Posts filed under ‘Getting Old’

Maybe I Am Sort Of A Baker

Settle in, y’all. This is a good one.

I have this blog friend named Taryn who likes to post about cakes and breads that she makes. She recently made a king cake in celebration of Mardi Gras. I saw her tweet about it and considered making one for our trip to Galveston last week. But then I saw that it’s not actually a cake but a bread and it involves yeast. Yeast = time and attention and details. Now I’m not necessarily scared of yeast, but I prefer not to use it if I don’t have to. Which is why I normally just make beer bread if I want homemade bread or burn my finger making chocolate cupcakes if I want cake.

A month or so ago she wrote about this book that she uses to make bread. It’s called The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. You can read a post about it here if you want. She made baguettes and cinnamon rolls and they both look amazing.

It got me thinking, maybe I could do that. Maybe I could make some sort of fancy schmancy bread thing from scratch.

She posted that on January 18. About ten seconds after I closed her post I realized that I had made something from scratch. Just a quick week before that on January 12 I found out that I had my very own little bun in the oven.

(I’ll pause and let you breathe….)

My fingers are literally trembling with excitement as I’m typing this. I’m so excited that I can finally tell you all about this! Especially after the whole Fatherhoody post when so many of you thought I was hinting. Trust me, if I knew you were going to suspect something from that post, I would never have posted it. It was definitely not a hint! In fact, the reason I’ve had so many guest posts lately is because ALL I can think about is that there is a human being in my uterus and I didn’t want to slip and ruin the surprise. That, and well, I sleep all the time and have no time to blog.

I didn’t want to keep the secret for this long but I needed to. Stephen and I took a week to soak in the news together. It was a long week. Then we planned an evening out where we needed to stop in on a bunch of family members to share the news. See how excited Avery is to have a cousin?

Then we had the task of telling certain friends and family. There were certain people we wanted to tell in person. News like this is big. Slowly we saw everyone we needed to see. The last batch was over the weekend in Austin. A couple that we love dearly was going to be in town for the Austin marathon so we made it a point to go to Austin and get our whole college group together. Little did they know, we had an agenda. Friday night we gathered and announced our news. And now we’re letting the world know.

A little Hurstling is on it’s way… scheduled to be here around September 19!

Here are a few pictures of how we announced to people. These are the frames we gave our parents. I will NEVER forget the looks on their faces.

To siblings and close friends we gave them one of these bibs and if we mailed it to them, we included a picture of me holding the pregnancy test:

So that’s my super exciting baking news! Of course we’re thrilled. A bit nervous, still sort of in shock, wondering if it’s all real. But ultimately we are praising God for this blessing. Now if anyone knows a good, free nanny… hook me up!

(Ten on Tuesday questions will be posted this morning. They may already be up, just click the ToT button on the right sidebar.)

February 15, 2010 at 8:00 am 62 comments

Ten on Tuesday (17)

Hello ToTers! Welcome to another week of pointless questions. I’m excited! This week’s batch comes from Miss Kyla Roma. Check her out and thank her for her questions. She’s never actually participated in a ToT and I’m not sure she’ll start this week, but she enjoys reading your answers.

1. Fill in the blank. Sometimes I wish my life was more ______.
Sometimes I wish my life was more relaxing and filled with money. I’d love to be able to not work and spend time on hobbies and learning how to clean my house. I can’t afford that though. As it is now, I get home from work at 6 and then cook dinner. By the time that’s overwith I just want to sit on the couch and watch television with Stephen. The dirty house is overwhelming and I don’t know how to start. So maybe I should say “sometimes (all the time) I wish my life was more clean.”

2. How do you cure the hiccups?
A spoonful of sugar. True story. Try it.

I won’t name names because I don’t want to embarrass anyone… but I know someone who thinks he can cure his hiccups by flexing something or doing something in his throat. I think not. 

3. What are three of your favorite indulgences?
Java Chip Fraps with Peppermint – Pure bliss.
Chelsea Lately – Hilarious but often filthy.
Fresh, hot pizza – I love it so much that I always burn the roof of my mouth.

4. Where is the most exotic place you would like to travel to? The most mundane?
Most exotic? I’m not sure what makes something exotic. I’ll say Hawaii.

Most mundane? Alice, Texas. A very very small town located in south Texas. Not a whole lot to do there but I have family there so it’s always a great trip.

5. Does having your time planned out stress you or relax you?
Relaxes me. I love my planner. I love meal plans. I love planning my blog posts. I love planning. If anything happens spontaneously, it throws me off and I have a hard time adjusting. Stephen doesn’t understand this. He probably thinks I’m a psycho on some level. For better or worse baby!

6. What are your favourite fabrics to wear?
Can you tell she’s Canadian? One of my all time favourite things to wear in general is a comfy cotton dress on a hot summer day. It’s flattering, cozy, breezy, lovely.

7. Do you sleep through the night?
Not even a little bit. Any noise wakes me up. Plus my bladder is the size of a ping pong ball so I have to get up to pee at least once every night. The worst part of it is hearing Stephen sleep heavily next to me while I toss and turn.

8. When you were younger, what did you think you would be doing at this age? How close is that to what you are doing?
I thought I’d graduate from UT at 22, get married at 22, and have a baby at 24. I thought I’d stay at home with my baby while my husband brought home the bacon. I’m pretty close to that but have no complaints. I graduated from UT at 22 and got married at 22. I’m now 25 and, as you know, there is no little Hurstling residing in Hurst Castle. Also, I’m not staying at home. I’m responsible for bringing home part of the bacon. See next question.

9. What has surprised you most about growing up?
All things money related. I had no idea how much things cost and what a normal salary was. I never realized that not all new moms stay home with their babies. I didn’t realize that we wouldn’t be able replace our stained carpet without saving saving saving. I didn’t realize that vacations were something to be treasured because some companies give JACK SQUAT for vacation time and even if we did have time, we couldn’t afford to go anywhere anyways.

10. Are you good at keeping secrets?
I like to think so. I’m not a big fan of secrets in general. Plus, I am of the opinion that telling Stephen is still considered “keeping the secret.” So I guess, you be the judge.

That’s all she wrote. Now it’s your turn. Click the logo to add your link or to visit others who are participating.

February 9, 2010 at 8:15 am 26 comments

That’s A Man, Man!

In October 2005, I developed a crush on a 21 year old boy. He was this goofy guy who had adorable dimples, a baby face, and child-like humor. We started dating. Two kids in college, hanging out. We were cute. We had fun. We laughed and played games together. That’s what life is about when you’re 21 years old.

On Saturday, that 21 year old kid turned 26. I am now MARRIED to a 26 year old man. I’m not sure how that happened to me. Just yesterday I was a child. Now I’m married… to a TWENTY SIX year old MAN. Oh dear.

What do adults do on their birthday? A couple years ago we celebrated Stephen’s old age by having an early dinner at Luby’s and then heading to the Bingo hall for a few rounds. (True story.)

This year we went a little nuts. We woke up early and went to a meeting at church. I wore my boots (proof to come). After our meeting we drove through Whataburger and headed into town to visit the Saint Arnold’s Brewery with some friends. They kicked us out at 3:30 so we headed home and did the absolute best thing we could think of. We took a nap. A glorious, brilliant nap. We set our alarm for 6:45 so we could wake up and eat a quick dinner of “things we could make in 5 minutes from the fridge.” At 7:30, some of his dude friends came over to play poker while I went to the back of the house to clean out the scrapbook room.

At the end of the night, we were laying in bed and said multiple times, “That was a great day!” And it was. A day with friends and beer and a nap? I’m really not sure how to top that. Stephen had a bit of an idea… at 1:30 in the morning just as we were about to go to bed he turned to me with sad eyes and said, “Do you want to play ping pong with me???”

Ugh. Sad to say, I said no. It was in the 20’s and regardless of what Stephen may say, just because the garage is protected from wind, it’s not protected from temperature. Plus, at that point his birthday was over so I didn’t have to do something so ridiculous. But the good news is that it was a great reminder that he’s still a kid. Even though he’s MUCH closer to 30 than he is to 20, he’s still fun and cute and he still has great dimples.

Happy belated to my husband. He’s one of the kindest, most thoughtful men you’ll ever meet. He’s a friend to all and he’ll put his life to the side if you need him to. He’s quirky and funny and he has the best place right under his arm to cuddle into. He makes excellent omelets and is shockingly good at reorganizing a room. Stephen, I love you and I’m proud of you every single day. I think God has awesome plans for you and me and I can’t wait to see what they are. Thanks for being a kid and for not taking life so serious. Sorry about all of my gray hair.

For those of you who live in or around Houston, I highly recommend a trip to the Saint Arnold Brewery (<–link). We really had no idea what to expect but we knew that if it involved beer, we could get on board. You just show up, wait in line, wait in another line, pay, and you’re in. You pay $7 for a cute Saint Arnold half pint glass and 4 bottle caps. Each bottle cap is worth a half pint of beer. So… 2 pints for $7. Crazy cheap. You basically go into this big warehouse looking room and hang out. People brought pizzas and games and just hung out. Luckily one of our friends had cards so we were able to sit on the floor and play spoons… only we had to use pennies because none of us happened to have that many spoons on hand.

Anyways, I suggest you go try it out. And call me when you do because we totally want to go again!

Check out these fun bottle caps.

And here is picture proof of my boots in public, again. They are making regular appearances.

By the way, that red brick-looking tile is the EXACT same tile we have in our living room and entry way. See why we want wood floors??

Happy Monday! Make sure you wish Esteban a happy belated birthday and if you haven’t entered the calendar giveaway, you can click here to do it.

**Ten on Tuesday questions are up!

January 11, 2010 at 9:48 am 28 comments

The Reason My Sister In Law Deserves An Award

The average newborn is 7.5 pounds. The average woman is 5’4. These are things to remember throughout this post. Another thing to remember: excluding C-Section (which she did not have), there is only one way for a baby to get out of it’s momma.

This is my sister-in-law, Laura. Next to her is my brother, Justin. This was on our cruise over Spring Break.

Neither of them are average, as you can see. Laura is like 5’2 and probably about negative 100 pounds. She is tiny.

She was getting pretty big the last month or so of her pregnancy. She hadn’t gained a single ounce anywhere but her belly. About two weeks ago, the doctor told her that Avery was probably about 7 pounds. Doctors can be wrong. Did you know that? This doctor was either wrong, or Avery is super-human.

Family, friends, strangers, and internet. I introduce to you…. Avery Claire.

All (not average) 9 pounds .02 ounces of her. I would say that they switched the babies in the nursery but that’s not possible. Justin saw it happen. Live and in the flesh.

Tiny Laura + Chunky Avery = … do the math. Laura needs some major recovery prayers.

Proud daddy. (Let me take a moment to gather myself…. my brother is a daddy…. oh my gosh… my brother… is a… daddy…)

 

Those are my parents. Mom and Dad, what are you new names? Word on the street is that my mom may go by Nana. I haven’t heard any rumors about my dad yet.

That’s my sister. And my niece.

Stephen, me, my bangs, and Avery. Have I ever told you I have tiny, bony wrists?

I’m smiling because I’m dreaming about holding her thighs. I love fat baby thighs. They are one of life’s great joys. She didn’t want her thighs squeezed last night but she told me I could do it in a couple weeks.

I know, I know. SHE’S AMAZING!

The whole family, minus Laura.

Avery,

Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here and healthy. I can’t wait to get to know you and love on you. You are beautiful and so very special to all of us.

I hope your birth wasn’t as traumatic for you as it was for your parents. The doctor thought you could use that time in there to cook a bit more but it seems like you’re quite done. The buzzer should have gone off a few weeks ago.

I hope you don’t get mad at me when you’re a teenager for putting you on the internet. It’s just that so many people wanted to see your pretty face.

 Miss Avery, I love you so much and already miss you. Can I please pinch your cheeks?

Love,
Aunt Chelsea

Leave some love for Justin, Laura, and Avery!

December 30, 2009 at 9:56 am 51 comments

How To Make a Migraine

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a migraine, you are in luck. I’ve got the recipe.

Homemade Migraine

  • Do not go to sleep before 11:00 for at least 5 days in a row.
  • Have a dog explosively crap on your white carpet.
  • Intermittently spend money on the following: groceries, large quantities of Christmas and wedding presents, a mortgage, a car note, student loans, carpet cleaning to clean up crap stains, gas, more groceries and hospital bills from that time your husband almost lost his nose.
  • Take your clunker to the mechanic and spend an unfortunate amount of money.
  • Be reminded that you are no longer in college and don’t get vacation throughout the entire month of December.
  • Be at the tail end of your hormonal “time of the month.”
  • Have your clunker break down less than 2 weeks after you “fixed” it.

Combine all ingredients in a large vat. Pour in some frustration, cold weather, and dog hair. Whisk briskly with your carpal tunnel inflicted wrist. Add a dash of dirty dishes and a heaping hamper-full of laundry. Blend with unpedicured toes. Be sure to allow some cold showers to drizzle into the batter as it comes together.  Dough will form lumps. Place lumps across your shoulders and neck, keep packing them in until you’re feeling stiff and sore. Set time to 3 seconds. When the timer goes off, your migraine should be ready. Enjoy!

Please note that this recipe is for the ugh-my-head-is-pounding-and-I’d-like-to-go-to-sleep-even-though-its-7:00-at-night. If you’re looking for the oh-my-gosh-I’d-rather-die-than- live-with-this-*#!&*in’-migraine-for-one-more-second recipe, make the following changes.

Add: rain, a fight with your husband, criticism at work, house guests with a dirty house, a burnt recipe, and a bad internet connection. For best results, replace the slightly hormonal day with the most hormonal day of the month.

That is a coveted recipe, my friends. You’re welcome.

That’s precisely where I was yesterday evening as I was standing in Walmart on the phone with my mom. I was whining about the fact the my husband was on the other side of Houston because his car wouldn’t start. I was approximately 4.7 miliseconds away from bursting into tears. This may be the only time in my life that I think the massive Walmart crowds have helped me. I was too scared to cry in a crowd. That’s just embarrassing. Especially because I knew I’d have to come here and tell y’all about it.

You know what made me calm down enough to release the tension and let go of some of that migraine?

A good cuddle with this one:

(Rookie wouldn’t pose for a picture. She was bored with me last night.)

And this. In it’s entirety.

(I don’t know why the pictures are green. I don’t want to try to figure it out because that’s exactly the sort of thing that causes migraine flair-ups.)

(Also, I know my kitchen is ugly. You’re more than welcome to come fix it up, without any financial help from me, of course.)

Want to know what else eases my migraine?? Knowing that I get to have lunch with my best friend Lyndsey today! She lives in Kansas City. She’s brought it to my attention that we live 49 states apart, if you’re traveling the long way. It sucks. A lot. But she’s flying in to Houston and I get tp pick her up and take her to lunch. That makes me happy.

Do you want to be friends with Lyndsey? Of course you do! Well lucky for you, she’s just started a blog. (It must be contagious!) She’s still feeling it all out and figuring out what she wants from the blog, so be patient with her if she changes things up on you. I’m excited about it though. Lyndsey is the funniest person I know in real life, so I’m excited to see her learn how to transfer that to a blog.

Click here to visit her little corner of the internet. Say a proper hello to her. I mentioned that she’s traveling today. It would be cool if she was overwhelmed with comments when she checks her blog. Don’t let me down, y’all!

Stay tuned, I’m posting the winner of the GlamourDamaged giveaway later today.bAnd then the next giveaway starts tomorrow morning. Are you excited? You should be!

December 17, 2009 at 9:39 am 23 comments

What God DIDN’T Mean When He Said We Should Leave Our Familes

So listen y’all, I’m all about Biblical marriage. Love, honesty, communication, submission, respect, sex, husband : wife : : God : church, honor, relationship, etc. etc. etc. I get that. I’m not saying that I’ve perfected it. By no means is that true. I’m just saying that I get it and I support it.

Do you want to know who doesn’t get it??

MY MOM.

And my sister.

Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined with his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Did you get that? Well don’t worry because it’s repeated.

Mark 10: 7-8 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

I’m not going to write a dissertation about what that actually means. If you’re curious, let me know and I’ll tell you my thoughts and feelings on the matter. What I do want to talk about it what that DOES NOT mean.

Last week I went to my parents’ house to pick something up. I was thrilled to walk in and see their house decorated for Christmas. The big tree covered in ornaments, the snow village laid out across the piano, the smaller tree stuffed with UT ornaments… it was great. I felt warm and fuzzy. And then I saw this.

In the Rosenhagen household, the stockings are hung on the kitchen cabinet with care since they don’t actually have a mantel. I never really thought it was weird until I took that picture. But something is wrong there. Before marriages, there were 5 members of my family. (Mom, Dad, Big Brother, Little Sister, Me) Then Big Brother and I got married and added 2 more to the mix… Laura and Stephen. Did you do that math?? We are now a family of 7. Did you see how many stockings were hung by the kitchen cabinet with care?  THREE.

I have one word for how I felt when I saw that: Rejection.

I immediately called my mom out. I told her that was unacceptable and that I am still a member of this family. When I got married she told me I couldn’t have my stocking because she still needed it, so I ordered super cute ones for Stephen and I from Pottery Barn. And now my wonderful childhood stocking isn’t even being hung? Not okay my friend. NOT okay. 

My mom made some excuse about how they don’t fit very well and Lindsay said that since we weren’t in the house, they didn’t need a spot. Plus she couldn’t find the extra stocking hangers. Hey Little Sister, we may not be in the house but we’re still in the FAMILY!!!  And, what? They don’t fit?? They can cuddle. If my mother-in-law can find space for her daughter-in-law and TWO of her daughters’ boyfriends, my mom can fit her own daughter.

The next day I got a text from my mom. It read, “Will this do until I can find the hangers?”

Yes mom. That’ll do. I’ll take your Christmas present out of the trashcan now.

December 10, 2009 at 9:32 am 25 comments

Like a Book

If you’ve read my blog for longer than 17 seconds, you’ve probably got me figured out. I don’t think anyone has ever drawn my name in a gift exchange and said, “Well crap! What the heck do you get someone like Chelsea? She is impossible to shop for.” Because I am not impossible to shop for. I’m quite easy to shop for. I’m quite easy to entertain and quite easy to please. Basically, I am easy to read… Like a book.

Tuesday was my 25th birthday. I’m not going to lie, 25 sounds *older* to me than 24. I know it is older, precisely one year older. But it just sounds like an adult age. I’m not an adult. But then someone posted a happy birthday message on their Ten on Tuesday that mentioned I am halfway to 50. Oh geez. (By the way, have y’all been reading and commenting on these ToT’s? Who knew that the whole world loves post it tab flag things?? I never use them. Apparently I’m missing out.)

Tuesday night Stephen and I went to my parents’ house. I originally thought that Stephen would make me dinner while I watched Biggest Loser and blogged. But schedules were a bit crazy for my family so we got together that night instead of our regular after-church lunch. My mom made TWO Pioneer Woman recipes! She made the Chicken Parmigiana and boy oh boy was it delicious! She made PW’s Tiramisu for dessert. I don’t think I’ve ever had a true tiramisu so I have nothing to compare it to, but it was delicious!!

Last night we went to Olive Garden with my in-laws because my stomach has been wanting salad and breadsticks for a long time now and since I am the birthday girl, they had to take me there. It was great. My mother-in-law ordered me this delicious strawberry cake with cream cheese icing from the bakery that her and my FIL’s wedding cake came from. So stinkin’ good. Of course I had to take a bathroom break two seconds after we sat down because my bladder is the size of a thimble. When I came back, this was sitting on my chair.

A scrapbook full of letters. From family, from friends, from many of you. What a gift! I was overwhelmed. See, I’m good at GIVING those types of gifts. I’m not great at getting them. So many wonderful things are on the pages of that book and I definitely don’t feel like a worthy recipient. As a “Words of Affirmation” and “Acts of Service” chick, my love cup is overflowing!

I’d like to show you a few pictures of the various gifts I received the past few days. If you’re anything like me, be prepared to be jealous.

That’s the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I have never used this cookbook but my aunt loves it, and my aunt is a reliable source. And (WHOO HOO) Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Yes ma’am. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes 1 and 2. Even if I never make anything from this book, it’s a must have. My collection wouldn’t be complete without it. I may attempt a few recipes but, most likely, I’ll just read it like a book. I’m weird like that. There is also a smaller cookbook called Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom. I hardly think a publisher was able to capture Julia Child’s wisdom in that tiny book, but I’ll take what I can get!

I’ve read Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof by Emily Griffin. All were easy and entertaining reads. I’ve had Love The One You’re With on my “books to read” list for probably almost two years now! And lookie there, My Life In France. I’m going to be a Julia Child trivia beast!

Ignore the larger than life bridal portrait of me in the background, and my brother crossing his legs like a lady. Focus on the beautiful books in my hands. Swoon. Have y’all seen these? The clothbound Penguin Classics? They are beautiful!! I think they have 20 clothbound books released, I got 5! You can’t help but pet them when you hold them in your hand. I was reading a used copy of Wuthering Heights but I switched over to this one. I feel pretty classy when I hold this book!

Aahhhhh (angels singing), my very own Dutch oven! Stephen is celebrating the possibilities of what’s to come in that pot. I’m breaking a sweat just holding it up.

Stephen gave me some clothes from Old Navy (click here) (the other items aren’t online, I don’t know what’s up with that). He also sent flowers to my office. That really makes a girl feel special! My SILs both gave me Old Navy gift cards. I literally did a happy dance when I opened one of them. I just did a classy “whoo hoo” when I opened the other since I wasn’t alone. I don’t do dances in front of people. Happy or otherwise.

Also not picture is some Dove chocolate (delicious!), wine (also delicious!), shirts, and money to go toward my dining room chairs. Y’all, I’m one blessed chick! I think it’s funny how similar most of my gifts are. If you include the scrapbook as a book everything totals as follows: 8 books, 5 cookbooks, Old Navy gear, and food related items. So if you ever draw my name in a gift exchange or wake up just dying to buy me presents, you shouldn’t have any trouble coming up with something to get me. Although, after skimming some of the cookbooks, I’m thinking about editing my Christmas wish list to things like: a roast, wine, fine baking chocolate, and beef tenderloin. But I would be okay if you got me something you already know I love… like a book.

(That’s not a book. It’s cake. But it seemed like a good closing picture.)

November 19, 2009 at 9:33 am 34 comments

Changing With The Times

Do you realize that we are almost a full decade into this millenium? It’s 2009 and times are a-changin’! I’m sitting here with a computer on my lap, typing a bunch of mumbo jumbo that I’ll eventually shoot off into cyber space for you to read. And who are you? Some of you I know, some of you I don’t. You’ll fire up your laptop and open your Google Reader and Roots & Rings will be bold. You’ll click on it and read something written by some girl in Texas. Very, very weird.

They say that every time you buy some new fancy piece of technology, within months (or even weeks) it’s already out of date. You spend $200 on the latest cell phone and a month later a new version comes out. One that can do something especially fancy, like turn on your oven when you’re at work. I just realized that my laptop has one of those webcam things attached to it and lookie here, I can take a picture of myself while I’m writing. This is what I look like when I’m blogging… only I don’t smile the whole time. And sometimes I blink.

comp pic

This is when people often pull out the term “old soul” and throw it in my face. It’s probably true. Besides my email addiction and this little site here, I’m pretty out of touch with technology. Before I got this new fancy cell phone a few months ago, I always had the freebies. I couldn’t understand why anyone would need anything more. Now I check my email at stop lights.

But as I take a look around, I see how technology seems to intertwine itself into my life. Instead of consulting cookbooks, I pull up Recipezaar or Pioneer Woman on my laptop in the kitchen. I listen to music online at work because I can’t stand to listen to flushing toilets or burping men any longer. I snuggle in my bed with my laptop and catch up on television shows I’ve missed.

I think there are some things out there that I just can’t quite get the hang of. Ginormous flat screen televisions. I’m not on that boat yet. I have yet to be able to justify spending that type of money on a product I already own. I have a television. I actually have 3. They all work and have remote controls. Why in the world do I need to spend a few weeks’ pay on a new one?? I’m just not there yet.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post that began with words like WordPress, Google, Stats, Bing, and click. It confused my mom. I guess she doesn’t understand the irony behind the sentence “I googled something on Bing today.” She’s not there yet.

Technology has always been changing, things have always been improving. I’m sure there was a caveman who looked at fire and thought “I’m just not there yet.” Or when the first car was invented, someone probably thought, “You know, I think my way is working just fine. I don’t understand this car thing. I’m really not there yet.” And so on.

This Saturday I was having a discussion with a few people about dishwashers. Someone said that they felt bad for people who didn’t have dishwashers. Having to wash everything by hand, how unfortunate! But then what’s even more shocking are the people who own dishwashers but never use them. “No thank you, I’d rather soak and clean these dishes by hand. Machines aren’t better than people.” I don’t get that.

Then someone chimed in with one of the best stories I’ve ever heard in my life. I will call this person Petunia. Her name is not Petunia, but I don’t know anyone by that name so it seems like a safe enough alias. Petunia is a sweet woman… Arguably the sweetest woman I’ve ever had the opportunity to know. She’s cute and thoughtful and did I mention that she was sweet? Because she is so sweet, I will not give her away. I will just tell you her story.

During this dishwasher talk she stated, “Well when I lived in my first apartment I had a dishwasher but I never used it. I washed everything by hand.”

We turned and looked at her. “But why, Petunia? Why would you do such a silly thing?”

She had her answer ready for us and in the most serious tone she answered with genuine honesty. “Well you see, I used the racks to file my bills.”

…I’m sorry, what? (It should be noted at this time that Petunia is one of those ‘accounting types.’)

“Well yeah. I had to. I didn’t have a file cabinet back then.”

I think that’s when I peed my pants.

Petunia needed file cabinets. But dishwashers, well, she just wasn’t there yet.

October 12, 2009 at 9:15 am 23 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?

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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

Pictures of My Grown Up Life

Happy 090909, friends!

Remember yesterday when I talked about being a grown up? I thought I’d show you a few pictures of my grown up life.

First, here are the photos of our bathroom that I’ve owed you for quite some time. In case you forgot, our bathroom looked like this on September 12, 2008.

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That’s mold. Ike hit our neighborhood pretty hard. A tree in our backyard fell on our neighbor’s garage and on the way down, a branch punctured our bathroom ceiling, resulting in mold. And this.

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So we gutted our bathroom. We played around with the idea of redoing it ourselves since we’re poor. But after about 7 months and no bathroom, we decided to hire someone. We patched up the skylight because we thought it was quite ugly. We tore out the furdowns above the vanity and above the shower to open up the teeny room a bit. This is what we’ve got now.

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This is the view from our bedroom. It’s a very tiny bathroom. Just a toilet, standing shower, and sink. And here is the view from the toilet.

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So there you go. You waited all that time for those pictures and I’m sure you’re underwhelmed. I make no apologies.

I’m not posting photos of our painted bedroom just yet because we just bought some curtains. Once we hang those, I’ll take some photos and show you how pretty my tissue papered walls look.

Want more pictures of my adult life? This is what we did on Saturday.

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Those are our disgusting wood panel walls. Actually, that is one of the built in bookshelves. The walls are real wood and are actually pretty rough so they don’t need to be sanded. But the area behind the shelves and the area around the bay window are super glossy and fake. We sanded them down so that I could prime and paint this weekend. I like how Stephen’s arm is blurry from the vibrations of the sander. That black stick looking thing is the vacuum hose. I was waving it in the air while he sanded so we could try to capture some of the dust. I’d like to think that it helped, even though our house was COVERED in tiny dust particles.

And here is a picture of me taking a sanding break to put Molly in her game day clothes and force her to take a picture with me.

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It should be noted that I’m wearing a homemade shirt that says “My Buddy Has Sweet Skills.” Lyndsey and I made those shirts in college. We were in an organization called Diamonds. Long story but we did stuff for the University of Texas baseball program. We were all assigned “buddies” on the team. Our job was to be their #1 fan. I could write an entire post about my mixed feelings on that subject, but I won’t. I’ll just say that my Sweet Skills t-shirt is about 40,000 times cooler than my buddy that year. Although it did speak the truth, my buddy did have sweet skills.

Please also take a look behind me. That is our monstrous fireplace. That is one of the things about our house that I actually love. You just don’t find those in new homes. You’ll see more photos of the living room next week after I paint it.

I hope you enjoyed the quick peek into my life. I’ll leave you with one more photo of how my life is so adult.

Stephen Geese

Sometimes my husband chases geese.

September 9, 2009 at 9:12 am 16 comments

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