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.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The one in which I am easily amused

Every month, the ministry for which I work has a featured product they use to generate donations. And every month, I make a video to promote said product on the web. This month, said video looks about like this.

Anyway, as you can see, it's pretty straight forward. Script, background music, stock photos and footage. You know the drill. It's not all that exciting but it's a video project, so I'm happy.

But today, it got much more exciting.

You see, next month's featured product is a CD of traditional/classical Christmas music. And when I did a search for Christmas music on iStockPhoto, this is what I found (there's no sound):



And just like that, my day got better.

Obviously I can't show you the mock video I made with this over Chuck's voice and the classical Christmas music, but hopefully your imaginations are creative enough to come up with that on your own. It was hilarious.

What song do you think Santa is dancing to in this video?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Now you're just getting lazy



Oh, come on, Irish News Centre. No stories about a Nigerian prince who wants to wire me all of his riches, or an old guy who died and left me his great inheritance? No attempts to get my social security number or bank account information? Just a sorry "Send: Name, Age, Country?"

Shame on you, Irish News Centre. I expected more from you.

On the bright side, at least I won.