Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

So I don’t think I’m generally a negative person (at least I hope not)….but this morning as been hellacious. It’s not like I had a wreck, or got a flat tire, or even woke up an hour late (because those would be events worth my dramatic reactions). No, I just simply:

*didn't have my quiet time (a much needed practice for my sanity).

*left the house without my scarf (that was a crucial element to my outfit).

*walked out of the house with straight hair….and stepped into Houston Humidity. My hair immediately sprung into a frizzy, wavy mop…much to my chagrin.

*left the house without Luke’s football (which was a crucial element to his outfit….as he is a football player for Halloween…and today is trick-or-treating at preschool.)

*Larry spilled coffee all over the car.

*After dropping Luke off at school, I stopped at my usual convenience store to make my usual coffee-mixed-with-cappuccino - - only they didn’t have the usual cappuccino. I sucked this up and….

*went to the next convenience store, which ALSO did not have cappuccino mix. However, before I found this out….

*I slipped on their newly mopped tile.

*backed out and ran over a curb (minimal frustration….this is not an unusual occurrence for me).

*walked into the office and found an email from a client saying they owed me $13,000 less than our invoice reflects. Nice.

So today, I truly need to find the JOY in all of this. For the past hour, I have been telling myself over and over to change my attitude. This is even harder to do since I know I have a major case of PMS today (or so Larry tells me.)

In the big scheme of things, I can laugh about the trauma caused by leaving my scarf at home (I’m really not that vain).

I can laugh about my hair….because I just pulled it up into a ponytail. Take that, humidity.

I can shrug off the fact that I sent my son to school in an incomplete costume. I’m sure his teachers are actually thankful we forgot the football.

Larry cleaned up his coffee….so that wasn’t really my problem.

I did get my coffee on the third try, so I can smile at the obstacles this addict had to overcome to get her fix.

At least I know the convenience store was “clean”…..that’s stretching the positive outlook a bit….but I’m trying!

And I can deal with the client who wants to short me on the invoice. I am thankful I even have clients that pay their invoices!

But taking a trip to Australia would be nice.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For the love (or dread) of Halloween

I really wish I could call myself a Halloween fanatic. But I just can’t. I even have trouble capitalizing the H in Halloween…because I just don’t get the hoopla.
A co-worker of mine told me yesterday that it was her favorite holiday. I cringed. Really?? Is it really an official holiday? How embarrassing.

I have never cared for dressing up in silly costumes and going to parties. I just think it’s childish. And while I know there are many adults who enjoy this (and I certainly don’t judge)…..I’m just not one of them. Although I wouldn’t mind going to a Halloween party to see everyone else’s cute costumes, I would not partake in the costume-wearing festivities.

Is there such thing as a Halloween Grinch? If so – count me as a follower. I’m even the only one on my typical suburban Wisteria-Lane-Like street who has not decorated her yard in all things Ghoulish, Ghastly or Pumpkin-loving. (sigh) I truly have no desire.

This year is a bit different: Luke is nearly four years old…so he knows what Halloween is. He even has three (yes, three) costumes. Don’t get me wrong, I am not contradicting myself. Everyone knows a mom has to buy her child a costume for trick-or-treating! We initially bought him a Superman costume, which ended up being too small once we got home with it. As every good Halloween mega-store has a no-return policy, we were stuck with it. He doesn’t know the difference: he still jaunts around in that costume with sleeves that are too short. As long as the cape is attached properly – he’s good to go.

The second costume is my favorite. He’s an OU football player, complete with mini-shoulder pads and official helmet. I must upload a picture at some point; he’s irresistible.
And he’ll assuredly be a “hit” when we trick-or-treat at the homes in our neighborhood. Sooner fans living in Houston are not a majority living in the land of Longhorns and Aggies. I will have to check his candy extra closely to make sure evil neighbors didn’t put needles in his Reese’s Cups.

And Luke’s third costume is Bumblebee the Transformer. I’m about as big a fan of Transformers as I am of Halloween. Those things are Scary!! My grandmother bought him this costume when we were in Oklahoma over the weekend……because everyone knows Great-Grandmothers are the best people in the world. I was rather surprised she even knew what a Transformer was…..but I digress.

Since we are scheduled to attend a bazillion Halloween festivals/carnivals this weekend, I guess he will have a chance to wear each one.

My poor child. Hopefully my attitude about this silly October “event” will change (for the better?) before he is old enough to resent it. I’ll still go through the motions of doing all the candy-buying and costume-purchasing….but please, God, please don’t ever let him expect me to put cemetery headstones in my front yard.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Let's Get Personal

I saw this little questionnaire on Baby Bangs this morning, so I’m taking the cheap way out and using it myself. I am totally in a blog rut.

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?

Coffee and pretzels. Or dried fruit. Or kit-kats. Or carrots. Lay's Cheddar Cheese Baked Lay's are also good.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?

Aside from the obvious answers like my husband and my children – I would have to say life would be empty without books. I even have to have a book to fall asleep. We went on a trip to Dallas last year, and I forgot to bring along a book for the road. Oh my word - you would have thought I was a drug addict, and I forgot my needle. It was quite pathetic….and actually opened my eyes to what a book-junkie I truly am. Needless to say – I did enjoy the conversation with my family during that 4-hour drive, and I was much more ‘present’ without a book.

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?

The beach. Most definitely – the beach. Although, if I lived on a beach, I would most certainly have a vacation home in the cold mountains so that I could utilize my fall/winter wardrobe.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?

Mopping. I could go all my life without using a mop….and I would not be sad about it.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?

People call me high maintenance….but I really don’t mean to be. In all sincerity, I don’t think I am difficult or demanding or anything that I associate with high maintenance. However, after years of being told I am, I have to wonder……

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?

I much prefer hanging out with close friends and family. I can do the occasional party, but it’s certainly not high on my agenda.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?

I have no deep answer for this. I love Gone With the Wind, Devil Wears Prada and You’ve Got Mail.

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?

It depends. I am not a stickler for a nighttime make-up removal ritual. If I have worked out during the evening, I shower before bed (and hence, my face gets washed). Sometimes I just plain go to bed with a dirty face….and I’m cool with that.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn?

What is it?I want to learn to knit. I would LOVE to learn to knit. I took classes about four years ago….thinking I would develop a new hobby. After spending over an hour with me on the basics, the teacher told me I wasn’t picking it up very well. For a perfectionist, those words are poisonous. I haven’t picked it up since. Maybe when Luke graduates from high school in 14 years, I will try again.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?

baking chocolate sheet cake and making burritos. This is strange because I’m a clustered mess in the kitchen….and it’s just odd that every time I make these two particular foods – people like them.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?

His dimples, his laugh, and his legs.

12. What is something you love to smell?

My husband’s Very Sexy cologne…..and Lemon body wash from Bath and Body Works.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.

oooohh…..I’m not good at returning calls. I talk on the phone ALL DAY at work….and it’s not my favorite thing to do when I get home. And then it spirials into a guilt thing. I know I should call you back…but I don’t want to go through the apology process…so I put it off some more…and then the guilt grows because it’s been over a week now…..and the cycle starts again. Maybe I need therapy for this?

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?

Buy a new hand-bag or shoes…or jewelry…or a new outfit…

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?

It depends on how funny it is. I laughed so hard with my family this weekend over Luke’s sign language. Our good friend, Marjorie (Luke’s Grandma Day) taught him how to say “I love you” in sign language. When I asked him to show my mom and dad, he flipped everyone off…he couldn’t get his fingers in the right position…and every time he tried, the middle finger just kept popping up. We belly laughed for at least six good long minutes.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?

Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic and Gap (although Gap has been disappointing the last two spring/summer seasons); I also love Anthropologie sales. For Luke – my favorite place is Baby Gap.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?

Learn to play tennis really well. I took tennis lessons right after Luke was born – but to play in league play, you either have to be a stay-at-home mom (which I’m not) or be willing to dedicate one night a week. Since I’m already over-committed during the week…..this is something I will hopefully pick back up at the same time I start knitting.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?

What is the global definition of big spender? I'm not exactly weekly (or yearly!) shopping on Rodeo Drive...but I do like to shop....quite a bit. I'm that person that salesmen/saleswomen love to see coming.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time?

Meredith Grey – Grey’s Anatomy. I know, I’m shallow.

20. Would you want to be famous?

My first reaction is “absolutely, yes!” But I’m not so sure. All of us have a desire to belong and be accepted…..but I suppose that if we get that need met with family and close friend-relationships, we don’t have a longing to be “known” to the world. Having said that, it would be nice the Hollywood “IT” girl….for maybe a month. Think of all the free clothes and handbags...and your own personal stylist!

I would love to hear your answers…..!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Firefighter Luke

This month is Fire Safety Month; and last week at school, Luke was learning about the letter “F”. So naturally, last week Luke learned all about firefighters.

Friday afternoon he pranced into my bedroom, wearing nothing but a fireman’s helmet....

“Mommy! Guess what? I have my very own hose!”

Luckily, he did not spray said urinal hose all over the place.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crazy. Insane. Impractical

So my SheSpeaks team decided to blog about something crazy. Usually, I could whip something up about crazy....but for some reason, the creative juices are NOT flowing. Instead of being Miss Original, I had some help from my two greatest fans (my husband and son) and

Sadly, you will see no evidence here of the aforementioned fans' assistance.....because freaking crazy blogger would not upload my pics. The issue could have very likely been of the crazy computer operator.....but for the sake of crazy, I always prefer to place the blame elsewhere.

First of all, I could not decide if I wanted to write about my crazy work life, my crazy aunt, the top ten crazy dumb things I have done (although that would be hard to pick!), or the songs I like with the word crazy in the title. Hello, Aerosmith, you would most certainly make that list since I sang Crazy my entire junior year in high school.

Since the word "crazy" has roughly five-ish definitions and because I am seriously lacking in the witty, critical thinking department this evening, I have decided to give real-Amy-life examples of each definition. Here goes.....

(1) mentally deranged; demented; insane. yeesh....I can't really call names here because that would be so inappropriate. But I can say that I have been associated with some mentally messed up people in my life. Have I been one of those people? At times, yes.....though I loathe to admit it. When I was neck deep in bulimia, I lived in a demented state. Everything revolved around food and all the things that should have been priorities in my life fell into a distant 10th+ place. So without poking fun and calling others crazy, I call a spade a spade. During those eleven l-o-n-g years of my life, I was insane. sick. hopeless. and yes, crazy.

(2) senseless; impractical; totally unsound: a crazy scheme. Some ladies here in the south would call wearing white after Labor Day a senseless and utterly unsound behavior. I grew up with a mother who put our white Mary Janes on the top shelf of the closet once September rolled around, so I know these beliefs run deep. However, these die-hard Southern fashionistas apparently don't read Vogue. It is very clear that there is such thing as winter white, and I (gasp) wore a pair of said winter white jeans to the theater on Sunday afternoon. Ignoring the September issue of Vogue is something I would refer to as "impractical".....and yes, crazy.

(3) Intensely enthusiastic; passionately excited. This one is easy breezy. I don't even have to think hard for this example. We are passionate and excitedly-enthusiastic about OU football. My husband Larry and I both grew up in Oklahoma and have deep OU roots. There is no time of year like football time of year, and Saturdays in this household revolve around "What time do the Sooners play?" from September to January. We are also especially competitive around here, so any whoops for other teams will not be tolerated (and they will be promptly deleted from the comment section.) Well, we aren't that ugly about it.....but yes, we are crazy about the Sooners.

(4) Very enamored or infatuated. I am totally head-over-heels crazy about my husband. My Larry is a warm, caring, compassionate, strong, wise and handsome man. Truth being told, the man was crazy to love me to begin with (refer to the crazy-insane bulimic in #1). Yet through every trial (major and minor), he is loyal and understanding, and he has unbelievable strength. I love that he is a leader in our church, that he supports me in this crazy dream of writing and speaking and that he is the best daddy in the world. He is my dream come true.....and I am oh-so-crazy about him.

(5a) unusual; bizarre. I have an aunt who thinks she sees things. She has even had premonitions before about people dying and various other catastrophes. I'm sure if you ask her, she'll tell you all about it. Enough said on this: I don't want her to think ill of me....and then have a dream that I die. Stefanie, I know you read this....don't tell your mother I mentioned her. :)

(6) I don't have super examples for #6. Actually, I don't have any examples for #6 because I have never heard of anything called crazy that is "weak, or falling into pieces"??

So here is a final (very random) list of things I consider crazy:

I think it's crazy that my nearly-4 year old likes to watch the Thriller and Beat It videos. I won't go into a dissertation of why I DESPISE this; suffice it to say that his 16 year old sister was staying home with him on the day Michael Jackson died. I'm pretty sure they watched CNN all day long....and shortly thereafter started downloading various MJ videos on iTunes. Some things, a mother just cannot control.

It's crazy that I so desperately want to start wearing my fall wardrobe.....but since I live in Houston, that won't happen until mid-November. Agh.

I also find it crazy that I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams with this life that I live. Not that my husband and I are among the mega-rich....or that we have no problems.....and not because of any material things.

But because the great love of Christ has so mercifully....ACCEPTED us just as we are.....It's just plain crazy. bizarre. senseless. impractical.

HE is C-R-A-Z-Y about me!!

Click over to the The Other Mama for more crazy posts.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Unexpected Blessings

I had one of the best weekends of my entire life, and it's all because of little unexpected blessings.

I am a routine kind of girl. I like to be in control, and I operate on a schedule. It's not uncommon for my family and friends to use the word obsessive or anal when referring to my behavior.

I received two calls on Friday: both inviting me to do things that I had neither planned nor necessarily thought I would enjoy. However, I agreed to both (which assuredly was through divine inspiration).

So Friday evening, Larry, Luke and I loaded into the car and went to our friend Marjorie's (Grandma Day's) for dinner. Going to Marjorie's house is not out of the ordinary. She and Luke adore each other, and she has watched him and cared for him often through the last three years. At least twice a month, Marjorie will keep Luke on a Friday evening so that Larry and I can have "date" night. She is 81 years old and has to be the most spry "old" lady I have ever seen. Her daughter, Bonnie (Luke calls her Aunt Bunny) has been visiting from Boston for the last couple of weeks. So there we were, going to a little dinner party....and Bonnie was cooking dinner.

You're probably thinking what a stick in the mud I am for not appreciating our invite. It's not that I'm snotty or antisocial; I had a L-O-N-G week at work, and I just did not want to spend my Friday evening anywhere other than in my own living room.

We got there at 6 o'clock, which is when Marjorie told us dinner would be ready. It's a rare occasion that we eat later than 6:30-7:00pm, so needless to say, I was hungry. Before you laugh, read my post on favorite restaurants: I'm that same person who loves to eat at Luby's with the senior citizens.

When we got there, dinner was not ready; Bonnie was not even there! She was apparently "on her way". Oh how kind-of-no-REALLY frustrated I was. Ugh. My mind just turned from a tad bit "I don't want to be here" to "I cannot believe I'm here; I'm hungry; there is no food in sight; why am I spending my Friday night doing what I don't want to do??"

Finally, about 7 o'clock, Bonnie arrives. It's about time, lady. But here's where the blessing begins (and my bad attitude changed): she brought stuff to make homemade pizza! We had a blast in the kitchen (all five of us). Bonnie spread out the dough, I chopped onions, Larry did something, and even Luke got to spread the tomato sauce and cheese on the pizza. After the pizza was in the oven, we popped open a bottle of wine and voila: homemade fun on a Friday night. I even felt a bit like I was under the Tuscan sun.

That may not sound like a huge blessing to you; but God gave me a glimpse in those moments that life is all about relationship. I'm so often in a go-here-go-there, what's on my calendar next attitude, that I MISS these little things.

If I had turned down that invitation because it was too spur of the moment (and not something I had control of....), I would have missed out. After getting to know Bonnie, I love that woman. I love that she's not afraid to speak her mind; I love that she is honest and transparent and totally not ashamed to talk about the "issues" of life. I am grateful that we got to share a bottle of wine, homemade pizza and a bit of our hearts together on a Friday evening.

My second "out-of-the-box" blessing this weekend came in the form of a musical on Sunday afternoon. I am not artsy, and I have never understood why people think Broadway is so entertaining. I have to admit, I have always believed it was a little silly. Until. today.

My girlfriend called me on Friday to ask if I would join her for the matinee of Meet Me in St. Louis this afternoon. I have NO clue why I agreed because I truly would have rather sat at home on a stack of thumb tacks. As soon as I told her I "would love to go..", I got off the phone and cried out loudly, "Why??!! Why did I say that?!"

I griped about it all weekend. Again, I'm not a sour puss (not all the time anyway), but I love my Sunday afternoons hanging out with my family. I don't readily give that up. That is, until someone calls me and asks me to join them at the matinee. Geez, what was I thinking?

11 o'clock this morning rolls around and they pick me up. From the second I got into the car, I was transported to girlfriend time. I literally had a blast! We laughed and cried and had flat out fun.
I fell in love with musicals today; and would you believe, I even downloaded the original broadway performance of Meet Me in St. Louis on my iPhone as soon as left the theater. I think that Sunday afternoons at the theater could be a regular occurance in my future.

So again, a blessing that just dropped from the sky and hit me on my head like a ton of bricks. Yet another life lesson from the Lord about spending time with people, learning about them, being open to share their form of entertainment (which might not be my own idea of fun).

I had a danged good weekend.....and I've been singing Skip to my Lou all morning....
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Favorite TV Shows! I LOVE Derek Shepherd

I don't just like TV. There has to be a word between like and love that describes my affinity for the televison. I am fond, very fond of the television.

TV provided some great bonding memories for my sisters and me: we loved old school Brady Bunch episodes, Saturday morning Saved by the Bell, and 90210 when it was not new and improved.

In my college days, Dawson’s Creek was the must-see every Thursday. This was way before DVR entered the picture, so if you missed a Thursday, you had to find a friend who recorded it on VHS. Hopefully, that friend had stayed home to record so that they cut out the commercials.

Missy at It’s Almost Naptime noted in her post that everyone has TV weaknesses. I have to agree, especially because my favorite shows are not on PBS. I am so far away from the woman who grows her family’s food in her garden and makes everything from scratch (with no trans fats or preservatives). I am also not the woman who refuses to allow her children some TV time. Luke totally knows that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on from 6:30-7:00am every morning.
He also knows that if it is a Saturday morning, he gets to have his breakfast on a TV tray and watch Disney Channel while he dines on instant oatmeal or homemade waffles. Instant oatmeal on the days that Daddy is golfing (which is most Saturdays); homemade waffles when Daddy is at home. Because yes, Daddy is the maker of the waffle.

There will be many reasons to judge me when you read my list of favorites. For crying out loud, I love Sex and the City. I know it’s not a wholesome television show. But the fashion, people!!

Grey’s Anatomy: I heart McDreamy. One of my favorite things to do when Kathryn (my 16-yr old stepdaughter) is at our house for the weekend is to watch Grey’s. Sometimes I purposely save my episodes so we can watch them together. Sorry, Kathryn; I couldn’t resist watching last night’s episode. I will re-watch with you next week.

Desperate Housewives: here is your first opportunity for judgment; and I agree, I deserve it. Larry and I started watching this during its first season, and we have hung on ever since. We went to LA a few years ago to Universal Studios, and I was in awe as we drove down the actual Wisteria Lane. Loved it. Every Sunday night about 9:00pm when Luke is all squared away in bed, you can find us watching the latest DH.

The Bachelor/The Bachelorette: this show is not the most admirable. Believe me, sometimes when I’m on pins and needles to watch the next episode, I try to self-psychoanalyze. Why? This show is dumb. This show is nauseating. Nonetheless, I’m watching. And then on Tuesdays (after the show airs on Mondays), I’m logging onto I Hate Green Beans to catch Lincee's blog about the episode. I think I have a problem.

I am not one of these people who have a “show” for every night of the week. I don’t watch The Office (though I wish I had started from the beginning). I’m too OCD to go back and start so late in the game. I don’t watch America’s Top Model or Project Runway or anything cool like that.
We are mega-fans of American Idol… if that was in season, I would have been obliged to write an essay on my love for the show. Since it is not in season, “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play.
One of my very good friends gets uber-excited when the new fall shows come out in September. I tried to get into that this year. I even circled new shows in my Entertainment Weekly and set my DVR to record them. But then, I couldn’t keep up. I just don’t have hours and hours to waste in front of the television. I guess I could argue quality over quantity or something like that to make up for my poor choices of what I watch when I watch. That might not even make sense to you, because after reading that last sentence, I am having a hard time understanding what I was trying to say. That is beauty of having no editor.

What are your favorites? Tell me, I’m dying to know if you worried all last season whether or not Meredith and Derek would finally get together. Are you a closet Desperate Housewives-watcher? Or are you thinking “Oh my word, Amy needs to read Philippians 4:8?” Not that I would disagree…..
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

I have missed you.....

Oh my. I have not been on my blog in like two whole weeks.

You know, it’s not like I am a big-time daily blogger like The Other Mama or Big Mama or Boo Mama….but when I’ve not posted in fourteen days, I feel out of the loop. Like I’m missing an earring or something. Or maybe that isn’t a great example.

Nonetheless, I have no eloquent, awe-inspiring words to share today. I just wanted to post to feel like my bloggy spirit has been revived.

A quick run-down of my life for the past two weeks will give you an indication of why I have not posted recently:

I’ve been going to 4-year old birthday parties, watching OU football games, working at my real job, playing with my Scentsy job, shopping (for Halloween costumes), catching up on Grey’s Anatomy on DVR, chasing my soon-to-be 4 year-old simultaneously with all of the above, and listening to Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA.

Why, oh why do I like that song? When I find myself nodding my head like, “yeah”, I am transported to my 12-year old self. And it’s kind of embarrassing. Now Luke moves his hips like, “yeah”, and it worries me.

That sums up my life for the last couple of weeks. I’m sure all three of my readers are glad I’m back. J
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