Friday, August 31, 2007
Well, we went to one of these grouplinks earlier this year... April maybe? They usually have them quarterly. We met some people and sort of got into a group, but after leaving I was telling the hub that it just didn't feel right. They try to get you into a group with other couples who are generally in your same stage of life. Well in the group we found, we were basically the youngest and the only ones without kids. So I had a mini-meltdown that week over being up in suburbia... remember that one, bestest?! I just knew that was the reason for our not fitting in with this group. Oh and I probably should explain that our church has three campuses in Atlanta... the main one is in Alpharetta, and there are two others in Buckhead and Cumming. We've always gone to the Buckhead one and still do even though we're up in the burbs now. OK so anyway... as with any big city I'm sure, the burbs are where you go when you "settle down" and start a family. So I guess we got out here before we're supposed to because we can't find anyone like us here! Sure, there's people our age, but they have kids. And though I, of course - as you know - am eagerly awaiting the day we have kids, we all know that the lives of couples with kids and those without are completely different. I mean we have tons of friends with kids that we hang out with, of course. But it's just a different lifestyle... we're into different things. They're giving "tubbies" at 7:30 on a Thursday night while I'm out eating fish tacos and margaritas with my girlfriends. You know what I'm sayin'. Yes, so I had a little breakdown that week regretting our move to the burbs. And of course I really don't regret it. We really love where we are. We wanted the space and the yard and we didn't happen to have a cool mil to get that same space in Dunwoody. So we basically ended up pulling out of that group before it ever even started. I just wasn't feeling it. As Cher Horowitz would say, we just didn't "mesh well."
OK so back to now... after getting back from our fabulous week in Maine, we attended the grouplink held that weekend and I was just so elated because we actually found several great couples there and formed a new group. These people really seemed to be where we are and they "looked" like us - if that makes any sense - and I just knew this was going to be good. I emailed my girlfriends from my old small group the next day to tell them how super excited I was to finally be back in a group. They had already formed their new group earlier this year (they haven't been sucked into suburbia just yet, so they're still carrying the Buckhead torch). So I was really pumped about our first meeting. Other than ages and their kids' ages, I really didn't know much about these new couples. There are five couples... three have no kids, one has a set of 5-year old twins, and the last one has 3 kids. There's actually a 6th couple joining us next week and they have a 5-month old. So yeah, some have kids, but we're all in the same age range.
Last night we met at the group leaders' home, munched on some snacks while exchanging small talk, and then we began by sharing our stories. First our group leader asked everyone what their expectations were for the group - what we thought we'd get out of it, etc. Most people said the same thing... relationships, community, etc, etc. I went last and mentioned the bit about being able to be "real" with people in the group. That's really what's cool to me about the whole thing. And then we went on with our "stories"... everyone just takes a turn telling the cliff's notes version of how they got to where they are today, etc. Some people grew up in the church but didn't really "get it" until later in life... others didn't grow up in Christian homes at all... it's just really cool to learn everyone's background. With our large group, only half of us were going to give our stories last night and the rest will go next week. So we're hearing amazing story after amazing story and then lastly, our group leader goes. She talked about how she grew up in a very devout Catholic home. On family vacations, instead of reserving hotels, they would drive around once they reached their destination to find the local Catholic church and then book a room at the hotel closest to the church. "But mom, we're on vacation!" her girls would say. "But God doesn't take a vacation from us!" she'd fire back. TOO funny.
She continued on and as she's wrapping up her story she said she thought she should share her current struggle. She said she really wasn't sure she was going to say anything tonight but when she heard me say the bit about being real with one another, she knew she needed to. So then she goes on to explain the struggle she and her husband are having with infertility. Turns out she has endometriosis (like me) and had laproscopic surgery a few months ago (like me!) and has uterine abnormalities (LIKE ME!) and is just having a hard time dealing with it all emotionally (LIKE ME!!). OMG... this was just one of those "Aha!" moments in life where God is like, "you see Buford Betty, I know what I'm doin'." WOW. It was all I could do last night to hold back the tears and omg I'm crying now as I type this (thank God I didn't do this at work). She kept going on about how it was just so hard and she's found comfort through reaching out to others in the same situation online - people who shared her same problems - and here I am going through the EXACT same thing, unknowingly, sitting only 5 feet from this girl. Just when I think I've got it all under control, I'm reminded I'm not the one in control at all. I had to bite my tongue from yelling out "ME TOO!!!" at her every word. But finally when she finished I shared a little about our struggle too, so she knew she wasn't alone. We haven't talked yet just the two of us, but I'm dying to get with her and hear more about her story. The way that God puts people in your life - in the most unexpected places - just humbles me. I feel like I'm at a really good place with this whole infertility struggle. I see a lot of women dealing with it that just seem so bitter and angry - which I totally get. I do. But somehow I was just able to let go of that months and months ago. And I think my new friend is really having a hard time with that. So it's obvious to me that God needed to put me in her life just as much, if not more, than I needed her in mine. All I can say is wow... and thanks.
Needless to say, I think we've found our place now in a new group. I can't wait to learn more. :-)
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
UPDATE: Just got the call about my surgery and I got the date I wanted... 9/18 - woo hoo!
Monday, August 20, 2007
Another view at the park...
So our first couple of days were really great. On Monday we ate dinner at Cafe This Way. I had some yummy crab cakes. The service was lacking, but the food was quite good. Tuesday (whale and Ann day) was my Dad's 60th birthday, so a fun dinner was in order. The innkeeper recommended Havana, so we ate there. Also very good. I had a hanger steak dish that was really tasty. Wednesday (Acadia day), we decided we needed to hit up a true lobster pound and do lobster the Maine way. So the innkeeper sent us to Thurston's. It freaked my mom and the hub out because they literally pick up a live lobster in front of you, so it's sitting there with its beady little eyes staring up at you. My mom cried, "omg, so we're personally responsible for their death?" The girl taking our order looked at my mom like she was from outer space. Doesn't get much fresher than that, I don't guess. I have to admit it was a little disturbing, but it sure didn't stop me. That was some damn good lobster! Quite a mess - but what fun!
Thursday was spent just enjoying the town of Bar Harbor and shopping, of course. One of the funniest things we noticed is that there are as many ice cream places as there are lobster pounds. These people sure do love their ice cream! And so do I... we had ice cream every day we were there. It was like the thing to do there at night. Now that's my kind of town. It's also a REALLY dog friendly town - which I just love. It made me miss my poochies so much. Being that Thursday was our last night, we wanted to do dinner right of course, so we hit up another restaurant recommended by the innkeeper... The Burning Tree. It was definitely our favorite of the week. I had a wonderful salmon dish. So it was a week of good eatin' - that's for sure! And by good, I mean bad... I was so bad. I just don't hold back on vaca - but who cares? Calories don't count on vaca, right?!
Well those are pretty much the highlights of our week. We had a lovely time and I can't wait to go back. I will post another blog with more pics but I've got to hang it up for now. I'm feeling kinda crappy and my pillow is calling my name.
Oh and by the way... my mom left a message on our machine Monday morning... "Hey it's just me. I was wondering if y'all were watching the Today Show cause Ann was just telling Matt how she was in Maine all last week on vacation. So it was really her! Isn't that so cool?!" I think she's finally convinced.
Obviously I didn't make it back on last night to get my Maine deets up, but I have big plans for a session with the 'puter tonight. Back soon...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I will do a fun blog later today with fun pics and tales of our adventures in Maine... what a fabulous trip! Definitely one of the best vacations we've ever taken. It was simply gorgeous. It was a great break from the deathly humid 100 degree heat we're having here... oh and we totally had a celebrity sighting too! I'll give ya the scoop soon...
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
We're staying in Bar Harbor as this cutie little Bed-and-Breakfast. My parents really planned the whole thing, so the hub and I are just along for the ride. I think we're planning to do a whale watching excursion and who knows what else. I'm mostly interested in eating lobster though. I'll be sure to get some good pics. I'm still trying to get my South Georgia pics from the bride, but she's dragging her feet (something about plannin' a weddin').
So this weekend we'll be busy busy busy getting ready to leave town early Monday. Tonight we have dinner with friends at our favorite local dirty mexican joint. I've been craving cheese dip and margaritas all week long! I have another shower tomorrow for the kuntry bride and then a cookout at another friend's house late tomorrow afternoon. I simply must squeeze in a pedi tomorrow morning... and we also have to get our guest room and bath ready - we have a friend crashing at our place Sat night (just found that out this morning - whatev). I also need to hit up Limetree in the a.m. - they're having a great storewide sale this weekend. Then on Sunday I have to juggle laundry, packing, dropping off the 3 dogs, and finishing up some birth announcements - all in time to get over to my parents' house around dinner time (we're spending the night with them). Mom is totally paranoid about our luggage situation and wants to carry on everything. Now that she's retired and not busy at work when I talk to her, she has no problem rambling on for 10 minutes about stupid shit like why the dog won't pee where he's supposed to. So I also hear about her latest worries in immense detail - and the luggage issue is her current one. That and making our connecting flight. So I'll be running around like a mad man this weekend.
Well, happy Friday and I hope y'all have a great weekend! Please share your inside scoop on Maine if you have any! :-)
Thursday, August 9, 2007
On another, completely separate note... I finally uploaded pics of those cutie bachelorette invites I mentioned a while back. The pictures were hard to take - I couldn't get a very good angle on them, so they really just do not do the cards justice. But these are one of my very favorite designs to date. They'd make great wedding invitations, too. All the girls loved them! And I'm so glad I decided to do reply cards with these. For the bachelorette weekend, we're staying at Twelve Atlantic Station in a 2 bed / 2 bath condo - it's going to be SO much fun. We decided it would be easiest to collect money up front from everyone for the hotel, etc - hence the reply cards. The party happens in two weeks (and this is for my favorite kuntry bride, by the way). We've got the most fabulous goody bags to put together, among other things - I will take tons of fun pics when that all comes! I can't wait. This month is just packed with good girly fun, isn't it?
I've gotta get to bed, y'all. Between Harry Potter and JT this week, I've been staying up WAY too late. And I just don't function well without enough sleep. Nighty night!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
My camera phone pic is totally lacking, but you can at least see the stage setup. Justin was in the middle at this point and my camera didn't pick him up, sadly. He was on stage for a good 2.5 hours. My girlfriend actually dozed off at one point during a slower song (how sad are we?), but she was quickly revived when JT brought sexy back. If he stops in your town, don't miss it! It was a crazy good show! (Lots of good people watching too - it was like a Forever 21 fashion show.)
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
We were mainly down there for the bridal shower, of course, but that was over by 11am on Saturday. And the shower was exactly as I described it... it was in the fellowship hall of the Baptist church where the bride grew up. We stayed up late Friday evening assembling the hostess gifts for the 14 hostesses. (And, by the way, the bride went on to explain, as we're tying ribbon onto these 14 gifts, that probably half of the hostesses wouldn't even be at the shower. What? "Oh yeah, they'll just make a dish and drop it off with their gift." How does that qualify them as a host? OR bettter yet - worthy of a hostess gift?!)
As soon as we entered the hall, we saw that either side of the room was lined with banquet tables to display all the gifts. The bride was immediately swept away by a couple of old ladies before we even made it to the gift table. One of the hostesses introduced herself to us and eyed our gifts and said, "I'll take those!" We were a little overwhelmed, so we just let her take them. And then before we could so much as turn around, I saw tissue flying out of my larger-than-life gift bag. She was opening my gift!!! It just happened so fast - and it was too late! The bride must have caught my look of horror from across the room. We looked over at her and she mouthed "I'm so sorry!!!" to us as the ribbons and tissue were thrown in every direction. Oh well... she did at least see my wrapping since the package travelled down with us in the same car. The food was pretty much what I expected... fruit, cheese straws, brownies, etc. But the "punch" was a little lacking - it was literally Sprite in a punch bowl with a couple of lemon and lime slices thrown in for color. Sprite is fine or whatever... but why the need to put it in a crystal punch bowl and serve it in crystal cups? It's Sprite. A 2-liter and some solo's do the trick, y'all.
But all in all, the shower was real nice (picture me saying that in a nice drawn out Southern accent). The bride totally loaded up on gifts. I mean, how could you not with 160 people invited? But really, they were great gifts for the most part. There was one piece of yard art and one random antique plate that will have to battle it out for the most horrendous gift award, but other than those, she really made out well.
As for the rest of our weekend adventure, I feel it's best to present my experiences in bullet format. So the following is made up of things we saw, things we did, things I learned, and new items added to my vocabulary...
- We stayed at Daddy's house for the weekend. Yes, Daddy - the bride refers to her dad not as "my dad" but as "daddy." And her mother is "mama." Apparently this is the norm down there. Mama and Daddy are divorced and Daddy got the house, so we stayed with Daddy. The house was itty bitty but sweet and homey. I've heard about Mama and Daddy and "home" for years, and it was really cool to see it all in person. The kitchen had no dishwasher or garbage disposal, but it did have some lovely wallpaper from the 70's. The den was maybe an 8x10 room with a large TV, a couple of chairs and a couch - all of which also looked like they were bought in the 70's. The carpet definitely was from the 70's. And on the wood-panel walls hung several deer heads. One of which was a fake one that you could make talk and sing. Uh huh. And how the bride, her sister, and her parents shared one tiny bathroom all those years, I don't know! But there was something really cool about the simpleness and smallness of it all. Things are just a lot more simple down there. Her daddy did, however, add on a master suite after Mama left, so the house nearly doubled in size. In the back yard was an above-the-ground swimming pool, a trampoline, a shed, a tire swing, a sandbox in a big tractor tire, and a huge dog pin.
- The bride's daddy deserves his own bullet point. We fell in love with him and totally wanted to bottle him up and take him home. He was just hilarious. I think he thought we city girls were crazy. Some of his random phrases just got us rolling (my blog title being one of them). He loves Nascar and Dale Jr. He loves to hunt and he drove us around to see a couple of his deer stands - on the back of his truck, mind you. Now THAT was an experience. And it was the first of two times on Saturday that I sweat completely through my pants and had to change. Yeah, he definitely thought we were crazy.
- We visited a vineyard that wasn't too far outside of town. They were having a grape-stomping festival, so we decided to go check it out. They had free wine tastings, but it's probably not the kind of wine tasting you're thinking of... it basically involved dixie cups and a couple of girls in tight shirts. To cleanse your palate, there were goldfish crackers. And every one of their varieties of wine is chilled. I tasted a few but they were all way too sweet for me - mostly flavored stuff. We then took a hayride (minus the hay) around the vineyard. I thought the driver was going to give a history lesson on the vineyard, but no such luck. Besides letting us out for a second to pick grapes, he didn't say a word. I should've known better... there was a sign posted on the back of the wagon that read, "Pulled my mules, driven by a jackass." This was perhaps the longest "tour" I have ever been on, seeing as the heat was blazing and the gnats were setting up camp all over my face. This would be the second time on Saturday that I sweat through my pants and had to change clothes.
- Daddy also took us out to some beautiful sunflower fields. I can't wait to show those pics to you... acres and acres of sunflowers. They weren't in full bloom yet, because they'll get about 5 feet tall or so. We had fun taking silly pics in the sunflowers. We also saw a huge field of burnt corn. Daddy jumped out and picked some off for us. We said we wanted a souvenir, so there you go. He also picked some peanuts out of the ground for us even though "they still got a coupler weeks on 'em." Peanuts grow in the ground just like taters... who knew?
- We city girls also had our first experience with fishin'. (That's another thing, by the way - you gotta drop the 'g' on everything. As soon as the bride got around her family, the "wedding" became the weddin'.) We got a bucket of crickets for bait. I was sure to remain at least 3 feet from the bucket at all times (not a fan of bugs). Daddy found this particularly funny. We went to this beautiful property to fish. But its beauty was soon defeated by the raging gnat-fest in my face. The combination of the surrounding water and the sweat dripping down my face was all too appetizing for the gnat population. And bug spray doesn't help. Nothing helps. We city gals had no luck, but the bride quickly caught a fish. We totally screamed and jumped with excitement (which Daddy also found particularly funny - or perhaps frightening). But that was the first and the last fish caught that afternoon. My girlfriend got attacked by ants while concentrating on her fishin'. So we didn't last too long between that and the gnats. I managed to keep my pants dry though, so that was an improvement.
- After taking my 3rd shower of the day, we cleaned up and went over to Miss Faith's and Mr. Jimmy's house for supper. I love how they call everyone by Miss or Mister and their first names. It doesn't matter if she's 25 or 95, married or single... if Faith is older than you, it's "Miss Faith." Miss Faith was one of the 14 shower hostesses (and she actually showed up). Now Miss Faith and Mr. Jimmy have a real nice house. They have a Christmas tree farm, two dogs running crazy (both of which they've trained to climb a tree), a huge shed with more deer antlers than I've ever seen in my life, at least 4 trucks parked in various locations, and a brand new house filled with some of the biggest deer heads I've ever seen (and they totally stare at you). Y'all may remember the tornados that swept through South Georgia a year or two ago that killed several people... well Miss Faith's and Mr. Jimmy's house was one of the ones completely destroyed, so they had to rebuild. For dinner we had fried catfish, fried alligator, and fried chicken. Also - homemade hushpuppies, slaw, and fried potatoes. The catfish was fried whole and my city girlfriend and I about fell out of our chairs when the bride's brother-in-law clamped down on the TAIL and started going to town. He ate the freaking tail! Ew!!! I did try the alligator meat and no, it does not taste like chicken. It's chewy. I asked the bride where one gets alligator meat... at the market? No, you kill it. Isn't that illegal? Yep. So apparently we were chowing down on some illegally obtained gator meat.
- Sunday morning we got up and drove over to the market to pick up some breakfast. This is one of two markets in town. It's really cute - just an itty bitty little grocery store and they also have hot food served in the back which is really good. It's pretty much your only option for eating out, if you can call that eating out. There are no fast food places or any restaurants in town really. Those grits were some of the best I've had in a long time. So good! As soon as we got back in the car though, the bride's car died. Poor thing... "not now, not now!" -she cried. After a few more tries... she had to call Daddy. Luckily we were still in the grocery parking lot since we had no cell coverage down there. She ran back in the store and called her Daddy - whose reaction was, "aw, shit." He got it back up and running in no time though - it was just something or other in the engine that needed cleaning out. How nice to have a daddy like that who can stick his head under the hood and fix things. Up here we'd have probably spent $400 at a mechanic just to learn that they don't know what's wrong with it.
- At one point during our stay, someone found a rattlesnake 4 houses down. They killed it, threw in the back of their truck, and drove around showing it to people. This was the talk of the town on Saturday. And not so comforting to those of us staying only "4 houses down."
Well that comprises most of the major highlights of our trip down South. We had a total blast, but they can keep those nasty gnats. The bride took some great pics, so as soon as get those, I'll post some good ones. I can see why she wanted to get the hell out of that town after high school, but I also see why she loves to go back. There's something very special about it all. It's definitely another world, but it's home to her. As I was driving home from work, at about 5 miles per hour, surrounded by more cars than that town probably sees in a month's time, I couldn't help but think that maybe that life wouldn't be so bad... But then I passed one of my favorite malls and said, oh nevermind.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
1. I'm addicted to dippin' dots. I hope they never find a way to put them in grocery stores, because I'll be in big trouble if they do. (And if they are, don't tell me - I don't need to know that.)
2. I'm really really bad about procrastinating... with everything. Sometimes I literally tell myself outloud, "Be a freaking adult and just do it!"
3. I have an ipod but I don't know how to use it. I don't even know where it is. I just recently figured out text messaging, so I think it's going to be a while. My SIL gave me an itunes giftcard for Christmas. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it.
4. I don't get grossed out easily. (i.e. poopy diapers don't really bother me)
5. I usually like planning an event more than the actual event itself.
6. My morning "routine" is terribly inconsistent. I always shower first, but the order in which I do everything else is pretty random. As well as how long it all takes... could be 45 minutes, could be 2 hours. And I have no idea why.
7. I rarely ever leave the house without makeup. Even if I'm totally dressed down, it's still a strategic ensemble. I can't help it... Growing up, my mom implanted the idea in my head that you should always look your best because you never know who you'll run into. So I blame her.
8. I am OCD about random things... like keeping the island in our kitchen clear. Yet my hub always manages to come home after work and dump crap all over it... keys, wallet, mail, and whatnot. It drives me insane. I'm constantly moving stuff off the stupid island.
I think pretty much everyone else has done this one... but if not, tag - you're it! :-)