Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Club

A few months ago, I stepped out on a limb to pursue one of my dreams. I started a Book Club. Jeff thinks this is the funniest thing ever, and our friend Jake told me last night that I needed to apologize for the dorkiness of this every time until I'm 40, at which point things like "Book Clubs" become more socially acceptable. Luckily, I learned back in my high school newspaper editing days not to let a few jealous haters ruin my fun. :)

Last night, eleven wonderful girls from all different areas of my life came over to sit in my living room, have wine & cheese, and chat about a fantastic book. We had so much fun that I thought I'd include you all too. **If you are like my sister who RSVPed: "I hate reading and don't drink wine. I LOVE cheese, but that's not a big enough motivation to outweigh the other two" I'll forgive you if you think this post is boring. Just come back tomorrow when I move on to more ridiculous and funny things. :)

This month's book was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The story takes place in Mississippi in 1962 and centers around a 22 year old college graduate who is more or less an outcast among her high class "Junior League" friends because she isn't married yet. Anyway, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement across America, the main character decides to write a book anonymously telling the stories of some the black maids living and working for her friends' families. I can't really put it into words but it is BEAUTIFULLY written, and really opens your eyes to our past and even a little bit of our present. I HIGHLY recommend this book for your holiday reading.

Also, if you are feeling especially motivated, check out The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society too. This our December/January pick. Read up, and I'll post some notes from our discussion in mid January.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has already voted in our Table Decorating Contest. We've had over 50 votes and the race is CLOSE! (Thanks to a major comeback on my part today... whew.) I'll keep the poll up until Wednesday, so, if you haven't already, cast your vote now!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

TODAY: Table Queen 2009

It's finally here... Thanksgiving!! Hope each of you enjoy your day with family friends & remember all the things you have to be thankful for. I'm certainly thanking my God for all the blessings he has given me this year!

In the meantime, check out our table pictures for the decorating contest and PLEASE cast your vote on the RIGHT MARGIN.

Happy Holiday!
E





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomorrow!


Hey folks,

As promised... tomorrow is, yes Thanksgiving, but also the 3rd Annual Table Decorating Contest at my house!!

This began as a "convenience" a few years ago when my mom and her BFF decided to say goodbye to stuffy Thanksgivings with the same family members they see every week and join together for more of a "Thanksgiving Party." However, since no one had matching dishes/flatware/etc. for groups of 20+, it was decided that each "hostess" would set & decorate her own table. The idea being that, at the end of the evening, each person would only have to take home and clean up dishes and linens for six-eight people instead. Being a newlywed that year and anxious for my first chance to use wedding china, I joined in.

Thus, a healthy competition was born.

If you came to my house right now you would find three gigantic plastic tables with hideous folding chairs overwhelming my usually "simple" decor. BUT, tonight at 7, we will begin the transformations. In years past Mom, Peggy, and I have taken photos of our tables and e-mailed them (without our names, obviously) to friends for a vote. This year, we will use the blog!!
So, in between parades, turkey, naps, and football.... please stop back by tomorrow to vote for the Table Queen 2009.

Love & Thanks to you ALL!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Am Thankful For...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Worst Nightmare!

This morning, while preparing to share the very exciting extra credit opportunity with my 1st period class, I made the mistake of saying: "I have some really good news for you..."

Then, without warning, a student yelled out: "You're pregnant!!"

Nope. Just chubby.

I said: "No... Not pregnant."

Another student: "You're getting a divorce!'

Nope.... And sad that that falls into the category of "good news" for you.

Just 5 points extra credit for turning in a picture of something demonstrating irony.

Monday with 15 year olds... Never a dull moment!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Things We Do

It is Saturday, & I am at school monitoring "Saturday School." It is a detention-type event targeting the real delinquents of the school. Lovely. We also offer something called "Second Chance Saturday" simultaneously.

SO... yesterday I invited (that's my nice/deceiving way of saying ASSIGNED) "Second Chance" to one of my students who has several missing assignments. I told him I would be working & could help him catch up. I also e-mailed his mom to make sure she was aware of the opportunity.
Her response?
I quote:

"I would love for him to be there, but Saturday's aren't good for us. Could you possibly give us a 'wake-up' call that morning?"

Certainly.
And thank you for staying at Holiday Inn.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Installing a Husband

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as: NASCAR 5.0, NFL 3.0 and BASEBALL 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed,
Desperate.


DEAR DESPERATE,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2. Also, do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the jewelry and flowers applications.

However, remember that overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1. *Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend: Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck !
Tech Support

DISCLAIMER: (Because my friend JOE RICHMOND told me I've been too hard on Jeff lately.) I did not write this, my friend Steph sent it via e-mail forward this morning. My husband is wonderful. He has only gotten more wonderful since we got married. He DOES play a lot of video games, IS balding, and tends to stifle my shopping abilities; however, he is excellent with a vacuum, takes really good care of me, AND makes my life so much more fun! I like Husband 1.0 a lot more than Boyfriend 5.0. **P.S. I also really love my Mother-in-Law!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

.4

This is a rant, a plea for help.

For the last three weeks I have lost .4 lbs. at every Weight Watchers weigh-in. SO encouraging. THEN, this week I actually gained .4 lbs. Even better. This brings me to a whopping total loss of 1.8 lbs. in FIVE WEEKS "on plan."

Today I am so frustrated. What is wrong with me? Other people like food too - trust me, I go to these meetings. I see people; I hear what they say. But, I, have no self-control. Even paying $9.00 a week doesn't seem to do the trick, to stop me from a second helping of cake or a cheeseburger over a salad. I just don't know what it will take --- especially this time of year. It seems I am surrounded by delicious food and skinny friends. Ugg. **Even my sister has lost 5 lbs. now and, last night, won her first "5 Pound Loss" sticker. Oh how I coveted. A sticker. See what my life has come to?

Yesterday Poppy said, "Well, that's not worth it. You should quit." Awesome. Then again, at least I'm not GAINING... at least not more than I've lost. :)

So, my question today: Should I renew my membership at WW and keep on "trucking" for another 2 lbs. in a month, or should I just give up? And, if I do stick with it, what in the world can I do to get a grip on myself? I need help... really.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Marriage Advice

Fact. Shopping with a man is a fun spoiler.

If anyone asks, I always say that money has been the hardest area of my marriage so far. Jeff is a financial planner. He is a budgeter. He is a saver. I am a shopper. I can't help it; it is in my genes. **Even my 78 year old Granny redecorates her living room once a year and has a new outfit for church every Sunday. I often tell Jeff that if we weren't married I'd have the cutest apartment and the best wardrobe in the world; AND, I'd be in credit-card debt up to my eyeballs. I mean, life's about choices, right?

Now, there has been improvement. Big improvement. I still shop, but I'm more of a clearance-rack,consignment store, TJ Maxx girl these days. However, I still "glow" when I'm shopping. I love it. And, after our very wise Pastor once told Jeff not to "stunt my creativity and passions," Jeff has learned to embrace and accept at least a good sale & a reasonable amount of shopping. So, life is pretty good...

...10 months out of the year. And then... it's the holiday season, which presents a new challenge. This weekend was no exception.

After Thursday night "shopping," which to Jeff only meant "browsing," at the Junior League Stocked Market, we were already off to a bad start. Then, Saturday we found ourselves with a glorious 30 minutes inside a huge mall in Charlotte. I'd like to give you a glimpse of our conversation:

Jeff: "Elizabeth, you literally light up when you walk into a mall. You are so excited? Do you love this? Are you so excited?"

Me: "Yes, this is a beautiful mall. I'm glad you recognize how happy this makes me. At least I can't do too much damage in 30 minutes - maybe just some Christmas shopping."

(2 minutes later in Anthropologie) *Jeff has been picking up items and dramatically gasping at their price. (VERY embarrassing.)

Me: "Oh, can I please buy these tropical bird plates for my Thanksgiving Table decorations? They are only 4 dollars each and I really love them."

Jeff: "They are plastic. And, they are ugly. Do you really want these?"

Me: "Yes, they are so cool. Besides, we need plastic plates - you know, for pizza and more 'casual' meals."

Jeff: "No. If I liked them, you could get them. But really, they are ugly. I know you want Anthropologie to be your style, but let's face it... it really isn't."

Me: "Let's leave. I'm over shopping. You take all the joy out of it."

(10 minutes later... After I have pouted all the way down the mall & through JCrew.)

Me: "Jeff, you really don't think about how what you say effects me. Anthropologie IS my style. How can you say it is not? Do you know how much I enjoy decorating? The plates were on sale. I don't understand why you have to be so negative about everything. I hate shopping with you."

***At this point, Jeff kindly apologized. (He knows what a passionate and very serious subject this is for me.) And then proceeded to take me through Pottery Barn to "get ideas." Later, he suggested we go back and get the plates... but I refused. (Truth be told, they really were a little weird for Thanksgiving. Tropical Birds on Plastic?)

Sunday night, my mom announced that she and my dad bought all new things to decorate her Thanksgiving table at Pottery Barn. See what I am up against?

Moral of the story: I bought new napkins and a centerpiece yesterday at TJ Maxx. It tends to work better for me to discuss purchases with my husband AFTER I have bought them.

Oh the hardships of married life! Haha!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Burnt Toast

This weekend, Jeff & I took a whirlwind trip with his family to Charlotte for a family friend's wedding. The wedding was beautiful and lots of fun --- the night even ended with Marshall & Freda gettin' it down in a dance club called "The Dirty Martini." Folks, it doesn't get much better than that.

Anyway, this was a Southern Baptist wedding with no drinking and no dancing; therefore, to fill the time, each member of the wedding party was given an opportunity to speak into the microphone and toast the couple. I don't think the maids and men were warned about this obligation because a lot of nervous giggling and inappropriate stories ensued. One woman even actually mentioned having her feet in STIRRUPS at one point... at a wedding!

Naturally, this got me thinking about wedding toasts. In the three and half years since we graduated, goodness knows Jeff & I have heard our fair share. *We've both even stumbled through our own blunders plenty a time - so no judgement here. BUT, the truth is, most toasts would really be better off written in a friendly letter later on. So, as a professional wedding guest, I offer:

Top Ten Things NOT To Do in a Wedding Toast:
1. Discuss reasons and/or examples of why you thought the couple would NEVER work.
2. Mention (repeatedly) how many times the bride/groom said they would NEVER marry said partner.
3. Giggle uncontrollably about nothing. Example: "There are SO many funny stories... (Giggle, Giggle, Giggle.)" (If you do plan to do this, at least TELL the funny story eventually.
4. Talk about previous boyfriends/girlfriends. (Obviously.)
5. Mention anything having to do with the bedroom, the bathroom, or the labor & delivery room.
6. Release well-kept secrets (like the couple already living together) to unassuming grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
7. Talk excessively about your wedding/wife/husband/etc. (This is not YOUR day, please.)
8. Thank the parents of the bride for the open bar --- really, just tacky.
9. ANYTHING that takes you past the five minute mark. (Avoid all powerpoint presentations and the like.)
10. Profess YOUR love for the bride or groom.

Let's keep this going... What would you suggest?

A few pictures from the weekend:
And... Just in case anyone is more interested in a wedding of their own than a wedding toast. Meet my single brother-in-law. Trust me, he has PLENTY of flaws... But he's a good guy all around. Contact me for more information.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fashion Frustration

This morning, because I was feeling especially put-togetherish, I decided to starch and iron my pants before work. Big mistake.

Apparently, I did something wrong because I have been sticking to chairs and making weird rubbing noises all day. At least my pants are pleated.

ALSO, I bought a cute, new, trendy outfit to wear to a party tonight ONLY to find out that, because of the torrential downpours, everyone is wearing jeans.

This is why I don't try.

P.S. How cute & funny are these?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Archives

Facebook Envy

Is it just me, or is Facebook ruining any one else's self-confidence and contentment?

I admit that I have a little bit of a Facebook obsession. I really like it - especially when people post pictures and/or funny status updates. However, I've started to realize that Facebook really makes me feel bad about myself. Why?

For starters, people only post beautiful pictures of themselves and feel totally comfortable tagging hideous ones of other people. I'm not really a photo poster, therefore, the pictures of me are ugly while everyone else seems to be getting skinnier, happier, and tanner with each day.

Second, rarely do people post things about every day "adventures" like working or going to class. Instead, it seems that all of my friends are travelling around the world, meeting celebrities, saving kittens, etc. etc. etc. Honestly, life appears to be exceptionally exciting for everyone BUT me.

Also, Facebook makes me become slightly stalkerish, and I feel left-out of things I would never even normally know about. Example: If a friend writes on another friend's wall about getting lunch, I am hurt that I wasn't invited. What is wrong with me, really?

Finally, FB just makes me want to have a baby THAT much more. (Preferably, one that I can dress up really cutely, take pictures of at all events/holidays, and write funny stories about.) Really, the things I am most envious of involve baking while my baby naps, or taking my pre-schooler to Story Time... Oh, one day...

Hmm... Could it be time for a social networking detox? Anyone with me?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

If you are a 15 year-old boy, or my husband and his friends, you know that today is a very special day: It is the release day for the video game 'Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.' If you are especially dedicated - like my 25 year-old husband & his friends - you went to Walmart at midnight last night. **This is probably the dorkiest thing I've ever heard of, but I try not to judge. Imagine if I tried to do this on the day JCrew released a new cardigan.

A little history is needed here...

Jeff's video gaming addiction began back in high school - an acceptable time to experiment with "hobbies," in my opinion. Through-out college his interest decreased -- a reasonable ebb -- and by the time we got married, we didn't even own a gaming system. (See how well I now know the lingo?)

THEN, on the eve of another one of these releases a little over two years ago, in the spirit of being a "cool" new wife, I accompanied my husband to Walmart late at night in a moment of frivolous passion to buy an Xbox 360. If only I had known what I was signing up for... (SIDE NOTE: This is probably the first and only frivilous purchase Jeff has ever made.)

In our small apartment, the video gaming began. We even set up a separate TV for his game so that it didn't have to dominate my life too. Then, one afternoon, in the name of re-decorating, I dropped the hunk of a television (I had to call Poppy to come over and help me pick it up again... You know you are desperate when you call a 91 year old for help lifting heavy objects). The TV was no more.

And so began a two year hiatus. During that time, we moved into a new house and I graciously offered Jeff a small upstairs closet with the broken TV and a beanbag to serve as his game room. I fondly referred to it as the "clubhouse," but Jeff didn't buy it. Xbox went untouched.

THEN... Howard lost his job. This might not sound like something that would effect our life too directly; but, trust me, it does. Howard had a lot of extra time on his hands and a spare flat screen just laying around; thus, the creation of the MAN CAVE. Just months ago Jeff & Howard set out to build some space for their ridiculous addictions in the basement. **This is really just an unfinished basement with one wall, a nice TV, and excellent surround sound. Whatever floats your boat.

Welcome to my life. There is nothing like decorating your upstairs and lighting a relaxing Pumpkin Spice candle with the sound of warfare echoing through the house. (Sigh.)

Hello 'Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2,'
Please make yourself at home in my basement (under no circumstances are you allowed upstairs). I know you will be having an affair with my husband for the next two to three weeks, but I expect to have him home safely by the holidays.
Thank you,
Elizabeth

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Contest

Pet Peeve

I try not to be one of those English teachers that goes around nagging her friends about their language. That said, sometimes little things just jump out and drive me crazy. This isn't my only pet peeve or the most important, rest assured. BUT, recently this little mistake seems to keep popping up in all sorts of everyday places (i.e. facebook, text messages, etc. etc.).

So, a little English lesson for you today:

The word meaning "the same," "as already stated," "what she said," is DITTO.

DIDO, on the other hand, actually means "a trick or prank." It is also the name of a greek goddess, and most recently, an English musician best known for the highly esteemed work done with Eminem on the 8 Mile movie soundtrack.
Just in case there was any confusion.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Commenting 101

It has come to my attention that many of my readers are unable to post comments following the blog entry. I REALLY want to see who is reading & hear what you have to say. So, the teacher in me has put together some instructions for posting comments. If you follow these four easy steps, you too can be an active blog participator:

1. Click on the orange "Comment" link at the bottom of my entry.

2. Type your comment into the box provided.

(Now this is where things get tricky...)

3. Next to the words "Comment As" select an option from the scroll down menu:
- If you have a Gmail, AIM, WordPress, or LiveJournal account, this is SUPER easy: Just click on that option, type in your account name, and click "Continue." **Some readers, like my devoted sister, have even reverted back to their 1990 AOL username, soley for posting purposes.
- If you have a website (or your own blog), click on "Name/URL," fill in the information, and click "Continue."
- If you have none of the above, choose "Anonymous" from the menu and just be sure to add your name to the end of your post.

4. Don't forget to click on "Publish Post" when everything has gone through.

Easy as pie... Here's to hoping many more comment!!

(P.S. If you aren't reading the comment section of the blog, I highly recommend it. My friends are much funnier than I am.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rock the Vote 2009

In honor of Election day... we hosted our own race and the votes are in.

Jeff and I so appreciate all your support and help in making this decision regarding the future of his hair. After 24 nerve-wracking hours, the votes are tallied and the decision is made (albeit by a VERY close margin...).

Jeff will be... Taking it like a man and losing his hair naturally. Thanks to some excellent advice/reasoning by our friends Mary & Jake (please see their comments if you haven't already), we may very well be shaving it all off one day in the near future. But for now, we will continue our game of scalp peek-a-boo.

Thanks again for all your votes!! It was fun!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Important Life Decision - We Need Your Help!

First of all, let me assure all of you that I have Jeff's complete approval and support in posting about this very private topic. This is something that we have been discussing and thinking about for some time now and even consulted a number of experts, but we have reached a point of desperation. We need your help making this very important life decision.

Here goes:

As you may have noticed, my dear husband has begun losing his hair. This is a shot of the top of his head -- notice the thinning and receding.

This decision is not as easy as one might think. On today's market, there are a number of options for regrowing and reviving hair. However, besides a little gel here and there, Jeff is pretty au naturale. Plus, in the business field, it isn't exactly a negative for him to look older than 13. (We both still get carded for rated R movies -- perhaps balding could help?!) HOWEVER, we've heard many a bald man say "If only I'd done something when I first started balding." So, the true question: is bald hot or not?

Please see the poll on the right side of my page. We are counting on you to help us make this difficult decision more clear. You will have until MIDNIGHT on THURSDAY Nov. 5th to cast your vote. The final decision will be posted on Friday... this could be a major turning point in our lives and marriage.


For those of you still deciding, here is a picture to help you imagine the potential results of treatment.

We simply can't do this without you.

Addy has voted... Now how about you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All American Bank Robbers

(Is it possible that the US government is going to track me down because of this title? Let's hope not... although it would be good for blog stats.)

I feel like there is so much to catch up on; but, I'll start with Halloween 2009. Jeff and I dressed as the famous 1920s criminal duo - Bonnie & Clyde. Here we are below.


Didn't we do well?

This was the first time we've gotten to dress up for an actual Halloween party since college. We really got into it -- I even made Jeff watch the trailer for the Bonnie & Clyde movie so that we would be "inspired." Luckily, we did nothing illegal that night. :)

The party was on Friday, and by Saturday we were too worn out to go all out again. So on the actual holiday, Jeff and I simply called ourselves an "old married couple" (i.e. we didn't dress up) and handed out candy to the kiddos in the neighborhood. We probably had over 100 trick-or-treaters and ran out of candy towards the end of the night. Jeff wanted to just turn out the lights and hide, but I took to handing out granola bars and sodas instead --- yes folks, we were "those people" that gave your kids stuff from our pantry. Oops.


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