Sunday, August 30, 2009

This is My Life?

Unbelievable. So lucky.

B and I took off this weekend to meet his parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin at the beach on the North Carolina shore for a few days. His family has a beach house there, which arguably made Duke a more attractive choice for law school!

We arrived late and took a walk on the beach with his parents. About 20 minutes into the walk, B stumbled over something moving in the moonlight, what we assumed was a crab. Nope, not even. Turns out, it's sea turtle hatching season and it was a little lost baby sea turtle no bigger than your palm flapping his little arms toward a bright streetlight, which he'd mistaken for the glowing moon, which beckons these babies to water.

B and his Dad spent the better part of ten minutes guiding this little guy toward the water with the help of a flashlight suspended inches above his little head. By the time they had him almost all the way, his Mom spotted another one, starting the process all over. Nothing makes you love your husband more than seeing him on his hands and knees pushing sand into a makeshift wall to guide a newly-hatched sea turtle toward the ocean. Love it. We didn't see any more, so here's hoping everyone else had safe travel!

We spent the weekend (when not saving endangered wildlife) taking long beach walks, eating deliciously fresh seafood, and watching storms roll through from the safety of the back porch of a beach bar.

It was so great seeing his family and getting out of Durham. I had a few sad moments (Dad loved the beach; Dad always wore that kind of beach hat), but nothing soothes the soul like a good saltwater scrub, or a float in the complex pool.

We got home about an hour ago. Dinner's in the oven and B's hard at work on a little homework. We're both exited to see Mom and the Smith side of the family tomorrow night for a little dinner and playtime. We're so blessed to have so much family around us. Thank God!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Truckin' Along

B's sweet ride for 9 long hours. Good back up plan, no?

Looking Ahead

How bright eyed and optimistic are we? Bring on the move!

Kissing the Apartment Goodbye

Bye bye 524! We'll miss you!

B's Last First Day of School

Kim, you'll have to scan and send the first first day of school for a side-by-side comparison. From the look on this sweet face, I'm sure he'd LOVE to have it framed in his office.

Change, Change, Change

Times are a'changing, but it's all good. This week is my first week working from home in Durham and, I have to say, I love it. B set up this amazing office for me, so I'm taken care of there, plus a great back porch with a table at just the right height for my laptop. Nothing like drawing a little Tailgating inspiration from the great outdoors!

So far I've worked on the patio, on the back deck, and in the office and, I have to say, it's going great. B's back in school, so he's up and out before I'm even awake. I'm so excited for this year. What a fabulous treat to be with him every day. Oh the things some take for granted. :)

This week is a little nutty. Not only are we moving in, starting work, and starting school, but we've also got some family in town, which is such a treat! I promised B that next week would be more normal. You know, dinner and whatnot. But for now, we're both just so thankful to be in one place and have the move totally completed.

Things I'm looking forward to: grocery shopping, going for a walk with a college girlfriend, having tea with a former coworker, and celebrating my upcoming birthday at the beach with a bunch of B's high school buddies. So many wonderful things happening, so much to look forward to!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Durham!

Friday went off without a hitch-- we got my entire apartment packed into a truck in 90 minutes. If anyone is moving in Birmingham, book Remarkable Movers. Don't think twice, just do it. They were the least expensive and super amazingly efficient. Can't say enough good about them.

We drove to Atlanta Friday night and had a great dinner with B's parents, then convinced them to watch the wedding video before we all turned in around 1am.

Saturday morning we left around 10 after a lazy morning on the back porch and a delicious quiche breakfast. Six hours and two tanks of gas later, we arrived in Durham at my sister's family's new house--it's beautiful!

We got the full tour then unloaded a few of the things into the house before packing up the car and heading to B's apartment --OUR apartment!-- to get settled. I'm so lucky-- B had spent hours cleaning before he left, so we arrived to a fully furnished, totally clean home that only needed a few finishing touches, including my clothes and books, plus a few little things from my apartment.

After a few hours of organizing and putting away, we headed back to the house to have dinner with the family. Something about moving day just screams "pizza!", and we had a blast just catching up.

As B and I were driving over for dinner, it really hit me. We're here. We're finally at this place that we've been working toward for three years, furiously so for the past nine months. I'm not sure I've ever reached that kind of goal; college was expected, my job is ongoing, but this, it's amazing. We're finally here, and it's amazing. Our stuff is comingled, and it's amazing. I went through our DVDs and books, removing duplicates, hopelessly linking me to this man (or risk losing a few of my favorite hardbacks).

We got started this morning by running errands-- going by the law school, buying B's books, and making a Costco run. Next on the list is Home Depot, then out to dinner with his parents.

Even though we've been married for three months, it feels like we're fresh out of the gates again, hopelessly happy despite a few unpacked electronics gathered at the foot of our couch. This is going to be a great year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

(Another) Big Day!

Today's the day! We're off to great places, we're off and away!

Ok, enough of Dr. Seuss (though I do love the book!). Today, we've got business to take care of. The movers are booked (and confirmed), the truck is on the road, and the move is officially underway. Say a prayer for us as we make it to Atlanta tonight and celebrate that completed portion of the journey with some fabulous Champagne.

Last night was a blast-- we threw a surprise party for a dear Birmingham girlfriend and she was, so far as I could tell, actually surprised! Big thanks to B who had to talk some sense into the Publix lady after they forgot our balloon order. The things I make him say and do... "Yes, six purple, six blue, please." I love you, B!

The party happened amidst a monsoon, but we had a fantastic time. B & I crashed early last night, but actually got a lot of packing done this morning.

Win of the day? Charter Communications, who took by our modem/closed our account in a record two minutes. Big fan! Wasn't a huge fan when my internet was running at stone-age capacity a few weeks ago, but B was the "win of the day" then for figuring it all out anyway.

The next time I post, we'll be living in our new home-- the third in this brief three month adventure. And, yes, I'll be sure to post a picture of sweet baby Carolyn then!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Countdown

In less than 24 hours, the move will be underway. Where has time gone? Have we really been in Birmingham for six weeks? More to process later. Yesterday was another '19,' marking three months since Dad passed away. It didn't hit me as hard this month. Still have sad days, but the actual date isn't quite at traumatizing, thank God. I really miss him, especially with the birth of this new baby. You could always count on Dad for fun jokes during family time together.

If you see a Uhaul truck on the road tomorrow, clear the way!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wow, Actually True... and Funny!

Normally these things make me wince when they appear in my inbox but I was (sadly) able to relate to a number of these...

Random thoughts from people our age...
-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
-More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.
-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
-I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
-That's enough, Nickelback.
-I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
-Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?
-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
-There is a great need for sarcasm font.
-Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.
-I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.
-How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
-I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
-The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.
- A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
- Was learning cursive really necessary?
- Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.
- My brother's Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.
- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
- Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"
-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood..
- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
-Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
- I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu' to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an overweight woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."
-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
- Bad decisions make good stories
-Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
- Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
-If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
-There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
-I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
-I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste..
-When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
-I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
-Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists
.-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
-It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
-I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
-Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
-Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...
-My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?
-It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.
-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
-I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
-The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Newlywed Moment of the Day

B & I are sharing a car this week, as his is already in Durham and he and I are both, well, not. We've been trying to hit our favorite eateries while we're still here, so lunches out have been a real treat. Today's planning session, on the other hand, was not:

me: whenever you're at a stopping point for lunch is good for me. no rush, but not need for delay either. whatever you want

B: no, i'm good whenever
just give me twenty minutes or so to get showered up

me: :) Want to come around 11:45? we could go by tjmaxx if we need to, then either hit sol azteca, city hall diner, moe's, etc

B: right but you have to come get me, remember

me: aaahaha, yes. t hat would be key good reminder!

B: haha

me: Ok, I'll come get you at around 11:45, how's that?

B: perfect that'll be great

me: losing my mind. :)

B: but you're so pretty so it's all good

me: :) I love you so much.

Raising Up the Young

B is dying to teach our nephew Alex how to do this. He already has a tiny Mustang and the ability to drive pretty well. Drifting? We'll see...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet My Friends

Ever wonder who these "high school girls" I so often refer to are? Here's your chance. H, our resident shutterbug, took a few close-ups at the Melting Pot (pre chocolate, thank goodness!), plus a great group shot. Check us out. Yes, we clearly have something against blonds and redheads....

Triple Digits

B and I have been married exactly 100 days (thank you,, meaning that 100 days ago, at this very moment, I was upstairs sneaking a peek at B and his guys as they came in from pictures to cool off before the ceremony. Butterflies! Can't believe it's been 100. A+, sweetie!

Dear Weekend

I missed you! Where did you go?


Ok, it's true, the weekend flew by. So fast, in fact, that I still haven't gotten to meet or hold my sweet niece! Friday night, I packed B up and he headed out on the road. I cleaned and packed for a few more hours that night, then completely crashed.

Saturday morning, I got up early to finish packing all the "give away" piles before my aunt and cousin arrived to take a few pieces of furniture and lots of kitchen/home decor supplies. It took us three hours and four carloads, but we got everything to their house. Thanks, guys!

We finished just in time for me to get home and cleaned up before I met my high school girls for a "yea us" dinner at the Melting Pot. We don't always see each other and often miss birthdays and other milestones, so we try to get together as much as possible just to be like, "Hey! I remember you! You're going great and amazing things!"

These girls are fantastic. Once one of them posts a picture (ahem, ladies?), I'll link over to it. Beautiful girls, of course, but also quite talented. We've got two pharmacists, a nurse anesthethis (right, MB?), a lady that knows her numbers, and a stay-at-home mom to one of the cutest one-year-olds I know! I love having dinner with them, and the Melting Pot proved to be the perfect spot to go. It takes forever there-- we spent about three hours on dinner-- but for us, that's the point! I came home that night and read my book before crashing, again, in bed.

Sunday morning was another early one. The girl who bought my washer and dryer was coming around 2, so I needed to make sure I had all my laundry done and figure out how to unhook the washer and dryer without a) electrocuting myself or b) flooding the apartment. Luckily everything worked out fine and they got the units out of the apartment in about 15 minutes flat. Love it!

Three trash bags and a lot of cleaning later, I headed out to meet friends to watch Julie & Julia. Loved it! It actually made me a little sad. Not sure if it's because it made me miss B and feel a little lonely or if it was just my first "alone" downtime in a long time. The movie was fun and happy-- no big twists, yea!-- but what I loved most was seeing how enamored Julia was with her husband. Someone described it as a lifetime love affair, and it certainly felt that way. I think that's why I really missed B. :)

Headed to the grocery store amidst Hurricane Claudette and managed to get all my groceries home before the power went out (ooph). Thank God it was me home and not B. I knew where every candle, match, and flashlight was in that apartment. I've moved everything so much that B would've been lost!

The power came back on and I was able to make chicken enchiladas, which I'm taking to my old roommate Kitty tonight, who is currently hosting/doctoring her fiance after eye surgery, after work today. Tonight is more packing, more organizing before B gets home tomorrow. The goal is to have a stack of wires and cords for him to look through before we deem them leave-able. Thank goodness we aren't doing this over ichat!

Long story short(er), it's a crazy week. Moving on Friday and lots to do before then!

Friday, August 14, 2009

It Has Begun!

Just realized it's almost 1 am.  Why am I still awake?  The move, part one, is fully underway.  B's on the road with one seriously back-heavy Jeep.  Pray for his shocks! Tomorrow the family comes to get some of the furniture we aren't taking with us, so I'm up pulling together a few final items.  The closet is packed and tomorrow is a day-o-laundry before the washer and dryer are hauled out of here.  

The only thing sad about tonight is that B's out of town for a few days-- the longest since we've been married.  I'm thankful that August isn't bringing about the usual feelings of "oh my goodness here we go long distance again."  Instead, I'm just excited to get going.  Durham bound!  At least after I meet this new sweet baby.

How to Make Chocolate Gravy

On Wednesday night, I caved and made uber comfort food for myself and for poor sick B. He came out of the bedroom when I told him dinner was ready and he asked what we were having. I told him, "Bacon, eggs, homemade biscuits, and.... chocolate gravy." He seemed curious, but didn't balk entirely. In fact, he wanted to try it first.

First words: "Oh my God, that's just not fair." I think he was convinced that it was loaded with butter, Crisco, and bacon grease, but, aside from the sugar, we figured out it's really more like a thickened chocolate milk, and it's oh-so-good with salty buttermilk biscuits. In fact, if I could've, I would've given them a little sprinkle of sea salt. But then again, I crave sodium. Sue me.

Anyway, get thee to the work blog and check out the recipe for chocolate gravy. Muna, Michelle's grandma, shared the recipe with me and I have to say that I'm oh-so thankful!

PS-- I did make the biscuits from scratch, which was so easy and used basically pantry ingredients, save the buttermilk. The good news is that the recipe calls for 2 cups buttermilk, which is the exact amount in the smallest size they sell at the store. No leftovers! I did leave the honey out, as I thought it might mess with the goodness of the chocolate gravy...


We have a baby! Carolyn was born last night at 6:55. I'll post pictures when I get them, but everyone is happy and healthy. One more baby in the family, bringing the total to... 7!

Edited to Add: By "We" have a baby, I mean the family, not B and myself. And we certainly don't have seven. Very important distinction.

There, I Fixed It

Stumbled across this hilarious blog of things people have "fixed." Sure, they likely work, but I wouldn't put them back on the market (or the street, for that matter) anytime soon. I found this hilarious picture that, I believe, foreshadows the coming week for B and myself. Oddly enough, it also reminds me of lots of family moments...

1) My sister launched the first recycling program at our high school. To transport all that paper to the recycling center, she had to borrow our family station wagon. And by "all that paper" I mean a whole lotta paper. See where we're going with this? Door slam. Glass breaks. Net gain from recycling an entire high school's paper? -$250. No good deed goes unpunished, sister!

2) When my oldest brother embarked on the tour de colleges, we allll tagged along (bless his heart). My family still talks about the school visit where we pulled up and watched this station wagon peel in at the last minute, packed to the hilt. The Dad opens the back door and slides off the top of the pile of stuff, where he must've been napping. Classic!

3) While we never traveled in this much, um, style, we did see most of the country via RV. You have drawers on an RV, so there's no need for suitcases. You try rolling into the Greenbriar or the Biltmore with garbage bags of clothes. Mom was so proud. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eek! Ack! Baby!

My sister-in-law is in labor. We're going to have another baby in this family before the week is out! Funny how you know it's coming for 9 months and yet it still sends everyone into a little tizzy.

It's also funny, too, how with their first child, I booked a flight and flew down the next day. Granted, I can't leave town right now due to all the pick-ups going on this weekend in anticipation of move-day, but still. Makes me wonder if people stopped for gas on the way to see me in the hospital. :)

So fun! Tonight B and I have a fun farewell dinner with the firm where he's working. We went last year and had a blast. Can't wait for tonight! How can we not have a great night? Celebrating a great summer on the eve of loading up B's Jeep, plus a new baby. Did I mention the baby?

Today's been wild in its own right. Forget the fire-breathing dishwasher. Let's talk about insurance instead. B's canceling his school policy because he's on mine. Only... he's not. Wait, what?

He was on it in May. But then when we rolled into the new policy he apparently "fell off," according to the benefits lady. "Oh this happened to some people in Birmingham." Exciting! I'm sure the hospital would understand... They're fixing everything and making the policy retroactive to July 1, so all should be well. I'll believe it when I can print him a temp card! For now, B, keep your BCBS cards in your wallet. At least the hospital will think you have insurance!

The move countdown is full-throttle on at this point. First load goes tomorrow, family comes to get a few pieces of furniture on Saturday, the washer/dryer goes on Sunday... come Monday I should be living, literally, out of a suitcase.

I'll post updates on baby Carolyn (love the name!) when I get them. Her middle name is going to be Deann(a?), in honor of the name the monkeys gave my Dad, their grandpa, "Dee." After I got off the phone with Mom, I did have this huge instinctive lurch to call Dad. It's hard, but today, we're happy.

FOR THE RECORD: Do NOT, under any circumstances, search google images for "labor and delivery." You will, I promise you, be sorry. B? Are you listening? Back away!

Newlywed Moment of the Day

B: You actually move slower in the morning. Literally slower, a completely different pace.

Me: I speed up!

B: I know. Still. You just kind of shuffle around for the first few minutes. It's cute.

Newlywed Moment of the Day

Me (whispering): Are you awake?

B (in bed at 9pm because he's sick, whispering back): Yes.

Me: Um, the dishwasher smells like fire. But you don't have to get up.

B: No no, I want to help.

Moving the party to the kitchen.

B: Yeah, that definitely smells like fire. Don't use that.

Me: I think this is God's way of telling me to pack the dishes...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I packed half my dishes this morning. And all my coffee cups (it's ok-- their sole use is to transport ice cream, anyway). And my pie plates. And the wine glasses. We still have four dinner plates, four salad plates, and five pasta bowls. Moral of the story? If you're coming over for dinner, don't bring too many friends!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birthdays in the Family

Two of my nieces turned three in the past two weeks. That's a whole lotta sass being raised up around here!

B & I celebrated Lily's birthday with her on Sunday. She's hilarious-- such a talker. It made me remember back over Christmas when she kept trying to haul Teddy Ruxpin, a diaper, and a box of wipes around the house. Um, Teddy is heavy. It wasn't going well. B tried to tell her to leave the wipes or let him carry them (Nana buys in bulk!), but she wasn't having it. "I a good mommy," she told him.

B and Lily have a special bond. To start, she's in love with him. Her mom told her that my gift for the birthday girl was letting her marry B, which she was oh-so okay with. Watch it, monkey! She snuggles right up next to him every time she sees him. So freaking cute.

One of my favorite Lily memories with B was a year ago May, at my friend K's wedding-day brunch. B looked out the window and saw Lily trying desperately to reach bottled water that was in the bottom of one of those big drink tubs. She'd gotten as many as she could reach and was now trying to haul the entire bucket over to the steps, smart girl, so that she could reach more.

B went to help her so she wouldn't throw her 18" back out and moved the bucket to the stairs. He handed her a water, which she hugged then sat on step, then proceeded to lurch herself into the bucket to reach more ice-cold water. I got so tickled watching the two of them through the window-- Lily soaked and B trying to explain to an almost two-year-old the logic of not falling in a bucket.

We're both super excited to be moving closer to the other birthday girl, Ella. This girl is quicker than quick and you can't really pull anything over on here. If you try to lie ("no, Gabi, there are no more cookies"), Ella will point her little finger in the air, Nancy Drew style, and say "Wait a minute. I think that I know of some..." and you're totally shot. It's like my brother says about his son, "If you're on trial and Alex is on the stand, take the plea, because he's totally going to rat you out."

Oh these kids. Can't wait to see them! B's out of town tonight for a trial in Mobile, so I'm out to dinner with a friend then home to keep packing. Goal: Make the apartment unrecognizable before he returns. Outlook: Doubtful. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Things Done and Undone

Packed This Weekend:
Winter clothes
Spare room bedding
Standing Mixer (wah!)
Knife block/set
Giveaway Books
Random electronics (B's domain)

To Be Packed/Given-Away:
Important Papers
More decor items
To-Keep Books
Other clothes/shoes

I'm driving B crazy. I have this huge need and massive amount of energy to emotionally unnest the apartment. If it was up to me, I'd be piling stuff outside by now, or loading a truck already. As it is, he's driving up on Friday and I'm already (really enjoying) plotting what he'll take with him. I'm actually excited to pack his Jeep on Friday. Is this a sickness? Is there a cure?

Newlywed Moment of the Day

Me: Happy anniversary to you. Happy anniversary to you. Happy anniversary to B. Happy anniversary to you.

B: ...and many more.

Three Months!

B and I celebrated a double-whammy this weekend: our (belated) engagement anniversary and the three-month mark of our wedding. Hard to believe how long those 90 days felt leading up to the wedding, and how fast they're flying now!

To celebrate our engagement, B and I did a do-over of the actual big day, starting with the engagement sandwich (he never had a chance!) and finishing with B literally having the nervous fidgets as we walked up to the picnic spot. We packed the red wine and subbed in caramel kisses for the chocolate cupcakes of last year. Plus, we realized what the forgotten part of our picnic was-- black bean and corn salsa. Neither of us could remember what else had been the in basket. This year we opted for olive hummus and sweet potato chips.

I know, to some, it may seem odd to celebrate such "little" things, such tiny moments, but to us, they're big and real and, if I'm being honest, necessary these days. So many things are changing, both good and bad, and it makes me so thankful that we can sit and savor a moment or an anniversary that brings nothing but warm and happy memories flooding back.

So away we went. Granted, this picnic was much less stressful than the last, as B had a big question to pop and a ring box to hide in his pocket. We spent a few hours enjoying our dinner, walking up to the top of Vulcan ("About this time last year, you were ready to throw someone over the side, right sweetie?" "Absolutely.") It tickled me to see B actually get a little anxious walking up there, a good reminder of the pressure he must've felt in a) asking such a big question and b) wanting so badly for me to be happy.

Other than that, the weekend continued to be fabulous. We did a few test drives on Friday evening before repeating a now-favorite shrimp recipe. Saturday, we ran a few errands (finally got those tires!) and picked out deck furniture, which is a) half-off at Lowe's and b) now necessary as I'll be keeping my job after we move to Durham! For now, it's only until February, but that's six more months of income, benefits, and being part of a team that I really love. Thanks for the prayers!

Yesterday we had a fun flurry of activity when we realized my sister-in-law had gone into labor. They sent her home a few hours later to wait and, trooper that she is, she actually kept the plans to celebrate her three-year-old's birthday party at a local pizza place. B and I had a lot of fun catching up with the family, playing with the kids, and getting more boxes before turning in early last night. This is his last week at work here in town. Time has sure flown by.

I love you, B! Thanks for making these three months amazing!

Memories from this month: lake weekend with his high school buddies and their wives/fiances; another of his high school buddies got engaged (so exciting!); finished the wedding thank you notes (again); finished the wedding gift exchange game (finished our china, crystal, everyday, and wine glasses-- yea!); celebrated two monkey birthdays; almost got a puppy (whew! dodged that bullet); almost got puppies for two monkey birthday gifts (ha!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Emotional Attachments

Granted, yesterday was a long(-ish) day. I tried again, unsuccessfully, to get my tires ("They are here, ma'am, they just aren't off the truck." "But you emailed me and told me to come!"). I got some less than happy news from a friend about recent test results. B and I had plans to attend two parties last night, so after getting home from tire-gate, what did I do? Start cleaning, naturally.

I broke down most of the spare bedroom and actually boxed up lots of the items that have already been sorted into "give away" and "to the siblings" piles. By the time B got home from his day-long firm golf tournament, I was standing in the pantry in a state of random dress drinking wine and eating ginger snaps. Oh sweet comfort food. Then I took him around and showed him all the things I couldn't do, like make the shelf snap into the bookcase and figure out how to take apart a bed frame. Pretty sure I've gotten myself excused from those adventures!

We sat on the bed for a few minutes and just recharged. One thing I've noticed since being married is that I'm much less likely to go on the offensive with B. I think I now take for granted that he's on my team and that we're facing everything else together. It is so so comforting. I don't have to prove my frustration to him, or stomp around to show I'm not feeling the best. Instead, I can tell him and know that he knows and that he wants to help. I think the methods I used while dating were more defensive and self-protective. This feels more vulnerable, but so much better.

We ended up skipping one party and going on to the second, then getting dinner at our favorite Greek place in town. Afterwards, we headed home where he chatted business with his Dad while I talked shop with my sister about the move.

After we both hung up, I moved on to trying on clothes in hopes of getting rid of some. The black dress Mom bought me the day Daddy died? It's going back. I like it. B likes it. But it's a little black party dress with this little raincloud over its head. So back it goes. I debated about the dress I was wearing the day he died, the one I had to wear while helping Mom make the arrangements because the only alternative were the bridesmaids dresses hanging in my closet at home.

I walked out with it and B said, "You love that dress." Which I do, but I turned to put it back in the closet and just started crying. He came over and said, "I'm not trying to tell you what to do, I just want you to be happy. If that dress makes you sad when you see it, give it away." Through little hiccups and tears, I cried into his shoulder, "But I feel BAD throwing it away, too." Wise man that he is, B came back with, "You're not throwing it away. Someone else will get it and like it." So out it went.

I think that's one reason that I'm anxious to get this move on the road. Going through my apartment is bringing up so many memories and little notes from Dad (gotta save the lawyer jokes from the newspaper that he sent!), that I'm eager to process what I can while I can, before I just get overwhelmed.

We're moving two weeks from today. Two weeks! I feel like there's so much to do between now and then. So many people to see, goodbyes (for now!) to say, and boxes to pack. For now, B and I are looking forward to a fun weekend of car browsing, going through wedding photos, and celebrating our three-month anniversary. Love you, sweetie!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Friday! No!

Where has this week gone? The move countdown is on-- 15 days! I got great news on Monday that I'll be able to keep my job, at least for the time-being. So that means I'm officially moving over a weekend rather than departing here on a "last day." Wild!
Big news... selling things on Craigslist (so long, washer/dryer!), prepping for a wild moving day (two weeks from tomorrow, please pray), B received an offer at a Birmingham firm (yea!)... and so much more, I'm sure.
Right now, we're enjoying a wild week of dinners with lawyers, firm softball games, and an unexpected one-day trip to Chicago. Hopefully this weekend will be a little slower, though we're anticipating a few things already including a car test drive, organization of some important papers, new tires, and hopefully some purging of unworn or ill-fitting clothing.
The good news about all us kids moving at the same time is that I'm getting boxes from the siblings, so that's exciting! Booked the movers this morning. Always fun to start the conversation with, "Now, this sounds crazy..."
We've got 15 days left to enjoy the city, and B will be gone for approximately 4-5 of those. This is nuts. Bring on the monotony!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekend in Florence

B and I took off for the weekend up to Florence to a) see Mom (hi Mom!) and b) tackle part two of the wedding gift organization, Operation China, Everyday, & Crystal.

We left Birmingham after dinner on Friday, arriving long after everyone was in bed. I woke up at 6am Satuday morning (I know, seriously?) and couldn't go back to sleep. It was perfect, though. I got up and headed downstairs to hang with Mom, the dependable early bird of the house. We got to visit for an hour or so, then the kids started waking up. They're fun, but they sure change the mood of a room quickly!

I convinced them to let B sleep for a while longer and shortly after that battle, he woke up and made his way down the hall. They crew headed out for breakfast while we got started on the gifts-- sorting things into place settings, figuring out what we had, figuring out what we needed, and packing it all up into a (somewhat) manageable pile of boxes.

We figured out what needed to be exchanged and got moving, hitting three stores before finally stopping for lunch at 3 p.m. B was such a trooper! The ladies at the department store just ate him up, too.

B had been dying to try a BBQ place in town, Singletons, and boy was it amazing. Granted, we hadn't eaten since 6 p.m. the night before, but still so good. A few more errands and then we were home, where B, Mom, and I did a little more organizing, got the kids dinner, drank our fair share of wine, and then watched the wedding video so that the kiddos could see themselves in the ceremony.

Sunday, we headed to church and then I got to work finishing the packing while B hunkered down and helped Mom with little 2-man jobs around the house, then he went on to jump the Supra, wash it, and put it away in the garage so that Mom didn't have to worry about it. Super B!

It was so awesome being with Mom and just getting good hugs from her again. She's going to help us with the move in a few weeks, which I so appreciate! Plus I love having excuses to see her any day of the week. :)

One-Year Anniversary

One year ago today B was getting ready to pop the question. This morning on the way to the car, he looked at me and said, "Happy Anniversary, Baby." In my sleepy stupor (it was 5:45 am), I protested, "No no... the ninth isn't... oh you mean the engagement!" Sweet sweet boy. So fun!

I dropped him off at the airport for his flight to Chicago (day trip for work), and on the way I asked what he remembered about that date. Nothing! I think he was focused on getting to the question while I ended up looking back and cataloging everything about that day, starting with church and ending with Champagne. So much fun.

Happy one year anniversary to us. A year ago now I was sitting on the couch in pajamas with a big glass of apple juice and reruns of Law & Order: SVU. Poor girl-- she had no idea that she was about to be thrust on a crazy nine-month whirlwind!

Looking back, while I wish I could've married B a year ago tomorrow, I wouldn't change a thing. Loved having the fun emails, calls, and visits with Mom. Loved introducing B's parents to Florence. Loved it all.

He gets back late tonight, so we're celebrating with a low-key dinner at a favorite place. I can't wait!

Email of the Day

My thesis advisor wrote me this morning in response to my "name change" email, asking if I'd gotten married. I wrote back:

I did! On May 9th, I married fellow Princeton alum and 05er BK. He was in the history department, but we like him anyway. We'll be moving to Durham (from Birmingham) in about three weeks for his final year of law school at Duke, then to Jacksonville, FL after graduation for a one-year clearkship. I'm starting to wonder why I didn't pay more attention to my classes on the Odyssey!

He replied:

Well congratulations! Or felicitations, which is better etiquette, I am told. I am so glad that B is obviously a giant brain and someone who can handle all your future royalties and contracts. Secretly, I was afraid it was the ball player. I love baseball, but consider A-Rod and his matrimonial track record, not to mention substance abuse. Now if B and the ballplayer are the same man, then you have hit the jackpot.

Jackpot, indeed!

Car Shopping

B's sweet Jeep is about to give up the ghost, so we're doing a little car shopping when we have a minute. As a result, we now notice every. single. car. on the road while we're driving. That hasn't stopped me, of course, from continuing with my complete car ignorance...

B: Baby, look at the car behind us. That's the Honda. Do you like it?

Me: The Honda Acura?

B: The Honda Acura? What? How can you possibly be this confused about car names?

Me: I'm just that good.