Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #1

I’ve been a real Ebenzer Scrooge this week. I’ve done a lot of grumbling and complaining- about my job, about housework and that I don’t have enough time to get it done, about the dog who makes the house messy. Many nights I feel like I’m playing Beat the Clock, with trying to get dinner on the table and the house picked up all in those three hours between getting home from work and sitting down to relax with Gregg in front of the t.v. I try to maintain a balance of keeping the house clean and getting all the laundry done, while also making sure I spend some time with my husband at the end of the day. It seems like an impossible task sometimes, and I just have to let some of the things around the house go, realizing that the world won’t come to an end if I do.

So, in the midst of all this complaining and frustration, I thought I would kick off my first Thursday Thirteen with a list of things I am thankful for. In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, I bring you this week’s:

Thirteen Things I am thankful for

1. That I was saved at an early age (18) and by grace, rather than anything I
can do on my own.
2. My wonderful husband, who shows me daily how much he loves me and reassures me that I am a great wife.
3. Gregg’s parents. They have been incredibly supportive throughout our marriage and accepted me into their family as one of their own from the very beginning.
4. My family. Even though we have our issues, I am thankful that I was raised in a loving environment and had a sister to grow up alongside me, who I share many memories and inside jokes with. My parents, who grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s, also have a very rich history that they’ve passed down to me.
5. That I have a job which pays me fairly well, and which I am mentally and physically capable of doing.
6. That we live in a beautiful & relatively inexpensive area of the country and have a nice home.
7. Our church. The members are committed to living out the Gospel and they have welcomed us with open arms right from the start. They also appreciate all that Gregg does in the tech ministry.
8. Our small group, with whom we’ve laughed and grown deeper these past few months.
9. That Jesus loves me unconditionally and sacrificed His life for me, so that I can live abundantly and go to Heaven.
10. Okay, yes- I’m thankful for blogging! It gives me an outlet for my thoughts, fears and struggles, as well as a place to just be myself & put up pretty blinkies.
11. Tacked onto the last one, the blogging community I’ve come to know over the last year and a half. I enjoy reading other married women’s takes on life and the support we show each other through good times and bad.
12. That Christmas is just around the corner! It is such a magical time, filled with traditions, yummy goodies and familiar Christmas carols to warm your heart, as well as reflections on the birth of our Savior and how He reconciled us to God.
13. A godly marriage which tests my character and matures my faith, and also brings me great joy and pleasure. We’ll be celebrating our 4th anniversary 6 weeks from today!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turkey Leftovers

Sigh. 4 blissful days sleeping in, relaxing and spending all-too-precious quality time with hubby have, sadly, come to an end. They were wonderful while they lasted.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and enjoyed time spent with family eating turkey (or in some cases, Roast Pork). I was grateful that I did not have to cook a turkey, bake a pie or clean up any dishes since we went the Cracker Barrel route. We just relaxed that morning and talked to our families back in NJ who were preparing for Thanksgiving dinner.

I really didn’t expect Cracker Barrel to be as crowded as it was. We got there around 2 and there were people waiting outside. Since there were only two of us, we were seated right away. We feasted on ham, turkey, stuffing, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie with pecans for the low price of $8.69 each! The food was ah-mazing and they gave us so much of it. We were stuffed by the time we left. Suffice it to say, I think we’ve started a new Thanksgiving tradition.

That night we didn’t do much of anything. I perused some of my favorite blogs and started spaghetti & meatballs around 6, which neither one of us ate a whole lot of since we were still full. We watched Spiderman 2 on television and fell asleep in each other’s arms on the couch. At 10:30, we dragged ourselves off to bed and got up the next morning around 8. We decided to go Christmas shopping, but didn’t get out the door until after 11 when all the sales were already over. We also missed all the crowds, so that was good.

Our plan this year was to try and cut our spending on gifts in half. In previous years, the spending on Christmas would just get out of control. It was insane, running here and there trying to find the perfect gift for everyone. We decided to combine couples, with the exception of our parents, and opted not to buy our nieces and nephews each a toy that would cost at least $20. We got Jeff and Liz (BIL & SIL) stuff for the baby they’re expecting in May, so that was like three gifts in one.

So we made our list, checked it twice, and headed out on our shopping excursion. I’ve found that searching for Christmas gifts can test the will and resolve of any good couple, not unlike the Amazing Race. Each year, it’s a challenge to stay focused when you’re tired and you don’t seem to be making headway. After getting off to a rather sluggish start and turning up empty handed at Sam’s Club where we only bought wrapping paper and pine logs for the fireplace, we were a little deflated but pressed on. 20 stores later, we had gotten everyone on our list except for Gregg’s mom, who’s always the hardest to shop for. It was a big thrill crossing off each name as we got back in the car.

When we got home, we put the gifts away in the spare bedroom closet and tallied up the damage. We actually almost met our goal of spending half, but we still have MIL and each other to buy for yet. We heated up leftovers from the night before for dinner and even though it was 60 degrees outside, Gregg made a fire in our fireplace. It made our living room very cozy. For dessert, I warmed up the piece of pie I had saved from our Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving and we wrapped up the night by watching Bruce Almighty.

Saturday we set out to get our Christmas tree. I have to say, it was really odd to pick out a tree in short sleeves and sandals. There were no tree farms around, either, which was a new concept to us. It seemed the only places selling them were Walmart or Home Depot and the trees got increasingly expensive the taller they got. In New Jersey we always got our tree at Max is Back and it was $24.99, whatever size you wanted. So after going to a couple of home improvement stores, we found that Lowe’s had the better selection. After hemming and hawing a bit, we picked out an 8 foot Douglas fir and threw it in the back of Gregg’s pickup.

We got it safely home and Gregg sawed off a little of the trunk before we put it in the tree stand. Our dog, for some reason, was afraid to go near it. I suddenly had this image of a chipmunk or other critter jumping out of the tree and Tess tearing through the house after it, like in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We happened to get a really uptight tree that was taking an unforgivably slow time to loosen its branches, so we decided to leave it to decorate for the next day and went out to the movies. We saw Deck the Halls, which had its funny moments, but for the most part was a disappointment.

Since Gregg wasn’t working on Sunday- and it was recommended by Pastor Dan that if you take off on a Sunday, you just don’t attend church there that day- we chose to go to a moderately sized Baptist church down the road. We enjoyed actually getting to worship together and found the service very uplifting.

We had a quick lunch when we got home and started taking out all the boxes of ornaments. I opened the boxes and got down some Christmas decorations while Gregg strung the lights on the tree. Then I lit a cranberry scented Yankee candle, put on some Christmas tunes and went to work trimming the tree. Gregg started another fire in the fireplace to complete the atmosphere. When we were done hanging the ornaments, I decorated the rest of the house with holiday stuff. Gregg made us pancakes for dinner and we ate in front of tv with the tree all lit up and the fire glowing & crackling. It was so romantic and the perfect end to the weekend.

And now it’s back to the daily grind. I kinda let the house go while we were on “vacation” so I have to play catch up with the chores. Yippee, I can’t wait to tackle that pile of laundry in our bedroom and get to scrubbing the bathroom! Yeah.

I’m now officially in the Christmas spirit at least: our tree is up, the halls are decked, and my favorite radio station is playing Christmas songs 24-7, which I’m sure I’ll be absolutely sick of by December 25. I’ve already begun thinking of the meal I’m making for Christmas Day, for just the two of us. This year’s holiday will be radically different from all the ones that we’re used to-we won’t be participating in any of the usual festivities with Gregg’s family, the weather will certainly be a lot warmer, and we won’t see any of that white stuff either. Now that we don’t live anywhere close to family, we’ll just have to start our own traditions.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Oldie But Goodie

After a slight detour into the life and times of yours truly, I bring you once again (let’s all say it together) the weekend update. I know you are thrilled.

Friday night after dinner we went to House of Power, which is an ATV and motorcycle shop. We’ve been kicking around the idea of Gregg getting a motorcycle to go back and forth to work with, once the lease is up on his truck. Between the car payment, gasoline and insurance, the stupid thing is costing us a small fortune each month. So it’s either a motorcycle or a cheap used car.

When we pulled up, Gregg turned into a kid at the candy store. After looking around some, we quickly realized that all of the bikes were seriously out of our price range. We were then practically mauled by this pushy and annoying sales guy who just didn’t understand that we. were. just. looking. He tried to sell us a “really good deal” and talked all about the low monthly payments. We were like, dude it’s just not gonna happen. We are DONE financing our way through life.

So, it was kind of disappointing that we were hounded to buy something immediately, instead of getting to take our time there and look at what we wanted to, but we did at least get some good ideas from this guy about the classes Gregg would have to take and the gear he needs. It made for some really funny conversation on the way home. “Okay, so what if I stood on my head and said the alphabet backwards, then would you buy a bike?” We topped off the evening by stopping at Twisty Cone for ice cream.

The next day we slept in until 9! It was lovely. Gregg fixed us waffles and bacon for breakfast, then we got ready and went out to do some errands. Tess came along for the ride. We’ve been taking her in the car with us sometimes when we go out so she’s not left home alone for several hours. She’s a much happier pooch for it (read: not as destructive). She loves to stick her face out the window as we’re whizzing by.

It was a beautiful day that actually felt like fall and just chilly enough to warrant a jacket. We went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get a gift card for my boss for his birthday, which was on Sunday, and walked around the mall for a little while. We also went in Barnes and Noble to finally replace the Sacred Marriage book that Tess had eaten a few weeks ago. Then, since it was on the way home we stopped at Petsmart and brought doggie into the store with us. She was overwhelmed at first, to put it mildly. There was just so much going on, strange people everywhere. She started shaking uncontrollably.

Another couple, with two small dogs, came down the same aisle we were in and Tess wanted no part of them. The man started talking to us about her and knelt down at her level. She began sniffing the other dogs, her tail started wagging, and she eventually stopped shaking. Then she was all about the myriad of treats and toys on display. While there, we looked into the pet training they have and thumbed through a book about how to correct destructive chewing. We got a lot of good ideas that we started implementing right away. We’ll probably sign Tess up for the 8 week training course, too. We finished off our trip by buying her a new chew toy, one “guaranteed virtually indestructible”. Yeah, we’ll see.

Sunday we did the church thing of course. It was the last Crown Financial class for me. After church we grabbed lunch and got a rack with wheels at Sam’s Club to transport the sermon cd’s from Gregg’s office to the worship center, since he’s making so many now throughout the week. We came back to church, assembled the rack outside and wheeled it into his office. Gregg needed to be there to mix sound for the Thanksgiving service at 6, so we headed home to rest and call his parents. I decided to stay home that night, so while Gregg was out I did the assigned reading for small group, got some laundry done and caught up on my favorite blogs.

I’m so glad I only have to work three days this week. Gregg and I decided against the day trip to Disney World, although it would have been fun. It’s almost $130 for both of us to get into the park, and then you still have the cost of parking and food. Our plans aren’t firmly nailed down yet, but I know that we’re definitely going to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner (go ahead, call us heathens) and we’ll most likely get our Christmas tree and do some Christmas shopping somewhere in there. This weekend is really up for grabs, so we could end up doing anything. I’m just looking forward to spending that time with my hubby.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Okay, you asked for it

The short version of my life story. Here goes...

Born July 27, 1979 in Brooklyn, NY to Russell and Linda; moved to suburbia in NJ the summer of '85; parents divorced in '91; endured the trauma that is junior high; got my heart broken half a dozen times and cemented friendships that would last into my twenties while in high school; graduated HS and went off to college in 1997; gave my life to Christ during my first semester at college; earned my Bachelors degree in Social Work in 2001 at Rutgers University (go Scarlet Knights!) and my Masters a year later; met Gregg in July of 2002, got engaged September 2002, got married January 2003; went through various trials in my marriage, including switching career paths & trying to support a struggling business, which would test & mature my faith; moved to Central Florida in February 2006... and the rest is blogging history!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Getting to Know You...

Lately I've been stuck in a rut of just writing about whatever happened during the week in my wildly exciting life. Ha ha.

So- I've decided to follow in the footsteps of fellow bloggers, MeLissa and Christina, and put it out there for anyone to ask me questions. Go ahead, ask me anything! I'm not shy. Here's your chance to get the skinny on the girl from Jersey who's turned into a full fledged Floridian.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Talking Turkey

So Gregg and I have been talking about our Thanksgiving Day plans. There are a few different options on the table for us, and it’s nice that we’re not tied down to one commitment. No offending anybody because we’ve chosen to (gasp!) go somewhere else for the holiday. Being here in Florida, 1000 miles away from both families, opens up all kinds of possibilities.

We could a) Drive 10 hours up to North Carolina to see my sister-in-law, her husband and their four kids, b) choose from one of the three invitations we’ve received so far from people at church, or c) spend the day by ourselves. Ding, ding, ding! I think we have a winner, folks!

After discussing the options, we narrowed it down to C. The whole point of being able to actually pick what we want to do is to avoid the Angstgiving stress that we endure every other year. Why go through it if you don’t have to?

Even though I’m not sure we’ll go away somewhere that weekend, I still took off the day after Thanksgiving. Last night, we talked about how the rest of this year is shaping up and realized that our precious time together will be slim. The month of December is going to be crazy busy for Gregg, with him working almost every night until Christmas. We need that long weekend alone together, because before long it will be stolen out from underneath us.

It’ll be fun to decide how to fill up those three days. I’m excited! I would really love to just spend a day at Disney. We’re only an hour away and I haven’t been there in almost ten years. We’ll see.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Weekend, How I Love Thee

…Let me count the ways! You always go by so fast though. Sigh.

God was faithful to provide us with some much needed R & R, which I thought we would lose since we had to postpone our little getaway. I was really craving some uninterrupted alone time with Gregg because I hadn’t seen him for the majority of the week. Saturday, we basically did a whole lot of NOTHING. It was wonderful. We didn’t really have anywhere to be until 6 that night. We slept in until 8:30 and when I eventually got up, I made us French toast for breakfast. We ate outside on the screened in porch. Yep, it’s still hard to believe that we can eat outside in November. If we were in New Jersey, we’d be freezing inside. The heat in our apartment never worked right so we were always cold in the wintertime.

After breakfast, we basically just lounged around. The water in our house regenerated to make soft water again, so as it turns out we couldn’t get in the shower until 11:30. I was content to stay in my pajamas for the rest of the morning. I checked my email and whatnot before the shower was in use again.

We finally got out of the house sometime after 2, and went to Sam’s Club to pick up chips for the game night. On the way, we stopped at few garage sales and poked around but didn’t find anything worthwhile. When we got home I worked on my Crown Financial homework, while Gregg played around on his laptop. At Alan & Ashley’s house, they had set out an entire counter full of fillings and fixings so we could make our own fajitas. There was also a variety of yummy goodies for dessert people brought which we filled up on.

Afterwards, we broke up into two different groups to play board games. Gregg and I joined the group playing Trivial Pursuit, which we’d later live to regret. Three questions into it, I was feeling pretty stoopid. We only got one pie slice the whole game, and it was because we landed on the Arts & Entertainment square and I answered a question correctly about the Spice Girls! Seriously, now that’s embarrassing. And I was thisclose to earning us a yellow slice for history towards the end, but at the last second I changed my answer. Doh. It was a fun time anyway. The great thing about small group is that you don’t only get one couplefriend, you get five or six. It’s like, just add water and look! Instant couplefriend.

Sunday was a mixed bag. Jonathan preached an awesome sermon that morning about putting your hope in God. With everything going on, that’s exactly what we all needed: someone to point us towards Him. After church, Gregg and I came home, had lunch and he took a nap before we went back for the congregational meeting at 5. I’m not sure how to describe the meeting. Discouraging, maybe? Tense? Jonathan mediated, along with a couple of members from the presbytery. Before we actually voted, there were several people who wanted to say something so the mic was passed around. Some just asked general questions like what our vote meant and what happened if we voted not to accept the resignation. Others just came out of left field, saying that Pastor Dan had lost his mind and implying there was disharmony between him and the session, when they had been unanimously opposed to his original request to resign. Some asked for a postponement of the vote, if they could motion for Pastor to take a sabbatical, if there was any indication that Pastor had changed his mind since he announced his resignation. It seems there were certain members who were looking for any way to bring him back because they were not ready to let him go.

Finally, an older gentleman in the congregation stood up and said, “Look. Pastor Dan has asked us to support him by accepting his resignation. If we truly love him, like we’re all saying we do, we will honor his request.” After that, there was a time of prayer while the deacons tallied up the votes. When it was all said and done, roughly two thirds of the congregation voted to accept the resignation. And that was that. I’m really hoping people won’t make any more of this and allow the church to move on now, instead of causing divisions and spreading rumors. I feel like we still have many miles to go towards healing, but I know God is with us.

When we got home that night, I just threw some frozen chicken tenders in the oven for dinner and we ate in front of the tv. I was sad to see the weekend go and really did not want to get out of bed yesterday morning and drag myself to work. But it’s back to reality- the busy week with its housework, errands, activities, meetings, etc. At least tonight is small group, which I always look forward to. 

Friday, November 10, 2006


I am so glad it's FRIDAY!! This week was hard to get through in all honesty. My hubby arrived home safe & sound last night about 8 o' clock, and I was thrilled to see him. Tess was crazy excited too! He kept holding onto me and stroking my hair, telling me over and over how much he loves me. It felt SO good to have him home.

And huge praise- his parents gave us $200 towards the airfare to NJ! That is such a blessing. God is very good to us. :)

On my way to work this morning, I heard one of my favorite songs, "I Am" by Mark Schultz. This song always gets me choked up, and today was no exception. Many times last year the lyrics would just lift me up when I needed encouragement. It reminded me that God is concerned about me and has the power and resources to help me through whatever situation I'm facing. He is so awesome.

This should be a nice and somewhat relaxing weekend. I'm looking forward to spending more time with Gregg after being apart for days. Tomorrow night our small group is meeting at Alan & Ashley's for fajitas and games. Sunday is the congregational meeting where we'll vote whether or not to accept Dan's resignation as pastor. It should be... interesting, in light of the recent events that have unfolded. I know a lot of people are just bewildered at everything going on and seriously concerned about the future of our church.

Count down with me to the start of the weekend. Less than four hours to go!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm Coming Back Home...

So last night my mom and step-dad blew through here again for an overnight visit. I had made baked ziti and warmed up some Italian bread in the toaster oven before they came. Everything was ready when they got to the house around 6:15. We sat down for dinner and I was not able to relax. Tess kept acting up because there was company (and it doesn’t help that my step-dad gets her all riled up, then wants her to settle down right away) so I had to put her outside on the back porch.

I kept wishing Gregg was there so I wouldn’t have to deal with both the dog and my parents by myself. I got so irritated with my stepfather at one point that I wished they’d just leave already. I wanted to cry because I really missed my husband and I was getting stressed out. My parents have this uncanny way of making things much more difficult than they have to be and it annoys the crap out of me. It’s like, I don’t have time to baby sit you when I have a hundred other things going on.

I thought I was going lose it this morning when Art had a mishap with the coffee pot because he used the wrong kind of filter, and made a mess everywhere. At that point I was trying to hurry up and finish breakfast so I could get out the door on time for work, so I really couldn’t deal with it. I love them but two days here, sadly enough, was plenty.

I’m looking forward to having things return to normal. Gregg is supposed to come home tonight around 7:30, and I can’t wait! He said that his parents were very glad he made the trip and overall it was a good visit. He sounded so far away, again, and it made me miss him even more. I feel all out of sorts with him not here. It feels like he left ages ago though it was only Monday. How do some wives deal with their husbands being gone for weeks, or months, at a time? I can barely handle 4 days.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Little of This & That

So I've been keeping myself busy while Gregg's away- blogging, housework, chatting on the phone with my sister about wedding details. Last night I did my civic duty and voted on my way to Small Group. On Monday, Gregg called me from his parents' as I was driving home from work to say he got there okay. I was so relieved. He said he had just enough time to catch his connecting flight in Charlotte, NC. Tomorrow he'll have a 2 1/2 hour layover there so he might get to visit with his sister Lori for a little while. He called me again around 10 that night and he sounded so far away. Which, I mean he IS, but anyway...

I was happy to hear from him again late the next morning. He told me it was gray and cold up there and he just could not get warm. Already, he's become a true Floridian! He was going to share a bite to eat with his grandpa that afternoon at one of our favorite luncheonettes, and see about getting together with Russ before the viewing that night.

While we were on the phone, he told me he heard from his boss (the church administrator) that the session of CPC fired the youth pastor. It wasn't completely unexpected but still hard to hear. It was for entirely valid reasons, which were in line with things that Gregg had seen himself and mentioned to me since working there. The board of elders emailed members that afternoon with an explanation of what happened, and our small group leader made several copies available so we could read and discuss it.

Crazy stuff happening at our church all of a sudden. We lose two pastors within three weeks?! The congregation is struggling to grapple with Pastor Dan's resignation and now they've been given another hard pill to swallow. God is doing some serious pruning here. This is going to bring the church to its knees, but in ultimately a good way I think. I prayed this morning that we would recognize God is sovereign in all of this and that He would protect & comfort our church.

Oh, I am so ready for Gregg to come home.

Monday, November 06, 2006

In Good Times and Bad

Today is a mixed emotions kind of a day. I’m trying to process both good and bad news at the same time.

First, the bad news: Gregg’s grandmother died yesterday morning. His dad called to let him know right before the second service started. Last night we discussed his flying back to NJ for the viewing and funeral, which are tomorrow and Wednesday, and decided it was best that he go to support his parents during this time. So, he caught a flight up there early this afternoon and will be back sometime late on Thursday.

We’re going to postpone our mini-vacation the weekend of Thanksgiving until maybe our anniversary, or just go away overnight. This unexpected trip he needs to take is setting us back about $300 and we just can’t afford to do both right now. I’m bummed, but I know how important it is for Gregg to be there. And I have complete faith that God will supply us with both the money we need and the time to rest & relax together.

I always hate when we have to be apart. I’m even more antsy about it because this time he’s flying instead of driving. Even though I know the chances of something bad happening are greater while you’re on the road supposedly, I’m still feeling really unsettled. I’ll feel much better when he’s safe and sound back in Florida.

Now, the good news: My little sister got engaged last night!!! I am SO excited for her. She’s been dating her boyfriend for almost six years, so my mom and I were like “It’s about time!” They live just outside of Baltimore and he took her into D.C. yesterday where he proposed by the water in front of the Washington Memorial. So, I think I’ll be doing quite a bit of traveling in the next year. It’ll be interesting to see where they actually have the wedding since they live in Maryland, but his parents live in Massachusetts and obviously ours live in New Jersey. Congratulations, Valerie!!

In other news (which is also good) we had a very nice time with my mom and step-dad. They arrived around 3 on Saturday after driving all the live long day. We let them get settled and meet Tess, then showed them around town a little. On the way home, we stopped at Smokey Bones for dinner. Yesterday, Mom came to church with me and we had a good talk on the car ride back to our house. In that one conversation, a lot of misconceptions were cleared up and I feel better about our relationship. She said she’s happy to see us so “at home” here and that Gregg is in his element professionally. That really meant a lot to me to hear her say she feels good about the life I’ve made for myself.

When Gregg got home we headed out to Cracker Barrel, which Mom & Art had never been to. After a hearty lunch, we took a look around their store in the front and they bought a couple of things. Then it was off to the beach, where my mom wanted to spend the rest of the day, she said because the weather was so warm & beautiful. Meanwhile Gregg and I were really chilly, and they kept making fun of us since 70 degrees down here is considered cold! We took a walk along the beach and paid an arm and a leg for ice cream at Cold Stone, yummm. Mom and Art left this morning to spend some time in Southern Florida and will stop in again on Wednesday night on their way up to Savannah, so at least I’ll have some company while Gregg’s away.

And, our doggie is doing much better. We confine her to the kitchen during the day and make sure stuff on the counters and table are out of reach. We got her a new bone and a whole bag of tennis balls to play with. We’ve learned also that a ten minute walk outside before bedtime makes a world of difference. Before we were just letting her out in the backyard to “go” and didn’t take her on a leash. By spending this little bit of time with her in this way, we’ve found that she’s not nearly as annoying in the evenings and Gregg & I spend quality time together too, walking our dog around the neighborhood.

My stepdad is a huge dog lover who volunteers his time at the local animal shelter. He said that what Tess really needs is consistency, because she’s such an energetic puppy and loves to play. He didn’t really see any bad behavior in her besides the hyperactivity so that’s good. We were at our wits end with this dog a few weeks ago, and now I can see her being a member of our family for years to come.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Life in Overdrive

Things have been pretty busy this week at the B household (what else is new?) with repainting the kitchen and cleaning the house in anticipation of my mom and stepdad’s arrival tomorrow. Gregg took the afternoon off Tuesday and went back to Lowe’s to buy a gallon of the new paint. He just rested when he came home so that he wouldn’t strain his back any further, which I was grateful for. That night we went to our small group’s Fondue Night/Halloween party. There were lots of sugary goodies that we indulged in: candy corn, cookies and angel food cake & strawberries dipped in chocolate (mmmm).

Jonathan and Michelle who are not a part of our regular group showed up, which was nice. After we had all given ourselves a sugar high, we retired to the living room and kind of had an open discussion with Jonathan about Pastor Dan’s resignation. As the associate pastor, he was able to answer questions we had and clear up a lot of things. Then he & Michelle left to go to the Halloween party the singles group was having, and the rest of us played a couple rounds of Catch Phrase. It was girls against guys, and I regrettably post that the guys ending up winning both rounds. We’re going to have another game night in a few weeks, though, so the women can take the lead back!

Wednesday night after dinner Gregg got to work right away on cutting in corners with the new paint, which turned out so much better than that horrible retro green. It’s not my favorite color, I’ll admit, but it does give the kitchen a country-ish feel. I’m thinking we need to put up a sunflower border next to complete the look, hee hee. Yeah, I'm sure Gregg would love that. He started at 6:15 and didn’t finish until 11:30. So we didn’t get to bed until almost midnight and I was exhausted. He still needs to touch up a few spots yet.

Last night while he was at worship rehearsal, I cleaned the kitchen, did a couple loads of wash, dusted and swiffered the floor. Our house is starting to return to that clean, fresh place I like to call home. Gregg is going to paint the bathroom tonight and I’ll vacuum, fold laundry and make up the guest bed. Tomorrow I’m cleaning the bathroom and then we should have some down time before Mom & Art arrive. They’re flying into Charleston, SC tonight, staying over night there, and then making the 7 hour drive down to us in the morning. They’re visiting with Art’s cousin there on the 11th, so rather than spend the extra $500 or whatever dollars on flying in and out of two different airports, they decided to just begin and end their trip in the same place, even though it means a whole lot more driving.

I’m excited and also a bit apprehensive about their visit. My mom and I have had a strained relationship since, well, basically I got engaged. She’s never really thought Gregg was any good for me and had a very hard time “letting go” since I’m the oldest. A week before our wedding, she told me what a huge mistake I was making. Things are better now, four years later, but still… weird. Gregg feels like an outsider with my family, that they don’t accept him. For this reason unfortunately, he never looks forward to a visit from them.

In other news, Gregg and I may be going away soon for a little R & R. We talked about it last night, how we both need a break from our regular hectic routine, and Gregg asked if I could see about getting the day after Thanksgiving off since he’s already taking that Friday through Sunday as vacation days. We have no obligations to be anywhere on Thanksgiving b/c we don’t have family here, so we can just go away together for a long weekend if we wanted. It’ll be good to have some time alone- no dog, no phone calls, no housework- right before the crazy holiday season starts.

Have a great weekend, everyone!