Saturday, April 30, 2005

Tales of a New Homeowner, Part I

Sorry, but this is going to be a really short post. Casey and I are about to leave for a music festival where I want to see one of my favorite musicians, Jonny Lang. I have not even started to get ready and here I sit, typing away! Anyway, I'll tell you for now that the closing went well, very smooth, lots of papers to sign. More later (I promise!)...thanks for the comments!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Me all grown up

We are closing on our first house in approximately thirty-eight minutes and forty-two seconds! (More details later...)

And now,

One-liners that make Casey laugh

"A rock in it!" (Pauline in Pauline and Paulette)

"Brilliant!" and "Right!" (Basil on Fawlty Towers)

"He's the best...and the worst!" (Kramer on Seinfeld)

"See, now you're doing something!" (Jerry on Seinfeld)

"Serenity now!" (Kramer on Seinfeld)

"What I can't stand is all the lying!" (George on Seinfeld)

"And DE...LI...VER...IT...TO...HER!" (Frank on Seinfeld)

"I'm guilty, Robert!" (William Hurt in The Village)

Me singing (in a Kermit voice) "...and you wish that you weren't there..." (Muppet Babies theme song)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Is plus updates and ramblings

Something I have noticed more and more as I get older: I will be talking about something that people in general do that annoys me, and it never fails that right in the middle of that venting I will suddenly realize that I do the exact same thing. Not only that, but 99% of the time I am talking to Casey, the one person in the world who had that realization waaaaay before I did.

We have a cat named Junebug. Yes, we wash her, but not all that often. She is an indoor/outdoor cat. She thinks that the best spot in the entire house is my spot on the couch. Not Casey's -- mine. Which means that I have to move her almost every time I want to sit down (all the other times I don't bother and just sit on her...just kidding, PETA). One morning last week I woke up, got out of bed, and as I made my way to the mirror to start getting ready for the day, Casey stopped me and asked, "What is that on your face?" (Warning to the squeamish: Look away!) I was like, "What?" Then he reaches up and pulls a HUGE TICK off my cheek. Just one of the many reasons why morning grogginess is a blessing.

Without blogs, I don't think I would have known so much about pregnancy and birth and babies -- and I am talking the hard stuff, not all of the fluff. Not saying I never heard anything else before, but it is amazing what women will share on their blogs. I don't know that I will be doing all of that, but I am glad that somebody is okay with it (thank you Sarah, Jolene and Tyha!...those are the ones I remember at the moment).

It is so easy to get wrapped up in your own little world, full of its own little problems. I do that, you do it too I'm sure. I am trying to get away from that, and instead focus on God and others (JOY = Jesus, Others, Yourself). Why is it so hard to prioritize? It's like, "I'll do this, as long as I get that out of it." How I tire of seeing myself in that light. But there it is. And of course I see others doing the same and I think, "If only you would focus on others, you would find your burdens to be so much lighter!" Wow, was that me saying that? And shouldn't I be standing in front of a mirror when I say it? The easiest thing to do is give great advice to others on how to live their lives. I think there is only one person who walked on this earth that can give the advice, and he lived a perfect life.

I am confessing here and now that I have been bemoaning the same old thing for over a year, and I do NOT want to do it any longer. Yes, I can have my hopes and dreams, but shame on me for feeling so sorry for myself for so long. I want to do better and I will do better. This is, by the way, a difficult thing for me to say.

Casey and I are closing on the house this Thursday, April 28! That means that Casey and I will own a house. How blessed we are. We still move in at the very end of May/first week of June-ish (for Richard, Samantha and Shellie: "Ish-a").

My El Monterey coupons arrived the other day. Hooray! I thought they were being pretty generous by giving me two coupons for 50 cents and two coupons each for a dollar off any of their products (here I come, yummy Cruncheros!). Casey, however, thought they could have sent more. Sigh.

I'm still in physical therapy because my shoulder is as stubborn as the body it's attached to and has yet to be as well as it can be. But I now do exercises at home with resistance tubes, those fun little things.

Carla and Nathan are married and on their honeymoon! I love, just love, seeing that love and all the family and the cake and the happiness. What a wonderful celebration it was, and I am excited to see their smiling, shining faces again. (And now I can't wait for John and Brandi's wedding in July!)

My sister is awesome, and let me tell you why. There is a strength in her that only comes from relying on God, and boy do I need to do that more and more. I am blessed by God through her and through others who have struggles but still cling to God and put their hope in Him.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

First, a thank you to all who wished me well via Casey, and for those who asked him to give me hugs. My heart is always warmed by your thoughts and your prayers. I know some people wonder what is wrong when I am not there, and some already know, but my simplest explanation would be that I was diagnosed almost three years ago with an auto-immune disorder called Behcet's Disease (and no, I didn't misspell it -- it just looks weird). I deal with smaller aches and pains than I used to, but at times the fatigue can be pretty overwhelming and so I must listen to my body and rest, so I did that yesterday afternoon and evening. I know the first reaction is to feel sorry for me, but I promise that for the most part I live a normal life. I don't think you can ever fully learn to live with chronic pain like it's not there (ask Casey about how much I talk about my knees or my stomach!), but you can cope. A lot of you have seen me play ultimate frisbee, so you know that I am doing just that!

Here is what I wanted to talk about yesterday, something completely unrelated to chronic pain...I always thought I knew whose voice it was singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" along with the ukelele at the end of the ER episode -- you know, the one where (gulp) Mark Green dies. I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly deep the strumming of that ukelele and those first ooh's hit me. I want to break down and cry just thinking about it right now. I never got the chance to see that entire episode when it first aired, something about the VCR or the tape, I don't know. But last year I taped a rerun and I watched it. And I cried. And then, I had Casey watch that last part with me, the part where Rachel, Mark Green's daughter, puts the headphones on his ears, and then we heard it: those small, happy chords that will forever haunt me because I love, love the simplicity of those notes and the voice but I will always connect it to that evening when I sat next to Casey and saw him on that TV screen instead of Anthony
Edwards and I thought, "How could I ever lose him?" And I have had that thought before, but this time it was different, it was deeper and sadder and too big to grasp. Casey saw my tears that night, and he felt that same deep sadness along with me, and so he knows how I feel about that song. I have been hearing it recently on a Hallmark commercial that seems to play over and over, and it makes my heart want to tear right open and pour all of the sadness out and let all of the joy come in. Maybe vice versa, I'm not sure. Has a song ever done that to you? This is not the first time it's happened to me, but this is the song that I connect with that evening I just mentioned, and so it' s probably more potent than any others. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, or even if you do, click here and listen to the first bit of the next-to-last song on the list. I don't think I'll do it today, but you go ahead.

Monday, April 18, 2005

And that, friends, is truly a Super Husband!

Don't be alarmed by my new Unkymood. I'm okay, just been experiencing more headaches than usual. And when I say "usual" I mean I hardly ever get them, and in the last couple of days I've had about three. We did have a busy weekend. Our RFC spring retreat was Saturday, and it was an all-day event. Whew! I will admit here and now that I was the teensiest bit sad about not getting to sleep in (and when I say "sleep in" I mean until 8:30 a.m.) but I'm sure I wasn't totally alone in that, right Ann? Sorry I'm jankin' on ya! (For those of you unfamiliar with the the phrase I just used, don't worry...there was a time when I didn't know either.)

Like I was saying, it was an all-day thing, and really awesome to spend more time with the college folks. Did I mention the five-mile hike a few of us went on that left us panting and gasping for air and whistling "Bridge on the River Kwai"? Well, forget it, because I won't talk about it. Ask Dave or James. But they probably won't talk either. So there was lots of devo time sprinkled with great singing; the middle of the day (i.e., the hottest part of the day) was reserved for running around in the punishing sun throwing a frisbee and arguing about where the boundary was:

I thought it was at the beginning of the shade?

No, it was where the log starts.

What?! I thought it was where the log ended?

Wait, you didn't score!

Yes, our goal is after the orange cone because at the end of the gym there is a big mud puddle.

Alright, carry on.

There was lots of wonderful food prepared by wonderful people, then at the end of the day there was a big, beautiful bonfire (Casey likes alliteration) for roasting marshmallows and eating S'mores. Did I mention I never ate a S'more? Because I didn't. And it's only my fault because I was taking fire photos. I will forever cherish the one with Casey, Dave and I looking like crazy people in front of a bonfire.

Okay, gotta hurry and talk about my Super Husband. Yesterday, which was the day after the retreat, Case and I were going to have to go grocery shopping (i.e., one of my least favorite things to do ever) after evening church services. But Casey, in all of his wonderfulness, tells me that he would like to get up from the sacred Sunday afternoon nap and do the shopping all by himself so that I can rest and so that we can come home right after church and rest some more. This is the part where my heart melts and feels sorry for every single time I have been snippy and I try and try, but he says no, that he really wants to...and so I give in. I am not so much trying to brag as I am trying to be more and more thankful for my Super (Sweet) Husband.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Random thoughts and observations

I'm quite the eye-roller. My parents knew that a long time ago. Casey knows too. And I'm sorry.

Picking up a cat in an attempt to soothe its anxiety whilst your husband vacuums will only result in a scratch on the nose and lip.

Eating the exact same Healthy Choice meal once or twice a week does not get old, much as you think it would.

El Monterey's Cruncheros are possibly the best little snack/meal I've ever come upon. That means they will probably go the way of all my favorites, meaning they will soon be discontinued. (I miss you, Keebler's Magic Middles!)

If you email El Monterey and tell them how much you love their products, they will email right back and tell you to send your address so they can send coupons!

El Monterey is quick at answering emails, but slooooooow at sending coupons.

Skipping breakfast to sleep just a little longer does not a better morning make.

A Rice Krispy treat accompanied by coffee have, on occasion, been considered "breakfast" in my world.

I get annoyed that Casey can shave, shower, eat breakfast and get dressed all in the time that it takes me to do my hair and makeup.

I get tired of doing my hair and makeup.

When I have had a bad day, one hug from my husband takes it all away.

Casey has learned that he can get away with a lot with me just by being his cute 'ol self.

You can't take photos with the lens cap on. You will realize this only when you are standing in front of a group of people who know you have a degree in photojournalism.

Definition of a super-husband: a husband who, on his day off, will vacuum, do dishes and make dinner for his wife.

One World (Not Three)/Love is the Seventh Wave
from Bring on the Night is one of the most awesome Sting performances ever.

Buying a house will make you truly feel like a grownup, even if you've technically been a grownup for the past eleven years.

I absolutely love to make my husband laugh. It is one of my joys in life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

And I've never even watched Spongebob Squarepants!

I am citing Patricia here at the beginning. She sent this to me, and it was too much fun to just email. I was Spongebob, by the way. So when you get your answer, post a comment and tell me who you are! Here we go...

Everyone has the personality of a cartoon character. Have you ever wondered which cartoon character you most resemble?
Answer all the questions with what describes you best, add up all your points (which are next to the answer that you choose) and look for your results at the end.

Which one of the following describes the perfect date?

a) Candlelight dinner (4 pts.)
b) Fun/Theme Park (2 pts.)
c) Painting in the park (5 pts.)
d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)

What is your favorite type of music?

a) Rock and Roll (2 pts.)
b) Alternative (1 pt.)
c) Soft Rock (4 pts.)
d) Country (5 pts.)
e) Pop (3 pts.)

What type of movies do you prefer?

a) Comedy (2 pts.)
b) Horror (1 pt.)
c) Musical (3 pts.)
d) Romance (4 pts.)
e) Documentary (5 pts.)

Which one of these occupations would you choose if you could only choose one?

a) Waiter (4 pts.)
b) Professional Sports Player (5 pts.)
c) Teacher (3 pts.)
d) Police (2 pts.)
e) Cashier (1 pt.)

What do you do with your spare time?

a) Exercise (5 pts.)
b) Read (4 pts.)
c) Watch television (2 pts.)
d) Listen to music (1 pt.)
e) Sleep (3 pts.)

Which one of the following colors do you like best?

a) Yellow (1 pt.)
b) White (5 pts.)
c) Sky Blue (3 pts.)
d) Dark Blue (2 pts.)
e) Red (4 pts.)

What do you prefer to eat right now?

a) Snow (3 pts.)
b) Pizza (2 pts.)
c) Sushi (1 pt.)
d) Pasta (4pts.)
e) Salad (5 pts.)

What is your favorite holiday?

a) Halloween (1 pt.)
b) Christmas (3 pts.)
c) New Year (2 pts.)
d) Valentine's Day (4 pts.)
e) Thanksgiving (5 pts.)

If you could go to one of these places which one would it be?

a) Paris (4 pts)
b) Spain (5 pts.)
c) Las Vegas (1 pt.)
d) Hawaii (4 pts.)
e) Hollywood (3 pts.)

Which of the following would you prefer to spend time with?

a) Someone Smart (5 pts.)
b) Someone attractive (2 pts.)
c) Someone who likes to Party (1 pt.)
d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)

Now add up your points and find out which cartoon character you are.

10-16 points

You are Garfield: You are very comfortable, easy going, and you definitely know how to have fun but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know what you are doing and you are always in control of your life...Others may not see things as you do, but that doesn't mean that you always have to do what is right.Try to remember your happy spirit may hurt you or others.

17-23 points

You are Snoopy: You are fun, you are very cool and popular. You always know what's in and you never are out of style. You are good at knowing how to satisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few days more than once but you always come home with the family values that you learned. Being married and having children are important to you, but only after you have had your share of fun times.

24-28 points

You are Elmo: You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing to give advice and help out a person in need. You are very optimistic and you always see the bright side of things. Some good advice: try not to be too much of a dreamer, if not you will have many conflicts with life.

29-35 points

You are Sponge Bob Square Pants: You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never want to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it's funny and calm for the most part. Stay away from traitors and jealous people, then you will be stress free.

36-43 points

You are Charlie Brown: You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your mom every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a few birthdays. Don't let your passion confuse you with reality.

44-50 points

You are Dexter: You are smart and definitely a thinker. Every situation is fronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles. Maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Can I get some feedback?

Okay, I think I finally got my photoblog to do what I wanted it to do...sort of. I was trying to make the navigation as easy as possible for visitors. So, if you have a tiny bit of time, click on the title to this post, check out Leaning Tripod, then come back here and let me know what you think. What I have added are the "previous" and "next" links to each post. Each page looks like I hoped it would, but the archive pages are a different story. I think I will have to live with it, as long as Blogger does not have an easy way to implement all of that. Thanks to Anne, who got me thinking on it again (because I had almost given up), and to Case, who helped me find the little symbol I was looking for on the keyboard (although for some reason it ended up not working, so I had to go with something else). Thanks in advance for the feedback!

Update on the shoulder: It's not a huge amount better, but it is getting there. I might have to have more sessions than originally thought. And today she put this big medicine patch on my arm that is battery-powered! Have you ever heard of that? So she pushed a little button on the patch, and apparently it will release medicine into my shoulder over a period of four hours. Then the light will turn red, and I just have to take it off and throw it away (For Casey: "! Throw-it-away!" from Fawlty Towers).

Monday, April 11, 2005

The moanings of a new photoblogger

Ack! Is that a good way to verbalize my frustration? Regardless, it says a little of how I feel. I have been trying and trying and trying to figure out how to get "next" and "previous" links into my photoblog's template and I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT!! Yes, yes, I know that people can just go to "Archives" or "Previous Posts" and see everything, but I have found that when I visit a photoblog site, I want those previous/next links. I have Googled in search of the answer, but so far to no avail. Ah well. I am what you might call super-stubborn, so this venture will not be given up soon.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I am the proud owner of yet another blog

It's been a bit since I've posted. I thought I would update everyone on the shoulder. I've been to four sessions of physical therapy now, but after only two I realized I could raise my arm higher than before without pain. That was a pretty big deal, considering it's been months since I could do that. I should only have a couple more sessions left, and I'm doing my home exercises, but probably not as consistently as I should. Come on, you know you would be the same way!

Also I wanted to unashamedly use my blog to present my new photoblog,
Leaning Tripod. Sadly, one of my biggest obstacles was coming up with a name, so please, no grief on this one or it's back to the drawing board. And then it was all about rearranging and basically pulling apart the template that I chose in order to make it just so. I am by no means an HTML kind of person, so it was a lot of trial and failure. I'm sure I'll be making more adjustments in the future. Meanwhile, I was sitting here this evening trying to get the thing up and running with only one photo uploaded, and I had about three random comments come in from people I do not know. All nice things -- even a poem -- and all very unexpected. But nice.

So, now that I have plugged and re-plugged the photoblog, please stop by for a visit! My plan is to update (hopefully) once a day. I am excited to share my photos. I really thought last week that I would just be turning this blog into a photoblog, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I like Trace Talks as it is, and I wanted to keep them separate. So that was that, and Leaning Tripod was born!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Delivery or Carryout?

I am going to order a pizza online today. Online. A pizza. What a world, huh? I know that I am "only 29" to some people, but I have my own I-remember-whens...

I remember when dialing a number meant turning a dial on the phone.

I remember when working on a computer at school (which I didn't do until I was ten) meant the tiny black
screens with the orange prompt. Ooh, the snake game!

I remember when Nintendo was so brand new and we had one because my brother earned it working all
summer. Our thumbs would get sore playing Tetris and Super Mario Bros. -- and the graphics on Super Mario Bros. 3 were so totally awesome, dude! A sidenote: My mom was really good at this stuff. She knew all the tricks and could beat a game in fifteen minutes flat. Pretty cool.

We never had an Atari, but I do remember that we had the pong game. Loved it.

I remember when I thought Full House DJ's hair and clothes were way beyond cool, and that I would
never, ever have her fashion sense and style. Never. Thankfully, I don't.

I remember when Back to the Future was in the theater, and my best friend Tamara and I saw it at the age
of nine, and that last scene was sooooo intense -- was Doc going to get that thing plugged in on time?!?

I remember when Growing Pains' Kirk Cameron was the cutest guy ever, and I thought I was so cool
because I had the same birthday as him (I thought it was a sign even though he was fifteen and I was ten). My fifth-grade locker was covered with Tutti Frutti magazine pictures of him.

I remember a time when nobody thought about kids bringing guns to school.

I remember when songs on the radio were actual songs and not all rap, and none of the words had to be

I remember when the whole family would sit down on Thursday night and watch The Cosby Show and
Family Ties, and they were clean AND funny, and they were the best shows on television.

I remember when the best thing to do as a kid was to go outside and climb a tree, just to see if I could climb
it, or ride my bike downtown -- no hands all the way there -- and split a milkshake with Tamara at the drugstore, then buy a piece of Superbubble with my sister's tip money.

I remember when things were much simpler...

...but hey, I couldn't have ordered pizza online back then, could I? =)

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