Monday, June 29, 2009

The truth about weddings

The truth about weddings?

Nobody really wants to be there.

Okay, a few people want to be there:
  1. The bride, and sometimes the groom
  2. Friends of the couple who are either engaged or almost-engaged, who are basically just judging your decor and taking notes on the good stuff.
That's pretty much it. Everyone else? Well, they're basically just trying to get the weekend over with. I realize that now.

Now, before all you crazy brides leave angry "I hope you die" comments, I'm not saying the whole wedding thing is not worth it. It sort of is. It's just that it's so insignificant in the scheme of things! 

The little crap you stressed over for a year or more? Most likely nobody noticed (except recent or soon-to-be brides). The day you've dreamed about since you were a little girl? Over in three hours.

Cynical? Maybe. Correct? Definitely.

In the process of your wedding planning, try not to piss off your friends (you're going to need them when your husband pisses you off), and try not to piss off your fiancee (or there won't be a wedding). Contrary to what the wussy grooms on "Bridezillas" indicate, most guys won't stick around for that kind of behavior.

Stop thinking about the ribbons you have to tie, the centerpieces you have to make, or the photographer that just cancelled on you, and (nicely) ask some good friends to help you. Don't do it all on your own or you will turn into a fire-breathing dragon, and nobody wants to marry that.

Because what you should be focused on is the marriage. The learning how to communicate with this person. The learning how to live with this person. The fact that you will be spending every day until the day that you die with this person. The fact that it is constant effort and you never ever ever get out of it. The realization that you will be the one holding the bucket when this person is puking.

And if that thought doesn't make you jump for joy? Then don't make everyone sit through your weekend. Because the marriage is really all that matters.

Know what really wears Jack out?


Winning 2nd in weapons at World Championships.

That's what.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Got me a haircut!

Before


After

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Jack update - Forms competition

Don't have long because I have an early flight tomorrow, but I wanted to let you all know that Jack didn't place in forms today either. It's another disapointing year for the world champion competition, but there's still Sunday's competition, which is the beginning of Jack's new tournament season and the first time he gets to compete in the 30-39 year-old division (aka "old man's division!")

Win or lose, I'm always impressed with the way my husband reacts to the cards he's dealt. I loved listening to him tell his students today that "it's just the way it goes sometimes," "the other competitors were phenomenal," and "it's an honor just to be here, in the top ten in the world." Jack practices what he preaches and I love his shining example both of good sportsmanship and Christ-likeness.

With or without red letters on his back [world champions get to sew special red letters that say "world champion" and the year to the backs of their uniform rather than the black letters others get], my husband is a champion in my book (cue cheesy music), and I am always, always proud of him.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Video Blog #3 - Jack's weapons competition

Little Rock Video Blog #2 - Matt & Jared's testing

Hi everyone!

This morning was testing, so we took another video blog. Enjoy!



I'll publish another post about how Jack did shortly.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dallas to Little Rock - A Video Blog

Lord help us, we made a video blog today.

A little background: Today we drove to Little Rock, AR for Jack's taekwondo world championships. Jack is ranked in the top ten in the world in both forms and weapons, and will be competing for the title of world champion tomorrow and Friday. It's all very exciting.

This video, however, is not. I'll work on making them shorter in the future. 7 minutes of car-interviewing is too long.

Also, if you love ducks or Arkansas, you probably shouldn't watch this. Or do, but don't say I didn't warn you. Also, I'm only kidding when I tease Jack about not winning world champ yet. He knows I'm crazy-proud of him.

Here's to shattering all the previous expectations you had of me:


And Tim, I did think about you when I made this one! (He does a vlog carnival every week if you want to check it out.)

Adorable wrapped in cute

This is a video my friend Angela took of my youngest flower girl, Ashlyn, at my wedding. I dare you not to love this.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!


Yeah. I like mine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fan of free fabulous fixes and Facebook?

Become a facebook fan of our blog, and you'll be entered into a drawing for a free blog makeover by Blogs by Mandy (that's me!) I'll draw a winner June 30. Yippee!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Love this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me Monday!


It started with Angie's blog. A recommended read in Google reader. I clicked over and was immediately hooked, reading the entire blog in one day, often left breathless by the way she told her story.

Then I saw a button. "Praying for MckMama," it said, and had a picture of a cute, curly-headed lady looking up at a camera, surrounded by her three small children. I clicked over to the blog, and this post was the first I ever read, which made me laugh until I cried. As soon as I finished reading, I shared the post on facebook with the caption "One of the most clever blog entries I've ever read." And so it was.

Welcome to MckMama's Not Me Monday. Home of the MckConfessions.

---

When my neighbor delivered a plate with two of her famous, glorious, amazing, best-in-the-history-of-the-world oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I absolutely did not eat both of them before Jack got home instead of saving one for him. I am always a super-considerate, non-gluttonous wife.

I am not about seventy-hundred days behind on actually clipping and organizing my coupons. It has not just become an intimidating venture that I no longer want to participate in. (Okay, that's not really true... coming soon: post about my super-awesome new coupon-organizer I made).

Jack and I did not put hair gel into the dog's hair to give her a mohawk before church on Sunday. That would be strange.

After Angela recommended "Two and a Half Men," we did not watch an episode of it, only to be surprised at how dirty that particular episode was! After that, we did not tease [sweet, innocent, pure] Angela about how she "likes the dirty shows" and "wants to corrupt us." We did not enjoy making her turn red and stutter. That would be mean.

Because we always know our limits, Jack and I did not schedule a 12-hour Sunday, starting with church, continuing with a Texas Ranger's game in the 95-degree heat, then on to the Dallas Summer Musicals' production of "The Wizard of Oz." We are not exhausted and insane.

If we had scheduled such a day, we would have found a way to shower between becoming completely soaked in sweat during the baseball game and getting all dressed up and going to a fancy musical. We did not simply "wipe down" with some wet paper towels in a restaurant bathroom and change into the nice clothes between the two events. We were not just plain disgusting, and coming home and showering was not both glorious and painful (see bottom of this post).

Speaking of the Ranger's game, Jack was not super-excited about making it onto Sports Center during a clip of a home run whose ball landed in the section next to ours.

See us? Jack's in the dark blue shirt on the right aisle, Owen's next to him in the white shirt and red hat, Sarah's in the light pink, and I'm next to her in red (but I think I'm being covered up by a guy who's standing up).

Also, being the super-perfect wife I am, I would never say "I told you so" to my husband for any reason. Even if I offered him sunscreen at the baseball game, he refused it, and ended up looking like this:


I still wouldn't say "I told you so."

(I actually did put on sunscreen and ended up pretty burned myself. Ouch!)

What did you not do this week?

Friday, June 12, 2009

What can blogging do for you?

I have a friend at work, we'll call him "Eric," who is witty, insightful, intelligent, and opinionated. He has three small children, two of whom are Hispanic twins that he and his wife adopted as embryos in a snowflake adoption (and theirs one of the first transracial embryo adoptions to be done!). He also works in a creative field, and has strong views on politics.

Basically, he has a lot to say. And he knows how to say it.

But he doesn't blog. And it baffles me.

I've had this conversation with him many times.

"Eric, why don't you blog? You would have a fantastic blog," I tell him.

"Oh, I don't have anything to say," he replies. "I wouldn't know what to write about."

Wouldn't know what to write about?

Well, let's see.

There's the parent blog, where you tell the cute stories like how your daughter sweetly says hi to the little girl in her Sunday school class every week even though she realizes that the other girl doesn't particularly like her. You may not have thousands of readers with this one, but you'll document your family's experiences, which to me is one of the most valuable ways to spend your time. Yes, I'm a scrapbooker, and so I value such things, but if you think about it, do you really not value such things?

Then, there's the technical blog. What do you do for a living? You are an expert on something. Everyone is an expert on something. Why not share your expertise with the world? If somebody I worked with (and, ahem, wanted to be when I grow up) wrote something about...I don't know...sound design... man, would I read it.

A lot of people, like my mom, compare themselves to super-witty bloggers and therefore don't want to write lest they be compared and judged. Let me just say... that's complete bull.

Blogging should not be about others. Blogging should be about you. Perhaps that's why I never pursued journalism after college. I love to write what I want, when I want, and I don't have to care what anybody thinks. And that's why I still love writing.

Are you afraid of spelling and grammar errors? That not every entry is super-witty or interesting? Okay. The more you write, the better you'll get at writing. Afraid of offending someone or being too vulnerable? Make it a private blog! (Though I will say that the motivation to write goes way up when you have an audience.) Either way, the point is to write. To document. To rant! To storytell. To remember.

It's interesting the way blogging has changed my perspective. Given the choice, I would rather meet Jennifer Mckinney, Jessica Turner (and Matthew and Elias!), Ellyn McCall, Sara Frankl, Lindsay Ferrier, Jill, or Angie Smith than Jay Leno, Brittany Spears, or Ryan Seacrest. Bloggers are real (okay, for the most part). I can relate to these people, and I feel like they could relate to me. I don't have any problems looking up to them because I believe they are genuine people. Good people.

This week in chapel, Chuck made a reference to us losing deep, meaningful relationships as they are replaced with "fake friends" on places like facebook and twitter. I usually don't disagree with Chuck, but I can tell you, it had been a long time since I prayed like I prayed when Stellan was in the hospital, and I have hardly ever been as excited for a friend as I was when Ellyn told me that Seth had been approved for cochlear implants and that she had raised God had provided all the funds.

No, this world doesn't take the place of my in-person relationships, but I refuse to reduce these "internet" relationships to fake. They are not. I think that's why people were so upset about the April Rose scam. You get involved. You fall in love.

Blogging has changed the way I look at things, the way I think about things, and the way I remember things. I have a record of my entire engagement and first year of marriage, and I will have a record of every year from now on. I will have a record of my pregnancy, of my child's first steps, first day of school, first car, and first college. I can look back and see what God has done in my life. And nothing can replace that.

There is nothing more valuable to my physical history here on earth than this blog. And there will be absolutely nothing more valuable to my loved ones when I'm gone than this blog.

This is how I will be remembered. How will you be remembered?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You know your friend is classy when...

You know your friend is classy when she gets "dumped" (the day before her first day of work), but refuses to say a single bad thing about the guy who broke up with her.

You know your friend is classy when, in the midst of her severe, unimaginable, unspeakable broken-heartedness, she says that she hopes God uses this to show Himself to others.

You know your friend is classy when she's praying for him.

You know your friend is classy when she has had everything (And I do mean every.thing.) go wrong in her life, and still asks you how she can pray for you.

My friend is classy. My friend is a true beauty. My friend is a woman after God's own heart.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yes, I know...

...it's pink. Very pink.

Monday, June 8, 2009

All my Exes Live in Texas...Stadium

This weekend, we went to the George Strait concert at the new Texas Stadium. It was AWESOME! Leann Womack, Blake Shelton, and Reba all opened for him, and they were also incredible (especially Reba!!)

We started in section four-hundred-and-way-the-heck-at-the-top, where we could see okay, but one of the speakers was cutting in and out, producing a giant muddled reverb from which we couldn't actually decipher any of the words. It was miserable. We thought it would be like that the whole concert, but fortunately the group next to us told us that we could go to the information desk and complain and they would reseat us in another section. Hallelujah!

So we moved to a place that had much better sound and a better view of the 60-yard screen as well (That's right. 60 yards.)

When Reba came on, I leaned over to Jack and said "I want to look like that when I'm 50!"

Later, when George came on, Jack leaned over to me and said "I want to look like that when I'm 50!"

I leaned back over to Jack. "I want you to look like that when you're 50 too!"

George was incredible, as always. The man can do no wrong.

We also got to be the first crowd to see the brand new retractable roof open, per George's request to Jerry. It was pretty cool.



The part where Mandy almost gets to hit somebody

Really, the only unpleasant thing about the evening was the idiots behind us. Now, you let morons drink moron juice beer for 6 hours straight, and they become bionic morons. The kind of morons that could have super-powers if they could just walk a few steps without stumbling.

It started with a moron lady, who was sitting directly behind us. The first thing said moron lady did was announce to us that she was "f*****-up" (really? We couldn't tell that from the slurred words, you wreaking of alcohol, or the fact that you have lost the ability to walk, but thanks for clarifying), and proceeded to blabber on for about 20 minutes about how she loved Jack's hair and that her husband did it the same way and she loves ponies and she wishes she had an IQ above that of a roof shingle. Or something along those lines.

Then, her husband came back from the concesion stand, a few more beers in hand, thilled with himself for having found his row (actually, he found my row, not his. His row was behind ours). He started yelling to her, and she back to him. Finally, I guess she got tired of the yelling.

"Yurrr all f***** up, yeww sooonaa-beeech. Sadown!" she yelled at him.

Immediately, he sat down in the seat directly next to me and busted out in idiotic laughter. He leaned over to me.

"Sheee say-ed to sadown and I saadown raight heeere," he slurred. "Ahm likea dawg. I doo wut she tellz me." Then he busted out in laughter for another 5 minutes and repeated what he had just said about eight more times.

Awesome, dude. You sat down on command. You have now proven yourself about 1/10 as intellegent as my dog. Nice work.

Finally, he moved back to his row, and all of the sudden I saw a hand above Jack's head.

"Ahh jus' wanna tuch yer hair, cuz ah do mah ha-yer the sayme way," he leaned over and said to Jack, as he put his hand on Jack's head and started stroking it. Before Jack could even react, I whipped around and glared at the drunk redneck moron.

"Please stop touching my husband's hair." I said, forcefully, as I glared at him.

"But ah do mah hay-er the sayme waaaaaay," he protested. "Ah jus' wanna see wha it feelz like."

"If you do your hair that way," I reasoned, "then you should know what it feels like. Get your hand off my husband's head."

"Then Ah'll just touch yer hair then," he retorted, as he moved his hand from Jack's head to mine.

As soon as his hand touched my hair I whipped around and slapped his hand away forcefully. He stared at me, stunned.

"Well..." he paused, and spoke slowly. "Yer kind of an asshole, aren't you?"

Yes, actually, I am kind of an asshole. Glad you got the message.

He didn't touch any of us after that.

---

[By the way, we moved seats in the middle of Reba's performance, right after the first drunk lady stumbled as she was trying to dance and landed right on top of me, catching herself on the top of my head. After the move, the rest of the concert was much more enjoyable.]

Friday, June 5, 2009

How to do couponing

People ask me how to do couponing, and it doesn't even occur to me at this point that people don't know where to start, so I've written a little "how to" guide on how I do it (actually, this is my modified reply to a friend who asked). Enjoy!

--

In case you didn't already know, I'm doing a bit of couponing, which I always thought was kind of dumb, because how much can you really save with 35 cent or $1 coupons? (Turns out a lot). We budget $300 a month for groceries, and since I've started this we haven't spent more than $180 for the whole month.

This is a good article about beginning your couponing, but I'll also go over how I do it too:

The trick is to use coupons strategically with sales to make stuff way cheaper than it is or free (I didn't think it was possible, but I actually get a LOT of free stuff.) For example, if BBQ sauce is usually $2.50 and it goes on sale for $.99 and I have a $1 off coupon, I can get it for free (actually, I make a penny profit on that scenario).

Where to get Coupons

You get coupons from your Sunday paper, and there are three kinds of coupon inserts: Smart Source (abbreviated SS on most websites and blogs), Red Plum (RP) and Proctor & Gable (PG).

Buy the Sunday paper (or multiple sunday papers if you want to stack coupons) and you'll have what you need to start with. There are also printable coupons, and you can find those on websites like the ones below and at places like Coupons.com.

Using blogs to help you find deals and save you time

There are a bunch of different websites that pretty much do the hard work for you. My three favorites (for my area) are Southern Savers (this one is the most organized, but the prices are from a different region than mine, so the prices are sometimes innacurate for our area), Couponing101.com (good for both weekly deals and basics about couponing), and Craving the Savings (this one is based in North Texas so it has the most accurate prices, but she doesn't do as much detail as Southern Savers does). You can also pay The Grocery Game to do it for you, but I've found that with all the other free websites available, I don't even have to do that.

Every week, these websites (and others like them) do most of the work for you by looking through the sales for each store and matching the sales with the coupons available. If the prices are the same as your area, then the hard part is already done and all you have to do is make a list of what you're going to get and pull your coupons before heading to the store.

Organization

My organization system consists of a 3-ring binder with categories (food, which is organized alphabetically by brand; health and beauty, which is organized by subcategories like hair, makeup, etc.; and household, again, organized by subcategories like cleaning, laundry, etc.) I use clear baseball card holders (you can get them at Target or Walmart for about $5) to put all my coupons in so I can flip through them easily.

I also have a smaller, accordion-style coupon organizer (similar to this, but not nearly as cute as this one) that I keep the coupons that I've pulled for specific trips (tabs for Kroger, CVS, Tom Thumb, Walgreen's, etc.). This way, I don't have to be a total dork with my giant binder at the register (though it's usually in my cart in case I see something on sale that I had missed online that I have a coupon for).

To clip, or not to clip?

Some people simply write the date on the inserts after they pull them out of the paper, file them, then clip when needed. This is a good method if you don't have a lot of time, but you'll probably miss some of the deals if you haven't clipped everything and organized it. I clip everything first because 1) I remember what I have better if I've already clipped it, and 2) it's easier for me to find them that way.

**Update 1/4/10 -  Since writing this, I've begun simply filing my inserts. I use coupontom.com to find out if there's a coupon for something and then find it. Ideally, I would always clip and organize in my binder, but this works in a pinch.

Now, printing is a little different. Unless there's a hot hot hot coupon that will go away quickly (there's a print limit on printable coupons and when they're gone, they're gone), I don't print the printables until I need them. No use using my ink and paper for coupons that I may end up throwing away after they expire.

The List

Before my shopping trip, I make a list of everything I'm going to buy (with specific sizes so I know what the coupon will be good for), write what the sale price is next to it, how many I can buy at that price (i.e., how many coupons I have for that product), what exactly the coupon is (i.e., $1/1, or $1 off 1 of that item... sometimes it's $1/2, which means you have to buy 2 to get $1 off), and what my final price is going to be. This way, I know exactly what I need to buy when I get to the store and I don't have to flip through my coupons to see how many I can get or what the coupon is for.

Stores that double and triple are your friends

Also, grocery stores usually double coupons that are 50 cents or less or triple coupons 39 cents or less, which essentially makes them worth $1 and $1.05, respectively. So if you can shop at a place that doubles or triples (like Kroger) instead of a place that doesn't (CVS), then your coupon is worth more. It's just a matter of strategizing based on the current sales.

Playing by the rules:

1) You can only use one manufacturer's coupon per item. It usually says this on the coupon. If you have 2 manufacturer's coupons for an item, you must buy 2 of those items. You can, however, use manufacturer's coupons with store coupons. For example, if Tom Thumb sends out coupons for stuff at their store, you can match these coupons with manufacturer's coupons for the same item.

2) You have to buy the product listed, but not necessarily the product pictured. Make sure and read what the coupon is actually for, because often times they'll put the most expensive thing in the picture, but really you can get something cheaper.

3) You can't make copies of coupons. Duh.

4) You can't use coupons after their expiration dates (unless it's the store's policy to accept them and cover the cost themselves)

Stockpiling


Because stuff only goes on sale every so often, one good strategy to always pay low prices is stockpiling. You do this by buying multiple newspapers and stacking the coupons, then buying more of an on-sale item than just what you need right now. For example, I only need one package of toilet paper, but it's on sale this week and I have enough coupons to buy 5 packages of toilet paper at a discounted price, so I should buy it all now so that it will last until the next sale cycle. Generally, that's about 6 weeks, so try to buy enough of whatever you need to last you that long. Obviously these things need to be non-perishable or freezable items.

You may think it's difficult to find places to store all this extra stuff, but you can get creative. I use the shelves in my laundry room for most of my stuff, but I also have extra high shelves in the garage that I could store toilet paper, canned goods, etc. on. We also now utilize the space at the back of our pantry, where we didn't usually put stuff before because we couldn't see it very well, to store stockpiled items.

Don't forget to check the expiration dates when you're shopping, though! Be sure that the item won't expire before you're able to use it.


Other helpful links for getting started:

-How to work CVS (they have something called an "Extra Care Bucks" program. Basically free money back for shopping there. Makes a lot of stuff free.)

-How to work Walgreens (similar to CVS, but theirs is called Register Rewards and their rules are a little different)

-Couponing terms

-Coupontom.com - a searchable database of all the coupons out there - great if you're matching deals on your own without the help of blogs

I think that kind of covers the basics. I know that's a lot of information I just threw at you but feel free to ask specific questions in the comments of this post and I'll be happy to answer them!

Good luck!!

--

Update: Also see my newer post on How to find the best deals on stuff

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Meet Ajax, the attention whore

It started with a blog. (Doesn't everything start with a blog?)

This was no ordinary blog. This was a dog blog. Ajax's dog blog.

Ajax is my brother and sister-in-law's retired-from-racing greyhound. They teach greyhounds a lot for racing, so they adopted him already knowing how to to heel, get into his cage, and apparently, type on a QWERTY keyboard.

Last year, Ajax decided to join Facebook, but Facebook removed his profile for not being a person. I think this hurt Ajax's feelings, but he seems to have bounced back, because now you can become his fan on Facebook instead. Which is probably way better anyway, since Ajax would rather have "fans" than "friends." He's self-absorbed like that.

His latest status update said that the next 100 people that become his fans will have a chance to win a free dog collar made by my sister-in-law, who is really amazingly good at making them. (She made two and a leash for Maggie!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Okay, TAMU, you got my freaking attention

Dear Texas A&M University,

I'm not sure how long it will take you to realize this, but I am not a student there anymore. Actually, I haven't been a student there for a year and a half. Your association of former students seems to realize this, since they send me e-mails every other day asking me for money (And by the way, when I'm still paying back my thousands of dollars in student loans to your school, I'm not inclined to give you even more money for the heck of it. Sorry.) 

Before I left, I found out how long I had to switch over all my e-mail to a new account (six months) and got it done in less than three. So, when the first warning that my @tamu.edu e-mail address was about to expire, I thought "yeah, that's about right." No worries, I had been prepared.

Then, at a year, when I was still getting e-mails about my account expiring "in 30 days," it was a little bit of a nuisance, but nothing I couldn't handle. One little "add sender to my junk senders list" click and I didn't have to worry about them any more. 

But you've returned with a vengeance, haven't you? You must have read my blog and realized that the best way to get my attention is by waking up the dog. You are an evil university. Pure. Evil.

A text message from Texas A&M:

Dear mandycrawford@tamu.edu, Your Texas A&M University account will expire in 30 days. Please login to extend your service period.

Dated: Tue, Jun 2 2:35 AM.

Yes, you read that right. 2:35 AM! As in "in the freaking morning." And Maggie is awake. And Jack is awake. And Mandy is awake. And none of them are happy.

Now, maybe you thought "she's a college student, so 2:35 a.m. is, in fact, the best time to reach her." This was probably true when I was a college student. But, as we have covered several times in this letter, I am no longer a college student. Therefore, 2:35 a.m. is no longer the optimum time to do business with me. 

Again, in case you didn't realize it from my year and a half of ignoring your "30-day" warnings to extend my service period with my @tamu.edu e-mail address, I am not a student there any more. I do not wish to have an @tamu.edu e-mail address. I do not wish to register for classes. I do not wish to pay any more money, take any more tests, or attend any more midnight yells.

I am not a student anymore. Yes, I'm okay with you expiring my account. Please, just leave me alone.

Sincerely,

Mandy "You're lucky my husband is totally into your stupid school because I'm never ever ever ever giving money to your former student association" Hornbuckle

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time-saving tip of the day...which does not include actually reading this post

So, as much as I hate breaking the tradition of buying fruit, waiting for it to go bad in the back of my fridge, and throwing it away, I decided that today I would cut up a cantaloupe in hopes of actually... um... I don't know... eating it. I know. It's strange. But go with me on this.

I cut the cantaloupe in half and removed the seeds and thought "gosh, it might be easier to cut this thing up if I had one of those melon baller thingies." So I went to the drawer that would house the melon baller thingy if I had had one. I didn't. (Looking back, I'm not really why I thought I would have one. I've never used one, and I'm not quite sure what one looks like. But you never know. Maybe Jack would have had one at some point. Oh, no, that's right, he doesn't eat fruit anything remotely healthy.)

Anyway, I did find a couple ice cream scoopers.

I have this one ice cream scooper that I'm not really all that fond of because its "scoops" are actually just big flat chunks of ice cream (but I bought it because I thought it was the special one Jack wanted, but it turned out this was the one he wanted, and I'm not all that fond of that one either because it's handist.) Still following? Man, when this post started it was supposed to just be a picture and a few words.

Anyway, I found a use for the ice cream chunker. It was fabulous for de-shelling the cantaloupe! Usually it takes me a while to cut the outside off of the cantaloupe and it therefore isn't necessarily worth my time. Using this little tool, it took me only seconds!

It just took you way longer to read this post than it would have to de-shell-ify your cantaloupe. You. are. welcome.

Ps - At what point did I start taking pictures every time I did something innovative/remotely-innovative/not-innovative-at-all-but-I-thought-it-was-innovative, and think "I must blog about that?" Hm.

Pps - By the way, just because I cut it up does not mean I won't continue the tradition of letting it go bad in the back of my fridge and throwing it away. I don't want to make you think I might actually follow through with eating the thing. Don't worry, though. I'll keep you posted. I know, I know. You're all on the edge of your seats.

Update - No, I didn't eat any of the cantaloupe. I threw it away a few weeks later. So it's a good thing I didn't spend much time on it.

"Not Me Monday" is back, baby!

Oh man, I'll bet you're excited. I can just hear the cheering. My floor just vibrated a little from all the people reading this who are simultaneously jumping up and down exuberantly.

That's right. "Not Me Monday" is back.

Now, to be fair, it's technically been back for a while now. MckMama, the creator of this blog carnival has been on the ball ever since she got home. I, however, have not.

So, without further rambling adieu...

The last time I did a "Not Me Monday" was not March 16. Wow. This is not because I've been out of town for the last four weekends!!

Okay, you Aggies will appreciate this one: Last night, when we were at dinner with Garrett and a bunch of his Corps of Cadet friends telling Corps stories, one of the Corps guys did not call Jack "Ol' Army!" I did not almost pass water through my nose from laughing so hard at this. I have not taken every possible opportunity to call Jack an "Old Ag" since then.

Last week, Angela did not walk in on me prettifying a card table because I was trying to take down a few birthday banners.

Speaking of Angela, when she got here, I did not have an Angela-friendly-food-free pantry (get all that?) and she did not just have to go hungry the first day she was here (she's allergic to sugar, dairy and gluten, and our food is not quite that healthy).

In true Mandy-fashion, it has not been weeks since I have done laundry.

I was not shocked this weekend at several graduation parties to hear that several in-real-life friends actually read this blog. Who knew? (Hi, Jared!)

Jack and I did not clear out most of the programs from our DVR this weekend, not by deleting things beacause they were taking up space, but by actually watching hours and hours of TV while sitting behind our laptops doing work/play. I am not simultaneously ashamed of this and happy we had the weekend to relax!

I did not watch the Taylor Swift Dateline special in awe and amazement and would not watch it again and again if given the opportunity. I do not have a giant, embarrassing girl-crush on her that everybody teases me about, and I am not out-of-my-mind excited about going to her concert in September.

I did not dig a bunch of empty toilet paper rolls out of the garbage when I found out a local church needed them for Vacation Bible School. Gross. I would never do that.

I did not almost have a melt-down when Twitter went down last week. I am not at all addicted to broadcasting my random thoughts for the Tworld.

I'm not becoming more terrified of Stacy and Clinton jumping out at me in public than an attacker the more I watch "What Not to Wear."

I'm not becoming bored with trying to think of the stupid things I have done in the last three months, so I'm not going to bed now.