Monday, March 23, 2015

snow schmow

my canadian friends always make fun of me because when it snows, the state of NC shuts down. This time though, not only did we shut down, but our governor declared it a state of emergency before the snow even fell.

but imma tell you something. when it snows and you aren't prepared because it doesn't occur to you that your power might go out and if it does go out that it might stay out and you have nothing at your home to eat that doesn't require preparation of something with power not even peanut butter and your house is surrounded by trees so it's dark even during the day, well, it is a state of emergency.

i woke up at 130a to go potty and I am glad I did, because when the bathroom light wouldn't go on in Bill's bathroom (yes...we do not share a bathroom but we do share a commode at night), I knew something was wrong. I called the power company and reported our outage. I then proceeded to unpack the entire fridge and freezer into coolers and put them out on the front porch. I was so proud of myself and my knowledge at being a pioneer.

but my proudness was short lived, as it didn't take much for me to realize that a good pioneer I do not make. (Bill on the other hand says he never considered for even one minute I would be a good pioneer.) I think it was around noon, and my 50th (no lie) call to the power company that I started to cry. I was cold. I was hungry.  I had no snow boots, only too tight ski pants, too big ski gloves and a ski coat. So I could only partially participate in outdoor activities - not that I wanted to but still. I sent bill and his dad (and his dad's truck because it's not like either of us are prepared with 4 wheel drive) to the only place open - WALMART - to get sustenance for the rest of our lives because by this point it was clear we were going to die in this snow storm. Bill suggested that while he took care of our livelihoods at the walmart, I should call some pet friendly hotels in the area just in case there was some place we could go.   Naturally, Bill wasn't excited that the only place that "seemed" to have vacancy was the umstead where rooms are upwards of $600/night and the pet fee was $200 - but that did include a pet bed and pet bowl! Obviously, I had already figured out how we would pay for one dog, sneak two dogs in, and then bill could babysit while i went to the spa to relax and destress from the snow. Bill on the other hand said we could just continue to rough it. But miraculously, at 5 o'clock and the power still wasn't back on, the Hampton Inn must have had a cancellation because on my third try, there was room at the inn!

and all the angels sang glory hallelujah. and so did i.

we packed very hastily, including our walmart livelihoods, and treaded carefully to the hampton inn. they had snacks! and free beer and wine! dogs galore! heat! light! technology!!!!

and i was so happy i cried again.

and then i took a very hot bath in the very giant tub in our very giant presidential suite that we didn't even know the hampton inn had. but i was happy to have gone from pioneer to my more suited designation in this suite. even the peanut butter sammies i made us tasted better in the warmth and comfort of the presidential palace.

so all of that is to tell you that next time you make fun of the state of NC for shutting down in a snow storm or me for crying at the mere threat of snow? Well, that is fine. because it is true.

Friday, February 6, 2015

and then there was we. dad and me.

As the holidays approached, Bill and I started trying to work out who we would visit and when. Since it was his family's turn to get actual Christmas this year, and with our move and trip to Italy, we were trying to fit it all in during a more condensed time frame than normal. So we decided we would do Christmas with my family the weekend following Christmas, and we would share that time with my grandparents and that side of the family. 

When I called my grandmother to reschedule Christmas for everyone (since they had planned to do Christmas a different day), she told me they were going to do Secret Santa this year and asked me what I thought about that. I told her how successful Secret Santa has been with Bill's family, and how I thought it was a great idea. Grandmother and Granddaddy should continue to give to everyone, but all the kids and grandkids would just give to one other person. 

It turns out that wasn't what she had in mind. Secret Santa was appealing to her because it meant she only had to shop for one person, instead of everyone, and let's be honest, she's old, and she is trying to tend to my granddaddy, who has recently been moved into an Alzheimer's care facility, so I can understand shopping for less would be a welcomed relief. 

However, as compassionate and understanding as I may be, that didn't stop me from telling my parents that I thought secret santa with the Robertsons was a bad idea. And then, when it turned out my very own dad was the one doing the matching of santas, I reminded them that this was a bad idea and something was going to go wrong. I just had a feeling. Not to mention that this meant Bill and I had a really good chance of not getting the Costco gift cards Uncle Ronnie gives year in and year out and we love a costco gift card!!! 

Here is photographic evidence of the fateful day where we all piled in to my grandparents' formal living room to enjoy our very first (and what could potentially become annual) secret santa exchange. 

There's Bill opening his double crock pot gift (yes). There's a lot of people sorting their loot. And there's Uncle Ronnie chit chatting with Jack's girlfriend (and it is important to note here that the girlfriend has a gift on her lap). Oh and mom is next to Bill with her own double crock pot gift. 

What you don't see in this picture are either of my grandparents and their mountain of gifts, my aunt pam with her gifts, my brother because he was taking the pic, or my dad and me. You don't see dad or me and it could be because we were too busy opening our loot that we couldn't get in the picture. 

Or it could be because neither of us got a gift. 

We both gave a gift to someone else. 

But there was we, dad and me, who had no gifts.

In big brother fashion, Lee wanted to know what I got. So I said "nothing." Because I don't believe in dishonesty. And because I got nothing in the secret santa exchange. It was like a slow motion movie. Uncle Ronnie turned on his video camera to interview me (he literally interviewed me about what I got in the secret santa exchange, and how it felt to get no gift) and the whole room took a break from going through their loot to watch the live action interview. The room was silent. And everyone stared at me and kept saying "oh no." 

Finally I just couldn't take it anymore, I told the video camera this was all very awkward and could we please just go back to everyone opening gifts. 

My grandmother felt badly so she disappeared and came back with a gold box. Inside I found an interesting pair of black gloves with fur wrists. I have never been the reciepient of a handout. It was a humbling experience to receive what everyone can only assume was a regift. I mean, how else did my little ole grandma go buy and box up these gloves so quickly! 

Dad felt really badly too, especially since he was the one in charge of assigning the santas. I felt badly because no one even seemed to notice that he didn't get a gift either. And all I can assume is that somehow, in all the matching, my alzheimers' grandaddy got 2 santas, and forgot to go shopping (which isn't funny. But kind of is). 

But, I guess it's safe to say that Santa really does know if you've been good or not and the girlfriend must have been real good this year. I mean, how else do you explain how she - who none of us even knew, let alone knew she was coming - got a gift. 

And then there was we, dad and me, who got no gift for Secret Santa. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

bucket lists.

I love lists. You could even go as far as calling me a list maker. I write a to do list every day at work, and I write one every week for my personal things. And sometimes I forget to write things down, so when I do them, and remember I did them without my list telling me to do them, I add them to the list just so I can mark them off. It makes me feel accomplished I suppose.

A few years ago, I decided to make a bucket list. I wanted a way to keep track of the things I wanted to accomplish in life. Granted, some of them were silly (such as staying at The Grove Park Inn, The Inn on Biltmore and The Cloister...all with a hottie of course) and some were things that I would like to do but who knows if I ever will (such as learn Hebrew, sign language and finish my minor in German).

As Bill and I got to know each other, we talked about our bucket lists. I am pretty sure he told me mine was ridiculous because bucket lists were supposed to be fun. I guess when I compare his to mine, I can see why he would think that. His list consists of activities (like going to the Masters) and things that cause me to panic (like sky diving), and definitely not learning foreign languages and new skills.

When he told me he wanted to go sky diving, I told him he could only do that if there was a groupon because no way were we paying full price for him to maybe die falling out of a plane.

Well. It just happens there was a groupon for sky diving around the time of Bill's birthdizzy. He had 3 months to use it. and because I am a good wife, and I remembered when he shared with me his hopes and dreams of the future, so naturally I purchased the groupon. So the Sunday after Thanksgiving we trucked up to Lewisburg, NC to Triangle Skydiving Center so Bill could maybe die falling out of a plane.

We got there early, so it was good for me to be able to see others sky diving and while it gave me some comfort (since no one died falling out of a plane while we were there), it did leave some anxiety since Bill could always be the one it happened to. Of course when I shared my fears with him, he was very reassuring and told me if it was his time to go, it was his time to go.

Lucky for both of us, Bill made it!!! He said it was everything he thought. And like any man, the only complaint he had was that the holster was a little too close for comfort. But let's be honest. That's the least of what he gets for putting me through that kind of angst. Maybe he should think about that the next time he wants to do something life threatening. Or better yet, maybe he should just change his bucket list. There are plenty of fun non life threatening things to do in life, such as taking me to any of the places on my bucket list that I would like to go to with a hottie.

(as a side note, i am wearing that exact same outfit at work today!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Christmas Greetings!!!

Growing up, I always thought when I got married, holidays would be a no brainer. We would spend them all with my family and that would be that. Well, apparently that's not how the rest of the world, or my husband, thinks. And so, since we did our first married Christmas with my family, it was his family's turn this year.

Since it's really a Christmas Day celebration with his family, we signed up to be greeters at church for Christmas Eve. This seemed like a good idea at the time because we could spread good cheer (and we all know I have a lot of that to go around, year round) and most importantly, we would get reserved seating. And if you ever go to church on Christmas Eve, you know seating can be a problem so this fact in and of itself made signing up to shake strangers hands a bonus. However, if you have ever known me, you also know shaking a stranger's hand is about the last thing I want to do. And I certainly don't want to have to talk to a stranger. Call me a grinch but I don't care if it is Christmas. I do not want to shake your hand or extend to you any kind of heavenly and holy mumbo jumbo that requires me to get near to you. Walking in to take our greeting position, I confessed to Bill that I was having second thoughts because shaking hands and hugging strangers was really just not my thing, to which he informed me I was in the wrong line of volunteer work if I was just realizing this now (apparently my mother must have had a hunch too since she txted me to remind to be nice and friendly to all the strangers I encountered during our greeting shift).  So, we came up with a game plan. We would just open the doors for everyone! We opted for the doors that we thought were the least popular. Little did we know those doors open up to a giant parking lot we had no idea existed (but i guess a good take away is that now we now know where we can park when they realize we've been parking in the reserved visitors' lot for oh about a year now). Everyone seemed appreciative of the double door opening they received as they approached the church, but let's be honest a "well this is some good greeting!" or a "aren't y'all the nicest greeters I've ever seen!" doesn't really make up for the completely weird looks we got at the same time. I mean, it's not like we got any training on this whole greeting thing. We only signed up to have our names in the bulletin and to get good seating.

About 5 minutes till the service began, Bill and I had had enough of the greeting so we left the doors to open themselves and went on in to to find our specially reserved seats. Turns out the extended family - yes EXTENDED FAMILY - of the other greeters had also found our seats. So we sat 15 on a row in reserved seating (the other greeters must have done a better job than us because they were not early or right on time for the service. They were so busy greeting they were a few minutes late). So much for not getting near to a stranger and so much for bonus of reserved seating on Christmas Eve. All of our greeting had clearly been in vain since apparently reserved seating doesn't equal spacious seating. Thankfully communion started and Bill read my mind when he leaned over to me and asked if I wanted to get outta there. Of course I hands were just salivating for some sanitizer from holding onto the door handles so much, and as such, instead of returning to our seats after partaking in the elements, we just walked on out of the church. Ain't nobody ever worn their coats and taken their purse to take communion but then again, ain't nobody gonna hold these greeters down either.

But I guess if your good seating for being a greeter turns out to be a bust, you might as well at least beat the traffic by getting out of church early. Although, that may have something to do with our good parking since we do park in the visitors' lot...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

tis the go insane

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I promised to be better, and then I promptly failed.

In a nutshell, since our anniversary (so, 3 months), we have done the following things:

a) bought a house
b) gone to Mexico (and almost died as you know)
c) done reno work at the house
d) moved into the house
e) had Christmas
f) gone to Italy for 2 weeks
g) gone skydiving

I have a long list of things to blog about. Stay tuned!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

further to the topic of packing.

for what it's worth...the only photographic evidence of our trip
While we're on the topic of packing, this seems to be a good time for me to share with you our recent trip to Mexico.

You might recall that last year for our honeymoon, we packed in one suitcase. This year, we were so excited to a) go back to Mexico and 2) each have our own suitcase. Since we are doing a bit of traveling in the next few months, we decided to splurge and get new suitcases. Bill got a grey one and I got a purple paisely-ish one. We said on more than one occasion how excited we were to use our suitcases.

The week of the trip rolled around and we both started gathering our packing essentials. I had so many visions of a repeat of our honeymoon with beautiful sunsets, romantic dinners and mimosas by the pool. Forget that the entire family was going to be there, we were headed to our second honeymoon!!! I pulled out all of my favorite maxi dresses, my beautiful new gold sandals, my brightly colored accessories, the flat iron, my best makeup and my brand new swim suits. (Of course, I did not bring a beach tote, a sun hat or sunscreen, but that is neither here nor there...) Bill on the other hand just pulled out more than one pair of pants for this trip and was ready to go.

It's safe to say that we were so excited about our new suitcases - and being able to take more than one - that it didn't occur to us this trip would be less than perfect. But let me tell you the following things about our trip and you can decide for yourself.

1. I had been fighting an infection the two weeks before the trip, so I was on an antibiotic that made me feel less than great. If it was a side effect, I had it.
2. Our flight from RDU to Houston was delayed because of a frozen lavatory. Yes. The bathroom was frozen.
3. We missed our connection in Houston because of this. We were supposed to fly first class too!
4. After raising cain, the airline did rebook us on the next flight - FOUR hours later (and on business class wtf) and give us meal vouchers.
5. Sunday and Monday and Tues. partial were great. We enjoyed the sun, the pool bar, the golf course, the spa.
6. Tuesday at lunch was my last meal. It was room service pizza and it was delicious.
7. I spent the next two days being very unlady like. I guess when you speed date, you don't get to experience EVERYTHING before marriage. Safe to say we've experienced it now. I was also very rude as I just could not muster the energy for any family meal.
8. Thursday morning Bill made me go to the hotel hospital.
9. The Mexican doctor hooked me up to an IV for severe dehydration and infection.
10. After 2 hours on the IV getting fluids and antibiotics, I was feeling good!
11. I felt so good, I went to lunch by the pool.
12. My body didn't know how to respond to the back and forth temperatures, so after about 15 minutes, I got the chills, panicked and got sick all over again. I told Bill I thought I was going to die.
13. The sweet Mexican doctor had to come back to our room - with his doctor bag! - and check my vitals. He waited while my body starting regulating and told me I wasn't allowed to leave the room until after 8p and if I did then, it should be only for a small walk. He also assured me I wasn't going to die in Mexico.
14. I drank 3 bottles of Mexican pedialyte and Although, this may be just Pedialyte in general and not anything to do with it being Mexican.
15. So is gatorade after about the 5th bottle.
16. I was able to fly home without too many visits to the loo.
20. We got off the plane and I announced I wanted to eat some mashed potatoes. I hadn't eaten anything since Tues. except 4 french fries, half a tiny bagel, and two saltine crackers.
21. The antibiotics caused major acid reflux and after being unable to sleep and doing research on an acid reflux friendly diet, I learned that mashed potatoes are not part of it. Neither is mac and cheese (which I also had an hankering for)
22. Sunday morning, after taking shots of apple cider vinegar, I was able to eat two eggs and a bland salad. Praise!
23. Thanksgiving rolled around and I was able to eat everything in sight.
24. It has been almost 2 weeks since I got sick and I am finally feeling normal again.
25. I didn't have to wash very many clothes from my suitcase since pretty much nothing got worn. Talk about over packing!!

Thankfully I am alive and getting well-er (also huge shout out to my hubby who gave up most of his vacation to take care of me), so clearly this means I - WE - deserve to go on another vacation so we can actually enjoy it! And clearly I will need to buy all new outfits because the ones I packed for this recent trip, while unworn, are now tainted with the memories of being sick in Mexico. Sorry I'm not sorry about that.

another adventure of stupid packing

For the past several years, my extended family has gone apple picking together.  I haven't ever been for various reasons but this year, I decided it was time. My cousins have super cute kids and with the addition of Lexie, adopted from China earlier this year, I just couldn't miss out on another year of apple picking with the fam! The plan was half the fam would stay at my parents' house and the other half would stay at Uncle Luke's house (about an hour from the orchard).

The whole week before, I tried to do my due diligence and ask the appropriate questions. I mean, it's probably good to remember that I am the girl who my parents took strawberry picking and I was unable to find any berries anywhere in the fields (that were apparently full of berries). So, clearly I had some questions. They were harmless questions such as what should I wear? Where will we pick apples? What kind will we pick? What will we snack on? How long does it last? And most importantly, is it considered manual labor?

I guess mom got tired of all my questions because she told me that people who had so many questions maybe shouldn't go apple picking since they seemed to be so burdened about the whole thing.

Well, since that made a whole lot of sense, I decided I would just stop asking questions and just go with the flow. You know...because I real good at going with the flow.

And because I do what my mama says, I also packed well for this trip (or so I thought). I thought since surely no one had given me any type of warning about apple picking, that it must not be that hard, or that hot, so I could feel confident that looking cute was the best option. So I packed a skirt, a cute top and my fave gold flip flops. Mama may have been mad at me for my questions but no way was she gonna be mad at me for not looking cute!!

Well. It turns out apple picking IS considered manual labor. Turns out you may or may not have to walk over 2 miles throughout the orchard. And while there are a lot of apples laying around, most of the good apples are high atop the trees. Turns out that all of these things are only exacerbated by the heat that is unusual for the time of year. Luckily for me, Eli loaned me a great t shirt so I didn't have to risk messing up my cute shirt. However, I was on my own with the skirt and the sandals.

Needless to say, I wasn't exactly the most comfortable apple picker to pick apples. It's probably also important to point out that earlier that morning mom AND Bill had suggested I bring a change of cloths to Uncle Luke's house (where we were all gathering for supper afterward) so I wouldn't have to sit in my apple picking outfit all night. But since I always know best, I said I didn't need to do that. I mean, I wasn't going to get that hot or dirty. So, while everyone (and by everyone, I mean the entire extended family on this apple picking trip) enjoyed a delicious dinner in clean cloths, I enjoyed mine in a hot and sweaty skirt, shirt and unmentionables.

And then I wallered around on the furniture because I wasn't going to miss out on cousin snuggling time just because I was dirty!

At least I got the first shower when everyone staying at my parents' house got back. And some good insight into what apple picking actually is for all my future apple picking excursions! No more questions from this girl. But only when it comes to apple picking.