Archive for October, 2009

Ask the Hubby – Round 2

Sit back, grab a beverage, and enjoy round two of “Ask the Hubby.”

From Chelsea’s Mom: What kind of job would you want if salary wasn’t an issue?

Answer: Ok, ok… I’ll admit that this question is above all, the one that really got me thinking and anxious about answering. 

Frankly, Chelsea and I are at a point in our lives where we could technically change careers and it would be the best thing that ever happened to us.  Why?  Because we could then pursue a career of our choice and grow it from now rather than 2, 5, or 10 years from now.  To answer this question honestly, I would have to answer, I would do everything.  I would become an expert guitarist.  I would train for the olympics, I would get an engineering degree in every field imaginable so I could test, figure out, and invent new and exciting things that would help in unimagined and too great ways to realize now.  I would go to seminary and learn everything possible that people have thought about faith, living life, and acting upon instinct and reason.  I would learn how to examine the human psyche and train myself to be the best person I could be to everyone that I know; in the end knowing how to bring them all together.  I would work to help all those people who exist now and who will exist in the future, whether through innovation or through my simple act of going to see the same poor old lady once a week and talking with her family about what promise there is in an education and in Christ and in how wonderful life could be growing in relationships and truly showing others what it is to care.

I would essentially do everything there is, because the only limits to the possibilities that my heart and mind could go after are those that God has created physically for us. 

Right now, the only two certainties that exist within my life are this: money is essential for functioning within society and I have no idea what role I would provide to society if money were not an issue.  Because there is no job where I could do everything, and that is what keeps me up at night.

From John at Sojo Life: Stephen, do you frequently get belly button lint? I have a severe problem with this. It happens constantly. Every time I dig up in there out comes a big bunch of fuzz. How do you suggest I deal with this? Should I make a quilt out of all the fuzz and give it as a christmas present to my little sister?

Answer: There is an epidemic in this country!  Too many people are getting lint in their belly buttons and it’s just showing how much we don’t care for our clothes as they are deteriorating into little lint balls in our stomach hole! 

Answer to this problem!  Wear belly button piercings!  Chelsea swears she never gets belly lint because the lint doesn’t have a place to go since it’s blocked by the stud already there.  Since the hair on our bellies tend to rub the clothing we wear and hence causes the fibers to deteriorate, the natural place for it to go is in the crevasse in our abdomen. 

What a dilemma, John, what a dilemma!  I would say, since you are a guy and probably are adverse to wearing a belly button piercing of some sort (also the army wouldn’t allow it for you), that you should shave your belly of all it’s hair, buy clothing made from non-cotton products, and then put a flesh-colored plug in your belly button to prevent the hole from eating up everything that comes in its path!   …good luck, John, and God speed!

From Gabby at Sweetest P: What is the hardest part about being married for a man? How do you cope? What is the BEST part about being married to Chelsea?

Answer: Isn’t the answer always sex? To all three questions? Ha. I would honestly have to say the hardest part about being married is a combination of two things: respecting each others opinions when they differ and deciding which answer to ultimately stand by.  We cope by talking it out.  And the best thing about being married to Chelsea is that I get to talk and be with the person that is Chelsea and all the wonderful things she is and does!

From Lisa D. at Lisa’s Yarns: (Her questions are three-fold.) 
1. What do you really think about your wife blogging? Do you love it or hate or are you indifferent?
2. When did you know you wanted to marry Chelsea?
3. They always say that men marry women that remind them of their mom. Does Chelsea have mannerisms similar to your mom?

Answer 1: I’m indifferent, but only in that indifferent = the addition of negatives and positives that come from a wife blogger.  I DO enjoy being talked about in a great way!  I DON’T enjoy being talked about in a negative way! (Thanksgiving post!)

Answer 2:I knew I wanted to marry Chelsea when I was forced to think about it because our friend Anneke decided to ask me (the first time I hung out with her btw) “so are you and Chelsea going to get married?”  Honestly, I was too happy to be with Chelsea to even fathom this question at the time.  However, when presented with the question that makes you think about such things, it makes you actually think.  I found that it was an easy answer, in that I was able to say “yes” to almost immediately due to logic, choice, and heart-felt emotion right when Anneke asked it.  I didn’t say that to her though, I merely stuttered at the blatancy (I made this word up) of the question and decided it was time to go play some volleyball to avoid the awkwardness of the moment, since I hardly knew her 🙂

 Answer 3: I would have to plead the 5th on this one.  I refuse to compare and contrast the two.  Since knowing the answer to this question could either (1) disgust me in the similarities of my wife and mother or (2) question how much of my mother I am looking to get away from in my wife, I refuse to even think of them together in the same thought.  What a weird question for any man to answer, please refrain from doing so for any other men, since I’m sure it would put them in the same state of bewildered confusion and repentance of their sins for thinking against their mothers and wives!!!  j/k, but yeah that’s weird.

From Lindsay (Chelsea’s sister): What movie scarred you for life as a child and WHY??

Answer: Movies don’t scar me, my dreams do…

From Molly at Considering Campbells: What is your most embarrassing moment? OOOOOR if that’s not PG, I’ll do the easy question: there’s a fire and you have to get out of the house. What 3 things (not people/pets) would you take with you?

Answer: Since my MOST embarrassing moment includes public nudity, I’ll go with the second answer: painting of Chelsea and I by the China-man, the journal Chelsea made for me everyday in 2006 of the things she loved about me, and the jewelry box I made as a wedding gift for Chelsea.

From Jim at Life on Dayton: Has it been harder for you to find close friends since leaving Austin or harder for Chelsea?

Answer: It’s been equally hard for both of us to find friends since leaving Austin.  I however have grown into a great relationship with two men from our church here, while Chelsea has the misfortune to not have that many new friends close by.  This is both due to Chelsea’s maturity as a person and the lack of said maturity level of the people at the Church her age that she could connect to.

HOWEVER, because Lauren is such a hoss and can be a close friend even from far away; (semi-colons are my favorite punctuation by the way) she is duly counted as a good friend that Chelsea is able to connect with regularly.  Just as my friends and I were able to initially connect through our interest in the Church to grow a close relationship, Chelsea has been able to connect with Lauren (and all you ladies, and some guys) through the blogging world! :^)

Jim, also I miss you.  You are a good friend who I wish could live down the street and could come over for shish-kabobs, because we had those tonight and they would have been great with you and Sarah!

 

A few notes from the wife (also known as The Owner of This Blog):

-Just as I have a love affair with the comma, Stephen has a love affair with the run-on sentence.

-I’m not sure if “China-man” is an acceptable term. Stephen assured me that it was PC and if anyone has a problem with it, they can yell at him and NOT me.

-Lauren, I told Stephen he wasn’t allowed to call you a “hoss”… that it meant a big, tough man. He disagreed. After a debate we decided to let urbandictionary.com settle the argument. (You can click that link to go straight to the “hoss” page.) He’d like you to see definitions #1, #3, #5, and #6 – specifically #3. And you are to ignore #2 and #4. And also, we have much more in common than just blogging. But I was not allowed to contribute to his answers…

-Stephen may or may not have had a few glasses of wine before writing this. That’s all I’ll say on that subject.

-I see that I missed Wes’ question – something about are there any games left in the UT schedule that he is particularly worried about. I’ll answer for him. No. His reasons are two-fold. 1) Stephen doesn’t worry about football. 2) UT dominates, we have full confidence and do not worry about them. Heard of Colt McCoy?

-This was the last installment of Ask the Hubby. If there are more questions out there, ask away. We’ll save them for a rainy day. Feel free to add them on future posts as well.

October 5, 2009 at 9:10 am 10 comments

Seven Quick Takes (vol.9)

Can you believe I’ve been doing this for 9 weeks? Can you believe that you keep coming back even though you KNOW I’m going to tell you seven useless things? Yeah, me neither.

7_quick_takes

1.
All day yesterday I thought it was Wednesday. Each Thursday I’m responsible for posting (not writing) a new devotion on the women’s ministry blog for my church. As I was closing down my computer at work yesterday evening I thought, “I suppose I could go ahead and schedule it.” Two seconds later I realized it was Thursday already and I was 8 hours late. I’m so responsible that I shock even myself.

2.
 Yeah, hi J. Crew. Why are your dresses so expensive?

I have a few weddings to go to this winter and I think I’d like a new dress. All three weddings are from different areas of my life, so I think it may be appropriate to wear the same dress to all three weddings. I was thinking about a gray, knee-length dress. Maybe wool. If you see something let me know. I’m not very good at shopping unless it involves Target, Half Price Books, or Old Navy.

3.
I recently read a blog that discussed getting what you want. People often say, “Oh I wish I could _______.” In her case, people often said, “Oh! You are so lucky that you get to live in Europe. I wish I could live in Europe for a few years.” To which she answers, “Why don’t you?”

So simple. But really, so true.

I wish I knew what blog this was because I’d give you the link. One part I really loved was that she said that so many people get involved with a million different projects, hoping that they’ll find happiness in at least one of them. Just figure out what you really want and pursue it. If you wish you could cook, learn to cook. If you wish you could sew, learn to sew. If you wish you could lose weight, lose weight. Don’t avoid the thought process of figuring out what it is that you’d like to pursue. It’s that easy.

Only it’s not. 

4.
This Sunday on my weekly grocery shop, I plan to get a bottle of pumpkin spice creamer. I normally drink my coffee black. Pumpkin spice creamer is the only exception I make. Plus, I can’t afford to spend $4+ on pumpkin spice lattes. I need something pumpkin flavored to convince myself that it actually is fall.

5.
I’m “one of those” people who get their Christmas shopping done early. I don’t believe in being stressed out the week before Christmas, that makes me lose focus of what Christmas is all about. It also makes me broke. So for the sake of my sanity and my bank account, I start early. If you know of any great Etsy stores or unique websites, tell me the links! I think I’ve asked this before and got ZERO responses. I probably made the mistake of asking two questions in the same post.

Speaking of two questions… if you can handle it, add two words to your comment. I got 9 submissions yesterday but since all of them are TOO HARD I’m welcoming more.

6.
Last night my fingers were swollen from being hot and eating salty foods so I took off my rings. I have to do this because I have a band on both side of my engagement ring and it hurts my sausage fingers to have all three on. After The Office, Stephen was flippng around the television while I was working on this and that movie with Diane Keeton came on. I think it’s called “Something’s Gotta Give.”

C: I like this movie. You don’t, right?
S: No. I don’t. I don’t like watching old people have sex.
C: Well I like it. She’s a writer in a big house with big windows on the beach. I like that.
S: But she’s single.
C: So?
S: Put your ring back on.

So I did. But I just put my engagement ring on because it was too uncomfortable to wear all three. I put the others in my “secret hiding spot” and forgot to put them back on this morning. ALL OF THAT to say that I’m only wearing my engagement ring today. It’s kind of fun.

7.
I’m on this new kick where I want to learn stuff. Weird, I know. I don’t really want to take a class or anything, I just want to learn new sweet skills. I have to be conscious not to “put my hand in too many projects, hoping to get happiness out of one of them” but instead “begin the thought process of figuring out what it is that I want to pursue.” Like pie. I think I’d like to make a pie with homemade crust. I should probably stop saying, “I’d really like to do that” and start actually doing it.

I’m reading a John Piper book called “Don’t Waste Your Life.” For those of you who are familiar with Piper, you know that he’s not a simple beach read. He writes quality Biblical stuff and you must have a pen in your hand to read it. But I’m enjoying it because I’m in this learning mood.

That’s is y’all. That’s 7 quick takes. I feel like this week was especially lacking.

October 2, 2009 at 9:15 am 25 comments

What You’ll Find in the Cracks of My Brain

What is your earliest memory? They say you can remember things from as early as 18 months. I think “they” are liars. I’ve been told numerous times that I have an incredible memory. And while that may be partially true, I definitely can’t remember things that happened before I turned 2! They also say that you remember things that made an impact on you. Things that scared you, caused you pain, made you extremely happy, things you loved, etc. The good things bring us special joy. We think, “I hope my kids make forts in the living room!” Or “I hope my kids love playing with homemade play-doh the way I did!”  Do you think those things?

When I was little, my mom sold Tupperware. I don’t specifically remember this, but I do remember having access to every size and shape and color I desired. As long as that color was either mustard, orangey brown, brown, or red. There was a small brown container that I kept in my room. Imagine the size and shape of those tiny cokes, short and squatty. I don’t remember how old I was but I had to be under 6 since this happened when we lived in our old house. Each night my parents would tuck us in and say our prayers. Sometimes I’d go into my brother’s room as my mom was sitting on his bed listening to him talk about something that was boring to me and I’d pick off all of the little pills from the backside of his comforter. I kept a collection of these tiny white balls in my Tupperware. Haven’t we talked about me being a hoarder before? I don’t particularly hope my children tear apart their siblings’ possessions, but I do hope they find joy in small collections. Little trinkets or toys that have some special (and probably odd) meaning to them.

I also hope my kids use their imagination when they play outside. I remember making pictures with sidewalk chalk, building houses for snails out of shoeboxes, going on adventures in the backyard, and making up rollerskating routines. These things obviously meant a lot to me because I can still remember them vividly.

Books also made quite an impact. Don’t you remember the amazing stories about the Berenstain Bears? With their long finger nails and their super cool house? I can remember loving the Amelia Bedelia books and the Dr. Seuss books. And Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. All great books! So great that there are TWO movies out right now that are based on children’s books. (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Where The Wild Things Are, for those of you living under a rock.)

My brother loved turtles when he was a baby. Seeing as I was negative 2 years old when he was a baby, I’m having a hard time remembering this. But I’m told by my mother and my brother that he loved turtles. We even had this really cute turtle sprinkler. It was really cheap. Just a plastic turtle with a hole in the butt area to screw the water hose into. The top of the turtle (also known as the shell) had holes in it. It was great. We’d jump over it and giggle and then jump back over. It wasn’t fancy, it didn’t turn or swivel, it just sprayed. But we loved that thing. Maybe because it was a turtle, or maybe because it was a sprinkler and all kids love sprinklers. Who knows?!

My sister-in-law is pregnant. She’s due in early January so there is quite an excitement buzzing around the family. A few weeks ago she went to register for all of her baby loot and my mom and her mom went along. As they were wandering the aisles my mom spotted a stuffed turtle. She melted. She HAD to buy this for baby Avery. Since Avery’s dad has such a love for turtles, certainly she would too. When my mom saw my brother she showed him, “Look what I found!” He smiled and said, “Tuh tuh!”

We hold onto these things yall! The collections, the books, the activities, the hours in the sprinkler. We keep these memories in a special place and every now and then they are resurfaced. When I have a child I want to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies and let them cool on unfolded brown paper grocery bags that are spread all over the kitchen table. I want my child to hold onto Stephen’s hands and crawl up his body and flip around just like I did with my dad.

Maybe this is a way of holding onto our youth. We feel like we are reliving these activities. Or maybe we just really want to see our children giggle and smile and learn. Whatever the case, I have high hopes for my kids! I can’t wait to meet them and learn them and listen to them recite “Caps! Caps for sale!” as they pretend to read it.

What about you? What memories do you cling onto that you hope your children can experience?

********

My lovely blog friend, Jill was responsible for this post. I told you the two words seemed easy. They weren’t! Leave your next two words in the comments.

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October 1, 2009 at 9:01 am 17 comments

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