Friday, February 26, 2010

thoughts on God

Going to my new Bible study these last few weeks, and the small group on Wednesday, has had me thinking. Spiritually, I've slid into a slump over the last year (and really, longer than that.) I feel stagnant. I'm not reading, I'm not praying, I'm not spending time in fellowship with other believers. And since I've added some of that fellowship back in, it's reminded me of what I'm missing out on.

It's been a difficult road for both Mark and I, spiritually speaking. F
or me (as I can't personally speak for my husband), the time I was college was awesome. I was pretty involved with a large college ministry here in Birmingham, had a lot of encouragement, and my spiritual walk at that point in my life was probably the best it's ever been. Then I graduated, and started working night shift. The schedule change was huge for me - I was SO tired, all the time. It was a struggle to get up and go to church, and it was hard to find a church, at first. We eventually found one, which I liked. I tried to get involved with that - I sang in the choir, and for a while played handbells (which I used to do when I was younger.) Nearly every Sunday was a struggle to get up early and stay awake, especially when I'd worked the night before.
And then we heard about a new church plant started by the former youth minister of my parents' church. It was wonderful - the vision was great, and while it was less-than-organized, and there were some issues here and there, it was growing. And then the bottom fell out. They aren't my details to give, but I'll tell you, it was one of the hardest times in my entire life. We stopped going to church entirely for a while - we both worked nights, we were exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically, and it just wasn't worth it to try to find somewhere else. We were jaded. We were hurt.

I guess it takes time to get over something like that. I know that's no excuse for letting my personal spiritual life fall by the wayside, but with nothing to guide me, no fellowship for encouragement - I just stopped. I was just so tired all the time that the only thing I did was sit, zoning out in front of the tv. And I worked.

And now we're here. I work dayshift. I'm not exhausted all the
time. (Only part of the time, haha.) When we first came to Birmingham, before I started working my weekend shifts, we were going to this amazing church that I loved dearly. I love the pastor, and the people, and the church's beliefs and vision. It's a wonderful place - and we also knew quite a few people who went there. But then I started my weekend shifts, so Sundays are out. Every Sunday. I miss it. Then the holidays came, and I was out of town nearly every week from November through the end of December.

So now it's February. Things have slowed down. And there are these great opportunities that I've finally been taking advantage of. They've been wonderful. And have really made me aware of what I'm missing out on. It's not that I ever questioned my beliefs, or the existence of a loving God, or that He cares for me and provides for me. He obviously does, there's proof in my life. But I have seriously missed out on other stuff. There are things we're talking about in small group, stories from the Bible, and I literally have no idea who these people are. I've forgotten so much. There is so much to know, and SO much I don't know, that I want to. I want to experience the love and the joy and the hope and the trust that the people around me experience.

So. What does that mean? Well, yesterday I called Elissa and gave her a proposal - a church here in town is, as a congregation, reading the Bible chronologically this year. I'd like to do that. I need accountability. Interestingly enough, Elissa is feeling the same way about being stagnant as I am - she also works weekends. Church makes a difference, I think. But you can't always go to church. So ... I'm embarking on a year-long journey with my best friend to know God more. I'm pretty excited about it. And I'm hoping that we'll be able to commit to this a little bit better than we did to our "running" the "half-marathon." Like that was ever gonna happen...

Requesting your prayers that we will be faithful to this commitment. We start on Monday.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today's Bible Study was awesome :) Really, really wonderful.

And today's shopping trip was pretty rockin' too...

At Renaissance, that amazing consignment shop, I got a pair of brown (SUPER soft) corduroys (Express), a cute little black 3/4-length cardigan (Gap), a gray v-neck cable-knit sweater (Tommy Hilfiger), and some sweet little cuffed khaki capris (Gap) ... all for a grand total of... get this ...
$50!!!!! Love that :)

And then I went to Gap. And my bank account cried a little, especially after that lovely lovely cheap shopping experience. I got a pair of sunglasses on sale for $15 (score!), and my new jeans. Not the skinny kind - they weren't fitting very well. Instead, I got the Real Straight type ... and I LOVE them :) Yay for new clothes!!

ALSO!! I just fixed my blog. It was stupid. I just had the tab on "Edit HTML" rather than "Compose"... how dumb of me! Oh well ... at least it's all better now.

AND! I forgot to write about the crazy dream I had last night...

I dreamed that I gave birth to a baby girl, and right after that, a baby boy (but they weren't twins.) Apparently Mark had gone to sleep right before I left for the hospital, and I didn't want to wake him up, so I had the babies without him. The main thing that stuck out to me during the birth process was that I didn't have to have an episiotomy, and my baby was not ginormous (like any of my real children are destined to be - thanks, genetics.) And when I called Mark to tell him that they were born, he was SO PISSED that I didn't wake him up. (Understandable, I know.) And then somehow I was released from the hospital with the babies that same day, and we went to visit the grandparents (who were not either of our parents) and they didn't seem to be very excited about seeing these new babies. And then I woke up.

So. Strange. (And no, to all you inquiring minds, I am not pregnant.) I think it's probably due to the fact that I've been working a lot, and those days that I work are so insanely busy, with babies everywhere.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday!

Fellowship and skinny jeans :)

Last night, Mark and I attended a new (to us) small group connected with SVCC (the church we were going to before I started working every single Sunday.) It was lovely - I really, really miss community and fellowship and being around other married people. (Not that I don't love Andy and Suzie, who are our best married friends!) I miss discussion and bouncing ideas off of other people. God meant for it to be this way. God created us as relational beings for a reason. And it's nice to experience that again - I miss Sundays so much sometimes, and this won't be a replacement, but it'll help get us connected again.

And this morning, I'm going to the Ladies' Bible Study at church. I had to miss last week because we were in Chattanooga, but I really enjoyed it a couple of weeks ago, and am looking forward to making it a weekly thing. It also makes me get out of bed at a reasonable time instead of lazing around and getting nothing done.

And this afternoon, I might just have to run over to the Renaissance consignment boutique that I got a tip about from a nurse at work... They're having a HUGE sale, and their stuff is really, really reasonably priced to begin with. I need a new pair of skinny jeans (that actually fits properly, rather than being insanely low-cut so that they creep way down in the back), and I'm hoping to find some for cheap rather than going to Gap and shelling out a bunch of cash. That's what'll probably end up happening, but we'll see...


And, I'm still having issues with my blog, and the html. Dumb polyvore. So fun to play with, but it's totally messed up my posting format. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to fix it? (I'd rather not start a whole new blog...)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hubby update!

I worked extra yesterday, and once again, NICULand was the picture of insanity. It was fine, we got through it fairly unscathed, and I left earlier than I did on Sunday, but still. Days like that just wear you out.

But now I have three days off, and some extra padding in this next paycheck, both of which I am extremely thankful for :)

On today's agenda: clean the kitchen, do some of the laundry that has once again piled up to the heavens, scrapbook. Pretty much, stay home all day.

And since I haven't really updated with anything about Mark lately ... He'll be gone most of the day. Between UAB and his archives internship, and the occasional Samford visit, he's spending a lot of time in libraries these days. (And loving it. He's such a nerd.) His internship is going really well - he's nearly done with the collection he's working on, just needs to wrap up a few things today. Then they'll start him on another one - they assured him that he would never run out of things to do :) I'm sure they won't - he doesn't cost them any money! (Basically, he's paying UAB to be able to work for them ... nice how that works out.) He's got some reading to do, so he'll probably go to UAB for that.

And ... several days ago, he made the decision to sell our desktop. A little computer history: Mark is a nerd. His favorite things to buy are computers. He goes through them like I go through clothes. We have more computers than we do people in our house. (Three computers - now four, actually - and then if you count our iPhones with internet capability ... six ... gosh, that's a little ridiculous. Let's not count those.) So, anyway, his plan is to replace the desktop with his current laptop (a Dell he bought about 2 years ago), and replace his laptop with something more portable.

Here's his new toy : Netbook!

It's itsty bitsy, and can easily fit in his new man-bag along with books and other history-ish stuff. And, he says it's the best value for the money. I go with what he says on the technology side of things. He's pretty psyched, I think. Do all husbands get this excited when they get new tech-y stuff?

In other news, his P90X stuff is sort of waning a little ... we've been SO BAD about following his diet, and he's missed some workouts... we need to try to get back on track. Maybe this week/weekend he can do better ... but, he's lost 8 pounds. That's still an accomplishment...

I love him :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Early Bird

Another 5:30 morning for me. Ugh.

Yesterday was a really good day, if a little slow ... but I will take slow when I can get it, as crazy as we've been lately. Here's hoping today will be the same.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Home today

I am so lazy this morning. Still in my pj's, no shower yet, hanging out on the couch in front of the tv :) Not a bad way to spend a morning.

Once I do decide to get up and around and ready, we'll head back home today. Hopefully we'll get home in time for me to do some laundry and get some stuff done (maybe even a little scrapbooking?) before it's time to eat dinner and head to bed. I'm working the weekend as I always do, and extra again on Tuesday. Aside from that, I plan to get caught up on housework, which I have let slide very, very badly this last week and a half. Some days I'm into it, some days I'm not. I've been more interested in shopping than cleaning lately, which needs to stop.

Speaking of shopping...

I'm ready for our cruise. It's not until May 8, so I've got about 2 and a half months to go, but I'm so ready to get there. We'll fly to Miami where our ship leaves, and sail to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. It's a 5-night cruise, and will be a really, really lovely break from reality. I absolutely can't wait :) I just want sun and warm weather and the tropics...

Why oh why can't I be here?

So ready.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More new pretties!

Whenever I go home, my mom and I always find some excuse to go shopping. This time, she had birthday money to spend. She is forever talking herself out of things, so her grand total of purchases today consisted of a $3 pair of Ann Taylor Loft pants (what a STEAL omg) and a $15 purple turtleneck from J. Jill. Not quite the spring wardrobe she had in mind, but c'est la vie... I'm sure she'll find some pretties eventually.

I, on the other hand, who have spent way more money than is necessary lately, found the BEST deal on this awesome pair of Sperry boots - they were half off - just $40!! Here they are:

So excited :)

Being home has been fun ... we watched American Idol and part of the Olympics last night, and today we went out to lunch (and then we went shopping, while my dad and grandma and Mark all went back to the house.) Daddy has to work tonight, but we might just engage in a rousing game of Mexican Train Dominoes ... we'll see. Tomorrow we'll leave, and then it's back to the weekend grind again. Why does my time off always pass by so quickly?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Also, ever since I added that stupid polyvore thing (which I have now deleted) my posting screen (where I compose posts) has been completely messed up (the only icons that show at the top are the bold, italic, link, block quote, spell check, add image, and add video icons), and now my pictures aren't showing up as pictures but as html. Does ANYONE know how to fix this???


It's amazing what a good solid 9 hours of sleep will do to make you feel like a new person :) Lots to do this morning, so I'm getting my bloggy fix early! I need to make sure the camera's charged, pack, fold laundry, stick dishes in the dishwasher, take out the trash, feed the cat ... and also shower and make myself look pretty ... all before like 8:30 or 9 when we really need to leave.

We are Chattanooga-bound today :) I love going home. I'm just sad that Kelly can't come home too :( I miss her....

Oh, and hopefully she won't mind this too much ... here's a fab picture of her and her precious boyfriend!! Aren't they so cute?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy things!
-My sister and her boyfriend are the CUTEST THINGS EVER OMG!! Seriously, precious. They make me smile :)
-Mark ordered me a new upgrade on my iPhone, and it came today!! So instead of a first generation, I now have a brand new shiny GPS-able 3G-Network-ing Apps-Galore little beauty! So excited :)
-Mark is currently doing his P90X workout. It's cute :) (Probably doesn't feel so cute for him...)
-Shrimp curry tonight for dinner!
-Leaving in the morning to go to my parents' house to celebrate my mom's bday. It will be really nice to see them - it's been since Christmas now...
-My new swimsuits! I can't wait to get them :)

It is bedtime soon. Yes, I know I'm a grandma. I've come to accept this. It's okay. Hope everybody had a happy Fat Tuesday :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

MY weekend recap

It seems like a lot of people blog about their fun weekends and what they did ... here's what my weekend was like:

Saturday: The start of the weekend of Mark's broken diet ... but that's okay. He wanted tomato soup from Panera, so he picked me up from work and we went and ate.

Sunday: On a whim, decided to go to CPK for V-day night - and we got seated immediately, because we have connections. Connections are good :)

So, today so far I've done nothing. In fact, I'm still in bed. I really need to do some laundry and some serious scrapbooking today - hopefully I'll get that accomplished. I also need to cook for my poor hubby who desperately needs to get back on his diet.

But... despite all the breaking over (and missing two workouts) - he still lost 3 pounds this last week! Grand total: 8 pounds in two weeks, thus far. His pants are getting too big, he's at the tightest hole on his belt, and his blood pressure is staying nice and low. Yay for my sweet hubby!

So, changing subjects completely:

This morning, I'm ordering some swimsuits for our upcoming cruise. I'm really tired of all of my current swimwear, and a lot of it is ill-fitting (mainly because it's so cheap), so I figured I'd cave and shell out a decent chunk of cash for some nice swimsuits. I'm getting two from ... This one (in antique violet) and

This Combo (in deep peacock.)
I also want to find maybe a cheap just plain black bikini ... and that will complete my new swim collection :) What do you think?
I'm having a bit of a hard time justifying my splurge, but we just got a really awesome tax return ... so maybe it's okay?

Hope everybody had an excellent Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Booooo Winter!

This just in: It is SNOWING in ALABAMA.

Did hell just freeze over?

Now, some people see snow as a happy thing, a thing to celebrate. "YAY Snow!!!" they say. Not me. I HATE snow. I mean, it's pretty to look at. But I can look at a picture of snow and be more than happy. It doesn't have to actually BE here. But it is :(

I know I sound like a big ol' Scrooge, but seriously. Here is why I hate it so much:

1) Snow is the epitome of winter. I hate winter.

2) Snow is cold. It has to be cold outside for snow to even happen. It is wet, and it gives you frostbite and makes your fingers and toes numb.

3) Snow covers up everything green and alive, and kills them.

4) One of the main reasons that I think people actually like snow is for the snow days. I get NO snow days. In fact, when it's really bad, I don't even get to leave work - I have to sleep at the hospital. And when it's REALLY bad, and no replacements can come in for you - you just have to stay. That happened at my old unit during the blizzard of '93 - some of the nurses were at the hospital for like four days in a row, and never left - they had to take turns sleeping and taking care of patients. This does NOT make me happy.

5) There is NOTHING fun about playing in the snow. See #2 about the frostbite and numb fingers.

So, what makes me even more upset about this whole situation, is that I'm supposed to go into work at like 3:30/4 today for one of the girls, so she can go to a concert tonight. Normally that would not be a big deal, 3.5 hours is nothing. But, I have to pack a bag in case it gets worse and I don't think I can make it into work tonight. In fact, depending on how things look in a couple hours, I may pack clothes for the entire weekend, because if it's really bad, I'll be at the hospital all freaking weekend long. And that makes April VERY upset.

In fact, the only thing(s) good about today? My sweet hubby, and the sweet potato pie I got from Publix. I love that stuff...

Why My Husband is Amazing...

Have you ever had an ugly day? That's what I call them - days where you just feel yucky, your hair doesn't do right, your clothes don't look right, everything you do to try to look better makes you feel like you look worse.... Well, I had one yesterday. (Which was the reason for all the grump grump grumping on my last post - so sorry...) The day you celebrate Valentine's Day with your hubby is not a happy time to have an ugly day, either. No fun.

So I ended up wearing my gray wool skirt, a black cami with lace and sequins around the neckline, and a purple-ish/pink-ish sweater. And some awesome heels that hurt my feet tremendously. They were supposed to be my cruise heels - I don't think so anymore. Ouch. Anyway, the outfit looked okay, not great, not really like all the pieces really went together that well. But it was the most acceptable thing I could find, and I moved on to my hair. It's in that horrible growing out stage where it doesn't really want to do anything except flip out, which is fine by me on an everyday basis, but not fine with me when I want to look really pretty. So I straightened it. And it looked worse. (To me, anyway.) So I straightened it some more. I tried a headband, no headband, up, down - nothing really looked good. So I just left it straight and down. Typically I don't wear makeup, but last night I just needed some oomph, so I did some mascara and made some make-shift bronzer out of a combo of eyeshadows, and put on some shiny lip gloss. I looked ... acceptable. Not great, but acceptable.

And then Mark came in, looking all preppy and cute in his khakis, purple striped shirt, and blue blazer, gave me a huge smile, and said I was beautiful. At this point I was still grumpy and unhappy because I didn't feel pretty on Valentine's Day, so I just thanked him and said I was cold. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and went out to warm up the car for me.

And once I was in the car with him, talking with him, it didn't matter that my hair and my clothes weren't perfect, that my eyelashes and my shoes were the only things that I actually thought looked good. Because he thinks I'm beautiful. Dinner was good - we ate at a local Italian place, actually where we ate on our first date, and the night we got engaged. It holds a special place in my heart :) And we ate and talked and laughed, and I completely forgot that I didn't feel very pretty. On the way home, we were talking about watching a movie we got from Netflix - The Ugly Truth (which ended up being not-that-great, even though I LOVE Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl). I said something about Katherine Heigl being really pretty, and Mark said, and I quote "Well, she's alright." And I told him that yes, indeed, she is pretty, and it is totally okay with me if he thinks that actresses/other pretty people are pretty and it's okay if he says so. So then I asked him about Uma Thurman (who I don't think is pretty, but guys do?)

And he said "Well, some people think she's pretty, I'm sure - but I like you."

And that's the thing - why he's so great. Because he is completely in love with me. When I feel gross, when I'm wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, when I don't feel like doing the dishes, when I get on shopping kicks - it doesn't matter. He loves me, he thinks I'm beautiful, and he tells me so every day, no matter what. I am so lucky.

I can't help but wonder what on earth I did to deserve a man like him...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grump, grump, grump, or Can It Please Freakin' Be Spring Already???

It's V-Day! (Ours, anyway.)

I need to start getting ready soon, but I figured I'd do a post first...

I started today out by going to a new (to me) women's Bible study at the church we were going to before I started my weekends. It was really good ... very deep, very intellectual. The pastor led it this week, which he apparently does not do on a regular basis, but we're talking about the Holy Spirit and he wanted to do a good intro on the subject. He is SO wise - there's just a wealth of knowledge whenever he speaks. He's also incredibly nice, he's a good conversationalist, and he totally remembered like everything he knew about Mark from like 4 months ago. So, that was a really nice way to start the day. I'm looking forward to getting to know the ladies in the group better - I'll be able to go like every week (save next week) because of work and stuff, and probably won't schedule myself for any Thursdays from now on.

So then I came home, Mark made lunch (he is SO great, seriously), I watched a few episodes of Modern Family on Hulu with him, and then messed around with scrapbooking a bit. I really wasn't in the mood to do anything major or hardcore, so I played with my new doodle book I got in my stocking this Christmas. It shows step by step how to make cute letters, and has some designs for cute borders and corners for pages or cards, so I messed around with those some. I was surprised how good they turned out - usually I'm too impatient to be any good with fonts, but the step-by-step instructions helped a lot.

I also *think* I know what I'm going to wear tonight... but still not absolutely positive. Here's my dilemma: it is FREEZING. reports that it is currently 39 degrees, which I know is a lot warmer than it is a lot of places, but still. I get cold REALLY easily. And when I get cold, I get grumpy, no matter how pretty I look.
And the other inherent problem is that it's next to impossible to be really pretty and really warm at the same time. Like, dressed nicely at least. Mark is wearing this spiffy new purple striped Banana Republic shirt (I LOVE him in purple!), and I will look all blah and yuck. My options are pants (I'm TIRED of wearing pants. I want to wear a skirt or a dress, and look pretty) or my gray wool skirt, which I love, but I don't really have anything to wear on top that doesn't look droll or dumpy or boring. Now, summer clothes, I've got covered. I have everything ranging from sexy fushcia strapless to classy little black dress to fun bright sundress ... the list goes on. But winter? Oh no. April doesn't do winter. So I have... nothing.
What I think I'm actually wearing is probably the gray wool skirt, a black cami, and a cream-colored cardi with shiny fake gemstone buttons - I know, very boring. I could technically wear my denim jacket, but that's not that warm or that pretty.
What I WANT to wear is the awesome fuchsia strapless dress with a gold shrug and my cute new shoes. Or a black shrug and some awesome heels. But I would freeze to death and be grumpy, and I'd just rather not do that.

Soooo ... I should get ready. And stop whining. And maybe I'll post a picture for you guys to see, or something. We'll see....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Before I leave for my date with Laura, I wanted to show you my pretties from my shopping trip today!

Yay for cheap shoes from Target!!

Unfortunately, I have a gripe with Target. I know, it's blasphemy to say that, but I went today in search of a cute dress to wear tomorrow night on my early V-Day with Mark. Target had NOTHING that I could wear. Everything was too big. They either need to make their clothes more true to size, or they need to make the smallest size they carry a zero instead of a two.
That's the thing about being skinny - and I know I have the potential to catch a lot of hate for saying this - but it's sometimes really hard to find clothes when you're skinny. At least - affordable ones. Oh, the $200 dresses look GREAT on me ... but $200 doesn't fit in my budget. So my options are either cheap and skanky (Forever 21, etc.) or too expensive and classy-looking. There's no in-between, apparently.

Oh well...

At least I got some rockin' shoes out of the deal. And at $12.99 a pair - I think that's pretty worth it :)

Off to dinner! Yum yum!

New Look!

Playing with fonts, colors, and backgrounds this morning - I think I like this one! Tell me what you think!

Post With Pictures!!

My new toy:

What is that, you might ask?

Well ... it's really nothing that exceptional, or exciting. It's a USB SD drive. Which means, dear friends, that I no longer have to use Mark's computer to upload pictures :) My cables for my camera stopped working (I think Mrs. Norris chewed on them), so I could only use hubby's built-in SD drive on his computer to upload photos. My mac doesn't have a SD drive - so we got one! Yay! And now it's easy :) (Yes, I know, I'm a dork.)

Anyway, yesterday I FINALLY got my passport. Or, fully applied for it at least. It took 2 hours. Wanna hear the story? Of course you do.

So, we figure out where the Hoover Post Office is. So I have all my stuff together, and go and wait in line maybe 15 minutes. She gets all my forms together, and then asks me if I have a copy of my driver's license. I say no.
Rather than being like oh, here, let me make you a copy, she says "Okay, you'll need to go to Kinko's across the street and get a copy of it." So, fine, whatever. I find Kinko's, deal with a huge traffic jam in the tiny parking lot caused by a confused old person with a large Cadillac, make a copy, come back, wait in line for ANOTHER 20 minutes. Hand her the copy.
She looks up, and says "You didn't make a copy of the back?" (At this point, I proceed to freak out a little bit on the inside.)
I say, "No, you didn't say to copy the back as well."
She sighs, and says "Okay, we're really not supposed to do this, but I'll make a copy of it for you."
I open my wallet ... and the little pocket for my driver's license is. not. there.


I almost start to cry.
She gives me actually a really kind, sort of pity-ing look, and says "When you come back, don't wait in line again, just bring the copy straight to me."
So, I go out to my car, and call Mark, and proceed to completely freak out. Then I call Elissa, and freak out some more. (Please also note that I left the house at 11, expecting to be gone maybe half an hour. It is now like 12:45, I am starving, and my blood sugar is quickly dropping. I am grumpy, I am cold, and it is wet outside. I am not happy.)
Thankfully, the really super nice man at Kinkos recognizes me immediately, and says "You left your license here, didn't you? Let me go get it for you."


At this point I'm already feeling a bit better, because I thought my license was lost forever. Elissa told me to believe in the inherent goodness of people (which is funny, because she does not believe in that, like, ever, and I usually do), and sure enough, someone had turned it in to the front desk thingy. So I sign for it, make a copy of the back, make SURE I have put it back in my wallet.
Head back to the post office for a THIRD time.
Thank GOD the nice lady told me not to wait in line, because at this point, the line is out the door. I muster all my courage (cause usually I'm just to freaking nice to do this) and break in front of EVERYONE, hand the lady the copy, and leave.
Mark has lunch made when I get home, and all is right with the world. :)

Seriously, one of the worst experiences EVER. I just don't have good luck when it comes to dealing with government-type agencies... it always takes me FOREVER to get through with stuff.

So now comes the fun part of my post ... we had girls' night last night with work people! Yay!

We went here:

And had a blast :) (Minus some really bland and watered-down margaritas that four of us sent back - we got new margaritas a $5-off coupon out of it...) Pictures!

Janelle and me - she oriented me when I first came to work in NICULand :)

Amy, Carrie, Kimberly, and Natalie!

Stacey, Mara, and Cynthia :)

Fun girls, good times :)

And tonight: dinner with Laura! Yay!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Despite all my passport problems yesterday, it was a pretty good day. I got all my pictures printed, bought a scrapbook (and more paper - always more paper - I'm addicted to that stuff!), and came home.

And when I got home, I came into the bedroom to do my post about the crazy day, and the bed wasn't made. Which bothered me. So I made the bed at 4:30 PM. Does this mean... I'm a grown-up?

Also made dinner - pork loin with apricot glaze and couscous. Yum yum. I try not to eat pork too much (for several reasons, none of which are religious in nature), but I'm SO TIRED of chicken, and we're already eating more fish, and it's SO expensive so we can't eat it like every day, and my tummy is sensitive to red meat ... so. Pork. There you go.

Anyway, this week is shaping up to be lovely! Lots of social things this week- with work girls, an old friend I haven't seen in forever, a new Bible Study, and our early Valentine's Day :) It should be fun!

Now if I can only figure out what to wear for all these things....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adventures in Riverchase

Today was interesting.

I left around 12:30 to run some errands. Items on my agenda: go to the Post Office and turn in my passport application, go to WalMart to pick up my pictures, go to Michael's to get a new scrapbook/paper. I figured this all would take maybe two hours.

At 4:30, I was home.

Passport papers in hand, un-submitted.

Let me explain.

I went to the Vestavia post office first, because that's where I got my original passport. Unfortunately, I lost it when we moved, and it is gone forever. So that's why I'm getting a new one. When I got in line, the lady asked me if I was getting my first passport. I said no. Because that was true.

When I got to the front of the line, she said "This isn't a renewal form, this is a new passport form. We're not doing those today." Oh, well thanks for being clear the first time.

So I look at the little green sheet of paper they have posted to see where the other viable locations are. And then I go eat lunch at Panera.

After lunch, I called the post office to see where they were located. I couldn't find the Hoover PO number on my Google Maps app, so I called a different one, who gave me a 1-800 number to call, which then told me the location of the Hoover PO. I plugged it into Google Maps, and it spit out some directions. Doing good, so far.

Let me stop and explain that my sense of direction is less than stellar. Actually ... let's be frank. It sucks. I don't really have one. That part of my brain never really developed properly ... especially the part which Mark possesses, which can figure out where he is even if he's never been there. I've never understood this. I can get hopelessly lost going somewhere I've been 10 times, if conditions are right...

So, to continue... The post office is supposedly on Riverchase Parkway. I've never been there before. I follow the directions that Google Maps has spit out for me, and lo and behold, a Sign! That says Riverchase Parkway!! Bravo, me!! Unfortunately, the number I was looking for was 1809. The numbers started in the 100's. So, I think to myself, maybe they'll go up fast. Or maybe it's just a long road....

FYI, it IS a long road. It's the longest road EVER. I went the longest way POSSIBLE to get there, I think. I cross 31, and go into this hilly residential area with rich people and nice houses that make me want a house so bad I can hardly stand it. And then, it happens. I look up at the street sign next to me, and I am no longer on Riverchase Parkway. Which is very, very bad ... because by that point, I've been driving for probably 15 minutes on that one road, maybe longer, and I have NO EARTHLY IDEA where I am.

Call Elissa. She's at work.

Call Mark, who is in the library, frantic.

After 15 minutes on the phone with him, we realize that 1)I have gone as far as you can go on THAT Riverchase Parkway. Sadly, there is ANOTHER one. I hate places that have multiple roads of the same name. Whoever decided that must have plotted with the other road-builders, and thought to themselves, "Oooh, wouldn't it be fun to make people get lost!! All the time!! And after driving for 20 minutes in the wrong direction, only THINKING they're going in the right direction, they'll realize - THERE'S ANOTHER ROAD!!! Bah-hahahaha!!" Terrible, evil road designers. Blah.

So anyway, I go back to where Mark told me the post office actually is (an area I'm familiar with), and I STILL CAN'T FIND THE STUPID THING. So I give up, go to WalMart, go to Michael's, and come home.

I think I need my man to find the post office. Because it is a total lost cause with me...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Married Bliss, Part 3: Party Time!

Okay, so let me first apologize ... The reception pictures really should have been split up into two separate posts, but I didn't realize that until I was about halfway through, and really didn't want to start over. Because it took forever...

So ... here is our reception! It's long - but there were too many pictures to choose from ... over 200 of just the reception itself... We like to party :)

Andy, the best man, announces our entrance :)

Mrs. And Mrs. Mark Skinner!

Our first dance - "Better Together" by Jack Johnson

I love dancing with him :)

our large audience

Then I got to dance with Daddy

And then it was time to cut the cakes! They came all the way from Birmingham, from the bakery that I worked at senior year. Best. Cake. On. Earth.

Feeding hubby the wedding cake...


And the Groom's cake! Wedding cake was layered almond and strawberry cake, with vanilla buttercream icing (I don't like fondant, even though it's pretty), and the groom's cake was caramel cake with caramel icing. There was NONE of that one left. At ALL.


Love :)

So then it was time to eat and be merry! (No alcohol at my reception...)

Thomas and the friend he brought to keep him company

My Uncle Marty and cousin Brett in the background ... Marty played the piano during the ceremony

Love these - Mark's mom and one of her sisters dancing to Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Sister Love!

Mommy and Daddy join in the fun :)

And Dad dances with Nanny

Lissa and her Matthew

teaching Thomas how to foxtrot

and dancing with him!

Andrea and Beau, good friends from college

The Fowlers - Amy and Jimmy. Jimmy performed our wedding ceremony :) And that's Eli, their son, and his girlfriend Carrie in the background

Dancing with Rod

Bouquet toss ... who will catch it?


And now the garter toss...

Andy's ready...

And you know what? Andy was the next one to get married!

The groom and his men :)

I really love to dance with him :)

Love this shot

One of my favorite pictures - the Cha-Cha Slide! I LOVE Andy and Kimberly's expressions :)

I also love this one! I miss these girls...

Our Mommies

Last Dance: "Come Fly with Me" by Frank Sinatra

foxtrotting with my husband!


Hugs before we leave - Mark and his dad

Outside, Mark takes off my shoes for me :) He's so sweet

Walking to the car...

We're married! Yay! Off to the honeymoon...

The End!