Friday, December 30, 2005

2005--The Year of the Blogger

Blogs have apparently been around for a while. However, this year they clearly became the thing to do. So I did. As did all of you.

One of my favorite things about the end of the year is when news and entertainment shows highlight all of the amazing things that have happened in the last twelve months. I decided to do the same thing within our little blog community--a blog year in review. However, as I got started reviewing the many blogs, my focus changed a bit. Rather than pick a highlight from each blog, I have designated an award to each blogger for a specific reason. If I was actually handing out awards, the trophy would be Oscar-esque and most likely filled with chocolate. Pretend to enjoy. And let's get started! In no particular order (actually, in alphabetical order), here are the winners of the 2005 Bloggies!

The award for the funniest story ever goes to Ashley. You have to read it yourself to get a real feel for the story, but basically she fell off a treadmill. More than one time. And didn't give up. For that, she is my hero.

The award for the LONGEST post EVER goes to Bruce. I can't make a link to the specific post, but it is from December 9th. It seems that I am not the only person to think this was too long, as there are no comments. Sorry, Bruce.

The award for the best pictures goes to Christi. Christi doesn't write without also posting a picture, and I love them all.

The award for the most random web site links goes to my husband, Dan. The sites he recommends are both funny and frightening. My personal favorite? The mullets galore. Need I say more?

The award for the best Napoleon Dynamite dance rendition goes to David. I had a chance to see this in person at a wedding in May, and it was disturbingly amazing. Please check out the video. Bravo, David!

The award for the best save of a potential disaster goes to Diane. I sent the Patricks a package containing ingredients (sans the butter and eggs) for cookies. When Diane decided to make them, she almost used pure pork lard instead of butter. Darn language barrier. Luckily, she realized the mistake and was able to use margarine.

The award for the best addition to blogworld goes to Gloria. Gloria brought us Talia Grace in November. We even threw a virtual baby shower. My gift was a cat.

The award for referencing one of my favorite books goes to Heather. If you haven't yet checked out Blue Like Jazz, I can't say enough good things about it. Read it!

The award for the most blogs in one day goes to Jaime. On two different occasions (July 12 and August 24), Jamie posted three times in one day! Go Jaime! You could teach Joel a thing or two. (We'll get there...).

The award for the best non-blogspot site goes to Jan. Typepad has done lovely things for Jan. I like the layout and look of her blog very much. But I hear it costs money. Blogspot is free. Such a dilemma.

The award for the largest number of unnatural hair colors in less than a year goes to Jeff. My personal favorite was green. Very Irish. However, I'm glad his hair is back to normal.

The award for the fewest posts since beginning in May goes to Joel. May 19th seemed like an exciting day--we were gaining a new blogger. However, that was the first of a total of five posts. I will say that the quality of his posts ALMOST makes up for the quantity. But the quality just makes us all wish they came more frequently!

The award for the most spam comments on one entry goes to my mother-in-law, Joy. I enjoy spam comments. I don't enjoy getting them, but I do enjoy reading them when they have infected someone else. I mean, where else can you get information on aneurysm surgery and see the phrase, "My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger" in the same place?

The award for the best childhood Halloween costume goes to Judy. Check it out. Need I say more?

The award for the best pretend life goes to Julie. I had a dream about Julie. She met and married a rock star and it changed her life. Julie took this story all the way, and it totally made my day!

The award for the cutest blog kids goes to Lalimama. She has showcased both her daughter and her son, and both are just too adorable for words.

The award for the best handling of an annoying client goes to Lisa. Everything ended up turning out okay, but this guy was a piece of work. Nicely done, Lisa.

The award for the most links to other blogs goes to Matt G. (Jan lost this one by 2). Matt must have a lot of friends. Or he just wants it to look that way. Just kidding, friend.

The award for the best published work goes to Matt M. I have had the chance to see this book in person, and it's fabulous!

The award for the most frequent posting goes to Matt P. Matt is in Slovakia and posts EVERY DAY to update us on the goings-on of his life across the sea. Frankly, there's no one else I would rather read this much about, so one else should aim for this kind of posting. Unless you move to another country and have lots to say, of course.

The award for the best photo of himself goes to Mike. There really isn't anything more to say about this one. Go Mike!

The award for the best photography HANDS DOWN goes to Scott. He has a truly amazing gift and I'm so glad he shares it.

The award for the funniest link to a video clip goes to Tim. This made me laugh out loud.

The award for the best weird world experience (number 5382, to be exact) goes to Tonya. At a recent Christmas concert, Steven Curtis Chapman asked the audience to hold up their lit cell phones (in leiu of lighters, of course). How 21st century of him!

There you have it. Congratulations to all of our winners!

Happy New Year! And happy blogging in 2006!

Monday, December 26, 2005


Merry Christmas, bloggers! Actually, Happy Boxing Day in Canada. When I was younger, I thought Boxing Day had something to do with actual boxing--you know, the Rocky type boxing. However, Boxing Day refers to literally putting things in boxes. Doesn't seem like enough to warrant a real holiday on most printed calendars, but whatever. Canadians. Go figure.

Anyway, that is not what I wanted to blog about today. My material is much more entertaining than second-rate celebrations in other countries.

Late this afternoon, I went to the bathroom. (I know, already WAY more entertaining). When I was done and stood up, I said, "Ouch!" Do you want to know why? Of course you do. As it turns out, the toilet seat had completely cracked on one side. When I stood up, the crack in the seat pinched my poor skin, thus warranting the "Ouch!"

I proceeded downstairs to ask Dan about the broken seat. When I asked him what happened, he denied knowing anything about it. I thought that was weird, because I knew I would have felt it break if I had done it. And surely, the cats don't have this kind of power. But I didn't push it. I just mentioned that we would have to get a new seat tomorrow.

We had Dan's mom and brother for dinner. After they left (and yes, they both used the bathroom--ouch), I went in to assess the damage again and figure out a temporary fix to prevent furthur injury. Dan came in behind me and said, "Man, I feel like a jerk. I just heard a snap. I didn't realize the whole thing actually cracked." Ah ha! Guilty! I asked how it happened. ("Did you just sit down really hard?") Dan explained to me, and wants me to make very clear to you, that this had nothing to do with his weight or force of sitting. (In my opinion, the jury's still out on that...). He apparently heard the snap when he leaned to, well, you get the picture.

Now, back to my temporary fix of the crack. I reached for my trusty, all-purpose tool of choice, duct tape. I knew where it was because days before I'd had to tape some plastic over a hole in our shower tile. (Dan fell in the shower and took the towel bar out on the way down, smashing a tile and creating a hole into God-knows-what. He hasn't had a good week in the bathroom). So I grabbed the duct tape and proceeded to patch the crack in the seat, preventing future pinching. As I finished, I said out loud, "This looks so...." Dan was behind me and finished my sentence perfectly. "...trailer trash?" We both laughed. But it's so true. If you want to get a visual, simply apply some duct tape to any part of your toilet and admire the trashiness.

Our house has turned out to be a very adventurous place to live.

Stay tuned this week...I'm working on a blogger year-in-review. You won't want to miss this!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Glucose and Hemoglobin

These are two things in our blood. When a woman is pregnant, keeping tabs on the levels of these things is important. If they are not at the right levels, a pregnant women could be diagnosed with gestational diabetes and/or anemia. Here is the tale of my doctor's visit and the levels of these components in my blood.

My appointment was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Dan was going to meet me there. I spent the day hearing horror stories about the glucose test. I was to drink a horribly sweet syrup, wait around for an hour while my body took care of the 180 grams of glucose (roughly the equivalent 0f 4 cans of pop!), and have my blood taken. Luckily, I had my monthly appointment with my nurse practitioner scheduled for during that hour of down-time. I was a little concerned that the liquid would make me gag, and I was advised to choose the orange flavor.

We arrived and were promptly sent up to third floor OB. The woman behind the desk gave me a sheet and sent us back down to the first floor lab. The woman at the lab brought me into the back and sat me down while she retrieved the dreaded drink. She brought out two bottles--uh oh--and gave me a choice of fruit punch or orange. Being the obedient friend that I am, I chose the orange. She brought me a cup to pour the sweet nectar into. I did so, and although I had a whole 5 minutes to down the crud, I did it in about 30 seconds. It was fabulous! All right, that might be pushing it. But it certainly wasn't as bad as everyone had said. It was like McDonalds orange drink that hadn't been mixed quite right. Okay, first step done. The nice woman gave me a timer set for one hour and sent me back up to OB.

My regular appointment went just fine. She measured, prodded, and checked out my ears. What? Your ears? Yes. My ears. I have been battling a nasty cold, and she wanted to make sure it hadn't infected my ears. Now, back to business. My doctor was a sweetheart and actually chatted with us and answered questions for a long time, leaving us with only 15 minutes left on the timer! We put on our clothes (well, Dan never actually took his off, but whatever), and headed back down to the lab. I was excited. Almost done with this "dreaded" glucose test day.

After reading a bit in the waiting room, the same nice woman brought me back and sat me in the blood-taking chair. I am very good at having blood taken. Needles don't bother me and I have GREAT veins. Has anyone ever told you that you have great veins? It's quite a compliment! Anyway, the nurse proceeded to prepare the two vials and all of the equipment. She tied the rubber band thing on my arm and felt around. Nothing. No vein popping out to greet her and give her blood. She felt and felt. She tried the other arm. Even more of nothing. Back to arm number one. I didn't think she had actually felt anything, but she proceeded with the needle. I was right--she hadn't felt anything. This was evidenced by the fact that she prodded around with the needle after she had poked. Searching around in there for something to fill the vial. I was beside myself! It hurt! Finally, she hit something and SLOWLY filled the two bottles--one for glucose, one for hemoglobin.

After all of the hype, the worst part of the day ended up being the part I was least nervous about!

And the good news is that I haven't been called back about having wrong levels of glucose or hemoglobin, so all is good!

Next random pregnancy procedure, I'm ready for you. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Random news

1. My obsession with license plate tabs was indulged today. I passed a car with tabs from last February. What fun!

2. I was bummed that school wasn't delayed today. The closings scrolling along the bottom of the television screen went from "Annandale" to "Becker." I knew it would never happen, though. Anoka-Hennepin either closes or it doesn't. And mostly, it doesn't. None of this "two hours late" crap. Apparently it screws up our bussing system big time. Nevertheless, it took me almost twice as long to get to school.

3. Jackson is moving around like never before. In fact, sitting in class last night, I actually saw my belly move twice. Two big kicks in a row. It was crazy! And I couldn't do anything but continue to listen to a very stimulating lecture.

4. I finished Christmas shopping. I'm happy about that. Now I have a ton of stuff to wrap. I'm not happy about that. I'm pretty sure the cats will scratch them all open.

5. Speaking of the cats, this is their first Christmas experience. Maddie decided the best way to ring in the holiday season was to climb the Christmas tree. Luckily, it was not decorated yet and it is artificial. So, even if it had tipped over (which it miraculously did not), no major damage would have been done. Since that instance, they have only taken joy in removing ornaments and hiding them. They also sleep under the tree--it's their own little forest.

6. Our house is so full of baby stuff. But that's a wonderful thing. We got two big bins of baby clothes from some friends who have a one-year-old boy. There is a stroller. Two different car seats. A big bassinet. A bunch of toys. And so much more. The best part about all of this stuff is that most of it is being lent to us. We are so grateful for friends who share!

I think that's all that is on my mind. I should eat some dinner. Have a happy snowy day! May the plows find your streets!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Close to home

It has become a normal part of watching the local and national news: Soldiers being killed in Iraq. So it wasn't weird when Eric Perkins' top story on the news headlines this morning was about two Minnesota marines killed in a roadside bombing in Falujah.

So what was weird? That I knew one of them. I was really only listening at first. Then I recognized a name. "Scott Modeen, a 2000 graduate of Cooper High School." And to tell you the truth, Cooper High School caught my attention more than his name did. I went to Armstrong and we lived near Cooper. So I glanced at the screen, realizing that Scott Modeen sounded familiar. Indeed, his picture made it all very clear. This was a fellow classmate of mine at Sacred Heart School in Robbinsdale through 8th grade. It was hard to believe that the man in the sullen-looking marine pose was the same wacky kid who was easily dubbed the class clown in middle school. Scott joined the marines after 9/11/01. He left for his second tour of duty in July.

Today my thoughts are once again on the preciousness of life and my prayers are with Scott's family.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bye bye, blue tape!

June, 2004. Move into new home in Maple Grove. See obvious need for improvement. Tackle kitchen and bathroom with plans for continued efforts at a later date.

May, 2005. Later date arrives. Summer seems like an optimal time to continue with the home improvement projects, most of which involve paint. Leave Home Depot with a BUNCH of stuff.

June, 2005. School gets out. All right, time to start. Where do we start? With blue tape. Taping off proves to be a very time-consuming job.

July, 2005. Actually begin to paint. Dark trim is to become "Tibetan Jasmine," walls will transform into "Parisian Taupe." Sounds pretty.

July 7, 2005. Positive pregnancy test. Hmm, I better really get going on this painting before I get sick or too tired to do anything.

A few days later in July, 2005. Damn. I'm sick and too tired to do anything.

Middle of July, 2005. Despite the need for frequent breaks to the bathroom or to bed, painting commences. Although things are slow going, I resolve to finish by the start of school.

September 6, 2005. School begins. Painting is not done. But we're so close. All that is really left is fixing the office/baby room since the grey turned out to be pretty ugly, and finishing the entry way. The latter requires a ladder. We don't have a ladder. Entry way remains taped off. We appear to be in a constant state of remodeling. But we aren't.

November 20, 2005. Office truly becomes baby room. "Celery bunch" is much more appropriate than ugly grey.

November 25, 2005. Borrow ladder from friends. You know, one of those awesome ladders that has its own info-mercial.

November 26, 2005. Entry way is completed, thanks to the ladder and some Christmas tunes on the stereo. Granted, a pregnant woman shouldn't work on a ladder when it is too high, so the cutting in at the top is left for Dan. But it looks so nice. And clean.

And the blue tape is gone. Victory!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My gift for Talia

Gloria, I want to give Talia a cat.
As you can see, babies enjoy cats. For chewing and other purposes. And despite the look of terror on the cat's face, he's enjoying it too.
So I really think this is a practical gift for your daughter. I am confident she will enjoy it.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Pregnant dreams

I have mentioned before that I have very pregnant dreams. Mind you, that refers only to my crazy mind and the random nature of the dream itself. No one in the dream is actually pregnant.

Last night I dreamed about fellow blogger, Julie. In my dream, Julie had come across a website of a rock star, and she started blogging about how this was the man she was going to marry. Then Gloria read Julie's blog and also started blogging about how Julie had found the man she was going to marry. Well, between the two of them, this "rock star" found out about Julie's intentions and decided that he really wanted to get married too, and he talked about how it was such a "God thing." Julie, in the meantime, changed her blog site to "" However, both Julie and her husband-to-be were very cautious about their relationship because being married to a rock star can be tricky business. They were, however, a very cute couple.

I shared this with Julie. Other than a quick "Wait! Is this how you really think of me?" she was amused. So amused, in fact, that she is really taking this whole thing to heart. And I have to say she's making my day.

Check out Julie's new path in life here. Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Obsessive, but not so compulsive

I have a weird obsession. I almost feel weird sharing it because it is so outrageous. I have an idea of where it began (I'll get there), but that reason doesn't make this any more normal. My obsession?

License plate tabs.

No lie. When I am driving or waiting in traffic, I scan the cars around me for green tabs (2005) to see when they expire(d). Usually they will expire in November or December. Once in a while there is an October out there. Even an August or a June. The worst? A couple of weeks ago, I saw an April. Yikes! How do these people not get pulled over for this?

Better yet, why do I care? I mean, seriously. What good is my noticing going to do? It's not like I jump out of my car while waiting at a stop light and tap on the guilty person's window to inform them of their rule breaking. (Frankly, if it gets to that point, I'll seek help). No, I just make the mental note of how out to lunch people are and go on my merry way.

Now, a little history. Although, there is absolutely no explaining this away now. You all think I'm nuts.

Four years ago, Dan and I were driving home from a wedding in Willmar. We were in a small town where the speed limit had unexpectedly dropped from 50 MPH to 35 MPH. Needless to say, I was pulled over for speeding. As it turns out, I had no proof that I owned the car. I had never received the title in the mail from the man who sold it to me. Therefore, I also didn't receive a notice from the DMV that my tabs were in need of renewing. So, there we sat, a looming speeding ticket, no proof of vehicle ownership, and tabs that were three months overdue. Luckily, I got the nice police man who only gave me a ticket for the speeding and a warning for the rest. But from them on, I always thought, "Expired license plate tabs are a dumb reason to get pulled over." So I have tried to be on top of when our tabs are due. And the tabs of every car in the greater metropolitan area, apparently.

Here's a little license plate trivia, in case you didn't know. You have a one-week grace period to get new tabs. For instance, if your tabs expire in November, you have until December 8th to get new ones.

I can't wait to see what color the 2007 tabs will be!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nothing big

I really don't have anything of great importance to say. I just figured people might get sick of seeing the picture of Sally after a while. Not as sick as one might get of seeing "Cabin Fever," but that's another story all together...

Jackson has made the kicking a pretty regular thing. In fact, I was reading in bed the other night, and out of nowhere there was a quick "kick, kick, kick," and I just started laughing. Out loud. I was home alone. Other than the cats, but I laugh at them a lot. Anyway, I guess it kind of dawned on me (as it does on a daily basis) that there is a baby in me and it is alive. I know that's kind of obvious and you'd think I would get used to the idea after almost 5 months of pregnancy, but I'm a slow learner.

Speaking of learners, as of tomorrow I have survived the first quarter of my second year as a middle school teacher. Survive is really the wrong word, though. I have a fantastic group of kids this year. I have yet to hand out a single detention, and only 4 of my 105 students are failing. Pretty successful in the world of "Oh, we had to turn that in?"

Speaking of turning things in, I got an e-mail from my thesis advisor at Bethel today and he liked my first chapter! Yay! Apparently the whole "only one space after a period" thing didn't hang me up as much as I thought it did.

That's all for now. Besides the fact that I can't believe it's November 9th. That makes March 15th a mere 4 months away. Holy cow!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A ditz? Seriously?

You are Sally!

Which Peanuts Character are You?

I thought the description was on the right track until I got to the last part. Do you all really think that about me? Come on! I mean, I know I have my blond days, but they are few and far between. Hardly worthy of the actual "ditz" label. :) It's fine, really. I enjoy Sally!

Hard habit to break & Acrobat baby

I am presently writing chapter 1 of my Master's action research project. I am not a big fan of APA style writing, having first learned MLA. But this paper has to be in APA, so I am doing my best to learn as I go. One of the crazy rules is that there is only one space after a period. Do you have any idea how hard that is when you have been typing with two spaces after periods for YEARS? I keep having to backspace. It's interrupting my flow. And I have pretty good flow for late on a Friday night if you ask me!

The placenta buffer on the front wall of my uterus (see post from last Friday) has proved to be no obstacle whatsoever for little Jackson today. I started feeling him moving around when I was lying in bed this morning. Whenever I do feel him, it's when I'm lying in bed, very still and quiet. So I figured that was my daily dose. But no! I continued to feel his little flutters all day. It was delightful.

Monday, October 31, 2005

When you feel small...

You've probably heard this, as I had, but someone reminded me of it today and I thought I would pass it on.

When you are feeling insignificant or unimportant, remember:

Amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Let the nerve-wracking begin!

This summer, I made a slew of doctor's appointments at my clinic. The most recent was today--a follow-up for my ultrasound that took place last week. This was just a chance to go over all of the results of the ultrasound, since the technician can only report abnormalities to a physician. The appointment was scheduled for 4:00 today.

I got a message on our answering maching yesterday afternoon when I got home from school. It was my clinic, and they were wondering if I could come in at 2:30 instead of 4:00. Without thinking about it, I called back and said that the earliest I could be there (Minnetonka) was 4:00 because I wasn't able to leave my school in Coon Rapids earlier than 3:15. They said that would be fine.

So I am sitting at my desk this morning while my kids are taking a quiz, and out of nowhere I think, "Holy crap! What if they wanted me to come in early because something is wrong on the ultrasound?" Then I calmed down and heeded the wisdom of my mother, who said that they probably were just trying to fill in cancelled appointment times. Fine, that makes sense. But I still couldn't shake the fear, and I started thinking about how I haven't been feeling him move around as much as the books say I should, I have been having weird pain on the sides of my abdomen when I get out of bed in the morning, and I am STILL SO TIRED everyday.

I got to my clinic with time to spare and sat in the waiting room with a two-week-old Newsweek magazine. Come on, it was that or Golf Digest. In an OB waiting room. Go figure. But I digress. The nurse called my name in record time. I explained my surprise and how I'd had to wait an hour and a half last time I came in. She laughed. She probably thought I was exaggerating. :) She took my weight and blood pressure, and within only a few more minutes my nurse practitioner walked in. She took me through the ultrasound techno-speak and explained that everything was perfectly normal. (Yay!--I mean, I totally knew it would be).

Now--on to my concerns.
1) Not feeling him move around. Granted, I shouldn't listen to all the books and websites so closely, but it seems like people were coming out of the woodwork asking if I was feeling him like crazy. Sure, I had flutters, but they were few and far between. The logical answer? My placenta has made its home against the front wall of my uterus. It is acting like a buffer between me and the baby. Obviously, he'll eventually be big enough to feel, even through the placenta. This is also the reason my doctors always have such a hard time finding his heartbeat. They had to work around a big blob of placenta!
2) Pain on the sides of my abdomen. My doctor is dubbing this the "pain of the month." I forget what it's called, but it's totally normal. Kind of a muscle spasm deal. Anyway, just knowing that it's "normal" eases some of the pain right away.
3) STILL being tired. Yeah, there's no saying goodbye to this. Oh well. Two out of three isn't that bad.

I have three more monthly appointments. In February , my appointments occur every two weeks, and in March they are weekly. It's a little weird. I know that it's going to be here before I know it! It's so exciting.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oh, Baby!

Well, my parents decided they couldn't wait until Saturday night, so there's no sense in not telling you!

Our ultrasound was this morning and it was so amazing! There is a little human being in my uterus! In the beginning the technician explained that she would take pictures of all of the organs and bones and everything. Then she asked, "If I'm able to see the gender, do you want to know it?" We said, "YES!" So on she went with her little tool on my belly, pointing out everything she was stopping for. "Here's its spine, and here's the bladder, and there's its stomach." It was all very fascinating.

Pretty soon she got to the kidneys and carefully measured both of them. Then out of nowhere she says, "And here are his two testicles and penis." Dan and I looked at each other like, "Holy cow! We're having a boy!"

The woman proceeded with the rest of the exam. Then she printed out a few pictures for us to take with us. There are a couple of good profile shots of his head. Then there is one that clearly shows his "boyhood." The last three are profiles also; one sucking his thumb, one "waving," and one holding both of his fists by his face like he's about to punch something. :) It's so fun to look at them and think, "Hey, little guy. We're going to meet you in a few months!"

So, blogworld, I'm excited to introduce to you our yet-to-be-born son, Jackson Reed Bennett. All 9 ounces of him. (This is where I would insert a scanned picture of one of the ultrasound shots if we had the tools to do so. Sorry that we don't...). :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So much to say!

Hello, all. I feel very sporadic in blogworld of late. I think school has once again taken over many areas of my life. But, 'tis MEA weekend. The time when teachers rejoice, for they weren't sure how much longer they could last without a day off. So, I will take the time to write. Nothing profound, but something.

I was thinking about pet peeves the other day. It was weird. It felt like so many of my pet peeves were happening in a very short period of time. I will share a few with you. Come on, peeve with me. Nope, that sounds weird.

1) Stupid drivers. This is a very general pet peeve. The thing that happened the other day was just beyond insane. If a driver wishes to turn right onto Weaver Lake Road from East Fish Lake Road, he or she must wait until a green light. There are two or three signs clearly stating "No Turn on Red." I have seen people ignore this rule many times. On one occasion, I even saw one get caught by a lurking police officer. On this particular morning this week, I was the first in line to turn right. I was waiting patiently for the green arrow. The idiot behind me just thought I was out to lunch. He proceeded to honk as if I could go and just wasn't watching. I ended up getting a kick out of watching him fuming behind me.

2) Parents who make excuses for their kids. We had parent/teacher conferences last week and the week before, so we experienced this one more than once. One particular mother heard her son was passing every class except for reading (mine), and proceeded to explain it away with a family history of illiteracy. I wasn't impressed. Besides the fact that her son isn't passing because he has failed to turn in numerous assignments. But whatever. They'll hear what they want to hear. And apparently say whatever the hell they want to say.

3) People who announce how much their clothes cost. Scenario:
Beth: Hey, Heather. Cute shirt!
Heather: Thanks! It was $20.
Beth: Wow, that's a great deal.
Me (safely in my own head): Who cares?
My general rule about announcing prices about what you are wearing: It's only acceptable if you bought something at Tiffany's for less than $20.

Well, enough ranting. Now, onto some more exciting stuff.

Dan and I had dinner at France 44 with the Malettes tonight. Besides the fact that it rocked, we saw Frank Vascellaro (KARE11 news anchor) and his wife Amelia Santaniello (WCCO news anchor) . I only watch KARE11, but I'm not a fan of Frank. He kind of bugs. But still, it was like our own little celebrity sighting. I know, I'm kind of pathetic. When I worked at Brueggers as a high schooler, Tim McNiff (KARE11 sports turned morning anchor) used to come in all the time. I guess I miss it.

Tomorrow's exciting event is my 20-week ultrasound. We are (hopefully) finding out if we are having a boy or a girl. You know, as long as "it" is facing the right way to see "stuff." Or the lack of "stuff," I guess... So that will be fun. I want to name this child. I will tell you all, in blog form, but not until after Saturday night. That's when my parents are finding out!

I have to go now. Through the course of writing this blog, I have somehow gotten into an episode of Martha Stewart Apprentice. I have to go watch the boardroom now. Oh my, who will get fired? Of more concern is why I care. :)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My turn

So, there's this awesome website discovered by Ashley and blogged about by Jan, Jeff, and Christi. When you type the year you graduated into "search," you can see the top 100 songs of "your time."

Well, as Christi is the self-proclaimed granny of the group, I'm going to have to label myself the baby. Sadly enough, some of these songs are still on the radio quite frequently.

Without further ado, a portion of the top 100 songs of 1999:
1. Believe, Cher
2. No Scrubs, TLC
5. ...Baby One More Time, Britney Spears
6. Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer
7. Genie in a Bottle, Christina Aguilera
8. Every Morning, Sugar Ray
10. Livin' La Vida Loca, Ricky Martin
13. Slide, Goo Goo Dolls
15. I Want it That Way, Backstreet Boys
17. All Star, Smash Mouth
22. Save Tonight, Eagle-Eye Cherry
32. That Don't Impress Me Much, Shania Twain
33. Wild Wild West, Will Smith
42. Mambo No. 5, Lou Bega

And the list goes on and on and on. It was a big year for Shania Twain, Goo Goo Dolls, Britney Spears, and Sarah McLachlan. Not to mention the fact that boy bands as we now know them were just making their mark on the music world.

Here's one more interesting piece of 1999 music trivia, speaking of boy bands. The number 45 song was "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time" performed by N*Sync. The number 100 song is the same title performed by the country group Alabama. Whoa.

So check this out. And if you're like me, you'll be humming a different song every other minute for the rest of the day. Enjoy!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Fun times

There's a chill in the air.
Students are actually concerned about grades.
The book fair has been successfully set up in the foyer.
Ah, yes, it must be conference time.

Our first of three nights of conferences was last night. I saw eleven parents in a span of five hours. It was almost painfully boring. I'm blaming the "Oh my gosh, it's winter" panic that many Minnesotans have the first time in the season the temperature drops below 40. Anyway, I had brought a book from home just in case things were slow.

After grading a number of papers and organizing next week's lessons, I decided to pull out the book. It was "Belly Laughs" by Jenny McCarthy (yes, THAT Jenny McCarthy). This is her very irreverent and somewhat profane, yet extremely hilarious take on pregnancy. I thought I would get a couple chapters read between chatting with my team English teacher. As it turns out, I read this book cover to cover in the time I was just sitting around last night. Sometimes I laughed out loud. Sometimes I was scared out of my mind. I must share some of this treasure with you...

From a chapter on Morning Sickness:
"Strangers gawked at me as they saw me gagging in Aisle 3 holding up some cheese. It's hard having these symptoms in public when you don't look pregnant. If I were nine months along they would look at me like "oh look, poor little pregnant lady doesn't feel so good." Instead they looked at me as if to say, "Don't bulimics puke AFTER they eat?"

Her chapter titles alone, although the most inappropriate part of the book, are worth making the trip to the library.

Title on cravings: "Can I Have a Mustard Sandwich with Pickles, Anchovies, Peanut Butter, and a Little Cottage Cheese?...Oh, and Throw a Few Fish Sticks on There!"

Title on hating skinny people: "Die, Model Bitch, Die."

As you can see, my night wasn't a total waste of time. Now I need to find more material for Monday and Wednesday nights next week. But if I prepare too much, Murphy's Law will punch me in the face and we'll have parents coming in back to back for the entire five hours.

Happy autumn, everyone. Have a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Lover's Hermitage

Love, you are my hermitage,
my dwelling for ever.

Just as a happy bachelor
may aspire to be a hermit,
so as your husband(wife) do I dream
of being more married.

Your body is a path leading
through a golden wood;
your love is a clearing
in the center of the forest.

Here have I built my home,
here in you alone.
With you I know a solitude
deeper than my own.

One table, one rocking chair
by the hearth of you--
and in your face a window
brighter than the sky!

Your words are quieter
than my thoughts.
Gladly shall I spend my life
in the cool still hush of you.

When you smile I'm warmed
like earth in the sun.
Your laugh is the brook
at my doorstep.

Gentler are you than breath,
stranger than death.
Just to touch your hair
is more peaceful than sleep.

Surely all my wandering
finds its end in you.
In your brown eyes
may I safely die.

Love, you are my hermitage,
my dwelling for ever.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bloggers of the world united

So this morning at church was the great unveiling. Actually, it was the great meeting of fellow bloggers. But after a while, it felt more like an unveiling. Like the face I hide behind the writings on this page has lost its anonymity. I felt exposed.

But I also felt a little bit of community. It was nice to put some faces to a few names.

On another note, a couple fellow bloggers asked how I have been feeling. And it occurred to me that I never really annouced with great rejoicing the end of my "morning" sickness. Which is surprising because it was a rather glorious time! The end of that road came just in time for school to start, in fact. I'm feeling much more normal. Well, as normal as you can feel when you are wearing jeans with a maternity panel in them. (I'm hoping they get more "comfortable" as the baby grows into them...).

Welcome to those who didn't know my name until this morning. And to the "regulars," thanks for being faithful. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I rolled out of bed at 5:45. I took my shower and fed the cats. I killed a giant centipede. I got a banana and sat down at the computer, turning on the television. I didn't even look at the screen right away. As I ate my breakfast and navigated to, I overheard Kare 11's Kim and Tim reporting about the devastating effects of last night's storm. I finally turned my eyes to the screen.

What? Schools are closed? Is there some kind of weird weather phenomenon happening that causes all of those small-town schools to shut down? Wait a second. Fridley. Osseo. Robbinsdale. These were metro schools. I waited until the beginning of the alphabet. But even when I saw Anoka-Hennepin, I could hardly believe my eyes. The state's biggest school district doesn't close for anything. I had to watch three cycles of the closings to finally get it. We were closed! A day off! My friend and fellow A-H teacher called to make sure I had heard about the closing. Lucky for her, she got the news before she got in the shower. I had to finish my breakfast and dry my hair before I could return to my still-warm-and-cozy bed.

It was a lovely surprise and a blessing for this stuffed-up, coughing pregnant woman. And we got a beautiful day to boot! Happy autumn!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Getting to Know You

Getting to Know All About You...

Nothing like a little musical theater moment courtesy of The King and I.

So, I'm jumping on the bandwagon with this one. Bloggers everywhere are doing it. And I probably wouldn't have if someone didn't add me to the "people I want to do this next" list. But Julie did. And I thank her for it.

Things I want to do before I die
1. travel to Europe with Dan
2. learn to kayak (dad, that would be your cue)
3. get my doctorate in literacy education
4. be published
5. go back to Haiti (Lisa, that would be your cue)

Things I can do
1. cook
2. sing
3. bear children
4. teach
5. tip a canoe

Things I cannot do
1. take sudafed before bed
2. walk on stilts
3. produce sperm
4. cut my own hair (it didn't stop me from trying in 10th grade)
5. consume alcohol without breaking out in a bright red rash

Things that attract me to my husband
1. his eyes
2. his heart
3. his hugs
4. his passion for kids/youth
5. his thoughfulness

Celebrity crushes
1. Matt Damon
2. Ben Affleck
3. MacGyver (there's a story...)
4. Tyler Florence
5. Richard Gere

People I want to do this next
1. Lisa
2. Dan
3. David
4. Vicki (this would require you getting a blog--I mostly put you on here to connect you somehow with the number 4) :)
5. Jackie (because she hasn't posted in like 2 months)

See? That was fun. Now you know random, useless information about me. Go find a way to use it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Now, that feels different

For those who read my earlier post and actually did pray for the meeting with my professor, thank you.

As it turns out, I don't have to revise anything! Definitely a God thing. It doesn't mean that she thought my portfolio was flawless, but it was good enough to get by the first time. And from what I hear, most other license applicants have had to rewrite at least a couple of entries. So I felt very proud and lucky and thankful.

And so tired. So I came home, crawled into bed and slept for almost two hours. I remember having a dream about John Heder. Nothing specific, just that he smiled a lot more than Napoleon Dynamite.

Random. Maybe I didn't get quite enough sleep to make up for last night...

Holy long day, Batman

I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon. Just a monthly, routine appointment with my OB. Even though our day "officially" ends at 3:25, I had gotten permission from my principal to leave at 3:15 in order to get to Minnetonka by 4:00. I got there with a few minutes to spare and took my seat in the waiting room.

4:00. 4:15. 4:30.

Finally, I was called in, which didn't mean anything. The nurse took my blood pressure (100/58, thank you very much), recorded my weight (won't be sharing that one, thank you very much), and said the doctor was running a little late but he'd be with me as soon as he could. After reading GQ, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest in the waiting room, I surveyed the magazine selection in the exam room. Child, Parenting, Working Mother, Glamour, More (for woman over 40), and Organic Living. I settled in with Working Mother and my box of kleenex, as I'd been battling allergies all weekend and was getting to the point where I could hardly breathe.

4:45. 5:00. 5:15.

A nurse came in and told me that the doctor was almost finished and he should be right in. Whatever. Let me get back to my reading.

5:20. 5:25.

A new nurse came in and said the doctor was very sorry and he would be with me in five minutes. I forced a smile and blew my nose.

True to the new nurse's word, the doctor showed up at 5:30. An hour and a half after my appointment time. And, of course, I wasn't with him for more than ten minutes. We heard the heartbeat, he checked for swelling in my ankles, and asked if I had any problems or questions. (Why the hell are you running so late?) The one good thing was that before I left, he faxed in a prescription for Nasonex, since I can't take my "go-to" Claritin and Benadryl knocks me out for weeks at a time.

So as I left, I decided to stop at Bruegger's for some chicken spaetzel soup. When I walked in, an hour from closing time, they were ALL out of soup. Very bummed. So I got a sandwich. Not quite the same healing elements, but still dinner.

When I got home, Dan offered to run to Target to pick up my prescription. He called me from the pharmacy saying that they didn't have any record of the prescription being faxed in. After a bit of an ordeal, they called the Park Nicollet urgent care line, pulled up my file, saw that I had been issued the prescription, and were able to fill it. Dan arrived home with Nasonex and sudafed.

Stupidly, I took both and went to bed. When my mom was going through chemo, she got a terrible sinus infection in the middle of everything and ended up having a horrible time with sudafed. In her own words, it was like speed. Not that she knows what that's like, the little hippie that she is. Anyway, she couldn't sleep. And neither could I last night. I slept for a couple hours, then woke up at midnight and was WIDE awake. To the best of my recollection I fell asleep again around 4:00, and dozed off a couple times before my alarm went off at 5:30. I feel like a zombie. I probably should have called in sick, but I'm saving my sick days so I can get paid during my maternity leave!

Well, that was a lot of babbling. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. :)

On another note, I would greatly appreciate your prayers this afternoon. I am meeting with my professor at Bethel to review my portfolio, and find out what I will have to re-do. (See post "Mean People Suck"). I'm not really looking forward to it, but I'll be happy to get the meeting over with.

Thanks, all! Have a nice Tuesday. It sure looks lovely outside!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Picture painting

I'm a big fan of Sara Groves, and every once in a while I get in a "painting pictures of Egypt" mood. I've been in that mood lately, and I'm not sure why. Where the future seems like a hard place to be, and you make the past seem better than it actually was in an effort to justify going back. Anyway, I'm sharing the lyrics below.

But first, some exciting news. Sara is starting a tour in October with Jars of Clay, Chris Rice, and Donald Miller, amazing author of Blue Like Jazz. You can learn more at

Painting Pictures of Egypt

I don't want to leave here
I don't want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I've been
They are calling out to me like a long lost friend

It's not about losing faith
It's not about trust
It's all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn't perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn't milk or honey
But then neither is this

I've been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
I am caught between the promise
And the things I know

I've been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned

If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes to quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

I love "it wasn't milk or honey, but then neither is this." It's like coming to the realization that the past really wasn't good enough to do all over again, but being stuck where the present/future don't seem like a comfortable place to be either.

I'm just thankful that although I don't know what the future holds, I know who holds the future. He hold me too.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A brand new year!

This past Tuesday brought with it a fresh batch of seventh graders. And although I'm glad tomorrow is Friday, it has been a great week.

My schedule is really a dream. I have prep last hour (perfect for those eventual pregnancy doctor's appointments!). My biggest class is 24 kids and it is supported with a para. I teach all five of my classes in the same room. Most teachers have to travel among classrooms because there aren't enough to go around.

A three-month break for the summer is an obvious perk to being a teacher. But the first week back in the swing of things makes me really realize why I do what I do. And I like it!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ah, Katrina

I guess it was just a matter of time before I figured out what I wanted to say about the devastation in the south. Not that I have much to say now, but little things keep popping into my head.

The name Katrina means "pure." A word synonymous with "clean" and "innocent." When I see pictures and footage and read stories of the disaster, the last words that come to mind are "clean" and "innocent."

What fascinates me is the wide variety of ways people are reacting to everything. From Kanye West making a complete idiot of himself during the relief concert on Friday night to the Minnesota man who is opening his house to a family of hurricane victims rent-free for a year. From the little boy who brought a bag full of quarters to the red cross booth at the state fair because "the kids down there don't have any toys" to John Grisham (a Mississippi resident, by the way) giving $5 million to the relief fund.

We (teachers) went back to school last week. We are planning on kicking of the school year on Tuesday with an announcement to students that we are conducting a "diaper drive." I think it's awesome. I can't even fathom how long some babies have gone without being changed. Oh, the things we take for granted.

It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the vastness of it all. I even caught myself thinking, "What good is my measely $20 going to do when the need is so big?" But something inside me thought about how many people must think that. That the need is just too big and what we give won't be enough. But I think if everyone who entertained that thought actually gave into it, we'd be depriving the relief effort of so much. Every little bit counts.

I am reminded of our theme as a staff this year. It revolves around the Starfish Story. (Please click on the link and read if you aren't familiar with it). The same can be applied with Katrina. It's wonderful to think about a man opening up a house to a family of seven hurricane victims. A house that he had fixed up and was planning to rent out. But when I see the masses of people who are still stranded and without anything, I think, "What difference does it make if he opens his house to that one family? There are still a million families who are hurting." But it does make a world of difference for that one family who was blessed.

Lord, have mercy.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

We survived!

Last night marked the last of our six summer weddings. I feel bad that we cheated a little along the way--skipping the reception of the fourth and skipping the fifth all together. But we are done. And it was glorious!

The ceremony was in the cutest, most cozy little church in Minneapolis--Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church. The drive around the lake just to get to the church was outstanding. The houses are enormous. The reception was at the Women's Club of Minneapolis. Very elegant. And I'm ALL about the dessert buffet. Awesome.

So congrats to all who tied the knot through the duration of this lovely summer. They were all beautiful and tons of fun. (Despite my frequent rantings...).

It really doesn't end, though. Our next is October 22nd. :)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hooray for high pollen counts!

Yes, the pollen level is at 10.5 on a 12-point scale right now. The pollen "forecast" for the next few days is quite high as well.

In case you are curious, the primary pollens at this point in the season are ragweed, nettle, and chenopods. :)

If you are a fellow allergy sufferer, please delight in the fact that you can take whatever the heck you want to relieve the symptoms. All my pregnant self is allowed to take is benadryl. Unfortunately, if I did take benadryl, or any other "safe antihistamine," I wouldn't be coherent until at least Tuesday.

So, this weekend, I sneeze. Anybody with me?!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

CD recommendation of the month...or year

At the high recommendation of the amazing and talented Joel Hanson, I picked up the recent Tim Hughes worship CD on Sunday. It's been playing in my car ever since. It's a great collection of really solid songs. Like the following!

When the Tears Fall
I've had questions, without answers
I've known sorrow, I have known pain
But there's one thing, that I'll cling to
You are faithful, Jesus, You're true

When hope is lost, I'll call You Saviour
When pain surrounds, I'll call You Healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song within my heart

In the lone hour of my sorrow
Through the darkest night of my soul
You surround me and sustain me
My defender, forevermore

When hope is lost, I'll call You Saviour
When pain surrounds, I'll call you Healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song within my heart

I will praise You, I will praise You
When the tears fall, still I will sing to You
I will praise You, Jesus praise You
Through the suffering still I will sing

When hope is lost, I'll call you Saviour
When pain surrounds, I'll call you Healer
When silence falls, You'll be the song within my heart

-Tim Hughes

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Well, we talked ourselves right out of that one

Whoa...two posts in one day. Watch out, blogworld.

So tonight is our fifth of six summer weddings. Needless to say, we are BURNED OUT! And we've gotten a little lazy. Two weeks ago, we attended the ceremony and not the reception. But that's a WHOLE other story...

We totally talked ourselves out of the wedding tonight. I'm on worship this weekend, so we knew that I would just be meeting Dan for the reception. But Dan's working until late this afternoon and didn't want to shower and rush out again. Nevermind ironing wedding-appropriate clothes, which takes my husband about an hour. It just became completely not worth the hassle and we are skipping. I could care less--I've never met these people. It's a college friend of Dan's and his girlfriend of many years.

Here's the bonus. Unfortunatley, we don't have their new address to send a gift. So, we have a giftcard to Marshall Fields to have some fun with. I'm thinking a new shower curtain is in order. Hold me back.

Here we go

I've heard and read that pregnant women have weird dreams. I have had weird dreams my whole life, so I was anxious to see how much weirder they could get.

Lately I haven't been sleeping very well. I blame it on my trips to the bathroom every two hours. Needless to say, I haven't had time to dream. Or something like that.

This all changed last night. For some reason, I fell asleep fast and I can only remember getting up once on account of my bladder. AND, I had a dream. Here it goes...

It was the first day of school. I had somehow turned into the meanest middle school teacher ever because I had homework due on the first day. And it wasn't just a little assignment. They had to create a movie about their lives and present it to the class. They seemed to enjoy it.

In the middle of class, I decided it was time for lunch. (Leave it to the pregnant teacher to decide she wants to eat). So I sent the class to the cafeteria, but it was a half hour early, so the lunch ladies were not happy with me. I remember feeling bad about screwing up, but my class had already gone through the lunch line, so it was too late. So I got a piece of pizza and headed back to my classroom.

On the way back, I ran into my friend Nicole. Nicole is a fellow teacher. She teaches fourth grade in New Hope. Not sure what she was doing in a Coon Rapids middle school. But she saw my pizza and decided to grab some for herself.

Seeing Nicole is the last thing I remember. I probably had cats jumping on my bed or some other interruption. No biggie. The dream was going nowhere fast.

What does it mean? Am I going to be a crazy pregnant teacher?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Stupid people suck, too

I've done three things to prevent blog spam, and as of this morning, it was working. I was excited. I thought I had won.

Then my last post got four random comments. It's a little annoying. I don't care about your diabetes site, and I certainly hope you aren't serious about bookmarking my blog.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Music therapy

After my not-so-stellar day (see previous post), Dan and I went out for a sandwich at Bear Rock Cafe last night. Since it was basically a perfect September evening, we strolled around the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes for a while. We checked out some super expensive, really awesome digital cameras at National Camera Exchange. (Our digital camera was ruined when we tipped the canoe in the BWCA...). We also sat in those awesome massage chairs at The Sharper Image. Also very expensive, but that didn't stop me from sitting there for a good ten minutes. We moved on to Borders, which actually had some stuff we could afford. Jackpot!

Last week I happened to catch a group called The 5 Browns on the Kare 11 Today Show, and I wanted to get their CD. I love that this Borders has so much music. It's almost as good as the Har Mar Barnes & Noble. Anyway, The 5 Browns are Juilliard-trained, piano-playing siblings. They are incredible. Four of the songs on the CD are five pianos, ten hands. Amazing sounds. The rest are solos and duets. Also amazing sounds. I listened to the CD in the store for about five minutes while Dan browsed the Fantasy Football magazines. After hearing only a few songs, I knew I had to buy it. So I did, and when I got home, BONUS, it's a duel disc. I didn't know what that meant until I read the instructions, but basically there is a CD side and a DVD side. So I actually got to see a couple of the songs played and an interview with the siblings. So cool. I still haven't heard the whole CD (I keep replaying Scenes from West Side Story), but I'm anxious to hear the rest.

So, if you are a fan of piano music (and if you aren't, you should still give it a try), go out and get this!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mean people suck

Middle schoolers live for screen printed t-shirts. This one is one of my favorites. Click here to buy one for yourself! But I digress.

My five-foot professor made me cry today. She made me very small. (And not in a "fit into size 6 jeans" sort of way). For the record, I didn't cry until I was in my car and driving away from Bethel as fast as I could. (Screw their 19 mph speed limit. Seriously.) Okay, let me back up.

I met with the reading education department head today to turn in my portfolio for licensure and fill out the right forms and everything. There were a few instances that classified this woman as "mean" during our time together today. First of all, when she took my portfolio (without opening it for a second, by the way), she assured me that she would go through it all by the end of the week and that I would probably have to revise some things, so I shouldn't get too excited about having it done. Awesome. Then she went on to address my participation (or lack thereof in her eyes) in a reading clinic we conducted in July. Forgive me if I was in the throes of morning sickness and wasn't thrilled to be driving 45 minutes everyday in rush hour to take part in the most unorganized clinic setting EVER! She took my "half-heartedness" (her sweet words) as a red flag for my participation in the whole program. (By the way, this portfolio is the end of the licensure program, and the masters is done by April. Nice timing if you seriously are concerned about me). She just kept going on about how I don't seem to have a passion for doing this and she wanted to make sure I wasn't just staying with the program because I had already taken this many classes. THEN, as we were talking about my being pregnant, she had the guts to tell me how hard it will be complete the last class with a newborn and that I would probably have to finish the class at another time. "Because right now, it all seems fine, but once that baby comes, it won't be!" I'm not stupid. I know it isn't the most ideal situation. But frankly, her skepticism makes me even more motivated to do it!

So as I'm completely stomped into the dull carpet of her poorly-lit office, all I want to do is scream, "CAN'T YOU TELL MY PREGNANCY HORMONE-INDUCED EMOTIONS ARE A LITTLE FRAGILE RIGHT NOW?" But I didn't. I smiled, nodded, and left.

I left so hurt, discouraged, and questioning of my abilities and future plans. I don't think it was her job to make me feel this way. But for some reason, she felt the need to do so. Unfortunately, she isn't just the department head. She is our primary professor for this program and I'll have her for a class again in October. Hooray!

Friday, August 19, 2005

This is reality

I have been in training all week for new English Language Arts curriculum that our district's middle and high schools are adopting this year. It's a fabulous curriculum, and one of the things that makes it so fun is that it includes lots of movie clips. There are clips from Cool Runnings, October Sky, Hook, and more that tie into thematic elements in the units.

Today we watched a clip from E.T. I haven't watched this in years and watching the clip made me want to see the whole movie. Anyway, from this clip has come the "funny movie quote of the day" which I will share with you now.

This is in the last 10-15 minutes of the movie. Elliot and his brother have escaped with E.T. in the van and told their friends to meet them at the park with bikes. So they all get to the park to proceed with the plan. These friends that are meeting them haven't seen E.T. yet, and as Elliot opens the back of the van, the boys are struck silent and still. Elliot explains that E.T. is an alien and they need to get him home. As Elliot begins to unfold his plan, one of the friends gets smart and asks, "Can't he just beam himself up?" To which Elliot promptly replies, "THIS IS REALITY, GREG!"

Indeed it is. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005


This is silly, but I'm excited.

The same pregnancy hormones that make me want to fall asleep in the mid-conversation or be careful about what I eat because I never know if it will stay down have some benefits. My fingernails are growing like mad! That's right. My otherwise thin, weak nails are strong and of decent length. Someone said my hair is probably growing faster too. Can't tell yet. I'm just enjoying having nails long enough to click on a table for the first time in my life!

Yes, cheap thrills. But I'll take them when I can get them.


Monday, August 15, 2005

It's alive!

When I saw my doctor for the first time two weeks ago, it was too early to hear the baby's heartbeat. No big deal. She was very upbeat about it and reassured us that it usually isn't audible (with this crazy doppler machine) until 9-12 weeks.

So we made an appointment for today to give it another shot. She tried again with the doppler. (It's basically like a microphone that she pushes and prods into my belly). After at least five minutes of pushing and proding, she said, "Well, he's not going to cooperate with us today." I was a little disheartened and nervous, but before I could say anything, my doctor proceded, "So, let's take a peek!" I really didn't want to do an ultrasound because my insurance only covers one, and I didn't want to "waste" it this early. Well, she assured us that this would be coded differently and wouldn't count as our one ultrasound.

Instead of a regular "on the belly" ultrasound machine, this was a sort of camera-wand thing that went "into" me and right up to the uterus. (That wasn't too graphic, was it?)

At first, the screen was pointed away from me, so instead of watching it, I was watching my husband, doctor, and ultrasound technician watch it. Then the music to my ears from the technician. "There's baby...and there's the heartbeat!" I said, "Let me see!" So she turned the screen and my doctor pointed everything out to us. It moved around a little bit so we could see the little buds of arms and legs, and the ever-present heart fluttering away. It even stretched out perfectly so the technician could measure from it's head to butt and see that it is measuring exactly what it should for 10 weeks.

I've known I'm pregnant for about 6 weeks. I've been exhausted for at least that long. I've been nauseated for almost that long. But there is something so amazing about actually seeing this little being that's taking up residence in my amniotic fluid for the next 7 months. I've just been believing it's there. Now I know it is. That's cool.

Now the nausea (which is supposed to go away by the end of the first trimester--only two weeks away) seems a little more manageable and March 15th seems WAY to far away. :)

Friday, August 12, 2005


People are stupid. It appears as though allowing "anonymous" comments is pretty much the same as inviting spam into your e-mail inbox. It was getting ridiculous! So I changed some things in the settings of my blog to only allow comments from registered users. Sorry if you aren't a registered user (mom, dad, Vicki, etc), but maybe this will be the push you need to become one! You don't have to actually have a blog in order to be a registered user. But I digress....

Have a happy Friday and a fabulous, autumn-like weekend, everyone!!!


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

One with nature...quite literally

I've missed a lot in blogland this past week. But I think I have a decent excuse: Dan and I were in the Boundary Waters.

We set out with friends last week with plans for a lot of canoeing, portaging, and camping. And we certainly did a lot of all three. Overall, the trip was really a blast, but we did have our fair share of adventure.

If you heard about the fires up there, I'm sure your first question is if we were close to them. We were! Not too close that it was scary, but close enough that it was fascinating. We saw the huge clouds of smoke and the planes dumping water at the source. It was actually pretty amazing.

As we set out the first day, we were dealing with a little bit of wind and quite wavy water. Dan and I have never canoed together, and our tipping the canoe withing 200 yards of shore showed that quite clearly. We still aren't sure what happened, but we were in the water before I could say, "I think we're going to tip." The cold water was shocking at first, but eventually felt kind of refreshing. All of our stuff was pretty wet, so that was a bummer, but it ended up drying in no time. Shortly after we got everything packed up and tried again, we decided to switch partners. I got the great end of the deal, paddling with a former Boundary Waters guide. Not sure how I lucked out. Maybe they felt sorry for the pregnant woman. (Speaking of which, my dad was very pleased that his grandchild has already been plunged into the waters of the BWCA.) The rest of that first day was pretty windy, but our solace came at the end of a very long portage, where a perfect campsite was just waiting for us.

The second day of paddling was very calm, and we ended the day early at another great campsite. That night, we had a fantastic time around the campfire, enjoying shooting stars, northern lights, and loon calls. Ahh, Minnesota.

The third day was another windy one with two-foot waves on the water. It was a struggle to get to the campsite that afternoon, but luckily we got the one we were counting on. Our adventure that night was sleeping on a hill. We were on an interesting slope, so we had to sleep diagonally in our tent. In the middle of the night, we ended up scrunched at the bottom corner of the tent and had to squirm our way back up, only to keep falling down the hill until morning. Not to mention the ants that moved in....

The last day of canoeing was another calm one (thank goodness), and we got back to our outfitter by early afternoon. After a stop in Grand Marais for lunch, we headed to Blue Fin Bay, just south of Lutsen. It felt great to finally shower, relax on the deck facing the breezes of Lake Superior, and enjoy sleeping on a real bed.

Now we're home. Getting to everything we left here for a week. Dealing with mosquito bites, bruises, scratches, and sunburn. Realizing that I have class tonight and don't feel like going. I'd rather sit outside on a rock and watch the stars. Although, seeing the kind of stars that we saw is nearly impossible this close to the city. What a shame.

So, I'm back in the saddle. And even though it's nice to be home, I can't wait to do it again someday!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I like to grow things. I prefer growing things like flowers and plants, but once in a while I end up growing green stuff on left-overs in the fridge.

My favorite thing about spring is taking a trip to the nearest garden center and buying flats of flowers and bags of soil. My bare deck becomes a beautiful sight of potted and hanging plants.

My latest growth? A baby. In my uterus. I’m pregnant! Come sometime in the middle of March, Dan and I will be the proud parents of a little one. We’re beyond thrilled! I’ll try not to bore you with the details of the months of childbearing ahead of me, but I’m sure there are a few pregnancy stories in the future of this blog.

We had our first doctor’s appointment this afternoon. It was very helpful to get some questions answered and it made the whole thing that much more real. My nurse practitioner says the baby looks like a little shrimp, all curled up, right now. Next time I see her, it will apparently look like a jumbo shrimp. I'm hoping that somewhere down the line it will actually resemble a human being.

So far, the first trimester has brought mandatory daily naps, an unpleasant, constant nauseated feeling, and an awareness of my habits and how they affect the being growing inside of me. My doctor says the rather distasteful side effects are actually good. They mean I have a good amount of pregnancy hormone in me and everything is doing what it's supposed to. Nice to know when I'm working to keep down crackers and soup.

It's funny. I find myself faced with this reality once in a while. I'm not just pregnant. I'm going to have a baby. This state of being pregnant will actually end, and we will have a child. Sometimes it's still really beyond me. It needs to sink in. I think it will. When I can't button my jeans or zip my winter coat, when I demand that my husband fetches me Dairy Queen in the middle of winter, or when I cry at the baby food commercials. Watch out, hormones.

So, today, we celebrate. It's fun that we get to tell people this secret we've been keeping (rather unsuccessfully) for about a month. Yay!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Updates galore!

  1. Ruby (the cat) is doing well. We never did figure out what she swallowed. But she never puked again and has just recently regained her playfulness. Maddie is happy about that. Ruby's belly is still a little bare. I remember from when she was spayed, it takes a while for the hair to grow back.
  2. The painting is happening, slowly but surely. As of today, we have at least finished the livingroom so that we can move furniture back to where it belongs. For three weeks, the couch, loveseat, two tables, chair, and piano have been housed in the middle of the room. The cats will be losing one giant fort.
  3. The spider I blogged about earlier today is still at large. The web, in the meantime, has collected more bugs and other stuff.

Hope your weekend was happy. The weather sure was. Happy end of July!

I hate spiders

I really do. I think they are creepy. In my humble opinion, eight legs is just too many for one body. Don't even get me started on centipedes.

Last night, I was cleaning up some stuff in the dining room and my eye caught a very large spider on our sliding glass door. At first I couldn't tell whether it was inside or outside, so I kind of freaked out. Luckily Dan was downstairs, so he couldn't make fun of my jump. Once I was confident that it was, indeed, outside, I became rather fascinated. This thing was big. Well, for me. Don't go telling me stories of the biggest spiders you've ever seen. I've witnessed my fair share in Haiti, but I've tried to block those from my memory as much as possible. Anyway, the spider last night was big. The body alone was probably the size of a large bean. Except it wasn't really shaped like a bean. Work with me. With the legs, the total size was probably an inch and a half across. Okay, now that I'm describing it, this thing doesn't sound that big. Please don't make fun of me. I think when it moves it just seems THAT MUCH BIGGER.

Anyway, as I watching this MASSIVE thing move, it became clear that it was spinning a web. A big web. I couldn't see the actual web in the dark last night, but you could just tell this spider was hard at work. My mind shifted to the famed spider Charlotte, and I almost expected to see "SOME PIG" scrawled across its work. But I didn't. So I went to bed.

This morning, as I grabbed something off the dining room table, I was reminded of my little friend and went to check out the finished product. It was amazing! And huge! Still no "TERRIFIC" written anywhere, but quite impressive nonetheless. There were even some small bugs caught in the web; some snacks for the spider to enjoy later. That might be fun to watch too.

I'm not going to lie--I'm definitely not dying to get outside on my deck anytime soon. I couldn't spot the spider while I admired the web. That means it could be anywhere. It means it could be waiting for the sliding door to open so it can descend onto the first head that exits to the outdoors. Now that's a pleasant thought.

I'll be enjoying the inside of my air conditioned house this fine Sunday, thank you.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Do you know what it means to be held?

Song lyrics of the month...and they aren't Nichole Nordeman!

My mom bought the new Natalie Grant CD for me, and the song "Held" is extremely powerful. The lyrics alone aren't going to do the entire song justice (although they are awesome alone), so you need to actually hear the song sometime. You could go to and try to listen to a snippet. (If your computer's speakers are as crummy as ours, that's not going to be great). You could listen to KTIS long enough to hear the song played. (Wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm trying to help you out here). You could download it onto your nifty iPod. (Yeah, I don't have one either). You could go to Northwestern Bookstore, where the CD, Awaken, is currently on sale for under $10! The choice is obvious!

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Two noticings...

1.) I have links to the blogs of 19 people on this site. The names of 8 of those people start with "J." Weird.

2.) Check out It's got some cute pictures of unlikely animals posing together.

And have a happy Tuesday, all. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The power of women

No, I'm not some crazy feminist all of a sudden.

I just started a book called The Secret Life of Bees. I'm not very far, but I already loved the quote that started off the first chapter. Enjoy it with me...

"The queen, for her part, is the unifying force of the community; if she is removed from the hive, the workers very quickly sense her absence. After a few hours, or even less, they show unmistakable signs of queenlessness." -Man and Insects

How true!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I'm an old married woman...

If you read my husband's blog, the fact that it's our third anniversary isn't news to you. He totally outdid me with an amazing photoshop creation, too. Nothing fancy here!

Three years. Sometimes it feels like it's only been a few months. At other times, it feels more like a decade. In a good way.

I really couldn't ask for a better partner for this journey. Dan makes me laugh like no one else. He knows when to talk, when to listen, and when to leave me alone.

Saying yes to his proposal on April 14, 2001 is definitely at the top of my "good decisions" list. Deciding to walk down that aisle 15 months later is up there too. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005


We Minnesotans have the priviledge of observing the "dew point" in addition to the regular temperature. The combination of the two results in a "heat index." For instance, the current temperature is 87 degrees. The dew point is 65 degrees. The heat index (what it really feels like) is 90 degrees. When the dew points exceeds 50 degrees, things get pretty sticky. Beyond 60 degrees is just plain oppressive.

The dew point the last couple of days has been in the mid-60s.

The dew point on our wedding day, July 20th 2002, was 85 degrees. The weather broke all kind of records that day. The heat index was WELL over 100 degrees. It's a wonder we could breathe at all.

So as we sat at an outdoor wedding this evening (our third wedding of seven this summer), wiping sweat off my face every other second and feeling my clothes sticking to me with great force, my only thought was...

"honestly, it could be worse."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Of procrastination and painting.

When Dan and I moved into our house last June, we knew it would need some work. Hideous wallpaper on the kitchen and bathroom walls, a baby blue ceiling fan in our bedroom, multi-colored mismatched outlet covers, and so much more. We took care of the MOST vital problems last summer. Wallpaper came down (albeit, not without a valiant fight), paint went up, kitchen cupboards were transformed from dark wood into white. As this summer approached, I was reminded of all of the projects we didn't get to last year. I sat down, made a list of everything we would need to complete these endeavors, and made a giant trip to Home Depot over Memorial Day weekend. I figured if I had it all, I could get started right when school got out. Surprisingly, I didn't start right when school got out. In fact, it's July 15th and our walls have yet to absorb a single drop of paint.

Now, before you accuse me of COMPLETE laziness, you must know that I deliberately started on Monday (realizing that my summer break was 1/3 done), only to find that prepping a house for painting is really the biggest job. I have been taping off windows, trim, doors, cats, whatever. I'm on my third roll of the lovely blue painters tape. We've bonded in the process. At this point (after one more trip to Home Depot yesterday), I think I'm actually ready to start painting. Dan will be happy when it's all finished. We'll finally have blinds on the windows and furniture won't be crammed into the middle of the room.

I'll end with a home improvement tip. Painting a house's ceilings is one of the best ways to update the look and make everything seem bigger. You don't even realize how NOT white they are until you start to paint them. We did our bedroom ceilings last year and I'm anxious to do the rest in the next day or two.

Wish me luck. It's going to be a long couple of days, but I'm confident that it will be well worth it. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

For a good time...

Either I'll do anything to put off prepping my house for painting, or my summer is turning out to be just that boring. Actually, it's neither of those...I'm just easily amused and distracted. As I was wondering how in the world someone from Germany could comment on my last post, curiosity got the best of me and I kept pressing the "next blog" button in the corner of my page. There are some crazy people out there. And some cool pages. A lot are in other languages, which is really cool too.

There you have it. If you are pressed for interesting internet browsing material, look no further.

Now, back to something a little more constructive.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Oh, depressing

I saw a "back to school" commercial today. It was for Walmart.

I never did like that store.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The end of the story...for those who care!

The vet called yesterday with weird news. Ruby had gotten out of surgery and they hadn't found anything. That's really disconcerting when you know you are forking over a buttload of money for just the surgery. Anyway, the mystery object had passed into her colon by the time they got into her.

Herein lies our dilemma. We really didn't feel okay about paying so much for an exploratory surgery that didn't solve any problems! Dan called his "vet friend" yesterday afternoon just to see if our frustration was valid. His friend was surprised that they didn't do a pre-op x-ray just to make sure they the object was still there. So we knew that we had to chat with them before we wrote any checks.

The vet's office closed at 8:00 last night, so we got there around 7:45 to pick up Ruby. We brought up (very nicely!) our concern and were satisfied with the answer. They had injected the barium on Tuesday night to take pictures of her insides on Wednesday. At surgery time yesterday, the barium was still in her system. They knew the object was soft, so the barium could go into it and run through it. Apparently barium affects the way things are seen in x-rays (which is why they have special barium pictures), so they wouldn't have been able to see it clearly anyway. Plus, if they had seen in the x-ray that it had moved out of the stomach, they still would have gone in to make sure it wasn't blocking anything else. Which is what they did. They felt along the entire intestine and discovered that it was in the colon and would eventually pass. After their explanation, we felt okay about the money we were giving them. Besides, the surgery was almost half the amount they had quoted us anyway. So that all worked out.

Now she is bare-bellied and can't eat until 8:00 this morning, poor thing. But Maddie is MUCH relieved to have her home. Not so much following me around meowing. :)

The end of the pet drama. Thanks to those of you who care. It's like having kids sometimes. Well, probably not at all, actually...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sick kitty :(

I took Ruby to the vet yesterday afternoon. After she endured a thermometer up her butt, a finger practically down her throat, and a variety of x-rays, we found out that she has something in her stomach, abstructing the normal flow of things in her digestive tract. I left her at the clinic last night. They gave her barium (yum!) and took pictures today to see how the barium was moving through her. When I talked to the doctor today, she was pretty confident that the object (whatever it is) is too big to move past her stomach and unlikely to come back up in vomit (lovely). So, they are doing surgery tomorrow. The doctor said there really isn't a reason to wait with the surgery, and since Ruby is stable today, they are just going to go ahead with it.

Price tag? Not pretty. Luckily they have a reasonable monthly payment plan. They also have a special fund for situations like this, when the expenses are a little unexpected, and they are donating $100 from that to our bill. That was a nice surprise.

So our little baby is at the vet for another night and Maddie is wondering what the heck we did with her sister. :)

And I'm DYING to find out what in the world she swallowed! This will be good practice for having real babies in the house--picking up our crap so they don't put it in their mouths!

Update to follow...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Caution: stressed blogger ahead

It's the middle of summer.
I'm a teacher.
I shouldn't be stressed.

But I am. Everything in my world is so overwhelming right now.

I have a super hyper young adult lit class for my reading licensure. The reading requirement for the six-week class is 50 adolescent novels. Luckily, I'm reading number 45 right now. So I'm almost done, but there are a bunch of other requirements for the class. Unfortunately, one is a "group project" which will require the coordinating of four schedules. And the professor is driving me up the wall! I hate when that happens!

The last step of the reading licensure is a reading clinic at a year-round school in Minneapolis. This starts tomorrow. If you looked at the preparedness of the program, you'd think it was starting in a month. I don't have a clue what I am supposed to teach tomorrow morning. Luckily I only have four kids for an hour at a time. I'm sure I can pull something together.

Ruby, one of our cats, is sick. I have been cleaning up after her since Friday. We'll be going to the vet in about an hour. They practically charge you just for walking in. It should be fun.

I am in the middle of physical therapy for my weak running knees. It's a great thing and I know it's helping, but sometimes it's the last thing I have time to go do.

I WANT TO PAINT MY HOUSE! I bought everything I would need in May. I haven't gotten a chance to touch anything yet. I'm dying to get it done. But I need to find time to start. I was looking forward to getting it over with and enjoying the new look. Now my goal is just to be done by the time school starts.

I can't believe I mentioned school starting. Before you know it, Target's seasonal department will be stocked with notebooks and pencils, and teachers everywhere will think "What on earth did I do with my summer?"

I am confident that I will have an answer for that question.

Friday, July 01, 2005

On my heart

I saw a disturbing commercial today. It started out with a seemingly happy couple sitting across a dining table from one another with their hands intertwined. The voice in the background was talking about marriage and commitment and how much people work on relationships. Then he said something to the effect of, "But sometimes it just doesn't work out." And across the screen was the phone number of local divorce lawyers.

The part of my day most contrasting to this commercial was my drive home from class tonight. I had (surprise, surprise) the new Nichole Nordeman CD on in my car. I've been listening to this for a couple weeks, but there are some songs that I listen to more closely than others. One of the songs that I didn't truly pay attention to until tonight is called "We Build." tt is so poetic and such a beautiful picture of marriage.

We Build
It's bigger than we thought
It's taller than it ought to be
This pile of rubble and ruins

The neighbors must talk
It's the worst yard on the block
Just branches and boards where walls stood

Did it seem to you
Like the storm just knew
We weren't quite finished with the roof
When it started?

So we build
We build
We clear away what was and make room for what will be
If you hold the nails, I'll take the hammer
I'll hold it still, if you'll climb the ladder
If you will, then I will, build

On any given day
We could simply walk away
And let someone else hold the pieces

The lie that we tell
Says it's better somewhere else
As if love flies south when it freezes

What I'm trying to say
In some clumsy way
Is that it's you and only you for always

What I'm trying to say
In some clumsy way
Is that it's you and only you, not just for now, not just today
But it's you and only you for always

So you hold the nails, I'll take the hammer
I'll hold it still, if you'll climb the ladder
If you will, then I will, build

I am blessed with a great "building" partner in Dan. But I'm not naive. It's very true that sometimes the hammer accidentally hits the hand that holds the nails. We get out of sync. But we pick up our tools, give each other a hug, and proceed with the building. We just need to be consistent and deliberate about building. I know stuff gets hard, but I know that I will never get to a place where a divorce lawyer is the only way out.

So, this is the lighter side of all of the weddings we have this summer! To see the beginnings of the building. And to bless the start of their journey.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I'm sick of being creative!

Between May 14th and September 3rd, Dan and I have 6 weddings to attend. I LOVE weddings, but when it comes to buying gifts, I'm sick of being creative.

The first two weddings lucked out. They got actual gifts from their registry. They were even gift-wrapped by the great people at Marshall Fields.

I went shopping today for the remaining four weddings. I figured I'd just get it over with. :) Well, it's hard to get it over with when people are registered for freaking EXPENSIVE stuff! For instance, one couple's place settings are $99 a piece. And they want 12 of them. That's $1200 just for their dinnerware. You feel silly getting something off of a registry like this. Basically because all I could really afford would be a toothpick holder. Honestly, the prices of MOST of the items on this particular list are in the triple digits. Scary. (Don't worry, I'm confident this couple will never come across my blog).

The next dilemma is when you are invited to a wedding that you weren't expecting to be invited to. You don't know them very well, they weren't invited to your wedding, etc. But even if you don't go, you are obliged to get a gift. Stupid wedding etiquette. :) Unfortunately, I'm good at following rules.

All of this to say that after a couple hours of shopping today, I came home with four giftcards. I am trying to get over my preconceived ideas that giftcards are impersonal. I remember we loved getting giftcards when we got married. We loved everything we got when we got married.

Well, except for that clearly recycled gift screwdriver set...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Better than last year

It's my birthday. It's only 9:45, and it's already better than last year.

Last year my mom was having her second lumpectomy. On my birthday. I remember going to the hospital to meet my dad and family friend Vicki. I made cookies. A birthday treat to share in the waiting room. Rather pathetic, looking back on it!

My mom had all of her one-year tests on Monday--CT scan, bone scan, and mammogram. She had an appointment with her oncologist this morning and was hoping he would have the results for her. Well, he did. My phone rang 15 minutes ago. My mom was on the other end and said "I wanted you to be the first to know that I'm free and clear!" In hidsight, I'm surprised I didn't start crying right then and there. I just said "YAY!" There is no sign of anything left in her body--not even early signs of arthritis in her bones!

God is good. More than one reason to celebrate today!

Now, on with the festivities. Or at least, on with getting Dan out of bed...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Killing time

I'm presently on the phone with nelnet student loan consolidation services. I've been on hold for about 10 minutes, and am expecting at least another 15. Of course, I have to stay on the line so that I can consolidate/refinance before the big rate hike on July 1st. The 'on hold' lady keeps reminding me of that.

So, since I'm bored out of my mind, you're going to be bored too. I'm going to think of things to tell you until I get someone to talk to. Buckle up. This is going to be exciting.

  1. It's June 21st. That means it's officially summer. I like that. It also means that tomorrow is my birthday.
  2. James Taylor was on the Today Show this morning. It was good. He has aged gracefully.
  3. I took my friend Lisa to the airport at 3:15 this morning. She is going to Belize. When she asked if I could do it, she said she was trying to think of her friends that didn't have a job and she thought of me. When I told her that was a little offensive, she changed it to "I guess I was thinking of my friends who are lucky enough to have the summers off." Much better.
  4. I went back to bed at 4:45. It was already starting to get light out. I'm pretty sure I totally messed up my body clock. Maybe not.
  5. "Thank you for taking time to call nelnet." That's me being thanked for the 43rd time.
  6. Dan is still in bed and his alarm keeps going off. It's really loud. He has probably pressed snooze 5 times.
  7. I just finished reading The Things They Carried. It's a phenomenal book about the Vietnam war. I highly recommend it.
  8. Ooh, the next nelnet loan advisor will assist me. I don't think that means anything.
  9. We had friends over last night, one of whom is alergic to cats. So we had to lock the cats in my bedroom. They were quite angry.
  10. Dan's alarm number 6.
  11. The Kare 11 Today Show is on now. Roxanne Battle and Pat Evans bug me.
  12. I have an orthodontist appointment this afternoon. I got my braces off in 7th grade and I have had to go back to the ortho every year for a check up. I still have permanent retainers in. I guess as long as I don't have to keep paying, I'll go until I'm 78. My doctor will be long gone, though.
  13. This is Dan's lucky number. His birthday is June 13th.
  14. Today is my friend Ben's birthday. I should e-mail him.
  15. Between May 14th and Labor Day weekend, Dan and I have 6 weddings to attend. I like weddings. Is it rude for me to wear the same outfit to all of them? Luckily, I'm not in any of them. That would be expensive.
  16. That's where you want to go if you want to consolidate your loans. So why am I on the phone? My mom blazed a trail before me last night and let me know she didn't get very far online. Bummer.
  17. I went to the doctor with my mom yesterday. She had all of her 1-year follow up stuff. CT scan, bone scan, mammogram, etc. It was great fun. It's always interesting to hear other people's cancer stories. Hopefully she'll get results tomorrow when she sees her oncologist.
  18. I was at Cub yesterday during the storm. It wasn't even raining when I went inside. While I was shopping, the power went out. They had some emergency lights on, and the registers still worked. But it was a little weird. And POURING outside. I had to put my clothes in the dryer and sit with a hair dryer on my dripping locks for a while.
  19. I'm running out of ideas.
  20. The weather looks pleasant outside. Haven't experienced it firsthand yet. The TV says it's 73 degrees.
  21. My new favorite CD is Nichole Nordeman's "Brave." No singer/songwriter affects me quite like she does. God just uses her outstanding talent in amazing ways.
  22. Dan's alarm number 7.
  23. My brother killed a spider while I was on the phone with my mom last night. He's a bit of a wuss with spiders, so it was pretty impressive.
  24. I made some vegetables on the grill last night in a grill pan. What a great invention. It's my new favorite thing.
  25. This is how old I'll be in 14 hours. A whole quarter of a century. Hmmm.
  26. I like Seattle.
  27. I don't like the Denver airport.
  28. Amazing calorie information: regular pancake syrup has 210 calories per 1/4 cup. Sugar-free syrup has 30 calories per 1/4 cup. And it tastes great.
  29. My friend Beth is having twins in a month. They are both boys. Can't wait to meet them.
  30. PHONE IS RINGING! Talking to a real person as we speak. Great fun.
  31. Dan's alarm number 8. GET UP ALREADY!

My time here is done. Thanks for killing time with me. Have a FABULOUS first day of summer!!