Friday, May 30, 2008

TGIF

Kathee at work is one of the funniest people to work with. She has all these quirks that pop up at random times. She is also a huge American Idol fan and Dancing With the Stars fan, so I am constantly hearing about both of those shows.

Today, pretty much everyone in the back office is gone, and our offices are pretty far apart, so Kathee has taken it upon herself to loudly blast David Cook music and sing at the top of her lungs. David Cook won American Idol this season, if you aren't up to date. It is sooo funny, because she's like 65 and she has self-diagnosed "Cookitis"! Hahaha! That cracks me up.

I am really really really looking forward to tonight. I don't have anything to do, because I finished my paper last night. I plan on vegging out in my PJs and watching movies until I pass out at like 8:30 because I have to be at the shelter very early in the morning. I am so excited! It's the little things.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm innocent.. really!

Well, I have been in court all morning long. Fortunately, it was not on my own behalf! I shadowed with the court advocate from Friend to Friend this morning. We had about a dozen or so clients that had to appear today. Of course, these are all things like restraining orders and stuff. Some people had the FTF lawyer assisting them, and others attempted (bless their hearts) to represent themselves. Most of the cases were cut and dry - many of them one person didn't show up and the whole thing was dismissed. Some were much more involved.

For example, the one between a husband and wife where she swore that he had threatened to "blow her effing brains out" while he sat there crying. He had a tape recording of her saying that she was making it all up, but wasn't allowed to play it because the guy who recorded her didn't show up in court. She ended up getting the restraining order and temporary custody of their two kids.

Or the couple who broke their restraining order by sitting together in the courtroom. They were there for her to drop the order against him. Everytime the judge turned his head, the guy was mouthing things to her - angry things, and yet she was still dropping it. The judge asked her all these questions -

Judge: Is he forcing you to drop the order?
Girl: No.
J: Did he offer anything to you to drop the order?
G: No.
J: What makes you think he doesn't want to kill you anymore? (This couple had been in this courtroom twice already for him beating on her, holding a gun to her head, etc.)
G: Well, he says he's gonna take abuser classes and stuff.
J: Okay, well, has he signed up for them yet?
G: Well... no.. but, he says he's going to.

It just made me so sick! All of us from FTF were looking back and forth, and we just wanted to go over and shake her! But I know that it's hard to leave that situation, especially if you don't have any family in the county or anything.

On a good note, we did have a girl move out of the shelter today. She has been working really hard for 3 months, and finally got up enough money to rent a trailer with a girlfriend. I think she'll do really well. Success stories make everything better!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

#88 - Sing with Stephen at church

I really wasn't sure how I was going to complete this goal. For years, Stephen's singing consisted of mumbling with the radio or yelling at concerts. I figured I was never going to get him to sing, and even if I could, he really couldn't carry a tune anyway.

So imagine my surprise when we moved home last year and he joined the church choir (and no, I didn't have to prod him into it.) Much to his surprise, he enjoyed singing, and actually, he wasn't so bad after all! The big test came last October when we were singing a special service for our pastor, and no one would step up to sing "The Big Song" which was our pastor's favorite song and a really hard one at that. Well, by golly, my hubby stepped up to the plate! I 'bout had a fit. And not only that, but he sounded good! Ever since then, I've wanted to sing with him at church, but I knew he still had some qualms and didn't really believe in himself.

Last weekend we were told that we were having a singing service tonight at church, and of course I signed up because I sing every chance I get. But I couldn't believe it when Stephen picked out a song and asked if we could sing it together! Even with our excitement, I know we were both a little unsure at how it would turn out, because we didn't have time to practice at the church at all. So we'd sing driving down the road and try to work out the kinks.

Tonight was the big night! And I am telling you - that boy can sing! And we sounded really good together! We sang "Amazing Grace" by Chris Tomlin and I couldn't believe the response we got from everyone. We really harmonize together. And we have been asked to sing it again on Sunday at church already.

I am so grateful for how far he has come! Music is such a huge part of my life, and I'm thrilled for us to have opportunities to do that together. I'm so happy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

#58 - Find a part time job.

Well, folks, you're looking at the new Weekend Coordinator at Friend To Friend, which is the local domestic violence shelter. I will be responsible for working with clients who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to achieve the goals which will help them become independent. I.E., answering the crisis line, managing the shelter a couple of 12-hour shifts a week, provide counseling to the women in the shelter, provide parenting and educational classes to the women, etc etc. I couldn't be more excited!

Earlier this year, I wrote this post about signing up for all different things at church, including: youth group again, assistant choir director, nursery coordinator, the drama team, the choir, and the food ministry. At the time, I was extremely disappointed when I was seemingly passed over for choir director and nursery coordinator. But I told Stephen, I really felt like I would be great for those jobs, and if I didn't get them, then I couldn't wait to see what else God had in store for me that was better than that! Well, I think this is my answer, only about 6 months later! Incredible. If I was doing that much at church I never would be able to take this weekend position. And as the director of FTF said, hopefully this will turn into something bigger after I finish school and everything. They're all about some internal hiring there!!

Meanwhile, did anyone else get a HECK of a storm last night? We couldn't go to church because of the hail. None of my pictures turned out - too dark - but here are the two videos I took:

video



video


This morning our neighborhood is trashed. Thank you God that there was no damage that I could see, and no one was hurt that I heard of. So we sat around watching the storm, eating yummy calzones, and watching TV. And went to bed EARLY! Hallelujah! I hope no one else got caught in the storms or had any damage.

Oh, P.S. Don't worry, our baby birdies are okay after the storm:

Can you see them? I can't get great pictures because I don't want my smell to get on them at all. Aren't they beautiful!?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blast from the past

I love looking back at old blogs (livejournal, xanga, deadjournal) to see what I was doing in past years. Let's see what we find in a journey back...

This week in 2007, on Blogger, I had just found Jennifer T. (now C.) again, and we had gone on a date night and to dad's final singalong of the year. She cried the whole time because she was pregnant with Mark and very hormonal. Stephen was working night shift and we had just moved into our first house.

This week in 2006, on Xanga, I was getting good practice in turning down job offers in Charleston. We had just bought our beautiful new living room furniture, but it was May 2007 before we ever sat on it!! Stephen was working nights then too, and I would stay up all night watching movies until he got home around 8am. Then we'd sleep all day together. I was fortunate enough to not have to work during this time unless I chose to. And we were just getting ready to leave for Pigeon Forge for a week's vacation!

This week in 2005, on Deadjournal, I was hosting Trivial Pursuit competitions that lasted all night long. I was in summer school, where one of my teachers consistently made coffee and biscotti for us. It was exactly 4 months until me and Stephen were getting married and I was making all kinds of plans. Fun!

This week in 2004, I was in summer school again in Boone. I spent my days jumping off the dam with Mary, Tyler, et. al, and my nights playing darts and pool. And of course, we were constantly having game nights!!

My week in 2003 looks a loooot like 2004. I guess my interests didn't vary much.

This week in 2002, I was teaching myself how to cook. I came home from school and made manicotti for mom and dad. I was saving money for our first trip to Las Vegas. Keely was my roommate at this point already. And I was preparing for my sister to get married!

Well, that's all. Very interesting. And I am loving life more right now than I have any of those other years.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What a weekend!

Oh thank goodness. Jenn has already posted a blog about dad's retirement party on Friday. I thought that I wouldn't be able to describe it in enough detail and with enough excitement, and she did a really great job, so I'll just let her handle that! I will post my pictures ASAP but they pretty much are duplicates of Jenn's.

Saturday Jenn, mom and I went to Chapel Hill for a waxing date. It was so much fun - I love traveling with them - and we had the opportunity to go to Trader Joe's (where I racked up on my favorite Asian microwaveables, bagels and wine which are always cheaper there) and a few good thrift stores. I bought too many books, as usual. Seriously, I need a whole house for my library. Saturday night we cooked ribs (which were bought on sale for $3 for about 2 pounds worth) and I made a really great and easy rub for them. They were mouth-watering!! We also watched the entire Indiana Jones series this weekend, which is a huge accomplishment for us, as it takes us forever to watch movies usually.

This week we actually have more nights where we are doing nothing than nights we have plans. I can't remember the last time that happened. It makes me think I'm probably forgetting something we have planned.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a long, strange trip it's been.

Jennifer, my patient sister, and I traveled to Virginia this weekend to see my BFF Keely graduate from University of Mary Washington. And what a trip it was!! Friday night when we got there, we met up with Keely and friends to eat at T.G.I.Friday's. Then, we were fortunate enough to spend the night shopping at World Market, Ross, and Marshall's. Although I did shop in Ross for 45 minutes before realizing that it was not, in fact, Marshall's after all. But alas.

Saturday morning, Jenn and I enjoyed a relaxing breakfast at our cute hotel before heading off to graduation. Upon reaching graduation, we realized that maybe we misjudged the smallness of UMW. There were NO seats left except for reserved seating. By some miracle, we found two seats waaaay off in the distance that we were able to sit at. Behind hundreds of people, all standing to see the one person they were there for. I wish I had binoculars to see Keely!! Unfortunately for us, after about an hour and a half, it started misting, which turned into sprinkling, which turned into full out rain. And graduates hadn't even started walking yet! Did I mention it was in the 50's as well? So unlike May! This was the best view of the stage that we could get:




So, since we were there only to see Keely and not the rest of the graduates, it didn't take us long to figure out that we could sit out the end of the graduation somewhere warm, dry, and tasty! In other words... Einstein's Bagelry!! Mmm... much better:




After graduation ended, we were waffling between heading home or heading to Centreville for Keely's party. But eventually, we didn't hear from Keely so we had to start heading home. We were a bit delayed because we drove about 40 minutes out of our way to eat at Fuddrucker's. So worth it, by the way! As we were leaving Fuddrucker's, I noticed that my front tire was a little low. Not wanting to drive 4 more hours on a low tire, we decided we would learn how to put air in the tire. Don't judge. We really did think we had it figured out. The tire was definitely filling up with air!!

After about 50 miles or so, we were cruising along singing to "Big Butts" (you love it!) when we noticed this van beside us honking and waving uncontrollably at us. Well, you guessed it. That tired was FLAT. I mean, we were lucky to not be riding on the rim! As I was telling Stephen this, he questioned how I didn't feel the car driving differently... then he realized if I was listening to "Big Butts" I was probably dancing along to the music. He knows me so well. Anyway, the place we landed on I-95 was in the middle of buttcrack nowhere. We were nowhere near a mile marker, exit, town sign, nothin'. Which AAA just loved. Thanks be to God, a policeman pulled up after only a few minutes and talked to AAA to refer a towing place nearby. He also stayed with us until they got there and then drove us to the repair station. Oh, and P.S. this cop was a driving MANIAC!!! I wanted to grab Jenn's hand but I was scared quit clutching the seat. I have never ever driven like that in my whole life. He was very erratic! Jenn said that all she could think was, we made it that far only for him to kill us!!

The town (if you can call it that) that we landed in was Stoney Creek, Virginia. 170 miles from home. We won't be visiting that town ever again. But it was a great place for picture taking!








They certainly weren't in a hurry to fix my car. It sat like this for over an hour:




Here comes the mechanic!! Maybe he can fix it!!




Well, anyway. It definitely makes for great blogging. We finally got in late Saturday night, safe and sound. I'm so glad Jenn was with me. Her patience was unbelievable. I like to think that the weekend's soundtrack had mellowed her enough that she couldn't get upset about the trip. She was definitely a trouper!!

The other good thing is I am able to cross off #57 - Say no to something I would normally say yes to but feel burdened.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I don't write about work.

I have done NOTHING all week except go to work and church. Hence, the lack of posting. But maybe I'll have pictures on Sunday, from the trip that Jenn and I are taking tomorrow. We are running up to Virginia to see Keely graduate!!! Jenn is a great travel companion, mainly because we never run out of things to talk about and she loves the same music that I do. Also we will stop any bathroom opportunity or any thrift store opportunity. I can't wait to see Keely too!! So now I am trying to think of some new music for Jenn to listen to tomorrow as we drive. It's harder than it sounds.

Signing off.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekends aren't long enough

I love weekends like this, but it makes Mondays so much worse! This weekend our friend Mike B. stayed with us for his UTA. So yesterday, after work and my mystery shop at Sonic (heck yes!) me, Stephen, Mike, Kelly and Brian played nine holes of golf. Mike, not knowing anything, challenged Stephen, Kelly and Brian to play against myself and him. That boy didn't know what he was in for!! We actually did pretty well. We double bogeyed for the game, but Stephen's team bogeyed, so we lost. But not by much! We'll get them next time.

Today after walking Cassie I was watering the plants. I'm really lazy and hate to pull out the water hose more than necessary, so it never reaches the plant on the left. Therefore, I had to pull the dang thing down to water it. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it down and saw this:





That's right! We have babies!! I didn't water it (thank you God) so I hope that the mama and daddy will continue taking care of the eggs. I noticed they were perched not too far away, watching my every move, so I hope that's a good sign. What a good day!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Been so long

Wow, it seems like a while since I updated. I wanted to put up these pictures from our cookout last weekend but I kept forgetting to bring the pictures to work to upload, and we weren't home any night this week for me to do it there. So here are some cutie pics from our church cookout. We had a blast!!







Just chillin...


An ideal day for Stephen. Playing with The Hulk.

Cassie hates not being able to run around with everyone!! But isn't she beautiful? :)