Thursday, April 16, 2009

Miss My Hubby!!

I'm having an off week...or two weeks (if you cannot tell by my lack of blogging).

Basically, work has been busier than usual, and we've been out of town so much that any and all downtime is no longer spent blogging, but catching up on things I haven't been able to do on the weekends because I've been out of town or had company at my house since that's how it's been the past 5 weekends out of 6....and I'm about to be out of town again this weekend....and without my hubby. :(

This was one of the trips I was really looking forward to because my baby brother, Carter, is getting his Aggie ring.....WHOOP!!!!

I'm still really looking forward to all of it, but really wish Michael could be there for the festivities. Mainly because he really wanted to come, and also because he has gotten to where he's given in to the fact that he married into a 100% Aggie family and is really starting to enjoy the craziness. He's never been to campus on Ring Day though nor has he been to an Aggie Men's Club Parent's Weekend "Branquet" we were both pumped for him to be able to take it all in.

But with the way this week at work for him is going, there is a slim to none chance that he will be there at all. That'd be fine any normal week because I know I'd still have fun and would enjoy everything, but this week is not normal...I'm really missing Michael and normal human interaction. I think I've seen Michael (not including sleeping) for a total of 4 hours in the past 4 days. He's been working until 10:30pm and then getting home around 11pm...then, showering and going to bed.

It's funny how it works because if somehow his boss could give me fair warning that a week is going to be like this, I'd love it, because then, I'd set up a bunch of dates with friends and not really notice so much. But coming home to an empty house (besides Madeline & Kosmo of course!) and the house staying empty of other humans until bedtime is so weird. I pretty much only interact with my computer at work, so needless to say, this is getting old, and I'm losing patience.

I am a HUGE people person and HATE being alone....for anything. I mean, I want Michael to stay in the bathroom when I'm in the shower so he can keep me company. I want him to sit next to me on the couch when we're watching TV and not get up for anything. I want my girlfriends to go to the bathroom with me when I need to go. I want to go shopping with them because I need their opinion. I hate eating alone. I NEED PEOPLE!!! My love language is "quality time" which is probably no surprise to anyone who knows me well.

With my lack of planning to spend time with people...not knowing this week would play out like this, here's how its gone:

Tuesday night
-Make Miso Salmon (because Michael and I are trying to eat healthier; see previous "health" post). And don't get me wrong, if I liked fish in the least, I'm sure this would have been awesome.
-Have no one to cheer me on to eat it, so I pick at it and take two bites and decide I hate it...I just spent an hour cooking and its all going to waste
-Pour some wine and decide that will be my dinner
-Realize that's not enough, so I proceed to eat almost the entire pan of stir-fry veggies I made to go with the salmon
-Turn on a movie because there's nothing else to do...for some reason, I watched "A Walk in the Clouds"...much too serious for a night like this.
-The neighbor's dogs destroy a fence post because our sprinklers are on and they don't like water. This causes a debacle as Madeline tries to "defend our territory" and make sure no intruders hurt me in any way.
-Michael gets home at 11pm, realizes he has to wake up at 7am for a dentist appointment and make sure to leave enough time to fix the fence in the morning (not good!); shaves, showers, we get in bed

Wednesday night
-I take the train home at 6pm
-Get home at 7:20pm
-Neighbor knocks on the front door the second I walk in the door (no time to change, eat anything, etc.). He is here to fix the fence.
-I get the grill started. I'm making Michael's favorite healthy burgers: Grass-fed beef with Ezekiel 4:9 buns and my favorite salad: Butter lettuce, strawberries, mandarin oranges with slivered almonds and poppyseed dressing.
-Other neighbor knocks on the front door...the 12 year old kid of these neighbors. By this time it's 8:15pm and dinner needs to get going, so I tell him to give me 5 minutes, and I'll come outside with the dogs.
-I go outside in 5 minutes....He wants us to hire him to walk the dogs. Any normal person would love this or at least be normal about it, but not me. I'm wayyyy too protective of my dogs and considering the fact that my nutty, fun-loving, full of energy dogs have both finagled themselves off the leash and/or out of their harness on more than one walk, the answer is definitely no. I try to tell him this in the nicest, most honest way possible and somehow end up saying "it's not you, it's me". (Did I just say those words???) Oops sorry kid - but that's not the last time you'll hear that!
-I finally sit down to eat at 9:15pm. I fast forward through Idol to see who got kicked one did...interesting...
-I clean house, do laundry, do dishes...essentially, just try to get the house in perfect order before I leave town again Friday (I cannot leave town unless the house is perfect).
-Finish cleaning and take a shower at 10:15pm
-Michael gets home at 11pm; shaves, showers, we go to bed

-Michael and I carpool to work
-I ask him if he thinks he'll be at home for dinner (wishful thinking!)
-He reminds me has a work event at Hotel Palomar which is why we're driving to work and not riding the train
-I ask him if he thinks he'll have to work this weekend...the answer is yes...or at least be in town and available to work
-At lunchtime, I get to see him for 15 minutes and we get Potbelly's to go

The great thing is that weeks like this for Michael really are few and far between, but they do happen. The incredible thing is that Michael is an employed and recently promoted investment banker who rarely has to work these kind of hours (by the way, these kind of hours are the typical hours of most investment bankers, so we are super lucky), so I am extremely thankful for him and his wonderful career and ability to provide for his family. On the other hand, because this type of week is so unusual, I really don't like it and start to miss him a lot!!!

Sorry that this post was mostly about me. I know this week hasn't been easy on Michael either. It cannot be easy to be working 24/7, so let me just finish the post by saying how much I appreciate how hard Michael works! He is such a hard worker and never complains! I support him in his career completely and during weeks like these, I'm happy to take care of his every need, so he can simply focus on finishing his work and getting enough sleep.

Message to my hubby and Madeline's daddy:
We love you!!! Come home soon!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Proudly Announcing......

Emery Dawn Lind

Born today, April 13, 2009, at 11:35 a.m.
to proud parents, Kristin and Josh Lind (my wonderful cousins)!!!

She is 7 lbs, 20 inches.

I love and adore her already!!!! :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Got To Meet Ron and Denver!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The girls from work and I are always talking about what books we read, and three of us had read Same Kind Of Different As Me - the book I reviewed in my most recent post.

Well, one of them found out that the authors (and main characters) of the book, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, were hosting a charity event and speaking at the Belo Mansion which is next door to our building downtown (the Trammell Crow Center).

In about a split second, all three of us jumped up out of our seats and ran over to the Belo Mansion. We walked in, and I immediately spotted Denver signing books and taking pictures. Darn! I soo wish I had my camera!!

But I did buy a book and they both signed it for me!! I was so pumped to be able to meet them. These guys are awesome!!!!

Here are some pictures of them (not from yesterday, though I wish they were!):

Denver Moore

Ron Hall

Friday, April 3, 2009

Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me

Let me start by simply showing you a few of the reader comments I found on the book's website.
To God be the Glory, great things he hath done! My heart is so full. What a reminder that we serve an amazing faithful God. He is about every detail in our lives. I am continually in awe of His goodness through the heartache and pain. He is steadfast and sovereign. Ron and Denver: We are committed to pray for you both and the ministry God has given you. Debbie's words and wisdom too will always be a great reminder to love unconditionally. This story has engulfed my heart and poured the passion of our Lord in every corner. He cares so very much for us. What a day it will be when we all see him face to face. Until then~ continue to serve with great Joy!! Because He Lives, Shannon
- Shannon K. Williamsburg, Michigan

This is absolutely the best book I have ever read. I could feel the power of God through the pages! It is an awesome example of how God works in our lives and we don't even realize it right away. God doesn't do anything for nothing. There's a reason for everything that happens in our lives, and you never know how God is going to work something out or who He uses to touch people. This book reinforced to me that God is almighty! He can use whomever he chooses, and who would've thought there would be a connection with a slave from Louisiana and a wealthy white man from Texas? God is working on our behalf when we don't even know it. I thank God for the opportunity to read this book. It put me on a spiritual high and I will recommend it to everyone I know. God Bless.....
- Kimberly P., Kansas City, Missouri

Am so thankful God is using your story for His glory. I love the way the book is written, as well as its content. It reaches into the soul and leaves an indelible, life-changing imprint. Thank you for sharing and for sacrificing your privacy. May we all learn to hear God and respond to His voice, so He can shine through us the way He did through Debbie.
- Marinell T. Dallas, TX

This incredible story of faith in action and selflessness truely opened my eyes to see how incredibly self absorbed I am. Spending so much time and energy focusing on me and my poor problems! I vow to be different. I commit to focusing on others with the single purpose of showing them the love of Jesus.
- Debbra L. Arlington, Texas

I read the first 225 pages of this book in two days, but couldn't bring myself to finish the last twenty for another week or so. Like a wonderful journey you didn't want to end, so was the "experience" of having read this book. Simply put, I believe it to be one of the greatest pieces of literature ever gifted to man. It's a promise for the future and a blessing for the day. See you all on the other side.
- Ned N. Chattanooga, TN

Allison's Review:
I have not yet completely finished the book, but only have a few pages left. I agree with everything the readers above commented on about the book. It is the most incredible book I've ever read. At this point, it tops Redeeming Love and Twilight for me and that is saying a whole heck of a lot.

Also, please know that I'm not a big reader. I'm not always reading a book. It takes a really incredible book to get me interested, so know that if I'm giving a book a great's a great book.

Last night, I was sitting on the couch reading while Michael was watching TV (and pouting because The Office and 30 Rock weren't on), and I was continually laughing hysterically, crying (really, I was bawling...and I'm not a cryer), and then laughing and crying at the SAME time. The book evokes so much emotion.

Not only that, but the book has really taught me a lot about my selfishness and caused me to change the way I think. It has without a doubt made me realize that life is short and that my relationship with the Lord and love for others is ALL that matters.

What makes the story even better is that it's true! See below for the authors (and main characters) of the book posing with the Bushes. Barbara Bush wrote a review on the back cover.

Why would you not read a book that tells the story of God's love and also takes you on a gripping, emotional journey?? Just do it! You will LOVE it!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Landscaping Before and After

As promised, here are some before and after pictures of our hard work in the yard this past weekend. Michael mowed, edged, and weed-eated while I planted 9 shrubs and 2 hibiscus plants.


We spent $110 on our shrubs and hibiscus plants at Lowe's - not bad at all!!

In the above picture, you can tell we seriously need to add some shrubs!! The green stalks are the remnants of my daffodils. They were gorgeous while they lasted!


Above: After planting, mulching, mowing, etc. this is our finished product!

Above: We planted Boxwoods (back row) and Indian Hawthorne (front row of shrubs with pink blooms). My Dad says they will double in size after just one season if I load them up with Triple 13 fertilizer. Can't wait to see them get as big as the rest of our Indian Hawthorne shrubs.

Above: We planted this Nandina shrub on the right side of the flower beds by the tree (it's hard to tell in the pictures but I planted it close to the ADT sign if that helps).

Above: I LOVE hibiscus, especially pink ones like this!

I want to plant petunias in the flower beds next, so be looking for an updated "after" picture when that gets done!

And let me just say that planting shrubs may seem easy, but it was really, really hard work! My quads, hamstrings and arms were sooo sore for 4 days after planting! It's really hard work!!!


No yard project is complete without documenting the hard work of my helpers.

Thank goodness for my awesome helpers!! I couldn't have done it without you!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Last Night at the Circus

I've got some storytelling to do along with my concert review, so hang with me here.

Last night when 7:00 p.m. rolled around, I was ready to go! I headed down the Texas autobahn a.k.a. the Dallas North Tollway. When I exited Harry Hines, I was not happy with the traffic pileup, so I proceeded to cut to the front of the line. I have the biggest car, so I always win. I felt kind of rude doing that, so I decided to play by the rules from there on out. Well, then I got in the middle of some gridlock. I saw an opening where I could pull out and get out of everyone's way in the gridlock. That's good, right? Stop blocking the intersection for the people who have the green light now. It would be, but I pulled in front of the wrong car. I pulled in front of THAT car, you know, the one that tries to teach you a lesson for pulling in front of them and attempts to inch up so close on your car that you back down, say your sorry, and just let them go ahead. That's all well and good, but do they know who they are dealing with!??!! (I was so glad Michael was not in the car at this point). The two girls in THAT car, a Neon, proceeded to flip (is it flip or flick??) me off and roll the window down to cuss me out. I ignore them as I fixate on how to win this "car off". I keep inching forward so they cannot get through...I. MUST. WIN. As I am "inching", I proceed to bump the car in front of me. Oops! I start praying "Please be a man driving that car, please please please". It's so much easier for me to get off the hook with men (which is why after my Freshman year in college, I never took a single class from a woman professor, which is also probably why I graduated with a 4.0 major GPA). Yes! It's two guys in the car!!! I stick my head out of the door and in my sweetest voice say "I'm so sorry y'all. I didn't mean to do that. Is everything ok???". Yes! Everything is ok. Of course it is! I only bumped them...and we are all ready to get to Britney, so no one is going to make a big deal out of a tiny scratch at this point.

Bad part is, I was on the phone with Michael during this debacle and for some stupid reason, I said to him "Oops! I just hit a car, I may have to call you back". Well, when I pick him up in front of some Victory Park bar, I proceed to get the Michael wrath.

I have to say that both my Dad and Michael are incredibly nice/gracious/forgiving to me when it comes to my driving. Michael is nice to me when I hit poles and when I run into his car on accident but he definitely gets annoyed when I hit someone else's car or get a speeding ticket. I do feel for Michael though because he will have to deal with me as a driver for a lot longer than my Dad did. My Dad was off the hook after 10 years (from age 15 with my permit to age 25 when I got married). And it ain't easy. This month alone, I've run into a pole and backed into Michael's car. Over the past 12 months, I've gotten 2 speeding tickets and have been pulled over for speeding 4 times. Yet I happen to be the best SUV parallel parker there is! Not sure how that happened.

So Michael and I make up. I realize he's only mad at me because he loves me and gets very frustrated when I do stupid, defiant things I should not.

Then, I try to bring my camera in and Michael tells me the tickets say "NO CAMERAS" on them so I immediately try to figure out how to sneak mine in. No dice. Michael is a strict rule follower, unlike me, but this is one of the reasons he's perfect for me - because he keeps me out of trouble and balances me out. I decided not to argue over the camera issue at that point. Let me just say though that pretty much every single person in the AA center had a camera, and I'm not losing that fight next time, babe.

We get inside the AA center, and I have to buy a shirt. Remember "Been there, Done that, Bought the t-shirt??" Michael points to one and asks if I like it. I say "Oh gosh no - No cheesy 'concert-y' shirts with Britney's face on them and the tour dates on the back. Its bad enough I'm actually buying a t-shirt". Then, the five girls in front of me buy that shirt. Sorry, I didn't mean it!! I go with a cute red, babydoll tee with no pictures of Britney on it. And yes, it was outrageously priced. I paid $40. What I really wanted was the juicy-type of black velour suit with gaudy Britney/Circus logos all over it (for $150). I'm serious, but again, no dice. Oh well, the red tee will do just fine.

Then, we head up to the suite. It looks like the Pussycat Dolls are almost done, so I'm getting excited!

Around 9:00 p.m., IT'S. SHOW. TIME.

Piece of Me

Allison's Review: Awesome start to the show! I felt like I was at a circus...well, because I was. So much drama! Awesome dancers, contortionists, tight rope walkers, trapeze get the picture. Then, Britney, in all her glory, is slowly descending from the big top in her red conducter outfit. I don't think she was tied in or anything so I was really worried about her! It was awesome though and she looked incredible...her hot, Britney self! She is back, baby!

Ooh Ooh Baby / Hot As Ice
If You Seek Amy
Me Against the Music

Allison's Review: One of my favorite acts. Great stunts and songs... and fabulous costumes. There were two different parts of this act where the stage was transformed into trendy, sexy Asian styling (like Ra Sushi in Plano or Buddakan in NYC) and then transformed again into something like the set of a Bollywood movie with Bollywood dancing and all.

Get Naked
Breathe On Me / Touch of My Hand

Allison's Review: A little too much for me. Everyone felt like they just had sex with Britney after this act. Britney, fyi, you are already sexy, you don't have to mimic sex on stage to keep your sex symbol status. There are kids here for goodness sake!

Do Something
I’m A Slave 4 U
…Baby One More Time

Allison's Review: I loved this act. She brought back Baby One More Time. Also, there was also an illusionist who put on a great show!

Circus - reprise

Allison's Review: Womanizer was a crowd pleaser for sure. The cop outfits and dancing with bare-chested men was annoying. I mean, I get why, but it was a little boring. And I missed the reprise because we left immediately after Womanizer.

Do I love Britney? YES! Did I ever stop loving Britney during the last two years? NO! Was her concert incredibly entertaining and about the most amazing show I've ever seen? YES! Do I like concerts? NO! Will I be eager to go to the next Britney tour? NO! Does this mean I don't like Britney now? NO! (It just means I'm not big into concerts..never have been).

For those of you who don't know me well, I'm not excited about Brit's comeback because I feel for her and think her life needs to get better. I'm just crazy about her. I think she's extremely talented and not given enough credit for her talent. I just love her and the stupid things she does and will always love and support her. I'm not a fairweather Britney fan...nor am I a 2%-er Britney fan (like I am with the Aggies). Nope. It's full-fledged. I just love her and that's that. It's my thing, okay. Let me have this one thing!

Now a word from the Christian me who didn't enjoy the concert as much as I could have without the Holy Spirit. As Michael and I were talking after the show, we agreed that we cannot even fathom the day Jesus comes back if people are really going this nuts over Britney. I mean, Jesus is THE famous one. It's going to be insane and so exciting! Which saddens me that we go so crazy over a human. No wonder she's had so many problems though...she is a god to so many people.

It also saddened me how inappropriate this concert was for children and teens, yet they were the largest part of the audience. It saddens me that parents take their teens and tweens to concerts like this. It saddens me the clothes that parents allowed their kids to wear to the concert. We saw hundreds of 12 year old sluts. It saddens me that people are not making a big deal about the fact that Britney was humping a couch on stage wearing lingerie. When did this become something that doesn't make us cringe?? When did wearing lingerie in front of anyone but your husband become a non-event/non-issue???

Which brings me to my point. I'm glad that many of the things I saw last night make me cringe. I'm glad I've pretty much learned at this point in my life to live in this world but not be "of this world". I'm glad that though those things are true that I can still let loose and have fun at a Britney Spears' concert and just not take things I cannot control too seriously.