Friday, November 30, 2007

Do NOT collect $200

I'm having one of those days where I doubt my tenacity, courage and stamina in this to-each-his-own race to the finish. Does the line, "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me," ever make you shake your head in frustration?
WE are not supposed to see life this way. WE are supposed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and thereby shine His light to the world. Do you think there is a "Get out of jail FREE" card for Grace?
Do you think God ever says, "You know what? You did your best. This really is an impossible situation. You don't have to keep going. Here. Here's a new handbag."
Is there a line, a limit? Do we ever reach a point in the "race," where we've done enough and can retire?
Don't answer that.
But really. What does God think? Does He think I'm doing a good job? Does He think I'm doing my best? Is He proud of me?
Last night, Dad read to me (paraphrased), "All we have to do is proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ and the rest will follow. If we do that, the listener will never be the same, regardless of their choice."
I believe this.
But what about me?
It all comes down to one thing: Who am I in Christ?
How the [bleep] do I know?
Really? Who AM I in Christ? Do we ever really know?
Do you know?
Do you know who you are in Christ?
While I'm at it, do any of YOU know who I am in Christ? Let me know if you have some ideas. I'm at a loss.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SURVIVOR - Wisconsin Style

Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, Wisconsin is planning to do its own, entitled "Survivor - Wisconsin Style"
The contestants will start in Milwaukee, travel up to Sheboygan and on to Manitowoc and Green Bay. Then they will head over to Wausau and up to Rhinelander and Minocqua. From there they will proceed up to Ashland and Superior. Then back down through Hayward, Rice Lake, Balsam Lake, Chetek, over to Eau Claire and all the way down to Madison and back over to Milwaukee.
Each contestant will be driving a pink Volvo with Minnesota license plates and a large bumper sticker that reads: Brett Favre is Gay. Hillary in 2008. Deer hunting is murder. Go Vikings.
The first one who makes it back to Milwaukee alive wins.


I'm making a New Year's Resolution.
I'm not sure if it's 11 months late or one month early...
Doesn't matter.
My goal?
To be on time for work at 90% or better between now and March 1, 2008.
By my count, there are 63 work days between now and then.
90% of 63 is ~57 days.
"On time" means at or before 8:00am every day.
There is nothing that keeps me more accountable than my blog, so here goes. So far I'm 1 for 1. We're off to a good start.

This could be a great experiment.
The ENFP, when put in a situation where she is forced to go against the grain of her P-ness, will more than likely fail miserably. When kept accountable, however, by herself and her blog-friends, has a much higher chance of success.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I thought of something!

Last night after dinner (mashed potatoes and corn--a side dish bonanza!), Richard and I enjoyed some snuggle time on the couch--something that is getting tougher by the day due to my rapidly growing body.
Later, as we were going to bed I said, "Thanks for the cuddle time tonight. I liked it."
He snarkily said, "Yeah, sometimes I just like cuddling and having it not have to go anywhere."


Thank you, friends, for not pointing out to me yesterday that my bad day might have been made worse by hormones.
This fact occurred to me at about 10pm last night.
Today is going better.

Hopefully I'll have another blog for you later today. At the moment, I'm at a loss.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh, NO.

I stayed up til 1am last night playing with my iPod. I added a bunch of new cd's, downloaded songs from when I was in highschool, and created a bunch of new playlists. What fun!
I wish I could tell you it was worth it. I originally intended to tell you all that I think I might be turning into an introvert, but that was before.
Before my entire day went to SHIT.
It all started at 1am last night when I set my alarm for 6:45pm instead of am.
Now, I wish I could tell you that was true.
Instead, it's just what I'm telling my co-workers. In actuality, I thought my boss was going to be out of town early this morning, so I hit the snooze...for an hour.
A word to the wise: If you're toing to play with fire, you'd better damn well make sure that your boss IS OUT OF TOWN.
Imagine my horror when his car was in his spot this morning when I got here, after sitting in traffic for longer than I should have at that late hour, drove through McDonald's where they screwed up my order, and drove around for 15 minutes looking for a parking spot.
Needless to say, the bossman wasn't too happy with me by the time I walked in the door at NINE. THIRTY., only to discover / remember that I have to leave at 11:30 to work at a United Way phone bank until 6pm tonight.
Did I have the heart to tell the bossman that I'm leaving at 11:30 for the rest of the day? Nope.
Sure hope his flights go ok, because he won't be able to get ahold of me.
I hate getting in "trouble." I would ask you to pray for the rest of my day, but I'm keenly aware that everything that has gone wrong today is simply due to my own carelessness, selfishness, laziness, and pridefulness.
On the bright side (the only bright side), I have several new playlists to listen to this morning while I race around trying to get stuff done.
-Memories; songs that take me to a specific time and place (this list will grow over time)
-Songs to teach baby (songs I intend to sing with my baby in the car--yes, AC/DC made the list)
-Lullaby (songs to learn to sing to baby in the rocking chair)
-Christmas (only my select favorites--Nick & Jessica didn't make the cut)
-Envelope Stuffing (fun stuff to listen to while I'm doing a crappy boring job at work)
-P&W (again, I'm trying to be very selective on this one--no MWS, ifyouknowwhatImean)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Still Swankful

What a wonderful weekend!
I haven't seen my brother in almost two years. It was SO great to spend some time with him, goofing around and just being ourselves. Isn't it a great feeling remembering how much you LIKE someone? : )
Here are some pics from our weekend in Lincoln.

McClain arriving on Thursday evening. Can you tell I'm bawling?

Big Mac, hangin out after a LONG drive.
Easton. What a doll. For more pics of this guy, check out my other post.

Miranda, stop taking my picture!
Family photo. We'd all been working really hard to clean out Grandma's house. Please excuse the dirty outfits and sweaty faces.

Evan, Ashley and McClain. The Arkansas Crew.

When did McClain get so tall?

Sorry, Dad. Terrible photo of you. Cute one of Mickey D, though. : )

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Ever since Carla's post, we don't say "thanks" at our house. We say "swanks."
This year I am swankful for Swanksgiving.
I am swankful for the long weekend.
I am swankful for the family time.
I am even swankful for the road trip we're taking today at 1pm.
I am swankful to get away from work for a little while.
I am swankful that the weather should be good for our drive down.
I am especially swankful that my brother will be there this year (!!!).
I am swankful that Carla posted about Swanks so that I won't get all teary-eyed when I'm writing about what I'm swankful for, since I'm really a lot more swankful than is easy to express in blogdom, which, I am also very swankful for.

God's blessings on your Swanksgiving, everyone. I hope you all enjoy my favorite holiday.

What's your number one Swanks this year?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


And you wonder why I won't get in the river.
You can't see your feet? This guy's gonna take advantage of the murky water and EAT. YOU. Not just your cute little poodle. YOU.

In this photo released by World Wildlife Fund-National Geographic, two Thai fishermen show a 293-kilogram (646-pound) giant catfish they caught from the Mekong River in Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand in mid-May, 2005. Six proposed dams on the Mekong River could displace up to 75, 000 villagers and harm hundreds of species like the endangered giant catfish, conservationists warned Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007. (AP Photo/World Wildlife Fund-National Geographic, Suthep Kritsanavarin, File)

Bah! I keep looking at it and gagging. I'm fighting the urge to hold my feet off the ground.
Boogity. Ew! I don't want anybody (including God's creatures) to lose their homes, but. Oh, man. I'm seriously rattled by this photo.

What they didn't publish in the press release is that they opened this guy up to find none other than Amelia Earhart. Whole.

That's My Sister!

Hockey and Basketball Deliver CSB Athletes of the Week
The College of Saint Benedict Athletic department has named their athletes of the week.

First-year goaltender Amanda Plumm (Lake Elmo, Minn/Lake Elmo) stopped 41 St. Mary’s shots en route to a shutout and a 1-0 win on Saturday. So far Plumm has tallied 90 stops on the season.

First-year wing Laura Canton (Pine Island, Minn./Pine Island) scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds in her first collegiate basketball game, a 90-52 win over Fontbonne University.

YEAH, NOONIE! Good work. You're making your mark at college already! I couldn't be more proud.

Pass the Buck

Yesterday I was furious with somebody who blamed me for his mistake, thereby embarassing me (and himself) in front of our boss.
Today I did it to somebody else without thinking about it. I don't think I embarassed anyone with my buck pass or caused any problems, but it still wasn't the most honest thing I've done today.
My baby is going to turn out to be evil, I just know it. Buck Passers spawn evil children.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Only 2 Months Late...

Naomi, get over here and get this insane quilt I made for your baby!

I hope it doesn't make her go cross-eyed. If it does, you can give it to my baby to get even.

p.s. Check out the high waters. Hott.

Call me Ishmael.

Ever since I finished Moby Dick my junior year in college, I've had a thing for whales. (Please note the most important word of the preceding sentence: finished.) Not because I loved the book so much and it's endless chapters about ROPE, but over spring break that year my family went to Hawaii and we were able to see whales from the beach. Very cool.
I was clicking around the blogs and found the Unseen Blogger's post about an albino whale.
Apparently some ahem-hippies-ahem have their undies in a bunch about whaling off the coast of Japan. As I understand it, Japanese whalers are killing approximately 1,000 whales per year in the name of "scientific research" and then selling the meat for food.
An albino whale that's being hunted.
Call me Ishmael, but could this be a symbol of something greater going on in the world?
To be fair, I think Ahab was hunting a pure white Sperm Whale, but you get my point.
I was so excited and proud of the parallel I had drawn (and commented on in the aforementioned blog) that when I was interrupted by one of my higher ranking co-workers, I spewed the information I had just gleaned along with my parallel.
I guess you could say I am a veritable blowhole of useless information.
His response?
"I'm glad to see you have time to whale watch during your busy day. Can I buy a t-shirt or anything to support this white whale?"


I have something I need to get off my chest.
Remember the spiritual gift of "Helps" that oh-so-many of you women out there have in abundance?
I don't have it.
You won't find me elbowing my way into the kitchen to help clean up after dinner. I won't drop what I'm doing to help a co-worker find a stapler. I won't put your project before mine. It just doesn't occur to me. It's not because I don't WANT to be helpful. I just don't have that gene.
My job poses a serious problem in this area. I am a paid helper. I get worn out easily trying to help create presentations, help find sh*t, help find PEOPLE, help schedule meetings, help organize...
Now, this isn't to say that I won't do absolutely EVERYTHING necessary to help a friend or loved one in need, and that's the truth. Surgery? I'm there. Broken femur? Count me in. Death in the family? You can count on me.
It just probably won't occur to me to do your dishes. I'm sorry.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Other random thoughts:
1. Rich and I are ready for Iron Chef America: VELVEETA!
3. As well as Iron Chef America: SPAM!
5. Yes, I will be out with the masses shopping on Black Friday. What do I need?
-New undergarments
-A camcorder (or whatever we're calling them in Y2K)
-To spend the rest of my birthday money. (I'm thinking it might be time for another purse. Or some more earrings. Or a camcorder. I just don't know!)
6. I HAVE TO see Love in the time of Cholera if it's the last thing I do!
7. I might ACTUALLY get the laundry done before we leave for Nebraska. RAD!
8. Try Puffs Plus with Vicks even if you don't have a cold. I've never enjoyed a tissue more.
9. Thanksgiving is on Thursday! As said in Corky said, "Get me out of this 'ell 'ole!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flip Rolls

Flip Buns?
I made up a recipe tonight. At least I think I did. I can't decide to call them Flip Rolls or Flip Buns.
I guess I'm leaning more toward Flip Rolls because it sounds like a command that would really confuse Pedro. Thoughts?

Turn Hawaiian sweet rolls upside down in a pan.
Don't bother greasing.
Melt 1/2 stick of butter with 1/2C brown sugar in a small saucepan on the stove.
Stir in a dash of cinnamon and a drop or two of vanilla.
Stir, stir, stir.
Pour mixture over rolls.
Sprinkle with a little extra brown sugar.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until you can't take it anymore.
Let cool (if you want) and eat.

I couldn't even get a photo before we had eaten half the pan.

These are very healthy and calorie free.
I swear.
A word of caution: Turn off your burners.

My Birthday

I had a wonderful birthday.
I got to sleep in, then Rich and I drove to St. Cloud to watch Mandi play hockey. She was AWESOME! It was St. Ben's first conference win AND a shut out, led by freshman goalie, my sister! What a fun game to watch.
Afterword, Rich, Mandi and I went out to dinner and then to the mall where Richard bought me a pair of aquamarine earrings (the birthstone of our baby) for my birthday. They can be seen here (click on the photo to zoom in).
We came home andd I got to spend two hours reading Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my all time favorite author of all time. That's two all times. THE MOVIE CAME OUT ON FRIDAY!!!! I'm trying to finish the book (again) in time to see it before it leaves the theaters. I have low hopes. Anything I like doesn't last long...
Anyhow, could a girl ask for more for her birthday? Really?
Here are some photos from the day:

Friday, November 16, 2007


I turn 26 tomorrow.
I'm dealing with it a LOT better than I did with 25.
For my 25th birthday a bunch of us went out for dinner where I proceeded to get veeery drunk. In front of my in-laws.
I feel like I should be embarassed about that, but I think they found it amusing.
The best part of the night?
My friends singing Frere Jaques in rounds instead of Happy Birthday. That will forever remain embedded in my memory of all time favorite things.
The next best part of the night?
The meatball eating contest.

Guess you had to be there.
Singing Frere Jaques and blowing out candles.

This should give you an idea for where I was at...

Drunk face...and flashing the camera. All class, all the way.
Is this going to be one of those things I regret in an hour?
Don't worry--I didn't ACTUALLY show anything. It looks worse than it is because of the crop. I swear.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Warning: This post contains adult language.

I just got asked if I would be willing to work part time while I'm on maternity leave.

Heck no.



It was 5:13 this morning when Richard woke me up talking in his sleep (this NEVER happens).
The cat quietly crept up and laid on my shoulder (balanced perfectly on my side) with his nose behind my ear. I have no idea how often he does this.
I thought for sure I saw something shadowy moving out of the corner of my eye.
I could hear Pedro growling and whimpering in his sleep.
I heard something moving outside.
All of these things put together totally freaked me out.
I woke Richard up.
"Hi. What are you dreaming about?"
"Autobots." He proceeded to make Autobot noises.
"Really? Do you have to go to the bathroom?"
"Um, no."
"Oh. I think you should. And while you're up, can you check for the boogeyman?"
"Erin, there's no one here."
"There might be."
"Pedro would be going nuts if someone was here."
"Unless Pedro is already dead!" I said.
I knew if I talked long enough Rich would have to go to the bathroom.
My persistence paid off.
Richard checked--no boogeyman.

Turns out, the tarp had blown off the A/C unit.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Thankfully, Annie managed to get a photo of my mom's Westie quilt at the retreat last weekend.
I somehow managed to miss it.
Come to think of it, I didn't take photos of much...I wonder why.
Oh yeah! I was sound asleep.
Won't it be DARLING?!
I can't wait til it's finished. Not bad for a first-timer, eh?


Dear Richard,
I love you. Thanks for letting me sleep all day yesterday.
I'm feeling a little more normal today.

Dear Brenda,
I tried the gingerbread latte. Yum-O!
Thanks for the recommendation!

Dear Lauren,
I'm glad that you don't read my blog because when I tell you stories your eyes DON'T glaze over because you've already read it. You even laugh! That's fun.

Dear Carla,
Thanks for the movie.

Dear Noonie,
I miss you. I liked it better when you lived HERE.
Can't wait for this weekend!

Dear McClain,
See Noonie's letter.
Can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Dear Friends,
No, there really isn't anything I want to do for my birthday.
If you really want to get together, work with Richard to plan something.
I'll come, but I'm just not too jazzed for my birthday this year.

Dear Bloggers,
Thanks for wishing me well yesterday.

Dear DesvousJunior,
Keep doin' what you're doin'.

All my love,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mental Health Day

I stayed in bed today until 2pm.
I'm not sick, but not feeling very well.
I wish I got sick days and mental health days. They are two very different things.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I forgot to tell you about one of the highlights of the quilting retreat! I was able to showcase my "talents" as a writer. I had no idea that I could write skits. Forgive me if I don't have the punctuation right.
Mom was thrilled to see me use my degree to write dialogue for Bubba. Go figure.

Bubba: played by Kristi.
Store Manager: Played by Kristen.
Elvira: Played by yours truly.
Dragnet team: Marjie and Dawne.

[Setting: Wal-Mart parking lot near a beat up pick up truck.]

Bubba (looking in truck window): Well dip me in honey and call me a corndog! I'll be codswalloped! My skunk-skin cap! It's gone! Stolen! MY SKUNK SKIN CAP! Ooh...Elvira...!

(Fuming, Bubba walks back toward Wal-Mart.)

Bubba (to store manager): My skunk-skin cap's gone-a-missin' from my truck. Find me Elvira! That low-life, liver-lickin cap thief took it. I just know it. She's always been jealous of my skunk-skin cap!

Store Manager: Sir, Elvira couldn't'a took yer cap! She's been runnin' the registers all day.

Bubba: Nosiree. That elfish, eatin'-everythin' ELEPHANT WOMAN took it! She's been out to get me ever since I spurned her advances!

Store Manager (sighs over intercom): Elvira, report to customer service. (Looks at Bubba.) Immediately. (To self,) Perhaps I should call the po-lice.

[Elvira and Dragnet arrive at Customer Service at the same time.]

Bubba: Good timin'! Officer, arrest this she-devil!

Elvira: What?! What on earth for?! I been here with Jed 'n' Wanda all day. I ain't even had my smoke break yet! (Rubs pregnant belly.)

Bubba: Smoke break! Pah! You got cheez whiz all over yer face! Where you been?! I know! Stealin' my skunk-skin cap!

[All cast members gasp. Elvira wipes at her face.]

Elvira: Well, I was...hungry. But I ain't touched no hat.

Bubba: I know it was you, you cap-keepin, cold-collared, skunk-skin lover. I luhrved that cap!

Detective Marjie: Just the facts sir. Just stick to the facts.

Deputy Dawne: Don't worry, everyone. I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of thi--

Detective Marjie: Just the facts! Stick to the facts! Why don't you take us to the scene of the crime?

Bubba: With JUBLIATION, I will take you to the scene of the crime! (Scowls at Elvira.)

[The group moves toward the pick-up truck where the Dragnet team spots the cap on top of the truck.]

DM: Can you please describe the cap?

Bubba: Oh, I luhrved that cap! I skinned the skunk after I et it. I mean, I skinned it, then I et it, then I tanned the hide to make the most beautiful cap!

DM: Just the facts, sir. Where was the cap last seen?

Bubba: Right thar! In that thar pick up truck. In the back seat!

DM: It sounds to me like you are describing the top of the truck! (Triumphantly grabs cap.)

Bubba: Well ain't it obvious? That pilferin'-plottin' PILL of a woman planted my skunk skin cap on top-a-my truck thar!

DM (ignoring Bubba): Elvira, would you like to press charges for false accusations?

(Deputy Dawne moves toward Bubba to arrest.)
Elvira: No, I don't believe I will. I can forgive Bubba fer hurtin' my feelin's even if he don't deserve it.

[All cast members gasp in surprise.]

Bubba: Well smack my bottom and call me a waitress, I don't believe it.

I take it back.

Now that I think about it, Pedro actually knows several words in addition to "sit," "lay," and "shake," all of which illicit some sort of INTENSE emotion.

Popcorn: Jubilation and tail chasing in the kitchen.
Rollover: Confusion and rollover 10% of the time.
Gitchertoy: Happiness and toy retrieval.
Wheresyerkitty: Head cock and tail chasing.
Didjoodothis: Hiding under the bed.
Outside: Stuffed animal retrieval and nose pressed to the door.
Getdown: Wait one more beat to see if I really meant it.
No: Try one more time to see if I really meant it.
Bath: Cowering fear.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Exploding Kernels of Fun

Pedro knows two words:
1. Sit.
2. Popcorn.
We often refer to popcorn as "exploding kernels of fun" if we don't want our 14-lb maniac to go berserk.
Popcorn is really the only human treat Pedro gets to share with the family, so you can understand his excitement.
The scene:
Richard is sitting on the living room floor watching the Colts lose to the Chargers with a gargantuan bowl of popcorn.
He sets one piece of popcorn in front of the cat and tells the dog to stay away; that it belongs to the cat.
Pedro oh-so-sneakily sneaks AROUND the entertainment center in order to steal the popcorn from the cat, as if Richard might not notice him if he comes at it from a different direction.
As soon as the dog disappears around the other side of the TV, Richard grabs the original piece of popcorn leaving Pedro confused.
Could the kitty have eaten the popcorn? Did he imagine the piece of popcorn? Did he already eat it?
The cat knows exactly what is going on and flaps his tail sassily as if he really did want the popcorn in the first place.
Hours of fun.
Rich says he can't wait to have kids. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing...
I'm glad to be home.


I didn't get much done at the quilting retreat.
I couldn't drag my quiltin' rear out of bed long enough to do anything.
I didn't make it past 11pm any night we were there (nor did I rise before 10am any morning). Last night I went to take a "nap" at 9:30, fully intending to come back to my machine an hour later.
I woke up at 1:30 when Mom and Sarah came to bed, at which point, Mom said, "Don't you wish you could sleep through your whole pregnancy and wake up with a baby, like Rumplestiltskin?"
I said, "I'm not sure if I would rather wake up to a baby or a beard."

I'll show you the quilt eventually. It's gonna be cool. If I can stay awake long enough to finish.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stuff and more random ideas

1. Look at my new table!
I've wanted a "breakfast table" since we moved in to our house!
Thank you, Josh & Cara for opening up your garage to us! Such a fun night, and really made me thankful for young married friends. You guys are the best.
2. I leave for the quilting retreat TOMORROW!!
3. My mom is going on the quilting retreat!!
As Kristi mentioned, I have not looked forward to a retreat this much in a LONG time. I am VERY excited to get out of here and work on my baby quilt. Expect photos next week.
4. I'm turning off my phone this weekend.
I'm on vacation. Don't try to get ahold of me. : )
5. My book club rules! Meeting every other Tuesday with two AWESOME chicas is better than I expected. Not that I expected it to be bad, know what I mean.
6. A co-worker returned today from maternity leave. I said, "You look so good!! Welcome back!"
I should have stopped there. Instead I went on to say,
"Your face is back to normal!"
What the crap is wrong with me?
I guess The Office phenomenon goes both ways...
7. Happy Birthday, Brandy!! Love you!
p.s. I reserve the right to blog more later today.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

For Paul D.

Remember the three-legged chihuahua?
I saw the same dog yesterday walking (slowly) with his owner.
Wearing a sweater.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Eleven years ago, you were the one who told me I could be a writer. Or, at least you made me think I could really do it.
I adored you, and 232 facebook members in the group
"Oscar Johnson is God"
can't be wrong.

How do you put a video in?? I don't get it!

Made Me Smile

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to American novelist Harper Lee (R) in the East Room of the White House, November 5, 2007. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)

This brought a smile to my face.

Today's trivia question:
Who is Harper Lee?

Don't let me down, guys.