Thursday, October 28, 2010

She's Back!




Well I Never

I just called my doctor's office.
I need to see him.
He and I...we need to talk.
This is not the doctor who is dealing with my dizzy issues.
This is MY doctor.
The one who has treated me since I was a kid.
I'd like to think we're tight.
His secretary said, "Well, depending on why you need to see him, he might have time in the morning."

And so I explained that I've had a headache going on 2 weeks now and that I would just like to talk to him.
"If the only thing you have going on is a migraine he can see you...if it's more than that he can't."
"What do you mean 'if it's more than that?'" I asked.
"I mean if your only problem is a migraine you can come in."
That's when I said, "never mind" and hung up the phone.
My mom, who hadn't been listening to the conversation, said, "So, when are you going?"
I told her I wasn't.
She asked why.
"Because Mom, what if I want to ask him something else too?"
And then I might have acted like a 13 year old and said, "If he doesn't have the time for me, I'm not going."

That's when my mom picked up the phone and called the doctor.
She is tight with him too.
She asked to speak to Theresa, who is my doctor's secretary.
Theresa was at lunch.
Theresa called her back.
Mom just called me.  "You have an appointment at 9:45 in the morning."
So there's that.

Last night I made cookies for a meeting I had to go to.
I doubled the recipe.
I put the first batch into the oven.
I took the first batch out of the oven and realized that something wasn't right.
I put the second batch into the oven.
I took the second batch out of the oven with the same scenario.
I looked at the recipe again.
Instead of 1 teaspoon of baking soda, I used 1 teaspoon of salt.
I threw everything away and started over.
I blamed it on the headache.

The headache my sister tried to cure.
Except that she almost killed me in the process.
Have you ever had to drink a glassful of apple cider vinegar?
I wouldn't recommend it.
Before she gave me the drink Becca said, "Plug your nose and don't unplug it until I tell you to."
I did exactly what she told me to.
I still threw up.
I told my sister I hated her.
I hope she didn't take me seriously.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Internet Keeps Crashing

How do you feel about being on this side of the screen today?
The other day I went to WalMart and stood in a long check out line.
I watched the cashier interact with the customers ahead of me.
More accurately, I watched as the cashier didn't interact with the customers.
He didn't say a word.  Not hello.  Not how are you.  Not thank you.
And he didn't make eye contact.
He didn't come across as the shy type.  Rather, he was just indifferent.

As the cashier was scanning my items I had a conversation with him.  It was mostly one-sided.
"Do you ever talk?" I asked him.
He didn't say anything.  Just gave me a sullen look.
"Isn't it in your job description to at least greet the customer?"
"Maybe ask them how they are?  How their day is going? At the very least to say thank you?"
Again with the sullen look.
"I just think that people get a lot further in life when they're nice."
The sullen look changed to a glare.
"Anyway, that's just my opinion."
And as I was taking my bag of groceries the young man snarled a "Have a great day."

I should probably just keep my mouth shut in those situations.
It's possible he was having a really bad day.
Maybe he wrecked his car on the way to work.
Maybe his girlfriend had just broken up with him.
Maybe his mom had washed his mouth out with soap for saying naughty words.
I promise that in the future I will try to keep my opinions to myself.

I went to the grocery store last night, and did a load of laundry, AND fixed Jason and my sister dinner.
Are you impressed?

Do you remember when we played that game called, "Won't You Be My Interior Decorator?"
(It's like unto the song that Mr. Rogers sings: 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?'
We went with the majority vote:















So...because you did so well last time, and because my personal interior designer has taken an extended leave of absence...
Care to help me out with one more little thing?
It's the windows.
What do I do with the windows?
My interior decorator thinks I should hang curtains from the top window all the way to the floor.
I'm not sure I like the idea.
BUT...
If I only put curtains on the bottom window will the top windows look unfinished?
Here - another picture to help in this decision making process:






































I'll just be here, with the crashing internet, awaiting your response.
And you know that I'll do what you say.
I've always been obedient.
That's one of my strengths.
Giving my opinion to random cashiers at WalMart...not so much.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do You Miss Me When I Don't Post?

Whenever my niece Trouble sees me she says, "Noelle, you still have a haircut?"

* * * * * * *

I have a million and seven things going through my mind and I've been trying to decide all morning which one of those things was going to make it to the blog.

Here's one: did you all know that Baby Sister is my real life baby sister?  Cheeseboy didn't know.  I don't know how that's possible. 

Here's another: I might get a new phone today.  My reason would NOT be that I need a new phone.  It would simply be that my sister, my brother, a co-worker, and my husband have all gotten new phones in the last week, and I want to be part of the new phone club. 

And because I know you will ask: the doctor did NOT make me throw up yesterday.  I was dizzy...boy howdy was I dizzy...but I did not throw up.  In fact, at the end of the tests I reassured the nurse that I would not say one mean thing about her on my blog.  After two hours of testing I know one thing for sure.  My right inner ear is significantly weaker than my left.  I don't know why and I don't know if it can be fixed.  I have one more test to go through, and then an appointment with the doctor to go over the test results. 

Of the million and seven things going through my mind I can't think of a single one that would make you laugh.  Tragic isn't it? 

I've had a headache now for about a week.  A persistent, never-ending, makes me want to cry and yell at the same time, headache.  A headache that will ease for a few hours when I take an Excedrin Migraine pill, but that will always comes back.  Jason informed me last night that my headaches are because of him.  "You never had headaches before we got married did you?"  He's right.  I didn't.  I have never had headaches like this until last week.  He thinks stress makes the headaches worse and that he's the sure cause of that stress.

Here's what I have to say about that.

The guy I dated before I met Jason was a jerk.  A world-class, first rate jerk.  I dated him anyway.  (I had my reasons...and I feel like it was an experience I needed to go through so don't feel too bad for me.)  It was several months after the relationship ended before I learned the true extent of the man's character and I was grateful to be out of his life.

There is a man in our neighborhood who reminds me of the guy I dated...except that he's the exact opposite.  He's kind and honest and he has a good heart, and he's someone I really admire and respect.  And when I have any kind of interaction with him I think of the other guy...and think of the person he could be if he had made different choices.

I'll be honest here and admit that there have been a few times recently while I have been super sick that I have thought of the guy I dated.  I have wondered how he would have treated me throughout this experience, and I wonder if he would have taken care of me.  I know the answer to those questions.  And the answer makes me love and appreciate my husband so much more.

I have these moments where I am overwhelmed at my life - in a good way.  Last night I looked at Jason and had several immediate thoughts: my husband is so good looking, I don't know what I did to deserve him, and I get to be with him forever.  But then I had to sit down because my headache was about to knock me out.

Two nights ago it was my turn to say our nightly prayer.  I was asking God to bless the doctor who is treating me, and I was asking for strength to make it through the tests.  I started to cry and when I finished the prayer I put my head on my pillow and continued to cry.  Jason didn't say anything.  He just put his arm around me and held me close. 

He's not the cause of my headaches...he's the reason I have the strength to get through them.  And I love him.

(I promise that tomorrow's post will not have anything to do with my stupid health issues.)




Monday, October 25, 2010

Doctors are evil

Hello everyone!! It's Baby Sister. :)

My dear sister Noelle has a doctor's appointment today and asked me to post a blog for her

I will gladly blog for her, but I am kind of protesting her going to the doctors

He's still trying to figure out what is wrong with her and her head and why she feels like she's on a constant merry-go-round

So tody he is going to purposefully make her sick and dizzy...which will make her throw up

And I don't know about you, but I just don't approve of that at all

I told Noelle that and she said "But if he figures out what's wrong with me..."

I'm glad she's taking it better than I am.

Anyway, she asked me to blog for her because she's pretty sure she won't be feeling up to doing much of anything after her trip at the doctor's (I wouldn't be either...and it's a perfect excuse to go home and sleep...)

That actually makes me want to set up an appointment to get all that work done just so I can go home and sleep...

Hmm...is it worth it?

Probably not.

Bother.

You want to see a really cool picture I took?

I was at work the other day walking past Noelle's office and looked down and saw this:



 Noelle planted some Vinca Minor (a perennial groundover vine...meaning it comes back every year and takes over everything. :) in front of her office...either this spring or last year, I forget which, and here it is growing through some pipe. It just looks so cute!!

Has anyone ever noticed that you get more inspiration on certain computers than others? Like...the more comfortable you are, the better your posts turn out? That's how I feel. Sometimes, when I'm home on my computer, my posts don't seem to turn out as good as when I use Mama Smurf's laptop and sit on the couch to write.

But then, some days I feel like I write better on a desktop than a laptop. And then other days it's the opposite. I don't get it. I do believe that when you're more comfortable you write better...and maybe it's just cause my computer's monitor is bigger than mom's laptop  and I feel like I have more room to work? I don't know...it's weird.

The point of this is to say that I don't feel very inspired right now. So maybe when you use someone else's computer you don't write so well either? I guess anything is possible.

Speaking of comfort though, I need to get an actual desk for my computer...

Maybe something like this:

But I might save that for one day if I have a work desk. I really think it's kinda cool...different, but then again so am I. :)

Or this:

Simple, but nice

Or...this:


Hmmm...

The thing is, my monitor is 22" and my tower is pretty big too...so it needs to be pretty long

Otherwise I would get this:

I might just save that one for my work desk instead...cause I just love it, and my work computer won't have to be AS big...I won't be a huge snob. :) (that is, if I get a work computer anyway...)

But if I get a new desk I have to get a new chair...

So we have this:


Which I really like actually...that might be the one I pick...

But there's this:

Which is pretty cool...I don't know that it looks terribly comfortable, I'd have to try it out first...

Or this:

Which looks a bit TOO stiff for me...I don't know that I would like that so much

Or...this:

To be perfectly honest, I don't really like that one...but I put up four desks, so I had to put up four chairs. :)

Those all aren't my only choices, obviously, but those are Ikea's best choices and I'm turning into a really big Ikea fan...which is very unfortunate for my wallet...and the life of my future money. It might be more short lived that it thought it would be.

Okay, I have sufficiently rambled on for long enough...I shall leave you all in peace now

I hope you all have an amazing day!!

I'll keep you updated on the Noelle progress if there is anything to update. :)

Bye!!



p.s. If you got bored, you could always hop on over to my blog and read and if you like you could always follow me. I'd let you. :)

p.p.s. What do you expect? It's a free plug for myself...of course I'm going to go for it. :)

p.p.s.s. bye!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To

Sometimes I feel like having a pity party.
Can we still be friends?
Even if I admit that I am having a pity party right now?
I had to sneak off to my bedroom to ball my eyes out.
Except now that I've posted it on my blog, for the world to see, sneaking off didn't really accomplish anything.

I am tired of being dizzy and not feeling well.
That's it...that's what I'm having a pity party about.
I only tell you about the really bad dizzy episodes.
I don't tell you about the little ones.
The ones that happen every single day.

Like when when we're in the car and Jason turns a corner too fast and I get dizzy.
Or when I bend over to pick something up and am dizzy when I stand up straight again.
Or when I turn my head too fast and have to close my eyes so that the spinning stops.
Today's been a bad day.  Jason thinks I'm mad at him.  I'm not.  I just think he must get sick of hearing me whine about how I don't feel well.  So rather than whine, I just keep my mouth shut.
Except that now we're back to me telling the whole world that I don't feel well.
That's whining isn't it?

Did you know that there are 25 known causes for dizziness?
That's what the doctor told me yesterday.
25 causes, and he ruled out one of them.
I have to back next week for 3 hours worth of tests.
"We're going to purposely make you dizzy," that's what the nurse said.
"Well then, I will purposely throw up on you," is how I responded.
But what I really wanted to ask is if the doctor is going to be able to stop the puking once it starts.

In addition to the 3 hours worth of tests, I have to go to a cardiologist.
80% of people who complain of dizziness have a hole in their heart.
Fix the hole; fix the dizziness.
It all sounds delightful doesn't it?
Actually, if in the end it means my head is clear, I'll go through anything.

I just realized that today is supposed to be Crayola Goodness.
Rats.
Sleeping through Sunday really messed up my schedule.
Hold that thought while I do something about this...

(image from Finch Family Games)

The Girl, and her crayons, are very sorry for TWO WHOLE WEEKS of absence.  VERY SORRY.
They promise to come back next Friday for a Crayola Goodness Extravaganza.
(What does the girl get herself into?) (Oh...and don't you think the girl can color better than she can draw?) The Girl promises not to have another pity party for at least 2 days.  
But The Girl thanks you for reading her blog even through the pity party...it means more to her than toothpaste.
Yes, toothpaste.
The Girl wishes you a happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Group Therapy

Here at the home of Because Nice Matters we don't sleep.
I don't know why.
I like sleep.
Instead we spend hours trying to decide on an arrangement for the wall.
This is the wall:


We can't decide which arrangement we like best.
Can you guess where this might be going?
Here are the arrangements, in no specific order.
Please, if you would be so kind...
Tell me which of these you like best:







I know, I know, it means you have to click out of your reader and go to my blog.
Do it for me?
Please?

I'll tell you tomorrow which one I like best.
It may or may not be the same one that Jason likes best.

And one more question:
Do you think it's normal that my husband actually enjoys helping me with this stuff?
I asked him today how long this phase was going to last...
...the one where I say, "Hey, let's go shopping" and he says "okay."
He said he wasn't sure.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Judgement Day and The Winner!

If a wife were to be judged on her wifeliness by what she has in her refrigerator I would get a D.  A solid D.

Here's what' we've got:

1 gallon of milk
1 carton of grapefruit juice
7 eggs
butter
jam
1 package of blueberry bagels
2 packages of tortillas
and string cheese

We have the milk and the juice because we bought it tonight.
Maybe tomorrow night we'll have time to go to the grocery store.

Jason rode his bike and met me at the gym tonight.  By the time he got there he was beat.
"What did you eat today?" I asked, knowing that he would probably say 'nothing.'
"A pro bar," he said.  (Pro Bars are energy bars that people eat when they need lots of energy fast...and they're kind of gross.)
"What do you want for dinner?" I asked.
"Let's just drive down State Street and see what stands out," my handsome husband said.

McDonalds?  No.
Arbys?  No.
Del Taco?  No.
Pizza Factory?  No.
Los Hermanos?  No.
Carls Jr?  No.
Kneaders?  No.
Zupas?  No.

Finally Jason said, "What's the name of that buffet our grandparents would like?"
"Chuck-A-Rama?" I said.
"YES!  Let's go there!"
And so we did...but not without me laughing the entire time it took us to get there.
Because who eats at Chuck-A-Rama?

I was somewhere near the salad bar when I said to my husband, "Hey baby, want to go home with me tonight?"  He said, "Maybe."

Maybe?  Who says maybe?

Half way through dinner Jason looked at me and said, "You're not really a good candidate for a buffet are you?"  Why?  Because I don't eat enough to make it worth the money?  He has a point.

Dear Husband, I promise to cook you dinner one night this week.  Love, Your Wife.

I have an appointment with a doctor this afternoon - one who specializes in inner ear problems.  Wish me luck.

You are wondering when I will announce the winner for the apple cider give away, yes?

Dear Heather,

YOU WIN!

Blogger Heather said...

All right. I'll comment first ruining my chances of winning!!
That was the perfect thing to say about your hair. How sweet.

Your mom sounds hilarious and having triplets and twins and more would definitely ruin my memory....and even more of my mind!!

(Why are you up so late? Are you a night owl?)

Have a great day!
Send me your address and the cider is yours!!!  
I'll have you know that the drawing was fair...Jason picked Heather's name out of the pile of names of all who commented.
BUT...with that said, I think you would all agree with me that Emily in Japan should get some cider too. 


Blogger acte gratuit said...

Dear Noelle,
Here is why I should win this giveaway:
1. I'm a lurker
2. I love love LOVE Stephens, and especially Stephens Apple Cider, and I'm pretty dang sure I'd love it even more with Caramel in it.
3. I live in Northern Japan and have no (ZERO) access to Stephen's Caramel Apple Cider.
4. It's the start of a long, cold, depressing winter here and I could use some cheering up.
5. I've never won a blog giveaway and I think I'll actually be truly disappointed if I don't win this one!
6. Did I mention I live in Northern Japan? Very far from a Costco or Super Target or
Albertson's or Dan's Food? (*tortured sigh*)
7. Oh, but I do have an American address, so shipping wont be terrible.
8. Have I convinced all other entrants to withdraw yet???
:)
Emily in Japan
9. Would it help to bribe you with some Japanese Sea Glass? Chopsticks? Sushi erasers?

Dear Emily, send me your address and the cider is yours too!
And now I must go and rescue my ipad from the husband before he downloads any more apps.  He'll use up all of the memory before I even get one book on there.

  





 

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Slept Right Through Sunday

I would like to tell you that we had a beautifully romantic weekend.
I would like to tell you about the amazing 5-bedroom condo we stayed in.
I would like to tell you about the gorgeous resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
I would like to tell you about the delicious steak dinner Jason's boss made for us.
I would like to tell you about Jason bringing me breakfast in bed.
I would like to tell you about the lovely earrings Jason bought me.
I would like to tell you about the book I read on the 5-hour drive from here to there.
I would like to tell you about a lot of things, but what I will tell you about is how I slept right through Sunday.

Sometime early Sunday morning I rolled over to snuggle closer to Jason and in the process of rolling I felt something shift inside of my head.  I was dizzy immediately.  I stayed still for a few minutes and begged God to stop this from happening.  I got out of bed and made my way to the bathroom to find my medicine.  It wasn't there.  I held myself up with the wall and slowly got back into bed.

I woke Jason up and asked him to find my medicine.  He went downstairs and came back a few minutes later with my pills and a drink of water.  It was too late.  I couldn't keep the medicine down.  The movement of simply lifting my head caused me to puke...and puke, and puke.  I couldn't lay with my head flat on the pillow.  I couldn't sit up.  I couldn't open my eyes.  I couldn't move.  My arm was stretched out on top of the bed-side table, and my head was half on my arm and half on a garbage can.  

Jason divided his time between pacing the floor and Googling vertigo.  He called my mom and she told him that he needed to get liquids down me.  "The more dehydrated she gets the worse the vertigo will get.  You need to get her to drink something and she needs to take her medicine."  

My mom said, "Can I talk to her?"  Jason handed me the phone and I managed to lift my head up off the garbage can long enough to put the phone to my ear and whimper, "Mom."  It was pathetic.  Really, truly pathetic.

"Go to the hospital Noelle."

Go to the hospital...such simple words, but an impossible task.  I couldn't open my eyes without puking and now I was expected to make it down two flights of stairs to the car.  Jason and Matt, Jason's co-worker, practically carried me to the car.  It was when we got to the first landing that I nearly passed out.  Thankfully Matt was behind me and caught me before I fell to the floor.  Poor Matt.  He deserves a gold star for holding me up while I puked into that stupid garbage can.  I remember telling I was sorry and he told me not to worry.  

Jason drove me to the emergency room of the local hospital and ran in and got a nurse and a wheelchair.  The rest is kind of hazy.  I kept my eyes closed the entire time I was in that ER, except for when the doctor said, "I need to look in your eyes."  I wouldn't be able to point out the nurses and doctor even if my life depended on it.

They asked me questions, put an IV into my arm, and pulled my hair into a ponytail, and all the while I puked into the garbage can.  They gave me saline, they gave me medicine to stop the nausea, they gave me medicine that would knock me out...and I still puked into the garbage can.  They gave me another type of medicine to stop the nausea, and covered me with at least 5 heated blankets.  I was so cold.  I couldn't stop shivering or whimpering.  

I can't remember when I finally fell asleep. I don't know how long I was in the ER.  I don't remember going back to the condo.  I don't remember getting into bed, and I don't remember anything else about that day.  My mom said I called her Sunday afternoon but I don't remember that either.  

Pathetic, truly pathetic.

I woke up this morning with a headache.  The dizziness was gone and my ears were unplugged;  I could handle the headache.

It looks like I'll be searching for a doctor...one who will tell me he or she knows how to fix my head...because this business of ending up in the ER?  It's not on my top ten list.

Stay tuned...results for the Carmel Apple Cider giveaway will be posted on Wednesday!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Word of Caution

Don't ever chop your hair and color it the day before you take family pictures.
You will go through serious hair cutting remorse.
*sigh*
What's done is done.

Jason and I are leaving bright and early Friday morning.
We're headed to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for the weekend.
Jason will do a little work, and I will do a lot of relaxing.

I have a million things to do before we leave and sadly, I don't have time to draw you pictures this week.
I'm sure you'll get over it.
Instead of colored pictures I'll give you family pictures...
...as I know you are dying to see more of my family.

Before the pictures I walked into my parent's house to brush through my hair.
I helped my mom pick out something to wear and then yelled to my dad,
"Dad, you need to change.  We're taking pictures in two minutes!'
Mom quietly said, "He did change."
"Never mind Dad, you look great," I hollered...
...if you look past the patch in the knee of your pants and your old flannel shirt.
That Dad of mine...he is one stubborn man.

And now, the entire Because Nice Matters family...in birth order...

Mom and Dad


The Triplets: Becca, Jared (and Rachel and family),and Noelle (and the handsome husband)




The Twins: Heather (and Kevin and kiddies) and Ben (and Amber and kiddies)



Tiffany (and Corey)


And last but not least...Amanda...or Baby Sister


And just one more because I can't get over the cuteness that is my niece Kate


I think you should know that my Grandma Lucy, who I love in spite of herself, will tell the whole world that Tiffany is the most beautiful girl in the family. 

So there's that.

And now, if you'll excuse me...my brand new iron is calling to me from the other room.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Would You Ever

Go Into Bed Bath and Beyond and buy the most expensive iron you find?

My husband lives a charmed life.
A truly charmed life.
And it makes me nervous.

Example 1

Jason joins an online dating site.
Jason sends a message to a girl.
The girl responds.
In just a few short months, Jason is married to the girl.

Example 2


Jason puts his house up for sell.
Jason puts his house up for sell in a town that has 40 other houses up for sale.
Jason's house is in a town that has a total of 47 residents.
Jason sells his house.
Jason sells his house to the same man who made an offer on the house the same time Jason did, 4 years ago.
The man Jason sells his house to is from Washington DC and has no ties to the 47 residents living in town.
Jason sells his house for more than any other person in town has gotten for their house in the last 2 years.

Example 3


Jason decides to sell his car.
Not the new car his boss bought him as a bonus, but the car he was driving before the bonus.
Jason takes pictures of the car, writes an ad, and posts it on a local want-ad website.
Within 5 minutes of posting the ad Jason gets three phone calls and one email.
Within one hour of posting the ad, a man comes to take the car for a test drive.
Within two hours of posting the ad, Jason has sold the car...for the amount he wanted to get for it.

After selling the car we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  My iron broke.  It randomly fell out of the iron holder on the wall and crashed to the floor.
I do not live a charmed life.
Things break, my internet connection at work goes haywire (I haven't had internet in over 24 hours), I forget to shut the washer lid when I start a load of laundry, I step on a piece of the broken iron and get it stuck in my foot...

Sorry for the tangent.
As I was saying, we went to find an iron.
I would have been happy with the middle-class iron.
I'm a middle-class kind of girl.
But Jason just sold his car.
And if we're going to buy an iron we are going to buy an iron.
I gave my handsome husband a choice.  He could buy me the middle class iron and I would continue to iron his shirts, or he could buy the iron of all irons, and he could iron his own shirts.

As we went to make our purchase I asked the cashier, "How many customers do you get like us, who pay for the most expensive iron you have in your store?"



My husband lives a charmed life.
A truly charmed life.
And it makes me nervous.
As one not used to 'charmed' I'm not sure how to react.
And I'm certainly not convinced that it's going to last.

I will say this about that charmed life my husband lives.
When he walked in the house with the money from the car he handed it to me and said, "It's all yours."
I gave him some of it back and said, "I will use the rest to pay off some bills."
That money I gave him?  To spend however he wanted?
He used it to buy the iron.
I think I'll keep him.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm In Love With

Carmel Apple Cider.
Have you had it?
No?
It's a Stephen's Limited Edition.
I think I shall have a give away.

Yes, you read that right.
I'm going to have a give away.
I just decided, right this very minute.

While I type the rest of this post I will think of the rules to the give away.
Would you like to know what Jason said about my hair?
"It frames your face, and shows off your smile.  More attention should be given to both I think."
That is why I married him.

That and the fact that he is usually the one to change the sheets on the bed.
And this time around, he finally consented to put the down comforter back on the bed.
I sleep in heaven every single night.
I'm in love with Carmel Apple Cider AND our down comforter.

(Should give away be hyphenated? This I do not know.  And as it's 12:35 a.m. I do not care.)

I realized, just barely, that I haven't told you my favorite story of the week.
I think you'll like it.
The other day my mom called me.
Our conversation went as follows:

Me: "Hi Mom."
Mom: "Hi.  I know why the oatmeal cookies I made last week didn't turn out."
Me: "Why?" (I didn't know that she had made oatmeal cookies that didn't turn out, but I pretended I did.)
Mom: "I forgot to put the oatmeal in."

And then we both laugh a lot.

Mom: "I am just rewriting that recipe you gave me and I didn't write oatmeal anywhere. I'm losing it."
Me: "Umm Mom?  I didn't give you an oatmeal cookie recipe.  I gave you a chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It didn't call for oatmeal."

And then we both laugh even more.

Poor Mom.
Did you know she blames her lack of memory on the fact that she had triplets and twins, and two more in the space of just a few years?
She might be on to something.
And if that's the case, "Dear Mom, stop praying I'll have triplets.  Do you want my memory to end up in the same place that yours is going?  I didn't think so."

Can I tell you just one more thing I'm in love with?
Cream of Wheat Cereal.
(Did you all think I was going to say my husband?  That would have been cheesy, and this blog is not about being cheesy.  Sorry Cheeseboy, no offense.)
Oh for the love...who are we kidding?
I AM in love with my husband...and Cream of Wheat Cereal.

On to the give away, or give-away, whichever you prefer.
Here's what you have to do.
1. Leave me a comment telling me why you should get the Carmel Apple Cider (which you should mix with water, NOT milk.  Just ask my brother.  Why would anyone think to mix cider with milk?  Ben?  Can you answer that?)
That's it...easy peasy.
BUT WAIT...here's something to sweeten the deal:
If you are a lurker and you comment, your name will go into the hat TWICE!
Trust me...this Carmel Apple Cider is worth the extra work of actually clicking over to my blog and commenting!
(Shouldn't I be compensated by Stephen's for this amazing endorsement?  I think yes.)

This give away/give-away will end Friday the 15th at 4:27 p.m.

And now I'm headed to bed...where Jason is slumbering peacefully.  Sadly, I'm not tired.  Perhaps I'll find one of his 12,568 headlamps and read for a while.

I've Had A Busy Morning

I went from this:


To This:



On a scale of 1 to 10...how badly do you think Jason is going to hurt me?
Which he wouldn't...
...but figuratively speaking...1 to 10...

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Post In Which I Confess Something

Today is Jason's birthday.
Won't you all wish him a happy birthday?
And tell him he doesn't look 40.
(But don't tell him I told you to say that part.)

Jason's Birthday...Jason's Birthday...
I want to tell you about our 'romantic' weekend away...
I really do.
Really.
But it's going to take me swallowing all of my pride to do it.
Hold on while I swallow.

Here's how it played out:

My uncle's cabin is nestled into the trees on the side of a mountain.
It's a cozy, comfortable, very 'Welcome Home' kind of cabin.
And we found it without getting lost once.
We found the key in it's secret hiding spot and let ourselves in.

The cabin is beautiful: high ceilings, big leather furniture, a love sac or two, and an electric fireplace.
We unloaded our things and realized that there was not a frying pan to be found anywhere.
And we needed a frying pan.
We headed to the nearest town and bought ourselves a $20 griddle at the grocery store.
We ate Jason's birthday dinner at a cozy little place called the Bear Claw Cafe.
Jason ordered filet mignon.  I'm sure it tasted divine, but I can't be sure.
I have a rule about eating red meat.
I don't do it.

Back at the cabin we turned on the fireplace, snuggled into a love sac, and started a movie.
We moved the TV closer to the fireplace and pushed play.
After about 30 minutes I got up to stretch my back and stood close to the fireplace.
It was then I noticed that the back of the TV looked like it had melted.
I said, "Ummm Jason, I think we melted the TV."
His response was, "WHAT?"
We turned on the light and sure enough the TV was melted.
I looked at Jason, he looked at me, and we both said, "crap."

A few minutes later, Jason was looking for the remote control.
The TV worked just fine, in spite of it's appearance, and we wanted to finish our movie.
We looked under the pillows, and under the cushions, and behind the curtains...
The remote was nowhere to be found.  (And in our defense, because we need it, the remote was lost before we got there.)
Jason went to look under the couch and lifted it a bit to see underneath it.
By lifting the couch he bumped the table behind the couch, and by bumping the table behind the couch, one of the candles that was sitting on the table fell off and broke into many pieces.
"Oh good grief.  I want to go home."
That's what I said.

I looked at the bottom of the candle holder that was still in perfect condition and said, "Oh, I know where my aunt got this.  We can just go tomorrow and buy a new piece of glass to replace it.  And while we're there, we can look for a new TV."

We cleaned up the glass, finished the movie, and went to bed.

I had plugged in a space heater in the bedroom to warm it up a bit.  I put the space heater in the middle of the room, away from any curtains or furniture.  After our night, I didn't want to take any more chances.  Instead of sleeping I had a million thoughts of the space heater malfunctioning and starting a fire, and so before I could sleep I got up and unplugged the space heater.

The next morning after a lovely breakfast we drove into Park City where we looked everywhere for a TV.  We had zero luck.  We couldn't find it in a store, and we couldn't find it online.  In fact, they no longer make this TV.  And a new model would cost half of my paycheck.  We finally determined to tell my uncle that in spite of it's appearance the TV still works, and if he would like us to pay for a new one, we would.

The next stop was for a new piece of glass for the candle holder.  I showed the glass to the lady in the store and of course, they no longer make that size.  Instead, they had one that was a little bit taller and not quite as wide.  We compared the two pieces and decided it would be okay.  But instead of buying one piece of glass we had to buy two. There was another candle, that didn't fall, and they had to match.

We got back to the cabin where we loaded the dishwasher, washed the sheets and towels, and cleaned everything that we had used.  After everything was loaded into the car I went back inside to check the fireplace for the 7th time.  It was still turned off.  As I was walking out the door I took one last precaution.  I stopped the dryer that had been going and took the towels out of it and decided to let them air dry.  Because with my luck, the dryer would have sparked a flame somewhere and burned the whole place down.

And friends, I'd like to say that I wasn't being completely unreasonable in my line of thinking.
The last time we stayed at a cabin (actually it was really a glorified barn, but it was our's and we loved it), it did burn down...to the ground...7 years of my dad's constant labor...gone.  You can read that story here if you want to.

ANYWAY...

The novel is almost finished.
We were telling my family about our run of bad luck yesterday.
After laughing for a minute my dad said, "If the TV had melted on your watch the plastic would have been soft.  Was it soft?" 
And Jason and I both said, "No, actually it wasn't."
And Dad said, "Chances are it was probably already melted."
So...a letter to my Aunt who reads this blog...and to her daughters who also read this blog:

"Dear Aunt,
Thank you for letting us use your cabin.
It was lovely.
We may or may not have melted the back of the TV.  We don't know.
If we did, and if you are mad at us forever, we will buy you a new one if it means we can get back in your good graces.
And that candle? 
Don't you think the new glass looks better anyway?
With love and adoration, and the promise to never step foot on your property again,
Your Niece."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crayola Goodness Has Guests!









My nieces would love to thank you for allowing them to show off their talent...
(Every time Jason and I look at Trouble's picture we laugh)
If you'd like to see more of their work in the future I'm sure they'll be happy to accommodate.

As always, have a lovely weekend friends!

Thinking of a Title is the Hardest Part of Blogging

Jason's birthday is Monday. 
He'll be the big 4-0!
Last night when he got home from playing basketball it took him 7 minutes to get upstairs.
(I might or might not be exaggerating.)
As he got ready for bed he winced and hobbled and moaned a few times.
I suggested that maybe it was time to retire from basketball.
He didn't like my suggestion.
I made up for my lousy suggestion by telling him what we're going to do for his birthday.

It was supposed to be a surprise.
I'm even more lousy with surprises than I am with suggestions.
But here's the thing...
In order for the surprise to work, I need his help.
And I couldn't ask for his help without telling him what is going on.

My uncle has graciously given me the keys to his cabin.
His cabin that I'm sure I could never find on my own.
It's not an iPad, but it's something right?
A romantic weekend with your wife?
Isn't that something?

We can't stay the whole weekend though.
I've a serious task I have to prepare for.
A very serious task.
A very serious task that I'm not sure I'm up for.

(And if you were sitting next to me you would hear me whimpering.)

Do you remember once upon a time when I was asked to work with the young girls in my church?
...you know, be there to love and to support and to teach and to guide...
I've been there, doing that for several months now.  Remember when I even went to girls camp with them?
Isn't that enough?  Isn't remembering their birthdays and baking them goodies and being friends with them on Facebook enough?
Apparently it's not.
Not at all.
Because now, NOW, I get the amazing opportunity of teaching them this Sunday (them = twenty something girls between the ages of 12 and 18) the importance of 'waiting' until marriage.  I get to help them understand why it's important to stay morally pure, in a world that doesn't seem to place much importance on that.

You're jealous aren't you.

While you're being jealous, if you have any words of wisdom for me, please feel free to share!
...unless you don't think it's important to stay morally pure, and it that case, your words of wisdom probably won't help my cause...

I think that's all I've got for now.  Looks like it's back out into the rain for me. 
We'll have guests for tomorrow's Crayola Goodness post - play nice.
Oh...and one more little thing...to Natalie's sister...who's email I couldn't find and who's blog I couldn't access...thanks!!!  I'm glad you are here!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anyone Want To Do My Hair?

My neighbors have a pet pig.
It's an indoor pig.
They take it for walks around the block.
Just thought I'd share.

By the time my mom was my age she had been married for over ten years and had 7 kids.
She and my dad had purchased their first home, and sold it, and were well into placing roots into their second home and neighborhood.
She had mastered the arts of cooking, and baking homemade bread, and sewing clothes for her children, and canning peaches and pears, and making her last dollar stretch until the next paycheck which was a week away.
By the time my mom was my age she had earned the titles of woman and adult.

I look at my life up to this point and sometimes wonder what it will take for me to feel like I've earned the titles of woman and adult.
Because mostly I still feel like a kid.
When I'm sick and heaving over a garbage can I still want my mom.
I see my family every day of my life and yet there are moments when I feel homesick.
When I'm sad and lonely I still wrap up in the blanket my grandma made me 30 years ago.
When I toss and turn in bed I wonder where my teddy bear is.
When people are jerks I want for my dad to beat them up.
And when I refer to myself, I always use the world girl.

I've had moments of adultness -
I moved away from home, to a foreign country.
I taught myself to speak a foreign language.
I bought a house.
I took care of a dying grandpa.
I teach classes.
I got married.
I do laundry and even iron.
I know the difference between north, south, east, and west.
I can balance a checkbook.
I have many, many stamps in my passport.
I've built amazing friendships.  (Although, I heard from two of my friends today that I'm a lousy friend now that I'm married, and when I whined about it to my best friend, she agreed!  Not to worry, I still love her...it's the other friends I'm not so sure about.  BUT...I'm not going there, because then I'll have yet another emotional breakdown, and Jason doesn't need that.)

Where was I?

Each of these moments of adultness is pushing me towards that moment when I'll be able to say with confidence that I'm a woman of accomplishment.

But there's one thing that's going to push me over that girl to woman edge faster than anything else...

I'm going gray.  Every day I find more and more gray hair...and if I keep pulling it out I'll be bald by next summer at two o' clock...but maybe it will be worth it if I feel that I can finally play with the big kids.

And now that I've burdened all of you with my heavy burden, I'm going to take myself and my grandma's blanket to bed.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Read This, Ignore The Other One That Shows up in Your Reader :)

My little blog has been having a bit of a pity party.
No, not me, my blog.
There was a moment when it thought about retiring...when it thought that maybe it had reached it's limit...maybe it's voice had been heard - overheard even...

But then my blog got a comment...one comment that said this:

Hi.

I love your posts. Seriously. One day this week I'm going to demand all my followers to follow you. Or, no, I'm going to tell them to come here. And that will be enough said.

You could seriously talk about chicken soup and make it interesting and funny and something people want to read.

Super duper thankful that you were one of the first blogs I ever followed! :)



And that was all my little blog needed to carry on.  You can thank Sam for saving my blog's life.

Now...I've got something to tell you...a story about my day.  I think the story will be better if you eat popcorn while you are reading it.

Go ahead...I'll wait...but DON'T burn it!  I'd probably smell it through the screen.

One of my 367 job responsibilities is to bill the people who owe us money and then attempt to collect the money.  In my ever so humble opinion it's not a fair thing to ask of me...for several reasons.

1. I don't always get a say in who gets to open up a charge account.
2. I don't always get a say in the amount of credit someone gets.
3. Even when I do get a say, no one listens to my say.
4. People don't respond as well to me because I'm a girl. 

(I can call the same person 12 times, and get no response.  My brother can call them once and have payment within 2 hours.)

I've been slowly sending out letters - a few at a time - letting the people who are a risk know that their accounts have been changed to COD...because frankly, I'm tired of playing the 'You'll get paid when I get paid' game.  I wonder if they've tried that excuse at the grocery store, or the mall.

I have one customer who owes me a lot of money.  A lot = I could pay almost half of my mortgage off with the amount of money he owes.  This customer has made ONE payment since January of this year.  I call at least once a week and talk to the same lady every time.  I hear one of three excuses:

I can't talk to Dave because he's 1. in a meeting  2. at lunch  or 3. out of town.

I leave a message every single time I call, knowing that he won't return my call. 

When I called last Friday Shaniqua (not her name...but a name I've always wanted to use) said, "I'll let him know you called."

I laughed and said, "You and I both know that won't do a bit of good.  Your boss is my least favorite person, and you can tell him I said so."

When I called today Shaniqua said, "Dave is in the office, hold on and I'll transfer the call."  (I believe that the only reason I found Dave in the office is because Baby Sister was sitting at my desk, and she is my lucky charm...really.)

This is how my conversation with Dave went:  

"Hello..."

"Dave, it's Noelle from the nursery."

"Noelle!  It's been a long time!"  (And trust me when I tell you it was said with the most sweetly condescending voice I have ever heard.)

"It's been even longer since you've given me a payment," was my reply.

"Oh Noelle, you're just not using the right words."  (Again with the sweet condescension.)

"Are those words 'If I don't get a payment immediately I will take you to court?'"

"No, those aren't the words.  The words are 'Please Dave, can I get a payment?'"

"We passed please a long time ago Dave."

"But I've never heard you say please."  (And now we have a sing-song condescension going on.)

"You've never heard me say anything Dave.  You don't return my calls."

"You've called in the past?  I've heard from your brother Ben but not you."

"You know darn well I've called Dave.  But it's a nice iron wall you've built between you and the people you owe money to."

"Now Noelle, just say the right words."

"Dave, when do you plan to pay me?"  

And then he gave me the song and dance about how he hopes to get paid this week and maybe by Wednesday he can pay me something.  

"Call back Wednesday Noelle, and we'll see if we can't get you a payment."

I didn't say another word.  I just hung up the phone and wanted to throw something.

Maybe it's time I get our lawyer involved...he's a man...he's already got one up on me because of that.  

Anyone want a job?