Archive for June, 2009

Model Behavior

What does it mean to “have it all together”? Does anyone really have it all together??

I’m definitely not a model of a woman who has her stuff together. Those women are predictable and moral. They are well groomed, with great hair styles that are always perfectly done. They have clean homes, an organized planner, DVR for the few shows that they actually watch, they get enough sleep at night, they never drink too much or eat too much, they are in shape, and they have no problem making and keeping friends. Does she actually exist?

If she does, I imagine she’d be a lot like Jennifer Garner. Or Monica Geller.

But I don’t think she really exists. Like I said, I don’t think I have my life together, but it’s definitely not in shambles. But for as close as I am, here is a glimpse into my life to show you how far off I am.

Saturday morning I woke up at 10:00 am. It was glorious. I got out of bed and ate Nutella and strawberries on toast for breakfast. Also glorious. I decided it was time to work on the floors again. I grabbed a sports bra and the closest pair of shorts, they just happened to be baby blue cotton boxers that say “Wii” all over them. Since I was home alone and focusing on dirt specs on tile, I decided to wear my pirate patch. (A response to a question I will inevitably get: the patch is for vision therapy, not for fun.) After scrubbing tile, I began the giant task of cleaning out my closet. This is an exhausting task. At one point I came across a pair of heels that I’ve only worn a couple times. I couldn’t remember if they gave me blisters or were just generally uncomfortable. How do you figure it out? You wear them. So there I was, standing in my bedroom sorting through clothes… my hair in a messy ponytail, wearing a sports bra, boxers, a pirate patch, and high heels. Stephen walked in a very calmly asked, “Umm, what are you doing?”

My husband is a lucky man.

Later that night, Stephen and I came home from a wedding and settled into bed. He was dead tired from having too much to drink. So he went to bed. I was wide awake from having too much to drink. I turned on the television and giggled hysterically at old episodes of I Love Lucy. They just don’t make quality television like that anymore! I’ve got to say, I was proud of my choice to watch such a wholesome show. After a slight hiccup in my behavior that day, it seemed I could be well on my way to becoming an upstanding citizen.

Then I spent an hour last night watching two episodes of Chelsea Lately. And I’m back to square one.

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June 30, 2009 at 9:26 am 14 comments

Sweet Skills

I know a lot of talented people. Musicians, cooks, photographers, scrapbookers, knitters, smart people, athletes, etc. etc. etc. I believe that God gives us all talents and I’ve often wondered what mine it. What is my sweet skill? Maybe it’s something I haven’t discovered yet. Like juggling. Probably not. Usually people who don’t see 3D aren’t good jugglers… lots of black eyes and bloody noses. Maybe I’m an excellent ventriloquist. Or maybe it’s some sort of activity that doesn’t require me to join the circus.

My sister decided to go to school to be a graphic designer. Part of that major is art. She wasn’t particularly excited about it since she had no background in art and was convinced that she wouldn’t be any good at it. She soon proved herself wrong. She’s incredible. Each time we see a piece of her work, we are shocked. That girl definitely has a talent. She is truly an artist. Here’s the proof. Here is a picture of her self portrait. If you haven’t seen my sister, this is her.

lindsay portrait

Some people have incredible talents that aren’t as useful. I remember one time in college, I was in the car with my friend Lyndsey. She was like, “Hey have you heard that new song? It’s something about ‘That’s What I Like About Sundays.'” At that point, the song was brand new and I had never heard of it. She said, “Oh, it’s really good. It says something about ‘Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me… That’s what I like about Sundays, Sing along as the choir sways, every verse of Amazing Grace. Shake the preachers had. Go home, into your blue jeans. Have some chicken and some baked beans….’ And then it says something about ‘It’s 35 cents off a ground round baby, cut that coupon out.’ I don’t know. I’ve only heard it once.” Reread that last part. She had only heard it once but somehow she memorized the tune and half of the lyrics. It was nuts. I don’t know how she did it. She often complained that she could memorize any song but couldn’t memorize facts for school. Regardless Lyndsey, I was impressed. I still think about that every time I hear that song.

Everytime I post about not having skills, you all post comments about “blah blah, you can write, blah blah, you can cook, blah blah.” Yes I can do both. I can do neither exceptionally, but I can do both in true mediocre fashion. But that’s okay, because I realized what my true skill is. Foreshadowing. Or maybe we can even say that I’m a fortune teller. Or more accurately, a future teller. Do you doubt me? Two examples follow.

One. Think back a couple month ago to when I went a bit crazy with my cooking. I stocked the freezer with casseroles, meat, and cooked turkey. I bought sandwich meat on sale and froze it. We had tons of food. I just knew that I was going to need it. I knew I would be glad that I did it. And now, here I am, praising God that I made that choice. Our bathroom is taking shape. We got new floors, a new shower, new ceiling and walls, retexturing, painting, etc. The glass for the shower has been ordered. We’re about to buy a vanity and toilet. And let me just tell you, it’s not cheap. It makes me almost want to vomit every time I spend money now. So you can imagine the relief I have when I go to the grocery store and only have to buy the perishable items. Lunch and dinner is already bought and paid for. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Somehow I knew.

Second example. A few weeks ago I got a call from my mother. She said, “Hey. Are yall busy Thursday night? We are going to meet in the Academy parking lot at 6:15. We have something we want to do with all of you kids.” I hung up the phone and my immediate reaction was “they bought something. Maybe a boat, maybe a car, maybe a vacation house. Something. They bought something.” After two days of deliberating, I figured it out. I morphed into Sherlock Holmes and used my clues. I had decided that they’d bought a beach house. Turns out, my fortune telling skills are right on. Well, almost right on. I was only slightly off. They hadn’t actually purchased it. And it’s a house in Galveston, not technically a beach house. Regardless, I’ve got to say, I impressed myself on that one.

So here is the official introduction. Blog world, meet Bella Rose. Bella Rose, Blog world.

FrontView

(Yes, we like to name our homes. First my grandparents and their friends named their Colorado condo Luther’s Run. Then Stephen and I bought the Hurst Castle. Now my parents bought the Bella Rose. We just decided to name my parents’ house the Rosen Haven. That’s funny if you know us…)

June 29, 2009 at 9:49 am 14 comments

Move Over Jillian Michaels

Buying a house is an exhausting, emotional event. Stephen and I rushed into our purchase of Hurst Castle so we didn’t have much time to freak out. (I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, so let’s blow past that.) It takes a while to get to know your house. You learn the noises, the smells, which faucets drip, which parts of the floor creak, how to properly unlock the front door, etc. There is a lot of personality in a house.

When we went to our signing, we were able to meet the son of the previous owners. (The previous owners were elderly and had passed away a year or so before. And, no, we don’t know if they died in the house. Why would you even ask that?!) So anyways, we met one of the sons and he was talking about the house. He said, “My mom took great care of that house. She used to clean the floors with a toothbrush.” I laughed a bit and in my head I thought, “That’s a bit much. Why wouldn’t she just use a mop??”

I soon found out. And I don’t feel sorry for her. She spent time on her hands and knees because she made a ridiculous tile choice. First of all, it’s white. Never buy white tile. Ever. EVER. Secondly, it has grooves and pores. So what does that mean? It means that every spec of dirt that gets tracked into our house not only gets ON the tile, it gets IN the tile. Mopping doesn’t clean out those tiny holes.

So one Saturday morning about a year ago, I saw an amazing infomercial. (That’s a bit redundant, isn’t it? All infomercials are amazing!) It was for The Shark. Have you seen this thing? It’s amazing. Check it out…

shark

Look how happy she is! You just fill it with water, plug it in, and mop. Each time you push, the handle goes in and releases steam that cleans and sterilizes your floors. At the end, you take off the padding on the bottom and throw it in the washing machine. Amazing, right? Yeah I thought so too. So I bought one. In theory, this thing works like a charm. But in theory, your tile doesn’t have billions of pores.

The first day I bought it, I mopped every hard surface in our house. Then I sat and cried for 3 hours because you couldn’t tell the difference.

Just kidding about the crying.

It was frustrating though. The Shark worked on our brick-looking tile in our living room but failed miserably in our kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. I decided the solution is to live with nasty floors and then shell out $200 once a year to get the kitchen professionally cleaned. We’ve lived in our house for a year and a half, we haven’t done it once. Clearly it was a good plan.

Last night, everything changed. I came home from work with a hint of a migraine. I immediately took a pill, ate dinner, and laid on the couch waiting for it to kick in. Once it kicked in I had a brilliant idea. (Drugs do that to you.) I decided I would clean the floors. I was tired of it and now was as good a time as any. I filled up a bucket with fruity smelling Pine-Sol and water, grabbed a huge thick bristled brush and a towel. I started in one corner and scrubbed. I soon realized jeans weren’t good for the job and put on some gym shorts. Thirty minutes later I changed into a sports bra. I scrubbed and sweat and scrubbed and sweat. (I don’t actually sweat, so when I say that “I sweat” I actually mean that I got hot and there may or may not have been a tiny bit of perspiration.) Two hours later, my arms were numb and my abs were sore. But my floors were clean.

I can hardly move today. But it’s worth it because I successfully cleaned the breakfast room and kitchen. I have a long way to go but I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I plan to complete the floors this weekend. My very own 2 Day Shred. Who needs Jillian?! Thirty days? Do we really need a 30 Day Shred? I guess I could stretch it into 30 days.

If I were using a toothbrush.

June 26, 2009 at 9:14 am 14 comments

How’d That Happen?

Stephen and I carpool to work so we often have a good time in the car. In the mornings we usually don’t talk, we just listen to our favorite morning show. But in the afternoons, we chat. Because of certain circumstances at his work, Stephen and I have been driving separately this week so he can spend more time at the office. So on Tuesday night when we were driving to the Astros game, we started discussing what we’d heard on the radio that morning.

S- Did you listen to Roula and Ryan this morning?
C- Of course.
S- It was funny because they sent Intern Adrian out with Special K to hit on girls.
C- I didn’t hear that.
S- (raises his voice) It was funny because they sent Intern Adrian out with Special K to hit on girls.

At this point I couldn’t speak. I was laughing so hard I was crying. When I said “I didn’t hear that” I meant that I didn’t hear that segment of the radio show. Even as I replay the events in my head, I start to giggle a bit. This is why I love carpooling with Stephen. It’s entertaining. Driving alone is not.

You know those terribly scary times when you somehow arrive at your destination and have no idea how you got there? You’re in your car alone, singing or thinking or looking around, and then all of a sudden you realize something… you’re in your driveway. I hate when that happens. I makes me wonder if I was driving safe or if I ran any lights or hit any squirrels. Not that I’d be upset about hitting squirrels, but I’d like to know about it if I hit one. That’s not the point. The point is that somehow I got home, and I don’t remember doing it.

I had a similar experience on Tuesday night. It was friend date #2. The four of us went to an Astros game. We bought cheap tickets and then sat on the FiveSeven Patio. We sat and talked and had a couple beers and got to know each other. It was a fabulous double date. We laughed and joked. They bought the tickets, we bought the beer. It all worked. But then something happened. It was time to go. I looked at the clock and it was 10:15 and two things had happened: 1) A baseball game had been going on in front of me, and now it was over. And I don’t remember what happened. 2) I had a killer headache.

Let me just say this in my defense, because I know what some of you are thinking. I hate when people come to games and then sit and chat the whole time. I especially hate it when those people are behind me. As a baseball lover, I really find nothing more obnoxious than a chatterbox in the row behind me. But we weren’t sitting behind anyone. And as cool as the patio was (really it was, I would totally do it again) , you couldn’t see much. You could see the field and a score board, but you couldn’t see the Gigantitron or the roster. And for someone like me with terrible eye sight, it was hard to pay attention. So it’s really not impossible to sit there for over 3 hours and not realize there is a major league baseball game going on right in front of you. Did I make my point?

And about the headache… oh boy. I knew I had a headache the whole time but I was trying to ignore it. You know, like when you were little and you were on a road trip and had to pee. And your mom would say, “Just don’t think about it.” That doesn’t make it go away, but if you can focus on other things, it becomes bearable. So I focused on other things. But the second we got in the car to go home, all I had to focus on was the traffic and the drive ahead of us. My headache instantly became unbearable. It was a full-on out of control migraine complete with nausea and the desire to die.

I got home and took a pill. These usually take 30-45 minutes to provide a bit of relief. An hour went by… nothing. By this point, Stephen was fast asleep. I got up and took another pill. I instantly regretted it as my nausea got worse. The last thing I wanted to do was throw up my pill. So I sat in bed, held an ice pack on my head, and repeated “do not throw up, do not throw up” over and over in my head. About an hour later I had decided that the pill was probably safe. I got up and spent the next two hours throwing up. Apparently the last thing I ate was matches and the last thing I drank was lighter fluid (or Bud Light… whatever) because I was throwing up fire. Over and over. Until I thought my throat had third degree burns on it. It was awful and I don’t wish it upon anyone.

I know you usually come here for a bit of entertainment so I’m sure you aren’t pleased with my topic today. I’m telling you this story so that you excuse me for my absence yesterday. And so that you truly know that I was not enjoying my day at home in bed.

And now here I am, and somehow it’s Thursday. And I’m not sure how I got here.

June 25, 2009 at 10:55 am 8 comments

Cliffhangers

I have a love/hate relationship with season finales. I love them because they are generally pretty excellent shows. The writers always provide a lot of drama and excitement and some sort of change. But I hate them because they always leave me with questions. I thought I was going to die the year Friends announced Rachel was pregnant and didn’t tell us who the dad was.

With that being said, I realize I owe you all an apology. And a few answers. I’ve received a bunch of emails and facebook messages lately and I thought I’d address your questions. I’m sorry for leaving you hanging.

Where did your links go?
I’ve gotten this question multiple times, specifically regarding my recipe blog. The links disappeared a few weeks ago and instead of figuring out why, I just decided to wait until the new design was released and figure it out then. So as of yesterday, the links are back. But this time, my Blogroll is more comprehensive and includes many more links. Look at the top with all the tabs. See it? When you have some time to kill, look around.

And stay tuned to those tabs. I have a few more coming in the next week or so.

Why don’t you Twitter?
Because I think it’s dumb. I’m allowed to think that Twitter is dumb without thinking you are dumb, okay?! Here are my reasons for abstaining from Twitter mania:

  1. I’m not that interesting. It’s true. 100% of the interesting things that happen in my life are blogged. If I “tweet” them, what will I blog about?
  2. I don’t want another thing taking up my time and attention.
  3. I don’t care. I don’t want to read other people’s tweets, so why would they want to read mine?

If I’m famous one day and someone wants to pay my to join Twitter, I’ll do it. Or if you want to pay me, I’ll do it. You can sponsor me. “This Tweet was brought to you by _______.” I charge $20 per tweet – you can’t afford me. Anyways, no, I’m not joining Twitter. I know all the cool kids are doing it but I’m not a cool kid.

Is Rookie’s hair growing back?
I’m so thankful that you’re concerned! I thought it was just me. Yes, her fur is growing back and she is returning to her normal color. We have decided never to shave her again. It didn’t help the shedding problem. Rookie’s undercoat is the part that sheds, but her overcoat is the part that was shaved. So we were just left with an ugly, shedding dog. Lesson learned.

How was your friend date?
I know some of you are under the assumption that my friend date didn’t go well since I haven’t written about it. Or you think that I can’t say much since she reads this. You’re wrong. Our friend date went splendidly. We met for brunch and talked for 4 hours. I’d probably say it was better than 99% of real first dates I have ever been on. (Obviously my first official date with Stephen was better… we kissed for 30 minutes in the Zen parking lot. It was very Zen.) Tonight is date number 2. We’re bringing the husbands along!

I think I’ve tied up all of the loose ends. If there is something else, I apologize. You can reprimand me in the comments and I’ll spend countless hours trying to make it up to you.

June 23, 2009 at 10:02 am 10 comments

Blog Material

If you are a blogger, you know that every experience you have could inspire your next blog post. If you’re not a blogger, you probably have many experiences that you don’t truly appreciate. I have never been more aware of my surroundings as I have the past 6 months. It makes me wonder if I was always surrounded by random hilarity or if this is a new thing.

Last week, Stephen and I took his parents to go see Up. (Fantastic movie, by the way!) It was a Friday night and the theater was packed. I’m not quite sure what was going on in the row in front of us but there were people up and moving around. There were some seat exchanges or something. So this mom was moving over a couple seats and she was holding her purse, candy, and a few cups of water. As she was walking and stepping over people’s feet, she tipped her hand and the water in her cup spilled all over the two women in the row in front of her. I was shocked. I turned to Stephen so we could be shocked together. He didn’t see it happen. My in-laws never mentioned it so I’m thinking that they didn’t see it either. This leads me to believe that I’m still having the same experiences I’ve always had, I just notice more. I live a life that is constantly searching for blog material. But the thing is… I don’t really have to search. It just presents itself.

I’m going to take for granted that you’ve been reading recently. If you are a newbie, this won’t make any sense. But to all of my loyal readers, listen to this. Remember the guy from the airport that farted in front of Kelly and I? And then proceeded to sit down next to us and join our conversation? Remember? On Saturday evening I went to dinner with a few girl friends from high school. We walked into the restaurant and we were standing at the hostess table waiting for one of the 11 high school girls to figure out where to put us. All of a sudden, I hear this man say, “I saw YOU at the airport going to Kansas City!” It was him. The Farter. At Chuy’s at the exact same time as me. And he remembered me. And pointed at me. How is that possible?? So I say, “Oh my gosh. Yeah.” And he, of course, goes on. “I was on my way to get this guy…” and points at some poor poor teenaged boy that I assume is his son. I nod, turn around, and quickly walk to our table.

Things like that just don’t happen to people without blogs. They just don’t.

June 22, 2009 at 9:30 am 8 comments

Friend Dating

Have yall tried that search function at the top of the blog? It’s pretty sweet. I just had to use it because I could have sworn that I’ve blogged about this before. But it didn’t show up, so here we go!

Life is easy when you’re a little kid. Not just because you don’t have to worry about food or money or mortgages, but because you don’t have to worry about friends. They are all made for you. When you’re a toddler, your friends are made by your parents. You hang out with the kids of whoever your mom wants to hang out with. Which is fine. You’re 3, what do you know?! When you’re in elementary school, you have more freedom to choose. But you have a limited pool. You can be friends with people in your neighborhood and people in your class. That’s it.

My elementary school had a day in the summer to come up to school and find out what class you are in and buy your shrink wrapped pack of school supplies. It was a day of great anticipation. Who would your teacher be? Who would your classmates be? I remember the summer before 4th grade. It was awful. I looked at my class list and knew nobody*. Not a single one of my friends were in my class. And to make matters worse, my classroom was in the temporary section in the 5th grade hall! I wouldn’t even be close to my friends. I couldn’t wave to them during bathroom breaks or on the way to lunch. It wasn’t fair. I cried. And cried. Because in 4th grade, there is nothing more important than your BFFs. But of course I met new BFFs. That’s how it is in elementary school. It’s easy to make friends.

(*Let me clarify. It’s not that I didn’t know anybody… I had gone to this school since Kindergarten, I knew people. They just weren’t my friends and I didn’t care for them. The two Bens were in my class though. And at first I was annoyed because boys are annoying, specifically ones that you already know. One of the Bens kissed my friend on the back in 1st grade when the boys decided to play Kiss Tag during recess. So we hated him. But one of the Bens was Jewish. And his mom came in to class and gave us a rockin Hanukkah presentation, complete with dradles and chocolate coins. But I didn’t know about the coins when I saw my class list in the summer. So at the time, my tears were justified.)

Moving on… wow, this is getting long. I apologize. I’m sure you have much more important things to do on this fine Friday… reading my rambling probably wasn’t number 1 on your things to do. Oh look, there I go again…

So lets fast forward through junior high and high school because quite honestly, I’m not sure how I made it through there alive. It’s a dog eat dog world in those lockered walls but somehow I had friends. (Thank you for that… if any of you are reading.)

College friend-making is probably different for everyone. I went to a school that had approximately 5,636,208 students. So in my first class alone, I had about 2849 people to choose from to be my BFF. I’m not sure how it all happened, but I quickly had a core group of friends. It changed over the years as my classes, activities, and interests changed. But I was never lonely. I never wondered what I would do on a Friday night. I never even wondered what I would do on a Tuesday night.

Why were all of those friend-making times so easy? Because we were all in the same life stage. And there were so many people to choose from. You were bound to find someone who liked to watch Friends at 3 in the morning while eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. But it’s not like that anymore. I’m a 24 year old, married, homeowning, poor, employed Christian. To add to the complexity, I’m sarcastic, boring, don’t like going to movies or spending money, enjoy reading, desire motherhood, don’t like loud bars, hate the phone, and don’t know how to shop with people who aren’t my mom. So making friends is difficult.

When you throw in the husbands, it gets even crazier. A few years ago, an out of town friend hooked us up witha couple he knows. He old us we live close and should give them a call. We did. We hung out a few times each month but eventually, it died out. Not because it was anyone’s fault, but because we didn’t click. You know what I mean? We didn’t have that spark! Last year a woman at church approached me and said, “Oh Chelsea. There is this couple who just moved here and I think you and Stephen would really like them. Can I send you their information?”

That’s when it dawned on me… making friends as an adult is a lot like dating. You meet people through mutual friends. You’re married? Oh, so is my friend. You should meet. You don’t have kids yet? Oh, neither does my friend. You should meet. You have a dog? Oh my gosh, so does my friend. You should meet!

And that’s how it goes. The couple dating routine. Getting four people together for dinner and making magic happen. It’s complicated and stressful. And at the end of the night you are left wondering, “Did they like us? Will they call? Did you hear when he mentioned that they travel a lot? Do you think that means they are rich? We can’t keep up with that. Oh well, let’s not assume… Maybe his parents are rich. Oh gosh, I’m so confused. Do you think it’ll work out?”

I have a friend date this weekend. There is a wonderful girl who I have never met and we are finally taking the plunge. We chose not to invite the husbands just yet. We need to establish a good base before we throw two more people into the relationship. So this post serves two purposes…

1. When you’re saying your prayers tonight, say one for my friend date. Pray that we both like each other and there are no mixed signals or deal breakers.

2. Single ladies? The awkward dating scene doesn’t end when you get married. It goes on. Forever. Good luck with that…

June 19, 2009 at 9:42 am 12 comments

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