Sunday, February 28, 2010

Still sick

Yesterday was the fifth straight day Jocelyn's had a fever. Time to take her in. Lest you think I'm a horrible mother for not taking her in sooner, remember she was on antibiotics until Thursday. So whatever she has is viral and I didn't want to waste the time and money going to the peditrician to be told, "Give her Tylenol and turn on the humidifier."

The doctor thought pnemonia could be the culprit since a fever with RSV doesn't usually last that long, so we were sent to the hospital for x-rays of Joci's chest.

Quote of the day from Justin:

"We won't let her have sugar, but we're going to let them blast her chest with radiation."

We were nervous, if you can't tell.

Joci was a trooper for the x-rays. It must have been uncomfortable to lay on those hard films. Justin and I both suited up in x-ray vests so we could help hold her in awkward positions.

The x-rays showed clean lungs. No pneumonia. So we have another case of RSV (she had this last November) and a case of bronchiolitis. I have never seen my baby so listless, so zoned out. It's really sad and worrisome.

I called my mom yesterday and she's on her way here now to help with Joci since Joci won't be able to go to daycare for a few more days and I am running out of time off.

So that's the update. If she's still running a fever tomorrow, the doctor wants to see her again and he'll get "more aggressive with diagnosis." Whatever that means.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sick Days

Yesterday Jocelyn got sent home from daycare with a fever. She has just been miserable. Not herself at all. She's coughing and hoarse. She's still feverish tonight and feeling grouchy. Another baby in her daycare center was sent home earlier this week with bronchiolitis. I think that she caught it. She had an ear infection last week so she's on antibiotics currently. Whatever she has must be viral and all the symptoms line up.

Sick baby days are frustrating. I love to just hold her and do what I can to comfort her. But I hate that I have so much going on at work that these sick days are putting me behind there. And I hate that my house looks like a tornado hit. You'd think that since I stayed home half of yesterday and all day today, I'd catch up on some housework. I did make dinner, so that's progress. :) But I guess when you have a sick baby that doesn't want a thing in the world but to be held, what else can you expect?

a picture from happier/healthier times



Monday, February 22, 2010

Beautiful Tree


Bent or broken is the family tree.
Each branch a part of me.
This is my tree.
And it's a beautiful tree.

From the song "Beautiful Tree" by Rain Perry. The first verse is the soundtrack behind the opening credits of the new CW hit TV show Life Unexpected.

Love the show. We don't get the CW on our dish package, so we've been watching online at the CW's website (or hulu.com will direct you there).

Besides the fact that the show has some adoption and foster care themes to it, it is just dang good drama. During the pilot episode even Justin admitted that he got a little teary.

I think they only post three episodes at a time, so the first two are no longer up. Ask me what you missed, I'll fill you in. But seriously, watch the show.

And this song...I just love it. Simply and folksy, but the lyrics, the meaning, and the love...






There are things about our family tree we don't like. That one crooked branch. Or maybe our tree is smaller than we'd like. Or bigger. Or more fragile. But the tree belongs to us, and that makes it something special. I hope someday Joci will love her forked family tree, that it won't be something that she frets over or something that bothers her. I hope she'll love all her branches, all the knots, all the scars, and the strength and shelter that only her tree can give.

This is my tree. And it's a beautiful tree.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Journal Jar: Frustrating Car Experience

Tell about a frustrating experience you have had with a car.


There are so many frustrations, right? But this one really sticks out in my mind.

Justin and I were living in Moscow, Idaho. I took a few days off work to fly down to St. George, Utah, to visit my parents. I was attempting to fly standby and save money. The flights were full and I didn't get on. So I ended up with a couple of days off.


Moscow, Idaho

It was winter. I decided to take some of my free time and spend it in the graveyard. I really like cemeteries. I think they are beautiful, peaceful, reverent, thought-provoking places. I go there a lot to write and think.

So I drive to the Moscow Cemetery and pull off the small driving path a little bit so that any other cars can get around me. I listen to music, write, read, think, pray, walk around and think about all the meaningful lives surrounding me that have been reduced to dates a few brief words. It's getting dark and I'm ready to go.

I make my way back to my car, and put it in gear. I can't go. I'm stuck in the snow.

I throw the car in reverse. No. In drive. No. Back and forth between gears, trying to get some kind of momentum. I'm stuck.

I try to dig out some of the snow around my tires with my bare hands. Did I mention I was in a skirt and heels? I do my best to dig out the snow and mud, but the car still won't budge. It's slowing sinking deeper and deeper into the snow. It's impossible. I need help.

I am so frustrated that I am surrounded by dozens, maybe hundreds of people, yet no one can help me. They're all dead.

In the chilly winter twilight, I walk about a half a mile along the side of the highway to a mini mall where I found a pay phone and called Justin at work. We only had one car and it was stuck in the cemetery. He was able to borrow his boss's car and come get me on his break, but his boss really wasn't too happy about that.

We drove to the cemetery hoping the two of us could dislodge the car. Justin was got behind the wheel and I stood outside the car to observe what was happening. Our Malibu was front-wheel drive and it just kept digging deeper and deeper into the snow. And finally into the soft, wet earth. Our spinning wheels practically unearthed a grave. The spinning wheels splattered me with snow and mud. I looked like I had just risen from the grave.

This wasn't going to work. I had a coworker whose husband had a large truck with a tow rope. That was our only option. So we got into Justin's boss's car and drove back to the mall where we both worked. Justin dashed back into work, trying to minimize the wrath of his boss. I walked down the mall walkways, looking like a zombie. My friends and coworkers passed me, without even recognizing me. And why should they? I was supposed to be in sunny southern Utah. And I was caked in drying mud.

I washed myself up and asked my friend if her husband could help me. He came with his truck and pulled us out in a few seconds. I still feel bad for the horrible tire scars we left on one man's grave. They were still there the next summer.

So that was a pretty frustrating experience. Patience often grows short in situations like that and let's just say we both had some making up to do after such a rotten experience. So the moral of the story is, don't be nice and pull out of the way in a snowy graveyard so other cars can go around you. Just take up the whole dang road!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Disturbing Statistic

One in ten people have a third nipple. Most are mistaken for freckles or moles.

That's a pretty high statistic.

I am suddenly very aware of any mole/freckle/blemish on my chest.

Check out the article on triple nipples on Wikipedia. Nice to know that famous, good-looking folks like Carrie Underwood and Mark Wahlberg suffer from this all-too-common disfigurment.

Blog Makeover Give-Away


Who hasn't dreamed of having a customized blog? Right now the R House is having a give-away for a customized adoption blog courtesy of Erin of Designer Blogs. Too good to be true, right?

Well, I want to win, so this blog post here counts as an entry for me. :) If you are interested in entering, check out the details here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Today, I Woke Up To...

A very flat tire.

I noticed it right when I opened the door to the garage while rushing out to work. I was in denial. I closed the door and opened it again thinking it would magically be gone.

Justin was already gone for the day. So what's a girl to do? Pull out the jack and get started. Luckily, my husband and father and brothers have made sure I know how to take care of myself in such a situation.

I took this picture half-way through jacking up the car.

And while I have a full knowledge of how to change a tire, having the strength to loosen the lug nuts is an entire matter altogether. I pushed and pulled as hard as my 115 lb (okay, 120 lb) frame would allow. I stood on the wrench and jumped on it with my full weight.

Wouldn't budge.

All the neighborhood men were at work. I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

But today was Wednesday. Garbage day. And our lovely sanitation worker Toby saw me struggling in my driveway and without saying a word, he hopped out of his truck and finished taking my tire off and putting the donut on.

Crazy way to start a day.

All I can say is that Toby is the answer to a prayer. The City of Shelley is getting a phone call tomorrow about him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review of The Time Traveler's Wife

Up all night with a miserable baby (ear infection), I finally finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.


Justin and I decided to read it together last summer (we like to read to each other on drives) and we wanted to read it before we saw the movie. I read the first few chapters to him. The emotion of the story immediately clenched my heart. But...then there was this love scene... We were both slightly uncomfortable reading these kinds of things to each other and the book was left on the back seat of the car for awhile.

I finally picked it up again a couple of months ago and finally finished it in the wee hours of this morning.

It's poignant. It's emotional. The concept is clever and well-executed. I love books that can pull of present tense narration. I think well-used present tense gives a story credibility and immediacy. The story was the telling of a unique love story. It didn't really get into the quantum mechanics of time-travel too much and the theories of pre-destination and whatnot.

Some interesting points:

Our hero Henry is a time traveler. He has a condition that comes to be known as chrono-impairment. He can't control his travel, where he goes and when it happens. But he his spontaneous travels frequently take him to his wife Clare's childhood home as she is growing up. The first time they meet, she is six and he is in his thirties. He appears frequently throughout her childhood, helping her with homework and befriending her. As she grows old enough, he reveals to her that they will be married someday. He is her future husband.

When adult Clare meets Henry in the present day, she instantly recognizes him. She has found her future husband! Yet Henry doesn't know this. This young, present day Henry has never met Clare. So on their first date, she reveals to him that they are going to be married.

This makes me wonder if either of them ever had a chance at loving/marrying anyone else. From the time she was young, Clare knew she would marry Henry. Never a second thought. The future held that and she knew it. When present-day Henry first meets Clare, she tells him that his future self has assured her they will be married. Just the way it is. Luckily, they never really doubted each other or thought, "I guess I'm gonna end up with this person, but what was I thinking? Couldn't I have done better?"

I wonder if it was some sort of acceptance. Or maybe their love was that instant and true. I just can't imagine myself in that situation and feeling a bit forced. Especially Henry. Clare had her whole childhood to get used to the idea. It was very sudden for Henry.

There is a brief period when Clare realizes she fallen in love with a more mature, wizened Henry and this young present-day Henry is a bit cocky and self-centered. She knows she's essential in forming into the man he's going to be - the man she fell in love with. Maybe without that knowledge she wouldn't have seen it through.

the author, audrey niffenegger

Another interesting point is the unconditional love Henry and Clare develop for each other. Despite the degradation of looks and the scars that come from time, aging is never an issue for them. Sixteen-year-old Clare loves 28 year old Henry as much as she loves 42 year-old Henry. It doesn't creep her out that one day her "boyfriend" shows up in his twenties and the next time he shows up, he's two decades older.

Same with Henry. He'll leave his present-day wife and find himself helping his ten-year-old wife with her French homework. He loves her purely. As she matures, he longs for her no matter her age. He kisses her when she is fifteen. He even sees her in the future as an old woman. And always to him it's just his beautiful Clare.

At first that concept was kind of creepy to me. But when I imagine what it would be like if I could see my husband as a child, I think I would do the same thing. I wouldn't love him any less, that's for sure. I would love him differently, love him in the way he needed to be loved at his age.

To me, it really shows a display of constant, unconditional love.

While the book was engaging, it wasn't a page-turner. We know so much of how it is going to end. There is no suspense because we see glimpses of the future. However, it did become fun when scenes from the past, future, and present would click together like puzzle pieces. I might re-read the book and have a new understanding of how this certain scene affects our heroes' lives later on.

Now for the things I didn't like. While those things are few, they are potent.

Language, language, language. While it's not totally peppered with swears, they are there. And the worst ones you can imagine. What really bugged me was how each Henry and Clare referred to some of their body parts with the worst, most offensive slang terms that exist. It seemed really out of character to me because in general, they are these educated, refined intelligent people. Even in their own private thoughts it seemed out of character to think such crude words, especially about themselves.

Lots of love scenes. And not the "unfocused camera pans to the window but you still know what's going on" kind of love scenes. There are some pretty explicit descriptions. And again, there were a lot of them. Look, I know Clare and Henry are married and married people do certain things, but it got to the point that it broke the story for me and I really started to think about the author, Ms. Niffenegger, and how deprived her personal life must be to have to go on and on about this kind of stuff.

The author should always be invisible in story telling. So the fact that I started to think about her a lot tells me something. Maybe it was because she's an MFA professor. I kept thinking, "If I were your student, I couldn't look you in the eye during class." And the other thought, "What does your father think of this?"

It was those things that made me put down the book. It wasn't a page turner for me. I very nearly didn't finish it. But the emotion was so beautiful and pure that it pulled me in enough to finish it. I cried numerous times. Beautiful story.

the movie stars rachel mccadams and eric bana

I'm excited to see the movie now. I know the movie is PG-13 so it can't contain a lot of the things that turned me off about the book. If it captures the emotion as provacatively and leaves out the language and loving, then it should be a really good movie.

Please don't judge me for reading this. :) I don't know if I can recommend it based on the things I didn't like, but I can't exactly say I regret reading it. The good parts were REALLY good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Excited for Taxes

This is the first year ever that I am excited to do my taxes. Why? This is the first year we have a dependent (i.e., we will actually get money back which hasn't happened in, like, seven years).

I was just wondering, how do you do your taxes? I have a poll on the right.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Journal Jar: Favorite Childhood TV Show

Did you have a favorite TV program as a child? Tell about it.


My favorite show was Saved by the Bell. It was on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. I would watch it faithfully. I remember discovering it in sindication after school every day and I couldn't be happier. When my friends and I played "house" as kids, we'd always fight over who got to look like Kelly (did anyone else spend half their house-playing efforts deciding who they looked like or was it just me?).

We all wanted to be Kelly. We all wanted to date Zack. A few years ago, Justin bought me all the Saved by the Bell seasons. Love him dearly for that. "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so...I'm so...I'm so scared..." Best episode ever. :)

I also got hooked on Days of Our Lives, thanks to my two teenage sisters. Remember when Carly was buried alive and Bo was in love with her? That was before Carly found out she was a princess and ran away with Laurence. Remember Isabella and Roman? And then Roman turned into Jon? And there was Jack and Jennifer. Loved them. And Carrie got burned by acid. And Sammie was bulimic.

Gotta love soaps.

A few other favorites included Growing Pains, Full House, Boy Meets World, and other TGIF staples. I always looked forward to Friday nights. My parents and siblings and I would all stay in, crowd on the couch, and watch the shows. Shows that appealed to the entire family. Do they even make shows like that anymore?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Tell Your Infertile Friend You're Expecting

Ashley from Feigning Fertility wrote a really great blog post today about dealing with the feelings of infertile friends when you are pregnant. If you've ever found yourself in this situation then check it out.

Isn't She Officially Mine Already?

2 days old

When Jocelyn was born, the hospital offered photography service (more like a vendor the hospital used). We had her pictures taken when she was two days old. The pictures are expensive and not the greatest quality/variety, but I knew I'd regret it if I didn't order them.

So I finally decided I had enough pocket change saved up to splurge and buy Jocelyn's hospital pictures. They're only available for a year and she's almost ten months. No time to spare!

I went online and placed the order and paid the fees.

And I waited, anxiously checking my mailbox for the pictures.

What I got was a letter. Saying that because this was an adoption scenario, I would have to prove that I had a right to own these pictures. The photography company needs a letter from my adoption agency or my lawyer.

I'm slightly annoyed. I mean, I get it, I do, but enough already! We've finalized it! We are a forever family! You already took my money! Just send me the dang pictures!!!

I feel like a dog in a circus. Hoop after hoop after hoop to jump through. But I'll do it. It's worth it. And most times I don't find it annoying. Just this time.

On a more pleasant note, we got an email from Jocelyn's birth dad today. Although we write letters every couple of weeks, we don't often hear back. It's nice to hear from him and get updates. And I think it's so cool that we have such an involved, positive birth dad. Seriously, we're kind of rare (and totally lucky) in that respect.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bring on the Sunshine

I walked out of my office building at 6:11 p.m. tonight and guess what?

It was still light out!

The streetlights were on and headlights were needed, but it could definitely be described as twilight.

I got Joci and as I drove the 6 miles home through farm fields I could see a thin pink strip of lingering sunset reflecting off the snowy horizon.

Oh, sunshine, how I've missed you!

A month ago, it would be pitch when I left work - even when I left work early at 5:30.

I notice a change in my mood with the seasons. I don't know if I could actually be diagnosed with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), but I can sympathize with the symptoms. My motivation goes out the window in winter. Nothing gets done. I just want to hibernate. It can seriously be a chore for me to eat more than a bowl of cereal for dinner. I hate shopping. I don't want to go out. Staying in involves just watching TV. My life slowly falls apart every winter. I get disgruntled.

And although the middle of February in Idaho only signals the middle of winter (seriously, snow here through April), I can already feel my energy picking up as the sun stays out a big longer every day.

Today, I felt energized. I've been home from work for 2 hours. And so far I've showered, fed Joci baby food, prepared some soft table food and fed her that (myself too), bathed Joci, put away a pile of folded laundry, put the sheets in the wash, tidied the living room, gave Joci a bottle and put her to bed, and tidied the living room. Plus I've blogged. And next I will vacuum and finish washing the sheets.

Wow, it's wonderful to have some motivation again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Journal Jar: Describe Your First Job

Describe Your First Job

I sort of had 3 first jobs. Bear with me.

I got a call from a woman in my ward for whom I babysat. Her brother or brother-in-law had a small business and needed a temp secretary. He had one lined up, but that temp got a little upset when she found Playboys in the bathroom and walked out on the job. So first they made sure I was okay with that. Oh, I was 15. I thought it was a little odd and I talked to my mom about it, but I didn't take offense, so I took the week-long job. I answered phones and typed up some dictated letters. The guy was impressed with my skills and I was impressed with an actual paycheck. This led to my second job...

This same guy asked if I wanted to "nanny" his children and help around the house after school until he and his wife got home from work. There were two elementary school aged boys and one of their girl friends. I helped them with their homework and played with them and I did a lot of ironing and dusting. I enjoyed it quite a bit. But then I got cast in the school play and I gave the job to my friend Maria and her sister Annie.

And my third - and probably most "real" - first job was at Arby's. My friend Vanessa's mother owned the restaurant and Vanessa worked there. She had been trying to convince me to apply there for quite some time, but I was really reluctant to work fast food. Finally, I decided I really wanted to start making some money and it would be cool to work with my best friend, and I knew her mom would be cool with scheduling. So I applied and got the job.

I was a junior in high school. I usually worked about 3 nights a week. I usually worked the front counter taking orders, then I was put on drive through. And when I was 18 the following year, I was one of the few old enough to be on the slicer so that's usually where I was stationed. My managers were great with scheduling. I very rarely worked a Sunday. I was able to make it to all my extra-curricular stuff like wrestling practice and play practice and pageant crap.

I worked there until I went to college and then during Christmas Break my freshman year in college. I think I was making $6.00 an hour when I finally quit. I still eat at Arby's, which is a good sign, right? I've always loved their roast beef and horsey sauce.

I hated washing dishes at closing. I was really slow at it and got sopping wet all the time. Oh, the restaurant would close at 10 pm on weeknights and it took us about an hour to close, so that made for some late school nights. We had lots of fun though. I still have a scar on my finger from when I cut it very deeply on the slicer. Once I sloshed hot fry oil onto my hands and forearms and got some pretty nasty burns. I tried to hide them from my manager so I wouldn't get in trouble for being careless. That didn't work. I had to have my mom come get me because I could barely move my hands.

Our uniform was black pants and black shoes and at first we had these teal cotton button-up shirts. Then we switched to forest green and maroon polo shirts. We had to wear a visor or a baseball cap. Not too horrible of uniforms. I still have fond memories and there's a manager there now who I actually trained ten years ago. It's fun to see him when I pop in.

So here's to Jamocha shakes and Beef'n'Cheddars!




Friday, February 5, 2010

A Teeny Piggy Tail and Other Firsts

Joci has had a few fun firsts this past week.

She clapped.

She said "mom."

She grabs my nose when I ask her, "Where's Mom's nose?"

She'll grab my finger and put it on her nose when I ask, "Where's Joci's nose?"

She's learning to use her sippy cup.

She's started eating table food at daycare. So far she's really loved scalloped potatoes, bananas, and tator tots. She's still not sure about noodles.
They must be kind of slimy.




can you see that teeny, tiny piggy tail? she didn't
tug on it at all.


still trying to get the hang of the sippy cup. so far, she hasn't really liked juice.


sleeping with daddy


the full moon from january. because of the rotation of the moon brought it as close to earth as it ever gets, and because this just happened on a full moon night, it was a super bright full moon. justin took this picture and it turned out pretty good.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Would I Tell?

Yesterday, a friend at work was telling me how his wife told him they were expecting. It was a really great, creative way.

Fun story.

But kind of sad. If you're me.

I used to always dream up unforgettable ways to tell my husband and our families that I was pregnant. It would be great. As a woman, you're the first to know. Even if you both are hoping for it and waiting for it, as a woman, you're the first to suspect something, and the first to really know. It gives you a position of power over this information.

So yeah, I always thought it would be so wonderful to be able to break the news.

Unfortunately, I've had a lot of experience in breaking the bad news. Nope. Not yet. Nothing feels different. Maybe next time. The test said no.

A lot of times, I'd just ignore the tests without any kind of announcement to Justin, hoping he'd forget to ask. Because I didn't want to have to say it out loud.

But he always did. And I'd always have to say it.

As Mrs. R says, adoption is a cure for childlessness. It's not a cure for infertility. There are still moments. Moments when I'm sharing in someone else's ultimate joy that suddenly I pull up short with a very rude reality check.

It strikes at the most random times. At least I've developed a good game face.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be a Part of Hollywood History

I know that some of you readers have known me since I was little. Which means you probably also know Trevor Banks. I’m sure you all remember how theatrical he was. He’s super talented. He is someone brave enough to truly pursue his dreams—big dreams. He’s currently pursuing a career in the film industry—directing, I believe. He’s in a graduate program at AFI in California and he’s making his first film which will be shown at an actual premier. This could totally launch his career. So very cool.

The thing is, the budget for his film came up a bit short and he’s asking for donations and help to get his movie done and get this make-you-or-break-you opportunity. You can read more about the film and the opportunity to donate (and get invited to the premier—eek!) on his blog: http://trevorandashley.blogspot.com/2010/02/here-we-go-again.html

Read about the film itself here: http://trevorandashley.blogspot.com/2010/01/call-for-help-round-2.html

Check it out and support a friend.

Addendum to Last Post

Just some clarification...

#2 does need to include the minute detail that my job has led me to some life-changing friendships. Love you all!

#16 didn't happen. Had to interrupt my writing to put her to bed.

#30 didn't happen either. I have to do it tonight!!!!



P.S. If you have no clue what post I am addending (is that a word?), click here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tag - 35 Realizations

Just a mindless tag post. I'm not tagging anyone else, but if you want, copy this into a post with your own answers and then leave me a comment so I can be sure to check it out.

1. I've come to realize that my chest-size ... is just right.

2. I've come to realize that my job...is a lot more fun and rewarding than I expected. I really feel that God led me to this job. Without it, I wouldn’t have met a very influential adoptive mother and other ladies dealing with infertility. I wouldn’t have gotten the recommendation to use the adoption agency we used. So I might not have my daughter now. I wouldn’t have had the special support they gave me through the adoption. I wouldn’t have gotten the idea for my novel during a boring business meeting. I would’ve never written it. I wouldn’t have gotten this freelance gig. I probably wouldn’t be forced by an insurance company to have a yearly physical – and we might not have discovered Justin’s critically high cholesterol levels. It’s blessed us in a lot of ways and I am grateful for it every day. Sometimes I feel guilty loving it so much.

3. I've come to realize that when I'm driving... I always need sunglasses and music.

4. I've come to realize that I need.... at least a couple hours of alone time every week.

5. I've come to realize that I have lost... a lot of my fear about life. It’s a good loss.

6. I've come to realize that I hate it when...the tap water I’m washing my hands in is FREEZING cold.

7. I've come to realize that if I'm drunk.........(never been drunk)

8. I've come to realize that money... shouldn’t be so taboo. I think the secrecy causes a lot of problems. If you ask, I’ll tell you how much I make, how much debt I have, how much I paid for my house, how much I allot to my 401K, etc. (Although I can’t tell you how much I make if I work with you—company policy. See? Such secrecy!)

9. I've come to realize that certain people... take a little longer for me to like.

10. I've come to realize that I'll always ... think I’m a teenager.

11. I've come to realize that my sibling(s)... are my dearest friends and partners in crime. We have just as much fun as adults as we did when we were little. I miss them all so much.

12. I've come to realize that my mom... is the best person I know. More and more I am grateful for her open mind, her ability to comfort, her ability to listen without judgment or choosing sides, her ability to always be positive, her ability to always be true to herself, and her ability to serve.

13. I've come to realize that my cell phone... is not as bad as everyone keeps saying. It’s just a phone. I don’t need a mini-robot living in my pocket 24-7.

14. I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning...I felt lonely because I got up earlier than usual and the house was so quiet.

15. I've come to realize that last night before I went to sleep... that both of us handled this transmission surprise rather maturely and calmly.

16. I've come to realize that right now I am thinking... whether or not I can finish this before Joci can no longer entertain herself by pulling diapers out of her caddy.

17. I've come to realize that my dad... is one of the last true gentlemen on the planet. He’s truly a dying breed and it’s a travesty. He has such respect and honor for everyone. Such manners. Such savior faire. I wish more men carried an actual cloth handkerchief at all times. His love is so pure and deep. Love him.

18. I've come to realize that when I get on Facebook...I get instantly annoyed with people inviting me to farm or be in the mafia or whatever.

19. I've come to realize that today... I have good friends and family members I can rely on in a bind. Like not having a car. Today I’ve also realized how important it is to make someone feel good on their birthday.

20. I've come to realize that tonight... I’ll be having cold cereal for dinner when I’m done typing this.

21. I've come to realize that tomorrow... I need to wash underwear or I’ll be going commando on Thursday.

23. I've come to realize that the person who is most likely to re-post this is... I’m gonna say Jamie to hopefully guilt her into it.

24. I've come to realize that life...usually meets your expectations.

25. I've come to realize that this weekend... will be a good weekend to work.

26. I've come to realize that marriage... is so simple and so hard simultaneously. But I love it and it’s the best thing I ever did.

27. I've come to realize that my (close) friends... are many. They’re awesome. They don’t forget. They still ask, still wonder, still cheer, still cry, and still care. And they’re never lost forever.

28. I've come to realize that this year... is already so much better than last year.

29. I've come to realize that my ex … boyfriends are all pretty good guys. I think I have good taste.

30. I've come to realize that maybe I should... wash underwear tonight…just in case.

31. I've come to realize that I love... popcorn. I don’t care that it costs more than the movie. I want it. I always want it and I always regret it when I don’t get it. Microwave popcorn is not the same. So from now on, I’m just going to get it.

32. I've come to realize that I don't understand... why I am so blessed when others aren’t. I feel so guilty about this sometimes.

Also another realization I just came to as I checked my reflection in the mirror—I don’t understand why the expensive Elizabeth Arden makeup I got for Christmas smears, smudges, and fades way sooner than cheap Revlon stuff.

33. I've come to realize my past... is important and was fun, but it is the past and I need to leave it there to enjoy right now!

34. I've come to realize that parties... are better with dry ice.

35. I've come to realize that I'm totally terrified... of showering when Justin’s not home. I always hear someone walking in my house, and I’m sure they’re there to abduct my baby. I literally hear it every time. I call out. But no one’s there.


A New Transmission Costs How Much?

Justin's car will have a new transmission come Friday.

Can't tell you how thrilled I am about that.

And despite my silly post title, it's actually less than we were thinking. All in all, it will set us back about $1200. But still...

And it doesn't help that I just found out that my freelance check won't be cut for at least another week.

But I'm going to cheer myself up with a lovely tag list. Look for it in an hour or so. :)

Car Trouble

Justin's Mustang needs a new transmission.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

It's at the "doctor's office" right now and we'll get the full diagnosis sometime later today. But I have a feeling that we'll just have to pull the plug on this one. A new transmission will probably cost what we paid for the car and it has other problems anyway, so I doubt it will be worth it to save the Mustang.

It's so annoying. That car was paid off. We make it a point to only have one car payment at a time. And now, thanks to the stupid government's stupid Cash for Clunkers deal, the market for used cars is very limited and prices are higher than before.

It's really a pain to try to be a one car family. Justin commutes to two different towns for his job, and works about 2-3 hours later than me. Normally I'd just hang at work until he could get me, but that doesn't work with daycare's schedule and Joci's needs.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Stupid transmission.

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