Sunday, June 28, 2009

A weekend of happies and crappies

On Saturday Devin found out that he passed his SE 1 exam and will receive his license. Now his title his Devin Riley, PE and he'll get his own stamp and everything. I told him he could stamp me (I really did). I'm so incredibly proud of him. He poured hours upon hours upon hours into studying for this thing (for over a year) and it paid off. He told me that it had a 48% pass rate. Yikes! It was so great to see him get the mail and run inside yelling "MARIE! I PASSED!" I've never seen him this excited about anything. Fun stuff.

The crappy thing is I just returned home from having Gus put down. His health had just deteriorated to a point where it seemed wrong to keep him around. Even though I am so, so sad to think about life without my lovable cat around, I feel so much more at peace because he's not suffering anymore. Gus really was a great cat. He used to come running to the door when we'd come home and lay smack down at our feet so we'd rub his belly. He also used to make himself at home on the laps of all of our guests, leaving a giant wad of hair. He was happiest outside sitting underneath one of our trees (where we'll bury him tomorrow). I am a little worried for Roxy. Gus was her companion. Just last night when he was laying lethargically near my closet, Roxy came over and started diligently cleaning his ears.

The people at the vet's office were incredibly kind and sensitive to me, even though I was bawling like a baby. The doctor who actually administered his shot didn't ask me a bunch of questions or make me feel like a bad person. He just said "I'm sorry" and gently explained what they were going to do. Gus had a lot of fans out there, that's for sure. Even though I've openly favored Roxy through the years, most of our friends and family liked Gus because he truly had the personality of a golden retriever. He'll definitely be missed. I'm sure he'll be waiting for us in heaven (because everyone knows God is a cat person). We love you Gus (Gussy Pie). Our house won't be the same without you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't be an idiot (Lesson # 2,352)

I would lose my head if it wasn't attached. I probably lose my keys or my cell phone at least twice a day. Anytime I go anywhere you'll hear me say "Deviiiiin have you seen my keys??" He always humors me by trying to help. I guess he's figured out after being with me for ten years that putting them in the same place just isn't going to happen. Want to know where his keys are? Oh that's easy. They're on the dresser in a little dish. It's so great when I lose mine and need to take his in a hurry. I love it! Wouldn't it be great if I could do that?

I'm doing so much better with my cell phone, but only if I have my flowery Vera Bradley bag. If I need to use a different bag (like today) I'm hopeless. I'm a mess. Thankfully my mom was reading Aunt Shel and me excerpts out of Please Understand Me about ESFPs and I feel slightly better knowing these silly habits have been ingrained in me since birth.

We went to the pool with Merah and her girls today and had a great time. We made a quick stop at Hy-vee before heading home. Because I was running late, I did not drink my daily morning cup of coffee and by 1 'o clock I had a KILLER headache. Nausea included. In fact, the nausea was so awful it reminded me of morning sickness and I was sympathetic to all my pregnant friends. I came into the house and dumped all my stuff on the floor, did not argue with Addison when she wanted a muffin and milk for lunch, fed Ainsley and stuck her in her crib. I looked around and couldn't find my phone. I ran outside into the sweltering heat to look for it. Most of the other contents of our house were out in the car, but not the phone. I dumped out the swimming pool bag and it wasn't in there either. By now my head hurt so bad that I was about to pass out, and Ainsley was not happy up in the crib. I brought her downstairs and stuck her in the swing and Addison and I passed out on the couch. I tried to sleep, but I kept stressing out about my phone. I really had no idea where it could be and I just KNEW I left it at the pool or Hy-vee. At around 3:45 I couldn't take it anymore. I woke up both girls, put them back in their carseats, and drove back to the pool, parked the car, walked them both inside. No phone. Got back in the car, drove back to Hy-vee, parked the car again, walked back inside (after praying) to customer service, certain that my phone would be there. No again.

By then I was close to tears. I have a Palm Centro (not a cheap phone) that I just got at Christmas. How was I supposed to explain to Devin that I lost it? How could I muster up the humility? How pissed was he going to be at me? Why the heck did I donate my old phone? Plus my head still hurt really bad.

I drive up to the house feeling defeated, and decide that maybe someone at either the pool or the store will find it later and that I'd try calling tomorrow. When I started picking up the house before Devin got home, there was my phone in all its shiny pink glory sitting on a shelf next to the back door. All of that FOR NOTHING!

I said lots of prayers that God would help me find my phone. I wonder if he was shaking his head and laughing at me for being such a ditz.

Hope that gave you a good laugh too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friendliness or Stalkerness?

I remember faces (and sometimes names). Sometimes this "gift" I have is good and people seem grateful that I remember them. Sometimes it's bad because I can come off like a total stalker. I get into trouble with it a lot working at Baby Gap. For instance, I saw a girl at VBS this week and she looked totally familiar. I couldn't place her. I asked her if she was from LV. Nope. How about K-State? Yes! K-State, but 4 years before me. Hmm.... Then I saw her cute little girl and remembered her from Baby Gap. Well then I feel like I made her come across as someone who shops there too much (which wasn't true). Arrgh. Sometimes I think I should just keep my mouth shut (but I probably won't. I like talking to people too much).

Next area of trouble for me: FACEBOOK.

I'm not too choosy on friends. If I've met you once, I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask to be your friend. In fact, I was looking for Tann electric on facebook to become a fan (they saved us from impending death) and came across the guy who did the electrical work. I did NOT ask him to be my friend, but I sure came close. Anyway, even though I did not ask the electrical guy to be my friend, I have asked people from church in leadership positions to be my friend (even though I have maybe said hi to them in the hall, or even if I haven't even met them). This is all fine and good. We're brothers and sisters in Christ, right? Well it just gets a liiiiiitle bit awkward when I run into them either at church or some other place. I've come across these people and they seriously take a few extra seconds to place me. What do you do? Do you say "hi I'm your friend on facebook. I'm a creep!" or do you say nothing? So far I've gone with option #2 and I don't think it's going to last much longer. Help!

Perhaps I'll stick with just being facebook friends with people I actually know.

I was also tempted to become facebook friends with my high school ex-boyfriend's wife (just out of curiosity), but Leigh Ayn talked me out of that one and became friends with her instead. Good friends do that kind of thing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Saw a kid wearing this at VBS today...

It made me laugh.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm one of them now

It's 7 pm and Ainsley is in bed. This seems crazy! 7? That's so early! Addison was always such a night owl and I'm so used to being able to take her out to restaurants, get togethers, even late night New Year's Eve celebrations! Even now, it's a pain to get her to go to bed by 9 pm. I never understood my friends who had to miss out on all the fun stuff because of bedtime. In fact, a bunch of my friends who don't have kids thought Devin and I were fun because we liked to hang out late and would just cart Addison around with us.


Ainsley's different. She gets crabby. Reeeeeealllllllly crabby. Unbearable. I couldn't figure out why she was getting so crabby every single evening right around 7 pm until I talked to my friend Alison from church who said her kids go to bed at 7.
"But I don't want to be one of those moms" I told her (I suffer from foot in mouth disease).
"Well I'm one of those moms, Marie, and it works."

Dang. She's right! Tonight Ainsley started getting fussy around 6:45, so I put her little "Does this diaper make my butt look big?" onesie on, swaddled her up and put her to bed thinking she'd surely throw a huge fit because it's so early. Nope. Didn't cry at all. Went right to sleep. I even went in to check on her and she was smiling in her sleep!

Who knows? Maybe she'll wake up 30 minutes later and scream and I'll delete this whole post, but I'm willing to give it a try if it's what she needs. Just add it to my ongoing "selfish desires I didn't even realize I had until I had kids" list. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Eight Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1.August 15, when Ainsley will be old enough to go to the gym and I can have a nice break
2. Seeing Keri when she comes to visit soon
3. Seeing Aunt Shel and Mariah in a couple of weeks
4. Addison's 3rd birthday party. She talks about her birthday every day.
5. Seeing Year One. It looks pee-your-pants funny.
6. Going on a bonafied vacation after all this stupid debt is paid off. I'm talking the works: nice hotel, a beach, restaurants, margaritas, you name it, we're doing it!
7. When my dad calls us saying he's found a great job.
8. June 15, when I can re-stock the grocery budget. :) It's down to $18.

Eight Things I Did Yesterday:
1. Bible Study
2. Caribou Coffee ($1 Mondays baby!)
3. Aldi
4. Last minute park getaway with Brenda and our kids
5. Watched the Bachelorette (that Jake is such a cutie)
6. Played cards with Addison
7. Fed Ainsley about 15 million times
8. Is it sad that I can't think of an 8th thing? :)

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do:
1. Play the guitar and the piano
2. Be Tidy. Regardless of how hard I try, thing tend to get messy in a hurry. Especially when I'm cooking. (hey me too Erica!)
4. Drive Devin's car
5. Bake bread like an artisan bread maker
6. Run
7. Go to nursing school
8. Go on a shopping spree

Eight Shows I Watch:
1. The Office
2. Amazing Race
3. Biggest Loser
4. The Bachelorette
6. Max and Ruby
7. Dora
8. Say Yes to the Dress

Eight Favorite Fruits:
1. Blueberries
2. Strawberries
3. mandarin oranges
4. grapes
5. pineapple
6. kiwi
7. peaches
8. cherries

Eight Places I've Lived:
1. Shawnee, KS
2. Manhattan, KS
3. Columbia, MD
4. Leavenworth, KS
5. Heidelberg, Germany
6. The Netherlands
7. Hinesville, GA
8. Charlottesville, VA

Eight Places to Visit:
1. Germany. I am dying to go back to Garmisch and a Christmas Market
2. Hawaii
3. New England
4. Upper NW (Washington, Oregon)
5. Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas
6. Ireland again
7. Where Amanda lives (Amish land)
8. Southern California
(9.) Spring Canyon (I miss it there)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hellooooo Friday!

So yesterday I was on some sort of domestic/frugal rampage. First, I made my own broth. Then I made my own croutons. I've never made croutons before, but Erica made it sound really easy and it was. I was so excited about my homemade croutons that when Devin got home from work last night I threw the tupperware at him and said "EAT MY CROUTONS! I MADE THEM ALL BY MYSELF!" He took a bite and said "Ok. It's a crouton." Feeling slightly disappointed that he didn't get excited as I was, I said to him later "So you weren't so excited about my croutons" and he said "well I was expecting a taste explosion the way you got all excited about them." Heh. It's true. I do tend to get pretty excited for myself. Men need training in this area. Devin should know by now exactly how to respond. Every single time I make something new for a meal I stare at him as he takes his first bite and wait (picture a squirmy puppy in your mind) for his reaction. We've been married for almost 6 years so he should know by now to say something like "OH MY GOSH. THIS IS THE BEST ________ I HAVE EVER TASTED. YOU ARE SUCH AN UNBELIEVABLE CHEF. EMERIL HAS NOTHING ON YOU" or something. Then again, I've never seen Devin get THAT excited about anything.


My slow cooked whole chicken turned out to be really delicious. It was even better than when I have roasted them in the oven. If you're looking for a beautiful presentation for the table, this probably isn't the way to go (it literally fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pot), but it was so juicy and tender. I ended up seasoning it with some herb seasoning I had, stuffing it with a lemon slice and garlic, and covering it with lemon slices. I served roasted carrots and potatoes that I roasted in the oven, but I should have just thrown those in the pot too.

Our grocery budget has dwindled down to very little (ARRRGAGH! I'm trying SO HARD!) I don't know why this is happening because our budget has worked just fine for a couple of years now, but I'm really frustrated. Any tips would be much appreciated, even though I feel like I'm doing all the right things: coupons, stockpiling, planning meals, etc. etc. etc.

Here's a few pictures from around here:

My other baby seems too grown up now. She asked me to fix her hair for her and I almost fell over because the last time she let me do pigtails was two years ago!

This is Addison playing Princess Memory with my dad. Look how neatly she laid all the cards out!