Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Awards and Purses!

First, an Award from Lindsay! Thanks lady!

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award!"

I'm pretty sure everyone who follows me and who I follow has been tagged for this already, except a few who certainly deserve it (and they were probably tagged too, and I missed it, but just incase):

DAR at first comes love, then comes marriage
jlc at French Kiss
and I know she's already been tagged, but she deserves another:
Indiana.Girl at The Yellow Ribbon Diary

Get at it, girls! =]

Now onto the "show me" purse game!

1. Post a picture of the bag/purse/handbag/pocketbook {whatever you call it!} that you are carrying! Now, don't you even think about going back there to your closet and getting that cute little clutch that you carried before you had children or the last time you went out ;-) I want to see the purse that you carried today! I'm just going to add "discuss the contents" into this, because everyone is doing it anyway.

2. Tell us how much it cost! Oh my, I know what you are thinking - a Southern Belle neva discusses matters of money, darlin'. Well, yes, but today we are gonna break that rule and tell! Yes, tell how much it cost. We won't judge! This is for entertainment purposes only! And if there is a story that goes along with this purse, tell it!!

3. Tag some other girls. It will be fun to see what everybody else posts :-)


It's a Vera Bradley, and I think it cost around $50. I actually got it for Christmas from my dad (yes, the man did walk into the vera bradley store full of purses and cosmetics and pick it for me) in the same pattern, but a different shape, and I am fully addicted to this shape. It's just perfect for my stuff. It is very, very rare that I spend this kind of money on a purse for myself, so most the time when I'm carrying a vera bradley it's because someone else got it for me.

The contents:

-checkbook (I do have a nice, complete wallet...I just don't carry it)
-2 pencils
-2 pens
-3 batteries (to refill the camera)
-chapstick
-a wooden TUIT coin
-and a bottle of tylenol PM (which was only there because I grabbed the smallest bottle I could find and threw a couple excedrin in it on the way out the door one day because I had a migraine)
-camera (obviously, not pictured)

This is pretty typical for my purse most the time, to have nothing in it. I used to be Mary Poppins jr. and could pull basically anything out of a purse this size, from sippy cups to lotion to any kind of aspirin you could possibly need, even novels or notebooks and other things you'd never had believed would fit in there. But this year I'm pretty simple about what I carry.

I'm also not tagging anyone special for this, because I'm tagging everyone. That's right, if you haven't done it...you are tagged. And if you do it and I'm not officially following you, would you mind dropping me a comment to let me know you did it so I can see what you are you toting around? :)

Have fun!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

10 Year Olds and Weddings

I bought the first "wedding planner" book ever in my life this week. Why, you ask? Because I flipped through it and it was actually well helpful, the only copy there, and $4.99. Yes, a 5 dollar wedding planning book. The cheapest thing for the entire wedding, I'm certain.

This got me to thinking about the people in the wedding. Why? I have no idea. I also have no idea how we went from "I want two bridesmaids and a simple wedding" to "Let's have a guest list of 400 and 5 people on each side of the wedding party." No idea, whatsoever. But, that's the way it is!

What is this post actually about, you ask? I'm getting there, one rambling at a time :)



I need my nephew, Ethan, to be in the wedding. He's 8 now, but will be 10 by the time the wedding rolls around. He's a huge part of my life and who I am, and I need him in it. But I don't just want him in it, I want him to have some kind of significant role in it. My mom suggested a Junior Groomsmen, but we have no one to be a Junior Bridesmaid and frankly we have enough people to stand up there already. But, what we don't have is a ring bearer. We have two flower girls, Baby B and Isabella, who will both be 3 at that point, but no little boys in either of our families and we want the boy to be older than the girls. (And by 'we' I definitely mean 'me' because I'm sure B couldn't care less). So I was thinking maybe Ethan could stand in the middle and hold the girls' hands and be the ring bearer, and we'd put the rings on dog tags around his neck. But, is 10 too old to be a ring bearer?

My favorite picture from the last time he was a ring bearer. The "how many *#%@^#@$! pictures do we have to take?!" face:


And does anyone have any other suggestions for how to put a 10 year old boy in a wedding significantly? I'll consider anything, traditional or something you just made up. Really, I'm desperate ;]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dear Mr. (Mrs?) Dead Birdie,

Please understand that I didn't mean it. It's just, you see, it was so warm out today. My dog, Chase, doesn't get to go out and play much during the winter because it's so cold, and his little heart only lives to play fetch. So, when it's warm, we inhabit the backyard in which you built your home and I hit tennis balls from one side of the yard to the next with a 'bat' that is really an old ax handle and he chases them and brings them back time and time again.

You must know that I do not hit the ball with every attempt I make to do so. In fact, I wouldn't blame you for laughing at the amount of times I do, in fact, miss. And I don't blame you for thinking it was safe to leave your nest and fly off after I had missed three times in a row. How were you to know I would actually show some resemblance of skill that one time?

I watched fatefully as the tennis ball flew into the air at the speed of light, noticing ever so slightly something leaving from the tree. At first I thought you were a leaf, until I realized there were no leaves on that tree...because it's winter...and then I knew--that was it for you. You spiraled to your resting place on the ground. Chase was overly confused on whether to fetch you or the ball.

Please know that I have never done such a thing before. I have never hit one of you with a car or a gun or anything else. Although I will admit to having a kitty, Lovey Boy, who was very good at catching your kind (they taunted him, though. you were not a taunter). And as my last final act of kindness to you, I did not let Sierra and Kimber out to destroy you and instead called my neighbor to come get you for a proper garbage can burial (because as sorry as I am for you, I do not wish to catch bird flu and he has more years on him than I).

So, Rest in Peace Birdie. May your next life be longer.


Sincerely,
Via

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Bachelor 'Loves' All, Apparently.

For whatever reason I've been drawn into this season of the Bachelor. Well, when I remember to watch it...anyway. Last night I did, in fact, remember to do such. It was...interesting, to say the least.

There were three girls left for him: Jillian, Molly and Melissa. They all flew to New Zealand (the land of sheep and mountains, apparently).

The first date was with Jillian. His big worry? She's too independent. This seems to be a trend with his worries. God forbid any woman be independent, how in the world would Jason be the relationship ruler? Psst. Jillian says she wants to marry her best friend. Anyone else in the world would take this and say "that's lovely and exactly what I want," but Jason questions whether best friends can have hot, steamy, passionate make out sessions in a hot tub. So, naturally, he tries and they have such a scene. (As America sits at home and thinks, "Is this legal to play on television?") and then, of course, invites her back to his suite for the night.


The next date is Molly. They go bungee jumping. No problem, after all, "It's not that far" (...right). I wonder what would have happened if she chickened out. Or he, as he looked more nervous than she did (maybe he should be more independent). Afterwards he questions her affection for him. Who wouldn't? After the hot tub scene with Jillian, Molly's standoffish affection towards him is quite the change. But in the end, showing affection or not, Jason does not pass up a chance to spend the night with her (nor does Molly, who asks him to before he even suggests it).


And of course there is Melissa. Jason worries that he didn't meet her family. I wonder how much it really matters anyway, as they are not going to live anywhere near her family when they marry anyway. She wonders if it's a big deal. He thinks it is. She wants nothing more than to end this stupid conversation about her family because she's frankly a bit pissed at them for doing this to her. The real question he should be asking, however, is how is she going to do not being near her family? She talks to her brother 5-7 times and week and sees her parent 2-3 times a week. She can't do that in Seattle, that's a serious lifestyle change. But is Jason worried about this? No, of course not. Just worried about her parents, not her, duh. But, again, it doesn't really seem to matter as he takes her to his suite for the night. He explains the gorgeous suite to us as they walk that direction, as if he hadn't just spent the past two nights there with two OTHER women. Way to go, playboy.


And then comes the rose ceremony. I'm 100% sure Jillian is staying. 65/35 on Melissa/Molly. But, for sure, Jillian is staying. He calls Melissa first, and if I had had any ambition to do anything at all last night I would have turned it off and walked away, fully confident he was sending Molly. But, my laziness paid off as I sat there to watch him call Molly forward, and send Jillian home. What? Really? I large series of "no way"s came out of my mouth. Poor Jillian. She wasted that dirty hot tub scene only to get booted. To be honest, if it were me, I'd be pissed. And after this episode I'm almost tempted to side with Melissa's parents on the publicness of this being obnoxious. How would you feel if your husband slept with two other woman right before he proposed to you? Hmm. Not so hot.

Oh, and for those of you waiting like dogs sitting for a treat, DeAnna comes back in two weeks! I'm predicting that her "I made a mistake" statement has nothing to do with not picking Jason. And she only comes to offer advice. It's being played up too much to be anything else.

Melissa is the one, and frankly a bit too good for Jason. You go girl!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One Honest Heart

I love when I realize why I love the people in my life so very much.

I love Bestie because, even though we can go a couple weeks without having an actual conversation these days due to schedules and distance, she always knows exactly what I need to hear:
"So, every time I look at the picture of you and B I just smile really big and think that I will always have that picture wherever I am and when I finally settle down I will have that picture and whatever the newest picture of your kids are next to each other. Your wedding picture/s will be hung on the wall somewhere in a collage that has random pictures at the lake and silly other life moments!"

I love B because we have conversations like this with nothing warranting them:
B: "Do you know how much I love you?"
V: "How much?"
B: "Soo much. And I'm going to show you every day we're together."
A sweet talker, that one. I'm slightly worried that he's talking himself into a huge roll to fill and doesn't realize it, but I love it anyway.

And I love my other friends because today we were able to get through spending hours moving things out of TJ and Steph's house relatively unscathed. And even though we had to deal with the passersby walking their dogs (their pretty greyhounds and boxers, by the way) asking the "are you guys moving?" question and having to decide whether to just lie and say "yes" to avoid it or tell the truth and have to go through the whole story, we were still able to keep some fun in it:

(this thanks to Kristy apparently being able to pull 9823928 clothespins out of her pockets at any random moment, and Jessie willing to be the guinea pig)

We also started plans for the next Mexico trip. November. Which is simply fictitious for me unless my parents decide to take pity on me and my brokeself and pay for it. Jess can afford it, Kristy can probably make it. Me...nope.

Speaking of which, I found three jobs! But I'm not sure I'm going to take any of them. One is full-time, one is a straight up business business so I have to set up a business meeting to see if I really have an interest in it anyway, and another is going to be hard to work around my school schedule. But...I'll relay more on this at a later date.

Going on a "mystery date" with B pretty soon for Valentine's Day! Hope you are enjoying yours!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday



Baby B and Cousin A holding hands.

The girls running away.

Me and Baby B shadowpeople.

Vday cupcakes, made with attitude by me and (mostly) the friends.

Accidental photo failure of me and B's feet...though it's still kind of cool. my jeans are better, though :)


We're currently having anywhere from 50-70mph winds following a nice thunderstorm and tornado watch. I'm almost amusing myself by watching the "power outage" meter calculate failures. So far it's up to 60,437. I figured I'd post some photos while I waited for us to join the statistic, as it's only flashed about 23892 times in the past hour! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Goods

First I would like to say:

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, scroll down to my other recent posts and visit my links to the Whitt family. =]


This is pretty much going to be boring and an informative update from here on out, just a warning!


Onto the Neurosurgeon visit:

Last year, after my mom was diagnosed with cancer, they did a full body scan to determine how advanced it was. This includes the head. They first questioned the tumor on her pituitary gland, but ruled that as non-cancer due to the fact that it's been there for 9 years and is genetic. But there were some random spots found on the base of her skull. They couldn't do a biopsy on these because it was too risky, so they were just going to burn them with some radiation. Translation: they have no idea if they were cancer or not. Only a week went by before she had her day-before-scan, and they called that afternoon and canceled the procedure for the following day because the spots were mysteriously gone. If they were cancer, there is a chance that the chemo got them in that week, if they weren't, the chemo probably still got them but the chance of them coming back is high.

Well, we went this morning to get the results of the 3monthslater scans and there is still nothing. Which is amazing! :D Couldn't have been better! She'll go back again in three months, and if still nothing, every six months for a few years. Sweet!

On the Abby Custody Front:

Because I suddenly realize I didn't have this blog then, I'll do a mini-background on this. TJ and Steph were killed on September 14th last year in the hurricane here in Ohio while on a charity motorcycle ride. We've been friends with their family forever and TJ's stepmom is one of my mom's best friends. It just so happened that we were at their house that day throwing a big surprise party for my mom when the call came in.

They left behind their baby girl, Abby, who was six months old at the time. This morning was the "official custody hearing," which turned out not to be very official. But, it actually worked out quite well, to be honest, and I will describe this here mostly because I think if I don't write it down I'm going to forget it haha. You can pretty much ignore this if you want, it's going to be boring.

In October the guardianship hearing was held, where they appointed 3 guardians (...I don't honestly know why) of her maternal grandmother, maternal great aunt and paternal great aunt. The hearing today was to settle single guardianship and set a date for the adoption hearing. However, the results of today changed nothing and there are still three guardians for her, the same three as before. Apparently by doing this, the adoption hearing could be pushed up several months. I'm not really sure why this is, but it is. Before the hearing would have been at the end of the summer, now it's in the middle of April.

There are three people who have applied for adoption and as far as we know, there will only be three: her maternal grandmother, her maternal grandfather, and her paternal uncle and aunt. The lowdown is basically this: the maternal grandmother is nuts and should not be left alone with kids, the maternal grandfather is a really great guy, but he's very aged, so basically the best choice if the aunt and uncle: J&L. They are the most logical choice and the best one, the only problem is this: They live in New Jersey. All of Abby's family is here or in Michigan besides them, and that's the only real hold up. But it's basically like this: as soon as J&L found out about TJ and Steph, they immediately said they wanted Abby. They lived in a one bedroom flat in NYC, and within one week had moved out of the city into a townhouse, taking an $18,000 hit. They've set up her nursery, everything is ready to go, they got married (had planned on doing so next summer, but just did a little ceremony early figuring they could sacrifice that), and they are here every other week spending as much time with Abby as they can and I can't even begin to imagine how much that is costing them but they are doing it because it's what's best for her. They have no other children, they are both lawyers. They want her, and it's the best place for her.

But right now she still has three guardians, with which she is spending one week each with. Which is really disconcerting for me because that means she has no consistency and kids really need consistency, but it's better that it gets resolved quicker I suppose. The adoption hearing will be in April, and after that the magistrate has 60 days to make a decision. Yes, that does mean it could be mid-June until she decides. And then people have 2 weeks to make an objection to her decision and if that happens, then they have to set up a court date with a different judge to present their case as to why the decision was not the right one--this part is what will take the longest, we think, because it's getting in to see this particular judge that is really impossible to do quickly. But, if no one objects in those two weeks, then he just has to sign off on it and Abby will officially be adopted. The part that sucks about this is that she'll be almost one and a half before it's final. And if the maternal grandmother doesn't get custody, there is a large chance she will object, just because.

The good thing about this? When the magistrate was talking today she said "when she goes to New Jersey" and then doubled back and corrected herself. There is certainly hope there!

Okay, done being boring now :) I'm just excited!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Summer in February!

61 degrees was the high here for the day. This from the same place that had 8 inches of snow dumped on them last week on top of the 12 inches or snow and ice that was still lingering from the week before. There are still piles of snow that haven't melted in our lovely weather. I love warmth!

Things I had planned for the summer:

The getting of this:
(minus the handicap sign and plus my actual state)

The purchasement of this:

The visiting of this:

The planning for this:

The doing this with old friends:


...but instead we're moving. I'm missing all this stuff a lot this week, even though I technically haven't even missed any of it yet. I have no idea why this week is especially obnoxious. There is no special reason. Usually there is, this time there isn't.

I will rationalize the motorcycle by saying that probably wouldn't have happened anyway. Not after Tom and Stephanie were killed in September. I do realize that the likelihood of being killed on my motorcycle by a 200 year old tree being pulled out of the ground and dropped on me during a hurricane in Ohio is not very high, as it will probably never happen again, but it doesn't matter what the stats are--even the smallest stats affect someone, like they did us. It probably wouldn't have made a difference if it wasn't them, but it was. It didn't affect what I wanted when it was Larry and Denise, or when it was Chuck, but it did with them. Because they left Abby behind, and I couldn't do that for the sake of fun.

I think I need chocolate!

I'll be back to my usual blogging self here soon I hope! :) I miss it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Goodreads.com Anyone?

I've noticed that some of you have some seriously awesome taste in books, and I've heeded some of your what-to-read advice. Have you heard of Goodreads.com? It's really quite cool. It's like an electronic bookshelf. You can search for and add books you've read, books you're currently reading, and books you want to read to your profile. You can rate each book with 1-5 stars, and even write reviews. There are book "clubs" that talk about certain books, and it's really quite cool. Plus it's free, which is the real attraction.

Translation: You should join so that I can get more book ideas from you. =]

If you do join, add me up: Via

---

The folks over at Who Says 8 Is Enough? are promoting a fundraiser for Tuesday. The Etsy company has created a pendant in her honor and is donating 10% of all sales to the Whitt family. They are very darling, and quite affordable at $7.95. Check it out and see for yourself!


---

We're apparently back to the not-having-any-idea-where-we're-living page. I love B a lot, but he has this disease called Makingupmymindaphobia. Whenever we go out to dinner or a movie or something little, he chooses. I'm okay with this, because I hate making trivial decisions because it really just doesn't matter where we eat or what movie we see. But, when it comes to big decisions B is...not good at them. I don't enjoy making them, but once I have made one then I tend not to change my mind; it's pretty final. B, however, is hardheaded and pretty much won't do anything unless he thinks he's the one who made the decision. I imagine his rememberence of the apartment conversation going like this:

B: "I think we should live right there on the top of ABC Rd. It's close to everything.
V: "Oh?"
B: "Yea. And doesn't your sister live there? Isn't it cheap?"
V: "Yes. We can look at it."
Two hours later...
V: "Okay. We can live there. I'm okay with that."
B: "Just kidding!"

To be honest, that is really not my first choice anyway. My first choice is somewhere around B's second to last choice. Personally, I like this:


Yes, it's only a one bedroom. Yes, it's a bit...crowded? But, it's also 150sqft bigger than the other one, it has a washer and dryer in every apartment, and the heat is paid for. That's right, the heat is paid for. Which would most likely make it cheaper than the other place, anyway.

What does B have against this, you ask? It's right next to the apartment complex that has the most crime in our area. It is not that complex, but it's next to it. However, we know people that live over there and have heard nothing of crime in that complex. However, my sister called me in the middle of the night last year from the other apartment complex (the one B likes, or did, or...whatever he wants) because someone had broken into her apartment. Of course, this came with a lot of screeching and exaggerations, and suddenly the trespasser went from no one saw him to a Sasquatch-type, giant hairy burglar with a massive gun of some sort. When I got over there at 3 in the morning, I believe our conversation went like this:

Sister: "Someone broke in through the balcony!"
V: "That's ridiculous. You live on the second floor. No one can get up there. R(her husband) probably just left the door open."
Sister: "There are footsteps in the bushes underneath the balcony!"
V: "It was probably just a cat. Are you missing anything?"
Sister: "No."
V: "It was probably just a cat."

My sister does a lot of overreacting. A lot. If I get a phone call in the middle of the night, it's about a 50/50 shot that it's her freaking out about something. Ethan coughed, or she swears she heard a gunshot, or the power went out 5 seconds earlier and she's imagining them all freezing to death. She calls me so I can tell her she's retarded so she'll stop freaking out.

The problem with this?

There really were footsteps in the bushes. Big, obvious footsteps. And although my brother-in-law did manage to run himself over with his own truck last year, he's just not stupid enough to leave a sliding door wide-open in his own living room in the middle of the night. But, since I didn't have to live there, I could say it never happened. Now that it's a possibility, it's a bit frightening for sure.

I still say washer+dryer+heat=winner.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday Tribute

Some of you may have seen my post on Saturday about 2 year old Tuesday who lost her battle with cancer on Friday. Cancer is something that's really important to me and my family, especially childhood cancers. I can't even begin to imagine what the Whitt family is going through right now, and research efforts are trying to make it so no one else will have to, either.

How to Help the Whitt Family:

Shop here. There is an array of Tuesday shirts for adults and children, bags, magnets, mugs, and various other things that are darling. I've already got my tee! All profits go to Tuesday's family.


You can also click here to offer your thoughts and condolences.

How to Help With a Cure:

Jay over at Halftime Lessons will be raising money until March 21st and shaving his head to support funding for Childhood Cancer Research. It is part of St. Baldrick's National Organization that raised over $17 Million Dollars last year for research! Visit his blog to support him, join him, or make a direct donation to the cause.

Of course, if you'd like to just simply donate time, there are always options for that, as well. There are special places like The Center For Courageous Kids that have children affected with terminal illnesses and their families stay for a weekend (during the school year) or a week (during the summer) and gives them a chance to spend some time feeling like a normal kid! I love this place, and spend my weekends there when I can. I'm sure there is a place like this close to where you live if you are interested, just google it up!

But, there are always volunteer programs as Children's Hospitals as well, so check with your local branch!

Chemo and radiation and surgeries, etc. is no picnic for anyone. But kids, especially, have a hard time understanding it. But, with every dollar donated, scientists are getting closer to a cure.

My friend, Chance, just turned 9 years old after going through his second round of full-on treatment in three years. The goal is to have 100% happy stories like his...


While never forgetting those like Tuesday, who brought joy to the world in just the short time she had...


Monday, February 2, 2009

On Jobs and Cars

First off, I would like to say a swift thank you to my cousin B for fixing my extremely obnoxious vehicle that broke down in October! I found it in my driveway last night at 1130, running! It only took a new engine, rotors, transmission, and other random things I am not even going to pretend to know what are to get it back into this condition. Although, I do love the truck, and I put 20 gallons of gas in that sucker last week so I will still be driving that for awhile! The upside, though, is that I filled my car's tank up the day before it broke down too so it's also sitting pretty with a full tank. It's pretty much a win/win.

What I've Been Driving:

What I Actually Own (except mine is Silver):

Hmm. I do love the truck so.

Along the lines of paying for things, like gas, let's talk about the jobby job situation. My job recently cut a ridiculously large amount of hours. Not employees, just hours. Which, I suppose, is good. But, I was hired to work a minimum of several more hours than I am currently getting. Unfortunately that can't be helped and I get it. I like my job (mostly) and I like the people I work with (mostly), but I can't live on 12 hours a week. We're trying to move, get some things for the apartment, plan a wedding, etc. etc. and I can't do it without a bigger income. So, I'm going to have to look for something else. I'm hoping to find something that will let me do both jobs on different days (especially since, with the hours I'm getting now, there is no point in working me three days a week...might as well just do one open-close and get it over with), but this is the absolute worst time of the year to look for a job. Especially with the economy is the way that it is. And if I can find one that I can't do both with but they will guarantee me hours then...it's not favorable but it has to be done. =/

Anyone know where I can get a money tree? I'd love to plant a whole forest of them in my backyard. You know, around the winding pipes of the sewer system beneath my grass...otherwise I'd just spend it all on getting that repaired ;)