird, he said that I have a bird in my chest.

"Why is the bird in my chest, exactly?" I asked.

"Becaaaauuuuse," he responded, as if he were talking to a 5-year-old, "your ribs are like a bird cage."

Um, okay, dear.

"You know, it would make a lot of sense if I found out that you smoke pot sometimes," I said, in reply to his chest-bird theory.

"Yeah, but then you wouldn't know where my money is disappearing to!" he responded. To that, I had to laugh out loud.

"No, I'm pretty sure if you were doing drugs, you'd have it budgeted." I said.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry new design!



Jolly, right? I think it's jolly.

I made it with Jacabean Design 's new kit called "Gift Wrapped," which is out on Friday. You can check out a sneak peak here, including some scrapbook layouts I made with it!

23 years and 9(ish) months

Today, I'm the same age Jack was when we met.

I must have too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Adding regions to SAWStudio tracks in batch from the library

This is going to be a really boring post, so bear with me here, regular readers who are looking for a hilarious marriage antidote.

After Googling "add multiple audio files to SAWStudio tracks" and "add regions to SAW Studio batch" and finding nothing, my co-worker showed me how to do this, but since I didn't find it anywhere else, I figured the internet machine could use this information. I mean, the 8 other people in the world that use SAWStudio could use this information.

Or maybe everybody already knows this.

Anyway, you can add multiple regions or audio files to tracks in SAW by opening the folder in your library, selecting the files you want (I selected all of them), and either pressing Ctl + Insert for linear placement (all of them on one track one after another) or Shift + Insert to place one region per track.

On my Mac (aluminum keyboard), I had to press the "clear" button on the number pad to disable the numbers and use Ctl + 0 or Shift + 0 as the alternative. Don't forget to press clear again to put the number pad back in action after you're done. Though I expect with so few people working with SAW in the first place, we may be the only people in the world running it on VMWare on a Mac.

You're welcome, internets.

Don't worry, regular readers - soon it'll be back to regularly scheduled programming about my battles with geckos, dog poop, and laundry.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Popcorn

It's over until next year.

Awana, that is. We had our Christmas party on Wednesday, and let me tell you, that was some good birth control.

First off, I found out why we usually use chairs.

It's because without chairs, even though they're sitting, the kids think they a license to crawl wherever they'd like or sit wherever they wish. Like when one of the girls decided to sit as close as she possibly could to me during handbook time without actually sitting on me. Personal space, tiny people, please.

Also, for council time, they added all the Sparks (K-2nd grade) to the room with the 3-6 graders and brought out bags of popcorn on a cart. Our instructions were to take the bags of popcorn off the cart and distribute it to the kids in our group.

But as soon as they wheeled the cart out, it disappeared in a sea of frenzied children, because Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Popcorn! Mineminemineminemine gimmiegimmiegimme nownownownownowwwww!!!!!! Within 30 seconds, every bag of popcorn was gone and the leaders were left speechless and popcorn-less, while the kids who didn't receive any popcorn were screaming that it wasn't fair, and where's their popcorn!?

Oh, except for the good ones, like Aubree, who sat where she was supposed to and waited as she was told, and who looked at me with big sad eyes after it was all gone and asked "were we supposed to go up and get popcorn?"

Heart. Breaking.

But it turned out okay. They popped some more and all the kids got them eventually. Good kids last, of course.

That'll teach 'em.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Merry Judgemas!

I am a Christian. I'm pretty sure you all know that by now. And because I am a Christian, I celebrate Christmas. I give Christmas gifts, I have a Christmas tree, and I listen to Christmas music. I say "Merry Christmas" to others without reservation, and I have nativity scenes in my home. I have the right to do so because I am free to worship the God I want and celebrate the holidays I want. Because I'm an American. And you know what? Nobody has ever tried to take that right away from me.

So why, then, are we Christians (and I use the term "we" very loosely here because I'm pretty nauseated to be associated with this particular group of Christians) trying to take that right away from others?

Exhibit A. Focus on the Family's "Stand for Christmas" website.

This is appalling.

The point of the website is to get people to share feedback about which retailers are "Christmas-Friendly" and which simply "want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars" and don't "openly recognize Christmas." If you take a few minutes to browse the comments from users of the site, you'll see startlingly ignorant statements such as these:

"First thing I notice is that they are only playing non-Christian Christmas songs (Jingle Bells, etc.). Unacceptable. I ask a clerk, "What is the reason for the season?" and I get back "What?". I buy a shirt and when they ask me what kind of wrapping paper, I reply that I want nativity paper or something showing the baby Jesus. They say they only have snowflakes and snowmen and green/red paper. What does green and red have to do with JESUS?"

"Never heard any Christmas music and was never told "Merry Christmas". When I said "Merry Christmas" the employees would just smile. It didn't 'feel' like Christmas at all!!!!"

"Kohl's entire 47-page Sunday newspaper insert ad used the word Christmas twice. Other than the first page reference to a Christmas Countdown sale, they have avoided any use of the word Christmas. What is it they are celebrating?"

And, my personal favorite:

"Very offended by the recent [Gap] advertisement. How dare they suggest we celebrate what we want? This is a Christian nation."

How dare they suggest we celebrate what we want? As in, how dare they suggest we have any kind of freedom of religion in this country? Oh yeah, I forgot about the part of the Declaration of Independence that says that only Christians deserve freedom of religion.

Now, to be fair, Focus on the Family itself clarifies in its open letter to retailers that its appeal is "not to encourage retailers to be exclusive but to be more inclusive by notably featuring the word Christmas with other possible labels such as 'Happy Holidays' or 'Season's Greetings.'" While their list of "other possible labels" is a little too short, in my opinion, I think they made their point a little better here.

But upon first glance of the website, this is not what the world will see. What the world will see is one-sided, selfish, ignorant Christians who care about nobody but themselves and spit hateful comments at people who celebrate anything else. Gosh, I sure don't want to be a Christian if they act like that. And nobody else will either.

We as Christians are supposed to be showing Christ's love to everybody no matter what as a witness. Instead, we're alienating them with our judgmental, close-minded remarks. I am not going to convince anybody that Christianity is worth anything if I act like a jerk when they disagree with me.

Want to fight the "war on Christmas?" (Though I'm still not quite sure there even is one). Say "Merry Christmas" to others. Don't worry about what's politically correct if what's politically correct doesn't suit you. The end.

It comes down to this: there are people in America that believe different things than you do. There are people who live different lifestyles. Those beliefs and lifestyles could very well be wrong, stupid, or sinful. There are a lot of stupid people in this world. But our job as Christians isn't to judge and hate them for that. Our job is to show them Christ's love through our words and actions.

And the Jesus I know (the one who's the "reason for the season") wouldn't scream at somebody for saying "Happy Holidays" to Him.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Evany Jane is HERE!!!

I have been DYING to share this name with you all.

Not really dying. But definitely dying to hear good news about little Miss EVANY JANE MCCALL!!

My friend Ellyn had to have an emergency C-section a few hours ago. Her water broke at 32 weeks and we've been waiting a few days for Evany to make her debut. She did tonight, and she's out and crying! 

Check out Ellyn's blog for all the stats. I'm so darn excited.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanks-cooking (and the winner!)

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and once again, it was a lovely meal with much to be thankful for. Since Jack's family are freaks is different than mine, they have ham for Thanksgiving instead of turkey (whaaa???). But because his mom is so sweet, she also makes a turkey breast for me when I visit for Thanksgiving. So I can't complain too much, I guess. (Except that I do.)

Anyway, I made my favorite cream corn and the mashed potatoes for the dinner since I'm supposed to be an adult now and therefore actually contribute to the cooking as opposed to, you know, sitting around and intermittently napping while my mother-in-law does all the work. Not that I'd consider doing that. But sometimes, I'm guessing people wish that I would just get out of the kitchen and let the professionals do their jobs. Because, this may come as a shock to you, but I am not a good cook.

I'm not a bad cook because I don't know how to cook. I can follow a Sandra Lee recipe like nobody's business. It's that I make bad decisions while cooking.

Like when I didn't put any water in the crockpot with my roast and came home to this. Appetizing, no?

Or when I decided to just substitute beef base for lobster base in my Cajun lobster sauce. Evidently you can't just substitute those two things, because it tasted like seawater and death.

Or when I had some extra imitation crab meat so decided to "just wing" crab cakes. Poor choice.

And who could forget the time I made soup for my friends who just had a baby and tried to transport it in a crockpot in my car? Guess what! Soup doesn't travel well! (Though I will say that I drive much more safely with a crockpot full-to-the-brim of soup in my front seat). I think you can do the math on how that one turned out.

But God bless my husband, with his low food standards, who's content to eat hamburger helper, cereal, or pizza pockets when I've burned or screwed up dinner in some way, and who brags on me to his friends with a very generous "she's getting to be a good cook!" comment every now and then.

But one thing I can't complain about, is the amount of awesome cookware I have to mess up my meals with. And cookware was one of the things you could have chosen to win in my giveaway last week!

OH EM GEE THAT WAS THE BEST TRANSITION EVER DID YOU SEE THAT?

Anyway, so you want to know who won said contest? ME TOO!

And the winner is...



Anne said...

I would get the Cotton Tale Lollipops and Roses Hamper With Frame by N.Selby - LRHP or just do a bunch of toys for my kids Christmas gifts!
Congratulations, Anne! Thanks to everyone for entering!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We wish you a merry blog makeover!

GUESS WHAT!!

Our Christmas tree goes up this weekend.

Which means it's Christmas.

And I want to give you a present.

Actually, I want to give you the opportunity to give someone else a present.

You know that person that's so darn deserving of a blog makeover?

Maybe they're going through a rough time? Maybe they do the most ridiculously amazing things for others? Maybe they brighten your day with their lovely posts (on an admittedly ugly blog design?)

Nominate them here! In the comments section of this post, leave their name, URL, and why you think they should win a free blog makeover.

One of them will win on December 25.

(You can't nominate yourself. Sorry.)

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Authenticity

I've noticed a trend in the blogging community lately to be authentic. To be honest. To be transparent. I've been thinking about this trend and reflecting on what I should take from it. (And then I watched "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" tonight and really made my decision about this one.)

Because I've thought about this before. The sharing more seriously and more honestly the details of my life. The admitting that my life and marriage aren't perfect and divulging all the dirty details of my struggles.

And the conclusion I've come to?

It's really none of your business.

Let me explain. I love you all dearly, and I appreciate your friendship and support. But I operate under the assumption that you realize that I am not perfect, and my life is not perfect. I don't think I have to give you details in order for you to understand that. What do I gain if you think me authentic? What do I gain from being serious with you in my blog entries?

Well, maybe you would respect me more. Maybe you would decide I was a more Christ-centered person if I discussed exactly where I am with my relationship with God with you. Maybe you would think I was more mature if I tell you what I have learned about communicating with my husband in the last two years.

Or, maybe you'd think the opposite of those things.

But that was never the point of this blog. This blog is written to document our story. The things we want to remember. And if Jack asked me to make the blog private? I'd do it in a heartbeat. Because, well, this might be hard to hear, but it's not about you. It's about me. About us.

Now, this isn't me saying I'm not being honest with you. It's not even me saying I won't share my struggles or serious stuff with you if I feel like it. I just don't want to be a part of the trend toward authenticity for the sake of being called authentic.

The other thing I have to consider (as does every other blogger who uses his or her name) is the amount of in real life friends and family that read my blog.

It is necessary to censor myself when people know who I am. I work for an international Christian radio program and volunteer for a kid's church program. That rules out any less-than-nice language. My parents, Jack's friends, and my boss all read this blog. That rules out any talk about my sex life. And that whole "submit to and respect your husband" thing really rules out any venting I have to do about the less-than-adorable things my husband does.

I'm not sure how other bloggers get past that, but I don't think I can. It's not worth getting fired over, it's not worth disrespecting my husband, and it's definitely not worth having to discuss sex with my parents.

So I will write about the good things. I will write about the funny things. And yes, I will definitely write about the embarrassing things.

But I will not dig down and find something juicy for my audience to read just because it might make me popular.

It's not worth that.

--

By the way, I wasn't targeting anybody with this post. If you actually want to share more with your blog's audience, go for it. (This post mostly came from my feelings about Jon & Kate's train wreck of a show after their marriage fell apart in front of millions of people and how poorly I feel they handled it.)

What do you think about this topic of authenticity in blogging? How do you balance your public blogging with your private life?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sugar

Sidenote about coffee: The Starbucks Christmas blend is {finally!} out, as is the gingerbread coffeemate. Ohmycowsweetmotherofchristmasyum.

Jack, making coffee and trying to get me to help instead of standing around uselessly as I am so well-accustomed: "Can I have some sugar?"

So I give him a kiss and laugh at my cleverness. Because, wow, I am so clever. Sugar. Ha.

Jack, humoring me but also kind of eye-rolly because he doesn't think I'm nearly as clever as I actually am and still wants the sugar for his coffee: "Okay. Can I have some refined sugar?"

So I squeeze my eyes shut and purse my lips together as tight as they'll go, and give him another kiss.

Refined sugar. Get it? Get it?

Things said/screamed during game night

"I'm so bored. This is like fishing." -Angela, while playing Yahtzee

"Spank it for the three!" -Jason, on his special way of rolling the dice during Yahtzee

Angela, trying to get us to guess "Trojan Horse" during a game of "Catch Phrase": "It's the guy that wears a toga!"
Me: "Frat guy!"
Angela: "No, it's another word for condom!"
Me: "Rubber!"

"It's poop! From a large animal!" -What I screamed suddenly when I saw that I was supposed to get them to guess "cow pie."

"Oh! Oh! Me! This is me!" -Angela, upon seeing that the "Catch Phrase" was "life of the party."

Me: "I thought you weren't going to wear your competitive pants tonight."
Jack: "No, I said I was going to wear my less competitive pants tonight."
Me: "That's disappointing."
Jack: "At least I have pants on tonight."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Worth every penny

I bought these today.



Oh. My. Cow.

They are the freaking Godiva of socks. They are HD blu-ray socks. The ideal-cut flawless diamond of socks. The 5-star hotel in Hawaii of socks. The batch rename of socks. The Taylor Swift of socks. The Starbucks Christmas blend of socks. The Vicks tissues of socks. The Gary Marshall movie of socks. If orgasms were socks, this would be what they'd be like.

Have I made my point?

Just making sure.

A giveaway from CSN stores!

(I didn't get anything free out of this giveaway. I just like you.)

So I got a nice offer to give away something from one of these many, many stores! Fun!

To enter, simply head on over there, pick out something $50 or under, and leave a comment with what you'd pick if you win and its URL. (They even have Christmas decorations! Score! I love this super-cute Precious moments nativity. If you care.) Make sure to include your e-mail address so I know how to contact you if you win.


Extra entries:
  • If you're a public follower of my blog, leave an extra comment.
  • If you tweet about this giveaway, leave an extra comment.
  • If you blog about this giveaway, leave an extra comment.
  • If you know what Survival Mode Parent is, leave an extra comment.
  • If you know why I ride the BikeMS ride every year, leave an extra comment.
I'll have random.org pick a winner in a week. Happy free stuff day!

The big fight

Notice how I haven't blogged lately? It's because I'm too busy for my own good. My friend Sharon is trying to teach me to say "no" to things. So I said "no" to her invitation to hang out with her. That'll show her.

Anyway, on Wednesday night after Awana, I told Jack that two friends would be coming over to do some freezer cooking with me the next night, so if he could please pick up a little of his clutter, that would be helpful. Later, I asked him if he could run a vacuum in the living room if he had a chance Thursday afternoon, that would be nice, and he replied that he wasn't sure if he would have time. I said okay, and figured that I'd either vacuum after work before they got there, or just give up on trying to prolong the illusion that my house is always spotless. They're close friends. They're going to find out sometime.

So a little later, I asked Jack if he wanted to clean up with me, and he said he was busy doing something, so I laid down on the couch to watch the show for a minute. I fell asleep. Later, Jack woke me up and I went to bed, knowing the house was dirty but figuring I would just clean it up after work.

When I woke up the next morning, I was surprised to walk into a spotless living room and perfect kitchen. I figured Jack picked up after I went to sleep on the couch, so I found a piece of paper and scribbled a little note telling Jack I appreciate all the things he does and enjoy being his wife. </sap>

On Thursday night when Jack got home, he gave me a big hug and with sad eyes, he apologized for being so mean to me the night before.

"Mean to me?" I asked, confused. "When were you mean to me?"

"Last night." he said, and when I was still confused, he explained the fight we had had.

 The fight we had without my knowledge.

Evidently, after I went to sleep on the couch, Jack tried to wake me up to help me clean, and I responded "what do you want me to do?" in a less-than-sweet-adorable-tone. And that? Made him angry.

So he angry-cleaned. If you've ever angry-cleaned, you know what I'm talking about. You're completely pissed but you're really efficient. He scrubbed every dish harder than he ever had before with his extra aggression, he made sure and swept every little part of the tile out of spite, and when he vacuumed? He accidentally-on-purpose slammed the vacuum against the couch a couple times where I was still fast asleep and completely oblivious to any slamming, or even vacuuming for that matter. Enraged, he cleaned the entire living room and kitchen to a flawless state in 30 minutes.

I should piss him off more often.

Maybe not.

Anyway, when it was time to go to bed, he woke me up once, but evidently I didn't wake up very well, so he left me there and got ready for bed on his own. Then, when he came out again and I didn't wake up, he simply shut off the lights on me and stormed off. When I got up and came to bed, he said I asked him "why he hates me," so evidently at least in my subconscious, I realized that he wasn't all-too-happy with me.

But awake, it was clear that I completely missed the entire fight, because I have zero recollection of it. Which, evidently, was the way to do it because I had a pretty great day thinking my husband was just being really sweet cleaning the house for me so I didn't have to.

He, however, thought the note I left was a peace-offering.

Oh, the many facets of communication in marriage.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I miss you, blog.

Do you miss me too?

I knew you did.

Are you looking forward to me finally blogging the long list of things I haven't had time to blog lately?

Yeah, me too.

Until we meet again, old friend the blog. Until we meet again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I've been doing lately

Like I've mentioned before, I'm on a couple digital design teams (called CTs, or Creative Teams) for some digital scrapbook designers. Basically, if you get onto a team, they give you their digital scrapbook kits for free in exchange for you creating some example layouts for them to showcase, as a way of showing the ways the kit can be used. So far, I am loving it! It's a really fun way to be creative and get a little digital scrapbooking done. Plus, free stuff!

Speaking of free stuff and CTs, my Jacabean Designs CT got together and made a team collab kit called "Everything Nice!" It's based on that poem about snips and snails and puppy dog tails; sugar, spice and... well, you know the rest.

Anyway, each person on the team was assigned a different color, which was called a different part of the poem. For example, mine was "Spice" and it's the purple part of the kit (are you surprised?)


This was my first attempt at designing anything, and I really enjoyed it. I certainly have a long way to go before I really know what I'm doing, but this was a fun activity for now.

The whole kit came together quite nicely, and with everybody's contributions, it looks like this!


Isn't it cute? I think it's cute. And want to know some good news?

It's free!!

If you haven't been around the digital scrapbooking world long, then you may not have been on a blog train before. Basically, when designers do a collab like this one, they will put the download link to their part on their blogs so that you can download that part, then move on to the next part of the blog train to get the link for the next download. I've gotten quite a few great kits this way. And best of all, it's all FREE!

If you're interested in downloading this kit, head over to my craft blog to get my download link and the links for all the other ladies' blogs in the blog train. I also designed a blog template from this kit that you can customize and use for your blog, which is also on the blog train and also downloadable for free here!

And just so you know, it's good "digital scrapbooking etiquette" to leave a comment on each blog from which you download. I mean, I don't really care if you do or not on my own, but designers work hard on these designs and really appreciate a thank you.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

He said

"Close your eyes and hold out your hands," he said, as he walked through the door last night.



"I saw these, and I thought they were pretty, and then I thought 'she's pretty too, so she needs them!'" he said.

Locked jaw

When I was about 5, I walking into the hall of my house, when all of the sudden my babysitter came tearing around the corner, running after her little brother, who was probably two at the time.

SMACK!

She ran right into me, and I felt my jaw snap with the impact of her body against mine as she almost knocked me over. And in case you were wondering? That's not good for a jaw. It has lasting effects.

Ever since then, my jaw has popped. And I have to pop it sometimes, just like you have to crack your knuckles sometimes. It used to really bother my friend, Emily, when I would do it in high school. So of course, I did it on purpose around her a lot. You know, since I'm nice like that.

Lately, though, my jaw has been getting worse. It's popping more than usual, like, um, any time I open or close my mouth or bite into anything. In fact, it's even started locking up sometimes, like when I take a big bite of food (motivation to be more lady-like, I guess) or yawn. It's not pleasant. At all. It hurts.

And oh, by the way, I sure do look cool when I can't close my mouth even if I try, so I just have to sit there with it open until it unlocks itself. Just picture that one for a minute. Yeah, glad I could be a source of amusement for you today.

Anyway, Jack and I were sitting in the living room tonight, talking about something, being silly, when I opened my mouth and stuck my tongue out at him, just like the three-year-old I am.

"Be careful, your jaw's going to lock up if you do that too long," he warned. Then, his eyes lit up with amusement and he started laughing. "If you make that face at me, your face is literally going to freeze like that!"

And here I was, thinking Mom was lying all these years.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!



Okay, so I heart this design.

That's right. I heart it.

Because it's Christmasy. And I made it with Creations by Rachael's Holly Jolly kit, which is totally cute (much like anything and everything else Rachael makes) for a super awesome lady that I really like.

And it has really snazzy navbar images that change colors when you mouse-over them. And even though the first draft of the header had little present-words for the title, like this:



...and I liked it better, as it turns out, other peoples' blog designs are not all about me.

I know, it's shocking. Since everything else is.

Hm.

But seriously.

Don't you just love Christmas? And Christmas blog designs? Or, you know, just Christmas in general? Because I do. And if you want a Christmas blog design, you should tell me that now. Because the way I'm going, it might just take me until Christmas to get it finished for you.

That's probably not the best way to convince you to order a blog from me, but really, I don't care if you do or not (though she does).

Really, I just wanted to tell you that I heart this design.


And Christmas.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HOT CHOCOLATE!

Jack and I were watching Grey's Anatomy on the DVR just now, when all the sudden Jack put both his hands up in the air and yelled out "HOT CHOCOLATE!"

My eyes widened as I snapped my head over to look at him, and I paused the TV and jumped off the couch and yelled "OKAY!" as I sprinted toward the kitchen to begin boiling water for hot chocolate.

Jack sat there in stunned silence for a second, and then broke into fits of excited laughter.

"I didn't know that was going to work!" he called from the living room. "I'm going to have to start yelling out things that I want more often!"

A night in the ER, Hornbuckle style

I got a call from Jack's mom, Cathy, early this evening while I was still at work.

"Where's the nearest urgent care facility?" she asked, anxiously. I told her, and then asked what was wrong.

"We think Jim has kidney stones," she answered, and we chatted only a few more moments before she hung up quickly to get Jack's dad to a doctor. Evidently, he's had kidney stones before, and from what I hear, they're not very fun to have. In fact, most people describe the pain as the worst they've ever felt.

About an hour later, I headed home, and when Jack called on his way home from work, I told him about his dad, so he headed to the urgent care place to wait with his mom. I had some work to do, so I stayed at home.

They finally sent Jack's dad to the ER to get a CT scan, and along the way it seems that some pain medications were administered.

And that's where the fun started.

Cathy said that when Jim got the first shot, he was in the middle of a sentence when all of the sudden his face went completely blank, and he trailed off to silence. Then, a few seconds later, he looked back up at her and said "I, um, forgot what I was talking about."

Later, when they were waiting for the test results, Jack's dad kept telling Jack and Cathy that he would "be just fine as soon as he went home and had a beer." He also wanted to go home (as in, back to east Texas) to his own hospital.

Looks like hard-headedness (especially while under the influence of drugs) is a just a genetic Hornbuckle trait.

When they all got home, Jack's dad was feeling goooooooooooooooood. He was feeling "I want to put trim in the bathroom tomorrow morning" good. "I want to operate a chop saw" good. And I'm not going to lie, watching your father-in-law slur all his words because he's all loopy from pain medication? Hilarious.

I think my favorite part was when he was trying to read all the big medical words from the hospital bill. There's not much better entertainment in this world than watching a stoned East-Texan try to say "nephrolithiasis."

But in all seriousness, we're really thankful that he's relatively okay tonight, and I am sad for the fact that he has to be in pain and evidently pass a kidney stone the size of 5 stacked dimes (ouch!!). I'm sure he could use some prayers for the next few days.

But for tonight? While he's feeling no pain in my guest room? I'm just going to hope he wasn't serious about not having to get out of bed to pee in the container the doctor gave him to collect the stones.