I Could Write a Book

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

the serious and the too-serious.

Today, I ran into my friend Grant, who mentioned the fact that he checks this blog daily, in search of an update.

Sadly, my friend Grant has been disappointed for nearly five months.

As I sit here (putting off the sundry other things that appear on my many lists), I am 22 days from collecting my master's degree, 31 days from getting married, 33 days from my honeymoon, and 43 days from departing to Malawi, in SE Africa, for two weeks.

And there's more.

But, rather than go through what is arguably the craziest schedule of transitions I have ever faced (at once, anyway), I think I'll, instead, elaborate on other things.

First, bay windows.

I love bay windows. If you're in my family, this is the part of the entry where you interject the story of me, at a young(ish) age, attempting to store pizza (that didn't fit into the fridge) by the bay windows, since an outside wall would keep them cool. And then you'd laugh.

But you're not in my family, so you're not doing that. Thanks.

Anyway, I enjoy bay windows because, first of all, they bring more light into a room. And, they are a great place for a "nook" (if the windows are collectively small enough for a bench to sit among them). And, above all, they add tremendous character to a home.

This is on my mind, of course, because I'm sitting in the living room of the apartment that Joe moved into (and into which I will also be moving soon enough). "Apartment" is misleading because, in reality, we have overtaken the entire first floor of a victorian home that has since been converted. There is a young couple on the second floor, Beth and Adrian, and a single girl, Mindy, on the top floor.

We have lots of space, our own laundry, 4 fireplaces (none of which are functional, but they're all very interesting), and, most excitingly, it is our first home together.

There's something very strange about moving in together. Merging all of the "stuff" and, in one way or another, giving as much access to one's spouse to your stuff as you will likely assume you have to theirs. It's funny though--because I don't officially live here yet (though I've signed the lease and I have the keys), I still feel a bit like I should tip-toe around. I feel guilty taking any of Joe's food. And when I do our laundry (I picked that over dish-washing--a fine compromise, if you ask me), I feel almost as if I'm doing it at someone else's house.

But, the biggest shift in thinking, as far as I can see (apart from the obvious things like...you know...being married), comes in changing my name. I have had the same name for nearly 26 years.

Twenty-six years is a long time to be so attached to something, and then to watch it change in the blink of an eye.

It feels like (and in some ways, this is true) I will have an entirely new identity. A new name...heck, I have to get a new social security card, passport, driver's liscense, etc. And, what's more, I will officially be a resident of Pennsylvania. I never could've predicted this.

It will be a great hassle to become someone new. Change is tough; I rarely get the year right for all of January and, let's face it, you know the new year is coming...you know what it will be...and you have between 365 and 366 days during which to prepare. But this is different. This is new. This means that I'll have to wait longer to hear my name in alphabetical order. And, sometimes, when a group is split in half, I'll be with the second half of the alphabet. Strange--I've never been with the "Z's" and "Q's"

I'm not doing justice to the sort of feelings that changing my name has produced, but I'm not sure that I can.

Even still, I feel that it is incredibly important to make this switch. I think that it is one way of truly demonstrating my committment to Joe, and to our marriage. I believe that it is a tangible means through which our solidarity and family-ness will be proclaimed. Plus, it's pretty exciting. It, in a way, will make the true more true.

Ok, speaking of Joe, I promised him a sandwich when he got home from work. I'm going to make one. And while he's chewing on that, you can chew on all of this.

Bye! :0)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

oh the weather outside...

So, it is only the first snow-sticking day of the season, and I'm already scared to drive.

Let me back up: it wasn't always this way. 3.5 years ago at this time, I had no fear at all--caution. of course, but no real fear about driving in snow.

And, even now, it's not driving while it's snowing that gets to me. It's driving after snow and ice have already screwed up the roads.

I should point out, too, that I drive a Mustang. Not a snowmobile. And, 3.5 years ago, I drove the last Mustang under a semi. No, this wasn't a dare...nor was I an extra for Too Fast, Too Furious. I was just a casual driver who hit one too many ice patches on the highway that was supposed to get me from Nashville, TN to Oxford, OH. Apparently, I needed a stop in Louisville, KY on the way (oddly enough, at the hospital where I was born).

To further justify my feelings of concern, I should say that I was already on the road this afternoon; 45 minutes ago, I set out to get to the west end of town, knowing that, with weather, normal rush hour traffic, and the Steelers playing (and losing to) the BROWNS tonight, it would not be a short drive if I waited any later. However, as I went to go down a hill and found I was having a lot of trouble stopping and had lost most of my power to steer (fortunately, I was far away from the guy in front of me, and the van behind me was quite patient), I made up my mind to turn at the first place I could and get back to my apartment where driving is not required. Now, there's still a good chance that I'll go across town tonight--opting for a different, less hilly route--but I am glad I came back here to give myself some time to settle down. I didn't realize that I was quite as shaken by the sliding (it was only on the one road too...they'd salted the road that led to the hill, but not the hill itself--what sense does that make) until I got out of the car and couldn't get control of my apartment key in my hand to unlock the door.

All of this, and yet I have two things that I am holding on to:

1. There's no sense at all in allowing my fears to dominate my life. Sure, it is wise to drive cautiously all of the time--especially in yucky winter weather--but I can't put everything else on hold (which I'd have to do since I live 25 minutes from everything in which I'm involved...and from Joe [sheesh, I can't wait until we're married]).

2. I'm protected by God, who is bigger than snow storms, icy roads, and even possible car accidents. And even whatever inconvenience, injury, or death could result. Plus, I don't have any idea what the plan is for my life, but I'm going to operate under the belief that it is something significant and big and important because it is uniquely mine.

I still miss having my truck...

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I'm sitting at the Starbucks in Greentree right now and am mooching the internet off of the Greentree Library. I'm not even sure where the library is, exactly, but it is clearly not too far away.

I ought to be working on studying for my TH03 final--and I have been--but I think I deserve a tiny bit of a break.

I'm having a soy gingerbread latte right now. It is yummy. And tonight, we're going to a Japanese steakhouse to celebrate Tim's birthday.

It's raining and sort of "blah" outside, but Joe and the guys are playing football. Boy, he's going to be mudddddy when he gets back. Oh well.

I really like coming to Starbucks (or any other coffee place) to get work done. It's fun to do a bit of people watching, and I always like to get work done in a new environment. It saves me from getting bored, and allows me to really focus. Until, of course, I discover that my wireless card is doing its job. But, still, it's just nice to be in a different space.

Plus, I always feel like I might look like I'm doing something that's sort of important. Of course, someone's probably looking on my monitor right now and realizing that I'm only blogging, but that's probably okay too.

Last night, I felt like I had real confirmation as a part of the friends with whom I spend time now. Basically, this is a group of people who have all spent the vast majority of their freetime together for anywhere between 6 and 23 years. It's hard to make a lot of big connections as an outsider with people whose lives are so intricately intertwined. But, it seems I've "made it," because my name will be entered into the Christmas gift exchange this year. Of course, this makes me chuckle, because I think of my brother-in-law and his friends a few years ago (like...10 years ago, actually...sheesh), saying, "Shhh....he wasn't a part of the gift exchange." I know...not funny to any of you except for my sister.

Ok, being that I'm more tangential than normal, I think I should get back to studying so that I can channel my creative genius into theological substance...or something.

Bye! :0)

Friday, October 06, 2006

and another thing:

I am still at work, and listening to my ipod as I write this.

One of my favorite Christmas songs, "With Bells On" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton just came on. Now, I realize that Christmas is still 2.5 months away (holy cow, that's not far at all!), but I just haven't ever bothered to file the Christmas music seperately from everything else.

Anyway, that song came on, and I can't even begin to tell you how excited it got me for Christmas!!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I am now super-smiley thinking about all of the time that I'll get to spend with my family and be crazy and make cookies and decorate the tree and dance to crazy lights and Family Game Night 06...this year will be bittersweet, of course, having lost both Grampa and Joe's dad, but I think that we will find ways to honor them and to be joyous with all of the memories that we have.

This will be my last unmarried Christmas. That's a little bit weird, I guess. But it also brings with it a whole lot of excitement and hope for the future. :0)

Ok, seriously, enough from the peanut gallery for now! :0)

amusing musings.

So, a few things (ok, many) have crossed my mind since I last wrote on here twoish weeks ago.

1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks: Starbucks has a lot of excellent seasonal beverages that pass through its doors each year. I'm confident that pumpkin spice lattes are my favorite. "What's this?" you ask; "I thought you were an eggnog girl--surely the eggnog latte is for you--and I've always known you had a penchant for mint chocolate chip ice cream, yet you don't pick the peppermint mocha?" While both the eggnog latte and peppermint mocha are both tasty treats, the pumpkin spice latte tops them both. Perhaps it's the sweetness with the subtle hints of a more robust flavor. Perhaps it's the fabulous orange shade that a bit of pumpkin syrup does when added to the milk and espresso concoction. Perhaps it's that soy milk tastes better with pumpkin spice lattes than with the other seasonal offerings. At any rate, it's probably ok--I don't feel like I'm doing a disservice to eggnog or peppermint and chocolate: I know that Jim and Dad will both consume their share of eggnog lattes, and that Mat and J will pick up the peppermint slack.

2. Bowling Leagues: As many of you know, and many do not, I am in a bowling league with my church. There are about 30 of us who get together every other week for 9 months or so and we bowl. 6 teams. 6 lanes. Lots of mayhem. On weekends when bowling conflicts with something else (i.e. the All-Church Retreat this weekend, for example), it is necessary to bowl off. That is, apart from the league, but with the purpose of fulfilling the league commitment, one must bowl their three games, the alley will keep the scores on-hand, and they can be included in the team's weekly total. After choir on Wednesday, Joe and I went to bowl off. It was just the two of us in Lane 1 at the alley. Now, Lane 1 is typically the worst lane in the alley because the wall of the building protrudes ever-so-slightly onto the walkway. Joe and I both bowled three games and we were finished in an hour. Power bowling at its finest. By the end, both of us were so exhausted (who am I kidding-we were exhausted prior to our arrival!) that we just sort of tossed the ball with no rhyme or reason. Of course, this proved to be an effective bowling method for Joe, who scored about 20 pins higher than his average in all three games. It was less effective for me, who just can't bowl very well at all. But I guarantee you I will remember the bowling scores for years to come, and Joe won't have a clue. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, he sings the songs and I tell the jokes--we're a regular Donnie and Marie...except, you know, not related and not a bit freaky. (Though, perhaps it's interesting [or not] to note that Donnie Osmond did play "Joseph" and ALW's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and I was also in that show. And Joe's name is Joseph. Oh, the connections.)

3. Wedding dresses: So, last night, I went to a surprise birthday party for my friend Amy, put on by her boyfriend, Adam. One of my favorite people ever, Mollie, asked to hear about my wedding dress, and then told me that I should draw it. Now, I'm not especially talented at visual art (except in the ways of videography, and I certainly wasn't going to cut a video to describe my dress!), but agreed to try my hand at this. However, when she came back with a Sharpie and a napkin as my materials, I realized the feat would be much more difficult to accomplish. So, I gave it my best effort and ended up with what looked something like a mermaid with a teddy bear on her chest and polka dots on her tail. By the way, if you were curious, here's what wikipedia has to say on the subject of polka dots:

While polka dots are ancient, they first became common on clothing in the late nineteenth century in Britain. At the same time polka music was extremely popular and the name was also applied to the pattern, despite no real connection between the two.
There were many other "polka" items some of which included "Polka-hats" and "Polka-jackets." Most disappeared with the fad of actual Polka dance. However only the polka dot fabric pattern remained popular and the name has been left intact over the years.

Anyway, I really wanted Mollie to understand how my dress looked, and that Joe wasn't at this gathering made it easier to talk openly about it. However, I fear she thinks that I'm going to be wearing something that Ariel (of The Little Mermaid fame) wore before she got her "training shells." C'est la vie.

4. SSX3: For my birthday, one of the gifts Joe got for me was this video game, which is the next in the series from the game Jennifer and Mat have, which I play a lot whenever I go to Chicago. It is a snowboarding game that involves halfpipes, trail-blazing, rails, racing, earning money and medals, and lots of tricks. I love it. The best part is this: it has to stay at Joe's house because I don't have a PS2, so I can't just play it whenever I don't feel like doing work (not to fear Procrastinator's of the World, Inc.--I have other ways of successfully delaying productivity!) Plus, the novelty of the thing lasts much longer when I don't have perpetual access to it. And, lately, my time at Joe's has been so short (because, oddly enough, I am ridiculously busy--wait, that's not odd at all) and my taking to the slopes has been much less frequent. More infrequent, even.

5. Babies: My dear friends Rachel and Nathan just gave birth to a precious son, Elijah. Now, to see Nathan and Rachel is to know that they will have cute children, but even still, I was so taken by how beautiful he is! Now, I've only seen pictures, which means I can't even begin to imagine the real deal, but wow...Of course, my niece Rachel still takes the cake for most beautiful baby ever, but Elijah is right behind her. Plus, it is just so exciting that Raibird and Nathan have a baby!!! This may, of course, affect their ability to come to my wedding, though I hope it does not...and it's still worth it to have that little cutie pie...who I'm sure will learn how to fart at will as soon as Nathan has the chance to teach him. Joe and I have talked a lot about our kids--sometimes I think he has a worse case of Babyitis than I do, but that's not such a bad thing. I love it when he points out cute kids or when he talks about wanting to be a softball coach for our daughter and a baseball coach for our son (apparently, he envisions a very traditional family). We've also talked very seriously about adopting, which is something that we both would love to do. It's nice to be on the same page about those things. And, by the way, when he holds one of the kids at the church (like Ella, who is just over one year old, and is so darling), it might be the cutest thing ever. Not surprisingly, he reminds me of Dad.

It may or may not interest you to know that I've written all of this while at work. It would certainly be of interest to my boss, but I'd rather he not find out...so, I think I'll get back to it. Have a good one! :0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a class all my own.

Life is absolutely full of craziness right now.

A frenzy, if you will.

I am getting married in 257(!!!) days. I will graduate with my master's degree in 248 days. I have 2 jobs, plus a volunteer staff position, plus I'm a fulltime student. Holy stinkin' cow.

I am so exhausted at the end of each day, but I'm really loving nearly every minute of it. I thrive in this sort of environment.

I wish I could see Joe more often, however. But, given that I have lots of homework and apartment upkeep and wedding planning and job-related responsibilities and all, it's tough to do so. And, when I do get to see him, it's frequently at CHUP activities...which is fine, but we need alone time too.

Next month, we are going to start our pre-marital counseling meetings with Dave, which is really exciting. Some people are, apparently, afraid of that sort of situation, but I can't wait. It will just make Joe and I that much stronger in our relationship, and will force us to deal with some big and important issues in a timely fashion. Plus, it will just be fun!

I'm enjoying my classes this term--the two that I like best are Church & Sacraments with Dr. Burgess and Adult Relgious Education with Dr. Foltz. They pull at two very different parts of my mind, but both are interesting and cause me to actually think. Plus, both of them are proving themselves to already be applicable in my current reality--in some fairly surprising ways.

My sister and mom are both going to be here this weekend......and we're going WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited. Plus, there's CHUP bowling league, and the Browns play the ravens on Sunday which will, of course, be great.

Anyway, I need to get to bed, as Kelvonna and I have a 6:30 a.m. appointment with the treadmills. Bye! :0)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Birthday Season.

Happy Birthday, Joe!!! :0)

Yes, today begins yet another birthday season--Joe is 25, on Saturday, J will turn 30, 16 days after that, I will turn 25, 29 days later, Rachel will turn 4.

Hurray for birthdays!!! :0)

It will come as no surprise to you that my life is crazy. However, I am pleased to say that my plans for the week consist only of: working for 15 hours, cleaning my apartment, grocery shopping, doing some laundry, packing for Chicago, going to a picnic tonight, going to a meeting Wednesday night, saying goodbye to Stacey and Steve for 4 months, and, on Friday, flying with Joe to Chicago for a Smith Spectacular.

Also, Roommate will be driving in from Indy, and it will be the first time we've seen each other in 2 years and she'll get to meet Joe, which is good since she's in the wedding and all. I'm SO excited for this weekend.

Joe and I had an interesting talk last night, because I realized all over again that, after this year, my life will again go through major transitions in terms of my friendships. I mean, of course I will be getting married, graduating, moving to a new home, getting another job...and, just as with high school and college, so many of the friends I've made while being here will disperse. And, of course, I'll find myself in a weird situation where I need to find new and promising friendships. Given that Joe really wants to stay in Pittsburgh, it seems that these friendships will not be so easily truncated, and that's a good feeling. Of course, I really like all of the chuppers, but it's a little harder with them right now, as they've all grown up together and I can't/don't want to break in and sort of take over or anything like that.

Just something to think about...along with the wedding planning (291 days!), the honeymoon planning (any suggestions?), and the looming thought of school starting up again in 3 short weeks (hopefully it will fly at least as quickly as it did last year).

Ok, I'm off to Giant Eagle to buy food for the week and lots of stuff to put in the fruit salad I'm making for our cookout tonight.

Bye! :0)

Monday, July 31, 2006


For those of you who read this who haven't already heard (so, maybe one or two of you, frankly), I have this news to announce:


Yes, Joe proposed on Friday night and so, now, we have begun the process of wedding planning. It's already stressful--mostly because I'm thinking about how much needs to get done for the wedding...and how that will happen in conjunction with being a full time grad student (I'll graduate a week before the wedding) and having 2 jobs. It is going to be quite a stressful year, to say the very least. But, no matter...fortunately, I have Mom, who is exceptionally good at being organized, and who knows how to find quality things at affordable prices. And my sister will be my matron of honor (even though she doesn't like the word "matron"), and will be as helpful as possible, though she's a few states west of me. :0)

I'm SO EXCITED! It's crazy...I just can't believe I'm getting married. Except that I can believe it. It was really fun today, too, when I got to have lunch with my dear friend, Dabney, and could ask her in person to be one of my bridesmaids--she lives a few states east of me, but I happened to be in her neck of the woods, so we got to hang out for an hour and a half. Talk about good timing!!!!!

Anyway, it's been a crazy couple of days, and the craziness has only just begun. But hurray for it all! :0)

Bye :0)