Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Happy Hound

Jaco has a lot of quirks, one of them being agoraphobia. Yes you heard me, the dog is afraid of crowds, and does not do well in public places. We aren't sure how or why this disorder has developed in our dog, but we are trying our best to help him get used to idea of coming into contact with other people without being reduced into a quivering heap.

So far, we have had little progress. So when we moved, we were very worried that he would hate the new place, hate his new backyard, and hate the new neighbors.

Well, we haven't yet have a run-in with the neighbors, but other than that I am happy to report that Jaco seems to be adjusting well. Sure the first time we brought him to the house he planted all four limbs and refused to budge out of the truck. Sure he pooped in the kitchen, but only out of fear.

Now that he has settled in, he seems to be warming to the idea that he has a whole new area to explore, complete with a water feature and geese!
Score:
Team Jaco - 1
Agoraphobia - 0

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Photo

I could spend hours just looking at this kid. Every time he moves my heart flutters, and I'm just his aunt! I can't even imagine how his mommy must feel when she looks at her son.

So, What Do You DO?

Do you ever feel like you are expected to sum up your life, your dreams and aspirations, in this one answer? Do you ever feel like you could never even begin to express what you DO in this question?

I feel like my answer SHOULD be 'well, I read a lot, I really enjoy a good book. I like to write, even if it is just doodling around in an old journal. I like to connect with other human beings. I love my husband, I play with my dog, I observe the world around me. I take a lot of pictures, so I know I won't forget anything'. I mean, those are the things I actually DO.
I suppose technically I am a student, and yes, I do study, and I like to learn, but is that what defines me?

For example, do I honestly believe that the woman who rang up my groceries today can really be defined by her job at the checkout counter? Do I want anyone to define me by my job?

I guess I feel like there is a LOT of emphasis based on what people DO, and not who they ARE. Maybe that is why I like reading other people's blogs so much, because I get to glimpse them as they see themselves. I am much more interested in the 'who they are' aspect of people's lives, and it is a shame that that is not the first question we ask when we meet someone new. I think that it is really a part of our human need to categorize people into things we understand and relate to.

Don't get me wrong, I do it too. I meet a new person and within moments I am asking them what they DO, when really what I mean is...what do you like to do?

So I am asking you my friends, what do you DO? Not 'where do you work?', not 'what is your title?', but what do YOU do?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Photo of the Day

You think you know a guy.

I mean, you've lived with him for eight months now, so you think you know his little quirks. You know that he leaves the seat up, you know that he eats the inside of the burrito before the outside. You know that he likes technological gadgets almost as much as he likes you, but then you go to put away his laundry...
...and you realize that deep down inside, he is kind of a dork that (on occasion) super organizes his sock drawer.

Exact measurements

Scene: Matt and Bekah are remodeling their kitchen. Bekah sits on the floor measuring tile squares, while Matt puts doors on the cabinets.

Bekah: *muttering* Okay...so - four, no, five inches aaaand...one, two, three, four, five little dashes past the halfway mark.

Matt: Come again?

Bekah: What? No, I was just mumbling.

Matt: I get that, little dashes?

Bekah: Yeah, these little dashes on the tape measure. I have to be exact.

Matt: Oh Lord.

You be the judge...it turned out pretty nice, no? Even if I did measure by little dashes!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happiness

I recently was interviewed for a part-time job that I applied for earlier this week. I know I didn't mention to you guys that I was even looking...that's because I wasn't really looking, but I saw an opportunity to learn something new and make a little extra cash while I am at it, so I gave it a go. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? They don't hire me? Well they did hire me, but that is not the point of this post.

While I was being interviewed, the interviewer asked me the following question:

If you could change anything that has happened in your life, what would it be?

I thought about it for a few minutes, and my honest answer was nothing. I would not change a thing.

Later in the day, as I ruminated on the interview, I kept coming back to that question. Would I want to change any part of my past? Is there anything that I think indelibly changed my life for the worse?

And, honestly? My answer is still no. My life has not been a joyride. I know, I tend to focus more on the lighter side of things here on my website, and that is because I don't feel the need to retell the stories that aren't funny. The parts of my childhood that were sad, the times in my life where my fear and anxiety has kept me in the dark.

~On the day my parents told us that they were divorcing, and in the weeks that followed, I felt as if my world had been so wickedly invaded that it would never be right again.

~When both of my parents later remarried and I fought both of their new spouses tooth and nail, simply because I still didn't want to face the reality that my parents were not going to reconcile. When, several years later, I started binge drinking at the age of 14 simply because I didn't quite feel like I had place to belong.

~When the fear of loneliness and the unknown kept me so paralyzed inside that I seized control of the only thing I could as I spiraled deep into depression, and slowly developed an eating disorder that I would be fighting against for the rest of my life.

There were times that I honestly thought that the pain I felt was too much to bear, that I didn't even want to wake up to see the next day. But now, looking back, all of those events, those struggles, have shaped me into the person that I am today. They have molded and refined my life in ways that I would never have imagined.

Had my parents not divorced, my life would be drastically different. My father would not have been a pastor, which in turn would mean that I would never have gone on a mission trip to a foreign country where I met my husband. We wouldn't have moved to a new school district in junior high, my sister never would have met the girl who would become her best friend, who later received a kidney donated by my mother. My sister also would not have met that same friends brother, who turned out to be the man SHE would marry.

There are many things that I can look back on and wish that I had not felt the pain that I did at those moments. That I had been spared the circumstances that led to those moments. But if those moments, that pain, is what it takes to get to this place I am in today, I wouldn't change a thing. I am happy.

For the first time in years I can finally say I have reached this point -- I am happy. I am content.

Things aren't perfect, they never will be, but I finally feel like I am no longer teetering on the brink of an abyss that will swallow me once again.




Okay, well maybe if I could change anything I would change that neon green dress I wore to my high school prom...
...shudder.

Would you change anything?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photo of the Day

It wasn't until the day after Emerson was born that I came to the realization that 'Oh my gosh my mother is a grandmother!'

Also...I'm sorry -- but it might be a few days of baby, baby, BABY! around here, I hope you can handle the cuteness.

The Grand Tour

And by 'the grand tour' and I mean 'the short tour' because, well, because it's a small place and some of the rooms (read: BOTH bedrooms are simply full of boxes at this point in the move). But you know what? I'm okay with that. I feel a deep connection to these boxes, after all, they have been a part of my life for almost three months now.

We can start with the view from the window in the back of the house. I apologize for the smudgy looking picture, the weather here has been disgusting recently. But anyway - here is our backyard, complete with the lumber for the deck we are going to be building this spring/summer, and the ever lovely pile of crap we have been pulling from the yard and creek.
Yes that is a chair. I was raking on Sunday and tried to pull up what I believed to be a stick...but NOOOO. Silly me, why WOULDN'T there be a chair buried in the backyard? Duh!

Moving on...

Here is our new kitchen - we have already begun painting, which is really all it needs.
There is nothing technically WRONG with it this way, but doesn't it just seem a little...I don't know...beige?

I thought so too, so here it is now...
The gray turned out exactly as I had hoped it would, and while I know it may be considered a faux pas to paint brand new cabinets, I really loved the idea of bright white against the gray.
This is the other wall. I just happened to have two pictures in black frames that BOTH featured pink flowers in one way or another, so I printed a third off of my computer and popped it up on the wall for now. I think I like the effect! The picture on the far right is one that my cousin Rachael took, I bought it off of her etsy site. If you like it, you can pick one up here.

But back to the house - here is the middle room, one which we have grand plans of making into a library/study of sorts. At least until we decide to procreate and our home is overrun with brightly colored toys and child paraphernalia of all sorts.
Ahh look...in the red box you can see my husbands beer brewing kit -- that is another post in and of itself! We are thinking of painting this room a sort of greenish color. Nothing too bright, but nothing too dark since the brick darkens the rooms on its own. Also...that ceiling has GOT to go.

Last but not least is the back room. I'm not even sure what to call it, the den? The dining room/living room? The wooden room? So many options! It is an L-shaped room that wraps around the back of the house, and most of one side. At first I was thrown off by the sheer amount of wood in this room, I am not a fan of wood paneling in general, so I toyed with the idea of painting it. But after one day here, I fell in love with the rustic feel, the bright sunlight, and just the sheer coziness this room provides.
See what I mean? Please ignore the fact that my dog it licking his genitals...I have no excuse, I didn't see him. So anyway, that is one side of the room...

...here is the other...
I apologize for the light in this picture, there are bare bulb sconces lining this room that I have yet to figure out what to do with. I plan to spray paint the brass for now, then start looking for replacements.

There it is folks! Country Mouse has a little country house, and let me tell you, I AM LOVING IT. I am really enjoying taking this place and making it an extension of both of our personalities. Oh! And I forgot to mention, Matt finally gets his music room/office!

And just to wrap this post up, here is a completely unrelated picture of my nephew Emerson that I decided to throw in here.
Because I can.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Moving Day!

It's finally here!

From when the cable guy said, I will be sans internet for a few days. Never fear! I'll be back!

Once again thank you all for hanging with me through this house drama, and THANK YOU for all your sweet words of welcome to Emerson!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Emerson Franklin

Thursday, February 12, at 1:48 pm, my new nephew, Emerson Franklin was born.
I stand in awe. Happy birthday little one.

I need to go get some sleep, but you can bet this isn't the last you will be hearing about Emerson.

(Please feel free to go to my sister's page and give her your congratulations if you would like!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Update and a Birthday

...moving!

We still do not have a set date for closing, but we worked out a deal with the seller that will enable us to move into the house this weekend! We figured if we have to throw money away on rent, why not at least pay it to the one person in this whole deal who has been nothing but helpful?

Posting may be a bit light until I manage to get everything all packed up and we get out cable set up at the new digs. Thank you all for sticking with me as we have gone through the house ordeal. I can't really tell you how encouraging you all have been!

In other news, today is my brother-in-law's birthday. Yep...THAT guy is old! Actually, he's not that old, and for as much as I make fun of him and try to convince him that I can't stand the sight of him, I could not be more grateful that he is married to my sister. He has a great sense of humor, some wicked tattoos, and a huge heart. Also he takes a great picture...as you can see.
Happy birthday loser!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Blue...

Da bu di da bi dye, di da bu di da bu dye...

Okay, sorry, that probably didn't make a lot of sense unless you went to high school when I did, but if you did then I apologize, because this song is now most likely viciously replaying in your head. It's just relentless!

I apologize profusely.

Anyway...that was all that played through my head as I looked through these pictures.
I took these about a week ago when my husband, brother and I were out sliding around on a frozen pond at sunset. There is a good bit of blur in this one, but you try steadying a camera while trying to stay upright on solid ice! Sheesh people!

Sorry I got carried away again.

Ahem.
I didn't do any editing on them, mostly because I didn't feel like it, and also 'cause the blue is kinda cool (in my humble opinion).

Check out the weird ghost effect that happened when Matt slid past as I took the picture!

If I were a mean person I would have totally posted this picture and said I was out there alone and OH MY GOSH LOOK AT WHAT IS ON MY CAMERA! But...I'm not...and I didn't...

And hey!?

Do you think this means the ice is weak here?
Nah...me either! But when the cracking noise started...THEN I reconsidered and ran for it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Date

So we officially have a date. For closing, that is. Well, I mean, not that that really means much, because this is the what? Fourth? Date that we have had so far.

February 28th.

February. 2. 8.

As in 23 days away, as in 23 more days with the gosh-darn boxes. As in both Matt and Bekah are likely to go insane.

As in....our apartment lease runs out on the 14th.

But really, how hard can it be to live out of a car?

Oh dear.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Photo of the Day

My nephew Branson, soon to be big brother to the child within my older sister.
He and I spent a day together last week, I'm pretty sure this is when he was trying to teach me how to put together a Tech Deck. And yes...his hair really is THAT red.

Country Mouse/Pack Rat

This morning I found myself going through the contents of the storage box that has been occupying the space under my bed for as long as I can remember, granted, right now it is now under the bed because we have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor like a couple of crack addicts, but that is really beside the point.

Oh! I forgot to tell you, we heard some good news from the house people, or the loan people, or the government people, whatever you want to call them. We should know a move-in date by the end of the week. Of course, I'm not getting my hopes up, I do believe we heard that a month a half ago, but we did learn the cause of this little snag.

The appraiser dude forgot to write down in the house was structurally sound. That seems like a big thing to forget no? Were the walls falling down? Check yes or no. You know?

But anyway...where was I? Oh yes, the box under the bed!

As I went through it, I got some good laughs. You see, this Country Mouse is a bit of a Pack Rat, I keep all sorts of things that I associate with events I want to remember.
Shudder, the sash I had to wear during Homecoming week. What a nightmare! I handed mine off to a boy named Kyle who proceeded to prance and wave throughout the hallways.
Aw, this was a gift I received for my 16th birthday. 'Forever Friends' ...how cute. Isn't it funny how in various stages of your life you make these connections that you honestly believe can never be severed? I thought Michele and I would probably grow up and live in neighboring houses. She now lives in California, and I haven't seen or talked to her in over 4 years. It's kind of sad how that happens huh?

Sniffle, my mom made this for me...I think. I have a couple of these, one is a tree ornament. This one used to hang beside my bed until I picked the backing off, now it just pretty much falls apart when handled.

Ahhh, Newseek Magazines from the 1940's. I picked up a bunch of these at a tiny little hodge-podge store our near my dad's house. I love flipping though them and looking at all the ads. "Armstrongs Linoleum Floors!! "CROWN ZIPPERS! The zipper of tomorrow!" - Was there a zipper crisis in WWII that no one ever told me about?? "Camels always have a fresh appeal for me, they are so easy on my THROAT" Their emphasis on throat, not mine.

Or how about this interesting little comparison -- "This Christmas, give Newsweek, $3.50 a year" as opposed to one year of Newsweek in 2009 for $40.00. Holy cow inflation!

Anyway...back to the box.
Heh heh. I have no idea what could possibly comprise the "Bumpin' Ride" CD I found in the box, but you can bet that it is indeed 'bumpin'!
And lastly...At first I was stumped as to why I had this envelope. I can tell from the header on it that it is from the time period when I was a teller at the back my mom works for, and she sent it in the interoffice mail. But why would I have kept it?

Then I read what she wrote "Hey cutie, hope you're having a great day ( I think this is yours right?)"

My mother had interofficed me a sock that had been left in her dryer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Photo of the Day

So, my husband is on our PC, and I am on his Mac. This would not be worth mentioning if it weren't for the fact that while snooping on said Mac I came across some rather adorable pictures that a student must have taken of him at school.

I have ALWAYS wanted to see what he is like in class, so this was a nice little surprise for me, one that made my little heart go pitter pat.

I totally would have had a crush on him in junior high. Like, TOTALLY.

Hairspray and Blue Eyeshadow

When I was around 8 my parents somehow came to the conclusion that I needed an outlet for my energy. Something that would teach me to follow group directions, work on my hand/eye coordination, and another way to socialize.

Did they choose gymnastics? Nope.

Soccer? No.

Ballet? Wrong again.

This girl was a Cadette. Oh yes my friends, a Cadette. And while, yes, I did learn to step-ball-change like a champ, there are still some plaguing questions I have when I look back on those days.
1. Was that really the best hat design they could come up with? Really?? And in case you are wondering it did NOT clip to our hair, it has a strap that went under our chins, much like a birthday hat.
2. Why couldn't we have the front of the skirt as well?
3. The shoulders. What are those things?
4. Why did our tights have to be four shades darker than our natural skin tone? As an adult I now know that they DO come in different shades.
5. Why the plunging sequin V?
1. Was it really that hard for us to move in unison? Every single girl in the above picture is on a different step.
2. People actually came to our parades? Unless they had a Cadette in the troupe I have a hard time understanding this.
3. Why did our instructors (far side of the picture) wear white stirrup pants? That seems like another bad choice.
4. How were we supposed to twirl the baton if the flag took up more than half of it?
1. For our first recital -- pajamas? Really? I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved my Beauty and the Beast PJ's, but really?
2. Did we even practice? What is going on up there on the stage?

It was mayhem I tell ya! Mayhem!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Weekend in Pictures

This weekend absolutely flew past, I'm still having a hard time believing that it is Monday. Saturday we spent the day at my mom's house, they are in the midst of redoing their kitchen and I absolutely love to paint.

They are drawing their colors from this stained glass hanging that my aunt made for my mom years ago.

Now the paint is not quite this yellow in real life, it is more gold.

Midway through the painting process I was tucked into the corner behind the refrigerator, when I realized it was very quiet in the kitchen. I glanced behind me and saw no one, just their paintbrushes and rollers. They had even left their fuel behind!

Had their been an abduction? Was I the only human left on earth, now solely responsible from saving the population of the world from the menacing space creatures?

Nope, just Rock Band. (Would you look at the stomach on my sister?!)

Once I wrangled some painters back into the kitchen with me (and by that I mean, once I got to play two songs on the guitar as well), we got back to work on the kitchen and got it pretty much finished.

(This is where I would show you the finished paint job, only I am a dork and didn't take the picture!)

Sunday was, yet again, a blur. Have I ever mention that Matt helps lead worship at our church? And that I somehow fell into the position of taking charge of the soundboard and all that stuff? Yeah...they trust me with that big thingie with all the little knobs and cords. So anyway, by the time we get everything wrapped up and put away on Sunday it was about one o'clock, and we had some grocery shopping to do!

I had promised to make something for my family while we watched the Super Bowl, and as of Sunday afternoon still had not bought any of the ingredients I needed. BUT -- I didn't make it in the car, which I think we can all admit is progress!


Can you guess what I am making?
The avocados don't give it away or anything.

As the game drew nearer we all stuffed our faces in anticipation. I think you can probably tell who most of the family was rooting for. Aside from my brother-in-law, who wore every single Falcons shirt he owned. No kidding, that boy is wearing like...I don't know, four shirts.
For those of you who don't follow football, the Falcons were not in the Superbowl.

This is the last picture I took of the big game, but if any of you watched it you know it was a good one. At one point my ginormously pregnant sister actually sprang up of the couch screaming and jumping.

Every single male in the room looked at her in horror thinking that they were going to miss the rest of the game because she would do something silly like go into labor.

All in all, we had a great weekend, including an escapade on a frozen pond that I am saving for another post. This one is already pretty long.

How about you? How was YOUR weekend?

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