Thursday, November 21, 2013

Exodus to a Field of Dreams

I am working on a Bible Study on the book of Exodus- a Bible study I started over four years ago. It’s a great, in-depth study and has 20 chapters- one per week. For those who may be mathematically challenged, that means it has taken me more than twice the amount of time to do than it should have. (Maybe even three times more- I don’t have my scientific calculator with me at the moment.)

However, when I started it, it was during a really rough patch in my life (a rough patch that has lingered for far too long- at least 3 times longer than it should have) and I saw this study as a metaphor- I would study about the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as I hoped for an Exodus from my rough patch so that I could also see the land flowing with (breast) milk and honey (colored poop).

So I worked on it a bit but, truth be told, I was having a really tough time focusing on anything and, though I have usually grown stronger in my faith when faced with trials, I must admit that I was having a difficult time seeing anything positive through the fog.

Since then, I’ve worked on this study off and on through the various ups and downs I’ve faced in the last four years. Each time I started, I was looking for my path through the desert, and each time some Canaanite, Jebusite, Parasite, and/or pregnancy derailed me.

Well, I have once again picked up where I left off and am committed to finishing it this time. I’d like to say that I’ll be finishing one chapter per week like I’m supposed to, but hey, by my calculations, taking the Israelites route means I still have 37 more years before I need to really worry about it.

It really has felt like I’ve been wandering around in a desert for a while- there have been various trials and tribulations, but there have also been a few oases along the way, as well. In the last 8 months I’ve had the most precious baby girl (who actually lets me sleep at night!!), had my amazingly smart boy turn two (he wakes up more during the night than the baby!), wrestled with PPD and PP anxiety....again, and passed the one year anniversary of my dad’s death while passing the mrfmrfmrf year anniversary of my birth. A few months ago, I started to see glimmers of the Promised Land (after a few trips to the doctor, truth be told) and have wanted to blog about oh so many things- recipes, patterns, funny stories- but still hadn’t found my voice. Where had my words gone?

And then, after watching a commercial for Field of Dreams, I had an epiphany: WRITE IT AND THEY WILL COME.

And so, that’s what I did.

I really doubt that Kevin Costner will ever again be thanked alongside Moses for assisting in an Exodus journey, but there you go. I’ve started a new crochet group (after laying low for a loooong time after my last one), found a new women’s Bible study to attend, and have made new friends which means that I *gasp shock horrors* have been social! With actual people! IN MY HOUSE, EVEN! And the best part? I’m actually enjoying it and looking forward to more. (!!)

So, even though I’m not in the Promised Land just yet (who is?), I am very happy to no longer be wandering in the desert. I don’t know if any of you have remained since I was lost for so long, but if so…. I’m back, baby.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Out of Practice

There are a few things that one should never do if one is to be accepted out in various social circles. A few rules that civilized people always follow because they are normal, well functioning members of society. For instance, one should never make rude, crude, or socially unacceptable bodily sounds in public. (But all bets are off if you’re home…or at least in my home.) It’s best to not discuss religion or politics to avoid potential awkwardness or violent beat downs. And, you should never, ever ask a woman if she is pregnant, unless of course, you are almost pretty sure that she is.

These are all rules I’ve lived by (well, mostly…no promises on that first one) because I’ve striven to appear as a normal, well functioning member of society for a good long while now. However, due to various difficulties with pregnancies, moves, and lack-of-sleep induced insanity, I’ve become a little bit rusty on this whole “behaving in public” thing. Particularly when it comes to the words that fly out of my mouth while completely bypassing my brain.

Case in point: I finally ventured out of my hovel for a social event today for the first time in about 3 months. It was actually for a crochet and knit group and I was excited to meet new people as well as hopefully see a few familiar faces. My Mister stayed home with Little Mister and I happily brought my little SweetPea with me to assist me with getting back in the game, socially. There is never a lack of conversation when you have a cute little baby adorned with various crochet items, ya know?

Anywho, when I arrived, the one person I did know ended up leaving as I was arriving, so I was thrown into the midst of quite a few women I had never met before (or at least, if I had met them, it was many, many moons ago because I haven’t left my cave house in about 10 years). Now, even in the best of times, when I have had plenty of practice being social and interacting with other adults, being around a bunch of people I don’t know gives me butterflies and I go into, “I hope they like me!” mode. This time, being around a bunch of people I didn’t know made me into a human puppy as my mind raced, “OOOOOH! People! There’s a person! A new friend? Will she like me? What yarn is she using? OOOOOH! She has kids! Can I smell her yarn? Will you be my friend? LOOK AT MY YARN!”

So. There was this lovely lady there who was about to leave as I was arriving. She had a child around Little Mister’s age so I thought, “YAY! New friend!” When she stood up to leave, I noticed that she seemed to be expecting another baby, as well, so I thought, “YAY! Another baby SweetPea’s age! This new lady and I are going to be BFFs! When can we get together? I hope she likes me! LOOK AT HER YARN!!”

I was getting back into the Social-Interaction saddle again as I tested the waters with my first question, “How old is your child?” When she affirmed my suspicion that he was around Little Mister’s age, I gained confidence with my abilities to socialize, and, since I figured we were going to have two kids around the same age, I asked, “And I assume you have another one on the way?”

I have the hugest smile on my face since I know I’m about to make a life-long friend and we will happily crochet together while discussing potty training our toddlers and breastfeeding our newborns and how we’ll always be BFFs FOREVER. I’m looking at all the other women around us thinking, “Tough cookies, ladies. You had your chance! I’m now taken!”

So imagine the absolute mortification I felt when my new BFF replied, “No. I just haven’t lost the weight yet.”

That sound you hear? Like the air flowing out of a balloon as it flies across the room? Yeah- that’s me as all the air was sucked out of me and I was left an empty shell who wanted to curl up and die. If I felt that way, I can just imagine how that lady felt being called out, not only by me, but also in front of all those other ladies.

There are so many ways to deal with this situation. You could say, “I’m sorry!” and then curl up and die. You could cause a diversion and pinch your baby really hard so she’ll start crying and everyone’s attention would then be on this new sound and wouldn’t notice you curling up and dying. You could say, “Oh look over there!” and then run away and curl up and die.

Any of these options are preferable to what I did.

You see, when she said, “No. I just haven’t lost the weight yet,” she said it with, what I interpreted to be, a smirk. So I thought she was replying the way you would if someone noticed you chopped off 14 inches of your hair and asked, “Did you get a hair cut?” and you said, “No- it’s just playing hide and seek! Haha! Kidding! Yes, I cut my hair you silly!”

So, instead of graciously getting myself out of this social faux pas, I did what any other socially retarded person would do. I asked, "Are you kidding?"

ARE YOU KIDDING???? Really???? It’s like I wasn’t happy just having my foot resting comfortably in my mouth. I had to shove it all the way down my gullet so that my pancreas could get in on the toe munching action.

Thinking before speaking has never been one of my strong suits, but this was bad even for me! I feel terrible!! Not only am I super embarrassed that I showed all these women what a socially inept turd head I am, but I also totally embarrassed that lady and, if she’s anything like me, I probably made her cry and I feel beyond terrible about that.

You guys. I just. I mean. UUUUGHHHHH!!!!

I don’t know if I should continue going out to other social events in hopes that “practice makes perfect” and I’ll gain some much needed social awareness, or if I should just lock myself in my house for another 10 years and only emerge if there is a huge piece of duct tape securely fastened over my mouth.

For now, I think I’m just going to go over there- under that rock in the distance- and then just curl up and die. Right after I point out that man’s bald spot while farting in church.

*Note: NEVER EVER EVER EVER ask a woman if she’s pregnant! EVER!!!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

May Day! Mayday!

I was sooo looking forward to the first week of May. My Mister had a business trip back to the States, so it was a prime opportunity for us all to go back so the fam could meet little SweetPea. I would be able to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival with Lyteyz and Regina. We would then go to the southwest to celebrate Mother’s Day with our mothers and then have them babysit so we could celebrate our anniversary, as well. All in all, a perfect plan for a perfect trip.

Alas. Life is not perfect. We’re still waiting for little SweetPea’s passport which means My Mister is back in the States all by himself, visiting our friends, enjoying a full night’s sleep (well, when he gets over the jetlag), in a bed all by himself and, most importantly, drinking free refills. All while completely squandering the prime wool buying opportunity I would have totally taken advantage of at MDSW.

As for me? I’m still Down Under all by my lonesome with a toddler and a newborn and, as of this posting, am still alive to tell the tale. And so are my kids. Woohoo! Go me!

I know he knows, but just so that I can declare it publically for the whole world to see, and just in case he’s even thinking about staying just a minute longer, I MISS MY MISTER! He is a phenomenal husband and daddy and I truly feel it in my bones when he’s gone because he helps with so much around the house and with taking care of the kids and me, especially in those early days postpartum. With him gone, I have to handle by myself all of the feedings and bath times, temper tantrums (our first real tantrum happened last week- terrible twos has come early!), and midnight diaper blowouts. I have to make all the big decisions by myself, as well. Decisions like, do I really need to change the baby’s diaper if it’s just a shart? (Answer: Depends on where it falls on the Shartyness Scale. Anything over “Enough to Butter a Bread” and you should probably change it.)

Well, after My Mister left on Friday, I decided that I was not going to just let the TV babysit my kids while I wept in the corner curled up in the fetal position. I mean, after spending Saturday and Sunday like that, of course. They don’t count since it’s the weekend and I remember reading in some parenting book that all parents get the weekend off and you can wait until the Shartyness Scale reaches, “Stop Deluding Yourself- It’s Poop” before you have to change the diaper.

So on Sunday, I made a plan for the week. I was going to attack the week like a Professional Mom would. Like my mom would.

Side note: I have two under two. So did my mom- I was 14 months younger than my older brother. I have no idea how my mom did the things she did and I often wonder how it can be that I am related to her. As I’m verbalizing how overwhelmed I’m feeling and voicing my insecurities and wondering to myself, “How did my mom do it??” My Mister asks me, “Well, your mom did a good job. How did she do it?”

Dude. It does not matter that I was thinking the same thing. If a husband does not want an epic, hormonal, postpartum meltdown that will be sung about by minstrels sitting around the fire as a way to instill fear and terror into their audience, he should never compare his wife to her mother. Besides. Having two under two is probably the reason my mom went crazy. (Haha! Kidding! Kinda…)

So my plan for the week started with ordering groceries for in-store pickup which I would retrieve Monday morning after dropping off the recyclables (Cash for Cans! Yay!) and picking up the cat food at the vet’s, followed by mailing a package to my cousin whose daughter is 10 days younger than SweetPea. This is actually really cool since I am 11 days older than my cousin. I’m not sure what the odds are of that happening but it must be a good omen that everything would go perfectly since the planets were aligned and I was sending her two cute crocheted dresses which means bonus points for the day.

ANYwho… I have to order the groceries by 11pm the previous night to pick up at 9am the next morning. Sunday night rolled around and I was still in the fetal position in the corner, so I did not order the groceries.

My plan was not off to a great start.

No worries. Monday morning rolls around and, if I order by 11am, I can pick them up by 3pm, so we would have actual food in our house and Little Mister wouldn’t have to go around picking up random blobs off the floor and scarfing them down like he hadn’t eaten in a week. (For reals- he kept saying, “MMMMMM! Good!” and refused to give me what was in his mouth. I really hope it was the popcorn we had the previous day and not cat litter or something worse- like a bug.)

I decided to treat Monday as if I was going to battle work so I pried my crusty pajamas off my body and threw them in the fire wash and actually got dressed in actual clothes and even put on makeup as a way of saying, “I am making over $10 for my recyclables so I’m going to look like I earned that money!” After getting all dolled up and then reassuring my frightened Little Mister that I was indeed his mom, I logged in and started my grocery order. I then had to choose the time I wanted to pick up our food. This is when I realized things were a little off today. There was no option to pick up groceries today- only tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Huh.

No worries- I still had other errands to run and Lord knows there were still plenty of blobs on the floor for Little Mister to eat, so it’s all good. (See? This is why I don’t vacuum all that often. Now you know.)

On the way to the recycle center, My Mister skyped me. As we were talking, I told him that I remember seeing something about a parade later on that morning. This is when I realized that there must be something really special about today. Good thing I curled my eyelashes.

He told me, “Oh yeah- it’s a holiday today.”

I was thinking of all the important holidays where there could be a parade in May and didn’t think they celebrated Memorial Day but could it really be Memorial Day already? I mean, I know I have been in a hormonal daze lately, but could I really have misplaced an entire month? That would explain how SweetPea got so huge so quickly…. (For reals- both my babies went from newborn to Baby Huey in no time flat. I think my boobies have butter on tap instead of breast milk.)

Then My Mister said “Mayday!” I thought he was asking for help in some silly World War Two way in order to make me laugh, but no, he said it was the holiday May Day. (??)

Since we don’t celebrate that holiday in the States (do we?), I truly have no idea what it’s about but it dawned on me that it was probably the reason why I couldn’t pick up my groceries that day.

Then the wheels slowly turned in my head and the pieces started to fit together when I realized that, if it was a special enough holiday to have a parade, and special enough to prevent me from picking up my groceries, then it most likely meant that it was special enough for EVERYTHING to be closed.

Yep. The recycle center. The post office. Even the vet. All closed.

What the crap, Australia. I got out of my pajamas and was even wearing deodorant and you pull this lame-o trick on me??

Well, I thought that it wasn’t a total bust since I had the double stroller in the back of the car so we could at least go to the parade.

But, no.

I had 4 bags of recyclables sitting on top of my stroller and the parade started in 15 minutes. Not enough time for me to go home, unload all the stupid recyclables and then head back out to the stupid parade on this stupid, made up holiday. And I didn’t even get my hard-earned $10, either.

So, I went home. Unloaded the kids. Plopped them in front of the TV, and went back to my corner to curl back up into the fetal position and wash my mascara off with my tears.

See? This is why I should never get out of my pajamas. Now you know.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Free As a Caged Bird

OhMyLanta, y'all. It's a miracle! I actually got both kiddiewinks down for a nap AT THE SAME TIME.  You have no idea how rare this is. It's almost as rare as a blog post from me. I KNOW, RIGHT??

Of course this means that I actually have some very coveted time all to myself. I could use it to nap, because heaven knows how much I love to sleep, but I decided to instead use this very rare free time and spend it on myself. What to do...what to do?? Paint my nails? Bush my teeth? Use the bathroom by myself??

Seriously- it was so cute when my cat was a kitten and she would stick her tiny little paw under the bathroom door when it was closed and gently mewl letting me know she was all alone out in the big mean world. It's not so cute when it's the hand of your toddler who is crying, "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY! DOOR CLOSED! MOOOOMMMY!" I mean, I rarely close the door since I want him to see us use "the potty" so he will learn how it's done (he's actually doing well with the whole potty thing- when he farts, or he hears a fart, he'll scream, "POOP!!" and grab his butt. That's m'boy!), but sometimes mommy just needs a few minutes all to herself or she is going to go all the way to CrazyTown this time and there is no turning back. Like the old adage says, the good thing about having kids is that you'll never be alone....the bad thing about having kids is that YOU WILL NEVER BE ALONE.

Anywho, I decided to use this rare time instead to give a little update since I've not really been responding to texts, emails, FB messages, or phone calls and I think some of my loved ones are wondering if I'm still alive. Yes, I'm alive and doing relatively well. However, I don't have much time to respond to people who are either not under the age of two, or who require a diaper change or a breastfeed (or both at the same time- although I needed Big Mister's help for that, but it worked! Yes, seriously.)

******************************

HA! So, as I was typing that, Sweet Pea decided that I've had far too much free time (20 minutes) and I needed to attend to her right away. Considering she had spit up all over her hair and clothes, and subsequently my bed, I figured she was right. And then I noticed a yellow spot on her pajamas. It's pretty bad when you are not sure if it's a fresh yellow stain or if it's from the last time she wore them. And then you hope that you had washed them since the last time she wore them.

Anywho, my free time is now up. I'm still tired, my nails are still unpolished, I still need to use the bathroom, and I'm poorly groomed, so please don't knock on my door because I'm not going to answer. I don't care if you know that I'm home. CrazyTown is not for the faint of heart....or those with a working sense of smell.

Peace out, yo.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March: In Like a Lion...Out Like a....Watermelon?

I’m so very pleased to report that our Dear Little Sweet Pea is FINALLY here! In some ways I felt like I was challenging a pregnant elephant with the duration of my pregnancy, and in some ways it ended up going by quicker than I thought it would.

All in all, it ended and I am once again left marveling at how very useless having a birth plan is, yet still in awe of the tiny little bundle of joy (and poop- oh man…I had forgotten about the poop!) that is now here. She is absolutely perfect and I can’t stop staring at, smelling, and kissing her cute little head and cheeks.

More importantly, neither can Little Mister. I was concerned about how he was going to handle the transition once she was home, but, as with most things, it turns out that I was worrying for nothing. He is completely and totally IN LOVE with his little sister. The first thing in the morning he asks about is the baby. As soon as she cries, he runs down the hall saying, “Oh no! Baby! Baby!” and, I’m ashamed to say, has even heard her crying before I did. He constantly wants to hold her and his face absolutely lights up when he sees her. He’s completely smitten and I love it.

I can go on and on and on about how amazing she is and how amazing he is and how my kids are the best kids in the entire universe because 1) I am still trying to get used to saying I have “kids” as in more-than-one, and 2) I have totally become one of THOSE moms. You know. The kind that won’t shut up about how amazingly awesome her kids are and how they are the smartest things since sliced bread. (Hey- baby brain allows for mixed metaphors, so make like a tree and beat it!).

So, to stem my newfound Annoying Mother ability, I’ll just leave you with this pic of our Sweet Little Sweet Pea, complete with the outfit we brought her home in.

ACK!!! I DIE OF CUTENESS!!

Check those kicks. Oh yeah- that's my girl!


Hat is a very altered go at my Winter Watermelon Hat pattern. Dress is Angel Wings Pinafore. Socks are pure awesomeness. (They are actually hand-me-downs. My sister bought them for Little Mister when he was born. Best.Gift.Ever.)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Life Marches On

Whoo hoo! March is finally here! Although, baby is not…yet. It can be any moment now, though, so of course I’m walking like a sumo wrestler in hopes that the next time I sneeze, she’ll just gently slide out because….well, labor hurts, y’all.

This pregnancy started out quite…challenging, to say the least, but I’m happy to report that it is ending a heck of a lot better than I could have ever anticipated. I thought I would be a miserable mess of a woman who couldn’t wait for this darn baby to get out of me NOW! Because that’s how I was with my first pregnancy. I was actually resenting Little Mister for not being born prematurely because I was in so much pain and misery. Yeah…I was in a pretty messed up place last time.

As they say, every pregnancy is different- glory be hallelujah! The biggest difference is that I’m not in constant pain every day and that has made a HUGE difference in EVERYTHING. Yes, I still have pelvic issues, but for the most part they are more on the “normal pregnancy” scale. I’ve been avoiding activities that will aggravate my joints, so no long walks or pushing Little Mister in his stroller, but I’ve been able to be a whole lot more mobile than I thought I would!

And that, my friends, is a very good thing because I needed to have all the strength I could muster in the last couple of weeks since we moved….AGAIN.

BOOYAH! Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?!? Major life stressor on the horizon?? No worries, mate- just pile it on top of the other ones so we can get them all out of the way at once! That’s the way we roll!

Thankfully, however, this was not an international move- we just moved houses. (Ha! I made that sound like it was so easy, didn’t I?!?) So, it wasn’t as bad or as stressful as it could have been, but still….I think I overestimated just how much I could do (and how quickly I could do it) at 8/9 months pregnant. I am thankful that we were able to move before the baby got here, though. It’s a whole lot easier to get things done when you’re carrying a baby around in your belly rather than in your arms!

We are now almost completely settled in again- just a few more things to get unpacked and find places for. This house doesn’t have as much closet space as the other house, which means I’ve been playing Tetris with my yarn stash trying to find room for it all. Heh…heh…….*gulp*

Speaking of Tetris…..
It's not lopsided...promise. Just a crappy picture.



BOOYAH, AGAIN!! FINALLY! Little Mister’s Blanket o’Love! I have more (better) pictures- and the pattern!- to come, but since I’ve been so busy with the whole moving thing, I haven’t had the time to get it all together quite yet. BUT. It’s been two years since I started this thing so I thought I could at least show y’all what I had been working on. It’s actually not 100% finished yet- I still need to put a lining on the back. I had to order the fabric from the States and waited over a month for it to get here and then had other things to preoccupy my time (WE MOVED!) so my Little Mister is still Blanket o’Love-less. However, since it’s still a very hot summer out here (100 degrees today!), I figured he’s not going to need it for a little while yet, so I can procrastinate just a little bit longer.

I also have been crocheting things for the Little Miss, too. You’d think that I would be doing a lot of stash busting with the whole crocheting-for-a-new-baby thing, but then you’d be reading the wrong blog. I HAD to order just the perfect yarn, you see….so the increase to my stash truly was minimal……cross my heart! Besides, now there’s a whole new crib that I can stuff (more) yarn under, so…. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!

Anywho….just wanted to let y’all know that I’m still here and doing much better than I thought I’d be. Just waiting (and waiting) until I can meet our sweet Little Miss. Although, as much as I can’t wait to meet her, I must say I’m really savoring these last few days alone with Little Mister. He’s such a sweet little cuddle bug and I’m really going to miss our one-on-one time together. Oh man….I’m getting all verklempt over here. Talk amongst yourselves- I’ll give you a topic. Lightning McQueen is neither lightning nor a Scottish monarch. Discuss.

Monday, January 14, 2013

So Hott

The last couple of weeks have been quite an emotional ride- filled with different decisions to be made, both by and for us, as well as plans to be made and deadlines to be met, long ago memories to be remembered, and hellish heat to avoid. Don't get me wrong- it's actually been a good emotional ride and has brought some much needed peace in our hearts and minds. Been a little stressful at times, but honestly, "stress" is a step up from what the last few months had brought with them, so YAY STRESS! I'm pumped, I'm ready, bring on the white hairs and wrinkles! (NO- actually, don't do that. I mean, stress and heart attacks are part of life, but getting old is for losers!)

It's been unbelievably hot here recently- all of Australia has been in a record breaking heatwave- so bad, in fact, that they had to add a new color to the heat temperature charts. You have blue = pleasant summer afternoon, green = dude, is that a blow dryer on my neck? yellow = maybe we should vacation in the Sahara to get out of this heat, Red = HOLY MOLY- The entire country just melted into the ocean, and now Purple = the sun has a new summer home in our backyard.

We've been in between red and purple for a couple of weeks now- it's been near 100 degrees at 8 in the morning many mornings- and I'm going both a little stir crazy staying indoors all day every day and yet dreading the days I have to leave the house to go grocery shopping because going grocery shopping in a bikini gets me a lot of unwanted attention. I know my hottness is just adding to the unbearable heat, but it's like people have never seen a 7 month pregnant woman buying vegetables before. My eyes are up here, people!

I've been having a crochet revival recently, first with Little Mister's blanket and now a new one that I'm working on for my new niece. (One that I'm having a serious case of the "keepies" since I'm loving it and I'm going to have a girl here in a couple of weeks and I know it'll look cute here in my house....ummm.....dear Sister-in-Law....this is not the blanket you were looking for.....*Jedi wave*) She's only 4 months old and I'm hoping I can get it done before she's a year and a half, but with my track record, I probably should have chosen some great college colors or something. Why another blanket during an intense heatwave? Because I'm a young hot hottie in her element in this heat.

Narcissistic? Maybe. Suffering extreme heat induced delusions of hottness? Definitely.

Fifteen Years Ago- Part Four: Decisions, Decisions

(Part one of this tale can be found here.)

Fifteen years (and one month) ago- Saturday, Dec 13, 1997

She finally had a peace in her heart about the decision she made, but knew that there was no guarantee that her plan would succeed or that her feelings were reciprocated. It had been quite a whirlwind of a week and she was glad to finally lay everything on the table and, hopefully, end up with one boyfriend instead of two (or worse, zero). Even though playing the part of a hussy had been fun for a while, she thought it best to leave that lifestyle to the professionals, like that girl in Titanic who showed her boobies for the whole world to see. *shudder*

She sat in her car after work, took a deep breath and prayed. Now, to talk to the guy and pray he wouldn’t reject her once he knew the whole story.

She truly couldn’t believe what a week she had lived. Two guys seeking her attentions on the same day turned into a game of dating pinball that left her wondering which one would ultimately win out. Would it be the guy she had been crushing on for months, who seemed to be head over heels in love with her, so in love, in fact, that he could talk of nothing else but how amazingly awesome, beautiful, wonderful, and amazing she was? Or, was it the guy she had just met at a chance encounter at the Baptist Student Union CafĂ© just one week ago who was smart, funny, slightly geeky, and could talk about a variety of topics, not just how amazingly awesome she was?

Week in Review:

Sunday, Dec 7, 1997

After responding to Mister R’s email the night before, he called her the next day and they spent three hours talking about various things, including their shared thoughts and values in regards to their faith and relationships. After the conversation, she was left thinking, “Mr. W….who?”

Monday, Dec 8, 1997

She worked that day with Mr. W. who lamented the fact that he tried for hours to give her a call the previous day, but, this being 1997 and her parents living in 1897 and not having a second phone line, he kept getting a busy signal. She, falling under his spell once again and not wanting to start off a relationship on the wrong foot, promptly told him the truth: her…uhhh….dad…had been talking on the phone all night.

He called later that night and they spent hours talking about how awesome she was. It was a very ego-boosting conversation, but she did wonder what his favorite color was, other than the deep, pensive brown of her eyes. After the end of the conversation, she was left thinking, “Mister R….who?”

Tuesday, Dec 9, 1997

She ran into Mister R. at the BSU who being very technology minded said, “Have you thought about getting a second phone line? Or how about a cell phone?” since he had been trying to call her for hours the previous night and kept getting a busy signal. She, falling under his spell once again and not wanting to start off the relationship with a lie, promptly laughed and changed the subject. He suggested she come over after work the next day so he could help her study for her calculus final. Even though she was a math whiz and had an A+ in calculus (it was basically a review of what she had already aced in high school), she agreed to come over. It was cute the way he thought he could help her. She’d bash him over the head with her utter brilliance soon enough.

Wednesday, Dec 10, 1997

She was a little apprehensive to see Mr. W. at work that day since she knew he wasn’t scheduled to come in and since she knew she was going to go across the street to spend time with Mister R right after work. He, of course, was sooo happy to see her and came over to see if she wanted to go out with him on her lunch break. She could never say no to free food, so she agreed. Mister R. didn’t have to know about this since she wasn’t going to meet him for a few hours, anyway. But, she made sure to suggest she and Mr. W. go out the back way, just in case.

Their lunch (burgers at the fine dining establishment known as McDonalds) was filled with laughter about work and even more talk about how wonderful and amazing she was. She found he wasn’t of the same faith as she, but he had been to her church a few times and was interested in knowing more. Hmmm….well, that made things a little more interesting.

After lunch, she became a little more apprehensive when Mr. W. didn’t leave work and was blatantly just hanging around to once again spend time with her when she finished her shift. Why oh why did Mister R. have to live right across the dang street? And, more importantly, why oh why did she have to be so gosh darned irresistible?? It had to be the shoes- who could resist the Chucks?

Once her shift was over, she hastily told Mr. W. that she had to meet someone to study, but she had a great time and would talk to him soon, then she awkwardly returned the hug he gave her (she really needed to practice this whole “hugging” thing), and then dashed to her car, drove the 10 yards across the street, parked behind a parked car and ducked down in her seat, wishing she had a Funny Nose and Glasses and hoping Mr. W. wouldn’t see her as he finally left the work parking lot.

Once she saw his car leaving the driveway, and giving him a few minutes to drive a safe distance down the road, she, as nonchalantly as she could, popped back up in her seat and smoothed her hair back in her messy ponytail, making sure “scratchy” was showing his good side. She knocked on the door and was shortly greeted by a beaming Mister R. and hoped beyond hope he wouldn’t ask, “Who were you hiding from?” She hadn’t known him long, but she knew he was the type to call people out on things rather than let them think they were being sneaky.

They spent a little while talking about school and how easy calculus was when he suggested they go see a movie together- Alien Resurrection seemed really good and he’d wanted to see it for some time. He liked sci-fi, though not the silly stuff like Flubber or anything…so, would she like to come? She quickly agreed and suggested they get dinner together afterwards. He told her he had a Bible study that evening, but one of the gals from the BSU was going to be cooking a Chinese meal for a bunch of people here, at his place, so she was more than welcome to stay for that and then he’d meet back up with her when his Bible study was over.

Though she didn’t know the people that would be there that evening, and she was a little bummed they wouldn’t get to spend the whole evening together, she was dually impressed that he not only liked sci-fi, but that he also, more importantly, put God first- even before a budding relationship with her. So, she agreed to the plan.

While watching the movie, she didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cower in self-consciousness when he pointed at the grotesque monster on screen and said, “Hey look- you’re in the movie!” Considering her entire family did the same thing, usually whenever there was a large ape on screen, she knew her sister, at least, would approve of this guy.

He meant the one on the left. The really pretty one.


They soon went back to his place where he introduced her to “the guys” and then left to his Bible Study. The people were nice, the food was good, and she only got a little nervous when the questions came around to her and Mister R’s “relationship.” She told them the truth- they had just met and were just friends and were just hanging out. Though she wasn’t sure what to make of the knowing-glances that passed around the room.

It wasn’t long before he returned, happy to see her getting along with his friends. They talked for a while before she had to head to her friend’s house, where she was staying the night. He walked her to her car, which was still stealthily hiding behind his roommate’s car, and still they talked. The conversation dwindled down and there was an awkwardness as she wondered if he was going to kiss her or if she should kiss him or if she should get in the car quickly before her digestive tract decided to ruin her life and let go that ball of nervous gas that had been building all evening.

Eventually, he opened the car door for her and gave her a hug. She returned the hug, not as awkwardly as she had the first time. She was getting better at this game.

She couldn’t wait to talk to her friend and get her opinion on the two guys. They chatted throughout the night, going over the day’s events, going over the entire week, and creating a pros and cons list of each guy in hopes of making a wise decision between the two. She liked them both and knew that Mr. W, at least, really liked her back and he was going to be a doctor, just like she was, but the conversations with Mister R. were more diverse and interesting and he was really smart and a Christian, but she didn’t know exactly how he felt about her (because, despite all her brains, she truly was slow sometimes).

Her friend, who had much more experience in the dating game, told her there was no need to rush a decision. Keep dating them both since she liked them both and had fun with both. Two boyfriends were better than one, after all. And, in her case, two were better than none.

However, she knew she couldn’t string them on forever. It hadn’t even been a week yet and she was already stressing over how to hide from one guy while going out with the other. She didn’t have much money and knew that a Funny Nose and Glasses, while a brilliant disguise, most likely didn’t come cheap. Not only that but, though she was young and very inexperienced, she knew she didn’t want to waste her time dating someone with whom she felt she had no future. She also felt terrible leading on a guy since she didn’t want to waste his time, either. Dating, to her, meant you are looking to see if this person has the potential to be your future spouse. She truly had no desire to “just date” someone that she knew she’d never marry. Her choice between these two guys, in her overly dramatic and neurotic mind, could very well affect her entire future and so she took her decision very seriously.

So she did what she did whenever she was stressed and worried about something. She prayed about it.

Thursday, Dec 11, 1997

After getting ready for school, she used her friend’s computer to check her email. She received an email from Mister R. and, after reading it 500 times, she finally knew what her decision had to be.

Even though she knew he was interested in her, he hadn’t been as gushing as Mr. W. had been about how he felt about her. (Then again, Mr. W. gushed so much about her, she had no clue how he felt about anything else. As amazingly awesome as she was, she was a little bored with that topic of conversation.) After this email, she finally knew.

After acknowledging the awkwardness of the non-kiss (he truly didn't pull any punches, did he?), he told her that he really liked her (or as he put it: not just "like", but "like like!") and then he said something that blew her away. He told her that he felt they had an opportunity to build a strong foundation to a relationship and wanted to do something to honor God and wanted to know if she felt the same way. It was like pieces of a puzzle falling together when she realized he looked at relationships the same way she did; this was the answer to her prayers of the previous evening.

Her faith was very important to her and, at the top of the list of “Qualities of My Future Husband” was that he also shared her faith, quickly followed by being older and taller than her with light hair and blue or green eyes (she wasn’t picky). Mister R. fit all of the categories. Mr. W. did not.

Friday Dec 12, 1997

School and work dominated this day. She successfully avoided Mr. W. and was praying about how to finally end her week as a Playa. She knew she had game. She just didn’t like playing the game.

Saturday Dec 13, 1997

So there she was- sitting in her car after work. She knew what she had to do and went to Mister R’s place, hoping and praying she wasn't going to make a fool of herself. She took a deep breath and laid out the entire tale- from getting the call from her mom at the BSU, to going on a lunch date with Mr. W. and then turning around and going to a movie with Mister R that evening, to how she felt about relationships and how she made her decision. She told him that, unless they made their relationship “official” there was really no reason she couldn’t continue to go out with Mr. W. just to see where things led….sooo…….?

She had never been so bold and nervous in her life. She had so little experience in the whole dating game and didn’t realize that not everybody thought the same way she did and that most guys Mister R’s age would probably laugh in her face and then run straight for the hills, calling 911 about the crazy stalker lady that was trying to tie him down after knowing him just one week.

However, instead of laughing and running, Mister R had the biggest smile she’d seen yet and said, “Wow. I’m so glad you chose me!” And then he gave her a hug.

***************

Her brother had another basketball game that day. So, exactly one week after taking Mr. W. to meet her family at a basketball game, she asked Mister R. to go with her, this time to introduce her family to her new, official, boyfriend.

She was happy to see her entire family there- including her mom- and was happy to see how comfortable he was with them all. Her little sister even seemed to like him, which was a good sign. She once again made a joke at her little sister’s expense and Mister R, instead of admonishing her to be nicer to the poor, little girl, pointed at the wee thing and gave a huge, Nelson-esque, “HA-HA!”

And with that, her little sister knew he was a keeper.

So, Mr. W. turned out to be Mr. Wrong and Mister R. turned out to be Mister Right….or at least Mister Right Now. However, only time would tell if he would eventually turn out to be her one, true Mister. They had only known each other a week, after all. Could one week really turn into a lifetime? Only time would tell….

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back to the Future

I'm back from 1997, if only for a little while, because, while it's been fun reminiscing about the past, life goes on in the present. But, don't worry (or, maybe this comes as a warning for some of you), I will be returning to the past very shortly and throughout the rest of the year as various memories and milestones of a relationship started long ago mark their places on the calendar.

Anywho....when not looking back (and sometimes cringing) at printouts of saved emails, I have FINALLY finished up a project started two years ago. It's a freakin' huge monkey off my back and the only thing left is weaving in the ends. The many, many ends. Actually, there would be a lot fewer ends to weave in had I not started, stopped, finished, frogged, started again, finished, frogged, and started over yet again.

Oh yes- I mean to say that I've finally finished Little Mister's Blanket o'Love and I'll be posting about it very soon. It's a really good thing we're not living in the worst heat wave Australia has ever seen or anything because, you know, it'd really suck to be 7 months pregnant and swathed under a large blanket just to get something done that should have been done a long time ago. It's been such a relief that I can keep cozy in my house while the temperature outside has been a balmy 44C (111F) for the past two weeks. (Uggghhhhhhhhhh)

Because of the extreme heat, we basically have been confined indoors where are our poor, overworked A/C is pumping 24/7. I actually am very thankful our A/C is working; unfortunately, I know a few people who's systems have conked out on them because it couldn't keep up with the demands. It be really hot here, yo.

One indoor activity is, of course, crocheting and, for whatever reason, there seems to be a huge interest in it right now in my community. It blew me away, actually. People wanted to set up a crochet group where a bunch of us can get together and let our kids play while those with experience (*ahem*) teach those who are interested in crochet...NOT knitting. (!!)

I honestly don't know if there are going to be knitters attending, but it truly has been set up as a crochet group- how awesome is that?!

Actually, I think it could only be attributed to the heat affecting her brain or something because I've been trying to lure her for over a year, but this afternoon I actually taught Miss A how to crochet. (!!) She came prepared with her own brand new hooks and yarn and everything! And, I'm of course attributing this to the fact that I am an amazingly awesome teacher and not at all to her innate abilities or talents, but I'd have to say she has caught on quicker than any student I've had before. You really should have seen her starting chain- it was the stuff that books and poems are written about. (In all seriousness, I have never seen a beginner have such even starting chains, and this most certainly includes moi, the Crochet Queen of the World.)*

So, even though all my acrylic stash would probably melt if I decided to crochet outside with it, this heatwave has definitely had some benefits and I'm really looking forward to the new Crochet/Playgroup we'll be starting next week. (Or the week after...I have no clue what day it is.) Another new friend (who has been a crocheter for a while) will be coming over tomorrow so we can sweat it out under our woolen wares together.

Ok- it's time for bed. I hope you're able to stay cool tonight if you're in Oz, or warm today if you're in the States (or anywhere else in the northern hemisphere). I'll see you when I go Back to the Future!! Err...past....though not 1985 because I don't have a DeLorean. 

* Now you'll have to stick with it, Miss A. I bragged about you to the whole world...you wouldn't want to let down the world now, would you? Now you'll have to crochet with me! Muaha. Muahahaha. MUAHAHAHAHA!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago....Part 3: Mr. W.

Fifteen years (and one month) ago:
Saturday, Dec 6, 1997

Following a night full of jealousies, mixed signals, and disappointments, she found herself back at work bright and early the next morning completely wiped out and desperate to get some sleep. She had called Mr. W. back when she arrived at her friend’s house. It was 2am, but he had said to call him back anytime and that he’d have his phone on and that he didn’t sleep, so she wanted to make sure she kept her word and called him back ASAP.

Unfortunately, she received an automated message that said the cell phone she was trying to reach was not turned on, which she took to mean he got tired of waiting for her to call and so switched off his phone since he hated her guts and would probably spit at her when he saw her at work.

She arrived at work and, though she was relieved to see he wasn’t on the schedule to work that morning, she was both exhausted from lack of sleep and very despondent about her amazing display of her Boy Repelling Superpowers the night before. So, she decided to go home early in hopes of sleeping away her shame and disappointment, preferably with the help of a large shot of warm milk since a night like last night earned her the right to bring out the hard stuff. Since it was a very slow day and there was plenty of coverage, her boss allowed her to leave and so she found herself driving back home on the lonely, snowy roads.

Her family was not home since her brother had a basketball tournament that weekend and so they would be gone all day. So, finding herself home alone, she promptly fell asleep.

A few hours later, she awoke with her optimism tank somewhat recharged, so she decided to give Mr. W. a ring one more time to apologize for not being able to reach him last night like she said she would. Since Mister Coffee Shop ended up being a bust, she truly didn’t want to lose her chance with Mr. W. even though she still wasn’t sure what he had wanted and if there was indeed a chance for her to lose with him.

This time, he answered on the first ring. He was taking his grandma to the races but was so happy she called because his phone’s battery died on him last night and he had really wanted to talk to her, and he stopped by work that morning hoping to see her there but she had already left, but could he call right back once he dropped off his grandma?

Relieved that he wasn’t planning to spit on her, and thinking what useless things cell phones were if their batteries were so unreliable (good luck with those things ever getting popular!), and yet still confused about what he wanted to talk to her about, she calmly and patiently waited for him to call back, not at all obsessively replaying the events of the previous night over and over in her head.

Not only did Mr. W. call right back like he said he would (such a gentleman! Her mother would approve!), but he also said that he had liked her for some time and would she like to go see a movie with him that day. She had just driven the 45 minutes from work back home and the roads were covered in snow so she was a little reluctant to head back out; however, before she could ask for a rain check, he offered to drive out to her house and pick her up since he loved driving in the snow.

WOW. Now this was a guy her mother had told her about- made the first move, called her first (he had her number from the contact list at work), and even offered to pick her up at her house for their first date. He would probably open up the doors and pay for the date, too, all things on the checklist for a good boyfriend her mother had given her. Her crush on him intensified x100.

Almost an hour later, he came and picked her up and went back into town to the movie theater. During the 45 minute drive, she found herself completely flabbergasted at what he had to say. Apparently he had also had a crush on her for some time but really had to work up the courage to talk to her since she was so gorgeous and nice and smart and funny and he felt so intimidated by her, but was SO HAPPY she said she’d go out with him.

WHAT? She had no clue anyone could think those things about her and had no idea how any guy could be intimidated by her (she hadn’t really put anyone in a headlock and punched them in the throat like her daddy taught her), and was so amazed to find that a guy she had been crushing on for months ALSO had been crushing on her for months and he was oh so cute AND he had a cell phone so he was obviously a wise man of the world.

It felt good to have someone go on and on about how awesome she was and how much they liked her and how amazed they were that she would actually say yes to them. She could get used to this.

While watching the movie (Flubber, if you must know), she thought she’d put her new-found Minerva Mink superpowers to the test. So she ever so gently sighed, while rubbing her hands together, hoping he’d get the hint. Then, sighing louder and blowing in her hands, she ever so gently stage whispered, “Wow- my hands are soooo cold,” while touching him on his arm to prove her point. Of course she was envisioning him gallantly taking her hand gently into his (unlike *some* guys we could name) and saying, oh so romantically, “Don’t worry, my sweet. I’ll keep them warm for you here in my manly hands, and then we can cuddle up close and cozy while I whisper sweet nothings in your ear.”

Instead, he shivered and said, “Wow- your hands are like ice! Do you have gloves to put on?”

As her overly dramatic, romantic daydream deflated like a whoopee cushion, she turned her focus back to Robin Williams, her hands firmly stuck under her armpits to keep warm.

After the movie, since he loved and had played basketball in high school, he offered to drive her to her brother’s tournament, which happened to be 20 minutes past her house. Why not, she thought. He’s an amazing guy and I know my family will love him as much as I do. Besides, his love of basketball will instantly bond him with my dad, thus ensuring we’ll have his blessings to get married.

At the tournament, she found that her mother wasn’t feeling well and had gone home early, so unfortunately she wouldn’t get to meet her new son-in-law until later that evening when he dropped her back home. However, he hit it off instantly with her dad and brother and she could tell he was going to fit right into her basketball obsessed family. Her sister? She was a little more skeptical and thought he was just a little too nice and not nearly sarcastic or snarky enough to fit into this family, but she was only in seventh grade, so what did she know about true love?

After the games, they drove back to her house where he was invited in for a little while. Her mother, still not feeling well, had barricaded herself in her bedroom and refused to come out, even though her love sick daughter really, really wanted her opinion on Mr. W.

Her little sister wanted to eat some pudding, so, sensing an opportunity to showcase her cooking skills yet again, our little cook obliged by taking out a box of Instant Jell-o pudding and triumphantly poured out the 2 cups of milk and started whisking with gusto. Her sister asked if she could whisk the pudding, but there was no way she was going to share the spotlight, so she made some joke about her sister’s lack of muscles and continued whisking away.

“Oh…that’s so mean!” Mr. W. said. “She’s so sweet and little! You should let her help you.”

Her sister looked up at him with a puzzled look on her face and then gave her big sister a look that said, “Where did you find this weenie?” and then she went off into her bedroom where her stuffed animals had more testosterone than that loser her sister just brought home did.

After eating their pudding, it was time for him go take his leave. She saw him off, struggling with her romantic hope that he’d kiss her good night and her mother’s rule of no kissing on the first date.

He ended up being the perfect gentleman she knew him to be and didn’t force a good night kiss at the door (where her dad and brother were watching him behind her clueless back), and instead told her he had an amazing day and would call her tomorrow.

*SIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHHH*

She had completely forgotten about Mister Coffee Shop. She was replaying her perfect day over and over as she turned on her computer and waited for the modem to finish its five minute love song as it established a connection to this amazing new thing called the “world wide web” where she could “log in” to her University provided “e-mail” account to see if she had any “e-mails” from her professors.

When she was finally able to log in 15 minutes later, she gasped so loud and was in such shock at what she saw.

She had received an email with the subject: Surprise!

*actual email received- edited for personal info only*

 *****************

Sat, 6 Dec 1997

Howdy!

Yep it’s me! I found your Email address. Well you know I am a computer geek- I know my way around on a computer system! I also found your phone number, is this the correct one: 555-YESS? I came by to see if your car was there at work, but I guess you had already left. Oh well you missed the prank I was about to do. Haha!

How is scratchy, does he miss me? I am sure he does! Well I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I have tons of homework that I need to get started on. What a pain!

See you soon!


****************

W.H.A.T.???????

Mister Coffee Shop didn’t ask her for her number the previous night but had actually regretted his foolish decision and instead took the time to look her up and find both her number AND her new-fangled “e-mail address”???? What a powerful thing this “computer system” must be and how amazing he must be to know how to use it to its full potential.

Was he pursuing her?? Did he like her, after all?? He looked for her at work?? HE’S SOOO CUTE! Wait…what was that about a prank? What does all this mean???

It meant that Mister Coffee Shop- we’ll call him Mister R from now on- was back in her life. What implications this had- what any of the last few days meant- was still an enigma to her. All she knew was that there were two guys who had pursued her ON THE SAME DAY and that her dateless losing streak was now over.

It was a very good night which ended up being a very good start to a very interesting week....

(Part Four of this tale can be found here.)

*For those of you who don't know who Minerva Mink is, and for those of you who also grew up obsessed with Animanics*

Fifteen Years Ago Part 2: The Christmas Party Cont.

*This is a continuation of Friday, Dec. 5, 1997. Part one can be found here.*

Throughout the rest of the evening, she noticed that Mister Coffee Shop would catch her eye, which wasn’t all that hard since she seemed to be staring at him whenever she wasn’t working. He would offer to help her and even invited her to sit next to him on the couch where there were a few people congregating to chat.

She cautiously accepted his help and his invite. Her mother had warned her about guys like him. Really good looking guys who want nothing more than another notch in their belt. He already had a gaggle of women around him and wanted to prove he could get one more. Well. She knew better than to fall for that old trick. Her mother raised her up right. A man needs to be a gentleman and do all the asking, paying, and even calling, just like Mr. W. did. She was never to take the number of a guy unless he took hers, first, and she certainly wasn’t to be the first one to actually call him because she was not a floozy.

As the party wound to an end, she was going to catch a ride with her friend, the one who ran the coffee shop, to her car which she had left at work. Mister Coffee Shop saw her getting ready to go and went to the door to say good-bye. And then he hugged her.

She couldn’t believe what just happened. It’d never happen to her before- getting hugged by a virtual stranger, and a guy at that. Was he some sort of pervert like her mother warned her about?

As she was debating how to handle the situation- either hold on tightly while inhaling his intoxicating scent, or wrangle him into a headlock and punch him in the throat like her daddy taught her- he told her and her friend that he and his roommate were going to Bennigans and asked if they’d like to join them.

Bennigans. That den of sin. She’d never been to Bennigans. Never been out this late and away from home, actually. She had lived a very sheltered life and had no idea what the heck was going on tonight. A hug from a stranger. A call from her coworker who wanted to “just talk” to her. Did her Chucks somehow turn into glass slippers without her knowing it?

Since her friend had a crush on his roommate, they agreed to go out with the guys and, in doing so, ventured for the first time into this unknown world of college people “hanging out.”

But first she had to call her mother.

She was afraid her mom wouldn’t let her go….or at least she was counting on it. That way she didn’t have to make a fool of herself in front of Mister Coffee Shop. However, to her surprise (and dismay), her mom was happy for her and told her it was ok…but had she called Mr. W. first and shouldn’t she call him back like she said she would?

 Dude. Another strange event for the evening. Her very strict mother not only allowing her to go out with others- and boys at that!- but also encouraging her to call another guy? What was this world coming to?

All four of them ended up driving together in her friend’s car. She and Mister Coffee Shop were in the back so her friend could try and make time with his roommate. They arrived at Bennigans where she knew the true test of the evening was to come. Would he buy her something to eat or drink?

He asked what she was going to order and she, ever so awkwardly, asked, “Why? Are you buying?”

“Oh no,” he replied. “I only buy fine girls something.”

Her heart sank and her self-consciousness flared as she nervously tucked her hair back into its messy bun.

“Soo….I’m not “fine” then, huh?" she awkwardly giggled, hoping it sounded like confident, playful banter instead of the nervous, hurt feelings it truly was.

“Oh no. You’re waaay below,” was the heart-ripping reply as he smirked and gestured with his hand below the table to further illustrate how repulsed he was by her.

She was crushed.

After ordering a pineapple juice and sitting back, waiting out the time for this tortuous night to end, he kept trying to engage her in conversation and then he did something that made her completely speechless. He took her juice and drank from it.

THE NERVE!! Now she had his arrogant cooties on her juice, which she bought with her own non “fine” money. UGH. She knew she should have punched him in the throat when she had the chance!

He playfully laughed and continued to chat with her, as if his amazing smile and gorgeous eyes and charming laugh could make her forget that he was a big meanie who owed her $2.50 for the pineapple juice. A really, really cute meanie who had asked her, and not the blonde bimbos, to join him tonight. She just didn’t know how to read this guy.

They all got back into the car and were driving back to the BSU to drop the guys off. She had finally taken her hair down and put her black scrunchie on her wrist and was looking out the window.

“What’s this?” he asked as he snapped the scrunchie on her wrist.

After informing him it was called a “scrunchie” he proceeded to try to take it off her hand and said, “A scratchie, huh? That’s a funny name.”

“No. A scrunch-ie,” she corrected him as she tried to get both her hand and her stylish accessory back away from him.

“I like scratchie!” he said as he pulled on it again.

They went back and forth like this- he trying to take it off her, she not letting some guy win a wrestling match- she would make her dad proud- until he stretched the scrunchie over his hand and then let his hand fall. It didn’t escape her notice that his hand landed on hers. Though he didn’t take her hand…they just both openly ignored the fact that they were kinda-sorta-not really holding hands for a good portion of the ride.

He started the conversation back up and asked if she had a nickname. She told him her family called her Dean. He wrinkled his nose saying, “That’s a man’s name- much too masculine for you. It’s kind of a tradition to take the first two letters of someone’s name and double it for a nickname- I think I’ll call you Gege.”

Gege? What a silly name. That’d never catch on. But, she didn’t mind if he called her that- it would be his special name for her and nobody else would ever know. 

He eventually started doodling smiley faces on the foggy winter window. She followed his lead and doodled a smiley face on her window, as well. Then it became some sort of weird, foggy window doodling competition where the smiley faces eventually turned to frowny, ugly faces. And then, he went for the jugular.

GEGE STINKS was his next addition to the competition.

Horrified that she truly had forgotten her deodorant that morning, and that he thought she was both ugly AND smelled bad, she retorted with MR COFFEE SHOP IS A FRUITY FLAMER.

That'd show him. The jerk. She knew how to hit below the belt, too, though she didn't know how to stop when she was ahead.

Once back at the BSU, she was surprised when he offered to drive her back to work- so her friend didn’t have to go out of her way, he said. Even though it was agreed that she would stay the night at her friend’s house that night since she had to work early the next morning (she had called her mom to get permission at Bennigans), she agreed to let him drive her.

He took her to her car and then noted that she worked directly across the street from where he lived. Both buildings were just off of campus and were both renovated frat houses. His house was owned by his church and rented to several guys who attended the University.

IT’S A SIGN! She thought. We are destined to be true loves forever and ever!!! Though, out loud she said, “That’s cool.”

He then asked her if she could reach in the glove box- there was a pad of paper and a pen in there.

This is it, she thought. He’s going to ask me for my number!

Instead, however, he gave her his number. She jotted it down and then kept the paper out, pen at the ready to write down her number once he asked. Then, her heart sank when, instead of her number, he asked her to put the pen and paper back in the glove box.

Yep. He was definitely one of those guys her mother warned her about.

She got out of his car and, when he had disappeared across the street, she crumpled up the paper and tossed it aside. Her mother raised her right. If he didn’t ask her for her number and pursue her, then he didn’t deserve her.

Mr. W. had pursued her. Mr. W. had called her. She still had a huge crush on Mr. W. and so she’d give him a call later, as she said she would.

And with that, Mister Coffee Shop was out of her life....

(Part Three of this tale can be found here.)

Fifteen Years Ago....Part Two: The Christmas Party

Part One found here
 
* Note: I didn't realize just how long this part of the story was when I started typing it, so I've broken it down into smaller, readable chunks for y'all, thus the double posting tonight.*

Fifteen Years (and one month, and one day) ago: Friday, December 5, 1997

The morning of the Baptist Student Union Christmas party came. She was neurotically nervous- would he come? Would her cheesecakes come out ok? Should she have practiced making them one more time before the big day? Would he come? Would he remember her? What should she wear? Did she put on deodorant this morning? Would he come???

She spent all afternoon in the BSU kitchen preparing the food for the party and, when the party started, she had given up all hope of wearing anything 1950’s related. Her black and white nylon jogging pants, blue hoodie, and classic black Chuck Taylors would have to do. Hey- they wore Chucks in the 50’s, right? And women were known and expected to work in the kitchen back then, so…..she was ready to roll. All she needed were some pearls, but perhaps the blobs of flour and cheese on her shirt would be mistaken for a necklace if she stood at just the right angle. Besides, he probably wouldn’t come anyway and she had nobody to impress so what did it matter?

Since she was in charge of the food, she spent most of the time in the kitchen, scurrying here and there making sure everything was working well. Truth be told, hiding out in the kitchen also gave her an excuse to not have to interact with such a large crowd all evening. She was nervous enough without throwing in a social faux pas or five into the mix. She would peek her head out the kitchen door or serving window from time to time just to see if he had arrived, but the time slowly passed and still there was no black leather wearing Fonzie wannabe in the crowd.

About an hour into the party, she was in the middle of the kitchen and was giving instructions to the other kitchen helpers who had just propped open the door to either take out or return some serving trays. As she turned toward the door in the middle of giving an order, she noticed someone standing at the entrance wearing a black leather coat and the world’s brightest smile. He came. And he was smiling at HER.

She stopped mid-sentence, her mouth slowly returning the smile as she felt the blood rush to her cheeks. He waved. She waved back and shyly walked over to him.

She told him she was surprised he came since it was so late already. Her mouth’s ability to just spew out words while completely bypassing her brain seemed to amuse him. He was sorry he was late- he and his roommate ran into some difficulty or other but he was glad to see her and couldn’t wait to try her cheesecake.

She was flattered he remembered and was telling him how busy she had been in the kitchen and was going to go on and on and on with random details since she was so nervous and couldn’t really stop her mouth once it began. Luckily, at that moment she was interrupted by one of the other volunteers who said they needed her in the kitchen. She told him she had to go, feeling pleased to be so important in front of him and went back into her safety zone. Once inside, she briefly turned back to the still open door to wave to him when her heart sank to the bottom of her Chuck Taylors. In just the 2 seconds it took her to walk away, he was swarmed by 5 other girls, all of whom he seemed to know and with whom he seemed to be pleased to spend time.

Ah well, she thought. She knew it was just a foolish dream since she obviously wasn’t his type. By the look of his new harem outside, he liked blondes. Tall ones who twittered and laughed stupidly at anything he said. They were probably as dumb as they sounded and if he liked such high maintenance bimbos, then he wasn’t worth her time. Not that she was bitter or anything.

As the party progressed, she resolutely told herself to not shove a cheesecake into the face of that one tall bimbo who kept hovering all over him, playing some stupid game of “splash each other with a cup of water” who would then stupidly squeal in mock annoyance when she got wet.

No. Our busy little bee would simply take the serving tray to the table and then pretend she didn’t see him as he dodged a playful hug from Tall Bimbo and instead came up to the table and asked if he could help with the tray.

Harumph, she thought. Just what kind of game was he playing?

As she was going back to the kitchen, someone came up to tell her that her mom was on the phone. Since this was 1997 and cellphones were just starting to not look like shoeboxes anymore, that meant her mom had called the BSU and she didn’t know whether to be super embarrassed that her mom was checking in on her, or to be worried that there was a family emergency. Knowing her mom, it was the former and Mommy Dearest would now have to die.

When she got to the phone, she tried to play it off like her mom was some sort of loony and did crazy stuff like this all the time. Her mom asked, “How’s it going?” as if small talk was what was needed at this moment. “Well, uh, I knew you were going to stay out late, but I had to tell you that someone called for you and wanted you to call them back tonight.” It had better be Angela Lansbury herself to warrant such an interruption to a major social event!

“It’s Mr. W.”

What the what?! Why would Mr. W. be calling her? Did he need her to take a shift at work for him or something? Of course her mother knew about her ginormous crush on Mr. W. and was so excited that he called that she just had to tell her the good news right away. She jotted down his number and then thought it wouldn’t hurt to call him right now. Since she was scheduled to work bright and early the next day, she couldn’t fill in for him at work and should let him know as soon as possible.

So she called him.

After telling him who she was and that she was returning his call, he asked what she was up to and seemed to take forever to get to the point of asking her about work. She let him know she was at a Christmas party, so what did he want?

“Oh nothing. I just wanted to talk to you. Thanks for calling me back!”

What? Did she inhale too many fumes from the kitchen? Why would he call “just to talk?”

After recovering from her shock, she asked if she could call him back later since she was, you know, at a party right now and couldn’t really talk and thought he needed to ask something about work, so….

“Yeah! No problem! You can call me anytime! I have a cell phone and it’s always on and I never sleep.”

Huh. A cell phone. Was he trying to impress her or something?

After saying good-bye, she got back to the party.

Continued here.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago....Part One

Fifteen Years (and one month....and one day) ago…. Thursday, Dec 4, 1997

There she was- minding her own business- opening the coffee shop at the University’s Baptist Student Union one early morning for her friend who ran the joint. She was a college freshman finishing up her very first semester in college. She was enjoying her various 101 classes, though struggling with the whole concept of “studying” since the recent high school valedictorian hadn’t really needed to study up until this point. School always came easy for her, which was good since she was currently working two jobs (getting paid a whopping $6.50 per hour at each- the “good ol’ days”) and had a 45 minute commute (one way) from her home in the country to the University and basically had zero time to study, anyway.

She was probably thinking of this one guy she worked with- we’ll call him Mr. W- on whom she had a very large crush. However, she felt it was hopeless thinking about him since he didn’t seem to know she was alive and, besides, guys never asked her out, anyway.

She was working at the coffee shop, which wasn’t one of her “real” jobs, in order to fund her trip to the Passion Conference being held in Texas that year. Even though she had two jobs, and a full-ride scholarship, she didn’t have much money to spare and she *really* wanted to go to this conference with the new friends she met at the BSU.

So, there she was that cold December morning, all alone with her thoughts. One topic on the forefront of her mind was the upcoming BSU Christmas party which the BSU freshmen had the honor of planning each year. She fancied herself a pretty good cook and loved to bake, so she volunteered to be in charge of organizing the food. Her contribution to the party? A couple of cheesecakes- her favorite food behind pizza. If there was anything this current pre-med student cared about, it was good nutrition food- especially foods that contained cheese. There was no way this girl would ever be able to give up her cheese!

The Christmas party had a 1950’s theme and she was envisioning herself in a poodle skirt, bobby socks, and a ponytail with bangs. How she was going to get a poodle skirt by the next day was a bit of a puzzle to her, but it wasn’t enough to keep this perpetual optimist from thinking how very awesome everything was going to be and how many accolades she would receive about her cheesecakes.

As she was thinking about how much Mr. W. would be impressed by her cheesecakes, if only he came to the BSU, and how much fun she would have at the Passion Conference, and how she was going to prepare for her finals, she barely noticed her first customer come in the side door.

As she was preheating the cappuccino machines, she finally noticed she wasn’t alone and briefly turned to say she’d be with them in just a minute, barely registering that it was a guy and that he was smiling. As she was turning back to her work, her brain caught up to her eyes and she snapped back around in a double take at that gorgeous smile and then caught a glimpse at his eyes- the most beautiful smile and eye combination she’d ever seen. He was wearing a black coat over a teal polo shirt and his eyes seemed to match his shirt, though she was a little blinded by his gleaming white, perfect smile.

Temporarily dumbfounded and inwardly hoping her gasp wasn’t as loud to everyone else in the room as it was in her head, she had to close her mouth to prevent the drool from escaping and tried to get her facial muscles to mirror back a smile….and hopefully not the “debonair smile” she’d seen countless times in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, her favorite movie.

She became instantly self-conscious and hoped that she looked as cute as she thought she did when she dressed this morning- she had on her ever stylish zip-up red flannel over a white long john shirt, jeans and her beige work boots (“Doc Martens” she bought at WalMart). She never was one for being at the forefront of fashion, but, oh who was she kidding- she was rocking those work boots and she knew it.

She managed to find her voice and took his order. As he was chatting away, she was lost in her thoughts, again. He was cute. Very cute. TOO cute. He’d never go for a girl like her. She’s too much of a nerd and opinionated and not very attractive. She’s smart, nice and funny, but, no guys ever ask her out, so might as well just take his order and talk to him. Maybe they could become friends and she could help him with his future relationship issues- he could get any girl he wanted and probably already had a girlfriend, anyway. Besides, guys that look like him are usually stuck up and vain. Ugh. What a douche. A cute douche with the most perfect smile and eyes…..*siiiigh* Wait…what’s that he just said? He’s going to the Christmas party tomorrow? Did he just say he was going to wear a black leather coat while sticking his thumb up and saying, “Heeeey,” like the Fonz? Is he still smiling? At me?? Is he kinda slow? Well at least he has a good sense of humor. Did I put on deodorant this morning?

She made him his cappuccino and hoped it was the best cappuccino he ever had. He took a sip and visibly shook himself saying, “Wow- this is strong. Is it really a cappuccino?”

At first horrified and then taking umbrage at being questioned on her both her knowledge of and ability to make a good cappuccino, she quickly informed him that it was and if he didn’t like it, he should have ordered a latte.

Registering that she was hostile offended, he quickly said, “No, no. I love strong coffee. It’s my favorite,” and then flashed her that gorgeous, knee melting smile once again.

Ok. He was forgiven. For now.

They continued to talk about the party and soon realized how much time had passed and that they both needed to get to class. He waved goodbye and told her he’d see her at the party the next day and once again lit up the room with his smile.

As she followed him with her eyes, a painfully goofy smile on her own face, she sighed, and finished up her shift before heading out to class, once again lost in her thoughts. Would he come like he said he would? Would he fall in love with her....I mean her cheesecakes? Was he going to turn out to be a vain jerk?

Oh heck. What did it matter. A guy like him would never go for a girl like her, anyway….

(Part Two: The Christmas Party is here.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013!

Even though 2012 had some, shall we say, "bumps in the road," I'm happy to report that it actually ended really well. We capped it off by having a great New Year's Eve (not that we were awake at midnight- we’re parents of a toddler now and one of us happens to be 7 months pregnant....you do the math) where my Mister and I got to see The Hobbit. (!!) It was an actual date. Alone. Without Little Mister. WAHOO! And, I’m actually looking forward to what this New Year will bring instead of dreading what unknown curveballs it may send my way.

When last I left you, things were kinda sorta looking up for me in a, “Meh…whatever….eat, sleep, try not to hide when I see people” type of way. It was actually an improvement from the, “OH WOE IS ME! ACK! People! *Hisss* *Snarl*” outlook I had earlier. And now, I am happy to report that I’ve improved even more. I’m now in a, “A New Year- how exciting! Oh look! People! They don’t look too stupid so I think I’ll smile at them! ” outlook. I’ve even been using smileys in my emails and actually wish I had more energy during the day so that I could get things done instead of wasting Little Mister’s naptime by taking a nap myself. (Oh who am I kidding- I love sleeping. YAY FOR NAPS!)

I noticed an upswing in my outlook in November- we took a cruise to New Zealand which I had been looking forward to for a long time. I really really really wanted to tour Hobbiton, truth be told. However, I had been really scared that I wouldn’t be able to walk more than 10 minutes much less the couple hours the tour would require. (Background info: I ran a 10K in June and by the end of August I couldn’t walk more than 10 minutes without feeling like my pubic symphysis was going to split in two. My pelvic girdle/pubic symphysis/sacral joint issues were the cause of my constant pain last pregnancy and a huge reason for my lack of blogging- I was beyond miserable. Since the pain started earlier this time around, I thought I was doomed for 9 months of agonizing pain, which was a major component of my despondent first trimester.)

HOWEVER. Not only was I able to walk around for much longer than I had anticipated, I was able to do it with this cute, sleepy little Hobbit strapped to my chest.


Knock knock, Bilbo!

We were able to tour Hobbiton without feeling like I was steps away from Mount Doom and I left Middle Earth New Zealand with a hope that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Perhaps the rest of my pregnancy wasn’t going to be as miserable as I had anticipated!

My prrreciousssssss
We even got to utilize some of the crochet creations I made earlier in the year.


Bat Hobbit is hungry!


I was and have been in a much better mood ever since. I actually got in the Christmas Spirit and decorated the house instead of being a Grinch like last year. We had a great Christmas- I think I was more excited for Little Mister to open his gifts than I was for my own.

And then… a miracle of miracles happened. Something that hadn’t happened in nearly 6 months. I, Gege from GegeCrochet, actually started crocheting again. *GAAAASP!*

Not only that, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to start this new year with an actual finished object- and even a pattern! I’m putting the finishing touches on it and should have it done today or tomorrow. Let me tell ya- it felt good to let those creative juices flow again. My Mister has been really happy about it, too. He’s been pressuring encouraging me to crochet for a long time now and he really wanted me to finish this particular project ASAP. Granted, he’s also realizing that, while Gege crocheting again = happier wife, it also means a messier, yarn strewn living room again. Even so, I think it’s a tradeoff he’s willing to make. ;)

So, there you have it. A start to a New Year filled with hope in my heart, a smile on my face, and a hook and yarn in my hand.

I wish you all a very Happy 2013!