Monday, April 30, 2007

What's the Deal with Tattoos?

The world of tattoo acceptance has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Way back when, most of the tattoo sporters were men, bikers, convicts, and those in uniformed service. Now, tattoos are on everyone -- your best girl friend, your barely legal nephew, your pastor even! How has your opinion changed?

Growing up in a religious household, I was taught that tattoos defiled God's temple (aka our bodies) and were wrong. I've judged many tattoo bearers negatively for many years for this reason. Wrongly I must say as we are guided by God's word not to judge others. But, is a tattooed body an abomination to God? Really, is it?

I'm still not sure myself because of the way I was raised, but in reality, I think tattoos are cool! (Sorry, Mama if you're reading:). Of course, there are those who overdo the art in my opinion. I definitely believe it's wrong if the art itself is placed above God, our Father. But whose to say that tattooing ourselves is wrong Biblically when we dye our hair and pierce our ears and other less accepted areas like belly-buttons and noses? Dyeing may not be permanent but piercings generally are.

I have thought about getting a tattoo, but the permanence scares me. What if it looks hideous? How will others see me? Will it look as good as it does now when I'm 85? Seriously. This has crossed my mind. And the obvious question, is it wrong? My views of tattoo bearers have changed a lot. In many cases I am accepting and sometimes even downright in awe. But, still some tattoo sporters scare me.

In my search for answers I came across this article about Christians in support of tattooing. There are some good points; however, I'm not saying that I agree with everything.

Do you believe tattooing is wrong, if so why? Would you get a tattoo? Do you have a tattoo? Do you look at others differently if they have tattooes?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekend Reflection

It was a rough week as far as being at SAHM. Scamp has been quite fussy, but she's been taking her naps earlier and sleeping a little longer. I think she's going through a growth spurt. But, amidst all the stress, we've had some great loving moments. She has been so giving with her hugs and kisses this week that it makes up for any tantrums!!

Stacy's husband, Jeff, flew over to stay with us a couple of days. I hated that Stacy couldn't come though. We haven't seen each other in at least two years if not three. We had a great time with Jeff though. He and Beef along with Beef's brother-in-law Joseph and another friend Janice were close friends in college. Everyone came over to our house Wednesday and Thursday night for some food and fun. I'll post pictures later.

The carpets were recleaned Tuesday. Here's the original story in case you missed it. The company didn't show up until 2 or 3 o'clock when they were supposed to arrive at 8am. At first I was mad, but when I called, they said they had been to my house and wondered why I had turned the free cleaning down. It turns out they had the wrong name and address. I held back laughter. The guy felt so bad and was so apologetic. The carpet cleaning technician scrubbed our living roon carpet four times. It looks so much better. You can still faintly see the previously cleaned square but not unless you know it's there.

Beef watched Scamp a couple hours today while I caught up on blogging. Thanks, Honey!

Play along at Judi's.

Photo Hunters: Rare

You don't see too many smokin' trees around!! This was last summer, out in the field next to my sister's house. Lightening has struck this tree over and over again, and yet it still continues to stand!

Play along at Photo Hunter's.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Get Real: Bloggers Without Make-up

Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing is hosting a contest where you post a picture of yourself without any make-up. Next Friday, she's going to have a drawing and choose two participants to win a prize. So join the fun!

I also posted another make-upless picture of myself with Scamp this past week. You have to view the slideshow until the end to catch a glimpse of my unconcealed complexion.

And while we're bearing it all today, I've had the grossest day ever. I decided to take Scamp to the nursery at Patterson Park so I could work out. We make it halfway up the sidewalk, and she pukes all over both of us!! Poor baby, but I can still smell puke and that was this morning. A couple hours after we got back home, the cat left me a surprise on 2 beanbags. He peed on one then pooped on the other. Could this day be any grosser?!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chocolate Beach

"Chocolate Beach" by Julie Carobini was a fantastic read. Stacy found Julie's blog during the Ultimate Blog Party and shared her book with me.

Synopsis: This Lit genre book is about Bri Stone and her beach-living life as a wife to the very handsome lawyer, Douglas, and mom to one surf-board riding teenage son. She is a part-time tour bus hostess and hangs out with her best gal pal, chocolate-loving extraordinaire, Gaby. The story entails how Bri believes that her husband has become bored with her laid back, beach-living lifestyle and how she embarks on a journey of self-change to win him back.

I loved her writing style, the way she always told you what Bri was thinking, even if it wasn't "good Christian-like." It was very true of any female's life. I feel like I could have lived the life of Bri Stone and made the decisions that she did in the story. The book was also very humorous and light-hearted.

I will be sending the book on to Lauren shortly. Then, I hope to begin the "Second Summer of the Sisterhood." Check out my other book reviews here.

Napping Freedom

I don't know what I would do if Scamp didn't take a nap. I think I would go a little more insane than I already am. God knew moms would need their little ones to take naps just as much as they need naps themselves.

Scamp's nap time has become my "freedom!" When I've just reached the breaking point of taking care of a fussy Scamp or like today, after I've reached the breaking point, she lays down for a nap. And peace once again returns to our home.

It has been hard for me limiting Scamp down to one nap a day. Two naps was heaven, but one has caused me to have to do more things while she's awake, like taking a shower. I usually turn on a TV show she likes (Sesame Street). Then, I tell her I'm getting in the shower. Some days she does fine and watches her show. Others, she finds me hulled up in the shower, peeks through the side of the curtain, and cries for me to get out.

The last few days I've had to put her to bed early instead of her usual 1 o'clock nap time. She has been so fussy that I want to pull my hair out. My stress level is very high even while she's sleeping today. Sometimes, I just don't know why I am so close to the breaking point even when I've had time to rest. Not every day is as desperate as today. Thank goodness! So, if you're reading this, please say a little prayer for Scamp and myself today because I'm gonna need God's help.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Murder Mystery Dinner

Our 2nd Annual All Girl Murder Mystery Dinner went off without a hitch! Our 1st party was a formal sit down dinner, but we decided on the meet and mingle version of "One of the Girls" mystery, provided by Merri Mysteries. The mystery was about the murder of a classmate from an all girls' school right before their big reunion. Every one brought finger foods and mingled around our media room. Greyson (the gorgeous cop) and I decided the renuion hall should be styled after all the cheesy middle school/high school dances we went to, complete with 80s music, a disco ball, and lots of balloons and streamers as you can see. Beef and I transformed our living room into the crime scene with me posing for the taped body outline.

We had 11 classmates, who were the suspects, and several other parts of authorities and witnesses. Everyone gave their own take of each character with unique costumes and dialogue. I played the part of Angie, a tough smart-mouthed biker chic, which is so not me. But, I enjoyed every minute of trying to start fights with the other characters.

Everyone did so well, and we had so much fun! We gave away prizes for the person who guessed "Who Did It" and who was voted best costume. Amy Shirley, who played farmer Jillaroo, guessed the culprit, and Letha Kopchak, who played the Hindu classmate, won best costume.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Photo Hunters: Steps

Practice makes perfect. Here's Scamp at 10 months before she could walk, taking a crack at climbing the outside of our staircase.

This is her at 18 months showing off to her Daddy! "Hey, look at me! I can climb all the way up now!"

Play along at Photo Hunters.

Weekend Reflection

We had our carpets recleaned on Tuesday by another company, who tried but weren't able to fix what the other carpet cleaners left from last week. However, yesterday the first cleaners called me after reviewing my Better Business Bureau complaint about them and offered to reclean our carpets (a $300 value) for free. In return, they wanted me to recontact the BBB and let them know that they fixed the problem. God was looking out for us!! And thanks to Stacy who recommended I notify the BBB.

We are down to the last details for the Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, and my house is so clean for it!!

We had a couple of beautiful spring-weather days after the frost and snow from the last week and a half. Scamp and I had a picnic and went to the park to play on one of those days. It was a wonderful bonding day!!

Miss Judith, my mentor and friend, watched Scamp half a day while I went to visit my friend's son, David, who is in the hospital with leukemia. He's going through his second round of chemo. He doesn't feel too well, but he's still in high spirits.

What a difference it makes when you praise God even when you don't feel like it! He blesses you far more than you could ever imagine.

Join in the Reflection at Judi's!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ten Reasons to Be Thankful

1. God is working in my life around-the-clock even when I don't think He is.
2. I have a loving husband who takes our wedding vows seriously and commits himself to both me and Scamp daily.
3. I have a precious Baby Girl who reminds me of God's miraculous gifts of love and life.
3. I have a loving, giving family, both my family and my husband's, who care about my well-being.
4. My whole family has their health.
5. I have the desire and ability to stay home with my child since my husband dedicates himself to provide for all of us.
6. We have found a place in a faithful Bible-based church even after we were devastated by the split of our last one.
7. I have a loving Father who loves me unconditionally and provides for my every need along with my husband's and daughter's needs.
8. I live in a country where I'm free to worship and speak and live out the life God has destined for me.
9. I will always have hope through God's grace even when hope doesn't seem possible.
10. I am thankful for the new friendships I've made through blogging and know God has a purpose for each of them in my life.

I stole this idea from Stacy's Thursday Thirteen. Great list Stacy!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Workspace

Sonya tagged me for his one. Above is my desk that my parent's bought me for one of my teenage birthdays. I use this mostly for my devotion time.

This is Beef's computer, which he lets me use. All the stacks of books and papers are mine, but all the hardware is his. See the computers under the desk, that's not all of them. I couldn't fit the entire desk in the shot.

I'm in the process of checking my email. I just finished visiting those who commented on my Saturday photo hunt. I'm so behind. Hopefully, I'll get to visist my Blog Buddies soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Weekend Reflection

Beef had the day off on Monday, so we had extra time together as a family. He also watched Scamp so I could get a little break:) Thanks, Baby!

I had some good quality time with Scamp teaching her animal sounds. She already knows the basics like dog, cat, and cow, but we learned baboon (my favorite and most embarassing), warthog, and elephant. She is soooo smart!

My friend, Greyson, and I are right on schedule for our Murder Mystery Dinner planning. She finished up the invitations, and I compiled a list of 80s songs to play for the party. It's a 20 year high school reunion. I still have some decorations to make though. I'll post a slideshow after the party.

Scamp had her 18-month check-up this week. She was so scared because her last visit was very painful. She and I both made it through it, and she didn't get a fever this time from the shot. She's healthy and growing. She dropped to the 25th percentile for weight and climbed to the 97th percentile for height, so she's tall and thin. She can't help it. Her daddy is 6'5", and I'm 5'8".

Sign up at Judi's, and tell us about your week.

Photo Hunters: Hobby

This is some of our typical Thursday night fellowship crew. These are a couple of our favorite games to play in our movie room. The first two pictures are of Dance Dance Revolution, with my hubby in the black t-shirt. Billy on the left is the master of them all at the game. The third picture is Linsey and Letha singing to Karaoke Revolution. We have so much fun!! I wish I had more pictures!

Play along at Photo Hunters.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Six One Way, Half a Dozen the Other: Part 2

Sonya tagged me for this one, and since I did it a long time ago, I wanted to spice it up a little. Here's the original if you want to read it, too.

6 Things in my Upstairs Bathtub
Hula rubber duckie, yellow puff, Suave Kid's Conditioner, Fructis conditioner, wet wash cloth, Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo

6 Things on my Bookshelf
"Kraus' Food, Nutrition, and Diet Therapy," by Mahan, Escott-Stump, "Thin for Life" by Anne Fletcher, "Life on the Edge" by Dr. James Dobson, "Hugs for Friends," high school photo album, 3-ringed binder

6 Things I'm Wearing Today
"Lord of the Rings" Aragorn T-shirt, Levi's Bluejeans, a yellow hair-tie on my wrist, blue and grey tennis shoes, white cotton socks, a mop of blonde streaked hair:)

6 Things I Did Today
Read to Scamp, watched Sesame Street with Scamp, heated up leftover fettucine alfredo for lunch, rode my stationary bicycle for 20 minutes while I read through another chapter of an electronic course I'm taking for my continued education as a dietitian, typed a blog post for Through the Midst of Despair, vacuumed the kitchen floor.

6 Things I'm Thinking While Writing This
"What else can I name six of?"
"I'm thirsty."
"I wish my hair would quit getting into my eyes."
"I wonder when Baby Girl is going to wake up?"
"I hope my snack lasts me until dinner."
"Am I really going to look up all those books and link them to my site? Uh, no!"

6 Things I Hope to Accomplish This Weekend
Read another chapter of my continuing education, read more of the book "Chocolate Beach," go shopping with my mom, have a fun date/family night - hopefully going to Hastings and having a Chai Tea Latte, visit a friend in the hospital, hand out all of the Mystery Dinner invitations

Well, there's 6! I won't tag anyone since I made it up but feel free to steal it if you'd like!

The Only Man I've Ever Loved: Epilogue


Although I had been hesitant about my love for Matt, God had allowed my heart to reopen. A month later, Matt told me that he loved me as I quickly returned “I’ve been waiting for you to say that. I love you, too.” I could no longer wait to tell him about my trial -- how I had fallen in love with him almost two years earlier and felt led by God to wait for him without telling him. I explained my prayer of him coming to me as a sign that we would forever be bonded in holy matrimony.

Later in June of 2001, I took a two week trip to Colorado as part of my dietetic internship. Matt didn’t want to be away from me for that long, so he arranged a trip to come see me over the middle weekend. I told our love story to a few of the other interns, and they explained how they knew Matt was coming with a ring. I had my suspicions but tried not to let on about the idea to Matt.

He flew into Dallas on Friday afternoon, but since his Nashville flight had been delayed he missed the connecting flight into Denver. We were both disappointed that he wouldn’t be arriving until Saturday. I awoke early that morning to drive the hour from my dorm to the airport. I frantically searched for his gate, but he was nowhere to be found. I walked up and down the row of gates where his flight was supposed to arrive almost in tears. I turned around to race back the other direction, and there he was! He looked as handsome as ever, and I raced into his arms, tears streaming down my face. I was so happy that he was there and was alright.

That evening, we drove into Colorado Springs for dinner. The landscape was breathtaking. Matt had made reservations at a fancy restaurant but it turned out to be crowded and noisy. We ate and talked while I waited not so patiently for “the ring.” Even he looked nervous and seasick. I hoped he wasn’t coming down with something. We finished dinner, but he still hadn’t proposed.

I was becoming anxious. I didn’t want to have my hopes up, but wouldn’t Colorado be the perfect place for a proposal? A waitress at the restaurant took our picture, and then we headed out with our leftovers in tow. We got into the car, and Matt suggested that we find a spot to view the sunset overlooking the Colorado Mountains.

He drove several minutes and wasn’t able to find a typical tourist stop, so he found a gravel work road going behind some of the most beautiful million-dollar mansions we’d ever seen. He parked the car, and we walked down the gravel path until we had an excellent view of the sun fading into the mountains. The sky was a brilliant array of purples and pinks. The mountains were neatly folded into the background like a master artist’s painting would be.

We stood, arms intertwined, underneath the Colorado sky. Matt began to speak softly into my ear about how his friendship for me had grown into love over the past several months. He had loved me for longer than he realized, and he wanted to make a commitment to me. I turned to face him as he fell to one knee, displaying the ring from its hiding spot in his jacket pocket. “Will you marry me?” he proposed.

Instantly, I was bending down to hug him, pulling him up from his knee, and exclaiming “Yes!” I didn’t realize that I hadn’t even seen the ring. I had been too excited to look anywhere else but into his eyes. The ring was a one-carat princess-cut diamond held in place by a slender tiffany band—just how I had imagined! He placed it on my outstretched finger--a little big, but otherwise perfect.

I wouldn’t let Matt take it back with him for resizing because it was a representation of his love for me, and the thoughts the ring imparted would help me bear through the rest of the week without Matt there (I also wanted to parade it around all the other swooning girls in my internship program).

Five months later, our friends and families gathered in the sanctuary of a local Baptist church. I walked down the aisle, my 5-foot jewel-encrusted train flowing behind. Tears gushed down my face even before my father placed my hand into Matt’s. We ascended the steps of the stage, Matt careful not to let me trip as I had instructed him earlier. We had written our own wedding vows, both entailing how our strong bond of friendship had grown into a fully blossomed flower of love. We lit the unity candle as we were serenaded by the song “For the First Time” by Kenny Loggins. The words of the song sum up what was there all along, what God had implanted into both our hearts.

“Are those your eyes, is that your smile
I’ve been lookin’ at you forever
But I never saw you before
Are these your hands holdin’ mine
Now I wonder how I could of been so blind
For the first time I am looking in your eyes
For the first time I’m seein’ who you are
I can’t believe how much I see
When you’re lookin’ back at me
Now I understand why love is.......
Love is.....for the first time.....”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares ended up being a very quick read. I had seen the movie, so knew what was going to happen even though certain parts of the book were different (as they always are).

Synopsis: Four teenage friends are about to spend their first summer apart and plan to remain connected by sharing one very magical pair of pants, a pair of blue jenas purchased at a local consignment shop.

The movie only entails the story of the 1st book, and it is now a series of four books. It wasn't too teeny-bopper for me, but then again I like teeny-bopper movies. The book did contain some language. I would recommend both the book and the movie. I think I will enjoy the second book even more since I won't have any idea what it's about.

I kept the review short not to give anything away, but what do you think? What type of review do you like to read: one with more detail or the less the better?

Blog Talkers

What three main rules, standards, or morals do you live by?

I am not a perfect person, but I do try to live by the standards set forth by the Bible. One of the main commandments we are called to live by is to love God. He is our Creator, and He calls us to love Him because He first loved us.

Next, we are called to love others. Some people in our lives are easy to love. They are kind, giving, and encouraging to us. But the Bible teaches that we are not to just love those who are good to us but to love everyone, which may mean loving someone we consider to be unloving. Some examples are someone who talks about you behind your back, who has rejected you in the past, who doesn't agree with your way of life, or who doesn't believe in God or the teachings of the Bible. In order to love others, I must not be judgemental or critical, but I still have to stand up for what I believe in. That is not easy for me to do.

Thirdly, I believe that we have to live by hope. There have been times in my life where I didn't have hope. God has given me hope in the fact that every trial and hardship in my life is given to me for a reason. They are given to me to make me into the person that he wants me to be.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4 NKJV

I often fail at all three of these standards. Hopefully, I will allow God to change me to be a better example for Him.

Share your thoughts at Blog Talkers.

Carpet Cleaning Mayhem

Beef and I decided to have our carpets professionally cleaned today. We had received several good coupons in the past to have the carpets cleaned for less than $100. The last coupon was 5 rooms for $55. It seemed a little fishy to me, so we called around to several places for quotes to see what the average price was. For 3 rooms, the prices ranged from $130 to $275.

After talking with the "couponed" place again, we decided to go ahead with them. Hey, if they really did a poor job, we could still afford to have someone else come out. So, they arrive today (actually just one person). We have moved most the furniture out of the way ourselves. I dismiss myself to the upstairs and can hear the guy laboring away downstairs. After about 5 minutes he calls me down to show me what he has done. He's cleaned 2 squares in each room. One square is obviously white and dirt free (which was the super-duper scrub) while I can't even see the difference with the other square, known as the maintenance scrub. Of course he recommends the super-dee-duper one.

I ask, "What's the price difference?" He quotes me a $500 price, and my jaw hits the floor. He says he could do it for $300 if he doesn't add the Teflon preventive measure since I flat out refuse to pay the $500. I call Beef at work and am obviously upset. "Don't let him bully you around," he says. "I know, but he left these big huge sparkling clean squares in every room, " I say, obviously wanting my carpets to look that good.

I return back to the waiting technician and say "Just do what you quoted us over the phone. I already received quotes from other companies who only charged $150, and we decided to go with you because of your quoted price." I really just wanted to kick him out of the house since I felt pressured and coerced.

He asks to use our phone as I head back upstairs only to call me back down with his boss on the line. My supervisor says he'll lower the price if you recommend our services to others. "It depends on the price," I say, thinking I'm only going to accept if he charges less than $150 for everything. He quoted the price at $274 only to receive another refusal. "OK. We will knock off the deep scrub and do an extra conditioning for $150." I almost accepted but thought if another company can get my carpets just as clean for the same price (even though I'm going to have to pay these deceivers and a new company, too), then I'm going with someone else. I don't like to be pressured in my own home. I wanted to cry.

Our carpets are clean even though they didn't remove any of the stains. He left a 2x2 clean square in the middle 0of ev0ery floor. realize that's how this company and this guy makes a living, but next time I'm going with a place that has integrity. Don't quote me a price then try to pressure me into "the better service" for ten(yes, ten) times the price.

What would you have done? Would you have kicked the guy out? Would you have paid a larger price?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Weekend Reflection

Although I've had a somewhat down week, I did have a few good things going my way.

My niece was off for spring break, so I took Scamp down to see her, my nephew, and my sister on Wednesday. We met at McDonald's since our plans to go to the park and wade in the creek had been jaded by the awful cold weather. Our kids in addition to two other friends played in the Play Place and had the best time. My niece dragged Scamp up into the jungle gym since she couldn't go alone. It wore both of them out!

My mom took the day off Thursday, and we went shopping at the mall. We had a nice meal at Applebee's. She always buys our lunch and us both an outfit. I have a great mom!

Friday Beef was off so he watched Scamp while I did a little Easter shopping. Then, he watched her again on Saturday so I could head to Wal Mart alone and out to lunch with my mom again. Beef's dad (Papa) came down and ate dinner with us Friday night and accompanied us to our typical date night site, Hastings, where we watched Scamp scurry through the children's area.

The very sweet Judi nominated me for a Thinking Blogger Award. I'll have to make a post about it this week. Thanks Judi!!

I have two new great books to read, "Chocolate Beach," which Stacy is letting me borrow, and the "Second Summer of the Sisterhood." "Chocolate Beach" is first, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

We had a great Easter, attending breakfast, Sunday morning service, and an egg hunt at Beef's parent's church. Then, we headed to my grandmother's for lunch and down the road to my great-grandmother's for a 2nd hunt. It's Scamp's first year pick up eggs by herself.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Photo Hunters: Clean

What else? A bath tub picture, but these are before and after. Poor thing got soap in her eyes but didn't actually cry. She will probably be so embarrassed about these pictures when she gets older.

Play along at Photo Hunters.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Blog Talkers

Tell us something significant (either a memory, something learned from that time period, a person who made an impact on you, an event, etc) about your teenage years.
I have decided to share a couple of poems written when I was seventeen. Both are written to a high school boyfriend whom I considered a close friend. I felt alone and confused but knew I needed someone to trust. I had never trusted anyone with my true feelings before because I believed I didn't need to and that no one wanted me to. This was a huge part of the reason why I was on the brink of depression in the first poem and smack dab in the middle of it in the second one. I really latched on to this person or in other words was very co-dependent. I had to learn how to trust others with my feelings even though it was very hard.

Look into my eyes dear friend
And see right into my soul
All my deep, dark burning desires
Hidden by a show.

See my pain, my anger, and my fear
See my agony and despair
Locked up in a crazy world
With no key to let you near.

All my thoughts lurk just behind the bars.
I can’t see out.
You can’t see in
To my masquerading scars.

Pleasure is my agony.
Pain is what you gained.
It seems you cannot know me
Through my world I call insane.

But in the utter darkness,
Separate and alone,
Your world becomes my world,
Desolate and unknown.

If true love seeks to find us
Together we will stand
On the edge of madness
Forever hand in hand.
Happiness comes into the day
As the sun rises
But never lasts the whole day through.
As night sets in
The despair comes again
Taking over my mind and soul.
The smile lasts on
But can anyone see
What’s really inside of me?
I say I’m happy
Because I don’t want to tell
How the world is seen through me.
No one cares
No one wants to listen
Except maybe you.
But can I trust you
To not look down on me
Because I’ve never felt this way before?
I’ve never needed someone so much
Or had to talk about my feelings true.
I’m sorry for the pain.
I’m sorry you did not gain
As much from me
As I from you.
I want to listen.
I want to care.
I don’t want you to carry my heart’s despair.
Please take time
Take all my time.
It’s there waiting for you.

Share your answers at Blog Talkers.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Buy A Friend A Book Week

I saw this over at Stacy's blog and have decided to play along. I've already chosen a friend from my blogroll and have the book in mind. I will be contacting that person soon. Join in the fun and send a friend a book!!

A Hunt for 80s Hits

I am on the hunt for 80s hit music. Beef is going to make me a CD to be played at my Murder Mystery dinner. It's a mock 20-year high school reunion, and I want everyone to rock to the 80s. I've thought of a few like "Beat It" and "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. If you have any ideas of songs or popular singers/bands, please send them my way!

The Only Man I've Ever Loved: Part 8

Getting Off the Roller Coaster

I graduated in December of 2000 and invited both Matt and Joseph to the graduation party at my parents’ home. My family joked as to which one was my boyfriend. “Neither,” I said, totally embarrassed.

After Christmas, Matt and I continued to hang out informally. I even helped him baby-sit his little niece on one occasion. Afterward, his sister Shan and brother-in-law Andy invited us out to dinner to repay our good deed. I was nervous, but thought, “Hey, why should I be? We’re only friends . . . right?”

As I finished my meal, I excused myself to the ladies’ room. Unbeknownst to me, a very straightforward conversation took place between Matt and his sister.

“Are you blind?” Shan asked Matt.

“What are you talking about?” he replied.

“Don’t act you like you don’t know what I’m talking about,” she continued. “A girl does not drive 30 minutes every weekend to see a guy just to be friends!”

I returned to the table, oblivious to the exchange which had taken place. Everyone pretended like the conversation had never happened.

Matt and I continued our weekly “non-dating” pattern. He even chivalrously drove to my work every evening to chauffeur me to my car in the unattended parking garage. He needed to know that I was safe.

I enjoyed our time together but was still frightened at the idea of falling in love with him again. He had given me mixed signals for the last couple of years, and he was still dating other girls.

Valentine’s Day 2001 rolled around, and Matt invited me to “hang out.” He bought my dinner as usual and afterwards, we drove back to his apartment to “informally” exchange gifts. I was actually surprised that he bought me a gift-- a pink Furby--even though I had also chosen some silly little token to give him.

We ended up talking in his bedroom/office. He was renting a 1-bedroom apartment, so his computer was right beside his twin bed. I was sitting in his computer chair while he sat on the bed behind me. We were laughing and talking and suddenly I realized our arms were linked as he rested against the back of the chair. It felt good, safe even, and I wasn’t sure what was running through his head. I casually allowed him to hold me but was still a little hesitant, a little confused.

We sat in silence for a few brief moments as my heart began to race. We had clumsily ended up in each others arms before as we wrestled like siblings, but this embrace was different. Matt lingered; he didn’t pull away as before. Then, he began to speak softly, “I’ve never realized how right this felt – you in my arms,” he said.

I was speechless. I had literally waited years to hear those words. My heart had been broken so many times before. But he wasn’t joking--he was dead serious. He swung me around in the chair to face him. “What do you think . . . about us?”

Again I was without words but managed to fumble out a “Yes, I think this feels right,” too scared to admit to the many nights of dreaming about his embrace. I was still a little cautious. It had been so long ago that I had hope in us being together. I wasn’t sure if I was still in love with him. “But is God really answering my prayers?” I thought.

We decided to go on our first date two days later. Joseph had invited us to see a scary movie at the theater (“Hannibal”, starring Anthony Hopkins), but midway through the film I had to excuse myself. I couldn’t bear to sit through another moment of the film’s disturbing imagery. I told Matt I would wait out in the lobby for them to finish the movie, but he ended up apologizing to Joseph and then following me out. He was too considerate to allow me to feel uncomfortable alone; therefore he drove me back to his apartment.

I was still rattled by the movie, so Matt switched the TV to a cheerleading competition on ESPN, which I knew he loathed. He was doing all of this for me! We talked some as we sat on his make-shift coach, a cheap tri-fold futon. Then he began a playful rendition of Pepe Le Pew from Looney Tunes using his hand as a puppet and speaking in his best French accent. “You ah zo beauteeful. I want to kees you,” he said as he poked and tickled me.

I began to laugh, glancing towards Matt. He had grown quiet and sat gazing into my eyes. He ever so slowly leaned forward, his smooth lips brushing mine. He softly kissed me. Suddenly, a wave of emotion swept over me, and I knew that I was still deeply in love with him, even after the many broken hearts and the hurt feelings, the hopelessness and the despair of watching him date other girls. And Matt was finally returning those long denied feelings.

God had a bigger picture in mind. He had a plan for me and knew I would one day look back on the days and months of desperation I felt as I was called to wait for Matt and see that God alone had given me hope again and again. Every time I had called out to my heavenly Father in agony, He had given me peace. I only had to trust in Him. He had answered all of my prayers—in His timing.

So, you thought the story was over? Find out what happens next in "The Epilogue" coming soon. If you're behind, go to Our Love Story for the previous segments.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Chicken Squares

I made this recipe on a recommendation from Stacy. Go here for her rundown of it. I ended up making four and a half squares. I gave the little one to Scamp.

3 oz. cream cheese -- softened
2 tablespoons butter or marg. -- softened
1 cup diced cooked boneless chicken (or 2 -5 oz cans)
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion (dry is fine)
1 8 oz can crescent roll dough
3/4 cup crushed croutons
Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Blend cream cheese & butter until smooth. Add chicken, milk, salt, pepper & onion.

Separate crescent rolls & press 2 together at the perforation to seal. Spoon 1/2 cup mixture onto each rectangle. Pull 4 corners of dough together, twist slightly & seal edges. Brush tops with melted butter & sprinkle with crushed croutons (if I'm out of croutons, I mix some fresh bread crumbs with garlic bread seasoning).

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 20-25 minutes.

I used fat free cream cheese, canned chicken, dried onion, and reduced fat crescent rolls. I only added about half the onion it called for. I really liked the recipe. Beef did, too, but said next time not to use so much onion. I didn't get any complaints from Scamp. I cut hers up into little pieces so that she could pick it up.